Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816
J. B. Henry Savigny and Alexander Correard

Part 3 out of 4

of Mr. Kummer, the naturalist (a Saxon naturalized in France); of a
Mulatto, who acted as interpreter; of thirty white soldiers, almost all
workmen; of a hundred black soldiers, and of about ten camels, a hundred
and fifty horses, as many asses, and a hundred oxen to carry burdens; so
that there were above a hundred and thirty men, and four hundred animals.
All the equipages were embarked on board six small vessels, which ascended
the Rio Grande to the distance of about fifty leagues up the country. The
respectable commander of this expedition could not resist the influence of
the climate; he was attacked by a cruel disease, which terminated his
existence a few days after his departure from the island of St. Louis. Such
men ought to be imperishable[50].

The English physicians finding that the health of Mr. Correard far from
improving, seemed on the contrary, to decline more and more, persuaded him
to return to France. These gentlemen gave him a certificate of such a
nature, that the French governor could not object to his departure; he
received his request perfectly well, and two days after his passage was
secured; but we shall see in the sequel what was the motive of this
favorable attention to his request.

On the 28th of November, in the morning, he embarked on board of a coasting
vessel, which conveyed him first on board the _Loire_, which was bound for
France: he was no sooner embarked, than the fever seized him, as it did
almost every day; he was in a dreadful situation, weakened by five months'
illness, consumed by a burning fever, added to the heat of the noon-day
sun, which struck perpendicularly on his head; he thought he was going to
die; he had, besides, painful vomitings, produced by the heat, and by an
indisposition caused by the fish on which he had breakfasted before his
departure. The little vessel crossed the bar; but it falling a dead calm,
it could not proceed: they perceived this on board the _Loire_, and
immediately dispatched a large boat to fetch the passengers out of the heat
of the sun. While this boat was coming, Mr. Correard fell asleep upon a
coil of cables that were on the deck of the little vessel; but before he
fell quite asleep, he heard some one say, "_There's one who will never get
to France_." The boat came in less than a quarter of an hour; all those who
were about my sick friend, embarked on board the boat, without any one's
having the generosity to awaken him; they left him asleep, exposed to the
beams of the sun; he passed five hours in this situation, after the
departure of the boat. In his life he had never suffered so much, except
during the thirteen days on the raft. When he asked, on awaking, what was
become of the other gentlemen, he was told that they were gone, and that
not one of them had shewed any intention of taking him with them. A breeze
springing up, his vessel at last reached the _Loire_, and there on the
deck, in the presence of the sailors, he reproached in the bitterest
manner, those who had abandoned him, and even said offensive things to
them. These sallies, the consequence of his exasperation, caused him to be
looked upon as out of his mind, and nobody troubled himself about the
severe truths which he had thus publicly uttered. The _Loire_ sailed on the
1st of December, and arrived in France on the 27th of the same month.

When Mr. Correard got to Rochefort, he waited on the Intendant of the
Marine, who received him kindly, and authorised him to remain in the
hospital as long as he should think necessary for his recovery. He was
placed in the officers' ward, where he received the utmost attention from
the medical gentlemen, who besides the aid of their art, shewed him the
greatest regard and mitigated his misfortunes by kind consolations. Mr.
Savigny saw every day his companion in misfortune, and he often repeated,
"I am happy, I have at length met with men sensible to my misfortunes."
After having passed thirty-three days in this fine hospital, he judged his
health sufficiently recovered, and desired to leave it, in order to go to
his family.

We shall here conclude the nautical part of our history; but as, since our
return to France, particular circumstances and a series of events, which we
were far from foreseeing, have, as it were prolonged the chain of our
adventures, we think it will not be amiss to add another article,
respecting what has happened to us since we have returned to our country.

Mr. Savigny thought, that after having undergone unexampled misfortunes, he
had a right to describe all the sufferings to which he and his companions
in misfortune had been exposed for thirteen days. Was it ever heard that
the unhappy were forbidden to complain? Well, the fresh misfortunes which
have befallen him, and which he is going to lay before our readers, have
arisen, from his not having buried in silence these disastrous events.

During his passage on board the _Echo_, he wrote the account of our unhappy
adventures; his intention was to deliver his narrative to the Minister of
the Marine. When he arrived in France, in the month of September, some
persons advised him to go to Paris, where, said they, "_Your misfortunes
will procure you the favor of the Ministry_," and it was considered as an
absolute certainty, that some recompense would make him forget the
considerable losses which he had sustained, the dangers which he had just
escaped; and the pain arising from his wounds, for at that time he still
wore his right arm in a sling. He listened to the advice which was given
him, because it came from very sensible persons, and set out for the
capital, carrying his manuscript with him. He arrived at Paris on the 11th
of September: his first care was to go to the office of the Minister (of
the Marine), where he deposited all the papers which he had drawn up
respecting the shipwreck of the Medusa. But what was his astonishment to
see the day after, the _Journal des Debats_ of the 13th of September, an
extract from his narrative, copied almost literally: he then endeavoured to
discover whence the editors could have obtained these details; it cost him
but little time to solve the riddle.

We shall not here explain by what means his manuscript became known to the
editor of the _Journal_. We shall here content ourselves with saying, that
while Mr. Savigny was still at Brest, a person, who has connexions with the
officer of the marine, with the intention of serving him, asked him for a
copy of his memoir, saying, that by the medium of a person in office, he
could get it conveyed to the minister of the marine. This copy of our
adventures was entrusted to this person, and by him sent to Paris. Mr.
Savigny had acted in this manner, because his intention, at that time, was
to go to his family, without passing through the capital. It appears that
this copy was not discreetly kept, since it reached the editor of the
_Journal des Debats_: certainly, he who received it from Brest, was very
far from wishing to injure the author of the memoir. If he had had the
smallest idea of all the disagreeable consequences arising from the
publicity which he gave to the narrative, by shewing it to several persons,
he would have kept it more carefully, or at least, he would have delivered
it immediately to the minister of the marine for whom it was intended. This
publicity, by means of the _Journal_, drew upon Mr. Savigny the most
serious remonstrances. The very same day he was sent for to the office; he
was told that his excellency was discontented, and that, he must
immediately prove, that he was innocent of the publication of our
misfortunes, which affected all France, and excited a lively interest in
the fate of the victims. But for Mr. Savigny, every thing was changed;
instead of the interest, which his situation ought to inspire, he had
called down upon himself the severity of the minister, and was to justify
himself, for having dared to write that he had been very unfortunate, by
the fault of others. The reception he met with at the office affected him
so much, that but, for the advice of some persons, he would have resigned
his commission at once. There was but one means to prove, that it was not
he, who had given his narrative to the editor of the _Journal des Debats_:
this was to obtain the certificate of the editor himself. Conscious of the
truth, he went to him, and that honorable writer, without hesitation, did
homage to the truth, by the following certificate.

"I certify that it is not from Mr. Savigny, that I have the details of the
shipwreck of the Medusa inserted in the journal of the 13th of September,

(Signed)--The Editor of the _Journal des Debats_.

This certificate was put into the hands of M. ---- and by him presented to
his excellency, who, however, did not appear satisfied, because this
certificate, though it proved, that Mr. Savigny was not the person who had
rendered public the history of our adventures, threw no light on the means
by which the manuscript had become known to the editor. One of the
principal persons in the office, having signified to him the opinion of his
excellency, who found this justification insufficient, Mr. Savigny again
had recourse to the editor of the journal, who gave a second certificate as

"I certify, that it is not from Mr. Savigny, that I have the details
inserted in the Number of the 13th of September, but from the office of the
Minister of the Police." After this new proof, it was no longer doubted,
but that Mr. Savigny had been the victim of an indiscretion, and he was
told that he might return to his post. He therefore left the capital, after
having experienced many vexations; but those, which the publication of our
misfortunes was to cause him, were not yet at an end.

The English translated the details contained in the Journal of the 13th of
September, and inserted them in one of their Journals which reached
Senegal. In this amplified translation, there were some pretty strong
passages, which were far from pleasing the governor, and M. ------, one of
the officers of the frigate. They perceived that there was but one means to
combat the narrative; this was to endeavour to make it believed, that it
was false in many particulars. A report was therefore drawn up at St Louis;
it was brought to Mr. Correard to be signed, who, after perusing it,
refused, because he found it contrary to the truth. The governor's
secretary came several times to the hospital, to urge him for his
signature; but he persisted in his refusal: the governor himself pressed
him very earnestly one day that he went to solicit leave to depart; he
answered, that he would never consent to sign a paper quite at variance
with the truth, and returned to his hospital. The next day, his friend, Mr.
Kummer, went to him, and invited him to return to the governor's, in order,
at length, to sign this paper, because he had been informed, that if he
persisted in his refusal, he should not return to France. These gentlemen,
must therefore, have felt themselves deeply interested, to be reduced to
employ such measures towards an unfortunate man, exhausted by a long
sickness, and whose recovery depended on his return to Europe, which they
thought not to grant him, except on condition of his signing a false
narrative, contrary to what he had himself seen; for one paragraph was
employed to prove that the towrope had _broken_; could he sign it, who was
himself an eye witness, and who had been assured by more than twenty
persons, that it had been _made loose_. Besides this falsehood, it was
stated one passage, that, when the raft was left, the words _we abandon
them_, were not pronounced; in another passage, that Mr. Savigny, in
publishing his account, had shewn himself ungrateful to his officers, who
had done every thing to serve him personally; there were, besides, some
improper personalities: he was in particular much surprised to see at the
bottom of this paper, the signature of a man, whose life Mr. Savigny had
saved with his own hand.[51] Mr. Correard's perseverance in withholding his
signature, triumphed over injustice, and his return to Europe was no longer
retarded. But the same manoeuvres had more success in another quarter, and
Messrs. Dupont, Lheureux, Charlot, Jean Charles, and Touche-Lavilette could
not escape the snare which was laid for them. They were labouring under
that terrible fever which carried off the French with so much rapidity,
when they were invited by the governor to sign this narrative. Some yielded
to the fear of displeasing his excellency; others conceived hopes of
obtaining his protection, which, in the colonies is no trifling advantage;
others again were so weak, that they were not even able to make themselves
acquainted with the paper to which they were desired to put their names. It
was thus, that our companions were induced to give testimony against
themselves, to certify the contrary of what they had seen respecting all
that had been done, to bring about our destruction. Our readers have just
seen the noble disavowal of Mr. Griffon, of the false impressions which had
deceived him in respect to us: in order that the reader may be able to form
a just opinion of the report directed against us, we insert here a document
equally precise and decisive: it is a declaration of Mr. Touche-Lavillette,
who acknowledges, that he signed in confidence, a paper, the contents of
which were unknown to him, as well as the purpose for which it was drawn

Thus supported by authorities, the value of which any body can now
appreciate, this tardy and inexact report was addressed to the minister of
the marine. Mr. Correard, when he landed at Rochefort, informed Mr. Savigny
of it, and gave him a certificate of what has been just related. The latter
procured two others, which were delivered to him, by those of his
companions in misfortune, who were in France. These certificates will be
found in the notes (54) (55) (56).

Provided with these three certificates, Mr. Savigny solicited permission to
go to Paris, in order to be able to let his excellency see, that they were
seeking to deceive him. Two months passed without information. Mean time,
Mr. Correard departed for the capital, taking a letter from his comrade,
for a person in the office, to whom it was delivered, and who did not give
a decisive answer to what was asked of him. At length, Mr. Savigny received
a letter from Paris, in which he was informed, "That not only he would not
receive the permission which he solicited, but that, as long as the present
minister was at the head of affairs, he would have no promotion." This
letter, which he had so long expected, was dated May 10, 1817. Mr. Savigny
disgusted by all that he had just experienced, gave in his resignation,
after having served six years, and made as many expeditions by sea. On
leaving the service, this medical officer, who had several times narrowly
escaped perishing in the waves, was honored by the regret of the superiors
under whom he has been employed, as may be judged by the copy of the [57]
certificate, which they gave him when he resigned his situation. Fresh
misfortunes have also befallen Mr. Correard, from the time that he left
Rochefort, till the moment that he was able to join his companion in
misfortune, to write together the account of their shipwreck.

On the 4th of February 1817, thinking himself entirely recovered, he
resolved to set out for Paris, where business rendered his presence
necessary; but as his pecuniary resources were slender, and he had been at
considerable expence to clothe himself, (for he was almost naked when he
landed from the _Loire_) he thought he could make the journey on foot. On
the first day he felt only a slight pain, on the second it increased, and
on the third, the fever seized him. He was then three leagues from
Poitiers, near a very little village: exhausted with fatigue, and weakened
by the fever, he resolved to go to the mayor, and ask him for a billet;
this functionary was from home, but his wife said, that at all events, it
would be necessary first to obtain the consent of Monsieur the Marquis de
------ Colonel of the National Guard. The weary traveller thought there
could be no impropriety in waiting on the Marquis: he was deceived in his
expectation; the Colonel gave him a very bad reception, and was insensible
to his entreaties; it was in vain that he shewed him his certificates, his
pass, his wounds, and even his arms which shook with the fever: nothing
could move him. The unfortunate invalid, in despair, retired, cursing the
inhumanity, which he had not expected to find in an officer of the National
Guard, promising in his own mind, never to forget his illustrious name, and
the unfeeling manner in which he had answered to his requests. Exhausted as
he was, he was obliged to drag on another weary league on foot, in order to
reach a public house where he might rest himself. The next day, with much
difficulty, he got to Poitiers. He had the happiness to find a man of
feeling in the Mayor, who was much affected by his melancholy situation; it
was, indeed, calculated to excite interest; for a few minutes before he
entered the town-hall, he fainted, but the most charitable assistance was
bestowed on him by a respectable lady, and he soon recovered from this
swoon. One of the clerks soon gave him a billet, assuring him that it was
upon one of the best houses in the town; which was true; and the poor
invalid owns, that in his life, he never has received more affectionate
care than that which he met with in the house of Mr. Maury, proprietor of
the hotel of the Roman Antiquities. Poitiers was therefore a place of
happiness for him. It was soon known in the town, that one of the
shipwrecked persons from the raft, was within its walls; and during the
whole day nothing was spoken of but that melancholy event. Two persons,
well known for their talents, and the high offices which they have filled,
came to the relief of Mr. Correard: both had been formerly exiled; they
knew what misfortune was, and knew how to pity that of an unhappy man, who
had just experienced such extraordinary hardships; they invited him to
spend the whole of the fine season at their country houses; but desiring to
reach Paris as soon as possible, he refused the generous offer that was
made him, and after having rested three days at Poitiers, he left it by the
diligence, and at last arrived in the capital.

On his arrival, his first step was directed by gratitude; he recollected
the signal services which he had received from the English officers, during
his abode at Saint Louis; and his heart urged him to enquire of the
ambassador of that nation, if he had not received any intelligence
respecting his benefactors.[58]

After he had thus discharged the duty which was imposed on him by their
beneficence, he made all the necessary applications to the office of the
Marine to obtain an employment in the capital. He was answered that it was
impossible, advising him to make an application for a situation in the
colonies, particularly Cayenne. Three months passed in useless
solicitations to obtain this employment, as well as the decoration of the
legion of honour, which he had been led to hope for.

During this time he neglected nothing which he thought might conduce to
enable him to attain the object which he thought he might propose to
himself without being accused of extravagant pretensions. Excited by the
advice of a great many persons, whose judgment, as well as their noble and
generous sentiments, commanded implicit confidence, he resolved to go to
the very fountain of favors, to carry into the royal palace the sight of
his strange misfortune, to invoke that hereditary goodness, the bright
patrimony of the Bourbons, which so many other unfortunate persons have not
solicited in vain. But the malignant influence of the adverse star, which
so long persecuted Mr. Correard, doubtless continued to manifest itself
here. Neither he nor any other person will accuse the heart of the august
personages to whom he addressed his petition; but whether timidity, the
natural concomitant of misfortune, or a certain delicacy, hindered him from
renewing his applications, for fear of seeming importunate, whether, as in
the crowd of solicitors who surround princes, it is morally impossible that
some should not be forgotten or less remarked, Mr. Correard's ill-fortune
placed him among this less favored number, or whether it be the effect of
some other unknown adverse cause, he obtained on this side only vain hopes,
as well as a just idea of the obstacles of every kind, with which the best
princes are, as it were, surrounded without being conscious of it, and
which keep back or turn aside the favor, which is always granted in their
heart, just at the moment that it is on the point of being declared.

He first presented a petition to His Royal Highness Monsieur. He solicited
the insignia of that order which was instituted to recompence all kinds of
civil and military merit, to spread among all classes of society, the noble
flame of emulation, of that order which was offered to Goffin, whose
firmness forced his desponding companions, to hope for the assistance that
was preparing for them: which has just been given to several of the
shipwrecked crew of _La Caravane_,[59] who in their disaster, shewed
themselves equally generous and intrepid; but who, however, had nothing to
complain of but the elements, nothing to combat but the tempest.

He has every reason to believe that Monsieur had the goodness to sign his
petition; but he has not been able to discover where, or how it has been
lost on the way without reaching its destination. In the inquiries which he
made at the office of the Prince's Secretary, he met with a young man
eighteen or 20 twenty years of age, who already wore the same mark of merit
which Mr. Correard desired, and who only expressed an astonishment which
was more than disobliging, at the subject of his demand, asking him if he
had been twenty-five years in the service. Mr. Correard, feeling on his
side something more than surprise, thought it best to withdraw, but not
till he had observed to this very young man, that he who appeared so
difficult about the claims of others must, according to appearance, in
order to obtain the cross of the legion of honor, have got the years of his
ancestors services counted instead of his own.

His friends again persuaded him to petition the Duke d'Angouleme, from
whom, as High-Admiral of France, these friends thought that Mr. Correard
might expect an intervention more likely to promote the success of his
application to the Minister of the Marine. He therefore went to the
Tuileries on the 8th of May, and though his wounds still rendered walking
painful to him, he had the good fortune to meet with the Prince as he was
coming from a review, and to present him a memorial as he passed. His Royal
Highness received him graciously, expressed his satisfaction at seeing one
of the persons who had escaped from the fatal raft, and pressing his hand
in the most affable manner, said to him, "My friend, you have experienced
very great misfortunes. It seems that amidst these disasters you have
behaved well." After having run over the memorial, the Prince was pleased
to add: "Thus it is that the King should be served; I will recommend you
to His Majesty, and let him know your conduct and your situation."

These marks of kindness have hitherto been all that Mr. Correard has
obtained by this memorial. However, His Royal Highness transmitted it to
the navy-office, but there is every reason to suppose that it will remain
buried there amidst the mass of papers; from which it might be presumed
that the recommendations of princes are received with great indifference by
the clerks of ministers, and that their offices are the shoals where the
petitions of the unhappy are lost; in fact, a man of great experience, to
whom Mr. Correard communicated this mischance, told him, that, in such an
affair, he would rather have the protection of the meanest clerk, than that
of the first prince of the blood.

We think it superfluous to detain the reader any longer, with two or three
other attempts, which were still more unfortunate, and only revived painful
recollections in the mind of Mr. Correard.

At last he received a letter from the Minister of the Marine, dated the 4th
of June: it was a thunder-clap to him, for he was made to understand that
all his applications would probably be in vain.

However, on the 20th of July, he received a note from Mr. Jubelin, inviting
him to call at the Office of the Marine. His heart opened at this ray of
hope; it was merely to know whether it were true, that he had received a
pass to repair from Rochefort to his home. He answered in the affirmative,
which seemed to cause much surprise, for one had just been refused to Mr.
Richefort, who solicited it in vain, though he was also one of those
shipwrecked. He profited by the opportunity to inquire whether the
expedition to Cayenne was soon to depart? A vague answer being returned, he
represented how unfortunate he and his companions on the raft were, that
they could obtain nothing, while some officers of the frigate had been
appointed to commands. Mr. Jubelin answered that the minister owed them
nothing, and particularly to him: that he had gone of his own free will,
and had engaged to ask nothing of the minister, except what was stipulated
and mentioned in the treaty of May 16, 18l6, by which His Excellency made
to the explorers, numerous concessions (which it would be too long to
mention here) on condition that they should correspond with His Excellency,
through the Governor of Senegal; that they should be placed under the
orders of that governor, and that they should undertake nothing without his

The impartial public will judge if, after such conventions, and having
allowances, and passes from the government, it was to be presumed that he,
who had been thus treated, would be told that they owed him nothing, not
even assistance.

He learned, in the office, that the counsellor of State, Baron de Portal,
had the intention to obtain for him, the decoration of the Legion of Honor,
and that, for this purpose, he had had a memorial drawn up in his favour:
but the minister had written in the margin, _"I cannot lay this request
before the King."_ Thus the voice of the unfortunate Correard could not
reach the throne; the minister would not permit it. Doubtless if His
Majesty had been informed, that some unhappy Frenchmen, who had escaped
from the raft of the Medusa, had long and in vain solicited his minister,
his paternal goodness would have given them proofs of his justice and his
benevolence. His kind hand which is extended even to the guilty, by
conferring his favors upon us his faithful subjects, would have made us
forget our misfortunes and our wounds; but no, an unfriendly power, between
us and the throne, was an insuperable barrier, which stopped all our

Mr. Correard persuaded of the inutility of making fresh applications, gave
up for the present all farther solicitation for what he had so well
deserved by his courage and his services. The change in the ministry has
revived his hopes: a letter from that department informs him that his
Excellency would willingly embrace an opportunity to serve him[60].

A minister, when he is really so disposed, easily finds means to employ an
unfortunate man who asks but little.

Such are the vexations which we have experienced since our return to
France: now returned to the class of citizens, though reduced to
inactivity, after having exhausted our resources in the service, disgusted,
forgotten, we are not the less devoted to our country and our king. As
Frenchmen, we know that we owe to them our fortune and our blood. It is
with the sincere expression of these sentiments that we shall conclude the
history of our adventures.

In fine, we think that the reader will not be sorry to have some notices
concerning the French settlements on the coast of Africa. As they seemed to
us very interesting, we shall examine, but briefly, the places themselves,
and the advantages that might be derived from them.

These details will be a happy digression from the sad accounts of our
misfortunes, and as the object of them is of great public utility, they
will not be out of their place at the conclusion of a work, in which, we
have thought it our duty, less for our own interest, than that of the
public service, to employ our humble efforts for the disclosure of the

The part of the coast beginning at Cape Blanco, and extending to the arm of
the river Senegal, called the _Marigot_ of the Maringouins; is so very
arid, that it is not fit for any kind of cultivation; but from that
_Marigot_, to the mouth of the river Gambia, a space, which may be about a
hundred leagues, in length, with a depth of about two hundred, we meet with
a vast country, which geographers call _Senegambia_.

Let us remark, however, before we go any further, that, notwithstanding the
sterility of this part of the coast; it is not without importance, on
account of the rich produce of the sea which bathes it. _The agriculture of
the waters_ as a celebrated naturalist has said, offers too many
advantages, for the places that are adapted to it, to pass unobserved: this
part of the sea, known by the name of the Gulph of Arguin, is especially
remarkable for the immense quantity of fish which visit it, at different
seasons, or which continually frequent these shores. This gulph, included
between Capes Blanco and Merick and the coast of Zaara, on which, besides
the isle of Arguin which was formerly occupied, there are several others at
the mouth of what is called the river St. John, is as it were closed
towards the west, in its whole extent, by the bank which bears its name.
This bank, by breaking the fury of the waves, raised by the winds of the
ocean, contributes by securing the usual tranquillity of its waters, to
render it a retreat for the fish, at the same time that it also favors the
fishermen. In fact, it is from this gulph, that all the fish are procured
which are salted by the inhabitants of the Canaries, and which constitute
their principal food. They come hither every spring in vessels of about 100
tons burden, manned by 30 or 40 men, and they complete their operations
with such rapidity, that they seldom employ more than a month. The
fishermen of Marseilles and Bayonne might attempt this fishery. In short,
whatever advantage may be sought to be derived from this gulph, so rich in
fish, it may be considered as the African Bank of Newfoundland, which may
one day contribute to supply the settlements of Senegambia, if the
Europeans should ever succeed in establishing them to any extent. Among the
species of fish found in this gulph, there is one, which seems peculiar to
itself; it is that, which was caught on board the Medusa, and is the
principal object of the fishery in these seas. An accurate description had
been made of it, and Mr. Kummer made an exact drawing of it; but all was
lost with the frigate. All that can be recollected of this description, is,
that these fish which are from two to three feet long, are of the genus
_Gade_ or _Morue_ (cod); that they do not appertain to any of the species
mentioned by Mr. Lacepede, and that they belong to the section in which the
_Merlan_ is placed.

Whence comes the name of Arguin? who gave it to this gulph? If we consider
the heat of the sun which is experienced here, and the sparkling of the
sandy downs which compose the coast, we cannot help remarking that _Arguia_
in Phenician means what is _luminous_ and _brilliant_, and that in Celtic,
_Guin_ signifies _ardent_. If this name comes from the Carthaginians, who
may have frequented these coasts, they must have been particularly struck
with their resemblance to the famous Syrtes in their own neighbourhood,
which mariners took so much care to avoid.

_Exercitas aut petit Syrtes Noto._

Some division of territory, or of pasturage among the hordes of the desert,
was doubtless the cause, that the Europeans, who desired to carry on the
gum trade, formerly chose the dangerous bay of Portendic, surrounded by a
vast amphitheatre of burning sands, in preference to Cape Merick. Perhaps,
the Trasas of the west, could not advance to the north of this bay, without
quarrelling with the other Moors, who frequent Cape Blanco. This Cape
Merick seems preferrable for commerce, either as a factory, to trade with
the Moors, or as a place of protection for the traders, and the fishery.
Its elevation and nature, afford a facility of defence, which is not found
at Portendic; where there is not at present the smallest appearance of

The Estuary of the river, St. John, at the back of this Cape, is now
entirely destitute of verdure, and humidity, and salt is abundant in the

But, as we have said above, it is when we penetrate a little into the
interior, that an immense country, rich in the gifts of nature, invites
European cultivation, and offers the fairest prospect of success for the
colonial productions.

The soil is in general good, and all colonists from the Antilles, who have
visited these countries, think that they are well adapted to the
cultivation of all kinds of colonial produce. This immense country is
watered by the Senegal and the Gambia, which bound it to the north and
south. The river Faleme crosses it in the eastern part, as well as many
other less considerable rivers, which, flowing in different directions,
water principally that part covered with mountains which is called the high
country, or the country of Galam. All these little rivers fall at length
into the two large ones, of which we have spoken above.

These countries are very thickly peopled, and are in general mild and
hospitable. Their villages are so numerous, that it is almost impossible to
go two leagues without meeting with some, that are very extensive and very
populous. Nevertheless, we have no more than two settlements; those of St.
Louis and Goree; the others, which were seven or eight in number, have been
abandoned; either, because the French and the English, who have occupied
them in turn, have wished to concentrate the trade in the two settlements
which still exist; or because the natives no longer found the same
advantage in bringing their goods and slaves. It is, however, true, (as we
have been assured) that in consequence of the abolition of those factories,
the considerable commerce which France carried on upon this coast before
the revolution, has been reduced to one fourth of its former extent.[A14]

The town of St. Louis, the seat of the general government, is situated in
longitude 18 deg. 48' 15" and in latitude 16 deg. 4' 10". It is built on a little
island formed by the river Senegal, and is only two leagues distant from
the new bar formed by the inundation of 1812. Its situation in a military
point of view, is pretty advantageous, and if art added something to
nature, there is no doubt, but this town might be rendered almost
impregnable; but in its present state, it can hardly be considered as any
thing more than an open town, which four hundred resolute men, well
commanded, might easily carry. At the mouth of the river is a bar, which is
its strongest bulwark. It may even be said, that it would be impossible to
pass it, if it were well guarded; but the coast of the point of Barbary,
which separates the river from the sea is accessible; it would be even
possible, without meeting with many obstacles, and with the help of flat
bottomed boats, to land troops and artillery upon it. When this landing is
once made, the place may be attacked on the side of the north, which is
entirely destitute of fortifications. There is no doubt, but that, if it
were attacked in this manner, it would be forced to surrender at the first
summons. However, many have hitherto considered it as impregnable,
believing that it was impossible to make a landing on the coast of Barbary.
but as we are convinced of the contrary, because the English already
executed this manoeuvre at the last capture of this place, we venture to
call the attention of the government to the situation of St. Louis, which
would certainly become impregnable if some new works were erected on
different points.

This town has, in other respects, nothing very interesting in it, only the
streets are strait, and pretty broad, the houses tolerably well built and
airy. The soil is a burning sand, which produces but few vegetables: there
are only eight or ten little gardens, containing from two to four _ares_ of
ground at the most, all cultivated, and in which, within these few years
orange and lemon trees have been planted, so that there is reason to
suppose, that, with some care, these trees would thrive perfectly well. Mr.
Correard saw a fig-tree and an European vine, which are magnificent, and
bear a large quantity of fruit. Since the colony has been restored to the
French several kinds of fruit-trees have been planted, which thrive in an
extraordinary manner. Five or six _palatuviers_, and a dozen palm trees are
dispersed about the town.

The parade is tolerably handsome; it is situated opposite the castle, and
what is called the fort and the barracks. On the west it is covered by a
battery of ten or twelve twenty-four pounders, and two mortars; this is the
principal strength of the island. On the east is the port, where vessels
lie in great safety. The population of the town amounts to 10,000 souls, as
the Mayor told Mr. Correard. The inhabitants of the island are both
Catholics and Mahometans; but the latter are the most numerous,
notwithstanding this, all the inhabitants live in peace and the most
perfect harmony. There are no dissentions about religious opinions: every
one prays to God in his own manner; but it is observed, that the men who
have abjured Mahometanism, still retain the custom of having several wives.
We think that it would not be very difficult to abolish it among the
blacks, who are struck with the pomp of our religious ceremonies: they
would be much more inclined to the Catholic religion, if it tolerated
polygamy, a habit which will inevitably render all the efforts of the
Missionaries abortive, as long as they commence their instruction by
requiring its abolition.

The isle of St. Louis, by its important position, may command the whole
river, being placed at the head of an Archipelago of pretty considerable
islands: its extent is however small. Its length is 2,500 metres from north
to south; and its breadth from east to west is, at the north part, 370
metres; in the middle of its length 28 metres; and at the south only 170
metres. The elevation of its soil is not more than 50 centimetres above the
level of the river: in the middle it is however a little higher, which
facilitates the running of the waters. The river dividing to form the isle
of St. Louis has two arms, which reunite below the island: the principal
situated on the east is about 1000 metres in breadth, and that on the west
about 600. The currents are very rapid, and carry with them quantities of
sand, which the sea throws back towards the coast; this it is that forms a
bar at the mouth of the river; but the currents have opened themselves a
passage, which is called the _pass of the bar_. This pass is about 200
metres broad and five or six metres in depth. Very often these dimensions
are less; but at all times only such vessels can pass over it as draw four
metres water at the utmost: the overplus is very necessary for the pitching
of the vessel, which is always very considerable upon this bar. The waves
which cover it are very large and short; when the weather is bad, they
break furiously, and intimidate the most intrepid mariners.

The western arm of the river is separated from the sea by a point called
the _Point of Barbary_. It is inconceivable how this slip of land, which is
not above 250 metres in its greatest breadth, and is formed only of sand,
should be able to resist the efforts of the river, which always tends to
destroy it; and those of the sea, which breaks upon it sometimes with such
fury, that it covers it entirely, and even crossing the arm of the river,
comes and breaks on the shore of the island of St. Louis. Almost opposite
the chateau and on the Point of Barbary, is a little battery of six guns at
the most, which is called the _Fort of Guetander_; it is on the summit of a
hill of sand which has been formed by the wind, and increases daily; it is
even already pretty high, and is surrounded by a great number of huts of
the blacks, which form a pretty extensive village: these buts tend to hold
the sand together, and to prevent its sinking. The inhabitants of this
village are very superstitious, as the following anecdote will prove.

In the course of the month of September, Messrs. Kummer and Correard
crossed the arm of the river, to visit the coast of Barbary and the village
of Guetander; when they landed on the point, they proceeded towards the
north, and having gone three or four hundred paces along the shore, they
found a turtle, the diameter of which was a metre at the least; it was
turned upon its back and covered with a prodigious quantity of crabs,
(_toulouroux_)[61] which are found along the sea-coast. Mr. Correard
stopped a moment, and remarked that, when he had wounded one of these
animals with his cane, the others devoured it instantly. While he was
looking at these crabs feeding on the turtle, Mr. Kummer went on towards
the south, and visited the burying-places of the blacks. Mr. Correard
joined him, and they saw that the natives erect over the tombs of their
fathers, their relations and friends, little sepulchres, some made of
straw, some of slight pieces of wood, and even of bones. All these frail
monuments are consecrated much more by gratitude than by vanity. The blacks
prohibit all approach to them in the strictest manner. Mr. Kummer, whom his
companion had left to return to the shore, was examining very tranquilly
these rustic tombs, when suddenly one of the Africans armed with a sabre,
advanced towards him, crouching and endeavouring to surprise him; Mr.
Kummer had no doubt but this man had a design upon his life, and retired
towards Mr. Correard, whom he found again observing the crabs and the
turtle. On relating to him what had just passed, as they were unarmed, they
resolved immediately to pass the river, by throwing themselves into a boat;
they had soon reason to congratulate themselves on having done so, for they
perceived several men who had collected at the cries of the black, and, if
they had not taken flight, it is probable that their innocent curiosity
would have cost them their lives.

The left bank of the river, which is called Grande Terre, is covered with
perpetual verdure, the soil is fertile, and wants only hands to cultivate

Opposite, and to the east of St. Louis, is the isle of Sor, which is four
or five leagues in circumference; it is of a long and almost triangular
form: there are two extensive plains in it, where habitations might be
erected. They are covered with grass two metres in height, a certain proof
of the advantages that might be derived from the cultivation of this
island. Cotton and indigo grow there naturally, the ground is in some parts
low and damp, which gives reason to suppose that the sugar-cane would
succeed. It might be secured against the inundations which take place in
the rainy season, by erecting little causeways a metre in height, at the
most. There are in this island, principally on the east side, mangoes,
_palatuviers_, a great quantity of gum trees, or mimosas, and magnificent

Let us stop for a moment before this colossus, which, by the enormous
diameter to which it attains, has acquired the title of the _Elephant of
the vegetable kingdom_. The Baobab often serves the negroes for a dwelling,
the construction of which costs no further trouble than cutting an opening
in the side to serve as a door, and taking out the very soft pith which
fills the inside of the trunk. The tree, far from being injured by this
operation, seems even to derive more vigour from the fire which is lighted
in it for the purpose of drying the sap, by carbonising it. In this state
it almost always happens, that the bark, instead of forming a ridge at the
edge of the wound, as happens with some trees in Europe, continues to grow,
and at length covers the whole inside of the tree, generally without any
wrinkles, and thus presents the astonishing spectacle of an immense tree
recompleated in its organisation, but having the form of an enormous hollow
cylinder, or rather of a vast arborescent wall bent into a circular form,
and having its sides sufficiently wide asunder to let you enter into the
space which it encloses. If casting our eyes on the immense dome of verdure
which forms the summit of this rural palace, we see a swarm of birds
adorned with the richest colours, sporting in its foliage, such as rollers
with a sky-blue plumage, _senegallis_, of a crimson colour, soui-mangas
shining with gold and azure; if, advancing under the vault we find flowers
of dazzling whiteness hanging on every side, and if, in the center of this
retreat, an old man and his family, a young mother and her children meet
the eye, what a crowd of delicious ideas is aroused in this moment? Who
would not be astonished at the generous fore-sight of nature? and where is
the man who would not be transported with indignation if, while he was
contemplating this charming scene, he beheld a party of ferocious Moors
violate this peaceful asylum, and carry off some of the members of a
family, to deliver them up to slavery? It would require the pencil of the
author of the Indian Cottage, to do justice to such a picture.

This is not the only service which the blacks, who inhabit Senegambia,
derive from the Adansonia or Baobab. They convert its leaves, when dried,
into a powder which they call _Lalo_, and use it as seasoning to almost all
their food. They employ the roots as a purgative; they drink the warm
infusion of its gummy bark, as a remedy for disorders in the breast; they
lessen the inflamation of the cutaneous eruptions, to which they are
subject by applying to the diseased parts cataplasms made of the parenchyma
of the trunk: they make an astringent beverage of the pulp of its fruit;
they regale themselves with its almonds, they smoke the calyx of its
flowers instead of tobacco; and often by dividing into two parts the
globulous capsules, and leaving the long woody stalk fixed to one of the
halves, which become dry and hard, they make a large spoon or ladle.

It has been found that the substance, called very improperly, _terra
sigillata of lemnos_, is nothing more than the powder made of the pulp of
the fruit of the Baobab. The Mandingians and the Moors carry this fruit as
an article of commerce into various parts of Africa, particularly Egypt;
hence, it finds its way to the Levant. There it is that this pulp is
reduced to powder, and reaches us by the way of trade. Its nature was long
mistaken: Prosper Alpinus was the first who discovered that it was a
vegetable substance.

After the Isle of Sor, towards the South is that of Babague, separated from
the former and that of Safal, by two small arms of the river; this island,
in an agricultural point of view, already affords a happy result to the
colonists, who have renounced the inhuman traffic in slaves, to become
peaceable planters. Many have already made plantations of cotton, which
they call lougans. Mr. Artique, a merchant, has hitherto been the most
successful. His little plantation brought him in 2400 fr. in 1814, which
has excited in many inhabitants of St. Louis a desire to cultivate pieces
of land there. After his example, we now see every where beginnings of
plantations, which already promise valuable crops to those who have
undertaken the cultivation of these colonial productions. The soil of
Babague is more elevated than that of the surrounding islands. At its
southern extremity, which is precisely opposite the new bar of the river,
there is a very great number of huts of the blacks, a military post with an
observatory, and two or three country houses.

The Isle of Safal, belonging to Mr. Picard, offers the same advantages. Its
soil is fertile as that of the islands of which we have just spoken. No
drinkable water is found in any of them; but it would be easy to procure
excellent water by digging wells about two metres in depth.

Cotton and indigo grow every where spontaneously; what then is wanting, to
these countries, to obtain in them what the other colonies produce? Nothing
but some men, capable of directing the natives in their labours, and of
procuring them the agricultural implements, and the plants of which they
stand in need. When these men are found, we shall soon see numerous
habitations arise on the banks of this river, which will rival those in the
Antilles. The blacks love the French nation more than any other, and it
would be easy to direct their minds to agriculture. A little adventure,
which happened to Mr. Correard, will shew to what a degree they love the

In the course of the month of September, his fever having left him for some
days, he was invited by Mr. Francois Valentin, to join a hunting party in
the environs of the village of Gandiolle, situated six leagues to the
South, South East of St. Louis. Mr. Dupin, supercargo of a vessel from
Bordeaux, who was then at Senegal, and Mr. Yonne brother of Mr. Valentin,
were of the party. Their intention was to prolong the pleasures of the
chace, for several days; in consequence, they borrowed a tent of the worthy
Major Peddy, and fixed themselves on the banks of the gulph which the
Senegal forms, since its ancient mouth is entirely stopped up, and a new
one formed, three or four leagues higher up than the former. There they
were only a short league from the village of Gandiolle. Mr. Correard
directed his course, or rather his _reconnaissances_, a little into the
interior, for he had conceived the idea of taking a plan of the coast, and
of the islands formed by the Senegal. He was soon near to Gandiolle, and
stopped some moments at the sight of an enormous Baobob tree, the whiteness
of which much surprised him: he perceived it was covered with a cloud of
the birds called aigrettes.[63] He advanced across the village to the foot
of this tree, and fired two shot successively, supposing he should kill at
least twenty of these birds. Curiosity induced him to measure the
prodigious tree, on which they were perched, and he found that its
circumference was 28 metres. While he was examining this monstrous
production of the vegetable kingdom, the report of his piece had caused a
great many blacks to come out of their huts, who advanced towards Mr.
Correard, doubtless, with the hope of obtaining from him some powder, ball,
or tobacco. While he was loading his piece, he fixed his eyes upon an old
man, whose respectable look announced a good disposition; his beard and
hair were white, and his stature colossal; he called himself Sambadurand.
When he saw Mr. Correard looking at him attentively, he advanced towards
him, and asked him if he was an Englishman? No, replied he, I am a
Frenchman.--How, my friend, you are a Frenchman! that gives me
pleasure.--Yes, good old man, I am.--Then the black tried to put on a
certain air of dignity to pronounce the word Frenchman, and said, "Your
nation is the most powerful in Europe, by its courage and the superiority
of its genius, is it not?"--Yes.--It is true that you Frenchmen are not
like the white men of other nations of Europe whom I have seen; that does
not surprise me; and then, you are all fire, and as good tempered as we
blacks. I think you resemble Durand in vivacity and stature; you must be as
good as he was; are you his relation?--No, good old man, I am not his
relation; but I have often heard speak of him.--Ah? you do not know him as
I do: it is now thirty years since he came into this country with his
friend Rubault, who was going to Galam. This Frenchman, whose language I
learned at St. Louis, loaded us all with presents; I still keep a little
dagger which he gave me, and I assure you that my son will keep it as long
as I have done. We always remember those white men who have done us good,
particularly the French whom we love very much.--"Well," answered Mr.
Correard, "I am sorry I have nothing which can suit you, and be kept for a
long time, or I would offer it you with pleasure, and you would join the
remembrance of me with that of the philanthropic Durand, who had conceived
plans which, if they had been executed, would, perhaps, have been the glory
of my country, and the happiness of yours; but here, take my powder and
ball, if that can do you pleasure."--Ah! good Frenchman, I would willingly
take them, for I know that you have as much as you please in your own
country;[64] but at this moment it would deprive you of the pleasure of the
chace.--No, take it all.--Take my advice Toubabe: let us divide it, that
will be better. In fact, they divided. The black invited Mr. Correard to
enter his hut to refresh himself. "Come Toubabe," said he, "come, my women
shall give you some milk and millet flour, and you shall smoke a pipe with

Mr. Correard refused, in order to continue his sport, which was interrupted
by the cries of the blacks, who pursued a young lion, which came from the
village of Mouit, and attempted to enter that of Gandiolle; this animal had
done no harm, but the natives pursued him in the hopes of killing him, and
to sell his skin. Dinnertime being come, all the white hunters returned to
their tent. A few moments after, they saw a young negro, twelve years of
age at the most, whose mild and pleasant countenance was far from
indicating the courage and the strength which he had just displayed; he
held in his hands an enormous lizard quite alive, at least a metre and
eighty centimetres in length. These gentlemen were astonished to see this
child holding such a terrible animal, which opened a frightful pair of
jaws. Mr. Correard begged Mr. Valentin to ask him how he had been able to
take, and pinion it in this manner. The child answered as follows in the
Yoloffe language: "I saw this lizard come out of a hedge, I immediately
seized it by the tail and hind feet: I raised it from the ground, and with
my left hand took it by the neck; and holding it very fast, and at a
distance from my body, I carried it in this manner to the village of
Gandiolle, where I met one of my companions, who tied his legs, and
persuaded me to come and present it to the Toubabes who are in the tent; he
told me also that they were Frenchmen, and as we love them much, I have
come to see them, and offer them this lizard." After these details, Mr.
Correard presented the but end of his piece to the animal, which made a
deep indenture with its teeth; having then presented it the end of the
barrel, it immediately seized it furiously, and broke all its teeth, which
made it bleed very much; nevertheless, it made no effort to disengage
itself from its bonds.[65]

The environs of Gandiolle appear to be extremely fertile; we find there
grass two metres in height, fields of maize and millet. This country is
full of large pieces of water, which the natives call marigots; the major
part of which cover an immense space; but it would be easy to drain them by
means of some little canals, particularly in the part near the coast. These
lands would be very productive, and proper for the culture of the sugar
cane: the soil is mud mixed with very fine sand.[A15]

After having examined the environs of St. Louis, let us cast a glance upon
the rock called the Island of Goree, and its environs. This isle is nothing
of itself; but its position renders it of the greatest importance: it is
situated in longitude 19 deg. 5', and in latitude 14 deg. 40' 10", half a league
from the main land, and thirty-six leagues from the mouth of the Senegal.
The Cape de Verd Islands, are eighty leagues to the West. It is this
position that renders it mistress of all the commerce of these countries.
Its port is excellent; and so great a number of ships and boats are seen
there that its road is continually covered; there is so much activity that
some persons have said the Island of Goree was, perhaps, the point in the
world, where there was most bustle and population. The number of its
inhabitants is estimated at 5000 souls, which is by no means in proportion
with its confined surface, which is not above 910 metres in length, and 245
in breadth. Its circumference is not above 2000 metres. It is only a very
high rock, the access to the coasts, of which is very difficult. The
numerous rocks, which surround it on all sides, have made some navigators
give it the name of _Little Gibraltar_; and if nature were seconded by art,
there is no doubt but like that, it would become impregnable. It was first
taken possession of by Admiral d'Estrees, about the end of the year 1677.
This isle lies in the direction of S.S.E and N.N.W. and is only about 2600
metres distant from Cape Verd. It is defended by a fort, and by some small
batteries in very bad condition; but it is, nevertheless, impregnable by
its position. In fact, it is not accessible, except on the E.N.E. where
there is a pretty large and deep bay, capable of receiving the largest
ships. Its road is immense; vessels are safe in it, and tolerably well
sheltered. At two leagues from Goree is the bay of Ben, which affords the
greatest facilities for the careening of vessels, and for the repairs of
which they may stand in need.

The Island of Goree is cool during the evening, the night and the morning;
but during the day, there prevails in the island an unsupportable heat,
produced by the reflection of the sun's rays, which fall perpendicularly on
the Basalt rocks which surround it. If we add to this the stagnation of the
air, the circulation of which is interrupted by the houses, being very
closely built, a considerable population, which continually fills the
streets, and is beyond all proportion with the extent of the town, it will
be readily conceived that all these reasons, powerfully contribute to
concentrate here such insupportable heat, that one can scarcely breathe at
noon day. The blacks too, who certainly know what hot countries are, find
the heat excessive, and prefer living at St. Louis.

The Island of Goree may become of the greatest importance if the government
should ever think proper to establish a powerful colony, from Cape Verd to
the river Gambia; then this isle would be the bulwark of the settlements on
the coast of Africa. But it will be objected that Goree is very small, and
that great establishments can never be formed there; we think, only, that
it is proper to be the central point, till a greater colony shall be
established on Cape Verd, which nature seems to have intended for it, and
the advantages of which, in a military and maritime point of view, are of
the highest importance. Men of sound judgment who have examined it, have
considered it calculated to become one day a second Cape of Good Hope. It
is certain that, with time and by means of some works, this Cape would
become highly interesting, and would serve as a _depot_, to accustom to the
climate, such Europeans, as might wish to settle either in the projected
colonies, or on those which might be founded, between this Cape and the
Gambia, or on the islands of Todde, Reffo, Morphil, Bilbas, and even in the
kingdom of Galam.

The position and figure of Cape Verd are such, that it would be easy to
form there an excellent port at a small expense; perhaps it would not be
impossible to make some use of the Lake or _Marigot_ of Ben, which is but a
short distance from the sea. Its road, which is the same as that of Goree,
might almost serve as a port, even in its present state. The following is
an extract from a Letter, written to Mr. Correard by a Physician, who has
carefully examined Cape Verd.

"This Cape is very different from what we thought. Its surface is not above
six or eight square leagues; its population is very numerous, and by no
means in proportion with the part of this peninsula, proper for
cultivation, which is not above one-third of its surface. Another third
serves for pasture for the flocks of the blacks; and the other part is too
much _vulcanised_, too full of rocks, to afford any hope of advantage in an
agricultural view. But its military position is admirable; all seems to
concur to render it impregnable, and it would even be easy to insulate it
entirely from the Continent, and to form upon it several ports, which
nature seems to have already prepared."

This letter likewise speaks of the advantages offered by the environs of
Rufisque, which are so well known, that we may dispense with speaking of
them here. We shall only mention as among the principal points to be
occupied, with the _mornes_ of Cape Rouge, Portudal, Joal, and Cahone, this
last on the river Salum near the Gambia; they are large villages, the
environs of which are covered with magnificent forests, and the soil of
which is perhaps the most fertile of any in Africa. For more ample accounts
of these countries, we refer to the excellent works of Messrs. Durand and
Geoffroy de Villeneuve, who have examined them like enlightened observers,
and perfectly well described them in their travels, only that they have too
much exaggerated the agricultural advantages of Cape Verd.

We shall not have the presumption to lay down plans, to propose systems, to
enforce such or such means for putting them in execution. We shall merely
terminate our task by some general considerations calculated to confirm
what numerous and able observers have already thought, of the importance of
the establishments in Africa, and of the necessity of adopting some general
plan of colonisation for these countries.

However pride, prejudice and personal interest, may deceive themselves
respecting the re-establishment of our Western Colonies, nobody will be
able longer to dissemble the inutility of attempts to persevere in a false
route. Calculation will at length triumph over blind obstinacy and false
reasonings. There is already a certain number of incontestable data, the
consequences of which must be one day admitted. And first, though some
persons who fancy that, like them the whole world have been asleep for
these twenty-five or thirty years, still dream of the submission of St.
Domingo, reasonably persons now acknowledge, that even were the final
success of such an enterprise possible, its real result would be, to have
expended, in order to conquer a desert, and ruins drenched in blood, ten
times more men and money than would be sufficient to colonise Africa. It is
well known, also, that the soil of Martinique is exhausted, and that its
productions will diminish more and more; that the small extent of
Guadaloupe confines its culture to a very narrow circle, and does not
permit it to offer a mass of produce sufficient to add much to the force of
the impulse, which a country like France, must give to all parts of its
agricultural and commercial industry. It is not to be doubted, but that
nature has given to French Guiyana the elements of great prosperity; but
this establishment requires to be entirely created; every thing has
hitherto concurred to prolong its infancy. There are not sufficient hands:
and how will you convey thither the requisite number of cultivators, when
you have proclaimed the abolition of the slave trade.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade: this is the principle, pregnant with
consequences, which should induce every enlightened government speedily to
change its whole colonial system. It would be in vain to attempt to prolong
this odious trade by smuggling, and thus still to draw from it some
precarious resources. This sad advantage would but keep open the wound
which has struck the western colonies, without being able to effect their
recovery, as is desired by those who seek to found their prosperity on the
regular farming out of one of the races of mankind. The slave trade is
abolished not only by religion, by treaties, by the consent of some powers,
by the calculations and interest of some others, which will not permit it
to be re-established; but it is abolished also by the light of the age, by
the wish of all civilised nations; by opinion, that sovereign of the world,
which triumphs over every obstacle, and subdues all that resist her laws.
Without the slave trade, you cannot transport to the West Indies those
throngs of men whose sweat and blood are the manure of your lands: on the
other hand, you see the Genius of Independence hover over the New World,
which will soon force you to seek friends and allies where you have
hitherto reckoned only slaves. Why then do you hesitate to prepare a new
order of things, to anticipate events, which time, whose march you cannot
arrest, brings every day nearer and nearer? Reason, your own interest, the
force of circumstances, the advantages of nature, the richness of the soil,
every thing tells you that it is to Africa, that you must carry culture and

Without entering into the question, whether the Government should reserve
to itself, exclusively, the right of founding colonies on that continent,
or whether it ought to encourage colonial companies, and depend on the
efforts of private interest suitably directed, let us be permitted to offer
some views, on the prudent and temperate course which ought to be laid
down, to arrive at a satisfactory result, not only in respect to the
civilization of the blacks, but even relatively to the commercial
advantages which the colonist must naturally have in view.

Though the abolition of the slave trade has been proclaimed, yet the
present slaves must be led to liberty only in a progressive manner. The
whites who are possessed of negroes, should not be allowed to prolong their
possession and their dominion over them, beyond the space of ten years, and
without being permitted to resell them during that period. During these ten
years, the negroes should be prepared for their new condition as well by
instruction as by the successive amelioration of their situation; it would
be necessary gradually to relax the chain of slavery; and by affording them
means to lay up a part of the produce of their labour, inspire them with
the desire, and the necessity of possessing something of their own.

After these ten years, which may be called a Noviciate, it is to be
presumed, that if lands were granted to them upon advantageous conditions,
fixed before hand, if they were furnished in case of need, with the
agricultural instruments, the use of which they would have learned, they
would become excellent cultivators: it is needless to remark that the man
who cultivates the soil, and whose labour the soil rewards, by its produce,
becomes strongly attached to the land, which supplies both his wants and
his enjoyments, and is soon led by family affections to the love of social
order, and to the sentiments which constitute a good citizen.

The blacks have been too long encouraged to sell their fellow-creatures,
for us to depend upon their soon forgetting this deplorable traffic. But
doubtless we ought to begin by renouncing the perfidious means of inflaming
their cupidity and their passions. The articles which they are the most
desirous to obtain from us, ought to be the price of the produce of the
soil, and no longer the means of exchange, and the aliment of this dreadful
traffic in human flesh. It would, however, be proper that, as long as
slaves should continue to arrive from the interior, the whites might buy
them. This permission should be granted for a time, and in a certain extent
of country. Their slavery should also be limited to ten years, as we have
said above, and their moral and physical improvement, should be directed in
such a manner as to attach them to the soil by exciting in them the love of

The laws and institutions which govern the mother country, would
incontrovertibly be applicable to the new establishments. It would
certainly be presumable, that on account of particular considerations of
moral and political order, it would be proper to allow local regulations,
in forming which, all proprietors enjoying the rights of citizenship, ought
to participate, without any distinction of colour. It would especially be
highly important, that the regulations for the government of the slaves,
should be founded on mildness and humanity, that prudent and enlightened
persons should superintend the execution of them, and have the necessary
authority to prevent abuses, and to secure to the slave the protection of
the law.

In order to obtain these results, it is evident that it would be no less
essential to preserve the colonies from the scourge of arbitrary authority,
from the excesses of power, which always accompany abuses, injustice, and
corruption. When favor and caprice are the only laws that are attended to;
when intrigue supplies the place of merit; when cupidity succeeds to
honorable industry; when vice and meanness are titles to distinctions, and
the true means of making a fortune; when honours are no longer synonimous
with honour; then society presents only disorder and anarchy, then people
renounce obscure virtue, and laborious acquisition to follow the easy ways
of corruption; then enlightened men, for whom public esteem is a sterile
recommendation, the true servants of the king, the faithful friends of
their country, are forced to disappear, to withdraw from employments, and
the interest of the public, as well as that of humanity, is miserably
sacrificed to the basest calculations, to the most guilty passions.

He who desires the end, desires the means of attaining it. The end at
present, should be to prepare every thing beforehand, and rather sooner
than later, in order to repair in Africa the past losses and disasters,
which irremediable events have caused in the Western Colonies, and to
substitute for their riches their prosperity, the progressive decline of
which is henceforward inevitable, new elements of wealth and prosperity:
the means will be to carry into these countries, so long desolated by our
relentless avarice, knowledge, cultivation, and industry. By these means we
shall see in that vast continent numerous colonies arise, which will
restore to the mother country all the splendour, all the advantages of her
ancient commerce, and repay her with interest for the sacrifices she may
have made in the new world. But to effect this, let there be no more secret
enterprises; no more connivance at fraudulent traffic, no more unhappy
negroes snatched away from their families; no more tears shed on that sad
African soil, so long the witness of so many afflictions; no more human
victims, dragged to the altars of the shameful, and insatiable divinities,
which have already devoured such numbers: consequently, let there be no
more grounds for hearing in the English Parliament, voices boldly
impeaching our good faith, attacking the national honour, and positively
asserting that France maintains in her African possessions, the system of
the slave trade in the same manner as she did before she consented to its

Africa offers to our speculators, to the enterprises of our industry, a
virgin soil, and an inexhaustible population peculiarly fitted to render it
productive. It must be our business to form them according to our views, by
associating them in these by a common interest. In conquering them by
benefits, instead of subjugating them by crimes, or degrading them by
corruption, let us lead them to social order and to happiness, by our moral
superiority, instead of dragging them under scourges and chains to misery
and death, we shall then have accomplished a useful and a glorious
enterprise; we shall have raised our commercial prosperity on the greatest
interest of those who have been the voluntary instruments of it, and above
all, we shall have expiated, by an immense benefit, this immense crime of
the outrages, with which we so long afflicted humanity.


[Transcriber's Note: These notes are put in the text with the
numbering Axx or Bxx]

The following Notes were communicated to the Authors, when the second
edition was already so far advanced, as to render it impracticable to
incorporate them with the body of the work, and they are therefore placed
at the end. Some of them are extracted from the Journal of Mr. Bredif, who
belonged to the expedition, and were communicated by his uncle, Mr. Landry;
the others are by an officer of merit, whose modesty prevents the
publication of his name.

The Translator has thought it would be more convenient to place these notes
in one series, referring to the pages to which they belong. Those of Mr.
Bredif, are signed (B) the others (A).


[A1] I.--_On the Route to Africa_.

In going from Europe to the western coasts of Africa, situated to the north
of the line, it is better still, to pass between the Azores and Madeira,
and not to come within sight of the coast, till you have nearly reached the
latitude of the point where you desire to land. Nothing but the necessity
of procuring refreshments can authorise vessels, bound to the Cape of Good
Hope, or to the south of America, to touch at the Canaries, or at the Cape
Verd Islands. Notwithstanding the depth of the channels between the first
of these islands, these seas, which are subject both to calms and
hurricanes are not without danger. By keeping at a distance, there is also
the advantage of avoiding the current of Gibraltar, and of not running the
risk of meeting with the north west winds, which generally prevail along
the desert, (and hitherto insufficiently known.) Coasts of Zaara, along
which the Medusa sailed to no purpose, and which winds also tend to impel
vessels upon the dangerous bank of Arguin. (A)

[A2] II.--_On the Manoeuvres before Funchal_.

The usual indecision, which the commander of the frigate displayed in all
his resolutions, joined to a little accident, made him change the intention
which he had expressed of presenting himself before Funchal. From a
singularity which nothing justified, he appeared to have more confidence in
one of the passengers, who had indeed, frequented these seas, than in any
of his officers, in respect to the management of the vessel. As they
approached Madeira, the vessel was worked almost entirely according to the
advice of this passenger; but suddenly the breeze, which is always strong
in the neighbourhood of these mountainous countries, fell when they got too
near it, the sails flagged, the current seemed rapid; but after some
hesitation in the manoeuvring of the vessel, which the officers soon put
into proper order, they recovered the wind, and it was resolved to steer
for Teneriffe. (A)

[A3] III.--_On the Islands of Madeira and Teneriffe_.

Madeira and Teneriffe seen on the side where their capital cities lie, have
a very different appearance. The first is smiling with cultivation from its
shores, almost to the summit of the mountains. Every where the eye
discovers only little habitations surrounded by vineyards and orchards of
the most delightful verdure: these modest dwellings surrounded by all the
luxuriance of vegetation, placed under an azure sky, which is seldom
obscured by clouds, seem to be the abode of happiness, and the navigator,
long wearied by the monotonous prospect of the sea, cheerfully hailed this
delightful prospect. Teneriffe, on the contrary, shews itself with every
mark of the cause by which it was formed. The whole south east side is
composed of black sterile rocks, which are piled together in an
extraordinary confusion; even to the environs of the town of Saint Croix,
scarcely any thing is seen, on the greater part of these dry and burnt
lands, but low plants, the higher of which are probably Euphorbia, or
thorny Cereus; and those which cover the ground, the hairy lichen,
_Crocella tinctoria_, which is employed in dying, and which this island
furnishes in abundance. Seen from the sea, the town, which is in the form
of an amphitheatre, appears to be situated in the recess, formed by two
distinct branches of mountains, of which the one towards the south, forms
the Peak properly so called; it is particularly remarkable at a distance
for its slender towers, and for the steeples of its churches, the
construction of which, calls to mind the arabic architecture. (A)

[A4] IV.--_On the Mouth of the River St. John_.

There is probably an error in this account: the river St. John, is much
more to the south, and on the north side of Cape Meric. The inlet, which
was perceived during the ceremony of the tropic, which was a little tardy,
is the gulf of St. Cyprian, into which the currents appear to set. Early in
the morning, and to the north of this gulph, they passed a little island,
very near the coast, and the black colour of which, owing doubtless to the
marine plants that cover it, made a striking contrast with the whiteness of
the sandy downs of the great desert, the abode of the Moors, and of wild
beasts.--_Tellus leonum arida nutrix_. (A)

[A5] V.--_On the reconnaissance of Cape Blanco_.

Mr. de Chaumareys gave notice in the course of this day, that he had a mind
to anchor at a cable's length from Cape Blanco. He talked of it till the
evening, but on going to bed he thought no more about it; however, he
continually repeated that the minister had ordered him to make that Cape;
and therefore, when somebody said the next morning, that this Cape was
supposed to have been seen at eight o'clock the preceding evening, it was
from that time forbidden to doubt of it; and either from deference or
persuasion it was agreed, but not without laughing, that the Cape had been
seen at the hour mentioned. It was from the course of the vessel at this
moment that the route was calculated till an observation was made at noon.

[A6] VI.--_On the Refusal to answer the Signals of the Echo_.

It would probably have been of no use to inform Mr. de Chaumarey's of the
signals of the Echo. The commander of the Medusa, the chief of the
division, had declared already in the roads of the island of Aix, his
intention to abandon his vessels, and to proceed alone in all haste to the
Senegal. Though he spoke of strictly following the pretended instructions
of the minister respecting the route to be followed, it was, however,
violating the principle one, since it is useless to form a division if it
is not to go together. The corvette, commanded by Mr. Venancourt succeeded,
it is true, several times in joining the commander; but soon, by the
superior sailing of the Medusa, they lost sight of him again, and every
time they rejoiced at it. This resolution, not to sail in company, was the
chief cause of the loss of the principal vessel. The Echo having
determined, as was proper, to follow its commander, alone passed to the
north west of the bank. The two other vessels which had remained long
behind and were much more at liberty, passed more than thirty leagues to
the west of it, and thus proved that it was the safest and shortest rout.

[A7] VII.--_On the Stranding of the Medusa_.

From ten o'clock in the morning the colour of the water visibly changed,
and the head pilot, calculating after his _sea-torch_ before mentioned,
declared, at half past eleven, that they were at the edge of the bank, and
this was probable. From that moment the sailors were entirely employed in
drawing up the lines thrown out alongside of the vessel, and the
astonishing quantity of fish, all of the cod species, which were drawn on
board, added to the weeds that floated on every side, were more than
sufficient to make it believed that they were sailing upon a shoal. We
shall speak below of the species of this fish; but as for the weeds, which
were perceived on every side, besides that they gave reason to suppose that
we were approaching the land, their appearance in this gulph, also gives
ground to presume, that the currents of these seas, at this season, set
north, since the plants, with exception of some _Zosteres_, were nothing
but long stalks of grasses; most of them still furnished with their roots,
and many even with their ears, belonging to the tall grasses of the banks
of the Senegal, and the Gambia, which these rivers bring away at the time
of the inundations. All those which could be observed were _Panios_ or
millets. (A)

[B1] VIII.--_Moment of the Stranding of the Frigate_.

The officers wanted to tack about, as the water became shallower every
moment: but Mr. Richefort,(who enjoyed the confidence of Mr. de
Chaumarey's,) declaring that there was no reason to be alarmed, the captain
ordered more sail to be spread. Soon we had only fifteen fathoms, then
nine, then six. By promptitude the danger might still have been avoided.
They hesitated: two minutes afterwards a shock informed us that we had
struck; the officers, at first astonished, gave their orders with a voice
that shewed their agitation: the captain was wholly deprived of his; terror
was painted on the countenances of all those who were capable of
appreciating the danger: I thought it imminent, and expected to see the
frigate bilge. I confess that I was not satisfied with myself, at this
first moment, I could not help trembling, but afterwards, my courage did
not any more forsake me. (B)

[B2] IX.--_Confusion on Board the Frigate_.

The frigate having stranded, the same thing happened, which usually does
happen in critical circumstances, no decisive measures were taken: to
increase our misfortunes the obedience of the crew to the officers was
diminished for want of confidence. There was no concert. A great deal of
time was spent, and the second day was lost without having done any thing.

On the third, preparations were made to quit the frigate, and the efforts
made the day before to get her afloat, were renewed, but only half measures
were taken. The other preparations to insure our safety were not carried on
with any activity. Every thing went wrong. A list of the people was made,
and they were distributed between the boats and the raft, in order that
they might hold themselves ready to embark when it should be time. I was
set down for the long boat. Our mode of living, during all this time, was
extremely singular. We all worked either at the pump or at the capstern.
There was no fixed time for meals, we eat just as we could snatch an
opportunity. The greatest confusion prevailed, the sailors already
attempted to plunder the trunks. (B)

[B3] X.--_The Frigate lost_.

On the fourth the weather being fine, and the wind favourable to the motion
which we wished to give to the vessel, we succeeded in it. The most ardent
hope was excited among all the crew, we even supped very cheerfully; we
flattered ourselves that we should free the vessel and sail the next day. A
beautiful evening encouraged our hopes, we slept upon deck by moonlight;
but at midnight the sky was overclouded, the wind rose, the sea swelled,
the frigate began to be shaken. These shocks were much more dangerous than
those in the night of the third. At three o'clock in the morning the
master-caulker came to tell the captain that the vessel had sprung a leak
and was filling; we immediately flew to the pumps, but in vain, the hull
was split, all endeavours to save the frigate were given up, and nothing
thought of but how to save the people. (B)

[B4] XI.--_Embarkment of the Crew_.

On the 5th, about seven o'clock in the morning, all the soldiers were first
embarked on board the raft, which was not quite finished, these unfortunate
men crowded together upon pieces of wood, were in water up to the middle.

Mrs. and Miss Schmalz went on board their boat. Mr. Schmalz,
notwithstanding the entreaties of every body, would not yet quit the

The people embarked in disorder, every body was in a hurry, I advised them
to wait patiently till every one's turn came. I gave the example, and was
near being the victim of it. All the boats, carried away by the current,
withdrew and dragged the raft with them: there still remained sixty of us
on board. Some sailors, thinking that the others were going to abandon
them, loaded their muskets, and were going to fire upon the boats, and
particularly upon the boat of the captain, who had already gone on board.
It was with the greatest difficulty that I dissuaded them from it. I had
need of all my strength, and all the arguments I could think of. I
succeeded in seizing some loaded muskets and threw them into the sea.

When I was preparing to quit the frigate, I had contented myself with a
small parcel of things which were indispensable; all the rest had been
already pillaged. I had divided, with a comrade, eight hundred livres in
gold, which I had still in my possession; this proved very fortunate for me
in the sequel. This comrade had embarked on board one of the boats, (B)

[A8] XII.--_On Mr. Espiau_.

The name of this officer cannot be mentioned, in this memoir, without
acknowledging the services which he performed on this occasion. To him we
owe the lives of several sailors and soldiers who had remained on board. It
is he who, notwithstanding the various dangers with which he was
surrounded, following only the impulse of his courage, succeeded in saving
them. In giving him a command, the minister has paid the debt which the
State had contracted towards this officer for his honorable conduct.(A)

[B5] XIII.--_Embarkation of the Men who remained on Board the Frigate_.

I began to believe that we were abandoned, and that the boats, being too
full, could take no more people on board. The frigate was quite full of
water. Being convinced that she touched the bottom, and that she could not
sink, we did not lose courage. Without fearing death it was proper to do
every thing we could to save ourselves: we joined all together, officers,
sailors and soldiers. We appointed a master-pilot for our leader, we
pledged our honour, either to save ourselves, or to perish all together; an
officer and myself promised to remain to the last.

We thought of making another raft. We made the necessary preparations to
cut away one of the masts, in order to ease the frigate. Exhausted by
fatigue, it was necessary to think of taking some food; the gally was not
under water; we lighted a fire; the pot was already boiling, when we
thought we saw the long-boat returning to us; it was towed by two other
lighter-boats, we all renewed the oath, either all to embark, or all to
remain. It appeared to us that our weight would sink the long-boat.

Mr. Espiau, who commanded it, came on board the frigate, he said that he
would take every body on board. First, two women and a child were let down;
the most fearful followed. I embarked immediately before Mr. Espiau. Some
men preferred remaining on board the frigate to sinking, as they said, with
the long-boat. In fact, we were crowded in it to the number of ninety
persons; we were obliged to throw into the sea our little parcels, the only
things we had left. We did not dare to make the least motion for fear of
upsetting our frail vessel.

I had had some water-casks and a great many bottles of wine put on board: I
had got all these things ready before hand. The sailors concealed in the
long-boat what ought to have been for every body; they drank the whole the
first night, which exposed us to the danger of perishing with thirst in the

[A9] XIV.--_Occurrences which took place after the Raft was abandoned_.

About half-past six in the evening, and just at sun-set, the people in the
boats descried the land: that is to say, the high downs of sand of the
Zaara, which appeared quite brilliant and like heaps of gold and silver.
The sea, between the frigate and the coast, appeared to have some depth;
the waves were longer and more hollow, as if the bank of Arguin rose
towards the West. But as they approached the land, the water suddenly
became shallow, and finding only a depth of three or four feet, they
resolved to cast anchor till day-break. Several scattered hills, a few
rocky shoals nearly dry, made them presume that they were in the Lagunes,
formed by the River St. John; this opinion was verified by the sight of
Cape Meric, which appears like the continuation of a high hill coming from
the interior, but suddenly rising at its approach to the sea, like the
torrents of Volcanic matter. In passing before this cape, out at sea and
towards the West, the sea appeared to break over some shoals, which are
suspected to be the Southern end of the bank of Arguin, which, according to
some persons at Senegal, is dry at low water. (A)

[B6] XV.--_Forsaking the Raft_.

When we had overtaken the raft, towed by the other boats, we asked the
latter to take from us at least twenty men, or otherwise we should sink.
They answered that they were already too much loaded. One of our movements,
towards the boats, made them fancy that despair had inspired us with the
idea of sinking them and ourselves at the same time.

How could the officers imagine that such a design was entertained by Mr.
Espiau, who had just before displayed such a noble desire to assist his
comrades? The boats, in order to avoid us, cut the ropes which united them
together, and made all the sail they could from us. In the midst of this
confusion, the rope which towed the raft, broke also, and a hundred and
fifty men were abandoned in the midst of the ocean, without any hope of

This moment was horrible. Mr. Espiau, to induce his comrades to make a last
effort, tacked and made a motion to rejoin the raft. The sailors
endeavoured to oppose it, saying that the men on the raft would fall upon
us, and cause us all to perish. "I know it, my friends," said he, "but I
will not approach so near as to incur any danger; if the other vessels do
not follow me, I will think only on your preservation, I cannot do
impossibilities." In fact, seeing that he was not seconded, he resumed his
route. The other boats were already far off. "We shall sink," cried Mr.
Espiau, let us shew courage to the very last. Let us do what we can: _vive
le roi_! This cry a thousand times repeated rises from the bosom of the
waters which are to serve us for a grave. The boats also repeated it, we
were near enough to hear this cry of _vive_ _le roi_! Some of us thought
that this enthusiasm was madness: was it the fulness of despair which made
them speak so, or was it the expression of the soul broken by misfortune? I
know not, but for my part, this moment appeared to me sublime: this cry was
a rallying cry, a cry of encouragement and resignation. (B)

[A10] XVI.--_On the sudden Gale experienced by the Raft_.

This strong gale was the same North West wind which in this season, as has
been said before, blows every day with great violence after sun-set; but
which, that day, began sooner, and continued till 4 o'clock the next
morning, when it was succeeded by a calm. The two boats which resisted it,
were several times on the point of being wrecked. The whole time that this
gale lasted, the sea was covered with a remarkable quantity of _galeres_ or
_physalides_, (physalis pelasgica) which arranged, for the most part, in
straight lines, and in two or three files, cut at an angle the direction of
the waves, and seemed at the same time to present their crest or sail to
the wind, in an oblique manner, as if to be less exposed to its impulse. It
is probable that these animals have the faculty of sailing two or three
abreast, and of ranging themselves in a regular or symetrical order; but
had the wind surprised these, so arranged on the surface of the sea, and
before they had time to sink, and shelter themselves at the bottom, or did
the sea, agitated on these shores, to a greater depth than is supposed,
make them fear, in this situation, to be thrown upon the coast? However it
be, the orders of their march; their disposition, in respect to the force
which impelled them, and which they strove to resist; the apparent
stiffness of the sail seemed equally admirable and surprising. Mr. Rang,
who has been mentioned with praise in this work, having had the curiosity
to catch one of these singular animals, soon felt a tingling in his hand,
and a burning heat, which made him feel much pain till the next day. Bones
of _seche gigantesque_ (sepia, cuttle-fish) already whitened by the sun,
passed rapidly along the side of the ship, and almost always with some
insects, which having, imprudently ventured too far from the land, had
taken refuge on these floating islands. As soon as the sea grew calm, they
perceived some large pelicans, gently rocking themselves on the bosom of
the waves. (A)

[B7] XVII.--_Landing of the Sixty-three Men of the Long-Boat_.

The sea was within two fingers breadth of the gunnale of the boat: the
slightest wave entered; besides, it had a leak; it was necessary to empty it
continually: a service which the soldiers and sailors, who were with me,
refused. Happily the sea was pretty calm.

On the same evening, the 5th, we saw the land, and the cry of "land, land,"
was repeated by every body. We were sailing rapidly towards the coast of
Africa, when we felt that we had struck upon the bottom. We were again in
distress: we had but three feet water; but would it be possible for us to
get the boat afloat again, and put out into the open sea? There was no more
hope of being able to reach the shore. As for myself, I saw nothing but
danger on the coast of Africa, and I preferred drowning to being made a
slave, and conducted to Morocco or Algiers. But the long-boat grounded only
once; we proceeded on our route, and by frequent soundings we got into the
open sea towards night.

Providence had decided that we should experience fears of every kind, and
that we should not perish. What a night indeed was this! The sea ran very
high, the ability of our pilot saved us. A single false manoeuvre, and we
must all have perished. We, however, partly shipped two or three waves
which we were obliged to empty immediately. Any other boat, in the same
circumstances, would have been lost. This long and dreadful night was at
length succeeded by day.

At day break we found ourselves in sight of land. The sea became a little
calm. Hope revived in the souls of the desponding sailors, almost every
body desired to go on shore. The officer, in spite of himself, yielded to
their wishes. We approached the coast and threw out a little anchor that we
might not run aground. We were so happy as to come near the shore, where
there was only two feet water. Sixty-three men threw themselves into the
water and reached the shore, which is only a dry and burning sand, it must
have been a few leagues above Portendic. I took care not to imitate them. I
remained with about twenty-six others in the long-boat, all determined to
endeavour to reach the Senegal with our vessel, which was lightened of
above two-thirds of its burden. It was the 6th of July. (B)

[B8] XVIII.--_The Fifteen Persons in the Yawl taken into the Long-Boat;
sequel of the day of the 6th_.

An hour after landing the sixty-three men, we perceived behind us four of
our boats. Mr. Espiau, notwithstanding the cries of his crew who opposed
it, lowered his sails and lay-to, in order to wait for them. "They have
refused to take any people from us, let us do better now we are lightened,
let us offer to take some from them." In fact, he made them this offer when
they were within hail; but instead of approaching boldly, they kept at a
distance. The smallest of the boats (a yawl) went from one to the other to
consult them. This distrust came from their thinking, that, by a stratagem,
we had concealed all our people under the benches, to rush upon them when
they should be near enough, and so great was this distrust that they
resolved to fly us like enemies. They feared every thing from our crew,
whom they thought to be in a state of mutiny: however, we proposed no other
condition on receiving some people, than to take in some water, of which we
began to be in want, as for biscuit we had a sufficient stock.

Above an hour had passed after this accident, when the sea ran very high.
The yawl could not hold out against it: being obliged to ask assistance, it
came up to us. My comrade de Chasteluz was one of the fifteen men on board
of her. We thought first of his safety, he leaped into our boat, I caught
him by the arm to hinder his falling into the sea, we pressed each others
hands, what language.

Singular concatenation of events! If our sixty-three men had not absolutely
insisted upon landing, we could not have saved the fifteen men in the yawl;
we should have had the grief of seeing them perish before our eyes, without
being able to afford them any assistance: this is not all, the following is
what relates to myself personally. A few minutes before we took in the
people of the yawl, I had undressed myself in order to dry my clothes,
which had been wet for forty-eight hours, from my having assisted in lading
the water out of the long-boat. Before I took off my pantaloons I felt my
purse, which contained the four hundred francs; a moment after I had lost
it; this was the completion of all my misfortunes. What a happy thought was
it to have divided my eight hundred francs with Mr. de Chasteluz who now
had the other four hundred.

The heat was very violent on the sixth. We were reduced to an allowance of
one glass of dirty or corrupted water: and therefore to check our thirst,
we put a piece of lead into our mouths; a melancholy expedient!

The night returned; it was the most terrible of all: the light of the moon
shewed us a raging sea: long and hollow waves threatened twenty times to
swallow us up. The pilot did not believe it possible to avoid all those
which came upon us; if we had shipped a single one it would have been all
over with us. The pilot must have let the helm go, and the boat would have
sunk. Was it not in fact better to disappear at once than to die slowly?

Towards the morning the moon having set, exhausted by distress, fatigue,
and want of sleep I could not hold out any longer and fell asleep;
notwithstanding the waves which were ready to swallow me up. The Alps and
their picturesque scenery rose before my imagination. I enjoyed the
freshness of their shades, I renewed the delicious moments which I have
passed there, and as if to enhance my present happiness by the idea of past
evils, the remembrance of my good sister flying with me into the woods of
Kaiserslautern to escape the Cossacks, is present to my fancy. My head hung
over the sea; the noise of the waves dashing against our frail bark,
produced on my senses the effect of a torrent falling from the summit of a
mountain. I thought I was going to plunge into it. This pleasing illusion
was not complete; I awoke, and in what a state! I raised my head with pain;
I open my ulcerated lips, and my parched tongue finds on them only a bitter
crust of salt, instead of a little of that water which I had seen in my
dream. The moment was dreadful, and my despair was extreme. I thought of
throwing myself into the sea, to terminate at once all my sufferings. This
despair was of short duration, there was more courage in suffering.

A hollow noise, which we heard in the distance, increased the horrors of
this night. Our fears, that it might be the bar of the Senegal, hindered us
from making so much way as we might have done. This was a great error: the
noise proceeded from the breakers which are met with on all the coasts of
Africa. We found afterwards, that we were above sixty leagues from the
Senegal. (B)

[B9] XIX.--_Page 162.--Stranding of the Long-Boat, and Two other Boats_.

Our situation did not change till the eighth; we suffered more and more
from thirst. The officer desired me to make a list, and to call the people
to distribute the allowance of water; every one came and drank what was
given him. I held my list under the tin cap, to catch the drops which fell,
and moisten my lips with them. Some persons attempted to drink sea water; I
am of opinion that they did but hasten the moment of their destruction.

About the middle of the day, on the 8th of July, one of our boats sailed in
company with the long-boat. The people on board suffered more than we, and
resolved to go on shore and get water if possible; but the sailors mutinied
and insisted on being landed at once: they had drank nothing for two days.
The officers wished to oppose it; the sailors were armed with their sabres.
A dreadful butchery was on the point of taking place on board this
unfortunate boat. The two sails were hoisted in order to strand more
speedily upon the coast, every body reached the shore, the boat filled with
water and was abandoned.

This example, fatal to us, gave our sailors an inclination to do the same.
Mr. Espiau consented to land them; he hoped to be able afterwards with the
little water that remained, and by working the vessel ourselves, to reach
the Senegal. We therefore placed ourselves round this little water, and
took our swords to defend it. We advanced near to the breakers, the anchor
was got up, and the officer gave orders to let the boat's painter go
gently, the sailors on the contrary, either let the rope go at once, or cut
it. Our boat being no longer checked, was carried into the first breaker.
The water passed over our heads, and three quarters filled the boat: it did
not sink. Immediately we hoisted a sail which carried us through the other
breakers. The boat entirely filled and sunk, but there was only four feet
water; every body leaped into the sea, and no one perished.

Before we thought of landing I had undressed myself, in order to dry my
clothes; I might have put them on again, but the resolution to land having
been taken, I thought that without clothes, I should be more able to swim
in case of need. Mr. de Chasteluz could not swim: he fastened a rope round
his middle, of which I took one end, and by means of which, I was to draw
him to me as soon as I got on shore. When the boat sunk I threw myself into
the water, I was very glad that I touched the bottom, for I was uneasy
about my comrade. I returned to the boat to look for my clothes and my
sword. A part of them had been already stolen, I found only my coat and one
of the two pair of pantaloons which I had with me. A negro offered to sell
me an old pair of shoes for eight francs, for I wanted a pair of shoes to
walk in.

The sailors had saved the barrel of water; and as soon as we were on shore
they fought for the drinking of it. I rushed in among them, and made my way
to him who had got the barrel at his mouth. I snatched it from him and
contrived to swallow two mouthfuls, the barrel was afterwards taken from
me, but these two mouthfuls did me as much good as two bottles; but for
them I could not have lived longer than a few hours.

Thus I found myself on the coast of Africa wet to the skin, with nothing in
my pockets except a few biscuits, steeped in salt water, to support me for
several days: without water, amidst a sandy desert inhabited by a ferocious
race of men: thus we had left one danger to plunge into a greater.

We resolved to proceed along the sea coast, because the breeze cooled us a
little, and besides the moist sand was softer than the fine moveable sand
in the interior. Before we proceeded on our march, we waited for the crew
of the other boat which had stranded before us.

We had proceeded about half an hour, when we perceived another boat
advancing with full sail, and came with such violence on the beach that it
stranded: it contained all the family of Mr. Picard, consisting of himself
and his wife, three daughters grown up, and four young children, one of
whom was at the breast. I threw myself into the sea to assist this unhappy
family; I contributed to get Mr. Picard on shore, every body was saved. I
went to look for my clothes, but could not find them; I fell into a violent
passion, and expressed in strong terms, the infamy of stealing in such
circumstances. I was reduced to my shirt and my trowsers. I know not
whether my cries, and my complaints, excited remorse in the robber, but I
found my coat and pantaloons again, a little further off upon the sand. (B)

[B10] XX.--_March in the Desert and Arrival at St. Louis_.

We proceeded on our journey for the rest of the day on the 8th of July;
many of us were overcome by thirst. Many with haggard eyes awaited only
death. We dug in the sand, but found only water more salt than that of the

At last we resolved to pass the sandy downs along the sea coast; we
afterwards met with a sandy plain almost as low as the ocean. On this sand
there was a little long and hard grass. We dug a hole three or four feet
deep, and found water which was whitish and had a bad smell. I tasted it
and finding it sweet, cried out "we are saved!" These words were repeated
by the whole caravan who collected round this water, which everyone
devoured with his eyes. Fire or six holes were soon made and every one took
his fill of this muddy beverage. We remained two hours at this place, and
endeavoured to eat a little biscuit in order to keep up our strength.

Towards evening we returned to the sea shore. The coolness of the night
permitted us to walk, but Mr. Picard's family could not follow us. The
children were carried, the officers setting the example, in order to induce
the sailors to carry them by turns. The situation of Mr. Picard was cruel;
his young ladies and his wife displayed great courage; they dressed
themselves in mens clothes. After an hours march Mr. Picard desired that we
might stop, he spoke in the tone of a man who would not be refused; we
consented, though the least delay might endanger the safety of all. We
stretched ourselves upon the sand, and slept till three o'clock in the

We immediately resumed our march. It was the 9th of July. We still
proceeded along the sea shore, the wet sand was more easy to walk upon; we
rested every half hour on account of the ladies.

About eight o'clock in the morning we went a little from the coast to
reconnoitre some Moors who had shewn themselves. We found two or three
wretched tents, in which there were some Mooresses almost all naked, they
were as ugly and frightful as the sands they inhabit. They came to our aid,
offering us water, goat's milk, and millet, which are their only food. They
would have appeared to us handsome, if it had been for the pleasure of
obliging us, but these rapacious creatures wanted us to give them every
thing we had. The sailors, who were loaded with what they had pillaged from
us, were more fortunate than we, a handkerchief procured them a glass of
water or milk, or a handful of millet. They had more money than we, and
gave pieces of five or ten francs for things, for which we offered twenty
sous. These Mooresses, however, did not know the value of money, and
delivered more to a person who gave them two or three little pieces of ten
sous, than to him who offered them a crown of six livres. Unhappily we had
no small money, and I drank more than one glass of milk at the rate of six
livres per glass.

We bought, at a dearer price than we could have bought gold, two goats
which we boiled by turns in a little metal kettle belonging to the
Mooresses. We took out the pieces half boiled, and devoured them like
savages. The sailors, for whom we had bought these goats, scarcely left the
officers their share, but seized what they could, and still complained of
having had too little. I could not help speaking to them as they deserved.
They consequently had a spite against me and threatened me more than once.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, after we had passed the greatest heat of
the day in the disgusting tents of the Mooresses, stretched by their side,
we heard a cry of "_To arms, to arms_!" I had none; I took a large knife
which I had preserved, and which was as good as a sword. We advanced
towards some Moors and Negroes, who had already disarmed several of our
people whom they had found reposing on the sea shore. The two parties were
on the point of coming to blows, when we understood that these men came to
offer to conduct us to Senegal.

Some timid persons distrusted their intentions. For myself, as well as the
most prudent among us, I thought that we should trust entirely to men who
came in a small number, and who, in fact, confided their own safety to us;
though it would have been so easy for them, to come in sufficiently large
numbers to overwhelm us. We did so, and experience proved that we did well.

We set off with our Moors who were very well made and fine men of their
race; a Negro, their slave was one of the handsomest men I have ever seen.
His body of a fine black, was clothed in a blue dress which he had received
as a present. This dress became him admirably, his gait was proud and his
air inspired confidence. The distrust of some of our Negroes, who had their
arms unsheathed, and fear painted on the countenances of some made him
laugh. He put himself in the middle of them, and placing the point of the
weapons upon his breast, opened his arms, to make them comprehend that he
was not afraid, and that they also ought not to fear him.

After we had proceeded some time, night being come, our guides conducted us
a little inland, behind the downs where there were some tents inhabited by
a pretty considerable number of Moors. Many persons in our caravan cried
out, that they were going to be led to death. But we did not listen to
them, persuaded that in every way we were undone, if the Moors were
resolved on our destruction, that besides, it was their true interest to
conduct us to Senegal, and that in short, confidence was the only means of

Fear caused every body to follow us. We found in the camp, water, camels'
milk, and dry, or rather rotten fish. Though all these things were
enormously dear, we were happy to meet with them. I bought for ten francs
one of these fish which stunk terribly. I wrapt it up in the only
handkerchief I had left, to carry it with me. We were not sure of always
finding such a good inn upon the road. We slept in our usual bed, that is
to say stretched upon the sand. We had rested till midnight: we took some
asses for Mr. Picard's family, and for some men whom fatigue had rendered
incapable of going any further.

I observed that the men who were most overcome by fatigue were presisely
those who were the most robust. From their look and their apparent strength
they might have been judged indefatigable, but they wanted mental strength,
and this alone supports man in such a crisis. For my part I was astonished
at bearing so well so many fatigues and privations. I suffered, but with
courage; my stomach, to my great satisfaction did not suffer at all. I bore
every thing in the same manner till the last.

Sleep alone, but the most distressing sleep possible, had nearly caused my
destruction. It was at two or three o'clock in the morning that it seized
me, I slept as I walked. As soon as they cried halt I let myself fall upon
the sand and was plunged into the most profound lethergy. Nothing gave me
more pain than to hear at the expiration of a quarter of an hour "_up,

I was once so overcome that I heard nothing, I remained stretched upon the
ground while the whole caravan passed by me. It was already at a great
distance when a straggler happily perceived me; he pushed me, and at last
succeeded in awaking me. But for him I should doubtless have slept several
hours. If I had awoke alone in the middle of the desert, either despair
would have terminated my sufferings, or I should have been made a slave by
the Moors, which I could not have borne. To avoid this misfortune I begged
one of my friends to watch over me, and to waken me at every stage, which
be did.

On the 10th of July towards six o'clock in the morning, we were marching
along the sea coast, when our guide gave us notice to be upon our guard and
to take our arms. I seized my knife; the whole party was collected. The
country was inhabited by a poor and plundering race of Moors, who would not
have failed to attack those who had loitered behind. The precaution was
good, some Moors shewed themselves on the downs; their number encreased and
soon exceeded ours. To move them, we placed ourselves in a line holding our
swords and sabres in the air. Those who had no arms waved the scabbards, to
make them believe that we were all armed with muskets. They did not
approach. Our guides went halfway to meet them. They left one man and
retired: the Moors did the same on their side. The two deputies conversed
together for some time, then each returned to his party. The explanation
was satisfactory, and the Moors soon came to us without the least distrust.

Their women brought us milk which they sold horribly dear; the rapacity of
these Moors is astonishing, they insisted on having a share of the milk,
which they had sold us.

Mean time we saw a sail advancing towards us: we made all kinds of signals
to be perceived by it, and we were convinced that they were answered. Our
joy was lively and well founded: it was the Argus brig which came to our
assistance. She lowered her sails and hoisted out a boat. When it was near
the breakers a Moor threw himself into the sea, carrying a note which
painted our distress. The boat took the Moor on board and returned with the
note to the captain. Half an hour afterwards the boat returned laden with a
large barrel, and two small ones. When it reached the place where it had
taken in the Moor, the latter threw himself into the sea again to bring
back the answer. It informed us that they were going to throw into the sea
a barrel of biscuit and cheese, and two others containing brandy and wine.

Another piece of news filled us with joy; the two boats which had not
stranded on the coast as we had done arrived at the Senegal, after having
experienced the most stormy weather. Without losing a moment the governor
had dispatched the Argus, and taken every measure to assist the shipwrecked
people, and to go to the Medusa. Besides, he had sent by land camels loaden
with provisions to meet us, lastly, the Moors were desired to respect us,
and to render us assistance: so much good news revived us, and gave us
fresh courage.

I learned also that Mr. Schmalz and his family, those very ladies, whom I
had seen expose themselves with so much composure to the fury of the waves,
and who had made me shed the only tears which our misfortunes had drawn
from me, were well and in safety. I should have been sorry to die without
having learned that they were preserved.

When the three barrels were thrown into the sea we followed them with our
eyes; we feared lest the current, instead of bringing them to the coast,
should carry them into the open sea. At last we saw, clearly, that they
approached us. Our Negroes and Moors swam to them, and pushed them to the
coast, where we secured them.

The great barrel was opened: the biscuit and cheese were distributed. We
would not open those of wine and brandy. We feared lest the Moors, at this
sight, would not be able to refrain from falling upon the booty. We
continued our march, and about half a league farther on, made a delicious
feast on the sea-shore. Our strength being revived, we continued our route
with more ardour.

Towards the close of the day, the aspect of the country began to change a
little. The downs were lower: we perceived, at a distance, a sheet of
water: we thought, and this was no small satisfaction to us, that it was
the Senegal which made an elbow in this place to run parallel to the sea.
From this elbow runs the little rivulet called _Marigot des Maringouins_;
we left the sea-shore to pass it a little higher up. We reached a spot
where there was some verdure and water, and resolved to remain there till

We had scarcely reached this spot, when we saw an Englishman coming towards
us with three or four Marabous, or priests; they had camels with them; they
were doubtless sent by the English Governor of Senegal, to seek for the
shipwrecked people. One of the camels, laden with provisions, is
immediately dispatched; those who conduct it are to go, if necessary, to
Portendic, to fetch our companions in misfortune; or at least to get some
information respecting them.

The English envoy had money to buy us provisions. He informed us that we
had still three days march to the Senegal. We imagined that we were nearer
to it; the most fatigued were terrified at this great distance. We slept
all together on the sand. Nobody was suffered to go to a distance for fear
of the lions, which were said to haunt this country. This fear did not at
all alarm me, nor hinder me from sleeping pretty well.

On the 11th of July, after having walked from one o'clock in the morning
till seven, we arrived at a place where the Englishman expected to meet
with an ox. By some misunderstanding there was none; we were obliged _to
pinch our bellies_: but we had a little water.

The heat was insupportable; the sun was already scorching. We halted on the
white sand of these downs, as being more wholesome for a resting place than
the sand, wetted by the sea-water. But this sand was so hot, that even the
hands could not endure it. Towards noon we were broiled by the beams of the
sun darting perpendicularly upon our heads. I found no remedy, except in a
creeping plant, which grew here and there on the moving sand. I set up some
old stalks, and spread over them my coat and some leaves: thus I put my
head in the shade; the rest of my body was roasted. The wind overturned,
twenty times, my slight scaffolding.

Meantime, this Englishman was gone, on his camel, to see after an ox. He
did not return till four or five o'clock: when he informed us that we
should find this animal, after we had proceeded some hours. After a most
painful march, till night, we, in fact, met with an ox which was small, but
tolerably fat. We looked at some distance from the sea, for a place where
there was supposed to be a spring. It was only a hole, which the Moors had
left a few hours before. Here we fixed ourselves, a dozen fires were
lighted around us. A negro twisted the neck of the ox, as we should have
done that of a fowl. In five minutes it was flayed and cut into pieces,
which we toasted on the points of our swords or sabres. Every one devoured
his portion.

After this slight repast, we all lay down to sleep. I was not able to
sleep: the tiresome buzzing of the mosquitoes, and their cruel stings,
prevented me, though I was so much in need of repose.

On the 12th, we resumed our march at three o'clock in the morning. I was
indisposed; and to knock me up entirely, we had to walk over the moving
sand of the point of Barbary. Nothing hitherto, had been more fatiguing:
every body complained; our Moorish guides assured us that this way was
shorter by two leagues. We preferred returning to the beach, and walking on
the sand, which the sea-water rendered firm. This last effort was almost
beyond my strength, I sunk under it, and but for my comrades, I should have
remained upon the sand.

We had absolutely resolved to reach the point, where the river joins the
downs. There some boats, which were coming up the river, were to take us on
board, and convey us to St. Louis. When we had nearly reached this spot, we
crossed the downs, and enjoyed the sight of the river which we had so long
desired to meet with.

Happily too, it was the season when the water of the Senegal is fresh: we
quenched our thirst at our pleasure. We stopped at last; it was only eight
o'clock in the morning. We had no shelter during the whole day, except some
trees, which were of a kind unknown to me, and which had a sombre foliage.
I frequently went into the river, but without venturing too far from the
bank, for fear of the alligators.

About two o'clock, a small boat arrived; the master of it asked for Mr.
Picard; he was sent by one of the old friends of that gentleman, and
brought him provisions and clothes for his family. He gave notice to us
all, in the name of the English Governor, that two other boats loaded with
provisions, were coming. Having to wait till they arrived, I could not
remain with Mr. Picard's family. I know not what emotion arose in my soul
when I saw the fine white bread cut, and the wine poured out, which would
have given me so much pleasure. At four o'clock we also were able to eat
bread and good biscuit, and to drink excellent Madeira, which was lavished
on us with little prudence. Our sailors were drunk; even those among us who
had been more cautious, and whose heads were stronger, were, to say the
least, very merry. How did our tongues run as we went down the river in our
boats! After a short and happy navigation, we landed at Saint Louis, about
seven o'clock in the evening.

But what should we do? whither should we go? Such were our reflections
when we set foot on shore. They were not of long duration. We met with some
of our comrades belonging to the boats who had arrived before us, who
conducted us, and distributed us among various private houses, where every
thing had been prepared to receive us well. I shall always remember the
kind hospitality which was shewn to us, in general, by the white
inhabitants of St. Louis, both English and French. We were all made
welcome; we had all clean linen to put on, water to wash our feet; a
sumptuous table was ready for us. As for myself, I was received, with
several of my companions, in the house of Messrs. Potin and Durecur,
Merchants of Bordeaux. Every thing they possessed was lavished upon us.
They gave me linen, light clothes, in short, whatever I wanted. I had
nothing left. Honour to him, who knows so well how to succour the
unfortunate; to him especially who does it with so much simplicity, and as
little ostentation as these gentlemen did. It seemed that it was a duty for
them to assist every body. They would willingly have left to others no
share in the good that was to be done. English officers eagerly claimed the
pleasure, as they expressed it, of having some of the shipwrecked people to
take care of. Some of us had feather beds, others good mattrasses laid upon
mats, which they found very comfortable. I slept ill notwithstanding, I was
too much fatigued, too much agitated: I always fancied, myself either
bandied about by the waves, or treading on the burning sands.(B)

[A11] XXI.--_On the Manufactures of the Moors_.

The Moors tan skins with the dried pods of the Gummiferous Accia: thus
prepared, they are impenetrable to the rain, and it may be affirmed that,
for their suppleness, as well as for the brilliancy and finesss of their
grain, they might become a valuable fur in Europe, either for use or
ornament. The most beautiful of these skins seemed to be those of very
young goats, taken from the belly of the dam before the time of gestation
is completed. The great numbers of these animals, which are found round all
the inhabited places, allow the inhabitants to sacrifice many to this
species of luxury, without any extraordiny loss. The cloaks, with a hood,
which are mentioned in this memoir, are composed of several of these skins,
ingeniously sewed together, with small and very fine seams. These garments,
designed as a protection against the cold and the rain, are generally
black, but some are also seen of a reddish colour, which are not so
beautiful, and heavier these latter are made of the skins of the kind of
sheep, known by the name of guinea-sheep, which have hair instead of wool.
As for the goldsmiths work, made by these people, it is executed by
travelling workmen, who are at the same time armourers, smiths and
jewellers. Furnished with a leather bag which is provided with an iron
pipe, and filled with air, which they press and fill alternately, by
putting it under their thigh, which they keep in constant motion, singing
all the while; seated before a little hole dug in the sand, and under the
shade of some leaves of the date-tree laid upon their heads, they execute
on a little anvil, and with the help of a hammer, and some small iron awls,
not only all kinds of repairs necessary to fire-arms, sabres, &c. but
manufacture knives and daggers, and also make bracelets, earrings, and
necklaces of gold, which they have the art of drawing into very fine wire,
and forming into ornaments for women, in a manner which, though it wants
taste, makes us admire the skill of the workman, especially when we
consider the nature, and the small number of the tools which he employs.

The Moors, like the Mahometan negroes, are for the most part, provided with
a larger or smaller number of _gris-gris_, a kind of talisman consisting in
words, or verses copied from the Coran, to which they ascribe the power of
securing them against diseases, witchcraft and accidents, and which they
buy of their priests or Marabous. Some Spaniards from Teneriffe, who came
to Cape Verd, at the time that the French Expedition had taken refuge
there, struck us all, by their resemblance with these Africans. It was not
only by their brown complexions that they resembled them; but it was also
by their long rosaries, twisted in the some manner about their arms,
resembling, except the cross, those of the Moors, and by the great number
of Amulets, (_gris-gris_ of another kind) which they wear round their
necks, and by which they seemed to wish to rival the infidels in credulity.
There is then, in the South of Europe, as well as in the North of Africa, a
class of men, who would found their authority, upon ignorance, and derive
their authority from superstition.

[A12] XXII.--_On the Bark given to the Sick_.

The bark, which began to be administered at that time, had been damaged,
but an attempt was made to supply the want of it by the bark which the
negroes use to cure the dysentery, and which they bring from the environs
of Rufisque. This bark, of which they made a secret, seems to come from
some terebinthine plant, and perhaps, from the _monbins_, which are common


Back to Full Books