John Holt (1841-1915) was a successful British merchant who made several voyages to West Africa during his lifetime to establish business and trade in the era of British Imperialism. His diaries are presented in two accounts; the first, from 1862-1872, documents his life as a merchant on the West African island of Fernando Po, initially working for James Lynslager and eventually purchasing the trade company and expanding it significantly. Holt’s own vessel, Maria, and his affiliation with the African Steam Ship Company, made his maritime trade activities particularly succssful. The second account records his voyage in the Maria from Liverpool to Fernando Po in 1869-1872, and documents his trade relationships across West Africa. The volume is rounded out by diary entries from the ten-day voyage of the Peep o’Day along the Krou coast, and concludes with John Holt’s family tree. This volume presents a comprehensive account of Holt’s life as a means of preserving history and adding to the field of study of mercantile livliehoods and shipping trade industries under British imperialism. It also seeks to celebrate the individual accomplishments made in John Holt’s career.
October 18, 2017
Research in Maritime History 5