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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once breaking camp, we marched north through the swampy forest, which in
some places was covered with four feet of water. Seven hours' constant
splashing brought us to Rehenneko, after experiencing several queer
accidents. We were now on the verge only of the inundated plain of the
Makata, which, even with the last year's rain, was too horrible to think
of undertaking again in cold blood.

We were encamped ten days on a hill near Rehenneko, or until the 25th,
when, the rain having entirely ceased, we resolved to attempt the
crossing of the Makata. The bales of cloth had all been distributed
as presents to the men for their work, except a small quantity which I
retained for the food of my own mess.

But we should have waited a month longer, for the inundation had not
abated four inches. However, after we once struggled up to our necks in
water it was use less to turn back. For two marches of eight hours each
we plunged through slush, mire, deep sloughs, water up to our necks, and
muddy cataclysms, swam across nullahs, waded across gullies, and near
sunset of the second day arrived on the banks of the Makata River. My
people are not likely to forget that night; not one of them was able
to sleep until it was long past midnight, because of the clouds of
mosquitoes, which threatened to eat us all up; and when the horn sounded
for the march of another day, there was not one dissentient amongst

It was 5 A.M. when we began the crossing of the Makata River, but beyond
it for six miles stretched one long lake, the waters of which flowed
gently towards the Wami. This was the confluence of the streams: four
rivers were here gathered into one. The natives of Kigongo warned us not
to attempt it, as the water was over our heads; but I had only to give a
hint to the men, and we set on our way. Even the water - we were getting
quite amphibious - was better than the horrible filth and piles of
decaying vegetation which were swept against the boma of the village.

We were soon up to our armpits, then the water shallowed to the knee,
then we stepped up to the neck, and waded on tiptoe, supporting the
children above the water; and the same experiences occurred as those
which we suffered the day before, until we were halted on the edge of
the Little Makata, which raced along at the rate of eight knots an hour;
but it was only fifty yards wide, and beyond it rose a high bank, and
dry park-lands which extended as far as Simbo. We had no other option
than to swim it; but it was a slow operation, the current was so swift
and strong. Activity and zeal, high rewards, presents of money, backed
by the lively feeling that we were nearing home, worked wonders, and in
a couple of hours we were beyond the Makata.

Cheery and hopeful, we sped along the dry, smooth path that now lay
before us, with the ardor and vivacity of heroes, and the ease and power
of veterans, We rolled three ordinary marches into one that day, and
long before night arrived at Simbo.

On the 29th we crossed the Ungerengeri, and as we came to
Simbamwenni-the "Lion City" of Useguhha - lo! what a change! The flooded
river had swept the entire front wall of the strongly-walled city away,
and about fifty houses had been destroyed by the torrent. Villages of
Waruguru, on the slopes of the Uruguru Mountains - Mkambaku range - had
also suffered disastrously. If one-fourth of the reports we heard were
true, at least a hundred people must have perished.

The Sultana had fled, and the stronghold of Kimbengo was no more! A deep
canal that he had caused to be excavated when alive, to bring a branch
of the Ungerengeri near his city - which was his glory and boast - proved
the ruin of Simbamwenni. After the destruction of the place the river
had formed a new bed, about 300 yards from the city. But what astonished
us most were the masses of debris which seemed to be piled everywhere,
and the great numbers of trees that were prostrate; and they all seemed
to lie in the same direction, as if a strong wind had come from
the south-west. The aspect of the Ungerengeri valley was completely
changed - from a Paradise it was converted into a howling waste.

We continued our march until we reached Ulagalla, and it was evident,
as we advanced, that an unusual storm had passed over the land, for the
trees in some places seemed to lie in swathes.

A most fatiguing and long march brought us to Mussoudi, on the eastern
bank of the Ungerengeri; but long before we reached it we realized that
a terrific destruction of human life and property had occurred. The
extent and nature of the calamity may be imagined, when I state that
nearly ONE HUNDRED VILLAGES, according to Mussoudi's report, were swept

Mussoudi, the Diwan, says that the inhabitants had gone to rest as
usual - as they had done ever since he had settled in the valley,
twenty-five years ago - when, in the middle of the night, they heard a
roar like many thunders, which woke them up to the fact that death was
at work in the shape of an enormous volume of water, that, like a wall,
came down, tearing the tallest trees with it, carrying away scores of
villages at one fell, sure swoop into utter destruction. The scene
six days after the event - when the river has subsided into its normal
breadth and depth during the monsoons - is simply awful. Wherever we
look, we find something very suggestive of the devastation that has
visited the country; fields of corn are covered with many feet of sand
and debris; the sandy bed the river has deserted is about a mile wide;
and there are but three villages standing of all that I noticed when en
route to Unyanyembe. When I asked Mussoudi where the people had gone to,
he replied, "God has taken most of them, but some have gone to Udoe."
The surest blow ever struck at the tribe of the Wakami was indeed given
by the hand of God; and, to use the words of the Diwan, "God's power is
wonderful, and who can resist Him!"

I again resort to my Diary, and extract the following:

April 30th. - Passing Msuwa, we travelled hurriedly through the jungle
which saw such hard work with us when going to Unyanyembe. What dreadful
odors and indescribable loathing this jungle produces! It is so dense
that a tiger could not crawl through it; it is so impenetrable that
an elephant could not force his way! Were a bottleful of concentrated
miasma, such as we inhale herein, collected, what a deadly poison,
instantaneous in its action, undiscoverable in its properties, would it
be! I think it would act quicker than chloroform, be as fatal as prussic

Horrors upon horrors are in it. Boas above our heads, snakes and
scorpions under our feet. Land-crabs, terrapins, and iguanas move about
in our vicinity. Malaria is in the air we breathe; the road is infested
with "hotwater" ants, which bite our legs until we dance and squirm
about like madmen. Yet, somehow, we are fortunate enough to escape
annihilation, and many another traveller might also. Yet here, in
verity, are the ten plagues of Egypt, through which a traveller in these
regions must run the gauntlet:

1. Plague of boas. | 7. Suffocation from the 2. Red ants, or
"hot-water." | density of the jungle. 3 Scorpions. | 8. Stench.
4. Thorns and spear cacti. | 9. Thorns in the road. 5. Numerous
impediments. | 10. Miasma. 6 Black mud knee-deep. |

May 1st. Kingaru Hera. - We heard news of a great storm having raged at
Zanzibar, which has destroyed every house and every ship, - so the story
runs; - and the same destruction has visited Bagamoyo and Whinde, they
say. But I am by this time pretty well acquainted with the exaggerative
tendency of the African. It is possible that serious loss has been
sustained, from the evidences of the effects of the storm in the
interior. I hear, also, that there are white men at Bagamoyo, who are
about starting into the country to look after me (?). Who would look
after me, I cannot imagine. I think they must have some confused idea of
my Expedition; though, how they came to know that I was looking for
any man I cannot conceive, because I never told a soul until I reached

May 2nd. Rosako. - I had barely arrived at the village before the three
men I despatched from Mvumi, Ugogo, entered, bringing with them from the
generous American Consul a few bottles of champagne, a few pots of
jam, and two boxes of Boston crackers. These were most welcome after my
terrible experiences in the Makata Valley. Inside one of these boxes,
carefully put up by the Consul, were four numbers of the 'Herald'; one
of which contained my correspondence from Unyanyembe, wherein were some
curious typographical errors, especially in figures and African names.
I suppose my writing was wretched, owing to my weakness. In another are
several extracts from various newspapers, in which I learn that many
editors regard the Expedition into Africa as a myth. Alas! it has been
a terrible, earnest fact with me; nothing but hard, conscientious
work, privation, sickness, and almost death. Eighteen men have paid
the forfeit of their lives in the undertaking. It certainly is not a
myth - the death of my two white assistants; they, poor fellows, found
their fate in the inhospitable regions of the interior.

One of my letters received from Zanzibar by my messengers states that
there is an expedition at Bagamoyo called the "Livingstone Search and
Relief Expedition." What will the leaders of it do now? Livingstone is
found and relieved already. Livingstone says he requires nothing more.
It is a misfortune that they did not start earlier; then they might with
propriety proceed, and be welcomed.

May 4th. - -Arrived at Kingwere's Ferry, but we were unable to attract
the attention of the canoe paddler. Between our camp and Bagamoyo we
have an inundated plain that is at least four miles broad. The
ferrying of our Expedition across this broad watery waste will occupy
considerable time.

May 5th. - Kingwere, the canoe proprietor, came about 11 A.M. from his
village at Gongoni, beyond the watery plain. By his movements I am fain
to believe him to be a descendant of some dusky King Log, for I have
never seen in all this land the attributes and peculiarities of that
royal personage so faithfully illustrated as in Kingwere. He brought two
canoes with him, short, cranky things, in which only twelve of us could
embark at a time. It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon before we arrived at
Gongoni village.

May 6th. - After impressing Kingwere with the urgent necessity of quick
action on his part, with a promise of an extra five-dollar gold piece, I
had the satisfaction to behold the last man reach my camp at 3.30 p.m.

An hour later, and we are en route, at a pace that I never saw equalled
at any time by my caravan. Every man's feelings are intensified, for
there is an animated, nay, headlong, impetuosity about their movements
that indicates but too well what is going on in their minds. Surely, my
own are a faithful index to their feelings; and I do not feel a whit too
proud to acknowledge the great joy that possesses me. I feel proud
to think that I have been successful; but, honestly, I do not feel so
elated at that as at the hope that to-morrow I shall sit before a table
bounteous with the good things of this life. How I will glory in the
hams, and potatoes, and good bread! What a deplorable state of mind, is
it not? Ah, my friend, wait till you are reduced to a skeleton by gaunt
famine and coarse, loathsome food - until you have waded a Makata swamp,
and marched 525 miles in thirty-five days through such weather as we
have had - then you will think such pabula, food fit for gods!

Happy are we that, - after completing our mission, after the hurry
and worry of the march, after the anxiety and vexation suffered from
fractious tribes, after tramping for the last fifteen days through mire
and Stygian marsh, - we near Beulah's peace and rest! Can we do otherwise
than express our happiness by firing away gunpowder until our horns are
emptied - than shout our "hurrahs" until we are hoarse - than, with the
hearty, soul-inspiring "Yambos," greet every mother's son fresh from the
sea? Not so, think the Wangwana soldiers; and I so sympathize with them
that I permit them to act their maddest without censure.

At sunset we enter the town of Bagamoyo. "More pilgrims come to town,"
were the words heard in Beulah. "The white man has come to town," were
the words we heard in Bagamoyo. And we shall cross the water tomorrow to
Zanzibar, and shall enter the golden gate; we shall see nothing, smell
nothing, taste nothing that is offensive to the stomach any more!

The kirangozi blows his horn, and gives forth blasts potential as
Astolpho's, as the natives and Arabs throng around us. And that bright
flag, whose stars have waved over the waters of the great lake in
Central Africa, which promised relief to the harassed Livingstone when
in distress at Ujiji, returns to the sea once again - torn, it is true,
but not dishonoured - tattered, but not disgraced.

As we reached the middle of the town, I saw on the steps of a large
white house a white man, in flannels and helmet similar to that I wore.
I thought myself rather akin to white men in general, and I walked up
to him. He advanced towards me, and we shook hands - did everything but

"Won't you walk in?" said he.


"What will you have to drink - beer, stout, brandy? Eh, by George! I
congratulate you on your splendid success," said he, impetuously.

I knew him immediately. He was an Englishman. He was Lieut. William
Henn, R.N., chief of the Livingstone Search and Relief Expedition, about
to be despatched by the Royal Geographical Society to find and relieve
Livingstone. The former chief, as the Expedition was at first organized,
was Lieut. Llewellyn S. Dawson, who, as soon as he heard from my men
that I had found Livingstone, had crossed over to Zanzibar, and, after
consultation with Dr. John Kirk, had resigned. He had now nothing
further to do with it, the command having formally devolved on Lieut.
Henn. A Mr. Charles New, also, missionary from Mombasah, had joined the
expedition, but he had resigned too. So now there were left but Lieut.
Henn and Mr. Oswell Livingstone, second son of the Doctor.

"Is Mr. Oswell Livingstone here?" I asked, with considerable surprise.

"Yes; he will be here directly."

"What are you going to do now?" I asked.

"I don't think it worth my while to go now. You have taken the wind out
of our sails completely. If you have relieved him, I don't see the use
of my going. Do you?"

"Well, it depends. You know your own orders best. If you have come only
to find and relieve him, I can tell you truly he is found and relieved,
and that he wants nothing more than a few canned meats, and some other
little things which I dare say you have not got. I have his list in his
own handwriting with me. But his son must go anyhow, and I can get men
easily enough for him."

"Well, if he is relieved, it is of no use my going."

At this time in walked a slight, young, gentlemanly man, with light
complexion, light hair, dark, lustrous eyes, who was introduced to me
as Mr. Oswell Livingstone. The introduction was hardly necessary, for in
his features there was much of what were the specialities of his father.
There was an air of quiet resolution about him, and in the greeting
which he gave me he exhibited rather a reticent character; but I
attributed that to a receptive nature, which augured well for the

"I was telling Lieut. Henn that, whether he goes or not, you must go to
your father, Mr. Livingstone."

"Oh, I mean to go."

"Yes, that's right. I will furnish you with men and what stores your
father needs. My men will take you to Unyanyembe without any difficulty.
They know the road well, and that is a great advantage. They know how
to deal with the negro chiefs, and you will have no need to trouble your
head about them, but march. The great thing that is required is speed.
Your father will be waiting for the things."

"I will march them fast enough, if that is all."

"Oh, they will be going up light, and they can easily make long

It was settled, then. Henn made up his mind that, as the Doctor had been
relieved, he was not wanted; but, before formally resigning, he intended
to consult with Dr. Kirk, and for that purpose he would cross over to
Zanzibar the next day with the 'Herald' Expedition.

At 2 A.M. I retired to sleep on a comfortable bed. There was a great
smell of newness about certain articles in the bedroom, such as
haversacks, knapsacks, portmanteaus, leather gun-cases, &c. Evidently
the new Expedition had some crudities about it; but a journey into the
interior would soon have lessened the stock of superfluities, which all
new men at first load themselves with.

Ah! what a sigh of relief was that I gave, as I threw myself on my bed,
at the thought that, "Thank God! my marching was ended."


At 5 P.M., on the 7th of May, 1872, the dhow which conveyed my
Expedition back to Zanzibar arrived in the harbor, and the men,
delighted to find themselves once more so near their homes, fired volley
after volley, the American flag was hoisted up, and we soon saw the
house-roofs and wharves lined with spectators, many of whom were
Europeans, with glasses levelled at us.

We drew ashore slowly; but a boat putting off to take us to land, we
stepped into it, and I was soon in presence of my friend the Consul, who
heartily welcomed me back to Zanzibar; and soon after was introduced to
the Rev. Charles New, who was but a day or two previous to my arrival an
important member of the English Search Expedition - a small, slight man
in appearance, who, though he looked weakly, had a fund of energy or
nervousness in him which was almost too great for such a body. He also
heartily congratulated me.

After a bounteous dinner, to which I did justice in a manner that
astonished my new friends, Lieut. Dawson called to see me, and said:

"Mr. Stanley, let me congratulate you, sir."

Lieut. Dawson then went on to state how he envied me my success; how I
had "taken the wind out of his sails" (a nautical phrase similar to
that used by Lieut. Henn); how, when he heard from my men that Dr.
Livingstone had been found, he at once crossed over from Bagamoyo to
Zanzibar, and, after a short talk with Dr. Kirk, at once resigned.

"But do you not think, Mr. Dawson, you have been rather too hasty in
tendering your resignation, from the more verbal report of my men?"

"Perhaps," said he; "but I heard that Mr. Webb had received a letter
from you, and that you and Livingstone had discovered that the Rusizi
ran into the lake - that you had the Doctor's letters and despatches with

"Yes; but you acquired all this information from my men; you have seen
nothing yourself. You have therefore resigned before you had personal
evidence of the fact."

"Well, Dr. Livingstone is relieved and found, as Mr. Henn tells me, is
he not?"

"Yes, that is true enough. He is well supplied; he only requires a few
little luxuries, which I am going to send him by an expedition of fifty
freemen. Dr. Livingstone is found and relieved, most certainly; and I
have all the letters and despatches which he could possibly send to his

"But don't you think I did perfectly right?"

"Hardly - though, perhaps, it would come to the same thing in the end.
Any more cloth and beads than he has already would be an incumbrance.
Still, you have your orders from the Royal Geographical Society. I have
not seen those yet, and I am not prepared to judge what your best course
would have been. But I think you did wrong in resigning before you
saw me; for then you would have had, probably, a legitimate excuse for
resigning. I should have held on to the Expedition until I had consulted
with those who sent me; though, in such an event as this, the order
would be, perhaps, to 'Come home.'"

"As it has turned out, though, don't you think I did right?"

"Most certainly it would be useless for you to go to search for and
relieve Livingstone now, because he has already been sought, found, and
relieved; but perhaps you had other orders."

"Only, if I went into the country, I was then to direct my attention to
exploration; but the primary object having been forestalled by you, I am
compelled to return home. The Admiralty granted me leave of absence only
for the search, and never said anything about exploration."

That evening I despatched a boy over to the English Consulate
with letters from the great traveller for Dr. Kirk and Mr. Oswell

I was greeted warmly by the American and German residents, who could not
have shown warmer feeling than if Dr. Livingstone had been a near and
dear relation of their own. Capt. H. A. Fraser and Dr. James Christie
were also loud in their praises. It seems that both of these gentlemen
had attempted to despatch a private expedition to the relief of their
countryman, but through some means it had failed. They had contributed
the sum of $500 to effect this laudable object; but the man to whom they
had entrusted its command had been engaged by another for a different
purpose, at a higher sum. But, instead of feeling annoyed that I
had performed what they had intended to do, they were among my most
enthusiastic admirers.

The next day I received a call from Dr. Kirk, who warmly congratulated
me upon my success. Bishop Tozer also came, and thanked me for tie
service I had rendered to Dr. Livingstone.

On this day I also discharged my men, and re-engaged twenty of them
to return to the "Great Master." Bombay, though in the interior he had
scorned the idea of money rewards, and though he had systematically,
in my greatest need, endeavoured to baffle me in every way, received,
besides his pay, a present of $50, and each man, according to his
merits, from $20 to $50. For this was a day to bury all animosities,
and condone all offences. They, poor people, had only acted according to
their nature, and I remembered that from Ujiji to the coast they had all
behaved admirably.

I saw I was terribly emaciated and changed when I presented myself
before a full-length mirror. All confirmed my opinion that I was much
older in my appearance, and that my hair had become grey. Capt. Fraser
had said, when I hailed him, "You have the advantage of me, sir!" and
until I mentioned my name he did not know me. Even then he jocosely
remarked that he believed that it was another Tichborne affair. I was so
different that identity was almost lost, even during the short period of
thirteen months; that is, from March 23rd, 1871, to May 7th, 1872.

Lieut. Henn the morning after my arrival formally resigned, and the
Expedition was from this time in the hands of Mr. Oswell Livingstone,
who made up his mind to sell the stores, retaining such as would be
useful to his father.

After disbanding my Expedition, I set about preparing another, according
to Dr. Livingstone's request. What the English Expedition lacked I
purchased out of the money advanced by Mr. Oswell Livingstone. The guns,
fifty in number, were also furnished out of the stores of the English
Expedition by him; and so were the ammunition, the honga cloth, for the
tribute to the Wagogo, and the cloth for provisioning the force. Mr.
Livingstone worked hard in the interests of his father and assisted me
to the utmost of his ability. He delivered over to me, to be packed
up, 'Nautical Almanacs' for 1872, 1873, 1874; also a chronometer,
which formerly belonged to Dr. Livingstone. All these things, besides a
journal, envelopes, note-books, writing-paper, medicines, canned fruits
and fish, a little wine, some tea, cutlery and table ware, newspapers,
and private letters and despatches, were packed up in air-tight tin
boxes, as well as 100 lbs. of fine American flour, and some boxes of
soda biscuits.

Until the 19th of May it was understood that Mr. Oswell Livingstone
would take charge of the caravan to his father; but about this date he
changed his mind, and surprised me with a note stating he had decided
not to go to Unyanyembe, for reasons he thought just and sufficient.

Under these circumstances, my duty was to follow out the instructions of
Dr. Livingstone, in procuring a good and efficient leader to take charge
of the caravan as far as Unyanyembe.

In a few hours I succeeded in obtaining an Arab highly recommended from
Sheikh Hashid, whom I engaged at an advance of $100. The young Arab,
though not remarkably bright, seemed honest and able, but I left his
further employment after reaching Unyanyembe to Dr. Livingstone, who

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 36 of 38)