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Travels in Morocco, Vol. 1. by James Richardson

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of the interior against the Christians, but it was better to inflame
them against the Christians than to lose his own throne.

The French Consul waited upon the Governor for explanations about the
movements of the troops. His Excellency observed, "I am ordered by my
Sultan to defend this city against all assailants, and I shall do so
till I am buried beneath its ruins. Though all the coast-cities were
captured, Mogador should never be surrendered."

Some of the credulous Moors said, "The Shereefs will come from Tafilet,
led on by our Lord Mahomet, and destroy all the cursed Nazarenes. The
Sheerefs will fire against the French leaden balls, and silver balls."
Another observed to me, "If a fleet should come here, it will be
immediately sunk, because our Sultan has ordered every ball to hit, and
none to miss."

This is not unlike what a Turk of Tripoli once said to me about the
Grand Signor and his late reforms. "The Turks will soon be civilized,
because the Sultan has given an order for all the Turks to be
civilized." The large guns of the forts were practised, and the guns of
the grand battery loaded. The infantry continued to practise on the
beach of the port: their manoeuvres were very uncouth and disorderly,
they merely moved backwards and forwards in lines of two deep. The
French Consul, Monsieur Jorelle, discontinued his usual promenade, to
prevent his being insulted, and so to avoid the the painful necessity of
demanding satisfaction.

Mr. Willshire, being well known to the Mogador population, had not so
much to fear. Here is the advantage of a long residence in a country.
The French Government lose by the frequent changing of their consuls.
Still, M. Jorelle was right in not exposing himself to the mob, or the
wild levies who had come from their mountains. The fault of the Governor
was, in exciting the warlike fanaticism of the tribes of the interior
against the Christians, which he ought to have known the city
authorities might have extreme difficulty in keeping within bounds. No
European could pass the gates of the city without being spat upon, and
cursed by the barbarous Berbers.

I paid a visit to M. Authoris, the Belgium merchant, and the only
European trader carrying on business independently of the Emperor. He
represented the commerce of the country to be in a most deplorable
condition. "There is now nothing to buy or sell on which there is a gain
of one per cent. The improvidence of the people is so great that, should
one harvest fail, inevitable famine would be the result, there not being
a single bushel of grain more in the country than is required for daily
consumption. Nor will the people avail themselves of any opportunity of
purchasing a thing cheap when it is cheap; they simply provide for their
hourly wants. They act in the literal sense of 'Take no thought for the
morrow, but let the morrow take care of itself.' As to the Jews, they
feast one day and fast the next." With regard to the excitement then
existing, M. Authoris observed. "This Government, on hearing rumours of
Spanish and French expeditions against the country, must naturally make
use of what power it has, the Holy War power, to excite the people in
their own defence. The Moors cannot discriminate Gazette intelligence.
When a worthless newspaper mentions an expedition being fitted out
against Morocco, the Emperor immediately sees a fleet of ships within
sight of his ports, and hears the reports of bombarding cannon." The raw
levies of Shedmah and Hhaha continued to enter the town, but only a
small number at a time, lest they should alarm the inhabitants. They
went about, peeping into houses, and wherever a door was open they would
walk in, staring with a wild curiosity.

I had some conversation with my Moorish friends respecting the abolition
of slavery. An old doctor observed, "The English are not more humane
than other nations, but God has decreed that they should destroy the
slave-trade among the Christians. This, however, is no praise to them,
for they could not resist acting according to the will and mind of God.
As for the Mussulmen, what they do is for the benefit of slaves,
especially females, who, one and all, are doomed to death; [29] but,
when purchased by the slave-dealers, their lives are spared, and they
are made True Believers. Still, the Mussulmen would assist the English
in destroying the ships which carry slaves;" (as if the Moors had any

The number of slaves in this city is from eight hundred to one thousand.
It is difficult to ascertain any thing like the exact number, the
opulent Moors having many negress slaves, with whom they live in a state
of concubinage. Young, rich, and fashionable Moors, I was told for the
first time in a Mahommedan country, have become disgusted with the old
habit of managing and taking a wife early, and adopt the immoral
practice of buying female slaves, by which they avoid, as they say, the
trouble and expense of marrying females of their own rank in Moorish
society. A good Mussulman must however, marry once in his life. Slaves
are imported via Wadnoun from Timbuctoo and Soudan, and even from the
western coast. Negroes of the Timbuctoo market are more esteemed than
those of Guinea, being a stronger and more laborious race. The common
price of a slave in Mogador is from 60 to 90 ducats; one day a beautiful
African girl, freshly exported from the interior, was sold for 160
ducats, or about L20 sterling. This is considered an extraordinary high

Slaves are sold by criers about the streets in Morocco, and most towns,
and not in bazaars, as in the East. But the most remarkable feature of
slavery in this part of the world, is the Christian or European slavery
carried further south, in the regions extending on the line of coast
below Wadnoun, and the adjacent Sahara. Something like a regular system
of Christian slavery is there going on, whilst its head-quarters are not
more than five or six days' journey from this residence of the European
Consuls. This white slavery consists in seizing shipwrecked sailors,
numbers being fishermen from the Canary Islands. We know little about
these poor captives, although we are so near Wadnoun, and are
continually trading with Sous and this country. Mr. Davidson casually
mentions them in his journal.

It is a settled and religious practice of merchants to keep Europeans
ignorant of the south and the Desert; we only hear of these captives now
and then, when one escapes, and after being bought and sold by a hundred
different masters, is fortunate enough to be redeemed; of his companions
in shipwreck, the escaped captive rarely knows anything. They are gone:
they are either drowned near the coast, plundered and massacred, or
carried far away into the Desert, and perhaps for ever. Formerly vessels
navigated through the channel (if it may be so called) of the Canary
Islands and the Wadnoun coast, by which they often got on shoal water,
and were cast away; in this manner, whites were enslaved. Happily now,
masters of vessels have become acquainted with this dangerous coast.
They pass to the east of the Canaries, and fewer vessels are shipwrecked

The Spanish fishermen of the Canaries are chiefly now made captives.
These poor people are either seized when becalmed near the coast, or
captured on being cast on shore by the furious trade-winds, which sweep
these desolate shores (often nine months out of twelve) and carry utter
destruction with them. The wild and wandering Bedouins in bad weather,
with the true storm scent of the wrecker, patiently watch the coasts,
pouncing on their prey, with the voracity of the vulture, as it is
thrown up from the deep, along the inhospitable shore. Having got the
shipwrecked men in their possession, they act with the cunning and
avarice of slave-dealers, and are aided by the still craftier Jews, who
always render it very difficult for the consular agents to redeem these
unhappy captives. For although a Jew, by the Mahometan law, cannot
purchase slaves, yet by buying them-through Mussulmen, who share in the
profits, from the Arabs who first seized the captives, the slaves are
frequently kept back months in the Desert, being parted from one another
before they can be ransomed.

Sometimes the Arabs alluringly question their captives to see if they
understand any mechanical arts, which are greatly esteemed, being very
useful in these almost tenantless regions; and should they discover that
they do, they carry them away into hopeless captivity, through the wilds
of the Desert, refusing to sell them at any price or offer of ransom.
But those who cannot, or will not make themselves useful, are generally
redeemed by the Mogador Consuls, should they escape being massacred in
the quarrels of the Arabs for the booty when they are first captured.

There is, at the present time, a Spanish fisherman near Wadnoun, waiting
to be redeemed. The Arab Sheikh who holds him, demands two hundred
dollars for his redemption. Mr. Wiltshire objects to the price, as being
too much. Besides this, he is afraid to advance any money for a Spanish
captive's release, lest it should never be refunded. The Spanish
Government, representing a people so chivalrous in bygone times, and so
proud of their ancient exploits over the Moors of this very country, are
not now-a-days over zealous in redeeming their countrymen held in
bondage by these people. Mr. Willshire ransomed a Spanish boy, and
waited several years before he could get this imbecile Government to
refund the money. Espartero at last, however, interfered authoritatively
for the repayment to our generous consul.

In the present case of the poor fisherman, the captive Spaniard lingers
between hope and fear, his only protection being the avarice of his
master, who, like all slave-dealers, is willing to take care of him as
he takes care of his horse. He is one out of four, the other three
having been massacred by the Arabs, or perished on the coast. But, at
present, we know nothing certain of this, although but a few days'
journey from the scene where the disaster took place--so miserable are
our means of information for enabling us to put an end to this system of
Christian slavery. Certainly some representations should be made to the
Emperor, who pretends to have jurisdiction over Wadnoun, and the
adjacent countries, that these captives may be delivered up to the
Consuls of Mogador. A fair remuneration might be given to the persons
bringing them safely to this town.

I am told, the Ironmongers' Company of London have at their disposal
funds for the liberation of such British captives as are enslaved in
Southern Morocco. This money was left by a merchant who himself was made
a slave there; and since that time, owing to the few British captives
redeemed, it has increased to an enormous amount. Not knowing what to do
with the money, the Company, it is said, are about to petition
Parliament to build a school with a portion; but I should suggest that
it would be more in accordance with the original object, and declared
intention of the benevolent, donor, were this large surplus fund devoted
to the redemption of all other Christian captives, of whatever nation or
country. Because two hundred dollars are not forthcoming which could
easily be supplied from the Ironmongers' Company's funds, a poor
Spaniard is condemned to a cruel and hopeless slavery, wandering in the
wilds of the great African wilderness. It is impossible to tell the
number of Christian slaves who perish in the South of Morocco. Many of
the Consular agents of this city are as ignorant of the country as
persons residing in London. This subject absolutely demands the
attention of the governments of Europe. Our humanity and civilization
are in question.

The opinions of the Jews here, are the same as those of American
slave-holders, with this slight difference, that they consider it right
to make slaves of white men and Europeans, as well as of black men,
negroes, and Africans, in which idea they are more consistent than their
Yankee men-selling brethren.

As there are many Barbary Jews at Mogador, more or less under British
protection, I took the liberty of reminding them of their liabilities as
British subjects, by circulating among them copies of Lord Brougham's

I had some conversation with Rabbi-El Melek and other Jews about the
question of abolition,

_Traveller_.--"What is the opinion of the Jews of this country on the
matter of slavery?"

_Rabbi-El-Melek._--"I will show you," (taking the Hebrew Bible he read)
"'Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his

_Traveller._--"Admitting the curse pronounced here was right, that Ham
and Canaan were the progenitors of the African negroes, and that the
curse was to be extended to all generations of Africa--are these reasons
why the all-Merciful Deity will hold man guiltless who enslaves and
maltreats poor Africans? Now, the Jews have been dispersed all over the
world, and maltreated, if not enslaved, by both Christians and
Mahometans (as now) according to prophecy, but will God hold us
guiltless for persecuting or maltreating you, Jews?"

_The Rabbi_.--"But we are the slaves of God, not of you Christians, and
besides, we are commanded to treat well our slaves in the Scriptures."
Here he quoted many passages from the Pentateuch.

Then followed a desultory conversation, some asserting "that inasmuch as
the slavery of the whites was permitted by God, how much more right had
they to enslave blacks who were the servants of servants!" Others even
added, "If we were Sovereigns of Morocco, we should make slaves of both
Mahometans and Christians." This indeed is the genuine feeling of
Barbary Jews; oppression begets oppression, and wrong begets revenge.
Another observed, "If you ask me what I think as a British subject, and
not as a Jew, I will give you my opinion against slavery."

Such distinctions in morals are not easily admissable, but the Jews
there are acute enough to make them, and are as good Jesuits as those of
Rome. Some cited the cavtivity of Joseph us, as a reason for carrying on
the slave-trade.

On another occasion, I had a conversation with Hassan Yousef, the High
Priest, or Archbishop, as Captain Phillips calls him. The Chief Priest
acknowledged that he who stole a man, whether white or black, was
condemned to death, according to the fair interpretation of the Mosaic
law. He and all Jews were much astonished at the tenor of Lord
Brougham's Act, and got not a little frightened; for all the merchants
of Mogador, Christians and Jews, more or less aid and abet the
slave-trade, all having connections with slave-dealers. At length, our
Jewish Archbishop opined. "Well, well, it is better now, since the
Christians have put down slavery in most of their countries, that we
Jews should follow their example."

It would be useful, and might subserve the cause of civilization, were
the Jews of Europe to take some means of enlightening their brethren of
North Africa on the question of slavery. The Israelites, who have
suffered so much from slavery and oppression, after becoming free
themselves, should endeavour to emancipate those who are still in the
chains of bondage.

The Hhaha levies were about to return to their country; the disposable
force of this province is about 70,000. The troops from Shedma were to
come in after the departure of those of Hhaha. Government were afraid to
bring both together, lest they should fight among themselves. Alluding
to the quarrel of their Sultan with the French, these hostile tribes
mutter to each other, "We must kill our own French first;" that is to
say their own "hereditary enemies."

I went out to see the two levies. These tribes had a singularly wild and
savage aspect, with only a blanket to cover them, which they wrap round
and round their bodies, having neither caps on their heads, nor shoes on
their feet. They were greatly excited against the Christians, owing to
the foolish conduct of the Moorish authorities. The lawless bands spat
at me, and every European passing by them, screaming with threatening
gestures, "God curse you! Infidels." These semi-savages, called out for
the defence of the Empire, were merely armed with a bad gun or
matchlock; some had only knives and clubs. Such levies are certainly
more fit to pillage the Emperor's coast-towns than to defend his
territory against the foreign enemy.

These poor tribes bring their own provisions, a little barley meal, and
olive or argan-oil, or liquid butter; on this being exhausted, they
could stay no longer, for Government supplies them with nothing but bad

They were loud in their complaint on not receiving any nations, and
threatened to join the French Nazarenes when they arrived. His
Excellency the Governor was very anxious to get rid of them, which was
not at all surprising. So avaricious is the Emperor, that when he can,
he makes the rich Moors supply arms for their poorer brethren, instead
of furnishing them from government depots. And this he insists upon as a
point of religion. The Governor called upon rich Moors to supply the
poor with arms.

A friend of mine who understands Shelouh as well as Arabic, overheard a
characteristic quarrel between a Shedma man and a Hhaha man. The Shedma
people, or inhabitants of the plains, mostly speak Arabic, those of the
mountains, Shelouh, which difference of language embitters their
quarrels, and alienates them from one another.

Shedma man.--"Dog! you have put your hands of the devil into my bag of

Hhaha man.--"Dog and Jew, you lie!"

Shedma man.--"Jew and Frenchman! there's some one now in your wife's

Hhaha man.--"Religion of the Frenchman! your mother has been
dishonoured a thousand times."

The maternal honour is the dearest of things amongst these
semi-barbarians. At the mention of this libel on his mother, the Shedma
fellow rushed at the Hhaha man, seizing him by the throat, and
unsheathed a dirk to plunge into his bowels. The scuffle fortunately
excited the instant attention of a group of Arabs close by, who,
securing both, carried them before the Shiekh; who, without hearing the
subject of the quarrel, bastinadoed them both with his own hand. But he
was the Hhaha Sheikh, and the Shedma Sheikh complained to the Governor
of his man having been bastinadoed by the other Sheikh. The Governor
dismissed them, each threatening the other with due vengeance.

It is time to give some account of Mogador. We sometimes spell the name
with an e, Mogadore, the inhabitants call their town _Shweerah_. Square,
[30] in allusion to its beauty, for it is the only town constructed
altogether on geometrical principles throughout Morocco. Its form,
however, is really a triangle. Mogador is a modern city, having been
built in the year 1760 of our era, by the Sultan Sidi Mohammed, under
the direction of a French engineer of the name of Cornut, who was
assisted by Spanish renegades.

The object of Sidi Mahommed was to found a central emporium of the
commerce of the Empire, and a port for the southern capital (Morocco).
This town belongs to the province of Hhaha, whose Berber tribes are its
natural defenders.

The site is a sandy beach with a rocky foundation or a base on the sea,
forming a peninsula, and is supposed to be the ancient Erythraea. The
houses are regularly built, with streets in direct lines, extremely
convenient though somewhat narrow. The residences of the consuls and
European merchants are elegant and spacious. There is a large
market-place, which, on days when the market is not held, furnishes a
splendid parade, or "corso" for exercising cavalry.

The city is divided into two parts; one division contains the citadel,
the public offices, the residence of the governor, and several houses
occupied by European consuls and merchants, which are all the property
of the Sultan; and the other is the space occupied by the houses of the
Moors and Jews.

The Jews have a quarter or _willah_ to themselves, which is locked up
during the night, the key being kept by the police. Nevertheless,
several Jews, especially Imperial traders, are allowed to occupy houses
in the Moorish quarter or citadel portion of Mogador, with the Christian

Both quarters are surrounded by walls, not very thick or high, but which
are a sufficient protection, against the depredations of the
mountaineers, or Arabs of the plain. The port is formed by a curve in
the land and the isle of Mogador, which is about two miles from the

This isle, on the verge of the ocean, contains some little forts and a
mosque, and its marabout shrines sparkle in the sun. It is a place of
exile for political offenders. When the French landed, at the
bombardment of Mogador, they released fifty or sixty state prisoners,
some of whom had been Bashaws, or ministers of this and former reigns.
The isle, however, is finely situate off the Atlantic, fanned and swept
by healthy gales, and the prisoners suffer only seclusion from the
Continent. The exiles never attempt to escape, but quietly submit to
their destiny.

In the port, there are only ten or twelve feet of water at ebb tide, so
that large vessels cannot enter, but must lie at anchor a mile and a
half off the Western battery, which extends along the north-western side
of the port. Such vessels do not lie there except in the summer months,
and then with extreme caution, being, as they are, right off in the
Atlantic, on one of its most dangerous coasts. There are some tolerable
batteries, but they cannot long resist a European bombardment, which was
demonstrated by the French.

Colonel Keating says, "As far as parapets, ramparts, embrasures,
cavaliers, batteries, and casemates constitute a fortress, this town is
one; but the walls are flimsy, the cavaliers do not command, the
batteries do not flash, and the casemates are not bomb-proof. The
embrasures are so close that not one in three upon the ramparts could be
worked, if they were mounted, which they are not. All their guns, which
have been only twelve months here, are already in very bad order, from
exposure to the climate and surf. The casemates are so damp, that their
interior is covered constantly with a thick nitrous incrustation."
Nevertheless, the Moors have such a superstitious veneration for
fortifications built by a parcel of renegades, that they will not permit
Christians to walk on these ramparts. But what is most unfortunate for
the defence of Mogador, the water could be instantly cut off by
destroying its aqueduct.

The population is between thirteen and fifteen thousand souls, including
four thousand Jews, and fifty Christians, who carry on an important
commerce, principally with London and Marseilles. Excepting Tangier, it
is now the only port which carries on uninterrupted commercial relations
with Europe.

Mogador is situate in the midst of shifting sand-hills, that separate it
from the cultivated parts of the country, which are distant from four to
tweleve miles. These sands have an extraordinary appearance on returning
from the interior; they look like huge pyramidal batteries raised round
the suburbs of the city for its defence. The inhabitants are supplied
with water by means of an aqueduct, fed by the little river, or rill of
Wai Elghored, two miles distant south. The climate hereabouts is
extremely salubrious, the rocky sandy site of the city being removed
from all marshes or low lands, which produce pestiferous miasma or
fever-exhaling vegetation. Rarely does it rain, but the whole tract of
the adjoining country, between the Atlas and the sea, is tempered on the
one side by the loftiest ranges of that mountain, and on the other, by
the north-east trade winds, blowing continually. Mogador is in Lat. 31 deg.
32' 40" N., and Long. 9 deg. 35' 30" W.

The environs offer nothing but desolate sands, except some gardens for
growing a few vegetables, and a sprinkling of flowers, which, by dint of
perseverance, have been planted in the sand of the sea-shore. This is a
remarkable instance of human culture turning the most hopelessly sterile
portions of the world to account. These sands of Mogador are only a
portion of a vast and almost interminable link, which girdles the
north-western coast of the African continent, and is only broken in upon
at short intervals, from Morocco to Senegal, like a shifting, heaving,
and ever-varying rampart against the aggressions of the ocean. Both wind
and sea have probably equally contributed to the formation of this vast
belt of shifting sands.

The distance from Tangier to Mogador, by ordinary courier, is twelve
days, but no traveller could be expected to perform the journey in less
than twenty days.

Other courier distances are as follows:

Tangier to Rabat 4 days
Rabat to Fez 2 days
Fez to Mickas 12 hours
Rabat to Morocco 8 days
Mogador to Morocco 21/2 days
Mogador to Santa Cruz 3 days
Mogador to Wadnoun 8 days
Santa Cruz to Teradant 11/2 days

A notice of the interesting, though now abandoned part of Aghadir, may
not be out place here. Aghadir, (called also Agheer and by the
Portuguese, Santa Cruz) means in Berber "walls." It is the Gurt Luessem
of Leo Africanus. The town is small, but strong, and well fortified, and
is situate upon the top of a high and abrupt rock, not far from the
promontory of Gheer, which is the western termination of the Atlas, and
where it dips into or strikes the ocean.

On the south, close by, is the river Sous, and formerly Aghadir was the
capital of this province.

Aghadir has a spacious and most secure port, which is the last port
southwards on the Atlantic. Indeed, this bay is the finest roadstead in
the whole empire. Mr. Jackson says, that during his residence at Aghadir
of three years, not a single ship was lost or injured. The principal
battery of Aghadir, a place equally strong by nature and art, is half
way down the western declivity of the mountain, and was originally
intended to protect a fine spring of water close to the sea. This fort
also commands the approaches to the town, both from the north and the
south, and the shipping in the bay.

Santa Cruz was converted from a fisherman's settlement into a city, and
was fortified by the Portuguese in 1503. Muley Hamed el-Hassan besieged
it in 1536 with an army of fifty thousand men, and owing to the accident
of a powder-magazine blowing up and making a breach, the Sultan forced
an entrance, to the astonishment of the Portuguese, who were all

In the reign of Muley Ismail, Santa Cruz was the centre of an extensive
commerce carried on between Europe and the remotest regions of Africa,
which obtained for it the name of Bab-el-Soudan, (Gate of Soudan.) The
inhabitants became rich and powerful, and, as a consequence which so
frequently happens to both the civilized and the barbarian, insolent and
rebellious. In 1773, Sidi Mohammed was obliged to march out against the
town to crush a rebellion; and this done with great slaughter, he
ordered all the European merchants to quit the place and establish
themselves at Mogador. The father of this prince had sworn vengeance
against the haughty city, but died without accomplishing his sanguinary
threats. The son, however, did the work of blood, so faithful to vows of
evil and violence is man. Since that period, Aghadir has dwindled down
to nothing, six hundred inhabitants, and others say only one hundred and
fifty. The greater part of these are Jews, who have the finest women in
all the country. Mr. Davidson says the population of Aghadir is
forty-seven Mohammedans, and sixty-two Jews. At Fonte, the port, are
about two hundred Moors. Were any European power to conquer Morocco,
Aghadir would certainy be re-established as the centre of the commerce
in the south. To a maritime nation like England, the repair and
re-opening of its fine port would be the 6rst consideration, and
doubtless a lucrative and extensive commerce could be established
between Aghadir and Timbuctoo. The city is seven leagues south of Cape
Gheer, in latitude 30 deg. 35'.

I shall now give some further details illustrative of the state of negro
slavery. The Fniperor has an entire quarter of the city of Morocco
appropriated for his own slaves, the number of whom, in different parts
of the empire, amounts to upwards of sixty thousand. This is his, the
lion's share. His Imperial Highness, who was accepting presents from
various governors, lately received five hundred slaves from the Sheikh
of Taradant. The trading Moors, believing me to be sent by the British
Government to purchase and liberate all their slaves, have calculated
the whole of the slaves in Morocco to be worth twenty-seven millions of

A Moor observed, "I hope to see any calamity befall the country rather
than that of the slaves being liberated," He observed: "God shews his
approbation of slavery by not permitting slaves to rise against their
masters, or the free negroes to invade Morocco, who are infinitely more
numerous. The reason why the English abolished slavery is because the
Queen of England has a good heart, but Mussulmen treat their slaves
well, and do not fear the anger of God." When I mentioned that the Bey
of Tunis and the Imaum of Muscat had entered into treaties for the
suppression of Slavery, the traders observed, "Amongst the Mohammetans
are four sects, but the only orthodox sect is that of Morocco."

There is, however, one class of abolitionists in this country--the
women, or Mooresses. The rumour that a Christian had come to purchase
all the slaves of Mogador soon penetrated the harems. The wife of one of
the most distinguished Moors of Mogador informed a Jewess of her
acquaintance, that she was very happy to hear a Christian was come to
purchase all her husband's slaves, for she was tired of her life with
them. The truth is, respectable Moorish females detest this system of
domestic slavery, and wish to see it abolished, notwithstanding that
they are bred in it, and are themselves little better than slaves. They
see themselves gradually abandoned by the husbands of their youth for
the most ignorant and degraded negress slaves, whom their husbands
purchase one after another as their caprice or passion excites them,
until their houses are filled with these slaves.

The artful negress absorbs all the affection of her master, whilst the
legitimate wife is left as a widow, and is obliged to wait upon these
pampered slaves, whose insolence knows no bounds. The negress slaves
besides, when they bear sons, are treated with great respect; their
children are free by the law, and cannot be disposed of, although the
Moors do sell them when hard pressed for money. Yet even these negresses
are beginning to chatter and clatter about the Anti-Slavery mission,
expressing their satisfaction to our Jewish neighbours. A negress slave
on hearing that a person had come from England to liberate all the
slaves, jumped up and called on God to bless the English nation.

This excitement in the domestic circles of Mogador raises the bile of
the slave-dealers. A fellow of this sort beckoned me to come to him as I
was passing in the street, and thus began: "Christian, if you dare
attempt to go to the south, we shall cut you up into ten thousand little

Traveller.--"You will not lay a finger upon me, nor throw a handful of
sand in my face unless it please God."

Slave-dealer.--(Taken aback at this reply, he drew in his horns), "Well,
how much will you give us apiece for our slaves."

_Traveller_.--"I shall give you nothing; you have no right to sell a
man, a brother, like yourself."

_Slave-dealer_.--"It's our religion."

_Traveller_.--"It's not your religion to sell Mussulman; you sell the
children of your own slaves, born in your houses, and who are
Mussulmen?" The slave-dealer, puzzled and angry, was silent a few
minutes, and then said, "Ah, well, all's right, all's from God."

I received a visit from a Hajee under peculiar circumstances. Passing
through Tunis on his return from Mecca last year, his slave, hearing
that all the slaves were liberated in the country, ran away. In vain his
master attempted to catch him. There were no Christians in the country
of the Mecca impostor, who kept _manhunting hounds_. This is the
peculiar glory of Christian lands. Tunis is not so "go a-head" as Yankee
freedom-land. The consequence was the pilgrim left without his slave. He
then, strange to say, applied to me to procure him back his slave.
Thinking this a good opportunity to agitate the authorities here OR the
question, I recommended him to apply to the Governor, who should write
to the Emperor, and also to the Bey of Tunis, and so forth. I had
visitors daily who asked me when I should be ready to purchase the
slaves and liberate them. Arabs from the remotest districts came to me;
and I was told that there is not a town or district of the empire, but
has heard of the English going to liberate all the slaves of Morocco.

I have studiously avoided giving details of the cruelties and hard
bondage of slavery in and around Morocco. On the contrary, I have stated
it to be the opinion of the Europeans and Consuls in Tangier, that
slaves are well treated in this country. Such an opinion ought to weigh
with all. [31] At the same time, in self-defence, as an abolitionist,
and occupied with a mission for the extinction of slavery in this
country, I must partly uplift the veil, however disgusting it may be to
my readers. A portion of the dark side of the picture must be exhibited.
Of the march of slave-caravans over the Sahara, I shall say
nothing--that is fully reported in my previous publication. When the
slaves arrive in Morocco, they are inarched about in different
directions of the country for sale. During their passage through a
populous district like this, where the females are exposed to the brutal
violence of ten thousand casual visitors, or agents of police and
government, it is the ordinary and revolting practice to adopt means one
cannot describe for the purpose of preserving their honour. Private
punishments are frequent; to my certain knowledge, a female slave was
tied up by the heela, head downwards, and, after being cruelly
flagellated, was left for dead by her, pitiless master. She was at last
cut down at the intercession of her mistress whose humanity got the
better of her hatred and jealousy. While I was at Mogador, a negress had
two of her children torn away from her to be sold at Morocco, to pay the
debts of her master, who was a Moor. The children were sons of the man
who sold them into bondage! The mother was inconsolable, ran about
distracted, and probably will never recover from the blow. These facts
are enough, and with any human man they will out-weigh all other
instances, however numerous, of alleged good treatment on the part of
Moorish slave masters. [32]

I took a ride with Mr. Elton on the sandy beach. There is a fort in
ruins, at about half an hour's distance, illustrating most emphatically
the parable of the man who built his house upon the sands.

This fort, which was to command the southern entrance of the harbour, is
supposed to be of Spanish construction, and built about the same time as
the city.

It was once of considerable size and height, but is now a fallen and
ruined mass, its foundations "upon the sands" having given way. Storms
along this shore are often terribly destructive, we passed a portion of
the hulk of a vessel completely buried in the sand. [33]

Notwithstanding the sober and taciturn character of the Moor, he can
sometimes indulge himself in pleasantry and caricature. The Moors have
made caricatures of the three last emperors, assisted by some Spanish
renegade artist: these Princes are Yezid, Suleiman, and Abd Errahman.
Yezid is represented as throwing away money with one hand, and cutting
off heads with the other, depicting his ferocity in destroying his
enemies, and his generosity in heaping favours on his friends. Suleiman
is represented as reading the Koran, in the character of a devout and
good man. The present Sultan is hit off capitally, with one hand holding
a bag of money behind him, and with the other stretched out before him,
begging for more.

H B could not have better caricatured the three Shereefian Sultans. The
Moors affirmed that Muley Abd Errahman will keep faith with no one where
his avarice is concerned, and, when he can, he will sell a monopoly
twice or thrice, receiving money from each party. Of his meanness and
avarice, I adduce two anecdotes. Four years ago, Muley-Abd Errahman
ordered some blond for his Harem from Mr. Willshire. Just when I was
leaving Mogador, his Imperial Highness graciously returned it to our
merchant with the message--"It's too dear." Not long before, a man was
murdered upon the neutral land of two adjacent provinces, and a thousand
dollars were taken from his baggage. In such cases, the Governor of the
district is mulcted both for the murder and robbery. The Emperor claimed
two thousand dollars from one of the provinces, for the father of the
murdered man. This province escaped upon the plea that the murder had
not been committed within its territory. The other province refused to
satisfy the demand for the same reason. His Imperial Highness then made
both provinces pay 2,000 dollars each, keeping one two thousand for
himself, for the trouble he had of enforcing payment.

The people of Sous not long ago had a quarrel, which the Emperor
fomented. Its Sheikhs fought; his Imperial Highness sent troops to turn
the balance of the fray, and to pacify the country. Then, he made the
belligerents pay each 40,000 dollars, as pacification-money, the value
of which he levied on slaves. In this politic way, the Imperial miser
replenishes his coffers, and "eats up" his loving subjects.

I made the acquaintance of Mr. Treppass, the Austrian consul, and
Chancellor of the French consulate. Mr. Treppass has been upwards of
twenty years in this country, and was himself once an Imperial merchant,
but sold his business, preferring a small stipend and his liberty, to
being a vassal of the Emperor, fed in luxury and lodged in a fine house.
We had a long conversation upon the various topics connected with this

Mr. Treppass says, the present system of the court is resistance to all
innovation, to all strangers. But the pressure of the French on the
Algerine frontier is agitating the internal state of this country.
Money, which in other countries goes a long way, will almost do every
thing with the Government of Morocco. It will also effect much with the
people. Some fifty years ago, a Geneose merchant, resident in Mogador,
had the two provinces of Hhaha and Shedma under his control, and could
have made himself Sultan over them; this he effected solely by the
distribution of money. The Sultan of the time was in open war with a
pretender; his Imperial Highness begged for the assistance of the
all-powerful merchant. The merchant bought the affections and allegiance
of the people, and firmly established the Sultan on his throne.

The influence of the merchant was now prodigious, and the Sultan himself
became alarmed. Not being able to rest, and being in hourly dread of the
Genoese, the Sultan ordered his officers to seize the merchant secretly,
and put him on board a vessel then weighing anchor for Europe. When the
merchant was placed on board, this message was delivered to him--"Our
Sultan is extremely obliged to you, sir, for the great services you
rendered him, by establishing him on his throne! but our Sultan says,
'If you could place him on the throne, you could also pull him off
again.' Therefore you must leave our country. Our Sultan graciously
gives you a portion of your wealth to carry away with you!" The officers
then shipped several chests of money, jewels, and other valuables to be
placed to the account of the merchant, and the Sultan-making Genoese
quitted Morocco for ever.

The Moors reported to me that the French were building some factories,
with a fort, upon some unclaimed land along the coast, equidistant
between Aghadir and Wadnoun. It is probably near Fort Hillsboro of the
maps, and which Mr. Davidson calls Isgueder. A Moor was accused by the
authorities of Mogador of being mixed up with the transaction, and
immediately sent to the south, where he has not been heard of since.
Another report is that the French are only building a factory. The spot
of land has near it a small port and a good spring of water; quantities
of bricks and lime have been deposited there; French vessels of war from
the Senegal have been coasting and surveying up and down, touching at
the place.

The new port is called Yedoueesai. I inquired particularly respecting
this project; but Mr. Treppass stated positively, that the French had
wholly abandoned the idea of establishing commercial relations with the
Sheikh of Wadnoun, or any tribes thereabouts, whatever might have been
their original intentions. Vessels of war have frequently visited the
coast of Wadnoun, finding it the worst in all Africa. They, however, now
maintain friendly relations with the Sheikh, in the event of shipwrecks
or other disasters, happening to French vessels.

Nevertheless, it was at the particular request of the French Consul of
Mogador, that his Government broke off all communications with the
Sheikh, the Emperor having repeatedly complained to the Consul against
this intercourse assuming a commercial or diplomatic character. [34] The
whole coast, from the port of Mogador to the river Senegal, has been,
within the last few years, surveyed by the French vessels of war,
particularly by Captain E. Bouet; and there is sufficient evidence in
the reports of the people, and the remonstrances of the Maroquine
Government, to prove that the French did attempt a settlement on the
part of the coast above stated, but that it failed.

The French took the idea of the undertaking from Davidson, who proposed
to Lord Palmerston to enter into communication with the Sheikh of
Wadnoun, and establish a factory on the coast, somewhere about the river
Noun, just below Cape Noun. A British vessel of war was sent down with
presents for the Sheikh, and to ascertain the whereabout of the fine
harbour reported to exist there by the Sheikh and his people. This
attempt of our government was as fruitless as that of the French
afterwards. Indeed, at the very time an English brig of war was
searching about for this port, and seeking an interview with the Sheikh
of Wadnoun on the coast, Davidson was murdered on the southern frontier
just as he was penetrating the Sahara.

It is not improbable, however, that the knowledge of this recommendation
of Davidson, which, from the Sheikh's people themselves, would naturally
reach the court of Morocco, might have excited that jealous court to
compass in some way his death, or at any rate thwart his expedition to
Timbuctoo, for the Emperor is exceedingly jealous of any European
holding communication with the south. The Sheikh Barook is, in spite of
all this, very anxious to begin an intercourse with Europeans; and not
long ago, a messenger arrived with a bag of money for the Jew, Cohen,
telling him to take some out of it, and to go to the Sheikh who wished
to see him. But Cohen would not expose himself to the displeasure of the
Emperor, although he has English protection.

Wadnoun is a quasi-independent Sheikhdom of the empire. The Sheikh of
Wadnoun pays no tithes nor other imposts, and only sends an annual
present as a mark of vassal-homage to the Emperor. Sous, which adjoins
this province, is more immediately under the power of the Sultan of the
Shereefs, but the tithes are not so easily collected in the south as in
the north. Much depends on the ability of the governor, who rules the
whole of the district in the name of the Emperor. The imperial authority
is maintained principally by prompting disunion amongst the Sheikhs;
Sous being divided into numerous districts, each district having an
independent Sheikh.

By confusion and divisions among themselves, the Emperor rules all as
paramount-lord. When will people learn to be united, so that by union
they may win their freedom and independence? Alas! never. Wadnoun is
treated, however, very tenderly; for if the Emperor were to attempt the
subjugation of this country, the malcontents of Sous would join the
Sheikh, and his authority would probably be overthrown in all the south.

Sous is the richest of these provinces, and equal to any other of the
northern districts. Its trade in dates, ostrich feathers, wax, wool, and
hides, particularly in gums, almonds, and slaves, is very great. All the
Saharan caravans must pass through this country, except those proceeding
_via_ Tafilett to Fez. Teroudant, its capital, is a very ancient city,
and was built by the ancient Berbers. It has a circumference of walls
capable of containing eighty thousand people, but the actual population
does not exceed twenty thousand. Its inhabitants are very industrious,
and the Moors excel in the art of dyeing.

Noun, or Wadnoun, as this country and its capital are sometimes called,
Mr, Davidson briefly describes as a large district, having many clusters
of inhabitants. The town where the Sheikh resides, is of good size, and
has a millah, or Jew's quarter, besides a good market. It stands on the
river (such as it is) distant twenty two miles from the sea.

The river Noun rises in the mountains above Souk Aisa or Assa, and is
there called Wad-el-Aisa; and, passing through the district of Wadnoun,
it takes the name of Assaka. The ancient name of this river was Daradus.
The territory around is not very fertile on account of the neighbourhood
of the Desert, but produces gum, wax, and ostrich feathers in abundance.
The inhabitants are mostly Arabs with a sprinkling of Shelouh, estimated
by Graeberg [35] at 2,000. The population is somewhat thickly scattered;
there are at least twenty villages between the district of Stuka and

The annexed is a sketch of Wadnoun after the design left by Mr.


Wadnoun is an important rendezvous of caravans. Many Timbuctoo caravans
break up here, and some Saharan. Several Saharan merchants come no
further north, disposing of their slaves and goods to Maroquine
merchants, who meet them in this place.

It is safe travelling through these countries, provided no extraordinary
plot be laid for taking away a traveller's life, as in the case of
European explorers attempting to penetrate the interior. Mr. Treppass
thinks that, notwithstanding the ill-will of the Moorish Government,
Davidson could have succeeded in his attempted journey to Timbuctoo had
he been more circumspect. He gave out to all persons whom he met that he
was going to Timbuctoo. This insured his being stopped and murdered _en
route_ by some party or other, more especially as he at last abandonod
the idea of protecting himself by a caravan-party, and started alone.
But I am not altogether of this opinion. Too much publicity is certainly
injurious to a journey of discovery, and far and near awakens attention
and suspicion; but a too sudden and unexpected appearance in the towns
of the Desert, equally excites distrust and suspicion, if not hostile

Mr. Robertson, whilst at Morocco, heard one of the numerous versions of
the death of Mr. Davidson. He is said to have been killed by the mere
freak of a young Arab, who wished to have the pleasure of killing a
Christian, and who called out to his companions, "Come, let us go and
have a shot at the Christian." The party of Arabs to whom this
mischievous young man belonged, was afterwards extremely grieved at what
had been done. One of the Arabs, in plundering the baggage, lost his
hand by breaking a bottle containing aqua fortis. The glass cut a large
gash, and the aqua fortis entering immediately, consumed the hand. The
people cried out, "The devils of the Christian are in the water!" From
all I have heard, the great fault of Davidson appears to have been his
wishing to travel as like "a fine gentleman." This prejudiced all his
travelling-companions against him, and could not fail to render him
unpopular wherever he went.

It is of no use for a man to cry out in the Desert, "I am an
Englishman!" he must exclaim, "I am an Arab, and will do and suffer like
an Arab." If any one were to ask me, "What would carry a roan to
Timbuctoo through the Desert? is it courage, or money, or prudence?" I
would reply, "The first thing is suffering, the second is suffering, and
the last is suffering." [36] I consulted an old man on this journey to
Timbuctoo. He could not undertake a voyage being too old. He mentioned
names of places _en route_, and said they travelled by the stars, which
star-travelling is all stuff. He recommended going by sea as much
nearer. Very little satisfactory information can be obtained from
Maroquine Moors, who would rather mislead than direct you.

I endeavoured to open a correspondence with the South on the
Anti-Slavery question. At first, I thought of going to Wadnoun on
receiving an invitation from the Sheikh, but when I proposed this to Mr.
Wiltshire, he insisted on my relinquishing such a project, inasmuch as
having placed myself at the direction of the Consul-General, as
recommended by the Earl of Aberdeen, I was not at liberty to differ from
the advice, which Mr. Hay and himself might tender me. I saw there was
some reason in this, and submitted though with great reluctance.
However, I wrote two letters to Sheikh Barook of Wadnoun, stating the
views and objects of the Anti-Slavery Society.

I had some difficulty in finding a courier, who would undertake the
delicate mission of conveying the letters. But Mr. Treppass and the
French Consul, M. Jorelle, felt themselves more at liberty in the matter
than our Consul, and determined to assist me, M. Jorelle very justly
observing, "We will sow the seeds of liberty, if we can do nothing
more." Indeed, I am greatly obliged to that gentleman for the interest
he took in my mission, and the assistance he rendered me on this and
other occasions. After my return to England, I received two letters from
the Sheikh in answer to those I had written to him. The Sheikh, afraid
lest his letter might fall into the hands of Government, after many
compliments, begs me to get the Emperor first to move in the question,
adding, "what he makes free, we will make free;" for he says in another
place, "We act as he acts, according to the _treek_ (ordinance) of God
and his Prophet."

Sheikh Barook also protests that he has but little power in these
matters, living as he does in the Desert. As I did not seek for any
thing beyond an answer to my letters, and was only anxious that he
should know the sentiments of the Anti-Slavery Society, I was not all
disappointed. I knew too much of the pro-slavery feeling once existing
in a strong party in England, and the mighty struggles which we had
passed through to obtain British Abolition, to expect anything more than
a respectful answer to antislavery letters from a Prince of the Desert,
whose revenues were raised chiefly from the duties levied upon
slave-caravans passing through his territory. I only attempted to
scatter the seeds of liberty over the slave-tracks of the Desert,
leaving the budding forth and the growth to the irrigating influences of
that merciful and wise God, who has made all men of one flesh and blood.

I visited the families of Jewish merchants during the Passover, in
company with Mr. and Mrs. Elton. Christians here visit the Jews twice a
year, at the feast of the Passover and Tabernacles. In return, Jews
visit Christians on New Year's day. This laudable practice promotes
social harmony between the Jews and Christians.

In the house of one of our Jewish friends (Mr. Levi's) I assisted at the
celebration of the evening of the Passover. There is nothing very
particular in this ceremony, except a great deal of reading. The
drinking of the four cups [37] of wine, and the eating of the bitter
herbs, emblems of the joys and the sorrows attending the deliverance
from Egyptian bondage, are the more difficult parts of the ceremony. The
children naturally feel most the disagreeableness of eating the bitter
herbs, and several times, as soon as they put them into their mouths,
they spat them out again under the table. The drinking of an excessive
quantity of wine, is also attended with not a little inconvenience, and
one would think Bacchus was the deity worshipped, and not the God of the
Jews and Christians. When will mankind learn that violation of the
physical economy of their nature can never be acceptable to the Great

I do not say that European Israelites indulge so much in these excesses
as Barbary Jews, but I imagine that the germ of the debauch is found in
the Talmudical religion of both classes. But, since I should be very
sorry were a Jew to hold up to me the mummeries of Popery or of the
Greek Church, as the mirror of my own religion, I am not disposed to
animadvert upon the generally decorous worship of European Israelites.

It requires three full days to get through this business of visiting. In
truth, it is a very serious affair, for we were obliged to eat cake, and
sip sherbet, or white brandy, at every house we went to, otherwise we
should confer an affront upon our friends. At all times, a great
quantity of white brandy, which the Jews distil themselves, is drunk,
but especially on these occasions.

The Governor of Mogador gave orders, not long ago, that no Mussulman
should enter the Jewish quarter, to prevent the faithful from being
seduced into drinking this insidious spirit. I shall just mention what a
Christian is obliged to conform to, whilst visiting the Barbary Jews on
these high days and holidays.

1st. You must eat a piece of cake, at least of _one_ sort, if not of
several kinds, and drink a little brandy, wine somets, or boiled juice
of the grape, or sherbet. In many of the houses, they give nothing but
brandy, which is tastefully placed out on small round tables, as at a
pastrycook's shop.

2nd. You must admire the new dresses of the ladies, who are radiantly
and sumptuously attired "in flaming purple and refulgent gold," their
ornaments likewise of gold, silver, and all manner of precious stones;
for the daughters of Israel are, as on bridal days, all begemmed,
bejewelled, and diamonded, stuck over with gems as thick as stars "seen
in the galaxy or milky-way." On these festivals, it is absolutely a
matter of orthodox observance that the Jews and Jewesses should wear
something new. Some have entirely new dresses.

3rd. Any thing new or remarkable in the house, or household furniture,
must be noticed or admired.

4th. You must carry with you in your memorandum-book, or at the tip of
your tongue, a good assortment of first-rate compliments of the season.

If these are spiced with a little scandal of your neighbours, or the
party you have just left, so much the better; they are more relished.

Now you are obliged to visit twenty or thirty families per diem; and you
are literally passing through doors, square-courts, and corridors,
crossing patios and quadrangles, walking up and down stairs, getting up
and sitting down from morning to night, during these three mortal days.
It will be seen then, that these Passover and Tabernacle visits are
tremendous affairs, and require Herculean strength to get through their
polite duties. They may be days of jovial festivity to Jews, but
certainly they are days of labour and annoyance to Gentiles.

But I must now give an account of one or two remarkable personages whom
we visited. The first was Madame Bousac, a Jewess of this country. Her
father was a grandee at Court in the days of former emperors, and the
greatest merchant of his time, and she represented as an aristocrat
among her people, a modern Esther, standing and pleading between the
Sultan and her nation. This lady is the only native woman in the
country, Mooress or Jewess, who has tact or courage enough to go and
speak to the Emperor, and state her request with an unfaltering voice
beneath the awful shadow of the Shereefian presence! Madame Bousac
accompanied the merchants to Morocco, to pay her respects to the
Emperor. Among other modest or confidential demands which the lady made
on the Imperial benevolence, was that of an advance to her husband of
ten thousand dollars. His Imperial Highness was immediately obliged to
give a formal assent before his court.

She then visited the Harem, and felt herself quite at home. All the
ladies, wives or concubines of the Emperor, waited upon her; and served
her with tea and bread, and butter.

The presentation of bread and butter and cups of tea, is said to be the
highest honour conferred on visitors, but why or wherefore I have not

Madame Bousac gave us some account of the Morocco harem, which we may
suppose is like that of Fez and Miknas. The number of these ladies was
some two hundred. They are all attired alike, except the four wives, who
dress a little more in the style of Sultanas. I am sorry to be obliged
to disabuse the reader of the romance and oriental colouring attached to
our ideas of the harem, by giving Madame Bousac's simile of those
angelic houries. This lady said, "they are like a string of
charity-school girls going to church on a Sunday morning."

Their penurious lord keeps down their pin-money to the lowest point, and
is not more liberal to his ladies than to his other subjects. Former
sultans were accustomed to allow their ladies half a dollar a day, but
these have but twopence, or at least fourpence. Muley Abd Errahman even
traffics in his beauties, and will now and then make a present of one to
a governor, in consideration of receiving an adequate return of money,
or presents. Sometimes, the Moors pay their Shereefian Sultan a similar
compliment, by presenting him with slaves from their harem. [38]

Madame Bousac is, of course, a perfect lady according to Moorish ideas,
but her fascinations on the mind of the Emperor, arise more from her wit
and ability than her feminine grace and delicacy. She is anything but a
beauty, according to our ideas, being of a dark complexion, of middle
height, of large and powerful muscular proportions, very upright, as if
bending backwards, and with a hoarse and masculine voice. Like most
women in this part of the world, she is married to a man old enough to
be her father, or even grandfather, being even more than double her age.

She herself may be about thirty, at which age the beauty of Barbary
women is gone for ever. Such is the court-dame who has courage enough to
speak to the Emperor of Morocco in public. She conversed with us about
her affairs, telling us the Emperor had not yet advanced to her husband
the loan of 10,000 dollars as promised, nor did she expect it, for she
knew his avarice. "Rather would he sell one of his Sultanas." But he had
sent her a present of four haiks, which she shewed us; they were
extremely fine and white. "These," she observed, "are the ten thousand
dollars paid in private, but which the Sultan could not refuse me in

Another character whom we visited, was the distinguished Rabbi,
Coriante. The priest entertained us with dissertations upon various
subjects. First of slavery. "It is unlawful to steal blacks, the Mosaic
law denouncing such theft with the punishment of death. Nevertheless, if
the Jews of this country had the power, they would enslave the
Mussulman, and well castigate them."

This latter remark, Coriante uttered with an emphasis, denoting the
revenge which his countrymen would inflict upon their Mahometan
oppressors, who had kept them in chains for a series of ages. He
remarked, however, that the Sultan might give way on the question of
negro slavery, after the first shock to his prejudices.

The Rabbi treated us with wine, but one of us, moved by curiosity,
having touched the bottle, he remarked to his daughter in an under-tone;
"It's all gone," (the rest of the wine is spoiled). Among these
extremely superstitious Barbary rabbies, it is a pollution to their wine
if a Christian touch even the bottle containing the juice of the grape,
and they will not drink it afterwards.

We asked the reason of his not being able to drink, and found it was,
first, because women work in the vineyards, and the second, because the
Pope pronounces his blessing upon the vintage. After these Jews have
eaten meat, they are obliged to wait some time before they can eat
butter, or drink milk; in fact, their superstitions are numberless. The
Rabbi read to us portions of the proverbs of Solomon, and told us
Solomon was well acquainted with steam engines and railways, "Only they
were of no use in the Holy Land when God was always with his people." He
then gave us his blessing, and me this solemn warning. "Take care the
Emperor does not cut off your head, as he has cut off the head of our
young Darmon." [39]


[1] According to Xavier Darrieu.

[2] It has always been the policy of Mahometan States to send their
troublesome subjects, such as were not considered rebel enough to
decapitate or to imprison, on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Instead of
expiating the sins of a buoyant patriotism at the galleys or the
Bermudas, they are sent to slake their patriotic ardour at the holy
wells of El-Kaaba.

[3] The late Emperor of Morocco.

[4] "Our Lord Jesus," the name by which the Moors, always mention Our

[5] Moors entertain the lowest opinion possible of Spaniards. In an
intercepted correspondence of the Emperor of Morocco, found at the
Battle of Isly, Spaniards are called, "The most degraded of the human

[6] The climate of North Africa is remarkable for rusting everything
which can contract rust. This may be the reason of the Moors
representing Spain and other European countries as free from rust,
because there it is not so soon contracted.

[7] Lord Palmerston proceeded in the same determined way with the Schah
of Persia (See Parliamentary Papers on the Slave Trade, class D,
presented 1848). But Colonel Shiel was fortunate in obtaining several
opinions of Mahomet that--"The worst of men is the seller of men"--was a
powerful auxiliary. The perseverance of the Minister and his agents in
Persia has been crowned with complete success; the Schah has issued a
firman prohibiting the Slave Trade in his territories. This firman will
complete our command over the Persian Gulf and the Arabian seas, and
enable our cruisers to intercept the slavers from the eastern shore of

[8] No people understand better than the Moors the noble feeling of
gratitude, contained in the words "Non nobis, Domine," &c.

[9] Although _Sultana_, i.e., "Sultanness or Princess," is a frequent
name for a woman in this country, I hare never heard of a man being
called Sultan; and, indeed, I imagine the jealousy of the reigning
sovereign would never permit the use of such a name. But even in this
country, where women are treated as so many household chattels, Moorish
gallantry is sufficient to overlook these trivial or serious

[10] "Souvenir d'un Voyage du Maroc," par M. Rey, Paris.

[11] The value of this ducat is about half-a-crown English money.

[12] Count Qrabert gives the following account of Maroquine Blacks: "The
Blacks who form a very numerous part of the population are most of them
slaves, and as it is customary in barbarous countries, become an object
of trade, though not to be compared with that carried on in other parts
of Barbary. The Black is generally of a soft and kind disposition, bears
fatigue with patience, and shows a serene and lively temper, totally
different in that respect from the Moor, who is taciturn and sullen.
Some of them have become men of prosperity and note, after having
recovered their liberty. They are renowned for their fidelity, and form
the most numerous part of the body-guards of the Sultan; that body-guard
makes about the half of the army, which on an average compose a total of
ten thousand men. The greater part of those Blacks comes from
Senegambia, Guinea, and the dominions of the Fellah or Fellani."
(_Specchio geografico e Statistico dell' Impero di Marocco. Geneva._)

[13] Some time since, when the French Government were anxious to get
supplies of grain from the Levant, for the north of France, they sent
steamers to the Straits, to be ready to tow the vessels through, an
example worthy of imitation, in other times besides seasons of famine.

[14] This conduct of Roman Catholic sailors has often been noticed.
Mahometans do the same, and resign themselves to fate, _i.e._, make no
effort to save themselves; the only difference is, they are less noisy,
and more sullen in their spiritless resignation.

[15] The entrance to the port of Mogador, however, is difficult to all
seamen. We were besides in the depth of winter. The Prince de Joinville
describes his mishaps during the height of summer, or in August, when
placing his vessels in position before the town. He says in his report
of the bombardment: "New difficulties, and of more than one kind awaited
us. For four days, the violence of the wind and the roughness of the sea
prevented us from communicating with one another. Anchored upon a rocky
bottom, our anchors and cables broke, and the loss of them deprived us
of resources which were indispensable in order to obtain our object.
Some vessels had only one chain and one anchor. We could not think of
maintaining ourselves before Mogador under sail. The violence of the
currents and of the gale, would probably have carried us too far, and we
should have lost the opportunity of acting. Besides, in causing the
steamers to get to proceed with us, they would have consumed their fuel,
and in leaving them by themselves they would be exposed to run short of
provisions and water. It was therefore necessary to remain at anchor. At
last, the wind abated, and there remained of the hurricane of the
preceding days, a considerable swell from N.N.W. Then the vessels were
tormented by the swell, and became ungovernable."

[16] The Ancient Numidians rode without saddle or bridle They were
celebrated as the "reinless" Numidians--

"Numidae infraeni."--(AEnaid, iv., 41.)

We are aware that another meaning to _infraeni_ has been given, that of
"indomitable;" but the peculiarity of these horsemen riding without
reins is the usual rendering. But ordinarily, the modern Moorish cavalry
is very comfortably mounted. Their saddles, with high backs, are as
commodious as a chair. The large, broad, shovel-stirrups enable the
rider to stand upright as on terra firma, whilst the sharp iron edges of
the stirrups goring the ribs of the poor animal, serve as spurs. These
lacerating stirrups are tied up short to the saddle, and the knees of
the rider are bent forwards in a very ungainly manner. Nevertheless, the
barb delights in the "powder play" as much as his master, and--

"Each generous steed to meet the play aspires,
And seconds, with his own, his master's fires;
He neighs, he foams, he paws the ground beneath,
And smoke and flame his swelling nostrils breathe."

[17] The fire of the Barbary horse is generally known, but few reflect
upon the power of endurance which this animal possesses. I have known
them to go without water for two or three days when crossing the Desert,
during which time they will only receive a small measure of corn or a
few dates. On the coast, they are driven hard a long day, sweating, and
covered with foam, their sides bleeding from the huge sharp-edged
stirrups. Without the slightest covering, they are left out the whole
night, and their only evening meal is a little chopped barley-straw.

Our European horses would perish under such circumstances, and the
French have lost the greater part of the horses they imported from
France for the cavalry. But this hard fare keeps down the fiery spirit
of these stallion barbs, otherwise they would be unmanageable. When
turned out to grass, they soon become wild. Crossing a field one day,
mounted, I was set upon by a troop of these wild, grazing horses, and
was instantly knocked to the ground, where I lay stunned. A cavalry
officer, who was riding with me, had only just time to escape, and saved
himself by dismounting, and letting his horse go.

It was some hours before we could rescue the horses of our party from
their wild mates, sporting and bounding furiously over the plains. The
barb horses being all stallions (for the Moors consider it a crime to
geld so noble an animal), the fiercest and most terrific battles ensue
on a stud breaking loose from their pickets. These battles are always
between strangers, for the barb is the most affectionate of horses, and
if he is known to another, and become his mate, he will, as the Arabs
say, "die to be with him."

[18] These trained bands of negroes call themselves _Abeed-Sidi-Bokhari_,
from the patron saint whom they adopted on settling in Morocco, the
celebrated Sidi-Bokhari, commentator on the Koran, and a native of
Bokhara, as his name implies. His commentary is almost as much venerated
as the Koran itself.

[19] The _lex talion_ is frequently enforced in North Africa.

[20] Maroquine Moors drench you with tea! they guzzle sweet tea all day
long, as the Affghans gulp down their tea, with butter in it, from
morning to night.

[21] Native Jews manage most of the business of the interior, and farm
the greater part of the monopolies. But the Emperor must have some
European merchants connected with these Jews to maintain the commercial
relations of his country with Europe. The Jewish High Priest of Mogador
is a merchant, it being considered no interference with his sacred

[22] See Appendix at end of Vol. II.

[23] Muley Abd Errahman is averse to treating his governors with extreme
rigour. Mr. Hay gives an appalling account of private individuals
arrested on suspicion of possessing great wealth--"The most horrible
tortures are freely resorted to for forcing confessions of hidden
wealth. The victim is put in a slow oven, or kept standing for weeks in
a wooden dress; splinters are forced between the flesh and the nail of
the fingers; two fierce cats are put alive into his wide trousers, and
the breasts of his women are twisted with pincers. Young children have
sometimes been squeezed to death under the arms of a powerful man,
before the eyes of their parents."

A wealthy merchant at Tangier, whose _auri sacra fames_ had led him to
resist for a long time the cruel tortures that had been, employed
against him, yielded at length to the following trial. "He was placed in
a corner of the room, wherein a hungry lion was chained in such a manner
as to be able to reach him with his claws, unless he held himself in a
most unnatural position." This reads very much like a description of the
torments of the Inquisition. The Moors may have imported this system of
torture from Spain. Similar barbarities were said to have been inflicted
by King Otho on prisoners in Greece, even on British Ionian subjects! I
recollect particularly the sewing up of fierce cats in the petticoats of
women. My experience in Morocco does not permit me to authenticate Mr.
Hay's horrible picture.

[24] "To his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Morocco, Sidi Muley Abd

"May it please your Majesty,

"A Society in England, having for its object the Abolition of Slavery
and the Slave Trade throughout the world, and denominated the British
and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, being informed of the pacific
intentions and friendly disposition of your Majesty towards our
Sovereign Queen and Government, and being informed likewise, that your
Majesty, in diplomatic relations with other Foreign Princes and States,
has universally manifested the greatest desire to preserve peace amongst
nations, and, of necessary consequence, the happiness of the human race,
are encouraged to approach your Majesty, and to plead on behalf of a
numerous and important class of your subjects, the negro and other black

"These are a people always faithful to their friends and protectors (a
most conspicuous and immediate proof of which is seen in your Majesty's
Imperial Guard, formed principally of this class of your faithful
subjects,) and exhibiting under suffering and oppression the greatest
patience and fortitude, yet, during the long course of bygone centuries,
they have been subjected to horrid cruelties and barbarities, in order
to pander to the vices and to satiate the avarice of their oppressors.

"Now we, the Society in England aforesaid, address your Majesty for the
succour and protection of this cruelly oppressed portion of the human
race, and in order that you may be graciously pleased to remove the
chain of bondage from off these unfortunate victims of the violence and
cupidity of wicked men, who, in defiance of all justice and mercy, claim
them as their property, and buy and sell them as cattle.

"We further entreat that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to
place the slaves in your Imperial dominions upon a footing of equality
with the rest of your faithful subjects, and to make them free men,
having the rightful possession of their own persons, and being at
liberty to travel whithersoever they will.

"For your Majesty rightly understands and knows as well as we do, that
God the Almighty Maker of us and you, has made all men equal, and has
not permitted man to have property in his fellow man, which reduces them
to the level of brutes; therefore, to make slaves of our fellows, our
brothers and sisters, is to sin against the will and mind of God, and to
provoke his wrath and indignation against us, and against our children
after us.

"Consequently, we, the Society in England, aforesaid, in common with
some of your own Mussulman sovereigns and people, hold Slavery, and the
Slave Trade in extreme abhorrence, because it kills and destroys our
brothers whom we ought to love and cherish, because it makes them like
brutes, whom we ought to esteem as reasonable beings, because it hardens
our own hearts and makes us cruel towards our fellows, whom we ought to
treat with kindness and compassion, and because it deforms God's
creatures, in whom we ought to revere his spiritual likeness, man being
made after the likeness of God, in possessing a spiritual reasoning
soul; these evils, however, are the direct and inevitable consequences
of the accursed Slave Trade, and for such reasons we, the people of
England in general, abhor it, and seek, in every legitimate and
righteous way, to persuade men of every nation in the world to abandon
this inhuman and wicked traffic.

"Finally, we implore your Majesty to be pleased to follow out that great
act of confidence which you have exercised towards the negro race, in
appointing them the life-guards of your Imperial person, by graciously
liberating them from the cruel yoke of slavery. From our hearts we
believe that your Majesty will find such a spontaneous act of compassion
towards the desolate African Slaves to be the wisest worldly policy, and
most agreeable to the will of the Eternal Creator of us all. Your loyal
subjects will love the goodness of your heart the more, and serve you
the better, while all Africa, of which the immense dominions of your
Majesty form so large a part, will catch new life and vigour, under the
blessing of the Almighty, and grow happy and prosperous in the ages to

"Signed and sealed on behalf of the Society in England for abolishing
Slavery and the Slave Trade throughout the world.

"(Signed) THOMAS CLARKSON. (L.S.)"

[25] This is not exact. The vizier is often the author of certain lines
of policy.

[26] All the Moorish Sultans are spoken of by the people as _Seedna_,
"Our Lord," and departed Saints are addressed by the same title.

[27] It is curious to see the Spartan principle of theft developing
itself under such different circumstances.

[28] [Transcriber's Note: In our print copy, the text of this footnote
is missing.]

[29] This is the old story of the abettors of the slave-trade in all
parts of the world; I very much doubt if there be any truth in it. None
of the slave-dealers of the Desert whom I conversed with, had ever seen
or heard of prisoners of war being put to death.

[30] The European name of Mogador, is supposed to be derived from
Mugdul, or Modogul, a Moorish Saiut.

[31] The Governor of Mogador told me to go to look at his slaves, and
see that they were well fed and well clothed. But every rich man's
horses and dogs are well-fed and well-housed.

[32] Mr. Davidson did not visit Morocco as an abolitionist. Head what
impression this Maroquine slavery made upon his mind. "My heart sickens
at the sight of this horrid picture. In another lot of these unfortunate
beings were six women, one of whom had given birth to a child on the
road, which was thrown into the bargain. There was an old wretch who had
come from Saweirah to purchase female slaves; his examination was
carried on in the most disgusting manner, I could not refrain from
calling down the curse of Heaven on these inhuman wretches. In many, but
little feeling is shewn for the poor blacks; and they seemed to think
less of their own fate than I did, who was merely a looker-on. One poor
creature, however, who was a finer woman, and less black than the rest,
shed tears. I could have given her my dagger to have plunged it in the
breast of the villain who was examining her. And yet these people pray
four times a day, and think themselves superior to all God's creatures!
More than ever do I wish to get away from, this den of hell-hounds. Each
of the grown persons was in the prime of life, and had once a home, and
was more to be pitied than the children, who had never known the liberty
of thought and act. To each of the ten slaves was given a lunch of bread;
while both the inhuman buyers and sellers, after chuckling over their
bargains, went to offer up their prayers to Heaven, before they took
their daily meal. Can such unhallowed doings be permitted to endure
longer! Oh, Spirit of Civilization, hither turn your eyes, and punish
the purchasers who ought to know better, for thus only will the sale be

[33] I asked a Moor, "Who built this castle on the sands?" He replied
pertly, "Iskander!" Whenever the Moors see anything marvellous or
ancient, they ascribe it to Alexander the Great, to Pharaoh, to Solomon,
or even to Nimrod, as caprice leads them, believing that these three or
four personages created all the wondrous and monstrous things in the
world. But we have an instance here, how soon through ignorance, or the
want of records, a modern thing may become ancient in the minds of the
vulgar. This fort was built after Mogador, which town is not yet a
century old.

[34] Certainly, to establish relations with the Southern provinces of
Morocco, that is, Sous and Wadnoun, would greatly injure the trade of
Mogador, and, therefore, the Consuls, as well as the Moorish
Authorities, set their faces against any direct intercourse being opened
with the South.

[35] Graeberg says Noun means the "river of eels," Davidson derives the
name from a Portuguese queen called Nounah; but his editor says the name
is properly Nul, was so written when the Arabs possessed Portugal, and
that Queen Nunah is a modern invention.

[36] Whatever may have been Mr. Davidson's faults, I scarcely doubt that
the first impressions of Mr. Consul-General Hay were correct. He says,
"I _fear, however, that I am not to expect much assistance from him_,"
(Mr. Hay); and hints, in other parts of his Journal, that Mr. Hay was
rather disposed to throw difficulties in his way, than to render him
efficient aid. Mr. Hay's son (which is very natural) attempts to
exculpate his father in an appendix to his "Western Barbary," and some
will, perhaps, think he has done so successfully. My experience of the
diplomatic skill of the late Consul, does not permit me to coincide with
this favourable opinion. The greater probability is, that if Mr.
Davidson had been left to his own "inspirations," and allowed complete
liberty of action, he would have succeeded in reaching Timbuctoo; but
his health doss not appear to have been sufficiently robust, or himself
acclimated, to have brought him back from his perilous adventure.

[37] These cups hold at least a pint each, and every adult male is
expected to empty four, if not six. Of course, they get beastly
intoxicated, and suffer a day or two of illness afterwards, a very just

[38] But I do not think it reaches the point of complaisance, noticed by
Monsieur Chenier, when he was French Consul in 1767. He says, "The
veneration of the Moors is so great for this Prince, that they deem
themselves happy whenever one; of their daughters is admitted to share
his couch." On the other hand, many of the beauties presented by the
Sultan to his ministers, although brought out of his harems, are
virgins. The poor ladies in the royal harems are only so much stock,
from which their Lord and tyrant picks and chooses.

[39] Friend Phillips is always wrestling with these prejudices of
Barbary Jews. When his wife was delivered of a daughter, he was
determined to have as much "fuss" made of the child as if it had been a
son, to spite the prejudices of his brethren. So, when he went out for a
walk with his wife, he would walk always arm-in-arm with her, although
she was a Jewess of this country, which caused great annoyance to his
woman-oppressing brethren.

[Transcriber's Notes: In this electronic edition, footnotes have been
numbered and relocated to the end of the work. In footnote 35, the
spellings Nouna and Nunah both occur. In chapter 6, the word "convey"
was corrected to "conveying."]

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