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Lander's Travels by Robert Huish

Part 2 out of 15

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June, he saw the mountains over Mogadore, on the coast of Africa, and
on the 21st, after a pleasant voyage, he anchored at Jillifree, a
town on the northern bank of the Gambia, opposite to James' Island,
where the English had formerly a small fort.

On the 23rd, he proceeded to Vintain, a town situated about two miles
up a creek, on the southern side of the river. Here he continued till
the 26th, when he continued his course up the river, which is deep
and muddy. The banks are covered with impenetrable thickets of
mangrove, and the whole of the adjacent country appears to be flat
and swampy. The Gambia abounds with fish, but none of them are known
in Europe. In six days after leaving Vintain, he reached Jonkakonda,
a place of considerable trade, where the vessel was to take in part
of her lading. The next morning the European traders came from their
different factories, to receive their letters, and learn the nature
and amount of the cargo; whilst the captain despatched a letter to
Dr. Laidley, with the information of Mr. Park's arrival. Dr. Laidley
came to Jonkakonda the morning following, when he delivered to him
Mr. Beaufoy's letter, when the doctor gave him a kind invitation to
spend his time at his house at Pisania, until an opportunity should
offer of prosecuting his journey. This invitation was too acceptable
to be refused.

Pisania is a small village in the king of Yany's dominions,
established by British subjects, as a factory for trade, and
inhabited solely by them and their black servants. The white
residents at the time of Mr. Park's arrival, consisted only of Dr.
Laidley and two gentlemen of the name of Ainsley, but their domestics
were numerous. They enjoyed perfect security, and being highly
respected by the natives at large, wanted no accommodation the
country could supply, and the greatest part of the trade in slaves;
ivory, and gold was in their hands.

Being settled in Pisania, Mr. Park's first object was to learn the
Mandingo tongue, being the language in almost general use throughout
this part of Africa, without which he was convinced he never could
acquire an extensive knowledge of the country or its inhabitants. In
this pursuit he was greatly assisted by Dr. Laidley, who had made
himself completely master of it. Next to the language, his great
object was to collect information concerning the countries he
intended to visit. On this occasion he was referred to certain
traders called slatees, who are black merchants of great
consideration in this part of Africa, who come from the interior
countries, chiefly with enslaved negroes for sale; but he discovered
that little dependence could be placed on the accounts they gave, as
they contradicted each other in the most important particulars, and
all seemed extremely unwilling he should prosecute his journey.

In researches of this kind, and in observing the manners and customs
of the natives, in a country so little known to the nations of
Europe, and furnished with so many striking objects of nature, Mr.
Park's time passed not unpleasantly, and he began to flatter himself
that he had escaped the fever, to which Europeans, on their first
arrival in hot climates, are generally subject. But on the 31st July,
he imprudently exposed himself to the night dew, in observing an
eclipse of the moon, with a view to determine the longitude of the
place; the next day he found himself attacked with fever and
delirium, and an illness followed, which confined him to the house
the greater part of August. His recovery was very slow, but he
embraced every short interval of convalescence to walk out and
examine the productions of the country. In one of these excursions,
having rambled farther than usual in a hot day, he brought on a
return of his fever, and was again confined to his bed. The fever,
however, was not so violent as before, and in the course of three
weeks, when the weather permitted, he was able to renew his botanical
excursions; and when it rained, he amused himself with drawing
plants, &c. in his chamber. The care and attention of Dr. Laidley
contributed greatly to alleviate his sufferings; his company beguiled
the tedious hours during that gloomy season, when the rain falls in
torrents, when suffocating heats oppress by day, and when the night
is spent in listening to the croaking of frogs, the shrill cry of the
jackal, and the deep howling of the hyena; a dismal concert,
interrupted only by the roar of tremendous thunder.

On the 6th of October the waters of the Gambia were at their greatest
height, being fifteen feet above the high water mark of the tide,
after which they began to subside; at first slowly, but afterwards
very rapidly, sometimes sinking more than a foot in twenty-four
hours: by the beginning of November the river had sunk to its former
level, and the tide ebbed and flowed as usual. When the river had
subsided, and the atmosphere grew dry, Mr. Park recovered apace, and
began to think of his departure; for this is reckoned the most proper
season for travelling: the natives had completed their harvest, and
provisions were everywhere cheap and plentiful.

On the 2nd December 1795, Mr. Park took his departure from the
hospitable mansion of Dr. Laidley, being fortunately provided with a
negro servant, who spoke both the English and Mandingo tongues; his
name was Johnson: he was a native of that part of Africa, and having
in his youth been conveyed to Jamaica as a slave, he had been made
free, and taken to England by his master, where he had resided many
years, and at length found his way back to his native country. He was
also provided with a negro boy, named Demba, a sprightly youth, who,
besides Mandingo, spoke the language of the Serawoollies, an inland
people; and to induce him to behave well, he was promised his freedom
on his return, in case the tourist should report favourably of his
fidelity and services. A free man, named Madiboo, travelling to the
kingdom of Bambara, and two slatees, going to Bondou, offered their
services, as did likewise a negro, named Tami, a native of Kasson,
who had been employed some years by Dr. Laidley as a blacksmith, and
was returning to his native country with the savings of his labours.
All these men travelled on foot, driving their asses before them.

Thus Mr. Park had no less than six attendants, all of whom had been
taught to regard him with great respect, and to consider that their
safe return hereafter to the countries on the Gambia, would depend on
his preservation.

Dr. Laidley and the Messrs. Ainsley accompanied Park the two first
days. They reached Jindy the same day, and rested at the house of a
black woman, who had formerly been the mistress of Mr. Hewett, a
white trader, and who, in consequence of that honour, was called
_Seniora_. In the evening they walked out, to see an adjoining
village, belonging to a slatee, named Jemaffoo Mamadoo, the richest
of all the Gambia traders. They found him at home, and he thought so
highly of the honour done him by this visit, that he presented them
with a fine bullock, part of which was dressed for their evening's

The negroes do not go to supper till late, and in order to amuse
themselves while the beef was preparing, a Mandingo was desired to
relate some diverting stories, in listening to which, and smoking
tobacco, they spent three hours. These stories bear some resemblance
to those in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, but in general are of
a more ludicrous cast.

About one o'clock in the afternoon of the 3rd of December, Park took
his leave of Dr. Laidley and Messrs. Ainsley, and rode slowly into
the woods. He had now before him a boundless forest, and a country,
the inhabitants of which were strangers to civilized life. He
reflected that he had parted from the last European he might probably
behold, and perhaps quitted for ever the comforts of Christian
society. These thoughts necessarily cast a gloom over his mind, and
he rode musing along for about three miles, when he was awakened from
his reverie by a number of people, who, running up, stopped the
asses, giving him to understand, that he must either go with them to
Peckaba, to present himself to the king of Woolli, or pay customs to
them. He endeavoured to make them comprehend, that not travelling for
traffic, he ought not to be subjected to a tax like merchants, but
his reasoning was thrown away upon them. They said it was usual for
travellers of all descriptions to make a present to the king of
Woolli, and without doing so, none could be permitted to proceed. As
the party were numerous, he thought it prudent to comply with their
demand, and presented them with four bars of tobacco. At sunset he
reached a village near Kootacunda.

The next day entering Woolli, he stopped to pay customs to an officer
of the king. Passing the night at a village called Tabajang: at noon
the following day Park reached Medina, the capital of the king of
Woolli's dominions. It is a large place, and contains at least a
thousand houses. It is fortified in the common African manner by a
high mud wall, and an outward fence of pointed stakes and prickly
bushes, but the walls were neglected, and the outward fence had
suffered considerably by being plucked up for fire-wood. Mr. Park
obtained a lodging with one of the king's near relations, who warned
him, at his introduction to the king, not to shake hands with him,
that liberty not being allowed to strangers. With this salutary
warning, Park paid his respects to Jatta, the king, and asked his
permission to pass to Bondou. He was the same old man, of whom Major
Houghton speaks in such favourable terms. The sovereign was seated
before the door of his hovel, surrounded by a number of men and
women, who were singing and clapping their hands. Park, saluting him
respectfully, told him the object of his visit. The monarch not only
permitted him to proceed on his journey, but declared he would offer
prayers for his safe return. One of Mr. Park's attendants, to
manifest his sense of the king's courtesy, roared out an Arabic song,
at every pause of which the king himself, and all present, striking
their hands against their foreheads, exclaimed, with affecting
solemnity, _Amen, Amen._ The king further assured him, that a guide
should be ready on the following day, to conduct him to the frontier
of Bondou. Having taken leave, he sent the king an order upon Dr.
Laidley for three gallons of rum, and received in return a great
store of provisions.

December the 6th, early in the morning, on visiting Jatta, he found
his majesty sitting upon a bullock's hide, warming himself before a
large fire, for the Africans frequently feel cold when a European is
oppressed with heat. Jatta received his visitant very kindly, and
earnestly entreated him to advance no farther into the interior,
telling him that Major Houghton had been killed in his route. He said
that travellers must not judge of the people of the eastern country
by those of Woolli. The latter were acquainted with white men, and
respected them; whereas, in the east, the people had never seen one,
and would certainly destroy the first they beheld. Park, thanking the
king for his affectionate concern, told him he was determined,
notwithstanding all danger, to proceed. The king shook his head, but
desisted from further persuasion, and ordered the guide to hold
himself in readiness.

On the guide making his appearance, Park took his last farewell of
the good old king, and in three hours reached Konjour, a small
village, where he and his party rested for the night. Here he bought
a fine sheep for some beads, and his attendants killed it, with all
the ceremonies prescribed by their religion. Part of it was dressed
for supper, after which a dispute arose between one of the negroes
and Johnson, the interpreter, about the sheep's horns. The former
claimed the horns as his perquisite, as he had performed the office
of butcher, and Johnson disputed the claim. To settle the matter, Mr.
Park gave a horn to each of the litigants.

Leaving Konjour, and sleeping at a village called Malla, on the 8th
he arrived at Kolor, a considerable town, near the entrance into
which he saw hanging upon a tree, a sort of masquerade habit, made of
the bark of trees, which he was told belonged to Mumbo Jumbo. The
account of this personage is thus narrated by Mr. Park: "This is a
strange bugbear, common to all the Mandingo towns, and much employed
by the pagan natives in keeping their women in subjection, for as the
kafirs are not restricted in the number of their wives, every one
marries as many as he can maintain, and, as it frequently happens,
that the ladies disagree among themselves, family quarrels rise
sometimes to such a height, that the husband can no longer preserve
peace in his household. In such cases, the interposition of Mumbo
Jumbo is called in, and is always decisive."

This strange minister of justice, who is supposed to be either the
husband himself, or some person instructed by him, disguised in the
dress before mentioned, and armed with his rod of public authority,
announces his coming by loud and continual screams in the woods near
the town. He begins the pantomime at the approach of night, and, as
soon as it is dark, enters the town, and proceeds to the bentang, at
which all the inhabitants immediately assemble.

This exhibition is not much relished by the women, for as the person
in disguise is unknown to them, every married female suspects the
visit may be intended for herself, but they dare not refuse to
appear, when they are summoned: and the ceremony commences with songs
and dances, which continue till midnight, when Mumbo fixes on the
offender. The victim, being immediately seized, is stripped naked,
tied to a post, and severely scourged with Mumbo's rod, amidst the
shouts and derisions of the assembly; and it is remarkable, that the
rest of the women are loudest in their exclamations against their
unhappy sister. Daylight puts an end to this indecent and unmanly

On the 9th of December, Park reached Tambacunda, leaving which the
next morning, he arrived in the evening at Kooniakary, a town of
nearly the same size and extent as Kolor. On the 11th he came to
Koojar, the frontier town of Woolli near Bondou.

King Jatta's guide being now to return, Park presented him with some
amber, and having been informed that it was not possible at all times
to procure water in the wilderness, he inquired for men, who would
serve both as guides and water-bearers, and he procured three
negroes, elephant hunters, for that service, paying them three bars
each in advance.

The inhabitants of Koojar beheld the white man with surprise and
veneration, and in the evening invited him to see a _neobering,_ or
wrestling match, in the bentang. This is an exercise very common in
all these countries. The spectators formed a ring round the
wrestlers, who were strong, active young men, full of emulation, and
accustomed to such contests. Being stripped to a short pair of
drawers, and having their skin anointed with oil or _Shea_ water, the
combatants approached, each on all fours, parrying for some time,
till at length one of them sprang forward, and caught his antagonist
by the knee. Great dexterity and judgment were now displayed, but the
combat was decided by strength. Few Europeans would have subdued the
conqueror. The wrestlers were animated by the sound of a drum.

After the wrestling, commenced a dance, in which many performers
assisted, provided with little bells fastened to their legs and arms,
and here also the drum assisted their movements. The drum likewise
keeps order among the spectators, by imitating the sound of certain
Mandingo sentences; for example, when the sport is about to begin,
the drummer strikes, which is understood to signify, _Ali boe si,_
"sit all down," upon which the lookers-on immediately squat
themselves on the ground, and when the combatants are to begin, he
strikes, _Amuta, amuta,_ "take hold, take hold."

In the morning of the 12th, he found that one of the elephant hunters
had absconded with the money he had received beforehand; and to
prevent the other two from following his example, Park made them
instantly fill their calabashes with water, and they entered the
wilderness that separates Woolli from Bondou. The attendants halted
to prepare a saphie or charm, to ensure a safe journey. This was done
by muttering a few sentences, and spitting upon a stone, thrown
before them on the road. Having repeated this operation three times,
the negroes proceeded with assurance off safety.

Riding along, they came to a large tree, called by the natives _neema
taba_. It was decorated with innumerable rags of cloth, which persons
travelling across the wilderness had at different times tied to the
branches, which was done, according to the opinion of Mr. Park, to
inform the traveller that water was to be found near it; but the
custom has been so sanctioned by time, that nobody now presumes to
pass without hanging up something. Park followed the example, and
suspended a handsome piece of cloth on one of the boughs; and being
informed that either a well or a pool of water was at no great
distance, he ordered the negroes to unload the asses, that they might
give them some corn, and regale themselves with the provisions,
which they had brought, meanwhile he sent one of the elephant hunters
to look for the well. A pool was found, but the water was thick and
muddy, and the negro discovered near it the remains of fire and
fragments of provisions, which showed that it had been lately
visited, either by travellers or banditti. The attendants,
apprehending the latter, and supposing that the robbers lurked at no
great distance, Mr. Park proceeded to another watering place. He
arrived there late in the, evening, fatigued with so long a day's
journey; and kindling a large fire, laid down, more than a gunshot
from any bush, the negroes agreeing to keep watch by turns, to
prevent surprise. The negroes were indeed very apprehensive of
banditti during the whole of the journey. As soon, therefore, as
daylight appeared, they filled their soofros and calabashes at the
pool, took their departure, and arrived at Tallika, the first town in
Bondou, on the 13th December. Mr. Park says, that he cannot take
leave of Woolli without observing, that he was every where well
received by the natives, and that the fatigues of the day were
generally alleviated by a hearty welcome at night.

Tallika, the frontier town of Bondou towards Woolli, is inhabited
chiefly by the Mohammedan Foulahs, who acquire no inconsiderable
affluence by furnishing provisions to the coffles or caravans, and by
the sale of ivory from hunting elephants. Here an officer constantly
resides, whose business it is to watch the arrival of the caravans,
which are taxed according to the number of loaded asses.

Mr. Park lodged with this officer, and was accompanied by him to
Fatteconda, the king's residence, for which he was paid five bars.
They halted for the first night at Ganado, where they partook of a
good supper, and were further exhilarated by an itinerant musician,
or singing man, who told a number of entertaining stories, and played
some sweet airs, by blowing his breath upon a bow-string, and
striking it at the same time with a stick.

At daybreak Mr. Park's fellow-travellers, the Serawoollies, took
their leave, with many prayers for his safety. A mile from Ganado
they crossed a branch of the Gambia, called Neriko, and in the
evening reached Koorkarany, a Mohammedan town, in which the
blacksmith had some relations. Koorkarany is surrounded by a high
wall, and is provided with a mosque. Here a number of Arabic
manuscripts were shown to Mr. Park, particularly a copy of the book
called _Al Sharra_. Leaving Koorkarany, they were joined by a young
man, who was travelling to Fatteconda for salt, and as night set in,
they reached Dooggi, a small village about three miles from
Koorkarany. There they purchased a bullock for six small stones of

Early in the morning of the 18th December, they departed from Dooggi,
joined by a party of Foulahs and others, in the evening arrived at a
village called Buggil, and passed the night in a miserable hut,
having no other bed than a bundle of corn stalks. The wells are here
dug with great ingenuity, and are very deep. From Buggil they
travelled along a dry, stony height, covered with mimosas, and
descended into a deep valley, in which, pursuing their course, they
came to a large village, where they intended to lodge. Many of the
natives were dressed in a thin French gauze, which they called
_byqui_; this being a dress calculated to show the shape of their
persons, was very fashionable among the women. These females were
extremely rude and troublesome; they took Mr. Park's cloak, cut the
buttons from the boy's clothes, and were proceeding to other
outrages, when he mounted his horse, and proceeded on his journey.
In the evening they reached Soobrudooka, and as the company were
numerous, they purchased a sheep and corn wherewith to regale
themselves, after which, they slept by their baggage. From
Soobrudooka they came to a large village on the banks of the Faleme,
which is here very rapid and rocky. The river abounds with a small
fish, of the size of sprats, which are prepared for sale by pounding
them in mortars, and exposing them to dry in the sun in large lumps.

An old moorish shereeff, who came to bestow his blessing on Mr. Park,
and beg some paper to write saphies upon, said that he had seen Major
Houghton in the kingdom of Kaarta, and that he died in the country of
the moors. Mr. Park and some of his attendants gave him a few sheets
of paper, on which to write his charms. Proceeding northward along
the banks of the river, they arrived at Mayemow, the chief man of
which town presented Mr. Park with a bullock, and he in return gave
him some amber and beads. Crossing the river, they entered
Fatteconda, the capital of Bondou, and received an invitation from a
slatee to lodge at his house, for as in Africa there are no inns,
strangers stand at the Bentang, or market-place, till they are
invited by some of the inhabitants. Soon afterwards, Mr. Park was
conducted to the king, who was desirous of seeing him immediately,
if he was not too much fatigued for the interview.

He took his interpreter with him, and followed the messenger till
they were quite out of the town, when suspecting some trick, Mr. Park
stopped and asked his guide, whither he was going?--Upon this, he
pointed to a man sitting under a tree at some little distance, and
told him that the king frequently gave audience in that retired
manner, in order to avoid a crowd of people. When he advanced, the
king desired him to come and sit by him upon the mat, and after
hearing his story, on which he made no observation, he inquired of
Mr. Park, if he wished to purchase any slaves or gold. Being answered
in the negative, he seemed surprised, but desired him to visit him
again in the evening, that he might be supplied with some provisions.

This prince was called Almami, and was a pagan. It was reported that
he had caused Major Houghton to be plundered. His behaviour,
therefore, at this interview, although distinguished by greater
civility than was expected, caused Mr. Park some uneasiness, for as
he was now entirely in his power, he thought it more politic to
conciliate the good opinion of the monarch, by a few presents.
Accordingly, in the evening, Mr. Park took with him a canister of
gunpowder, some amber, tobacco, and an umbrella; and as he considered
that his bundles would inevitably be searched, he concealed some few
articles in the roof of the hut where he lodged, putting on his new
blue coat, in order to preserve it.

Mr. Park on coming to the entrance of the court, as well as his guide
and interpreter, according to custom, took off their sandals, and the
former pronounced the king's name aloud, repeating it till he was
answered from within. They found the monarch sitting upon a mat, and
two attendants with him. Mr. Park told him his reasons for passing
through his country, but his majesty did but seem half satisfied. He
thought it impossible, he said, that any man in his senses would
undertake so dangerous a journey, merely to look at the country and
its inhabitants. When, however, Mr. Park had delivered his presents,
his majesty seemed well pleased, and was particularly delighted with
the umbrella, which he repeatedly furled and unfurled, to the great
admiration of himself and his two attendants, who could not for some
time comprehend the use of this wonderful machine. After this, Mr.
Park was about to take his leave, when the king began a long preamble
in favour of the whites, extolling their immense wealth and good
dispositions. He next proceeded to an eulogium on Mr. Park's blue
coat, of which the yellow buttons seemed particularly to please his
fancy, and he concluded by entreating Mr. Park to present him with
it, assuring him, as a matter of great consolation to him for the
loss of it, that he would wear it on all public occasions, and inform
every one who saw it, of the great liberality of Mr. Park towards
him. The request of an African prince, in his own dominions, comes
very little short of a command. Mr. Park, therefore, very quietly
took off his coat, the only good one in his possession, and laid it
at his feet. In return for his compliance, he presented Mr. Park
with great plenty of provisions, and desired to see him again in the
morning. Mr. Park accordingly attended, and found the king sitting on
his bed. His majesty told him he was sick, and wished to have a
little blood taken from him, but Mr. Park had no sooner tied up his
arm, and displayed the lancet, than his courage failed, and he begged
him to postpone the operation. He then observed, that his women were
very desirous to see him, and requested that he would favour them
with a visit. An attendant was ordered to conduct him, and he had no
sooner entered the court appropriated to the ladies, than the whole
seraglio surrounded him, some begging for physic, some for amber, and
all of them trying that great African specific, blood-letting. They
were ten or twelve in number, most of them young and handsome, and
wearing on their heads ornaments of gold and beads of amber. They
rallied him on the whiteness of his skin and the prominency of his
nose. They insisted that both were artificial, the first they said,
was produced when he was an infant, by dipping him in milk, and they
insisted that his nose had been pinched every day, till it had
acquired its present unsightly and unnatural conformation. On his
part, without disputing his own deformity, he paid them many
compliments on African beauty. He praised the glossy jet of their
skins, and the lovely depression of their noses; but they said, that
flattery, or as they emphatically termed it, _honey-mouth_, was not
esteemed in Bondou. The ladies, however, were evidently not
displeased, for they presented him with a jar of honey and some fish.

Mr. Park was desired to attend the king again, a little before
sunset, on which occasion he presented to his majesty some beads and
writing paper, as a small offering, in return for which the king gave
him five drachms of gold. He seconded the act by one still greater,
he suffered the baggage to pass without examination, and Mr. Park was
allowed to depart when he pleased.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 23d, Mr. Park left Fatteconda, and
in a few hours arrived at a small village, the boundary between
Bondou and Kajaaga. Hearing it was dangerous for travellers, Mr. Park
resolved to proceed by night, until they should reach a more
hospitable part of the country, and directed their course through the
woods. On this occasion, Mr. Park says, "the stillness of the air,
the howling of the wild beasts, and the deep solitude of the forest,
made the scene solemn and impressive. Not a word was uttered by any
of us, but in a whisper; all were attentive, and every one anxious to
show his sagacity, by pointing out to me the wolves and hyenas, as
they glided, like shadows, from one thicket to another." The
following afternoon they arrived at Joag, in the kingdom of Kajaaga,
where they took up their abode at the house of the chief man, here
called the _dooty_. He was a rigid Mohammedan, but distinguished for
his hospitality. The town was supposed to contain about two thousand
inhabitants; it was surrounded by a high wall, in which were a number
of port-holes for musketry. Every man's possession was likewise
surrounded by a wall, the whole forming so many distinct citadels,
and, amongst a people unacquainted with the use of artillery, the
walls answer all the purposes of stronger fortifications.

The same evening, Madiboo, the Bushreen from Pisania, went to pay a
visit to his father and mother, who dwelt at a neighbouring town,
called Dramanet. He was joined by the blacksmith; and as soon as it
was dark, Mr. Park was invited to see the sports of the inhabitants.
A great crowd surrounded a dancing party; the dances, however,
consisted more in wanton gestures, than in muscular exertion or
graceful attitudes. The women vied with each other in displaying the
most voluptuous movements imaginable.

On the 25th December, early in the morning, a number of horsemen
entered the town, and came to the bentang on which Mr. Park had made
his bed. One of them, thinking he was asleep, attempted to steal his
musket; but finding that he could not effect his purpose
undiscovered, he desisted.

Mr. Park now perceived, by the countenance of the interpreter,
Johnson, that something bad was in agitation; he was also surprised
to see Madiboo, and the blacksmith so soon returned. On inquiring the
reason, Madiboo informed him, that as they were dancing at Dramanet,
ten horsemen belonging to Batcheri, the king, with his second son at
their head, had inquired if the white man had passed. The ten
horsemen mentioned by Madiboo arrived, and entering the bentang
dismounted, and seated themselves with those who had come before, the
whole being about twenty in number, forming a circle round him, and
each man holding his musket in his hand. Mr. Park now remarked to his
landlord, that as he did not understand the Serawoolii tongue, he
hoped whatever the men had to say, they would speak in Mandingo. To
this they agreed, and a man, loaded with a remarkable number of
saphies, opened the business in a long oration, purporting that the
white man had entered the king's town, without having first paid the
duties, or giving any present to the king, and that according to the
laws of the country, his people, cattle and baggage were forfeited,
and he added, that they had received orders from the king, to conduct
Mr. Park to Mauna. It would have been equally vain and imprudent to
have resisted or irritated such a body of men, he, therefore,
affected to comply with their demands. The poor blacksmith, who was a
native of Kasson, mistook this feigned compliance for a real
intention, and begged Mr. Park privately, that he would not entirely
ruin him by going to Mauna, adding, that as he had every reason to
believe that a war would soon take place between Kasson and Kajaaga,
he should not only lose his little property, the savings of four
years' industry, but should certainly be detained and sold as a

Mr. Park told the king's son, he was ready to go with him upon
condition, that the blacksmith, who was an inhabitant of a distant
kingdom, and entirely unconnected with him, should be allowed to stay
at Joag until his return. To this they all objected, and insisted
that as all had acted contrary to the laws, all were equally
answerable for their transgressions.

Their landlord strenuously advised Mr. Park not to go to the king,
who, he said, if he discovered any thing valuable in his possession,
would seize it without ceremony. In consequence of this
representation, Mr. Park was the more solicitous to conciliate
matters with the king's officers, and acknowledged that he had indeed
entered the king's frontiers, without knowing that he was to pay the
duties beforehand, but was ready to pay them then; accordingly he
tendered, as a present to the king, the drachms of gold, which he had
received from the king of Bondou; this they accepted, but insisted on
examining his baggage. The bundles were opened, but the men were
greatly disappointed in not finding much gold and amber: they made up
the deficiency, however, by taking whatever things they fancied, and
departed, having first robbed him of half his goods. These
proceedings tended, in a great degree, to dispirit the attendants of
Mr. Park. Madiboo begged of him to return; Johnson laughed at the
thoughts of proceeding without money, and the blacksmith was afraid
to be seen, or even to speak, lest any one should discover him to be
a native of Kasson. In this dejected state of mind, they passed the
night by the side of a dim fire.

In the course of the following day Mr. Park was informed, that a
nephew of Demba Sego Jalla, the Mandingo king of Kasson, was coming
to visit him. The prince had been sent out on a mission to Batcheri,
king of Kajaaga, to endeavour to settle some disputes between his
uncle and the latter, in which, having been unsuccessful, he was on
his return to Kasson, to which place he offered to conduct Mr. Park,
provided he would set out on the following morning.

Mr. Park gratefully accepted this offer, and, with his attendants,
was ready to set out by daylight on the 27th of December. The retinue
of Demba Sego was numerous, the whole amounting, on the departure
from Joag, to thirty persons and six loaded asses. Having proceeded
for some hours, they came to a tree, for which Johnson had made
frequent inquiry, and here, having desired them to stop, he produced
a white chicken he had purchased at Joag for the purpose, and tied it
by the leg to one of the branches; he then declared they might now
proceed without fear, for their journey would be prosperous. This
circumstance exhibits the power of superstition over the minds of the
negroes, for although this man had resided seven years in England, he
retained all the prejudices imbibed in his youth. He meant this
ceremony, he told Mr. Park, as an offering to the spirits of the
wood, who were a powerful race of beings, of a white colour, with
long flowing hair.

At noon the travellers stopped at Gungadi, where was a mosque built
of clay, with six turrets, on the pinnacles of which were placed six
ostrich eggs. Towards evening they arrived at Samee a town on the
banks of the Senegal, which is here a beautiful but shallow river,
its banks high, and covered with verdure.

On the following day they proceeded to Kajee, a large village, part
of which is on the north, and part on the south side of the river.
About sunset Mr. Park and Demba Sego embarked in the canoe, which the
least motion was likely to overset, and Demba Sego thinking this a
proper time to examine a tin box belonging to Mr. Park, that stood in
the fore part of the canoe, by stretching out his hand for it,
destroyed the equilibrium and overset the vessel. As they were not
far advanced, they got back to the shore without much difficulty, and
after wringing the water from their clothes, took a fresh departure,
and were safely landed in Kasson.

Demba Sego now told Mr. Park, that they were in his uncle's
dominions, and he hoped that he would consider the obligation he owed
to him, and make him a suitable return by a handsome present. This
proposition was rather unexpected by Mr. Park, who began to fear that
he had not much improved his condition by crossing the water, but as
it would have been folly to complain, he gave the prince seven bars
of amber and some tobacco, with which he seemed well satisfied.

In the evening of December the 29th, they arrived at Demba Sego's
hut, and the next morning Mr. Park was introduced by the prince to
his father, Tigitty Sego, brother to the king of Kasson, chief of
Tesee. The old man viewed his visitor with great earnestness, having
never beheld but one white man before, whom Mr. Park discovered to be
Major Houghton. He appeared to disbelieve what Mr. Park asserted, in
answer to his inquiries concerning the motives that induced him to
explore the country, and told him that he must go to Kooniakary to
pay his respects to the king, but desired to see him again before he
left Tesee.

Tesee is a large unwalled town, fortified only by a sort of citadel,
in which Tiggity Sego and his family reside. The present inhabitants,
though possessing abundance of cattle and corn, eat without scruple
rats, moles, squirrels, snakes, locusts, &c. The attendants of Mr.
Park were one evening invited to a feast, where making a hearty meal
of what they thought to be fish and kouskous, one of them found a
piece of hard skin in the dish, which he brought away with him, to
show Mr. Park what sort of fish they had been eating. On examining
the skin, it was discovered they had been feasting on a large snake.
Another custom, which is rigidly adhered to, is, that no woman is
allowed to eat an egg, and nothing will more affront a woman of Tesee
than to offer her an egg. The men, however, eat eggs without scruple.

The following anecdote will show, that in some particulars the
African and European women have a great resemblance to each other,
and that conjugal infidelity is by no means confined to the latter. A
young man, a kafir of considerable affluence, who had recently
married a young and handsome wife, applied to a very devout Bushreen
or Mussulman priest of his acquaintance, to procure him saphies for
his protection during the approaching war. The Bushreen complied with
his request, and to render the saphies more efficacious, enjoined the
young man to avoid any nuptial intercourse with his bride for the
space of six weeks. The kafir obeyed, and without telling his wife
the real cause, absented himself from her company. In the mean time
it was whispered that the Bushreen, who always performed his evening
devotions at the door of the kafir's hut, was more intimate with the
young wife, than was consistent with virtue, or the sanctity of his
profession. The husband was unwilling to suspect the honour of his
sanctified friend, whose outward show of religion, as is the case
with the priests and parsons of the civilized part of the world,
protected him from even the suspicion of so flagitious an act. Some
time, however, elapsed before any jealousy arose in the mind of the
husband, but hearing the charge repeated, he interrogated his wife on
the subject, who confessed that the holy man had seduced her.
Hereupon the kafir put her into confinement, and called a palaver on
the Bushreen's conduct, which Mr. Park was invited to attend. The
fact was proved against the priest, and he was sentenced to be sold
into slavery, or find two slaves for his redemption, according to the
pleasure of the complainant. The injured husband, however, desired
rather to have him publicly flogged, before Tiggity Sego's gate; this
was agreed to, and the sentence immediately carried into execution.
The culprit was tied by the hands to a strong stake, and the
executioner with a long black rod round his head, for some time
applied it with such dexterity to the Bushreen's back, as to make him
roar until the woods resounded. The multitude, by their looking and
laughing, manifested how much they enjoyed the punishment of the old
gallant, and it is remarkable, that the number of stripes was exactly
the same as enjoined by the Mosaic law, _forty, save one._

On the 8th of January, Demba Sego, who had borrowed Mr. Park's horse,
for the purpose of making a small excursion into the country,
returned and informed his father, that he should set out for
Kooniakary early the next day. The old man made many frivolous
objections, and gave Mr. Park to understand, that he must not depart
without paying him the duties to which he was entitled from all
travellers; besides which, he expected some acknowledgment for his
kindness towards him. Accordingly, the following morning Demba Sego,
with a number of people, came to Mr. Park, to see what goods he
intended as a present to the old chief. Mr. Park offered them seven
bars of amber, and five of tobacco, but Demba, having surveyed these
articles, very coolly told him they were not a present suitable to a
man of Tiggity Sego's consequence, and if he did not make him a
larger offering, he would carry all the baggage to his father, and
let him choose for himself. Without waiting for a reply, Demba and
his attendants immediately opened the bundles, and spread the
different articles upon the floor; everything that pleased them they
took without a scruple, and Demba in particular seized the tin box,
which had so much attracted his attention in crossing the river. Upon
collecting the remains of his little fortune, after these people had
left him, Mr. Park found, that as at Joag, he had been plundered of
half, so he was here deprived of half the remainder. Having been
under some obligations to Demba Sego, Mr. Park did not reproach him
for his rapacity, but determined at all events to quit Tesee the
following morning; in the mean while, to raise the drooping spirits
of his attendants, he purchased a fat sheep, and had it dressed for

Early in the morning of January the 10th, Mr. Park and his company
left Tesee, and about midday came in sight of the hills in the
vicinity of Kooniakary. Having slept at a small village, the next
morning they crossed a narrow but deep stream, called Krisko, a
branch of the Senegal. Proceeding eastward, about two o'clock they
came in sight of the native town of Jambo, the blacksmith, from which
he had been absent about four years. He was received with the
greatest affection by his relations, but he declared that he would
not quit Mr. Park during his stay at Kooniakary, and they set out for
that place in the morning of the 14th January. About the middle of
the day, they arrived at Soolo, a small village about three miles to
the south of it, where Mr. Park went to visit a slatee, named Salim
Daucari, who had entrusted him with effects to the value of five
slaves, and had given Mr. Park an order for the whole of the debt.
The slatee received his visitors with great kindness. It was,
however, remarkable that the king of Kasson was by some means
apprised of the motions of Mr. Park, for he had not been many hours
at Soolo, when Sambo Sego, the second son of the king of Kasson, came
thither with a party of horse, to inquire what had prevented him from
proceeding to Kooniakary, and waiting upon the king, who he said was
impatient to see him. Salim Daucari apologised for Mr. Park, and
promised to accompany him to Kooniakary. They accordingly departed
from Soolo at sunset, and in about an hour entered Kooniakary, but as
the king had gone to sleep, the interview was deferred till the next
morning, and the travellers slept in the hut of Sambo Sego.


On the ensuing morning Mr. Park went to have an audience of King
Demba Sego Jalla, but the crowd of people that were assembled to see
him was so great, that he could scarcely gain admittance; he at
length arrived in the presence of the monarch, whom he found sitting
upon a mat in a large hut: he appeared to be about sixty years of
age. He surveyed Mr. Park with great attention, and on being made
acquainted with the object of his journey, the good old king was
perfectly satisfied, and promised him every assistance in his power.
He said that he had seen Major Houghton, and presented him with a
white horse, but that after passing the kingdom of Kaarta, he had
lost his life among the moors, but in what manner he was utterly
ignorant. The audience being ended, Mr. Park returned to his lodging,
where he made up a small present for the king, who sent him in return
a large white bullock.

Although the king was well disposed towards Mr. Park, the latter soon
discovered that very great and unexpected obstacles were likely to
impede his progress. A war was on the eve of breaking out between
Kasson and Kajaaga; the kingdom of Kaarta, through which his route
lay, being involved in the issue, and was also threatened with
hostilities by Bambarra. Taking these circumstances into
consideration, the king advised Mr. Park to remain in the vicinity of
Kooniakary, till some decisive information could be obtained of the
state of the belligerents, which was expected to be received in four
or live days. Mr. Park readily submitted to this proposal, and
returned to Soolo, where he received from Salim Daucari, on Dr.
Laidley's account, the value of three slaves, chiefly in gold dust.

Being anxious to proceed as soon as possible, Mr. Park begged Daucari
to use his interest with the king, to procure him a guide by the way
of Foolado, as it was reported that the war had commenced. Daucari
accordingly set out for Kooniakary on the morning of the 20th, and
the same evening returned with an answer from the king, stating that
his majesty had made an agreement with the king of Kaarta, to send
all merchants and travellers through his dominions, but if Mr. Park
wished to take the route of Foolado, the king gave him permission to
do so, though he could not consistently with his agreement send him a
guide. In consequence of this answer, Mr. Park determined to wait
till he could pass through Kaarta without danger.

In the interim, however, it was whispered abroad, that the white man
had received abundance of gold from Salim Daucari, and on the morning
of the 23rd, Sambo Sego paid Mr. Park a visit, attended by a party of
horsemen, and insisted upon knowing the exact amount of the money
which he had received, declaring at the same time, that one half of
it must go to the king; that he himself must have a handsome present,
as being the king's son, and his attendants, as being the king's
relations. Mr. Park was preparing to submit to this arbitrary
exaction, when Salim Daucari interposed, and at last prevailed upon
Sambo to accept sixteen bars of European merchandize, and some powder
and ball, as a complete payment of every demand that could be made in
the kingdom of Kasson.

Mr. Park resided at Soolo for several days, occasionally visiting
surrounding country, and he reports that the number of towns and
villages, and the extensive cultivation around them, surpassed every
thing he had yet seen in Africa.

The king of Kasson having now obtained information, that the war had
not yet commenced between Bambarra and Kaarta, and that Mr. Park
might probably pass through the latter country before the Bambarra
army invaded it, sent two guides early on the morning of the 3rd of
February, to conduct him to the frontiers. He accordingly took leave
of Salim Daucari, and Jambo the blacksmith, and about ten o'clock
departed from Soolo. In the afternoon of the 4th, they reached Kimo,
a large village, the residence of Madi Konko, governor of the hilly
country of Kasson, which is called Soromma.

At Kimo, the guides, appointed by the king of Kasson, left Mr. Park,
and he waited at this place till the 7th, when he departed, with Madi
Konko's son as a guide. On the 8th of February they travelled over a
rough stony country, and, having passed a number of villages, arrived
at Lackarago, a small village standing upon the ridge of hills that
separates Kasson from Kaarta. The following morning they left
Lackarago, and soon perceived, towards the south-east, the mountains
of Fooladoo. Proceeding with great difficulty down a stony and abrupt
precipice, they continued their way in a dry bed of a river, where
the trees, meeting over head, made the place dark and cool. About ten
o'clock they reached the sandy plains of Kaarta, and at noon came to
a watering place, where a few strings of beads purchased as much milk
and corn meal as they could eat. Provisions were here so plentiful,
that the shepherds seldom asked any return for the refreshment a
traveller required. At sunset the travellers reached Feesurah, where
they rested.

Mr. Park and his attendants remained at Feesurah, during the whole of
the following day, for the purpose of learning more exactly the
situation of affairs, before they ventured further. Their landlord
asked so exorbitant a sum for their lodging, that Mr. Park refused to
submit to his demand, but his attendants, frightened at the reports
of approaching war, would not proceed unless he was satisfied, and
persuaded him to accompany them to Kemmoo for their protection on the
road. This Mr. Park accomplished by presenting his host with a
blanket to which he had taken a liking.

Matters being thus amicably adjusted, our travellers again set out on
the 11th, preceded by their landlord of Feesurah on horseback. This
man was one of those negroes who observe the ceremonial part of
Mahometanism, but retain all their pagan superstitions, and even
drink strong liquors; they are called Johars or Jowers, and are very
numerous in Kaarta. When the travellers had got into a lonely wood,
he made a sign for them to stop, and taking hold of a hollow niece of
bamboo, that hung as an amulet round his neck, whistled very loudly
three times. Mr. Park began to suspect it was a signal for some of
his associates to attack the travellers, but the man assured him it
was done to ascertain the successful event of their journey. He then
dismounted, laid his spear across the road and having said several
short prayers, again gave three loud whistles; after which he
listened, as if expecting an answer, but receiving none, said they
might proceed without fear, for no danger actually existed.

On the morning of the 12th, they departed from Karan Kalla, and it
being but a short day's journey to Kemmoo, they travelled slower than
usual, and amused themselves by collecting eatable fruits near the
road side. Thus engaged, Mr. Park had wandered a short distance from
his people, when two negro horsemen, armed with muskets, came
galloping from the thickets. On seeing them, he made a full stop; the
horsemen did the same, and all three seemed equally surprised and
confounded. As he approached them, their fears increased, and one
casting upon him a look of horror, rode off at full speed; while the
other, in a panic of fear, put his hand over his eyes, and continued
muttering prayers, till his horse, apparently without his knowledge,
slowly conveyed him after his companion. About a mile to the westward
they fell in with Mr. Park's attendants, to whom they related a
frightful story: their fears had dressed him in the flowing robes of
a tremendous spirit, and one of them affirmed, that a blast of wind,
cold as water, poured down upon him from the sky, while he beheld the
dreadful apparition.

About two o'clock, Mr. Park entered the capital of Kaarta, which is
situate in the midst of an open plain, the country for two miles
round being cleared of wood. They immediately proceeded to the king's
residence, and Mr. Park, being surrounded by the astonished
multitude, did not attempt to dismount, but sent in the landlord of
Feesurah, and Madi Konko's son, to acquaint his majesty of his
arrival. The king replied, that he would see the stranger in the
evening, and ordered an attendant to procure him a lodging, and
prevent annoyance from the crowd. Mr. Park was conducted into a large
hut, in which he had scarcely seated himself, than the mob entered,
it being found impossible to keep them out, and when one party had
seen him, and asked a few questions, they retired, and another
succeeded, party after party, during the greater part of the day.

The king, whose name was Koorabarri, now sent for Mr. Park, who
followed the messenger through a number of courts, surrounded with
high walls. Mr. Park was astonished at the number of the king's
attendants: they were all seated, the men on the king's right hand,
and the women and children on the left. The king was not
distinguished from his subjects by any superiority of dress, being
seated on a leopard's skin, spread upon a bank of earth, about two
feet high. Mr. Park seated himself upon the ground before him, and
relating the causes that induced him to pass through his country,
solicited his protection. The king replied, that he could at present
afford him but little assistance, all communication between Kaarta
and Bambarra being cut off; and Monsong, king of Bambarra, with his
army on his march to Kaarta, there was little hope of reaching
Bambarra by the direct route, for coming from an enemy's country, he
would certainly be plundered or taken for a spy. Under these
circumstances he did not wish him to remain at Kaarta, but advised
him to return to Kasson till the war was at an end, when, if he
survived the contest, he would bestow every attention on the
traveller, but if he should fall, his sons would take him under their

Mr. Park dreaded the thoughts of passing the rainy season in the
interior of Africa, and was averse to return to Europe, without
having made further discoveries, he therefore rejected the well-meant
advice of the king, and requested his majesty to allow a man to
accompany him as near the frontiers of Kaarta as was consistent with
safety. The king, finding he was resolved to proceed, told him that
one route, though not wholly free from danger, still remained, which
was first to go into the Moorish kingdom of Luda-mar, and thence by a
circuitous route to Jarra, the frontier town of Ludamar. He then
inquired of Mr. Park how he had been treated since he left the
Gambia, and jocularly asked him how many slaves he expected to take
home with him on his return. He was, however interrupted by the
arrival of a man mounted on a fine moorish horse covered with sweat
and foam, who having something of importance to communicate, the king
immediately took up his sandals, which is the signal for strangers to
retire. Mr. Park accordingly took leave, but afterwards learned that
this messenger was one of the scouts employed to watch the motions of
the enemy, and had brought intelligence that the Bambarra army was
approaching Kaarta.

In the evening the king sent to the stranger a fine sheep, a very
acceptable gift, as they had not broken their fast during the whole
of the day. At this time, evening prayers were announced, by beating
on drums, and blowing through hollowed elephants' teeth; the sound of
which was melodious, and nearly resembled the human voice. On the
following morning, Mr. Park sent his horse-pistols and holsters as a
present to the king, and informed him that he wished to leave Kemmoo
as soon as he could procure a guide. In about an hour the king
returned thanks for his present, and sent a party of horsemen to
conduct him to Jarra. On that night he slept at a village called
Marena, where, during the night, some thieves broke into the hut
where the baggage was deposited, cut open one of Mr. Park's bundles,
and stole a quantity of beads, part of his clothes, some amber and
gold. The following day was far advanced before they recommenced
their journey, and the excessive heat obliged them to travel but
slowly. In the evening they arrived at the village of Toorda, when
all the king's people turned back with the exception of two, who
remained to guide Mr. Park and his attendants to Jarra.

On the 15th of February they departed from Toorda, and about two
o'clock came to a considerable town called Funing-kedy, where being
informed that the road to Jarra was much infested by the moors, and
that a number of people were going to that town on the following
day, Mr. Park resolved to stay and accompany them. Accordingly in the
afternoon of the 17th of February, accompanied by thirty people, he
left Funing-kedy, it being necessary to travel in the night to avoid
the moorish banditti. At midnight they stopped near a small village,
but the thermometer being so low as 68 deg., none of the negroes could
sleep on account of the cold. They resumed their journey at daybreak,
and in the morning passed Simbing, the frontier village of Ludamar.

From this village Major Houghton wrote his last letter, with a
pencil, to Dr. Laidley, having been deserted by his negro servants,
who refused to follow him into the moorish country. This brave but
unfortunate man, having surmounted many difficulties, had endeavoured
to pass through the kingdom of Ludamar, where Mr. Park learned the
following particulars concerning his fate. On his arrival at Jarra,
he got acquainted with some moorish merchants, who were travelling to
Tisheel, a place celebrated for its salt pits in the great desert,
for the purpose of purchasing salt. It is supposed that the moors
deceived him, either in regard to the route he wished to pursue, or
the state of the country between Jarra and Timbuctoo, and their
intention probably was to rob and leave him in the desert. At the end
of two days he suspected their treachery, and insisted on returning
to Jarra. Finding him to persist in this determination, the moors
robbed him of every thing he possessed, and went off with their
camels; the major, being thus deserted, returned on foot to a
watering place called Tarra. He had been some days without food, and
the unfeeling moors refusing to give him any, he sunk at last under
his distresses. Whether he actually perished of hunger, or was
murdered by the savage Mahometans, is not certainly known. His body
was dragged into the woods, and Mr. Park was shown at a distance, the
spot where his remains were left to perish.

Leaving Simbing, the travellers arrived in safety at Jarra, which is
a large town situate at the bottom of rocky hills; the houses being
built of clay and stones intermixed, the former answering the purpose
of mortar. It forms part of the moorish kingdom of Ludamar, but the
majority of the inhabitants are negroes, who purchase a precarious
protection from the moors, in order to avert their depredations.

On Mr. Park's arrival at Jarra, he obtained a lodging at the house of
Daman Jumma, a Gambia slatee, to whom he had an order from Dr.
Laidley for a debt of the value of six slaves. Daman readily
acknowledged the debt, but said he was afraid he could not pay more
than two slaves' value. He was, however, very useful to Mr. Park, by
procuring his beads and amber to be exchanged for gold, which being
more portable, was more easily concealed from the moors.

The difficulties, which they had already encountered, and the savage
deportment of the moors, had completely frightened Mr. Park's
attendants, and they declared they would not proceed one step further
to the eastward. In this situation, Mr. Park applied to Daman, to
obtain from Ali, king of Ludamar, a safe conduct into Bambarra, and
he hired one of Daman's slaves to guide him thither, as soon as the
passport should be obtained. A messenger was despatched to Ali, then
encamped near Benown, and Mr. Park sent that prince, as a present,
five garments of cotton cloth purchased from Daman. On the 26th of
February, one of Ali's slaves arrived, as he said, to conduct Mr.
Park as far as Goomba, and demanded one garment of blue cotton cloth
for his attendance. About this time the negro boy Demba declared,
that he would never desert his master, although he wished that he
would turn back, to which he was strongly recommended by Johnson, who
had declared his reluctance to proceed.

On the following day, Mr. Park delivered a copy of his papers to
Johnson, to convey them to Gambia with all possible expedition, and
he left in Daman's possession various articles, which he considered
not necessary to take with him. He then left Jarra, accompanied by
his faithful boy, the slave sent by king Ali, and one of Daman's
slaves. Without meeting with any occurrence of note, Mr. Park arrived
on the 1st of March at a large town called Deena, inhabited by a
greater proportion of moors than of negroes. Mr. Park lodged in a hut
belonging to one of the latter. The moors, however, assembled round
it, and treated him with every sort of indignity, with a view to
irritate him, and afford them a pretence for pillaging his baggage.
Finding, however, their attempts ineffectual, they at last declared
that the property of a Christian was lawful plunder to the followers
of Mahomet, and accordingly opened his bundles, and robbed him of
every thing they chose.

Mr. Park spent the 2nd of March, in endeavouring to prevail on his
people to proceed with him, but so great was their dread of the
moors, that they absolutely refused. Accordingly, the next morning,
about two o'clock, Mr. Park proceeded alone on his adventurous
journey. He had not, however, got above half a mile from Deena, when
he heard some one calling after him, and on looking back, saw his
faithful boy running after him. He was informed by the boy, that
Ali's man had set out for Benown, but Daman's negro was still at
Deena, but that if his master would stop a little, he could persuade
the latter to join him. Mr. Park waited accordingly, and in about
three hours the boy returned with the negro. In the afternoon, they
reached a town called Samamingkoos, inhabited chiefly by Foulahs.

On the 4th they arrived at a large town called Sampaka, where, on
hearing that a white man was come into the town, the people, who had
been keeping holiday and dancing, left of this pastime, and walking
in regular order two by two, with the music before them, came to Mr.
Park. They played upon a flute, which they blowed obliquely over the
end, and governed the holes on the sides with their fingers. Their
airs were plaintive and simple.

Mr. Park stopped at Sampaka for the sake of being accompanied by some
of the inhabitants, who were going to Goomba; but in order to avoid
the crowd of people, whom curiosity had assembled round him, he
visited in the evening a negro village called Samee, where he was
kindly received by the dooty, who killed two fine sheep, and invited
his friends to the feast. On the following day his landlord insisted
on his staying till the cool of the evening, when he would conduct
him to the next village. Mr. Park was now within two days journey of
Goomba, and had no further apprehension of being molested by the
moors. He therefore accepted the invitation, and passed the forenoon
very agreeably with the poor negroes, the mildness of their manners
forming a striking contrast to the savageness and ferocity of the
moors. In the midst of their cheerfulness, a party of moors
unexpectedly entered the hut. They came, they said, by Ali's orders,
to convey the white man to his camp at Benown. They told Mr. Park,
that if he did not make any resistance, he was not in any danger, but
if he showed any reluctance, they had orders to bring him by force.
Mr. Park was confounded and terrified; the moors, observing his
consternation, repeated the assurance of his safety, and added, that
they had come to gratify the curiosity of Ali's wife, who was
extremely desirous to see a Christian, but that afterwards, they had
no doubt that Ali would make him a present, which would compensate
for his trouble, and conduct him safely to Bambarra. Entreaty or
refusal would have been equally unavailing. Mr. Park took leave of
his landlord and company with great reluctance, and, attended by his
negro boy (for Daman's slave made his escape on seeing the Moors),
followed the messengers, and reached Dalli in the evening, where they
were strictly watched for the night.

On the following day, Mr. Park and his boy were conducted by a
circuitous path, through the woods to Dangoli, where they slept. They
continued their journey on the 9th, and without any particular
occurrence arrived at Deena, when Mr. Park went to pay his respects
to one of Ali's sons. He sat in a hut, with five or six companions,
washing their hands, feet, and mouths. The prince handed Mr. Park a
double-barrelled gun, and told him to dye the stock blue, and repair
one of the locks. Mr. Park with great difficulty persuaded him that
he knew nothing of gun-making, then, said he, you shall give me some
knives and scissors immediately. The boy, who acted as interpreter,
declaring Mr. Park had no such articles, he hastily snatched up a
musket, and would have shot the boy dead upon the spot, had not the
Moors interfered, and made signs to the strangers to retreat. The boy
attempted to make his escape in the night, but was prevented by the
Moors, who guarded both him, and his master, with the strictest

On the 12th, Mr. Park and his guards departed for Benown, and reached
the camp of Ali a little before sunset. It was composed of a great
number of dirty tents, scattered without order, amongst which
appeared large herds of camels, cattle, and goats. Mr. Park had no
sooner arrived, than he was surrounded by such a crowd, that he could
scarcely move. One pulled his clothes, another took off his hat, a
third examined his waistcoat buttons, and a fourth calling out, _La
ilia el Allah, Mahomet ra sowl Allald_ (there is but one God, and
Mahomet is his prophet), signifying, in a menacing tone, that he must
repeat those words. At length, he was conducted to the king's tent,
where a number of both sexes were waiting his arrival. Ali appeared
to be an old man of the Arab cast, with a long white beard, and of a
sullen and proud countenance. Having gazed on the stranger, he
inquired of the Moors, if he could speak Arabic, hearing that he
could not, he appeared much surprised, but made no remarks. The
ladies were more inquisitive; they asked many questions, inspected
every part of Mr. Park's dress, unbuttoned his waistcoat to display
the whiteness of his skin; they even counted his toes and fingers. In
a short time, the priest announced evening prayers, but before the
people departed, some boys had tied a wild hog to one of the tent
strings. Ali made signs to Mr. Park to kill it, and dress it for food
to himself, he, however, did not think it prudent to eat any part of
an animal so much detested by the Moors, and accordingly replied,
that he never ate the flesh of swine. They then untied the hog, in
hopes that it would run immediately at him, the Moors believing that
a great enmity subsists between hogs and Christians, but the animal
no sooner regained his liberty, than he attacked every person he met,
and at last took shelter under the king's couch. Mr. Park was then
conducted to the tent of Ali's chief slave, but was not permitted to
enter, nor touch any of the furniture. A little boiled corn, with
salt and water, was afterwards served him for supper, and he lay upon
a mat spread upon the sand, surrounded by the curious multitude.

The next day, Mr. Park was conducted by the king's order, to a hut
constructed of corn stalks of a square form, and a flat roof,
supported by forked sticks; but out of derision to the Christian, Ali
had ordered the wild hog before mentioned to be tied to one of the
sticks, and it proved a very disagreeable inmate, the boys amusing
themselves by beating and irritating the animal. Mr. Park was also
again tormented by the curiosity of the Moors. He was obliged to take
off his stockings to exhibit his feet, and even his jacket and
waistcoat to show them the mode of his toilet. This exercise he was
obliged to repeat the whole day. About eight o'clock in the evening,
Ali sent him some kouskous and salt and water, being the only
victuals he had tasted since the morning. During the night, the Moors
kept a regular watch, and frequently looked into the hut to see if he
was asleep. About two o'clock a Moor entered the hut, probably with a
view of stealing something, and groping about, laid his hand upon Mr.
Park's shoulder. He immediately sprang up, and the Moor in a hurry,
fell upon the wild hog, which returned the attack by biting his arm.
The cries of the Moor alarmed his countrymen, who conjecturing their
prisoner had made his escape, prepared for pursuit. Ali did not sleep
in his own tent, but came galloping upon a white horse from a tent at
a considerable distance; the consciousness of his tyrannical and
cruel behaviour had made him so suspicious, that even his own
domestics knew not where he slept. The cause of the outcry being
explained, the prisoner was allowed to sleep until morning without
further disturbance.

With the returning day, the boys, says Mr. Park, assembled to beat
the hog, and the men and women to plague the Christian. On this
subject, Mr. Park expresses himself most feelingly, for he adds, "it
is impossible for me to describe the behaviour of a people, who study
mischief as a science, and exult in the miseries and misfortunes of
their fellow-creatures. It is sufficient to observe, that the
rudeness, ferocity, and fanaticism, which distinguish the Moors from
the rest of mankind, found here a proper subject whereon to exercise
their propensities. I was a _stranger_, I was _unprotected_, and I
was a _Christian_, each of these circumstances is sufficient to drive
every spark of humanity from the heart of a Moor; but when all of
them, as in my case, were combined in the same person, and a
suspicion prevailed withal, that I was come as a spy into the
country, the reader will easily imagine that, in such a situation, I
had every thing to fear. Anxious, however, to conciliate favour, I
patiently bore every insult, but never did any period of my life pass
so heavily; from sunrise to sunset was I obliged to suffer, with
unruffled countenance, the insults of the rudest savages on earth."

Mr. Park had now a new occupation thrust upon him, which was that of
a _barber_. His first display of official skill in his new capacity,
was in shaving the head of the young prince of Ludamar, in the
presence of the king, his father, but happening to make a slight
incision, the king ordered him to resign the razor, and walk out of
the tent. This was considered by Mr. Park as a very fortunate
circumstance, as he had determined to make himself as useless and
insignificant as possible, being the only means of recovering his

On the 18th of March, four Moors arrived from Jarra, with Johnson the
interpreter, having seized him before he knew of Mr. Park's
confinement, and brought with them the bundle of clothes left at
Daman Jumma's house. Johnson was led into All's tent and examined;
the bundle was opened, and Mr. Park was sent for, to explain the use
of the various contents. To Mr. Park's great satisfaction, however,
Johnson had committed his papers to the charge of one of Daman's
wives. The bundle was again tied up, and put into a large cowskin
bag. In the evening Ali sent to Mr. Park for the rest of his effects,
to secure them, according to the report of the messengers, _as there
were many thieves in the neighbourhood_. Every thing was accordingly
carried away, nor was he suffered to retain a single shirt. Ali,
however, disappointed at not finding a great quantity of gold and
amber, the following morning sent the same people, to examine whether
anything was concealed about his person. They searched his apparel,
and took from him his gold, amber, watch and a pocket compass. He had
fortunately in the night buried another compass in the sand, and
this, with the clothes he had on, was all that was now left him by
this rapacious and inhospitable savage.

The pocket compass soon became an object of superstitious curiosity,
and Ali desired Mr. Park to inform him, why the small piece of iron
always pointed to the Great Desert? Mr. Park was somewhat puzzled: to
have pleaded ignorance, would have made Ali suspect he wished to
conceal the truth; he therefore replied, that his mother resided far
beyond the land of Sehara, and whilst she lived, the piece of iron
would always point that way, and serve as a guide to conduct him to
her, and that if she died, it would point to her grave. Ali now
looked at the compass with redoubled wonder, and turned it round and
round repeatedly, but finding it always pointed the same way, he
returned it to Mr. Park, declaring he thought there was magic in it,
and he was afraid to keep so dangerous an instrument in his

On the morning of the 20th, a council was hold in Ali's tent
respecting Mr. Park, and its decision was differently related to him
by different persons, but the most probable account he received from
Ali's son, a boy, who told him it was determined to put out his eyes,
by the special advice of the priests, but the sentence was deferred
until Fatima, the queen, then absent, had seen the white man. Mr.
Park, anxious to know his destiny, went to the king and begged
permission to return to Jarra. This was, however, flatly refused, as
the queen had not yet seen him, and he must stay until she arrived,
after which his horse would be restored, and he should be at liberty
to return to Ludamar. Mr. Park appeared pleased; and without any hope
of at present making his escape, on account of the excessive heat, he
resolved to wait patiently for the rainy season. Overcome with
melancholy, and having passed a restless night, in the morning he was
attacked by a fever. He had wrapped himself up in a cloak to promote
perspiration, and was asleep, when a party of Moors entered the hut,
and pulled away the cloak. He made signs that he was sick, and wished
to sleep, but his distress afforded sport to these savages. "This
studied and degrading insolence," says Mr. Park, "to which I was
constantly exposed, was one of the bitterest ingredients in the cup
of captivity, and often made life itself a burthen to me. In these
distressing moments I have frequently envied the situation of the
slave, who, amidst all his calamities, could still possess the
enjoyment of his own thoughts, a happiness to which I had for some
time, been a stranger. Wearied out with such continual insults, and
perhaps a little peevish from the fever, I trembled, lest my passion
might unawares overleap the bounds of prudence, and spur me to some
sudden act of resentment, when death must be the inevitable

In this miserable situation he left the hut, and laid down amongst
some shady trees, a small distance from the camp, but Ali's son, with
a number of horsemen galloping to the place, ordered him to follow
them to the king. He begged them to allow him to remain where he was
for a few hours, when one of them presented a pistol towards him, and
snapped it twice; he cocked it a third time, and was striking the
flint with a piece of steel, when Mr. Park begged him to desist, and
returned with them to the camp. Ali appeared much out of humour, and
taking up a pistol fresh primed it, and turning towards Mr. Park with
a menacing look, said something to him in Arabic. Mr. Park desired
his boy to ask what offence he had committed, and was informed, that
having gone out of the camp without Ali's permission, it was
suspected he had some design to make his escape, but in future, if he
were seen without the skirts of the camp, orders were given that he
should be immediately shot.

About this time all the women of the camp had their feet, and the
ends of their fingers stained of a dark saffron colour, but whether
for religion or ornament, Mr. Park could not discover. On the evening
of the 26th, a party of these ladies visited him, _to ascertain by
actual inspection, whether the rites of circumcision extended to
Christians_. Mr. Park was not a little surprised at this unexpected
requisition, and to treat the business jocularly, he told them it was
not customary in his country, to give ocular demonstration before _so
many_ beautiful women, but if all would retire, one young lady
excepted, to whom he pointed, he would satisfy her curiosity. The
ladies enjoyed the joke, and went away laughing, The preferred
damsel, although she did not avail herself of the offer, to show she
was pleased with the _compliment_, sent him meal and milk.

On the morning of the 28th, Ali sent a slave to order Mr. Park to be
in readiness to ride out with him in the afternoon, as he intended to
show him to some of his women, and about four o'clock the king with
six attendants came riding to the hut. But here a new difficulty
occurred, the Moors objected to Mr. Park's _nankeen breeches_, which
they said were inelegant and indecent, as this was a visit to ladies,
but Ali ordered him to wrap his cloak around him. They visited four
different ladies, by each of whom Mr. Park was presented with a bowl
of milk and water. They were very inquisitive, and examined his hair
and skin with great attention, but affected to consider him as an
inferior being, and knit their brows, and appeared to shudder when
they looked at the whiteness of his skin. All the seladies were
remarkably corpulent, which the Moors esteem as the highest mark of
beauty. In the course of the excursion, the dress and appearance of
Mr. Park afforded infinite mirth to the company, who galloped round
him, exhibiting various feats of activity and horsemanship.

The Moors are very good horsemen, riding without fear, and their
saddles being high before and behind, afford them a very secure seat,
and should they fall, the country is so soft and sandy, that they are
seldom hurt. The king always rode upon a milk-white horse, with its
tail dyed red. He never walked, but to prayers, and two or three
horses were always kept ready saddled near his tent. The Moors set a
high value upon their horses, as their fleetness enables them to
plunder the negro countries.

On the same afternoon, a whirlwind passed through the camp, with such
violence, that it overturned three tents, and blew down one side of
the hut in which Mr. Park was. These whirlwinds come from the Great
Desert, and at that season of the year are so common, that Mr. Park
has seen five or six of them at one time. They carry up quantities of
sand to an amazing height, which resemble at a distance so many
moving pillars of smoke.

The scorching heat of the sun, upon a dry and sandy country, now made
the air insufferably hot. Ali having robbed Mr. Park of his
thermometer, he had no means of forming a comparative judgment; but
in the middle of the day, when the beams of the vertical sun are
seconded by the scorching wind from the desert, the ground is
frequently heated to such a degree, as not to be borne by the naked
foot; even the negro slaves will not run from one tent to another
without their sandals. At this time of the day, the Moors are
stretched at length in their tents, either asleep or unwilling to
move, and Mr. Park has often felt the wind so hot, that he could not
hold his hand in the current of air, which came through the crevices
of his hut, without feeling sensible pain.

During Mr. Park's stay, a child died in an adjoining tent. The mother
and relations immediately began the death howl, in which they were
joined by several female visitors. He had no opportunity of seeing
the burial, which is performed secretly during night, near the tent.
They plant a particular shrub over the grave, which no stranger is
allowed to pluck, nor even touch.

About the same time a moorish wedding was celebrated, the ceremony of
which is thus described by Mr. Park. "In the evening the tabala or
large drum was beaten to announce a wedding, which was held at one of
the neighbouring tents. A great number of people of both sexes
assembled, but without that mirth and hilarity which take place at a
negro wedding; here there was neither singing nor dancing, nor any
other amusement that I could perceive. A woman was beating the drum,
and the other women joining at times like a chorus, by setting up a
shrill scream, and at the same time moving their tongues from one
side of the mouth to the other with great celerity. I was soon tired
and had returned to my hut where I was sitting almost asleep, when an
old woman entered with a wooden bowl in her hand, and signified that
she had brought me a present from the bride. Before I could recover
from the surprise which this message created, the woman discharged
the content of the bowl full in my face. Finding that it was the same
sort of _holy water_, with which, among the Hottentots, a priest is
said to sprinkle a new-married couple, I began to suspect that the
old lady was actuated by mischief or malice, but she gave me
seriously to understand, that it was a nuptial benediction from the
bride's own person, and which, on such occasions, is always received
by the young unmarried Moors as a mark of distinguished favour. This
being the ease, I wiped my face and sent my acknowledgments to the
lady. The wedding drum continued to beat, and the women to sing, or
rather to whistle during the whole of the night. About nine in the
morning, the bride was brought in state from her mother's tent,
attended by a number of women, who carried her tent, being a present
from her husband, some bearing up the poles, others holding by the
strings, and in this manner they marched, whistling as formerly,
until they came to the place appointed for her residence, where they
pitched the tent. The husband followed with a number of men leading
four bullocks, which they tied to the tent strings, and having killed
another, and distributed the beef among the people, the ceremony was


Mr. Park had now been detained a whole month in Ali's camp, during
which each returning day brought him fresh distresses. In the evening
alone, his oppressors left him to solitude and reflection. About
midnight, a bowl of kouskous, with some salt and water, was brought
for him and his two attendants, being the whole of their allowance
for the following day, for it was at this time the Mahometan Lent,
which, being kept with religious strictness by the Moors, they
thought proper to compel their Christian captive to a similar
abstinence. Time, in some degree, reconciled him to his forlorn
state: he now found that he could bear hunger and thirst better than
he could have anticipated; and at length endeavoured to amuse himself
by learning to write Arabic. The people, who came to see him, soon
made him acquainted with the characters. When he observed any one
person, whose countenance he thought malignant, Mr. Park almost
always asked him to write on the sand, or to decipher what he had
written, and the pride of showing superior attainment generally
induced him to comply with the request.

Mr. Park's sufferings and attendant feelings decreased in
intenseness from time and custom; his attempts, as the first
paroxysms ceased, to find the means to amuse and shorten the tedious
hours, is a fine picture, of human passions; and their variations,
circumstances, and situations, which, before they were encountered,
would appear intolerable, generate a resolution and firmness, which
render them possible to be borne. Providence, with its usual
benevolence, willing the happiness of mankind, fortifies the heart to
the assaults, which it has to undergo.

On the 14th of April, Ali proposed to go two days journey, to fetch
his queen Fatima. A fine bullock was therefore killed, and the flesh
cut into thin slices, was dried in the sun; this, with two bags of
dry kouskous, served for food on the road. The tyrant, fearing
poison, never ate any thing not dressed under his immediate
inspection. Previously to his departure, the negroes of Benown,
according to a usual custom, showed their arms and paid their tribute
of corn and cloth.

Two days after the departure of Ali, a shereef arrived with
merchandize from Walet, the capital of the kingdom of Biroo. He took
up his abode in the same hut with Mr. Park, and appeared be a
well-informed man, acquainted with the Arabic and Bambarra tongues;
he had travelled through many kingdoms; he had visited Houssa, and
lived some years at Timbuctoo. Upon Mr. Park's inquiring the distance
from Walet to Timbuctoo, the shereef, learning that he intended to
travel to that city, said, _it would not do_, for Christians were
there considered as the _devil's children_, and enemies to the

On the 24th, another shereef arrived, named Sidi Mahomed Moora
Abdallah, and with these two men Mr. Park passed his time with less
uneasiness than formerly, but as his supply of victuals was now left
to slaves, over whom he had no control, he was worse supplied than
during the past month. For two successive nights, they neglected to
send the accustomed meal, and the boy, having begged a few handfuls
of ground nuts, from a small negro town near the camp, readily shared
them with his master. Mr. Park now found that when the pain of hunger
has continued for some time, it is succeeded by languor and debility,
when a draught of water, by keeping the stomach distended, will
remove for a short time every sort of uneasiness. The two attendants,
Johnson and Demba, lay stretched upon the sand in torpid slumber, and
when the kouskous arrived, were with difficulty awakened. Mr. Park
felt no inclination to sleep, but was affected with a deep convulsive
respiration, like constant sighing, a dimness of sight, and a
tendency to faint, when he attempted to sit up. These symptoms went
off when he had received nourishment.

On the 29th of April, intelligence arrived at Benown, that the
Bambarra army was approaching the frontiers of Ludamar. Ali's son,
with about twenty horsemen, arriving, ordered all the cattle to be
driven away, the tents to be struck, and the people to depart. His
orders were instantly obeyed; the baggage was carried upon bullocks,
one or two women being commonly placed upon the top of each burden.
The king's concubines rode upon camels, with a saddle of an easy
construction, and a canopy to keep the sun from them. On the 2nd of
May, they arrived at Ali's camp, and Mr. Park waited immediately upon
him; he seemed much pleased with his coming, and introduced him to
Fatima, his favourite princess, saying, "that was the Christian." The
queen had long black hair, and was remarkably corpulent; she appeared
at first shocked at having a Christian so near her, but when Mr. Park
had, by means of a negro boy, satisfied her curiosity, she seemed
more reconciled, and presented him with a bowl of milk.

The heat and the scarcity of water were greater here than at Benown.
One night, Mr. Park, having solicited in vain for water at the camp,
resolved to try his fortune at the wells, to which he was guided by
the lowing of cattle. The Moors were very busy in drawing water, and
when Mr. Park requested permission to drink, they drove him away with
outrageous abuse. He at last came to a well, where there were an old
man and two boys, to whom he made the same request. The former
immediately drew up a bucket of water, but recollecting Mr. Park was
a Christian, and fearing the bucket would be polluted by his lips, he
dashed the water into the trough, and told him to assuage his thirst
from it. The cows were already drinking at the trough, but Mr, Park
resolved to come in for his share, and, accordingly, thrusting his
head between two of the cows, he drank with great pleasure till the
water was nearly exhausted.

Thus passed the month of May, Ali still considered Mr. Park as his
lawful prisoner, and Fatima, though she allowed him a greater
quantity of victuals than fell to his portion at Benown, yet she made
no efforts for his release. Some circumstances, however, now
occurred, which produced a change in his favour more suddenly than he
expected. The fugitive Kaartans, dreading the resentment of the
sovereign, whom they had so basely deserted, offered to treat with
Ali for two hundred Moorish horsemen to assist them in an effort to
expel Daisy from Gedinggooma, for till Daisy should be vanquished,
they could neither return to their native town, nor live in security
in the neighbouring kingdoms. Ali, with a view to extort money from
these people, despatched his son to Jarra, and prepared himself to
follow him. Mr. Park, believing that he might escape from Jarra, if
he could get there, immediately applied to Fatima, prime counsellor
of the monarch, and begged her to intercede with Ali for leave to
accompany him to Jarra. The request was at length granted. His
bundles were brought before the royal consort, and Mr. Park explained
the use of the several moveables, for the amusement of the queen, and
received a promise of speedy permission to depart.

In regard to the moorish character, especially the female, which Mr.
Park had frequent opportunities of studying during his captivity at
Benown; it appears that the education of the women is neglected
altogether, they being evidently regarded merely as administering to
sensual pleasure. The Moors have singular ideas of feminine
perfection. With them, gracefulness of figure, and an expressive
countenance, are by no means requisite. Beauty and corpulency are
synonymous. A perfect moorish beauty is a load for a camel and a
woman of moderate pretensions to beauty requires a slave on each side
to support her. In consequence of this depraved taste for
unwieldiness of bulk, the moorish ladies take great pains to acquire
it early in life, and for this purpose, the young girls are compelled
by their mothers to devour a great quantity of kouskous, and drink a
large portion of camel's milk every morning. It is of no importance
whether the girl has an appetite or not, the kouskous and milk must
be swallowed, and obedience is frequently enforced by blows.

The usual dress of the women is a broad piece of cotton cloth wrapped
round the middle, which hangs down like a petticoat; to the upper
part of this are sewed two square pieces, one before and the other
behind, which are fastened together over the shoulders. The head
dress is a bandage of cotton cloth, a part of which covers
the face when they walk in the sun, but frequently, when they go
abroad, they veil themselves from head to foot. Their employment
varies according to their situation. Queen Fatima passed her time
in conversing with visitors, performing devotions, or admiring her
charms in a looking-glass. Other ladies of rank amuse themselves
in similar idleness. The lower females attend to domestic duties.
They are very vain and talkative, very capricious in their temper,
and when angry vent their passion upon the female slaves, over
whom they rule despotically.

The men's dress differs but little from that of the negroes, except
that they all wear the turban, universally made of white cotton
cloth. Those who have long beards display them with pride and
satisfaction, as denoting an Arab ancestry. "If any one
circumstance," says Mr. Park, "excited amongst the Moors favourable
thoughts towards my own person, it was my beard, which was now grown
to an enormous length, and was always beheld with approbation or
envy. I believe, in my conscience, they thought it too good a beard
for a Christian."

The great desert of Jarra bounds Ludamar on the north. This vast
ocean of sand is almost destitute of inhabitants. A few miserable
Arabs wander from one well to another, their flocks subsisting upon a
scanty vegetation in a few insulated spots. In other places, where
the supply of water and pasturage is more abundant, small parties of
Moors have taken up their residence, where they live in independent
poverty, secure from the government of Barbary. The greater part of
the desert, however, is seldom visited, except where the caravans
pursue their laborious and dangerous route. In other parts, the
disconsolate wanderer, wherever he turns, sees nothing around him but
a vast indeterminable expanse of sand and sky; a gloomy and barren
void, where the eye finds no particular object to rest upon, and the
mind is filled with painful apprehensions of perishing with thirst.
Surrounded by this dreary solitude, the traveller sees the dead
bodies of birds, that the violence of the wind has brought from
happier regions; and as he ruminates on the fearful length of his
remaining passage, listens with horror to the voice of the driving
blast, the only sound that interrupts the awful repose of the desert.

The antelope and the ostrich are the only wild animals of these
regions of desolation, but on the skirts of the desert are found
lions, panthers, elephants, and wild boars. Of domestic animals the
camel alone can endure the fatigue of crossing it: by the
conformation of his stomach, he can carry a supply of water for ten
or twelve days; his broad and yielding foot is well adapted for
treading the sand; his flesh is preferred by the Moors to any other,
and the milk is pleasant and nourishing. On the evening of the 25th
of May, Mr. Park's horse and accoutrements were sent to him by order
of Ali. He had already taken leave of queen Fatima, who most
graciously returned him part of his apparel, and early on the 20th,
he departed from the camp of Bubaker, accompanied by Johnson and
Demba, and a number of moorish horsemen.

Early in the morning of the 28th of May, Mr. Park was ordered to get
in readiness to depart, and Ali's chief slave told the negro boy,
that Ali was to be his master in future; then turning to Mr. Park, he
said, the boy and every thing but your horse go back to Bubaker, but
you may take the old fool (meaning Johnson, the interpreter) with you
to Jarra. Mr. Park, shocked at the idea of losing the boy,
represented to Ali, that whatever imprudence he had himself been
guilty of, in coming into Ludamar, he thought he had been
sufficiently punished by being so long detained, and then plundered
of his property. This, however, gave him no uneasiness, compared to
the present injury. The boy seized on was not a slave, and accused of
no offence. His fidelity to his master had brought him into his
present situation, and he, as his protector, could not see him
enslaved without deprecating the cruelty and injustice of the act.
Ali, with a haughty and malignant smile, told his interpreter, that
if Mr. Park did not depart that instant, he would send him back
likewise. Finding it was vain to expect redress, Mr. Park shook hands
with his affectionate boy, who was not less affected than himself,
and having blended his tears with those of the boy, assured him he
would spare no pains to effect his release. Poor Demba was led off by
three of Ali's slaves towards the camp at Bubaker.

On the 1st of June, they departed for Jarra, where Mr. Park took up
his residence with his old friend, Daman Jamma, whom he informed of
every thing that had befallen him. Mr. Park then requested Daman to
endeavour to ransom the boy, and promised him a bill upon Dr. Laidley
for the value of two slaves as soon as Demba arrived at Jarra. Daman
undertook the business, but Ali, considering the boy as Mr. Park's
principal interpreter, and fearing he should be instrumental in
conducting him to Bambarra, deferred the matter day after day, but
told Daman, he himself should have him hereafter, if he would, at the
price of a common slave. To this Daman agreed whenever the boy was
sent to Jarra.

On the 8th of June, Ali returned to Bubaker to celebrate a festival,
and permitted Mr. Park to remain with Daman until his return. Finding
that every attempt to recover his boy was ineffectual, he considered
it an act of necessity to provide for his own safety before the rains
should be fully set in, and accordingly resolved to escape and
proceed alone to Bambarra, as Johnson, the interpreter, had refused
further attendance. On the 28th of June, at daybreak, Mr. Park took
his departure, and in the course of the day arrived at Queira; where
he had not been a long time, before he was surprised by the
appearance of Ali's chief slave and four Moors. Johnson having
contrived to overhear their conversation, learned that they were sent
to convey Mr. Park back to Bubaker. In the evening two of the Moors
were observed privately to examine Mr. Park's horse, which they
concluded was in too bad a condition for his rider's escape, and
having inquired where he slept, they returned to their companions.
Mr. Park, on being informed of their motions, determined to set off
immediately for Bambarra to avoid a second captivity. Johnson
applauded his resolution, but positively refused to accompany him,
having agreed with Daman to assist in conducting a caravan of slaves
to Gambia.

In this emergency Mr. Park resolved to proceed by himself, and about
midnight got his clothes in readiness, but he had not a single bead,
nor any other article of value, wherewith to purchase victuals for
himself or his horse. At daybreak, Johnson, who had been listening to
the Moors all night, came to inform him they were asleep, on which,
taking up his bundle, Mr. Park stepped gently over the negroes, who
were sleeping in the open air, and having mounted his horse, bade
Johnson farewell, desiring him to take particular care of the papers,
with which he had entrusted him, and to inform his friends on the
Gambia, that he had left him in good health proceeding to Bambarra.

Mr. Park advanced with great caution for about the space of a mile,
when looking back he saw three Moors on horseback, galloping at full
speed and brandishing their double-barrelled guns. As it was
impossible to escape, he turned and met them, when two caught hold of
his bridle, and the third presenting his musket, said he must go back
to Ali. Mr. Park rode back with the Moors, with apparent unconcern,
when, in passing through some thick bushes, one of them desired him
to untie his bundle and show them the contents, but finding nothing
worth taking, one of them pulled his cloak from him, and wrapped it
about himself. This was the most valuable article in Mr. Park's
possession, as it defended him from the rains in the day, and from
the mosquitoes at night, he therefore earnestly requested them to
return it, but to no purpose. Mr, Park now perceived, that these men
had only pursued him for the sake of plunder, and turned once more
towards the east. To avoid being again overtaken, he struck into the
woods, and soon found himself on the right road.

Joyful as he now was, when he concluded he was out of danger, he soon
became sensible of his deplorable situation, without any means of
procuring food, or prospect of finding water. Oppressed with
excessive thirst, he travelled on without having seen a human
habitation. It was now become insufferable; his mouth was parched and
inflamed, a sudden dimness frequently came over his eyes, and he
began seriously to apprehend that he should perish for want of drink.
A little before sunset, he climbed a high tree, from the topmost
branches of which he took a melancholy survey of the barren
wilderness. A dismal uniformity of shrubs and sand every-where
presented itself, and the horizon was as level and uninterrupted as
that of the sea. Descending from the tree, Mr. Park found his horse
devouring the stubble and brushwood with groat avidity. Being too
faint to attempt walking, and his horse too much fatigued to carry
him, Mr. Park thought it was the last act of humanity he should ever
be able to perform, to take off his bridle and let him shift for
himself; in doing which he was suddenly affected with sickness and
giddiness, and falling upon the sand, felt as if the hour of death
was approaching. "Here then," said he, "after a short but ineffectual
struggle, terminate all my hopes of being useful in my day and
generation; here must the short span of my life come to an end. I
cast, as I believe, a last look on the surrounding scene, and whilst
I reflected on the awful change that was about to take place, this
world, with all its enjoyments, seemed to vanish from my
recollection." Nature, however, resumed her functions, and on
recovering his senses, he found the bridle still in his hand, and the
sun just setting. He now summoned all his resolution, and determined
to make another effort to prolong his existence. With this view he
put the bridle on his horse, and driving him before him went slowly
along for about an hour, when he perceived some lightning from the
north-east; to him a delightful sight, as it promised rain, The wind
began to roar amongst the bushes, and he was nearly suffocated with
sand and dust, when the wind ceased, and for more than an hour the
rain fell plentifully. He spread out his clothes to collect it, and
assuaged his thirst by wringing and sucking them. The night was
extremely dark, and Mr. Park directed his way by the compass, which
the lightning enabled him to observe. On a sudden he was surprised to
see a light at a short distance, and leading his horse cautiously
towards it, heard by the lowing of the cattle and the clamour of the
herdsmen, that it was a watering place. Being still thirsty, he
attempted to search for the wells, but on approaching too near to one
of the tents, he was perceived by a woman, who immediately gave an
alarm; Mr. Park, however, eluded pursuit by immerging into the woods.
He soon after heard the croaking of frogs, and following the sound
arrived at some shallow muddy pools, where he and his horse quenched
their thirst. The morning being calm, Mr. Park ascended a tree, and
not only saw the smoke of the watering place which he had passed in
the night, but also another pillar of smoke to the east, about twelve
or fourteen miles distant. Directing his course thither, he reached
some cultivated ground, on which some negroes were at work, by whom
he was informed that he was near a Foulah village, belonging to Ali,
called Shrilla. He had some doubts about entering it, but at last
ventured, and riding up to the dooty's house was denied admittance,
and even refused a handful of corn for his horse. Leaving this
inhospitable door, he rode slowly out of the town towards some low
huts scattered in the suburbs. At the door of a hovel hut, an old
woman with a benevolent countenance sat spinning cotton. Mr. Park
made signs that he was hungry, on which she immediately laid down her
distaff, invited him to the hut, and set before him a dish of
kouskous, of which he made a comfortable meal. In return for her
kindness Mr. Park gave her a pocket handkerchief, begging at the same
time a little corn for his horse, which she readily brought.

While the horse was feeding, the people began to assemble, and one of
them whispered something to the old woman, which greatly excited her
surprise. Mr. Park knew enough of the Foulah language, to discover
that some of the men wished to apprehend and carry him to Ali, in
hope of receiving a reward. He therefore tied up the corn, and to
prevent suspicion that he had run away from the Moors, took a
northerly direction. When he found himself clear of his attendants,
he plunged again into the woods, and slept under a large tree. He was
awakened by three Foulahs, who supposing him to be a Moor, pointed to
the sun, and said it was time to pray. Coming to a path leading
southwards, which he followed until midnight, he arrived at a small
pool of rain water. Resting here for the night, the mosquitoes and
flies prevented him from sleeping, and the howling of the wild beasts
in the vicinity kept his horse in continual terror.

On the following morning, he came to a watering place belonging to
the Foulahs, one of the shepherds invited him to come into his tent,
and partake of some dates. There was just room enough in this tent to
sit upright, and the family and furniture were huddled together in
the utmost confusion. When Mr. Park had crept into it upon his hands
and knees, he found in it a woman and three children, who with the
shepherd and himself completely occupied the floor. A dish of boiled
corn and dates was produced, and the master of the family, according
to the custom of the country, first tasted it himself, and then
offered a part to his guest. Whilst Mr. Park was eating, the children
kept their eyes fixed upon him and no sooner had their father
pronounced the word _mazarini_, than they began to cry; their mother
crept cautiously towards the door, and springing out of the tent, was
instantly followed by her children; so truly alarmed were they at the
name of a Christian. Here Mr. Park procured some corn for his horse,
in exchange for some brass buttons, and thanking the shepherd for his
hospitality departed. At sunset he came into the road which led to
Bambarra, and in the evening arrived at Wawra, a negro town belonging
to Kaarta.

Now secure from the Moors, and greatly fatigued, Mr. Park meeting
with a hearty welcome from the dooty, rested himself at this place.
He slept soundly for two hours on a bullock's hide. Numbers assembled
to learn who the stranger was, and whence he came; some thought him
an Arab, others a moorish sultan, and they debated the matter with
such warmth, that their noise at length awoke him. The dooty,
however, who had been at Gambia, at last interposed, and assured them
that he was certainly a white man, but from his appearance a very
poor one.

In the afternoon, the dooty examined Mr. Park's bag, but finding
nothing valuable, returned it and told him to depart in the morning.
Accordingly Mr. Park set out, accompanied by a negro, but they had
not proceeded above a mile, when the ass upon which the negro rode,
kicked him off, and he returned, leaving Mr. Park to travel by
himself. About noon he arrived at a town, called Dingyee, where he
was hospitably entertained by an old Foulah.

When Mr. Park was about to depart on the following day, the Foulah
begged a lock of his hair, because "white men's hair made a saphie,
that would give to the possessor all the knowledge of white men." Mr.
Park instantly complied with his request, but his landlord's thirst
for learning was such, that he had cropped one side of his head, and
would have done the same with the other, had not Mr. Park signified
his disapprobation, and told him that he wished to preserve some of
this precious ware.

After travelling several days, without meeting with any occurrence of
particular note. Mr. Park arrived at Doolinkeaboo, where the dooty,
at his request, gave him a draught of water, which is usually given
as an earnest of greater hospitality. Mr. Park promised himself here
a good supper and a comfortable bed, but he had neither the one nor
the other. The night was rainy and tempestuous, and the dooty limited
his hospitality to the draught of water. The next morning, however,
when the dooty was gone to the fields, his wife sent Mr. Park a
handful of meal, which, mixed with water, served him for breakfast.

He departed from Doolinkeaboo in company with two negroes, who were
going to Sego. They stopped at a small village, where an acquaintance
of one of the negroes invited them to a public entertainment. They
distributed with great liberality a dish called _sinkatoo_, made of
sour milk, meal, and beer. The women were admitted into the society,
a circumstance which had never come under Mr. Park's observation
before; every one drank as he pleased; they nodded to each other when
about to drink, and on setting down the calabash, commonly said
_berha_ (thank you.) Both men and women were in a state of
intoxication, but were far from being quarrelsome.

Mr. Park and the two negroes then resumed their journey, and passed
several large villages, where the former was constantly taken for a
Moor, and with his horse, which he drove before him, afforded much
mirth to the Bambarrans. "He has been at Mecca," says one; "you may
see that by his clothes." Another asked him if his horse was sick? A
third wished to purchase it, &c., and even the negroes at last seemed
ashamed of his company. They lodged that night at a small village,
where Mr. Park procured victuals for himself and corn for his horse,
in exchange for a button, and was told that he should see the Niger,
which the negroes call Joliba, or the Great Water, early on the
following day. The thought of seeing the Niger in the morning, and
the buzzing of the mosquitoes, kept Mr. Park awake the whole of the
night, he had saddled his horse, and was in readiness before
daylight, but as the gates of the village were shut on account of the
wild beasts, he was obliged to wait until the people were stirring.
At length, having departed, they passed four large villages, and in a
short time saw the smoke over Sego.

On approaching the town, Mr. Park was fortunate enough to overtake
the fugitive Kaartans, to whose kindness he had been so much indebted
in his journey through Bambarra. They readily agreed to introduce him
to the king, and they rode together through some marshy ground,
where, as he was anxiously looking round for the river, one of them
exclaimed, "_Geo affili_" see the water! and looking forwards, Mr.
Park says, "I saw, with infinite pleasure, the great object of my
mission, the long sought for majestic Niger, glittering to the
morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing
_slowly to the eastward_. [*] I hastened to the brink, and having
drank of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the
great Ruler of all things, for having thus far crowned my endeavours
with success."

[Footnote: We cannot reconcile this statement of Park with the
subsequent discovery of Lander, who established the fact, that the
Niger empties itself into the Bight of Benin. The Niger, flowing to
the eastward, could not possibly have the Bight of Benin for its
estuary, nor is it laid down in any of the recent maps as having an
easterly direction.]

Mr. Park now proceeded towards Sego, the capital of Bambarra, which
consists of four distinct towns; two on the northern bank of the
Niger, called Sego Korro and Sego Koo, and two on the southern bank,
called Sego Soo Korro and Sego See Korro. The king of Bambarra always
resides at the latter place. He employs a great many slaves to convey
people over the river, and the fare paid by each individual, ten
kowrie shells, furnishes a considerable revenue. When Mr. Park
arrived at one of the places of embarkation, the people, who were
waiting for a passage, looked at him with silent wonder, and he saw
with concern many Moors amongst them. He had continued on the bank
more than two hours, without having an opportunity of crossing,
during which time information was carried to Mansong, the king, that
a white man was coming to see him. Mansong immediately sent over one
of his chief men, who informed Mr. Park that the king could not
possibly see him until he knew what had brought him to Bambarra.
He then pointed towards a distant village, and desired Mr. Park to
take up his lodgings there, and in the morning he would give him
further instructions.

Greatly discouraged at this reception, Mr. Park set off for the
village, but found, to his further mortification, that no person
would admit him into his house, and that he was regarded with general
astonishment and fear. Thus situated, he sat all day without
victuals, under the shade of a tree. Towards night, the wind arose,
and as there was great appearance of a heavy rain, he thought of
passing the night among the branches of the trees, to secure himself
from wild beasts. About sunset a woman, returning from the labours of
the field, stopped to observe him, and perceiving that he was weary
and dejected, inquired into his situation, which he briefly explained
to her; whereupon, with looks of great compassion, she took up his
saddle and bridle, and told him to follow her. Having conducted him
into her hut, she lighted up a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and
told him he might remain there for the night. She then went out, and
returned in a short time with a fine fish, which, having half
broiled, she gave him for supper. After telling him that he might
sleep without apprehension, she called to the female part of the
family, who stood gazing in fixed astonishment, to resume their task
of spinning cotton, in which they employed themselves the greater
part of the night. They lightened their labours by songs, one of
which at least was extempore, as their guest was the subject of it.
It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in chorus.
The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words, literally translated,
were as follow:--

"The winds roared, and the rains fell;
The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree.
He has no mother to bring him milk--no wife to grind his corn.


Let us pity the white man, no mother has he." &c.

This circumstance was to Mr. Park, affecting in the highest degree.
He was oppressed by such unexpected kindness, and the sleep fled from
his eyes. In the morning he presented his compassionate landlady with
two of the four buttons which remained on his waistcoat, the only
recompense which he had in his power. Mr. Park remained in the
village the whole of July the 21st, in conversation with the natives.
Towards evening he grew uneasy, to find that no message arrived from
the king, the more so, when he learned from the villagers, that the
Moors and Slatees, resident at Sego, had given Mansong very
unfavourable accounts of him, that many consultations had been held
concerning his reception and disposal; that he had many enemies, and
must expect no favour. On the following day, a messenger arrived from
the king, who inquired if Mr. Park had brought any present, and
seemed much disappointed, on being told that he had been robbed of
all his effects by the Moors. When Mr. Park proposed to go to court,
he said he must stop until the afternoon, when the king would send
for him. It was the afternoon of the next day, however, before
another messenger arrived from Mansong, who told Mr. Park, it was the
king's pleasure he should depart immediately from the environs of
Sego, but that Mansong, wishing to relieve a white man in distress,
had sent five thousand kowries [*] to him to continue his journey,
and if it were his intention to proceed to Jenne, he (the messenger)
had orders to guide him to Sansanding. Mr. Park concludes his account
of this adventure in the following words:--

[Footnote: Kowries are little shells, which pass current as money, in
many parts of the East Indies as well as in Africa. Mr. Park
estimates about 250 kowries equal to one shilling. One hundred of
them would purchase a day's provision for himself and corn for his

"I was at first puzzled to account for this behaviour of the king,
but from the conversation I had with the guide, I had afterwards
reason to believe, that Mansong would willingly have admitted me into
his presence at Sego, but was apprehensive he might not be able to
protect me against the blind and inveterate malice of the moorish
inhabitants. His conduct, therefore, was at once prudent and liberal.
The circumstances, under which I made my appearance at Sego, were
undoubtedly such as might create in the mind of the king a
well-warranted suspicion, that I wished to conceal the true object of
my journey. He argued, probably as my guide argued, who, when he was
told that I was come from a great distance, and through many dangers,
to behold the Joliba (Niger) river, naturally inquired if there were
no rivers in my own country, and whether one river was not like
another? Notwithstanding this, and in spite of the jealous
machinations of the Moors, this benevolent prince thought it
sufficient, that a white man was found in his dominions in a
condition of extreme wretchedness, and that no other plea was
necessary to entitle the sufferer to his bounty."

Being thus obliged to leave Sego, Mr. Park was conducted the same
evening to a village, about seven miles eastward, where he and his
guide were well received, as Mr. Park had learned to speak the
Bambarra tongue without difficulty. The guide was very friendly and
communicative, and spoke highly of the hospitality of his countrymen;
but he informed Mr. Park, that if Jenne was the place of his
destination, he had undertaken a very dangerous enterprise, and that
Timbuctoo, the great object of his search, was altogether in
possession of the Moors, who would not allow any Christians to reside
in it. In the evening they passed a large town called Kabba, situated
in the midst of a beautiful and highly cultivated country, bearing a
great resemblance to the centre of England.

In the course of the following day, they arrived at Sansanding, a
large town, containing 10,000 inhabitants, much frequented by the
Moors, in their commercial dealings. Mr. Park desired his guide to
conduct him to the house where they were to lodge, by the most
private way possible They accordingly rode along between the town and
the river, and the negroes, whom they met, took Mr. Park for a Moor,
but a Moor, who was sitting by the river side, discovered the
mistake, and, making a loud exclamation, brought together a number of
his countrymen; and when Mr. Park arrived at the house of the dooty,
he was surrounded by a number of people, speaking a variety of
dialects. By the assistance of his guide, however, who acted as
interpreter, Mr. Park at length understood that one of the Moors
pretended to have seen him at one place, and another at some other
place; and a Moorish woman absolutely swore, that she had kept his
house three years at Gallam on the river Senegal. The Moors now
questioned Mr. Park about his religion, but finding he was not master
of the Arabic, they sent for two Jews, in hopes that they might be
able to converse with him. The Moors now insisted that he should
repeat the Mahometan prayers, and when he told them that he could not
speak Arabic, one of them started up, and swore by the prophet, if
Mr. Park refused to go to the mosque, he would assist in carrying him

Finding the Moors becoming exceedingly clamorous, the dooty
interfered, and told them that he would not see the king's stranger
ill treated while under his protection, but that in the morning he
should be sent about his business. This somewhat appeased their
clamour, but they compelled Mr. Park to ascend a high seat by the
door of the mosque, that every one might see him, where he remained
till sunset, when he was conducted to a neat little hut, with a small
court before it; but the Moors climbed in crowds over the mud walls,
to see the white man perform his evening devotions, and eat eggs. The
first demand was positively declined, but he professed his utmost
readiness to comply with the second; the dooty immediately brought
seven hens' eggs, but was much surprised that Mr. Park would not eat
them raw, as it is a prevalent opinion in the interior of Africa,
that Europeans subsist chiefly on this diet. His reluctance to
partake of this fare exalted him in the eyes of his sage visitants;
his host accordingly killed a sheep, and gave him a plentiful supper.

Mr. Park's route now lay through woods, much infested with all kinds
of wild animals. On one occasion, his guide suddenly wheeled his
horse round, calling out (_Warra billi billi_, a very largo lion.)
Mr. Park's steed was ill fitted to convey him from the scene of
danger, but seeing nothing, he supposed his guide to be mistaken,
when the latter exclaimed, "God preserve me;" and Mr. Park then saw a
very large red lion, with his head couched between his fore paws. His
eyes were fixed, as by fascination, on this sovereign of the beasts,
and he expected every moment the fatal spring; but the savage animal,
either not pressed by hunger, or struck with some mysterious awe,
remained immovable, and allowed the party to pass without
molestation. Real misery arose from a meaner cause, namely, the
amazing swarms of mosquitoes, which ascended from the swamps and
creeks, to whose attack, from the ragged state of his garments, he
was exposed at every point, and so covered over with blisters, that
he could not get any rest at night. An affecting crisis next arrived.
His horse, the faithful and suffering companion of his journey, had
been daily becoming weaker. At length, stumbling over some rough
ground, he fell; all his master's efforts were insufficient to raise
him, and no alternative remained, but to leave the poor animal, which
Mr. Park did, after collecting some grass and laying it before him,
not without, however, a sad presentiment, that, ere long, he also
might have to lie down and perish with hunger and fatigue.

Proceeding along the banks of the river, he reached Kea, a small
fishing village. The dooty, a surly old man, received him very
coolly, and when Mr. Park solicited his protection, replied with
great indifference, that he should not enter his house. Mr. Park knew
not now where to rest, but a fishing canoe at that moment coming down
the river, the dooty waved to the fisherman to land, and desired him
to take charge of the stranger as far as Moorzan.

When the canoe had proceeded about a mile down the river, the
fisherman paddled to the bank, and having desired Mr. Park to jump
out, tied the canoe to a stake; he then stripped off his clothes, and
dived into the water, where he remained so long that Mr. Park thought
he was drowned, when he suddenly raised up his head astern of the
canoe, and called for a rope. With this rope he dived a second time,
and then got into the canoe, and with the assistance of the boy, they
brought up a large basket, ten feet in diameter, containing two fine
fish, which the fisherman carried ashore, and hid in the grass. The
basket was then returned into the river, and having proceeded a
little further down, they took up another basket, in which was one

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