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benighted land of the Negro; and their mission is That part of the region we have been alluding to, the conveyance thither of peace, civilization, and which lies between the Sahra and the above-menChristianity.
tioned chains of mountains, constitutes the country Conducted by intelligence so eminent, and aim called Soudan or Nigritia (Negro-land), and is someing to effect purposes so pure, so lofty, and so phi- times distinguished as Central Africa ; while the lanthropic, the Niger Expedition is surely well portion extending between the mountains and the deserving of the attentive regard of every lover of Atlantic Ocean bears the name of Western Africa, humanity-of every one who feels that the ties an appellation which also applies to the countries which unite the one great family of man are not lying south of the equator as far as the fifteenth limited by the boundaries which separate particu- parallel, including Congo, Angola, and Benguela. lar regions, but extend throughout the whole of The northern part of Western Africa is watered the habitable globe. To give a brief account of by the rivers Senegal and Gambia, and numerous the objects of this expedition, and the prospects of streams of less length, although still important, their successful realization, is the purport of the and which are shown by the map, enter the Atlanpresent paper : but in order to consider either of tic from the country which extends thence in a these topics with advantage, it will be necessary to south-easterly direction to the coast of Guinea. preface our remarks by a sketch of the geography The River Volta is the only stream of any importof that portion of Africa to which it is directed. ance which enters the sea along this coast until we The preceding map will aid in rendering this come to the numerous broad outlets which occupy sketch generally intelligible.
its most eastern portion, and which are now known The Sahrá, or Great Desert, constitutes a belt to be the various mouths by which the Kawára or of country extending, with the interruption only Quorra, the great river of Central Africa, empties of the Valley of the River Nile, across the whole itself into the sea. The coast throughout the part of Africa from east to west : its breadth varies at of Western Africa extending from the Senegal to different parts, but it may be described as being in the Kawára is in general low, the soil often light general limited by the seventeenth and thirtieth and sandy, and well suited for the cultivation; parallels of north latitude. The vast tracts of while further inland the country gradually rises country which lie to the south of this region, ex- and becomes more diversified, the soil is richer tending from the shores of the Atlantic on the and capable of producing in abundance the sugarwest to perhaps the eighteenth or twentieth meri
cane, coffee, various kinds of grain, including rice dian of east longitude on the east, and stretching and Indian corn, and other tropical productions : from the varying line of the Desert to the Gulf of in many places, particularly on the banks of the Guinea, and the sixth or seventh degree of north rivers, the country is covered with dense forests, latitude, possess a totally different character. which in some cases extend to the shores of the Diversified by lofty mountains, alternating between ocean. Gold is procured in abundance from the hilly and broken regions and wide-spread plains, countries near the heads of the rivers Senegal and abundantly watered by rivers equal in size and Gambia ; and near the former of these, great volume of water to some of the finest in the old quantities of gum of various kinds are obtained world ; possessing gold in abundance, besides the from the bark of a species of acacia. On the coast more useful metals of iron and copper, and luxuri- of Guinea, the names of the Grain (in allusion to ating in the most valuable tropical productions of the grains of a native species of pepper, now not the vegetable and animal kingdoms; they equal much valued), the Irory (consisting of teeth oband in many respects surpass in natural advantages tained from the numerous elephants both on the any of the countries included within the torrid sea-shore and in the interior), the Gold and the zone. The succession of elevations called, in their | Slate Coasts, specify the principal productions of western part, the Mountains of Kong (which seem those portions of it to which they belong; and in to originate in the heights forming the watershed, its eastern portion, occupied by the delta of the or line of division, between the rivers which flow Kawára, the palm-nut, or tree from which the palmwestward to the Atlantic and those flowing east- oil is procured, flourishes in the greatest luxuriance, ward towards the interior of the continent) extends and furnishes the chief article of commerce, alin a general east direction, slightly inclining to the though ivory is also found there in considerable south, beyond the eighth degree of east longitude, quantities. and is generally believed to be continued in the The great geographical feature of Central Africa same direction, under the name of the Mountains is the river which Europeans have been accustomed, of the Moon, entirely across Africa; although perhaps erroneously, to regard as identical with there is no sufficient evidence to prove their exist- the Niger of ancient writers. As this is the stream ence in the more central parts of the continent, or to which the expedition forming the subject of to warrant any assumption beyond that of an ele- this paper is directed, it will be desirable to devated tract of country, perhaps the northern de- scribe its course in greater detail. The source of clivity of a central table-land, in that direction. I the great river of Negro-land is placed, according
THE NIGER EXPEDITION.
78 to information received by Major Laing, who suc- wára is generally entered, and is therefore regarded ceeded in reaching within little more than a day's as the continuation of the main stream. It becomes journey of it, in about latitude 9° 25', and longi- narrower and more winding as it approaches the tude, 9° 45' W, where it springs from a lofty hill, sea, diminishing from 1000 to 1200 yards at the called Loma, at an elevation of about 1600 feet town of Eboe, to not more than thirty near its enabove the level of the Atlantic. It flows then in a trance, the country on its banks being flat and exgeneral north-easterly course, under the name of tending in marshy swamps, covered with a dense the Joli-ba, to the neighbourhood of Tombúktu, vegetation, which, above the limits of the tide, con(lat. 17° 10'), on the southern skirts of the desert, sists chiefly of palm trees of various kinds, and, passing in its way through the lake of Dibbia or within the reach of the salt water, is mostly comDebo. Below Tombúktu, whence to the sea it posed of mangroves. This description applies to bears the name of the Kawára or Quorra, it turns the whole of the country which forms the delta of gradually to the east and south-east, and was navi- the Kawára, and through which it pours its waters gated in that direction as far as the town of Busah into the sea by twenty-two mouths, extending from by the celebrated Mungo Park, in the year 1806, in the river Benin on the west, to the old Calabar on the journey which terminated in his death near the east. The greater number of these branches that place. Throughout these parts of its course are small, and only navigable by canoes. the country through which it flows appears to con- The course of the river Chadda is only known as sist in general of extensive plains, which are fre- far eastward as the town of Dagboh, at a distance quently inundated by the rising of the river during of 104 miles from its confluence with the Kawára, the rainy season. At Baumakú, (long. 6° 50 W.), up to which point it was navigated by Messrs. Allen where it was reached by Park in his second journey and Oldfield, in the steamer Alburkah, in 1833. Acin 1806, it was in the rainy season a mile in breadth, cording to the accounts of the natives, it flows from and flowed at the rate of five miles an hour; and Lake Chad, in the interior : this, however, is a point at Sego, lower down the river, that traveller de perfectly undecided, and it may, perhaps, derive its scribes it as being “as broad as the Thames at waters from the highlands extending to the south Westminster (about 400 yards), and flowing slowly of Central Africa. At the furthest point reached to the eastward."
it is still a broad and navigable stream; but though Near Búsah the channel of the Kawára is ob- its width in many places exceeds that of the Kastructed and narrowed by rocks, which interrupt wára, it seems in general to be shallower than that the navigation, by forming a succession of rapids : river, and, therefore, to be less fitted for interior below Búsah it again spreads into a broad stream, communication. Of the many other rivers which and thence to the sea takes a more southerly course, enter the Kawára, the only one to which we need breaking through the range of the Kong moun- direct the reader's attention is the Kwarana, or tains, which on the banks of the river rise to an Zirme, which flows past the city of Sakatu, and is elevation of between two and three thousand feet. supposed to enter the great river a few miles to In latitude 7° 50' the Kawára is joined from the the north of Yauri. east by its great tributary the river Chadda, which In the eastern part of Soudan, the great freshis here larger than the main stream, being about a water lake Chad forms the receptacle of numerous inile and a half wide, while the Kawára is scarcely rivers : the dimensions of this lake vary much with half a mile. Below the junction of the Chadda the the seasons of the year, since tracts of many miles river passes, by a beautiful reach of fifteen miles in in extent, which are inundated during the longlength, into a chasm of about 1500 yards wide, of continued rains, are covered on the return of the which the stream itself seemed to Mr. Laird to oc- dry season with long grass, or with dense thickets, cupy 700. “A romantic valley” between hills, which afford a shelter to great numbers of ele. which rise about 400 feet above the water, giving phants, lions, panthers, hyænas, and other wild “the scenery a bold and picturesque character," animals. Of the rivers which enter it the princiand of which those on the western bank have the pal are the Yeau and the Shary. The former of highest elevation, extends thence to the town of these rivers, which joins it on the west, seems Attah or Iddah, seated on an elevation of two or to vary greatly in width, depth, and velocity of three hundred feet. Between Attah and Kirrge current, in different parts of its course: at its enthe Kawára is a wide and deep stream, the country trance into the lake it is described by Denham as on its banks gradually diminishing in height, until being, in the rainy season," a considerable stream, below the latter place it becomes flat and open, running at the rate of three miles an hour, and although still elevated fifteen or twenty feet above about 100 yards in width. The Shary, which flows the river. The Kawára here begins to separate into the Chad from the south, is about half a mile into numerous channels, the three principal of broad near its mouth, with a current of three or which, the rivers Benin, Nun, and Bonny, separate four miles an hour : at Loggun, about forty miles near the town of Eboe or Ibú: the central one of up its course, it is a wide and majestic stream. the three, the river Nun, is that by which the Ka- The country of Bournou, lying to the west and
south-west of Lake Chad, consists in general of ex
ANCIENT AND MODERN TRAVELLERS. tensive plains, in which the rudest agriculture suffices for the production of considerable crops of a CARDAN commenting upon Saint Augustine's kind of millet, which forms the principal food of opinions concerning the power of witches to change the inhabitants, and which are capable of growing men into other forms, as asses, apes, wolves, bears, all the finest vegetable productions of the torrid mice, &c, very sensibly observes, “that how much
The extensive region of Houssa, or Hausa, Augustine saith he hath seen with his own eyes, which extends further westwards towards the Ka- 80 much he is content to believe ;” and, truly, if wára, is a hilly and broken region, more diversified tales of wonder were always received with the like in its appearance, climate, and productions, since caution, the world would have escaped the baneful its greater elevation, and consequent diminution consequences of many acts, not only of mere folly, of temperature, renders it capable of affording but of desperate wickedness, which have taken many of the vegetables and fruits of the temperate their origin in the indulgence of a foolish fantasy. zones ; thus the fields are in many places covered That insatiable curiosity which from the bewith large crops of wheat, two of which are raised ginning has stimulated mankind to enterprize, and in the year. In the districts of Yauri and Nuft (or which craves unceasingly the healthy diet of true Nyffé), reaching south-westward from Hausa to knowledge, is apt to degenerate, with the more the banks of the Kawára, the climate and produc- indolent and the uninstructed, into the unnatural tions become again more strictly tropical, rice, longing of a gaping credulity. cotton, and indigo being extensively grown ; and “ Why should I carry lies abroad ?” has been similar productions extend throughout the country the defence of many a traveller and author, who of Eyeo, or Yarriba, on the west side of the river. although, unlike his prototype Autolycus, he may Borgoo, to the north of the latter state, consists, on have been a truly honest man, (such as Marco Polo the contrary, in great part of rugged and hilly and the much-abused Sir John Mandeville,) has, like tracts, although interspersed with fertile and beau- the auditors of that worthy, swallowed all he heard. tiful valleys. Scarcely anything is known of the The ancients, whose inquiries on natural subjects districts bordering on the Kawára, between Borgoo were chiefly directed towards the East, received and Tumbúktu ; the observations made by Park in accounts all coloured by that imagery and exhis journey down that part of the river never hav- aggeration, without which, like cayenne in a curry, ing reached Europe. The countries near and above a plain story is unpalatable to those children of Tumbúktu, lying on the verge of the desert, par- the sun. Egypt, and at the furthest Syria, were take more of its arid character, and the city of that the extent of the travels of the philosopher ; who, name owes its celebrity rather to its commercial writing like Pliny in the luxurious retirement of character than to any natural advantages ;—it hav- his villa, recorded many facts, attested by his own ing been for ages the emporium of the traffic car- experience ; much sound reasoning, the result of a ried on in gold, slaves, and other commodities, be- highly cultivated intellect; and overwhelmed the tween Northern and Central Africa. Bambarra, whole in a mass of false data,—whose fallacy when along the upper course of the Joliba, is a fertile discovered has overturned many an elaborate and well-cultivated territory.
argument-accumulating a multitude of fictitious absurdities all gravely stated on no better authority than the simplicity of a Mopsa or the knavery of an Autolycus, or, worse still, the voice of many. tongued Rumour,“ stuffing the ears of men with false reports."
Our own elder travellers and writers derived The Oriental manner of making slaves, and their ideas of unknown lands chiefly from the securing a property in them, is this:-Any fellows reports of the ancients, and the wild stories brought who join an expedition as volunteers, for plunder of home by the rude crusader or the light-hearted this kind, enter a house, and after setting fire to it, troubadour, those inveterate importers of “ Traand killing generally the adult males, they carry vellers' Tales,” who delighted to “ astonish the off the property, with the females and boys. They natives” with stories how Richard Ceur de Lion then proceed to the next custom-house, and having supped off a Saracen's head, and the little old Man paid twenty piastres,or about ten shillings, they take of the Mountains always rode pick-a-back. Hence, out a teskerai, or titket, which certifies the slavery, on their return they were looked upon as nought,and the persons of the unfortunate family become nay, even suspected of pretending to adventures the property of the captors for ever, with all their they had never achieved, did they not confirm all posterity! if any of them is disposed to sell the the tales of their predecessors, and add considerably whole or part, he gives up with them their teskerai, thereto from the stores of their own budget. which transfers the property to the purchaser in Accordingly we find few of them at all deficient in perpetuity.-Dr. R. Walsh.
their contributions to the general stock of marvels
EASTERN MODE OF MAKING SLAVES.
ANCIENT AND MODERN TRAVELLERS.
and still fewer venturing to express the slightest | wind, and about that famous cave or hole out of heretical doubt of any established monstrosity. which that wind is said to issue: and “These mainTo do these worthy pioneers justice, we must, how- taine war ordinarily about the metall mines of gold, ever, admit, that judged by Cardan's rule,“ to especially with Griffons, a kind of wild beasts that believe what they saw with their own eyes,” they fly, and use to fetch gold out of the veines of those may in general be relied on, but their hearsay mines." He closes his list with no less a voucher evidence, formerly implicitly believed, has in later than St. Augustine himself, who asserts positively days led to the discredit of the whole : thus, alter that when he travelled in Ethiopia, he saw in the nately, credulity and distrust have rendered their lower parts of the country "men having only one labours worse than useless.
eye in their foreheads.” The saint we apprehend Those misguiding words it is said have been made a slip, and should have substituted “ It was as a very grave to man's understanding. They said, for I saw.” have made us the dupes of misrepresentation and Again we hear that “ Megasthenes reports that falsehood, and led us at length to regard our distant there is a nation among the Indian Nomades having brethren as monsters fit only to be laughed at, holes only in the place of the nostrils ;” with the plundered, and abhorred.
touching reflection, “ that face must needs be plain The extravagant ideas entertained of other that wants a nose ;--that there are “islands and a nations, and unhesitatingly subscribed to on the nation called Lanesii, whose eares are dilated to so authority of these Hearsay Travellers' Tales, is no- effuse a magnitude, that they cover the rest of their where better evinced than in a very curious volume, bodies with them, and have no other clothing, then a small quarto of 559 pages, published in 1653, by as they cloth their members with the membranes John Bulwer, a physician, a man of learning, of of their eares. Plinie also makes report, and in his sound natural sense, as is exhibited in many parts seventh book proves that there are such nations, of his book, which in others displays an almost who, being otherwise naked, have eares so large childlike credulity, and particularly distinguished that they invelope their whole bodies with them. by his exertions for the instruction of the deaf and Isidor affirms as much of them. The testimonies dumb, a subject on which he appears to have prided of these men are very ancient, but there are not himself since he signs himself Chirosophus.
wanting store of later witnesses. That in the island His book, which is entitled “ The Artificial of Iambuli the inhabitants exceed us foure cubitts Changeling," was mainly intended to ridicule and in stature, and have a cloven tongue, which is correct the many absurdities which are practised divided in the bottom, so that it seems double from even among civilized nations " in fashioning and the root ; so they use divers speeches, and do not altering their bodies from the mould intended by only speake with the voice of men, but imitate the nature," setting forth their “ foolish bravery, ridi- singing of birds. But that which seems most nota culous beauty, filthy finenesse, and loathsome love- able, they speak at one time perfectly to two men, linesse" in these practices; in the course of which both answering and discoursing, for with one part by the way he inveighs severely, and in a style of of the tongue they speak to one, and with the other good sense, that would not disgrace the medical part to the other.” That in the “ Isle of Penguin” writer of our own day, against the pernicious there are men who have “ dogs aspects,” or else practices of swathing infants and binding their “ really have dogs' heads;" and, upon the authority heads, and of tight-lacing by women. But although of Sir Walter Raleigh, among others, that there in his reports of these artificial monstrosities, the exist“ strange headlesse nations, whose heads extreme credulity of an age, sceptical enough in appeare not above their shoulders.” some subjects, is strangely, even amusingly, ap- Then we have the story of the men of Strood, parent,-if we can attribute the involuntary smile near Rochester, who for some affront to St. Authat will arise on the contemplation of such gustine, or Thomas à Becket, it does not appear evidences of our imperfect nature to amusement, quite clear which, were cursed by the infliction of yet it is to another part of his work, “ The native tails upon all their posterity. “And,” continues and national monstrosities that have appeared to our author, “ I am informed by an honest young disfigure the human fabric,” that we would turn man of Captaine Morris' Company, in Lientenant for an illustration of our previous remarks. General Ireton's Regiment, that at Cashell, in the
Here we read, among a thousand others of a county of Tipperary, in the province of Munster, more wonderful character that we dare not extract, in Carrick Patrick Church, seated on a hill or rock, that “there are found in the Indies (as cosmo- stormed by the Lord Inchequine, and where there graphers testifie) men who have but one eye, and were neare seven hundred put to the sword, and that planted in their foreheads;" then follow a none saved but the Mayor's wife and his son, there host of authorities, among others Pliny, who “re- were found among the slaine of the Irislr, when ports of the Arimaspi to be an unocular nation, they were stripped, divers that had tailes near & and he places them * * not far from that climate quarter of a yard long: the relator being very which is under the very rising of the north-east I diffident of the truth of this story, after inquiry,
was ensured of the certainty thereof by forty soul with themselves, much credit is due: but their diers, that testified upon their oaths that they were system was based upon a false foundation, and fell; eye-witnesses, being present at the action.” They and their labours and their knowledge, alike kept had called them Wild Irish so long that they were hidden from: public observation, produced no perfor turning them into beasts at last.
ceptible effect beyond the narrow sphere of their But our Kentish and Irish friends are not alone immediate influence. presented with this caudal appendage, for we hear Captain Cook at length appeared to dissipate the of “ tribes in the mountainous and remote places from mists of prejudice and ignorance which Dampier the sea, in the island of Borneo,” who are equally and succeeding adventurers had but partially wiswell furnished. Again we hear of a nation in India, turbed ; and in his artless narratives was the first beyond the Ganges,” that have feet of such mon- to prove to an awakening world the fact that Gud strous bignesse, that when they lie down in the hath indeed“ made of one blood all nations of men sun, or are exposed to the raine, they serve them for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Succeedfor umbrelloes to shade them from the heat and wet;" ing voyagers, naturalists, and philosophers have and, to repeat no more,“ of many nations, endowed amply verified this proof, by ascertaining beyond a with six armes, and as many hands, with asses' ears doubt that no organic distinction exists in all the and men's faces, and who run like harts."
human family. We here see he disposition there has been in At length a spirit of inquiry was abroad which led all ages, from the days of Alexander to the reign to research and energetic action in the political and of Elizabeth, from Aristotle to Bacon, from far scientific world, and whose influence was strongly earlier days to our own times—for that disposition felt in the renovated zeal manifested in the cul. still exists—to make a wonder of what was little tivation of religious principles. A boundless field known, and in the eager delights of a mystery which was thrown open to the earnest propagator of invested the traveller with a sort of undefinable, gospel truth. The ship Duff sailed with the flag of but flattering consequence, the degradation of his peace, instead of the ensign of war, hoisted at the fellow-man was held as a light matter, and when mizen peak, and English missionaries throughout it began to turn to profit was stoutly asserted, and the world still press far ahead among the forest all fellowship disowned.
wilds, anticipating even the enterprizing emigrant Thus from early antiquity the popular belief in and the roaming squatter. From the mouth of the regard to distant nations, founded on such narra- herald of truth we learn the true condition of our tives of the state of man, and there were no other, fellow-men,--and thus their wants, their capabilities, has been such as to induce the idea that these were and their rights are brought home to our hearts of another blood : dangerous or despicable varieties and consciences; while the institution of the Royal -hordes of monsters and horrible beings, to be Geographical Society, affording a central point for either held at a distance as dangerons, or subjugated the concentration of isolated facts, which but for to the yoke like a herd of wild cattle. This feeling that would have been comparatively useless, or detained Columbus ten years in the ports of Spain perhaps never recorded at all, has given a scientific a suitor to indifference ; and this same feeling when value to the labours of these or other wanderers he returned with the news of another world sent over many lands. back his successors, lusting for the wealth of Cathay Thus excited, purified, educated for the acqui. and Cipango, to subjugate, to plunder, to desition of truth, the world is all a-foot : steam lends stroy, the “ one-eyed,” “ long-eared,” “ unnatural | its wings to the great movement, and now in place wretches”-our murdered brethren of the West of the powdered son of noble blood making once in Indies.
his life the tour of fashionable life, and returning Because men had long been filled with the idea home to be a geographical lion to the end of his that all distant nations must be more or less mon- days, we have a thousand men traversing the globe; strous, the very colour of the skin was held as searching out the hidden sinuosities of coasts ; sufficient evidence of a monstrous origin. The tracing the sources of rivers; cataloguing the creaIndians were considered and treated both by Spa- tive wonders of virgin forests and untrodden wilds; nish and English as sons of Azrael ; and the Caro- digging up the foundations of ancient worlds ; linian slaveholder, who was taxed with the impiety piercing the confines of aboriginal tribes, and of holding the image of God in slavery, turned upon measuring the physical and moral maladies of the his opponent with the startling question, “ Man, whole human race. But these men have no worthy do you mean to say that God is black *?To the chronicle-no depository for their precious misJesuits, who, in their benevolent endeavours to cellanea-no publication which belongs to them ameliorate the bodily and spiritual condition of the and to the world--open to all, and accessible by Indians, laboured to convince their countrymen all. It is true, many of them record their disthat red men, as well as whites, had indeed souls coveries in memoirs which are read before the to be saved, and were of one blood and one nature learned societies; but not a tithe of them, and those * A fact which occurred not many years ago.
only the most technical, are ever published in the