MoboReader > Literature > Ismailia

   Chapter 26 CONCLUSION.

Ismailia By Sir Samuel White Baker Characters: 47484

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:03

The foregoing chapters will have afforded a sufficiently distinct view of the expedition to enable the public to form their own opinion of the position of the slave trade.

It will have been seen that I had acted directly against that infamous traffic from the commencement of the work, according to the explicit instructions of my firman; at the same time I had made due allowances for the ambiguous position of the traders upon the White Nile, who were actual tenants of the government. Thus I never visited the interior of their camps, nor had I disturbed their stations in any way, but I had passed them as without the pale of my jurisdiction; at the same time I gave the vakeels due warning, and entirely prevented them from making use of the river as the highway of the slave trade.

In 1870, while I was camped at Tewfikeeyah, I entirely suppressed the river traffic; but the fact of my leaving over-taken three vessels with 700 slaves belonging to Abou Saood at the close of the expedition, on my return towards Khartoum, must be a damning proof of complicity on the part of certain government officials.

Thus it is plain that, while I was endeavouring to do my duty, others who should have been supporting me were actually supporting the slave-hunters. No people could have had the absurd audacity to attempt the passage of the river in front of Fashoda-a government station, garrisoned by two regiments, and provided with two steamers-unless they were in league with the officials.

My personal interference has rendered the slave trade of the White Nile impossible so long as the government is determined that it shall be impossible. At the close of the expedition, the higher officials had been changed, and the country appeared to be in good hands. The governor of Fashoda, Jusef Effendi, had captured the slave vessels of Abou Saood according to my instructions. Ismail Ayoub Pacha had been appointed governor of Khartoum. Hussein Khalifah, the Arab desert sheik, was governor of Berber, and various important changes had been made among the higher authorities throughout the Soudan, which proved that the Khedive was determined upon reform.

One grand and sweeping reform was absolutely necessary to extinguish the slave trade of Central Africa, and this I lead the honour to suggest:- "That all the present existing traders or tenants of the White Nile should be expelled from the country, precisely as I had expelled them from the territory under my command." The government would then assume the monopoly of the ivory trade of the White Nile, and the natives would in a few years be restored to confidence.

So long as the so-called traders of Khartoum should be permitted to

establish themselves as independent piratical societies in the Nile

Basin, the slave trade would continue, and the road through Darfur and

Kordofan would be adopted in place of the tabooed White Nile.

Should the White Nile companies be totally disbanded, the people now engaged must return to their original agricultural pursuits in the Soudan, and their labour would tend to an increase of the revenue, and to the general prosperity of the country.

I have already published so much on the subject of the slave trade in "The Albert N'yanza," that I fear to repeat what I have before so forcibly expressed. I have never changed my original opinions on this question, and I can only refer the public to page 313, vol. ii., of that work, whence I take the following extract:-"Stop the White Nile trade; prohibit the departure of any vessels from Khartoum to the south, and let the Egyptian government grant a concession to a company for the White Nile, subject to certain conditions, and to a special supervision . . . .

. . . "Should the slave trade be suppressed, there will be a, good opening for the ivory trade; the conflicting trading parties being withdrawn, and the interest of the trade exhibited by a single company, the natives would no longer be able to barter ivory for cattle; thus they would be forced to accept other goods in exchange. The newly-discovered Albert Lake opens the centre of Africa to navigation. Steamers ascend from Khartoum to Gondokoro in lat. 4 degrees 55'. Seven days' march south of that station the navigable portion of the Nile is reached, whence vessels can ascend direct to the Albert Lake; thus an enormous extent of country is opened to navigation, and Manchester goods and various other articles would find a ready market in exchange for ivory at a prodigious profit, as in those newly-discovered regions ivory has a merely nominal value.

"Beyond this commencement of honest trade I cannot offer a suggestion, as no produce of the country except ivory could afford the expense of transport to Europe. (The proposed railway from Cairo to Khartoum will overcome this obstacle.)

"If Africa is to be civilized, it must be effected by commerce, which, once established, will open the way for missionary labour; but all ideas of commerce, improvement, and the advancement of the African race that philanthropy can suggest, must be discarded until the traffic in slaves shall have ceased to exist.

"Should the slave trade be suppressed, a field would be opened, the extent of which I will not attempt to suggest, as the future would depend upon the good government of countries now devoted to savage anarchy and confusion." . . . .

"Difficult and almost impossible is the task before the missionary. The Austrian mission has failed, and their stations have been forsaken; their pious labour was hopeless, and the devoted priests died upon their barren field."

By a reference to that work also-"The Albert N'yanza"-it will be seen that in the present expedition I carried out the plans that I had proposed at the termination of my first journey.

I have no doubt that missionaries will take advantage of the chance that has resulted from the suppression of the slave trade and the establishment of a government. At the same time, should they attempt a settlement in the neighbourhood of Gondokoro, they must be prepared with an inexhaustible stock of patience when dealing with the Baris.

The Madi and Shooli tribes would be found tractable and more capable of religious instruction. It is my opinion that the time has not yet arrived for missionary enterprise in those countries; but at the same time a sensible man might do good service by living among the natives, and proving to their material minds that persons do exist whose happiness consists in doing good to others. The personal qualifications and outfit for a single man who would thus settle among the natives should be various. If he wished to secure their attention and admiration, he should excel as a rifle shot and sportsman. If musical, he should play ` the Highland bagpipes. He should be clever as a conjurer, and be well provided with conjuring tricks, together with a magic lantern, magnetic battery, dissolving views, photographic apparatus, coloured pictorial illustrations, &c., &c. He should be a good surgeon and general doctor, &c.; and be well supplied with drugs, remembering that natives have a profound admiration for medical skill.

A man who in full Highland dress could at any time collect an audience by playing a lively air with the bagpipes, would be regarded with great veneration by the natives, and would be listened to when an archbishop by his side would be totally disregarded. He should set all psalms to lively tunes, and the natives would learn to sing them immediately.

Devotional exercises should be chiefly musical.

In this manner a man would become a general favourite; and if he had a never-failing supply of beads, copper rods, brass rings for arms, fingers, and ears, gaudy cotton handkerchiefs, red or blue blankets, zinc mirrors, red cotton shirts, &c., to give to his parishioners, and expected nothing in return, he would be considered a great man, whose opinion would carry a considerable weight, provided that he only spoke of subjects which he thoroughly understood.

A knowledge of agriculture, with a good stock of seeds of useful vegetables and cereals, iron hoes, carpenter's and blacksmith's tools, and the power of instructing others in their use, together with a plentiful supply of very small axes, would be an immense recommendation to a lay missionary who should determine to devote some years of his life to the improvement of the natives.

In the magnificent equatorial portions of Africa there is a great field for British enterprise, and much might be accomplished by lay missionaries, who would at the commencement avoid theological teaching, until by other means they should have gained an ascendency over the minds of the natives. By slow degrees confidence might be established; and much may be effected by good example. . . .

The geography of Central Africa, that has made great strides within the last few years, will now be rapidly extended. The fact of an established government under the direction of my able successor, Colonel Gordon, R.E., is sufficient to assure the most sceptical that the future will be rich in geographical discoveries.

It is hoped that the steamer which I carried up to Gondokoro will be transported to the Albert N'yanza early in the year 1875. It is impossible to foretell the result of steam communication on the great inland sea M'wootan N'zige.

I do not love to dwell upon geographical theories, as I believe in nothing but actual observation; but I cannot quite disbelieve my native informants, who assured me that they had travelled to Ujiji by canoe from Chibero on the Albert N'yanza.

By the latest intelligence from Lieutenant Cameron, dated Ujiji, 28th

February, 1874, the mean of many observations for altitude of the

Tanganyika Lake taken with mercurial barometer, aneroids, and boiling

water thermometers, gives 2,573 feet above the sea-level.

The corrected altitude of the Albert N'yanza, taken by me at Vacovia, N. lat. 1 degree 14', March 14, 1864, is 2,720. The uncorrected or the absolute observation of the instrument was 2,448.

Whenever Lieutenant Cameron shall return home, it will be interesting to observe the results of his corrected observations, as they already so closely approach the level of the Albert N'yanza.

As the Khedive's expedition under Colonel Gordon will shortly have the advantage of a steamer on the Albert Lake or M'wootan N'zige, the question of a connection between the two lakes will be definitely settled.

When that question shall have been resolved, geographers must turn their attention to the great river Sobat, which is by far the most important affluent of the Nile.

Although during my recent expedition I have not travelled over much new ground, the advantages to geography are considerable, owing to the professional observations of Lieutenant Baker, R.N., to whom I confided the entire charge of the topographical department. Some slight corrections have been made in observations for longitude taken during my first expedition; and as every place is now rigidly attested on the map, that portion of Central Africa is most thoroughly investigated, and the astronomical positions of all principal points and stations are incontestable.

The fact of this thorough exploration, and the establishment of the Egyptian government, now afford a firm base for all future travellers. The good work of one man can be carried on by his successor. Formerly it was impossible to render the necessary support to an explorer in Central Africa. A distant country cannot plunge into war with a savage potentate of the equatorial Nile Basin because he has either captured an explorer or devoured a missionary.

There was only one step practicable if the improvement of Africa were to be attempted. Egypt was the only country that could form a government by the extension of her frontier to the equator. This would insure the safety of future travellers where hitherto the life of an individual had no guarantee.

This annexation is now effected, and our relations with the Khedive assure us that the heart of Africa will be thrown open to the civilizing influence of the North.

When the railway shall be completed from Cairo to Khartoum, there will be direct communication by rail and river. Countries that are eminently adapted for the cultivation of cotton, coffee, sugar, and other tropical productions will be brought within the influence of the commercial world, and the natives, no longer kidnapped and torn from their homes, will feel the benefits of industry, as they now feel the blessings of protection.

It is well known that the greatest difficulties lie in the first footsteps of a great enterprise; but those difficulties are overcome, and patience and perseverance will at length perfect the good work. The impression of civilization must be gradually and slowly engraved upon Central Africa, and those who work in this apparently hopeless undertaking must not be appalled by the difficulties of the task.

In the share that I have taken during nine years passed in Africa, I have simply represented one of those atoms of which Great Britain is composed. I deeply regret that personally I have not had the honour of serving my Queen, but I trust that indirectly I have worked out that principle, which England was the first to initiate, expressed in the word "Freedom," which, we maintain, is the natural inheritance of man.

Mingled with the regret that I was not in the service of Her Majesty, is the pleasure that I feel in testifying to the able manner in which the Royal Navy was represented, throughout a long and trying expedition, by Lieutenant Julian Alleyne Baker, R.N. This energetic young officer rendered me the greatest assistance, and has left a vivid impression on the minds of the natives, and of the Egyptian troops, of the activity, and the straightforward, manly character that has always distinguished British sailors in whatever duty they have had to perform, whether on sea or land.

I return my acknowledgments of the faithful and courageous services of Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and other officers who accompanied me through every difficulty with patience and devotion.

I also thank Mr. Marcopolo, my intelligent and trustworthy secretary and chief storekeeper, at the same tune that I acknowledge the services of those industrious English engineers and mechanics who so thoroughly supported the well-known reputation of their class by a determination to succeed in every work that was undertaken. Their new steamer, the Khedive, remains upon the White Nile an example of their energy and capability.

Lastly, I must acknowledge the able assistance that I have received, in common with every person connected with the inland expedition, from my wife, who cared for the sick when we were without a medical man, and whose gentle aid brought comfort to many whose strength might otherwise have failed. During a period of fourteen months, with a detachment of 212 officers and men, exclusive of many servants and camp-followers, I ONLY LOST ONE MAN FROM SICKNESS, and he was at an out-station.

In moments of doubt and anxiety she was always a thoughtful and wise counsellor, and much of my success through nine long years passed in Africa is due to my devoted companion.

The foundation for a great future has been laid; a remote portion of the African race hitherto excluded from the world's history has been brought into direct communication with the superior and more civilized races; legitimate trade has been opened; therefore, accepting commerce as the great agent of civilization, the work is actually in progress.

Fortified posts extend to within two degrees of the equator. The alliance with M'tese, the king of Uganda, enabled me not only to communicate by letter (addressed to Livingstone) in the distant country of Unyanyembe, but a reply was sent by Lieutenant Cameron, together with large presents of ivory, to me at Gondokoro, [*] as I have been informed by a letter from Colonel Gordon.

[*Footnote: The letter and the ivory from M'tese were received by

Colonel Gordon.]

The Khedive of Egypt, having appointed Colonel Gordon, R.E., has proved his determination to continue the work that was commenced under so many difficulties. The Nile has been opened to navigation; and if the troubles that I encountered and overcame shall have smoothed the path for my able and energetic successor, I shall have been well rewarded.

The first steps in establishing the authority of a new government in a tribe hitherto savage and intractable were of necessity accompanied by military operations. War is inseparable from annexation, and the law of force, resorted to in self-defence, was absolutely indispensable to prove the superiority of the power that was eventually to govern. The end justified the means.

At the commencement of the expedition I had felt that the object of the enterprise-"the suppression of the slave trade"-was one for which I could confidently ask a blessing.

A firm belief in Providential support has not been unrewarded. In the midst of sickness and malaria we had strength; from acts of treachery we were preserved unharmed; in personal encounters we remained unscathed. In the end, every opposition was overcome: hatred and insubordination yielded to discipline and order. A paternal government extended its protection through lands hitherto a field for anarchy and slavery. The territory within my rule was purged from the slave trade. The natives of the great Shooli tribe, relieved from their oppressors, clung to the protecting government. The White Nile, for a distance of 1,600 miles from Khartoum to Central Africa, was cleansed from the abomination of a traffic which had hitherto sullied its waters.

Every cloud had passed away, and the term of my office expired in peace and sunshine. In this result, I humbly traced God's blessing.



A few extracts from the valuable work of Dr. Schweinfurth will throw a light upon the spirit which animated the authorities, all of whom were incensed at my having presumed to understand the Khedive's orders literally respecting the suppression of the slave trade.

In page 485, vol. ii., he writes:-" The ill-feeling and smothered rage against Sir Samuel Baker's interference nurtured by the higher authorities, breaks out very strongly amongst the less reticent lower officials. In Fashoda, and even in Khartoum, I heard complaints that we (the Franks) were the prime cause of all the trouble, and if it had not been for our eternal agitation with the Viceroy, such measures would never have been enforced."

In page 477, vol. ii., he continues:-"Notwithstanding that Sir Samuel Baker was still on the upper waters of the river, the idea was quite prevalent in all the seribas, that as soon as the 'English Pacha' had turned his back upon Fashoda (the government station in the Shillook country), the mudir (governor) would relapse into his former habits, and levy a good round sum on the head of every slave, and then let the contraband stock pass without more ado. But for once the seriba people were reckoning without their host. The mudir had been so severely reprimanded by Baker for his former delinquencies, that he thought it his best policy, for this year at least, to be as energetic as he could in his exertions against the forbidden trade."

In page 470, vol. ii., Dr. Schweinfurth writes:-"I knew that Sir Samuel Baker was upon the Upper Nile, and did not doubt that his presence would have the effect of making the government take the most strenuous measures against any import of slaves."

Page 429, vol. ii.:-" Before Sir Samuel Baker's expedition put a stop to it altogether, the slave trade that was carried on down the river was quite insignificant compared to the overland traffic." "For years there has been a public prohibition against bringing slaves down the White Nile into Khartoum, and ever and again stronger repressive measures have been introduced, which, however, have only had the effect of raising the land traffic to a premium; but as a general rule, the Egyptian officials connive at the use of this comparatively unimportant channel of the trade, and pocket a quiet little revenue for themselves by demanding a sum varying from two to five dollars a head as hush-money."

In page 429, vol. ii.:-"The expedition of Sir Samuel Baker has stopped the source."

In page 410, vol. ii., Dr. Schweinfurth writes:-"Already had Sir Samuel Baker, with praiseworthy energy, commenced scouring the waters of the Upper Nile, and by capturing all slave-vessels and abolishing a large 'chasua' belonging to the mudir (governor) of Fashoda, had left no doubt as to the earnestness of his purpose," &c.

In page 83, vol. i.:-"Beyond the true eastern shore, the Dinka are said to be settled in extensive villages, and at that time still furnished an inexhaustible supply of slaves to the marauding expeditions of the garrison of Fashoda. In 1870 Baker succeeded in putting an end to this disorder, the knowledge of which penetrated to the most remote tribes."

The evidence of so trustworthy a traveller as Dr. Schweinfurth is exceedingly valuable, as he was in the Western Nile districts at the time that I was actively engaged; thus he had opportunities of witnessing the results of my interference, and the hostility exhibited by the authorities. He is simply in error concerning the importance of the slave trade of the river, which he much underrates, as will have already been seen by the fact of 700 slaves being stowed away upon only three vessels belonging to Abou Saood.

These vessels, that were captured by my orders at Fashoda, on their way towards Khartoum, were an example of the truth foretold by the traders with whom Dr. Schweinfurth was travelling in the west-"that as soon as the English Pacha had turned his back upon Fashoda, the governor would relapse into his former habits, and levy a good round sum on the head of every slave, and then let the contraband cargo pass without more ado."

There were always well-known slave routes through Kordofan, but these channels became of extreme importance when I rendered the slave traffic of the river impossible.

It is quite unnecessary to write more on the subject of the slave trade. The Khedive of Egypt was sincere when he gave me the orders to suppress this horrible traffic; and I trust, from the simple description of the expedition, the world will acknowledge that in this duty I exhibited the utmost leniency towards the ruffianly lessees of the Soudan government.

I am convinced that the Khedive is sincere at heart in wishing to suppress the slave trade, but he requires unusual moral courage to enter the lists single-handed against Egyptian public opinion.


My opinion has been frequently asked on this subject, and many have endeavoured to persuade me that a rapid change and improvement of the natives may be effected by such an agency. I cannot resist by argument such fervent hopes; but if good and capable men are determined to make the attempt, they may now be assured of peace and security at Gondokoro, where they will have the advantage of the good name left by the excellent but unfortunate members of the late Austrian mission.


I have not changed my opinions that have already been expressed in "The Albert N'yanza," except that, from the native testimony, I presume there must be a channel which connects either a lake or series of lakes with the Albert N'yanza.

Without a guide, it would be a work of much time and difficulty to discover the true

channel among the labyrinth-like inlets that characterize the vast beds of floating water-grass.

Many years ago, when at Magungo, on the Albert N'yanza, I could not at first believe that the raft-choked entrance of the Victoria Nile in apparently dead water was indeed the mouth of that important river. My subsequent experience in the marshy and lacustrine Bahr Giraffe has confirmed my impressions of the extreme difficulty of deciding upon the non-existence of a channel until after a lengthened investigation.

I cannot conceive that the Lualaba of Livingstone can be included within the Nile Basin. Livingstone decided the level of the Tanganyika lake to be within 72 feet of my level of the Albert N'yanza. With the same instruments he determined the altitude of the Lualaba to be lower than the Albert N'yanza, thus showing the impossibility of a connection between that river as an affluent with the lake.

I will not presume to assert that the Lualaba is a source of the Congo, as I have a strong objection to geographical theories or assertions unless proved by actual inspection, but if Livingstone's observations for altitude are correct, it is impossible that the Lualaba can be connected with the Nile. [*]

[*Footnote: Mr. Stanley's discoveries since this was written have confirmed my suppositions.]

Dr. Schweinfurth's discovery of the Welle river flowing towards the west, between the 3rd and 4th deg. N. lat., is a clear proof that no river can be running from the south to the north-east towards the Nile Basin, otherwise the Welle river would be intersected.

In page 186, vol. ii., Dr. Schweinfurth [*] writes:-"Its course [the Lualaba], indeed, was towards the north; but Livingstone was manifestly in error when he took it for a true source of the Nile, a supposition that might have some semblance of foundation originating in the inexplicable volume of the water of Lake M'wootan (Albert N'yanza), but which was negatived completely as soon as more ample investigation had been made as to the comparative level, direction, and connection of other rivers, especially of the Welle."

[*Footnote: "The Heart of Africa."]

Although Dr. Schweinfurth was unprovided with astronomical instruments, we may place thorough reliance in the integrity and ability of this traveller, who has taken the greatest pains to arrive at true conclusions. I am quite of his opinion, that the Welle is outside the Nile Basin, and drains the western watershed.

In a letter from Dr. Livingstone addressed to Sir Bartle Frere, dated Lake Bangweolo, 27th Nov. 1870, he writes:-" The Tanganyika, whose majestic flow I marked by miles and miles of confervae and other aquatic vegetation for three months during my illness at Ujiji, is, with the lower Tanganyika, discovered by Baker, a riverine lake from twenty to thirty miles broad."

It is thus clear that Livingstone considered that the Tanganyika and the Albert N'yanza were one water. On 30th May, 1869, dated Ujiji, he writes to Dr. Kirk:-"Tanganyika, N'zige Chowambe (Baker?) are one water, and the head of it is 300 miles south of this."

"The majestic flow" of confervae remarked by Livingstone on the Tanganyika is beyond my comprehension, if that vast lake has no outlet at the north.

In Livingstone's letter of 27th Nov., 1870, he writes:-"Speke's great mistake was the pursuit of a foregone conclusion. When he discovered the Victoria N'yanza he at once leaped to the conclusion that therein lay the sources; but subsequently, as soon as he and Grant looked to the N'yanza, they turned their backs on the Nile fountains. Had they doubted the correctness of the conclusion, they would have come west into the trough of the great valley, and found there mighty streams, not eighty or ninety yards, as their White Nile, but from 4,000 to 8,000 yards, and always deep."

I was surprised that Livingstone could make such an error in quoting Speke's White Nile from the Victoria N'yanza as eighty or ninety yards in width! At M'rooli, in latitude N. 1 degree 37", I have seen that magnificent river, which is at least A THOUSAND YARDS in width, with a great depth. I have travelled on the river in canoes, and in the narrowest places, where the current is naturally increased; the width is at least 300 yards.

From my personal experience I must strenuously uphold the Victoria Nile as a source of enormous volume, and should it ever be proved that the distant affluents of the M'wootan N'zige are the most remote, and therefore the nominal sources of the Nile, the great Victoria N'yanza must ever be connected with the names of Speke and Grant as one of the majestic parents of the Nile Basin.

Latterly, when speaking of the Lualaba, Livingstone writes to Sir Henry Rawlinson:-"The drainage clearly did not go into Tanganyika, and that lake, though it probably has an outlet, lost all its interest to me as a source of the river of Egypt."

We are, therefore completely in the dark concerning the flow of water from the Lualaba south of the equator, and of Schweinfurth's Welle north of the equator, but both these large rivers were tending to the same direction, north-west. The discovery of these two rivers in about the same meridian is a satisfactory proof of the western watershed, which completely excludes them from the Nile Basin. If the Tanganyika lake has no communication with the Albert N'yanza, the old Nile is the simple offspring of the two parents-the Victoria and the Albert lakes. (This is now proved to be the case.)

When the steamer that I left at Gondokoro in sections shall be launched upon the Albert N'yanza, this interesting question will be quickly solved.

Early in November, 1871, when I was on the Nile south of Regiaf, I noticed the peculiar change that suddenly took place in the river. We were then in N. lat. 4 degrees 38", below the last cataracts, where the water was perfectly clear and free from vegetation, with a stream of about three and a half or four miles per hour.

Suddenly the river became discoloured by an immense quantity of the

Pistia Stratiotes, of which not one plant was entire.

This aquatic plant invariably grows in either dead water or in the most sluggish stream, and none existed in the part of the river at N. lat. 4 degrees 38".

I examined many of the broken plants, which, instead of floating as usual on the surface, were mingled in enormous quantities with the rushing waters. None were rotten, but they had evidently been carried down the numerous rocky waterfalls which occupy the interval between N. lat. 3 degrees 34" and 4 degrees 38", and were thus bruised and torn asunder.

The extraordinary influx of damaged aquatic plants continued for many days, and unmistakably denoted the rise in the level of the Albert N'yanza at that season (say 1st Nov.). Above the falls, in N. lat. 3 degrees 32", there is very little current in the broad deep Nile; and in about N. lat. 3 degrees this river is several miles in width, with no perceptible stream. In those propitious calms the Pistia Stratiotes grows in vast masses along the shores, and the annual rise of the lake creates a current which carries the plants towards the cataracts, and consequent destruction.

By this sign I conclude that the maximum of the Albert N'yanza would be during the month of November.


The following list of words will afford a fair example of the differences in language of the various tribes between Gondokoro and the equator:

Lobore. Bari. Shooli. Unyoro.

A fowl … … A-oo. Chokore. Gweno. Unkoko.

A mat … … Gallaca. Tero. Kaboone. -

Flour … … Arafoo. Bolo. Mocha. Obsano.

Fire … … Arsi. Kemang. Mai. Moora.

Water … … Yee. Feeum. Pee. Maizi.

Milk … … Leh. Leh. Chak. Amattai.

A cow … … Tee. Kitang. Deaug. Inte.

A bull … … Moniko. Moni. Tu-an. -

A dog … … Orke. Diong. Gunoah. -

Rain … … Yee. Koodoo. Kort. Injoore.

The sun … … Yetakali. Narlong. Tschen. Musanne

A chief … … rpi. Mattat. Ruort. Matongali

A sheep … … abeelo. Kabisho. Ramo. Imbuzi.

A goat … … ndree. Keene. Deall. Imbuzi.

The moon .. … mbah. Yarfah. Dooe. Quezi.

The stars . … eebi. Katchikoo. Lakori. Nynerzi.

Flesh … … sah. Lokore. Reugo. -

Dhurra (corn) . sih. Keemak. Gyah. -

A basket .. … voch. Soodah. Adooku. -

Beads … … ecoh. Sooksook. Teko. Unguanze.

Coracan Elcusine Loque. - Kaal. Burroi.

Unyoro Unyoro

A tree … … Bisale. Halt … … … Indeenda.

Far off .. … Arrace. Go away … … Taisa Genda.

Near … … Aiee. Come here . … Igghia.

Not far .. … Ampi. Sit down … … Iu-karra-hanze.

A house .. … Engooi. Get up … … Im-mookka.

Plantains … Bitoki. A man … … Moosogga.

Beans … … Koli. A woman … … Mookazze.

Butter … … Maggita. A girl … … Miss-sooki.

A canoe .. … Obwato. A boy … … Um-wana.

A paddle . … Engaiee. A thief … … Moosuma.

A mountain … Orsozi. (Lubari or

The earth … Intaka. Fish … … (Enchoa.

The sky .. … Iggohr. Wood … … Bitl.

A road or path Muhanda. Eggs … … Yooli.

Go on … … Togendi.


It is a singular fact that, although the domestic ox, sheep, and fowls are found everywhere among the negroes of Central Africa, there is no trace of the original stock among the wild animals of the country. The question arises-where did they come from?

Dogs are domesticated, and are used by the natives in their hunts. Those of Central Africa are miserable pariahs, but they are nevertheless much prized by their owners.

After the attack at Fatiko by the slave-hunters, which resulted in the dispersion of their party, upwards of 170 dogs became houseless. The natives asked my permission to capture them, and, having spread their hunting-nets, they drove the dogs as they would wild animals, and daily secured a great number, which they trained to hunt the calves of antelopes and the great grass-rat (Anlacodus Swindernianus).

Negroes have no sympathy with the young of wild animals, and I have never seen a pet animal or bird in their villages. Although I offered two cows for every young elephant they might catch, I never could prevail upon them to spare the little ones. Five were speared ruthlessly in one day, within two or three hours' march of Fatiko. A negro is never seen without his spear, and he finds the greatest pleasure in sticking it into either something or somebody.


Small-pox is prevalent, Cholera rarely attacks the country, but it is known. Dysentery is very common in the White Nile districts, but it is rare in the highlands. This complaint is generally fatal at Gondokoro. Great caution should be used, and impure water avoided. Marsh fever is the general complaint of the low ground, but is rare in the highlands of Fatiko and Unyoro.

I have never met with typhoid fevers in Central Africa, although they are common at Khartoum.

Measles, whooping-cough, scarlatina, croup, diphtheria, are quite unknown.

Blindness is only the result of extreme age, and is very rare. I never saw a case of mania, nor have I ever met more than one idiot in Central Africa. The brain appears to be exercised as a simple muscle of the body, and is never overstrained by deep thought or by excessive study. There are no great commercial or parliamentary anxieties; no struggles to keep up appearances and position in society against the common enemy, "small means;" no hearts to break with overwhelming love; but the human beings of Central Africa live as animals, simply using the brain as a director of their daily wants. Thus in their simple state they never commit suicide and never go mad. Their women never give birth to cripples or monsters, as the sympathetic uterus continues in harmony with the healthy brain.

I have seen only two dwarfs. These were in Unyoro, one of whom was described by Speke (Kimenya): he is since dead. The other was at the court of Kabba Rega, named Rakoomba. We measured this little fellow, who was exactly three feet and half-an inch in height, at the age of about eighteen years.

The teeth are remarkable throughout Central Africa. I have examined great numbers of skulls, and I never found a decayed tooth. Many tribes extract the four front teeth of the lower jaw. The bone then closes, and forms a sharp edge like the jaw of a turtle.


(*Mr. Sclater, of the Zoological Society of London, has furnished me with the scientific names of the antelopes and other mammals.)

The principal animals and birds in the Shooli country are:-

Native name.

Gezella dama. Lajooar.

Nanotragus hemprichianus. Amoor.

Cervicapra lencolis. Teel.

Cervicapra ellipsiprymna. Apoolli.

Cervicapra arundinaera. Oboor.

Alcelaphus bubalis. Poora.

Trageiaphus scriptus. Roda.

Hippoacayus Bakeri Aboori.

Camelopardalis giraffa. Ree.

Phacochaerus AEtani (Rupp) (Wart-hog). Kool.

Bos caffer. Joobi.

Elephas Africanus. Leteb.

Rhinoceeros bicornis. Oomooga.

Felis leo. Lobohr.

Felis leopardes. Quatch.

Wild dog, probably (Lycaon pietus). Orara.

Jackal. Roodi.

Hyana crocata. Laluha.

Manis Temminckii. Mooak.

Hystrix ap. Cho.

Viverra genetta. Gnonge.

Felis caracal. Quorra.

Herpsales striatus. Juang.

Struthio cameles. Oodo.

Leptoptilus crumenfirus. Kiaoom.

Hyrax ap. Dooka.

Aulacodus Swindernianus, or great reed-rat Neeri.

Eupodoles sp. Apido.

Nemida meleugris (?) Owino.

Francolinus sp. (?) Aweri.

The zebra exists in the Shooli country, but is very rare. Hippopotami are to be found in the Asua river.

On the borders of the White Nile we find the Cervicapra megaceros and the beautiful Damalis Senegalensis, which I had supposed was a new species when I first secured it on the banks of the Bahr Giraffe.

Nothing new has been actually discovered during the expedition, and there can be nothing existing as an animal that is not well known to the natives, with whom I constantly associated; therefore there is little hope of unknown species, excepting the wild dog known by the Shooli as "Orara."

The botanical collection, made entirely by Lady Baker, was handed to the

Khedive of Egypt, therefore I regret that I cannot describe it.


Upon arrival at Gondokoro with our party, we were shortly visited by the Bari father of little Cuckoo, who had travelled seven hundred miles with us. In a year and a half Cuckoo had grown immensely, and being in a good suit of clothes, he was with difficulty recognized by his savage-looking parent, who had parted with him as a naked, ash-smeared little urchin of between six and seven years old.

I am sorry to say that Cuckoo did not meet his father with an affectionate embrace, but at first positively refused to go with him; and when compelled to accompany him as a prodigal son and wanderer, he dug his knuckles into his eyes and began to cry. Poor little Cuckoo knew that the days of beef and good cooking had passed away. He expressed his determination to run away from his father and to return to us; but as his home was on the west bank of the Nile, we never saw Cuckoo again.

The boys and young women whom I had liberated from the slave-hunters, and who had acted as domestic servants, were well cared for at the close of the expedition, and I secured them situations with well-known respectable families in Cairo and Alexandria. Amarn, the Abyssinian boy, who in intelligence had been far in advance of the negro lads, accompanied his mistress to England at his express request, where he is now regularly installed in our own household. The ulcerated leg from which he had suffered for two years in Africa, was soon cured by the kind attention of the surgeons of St. George's Hospital, shortly after his arrival in London. (Amarn has now grown into a young man of about 18 or 19. He is a Christian, and in general good conduct and integrity he has set a bright example to English servants and is respected by all classes.)


I shall give the following hints as they occurred to me, and as I noted them down at the time when in Africa:-

Medicine Chest.-Should be of teak, covered with zinc, with copper edges and corners. The bottom should be first covered externally, to enable the wet to drain off without touching the wood. The expensive canteens purchased of Messrs. Silver and Co., although covered with metal on the top and sides, had no metal beneath; thus they were a prey to damp and insects.

All bottles in medicine chest should have numbers engraved on the glass to correspond with an index painted on the inside of the lid. Insects and damp quickly destroy gilding or ordinary paper labels.

Seidlitz powders and all effervescent medicines should be packed in wide-mouthed, stoppered bottles, but never in papers.

Matches.-Bryant and May's "Victoria Matches" will stand the damp of the tropics beyond all others.

Tarpaulins.-Should be true mackintosh; but no other preparation of india-rubber will stand the heat of the tropics. No. 2 canvas painted is better than any preparation of tar, which sticks when folded together.

All tarpaulins should be 12 feet square, with large metal eyelet holes and strong lines. If larger, they are too heavy.

Bottles.-All wine or liquor bottles should have the necks dipped in bottle-wax thickly. Metallic capsules will be bitten through and the corks destroyed by cockroaches.

Milk.-Crosse and Blackwell's "liquid cream" is excellent. That of the Anglo-Swiss Company was good at the commencement, but it did not keep sweet after two years.

Shoes and Boots.-Shoes are better than laced boots, as the latter give much trouble. The soles should not be too thick, and should be studded with sharp nails. Two pairs of long, brown leather boots to reach above the knee are useful for riding. All shoes should be kept in light canvas bags, tightly tied at the mouth to protect them from insects.

Dry Stores.-Should all be hermetically sealed, and great care should be observed in soldering the tin cases.-This is frequently neglected, and the result of careless soldering is ruin to all biscuits, flour, sago, macaroni, &c.

Ammunition.-All cartridges should be taken from England loaded; and for private use they should be hermetically sealed in boxes containing one hundred each if small, or fifty if large.

Five hundred snider cartridges, in teak boxes lined with soldered tin, weigh 64 lbs. each, and can be carried on the journey by one native.

Casks of wood are unsuited for African travel; small beetles perforate them. Galvanized iron flattened kegs are useful for carrying water through the desert. For camels which carry four casks they should contain ten gallons each; for mules, eight gallons.

Plates, &c.-All plates, cups, saucers, dishes, &c., should be enamelled on metal.

Saucepans, kettles, &.-should be copper.

Drinking cups should be silver, to contain one pint or more, and to fit into each other.

A tankard with a very strong hinge to the lid is invaluable to keep out flies, but the servants will probably wrench the lid off.

Boxes.-Do not attempt to spare money in boxes. They should be of the stoutest block tin, or of copper, well painted. Tradesmen are apt to do you in the hinges.

All boxes should lock with brass locks. Shun padlocks. A master-key should open all your boxes, even should you have a thousand. Each box should have a pierced metal label slung with wire upon each iron handle. Painted numbers quickly wear out.

My boxes measured twenty-two inches long, twelve inches deep, fourteen broad. These were quite invaluable throughout the expedition.

Guns and rifles must depend upon individual tastes. Never possess such an antiquated affair as a muzzle-loader.

Hollow bullets are quite useless for thick-skinned animals. I like No. 10 rifles, with chambers to contain a cartridge with ten drachms No. 6 powder. Such a rifle must weigh fifteen pounds to shoot accurately.

Axes.-All axes, picks, hoes, &c., should have OVAL holes, but NEARLY circular, to receive the handles. Natives will break any civilized method of fitting.

Every soldier should carry a very small, long-bladed, but narrow hatchet of soft steel.

Feathers.-Preserve all feathers of game, taking care to strip them from the stems, for making pillows.

The large swing-feathers of geese, bustards, &c., make dusting-brushes, fans, quill toothpicks &c.

Hale's rockets.-Those which explode are invaluable. Six and three-pounders are large enough, and are handy to carry.

Norton's pumps were of no use except in sandy or gravelly soil, and they did not equal my expectations.

Blue lights are quite invaluable if fitted with percussion caps. They should be packed in a strong tin box, with partitions to contain a dozen; to be placed near your bed at night.

Lamps.-Should burn either oil or candles.

Burning glasses are very useful if really good. The inner bark of the fig-tree, well beaten and dried in the sun, makes excellent tinder.

Mosquito gaiters or stockings should be wide, of very soft leather, to draw over the foot and leg quite up to the thigh joint. These are a great comfort when sitting during the evening.

Tanned goods.-All tents, awnings, sails, nets, lines, &c., should be tanned, to preserve them in African climates.

Books.-All journals and note-books should be tinted paper, to preserve the eyes from the glare, which is very trying when writing in the open air upon white paper.

Seeds.-Should be simply packed in brown paper parcels sewn up in canvas, and should never be hermetically sealed.

Blood.-When meat is scarce do not waste the blood. Clean out the large intestine of an animal if far from camp. This will contain a considerable quantity, and can be easily secured by a ligature at each end.

Fish can be preserved without salt, by smoke. They should be split down the back (not the belly) from head to tail, and be smoked upon a framework of sticks immediately when caught. Four forked sticks, driven into the ground as uprights to support two parallel poles, crossed with bars will form a framework about three feet high; the fire is beneath. All fish and flesh is thus preserved by the natives when hunting.

Salt.-When efflorescent on the surface of the soil, scrape with a spoon or shell, and collect it with as little sand as possible. Cut a hole two inches square in the bottom of a large earthen pot, cover the hole with a little straw, then fill the pot with the salt and sand. Pour water slowly over this, and allow it to filter into a receiver below. Boil the product until the water has evaporated, then spread the wet salt upon a cloth to dry in the sun.

Potash.-If you have no salt, treat wood ashes or those of grass in the same way.

Oil.-All seeds or nuts that will produce oil should be first roasted like coffee, then ground fine upon a flat stone, and boiled with water. The oil then rises to the surface, and is skimmed off. Unless the nuts or seeds are roasted, the boiling water will not extract the oil.

Crutches.-To make impromptu crutches to assist wounded men upon a march, select straight branches that grow with a fork. Cut them to the length required, and lash a small piece of wood across the fork. This, if wound with rag, will fit beneath the arm, and make a good crutch.

In this manner I brought my wounded men along on the march from Masindi.

Tamarinds.-Whenever possible, collect this valuable fruit. Take off the shell, and press the tamarinds into lumps of about two pounds. They will keep in this simple form for many months, and are invaluable in cases of fever-cooling when drunk cold, and sudorific when taken hot. If taken in quantity, they are aperient.

(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top