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Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIV by John Lord

Part 4 out of 6

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used in the service of the Queen for the ransom of the lives of her
subjects, assuring them that they would be reimbursed from the public
treasury. No fewer than twenty-one thousand chests, valued at nine
million dollars, were brought in from the opium ships and formally
handed over to Commissioner Lin. The foreign community was set free, and
the drug destroyed by being mixed with quicklime.

War was made to punish this outrage on the rights of the foreign
community, and to exact indemnity for the seizure of their property.
Canton was not captured, but held to ransom, and the haughty Viceroy
sent into exile. Other cities were taken and held; and, in 1842, a
treaty of peace was signed at Nanking by which five ports were opened to
foreign trade. The embargo on opium was not withdrawn; but the defeat of
the Chinese resulted in a virtual immunity from seizure together with a
growth of the traffic, such as to justify the ill-odored name which that
war still bears in history.

Treaties with other powers followed in quick succession. On demand of
the French Minister, the Emperor recalled his prohibitory decrees
against Christianity and issued an Edict of Toleration. If the opening
of the ports gave a stimulus to trade, the decree of toleration opened a
door for missionary enterprise. As yet, however, neither merchant nor
missionary was allowed to penetrate into the interior; while the capital
and the whole of the northern seacoast remained inaccessible. This was
obviously a state of things that could not be permanent; yet fifteen
years were to pass before another war came to settle the terms of
intercourse on a broader basis.

When the war broke out, Li Hung Chang was seventeen years of age, living
at Hofei in Anhui. As there were then no newspapers in China it may be
doubted whether he heard of it until a British squadron sailed up to
Nanking and extorted a treaty at the cannon's mouth. Li was rudely
startled by the appearance of a new force, to which there was no
allusion in any of his ancient books. Along with the sailing-ships there
were two or three small steamers. It struck the Chinese with
astonishment to see them make head against wind and tide. _Shin Chuan_,
"ships of the gods," is the name they gave those mysterious vessels.
Little could Li foresee the part he was destined to take in creating a
steam navy for China.

Descended from a long line of scholars, he was supposed to be born to
the pursuit of letters. He did, in fact, devote himself to study with
unflagging zeal, because he had as yet no temptation to turn aside. Was
there not, moreover, an open door before his face inviting him to win
for himself the honors of a mandarinate? In his native town he placed
his foot on the first step of the ladder by gaining the degree of A.B.,
or, in Chinese, "Budding Genius." At the provincial capital he next
carried off the laurel of the second degree, which is worth more than
our A.M., not merely because it is not conferred in course, but because
it falls to the lot of only one in a hundred among some thousands of
competitors. These provincial tournaments occur but once in three years;
and the successful candidates proceed to Peking to compete for the third
degree, or D.C.L.,--_Tsin-shi_, or, "Fit for Office." Here the chances
amount to three per cent.

Li's fortunes were again propitious, and in company with two or three
hundred new-made doctors, he was summoned to the palace to contend in
presence of the emperor for the honor of a seat in the Imperial
Academy,--the Hanlin, or "Forest of Pencils." Here also he met with
success, but he was not among the first three whose names are marked by
the vermilion pen of majesty, each of whom sheds lustre on his native
province. The highest of the three is called Chuang Yuen, "Head of the
List" or "Prince of Letters." In the 'fifties it fell to a native of
Ningpo, where I then lived. His good luck was announced to his wife by
the magistrate in person, who conducted her to the six gates, at each of
which she scattered a handful of rice, as an omen of good fortune. In
the 'sixties, when I had removed to Peking, this honor was for the first
time conferred on a Manchu, a son of the General Saishanga. His daughter
was deemed a fit consort for the heir to the throne, wearing for a short
time the tiara of empress, and committing suicide on the death of
her lord.

In the two previous contests, handwriting goes for nothing, but in this
it is not without weight, as the avowed object is to select scribes for
the service of the throne. On those occasions extent of erudition and
originality of thought are the qualities most esteemed; but this time
the order of merit is decided by superficial elegance of style, and by
facility in the composition of verse.

However defective the standard of learning, this long course of
competition, extending over ten or fifteen years, has the effect of
bringing before the throne a body of men each of whom is the survivor of
a hundred contests. No country can boast a better system for the
selection of talent, and the government guards it with jealous care. I
have known more than one examiner put to death for tampering with this
ballot-box of the Empire. For ages it has provided the state with able
officers; nor is its least merit that of converting a dangerous
demagogue into a quiet student.

While waiting for an appointment, Li heard with dismay that Nanking had
been taken by a body of rebels, and that his native province was in
danger of being overrun by them. A new career opened before him,--one
that led more directly to the highest offices within the gift of the
sovereign. Asking a commission in the army, he was assigned to a
position on the staff of Tsengkofan, father of the Marquis Tseng, who
was afterwards Minister to England.

This rebellion, among the strangest of strange things, now claims our



In April, 1853, the news reached us that Nanking had fallen into the
hands of a body of rebels who, by a curious irony, called themselves
Taipings, "Soldiers of Peace."

They were Chinese, not Manchus, and their leaders were all from the
extreme south. Starting near Canton, they had proclaimed as their
object the expulsion of the Tartars. Overrunning Kwangsi and Hunan, they
had got possession of Hankow and the two adjacent cities,--a centre of
wealth which may be compared to the three cities that form our Greater
New York. Everywhere they put to flight the government forces; but they
did not choose to stop anywhere short of the ancient capital of the
Mings. Seizing some thousands of junks, they filled them with the
plunder of that rich mart, and sweeping down the river, carried by
assault every city on its banks until they reached Nanking. Its
resistance was quickly overcome; and putting to death the entire
garrison of twenty-five thousand Manchus, they announced their intention
to make it the capital of their empire, as Hung Wu had done when he
drove out the Mongols and restored freedom to the Chinese race.

In a few months they despatched an expedition to expel the Manchus from
Peking. But that proved a more difficult task than they expected. Before
the detachment had arrived at Tientsin, it was met on the Grand Canal by
a strong force under Sengkolinsin, the Mongol prince. Obliged to winter
on the way, it was divided and cut off in detail; this defeat making it
evident to all the world that the Manchu domination might still hope for
a considerable lease of life. The blood and rapine which everywhere
marked their pathway alienated the sympathy of foreigners from the
Soldiers of Peace. Nor did the new power at Nanking manifest the least
anxiety to obtain foreign aid, feeling assured of ultimate triumph. Yet,
indifferent as they were to the co-operation of foreigners, the Taipings
proclaimed themselves Christians, and appeared to aim their blows no
less at lifeless idols than at living enemies. Shangti, the Supreme
Ruler, the God of the ancient sages, was the object of their worship.
They found his name in the Christian Bibles, and they published the
Bible as the source of their new faith. Their faith amounted to a
frenzy, giving them courage in battle, but not imparting the
self-control essential to Christian morality. Filling their coffers with
spoil, they stocked their harems with the wives and daughters of their
enemies. If their lives had been more decent, they might have had a
better chance to secure the favor of those powerful nations which had
now become the arbiters of destiny in China.

The leader of the movement was a Cantonese by the name of Hung Siu
Chuen. A copy of the Bible having fallen into his hands, he applied to a
Baptist missionary for instruction. How much he learned may be inferred
from the fact that he gave his followers a new form of baptism,
requiring them to wash the bosom as a sign for cleansing the heart. He
had ecstatic visions, and preached a crusade against idolatry and the
Manchus. The ease with which the Manchus had been beaten by the British
in 1842 had revealed their weakness, and the new faith supplied the
rebels with a fresh source of power. They mixed the teachings of the
Gospel with new revelations as freely as Mohammed did in propagating the
religion of the Koran. The chief called himself the younger brother of
Jesus Christ. His prime minister assumed the title of the Holy Ghost;
and his counsels were given out as decrees from Heaven. All this had an
air of blasphemy that shocked the sensibilities of foreigners, and
compelled them to stand aloof or to support the Manchus.

The native authorities were permitted to engage foreign ships and seamen
to operate against the rebels, who sustained a siege in Nanking almost
as long as the siege of Troy. From Shanghai, Suchau, and other cities
the Taipings were driven out by the aid of foreigners, chiefly led by
Ward and Gordon, the former an American, the latter a Briton. General
Ward was never under the command of Li Hung Chang; but to him more than
to any other foreigner belongs the honor of turning the tide of the
Taiping Rebellion. A soldier of fortune, he offered to throw his sword
into the government scale if it were paid for with many times its weight
in gold. Gathering a nondescript force of various nationalities, he
recaptured the city of Sungkiang, and followed this up by such a series
of successes that his little troop came to be known as the
"Ever-victorious Army." Falling before the walls of Tseki, he was
interred with pomp at the scene of his first victory, where a temple was
erected to his memory, and he is now reckoned among the "Joss" of the
Chinese Empire. His force was taken into Li's pay.

General Gordon (the same who fell at Khartoum) acted under the direction
of Li Hung Chang; and his chief exploit was the recovery of Suchau.
Unable to resist his artillery, the rebel chiefs offered to capitulate.
They were assured by him that their lives would be spared. To this Li
Hung Chang consented, and the stronghold was at once surrendered.
Regardless of his plighted faith, Li caused the five leaders to be
beheaded, an act of treachery which filled Gordon with such fury that he
went from camp to camp, looking for Li, determined to put a bullet in
his head. Li, however, avoided a meeting until Gordon's wrath had time
to subside, and that treacherous act laid the foundation of his future
fortunes. He was made governor of the province, and for forty years he
rose in power and influence.

Not only was this terrible rebellion which laid waste the fairest
provinces a sequel to the first war with England, it was prolonged and
aggravated by a second war which broke out in 1857. In 1863, the last
stronghold of the rebels was recaptured, and the rebellion finally
suppressed, after twelve years of dismal carnage. In bringing about this
result, no names are more conspicuous than those of Li Hung Chang and
General Gordon, whose sobriquet of "Chinese Gordon" ever afterwards
characterized him. Li's good fortune served him well in this war. Having
won the favor of the Court, he was in command of the forces of eastern
Kiangsu, and all the brilliant successes of Ward and Gordon were
credited to him. He was not only made governor of the province, but also
created an Earl in perpetuity.



Never did a smaller spark ignite a greater conflagration. In 1856 a
native junk named the "Arrow," sailing under a British flag, was seized
for piracy, her flag hauled down and her crew thrown into prison at
Canton. On demand of Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong, they were
handed over to Consul Parkes (later Sir Harry); but he refused to
receive them because they were not accompanied by a suitable apology.
The haughty Viceroy Yeh put them all to death, provoking reprisals on
the part of the British, resulting in the occupation of Canton and the
capture of Peking after three campaigns to the north.

In this war England had France for ally; as the two powers had been
associated in that hugest of blunders, the Crimean War. Nor was the
alliance a less blunder on this occasion. Napoleon's excuse for
participation was the murder of a missionary in Kwangsi; but his real
motive was a desire to checkmate Great Britain, and prevent the conquest
of new territory. In the Opium War she had stopped at Nanking, leaving
the pride of China unhumbled, and the state of relations so unstable
that another war was required to place them on a better footing.
England, with unselfish generosity, invited the co-operation of Russia
and the United States. Either power might have found as good a pretext
for hostile action as that of France; but they chose to maintain an
attitude of neutrality, offering only such moral support as might enable
them to gather up the apples after the others had shaken the tree. In
1857 Canton was taken and held by the allies. The next spring the envoys
of the four powers, each with a considerable naval force, proceeded to
the mouth of the Peiho, the gateway to a capital as secluded and
exclusive as that of the Grand Lama. The forts made a show of
resistance, but they were put to silence in less than half an hour; and
negotiations which had been opened by the neutrals were resumed
at Tientsin.

Dr. S. Wells Williams was Chinese secretary to the United States
minister, Mr. William B. Reed; and I acted as interpreter for the spoken
language. An article in favor of Christian missions occasioned some
delay; and Mr. Reed, who was vain and shallow, said to us, "Now,
gentlemen, hurry up with your missionary article for I intend to sign my
treaty on the 18th of June [Waterloo day] with or without that clause."
Fancy a mind that could think of a treaty obtained by British guns as
entitling him to be associated with Wellington! Yet Mr. Reed had the
effrontery to say that he "expected us to make the missionary societies
duly sensible of their obligations" to him. That twenty-ninth article
was the gem of the treaty; and it had the honor of being copied into
that of Lord Elgin, which was signed eight days later.

High-minded, philanthropic, and upright, Lord Elgin made a mistake which
led to a renewal of the war. He refused to place Tientsin on the list of
open ports, because, as he said, "Foreign powers would make use of it to
overawe the Chinese capital,"--just as if overawing was not a matter of
prime necessity. He hastened away to India to aid in suppressing the
Sepoy mutiny, eventually becoming viceroy after another campaign in
China. His brother, Sir F. Bruce, succeeded him as minister in China;
and twelve months later (July, 1859) the ministers of the four powers
were again at the mouth of the Peiho on their way to Peking for the
exchange of ratified copies of the several treaties. The United States
minister was John E. Ward, a noble-hearted son of Georgia, and the chief
of our little squadron was the gallant old Commodore Tatnall.

We were not a little surprised to see the demolished forts completely
rebuilt, and frowning defiance. We were told by officers who came down
to the shore that no vessel would be allowed to pass; but that the way
to Peking was open to us _via_ Peitang, a small port to the north.

To this Mr. Ward made no objection, but the British, who had so recently
held the keys of the capital, were indignant to be met by such a rebuff.
They steamed ahead between the forts, leaving the Chinese to take the
consequences. All at once the long line of batteries opened fire. One or
two gunboats were sunk; two or three were stranded. A storming party was
repulsed, and Admiral Hope, who was dangerously wounded, begged our
American commodore to give him a lift by towing up a flotilla of barges
filled with a reserve force. "Blood is thicker than water," exclaimed
Tatnall, in tones that have echoed round the globe, and Ward making no
objection, he threw neutrality to the winds, and proceeded to tow up the
barges. Our little steamer was commanded by Lieutenant Barker, now
Admiral Barker of the New York Navy Yard.

Even this failed to retrieve the day, the tide having fallen too low for
a successful landing. For the British admiral nothing remained but to
withdraw his shattered forces, and prepare for another campaign. For the
United States minister a dazzling prospect now presented itself,--that
of intervening to prevent the renewal of war. From Peitang we proceeded
by land two days. Then we continued our voyage for five days by boat on
the Upper Peiho.

At Peking, calling on the genial old Kweiliang, who had signed the
treaty in 1858, Mr. Ward was astonished at his change of tone. "You wish
to see the Emperor. That goes as a matter of course; but his Majesty
knows you helped the British, and he requires that you go on your knees
before the throne in token of repentance." "Tell him," said Mr. Ward to
me, "that I go on my knees only to God and woman." "Is not the Emperor
the same as God?" replied the old courtier, taking no notice of a
tribute to woman that was unintelligible to an Oriental mind. "You need
not really touch the ground with your knees," he continued; "but merely
make a show of kneeling. There will be eunuchs at hand to lift you up,
saying 'Don't kneel! Don't kneel!'" The eunuchs, as Mr. Ward well knew,
would be more likely to push us to our knees than to lift us up; and he
wisely decided to decline the honor of an audience on such terms.

Displeased by his obstinacy, the Emperor ordered him to quit the capital
without delay, and exchange ratifications at the sea-coast. A report was
long current in Peking that foreigners have no joints in their knees;
hence their reluctance to kneel. Thus vanished for Mr. Ward the
alluring prospect of winning for himself and his country the beatitude
of the peacemaker.

The summer of 1860 saw the Peiho forts taken, and an allied force of
thirty thousand men advancing on Peking. The court fled to Tartary, and
the summer palace was laid in ashes to punish the violation of a flag of
truce, the bearers of which were bound hand and foot, and left to perish
within its walls. For three days the smoke of its burning, carried by a
northwest wind, hung like a pall over the devoted city, whose
inhabitants were so terrified that they opened the gates half an hour
before the time set for bombardment. No soldiers were admitted, but the
demands of the Allies were all acceded to, and supplementary treaties
signed within the walls by Lord Elgin and Baron Gros. Peking was opened
to foreign residence. The French succeeded in opening the whole country
to the labors of missionaries. Legations were established at the
capital, and a new era of peace and prosperity dawned on the
distracted empire.



If the opening of Peking required a prolonged struggle, it was followed
by a quarter-century of pacific intercourse. China had at her helm a
number of wise statesmen,--such as Prince Kung and Wensiang. The
Inspectorate of Customs begun under Mr. Lay took shape under the skilful
management of Sir Robert Hart, and from that day to this it has proved
to be a fruitful nursery of reforms, political and social.

Not only were students sent abroad for education at the instance and
under the leadership of Yung Wing, but a school for interpreters was
opened in the capital, which, through the influence of Sir Robert Hart,
was expanded into the well-known Imperial College. On his nomination the
present writer was called to the head of it, and Wensiang proposed to
convert it into a great national university by making it obligatory on
the members of the Hanlin Academy, the Emperor's "Forest of Pencils," to
come there for a course of instruction in science and international law.
Against this daring innovation, Wojin, a Manchu tutor of the Emperor,
protested, declaring that it would be humiliating to China to have her
choicest scholars sit at the feet of foreign professors. The scheme fell
through, but before many years the Emperor himself had taken up the
study of the English language, and two of our students were selected to
be his instructors. One of them is at this present time (1902) Chinese
minister at the Court of St. James. Several of our students have had
diplomatic missions, and one, after serving as minister abroad, is now a
leading member of the Board of Foreign Affairs in Peking. A press
opened in connection with the college printed numerous text-books on
international law, political economy, physics, and mathematics,
translated by the president, professors, and students.

America was fortunate in the choice of the first minister whom she sent
to reside at Peking. This was Anson Burlingame, who, after doing much to
encourage the Chinese in the direction of progress, was by them made the
head of the first embassy which they sent to foreign nations. His
success in other countries was largely due to the sympathy with which he
had been received in the United States by Secretary Seward, and to the
advice and recommendations with which he was provided by that great
statesman. So deep an interest did Mr. Seward take in China that he went
in person to study its condition before the close of his career. In his
visit to Peking he was accompanied by his nephew, George F. Seward, who
was United States Consul at Shanghai. The latter has since that date
worthily represented our country as minister at Peking; but it may be
doubted whether in that high position he ever performed an international
service equal in importance to one performed during his consulship, for
which he has recently received the cross of the Legion of Honor. In
laying out their new concession at Shanghai, the French had excited the
hostility of the people by digging up and levelling down many of those
graves that occupied so much space outside of the city walls, and where
the Chinese who worshipped their ancestors were to be seen every day
burning paper and heaping up the earth. A furious mob fell on the French
police, chased them from the field, and menaced the French settlement
with knife and firebrand. The consuls were appealed to for aid, but no
one responded except Mr. Seward, who headed a strong force from one of
our men-of-war, dispersed the mob, and secured the safety of the foreign
settlement. But for his timely intervention who knows that the French
consulate would not have been reduced to ashes? If the consulate had
been burned down, a war would have been inevitable, with a chain of
consequences that baffles the imagination.

In 1871 a horrid atrocity was perpetrated by Chinese at Tientsin which
certainly would have led to war with France if Napoleon III. had not at
that very time been engaged in mortal combat with Germany. The populace
were made to believe that the sisters at the French hospital had been
seen extracting the eyeballs from their patients to use in the
manufacture of magical drugs. They were set upon by a maddened
multitude, a score or more of them slaughtered, and the buildings where
they had cared for the sick and suffering turned to a heap of ruins.
Count Rocheschouart, instead of reserving the case to be settled at a
later day, thought best to accept from the Chinese government an
apology, with an ample sum in the way of pecuniary compensation. That
grewsome superstition has led to bloodshed in more than one part
of China.

In the summer of 1885 I was called one day from the Western Hills to the
Tsungli-Yamen, or Foreign Office, on business of great urgency. On
arriving, I was informed that the Chinese gunboats in the river Min had
been sunk by the French the day before; that they had also destroyed the
Arsenal at the mouth of the river. "This," said the Secretary, "means
war, and we desire to know how non-combatants belonging to the enemy and
resident in our country are to be treated according to the rules of
International Law." While I was copying out the principles and
precedents bearing on the subject, the same Secretary begged me to
hasten my report, "because," said he, "the Grand Council is waiting for
it to embody in an Imperial Decree." True enough, the next day a decree
from the throne announced the outbreak of war; but it added that
non-combatants belonging to the enemy would not be molested. Two of our
professors were Frenchmen, and they were both permitted to continue in
charge of their classes without molestation.

Hostilities were brought to a happy conclusion by the agency of Sir
Robert Hart. One of his customs cruisers employed in the light-house
service having been seized by the French, Mr. Campbell was sent to Paris
to see the French President and petition for its release. Learning that
President Grevy would welcome the restoration of peace, and ascertaining
what conditions would be acceptable, Sir Robert laid them before the
Chinese government, putting an end to a conflict which, if suffered to
go on, might have ruined the interests of more than one country. In this
war and in those peace negotiations the conduct of the Chinese was
worthy of a civilized nation. Yet the result of their experience was to
make them more ready to appeal to arms in cases of difficulty.

Li's connection with this war was very real, though not conspicuous.
Changpeilun, director of the arsenal at Foochow, was his son-in-law. Not
only was Li disposed to aid him in taking revenge, he was himself
building a great arsenal in the north; and it was, no doubt, owing to
efficient succor from this quarter that Formosa was able to hold out
against the forces of the French.



Both in its inception and in its tragic ending the notable conflict with
Japan connects itself with the name of Li Hung Chang. The Island Empire
on the East had long been known to the Chinese, though until our times
no regular intercourse subsisted between the two countries. It is
recorded that a fleet freighted with youth and maidens was despatched
thither by the builder of the Great Wall to seek in those islands of the
blest for the herb of immortality; but none of them returned. It was to
be a colony, and the flowery robe by which its object is veiled is not
sufficient to hide the real aim of that ambitious potentate. Yet,
through that expedition and subsequent emigrations, a pacific conquest
was effected which does honor to both nations, planting in those islands
the learning of China, and blending with their native traditions the
essential teachings of her ancient sages.

For centuries prior to our age of treaties, non-intercourse had been
enforced on both sides,--the Japanese confining their Chinese neighbors,
as they did the Dutch, to a little islet in the port of Nagasaki; and
China seeing nothing of Japan except an occasional descent of Japanese
pirates on her exposed sea-coast.

To America belongs the honor of opening that opulent archipelago to the
commerce of the world. Our shipwrecked sailors having been harshly
treated by those islanders, a squadron was sent under Commodore Perry to
Yeddo (now Tokio) in 1855, to punish them if necessary and to provide
against future outrages. With rare moderation he merely handed in a
statement of his terms and sailed away to Loochoo to give them time for
reflection. Returning six months later, instead of the glove of combat
he was received with the hand of friendship, and a treaty was signed
which provided for the opening of three ports and the residence of an
American charge d'affaires. In the autumn of 1859 it was my privilege to
visit Yeddo in company with Mr. Ward and Commodore Tatnall. We were
entertained by Townsend Harris and shown the sights of the city of the
Shoguns when it was still clothed in its mediaeval costume. The long
swaddling-garb of the natives had a semi-savage aspect, and the abject
servility with which their todzies (interpreters) prostrated themselves
before their officers excited a feeling of contempt.

Like the mayors of the palace in mediaeval France, the Shoguns or
generals had relegated the Mikado to a single city of the interior;
while for six hundred years they had usurped the power of the Empire,
practically presenting the spectacle of two Emperors, one "spiritual"
(or nominal), one "temporal" (or real). Little did we imagine that
within five years the Shoguns would be swept away, and the Mikado
restored to more than his ancient power. The conflagration was kindled
by a spark from our engines. The feudal nobles, of whom there were four
hundred and fifty, each a prince within his own narrow limits, were
indignant that the Shogun had opened his ports to those aggressive
foreigners of the West. Raising a cry of "Kill the foreigners!" they
overturned the Shoguns and restored the Mikado. Their fury, however,
subsided when they found that the foreigner was too strong to be
expelled. A few more years saw them patriotically surrendering their
feudal powers in order to make the central government strong enough to
face the world. About the same time our Western costume was adopted, and
along with it the parliamentary system of Great Britain and the school
system of America. Some foreigners were shallow enough to laugh at them
when they saw those little soldiers in Western uniform; and the Chinese
despised them more than ever for abandoning the dress of their

To protect themselves at once against China and Russia, the Japanese
felt that the independence of Corea was to them indispensable. The King
had been a feudal subject to China since the days of King Solomon; and
when at the instance of Japan he assumed the title of Emperor, the
Chinese resolved to punish him for such insolence. This was in 1894. The
Japanese took up arms in his defence; and though they had some hard
fighting, they soon made it evident that nothing but a treaty of peace
could keep them out of Peking.

Li Hung Chang, who had long been Viceroy at Tientsin and who had built
a northern arsenal and remodelled the Chinese army, had to confess
himself beaten. For him it was a bitter pill to be sent as a suppliant
to the Court of the Mikado. That China was beaten was not his fault. Yet
he was held responsible by his own government and departed on that
humiliating mission as if with a rope about his neck. Fortunately for
him, during his mission in Japan an assassin lodged a bullet in his
head, and the desire of Japan to undo the effect of that shameful act
made negotiation an easy task, converting his defeat into a sort of
triumph. Happily, too, he enjoyed the counsel and assistance of J.W.
Foster, formerly United States Secretary of State. Formosa, one of the
brightest jewels in the Chinese crown, had to be handed over to Japan,
and lower Manchuria would have gone with it, had not Russia, supported
by Austria and Germany, compelled the Japanese to withdraw their claims.

The next turn of the kaleidoscope shows us China seeking to follow the
example of Japan in throwing off the trammels of antiquated usage. In
1898, when the tide of reform was in full swing, the Marquis Ito of
Japan paid a visit to Peking, and as president of the University, I had
the honor of being asked to meet him along with Li Hung Chang at a
dinner given by Huyufen, mayor of the city, and the grand secretary,
Sunkianai. It was a lesson intended for them when he told us how, on
his returning from England in the old feudal days, his prince asked him
if anything needed to be reformed in Japan. "Everything," he replied.
The lesson was lost on the three Chinese statesmen, progressive though
they were, for China was then on the eve of a violent reaction which
threatened ruin instead of progress.



The last summer of the century saw the forts at the mouth of the Peiho
captured for the third time since the beginning of 1858. It was the
opening scene in the last act of a long drama, and more imposing than
any that had gone before, not in the number of assailants nor in the
obstinacy of resistance, but in the fact that instead of one or two
nations as hitherto, all the powers of the modern world were now
combined to batter down the barriers of Chinese conservatism. Getting
possession of Tientsin, not without hard fighting, they advanced on
Peking under eight national flags, against the "eight banners" of the
Manchu tribes.

What was the mainspring of this tragic movement? What unforeseen
occurrence had effected a union of powers whose usual attitude is mutual
jealousy or secret hostility? In a word, it was _humanity_. Spurning
petty questions of policy, they combined their forces to extinguish a
conflagration kindled by pride and superstition, which menaced the lives
of all foreigners in North China.

In 1898, when the Emperor had entered on a career of progress, the
Empress Dowager was appealed to by a number of her old servants to save
the Empire from a young Phaeton, who was driving so fast as to be in
danger of setting the world on fire. Coming out of her luxurious
retreat, ten miles from the city, where she had never ceased to keep an
eye on the course of affairs, she again took possession of the throne
and compelled her adopted son to ask her to "teach him how to govern."
This was the _coup d'etat_. In her earlier years she had not been
opposed to progress, but now that she had returned to power at the
instance of a conservative party, she entered upon a course of reaction
which made a collision with foreign powers all but inevitable. She had
been justly provoked by their repeated aggressions. Germany had seized a
port in Shantung in consequence of the murder of two missionaries.
Russia at once clapped her bear's paw on Port Arthur. Great Britain set
the lion's foot on Weihaiwei; and France demanded Kwang Chan Bay, all
"to maintain the balance of power." Exasperated beyond endurance, the
Empress gave notice that any further demands of the sort would be met by
force of arms.

The governor of Shantung appointed by her was a Manchu by the name of
Yuhien, who more than any other man is to be held responsible for the
outbreak of hostilities. He it was who called the Boxers from their
hiding-places and supplied them with arms, convinced apparently of the
reality of their claim to be invulnerable. For a hundred years they had
existed as a secret society under a ban of prohibition. Now, however,
they had made amends by killing German missionaries, and he hoped by
their aid to expel the Germans from Shantung. On complaint of the German
Minister he was recalled; but, decorated by the hands of the Empress
Dowager, he was transferred to Shansi, where later on he slaughtered all
the missionaries in that province.

In Shantung he was succeeded by Yuen Shikai, a statesmanlike official,
who soon compelled the Boxers to seek another arena for their
operations. Instead of creeping back to their original hiding-place they
crossed the boundary and directed their march toward Peking,--on the way
not merely laying waste the villages of native Christians, but tearing
up the railway and killing foreigners indiscriminately. They had made a
convert of Prince Tuan, father of the heir apparent. He it was who
encouraged their advance, believing that he might make use of them to
help his son to the throne. Their numbers were swelled by multitudes who
fancied that they would suffer irreparable personal loss through the
introduction of railways and modern labor-saving machinery; and China
can charge the losses of the last war to those misguided crowds.

Fortunately several companies of marines, amounting to four hundred and
fifty men, arrived in Peking the day before the destruction of the
track. The legations were threatened, churches were burnt down, native
Christians put to death, and fires set to numerous shops simply because
they contained foreign goods. Then it was that the foreign admirals
captured the forts, in order to bring relief to our foreign community.
That step the Chinese Foreign Office pronounced an act of war, and
ordered the legations and all other foreigners to quit the capital. The
ministers remonstrated, knowing that on the way we could not escape
being butchered by Boxers. On the 20th of June, the German Minister was
killed on his way to the Foreign Office. The legations and other
foreigners at once took refuge in the British legation, previously
agreed on as the best place to make a defence. Professor James was
killed while crossing a bridge near the legation. That night we were
fired on from all sides, and for eight weeks we were exposed to a daily
fusillade from an enemy that counted more on reducing us by starvation
than on carrying our defences by storm.

About midnight on August 13, we heard firing at the gates of the city,
and knew that our deliverers were near. The next day, scaling the walls
or battering down the gates, they forced their way into the city and
effected our rescue. The day following, the Roman Catholic Cathedral was
relieved,--the defence of which forms the brightest page in the history
of the siege, and in the afternoon we held a solemn service of
thanksgiving. The palaces were found vacant, the Empress Dowager having
fled with her entire court. She was the same Empress who had fled from
the British and French forty years before.

She was not pursued, because Prince Ching came forward to meet the
foreign ministers, and he and Li Hung Chang were appointed to arrange
terms of peace. Li was Viceroy at Canton. Had he been in his old
viceroyalty at Tientsin, this Boxer war could not have occurred. That
its fury was limited to the northern belt of provinces was owing to the
wisdom of Chang[5] and Liu, the great satraps of Central China who
engaged to keep their provinces in order, if not attacked by foreigners.

[Footnote 5: Chang is regarded as the ablest of China's viceroys. He
published, prior to the _coup d'etat_, a notable book, in which he
argues that China's only hope is in the adoption of the sciences and
arts of the West.]

I called on the old statesman in the summer of 1901, after the last of
the treaties was signed. He seemed to feel that his work was finished,
but he still had energy enough to write a preface for my translation of
Hall's "International Law," and before the end of another month his
long life of restless activity had come to a close at the age of
seventy-nine. By posthumous decree, he was made a Marquis.

In the autumn the court returned to Peking, the way having been opened
by Li's negotiations. Thanks to the lessons of adversity, the Dowager
has been led to favor the cause of progress. Not only has she re-enacted
the educational reforms proposed by the Emperor, but she has gone a step
farther, and ordered that instead of mere literary finish, a knowledge
of arts and sciences shall be required in examinations for the
Civil Service.

The following words I wrote in an obituary notice, a few days after Li's

"For over twenty years Earl Li has been a conspicuous patron of
educational reform. The University and other schools at Tientsin were
founded by him; and he had a large share in founding the Imperial
University in Peking. During the last twenty years I have had the honor
of being on intimate terms with him. Five years ago he wrote a preface
for a book of mine on Christian Psychology,--showing a freedom from
prejudice very rare among Chinese officials.

"Another preface which he wrote for me is noteworthy from the fact that
it is one of the last papers that came from his prolific pencil. Having
finished a translation of 'Hall's International Law' (begun before the
siege), I showed it to Li Hung Chang not two weeks ago. The old man took
a deep interest in it, and returned it with a preface in which he says
'I am now near eighty; Dr. Martin is over seventy. We are old and soon
to pass away; but we both hope that coming generations will be guided by
the principles of this book.'

"With all his faults--those of his time and country--Li Hung Chang was a
true patriot. For him it was a fitting task to place the keystone in the
arch that commemorates China's peace with the world."





Africa is the most ancient and the most recent conquest of the human
race. As far as the light of history can be projected into the past, we
see Egypt among the first and foremost on the threshold of civilization.
The continent discovered last and opened last to the enterprises of the
world is still Africa. Why is it that we see there both the dawn of
civilization and the tardiest development of human progress?

The reasons are not far to seek. The physical conformation of no other
continent is so unfavorable for exploration and development. Africa's
straight coast-lines, affording little shelter to the primitive ships of
early mariners, repelled the enterprising Phoenicians and other
seafarers in their eager search for new lands worth colonizing. Nor was
it easy for explorers to penetrate into the interior. In its surface
Africa has been compared to an inverted saucer,--the high plateaus
occupying most of the interior descending to the sea by short, abrupt,
and steep slopes, so that the wide and peaceful rivers of the plateaus
are lashed into foam as they approach the ocean by many series of rapids
and cataracts.

In all the other continents rivers have been the lines of least
resistance to the advance of man. Civilization has developed first along
the great rivers. The valleys were first settled, and up these valleys
man carried his industries and commerce far inland. Thus the Euphrates
and Tigris of Mesopotamia, the Ganges and Indus of India, and the Hoang
and Yangtse of China, were the creators of history; but this is true in
Africa only of the Nile. All the other rivers have been impediments
instead of helpful factors in the formidable task of exploration and

The trying climate, also, gave Africa odious repute and delayed for
centuries the study and utilization of the continent. When the British
expedition under Captain Tuckey attempted to ascend the Congo, in 1816,
to see if it were really the lower part of the Niger River, as had been
conjectured, nearly all of its members perished miserably among the
rapids less than two hundred miles from the sea. Such tragedies as this
paralyzed enterprise in Africa until white men learned that the climate
was not so deadly, after all, if they adhered to the manner of life, the
hygienic rules, that should be observed in that tropical expanse.

In all the other continents, also, explorers have had the advantage of
domestic animals to carry their food and camp equipment; but in large
parts of tropical Africa the horse, ox, and mule cannot live. The bite
of the little tsetse fly kills them. Its sting is hardly so annoying as
that of the mosquito, but near the base of its proboscis is a little bag
containing the fatal poison. Camels have been loaded near Zanzibar for
the journey to Tanganyika, but they did not live to reach the great
lake. The "ship of the desert" can never be utilized in the humid
regions of tropical Africa.

The elephant is found from sea to sea, but he has not proved to be so
amenable to domestication as his Asian brother. He may yet be reduced to
useful servitude. The efforts in this direction in the German and French
colonies are somewhat encouraging, though in 1901 only six elephants had
thus far been broken to work and were daily used as beasts of burden.
Explorers of tropical Africa have always been compelled to rely upon
human porterage, the most expensive and unsatisfactory form of
transportation, with the result that nearly all the great lines of
exploration have been extended through the continent at enormous cost.

So most other parts of the world were occupied, colonized, civilized,
before Africa was explored. A continent one-fourth larger than our own
was for centuries neglected and despised. "Nothing good can come out of
Africa" became proverbial. Seventy years ago Africa, away from the
coasts and the Nile, was almost a blank upon our maps, save for fanciful
details that are ludicrously grotesque in the light of our present
knowledge (1902).

Then dawned the era of David Livingstone. Sixty-two years ago this
humble Scotchman went to South Africa as a missionary. It was not long
before he became imbued with the idea that missionary service could not
be projected on broad, economic, and effective lines till the field was
known. The explorer, he said, must precede the teacher and the merchant.
We can work best for Christianity and civilization after we learn what
the people are and know the nature of their environment. This was the
thought that took him into the unknown; that inspired him with
unflagging courage and zeal throughout twenty years of weary plodding in
the African wilderness among hundreds of tribes who never before had
seen a white man. And all the years he was studying the country and
winning the love of its people, his faith in Africa, in its abounding
resources worth the world's seeking, in the capacity of its people for
development, steadily grew till it became the all-pervading impulse of
his life. Livingstone's faith converted the world to the belief that,
after all, there was good in Africa.

"I shall never forget," said Stanley, one day in New York, "the time
when I stood with Livingstone on the shore of Lake Tanganyika, and he
raised his trembling hand above his head, leaned towards me as he looked
me in the eye, and said in a voice broken with emotion: 'The day is
coming when the whole world will know that Africa is worth reclaiming,
and that its people may be brought out of barbarism. The world needs
Africa; and teachers, merchants, railroads, and every influence of
civilization will be spread through this continent to fit it for the
place in human interests that belongs to it.' I thought then that
Livingstone was an enthusiast and a visionary; but long ago I learned to
believe that every word he said was true."

Europe and America were thrilled by the simple narrative of those
twenty-two thousand miles of wanderings that brought into the light of
day millions of human beings who had been as much unknown to us as
though they inhabited Mars. Livingstone did not live to know it, but it
was he who kindled the great African Movement,--an outburst of zeal for
geographic discovery and economic development such as was never
seen before.

Thirteen years ago (1889) a Frenchman named De Bissy completed the
largest map yet made of Africa. In the preparation of this great work,
which occupied much of his time for eight years, he used as his sources
of information nearly eighteen hundred route and other maps, nearly all
of which were the result of the work of explorers in the preceding
quarter of a century. All that we know of the geography of over
three-fourths of Africa is the work of the past half-century since
Livingstone made his first journey in 1849; and we know far more of
inner Africa to-day than was known of inner North America three hundred
years after Columbus discovered the western world. A little over a
century ago, our great-grandfathers were reading in their school
geographies that North America had no conspicuous mountains except the
Alleghanies; and these mountains and the Andes of South America were
believed to be one and the same chain, interrupted by the Gulf of
Mexico. Many men not yet bent with years can remember when the interior
of Africa was a white space on the maps; but it is not possible to-day
to make such a geographical blunder as we have mentioned, about any part
of Africa.

It is because of the work he did in those twenty years, sowing all the
while the seeds from which sprang the great African Movement, that "the
gentle master of African exploration" is acclaimed to-day as one of the
world's great men, and that his body rests in Westminster Abbey among
the illustrious dead of Britain.

The son of a worthy weaver in Blantyre, Scotland, Livingstone's early
life was that of a poor boy, working in a spinning-mill, quiet, sober,
affectionate, and faithful in every relation of life. Moved at last by
the thirst for knowledge that has distinguished many a humble Scotch
boy, he entered the University at Glasgow, studying during the winter
months and spending the summers at his trade in the factory, fitting
himself all the while for the conquests he little dreamed he was to
achieve over difficulties almost insurmountable. A classmate spoke of
him as a pale, thin, retiring young man, but frank and most
kind-hearted, ready for any good and useful work, even for chopping the
University fuel and grinding wheat for the bread. In 1838, when he was
twenty-five years old, he went to London to be examined as a candidate
for the African missionary service. Two years later he was sent to South
Africa, where for eight or nine years he labored among the natives
earnestly and unostentatiously north of the place now famous as the site
of the Kimberley diamond mines. It was here that he became intimately
acquainted with the celebrated missionary, Robert Moffatt, whose
daughter he married. His devoted wife accompanied him in some of his
later travels, but long before he finished his work her body was laid to
rest under the shade of a tree that for years was pointed out to all
visitors to the Lower Zambesi.

In 1849, began the series of explorations that continued till his
death. "The end of geographical discovery is the beginning of missionary
enterprise," he wrote. Burning with zeal to reveal Africa to the world,
Livingstone never forgot the main aim of his life,--to open ways for the
planting of mission stations among all the scores of tribes he visited.
"I hope God will in mercy permit me to establish the Gospel somewhere in
this region," he wrote from the land of the Barotse, on the Upper
Zambesi. Does he now look down from his eternal home upon that very land
whose churches and schools are the fruition of the labors of French
Protestants; whose king, in London to attend the coronation of Edward
VII., said he wanted more teachers and more men to train his people to
build houses and work iron? He prayed that he might live to see "the
double influence of the spirit of commerce and Christianity employed to
stay the bitter fountain of African misery." The glowing zeal of the
Christian philanthropist and the untiring ardor of the born explorer
were perfectly blended in the spirit of the great pioneer of modern
African discovery.

Livingstone's routes through Africa would extend about seven times
between New York City and San Francisco; and in his almost endless
marches over plain, through jungle, across mountains and wide rivers,
the natives met him almost without exception in a generous and
hospitable spirit. Love was the secret of his success. He won his way by
kindness. Give the barbarous African time to see that you wish him well,
that you would do him good in ways he knows are helpful, and his
affection is evoked.

It was said that the British could never establish their rule over the
great Wabemba tribe, southwest of Tanganyika, without a military
campaign. In 1894, two humble Catholic fathers entered Lobemba, walked
straight to the chief town, and were told that if they did not leave the
country in one day they would be killed. As the stern message was
delivered, they saw an old woman on the ground in great pain from a
severe wound. The news soon spread that these unwelcome strangers had
washed and dressed the wound, and made the old woman comfortable. "These
people love men," was the word that passed from lip to lip, as the sick
and suffering came out from the town to be treated, while thousands of
natives looked on. At nightfall the white men were told they might
remain another day; they ministered for eleven days to those who needed
help, and were then invited to remain the rest of their lives. The
mission stations of the White Fathers are to-day scattered all over
Lobemba; the country is open in every corner to the whites, and in 1899
British rule was established. The victory was won, not with guns, but
by gentle, helpful kindness.

Livingstone never believed that the sympathies of our common humanity
are extinct even in the bosom of a savage. Enfolded in the panoply of
Christian kindness, he passed unscathed among the most warlike tribes.
No memory of wrong or pain rankled in the heart of any man, woman, or
child he ever met. He is known to-day as "the good old man" wherever his
path led him in those twenty years.

When explorers began to study the healthful highlands of the Akikuyu
tribe in East Africa a few years ago, the natives rushed to arms. "Keep
away from us," they said. "One of your white men came through the land,
stealing food from our gardens, and killing all who said he ought to pay
us for our vegetables. We want nothing to do with thieves and murderers
like you."

But no vengeance fell on the head of any white traveller who ever
followed in the footsteps of Livingstone. Those explorers have achieved
most who adhered to his example of unfailing kindness, mercy, and
justice. The brutal German, whose crimes made the Akikuyu hostile to all
whites, marked his path with blood from the Indian Ocean to Victoria
Nyanza. Serpa Pinto, renowned for the scientific value of his work,
aroused condemnation and disgust because he fought his way through many
tribes, among whom Livingstone and Arnot had wandered almost alone and
in perfect safety. Fortunately, there have not been many explorers
militant. The brilliant discoveries of Grenfell, Delcommune, Lemaire,
and others, who are in the first rank of African pioneers, were made
without harming a native.

Let us glance at a few of Livingstone's discoveries and form our own
conclusions as to whether his sublime faith in the future of Africa has
thus far been justified by events. In the depths of the wilderness he
discovered the large lake, Mweru, through which the Upper Congo flows.
Though white influences have reached that remote region only within the
past two or three years, a little steamboat now plies those waters. A
photograph of Mpweto, one of the white settlements on the lake, shows
the commodious quarters of the Europeans, two long lines of cabins in
which the native workmen live, and well-tilled gardens extending for a
half-mile along the shore. Livingstone brought to light the coal fields
of the Zambesi, the only coal yet known in tropical Africa. While these
lines are being written, the British of Rhodesia are preparing to open
mines along these deposits. He told the world of the Victoria Falls of
the Zambesi, the largest known, a mile wide and twice as high as
Niagara. The installation of an electrical plant at this great source of
power is now in progress, and it is hoped within three years to
transmit electrically all the power required to work the large copper
mines in the north, the coal fields in the east, and to move trains on
the Cape to Cairo Railroad for a distance of three hundred miles. The
recent improvements in long-distance transmission of power encourages
the belief that the Victoria Falls may some day possess large industrial
utility for a wide region around them. Coffee plantations on the hills
overlooking the long expanse of Nyassa, the splendid freshwater sea
which Livingstone revealed in its setting of mountains, are selling
their superior product in London at a high price. The town of Blantyre,
among the Nyassa highlands which Livingstone first described, has a
newspaper, telegraphic and cable communication with all the world, and
industrial schools in which the manual arts are taught to hundreds of
natives. Here is the large brick church, now famous, built by native
craftsmen, who before Livingstone's time had never seen a white man, and
lived in a state of barbarism; an edifice that would adorn the suburbs
of any American city, and of which the explorer, Joseph Thomson, said:
"It is the most wonderful sight I have seen in Africa." The natives made
the brick, burned the lime, sawed and hewed the timbers, and erected the
building to the driving of the last nail. They had the capacity, and it
was evoked by the genius of one of the most remarkable men in Africa,
Missionary Scott of Blantyre. Steamboats are afloat on five of the six
important seas of the great lake region of Central Africa; on two of the
three which Livingstone discovered. Only a beginning has been made, for
the field stretches from ocean to ocean; but the man who, in 1873--the
year of Livingstone's death,--should have predicted one-half of the
achievement of the present generation would have been laughed at as a
crack-brained visionary.

Even the surface of Africa is changing, and the truth of Livingstone is
not always the truth of to-day. In his first journey, in which he braved
the perils of the South African thirst lands, he reached the broad and
placid expanse of Lake Ngami, covering an area of three hundred square
miles. In the gradual desiccation of that region, the lake has now
entirely disappeared. Its place is wholly occupied by a partly marshy
plain covered with reeds, and no vestige of water surface is to be seen.
He found the little Lake Dilolo so exactly balanced on a flat plain
between two great river systems that one stream from the lake flowed
north to the Congo and another south to the Zambesi; but for years past
there has been no connection between the lake and the Congo. He sought
in vain, like many explorers after him, for the outlet to Lake
Tanganyika. The mystery was not solved till, more than twenty years
after, Burton discovered the lake; the solution came when the explorer
Thomson and Missionary Hore found the waters of Tanganyika pouring in a
perfect torrent down the valley of the Lukuga to the Congo. The
explanation of the strange phenomenon is that for a series of years the
evaporation exceeds the water receipts, the level of the lake steadily
falls, and the valley of the Lukuga becomes choked with grass; then a
period follows when the water receipts exceed the evaporation, and the
waters rise, burst through the barriers of vegetation in the Lukuga, and
are carried to the Congo once more.

It was his second and third journeys that established Livingstone's fame
as a great explorer. In those journeys (1853-56) his routes were from
the Upper Zambesi to Loanda in Portuguese West Africa, and then from
Loanda to the mouth of the Zambesi, nearly twelve thousand miles of
travel. The third journey was the first crossing of the continent; and
while traversing the wide savannas of the uplands and revealing the
Zambesi, the fourth largest river of Africa, from source to delta, he
was able to verify one of the most brilliant generalizations ever made
by a geologist. Sir Roderick Murchison, President of the Royal
Geographical Society, in 1852, deducing his conclusions from the very
fragmentary and imperfect knowledge of Africa then extant, evolved his
striking hypothesis as to the physical conformation of the continent,
which has been briefly mentioned above and is the accepted fact of
to-day. Livingstone was able to prove the accuracy of this hypothesis,
and he dedicated his "Missionary Travels" to its distinguished author.

The Makalolo chief, Sekeletu, on the Zambesi River, supplied Livingstone
with men, ivory, and trading commissions, that helped the humble and
unknown white man, lacking all financial resources except his slender
salary, to make the two great journeys which kindled the world's
interest and led to the wonderful achievements of our generation. In
this noteworthy incident we see the human agencies through which Africa
will attain the full stature allotted to her. The Caucasian and the
Negro each has his onerous part in the work of bringing the civilized
world and Africa into touch and accord.

When Livingstone went home, after his third journey, his
fellow-countrymen crowded to see and hear the explorer, who had added
more facts to geographical knowledge than any other man of his time.
They saw a person of middle age, plainly and rather carelessly dressed,
whose deep-furrowed and well-tanned face indicated a man of quick and
keen discernment, strong impulses, inflexible resolution, and habitual
self-command. They heard a speaker whose command of his mother tongue
was imperfect, and who apologized for his broken, hesitating speech by
saying that he had not spoken the English language for nearly sixteen
years. In no public place did he ever allude to his personal sufferings,
though fever had brought him to death's door and the years had been
crowded with the most harrowing cares. The work he had done and would
carry on to the end, the new Africa he alone could describe, the faith
that had grown and strengthened in every week of his long pilgrimage
that the world needed Africa, its resources and peoples, were the burden
of every utterance. The great London meeting where he first appeared
took practical measures to support him in the work he had begun unaided;
and one of the resolutions adopted, declaring that "the important
discoveries of Dr. Livingstone will tend hereafter greatly to advance
the interest of civilization, commerce, and freedom among the numerous
tribes and nations of that vast continent," was prophetic of all the
best fruits of the colossal work that has been done to the present time.

During his two years at home, Livingstone wrote his "Missionary
Travels." He returned to England once more (1864-65), when he published
"A Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi," and in 1866 went back to
Africa to resume the explorations which ended only with his death.
Between 1849 and 1873 he was four years in Europe and twenty years in
the field, eating native food, sleeping in straw huts (in one of which
he died), lost to view for many years at a time because he had no means
of communication with the coasts. It was this fact that led to Stanley's
successful search for Livingstone in 1871. Perhaps no other explorer
ever gave so many years to continuous field-work. In this respect he far
surpassed the record of any other of the African pioneers.

The discoveries in his last journeys, covering the periods from 1858 to
1864, and from 1866 to 1873, were as brilliant and fruitful as his
earlier work, but not so astonishing, because his first years were given
to revealing the broader aspects of Africa and its tribes, while his
later labors were devoted to more detailed research in a smaller field.
This region, about as large as Mexico and Central America, extends north
and south, from Tanganyika to the Zambesi, and covers the wide region of
the Congo sources between Nyassa and Lake Bangweolo. The greatest
results were the discovery of Lake Nyassa and the Shire River, now the
water route into East Central Africa; Lakes Bangweolo and Mwero; and the
mapping of the eastern part of the sources of the Upper Congo, which
Livingstone believed to the day of his death were the ultimate fountains
of the Nile. Livingstone's "Last Journeys" was published from the
manuscript which his faithful servants brought to the seacoast with the
mortal remains of their gentle master.

Not far from the south coast of Bangweolo stands a wooden construction
to which is affixed a bronze tablet bearing the simple inscription,
"Livingstone died here. Ilala, May 1, 1873." It has taken the place of
the tree under which he died, and where his heart, which had been so
true to Africa, was buried. As the tree was nearly dead, the section
bearing the rude inscription cut by one of his servants was carefully
removed and is now in London.

Livingstone's geographical delineations were remarkably accurate,
considering the inadequate surveying instruments with which he worked.
Dr. Ravenstein, one of the greatest authorities on African cartography,
has said: "I should be loath to reject Livingstone's work simply because
the ground which he was the first to explore has since his death been
gone over by another explorer." It would be marvellous, however, if in
the course of twenty years of exploration he had not made some blunders.
His map of Lake Bangweolo, for example, was very inaccurate. The Lokinga
Mountains, which he mapped to the south of the lake, have not been found
by later explorers. These imperfections resulted from the fact that his
map of Bangweolo and its neighborhood was largely based upon native
information. He knew that his map was inadequate, and as soon as he was
able to travel he returned to Bangweolo to complete his survey. He was
making straight for the true outlet of the lake, and was within
thirty-five miles of it when one morning his servants found him in his
lowly straw hut, dead on his knees. If Livingstone had lived a few weeks
longer and been able to travel, he and not Giraud would have given us
the true map of Bangweolo.

As a whole, Livingstone's work in geography, anthropology, and natural
history, stands the test of time. No river in Africa has yet been laid
down with greater accuracy than the Zambesi as delineated by
this explorer.

The success of Livingstone was both brilliant and unsullied. The apostle
and the pioneer of Africa, he went on his way without fear, without
egotism, without desire of reward. He proved that the white man may
travel safely through many years in Africa. He observed richness of soil
and abundance of natural products, the guarantees of commerce. He
foretold the truth that the African tribes would be brought into the
community of nations. The logical result of the work he began and
carried so far was the downfall of the African slave-trade, which he
denounced as "the open sore of the world." What eulogy is too great for
such a work and such a man?

In 1898, twenty-one journeys had been made by explorers from sea to sea.
Livingstone completed the first journey, from Loanda to the mouth of the
Zambesi, in one year, seven months, and twenty-two days. Nineteen years
elapsed before Central Africa was crossed again, when Cameron gave two
years and nearly eight months to the journey. It took Stanley two years
and eight months to cross Africa, when he solved the great mystery, the
course of the Congo; and when he went to the relief of Emin Pasha, in
1887, he was almost exactly the same time on the road. When Trivier
crossed from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, in 1888-89, in nine days
less than a year, the event was held as a remarkably rapid performance.
A little later the journey was made by several travellers in from twelve
to fifteen months. In 1898, the Englishman, Mr. Lloyd, crossed from Lake
Victoria to the mouth of the Congo in three months, about thirteen
hundred miles of the journey being by Congo steamboat and railroad. In
1902, the journey from the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria is made by rail
in two and one-half days,--a journey that occupied Speke for nine, and
Stanley for eight months. With the present facilities, the continent may
be crossed by way of the lake region and the Congo in about three
months. The era of long and weary foot-marches has nearly ended; now
succeeds travel by steam.

No influence has been so potent in improving the art of the explorer, or
in raising the standard of the work required of him, as the enormous
interest that for thirty years past has centred in African exploration.
The larger part of the best achievements of the explorers of the present
generation in scientific investigation, and in an approach to scientific
map-making, are found in tropical Africa. Many of the hundreds of the
route surveys are not unworthy to be compared with those of Pogge and
Wissmann, when they laid down on their map every cultural and
topographic feature for two miles on both sides of their route, from
Angola to the Upper Congo. The extreme care with which some of the best
explorers have performed their tasks is illustrated by the remarkable
achievement of the late Dr. Junker along the Mobangi River. After years
of service, his scientific equipment had become practically worthless.
He started on his four-hundred-mile journey down the river through the
jungle, with absolutely no instrument except a compass to aid him in
determining his positions. Endeavoring, by the most scrupulous care, to
make up as far as possible for his lack of scientific outfit, he trudged
through the grass, compass in hand, counting every step. Every fifteen
minutes he jotted in his notebook the distance and the mean direction
travelled. At night he used these accumulated data to lay down on his
route map the journey of the day. For many weeks he kept up this trying
routine till he reached his furthest west, and again till he had
returned to his starting-point, whose latitude and longitude he had
previously determined. When he returned to Europe, Dr. Hassenstein and
he made a map from the data Junker had collected, and fixed the position
of his furthest west. This position was found later by the astronomical
observations of Lieutenant Le Marinel to be less than two miles out
of the way.

One of the latest to win a large prize in African discovery is Dr. A.
Donaldson Smith, a young physician of Philadelphia, in the northeastern
region known as Somaliland and Gallaland. His method may be mentioned
here as an illustration of the kind of work that geographers now
require. Before he began his explorations, he took a thorough course in
the use of surveying instruments and the methods of accurately laying
down his positions and making a route map. Many a cartographer, burning
with desire to draw a good map of a newly explored region, has been
driven to despair by the inadequacy of the route surveys in his hands.
Not a few of these surveys have been unworthy of reproduction in the
books of the explorers who made them, and the best that could be done
was to generalize their information on maps of comparatively small
scale. But Donaldson Smith's route-maps appear in his book on the
comparatively large scale of 1:1,000,000 (about sixteen statute miles to
the inch), and they are worthy of that treatment, for his surveys and
observations for geographical positions were recorded in such a way
that their value might be easily ascertained by any one familiar with
such computations. His route-maps have been found to be admirable
map-making material; thus, he has not only traversed a new region of
great extent, but has given in his map ample materials which may be
employed by any atlas-maker in the production of good maps of all the
territory that came under his observation. When Sir Clements Markham
presented to Dr. Smith the Patrons' Medal of the Royal Geographical
Society, he said: "You have not, like an ordinary explorer, made a
common route survey, but you have made a scientific survey, a
triangulation frequently checked by astronomical observations with
theodolite and chronometer."

Most African explorers have been painstaking, conscientious workers,
eager in their quest for the truth, desirous to report nothing but the
truth, and treating the lowly and ignorant they have met as men, with
sensibilities like their own, capable of gratitude for a kindness and
keenly sensitive to an outrage. The world has recognized and applauded
such heroes of discovery,--the men who faced hardship and peril,
enduring and sacrificing much that knowledge might grow; who had to
conquer not only unkind Nature, but to overcome the ignorant violence of
man. And not a few of the leaders in this work have carried it out with
a degree of tactfulness, humanity, gentleness, and kindliness of spirit
amounting to genius. Some of them spent months in disguise, collecting
facts of the highest scientific value among fanatical Mohammedans who
would have killed them if they had known their secret. Such men were
Burton in Harrar, Dr. Lenz in Timbuctoo, and De Foucauld and Harris in
Morocco, who, in stained skins and borrowed costumes, personated
merchants and devotees and doctors and Jews; and most of whom have
enriched the literature of discovery with valuable books. Men also such
as Dr. Junker, who, rich as he was, left his home to spend eight years
alone among the savages of the Welle Makua basin in Central Africa,
living on their food and in their huts that he might minutely study the
people in their country; or Grenfell, who has travelled far more widely
in the Congo basin than Stanley or any of his followers except
Delcommune, and revealed to the world more river systems and unknown
peoples than they, and who, in his long career as an explorer, never
fired a shot upon a native, though his life was often threatened. These
men, and others like them, have exemplified the manysidedness of human
resources against a great variety of peril and obstacle, as no other
explorers in any other part of the world have had an opportunity to do
in equal measure. Their work, with its environment of almost
overwhelming difficulty, should be known to our youth as most forceful
illustrations of what good men may dare and do in good causes and in a
worthy manner.

There have been some exceptions to this rule. A few men have been less
anxious to perform useful service than to figure in the newspapers and
pose before their public. One day a man stood on the north shore of
Victoria Nyanza, and looking south he saw land. When he returned to
London he published a sensational book, in which he said it was
ridiculous for Speke to assert that he had discovered a lake as large as
Scotland, one of the greatest lakes in the world. "Why," said the
writer, "I have stood on the north shore of the Victoria Nyanza and
looked south and seen the southern shore. Lake Victoria is only an
insignificant sheet of water, after all the talk of its being second
only to Lake Superior."

What he really saw was the chain of the Sesse Islands extending far out
into the lake. His book was scarcely off the press when the letters
describing Stanley's boat journeys around the shores of Victoria Nyanza
began to be published in London and New York; and the foolish fellow was
compelled to recall all the copies of his book that had not passed
beyond his reach, and eliminate the statements that made him so
ridiculous. Fortunately, there are not many explorers of this stripe.

All who watched the progress of African discovery were constantly
reminded that geographical progress is usually made only by slow and
painful steps. They saw an explorer emerge from the unknown with his
notebooks and route maps replete with most interesting facts for the
student and the cartographer. Then another explorer would enter the same
region, discover facts that had escaped the notice of the pioneer,
correct blunders his predecessor had made and perpetrate blunders of his
own; so explorer followed explorer, each adding something to
geographical knowledge, each correcting earlier misconceptions, till the
total product, well sifted by critical geographers, gave the world a
fair idea of the region explored; but not the best attainable idea, for
scientific knowledge of a region comes only with its detailed
exploration by trained observers, equipped with the best appliances for
use in their special fields of research. This is the advanced stage of
geographical study, which is now being reached in many parts of Africa.
It was Livingstone's task, in 1859, to inform us that there was a great
Lake Nyassa. It was Rhoades's task, in 1897-1901, to make a careful and
accurate survey of its coast-lines, and to sound its depths, so that we
now have an excellent idea of the conformation of the lake bottom.
Between Livingstone and Rhoades came many explorers, each adding
important facts to our knowledge of this great sheet of water nearly
twice as large as New Jersey.

As each explorer came from the wilds, our maps were corrected to conform
with the new information he supplied; and if we should examine the maps
of Africa in school geographies, atlases, and wall maps, from the time
of Livingstone to the present day, we should see that, as relates to
nearly every part of Africa, they have been in a continual state of

For years our only map of Victoria Nyanza was that which Speke made on
his second journey to the lake, in 1860-62; but Speke saw the great lake
only at one point on its south shore, and along its northwest and north
central coasts. His map, being based very largely upon native
information, was in many respects most incomplete and erroneous.

Then came Stanley's survey of the lake, made in a boat journey around
its coasts, and for years his map supplanted that of Speke. But he was
not able to follow the shore-line in all its intricate details. His
mapping was a great advance upon that of Speke, but it was necessarily
rough and imperfect. He missed entirely the deep indentation of Baumann
Gulf and the southwestern prolongation of the lake, surveyed by Father
Schynse, in 1891. Stanley's map, modified by the partial surveys of
various explorers, is still our mapping of the lake; but if the reader
will watch the maps for the next year or so, he will doubtless observe
important changes in the contours of Victoria Nyanza; for all the maps,
from Speke to those of 1902, will be placed on the shelf to serve only
as the historical record of the good, honest work which a number of
explorers have done. Commander Whitehouse has recently spent thirteen
months surveying with infinite pains these coasts and islands. "I seem
to see," writes Stanley of this important service, "the sailor, with his
small crew and his little steel boat, wandering from point to point,
crossing and recrossing, going from some island to some headland, taking
his bearings from that headland back again to the island, and to some
point far away."

Commander Whitehouse has made a new delineation of the entire 2,200
miles of coasts, and the results of his survey will be used in making
all the maps of the lake. His map in turn will undoubtedly be replaced
some day by detailed topographic surveys of the best quality, such as
the British already contemplate making of that entire region.

A wall map recently in use in one of the public schools of New York City
was a curious example of ignorant compilation. It exhibited the Victoria
Nyanza of Speke, the Bangweolo of Livingstone, and the Upper Congo of
Stanley, all obsolete for practical purposes years before this map was
printed. Most of our home map-makers were very slow in availing
themselves of the rich materials constantly supplied for the maps by the
army of explorers in Africa. But the most alert cartographers,
particularly between 1880 and 1895, could not keep their maps abreast
of the news of discovery as it came to Europe. More men and energy and
money were utilized in those fifteen years of African discovery than in
the first century and a half of American exploration. The route or
mother-maps, some covering a wide extent of country, others devoted to a
small area, or a short line of travel, were going to Europe for the
improvement of atlas sheets by nearly every steamer. Father Schynse's
chart of the southwest extension of Victoria Nyanza had hardly been
utilized in European map-houses before it was replaced by Dr. Baumann's
more accurate survey. Mr. Wauters of Belgium withdrew his large map of
the Congo Basin from the printer four times, in order to include fresh
information before it was finally issued to the public.

This process is still going on, though more slowly. The mapping we see
of Lake Tanganyika, one of the longest lakes in the world, has been in
use for seventeen years since missionary Hore made his boat journey of
one thousand miles around its coasts, but the new map of the Moore
expedition now being introduced gives the main axis of the lake a more
northeast and southwest direction. The Hore map has met the fate that
usually overtakes the early surveys of every region. It rendered good
service as long as it was the best map; but the Moore expedition had
first-rate appliances for computing longitudes, and as Captain Hore
lacked these, it is not strange that his map has been found to be

The world has been treated to many geographical surprises in the course
of this incessant transformation of the map of the continent. Many of us
may remember in our school geographies, the particular blackness and
prominence of the Kong Mountains, extending for two hundred miles
parallel with the Gulf of Guinea. They were accepted on the authority of
Mungo Park, Caillie, and Bowditch, all reputable explorers who had not
seen the mountains, but believed from native information that they
existed. The French explorer, Binger, in 1887 sought in vain for them.
Later explorers have been unable to find them. They are, in fact, a
myth, and will be remembered chiefly as a conspicuous instance of
geographic delusion. It had long been supposed that the navigation of
the Niger River, the third largest river in Africa, was permanently
impaired by the Bussa Rapids, about one hundred miles in length, where
Mungo Park was wrecked and drowned. But Major Toutee, a few years ago,
when assailed by hostile natives, made a safe journey with his boats
through the rapids; and Captain Lenfant, in 1901, carried 500,000 pounds
of supplies up the river and through the rapids to the French stations
between Bussa and Timbuktu. He had a small, flat-bottomed steamboat and
a number of little boats propelled by fifty black paddlers. He says
that by the land route he would have required 12,000 porters, and they
would have been one hundred and thirty days on the road.

It was believed that a land portage would always be necessary between
the sea and the Zambesi, above the delta, till 1889, when Mr. Rankin
discovered the Chinde branch of the delta, so broad and so deep that
ocean vessels may ascend it and exchange freight with the river craft.

It has been found that more water pours into the ocean through the
Congo's mouth, which is six miles wide, than from all the other rivers
in Africa together. It is second among the world's rivers, and the dark
detritus it carries to the Atlantic has been distinctly traced on the
ocean bed for six hundred miles from the land. Some geographers still
believed thirty years ago that all the waters of its upper basin might
be tributary to the Nile. Map-makers have been kept very busy recording
discoveries on the Congo. About one hundred explorers, some of them
missionaries and many employees of the Congo Free State, have mapped the
whole basin along its water-courses, and discovered the ultimate source
of its main stream. Our ideas of the hydrography of this great basin
have been revolutionized since Stanley, second only to Livingstone among
the great African explorers, in 1877 revealed the course of the
main river.

On his map, for example, he showed the southern tributaries as probably
flowing nearly due north; but all except one of these rivers rise in the
east and flow far to the west. When Wissmann was sent to the Upper
Kassai to follow it to the Congo, he was greatly surprised to find
himself floating westward week after week. When he reached the Congo a
steamboat was waiting for him at Equatorville, two hundred miles further
up the river, where he was expected to emerge. Schweinfurth believed the
Welle Makua flowed north to Lake Chad on the edge of the Sahara;
seventeen years later, after six or seven explorers had tried to solve
the problem, the river was found to be the upper part of the Mobangi
tributary of the Congo, larger than any rivers of Europe, excepting the
Volga and Danube. While Stanley was for five years planting his stations
on the Congo, he knew nothing of this great tributary, 1,500 miles long,
whose mouth was hidden by a cluster of islands which his steamers
repeatedly passed. Missionary Grenfell, on his little steamer, was
ascending the Congo one day, when accidentally he got into the mouth of
the Mobangi and went on for one hundred miles before he discovered that
he had left the main river. Few explorers have unwittingly stumbled upon
so rich a geographical prize.

While exploratory enterprises have been centred largely in tropical
Africa, no part of the continent has been neglected. We now know that
large areas of the Sahara are underlaid by waters which need only be
brought to the surface to cover the desert around them with verdure;
that most of the rain falling on the south slopes of the Atlas Mountains
sinks into the earth to impermeable strata of rock, along which it makes
its way far out into the desert; that where the surface is depressed so
that these waters come near to it, there are wells for the refreshment
of the camel caravans, and oases, blooming islands of green, in the
sterile wastes; and that artesian wells bring inexhaustible supplies of
water within reach, so that millions of date palms have been planted
along the northern edge of the desert in southern Algiers and Tunis,
making these regions the largest sources of the world's supply of dates.

It has also been discovered why there are very large areas of dry or
desert lands in Africa. The Sahara and the southwest of Africa are
deserts because the prevailing winds, the carriers of moisture, blow
towards the sea instead of away from it, and consequently are always
dry. The winds from the Indian Ocean crossing the highlands of Abyssinia
are wrung nearly dry while passing the mountains, and so Somaliland and
the lowlands to the south of Abyssinia are parched.

It has been found that the most of South Africa stands so high above the
sea that the influences of a temperate climate are projected far
towards the Equator; so that many white men, women, and children are
living and thriving on farms in Mashonaland, seven degrees of latitude
nearer the equator than the south end of Florida. This fact will
profoundly influence the development of South Africa. It is to be the
home of millions of the white race, the seat of a highly civilized
empire, whose business relations with the rest of the world will be to
the advantage of every trading nation. The presence of these millions of
toilers will vitally affect the work of developing tropical Africa which
is now absorbing such enormous treasure and energy; for South Africa is
to be brought by railroads to the very doors of the tropical zone.

It is hoped that such facts as these, even though very briefly stated,
may convey broadly a correct impression of the magnitude of African
exploration, since its revival about the time that Livingstone died. It
is impossible in brief space to signalize the good work that many of the
most conspicuous pioneers have done. The world rendered tardy tribute to
the notable achievements of some of them. When Rebmann discovered
Kilimanjaro, not far from the equator, and told of the snows that crown
the loftiest of African summits, it was decided by British geographers
that Rebmann's snow was probably an imaginary aspect. The snow was
there, and plenty of it, but Rebmann died before justice was done to
his faithful labors. When Paul du Chaillu described the Obongo dwarfs of
West Africa, his narrative was discredited; but four or five groups of
dwarfs, probably numbering many thousands, are now known to be scattered
from the lower border of Abyssinia to the Kalahara desert in the far
south. The ancients had heard of the dwarfs, but the geographers of the
eighteenth century expunged from the maps of Africa about all that the
geographers of Greece and Rome, as well as those of later times, placed
on them; and the nineteenth century was slow in crediting the early
investigators even with statements that were wholly or approximately

A curious history is connected with the discovery of the northeastern
group of pygmies, a little south of Abyssinia. No white man had ever
seen them, but about fifteen years ago Dr. Henry Schlichter, of the
British Museum, collected all the information which natives had given to
missionaries, traders, and explorers of the existence of these little
people some hundreds of miles from the sea. Sifting all this evidence,
he concluded that these dwarfs really existed, and that they lived in a
region which he marked on the map north of Lake Stefanie. Donaldson
Smith had not heard of Schlichter's paper, and knew nothing of these
dwarfs, but he found them in 1895 in the region which Schlichter had
indicated as their probable habitat.

The broadest generalization with regard to the African tribes is that
which separates most of the peoples south of the Sahara Desert into two
great groups,--the Negro tribes, whose habitat may be roughly indicated
as extending between the Atlantic and Gallaland in East Africa, with the
Sahara as their northern, and the latitude of the Cameroons as their
southern, boundaries; and the Bantu tribes, occupying nearly all of
Africa south of the Negroes. The distinction between these two great
groups is not based upon special differences as to physical structure,
mental characteristics, habits, or development, but depends solely upon
philological considerations, the languages of the Negroes and the Bantus
forming two distinct groups. Most of the slaves who were brought to our
country were Negroes, while most of those transported to Latin America
were from the Bantu tribes.

One fact that stood out above all others in the study of the African
natives, was the remarkable prevalence of cannibalism in the Congo
basin. In all his wanderings, Livingstone met only one cannibal
tribe,--the Manyema living between Tanganyika and the Upper Congo; but
though they are not found near the sources of the river, nor near its
mouth, they occupy about one-half of the Congo basin. They are regarded
with fear and abhorrence by all tribes not addicted to the practice.
They number several millions. Instead of being the most debased of
human creatures, many of them, in physical strength and courage, in
their iron work, carving, weaving, and other arts, are among the most
advanced of African tribes. The larger part of the natives in the
service of the Congo Free State are from the cannibal tribes. The laws
now impose severe penalties for acts of cannibalism, and the evil is
decreasing as the influence of the state is extended over wider areas. A
few isolated tribes along the Gulf of Guinea are also cannibals.

There is no doubt that the helpful influences of the Caucasian in every
part of Africa so far outweigh his harmful influences that the latter
are but a drop in the bucket in comparison. It is most unfortunate that
a certain admixture of blundering, severity, brutality, and wickedness
seems inseparable from the development of all the newer parts of the
world. The demoralizing drink traffic, the scandalous injustice and
cruelty of some of the agents of civilized governments, are not to be
belittled or condoned. But there is also a very bright side to the story
of the white occupancy of Africa.

The family of a deceased chief in Central Africa recently preserved his
body unburied for fourteen months, in the hope that they might prevail
upon the British Government to permit the sacrifice of women and slaves
on his grave, that he might have companions of his own household in the
other world. He was buried at last, without shedding a drop of blood.
Human sacrifices are now punishable with death throughout a large part
of barbarous Africa, and the terrible evil is being abated as fast as
the influence of the European governments is extended over new regions.
The practice of the arts of fetichism, a kind of chicanery, most
injurious in its effects upon the superstitious natives, is now
punishable throughout the Congo Free State and British Rhodesia. Arab
slave-dealers no longer raid the Congo plains and forests for slaves,
killing seven persons for every one they lead into captivity.
Slave-raiding has been utterly wiped out in all parts of Africa, except
in portions of the Sudan and other districts over which white rule has
not yet been asserted. The Arabs of the Congo, who went there from East
Africa solely that they might grow rich in the slave trade, are now
settled quietly on their rice and banana plantations. The sale of strong
drink has been restricted by international agreement to the coast
regions, where the traffic has long existed, and its evils are somewhat
mitigated there by the regulations now enforced. Fifty thousand Congo
natives who would not carry a pound of freight for Stanley in 1880, are
now in the service of the white enterprises, many of them working, not
for barter goods, but for coin. Many of the missionary fields are
thriving, and wonderful results have been achieved in some of them. In
Uganda, where Stanley in 1875 saw King Mtesa impaling his victims, there
are now ninety thousand natives professing Christianity, three hundred
and twenty churches, and many thousands of children in the schools.
Fifty thousand of the people can read. Between 1880 and 1882 Stanley
carried three little steamboats around 235 miles of rapids to the Upper
Congo. Eighty steamers are now afloat there, plying on nearly 8,000
miles of rivers, and connected with the sea by a railroad that has paid
dividends from the day it was opened. At the end of 1890 there were only
5,813 miles of railroad in Africa. About 15,000 miles are now in
operation, and the end of this decade is certain to see 25,000 miles of
railroads. Trains are running from Cairo to Khartum, the seat of the
Mahdist tyranny, in the centre of a vast region which, until recently,
had been closed for many years to all the world.

These wonderful results are the fruits of the partition of Africa among
the European states. With the exception of some waste regions in the
Libyan desert, which no one has claimed, Morocco, Abyssinia, and
Liberia, every square mile of African territory has been divided among
European powers, either as colonies or as spheres of influence. The
scramble of twenty years for African lands is at an end, there now being
no valuable areas that are not covered by the existing agreements. It
is no mere love of humanity that has impelled the European countries to
divide these regions among themselves. We can scarcely realize the
intensity of the struggle for existence in many of the overcrowded parts
of Europe. Their factories are enormously productive, but their people
will suffer for food unless they can export manufactures. The crying
need for new markets, for new sources of raw material, drove these
states into Africa. And we should be glad, for Africa's sake, that they
have gone there, even though the desire to make money is one of the most
powerful incentives.

It is under the protective aegis of these governments that explorers are
settling down in smaller areas to see what may be found between the
explored water-courses, to study the continent in detail, to give to our
knowledge of Africa the scientific quality now required. The greatest
geographical work there in recent years is the extension of a line of
stations across tropical Africa by Commander Lemaire, each position
astronomically fixed by the most careful methods, constituting a
base-line east and west through Africa to which the scientific mapping
of a very large area will be referred.

The day of the minuter study of the whole continent has now dawned, and
we are witnessing a most notable work. All the colonial powers, and the
Germans most conspicuously, are studying the economic questions relating
to their African possessions. The suitability of climates for
colonists, the essential rules of hygiene, the development of
agriculture, labor supplies, transportation and commercial facilities,
and many other problems are receiving the most careful attention.
Experiment stations are maintained in the colonies and colonial schools
at home, to fit young men for service in the field. The Germans have
already proved that cotton and tobacco are certain to become profitable
export crops.

The mine-owners of the Witwatersrand, on which Johannesburg stands, have
begun a movement which they hope will result in the immigration of
100,000 white laborers to the mining field. We may look for remarkable
development in South Africa, whose promise is larger than that of any
other part of the continent. Whatever may be said of some of the methods
by which the British have enlarged their empire, their rule has blessed
the barbarous peoples whose countries they have absorbed. The task of
improving the few millions of blacks in South Africa, and of developing
the large and in some respects wonderful resources of that region, will
be greatly assisted by the incoming of hundreds of thousands of
Europeans, bringing with them the arts and other blessings of
civilization. The future of none of the newer parts of the world is
brighter with the hope of great development than the region between the
Zambesi and the Cape of Good Hope.

In order to observe intelligently the progress of South Africa in
coming years, the limitations as well as the advantages of the country
must be kept in view. More than half of it, including the entire western
half, is deficient in rainfall and can never be the home of a dense
white population. Some mining will develop on those broad, dry plains
and sandy wastes; some agriculture where irrigation is possible; and
great wool-growing wherever thrive the nutritious grasses on which
13,000,000 sheep, scattered over the Karroo of Cape Colony, and
4,000,000 in the little Orange Free State, were grazing before the
recent war. Wool-growing will always be the greatest grazing industry,
though cattle and horses are raised in large numbers, and the fine, soft
hair of the Angora goat is second only to wool in export importance.

A narrow strip of fine farm lands across the south end of Africa,
another along the southern border of the former Boer republics, and a
large area among the highlands of Mashonaland, far towards the equator,
produce nearly all the crops of the temperate zones. It is not yet
certain, however, that South Africa will ever raise enough wheat for a
great white population. On the northern slopes of the hills, east and
northeast of Cape Town, are thousands of acres of grapes. Cape Colony is
becoming one of the important wine countries; and in February and March,
large quantities of grapes, peaches, nectarines, and plums are placed
in cool rooms on steamships and sent fresh to British markets almost
before English fruit trees are in bloom.

East of the grape region is an area peculiarly adapted for the
cultivation of tobacco; and east of the tobacco district, north of the
coastal belt of wheat in a region of sandy scrub, the bush country, are
the ostrich farms, in the hands mainly of men of considerable capital,
who supply nearly all the feathers derived from the domesticated
ostrich. The plumes are sometimes worth as much as $200 a pound, the
ordinary feathers bringing from $5 to $7 a pound. Natal is unique in two
of its agricultural industries, being the only colony that is producing
tea and important quantities of cane sugar.

But gold, widely scattered over the country on the interior plateau,
exceeds in value all the other exports together. The world never saw
such a development of gold mining in a small area as has occurred on the
Witwatersrand, where Johannesburg stands. The Witwatersrand (White River
Slope) is a slight elevation, the water parting between rivers, about
one and a half miles wide and 125 miles long. On twenty-five miles of
the rand, at and near Johannesburg, more gold was produced in the year
before the Boer war than was yielded by any other country in the world,
The other rich mining regions of the Transvaal and other parts of South
Africa have been completely dwarfed by the wonderful product of the
rand. The surveys in Matabeleland and Mashonaland show gold-bearing
areas 5,000 square miles in extent, which as yet have practically no
development. The mining companies on the rand and elsewhere are now
preparing for far larger operations than ever before.

The Kimberley diamond mines, turning out more than $20,000,000 worth of
rough stones a year, supply nearly all the diamonds of commerce. Two
other diamond centres in the Orange River Colony have scarcely been
touched, and diamonds are found on the Limpopo River and in other
regions where no mining has been undertaken. The minerals of South
Africa, including iron and coal, bid fair to be for many years the
largest sources of wealth; and in wool, hides, mohair, fresh fruits, and
some other products, South Africa may rival other parts of the world.

There are no good natural harbors except Delagoa Bay in Portuguese East
Africa, but by great expenditure the harbors of Cape Town, Port
Elizabeth, East London, and Durban have been adapted for great commerce.
Many persons mistakenly regard Cape Town as the chief commercial centre
of South Africa. It is so only in respect of the export of gold and
diamonds. As it is not centrally situated for business with the
interior, more of the things that South Africa sells to and buys from
the rest of the world, excepting gold and diamonds, pass through Port
Elizabeth than through any other port. Here is centred the largest
wholesale trade.

What South Africa needs is more railroads and more white labor.
Manufacturing industries on an important scale are yet to come, for as
yet the white population is too sparse to develop anything but the
natural products of the country.

The broad summing up of the future work in Africa is that the native
will be taught to help himself. The destiny of the continent depends
largely upon his development, for great parts of Africa may never be
adapted to become the home of many white men. The most powerful motives,
philanthropic and selfish, incite and will sustain the work of helping
these millions to rise to a higher plane of humanity. This work, now
well begun, is the great task which in the present century will call for
all the knowledge, patience, humanity, and justice that may be brought
to bear upon the problem of reclaiming Africa.


Livingstone's "Missionary Travels," "A Narrative of an Expedition to the
Zambesi," and "Last Journeys;" Blaikie's "Livingstone's Personal Life;"
Stanley's "How I found Livingstone."

Stanley's "Through the Dark Continent," "The Congo and the Founding of
its Free State," "In Darkest Africa;" Schweinfurth's "The Heart of
Africa;" Burton's "The Lake Regions of Central Africa;" Speke's "Journal
of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile;" Thomson's "To the Central
African Lakes and Back;" Barth's "Travels and Discoveries in Central
Africa;" Theal's "Compendium of South African History;" Greswell's
"Geography of Africa South of the Zambesi"; Noble's "The Redemption of
Africa" (A History of African Missions).

No comprehensive compendium of the history of African exploration has
yet been written. Our knowledge of the geography, peoples and resources
of Africa is treated with considerable detail in a number of works such
as Reclus's "Africa" (in "The Earth and Its Inhabitants") and Sievers's
"Afrika" (German). A very large part of the exploratory enterprises in
Africa have not been described in books, but only in the reports of the
explorers, printed with their original maps in the publications of many
geographical and missionary societies.





It was twenty-three long centuries ago that a Greek soldier of fortune,
who had the honor to be also a disciple of Socrates, was leading ten
thousand mercenaries back to their native land after their famous
failure to set the Younger Cyrus on the throne of Persia. Clearchus and
the other generals had been treacherously murdered. Dispirited, almost
hopeless, on their way to the longed-for Black Sea, in anticipation of
the perilous and tedious journey, past wild mountains and wilder Kurds,
they toiled up the valley of the Tigris River. Of one incident of their
journey their historian and leader makes no record. They reached the
spot where now stands the city of Mosul. On the bank of the river their
eyes fell on a bare and lofty hill. They did not know, they never
suspected,--Xenophon wrote no word of it,--that under that hill lay
buried the ruins of one of the mightiest conquering cities that had ever
ruled the world. From the palaces of that hill, Ninus and Semiramis and
Sardanapalus had led their conquering armies, all now covered
with silence.

Two centuries earlier, in 606 B.C., there had occurred one of the most
tremendous catastrophes recorded in all the grim annals of war. After a
thousand years of primacy in the East, but twenty years after the death
of Sardanapalus (the Greek name of Asshurbanapal), who had carried his
armies to Egypt and had made his capital the centre of the world's
culture and magnificence, as it was of its cruel and hated power,
Nineveh was captured, buried, and utterly desolated by a horde of savage
Scythians from the mountains of the north and east, such people as we
now call the Kurds. Its palaces had no lofty Greek columns to stand for
memorials, as at Palmyra or Persepolis; and when the outer casings of
brick and alabaster were cracked away, and the ashes of the upper
stories and the clay of the inner constructions, soaked by the rains,
covered the ruins of temple and palace, nothing was left to mark the
site but the grass-covered hill. No wonder that the learned scholar of
Socrates saw nothing, knew nothing of the city, most glorious and most
detested of all the cities of the earth. But in its day the overthrow of
Nineveh and the destruction of the Assyrian Empire had been the most
terrible event in the world's history. How the Hebrew prophets gloated
over it! "Where now is the den of the lions, and the feeding-place of
the young lions, where the lion and the lioness walked, the lion's
whelp, and none made them afraid? Wo to the bloody city; it is all full
of lies and rapine; the prey departeth not. The noise of the whip, and
the noise of the rattling of wheels, and prancing horses, and bounding
chariots, the horsemen mounting, and the flashing sword, and the
glittering spear, and a multitude of slain, and a great heap of corpses,
and there is no end of the bodies. There is no assuaging of the hurt;
thy wound is grievous; all that hear the report of thee clap their hands
over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?"
And another prophet had uttered the curse: "The pelican and the
porcupine shall lodge in the capitals thereof; their voice shall sound
in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he hath laid
bare the cedar-work. This is the joyous city that dwelt carelessly, that
said in her heart, 'I am, and there is none besides me!' How is she
become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! Every one that
passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand."

Thus fell Nineveh, amid the universal rejoicing of the nations, and
thus, seventy years later, fell Babylon also, which, in the short
interval, Nebuchadnezzar had made more magnificent than even Nineveh had
been, beautified for its capture by Cyrus. But before Babylon was the
capital of Chaldea, or Nineveh the capital of Assyria, the city of Calah
had been the seat of its kings, and a mighty mound--they call it Nimroud
now--"as high as St. Paul's steeple," old travellers loved to say--marks
the place on the east bank of the Tigris, twenty miles south of Nineveh;
and, before Calah, Assyria had an earlier capital forty miles still
nearer the Babylonian border, at Asshur, now Kalah-Shergat, on the west
of the Tigris; and each capital had its palaces and records, and all are
now equally buried in clay and utter oblivion. And before the Babylon of
Nebuchadnezzar, and long centuries before Nineveh or Calah or Asshur,
there had been mighty kingdoms in Babylonia, of which the world had
quite forgot the names, only vague rumors remaining in song or legend of
Nimrod and Chedorlaomer and Ur of the Chaldees,--only what was preserved
in the dimmest records of the Hebrew Scriptures. Empires were lost,
buried in chiliads of forgetfulness; would they ever be recovered?

And how much else was lost, what kingdoms, what empires buried before
Hebrew or Greek history began to take notice of the world outside and
put them in books, no one knew, no one knows even yet, although so much
has been found. The fame of Egypt was never quite forgotten, nor all its
history, for Egypt was the world's granary, and closely accessible to
the ships of Corinth and Rome; and Egypt never lost her civilization in
all her long succession of enslavement. But what memory had been kept of
the Ionia and Greece of the days before Homer? What of the early
civilization of Cyprus and Crete? Only the name of Minos, a judge in
Hell. What of Persia and Elam? Were they uninhabited before the times of
Xerxes and Cyrus? And who were these kings, Cyrus and Xerxes, whose
names burst upon us with dim light out of a black antiquity? Even they
were but shadows on a screen, just seen and disappearing. What kings and
kingdoms came before them and passed away? Has history no record? Not a
word. Only black vacuity has been left behind them. And there was that
other empire of the East, that of the Hittites, which we now know ruled
Asia Minor and Syria and contested the rule of the world with Assyria
and Egypt centuries before Agamemnon and Achilles, but so utterly buried
and forgotten that not a line of its history was left, not even enough
to let the sharpest scholar ask a question or suspect that it ever built
capitals and fought victories and produced a civilization the harvest of
which we still enjoy. Nothing was left of them but their names in a
Hebrew list of tribes,--"Amorites and Jebusites and Hivites and

Yet all these lost tribes, nay, lost nations, had left their records
behind them, only they were buried under ground and out of sight. What
a travesty it is on history and civilization, what an impeachment of the
glory of these later Christian centuries, that the lands which these old
empires crowded with a busy population should now be among the most
desolate and inaccessible on the face of the earth! There we see the
curse of the Moslem religion, and still more of the Turkish government.
Wherever the Turk has carried the sword and the Koran, there is blight
and death. Only as soldiers and scholars of Europe have forced their way
into these seats of ancient empires has it been possible to ask and
learn what is buried beneath their gray desolation.

The man who did more than any other to awaken the interest of the world
in the search for forgotten empires was Sir Henry Layard, the excavator
of Nineveh. But before his day another man had startled the world with
what we may call the discovery of Egypt. That man was Napoleon
Bonaparte, the man whose sword was a ploughshare turning up the fallow
fields of Europe, and sowing strange crops of tyranny and liberty, and
whose ambition it was to set up a new throne in the land of the Pharaohs
and Ptolemies. The mighty ruins of Karnak and the imperishable pyramids
filled him with amazement, and he set the scholars of France at work to
publish in massive folios the wonders of that most ancient land. Then
was found the Rosetta Stone, with its inscription in two
languages,--Greek, which any scholar could read, and the Egyptian
hieroglyphics, which no living man could read. But here was the key. The
words _Ptolemy_ and _Cleopatra_ were in the Greek text, and it was not
hard to find what were the combinations of characters that stood for
these words in the Egyptian. The letters _p, t_, and _l_ were in both
names. The hieroglyphic signs found in both names must be these three
letters. That beginning gave all the other signs in both words, and the
rest of the alphabet soon followed. Justly great is the fame of the
Frenchman Champollion, who has the honor of having first deciphered and
read this lost language, and opened to us the secret treasures of its
history and religion.

But with the exploration of Egypt the scholarship of the world was
satisfied for fifty years. No one seemed to think to ask what might be
hid under the soil of nearer Palestine and Syria and Asia Minor; much
less did they seek to uncover the buried capitals of Assyria and
Babylonia. Scholarship was devoted to books, to old manuscripts in
convent libraries, to recovering what the wise men of Greece and Rome
had written, and trying to wrest new facts out of their blundering old
compilations of ancient history. It did not occur to them that a hundred
kings and ten thousand merchants and priests might have left the stories
of their conquests or contracts or liturgies, unrotted in the wet soil,
imperishably preserved to be the record of commerce and empires as old
and as great as those of Egypt, but far deeper covered with oblivion.
But there they were, kept safe for twenty, thirty, fifty centuries,
until the man should come whose mission it was to find them.

More than one such man came in the middle of the last century, but one
man is pre-eminent, and typical of all the rest, Sir Austen Henry
Layard. Before him one Frenchman, M. Paul Emile Botta, had made a fine
dash on a palace city a dozen miles north of Nineveh, and had opened
wonders such as the world had never seen before. But the man whose
energy was fullest of impulse, whose enthusiasm compelled British
Ambassadors and Ministers and Parliaments to do his bidding, who aroused
the world to the importance of the exploration and disinterment of the
monuments of Babylonia and Assyria, was the Englishman Layard.

He had a youthful passion for adventure, and slender means to gratify
it. I wish you could see him as he is pictured in the volume which gives
the story of his early adventures, before he had settled on his life-work
of exploration. There he stands clad in his Bakhtiyari costume, the
dress of a mountain tribe in Persia which asserted its independence of
Teheran. It is a well-knit frame, fit to endure hardships. He stands
holding the tall matchlock, the curved scimetar by his side, and the
long pistol and the dagger in his belt. Above the yellow shoes and
parti-woven stockings a red silk robe falls to his ankles, and over that
a green silk garment reaches to his knees, and yet over that a shorter
and richly embroidered coat, with open sleeves, is held close about the
body by a wide silken sash woven in the brightest of red and gold, and
holding the weapons attached to his waist. On his head is a low flat
cap, visorless in front, but with a broad bow in place of a feather, all
striped with the richest embroidery, and with a wide tassel of the same
material falling far down his back. But the face, with its short beard
dyed dark with henna, and its blue eyes, is not that of a warrior, but
of a serious scholar or diplomatist. And he needed all the force of
courage and all the arts of diplomacy for the work he had to do.

Layard's early training was in the line of preparation for his life's
work. Much of his boyhood was spent in Italy, where he acquired a taste
for the fine arts, and as much knowledge of them as a child could obtain
who was constantly in the society of artists and connoisseurs. At about
the age of sixteen he was sent to England to study the law, for which he
was destined by his parents. After six years in the office of a
solicitor, and in the chambers of an eminent conveyancer,--for that is
the way that lawyers were educated then,--he determined to leave
England and seek a career elsewhere. He had a relative in Ceylon, who
gave him hopes of securing a position there, and for Ceylon he started.
A friend of his, ten years older, was bound for the same destination,
both fond of adventure, and they agreed to go together, and to go as far
as they could by land instead of taking the long sea journey around the
Cape of Good Hope. Across Europe they passed to Constantinople, through
Austria, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Albania, and Bulgaria; thence across Asia
Minor to Syria and Palestine; thence to Aleppo and down the Tigris to
Baghdad. It was an extraordinary and adventurous journey, often
dangerous; but greater danger was to follow. Layard had learned some
Turkish, and now he spent the long weeks in Baghdad in the study of
Persian; his companion was quite familiar with Arabic. Before they left
England they had received good advice from Sir John MacNeill, the
British representative at the court of the Shah: "You must either travel
as important personages, with a retinue of servants and an adequate
escort, or alone, as poor men, with nothing to excite the cupidity of
the people amongst whom you will have to mix. If you cannot afford to
adopt the first course, you must take the latter." The latter they were
forced to take.

Many a young man has the gift to acquire languages--almost any Oriental
can talk three or four--and the ability to rough it and live on the fare
of the people, though barbarous; and many a man has the spirit of
adventure; but this young man had one peculiar and unusual qualification
that directed him to his future career. As a child, he had read the
"Arabian Nights" with intense delight, with their stories centred about
Baghdad. Then every book of Eastern adventure, every bit of travel in
Syria, Arabia, or Persia that he could find he had eagerly devoured. It
was his day and night's longing that he might visit strange lands of
history and make explorations and discoveries. So wherever he was, he
visited every ruin and tried to copy every inscription. If his companion
would not turn aside to visit some region of renown and danger, he would
go alone and join him later. As they came down the river Tigris in their
boat, they passed the immense mound of Nimroud, and so impressed was
Layard by it that he then, scarce twenty-three years old, resolved that
some day he would search and learn what was hidden under it; but little
did he imagine what wonderful monuments he was to find there only a few
years later.

Without a servant, as poor men, in a caravan of fanatical and hostile
Persian pilgrims returning from the shrines, just travellers trying to
go by land through Persia and Afghanistan to India and Ceylon, they
left Baghdad. It was a time of unusual danger, for the British Minister
had been recalled from the Persian Court, and war with England was
threatened. They were taken for spies, and sent to the presence of the
Shah, and forbidden to follow the route they had chosen and which had
been marked out for them by the Council of the Royal Geographical
Society, to report on rivers and mountains and ruins not yet explored.
They were insulted and robbed, and their lives were often in danger; but
at last they received from the Shah their firmans. Now they separated.
His companion felt that he must go by the quickest route to his
destination; but Layard had no definite date before him, and he was
anxious to perform the commissions of the Geographical Society, and so
he plunged alone into fresh dangers.

But there is no space to tell the rest of the story of his adventures
among the Bakhtiyari, of his copying of inscriptions, of his return to
Baghdad and his decision to give up the plans of life in Ceylon, and of
his return from Baghdad again to Shuster and Persepolis and other
ancient cities of Persia, and his exploration of the Karun River and his
geographical paper on the subject, his opening of British trade, and his
return to Constantinople. At Mosul he found that M. Botta was planning
to explore the mounds across the Tigris that covered ancient Nineveh,
and he warmly encouraged his plans. At Constantinople he visited Sir
Stratford Canning and delivered to him despatches that had been confided
to his care, in view of a threatened war between Persia and Turkey. Here
he was kept in the service of the British Embassy, and intrusted with
important and delicate negotiations and investigations which were so
highly appreciated by Sir Stratford that he kept him as his attache.

Meanwhile M. Botta had begun his excavations of a palace of King Sargon
at Khorsabad and was sending his reports and drawings to Paris. They
were all sent by way of Constantinople, and, by M. Botta's generosity,
were all seen by Mr. Layard. So deeply was he interested in them, and so
intense was his desire to carry on excavations himself, that he secured
his release from the Embassy, and also a grant of three hundred dollars
from Sir Stratford's own purse, which, with what he could spare from his
own money, would, he hoped, suffice to begin the work, when, if anything
of value appeared, it was trusted that funds would be secured from
English friends of Oriental learning. Thus, six years after leaving
England, Mr. Layard, well equipped in knowledge of the people and in
diplomatic experience, was ready to launch on his great career, which
brought him fame and earned him the post in later years of British
Ambassador at the Porte, which Sir Stratford had held, and--what is far
greater--gave to the world the larger part of its knowledge of the lost
empires of Assyria and Babylonia.

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