Father of all.
I am gratefully yours,
I have worked as hard as I could copying observations made in one line
of march from Kabuire, back again to Cazembe, and on to Lake Baugweolo,
and am quite tired out. My large figures fill six sheets of foolscap,
and many a day will elapse ere I take to copying again. I did my duty
when ill at Ujiji in 1869, and am not to blame, though they grope a
little in the dark at home. Some Arab letters have come, and I forward
them to you.
March 16, 1872.
P.S. - I have written a note this morning to Mr. Murray, 50, Albemarle
Street, the publisher, to help you, if necessary, in sending the Journal
by book post, or otherwise, to Agnes. If you call on him you will find
him a frank gentleman. A pleasant journey to you.
To Henry M. Stanley, Esq., Wherever he may be found.
Several Wangwana arrived at Tura to join our returning Expedition,
as they were afraid to pass through Ugogo by themselves; others were
reported coming; but as all were sufficiently warned at Unyanyembe that
the departure of the caravan would take place positively on the 14th, I
was not disposed to wait longer.
As we were leaving Tura, on the 21st, Susi and Hamoydah were sent back
to the Doctor, with last words from me, while we continued our march to
Two days afterwards we arrived before the village of Ngaraisa, into
which the head of the caravan attempted to enter but the angry Wakimbu
forcibly ejected them.
On the 24th, we encamped in the jungle, in what is called the "tongoni,"
This region was at one period in a most flourishing state; the soil is
exceedingly fertile; the timber is large, and would be valuable near the
coast; and, what is highly appreciated in Africa, there is an abundance
of water. We camped near a smooth, broad hump of syenite, at one end
of which rose, upright and grand, a massive square rock, which towered
above several small trees in the vicinity; at the other end stood up
another singular rock, which was loosened at the base.
The members of the Expedition made use of the great sheet of rock to
grind their grain; a common proceeding in these lands where villages are
not near, or when the people are hostile.
On the 27th of March we entered Kiwyeh. At dawn, when leaving Mdaburu
River, the solemn warning had been given that we were about entering
Ugogo; and as we left Kaniyaga village, with trumpet-like blasts of the
guide's horn, we filed into the depths of an expanse of rustling Indian
corn. The ears were ripe enough for parching and roasting, and thus was
one anxiety dispelled by its appearance; for generally, in early March,
caravans suffer from famine, which overtakes both natives and strangers.
We soon entered the gum-tree districts, and we knew we were in Ugogo.
The forests of this country are chiefly composed of the gum and thorn
species - mimosa and tamarisk, with often a variety of wild fruit trees.
The grapes were plentiful, though they were not quite ripe; and there
was also a round, reddish fruit with the sweetness of the Sultana grape,
with leaves like a gooseberry-bush. There was another about the size of
an apricot, which was excessively bitter.
Emerging from the entangled thorn jungle, the extensive settlements of
Kiwyeh came into view; and to the east of the chief's village we found a
camping place under the shade of a group of colossal baobab.
We had barely encamped when we heard the booming, bellowing war horns
sounding everywhere, and we espied messengers darting swiftly in every
direction giving the alarm of war. When first informed that the horns
were calling the people to arm themselves, and prepare for war, I half
suspected that an attack was about to be made on the Expedition; but
the words "Urugu, warugu" (thief! thieves!) - bandied about, declared
the cause. Mukondoku, the chief of the populous district two days to the
north-east, where we experienced some excitement when westward-bound,
was marching to attack the young Mtemi, Kiwyeh, and Kiwyeh's soldiers
were called to the fight. The men rushed to their villages, and in a
short time we saw them arrayed in full fighting costume. Feathers of the
ostrich and the eagle waved over their fronts, or the mane of the zebra
surrounded their heads; their knees and ankles were hung with little
bells; joho robes floated behind, from their necks; spears, assegais,
knob-sticks, and bows were flourished over their heads, or held in their
right hands, as if ready for hurling. On each flank of a large body
which issued from the principal village, and which came at a uniform
swinging double-quick, the ankle and knee bells all chiming in
admirable unison, were a cloud of skirmishers, consisting of the most
enthusiastic, who exercised themselves in mimic war as they sped along.
Column after column, companies, and groups from every village hurried
on past our camp until, probably, there were nearly a thousand soldiers
gone to the war. This scene gave me a better idea than anything else
of the weakness of even the largest caravans which travelled between
Zanzibar and Unyanyembe.
At night the warriors returned from the forest; the alarm proved to be
without foundation. At first it was generally reported that the invaders
were Wahehe, or the Wadirigo, as that tribe are scornfully called from
their thieving propensities. The Wahehe frequently make a foray upon
the fat cattle of Ugogo. They travel from their own country in the
south-east, and advance through the jungle, and when about to approach
the herds, stoop down, covering their bodies with their shields of
bull-hide. Having arrived between the cattle and the herdsmen, they
suddenly rise up and begin to switch the cattle heartily, and, having
started them off into the jungle in the care of men already detailed for
the work, they turn about, and plant their shields before them, to fight
the aroused shepherds.
On the 30th we arrived at Khonze, which is remarkable for the mighty
globes of foliage which the giant sycamores and baobabs put forth above
the plain. The chief of Khonze boasts of four tembes, out of which
he could muster in the aggregate fifty armed men; yet this fellow,
instigated by the Wanyamwezi residents, prepared to resist our advance,
because I only sent him three doti - twelve yards of cloth - as honga.
We were halted, waiting the return of a few friendly Wagogo travellers
who had joined us, and who were asked to assist Bombay in the
negotiation of the tribute, when the Wagogo returned to us at breathless
speed, and shouted out to me, "Why do you halt here? Do you wish to die?
These pagans will not take the tribute, but they boast that they will
eat up all your cloth."
The renegade Wanyamwezi who had married into Wagogo families were always
our bane in this country. As the chief of Khonze came up I ordered
the men to load their guns, and I loaded my own ostentatiously in his
presence, and then strode up to him, and asked if he had come to take
the cloth by force, or if he were going to accept quietly what I would
give him. As the Mnyamwezi who caused this show of hostilities was
beginning to speak, I caught him by the throat, and threatened to make
his nose flatter if he attempted to speak again in my presence, and to
shoot him first, if we should be forced to fight. The rascal was then
pushed away into the rear. The chief, who was highly amused with this
proceeding, laughed loudly at the discomfiture of the parasite, and in a
short time he and I had settled the tribute to our mutual satisfaction,
and we parted great friends. The Expedition arrived at Sanza that night.
On the 31st we came to Kanyenyi, to the great Mtemi - Magomba's - whose
son and heir is Mtundu M'gondeh. As we passed by the tembe of the great
Sultan, the msagira, or chief counsellor, a pleasant grey-haired man,
was at work making a thorn fence around a patch of young corn. He
greeted the caravan with a sonorous "Yambo," and, putting himself at
its head, he led the way to our camp. When introduced to me he was very
cordial in his manner. He was offered a kiti-stool and began to talk
very affably. He remembered my predecessors, Burton, Speke, and Grant,
very well; declared me to be much younger than any of them; and,
recollecting that one of the white men used to drink asses' milk
(Burton?), offered to procure me some. The way I drank it seemed to give
him very great satisfaction.
His son, Unamapokera, was a tall man of thirty or thereabouts, and
he conceived a great friendship for me, and promised that the tribute
should be very light, and that he would send a man to show me the way to
Myumi, which was a village on the frontier of Kanyenyi, by which I
would be enabled to avoid the rapacious Kisewah, who was in the habit of
enforcing large tribute from caravans.
With the aid of Unamapokera and his father, we contrived to be mulcted
very lightly, for we only paid ten doti, while Burton was compelled to
pay sixty doti or two hundred and forty yards of cloth.
On the 1st of April, rising early, we reached Myumi after a four hours'
march; then plunged into the jungle, and, about 2 P.M. arrived at a
large ziwa, or pond, situate in the middle of a jungle; and on the next
day, at 10 A.M., reached the fields of Mapanga. We were passing the
village of Mapanga to a resting-place beyond the village, where we might
breakfast and settle the honga, when a lad rushed forward to meet us,
and asked us where we were going. Having received a reply that we were
going to a camping-place, he hastened on ahead, and presently we heard
him talking to some men in a field on our right.
In the meantime, we had found a comfortable shady place, and had come to
a halt; the men were reclining on the ground, or standing up near their
respective loads; Bombay was about opening a bale, when we heard a great
rush of men, and loud shouts, and, immediately after, out rushed from
the jungle near by a body of forty or fifty armed men, who held their
spears above their heads, or were about to draw their bows, with a chief
at their head, all uttering such howls of rage as only savages can,
which sounded like a long-drawn "Hhaat-uh - Hhaat-uhh-uhh," which
meant, unmistakably, "You will, will you? No, you will not!" - at once
determined, defiant, and menacing.
I had suspected that the voices I heard boded no good to us, and I had
accordingly prepared my weapons and cartridges. Verily, what a fine
chance for adventure this was! One spear flung at us, or one shot fired
into this minatory mob of savages, and the opposing' bands had been
plunged into a fatal conflict! There would have been no order of
battle, no pomp of war, but a murderous strife, a quick firing of
breech-loaders, and volleys from flint-lock muskets, mixed with the
flying of spears and twanging of bows, the cowardly running away at
once, pursued by yelping savages; and who knows how it all would have
terminated? Forty spears against forty guns - but how many guns would
not have decamped? Perhaps all, and I should have been left with my
boy gunbearers to have my jugular deliberately severed, or to be
decapitated, leaving my head to adorn a tall pole in the centre of
a Kigogo village, like poor Monsieur Maizan's at Dege la Mhora, in
Uzaramo. Happy end of an Expedition! And the Doctor's Journal lost for
ever - the fruits of six years' labor!
But in this land it will not do to fight unless driven to the very last
extremity. No belligerent Mungo Park can be successful in Ugogo unless
he has a sufficient force of men with him. With five hundred Europeans
one could traverse Africa from north to south, by tact, and the moral
effect that such a force would inspire. Very little fighting would be
Without rising from the bale on which I was seated, I requested
the kirangozi to demand an explanation of their furious hubbub and
threatening aspect; if they were come to rob us.
"No," said the chief; "we do not want to stop the road, or to rob you;
but we want the tribute."
"But don't you see us halted, and the bale opened to send it to you? We
have come so far from your village that after the tribute is settled we
can proceed on our way, as the day is yet young."
The chief burst into a loud laugh, and was joined by ourselves. He
evidently felt ashamed of his conduct for he voluntarily offered the
explanation, that as he and his men were cutting wood to make a new
fence for his village, a lad came up to him, and said that a caravan
of Wangwana were about passing through the country without stopping to
explain who they were. We were soon very good friends. He begged of
me to make rain for him, as his crops were suffering, and no rain had
fallen for months. I told him that though white people were very great
and clever people, much superior to the Arabs, yet we could not make
rain. Though very much disappointed, he did not doubt my statement, and
after receiving his honga, which was very light, he permitted us to go
on our way, and even accompanied us some distance to show us the road.
At 3 P.M. we entered a thorny jungle; and by 5 P.M. we had arrived at
Muhalata, a district lorded over by the chief Nyamzaga. A Mgogo, of whom
I made a friend, proved very staunch. He belonged to Mulowa, a country
to the S.S.E., and south of Kulabi; and was active in promoting my
interests by settling the tribute, with the assistance of Bombay, for
me. When, on the next day, we passed through Kulabi on our way to Mvumi,
and the Wagogo were about to stop us for the honga, he took upon himself
the task of relieving us from further toll, by stating we were from
Ugogo or Kanyenyi. The chief simply nodded his head, and we passed on.
It seems that the Wagogo do not exact blackmail of those caravans who
intend only to trade in their own country, or have no intention of
passing beyond their own frontier.
Leaving Kulabi, we traversed a naked, red, loamy plain, over which the
wind from the heights of Usagara, now rising a bluish-black jumble
of mountains in our front, howled most fearfully. With clear, keen,
incisive force, the terrible blasts seemed to penetrate through an
through our bodies, as though we were but filmy gauze. Manfully battling
against this mighty "peppo" - storm - we passed through Mukamwa's, and
crossing a broad sandy bed of a stream, we entered the territory of
Mvumi, the last tribute-levying chief of Ugogo.
The 4th of April, after sending Bombay and my friendly Mgogo with eight
doti, or thirty-two yards of cloth, as a farewell tribute to the Sultan,
we struck off through the jungle, and in five hours we were on the
borders of the wilderness of "Marenga Mkali" - the "hard," bitter or
From our camp I despatched three men to Zanzibar with letters to the
American Consul, and telegraphic despatches for the 'Herald,' with a
request to the Consul that he would send the men back with a small case
or two containing such luxuries as hungry, worn-out, and mildewed men
would appreciate. The three messengers were charged not to halt for
anything - rain or no rain, river or inundation - as if they did not hurry
up we should catch them before they reached the coast. With a fervent
"Inshallah, bana," they departed.
On the 5th, with a loud, vigorous, cheery "Hurrah!" we plunged into the
depths of the wilderness, which, with its eternal silence and solitude,
was far preferable to the jarring, inharmonious discord of the villages
of the Wagogo. For nine hours we held on our way, starting with noisy
shouts the fierce rhinoceros, the timid quagga, and the herds of
antelopes which crowd the jungles of this broad salina. On the 7th, amid
a pelting rain, we entered Mpwapwa, where my Scotch assistant, Farquhar,
died. We had performed the extraordinary march of 338 English statute
miles from the 14th of March to the 7th of April, or within twenty-four
days, inclusive of halts, which was a little over fourteen miles a day.
Leukole, the chief of Mpwapwa, with whom I left Farquhar, gave the
following account of the death of the latter: -
"The white man seemed to be improving after you left him, until the,
fifth day, when, while attempting to rise and walk out of his tent, he
fell back; from that minute he got worse and worse, and in the afternoon
he died, like one going to sleep. His legs and abdomen had swollen
considerably, and something, I think, broke within him when he fell, for
he cried out like a man who was very much hurt, and his servant said,
'The master says he is dying.'
"We had him carried out under a large tree, and after covering him with
leaves, there left him. His servant took possession of his things, his
rifle, clothes, and blanket, and moved off to the tembe of a Mnyamwezi,
near Kisokweh, where he lived for three months, when he also died.
Before he died he sold his master's rifle to an Arab going to Unyanyembe
for ten doti (forty yards of cloth). That is all I know about it."
He subsequently showed me the hollow into which the dead body of
Farquhar was thrown, but I could not find a vestige of his bones, though
we looked sharply about that we might make a decent grave for them.
Before we left Unyanyembe fifty men were employed two days carrying
rocks, with which I built up a solid enduring pile around Shaw's grave
eight feet long and five feet broad, which Dr. Livingstone said would
last hundreds of years, as the grave of the first white man who died
in Unyamwezi. But though we could not discover any remains of the
unfortunate Farquhar, we collected a large quantity of stones, and
managed to raise a mound near the banks of the stream to commemorate the
spot where his body was laid.
It was not until we had entered the valley of the Mukondokwa River that
we experienced anything like privation or hardship from the Masika. Here
the torrents thundered and roared; the river was a mighty brown flood,
sweeping downward with, an almost resistless flow. The banks were
brimful, and broad nullahs were full of water, and the fields were
inundated, and still the rain came surging down in a shower, that warned
us of what we might expect during our transit of the sea-coast region.
Still we urged our steps onward like men to whom every moment was
precious - as if a deluge was overtaking us. Three times we crossed this
awful flood at the fords by means of ropes tied to trees from bank to
bank, and arrived at Kadetamare on the 11th, a most miserable, most
woe-begone set of human beings; and camped on a hill opposite Mount
Kibwe, which rose on the right of the river - one of the tallest peaks of
On the 12th of April, after six hours of the weariest march I had ever
undergone, we arrived at the mouth of the Mukondokwa Pass, out of which
the river debouches into the Plain of Makata. We knew that it was an
unusual season, for the condition of the country, though bad enough the
year before, was as nothing compared to this year. Close to the edge
of the foaming, angry flood lay our route, dipping down frequently into
deep ditches, wherein we found ourselves sometimes up to the waist in
water, and sometimes up to the throat. Urgent necessity impelled us
onward, lest we might have to camp at one of these villages until the
end of the monsoon rains; so we kept on, over marshy bottoms, up to the
knees in mire, under jungly tunnels dripping with wet, then into sloughs
arm-pit deep. Every channel seemed filled to overflowing, yet down
the rain poured, beating the surface of the river into yellowish foam,
pelting us until we were almost breathless. Half a day's battling
against such difficulties brought us, after crossing the river, once
again to the dismal village of Mvumi.
We passed the night fighting swarms of black and voracious mosquitoes,
and in heroic endeavours to win repose in sleep, in which we were partly
successful, owing to the utter weariness of our bodies.
On the 13th we struck out of the village of Mvumi. It had rained the
whole night, and the morning brought no cessation. Mile after mile we
traversed, over fields covered by the inundation, until we came to a
branch river-side once again, where the river was narrow, and too deep
to ford in the middle. We proceeded to cut a tree down, and so contrived
that it should fall right across the stream. Over this fallen tree the
men, bestriding it, cautiously moved before them their bales and
boxes; but one young fellow, Rojab - through over-zeal, or in sheer
madness - took up the Doctor's box which contained his letters and
Journal of his discoveries on his head, and started into the river.
I had been the first to arrive on the opposite bank, in order to
superintend the crossing; when I caught sight of this man walking in the
river with the most precious box of all on his head. Suddenly he fell
into a deep hole, and the man and box went almost out of sight, while
I was in an agony at the fate which threatened the despatches.
Fortunately, he recovered himself and stood up, while I shouted to him,
with a loaded revolver pointed at his head, "Look out! Drop that bog,
and I'll shoot you."
All the men halted in their work while they gazed at their comrade
who was thus imperilled by bullet and flood. The man himself seemed
to regard the pistol with the greatest awe, and after a few desperate
efforts succeeded in getting the box safely ashore. As the articles
within were not damaged, Rojab escaped punishment, with a caution not
to touch the bog again on any account, and it was transferred to the
keeping of the sure-footed and perfect pagazi, Maganga.
From this stream, in about an hour, we came to the main river, but one
look at its wild waters was enough. We worked hard to construct a raft,
but after cutting down four trees and lashing the green logs together,
and pushing them into the whirling current, we saw them sink like lead.
We then tied together all the strong rope in our possession, and made a
line 180 feet long, with one end of which tied round his body, Chowpereh
was sent across to lash it to a tree. He was carried far down the
stream; but being an excellent swimmer, he succeeded in his attempt. The
bales were lashed around the middle, and, heaved into the stream, were
dragged through the river to the opposite bank, as well as the tent, and
such things as could not be injured much by the water. Several of the
men, as well as myself, were also dragged through the water; each of
the boys being attended by the best swimmers; but when we came to the
letter-boxes and valuables, we could suggest no means to take them over.
Two camps were accordingly made, one on each side of the stream; the one
on the bank which I had just left occupying an ant-hill of considerable
height; while my party had to content itself with a flat, miry marsh. An
embankment of soil, nearly a foot high, was thrown up in a circle thirty
feet in diameter, in the centre of which my tent was pitched, and around
it booths were erected.
It was an extraordinary and novel position that we found ourselves in.
Within twenty feet of our camp was a rising river, with flat, low banks;
above us was a gloomy, weeping sky; surrounding us on three sides was an
immense forest, on whose branches we heard the constant, pattering rain;
beneath our feet was a great depth of mud, black and loathsome; add to
these the thought that the river might overflow, and sweep us to utter
In the morning the river was still rising, and an inevitable doom seemed
to hang over us. There was yet time to act - to bring over the people,
with the most valuable effects of the Expedition - as I considered Dr.
Livingstone's Journal and letters, and my own papers, of far greater
value than anything else. While looking at the awful river an idea
struck me that I might possibly carry the boxes across, one at a time,
by cutting two slender poles, and tying cross sticks to them, making a
kind of hand-barrow, on which a box might rest when lashed to it. Two
men swimming across, at the same time holding on to the rope, with the
ends of the poles resting on the men's shoulders, I thought, would be
enabled to convey over a 70 lb. box with ease. In a short time one of
these was made, and six couples of the strongest swimmers were prepared,
and stimulated with a rousing glass of stiff grog each man, with a
promise of cloth to each also if they succeeded in getting everything
ashore undamaged by the water. When I saw with what ease they dragged
themselves across, the barrow on their shoulders, I wondered that I had
not thought of the plan before. Within an hour of the first couple had
gone over, the entire Expedition was safe on the eastern bank; and at