BOWDICH

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BOWDICH, Thomas Edward; an ingenious and enterprising man ; one of the victims of the attempts to explore the interior of the African continent. He was born at Bristol, in June, 1793, and was sent to Oxford, but was never regularly matriculated. At an early age, he married, and engaged in trade at Bristol. Finding the details of business irksome, he obtained the appointment of writer in the service of the African company. In 1816, he arrived at Cape Coast Castle. It being thought desirable to send an embassy to the Negro king of Ashantee, B. was chosen to conduct it; and he executed with success the duties of his situation. After remaining two years in Africa, he returned home, and soon after published his Mission to Ashantee, with a Statistical Account of that Kingdom, and Geographical Notices of other Parts of the Interior of Africa (1819, 4to.) Having offended the company in whose service he had been engaged, and having therefore no prospect of further employment, yet wishing ardently to return to Africa for the purpose of visiting its hitherto unexplored regions, B. resolved to make the attempt with such assistance as he could obtain from private individuals. He, however, previously went to Paris, to improve his acquaintance with physical and mathematical science. His reception from the French literati was extremely flattering. A public eulogium was pronounced on him at a meeting of the institute, and an advantageous appointment was offered him by the French government. To obtain funds for the prosecu tion of his favorite project, B. also published a translation of Mollier's Travels to the Sources of the Senegal and Gambia, and other works; by the sale of whichhe was enabled, with a little assistance from other persons, to make preparations for his second African expedition. He sailed from Havre in August, 1822, and arrived in safety in the river Gambia. A disease, occasioned by fatigue and anxiety of mind, here put an end to his life, Jan. 10,. 1824. B. is said to have been a profound classic and linguist, an excellent mathematician, well versed in most of the physical sciences, in ancient and modern history, and in polite literature. He was a member of several literary societies in England and abroad.