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Full text of "Evidence laid before the Congo Commission of Inquiry at Bwembu, Bolobo, Lulanga, Baringa, Bongandanga, Ikau, Bonginda, and Monsembe. Together with a summary of events (and documents connected therewith) on the A.B.I.R. concession since the Commission visited that territory"

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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

S£^ 20 1905 

PRES^ 



EWDEHCE 



LAID BEFORE THE 



CONGO C0nrtI55I0R 
OF INQUIRY 



AT 



BWEMBU, BOLOBO, LULANGA, 
BARINGA, BONGANDANGA, IKAU, 
BONGINDA, AND MONSEMBE. 



Together with a SUMMARY OF EVENTS (and 

Documents connected therewith) on the A.B.I.R. 

Concession since the Commission visited that 
territory. 

Issued by the Conoo Reform Association, 



LIVERPOOL : 

John Richardson & Sons, Printers, 14-18, Pall Mall. 
1905. 



^\\t €mp %i\Ut\i{ ^$$o^iatiott. 



The KicxHT Hon. EARL BEAUCHAMP, K.C.M.G. 

The Right Hon. Earl Beanchamp, K.C.M.G. (President). 

The Right Hon. the Earl of Aberdeen. 

The Right Hon. the Earl of Listowel, K.P. 

The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Liverpool. 

Sir Gilbert Parker, M.P. 

C. M. Douglas, Esq., M.P. 

Alfred Emmott, Esq., M.P. 

Herbert Samuel, Esq., M.P. 

Austin Taylor, Esq., M.P. 

G. Harold Brabner, Esq. (Hon. Treasurer). 

Rev. R. J. Campbell, M.A., D.D. 

E. D. Morel, Esq. (Hon. Secretary). 
Rev. J. Clifford, M.A., D.D. 

H. Grattan Guinness, Esq., M.D. 

Henry N. Gladstone, Esq. 

John Holt, Esq. 

Colonel Stopford (African Society). 

Rev. Canon Scott Holland. 

J. St. Loe Strachey, Esq. ♦ 

F. Swanzy, Esq. 
Professor L. R. Wilberforce. 

-Right Hon. Sir Chas. Dilke, Bart., M.P. 

=:=F. W. Fox, Esq. 

'^H. R. Fox Bourne, Esq. 

* Serving on behalf of the Aborigines' Protection Society. 

E. D. Morel, Esq., Hawarden, Chester. 

Miss Violet A. Simpson, 7, Trebovir Road, Earl's Court, London, S.W. 

G. Harold Brabner, Esq., 20, North John Street, Liverpool, 



Membership of the Congo Reform Association can be obtained on the 
payment of Ten Shillings yearly, this sum to include the regular monthly 
delivery, post free, of the Journal of the Association, together— as funds 
permit— with any literature on the subject which may be desired for further 
information or distribution ; also notice of London or Provincial Meetings. 

It is specially to be noted that all officers of the Association are unpaid 
Subscriptions and Donations defraying expenses only. 

Application for Membership to be made to the Hon. Secretary. E. D. 
MOREL, Esq., Hawarden. Chester, to the Hon. Treasurer, G. HAROLD 
RRABNER, fcsq., 20, North John Street, Liveroool. or to the Assistant Hon. 
Secretary. Miss VIOLET A. SIMPSON, 7, Trebovir Road, Earl's Court, 
London, S.W. 



CONTENTS. 



SECTION I. 

Evidence taken by Commission. 

PAGES 

I. Mr. Billington, at Bwenibu ... ... ... 7 

II. Messrs. Clark, Grenfell and Scrivener, at Bolobo 7-13 

III. Mr. Gilchrist, at Lulanga 13-18 

IV. Messrs. Harris and Stannard, at Baringa ... 19-30 

V. Messrs. Kuskin and Gamman, at Bongandanga 30-37 

VI. Mr. and Mrs. Lower, at Ikau 37-46 

VII. Mr. Padfield, at Bonginda 46 53 

VIII. Mr. Weeks, at Monsembe 53-61 



SECTION II. 

Part 1. 

Evidence not taken by Commission. 

I. Mr. Harris to the President of the Commission, 

giving evidence of Chief from Boendo 

(Jan. 5th, 1905) ... ... 62.63 

II. Letter from Mr. Gregoire (Secretary" of the 

Commission) to Mr. Harris (Feb. 2nd, 1905) ... 63, 64 

III. Letter from Mr. Harris to the Vice-Governor- 

General, giving particulars of Nsongo-Mboyo 
massacres .. ... 65-69 

Part II. 

The Regulations laid down by the Commission. The Visit 

of M. Malfeyt, the Royal High Commissioner to Baringa, 

and the sequel. 

I. The regulations and the visit ... .... ... 70, 71 

II. Eepudiation of the Commission ... 71, 72 

III. Renewal of the reign of oppression, outrage, and 

massacre ... ... ... ... ... ... 72-80 

365229 



Part II. — Continued. 

PAGBS. 

(a) Letter from Mr. Harris to the Commissaire de 

District (April 10th, 1905J 72-75 

(b) Extract of letter from Mr. Stannard to Mr. Morel 

(April 7th, 1905) 75 

(c) Letter from Mr. Harris to the Commissaire de 

i)*s«nc< (April 26th, 1905) ... 76-80 

(d) Extract of letter from Mr. Harris to Dr. Guinness 

(April 20th, 1905) 80 



Part III. 

Hostage taking for Rubber. 

(a) Extract from proceedings at the trial of M. Van 

Caelcken 80, 81 

(b) Proofs of official recognition given to the practice 81-83 

(c) Laws and deeds 83, 84 

(d) The scandal of Governor-General Wahis' return 

to the Congo 84-86 

Part IV. 

Correspondence with the British Government. 

I. Congo Reform Association to Marquess of 

Lansdowne (May 31st) 86-89 

IL Marquess of Lansdowne to C. E. A. (June 14th) ... 89 

III. C. R. A. to Marquess of Lansdowne (June 15th) ... 90, 91 

IV. Marquess of Lansdowne to C. R. A. (June 22nd) 91 

V. C. R. A. to Marquess of Lansdowne (June 27th) .. 92, 93 

VI. Marquess of Lansdowne to C. E. A. (July 5th) 93 

VII. C. R. A. to Marquess of Lansdowne (June 28th) ... 94 

VIII. Marquess of Lansdowne to C. R. A. (July 6th) ... 95 

IX. C. R. A. to Marquess of Lansdowne (July 12th) ... 96 



PRSFnce. 



The Commission of Inquiry appointed last year by the Sovereign 
of the Congo State to investigate specific charges of atrocities and 
gross abuses, alleged to be prevailing in certain districts of the 
Congo State, returned to Belgium early in March last. 

Its Report has not been published. 

A statement appeared recently in the Press that the Com- 
mission would hand its Report to the Sovereign of the Congo State 
towards the end of August. 

Assuming the statement to be accurate, there is still nothing 
to show when that Report will be published, or in what form it 
will be presented ultimately to the world. 

The Congo Reform Association considers it necessary, therefore, 
in the public interest, to issue in concise and readable form the 
evidence laid before the Commission at various places whence the 
Association published information in 1903 and 1904. 

Together with this evidence, there will be found in the present 
publication, a summary of the events — with documents relating 
thereto — which have taken place in the A.B.I.R. Concession since 
the Commission returned. 

A map of the Congo State is attached, on which the route 
followed by the Commission is traced. 



6 
The Congo Reform Association has stated publicly the grounds 
upon which is based its view that both in composition, in the area 
of investigation, in the time employed, and in the very nature of 
the case necessitating enquiry; the Commission has been wholly 
inadequate to meet public requirements. To that view the Associa- 
tion adheres absolutely, and finds an additional justification for it 
in the events now taking place in the Lopori-Maringa region, 
proving, as they do, how powerless has been the influence of the 
Commission to alter a state of affairs, connived at, and in some 
cases — as is shown by ojficial documents — openly inspired by the 
Executive. 

The indictment brought by the Association is directed against 
an entire system of administration, " if^ indeed, administration it 
can be called."* It is not primarily directed against abuses com- 
mitted by individuals, which, in its view, are the direct, necessary 
and inevitable results of the system it condemns and calls upon 
Civilisation to take effective measures to suppress; a system repos- 
ing upon personal claims, and upon the exercise of personal claims, 
which this Association declares to be opposed to humanity, and to 
International pledges. 

The Association desires to place on record its belief that the 
Commission heard the evidence placed before it with fairness and 
impartiality. 

E. D. MOREL, 

Hon. Secretary. 

Hawarden, July 10th, 1905. 



♦ Lord Cromer, vide Africa No. 1, 1904. 



7 

SECTION I. 



THE EVIDENCE 



Messrs. Billington, of the American Baptist Missionary Union at 
Bwerabu; Messrs. Clark, Grenfell and Scrivener at Bolobo. 

Area affected : — Domaine Prive and Domaine de la Couronne. 



The Commission of Inquiry called at Bwembu on its way up 
the Congo River. Bwembu is a station of the American Baptist 
Missionary Union on the Tchumbiri River. The Commission only 
stopped for one hour at Bwembu. Mr. Billington was asked to 
make a statement and sign it, which he did^ afterwards sending 
to the President another letter dealing with certain matters which, 
in the hurry attendant upon the arrival of the Commission, he 
had overlooked. Mr. Billington dealt chiefly with the forced labour, 
the tying up of men and women, etc. ; confirming in a general way 
the reports already sent by him to the headquarters of his Mission 
in the United States, which were printed at length and er^bodied 
in the Memorial presented to the Co;igress of the United States of 
America in 1904. 

The Commission arrived at Bolobo on November 5th, 1904, 
and left on its way up river on November 12th. It held six morn- 
ing and one afternoon sittings. Messrs. Scrivener,^ Grenfell, and 
Clark, of the British Baptist Missionary Society, were called, and 
gave evidence. 

Mr. Clark's testimony had no particular importance. 

Mr. Grenfell, who has been frequently cited as an upholder of 
the present regime, a contention based, apparently, upon state- 
ments made by him some years ago, before he became personally 
acquainted with the present state of affairs on the upper river, 
expressed to the Commissioners his disappointment at the failure 
of the Congo Government to realise the promises with which it 
inaugurated its career. He declared he could no longer wear the 
decorations which he had received from the Sovereign of the Congo 



* For 23 years on the Congo, 



8 

State. He gave it as his opinion that the ills the country was 
suffering from were due to the haste of a few men to get rich, and 
to the absence of anything like a serious attempt to properly police 
the country in the interests of the people. He instanced the few 
judicial officers, and the virtual impossibility of a native obtaining 
justice, owing to witnesses being compelled to travel long 
distances either to Leopoldville or Boma.* Mr. Grenfell spoke out 
emphatically against the administrative regime on the Upper River, 
so far as it had been brought under his notice. 

Mr. Scrivener dealt at considerable length with the appalling 
condition of affairs he discovered in King Leopold's special preserve, 
the Domaine de la Couronne, during his 150-mile tramp through 
one corner of that district in the autumn of 1903. This report was 
fully published in the West African Mail last year, formed the 
subject of questions in the House of Commons, and will be found 
at length in " King Leopold's Rule in Africa," f a copy of which 
volume was taken out by the Commission. Mr. Scrivener brought 
forward a number of native witnesses in proof of his statements. 
Some of these witnesses had already appeared before a judicial 
officer sent to Bolobo subsequent to the publication of the account 
in the West African Mail. [This officer took down Mr. Scrivener's 
depositions, as will appear from the Proces Verbal, printed further 
on.] Others appeared for the first time. Lieutenant Massard, one 
of the Domaine de la Couronne officials implicated, from whom the 
Congolese Press published last year a letter, attacking Mr. Scrivener 
and the West African Mail, was subsequently arrested, and is now 
understood to be in Boma on trial. 

It may be remarked that no public accounts are issued, even 
in estimate form, of the value of the rubber and ivory obtained 
from the Domaine de la Couronne, and that the sums thus acquired 
are not paid into the Budget of the Congo State. J 

* On this point Mr. Harris, at Baringa {A.B.I.R. Concession), and Mr. 
Scrivener have given much corroborative evidence, which has been published. 
A number of witnesses produced by Mr. Scrivener in connection with the 
trial of Lieutenant Massard were sent to Boma in December, 1904. On 
May 10th, 1905, they had not yet returned to their homes and families. 
Witnesses sent to Boma from Baringa — 1,000 miles away — in August, 1904, 
only returned in April, 1905, several of the party having died in the interval. 
An administration of justice based upon these lines appears better calculated 
to defeat than to promote the ends of justice. 

t By E. D. Morel. Wm. Heinemann, Publisher, 20, Bedford Street, 
London, W.C. 

t Vide Debates in Belgian House of Representatives last year— ^7i«a/c« 
rarlemcrdaires. 



9 

One of the saddest incidents in the course of the examination 
of the witnesses occurred when the Commissioners asked a rather 
youthful witness: "How is it you know the names of the men 
who were murdered?" "One of them was my own father," was 
the unexpected reply. "Men of stone/' wrote Mr. Scrivener to 
Mr. Morel at the time, "would be moved by the stories that are 
being unfolded as the Commission probes into this awful history 
of rubber collection." 



EXTRACT FROM EXAMINATION OP MR. SCRIVENER 
BEFORE THE COMMISSION {Proces Verbal, 7th Nov., 1904). 

" We read to the witness the declarations he made before the 
assistant to the Public Prosecutor Caggiulo, on 14th April, 1904. 
The witness declares, 'I confirm that testimony, which is the 
expression of the truth. I note, however, a slight error in detail. 
It would appear from the text that it was through a Bangala 
interpreter that I spoke with Mr. Dooms. | That, however, is not 
the case. We conversed first of all through the intermediary of a 
native of the Lower Congo; we observed that he was really speak- 
ing the Bangala tongue; we then spoke together in this dialect, 
which we both understood, and we dispensed with an interpreter.' 

" We read to witness the letter which he wrote on May 27th, 
1904, to Mr. Morel, and which is published in the special issue of 
the Wef<t African Mail for July, 1904. The witness declares : ' This 
letter is the expression of the truth. The witnesses that you are 
about to hear will confirm the facts I have narrated. I will hand 
you a copy of this letter in which the names will be substituted 
for the blank spaces in the text of the West African Mail. In the 
first letter published in the West African Mail of 8th January, the 
statements, which are founded solely upon the declarations 
made to me by M. Dooms, are included in the passage begin- 
ning by the words, " I hear from the white man . . . ." 
and ending by ... . " but there were too many wit- 
nesses." I accompanied Mr. Casement* during part of his voyage. 
I had left Bolobo and had arrived on July 20th, 1903, at 
Bodzondongo (Mitandumga), not far from the river bank, and 
ten or twelve miles from Bolobo. Mr. Casement arrived on his 

X M. le Commandant Dooms was the successor of Massard, and told 
Mr. Scrivener he would denounce Massard's cruelties when he got home. 
It was announced recently that he had been killed by a hippopotamus. 

* Mr. Roger Casement, C.M.G., late H.B.M. Consul in the Congo. 



1(^ 

steamer"; I went on board, and together we proceeded to anotlier 
village named Bongende, five or six miles distant from the former 
place. Next morning we left, and visited a village named Mpoko, 
in the interior, four hours' march from the bank. We reached 
there about midday, and all the afternoon was employed by Mr. 
Casement in visiting groups of Basengele and Batito natives there 
established.* I was present at these conversations. I took no 
notes, but when I read the report of Mr. Casement, I felt that he 
had narrated in an accurate and faithful manner that which had 
been declared to us by the natives. Next morning we returned to 
Bongende, passing through Basengele and Batito villages, where 
many refugees were living, whom we heard. Mr. Casement and I 
then separated. The latter went to Bolobo, and I continued my 
voyage into the interior. The two letters reproduced in Annex I. 
of Mr. Casement's report, and which figure on pages 63 and 64 of 
the English text which you place before me, are extracts from 
letters I wrote to Mr. Casement. The facts given in those letters 
I was informed of by M. Dooms, and we have witnesses here who 
will testify to them. 

' After the last journey I made into the region of Lake 
Leopold II., I may say that the position has improved, but I 
cannot state that it is altogether satisfactory. One did not hear 
of further acts of cruelty or violence; but, although the rubber 
impositions had been decreased, they were still complained of in a 
general way. In my opinion these complaints are founded. The 
quantity of rubber claimed as a tax is not now exaggerated, but 
the manner in which this impost is levied is altogether oppressive 
(vexatoire). Not only are the natives often obliged to go several 
days* march into the forests to collect the rubber, but they are also 
compelled to all go to the Government station, which is sometimes 
a great distance away, to each carry strips of rubber five or six 
feet long, and which, all told, sometimes weigh actually less than 
the sticks on which they are tied for carriage. It would be desir- 
able that the natives who collect rubber impositions should only 

* It should be explained — in order to make the facts quite clear to the 
mind of the reader — that these natives interrogated by H.B.M. Consul wero 
refugees, people who had fled from their homes in the Domaine de la Couronne 
to escape persecution. The terrible accounts given by these refugees to the 
British Consul are published in the White Book, Africa, No. 1, 1904. It was 
only some time after accompanying Mr. ('asement to the district wheic these 
refugees had settled, that Mr. Scrivener UTnlertook, personally, a long over- 
land journey into the part of the Domaine de la Couronne whence the refugees 
originally came, accompanied by several of them as guides. It was the 
diary of what he saw and heard there, kept from day to day, that he sent 
to Mr. Morel, and which waa published by the latter in the West African Afail. 



11 

be required to furnish them quarterly, and that the transport 
should be limited to the number of men necessary to effect it, 
instead of compelling all the men to undertake long and useless 
journeys, which drags them away from their domestic affairs. 

' The part of the district of Lake Leopold II. which I visited 
is still suffering from the events which took place formerly; the 
inhabitants are anxious, and I think I may affirm that the same 
is the case in other parts of the district which I did not visit. 
I think that the only way of improving the position, and so make 
calmness and peace reign, is to suppress temporarily the rubber 
imposition. 

' It would' be desirable that the political divisions of the Stanley 
Pool and Lake Leopold II. districts should be in harmony with 
the ethnographical divisions of the various tribes. Certain incidents 
which appear anomalous would thus be avoided. 

' For instance, some of the Mpama villages are compelled to 
take rubber to Mbongo, whilst other villages of the same tribe must 
carry foodstuff to Lukolela ; a few (those in the neighbourhood of 
Mbondo and Bonginda) are obliged to furnish foodstuffs to Lukolela 
and rubber to Mbongo.' 

" You mentioned that five natives were placed in single file 
and killed with a single shot by Malu-Malu* (Massard), or by his 
orders. Among the witnesses you are able to produce, are there 
any who can testify to this incident ? " 

' No, I do not know of any. I confined myself, moreover, to 
asking the witnesses if they were acquainted with any facts which 
could interest the judicial authorities. The fact itself I held from 
M. Dooms, and I cannot tell you whether you can find any witnesses 
to testify to the same. I arrived at Bongo one day about 1 p.m. 
M. Dooms received me very hospitably, and, without my putting 
a single question to him, he gave me a mass of information on the 
condition of the region under his predecessor. He seemed very 
upset and troubled' over the accounts given to him by the soldiers, 
and he told me that one day, upon entering the prison-house, he 
almost fainted at the sight which met his eyes, and at the filth 
of the place. During the whole of the meal we partook of together, 
he spoke of nothing but the horrors he had heard of^ and hardly 
questioned me about the incidents of my own journey. Upon my 
return from the Lake, I saw M. Dooms again, and he gave me the 

* Bad, Bad, native bo briquet. 



account of the murders committed by Massard or by his orders: 
shooting the natives as they brought in the rubber, or placing them 
one behind the other and driving one bullet through the lot. 
Dooms was liked, and, coming after Massard, he was considered 
as very good. He was, however, extremely strict; he was very 
orderly and punctilious, and he exacted as much rubber as the 
others. Thanks to his methods, however, he had succeeded in 
obtaining more rubber than Massard, and of better quality. He 
knew how to encourage the natives by giving them prizes . . . 
Although he was very exacting, and desired to make the natives 
work as much as possible, his conduct led to no complaints. I, 
however, heard the natives complain that the labour imposed upon 
them was excessive, and the remuneration insufficient. It is not 
my affair to say whether these complaints were founded, but I 
note that to-day the labour imposed is less and the remuneration 
greater.'^ 

After reading over his depositions, the witness adds : 
' I expressed my surprise to Mr. Dooms that he should not 
have brought to the knowledge of the judicial authorities the facts 
with which he acquainted me. He replied that it was useless to 
do so now, and that he would expose them when he got back to 
Belgium. He also intimated to me his desire to leave the State 
service, to enter the service of the Kasai Company, because he did 
not like having to compel the natives to work beyond their strength. 
I had been waiting for the revelations of M. Dooms, and when I 
saw that their appearance was being delayed, I gave publicity to 
the facts which had been revealed to me.' 



WITNESSES EXAMINED BY THE COMMISSION OF 
INQUIRY AT BOLOBO. 

The following witnesses were examined by the Commission at 
Bolobo. It should be noted that many of the places named below 
are far distant from one another : — 

Mpetempoko, to seeing Malumalu (Massard) shoot a man at 

Bongo. 
Ilangaekunda, to seeing Malumalu (Massard) shoot three men 

on three different occasions. 

* That is to say, since the revelations of Mr. Scrivener, and their pubUe?^- 
tion in the West African Mail, 



id 

lya, sub-chief of the district of Ngongo^ to seeing sentries kiU 

people at Ngonogo. 
Bilentwale, son of above, corroborated father's statement. 
Nkwabale, to war being waged on account of rubber, relatives 

and friends killed, and the sexual organs of men being 

exposed on a string. 



Witaka, 


various 


massacres, 


etc., at Ngongo. 


Wenge, 




do. 


do. 


Eyangi, 




do. 


do. 


Boyo, 




do. 


do. 


Nkoi, 




do. 


do. 


Bokelombe, 


do. 


do. 



Nzou, to raiding of village of Pili, and murder and imprison- 
ment of relatives and friends for shortage in supplies of 
bush deer, etc., for the State station of Ibale, on the shore 
of Lake Mantumba. 

Ntoloeni, do., do., and also spoke to seeing body of his own 
father amongst the slain. 

Mpotobowoto, to slaughter by sentries at Gomoelenge. 

Bokuba, to massacre at Mia, by sentries. 

Leke, to murder at Bokolo, on two occasions, by sentries. 

Bontoma, of murder by a sentry at Penge. 



n. 

EVIDENCE OF MR. GILCHRIST AT LULANGA. 

Area affected : — Domaine Prive and C oncessionnaire Areas on the 
Lulanga and Ikelemba Rivers. 

Mr. Gilchrist, a representative of the Congo Bolobo Mission 
at Lulanga, was the next to testify before the Commission. The 
people of the Lulanga neighbourhood are partly " taxed " by the 
Government, partly by the Lulanga Company, the director in 
Africa of which was requested, since Mr. Gilchrist's evidence was 
given, to hold himself at the disposal of the Judicial Authorities 
at Boma.* The Ikelemba river seems, in its various parts, to have 
been the happy hunting ground of various concessionnaires. The 
state of affairs in the area allotted to the La Lulanga Company 
was exhaustively dealt with in Mr. Casement's report. 



* And has since been released. 



14 

The following is a portion of the evidence laid before the 
Commission by Mr. Gilchrist: — 

Mr. Gilchrist's Testimony. 
" They asked me to tell them all I knew about the La Lulanga. 
They prefaced my remarks by saying, 'of course you know that 
this company is in the free trade territory of the State.' They 
smiled when they said this — and so did I. I gave them instances 
that shewed how free (!) it was. Just a few days before I had met 
a number of men belonging to the village of Bokotola, who, with 
their neighbours of that village, were living in the forest, with all its 
discomforts and exposure in a wet season like the present, rather 
than stay in their own village and be harassed and abused by this 
company's agents. I informed them also of the sentry regime, with 
all its cruel accompaniments, and of what Mr. Bond and I had 
seen on our way from the Ikelemba, of their slave-driving in those 
towns contiguous to their headquarters at Mompoko. They asked 
if I knew whether they had the consent or help of the State in 
these practices. I said I could not say, as I had no means of know- 
ing. I referred them to our brethren at Bonginda for fuller 
information, as they were in the centre of the company's sphere 
of operations. 

" I also told them what we had seen on the Ikelemba, of the 
signs of desolation in all the districts, of the heartrending stories 
the people told us, of the butcheries wrought by the various White 
men of the State and companies who had, from time to time, been 
stationed there, among whom a few names were notorious — such 
as Escjerike^ Bbsongo of the S.A.B., and Poloso of the State.^" 
I pointed out to them the fact that the basin of the Ikelemba was 
supposed to be free trade territory also^ but that everywhere the 
people of the various districts were compelled to serve the com- 
panies of these respective districts, in rubber, gum copal, or food. 
At one out-of-the-way place where we were on the south bank, two 
men arrived just as we were leaving, with their bodies covered 
with marks of the chicotte, which they had just received from the 
trader of Bosci because their quantity had been short. I said to 
the Commissaire, given favourable conditions, particularly freedom, 
there would soon be a large population in these interior towns, tht 
Ngombe and Mongo." 

* Native names of "white men. 



i5 

Causes of Depopulation. 

Mk. GilohbistUqubhtioned by thbJCommission. 

Q. What do you regard as causes of depopulation ? 

A, (1) Sleeping Sicknesi^. This has never appeared in epidemic 
form in our district, only in isolated cases. 

(2) Hinallpox, Very few have died of this sickness. 

(3) Unsettled condition of the people. The older people never 
seem to have confidence to build their houses substantially. If they 
liave any suspicion of the approach of a canoe or steamer with 
soldiers they flee. 

(4) Chest diseases, pneumonia, etc. These carry off very many. 
The people flee to the islands, live in the open air, expose them- 
selves to all kinds of weather, contract chills, which are followed 
by serious lung troubles, and die. For years we never saw a new 
house because of the drifting population.. They have a great fear 
of soldiers. In the case of many the absence from the villages is 
temporary; in the case of a few they permanently settle on the 
north bank of the river. 

(5) Want of proper nourishment. I have witnessed the collecting 
of the State imposition, and after this was set aside the natives 
had nothing but leaves to eat. 

Q. Is not manioca sufficient to nourish the natives ? 

A. No, it is of itself insufiicient. 

(6) Excessive taxes. 

(Here the President referred to Mr. Gilchrist's letter to an 
official at Boma, and asked if the representations made in the 
same referred to certain exceptional cases or the whole district.) 

A. To the whole district. 

Q. Are the taxes excessive i 

A. Yes, e.g., the 40 hours' work supposed to be given to the 
State is entirely a misrepresentation of the facts of the case. The 
collecting of firewood alone occupies more than that time. That is 
sufficient without any other imposition. Canoes are very scarce. 

Q. M. Malfeyt states that it is ivrong to require imposition of 
ducks, fowh, etc. Does the State still levy the tar, ? 

A. Yes. • 



16 

Q. Are you sure ? 

A. Yes, e.g., Captain Rimini came a little time since and 
required the same. A monthly tax is made. Wala's tax is eighteen 
per month. 

Q. Do you wish to add anything ■? 

A. Polygamy is favoured by the system, consequently slaveiy. 
Everybody in the town is bound to supply the State. 

Q. Is thai the mason why the value of lOonien, free and tnslaved^ 
has risen above the value of men ? 

A. The reason is that the woman is useful from the native 
point of view. But a woman has always been Useful, but now more 
useful as a Working quantity. The chief wants more women to 
supply the tax. 

Q. The village is not taxed, but the chief. 

A. It may be so in theory, but not in fact. The more wives the 
less work for each. The chief distributes the work among his 
people. Hence if he has five wives each has less to do. 

Q. Is the non-buying of slaves not a source of decrease of population ? 
Did not more people come from the other side bought as slaves, and by that 
means increase the population ? 

A. You must remember that if they bought slaves they also 
sold the same. Thus a balance was struck. I do not consider the 
increase is affected by this. Referring to Wala, the people were 
once hunters, but now the State taxes have to be attended. At 
that time they had elephant meat both to eat and also to sell. 

(7) Another thing that may cause or account for the decreasing 
population is the constancy of the taxation. This sours the people. 
They feel they have no interests of their own. 

Q. Are there some villages and towns free from taxation ? 

A. Not that I know of. I know of none. 

Q. Have you any further remark against the present system ? 

A. I have only to remind the gentlemen of excessive fines to 
which I referred before. 

Q. ^Yoa speak of the fines as a consequence of the system. The law 
does not ^j^erz/t't^ such. 



17 

A. How are we and the people to know that? The people do 
not know it. The rods* are not returned. 

Q. // these facts were knoion the courts would prosecntc. 

A. Fines have been imposed since I reported to the Grovernor- 
General.f 

Q. It is absolutely illegal.^ 

A. I can recollect impositions of 200,000 rods. It has made 
the people poorer. 

Q Dnring the last month 1 

A. No, I think M. de Bauw was officer at the time. That is 
one of the things that take away the confidence of the people in 
the State. 

Q. Since the toivn of Wala was fined can yon quote other instances ? 

A. Yes. Captain Hagstrom levied a fine of 45,000 rods at the 
instigation of M. de Bauw on Lulanga. If you refer to Wala only 
(1) 5,000, (2) 15,000 before this. One fine since of 5,000. 

Q. Do you know of any instance of villages fined after you wrote 
your letter J 

A. 40,000 rods was a fine of which Wala's share was 5,000. 

Q. Have you read Casenieni^s repot t^ 

A. Yes. 

Q. You confirm his re2)ort as to Wala and district I 

A. Yes. 

Q. H.av6 you anything to suggest ? 

A. In reference to the coffee plantations the system is still in 
force. The coffee is allowed to drop to the ground, therefore it is 
useless labour on the part of the natives. 

Q. Do you know the reason for the coffte not being used ? 

A. No. 

* Native currency. 

t July, 1903. This letter of Mr. Gilchrist's to the Governor-General is 
published in full in " King Leopold's Rule in Africa," op. cit. 

§ Consequently Messrs. de Bauw, Captain Hagstrom, and Captain 
Rimini, all high officials, have been acting in an " absolutely illegal " manner. 
But what has been done to these officials!'' M. de Bauw is, or was, the 
Supreme Executive Official in the District. 



Id 

Q. t)o you know instances of ill-treatment other than those mentioned 
by Casement i 

A. I do not know whether I recall all the instances of Mr, 
Casement's report. 

Q. Your letter refers to twenty men, hut yesterday at Wala we 
heard them, say tvjenty-five ? 

A. I gave the number I knew at the time. The people in this 
town are prepared to give evidence as to ill-treatment if you 
require them. 

Q. How litany ivituesses different from those we heard yesterday J 

A. I can call those at Lulanga. Yesterday we heard those of 
Wala only. I have always insisted on the natives reporting their 
own cases of ill-treatment. The one complaint I have to make is 
that the Authorities invariably believe the sentries before the 
people. There was then no court. 

Q. You do not speak of the judge ? 

A. No. I speak of the military authorities. The case is prob- 
ably not taken to the civil officer of the State, 

In addition to the foregoing, Mr. Gilchrist, on being asked by 
the judges respecting the same: 

(a) Confirmed Mr. Weeks' report as to atrocities in the 
Bangala district, having himself visited the scene of the 
atrocities. 

(b) Confessed inability to confirm the letters of Mr. Bond 
which appeared in the West African Mail, relative to atrocities 
up river, not having himself been with Mr. Bond at the time. 
He reported having heard the natives frequently make mention 
of the matter, and gave the names of the villages, and offered 
to send natives to give evidence. 



HL 

EVIDENCE OF MESSRS. HAJRRIS AND STANNARD AT 

BARINGA. 

Area affected: — Territories controlled by the A.B.I.R. Society.* 

As a preface to the evidence of Messrs. Harris and Stannard, the 
reader should bear the following facts in mind, together with the 
circumstance that revelations of atrocities against this Society first 
began in 1901, and have continued at intervals ever since. 

The Congo Government has all these years exercised juris- 
diction over the A.B.I.R. Society. 

The Congo Government has all these years held one-half 
the shares of the A.B.I.R. Society. 

The Congo Government has, whenever required, placed 
its military forces at Bassankusu at the disposal of the A.B.I.R. 
Society. 

The Congo Government has all these years been aware 
that the A.B.I.R. Society has dealt in slave labour, or^ other- 
wise stated, has compelled by force — ^the A.B.I.R. Society 
being nominally a " trading company '* — the natives to bring 
in stated quantities of india-rubber, and has imprisoned them 
if they failed to do so. 

The Governor-General in Africa has authorised the "taking 
of hostages" by the A.B.I.R. Society in order to increase the 
rubber output, which practice has been regularly foUowed.f 

The Congo Government has all these years possessed full 
information as to the vast quantities of cartridges and ammu- 
nition imported by the Society, which have been conveyed to 
the Society in the Government steamers. 

The Congo Government has all these years possessed full 
knowledge of the number of cap-guns and rifles in the Society's 
possession, for which the Congo Government exacts a license. 

The Congo Government granted the Society its concession, 
and has allowed it to exploit areas in the Domaine Prive, lying 

outside of it. 

* The rule of the A.B.I.R. Society has been fully exposed in a pamphlet 
entitled " Eed Rubber," by E. D. Morel. Price Is.; obtainable from Messrs. 
W. H. Smith, London. 

t Vide rev^lattons at the trial of M. Van Caelcken, in December, 1904. 



^0 

The Board of Administratio'ii of the A.B.I.R. Society includes 
the following: 

President: A. Van den Nest, Senator. 

Council : Count John d'Oultremont, Grand Marshal of 
the Belgian Court ; Baron Dhanis, ex-Governor-General of the 
Congo State; M. Edmond Van Eetevelde, Congo State Secre- 
tary of State. 

Mr. Harris' Testimony. 

" First, the specific atrocities during 1904 were dealt with, 
including men, women, and children; then murders and outrages, 
including cannibalism. From this I passed on to the imprisonment 
of men, women and children. Following this I called attention to 
the destruction of the Baringa towns and the partial famine among 
the people in consequence. Also the large gangs of prisoners — men, 
women and children — imprisoned to carry out this work; the 
murder of two men whilst it was being done. Next followed the 
irregularities during 1903. The expedition conducted by an 
A.B.I M. agent against Samb'ekota, and the arming continually of 
A.B.I.R. sentries with Albini rifles. Following this I drew attention 
to the administration of Mons. Forcie, whose regime was a terrible 
one, including the murder of Isekifasu, the principal Chief of 
Bolima; the killing, cutting up and eating of his wives, son and 
children; the decorating of the chief houses with the intestines, 
liver and heart of some of the killed, as stated by ' Veritas ' in the 
West African Mail. 

" I confirmed in general the letter published in the West 
African Mail by ' Veritas.' 

" Following this I came to Mons. Tagner's time, and stated 
that no village in the district had escaped murders under this man's 
regime. 

" Next we dealt with irregularities common to all agfentfe, call- 
ing attention to and proving by specific instances the publid 
floggings of practically any and everyone; quoting, for instance, 
seeing with my own eyes six Ngombe men receive one hundred 
strokes, each delivered simultaneously by two sentries. 

" Next, the normal condition has always been the imprisoning 
of men, women and children, all herded together in one shed, with 
no' arrangement for the demands of nature. Further, that very 



many, including even Chiefs, had died either in prison or immed- 
iately on their release. 

" I next called attention to the indiscriminate fines levied on 
the people by the A.B.I.R. agents. Also the irregular taxes imposed 
only according to the requirements of the agents ; these taxes often 
being levied on the food of the people. Following on this was the 
normal condition of the people under the sentries* regime^ shewing 
how the whole of the villages were absolutely under their despotic 
control, and that not only had the sentries to be kept in state, but 
also their large retinue of boys and often stolen women. 

" The normal conditions also include the levying of blackmail 
and taxes. We also pointed out that the murders and cannibalism 
of the sentries were after all only an exaggeration of their general 
conduct. 

" The next question dealt with was the transporting, as 
prisoners, from one region of the A.B.I.R. concession to another, 
of those who could not or would not work rubber. 

" Next, the mutilation of the woman Boaji, because she wished 
to remain faithful to her husband, and refused to subject herself 
to the passions of the sentries. The woman's footless leg and hernia 
testify to the truth of her statement. She appeared before the 
Commission and doctor. 

" Next, the fact that natives are imprisoned for visiting friends 
and relatives in other villages, and the refusal to allow native 
canoes to pass up and down river without carrying a permit signed 
by the rubber agent; pointing out that even missionaries are 
subject to these restrictions, and publicly insulted, in an unprint- 
able manner, when they do so. 

" Next point dealt with was responsibility — maintaining ' that 
responsibility lay not so much in the individual as in the system. 
The sentry blames the agent, he in turn the director, and so on. 

" I next called attention to the difficulties to be faced by natives 
in reporting irregularities. The number of civil officials is too 
small; the practical impossibility of reaching those that do exist — 
the native having first to ask permission of the rubber agent. Here 
I quoted the sickening outrage on the Lomako, to which I have 
already called your attention.* 

* Tl^is outrage, of which full details have been receiyed, ig unprintable. 



22^ 

" The relations that are at present necessary between the 
A.B.I.R. and the State render it highly improbable that the natives 
will ever report irregularities. I then pointed out that we firmly 
believe that but for us these irregularities would never have come 
to light. 

"Following on this the difficulties to be faced by missionaries 
were dealt with, pointing out that the A.B.I.R. can and do impose 
on us all sorts of restrictions if we dare to speak a word about their 
irregularities. I then quoted a few of the many instances which 
found their climax in Mrs. Harris and I almost losing our lives 
for daring to oppose the massacres by Van Caelcken. It was also 
stated that we could not disconnect the attitude of the State in 
refusing us fresh sites with our action in condemning the adminis- 
tration. I then mentioned that the forests are exhausted of rubber, 
pointing out that during a five days' tour through the forests I did 
not see a single vine of any size. This is solely because the vines 
have been worked in such a manner that all the rubber roots need 
many years' rest, whereas the natives now are actually reduced 
to digging up those roots in order to get rubber. 

" The next subject dealt with was the clear violation both of 
the spirit and letter of the Berlin Act. In the first place we are 
not allowed to extend the Mission, and, further, we are forbidden 
to trade even for food. 

" Next the statement was made that, so far as we are aware, 
no single sentry had ever been punished by the State till 1904 for 
tlie many murders committed in this district. 

" I next pointed out that one reason why the natives object 
to paddle for the A.B.I.R. is because of the sentries who travel in 
the A.B.I.R. canoes, and whose only business is to flog the paddlers 
in order to keep them going. 

" After Mr. Stannard had been heard, sixteen Esanga witnesses 
were questioned one by one. They gave clearly the details of how 
father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter were killed in cold 
blood for rubber. These sixteen represented over twenty murders 
in Esanga alone. Then followed the big chief of all Bolima, who 
succeeded Isekifasu (murdered by the A.B.I.R.). What a sight 
for those who prate about lying missionaries ! He stood boldly 
before all, pointed to his twenty witnesses, placed on the table his 
one hundred and ten twigs, each twig representing a life for 



23 

rubber. ' These are chiefs* twigs, these are men's^ these shorter are 
women's, these smaller still are children's.' He gives the names 
of scores, but' begs for permission to call his son as a reminder. 
The Commission, though, is satisfied with him, that he is telling 
the truth, and therefore say that it is unnecessary. He tells how 
his beard of many years' growth, and which nearly reached his feet, 
was cut off by a rubber agent, merely because he visited a friend 
in another town. Asked if he had not killed A.B.I.R. sentries, he 
denied it, but owned to his people spearing three of the sentry's 
boys. He tells how the White man fought him, and when the fight 
was over handed him his corpses, and said : ' Now you will bring 
rubber, won't you ? ' To which he replied ' Yes.' The corpses were 
cut up and eaten by Mons. Forcie's fighters. He also told how he 
had been chicotted and imprisoned by the A.B.I.R. agent, and 
further put to the most menial labour by the agent. He also tells 
of numbers of stolen and ravished wives, of the many anklets, 
spears, shields, etc., that he has been forced to give the sentries. 

" Here Bonkoko came forward and told how he accompanied 
the A.B.I.R. sentries when they went to murder Isekifasu and his 
wives and little ones; of finding them peacefully sitting at their 
evening meal ; of the killing as many as they could, also the cutting 
up and eating of the bodies of Isekifasu's son and his father's wives ; 
of how they dashed the baby^s brains out, cut the body in half, 
and impaled the halves. 

" Again, he tells how, on their return, Mons. Forcie had the 
sentries chicotted because they had not killed enough of the Bolima 
people. 

" Next came Bongwalanga, and confirmed Bonkoko's story : 
i his youth went to ' look on.' After this the mutilated wife of 
Lomboto of Ekerongo wjis carried by a chief, who showed her foot- 
less leg and hernia. This was the price she had to pay for remain- 
ing faithful to her husband. The husband told how he was chicotted 
because he was angry about his wife's mutilation. 

" Then Longoi, of Lotoko, placed eighteen twigs on the table, 
representing eighteen men, women and children murdered for 
rubber. Next^ Inunga laid thirty-four twigs on the table and told 
how thirty-four of his men, women and children had been murdered 
at Ekerongo. He admits that they had speared one sentry, Iloko, 
but that, as in every other such instance, was because Iloko had first 
^lled their people. Lomboto shews his mutilated wrist and useless 



24 

hand, done by the sentry. Isekansu shews his stump of a forearm, 
telling the same pitiful story. Every witness tells of floggings, rape, 
mutilations, murders, and of imprisonments of men, women and 
children, and of illegal fines and irregular taxes, etc., etc. ' The 
Commission endeavours to get through this slough of iniquity and 
river of blood, but finding it hopeless^ asks how much longer I can 
go on. I tell them I can go on until they are satisfied that 
hundreds of murders have been committed by the A.B.I.R. in this 
district alone; murders of Chiefs, men, women and little children, 
and that multitudes of witnesses only await my signal to appear 
by the thousand. 

"I further point out that we have only considered about two 
hundred murders from the villages of Bolima, Esanga, Ekerongo, 
Lotoko ; that by far the greater majority still remain. The follow- 
ing districts are as yet untouched : Bokri, Nson-go, Boru-ga, Ekala, 
Baringa, Linza, Lifindu, Nsongo-Mboyo, Livoku, Boendo, the 
Lomako river, the Ngombe country, and many others, all of whom 
have the same tale to tell. Everyone saw the hopelessness of trying 
to investigate things fully. To do so, the Commission would have 
to stay here for months. 

"The Commission therefore agreed to accept the following as 
a true general statement: 'That hundreds of people have been 
killed in this district alone for rubber, and that I could prove it 
by multitudes of witnesses.' And what a sight for Mrs. French- 
Sheldon, Sir Alfred Jones, Lord Mountmorres, Mr. Head, and their 
hosts, who have called us ' liars,' with every adjective they could 
find. What a sight for them. The A.B.I.R. Director also accepts 
this statement as true. 

" Where now is the ' morbid imagination of excitable 
missionaries ' ? " 

Mr. Stannabd's Testimony. 

" The sittings of the Commission were quite public, and were 
held on board one of their steamers. All the missionaries of Baringa 
attended every sitting. We had every opportunity for giving 
evidence, asking questions, and bringing forward witnesses. It is 
true that not more than a tithe of the witnesses we were able to 
produce were examined, but that was because the Commissioners 
considered the charges against the A.B.I.R. fully proved. The 
Director of the A.B.I.R. had every opportunity of disproving the 
evidence, but- the utmost he could do was to attempt to explain 
away things and plead ignorance, but he did not succeed very weU, 



25 

"After Mr. Harris Had addressed the Commissioners at great 
length during the first three sittings, Mrs. Harris confirmed her 
husband's evidence, and stated a few facts in connection with the 
Nsongo outrages. 

" When called upon to give evidence, I said I wished to confirm 
all Mr. Harris' evidence, except the things that he had actually 
seen and I had not. I pointed out that we had together drawn 
up the evidence to be laid before the Commission, so as to avoid 
repetition. There were, however, several points that I wished to 
bring forward. 

" I knew for certain that Albinis* were used in the Nsongo 
outrages, because I saw the evidence with my own eyes. I instanced 
the case of Isekolumbo, who died the day that I reached Wala. 
He had been shot with an Albini rifle, the wound of which I saw. 
The bullet had passed through the right arm^ fracturing it, and 
then, entering the side, had passed through the chest and out at 
the back and near the shoulder. Also the case of Elisi, who was 
shot through the thigh, but fortunately without fracturing the bone, 
and is still alive. The flesh wound was unmistakable; the bullet 
having entered at one side and out at the other. With reference 
to the whole Nsongo palaver, I confirmed everything that I had 
written in the letter which was published in the Congo Supplement 
of the West African Mail of August, 1904, of which the Commis- 
sioners had a copy. 

" I next confirmed Consul Casement's statement that whilst 
he was at Bongandangaf fifteen women were brought in as prisoners, 
as I had seen them myself. 

" I stated that whilst I was stationed at B'ongandanga they 
always had women prisoners, which was part of the ordinary routine 
of the A.B.I.R. These women prisoners worked under the super- 
vision of sentries. 

" Women were imprisoned because the men were short in their 
supplies. If a certain village or villages were short, a number of 
the women from those places would be seized and put into prison 
until the men made up their deficiencies. This was the recognized 
method of the A.B.I.R. agent, who often told me that this was 
the best way to get the ' taxes ' brought in. 

* It is contrary to law for the sentries to be armed with the Albini, 
t Another station of the A.B.I.R, 



26 

" Albini rifles were always used whilst I was at Bongandan^a, 
but not exclusively. 

"I spoke of the method of bringing in rubber workers by 
sentries, particularly in connection with the Nsungamboiya people, 
but what I said about them referred also to people from other 
districts. Every fortnight these people were brought in from their 
villages, distant about thirty to forty miles from the A.B.I.R. 
Station at Bbngandanga. Before reaching the A.B.I.R. they had 
to pass through the Mission Station. In the front came a line of 
five or six sentries abreast, marching military fashion, with rifles 
or guns sloped across their shoulders. Following these came a 
number of prisoners tied neck by neck. After these came the men 
and boys, carrying their rubber, with sentries amongst them at 
different intervals, and then a number of sentries at the rear hurry- 
ing up the stragglers. The average number of rubber workers from 
these villages was about two hundred and fifty, and they looked 
more like a gang of prisoners than anything else. Between the 
Mission and the A.B.I.R. is a wide path, and here the men halted, 
and under the supervision of the sentries divided up their rubber 
before taking it to the Agent. 

" I have seen rubber workers being carried away by their 
friends from the A.B.I.R. Station after having been severely 
chicotted. Two particular occasions I called to mind, and both 
occurred near about March, 1903. Once I was standing with 
Bongole, our native evangelist, outside his house, just after one of 
the so-called markets, when a man was carried past, having been 
severely flogged; and the other time I was standing near my own 
house. Each time I spoke to the people and asked the reason, 
and they said it was because of the rubber. 

"The State has given the A.B.I.R. the power by which these 
things are possible. 

" I pointed out the few visits of a judicial officer to the A.B.I.R. 
territory. The only visits of judges to the A.B.I.R. Concession 
that I can remember were those of Judge Rossi about the early 
part of 1902, and the recent visits of Judge Bosco.* 

" When the police officer comes into the Concession, it is 
usually at the request of the A.B.I.R. to settle some palaver of 

* There have been no others since the formation of the A.B.I.R. Society 
under Congolese law in 1898; and neither of those judges visited the interior 
of the Concession. Both were guests of the A.B.I.R. Agents during the whole 
time of their stay. 



theirs, and of course he is only told their side of the affair. As a 
rule, it is because the people are not bringing in enough rubber, 
or a sentry may have been killed. He is not told anything about 
the difficulty the people may have in getting rubber^ and the 
terrible treatment they have received, and that the sentry in 
question has probably killed a number of people first. There is 
nobody to speak for them. When the police officer comes with his 
soldiers the people think he has come to fight them, and they either 
assume a hostile attitude or run away. 

" The general attitude of the Commissaire, the representative 
of the Congo Government in the territory, seemed to indicate that 
he was in sympathy with the methods adopted by the A.B.I.R., 
and distinctly resented our actions in reporting outrages, etc., 
connected with the procuring of rubber. 

" The restrictions imposed upon us by the A.B.I.R. in the 
matter of food-stuffs, etc., are the direct result of our doing what 
we have felt to be our duty in reporting their atrocities. 

"With reference to taxation, I submitted: — 

" (1) That it is not right to force natives to pay taxes in 
an article they do not possess, especially in the quantities 
that are demanded from them. 

" (2) It is absolutely wrong in principle that all the taxes 
of a large territory should go into the pockets of the share- 
holders of a commercial company. 

" (3) Whilst it is right that the natives should work, it 
should be shown them that there is some benefit from working. 

" (4) The natives should work principally for their own good, 
whilst at the same time paying their taxes. 

" With regard to the native evidence, it is impossible to give 
more than a few examples of such which was placed before the 
Commission; but, so far as proving the charges made against the 
State, it was simply overwhelming, both in regard to the number 
of witnesses and the atrocities to which they bore testimony. The 
witnesses, who came from all directions, were so numerous that the 
Commissioners felt it would be a tremendous task to hear them all, 
and, moreover, they did not think it necessary, as they considered 
the charges we had made more than proved. Mons. Longtain, 
the Director of the A.B.I.R., who was present, was asked what 



^8 

he had to say to these things, and he had to confess that he could 
not dispute the evidence. 

" The witnesses from Esanga told how on one occasion, because 
forty-nine instead of fifty baskets of rubber were brought in, some 
of their people were imprisoned, and sentries were sent to punish 
the people; that one poor woman was trying to catch fish in a 
small stream near by her village, when she was surprised and shot 
by rubber sentries. 

" Another witness told how he found the corpses of his mother, 
uncle and sister, killed by the sentries. All had harrowing stories 
to tell of the brutal murder of near relatives. Some they had 
seen shot before their eyes; in other cases they had fled to the 
bush to save themselves^ and when they returned had found the 
dead bodies of their relatives lying about. 

" Defenceless women and children were shot down indiscrimin- 
ately, the witnesses indicating the size of the children by their 
height from the ground. All this was apparently done in order 
to strike terror and fear into the hearts of these unhappy people, 
so as to force them to bring rubber. And all this has been the 
normal condition of these people's lives for years. ^ The witnesses 
reported how they were constantly flogged with the chicotte, how 
they, with their women and children, were constantly imprisoned, 
and that many of their people either died in prison or just after 
coming out. Whilst the men were in the forest trying to get 
rubber their wives were outraged, ill-treated, and stolen from them 
by the sentries. Usually the sentries would attack a village either 
at night or very early in the morning, and in cold blood shoot 
down defenceless people who offered no resistance. The terrors and 
sufferings of these people could scarcely have been surpassed by 
the horrors of the Arab slave raids. The history of the A.B.I.R. 
in these parts is one of oppression, blood and iniquity. It will 
take a great deal to atone for all the wrong that has been done 
to these people. 

"Lontulu, the senior Chief of Bblima, came with twenty 
witnesses, which was all the canoe would hold. He brought with 
him one hundred and ten twigs, each of which represented a life 
sacrificed for rubber. The twigs were of different lengths, and 
represented chiefs, men, women and children, according to their 

* During which the shareholders of the Society have been making 
e?\ormous profits. 



^9 

lengtli. It was a horrible story of massacre, mutilation, cannibalism, 
that he had to tell, and it was perfectly clear that he was telling 
the truth. He was further supported by other eye-witnesses. These 
crimes were committed by those who were acting under the instruc- 
tions and with the knowledge of white men. On one occasion the 
sentries were flogged because they had not killed enough people. 
At one time, after they had killed a number of people, including 
Isekifasu, the principal chief, his wives and children^ the bodies, 
except that of Isekifasu, were cut up, and the cannibalistic fighters 
attached to the A.B.I.R. force were rationed on the meat thus 
supplied. The intestines, etc., were hung up in and about the 
house, and a little child who had been cut in halves was impaled. 
After one attack, LontulUj the chief^ was shown the dead bodies 
of his people, and asked by the rubber agent if he would bring in 
rubber now. He replied that he would. Although a chief of 
considerable standing, he has been flogged, imprisoned, tied by the 
neck with men who were regarded as slaves, made to do the most 
menial work, and his beard, which was of many years' growth, and 
reached almost to the ground, was cut off by a rubber agent because 
he visited another town. 

" Inunga of Ekorongo came with his bundle of twigs represent- 
ing thirty-three people killed by sentries, and when asked why 
they had been killed replied, ' because of rubber.' He mentioned 
four white men who had sent their sentries to do this dreadful 
work. He admitted that his people killed Eloko, a sentry, but 
only because he had first killed one of their people named Botsikere. 

" Then Boali, a woman of Ekorongo, appeared before the 
Commissioners, and her maimed body itself was a protest against 
this iniquitous rubber system. Because she wanted to remain 
faithful to her husband, who was away collecting rubber, and would 
not submit to be outraged by a brute of a sentry called Ekolonda, 
she was shot in the abdomen, which made an awful wound; the 
intestines partly protruded, and it seems a miracle that she sur- 
vived. The scars are plainly visible, and the site of the old wound 
has the appearance of an enormous tumour. She fell down 
insensible, and the wretches were not yet satisfied, for they then 
hacked off her foot to get the anklet she was wearing. And yet 
she has survived it all, and to-day comes to bear her testimony. 
It is a pity that woman's mutilated body cannot be seen at home 
as we have seen it, and her pitiful story reach the ears of all those 



30 

who feel for their fellow-beings. She was the only woman who 
appeared before the Commissioners, and I believe everybody was 
visibly impressed by her appearance and the story she told. 

" Lonboto, her husband, came next and corroborated his wife's 
statement. He told how they flogged him because he was angry 
on seeing his wife's mutilated body. He also testified that the 
rubber workers were chicotted, and their wives imprisoned. 

" The following are some of the things told by Bomolo^ Chief 
of Bolumboloko.^ ' There is no rubber in the forest. They search 
for it, but it is now finished. When they brought what rubber 
they could get to the station, some were put in prison, women as 
well as men. They were flogged with chicotte, being laid on the 
ground. He himself had been chicotted.' 

" I could add much more, but I think the cases I have referred 
to will suffice to show the nature of the native evidence, and of 
the unspeakable sufferings the natives have endured since the 
A.B.I.R. came into existence." 



IV. 

EVIDENCE OF MESSRS. RUSKIN AND GAMMANf AT 
BONGANDANGA. 

Area affected: — Territories controlled by A.B.I.R. Society. 

The Commission of Enquiry arrived at Bongandanga on 
17th December, 1904. 

Mr. Ruskin's Testimony. 
" I have been ten years upon this station, and during this time 
I have seen the following things : 1895-1901 and early part of 
1902. — ^Especially March, 1899, I have seen men passing through 
the station with blood running from their buttocks after having 
received the chicotte because of their rubber being short. 

" 1895-1901. — Expeditions of sentries armed with Albini rifles, 
followed by town people with spears and shields, they in turn 
followed by women with baskets for loot, etc. Especially M. Peterson 
(native name Elonga) led such expeditions, generally on Sundays. 



* Bolumboloko was again raided by A.B.I.Ii. soldiers in April, 1905. — 
Vide Mr. Harris' letter. Section II. 

t Congo Balolo Mission. 



31 

" Large numbers of women in prison, compelled to work in the 
sun, some with children at the breast. One woman in June, 1899, 
only three days after confinement, was washing in the sun, with 
her baby tied to her back. 

" 18th June, 1899. — Four men released from prison, natives of 
Nsungamboya. One very old man came on to the Mission station. 
We gave him food and water, which he drank and ate ravenously, 
but was too far gone to recover. He died^ and was buried by our 
own people. Another died at Boyela; the remaining two were 
never again heard of — ^probably died in the bush on their way 
home. 

" 18th July, 1899. — Many prisoners released upon the visit of 
Judge Rossi. We counted 106 who passed our way. Among them 
were old grey-headed men and women, women with children who 
were born in prison. Some were living skeletons and had to be 
carried. Some died en route for home. 

" Prisoners released at sound of steam whistle,* 5th May, 1904, 
29th October, 1904, and many other dates. 

" 26th September, 1904. — I saw nine women detained in Bavaka 
for rubber. Tliey were released as soon as the agent was informed. 
I do not think the agent had ordered these women to be detained. 

" 1895. — I visited the River Bolombo before the A.B.I.R. com- 
menced operations, and found large flourishing towns, people happy, 
and plenty of food, fowls, goats, etc. Have been since the A.B.I.R.'s 
establishment four times. 

" 1901. — On the last occasion — October, 1901 — the change was 
most noticeable. The natives were terrorised by sentries, and being 
in perpetual dread had to live in the forest. In Bosinga and Eala, 
which were flourishing towns, I could not see a hut; the people 
were all in the forest. 

" 1899. — ^I saw poles at the A.B.I.R. factory to which four men 
had been tied, stripped, with heads shaven, for a day and night 
without water or food. In the morning their eyes were protruding, 
their features all swollen, and they cried for someone to bring a 
gun and shoot them out of their misery. They were A.B.I.R. 
native employes, and were supposed to have stolen rubber^ but 
the evidence was not clear against them. One of our lady mission- 
aries saw the men and told me of it." 



* Announcing various private " investigators " coming up the river. 



32 

Mr. Ruskin then narrated evidence he had laid before Judge 
Rossi in 1901. 

The Commissioners handed to Mr. Ruskin Mr. E. D. Morel's 
book: ''King Leopold's Rule in Africa," and asked him if the 
things reported there were those he was about to report. If so, it 
would save fatigue and time if he would confirm them wholesale. 
Mr. Ruskin then read them through, and, with the exception of 
one or two typographical errors, confirmed the whole. 

Mr. Ruskin also referred to an expedition made by M. Schott, 
Government official, and fifty of the Government troops (Force 
Puhlique), accompanied part of the way by M. Lejeune (A.B.I.E. 
agent), and five sentries armed with Albini rifles. This was in 
February and March, 1904. Reports had come in of seven people 
being killed in Bosinga and eight in Eala. 

Owing to the fact that he was suffering from fever, Mr. Ruskin 
had to forbear telling of numerous other matters which he had 
intended. He therefore finished with the following statement: 

" With regard to the system, I have no hesitation in saying 
that it is iniquitous in the extreme, and if the present system is 
continued it will end in the total depopulation of the country. 
The administration of the system varies with the agent, whether 
he is a good or bad man, but the system itself remains the same. 
Judging from personal observation, I would say, as regards the 
sentry, he may be a man mentally deficient and morally corrupt; 
but if he is physically strong, and noted for the power to bully 
and drive people, he is the one likely to be chosen for the work 
of coercing these miserable natives to bring the rubber." 

Mr. Gamman's Testimony. 

" After taking the oath I said I was very sorry the Commission 
had not arrived a few hours earlier, as the rubber * market ' had 
been held on the day of their arrival, and there would not be 
another one for ten days. Secondly, that the people from the most 
distant towns had been in that day, and although it was usual 
for some of them to stay the night in a village close here, and 
proceed on their journey next day, as soon as the approach of 
the Commission was known, the sentries ran into the village and 
compelled the men to return at once to their own towns. The 
result was that, as soon as I knew that the Commission had arrived, 
I sent to the town to procure witnesses, but they had all gone. 



33 

Thirdly, on the arrival of the Commission the sentries went to the 
towns of Bavaka and Boyela, and compelled the rubber men to go 
to the bush at once^ although it was not usual for them to leave 
their towns to collect their rubber for at least two or three days. 
(These towns are within four or five miles.) 

" The Commission then asked me if I could account for these 
things. I replied that it seemed to me that some persons were 
very anxious to get rid of all who could give evidence, and that 
any who remained near the place should be frightened from doing 
so. I also explained that some of our chief witnesses had been 
sent hither and thither, so that they were not now present; one 
having been called to Coquilhatville about a palaver which was 
reported six months ago — a palaver which belonged to another 
town, and with which he had nothing to do whatever. These, 
I said, are ' significant facts.' All these statements were taken down. 

" I was then asked if there had been any serious trouble within 
the last six weeks or so, and if we had anything against the present 
agent, M. Devlin. I was glad to be able to say that we thought 
M. Delvin had, as far as the system would allow, sought to be fair 
in all his dealings with the natives. There were still grave abuses 
by the sentries, especially in those towns far from the factory. 
I had been unable to procure witnesses from the distant towns 
owing to the circumstances stated above, and it would take four 
days to get them in. Women were still tied up by the sentries, 
and kept in prison until some exorbitant demand had been met. 
Mr. Ruskin would tell them of several women thus tied up at 
Bavaka, and on my arrival at Nsungambaya six weeks ago (a town 
nearly fifty miles away), there were four women tied up for the 
same purpose. On my approach they were released, but I saw 
the place where, and the rope with which they were tied up. The 
sentry's name was Mbongedza. 

"I was then asked if I had read Consul Casement's report, 
and what I thought of it. I explained that I was at home on 
furlough during the visit of Mr. Casement, but I described the 
deplorable state of affairs we found on our return out here in 
November, 1903. I explained why we could no longer receive food 
supplies through the agent of the A.B.I.R., and that we took this 



34 

stand a week after our arrival, that is, about 20th November, 1903.* 
I gave as an example of the state of all the towns, the town of 
Dilange : the tax, which it was impossible for them to meet ; how 
their women were tied up, their goats and fowls confiscated, the 
people in a state of terror; and all this being done by an agent 
of the A.B.I.R., M. Lejeune. I called as witnesses for this Ikamba, 
the chief of Basekoiya; lyoke, the chief of Bosilela; Iseilole^ the 
chief of Bavaka. I was prepared with several other witnesses, but 
the Commission decided that they had had enough. These wit- 
nesses spoke out well; they were very honourably treated, and the 
Commission assured us that if any persecution followed because of 
their witness, the offenders would be most severely dealt with. 

" This evidence took from 8 a.m. until 12-30 p.m. The Court 
then adjourned, and resumed at 3-30 p.m. 

" I then brought before their notice that Albini rifles were 
given to the sentries without a White man accompanying those 
taking them. I instanced the case of M. Baelde's sending eight 
rifles to the Ngombe, of which you have already received a report. 

"I then shewed that the A.B.I.R. system did not recognise 
the native chiefs. In fact a large number had been killed, either 
by the sentries, or through imprisonment, and in every case the 
chief is belittled in the eyes of his people. I said, 'the power is 
all taken from the chiefs^ and vested in the sentries armed with 
guns, and yet the chief is responsible, and he is the first one 
pounced upon if there is any shortage of the rubber, or if the quality 
is inferior.' I gave details of the deaths of three chiefs. 

" A boy named Mbeka was seized by M. Lejeune, against the 
lad's wish, to work on the A.B.I.R. station. He was flogged 
repeatedly, and ran away. He was caught, tied up to a post, with 
his hands stretched above his head, for a whole day in the sun. 
After a time he again fled^ and this time hid himself that no one 
could find him. Sentries were sent to the village, and they seized 
three women relatives of the lad, named Boyunga, Bokokwa and 
Botenju. They also seized the lad's uncle, named Ingolu. These 
were taken to the factory, and there put in prison. 

* Previously the missionaries had received their foodstuffs through the 
A.B.I.R., not being allowed to purchase from the natives. When they fully 
realised what oppression was exercised upon the natives in the matter of 
foodstuffs generally, they declined to be parties — although innocent ones — 
any longer of the practice. Their difi&cult position formed the subject of a 
written protest from Consul Casement to the Governor-General. The Consul's 
letter is published in " King Leopold's Rule in Africa," op. cit. 



35 

" A few days after this, the village was behind in its food 
supply — this village had to produce both rubber and food — and 
Nkoimpeci, the chief, was seized and put in prison. He became 
very ill, but M. Lejeune would not let him out. At last the lad 
was found, and Nkoimpeci was released with the women, but 
Nkoimpeci died the same day. TVo other chiefs, named Iseoleki 
and Iseotomba, of Boseki, were released at the same time. Iseoleki 
died the same day and Iseotomba the next morning. The last two 
were in prison because rubber was not sufficient. M. Lejeune then 
informed lyalika, the father of the boy, that he was responsible 
for the death of Nkoimpeci, and must pay Nkoimpeci's family 
10,000 rods — an enormous sum for this district. In the meantime 
the women were again seized and thrown into prison. 6,800 rods 
were paid, besides dogs, spears, etc. 

" The President then asked me what I thought was the reason 
of the deaths of these chiefs. I replied, lengthened and repeated 
confinement in prison, hard work there meted out to them, improper 
food whilst there, and not least, broken heart. 

" lyalika (the boy's father) himself was my witness for this, 
and, although others were there ready to give evidence, the Com- 
mission decided that no other witness was necessary. 

" The next case I cited was the murder by sentries in the time 
of the agent M. Baelde. In Boseki, two sentries named Bolungia 
and Iseowangala had tied up a man named Iseokoko to a tree and 
demanded from him one thousand rods. He was only able to 
supply three hundred, and one or two dogs. This they said was 
not sufficient, and because the rest was not forthcoming, Bolungia 
shot Iseokoko dead. This was merely, as far as we could see, a 
case of extortion. I gave the names of witnesses for this, but they 
were not called. I also informed the Commission that Bolungia 
(one of the murderers) is at the present moment a sentry in the 
employ of the A.B.I.R. here. 

" The President then asked me if I had any general statement 
to make. I then said that I thought the rubber tax was exorbitant. 
The rubber in the immediate districts was finished; nearly all the 
villagers had to go two days in the forest for their rubber, work 
five days there, and then return and bring to the factory. It was 
especially hard for those villages far from the factory. We under- 
stood that the tax was to be forty hours' work a month, 
but the rubber tax for Nsungamboya was thirteen days in every 



36 

fifteen days. Thus the people only had four days a month at hom6. 
/ knew of no village where it took them less than ten days out of 
the fifteen to satisfy the demands of the A.B.I.R. 

" Secondly, the greatest iniquity was the power put into the 
hands of untrained, armed sentries, who so frequently and 
atrociously abused their position, and were never punished for 
even the most brutal crimes. As far as I know, not one sentry has 
ever been severely punished for any of their vile practices, their 
abuses of power, their seizing of wives and property, or even 
murder; cases which have been proved without any shade of doubt. 
In reply to a question by the President, I said I did not think it 
was possible to get in the same amount of rubber without the 
sentries, because it was excessive, and all power had been taken 
out of the hands of the chiefs. 

" This ended the first day's proceedings. 

" Continuing my evidence next day, I said that I thought I 
could prove that gross abuses of their position were still perpe- 
trated by the sentries, and also that the sentries were not properly 
superintended by the A.B.I.R. agents. The women to whom I had 
referred the day before were tied up by Mbongedza purely for 
purposes of extortion — it could not have been for rubber, as the 
husbands were at the time carrying their rubber to Bongandanga. 
The names of the women were Nsala, Bokali, Ekokula, Botono. 
This was not even denied by the sentry, and although M. Delvin 
promised to revoke him, he was only detained one night, and he 
is at the present moment a sentry at Nsungamboyo. 

" Nsungamboyo had long been looked upon by the sentries 
as their hunting ground. The number of women seized by the 
sentries from Nsungamboyo was almost innumerable, and they 
are at the present time in the villages around here. A young 
man gets the gun, is sentry at Nsungamboyo, and in a few months 
has quite a number of wives. My witness would explain how they 
got them. He will also tell of murders, and all sorts of atrocities. 

"Lokungu, my witness, was then called. He had a piece 
of string with 42 knots, each knot indicating a person killed at 
Nsungamboyo. He also had a packet of fifty leaves, each leaf 
representing women whom he knew had been seized by the sentries ; 
he could give the names of all, and there were many more whose 
names he could not remember. 



3T 

"He had seen that day, in walking from our station to the 
steamer, four of these women in the house of a sentry; one was 
his own daughter. The names of these four women were lysovu, 
Benteke, Bofola, and Boyuka. .If a man is sick and cannot possibly 
go for his rubber, his friends must give a substantial present to 
the sentry. If a male native down on the list as a rubber collector 
dies, his friends must do something handsome to get the name 
taken off the books. Two other chiefs also gave evidence from 
other back towns — ^Isealelo, from Ngandu; Lokwa, from Baolongo. 

" This, I believe, is a full and correct report of the Enquiry 
here." 



V. 

MR. AND MRS. LOWER* AT IKAU. 

Area affected: — Territories controlled by the A.B.I. It. Society. 

The Commission began its work at Ikau on 22nd December, 
and concluded its sittings on the 29th. 

Mr. Lower's Testimony. 

The first cases dealt with were those of intimidation. It was 
proved that a number of natives anxious to give evidence had been 
threatened, cruelly treated, and in some cases prevented from going 
to Ikau by native sentries. Later in the enquiry it was also stated 
that bribes had been offered if only the people would keep silence 
concerning their wrongs. 

Mr. Lower was the principal witness, and produced the follow- 
ing list of murders committed in the concession, bringing forward 
many native witnesses to prove the facts. 



[see over.] 



Congo Bs^ilolo Mission. 



38 



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46 

The evidence concerning these murders was carefully gone into 
by the Commission, and many hidden things, some of which had 
happened as far back as twelve years ago, were brought to light. 

M. Longtain, who was present, advanced the usual defence on 
behalf of the A.B.I.R., and endeavoured to bring various charges 
against the missionaries, but the attempt to controvert the over- 
whelming nature of the evidence on the other side proved as futile 
at Ikau as it had done at the other stations of the Congo Balolo 
Mission." 



VL 

MR. CHARLES PADFIELD'SH EVIDENCE AT BONGINDA. 

Area affected : — Under present control of La Lulonga Society. 

The following is, substantially, the evidence laid before the 
Commission of Enquiry at Bonginda, in the La Lulonga Society's 
territory, by Mr. Charles Padfield, of the Congo Balolo Mission: — 

Mr. CiiARLEs Padfield's Testimony. 

"About June of 1904, the White agent (native name 
Ekotolongo) in charge of the station at Boyeka ordered seven men 
from the village of Bbkenyola to paddle his sentry* to fetch the 
rubber due from another village. f On their return they met the 
White man at Warabala, and he sent them to a third village! 
with two sentries.y When they reached the village the rubber was 
short, and two men were seized. One of the men caught possessed 
200 rods (native currency), and these the sentries took^ but one of 
the native paddlers§ tried to return the rods to the man to whom 
they belonged. The sentries ordered him to desist, and thrashed 
him severely with the chicotte, also striking him in the back and 
chest with the butt of a gun. When they returned to Boyeka 
the paddlers reported the outrage to the agent, who replied that 
they were telling lies. 

11 Congo Balolo Mission. 

* Bolinda. X Bosanfusu. || Belinda and Loleki. 

t Efomi. § Yambolenga. 



"Two days after the paddler who had been thus treated died 
from the effects. His relatives took the corpse to the agent, who 
dismissed the matter, asserting that the man had died from ordinary 
sickness. 

"In the early months of 1904, possibly about March or April, 
another White agent of the Society at Boyeka (native name 
Lingonju) sent his sentry to tell all the people of the village of 
Bokenyola to fetch ' ekekele,' i.e., native string used for house- 
building, etc. All the men in the village but three proceeded to 
carry out his instructions, two being old men and the other the 
recognised Chief of the town. Later in the day the sentry Ebolo 
came to the town, and seeing one of the old men,1I asked him 
why he had not gone to fetch * ekekele.' He then thrashed him 
with the chicotte, and took him before the White agent at Boyeka. 
The White agent ordered him to be imprisoned. At the end of 
the second day's imprisonment he died. 

Mdwabenga, the Chief of the town, accompanied by the old 
man's son, Bofoke, went to the White agent and tried to have 
speech with him, but as he would not listen to them, Bofoke, who 
knew that the District Commissioner, M. de Bauw^ was expected, 
said he would report the outrage to him. The White agent there- 
upon ordered the Chief to keep him (Bofoke) in the village, adding 
that if he was allowed to report to the District Commissioner, he 
(the White agent) would kill him (the Chief). The White agent 
also gave Bofoke 800 rods not to mention his father's murder. 

" On Sunday, 4th December, 1904, when the Commission of 
Enquiry was expected, the White agents at Boyeka endeavoured to 
bribe the surrounding villages to silence in the matter of atrocities 
committed upon the people. They sent two sentries* to call nativesf 
from the village of Ingando to come to the station to be dashed 
100 blankets, but the villagers, knowing that the Commission of 
Enquiry was coming, refused to go or to receive the blankets. 

" The same day the White agents sent sentries to the village of 
Nkoli, instructing the headmenj to come to the factory and be 

^ Mokuto. * Ndongola and Loyeka. t Botofe and Lofali. 

X Bosolo and Mbolo. 



4S 

dashed 100 blankets, but they also refused. Similar action was 
attempted with the native villages of Boyeka and Bokenyola, and 
finding the headmen of the towns unwilling to listen, the people 
themselves were invited to receive largesse, but they all refused. 
The capitas, or head sentries, were then given presents by the 
White agents. 

[Note. — The reason the people gave to the Commission for 
refusing these various articles was that the White men did not 
pay them for their rubber or other work, but knowing the Com- 
mission was near the White men thus tried to buy the people's 
silence. 

The White men's explanation of the above was that it was 
their custom to give dashes over and above the wages paid, and 
these goods thus offered were the yearly dashes !] 

" About August or September of 1904, the White agents at 
Boyeka (native names Ekotolongo and Nkoi) sent a sentry to the 
village of Nkoli to get the rubber. Owing to some of the able-bodied 
men of the town having died, several villagers went to the White 
agent, begging that the number of baskets of rubber demanded 
should be reduced from forty to thirty. This the White agent 
refused, and sent the sentry Ekolelo to punish the people if the 
rubber was not complete. The people were unable to produce the 
full amount, and thereupon the sentry shot the Chief Bombambo, 
the charge entering the abdomen on the right side and passing 
out at the back. 

" The son of the murdered Chief, accompanied by another man 
named Bosolo, took the corpse to the White agent " Ekotolongo," 
and complained. But the White agent told them that the Chief 
had been shot because the rubber was not complete, and ordered 
them to take the corpse back to their town. Before they went he 
called his dog and set it on them, the dog biting the son on the leg 
as he carried the corpse of his father. 

" About the beginning of 1904 the White man at Boyeka (native 
name Lokoka) sent the sentry Eyoka to the village of Nkoli to 
giet the rubber due, viz. : thirty baskets. As, however, one man 
had run away from the village, only twenty-nine baskets were 
forthcoming. The sentry thereupon shot a villager called Lokambo. 
He did not die at once, and the men of the town carried him to the 



4^ 

White agent, who said that the sentry had acted rightly, and 
ordered the villagers to return whence they had come. The victim 
of this outrage died before the party reached their homes. 

"On 4th December, 1904, five sentries^ went to the village of 
Nkoli. They had no guns with them, as the White agent had 
called in the guns because the Commission was expected. These 
five sentries mulcted the people to the extent of 500 rods and a 
quantity of food-stuffs. 

" This town had to supply forty baskets of rubber and one pig 
per fortnight. 

" The people of the town of Inganda had to produce twenty 
baskets of rubber per fortnight. On one occasion, early in 1904, 
the people had only collected sixteen baskets. The sentry Maboke 
was sent for the rubber, and finding it short beat a villagerf so 
severely with his gun that he died. Lofali and other men carried 
the corpse to the White man ' Ekotolongo,' who said that the man 
had been killed because the rubber was short. 

" Some time later the people of this village were five baskets 
of rubber short, and the sentry Mambuso caught a villager J and 
took him to the White agent at Boyeka. The White agent there- 
upon ordered the villager to be chicotted in his presence. The 
victim of this brutality was then taken to Bassankusu (headquarters 
of the A.B.I.R. Society), where he was kept five days, after which 
he was brought back again to Boyeka, again chicotted by the 
White agent's orders^ and sent back to his home. His body was 
so fearfully lacerated that he died two days later. The villagers, 
led by the headman, Lofali, took the corpse to the White agent, 
whose only comment was to tell a aentry§ to thrash Lofali with the 
chicotte, and to-day he bears the scars so received. 

" In the month of November, 1904, a sentry § went to the 
village of Nganda to get the rubber, and appropriated 500 rods 
belonging to the villagers for himself. The people did not report 
this to the White agent, for they had reported similar acts, but 
the sentries were not punished. 

" At the end of November another sentryji went to the same 
village, and finding many of the people away, he demanded of 



*Ntsombo, Loyeko, Etoko, Yamba and Mpokojimho. 
t Isatolingu. X Ewaki. § Yambi. j| Mangula. 



50 

those that remained a payment of 500 rods, saying if they did not 
give the rods he would return to Boyeka and bring other sentries 
to come and fight them. 

"About the same time another sentry^ was sent to tell the 
people to bring the pig they had to supply the White man with 
as part of the ' taxation/ and which the villagers had, on this 
occasion, been unable to trap. Owing to their inability, the White 
agent mulcted the village in a fine of 4,000 rods. The next day 
the people trapped the pig, but they received no compensation. 

" To shew the monstrous nature of the fine, it is sufficient to 
add the people of this town were counted in the autumn of 1904 
by a State official as forty males and fifty females. 

" The White man (native name Lokoka) ordered — date not 
given — the men of Bokenyola to gather gum copal, also to fetch 
trees and roofing material, and to supply labour for house building. 
For this work they got no pay. On one occasion he sent them out 
to cut timber, and because they did not return as quickly as he 
thought they ought to have done, he tied up all the men and 
women he found in the town, and kept them in that state until 
they were redeemed by the payment of 4,000 rods. 

" The town of Bokenyola has to send ten women on Sunday and 
forty on other days to work at the factory. On one occasion, when 
the forty women had been working all day, the White agent Lokoka 
had the women in the evening all lined up, ordered them to strip 
themselves naked, and then . . . .* 

"Early in the spring of 1904 the sentries of the La Lulanga 
Company were sent to Bolongo for the rubber ' due ' by that village. 
The people had gone to the forest, but had not been able to procure 
the full quantity. As a punishment three villagers! were murdered 
by the sentries J and another wounded. § The villagers brought 
the dead body of one of the murdered persons and also the wounded 
man to M. Spelier,|| the director of that Society. He accused them 
of lying, and told them to return to the town. 

" The people of Bolongo were compelled to purchase the rubber 
from another tribe, the Ngombe, paying fifty rods a basket, and 

^ Imbembelea. * What follows is unprintable. — E. D. M. 

t Moniongo, Ngombele and Eloko. 
X Mbangu, Lola and Ngalla. § Mabongo. 

t Recently acquitted after judicial enquiry at Boma. Now in Belgium. 
>.M. 



they had to take fortj baskets to the factory, for which they 
received no pay. 

''In September of 1904 the people of Bojinga went io 
' Ekotolongo,' the White agent at Bbyeka, to ask him why he did 
not pay them for the rubber? The White man's answer was to 
attack the town with his sentries, burning it, and looting all the 
property he could get hold of. 

"About the middle of 1903 the people of the village of Bomengi 
had started to carry the rubber overland to the factory, when a 
sentryU arrived in a canoe. The people told him that the rubber 
was on its way, but he refused to believe it, and shot the Chief.** 
This was reported to the White agent 'Lokoka,' who declined to 
take any action. 

" On another occasion the White agent ' Lokoka ' sent messages 
to the village of Bosokoli to inform the people that they would 
henceforth have to supply double the amount of rubber, adding 
that if they did not he would punish them. The people did not, 
or could not, comply with the demand, and the White agent sent 
his sentries to the village. They killed two men. The Chief com- 
plained to the White agent, who said, 'No palaver,' and told the 
sentries to throw the body into the river. 

" Some time afterwards the White agent, hearing that the 
Chief was angry, instructed him to bring the rubber in person. 
When the Chief came he was chicotted by order of the White agent, 
and imprisoned for about four months, during which time he was 
made to work every day and frequently thrashed. 

" In the spring of 1903, when the sentry attached to the village 
of Lobola, on the Eloko river, had gone to the Society's factory 
with the rubber imposition, the village was looted by other sentries.* 
The people having remonstrated, the sentries shot four men,t 
including the village Chief; and pursuing a boy called Mbuke, 
overtook him, slashed him over the body and cut off his right hand. 
Two villagers! went to complain to the White agent ' Bbmba ' 
(native name) at Mampoko, taking with them the corpse of one of 
the murdered persons. The White agent told them to go away 
and put the body into the water. 

IF Engonda. ** Etenda. 

* Bosokudemo, Ekua, Ecikala and Bomboju. 
tMalongo (Chief), Mombo, Buke and Etambanjoko. 
X Mambalanga and Ef asu. 



" About the same time the people of this village, when taking 
their rubber to the White agent Lokoka, were told by him to bring 
in addition ten fowls, sending a sentry§ with them to see the order 
carried out. The people objecting, the sentry shot a villager named 
Maloko. A relative! I took the corpse to the White agent, but he 
simply told him to go away. 

" In the spring of 1903, while the sentryU attached to the 
village of Busanbongo had gone to Mampoko with the rubber 
impositon, two other sentries*" came and looted the village of most 
of its possessions. Because the people objected, one sentry shot the 
man Mokembe in the left knee, the charge passing farther down 
the leg, and subsequently clubbing him in the right knee (to-day 
the man is a cripple); while the other sentry shot the man Biacia 
in the right arm, which to-day he is unable to use. 

" The women at Mampoko had to tread the clay used for brick- 
making, and on one occasion the sentries stripped the women, and 
in the presence of the White man in charge of the work . . .ff 
The women went to M. Spelier, the director^ and he told them 
to go away. 

" About October of 1904 the White agents at Boyeka sent for 
the Chief of that village, Jongi by name, and told him he must 
work rubber. He refused, because he was the Chief, and because 
his town already supplied fish, minsumbu, etc. 

"He was thereupon seized by the White agents and furiously 
thrashed. When they had finished with him, as he did not rise, 
they kicked him, but found that he was dead. One White man 
was charged with holding the Chief, and the other with beating him. 

[I may say that the Commission examined ten eye-witnesses of this. — 
Note by Mr. Charles Padfield.] 

" On an occasion in the autumn of 1904 the people of the 
village of Bokutolo, near Boyeka, received, as pay for their baskets 
of rubber, three flat beads. They asked for more pay, as they had 
not received anything for the last eight times they had brought 
rubber.* For answer, the White agent seized the man Mboyo, and 
one holding him, the other beat him until he died on the spot. 

" On the third occasion of their bringing in the rubber after 
the above murder, the White agents gave the people a small 



§Nkileku. |1 Manuka. 

IfNgombele. ** Efauzabomba and Ecikala. 

+t What follows is not printable. — E. D. M. 
* Fortnightly imposition. — E. D. M. 



53 

mirror. The people asked for rods. As answer, the White agents 

seized the man Bokectu, and beat him so severely with the chicotte 

that he died." 

[The eye-witnesses of these deaths, and also the widows of the men 
killed, were examined by the Commission of Enquiry. — Note by Mb. Charles 
Padfield.] 



VII. 



THE EVIDENCE OF THE REV. J. H. WEEKS AT 
MONSEMBE. 

Area affected : — Domaine Prive. 

To appreciate the full gravity of Mr. Weeks' evidence, and 
the acceptance of that evidence by the Commission, a reproduction 
here of Mr. Weeks' letters to Mr. Morel, and to the Congo Authori- 
ties, in 1903 and 1904, and published in the WeM African Mail, 
would be desirable; but this would take up more space than can 
be spared. Suffice it to say that Mr. Weeks' long series of dis- 
closures have had, amongst results, the effect of proving once again 
how hopeless it is to expect that, on the Congo, adequate punish- 
ment, or even punishment at all, will follow crime where White 
men are concerned, especially Government officials. In the matter 
of the murders committed upon the helpless villagers of the 
Bongondo towns by the force under Lieutenant Mazy, which is 
referred to in the evidence, that officer was allowed to return to 
Belgium after the charges made by Mr. Weeks were in the hands 
of the Authorities at Boma. The first inquiry, which followed the 
publication of Mr. Weeks' letter in the West African Mail, and was 
conducted by M. Grenade, Judicial Officer, proved the entire 
accuracy of Mr. Weeks' statements, the guilt of Lieutenant Mazy, 
and at least the grave moral responsibility of the Commissaire of 
the Bangala district. But nothing has been done to either of these 
officers ; to the Commissaire of the Equateur district for the illegali- 
ties ordered and sanctioned by him, as revealed before the 
Commission of Inquiry; or to many others who might be named 
were it desired to concentrate censure upon individuals. For their 
transgressions the system which they serve is, however, responsible, 
and the real guilt lies upon more distinguished shoulders. 



54 
Mr. Weeks'* Testimony. 

" The Commission of Enquiry arrived here on the evening- g# 
6th January, and at 8-30 a.m. the following day the Court assembled, 
and I was summoned to appear before it. The Court-house was 
the deck of a steamer — an ample space between two cabins. The 
President attended in a scarlet gown with lace bands^ Baron Nisco 
in a black gown with white bands, and the Swiss member in a 
dress suit. Soldiers were on either side armed with guns, and with 
bayonets fixed. The Court was dignified and impressive. 

" After taking the usual oath I was called upon to make my 
statement. I drew the attention of the Commission to the fact that 
my attitude towards the State was not the outcome of the present 
agitation in England, because I had written as far back as the 
6th November, 1897,t a strong appeal to the Gommissaire of the 
district of Bangala for a reduction of the taxes, as they were 
oppressive; the people were in a state of semi-starvation, and the 
population decreasing rapidly. That letter was read to the Com- 
mission, and at their request I gave them a copy. I told them that 
three officers of the State came and investigated my complaints, 
found my charges true, but nothing was done to relieve the natives. 

"I then referred to my letter of 13th June, 1903, which I 
sent to the Gommissaire, and receiving no answer, I then forwarded 
a copy to the Governor, and after waiting ample time for an answer, 
I then forwarded the letter to the public Press. The Commission 
said I was fully justified in so doing, and that I had acted rightly. 
I then pointed out the date of the publication of my letter relative 
to the excessive character of the taxes^ the date of the arrival on 
the Congo of the published letter (11th December, 1903), and the 
date of the reduction of the taxes (January, 1904). I gave them 
$. list of the old tax, as instanced in the case of sixty-seven men, 
women and children in the Creek towns, who paid 4,000 odd rods 
per fortnight formerly, now reduced to 200 odd rods for the same 
period. They thought that the result fully justified my action, and 
that if I had not published my letters there would have been no 
reduction. The President remarked that the Governor had said 
that the taxes were excessive. They accepted as proven my charges 

♦British Baptist Missionary Society. On the Congo for a quarter of a 
century. 

t This letter, a copy of which I possess, and which appeared in the West 
African Mail of July 7th, 1905, shews that Mr. Weeks, eight years ago, was 
complaining bitterly to the authorities of the bur4ens laid upon the people. 



65 

re exorbitant taxation. I remarked that the State never took into 
consideration the physical conditions under which ihe pe«^Ie Kved, 
and gave as examples-. 

"The people of Monsembe, during two successive floods which 
destroyed their farms^, had still to supply the food taxes, and in 
order to do so had to travel to Lulanga, a distance of forty miles, 
to buy cassava at an exorbitant price, and then they had to take 
it another forty miles up to Nouvelle Anvers to deliver it. Also, 
that the Ndobo people, whose swampy country is unsuited to the 
cultivation of cassava, had nevertheless to buy from the riverain 
towns at a heavy price in order to meet the inexorable State 
demands. They can only grow plantain in that district. The 
President remarked that evidently the physical and geographical 
nature of the country were not considered when assessing the taxes. 

" The next point considered was depopulation. I gave them 
my figures that in 1890 there were over 7,000 people within a 
certain area comprising the towns of Bongwele, Moluka, Mantele, 
Bonjoko, Mokobo, Nkunya I., Nkunya II., Bombala, Monsembe, 
the Creek towns, Upper and Lower Bombelinga; that the Creek, 
which had formerly 1,500 persons, had now only 67, and that out of 
the 7,000 people in the above towns we last counted 574, and that 
the State had just taken a census and found only 551, and that in 
the other parts of the district from Bokongo to Likunungu there is 
a like decrease. They accepted that as proven. 

" I then referred to the killing of twenty-two men, women and 
children by M. Mazy (Mabata) in the Bokongo section. They said 
that M. le Juge Grenade had fully confirmed my accusation and 
had supplied more details than I had given. Charge proven. 

"Then came the question of depopulation through sleep-sick- 
ness. I said that on my arrival at San Salvador in 1882 I found 
the people suffering from sleep-sickness, that the people were not 
taxed, that they lived under normal conditions, that the birth rate 
kept pace with the death rate, and that the town had since 
increased. I told them that the first case of sleep-sickness in this 
town was brought to our knowledge in 1892 — ^two years after our 
settling in the district, and of the few cases to be found previous 
to the levying of the heavy taxes, since when the deaths have 
increased through semi-starvation and worry; how the eternal 
fortnightly tax was a constant nightmare which depressed the 
people and made t^iem an eas^ prey to disease of all kin4^. 



56 

" That there were previous epidemics of sleep-sickness, from 
which the people had recovered again and again, and as a proof 
I cited the two terms we got in 1892 for sleep-sickness (luiva, 
maJcwata), which would not have been known to the natives so 
generally if the 1892 case had been the first among them. I also 
spoke of the treatment for sleep-sickness by native doctors — a 
treatment also well known in 1892. The Commission was of the 
opinion that sleep-sickness did not wholly account for the alarming 
decrease in the population, 

" We then arrived at the labour question. I pointed out that 
there were comparatively rich men here, who did not need to work 
any more than wealthy folk in Europe; that others went to work 
at fishing, canoe making, trapping, trading in oil, etc. ; that they 
were away on the islands or away trading for a month or so at 
a stretch, and then came home and sat about for a time, and folk 
who did not know of their exertions for the last month, seeing them 
sitting about, would conclude that they were lazy. The President 
remarked that recently at a wooding post he saw the women carry 
wood down to the steamer while the men were sitting about. I 
replied that the women had no houses to keep clean, no clothes to 
make for their children or themselves, no meals to prepare in the 
ordinary way; that as women on a wood post their food was 
supplied from the surrounding towns, and therefore there was no 
necessity for them to cultivate farms ; that I thought if they had 
enquired they would probably have found that it was a division 
of labour; the men cut and brought the wood from the forests 
and islands, and the women carried it from the stack to the boat. 

" The Commission asked : ' Do the natives like work ? ' 

"'Who does?' I asked. 

" They asked if it were not necessary to force the natives to 
work ? 

" I said, * No. Look at all the mission stations, steamers, etc. — 
nil built and maintained without the use of forced labour.' 

" They were much impressed with these answers. It had never 
occurred to them that all our work was done without the employ- 
ment of forced labour. I called their attention to the industry of 
some young men within fifty yards of their steamers, who were 
making chairs and tables. That as they were under our protection, 
and knew they would enjoy the fruits of their labour, they worked 



57 

hard. Given a guarantee, I said, that the natives would reap the 
fruits of their toil, and not be cheated out of them, then they 
would work without force. 

" The Commission remarked on the low birth-rate, and asked 
me if I could account for it. I referred again to the terrible and 
ever-present anxietv caused by the fortnightly tax; that women 
did not want children under such circumstances; that forced 
recruitment of soldiers and workmen had depleted the towns of 
the virile forces that maintain the population ; that these recruit- 
ments were demanded at irregular periods, and had no regard to 
the population of a town. So many fezes at first were sent down 
with native soldiers or messengers, and heads had to be found to 
put into them. Often young women were recruited as well as 
young men. ' Enkoti ' (hat) became synonymous to ' forced soldier 
or workman.' Native soldiers, etc., sent on these errands, black- 
mailed the people and received bribes to decrease their demands 
from the particular town which cared to pay them. In the middle 
of 1898, Commandant Sundt recruited 150 men and women from 
this district, and he told me that he had received orders from 
Boma to do so." 

Mr, Weeks invited by the Commission to make Suggestions 

FOR Eeforms. 

" State Trading the Curse of the Country and the Euin 
of the People." 

"I then asked permission to make a few suggestions. This 
they readily granted; in fact asked me to do so. 

" (1) That the number of civil magistrates should be increased, 
and that they only should be allowed to judge cases. That these 
judges should make periodic visits through the sections or districts 
put under their control. That military officers, commissaires, etc., 
should no longer be allowed to pass capricious sentences on the 
people. As an example of a capricious sentence, I cited the case 
of Nangumbe, as reported in the July Congo issue of the West 
African Mail. I was about to give more cases, but the President 
stopped me by saying that was a characteristic example. 

" (2) That soldiers' wives, instead of lazing about the State 
stations, should be made to work plantations of cassava to support 
themselves, and so lessen the burdens of the people. That the 



58 

natives now labour to supply food to soldiers and their wives, only 
to be robbed, raided and ill-treated whenever the said soldiers 
had an opportunity for so doing. I spoke of the raiding and ill- 
treatment ihat had come under my own observation; that I 
appealed to the State and received no relief for the natives, so 
had taken cases into my own hands and made soldiers disgorge their 
ill-gotten gains. The Commission thought I was right in so doing. 

" (3) That Medal-chiefs should be treated properly and the 
dignity of their office supported. The office is forced upon them ; 
they receive no remuneration; that if the tax is short in any way 
they are put in chains and imprisoned for no fault of their own. 

" (4) That the taxes should not be taken so frequently to 
Nouvelle Anvers, as at present it entails long canoe journeys, 
ranging from one or two miles to 160 miles for the up and down 
journey every fortnight. The small sum paid by the State is largely 
swallowed up by the paddlers to refund themselves, as they have 
to pay their share of the next fortnightly tax, although they may 
have been a week in carrying up the last tax. Once in two or 
three months would be often enough, and although they might find 
it difficult to take up all at once the four or six fortnightly taxes 
at the present rate, yet if soldiers' wives made plantations of food- 
stuffs there would not then be the necessity for the natives to take 
up so much, and their burden would be doubly lightened. 

" But I think it would be better to levy a hut tax of say 
100 rods per year (about 6s.) on all occupied houses. (San Salvador 
hut tax is 2s.) That the payee should receive a receipt for that 
year which should exempt him from all further taxation. The 
judges when on their official rounds could note the occupied houses. 
I remarked that the State could buy its native produce by giving a 
fair market price, dealing honestly with the natives and winning 
their confidence. Natives sometimes come fifty and sixty miles to 
sell us their fowls in exchange for such goods as enamel ware, etc. 

" (5) That the tax should be assessed on individuals or houses 
and not collectively on towns. That in the case of a man dying 
or of a man going away to work on a State steamer or station, or 
being engaged by the Mission (we have to pay a tax on all work- 
men), their share of the tax should no longer be demanded from 
the town. I gave examples of how by deaths the taxes had 
increased, and how by others going to distant places to work, the 
burden left upon the remaining inhabitants had become unbearable, 



^9 

"(6) That State trading was the cause of most of the abuses 
complained of, and that there would not be any reform — real reform 
— until the State gave up trading; that the time mid energy of 
the Commission would he wasted unless the State abandons trading. 
State trading was the curse of th", country, and the ruin of the people. 
That the promotion and perquisites of officials depended largely 
on the amount of rubber or other produce they collected from 
their districts, so how could they administer the country while 
taken up with trading? Without trading the number of soldiers 
and military officers could be reduced, and export and import duties 
assessed to meet expenses. 

" (7) That Mission teachers should be recognised by the State, 
and should receive a certificate stating who and what they are, 
so that officials of the State would not interfere with them. For 
example : Moila, our teacher in Libinza. 

" The Commission asked me if I thought the present tax 
excessive, and if there had been any raiding. Answer : Compared 
with the former taxes the present taxes are light, and so far as I 
know they are not oppressive, and that I had not heard of any 
recent raiding. 

"I then gave the Commission a copy of a letter re the famous 
Epondo case, written on 3rd January, 1905, to Mr. Morel, in which 
I affirm my belief, after investigation on the spot where it happened, 
that the said Epondo had had his hand bitten off by a wounded 
wild boar, and that his account was the true one. On 30th October, 
li.L'd, Mr. Faris sent M. le Capitaine-Commandant Stevens a letter, 
stating that Epondo had told him that Ikabo, a lad of his village, 
and two lads of Ikakata, had had their hands cut off by State 
soldiers. I shewed the Commission a copy of the original letter, 
and on reading it they expressed their desire to have it, as a copy 
of this letter had not been handed to them by the State officials. 

"A rough outline of the above account of my examination 
before the Commission was drawn up within 30 hours of the sitting. 
While I do not pretend that the paragraphs are in proper sequence, 
yet I think this summary fairly represents what took place on 
that occasion." 

Mr. Weeks on. the part played by the Missionaries. 

I think it well to follow the publication of Mr. Weeks' evidence 
. by, the following clear and decisive statement made by him as 



60 

regards the attitude of the Missionaries — a statement which must 
bring conviction to every impartial mind. 

*' It is stated that only fifteen or twenty missionaries out of 
the three hundred on the Congo complain. That three hundred 
odd includes the Roman Catholics. With respect to the Protestant 
missionaries of the three American missions and the two English 
misions, those who have spoken out have done so in a representative 
capacity; e.g., what I have written from Monsembe has always 
received the most hearty support of my three colleagues. ' These 
matters having been published by me, it was not necessary for my 
colleagues to go over the same ground. The same can be said of 
the action Mr. Scrivener and others have taken in their respective 
spheres. So the fifteen or twenty complaining missionaries really 
amount to triple that number. 

"Again, it is stated that we are acting wrongly in attacking 
Belgians as a people. That is wrongs for in the State's service 
there are Italians, Swedes, Danes, etc., etc., and we generally only 
know White men by their native sobriquets, and consequently do 
not know of what nationality they may be. We know a wrong has 
been done, a crime committed, and without any knowledge of the 
nationality of the wrong-doer we call attention to the evil 
perpetrated. 

" Again, it is stated that we are acting wrongly in attacking 
a foreign Power as we have done. What foreign Power are we 
attacking? The Belgian House repudiates all responsibility in the 
internal affairs of the Congo Free State, therefore it is not a Belgian 
colony. The administrators, officers and agents of the Congo State 
are of almost every nationality. Are we therefore attacking all 
the various Powers that these gentlemen represent? I think not. 
The Congo State is unique in itself. When we come into the 
country we have to take out matriculation papers, that make us 
more or less, I presume, citizens of the Congo Free State, and as 
such we have the right to appeal to our Government, and if neither 
redress nor investigation results from our appeals we have, I con- 
tend, the right to appeal to the only other means at our command, 
viz., the public Press. The President of the Commission of Enquiry 
when here said that in publishing I had acted rightly, and that 
the results — ^the reduction of taxes — ^had fully justified my action. 

"I desire information on two points: What foreign Power is 
the Congo Free State to those of us who live in it? Why do we 



61 

take out matriculation papers every time we come into the country, 
if they do not give us, in some fashion^ the status of citizens? 

"I have given nearly twenty-four years of my life to the 
amelioration, both religious and temporal, of the people, and I give 
place to no one in my intense interest in this country and its people. 
I have lived longer in Congo than in England, and is the son.^- 
lieutennnt who arrived yesterday from Europe to be a privileged 
individual, and his actions beyond criticism, because he is supposed 
to be a citizen, and his critic, notwithstanding his long residence in 
the country, the sacrifices he has made of home, children and 
fatherland, an alien? We come here to teach and preach, and 
instruct in various ways the natives among whom we live. We are 
not political agents, and we care not a jot who rules the country so 
long as we have freedom to do our religious work, and the natives 
are treated justly and fairly in all things. But when we see them 
being crushed out of existence, what are we to do? Appeal to the 
Congo Executive? We have done that, and wasted our time, paper 
and stamps. What are we to do? Sit quietly, because we are 
forsooth supposed to be in a foreign country? Why, the very stones 
would cry shame upon us if we were to be silent about the griev- 
ances of these people. 

" If the Congo State had listened to our complaints, investigated 
our charges, set right the wrongs inflicted, or had shewn us that 
our complaints were unfounded, we should never have appealed to 
any European Press." 




SECTION II. 



Events on the A.B.I.R. Concession 

(and documents connected therewith) 

Since the Visit of the Commission of 

Inquiry, 

From January to May. 1905. 



PART 1. 

Evidence not taken by the commission. 

The following communications will be read with interest, as 
showing the further abundant evidence of atrocities in Baringa 
neighbourhood alone, which a more lengthened stay would have 
enabled the Commission to investigate. 

I. 

On January 5th^ after the Commission had left Baringa, but 
was still in the Congo^ Mr. Harris wrote the President of that 
body, placing new facts before him. I give the following extracts 
from this letter : — - 

" While you were at Baringa, a Chief from Boendo escaped 
from the sentries guarding his village, crossed the Lomako, and 
came through the forest in order to lay his case before you.* 
However, he experienced such great difficulties that he arrived too 
late to see you, for he found to his keen disappointment that you 

* When news reached the Upper Congo that a Commission of Investiga- 
tion was going otit, the missionaries did their utmost to spread the information 
far and wide amongst the natives, together with the belief they themselves 
entertained that its visit would be practically efficacious. This circumstance 
explains the attempt of this far-distant Chief to gain access to the Com- 
mission. How false were these hopes is made only too clear by the events 
wnich have occurred since. 



had gone down river. He had brought with him several eye- 
witnesses of barbarities, also 182 long twigs and 76 smaller ones, 
which the Chiefs of his village had sent you, in order to prove that 
the A.B.l.R. had murdered 182 men and women and 76 children 
in their villages during the last few years. He said he was unable 
to give the names of all off-hand, but promised to give them to 
anyone visiting the town ; at the same time he gave me the names 
of many which I have written at the end of this letter. He further 
said that since he had left his town a messenger had followed him 
to say that the A.B.l.R. sentry, Lofela, had clubbed his wife to 
death with his gun. Her name was lyovu, but he did not want to 
make a charge until he had personally verified the report. I cross- 
questioned him in every possible way to find out if he were 
exaggerating any point, but my efforts only succeeded in convincing 
me that things were even worse in some directions than he had said. 

The people were killed by hanging, spearing, cutting the throat, 
but mostly with the rifle. Some of the women were tortured to 
death by forcing a pointed stake through the vagina into the womb. 
I knew of other such instances^ but in order to test him I asked 
him for an example. ' They killed my daughter Nsinga in this 
manner; I found the stake in her.' He told me of many other 
instances of terrible brutality, torture and murder, but I will not 
write them, not because there is any lack of proof (there is only 
too much), but because people in Europe would absolutely refuse 
to believe that anyone could be so inhuman as to commit such acts." 

Further details of tortures inflicted upon the people are too 
horrible for reproduction. Mr. Harris continues with a number 
of remarks on various subjects, including a long list of murdered 
people — men, women and children. He concludes : 

" This Chief said the reason why he was unable to supply more 
names of children was because they were too small, many of them 
being quite babies, who were killed with their mothers. I hope the 
Commission will be able to find a place in its dossier for this letter." 

n. 

The above communication was acknowledged by the Secretary 
to the Commission in the following significant letter, which the 
few persons in England, who have attacked the British mission- 
aries, described them as "traders," ridiculed their statements, and 
portrayed them as deliberate liars, would do well to note : 



64 

" Coquilhatville, 2 Fevrier, 1905. 
" Etat Independant du Congo. 

" Commission d'Enquete, instituee par decret du 23 Juillet, 1904. 

"Dear Sir, 

" We found your letter, dated January 5th, 1905, yester- 
day at the wooding post near Lolanga Mission Station. The Com- 
mission thank you for the new information you are supplying them 
with. Your letter to the President is now embodied into the 
dossier, as an enclosure to your evidence. In sight of the many 
irregularities disclosed by the Commission during their enquiries 
in the A.B.I.R. country, the Local Grovernment at once resolved 
to create a new judicial district^ consisting of the basins of the 
Rivers Lopori and Maringa. The Substitute's dwelling-place will 
be Bassankusu. I>r. Vogt^ a Norwegian, now at Nouvelle Anvers, 
has been appointed (telegraphically) as the first Judge of the 
A.B.I.R. But he is instructed to wait further information, and 
will not leave at once for Bassankusu.* In the meantime the new 
substitute here, Mons. Tessaroli, will pay a visit to the Baringa 
region; the Commission request you to make him acquainted with 
all the cases of cruelties, oppression, etc., of which you are aware. 

" As to the statement printed in the Times, and relating to 
' trading missionaries,' I must say I have not seen anything of the 
kind in any English paper. It was M. Malfeyt, the High Com- 
missioner, who was told (in certain Belgian newspapers) to have 
discovered that missionaries ' are engaging in trade.' This, of 
course, was only a ridiculous rumour; according to the laws of the 
State, 'trade is free.' Moreover, we think that you have proved 
that you do not trade. 

" Ee sentry system and Dr. Dorman,f I confess that several 
statements made by that gentlemen were somewhat astonishing. 

" I am, yours very sincerely, 

" (Signed) H. GREGOIRE. 
" To the Reverend J. BLa.rris, 
" Baringa." 

* He does not appear to have entered npon his duties by the end of April, 
date of our last advices. 

t This refers to Mi-. Dorman's statements in letters from the Congo to 
tJhe fimes^ that the sentrjr system w^s P- thing of the past, etc., etc, 



65 
III. 

MR. HARRIS TO THE VICE-GOVERNOR-GENERAL. 

Congo Balolo Mission, Baringa, 

January 17th, 1905. 

To His Excellency the Vice-Governor-General. 
Sir, 

I have the honour to acknowledge your Excellency's wish, 
expressed to me through His Britannic Majesty's Acting Consul, 
that we will not delay in informing the authorities of irregularities* 
that we think ought to be known. During the last few months we 
have done this, but there is yet very much to be told, more than 
I can ever hope to deal with. I am sending this communication 

through Commissaire General B (?), in order that he may be 

fully acquainted with the facts. 

I have just returned from a journey inland to the village of 
Nsongo-Mboyo, the incidents of which have so impressed me that 
I feel it wise to give you an account. 

In the employ of the Mission is a man who, as a youth, was 
captured in a native quarrel from this village, and, being anxious 
to know if his relatives were still alive, he has constantly urged 
this journey upon us. Madame Harris and I left Baringa on 
January 8th, arriving at Nsongo-Mboyo on January 11th. I had 
heard much of the plenty and beauty of this village from my man, 
but arriving there we found nothing but desolation ; there was the 
place where once the village had been; that was all. However, by 
sending forward scouts, I got to know where the people were, and 
after pushing on for another three-quarters of an hour, preceded 
by men shouting that we had not come to fight^ I found the old 
chief and some of his young men; a little later the mother of our 
employe emerged from the forest. Then, your Excellency, a sight 
occurred which moved us deeply; the employe, though a grown 
man, broke down and wept; naturally one would have expected 
him to show pleasure at seeing his mother. I asked him why he 
cried. " Oh, Bondele,t how can I b^ happy? My relatives have all 
been murdered for rubber; my friends have not a house to live in, 



* The irony of this passage, taken in conjunction with the matter which 
appears further on under ^'Hostage taking for rubber." need not be insisted 



upon. 

tMr, H?iTris' native n^me, 



or jpood to eat; my sister, with her right hand and left foot off 
testifies to the brutality of the sentries." I had ample proof of this ; 
there was not a house for us to sit in, and though I offered a 
fabulous price, I could not obtain even a scrap of manioca for my 
men ; the people were living in holes in the earth, hollow trunks 
of trees, and in little gra^s caves ; many lived in the open, with a 
few leaves for a covering. The chimpanzee is better housed and fed 
than these people, and in greater safety, too. The old chief said : 
"White man, I am full of shame; I cannot give you a fowl to eat 
yourself, or manioca for your men; I am ruined." I had ocular 
demonstration of this, for the only present the mother of my 
employe could give her son was a few leaves for pottage. They had 
ceased working rubber because they said they could not find it; 
and even when they took what little they could, the white men 
only flogged them ; they were therefore waiting now^ expecting 
that every day the white man would come again and kill them. The 
abject misery and utter abandon is positively indescribable; though 
I know of many villages that have suffered equally, none that I 
know of has ever presented such a picture of hopelessness and 
despair. 

* Only a few months ago, Mons. Pilaet took his sentries there 
and between them killed the 



Men. 


Women. 


Children. 


Isekalokuji 


Imengi 


Mongu 


Bofofi 


Bofua 


lyoki 


Itoko 


Bokangu 


Bomambu 


Hum be 


Nkawa 





Xiast year, or the year before, the young woman Imenega was tied 
to a forked tree and chopped in half with a matchet, beginning 
at the left shoulder, chopping down through the chest and abdomen 
and out at the side; this was how the sentries punished the 
woman's husband. 

Bolumba, another woman, wishing to remain faithful to her 
husband, had a pointed stake forced into her womb, through the 
vagina, and as this did not kill her she was shot. 

Ekila of Bokungu, for the same reason, was shot through the 
cheek and nose, and then her right hand and left foot cut off; she 
did not die, but is there to-day, expecting shortly to become a 
mother. 



67 

1 found that, as in other towns, enforced public incest formed 
amusement for the sentries^ the names given being 
Lokugi with his sister Lokomo, 
Lokilo with his daughter Efire. 

After spending some ti?ae with the people and hearing their 
miserable story, also seeing much proof with my own eyes, I made 
my departure, but before I came away one young chief stepped out 
and said, " Tell them (the rubber agents) we cannot and there- 
fore will not find rubber ; we are willing to spend our strength 
at any work possible, but rubber is finished. Our mothers, fathers 
sisters, brothers, have been murdered in scores for rubber; every 
article of any value has been stolen from us, spears, knives, brass- 
lets, fowls, dogs, etc., and we are now ruined; if we must either 
be massacred or bring rubber, well, let them finish us right off, 
then we suppose they will be satisfied." 

It was touching to see the old chief as he wrung my hand again 
and again. Oh, Inglesia, don't stay away long; if you do, they 
will come, I am sure they will come, and then these enfeebled legs 
will not support me, I cannot run away. I am near my end; try 
and see to it that they let me die in peace; don't stay away." 

I was so moved, your Excellency, at these people's story that 
1 took the liberty of promising them in the name of the Congo 
Free State, that you will only kill them in future for crimes.* 
I told them the Inspector Royal was, I hoped, on his way, and that 
I was sure he would listen to their story, and give them time to 
recover themselves. I further urged upon them the necessity of 
building huts a^d planting gardens, otherwise when the wet season 
comes they will be starved to death. 

The following are the names of some of the people murdered 

by the A.B.I. B. for rubber: — 

■^Q,xae. Sentry by whom murdered. 

Ilombe (man) Nsala 

Botuli (man) Banji 

Bofaka (man) Bemambu 

Lomboto (mother) Luwangi 

Ngondo (child) Efonga 

Ekom-boto (man) Imenema 

Bofaka (child) Belio 

Bokilo (man) Efongi 

Bofumbo (woman) Efulama 



*I7^^ing sentence to be penned at .the opening of the Twentieth 
Century. 



68 



Name. 



Sentry by whom murdered. 



Benkanga (chief) 


Bangi 


Boonga (man) 


Sentry unknown 


Eleka (chief) 


Belio 


lyambi (man) 


Bofolodza 


Neikela (man) 


Efulama 


Elu-ga (mother and two 


Unknown 


children) 




Likongo (man) 


Boyela 


Mpeci (man) 


» 


Likovata (woman) 


Bateko 


Boyemi (woman) 


» 


Bolumbu (woman) 


)> 


Linyuka (mother and 


» 


two children) 




Ntandu 


Unknown 


Ifasu, Yakabonga, and 


Bateko 


child 




Bofofi 


Belio 


Bokangu (woman) 


Isemenga 


Nkanjambi (woman) 


Nkomboloko 


Mongu (woman) 


Unknown 


Boko 


Ilasa 


Ngombi (chief) 


Mona 


Lifalanga 


Bompenji 


Jemaka 


Lomboto 


Longolo 


Inoi 


Banto 


Bompengu 


Benpangi 


Unknown 


Limbala 


Lianza or 


Eunai (woman) 


Unknown 


Isekisio 


>j 


Botugi (chief of 


Ntanda 


Bokendi section) 




Boyo 


Isekongo 


Child of Beti 


Bompengi 


Bokecu (woman) 


Loma 


Elanga (woman) 


Bompengu 


Eleka (woman) 


Unknown 


Ekonga (woman) 


Wuti 


Mposo (woman) 


Unknown 


Bongenga (woman) 


Icoli 


Ktewa (woman) 


Boti 


Ifasa of Bolumbo, and 


Ololi 


Ntolo (child) 




Isekayoko (man) 


Unknown 


Botaka (mother and child) 


' 


Boembi (woman) 


ff 


Bonkomo and child 


y} 


B^tuku 


Isekyolo 


Ilinga (woman) 


Unknown 


Efondo (woman) 


>> 


I^manga (woman) 


» 



69 



Name. Sentry by whom murdered. 


(?) Lwanga (woman) 


Nkangi 


Lomboto (man) 


Bateko 


Lokugi of Nombi 


5) 


Isekalokilo 


Liwanga 


Isekalokilo's wife 


Efongi 


Bosengi 


Unknown 


Ifasu (child) 


„ 


Lingolo 


Efulama 


Isekasumbu (child) 


Unknown 


Likumgola 


>) 


Bolongo 


Eluma 


Efunda (man), his wife 


j> 


and child 




Bolua 




Three children of Bokongi 





Elanga, Lokuji, Bolinga 


Unknown 


Lokuca 


Wute 


Bengombo 


Imena 


Ilanga 


Unknown 



These names were given me without any hesitation, and with 
every evidence of truth, by the people. I should say, however, from 
experience, that this village has not quite so many killed as others 
in the district. 

May I urge upon your Excellency the importance, in the 
interests of justice, of taking witnesses' testimony nearer than 
Boma.* 

Owdng to the witnesses from Baringa having been sent over 
six months' journey away, the natives are refusing to give necessary 
information lest such a long journey will be imposed upon them 
too. Already there is a distinct tendency to regard this as punish- 
ment for witnessing against their oppressors. 

We profit by this opportunity to assure your Excellency that 
our only desire is the welfare of these people, and we are at your 
service to assist in the righteous government of the natives, with 
all our energy and experience. 

This has been manifest during the last few days, when, as the 
Police officer will tell you, the intervention of the missionaries was 
successful in preventing a serious fight between the surrounding 
towns, which was assuming grave proportions, and caused consider- 
able anxiety to the authorities. It will always be our aim to use 
our influence to this end. 

I have the honour to be, 

Your Excellency's obedient servant, 

John H. Harris. 



* Witnesses in atrocity cases have to go 1,000 miles away to give evidence 
at Boma.— Fide footnote, page 8. 



70 

PART 11. 

THE REGULATIONS LAID DOWN BY THE COMMISSION, 

THE VISIT OF M. MALFEYT, THE ROYAL HIGH 

COMMISSIONER, AND THE SEQUEL. 

L 

THE iBEQULATIONS AND THE VISIT. 

On March 16th, 1905, M. Malfeyt, Royal High Commissioner, 
arrived at Baringa. The visit of this high official, the British 
Government had been assured last year, would be of a nature to 
effect all necessary reforms. 

Prior to M. Malfeyt's arrival, the Commissioners, confronted 
by the terrible evidence brought by Messrs. Harris, Stannard, and 
the other missionaries in the Concession, laid down the following 
interpretation of Congolese "law": — 

Before a tiax "Vvas fixed an enumeration of the people must 
be made. 

' No native was to work more than 40 hours a month. 
The paying of their taxes in either of certain commodities 
'?ii i j^i^as at the option of the natives. 

'"'"'The circumstance that a so-called " commercial company ^' 
should be empowered to " tax " at all is, needless to remark, an 
anomaly, and a practice contrary to elementary notions of 
right.^ But it is impossible to deal here with the fundamental 
irregularities which underlie the whole conception of Tropical 
Administration as practised by the Congo Government. Our task 
in this publication is to point out the startling contradictions 
"Between the nominal laws and regulations as they exist, and the 
manner in which those laws and regulations are carried out in 
practice. 

Such then were the rules laid down by the Commission of 
Inquiry. » 

M. Malfeyt's visit, it was understood, would tend to the 
re-adjustment of this " taxation," notably to working the 40 hours' 
^law, upon the lines laid down by the Commission. 

But M. Malfeyt announced that he " had no power to act, and 
only came to see and to hear ! " 

* In contradiction also to the judgment delivered by the Appeal Cour^ 
fkt Boina in the Caudron case. 



71 

The " re-adjustment of taxation " was left, therefore, in the 
hands of the A.B.I.R. representatives. 

How it has been carried out, and is being carried out, and how 
justified were Mr. Harris' warnings sent to the President of the 
Commission of Inquiry, after the departure of the Commission 
from Baringa, the following information will disclose. 

n. 

REPUDIATION OF THE COMMISSION. 

Extract of letter from Mr. Stannard to Mr. Morel, dated 
April 4th, describing an interview with Mr. Delvaux, Director in 
Africa of the A.B.I.R.: 

" He spoke of the Commission of Inquiry in a contemptuous 
manner, and showed considerable annoyance about the things we 
had said to the Commission. He declared the A.B.I.R. had full 
authority and power to send out armed sentries, and force the 
people to bring in rubber, and to imprison those who did not. 
A short time ago, the natives of a town brought in some rubber 
to the Agent here, but he refused it because it was not enough, 
and the men were thrashed by the A.B.I.R. employes, and driven 
away- The Director justified the Agent in refusing the rubber 
because the quantity was too small. The Commissioners had 
declared that the A.B.I.R. had no power to. send armed sentries into 
the towns in order to flog the people and drive them into the forest 
to seek rubber ; they were ' guards of the forest,' and that was their 
work. When we pointed this out to M. Delvaux, he pooh-poohed 
the idea, and said the name had no significance ; some called the 
sentries by one name, some by another. We pointed out that the 
people were not compelled to pay their taxes in rubber only, but 
could bring in other things, or even currency. He denied this, 
and said that the alternative tax only meant that an agent could 
impose whatever tax he thought fit. It had no reference whatever 
to the natives. The A.B.I.R. preferred the taxes to be paid in 
rubber. This is what the A.B.I.R. says, in spite of the interpreta- 
tion by Baron Nisco, the highest judicial authority in the State, 
that the natives could pay their taxes in what they were best able. 
All these things were said in the presence of the Royal High Com- 
missioner, who, whether he approved or not, certainly did not 
Qontradict or protest against them," 



72 



Advices of a similar character have been received from Mr. 
Harris. Their accurate description of M. Delvaux's repudiation of 
the Commission is, however, borne out by subsequent events. 

in. 

KENEWAL OF THE REIGN OF OPPRESSION, OUTRAGE AND MASSACRE. 



Letter from Mr. Harris to the Com/tiissaire de District, Baringa, 

April 10th, 1905: — 

C.B.M., Baringa, 

April 10th, 1905. 
Dear Sir, 

The present situation in this district makes it impera- 
tive that we submit to you the following. During the visit of the 
Commission of Inquiry affairs here were so thoroughly gone into, 
and so unhesitatingly condemned, that we were led to hope, with 
some confidence, that a better state of affairs would result. 
Unfortunately that hope has been falsified. From that time until 
the visit of Mons. Delvaux, accompanied by the Royal High 
Commissioner, things were comparatively quiet, or at least in abey- 
ance. We regret exceedingly that the A.B.I.R. are now reverting 
to their former methods. Though we feel that some responsibility 
rests upon the Agent, yet we consider that the prime responsibility 
belongs to the A.B.I.R. Director, because of the statements made 
here by him. 

There are many things that are certainly illegal (judged by the 
Code Civil and Bulletin Officiel), but we only call your attention 
to the most prominent. You are aware, of course, that the state- 
ment is being constantly made that cannibal sentries are not 
armed. The Nsongo district is notoriously cannibal, and there are, 
in the Wala section, eight guns given to Mpombo's men, in order, 
we are informed, to force rubber from their own and other sections 
of the Nsongo district. An outcome of this is that, at least, the 
Eleko section, if not also the Luiza section, have left their towns 
and are hiding in the forest, but we are told the ultimate intention 
is to migrate to the Juapa. 

On Monday, the 3rd inst., considerable firing was heard in the 
Esanga town of Elengwa ; later we learned the following particulars 
from eye-witnesses; a body of eight or ten A.B.I.R. sentries, armed 



73 

with muzzle-loading and Albini guns, were sent from the A.B.I.H. 
headquarters, in charge of the Capitas Elisi and Bompasu. 

The outcome of this raid upon the people was that Luali, a 
chief, and Ilua, a lad, were killed with Albini rifles, and the follow- 
ing prisoners captured, tied neck by neck, and taken to the Agent 
at Bamo^ the new A.B.I.R. headquarters. 

The man Lingendi and the following women and girls: — 
Lifumbwa and baby, Besenda and baby, Etongo, Besuka, Bongele, 
Iwawa, Ekila, Ifasu; the women were released after working as 
prisoners six or seven days. 

The Capita Elisi said : " We are killing you because you sell 
meat to the missionaries, and do not work rubber ' lankesa la lokolo ' 
(day and night, or early and late); we will come and kill very many 
of you, and finish you off." Will you permit me to offer the follow- 
ing observations: — 

I. We understood from the Commission of Inquiry that the 
work of the " guards of the forest " was to protect the vines, and 
not to force the natives into the forest to search for rubber. 

II. That it was illegal to send the sentries out armed with 
Albini rifles. 

III. That it was illegal to imprison women and children. 

Of course we knew from the " Code Civil " and " Bulletins 
Officiel " that these things were illegal before the Commission 
of Inquiry came here, but they were so often committed that we 
had almost come to believe that State law did not apply to the 
A.B.I.R. You will recognise the serious effect upon us of this raid. 
The people have been definitely told that they have been and are 
to be killed for selling meat to the missionaries and employes 
of the Mission. That means that by buying necessary food from 
the natives, we place them under the risk of being either shot or 
imprisoned. We submit that this is an intolerable position, both 
for us and the natives, and we have consequently given out, that 
from this day forward, we cannot buy meat until we have some 
effective guarantee that they can sell to us with impunity, 



74 

We would also like to call your attention to the fact, that the 
laws with regard to taxation have never been in force in this 
district. They are — 

I. Enumeration of the people. 
n. Forty hours' law. 
III. Alternate tax law at the option of the natives. 

Mons. Delvaux emphatically denied that the alternative tax 
law had any relation to the natives; it only meant that the A.B.I. K. 
could enforce what they liked. 

The only interpretation of the forty hours' law was 4 kilos of 
" dry," or 8 kilos of " wet " rubber per man !* 

With reference to the raid on the Esanga village, we would 
also like to remark, that whilst the Commission of Inquiry was 
here, amongst the sentries most often accused of gross irregularities 
was this man Bompasu, who was Capita for Mons. Tegnev, 
admittedly one of the most brutal white men ever in the district. 
The man Bompasu had for some time, prior to the visit of the 
Commissioners, been removed from his position on account of his 
excesses. It seems to us passing strange, that after the investigation 
of the Commission of Inquiry, such men should be reinstated, with 
the above result. None knew better than the present Chef de 
Factorie the character of this man. because he was Agent with 
Mons. Tegnev at Baringa. Bompasu was, we understand, slightly 
wounded at Esanga. We appeal to you, as the executive authority 
of the district, in the hope that you may be able to do something. 
We recognise that we are requesting a great deal of you, in asking 
for the effective carrying out of State law. It is manifestly clear to 
us that rubber, as at present demanded, can only be procured by 
the continued sacrifice of lives, and the shedding of blood, the com- 
plete ruin of the forests, and the extermination of the native race. 

Is not this too big a price to pay We feel sure you will agree 
that it is. 

* That is to say, 8 kilos^ instead of 6, as formerly. 



75 



We have been compelled to acquaint His Britannic Majesty's 
Consul with our position, and beg to enclose a copy of our communi- 
cation to him for your perusal. 

(Signed) John H. Harris * 



B. 

Letter from Mr. Stannard to Mr. Morel. 

"Baringa, April 7th, 1905. 

"The devil's work is in full swing again. The A.B.I.R. 
are determined to get their rubber from this district, no matter 
what it may cost in the shedding of blood and human suffering. 
[Then follows a more detailed account of the raid upon Elengwa, 
described in Mr. Harris' letter to the Gommissaire de District,^ The 
people have been told that very soon the sentries are coming again 
to kill more, and that if they do not bring in rubber they will soon 
be 'finished off.' Of course we shall report this to the State, but 
what is the use? Its action in regard to Van Caelcken's trial does 
not give much encouragement or hope that any real justice will be 
done. Surely if a Lagos native has to appear at Boma, and is 
sentenced to ten yearsf for being the indirect cause of one woman's 
death, then in common justice the Director and Agent of the 
A.B.I.R. should be called to account for the murder of these men 
(vide Harris' letter to Gommissaire), and the imprisonment of these 
women and children. It is the old practice of imprisoning women 
and children until they are redeemed by the men of the village. 
The sentries who went to Boma for committing so many murders 
under Van Caelcken are now back in their towns, and the A.B.I.R. 
have been trying to enlist them again in the same kind of work. 
I would add that the women prisoners taken at Elengwa were tied 
neck by neck, and marched off to the A.B.I.R. prison." 

* Mr. Harris sent a copy of this letter to the President of the Commission 
of Inquiry in a letter dated April 11th, 1905. 
t Sylvanus Jones, a subordinate of Caudron.— F«<^ Caudron Case, ojj. cit. 



76 



Letter from Mr. Harris to the Gommissaire de District. 

C.B.M., Baringa, 

April 26th, 1905. 

To Monsieur le Gommissaire de District. 

Dear Sir, 

On April 10th I informed you that the women and 
children captured from Esanga, and put into the A.B.I.R. prison 
at Bamo by Mons. Weyn, in order tx) force rubber, had been 
released; this, I find, is an error, as no such release has taken 
place. On April 18th and 19th I paid a visit to Nsongo for 
evangelistic purposes, but I could do very little, as the villages were 
destitute of women and children, and the few men remaining were 
constructing stockades in order to defend their village^ the reason 
being as follows: 

In mine to you of April 10th, I informed you that eight muzzle- 
loading guns had been given to Mpombo's sons to force rubber from 
the people. I wish again to emphasize that these men are notorious 
cannibals. They were given the guns by Mons. Weyn when he 
visited Nsongo, about a month ago. At the same time, without 
counting the people, or even visiting the villages, he ordered them 
to bring, every fifteen days, 80 baskets of rubber, i.e., Ngundo 
30 baskets, Ikenjo 20, Bolumboloko (Wala) 30. 

It seems that when the A.B.I.R. moved its headquarters to 
Bamo, these men returned the muzzle-loaders and were given Albini 
rifles and ammunition. They then went back to the village to force 
rubber. One of these men named Elanga shot the chief of Ngundo, 
named Lokoko, and the people of this section managed to capture 
both Elanga and his gun. Mpombo, the senior chief of district, 
agreed to Ngundo people doing as they liked with his son Elanga, 
if only they would deliver up the rifle, as he was afraid the A.B.I.R. 
would give him a " big palaver." This they agreed to do, and 
Mpombo returned the gun ; the fate of Mpombo's son Elanga is 
not known. 



At the expiration of about 14 days, i.e., four days ago, Mpombo 
sent all the rubber he had been able to force to the Agent at Bamo ; 
this was in charge of the six sentries^ armed with Albini rifles. 
Accompanying this party was another, composed of men, women 
and children, who were going to the river bank, in order to exchange 
palm nuts, oil, etc., with the people on the opposite side, and they 
agreed to wait there for the party returning from Bamo. After 
they had been waiting for some time a party did arrive, but it 
was not the one they were waiting for — the whole company, rubbur 
carriers and sentries, had in the meantime been put in the A.B.I.R. 
prison. It was the redoubtable Bompasu, armed in true brigand 
fashion — Albini rifles and cartridge pouch across the shouldtM-, 
revolver and knife stuck in his belt; under his command was a 
body of about 20 A.B.I.R. sentries, armed also with Albini rifles, 
cartridge pouches and knives; these were supported by an ill- 
assorted company of " braves," armed with spears, shields, knives, 
etc. Of course the market people were no match for such a formid- 
able body; some few are thought to have escaped, but nearly all 
were made prisoners ; the man Lokononga is dying in the bush, run 
through the body and thigh by one of BomjDasu's command. 
Isekolima is also lying in the forest, but there are hopes of his 
recovery. The first batch of prisoners was sent off to the rubber 
agent, and the expedition then proceeded against the Nsongo village 
of Bolumboloko (Wala). Its main object seems to have been the 
capture of the chief Mpombo. The reason for this no one seems 
to know, unless it was because the rubber was insufficient; but 
Mpombo seems to have done all a man could do to force more. 
However, Bompasu arrived and captured many people; the full 
number is not yet known, because the majority of the natives are 
still hiding in the bush; but certainly the following are in prison 
at Bamo, besides the captures made at the native market : 

Men — Nsala, Lofiko, Elisi, Esengi, Bompendu, Mongu, Elika, 
Isompombo, Mala, Ifelo, Etotoi, Eali, Bokamana. 

Women and Girls — Inungo, Longundo, Bokeni, Bompenju, 
Bongengeli, Ekila I., Ekila II., Mombi, Lolula. 

I found there a baby whose mother, Lolula, was captured, and 
taken away to .prison.. .We %re trying to keep it alive till its 
mother is released to feed it. 



?8 

All the fowls were seized — some thirty or forty, and four dogs, 
to feed Bompasu's retinue ; the back part of the chiefs house pulled 
down for firewood. All the *' valuables " were looted, including 
hunting nets to the value of £8 or .£10, and carried ofif by Bompasu 
and his followers. This was especially hard, as just before and 
after the visit of the Commission of Inquiry there had been a 
relaxation of the severe treatment they had received at the hands 
of MM. Pilaet and Van Caelcken, which had enabled them to 
gather a few things together. To show how little supervision is 
given to ammunition, I would point out that the sentries entered 
the village firing off cartridges in all directions, apparently in order 
to frighten the people. An unused cartridge was picked up in the 
house in which I slept (I have given this to the police officer). 
I also saw a dog that had been shot in two places by Albini bullets. 

I saw the woman Loko, who, being lame, refused to go as a 
prisoner to Bamo. Boni gashed her arm and thigh as punishment, 
and then released her; both cuts are about three or four inches 
long, but the one on the arm is very deep. 

What I have written you is all that is known at present. The 
people are afraid that there are others in the bush^ either dead or 
dying, and many other women and children prisoners at Bamo. 
We have only too much reason to believe that these expeditions 
are being sent out daily into other districts, but being beyond the 
immediate section we cannot learn reliable particulars. 

Just before I left Nsongo on the 19th inst., a young man 
arrived there from Bamo, and told the people their women and 
children were starving in the A.B.l.R. prison; also that he had 
seen, that very morning, Bompasu and about 20 to 30 A.B.l.R. 
sentries, armed with Albini and muzzle-loading rifles, accompanied 
by many spears and shields, depart for some district, with orders 
to fight the people. Bompasu was told that when he returns he is 
to undertake another expedition to Nsongo. To-day I have been 
told that the Ikelemba section of Esanga was attacked yesterday 
by a contingent of armied men under Bo'mftasu, but at present do 



79 

not know any particulars. We have reason to believe that the 
present Chef de Factorie has applied for a transfer to a district 
where his actions would be only known to the unfortunate natives. 
Usually such men are sent to such places; but, though this would 
be preferable to the A.B.I.E., it would be, and is, very bad both for 
the natives aud the reputation of the State. I take this occasion of 
calling your attention to the treatment of paddlers, feeling confident 
that you are ignorant of the same. 

The A.B.I.R. seem to think that, no matter how badly they 
treat paddlers, they should always be willing to come in numbers 
to paddle for them. Nearly three weeks ago, 30 to 40 paddlers took 
an agent to Bamo from here, and because they did not arrive before 
sunset, were flogged and put in the A.B.I.R. prison. They have 
since been carrying soil for miles in gangs, in order to build the 
white man a house. Can you wonder that the chiefs often persuade 
and bribe Aen to paddle in vain? 

On Feb. 26th the Baringa chief was summarily arrested and 
sent down river by the rubber agent, Mons. Weyn, because under 
these conditions he could not persuade two men to paddle. He has 
now been in detention nearly two months. In the meantime all 
his own affairs are being left to care for themselves. All the fore- 
going facts have been given to Monsieur the Lieutenant Otterly. 

I am, yours sincerely, 

John H. Harris. 



p.g. — ^l might also mention to you that the cartridge picked up at 
Nsougo was an ordinary "soft-nose," split, with the object, 
apparently, of inflicting a severe wound 



80 

•fo Monsieur le Commissaire de District. 
Dear Sir, 

I find the last expedition sent by Mons. Weyn was 
not against Ikelemba itself, but the adjoining villages of Ngongi, 
Bonsombo, Nganza. The killed and wounded are variously reported 
as being from five to fifteen men and women^ but we have reason 
to believe the correct number is ten. The Chef de Factorie here is 
guilty of so many illegalities, and flagrant violation of the law, 
that we feel you will agree with us that his immediate and effectual 
arrest is demanded, both in the interests of justice and humanity. 
At any rate, it is clear that he is not a fit man to have absolute 
control over thousands of the subject race, from whose exploitation 
he personally benefits, and has at his disposal the very considerable 
armoury and unrestricted ammunition of the A.B.I. R., with the 
deplorable results we have already indicated, and others of which 
we only hear rumours. The paddlers I referred to in my former 
letter are still prisoners, and this in spite of the protests of Monsieur 
the Lieutenant Otterly, the police officer. 

John H. Harris. 

D. 

Extract of letter from Mr. Harris to Dr. Guinness. 

April 20, 1905. 

"It is terrible to watch these poor people being massacred 
almost daily to force the rubber. . . . Undoubtedly things are 
worse to-day." 



PART III. 
HOSTAaE TAKING FOR RUBBER. 

A. 

Extracts from proceedings in the Trial of M. Van Caelcken. 

M. Van Caelcken was one of the subordinate agents of the 
A.B.I.E. at Baringa, arrested (after threatening to kill Messrs. 
Harris and Stannard) owing to the exposure of the atrocities 
committed by his soldiers. 



SI 

The trial began on December 8th. Charges brought by Public 
Prosecutor : 

(1) Arresting and tying up five women as hostages for rubber. 

(2) Giving rifles to soldiers, the better to force rubber out 

of the people. 

In his defence, M. Van Caelcken : 

" Avowed publicly that he tied up the women himself 
personally, and gave them to Chief Belio, near his Station, 
to be detained." 

" Bases his power on a letter of the Commissaire-General 
de Bauw (the Supreme Executive Officer in the District), 
and in a circular transmitted to him by his Director, ani 
signed * Costermans ' (Governor-General), which he read to 
the Court, deploring the diminished output in rubber, and 
saying that the Agents of the A.B.I.R. should not forget 
that they have the same powers of * contrainte par corps ' 
(bodily detention) as were delegated^ to the agents of the 
Societe C ommerciale Anversoise au Congo, for the increase 
of rubber production; that if the Governor-General or his 
Commissaire-General did not know what they were writing 
and what they signed, he knows what orders he had to obey ; 
it was not for him to question the legality or illegality of 
these orders; his superiors ought to have known and have 
weighed what they wrote before giving him orders to 
execute ; that bodily detention of natives for rubber was no 
secret, seeing that at the end of every month a statement of 
'contrainte par corps' (bodily detention) during the month 
has to be furnished in duplicate, the book signed, and one of 
the copies transmitted to the Government." 

B. 

Proof OF Official Eecognition given to the Practice. 

Tbe above allegations are strictly true, and:explain the light- 
ness of the sentence passed upon Van Caelcken. "~. 



* By Governor-General Wahis, present Governor'General. ^Hde Caudron 
Case, Africa No. 9, 1904.) 



Here, moreover, is one of the printed 
detention," referred to by the accused. 



statements of bodily 



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§3 

The preceding document was published in the pamphlet entitled 
" Red Rubber/'* together with circulars, and extracts of letters 
signed by Messrs. Albert Longtain (Director of the A.B.I.R. at the 
end of the Commission's visit), by M. Delvaux (present Director of 
the A.B.I.R.), and by the Home Executive of this so-called Society, 
proving that the practice has been universally carried out for many' 
years, with the knowledge of the Supreme Executive of the Congo 
State in the Congo, the Home Executive of the A.B.I.R., and the 
principal officials of that Society on the spot. A reference to the 
evidence of the missionaries, especially that of Mr. Ruskin, will 
convey an appreciation of its effects upon the people. 

That the practice is still in full swing, even in the neighbour- 
hood of the Mission Stations — and how much more so in the remote 
districts, where no outside observers exist, may be surmised — will be 
seen from the account of the raid, in April of the present year, by 
A.B.I.R. soldiers, acting under the orders of the representative of 
that Society at Bamo, upon the village of Bolumboloko. It would 
seem, moreover, that although subordinate agents continue to be 
prosecuted and sentenced to trivial punishments for this practice 
when circumstances connected with any specific case are brought 
prominently to the notice of the Judicial Authorities, the circulars 
of the Grovernor-Greheral and the Commissaire-General have not 
been rescinded. 



C. 
Laws and Deeds. 

In this connection Mr. Harris, writing to Mr. Morel, under date 
of March 25th, 1905, says: 

'' One of the strangest features of the Congo administration is 
the peculiar relations that- exist between the judicial officers and 
the Executive. For instance, a judicial officer pronounces a certain 
course of action undoubtedly illegal, but that makes no difference at 
all in practice. The action is pursued just as if such a judgment 
had never been given. In the Caudron case it was held by the 
Judge of the Supreme Court that the Governor-General had no 

• Op., cit. 



84 

power to give ' commercial companies ' the right to force a tax in 
rubber upon the people by imprisoning them if they failed to comply 
with such illegal demands. On March 6th of this year, a document 
was shown to Mr. Stannard and to myself, authorizing the A.BJ.R. 
Agents by name to force the people to bring in a rubber tax, and 
if they refused, to imprison them. This was to be done without any 
trial whatever. The document was dated December 1st, 1904, and 
bore the signature of Governor Coster mans." 

Evidence of the universality of this practice all over the Congo 
is to be found in a number of published documents, extending over 
a number of years, amongst which may be mentioned the Mongalla 
revelations of 1901 and the judgment of the Boma Courts; the 
Caudron judgment; Consul Casement's report; the revelations of 
Lieutenant Tilkens in the Belgian Parliamentary debates; the 
reports of Italian officers from the Province Orientale ; of mission- 
aries from the Katanga region ; of Mr. Scrivener from the Domaine 
de la Couromie ; Mr. Weeks from Monserabe ; Mr. Ackermann from 
the Lomami, etc., etc. 

Under present conditions, indeed, the taking of hostages — a 
covering name for a peculiarly atrocious form of slavery — is a 
necessary adjunct to the forced production of vast quantities of 
india-rubber. Nor is it likely to be relinquished, seeing that the 
present Governor-General of the Cbngo State, who has been rein- 
stated in his position, and is now in supreme executive control of the 
whole territory, himself authorised in writing a practice declared on 
paper to be " illegal," and even sometimes punished by nominal 
terms of imprisonment in the case of men in subordinate positions, 
but authorised and encouraged by the Executive itself. 



D. 

The Scandal of Governor-General Wahis' Return to the Congo. 

The following letter appeared in the Morning Post and the 
Daily News of 2nd May: 

'■.Sir,-^It .is now definitely, announced in the Belgian papers 
that General Baron Wahis will 5ail by the next Antwerp steamer 
to the Congo as Governor-General.^ No more instructive incident 

♦Governor-General Wahis is now exercising his supreme functions. 



85 

could have arisen to shew the complete hopelessness of any real 
change of policy in the Congo under the present regime. It is only 
necessary to point out that Governor-General Wahis has been, all 
these years, the incarnation in Africa of the policy of King Leopold, 
whose ' personal mandatory ' he is while in Africa, by the terms of 
the Congolese Constitution. He has thus not only been intimately 
associated with all the deplorable aspects of that policy, which have 
gradually been dragged to light, but he has been actually the 
supreme director of that policy on the spot. Only the other day, 
in the Belgian House, circulars promulgated by him as Governor- 
General, acting on instructions from Brussels, in connection with 
the disgraceful system of paying officials proportionately to the 
amount of rubber and ivory obtained by them from their respective 
districts, were exposed fully for the first time. (The translation of 
the amazing revelations made in the course of this debate will be 
found in the Congo Supplement of the West African Mail for 
April, and have been commented upon in the Morning Post.) 

"Nor is this all. In the recent trial and conviction of the 
man Caudron, of the Mongalla Trust, as published in * Africa No. 9, 
1904,* the Judge of the Appeal Court at Bbma — ^that is to say, 
the highest judicial authority in the Congo State, and a member, 
moreover, of the Commission of Inquiry — declared in the most 
specific manner that the written authorisation given by Governor- 
General Wahis to the officials of that Trust to levy taxes in rubber 
upon the people, and to imprison them if they failed to comply, 
was illegal, and that the accused, in acting upon the Govfernor- 
G^neral's authorisation, acted illegally in imprisoning natives for 
this ' offence.' The gravity of the Governor-General's act was all 
the greater, inasmuch as three years previously a number of agents 
of the same Trust were condemned to long terms of imprisonment 
(which they have never served, all being free men in Belgium at 
the present day), for similar practices, which had led, on their own 
confession, and as the records of the tribunals shew, to the death 
of hundreds of women from starvation in prison. Soon after the 
publication of the judgment in the Caudron case, which first 
appeared in the Congo Supplement of the West African Mail for 
May of last year, King LfCopold issued a Manifesto calling upon 
the judicial establishment of the Congo State to ' seek out ' all who, 
whatsoever their rank or title, had been guilty of perpetrating or 
authorising illegalities towards the natives, and the Sovereign of 



the Congo State, in the same Manifesto, expressed his unswerving 
determination to punish all persons guilty of such offences, no 
matter who they might be. Yet in the face of the deliberate judg- 
ment of the highest judicial officer in the Congo State^, and in the 
face of King Leopold's Manifesto, and yet again in the face of all 
that has gone before, which is now only gradually being revealed, 
Grovernor-General Wahis returns once more as the King's 'personal 
mandatory' in Africa. 

Yours, etc., 

" E. D. MOREL." 
"Hawarden, 29th April." 



PART IV. 
CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. 



The following correspondence has passed between the Foreign 
Office and the Congo Reform Association, relative to the position 
of affairs in the A.B.I.R. territories: 

31st May, 19Q5. 

To the Most Hon. the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G., 
Foreign Office, London. 

My Lord, — I am desired to inform your Lordship, on behalf 
of this Association, that the information received by us from the 
British missionaries at Baringa, in the territory of the A.B.I. It. 
concession, is increasingly grave in character. 

In the course of the debate in the House of Commons on 
9th June, 1904, the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 
detailed certain measures which, according to the information 
supplied to H.M. Government, had been adopted, or were about 
to be adopted, by the Government of the Congo State "for the 
protection of tlje natives," 



87 

Those measures included " the creation of a new office of Royal 
High Commissioner of the Congo." This official had been instructed 
" to ensure the complete execution " of reforms. The A.B.I.R. 
Company had also issued " instructions forbidding restrictions on 
the freedom of commerce," and had itself " sent out an officer, 
armed with independent powers, to enquire into its administration, 
and to insist upon the removal of any officials whom he thinks ought 
to be removed." 

I regret to state that the advices received by this Association 
are of a nature to shew that these measures have been illusory, 
and that neither the visit of the " Royal High Commissioner " to the 
A.B.I.R. territory, nor the visit of the A.B.I. R.'s " officer," nor yet 
the visit of the Commission of Inquiry, have resulted in any better- 
ment of the condition of the natives. 

They have not led to any modification in the claims upon the 
produce of the soil, upon the labour and upon the bodies of the 
people, asserted and exercised by the A.B.I.R. Society with (as is 
now proved by the proceedings in the trial of M. Van Caelcken) 
the entire approval of the Executive, and which, in the opinion of 
this Association, are the cause of the terrible abuses prevailing. 
Indeed, these claims, far from having lessened, would appear to 
have actually increased. 

Writing under date of 25th March last, Mr. J. H. Harris, of 
Baringa (the veracity of whose reports, as those of his colleagues, 
so far as they were concerned with atrocities committed by the 
employes of the A.B.I.R. prior to the arrival of the Commission of 
Inquiry, was amply demonstrated before the Commission), informs 
us that each native has now " to bring in four kilos, of dry rubber, 
which means eight kilos, of fresh rubber, compared with six kilos, 
as formerly." This imposition, which is a fortnightly one, the 
natives are unable to comply with. It is irreconcilable with the 
)iew law which the "Royal High Commissioner" was, apparently, 
deputed to arrange (although that official was not, it would seem, 
invested with any '' administrative powers "), viz. : that the demands 
of the A.B.I.R. Society upon the natives should not involve them 
in more than forty hours' laboitr per month. To the increasing 
impossibility, in view of the rapid exhaustion of the forests, of 
obtaining within the time specified the six kilos, demanded of them 
every fortnight, are due the cruel * sufferings to which the natives 



8a 

have been subjected during the many years these claims have been 
enforced upon them. An increased imposition is hardly calculated 
to allay those sufferings. It would appear indeed that^ despairing 
of their condition and prospects, the natives are determined to die 
rather than endeavour to fulfil the hopeless task of satisfying 
demands apparently limitless; for in a postscriptum, dated 28th 
March, to the above-mentioned communication, Mr. Harris says : 

" A.B.I.E. is attempting to force rubber with scores of 
sentries armed with muzzle-loaders. The natives have refused, 
and say they will rise en masse. A number of sentries have been 
speared. Chief Bomolo of Bolemboloko, Chief Isekalongi of 
Lotoko, and other chiefs have sworn they will die sooner than 
suffer again as they did before the Commission came. They 
say : ' Shew us where to find the rubber and we will work it ; 
if not, come and kill us, we can but die once.' Government 
troops have been sent for. The A.B.I.R. are furious with us." 

The last sentence in the above letter, which confirms several 
previous letters from Mr. Harris, suggests that the British mission- 
aries at Baringa and other places in the A.B.I.E. Society's territory 
may run serious dangers from the resentment they have incurred 
from the Society's representatives in boldly- reporting the abuses 
of which they have had cognisance. As your Lordship is aware, 
that resentment was exhibited to them upon several occasions prior 
to their revelations before the Commission of Inquiry. 

From the above information it would appear that? matters are, 
if anything, in a worse condition than formerly, and that the 
assurances given to his Majesty's Government have not been kept. 
It is no doubt true that several subordinate agents of the A.B.I.R. 
Society have recently been arrested, and in some cases sentenced 
to trivial punishments, but it is also the case that the representative 
in Africa of that Society, who was in supreme executive control of 
its operations at the time when many of the atrocities denounced 
took place, has been allowed to return to Europe, while his second 
in command is now in supreme executive control. 

I would also respectfully suggest to your Lordship, as a matter 
justifying further representations to the Congo Government, the 
position of native witnesses in cases of atrocity. We are informed 
by the missionaries ^.t Baringa that native witnesses sent last Julj^ 



a thousand miles to Boma, in order to testify before the Courts, 
had not yet returned to their homes when our last advices were 
received. "=^ Treatment such as this is not of a kind to encourage the 
natives — living as they have done upon the Society's territory under 
a reign of terror for the past seven years — to come forward for 
the purpose of testifying to the wrongs inflicted upon them. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's obedient servant, 

(Sgd.) E. D. MOREL, 

Hon. Secretary. 



Foreign Office, 

14th June, 1905. 

Sir, — In reply to your letter of the 31st ultimo, in which you 
call attention to the alleged continued ill-treatment of natives in 
the Congo State, I am directed by the Marquess of Lansdowne to 
inform you that various reports have reached his Majesty's Govern- 
ment with regard to the manner in which the administration of 
the Free State has been conducted since the departure of the 
Commission of Inquiry, and that his Majesty's Minister at Brussels 
has been instructed to make representations to the Congo G-overn- 
ment on the subject. 

I am. Sir, 
Your most obedient^ humble servant, 

(Sgd.) F. A. CAMPBELL. 

The Hon. Secretary to the Congo Reform Association, 
4, Oldhall Street, Liverpool. 



* The bulk of them have since retnrned, several having died. They have 
been kept away some ten months, 



90 

15th June, 1905. 

To the Most Hon. the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G., 
Foreign Office, London. 

My Lord, — ^I am instructed by my Committee to forward to 
your Lordship copies of the two resolutions attached. 

The first was passed by the Committee of this Association at 
a meeting held in the House of Commons, under the chairmanship 
of Earl Beauchamp, on 7th June; and the second was passed at a 
public meeting held in Holborn Town Hall, Sir Harry Johnston in 
the chair, on the same day. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's obedient servant, 

(Sgd.) E. B. MOREL, 

Hon. Secretary. 

KESOLUTION PASSED BY THE COMMITTEE OF THE CONGO REFORM 

ASSOCIATION AT A MEETING HELD ON 7tH JUNE, UNDER THE 

CHAIRMANSHIP OF EARL BEAUCHAMP, IN COMMITTEE ROOM NO. 12 

OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 

" That this Committee, in view of the increasing gravity of the 
position of affairs in the Upper Congo, where many British subjects 
are established, urges once more upon H. M. Government to exer- 
cise its rights of extra-territorial jurisdiction secured under treaty 
with the Congo Government ; and while expressing satisfaction with 
the appointment of two Vice-Consuls in the Upper Congo, strongly 
recommends that Coquilhatville be selected as the place of residence 
in addition to^ or instead of, Leopoldville." 

RESOLUTION PASSED AT A PUBLIC MBETIN© HELD IN HOLBORN 
TOWN HALL, ON 7tH JUNE. SIR HARRY JOHNSTON IN THE CHAIR. 

" That this meeting condemns the present system of personal 
rule established by the Sovereign of the Congo Independent State, 
and expresses its conviction that this system, which has resulted 
in an unrestricted claim over the produce of the soil, fails to fulfil 
the pledges in relation to the welfare of the natives given under 
the Berlin Act ; that this meeting desires to dissociate its condemna- 
tion of the existing rule in the Congo Independent State from any 



91 

aspersion on the Belgian people; that it invites the Bfelgian people 
to take up the administration of the Congo Independent State as 
a national task, respecting the legitimate rights of the natives of 
the soil and throwing open the whole of the basin of the Congo to 
international commerce, without undue restrictions; that in the 
event of the Belgian nation being unable or unwilling to assume 
this responsibility, this meeting considers it to be necessary that 
the Signatory Powers to the Berlin Act should, in concert with the 
United States of America, devise and put in force a scheme for the 
good government of the Congo Independent State, which shall fulfil 
the aspirations originally expressed by the representatives of the 
Powers assembled at the African Congress of Berlin." 



Foreign Office, 

22nd June, 1905. 

Sir, — I am directed by the Marquess of Lansdowne to acknow- 
ledge the receipt of your letter of 15th instant, forwarding copies 
of Resolutions passed at a meeting of the Committee of the Congo 
Reform Association on 7th instant, and at a public meeting held 
in Holbcrn Town Hall on the same day, and I am to inform you 
that the views expressed in these two Resolutions will be carefully 
borne in mind. 

I am at the same time to observe, with reference to the sugges- 
tion that a British Vice-Consul should be appointed to reside at 
Coquilhatville, that Leopoldville was adopted as a place of residence 
on the recommendation of the British Consul at Boma. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

(Sgd.) F. H. VILLIERS. 

E. D. Morel, Esq., 

Congo Reform Association, 

4, Oldhall Street, Liverpool. 



92 



27th June, 1905. 

To the Most Hon. the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G,, 
Foreign Office^ London. 

My Lord, — I beg to express my thanks for your Lordship's 
letter of 22nd instant. Might I venture respectfully to suggest, 
with regard to the question of the residence of the British Vice- 
Consul at Leopoldville, that it might perhaps be possible, pending 
the construction of a residence at that place, for the Vice-Consul to 
reside for a time in, or at any rate to pay a visit to, the Equateur 
district, especially the A.B.I.R. concession? I received, yesterday, 
further letters from that part of the Congo, bringing information 
down to 28th April, and although my correspondents make no 
further allusion to their own position, their letters contain distress- 
ing allusions to the condition of affairs in their neighbourhood, 
further corroboratingf their previous advices, the nature of which I 
had the honour of communicating to your Lordship on 31st May. 
The news from the neighbourhood of Baringa is particularly bad, 
and it is difficult to resist the conclusion thAt those in authority in 
that part of the country are deliberately using the interval pending 
the publication of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry, to 
force increasing quantities of india-rubber out of the people by any 
and every form of outrage and oppression. Mr. Harris sends me 
a copy of a letter he has written to the Gommissaire de District, 
describing the raid made by the soldiers of the A.B.I.R. from the 
post of Bamo upon the village of Bolumboloko, in the Nsongo 
district, which was accompanied by the usual incidents : murder, 
the carrying off of men, women and girls as hostages, wholesale 
looting, etc. Mr. Harris' letter is most detailed as to names, dates, 
etc., but I forbear to trouble your Lordship with them. I venture, 
however, to urge most respectfully that, apart from the question 
of the position in which British missionaries are placed in the 
A.B.I.R. territory, the visit of a British official to the A.B.I.R. 
territory might result in an alleviation of the terrible sufferings 
to which the native population is being subjected, in defiance of 



93 

promises and pledges, and of the visit of a Royal Commissioner, and 
despite the regulations laid down upon paper by the Commission 
of Inquiry. I may add, in conclusion, that information has been 
reaching me for some time past from non-missionary sources, to the 
effect that the state of affairs in the far interior of the concession, 
especially in the Upper Maringa, beyond Baringa, the Upper Lopori 
and the Tchuapa, is infinitely worse than that which has been 
revealed in the vicinity of the mission stations. 

Apologising for the length of this letter, 
I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's obedient servant, 

(Sgd.) E. D. MOREL, 

Hon. Secretary. 



Foreign Office, 

5th July, 1905. 

Sir, — I am directed by the Marquess of Lansdowne to acknow- 
ledge the receipt of your letter of 27th ultimo, and to thank you 
for the suggestion that the new British Vice-Consul at Leopoldville 
should, pending the construction of a residence there, pay a visit 
to the Equator district. His Lordship will give the matter his 
consideration, 

I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

(Sgd.) F. H. VILLIERS. 

E. D. Morel, Esq., 

Congo Reform Association, 

4, Oldhall Street, Liverpool. 



28th June, 1905. 

To the Most Hon. the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G., 
Foreign Office^ London. 

My Lord, — I beg to append herewith extract of letter received 
from the Rev. J. H. Harris, dated Baringa, 11th May. 

I also enclose extract of a letter from the Rev. A. E. Scrivener, 
of Bolobo, dated 10th May. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's obedient servant, 

(Sgd.J E. D. MOREL, 

Hon. Secretary. 

ENCLOSURES. 

Extract of Letter from Rev. A. E. Scrivener. 

" The witnesses I sent down to Boma last December, in connec- 
tion with the trial of Massard, are still there. (Tliey may be on 
their way up, but I think not.) I have written to the Director of 
Justice, beseeching him to use his best endeavours to bring about 
their speedy return to their homes. For the poor old Chief this 
long absence is very trying. One of the boys I sent down has died 
there." 

Extract of Letter from Rev. J. H. Harris. 

Referring to the alleged re-arrest of Messrs. Pilaet and 
Thomson, subordinate agents of the A.B.I.R., on fresh charges, 
Mr. Harris writes : 

" In these cases a hundred native witnesses have been 
asked for. This has had the effect of closing the mouths of all 
those aware of atrocities. In the case of a White man charged, 
all witnesses must go to Boma, which is equivalent to a White 
man going from Europe to China — different language, different 
food, different customs, etc. It is a monstrous iniquity, devised 
to conceal the truth and liberate the subordinate officials." 



Foreign Office, 

6th July, 1905. 

Sir, — I am directed by the Marquess of Lansdowne to acknow- 
ledge with thanks the receipt of your letter of the 28th ultimo, 
respecting the hardship involved in sending native witnesses to 
Boma to give evidence at the trials of White men. 

A copy of your letter has been sent to his Majesty's Minister 
at Brussels, with instructions to endeavour to ascertain from the 
Congo Government why such trials cannot be held at Bassankusu, 
in the A.B.I.R. concession, at which place it was understood by his 
Majesty's Government that a judge had recently been appointed 
to reside. 

I am. Sir, 
^ Your most obedient, humble servant, 

(Sgd.) F. H. VILLIERS. 
The Hon. Secretary, Congo Reform Association. 



96 



July 12th, 1905. 

The most Hon. the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G., 
Foreign Office^ London. 

My Lord, — I beg to enclose herewith a cutting from the 
Antwerp newspaper, La Tribune Congolaise, describing a tour of 
inspection by the Royal High Commissioner, M. Malfeyt, in the 
A.B.I.R. concession, where it would seem everything is satisfactory, 
the presence of " turbulent " missionaries alone interfering with the 
convenience of the Society. My chief object in venturing to draw 
your Lordship's attention to this account, is the evidence it displays 
of a desire to attribute sinister motives to the British missionaries 
residing on the A.B.I.R. concession, in the pursuance of their 
obvious duty of reporting to the local authorities the outrages and 
abuses which continue to take place. Denounced by many Belgian 
papers as " turbulent " and " political," and subjected to much 
unpleasantness from the representative of the A.B.I.R. Society 
locally, their position seems full of difficulty. The true state of 
affairs in the A.B.I.R. concession, described as satisfactory in the 
above referred to account, may be estimated by the letter written 
to the Commission of the Equateur District, by Mr. Harris, dated 
April 26th, describing a raid upon the Wala village of Bolumboloko, 
in the Nsongo district, a copy of which I beg to hand your Lordship 
herewith.* 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's obedient servant, 

(Sgd.) E. D. MOREL, 

Hon. Secretary. 



*TMs letter is given in Part III., C. 



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