Farm Tools : (Y16) INF

Farm Tools : (Y16) INF

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Moulboard Plough: A plough that produced a deep furrow and turned the earth after it had been cut by the coulter and share. The moulboard was the device for guiding the plough and turning the earth over. To get the right depth for the seed the plough has to both cut and turn the earth.

Wheeled Plough: This plough enabled the ploughing depth to be controlled. In wet weather the wheels became clogged up with mud and was therefore very difficult to use. Wheeled ploughs were mainly used on sandy soils and rarely in heavy clay areas.

Harrow: Used for breaking up the soil and covering over seeds. The harrow had between four and six wooden beams called 'bulls', into which were set iron or wooden teeth. The bulls were joined together by wooden cross beams.

Rake: Used for spreading and collecting grass during haymaking. Those farmers who could not afford a harrow used a rake.

Scythe: The long-handled scythe enabled the corn to be cut while the worker remained standing. Held with both hands the crop was reaped by a slicing action. The scythe was mainly used for cutting grass and harvesting barley and oats.

Sickle: The main tool used by medieval farmers for cutting corn. The iron blade was angled backwards from the handle to allow a smooth cutting motion. The sickle enabled the corn to be cut without too much strain on the wrist. The blade could either be saw-toothed or smooth-edged.

Flail: Two pieces of wood joined together. The handle was attached to a smaller piece called the 'striker'. The flail was used to separate the grain from the harvested sheaves.

Forks: Made of wood with two or three 'ironed' prongs. Used for ground preparation and for haymaking.

Spade: Made of wood with iron shoes to protect it from wearing out. Used for preparing the ground, especially on the croft. Also for digging ditches when draining land. Before planting seeds it is necessary to breakdown the earth. Poor farmers who could not borrow or hire a plough had to use a spade.

Axe: Used for cutting down trees and killing animals. The heel of the axe was used to stun the pig before it was bled.

Shears: A tool used to remove wool from sheep.

Winnowing Basket: A basket used to separate the corn kernels from the outer husks or chaff. The threshed corn was thrown up from the basket and the breeze (sometimes created by waving a sheet) blew the chaff from the heavier kernels.

Farm Tools : (Y16) INF - History

J. I. Case and Company – one of the oldest tractor builders – began the 50s selling one of the oldest tractor lines, a line that had been introduced a decade earlier. Over the next 20 years, they developed and introduced four new series of tractors.

  • The Letter Series. At the bottom of this lineup was the Model "VC" rated at 18 horsepower on the drawbar. The Model "SC" was rated at 27 HP. Both of these models were sold between 1940 and 1955. The V series was updated first to the VC and then the VA series in 1942. The row-crop version, the "VAC," was advertised as "The Tractor for over 100 Farm Jobs." The Model "DC" had been introduced in 1939, and had 33 HP. The Model "LA" was the largest Case tractor of the time with 51 HP. It was sold between 1940 and '53.
  • The Hundred Series. When Case began to modernize their lineup, the started in 1953 with their first diesel engine tractor, the Model "500." The "500" produced 56 HP on the drawbar and became a respected engine. Two years later, Case brought out the "400" series tractors with 44 HP, and the "300" with 23 HP. From 1956-58, the offered the Model "350" with 42 HP. Then, in 1957, the Model "600" joined the lineup.
  • Construction Tractors. In 1957, Case purchased the American Tractor Corporation, a small privately-held company that had developed a backhoe attachment. Case took the hydraulic backhoe apparatus, put a hydraulic loader on the front and married them to several of their tractor models, and a new market was established. The Case Model "320" was the first factory-integrated tractor loader/backhoe. Over the years, these construction models have become big sellers.
  • The "B" Series. From 1958-60, Case offered the "B" series in 12 different power ratings (depending on fuel types) and 124 model configurations to service row crop farmers, rice growers, orchard men, industrialists and other special needs. The line included the "200B" with 26 HP, the "300B" with 28 HP, the "400B" with 31 HP, the "500B" with 39 HP, the "600B" with 41 HP, the "700B" at 46 HP, the "800B" at 49 HP, and the "900B" with 66 HP.
  • The "30" Series. In 1960, Case introduced a new lineup that would stay in their dealers' showrooms until 1969. Each tractor in the lineup got a power boost, better transmissions and the option of a three-point hitch. The "330" offered around 31 HP, the "430" had 33 HP, the "530" had around 36 HP, the "630" came in at 40 HP, the "730" at 48 HP, the "830" at 56 HP, and the "930" at 75 HP.
  • The high horsepower tractors. Later in the decade, Case joined the horsepower sweepstakes. In 1964, the brought out the Case "1200," a huge four-wheel drive and four-wheel-steering machine with 106 HP. It weighed over 17,000 pounds and cost over $20,000, so it was useful only to big farmers who had a lot of plowing to do. It was built until 1969. The Model "1030" was built between 1966 and '69 and was a general purpose tractor with 92 HP.
  • The "70" Series. In 1969, Case closed out the decade with the "70" Series that became the backbone of the company in the new decade. The series was topped by the massive Model "2670" that produced 219 HP at the PTO. [We will cover this series in more detail in the next section of this web site.]

J. I. Case Company began in 1842 to build threshing machines for farmers. Over the years, they expanded their implement and tractor lines often by buying other companies. Along the way, Case, and most other farm equipment manufacturers brought out industrial versions of their tractors.

But Case took the industrial market to a new level. By 1967 – after the introduction of their backhoe model – the construction division of the company was selling as much as the agricultural division. Around that time, the venerable old ag manufacturer was acquired by the energy conglomerate Tenneco Inc. of Houston. That launched a period of consolidation in the agricultural market that characterized the last quarter of the 20th century.

Written by Bill Ganzel, the Ganzel Group. First published in 2007. A partial bibliography of sources is here.

How People Applied to the Homestead Act

To make a claim, homesteaders paid a filing fee of $18—$10 to make a temporary claim on the land, $2 for commission to the land agent and an additional $6 final payment to receive an official patent on the land. Land titles could also be purchased from the government for $1.25 per acre following six months of proven residency.

Additional requirements included five years of continuous residence on the land, building a home on it, farming the land and making improvements. Homesteaders, who had to be the head of a household or 21 years of age and had to certify they had never borne arms against the U.S., also needed two neighbors or friends to attest to the government that they had fulfilled the requirements. Union soldiers could shave off time served in the Civil War from the five-year residency requirement.

Farm Tools : (Y16) INF - History

U.S. War Department Chooses A Site

In early 1941, when the War Department decided to build new training bases, experts looked around the country for places with 50,000 acres of land, a good water supply, adequate electrical power, and a railroad. The government considered several Willamette Valley sites in Oregon.

The final choice for the camp location came down to Eugene or Corvallis. John H. Gallagher, Sr., an Oregon State University graduate and engineer, went to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the Corvallis location.

The Army chose the Corvallis site in September 1941.

Region Like Germany

At the Camp Adair site, there was level land for barracks and hilly terrain for combat training.

The climate and natural land features of the Willamette Valley were like Germany where soldiers would go to fight.

Full-scale models of European and Japanese towns were constructed for soldiers' training.

Soldiers from Camp Adair in front of the Marys Peak fire lookout tower.

Why is the camp named "Adair?"

Camp Adair was named in honor of Henry Rodney Adair, a West Point graduate and descendant of Oregon pioneers.

Lieutenant Adair, an officer in the 10th Cavalry, was the first Oregonian killed in the 1916 Mexican border clash.

When General Pershing pushed over the Mexican border in search of the bandit general Pancho Villa, Lt. Adair wiped out two machine gun nests and accounted for more than 30 Mexican bandits before he was killed.

Sacrifices Made

For Camp Adair to be constructed, many families had to give up their homes. The government rerouted railroad tracks and roads, relocated cemeteries, and wiped out the small community of Wells, Oregon.

Most evacuees were farmers. Many were descendants of pioneers who had crossed the plains in covered wagons to make their homes in the Willamette valley. They had no choice but to sell their land, livestock, and machinery and move out.

Cemeteries Relocated

During the construction of Camp Adair, it was necessary to move cemeteries located within camp boundaries. The government relocated pioneer cemeteries with graves dating back to 1850. A total of 414 graves were moved.

Although most people realized it was necessary to relocate homes, farms, and cemeteries for the new camp, many lamented the loss.

Relocation Remininscence

"The government purchased the 150-acre farm my grandmother, Bonnie Smith, owned in the Lewisville (Lewisburg) community. It had been her home since her marriage to my grandfather in 1893. Her four daughters, my two sisters, and I were all born on the farm. Needless to say, it was a sad, traumatic time for her when she was forced to move out of her home and off the farm after 49 years."

Nada Runkle, in Homesteading Camp Adair

The town of Wells, Oregon was demolished to build Camp Adair.

Approximate boundaries of Camp Adair, 1942

Oregon's Second Largest City

At a time when the population of Corvallis was only 14,000 people, as many as 30,000 to 50,000 soldiers and civilian employees lived and worked in nearby Camp Adair. Camp Adair became Oregon's second largest city only Portland was larger.

The Army constructed about 1,700 buildings at the camp, including barracks, machine shops, stores, kitchens, theaters, hospitals, and chapels.

Adair Boosts Local Economy

Many local merchants supplied goods and services to build Camp Adair and serve it throughout the war. Food, building materials, and local housing all went toward the war effort. As a result, the regional economy profited. As the area emerged from an economic recession, most residents welcomed job opportunities offered by the camp.

Those Who Served

At Camp White in southern Oregon near Medford, the 91st Division participated in intensive training. Soldiers were subjected to extremes of heat, cold, snow, and rain to prepare them for what lay ahead. Known as the "Powder River" Division, the 91st arrived at Camp Adair in November 1943 for further training.

By April 1944, the division reported for duty in North Africa. These soldiers later landed in Italy and fought their way north until enemy forces finally surrendered on May 2, 1945.

The 96th Infantry, organized almost three decades earlier in World War I, became active again at Camp Adair in August, 1942. This "Deadeye Division" received special training in marksmanship and land/water vehicle landings in order to be combat-ready.

The 96th saw combat in the Philippine Islands in the Pacific in 1944. Later they encountered fierce fighting for three months in Okinawa, Japan. Casualties on both sides were high.

The "Deadeyes" returned home and were deactivated in February 1946.

On June 15, 1943, the 70th Division was activated at Camp Adair. They were known as the "Trailblazers," remembering the courageous pioneers of the Oregon Trail. The division remained at Camp Adair until July 1944, then continued their training in Missouri before going to France.

The 70th spent 86 days in intensive combat, helping to liberate 58 towns and taking 668 prisoners. The price of combat was high for the Trailblazers: 835 men killed in action 2,713 wounded 397 taken prisoner and 54 listed as missing.

Originally known as the "Frontier Division," the 104th later adopted the name "Timberwolf." The army activated the division on September 15, 1942, at Camp Adair. It was made up of 840 officers and 16,000 enlisted men.

They fought in France in September 1944, and also saw action in Belgium and Germany. In March 1945, they crossed the Rhine River, capturing several towns and many German troops. After fighting in the European theater for 10 months, this division returned home.

91st Infantry Division

Old Abe the War Eagle and Col. Joseph Bailey

Wisconsin regiments became known for their individual contributions. For example, some regiments were known for their ethnicity. The 9th, 26th, 27th, and 45th Wisconsin regiments were primarily Germans, while Norwegians filled the ranks of the 15th regiment. The 8th Wisconsin Infantry became known as the "Eagle Regiment" because of a pet bald eagle, named Old Abe, who they carried into battle on a perch with an American flag. He enjoyed a wide celebrity at soldiers' reunions and fairs until his death in 1881.

Wisconsin soldiers distinguished themselves in a number of famous engagements. Under Cadwallader C. Washburn, the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry fought valiantly in many western battles, including the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 1864, Colonel Joseph Bailey, with the help of lumberjacks from the 23rd and 24th regiments, saved a fleet of Union gunboats and transports stranded by low water in the Red River of Louisiana. Using a technique for damming and deepening the river, these men used skills learned in Wisconsin's lumber camps to aid the Union cause.

About Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus

What did the program cover?

WHIP+ provided payments to eligible producers who suffered eligible crop, tree, bush, vine, or prevented planting losses resulting from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, wildfires, drought, and excessive moisture that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years.

Assistance was also available to producers who experienced losses due to conditions related to those qualifying disaster events, such as excessive rain, high winds, mudslides, and heavy smoke.

Eligible Crops

Eligible crops for WHIP+ were intended for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years and were eligible for either federal crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, excluding crops intended for grazing since these losses were covered by other disaster recovery programs offered through USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

A list of crops covered by crop insurance is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency Actuarial Information Browser.

Crops must have suffered losses before they were harvested.

Eligible Locations

Producers must have suffered a loss due to a qualifying disaster event in a primary county that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation. An update in February 2020 expanded program eligibility to counties that experienced D3 and D4 drought in 2018 and 2019.

To be eligible, producers not in these counties were required to supply documentation establishing that crops were directly impacted by a qualifying disaster event.

Tree, Bush, and Vine Options

WHIP+ provided payments based on the loss of value of trees, bushes, and vines due to qualifying disaster events.

Eligibility for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) was expanded to assist eligible orchardists or nursery tree growers of pecan trees that suffered a mortality rate greater than 7.5% and less than 15% (adjusted for normal mortality) for losses that occurred in 2018.

Assistance to Sugar Beet Producers

USDA provided $285 million through sugar beet processing cooperatives to compensate grower members for sugar beet crop losses in 2018 and 2019.

Additional Loss Coverage

WHIP+ included a Milk Loss Program that provided payments to eligible dairy operations that dumped or removed milk without compensation from the commercial milk market. Covered milk losses were due to a qualifying natural disaster in 2018 and 2019.

A new On-Farm Storage Loss Program was also included in WHIP+. This program assisted producers who suffered losses of harvested commodities, including hay, that were stored in on-farm structures in 2018 and 2019.

Prevented Planting

Many agricultural producers faced significant challenges planting crops in 2019. Eligible producers received additional prevented planting related payments.

Producers who filed prevented planting insurance claims due to flooding or excess moisture in the 2019 calendar year received a “bonus” payment totaling 10% of their indemnity, and an additional 5% was provided to producers who purchased harvest price option coverage.

WHIP+ provided prevented planting assistance to uninsured producers, NAP producers, producers who may have been prevented from planting an insured crop in the 2018 crop year, and 2019 crops that had a final planting date prior to January 1, 2019.

What were the program requirements?

Both insured and uninsured producers were eligible to apply for WHIP+, but all producers who received payments for crop losses and prevented planting losses were required to purchase either crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage. Coverage was required at the 60% level or higher for the next two available, consecutive crop years following the crop year for which WHIP+ payments were distributed.

If producers fail to purchase crop insurance for the next two consecutive years, they will be required to pay back their WHIP+ payment.

How were WHIP+ payments calculated?

Payments were targeted to provide assistance for production losses. However, if quality was taken into consideration under either insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy where production was adjusted, the adjusted production was used when calculating assistance.

Producers who suffered crop losses due to 2018 disasters received 100 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application was approved. Producers who suffered crop losses due to 2019 disasters received an initial 50 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application was approved, and received up to the remaining 50 percent after January 1, 2020, based on funding.

Producers were limited to $125,000 under WHIP+ for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years combined if their average adjusted gross farm income was less than 75 percent of their average adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2015, 2016, and 2017. If at least 75 percent of the producer’s average AGI was derived from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities, the producer was eligible to receive up to $250,000 per crop year in WHIP+ payments, with a total combined limitation for payments for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years of $500,000.

Payment Formula

FSA calculated WHIP+ payment based upon the expected value of the crop, the value of the crop harvested, the level of insurance coverage (as reflected in the WHIP factor), a payment factor, and insurance payments received.

The WHIP+ payment formula was:

WHIP+ Payment = Expected Value of Crop x WHIP Factor - Actual Value of Crop Harvested x Payment Factor - NAP Payment or Crop Insurance Indemnity Received by Producer

The WHIP factor was 70 percent for producers who did not obtain crop insurance or NAP coverage, between 75 and 95 percent for producers who did obtain crop insurance or NAP coverage, and 95 percent for producers who elected the highest coverage level.

The payment factor varied by state and commodity and was set to reflect the decreased costs incurred by producers when the crop was not harvested or was prevented from being planted.

People enjoy raising many different varieties of poultry and game birds, and the poultry livestock supplies section of eBay includes hatching eggs to get started or to increase your flock. Raise common birds like pheasants, quails, swans or Partridge Brahma chickens, or choose more uncommon varieties, such as Cubalaya chicken, snowy mallard duck, Modern Game Bantam or Crele Orpington. Use specialty feed, like game bird starter feed, or mill your own with a feed mill grinder or pellet grinder, found in animal feed supplies.

Beekeepers can stock up on all the necessary beekeeping supplies, whether you keep bees as a hobby or a commercial venture selling the honey. A cotton full-body beekeeping suit with veil will protect you from stings while keeping you cool on the job. Use a bee smoker to calm the bees and reduce distractions, and try the convenience of a stainless steel honey extractor for late summer honey harvest season.

Songhai, African Empire, 15-16th Century

West Africa is home to many of Africa's oldest kingdoms. These kingdoms played an important role in the development of trade and economic growth of the region. As old kingdoms came to be replaced by new smaller ones many changes were experienced. The transformations were influenced by conquest and warfare along with patterns of trade. West African societies were shaped by competition for wealth and the search for independence from more powerful kingdoms.

The earliest African civilizations south of the Sahara desert were in West Africa. These civilisations developed at a time when most of Europe was experiencing the Dark Age, after the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire around 476 A.D. the people of West Africa could already smelt iron ore to make tools for warfare and agriculture. Iron farming tools made agricultural methods far more efficient. This led to improvements in agriculture and greater productivity of the land, as prosperity grew the population expanded giving rise to larger towns. Broad rivers linked people in these larger towns by way of canoe travel. These rivers also maintained the fertility of the soil all year round.

At the same time kingdoms were developing in this region. One of the earliest kingdoms to emerge here was ancient Ghana to the far West. By the year 300 A.D, this kingdom had been ruled by about 40 kings, showing that its political administration was well developed to allow new kings to take office without destroying the kingdom by fighting destructive civil wars. The economy of Ghana was based on iron and gold mining along with agriculture. Products were traded with Berber societies north of the Sahara desert. At the same time (1230-1300) the Mali kingdom of the Mande people, to the east of Ghana, was growing and increasing its control of trade in the region. This brought the two kingdoms into conflict. Finally, the Ghana kingdom was taken over by the Mali kingdom. The Mali kingdom was able to establish its influence with ease due to the surrounding savannah terrain. This enabled the easy and speedy dispatch of soldiers across the region to conquer neighbours. The adoption of the Islamic faith by the Mali people in about the 1500s during the rule of Kankan Musa, created a point of unity for this kingdom.

Quarrels over who should succeed the throne and rebellion by the Fulani people in Senegambia and the Songhai people in Gao led to the collapse of the Mali kingdom in the 16th century. Songhai became independent of Mali, and rivalled it as the leading power in West Africa.

Culture, Religion and Monarchy

The Songhai had settled on both banks of the middle Niger River. They established a state in the 15th century, which unified a large part of the western Sudan and developed into a brilliant civilisation. It was ruled by the dynasty or royal family of Sonni from the thirteenth century to the late fifteenth century. The capital was at Gao, a city surrounded by a wall. It was a great cosmopolitan market place where kola nuts, gold, ivory, slaves, spices, palm oil and precious woods were traded in exchange for salt, cloth, arms, horses and copper.

Islam had been introduced to the royal court of Songhai in 1019, but most people remained faithful to their traditional religion.

Sonni Ali reorganised the army, which was equipped with a fleet on the Niger River. The commander of the fleet was known as the ‘Master of the Water’. Foot soldiers captured the best men of the defeated armies. An elite cavalry was fast and tough. They wore iron breastplates underneath their battle tunics.

The foot soldiers were armed with spears, arrows and leather or copper shields. Military music as produced by a group of trumpeters. The total army comprised 30 000 infantry and 10 000 horsemen. The Songhai defence system was the largest organised force in the western Sudan not only was a political instrument, but also an economic weapon by virtue of the booty it brought in. They conquered the cities of Timbuktu and Jenne.

Muslim scholars at Timbuktu called Sonni Ali ‘tyrannical, cruel and impious’. The Sonni’s were driven from power by the Muslim Askiya dynasty.

The new monarchy based at Gao had centralised and absolute and sacred power. It was possible to approach him only in a prostate position. He sat on a raised platform surrounded by 700 eunuchs. People paid taxes to the king in return for internal and external security. The royal court was responsible for the administration and the army. Large estates belonged to nobles. They were worked by servile labour that did the fishing, animal raising for milk, meat and skins, and the agricultural work.

The Songhai kingdom was the last major one in the region. Its fall did not bring an end to kingdoms in West Africa. Kingdoms that survived were Guinea, Benin in Nigeria, Ashanti in present day Ghana and Dahomey, north of Benin. These kingdoms continued the Trans Saharan trade with the Arab states in North Africa. The Trans Saharan trade was complex. It was not limited to trade and the exchange of gold, copper, iron, kola nuts, cloth, and salt. It was also about close co-operation and interdependence between kingdoms south of the Sahara and kingdoms north of the Sahara. Salt from the Sahara desert was just as important to the economies and kingdoms south of the Sahara as gold was for those in the north. Therefore, the exchange of these commodities was vital for the economic and political stability of the region.

Travel and trade in Songhai

Trade significantly influenced the course of history in West Africa. The wealth made through trade was used to build larger kingdoms and empires. To protect their trade interests, these kingdoms built strong armies. Kingdoms that desired more control of the trade also developed strong armies to expand their kingdoms and protect them from competition.

Long distance trade helped the local economy and supported internal trade. Merchants travelling between towns across the Sahara needed places to rest and stock up with food for the journey across the Sahara desert. Food would be provided by local markets that relied on local farms for supplies. This practice allowed merchants to plan long trips knowing that local markets would provide food and shelter. For this reason, many kingdoms in West Africa encouraged agricultural improvements to meet this need. Often this meant uniting smaller farmers, traders and societies into stronger trading blocs. For example, the Kuba kingdom in present day Congo brought together different cultures under a single authority and used the Congo River as a main transport link to other distant kingdoms. As a result, smaller traders joined with each other like the Chokwe and Lunda kingdoms under a single broad-based trade. This led to the increase of ivory and rubber trade between these kingdoms and with Portuguese traders.

Present day Kuba King. Source: Daniel Laine (2001) National Geographic, from

The slave trade was also important for the economic development of West Africa. For a very long time, West African kingdoms had relied on slaves to carry out heavy work. The Songhai kingdom under the rule of Askia Mohammed used slaves as soldiers. Slaves were trusted not to overthrow their rulers. Slaves were also given important positions as royal advisers. Songhai rulers believed that slaves could be trusted to provide unbiased advice unlike other citizens who held a personal stake in the outcome of decisions. Another group of slaves was known as palace slaves or the Arbi. The Arbi slaves served mainly as craftspersons, potters, woodworkers, and musician. Slaves also worked on village farms to help produce enough food to supply the growing population in towns.

The Asante kingdom of the Akan people grew in about the 15th and 16th century into a powerful kingdom in the most southern parts of West Africa, present day Ghana. This growth was made possible by the rich gold mines found in the kingdom. The Akan people used their gold to buy slaves from the Portuguese. Since 1482, the Portuguese who were interested in obtaining Asante gold, had opened a trading port at El Mina. As a result, their first slave trade in West Africa was with the Akan people. The Portuguese bought the slaves from the kingdom of Benin, near the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Slave labour made it easy for the Akan people to shift from small scale agriculture to large scale agriculture (Giblin 1992). The shift transformed the Asante kingdom and it developed a wealthy agricultural and mining economy.

The Akan people needed slaves to work their gold mines and farms. Passing traders and a growing population in the Asante towns demanded increasing supplies of food. The slave trade with the Portuguese continued until the early 1700s. The Akan people supplied the Portuguese with slaves to work on sugar plantations in Brazil. A small number of slaves were kept in the Asante kingdom. However, by this period, the Atlantic slave trade dominated trade with West Africa. Kingdoms like the Asante and Dahomey used their power to raid societies like the Bambara, Mende, and Fulanis for slaves. The kingdom of Benin is the only known kingdom in West Africa to abolish slave trading in Benin. The slave trade ban was succesful and forced the Portuguese to search for slaves elsewhere in West Africa. However, Dutch traders took over the role. From the 1600s the Dutch dominated the West african and Atlantic Slave trade.

The Portuguese and Dutch governments were unable to colonise West African kingdoms because they were too strong and well organised. As a result, the slave and ivory, rubber and gold trades remained under the control of Asante, Fon, and Kongo kingdoms. In 1807, the British government abolished the slave trade. Because West African kingdoms did not co-operate with the British, the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean continued. However, the slave trade declined in areas where the British had influence, for example the Gold Coast.

Industrial development in Britain led to increasing trade with West Africa in agricultural products like palm oil, rubber, and cocoa. To supply Britain with these products, the Asante kingdom kept the slaves they had captured for the Atlantic slave trade and used them as farm workers instead. This led to the growth of slavery in West Africa because each kingdom wanted to profit from this new trade. West African slavery came to a slow end towards the end of the 19th century when many of these kingdoms were colonised by the French and British. Former slaves became the landless lower classes.

The states of the Niger Delta extend for about three hundred miles along the Gulf of Guinea from the Benin River on the West to the Cross River on the East. Due to the many rivers, which cross over each other, the main source of transport was by canoe. Societies found in this area include the Ibo, Ijaw, Jekiri Efik and Calabari.

Unlike other West African states, Niger ones were different in character. They were small states that maintained contact through war, trade and migrations. The Atlantic trade brought about great prosperity in this region. These states were known for their skill in politics and for their “middleman” skills in commerce. Their long history of internal trade had brought these small states together and led to economic growth of Bonny (also known as Igbani) and Warri states.

The Kingdom of Dahomey (also known as the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey) was the southern part of the Republic of Benin, a country that divides the dense forest of Nigeria from those of modern Ghana. Dahomey was the most prominent coastal state in the region. It was ruled by a king on the authority of the queen mother who held the power to appoint an heir. The king and queen mother ruled Dahomey from their capital Abomey. Dahomey began emerging as a great power in the early 18th century because of the slave trade. It also managed to overtake other coastal states competing for control of both the slave and inland trade. The Fon army was unusual in West Africa because its soldiers were women feared by other neighbouring coastal states.

In about 1650 there was a great demand from the West Indies sugar plantations for African slaves. The Fon people used their position as sea-merchants to ensure that they held a monopoly of the slave trade. The Dahomey kingdom also relied on its strong military to dominate weaker inland states and to conquer coastal states. States looking to trade in the region were expected to pay a fixed amount of tax and fixed prices for slaves. Custom duties were paid in respect of each ship as well.

By the 18th century the Fon king had absolute power and under his rule Dahomey became strong enough to capture neighbouring coastal states. The Fon were still paying tribute to the Oyo kingdom and this meant that they had to appease the Oyo with guns and other goods each year. In 1725, Dahomey conquered the Oyo kingdom, and three years later they pushed south to Savi and Whyad, Jakin was taken in 1732 but it was only in 1740 that the Fon won complete control when Whydah became a Fon colony. This ushered in control of the coast and even visiting Europeans had to gain prior permission to go ashore.

Atlantic System, Contact with Europeans

The arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century in search of new trading opportunities changed the trade networks in West Africa. An important change was the new direction of the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean instead of the Sahara desert. This increased the power of small West African kingdoms like the Asante and Dahomey kingdoms. It also contributed to the fall of the Songhai Empire, because the slave and gold trade were no longer going through the Songhai kingdom. As a result, the Songhai rulers could not claim tribute and taxes from these kingdoms.

The other change came from the growing slave trade. African slaves were captured from Africa to work as slaves in the Americas in the early 1500’s. Portugal, Spain, France and Britain were the key players in this slave trade, which lasted for more than 400 years. Because Portugal was the first to establish itself in the region and to enter treaties with West African kingdoms, it had the monopoly on the slave and gold trade. As a result, Portugal was responsible for transporting over 4.5 million Africans, approximately 40 percent of the slaves taken from the continent before the 1700s. During the 18th century however, Britain was responsible for almost 2.5 million of the 6 million African slaves traded. Due to expanding market opportunities in Europe and the Mediterranean, they increased trade across the Sahara and later gained access to the interior using the Senegal and Gambia River, which bisected long-standing trans-Saharan routes. The Portuguese brought in copper ware, cloth, tools, wine and horses and later included guns, in exchange for gold, pepper, slaves, and ivory. The growing trade across the Atlantic came to be called the triangular trade system.

The Triangular Trade System

The Atlantic Slave Trade (also known as the triangular trade) was a system of trade that revolved around three areas. The first point of the triangle would begin in Africa, where large shipments of people were taken across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas (The Caribbean, North and South America) to be sold to work in colonies on plantations as slaves. Once the slaves were offloaded in the Americas, the same ships would then load products from plantations such as sugar, cotton and tobacco. These products would be sold in Europe. From Europe the ships would carry manufactured goods such as cloth, iron, rum and guns, which they would use in exchange for slaves and gold.

Most captured slaves were taken between 1450 and 1500, from the West African interior with the co-operation of African kings and merchants. There were occasional military campaigns organised by Europeans to capture slaves, especially by the Portuguese in what is now Angola. This accounts for only a small percentage of the total. In return, the African kings and merchants received various trade goods including beads, cowry shells (used as money), textiles, brandy, horses, and perhaps most importantly, guns. These guns became a very important trade commodity when West African kingdoms were increasingly organising their militaries into professional armies. During this period England sold close to 100 000 muskets a year to West African kingdoms.

Slaves crossing the Atlantic Ocean endured inhumane conditions aboard the ships transporting them. They would travel naked and cramped into the hold of the ship chained together at the ankles and packed together side-by-side in holds which were about 1.5 m high with hardly any light and fresh air. They were provided with buckets, which they had to use as toilets. This resulted in many slaves becoming sick and dying. Cases of fevers and small pox were common during the voyages. The health of slaves on board was made worse by the lack of medical attention. Slaves would be regularly hosed down with water each morning and those that had died overnight, would be thrown overboard.

The slave trade was abolished in 1807 by the British government. The French only abolished their slave trade in 1848. The continued Atlantic slave trade forced the British government to take responsibility to end slave trading. They captured European ships and released slaves on board. This was made more difficult by the unwillingness of West african kingdoms to give up the slave trade. The British government tried to influence the Asante rulers to stop practising slavery in their kingdom with no success. As a result, from the 1870s, the British government began to colonise the Asante people in order to prevent the use of slave labour, but also as an excuse to take control of the rich gold mines of the Asante and to protect British commercial interests against French expansion in the region. Click here to read a lesson about colonial rule and African responses.

A royal mausoleum for the ruler of Songhai, Askia Muhammed (1493-1528) built in Gao in the once powerful capital of the Songhai Empire. Picture source:

The foot soldiers were armed with spears, arrows and leather or copper shields. Military music as produced by a group of trumpeters. The total army comprised 30 000 infantry and 10 000 horsemen. The Songhai defence systemwas the largest organised force in the western Sudan Not only was a political instrument, but also an economic weapon by virtue of the booty it brought in. They conquered the cities of Timbuktu and Jenne.

Muslim scholars at Timbuktu called Sonni Ali 'tyrannical, cruel and impious'. The Sonni's were driven from power by the Muslim Askiya dynasty.

The new monarchy based at Gao had centralised and absolute and sacred power.

It was possible to approach him only in a prostate position. He sat on a raised platform surrounded by 700 eunuchs. People paid taxes to the king in return for internal and external security. The royal court was responsible for the administration and the army. Large estates belonged to nobles. They were worked by servile labour that did the fishing, animal raising for milk, meat and skins, and the agricultural work.

The following information will still be developed for this topic:
- Travel and trade in Songhai at the height of its power ( Arab, Italian and Jewish merchants at Timbuktu)
- Learning and culture
- Fall of the Empire: Moroccan invasion of 1591.
- Women in Songha
- Contact with Europeans Please contribute activities and content for this section by clicking on the ‘contribute’ button.

800 - Gao was established
1110 - Timbuktu was established
1290 - Empire of Mali established and conquered Timbuktu and Gao
1375 - Timbuktu appeared for the first time on a European map
1400 - Gold trade flourished - from west Africa, through Timbuktu and Gao, to Europe
1450 - Large settlement of scholars and traders in Timbuktu
1468 - Songhay Empire established by Sunni Ali. Took over Timbuktu and Gao
1493 - Muhammed Ture, a Muslim, founded the Askia dynasty and took over Songhay Empire.
1530 - Portuguese came to Timbuktu in search of wealth. Only one man survived.
1591 - Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire conquered by Moroccans.

Activity Put these events up on the board in the wrong order. Students should try to recall the correct order in their note books.

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Farm Tools : (Y16) INF - History

An estimated 2.75 million soldiers fought in the Civil War, with more than 618,000 perishing in battle, from wounds, or from disease. More than 153,000 Virginians served in Confederate units during the Civil War, and most were native-born farmers between the ages of 18 and 39, with an average age of just under 26. Men on both sides of the conflict were inspired to fight by pro- or anti-slavery sentiments, patriotism, state pride, the chance for adventure, and steady pay but soon found out that the war would last longer than they had imagined. Soldiers spent much of their time in camp enduring long hours of boredom, followed by daily drills and picket and guard duty. The Library has numerous published and unpublished accounts of soldiers, most of which relate to their experiences in battle and camp life.

Confederate States of America Army
Confederate States of America Army Military life
Soldiers Virginia [Locality]
United States Army
(NOTE: if looking for a particular regiment or company, entry should look like: Confederate States of America Army Virginia Infantry Regiment, 4th.)
United States Army Military life
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Campaigns

Billings, John D. Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life. Boston: George M. Smith, 1887 reprint, Williamstown, Mass.: Corner House Publishers, 1980 reprint, Alexandria: Time-Life Books, 1982.

Bonner, Robert E. The Soldier&rsquos Pen: Firsthand Impressions of the Civil War . New York: Hill and Wang, 2006.

Manning, Chandra. What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War . New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.

McPherson, James M. What They Fought For, 1861&ndash1865 . Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994.

Mitchell, Reid. Civil War Soldiers . New York: Viking, 1988.

Sheehan-Dean, Aaron. Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

&mdash&mdash&mdash. The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home . New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Wiley, Bell Irwin. The Life of Billy Yank, the Common Soldier of the Union. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Press, 1952 reprint, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1971.

&mdash&mdash&mdash. The Life of Johnny Reb, the Common Soldier of the Confederacy. Updated with a new introduction and a foreword by James I. Robertson Jr. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008.

Robert H. Depriest. Letters, 1862&ndash1864. Accession 37726.
Letters, 1862&ndash1864, of Robert H. Depriest (1834&ndash1892) of Augusta County, Virginia, to his wife, Mary I. Depriest (1838&ndash1893), while he was serving in the 2nd Virginia Infantry. The letters relate to his service during the Civil War as a member of the Stonewall Brigade, and detail the activities of the regiment while stationed in Berkeley, Frederick, Hanover, Orange, Shenandoah, and Spotsylvania Counties. Depriest writes concerning troop movements and strength, rumors of his being killed at Gaines's Mill, his requests for a new detail, the prices of goods, deserters, the chances for peace, his family's farming activities at home, the death of his wife's mother, pay, furloughs, and visits from his wife's father, as well as the numbers killed, wounded, and taken prisoner during fighting. Depriest describes various battles in which he fought, including the confusion after the Battle of Kernstown, the fighting at the Second Battle of Winchester, the retreat after the Battle of Gettysburg, the buildup to Payne's Farm, and the retreat of his unit after the Spotsylvania Campaign.

George Hupman. Letters, 1862&ndash1864. Accession 38741.
Letters, 1862&ndash1864, of George Hupman of Company G, 89th New York Infantry, to his parents in Windsor, New York, discussing his health, news of his brothers Charles and Elias Hupman, including hearing of Elias Hupman's death camp life campaigns in Virginia and South Carolina, including the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Siege of Petersburg, the Mud March, and the shelling of Fort Sumter. He comments on the possibility of reenlisting and his dislike of his company's captain. He remarks on the need for conscription and criticizes conscripts who injure themselves rather than join the army. Also includes two letters from family members in Windsor, New York, detailing the effects of the Civil War on people in Windsor.

James A. Littlefield. Letters, 1860&ndash1867. Accession 37899.
Letters, 1860&ndash1867, written by James A. Littlefield of Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine, while he was serving with the 5th Maine Volunteers in Virginia. The letters are written to his cousin Martha Rice of Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine. Subjects include his plans to enlist, his stay in the hospital, the Battle of Bull Run and Brigadier General Irvin McDowell's censure after his defeat, Littlefield's trip home after his term of service expired, his reenlistment, and subsequent regrets at doing so. Also includes comments on Major General John Charles Frémont, Henry Wise's defeat at Roanoke Island and the capture of many Confederate prisoners, camp life, marching, and inspections, troop movements, weather, his viewing of the Monitor at Fortress Monroe, battle strategies, Major General George B. McClellan's removal from command, the mistreatment of privates, his opinions on Brigadier General Joseph Hooker, battles and skirmishes fought, the Battle of Big Bethel, and his encampment near Charlestown and Harpers Ferry.

William S. Tippett. Diaries, 1861&ndash1864. Accession 39949.
Diaries, 1861&ndash1864, written by William S. Tippett (b. 1837) of Wheeling, West Virginia. There are six volumes of diaries detailing his activities while serving with the 1st Regiment West Virginia Infantry Volunteers (3 months) and the First Virginia Infantry (3 years), including his imprisonment at Belle Isle Prison in Richmond. The diaries also contain accounts, lists of rations, and names of individuals on picket duty, as well as those wounded, sick, or killed, prisoners taken, camp life and activities, family news, marching and drilling exercises, descriptions of rations eaten, weather, illnesses, and news of Union victories. Also included are details of his unit's troop movements, as well as those of the Confederate army. Fighting at Philippi, Blues Gap, Romney, and the Battles at Winchester, Port Republic, Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, Thoroughfare Gap, as well as the Second Battle of Bull Run, are documented.

John G. Wallace. Papers, 1840&ndash1910. Accession 41524.
Papers, 1861&ndash1865, of John G. Wallace (1840&ndash1910) of Norfolk County, Virginia, while serving as captain in the 61st Virginia Infantry. Includes accounts, certificates, vouchers, daybook, orders, ordnance records, receipts, regulations and instructions, published manuals and guides, clippings, clothing rolls, payrolls, muster rolls, and other items.

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