Primary Source Paper

Words: 967
Pages: 4

Cinthya Perez
History 102 “Letters to King Jao of Portugal,” was written by the king of Kongo, King Affonso, who’s real name was Nzinga Mbemba. King Affonso writes this letter directed to the king of Portugal, King Jao, to inform him about his concerns of his people. The letter is dated 1526 and takes place in the Kingdom of Kongo, which by during this time slave trade is going on (705). Throughout the letter of King Affonso seems to beg King Jao for help rather than being demanding, “again we beg of your Highness to agree with it”(707), remarks King Affonso. When the slave trade in Africa began, many authorities formed alliances with Europeans in hope of strengthening their government. This happened to be the case with the King of
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We are not presented with evidence from anyone except King Affonso and therefore I question the fact that if many African authorities around the slave trade era often agreed to slave trading, Affonso might have been just another King who benefited in some way of people being traded and changed his mind after he saw how his people were vanishing from his land. “We beg of you to be agreeable and kind enough to send us two physicians and two apothecaries and one surgeon, so that they may come with their drugstores and all the necessary things to stay in our kingdoms because we are in great need of them all,” King Affonso states this in his letter to King Jao repeatedly asking for necessary items to save his people. We can see that King Affonso is begging for these things in a time that he is desperate because he sees his people sick, when really he should have stopped this before letting the traders have so much freedom in his land and getting the people ill. Throughout the letter we can see the concern that King Affonso shows for his people but, he could have also prevented this from the start by putting forward rules for the newcomers to respect, yet he was more interested on the goods he would receive and seeking to help his government. At the end he was taken for surprise and his people were the ones paying the price