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HENRY M. STANLEY
Copyright © 2017 by Henry M. Stanley.
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First Edition: January 2017
HOW I FOUND LIVINGSTONE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MY INSTRUCTIONS TO FIND AND RELIEVE LIVINGSTONE
On the sixteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, I was in Madrid, fresh from the carnage at Valencia. At 10 A.M. Jacopo, at No.-- Calle de la Cruz, handed me a telegram: It read, "Come to Paris on important business." The telegram was from Mr. James Gordon Bennett, jun., the young manager of the `New York Herald.'
Down came my pictures from the walls of my apartments on the second floor; into my trunks went my books and souvenirs, my clothes were hastily collected, some half washed, some from the clothes-line half dry, and after a couple of hours of hasty hard work my portmanteaus were strapped up and labelled "Paris."
At 3 P.M. I was on my way, and being obliged to stop at Bayonne a few hours, did not arrive at Paris until the following night. I went straight to the `Grand Hotel,' and knocked at the door of Mr. Bennett's room.
"Come in," I heard a voice say. Entering, I found Mr. Bennett in bed. "Who are you?" he asked.
"My name is Stanley," I answered.
"Ah, yes! sit down; I have important business on hand for you."
After throwing over his shoulders his robe-de-chambre Mr. Bennett asked, "Where do you think Livingstone is?"
"I really do not know, sir."
"Do you think he is alive?"
"He may be, and he may not be," I answered.
"Well, I think he is alive, and that he can be found, and I am going to send you to find him."
"What!" said I, "do you really think I can find Dr Livingstone? Do you mean me to go to Central Africa?"
"Yes; I mean that you shall go, and find him wherever you may hear that he is, and to get what news you can of him, and perhaps" --delivering himself thoughtfully and deliberately--"the old man may be in want:--take enough with you to help him should he require it. Of course you will act according to your own plans, and do what you think best--BUT FIND LIVINGSTONE!"
Said I, wondering at the cool order of sending one to Central Africa to search for a man whom I, in common with almost all other men, believed to be dead, "Have you considered seriously the great expense you are likely, to incur on account of this little journey?"
"What will it cost?" he asked abruptly.
"Burton and Speke's journey to Central Africa cost between £3,000 and £5,000, and I fear it cannot be done under £2,500."
"Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE."
Surprised but not confused at the order--for I knew that Mr. Bennett when once he had made up his mind was not easily drawn aside from his purpose--I yet thought, seeing it was such a gigantic scheme, that he had not quite considered in his own mind the pros and cons of the case; I said, "I have heard that should your father die you would sell the `Herald' and retire from business."
"Whoever told you that is wrong, for there is not, money enough in New York city to buy the `New York Herald.' My father has made it a great paper, but I mean to make it greater. I mean that it shall be a newspaper in the true sense of the word. I mean that it shall publish whatever news will be interesting to the world at no matter what cost."
"After that," said I, "I have nothing more to say. Do you mean me to go straight on to Africa to search for Dr. Livingstone?"
"No! I wish you to go to the inauguration of the Suez Canal first, and then proceed up the Nile. I hear Baker is about starting for Upper Egypt. Find out what you can about his expedition, and as you go up describe as well as possible whatever is interesting for tourists; and then write up a guide-- a practical one--for Lower Egypt; tell us about whatever is worth seeing and how to see it.
"Then you might as well go to Jerusalem; I hear Captain Warren is making some interesting discoveries there. Then visit Constantinople, and find out about that trouble between the Khedive and the Sultan.
"Then--let me see--you might as well visit the Crimea and those old battle-grounds, Then go across the Caucasus to the Caspian Sea; I hear there is a Russian expedition bound for Khiva. From thence you may get through Persia to India; you could write an interesting letter from Persepolis.
"Bagdad will be close on your way to India; suppose you go there, and write up something about the Euphrates Valley Railway. Then, when you have come to India, you can go after Livingstone. Probably you will hear by that time that Livingstone is on his way to Zanzibar; but if not, go into the interior and find him. If alive, get what news of his discoveries you can; and if you find he is dead, bring all possible proofs of his being dead. That is all. Good-night, and God be with you."
"Good-night, Sir," I said, "what it is in the power of human nature to do I will do; and on such an errand as I go upon, God will be with me."
I lodged with young Edward King, who is making such a name in New England. He was just the man who would have delighted to tell the journal he was engaged upon what young Mr. Bennett was doing, and what errand I was bound upon.
I should have liked to exchange opinions with him upon the probable results of my journey, but I dared not do so. Though oppressed with the great task before me, I had to appear as if only going to be present at the Suez Canal. Young King followed me to the express train bound for Marseilles, and at the station we parted: he to go and read the newspapers at Bowles' Reading-room--I to Central Africa and--who knows?
There is no need to recapitulate what I did before going to Central Africa.
I went up the Nile and saw Mr. Higginbotham, chief engineer in Baker's Expedition, at Philae, and was the means of preventing a duel between him and a mad young Frenchman, who wanted to fight Mr. Higginbotham with pistols, because that gentleman resented the idea of being taken for an Egyptian, through wearing a fez cap. I had a talk with Capt. Warren at Jerusalem, and descended one of the pits with a sergeant of engineers to see the marks of the Tyrian workmen on the foundation-stones of the Temple of Solomon. I visited the mosques of Stamboul with the Minister Resident of the United States, and the American Consul-General. I travelled over the Crimean battle-grounds with Kinglake's glorious books for reference in my hand. I dined with the widow of General Liprandi at Odessa. I saw the Arabian traveller Palgrave at Trebizond, and Baron Nicolay, the Civil Governor of the Caucasus, at Tiflis. I lived with the Russian Ambassador while at Teheran, and wherever I went through Persia I received the most hospitable welcome from the gentlemen of the Indo-European Telegraph Company; and following the examples of many illustrious men, I wrote my name upon one of the Persepolitan monuments. In the month of August, 1870, I arrived in India.
On the 12th of October I sailed on the barque 'Polly' from Bombay to Mauritius. As the 'Polly' was a slow sailer, the passage lasted thirty-seven days. On board this barque was a William Lawrence Farquhar--hailing from Leith, Scotland-- in the capacity of first-mate. He was an excellent navigator, and thinking he might be useful to me, I employed him; his pay to begin from the date we should leave Zanzibar for Bagamoyo. As there was no opportunity of getting, to Zanzibar direct, I took ship to Seychelles. Three or four days after arriving at Mahe, one of the Seychelles group, I was fortunate enough to get a passage for myself, William Lawrence Farquhar, and an Arab boy from Jerusalem, who was to act as interpreter-- on board an American whaling vessel, bound for Zanzibar; at which port we arrived on the 6th of January, 1871.
I have skimmed over my travels thus far, because these do not concern the reader. They led over many lands, but this book is only a narrative of my search after Livingstone, the great African traveller. It is an Icarian flight of journalism, I confess; some even have called it Quixotic; but this is a word I can now refute, as will be seen before the reader arrives at the "Finis."
I have used the word "soldiers" in this book. The armed escort a traveller engages to accompany him into East Africa is composed of free black men, natives of Zanzibar, or freed slaves from the interior, who call themselves "askari," an Indian name which, translated, means "soldiers." They are armed and equipped like soldiers, though they engage themselves also as servants; but it would be more pretentious in me to call them servants, than to use the word "soldiers;" and as I have been more in the habit of calling them soldiers than "my watuma"--servants--this habit has proved too much to be overcome. I have therefore allowed the word "soldiers " to appear, accompanied, however, with this apology.
But it must be remembered that I am writing a narrative of my own adventures and travels, and that until I meet Livingstone, I presume the greatest interest is attached to myself, my marches, my troubles, my thoughts, and my impressions. Yet though I may sometimes write, "my expedition," or "my caravan," it by no means follows that I arrogate to myself this right. For it must be distinctly understood that it is the "`New York Herald' Expedition," and that I am only charged with its command by Mr. James Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of the `New York Herald,' as a salaried employ of that gentleman.
One thing more; I have adopted the narrative form of relating the story of the search, on account of the greater interest it appears to possess over the diary form, and I think that in this manner I avoid the great fault of repetition for which some travellers have been severely criticised.
On the morning of the 6th January, 1871, we were sailing through the channel that separates the fruitful island of Zanzibar from Africa. The high lands of the continent loomed like a lengthening shadow in the grey of dawn. The island lay on our left, distant but a mile, coming out of its shroud of foggy folds bit by bit as the day advanced, until it finally rose clearly into view, as fair in appearance as the fairest of the gems of creation. It appeared low, but not flat; there were gentle elevations cropping hither and yon above the languid but graceful tops of the cocoa-trees that lined the margin of the island, and there were depressions visible at agreeable intervals, to indicate where a cool gloom might be found by those who sought relief from a hot sun. With the exception of the thin line of sand, over which the sap-green water rolled itself with a constant murmur and moan, the island seemed buried under one deep stratum of verdure.
The noble bosom of the strait bore several dhows speeding in and out of the bay of Zanzibar with bellying sails. Towards the south, above the sea line of the horizon, there appeared the naked masts of several large ships, and to the east of these a dense mass of white, flat-topped houses. This was Zanzibar, the capital of the island;--which soon resolved itself into a pretty large and compact city, with all the characteristics of Arab architecture. Above some of the largest houses lining the bay front of the city streamed the blood-red banner of the Sultan, Seyd Burghash, and the flags of the American, English, North German Confederation, and French Consulates. In the harbor were thirteen large ships, four Zanzibar men-of-war, one English man-of-war--the `Nymphe,' two American, one French, one Portuguese, two English, and two German merchantmen, besides numerous dhows hailing from Johanna and Mayotte of the Comoro Islands, dhows from Muscat and Cutch--traders between India, the Persian Gulf, and Zanzibar.
It was with the spirit of true hospitality and courtesy that Capt. Francis R. Webb, United States Consul, (formerly of the United States Navy), received me. Had this gentleman not rendered me such needful service, I must have condescended to take board and lodging at a house known as "Charley's," called after the proprietor, a Frenchman, who has won considerable local notoriety for harboring penniless itinerants, and manifesting a kindly spirit always, though hidden under such a rugged front; or I should have been obliged to pitch my double-clothed American drill tent on the sandbeach of this tropical island, which was by no means a desirable thing.
But Capt. Webb's opportune proposal to make his commodious and comfortable house my own; to enjoy myself, with the request that I would call for whatever I might require, obviated all unpleasant alternatives.
One day's life at Zanzibar made me thoroughly conscious of my ignorance respecting African people and things in general. I imagined I had read Burton and Speke through, fairly well, and that consequently I had penetrated the meaning, the full importance and grandeur, of the work I was about to be engaged upon. But my estimates, for instance, based upon book information, were simply ridiculous, fanciful images of African attractions were soon dissipated, anticipated pleasures vanished, and all crude ideas began to resolve themselves into shape.
I strolled through the city. My general impressions are of crooked, narrow lanes, white-washed houses, mortar-plastered streets, in the clean quarter;--of seeing alcoves on each side, with deep recesses, with a fore-ground of red-turbaned Banyans, and a back-ground of flimsy cottons, prints, calicoes, domestics and what not; or of floors crowded with ivory tusks; or of dark corners with a pile of unginned and loose cotton; or of stores of crockery, nails, cheap Brummagem ware, tools, &c., in what I call the Banyan quarter;--of streets smelling very strong--in fact, exceedingly, malodorous, with steaming yellow and black bodies, and woolly heads, sitting at the doors of miserable huts, chatting, laughing, bargaining, scolding, with a compound smell of hides, tar, filth, and vegetable refuse, in the negro quarter;--of streets lined with tall, solid-looking houses, flat roofed, of great carved doors with large brass knockers, with baabs sitting cross-legged watching the dark entrance to their masters' houses; of a shallow sea-inlet, with some dhows, canoes, boats, an odd steam-tub or two, leaning over on their sides in a sea of mud which the tide has just left behind it; of a place called "M'nazi-Moya," "One Cocoa-tree," whither Europeans wend on evenings with most languid steps, to inhale the sweet air that glides over the sea, while the day is dying and the red sun is sinking westward; of a few graves of dead sailors, who paid the forfeit of their lives upon arrival in this land; of a tall house wherein lives Dr. Tozer, "Missionary Bishop of Central Africa," and his school of little Africans; and of many other things, which got together into such a tangle, that I had to go to sleep, lest I should never be able to separate the moving images, the Arab from the African; the African from the Banyan; the Banyan from the Hindi; the Hindi from the European, &c.
Zanzibar is the Bagdad, the Ispahan, the Stamboul, if you like, of East Africa. It is the great mart which invites the ivory traders from the African interior. To this market come the gum-copal, the hides, the orchilla weed, the timber, and the black slaves from Africa. Bagdad had great silk bazaars, Zanzibar has her ivory bazaars; Bagdad once traded in jewels, Zanzibar trades in gum-copal; Stamboul imported Circassian and Georgian slaves; Zanzibar imports black beauties from Uhiyow, Ugindo, Ugogo, Unyamwezi and Galla.
The same mode of commerce obtains here as in all Mohammedan countries--nay, the mode was in vogue long before Moses was born. The Arab never changes. He brought the custom of his forefathers with him when he came to live on this island. He is as much of an Arab here as at Muscat or Bagdad; wherever he goes to live he carries with him his harem, his religion, his long robe, his shirt, his slippers, and his dagger. If he penetrates Africa, not all the ridicule of the negroes can make him change his modes of life. Yet the land has not become Oriental; the Arab has not been able to change the atmosphere. The land is semi-African in aspect; the city is but semi-Arabian.
To a new-comer into Africa, the Muscat Arabs of Zanzibar are studies. There is a certain empressement about them which we must admire. They are mostly all travellers. There are but few of them who have not been in many dangerous positions, as they penetrated Central Africa in search of the precious ivory; and their various experiences have given their features a certain unmistakable air of-self-reliance, or of self-sufficiency; there is a calm, resolute, defiant, independent air about them, which wins unconsciously one's respect. The stories that some of these men could tell, I have often thought, would fill many a book of thrilling adventures.
For the half-castes I have great contempt. They are neither black nor white, neither good nor bad, neither to be admired nor hated. They are all things, at all times; they are always fawning on the great Arabs, and always cruel to those unfortunates brought under their yoke. If I saw a miserable, half-starved negro, I was always sure to be told he belonged to a half-caste. Cringing and hypocritical, cowardly and debased, treacherous and mean, I have always found him. He seems to be for ever ready to fall down and worship a rich Arab, but is relentless to a poor black slave. When he swears most, you may be sure he lies most, and yet this is the breed which is multiplied most at Zanzibar.
The Banyan is a born trader, the beau-ideal of a sharp money-making man. Money flows to his pockets as naturally as water down a steep. No pang of conscience will prevent him from cheating his fellow man. He excels a Jew, and his only rival in a market is a Parsee; an Arab is a babe to him. It is worth money to see him labor with all his energy, soul and body, to get advantage by the smallest fraction of a coin over a native. Possibly the native has a tusk, and it may weigh a couple of frasilahs, but, though the scales indicate the weight, and the native declares solemnly that it must be more than two frasilahs, yet our Banyan will asseverate and vow that the native knows nothing whatever about it, and that the scales are wrong; he musters up courage to lift it--it is a mere song, not much more than a frasilah. "Come," he will say, "close, man, take the money and go thy way. Art thou mad?" If the native hesitates, he will scream in a fury; he pushes him about, spurns the ivory with contemptuous indifference,--never was such ado about nothing; but though he tells the astounded native to be up and going, he never intends the ivory shall leave his shop.
The Banyans exercise, of all other classes, most influence on the trade of Central Africa. With the exception of a very few rich Arabs, almost all other traders are subject to the pains and penalties which usury imposes. A trader desirous to make a journey into the interior, whether for slaves or ivory, gum-copal, or orchilla weed, proposes to a Banyan to advance him $5,000, at 50, 60, or 70 per cent. interest. The Banyan is safe enough not to lose, whether the speculation the trader is engaged upon pays or not. An experienced trader seldom loses, or if he has been unfortunate, through no deed of his own, he does not lose credit; with the help of the Banyan, he is easily set on his feet again.
We will suppose, for the sake of illustrating how trade with the interior is managed, that the Arab conveys by his caravan $5,000's worth of goods into the interior. At Unyanyembe the goods are worth $10,000; at Ujiji, they are worth $15,000: they have trebled in price. Five doti, or $7.50, will purchase a slave in the markets of Ujiji that will fetch in Zanzibar $30. Ordinary menslaves may be purchased for $6 which would sell for $25 on the coast. We will say he purchases slaves to the full extent of his means--after deducting $1,500 expenses of carriage to Ujiji and back--viz. $3,500, the slaves--464 in number, at $7-50 per head-- would realize $13,920 at Zanzibar! Again, let us illustrate trade in ivory. A merchant takes $5,000 to Ujiji, and after deducting $1,500 for expenses to Ujiji, and back to Zanzibar, has still remaining $3,500 in cloth and beads, with which he purchases ivory. At Ujiji ivory is bought at $20 the frasilah, or 35 lbs., by which he is enabled with $3,500 to collect 175 frasilahs, which, if good ivory, is worth about $60 per frasilah at Zanzibar. The merchant thus finds that he has realized $10,500 net profit! Arab traders have often done better than this, but they almost always have come back with an enormous margin of profit.
The next people to the Banyans_in power in Zanzibar are the Mohammedan Hindis. Really it has been a debateable subject in my mind whether the Hindis are not as wickedly determined to cheat in trade as the Banyans. But, if I have conceded the palm to the latter, it has been done very reluctantly. This tribe of Indians can produce scores of unconscionable rascals where they can show but one honest merchant. One of the honestest among men, white or black, red or yellow, is a Mohammedan Hindi called Tarya Topan. Among the Europeans at Zanzibar, he has become a proverb for honesty, and strict business integrity. He is enormously wealthy, owns several ships and dhows, and is a prominent man in the councils of Seyd Burghash. Tarya has many children, two or three of whom are grown-up sons, whom he has reared up even as he is himself. But Tarya is but a representative of an exceedingly small minority.
The Arabs, the Banyans, and the Mohammedan Hindis, represent the higher and the middle classes. These classes own the estates, the ships, and the trade. To these classes bow the half-caste and the negro.
The next most important people who go to make up the mixed population of this island are the negroes. They consist of the aborigines, Wasawahili, Somalis, Comorines, Wanyamwezi, and a host of tribal representatives of Inner Africa.
To a white stranger about penetrating Africa, it is a most interesting walk through the negro quarters of the Wanyamwezi and the Wasawahili. For here he begins to learn the necessity of admitting that negroes are men, like himself, though of a different colour; that they have passions and prejudices, likes and dislikes, sympathies and antipathies, tastes and feelings, in common with all human nature. The sooner he perceives this fact, and adapts himself accordingly, the easier will be his journey among the several races of the interior. The more plastic his nature, the more prosperous will be his travels.
Though I had lived some time among the negroes of our Southern States, my education was Northern, and I had met in the United States black men whom I was proud to call friends. I was thus prepared to admit any black man, possessing the attributes of true manhood or any good qualities, to my friendship, even to a brotherhood with myself; and to respect him for such, as much as if he were of my own colour and race. Neither his colour, nor any peculiarities of physiognomy should debar him with me from any rights he could fairly claim as a man. "Have these men--these black savages from pagan Africa," I asked myself, "the qualities which make man loveable among his fellows? Can these men--these barbarians--appreciate kindness or feel resentment like myself?" was my mental question as I travelled through their quarters and observed their actions. Need I say, that I was much comforted in observing that they were as ready to be influenced by passions, by loves and hates, as I was myself; that the keenest observation failed to detect any great difference between their nature and my own?
The negroes of the island probably number two-thirds of the entire population. They compose the working-class, whether enslaved or free. Those enslaved perform the work required on the plantations, the estates, and gardens of the landed proprietors, or perform the work of carriers, whether in the country or in the city. Outside the city they may be seen carrying huge loads on their heads, as happy as possible, not because they are kindly treated or that their work is light, but because it is their nature to be gay and light-hearted, because they, have conceived neither joys nor hopes which may not be gratified at will, nor cherished any ambition beyond their reach, and therefore have not been baffled in their hopes nor known disappointment.
Within the city, negro carriers may be heard at all hours, in couples, engaged in the transportation of clove-bags, boxes of merchandise, &c., from store to "godown" and from "go-down" to the beach, singing a kind of monotone chant for the encouragement of each other, and for the guiding of their pace as they shuffle through the streets with bare feet. You may recognise these men readily, before long, as old acquaintances, by the consistency with which they sing the tunes they have adopted. Several times during a day have I heard the same couple pass beneath the windows of the Consulate, delivering themselves of the same invariable tune and words. Some might possibly deem the songs foolish and silly, but they had a certain attraction for me, and I considered that they were as useful as anything else for the purposes they were intended.
The town of Zanzibar, situate on the south-western shore of the island, contains a population of nearly one hundred thousand inhabitants; that of the island altogether I would estimate at not more than two hundred thousand inhabitants, including all races.
The greatest number of foreign vessels trading with this port are American, principally from New York and Salem. After the American come the German, then come the French and English. They arrive loaded with American sheeting, brandy, gunpowder, muskets, beads, English cottons, brass-wire, china-ware, and other notions, and depart with ivory, gum-copal, cloves, hides, cowries, sesamum, pepper, and cocoa-nut oil.
The value of the exports from this port is estimated at $3,000,000, and the imports from all countries at $3,500,000.
The Europeans and Americans residing in the town of Zanzibar are either Government officials, independent merchants, or agents for a few great mercantile houses in Europe and America.
The climate of Zanzibar is not the most agreeable in the world. I have heard Americans and Europeans condemn it most heartily. I have also seen nearly one-half of the white colony laid up in one day from sickness. A noxious malaria is exhaled from the shallow inlet of Malagash, and the undrained filth, the garbage, offal, dead mollusks, dead pariah dogs, dead cats, all species of carrion, remains of men and beasts unburied, assist to make Zanzibar a most unhealthy city; and considering that it it ought to be most healthy, nature having pointed out to man the means, and having assisted him so far, it is most wonderful that the ruling prince does not obey the dictates of reason.
The bay of Zanzibar is in the form of a crescent, and on the south-western horn of it is built the city. On the east Zanzibar is bounded almost entirely by the Malagash Lagoon, an inlet of the sea. It penetrates to at least two hundred and fifty yards of the sea behind or south of Shangani Point. Were these two hundred and fifty yards cut through by a ten foot ditch, and the inlet deepened slightly, Zanzibar would become an island of itself, and what wonders would it not effect as to health and salubrity! I have never heard this suggestion made, but it struck me that the foreign consuls resident at Zanzibar might suggest this work to the Sultan, and so get the credit of having made it as healthy a place to live in as any near the equator. But apropos of this, I remember what Capt. Webb, the American Consul, told me on my first arrival, when I expressed to him my wonder at the apathy and inertness of men born with the indomitable energy which characterises Europeans and Americans, of men imbued with the progressive and stirring instincts of the white people, who yet allow themselves to dwindle into pallid phantoms of their kind, into hypochondriacal invalids, into hopeless believers in the deadliness of the climate, with hardly a trace of that daring and invincible spirit which rules the world.
"Oh," said Capt. Webb, "it is all very well for you to talk about energy and all that kind of thing, but I assure you that a residence of four or five years on this island, among such people as are here, would make you feel that it was a hopeless task to resist the influence of the example by which the most energetic spirits are subdued, and to which they must submit in time, sooner or later. We were all terribly energetic when we first came here, and struggled bravely to make things go on as we were accustomed to have them at home, but we have found that we were knocking our heads against granite walls to no purpose whatever. These fellows-- the Arabs, the Banyans, and the Hindis--you can't make them go faster by ever so much scolding and praying, and in a very short time you see the folly of fighting against the unconquerable. Be patient, and don't fret, that is my advice, or you won't live long here."
There were three or four intensely busy men, though, at Zanzibar, who were out at all hours of the day. I know one, an American; I fancy I hear the quick pit-pat of his feet on the pavement beneath the Consulate, his cheery voice ringing the salutation, "Yambo!" to every one he met; and he had lived at Zanzibar twelve years.
I know another, one of the sturdiest of Scotchmen, a most pleasant-mannered and unaffected man, sincere in whatever he did or said, who has lived at Zanzibar several years, subject to the infructuosities of the business he has been engaged in, as well as to the calor and ennui of the climate, who yet presents as formidable a front as ever to the apathetic native of Zanzibar. No man can charge Capt. H. C. Fraser, formerly of the Indian Navy, with being apathetic.
I might with ease give evidence of the industry of others, but they are all my friends, and they are all good. The American, English, German, and French residents have ever treated me with a courtesy and kindness I am not disposed to forget. Taken as a body, it would be hard to find a more generous or hospitable colony of white men in any part of the world.
ORGANIZATION OF THE EXPEDITION
I was totally ignorant of the interior, and it was difficult at first to know, what I needed, in order to take an Expedition into Central Africa. Time was precious, also, and much of it could not be devoted to inquiry and investigation. In a case like this, it would have been a godsend, I thought, had either of the three gentlemen, Captains Burton, Speke, or Grant, given some information on these points; had they devoted a chapter upon, "How to get ready an Expedition for Central Africa." The purpose of this chapter, then, is to relate how I set about it, that other travellers coming after me may have the benefit of my experience.
These are some of the questions I asked myself, as I tossed on my bed at night:--
"How much money is required?"
"How many pagazis, or carriers?
"How many soldiers?"
"How much cloth?"
"How many beads?"
"How much wire?"
"What kinds of cloth are required for the different tribes?"
Ever so many questions to myself brought me no clearer the exact point I wished to arrive at. I scribbled over scores of sheets of paper, made estimates, drew out lists of material, calculated the cost of keeping one hundred men for one year, at so many yards of different kinds of cloth, etc. I studied Burton, Speke, and Grant in vain. A good deal of geographical, ethnological, and other information appertaining to the study of Inner Africa was obtainable, but information respecting the organization of an expedition requisite before proceeding to Africa, was not in any book. The Europeans at Zanzibar knew as little as possible about this particular point. There was not one white man at Zanzibar who could tell how many dotis a day a force of one hundred men required to buy food for one day on the road. Neither, indeed, was it their business to know. But what should I do at all, at all? This was a grand question.
I decided it were best to hunt up an Arab merchant who had been engaged in the ivory trade, or who was fresh from the interior.
Sheikh Hashid was a man of note and of wealth in Zanzibar. He had himself despatched several caravans into the interior, and was necessarily acquainted with several prominent traders who came to his house to gossip about their adventures and gains. He was also the proprietor of the large house Capt. Webb occupied; besides, he lived across the narrow street which separated his house from the Consulate. Of all men Sheikh Hashid was the man to be consulted, and he was accordingly invited to visit me at the Consulate.
From the grey-bearded and venerable-looking Sheikh, I elicited more information about African currency, the mode of procedure, the quantity and quality of stuffs I required, than I had obtained from three months' study of books upon Central Africa; and from other Arab merchants to whom the ancient Sheikh introduced me, I received most valuable suggestions and hints, which enabled me at last to organize an Expedition.
The reader must bear in mind that a traveller requires only that which is sufficient for travel and exploration that a superfluity of goods or means will prove as fatal to him as poverty of supplies. It is on this question of quality and quantity that the traveller has first to exercise his judgment and discretion.
Second in importance to the amount of cloth required was the quantity and quality of the beads necessary. Beads, I was told, took the place of cloth currency among some tribes of the interior. One tribe preferred white to black beads, brown to yellow, red to green, green to white, and so on. Thus, in Unyamwezi, red (sami-sami) beads would readily be taken, where all other kinds would be refused; black (bubu) beads, though currency in Ugogo, were positively worthless with all other tribes; the egg (sungomazzi) beads, though valuable in Ujiji and Uguhha, would be refused in all other countries; the white (Merikani) beads though good in Ufipa, and some parts of Usagara and Ugogo, would certainly be despised in Useguhha and Ukonongo. Such being the case, I was obliged to study closely, and calculate the probable stay of an expedition in the several countries, so as to be sure to provide a sufficiency of each kind, and guard against any great overplus. Burton and Speke, for instance, were obliged to throw away as worthless several hundred fundo of beads.
For example, supposing the several nations of Europe had each its own currency, without the means of exchange, and supposing a man was about to travel through Europe on foot, before starting he would be apt to calculate how many days it would take him to travel through France; how many through Prussia, Austria, and Russia, then to reckon the expense he would be likely to incur per day. If the expense be set down at a napoleon per day, and his journey through France would occupy thirty days, the sum required forgoing and returning might be properly set down at sixty napoleons, in which case, napoleons not being current money in Prussia, Austria, or Russia, it would be utterly useless for him to burden himself with the weight of a couple of thousand napoleons in gold.
My anxiety on this point was most excruciating. Over and over I studied the hard names and measures, conned again and again the polysyllables; hoping to be able to arrive some time at an intelligible definition of the terms. I revolved in my mind the words Mukunguru, Ghulabio, Sungomazzi, Kadunduguru, Mutunda, Samisami, Bubu, Merikani, Hafde, Lunghio-Rega, and Lakhio, until I was fairly beside myself. Finally, however, I came to the conclusion that if I reckoned my requirements at fifty khete, or five fundo per day, for two years, and if I purchased only eleven varieties, I might consider myself safe enough. The purchase was accordingly made, and twenty-two sacks of the best species were packed and brought to Capt. Webb's house, ready for transportation to Bagamoyo.
After the beads came the wire question. I discovered, after considerable trouble, that Nos. 5 and 6--almost of the thickness of telegraph wire--were considered the best numbers for trading purposes. While beads stand for copper coins in Africa, cloth measures for silver; wire is reckoned as gold in the countries beyond the Tan-ga-ni-ka.* Ten frasilah, or 350 lbs., of brass-wire, my Arab adviser thought, would be ample. _________________ * It will be seen that I differ from Capt. Burton in the spelling of this word, as I deem the letter " y " superfluous. ________________
Having purchased the cloth, the beads, and the wire, it was with no little pride that I surveyed the comely bales and packages lying piled up, row above row, in Capt. Webb's capacious store-room. Yet my work was not ended, it was but beginning; there were provisions, cooking-utensils, boats, rope, twine, tents, donkeys, saddles, bagging, canvas, tar, needles, tools, ammunition, guns, equipments, hatchets, medicines, bedding, presents for chiefs--in short, a thousand things not yet purchased. The ordeal of chaffering and -haggling with steel-hearted Banyans, Hindis, Arabs, and half-castes was most trying. For instance, I purchased twenty-two donkeys at Zanzibar. $40 and $50 were asked, which I had to reduce to $15 or $20 by an infinite amount of argument worthy, I think, of a nobler cause. As was my experience with the ass-dealers so was it with the petty merchants; even a paper of pins was not purchased without a five per cent. reduction from the price demanded, involving, of course, a loss of much time and patience.
After collecting the donkeys, I discovered there were no pack-saddles to be obtained in Zanzibar. Donkeys without pack-saddles were of no use whatever. I invented a saddle to be manufactured by myself and my white man Farquhar, wholly from canvas, rope, and cotton.
Three or four frasilahs of cotton, and ten bolts of canvas were required for the saddles. A specimen saddle was made by myself in order to test its efficiency. A donkey was taken and saddled, and a load of 140 lbs. was fastened to it, and though the animal--a wild creature of Unyamwezi--struggled and reared frantic ally, not a particle gave way. After this experiment, Farquhar was set to work to manufacture twenty-one more after the same pattern. Woollen pads were also purchased to protect the animals from being galled. It ought to be mentioned here, perhaps, that the idea of such a saddle as I manufactured, was first derived from the Otago saddle, in use among the transport-trains of the English army in Abyssinia.
A man named John William Shaw--a native of London, England, lately third-mate of the American ship `Nevada'--applied to me for work. Though his discharge from the `Nevada' was rather suspicious, yet he possessed all the requirements of such a man as I needed, and was an experienced hand with the palm and needle, could cut canvas to fit anything, was a pretty good navigator, ready and willing, so far as his professions went.. I saw no reason to refuse his services, and he was accordingly engaged at $300 per annum, to rank second to William L. Farquhar. Farquhar was a capital navigator and excellent mathematician; was strong, energetic, and clever.
The next thing I was engaged upon was to enlist, arm, and equip, a faithful escort of twenty men for the road. Johari, the chief dragoman of the American Consulate, informed me that he knew where certain of Speke's "Faithfuls" were yet to be found. The idea had struck me before, that if I could obtain the services of a few men acquainted with the ways of white men, and who could induce other good men to join the expedition I was organizing, I might consider myself fortunate. More especially had I thought of Seedy Mbarak Mombay, commonly called "Bombay," who though his head was "woodeny," and his hands" clumsy," was considered to be the "faithfulest" of the "Faithfuls."
With the aid of the dragoman Johari, I secured in a few hours the services of Uledi (Capt. Grant's former valet), Ulimengo, Baruti, Ambari, Mabruki (Muinyi Mabruki--Bull-headed Mabruki, Capt. Burton's former unhappy valet)--five of Speke's "Faithfuls." When I asked them if they were willing to join another white man's expedition to Ujiji, they replied very readily that they were willing to join any brother of "Speke's." Dr. John Kirk, Her Majesty's Consul at Zanzibar, who was present, told them that though I was no brother of "Speke's," I spoke his language. This distinction mattered little to them: and I heard them, with great delight, declare their readiness to go anywhere with me, or do anything I wished.
Mombay, as they called him, or Bombay, as we know him, had gone to Pemba, an island lying north of Zanzibar. Uledi was sure Mombay would jump with joy at the prospect of another expedition. Johari was therefore commissioned to write to him at Pemba, to inform him of the good fortune in store for him.
On the fourth morning after the letter had been despatched, the famous Bombay made his appearance, followed in decent order and due rank by the "Faithfuls" of "Speke." I looked in vain for the "woodeny head" and "alligator teeth" with which his former master had endowed him. I saw a slender short man of fifty or thereabouts, with a grizzled head, an uncommonly high, narrow forehead, with a very large mouth, showing teeth very irregular, and wide apart. An ugly rent in the upper front row of Bombay's teeth was made with the clenched fist of Capt. Speke in Uganda when his master's patience was worn out, and prompt punishment became necessary. That Capt. Speke had spoiled him with kindness was evident, from the fact that Bombay had the audacity to stand up for a boxing-match with him. But these things I only found out, when, months afterwards, I was called upon to administer punishment to him myself. But, at his first appearance, I was favourably impressed with Bombay, though his face was rugged, his mouth large, his eyes small, and his nose flat.
"Salaam aliekum," were the words he greeted me with. "Aliekum salaam," I replied, with all the gravity I could muster. I then informed him I required him as captain of my soldiers to Ujiji. His reply was that he was ready to do whatever I told him, go wherever I liked in short, be a pattern to servants, and a model to soldiers. He hoped I would give him a uniform, and a good gun, both of which were promised.
Upon inquiring for the rest of the "Faithfuls" who accompanied Speke into Egypt, I was told that at Zanzibar there were but six. Ferrajji, Maktub, Sadik, Sunguru, Manyu, Matajari, Mkata, and Almas, were dead; Uledi and Mtamani were in Unyanyembe; Hassan had gone to Kilwa, and Ferahan was supposed to be in Ujiji.
Out of the six "Faithfuls," each of whom still retained his medal for assisting in the "Discovery of the Sources of the Nile," one, poor Mabruki, had met with a sad misfortune, which I feared would incapacitate him from active usefulness.
Mabruki the "Bull-headed," owned a shamba (or a house with a garden attached to it), of which he was very proud. Close to him lived a neighbour in similar circumstances, who was a soldier of Seyd Majid, with whom Mabruki, who was of a quarrelsome disposition, had a feud, which culminated in the soldier inducing two or three of his comrades to assist him in punishing the malevolent Mabruki, and this was done in a manner that only the heart of an African could conceive. They tied the unfortunate fellow by his wrists to a branch of a tree, and after indulging their brutal appetite for revenge in torturing him, left him to hang in that position for two days. At the expiration of the second day, he was accidentally discovered in a most pitiable condition. His hands had swollen to an immense size, and the veins of one hand having been ruptured, he had lost its use. It is needless to say that, when the affair came to Seyd Majid's ears, the miscreants were severely punished. Dr. Kirk, who attended the poor fellow, succeeded in restoring one hand to something of a resemblance of its former shape, but the other hand is sadly marred, and its former usefulness gone for ever.
However, I engaged Mabruki, despite his deformed hands, his ugliness and vanity, because he was one of Speke's "Faithfuls." For if he but wagged his tongue in my service, kept his eyes open, and opened his mouth at the proper time, I assured myself I could make him useful.
Bombay, my captain of escort, succeeded in getting eighteen more free men to volunteer as "askari" (soldiers), men whom he knew would not desert, and for whom he declared himself responsible. They were an exceedingly fine-looking body of men, far more intelligent in appearance than I could ever have believed African barbarians could be. They hailed principally from Uhiyow, others from Unyamwezi, some came from Useguhha and Ugindo.
Their wages were set down at $36 each man per annum, or $3 each per month. Each soldier was provided with a flintlock musket, powder horn, bullet-pouch, knife, and hatchet, besides enough powder and ball for 200 rounds.
Bombay, in consideration of his rank, and previous faithful services to Burton, Speke and Grant, was engaged at $80 a year, half that sum in advance, a good muzzle-loading rifle, besides, a pistol, knife, and hatchet were given to him, while the other five "Faithfuls," Ambari, Mabruki, Ulimengo, Baruti, and Uledi, were engaged at $40 a year, with proper equipments as soldiers.
Having studied fairly well all the East African travellers' books regarding Eastern and Central Africa, my mind had conceived the difficulties which would present themselves during the prosecution of my search after Dr. Livingstone.
To obviate all of these, as well as human wit could suggest, was my constant thought and aim.
"Shall I permit myself, while looking from Ujiji over the waters of the Tanganika Lake to the other side, to be balked on the threshold of success by the insolence of a King Kannena or the caprice of a Hamed bin Sulayyam?" was a question I asked myself. To guard against such a contingency I determined to carry my own boats. "Then," I thought, "if I hear of Livingstone being on the Tanganika, I can launch my boat and proceed after him."
I procured one large boat, capable of carrying twenty persons, with stores and goods sufficient for a cruise, from the American Consul, for the sum of $80, and a smaller one from another American gentleman for $40. The latter would hold comfortably six men, with suitable stores.
I did not intend to carry the boats whole or bodily, but to strip them of their boards, and carry the timbers and thwarts only. As a substitute for the boards, I proposed to cover each boat with a double canvas skin well tarred. The work of stripping them and taking them to pieces fell to me. This little job occupied me five days.
I also packed them up, for the pagazis. Each load was carefully weighed, and none exceeded 68 lbs. in weight. John Shaw excelled himself in the workmanship displayed on the canvas boats; when finished, they fitted their frames admirably. The canvas--six bolts of English hemp, No. 3--was procured from Ludha Damji, who furnished it from the Sultan's storeroom.
An insuperable obstacle to rapid transit in Africa is the want of carriers, and as speed was the main object of the Expedition under my command, my duty was to lessen this difficulty as much as possible. My carriers could only be engaged after arriving at Bagamoyo, on the mainland. I had over twenty good donkeys ready, and I thought a cart adapted for the footpaths of Africa might prove an advantage. Accordingly I had a cart constructed, eighteen inches wide and five feet long, supplied with two fore-wheels of a light American wagon, more for the purpose of conveying the narrow ammunition-boxes. I estimated that if a donkey could carry to Unyanyembe a load of four frasilahs, or 140 lbs., he ought to be able to draw eight frasilahs on such a cart, which would be equal to the carrying capacity of four stout pagazis or carriers. Events will prove, how my theories were borne out by practice.
When my purchases were completed, and I beheld them piled up, tier after tier, row upon row, here a mass of cooking-utensils, there bundles of rope, tents, saddles, a pile of portmanteaus and boxes, containing every imaginable thing, I confess I was rather abashed at my own temerity. Here were at least six tons of material! "How will it ever be possible," I thought, "to move all this inert mass across the wilderness stretching between the sea, and the great lakes of Africa? Bah, cast all doubts away, man, and have at them! `Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof,' without borrowing from the morrow."
The traveller must needs make his way into the African interior after a fashion very different from that to which he has been accustomed in other countries. He requires to take with him just what a ship must have when about to sail on a long voyage. He must have his slop chest, his little store of canned dainties, and his medicines, besides which, he must have enough guns, powder, and ball to be able to make a series of good fights if necessary. He must have men to convey these miscellaneous articles; and as a man's maximum load does not exceed 70 lbs., to convey 11,000 lbs. requires nearly 160 men.
Europe and the Orient, even Arabia and Turkestan, have royal ways of travelling compared to Africa. Specie is received in all those countries, by which a traveller may carry his means about with him on his own person. Eastern and Central Africa, however, demand a necklace, instead of a cent; two yards of American sheeting, instead of half a dollar, or a florin, and a kitindi of thick brass-wire, in place of a gold piece.
The African traveller can hire neither wagons nor camels, neither horses nor mules, to proceed with him into the interior. His means of conveyance are limited to black and naked men, who demand at least $15 a head for every 70 lbs. weight carried only as far as Unyanyembe.
One thing amongst others my predecessors omitted to inform men bound for Africa, which is of importance, and that is, that no traveller should ever think of coming to Zanzibar with his money in any other shape than gold coin. Letters of credit, circular notes, and such civilized things I have found to be a century ahead of Zanzibar people.
Twenty and twenty-five cents deducted out of every dollar I drew on paper is one of the unpleasant, if not unpleasantest things I have committed to lasting memory. For Zanzibar is a spot far removed from all avenues of European commerce, and coin is at a high premium. A man may talk and entreat, but though he may have drafts, cheques, circular notes, letters of credit, a carte blanche to get what he wants, out of every dollar must, be deducted twenty, twenty-five and thirty cents, so I was told, and so was my experience. What a pity there is no branch-bank here!
I had intended to have gone into Africa incognito. But the fact that a white man, even an American, was about to enter Africa was soon known all over Zanzibar. This fact was repeated a thousand times in the streets, proclaimed in all shop alcoves, and at the custom-house. The native bazaar laid hold of it, and agitated it day and night until my departure. The foreigners, including the Europeans, wished to know the pros and cons of my coming in and going out.
My answer to all questions, pertinent and impertinent, was, I am going to Africa. Though my card bore the words
________________________________________ | | | HENRY M. STANLEY. | | | | | | New York Herald. | |________________________________________|
very few, I believe, ever coupled the words `New York Herald' with a search after "Doctor Livingstone." It was not my fault, was it?
Ah, me! what hard work it is to start an expedition alone! What with hurrying through the baking heat of the fierce relentless sun from shop to shop, strengthening myself with far-reaching and enduring patience far the haggling contest with the livid-faced Hindi, summoning courage and wit to brow-beat the villainous Goanese, and match the foxy Banyan, talking volumes throughout the day, correcting estimates, making up accounts, superintending the delivery of purchased articles, measuring and weighing them, to see that everything was of full measure and weight, overseeing the white men Farquhar and Shaw, who were busy on donkey saddles, sails, tents, and boats for the Expedition, I felt, when the day was over, as though limbs and brain well deserved their rest. Such labours were mine unremittingly for a month.
Having bartered drafts on Mr. James Gordon Bennett to the amount of several thousand dollars for cloth, beads, wire, donkeys, and a thousand necessaries, having advanced pay to the white men, and black escort of the Expedition, having fretted Capt. Webb and his family more than enough with the din of preparation, and filled his house with my goods, there was nothing further to do but to leave my formal adieus with the Europeans, and thank the Sultan and those gentlemen who had assisted me, before embarking for Bagamoyo.
The day before my departure from Zanzibar the American Consul, having just habited himself in his black coat, and taking with him an extra black hat, in order to be in state apparel, proceeded with me to the Sultan's palace. The prince had been generous to me; he had presented me with an Arab horse, had furnished me with letters of introduction to his agents, his chief men, and representatives in the interior, and in many other ways had shown himself well disposed towards me.
The palace is a large, roomy, lofty, square house close to the fort, built of coral, and plastered thickly with lime mortar. In appearance it is half Arabic and half Italian. The shutters are Venetian blinds painted a vivid green, and presenting a striking contrast to the whitewashed walls. Before the great, lofty, wide door were ranged in two crescents several Baluch and Persian mercenaries, armed with curved swords and targes of rhinoceros hide. Their dress consisted of a muddy-white cotton shirt, reaching to the ancles, girdled with a leather belt thickly studded with silver bosses.
As we came in sight a signal was passed to some person inside the entrance. When within twenty yards of the door, the Sultan, who was standing waiting, came down the steps, and, passing through the ranks, advanced toward us, with his right hand stretched out, and a genial smile of welcome on his face. On our side we raised our hats, and shook hands with him, after which, doing according as he bade us, we passed forward, and arrived on the highest step near the entrance door. He pointed forward; we bowed and arrived at the foot of an unpainted and narrow staircase to turn once more to the Sultan. The Consul, I perceived, was ascending sideways, a mode of progression which I saw was intended for a compromise with decency and dignity. At the top of the stairs we waited, with our faces towards the up-coming Prince. Again we were waved magnanimously forward, for before us was the reception-hall and throne-room. I noticed, as I marched forward to the furthest end, that the room was high, and painted in the Arabic style, that the carpet was thick and of Persian fabric, that the furniture consisted of a dozen gilt chairs and a chandelier,
We were seated; Ludha Damji, the Banyan collector of customs, a venerable-looking old man, with a shrewd intelligent face, sat on the right of the Sultan; next to him was the great Mohammedan merchant Tarya Topan who had come to be present at the interview, not only because he was one of the councillors of His Highness, but because he also took a lively interest in this American Expedition. Opposite to Ludha sat Capt. Webb, and next to him I was seated, opposite Tarya Topan. The Sultan sat in a gilt chair between the Americans and the councillors. Johari the dragoman stood humbly before the Sultan, expectant and ready to interpret what we had to communicate to the Prince.