Royal Naval Museum


James Island 

Document showing a map of James Island

This map illustrates how James Island was used in the slave trade. They key on the right of the map marks location of slave holding points.

James Island is an island in the Gambia River, 30km from the river mouth and near Juffureh in the country of The Gambia. It contains a fort known as Fort James.

After recapturing the territory from the Dutch in 1661, the British renamed the island (then called St. Andrews Island) James Island after the Duke of York. Administered by the chartered Royal Adventurers in Africa Company, founded by Charles II, they initially used the territory for the gold and ivory trade and later in the slave trade.  The company dispatched a fleet to establish trading forts in West Africa and guaranteed to supply 3000 Africans a year.

Today James Island is an important historical site in the West African Slave Trade. It is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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