Henry M. Stanley.

How I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley online

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The second day of the arrival of the Expedition in the country which I
now looked upon as classic ground, since Capts. Burton, Speke, and Grant
years ago had visited it, and described it, came the Arab magnates from
Tabora to congratulate me.

Tabora* is the principal Arab settlement in Central Africa. It contains
over a thousand huts and tembes, and one may safely estimate the
population, Arabs, Wangwana, and natives, at five thousand people.
Between Tabora and the next settlement, Kwihara, rise two rugged hill
ridges, separated from each other by a low saddle, over the top of which
Tabora is always visible from Kwihara. ________________ * There is no
such recognised place as Kazeh. ________________

They were a fine, handsome body of men, these Arabs. They mostly hailed
from Oman: others were Wasawahili; and each of my visitors had quite a
retinue with him. At Tabora they live quite luxuriously. The plain on
which the settlement is situated is exceedingly fertile, though naked of
trees; the rich pasturage it furnishes permits them to keep large herds
of cattle and goats, from which they have an ample supply of milk,
cream, butter, and ghee. Rice is grown everywhere; sweet potatoes,
yams, muhogo, holcus sorghum, maize, or Indian corn, sesame, millet,
field-peas, or vetches, called choroko, are cheap, and always
procurable. Around their tembes the Arabs cultivate a little wheat for
their own purposes, and have planted orange, lemon, papaw, and mangoes,
which thrive here fairly well. Onions and garlic, chilies, cucumbers,
tomatoes, and brinjalls, may be procured by the white visitor from the
more important Arabs, who are undoubted epicureans in their way. Their
slaves convey to them from the coast, once a year at least, their stores
of tea, coffee sugar, spices, jellies, curries, wine, brandy, biscuits,
sardines, salmon, and such fine cloths and articles as they require for
their own personal use. Almost every Arab of any eminence is able to
show a wealth of Persian carpets, and most luxurious bedding, complete
tea and coffee-services, and magnificently carved dishes of tinned
copper and brass lavers. Several of them sport gold watches and
chains, mostly all a watch and chain of some kind. And, as in Persia,
Afghanistan, and Turkey, the harems form an essential feature of every
Arab's household; the sensualism of the Mohammedans is as prominent here
as in the Orient.

The Arabs who now stood before the front door of my tembe were the
donors of the good things received the day before. As in duty bound, of
course, I greeted Sheikh Sayd first, then Sheikh bin Nasib, his Highness
of Zanzibar's consul at Karagwa, then I greeted the noblest Trojan
amongst the Arab population, noblest in bearing, noblest in courage and
manly worth - Sheikh Khamis bin Abdullah; then young Amram bin Mussoud,
who is now making war on the king of Urori and his fractious people;
then handsome, courageous Soud, the son of Sayd bin Majid; then
dandified Thani bin Abdullah; then Mussoud bin Abdullah and his cousin
Abdullah bin Mussoud, who own the houses where formerly lived Burton
and Speke; then old Suliman Dowa, Sayd bin Sayf, and the old Hetman of
Tabora - Sheikh Sultan bin Ali.

As the visit of these magnates, under whose loving protection white
travellers must needs submit themselves, was only a formal one, such as
Arab etiquette, ever of the stateliest and truest, impelled them to, it
is unnecessary to relate the discourse on my health, and their wealth,
my thanks, and their professions of loyalty, and attachment to me. After
having expended our mutual stock of congratulations and nonsense, they
departed, having stated their wish that I should visit them at Tabora
and partake of a feast which they were about to prepare for me.

Three days afterwards I sallied out of my tembe, escorted by eighteen
bravely dressed men of my escort, to pay Tabora a visit. On surmounting
the saddle over which the road from the valley of Kwihara leads to
Tabora, the plain on which the Arab settlement is situated lay before
us, one expanse of dun pasture land, stretching from the base of the
hill on our left as far as the banks of the northern Gombe, which a few
miles beyond Tabora heave into purple-coloured hills and blue cones.

Within three-quarters of an hour we were seated on the mud veranda of
the tembe of Sultan bin Ali, who, because of his age, his wealth, and
position - being a colonel in Seyd Burghash's unlovely army - is looked
upon by his countrymen, high and low, as referee and counsellor. His
boma or enclosure contains quite a village of hive-shaped huts and
square tembes. From here, after being presented with a cup of Mocha
coffee, and some sherbet, we directed our steps towards Khamis bin
Abdullah's house, who had, in anticipation of my coming, prepared a
feast to which he had invited his friends and neighbours. The group of
stately Arabs in their long white dresses, and jaunty caps, also of a
snowy white, who stood ready to welcome me to Tabora, produced quite
an effect on my mind. I was in time for a council of war they were
holding - and I was requested to attend.

Khamis bin Abdullah, a bold and brave man, ever ready to stand up
for the privileges of the Arabs, and their rights to pass through any
countries for legitimate trade, is the man who, in Speke's 'Journal
of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile,' is reported to have shot
Maula, an old chief who sided with Manwa Sera during the wars of 1860;
and who subsequently, after chasing his relentless enemy for five years
through Ugogo and Unyamwezi as far as Ukonongo, had the satisfaction of
beheading him, was now urging the Arabs to assert their rights against a
chief called Mirambo of Uyoweh, in a crisis which was advancing.

This Mirambo of Uyoweh, it seems, had for the last few years been in
a state of chronic discontent with the policies of the neighbouring
chiefs. Formerly a pagazi for an Arab, he had now assumed regal power,
with the usual knack of unconscionable rascals who care not by what
means they step into power. When the chief of Uyoweh died, Mirambo,
who was head of a gang of robbers infesting the forests of Wilyankuru,
suddenly entered Uyoweh, and constituted himself lord paramount by
force. Some feats of enterprise, which he performed to the enrichment
of all those who recognised his authority, established him firmly in
his position. This was but a beginning; he carried war through Ugara to
Ukonongo, through Usagozi to the borders of Uvinza, and after destroying
the populations over three degrees of latitude, he conceived a grievance
against Mkasiwa, and against the Arabs, because they would not sustain
him in his ambitious projects against their ally and friend, with whom
they were living in peace.

The first outrage which this audacious man committed against the Arabs
was the halting of an Ujiji-bound caravan, and the demand for five kegs
of gunpowder, five guns, and five bales of cloth. This extraordinary
demand, after expending more than a day in fierce controversy, was
paid; but the Arabs, if they were surprised at the exorbitant black-mail
demanded of them, were more than ever surprised when they were told to
return the way they came; and that no Arab caravan should pass through
his country to Ujiji except over his dead body.

On the return of the unfortunate Arabs to Unyanyembe, they reported the
facts to Sheikh Sayd bin Salim, the governor of the Arab colony. This
old man, being averse to war, of course tried every means to induce
Mirambo as of old to be satisfied with presents; but Mirambo this time
was obdurate, and sternly determined on war unless the Arabs aided him
in the warfare he was about to wage against old Mkasiwa, sultan of the
Wanyamwezi of Unyanyembe.

"This is the status of affairs," said Khamis bin Abdullah. "Mirambo
says that for years he has been engaged in war against the neighbouring
Washensi and has come out of it victorious; he says this is a great year
with him; that he is going to fight the Arabs, and the Wanyamwezi of
Unyanyembe, and that he shall not stop until every Arab is driven from
Unyanyembe, and he rules over this country in place of Mkasiwa. Children
of Oman, shall it be so? Speak, Salim, son of Sayf, shall we go to meet
this Mshensi (pagan) or shall we return to our island?"

A murmur of approbation followed the speech of Khamis bin Abdullah, the
majority of those present being young men eager to punish the audacious
Mirambo. Salim, the son of Sayf, an old patriarch, slow of speech, tried
to appease the passions of the young men, scions of the aristocracy of
Muscat and Muttrah, and Bedaweens of the Desert, but Khamis's bold words
had made too deep an impression on their minds.

Soud, the handsome Arab whom I have noticed already as the son of Sayd
the son of Majid, spoke: "My father used to tell me that he remembered
the days when the Arabs could go through the country from Bagamoyo to
Ujiji, and from Kilwa to Lunda, and from Usenga to Uganda armed with
canes. Those days are gone by. We have stood the insolence of the Wagogo
long enough. Swaruru of Usui just takes from us whatever he wants; and
now, here is Mirambo, who says, after taking more than five bales of
cloth as tribute from one man, that no Arab caravan shall go to Ujiji,
but over his body. Are we prepared to give up the ivory of Ujiji, of
Urundi, of Karagwah, of Uganda, because of this one man? I say war - war
until we have got his beard under our feet - war until the whole of
Uyoweh and Wilyankuru is destroyed - war until we can again travel
through any part of the country with only our walking canes in our

The universal assent that followed Send's speech proved beyond a doubt
that we were about to have a war. I thought of Livingstone. What if he
were marching to Unyanyembe directly into the war country?

Having found from the Arabs that they intended to finish the war
quickly - at most within fifteen days, as Uyoweh was only four marches
distant - I volunteered to accompany them, take my loaded caravan with me
as far as Mfuto, and there leave it in charge of a few guards, and with
the rest march on with the Arab army. And my hope was, that it might
be possible, after the defeat of Mirambo, and his forest banditti - the
Ruga-Ruga - to take my Expedition direct to Ujiji by the road now closed.
The Arabs were sanguine of victory, and I partook of their enthusiasm.

The council of war broke up. A great dishful of rice and curry, in
which almonds, citron, raisins, and currants were plentifully mixed, was
brought in, and it was wonderful how soon we forgot our warlike fervor
after our attention had been drawn to this royal dish. I, of course,
not being a Mohammedan, had a dish of my own, of a similar composition,
strengthened by platters containing roast chicken, and kabobs, crullers,
cakes, sweetbread, fruit, glasses of sherbet and lemonade, dishes
of gum-drops and Muscat sweetmeats, dry raisins, prunes, and nuts.
Certainly Khamis bin Abdullah proved to me that if he had a warlike soul
in him, he could also attend to the cultivated tastes acquired under the
shade of the mangoes on his father's estates in Zanzibar - the island.

After gorging ourselves on these uncommon dainties some of the chief
Arabs escorted me to other tembes of Tabora. When we went to visit
Mussoud bin Abdullah, he showed me the very ground where Burton and
Speke's house stood - now pulled down and replaced by his office - Sny
bin Amer's house was also torn down, and the fashionable tembe of
Unyanyembe, now in vogue, built over it, - finely-carved rafters - huge
carved doors, brass knockers, and lofty airy rooms - a house built for
defence and comfort.

The finest house in Unyanyembe belongs to Amram bin Mussoud, who paid
sixty frasilah of ivory - over $3,000 - for it. Very fair houses can be
purchased for from twenty to thirty frasilah of ivory. Amram's house is
called the "Two Seas" - "Baherein." It is one hundred feet in length, and
twenty feet high, with walls four feet thick, neatly plastered over with
mud mortar. The great door is a marvel of carving-work for Unyanyembe
artisans. Each rafter within is also carved with fine designs. Before
the front of the house is a young plantation of pomegranate trees, which
flourish here as if they were indigenous to the soil. A shadoof, such as
may be seen on the Nile, serves to draw water to irrigate the gardens.

Towards evening we walked back to our own finely situated tembe in
Kwihara, well satisfied with what we had seen at Tabora. My men drove a
couple of oxen, and carried three sacks of native rice - a most superior
kind - the day's presents of hospitality from Khamis bin Abdullah.

In Unyanyembe I found the Livingstone caravan, which started off in a
fright from Bagamoyo upon the rumour that the English Consul was coming.
As all the caravans were now halted at Unyanyembe because of the now
approaching war, I suggested to Sayd bin Salim, that it were better that
the men of the Livingstone caravan should live with mine in my tembe,
that I might watch over the white man's goods. Sayd bin Salim agreed
with me, and the men and goods were at once brought to my tembe.

One day Asmani, who was now chief of Livingstone's caravan, the other
having died of small-pox, two or three days before, brought out a tent
to the veranda where, I was sitting writing, and shewed me a packet of
letters, which to my surprise was marked:

"To Dr. Livingstone,


"November 1st, 1870.

"Registered letters."

From November 1st, 1870, to February 10, 1871, just one hundred days,
at Bagamoyo! A miserable small caravan of thirty-three men halting one
hundred days at Bagamoyo, only twenty-five miles by water from Zanzibar!
Poor Livingstone! Who knows but he maybe suffering for want of these
very supplies that were detained so long near the sea. The caravan
arrived in Unyanyembe some time about the middle of May. About the
latter part of May the first disturbances took place. Had this caravan
arrived here in the middle of March, or even the middle of April, they
might have travelled on to Ujiji without trouble.

On the 7th of July, about 2 P.M., I was sitting on the burzani as usual;
I felt listless and languid, and a drowsiness came over me; I did not
fall asleep, but the power of my limbs seemed to fail me. Yet the brain
was busy; all my life seemed passing in review before me; when these
retrospective scenes became serious, I looked serious; when they were
sorrowful, I wept hysterically; when they were joyous, I laughed loudly.
Reminiscences of yet a young life's battles and hard struggles came
surging into the mind in quick succession: events of boyhood, of youth,
and manhood; perils, travels, scenes, joys, and sorrows; loves and
hates; friendships and indifferences. My mind followed the various and
rapid transition of my life's passages; it drew the lengthy, erratic,
sinuous lines of travel my footsteps had passed over. If I had drawn
them on the sandy floor, what enigmatical problems they had been to
those around me, and what plain, readable, intelligent histories they
had been to me!

The loveliest feature of all to me was the form of a noble, and
true man, who called me son. Of my life in the great pine forests of
Arkansas, and in Missouri, I retained the most vivid impressions. The
dreaming days I passed under the sighing pines on the Ouachita's shores;
the new clearing, the block-house, our faithful black servant, the
forest deer, and the exuberant life I led, were all well remembered. And
I remembered how one day, after we had come to live near the Mississipi,
I floated down, down, hundreds of miles, with a wild fraternity of
knurly giants, the boatmen of the Mississipi, and how a dear old man
welcomed me back, as if from the grave. I remembered also my travels on
foot through sunny Spain, and France, with numberless adventures in Asia
Minor, among Kurdish nomads. I remembered the battle-fields of America
and the stormy scenes of rampant war. I remembered gold mines, and broad
prairies, Indian councils, and much experience in the new western
lands. I remembered the shock it gave me to hear after my return from a
barbarous country of the calamity that had overtaken the fond man whom
I called father, and the hot fitful life that followed it. Stop!

Dear me; is it the 21st of July? Yes, Shaw informed me that it was the
21st of July after I recovered from my terrible attack of fever; the
true date was the 14th of July, but I was not aware that I had jumped a
week, until I met Dr. Livingstone. We two together examined the Nautical
Almanack, which I brought with me. We found that the Doctor was three
weeks out of his reckoning, and to my great surprise I was also one week
out, or one week ahead of the actual date. The mistake was made by
my being informed that I had been two weeks sick, and as the day I
recovered my senses was Friday, and Shaw and the people were morally
sure that I was in bed two weeks, I dated it on my Diary the 21st of
July. However, on the tenth day after the first of my illness, I was in
excellent trim again, only, however, to see and attend to Shaw, who was
in turn taken sick. By the 22nd July Shaw was recovered, then Selim was
prostrated, and groaned in his delirium for four days, but by the 28th
we were all recovered, and were beginning to brighten up at the prospect
of a diversion in the shape of a march upon Mirambo's stronghold.

The morning of the 29th I had fifty men loaded with bales, beads, and
wire, for Ujiji. When they were mustered for the march outside the
tembe, the only man absent was Bombay. While men were sent to search
for him, others departed to get one more look, and one more embrace with
their black Delilahs. Bombay was found some time about 2 P.M., his
face faithfully depicting the contending passions under which he was
labouring - sorrow at parting from the fleshpots of Unyanyembe - regret at
parting from his Dulcinea of Tabora - to be, bereft of all enjoyment now,
nothing but marches - hard, long marches - to go to the war - to be killed,
perhaps, Oh! Inspired by such feelings, no wonder Bombay was inclined to
be pugnacious when I ordered him to his place, and I was in a shocking
bad temper for having been kept waiting from 8 A.M. to 2 P.M. for him.
There was simply a word and a savage look, and my cane was flying around
Bombay's shoulders, as if he were to be annihilated. I fancy that the
eager fury of my onslaught broke his stubbornness more than anything
else; for before I had struck him a dozen times he was crying for
"pardon." At that word I ceased belaboring him, for this was the first
time he had ever uttered that word. Bombay was conquered at last.

"March!" and the guide led off, followed in solemn order by forty-nine
of his fellows, every man carrying a heavy load of African moneys,
besides his gun, hatchet, and stock of ammunition, and his ugali-pot. We
presented quite an imposing sight while thus marching on in silence
and order, with our flags flying, and the red blanket robes of the men
streaming behind them as the furious north-easter blew right on our

The men seemed to feel they were worth seeing, for I noticed that
several assumed a more martial tread as they felt their royal Joho cloth
tugging at their necks, as it was swept streaming behind by the wind.
Maganga, a tall Mnyamwezi, stalked along like a very Goliah about to
give battle alone, to Mirambo and his thousand warriors. Frisky Khamisi
paced on under his load, imitating a lion and there was the rude
jester - the incorrigible Ulimengo - with a stealthy pace like a cat. But
their silence could not last long. Their vanity was so much gratified,
the red cloaks danced so incessantly before their eyes, that it would
have been a wonder if they could have maintained such serious gravity or
discontent one half hour longer.

Ulimengo was the first who broke it. He had constituted himself the
kirangozi or guide, and was the standard-bearer, bearing the American
flag, which the men thought would certainly strike terror into the
hearts of the enemy. Growing confident first, then valorous, then
exultant, he suddenly faced the army he was leading, and shouted

"Hoy! Hoy!
Chorus. - Hoy! Hoy!

Hoy! Hoy!
Chorus. - Hoy! Hoy!

Hoy! Hoy!
Chorus. - Hoy! Hoy!

Where are ye going?
Chorus. - Going to war.

Against whom?
Chorus. - Against Mirambo.

Who is your master?
Chorus. - The White Man.

Ough! Ough!
Chorus. - Ough! Ough!

Hyah! Hyah!
Chorus. - Hyah. Hyah!"

This was the ridiculous song they kept up all day without intermission.

We camped the first day at Bomboma's village, situated a mile to the
south-west of the natural hill fortress of Zimbili. Bombay was quite
recovered from his thrashing, and had banished the sullen thoughts that
had aroused my ire, and the men having behaved themselves so well, a
five-gallon pot of pombe was brought to further nourish the valour,
which they one and all thought they possessed.

The second day we arrived at Masangi. I was visited soon afterwards by
Soud, the son of Sayd bin Majid, who told me the Arabs were waiting for
me; that they would not march from Mfuto until I had arrived.

Eastern Mfuto, after a six hours' march, was reached on the third day
from Unyanyembe. Shaw gave in, laid down in the road, and declared he
was dying. This news was brought to me about 4 P.M. by one of the last
stragglers. I was bound to despatch men to carry him to me, into my
camp, though every man was well tired after the long march. A reward
stimulated half-a-dozen to venture into the forest just at dusk to find
Shaw, who was supposed to be at least three hours away from camp.

About two o'clock in the morning my men returned, having carried Shaw on
their backs the entire distance. I was roused up, and had him conveyed
to my tent. I examined him, and I assured myself he was not suffering
from fever of any kind; and in reply to my inquiries as to how he
felt, he said he could neither walk nor ride, that he felt such extreme
weakness and lassitude that he was incapable of moving further. After
administering a glass of port wine to him in a bowlful of sago gruel, we
both fell asleep.

We arrived early the following morning at Mfuto, the rendezvous of the
Arab army. A halt was ordered the next day, in order to make ourselves
strong by eating the beeves, which we freely slaughtered.

The personnel of our army was as follows:

Sheikh Sayd bin Salim...... 25 half caste

" Khamis bin Abdullah.... 250 slaves

" Thani bin Abdullah.... 80 "

" Mussoud bin Abdullah.... 75 "

" Abdullah bin Mussoud.... 80 "

" Ali bin Sayd bin Nasib... 250 "

" Nasir bin Mussoud..... 50 "

" Hamed Kimiami...... 70 "

" Hamdam........ 30 "

" Sayd bin Habib...... 50 "

" Salim bin Sayf..... 100 "

" Sunguru........ 25 "

" Sarboko........ 25 "

" Soud bin Sayd bin Majid... 50 "

" Mohammed bin Mussoud.... 30 "

" Sayd bin Hamed...... 90 "

" The 'Herald' Expedition... 50 soldiers

" Mkasiwa's Wanyamwezi... 800 "

" Half-castes and Wangwana.. 125 "

" Independent chiefs and their
followers....... 300 "

These made a total of 2,255, according to numbers given me by Thani bin
Abdullah, and corroborated by a Baluch in the pay of Sheikh bin Nasib.
Of these men 1,500 were armed with guns - flint-lock muskets, German
and French double-barrels, some English Enfields, and American
Springfields - besides these muskets, they were mostly armed with spears
and long knives for the purpose of decapitating, and inflicting vengeful
gashes in the dead bodies. Powder and ball were plentiful: some men were
served a hundred rounds each, my people received each man sixty rounds.

As we filed out of the stronghold of Mfuto, with waving banners denoting
the various commanders, with booming horns, and the roar of fifty bass
drums, called gomas - with blessings showered on us by the mollahs,
and happiest predications from the soothsayers, astrologers, and the
diviners of the Koran - who could have foretold that this grand force,
before a week passed over its head, would be hurrying into that same
stronghold of Mfuto, with each man's heart in his mouth from fear?

The date of our leaving Mfuto for battle with Mirambo was the 3rd of
August. All my goods were stored in Mfuto, ready for the march to Ujiji,
should we be victorious over the African chief, but at least for safety,

Online LibraryHenry M. StanleyHow I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley → online text (page 14 of 38)