At one time the islands were a great seat of slave-traders and pirates.
The Hausa are often traders, traversing the country in large caravans.
In 1807 the African Institution was formed, with the primary objects of keeping a vigilant watch on the slave traders and procuring, if possible, the abolition of the slave trade by the other European nations.
Of Syria assaulted it in the reign of Ahab, but was repulsed and obliged to allow the Israelite traders to establish a quarter in Damascus, as his predecessor Ben-Hadad I.
From Persia much new information was supplied by Jean Chardin, Jean Tavernier, Charles Hamilton, Jean de Thevenot and Father Jude Krusinski, and by English traders on the Caspian.