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“View of the City of Timbuctoo” [This is the first view of Timbuktu drawn by a European visitor.]

'From the tower I had an extensive view over an immense plain of white sand, on which nothing grows except a few stunted shrubs, the mimosa ferruginea, and where the uniformity of the picture is only here and there broken by some scattered hills or banks of sand. I could not help contemplating with astonishment the extraordinary city before me, created solely by the wants of commerce, and destitute of every resource except what its accidental position as a place of exchange affords.' - René Caillié (1799-1838), Travels Through Central Africa to Timbuctoo, and Across the Great Desert, to Morocco, Performed in the Years 1824-1828, Vol. 2, p. 71. London, 1830.
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