The Journal Of A Mission To The Interior Of Africa, In The Year 1805
Part 4 out of 5
halting, in order to reach a watering place. About two miles before we
came to the watering place, Bloore, the soldier who had come up during
the night, sat down under the shade of a tree; and when I desired him to
proceed, he said he was rather fatigued, and when he had cooled himself,
he would follow. I assured him that the halting place was only a very
little way off, and advised him by all means not to fall asleep. We
halted on an elevated table land: the water was only rain collected in
the hollow places of the rock. At half past four o'clock, as Bloore had
not come up, I sent the Sergeant on one of the horses to bring him
forward; he returned at sun-set, having seen nothing of him, and having
rode several miles past the place. I suspected that the serjeant might
have rode past him asleep under the tree; I therefore got three
volunteers to go with me, and look for him. It was now quite dark. We
collected a large bundle of dry grassland taking out a handful at a time,
kept up a constant light, in order to frighten the lions which are very
numerous in these woods. When we reached the tree under which he lay
down, we made a fire. Saw the place where he had pressed down the grass,
and the marks of his feet: went to the west along the pathway, and
examined for the marks of his feet, thinking he might possibly have
mistaken the direction. Found none: fired several muskets. Hollowed, and
set fire to the grass. Returned to the tree and examined all round; saw
no blood nor the foot marks of any wild beasts. Fired six muskets more.
As any further search was likely to be fruitless, (for we did not dare to
walk far from the track for fear of losing ourselves) we returned to the
tents. One of Isaaco's people shot an antelope in the evening, which more
than supplied us all with meat. Much troubled in the night with wolves.
June 30th.--Early in the morning set forwards, and descended from the
table land into a more fertile plain. Vast numbers of monkies on the
rocks. Reached Kandy after a march of ten miles, all very much fatigued.
This is but a small town; the large town having been taken and burnt by
Daisy's son about two years ago, and all the people carried away. Mr.
Anderson and Mr. Scott sick of the lever.
July 1st.--Covered a load of beads with the skin of the antelope. One of
the bundles containing all our small _seed beads_ stolen during the
night; made all the search I could, but in vain: I could not recover it.
As we were short of rice, and none could be purchased here, determined to
push on as quick as possible; but the men were so very sickly, that I
judged it imprudent to trust the baggage and asses without proper
drivers. Employed in dividing the asses amongst the healthy men.
July 2d.--Set forwards. Two more of the soldiers sick of the fever. When
we had travelled about three miles, one of the soldiers (Roger M'Millan)
became so delirious, that it was found impossible to carry him forwards.
Left him at a village called _Sanjeekotta_. I regretted much being
under the necessity of leaving in the hour of sickness and distress, a
man who had grown old in the service of his country. He had been
thirty-one years a soldier, twelve times a corporal, nine times a
serjeant; but an unfortunate attachment to the _bottle_ always
returned him into the ranks.
We reached _Koeena_ about three o'clock, all very much fatigued. I
felt myself very sickly, having lifted up and reloaded a great many asses
on the road. The village of _Koeena_ is walled round, and it is
surrounded on three sides with rocky precipices. Had a severe tornado at
seven o'clock, which put out the watch-fire and made us all crowd into
the tents. When the violence of the squall was over, we heard a
particular sort of roaring or growling, not unlike the noise of a wild
boar; there seemed to be more than one of them, and they went all round
our cattle. Fired two muskets to make them keep at a distance; but as
they still kept prowling round us, we collected a bunch of withered
grass, and went with Lieutenant Martyn in search of the animals,
suspecting them to be wild boars. We got near one of them, and fired
several shots into the bush, and one at him as he went off among the long
grass. When we returned to the tents, I learned by enquiring of the
natives that the animals we had been in search of were not boars, but
young lions; and they assured me that unless we kept a very good look out
they would probably kill some of our cattle during the night. About
midnight these young lions attempted to seize one of the asses, which so
much alarmed the rest that they broke their ropes, and came at full
gallop in amongst the tent ropes. Two of the lions followed them, and
came so close to us that the sentry cut at one of them with his sword,
but did not dare to fire for fear of killing the asses. Neglected to wind
up the watch.
July 3d.--Departed from Koeena, and halted during the heat of the day at
Koombandi, distant six miles. Here the guides that I had hired from
Kandy, were to return; and I had agreed with them to carry back
M'Millan's knapsack, and some amber and beads to purchase provisions for
him; but three people came up to us with two asses for sale, and they
informed me that they left Sanjeekotta early in the morning; that the
soldier who was left there, had died during the night, and the natives
had buried him in a corn field near the town. Purchased the asses in
order to carry forwards the sick.
About three o'clock left Koombandi. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott were so
sick, that they wished to remain here for the night; with much
entreating, persuaded them to mount their horses and go on. Three miles
east of the village, William Alston, one of the seamen whom I received
from His Majesty's ship Squirrel, became so faint that he fell from his
ass, and allowed the ass to run away. Set him on my horse, but found he
could not sit without holding him. Replaced him on the ass, but he still
tumbled off: put him again on the horse, and made one man keep him
upright, while I led the horse. But as he made no exertion to keep
himself erect, it was impossible to hold him on the horse, and after
repeated tumbles he begged to be left in the woods till morning. I left a
loaded pistol with him, and put some cartridges into the crown of his
hat. At sun-set reached Fonilla, a small walled village on the banks of
the Wonda, which is here called _Ba Woolima_ (Red river), and
towards its source it has the name of _Ba qui_ (White river), the
middle part of its course being called _Wonda._ It had swelled two
feet perpendicular by the rains which had fallen to the southward, and
was very muddy; but cannot even in its present state be reckoned a large
July 4th--Agreed with the canoe people to carry over our baggage and
cattle for sixty bars. There being but one canoe, it was near noon before
all the bundles were carried over. The transporting of the asses was very
difficult. The river being shallow and rocky; whenever their feet touched
the bottom they generally stood still. Our guide, Isaaco, was very active
in pushing the asses into the water, and shoving along the canoe; but as
he was afraid that we could not have them all carried over in the course
of the day he attempted to drive six of the asses across the river
farther down where the water was shallower. When he had reached the
middle of the river a crocodile rose close to him, and instantly seizing
him by the left thigh, pulled him under water. With wonderful presence of
mind he felt the head of the animal, and thrust his finger into its eye;
on which it quitted its hold, and Isaaco attempted to reach the further
shore, calling out for a knife. But the crocodile returned and seized him
by the other thigh, and again pulled him under water; he had recourse to
the same expedient, and thrust his fingers into its eyes with such
violence that it again quitted him; and when it rose, flounced about on
the surface of the water as if stupid, and then swam down the middle of
the river. Isaaco proceeded to the other side, bleeding very much. As
soon as the canoe returned I went over, and found him very much
lacerated. The wound on the left thigh was four inches in length: that on
the right not quite so large, but very deep; besides several single teeth
wounds on his back. Drew the lips of the wounds together with slips of
adhesive plaister secured with a roller; and as we were not far from a
village, he thought it best for him to go forwards before his wounds had
become very painful. He accordingly rode forwards to the village of
Boolinkoomboo on one of our horses. Found myself very sick, and unable to
stand erect without feeling a tendency to faint; the people so sickly
that it was with some difficulty we got the loads put into the tents,
though it threatened rain. To my great astonishment, _Ashton_, the
sailor whom I had left in the woods the evening before, came up quite
naked, having been stripped of his clothes by three of the natives during
the night. Found his fever much abated.
[Footnote: The name is thus written in Mr. Park's MS.; but it seems to be
a mistake for _Alston_, v. ante p. 87.]
July 5th.--With great difficulty got the asses loaded, but had not a
sufficient number of spare asses for the sick. Set one of them on my
horse, and walked, feeling a remission of the fever, though still very
giddy and unwell. We soon reached Boolinkoomboo, it being only two miles
from the landing place. This village is sometimes called Moiaharra: it
does not contain above one hundred people. On collecting the asses, found
that three were missing, besides a sickly one, which was too weak to
cross the river, and was eaten by the people of Fonilla. All this
diminished our means of carrying forward the sick.
I now found my situation very perplexing. To go forward without Isaaco to
Keminoom, I knew would involve us in difficulties; as Keminoom's sons are
reckoned the greatest thieves and blackguards on the whole route. To stop
till Isaaco recovered (an event which seemed very doubtful), would throw
us into the violence of the rains. There was no other person that I could
trust; and, what was worst of all, we had only _two days rice_, and
a great scarcity prevailed in the country. I determined to wait three
days, to see how Isaaco's wounds looked, and in the mean time sent two of
his people away to Serracorra with an ass and three strings of No. 5.
amber to purchase rice.
July 6th.--All the people either sick, or in a state of great debility,
except one. Bought all the milk I could find, and boiled a camp kettle
full of strong decoction of barks every day.
July 7th.--Dressed Isaaco's wounds: they looked remarkably well.
July 8th.--Waiting very anxiously for the return of Isaaco's people with
the rice, being now on very short allowance.
July 9th.--In the afternoon Isaaco's people returned, bringing with them
l23 lbs. of clean rice; Isaaco's wounds looking well, and beginning to
discharge good pus. Latitude by uncertain obs. mer. alt. of the sun 13
July 10th.--Departed from Boolinkoomboo, and eight miles N.E. passed the
village of Serrababoo; close to which is a stream called Kinyaco, about
knee deep, running to the N.W. It was very difficult to cross, on account
of the fissures in the rocks which form its bed. Several of the asses
fell, and their loads were of course wet. From this we travelled due
North, over a ridge of rocks, which formed the only passage across a
chain of hills. When we had crossed this, we travelled six miles on a
rocky and almost impassable road, and a little before sun-set, to our
great joy, reached Sabooseera (Dooty Matta). This is a scattered unwalled
village. Latitude by mer. alt. of moon 13 deg. 50'.
Arrival at Keminoom, or Manniakorro, on the Ba lee river.--Visit to the
Chief.--Depredations upon the coffle by the inhabitants--Continued
attacks from banditti as far as the Ba Woolima river--Difficulties in
passing it--temporary bridge made by the natives.--Astronomical
observations--Arrival at Mareena; inhospitable conduct of his
inhabitants--Bangassi; interview with the King--Continued sickness, and
deaths among the soldiers.--Arrival at Nummasoolo--Obliged to leave five
of the sick behind--reach Surtaboo--Sobee--Affray between Isaaco and two
soldiers--Balanding--Balandoo--More of the soldiers fall
behind--Koolihori--Greatly annoyed by wolves.
July 11th.--From Sabooseera, or Mallaboo, we travelled towards the West
and North West till noon, when we arrived at Keminoom, or Maniakorro.
This is a walled town fortified in the strongest manner I have yet seen
in Africa; a section of the walls and ditch would have nearly the
Pitched our tents under a tree near the Ba lee, which runs here with
great velocity, and breaks into small cataracts.
July 12th.--Went in the morning with Isaaco and waited on Keminoom, or
Mansa Numma, as he is commonly called. I took with me
Amber, No. 2 25
Ditto, No. 4 15
Balls and flints 2
Looking glasses 5
A soldier's musket,
A pair of handsome pistols silver mounted.
He sent them all back, and I was forced to put a silver mounted gun on it
before he would accept of it; and likewise
To Eerujama, the King's brother,
Amber, No. 2 10
To his son,
To the King's people 10
To eight Finnis for singing some nonsense 8
Observed mer. alt. of the sun 163 24'; latitude 14 0'
In the evening had such of the soldiers as were most healthy dressed in
their red coats; and at Numma's request went with them to the town, where
they went through some movements, and fired.
July 13th.--Very desirous to be gone, as we found the people thieves to a
man; in fact we have never yet been at a place where so much theft and
impudence prevails. This can only be accounted for, by considering that
Mansa Numma is the reputed father of more than thirty children; and as
they all consider themselves as far above the common people, they treat
every person with contempt, and even steal in the most open manner. By
the side of the river are a great number of human bones (more than thirty
skulls.) On enquiring the reason, I was informed that Mansa Numma always
inflicted capital punishments himself, and that the bones I saw were
those of criminals. I had reason to regret, that capital punishments
seldom or never extend to the real or reputed descendants of the King.
July 14th.--As soon as day dawned, struck the tents and loaded the asses.
The townspeople gathered round us in crowds. They had stolen during our
stay here four great coats, a large bundle of beads, a musket, a pair of
pistols, and several other things. Before we had advanced a musket shot
from the town (though we had one of the King's sons on horseback as a
protector), one of the townspeople carried away a bag from one of the
asses, containing some things belonging to one of the soldiers. The
King's son, Lieutenant Martyn, and myself rode after him, and were lucky
enough to come up with him, and recover the bag; but before we could
rejoin the coffle, another had run off with a musket that was fastened on
one of the loads.
We proceeded in this manner in a constant state of alarm; and I had great
reason to fear that the impudence of the people would provoke some of the
soldiers to run, them through with their bayonets. About two miles from
Maniakorro, as we were ascending a rocky part of the road, several of the
asses fell with their loads. I rode a little from the path to see if a
more easy ascent could not be found; and as I was holding my musket
carelessly in my hand, and looking round, two of Numma's sons came up to
me; one of them requested me to give him some snuff. Suspecting no ill
treatment from two people, whom I had often seen with the King, and at
our tents, I turned round to assure him that I never took snuff; at this
instant the other (called Woosaba) coming up behind me, snatched the
musket from my hand, and ran off with it. I instantly sprung from the
saddle and followed him with my sword, calling to Mr. Anderson to ride
back, and tell some of the people to look after my horse. Mr. Anderson
got within musket shot of him, but seeing it was Numma's son, had some
doubts about shooting him, and called to me if he should fire. Luckily I
did not hear him, or I might possibly have recovered my musket, at the
risk of a long palaver, and perhaps the loss of half our baggage. The
thief accordingly made his escape amongst the rocks, and when I returned
to my horse, I found the other of the royal descendants had stolen my
I went and informed the King's son, whom we had hired as a guide, of what
had happened; and requested to know how I should act if any of the people
should steal from the baggage. He assured me that after what had
happened, I should be justified in shooting the first that attempted to
steal from the loads. Made such of the soldiers as were near me load
their muskets and be ready. The sky became cloudy, and by the time that
we had advanced about five miles from the town, we experienced a very
heavy tornado. During the rain another of Numma's sons snatched up and
run off with one of the soldiers muskets and a pair of pistols, which he
had laid down while he was reloading his ass.
We halted amongst the rocks and put off the loads, all very wet. Turned
the asses to feed, and cooked some rice, although it rained very heavily.
One of the negro boys gave the alarm that three people were driving away
our asses. I followed with some of our people: the thieves made their
escape amongst the rocks, but without carrying away any of the asses,
though they had untied the feet of three and fastened a fourth to a bush.
Collected the asses and began to load. Whilst we were loading one of the
asses strayed a little from the rest, about two hundred yards, and to my
astonishment a man came from amongst the rocks, took off the load, and
began to cut it open with his knife. Before any person could come at him,
he left the load and run up the rocks. Mr. Scott and one of the soldiers
fired at him, but did not hit him. Went on. Road very rocky. Told the
soldiers to shoot the first that took any thing from the baggage. Found
some of the asses and loads lying at the difficult places in the road,
and often two loads with only one half-sick soldier to guard them. Kept
in the rear, as I perceived they had a mind to take some of the loads and
asses. I saw the thieves peeping over the rocks, and making signs to
their comrades, who seemed very desirous of assisting us in putting on
our loads. Put one of the loads on my horse, and another on Mr.
Anderson's, and luckily cleared the difficult passes of the rocks by sun
set, without losing any thing, though surrounded by at least a dozen
experienced thieves. When we reached the bottom of the rocky pass, we
went on with more ease, and came up to the rest of the party about eight
o'clock. They had stopped for the night in the woods, and so were all our
clothes; [Footnote: It is thus in Mr. Park's MS. There seems to be some
omission.] and in fact we passed a very uncomfortable night amongst the
wet grass, and exposed to a very heavy dew.
July 15th.--Early in the morning proceeded, and went on very slowly in
the rear, by which means we were separated from the front. Horses loaded
as usual. When we reached the cultivated land, which surrounds the
village of Ganamboo, we came up to one of the soldiers, who informed us,
that a man habited as a slave had come from amongst the bushes, and
instantly seized on his musket and knapsack, which were fastened on the
top of his load. The soldier struggled with him for his musket, and
wrested it from him; on which the thief let go the knapsack, and
attempted to make off; but when he heard the soldier cock his piece,
expecting to be instantly shot, he threw himself down on the road and
roared out in the most pitiable manner. The soldier took a steady aim at
him, but unfortunately his musket flashed in the pan, and the slave
started up and ran in amongst the bushes.
Ganamboo is only a small walled village: it is situated about ten miles
East half North from Maniakorro.
July 10th.--Left Ganamboo, but the soldiers and asses were so much
fatigued, that we were forced to stop at Ballandoo (Dooty Mari Umfa)
during the night. We had the most tremendous storm of thunder and
lightning I ever saw. I was so confident that the tent would be struck
by the lightning, that I went to some distance to avoid the explosion of
July 17th.--Left Ballandoo at eight o'clock, and reached _Seransang_
about noon. All horses loaded; mine fell down under his load, and I was
forced to sit by him till an ass was sent from the halting place.
Seransang is a scattered but populous town, and the land is cleared
round it for a great distance. One of our best asses stolen during the
July 18th.--Departed from Seransang, having shifted the loads so as to
have the horses free, in order to prevent theft. We had not travelled
much above a mile, when two suspicious people came up. One of them
walked slowly in the rear; and the other passed on, seemingly in great
haste. I desired Mr. Anderson to watch the one in the rear, whilst I
rode on at such a distance as just to keep sight of the other. The road
making a turn, he was concealed from me by the bushes, and took
advantage of this opportunity to carry away a great coat from a load
which was driven by one of the sick men. I fortunately got a view of him
as he was running off among the bushes, and galloping in a direction so
as to get before him, quickly came so near him that he leaped into some
very thick bushes. When I rode round, he went out at the side opposite
to me; and in this manner I hunted him amongst the bushes for some time,
but never losing sight of him. At last he run past a spreading tree, and
jumping back, stood close to the trunk of it. I thought I should
certainly lose him if I did not avail myself of the present opportunity.
I accordingly fired, and dropping my musket on the pummel of the saddle,
drew out one of the pistols, and told him if he offered to move, I would
instantly shoot him dead. "Do not kill me, white man," he exclaimed, "I
cannot run from you, you have broke my leg." I now observed the blood
streaming down his leg; and when he pulled up his cloth, I saw that the
ball had passed through his leg about two inches below the knee joint.
He climbed a little way up the tree, which was of easy ascent; always
exclaiming in a pitiable tone of voice, "do not kill me." Several of the
people belonging to the coffle, on hearing the shot fired, came running;
and amongst others the guide appointed us by Keminoom, who insisted that
I should instantly shoot the thief dead; otherwise he said I did not
fulfil the orders of his master, who had directed me to shoot every
person that stole from me. I had great difficulty in preventing him from
killing him, and was happy to recover the great coat, and leave the
thief bleeding amongst the branches of the tree.
We proceeded without further molestation till about three o'clock in the
afternoon, when it came on a tornado. During the rain one of the sick
had fallen a little behind, and four people seizing him, stripped off
his jacket. He followed them at a distance; and when they came up to Mr.
Anderson and myself, he called out to us to shoot one of them, as they
had taken his jacket. I had my pocket handkerchief on the lock of my gun
to keep the priming dry. When they observed me remove it, one of them
pulled out the jacket from under his cloak, and laid it on one of the
asses. Mr. Anderson followed them on horseback, and I kept as near him
as I could on foot, my horse being loaded. After following them about
three miles, they struck into the woods; and suspecting that they had a
mind to return and steal some of the loads from the fatigued asses in
the rear, I returned with Mr. Scott, and found that one of the soldiers
had lost his knapsack, and another his jacket. But from their
description, the robbers were not the same as had formerly passed.
Continued in the rear. When we came within a mile of the town of
Nummaboo, the road passes near some high rocks. The asses being a little
way before us, two of the robbers first seen came from amongst the
rocks, and were going towards the asses; but when they observed us
coming up, they attempted to slide off unobserved among the rocky. When
I called to one of them to stop and tell me what they were looking
after, they came near us; but as they had nothing of ours in their
possession, we could not stop them, and they accordingly passed to the
westward. Mr. Scott and I went and examined that part of the rocks where
we observed them come out, and were lucky enough to find a soldier's
coat, a camp kettle, and a number of other articles, which had probably
been their share of the booty; for I learned on my arrival at the town,
that the ass which carried the muskets belonging to the sick, had been
stopped by four people near these rocks, and six muskets, a pair of
pistols, and a knapsack taken away. To complete the business, J. Bowden,
one of the sick, did not come up; and we had little doubt but that he
had been stripped and murdered by these very people in the woods. We
likewise had a very good ass stolen during the night.
July 19th.--Having purchased an ass in lieu of the one stolen, we left
Nummaboo, which is a walled village, and proceeded onwards. Had two
tornadoes; the last, about eleven o'clock, wetted us much, and made the
road slippery. Two asses unable to go on. Put their loads on the horses,
and left them. Mr. Scott's horse unable to walk: left it to our guide.
At noon came to the ruins of a town. Found two more of the asses unable
to carry their loads. Hired people to carry on the loads, and a boy to
drive the asses. Past the ruins of another town at half past twelve,
where I found two of the sick, who had laid themselves down under a
tree, and refused to rise, (they were afterwards stripped by the
Negroes, and came naked to our tents next morning). Shortly after this,
came to an ass lying on the road unable to proceed with its load. Put
part of the load on my horse, which was already heavily loaded. Took a
knapsack on my back. The soldier carried the remainder and drove the ass
We arrived on the banks of the Ba Woolima at half past one o'clock. This
river is but narrow, not being more than fifty or sixty feet over; but
was so swelled with the rains as to be twenty feet deep at the place
where we proposed to cross it. Our first attempt was to fell a tree
close to the river, that by its fall would reach across the stream and
form a bridge: but after cutting down four, they all fell in such a
manner as to be of no use; for though the tops of one reached the rocks
on the farther shore when it fell, yet the violence of the current swept
it away. In this manner we fatigued ourselves till sunset, when we gave
up the attempt.
Observed the following emersion of Jupiter's satellites.
H. M. S.
Third satellite emerged by Watch M. S. 9 25 18
Watch too slow 1 55
First satellite emerged by Watch 9 36 10
Watch too slow 2 34
July 20th.--Altitudes taken for the time.
H. M. S. deg. ' H. M. S. deg. '
7 6 45 21 21 7 9 42 22 42
0 7 25 21 40 0 10 26 23 2
0 8 8 21 55 0 11 3 23 18
7 13 10 24 18 7 16 27 25 49
0 13 44 24 33 0 17 0 26 3
0 14 14 24 46 0 17 30 26 16
deg. ' "
Obser. Mer. Alt. 166 4 0
1/2 83 2 0
0 16 0
83 18 0
6 42 0
20 43 0
Longitude 5 0 13 W.
Latitude 14 1 0 N.
The passage of the river being the great desideratum, I proposed a raft
to be hauled from side to side with ropes; whilst the Mandingoes were
decidedly of opinion that nothing would answer our purpose but a bridge,
which they said they would complete by two o'clock. I set to work with
the carpenters to make a raft; but when the logs were cut into lengths,
we could not muster healthy people enough to carry them to the water
side. We were forced to give up the attempt and trust entirely to the
Negro bridge, which was constructed in the following manner. A straight
pole was cut to sound the depth of the river, and notches made on it to
shew the depth at different distances from the shore. Two straight trees
were now cut, and their tops fastened strongly together with slips of
bark. These were launched across the stream with the assistance of two
people, and a rope on the further side; the roots of the trees were
firmly fastened with ropes to the roots of the trees on each side of the
river. Along the upper side of these trees they planted a range of
upright forked sticks, cut correctly to the lengths on the sounding
pole. These upright forks supported two other trees tied as the first,
but which were not, like the first, permitted to sink into the water,
but were kept about a foot above the surface by means of the forks.
Another range of forks was placed a little farther up the stream, which
likewise supported two trees fastened as the above; the whole was
completed with cross sticks. The two trees first laid over, which were
permitted to sink in the water, served to prevent the stream from
running away with the forks whose roots sloped down the stream; whilst
the weight of the current pressed on and kept firm the roots of such as
were placed up the stream. A section of the bridge would have the
A. Trees first laid across.
B. First range of forks.
C. Trees supported by first range.
D. Second range of forks.
E. Trees supported by ditto.
F. Cross sticks for walking on.
If the river was dried up, the structure would have somewhat of this
Our people being all so sickly, I hired the Negroes to carry over all
the baggage, and swim over the asses. Our baggage was laid on the rocks
on the East side of the river; but such was our sickly state that we
were unable to carry it up the bank. Francis Beedle, one of the
soldiers, was evidently dying of the fever; and having in vain
attempted, with the assistance of one of his messmates, to carry him
over, I was forced to leave him on the West bank; thinking it very
probable that he would die in the course of the night.
July 21st.--Hired Isaaco's people to carry the bundles up the bank, and
assist in loading all the asses. One of the soldiers crossed the bridge,
and found Beedle expiring. Did not stop to bury him, the sun being high;
but set out immediately. Country woody, but level. About half past ten
o'clock came to Mr. Scott lying by the side of the path, so very sick
that he could not walk. Shortly after Mr. Martyn laid down in the same
state. My horse being loaded, and myself, as usual, walking on foot and
driving an ass, I could give them no assistance. I came in sight of the
town of Mareena a little before twelve; and at the same time was happy
to see two of Isaaco's people coming back with two asses to take the
loads off the horses in the rear. Sent them back for Mr. Scott and Mr.
Martyn, and proceeded to the town. Some of the people, who had crossed
the river with us, had informed the people of Mareena of the treatment
we had experienced in passing from Maniakorro to the Ba Woolima, which
district is called Kissi; and withal had told the people that our coffle
was a Dummulafong, a thing sent to be eaten, or in English _fair game_
for every body. The inhabitants of Mareena were resolved to come in for
their share; they accordingly stole five of our asses during the night;
but felt themselves much disappointed next morning,
July 22d,--when they understood, that instead of proceeding to Bangassi,
we proposed to send forward a messenger to inform the king of the bad
treatment we had experienced. Three of them returned the asses they had
stolen, but the other two would not. About noon we loaded all the horses
and asses; and I hired two young men to carry forwards two trunks, the
load of one of the asses which was stolen. Bangassi is only six miles
distant from Mareena. It is a large town, fortified in the same manner
as Maniakorro; but is four or five times as large. Pitched our tents
under a tree to the East of the town.
July 23d.--Received a present from Serenummo, the King, of a fine
bullock and two very large calabashes of sweet milk; he likewise sent
the two asses which the people of Mareena had stolen. Took from our
baggage the following articles, and went with Isaaco to the King.
To the King, amber No. 2 30
Ditto. No. 4 20
Looking glasses 5
Balls and flints 2
Mr. Anderson's musket.
To the King's son, amber No. 4 5
To the person who assisted in settling the palaver,
To the good people in the town 10
To Isaaco's landlord for a goat 10
The town is large and populous, and is better fortified than even
Maniakorro. We found Serenummo seated in a sort of shade, surrounded by
only a few friends; orders having been given not to allow any person to
enter it. He enquired if I was the white man who had formerly passed
through the country, and what could induce me to come back again; with a
number of such questions. To all which I gave the best answers I could;
and then told him that I did not come to purchase slaves or gold; I did
not come to take any man's trade from him or any man's money; I did not
come to make money, but to spend it; and for the truth of these
assertions I could appeal to every person who knew me or had travelled
with me. I farther added, it was my intention at present to travel
peaceably through his kingdom into Bambarra; and that as a mark of my
regard for his name and character, I had brought a few articles which my
guide would present to him. Here Isaaco spread out on the floor the
articles before mentioned. The King looked at them with that sort of
indifference which an African always affects towards things he has not
before seen. However much he may admire them, he must never appear in
the least surprised. He told me I should have permission to pass; and he
would make his son take care of us till we arrived at Sego; but it would
be some days before he was ready. I told him I was anxious to be in
Bambarra, as I found my people very sickly; and if he would appoint me a
guide, I would esteem it a favour. In fact I knew before, that this son
proposed going to Sego with the annual tribute, which amounts to three
hundred minkallis of gold or thereabouts; but I knew that the gold was
not yet all collected, and that part of it would probably be bought with
the merchandize I had given him.
July 25th.--Bought two asses for fifty-six bars of amber. During our
stay at this town we were plentifully supplied with milk on moderate
terms. I always purchased two camp kettles full every morning for the
men, in hopes of recruiting them before we set forwards for the Niger;
but they still continue sick and spiritless. Corporal _Powal_ is
dangerously ill of the fever, and _M'Inelli_ is affected with the
dysentery to such a degree, that I have no hopes of his recovery. He was
removed yesterday to the shade of a tree at a small distance from the
tents; and not being brought near in the evening, he was very near being
torn to pieces by the wolves. They were smelling at his feet when he
awakened, and then set up such a horrid howl, that poor M'Inelli, sick
as he was, started up and came to the tents before the sentry could
reach the place where he had slept.
July 26th.--Corporal Powal died during the night. Buried him this
morning; two dollars and a half in his pocket, for which I am
accountable. Overhauled the ass-saddles, and adjusted the loads,
proposing to leave this to-morrow morning early.
deg. ' "
Observed mer. alt. Sun 168 26 0
1/2 84 13 0
0 16 0
84 29 0
ZD. 5 31 0
D. 19 31 0
Latitude 14 0 0
July 27th.--The morning being rainy, we did not depart from Bangassi
till about nine o'clock. Left here M'Inelli. Paid the Dooty ten bars of
amber to purchase provision for him and give him lodging. Shortly after
leaving the town, three of the soldiers laid down under a tree, and
refused to proceed; their names _Frair, Thomson_, and _Hercules_. About
a quarter of a mile farther, James Trott, one of the carpenters brought
from Portsmouth, refused to go on, being sick of the fever. I drove on
his ass, and desired him to return to Bangassi. Found myself very sick
and faint, having to drive my horse loaded with rice, and an ass with
the pit saws. Came to an eminence, from which I had a view of some very
distant mountains to the East half South. The certainty that the Niger
washes the Southern base of these mountains made me forget my fever; and
I thought of nothing all the way but how to climb over their blue
Reached Nummasoolo at two o'clock. This has formerly been a large town;
but being destroyed by war some years ago, nearly three-fourths of the
town are in ruins. Before we had time to pitch the tent properly, the
rain came down on us, and wetted us all completely, both men and
bundles. This was a very serious affair to us, many of our articles of
merchandize being perishable. Slept very uncomfortably in wet clothes on
the wet ground. Troubled in the night with a lion; he came so near that
the sentry fired at him, but it was so dark that it was impossible to
take a good aim. All the asses pulled up the pins to which they were
fastened, and run together as near the men as they could. As the sick
soldiers before mentioned did not come up before sun-set, I concluded
they had all returned to Bangassi; and the Dooty's son coming up on
horseback, informed me that they had really returned to his father's
house, and wished to know what I meant to do respecting them. I told him
that I wished my people to be taken proper care of, and gave him ten
bars of amber for his care in coming to inform me of them. I likewise
put into his possession three strings of amber of forty bars each, and
told him how to dispose of them for the use of the sick. I likewise told
him that, if any of them should recover, if he would send a proper
person forward with them to Bambakoo, I would give him an Indian baft,
or ten bars of scarlet, which he preferred. At the same time I wrote the
following note to the men.
"I am sorry to learn that you have returned to Bangassi. I have sent in
charge of the bearer of this three complete strings of amber; one of
which will procure rice for forty days; the second will purchase milk or
fowls for the same time; and the third will buy provisions for you on
the road till you arrive at the Niger.
July 28th.--Rained all day. Remained in the tent at Nummasoolo.
July 29.--Divided the men's clothes who were left behind amongst the
other men; many of them being in great want of clothes, and the nights
being now cold and damp. Found five dollars in J. Trott's knapsack, for
which I am accountable. Spread out the rice to dry; found it hot and
much damaged. Some people arrived from the East, who informed us that a
stream on the road, which is usually dry, was so much swelled by the
rain that no ass could cross it. Halted here during the day to dry the
July 30th.--Departed from Nummasoolo. Was under the necessity of leaving
here William Allen sick. Paid the Dooty for him as usual. I regretted
much leaving this man; he had naturally a cheerful disposition; and he
used often to beguile the watches of the night with the songs of our
dear native land.
About five miles East of Nummasoolo passed the stream before mentioned,
flowing to the S.E. The water had subsided, and was only about eighteen
inches deep, but flowed very rapidly. Many asses fell, and had their
loads wetted. It likewise rained two hours on the march. Crossed a ridge
of hills through an opening. Road tolerably good except in two places.
We descended on the East side, and reached Surtaboo, a small ruined
village, about two o'clock. Here I learnt that the front of the coffle
had gone on to a village about four miles further; but the asses in the
rear being all very much fatigued, and lying down with their loads
frequently, I judged it prudent to halt till some fresh asses should be
sent to my assistance.
We had not halted here above an hour, when three of Isaaco's people and
two asses came back; and with their help we arrived at _Sobee_ at seven
o'clock. On the road we passed the _last_ of the St. Jago asses, the
whole forty having either died or been abandoned on the road at
different places. We were all very wet, for it rained almost the whole
way; and all very hungry, having tasted nothing since the preceding
evening. The town of _Sobee_ has changed its situation _three_ times. It
was taken about ten years ago by Daisy, King of Kaarta, with thirteen
horsemen and some of his slaves on foot. They carried off five hundred
slaves, two hundred of which were women. Such as escaped rebuilt the
town about a mile to the East of its former situation; but when it had
acquired some degree of prosperity, it was destroyed by Mansong, King of
Bambarra. The present town is built nearer the foot of the hills; part
of it is walled, which serves as a sort of citadel. There is plenty of
corn and rice here on moderate terms; but they have not yet had time to
recruit their herds of cattle.
July 31st.--Rained hard all the morning, and flying showers all day.
Halted at _Sobee_. During the night one of the town's-people attempted
to steal one of the soldier's pieces, some of which were standing
against a tree close to the tent. Lieutenant Martyn was sleeping under
the tree; and hearing somebody moving the muskets, he no sooner observed
that it was a Negro, than he snatched one of the muskets and fired at
the thief as he was running off with one of the muskets. Whether the
ball touched him or not we could not learn; but the thief dropped the
musket, and we found it with the pouch and bayonet in the morning.
August 1st.--Early this morning purchased an ass for a pistol, a baft,
and a Mandingo cloth. We set out at seven o'clock. Immediately on the
East of the town came to another stream flowing towards the S.S.W. It
was so deep, that the whole of the bundles had to be carried over on
men's heads. During this, being surrounded by thieves on all sides,
Isaaco unfortunately struck two of the soldiers; which action had nearly
cost him his life, one of the soldiers attempting to stab him with his
bayonet, when Mr. Anderson prevented him; and as I reproved Isaaco for
his conduct in the sharpest manner, he went off in a _pet_ with his
people, leaving us to find our way across the river in the best manner
we could. I hired four people to carry over the loads; and stood myself
as sentry over the thieves. In this manner the whole of the baggage was
carried over with much less loss than we had sustained at any other
river. The asses were swam over, and the whole only cost one string of
No. 5; but I had to pay fifty stones to the Dooty's son for asses going
on the corn. As soon as all was over we loaded the asses and set
forwards. At sunset we reached _Balanding_. We had only time to pitch
our tent, when the rain came on; indeed we had no time for cooking our
victuals, for though all the soldiers cooked, yet the rain came on
before our kettle was ready; and Messrs. Anderson, Scott, Martyn, and
myself, all slept without having tasted any thing during the day.
August 2d.--Rainy. Halted at Balanding.
August 3d.--Sun rose E. 3 deg.S. Departed from Balanding, and halted at
Balandoo, a walled village about four miles to the East by South. Bought
two sheep for one barraloolo.
August 4th.--Departed from Balandoo. About a mile to the East saw the
hill of Sobee bearing N.W. by compass. About this place Lawrence Cahill,
one of the soldiers, who had complained of sickness for some days, fell
behind; and I hired a person to drive his ass, telling him to come on at
his leisure. At eleven o'clock crossed a stream running S.E. which gave
us great trouble, the banks being very steep and slippery. Crossed the
same stream again at half past twelve, running E. by N. In the course of
this day's march four of the soldiers were unable to attend to their
asses. Mr. Scott, being very sick, rode my horse; and I drove one of the
asses. So very much weakened were the men, that when their loads fell
off, they could not lift them on again. I assisted in loading thirteen
asses in the course of the march. We reached Koolihori at three o'clock.
This town is partly walled; but the greater part of the huts are without
the walls. As soon as the tents were pitched, the rain commenced, and
continued all night. We had not time to cook, and the rain prevented the
watch fire from burning; owing to which one of our asses was killed by
the wolves. It was only sixteen feet distant from a bush under which one
of the men was sleeping.
August 5th.--Morning hazy. Halted, resolving to travel at two o'clock,
and sleep in the woods, the Ba Woolli being too far to reach in one
march. Bought some ripe maize of this year's growth.
deg. ' "
Obser. mer. alt. Sun-- 172 45 0
86 22 0-1/2
0 16 0
86 38 0-1/2
3 22 0
17 3 0
Latitude-- 13 41 0
The whole route from Bangassi is marked with ruined towns and villages;
some of them are rebuilt, but by far the greater number are still in
ruins. We saw scarcely any cattle on the route, and the avidity of the
people of Koolihori for animal food, or perhaps their own peculiar
taste, made them eat what the wolves had left of our ass. The wolves had
eat only the bowels and heart, &c. so that the people had the four
quarters and head. The day having clouded up for rain, resolved to halt
here for the night. In the course of the afternoon Lawrence Cahill came
up; but William Hall, who had gone into a ruined hut near the road, and
who did not appear to be very sick, did not arrive. Suspected that he
might be killed by the wolves in the hut during the night. At sun-set
had all the asses properly tied near the tents; and watched myself with
the sentries all night, as the wolves kept constantly howling round us.
Departure from Koolihori--Ganifarra--Scarcity of provisions--Distressing
situation of the Author from deaths and sickness of the party--Escapes
from three lions--Intricate route to Koomikoomi--Dombila--Visit from
Karfa Taura--View of the Niger--Reduced state of the party--Bambakoo--
Losses from wolves--Bosradoo; embark on the Niger; incidents in the
voyage to Marraboo--Isaaco sent to Sego with presents for Mansong--
Message from Mansong--Course to Koolikorro--Deena--Yamina--Samee--
Return of Isaaco; account of his interview with Mansong--Messengers
sent by Mansong, and enquiries respecting the Author's journey--Quit
Samee--Excessive heat--Reach Sansanding--Account of that city and its
trade--Death of Mr. Anderson--Preparations for continuing the voyage
eastward--Information collected respecting various districts.
August 6th.--Having hired two more ass drivers at one bar and their
victuals per day, we left Koolihori early in the morning, and travelled
with considerable dispatch till three o'clock; at which time we reached
Ganifarra, a small beggarly village. In the course of this march _L.
Cakill_ and _J. Bird_, two of the soldiers, and _William Cox_, one of
the seamen, fell behind, and laid down. As soon as the front of the
coffle had reached Ganifarra, it came on a very heavy rain. Being in the
rear I was completely drenched; and two of the asses carrying four
trunks, in which were the gun stocks, pistols, looking glasses, &c. fell
down in a stream of water near the town, and all the contents were
completely wet. I could purchase nothing here, not so much as a fowl.
Served out a short allowance of rice, being very short of that article.
August 7th.--During the night, some person had stolen one of our best
asses; and as the load must be left if we could not recover it, Isaaco's
people having traced the foot marks to a considerable distance, agreed
to go in search of it. Isaaco gave them the strictest orders, if they
came up to the thief in the woods to shoot him; and, if not, to follow
him to a town and demand the ass from the Dooty; if he refused to give
it up, to return as soon as possible.
Spent the day in drying such things as were wet; cleaned and greased
with Shea butter all the ornamented pistols, _ten pair_. Dried the
looking glasses, which were quite spoiled. In the afternoon sent two of
the natives away with goods to a neighbouring town to purchase rice and
corn. At sun-set _Bird_ came up, but had seen nothing of _Cox_ nor
August 8th.--People not yet returned. Opened the trunk which contained
the double barrelled gun stocks; cleaned and greased them. About noon
people returned with the rice and corn, but not quite sufficient for one
day. Nearly at the same time Isaaco's people came up with the ass; they
had traced his foot-marks past Koolihori, and found him at Balandoo. Did
not see the thief, but learned his name; which Isaaco promised to write
to his friend at Bangassi, to inform Serinummo of him. In the afternoon
agreed with the Dooty for thirty five bars to carry every thing over.
Rained heavily all the evening.
August 9th.--Michael May, a soldier, having died during the night,
buried him at day break. Had all the loads taken to the crossing place
by eight o'clock. The Ba Woolli is nearly of the same size as the one we
formerly crossed of that name; it appeared to be exceedingly deep, and
flowed at the rate of four or five miles per hour. There is a very good
canoe here, which can carry over four ass loads at once. As it
threatened rain, sent over three men with one of the tents, and pitched
it on the East side about half a mile from the river; the ground near
the bank being marshy. Hired people to carry down the bundles, and put
them into the canoe; and others to receive them on the other side, and
carry them up the bank; so that the soldiers had nothing to move, being
all weak and sickly.
By one o'clock all the baggage was over; but we found some difficulty in
transporting the asses; the rapidity of the stream swept the canoe and
the first six past the landing place; and they went so far down the
river, that I really thought the asses must be drowned; which would have
been an irreparable loss in our situation. However, by the exertions of
the Negroes, who swam in with ropes to the canoe, the asses were landed
on the other side; where they stood by the water's edge until the
Negroes with their corn hoes made a path for them up the steep bank. To
prevent such an accident, we took the ropes from several of our loads,
and fastened them together, so as to reach across the river; with this
we hauled over the loaded canoe, and the Negroes paddled it back when
empty. In this manner all the asses and horses were swam over without
When the bundles were all carried up to the tent, we found that we had
not more rice than was barely sufficient for the present day; and as no
more could be purchased, we had no alternative, but to march early in
the morning for Bambarra; the distance by all accounts would not exceed
fourteen or fifteen miles.
August 10th.--William Ashton declared that he was unable to travel; but
as there was no place to leave him at, I advised him to make an exertion
and come on, though slowly, till he should reach a place where he could
have food. At eight o'clock set forwards; and travelled very
expeditiously without halting till four in the afternoon, at which time
the front of the coffle reached _Dababoo_, a village of Bambarra. Being
in the rear, I found many of the men very much fatigued with the length
of the journey and the heat of the day. At half past four I arrived with
the ass I drove at a stream flowing to the Westwards.
Here I found many of the soldiers sitting, and Mr. Anderson lying under
a bush, apparently dying. Took him on my back, and carried him across
the stream, which came up to my middle. Carried over the load of the ass
which I drove, got over the ass, Mr. Anderson's horse, &c. Found myself
much fatigued, having crossed the stream sixteen times. Left here four
soldiers with their asses, being unable to carry over their loads.
Having loaded my ass and put Mr. Anderson on his horse, we went on to
the village; but was sorry to find that no rice could be had, and I was
only able to buy one solitary fowl.
August 11th.--Bought a small bullock of the Moorish breed for one
barraloolo; and having purchased some corn, had it cleaned and dressed
for the people instead of rice. This morning hired Isaaco's people to go
back, and bring up the loads of the soldiers who had halted by the side
of the stream. In the course of the day all the loads arrived; but was
sorry to find that in the course of the last two marches we had lost
_four men_, viz. _Cox_, _Cahill_, _Bird_, and _Ashton_. Mr. Anderson
still in a very dangerous way, being unable to walk or sit upright. Mr.
Scott much recovered. I found that I must here leave one load, one of
the horses being quite finished. Left the _seine nets_ in charge of the
Dooty, till I should send for them.
August 12th.--Rained all the morning. About eleven o'clock, the sky
being clear, loaded the asses. None of the Europeans being able to lift
a load, Isaaco made the Negroes load the whole. Saddled Mr. Anderson's
horse; and having put a sick soldier on mine, took Mr. Anderson's horse
by the bridle, that he might have no trouble but sitting upright on the
saddle. We had not gone far before I found one of the asses with a load
of gunpowder, the driver (Dickinson) being unable to proceed (I never
heard of him afterwards); and shortly after the sick man dismounted from
my horse, and laid down by a small pool of water, refusing to rise.
Drove the ass and horse on before me. Passed a number of sick. At half
past twelve o'clock Mr. Anderson declared he could ride no farther. Took
him down and laid him in the shade of a bush, and sat down beside him.
At half past two o'clock he made another attempt to proceed; but had not
rode above an hundred yards before I had to take him down from the
saddle, and lay him again in the shade. I now gave up all thoughts of
being able to carry him forwards till the cool of the evening; and
having turned the horses and ass to feed, I sat down to watch the
pulsations of my dying friend. At four o'clock four of the sick came up;
three of them agreed to take charge of the ass with the gunpowder; and I
put a fourth, who had a sore leg, on my horse, telling him if he saw Mr.
Scott on the road to give him the horse.
At half past five o'clock, there being a fine breeze from the South
West; Mr. Anderson agreed to make another attempt, and having again
placed him on the saddle, I led the horse on pretty smartly in hopes of
reaching Koomikoomi before dark. We had not proceeded above a mile,
before we heard on our left a noise very much like the barking of a
large mastiff, but ending in a hiss like the fuf [Footnote: Thus is Mr.
Park's MS] of a cat. I thought it must be some large monkey; and was
observing to Mr. Anderson "what a bouncing fellow that must be," when we
heard another bark nearer to us, and presently a third still nearer,
accompanied with a growl. I now suspected that some wild animal meant to
attack us, but could not conjecture of what species it was likely to be.
We had not proceeded an hundred yards farther, when coming to an opening
in the bushes, I was not a little surprised to see three lions coming
towards us. They were not so red as the lion I formerly saw in
Barnbarra, [Footnote: Park's Travels, p. 208] but of a dusky colour,
like the colour of an ass. They were very large, and came bounding over
the long grass, not one after another, but all abreast of each other. I
was afraid, if I allowed them to come too near us, and my piece should
miss fire, that we should be all devoured by them. I therefore let go
the bridle, and walked forwards to meet them. As soon as they were
within a long shot of me, I fired at the centre one. I do not think I
hit him; but they all stopt, looked at each other, and then bounded away
a few paces, when one of them stopt, and looked back at me. I was too
busy in loading my piece to observe their motions as they went away, and
was very happy to see the last of them march slowly off amongst the
bushes. We had not proceeded above half a mile farther, when we heard
another bark and growl close to us amongst the bushes. This was
doubtless one of the lions before seen, and I was afraid they would
follow us till dark, when they would have too many opportunities of
springing on us unawares. I therefore got Mr. Anderson's call, and made
as loud a whistling and noise as possible. We heard no more of them.
Just at dark we descended into a valley where was a small stream of
water; but the ascent on the opposite side was through a species of
broken ground, which I have never seen any where but in Africa. It is of
the following nature. A stratum of stiff yellow clay fourteen or twenty
feet thick, (which, unless when it rains, is as hard as rock) is washed
by the annual rains into fissures of a depth equal to the thickness of
the stratum. There is no vegetation on these places, except on the
summit or original level. Amongst these horrid gullies I unfortunately
lost sight of the footmarks of the asses which had gone before; and
finding no way to get out, led the horse up a very steep place in order
to gain the original level, hoping there to find the foot path. But
unluckily the ground was all broken as far as I could see; and after
travelling some little way, we came to a gulley which we could not
cross; and finding no possibility of moving without the danger of being
killed by falling into some of these ravines, or over some precipice, I
thought it advisable to halt till the morning. On this rugged summit we
fell in with Jonas Watkins, one of the sick; and with his assistance I
lighted a fire. Wrapped Mr. Anderson in his cloak, and laid him down
beside it. Watched all night to keep the fire burning, and prevent our
being surprised by the lions, which we knew were at no great distance.
About two o'clock in the morning two more of the sick joined us. Mr.
Anderson slept well during the night, and as soon as day dawned,
August 13th,--having found the footmarks of the asses, and having with
difficulty even in day light traced our way through this labyrinth, we
found Mr. Scott and three more of the sick. They too had lost their way,
and had slept about half a mile to the East of us. We reached Koomikoomi
at ten o'clock. This is an unwalled village, but surrounded with
extensive corn fields.
August 13th.--Halted; rested at Koomikoomi
August 14th.--Jonas Watkins died this morning; buried him. Halted here
to day to see which way Mr. Anderson's fever was likely to terminate;
and in the mean time sent two loaded asses forward to Doombila, the
asses to return in the evening and carry loads to-morrow morning.
deg. ' "
Obser. Mer. Alt. ---- ---- 177 7 0
0 32 0
177 39 0
88 49 0-1/2
Z D. ---- 1 11 0
D. 14 8 0
Latitude ---- 12 57 0 [*]
[Footnote *: Mr. Park took a wrong day's declination, i.e. the 15th
instead of the 14th. It should be,
deg. ' "
ZD. ---- ---- 1 11 0
Dec. ---- ---- 14 27 29
Latitude ---- ---- 13 16 29
It is a common observation of the Negroes, that when the Indian corn is
in blossom the rain stops for eleven days. The stopping of the rain
evidently depends on the sun approaching the zenith of the place; the
sun by this day's observation being only seventy-one miles North of us:
and it is a wonderful institution of providence, that at this time the
maize here is all in full blossom; and on passing through the fields,
one is like to be blinded with the pollen of the male flowers.
August 15th.--Having slung a cloak like a hammock under a straight
stick, had Mr. Anderson put into it, and carried on two men's heads: two
more following to relieve them. Mr. Scott complained this morning of
sickness and head ach. Made one of the soldiers saddle Mr. Anderson's
horse for him; and having seen him mount, and given him his canteen with
water, I rode forwards to look after four Negroes whom I had hired to
carry loads on their heads; but being strangers, I was apprehensive they
might run away with them. Found every thing going on well; and we
travelled with such expedition, that we reached Doombila in four hours
and a half, though the distance cannot be less than sixteen or eighteen
miles, nearly South. It rained hard all the afternoon, and it was not
till dark that all the sick soldiers came up. Only three of the soldiers
were able to drive their asses to day.
When I entered the town I was happy to meet _Karfa Taura_, [Footnote:
Park's Travels, p. 253.] the worthy Negro mentioned in my former
travels; he heard a report at _Boori_ (where he now resides) that a
coffle of white people were passing through Fooladoo for Bambarra; and
that they were conducted by a person of the name of Park, who spoke
Mandingo. He heard this report in the evening; and in the morning he
left his house, determined if possible to meet me at Bambakoo, a
distance of six days travel. He came to Bambakoo with three of his
slaves to assist me in going forward to Sego, but when he found I had
not come up, he came forwards to meet me. He instantly recognised me,
and you may judge of the pleasure I felt on seeing my old benefactor.
At four o'clock, as Mr. Scott had not come up, and the people in the
rear had not seen him lately, I sent one of Isaaco's people back on my
horse as far as the next village, suspecting that he might have halted
there when the rain came on. The man returned after dark, having been
nearly at Koomikoomi without seeing or hearing any thing of Mr. Scott.
We all concluded that he had returned to Koomikoomi.
August 17th--Halted at Doombila in order to dry the baggage, and in
hopes of Mr. Scott coming up. Told the four Negroes, who carried Mr.
Anderson, and who returned to Koomikoomi this morning, to make every
possible enquiry concerning Mr. Scott; and if he was able to ride, I
would pay them handsomely for coming with him. If he had returned to
Koomikoomi, I desired them to assure the Dooty that I would pay for
every expence he might incur, and pay for a guide to conduct him to
Marraboo. Received from the Dooty of Doombila a small bullock and a
sheep. Paid him a barraloolo, five bars of amber, and fifty gun flints.
August 18th.--Hearing no account of Mr. Scott, concluded he was still at
Koomikoomi, but unable to travel. At seven o'clock left Doombila, and as
the asses were now very weak, it was not long before I had to dismount
and put a load on my horse. Only one of the soldiers able to drive an
ass. Road very bad; did not reach _Toniba_ till sun set, being a
distance of eighteen or twenty miles S.E. by S. Mr. Anderson's bearers
halted with him at a village on the road, where there was some good
beer. As soon as we had pitched the tent, it began to rain, and rained
all night; the soldiers run all into the village. I passed a very
disagreeable night, having to keep our asses from eating the people's
corn, which caused me to keep walking about almost the whole night.
In case it should escape my memory, I take this opportunity of
observing, that the standard law of Africa runs thus: If an ass should
break a single stem of corn, the proprietor of the corn has a right to
seize the ass; and if the owner of the ass will not satisfy him for the
damage he thinks he has sustained, he can _retain_ the ass. He cannot
_sell_ or _work_ him, but he can _kill_ him; and as the Bambarrans
esteem ass-flesh as a great luxury, this part of the law is often put in
August 19th.--Mr. Anderson's bearers having brought him forward early in
the morning, we immediately loaded the asses, and departed from Toniba
(Sergeant McKeal appears to be slightly delirious). We kept ascending
the mountains to the South of Toniba till three o'clock, at which time
having gained the summit of the ridge which separates the Niger from the
remote branches of the Senegal, I went on a little before; and coming to
the brow of the hill, I _once more saw the Niger_ rolling its immense
stream along the plain!
After the fatiguing march which we had experienced, the sight of this
river was no doubt pleasant, as it promised an end to, or to be at least
an alleviation of our toils. But when I reflected that three-fourths of
the soldiers had died on their march, and that in addition to our weakly
state we had no carpenters to build the boats, in which we proposed to
prosecute our discoveries; the prospect appeared somewhat gloomy. It
however afforded me peculiar pleasure, when I reflected that in
conducting a party of _Europeans_, with immense baggage, through an
extent of more than five hundred miles, I had always been able to
preserve the most friendly terms with the natives. In fact, this journey
plainly demonstrates, 1st. that with common prudence any quantity of
merchandize may be transported from the Gambia to the Niger, without
danger of being robbed by the natives: 2dly, that if this journey be
performed in the dry season, one may calculate on losing not more than
three or at most four men out of fifty.
But to return to the Niger. The river was much swelled by the rains, but
did not appear to overflow its banks. It certainly is larger even here
than either the Senegal or the Gambia. We descended with difficulty down
the steep side of the hill towards Bambakoo, which place we reached at
half past six o'clock, and pitched our tents under a tree near the town.
Of thirty-four soldiers and four carpenters, who left the Gambia, only
six soldiers and one carpenter reached the Niger.
During the night the wolves carried away two large cloth bundles from
the tent door to a considerable distance; where they eat off the skins
with which they were covered, and left them.
August 20th--Received a bullock from the Dooty as a present. It was in
the afternoon, and we fastened it to the tree close to the tent, where
all the asses were tied. As soon as it was dark the wolves tore its
bowels out, though within ten yards of the tent door where we were all
sitting. The wolves here are the largest and most ferocious we have yet
August 21st.--Dried a bundle of beads, the strings of which were all
rotten with the rain. Opened a leather bag which contained about thirty
pounds of gunpowder for present use. Found it all wet and damaged.
Spread it out in the sun; resolved to make something of it. Spoke for a
canoe to carry down the baggage to Marraboo, the river being navigable
over the rapids at this season. In the course of our march from Toniba
to Bambakoo, we lost Sergeant _McKeil_, _Purvey_, and _Samuel Hill_.
August 22nd.--Early in the morning had all the bundles put on the asses,
and carried to the place of embarkation, which is a village called
Bossradoo, about a mile and a half East of Bambakoo. It rained hard all
the forenoon. The canoes could not carry any of the soldiers, or any
person except two to look after the goods. I resolved to go down with
Mr. Anderson, leaving Mr. Martyn to come down with the men by land. They
rode on the asses.
We embarked at ten minutes past three o'clock. The current, which is
nearly five knots per hour, set us along without the trouble of rowing
any more than was necessary to keep the canoe in the proper course. The
river is full an English mile over, and at the rapids it is spread out
to nearly twice that breadth. The rapids seem to be formed by the river
passing through a ridge of hills in a South Easterly direction: they are
very numerous, and correspond with the jetting angles of the hills.
There are _three_ principal ones, where the water breaks with
considerable noise in the middle of the river; but the canoe men easily
avoided them by paddling down one of the branches near the shore. Even
in this manner the velocity was such as to make me sigh.
We passed two of the principal rapids, and three smaller ones, in the
course of the afternoon. We saw on one of the islands, in the middle of
the river, a large elephant; it was of a red clay colour with black
legs. I was very unwell of the dysentery; otherwise I would have had a
shot at him, for he was quite near us. We saw three hippopotami close to
another of these islands. The canoe men were afraid they might follow us
and overset the canoes. The report of a musket will in all cases
frighten them away. They blow up the water exactly like a whale. As we
were gliding along shore, one of the canoe men speared a fine turtle, of
the same species as the one I formerly saw, and made a drawing of in
Gambia. At sun set we rowed to the shore, landed on some flat rocks, and
set about cooking the turtle and rice for our supper; but before this
aldermanic repast was half dressed, the rain came on us, and continued
with great violence all night.
August 23d.--At day break embarked again, very wet and sleepy. Passed
the third rapid, and arrived at Marraboo at nine o'clock. Our guide soon
found a large passage hut in which to deposit our baggage, for one stone
of small amber per load. We carried the whole of it up in a few minutes.
In the evening Mr. Martyn arrived, and all the people, except two, who
came up next day.
August 24th.--Received from the Dooty a small black bullock in a
present, which our guide would not allow us to kill, it being of a jet
black colour. The Dooty's name is Sokee; and so superstitious was he,
that all the time we remained at Marraboo he kept himself in his hut,
conceiving that if he saw a white man, he would never prosper after.
August 25th--Paid Isaaco goods to the full value of two prime slaves,
according to agreement. I likewise gave him several articles; and I told
him, that when the palaver was adjusted at Sego, he should then have all
the asses and horses for his trouble.
August 26th.--Took out such things as I meant to give to Mansong, viz.
A handsome silver plated tureen.
*Two double barrelled guns, silver mounted.
Two pair of pistols mounted in the same manner.
A sabre with Morocco scabbard.
Thirty-two yards scarlet broad cloth.
Twelve ditto blue.
Twelve ditto yellow.
Twelve ditto light green.
*Half a load of gunpowder, or two kegs and a half.
To Mansong's eldest son Da.
*A double barrelled gun, silver mounted.
A pair of pistols, ditto.
A sabre, ditto.
I wished to put a stop to the malicious reports of the Moors and
Mahomedans at Sego as soon as possible. I therefore resolved to send
Isaaco forward to Sego with all the articles beforementioned, except
those marked thus [Symbol: *], which I desired him to say to Modibinne
would be given as soon as I heard accounts that Mansong would befriend
us. This Modibinne is Mansong's prime minister; he is a Mahomedan, but
not intolerant in his principles. Isaaco accordingly departed on the
28th with his wife and all his goods. Ever since my arrival at Marraboo
I had been subject to attacks of the dysentery; and as I found that my
strength was failing very fast, I resolved to charge myself with
mercury. I accordingly took calomel till it affected my mouth to such a
degree, that I could not speak or sleep for six days. The salivation put
an immediate stop to the dysentery, which had proved fatal to so many of
the soldiers. On the 2d of September, I observed the
deg. ' "
Mer. alt. of the Sun-- 169 54 0
84 57 0
0 16 0
85 13 0
4 47 0
8 1 0
Marraboo Latitude-- 12 48 0
As soon as I recovered, I set about exchanging some amber and coral for
cowries, which are the current money of Bambarra.
Coral No. 4 each stone 60
Amber No. 5 60
Blue agates per string 100
With these three articles I bought about twenty thousand cowries. It is
curious that in counting the cowries, they call eighty a hundred; whilst
in all other things they calculate by the common hundred. Sixty is
called a Manding hundred.
On the 6th Thomas Dyer (a private) died of the fever. I had to pay one
thousand shells to Dooty Sokee, before he would allow me to bury him;
alleging that if the ground was not bought where he was buried, it would
never grow good corn after.
There is no wood proper for boat building in this neighbourhood; the
best wood is near Kankaree, on a large navigable branch of the Niger;
and almost all the Bambarra canoes come from thence; many of them are
The travellers from Sego brought us every day some unfavourable news or
other. At one time it was reported, and believed all over Marraboo, that
Mansong had killed Isaaco with his own hand, and would do the same with
all the whites who should come into Bambarra. Our fears were at length
dispelled by the arrival of Bookari, Mansong's singing man, on the 8th,
with six canoes. He told us he came by Mansong's orders to convey us and
our baggage to Sego. That Mansong thought highly of the presents which
Isaaco had brought, and wished us to be brought to Sego before he
received them from Isaaco. We accordingly put our baggage in order; but
it was not till the 12th that the singing man and his _Somonies_ (canoe
people) could be prevailed on to leave the Dooty _Sokee's_ good beef,
and beer. We embarked, and left Marraboo at ten minutes past three
Time. Course. Objects. Bearing. Distance.
3.10 E. 1/2 N. The North extreme E.
of the South hills.
Little hump on E.S.E.
Cubic hill on North E. by N. Distant 12
side. or 14 miles.
0 25 E. by N.
0 30 E. N. E.
0 45 E. 1/2 S.
4 0 E.
0 45 E. by N. 1/2 W.
5 0 N. E. Cubic hill. N. Distant 1/4 of
0 10 Halted for the a mile.
night at Koolikorro
September 13th.--Bookari sent four of the Somonies over to a town on the
opposite side of the river, to put in requisition a canoe for carrying
part of our baggage. The people refused to give the canoe, and sent the
Somonies back without it. Bookari immediately went with all the Somonies
(38); and having cut the owner of the canoe across the forehead with his
sword, and broke his brother's head with a canoe paddle, he seized one
of his sons, and brought him away as a slave along with the canoe. He
however set the boy at liberty, his father paying two thousand shells
for his release.
We left Koolikorro at thirty-five minutes past eleven. I will not
trouble your Lordship with transcribing the courses and compass bearings
from this to Sansanding. The latitude of the places will give a
sufficient idea of the course of the river; and I hope to give a
tolerable correct chart of all its turnings and widings, when I return
to Great Britain.
deg. ' "
Observed mer. alt. Sun.-- 80 45 0
0 16 0
81 1 0
ZD.-- 8 59 0 N
D.-- 3 53 0
Koolikorro Latitude-- 12 52 0 N
_The horizon_ was an oblique view across the river. Distance of the land
seven miles; height of the eye sixteen inches above the surface of the
We travelled very pleasantly all day; in fact nothing can be more
beautiful than the views of this immense river; sometimes as smooth as a
mirror, at other times ruffled with a gentle breeze, but at all times
sweeping us along at the rate of six or seven miles per hour. We halted
for the night at Deena, a Somoni village on the south side. Had a
tornado in the night, which wetted our baggage much. Most of us slept in
the canoes to prevent theft.
September 14th.--Departed from Deena early in the morning, and arrived
at Yamina at forty-five minutes past four o'clock. Halted here the 15th,
in order to purchase cowries.
deg. ' "
Observ. alt. Sun-- 79 63 0
0 16 0
79 52 0
10 8 0
3 7 0
Yamina Latitude-- 13 15 0
On the 16th left Yamina, and in the evening reached Samee, where we
landed our baggage; and Bookari went forward to Sego to inform Mansong
of our arrival.
deg. ' "
Obser. mer. alt. Sun-- 78 47 0
0 16 0
79 3 0
10 57 0
2 20 0
Samee Latitude-- 13 17 0
September 18th.--No accounts from Sego.
September 19th.--About two o'clock in the morning, Isaaco arrived in a
canoe from Sego, with all the articles I had sent to Mansong. Mansong
had never yet seen any of them; and when he heard that I was arrived at
Samee, he desired Modibinne to inform Isaaco that he had best take the
articles up to Samee; and he would send a person to receive them from my
own hand. Isaaco informed me that Mansong, at all the interviews he had
with him, uniformly declared that he would allow us to pass; but
whenever Isaaco mentioned us particularly, or related any incident that
had happened on the journey, Mansong immediately began to make squares
and triangles in the sand before him with his finger, and continued to
do so, so long as Isaaco spoke about us. Isaaco said, that he thought
Mansong was rather afraid of us; particularly as he never once expressed
a wish to see us, but rather the contrary.
September 22d.--In the evening, Modibinne and four more of Mansong's
friends arrived in a canoe. They sent for me, and Modibinne told me,
that they were come by Mansong's orders to hear, from my own mouth, what
had brought me into Bambarra. He said I might think on it during the
night, and they would visit me in the morning; he said Mansong had sent
me a bullock, which he shewed me: it was very fat, and _milk white_.
September 23d.--As soon as we had breakfasted, Modibinne and the four
grandees came to visit us. When they had seated themselves, and the
usual compliments passed, Modibinne desired me to acquaint them with the
motives which had induced me to come into their country. I spoke to them
in the Bambarra language as follows. "I am the white man who nine years
ago came into Bambarra. I then came to Sego, and requested Mansong's
permission to pass to the Eastwards; he not only permitted me to pass,
but presented me with five thousand cowries to purchase provisions on
the road; [Footnote: Park's Travels, p. 199.] for you all know that the
Moors had robbed me of my goods. This generous conduct of Mansong
towards me, has made his name much respected in the land of the white
people. The King of that country has sent me again into Bambarra; and if
Mansong is inclined to protect me, and you who are here sitting, wish to
befriend me, I will inform you of the real object of my coming into your
(Here Modibinne desired me to speak on, as they were all my friends),
"You all know that the white people are a trading people; and that all
the articles of value, which the Moors and the people of Jinnie bring to
Sego, are made by us. If you speak of a _good gun_, who made it? the
_white people_. If you speak of a good pistol or sword, or piece of
scarlet or baft, or beads or gunpowder, who made them? the _white
people_. We sell them to the Moors; the Moors bring them to Tombuctoo,
where they sell them at a _higher rate_. The people of Tombuctoo sell
them to the people of Jinnie at a still higher price; and the people of
Jinnie sell them to you. Now the King of the white people wishes to find
out a way by which we may bring our own merchandize to you, and sell
every thing at a much cheaper rate than you now have them. For this
purpose, if Mansong will permit me to pass, I propose sailing down the
Joliba to the place where it mixes with the salt water; and if I find no
rocks or danger in the way, the white men's small vessels will come up
and trade at Sego, if Mansong wishes it. What I have now spoken, I hope
and trust you will not mention to any person, except Mansong and his
son; for if the Moors should hear of it, I shall certainly be murdered
before I reach the salt water."
Modibinne answered, "We have heard what you have spoken. Your journey is
a good one, and may God prosper you in it; Mansong will protect you. We
will carry your words to Mansong this afternoon; and tomorrow we will
bring you his answer." I made Isaaco shew them the different things,
which I had allotted for Mansong and his son. They were delighted with
the tureen, the double-barrelled guns, and in fact every thing was far
superior to any thing of the kind they had ever before seen.
When I had laid out every thing for Mansong and his son, I then made
each of the grandees, and Modibinne, a present of scarlet cloth.
Modibinne now said that they had seen what I laid out for Mansong and
his son, and that the present was great, and worthy of Mansong; but,
added he, Mansong has heard so many reports concerning your baggage,
that he wishes us to examine it. "Such of the bundles as are covered
with skin, we will not open; you will tell us what is in them, and that
will be sufficient." I told them that I had nothing but what was
necessary for purchasing provisions; and that it would please me much if
they could dispense with opening the bundles. They however persisted;
and I ordered the bundles to be brought out, taking care, with the
assistance of the soldiers, to secrete all the good amber and coral.
When all the loads were inspected, I asked Modibinne what he thought of
my baggage? If he had seen any more silver tureens, or double barrelled
guns? He said he had seen nothing that was _bad_, and nothing but what
was necessary for purchasing provisions; that he would report the same
to Mansong. They accordingly went away to Sego; but without taking
Mansong's present, till they had heard his answer.
September 24th.--_Seed_ and _Barber_ (soldiers) died during the night;
one of the fever, the other of the dysentery. Paid the Somonies twenty
stones of amber for burying them.
September 25th.--Modibinne and the same people returned with Mansong's
answer, a literal translation of which I give as follows. "Mansong says
he will protect you; that a road is open for you every where, as far as
his hand (power) extends. If you wish to go to the East, no man shall
harm you from Sego till you pass Tombuctoo. If you wish to go to the
West, you may travel through Fooladoo and Manding, through Kasson and
Bondou; the name of Mansong's stranger will be a sufficient protection
for you. If you wish to build your boats at Samee or Sego, at Sansanding
or Jinnie, name the town, and Mansong will convey you thither." He
concluded by observing, that Mansong wished me to sell him four of the
_blunderbusses_, _three swords_, _a fiddle_ (violin) which belonged to
Mr. Scott, and some _Birmingham bead necklaces_, which pleased above
every thing; that he had sent us a bullock, and his son another, with a
fine sheep. I told Modibinne that Mansong's friendship was of more value
to me than the articles he had mentioned, and that I would be happy if
Mansong would accept them from me as a farther proof of my esteem.
I made choice of Sansanding for fitting out our canoe, because Mansong
had never said he wished to see me, and because I could live quieter and
freer from begging than at Sego. I therefore sent down the bullocks by
land to Sansanding.
September 26th. We departed from Samee. The canoes were not covered with
mats; and there being no wind, the sun became insufferably hot. I felt
myself affected with a violent head-ach, which encreased to such a
degree as to make me almost delirious. I never felt so hot a day; there
was _sensible heat_ sufficient to have roasted a _sirloin_; but the
thermometer was in a bundle in the other canoe, so that I could not
ascertain the _actual_ heat. We passed down a small stream to the north
of Sego Korro, and halted opposite to _Segosee Korro_, near the sand
hills, where I formerly waited for a passage. We waited here about an
hour for Isaaco, who had gone to Segosee Korro to inform Mansong of our
passing. When Isaaco returned, he made a sort of shade over our canoe
with four sticks and a couple of cloaks; and in the evening I found
myself more collected and less feverish. At sun-set we rowed towards the
north bank, where there are some flat rocks, on which passengers by
water often sleep. We found the place occupied by a number of people. I
counted between thirty and forty fires; we therefore passed on a little
to the Eastwards, and slept on a sand bank covered with verdure.
September 27th.--At day-break we again proceeded, and in stretching over
to gain the middle of the river, we passed a Somoni fishing village on
an island; the huts occupied the whole of the dry ground, and it
appeared, even when close to it, like a floating village. We reached
Sansanding at ten o'clock. Such crowds of people came to the shore to
see us, that we could not land our baggage till the people were beaten
away with sticks, by Koontie Mamadie's orders, on whose premises we were
accommodated with a large hut for sitting in, having another hut opening
into it, in which we deposited our baggage.
October 2d.--_Marshall_ and _W. Garland_ (privates) died; one of the
fever, the other of the dysentery. During the night the wolves carried
away Garland, the door of the hut where he died being left open. Buried
Marshall on the morning following, in a corn field near the church.
October 4th.--Mansong sent down two broken gunlocks, and a large pewter
plate with a hole in the bottom of it, for me to repair; and it was with
much difficulty that I could persuade the messenger that none of us knew
any thing about such occupations.
October 6th.--_Da_, Mansong's eldest son, sent one canoe as a present,
and requested me to sell him a bunderbuss, and three swords, with some
blue and yellow broad cloth. Sent him three swords, and ten spans of
yellow cloth; received in return six thousand cowries.
Sansanding contains, according to Koontie Mamadie's account, eleven
thousand inhabitants. It has no public buildings, except the mosques,
two of which, though built of mud, are by no means inelegant. The market
place is a large square, and the different articles of merchandize are
exposed for sale on stalls covered with mats, to shade them from the
sun. The market is crowded with people from morning to night: some of
the stalls contain nothing but beads; others indigo in balls; others
wood-ashes in balls; others Houssa and Jinnie cloth. I observed one
stall with nothing but antimony in small bits; another with sulphur, and
a third with copper and silver rings and bracelets. In the houses
fronting the square is sold, scarlet, amber, silks from Morocco, and
tobacco, which looks like Levant tobacco, and comes by way of Tombuctoo.
Adjoining this is the salt market, part of which occupies one corner of
the square. A slab of salt is sold commonly for eight thousand cowries;
a large butcher's stall, or shade, is in the centre of the square, and
as good and fat meat sold every day as any in England. The beer market
is at a little distance, under two large trees; and there are often
exposed for sale from eighty to one hundred calabashes of beer, each
containing about two gallons. Near the beer market is the place where
red and yellow leather is sold.
Besides these market-places, there is a very large space, which is
appropriated for the great market every Tuesday. On this day astonishing
crowds of people come from the country to purchase articles in
wholesale, and retail them in the different villages, &c. There are
commonly from sixteen to twenty large fat Moorish bullocks killed on the
October 8th.--As Mansong had delayed much longer in sending the canoes
he promised, than I expected, I thought it best to be provided with a
sufficient quantity of shells to purchase two; particularly when I
reflected that the river would subside in the course of a few days,
having sunk this morning about four inches by the shore. I therefore
opened shop in great style, and exhibited a choice assortment of
European articles to be sold in wholesale or retail. I had of course a
_great run_, which I suppose drew on me the envy of my brother
merchants; for the Jinnie people, the Moors, and the merchants here
joined with those of the same description at Sego, and (in presence of
Modibinne, from whose mouth I had it) offered to give Mansong a quantity
of merchandize of greater value than all the presents I had made him, if
he would seize our baggage, and either kill us, or send us back again
out of Bambarra. They alleged, that my object was to kill Mansong and
his sons by means of charms, that the white people might come and seize
on the country. Mansong, much to his honour, rejected the proposal,
though it was seconded by two-thirds of the people of Sego, and almost
From the 8th to the 16th nothing of consequence occurred, I found my
shop every day more and more crowded with customers; and such was my run
of business, that I was sometimes forced to employ _three tellers at
once_ to count my cash. I turned one market day twenty-five thousand
seven hundred and fifty-six pieces of money (cowries.)
The second day after my arrival at Marraboo, as no accounts whatever had
arrived concerning Mr. Scott, I sent a messenger to Koomikoomi, desiring
him to bring Mr. Scott, or some account of him. He returned in four
days, and told us that _Mr. Scott was dead_, and that the natives had
stolen the pistols out of the holsters; but he had brought the horse to
When Modibinne enquired of Isaaco what sort of a _return of presents_
would be most agreeable to me, Isaaco (being instructed before) said he
believed two large canoes, and Modibinne assured me, that the canoes
would be sent down to Sansanding immediately on our arrival there.
In order to give a just idea of the trade and profits on different
articles sold at Sansanding, I have annexed a list of _European_ and
_African_ articles, with their respective values in _cowries_, the great
medium of exchange and the general currency of Bambarra.
Value in Cowries.
A musket ---- ---- ---- 6 to 7000
A cutlass ---- ---- ---- 1500 to 2000
A flint ---- ---- ---- ---- 40
Gunpowder, one bottle ---- ---- 3000
Amber No. 1. ---- ---- ---- ---- 1000
Ditto No. 2. ---- ---- ---- ---- 800
Ditto No. 3. ---- ---- ---- ---- 400
Amber No. 4. ---- ---- ---- ---- 160
Ditto No. 5. ---- ---- ---- ---- 80
Ditto No. 6. ---- ---- ---- ---- 60
Coral No. 4. each stone ---- ---- 60
Black points, per bead ---- ---- 20
Red garnets, per string ---- ---- 40
White ditto, per string ---- ---- 40
Blue agates, per string ---- ---- 100
Round rock coral, per bead ---- 5
Long ditto, per bead ---- ---- 5
Short arrangoes, per bead ---- 40
Gold beads, per bead ---- ---- 10
An Indian baft ---- ---- 20,000
A barraloolo, or five-bar piece 8,000
Scarlet cloth 10 spans ---- 20,000
If sold to the Karankeas _in retail_ 30,000
_Light yellow_ cloth nearly the same as scarlet;
_blue_ not so high
Paper per sheet ---- ---- 40
A dollar ---- ---- from 6 to 12,000
Or from 1L. 5s. to 2L. 10s
A _minkalli_ of gold (12s. 6d. sterling) ---- 3000
Four minkallies are equal to L3. 3s. Value in Cowries.
_Ivory_, the very largest teeth, each ---- 10,000
The medium size ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 7,000
The smaller ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 3 or 4000
_Indigo leaves_ beat and dried in lumps larger
than ones fist, each ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 40
A prime slave, (male) ---- ---- ---- ---- 40,000
A ditto, (female) ---- ---- ---- from 80 to 100,000
A girl ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 40,000
A horse from two to ten prime male slaves
A cow (fat) ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 15,000
An ass ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 17,000
A sheep ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 3 to 5,000
A fowl ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 250 to 300
As much _excellent fat beef_ as will be sufficient
for seven men one day ---- ---- ---- ---- 620
As much _good beer_ as the same number can
drink in one day ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 300
October 16th.--Modibinne and Jower arrived, and told me that they had
brought a canoe from Mansong. I went to see it, and objected to one half
of it, which was quite rotten. They sent up to Sego for another half;
but when it arrived, it would not fit the one already sent. I was
therefore forced to send Isaaco again to Sego; and as Mansong had
requested me by Modibinne to sell him any spare arms I might have, I
sent two blunderbusses, two fowling pieces, two pair of pistols, and
five unserviceable muskets; requesting in return that Mansong would
either send a proper canoe, or permit me to purchase one that I might
proceed on my journey. Isaaco returned on the 20th with a large canoe;
but half of it was very much decayed and patched, I therefore set about
joining the best half to the half formerly sent; and with the assistance
of Abraham Bolton (private) took out all the rotten pieces; and repaired
all the holes, and sewed places; and with eighteen days _hard labour,
changed the_ Bambarra canoe into _His Majesty's schooner Joliba_; the
length forty feet, breadth six feet; being flat bottomed, draws only one
foot water when loaded.
October 28th.--At a quarter past five o'clock in the morning my dear
friend Mr. Alexander Anderson died after a sickness of four months. I
feel much inclined to speak of his merits; but as his worth was known
only to a few friends, I will rather cherish his memory in silence, and
imitate his cool and steady conduct, than weary my friends with a
panegyric in which they cannot be supposed to join. I shall only observe
that no event which took place during the journey, ever threw the
smallest gloom over my mind, till I laid Mr. Anderson in the grave. I
then felt myself, as if left a second time lonely and friendless amidst
the wilds of Africa.
November 14th.--The schooner is now nearly ready for our departure; I
only wait for Isaaco's return from Sego, that I may give him this paper
November 15th.--Isaaco returned; and told us that Mansong was anxious
that I should depart as soon as possible, before the Moors to the East
had intimation of my coming. Bought bullock hides to form an awning to
secure us from the spears and arrows of the _Surka_ or _Soorka_ and
_Mahinga_ who inhabit the North bank of the river betwixt Jinnie and
November 16.--All ready and we sail to-morrow morning, or evening. I
will therefore conclude this long epistle with some miscellaneous
_Variation_ of the compass.
West of the Faleme river ---- ---- 14 11 West.
At Badoo, near Sibikillin ---- ---- 14 56
Near the _Bafing_ ---- ---- ---- 16 30
At Marraboo on the Niger ---- ---- 16 36
At Yamina ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 17 11
At Sansanding ---- ---- ---- ---- 17 40
In case any one should be inclined to doubt the accuracy of the
latitudes taken by the back observation with Troughton's pocket sextant;
I think it proper to mention that I have observed at Sansanding
alternately with the _horizon of the river_, and the _back observation_
in water and the artificial horizon; and never found them to vary more
than four minutes, but generally much nearer.
A fac-simile sketch of the course of the Niger, made by an old Somonie,
who had been seven times at Tombuctoo, and is now going the eighth.
_Ba Nimma_ rises in the Kong mountains South of Marraboo; it passes one
day's journey South of Sego; and having received a branch from Miniana,
empties itself into the lake Dibbie. It is not quite half so large as
the Niger. I have not the least doubt of the truth of this, having heard
it from so many people. We shall not see Jinnie in going to Tombuctoo.
_Route from Sego to Miniana._
From Sego in one day,
Deena, across the Ba Nimma in canoes, and halt on
the south side; thence in one day,
In all seven days.
The inhabitants of Miniana eat their enemies, and strangers, if they die
in the country. They eat the flesh of horses; but such is their
veneration for the cow that she is never killed; when she dies, they eat
the flesh. Miniana is hilly; all the grains are cultivated the same as
_Route from Sego to Badoo_.
From Sego in one day.
N. goi, [Footnote: Thus written in Park's MS.]
Guandoo on the banks of the Badingfing, a small
river from Miniana.
Teng: gera, a great Juli town; a Juli is called in
Baedoo, Kirko Bimba;
Jondoo; Juli town,
N. Kannoo, Juli town.
The whole of the foregoing places are in Bambarra.
Totti, a town in Baedoo.
Baedoo, the capital.
The Julis are people who understand the language of Baedoo and Miniana,
and are employed as interpreters and brokers by the salt merchants. One
month's travel South of Baedoo through the kingdom of Gotto, will bring
the traveller to the country of the Christians, who have their houses on
the banks of the _Ba Sea feena_; this water they represent as being
imcomparably larger than the lake Dibbie, and that the water sometimes
flows one way, sometimes another. There are no Shea trees in Kong or
Gotto, and very few in Baedoo.
Sierra Leone, 10th December, 1811._
"With reference to my letter of the 8th of March 1810, communicating
having engaged a person to go in search, and ascertain the fate of the
late Mr. Mungo Park; I have the honour to communicate to Your Lordship,
that this person returned to Senegal on the 1st of September; but I am
concerned to state that his information confirms the various reports of
Mr. Park's death.
"I have enclosed a copy of the Journal of the person whom I sent, which
was kept in Arabic, and has been translated into English by a person
resident in Senegal.
"Isaaco has been paid the promised reward, which I hope will be approved
by your Lordship.
"I have the honour to be,
"Your Lordship's most obedient
_To the Right Honourable
The Earl of Liverpool._
I, Isaaco, left Senegal on Sunday, the 22d day of the moon Tabasky;
[Footnote: Seventh of January, 1810.] in the afternoon we came to an
anchor at the foot of the bar. We passed the bar next morning, and had
like to have lost ourselves; we got on board the George. Weighed anchor
in the night of the 23d, from the roads, and anchored at Goree the 24th
at about 4 P.M. [Footnote: These times of the day are not very exact,
being regulated by the Mahometan times of prayer.] On my arrival there,
I found some of my effects had been stolen; I signified to the
commandant of Goree my intention to postpone my voyage, until my stolen
goods were found. The commandant sent me back on board the George, and
ordered the vessel to return to Senegal, that I might make there my
complaint to Governor Maxwell. We were nine days at sea with heavy
weather, and could not fetch; we were obliged to return to Goree on the
The commandant next day (Friday) after my arrival, sent a courier to
Senegal to the Governor, with the account of my goods being stolen; and
on the Friday following the courier brought me my effects. [Footnote:
These goods had been stolen in the lighter outside of the bar.] The same
day in the afternoon, I left Goree in the George, and arrived in Gambia,
the night after at Yoummy. We left Yoummy on the Sunday following, and
arrived on Monday at Jilifrey. We left Jilifrey the same day; passed
Tancrowaly, in the night, and on Tuesday came opposite a forest. Passed
this spot, and came to anchor at Baling. From Baling came to an anchor
opposite a forest at four P.M. We got under weigh in the night and came
to in the morning. Departed after breakfast, and came to at noon.
Departed immediately after, and came to after sunset. Passed Caour in
the night, and came to anchor at four A.M. (Thursday). Weighed in the
evening and came to Yanimmarou at noon. We left Yanimmarou in the
morning of Friday, and came to Mongha. Left the Mongha the same day at
sunset, and came to Mariancounda late in the evening, and Robert Ainsley
being there, I landed and presented to him the Governor's letter; making
in all eight days from Goree to my arrival at Mariancounda.
Robert Ainsley kept me five days with him. He gave me, by the Governor's
desire, one horse, one ass, and twenty bars of beads. I left Robert
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