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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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


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

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.

My informants gave me to understand that for one hundred men, 10 doti,
or 40 yards of cloth per diem, would suffice for food. The proper course
to pursue, I found, was to purchase 2,000 doti of American sheeting,
1,000 doti of Kaniki, and 650 doti of the coloured cloths, such as
Barsati, a great favourite in Unyamwezi; Sohari, taken in Ugogo;
Ismahili, Taujiri, Joho, Shash, Rehani, Jamdani or Kunguru-Cutch, blue
and pink. These were deemed amply sufficient for the subsistence of
one hundred men for twelve months. Two years at this rate would require
4,000 doti = 16,000 yards of American sheeting; 2,000 doti = 8,000 yards
of Kaniki; 1,300 doti = 5,200 yards of mixed coloured cloths. This was
definite and valuable information to me, and excepting the lack of some
suggestions as to the quality of the sheeting, Kaniki, and coloured
cloths, I had obtained all I desired upon this point.

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

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

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

* 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

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

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.

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 2 of 38)