Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Gambia, a river of West Africa, rises in a high land 240 miles inland, which contains the sources of the Senegal and some tributaries of the Niger. The mouth of the Gambia is in lat. 13 50' N. It is thought to have a course of 1,400 miles, and the estuary is 27 miles across in places, though at the mouth only two. It is navigable for steamers for some distance, and for boats to the falls of Barraconda, three hundred miles from the mouth, and for a long distance above the falls. Below Barraconda the country on both sides is liable to be flooded, and the river leaves behind a fertilising deposit. The British colony of Gambia - which is now independent of Sierra Leone, and provides a Houssa force for its own defence - lies mostly on the left bank of the river, and has for its capital Bathurst, which is on St. Mary's Island at the mouth of the river - an island of sand, about 15 miles long, by one broad, and separated from the mainland by a creek and swamp. Opposite the island is British Combo, a territory of six miles by three; and about 200 miles up the river is McCarthy's Island, which contains a trading-town called Georgetown. There is some weaving, and oil and brickmaking; and the chief exports, besides the ground-nut, are hides, cotton, rice, kola-nut, and indiarubber. There is telegraphic communication with Europe, and Liverpool steamers call fortnightly.