Daguerreian Society

On this day (January 19) in the year 1840, the following entry was made 
in the Elmina Journal (an events diary kept by the governors of the 
Dutch forts located on the Gold Coast [now Ghana] Africa.) The French 
brig of war "La Malouine," commanded by Captain Bouet, had anchored 
just the day before.
- - - - - - - - - -

Captain Bouet brought his Daguerreotype on shore in order to show us a 
test [made] with it. At eleven o'clock it was put into operation at the 
house of Mr. Coorengel, located close to the beach, in order to produce 
a drawing of [the fort of] St. George.  Although the process is very 
long and difficult, at two o'clock we had the most beautiful and 
faithful depiction of this establishment [i.e., the castle], along with 
a small portion of the krom [town of Elmina], all in a compass of 10 
Rhenish inches broad and eight high.  The calm weather favored the 
proceedings, so that everything, down to the smallest objects, was 
visible on the plate.  The lines of flag poles were not missed in the 
scenery, even the leaves of some of the palm trees which stand near the 
fort could be counted with a magnifying glass.  This machine was given 
to Captain Bouet by the French government.

--Elmina Journal, entry for 19 January 1840. National Archives, The 
Hague, Archief van de Nederlansche Bezittingen ter Kuste van Guinea 
364.  Cited in "Early Photography in Elmina" by Larry W. Yarak; Texas 
A&M University;
(The brief paper in its entirety may be accessed at the above URL.)
Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

Return to: DagNews 1998

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