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Trip Planner Africa  /  Benin  /  Atlantique Department  /  Ouidah
Ouidah, historically also called Whydah, Juda, Juida by the French and Ajudá by the Portuguese, formally the Kingdom of Whydah (so named for the Whydah Bird of Paradise), is a city on the coast of the Republic of Benin. The commune covers an area of 364km2 and as of 2002 had a population of 76,555 people.HistoryIn local tradition Kpase is supposed to have founded the town. This probably happened towards the end of the sixteenth century. The town was originally known as Glēxwé, literally 'Farmhouse', and was part of the Kingdom of Whydah.Whydah troops pushed their way into the African interior, capturing millions of people through tribal wars, and selling them to the Europeans and Arabs. By 1716, when the massive English slave ship Whydah Gally arrived to purchase 500 slaves from King Haffon to sell in Jamaica, the Kingdom of Whydah had become the second largest slave port in the Triangular trade.The Kingdom was ruled by King Haffon, who received his coronation crown as a gift from Portugal, until, in 1727, the Kingdom of Whydah was captured by the forces of King Agaja of Dahomey. On 19 March 1727, the Boston News-Letter gave this horrific report:"WHYDAH IN AFRICA: the beginning of this month, Agaja the king of Dahomey came down unexpectedly with an army, and soon became master of this place, and the country adjacent ; the defoliation which ensued was so great, that it is impossible to be represented! The factory at Saber, once the king's town and Seat of Trade, was burnt to the ground, and in it a great quantity of merchandise. Forty Europeans were carried into captivity, to the King of Dahomey's camp at Ardrah, but after having been detained about 14 days, seven of them were released and are now returning hither; they gave a melancholy account of their treatment. This country, which was the pleasantest in all these parts, is now laid waste by fire and sword, and made a wilderness!"
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