Part 3 out of 5
of 250 miles) into Great Britain since the Abolition of the slave trade,
has been double the amount of the importation from the whole slave coast
of Africa (an extent of 4500 miles) prior to that event.
A farther example may be taken from the colony of Sierra Leone, where a
custom house was first established in May 1812; from whence accounts have
been furnished of the imports and exports into and from that colony
during the two years ending in May 1814.--The amount of the imports
during that period, on which duties were actually paid, was L105,080.
15_s_. 3_d_. being the alleged prime cost of the goods, even
without the cost of packages. In order to obtain the invoice price of the
goods, one third at least must be added to the prime cost for necessary
charges. The amount will then be about L140,000., or, on an average,
The exports from Sierra Leone during the same period have amounted to
L91,539. 17_s_. 6_d_. being on an average L45,000. annually.
The remainder of imports may be accounted for by the bills of exchange
drawn upon this country for the expenses of the civil establishment and
commissariat. Hence it appears that from the single river of Sierra Leone
the imports into Great Britain were nearly, and the exports to the same
river fully, equal to the imports and exports (exclusive of the slave
trade) of the whole extent of the Western Coast of Africa prior to the
The facts here stated relative to the extent of our innocent and
legitimate commerce with the western coast of Africa, must be considered
as highly interesting and important; both as shewing how extremely small
that commerce was prior to the Abolition of the slave trade, and how much
it has increased during the very few years which have since elapsed. This
increase has certainly been much more considerable than there was any
good reason for expecting, under the actual circumstances of the case.
If we were told of a country, whose staple article of export trade
consisted of its own inhabitants, its men, women and children, who were
procured (as must necessarily happen in the case of large and continued
exports) by treachery and violence--where the whole population was either
living in continual apprehension of captivity and eternal banishment from
their native soil, or employed contriving the means of inflicting those
evils upon others--we should at once conclude that the very insecurity of
person and property, which such a state of society implied, would of
itself extinguish all the motives to regular industry, and limit the
culture of the soil very nearly to what was required for supplying the
immediate wants of nature.
Such in fact were the circumstances of Africa prior to the year 1808; at
which time the slave trade carried on by Great Britain, and the United
States of North America having been abolished by those respective
governments, and the slave trade of France and Holland being virtually
abolished by the war, a considerable mitigation of the prevailing evils
took place. A farther improvement was effected about three years
afterwards, by means of the article in the treaty of amity with Portugal,
which bound Portuguese subjects to confine their trading in slaves to
places in Africa actually under the possession of that Government. By
this arrangement the whole coast of Africa from Cape Blanco to the
eastern extremity of the Gold Coast (with the exception of the Portuguese
settlement of Bissao) were in a considerable degree liberated from the
operation of the slave trade.
The Spaniards indeed claimed a right of trading within those limits; but
it was a right which, in its exercise, did not prove so prejudicial as
might have been expected. The slave trade carried on under the Spanish
flag, has been found in most instances not to be a _bona fide_
Spanish trade, but a British or American slave trade in disguise; and
latterly the Portuguese, being excluded by treaty from the whole to the
windward coast except Bissao, have begun to avail themselves of the same
disguise. Many slave vessels under these circumstances, bearing the
Spanish flag, have been captured by the British cruizers: and the
condemnations which have taken place, have tended greatly to abridge the
extent of this trade. Still however the course of improvement in this
part of Africa, has been extremely retarded by the right which Portugal
has hitherto retained of carrying on the slave trade from Bissao, and by
the trade carried on either by real Spanish ships or by counterfeit
Spaniards so well disguised as to escape detection.
Besides the trade thus carried on, cargoes of slaves have frequently been
smuggled by English and American traders, availing themselves of the
facilities which the creeks and rivers of Africa afford for such
transactions, and taking their chance of escaping the cruizers on the
coast. A contraband trade of this kind appears to have been carried on to
some extent; by means of which various cargoes of slaves have been
transported to the Brazils and the Island of Cuba.
These facts are mentioned for the purpose of shewing that considerable
obstacles to improvement, arising from the partial continuance of the
slave trade, are still experienced, even in that part of Africa which has
enjoyed the greatest privileges and exemptions. Under such circumstances
it would be most unreasonable to look for that progress in the arts of
agriculture and peace-commerce which we should have been entitled to
expect, in case the suppression of the slave trade had been complete and
But even under much more favourable circumstances than we have reason at
present to expect, it would by no means follow that the mere removal of
that great obstacle to regular industry and commerce, would in any very
short space of time produce considerable or extensive improvements. The
ignorance, the profligacy, the improvidence and the various other moral
evils, which necessarily accompany the slave trade, will, it is to be
feared, long survive the extinction of that traffic which produced and
fostered them. The whole history of mankind shews that the progress of
civilization is always extremely slow during its earliest stages; and
that the first steps in the career of improvement are constantly the most
painful and difficult. Hence, we may be justified in drawing the most
favourable conclusions from the comparatively great increase which has
already taken place in the commerce of Africa during a very short period,
in consequence of a partial removal of those evils, which previously had
almost excluded the very possibility of improvement.
_The following_ African Words _occurring frequently in the course
of the ensuing Journal, it is thought proper to prefix an explanation of
* * * * *
_Bentang_, a sort of stage erected in every town, answering the
purpose of a town hall.
_Slatees_, free black merchants, often traders in slaves.
_Caffle_, a caravan of slaves or of people travelling with any kind
_Dooty_, the chief magistrate of a town or province.
_Palaver_, A court of justice, or public meeting; some times a parly
_Bar_, nominal money; a single bar is equal in value to about two
_Kowries_, small shells which pass for money in the Interior of
_Barraloolo_, a fowling--piece.
_Arrangoes_, a large kind of bead.
_Baft_, blue cloth of East Indian manufacture, much used in the
_Pagne_, a kind of cloth, also much used in the same trade.
Departure from Kayee--Arrival at Pisania--Preparations there, and
departure into the Interior--Samee--Payment to Mumbo Jumbo--Reach Jindey;
process of dying cottons at that place--Departure from Jindey--Cross the
Wallia Creek--Kootakunda--Madina--Tabajang--Kingdom of Jamberoo--Visit
from the King's son--Tatticonda--Visit from the son of the former King of
Woolli--Reach Madina, the capital of Woolli--Audience of the King; his
unfriendly conduct--Presents made to him and his courtiers--Barraconda
--Bambakoo--Kanipe; inhospitable conduct of its inhabitants--Kussai
--Nitta--trees; restrictions relating to them--Enter the Simbani Woods;
precautions thereon, and sacrifice and prayers for success--Banks of the
Gambia--Crocodiles and hippopotami--Reach Faraba-Loss of one of the
soldiers--Rivers Neaulico and Nerico--Astronomical observations.
April 27th, 1805.--At ten o'clock in the morning took our departure from
Kayee. The _Crescent_, the _Washington_ and Mr. Ainsley's
_vessel_ did us the honour to fire a salute at our departure. The
day proved remarkably hot; and some of the asses being unaccustomed to
carry loads, made our march very fatiguing and troublesome. Three of them
stuck fast in a muddy rice field about two miles east of Kayee; and while
we were employed in getting them out, our guide and the people in front
had gone on so far, that we lost sight of them. In a short time we
overtook about a dozen soldiers and their asses, who had likewise fallen
behind, and being afraid of losing their way, had halted till we came up.
We in the rear took the road to Jonkakonda, which place we reached at one
o'clock; but not finding Lieutenant Martyn nor any of the men who were in
front, concluded they had gone by New Jermy, &c., therefore hired a guide
and continued our march. Halted a few minutes under a large tree at the
village of Lamain-Cotto, to allow the soldiers to cool themselves; and
then proceeded towards _Lamain_, at which place we arrived at four
o'clock. The people were extremely fatigued, having travelled all day
under a vertical sun, and without a breath of wind. Lieutenant Martyn and
the rest of our party arrived at half past five, having taken the road by
On our arrival at Lamain we unloaded the asses under a large Bentang tree
on the east side of the town. The Slatee (or master of that district of
the kingdom of Kataba, called Lamain) came to pay his respects to me, and
requested that I would order the bundles and asses to be removed to some
other tree; assuring me that if we slept under it, we should all be dead
before morning. I was for some time at a loss to comprehend his meaning;
when he took me by the hand, and leading me to one of the large notches
in the root of the tree, shewed me three spear-heads which appeared to
have been tinged with blood, lying with their points amongst bone-ashes,
and surrounded with a rope half burnt. I now ordered the bundles to be
removed to another tree, presented the Slatee with a keg of liquor, and
received in return a small bullock. Here we were forced to purchase
water, the wells of the town being nearly dry. Slept very comfortably
under the tree, and at day-break,
April 28th, set out for Pisania. We passed two small Foulah towns and the
village of Collin, and reached the banks of the Gambia at half past
eleven o'clock. Halted and gave our cattle water and grass: we likewise
cooked our dinners, and rested till three o'clock, when we set forward
and arrived at Pisania at sun-set. Here we were accommodated at Mr.
Ainsley's house; and as his schooner had not yet arrived with our
baggage, I purchased some corn for our cattle, and spoke for a bullock
for the soldiers.
April 29th.--Went and paid my respects to Seniora Camilla, who was much
surprised to see me again attempting a journey into the interior of the
[Footnote: See Park's Travels, p. 31, 357.]
April 30th.--Mr. Ainsley's schooner arrived, and we immediately began to
land the baggage and rice.
April 31st.--Gave out the ass saddles to be stuffed with grass, and set
about weighing the bundles. Found that after all reductions, our asses
could not possibly carry our baggage. Purchased five more with Mr.
May 1st.--Tying up the bundles and marking them.
May 2d.--Purchased three asses, and a bullock for the people.
May 3d.--Finished packing the loads, and got every thing ready for our
May 4th.--Left Pisania at half past nine o'clock. The mode of marching
was adjusted as follows. The _asses_ and _loads_ being all
marked and numbered with red paint, a certain number of each was allotted
to each of the six messes, into which the soldiers were divided; and the
asses were further subdivided amongst the individuals of each mess, so
that every man could tell at first sight the ass and load which belonged
to him. The asses were also numbered with large figures, to prevent the
natives from stealing them, as they could neither wash nor clip it off
without being discovered. Mr. George Scott and one of Isaaco's people
generally went in front, Lieutenant Martyn in the centre, and Mr.
Anderson and myself in the rear. We were forced to leave at Pisania about
five cwt. of rice, not having a sufficient number of asses to carry it.
We were escorted till we passed Tendicunda by Mr. Ainsley, and the good
old Seniora Camilla, and most of the respectable natives in the vicinity.
Our march was most fatiguing. Many of the asses being rather overloaded,
lay down on the road; others kicked off their bundles; so that, after
using every exertion to get forward, we with difficulty reached Samee, a
distance of about eight miles. We unloaded our asses under a large Tabba
tree at some distance from the town, and in the evening I went with
Isaaco to pay my respects to the Slatee of Samee.
The Slatee of Samee, as well as the Slatees of Lamain and Kutijar, is
subject to the King of Kataba; but their subjection is not easily
defined. If a slave runs away from one to another, he cannot be reclaimed
unless the other chooses to give him up. The Slatee was very drunk, and
when I told him that I was come to pay my respects to him and would give
him one jug of rum, he told me he would not allow me to pass unless I
gave him ten jugs; and after a good deal of insignificant palaver, I was
obliged to give him two jugs.
May 5th.--Paid six bars of amber to the Mumbo Jumbo boys, and set out for
Jindey early in the morning. Found this day's travelling very difficult;
many of the asses refused to go on; and we were forced to put their loads
on the horses. We reached Jindey about noon. Purchased a bullock, and
halted the 6th; fearing, if we attempted to proceed, we should be forced
to leave some of our loads in the woods.
[Footnote: For a description of Mumbo Jumbo, see Park's Travels, p. 39.]
At Jindey they _dye very fine blues with the indigo leaves_. I
readily embraced the opportunity, during our halt, to make myself
acquainted with the process, which I saw in all its different stages.
_Mode of dying Cotton of a fine blue colour with the leaves of the
A large quantity of wood-ashes is collected (the woods preferred for the
purpose are the _mimosa nitta_, and _mimosa pulverulenta_,) and
put into an unglazed earthen vessel which has a hole in its bottom; over
which is put some straw. Upon these ashes water is poured, which,
filtrating through the hole in the bottom of the vessel, carries with it
the potass contained in the ashes, and forms a very strong lye of the
colour of strong beer: this lye they call _sai-gee_, ash-water.
Another pot is filled not quite quarter full of the leaves of the indigo
plant, either fresh or dried in the sun (those used at this time were
dried), and as much of the sai-gee poured on it as will fill the pot
about half full. It is allowed to remain in this state for four days,
during which it is stirred once or twice each day.
The pot is then filled nearly full of sai-gee and stirred frequently for
four days more, during which it ferments and throws up a copper-coloured
scum. It is then allowed to remain at rest for one day, and on the tenth
day from the commencement of the process the cloth is put into it. No
mordant whatever is used; the cloth is simply wetted with cold water, and
wrung hard before it is put into the pot, where it is allowed to remain
about two hours. It is then taken out and exposed to the sun, by laying
it (without spreading it) over a stick, till the liquor ceases to drop
from it. After this it is washed in cold water, and is often beat with a
flat stick to clear away any leaves or dirt which may adhere to it. The
cloth being again wrung hard, is returned into the pot; and this dipping
is repeated four times every day for the first four days; at the end of
which period it has in common acquired a blue colour equal to the finest
The Negro women, who practise dying, have generally twelve or fourteen
indigo jars, so that one of them is always ready for dipping. If the
process misgives, which it very seldom does with women who practise it
extensively, it generally happens during the second four days or the
fermenting period. The indigo is then said to be dead, and the whole is
In Kajaaga and Kasson they spread the cloth in the sun, and dry it after
every dip: they then beat it with a stick, so as to make the indigo
leaves fly off it like dust. Both practices have for their object the
_clearing of the cloth_, so as to admit the indigo equally to all
parts of it. The process abridged is,
Four days indigo and a small quantity of sai-gee.
Four days fermenting in a large quantity of sai-gee.
One day at rest.
Four days dipping the cloth, four dips per day.
Thirteen in all.
To return to the narrative. Lamina Foffono, one of my fellow travellers
in my former journey from Mandingo to Gambia, hearing that I was come to
Jindey, came from Wallia to see me. He told me that Karfa was in health,
but had not received the musket I sent him by Captain Brand.
At five o'clock had a strong puff of wind from the south-east, which
raised the dust and had exactly the appearance of a tornado.
May 7th.--Left Jindey, but so much were our asses fatigued, that I was
obliged to hire three more, and four drivers to assist in getting forward
the baggage. One of the St. Jago asses fell down convulsed when the load
was put upon him; and a Mandingo ass, No. 11, refused to carry his load.
I was under the necessity of sending him back to Jindey, and hiring
another in his place.
We travelled on the north side of the Wallia Creek till noon, when we
crossed it near Kootakunda. Swam the asses over; and the soldiers, with
the assistance of the Negroes, waded over with the bundles on their
heads. Halted on the south side of the creek, and cooked our dinners.
At four o'clock set forwards, passed Kootakunda, and called at the
village of Madina to pay my respects to Slatee Bree. Gave him a note on
Mr. Ainsley for one jug of liquor. Halted at Tabajang, a village almost
deserted; having been plundered in the course of the season by the King
of Jamberoo, in conjunction with the King of Woolli. Our guide's mother
lives here; and as I found that we could not possibly proceed in our
present state, I determined either to purchase more asses, or abandon
some of the rice.
May 8th.--Purchased two asses for ten bars of amber and ten of coral
each. Covered the India bafts with skins, to prevent them from being
damaged by the rain. Two of the soldiers afflicted with the dysentery.
May 9th.--The King of Jamberoo's son came to pay his respects to me.
Jamberoo lies along the north side of the Wallia Creek, and extends a
long way to the northward. The people are Jaloffs, but most of them speak
Mandingo. Presented him with some amber. Bought five asses and covered
all the gunpowder with skins, except what was for our use on the road.
May 10th.--Having paid all the people who had assisted in driving the
asses, I found that the expense was greater than any benefit we were
likely to derive from them. I therefore trusted the asses this day
entirely to the soldiers. We left Tabajang at sun-rise, and made a short
and easy march to Tatticonda, where the son of my friend, the former King
of Woolli, came to meet me. From him I could easily learn that our
journey was viewed with great jealousy by the Slatees and Sierra-Woollis
residing about Madina.
May 11th.--About noon arrived at Madina, the capital of the kingdom of
Woolli. We unloaded our asses under a tree without the gates of the town,
and waited till five o'clock before we could have an audience from his
majesty. I took to the King a pair of silver mounted pistols, ten
dollars, ten bars of amber, ten of coral. But, when he had looked at the
present with great indifference for some time, he told me that he could
not accept it; alleging, as an excuse for his avarice, that I had given a
much handsomer present to the King of Kataba. It was in vain that I
assured him of the contrary; he positively refused to accept it, and I
was under the necessity of adding fifteen dollars, ten bars coral, ten
amber, before his majesty would accept it. After all, he begged me to
give him a blanket to wrap himself in during the rains, which I readily
The other presents must all be proportionally great, and the sum of the
whole presents at Woolli is as follows:
To _the King_,
A pair of pistols. Bars.
White baft 5
To Montamba _the King's own son_,
To Slatee Deena,
To Sadoo, Jatta's son,
To Samboo, Jatta's second son,
To Whulliri, the Prime Minister,
To Dama, Whulliri's younger brother,
To Soliman, the King's chief slave, Bars.
To Dimba Serra,
To different people,
To the King, 70
Total 140 bars.
[Footnote: There is some mistake here; what Mr. Park calls 71, appears
to be no more than 67; and even according to him, the total ought to be
141. The true amount is 67+70=137.]
May 12th.--Had all the asses loaded by day-break, and at sun-rise, having
obtained the King's permission, we departed from Woolli. Shortly after,
we passed the town of Barraconda, where I stopped a few minutes to pay my
respects to Jemaffoo Mamadoo, a very eminent Slatee.
[Footnote: Mentioned in Park's Travels, p. 31.]
We reached the village of Bambakoo at half past ten o'clock. Bought two
asses, and likewise a bullock for the soldiers.
May 13th.--Departed from Bambakoo at sun-rise, and reached Kanipe, an
irregular built village, about ten o'clock. The people of the village had
heard that we were under the necessity of purchasing water at Madina; and
to make sure of a similar market, the women had drawn all the water from
the wells, and were standing in crowds, drawing up the water as fast as
it collected. It was in vain that the soldiers attempted to come in for
their share: the camp kettles were by no means so well adapted for
drawing water as the women's calabashes. The soldiers therefore returned
without water, having the laugh very much against them.
I received information that there was a pool of water about two miles
south of the town; and in order to make the women desist, I mounted a man
on each of the horses, and sent them away to the pool, to bring as much
water as would boil our rice, and in the afternoon sent all the asses to
be watered at the same place. In the evening some of the soldiers made
another attempt to procure water from the large well near the town, and
succeeded by the following stratagem. One of them having dropped his
canteen into the well, as if by accident, his companions fastened a rope
round him, and lowered him down to the bottom of the well, where he stood
and filled all the camp kettles, to the great mortification of the women,
who had been labouring and carrying water for the last twenty-four hours,
in hopes of having their necks and heads decked with small amber and
beads by the sale of it. Bought two goats for the soldiers.
May 14th.--Halted at _Kussai_, about four miles east of Kanipe. This
is the same village as Seesekunda, but the inhabitants have changed its
name. Here one of the soldiers, having collected some of the fruit of the
Nitta trees, was eating them, when the chief man of the village came out
in a great rage, and attempted to take them from him; but finding that
impracticable, he drew his knife, and told us to put on our loads, and
get away from the village. Finding that we only laughed at him, he became
more quiet; and when I told him that we were unacquainted with so strange
a restriction, but should be careful not to eat any of them in future; he
said that the thing itself was not of great importance, if it had not
been done in sight of the women. For, says he, this place has been
frequently visited with famine from want of rain, and in these
distressing times the fruit of the Nitta is all we have to trust to, and
it may then be opened without harm; but in order to prevent the women and
children from wasting this supply, a _toong_ is put upon the Nittas,
until famine makes its appearance. The word toong is used to express any
thing sealed up by magic.
Bought two asses. As we entered the Simbani woods from this town, Isaaco
was very apprehensive that we might be attacked by some of the Bondou
people, there being at this time a hot war between two brothers about the
succession: and as the report had spread that a coffle of white men were
going to the interior, every person immediately concluded that we were
loaded with the richest merchandize to purchase slaves; and that
whichever of the parties should gain possession of our wealth, he would
likewise gain the ascendency over his opponent. On this account, gave
orders to the men not to fire at any deer or game they might see in the
woods; that every man must have his piece loaded and primed, and that the
report of a musket, but more particularly of three or four, should be the
signal to leave every thing and run towards the place.
May 15th.--Departed from Kussai. At the entrance of the woods, Isaaco
laid a black ram across the road and cut its throat, having first said a
long prayer over it. This he considered as very essential towards our
success. The flesh of the animal was given to the slaves at Kussai, that
they might pray in their hearts for our success.
The first five miles of our route was through a woody country; we then
reached a level plain nearly destitute of wood. On this plain we observed
some hundreds of a species of antelope of a dark colour with a white
mouth; they are called by the natives _Da qui_, and are nearly as
large as a bullock. At half past ten o'clock we arrived on the banks of
the Gambia, and halted during the heat of the day under a large tree
called _Teelee Corra_, the same under which I formerly stopped in my
return from the interior.
[Footnote: Probably the tree mentioned in Park's Travels, p. 854.]
The Gambia here is about 100 yards across, and, contrary to what I
expected, has a regular tide, rising four inches by the shore. It was low
water this day at one o'clock. The river swarms with crocodiles. I
counted at one time thirteen of them ranged along shore, and three
hippopotami. The latter feed only during the night, and seldom leave the
water during the day; they walk on the bottom of the river, and seldom
shew more of themselves above water than their heads.
At half past three o'clock in the afternoon, we again set forward, and
about a mile to the eastward ascended a hill, where we had a most
enchanting prospect of the country to the westward; in point of distance
it is the richest I ever saw. The course of the Gambia was easily
distinguished by a range of dark green trees, which grew on its banks.
The course from Teelee Corra is represented in the following sketch.
A mile and a half east of Prospect hill, is another on the north side of
the road, from the top of which we had a charming view to the south. The
course of the river is from the E.S.E.; no hills on the south side of it,
the whole country being quite level. About ten miles E.S.E.; the river
passes near an elevated table land, which looks, like an old
fortification. At sun-set reached a watering place called Faraba, but
found no water.
While we were unloading the asses, John Walters, one of the soldiers,
fell down in an epileptic fit, and expired in about an hour after. The
Negroes belonging to our guide set about digging a well, having first
lighted a fire to keep off the bees, which were swarming about the place
in search of water. In a little time they found water in sufficient
quantity to cook our suppers, and even supply the horses and asses in the
course of the night.
Being apprehensive of an attack from the Bondou people, placed double
sentries, and made every man sleep with his loaded musket under his head.
Latitude by mer. alt. of the moon, 14 deg. 38' 46" N.
About three o'clock buried John Walters, and in remembrance of him wish
this place to be called _Walters's Well_.
May 16th.--Departed from the well as soon as day dawned, and reached the
Neaulico at half past eight o'clock. This stream is nearly dry at this
season, and only affords water in certain hollow places which abound in
fish. Saw Isaaco's Negroes take several with their hands, and with wisps
of grass used as a net to frighten the fish into a narrow space. One of
the fish was a new genus.
Saw in the bed of the river some Negroes roasting a great quantity of
flesh on temporary wooden stages erected for the purpose, as represented
in the following sketch.
This half roasting and smoaking makes the meat keep much longer than it
would do without it. The flesh was part of a _Da qui_ which they
found on the road; a lion had killed it during the night, and eat one leg
At four o'clock P.M. departed from the Neaulico. At five, passed the
ruins of Mangelli, where I formerly slept, and at six o'clock halted for
the night at Manjalli Tabba Cotta, the ruins of a village so called. The
wood during this day's march is in general small, and the road is much
interrupted with dry bamboos. Plenty of water at the resting place. After
dark took out the telescope in order to observe an immersion of Jupiter's
H. M. S.
The satellite immerged by watch 14 10 35
Rate + from London 0 5 48
Too slow by eclipse at Kayee 0 0 5
Mean time by watch 14 16 28
Time by Nautical Almanack 14 16 51
Equation 0 3 58
Mean time at Greenwich 14 12 53
14 12 53
Watch too fast 0 3 35
Longitude by three sets of sights taken next morning in order to find the
apparent time at the _place_ 13 deg. 9' 45" W.
It is difficult to account for such a difference in the rate of going of
the watch in the course of one month; but the excessive heat and the
motion of riding may perhaps have contributed to it; for I think my
observation of the immersion was correct.
May 17th.--Left Manjalli Tabba Cotta, and after a fatiguing march of
twelve miles, reached _Bray_, a watering place. Endeavoured to take
the meridional altitude of the sun, by the back observation with
Troughton's pocket sextant; and after carefully examining his rise and
fall, with the intervals betwixt each observation, I was convinced that
it can be done with great accuracy, requiring only a steady hand and
proper attention. This was a great relief to me; I had been plagued
watching the passage of the fixed stars, and often fell asleep when they
were in the meridian.
We left Bray at three o'clock, P.M. and carried with us as much water as
we possibly could, intending to rest at Nillindingcorro till the moon
rose; but there being no water, our guide continued our march to the
river Nerico, which we reached at eight o'clock, all the people and asses
very much fatigued. Face of the country during this day an open and level
plain with bushes and Cibi trees, making the prospect rich, though not
grand. Saw plenty of lions' excrement in the wood: they deposit it only
in certain places, and like the cats, claw up the ground in order to
May 18th.--People employed all the morning in transporting the baggage
and asses across the river; and as both men and asses were very much
fatigued, I thought it best to halt on the east side of the river till
the afternoon, as it would afford the soldiers an opportunity of washing
o ' "
Observed Mer. Alt. Sun 168 35 0
Diameter 0 32 0
1/2 169 7 0
84 33 30
Correct for refraction and parallax 4
84 33 26
Zenith Distance 5 26 34
Declination 19 31 25
Latitude 14 4 51
The breadth of the stream of the river Nerico is about sixty feet, the
depth of water four feet, its velocity is two miles an hour. The heat of
the stream at two o'clock 94 deg. Fahrenheit.
Arrival at Jallacotta--Maheena--Tambico--Bady; hostile conduct of the
Faranba, or Chief, and its consequences--Reach Jeningalla
--Iron-furnaces.--Mansafara--Attacked by wolves--Enter the Tenda
Wilderness--Ruins and Plain of Doofroo--Attacked by a swarm of
bees--Astronomical Observations--Arrival at Sibikillin--Shea
trees--Badoo; presents made to the King--Tambacunda--Ba Deema
River--Tabba Gee--Mambari--Julifunda; unfriendly conduct of its Chief;
and presents sent to him and the King--Visit from the latter--Reach
Eercella--Baniserile--Celebrate His Majesty's birthday--Mode of fluxing
iron--Madina--Falema river--Satadoo--Sickness and death of the
Carpenter--Arrival at Shrondo; commencement of the rainy season; and
alarming sickness amongst the soldiers--Gold mines; process for
procuring the gold--Dindikoo; gold pits--Cultivation--Arrival at Fankia.
May 18th.--We left the Nerico about half past three o'clock, and arrived
at Jallacotta, the first town of Tenda, at sun-set. From this place to
Simbuni in Bondou, is two days travel.
May 19th.--Halted at Jallacotta in order to purchase corn and recruit the
asses. Bought plenty of onions, which made our rice eat much better.
Town's people fishing in the woods, where the pools being nearly dry, the
fish are easily taken.
May 20.--Left Jallacotta, and about two miles to the east, passed the
village of Maheena, close to which are the ruins of another village of
the same name. It would appear from the number of ruins, that the
population of Tenda is much diminished. We reached Tendico or Tambico,
about eight o'clock: we could not procure a bullock, the inhabitants
having very few cattle. This village belongs to Jallacotta; and the
Farbana of Jallacotta is subject to the King of Woolli. About half a mile
from Tambico is a pretty large town called _Bady_, the chief of
which takes the title of Faranba, and is in a manner independent. He
exacts very high duties from the coffles, to the extent of ten bars of
gunpowder for each ass-load.
We sent a messenger from Tambico to inform the Faranba of our arrival,
and he sent his son in the evening with twenty-six men armed with
musquets, and a great crowd of people, to receive what we had to give
him. Sent him ten bars of amber by our guide; but as he refused to take
it, went myself with five bars of coral, which he likewise refused.
Indeed I could easily perceive from the number of armed men, and the
haughty manner in which they conducted themselves, that there was little
prospect of settling matters in an amicable manner. I therefore tore a
leaf from my pocket-book, and had written a note to Lieutenant Martyn to
have the soldiers in readiness; when Mr. Anderson, hearing such a hubbub
in the village, came to see what was the matter. I explained my doubts to
him, and desired that the soldiers might have on their pouches and
bayonets, and be ready for action at a moment's notice. I desired Isaaco
to inform him that we had as yet found no difficulty in our journey; we
had readily obtained the permission of the kings of Kataba and Woolli to
pass through their kingdoms, and that if he would not allow us to pass,
we had then only to return to Jallacotta, and endeavour to find another
road; and with this (after a good many angry words had passed between the
Faranba's people and our guide) the palaver ended.
Matters were in this state, Faranba's son had gone over to Bady with the
amber and coral, and we were preparing to return to Jallacotta early next
morning, when about half past six o'clock some of Faranba's people seized
our guide's horse, as the boy was watering it at the well, and carried it
away. Isaaco went over to Bady to enquire the reason of this conduct; but
instead of satisfying him on this point, they seized him, took his double
barrelled gun and sword from him, tied him to a tree and flogged him; and
having put his boy in irons, sent some people back to Tambico for another
horse belonging to an old man that was travelling with us to Dentila. I
now told two of Isaaco's Negroes, that if they would go with me into the
village, and point out the Faranba's people (it being quite dark) who had
come to take the old man's horse, I would make the soldiers seize them,
and retain them as hostages for Isaaco. They went and told this to the
two chief men in the village, but they would not permit it. They were
able, they said, to defend their own rights, and would not allow the
horse to be taken: so after an immense hubbub and wrangling, the business
at last came to blows, and the Faranba's people were fairly kicked out of
I was now a little puzzled how to act; Isaaco's wife and child sat crying
with us under the tree, his Negroes were very much dejected, and seemed
to consider the matter as quite hopeless. We could have gone in the night
and burnt the town. By this we should have killed a great many innocent
people, and most probably should not have recovered our guide. I
therefore thought it most advisable (having consulted with Mr. Anderson
and Lieutenant Martyn) to wait till morning; and then, if they persisted
in detaining our guide, to attack them in open day; a measure which would
be more decisive, and more likely to be attended with success than any
night skirmishes. We accordingly placed double sentries during the night,
and made every man sleep with his loaded musquet at hand. We likewise
sent two people back to Jallacotta, to inform the Dooty of the treatment
we had received from Faranba, though at one of the towns belonging to the
King of Woolli.
May 21st.--Early in the morning our guide was liberated, and sent back to
us; and about ten o'clock a number of Faranba's people came and told me
that Faranba did not wish to quarrel with me, but could not think of
allowing a coffle to pass without paying the customary tribute; but as I
had refused to do that the evening before, if I would now carry over to
Bady such articles as I meant to give him, every thing would be amicably
settled. I told them that, after the treatment my guide had experienced,
they could not expect that I would go to Bady alone; that if I went I
would take twenty or thirty of my people with me. This seemed not so
agreeable; and it was at last determined that the horse, &c. should be
brought half way between the two villages, and delivered on receipt of
the goods. I accordingly paid at different times goods to the amount of
one hundred and six bars, being not quite one-third of what a coffle of
Negroes would have paid. Faranba's people still kept our guide's gun and
sword; alleging, that they were sent away in the night to Bisra, a town
in the neighbourhood, but would be sent after us as soon as the person
returned who had gone in quest of them. We accordingly departed from
Tambico about three o'clock, and halted for the night at Jeningalla near
Bufra, or Kabatenda, where I formerly slept; my former landlord brought
me a large calabash of milk.
o ' "
Mer. Alt. Tambico 166 56 0
Diam. 0 32 0
1/2 167 28 0
83 44 0
Zenith Distance 6 16 0
Decl. 20 9 0
Latitude 13 53 0
May 22d.--Halted at Jeningalla to purchase corn for our asses. Went and
saw some iron-furnaces; they are smaller at the top than those of
The distance being very great between this place and the next water, we
resolved to travel it by moonlight, and accordingly we left Jeningalla.
May 23d, at two o'clock in the morning, and at eight o'clock reached
Nealo Koba. At the same place where I formerly crossed, the river is not
flowing, but stands in pools, some of which are deep and swarming with
fish. Oysters large, but of a greenish colour; did not eat any of them.
About two o'clock resumed our journey, and at sun-set reached a small
Foula village; all very much fatigued, having travelled twenty-eight
May 24th.--Halted at Mansafara, which is only four miles east of the
Foula village. This consists of three towns, quite contiguous to each
other; and near them is a large pool of water. From this town to the
village of Nittakorra on the north bank of the Gambia is only eight miles
due south. Bought corn for the asses in crossing the Samakara woods, and
a bullock for the people. Much lightning to the south-east, and thunder.
Got all the bundles covered with grass, &c. During the night the wolves
killed one of our best asses within twenty yards of the place where Mr.
Anderson and I slept.
May 25th.--Left Mansafara, and entered the Tenda or Samakara wilderness.
About four miles to the east passed the ruins of _Koba_, where I
formerly slept. The town was destroyed by the Bondou people about two
years ago, and the Bentang tree burnt down. At ten passed a stream like
the Neaulico, running to the Gambia; and shortly after came in sight of
the first range of hills, running from S. S. W. to N. N. E., we came near
them; and at half past eleven halted at Sooteetabba, a watering place
within a mile of the hills.
[Footnote: Called Koba Tenda in Park's Travels, p. 353.]
Obser. Merid. Alt. 164 45 0
82 22 30
0 16 0
82 38 30
Diff. par. and ref. 0 0 7
82 38 23
Zenith Distance 7 21 37
Decl. 20 65 10
Latitude 13 33 33
Departing from Sooteetabba as soon as the heat of the day was over, we
crossed the first range of hills. Mr. Anderson and I ascended the top of
one of the hills, which from the amazing fine prospect all round, I have
named Panorama Hill; it has a sugar-loaf looking top, with a number of
wolf-holes in it. The route across the hill, though very difficult for
the asses, was extremely beautiful. In the evening we descended into a
romantic valley, where we found plenty of water, being one of the remote
branches of Nealo Koba. There was plenty of fish in the pools; but they
were too deep to catch them with the hands. Close to the stream are the
ruins of the village of Doofroo, destroyed by the Dentila people some
time ago. This is considered as an excellent place for shooting
elephants; we saw the fresh dung and feet marks of many of them near the
stream. Watched for an eclipse of Jupiter's first satellite, but the
planet became clouded.
May 26th.--At day-break ascended from the plain of Doofroo, and travelled
over a rugged country, till ten o'clock, when we met a coffle (at a
watering place called _Sootinimma_) bound for Gambia to redeem a
person who had been caught for a debt, and was to be sold for a slave, if
not ransomed in a few months. There being no water here, we did not halt;
but continued our march, two of the soldiers being unable to keep up. The
main body of the coffle still kept going on, and at half past twelve
reached Bee Creek; from whence we sent back an ass and two Negroes to
bring up the two fatigued soldiers.
We had no sooner unloaded the asses at the Creek, than some of Isaaco's
people, being in search of honey, unfortunately disturbed a large swarm
of bees near where the coffle had halted. The bees came out in immense
numbers, and attacked men and beasts at the same time. Luckily most of
the asses were loose, and gallopped up the valley; but the horses and
people were very much stung, and obliged to scamper in all directions.
The fire which had been kindled for cooking being deserted, spread, and
set fire to the bamboos; and our baggage had like to have been burnt. In
fact, for half an hour the bees seemed to have completely put an end to
In the evening, when the bees became less troublesome, and we could
venture to collect our cattle, we found that many of them were very much
stung and swelled about the head. Three asses were missing; one died in
the evening, and one next morning, and we were forced to leave one at
Sibikillin; in all six: besides which, our guide lost his horse, and many
of the people were very much stung about the face and hands.
During the night got the telescope ready in order to set the watch to
Greenwich time by observing an emersion of the second satellite of
Jupiter. Mr. Anderson took the time, and I was seated at the telescope
half an hour before it happened, in order to be sure of observing it. The
satellite emerged by
_Watch_ 11 49 16
Greenwich 11 46 30
Watch too fast 0 2 46
Emersion by Nautical Almanack 11 49 51
Equation 0 3 21
Mean time at Greenwich 11 46 30
Observations of the sun taken with artificial horizon and the watch the
same evening, to determine the apparent time.
H. M. S. | '
5 57 15 | 30 24
0 58 0 | 30 14
0 58 42 | 29 43
H. M. S. | '
6 4 15 | 27 11
0 5 0 | 26 51
0 5 35 | 26 36
H. M. S. | '
6 6 54 | 25 56
0 7 34 | 25 38
0 8 13 | 25 20
Observed the meridian altitude of the sun within a mile of Bee Creek the
Altitude 164 21 0
82 10 30
0 16 0
82 26 30
Z.D. 7 33 23
D. 21 6 8
Latitude 13 32 45
Longitude 43 min. 56 sec. of time, or 10 59' West.
May 27th.--Early in the morning we set forwards, and after travelling
four miles arrived at Sibikillin. Here the water which supplies the town,
is collected in a deep rocky hollow. There are plenty of fish in the
pool, but the natives will not eat any of them, nor allow them to be
taken, imagining that the water would immediately dry up. Cautioned the
soldiers against catching any of them. At night one of the town's-people
found our guide's horse in the woods, and brought it to the town. Gave
him fifteen bars of amber, and a Barraloolo, &c.
[Footnote: _Shea_, or vegetable Butter-tree. See Park's Travels, p.
May 28th.--At day-break set forwards, and about three miles east of
Sibikillin descended into a valley, where I saw the first _Shea_
trees, some of them loaded with fruit, but not ripe. About eleven o'clock
arrived at Badoo, a small town consisting of about three hundred huts. A
little north of this is another town, called likewise Badoo; but they
distinguish them by the names of Sansanding and Sansanba. The Slatee or
governor of each of these towns exacts customs to a great amount from all
coffles, and if refused, they join together and plunder them. Judging it
best to settle matters amicably, if possible, I gave him during the day
the following articles; viz.
To Amar, the king's younger brother, Bars.
Amber No. 2. 10
To the King of Sansanding,
Two mirrors 2
To the King of Sansanba,
To different people, Grandees 20
[Footnote: Here is a mistake of Mr. Park. The total is really 98.]
Bought a bullock for 12
And a sheep for 5
Mer. Alt. 163 17 0
81 38 30
0 16 0
81 54 30
Z.D. 8 5 30
D. 21 37 30
Latitude 13 32 0
May 29th.--In the forenoon had an opportunity of sending two letters home
to England, via Gambia.
In the evening left Badoo, and went to Tambacunda, about four miles east
of Badoo. The river Gambia is only four miles distant, South of Badoo.
Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott went up a hill near the town, and had a fine
view of it. The course is from the South-East, till it reaches the hills
near Badoo; it then turns towards the South. It is called _Ba
Deema_, or the river which is _always a river_, i.e. it never
dries. The distance between Badoo and Laby in Foota Jalla is five days
Purchased two asses.
May 30th.--Left Tambacunda, and entered the woods. Travelled very
expeditiously till eleven o'clock, when we reached a watering place
called Fatifing, where we found some green dirty water, so bad that
nothing but necessity would have made us drink it. Halted here till half
past two o'clock, when we again set forward and reached _Tabba Gee_
just at dark: found no water. During the afternoon the country to the
South hilly and beautiful. A little before we reached the halting place
some drops of rain fell.
May 31st.--Left Tabba Gee at day break, and a few miles to the east
passed a round lump of quartz, called by the natives _Ta Kooro_, or
the traveller's stone; all travellers lift up this stone and turn it
round. The stone is worn quite smooth, and the iron rock on which it
rests is worn hollow by this constant motion. Halted during the heat of
the day at Mambari, where there is a small village built this season; the
former one having been destroyed by war many years ago. Passed in the
course of the forenoon two streams running towards Gambia.
Obser. Mer. Alt. - - 162 43 0
1/2 81 21 30
0 16 0
81 37 30
Z.D. - 8 23 30
D. - 21 46 10
Latitude - - - 13 22 40
_Muianta_, a hill resembling a castle, bearing by compass S. by E.
is distant sixteen miles; _Sambankalla_ bearing S., the hills of
Foota Jalla bearing by compass SW. by W. SW. and SW. by S.--The town of
Laby is immediately beyond those hills, which are three days travel from
this place. The river Gambia comes down the opening SSW. between Muianta
and the hills of Foota Jalla. The latter have nearly the appearance of
Madeira when seen from the sea, but the hills are not so sharp-pointed as
those of Madeira.
In the afternoon again set forwards, and four miles to the East passed
the dry bed of a torrent course towards Gambia; road rocky; plenty of
white quartz in detached lumps and small pieces. Travelled till quite
dark, when we were forced to halt for the night at a place where there
was no water; and of course we all slept supperless.
June 1st.--At day break set forwards, and at ten o'clock arrived at
Julifunda, a considerable town founded by people who formerly received
goods in advance from the European traders on the Gambia, Rio Nunez, and
Kajaaga; the road to Bambara from these places frequently leading through
this place when the other routes were stopped by war. These people, who
trade on credit, are called _Juli_ in distinction from the Slatee
who trades with his own capital. Julifunda was formerly inhabited
entirely by Soninkees; but the King of Foota Jalla made war on them, and
obliged them, as a condition of peace, to embrace the Mahomedan religion.
The town contains, I suppose, about two thousand people, including the
In the evening sent our guide to the chief man, who is termed _Mansa
Kussan_, and is reckoned one of the most avaricious chiefs in the
whole of the road. Sent him some amber and scarlet as a present, and told
him that I intended to remain one day at Julifunda in order to purchase
June 2d.--Bought some corn and two ass loads of rice; presented Mansa
Kussan with some amber, coral, and scarlet, with which he appeared to be
perfectly satisfied, and sent a bullock in return; he even prayed for my
safety, and told me that he would do his utmost to get us forwards.
Bought an ass for twenty bars of amber. At four o'clock put on the loads
and departed for Baniserile.
The whole of the asses were gone, and only Mr. Anderson and myself
remained, having sent our guide to inform Mansa Kussan of our departure.
Our guide returned, and told us that Mansa Kussan had said that, unless I
gave him ten bars of all the different sorts of merchandise, he would not
allow us to pass farther up the country; and if we attempted to pass
without his consent, he would do his utmost to plunder us in the woods.
Recalled the people and asses, and endeavoured to settle matters in a
friendly manner. Suspecting that he would not have used such language
unless he had received assurances from some other towns that they would
join him in attacking us, sent him some more scarlet and amber by our
guide; being unwilling to go singly into the town, having received
information that it was the intention of the king to detain me, with a
view to make me pay handsomely for my release.
Mansa Kussan seized the money which I paid for the ass in the seller's
hands, and what evinced his hostile intentions still more, he seized the
ass till such time as the palaver should be settled. I shall here give a
list of the different articles of trade paid by me at different times, to
Mansa Kussan at Julifunda.
Sent at first,
Amber No. 1. 10
To Kussan's brothers
Took with me when I went to pay my respects to him,
Sent after the asses turned back,
Sent on the morning of the 3d of June,
A pair of pistols 20
[Footnote 1: Here too there is some mistake in Park's MS. the true total
o ' "
Observed Mer. Alt. 162 11 0
81 5 30
0 16 0
81 21 30
Z.D. 8 38 30
D. 22 11 29
Latitude 13 33 0
June 3d--Having sent him the last present mentioned in the above list, I
concluded, and was assured by the king's brothers, that no further
demands would be made; but was much surprised when our guide and the
king's brothers told me on their return that I must send ten bars of
gunpowder and ten of flints. Here I determined to put an end to the
business; and told the king's brothers that I considered myself as having
paid the king very well for passing through his territory; that I would
neither give him a single charge of gunpowder nor a flint; and if he
refused to allow me to pass, I would go without his permission; and if
his people attempted to obstruct us we would do our utmost to defend
ourselves. The king's brothers and some of the old Bushreens insisted on
my sending the gunpowder or some other goods of equal value; but I
assured them that Europeans would much rather run the risque of being
plundered in a hostile manner than have their goods (which were brought
to purchase provisions) extorted from them by such exorbitant demands.
After going backwards and forwards to the king, his Majesty was pleased
to say he was satisfied; and what surprised me, said that he was coming
to pay us a friendly visit in the afternoon. He accordingly paid us a
visit, attended by a parcel of parasites and singing women. Offered me a
few Cola nuts, which I desired our guide to take and eat; he likewise
told me that I should have a guide to Baniserile.
June 4th.--Early in the morning departed, and having passed the village
Eercella, remarkable for a grove of large _Sitta_ trees, about one
o'clock arrived at Baniserile, and halted under a tree near the wells.
This being His Majesty's birth day, pitched one of the tents, purchased a
bullock and a calf for the soldiers: in the afternoon had them drawn up,
and fired; and made it as much a day of festivity as our circumstances
would permit; and though we were under the necessity of drinking His
Majesty's health in water from our canteens, yet few of his subjects
wished more earnestly for the continuance of his life and the prosperity
of his reign.
Baniserile is a Mahometan town; the chief man, _Fodi_ Braheima, is
one of the most friendly men I have met with. I gave him a copy of the
New Testament in Arabic, with which he seemed very much pleased.
June 5th.--Employed in purchasing rice, having received information that
there was a great scarcity of that article to the eastwards. Bought the
rice both here and at Julifunda with small amber No. 5; and I found that
though a scarcity existed almost to famine, I could purchase a pound of
clean rice for one bead of amber, value 2d. sterling.
Purchased three ass loads, and on the 6th purchased two ass loads more,
making in all 750lb. of rice. This day one of our guide's people went
away to purchase slaves at Laby in Foota Jalla, distant three long days
travel. The people here assured me it was only three days travel from
Badoo to Laby. Had a squall with thunder and rain during the night. As
the loads were put into the tent, they were not wetted, but one of our
carpenters, (old James,) who had been sick of the dysentery ever since we
crossed the Nerico, and was recovering, became greatly worse. Observed
mer. alt. of 0 161 8' latitude 13 35'.
Dentila is famous for its iron; the flux used for smelting the iron is
the ashes of the bark of the _Kino_ tree. These ashes are as white
as flour: they are not used in dying blue, and must therefore have
something peculiar in them. I tasted them: they did not appear to me to
have so much alkali as the mimosa ashes, but had an austere taste. The
people told me, if I eat them, I would certainly die.
June 7th.--Departed early in the morning, and as the carpenter before
mentioned was very weak, appointed two soldiers to stay by him, and
assist him in mounting, and to drive his ass. Four miles east of
Baniserile came to the brow of a hill, from which we had an extensive
prospect eastwards. A square looking hill, supposed to be the hill near
Dindikoo, in Konkodoo, bore by compass due _East_.
[Illustration: Untitled cut]
Shortly after crossed the bed of a stream running towards the
_Faleme_ river, called _Samakoo_ on account of the vast herds
of elephants which wash themselves in it during the rains.
Saw their foot marks very frequently, and fresh dung. Heard a lion roar
not far from us. This day the asses travelled very ill on account of
their having eaten fresh grass, as we supposed.
Obliged to load the horses, and at noon halted at a large _pool_ of
water in the bed of the Samakoo, called _Jananga_.
From the time of our crossing the Samakoo to our halting place, we
travelled without any road; our guide being apprehensive that as there
existed a war a little to the south, and the people were in arms; they
might attempt to cut off some of the fatigued asses in our rear.
In the afternoon resumed our march, and travelled without any road over a
wild and rocky country. Obliged to leave two of the asses on the road,
and load all the horses. We did not reach the watering place till quite
dark, and were obliged to fire muskets frequently to prevent us from
straying from each other.
June 8th.--Early in the morning resumed our march, and about two miles to
the east came to the brow of a hill, from whence we could distinguish the
course of the Faleme river by the range of dark green trees which grew on
its borders. The carpenter unable to sit upright, and frequently threw
himself from the ass, wishing to be left to die. Made two of the soldiers
carry him by force and hold him on the ass. At noon reached Madina, and
halted by the side of the Faleme river; which at this season is a little
discoloured by the rain, but not sensibly swelled. The general course of
this river as pointed out by the natives is from the south-east quarter;
the distance to its source is six ordinary days travel. The bed of the
river here is rocky, except at the crossing place, where it is a mixture
of sand and gravel. The river abounds in fish, some of them very large:
we saw several plunge and leap that appeared to be so large as to weigh
60 or 70 lb. The velocity of the stream is about four knots per hour.
In the afternoon got all the bundles carried over, and up the opposite
bank, which very much fatigued the soldiers. When every thing was carried
over, I found the carpenter still more weakly and apparently dying. I
therefore thought it best to leave him at Madina till the morning
following. Went to the village, and hired a hut for him for six bars of
amber, and gave the Dooty four bars, desiring him to make some of his
people assist the soldier (whom I left to take care of the sick person)
in burying him, if he died during the night. In the evening went to
Satadoo, which is only one mile east of the river. As there was great
appearance of rain, put all the baggage into one, and slept on the top of
the bundles, leaving the other tent for the soldiers. We had a heavy
tornado with much thunder and lightning.
June 9th.--In the morning the soldier, who had been left to take care of
the sick man, returned; and informed us that he died at eight o'clock the
preceding evening; and that with the assistance of the Negroes he had
buried him in the place where the people of the village bury their dead.
Purchased corn for the asses, and a large bullock for the people;
likewise one ass.
Went into the town in the evening, and presented the Dooty with six bars,
requesting a guide to Shrondo, which he readily granted. Satadoo is
walled round, and contains about three hundred huts: it was formerly much
larger. Observed mer. alt. sun 160 deg. 6'; observed mer. alt. Jupiter 116
Five of the soldiers, who did not go into the tent, but staid under the
tree during the rain, complained much of headache and uneasiness at
June 10th. The soldiers still sickly. Left Satadoo at sun-rise: several
of our canteens stolen during the night. This forenoon we travelled for
more than two miles over white quartz, large lumps of which were lying
all round; no other stone to be seen. Carried forwards a large skinful of
water, being uncertain whether we should find any on the road. At eleven
o'clock reached the bed of a stream flowing to the left, called Billalla,
where we found some muddy water.
Resumed our journey at half past three o'clock, and travelled over a hard
rocky soil towards the mountains; many of the asses very much fatigued.
The front of the coffle reached Shrondo at sunset; but being in the rear
I had to mount one of the sick men on my horse, and assist in driving the
fatigued asses: so that I did not reach the halting place till eight
o'clock, and was forced to leave four asses in the woods. Shrondo is but
a small town. We halted as usual under a tree at a little distance; and
before we could pitch one of the tents, we were overtaken by a very heavy
tornado, which wet us all completely. In attempting to fasten up one of
the tents to a branch of the tree, had my hat blown away, and lost. The
ground all round was covered with water about three inches deep. We had
another tornado about two o'clock in the morning. The tornado which took
place on our arrival, had an instant effect on the health of the
soldiers, and proved to us, to be the _beginning of sorrow_. I had
proudly flattered myself that we should reach the Niger with a very
moderate loss; we had had two men sick of the dysentery; one of them
recovered completely on the march, and the other would doubtless have
recovered, had he not been wet by the rain at Baniserile. But now the
rain had set in, and I trembled to think that we were only halfway
through our journey. The rain had not commenced three minutes before many
of the soldiers were affected with vomiting; others fell asleep, and
seemed as if half intoxicated. I felt a strong inclination to sleep
during the storm; and as soon as it was over I fell asleep on the wet
ground, although I used every exertion to keep myself awake. The soldiers
likewise fell asleep on the wet bundles.
June 11th.--Twelve of the soldiers sick. Went and waited on the Dooty,
and presented him with five bars of amber, and two of beads, requesting
his permission to go and look at the gold mines, which I understood were
in the vicinity. Having obtained his permission, I hired a woman to go
with me, and agreed to pay her a bar of amber if she would shew me a
grain of gold. We travelled about half a mile west of the town, when we
came to a small meadow spot of about four or five acres extent, in which
were several holes dug resembling wells. They were in general about ten
or twelve feet deep; towards the middle of the meadow spot the holes were
deepest, and shallower towards the sides. Their number was about thirty,
besides many old ones which had sunk down. Near the mouths of these pits
were several other shallow pits, lined with clay, and full of rain water:
between the _mine pits_ and these _wash pits_ laid several
heaps of sandy gravel. On the top of each was a stone; some of the stones
white, others red, others black, &c. These serve to distinguish each
person's property. I could see nothing peculiar in this gravel; some
silicious pebbles as large as a pigeon's egg, pieces of white and reddish
quartz, iron stone, and killow, and a soft friable yellow stone, which
crumbled to pieces by the fingers, were the chief minerals that I could
distinguish. Besides the above there was a great portion of sand, and a
yellow earth resembling _till_.
The woman took about half a pound of gravel with one hand from the heap,
which I suppose belonged to her; and having put it into a large calabash,
threw a little water on it with a small calabash; which two calabashes
are all that are necessary for washing gold. The quantity of water was
only sufficient to cover the sand about one inch. She then crumbled the
sand to pieces, and mixt it with the water; this she did not in a
rotatory manner, but by pulling her hands towards herself, as shewn in
the following sketch.
She then threw out all the large pebbles, looking on the ground where she
threw them, for fear of throwing out a piece of gold. Having done this,
she gave the sand and water a rotatory motion, so as to make a part of
the sand and water fly over the brim of the calabash. While she did this
with her _right_ hand, with her _left_ she threw out of the
centre of the vortex a portion of sand and water at every revolution. She
then put in a little fresh water, and as the quantity of sand was now
much diminished, she held the calabash in an oblique direction, and made
the sand move slowly round on the line AB, while she constantly agitated
it with a quick motion in the direction CD.
I now observed a quantity of black matter, resembling gunpowder, which
she told me was _gold rust_; and before she had moved the sand one
quarter round the calabash, she pointed to a yellow speck, and said,
_sanoo affilli_, see the gold. On looking attentively I saw a
portion of pure gold, and took it out. It would have weighed about _one
grain_. The whole of the washing, from the first putting in of the
sand till she shewed me the gold, did not exceed the space of _two
minutes_. I now desired her to take a larger portion. She put in, as
nearly as I could guess, about two pounds; and having washed it in the
same manner, and nearly in the same time, found no fewer than
_twenty-three_ particles; some of them were very small. In both cases
I observed that the quantity of sanoo mira, or _gold rust_, was at
least forty times greater than the quantity of gold. She assured me that
they sometimes found pieces of gold as large as her fist. I could not
ascertain the quantity of gold washed here in one year; but I believe it
must be considerable, though they wash only during the beginning and end
of the rains. Gold is sold here, and all along our route, by the
minkalli: six teelee kissi (a sort of bean, the fruit of a large tree)
make one minkalli: the weight of six teelee kissi is exactly [dram] &
[scruple]. In Kaarta they use a small bean called jabee kissi, twenty-four
of which make one minkalli; a jabee kissi weighs exactly four grains. In
Kasson, twelve small tamarind stones make one minkalli, which I believe is
the heaviest minkalli in this part of Africa. If gold is purchased with
amber, _one bead_ of No. 4 will, in almost all cases, purchase one
_teelee kissi_: but it can be purchased with more advantage with
beads or scarlet, and still more so with gunpowder. I did not purchase
any; but our guide bought a considerable quantity, and I was present at
all his bargain-making.
Went in the afternoon to see a brother of Karfa Taura's; he had a very
large collection of Arabic books, and I made him quite happy by adding an
Arabic New Testament to the number.
June 12th.--Left Shrondo early in the morning; the sick being unable to
walk, I gave them all the horses and spare asses. Travelled slowly along
the bottom of the Konkodoo mountains, which are very steep precipices of
rock, from eighty to two or three hundred feet high. We reached Dindikoo
at noon; at which time it came on a tornado so rapidly, that we were
forced to carry our bundles into the huts of the natives; this being the
first time the coffle had entered a town since leaving Gambia. As soon as
the rain was over, went with Mr. Anderson to see the gold pits which are
near this town. The pits are dug exactly in the same manner as at
Shrondo; a section of the pit would have this appearance.
The notches in the side of the pit serve as a ladder to descend by. The
gravel here is very coarse; some round stones larger than a man's head,
and a vast number larger than one's fist were lying round the mouths of
the pits, which were near twenty in number. Near the pits is a stream of
water, and as the banks had been scraped away to wash for gold, I could
distinguish a stratum of earth and large stones about ten feet thick, and
under this a stratum of two feet of ferruginous pebbles about the size of
a pigeon's egg, and a yellow and rusty-coloured sand and earth; under
this a stratum of tough white clay. The rusty-coloured sand is that in
which the gold is found. Saw plenty of the gold rust.
When I returned from the gold pits, I went with Mr. Scott to go to the
top of the hill, which is close to the town. The hill was very steep and
rocky. The rocks (like all the hills in Konkodoo) are a coarse reddish
granite, composed of red feldspar, white quartz, and black shorl; but it
differs from any granite I have seen, in having round smooth pebbles,
many of them as large as a cannon shot. These pebbles, when broken, are
granite, but of a paler colour and closer texture. The day was cool; but
after fatiguing ourselves and resting six times, we found that we were
only about half way to the top. We were surprised to find the hill
cultivated to the very summits; and though the people of Dindikoo were
but preparing their fields, the corn on the hill was six inches high. The
villages on these mountains are romantic beyond anything I ever saw. They
are built in the most delightful glens of the mountains; they have plenty
of water and grass at all seasons; they have cattle enough for their own
use, and their superfluous grain purchases all their luxuries; and while
the thunder rolls in awful grandeur over their heads, they can look from
their tremendous precipices over all that wild and woody plain which
extends from the Faleme to the Black River. This plain is in extent, from
North to South, about forty miles: the range of hills to the South seem
to run in the same direction as those of Konkodoo, viz. from East to
West. There are no lions on the hills, though they are very numerous in
the plain. In the evening Lieutenant Martyn fell sick of the fever.
June 13th.--Early in the morning departed from Dindikoo. The sick
occupied all the horses and spare asses; and as the number of drivers was
thus diminished, we had very hard work to get on. Ten of the loaded asses
and drivers went a different road. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott being with
them, fired their muskets as soon as they observed that the guide was
leading them in a road where were no asses' foot marks. Answered them;
and sent the serjeant to their assistance. In half an hour they came up,
having gone about three miles too much to the right. Reached a village
almost deserted about one o'clock, and found the coffle halted by a
stream to the east of it. Very uneasy about our situation: half of the
people being either sick of the fever or unable to use great exertion,
and fatigued in driving the asses. Found, to my great mortification, that
the ass which carried the telescope and several other things, was not
come up. Mr. Anderson, the serjeant, and our guide rode back about five
miles in search of it; but returned at half past three o'clock, without
being able to find it. Presented the Dooty of the village with five bars
of amber; requesting him, if he heard of it, to send it forward, and I
would reward him for it. Put on the loads; and part of the coffle had
departed, when one of the Dooty's sons came and told us that he had seen
the ass, and brought it to the village. Went to the village, and paid the
person who found it twenty bars, and the Dooty ten bars. Mounted the load
on my horse, and drove it before me. I did not reach Fankia till seven
o'clock; having to walk slow, in order to coax on three sick soldiers who
had fallen behind, and were for lying down under every tree they passed.
Fankia is a small village, four miles North West from _Binlingalla_.
Here we departed from my former route, and did not touch on it again till
we reached the Niger.
Departure from Fankia--Tambaura mountains, and difficulties in ascending
the Pass--Toombin--Great embarrassments on the road--Serimanna--Fajemmia
--Astronomical observations--Increase of the sick--Nealakalla--Ba Lee
River--Boontoonkooran--Dooggikotta--Falifing--Losses on the
road--Gimbia; inhospitable treatment--Sullo--Face of the country--Secoba
--Kronkromo--Passage of the Ba Fing--Mode of smelting and working gold
--Fatal accident in crossing the Ba Fing--Hippopotami--Deaths and losses
on the route--Increase of sickness--Reach Viandry--Koeena--Danger from
young lions--Koombandi--Great embarrassments on the road--Fonilla--Ba
Woolima River; difficulties in crossing it--Isaaco seized by a crocodile
--Boolinkoonbo--Distressing situation of the whole of the party--Reach
June 14th.--I halted at Fankia, in order to give the sick a little rest,
knowing there was a steep hill to ascend near this place. Found myself
very sick, having been feverish all night.
Observed mer. alt. Sun, - 159 39 0
79 49 0-1/2
0 16 0
80 5 30
Z.D. - 9 55 30
D. - - 23 17 0
Latitude - 13 22 30
Bought corn for the asses, and plenty of fowls for the sick.
June 15th.--Left Fankia: men still very sickly, and some of them slightly
delirious. About a mile N.E. of this village is the passage in the
Tambaura mountains, called Toombinjeena. The ascent is very steep and
rocky: the perpendicular of the steepest place would not much exceed
three hundred feet. The asses being heavily loaded, in order to spare as
many as possible for the sick, we had much difficulty in getting our
loads up this steep. The number of asses exceeding the drivers, presented
a dreadful scene of confusion in this rocky staircase; loaded asses
tumbling over the rocks, sick soldiers unable to walk, black fellows
stealing; in fact it certainly was _uphill work_ with us at this
place. Having got up all the loads and asses, set forwards; and about two
miles from the steep came to the delightful village of Toombin. On
collecting our loads, found that the natives had stolen from us seven
pistols, two great coats and one knapsack, besides other small articles.
Sent back the horses for two sick soldiers, who were unable to ride on
the horses, and were left at the steep. Pitched the tent, and secured the
baggage from the rain.
[Footnote: See Park's Travels, p. 257]
June 16th.--Left Toombin. Just as the people and asses were gone, the
good old schoolmaster whom I mentioned in my former travels came up. He
had heard the night before that I was with the party, and had travelled
all night to come and see me. As the loads were gone on, I told him I
wished him to go forward with me to the place where we should halt; that
I might reward him in some degree for his former kindness. Recovered
three of the pistols which had been stolen, and one great coat. Set
forwards. About a mile to the east of the village found _Hinton_,
one of the sick who rode Mr. Anderson's horse, lying under a tree, and
the horse grazing at a little distance. Some of the natives had stolen
the pistols from the holsters, and robbed my coat case, which was
fastened behind the saddle, of a string of coral, all the amber and beads
it contained, and one barraloolo. Luckily they did not fancy my pocket
sextant, and artificial horizon, which were in the same place. Put the
sick man on the horse and drove it before me; and after holding him on
and using every exertion to keep him on the saddle, I found that I was
unable to carry him on, and having fatigued myself very much with
carrying him forwards about six miles, I was forced to leave him.
About a mile after I left Hinton, I came to two others lying in the shade
of a tree. Mounted one on Mr. Anderson's horse, and the other on my own,
and drove them before me. Reached the village of Serimanna about half
past twelve o'clock: sent back a horse in the cool of the evening for
Hinton, and brought him to the village, being obliged to tie him on the
Gave the schoolmaster five bars of scarlet, one barraloolo, ten bars of
beads, fourteen of amber, and two dollars, which made him completely
happy. I likewise gave him an Arabic New Testament, which he promised to
read with attention.
June 17th.--Finding that Hinton was worse, and Sparks delirious, left
them to the care of the Dooty of the village; having given him amber and
beads sufficient to purchase victuals for them if they lived, and to bury
them if they died. If they recovered, he engaged to join them to the
first coffle travelling to Gambia. From Serimanna in two hours we reached
Fajemmia: this is only a small village, but fortified with a high wall.
The chief, from whom the village has its name, formerly resided at
Faramba, to the East of this; but has lately retired here, leaving his
people and slaves at Faramba. Fajemmia is the most powerful chief of
Konkodoo, and holds under his subjection all the country from Toombin to
the Ba Fing.
The customs paid by travellers being always in proportion to the power
and mischievous disposition of the chiefs; those paid at Fajemmia are of
course very high.
I paid as follows:
a soldier's musket, a pair of handsome pistols, a handsome sword, a great
coat, and one hundred gun flints.
Very happy to get so well over the palaver; for he insisted long on
having the customs, or four bottles of gunpowder for each ass, which
would have distressed us very much; and we could have made but a feeble
resistance, being so very sickly. Observed an emersion of Jupiter's first
June 17th, time by the watch 13 deg. 6' 15".
June 18th, altitudes for the time with artificial horizon.
H. M. S. ' H. M. S. '
6 25 35 | 19 36 6 27 41 | 18 43
26 13 | 19 28 28 19 | 18 24
26 51 | 19 5 28 50 | 18 12
6 29 39 17 49
30 23 17 30
30 48 17 19
Longitude not yet calculated.
June 18th.--Obser. mer. alt. Sun, 159 49 0
79 54 0-1/2
0 16 0
80 10 0-1/2
Z.D. - 9 50 0
D. - 23 25 0
Latitude 13 35 0 N.
Our palaver with Fajemmia was not finished till the morning of the 19th.
During the 18th, 19th, and 20th I was very sick; and though in general I
was able to sit up part of the day, yet I was very weak, and unable to
attend to the marketing of corn, milk, and fowls. Mr. Anderson therefore
bought these articles, and attended to the cattle, &c. Lieutenant Martyn,
the sergeant, corporal, and half the soldiers sick of the fever. Boiled a
camp kettle full of strong decoction of cinchona every day since leaving
Dindikoo. Purchased three asses, and hired our guide's people to drive
four of our asses in addition to the two they already drove, making
altogether six asses, for one hundred and twenty bars.
On the 18th, Mr. Anderson and one of the soldiers went back to Serimanna
to see the two men left there, and ascertain if they could possibly be
carried forward. Returned on the 19th, and reported that they were both
alive, but not in a state to be moved, and were themselves anxious to
remain where they were, as it afforded them the only chance of recovery.
June 20th.--When we had loaded the asses, found one of the soldiers
(_old Rowe_) unable to ride. Paid ten bars of amber, and measured
eighteen days rice for him to one of the best men in the village, who, I
have no doubt, will take care of him. Shortly after leaving Fajemmia, it
began to thunder, and by the time we had travelled four miles we
experienced a smart tornado, which wetted many of the loads, and made the
road very muddy and slippery. We reached a village nearly deserted,
called Nealakalla, about noon. Here we found that the ass which carried
the spare clothing was not come up; and as many of the men were very ill
situated, particularly with respect to shoes, I thought it best to send
back two of the men a few miles to see if they could find it. Felt rather
uneasy about the men, as they did not return at sun-set. Fired several
muskets, but heard no answer. The village of Nealakalla is close to the
_Ba Lee_ or Honey river, which we found discoloured, but not
sensibly swelled. Saw two crocodiles, and an incredible number of large
June 21st.--As the two men had not yet arrived, sent forward the coffle
to cross the river: desired Mr. Scott to fire a musket when they had all
crossed. Mr. Anderson and myself agreed to stop at Nealakalla till noon,
in hopes of hearing something concerning the two men. They arrived about
eleven o'clock, having found the ass and load so near Fajemmia, that they
had gone there and slept in the same hut with old Rowe, who, they told
us, was recovering and very well pleased with his situation. Set
forwards; and about a mile to the N.E. of the village crossed the river
at a place where its course is interrupted by a bed of whinstone rock,
which forms the stream into a number of small cataracts. The people had
to carry over all the loads on their heads, and we found them cooking on
the East bank of the river, and nearly ready to set forwards. Mr.
Anderson and I stepped across the river from rock to rock without wetting
As soon as the men had finished their breakfast we set forwards, and
about two miles East came to a narrow and deep creek, in which was a
stream of muddy water. Crossed this with so much difficulty, that some
were for calling it _Vinegar Creek_. About four o'clock passed the
village of _Boontoonkooran_, delightfully situated at the bottom of
a steep and rocky hill. Two miles East of this we halted for the night at
the village of _Dooggikotta_; where the cultivation is very
extensive, and we had much difficulty in keeping our cattle off the corn.
A tornado during the night.
June 22d.--Halted till near ten o'clock, as there was great appearance of
rain. William Roberts, one of the carpenters who had been sick since
leaving Fajemmia, declared that he was unable to proceed, and signed a
note that he was left by his own consent. Passed a small village about
four miles to the East, and travelled on the ascent near a river course
almost the whole day. We had a fine view of _Kullallie_, a high
detached and square rocky hill, which we had seen ever since we left
Fajemmia. This hill is quite inaccessible on all sides, and level and
green on the top. The natives affirm that there is a lake of water on its
summit, and they frequently go round the bottom of the precipices, during
the rainy season, and pick up _large turtles_, which have tumbled
over the precipice and killed themselves. Saw many very picturesque and
rocky hills during the march, and in the evening halted at the village of
_Falifing_, which is situated on the summit of the ascent which
separates the _Ba lee_ from the _Ba fing_. Lost one ass, and
80lbs. of balls on the march.
June 23d.--Early in the morning resumed our journey; and after travelling
two hours on a level plain, bounded with high rocky precipices on our
right and left, we descended slowly towards the East, and shortly came to
the village of _Gimbia_, or _Kimbia_. I chanced to be in the
rear, bringing on some asses which had thrown their loads; and when I
came up I found all about the village wearing a hostile appearance, the
men running from the corn grounds and putting on their quivers, &c. The
cause of this tumult was, as usual, the _love of money_. The
villagers had heard that the white men were to pass; that they were very
sickly, and unable to make any resistance, or to defend the immense
wealth in their possession. Accordingly when part of the coffle had
passed the village, the people sallied out; and, under pretence that the
coffle should not pass till the Dooty pleased, insisted on turning back
the asses. One of them seized the serjeant's horse by the bridle to lead
it into the village; but when the serjeant cocked his pistol and
presented it, he dropped the bridle; others drove away the asses with
their loads, and every thing seemed going into confusion. The soldiers
with great coolness loaded their pieces with ball, and fixed their
bayonets: on seeing this the villagers hesitated, and the soldiers drove
the asses across the bed of a torrent; and then returned, leaving a
sufficient number to guard the asses.
The natives collected themselves under a tree by the gate of the village,
where I found the Dooty and Isaaco at very high words. On enquiring the
cause of the tumult, Isaaco informed me that the villagers had attempted
to take the loads from the asses. I turned to the Dooty, and asked him
who were the persons that had dared to make such an attempt. He pointed
to about thirty people armed with bows; on which I fell a laughing, and
asked him if he really thought that such people could fight; adding, if
he had a mind to make the experiment, they need only go up and attempt to
take off one of the loads. They seemed by this time to be fully satisfied
that they had made a vain attempt; and the Dooty desired me to tell the
men to go forward with the asses. As I did not know but perhaps some of
the sick might be under the necessity of returning this way, I thought it
adviseable to part on friendly terms; and therefore gave the Dooty four
bars of amber, and told him that we did not come to make war; but if any
person made war on us, we would defend ourselves to the last.
Set forwards, and half a mile to the East descended into a rocky valley:
many of the asses fell in going down the steep. About noon reached
_Sullo_, an unwalled village at the bottom of a rocky hill. Shortly
after we halted Lieutenant Martyn's horse died. This was a _God
send_ to the people of Sullo, who cut him up as if he had been a
bullock, and had almost come to _blows_ about the division of him;
so much is horse-flesh esteemed at this place. Numbers of large monkies
on the rocks over the town.
June 24th.--Left Sullo, and travelled through a country beautiful beyond
imagination, with all the possible diversities of _rock_, sometimes
towering up like ruined castles, spires, pyramids, &c. We passed one
place so like a ruined Gothic abbey, that we halted a little, before we
could satisfy ourselves that the niches, windows, ruined staircase, &c.
were all natural rock. A faithful description of this place would
certainly be deemed a fiction.
Passed a hill composed of one homogeneous mass of solid rock (red
granite) without a detached stone or blade of grass; never saw such a
hill in my life. In the course of the march saw several villages
romantically situated in the crescents formed by the rocky precipices;
the medium height of these precipices is from one hundred to five or six
hundred feet perpendicular. The whole country between the Ba fing and Ba
lee is rugged and grand beyond any thing I have seen.
We reached _Secoba_ at noon. The Dooty of this town is Fajemmia's
younger brother. Presented him with goods to the amount of 50 bars; he
was so much pleased that he said he would go with us till we had crossed
the _Ba fing_, and see that the canoe people did not impose on us.
Obser. Mer. Alt. of Jupiter ' "
115 28 0
57 44 0
0 0 36
57 43 24
32 16 36
18 49 10
Latitude 13 27 26
June 25th.--Halted at _Secoba_, in order to refresh the sick; bought
plenty of fowls and milk for them.
June 26th.--Departed from Secoba, accompanied by the Dooty and several
people. Hired three of the Dooty's friends, as guides to Kandy, in that
district of Fooladoo called Gangaran. About seven miles East of Secoba
came to the village of Konkromo, where we pitched our tents by the river
side. The day was too far spent before we had agreed with the canoe
people, and, as we could not possibly carry all the loads over, thought
it best to wait till next morning. As I thought it probable that we
should have an opportunity of observing an eclipse of Jupiter's first
satellite, I took the following altitudes for the time.
H. M. S. ' H. M. S. ' H. M. S. '
5 25 55 | 45 36 5 30 2 | 43 47 5 36 22 | 40 55
0 26 53 | 45 13 0 30 42 | 43 28 0 37 3 | 40 35
0 27 37 | 44 55 0 31 25 | 43 10 0 37 44 | 40 17
Observed the emersion of the first satellite of Jupiter.
H. M. S.
By watch - - - - 9 26 20
Time by Nautical Almanack - 9 24 53
Equation - - - 0 2 15
Mean time at Greenwich 9 27 8
9 27 8
Watch too slow 0 0 48
Longitude 32 m. 24 sec. or 8 deg. 6' W.
June 27th.--Early in the morning paid the canoe people 50 bars to carry
over all our baggage and cattle, and likewise presented the Dooty of
_Secoba_ with some beads.
Four canoes sufficient to carry only an ass load and an half at a time,
were provided for this purpose. Sent over Mr. Anderson and six men with
their arms to receive the loads from the canoes and carry them into the
tents. The asses were made to swim over, one on each side of the canoe,
two boys sitting in the canoe and holding them by the ears.
At this place I had an opportunity of seeing their mode of smelting gold.
Isaaco had purchased some gold in coming through Konkodoo, and here he
had it made into a large ring. The smith made a crucible of common red
clay and dried it in the sun: into this he put the gold, without any flux
or mixture whatever; he then put charcoal under and over it, and blowing
the fire with the common double bellows of the country, soon produced
such a heat as to bring the gold into a state of fusion. He then made a
small furrow in the ground, into which he poured the melted gold; when it
was cold he took it up, and heating it again, soon hammered it into a
square bar. Then heating it again, he twisted it by means of two pairs of
pincers into a sort of screw; and lengthening out the ends, turned them
up so as to form a massy and precious ring.
When the baggage and cattle were all transported over, I sent over the
men, and embarked myself in the last canoe; but as one of the soldiers in
the other canoe had gone out to purchase something, I made the canoe in
which I was shove off, telling the men to come off the moment the man
returned. I found it difficult to sit in the canoe so as to balance it,
though it contained only three people besides the rower. We had just
landed on the East bank, when we observed the canoe, in which were the
three soldiers, pushing off from the opposite bank. It shortly after
overset, and though the natives from the shore swam in to their
assistance, yet J. Cartwright was unfortunately drowned. The natives
dived and recovered two of the muskets, and Cartwright's body; they put
the body in the canoe and brought it over. I used the means recommended
by the Humane Society, but in vain. We buried him in the evening on the
bank of the river.
The Ba fing is here a large river quite navigable; it is swelled at this
time about two feet, and flows at the rate of three knots per hour. The
people here are _all thieves:_ they attempted to steal several of
our loads, and we detected one carrying away the bundle in which was all
our medicines. We could not sleep with the noise of the hippopotami,
which came close to the bank and kept snorting and blowing all night. The
night being clear, observed the emersion of Jupiter's second satellite;
H. M. S.
By watch - - - - 11 25 55
Time by Nautical Almanack 11 24 40
Equation - - - 0 1 53
Mean time at Greenwich 11 26 33
11 26 33
Watch too slow 0 0 38
June 28th.--Purchased an ass for four minkallis of gold, and a horse for
45 bars. Set forwards about seven o'clock. After travelling four miles,
the ass I had purchased lay down, and I found it impossible to raise him.
Took off the load and left him. At ten o'clock came close to the bottom
of a high rocky hill, which rises like an immense castle from the level
plain: it is called _Sankaree_: and on enquiring about a large heap
of stones near the foot of the precipice, I was told that the town of
Madina, which was in the vicinity, was some years ago stormed by the
Kaartans, and that the greater part of the inhabitants fled towards this
hill. Some however were killed on the road, and these stones were
collected over the grave of one of them. He said there were five more
such near the hill, and that every person in passing, if he belongs to
the same family or _contong_, thinks himself bound to throw a stone
on the heap to perpetuate the memory of their friend. These heaps are
precisely what in Scotland are called _Cairns_. This hill is
accessible only by one very narrow and difficult path. They assured me
that there was abundance of water on the summit at all seasons, and that
the huts built by the Madina people were still standing on the summit,
though out of repair.
At eleven o'clock crossed a stream, like a mill stream, running North. We
halted on the East side of it; found that one of the asses with a load of
beads had not come up. The soldier who drove it (Bloore), without
acquainting any person, returned to look for it. Shortly after the ass
and load were found in the woods. Sent the serjeant after Bloore on one
of the horses; he rode back as far as Sankaree without seeing him, and
concluded he had lost the path. He found one of the sick (Walter) who had
wandered from the track (for there was no road); and had laid himself
down among the bushes till some of the natives discovered him. Paid the
natives ten bars of amber, and desired them to look for Bloore.
In the afternoon collected the asses for marching. Had great difficulty
in finding the horses, one of which (the serjeant's), after all our
search could not be found. As it was in vain to wait for Bloore, put on
the loads and departed. It is to be observed that there is no path-way in
these woods, and we found much difficulty in keeping together: fired
muskets frequently to give intimation of our line of march. After
travelling about four miles, Shaddy Walter, the sick man before
mentioned, became so exhausted that he could not sit on the ass. He was
fastened on it, and held upright; he became more and more faint, and
shortly after died. He was brought forwards to a place where the front of
the coffle had halted, to allow the rear to come up. Here when the coffle
had set forwards, two of the soldiers with their bayonets, and myself
with my sword, dug his grave in the wild desert; and a few branches were
the only laurels which covered the tomb of the brave.
We did not come up to the coffle till they had halted for the night near
a pool of water shaded with ground palm-trees. Here I was informed that
two of the soldiers were not come up; one (Baron) was seen about a mile
from the halting place; the other (Hill) was supposed to be three or four
miles behind. Fired two muskets every quarter of an hour; one to call
their attention, and the other about half a minute after to give the
direction. At half past seven Hill came up, being directed entirely by
the sound of the muskets. At eleven o'clock saw some lights in the woods,
and heard people holla: in a little time five people came, bringing with
them Bloore, the man who had gone in quest of the ass. He had gone back
as far as the Black River, crossed it and made signs to the people about
the ass and the load. As they did not rightly understand him, they
thought that some party had fallen on the coffle, and that this soldier
had run away. They therefore came with him to see if they could come in
for their share, or at least receive some reward for coming along with
the man. Paid them ten bars of amber, and desired them to look for Baron,
and I would give them ten bars more if they found him.
June 29th.--At day-break fired muskets for Baron; and as it was evident
he must have wandered from the track made by the asses, and it was in
vain to look for him in so extensive a wilderness, at half past six
o'clock loaded the asses and set out. Two more of the soldiers affected
with the fever. Route in the morning rocky. Traveled twelve miles without