James Island is an island in the Gambia River, 30 km from the river mouth and near Juffureh. It was an important historical site in the West African slave trade, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first Europeans settlers on the island were the Courlanders, who called it St. Elizabeth Island and used it as a trade base from 1651 until it was captured by the English in 1661. The English renamed it James Island. They initially used it for the gold and ivory trade and later in the slave trade. In 1695, Fort James was taken by the French after a battle with the English sailors. It was returned in 1697 and then captured again in 1702. As Britain withdrew from the slave trade, the fort was largely abandoned in 1779.
Kunta Kinte, Alex Haley's ancestor described in the book Roots was probably shipped through James Island.
more 360° pics from island