Josiah Tyler.

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from other degraded peoples more than their entire reasona-
bleness and good sense. It is different after they have had
wives, children, and relatives kidnapped, but that is more
than human nature, civilized or savage, can bear. In the


chase in question indiscriminate slaughter, capture, and plun-
der took place. A very large number of very fine young
men were captured, and secured in chains and wooden yokes.

I came near the party of Seyd Ben Habib, close to a point
where a huge rent in the Mountain of Rua allows the escape
of the great river Lualaba out of Lake Moera, and here I had
for the first time an opportunity of observing the difference
between slaves and freemen made captive. When fairly
across the Lualaba, Seyd Ben Habib thought his captives safe,
and got rid of the trouble of attending to and watching the
chained gangs by taking off both chains and yokes. All
declared joy and a perfect willingness to follow Seyd to the
end of the world or elsewhere, but next morning twenty-two
made clear of two mountains.

Many more, seeing the broad Lualaba roll between them
and the homes of their infancy, lost all heart, and in three
days eight of them died. They had no complaint but pain
in the heart, and they pointed out its seat correctly, though
many believe the heart situated underneath the top of the
sternum, or breast bone. This to me was the most startling
death I ever saw. They evidently died of broken hearted-
ness, and the Arabs wondered, seeing they had plenty to

I saw others perish, particularly a very fine boy ten or
twelve years of age. When asked where he felt ill, he put
his hand correctly and exactly over the heart. He was kindly
carried, and, as he breathed out his soul, was laid gently on
the side of the path. The captors were not unusually cruel.
They were callous. Slaving hardened their hearts.

When Seyd, an old friend of mine, crossed Lualaba, he
heard I was in the village, where a company of slave traders
were furiously assaulted for three days by justly incensed
Bobernba. I would not fight nor allow my people to fire if
I saw them, because Bobemba had been especially kind to
me. Seyd sent a party of his own people to invite me to
leave the village and come to him. He showed himself the
opposite of hard-hearted ; but slavery hardens within, petrifies


the feelings, is bad for the victims and ill for the victimizers.
Once, it is said, a party of twelve, who had been slaves in
their own country Cunda or Conda, of which Cazernbe is
chief or general were loaded with krge, heavy yokes, which
were forked trees, about three inches in diameter, and seven
or eight feet long, the neck inserted in the fork, and an iron
bar driven across one end of the fork to the other, and riveted
to the other end, tied at night to the tree or ceiling of the
hut, and the neck being firm in the fork, and the slave held
off from unloosing it, was excessively troublesome to the
wearer, and, when marching, two yokes were tied together by
tree ends, and loads put on the slaves' heads beside.

A woman, having an additional yoke and load, and a child
on her back, said to me on passing, " They are killing me. If
they would take off the yoke I could manage the load and
child ; but I shall die with three loads." The one who spoke
this did die ; poor little girl ! Her child perished from star-

I interceded some, but when unyoked, off they bounded
into the long grass, and I was greatly blamed for not caring
in presence of the owners of the property.

After the day's march, under a broiling, vertical sun, with
yokes and heavy loads, the strongest were exhausted. The
party of twelve, above mentioned, were sitting down singing
and laughing. " Hallo," said I, " these fellows take to it
kindly. This must be the class for whom philosophers say
slavery is the natural state ;" and I went and asked the cause
of their mirth.

I had asked aid of their owner as to the meaning of the
word " Kukha," which usually means fly or leap. They were
using it to express the idea of haunting, as a ghost, inflicting
disease or death, and the song was : " Yes, me going away
to Manga, abroad, or white man's land, with yoke on our
necks ; but we shall have no yokes in death, and shall return
and haunt and kill you." Chorus then struck in, which was
the name of the man who had sold each of them, and then
followed the general laugh, in which at first I saw no bitter-


ness. Tarembee, an old man, at least one hundred and four
years, being one of the sellers, in accordance with African
belief, they had no doubt of being soon able, by ghost power,
to kill even him.

Their refrain was as if : " Oh 1 oh ! oh ! bird of freedom,
you sold me !"

" Oh 1 oh ! oh ! I shall haunt you 1 Oh ! oh ! oli !" Laugh-
ter told not of mirth, but of tears, such as were oppressed,
and they had no comforter. He that is higher than the high-
est regardeth.

About northeast of Rua we have a very large country called
Manyuema, but by Arabs shortened into Manyema. It is
but recently known. The reputation which the Manyemas
enjoyed, of being cannibals, prevented half-caste Arab traders
from venturing among them. The circumstantial details of
practices as man-eaters given by neighboring tribes, were con-
firmed by two Arabs who, two years ago, went as far as Barn-
barre, and secured the protection and friendship of the
Moerekues, Lord of Light Grey Parrott, with Scarlet Tail,
who was a very superior man. The minute details of canni-
bal orgies given by the Arabs' attendants, erred by the sheer
excess of the shocking details.

Had I believed a tenth part of what I was told, I might
never have ventured an inch in Manyema ; but fortunately
my mother never frightened me in infancy with " bogie " and
stuff of that sort, and I am not liable to fits of bogiephobia,
in which disease the poor patient believes everything awful,
if only it is attributed to the owner of a black skin. I have
heard that the complaint was epidemic lately in Jamaica, and
the planter's mothers have much to answer for.

I hope that the disease may never spread in the United
States. The people there are believed to be inoculated with
common sense.

But why go among the cannibals at all ? "Was it not like
joining the Alpine Club, in order to be lauded if you don't
break your neck where your neck ought to be broken ?

This makes me turn back to the watershed, as I promised.


It is a broad belt of tree-covered upland, some seven hundred
miles in length from west to east. The general altitude is
between four thousand and five thousand feet above the sea,
and mountains stand on it at various points which are between
six thousand and seven thousand feet above the ocean level.
On this watershed, springs arise which are well nigh innumer-
able ; that is, it would take half a man's life to count them.
These springs join each other and form brooks, which again
converge and become rivers, or say streams of twenty, forty,
or eighty yards, that never dry. All flow towards the centre
of an immense valley, which I believe to be the Valley of the
Nile. In this trough we have at first three large rivers ; then
all unite into one enormous lacustrine river, the central line
of drainage, which I name Webb's Lualaba. In this great
valley there are five great lakes. One near the upper end is
called Lake Bemba, or, more properly, Bangweolo, but it is
not a source of the Nile, for no large river begins in a lake.
It is supplied by a river called Chambezi, and several others
which may be considered sources, and out of it flows the
larger river, Luapula, which enters Lake Moera, and comes
out as the great lake river, Lualaba, to form Lake Komolondo.
West of Komolondo, but still in the great valley, lies Lake
Lincoln, which I name as my tribute of love to the great and
good man America enjoyed for some time and lost. One of
the three great rivers I mentioned, Bartle Frere's or Lufira,
falls into Komolondo, and Lake Lincoln becomes a lacustrine
river, and it too joins the central line of drainage, but lower
down, and all these united form the fifth lake, which the
slaves, sent to me instead of men, forced me, to my great
grief, to leave as the Unknown Lake. By my reckoning, the
chronometers being all dead, it is five degrees of longitude
west of Speke's position at Ujiji. This makes it probable
that the great lacustrine river in the valley is the western
branch of Petherick's Nile, the Bahar Ghazal, and not the
eastern branch, which Speke, Grant, and Baker believed to
be the river of Egypt. If correct, this would make it the
Nile, only, after all, the Bahar Ghazal enters the eastern arm.


But though I found a watershed between ten degrees and
twelve degrees south that is a long way further up the val-
ley than any one had dreamed and saw the streams of some
six hundred miles of it converging into the centre of the great
valley, no one knew where it went after that departure of Lake
Moera. Some conjectured that it went into Tanganyika ; but
I saw that to do so it must run up hill. Others imagined
that it might flow into the Atlantic. It was to find out where
it actually did go that took me into Manyema.

I could get no information from traders outside ; and no
light could be obtained from the Manyema within. They
never travel, and it was so of old. They consist of petty
headmanships, and each hugs his grievance from some old
feud, and is worse than our old Highland ancestors. Every
head man of a hamlet would like to see every other ruling
blockhead slain ; but all were kind to strangers, and, though
terrible fellows among themselves, with their large spears and
huge wooden shields, they were never known to injure for-
eigners till slaves tried the effects of gun shots upon them,
and captured their women and children.

As I could get no geographical information from them, I
had to feel my way and grope in the interminable forests and
prairies, and three times took the wrong direction, going
northerly, not knowing that the great river makes immense
sweeps to the west and southwest. I felt as if I were running
my head against a stone wall. It might, after all, turn out
to be the Congo, and who would risk being eaten and con-
verted into black man for it ?

I had serious doubts, but I stuck to it like a Briton, and at
last found that the mighty river left its washing and flowed
right away to the north, the two great western drains, the
Lufira and Lomaine, running northeast before joining the
central line or main. Webb's Lualaba told that the western
side of the great valley was high like the eastern, and as this
main is reported to go into large, reedy lakes, it can scarcely
be aught else than the western arm of the Nile. But besides
all this, in which it is quite possible I may be mistaken, we


have two fountains on, probably, the seventh hundred miles
of the watershed, and giving rise to the two rivers, the Loam-
bai, or the Upper Zambesi, and the Kafne, which flow into
inner Ethiopia ; and two fountains are reported to rise in the
same quarter, and, forming Lufira and Lomaine, flow, as we
have seen, to the north. These, from full-grown, gushing
fountains, rising so near each other, and giving origin to four
large rivers, answer in a certain degree to the description
given of the unfathomable fountains of the Nile, by the Sec-
retary of Minerva, in the city of Sais, in Egypt, to the father
of all travelers, Herodotus ; but I have to confess that it is a
little presumptuous in me to put this forward in Central
Africa, and without a single book of reference, on the dim
recollection of reading the ancient historian in boyhood.

The waters were said to well up from an unfathomable
depth, and then part ; half north to Egypt, and half south to
inner Ethiopia. Now, I have heard of the fountains afore-
mentioned so often that I cannot doubt their existence, and I
wish to clear up the point in my concluding trip.

I am not to be considered as speaking without hesitation ;
but prepared, if I see reason, to confess myself wrong. No
one would like to be considered a disciple of the testy old
would-be geographer who wrote " Inner Africa Laid Open,"
and swore to his fancies until he became blue in the face.

The work w r ould all have been finished long ago, had the
matter of supplies of men and goods not been entrusted by
mistake to Banians and their slaves, whose efforts were all
faithfully directed towards securing my failure. These Ban-
ians are protected English subjects, and by their money, their
muskets, and their ammunition, the East African Moslem
slave trade is mainly carried on. The cunning East Indians
secure most of the profits of the slave trade, and adroitly let
odium rest on their Arab agents. The Banians will not harm
a flea or a mosquito, but my progress in geography has led
me to the discovery that they are by far the -worst cannibals
in all Africa. They compass, by means of Arab agents, the
destruction of more human lives for gain, in one year, than


the Manyemas do for their flesh pots in ten. The matter of
supplies and men was unwittingly committed to these, our
Indian fellow subjects, who hate to see me in their slave mar-
ket, and dread my disclosures on the infamous part they play.
The slaves were all imbued with the idea that they were not
to follow, but force me back, and, after rioting on my goods
for sixteen months on the way, instead of three months, the
whole stock of goods was sold off for slaves and ivory. Some
of the slaves who came to Manyema so baffled and worried
me that I had to return 500 or 600 miles.

The only help I have received, except half a supply which
I despatched from Zanzibar, in 1866, has been from Mr. Stan-
ley, your correspondent, and certain remains of stores, which
I seized from the slaves sent from Zanzibar seventeen months
ago, and I had to come back 300 miles to effect the seizure.
I am here at Unyanyembe only till Mr. Stanley can send me
fifty men from the coast, and then I proceed to finish up the
geographical part of my mission.

I come back to the slavery question, and if I am permitted
in any way to promote its suppression, I shall not grudge the
toil and time I have spent. It would be better to lessen,
human woe than discover the sources of the Nile. When
parties leave Ujijito go westward into Manyema, the question
asked is not what goods they take, but how many guns and
kegs of powder. If they have 200 or 300 muskets, and
ammunition in proportion, they think success is certain. No
traders having ever before entered Manyema, the value of
ivory was quite unknown ; indeed, the tusks were left in the
forests with the other bones, where the animals had been
slain. Many were rotten ; others were gnawed by a rodent
animal to sharpen his teeth, as London rats do on leaden
pipes. If civilly treated, the people went into the forest to
spots where they knew elephants had been killed, either by
traps or spears, and bought the tusks for a few copper brace-
lets. I have seen parties return with so much ivory that they
carried it by three relays of hundreds of slaves, but even this
did not satisfy human greed.


The Manyema were found to be terrified by the report of
guns. Some, I know, believe them to be supernatural, for
when the effects of a musket ball were shown on a goat, they
looked up to the clouds, and ofiered to bring ivory to buy the
charm by which lightning was brought from the skies. When
a village was assaulted the men fled in terror, and the women
and children were captured.

Many of the Manyema women, especially far down the
Lualaba, are very pretty, light-colored and lovely. It was
common to hear the Zanzibar slaves whose faces resemble
the features of London door knockers, which some atrocious
iron founder thought were like those of lions say to each
other : " Oh, if we had Manyema wives, what pretty children
we should get !" Manyema men and women were all vastly
superior to the slaves, who evidently felt the inferiority they
had acquired by wallowing in the mire of bondage.

Many of the men were tall, strapping fellows, with but little
of what we think distinctive of the negro about them. If one
relied on the teachings of phrenology, the Manyema men
would take a high place in the human family. They felt
their superiority, and often said, truly, " Were it not for fire-
arms, not one of the strangers would ever leave our country."

If a comparison were instituted, and Manyema taken at
random, placed opposite, say the members of the Anthropo-
logical Society of London, clad in kilts or grass cloth, I should
like to take my place alongside the Manyema, on the princi-
ple of preferring the company of my betters.

The philosophers would look wofully scraggy ; but though
the inferior race, as we compassionately call them, have finely
formed heads, and often handsome features, they are undoubt-
edly cannibals. It was more difficult to ascertain this than
may be imagined. Some think that they can detect the
gnawings of the canine teeth of our cannibal ancestry on fossil
bones. Though the canine teeth of dogs are pretty much
like human, for many months all the evidence I could collect
amounted to what would lead a Scotch jury to give a verdict
of " not proven." This arose partly from the fellows being


fond of a joke, and they liked to horrify any one who seemed
credulous. They led one of my people, who believed all they
said, to see the skull of a recent human victim, and he invited
me in triumph. I found it to be the skull of a gorilla, here
called goko, and for the first time became aware of the exist-
ence of the animal there.

The country abounds in food of all kinds, and a rich soil
raises everything planted in great luxuriance. A friend of
mine tried rice, and in between three and four months the
crop increased one hundred and twenty fold. Three measures
of seed yielded three hundred and sixty measures. Maize is
so abundant that I have seen forty-five loads, each about sixty
pounds weight, given for a single goat. The maize dura or
holcus sorghum, hennistum, cassava, sweet potatoe, and yams
furnish in no stinted measure farinaceous ingredients for diet ;
the palm oil, groundnuts, and a forest tree afford fatty mate-
rial food ; bananas and plantains, in great profusion, and the
sugar cane the saccharine ; the palm toddy, beer of bananas,
tobacco, and vange canabis salina the luxuries of life, and the
villages swarm with goats, sheep, hogs, pigs, and fowls, while
elephants, buffaloes, zebras, and gokos, or gorillas, yield to
expert hunters plenty of the nitrogenous ingredients of human
food. It was puzzling to see why they should be cannibals:

New Zealanders, we are told, were cannibals because they
had killed all their gigantic birds, the moa, etc., and they
were converted from the man-eating persuasion by the intro-
duction of pigs ; but the Manyema have plenty of pigs, and
other domestic animals, and yet they are cannibals. Into the
reason for their cannibalism they do not enter. They say
that human flesh is not equal to that of goats or pigs. It is
saltish, and makes them dream of the dead.

"Why fine-looking men like them should be so low in the
moral scale, can only be attributed to the non-introduction of
that religion which makes those distinctions among men
which phrenology and other " ologies ,' cannot explain. The
religion of Christ is unquestionably the best for man. I refer
to it not as the Protestant, the Catholic, the Greek, or any


other, but to the comprehensive faith which has spread more
widely over the world than most people imagine, and whose
votaries, of whatever name, are better men than any outside
the pale. "We have, no doubt, grievous faults, but these are
in part owing to want of religion. Christians generally are
better than the heathen, but often don't know it, and they
are immeasurably better than they believe each other to be.

The Manyema women, especially far down the Lualaba,
are very pretty and very industrious. The market with them
is a great institution, and they work hard and carry far in
order to have something to sell. Markets are established
about ten or fifteen miles apart. There those who raise cas-
sava, maize, grain, and sweet potatoes exchange them for oil,
salt, pepper, fish, and other relishes. Fowls, also pigs, goats,
grass-cloth, mats, and other articles change hands. All
dressed in their best candy-colored, many-folded kilts, that
reach from waist to knee ; when two or three thousand are
together they form an interesting sight. They enforce jus-
tice, though chiefly women, and they are so eager traders that
they set off in companies by night, and begin to run as soon
as they come within the hum arising from hundreds of voices.

To haggle, and joke, and laugh, and cheat, seem the dear-
est enjoyments of life. They confer great benefit upon each
other. The Manyema women are expert divers for oysters,
and they sell them and fish in exchange for farinaceous food
from the women in the East, the Lualaba, who prefer culti-
vating the soil to fishing.

The Manyema have always told us that women going to
market are never molested. "When the men of two districts
were engaged in actual open hostilities, the women passed
through from one market to another unharmed. To take
away her goods, even in war, was a thing not to be done ;
but at these market women the half-castes directed their

Two cases that came under my own observation were so
sickening that I cannot allow my mind to dwell upon or write
about them. Many of both sexes were killed, but the women


and children chiefly made captives. ISTo matter how much
ivory they obtained, these nigger Moslems must have slaves,
and they assaulted market people and villages, and made cap-
tives, chiefly of women and children, as it appeared to me,
and because, as men ran off at the report of guns, they could
do it without danger.

I had no idea before how bloodthirsty men can be when
they can pour out the blood of their fellow men in safety ;
and all this carnage is going on in Manyema at the very time
I write. It is the Banians, our protected Indian fellow sub-
jects, that indirectly do it.

All we have conceded the Sultan of Zanzibar has been a
right which it was not ours to give, of a certain amount of
slave trading, and that amount has been from twelve thousand
to twenty thousand slaves a year, as we have seen. These
are not traded for but murdered ; they are not slaves, but free
people made captive. A Sultan with a sense of justice would,
instead of taking head money, declare that all were free as
soon as they reached his territory ; but Banians have the Cus-
tom House and all the Sultan's revenue entirely in their
hands. He cannot trust his Mohammedan subjects, even of
the better class, to farm the income, because, as they them-
selves say, he would get nothing in return but a crop of lies.
The Banians actually work the Custom House so as to screen
their own slave agents, and so long as they have power to
promote it, their atrocious system of slavery will never cease
for sake of lawful commerce.

It would be politic to insist that the Sultan's revenue by
the Custom House should be placed in the hands of an English
or American merchant of known reputation and uprightness.
By this arrangement the Sultan would be largely benefited,
legal commerce be exalted to a position it has never held since
the Banians and Moslems emigrated into Eastern Africa, and
Christianity, to which the slave trade is an insurmountable
barrier, would find an open door.



letters from Dr. Livingstone to Lord Clarendon, were
- also brought to England by Mr. Stanley. They were
written only a few days before the arrival of the Expedition
at Ujiji- In one of them, Dr. Livingstone explains quite
fully his geographical discoveries ; in the other, he refers to
Musa's story of his assassination, and thanks all who assisted
in sending out the first English Expedition for his relief.

Ujiji, Nov. 1, 18T1.

MY LORD I wrote a very hurried letter on the 28th ult.,
and sent it by a few men, who had resolved to run the risk
of passing through contending parties of Banyamwezi and
mainland Arabs at TJnyanyembe, which is some twenty days

Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 38 of 51)