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another in his place.

We travelled on the north side of the Wallia Creek till noon, when we
crossed it near Kootakunda. Swam the asses over; and the soldiers, with
the assistance of the Negroes, waded over with the bundles on their
heads. Halted on the south side of the creek, and cooked our dinners.

At four o'clock set forwards, passed Kootakunda, and called at the
village of Madina to pay my respects to Slatee Bree. Gave him a note on
Mr. Ainsley for one jug of liquor. Halted at Tabajang, a village almost
deserted; having been plundered in the course of the season by the King
of Jamberoo, in conjunction with the King of Woolli. Our guide's mother
lives here; and as I found that we could not possibly proceed in our
present state, I determined either to purchase more asses, or abandon
some of the rice.

May 8th. - Purchased two asses for ten bars of amber and ten of coral
each. Covered the India bafts with skins, to prevent them from being
damaged by the rain. Two of the soldiers afflicted with the dysentery.

May 9th. - The King of Jamberoo's son came to pay his respects to me.
Jamberoo lies along the north side of the Wallia Creek, and extends a
long way to the northward. The people are Jaloffs, but most of them speak
Mandingo. Presented him with some amber. Bought five asses and covered
all the gunpowder with skins, except what was for our use on the road.

May 10th. - Having paid all the people who had assisted in driving the
asses, I found that the expense was greater than any benefit we were
likely to derive from them. I therefore trusted the asses this day
entirely to the soldiers. We left Tabajang at sun-rise, and made a short
and easy march to Tatticonda, where the son of my friend, the former King
of Woolli, came to meet me. From him I could easily learn that our
journey was viewed with great jealousy by the Slatees and Sierra-Woollis
residing about Madina.

May 11th. - About noon arrived at Madina, the capital of the kingdom of
Woolli. We unloaded our asses under a tree without the gates of the town,
and waited till five o'clock before we could have an audience from his
majesty. I took to the King a pair of silver mounted pistols, ten
dollars, ten bars of amber, ten of coral. But, when he had looked at the
present with great indifference for some time, he told me that he could
not accept it; alleging, as an excuse for his avarice, that I had given a
much handsomer present to the King of Kataba. It was in vain that I
assured him of the contrary; he positively refused to accept it, and I
was under the necessity of adding fifteen dollars, ten bars coral, ten
amber, before his majesty would accept it. After all, he begged me to
give him a blanket to wrap himself in during the rains, which I readily
sent him.

The other presents must all be proportionally great, and the sum of the
whole presents at Woolli is as follows:

To _the King_,

A pair of pistols. Bars.
Dollars 25
Amber 20
Coral 20
White baft 5
- -
70 bars.

To Montamba _the King's own son_,

Amber, 5
Coral 5

To Slatee Deena,

Amber 1
Coral 5

To Sadoo, Jatta's son,

Amber 5
Coral 5

To Samboo, Jatta's second son,

Coral 5

To Whulliri, the Prime Minister,

Dollars 2
Coral 5

To Dama, Whulliri's younger brother,

Coral 5

To Soliman, the King's chief slave, Bars.

Amber 4
Coral 4

To Dimba Serra,

Coral 6

To different people,

Coral 10

To the King, 70
- -
Total 140 bars.

[Footnote: There is some mistake here; what Mr. Park calls 71, appears
to be no more than 67; and even according to him, the total ought to be
141. The true amount is 67+70=137.]

May 12th. - Had all the asses loaded by day-break, and at sun-rise, having
obtained the King's permission, we departed from Woolli. Shortly after,
we passed the town of Barraconda, where I stopped a few minutes to pay my
respects to Jemaffoo Mamadoo, a very eminent Slatee.

[Footnote: Mentioned in Park's Travels, p. 31.]

We reached the village of Bambakoo at half past ten o'clock. Bought two
asses, and likewise a bullock for the soldiers.

May 13th. - Departed from Bambakoo at sun-rise, and reached Kanipe, an
irregular built village, about ten o'clock. The people of the village had
heard that we were under the necessity of purchasing water at Madina; and
to make sure of a similar market, the women had drawn all the water from
the wells, and were standing in crowds, drawing up the water as fast as
it collected. It was in vain that the soldiers attempted to come in for
their share: the camp kettles were by no means so well adapted for
drawing water as the women's calabashes. The soldiers therefore returned
without water, having the laugh very much against them.

I received information that there was a pool of water about two miles
south of the town; and in order to make the women desist, I mounted a man
on each of the horses, and sent them away to the pool, to bring as much
water as would boil our rice, and in the afternoon sent all the asses to
be watered at the same place. In the evening some of the soldiers made
another attempt to procure water from the large well near the town, and
succeeded by the following stratagem. One of them having dropped his
canteen into the well, as if by accident, his companions fastened a rope
round him, and lowered him down to the bottom of the well, where he stood
and filled all the camp kettles, to the great mortification of the women,
who had been labouring and carrying water for the last twenty-four hours,
in hopes of having their necks and heads decked with small amber and
beads by the sale of it. Bought two goats for the soldiers.

May 14th. - Halted at _Kussai_, about four miles east of Kanipe. This
is the same village as Seesekunda, but the inhabitants have changed its
name. Here one of the soldiers, having collected some of the fruit of the
Nitta trees, was eating them, when the chief man of the village came out
in a great rage, and attempted to take them from him; but finding that
impracticable, he drew his knife, and told us to put on our loads, and
get away from the village. Finding that we only laughed at him, he became
more quiet; and when I told him that we were unacquainted with so strange
a restriction, but should be careful not to eat any of them in future; he
said that the thing itself was not of great importance, if it had not
been done in sight of the women. For, says he, this place has been
frequently visited with famine from want of rain, and in these
distressing times the fruit of the Nitta is all we have to trust to, and
it may then be opened without harm; but in order to prevent the women and
children from wasting this supply, a _toong_ is put upon the Nittas,
until famine makes its appearance. The word toong is used to express any
thing sealed up by magic.

Bought two asses. As we entered the Simbani woods from this town, Isaaco
was very apprehensive that we might be attacked by some of the Bondou
people, there being at this time a hot war between two brothers about the
succession: and as the report had spread that a coffle of white men were
going to the interior, every person immediately concluded that we were
loaded with the richest merchandize to purchase slaves; and that
whichever of the parties should gain possession of our wealth, he would
likewise gain the ascendency over his opponent. On this account, gave
orders to the men not to fire at any deer or game they might see in the
woods; that every man must have his piece loaded and primed, and that the
report of a musket, but more particularly of three or four, should be the
signal to leave every thing and run towards the place.

May 15th. - Departed from Kussai. At the entrance of the woods, Isaaco
laid a black ram across the road and cut its throat, having first said a
long prayer over it. This he considered as very essential towards our
success. The flesh of the animal was given to the slaves at Kussai, that
they might pray in their hearts for our success.

The first five miles of our route was through a woody country; we then
reached a level plain nearly destitute of wood. On this plain we observed
some hundreds of a species of antelope of a dark colour with a white
mouth; they are called by the natives _Da qui_, and are nearly as
large as a bullock. At half past ten o'clock we arrived on the banks of
the Gambia, and halted during the heat of the day under a large tree
called _Teelee Corra_, the same under which I formerly stopped in my
return from the interior.

[Footnote: Probably the tree mentioned in Park's Travels, p. 854.]

The Gambia here is about 100 yards across, and, contrary to what I
expected, has a regular tide, rising four inches by the shore. It was low
water this day at one o'clock. The river swarms with crocodiles. I
counted at one time thirteen of them ranged along shore, and three
hippopotami. The latter feed only during the night, and seldom leave the
water during the day; they walk on the bottom of the river, and seldom
shew more of themselves above water than their heads.

At half past three o'clock in the afternoon, we again set forward, and
about a mile to the eastward ascended a hill, where we had a most
enchanting prospect of the country to the westward; in point of distance
it is the richest I ever saw. The course of the Gambia was easily
distinguished by a range of dark green trees, which grew on its banks.
The course from Teelee Corra is represented in the following sketch.


A mile and a half east of Prospect hill, is another on the north side of
the road, from the top of which we had a charming view to the south. The
course of the river is from the E.S.E.; no hills on the south side of it,
the whole country being quite level. About ten miles E.S.E.; the river
passes near an elevated table land, which looks, like an old
fortification. At sun-set reached a watering place called Faraba, but
found no water.

While we were unloading the asses, John Walters, one of the soldiers,
fell down in an epileptic fit, and expired in about an hour after. The
Negroes belonging to our guide set about digging a well, having first
lighted a fire to keep off the bees, which were swarming about the place
in search of water. In a little time they found water in sufficient
quantity to cook our suppers, and even supply the horses and asses in the
course of the night.

Being apprehensive of an attack from the Bondou people, placed double
sentries, and made every man sleep with his loaded musket under his head.
Latitude by mer. alt. of the moon, 14° 38' 46" N.

About three o'clock buried John Walters, and in remembrance of him wish
this place to be called _Walters's Well_.

May 16th. - Departed from the well as soon as day dawned, and reached the
Neaulico at half past eight o'clock. This stream is nearly dry at this
season, and only affords water in certain hollow places which abound in
fish. Saw Isaaco's Negroes take several with their hands, and with wisps
of grass used as a net to frighten the fish into a narrow space. One of
the fish was a new genus.

Saw in the bed of the river some Negroes roasting a great quantity of
flesh on temporary wooden stages erected for the purpose, as represented
in the following sketch.


This half roasting and smoaking makes the meat keep much longer than it
would do without it. The flesh was part of a _Da qui_ which they
found on the road; a lion had killed it during the night, and eat one leg
of it.

At four o'clock P.M. departed from the Neaulico. At five, passed the
ruins of Mangelli, where I formerly slept, and at six o'clock halted for
the night at Manjalli Tabba Cotta, the ruins of a village so called. The
wood during this day's march is in general small, and the road is much
interrupted with dry bamboos. Plenty of water at the resting place. After
dark took out the telescope in order to observe an immersion of Jupiter's
first satellite -

H. M. S.
The satellite immerged by watch 14 10 35
Rate + from London 0 5 48
Too slow by eclipse at Kayee 0 0 5
- - - -
Mean time by watch 14 16 28

Time by Nautical Almanack 14 16 51
Equation 0 3 58
- - - -
Mean time at Greenwich 14 12 53
14 12 53
- - - -
Watch too fast 0 3 35

Longitude by three sets of sights taken next morning in order to find the
apparent time at the _place_ 13° 9' 45" W.

It is difficult to account for such a difference in the rate of going of
the watch in the course of one month; but the excessive heat and the
motion of riding may perhaps have contributed to it; for I think my
observation of the immersion was correct.

May 17th. - Left Manjalli Tabba Cotta, and after a fatiguing march of
twelve miles, reached _Bray_, a watering place. Endeavoured to take
the meridional altitude of the sun, by the back observation with
Troughton's pocket sextant; and after carefully examining his rise and
fall, with the intervals betwixt each observation, I was convinced that
it can be done with great accuracy, requiring only a steady hand and
proper attention. This was a great relief to me; I had been plagued
watching the passage of the fixed stars, and often fell asleep when they
were in the meridian.

We left Bray at three o'clock, P.M. and carried with us as much water as
we possibly could, intending to rest at Nillindingcorro till the moon
rose; but there being no water, our guide continued our march to the
river Nerico, which we reached at eight o'clock, all the people and asses
very much fatigued. Face of the country during this day an open and level
plain with bushes and Cibi trees, making the prospect rich, though not
grand. Saw plenty of lions' excrement in the wood: they deposit it only
in certain places, and like the cats, claw up the ground in order to
cover it.

May 18th. - People employed all the morning in transporting the baggage
and asses across the river; and as both men and asses were very much
fatigued, I thought it best to halt on the east side of the river till
the afternoon, as it would afford the soldiers an opportunity of washing
their clothes.

o ' "
Observed Mer. Alt. Sun 168 35 0
Diameter 0 32 0
- - - - -
1/2 169 7 0
- - - - -
84 33 30
Correct for refraction and parallax 4
- - - - -
84 33 26
- - - - -
Zenith Distance 5 26 34
Declination 19 31 25
- - - - -
Latitude 14 4 51

The breadth of the stream of the river Nerico is about sixty feet, the
depth of water four feet, its velocity is two miles an hour. The heat of
the stream at two o'clock 94° Fahrenheit.

Chapter II.

Arrival at Jallacotta - Maheena - Tambico - Bady; hostile conduct of the
Faranba, or Chief, and its consequences - Reach Jeningalla
- Iron-furnaces. - Mansafara - Attacked by wolves - Enter the Tenda
Wilderness - Ruins and Plain of Doofroo - Attacked by a swarm of
bees - Astronomical Observations - Arrival at Sibikillin - Shea
trees - Badoo; presents made to the King - Tambacunda - Ba Deema
River - Tabba Gee - Mambari - Julifunda; unfriendly conduct of its Chief;
and presents sent to him and the King - Visit from the latter - Reach
Eercella - Baniserile - Celebrate His Majesty's birthday - Mode of fluxing
iron - Madina - Falema river - Satadoo - Sickness and death of the
Carpenter - Arrival at Shrondo; commencement of the rainy season; and
alarming sickness amongst the soldiers - Gold mines; process for
procuring the gold - Dindikoo; gold pits - Cultivation - Arrival at Fankia.


May 18th. - We left the Nerico about half past three o'clock, and arrived
at Jallacotta, the first town of Tenda, at sun-set. From this place to
Simbuni in Bondou, is two days travel.

May 19th. - Halted at Jallacotta in order to purchase corn and recruit the
asses. Bought plenty of onions, which made our rice eat much better.
Town's people fishing in the woods, where the pools being nearly dry, the
fish are easily taken.

May 20. - Left Jallacotta, and about two miles to the east, passed the
village of Maheena, close to which are the ruins of another village of
the same name. It would appear from the number of ruins, that the
population of Tenda is much diminished. We reached Tendico or Tambico,
about eight o'clock: we could not procure a bullock, the inhabitants
having very few cattle. This village belongs to Jallacotta; and the
Farbana of Jallacotta is subject to the King of Woolli. About half a mile
from Tambico is a pretty large town called _Bady_, the chief of
which takes the title of Faranba, and is in a manner independent. He
exacts very high duties from the coffles, to the extent of ten bars of
gunpowder for each ass-load.

We sent a messenger from Tambico to inform the Faranba of our arrival,
and he sent his son in the evening with twenty-six men armed with
musquets, and a great crowd of people, to receive what we had to give
him. Sent him ten bars of amber by our guide; but as he refused to take
it, went myself with five bars of coral, which he likewise refused.
Indeed I could easily perceive from the number of armed men, and the
haughty manner in which they conducted themselves, that there was little
prospect of settling matters in an amicable manner. I therefore tore a
leaf from my pocket-book, and had written a note to Lieutenant Martyn to
have the soldiers in readiness; when Mr. Anderson, hearing such a hubbub
in the village, came to see what was the matter. I explained my doubts to
him, and desired that the soldiers might have on their pouches and
bayonets, and be ready for action at a moment's notice. I desired Isaaco
to inform him that we had as yet found no difficulty in our journey; we
had readily obtained the permission of the kings of Kataba and Woolli to
pass through their kingdoms, and that if he would not allow us to pass,
we had then only to return to Jallacotta, and endeavour to find another
road; and with this (after a good many angry words had passed between the
Faranba's people and our guide) the palaver ended.

Matters were in this state, Faranba's son had gone over to Bady with the
amber and coral, and we were preparing to return to Jallacotta early next
morning, when about half past six o'clock some of Faranba's people seized
our guide's horse, as the boy was watering it at the well, and carried it
away. Isaaco went over to Bady to enquire the reason of this conduct; but
instead of satisfying him on this point, they seized him, took his double
barrelled gun and sword from him, tied him to a tree and flogged him; and
having put his boy in irons, sent some people back to Tambico for another
horse belonging to an old man that was travelling with us to Dentila. I
now told two of Isaaco's Negroes, that if they would go with me into the
village, and point out the Faranba's people (it being quite dark) who had
come to take the old man's horse, I would make the soldiers seize them,
and retain them as hostages for Isaaco. They went and told this to the
two chief men in the village, but they would not permit it. They were
able, they said, to defend their own rights, and would not allow the
horse to be taken: so after an immense hubbub and wrangling, the business
at last came to blows, and the Faranba's people were fairly kicked out of
the village.

I was now a little puzzled how to act; Isaaco's wife and child sat crying
with us under the tree, his Negroes were very much dejected, and seemed
to consider the matter as quite hopeless. We could have gone in the night
and burnt the town. By this we should have killed a great many innocent
people, and most probably should not have recovered our guide. I
therefore thought it most advisable (having consulted with Mr. Anderson
and Lieutenant Martyn) to wait till morning; and then, if they persisted
in detaining our guide, to attack them in open day; a measure which would
be more decisive, and more likely to be attended with success than any
night skirmishes. We accordingly placed double sentries during the night,
and made every man sleep with his loaded musquet at hand. We likewise
sent two people back to Jallacotta, to inform the Dooty of the treatment
we had received from Faranba, though at one of the towns belonging to the
King of Woolli.

May 21st. - Early in the morning our guide was liberated, and sent back to
us; and about ten o'clock a number of Faranba's people came and told me
that Faranba did not wish to quarrel with me, but could not think of
allowing a coffle to pass without paying the customary tribute; but as I
had refused to do that the evening before, if I would now carry over to
Bady such articles as I meant to give him, every thing would be amicably
settled. I told them that, after the treatment my guide had experienced,
they could not expect that I would go to Bady alone; that if I went I
would take twenty or thirty of my people with me. This seemed not so
agreeable; and it was at last determined that the horse, &c. should be
brought half way between the two villages, and delivered on receipt of
the goods. I accordingly paid at different times goods to the amount of
one hundred and six bars, being not quite one-third of what a coffle of
Negroes would have paid. Faranba's people still kept our guide's gun and
sword; alleging, that they were sent away in the night to Bisra, a town
in the neighbourhood, but would be sent after us as soon as the person
returned who had gone in quest of them. We accordingly departed from
Tambico about three o'clock, and halted for the night at Jeningalla near
Bufra, or Kabatenda, where I formerly slept; my former landlord brought
me a large calabash of milk.

o ' "
Mer. Alt. Tambico 166 56 0
Diam. 0 32 0
- - - -
1/2 167 28 0
- - - -
83 44 0
- - - -
Zenith Distance 6 16 0
Decl. 20 9 0
- - - -
Latitude 13 53 0

May 22d. - Halted at Jeningalla to purchase corn for our asses. Went and
saw some iron-furnaces; they are smaller at the top than those of
Manding, thus:


The distance being very great between this place and the next water, we
resolved to travel it by moonlight, and accordingly we left Jeningalla.

May 23d, at two o'clock in the morning, and at eight o'clock reached
Nealo Koba. At the same place where I formerly crossed, the river is not
flowing, but stands in pools, some of which are deep and swarming with
fish. Oysters large, but of a greenish colour; did not eat any of them.
About two o'clock resumed our journey, and at sun-set reached a small
Foula village; all very much fatigued, having travelled twenty-eight

May 24th. - Halted at Mansafara, which is only four miles east of the
Foula village. This consists of three towns, quite contiguous to each
other; and near them is a large pool of water. From this town to the
village of Nittakorra on the north bank of the Gambia is only eight miles

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Online LibraryMungo ParkThe Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa, in the Year 1805 → online text (page 11 of 21)