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on account of the advanced state of growth of the specimen. This
explanation accords very ill with the declarations of the negroes, who
affirm, that they have often seen fires in the woods, occasioned by the
spontaneous burning of these shrubs; but it is mentioned in Mr. Park's
letter, 'that _few_ of the natives had seen it actually burning.'

2. _Kino._ The origin of this drug, long ago admitted into the
Pharmacopoeias of Europe, was unknown, till Mr. Park sent a specimen of
the plant from which the negroes collect it, which proves to be a species
of _Pterocarpus_ not yet described by any botanical writer.

3. _Tribo_. As no part of the plant was sent except the root,
nothing can be said concerning its species. It appeared to be a
moderately good dye, but had no marked superiority over those already
known, sufficient to induce Sir Joseph Banks to cause experiments to be
made with it. Indeed, the quantity was not sufficient for any
experiments, except on a very confined scale.


The following particulars, tending to shew the increase which has taken
place in the commerce between Great Britain and Africa since the
Abolition of the Slave Trade, have been communicated to the editor by an
intelligent friend, who has great knowledge and experience in the African
trade, and upon whose accuracy and means of information he has the most
perfect reliance.

It appeared from Custom-house returns, officially laid before Parliament,
that the average annual value of all imports from Africa into Great
Britain for twenty years prior to 1787, fell short of £72,000; and even
this small sum included the imports, not only from the whole Western
coast of Africa between Cape Negro in latitude 16 deg South and the
straits of Gibraltar, but also from some parts bordering on the
Mediterranean. The average annual value of these imports, during the last
five years of that period, viz. 1783, 4, 5, 6 and 7, appears, from the
same official returns, to have been about £90,500. If from this amount be
deducted the value of the articles appearing to have been imported from
Morocco and other adjoining countries, there will be left somewhat less
than £70,000 for the value of all our imports from the Western Coast of
Africa; that is, from the country lying between Cape Blanco, latitude 21
deg north, and Cape Negro, latitude 16 deg south, being an extent of 4500
miles of coast. The average annual exports from Great Britain to the
Western coast of Africa during the same period (exclusive of the exports
connected with the Slave Trade) may be estimated at a sum not materially
exceeding £50,000.

The compiler of the present statement possesses no documents or means of
information, which enable him to shew what was the extent of the commerce
of Great Britain with Africa (unconnected with the Slave Trade) during
the period from 1788 to 1807, the year in which the Slave Trade was
abolished; but there is good reason to believe that it had not materially
increased within that time.

It might be impracticable at present, from the loss of the Custom-house
books, to obtain any authentic account of exports and imports during the
last seven years. But this defect of official information is in some
degree supplied by an authentic statement, made out on a particular
occasion by a Committee of the African Company, from accounts with which
they were furnished from the Custom-house, through the intervention of
Government. The object of the Company in obtaining these accounts was to
procure authentic data relative to some public measure which was in
agitation, connected with the African trade. The following statement was
extracted from the books of the Company.

Imports from Africa into Great Britain.

1808. £374,306
1809. 383,926
1810. 535,577

[Sidenote: exclusive of gold dust, which is not subject to any
custom-house entry]

Exports from Great Britain to Africa.

1808. £820,194
1809. 976,872
1810. 693,911

The great difference between the value of the exports and imports in this
case was accounted for by an experienced officer of the African Company
by supposing that a large proportion (from one third to a half) of the
goods exported, was captured by the enemy. If this be the true
explanation, the account must have been balanced by the exports of gold
dust, and the bills of exchange drawn from the British settlements on the
African coast. Another supposition (and perhaps a more probable one) is
that a considerable part of the exports found their way into the hands of
the contraband slave traders, and was employed in carrying on their
illegal speculations.

But, even if we consider the imports alone, the increase in the commerce
of Africa during the before mentioned period is altogether astonishing;
so much so, as almost to induce a suspicion that there is some fallacy in
the statement, although there does not appear to be any specific ground
for questioning its correctness. For if to the amount of the imports as
above stated, we add the value of the gold dust imported, we shall find
that this additional commerce nearly fills up the chasm occasioned by the
Abolition of the slave trade, extensively as that trade was carried on by
this country.

But considering this statement only as a general proof of a great
increase of the African trade, (without attempting to assign the
proportion of increase) let us take another view of the same subject.

The Gold Coast is about 250 miles in extent, little more than a twentieth
part of the whole coast extending from Cape Blanco to Cape Negro.
Previously to the Abolition of the slave trade, the imports into Great
Britain from this space of coast used to consist of

about 20 tons of ivory valued at - - £7500
and about 1000 ounces of gold dust - - 4000
- - £11500

Since the Abolition of the slave trade the imports from this tract of
coast have greatly increased; and it may be stated upon the undoubted
authority of intelligent persons, perfectly acquainted with the facts,
that the importations have amounted, during the last five or six years,
to the annual value of from £120,000. to £180,000. The annual import of
gold alone is stated to be about 30,000 ounces.

Thus it appears that the importation from the Gold Coast alone, (a space
of 250 miles) into Great Britain since the Abolition of the slave trade,
has been double the amount of the importation from the whole slave coast
of Africa (an extent of 4500 miles) prior to that event.

A farther example may be taken from the colony of Sierra Leone, where a
custom house was first established in May 1812; from whence accounts have
been furnished of the imports and exports into and from that colony
during the two years ending in May 1814. - The amount of the imports
during that period, on which duties were actually paid, was £105,080.
15_s_. 3_d_. being the alleged prime cost of the goods, even
without the cost of packages. In order to obtain the invoice price of the
goods, one third at least must be added to the prime cost for necessary
charges. The amount will then be about £140,000., or, on an average,
£70,000. annually.

The exports from Sierra Leone during the same period have amounted to
£91,539. 17_s_. 6_d_. being on an average £45,000. annually.
The remainder of imports may be accounted for by the bills of exchange
drawn upon this country for the expenses of the civil establishment and
commissariat. Hence it appears that from the single river of Sierra Leone
the imports into Great Britain were nearly, and the exports to the same
river fully, equal to the imports and exports (exclusive of the slave
trade) of the whole extent of the Western Coast of Africa prior to the

The facts here stated relative to the extent of our innocent and
legitimate commerce with the western coast of Africa, must be considered
as highly interesting and important; both as shewing how extremely small
that commerce was prior to the Abolition of the slave trade, and how much
it has increased during the very few years which have since elapsed. This
increase has certainly been much more considerable than there was any
good reason for expecting, under the actual circumstances of the case.

If we were told of a country, whose staple article of export trade
consisted of its own inhabitants, its men, women and children, who were
procured (as must necessarily happen in the case of large and continued
exports) by treachery and violence - where the whole population was either
living in continual apprehension of captivity and eternal banishment from
their native soil, or employed contriving the means of inflicting those
evils upon others - we should at once conclude that the very insecurity of
person and property, which such a state of society implied, would of
itself extinguish all the motives to regular industry, and limit the
culture of the soil very nearly to what was required for supplying the
immediate wants of nature.

Such in fact were the circumstances of Africa prior to the year 1808; at
which time the slave trade carried on by Great Britain, and the United
States of North America having been abolished by those respective
governments, and the slave trade of France and Holland being virtually
abolished by the war, a considerable mitigation of the prevailing evils
took place. A farther improvement was effected about three years
afterwards, by means of the article in the treaty of amity with Portugal,
which bound Portuguese subjects to confine their trading in slaves to
places in Africa actually under the possession of that Government. By
this arrangement the whole coast of Africa from Cape Blanco to the
eastern extremity of the Gold Coast (with the exception of the Portuguese
settlement of Bissao) were in a considerable degree liberated from the
operation of the slave trade.

The Spaniards indeed claimed a right of trading within those limits; but
it was a right which, in its exercise, did not prove so prejudicial as
might have been expected. The slave trade carried on under the Spanish
flag, has been found in most instances not to be a _bona fide_
Spanish trade, but a British or American slave trade in disguise; and
latterly the Portuguese, being excluded by treaty from the whole to the
windward coast except Bissao, have begun to avail themselves of the same
disguise. Many slave vessels under these circumstances, bearing the
Spanish flag, have been captured by the British cruizers: and the
condemnations which have taken place, have tended greatly to abridge the
extent of this trade. Still however the course of improvement in this
part of Africa, has been extremely retarded by the right which Portugal
has hitherto retained of carrying on the slave trade from Bissao, and by
the trade carried on either by real Spanish ships or by counterfeit
Spaniards so well disguised as to escape detection.

Besides the trade thus carried on, cargoes of slaves have frequently been
smuggled by English and American traders, availing themselves of the
facilities which the creeks and rivers of Africa afford for such
transactions, and taking their chance of escaping the cruizers on the
coast. A contraband trade of this kind appears to have been carried on to
some extent; by means of which various cargoes of slaves have been
transported to the Brazils and the Island of Cuba.

These facts are mentioned for the purpose of shewing that considerable
obstacles to improvement, arising from the partial continuance of the
slave trade, are still experienced, even in that part of Africa which has
enjoyed the greatest privileges and exemptions. Under such circumstances
it would be most unreasonable to look for that progress in the arts of
agriculture and peace-commerce which we should have been entitled to
expect, in case the suppression of the slave trade had been complete and

But even under much more favourable circumstances than we have reason at
present to expect, it would by no means follow that the mere removal of
that great obstacle to regular industry and commerce, would in any very
short space of time produce considerable or extensive improvements. The
ignorance, the profligacy, the improvidence and the various other moral
evils, which necessarily accompany the slave trade, will, it is to be
feared, long survive the extinction of that traffic which produced and
fostered them. The whole history of mankind shews that the progress of
civilization is always extremely slow during its earliest stages; and
that the first steps in the career of improvement are constantly the most
painful and difficult. Hence, we may be justified in drawing the most
favourable conclusions from the comparatively great increase which has
already taken place in the commerce of Africa during a very short period,
in consequence of a partial removal of those evils, which previously had
almost excluded the very possibility of improvement.

_The following_ African Words _occurring frequently in the course
of the ensuing Journal, it is thought proper to prefix an explanation of

* * * * *

_Bentang_, a sort of stage erected in every town, answering the
purpose of a town hall.

_Slatees_, free black merchants, often traders in slaves.

_Caffle_, a caravan of slaves or of people travelling with any kind
of merchandize.

_Dooty_, the chief magistrate of a town or province.

_Palaver_, A court of justice, or public meeting; some times a parly
or negociation.

_Bar_, nominal money; a single bar is equal in value to about two
shillings sterling.

_Kowries_, small shells which pass for money in the Interior of

_Barraloolo_, a fowling - piece.

_Arrangoes_, a large kind of bead.

_Baft_, blue cloth of East Indian manufacture, much used in the
African Trade.

_Pagne_, a kind of cloth, also much used in the same trade.

[Illustration: Map]

[Illustration: Map]


Chapter I

Departure from Kayee - Arrival at Pisania - Preparations there, and
departure into the Interior - Samee - Payment to Mumbo Jumbo - Reach Jindey;
process of dying cottons at that place - Departure from Jindey - Cross the
Wallia Creek - Kootakunda - Madina - Tabajang - Kingdom of Jamberoo - Visit
from the King's son - Tatticonda - Visit from the son of the former King of
Woolli - Reach Madina, the capital of Woolli - Audience of the King; his
unfriendly conduct - Presents made to him and his courtiers - Barraconda
- Bambakoo - Kanipe; inhospitable conduct of its inhabitants - Kussai
- Nitta - trees; restrictions relating to them - Enter the Simbani Woods;
precautions thereon, and sacrifice and prayers for success - Banks of the
Gambia - Crocodiles and hippopotami - Reach Faraba-Loss of one of the
soldiers - Rivers Neaulico and Nerico - Astronomical observations.


April 27th, 1805. - At ten o'clock in the morning took our departure from
Kayee. The _Crescent_, the _Washington_ and Mr. Ainsley's
_vessel_ did us the honour to fire a salute at our departure. The
day proved remarkably hot; and some of the asses being unaccustomed to
carry loads, made our march very fatiguing and troublesome. Three of them
stuck fast in a muddy rice field about two miles east of Kayee; and while
we were employed in getting them out, our guide and the people in front
had gone on so far, that we lost sight of them. In a short time we
overtook about a dozen soldiers and their asses, who had likewise fallen
behind, and being afraid of losing their way, had halted till we came up.
We in the rear took the road to Jonkakonda, which place we reached at one
o'clock; but not finding Lieutenant Martyn nor any of the men who were in
front, concluded they had gone by New Jermy, &c., therefore hired a guide
and continued our march. Halted a few minutes under a large tree at the
village of Lamain-Cotto, to allow the soldiers to cool themselves; and
then proceeded towards _Lamain_, at which place we arrived at four
o'clock. The people were extremely fatigued, having travelled all day
under a vertical sun, and without a breath of wind. Lieutenant Martyn and
the rest of our party arrived at half past five, having taken the road by
New Jermy.

On our arrival at Lamain we unloaded the asses under a large Bentang tree
on the east side of the town. The Slatee (or master of that district of
the kingdom of Kataba, called Lamain) came to pay his respects to me, and
requested that I would order the bundles and asses to be removed to some
other tree; assuring me that if we slept under it, we should all be dead
before morning. I was for some time at a loss to comprehend his meaning;
when he took me by the hand, and leading me to one of the large notches
in the root of the tree, shewed me three spear-heads which appeared to
have been tinged with blood, lying with their points amongst bone-ashes,
and surrounded with a rope half burnt. I now ordered the bundles to be
removed to another tree, presented the Slatee with a keg of liquor, and
received in return a small bullock. Here we were forced to purchase
water, the wells of the town being nearly dry. Slept very comfortably
under the tree, and at day-break,

April 28th, set out for Pisania. We passed two small Foulah towns and the
village of Collin, and reached the banks of the Gambia at half past
eleven o'clock. Halted and gave our cattle water and grass: we likewise
cooked our dinners, and rested till three o'clock, when we set forward
and arrived at Pisania at sun-set. Here we were accommodated at Mr.
Ainsley's house; and as his schooner had not yet arrived with our
baggage, I purchased some corn for our cattle, and spoke for a bullock
for the soldiers.

April 29th. - Went and paid my respects to Seniora Camilla, who was much
surprised to see me again attempting a journey into the interior of the

[Footnote: See Park's Travels, p. 31, 357.]

April 30th. - Mr. Ainsley's schooner arrived, and we immediately began to
land the baggage and rice.

April 31st. - Gave out the ass saddles to be stuffed with grass, and set
about weighing the bundles. Found that after all reductions, our asses
could not possibly carry our baggage. Purchased five more with Mr.
Ainsley's assistance.

May 1st. - Tying up the bundles and marking them.

May 2d. - Purchased three asses, and a bullock for the people.

May 3d. - Finished packing the loads, and got every thing ready for our

May 4th. - Left Pisania at half past nine o'clock. The mode of marching
was adjusted as follows. The _asses_ and _loads_ being all
marked and numbered with red paint, a certain number of each was allotted
to each of the six messes, into which the soldiers were divided; and the
asses were further subdivided amongst the individuals of each mess, so
that every man could tell at first sight the ass and load which belonged
to him. The asses were also numbered with large figures, to prevent the
natives from stealing them, as they could neither wash nor clip it off
without being discovered. Mr. George Scott and one of Isaaco's people
generally went in front, Lieutenant Martyn in the centre, and Mr.
Anderson and myself in the rear. We were forced to leave at Pisania about
five cwt. of rice, not having a sufficient number of asses to carry it.
We were escorted till we passed Tendicunda by Mr. Ainsley, and the good
old Seniora Camilla, and most of the respectable natives in the vicinity.
Our march was most fatiguing. Many of the asses being rather overloaded,
lay down on the road; others kicked off their bundles; so that, after
using every exertion to get forward, we with difficulty reached Samee, a
distance of about eight miles. We unloaded our asses under a large Tabba
tree at some distance from the town, and in the evening I went with
Isaaco to pay my respects to the Slatee of Samee.

The Slatee of Samee, as well as the Slatees of Lamain and Kutijar, is
subject to the King of Kataba; but their subjection is not easily
defined. If a slave runs away from one to another, he cannot be reclaimed
unless the other chooses to give him up. The Slatee was very drunk, and
when I told him that I was come to pay my respects to him and would give
him one jug of rum, he told me he would not allow me to pass unless I
gave him ten jugs; and after a good deal of insignificant palaver, I was
obliged to give him two jugs.

May 5th. - Paid six bars of amber to the Mumbo Jumbo boys, and set out for
Jindey early in the morning. Found this day's travelling very difficult;
many of the asses refused to go on; and we were forced to put their loads
on the horses. We reached Jindey about noon. Purchased a bullock, and
halted the 6th; fearing, if we attempted to proceed, we should be forced
to leave some of our loads in the woods.

[Footnote: For a description of Mumbo Jumbo, see Park's Travels, p. 39.]

At Jindey they _dye very fine blues with the indigo leaves_. I
readily embraced the opportunity, during our halt, to make myself
acquainted with the process, which I saw in all its different stages.

_Mode of dying Cotton of a fine blue colour with the leaves of the
Indigo Plant._

A large quantity of wood-ashes is collected (the woods preferred for the
purpose are the _mimosa nitta_, and _mimosa pulverulenta_,) and
put into an unglazed earthen vessel which has a hole in its bottom; over
which is put some straw. Upon these ashes water is poured, which,
filtrating through the hole in the bottom of the vessel, carries with it
the potass contained in the ashes, and forms a very strong lye of the
colour of strong beer: this lye they call _sai-gee_, ash-water.

Another pot is filled not quite quarter full of the leaves of the indigo
plant, either fresh or dried in the sun (those used at this time were
dried), and as much of the sai-gee poured on it as will fill the pot
about half full. It is allowed to remain in this state for four days,
during which it is stirred once or twice each day.

The pot is then filled nearly full of sai-gee and stirred frequently for
four days more, during which it ferments and throws up a copper-coloured
scum. It is then allowed to remain at rest for one day, and on the tenth
day from the commencement of the process the cloth is put into it. No
mordant whatever is used; the cloth is simply wetted with cold water, and
wrung hard before it is put into the pot, where it is allowed to remain
about two hours. It is then taken out and exposed to the sun, by laying
it (without spreading it) over a stick, till the liquor ceases to drop
from it. After this it is washed in cold water, and is often beat with a
flat stick to clear away any leaves or dirt which may adhere to it. The
cloth being again wrung hard, is returned into the pot; and this dipping
is repeated four times every day for the first four days; at the end of
which period it has in common acquired a blue colour equal to the finest
India baft.

The Negro women, who practise dying, have generally twelve or fourteen
indigo jars, so that one of them is always ready for dipping. If the
process misgives, which it very seldom does with women who practise it
extensively, it generally happens during the second four days or the
fermenting period. The indigo is then said to be dead, and the whole is
thrown out.

In Kajaaga and Kasson they spread the cloth in the sun, and dry it after
every dip: they then beat it with a stick, so as to make the indigo
leaves fly off it like dust. Both practices have for their object the
_clearing of the cloth_, so as to admit the indigo equally to all
parts of it. The process abridged is,

Four days indigo and a small quantity of sai-gee.

Four days fermenting in a large quantity of sai-gee.

One day at rest.

Four days dipping the cloth, four dips per day.

Thirteen in all.

To return to the narrative. Lamina Foffono, one of my fellow travellers
in my former journey from Mandingo to Gambia, hearing that I was come to
Jindey, came from Wallia to see me. He told me that Karfa was in health,
but had not received the musket I sent him by Captain Brand.

At five o'clock had a strong puff of wind from the south-east, which
raised the dust and had exactly the appearance of a tornado.

May 7th. - Left Jindey, but so much were our asses fatigued, that I was
obliged to hire three more, and four drivers to assist in getting forward
the baggage. One of the St. Jago asses fell down convulsed when the load
was put upon him; and a Mandingo ass, No. 11, refused to carry his load.
I was under the necessity of sending him back to Jindey, and hiring

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