circle it would not be difficult to select men with
whom faith and flesh-pots are synonymous terms.
The foregoing somewhat desultory description of
the system of government and the division of classes
has, I trust, been sufficient to show how greatly in
Uganda the peace and prosperity of the country, and
the welfare of the people, depend upon the individual
character of the sovereign himself, and it is now
necessary to devote a few pages to a description of
Mwanga, son of Mtesa, King, or as the natives say,
Kabaka, of this little corner of Central Africa which
has unconsciously made such a stir in the great
At Kampala â Visit to King Mwangaâ Arrangements for a division of
territories between the Protestant and Catholic Missionsâ The
slave question â The queen-mother â From Kampala to the Ntebe
Hills â Kaima's case â Illness of Captain Portal.
With the concluding words of the last chapter the
written narrative is at an end. It was the intention
of the author to have devoted the following chapters
to a description of the court, the manners, and the
resources of Uganda,â showing how it had passed from
a condition scarcely rivalled by the horrible records of
Dahomey to the promise of a rapid development under
the guiding hand of the white man, only to relapse
into an anarchy almost as disastrous through the poli-
tical animosities which have found their opportunity
and pretext in the antagonistic zeal of rival religious
denominations. The concluding chapters were to
have dealt with the homeward journey of the author
and of Colonel Rhodes by the river Tana, passing in
great measure through regions hitherto unvisited by
The history of Uganda as he would have told it
cannot be recorded here; such material as he had
gathered has already been utilised in drawing up the
2o6 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
Report laid before Her Majesty's Government as the
result of the mission entrusted to him. What has
there been left untold must now be entrusted to other
hands, and the sequel to the first eight chapters can
only be found in the pages of the Blue-Book. 1 There
remain, however, ample notes in a Diary kept from
day to day with much neatness and care, from which
may be gleaned the story of the homeward journey,
and there are a few entries made during the months
passed in the country itself, together with letters
to friends and relations, which are valuable in sup-
plementing information, but perhaps still more so in
portraying the character of the writer himself. I
propose, therefore, to include here such passages from
the Diary as may fairly be made public, together with
extracts from such letters as have come into my hands
in their chronological order. Such a Diary possesses
a special interest which a finished work might lack, in
showing how days are filled up, and in revealing many
of the details of life in savage countries. At the
same time, it must be remembered that the events
which are jotted down represent but a small portion
of the activity of every day, and convey an inadequate
impression of the immense quantity of work accom-
plished in a few weeks. It is easy in reading
to pass over the infinite labour involved and the
patience expended in such pioneer work as the
establishment of the new headquarters, the trans-
planting of the colonies of Soudanese troops, and the
slow conversion by drill and discipline of these half-
1 Parliamentary Papers, Africa, No. 2. 1S'J4.
THE COMMISSIONER'S DIARY 207
savages into orderly and useful co-operators. Through-
out the whole period covered in the present chapter
the Commissioner was also engaged in collecting the
information as to the country and its resources which
he has placed on record in his Keport, in studying a
scheme for the pacification of the rival factions, in
devising a temporary administration providing for
future eventualities, and in working out the details of
financial requirements, â no small labour with so multi-
form and singular a currency as that which Central
Africa makes use of, the cost of which, moreover,
depends upon the number of miles which it has been
transported from the coast.
With regard to this Diary and the letters, I would
claim that they should be read with the reserve and
indulgence due to words written as purely personal
memoranda or solely for the eyes of intimates.
After mature consideration of their contents, I have
come to the conclusion that little would be gained by
giving publicity to any extracts either from the Diary
or from private correspondence written previously to
the Commissioner's arrival at Kampala, although the
latter is far ampler during the early months of the
Expedition. The foregoing chapters are so full, and
deal so completely with every incident of the march,
that such extracts would only read like repetitions
of what has already been better told before. We
will therefore take up the Diary at the point where
the narrative breaks off: â â
Friday, 17 th March. â Started 6. lioad cut very broad
unnecessary waste of much labour ; but only heads and
2o3 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
blades of grass cleared, roots left ; road Avill be choked
immediately after rain. Crowds of people at various spots :
messengers kept on arriving with messages of welcome from
Halted S. Then rode Katikiro's pony, a screaming beast.
Half a mile from town, met Kaymond and Bishop Tucker, who
had walked out. Great crowds near town. C.M.S. church at
Namirembe conspicuous on the left front. Kampala ahead and
Arrived Kampala about 9. Smith in charge. 1 Fort very
much smaller than I expected, and crowded on E. and S.E. sides
by Soudanese huts. Two rooms for self and one for Berkeley
in mud house. One for Rhodes in another. Saw many chiefs,
R.C. missionaries, and C.M.S.
18/A March. â Got up 6.30. Prepared for king's baraza. 2
Officers all turned out in extraordinary kits, red coats, breeches,
big boots, swords, etc., but heavy rain all morning, so sent to
put off baraza till Monday, after waiting for two hours.
At 12, Macdonald and Wolf arrived from Buddu. 3 W. ill
with lumbago. Report plague in Buddu : symptoms, swellings
in glands under arms and in throat, â death in four days ; also
great suffering there from jiggers. Jiggers very prevalent also
here, attack toes and feet chiefly, cause great irritation, have to
be cut out. Fleas innumerable ; few mosquitoes. Company's
influence here seems very small. The Fort of Kampala in
badly-chosen place, commanded by all surrounding hills. Smith
against drilling or organising Waganda ; probably right.
Visited Bishop Tucker : very fine, well-built church : holds
5000 people. All roof put on in one day. Mission houses
very nice, of reeds, far superior to mud houses in Fort.
19 th March, Sunday. â Long talk with Macdonald on
situation. Mwanga sent to offer to come this afternoon ; told
him No, â must go to church. Went to church at 4.30 with
1 Major Eric Smith, 1st Life Guards, then acting in the I.B.E.A. Com-
2 Baraza, general East African term for parliament, solemn reception,
durbar, etc., originally the verandah or shed where such meetings are held.
3 Captain Macdonald, R.E., in command of the Railway Survey Expedition.
Herr Eugen Wolf, whose letters on Uganda have appeared in the Berliner
VISITING THE KING
all members of Commission : none of Fort people. Writing
Road Report. 1
20th March. â Went to visit Mwanga 9 A.M. Staff in red,
white, and all colours. Macdonald in full dress. Self in
Zanzibar officer's sword and sash and Macdonald's plume.
Escort of fifty Soudanese in front, then flag, then selves, then
fifty Zanzibaris in rear. Through many courts enclosed by neat
cane palisades to Mwanga's baraza. About fifty chiefs there.
Mwanga on velvet chair given by Company, and carpet before
BISHOP TUCKER OUTSIDE HIS CHURCH AT NAMIREMBE.
him. Very grave offence for any one to tread on carpet.
Bishop Tucker and English missionaries there, but not French :
had not told missionaries. Mwanga's not a bad face, but
weak ; all chiefs talked as they liked â no discipline. He had a
foolish habit of clasping the hands of any chief near him when-
ever a remark was made that pleased him. He is evidently
At 4 Mwanga came to call on me. Gave him tea and some
presents. He asked for a khakee coat, also that I would kick
out Mtanda, and put his brother on Busoga throne.
Dined with Bishop. Proposed scheme of paper currency.
1 See Africa, No. 2. 1894.
THE MISSION TO UGANDA
2lst March. â Further discussion with Smith about Tom
Soudanese. He is against putting them near Guaso Masa.
Smith declines Usoga command, only wants transport work, to
brine loads and caravans from coast.
GROUP AT KAMPALA ; 20TH MARCH.
Captain K. Portal. Lieutenant Arthur. Lieutenant Villiers. Dr. Moffat.
Major Owen. Captain Macdonald. Sir Gerald Portal. Mr. Berkeley.
Went in the afternoon with Rhodes to visit the French mission-
aries at Rubaga. Splendid site, commanding king's hill and
Fort. It was offered to Lugard. Peres Gaudibert and Guille-
main there ; very agreeable men ; gave us an excellent glass of
Algerian wine. In the evening Mr. Gedge x arrived from Buddu.
He and Williams 2 had shot twenty-four Speke's antelopes.
1 Acting as correspondent to the Times.
'-' Captain, now Major Williams, R.A., in the I.B.E.A. Company's service,,
and in charge of Uganda after the departure of Captain Lugard.
22nd March. â Writing Road Report all morning. Garden
taken in hand and all available seeds sown, it had been terribly
neglected and allowed to go to waste. Williams arrived in the
THE KING S DRUMS.
There is a letter of this date from Captain Portal to
Lady Charlotte Portal, describing the Commissioner's
arrival in Uganda, with a short note from the Com-
missioner himself, which may perhaps be most appro-
priately inserted here.
Captain Portal to Lady Charlotte Portal
Kampala, 22nd March 1893.
My dear Mother â You may observe that our walk is at
an end, for the present. I think I wrote last about the 3rd
or before, and since then we have been wandering through a
country consisting entirely of banana groves, which took about
five days to get through â miles and miles of bananas, which of
course were brought in daily by the ton, for nothing.
On the 12th we crossed the Nile, and took all day over it.
214 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
Swarms of hippopotamus kicking about, of which I slew one.
The next day Gerry and I let them walk on, and spent a lazy
day at Eipon Falls, trying to catch some of the swarms of fish
which were jumping up the Falls like salmon. We did not get
any, however. The day after I went on alone with a dozen
porters, to get to Kampala before them, and I got in on the 16th.
It's a very civilised country compared to all the others we have
seen. Gangs of women making a great broad road, and bridging
the swamps, of which there are lots. The people are wonderfully
good-mannered and civil, and are very intelligent. Nearly all
speak a little Swakili, which is a blessing. It's damp and steamy
rather just now, as it rains every day for a bit, but it seems to
agree with e very bod y.
The rest of them got in the following day. Crowds of people
went out to meet them, all the chiefs, and there was great
Next day we all went to see the king, an ordinary-looking
person, who I believe doesn't count for very much. He returned
the visit in the afternoon, which meant that he came to get his
present. . . .
We are still living in tents at the Fort, as there is no room
inside, but when the Company's people go, on or about the 1st,
those of us who are here will get under cover. There are six
Europeans at the Fort besides our nine. I shall be left here
with two others, and some of the Company's people will stay on.
I am not sure where I shall go, probably to the E.C. district
about four days off. . . . â Your affectionate son,
M. P. P.
Sir Gerald Portal to Lady Charlotte Portal
Kampala, 23rd March 1893.
My dear Mother â We all arrived here well and strong on
the 17th, the very day I had selected before leaving the coast.
Since then I have not had a moment's breathing time â
interviews, writing, talking, and business of all sorts, from
6.30 a.m. till late at night, without a moment's respite.
I have only come to the conclusion so far that this is a far
more complicated, difficult, and disagreeable business than any
one anticipated. . . . â Your affectionate G. H. P.
STEPS TOWARDS REFORM 215
23rd March. â Decided to take over whole of Soudanese, both
those here and those in forts : estimated cost, Rupees 74,000 per
annum. Also to send Owen and Raymond to Toru to recruit
and organise men, and probably withdraw them from farther
forts. Instructed R. and Owen to learn as much as possible of
organisation of Soudanese here.
2ith March. â Instructed Arthur and Berkeley to go to Usoga
with ninety to a hundred Zanzibaris to take place of Soudanese
there going down with Williams. Berkeley to examine question
of succession to Wakoli, and decide whether to turn out Mtanda
and put up his brother in his place. Muxworthy writes mail
route interrupted, 1 probably by Wahehe or Wagogo.
Wolf better, says he is going (back to coast) by Usukuma.
25th March. â Gave Owen instructions about going to Toru and
selecting site for new post half-way. Told Foaker to go to Toru
to bring back the 1000 Soudanese â men, women, and children.
Wrote to Zschatsch 2 and offered him Rs. 200 per month till
31st December. Rhodes and Williams making joint estimate of
value of buildings.
26th March, Sunday. â Went with Smith, Macdonald, and
Berkeley to the king's landing-stage on Lake, 7h miles, pretty
good road. A pretty place, but low and unhealthy, with large
papyrus swamp alongside ; just opposite is the island of Balin-
gugwe, the same of Williams' fight. C.M.S. steel boat lying there,
and a small Berthon boat. Steel boat pretty good â two masts,
lug sails, and jib, small cabin for storage forward, and six oars
for calms. (1) Hire boat for Government for six months. Rhodes
and Widiams rode to another landing-place a mile farther up
creek, and report it good spot for settlement of Soudanese.
27th March. â Bishop says he is willing to agree and help in
partition of territory, and that arrangement would not have
broken down if he had remained here.
Sent for Mwanga, who came with Katikiro, and told them
object of my mission. They both said emphatically that if we
go war will begin next day, and both they and all Protestants
1 This refers to the mails regularly sent up by Messrs. Boustead, Ridley,
and Co., of Zanzibar, through the German sphere to the south of Lake Victoria.
2 A young German employe of the Company, referred to in Tart I. Chap.
VI., at "Wakoli's.
THE MISSION TO UGANDA
will come out with us : said late war was not one of religion, but
simply of ambition for power.
Promised to begin Toru road at once.
28th March. â Proposed to Owen independent command in
Usoga, but he said he preferred Toru business. Immense stocks
of ammunition in store. In our caravan no porters sick, but
many Zanzibar soldiers, whose physique appears to break down
after the journey even without loads.
APOLLO, KATIKIRO OF UGANDA.
29th March. â Messengers from Toru came in to Bishop, sent
on here, say people won't obey Kusagama 1 , and that K. wants
Christian teachers. This probably a plan to prejudice division
of spheres of influence.
Instructions to Owen about his mission issued also to
Told Katikiro to send boat for French Bishop : long
letter from latter.
Told king to send Usoga claimants back to Usoga.
30//j March. â After immense fuss and many countings of
1 The rightful native chief of Toru, driven out by Kabarega, and replaced
in power by Captain Lugard.
THE SOUDANESE TROOPS 219
loads and porters, Owen got off at 9.30 with 127 porters and 12
Soudanese : took Berthon boat. Armed all porters with carbines.
Rhodes and Williams busy about valuation and handing
over of all arms. Saw chiefs of Mohammedans ; told them
at once to make road to Torn. They complained of having too
Long talk with Wolf as to future of Uganda. He thinks
evacuation of Uganda would soon drive Germans back to coast.
They could not afford to hold Uganda, and Arabs and Moham-
medans would be so strengthened as to make tenure of Tanganyika
and Usukuma impossible.
31st March. â Gave Smith instructions for return caravan of
320 loads if Government approve his appointment. Wrote to
Rodd to support it, also that Smith is to organise whole trans-
port system and be Road Commandant.
1st April. â Smith and caravan left at 8, well organised,
every man knowing his load ; no confusion or bustle. He took
forty-four loads of ivory.
12 o'clock. â Hauled down Company's flag and hoisted
Union Jack. Guards of honour and royal salute. King sent
to me to ask for a flag like this ; told him he could not have it.
A letter of this date from Captain Portal describes
his departure with Major Owen on this mission to
engage the Soudanese troops referred to above.
Captain Portal to Lady Charlotte Portal
1st April 1803.
My DEAR Mother â . . . I can't remember when I wrote last,
but I think it was since we arrived at Kampala. I left there three
days ago with Owen, and Ave are on our way to Unyoro, which is
near the Albert Nyanza. We are going to some old forts they
have there, to destroy two of them, and remove the garrisons,
which consist of Soudanese troops, originally with Emin, who have
been there for years without pay or food or anything, and live
by raiding the surrounding country. They are believed to be
about 4500, of which only 450 are fighting men, and the
remainder women and slaves. We have Â°;ot to move half to
THE MISSION TO UGANDA
Kampala and half are to be left in other forts, but first we are
going to try and enlist the men, and put them on pay. I believe
they are a wild lot, and no wonder, and it will probably be a
hard job to move the mob to Kampala, also to feed the whole
lot, as they are not to raid in the future, and there isn't much
food in Unyoro, so what they are to eat I don't know.
This is a perfectly horrible bit of country, this part of
Uganda. The road is very bad, and every day there are about
four to six swamps to be crossed, some of them 400 yards long
and up to your chest. Nearly all my boxes have been dropped
by the porters in them by now, and as we have perpetual rain
into the bargain, it is hard to be dry for a single moment,
except perhaps for an hour or two in bed. It seems as if fever
ought to be a certainty, but I never felt better, and it is the
same with the others. These swamps are really all rivers,
blocked, I suppose, by either papyrus or forest, as there is always
one or the other. I can't make out how our cows and goats
and sheep manage them, but they always turn up somehow or
I think it is likely that in a month's time, after Ave have
settled the Soudanese, I shall go to look after Buddu, the pro-
vince where the Roman Catholics are, and make a station there.
I shall be glad if I do, for though it is much more pleasant to
be with one of our people, it is better to have a job of one's own
to do. If I do this I shall have to return to Kampala, probably
with another body of Soudanese, who are to be settled near
there, and there is just a chance I may see Gerald again before
he departs for the coast.
There has been no shooting up here yet, though just now we
are in an elephant country. I believe in three days we shall see
some game, however. No mail has arrived for us yet. Just
before I left Kampala the missionaries got one, with letters of
November, but nothing newer ; but as that looks as if the road
to the south end of the Lake was open now, some letters may
come up any day.
The Company's people were to leave Kampala yesterday.
We are taking on three of them up here, to look after the stores,
etc., and Macdonald, an engineer officer who has been surveying
for the railway, has been left in charge of Uganda. I think
THE FRENCH BISHOP
under the present regime they will be peaceful here, but there
will be nothing lasting about it. Now it's too dark to write,
and we are short of candles [and of everything else it seems to-
me], so good-bye. â Yours affectionate^, R. p.
2nd April, Easter Sunday. â Some of staff went to service.
Church full, estimated 1500 people there. Busy with Williams
taking over stores. Told Wolf he could have loan of a few
porters to Usukuma. Williams keen not to destroy clan system
3rd April. â Williams started 9 A.M., ordered destruction of
huts in Fort. Letter from Owen ; has selected site for half-way
post at Kibibi in Mohammedan country three and a half marches
from here. Deserter from Owen with rifle and ten rounds of
ammunition caught and put in guard-room.
ith April. â Parade of Zanzibaris and Soudanese troops at
9 A.M. Zanzibaris looked clean and did well, including the use-
SOUDANESE TROOPS AT KAMPALA â BAYONET DRILL.
less bayonet exercise. Soudanese have some fine men, but know
very little drill as yet ; in every sort of uniform. Hard rain in
middle of parade. Deserter from Owen given twenty-five lashes
with rope's end and one month in prison.
5th April. â French Bishop Monseigneur Hirth arrived, having
walked all night from Mtebe, where he landed at 10 P.M. He
seems a clever man, and a man of the world. (He is) bitter
against the Fort and officers, also against the king and Pro-
testants, but willing to be conciliatory. He eventually said he-
would be satisfied with Singo, Kaima, and Sesse, and the Katikiro,
THE MISSION TO UGANDA
and Magisi. He also demanded that king's sister should be
Gth April. â Bishop Tucker came and said Protestants were
signing a paper, undertaking not to give back runaAvay slaves
from Mohammedans, and not to claim themselves. Bishop
thought this an opening for stopping all slavery.
Went to Mwanga, 3 p.m. He asked anxiously about giving
up runaway slaves. I advised getting Protestant and Catholic
chiefs to agree about it, and to forbid all sale of slaves in
country. He asked that Usoga cases might be tried here. I
said Yes, for cases now actually here, but in future Usoga cases
were to go to Resident there, except land and small cases, which
are better judged by his baraza.
Went Rubaga and saw Mgr. Hirth. He agrees to meet
Tucker at my house to discuss division of territory. Tucker
also agrees; appointed meeting at 9.30 to-morrow.
The result of this meeting on the following day
was an arrangement for the division of territory
between the two religious denominations and the
distribution of offices, which has been already
recorded in the official papers. A letter from Sir
Gerald, dated 7th April, refers to this interview.
Sir Gerald Portal to Lady Charlotte Portal
Received 28th June 1893.
Kampala, 7th April 1893.
My dear Mother â I am, in fact we all are, growing rather
tired of being without any mails or news from civilisation. The
latest that any of us have seen was a paper of 24th December,
which caught us up at Kikuyu at the beginning of February.
It is made more trying by being a case of " hope deferred," as a
mail through German territory to the south end of the Lake
is long overdue, and we hear that the Arabs and others near
Taboss have been in insurrection against the Germans, and have
cut up one or two caravans from the coast which probably had
mails. To make matters worse, a steel boat, belonging to the
STORES AND PAYMENTS
East Africa Company, which I propose to buy for the Govern-
ment, was sent to the south end two months ago, and should
have been back here before my arrival. If she has come to
grief and got wrecked it will be rather serious for us, as she is
bringing cloth and stores, and the means of paying all our men
for the next six months, and it takes a long time to get fresh
BABY ELEPHANT, BROUGHT INTO THE FORT AT KAMPALA, BEING FED ON MILK
storesâ in fact, we cannot expect any before September. Every-
thing is paid for here in cloth, including the pay and money for
rations for all the men, so you may imagine that with a staff of
13 Europeans, about GOO soldiers, and 250 porters, the rolls of
cloth disappear somewhat rapidly. It is this system which