Copyright
Josiah Tyler.

Livingstone lost and found online

. (page 50 of 51)
Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 50 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


respects inferior to the whites, and as capable of as high a
degree of cultivation as any people on the face of the globe.
They are not only emotional, but logical, have retentive mem-
ories, are fond of controversy, and can " split hairs " equal
to any Yankee lawyer. As Christian and civilizing agencies
have made the descendants of other once enlightened nations
what they are to-day, the same agencies if faithfully applied,
will raise these people to a like state of improvement.

There are five ordained pastors who are doing a good work.
One of them, the Rev. James Dube, settled over the church at
Inanda, is a fine specimen. The following sketch by Rev. Mr.
Lindley is a very truthful one :

" James Dube is the son of Dube, who was the chief of the
tribe, and is the half brother of the present chief. While he
has renounced every rag and tatter of heathenism, he is still



A NATIVE PASTOR. 751

greatly respected by his people. They know him to be a true
man, a wise man, inside and outside, a noble man. His
height is over seventy-three inches, and his weight not less
than one hundred and ninety five pounds. Till he recently
became a little too corpulent, his personal symmetry was about
perfect. It is only a good eye that will see a faint trace of
the African type in his speaking face. It is rare that a stran-
ger sees him without asking, " Who is that fine looking man ?"
I do not know a black man who, in imposing personal appear-
ance, is equal to the first native pastor of the church at Inan-
da. I say this simply to add, in few words, that in mind
and religious character he is equal to his outward appearance.
It was with the hearty approval of our whole mission that he
was ordained, and we have a strong hope that he will prove
himself to be a workman of whom we shall never be
ashamed."

The portrait of Mr. Dube is from a photograph taken at
Natal.

The hope of the Christian philanthropist lies in the education
of the youth. Hence pains, are taken to establish good train-
ing institutions. At two of the stations connected with the
A. B. C. F. M., are seminaries, one for .boys, the other for
girls, which are flourishing. The graduates of these schools
find no difficulty in obtaining situations as teachers. Thus
under the process of literary, religious and social culture, this
people are rising from the filth of heathenism.

The books which have been printed in their language are
the New Testament and parts of the Old, hymn books, arith-
metics, a geography and ecclesiastical history, Pilgrim's
Progress, " Dairy Man's Daughter," ' l African Servant," and
other tracts. For eight years a little monthly journal called
the " Ikwezi," or Morning Star, circulated among them.

A desire for information is increasing. Light is extending.
Christianity, like leaven, is working among the masses. Quad-
rangular, neatly whitewashed houses are taking the place of
low, uncomfortable, bee-hive huts. The men are realizing their
true position, and by the use of oxen and plows, which they



752 A MISSIONARY'S TESTIMONY

purchase as fast as they are able, relieve their poor mothers,
Wives, and sistersj of the burdens heathenism has imposed on
them. The heathen are often ready to acknowledge that
epirit worship is not the true religion ; that polygamy is
degrading and unworthy their higher natures. The daily
schools with a thousand pupils, hundreds of intelligent church
members, prayer meetings well sustained, a missionary society
supported by voluntary contributions, large congregations on
the Sabbath, singing with modulated voice and in good taste,
" The morning light is breaking," " Nearer, my God, to Thee,"
the native Pastorate supported in a measure by the people
these and other things which might be mentioned, are
gratifying marks of progress and bright omens for the future.

Then there are many things calculated to discourage the mis-
sionary in his self-denying labors. The standard of piety is
low among many of the church members. The converts from
heathenism are mere babes, and need constant watching. Old
habits and superstitions have not wholly lost their power over
them, and occasionally there is perceptible hankering for
the " flesh pots " of polygamy on the part of those who were
considered as proof against it ; but the work goes on in spite
of all obstacles, and is destined to go on until every son of
Ham has " light in his dwelling."

Is it surprising that one of the pioneers of missionary
efforts in South Africa, when looking back upon nearly forty
years of toil and devotion, used the following language ?

" If I was a fool in the eyes of some men, I have lived to
gee a hundred-fold more done than I ever dreamed that I
might effect in a long life, and have enjoyed a hundred-fold
more than I expected. Every promise of God has been
abundantly fulfilled to me."



JPffll



CHAPTER XLYI.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.

SITUATED between 26 and 30 S. lat., and 22 and 28
E. long., on both sides of the Yaal River, lie the Dia-
mond Fields of South Africa. On the southern borders
runs the Orange River, a large and magnificent stream.

The Yaal River is also a beautiful stream, its borders
being lined with handsome trees. Opposite the Diamond
Fields its width is nearly two hundred feet. It is peculiarly
noticeable on account of the following, through its entire
length, of smooth, deep \vater, by falls varying from ten to
thirty feet; either stretch of smooth water being hardly
more than a mile in length. The river at times is very low,
but never dry. Upon the banks of this stream thousands of
men are now engaged in searching for the precious stones.

The Diamond Fields of South Africa occupy the same
position that California did years ago, with this disadvantage,
that but very little was known of the country in which they
lie, when the account of the dazzling gems found upon them
was first published.

All the information given to the world as yet respecting
them has been of that vague nature, and has come through
such unreliable channels, that thousands who, if they had
known the real truth respecting the operations there, or could
have felt assured that the stories they had heard had a fair
share of truth, would have been on their way long ago, and
would now be located and at work, in one of the pleasantest,

755



V5G THE DIAMOND FIELDS.

and healthiest lands on the face of the globe, are still in
doubt as to its reliability.

The climate is mild and even, and with the exception of a
mild type of fever, prevalent at certain seasons, no particular
disease prevails. All through what are our summer months
no rain falls there, the nights are cool, and ice forms.

The region on which it is supposed diamonds can be found,
embraces an area of many thousand square miles, and is claim-
ed by different governments and chiefs. The Orange River
Free State Government, lays claim to that portion lying east
of the Vaal river. This is a Dutch Republic. It originated
in the emigration of the Dutch population of Cape Town,
when it passed into the hands of the English. This govern-
ment has been recognized within the past two years by the
United States, as well as that of another one, of Dutch origin,
viz : the Transvaal Republic, which claims that part of the
Diamond Fields lying west of the Vaal.

The capital of the Orange River Free State is called Bloem-
fontien, a handsome town of about one thousand inhabitants,
and is about one hundred miles from Pniel, the central point
of the Diamond Fields.

The capital of the Transvaal Republic is called Pretoria,
and is situated about two hundred and fifty miles northeast
from Pniel, on the route to Delagoa Bay, a well known port,
some six hundred miles north of Natal. The idea that many
have, that to visit the South African Diamond Fields, a per-
son must encounter a dangerous climate, travel through sav-
age tribes, and run the risk of being eaten by cannibals, is
all nonsense ; not half the peril is encountered in a trip to
these mines, that every early miner in California met with,
for the native races that live on and around these fields,
although called uncivilized by us, have not yet learned of
their civilized white brethren, how to commit the fashionable
crimes of theft and murder ; and therefore, they still recog-
nize a man's right to his own property and life, and avoid all
interference with them if possible.

There are three routes to the Diamonds Fields one from




LEAVING PORT NATAL.




ROUTES TO THE FIELDS. 759

Cape Town, ono from Port Elizabeth, arid one from Port Natal.
The distance from Cape Town is about seven hundred miles,
in a north easterly direction. A company run a line of wagons
there regularly, accomplishing the journey in ten days. It is
the most feasible method of reaching the mines, undoubtedly.
Cape Town is situated almost at the southern extremity of the
Continent. Three mountains enclose the town, one of which
the Table Mountain rises nearly four thousand feet above
the level of the sea. Cape Town was founded in 1G52 by
the Dutch, but now belongs to England ; it contains about
forty thousand inhabitants, the Colony about half a million,
of which, about one fourth are Europeans.

Port Elizabeth is situated about five hundred miles easterly
of Cape Town, and has a population of about twelve thousand,
mostly Europeans. Its commerce is large, a line of clipper
ships run direct there from Boston. The distance from this
place to the Diamond Fields is about four hundred and fifty
miles, the time occupied by oxen and wagons is about twenty
days.

Port Natal is about five hundred miles north easterly from
Port Elizabeth, and has been fully described in a proceeding
chapter. The distance from here to the Diamond Fields is u
little greater than from Port Elizabeth, still there are some
advantages in starting from this place, particularly if oxen and
wagons are used for a conveyance. These can be purchased
at good advantage at Durban. An usual team consists of a
large covered wagon drawn by sixteen oxen, with two or three
native drivers. Such teams are constantly starting for the
mines from this point. Our illustrations of the start and on
the road, were drawn from life.

The Diamonds are sought for in two ways : by washing and
by dry digging. At first the business was confined to the
last only, and it was supposed that only the surface of the soil
contained them. This idea has been found to be an erroneous
one, and claims are now worked to the depth of thirty or
forty feet. The Californian cradle has been brought intense,
also, and dirt is now carted quite a distance, for washing.



760 DISCOVERY OF DIAMONDS.

The scene at some localities is a spirited one ; as far almost as
the eye can see, the fields are dotted with shanties and busy-
men and women are seen, hard at work, searching for the prec-
ious stones. Dutch farmers, are there with their teams, vrows,
and sturdy sons and daughters, all come up to work a while
at the fascinating business. Many of them return soon, with
treasures enough to make them satisfied for life.

The discovery of diamonds in this region was made about
six years ago. A large diamond was found in the possession
of a boy, by a trader, and purchased by him for a trifle. It
proved to be worth $2,500. Another was found about a year
after in the possession of a native doctor. It was sold for
about $50,000. Its weight was eighty-three carats. As the
matter became talked of, the natives commenced a search for
the stones, forming long lines and connecting hands, and thus
walking over fields and scrutinizing every inch of the ground.
But soon the news spread, and great excitement ensued.

In 1870 a company was formed for prospecting, and from
that moment the history of Calif orni an and Australian mining
has been repeated. Thousands have flocked to the locality,
a few to become rich, many to be doomed to disappointment.

Great success has, however, generally attended well directed
efforts. One company took out of a small plot of ground
nearly half a million dollars' worth of diamonds in two months.

A government has been organized by the miners, and strict
laws adopted and enforced. As a general thing order reigns,
and but few scenes of violence occur.

The great distance of these fields from Europe and America
has a tendency to keep back many who otherwise would go,
and the limited means of knowing the truth has also acted as
a preventive to thousands.

Pniel is the great centre of operations. A newspaper
called the " Diamond News " is printed there, and is likely
to prove a success.

Many attempts have been made by parties to obtain control
of large tracts of the territory but such efforts have proved
abortive. The temper of the miners is such, that while they



LIMPOPO GOLD MINES. 763

are willing and ready to pay a fair license to the real owners
of the soil, for the privilege of working it, they will resist
every attempt made by those owners, to give exclusive rights
of large tracts to any party, and they will recognize no title
obtained, or rights granted by native chiefs, or pretended
authorities.

A controversy having arisen between the Transvaal Repub-
lic and others, as to the ownership and sovereignty of a por-
tion of the Fields ; and it becoming apparent that trouble
and perhaps bloodshed would be the result, Great Britain
with her usual promptitude stepped in and claimed the whole
section as her territory ; and the Orange River Free State, the
Transvaal Republic, and all others interested, will have to
submit.

The English Government keep quite a force of cavalry
stationed there, that maintain good order, and all contentions
as to rights of property, are settled by the authorities holding
under that government.

For some time rich gold lands have been known to ex-
ist near the junction of the Limpopo and Zambesi rivers,
but nothing has been announced relating to them sufficient to
awaken much interest in them. No doubt exists however,
that a fair yield of gold would be obtained by proper
efforts. The nearest and best route to these lands is from
Delegoa Bay. The reader by reference to the map of Africa
on page eighteen, will be able to locate the different points
described.

39



CHAPTER XLVH.
THE EAST AFRICAN SLAYE-TKADE.

TO the shame of the nineteenth century the traffic in
Negro slaves still lingers, nay flourishes, on the East
Coast of the African Continent. Thanks to the combined
public sentiment and efforts of Christian civilization in general,
and to the anti-slavery enterprise of England in particular,
the shipment of slaves from the West Coast is practically
ended.

If Dr. Livingstone had done nothing more than to call the
attention of the world to the still putrid condition of this
plague-spot on humanity which the majority of men had
considered as virtually healed, his last mission to Africa
would not have been in vain. The letters which the great
traveler sent home by Stanley have astonished governments
as well as individuals by their disclosures, and a spirit has
been roused which promises effectually to put an end to all
trade by man in his brother man. "We propose to give a
brief account of this East African slave-trade as it now exists,
and of the men and measures by whom and by which it is
proposed to put a final extinguisher on this most inhuman
traffic.

Zanzibar, the only open slave-market now existing in the
world, is situated on the island of Zanzibar in latitude 6 S.
The market place is described as an irregular, unpaved, oblong
space, one hundred and fifty feet long by ninety feet wide,
with palm-thatched huts on three of its sides. Here tens of
thousands of negroes are annually sold, a few to go to the

764



THE EAST AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE. 765

Spanish "West India isles, but the great majority to Arabia.
The sale generally commences about four o'clock in the
afternoon, and at five business may be said to be at its height.
The centre of the market is occupied by the slaves, who are
seated in rows on the ground. Walking around and criticis-
ing the various lots, are to be seen men of every race belong-
ing to Eastern Africa and Arabia, from the wild Arab of
Oman who means to purchase thirty or forty slaves, to the
fierce Somauli who intends a small speculation of three or
four only.

The English stranger is looked upon by the Arabs with
anything but favor, especially if his aspect is at all nautical ;
as the ships of war in the harbor is only waiting for the
change of the monsoon, at which time the numerous slave-
carrying dhows sail for the north. She will then lie in wait
for them, and capture such of those vessels as may fall in
her way.

Apart from the other slaves and standing up, are to be
seen the choice female specimens. Females are the special
favorites with the Arabs, and it is a revolting sight to see a
lascivious Arab, wishing to add to the number of his harem,
examining the objects of his purchase before closing a bargain.
The average price of male slaves is from fifteen to twenty
dollars, while the female sells at from forty to one hundred
and twenty dollars.

This shipment of negroes to Arabia has been effected
under the sanction of treaties made by the petty sultanate of
Muscat with England, France, and the United States. The
news will be joyfully welcomed by all lovers of freedom, that
England is determined to put down the. hideous traffic.
But in order to understand the relations of England and other
powers to this trade and to appreciate the difficulties sur-
rounding the question, a brief sketch of the recent history
of Muscat and of the present condition of slavery there, is
copied from the London Times.

" Twenty-five years ago that little Power, under the sway
of an exceptionally able Sultan, prospered greatly in influence



766 THE EAST AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE.

and wealth, and included, not only its present territory on
the shore of the Persian Gulf, but also the island of Zan-
zibar. At that time, indeed, she promised to become one of
the most civilized of the minor Asiatic States. Presents
were exchanged with most of the Great Powers, and their
counsel in diplomacy, and their teaching in all the useful arts
were solicited with an ardor very much more sincere than
that which inspires the Viceroy of Egypt or the Sultan of
Turkey when they make a ' progressive ' speech on the eve
of issuing a new loan. Thus it came about that England,
France and America cheerfully entered into these now obnox-
ious treaties 'of commerce with so enlightened a government.

But twenty years since, the good Sultan died, and his king-
dom fell into a state of anarchy which has ever since been
deepening in confusion, and which has ruined the lands which
his wise sceptre was redeeming from poverty and ignorance.

During these latter evil days a certain clause in the treat-
ies of commerce has been found to be a very serious source
of trouble. Slavery of a certain mild type, such as will be
described below, has prevailed in all Moslem lands, of course,
from time immemorial, and Muscat chiefly drew its supply
of bondmen from Zanzibar. Under the old Sultan the traffic
was conducted with very humane provisions, and as it was
impossible to hope for anything but a gradual abolition of the
institution, the various civilized Powers agreed to clauses
being inserted in the treaties permitting the transportation
of slaves between Muscat and Zanzibar a condition being
exacted that such slaves should be for the tonafide consump-
tion of Muscat, and should not be re-exported to Persia and
Mesopotamia, and thus northward and westward all over the
Turkish Empire and into Central Asia.

While the old Sultan lived his influence was successfully
used to carry out this contract in good faith, but in the
troubles that followed his death the smuggling of slaves
through this open gate has been freely indulged in. It has
also been found to be utterly impracticable to stop the abuse
while the old treaties are maintained. An English vessel of



THE EAST AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE. 7(59

war has constantly been kept cruising about the Persian
Gulf, but it could not, of course, overhaul every little trading
dhow, and even when it tried to do so its intervention has
been but rarely of any use.

The traders seldom ventured upon importing a cargo of slaves
and nothing else, but distributed this kind of merchandise
through the entire trading marine of Muscat and Zanzibar.
Nearly all these native vessels are worked by slave sailors,
and nothing can be easier, therefore, than to elude the inquir-
ies of the British officers by representing that the new impor-
tations are part of the legitimate crew of the vessel. But
even this excuse was more than was necessary. Legally, it
is sufficient, to secure exemption from seizure, to make a
declaration that the slaves are the property of subjects of the
Imaum of Muscat, and are intended for their sole use, and
will not be re-exported from that place to any of the other
ports on the Gulf. Practically, therefore, the slave-trade in
this direction is free as air.

Just a few features of Arab slavery will demonstrate satis-
factorily its comparative mildness. Probably nearly two-thirds
of the imported slaves are women, designed for the purpose
of concubinage. But even though an Arab has become the
owner of a female slave, he is not permitted by the law to co-
habit with her, except with her own voluntary consent, and
he would be severely punished by the cazee, or judge, if the
woman complained that he had outraged her by force. And
should the woman consent and the union be a fruitful one, the
mere fact of having borne a child to her master frees the hap-
py mother, and further imposes upon her former owner the
duty of maintaining her for the rest of her life in his own
household as an inseparable member of his family. She may
be required to perform certain domestic services, but can
never be again sold, and is to all intents and purposes a sort
of supernumerary wife. And, lastly, so far as the offspring of
such commerce is concerned, the law is even more humane
still. Not only is the child free, but he is equal in all respects
with the other white (or, rather, Arab-colored, for Semites



770 THE EAST AFRICAX SLAVE-TRADE.

can scarcely perhaps be called white) and legitimately born
children. Provision must be made for him out of the estate
of his father at his death the same as for the others, and should
the vote of the assembled family call upon him to assume the
headship of the family, which in Muscat is an elective not an
hereditary distinction, he is as eligible as any of his half-breth-
ren. To give a case in point, the present rulers of both Zan-
zibar and Muscat are largely colored with black slave blood,
but are nevertheless obeyed with the same obedience by their
white subjects as though they were of pure descent.

The prejudice of color, indeed, is altogether unintelligible,
not to say abominably wicked and revolting, in the eyes of a
good Moslem. To him all men are the children of Allah, the
All-Wise, the All-Seeing, the All-Benevolent One and only
God ; and that curious supposition, once so strongly favored
in the South, that a negro has no soul, would strike him as
an ineffably horrible and blasphemous doctrine. Inequalities
of fortune, however, are a much more simple matter, and that
a man should be so unlucky as to have a master is, as he looks
upon it, merely a decree of Allah, which, if the man be wise
and pious, he will cheerfully submit to. In consequence of
these views the first thing an Arab does with his slave is to
try and make him a Mohammedan, and in this he is almost
invariably successful; though now and then one hears of a
negro practising in secret the old heathen rites of his native
land. And, the slave once converted, the two men the own-
er and the owned generally cultivate toward each other a
kindliness of feeling which is sometimes singularly touching.

The writer has seen a dhow set out for Zanzibar from Muscat
in charge of a black slave captain, with a crew composed en-
tirely of slave sailors. They were all perfectly contented and
happy, and the slave who was captain listened to his master's
final instructions in very much the same loyally respectful
spirit that an American skipper would listen to his owner.
That ship, of course, came back, and the slave captain gave his
master a faithful account of his stewardship. As a further
illustration of the spirit of Arab slavery, it may be said that



THE EAST AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE. 771

on the death, of an Arab his slaves are very frequently, if not



Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 50 of 51)