JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO BONNY RIVER ON THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA
King Peppel [Pepple] having repeatedly sent presents by his Canoes to the King of Warre [Warri], with whose nation he carries on an immense trade (there being navigable Creeks, that lead from Bonny to that Country), the latter, hearing of his amazing wealth and extensive connections with the Europeans, offered him his eldest daughter in Marriage — an honour for the first time granted to a black Man, he having at least One Hundred daughters, who are all doomed to live in a state of celibacy, in consequence of their imperious Father refusing to ally them with any but whites, he himself being a collateral branch of the Benin Family who are literally descended from an European, who founded that rich and extensive Kingdom.
So great and unexpected an offer was received by Peppel with the greatest exultation, and to convince his intended Ally how deeply he appreciated the distinguished favor he had conferred upon him, he loaded Canoe after Canoe with most rare and valuable treasures. English, French, Spanish, and Portugueeze Merchandise were extracted from his warehouses, Gold and Silver Plate, costly Silks and exquisitely fine Cloths, with embroidered laces and other articles too numerous to mention, were laid at the King of Warre’s feet.
Indeed to use Peppel’s own expression, spoken in evident sincerity, ‘Not you three Ship Cargo’ (Alluding to the Bridget, Sir Walter Scott, and Huskisson) ‘would come up to what I give my Queen Father’.On receipt of this extraordinary addition to his almost exhausted stores, the Chief of Warre announced to Peppel his intention to escort his Daughter himself to Bonny, and sojourn with his Son in Law some days.
This was indeed a new epoch in the annals of Bonny, and immediate preparations were made for the reception of the royal Guest.
* From R. M. Jackson, Journal of a Voyage to Bonny River on the West Coast of Africa, Letchworth, 1934, pp. 135-6 and 78. Richard Mather Jackson (1801-26?) visited Bonny from January to July 1826, -with an interval in the Cameroons, while serving as surgeon on board the ship Kingston. He is believed to have died at sea later in the same year. The King Pepple referred to here is Opubu the Great, who reigned from 1792 to 1830 (see Dike, Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, pp. 68-9).