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Full text of "Narrative of an exploring voyage up the rivers Kwóra and Bínue (commonly known as the Niger and Tsádda) in 1854. With a map and appendices. Pub. with the sanction of Her Majesty's government. By William Balfour Baikie"

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IN 1854. 









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The following " Narrative," which has been 
considerably delayed by various unlooked-for inter- 
ruptions, and which has been compiled during leisure 
intervals snatched from professional and other pur- 
suits, is simply a record of the observations and 
results of the exploring expedition up the rivers 
Kwora and Binue in 1854. In addition to what 
caine actually under our notice, I have endeavoured 
to record any interesting or useful information 
obtained regarding the little known regions of Central 
Africa. In an Appendix will be found various 
tables, lists, and documents, not of general interest, 
and therefore excluded from the body of the Avork, 
but at hand to be referred to by those concerned in 
such topics. I have been carefid to note any tradi- 
tions regarding the early history of the different 
tribes, as though at present they are of comparatively 


viii PREFACE. 

little value, the time will come when these apparently 
trifling stories will he sought after with as much 
avidity, as the historical antiquary of our own country 
eagerly culls any legends or tales relating to those 
ages when our Teutonic or Keltic progenitors, 
barbarous and unlettered, were not a whit more 
advanced than many of the Ethiopian races of the 
present day. 

All native proper names throughout the volume 
have been written in conformity with the alphabet 
printed in the Appendix, every letter being sounded, 
and the vowels having the powers given to them 
in Italian. To prevent confusion the only mark 
employed has been simply one over the accented 

In computing distances two very diff'erent reckon- 
ings are employed. One is the long day's journey, 
from sunrise to sunset, or from fifteen to twenty-five 
miles, twenty being an average, equal to about fifteen 
or sixteen miles made good on horizontal space. 
The other is the short day's journey, from sunrise to 
about noon, or from eight to twelve or fourteen 
miles, ten being perhaps the nearest average, which 
may represent eight miles of actual progress. 



I have felt obliged often to be more personal than 
I could have desired, and to allude to disputes and 
to differences over which I would gladly have thrown 
a veil; but as these matters have lately been made 
the subject of judicial proceedings, I have mentioned 
them, partly in my own defence, partly to show 
why the success of the Expedition was not more 
complete than it was, and also that future exploring 
parties might be aware of and so avoid the various 
stumbling-blocks which so often tended to impede 
our progress. 

Two works have already appeared regarding our 
Voyage. One, proceeding from a most estimable 
individual, is in the form of a short jomiial, referring 
more especially to the prospects for missionary 
efforts, while the other seems rather to relate the 
private opinions and individual experiences of a 
member of the party, than to contain an account 
of the Expedition. It is hoped that the present 
one, which aims at being more detailed than its 
predecessors, will satisfy any anxiety which may 
be felt about the once dreaded " Niger," or con- 
cerning the rude natives around ; and if it serves 
in any degree to excite a warmer feeling towards 


the ill-treated African, to claim a small degree of 
attention for ricli but neglected regions, or to 
stimulate further enquiries and explorations, the 
writer will consider his labours not to have been 
altogether in vain. 

Haslar Hospital, 

20\'A Mud, 135!}. 





Theobies regarding the course of the Kwdra — African explorers — 
Dr. Earth's discovei'y of the Upper Binue — The " Pleiad " — Mr. 
Beecroft 1 — G 



Departure from Plymouth — Bay of Biscay — Towing nets — Oceanic 
captures — Funchal — Quarantine — Santa Cruz — Torch Fishing — 
Peak of TenerifFe — North East Trades — Flying-fishes — Petrels — 
Cape de Vei'de — Goree— Wolofs — Bathurst — Tornado — Sien-a Leone 
— Inhabitants — The " Pleiad " — Monrovia — Southern Cross — Cape 
Coast Castle — A marriage — Mr. Beecroft's death — Akri — Lagos — 
Surf — Sharks — Mr. Crowther — Old Kalabilr — Cameroon — Fernando 
Po — New arrangements — Mr. May — Arrival of the "Pleiad" — Dr. 
Bleek — Preparations 7—30 



Leave Clarence — Nun Mouth — Sea on the bar — Repairs — Alburkah 
Islands — Mangroves — Richard's Creek — Sunday Island — Oru Vil- 
lages — Angicima —Again agi'ound — Wdri branch— Abo — ^Aliheli — 
Tshiikuma — ^Visits — Pi-esents — Natives alarmed — Ladies' oi-naments 
—Kola Nuts 31-50 





Bullock Island — Ossamard — Hippopotami — Onitshd and Asabct — Sand- 
bank — Ada-Mugu — Round huts — Iddil cliffs — A'boko's party — Iddi 
politics — Camp on English Island — Court of the Att^ — Reception 
ceremonies — Yisitoi's — Igdi-a — Language — Edo — Ivory — Volcanic 
blocks — Bird-Rock — Okiri — Moonlight at Iroko — Mounts Franklin 
and Crozier — Igbegbe — A'ma A'boko — The Confluence — The " Dark 
Water " — Odokodo — Hdusa — Biuue — Adamdwa — Model-farm — 
Sacrifice-Rock — Visit to Mount Pilte — Panorama — Trade— Des- 
patches — Baobabs — O'gbe's jug — "White Ants' nests — Leave the 
Confluence — A'tipo — Purchase wood — A'ma-A'boko's messengers 
— Hai-riet Island — Lander's Seat — Mount Vidal — Oldfield Range 
— Yimah^ — I'gbira — Panda — Fulatas — Plague of Flies — Kdnde — 
Sets of observations — Continuance of health — Dispute with a Croco- 
dile — A'batsho — Pdnda refugees — Diflliculties — Soundings — Consul- 
tation — Changes in the Ministry .... . 51 — 93 



Early start — Ofi" Eruko — Dc4gbo — Admiralty Archipelago — D6ma 
Hills — A'kpoko — Royal Interview — Sir John Richardson's Islands — 
Isabella Island — Troublesome Navigation — O'jogo — Two White 
Strangers'? — Embassy to Ke^na — Wood-cutting — Mitshi — Rejected 
friendship — Mr. May alarms the Court — Deputations — Doma 
Cookery — New Lights — Fresh Plans — AVoodeu Leg— Ddma History 
— O'jogo Habits — Iron Monej' — Juvenile Game — False Gavial — 
Trade canoe sent to the Confluence — Dearth in the Sugar-Market^ 
Rogan-Koto — Clarendon Island — Moimt Beecroft — Washington 
Island — Ellesmere Range —Mounts Latham and Christison — Mount 
Adams — Mount Tr^nabie — Mount Traill — Nu— Kororofa — Terror 
of the Natives— Martial Meeting— Alarm of Kruboys— G^ndiko — 
Pulbe — Djuku — Zhibu — Grand Pi-ocession — Distinguished Recep- 
tion — Moslemin — Fdro — Abundance of Ivory . . . 94 — 134 



Mount Humboldt— Temporary Sails — Evening ^Meeting with Hippo- 
potami — Mount Forbes — Albemarle Range — Akam — Strong Cur- 
rent — Green Wood — Direction of Tornadoes — Attack on a huge tree 
— Interruption by a Leopard — Mosquitoes — Fumbina Mountains — 


Zliiru — Rise of the River — Zoological Treasures — S;(raki 'n Hdusa — 
Cut "Wood under difficulties — An Embassy Despatched — Gurowa — 
Miiri Mountains — Bak 'n Dutshi — Wa — Mr. Crowther's Return — 
The Sultan's Letter — Start for Hamaruwa — Arrival — Congratulations 
— Supper — Heavy Dew — Rain — Ptilbe — Dress and Ornaments — 
Henna — Geographical Examination — "Written Charms — The Sultan's 
Palace — Grand Interview — Reciprocity of Sentiment — Attired in 
Tobes — Return — March in Detachments — Arboreal Night Quarters 
— Feline Attendants and Feathered Companions — Astronomical 
Studies — Bad Roads — Breakfast at Wuzu — Trade — Eccentric Rain- 
bow — Scurvy — Struck by Lightning — Boat Cruise — Tsbdmo — 
Hunting Relics — Bdibai — Surprise an Elephant — Flooded Banks — 
Sunset at Ldu — Mount Laird — Pleiad Island — Wild Hunters — 
River Horses — Djin— Cause a Sensation — Too Pressing Attentions — 
Night-melodies — Fishing Station — Fresh Breeze — Mountainous 
Country — Mount Gabriel — Dulti — "Village under AVater — Astonish- 
ment of the Natives — People become curious — Huse de Guerre — 
Rapid Retreat — Dulti Regatta — Terror of the Krumen — The Race 
"Won 135—200 



Apology for Dulti — " Ne plus ulti-a" — Anticipated Cannibalism — Djln 
again — Fluviatile bo-peep ! — Bdndawa — Magnificent Thunder-storm 
— Fortunate Position — Morning Exploit — Mount Eleanor — "Pleiad" 
again Missing — Farewell to Gurowa — Take Stock — Regrets — Resume 
the Survej' — Fan Palms — River still Rising — Devious Channels — 
Submerged Country — Genuine Exploring Trip — No Land in Sight 
— Dead Lioness — Signs of a Deluge — Amphibious Aborigines 1 — 
Regain the River — " Dere de Ship " — " Pleiad " hard and fast — Suc- 
cessful efforts — Bc^utshi Slaver — " Kantai " — Prices of Slaves and of 
Horses— Scurvy Continues — Measures — Causes . . . 201 — 22'.: 



Zhibii — King surly — The Monarch bearded in his Hall — Diplomacy — 
Prevented from visiting Wukdri— The Galadima — Saraki 'n Doki — 
River Mlvag—Polypterus — Crowther Island — Gtlndiko— "Varieties of 
Corn — Kigelia — A'ny ishi — Rapid Current — Route to Wukiiri- -Lead- 
ore— Mutshi—Rdgan-Koto—Onuse —Good Fuel— Irihu— O'jogo — 



rick up tlie Messengers — No Dr. Earth — Zuri troublesome — Recom- 
peuce to O'rabo— Suspected Slave — Visit from King of A'kpoko 
— White Cock — Diigbo — Extreme Heat — Zozo — Bloodthirsty- 
Mosquitoes— Eruko— Palm-nut Oil — Magnificent Palisade— Archi- 
tectural Remains— Huge Pipes— AlihdU's Friend — Pulbe Attack — 
Mr. May visits Ik(^reku — A'batsho— Detection and Ransom of a 
Slave Boy— Amardn — Hear of our Canoe— Sun's Meridian Altitude 
— Yimahd— Call on the new King — Blacksmith's Forge — I'gbira 
History— Redeeming Captives — Monkey Bi-ead-frnit — " Big-man of 
O'gba "—Duck Islands 223— 2C4 



Changes — Sickness in the Canoe — A'ma-A'boko rather cool — Explana- 
tions — Nupe — Kak^nda — Bdsa — Bonii — Ishdbe — Brisk Trade — 
Large Market — Zuri's felonious attempt — Grand " palaver " at the 
Palace — Anti-slavery Lecture — Mr. May's Ascent of Mount Pdte — 
Huge yams — Agricultural implements — Gigantic Baobab — Arabic 
MSS. — Stamboul — Symbolical letter — Departure — Pyrotechnic 
phenomenon — Beaufort Island — Ehimodina and Okeyin — More 
ivory — I'gbira-Shima — Iddd — Threatened Tornado — Aliheli's story 
— Promised bullock — Wild festival — Iddd declining — Igara tradi- 
tions — I'gbo cloth — Musical band — Ado river — A'da-mugu — 
Muskets — Signs of confidence — Commercial transactions — A'ra 
mats— Utu 205—292 



Indm — Nsugbe — Prices of muskets — Asabd — Acoustic instruments — 
Palm wine — Warrior's tokens — Onitshd — E'lugu — Ossamare — 
Isu£[ma — Lilliputian canoes— Muddy town — Ndoni — Abo — Simon 
Jonas — Stray tea-chest— Mr, Carr's murder — -Ddsaba's march — 
Alihdli paid off — Visit from Aje and most of the royal family — 
Crowded decks — Animated discussion — Shower bath — Health 
improving — Provisions nearly consumed — Farewell to Aje — 
Malaghetta pepper — I'gbo divisions — 'Itshi or Mbrltshi — A'ro— 
Shrine of Tshuku — Religion — Orisa — Rites — Djii-dju trees — 
Kamdllo — Igwikdlla — Funeral ceremonies— I'gbo week — Food — 
Price of slaves — Agbdri — Pilgrim from A'ro — Recognition of a 
mosquito— Mist among the trees — Angidma — Sickly stench — Buy 



wood — Advise the King — Doctor's shop — Attack on Lander — 
Anchor off Baracoou Point — Prepare for sea — Mr. May's visit to the 
Brass river — Distressed British subjects — Nimbe — Kwora hygiene — 
Quinine 293—328 



Palm Point — No breakers — Crossing the Bar — Three passages — Meet 
a schooner — First news — Round Cape BuUen — Fire a salute — Hear 
of the Battle of Alma — Kruboys' rejoicings — Leave the " Pleiad " — 
King Peppel — Bonny news — New Kalabdr — Rio Formoso — Bini — 
Cede — Agato — Belzoni'a papers — S6bo — Tsh^keri — Ijebus — J6- 
meu — Salt- wood — Baion — Bdti — Yiila — Value of Fernando Po — 
Invasion of Spanish priests 329 — 3 19 



Leave Clarence — Aground in the Cameroons — Duke Town — Mr. 
Anderson — E'fik — Kwd — Mbrukim — Ordeal bean — Captain Lewis — 
Kantoro — Okuloma — King Dappa — Cannibalism — Trust system — 
Commercial association — Different modes of reckoning — Disturb- 
ances at Bonny — Mr. Crowther's return to Yoruba — Joined by the 
Bishop and Archdeacon — Abadayigi — Ashdnti — Conversation with 
Bishop Vidal — MItshi boy — Akrd, — Cape Coast Castle — Governor 
Hill — Cape Palmas — Kru country — Monrovia — Illness and death 
of the Bishop — Sad Christmas — Water-spout — Sierra Leone — 
Repairs — Interviews with natives — Coffee — Exports — Vexatious 
regulations— Bathurst official — Gor6e — Snowclad Peak of Teneriffe 
— Trophies in the Cathedral at Santa Cruz — Rough weather — Fun- 
chal— Gale of wind— Arrival at Plymouth . . . .350—384 



Results of the voyage— Slave trade — African squadron — Piracy — 
Pulo alliance — Further expeditions — African languages — Late 
travellers — Incentives to renewed exertions .... 385 — 397 


■< PACK 

Appendix A. — Description of the " Pleiad " — Admiralty Instructions 
— Mr. Laird's Instructions — Correspondence— Native African Treaty 399 

Appendix B. — Various Forms of Currency .... 416 — 417 

Appendix C— Philological 417 — 425 

Appendix D. — Geographical 425—450 

Appendix E. — Ethnological 450 — 452 

Appendix F. — Natural History 452 

Appendix G. — Medical 452 — 455 

Appendix H. — Commercial 455 — 456 


View of the " Pleiad " Frontispiece. 

Prince Tshukuma On Title-page. 

Plans op the " Pleiad " To face p. 399. 

Map At the end. 





From the days of Herodotus to very recent times 
the theories which have been brought forward 
regarding the course and distribution of the Kwora, 
or Niger, have been ahke numerous and varied. 
Geographers, both ancient and modern, have exerted 
their utmost ingenuity in endeavouring to solve the 
mystery ; and, according as they beheved in the 
westward or eastward course of the river, ranged 
themselves into two parties, the one pointing to the 
Senegal and the Gambia as the mouths of this 
mighty stream, while the other either conducted it 
through Lake Tsad to join the Nile, or else led it by 
a long and dreary route to be identified with the 
Congo. It certainly appears singular that, until a 
comparatively recent date, no one even hinted at its 
real termination. The numerous large bodies of 



fresh water falling into the bights of Benin and 
Biafra have for long been familiarly known, yet their 
source was never enquired after ; and although very 
slight consideration Avould have shown that, evidently 
closely connected as all these are, they niust flow 
from some great river in the interior, it was not 
until 1808, that Reichard, judging from the vast 
amount of alluvial deposits, first suggested the Rio 
Formoso as the outlet of the Kwora, an idea since 
proved to be partially true. Major Laing and 
Captain Clapperton also believed in the discharge of 
its waters into the Bight of Benin, the former 
selecting the Rio Volta for the purpose, while the latter 
hypothesised an opening to the eastward of Lagos. 
But by no one was the enquiry pursued more 
zealously or more shrewdly than by Mr. Macqiieen, 
who, having collected a vast amount of evidence on 
the subject, recommended, in 1829, a carefid exami- 
nation of the rivers between the Rio Formoso and 
Old Kalabar. It must have been highly gratifying 
to this veteran geographer, whose knowledge of 
Central Africa is probably unsurpassed, to find only 
two years afterwards his supposition verified by the 
splendid exploit of the Landers, who, at the expense 
of so much risk and suffering, navigated the Kwora 
from Yauri to the sea, thereby proving the exist- 
ence of an available water communication with the 
heart of the African continent. Their discovery was 
quickly seized on in England, and the enterprise 
of Liverpool merchants speedily fitted out a small 


expedition for conimercial and geographical purposes. 
This attempt, chiefly from climacteric causes, ended 
unfortunately : a spirited and graphic account of its 
discoveries and its disasters was published by two of 
the survivors, Mr. Macgregor Laird and Mr. Oldfield, 
while their companion. Captain (then Lieutenant) 
W. Allen, surveyed and compiled a chart of their adven- 
turous route, which extended along the main stream 
as far as Rabba, and likewise upwards of eighty 
miles up a previously unknown large affluent, the 
Tsadda. The misfortunes met with by these pioneers 
did not afford much encouragement for further 
trials, and no attempt of any magnitude was made 
until 1841, when the Government fitted out three 
steamers, specially built for the purpose. This expe- 
dition was intended to carry out, besides extended 
research, various philanthropic but ill-matured 
schemes. Its ill success, with its fearful amount of 
sickness and loss of life, still fresh in our memories, 
tended greatly to confirm the conviction of the 
deadly nature of the cHmate. The Kwora was 
also ascended by the late Mr. Beecroft, in one of 
the steamers of the West African Company, in 
1836, and again by the same gentleman in the 
" vEthiope," a steam vessel belonging to Mr. Jamie- 
son of Liverpool, in 1840 and in 1845, on one of 
which occasions he entered and explored the branch 
running by Wari. 

Such is a brief outline of the previous efforts to 
investigate and explore this river, and though induce- 

B 2 


merits to perseverance were far from wanting, still 
no one, reflecting on the great probable sacrifice of 
European life, cared about taking the responsibility of 
advising another attempt. But in 1852 the question 
was again started, in consequence of intelligence 
received from Dr. Barth, who, the sole but still un- 
daunted survivor of a party which had two years before 
crossed the Great Desert, had boldly jom-neyed to the 
southward, to endeavour to reach the province of 
Adamawa. On the 18th of June, 1851, he crossed a 
large stream, named the Binue, which, from the 
information he received from the natives, he con- 
jectm^ed to be the upper part of the river hitherto 
known to Europeans as the Tsadda. To ascertain 
this point, the present expedition was principally 
destined, the two objects specially mentioned in the 
Admiralty instructions being, first to explore the river 
Tsadda from Dagbo, the point reached by Allen 
and Oldfield in 1833, as far to the eastward as 
possible : secondly, to endeavour to " meet and afford 
assistance " to Drs. Barth and Vogel. To promote 
these designs, the Admiralty entered into a contract 
with Mr. Macgregor Laird, to build and equip a 
suitable vessel. Mr. Laird, having, as already 
mentioned, been himself up the Kwora, and having 
always been closely connected with African trade, and 
taken a most lively interest in everything tending to 
improve or benefit this region, was on these accounts, 
as well as on that of his great general experience and 
foresight, the very person best suited for planning and 


giving effect to such an undertaking. Accordingly 
an iron screw schooner was built at Birkenhead, in 
the yard of Mr. John Laird, and, on being launched, 
received the name of the " Pleiad." She was of 
260 tons measurement, 100 feet in length, with 
24 feet beam, and her engine was of 60 horse-power. 
Her draught of water when laden was 7 feet, or 
6 feet when in ordinary trim. A sailing-master, 
surgeon, officers, and crew were provided for her by 
Mr. Laird, and it was arranged that she should be 
sent to Fernando Po, where the officers appointed by 
government should join. The peculiar features of 
this expedition were, first, the employment of as few 
white men as possible ; secondly, entering and 
ascending the river with the rising waters, or during 
the rainy season ; and lastly, it was anticipated that 
the use of quinine, as a prophylactic or preventive, 
would enable the Europeans to withstand the 
influence of the climate. Mr. Laird, being per- 
mitted by his agreement with the Admiralty to trade 
with the natives whenever it was practicable, provided 
a well-assorted cargo, and sent out persons specially 
to attend to this branch. The. " Pleiad " having 
made a very satisfactory trial trip across the Irish 
Channel, finally took her departure from Dublin on 
the 20th of May, 1854. 

The conduct of the expedition was entrusted to 
Mr. Beecroft, Her Majesty's Consul at Pernando Po, 
than whom no one had more experience of African 
exploration, or could be in all respects better adapted 


for such a responsible post. I was appointed medical 
officer and naturalist, and was to have been accom- 
panied by another assistant-surgeon, Mr. J. W. D. 
Brown, but on the breaking out of the war, his 
services were required in the Baltic. Subsequently 
it was arranged that Dr. W. Bleek, a German 
ethnologist, who had paid much attention to African 
philology, shoidd proceed with me; and having received 
our instructions, and being amply provided with 
instruments and other appliances by the Hydro- 
graphical Office, we hurried our preparations for 
leaving England by the African mail packet. 



Accompanied by Dr. Bleek and a young man 
whom I took with me as zoological assistant, I left 
Plymouth by the " Porerunner " packet on the 
24th of May, IS 54, and with moderate weather, apd 
a tolerably fair wind, soon crossed the Channel, and 
reached the Bay of Biscay. The " Porerunner " 
being a very fast screw vessel, we made rapid pro- 
gress, while from our complement of passengers being 
full, our time on board passed away very agreeably. 
I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of 
several " Africans," * among whom was Mr. Louis 
Eraser, one of the survivors of the expedition in 1841. 
On two occasions, tempted by the smoothness of the 
water, I threw my towing-nets overboard, hoping to 
waylay some rare pelagian voyager, but from the rate 
at which we were going, from eight to nine knots, 
nearly lost all my gear. One evening, when about 
a hundred miles to the northward of Madeira, some- 
thing went wrong with the machinery, to repair which 

* A name familiarly given to all engaged in African trade, or who have 
resided much on the west coast of Africa. 


the engines had to be stopped for some hours. The 
wind being very Hght, we did not go under sail more 
than two knots, so I remained up most of the night 
with my towing-net, in expectation of intercepting 
some crepuscular pteropod or other oceanic resident, 
but only succeeded in capturing some minute tuni- 
caries and acalephs. Many of the latter were highly 
phosphorescent, so much so, that by holding three or 
four near my watch, I was enabled to see the hour. 
Herds of sportive porpoises playing around us clearly 
intimated that we were approaching warmer latitudes, 
and, at length, on the morning of the 30th, we came 
in sight of Porto Santo, and shortly afterwards of 
Madeira. By the forenoon, after a quick passage of 
less than six days, we were at anchor in Funchal 
roads, admiring the steep acclivities and ravines so 
beautifully clad with verdure, and wondering at the 
strange contrast between the bright sea and sunny 
scenes near us, with the dark clouds settling over 
the top of the island, and frowning ominously upon 
us. No sooner was the anchor down than all the 
passengers, many of whom had never previously per- 
formed such a lengthened sea-voyage, or been so long 
out of sight of land, prepared for an excursion on 
shore, and anxiously waited for the moment when 
the vessel should be admitted to pratique. But to 
our surprise and dismay, the health-boat had no 
sooner reached alongside, than we found ourselves 
convicted of gross ignorance, and received important 
information on a topic, which we had neglected 


enquiring into before leaving England. This was, 
that cholera existed in Glasgow, and therefore the 
sanitary magnates, considering that our transit across 
twelve hundred miles of the Atlantic had been too 
rapid to allow us to have got rid of the foul infection, 
considerately forbade our leaving the ship, and placed 
us in quarantine. Vain were remonstrances, pro- 
tests, entreaties ; the authorities had the latest and 
most accurate intelligence, and, moreover, they had 
all the power on their side. Consequently, the one 
passenger for Eunchal was transferred, under a strict 
guard, to the miserable Lazarretto, and the ship was 
surrounded by boats bearing villanous yellow flags. 
Coal-barges came alongside, and commenced dis- 
charging their cargo ; boats with articles for sale 
crowded around, and speedily a brisk traffic sprung 
up. Bunches of cherries were speedily bought up 
at sixpence each ; and baskets, mats, and straw hats 
were in great demand. Our steward speculated 
largely in these latter, for which he gave a shilling 
a-piece, intending to sell them down the coast at 
half-a-crown, or more if possible. In making pur- 
chases when in quarantine, buyers can only examine 
an article by sight, as no sooner do they touch it, 
than whether they like it or not, they must keep it, — 
ay, and pay well for it too. It is a singular example 
of the foresight of the original framers of quarantine 
law, that money can always be easily passed from the 
affected to the non-affected party. Thus, while indi- 
viduals and property of all descriptions must undergo 


long detention, and purifications by fumigations, 
steaming baths, &c., the contagious property of coin 
is held to be immediately destroyed by simply passing 
it through water ; and so when a purchase has been 
effected, the seller concludes by holding up a small 
cup or other vessel, containing Avater, into which the 
money is allowed to drop ; and this custom prevails 
irrespective of country, whether the port be Portu- 
guese, Spanish, ItaUan, Greek, or Turkish. But 
more seriously speaking, these quarantine absurdities 
are made extremely vexatious, as well as expensive to 
those who suffer from them. 

In the present instance, not to mention merely the 
inconvenience, the owners of the packet had to pay for 
the keep of the coal-heavers for some eight or ten 
days after our departure, — an outlay which would not 
be grumbled at were there even a shadow of a reason 
alleged, but most annoying and unjust when enforced 
in this arbitrary and needless manner. Considering 
how much Madeira depends for its prosperity on 
English trade, the Portuguese, one would suppose, 
ought to be rather more considerate. Leaving 
Madeira about sunset, we sighted Teneriffe next 
afternoon, and about eleven at night anchored off 
Santa Cruz. The little bay was at this time lighted 
up by fishing-boats, which at night make use of large 
flaming torches, to attract the fish. The water here 
being very deep, we had to anchor not far from the 
shore, and although we were in quarantine, a mare 
belonging to a relation of the governor's was admitted 


to pratique, by being made to swim ashore, while 
the harness was landed without any ceremony. 
TenerifFe, after Madeira, looks barren and arid ; the 
ravines and the sides of the mountains being com- 
paratively unclad with vegetation, and the whole 
country around having a more sun-dried appearance. 
Santa Cruz itself stands on level ground along the 
shore; and, from the anchorage, seems a compact 
and regular town, the most conspicuous building 
being the cathedral, the Iglesia de la Concepcion. 
Along the sides of the steep acclivities around, stone 
parapets have been raised, and the spaces between 
these and the face of the mountain being filled with 
soil, level patches have been formed, fitted for culti- 
vation, while it gives to the hills the general appear- 
ance of a succession of terraces. Here we looked in 
vain for the celebrated Peak, but could distinguish 
nothing amidst the mists and clouds which then 
enveloped it. But a few hours afterwards we were 
more fortunate, as, when some fifteen or sixteen miles 
from the land, the sky cleared up and afforded us a 
magnificent prospect. We were far enough off to 
have a good outline view of the entire island, and 
along its steep hills the lights and shadows were 
beautifully apparent through the mellow atmosphere 
of a fine afternoon, while, towering high towards the 
heavens, the Peak raised its lofty head, the summit 
showing in clear relief against the blue sky, and half- 
way down a solitary stratum of cloud, partially encir- 
cling the mountain, gave additional eff'ect to the scene. 


After leaving Teneriffe we ran towards the coast 
of Africa, with the N.E. trades, carrying with us 
delightful weather. Shoals of flying-fishes surrounded 
us, amusing us with their glittering flights. Rising in 
various numbers, from half-a-dozen to fifty or sixty at a 
time, they pursued courses of different lengths, but 
seldom exceeding eighty or a hundred yards. Many 
flew on board of us, where they were of course speedily 
captured, and finally transferred to tlie cook ; one, 
in its heedless course, struck a lady passenger, who 
was walking on the poop, with such force as nearly 
to throw her down. These fish generally rise from 
the surface with the wind either a-head or a-beam, 
but once up they can turn in different directions, 
though not at a sharp angle. Petrels, too, now 
began to follow in our wake, skimming along the 
surface, or, more rarely, resting for a moment on the 
crest of a wave ; active little creatures, busily engaged 
in picking up small objects. So incessantly are they 
thus occupied that it cannot be merely on matters 
dropt overboard that they thus luxuriate ; but most 
probably their bill of fare includes also various minute 
oceanic existences. The species seemed to be that 
known as the Fork-tailed Petrel,* which is common 
in the North Atlantic. Early in the morning hardly 
any are to be seen, but after sunrise they may be 
observed coming up, either singly or in small parties, 
and they attain their maximum number shortly 
before sunset, after which time they begin gradually 

* Thalassldroma Leaclni. 


and mysteriously to disappear. After entering the 
trades the weather, which between Madeira and the 
Canaries had been close and rather oppressive, became 
much cooler, and a heavy dew fell at night. On the 
fourth day after leaving Santa Cruz we got our first 
peep at the African continent. Cape de Verde ap- 
pearing in sight. What this celebrated headland 
may have been in the days of its early Portuguese 
explorers I know not, but to us, now-a-days, it seemed 
to have been named on the Incus a non lucendo 
principle, viz., because not a vestige of green could be 
seen about it. About five o'clock in the afternoon we 
anchored off Goree, and having got two hours' leave, 
most of the passengers visited the shore. Goree is a 
little barren island, only a few miles from the main- 
land, from which it derives most of its supplies. 
Towards the sea, where it rises some thirty or forty 
feet, is placed a fort, not overstrong, but sufficiently 
so to keep the neighbouring tribes in awe, and to act 
as a military depot. On requesting permission to 
visit this fortress we were most politely received, and 
a French officer kindly volunteered to conduct us 
over the place. On returning we walked through the 
market-place, where we first met with a negro popu- 
lation, here principally composed of Wolofs,* a race 
to which I shall afterwards more particularly allude. 

Next morning, while off the mouth of the Gambia, 
we encountered a slight tornado, the first one of the 

* Often incorrectly named Jolofs, ■Vvhich is merely the name of one 
portion of the Wolof tei'ritory. — Vide Koelle's " Polyglotta Africana/' p. 16. 


season, as we afterwards learnt, marking the com- 
mencement of the rains. This delayed us somewhat 
in threading onr way through the intricate entrance 
to the river : but bv nine o'clock we were at anchor 
off Bathurst. The weather had by this time cleared 
up, and was succeeded by most scorching heat, which 
over the low, sandy vicinity of the town was most 
oppressively felt. Bathurst, though a thriving settle- 
ment and the seat of a considerable trade, is by no 
means a desirable residence. Placed on the flat, 
alluvial deposit at the mouth of the Gambia, it has 
nothing to relieve the eye or to beautify the scene, 
and in the rainy season is partially flooded. The 
barracks and the military hospital are placed near the 
shore, so as to catch every vestige of the sea-breeze, 
which is here invaluable. Further along are low ex- 
tensive mangrove swamps, indicative of everything 
except health and dry soil. Bathurst is a military 
station, several companies of one of the West India 
regiments being always kept there ; and about 140 
miles up the river is another smaller depot, on 
Macarthy's Island.* A few days afterwards, when off 
Sierra Leone, I had a good opportunity of watching 
the advance and progress of one of the tornadoes, 
which, along this part of the coast, always blow off 
shore. It made its appearance in the shape of a 
dense black cloud between us and the land, and 

* The native population of Bathurst consists chiefly of Wdlofs and of 
Mand^ngas ; the latter, with the exception of the Pdlo tribes, by far the 
most advanced of the Central African races. 


extended about one-sixth along the horizon. At first 
it seemed to be crossing our course, and to be passing 
a-head of us, but suddenly its direction altered, 
and it spread, upwards towards the zenith. Presently 
the cloud arched beneath, leaving visible a little bit 
of gray sky, after which the dark mass rapidly ap- 
proached. A white line of foam preceded, and just 
before this reached us, everything was, for an instant, 
still as death. Soon, however, the scene completely 
changed, the storm had. burst upon us, and the 
fierce gale was accompanied by tremendous rain, 
the drops of which, like hail, caused the face and 
hands to smart. Thunder and lightning were absent, 
but the fury of the tempest lasted for upwards of 
an hour, during which time the violence of the rain 
beat down the waves, but as soon as this began to 
abate, an angry, cross sea sprung up. We had been, 
early in the morning, going from nine to ten knots ; 
but the force of the gale speedily reduced our rate to 
three. These tornadoes, fortunately, always give 
good warning, and consequently seldom do much 
mischief. I afterwards encountered many, much 
more severe, and also more grand and terrific, but 
none ever left the same impression as this, the first 
one I ever witnessed. 

Our arrival at Sierra Leone was at night, so 
that it was not until the following day that I 
could form any idea of this notable spot. When, 
however, next morning, at sunrise, I got a good 
view, I could not help being struck with the extreme 


beauty of the situation ; nor could I fancy that 
such a lovely place could have proved so fatal 
to Eiu-opean life. Freetown is built on sloping 
ground running down to the river-side, and covers 
an extensive area. The houses are clean-looking 
and well built, and the streets are laid out with much 
regularity. Close to the river are various large 
piles of buildings, chiefly store-houses ; nearly in the 
centre St. George's Cathedral towers over the sur- 
rounding edifices ; crowning a considerable eminence 
behind, are situated the barracks ; stretching along 
to the right are Kru-town, and various settlements 
of civilised Africans ; while on the extreme left, at 
Fourah Bay, stands the Church Missionary College. 
I experienced much hospitality from the merchant 
residents, in particular from Mr. Oldfield, one of the 
pioneers of Niger discovery, and Mr. C. Heddle, 
than whom few have done more towards developing 
the resources of Western Africa. Mr. Oldfield had 
selected well-qualified interpreters for the expedition, 
adapted for the different languages we were most 
likely to meet with, viz., I'gbo, Yoruba, Haussa, 
Nupe, and Bornuese or Kanuii. Sierra Leone is an 
exceedingly busy, bustling place. The anchorage 
is usually well stocked with trading-vessels of all 
sizes and of various nations, shipping or discharging 
valuable cargoes : numerous boats and canoes are 
constantly plying to and fro ; along the shore are 
groups of boatmen, porters, and other labourers : 
hurrying along the principal streets may be seen 


substantial coloured traders, often with a train of 
followers : tlie shops are filled with eager purchasers, 
the market-place in the earlier part of the day is 
thronged ; while out by Kissy pours from morning 
till night, backwards and forwards, an incessant 
stream of people. Not a tribe exists from Bornii 
or Adamawa to Timbuktu or Senegambia, which is 
not here represented ; not a race, from the coast of 
Guinea to Barbary, which does not contribute its 
quota to the multitude. As various, too, are the 
numerous costumes, from the ample turban and 
flowing tobe of the Mandenga or Piilo Moslem, to 
the more tight-fitting, European garments worn by 
the liberated African, or from the scanty clothing 
of some remote aborighial, to the semi-nautical style 
of the sea-faring Kruman. But it is on Sunday 
that the stranger will be chiefly surprised. Then 
labour is entirely suspended, the places of worship 
are numerously attended, and the entire population 
appears clad in its best and most showy attu-e, 
free vent being given to the passion for bright 
colours and fine dress. In Krutown alone, where 
the inhabitants retain their Pagan practices, is any- 
thing else to be witnessed, as there, Sunday evening 
is devoted to amusement, and dancing to rude music 
winds up their holiday. 

On the morning of the 13th of June, a small 
steamer made her appearance, and on her anchoring 
near us, we discovered her to be the " Pleiad " from 
Madeira, which had called in to coal, and to ship 


some native seamen. We left the same afternoon, 
and the " Pleiad " was to be ready by the next 
day; and we calculated that as we should have 
numerous detentions, while her only stoppage would 
be on the Kru coast, to procure a supply of Kru- 
men, we should both reach Fernando Po about the 
same time. 

Our next place of call was at Monrovia, the 
capital of the Liberian republic ; but here, as our 
stay did not exceed a few hours, and there was a 
very heavy sea on the bar, I did not land. I was 
not a little astonished at seeing a native jump out 
of his canoe several times, and swim about unharmed, 
though three or four large sharks were visible in 
the immediate neighbom-hood. The English consul, 
Mr. Newnham, who was just convalescing from an 
attack of remittent fever, joined us here, to try to 
improve his health by a cruise round the Bights. 
By this time we were so far south, that the northern 
constellations were gradually sinking from our view, 
and the Pole Star itself became lost in the mist 
above the horizon. These were replaced by various 
brilliant representatives, among which, shining as 
brightly and as benignly as when first devoutly 
gazed on by its pious namers, the Southern Cross 
held brilhant position in the tropical sky. 

The rainy season had now well set in, and we had 
frequent heavy showers, and occasional squaUs. On 
the morning of Sunday the 18th of June, we arrived 
at Cape Coast Castle, where one of our lady pas- 


sengers left us, and by eleven o'clock the same fore- 
noon she was married to one of the officers of the Fort, 
for which pm-pose she had courageously undertaken 
this trying voyage. I landed here through the surf, 
and after having had a look at the place, dhied with 
Mr. Hutton, representative of a firm which had for 
many years caiiied on along the coast a most extensive 
trade, and whose magnificent and most comfortable 
residence both surprised and gratified me. 

During dinner we were waited on by five or six 
nice clean-looking children, whose history is rather 
singular. One fine morning Mr. Hutton received as 
a present from the King of Ashanti seventeen 
children, a right regal donation truly. What could 
be done ? To have returned them would have been 
against etiquette, and have shown a want of appreci- 
ation of his Majesty's condescension. Mr. Hutton, 
therefore, having first freed them, acted towards them 
according to the dictates of his own kindly disposition ; 
he clothed them, fed them, and protected them, and it 
was some of those children who attended on us. How 
strangely this must read to persons only accustomed 
English manners and ideas ! What would be the 
feelings of most people at such a sudden and large 
increase to their family circle : it would, doubtless, 
considerably interfere with domestic arrangements. 
About sunset, just as we were preparing to go on 
board, a violent tornado, with heavy thmider, set in, 
and detained us, not altogether unwillingly, as it 
was not easy for us to tear ourselves away from his 

c 2 


hospitable mansion. Still, as the " Forerunner " was 
to be off by ten o'clock, we had no particular wish 
to run the risk of losing our passage. It was long 
after eight before we could venture out, and on 
reaching the beach we found all the canoemen either 
drunk or else unwilling to take us off. At length 
the master of an American vessel persuaded, or almost 
forced, some natives in his employ to make the 
attempt. We were accordingly seated in a small 
canoe, and five men, waiting for a favourable moment, 
launched us through the surf and paddled off. Our 
vessel was about two miles ofij and we had to go 
against a head sea; but at length, at the expense of 
a sound ducking, got alongside, just as they were 
beginning to despair of seeing us. Half-an-hour 
afterwards we were under steam for Akra, at which 
place we anchored next morning, and where we first 
heard the sad tidings of the death of Mr. Beecroft, 
which melancholy event had taken place about ten 
days previously. Mr. Beecroft's health since his 
nomination as leader of the expedition had been very 
indiff'erent, and had latterly failed so rapidly and to 
such an extent, that he determined at once to proceed 
to England. The packet was at Fernando Po ; his 
berth was secured, and all other preparations made, 
but unfortunately it was too late ; his once ii'on frame 
sunk under the combined inroads of climate and of 
disease, and he yielded up the vital spark in the land 
of his adoption. 

With a favoiu-able current and a fair wind we soon 


reached Lagos, off whicli we lay rolling for twenty-four 
hours. Along the west coast of Africa a heavy swell con- 
tinues throughout the year, but during the rainy season 
it is particularly tumultuous. This it is which, 
breaking on the shores, constitutes the dreadful surf, 
and which also renders the bars of the rivers so dan- 
gerous. In no place is this perpetual roll more felt 
than in the Bight of Benin, and off Badagry and 
Lagos apparently reaches its climax. At Lagos too the 
bar is a shifting one, and is unusually dangerous, so 
that accidents often occur, and from the immense 
numbers of sharks constantly present, those who escape 
the fury of the waves only meet with a more dreadful 
end. Shortly before my return visit to this place, a 
canoe with sixteen men was upset, not one of whom, 
although all were practised swimmers, ever reached the 
shore. Curiously enough about the same time a 
boat belonging to H. M. S. " Crane " was also upset. 
The crew were fortunate enough to get on the bottom 
of the boat, and the officer in charge took it into his 
head to swim ashore, a most fool-hardy attempt, yet 
strange to relate, he was allowed to land in safety. 
Shipping or discharging cargoes is here a most tedious 
business. The Fantis, who from Cape Coast Castle 
to Lagos are always employed as the canoemen, 
cannot venture to bring off at one time more than two 
puncheons of palm oil, which is the staple commodity. 
Arrived alongside, a suitable moment must be watched 
for slinging the cask, when the canoe is on the top 
of a roller, and then it must be hoisted away on board 


at once, and similar or even more precaution must 
be used in lowering cargo into the canoe. For the 
information of those who have never seen canoes, I 
may mention that in them positions are completely the 
reverse of what they are in boats. The crew sit with 
their faces forw^ard, and passengers are placed in the 
bow. Hence in going against a sea, or in crossing a 
bar, they are the principal recipients of donations of 
spray or of tops of waves, or other such moist 
delicacies. Occasionally canoes are fitted up for 
passengers, by being covered in forwards, but as a 
general rule every person either landing or embarking 
along this coast must make up his mind for a sound 
wetting, and further calculate on an upset every tenth 
or twelfth time. Landing through a surf is to a novice 
rather unpleasant. On approaching the shore, the 
canoe is kept stationary at the back of the breakers, 
until a favoiu'able opportunity presents itself. The 
steersman, who is in charge, stands watching with 
practised eye roller after roller, until a kind of lull 
appears to be setting in, while the crew, anxiously 
regarding their chief, no sooner hear his wild cry, 
than dashing their paddles into the water, with a few 
strokes they reach the shore. The moment the 
bottom of the canoe touches the ground, they all leap 
overboard, and seizing her sides, instantly drag her 
safely high and dry, and so expert are they that acci- 
dents but rarely occur. On board the " Forerunner," 
ever since we left Plymouth, a solitary rat had been an 
eyesore to the captain's dog, which had an inveterate 


prejudice against the whole race of vermin : day after 
day had this unfortunate been persecuted, followed 
from shelter to shelter, and forced to resort to new 
hiding-places. In an evil hour for itself this 
wretched rat left the comparatively secure abyss of 
the hold, and appeared on deck. Its determined 
enemy, ever on the watch, soon discovered this move- 
ment, and made a desperate run at it. The only 
place of retreat near was a scupper-hole, into which 
the rat speedily bolted, but with such impetus, th, 
it soon popped out at the other end and di'oppect 
overboard. It swam bravely, but a strong current 
carried it astern, where its struggles were quickly 
ended by the appearance on the stage of a large 
shark, which composedly swallowed it ; seemingly as 
a mere whet to the appetite. At Lagos we were joined 
by the Rev. Mr. Crowther, who had come from 
Abbeoktita to join the expedition. Mr. Crowther 
was up the Kwora in H. M. S. " Soudan," in 1841, 
and since that time has been one of the principal 
means of introducing into the Yoruba territory, his 
native land, a successful missionary establishment ; 
one which has already been most fruitful in good 
results, and which promises to play a very important 
part in christianising this portion of Africa. 

From Lagos the usual route for the mail steamers 
is to cross directly to Fernando Po, but on this 
occasion, to give the " Pleiad " more time to reach 
that island, Captain Barnwell determined first to visit 
Bonny, and the other rivers in the Bight of Biafra. 


We, therefore, after rounding Cape Formoso, steered 
along shore, and steaming through the discoloured 
water, which, especially off the Nun, extends several 
miles out to sea, passed in succession the Nun, the 
St. John's or Brass, the San Nicholas, the Santa 
Barbara, the San Bartolomeo, and the Sombreiro, all 
mouths of the Kwora, and by sunset were off the 
New Kalabar. As there was not time to reach the 
anchorage at Bonny before dark, we pushed on for 
Old Kalabar, and crossing the bar early next morning 
reached Duke Town by midday. Our stay here 
was very short, but I got on shore, and visited the 
Presbyterian Mission House, prettily situated on a 
rising ground to the southward of the town, where I 
made the acquaintance of the Rev. W. Anderson. 
Prom this spot there is a fine view of the neighboiKing 
region. Immediately below is Duke Town, with the 
shipping lying off it. A little farther up is Old 
TowTLi ; while across the river, and at a distance of 
six or seven miles, is Creek Town, the residence of 
the principal native traders. On our departure, we 
were accompanied by the Rev. W. C. Thomson,* who 
was leaving for England. Those only who have 
themselves experienced the enervating influence of 
such a spot as Old Kalabar, can at all appreciate the 
sensation of pleasure with which he hailed the 
approach of the refreshing sea-breeze, the first time 

* I have especially to thank this gentleman for a kind donation of ento- 
mological specimens from Old Kalabar, which, besides their intrinsic value, 
will prove of great assistance when I come to examine my own collection 
of insects. 


he had felt it for three years. It must indeed be a 
high sense of duty which can induce men to remain 
so long in such a depressing climate, and the sickly 
atmosphere of the swampy creeks of a tropical river. 
The distance from the sea to Duke Town has been 
variously estimated at from forty-five to sixty miles ; 
the latter being that calculated from the latitude given 
in Beecroft and King's Chart of the Cross River. 
It is surprising that, although this distance is 
annually traversed by vessels of large bm'den, and 
with most valuable cargoes, no detailed survey of 
this river has been made, nor is there at present a 
reliable chart. Yet the channel is tortuous, sand- 
banks are numerous, and there is a dangerous bar 
at the mouth. As an instance of the value of British 
property at stake, I saw in the river a vessel of nearly 
2500 tons' burden. AVhen filled with palm oil, her 
cargo alone would be worth upwards of £100,000; 
which must run no little risk while being carried 
along this unexamined river. The only guide of any 
worth is a little book of directions, printed at the 
Missionary Press, and compiled by Captain Lewis, 
who knows the pilotage better than any man living. 
This, which to any one who has been once there, is 
most serviceable, from the want of a chart, is com- 
paratively valueless to a person visiting the place for 
the first time. 

The following morning we had a fine view of the 
high land of Fernando Po, and also, as the day pro- 
gressed, of the lofty Camaroons mountain. This, 


supposed to have been the Currus Beorum of Hanno, 
raises its volcanic head to more than 13,000 feet above 
the sea ; whence it descends abruptly to the very- 
edge of the water. Near its base, on the one side, 
the Rio del Rey and a smaller nameless stream enter 
the sea, whilst on its other are the outlets of the 
great Camaroons river. The next day while steaming 
down this river under the mountain, we were over- 
taken by a violent tornado. The rain descended in 
torrents, while the thunder reverberated in awful 
solemnity from the rugged chasms and frightful 
precipices above us. About four in the afternoon 
we reached Fernando Po, and rounding Point William 
were soon snugly at anchor in Clarence Cove. To 
our great disappointment, however, the " Pleiad " had 
not arrived, nor were there any tidings of her. 
H.M.S. " Crane," which was cruizing off the island, 
followed us in, and her commanding officer. Captain 
Thomas Miller, then senior naval officer in the 
" Bights," desirous of being able to transmit home 
tidings of the expedition, sent a requisition to the 
Admiralty agent in charge of the mails to detain the 
packet until Wednesday, hoping that by that time the 
lost " Pleiad " might turn up. 

The passage from Plymouth to Fernando Po, in- 
cluding calls at Old Kalabar and the Camaroons, was 
thus easily accomplished in thirty-two days. The 
" Forerunner," though not a very comfortable vessel, 
was very quick ; and, under the able management of 
Captain Barnwell, could do almost anything. It 


was quite a pleasure to witness the neat way in which 
he handled her, especially in the intricate passages at 
the mouths of the rivers, up which too he was his 
own pilot. 

At Clarence I found that the sad news of Mr. 
Beecroft's death, to which I have already alluded, was 
too true. From our anchorage we could see his 
lonely grave under a wide-spreading silk-cotton tree, 
on Point William ; and, throughout the town, many 
a heart was still grieving over the loss of their kind- 
hearted protector and friend. On examining the 
Admiralty instructions, I found that no actual pro- 
vision had been made in the event of the decease of 
Mr. Beecroft, but being next to him in seniority, I 
resolved to continue the expedition, as I considered 
that, the preparations being so far advanced, and 
results of no little importance being expected, it would 
be wrong not to make the attempt. In this I was con- 
firmed by the opinions of Captain Miller and of the 
acting Governor and British Consul, Mr. Lynslager, 
who both took a similar view of the case. I quite 
understood the responsibility I was undertaking, and 
felt fully that the expedition would start under very 
different auspices under the direction of such a junior 
officer as myself, new, moreover, to the chmate and 
the country, from what it would have done if guided 
by the experienced judgment of the late governor. 
My anxiety on these points was greatly lessened by 
the volunteer offer of Mr. D. J. May, second master 
of the " Crane," who was most desu'ous of accom- 


panying me. The consent of Captain Miller was 
cheerfully given, and in Mr. May I had, from that 
day, a most willing and able coadjutor. His name 
will frequently occur in the following pages, and I 
take this opportunity of publicly thanking him for 
the great assistance he rendered to the expedition. 
On the evening of Tuesday, the 27th of June, while 
sitting in Governor Lynslager's, a report was brought 
that a vessel in the offing was making signals. We 
all rushed out, and speedily saw her rockets and blue- 
lights, which were immediately answered, and a 
bright light was hoisted to guide her to the proper 
anchorage. By our night-glasses we could see that 
she was a steamer, and in another hour found, to our 
great delight, that it was the " Pleiad," a delay on 
the Kru coast having thus detained her. This news 
we were enabled to send home next day by the " Fore- 
runner," which also carried away the sailing-master, 
who had navigated the ship from England, and those 
of the crew who were only engaged for the passage 
out. I also felt it my duty to invalid and send home 
Dr. William Bleek, who had been appointed ethno- 
logist to the expedition, his health being evidently 
unsuited for a tropical African climate, especially as it 
had already considerably suffered. This gentleman 
was, as might have been expected, much disappointed, 
and left us with great reluctance, though on calm 
consideration motives of prudence prevailed. 

The next' business was to prepare the "Pleiad," 
and to ship stores and coals, with which duties I had 


nothing directly to do, they being under the manage- 
ment of the proper oificers of the " Pleiad." It will 
save future explanation if I here mention that, even 
at this early period, I could see that the sailing- 
master, Mr. T. C. Taylor, was not adapted for the 
work. Whatever his capabilities in other spheres 
might have been, he appeared to be greatly deficient 
in the energy, decision, and administrative qualities 
requisite for the position he occupied. Things went 
on in an irregular manner, stores were confusedly 
hurried about, and nothing seemed to progress. 
Seeing this, and being desirous to advance our prepa- 
rations as much as possible. Captain Miller remained 
at anchor, and daily sent a party from the " Crane " 
to assist us. Had it not been for his kindness, matters 
would have become very complicated, and would have 
been still more protracted. One gentleman, who 
had intended to accompany the " Pleiad," as a 
supercargo, being unable to agree with Mr. Taylor, 
left us at Clarence, intending to return to England. 

Our preparations at last drew to a close ; coals 
had been shipped, and two large iron trade canoes 
had been put together and brought alongside. The 
government party now consisted of myself and Mr. 
May, my assistant, and a black servant, and also 
Mr. Richards, whom I had engaged as interpreter, 
he having accompanied Mr. Beecroft in this capacity 
on several occasions, and Simon Jonas, an Igbo, who 
had been with the expedition in 1841 ; there were 
also Mr. Crowther and his servant, and the ship's 


complement comprised a sailing-master, three mates, 
a surgeon, three engineers, one supercargo, a steward, 
three black firemen, three interpreters, a cooper, a 
carpenter, four colom'ed seamen and two boys, and 
thirty -three Krumen ; in all, twelve Eui'opeans, and 
fifty-three persons of colour. 



The " Crane " sailed on the 7tli of July, and the 
next afternoon we also made ready for a start, 

, Julys. 

and finally took our departure from Clarence 
about eight o'clock in the evening. Although there 
appeared to be a good sea running, the sailing-master 
persisted in keeping both of the iron canoes deeply 
laden with coal. But no sooner had we got a little 
beyond Cape BuUen, than we found such a sea running 
that the canoes were nearly swamped, and we had im- 
mediately to lighten them, which was accomplished 
with some trouble. We towed them at first, one on 
each quarter, but finding that they steered very badly, 
passed them both astern. The next day a very nasty 
cross sea ran, and we rolled very uneasily, and 
shipped one or two heavy seas. Sails would now have 
been a great boon, as they would have steadied us 
much ; but they had been carefully stowed away in 
some storehouse at Clarence. About noon something 
went wrong with one of the safety-valves, which 
obliged us to draw the fires, and this caused us to 
lose about fom' hom's, during which time we were 


drifting bodily to leeward ; . and this, added to the 
strong current, drove us so far to the eastward, that 
the first land we made was near the Andoney river. 
All Monday and Tuesday we kept going slowly 
along shore, progressing at the rate of about two 
knots. About sunset on the latter day we were 
off the river Brass, and here the master anchored 
all night, for fear, as he said, of missing the Nun ; 
consequently, it was not until nine or ten o'clock 
on the 12th, that we were off the bar. The 
weather was rather gloomy, and as we rolled about 
with the heavy swell, the only visible indication 
of the river was a long break in the dark green 
mangroves, which here universally hne the coast. 
Mr. Richards undertook to pilot us in, for which 
purpose he stationed himself right in the bows, 
watching with practised eye for the proper channel. 
The time selected was about a quarter flood, and 
everything being ready, he took us across by a line a 
little to the westward of that indicated in Captain 
Denham's chart. The sea, which was very heavy, 
was right aft, but, though very deep, we hardly 
shipped a drop of water. The roughest part of the 
bar is about three miles from the land, and here 
our soundings shoaled to two-and-a-quarter fathoms. 
When in the very middle of the breakers, the tow- 
rope of the sternmost canoe gave way, and there she 
was left at the mercy of the waves. To turn was for 
us nearly impossible ; so nothing was left but to trust 
to her being carried in by the sea and the tide. 


Many an anxious eye was turned towards her ; but 
she seemed buoyant and easy, while the Kru-boys on 
board of her plied vigorously at their paddles. A 
few minutes more brought her into smooth water, 
and then all fears for her safety vanished. 

•^ July 12. 

We passed Palm Point about half-past two, 
and shortly afterwards anchored in six fathom water, 
under Alburkah Island, in a spot fully exposed to 
the influences of the sea-breeze, which at that season 
blows night and day. 

The engine requiring some repairs, it was deter- 
mined to efiect them here before proceeding further. 
Mr. May and I went in the gig to examine the 
channel to the westward of Alburkah Island, and 
found deep water — from five to six fathoms — close 
along the west shore. This occupied us until dark, 
after which we re-examined our instruments, got the 
barometers freely suspended, compared them, and 
saw everything in readiness for future operations. 
The ship swung to the ebb at half-past eight, and in 
another hour the cm-rent was running past like a 
mill- sluice, being at the rate of five knots and a half. 
Next day Mr. May and I landed at Baracoon Point 
to get some bearings. Some natives appeared at a 
distance, but were very timid, and on our approach- 
ing towards them went and hid in the bush. I 
collected a few botanical and zoological specimens ; 
among the latter a fine bat, a species of Epomophorus. 
We had intended visiting Akassa, from which we were 
distant about four miles, but were prevented by 


heavy rain, which drove us on board. In the after- 
noon we pulled further up the western channel, 
carrying deep water all along close to the shore. 
We returned by Alburkah Island, or rather the 
Alburkah Islands, as this appears to be a group 
of swampy islets, intersected with creeks. Seeing 
a httle village, we landed, but the inhabitants, 
alarmed, had completely evacuated the place, leaving 
it quite at our mercy. My boat's crew of Kru- 
men were rather desirous of exercising the pri- 
vileges of conquerors, and of picking up some 
plunder, but this we at once checked. There was 
not much left for them, except some large heaps of 
palm-nuts, which lay in heaps, all in readiness for 
boiling for the oil. From a heap of bones which was 
looked on as dju-dju or sacred, I selected the skull of 
a Manatus,^ in fair condition. Being now fairly in 
the river, we commenced giving, morning and 
evening, to all the Europeans on board, two-thii'ds of 
a glass of quinine wine, which contained about five 
grains of quinine, believing that this would act as a 
prophylactic or preventive, while exposed — as every 
one must be while in the Delta — to the influence of 
malaria. The following morning a canoe came along- 
side, in which were two Abo men. They did not 
give us much information, but told us that the 
inhabitants in this neighbourhood were afraid of us, 
as they thought we had come with warlike intentions. 
About nine o'clock Mr. May and I started off to 

* Most probably Manaius Senegalensis. 


continue our examination of the western channel. 
Deep water, sometimes as much as from six to eight 
fathoms, was constantly found. We kept as nearly 
as possible in the course of the main stream, but 
branches and junctions were so frequent, as greatly 
to perplex us. The breadth of the creeks varied 
from 100 to 300 or 400 yards; and the du-ection 
was from N.W. to E.N.E. by compass. 

Nothing could be more gloomy than these dreary 
streams, enclosed between dense lines of sombre 
mangroves, forty, fifty, or even sixty feet in height. 
The only thing left to our sight was a narrow strip of 
sky overhead. No dry land was visible, not a canoe 
nor a native was encountered, and the only sign of 
life was when here and there a solitary king-fisher, 
startled by such an unwonted appearance, fled lazily 
from its retreat, but ere a gun could be even pointed at 
it, again disappeared amid the dark-green foliage. We 
at length found ourselves in a creek running west and 
south-west, which we conjectured to be connected 
with the Sengana branch ; but as the afternoon was 
far advanced, we were obliged to turn. One place so 
resembled another, that we had some difficulty in 
retracing our steps, but coming upon an opening 
leading due south, we entered it, believing that it 
would prove a shorter route. Its turnings and wind- 
ings were innumerable, so that our boat's crew became 
first dissatisfied, and at last timid ; but we persisted, 
though there was a fair prospect of our having to spend 
the night in these mosquito preserves. We came 

D 2 


to one very shallow spot, across which we had to wade 
and drag the boat ; but after this we began to 
recognise some objects, and by dark we reached the 
ship, having been in the boat nine hours, and pulled 
over some five-and-twenty miles. We found to our 
great satisfaction that the repairs of the engine were 
completed, so preparations were made for an early 
start in the morning. 

We were under steam by daylight, but at the 
entrance of Louis's Creek grounded, and there 

July 15. _ 

not being water enough here to allow us to 
enter, Mr. Richards went in the gig to look for another 
passage, and after a little trouble found one, by which 
he took us. This we named after him, " Richards's 
Creek ; " it is rather longer and narrower than Louis's 
Creek, with which it is parallel. This passed, we were 
soon in the main river, and under Mr. Richards's 
pilotage, and with the leads constantly going, got on 
very fairly. Li an ascent of this kind the pilot sits 
right in the bows, directing the man at the helm by 
his hand. One leadsman was stationed in the fore- 
chains, and another, the most important one, in the 
dingy, which was slung under the bowsprit. Man- 
groves were becoming scarce, palms increasing 
in number and in size, and though no huts were 
seen, still in recent clearances along the banks were 
little plantations of bananas and plantains. Every 
one was in high spirits at our progress, little dreaming 
that a sudden check was in store for us. About 
eleven o'clock a small islet appeared in mid-channel. 


right ahead of us. The pilot wished to pass to the 
westward, but before the master could make up his 
mind which com'se to follow, the " Pleiad " was 
allowed to run right stem on. The mate ran to get 
a kedge carried out at once, but was ordered not to 
hurry himself, although we were still within the 
influence of the tides, and it was just about the top 
of high water. Some feeble and badly planned efforts 
were made to get off" during the early part of the 
afternoon, but, as might have been anticipated, they 
were ineff'ectual. ]\Ir. May and I went in the gig and 
measured by triangulation the breadth of the river, 
which does not exceed 200 yards. Next morning 
I expected that by daylight at the furthest, fresh 
exertions would be made to float, but the master did 
not make his appearance on deck till after seven. I 
asked him what he intended doing, and on being 
answered that he did not approve of working on 
Sunday, or, as he called it, Sabbath, remonstrated 
with him in strong terms. This roused him a little, 
and he gave some fresh orders. About ten o'clock, 
almost entuely by the energy and skill of the chief 
mate, we were once more afloat, but by the master's 
direction we dropped a little way down and anchored 
close to the bush, and in this unhealthy spot 
we remained until next morning. The islet 
on which we stuck, was, we found, " Sunday Island ;" 
very appropriately named. Immediately above it on 
the western side is a small creek, by which canoes 
come from Wari. 


This place once passed the river began gradually 
to grow wider, and regular banks to appear. Isolated 
huts of a more substantial appearance than the rude 
shelters near the mouth indicated that we were 
now entering the domains of human beings, and 
Mr. Crowther remarked the great difference between 
the present occasion and his visit in 1841. Then the 
banks were densely wooded to the very water's edge, 
but now there were strips of land along the margins 
cleared and planted ; while small villages and other 
signs of life showed themselves where all formerly was 
desolate and uninhabited, and the very people seemed 
less timid and better clad. As we passed along, 
numbers of anxious spectators from time to time 
showed themselves. Among one group we saw a 
woman suckling her child, who was large enough 
to be standing beside her. Occasionally we saw 
natives of a bright copper colour, and I remarked 
some children with artificial white marks down the 
forehead, branching off along each cheek. In all these 
small villages was abundance of fowls and of dogs, 
and in the neighbourhood were cultivated rice, 
bananas, plantains, cocos, and sugar-cane. We passed 
some trading canoes laden with palm-oil, each of 
which carried a carronade in their bows. Occasionally 
one or two canoes would come alongside, offering 
fowls for sale, which we readily purchased for empty 
bottles or trinkets. Seeing a rather large village on 
the right bank, I stopped and tried to induce the 
people to come off to us, but they seemed afraid, and 


we had not time to spare to go ashore to them. 
Some large canoes were there, flying showy flags, on 
some of which were the letters K.B., probably for 
King Burrow, one of the lower Delta potentates. 
About noon we passed the Bassa Creek, and about 
two o'clock reached a very extensive village on the 
left bank, off which we delayed for a little. Plenty 
of canoes came off, by which means we learnt that it 
was Angiama, being the place where poor Lander 
received his mortal wound. Among others the chief 
came alongside, to whom I gave a looking-glass and 
a red worsted nightcap, which greatly pleased him. I 
explained to him that we were desirous of hurrying 
on now, but hoped to pay him a longer visit on our 
return, when, if they had any articles for trade, we 
should be happy to deal with them. Diverging 
branches were numerous, and we passed also one 
converging one ; namely, the O'gubori Channel, 
examined by Captain W. Allen in 1841. Towards 
dark we passed another large village on the left bank, 
and shortly afterwards anchored nearly in mid-channel, 
having made a very satisfactory day's work. 

Morning showed that we were at anchor under a 
pretty island covered with luxuriant vegetation, 

^ "^ . & ' July 18. 

which was fantastically styled " Tuesday 
Island." The weather was unpropitious, the sky being 
lowering and dark with frequent showers. During the 
forenoon we reached a creek, coming from the N.N.E., 
up which the master insisted on going, saying it was 
the main stream, although the natives on the banks 


pointed in the other direction. No current was per- 
ceptible, and the surface of the water was green with 
floating aquatic plants. Notwithstanding we went up 
nearly a mile, until it became so narrow that the 
" Pleiad " could scarcely turn, and in doing so got 
partly entangled among overhanging branches. This 
place was accordingly named after its explorer, 
" Taylor's Creek." As time pressed, we held only 
temporary communication with the more important 
villages. Just above Truro Island, by foolishly keeping 
too close under a point, we grounded and remained 
firmly fixed for nearly twenty-fom' hours, when the 
ship was at length started by the combined action 
of a kedge laid out right astern, and a Sampson-post 
over our bow. On a large sandbank near I found 
foot-prints resembling those of a hippopotamus ; these 
I traced to some thick bush, where the animal had 
probably been feeding. 

From the mouth of the river up to this point, the 
country on either side is named Oru. The people 
are of the same tribe as those who inhabit the tract 
of country up to the Rio Eormoso, where however 
they are called Ejo or Ojo, by which name also they 
are known at Abo, at Brass, and even at Bonny. 
By English palm-oil traders they are often termed 
Jo-men. Throughout all this district but one language 
is spoken, with but very little dialectal difference. 
There is no one king or chief, but every village has 
its own headman. The people are a wild, rude, and 
treacherous race, savage, and often unprepossessing in 


look. Both male and female are much tattooed over 
the chest and arms, while the particular mark of the 
tribe is a thick, straight cut down the centre of the fore- 
head and nose, and generally also three lines extend- 
ing diagonally across the cheek from the inner angle of 
the eye. The one down the forehead, which is very 
prominent, and gives a peculiar and unpleasant ex- 
pression to the countenance, is performed in child- 
hood by making a deep incision with a razor, and 
then rubbing in palm oil, and the resulting cicatrix 
is hard, projecting, and blue-coloured. Almost all 
wear clothes of European manufacture, striped and 
coloured calicoes being principally in vogue. Among 
the men, glazed hats, Guernsey frocks, and even 
monkey jackets are occasionally to be seen. Along the 
Kwora they exact a tribute from all canoes, belonging 
to other tribes, passing either up or down, which is a 
very fertile source of disputes, and even of bloodshed. 
Their principal trade is now in palm oil, which they 
dispose of either to Rio Formoso or to Brass traders. 
Across the mouth of the Wari branch, a large 
island seems to be gradually forming. In Allen's 
original chart there is here marked a bank covered 
with water; subsequently, in 1841, vegetation was 
seen over the spot,* and now it is an island several 
feet above the water, and covered with tall grass. 
This is the branch which was examined by Mr. 
Beecroft, in the " iEthiope," in 1840, and by which 
I'gbo traders communicate with those of AVari and 

* Allen and Thomson's Narrative, vol. i. p. 198. 


of Bini, and with the Rio Tormoso ; it appears also 
to be on that side of the river the line of separation 
between the Orii and the Tgbo countries. 

From this point up to Abo nothing remarkable 
occurred ; the weather kept gloomy and wet, until 
we anchored off the latter place on the afternoon of 
the 21st of July. Some canoes came and took a 
look at us ; but, though they paddled close to us, we 
could not prevail on the people to come on board. 
At length a large canoe appeared, which brought two 
messengers to Avelcome us, and to ascertain our in- 
tentions, as it subsequently appeared that an idea 
was entertained that our visit was in some way con- 
nected with Mr. Carr's mysterious disappearance. 
One of the messengers recognised Mr. Richards as an 
old acquaintance, which inspired them with more con- 
fidence. This man, whose name was Aliheli, a Hausa 
by birth, was given by King Obi to Lander in 1832, 
and accompanied him to Fernando Po. He could 
speak a little English, and as he joined our ship and 
made himself exceedingly useful, his name will 
frequently recur. They commenced the " palaver " by 
drinking a glass of wine with us, a few drops of 
which they, before tasting it, poured on the deck as 
dju-dju, or sacred. From them we learnt that King 
Obi had been dead for nearly nine years, and that 
since that time there had been no regular king. At 
Abo, the chief power is elective, and after the death 
of Obi two parties sprung up, one of which supported 
the claims of his son, while the other advanced as 


their candidate an influential person named Orisa. 
The two sections were respectively entitled the king's 
people and the Oshiodapara party. Obi's friends 
were unanimous in their selection of Obi's second 
son, named Aje, an active, intelligent, young man ; 
and this was acquiesced in by his less energetic and 
more peaceful brother Okurobi or Tshukuma. The 
factions had never come to blows, and of late there had 
been a very general feeling in favour of Aje ; but before 
he could be finally elected, he was expected to pay 
several rather heavy sums, which he was now gradually 
settling. In the mean time, although he took the lead 
in all foreign or warlike affairs, law and justice were 
dispensed by a neutral individual not immediately 
connected with either side. At this moment Aje was 
absent, having gone to settle some dispute at Igara ; 
but Tshukuma, as his deputy, had sent Aliheli to 
receive us. We promised to come on shore the next 
morning and pay our respects. I accordingly made 
an early start, and, accompanied by Mr. May, Mr. 
Crowther, and Dr. Hutchinson, proceeded in the gig 
and pinnace, the crews of which were dressed in 
flaming red caps and shirts. Abo is situated nearly 
a mile up a creek, the mouth of which is almost 
invisiljle from even a very short distance. On 
entering it we found it, at first, so extremely narrow, 
that we had to lay in our oars and to use paddles ; 
but, after a time, it opened into a wide expanse, the 
surface of which was covered with canoes of various 
sizes. Numbers of inhabitants were to be seen gazing 


at us, and altogether there was more bustle and activity, 
and more signs of a trading people than anything we 
had previously witnessed. Having reached the landing- 
place we marched in a kind of procession, headed by 
a Kru-man, carrying the English ensign, and accom- 
panied by a royal messenger bearing a gaudy flag. 
We had some little difficulty in keeping good order 
through the narrow lanes, densely crowded as they 
were by the populace ; as natives, both men and 
women, were constantly coming towards us, and 
insisting on shaking hands with us, which ceremony 
is here performed by the two parties taking loose 
hold of the fingers of each other's right hands, and 
then slipping them, making, at the same instant, a 
snapping noise with the aid of the thumb. We were 
not sorry to reach Tshukuma's palace, a low dwelling 
of mud and loose thatch, with a small court, some 
twenty feet square, in the centre. This was sur- 
rounded by a kind of verandah, in which we were 
placed, a chair being brought for me, and mats for 
the remainder of the company. Near us was a 
fetish, composed of some old bones and a few trinkets, 
and close to this, under a canopy of white calico, 
was a large mat for his Royal Highness. Presently 
he entered, accompanied by several of his wives, and 
other female relatives, who all sat on his left. He 
seemed a little oldish-looking man of easy disposition, 
and not much intellect. He was attired in a woollen 
nightcap, a white shirt, and in home-built pantaloons 
of native cloth, shaped after an extreme Dutch design. 


The court was by this time completely filled with crowds 
of natives, whose incessant noise and chattering pre- 
vented us from commencing, and at last I had to request 
him to enforce silence. This he attempted to do, in 
vain, until at last, assisted by the more energetic of his 
spouses, and in particular by a strong-minded sister, 
whose shrill tones, heard high above the din, finally 
beat down all opposition, and produced a temporary 
calm. I seized the moment, and, by our interpreter, 
told Tshukuma, that we had come to make his 
acquaintance and his friendship, and to ascertain 
if the people were willing to trade with us. 

I expressed our sorrow at hearing of the death 
of Obi, who had been the white man's friend, also 
our regret at the absence of his brother. I said that 
we were desirous of fulfilling the promises made by 
the officers in the former expedition, and that we 
should try to do good to his country. He replied 
by declaring his satisfaction at seeing white men 
here once more, thanking us for our compliments, 
and off'ering, if we could wait a few days, to send a 
special canoe for his brother. I told him that we 
had a long distance to go, and that we must proceed 
while there was plenty of water in the river, but 
that on our return we should again call. He then 
proceeded to say, that King Obi being dead, the 
former treaty expired with him ; but that before his 
decease his father had particularly enjoined on his 
sons always to be friends with white men ; and that 
he and his people would gladly attend to that 


bequest. He added, however, that whenever he saw 
us coming regularly to trade, he would then, but not 
till then, believe us, as Captain Trotter had faithfully 
promised again to visit them, but had not done so, 
I explained to him that this was owing chiefly to the 
great sickness which had then occurred ; and partly, 
also, that when Mr. Carr was returning, he had been 
murdered by some bad people. I said that we were 
anxious to open up the trade of this great river for 
the benefit of every one, and asked him if ever a boat 
with a few w^hite men in it passed along, he would 
order Abo canoes not to molest them ? to which he 
replied, that should there be but one white man in 
it he would take care of him. During this discussion 
the women were extremely enthusiastic in their good 
wishes, which I considered a favourable sign. Dr. 
Hutchinson had then some special conversation on 
commercial topics, after which Mr. Crowther asked 
Tshukuma whether he would like to have teachers 
placed among them, to teach their children to " read 
book," and to instruct them in what was good and 
useful, to which the answer was a universal shout 
of assent. He then proceeded to describe to them 
what had taken place in Yoruba, his native land, in 
which but a few years ago was nothing but warfare 
and bloodshed, while now they were cultivating 
peaceful arts. Tshukuma replied that he only wished 
to see the day when this would take place in Abo, 
but that he much feared it would never come to pass. 
Nevertheless, if teachers came, ground would be 


specially set part for them to have a house built 
upon. Our iuterview was concluded by my inviting 
Tshukuma to pay us a visit on board, after which we 
walked through the town, followed by admiring 
crowds, and visited Aje's palace, which is more 
extensive than his brother's, and in better condition, 
and then we returned on board. Yams, bananas, 
sweet potatoes, coco-nuts, fowls, goats, and fish 
were freely brought off for sale, and were readily 
bartered for bottles, brass snuff-boxes, and handker- 
chiefs. As specimens of the manufacture of the 
place, I pmxhased some substantial nets, some thread, 
grass mats, and brass ornaments. About noon we 
had a visit from Tshukuma, who brought with him 
his head-wife named Ajeibo, his half-sister Adem, 
and one of Aje's wives, named O'nna. After showing 
him round the ship, we asked him and his party 
below to lunch with us. A large meat-pie was on 
the table, which I divided among all present, tasting, 
according to custom, a little bit from each of the 
plates before offering them to our guests,* I then 
gave Tshukuma, as a dash or present, a sabre in a 
brass scabbard, some red baize, and some pieces of 
showily-coloured calicoes ; and gratified the ladies by 
presenting each with a looking-glass and some 
needles. After their departure, Mr. May and I 
crossed the river to the opposite shore for the 

* This has been rendered customary by attempts at poisoning having 
been extremely frequent. A slave always tastes a cup before presenting 
it to his master. 


purpose of getting a set of sights ; but no sooner had 
we landed, and begun to arrange our instruments, 
than a band of natives, variously armed with muskets, 
spears, and swords, came upon us in a half-threaten- 
ing, half-alarmed manner. Mr. May and myself, 
laying down everything, advanced towards them, 
making signs of peace and friendship; but on seeing 
us come near them they retreated, still keeping their 
muskets pointed at us. At last we induced them 
to stand, and, with a little more persuasion, to shake 
hands, which ceremony being effected, both parties 
had a hearty laugh. They watched us adjusting the 
sextant and artificial horizon with much surprise, and 
were greatly amazed at hearing the ticking of a 
pocket chronometer. I collected some plants and 
insects; .among the latter a showy Cicindela, with 
very sharp mandibles, and some homopterous speci- 
mens. Next morning Mr. May and I landed at the 
mouth of the creek, and were successful in getting a 
good set of sights. About mid-day, after church, 
some canoes were seen approaching, in one of which 
a drum was heard constantly beating. This we 
discovered to contain Tshukuma, with a large retinue, 
come in grand state to pay his regular retm'n visit. 
To-day he was dressed in an engineer's scarlet uni- 
form coat, a pair of duck trousers, and a purple 
beaver hat ; he held in his hand the sword I had 
presented to him, and round his neck were suspended 
two small medals given him by Captain Trotter. 
He brought for us as a present, a bullock, a goat, 


and 200 yams. Our visitors, who remained on 
board nearly three hom's, were on the whole very 
orderly. One custom peculiar to this district is, that 
all women who can afford it, wear ponderous ivory 
anklets, made from the thickest parts of large tusks. 
These are so very weighty as to give a strange cha- 
racter to the gait, and a peculiar dragging motion 
to the leg. They must be put on at first with great 
pain and difficulty, and when once adopted, are never 
parted with — not even at death — so that their owners 
are buried with them. This creates a great demand 
in the place for ivory, and causes extravagant sums 
to be demanded for these cumbrous ornaments. I 
had intended purchasing some, but declined doing 
so when I found the market value of a pair to be 
equal to the price of three slaves. Mr. Crowther 
and myself being desu'ous of leaving Simon Jonas 
here until our return, that he might better learn the 
temper and habits of the people, we mentioned our 
wish to Tshukuma, who at once undertook to look 
after him. In the afternoon Mr. May and I crossed 
to the place where we had landed the day previ- 
ously, and meeting some of the people who had then 
been so alarmed, went with them to their little 
village, which is named Odagbe, where they received 
us in a very friendly way, presenting us with Gura * 
nuts. During om' walk I found several insects, 

* Gxira or Kola nuts, the fruit of the Cola (Sterculia) acuminata ; vide 

" Flora Nigritiana," p. 233. These are in great demand throughout Central 

Africa, and are presented to strangers as a mark of esteem and of 


myriapods, and shells, one of the latter being a 
species of Achatina, which I discovered on the 
leaves and stems of yams. 

Abo, the Eboe or Ibu of Lander and of Allen, is 
the name of a town and also of a district extending 
along both sides of the river, from the Oru country 
towards Igara. It forms one of the sections of the Great 
I'gbo (Ibo) territory ; and though by no means the 
largest, is, from its position along the Kwora, one of 
the most important. The sovereignty, since the 
death of Obi, having, as I have mentioned, been 
partly in abeyance, many towns which were under 
his rule have ceased to pay tribute, and have become 
independent. The dialect spoken along this tract is 
called also Abo, and it is readily understood over the 
whole of I'gbo ; but to this I shall afterwards refer in 
speaking of the peculiar customs and rites of this 



We left Abo on the 24tli of July, encounter- 
ing just after we had started a number of large canoes 
returning from some of the markets in the upper 
part of the river. Although the current ran strong, 
and there was plenty of water, the " Pleiad" was kept 
all day at very reduced speed, and consequently 
made very little progress. Crowded villages were 
numerous on both sides, indicating an extensive 
population. In the afternoon we grounded on a 
sandbank, but easily got off ; after which Mr. Richards 
started to examine the eastern, and Mr. May and I 
the western passage along Bullock Island. The 
former was the preferable one, and by it we ascended 
next day, passing on the left bank a very extensive 
town, named Ossamar^ or Oshimare, which means 
" town on the great water ;" most probably altered 
from Oshimini or Osimini, the Abo name for the 
Kwora, and which signifies " great water." Among a 
group of islands opposite A'kra-Atani, we first saw a 
small herd of hippopotami, which, however, not liking 
our looks, soon made themselves scarce. Heavy 

E 2 


showers were of frequent occurrence, and the river 
was slowly rising ; but we were informed by the natives 
that it was still very low. The country now became 
more open, more cultivation w^as visible, and high 
land appeared to the northward along both sides of 
the river. The banks had been hitherto entirely 
alluvial, but above A'kra-Atani, we first saw, partially 
embedded in clay on the eastern side, some semi- 
volcanic blocks. On the left bank we passed Onitsha, 
an important market town, on the beach below which 
were congregated some five or six hundred people, — ■ 
and shortly afterw^ards on the opposite shore, Asaba, 
the Kii'i market of Allen's Charts, also a busy trading 
place. Along an island named by Mr. Beecroft, on 
account of the beautiful foliage, " Green Island," we 
went by the western channel, but almost immediately 
afterwards the "Pleiad" struck heavily on a sandbank, 
and remained hard and fast until next morning, when 
she was, under the direction of the chief mate, again 
got off. 

Close by Ada-mugu, the Damuggoo of Oldfield's 
Narrative, we saw for the first time circular huts ; all 
those previously met with having been square or 
oblong, which shape prevails also throughout the 
the Yoruba countries, and along the main branch of 
the Kwora, while to the eastward, and throughout the 
Hausa country, the round form is all but universal. 
A little above this place the vessel was again most 
awkwardly run aground ; this time on the weather or 
upper side of a sandbank, where we remained for about 

CHAP. IV.] i'gbo and igara. 53 

thirty lioui's, and before slie could be floated, tbe 
water had to be blown off the boilers, the deck-cargo 
placed in the canoes, and then by Mr. Harcus's 
management the ship had to be dragged nearly twice 
her own length over the bank. On the 31st of 
July the cliffs at Idda were in sight, but the steamer 
being in want of fuel, I ordered her to be anchored 
off a wooding place on the western bank, about 
three miles from the town. To hurry matters I des- 
patched Aliheli to announce our arrival, and our 
intended visit to the Atta. I went ashore for an 
horn' or two before dark with the wooding party, and 
collected specimens for a little time. Beside a little 
pool, shut from the light of heaven by the thick forest 
of branches, I found a species of Cicindela, coloured 
in unison with its sombre habitation, while from 
under some dead leaves, I picked up a pretty little 
flattened myriapod of very peculiar appearance. 

We left the ship in the gig and pinnace about seven 
in the morninpj, and after an hour's pull, 

. , Aug. 1. 

reached the landing-place at Idda. Here we 
inquired after our messenger, who had not returned to 
us, but could learn nothing of him. Presently, how- 
ever, Mr. Richards recognised an old acquaintance, 
one of the Atta's eunuchs, who offered to conduct us. 
After a ten minutes' walk, we arrived at a collection of 
huts, at the door of one of which we were requested 
to remain for a few minutes, but presently were asked 
to enter. Here we found Aliheli, who told us that 
owing to some party quarrels our message had not 


been forwarded to the Atta, but that now we should 
meet one of the head-men. Passing through several 
outer rooms, we came to a court, where we saw, seated 
on a window-sill, an elderly man, who was, we were 
informed, brother to the late A'boko, so often 
mentioned in " Laird and Oldfield's Narrative," as the 
great friend of white men, and who had first intro- 
duced them into this country. He received us very 
civilly, shaking hands with us, and ordered mats to be 
spread for us. He regretted that he could not 
forward our message without first consulting the 
other heads of his party, named after their late chief, 
** Al)oko's party," which, however, he had sent to do, 
and was now awaiting the result. In the meantime, 
while partaking of some palm-wine and gura nuts, 
we found ourselves plunged into the midst of Igara 
politics, and Idda state intrigue. An Igara chief, 
named Agabidoko, whose mother was an I'gbo, and 
who was now residing at a place named Egdokanyi, 
near Ada-mugu, had quarrelled with some of A'boko's 
people at Asaba market, and had killed several of 
them. They in retaliation had seized one of Aga- 
bidoko's head women, and carried her to Idda, on 
which her friends followed and claimed her, but not 
succeeding, carried off as a trophy three or four 
canoes. Consequently A'boko's people were closely 
watching against another surprise, and last night our 
messenger, who came just as it was dusk, was nearly 
fired at, being mistaken for an emissary of the enemy. 
A considerable body was encamped on English island. 


under the command of Okeyin, one of A'boko's sons, 
to whom notice of our visit had been sent. A'boko's 
party claimed, and had been allowed the privilege 
of introducing all white strangers to the coiu"t of 
Idda, and therefore it was only politic to comply with 
the established custom. We assured our host, whose 
name was Ehimodina, that this was the first time we 
had heard of this " war palaver," but that it ought 
not to interfere with our seeing the Atta, as our wish 
was to be friendly with all parties. He replied that he 
was delighted to have seen " white men " once more, 
that he knew we should do good, and perhaps eflPect 
peace, but that he could not act without the consent 
of his colleagues, Fortunately just at this moment 
his messenger arrived, and we were told we must go 
to the island and see A'boko's son. I at once said 
that we were willing and ready, on which Ehimodina 
offered to accompany us to the shore, and send a 
guide with us. He had been hitherto dressed in a 
voluminous loose robe, formed of a large piece of 
cloth, but he now prepared for his jaunt by donning 
first a larger, then a smaller tobe, a pair of bag- 
trousers, a red cap, and yellow leather boots. Being 
a Mussulman, he had his string of charms round his 
neck ; then taking a whip in his hand, he went out 
to mount his steed, a genuine Rosinante, but fau'ly 
caparisoned. The stirrups were made of pieces of 
sheet brass, shaped and curved to fit the entire foot. 
Numerous armed attendants preceded and followed 
him ; and as he went along, the people bent before 


him lowly to the ground. He left us at the river's 
edge, while we embarked, and after a pull of upwards 
of a mile, landed on the western side of English 
Island. Here we found an extensive temporary 
settlement, or rather a military encampment, the huts 
much smaller than ordinary bell-tents, being made of 
long reeds and bamboos, covered with dried grass. 
Into one of these we were ushered, where we found 
Okeyin, an unintellectual, heavy-looking man, but 
withal with a mild expression. Mats were brought, 
visitors poured in, and presently fourteen people were 
crowded into a most uncomfortably confined space, 
with hardly a breath of fresh air. 

After the usual salutations, I told him how pleased 
we were to see a son of A'boko, who had so befriended 
former white visitors, and added that we were 
desirous of at once waiting on the Atta. Okeyin 
said he hoped we would stay, and that we should see 
the king to-morrow, but I told him that could not be, 
as we had a long voyage before us, and could not 
delay. He and his friends winced a little at this ; but, 
as I remained firm, they consented, asking, however, 
to see the presents we designed for the Atta. This I 
at once refused, saying, " It was not Englishman's 
" fashion ; but, if they wished to know, anyone might 
" accompany us and see." After some demur, this was 
agreed to, and one of the head men of the party 
named U'ti, a fine-looking, intelligent, and pleasing 
person, was sent to conduct us. Having partaken of 
the usual refreshment of palm-wine and gm-a nuts, 


we embarked, pulled back to Idda, and marched up 
tlie hill, two of our Kru-boys preceding us, carrying 
our ensigns. The day, which at first was cloudy, had 
since turned out fine and warm, and the sun, shining 
directly upon us, was rather oppressive. Presently, 
we were met by a native band, comprising two drum- 
mers and a fifer, who played some rude, but lively 
and not unpleasant airs, on hearing which, our friend 
U'ti, in his enthusiasm, stepped towards them, and 
performed a " pas seul au militaire," by no means 
ungracefully. In this manner we proceeded, numbers 
of the inhabitants following us, many insisting on 
shaking hands with us, and now and then presenting 
us with eggs and fruit. Our first stoppage was at 
the residence of one of the king's head-women, who, 
having inspected and approved of us, forwarded us to 
the hut of one of the head-men, who, in his tiu-n, 
passed us to another, by whom we were finally led to 
the royal abode, oiu' route from the river having been 
at least two miles. We were requested to remain in 
a kind of open yard, partially surrounded by huts, 
until the Atta could be informed of our approach. 
Mats were here spread for us, so we sat down, sur- 
rounded by a large crowd of curious but very friendly 
beholders. Pitchers of palm-wine were brought, and 
served to us in calabashes, until, at length, becoming 
impatient, I sent to try and hurry our reception. 
Several of us amused ourselves by smoking cigars, 
the natives expressing the utmost astonishment at 
our Vesta matches and fusees, for instantaneous light. 


After a delay of an hour and a half we were graciously 
informed that the Atta would now receive us ; so 
advancing, or rather creeping, through several very 
low entrances, walking along dark passages, and 
taking sundry sharp turns, we were finally ushered 
into a spacious square court, at the upper end of 
which, seated on a mud throne, and surrounded by 
slaves and courtiers, we beheld his Majesty the Atta 
of Igara. Our reception much resembled that given 
to the late Mr. Beecroft, in 1840, as described in his 
MS. journal. As soon as we had all entered, I 
advanced towards the Atta, on which a number of 
those around him jumped up, uttered a wild scream, 
and hid him from our view with their dresses. After 
a few seconds they retired, and we were told we 
might now shake hands, which I did, and, having 
introduced my party, we all sat down on mats spread 
before the throne. The screaming and hiding cere- 
mony was now repeated, and again after we had 
placed our interpreter in front. We spoke to Aliheli 
in English, who translated it into Hausa, which was 
again rendered to the king in Igara, by an intelligent- 
looking young man, who, coming forward and making 
a lowly obeisance, remained kneeling during our 
interview. His Majesty's state di'ess consisted of a 
large figured purple-velvet tobe, reaching from his 
neck to his feet ; his head-piece was a cap covered 
with white beads, and having, at the sides and in the 
front, tufts of fine feathers, the latter projecting over 
his face, so as to prevent a full view of his coun- 

CHAP. IV.] i'gbo and igaea. 59 

tenance. Pendant from each ear hung a thin, 
circular, piece of wood, perforated with various 
devices, round his neck were innumerable strings of 
beads, white, blue, and yellow, and against his breast 
was a large brass plate, closely resembling the sign of 
an insurance office. In his left hand, which peeped 
from under his ample sleeve, was a hollow brass tube, 
attached to which were numerous little bells. A 
similar article rested in his lap, while, on a small mat 
before him, was placed a dilapidated stone-ware 
" Souter Johnny." His Majesty was seated on a 
bench covered with native-made cushions and clothes, 
and had, standing close about him, five slaves with 
large fans, which were employed incessantly, either to 
cool his cheeks, or, for the more important office of 
concealing the royal countenance when he laughed, or 
when he had condescendingly delivered himself of 
some oracular dogma. When used for either of the 
two latter purposes the attendant courtiers invariably 
uttered the wild shriek which greeted our ears on 
our first entry. The various initial ceremonies being 
happily concluded, we commenced by desiring the 
interpreter to convey to his sable Majesty our sincere 
respects, and the great happiness we experienced in 
being enabled to wait on him. This having been 
graciously received, and responded to by an approving 
nod and a courtly scream, we further made humble 
enquiries regarding the state of the royal health, ex- 
pressing our hopes that it remained in a satisfactory 
condition. We then proceeded to inform him that 


we had come also to enquire into the state of the 
country, to know whether peace prevailed, and 
whether he w^as willing to trade with us, as we 
were desirous of redeeming the promises made by 
the former expedition. We also mentioned the great 
sickness in 1841, as the cause of the long interval 
between the visits. The Atta replied that he 
thanked God for bringing white men again to see 
him, that he had in his heart all " Captain Trotter's 
Book," * that he would make good trade and bring 
plenty of ivory, and that he trusted white men would 
again settle in his land. He added that the Con- 
fluence was too far from him, as he would like to 
have his friends nearer to him, so that he might send 
every morning to enquire after them. He then 
regretted that he had not a suitable dash for us, 
hinting, however, that if we had one for him he 
would be happy to ease our minds by receiving it 
at once. Disregarding this for the present, we pro- 
ceeded to let him know that we intended leaving the 
next day, on which his Majesty said that was im- 
possible, " it was not good," the ship must come to 
Idda and remain for five days. I explained the 
reason of our hurry, and at last, to quiet him, I pro- 
mised that the " Pleiad " should be off" the town 
early next morning, and should remain there until 
noon, when we must positively leave. Mr..Crowther 

* This means the treaty made with the Commissioners in 1841 : hook 
or its equivalent in African languages meaning any document whether 
printed or written. 


now questioned him as to his willingness to receive 
teachers, who would instruct his subjects in good 
ways, and also to "read book" and "write book." 
The Atta declared his entire satisfaction at this pro- 
posal, and, after some further conversation about trade, 
our interview ended by my presenting him with a 
looking-glass, a razor, a sabre and brass scabbard, a 
double-barrelled gun, and eight pieces of cloth of 
different patterns. At the sight of these the King's face 
brightened, and he appeared in a great hurry to end 
the conference and to examine the articles, AAdiich he 
commenced doing before we left him, a piece of native 
cloth having been given to our interpreter for his 
services. The Atta is said to be about fifty years 
old ; his skin is very dark and he has a heavy, sensual 
look. Though an absolute monarch he does not seem 
to possess much real authority, nothing of importance 
being transacted without the consent of A'boko's 
party. By this time it w^as nearly dark, so we 
walked quickly to our boats, and reached the ship 
by seven o'clock, having completed a good day's 
w^ork, and broken through the old custom of not 
seeing the Atta the same day that the announcement 
is made to him. 

By seven next morning we were at anchor close off 
Idda, upon which numerous canoes came off 

... . Aug. 2. 

bringing ivory and other articles for sale. I 
prepared presents for Ehimodina and Okeyin, as also 
for our friend U'ti, and for various of the king's family 
and attendants. Our musical band of the day previous 


came off, and the performers each received a small dash 
ill return for which they played at a most astonishing 
rate, until, incited by their stirring strains, three of our 
visitors treated us to a native dance on our quarter- 
deck. Mr. Crowther and I went and paid another 
visit to Okeyin on English Island, by whom we were 
presented with a goat and some yams. Under the 
guardianship of U'ti, two of the king's daughters, 
named A'ku and U'fo, came on board. I cut two 
pieces of scarlet cloth scarf-fashion, and put them 
across their shoulders, telhng them that was " white 
woman's " fashion. We steamed from Idda about 
one o'clock, but for the remainder of that day did 
not make much progress. 

The situation of Idda is very pleasing ; and to 
our eyes, accustomed as they then were to the low 
grounds and swampy flats of the lower parts of the 
stream, was especially reviving. Placed on an emi- 
nence overlooking the river, the huts interspersed 
with lofty trees with finely-tinted foliage, and with 
high land for the back ground, the view was as 
charming as it was novel and romantic. After in- 
haling the pestilential miasmata of the Delta, denied 
the free enjoyment of the air of heaven by lofty 
frowning mangroves, and being unable to gaze on 
any objects but the sky above, the river beneath, and 
an unbroken line of trees along the banks, all 
thoughts of sickness or of weariness at once vanished 
on treading these commanding heights, glancing at 
the rocky cliffs beneath, and freely breathing the 


invigorating atmosphere. Here, for the first time, we 
met with the gigantic Baobab or Monkey Bread-fruit 
Tree {Adansonia digitatd), with its massive trunk, its 
spreading branches, and its oblong, pendulous, elon- 
gated fruit. 

Igara, sometimes, though incorrectly, called Igala, 
extends along the left bank of the Kwora, from 
below Ada-mugu, where it borders on I'gbo, up to 
the Confluence. Under its original name of A'kpoto 
it extends inland and along the lower Binue for a 
considerable distance. The western part only is 
known as Igara, so named from a Yoruban chief who 
conquered the district. Idd4 is the capital \ form- 
erly a place of great importance, but of late years 
on the decline. The Atta was at one time a ruler of 
the first consequence, many countries paying tribute 
to him, as Kakanda, I'gbu'a, and Doma ; but his 
authority even in his own proper dominions is now 
very feeble. " Atta" is his peculiar title j it signifies 
father, the Igara for king being " Onu ; " by the 
former he is invariably known to the surrounding 
nations, but the latter is frequently employed in 
speaking of him in Igara. The language of Igara 
is peculiar, but has its affinities chiefly with the 
Yoruban family,* so much so, that Mr. Crowther 
could recognise many words. Idda is the first place 
where rocks of any magnitude occur. They are 
chiefly of ferruginous sandstone, the strata being 

* Koelle, from his philological researches at Sierra Leone, arrives at a 
similar conclusion, and has formed a class of " Akd-Igala " languages. 


nearly horizontal. The cliff on which the town is 
built, and which presents a perpendicular face 
towards the river, is said to be 185 feet high by 
barometric measurement, though to the eye it does 
not seem so much. Mr. May intended to have ascer- 
tained it trigonometrically, but was unfortunately 
prevented from so doing.* 

The tract of country opposite to Idda, on the 
western bank, is said to be tributary to Bini (Benin), 
and is known as Edo. I made many inquiries 
after the town of Wappa mentioned in Allen and 
Thomson's narrative, but could learn nothing of it. 
However, during my voyage to England, I met at 
Sierra Leone with a man from this very district, from 
whom I found that the town is correctly named 
Wifa, and that the inhabitants speak a dialect akin 
to that of Bini. The name Edo, or, as pronounced 
by the Abo people, " Edu " or " Idu," is derived 
from Ado, generally contracted do, the usual form of 
salutation, in the same way as Yorubans are, for a 
similar reason, styled Aku. 

While passing a small village on the left bank, 
inhabited by some of A'boko's party, a canoe came 
off bringing ivory for sale, from which Dr. Hutchin- 
son purchased, besides several scrivelloes, a fine tooth 
w^eighing forty-two pounds. Up to this point the 
river was bounded by sandstone cliffs and sloping 

* This has been variously estimated by different visitors from 140 to 
300 feet. Vide Laird and Oldfield's Narrative, vol. i. p. 124 ; Mc William's 
Medical History, pp. 70 and 285 ; and Allen and Thomson's Narrative, 
vol. i. p. 318 ; also Allen's Chart of the Quorra. 

CHAP. IV.] i'gbo and igara. 65 

banks, behind which were table-lands, and gently 
rising hills. But now a change became evident ; the 
rocks seemed altered in character, and huge pieces, 
more or less modified by volcanic agency, were from 
time to time visible. Bird-rock, so named by Lander, 
is a large, white-topped, quartz block, situated nearly 
in mid-stream ; and the mountains, which here 
line the eastern side are steep, rugged, and conical. 
We passed the island on which during the dry 
season a celebrated market is held every ten days, 
and which is attended by traders from Kakanda to 
Abo. This meeting, which during the rains takes 
place on the eastern shore of the river, is called 
Ikiri or Okiri,* meaning either the " distant market " 
or the " market between the hills," either of which 
explanations is suitable. The hills are finely covered 
with vegetation, between the patches of which the 
dark extremities of broken strata present themselves, 
while down the sides extending often to the water's 
edge, are deep ravines, which, after heavy rains, must 
be mountain-torrents. We anchored off a little 
creek, rather beyond the north end of Maconochy's 
Island, where Mr. May and I landed, and by the 
light of a beautiful moon proceeded to explore the 
locality ; a little village was found, named Iroko, the 
inhabitants of which, though at first rather alarmed, 
soon became friendly ; we also stumbled across a 
bivouacking party, composed of the crews of two 

* The name " Bocqua " given by Lander is not known to the natives. 



small canoes on their way to some market. Mr. 
May got a good meridian altitude of the moon, 
while I examined a large projecting mass of rock on 
the beach, closely resembling at a distance, the 
" Bird-rock." This I found to be composed of mica 
slate, partly altered by the action of fire, the top 
covered with scales of mica, reflecting beautifully the 
rays of light, causing a shining, silvery appearance. 
While seated on the summit, some fifteen or sixteen 
feet above the ground, gazing at the clear evening 
sky, and the softly tinted scenery around, I was 
roused by a splash in the lagoon immediately beneath, 
and on looking for the cause, saw that a crocodile had 
landed on the sand, and was taking a rapid survey 
of me, with which he seemed soon to be satisfied, as 
he speedily disappeared. About ten o'clock we again 
landed to try to get a lunar observation ; but while 
in the act of pulling ashore, clouds began to form 
in the zenith very rapidly; and in less than ten 
minutes the whole face of the heavens was completely 

Next morning showed that we were advancing still 
further into elevated regions. To the westward 

Aug. 4. _ _ 

were mounts Jervis and Erskine, while rather 
more to the northward the gigantic Soracte, with 
abrupt sides and a rounded summit, rises suddenly 
from the plain to the height of 1200 or 1300 feet ; and 
further inland " Saddleback " sternly faces the north, 
but gently slopes in the opposite direction. On the 
southern extremity of " Beaufort Island," is a prettily 

CHAP. IV.] i'gbo and igara. 67 

shaped hill, about 180 to 200 feet in height, which 
I named " Mount Francis." Opposite to this, on 
the eastern side, is a chain of conical mountains, 
three of which, close to the river, are very remarkable ; 
the central one, which has an altitude of from 400 to 
500 feet, has been named Mount Frankhn, and is 
connected to its immediate neighbours by sharp, rocky 
elevations. The most northern, which had not 
previously received any designation, was by Mr. May 
named " Mount Crozier." We observed nearly in 
the centre of the river a large schistose rock, with 
a smooth rounded top, to which a very singular look 
was given by two veins of bright quartz running 
through it. Near the " Quorra Bank," the " Pleiad " 
grounded, but got off without much trouble. Seeing 
on the left bank huts and numbers of inhabitants, 
Mr. Crowther and I determined to land, and 
accordingly, accompanied by Mr. May and Mr. 
Richards, set off in the gig. 

The people received us with the utmost cordiality, 
and invited us to see A'ma-A'boko their chief, who 
was, we learnt, eldest son of Old A'boko, of Idda. 
We were accordingly conducted first to the abode of 
the headman of the town, by whom we were intro- 
duced to the King, who gave us a hearty welcome, 
saying he was delighted at this return of white men, 
his father's friends. I asked him to come on board 
next day at the Confluence, which he promised to 
do, as he told us that none of his people would open 
trade with us until he had himself personally com- 


menced it. He told us that the town of Panda * 
had been recently sacked by a body of Eulatas, who 
were still lingering in that neighbourhood. A'ma- 
A'boko is about fifty years old, with strongly marked 
features, and a somewhat furrowed face. His expres- 
sion is one of firmness and decision, but without any 
trace of cruelty or evil passion ; and he is said to 
resemble his father more than any of his brothers do. 
He has ruled near the Confluence for a long period, 
and now possesses much influence around, being 
actually, though not nominally, independent of the 
Atta, and in reality, a more powerful chief. His 
town, which is named Igbegbe, is finely situated for 
trade, being nearly opposite the site of the once 
famous market town of Odokodo.f The huts, which 
are all circular, were better constructed and more 
substantial than any we had seen, and the walls of 
part of the chief's residence were coloured red and 
blue with camwood, and indigo. The population is 
numerous but mixed, and consists chiefly of Igara 
and Fgbira people, the language being that of the 
latter. During our interview to-day, I spoke to 
Mr. Crowther in English, who translated my words 
into Yoruba ; they were retranslated to another man 
in Nupe, who finally addressed the King in I'gbira. 
This system of treble or quadi'uple rendering, is not 

* This is the Fundah or Fandah of former writers, F being a common 
Haiisa corruption for P. 

+ Often though incorrectly written Adda Kudu ; it is derived from the 
Y<5ruba words odo, river, aud 16, to meet. Odd-ko-odo, i.e. odokddo, river 
meeting river, from its situation at the confluence of the two streams. 

ciiAr.iv.] i'GBO>AND IGARA. 09 

only very tedious, but often quite alters the original 
meaning of a sentence. It is, however, very common 
at interviews with African chiefs, as it is looked on 
as etiquette, particularly at a first meeting, for the 
grandee, whoever he may be, not to understand any 
language but his own. The Hausa tongue is the 
French of Central Africa, being very generally under- 
stood, and being the medium by which traders from 
different countries transact business in common. It 
was the language which was of most service to us, 
and by its means the greater part of our intercourse 
was carried on. We have often been surprised, when 
paying a private visit to some chief, to find that the 
individual who perhaps only the day previous, could 
understand nothing but the dialect of his own district, 
obliging us to address him by a double translation, 
could now not merely comprehend Hausa, but also 
speak it fluently. African traders are in general good 
and ready linguists, speaking not unfrequently three 
or four different tongues ; the speed, also, wdth which 
they translate a sentence, without almost a moment's 
consideration, is really surprising. We made inquhies 
about the Binue or Tsadda, but except the lower 
parts, they seemed at Igbegbe to know little about it. 
They recognised, however, the name Adamawa, and 
said that was the country which yielded ivory. 
A'ma-A'boko told me he would try to send some 
persons with us to point out the different places, and 
tell us their names, for which kind offer I thanked 
him. In returning towards the boat, we met an old 


lady, a connection of the chief's, who, recognising 
Mr. Richards and AKheli, bestowed on each a hearty 
embrace. During our run ashore, the " Pleiad " had 
found the channel, and was steaming slowly up 
towards the Confluence ; but before rejoining, we 
pulled along the eastern bank, rounded Point Tsadda, 
and dipped our oars in the " dark waters." Being 
in want of wood, I ordered a convenient spot to be 
selected along the shores of the " Model Farm," and 
one being found, we anchored nearly abreast of 
" Sacrifice -rock." A wooding party was at once sent 
on shore and set to work ; after which I visited Duck 
Island, and got some specimens of birds and of insects. 
About seven o'clock, Mr. May and I landed on 
" Sacrifice -rock," where we got a meridian altitude 
of the moon, and a set of lunar distances with Jupiter. 
Being very anxious to obtain a good view of the 
surrounding country, Mr. May, Mr. Crowther, 

Aug. 5. 

and myself left before daylight, and went in the 
gig a little way up the main stream of the Kwora, and 
with some difficulty finding a landing-place, walked 
towards the foot of Mount Patte. We followed a 
winding narrow pathway, by which, after half an 
hour's climbing, we reached an elevation of upwards 
of 400 feet, where on a small plateau we discovered a 
little village, inhabited by a few Kakanda people, who 
lived upon this height for security, having been driven 
from their native homes by Dasaba, King of Niipe, 
who had, however, been very recently deposed for 
his cruelty, and forced to fly for refuge to Ilorin, in the 


Yoruba country. They received us very kindly, giving 
us some country beer, the only thing, poor people, 
they had to offer us. Our intention had been to ascend 
to the top of the mountain, and visit the villages 
which we had heard were situated on its table summit, 
but we now ascertained that these had ceased to exist, 
while the foot-track having become overgrown, was 
no longer visible. Not having time to cut a path 
for ourselves, we were forced to forego this part of 
our plan, which, however, we regretted the less, on 
account of the magnificent prospect opened to us 
from this little encampment. The sun, now well above 
the horizon, had succeeded in dispersing the mists 
of the early morning, its rays, still greatly inclined, 
were brilliantly reflected from the sides of the moun- 
tains, and light and shade, strongly contrasted, were 
well defined in the clear tropical atmosphere. Beneath 
us was the pretty green-topped Mount Stirling, sadly 
reminding us of the misfortunes of its last European 
visitors. On our left was a deep ravine, separating 
us from another flat-crowned hill. Mount Victoria, 
while on the other hand was the undulating wooded 
country, purchased in 1841 for the model farm, and 
stretching far away to the southward until there 
arrested by rugged rocky ground and abrupt 
mountains. Pursuing a somewhat meandering route, 
the Narrow Kwora flowing from the northward 
wound along the base of the western highlands, while 
full before us came pouring from the eastward the 
broad, the straight-coursed Binue, the commingling 


waters of the two mighty streams forming the 
expansive, lake-Uke Confluence, its surface dotted with 
islets and banks, or rippled by contending currents, 
while in the distance the united rivers impetuously 
rushed towards the sea, through the deep defile by 
which we had so lately ascended. The extensive ruins 
of the once busy Odokodo, the centre of trade in this 
place before its destruction by a ruthless Pulata band, 
were hid from view by the thick brushwood ; but the 
crowded huts of its important commercial successor 
were plainly discerned on the opposite shore. Along 
the banks numerous villages could be detected, while 
frequently, more inland, a ciu-ling wreath of smoke 
would betray the existence of some sequestered hamlet, 
half-hidden beneath lofty trees. Ear as the eye could 
reach, over miles and miles, the ground teemed with 
exuberant vegetation ; seeming often in the fantastic 
appearance of its wild growth to revel in its exemption 
from culture. Such a fruitful soil in other climes, and 
with a happier population, would yield support and 
employment to countless thousands, and long ere this 
have proved the source of untold wealth. To complete 
our panorama, quietly at anchor, and now surrounded 
by canoes, there lay the little "Pleiad," the avant- 
couriere of European energy and influence ; and I trust, 
the forerunner of civilization and its attendant 
blessings, and of better days to these richly-endowed 
but hitherto unfortunate regions. 

Between the two rivers is a long swampy piece of 
land, formed by alluvial deposits, intersected by 

CHAP. IT] i'qbo and igara. 73 

channels and streamlets, constituting, indeed, a minia- 
ture delta. Its immediate vicinity must be very 
unhealthy, and its proximity to the model-farm pos- 
session is much too near to be pleasant, as during the 
dry season there must be an immense malaria-yielding 
surface. Mr. May having completed his sketch and 
got a set of bearings, we descended by the rugged 
pathway, and, embarking, soon left the creeks for the 
open river. I found the temperature of the Kwora, 
at this point, to exceed that of the water of the 
Confluence by, from a degree to a degree and a-lialf 
of Fahrenheit. The natives fancy there is a difference 
in the colour of the two streams, hence, in Hausa, 
the Kwora is styled " Pari n'rua," or the " white 
water," while the Binue is known as " Baki n'rua," 
the " black water ; " the Igara synonyms of these 
being " Ujimini fufu," and " Ujimini dudu,"* the 
former word evidently connected with the Abo 
Oshimini. We reached the " Pleiad " about ten 
o'clock, and found on board A'ma-A'boko, who had 
come to pay us a visit, and had brought us, as a 
present, a goat, some yams, and some jars of beer. I 
asked him to come below, and had a long talk with him 
on trade and other matters. He was evidently in- 
clined to be most friendly, and relished much the 
idea of opening up commercial intercourse with us. 
I presented him, to his evident satisfaction, with a 
musket and bayonet, a number of flints, a sabre 

• According to Captain W. Allen, the Nupe names are respectively 
Fiii'odo and Furoji, 


and scabbard, a showy ring, and some pieces of 
cloth. I gave also to the two persons next in 
authority under hira, proportionate gifts, and to two 
female relatives, who accompanied him, rings and 
scarfs. One of these latter had two names, Ojema- 
ologu, and Asebi ; this habit, which is extremely 
common, arises, I am informed by Mr. Crowther, 
from the practice of a different name being given to 
an infant by every person present at its birth, and to 
strangers this often causes great confusion, the same 
individual being spoken of under distinct appellations. 

We had been desirous of trying to send letters to 
England, across the Yoruba country, by way of Abbeo- 
kuta and Lagos, and now consulted A'ma-A'boko 
about the practicability of so doing ; but he told us 
that, in consequence of the late deposition of Dasaba, 
the country about E'gga was so disturbed that he could 
not undertake to get them transmitted. This was 
our second disappointment, for while at Abo we 
had calculated on sending despatches to Bonny, 
which was frustrated by intercourse between these 
two places having been suspended. 

Trade was now going briskly on. Some fine tusks 
were offered, but at very high prices ; fowls, eggs, 
goats, and yams were in abundance, and fair tobacco 
was purchased at the rate of eleven pounds weight 
for 1000 cowries. A little boy, in stepping from one 
canoe to another, fell overboard, and being unable 
to swim, speedily disappeared. Another boy dived 
after him, and with some trouble brought him to the 


surface, and, tlioiigh carried astern by the strong- 
current, contrived to support liim until picked up. 
On being brought to the ship, I gave the boy a piece 
of cloth as a present, telling him it was for saving the 
life of his companion, on which all the natives around 
shouted and clapped their hands. In the afternoon, 
Mr, Crowther and I paid another visit to Igbegbe, 
and the surrounding country. The town is situated 
close to the river, on gently sloping ground, at the 
base of a range of hills, and is from twenty to fifty or 
sixty feet above the highest level of the water. The 
market was now nearly over, and we only found in it 
some yams and other vegetables, with a little tobacco, 
cotton, and a pink-coloured silky-looking material, 
upon which they set considerable value. Behind are 
large fields of maize, among which I found many 
unshapely erupted granitic-looking blocks, some 
curiously piled on each other. The number of 
Baobab-trees here is very great, their thick oak-like 
trunks and spreading foliage being very striking. 
On returning to our boat we found, seated on a mat, 
on a rocky eminence near the landing-place, sheltered 
by a kind of tent and attended by slaves, an old 
man, one of the eunuchs of the late Atta, who had 
come to this place to trade. He sent to invite us to 
speak to him, and receiving us very- politely, asked us 
to sit beside him. He ■ was attired in an ornamented 
Hausa tobe, and had on his head a cap of green 
satin, ornamented with purple plush. After a good 
deal of conversation he mentioned that he had an 


article which he wished to have matched, and accord- 
ingly gave some directions to a slave, who, disap- 
pearing, speedily retm-ned, carrying, with some 
ceremony, a large calabash, with which he knelt 
before me. In this was a common japanned earthen- 
ware jug, upon which O'gbe, for that was his name, 
gazed with intense admiration, asking me to give him 
another like it. I had to regret that it was not in 
my power to oblige him ; but promised, if ever I 
came up the river again, as I hoped I should do, that 
I would remember his commission. Next day, after 
church time, I landed and walked over a portion of 
the model-farm territory. The shore is lined by a 
thick belt of trees, beyond which is tall grass, so 
thick as greatly to impede progression. Great part 
of this land is low and swampy, and in the more 
elevated spots are projecting pieces of rock, which 
would materially interfere with culture. There is, 
however, ample choice of locality, dry or wet soil 
being easily found. I saw numerous tracks of wdld 
animals, chiefly of oxen and deer, and in one spot 
came upon the quite recent footprints of an elephant. 
I was much struck with some white ants' nests, which, 
in structure and in size, surpassed any I had ever 
previously seen. There w^ere about twenty distinct 
edifices, none less than six feet high, while one in 
particular w^as nearly fourteen feet, and turreted like 
an Elizabethan mansion. During the afternoon, two 
canoes, with some small horses on board, arrived 
from Muye, a town some distance up the Kwora, 


with a mixed population of Kakanda and Nupe 

The people of Igara employ no distinctive marks, 
and are very rarely seen at all tattooed. The inhabi- 
tants of Abo are always at once recognised by the 
men having three short, perpendicular lines, between 
the eye and the ear, and three shorter horizontal 
ones on the upper part of the nose, just between the 
eyebrows, while the women have the same mark on 
the nose, but have six of the perpendicular lines. 
In other parts of Tgbo difiPerent devices are employed, 
of which I shall speak hereafter. 

On leaving the Confluence, some needless delays 
took place ; and the vrood we had on board 
being of inferior quality, did not burn well ; so 
much so, that five or six times during the day, we had 
to anchor to get up steam, our entire progress not 
exceeding six or seven miles. Canoes accompanied 
us all day, and some petty trading was carried on. 
Mr. May and 1 landed at night on the north side, 
and got a meridian altitude of Vega. In the clearest 
night, when not a fragment of a cloud is visible, 
and the stars overhead shining with a resplendent 
brilliancy quite unknown in more northern latitudes, 
there is almost invariably a haze along the horizon 
extending upwards from ten to sixteen or eighteen 
degrees, and quite obscming any heavenly bodies 
within its boundary. This is more remarkable, and of 
greater intensity in the north and south than in the 
east and west, but especially in the north ; so much 


SO, that since our arrival in the river we had never 
got a single glimpse of the Polar star. We found 
that we were close to a little village, the entire popu- 
lation of which turned out ; and after a few prelimi- 
naries, Mr. May and I had to shake hands with 
every one present, to the number of forty or fifty, 
after which the headman gave me a fine fowl. Not 
having anything to offer him in return, I asked him 
to come on board and see me early in the morning, 
which he promised to do. The wood the next day 
burnt as feebly as before ; and after struggling 
against the stream for about a mile, we had again 
to anchor. Seeing there was no prospect of advanc- 
ing at this rate, and that the master was either 
unwilling or too lazy to find a remedy, I had to 
desire him to send a wooding party ashore, while 
Mr. Crowther and I proceeded to a village a httle 
way ofl", to see what could be effected. We there 
found abundance of excellent wood, ready cut and 
di-y, which the inhabitants were willing to sell, on 
which I sent for one of the large iron canoes, which 
w^as soon deeply laden at the expense of a few hun- 
dred needles, and some little zinc-cased looking- 
glasses. The village was named A'tipo, and was 
inhabited by I'gbira people, who are a busy, indus- 
trious set. Of this we had a good example, as no 
sooner did we inquire after wood, than every avail- 
able man, woman, and child in the place immediately 
set to collecting and carrying, so that a very ani- 
mating scene was presented. The late Mr. Beecroft 

CHAP. IV.] i'gBO and IGAKA. 79 

dui'ing his ascents of the river, used to purchase 
firewood very easily and cheaply for salt ; but unfor- 
tunately our supply of this article, which is always 
in great demand, was left behind at Fernando Po. 
A few drops of rain fell at this time, being the first 
we had seen for ten days. The river had not risen 
at all for nearly a fortnight, but the natives told us 
they were in daily expectation of its increase. They 
said that the previous season had been a very dry 
one, but that much rain was expected this year. 
The current ran here from three-and-a-half to four 
knots, being much stronger than the average. 
Among other articles brought on board for sale, was 
trona, or impure carbonate of soda, sometimes in 
little bags, but occasionally in cakes. This article 
is in constant requisition in all the markets, and is 
said to be supplied here from the upper parts of the 
Binue. In the evening a canoe reached us, bringing 
five men and a boy, who had been sent by A'ma-A'boko 
in fulfilment of his promise, which I had thought he 
had forgotten or neglected. I accordingly sent back 
to thank him, and promised to take great care of his 
messengers, and to bring them back in safety. There 
were two parties, one being the chief's own man, 
named Mama, with two followers, who were called 
Maka and Bami, the other being headed by a very 
intelligent man entitled Ztiri, who had frequently 
traded up the river, and who had with him his son 
Musa, a precious young imp, and a slave named 
O'robo. I was nmch pleased at their arrival, as 


not only would our intercourse with the natives be 
greatly facilitated, but we could more easily and 
more exactly ascertain the names of the places we 

Om' new wood biu'nt well, and the supply of steam 
was easily kept up. As a fine breeze was blow- 

Aug. 9. . . 

ing nearly right aft, we fitted one of our canoe- 
sails on a small spar, and set it on the foremast, the 
other we hoisted in one of the canoes, which was 
lashed alongside, and as the wind was fresh, this 
eased the engines considerably. Every day after we 
quitted the delta, we had always experienced a fine 
breeze, more or less strong, blowing, except during 
squalls, invariably up the river. Had we had our 
sails on board, much fuel would have been saved, 
and much greater progress been made ; but as already 
mentioned, the master had chosen to leave them 
behind at Clarence. The channel about this part of 
the river is very tortuous, requiring frequent crossing 
over from one side to the other, and very careful 
sounding. On the south side we saw a little village 
named "Bofu;" and shortly afterwards, nearly abreast 
of Harriet Island, picturesquely situated on the edge 
of a clifiP nearly eighty feet high, stands Ogba. We 
did not stay at this place, but anchored for the night 
some three miles further on, under the pretty hill 
named " Lander's Seat." Early next morning the 
chief sent to inquire, why we passed him, to which 
I replied that we were obliged to press on, being 
desii'ous of going a long journey, but that we should 

CHAP. IV.] i'qbo and igara. 81 

visit him on our return. Before getting under steam 
Mr. May and I landed for sidits on Little 

TT . ... Aug. 10. 

Harriet Island, which is simply a large sand- 
bank covered with high rank grass. The banks of the 
river are usually thickly and luxuriantly wooded down 
to the very water's edge, except in spots cleared for 
cultivation around the villages. A little inland on both 
sides are fine ranges of hills, those to the northward 
being lower and more rounded, while those to the 
southward are higher, more abrupt, and with numerous 
peaked eminences. Among these we had some diffi- 
culty in recognising Mount Vidal, but at last fixed 
on what seemed the loftiest and most remarkable, 
having an elevation of 900 to 1000 feet. The 
range itself I named after one of the former ex- 
plorers of the lower Binue, the "Oldfield Range." 
Islets of various shapes and sizes became more 
numerous, among which one particularly attracted 
our notice, from being covered with huts. We 
anchored close to the spot, which was just abreast of 
a large town on the right bank, named Yimaha. On 
landing, we found that the entire population had left 
this town from dread of a Pulata invasion, and had 
taken up their temporary abode on this little islet, on 
which they had been residing for three months. 
The encampment bore every mark of having been 
constructed in great haste, the huts being composed 
of dry sticks and reeds, yet these industrious people 
were weaving, picking cotton, and busily pursuing 
their various occupations. I paid a visit to their 


chief, a feeble, decrepit, very aged man, named 
Ozineku. I regretted much the cause of their exile, 
and said we were willing to purchase anything they 
had to sell, particularly ivory, provisions, and fire- 
wood. This little place was most fearfully infested 
with flies, so as forcibly to remind one of the Plagues 
of Egypt. During our hurried interview we obtained 
a partial exemption from their annoyance by hard 
smoking ; but even in that short space of time, these 
little pests seemed to become reconciled to the smell 
of our tobacco, or even to enjoy it, and darting 
through the clouds with which we enveloped our- 
selves, buzzingly mocked at us. Mosquitoes — I need 
not remind those who have sadly experienced them — 
are insect nuisances of the first degree of intensity ; 
the sleepless nights caused by their incessant tiny 
though ominous humming, and the irritating wounds, 
the results of their blood-thirsty voracity, are too 
much in the nightly experience of tropical travellers. 
Sand-flies are, perhaps, still more troublesome pests ; 
minute in the extreme, they almost defy detection, 
and pass exultingly through the finest gauze; yet, 
confiding in their number, which is Legion, they 
prove a most pitiless and most unwearying foe. But 
of all entomological curses, I do not know one which 
equals a swarm of ordinary flies. Commencing with 
early dawn, they pursue, surround, and torment you 
in the most indefatigable manner. They fly into 
your ears, they crawl over your face, creep up your 
nose ; and if you happen to yawn, you discover that 


even your mouth is not sacred. They seem, too, 
to be omnivorous, and to have the good taste to 
try whatever is selected as food for man. Hot or 
cold, raw or cooked, solid or fluid, sweet or sour, 
are equally the same, and in the excess of their 
sociality, they often insist upon sharing the very 
mouthful you are engaged on, or drinking from the 
glass already at your Hps. In the whole range of 
the insect world Moses could not have called forth 
a species more calculated to worry, to tease, to 
torment, or really to plague, than that ubiquitous 
form which we met with in Refuge Island. 

We afterwards landed at Yimalia, where we were 
received by a solitary individual, who welcomed us 
with a melancholy smile, telling us that only the day 
before four Fulata horsemen had visited them and had 
inspected the place, and he pointed out, close to where 
we were, the marks of then* horses' hoofs. These 
restless invaders had found the place deserted, and 
not having canoes could not attack the refugees on 
their insular abode ; but, as the river would soon 
be rising, and the place be overflowed, these unfortu- 
nates were living in daily, almost hourly, expectation 
of again being obliged to seek for another shelter. 
These Fulatas formed part of the band which had so 
lately sacked Panda and killed the King Oyigu, and 
who, not content with the extent of their raid, were 
seeking for more plunder ere they returned home. 
Our informant was by trade a dyer, and had come 
over with two companions to see if their works had 

G 2 


been left untouched. He conducted us through this 
abode of desolation, the numerous substantial-looking 
huts being forlorn-looking and empty, and the path- 
ways choked up with grass and weeds. We visited 
the King's residence, and were pointed out the 
chamber in which, twenty-one years before, "white 
men " had been received, namely, during Mr. Laird's 
visit in 1833, which our friend remembered very well. 
During our short stay here Dr. Hutchinson pur- 
chased upwards of 2001bs. of ivory at a moderate 
rate. In the evening we anchored oflF the mouth of 
the O'kwa, a little stream leading to Potinkia, the 
port of Panda. Polaris was visible for the first time, 
but unfortunately no landing-place was near. I 
watched for a long time for meteors, this being one 
of their regular epochs, but I did not observe more 
than half-a-dozen, all very high up, to the northward 
of the zenith, and describing very short courses. 

The morning of the 11th August was the first on 
which a heavy dew was noted, and a thick mist 
hung along the bases of the hills until sunrise. Mr. 
May and I went in the gig to search for a landing- 
place, and at last were successful in getting to a small 
sandbank, where we got a good set of sights and an 
azimuth, after which we pulled to the " Pleiad," 
already under steam, and coming towards us. Early 
in the forenoon the master, most unaccountably, and 
against the advice of Mr. Richards, who was with 
him, ran up a narrow, shallow-looking channel, and, 
as might have been expected, got the vessel a-ground. 


While attempting to back off, a valve in the after 
part of the boiler gave way, but the mate succeeded, 
after some time, in getting afloat by the use of a 
Sampson post, and shifting the deck cargo. Our 
chronometer rates had not been very satisfactorily 
ascertained previously, and as it was supposed that 
they might have changed since leaving the sea, my in- 
tention had been to remain for some days at Dagbo for 
that purpose, as it was of much consequence to deter- 
mine these as accurately as possible before entering 
on new ground. But the engineer's report now made 
me alter my plan, as he said the repairing of the 
engine would occupy at least two days. I therefore re- 
solved to delay where we were, as, being not very far 
from the sandbank on which we landed in the morning, 
we could make it the scene of operation, and then the 
set of sights akeady taken could be reckoned for om' 
purpose. Nearly opposite to our anchorage, on the 
left bank, stood a small village ; from which, after a 
time, canoes began to come to us. We asked for 
firewood, which was speedily brought in abundance, 
and of good quality. In the afternoon Mr. Crowther 
and I paid the people a visit, and were invited by the 
headman, who is named Obereku and Abaja, to his 
hut, where he gave us some beer. The place is named 
Kende, and was founded about three years ago ; but 
what rendered it peculiarly interesting to us, was, 
that we found most of the inhabitants to be refugees 
from Panda, who had fled after the recent capture 
of theii" town, and from them we learnt authentic 


particulars of this sad affair. The enemy, they said, 
did not come on openly ; but for several days many 
of them had been arriving at Panda in small bands, 
apparently for trade, when suddenly one morning 
they arose and assaulted the place, so unexpectedly 
that but little resistance was made. Few were killed, 
but numbers were made captives, the King being 
among the former. The city was then burnt, after 
which most of the Fulatas retired toAvards the town 
of Toto, about which spot they were supposed to 
be stiU lingering. Among these exiles thus rudely 
driven from theii' houses, was the son of the headman 
of Potinkia, near Panda. 

Two of the persons who were conversing with us 
remembered Mr. Laird's visit to Yimaha, and as I 
appeared well acquainted with his trip, and mentioned 
the names of various places around, they declared 
that I must have accompanied him, on which an 
old man, looking hard at me, affirmed that he 
recollected my face well, and was extremely sceptical 
when I assured him that at that time I was a very 
small boy indeed, hardly so high as his knee. This 
little village gives a good idea of a recent settlement. 
Its site was close to the river, the huts not yet continu- 
ous, but in little groups separated from each other by 
yet uncut shrubs and brushwood, and here and there 
were narrow footpaths leading to small cleared spots, 
sown with Indian and Dawa corn; on the outskirts lay 
prostrate huge trees, laboriously felled by their rude 
axes, but which they had not yet had time to cut up 


and remove ; while a few hundred yards behind was 
the still impenetrable forest, protecting and bounding 
them in the rear as the river did in front. 

Next morning, Mr. May and I landed on the sand- 
bank, and, having brought a supply of instru- 

Aug. 12. 

ments, prepared for a little work. We got a 
double altitude of the sun, and I took a set of mag- 
netic observations with Barrow's instrument, by which 
the dip of the needle was approximately determined to 
be 6° 6' 58". The thermometer in the sun ranged 
from 102° to 114° F. during the six hours we spent in 
these occupations. The coldest period tlu-oughout the 
twenty-four hours seemed to be about three a.m., the 
lowest temperature on board having been 69° '5 F. 
We again visited the village, when Mr. Crowther and I 
distributed a few thousand cowries among the poor 
people, who seemed extremely thankful, and what 
with the presents we gave them, and their earnings 
by selling yams, fowls, and firewood, I think it will be 
long before they forget the visit of the " white man's 
ship." We had now been a month in the river, and 
the health of all on board was perfect, and being 
quite clear of the swamps of the Delta, we were in 
great hopes that this unlooked-for exemption from 
disease might continue. 

On Sunday morning Mr. May and I were again at 
our station, when a set of lunar distances with the 
sun was taken, and at three o'clock next morning 
we once more landed to get a meridian altitude of 
Achemar, but were prevented by the cloudiness of 


tlie sky ; the moon shortly afterwards crossed the 
meridian, but at too great a height to be measured 
by the sextant in the artificial horizon. We were 
more fortunate a few hours afterwards in getting 
another set of lunars, and good sights, which com- 
pleted our labours, and permitted the chronometers 
to be re-rated. 

The district along the north side of the Binue, as 
far as we had come, was known by the name of Tgbira, 
its extent being, from the confluence eastward, about 
fifty miles. The chief town was Panda, now des- 
troyed, and to distinguish the country and its people 
from another tribe which I shall hereafter allude to, it 
is often styled rgbira-Panda, rgbira-Ihi, or I'gbu'a- 
Egii. The country has been represented, but wrongly, 
as being called Panda, which is properly confined to 
the town.* The people are highly civilised, friendly, 
civil, and most industrious, and with whom it is of 
much importance to keep on good terms, as a great 
deal of trade is carried on by their means. A few 
Muhammadans are to be found among them, but the 
great majority are Pagans, but with fewer barbarous 
rites than any other heathen tribe we encountered. 
Tattooing is not practised, nor have they any distinc- 
tive mark. In person they are rather tall, and well- 
made, with a sub-typical negro countenance, and they 
generally keep the body well covered with clothes. 

* Thus Koelle in his Polyglotta Africana, p. 9, speaks of E'gbira the 
capital of Opdnda ; whereas it should be the reverse. Op^nda also is 
incorrect, the o being merely an occasional prefix. 


They use a peculiar language, differing from the 
Igara, and having mixed affinities, chiefly with Nupe 
and Yoruba. There are also many I'gbira towns and 
settlements along the south bank of the Binue, 
although the country there is A'kpoto, subject to, 
and in reality part of, Igara. During the palmy days 
of the Attas of Idda, I'gbira was tributary to them, 
but at present it is independent of them, and likely 
to remain so. 

The scenery daily increased in beauty as we 
advanced up this noble stream. Numerous villages 
were discernible on both banks, the names of many 
of which we obtained from our Igbegbe party. One 
of large size, situated at the eastern side of the base of 
Mount Pleasant, was named Amaran, a little beyond 
which, opposite the " Bay Islands," was one of our 
anchorages. Just abreast of this on the north shore 
is the limit of the I'gbira country, its next neighbour 
being named Bassa,* a little village, which we could 
see among the trees, called Abatti, belonging to that 
district. Mr. May and I landed in the morning on 
one of the Bay Islands for sights, after which, having 
an hour to spare, we circumnavigated and explored 
them. During our return to the ship, we got near 
a herd of hippopotami, amusing themselves in shallow 
water, and being not more than a hundi'ed yards from 
them we had a good opportunity of watching them, 

* This appears to be a common African name, for besides the one now 
mentioned, there is another to the westward of the Confluence, and a third 
in the Delta in Oru ; there is also a Bassa to the northward of the Kru 


and if we had had a gun with us, could have had a 
famous shot. They became alarmed and made off, 
but one swam towards us apparently to reconnoitre, 
after which he rejoined his comrades, with, I suppose, 
important intelhgence. A little beyond this we 
anchored for a short time off a town named A'batsho, 
the last of the I'gbira settlements on the south side. 
The chief " I'robo," and his brother " Itshigbasa," re- 
fugees from Panda, and sons of one of the former kings 
of that city, came off to see us, and we were also visited 
by one of our K6ide acquaintances, Allagaba, late 
headman of Potinkia. Poor people, they were all in 
sad tatters, and bore with them ample evidence of 
their poverty and their privations. They were accom- 
panied by a drummer, to whom I gave a figm'ed 
handkerchief, on which he testified his excessive 
delight by making a prodigious rattling on his instru- 
ment. At night Mr. May and I had to land for our 
observations on a small sandbank, on which a crocodile 
also attempted to gain a footing, but was scared by 
the light of our bull's-eye lantern ; unpleasant as its 
company would have been, it could not have proved 
more annoying, nor could he have left so many marks 
behind him, as did the myriads of sandflies, which at 
last drove us, bleeding and nearly vanquished, away. 

Just above A'batsho the river presents a noble 
appearance, in breadth far exceeding any part we had 
seen. Its banks are clothed with tall graceful 
palms, and other magnificent trees, while numerous 
islands covered with verdure, which everywhere start 

CHAP. IV.] i'gbo and igara. 91 

into view, pleasantly diversify the scene, and tlie eye 
is enlivened by the frequent occurrence of green hills, 
in bright relief against the dark .. undulating moun- 
tains in the back ground. On the forenoon of the 
16th August, the ship was once more run aground, 
and having been got off again after the usual delays, 
was allowed to remain at anchor. Since entering the 
river the master had never once been out of the ship, 
but this afternoon he announced his intention of 
going himseK to sound. Accordingly, but not until 
after dinner, he started in the gig, which was well 
stored with great coats, cigars, and interpreters, and 
after an absence of an hour-and-a-half he retm'ned, 
shaking his head ominously, and remarking that we 
were awkwardly placed, and that he had anticipated 
this for several days, but said he should examine the 
channel again next day. I, however, ascertained that 
four fathoms could always be found, but that he had 
endeavoured to search for shallow rather than for deep 
water. Our observations next morning were taken 
on a little isolated patch of sand, so soft that it would 
hardly bear the weight of the artificial horizon, and 
as we were retm*ning we met Mr. Taylor, who had by 
this time finished his breakfast, setting out on his 
voyage of discovery. He reached the ship again 
about sunset, and after due refreshment requested an 
interview with me, when he stated that he considered 
it imjjossihle for the ship to advance any fiu'ther. 
Having made him repeat this opinion in the hearing 
of Mr. May, I told him that I completely differed 


from him, and should therefore reheve him from 
charge of the vessel, and try to take her up myself. 
Not anticipating such a reply, he tried to modify his 
opinion, but this I would not permit, so he asked 
Mr. May and myself to come below and talk the 
matter over with his chief officers. From them, with 
the exception of a junior supercargo, he received no 
encouragement, and as I continued firm in my deter- 
mination, he made up his mind to get out of his 
scrape with the best grace he could, announcing that 
for peace sake he would yield the point, and dropping 
some hints, meant to be awfully significant, about 
mutiny and piracy, retired to his beloved couch 
and cigar. 

A record of squabbles of this kind is by no means 
pleasant, and certainly cannot be entertaining, but I 
have felt it necessary to record the reasons which 
obliged me to take such strong steps. We had been 
thirty-six days in the river, and had not reached 
Dagbo, the point attained by Allen and Oldfield 
under trying circumstances twenty-one years before. 
Numerous, most unjustifiable delays had taken place, 
and were daily recurring. Disputes between the 
master and his officers were constantly taking place, 
so as to render everyone uncomfortable. The season 
was rapidly advancing, and if some decisive measures 
had not been at once adopted, the expedition would 
certainly have proved a failure, and there then Avould 
have been no inducement to repeat the experiment. 
All these obstructions and impediments were most dis- 

CHAP. IV ] i'gbo and igaea. 93 

tinctly attributable to Mr. Taylor, who had repeatedly 
exhibited a most lamentable amount of apathy and 
indecision, besides displaying great lack of judgment, 
and an unpardonable want of interest in our success. 
Nor were the direct interests of his employer, Mr. Laird, 
better attended to ; he never went ashore, nor made 
any commercial inquiries, all the purchases made 
having been exclusively effected by Dr. Hutchinson. 
I was tired of ordering, of stimulating, and of com- 
plaining, all attempts to rouse the man even to 
ordinary exertion having been failures. It was useless 
to desire him to perform what in his opinion was 
impossible, besides which he had expressed it as his 
belief that we had now reached the end of the river, 
which hereabouts expanded into a large lake. On 
all these considerations, I looked on myself as 
absolutely obliged to have recourse to the means I 
have mentioned, and fully justified in assuming the 
entire responsibility and direction. I therefore told 
Mr. Harcus, the chief mate, a most praiseworthy and 
skilful ofiicer, that I should consider him for the 
future as sailing-master, that his duties should be to 
look after the ship, and attend to the navigation of 
the river, a post for which he was admirably qualified. 
Other arrangements being completed, I ordered steam 
to be ready for a start by seven in the morning. 



Aug. 18. 

By daylight I despatched Mr. Ricliards in the 
gig to sound, and by seven o'clock the "Pleiad" 
was under steam, threading her way along 
very circuitous channels. When off Eruko a canoe 
came alongside, bringing me a goat from the King of 
Bassa, to whom I sent a present in return, promising 
a visit when we came down the river. We touched 
the ground several times, but easily got off, and by 
half-past eleven anchored off Dagbo, certainly by a 
rather troublesome and winding passage, but which had 
been only the day before pronounced by Mr. Taylor, 
after several examinations, as impracticable. A wooding 
party was immediately sent ashore, and as there was 
abundant depth of water, the steamer was hauled in 
close to the bank, which greatly facilitated the shipment 
of the fuel. Wood was pm'chased easily and cheaply, 
and was pronounced by Mr. Guthrie to be of excellent 
quality. Mr. Crowther and I walked through this 
little village, now much reduced, and observed numer- 
ous plantations of rice, Indian corn, cotton, and 
tobacco. Dagbo is the first town in the territory of 


Doma, whicli we were now entering upon, and was 
the farthest point reached by the "Alburkah " in 1833. 
At night when Mr. May and I landed, we found 
mosquitoes so numerous and so active, that we had to 
set the Krumen to collect straw and sticks for a fire, 
and under the protection of the smoke obtained the 
wished-for observations. Next morning Mr. Richards 
again went a-head to sound, after which we proceeded 
with gradually decreasing waters, until at last it did 
not exceed a fathom and a half. Still as this had 
been carefully examined we passed on at half speed, 
and soon reached a better channel. Stretching from 
below Eruko to beyond Dagbo is an extensive group of 
large wooded islands, some of them inhabited, to 
which I gave the name of the " Admiralty Archi- 
pelago." Numerous shoals and sandbanks rendered 
our navigation somewhat intricate ; one moment we 
might be proceeding nearly at full speed along one 
side, carrying four fathoms, and a few minutes after- 
wards slowly groping our way along the opposite 
shore, the leadsman heaving incessantly, and singing 
out " quarter less two," or " half one." We were 
gradually approaching the Doma hills, which, though 
not high, are prettily rounded, and clothed, not hid, by 
fine foliage ; the centre peak, which is about the highest, 
I named after the officer who first delineated the range, 
" Mount Allen." About fom- o'clock, though we 
could see no indications of any town, our guide told us 
that we were off A'kpoko. We accordingly anchored, 
and getting into the gig under his pilotage, speedily 


discovered an opening, quite concealed from the river, 
leading into a fine creek, up which we pulled some 
two hundred yards, and then landing found ourselves 
close to the town. To enter we had to cross a ditch, 
some six feet deep, by three small trunks of trees 
thrown loosely over. On the further side was a 
narrow gateway closed up after dark by cross-stakes. 
The people, especially the younger portion, seemed 
rather alarmed, but were at length satisfied by the 
assurances of our guide, who as a trader had been 
here before, and had numerous acquaintances. We 
went at once to the house of the headman, who, 
coming to meet us, asked us into a kind of reception 
court, where mats were spread for us. When all the 
spectators had paid their humble respects, Zuri 
came forward, bending lowly on his knees, throwing 
dust on his head, and repeating ten or a dozen times 
a short formal salutation, which elicited from the chief 
a corresponding number of acknowledgments. He 
then delivered a message from A'ma-A'boko concern- 
ing us, which was well received, after which I paid 
him the usual compliments, and told him the purport 
of our visit. I gave him a present of red cloth and 
calicoes, and received from him a fine goat. Seeing 
people gathering around us with various articles for 
sale, I said that if they came off at once with us, we 
would deal with them, to which all present consented. 
As had been our custom ever since leaving the Con- 
fluence, I made inquiries after two white travellers, 
but could hear tidings of none. The chief, whose 


name is Magaji, is about forty years old, and is an 
intelligent, good-tempered looking man. We ascer- 
tained that no person in A'kpoko had ever seen white 
men previously, which accounted for the alarm our 
presence had at first caused. A'kpoko is situated at 
the foot of one of the Doma hills, and was by far the 
cleanest and driest town we had visited. On return- 
ing on board we were followed by numerous canoes, 
bringing ivory, fowls, eggs, and limes; Shea-butter 
is said to be plentiful, but none was produced. With 
these people a brisk trade was carried on for long after 
dark, and many purchases were made. 

Hitherto we had invariably kept quite stationary on 
the Sundays, but, considering the rapid advance of 
the season, and the vast amount of work in store for 
us, I felt that I would not be justified in remaining 
at rest ; I therefore determined to proceed during at 
least part of the day, and accordingly got under 
steam by six o'clock. A long island, nearly 
two miles in extent, on which we had landed the night 
previous for observations, was named after the oldest 
of British Admirals, " Sir Charles Ogle's Island." 
Beyond this the river took a northerly bend, and we 
found a channel with from four to five fathoms. A 
group of three islands, which we passed in this reach, I 
named after a celebrated traveller, though in far other 
climes. Sir John Richardson. About nine o'clock the 
water shoaled very suddenly in three casts of the lead 
from seven fathoms to two, and before the engine 
could be well stopped we were aground, but getting 


off without difficulty we anchored, and giving the men 
time to clean themselves, rigged the church for ser- 
vice. In the afternoon the Krumen having had three 
or four hours' rest, we again weighed anchor and 
steamed along a troublesome channel until dark. We 
passed several villages, chiefly on the right bank, but 
none of any size. We got the names of Otia, Ayati, 
and Zuwo, on the north side, and Aghadumo on the 
south. The following mornina; we had a very 

Aug. 21. . . , . ., 

heavy dew and a thick mist, lasting until sun- 
rise, after which we had to proceed cautiously, keeping 
the gig a-head sounding for a considerable distance. 
Two finely wooded islands, which we passed, were 
named respectively, " Isabella Island," and " Darwin's 
Island." We were aground several times, and on 
one occasion had to shift the deck cargo, and use a 
kedge. By the carelessness of one of the men a warp 
got entangled in the fan, which obhged us to anchor, 
rig sheers, and hoist the fan out of the water, after 
which it was too late to do much more work. The 
afternoon had been lowering, and just before dark a 
line of dark, muddy water was seen coming down the 
river, being the first indication of the approaching 
rise. This was attended with a slight squaU, and as 
there were signs of a tornado, all requisite precautions 
were taken. We escaped, however, very well, merely 
experiencing a heavy thunder shower shortly after 

Our fuel was becoming exhausted, and as we 
could see no wooding spot near, I became anxious 


about tlie means of replenishing our stock. A town 
named O'jogo was said to be not far distant, where 
good wood was reported to be abundant, for which 
we therefore pushed on as rapidly as the very trouble- 
some navigation permitted. For nearly two days it 
was one incessant scene of getting aground, laying 
out anchors and kedges, shifting cargo, emptying and 
refilling the boilers, and sounding in the boats ; but 
finally, by dint of considerable exertion, and of much 
labour on the part of the Kru-boys, we got into a deeper 
channel, and shortly afterwards anchored off 

,. . . Aug. 23. 

O'jogo, a pretty little town situated on the 
eastern extremity of a rather extensive island. Mr. 
Richards, who had been a-head in the gig, returned on 
board with the intelligence that two white men were 
reported to have been very lately in a neighbouring 
town, on hearing which I immediately went ashore to 
see the chief. The village was at first rather empty 
and deserted, but we found that this was owing to a 
number of the inhabitants having been alarmed at the 
unprecedented, and to them inexplicable, appearance 
of a steamer in their waters, and having taken refuge 
in the adjoining woods. On arriving at the chief's 
residence, mats were spread for us under a wide- 
spreading tree, and presently the chief himself made 
his appearance; a fine-looking, rather tall, elderly 
man, carrying in his hand a long stick, from which 
was suspended a small brass bell, which he rang 
whenever he heard anything that pleased him. He 
expressed his thankfulness that white men had 

H 2 


reached his town, and hoped that we should prove 
his friends. I then asked him if it was the case that 
some strangers were near O'jogo, on which he said it 
was quite true, some white men had been at Keana, 
and that he believed they were still there. I informed 
him that one of our objects in coming up the river 
was to enquire after two travellers, and that as these 
might possibly prove to be the persons whom we 
sought, I should like either to go or to send a mes- 
senger to this place. The chief said he would despatch 
a messenger of his own, and, if I liked, one might go 
from me at the same time. Both Mr. May and myself 
were very anxious to visit Keana, believing that we 
could get our business much more quickly settled 
personally than by any deputy, besides being able to 
see a good deal of the country ; but the chief advised 
us not to go, because there would be much detention, 
as we should have to stop at all the towns and villages 
we passed, to visit the chiefs, and to be looked at. 
I therefore thought of our Igbegbe party, and the 
two headmen expressing their willingness to proceed, 
I selected them for the purpose. The chief, whose 
names are O'robo and Amishi, and also as king of the 
district, O'jogo, said that as soon as we had gone 
away he would call a council of his headmen, and 
make the necessary arrangements ; so, not to cause 
any delay, we at once left, having as usual exchanged 
presents. A Keana-man walked to the beach with 
us, telling us that he had very lately returned from 
that town, where he had himself seen the two 


strangers, who were living in tents, and he described 
the one as a broad-faced man with a beard, and the 
other as younger and more hghtly made. I asked 
him on board, and getting Petermann's large atlas of 
the "Expedition to Central Africa," showed him the 
frontispiece, on which he at once selected the engrav- 
ing of Dr. Barth, saying that was one of the faces, 
only the beard w^as wanting, and he then hesitated 
between the portraits of Drs. Overweg and Vogel, but 
at last selected the latter. This appeared so satisfac- 
tory, that I determined to remain until at least I 
could hear from Keana, and I gave my informant, 
Os4bo, a present for the good news he had brought. 
Early the next morning Mr. Crowther and I visited 
O'robo to try to hurry movements, no easy task, and 
at length, by dint of urging, persuading, and bribing, 
got matters into a fair train. I then gave Zuri a 
letter for the " white men," a present for the King 
of Keana, and 8000 cowries for the subsistence of his 
party while travelling. At their own urgent request 
I gave them also a couple of muskets, to fire a salute 
on arriving at Keana, on which they promised that, 
although the regular journey was four days, they 
would perform it in three. This business being 
settled I got the chief to pay us a visit on board, 
and was rather surprised that, although he had never 
seen Europeans before, one of his first requests was 
for something to drink. As there was very little 
firewood in the village, we looked out for good 
wooding spots, and having found one set all hands 


to work. We then proceeded to make a further in- 
spection of O'jogo, which is of very limited extent, 
washed by the river on the one side, and surrounded 
by dense forests, among which were numerous mag- 
nificent oil palms, of which the inhabitants make no 
use. Numbers of monkeys were seen gambolhng 
among the trees, some displaying most wonderful 
feats of agility. I observed one in particular glide 
suddenly along a slender branch, and spring from the 
end of it to another tree, and this at the height of 
at least thirty feet from the ground. 

Just opposite to O'jogo, on the southern side of 
the Binue, lived a strange tribe named " Mitshi," of 
whom we had heard once or twice further down the 
river, as Misi or Mishi, and who were described as 
a lawless set of cannibals. During one of our visits 
to O'jogo we met several of them, who had come 
across by canoe, and whose appearance certainly 
partially justified the accounts which had reached our 
ears. Wild in look, and ruder in dress, greatly 
tattooed, and carrying constantly with them their 
bows and arrows, these men seemed perfect imper- 
sonifications of savages. Yet, when spoken to, 
though at first rather shy, they entered freely into 
conversation with us ; but they were unwilhng to 
tell us much about themselves. At O'jogo they have 
not a very good character, being considered quarrel- 
some and treacherous, and we were accordingly warned 
against them, which, however, we fancied was done 
out of jealousy, as there had been a rather serious 


dispute between the two parties, only a few months 
previously, when several men had been killed on both 
sides. Wishing, therefore, to see more of this 
singular race, we selected a morning when a market 
was to be held at one of their villages, about a mile 
from our anchorage. As interpreter we had engaged 
a woman named Ontise, from O'jogo, who was the 
chief's sister, and occupied the important office of 
President of the Board of Trade, being supposed to 
attend to all commercial affairs, regulate prices, and 
watch the markets ; but, when she came on board, 
she became afraid, and declined going, saying the 
Mitshis would not like to see so many W'hite men. 
But on our visit we resolved to go without her, and 
accordingly Mr. Crowther, Dr. Hutchinson, and 
myself started in the gig, and pulled towards the 
town. The moment was inopportune, for, as we 
approached the place, we heard cries and lamentations, 
and saw numerous canoes shoving off in a very 
hurried manner, from one of the occupants of which 
we learnt that the Mitshis had, on some trifling 
pretext, plundered the market and driven off the 
O'jogo people. The landing-place was at the foot of 
a steep bank, of some eight or ten feet high, on the 
top of which was a number of natives, variously 
armed, in an extremely excited state. Thinking, 
possibly, that w^e had come to assist our O'jogo 
friends, they forbade our approach, and, as we drew 
closer in, bent their bows and drew their swords. I 
attempted to speak to them, and showed them 


some presents I had with me for them ; but to no 
purpose. Their numbers momentarily increased, and 
theii' actions became more menacing. I had no arms 
with me, and even if I had it w^ould have been most 
impolitic to employ them, my resolve being never to 
take to them on any pretext, except in absolute self- 
defence ; besides which, a quarrel at such a time 
might have been fruitful in bad results in years to 
come, and would most certainly have left an un- 
favourable impression. The boat's crew now got 
alarmed, seeing the arrows and spears aimed at them, 
not more than ten or a dozen yards off, and, in their 
confusion, could scarcely use their oars. The in- 
terpreter t^o got frightened, which increased our 
difficulties, as we had now no means of parleying 
with our opponents. Seeing that it was of no use to 
delay longer, and that a further attempt at landing 
would only end in a scuffle, I resolved to forego our 
visit, trusting to some future opportunity. On en- 
quiring afterwards at O'jogo for some explanation of this 
strange scene, I learnt that such conduct was by no 
means unfrequent. O'robo told me that the Mitshis 
were originally a set of slaves, who had rebelled, and, 
settling in part of A'kpoto, had greatly increased in 
numbers, had become independent, were spread over 
an extensive territory, and were very troublesome 
neighbours. Then- language was quite peculiar, and 
did not resemble any of the surrounding dialects.* 

* Koelle gives specimens of it under the name of Tiwi ; others are 
printed in the appendix to Crowther's Journal. 


The village at which we had tried to land was called 
" Akpama," and a little further up was another called 
" Wantili ; " but each one is independent of the 
other. From this latter village we met, the same 
afternoon, several men, who appeared very friendly ; 
and, not more than three days afterwards, we fell in 
with, in O'jogo, the very chief who had so opposed 
our landing at Akpama. When questioned as to his 
reasons for his behaviour, he said that then he did 
not know much about us, but fancied we might be 
coming to take part against them, and further, that 
at that moment he could not have answered for the 
conduct of his people. I explained to him our wishes 
in going to visit him, and asked him to come on 
board and see us, which he promised to do, saying 
everything now was settled and understood, and he 
would tell his countrymen to trade with us. I believe 
that this unfortunate tribe, being against everyone, 
and everyone being against it, has rendered it ex- 
tremely suspicious of any visitors, theii- rude minds 
not being able to comprehend anything beyond war 
and rapine, except trade, which they hold to mean 
every man enriching himself, when possible, at the 
expense of his neighbour. The Mitshis, as far as we 
could judge, are all wdlder and less intelligent than 
any of the other African races with whom we have 
had intercourse, except the Baibai Djukus. Their 
skins are usually, but not invariably dark, and the 
negro profile is w^ell marked. Over each eyebrow 
is a series of short perpendicular cuts, and on 


each cheek they have usually a curved incision, thus 
"^vG) ; some are also marked on the arms and 
the sides, with various devices. Their clothing is 
but scanty, and the head is kept uncovered. Their 
arms are spears, short broad-pointed swords, and 
bows and arrows ; the scabbards, made of light- 
coloured goatskin, are often prettily ornamented with 
indigo and camwood. 

A great commotion was caused in O'jogo, one 
afternoon, by Mr. May's measuring a base line along 
the shore, for taking the breadth of the river by 
triangulation. The chief, with the heads of the war 
department, and several privy councillors, came down 
in great tribulation, supposing this was some pre- 
paratory step on our part to taking possession of his 
dominions. It took a long time to satisfy his doubts 
and anxieties, the explanation being rendered the 
more difficult from trigonometry and surveying not 
having formed a part of his early studies, but we gave 
him to understand that we were only measuring the 
river to know where to find deep water the next time 
we paid him a visit. The very same evening, 
our movements again excited alarm, as we were 
ashore for observations, having with us, as was our 
custom, our lantern. It was then very hard to per- 
suade these exalted personages that we were not 
practising the black art, for what other reason could 
be assigned for our gazing at the stars, and bowing 
our heads towards the earth? We quieted their 
apprehensions for the time, but so strong was the 


impression, that next morning the old chief sent off 
a deputation to confer with us concerning these 
mysterious rites. To prevent all further disquietude 
I immediately went and called upon O'robo, and by 
Mr. Crowther's kind assistance, managed to explain 
our proceedings in a manner intelligible to the royal 
comprehension. This important business being finally 
settled, the chief introduced us to two embassies, 
from towns along the river, sent to O jogo to make 
enquiries about the strange ship which had been 
reported to have made its appearance in the river. 
One of these, headed by two chiefs, named Akando 
and Akpake, was from Jefulla, the King of A'kpa, 
while the other envoy, Gabidoku, came on behalf of 
Mohamma, King of Kondoku. Being about to go 
on board, 1 invited these people to come with us and 
inspect our vessel, so that they might judge for them- 
selves. We became great friends with O'robo, who 
sent us, as presents, on dificrent occasions, large 
messes of food prepared according to the rules of 
Doma cookery. One of these closely resembled what 
is known to Europeans along the coast as fufu, and 
the other what is there also called palaver sauce. 
The first is made properly of yams, which ought to be 
cut into small pieces, dried, pounded, and boiled, 
and then made up into small rounded masses ; but 
where yams are scarce or not to be had, it is pre- 
pared from Indian or dawa (dower) corn treated 
much in the same way, but which does not eat so 
nicely. The sauce is a dark-coloured, oily stew, 


made from fish, fowl, meat, or all together, with palm 
oil, seasoned with capsicum, and often coloured green 
with the dried leaves of the baobab tree. Its appear- 
ance is rather against it, but when carefully prepared 
is far from unpalatable, and by the natives is 
reckoned a most savoury compound. The orthodox 
method of partaking of these delicacies is to have the 
fufu in one calabash, and the sauce in another ; then 
taking a piece of the yam in the fingers, dip it into 
the sauce, and transfer the whole to the mouth. In 
some of the more refined places, as at Igbegbe, little 
pellets of rice, strongly peppered, are served up 
in the palaver sauce, and render the dish more 

One forenoon Mr. May and Mr. Harcus, while 
pulling about in the gig, being near Akpama, landed, 
and having been very well received, succeeded in 
inducing the old chief whom I had invited to accom- 
pany them on board, and though a little shy at first, 
he soon gathered confidence, but no sooner was this 
visit known at O'jogo than another warning about 
the Mitshi character was sent to us. As another 
market was to be held next day, I wished to attend 
to see the articles for sale, and to endeavour to 
purchase a bullock, which we had been told was 
procurable on that side of the river. Aliheli, our inter- 
preter, tried to persuade me not to go myself, and at 
last came and seizing hold of my hand, said, " You 
must not go, it no be good ;" so finding from this that 
there was still some prejudice against white men, and 


believing that my presence would only defeat our 
object, I gave up the idea. Aliheli w^nt, but before 
he would start, insisted on having a pistol with him. 
He returned in the afternoon, having only been able to 
buy a dozen very inferior yams, and he reported that the 
people had behaved badly to him, and tried in the most 
open manner to steal some handkerchiefs from him. 
I examined the stock in trade of a woman who was 
going to the market, and found it to consist of a little 
antimony, some Indian and dawa corn, and some 
small bags of salt. These latter contained in each 
about a small breakfast-cupful, the selling price of 
which was from 250 to 300 cowries. It was dark- 
gray coloured, and was said to be obtained from 
the neighbourhood of a small lake near Keana. 

Day after day passed away, and still no tidings 
from our messengers. Rumours of arrivals from 
Keana frequently reached our ears, but, on enquiry, 
were found to have no foundation, and were raised, 
I have no doubt, to induce us to prolong our stay. 
I began to get restless and impatient, and at length, 
after eight days' delay, resolved, as my health was 
better adapted for the journey than that of any of the 
other Europeans, to go to Keana myself. I accord- 
ingly went to the chief to make arrangements for a 
guide, and had settled to start next morning, when my 
plans were suddenly altered. Osabo, the man who 
had originally given us the intelligence about the 
white travellers, visited us again this forenoon, and 
for the twentieth time, we made him repeat his story, 


and having it rendered word after word, discovered that 
a most important mistake had been made in the 
translation. Instead of his having reached O'jogo 
six days before our arrival, we now found that he 
had been there for six weeks, and it was previous to 
that date that he had seen the mysterious strangers ; 
a view of the case which totally upset all our prior 
calculations. Supposing the travellers to have been 
Drs. Earth or Vogel, it was unlikely that they would 
have remained nearly two months in one town, where 
no effort had been made to detain them ; moreover, 
if they were really the personages, the report of our 
stay at O'jogo must have long ere now reached 
them. Further delay would seriously have affected 
the ulterior results of our voyage, so I came to the 
determination to allow two more days, and finally to 
depart at daylight on the Monday morning following. 
Heavy rain had been falling, and the river was 
decidedly rising, a difference of upwards of five feet 
having been measured since the day we anchored. 
Our wooding party had been hard at work, and had 
been successful in getting excellent fuel, but the 
quantity cut was not great, owing to the hardness of 
the wood, and the imperfect tools they had to use. 
The only wood-cutting implements which the master 
had supplied, were small hand-hatchets, of poor 
material, the edges and handles of which were con- 
stantly breaking, and the labom* of cutting with them 
was immense. Often have I watched a tall muscular 
Kriiman, who, after hitting away with all his might. 


and perspiring at every pore, could only succeed in 
getting through a small branch, which would have 
been readily severed by two or three blows from a 
good American axe. We had not a single cross-cut 
saw, but one sledge-hammer, which was borrow^ed 
from the engine-room, and the only wedges w^ere such 
as Mr. Guthrie managed to manufacture from spare 
soft-ii'on fire-bars, and which seldom, if ever, exceeded 
an inch-and-a-half in thickness. The wonder is, that, 
with such exceedingly faidty and imperfect tools, we 
ever managed to cut the quantity of wood we did. 
Visitors from towns further up the river continued to 
pour in upon ils, and among others a man who had lost 
one foot and part of his leg by the bite of a crocodile, 
for whom Mr. Guthrie undertook to construct a 
serviceable wooden leg. 

Oiu- detention at O'jogo was not lost to us. Mr. 
May, with Mr. Guthrie's assistance, had constructed, 
out of a spare brass engine-cock with a double joint, 
a sextant-stand, which greatly facilitated him in the 
use of that instrument. Repeated observations of 
various kinds enabled our position to be fixed astro- 
nomically with considerable accuracy : the chrono- 
meters were carefully re-rated ; the river was measured 
and surveyed, and the dip of the needle ascertained. 
Mr. Crowther got a vocabulary prepared of the 
Doma, or as it is also termed the Arago language, and 
also secured a few Mitshi words ; and, lastly, it 
enabled us to become well acquainted with the habits 
and disposition of the people, and to ascertain the 


resources of the country. Doma, formerly powerful, 
has become of late a declining state, and has lost its 
independence. The principal provinces are Agatu, 
the westernmost district along the river, in which 
Dagbo and A'kpoko are situated ; Doma proper, in the 
centre and more inland ; and Keana to the eastward 
of these. Doma and Agatu have been subject to the 
Fulatas of Zaria for ten years, while Keana pays 
tribute to Bautshi. O'jogo, formerly in Doma proper, 
has been for some years tributary to Keana, which 
was brought about as follows. A man named E'gu, 
son of a King of Doma, was killed while residing at 
O'jogo. His mother was a Keana woman, so his father 
applied to the king of Keana to help him to avenge 
his death, and the matter was finally ended by O'jogo 
being seized by, or ceded to, Keana. Doma at one 
time paid an annual contribution to Igara, and Kedna 
was formerly to some extent tributary to Wukari. 
The language of this district is peculiar, and has 
affinities principally with the Nupe. The men are 
usually above the average height, many being six feet 
or upwards in stature. In person they are generally 
spare, their skins are usually very dark, the facial 
angle is considerable, and they are very intelligent. 
Among them I observed a peculiar shape of skull very 
frequently, namely elongated and greatly compressed. 
Many elderly persons of both sexes are to be seen, 
indicative of health and longevity. The hair of the 
men is usually kept wholly or partially close cut or 
shaved; the beard seldom makes any show until 


about the age of thirty, and seldom ever exceeds two 
or three inches in length. Many of the women stain 
the eyelids with antimony, and a few colour the whole 
skin with camwood. The dress consists of a simple 
hip cloth, over which is another piece of cloth fastened 
round the waist, and reaching variously from just 
above the knee to half-way down the leg, and in cold 
weather a thin piece is thrown loosely over the 
shoulders, or by those who can afford them, Hausa 
tobes are worn. Children use no covering at aU until 
about six or seven years of age, and they usually have 
round the neck, the wrists, and the hips, strings of 
beads or cowries, as amulets. Women wear a large 
piece of cloth from the waist to the knees, leaving the 
breast generally uncovered. The principal ornaments 
in fashion are armlets or wristlets, either fine brass 
ones bought at the Confluence, or smaller ones 
from the Hausa markets or from Wukari ; but 
sometimes they are made by loosely twisting round 
the arm thick brass wire rods. Rings are mostly of 
brass or copper, more rarely of ivory; anklets are 
seldom worn ; necklaces of beads or of pebbles, or 
charms of cowries, are in constant use. The ear- 
ornaments are usually small bits of pebble thrust 
through the lobe. The men generally carry, as arms, 
swords from twelve to twenty inches in length, slung 
over the shoulder ; a sharp-pointed knife, with a hollow 
handle, through which the hand is thrust ; and also 
long-handled spears with pointed heads. Less fre- 
quently bows and arrows appear, these being reserved 


for warfare or hunting. I saw one man with a rough 
leather sheath, made of bullock's-hide, extending from 
the Avrist nearly to the elbow, to prevent the skin 
being chafed by the bow-strings, while on the right 
forefinger was worn a short iron thimble for the 
same purpose. The form of salutation, when an 
inferior presents himself, is by kneeling down, bending 
the head towards the ground, throwing dust against 
the forehead and on the head, and repeating some 
words of greeting, which ceremony, if the comer be 
of sufficient consequence, is repeated by the other 
party. But if two friends meet on the road they 
merely shake hands or embrace each other. There 
is no general national mark in Doma, but many of 
the inhabitants are seen with ten or a dozen 
curved lines along each cheek; and among people 
from Ke^na, especially women, I have noticed, 
under the left eye, two rows of very short perpen- 
dicular lines, thus, '^^Y/f"/"!'""nini'ini!ml Polygamy is here, 
as elsewhere, customary, but is not carried to any 
very great extent. One singular custom prevails, at 
least near O'jogo. The sisters of the chief never 
marry, but are allowed to select any man they choose, 
and to give him up when they get tii'ed of him. We 
saw one woman who had a family of eleven children, 
most of whom had different fathers. A very curious 
currency exists in Doma, and is known as far as 
Katshina. It is of iron made in the form of a small 
hoe, with a long spike at one end, thus. 


These are tied up in bundles of a dozen, or there- 
abouts, and thirty-six are said to be the ordinary 
price of a slave. This strange money is in Doma and 
in Kororofa called Akika, by the Mitshi I'bia, and in 
Hausa Agelema.* With this, as with most other African 
tribes, the early part of the evening is the time when 
most of the food is prepared. It is then that their 
corn is ground, the bread baked, the fish or meat 
cooked, and their beer brewed; all these operations 
being exclusively in the hands of the female part of 
the population. To grind their corn a trunk of a 
small tree is hollowed out, into which the grain is put, 
while two, or sometimes three women, standing 
around, with long heavy sticks beat it and pound it, 
delivering their blows in excellent time; it is then 
roughly sifted and reduced to meal, by rubbing it 
between two stones. I observed a curious game 
played by boys at jogo. A little conical pit, some 
three or four inches deep, is dug in the sand, at the 
bottom of which is placed on its base a shell, prepared 
by removing the body whorl and mouth of a species 
of Lwiacolarius, and leaving the conical spire. A 
number of boys sit round, all holding in their hands 
a number of similar shells, and each in his turn 
spins one of these into the pit ; most of which, when 
they cease turning, fall resting on the side. At length 
one falling settles on its base, apex upwards, the for- 
tunate possessor of which wins all the shells which 
happen to be at the moment in the hole. 

* Vide Appendix B. 

I 2 


Crocodiles are very abundant in the vicinity of 
O'jogo, and are frequently killed by the natives. 
Another allied and very singular inhabitant of the 
river is a False- Gavial {Mecistops), of which my 
assistant purchased a skull for me, the only one we 
saw or heard of during our voyage. I got some 
specimens of a fine vulture {Gypolderax Angolensis), 
well distinguished by its clearly-marked, showy 

About noon on the Saturday before we left this 
place, Mr. Taylor said to me he had been thinking of 
having one of the trade canoes sent to the Confluence 
to trade until our return. To this I made, of course, 
no objection, only wondering how such a plan had 
not been sooner thought of, and not left to the very 
last moment. The canoe was at some distance 
wooding, so I at once recalled it, had it cleaned out 
and made ready, and a cargo having been got ready 
by great exertion on the part of Dr. Hutchinson, it 
was almost aU shipped by night. The next morning 
I selected eight Krumen and three others, an ample 
crew, and besides quite as many as could be spared, 
though more were urgently asked for. At Mr. Taylor's 
request, I allowed the second engineer to accompany 
the canoe, Mr. Guthrie finding that he could be well 
spared. Mr. Crawford, the junior supercargo, was 
selected to have charge of the trading concerns, so the 
party consisted of thirteen in all, with an easy run 
down before them with the stream. While getting 
ready their provisions, a cask of sugar was found to 


be missing, wliich caused a great commotion, so 
mucli so, that the canoe did not leave us until some 
miles above O'jogo, in the hopes of the lost com- 
modity turning up. As soon as I heard the report, 
finding that only six pounds of sugar were in the 
ship, I immediately ordered it to be put aside in case 
of sickness, and until our retmii to Fernando Po we 
were entirely without this luxury ; there the missing 
cask was discovered in a warehouse, having been left 
behind in the confusion of starting. 

Above O'jogo the current ran nearly three knots, 
the river being for a short distance confined between 
banks, behind which was finely wooded rising land, 
where also oil-palms were noted for the last time. 
Along the river edge, generally partially embedded 
in the banks, were large unshapely looking blocks of 
rock, bearing evident marks of igneous action. A 
village on the right bank, named Ajama, is the first 
staere on the road to Keana. About noon we an- 

° . . Sept. 4. 

chored ofi" a considerable town on the same side, 
where we landed and visited the chief. The town is 
called Rogan-Koto, and though in Doma, is an I'gbira 
settlement, whence its name ; Koto being the Hausa 
synonyme of I'gbira, and Rogan meaning huts or 
sheds. By the inhabitants it is known as Ajewon- 
I'gbira, but the former is its more usual designation. 
It was first built about twenty-eight years ago, and 
though nominally independent, yet pays tribute, a 
kind of black-mail, to Keana. It is surrounded by 
a wall, with numerous loop-holes for firing arrows 


through. The year previous to our visit this town 
had suffered severely from an attack by a party from 
L^fia Beriberi, whose return was greatly dreaded. 
Rogan-Koto is by the Djiiku inhabitants of Kororofa 
called "Pumavo," and by the Mitshis "Djashi- 
A'gbira," which latter means " I go to I'gbira." Jada, 
the chief, regretted much that we could not make any 
stay, but promised to trade with us on our return. 
We here met the man for whom Mr. Guthrie had 
made a wooden leg, so we asked him on board to 
have it fitted on, which was done, much to his delight. 
The horn' and a-half that we remained at anchor off 
this place was not wasted by its pushing inhabitants, 
many of whom came off in haste, bringing with them 
any articles they had to dispose of. In Rogan-Koto 
I observed some sandstone rock, the strata being 
nearly horizontal, and the only instance in the Binue, 
where secondary rocks were visible near the river. 
On the south side was still the Mitshi country and 
nearly opposite Rogan-Koto is one of their towns, 
Abagwa, from which people frequently come over for 
trading purposes. On a large island immediately to 
the eastward are two towns, named Kondoko and 
A'kpa, being those parts from which messengers had 
been sent to inquire about the " Pleiad." They are in- 
habited by people from Kororofa, and being the first 
place along the river where Djuku tribes are met, 
they are known in I'gbira, Igara, and Nupe, as 
A'kpa. About three o'clock we had to anchor to get 
up steam, so Mr. May and I took advantage of the 


short delay to get a set of sights, and accordingly 
landed on a sandy beach. While Mr. May was ar- 
ranging the artificial horizon a band of natives, with 
spears and bows and arrows, from A'kpa, who had been 
for some time watching us, rushed towards us, but 
when within some half a dozen yards of us they sud- 
denly stopped, on which I went towards them, holding 
out my hand, and showing that I was quite unarmed. 
Seeing this they laid down their spears, and on our 
making signs to them to keep quiet while we made 
our observations, they all knelt down, regarding us 
with great astonishment. We had nothing to give 
them but a few bright glass buttons, which, however, 
pleased them much. Further on in the afternoon we 
passed another large, walled town, inhabited partly 
by Djuku, partly by I'gbira people. This, which is 
named Abitshi, is said to have been founded about 
forty-five years ago, by a band of slaves from Idda ; 
it forms the easternmost limit of the range of canoes 
from the Confluence, and with Rogan-Koto, is the 
principal place where the commodities of the upper 
and lower Binue are exchanged. It is situated on the 
west side of an extensive island, which I have named 
*' Clarendon Island." During the greater part of this 
day we had seen in the distance the peaks of two 
hills on the Doma side of the river, and as the day 
advanced their outline became more and more distinct. 
They are not very elevated, the highest not exceeding 
from 450 to 500 feet, and the other being from seventy 
to eighty feet less, but from the country to the westward 


of them being flat, they are visible from a considerable 
distance, and form good leading marks. The one I 
named " Mount Beecroft," after the lamented gentle- 
man who had been expected to head our expedition, 
and the other " Mount JEthiope," so called from the 
steamer in' which many of his African explorations 
were performed. Towards sunset we reached another 
long, extended island, nearly in the middle of the 
river, and proceeding along its south shore, anchored 
abreast of it. From some villagers w^hom Mr. May 
and I fell in with, while looking for a landing-place, 
we learnt that the eastern boundary of the Mitshi 
country is somewhere opposite to this island, which 
we named after Captain Washington, the present 
distinguished hydrographer of the Admiralty. 

The following morning we continued our onward 
g coui'se, passing numerous islets-, scattered in 

various directions, and seeing several villages on 
both sides of the river. A fine range of hills ran nearly 
parallel with the river on the north side, one extremity 
touching the water. This I entitled the " Ellesmere 
Range," while the central peak, some 600 feet in 
height, was called " Mount Egerton," and two others 
of the hills were denominated " Mounts Latham and 
Christison." Judging from the character of the 
debris, and from the appearance in some breaks on 
their sides, they are composed of unstratified rocks. 
Among them is one pretty, little round-topped hill, 
covered with a beautiful green sward, w^hicli received 
the title of " Mount Jessy." During a temporary 


stoppage, a canoe with a single man ventured alongside, 
from whom we learnt that we were noAv in Kororofa, 
and that the river is by its inhabitants designated Nil, 
but is also known as the Binue. The inhabitants and 
language of this extensive territory, which is strictly 
confined to the south side of the river, are known as 
Djuku. Just beyond the " EUesmere range " the cur- 
rent runs very strongly, averaging four knots, and the 
river takes a northerly bend. The banks on the 
south side are very high, and along the top, pictu- 
resquely placed nearly at the foot of a table-mountain, 
we could see a village, which we afterwards found to 
be A'nyishi. The hill which rises du-ectly from the 
water side, attaining an altitude of some 400 feet, was 
called "]\Iount Herbert." Behind, and partially 
isolated from the "EUesmere range," we discovered 
another prettily shaped hill, which I named, after the 
naturalist of the voyage of the " Samarang," " Mount 
Adams." In this beautiful locality, favoured as it 
seemingly is in situation and in soil, secm^ed by its 
elevation from the rising of the river, free from 
swamps, and abounding in healthy situations, not a 
trace of a human habitation could be seen, nor was 
there visible the smallest attempt at cultivation. 
Many hills near this place have a very peculiar aspect, 
some being quite isolated, and rising with steep sides 
almost suddenly from flat land near the river. To 
one such, on the south side, with a long table-top, I 
gave the name of " Mount Trenabie," while another, 
on the opposite shore, abrupt towards the south-west. 


but sloping to the eastward, I called " Mount Traill," 
after a former esteemed preceptor, now at an age wlien 
most others would be seeking repose from the cares and 
toils of literature and science, the learned and indefa- 
tigable editor of an eighth edition of the "Encyclopaedia 
Britannica." Fresh breezes blowing daily up the 
stream, we got a spare forecastle awning fitted as a 
temporary foresail, which sensibly affected our progress. 
Our speed, too, was increased, by having only one of the 
iron canoes in tow, the two of them being a great 
drag. Though no towns or villages could be seen to 
enliven the prospect, yet everything around us wore a 
smiling aspect. The river, still upwards of a mile in 
breadth, preserved its noble appearance, the neigh- 
bouring soil teemed with a diversified vegetation, and 
the frequent recurrence of hill and dale pleased and 
gratified the eye. Nor was animal life wanting, for 
from out mast-head we enjoyed the novel sight of a 
large herd of elephants, upwards of a hundred in 
number, crossing a little streamlet, not much more 
than a mile from us. Two large islands were again 
passed, one of which, of a peculiar, somewhat triangular 
shape, was named after Admiral Smyth, deeply inter- 
ested in all African discovery, while the other, nearly 
one enthe forest, received the title of " Hooker 
Island," after the no less amiable than distinguished 
botanist of Kew. 

We had all day been anxiously looking out for signs 
of man, and in the afternoon were highlv 

Sept. 6. . ^ ° "^ 

pleased by discovering a large walled town on 


the soutli side, off which we accordingly anchored, and 
though it was rather late, I immediately landed. Pre- 
vious to our arrival numbers of people had been ob- 
served along the banks, but on the approach of the gig 
they all disappeared, and when we reached the shore 
the only person left to receive us, was a solitary indi- 
vidual, who between fear and excitement could hardly 
utter a single word. I walked up to him, extending 
my hand, which he surveyed most suspiciously, and at 
length touched with as much reluctance as he would 
a piece of red-hot iron, but finding that it did not 
burn him, and that we were quite friendly, he threw 
down his spear, and danced and shouted for joy, 
exclaiming that he would lead us to the town, which 
was at some little distance. Having to pass some 
marshy ground, he insisted on carrying me across 
some streamlets, shouting all the time at the top of 
his voice in Hausa, " White men, white men ! the 
Nazarenes have come ; white men good, white men 
rich, white men kings ; white men, white men ! " Pre- 
sently his shouts were responded to, and we saw a 
large band, fully armed, rush along a narrow path, 
vociferating wildly. Their approach had certainly 
something threatening in its look, so much so that 
our boat's crew, getting alarmed, scampered back to 
the boat, leaving Mr. May, Mr. Crowther, Dr. Hutch- 
inson, and myself, with Mr. Richards, and my assis- 
tant, to face the strangers. Even our valiant little 
interpreter, Aliheli, felt insecure, as seizing my arm 
he whispered hurriedly " We must go back to ship." 


We, however, continued to advance, and presently 
encountered the rude-looking throng. On hearing 
that we were friends, the leading man first threw 
himself wildly into the arms of our conductor, and 
then flying headlong against me, grasped my hand 
and shook it vehemently. Each one of our party had 
his own body of admirers, and in particular Mr, May 
was quickly cut off and surrounded, and became a 
distinct centre of attraction. Of the remainder of 
the crowd, some ran rapidly towards us, presenting 
the butt-ends of their spears ; others drew their 
bow-strings without arrows in them ; many threw 
themselves on the ground and went through an ex- 
temporaneous course of gymnastics, and all shouted 
aloud. Every one appeared in an ecstacy of delight, 
while our guide continued to exert his lungs in such 
an extraordinary manner, that we were afraid he would 
rupture a blood-vessel, and I am quite certain he got 
off cheaply if he had nothing beyond a simple sore- 
throat. After this wild welcome had subsided into 
some semblance of a merely enthusiastic greeting, I 
told the most consequential-looking man that we 
wished to visit his king, to whom he at once con- 
ducted us. We went along a narrow pathway, only 
sufficient for single file, enclosed between tall dawa 
corn, the stalks of which waved high over our heads. 
Presently we arrived at the gate of the town, strongly 
palisaded, and crossed the ditch which surrounded 
the walls. Numbers of astonished natives, of all ages 
and sexes, lined the way, all the men carrying spears, 


swords, knives, and bows and arrows. We soon 
reached the king, who, in the centre of a large crowd, 
attended by the head men in the place, stood to 
receive us under the shade of a wide-spreading tree. 
I approached and saluted him, and introduced my 
party, with all whom he shook hands, and then 
looking upwards said, he thanked God that white men 
had come to his country. I rapidly explained to him 
our wishes and our objects, adding, that as it w^as 
nearly dark, we should pay him a longer visit next 
day. Numbers now pressed forwards to shake hands 
with us, and about us there could not have been 
fewer than from 400 to 500 people, mostly armed. 
On our return to our boat we were numerously 
escorted, and previous to our embarking I gave our 
stentorian friend a handkerchief, and a small snuff- 
box, which seemed nearly to overpower him. During 
the evening a present of some jars of beer from the 
king arrived, and from the messengers we were able 
to obtain some particulars about the place. Its name 
is Gandiko, and, though in Kororofa, is a Pulo* settle- 
ment. It originated in the mission of a Pulo force, 
chiefly composed of slaves, to attack Wukari, in which 
they failed ; but afterwards, instead of returning, they 
preferred founding towns for themselves. They inter- 
married with the Djuku, and have since become very 
numerous. The district is named Zhibu, and a few 

* Pdlo is the correct name for the people often styled FuMta, being 
their own designation. In Hausa they are called Fulo and Fulfini; Fulftta 
is their Bornuese title. 


miles further up the river is a town of the same name, 
the principal one of these settlements. Close to 
Gandiko are two other towns, Gankera and I'bi. The 
languages spoken are principally Pulo and Djuku, but 
Hausa is also understood by many. About one- 
half of the people are nominal Muhammadans, the 
remainder being Pagans. 

Early next day messengers again came off from 
the king to wish us " good morning," and to ask us 
when we would be ashore. Heavy rain considerably 
retarded our movements, but about half-past nine, 
having first sent off a wooding party, we started for 
Gandiko. According to custom we first called on the 
Geladima, or prime minister, who, on being informed 
officially of our object, conducted us to the king's 
abode. There we were received in the usual manner, 
and having interchanged compliments were about to 
discourse on other matters, when the arrival of the 
king of Gankera was announced. There seemed to 
be some doubts on the minds of the Gandiko mag- 
nates whether the royal visitor should be admitted, 
but we requested them not to regard our presence, but 
to act according to the customs and etiquette of the 
place. They were accordingly introduced, after which 
I told them we had come from the white man's country 
to view this land, to make friends with the chiefs and 
the people, and to talk of trade and of improvement. 
All present having plainly expressed their approba- 
tion, the king said he was convinced that without 
intercourse with white strangers his country would 


never flourisli. I then gave A'ma and his Geladima 
presents, and requested the king of Ganl^era to send 
on board, on which a similar present would be ready 
for him. A'ma then requested my acceptance of a 
fine sheep and of a large pitcher of beer, after which 
we left. Gankera not being far off, we went towards 
it, and after a ten minutes' walk through corn-fields 
reached it. We found it much to resemble Gandiko, 
only that it was larger, and better laid out. In these 
towns the huts are less crowded, and have about them 
little plots of ground planted with vegetables, being 
the first signs of horticulture we had met with. On 
the sides and roofs of the huts were trained pumpkins, 
gourds, and other cucurbitaceous species, while in their 
gardens were numerous plants of ochro {Hybiscus), 
and graceful papaws {Carica papaya) with still unripe 
fruit. In a little market we found women bartering 
beer for bundles of corn of diff'erent kinds. Hearing 
that there were horses we asked to see them, and 
were accordingly shown several fine Arabs, nicely 
groomed and cared for, and in fine condition. In 
each stable hung oval-shaped shields, made of 
elephants' hides, large enough to cover and protect 
both rider and steed. The possession of horses is 
one of the distinguishing marks of the Pulo tribes, one 
too which adds greatly to their power and to the 
terror of their name. Most of the inhabitants were 
clad in native-made clothes, but some appeared in 
garments made of goat-skins, while a few wore still 
more scanty coverings of green leaves. During our 


walk we again met the old chief, Garike, who made 
me a present of a mat. Annual excursions for the 
purpose of collecting slaves are made from these towns 
chiefly against the Mitshis, which may account for 
the suspicions they entertained of us, especially as 
many of the Pulo people are light-coloured. It was 
in Gandiko and Gankera that we first met with any 
of this noted race, well distinguished from all other 
Africans in feature and in figure. Here, from ad- 
mixture with Djuku blood, their skins were darker, 
and more of the Negro countenance prevailed than in 
their own true domains ; and the two chiefs, A'ma and 
Garike, had marked Ethiopic faces. The ship was all 
day crowded with visitors, and some trade was done, 
upwards of a hundred pounds of ivory having been 
purchased, chiefly for light calicoes. A Mallam, one 
of our guests, gave me secretly, and as an invaluable 
present, a small paper with quotations in Arabic from 
the Kuran. While on shore, seeing a fruit which was 
new to me,* I went to gather some specimens, but 
succeeded at the expense of being badly stung by a 
multitude of little red ants, diminutive pests capable 
of inflicting wounds quite out of proportion to their 
magnitude. A Kruman, who assisted me, was so 
covered with them that to get rid of them he flung 
himself headlong into the river. 

We weighed anchor early next morning, and by the 
aid of a good breeze went up rapidly. About 
noon we anchored ofi" a large town, which we 

* A species of Kijelia, 


believed to be Zhibu, and some natives being visible on 
the banks, Mr. Crowther and I landed to speak to them. 
They were at first rather shy, but on my mentioning 
that we were desirous of waiting on the king, one 
man said he would go and announce us and return as 
soon as he could. We therefore pulled on board, and 
in about half an-hour three special messengers arrived 
to welcome us, and to conduct us when ready. We 
therefore started at once, and found on the shore a 
large armed escort waiting for us. The town is 
situated nearly a mile from the river, on a rising 
ground, the country around being well cleared to 
allow of an extensive view and to prevent surprise by 
an enemy. On our road we encountered a fine speci- 
men of African travelling. Right across the path, 
extending some twenty or thirty yards in all direc- 
tions, was a deep, muddy pool. Double it we could 
not, as at either end was a marshy ditch, so we had 
to cross it mounted on the shoulders of our Krumen, 
who, although mostly tall men, were immersed above 
the hips. This little obstruction passed, we proceeded 
along a field planted with ground-nuts {AracJds 
liypoged), and reaching the gates entered into the city. 
The circular huts, with thickly thatched roofs, are 
disposed "udth some degree of order and regularity, so 
as to form streets, or rather lanes. On approaching 
the palace we were requested to halt in a large open 
space, fronting a substantial looking building with a 
dome-like top, surmounted by a long spire crowned 
with an ostrich-egg. Presently an officer approached, 


who from his distingue look and elegant carriage must 
have been Lord Chamberlain, or at least Master of 
Ceremonies, accompanied by an individual bearing 
gracefully in his hand a long white wand, who pro- 
bably held the office of Usher of the White Rod. 
These evidently important personages advanced on 
tip-toe and whispered a communication to the officer 
who had conducted us, who, in his tm^n, waving his 
arm desired us to follow him. This we did, and 
entering the palace precincts passed through an entry 
chamber, and proceeding along a winding-passage 
reached the reception hall, where we found ourselves 
in the august presence of Bohari, ahas Zumbade, 
monarch of Zhibu. I advanced and saluting him in 
Hausa, shook his hand, which being done by the rest 
of the party we seated ourselves on mats. Oiu* inter- 
view was much in the usual style, the king expressing 
his satisfaction at our arrival, and saying that neither 
he nor any of his people had ever seen a white man 
before. After talking of trade, we were asked how 
long we were going to remain ; to which I replied 
that we should stay all next day, but that afterwards 
we must try to get farther up the river. The king 
said that we should not be able to proceed, as there 
were numerous rocks and banks ; but I told him that 
nevertheless we should make the attempt. I then 
gave him a sword and brass scabbard, a red cloak, 
some white calico, and a looking glass, in return for 
which he offered a fine sheep and a calabash with 
butter. He then retii'ed, and calling on our inter- 


preter asked if we would purcliase slaves. I replied 
" certainly not ; " adding that white men did not buy 
other men, as they considered that to be wTong and 
sinful. Bohari had evidently some idea of this fi-om 
his not asking the question openly, but doing it in a 
secret manner. He then sent an attendant for a 
Hausa tobe, which on his return the man put on Dr. 
Hutchinson, he being the tallest, and stoutest of our 
party, qualifications which in Africa are held in great 
admiration. The king is only a half Pulo, if so much, 
and has a sensual disagreeable look. His Geladima 
again was a most intelligent, civil man, and extremely 
friendly with us. We walked through the town, 
which is very clean, and thickly populated, and is 
enclosed by strong palisading. The inhabitants are 
mostly Moslemin, but have' no mosques, their devo- 
tions being performed in the open air. Numbers of 
visitors presenting themselves, as there were no 
canoes, I kept one of the ship's boats running to 
and fro all the afternoon. The country opposite to 
us on the north side of the river, was Bdutshi, and 
we were told that Kororofa is often, from its capital, 
named Wukari, One man who had been up the 
river and knew the Faro or Paro, said that a canoe 
could go from Zhibu to Hamaruwa in from thirteen 
to sixteen days. I inquired for the name Zanfira, 
given to the river in Petermann's Atlas, but no one 
recognised it. The Kororofa name is, as I have 
abeady mentioned, Nu, but the term in more general 
use is Binue. 

K 2 


Early next morning I went ashore to get a set of 
magnetic observations, but was much interrupted by 
crowds of curious spectators. A more serious incon- 
venience was, that as every one carried with them 
steel in some shape or another, the needle vibrated so 
much as quite to prevent any reading off, and being 
alone I could not by any means manage to keep the 
people at a sufficient distance. About eight o'clock 
the king rode down, on which I asked him to come 
on board, which he declined doing. About an 
hour afterwards, as he still remained on the banks, 
I sent Mr. Richards to give him another invitation, 
which this time he accepted, provided that all the 
natives already on board were sent ashore. This 
was done, and I then found that his majesty felt 
annoyed because some of his subjects had dared to 
commence trading before he had returned our visit. 
As soon as he reached the ship a salute of three guns 
was fired, after which he was led round the ship. He 
set his affection on a tumbler and a wine-glass, which 
were given him, and he then asked for a bottle of 
medicine, which was made up for him. On his re- 
turn to terra-firma he was surrounded by courtiers, 
some of whom kissed his hands, others his feet, while 
the people around clapped their hands. The royal 
visit over, business had to be attended to. The 
steward went ashore and opened a small market 
under a tree, and was most successful in procuring a 
good stock of fresh provisions, in the shape of sheep, 
goats, fowls and ducks, the latter a large and very 


delicious bird, closely allied to the Muscovy duck. 
Boats were sent to bring off traders and visitors, and 
in a short time the decks were crowded. Some 
Hausa merchants happened to be passing through 
Zhibu at the time of om' arrival, who had been pur- 
chasing ivory in Kororofa, and they, of course, pre- 
ferred selling it at once to taking it to a distant 
market. Dr. Hutchinson, at the close of a busy day, 
found that he had pui'chased 620 pounds of ivory, 
including many fine teeth of hippopotami. The 
goods most in demand were white calico and hand- 
kerchief pieces ; cowries were not understood, and 
were taken only by the Hausa men. I bought 
many ornaments as specimens, chiefly wristlets, rings, 
hair-pins, &c., of brass and copper. Corn-fields are 
numerous and extensive around Zhibu, the principal 
kinds being maize and dawa corn. Gero, which is 
also cultivated, is abundant along the river, but is not 
to be found to the westward of the Kwora, except in 
a few places in Dahomi. The value of these grains 
to the African can hardly be properly estimated : they 
supply a large portion of his daily food : ground fine 
and baked they form his bread ; in moist cakes they 
are known as tuo or fufu ; fermented they yield him 
beer ; the refuse helps to feed his poultry and his 
goats; and in war the commissariat contains principally 
heads of maize, previously roasted and mixed with 
pepper and salt. Strange to say yams are not grown 
here, nor are they to be obtained in any quantity be- 
yond Rogan-Koto, from which it may be inferred that 


their cultivation is either neglected by or unknown to 
the tribes near the river, except those of the I'gbira 
race, who, wherever found, either in their own country 
or settled in other districts, have always a keen eye 
towards the useful, whether in commerce, in the arts, 
or in agriculture. 



We left our ancliorage off Zliibu on the morning of 
Sunday the 10th of September, and shortly 

„ , ,. , , , 1 Sept. 10. 

aiterwards discovered, to the northward, at a 
distance inland of from fifteen to twenty miles, a range 
of mountains, among which were three distinct peaks, 
the highest of which I named Mount Humboldt, 
and on the south side we saw, afar off, a curious 
isolated conical hill, which was called " Mount Dau- 
beny." During our stay at Zhibu, Mr. Harcus had 
fitted a spare quarter-deck awning as a square-sail, 
and on being tried it was found to answer capitally. 
About ten o'clock we anchored for church, and did 
not- again proceed until the afternoon. The course 
of the river was more winding than usual, and trended 
well to the northward; the banks were mostly 
marshy, and no traces of villages could be detected. 
In the evening we had considerable difficulty in 
finding a spot to land on for observations ; but, after 
pulling about, got to a grassy islet, with a bank 
some four or five feet above the water. We jumped 
up, and making our Krumen trample down a clear 


space, planted a stand and fixed the artificial horizon ; 
but scarcely had Mr. May taken his sextant in his 
hand, when a loud grunt, in most unpleasant 
proximity, announced that we were not the only 
possessors of the soil. On looking about, we found 
we were right in a hippopotamus track, that the 
animal was alarmed and wished to get away, and 
might at any moment be expected to rush along, 
upsetting us and our instruments. Pleasant enough 
certainly, but we were even then ignorant of how 
highly we had been favoured, as presently a similar 
sound of disapproval reached our ears from the 
opposite side, and we now discovered that, about 
three yards from where we stood, the little path 
diverged in two directions, and that each position 
was occupied by the enemy. What was to be done ? 
If we retreated ignominiously, all chance of ascer- 
taining our latitude was gone, as the planet was close 
to the meridian, and clouds were forming. A hasty plan 
of a campaign was sketched out, in which it was pro- 
vided that, should our opponents charge in too great 
force, each of us should seize a part of our gear, 
dive into the boat, and try to escape in the darkness. 
In the meantime, while Mr. May attended to the 
scientific and engineering departments, I was sta- 
tioned as an advanced corps, to keep the foe in 
check, which I efi'ected by means of our invaluable 
bull's-eye lantern, the light from which I directed 
first along the one path, then along the other. The 
minutes certainly seemed unusually prolonged. 


but at length Jupiter was benignant, and con- 
descended to shine into the mercury from the other 
side of the meridian. The angle was read off and 
noted, our traps were secured, and we hastily em- 
barked and shoved off ; but we had not got many 
yards away, when a loud splash behind us announced 
the triumphant descent of the river-horse. Our 
anchorage was near the shore, which, during the 
night, exposed us to the blood-thirsty attacks of 
unusually voracious mosquitoes. 

The following day was wet and cloudy, and we 
wended our tortuous course among innume- 
rable sand-banks and islets. Sometimes the 
banks were clad with an elegant fan-palm, not pre- 
viously seen, but which became extremely abundant 
as we advanced. Another isolated sugar-loaf hill, 
rising to the northward to the height of some 400 
feet, I named after the amiable and highly gifted Pro- 
fessor Edward Forbes, little then dreaming that, 
among the first European intelligence I afterwards 
received, would be the sad news of his premature, 
his irreparable loss. 

The landscape now was greatly varied ; instead of, 
as formerly, our view being bounded by tree-tops on 
both sides, our range of vision was vastly extended. 
Nor was it even restricted by the low hills which, 
along either side, confined the valley of the river, for, 
far beyond, the eye could detect lofty eminences and 
mountain peaks. One group, higher by far than any 
we had already encountered, was visible along the 


horizon in the extreme south, and from which we 
must have been distant from thirty to forty miles. 
This Mr. May entitled the Albemarle range, while 
two singular-looking peaks were denominated "Mount 
Keppel," and " Mount St. Jean d'Acre." At the 
western extremity two other high and remarkable 
mountains were named Mounts " Herschel " and 
"Biot." On the 12th we passed the first affluent 
which we had observed since we left the little O'kwa, 
below Panda. It is of inconsiderable size and flows 
from the southward, but forms at its junction a small 
fluviatile delta. We made enquiries afterwards about 
it, but could never accurately learn the name. Some 
told us that it was called Bankundi, and that a few 
miles up it was a small village called Akam, while 
others again reversed this, naming the river Ak4m, 
and the town Bankundi. Immediately above this 
the main river suddenly contracted, until not more 
than 200 to 250 yards across, along which the 
current ran like a sluice, being from five to six knots. 
Although this narrow rapid was not above half a 
mile in length, it took us fully three quarters of an 
hour to get beyond it, nor could we have managed 
it had there not been a little breeze to fill our sails, 
as, when under steam alone, when the wind fell, we 
just stemmed the current, without advancing an inch. 
Further up, the river again widened into a large 
stream, and we made more headway. Fuel was 
beginning to become scarce, and we began to look 
out anxiously for a place to get a supply. No good 


wooding spot could be seen from the mast-head ; so, 
about noon, we anchored opposite to a place where 
were some small trees, and hauling alongside the 
bank, sent all hands on shore. In spite of several 
heavy showers a good deal was cut before night ; 
but it was green and small, and we were obliged to 
remain all next day to chop it up fit for the fires, 
now a very laborious operation, as the hatchets were 
much impaired by continual use. Our anchorage 
was at a very peculiar spot, as just ahead a double 
stream poured upon us ; one, the smaller of the two, 
came nearly directly from the east, while the other 
ran from the northward, doubling a long projecting 
cape, which was named Point Lynslager. We 
subsequently ascertained that some miles further up 
the river diverged into two branches, enclosing a 
wide, irregular island. On this point, where some 
observations were taken, we found some very recent 
human footsteps, probably of natives who had landed 
from a canoe. Some specimens were here shot of a 
Skimmer, the Bhpichops orientalis of Riippell, with 
its singular projecting lower mandible. The green 
wood burning badly, little steam could be kept up, 
and our advance was slow, and we were further 
retarded by two tornadoes, each of which obliged us 
to anchor for a time. One law 'attending these 
heavy squalls is, that near a river they almost in- 
variably follow its course and blow down it, and 
thus their direction is, locally, very varied. We 
encountered a good many during our stay, and did 


not observe a single exception to this. Their general 
origin is from the eastward, but when they approach 
a stream they deviate either to the northward or to the 
southward, according to its direction. A large dry 
tree was discovered near the bank on the south side, 
which looked as if it had been seared with lightning, 
and which, in the impoverished condition 

Sept. 14. ^ 

of our fuel-bunkers, could not be quietly 
passed by. The water being deep we anchored close 
in, and warped alongside the shore, and speedily 
every available hand was busy wooding. Boughs 
within reach were quickly detached, and a rope 
having been thrown over a larger branch, some 
Krumen climbed up, and by dint of hard cutting and 
chopping, in due time little was left remaining but 
the parent trunk, which was of too great dimensions 
to admit of its being attacked with our playthings. 
It was, indeed, a hard enough task to reduce what 
was already on the ground to a portable condition, 
and it was almost painful to watch our fine, muscular 
fellows labom-ing and toiling to so little purpose, and 
aiming at a miserable stick blows which, with proper 
instruments, would have felled a bullock. Off some 
of the neighbouring trees, and from damp ground 
around, I collected some very interesting hchens and 
fungi, and, imbedded in a species of the latter, I 
found specimens of a beautifully marked fungus- 
eating beetle. In breaking up an old hollow branch, 
I came upon a nest of mice with very long tails, and 
managed to secure the old one and fom* young ones. 

CHAP, vl] the upper Bi'nUE. 141 

The morning of the second day we spent at this 
place two canoes were seen going down the river along 
the opposite bank. A bright-coloured flag was hoisted 
to attract the crews, and after a cautious approach 
and long parley, they drew near and came on board. 
Two of the people were very intelligent, and gave us 
much information, none of which pleased us more 
than hearing that we had quitted Kor6rofa and were 
now entering the province of Hamaruwa. The oppo- 
site bank was still, however, Bautshi, but some hills 
which were visible along the horizon towards the east 
were in Adamawa, and were named the " Fumbina 
Mountains." They told us that they were going up the 
little river which we had passed a few days before, to 
a town named Wunobo or Wurobo, and that they had 
left Tshomo, a village beyond Hamaruwa, only two days 
previously. This news was very cheering, as it in- 
spired us with fresh hope, seeing, moreover, that the 
waters were still gradually rising. In the evening 
while Mr. May and Mr. Harcus were on the bank 
taking observations, a growl was heard not very far 
from them, and presently one of the crew, who was 
ashore casting clear a rope, rushed towards them 
giving the alarm of a leopard. Being very intent on 
their occupation, they paid little heed either to the 
warning or to the growling, until suddenly the latter 
was repeated in a most threatening and unmistakable 
manner close to their elbow. The interruption was 
most ill-timed, as very few minutes more would have 
brought Vega to her meridian height, but as an 


appeal to the beast's generosity or respect for science 
would probably have been treated with contempt, 
nothing remained but to shut up the apparatus and to 
make a hasty retreat. The alarm being given, lights 
and rifles were speedily in requisition, but nothing 
could be seen of the intruder, which had most likely 
been attracted by the smell of a goat killed at sunset. 
Our shore work being finished the warp was let go, 
and the " Pleiad" swung to her anchor in the stream, 
carrying as passengers legions of mosquitoes, destined 
to revel for the first time in their lives on white 
men's blood. 

By the first peep of light we were once more screwing 
ahead, our eyes fixed on the Fumbina Moun- 

Sept. 20. . , y , •.• X 

tains ; but the day was unpropitious to us, as 
we were several times aground, besides being delayed 
by a sharp tornado, so that we did not make above a 
dozen miles. During the folloAving day, which was 
Sunday, I was obhged to keep all the Krumen busily 
at work for several hours splitting wood, as our stock 
of small timber was already burnt. I felt considerably 
indisposed, and was not able to attend to matters, so 
that I was not sorry to be able to have a little rest. 
Next forenoon we anchored off a village on the left 
bank, named Zhiru, and 1 landed with Mr. Crowther 
to speak to some natives. They were friendly and 
asked us to the town, which was a little distance from 
us ; but feeling very unwell I had to return on board, 
after which Mr. May, Mr. Crowther, and Dr. Hutch- 
inson visited the town. The principal personage they 


met with was the Hamaruwa governor, named Imoru, 
the rest of the inhabitants being Aborigines, speaking 
a dialect of Djuku. From the advance of the river 
the neighbourhood of the village was a perfect 
swamp, and looked very mihealthy. Before we started 
next morning, the steward went on shore to try to get 
some provisions to buy, but w^as unsuccessful. The 
governor came off to see me, a sharp, but civil and 
inteUigent man, with true Pulo cast of countenance. 
The current ran strong, but wdth the aid of a fresh 
breeze we advanced slowly. AU the smaller branches 
of wood having been consumed, nothing remained on 
board but large blocks of timber, which with our 
poor wedges and want of hammers were most difficult 
to reduce to manageable pieces. At length we hit 
upon the plan of blasting, using, of course, a very 
small charge of powder. Mr. May was now taken ill, 
showing decided symptoms of remittent fever, so I had 
to take him in hand. We were overtaken by a canoe 
in which was the governor of Zhh'u, w^ho brought us as 
a present, the hind quarter and leg of a buffalo, which 
had been killed by the hunters that morning. The 
meat not looking very tempting, I gave it to the 
Krumen, who had a grand feast on it, but the 
bones I preserved for comparison with those of other 

Another day had to be spent laboming away at the 
huge lumps of wood, which still lumbered our decks, 
and which unfortunately, after being cut up, bm'nt 
only indifferently. Frequently branches and portions 


of trees floated past, and whenever they came near 
enough we attempted to secure them, but from the 
strong tide this was no easy matter. A boat was 
usually sent to intercept them, but if after the seizure 
the vessel was missed, the only course left was to 
make for the shore, and there cut up the prize, as it 
was impossible to tow even a small piece against the 
current. Frequently in capturing a piece of wood, 
not large enough to burn for ten minutes, the boat 
would be carried down upwards of a mile. A small 
dry tree having been discovered along the shore, the 
Krumen were despatched with their hatchets to de- 
molish it, but from the rise of the river and the bank 
being flooded, they had to stand up to their waists in 
water to accomplish it. Evidently a sudden rise had 
lately taken place. Large masses of grass, almost 
forming small floating islands, were continually passing 
us, and great quantities got athwart our hawser, or 
foul of the boat alongside. Happening to look a little 
attentively at one of these heaps it was discovered to 
teem with animal life, whereupon they were all closely 
examined, and yielded a most abundant zoological 
harvest. Lizards, snakes, frogs, and insects, formed 
the staple, but other occasional denizens from time to 
time turned up ; even mammals were not unrepre- 
sented, for I captured a curious shrew mouse, evidently 
out of its element. Beetles, locusts, and grasshoppers 
boarded us in vast numbers, but were quickly made 
prisoners and transferred to my collection ; two fine 
chameleons were detected in the very act of creeping 


in through a hause-hole, seized, tried, and con- 
demned; and a large toad which had contrived to 
perch itself, puffing and panting, on the top of the 
fan, only escaped my fatal grasp by diving headlong 
into the rushing tide. So substantial was this grassy 
drift across the bows of our iron canoe, that I could 
stand on it, though up to my ankles in water, bottle 
in hand, consigning such living things as had escaped 
the deluge to the world of spirits. Among other cap- 
tures were some specimens of an animal known at 
Sierra Leone as the " ground-pig ; " it is a large 
rodent, a species of Aulacodus, and when fresh is very 
good eating. These were too far gone to allow even 
their skins to be preserved, but their skeletons are 
now among my African gatherings. 

About two o'clock some canoes were seen approach- 
ing:, which, on reachinsr us, we found to contain 

° , Sept. 21. 

a messenger from the Sultan of Hamaruwa, 
who had heard of us, and now sent to welcome us. 
This man, whose name was Ibrahim, was a very 
important personage, combining in himself the highly 
onerous and responsible offices of Chancellor of the 
Exchequer and President of the Board of Trade, from 
the latter of which positions he was usually designated 
Sdriki'n Hausa, as most commercial transactions were 
in the hands of Hausa people. When this party 
came on board we were at anchor getting up steam, 
and when shortly afterwards the screw began to turn, 
some of the natives, in great alarm, jumped overboard 
and got into the canoes. During this forenoon we 


were steaming so close to the right bank, that out- 
spreading branches frequently stretched right across 
the ship ; and, on one occasion, to save letting go the 
anchor, a warp was passed round a large tree, by 
which we swung for half-an-hour. All our small fuel 
being at length expended, we had to drop anchor for 
the night, when the messenger left us, promising to 
visit us betimes. 

In the morning, in the midst of heavy rain, a boat's 
crew was despatched to cut up and secm-e 

Sept 22 

some dry branches, which hung along the bank, 
and by the help of this supply we got the fires lighted. 
About eight o'clock Sariki'n Hausa returned to us, 
announcing his intention of starting forthwith for 
Hamaruwa, and asking what message he should 
convey from me to the Sultan. I said I should send a 
special messenger with him, and selected Mr. Richards 
for the purpose, desiring him formally to announce 
our arrival, to thank the king for his courtesy, and to 
mention my intention of visiting him as soon as the 
ship should reach the next town. Hoping to expe- 
dite matters, and to be able to obtain useful infor- 
mation, Mr. Crowther very kindly volunteered to 
accompany him ; so the gig having been manned, these 
two gentlemen departed, attended by Sariki'n Hausa 
and Aliheh, and taking with them a small present for 
the Sultan. As the distance was said not to be very 
great, we were in hopes that they might be able to 
return to the ship by dark. After upwards of two 
hours struggling against a strong current, sometimes 


barely holding our own, and then, when a little 
steam could be raised, vigorously screwing ahead, we 
at length anchored off the little tow^n of Gurowa. 
Having been aware of our approach, natives soon 
came off to us, in very rickety canoes, one of which 
was upset alongside, and as the people were unable 
to swim against the impetuous stream, I had to 
send a boat to pick them up. In the afternoon 
Dr. Hutchinson and I landed, and saw the governor, 
who was a Piilo. The inhabitants are of the same 
race as those of Zhiru, but with a greater Fulata 
admixtui'e. The huts are all circular, but neat, well 
kept, and each surrounded by a bit of garden-ground, 
growing ochrb and pumpkins. The towm itself is 
surrounded by dense bush and forest, so thick as 
almost to defy penetration, and obliging all communi- 
cation with other places to be by w^ater. I saw two 
large Baobab-trees, covered with pendulous fruit, and 
made an attempt to reach them, vi^hich was unsuc- 
cessful on account of the closeness of the intervening 
brush w^ood. Mr. May was now so much better, that 
he was able to resume his usual duties, so speedy 
was his recovery from his attack under the modern 
rational treatment. 

From what we learnt at Gui'ow^a, we did not expect 
Mr. Crowther and Mr. Richards back at night, nor 
did we feel much surprise at their not making their 
appearance next morning, as we found that to go to 
Hamaruwa, they had to proceed by canoe along a 
creek, and afterwards had a long walk before them. 

■ L 2 


Many people came on board to visit us, and to see 
the ship, and from some of them I got abundant 
information about neighbouring countries. All were 
familiar with the Paro or Paro, the confluence of which 
was said to be from six to seven days' journey by 
canoe ; and as a day's journey up the river seldom 
exceeds from twelve to fifteen miles, the extreme dis- 
tance of this river from Gurowa must be from seventy 
to a hundred miles ; most probably between eighty 
and ninety miles. On asking them if they knew of a 
place of the name of Taepe, as mentioned in Peter- 
mann's Atlas, none knew anything of it, but they spoke 
of a town called Bundu,* near the meeting of the two 
rivers. I inquired also about the town laid down 
as Juggum, and the Koana tribe, but could learn 
nothing of either ; the latter I believe, however, to be 
propevly named Kwona, as a few days' later, I heard 
of a race of this name living to the southward. 

High ranges of mountains run along the course of 
the river on either side, approaching to within a few 
miles of the banks, the intervening ground being a 
flat alluvial soil'. Those to the northward are named 
the Muri Mountains, from an Aboriginal race who 
either still inhabit the neighbouring districts, or at 
all events have been but lately driven from them. 
The mountains are very continuous, the sides often 
precipitous, and the summits sharp and irregular. 
We obtained native names for two peaks, viz. Wur- 
koni and Tangale, which latter is the most remark- 

* Probably the " Buudung " of Petermann's Atlas. 


able, and perhaps the highest, being about 3000 feet. 
The southern heights I have already mentioned as the 
Fumbina mountains, in general altitude from 2000 
to 3000 feet, although occasionally a more lofty 
summit presents itself to view, among which one of 
the nearest to our position was Bak 'n dutslii. Mount 
Tshebtshi * was too far off to allow of an estimate, 
but its height must be considerable. The town near 
its base bears the same name, and not that of Tslieb- 
tshoma (Chebchoma). Gurowa itself does not support 
much trade. A few scrivelloes were brought off and 
purchased, and we got some provisions. I went to 
have a look after fire-wood, but could find but very 
little. The river continued to rise, and the ciu-rent 
alongside, upwards of four knots, was constantly 
causing canoes to upset ; indeed Mr. May and myself 
coming on board after dark with an inexperienced 
boat's crew, very nearly ourselves got a ducking. 
Several of our visitors were nearly drowned, and I 
was surprised that, with the number of crocodiles 
which abound, no more serious accident occmTed. 
As om' party had not returned by the evening, we 
began to be a little uneasy about them», but hoping 
they might even after dark be on their way towards 
us, a masthead-light was hoisted as a guide. 

My principal infoi-mant had been more than once 
at Yola, and had travelled also as far as Loggene or 
Loggone. From him I gathered the following in- 
formation. Hamariiwa is an extensive and powerful 

* Sometimes pronounced " Sb^bslii." 


Pule province, tributary to the Sultan at Sokoto, and 
considered but little inferior to Adaniawa. The 
present Sultan is the third Avho has occupied the 
throne since its conquest by its present rulers, his 
predecessors having been his brother and his father. 
It comprises a considerable extent of country, on both 
sides of the river, extending from Kororofa and 
Bautshi or Baushi to Adamawa. Prior to its occu- 
pation by the Pulatas, this country was occupied 
by various independent races, the Muri being on 
the north, and several races speaking dialects of 
Djuku on the south. Different tribes still remain in 
a state of semi-independence on the confines of 
Adamawa, and to the eastward along the river; 
they are all heathens, and are considered very bar- 
barous. Several countries pay annual tribute to 
Hamaruwa, among which are Wukari, as having 
been conquered by the brother or uncle of the 
present Sultan, and Zhibu, as a Pulo dependency. 
The tribute consists chiefly of slaves, and the amount 
varies according to the success met with in their 
annual predatory excursions. In what they look on 
as a productive year, Wukari sends from thirty-five 
to forty slaves, carried off mostly from the Mitshis, 
or from the barbarous nations living beyond Kororofa. 
Adamawa, again, is principally situated to the 
southward of the river, though it also claims territory 
to the northward, in the direction of ]\Iandara. It 
is likewise a Pulo province, tributary to Sokoto, and 
is very productive in ivory, elephants being extremely 


numerous. Adamdwa is not synonymous with the 
name Fumbina, but merely, I apprehend, appHes to 
that portion of it which has been conquered by the 
Pulbe (i.e. Fulatas). I am incKned to think that 
formerly along the south side of the Binue, from the 
confluence of the Kwora to the Mro, there were 
three extensive territories, namely A'kpoto, Koro- 
rofa, and Fumbina, and that all the other tribes 
are of more recent origin. Thus the Mitshi tribe 
has encroached partly on A'kpoto, and partly on 
Kororofa ; a portion of the latter again is now com- 
prised under Hamariiwa; while a large division of 
Fumbina is absorbed in Adamawa, and some smaller 
outlying districts are included in Hamaruwa. The 
name Adamawa is derived from Adama, the Pulo 
who first invaded Fumbina, loa being a common 
suffix. I could not learn the origin of Hamaruwa, 
but believe it to be altered from Hamaduwa, from 
some chief, Hamadu or Muhamadu being a common 
Pulo name. Wa is a very frequent termination to 
names of towns and of countries, as Adamawa, 
Hamaruwa, Gurowa, also Kukawa, the capital of 
Bornu ; Y^kuba, the chief town of Bautshi is pro- 
bably euphoniously altered from Yakubwa, its founder 
having been called Yakub, i. e. Jacob. 

On Sunday morning I began to consider about 
sendinar off a searchino- party to inquire after 

^ ,1 Sept. 24. 

our friends, when fortunately about seven 
o'clock, the gig was made out, and soon got alongside. 
Mr. Crowther and Mr. Kichards, tired and footsore, 


were immediately beset by numerous questioners, all 
being anxious to hear of their adventures. The road 
to Hamaruwa they considered to be fully a dozen 
miles ; and from its very bad nature, especially after 
the then recent heavy rains, it was not until sunset 
that they reached the town. They were well and 
comfortably lodged, and in the morning the Sultan, 
in his anxiety to see them, granted them an early 
audience, contrary to the long established custom of 
the country, which requires messengers to wait for 
thirty days before being heard. He received them 
most favourably, gave them presents, and had a long 
conversation with them. Mr. Crowther asked him 
among other matters, if he would object to our 
sending teachers to instruct the barbarous people 
who inhabited many of his villages. The Sultan, 
shrugging his shoulders, replied certainly not ; but 
they were such Keferi,* such savages, that he 
doubted much whether anything could be made of 
them. He then gave Mr. Crowther a large piece of 
native cloth to take to me, and also sent by him a 
letter in Arabic, of which the following translation 
I owe to the kindness of Edwin Norris, Esq. 

" In the name of God ! Praise be to God, the 
sufficient One ! Salutation to Mohammed ! 

" The Emir Mohammed to you. He bids you 

* This word has a very extensive use among the tribes on the Kwdra 
and Bi'nue, and is applied by them to designate any people more savage 
than themselves. Its derivation is from the Arabic, and in the Yoruba it 
means "an unbeliever, a heathen, a pagan." Vide Ci-owther's Ydruba 
Vocabulary, p. 178; also Appendix D. 


have patience, and to stay in this place until he sends 
to the north countries, to the Emir Bawsh,* and to 
the first Emir.f Whoever wishes to buy of you the 
things which you have, let him buy what he hkes. 
This is the Emir's command to you until tidings of 
you reach these countries. Every one may get what 
he wants through you, for all the shopkeepers of the 
place run to you to get what you have with you. 

" Health ! " 

The composition of this elaborate state document, 
which occupied several hours, detained Messrs. Crow- 
ther and Richards so late, that it was dark long 
before they reached Wuzu, the place where the boat 
had been left, so that they had to sleep at this little 
village all night. All had a jaded, worn-out appear- 
ance ; even the stout Krumen who accompanied 
them were stiff and wearied. Sariki'n Hausa also 
came with them to get an answer to the Sultan's 
letter, and to make some trading arrangements. I 
resolved myself to go and see the Sultan ; and 
although Mr. Crowther tried to persuade me to wait 
until horses could be procured, thinking that no 
time ought to be lost, I determined to set out at once. 
Dr. Hutchinson and Mr. Guthrie also, not alarmed 
by the dreadful accounts of the roads, made up their 
minds to go with me. A fresh boat's crew was 
selected ; a few necessary preparations made, and 
along with Sariki'n Hausa, and Aliheli our inter- 
preter, we shoved off about half-past eleven. We 

* Tlie Sultim of Bautshi. f The Sukan at Sokoto. 


had to pull against the stream for a few hundred 
yards, when we reached a little opening, by Avhich 
the rise of the water enabled us to take a short cut, 
though for part of the way, instead of using oars or 
paddles, we moved along by seizing hold of the long 
reeds and grass which surrounded us. Presently we 
got to a fine creek from 200 to 250 yards wide, 
flowing in a south-westerly direction with a current 
of two knots. We proceeded along this for about 
three miles, until we reached Wuzu, a village on its 
banks, where we disembarked, landed our effects, 
hauled up the gig and secured her, and gave the oars, 
tiller, crutches, and other small gear belonging to 
her, to the care of the headman until our return. 
We then marshalled ourselves under the shade of a 
gigantic Baobab, and found our force to consist of 
three Europeans, viz.. Dr. Hutchinson, Mr. Guthrie, 
and myself, Aliheli the interpreter, my black servant, 
five Kriimen, and Sariki'n Hausa, with two at- 
tendants — a rather imposing array. A horse was 
talked off, so one of the Sultan's men was left to 
bring it after us, while we marched a-head, our crew 
shouldering our baggage. For a few hundred yards 
the path was dry, but then large pools began to 
appear in quick succession, and the road became more 
and more muddy, until at last it was completely 
under water. We picked our steps rather carefully 
at first, until finding all our efforts insufiicient to 
keep ourselves clean or dry-shod, we dashed headlong 
through it, and sometimes the inundated portions 


were so deep, tliat we had to cross them, mounted 
on the shoulders of the Kru-boys. At length the 
steed, a sorry-looking animal, overtook us, and we — • 
that is, the white men — bestrode it by turns. The 
pathway, usually so narrow as only to admit of 
single file, was for the greater part of the way 
bounded on either side by tall grass or by low trees. 
Sometimes it led through cornfields, the stalks of 
which were so long as quite to protect the foot- 
passengers from the sun, and even at times actually 
waved over the heads of the horsemen. We passed 
two small villages, and several farms as they were 
called, not exactly coming up to our idea of the 
broad acres and beautiful regularity of English 
agriculture ; but being patches of cultivation bearing 
different varieties of corn, close to which dwelt some of 
the servants or slaves of the proprietors. We toiled for 
many a dreary mile across this level plain, now almost 
an entire swamp, the road seeming much longer from 
the difficulty of progression, and being shut out 
from any extended view. The sun began to verge 
towards the western horizon, and many an inquiry 
was made as to when the city should be seen. By 
sunset we reached the foot of some rising ground, 
along the ridge of which we could just discern 
columns of blue smoke in faint relief against the 
evening sky, and there, Ibrahim called to us, lay the 
promised city. We climbed along an irregular and 
rather rocky path, for some distance ; and when 
within half-a-mile of the walls, were met by crowds 


of curious inhabitants. The wells from which their 
water is procured were close to our route; and as 
we passed, the last pitchers were being filled and 
carried off on the shoulders and heads of, I cannot 
say fair, damsels. More horses were brought, on 
which we were mounted, and as the shades of evening 
were rapidly falling, we rode in, the first Europeans 
who had ever visited Hamaruwa. We were con- 
ducted to the opposite side of the town, a consider- 
able distance, and at length arrived at the abode of 
Sariki'n Hausa, where we wxre informed we were 
to be quartered for the night. Here an ample hut 
and a large yard were set apart for us, in which 
we deposited our traps, and we then sat down to 
rest ourselves, after a journey from Wuzu, accord- 
ing to my pedometer, of fourteen miles and a half. 

It being by this time quite dark, we lighted our 
lanterns, but before we had well been able to arrange 
ourselves, a message of congratulation came from the 
Sultan, and scarce had it been delivered before crowds 
of the inhabitants came to welcome us. For nearly 
half-an-hour the only business transacted was an 
incessant shaking of hands, which pretty well wearied 
us, after which we began to look after some supper, 
and set the Krtimen to boil their rice. A very plea- 
sant mess was made for us, prepared by adding to 
milk and water some Indian-corn-meal mixed with a 
little red pepper. Our repast was hardly finished 
when a royal present was brought us, consisting of 
several calabashes filled with meal fufu, known by the 

CHAr VI.] THE UPPEE Bi'nUE. 157 

Pulbe as tuo, and a green-coloured sauce, made chiefly 
with butter. This, with the addition of a little salt, 
was by no means unpalatable, except that the meal, 
having been ground on a soft stone, was sandy and 
gritty. By nine o'clock we were very glad to be 
able to stretch ourselves for the night, we selecting the 
yard, while the Krumen preferred the hut. A heavy 
dew fell, but neither did this, nor numbers of most 
lively mosquitoes prevent us from enjoying a good 
sound sleep. The Kru-boys, again, were terribly 
bitten in the hut, and were glad to come to the open 
air to escape from their tiny persecutors. 

By daylight we were all astir, and having hung up 
our damp clothes to dry, and made prepara- 
tions for breakfast, we went to look around us. 
The ridge on which the town is situated runs along 
the base of the Muri Mountains, one of which, nearly 
enveloped in dark clouds, now looked frowningly 
down upon us. Altogether the position of the town 
is good, being on a tolerably dry soil, quite above the 
marshy plain below, and commanding an extended 
view. Its dimensions are considerable ; the breadth 
I measured, being a mile and a quarter, while the 
. length must be fully two miles. The number of 
inhabitants could not, according to our computation, 
be under eight thousand. About half-past six heavy 
rain set in, and continued with occasional intermis- 
sions for nearly two hours. This drove us to seek 
the shelter of the despised hut, where, however, to 
protect ourselves from insects, we had to kindle a 


fire and to light our cigars, so that with rain without 
and smoke within, our position was not an enviable 
one. We afterwards found that in the river at this 
very time a heavy tornado came down, which nearly 
cleared everything off the deck of the " Pleiad," while 
here, only sixteen miles off, and almost in the moun- 
tains, we had rain without a breath of wind ; so very 
local, it would thus appear, are the effects of these 
dreadful hurricanes. Early in the morning Sariki 'n 
Hausa had gone to the Sultan to request an early 
audience for us, and we had since despatched another 
messenger, but by nine o'clock the only answer which 
had reached us, was the arrival of another large 
consignment of tuo, similar to that sent us for 

As the rain began to clear off, numbers of the 
inhabitants came to see us, and we soon got on very 
friendly terms with them. We amused ourselves 
by purchasing mats, rings, ear-rings, wristlets, hair- 
pins, and other ornaments, made of lead, copper, 
or brass, for which we gave trinkets, and handker- 
chief pieces. Kazors were here, as in all Muhammadan 
places, in great demand, and much prized. A young 
woman asked me to buy a couple of rings from her, 
for which I proposed to give in exchange some red- 
printed calico. Wishing to possess a larger piece, 
she took off another ring and added it to the former 
ones, on which I increased my quantity. Still she 
was not satisfied, but taking off rings, ear-rings, and 
hairpins, one by one, she gradually divested herself of 


every ornament, until she managed to get several 
yards of the tempting material. Her last hairpin she 
held in her hand for some time, looking alternately 
at it and at the coveted article ; but at last, as though 
thinking that copper rings and brass pins could at 
any time be got at Hamaruwa, she gave it up, and 
marched off in triumph with the showy dress, resolving 
to become for the time the envy of all her acquaint- 
ance. I met with but one interruption, from a wild- 
looking, overgrown fellow who suddenly came to the 
door of our hut, and rudely dragged away a Avoman 
with whom I was bargaining for some mats, declaring 
that she was underselling them. I said, little at first, 
but on the man's becoming further insolent, I ordered 
him off, saying I would speak of his behaviour to the 
Sultan, and finally I ordered one of our crew to turn 
him out of the yard. None of the natives took his 
part, but were rather pleased at seeing the bully 
silenced, and after a time, he came back in a cringing 
manner, wishing me to buy his sword, which, however, 
I declined doing. 

As this was the first occasion on which we met 
with Fulatas in great numbers, I shall enter into 
some little detail concerning them. In Hamaruwa, 
as in other Pulo towns, although the inhabitants are 
all Muhammadans, yet the women are permitted to 
go about unattended ; their faces are not considered 
sacred from the unhallowed gaze of the Giaour, 
neither do they exhibit the extreme strictness nor 
the bigotry of the Moslemin of the East. Among 


them are to be constantly seen numerous Mallams — 
or learned men — with white turbans, and usually a 
piece of cloth over the mouth and lower part of the 
face. In appearance they are far removed from the 
Negro, and the profile is frequently nearly European, 
and their skins, never black, are at times very pale- 
coloured. They have not a muscular look, nor are 
they of full flesh. Their stature is rather above the 
average ; and their long, spare-made limbs seem 
well adapted for activity and endurance of fatigue. 
Their foreheads are high, and at times expansive; 
the features long, and the chin pointed ; the nose is 
straight, or at times almost aquiline ; the usually 
blue expressive eye, has a wandering, restless cast ; 
while the lips, which are inclined to be thick, exhibit 
the only marked Ethiopic affinity. They occupy a 
high place in the scale of intelligence and quickness, 
and in commercial concerns they are keen and active. 
Their manners appeared to us, after meeting with so 
many rude tribes, cultivated and pleasing, and their 
persons were kept tolerably clean. Most of the men 
wear tobes, almost all have turbans, straw hats, or 
some kind of head-dress, and many sport loose 
trowsers. Being Muhammadans, the head is com- 
monly kept shaved, but the hair is allowed to grow 
on the chin. Most of them carry with them charms 
enclosed in little leathern cases, hung round the neck, 
and generally consisting of scraps of Arabic writing, 
or of verses from the Kurlin. The women were cer- 
tainly by far the best-looking whom we saw, and 


were dressed with some degree of taste. The fashion- 
able ornaments consisted of ear-rings of lead or brass, 
massive, and often tastefully ornamented brass pins 
in the hair, and generally armlets or wristlets of the 
same metal. Their dress chiefly comprised a long 
piece of native cloth, wound several times round the 
body, and reaching from beneath the armpits to 
below the knees, the end of which is, when the 
weather is cold or wet, thrown loosely over the head. 
Under this are one or two other similar folds, only 
not quite so large, and reaching from the waist. A 
few of the younger ladies of the place, probably the 
belles, wore round their heads narrow wreaths or 
circlets of neatly plaited dyed straw, or reeds, which 
had a very graceful effect. The custom prevails 
here of dyeing the edges of the eyelids with anti- 
mony, and it certainly gives softness to the expression ; 
the finger-nails, too, are stained with henna, which 
plant is extensively cultivated in the gardens. The 
ordinary language is the Pulo, but Hausa is also 
nearly universally understood. Our host Ibrahim was 
a fine example of his race, of prepossessing look, with 
much quickness, intelligence, and information ; he 
was, moreover, what there might be called a man of 
education, being able to speak and to write Arabic. 

I showed to some people about me my pocket 
compass, trying to explain to them, that one end of 
the needle invariably pointed in the same dii'ection, 
and that by it I could always find my way. One 
man, who had apparently heard of this instrument 


before, began to ask the position of different places 
around, and as I usually looked at the needle before 
answering, the spectators thought it gave me informa- 
tion in some mysterious manner. I was put through 
a strict geographical examination, and was asked in 
rapid succession to point in the direction of the Faro, 
of Yola, Zliiru, Nak, Zhibu, Wukari, Yakuba, Sokoto, 
Kano, Katshina, Tumbuktu, Bornu, Loggone, Wadai, 
&c., and having a tolerable acquaintance, both with the 
map, and with the situations of these localities, the 
crowd were much amazed at the correctness of the 
stranger. One travelled Hadji, hoping to puzzle me, 
demanded that I should indicate the situations of 
Mekka and of Stamboul, on which a woman requested 
me to stop, as she was afraid that the child, of which 
she was then pregnant, would be marked with a 
compass, or be born white. A Mallam, being 
desirous of seeing me write with a black lead pencil 
on paper, I tore off a little bit, and, writing the words 
" Hamaruwa, 25th of September, 1855," gave it to 
him, on seeing which all around became eager to 
possess similar scraps. I wrote accordingly, until I 
had expended all my spare paper, when I discovered 
that these were looked on as charms, the men con- 
sidering that the possession of one would insure 
success in hunting, or in war, while the female part 
of the community believed that they would prove 
preservatives against sickness, and would render the 
marriage-bed fruitful. 

Being anxious to reach Gurowa by night, we 


determined, as it was nearly noon, and as no messenger 
had yet returned, to walk towards the king's, but for- 
tunately met on the way our friend Sariki'n Hausa, 
who was then coming to conduct us. While approach- 
ing the palace we fired, at his urgent request, several 
blank shots, to the mingled terror and dehght of the 
beholders. At the outer-gate, where we were detained 
for two or tliree minutes, we saw lying outside a large 
heap of sandals, as all entrants were obliged there to 
uncover their feet, and likewise to leave their spears 
or other offensive weapons. We were presently re- 
quested to proceed, and passing through a court-yard, 
where many persons were seated on the ground cross- 
legged, were ushered into a large, substantial hut, the 
door of which was shaded by a curtain. On entering, 
Sariki'n Hausa desired me to sit right before the 
Sultan, and placing Dr. Hutchinson and Mr. Guthrie 
on either side of me, he ranged our retinue behind. 
He then himself knelt down in front of us, signing 
to Aliheli to come close to him and do likewise. We 
were seated on good Turkey rugs, and about were 
carelessly strewn cushions of bright-coloured European 
cloths and satins, red and yellow being the predomi- 
nant shades. Across the capacious hut, immediately 
before us, hung a curtain of striped pink and white 
silk, which concealed his majesty from our view. As 
soon as we were seated the spectators shouted and 
clapped their hands ; the Sultan, through his inter- 
preter, then welcomed us, saying how glad he was to 
see us, and how pleased he felt that white men should 

u 2 


first visit Hamaruwa during his reign, as such an event 
had never occurred during the rule of any of his prede- 
cessors. He then gave an order to Sariki'n Hausa, who, 
taking from under the screen three fine Hausa tobes, 
put one on me, and one on each of my companions. 
He presented me also with three poisoned spears with 
the heads covered, with one unpoisoned spear, and 
also with a basket of fine gura or kola nuts, the latter 
esteemed as a mark of great favour and friendship. 
Having returned thanks for these, I inquired of Sariki'n 
Hausa whether the curtain was to be raised or not, 
but was told that, according to custom, the Sultan 
would remain unseen during our conference. I there- 
fore proceeded to say that we had come from a 
powerful country named England, far away on the 
great sea ; that the Queen of our country, who was a 
very powerful Queen, was desirous of being at peace 
and on terms of amity with all monarchs, that she 
wished to aid in promoting the welfare of all places 
however distant, and was therefore anxious that her 
subjects should cultivate trade and commerce wher- 
ever it was possible to do so. That it was for this 
purpose that we had now come to Hamaruwa, and while 
feeling highly gratified with our reception, we hoped 
that the Sultan would always deal kindly and justly 
towards white men, and that we trusted that they 
again would invariably behave properly towards him. 
We then mentioned the articles which we were de- 
sirous of purchasing, enumerating in general terms 
the nature of our goods. To this the Sultan replied 


ill very friendly tones, saying he felt honoured by 
receiving the subjects of so great and so good a Queen, 
and assuring us that he would use his utmost endea- 
vour to promote our views, to assist our designs, and 
to further trade. I then told the Sultan that on our 
return down the river it was my intention to visit 
Wukari, which was, I understood, one of his depen- 
dencies, and would, therefore, feel much obliged by 
his sending a message or a letter by us, stating that we 
were his friends, to which he replied, " most certainly, 
he would gladly do so." I then gave him his pre- 
sent, consisting of several pieces of white and coloured 
calico, two velvet tobes, a sabre and brass scabbard, 
and a double barrelled gun with spare flints and 
powder. Dr. Hutchinson gave him specimens of the 
various kinds of goods we had on board, and Mr. 
Guthrie off'ered him a supply of writing materials and 
a map on which was pointed out the position of 
Hamaruwa, with all of which the king seemed well 
pleased. The silk screen not being very thick, and 
as the king sat between me and an open door, I could 
see his figure and actions, though I could not distin- 
guish his features. He wore a fine scarlet robe, 
and when the gifts were laid before him, he 
examined them with much interest, especially the 
sabre and the writing materials. He then said he 
was the slave of the Sultan at Sokoto, and must send 
a special messenger to inform him of our visit, and 
asked me if I would give him a present to send to 
his master, which I promised to do. I was next 


informed that two bullocks had been ordered to be 
secured for us, for which I expressed our thanks, and 
then requested the Sultan to let us have horses to 
take us back to Wuzu, We were much pressed to 
extend our stay until the succeeding day, but I ex- 
cused myself on account of having much to attend to ; 
adding also, that no trade would be commenced until 
Dr. Hutchinson got to the ship. We therefore said 
farewell, and on leaving the royal presence * the cere- 
mony of clapping the hands and shouting was 
repeated. Sariki'n Hausa now took me to see the 
bullocks, but on reaching the enclosure we found that 
only one had been caught, a fine black bull,t which, 
on Mr. Guthrie's getting rather too close to him, was 
desirous of taking somewhat unpleasant liberties with 
him. I engaged some people to bring these animals 
to Wuzu, after which we returned to make ready for 
our journey. We all wore our tobes, which seemed 
to inspire the inhabitants with intense respect for us, 
our attire being ample evidence that we were persons 
whom their Sultan delighted to honour. Imme- 
diately outside of the town are fine waving fields of 
corn, beyond which, on the sides of the mountains, is 
abundant rich pasturage for their goats and cattle. In 
the gardens are grown numerous herbs and vegetables, 
and about each hut are several papaw trees. On the 
outskirts, on the side next to the river, are many 

* la October, 1854, the Sultan met Dr. Barth at Kano, and gave him an 
account of our visit. 

t The skiu of this beast, which is the Bos Dante of Liuk, marked with 
a small hump on the withers, is now in the British Museum. 


Baobabs, at that time covered witli fruit. I measured 
one of them, by no means the largest, and found its 
circumference, at three feet above its base, to be thirty 
feet, while close to the ground it must have been forty 
feet. The trunks, though thus of great diameter, are 
seldom tall, but, at a height of from twelve to sixteen 
or eighteen feet, begin to throw off, all around, widely 
spreading branches. The trunks, too, are nearly 
circular, and seldom or never show any disposition to 
form the laminar buttresses so common in the allied 
Bomhaces or silk-cotton trees. I have observed these 
Adansonia only in the neighbourhood of towns and 
villages, which, Mr. Crowther informs me, corresponds 
with his knowledge of their localities in the Yoruba 
country ; I fancied, too, that the fruit, though less 
numerous, groAvs to a far greater size near the river, 
and in moist situations, while in hilly regions and in 
dry soil it is smaller and more abundant. 

I managed to start our Kruboys with the baggage 
by half-past one, and then as only one horse w^as 
brought, Mr. Guthrie, as the oldest of the party, was 
mounted, while Dr. Hutchinson and I agreed to 
walk on in the hopes of the others being brought 
after us. When, however, we had got about a mile on 
our way, seeing no sign of the steeds. Dr. Hutchinson 
declared that he would return and inquire about them, 
while I resolved to proceed, telling him that he might 
overtake me. I accordingly went on my way, picking 
up a few plants, and examining the rocks and the soil. 
Having got to the bottom of the hill, and finding the 


road as before very wet, I pulled off my shoes and 
stockings and went barefooted, that being by far the 
easiest mode of progression along a path of this 
description. In this way I had walked alone for 
from seven to eight miles, when I lost almost all 
trace of the path. Having ascertained by my compass 
the position of the river, I endeavoured to work my 
way in that direction, but soon got more entangled 
than ever. I climbed up several trees to look around, 
but could not discover a single guiding mark. I was 
completely in the bush, the grass and brushwood 
being so long, thick, and close, that every step I took 
was a severe exertion. It was now past sunset, and 
getting rapidly dark, and as it was only too evident 
that I had lost my way without any chance of better- 
ing myself, the next question came to be how I 
should pass the night. The most comfortable and 
the safest spot seemed to be up a tree, so I tried one, 
and got as high as I could, but did not much relish 
my quarters. All the others near me were too small, 
but I recollected having observed some time before a 
tall Baobab, which I determined again to search after. 
I took a good mark, so that, if unsuccessful in ray 
cruise, I still might have something to fall back upon, 
and starting with a good run to clear the grass, was 
fortunate enough in a few minutes to get a glimpse 
of the Mished-for harbour of refuge. Luckily for 
me it had a double trunk, with a distance between 
of about two feet ; so tying my shoes together, and 
casting them over my shoulder, I placed my back 


against the one trunk, and my feet against the other, 
and so managed to climb until I got hold of a branch 
by which I swung myself further up, and finally got 
into a spot about twelve or fifteen feet from the 
ground. Here I placed myself on a branch, about 
a foot in diameter, projecting at nearly right angles, 
and by leaning against the main trunk, and stretching 
out my legs before me, I found I had a tolerably 
comfortable seat, whence I might peer into the sur- 
rounding obscure. The night, fortunately, was not 
very dark, the stars gleamed overhead, while vivid 
flashes of lightning over the neighbouring hills 
enabled me, from time to time, to cast a momentary 
glance around me. I got on my shoes and stockings 
as a protection against insects, then passed a piece 
of cord loosely round the branch, so that I could 
pass my arm through it and steady myself, and 
finally made preparations for repose by kicking two 
places in the bark of the tree for my heels to rest in. 
About eight o'clock I distinctly heard in the distance 
the hum of human voices, and shouted to try and attract 
attention, but to no avail ; beheving, however, that 
there were some huts near, I marked the direction 
by a large tree. Feeling rather tired, I lay down 
on my face along the branch, throwing my hand- 
kerchief over my head, and passing each of my 
hands into the opposite sleeve, to prevent them from 
being bitten, I was soon in a state of oblivion. I 
must have slept upwards of four hours, when I 
awoke rather stiff", from my constrained position, and 


had to try a cliange of attitude. To pass the time I 
lit a cigar, and, as I had but one, I only smoked 
half of it, carefully putting back the remainder to 
serve for my breakfast. A dew was now falling, 
crickets and frogs innumerable were celebrating 
nocturnal orgies ; huge mosquitoes, making a noise 
as loud as bees, were assaulting me on all sides, 
and some large birds were roosting in the tree over 
my head. I tried in vain to doze away the hours, 
but I had had my usual allowance of sleep, and not 
being a bigoted partizan of the drowsy god, even 
when I really required his aid, he refused to attend 
to my invocations. I watched with most painful 
interest the rising and setting of various constellations, 
and was at length delighted with the appearance of 
Venus, showing that morning was now not far off. A 
fresh novelty next presented itself, in the form of 
sundry denizens of the forest, crowding to pay homage 
to their visitor. Howls of various degrees of in- 
tensity continually reached my ears, some resembling 
more the high notes of the hyaena with occasional 
variations, and others, very close to me, being un- 
questionably in the deep bass of the leopard. I once 
fancied that I saw a figure moving not far from me, 
but could not be positive. As light began to suffuse 
itself over the eastern sky, my nocturnal companions 
gradually retired, until at last I was left alone, yet 
not solitary, for that I could not be, as long as the 
incessant buzzing in my ears told me that my Lillipu- 
tian winged antagonists were yet unwearied in their 

CHAP, vr.] THE UPPER BI NUE. ] 7 1 

attacks, and still unsatiated with blood. At length, as 
gray dawn was being supplanted by brighter day- 
light, I ventured to descend from my roosting-place, 
where I had spent, not altogether without comfort, 
upwards of eleven hours. 

My first endeavour was to find a foot-path, and, 
after a little search, I stumbled over a little 

Sept. 26. 

track, which, however, as it led in a wTong 
direction, I had to abandon. A more prolonged in- 
vestigation discovered another, very narrow, and 
almost hidden by long grass, which, after the heavy 
rain, was lying right over it. To prevent my again 
straying, I was obliged to bend forward and walk, 
almost creep, along a kind of tunnel, pulling up a few 
stalks and letting them fall, as a guide in case I should 
have to return. Though in my elevated quarters the 
dew had been slight, on the ground it had been very 
heavy, and in a few minutes I was completely 
drenched. When I emerged at the other extremity of 
this path, which was about half-a-mile long, and was 
again enabled to look round, I saw a little circling 
smoke, towards which I immediately made, and found 
a few huts. Some Aborigines appeared, and, after 
their surprise had subsided, I managed to explain, 
by means of a few broken Hausa words, that I had 
lost my way, had spent the night in a tree, and now 
wished to get to Wuzu. They pointed out the way 
to me ; but, as it was not very evident to my 
European senses, I induced one to come with me as 
a guide, and we accordingly trudged along through 


mud and water, by a route which, to any but a 
thorough-bred native, would have been impossible to 
keep to. After walking, or rather wading, in this 
manner for two or three miles, we fell in with my 
black servant and a couple of men armed to the 
teeth, going in search of me. They could hardly 
believe it to be me, especially when I told them how I 
had passed the night, for they had already consigned 
me to the jaws of the wild beasts which abound in this 
neighbourhood. I accordingly dismissed my guide, 
a happy man with my pocket-handkerchief, which was 
all I had to give him, and continued my walk to 
Wuzu, at which place I arrived about nine o'clock, 
after a morning's jaunt of nine or ten miles. The 
natives, who were there in numbers, were astonished 
at my appearance and my story, and were no less 
surprised when they saw me devouring, with great 
gusto, my breakfast, which the steward had very 
considerately provided for me, and which was the 
first food I had tasted for twenty hours. 

Many traders from Hamaruwa were at Wuzu, with 
ivory and other articles for sale, so in going to the 
ship we took with us, in the boat, Sariki'n Hausa, 
and as many of these persons with their goods as we 
could manage to pack away. Our pull up the creek 
was a long one, being against the current ; but we got 
on board about noon, and a scene of activity at once 
commenced. Dr. Hutchinson purchased, at reason- 
able rates, all the ivory we brought off, being about 
360 pounds, and of good quality. Canoes being very 


scarce, not one fourth part of the traders could get 
on board, and I had to land many in our boats. I 
bought several brass ornaments, among which was a 
pair of finely- wrought brass anklets, weighing together 
five pounds, made by a Kano workman resident in 
Hamaruwa. I also got two small silver rings, but 
could not ascertain whence the metal was obtained ; 
but believe it to have been brought by caravans across 
the desert, from the markets at Ghadames, or, as 
they term it, Gadamawa. Another purchase was a 
handsome sword and scabbard, with a sash and tassel 
attached, of red woollen material, which is much 
valued. This was made at Kano, which seems 
to be both the Birmingham and the Manchester of 
Central Africa, its Hausa traders spreading them- 
selves and their goods and wares far and wide. 
Intelligence came off during the afternoon of the 
safe arrival of the bullocks at Wuzu; but, as I 
thought they would not, after their journey, be in a fit 
state to be killed, I ordered them to be tied up until 
the morning, especially as I wished to have the skin 
of the one and the skeleton of the other for specimens. 
The chief of Gurowa sent to say that he wished to go 
to Hamaruwa in the morning, but had no canoe, on 
which I let him know that a boat was to be sent to 
Wuzu, in which he could have a passage. 

Sariki'n Hausa being about to return to Hama- 
ruwa the next day, to bring for sale some of the 
Sultan's ivory, I gave him a present to be sent to 
Sokoto, of the same value as had been given to the 


king. For his own very friendly offices I offered liini 
a small gift for himself, intending to give him a 
better one on our departure, and, as the afternoon 
looked dark and lowering, I asked him to remain 
on board all night, which he did. Mr. Crowther and 
I had a long conversation with him, and obtained 
much information, especially about the Pulo provinces. 
He told us the names of all the Muhammadan States 
of Central Africa, and the titles of their various 
rulers, also the different routes to Yola and Yakuba 
as performed by himself, all of which will appear in 
the Appendix. He gave us, too, many Pulo words 
and expressions, which made us regret much that we 
had not a grammar of that language with us, as we 
might have tested its correctness, and probably added 
to it.* On asking him if he knew the original seat 
of the Pulbe, he said that he had been always told 
that the country they came from was near Tumbuktii, 
and was named Male, probably meaning the district 
of Melli south-west from that city. This differs a 
httle from the story given by Mr. KoeUe's informant 
at Sierra Leone, who traced his race from Futa Toro, 
to the northward of the Gambia; but, after all, the 
difference is trifling, as the Melli of Ai'ab geo- 
graphers includes " Futa Toro." From these 
regions they migrated eastward, as a pastoral race, 

* On our return to Fernando Po, I found waiting for me copies of a 
Ptilo grammar, edited from Macbrair's MS. by Edwin Norris, Esq., and 
was sorry that they had not reached us sooner. This grammar applies 
more especially to the language of the Western or Red Piilbe, which 
differs only dialectically from that of the Eastern tribes. 


and where now stands the city of Sokoto, the vision 
appeared to the priest Fodio, which inspu-ed 
him to action and to deeds which ended in the 
subjugation of the fairest provinces of Central Africa. 
At this moment there are two great divisions of 
the Pulo race — the one the Western or Senegambia 
Pulbe, and the other the Eastern Pulbe, to whom the 
name Pulata, as given by the Bornuese, more parti- 
cularly applies. In appearance the people of these 
two branches closely resemble each other ; those whom 
I met up the Binue being the same in feature and in 
manner with the Pulbe of Timbo and (K the towns 
near Sierra Leone. I do not, however, consider that 
their primitive seat was in the countries between the 
Gambia and the Senegal, but am inclined rather to 
think that their easterly progress was a secondary 
migration. The word " Pulo " signifies " yellow," or 
" brown," from the light complexion of the people ; 
and among many other nations they are known by 
terms expressive of this feature ; thus in Kororofa 
they are called " Abate," or white people. In listen- 
ing to Pulbe talking, especially if from a little distance, 
I have often been struck with a resemblance in sound 
between their language and Arabic ; it is however less 
harsh and guttural, the likeness consisting merely in 
the general impression conveyed to the ear. I have 
also fancied that there is an analogy both in dress, in 
make, and in habits, between many of the Fulatas 
and the Beduins. They possess in common the 
same wandering turn, the same spare limbs, and 


they both keep the lower part of the face muffled, 
though this latter probably depends on their both 
spending much of their time in sandy deserts. The 
Fulatas, however, are more pleasing in features and 
in their address ; nor do they exhibit the Beduin 
dislike to cities or fixed abodes. I do not mean to 
attempt to trace any direct connection between these 
two singular races, but only to note the ideas 
suggested by hasty glances at each. 

No recent intelligence of any white travellers could 
be obtained, though it was known that one had some 
years previously visited Yola. Both the Sultan and 
Sariki'n Hausa, however, said that about a year 
previously they had heard that a stranger was residing 
in Sokoto. They likewise confirmed the report which 
had reached us of the decease of Sultan Bello, and 
they informed us that his successor was named Alihu, 
who was now the supreme ruler of all the Pulbe. 

In the afternoon, about half-past four o'clock, a 
curious phenomenon was witnessed. During a heavy 
shower a brilliant complete rainbow was seen in the 
south-east, and immediately afterwards a supple- 
mentary bow, also entire, showed itself at a distance 
of nine or ten degrees from the primary one, the two 
extending from horizon to horizon, forming a gorgeous 
spectacle, contrasting most strongly with the intense 
darkness of the surrounding clouds. While gazing 
on these, I was equally astonished and pleased by the 
appearance of a portion of a third eccentric bow, 
extending from the western extremity of the primary 


one, and seeming as a tangent to it. Its colours 
were in the same order as those of the primary, and 
it did not extend sufficiently far to intersect the 
secondary one. It remained visible for nearly ten 
minutes, hut faded before either of the great arches. 

Eor nearly a week before we reached Hamaruwa 
sickness had been showing itself among our Krumen 
in rather a peculiar form. They complained of 
general debility, with swelling of the lower limbs, 
and on Dr. Hutchinson's first drawing my attention 
to it, we had some difficulty in assigning a reason 
for these affections. On watching, however, atten- 
tively the symptoms for a day or two, no doubt was 
left that the disease was scurvy, the peculiar stiffness 
of the joints and the softness of the gums being 
unequivocal. This led to an inquiry as to the 
amount of food given to the Krumen, which had 
been arranged by Mr. Taylor. The Krumen were fed 
entirely on rice, and although going through immense 
exertion daily, had been kept on a ration not ex- 
ceeding a pint and three quarters, a quantity which 
Dr. Hutchinson had already increased on his own 
responsibility. The disease prevailed chiefly among 
the younger Kruboys, who had never anything at all 
but rice, while the older hands, who had occasionally 
come in for various little pickings, preserved their 
health longer and better. The Sierra Leone men 
also, who had been allowed a scanty portion of meat, 
escaped better. Erom Gurowa and Hamaruwa no 
fresh vegetables were to be obtained, and not much 


fresh meat, but I now directed the flesh of one of 
the bullocks given me by the Sultan to be handed 
over for the sole use of the Krumen, and Dr. Hut- 
chinson gave them from his private stores wine and 
arrowroot. There were no spirits on board, and 
though I am no advocate for their indiscriminate 
employment or regular issue, still I think most 
decidedly that no vessel going on any such service 
as ours should be entirely without them. Often I 
have regretted that, after the very severe labour 
which our men had frequently to undergo, it was 
out of my power to order them something of the 
kind, as I am convinced that it would have been 
beneficial. This omission was quite contrary to the 
wishes of Mr. Laird, who had no idea that the 
" Pleiad " had not had some rum included among 
her stores, and who had given a carte blanche to the 
sailing-master to order everything requisite for the 

The above cause very much interfered with the 
amount of work done daily, and it was the more 
annoying as it was one which could have been avoided 
by the most ordinary amount of foresight. Another 
difficulty which now weighed heavily upon us, was 
the scarcity of fuel, not that suitable trees were 
entirely wanting, but they were very few, and at a 
considerable distance from the ship, so that with a 
debihtated crew, and still more debilitated instruments, 
it was impossible to cut the amount of wood requisite 
for steaming against a strong stream. I was therefore 


obliged to relinquish the idea of a further ascent in 
the steamer, a very disagreeable alternative, as there 
was abundance of water, and the river had not yet 
ceased to rise. My wish had been to persevere as 
long as there was sufficient depth for the " Pleiad," 
until we observed symptoms of the falling of the river, 
as with the powerful current we could accomplish our 
descent very rapidly. Mr. May and myself, notwith- 
standing, resolved to make a short boat voyage and to 
attempt in this manner to reach the Mro. I had 
the less compunction in leaving the steamer off 
Gurowa, as the anchorage was perfectly healthy, and 
there appeared every evidence of a good and profitable 
trade lasting for some time. Our first plan was that 
Mr. May should ascend the river by boat, and that I 
should try to reach Yola by the shortest overland 
route, but from this I was strongly dissuaded by Mr. 
Crowther, whose experience of African travelling 
added much weight to his opinion, and subsequent 
events made me feel satisfied that I had not under- 
taken this journey. The gig was accordingly got 
ready, five Kruboys selected, and we took a Sierra 
Leone man who spoke Hausa as our interpreter and 
our cook. We shipped a small bag of rice, a few 
pounds of salt pork, some biscuit and cocoa, enough 
for three or four days' consumption, and took also for 
our private use some Quinine wine, which on such 
excursions should be considered as indispensable. 
We ought to have started immediately after my 
return from Hamaruwa, but a slight accident hap- 

N 2 


pening to the gig, we were detained until the fol- 
lowing morning, by which we escaped a violent 
thunder-storm, during which the mainmast of the 
" Pleiad " was struck by lightning, but fortunately 
the electric fluid escaped by the conductors, without 
doing us any harm. 

In the morning everyone was up before dawn. The 
pinnace was sent to Wuzu, with the steward and a 
party to kill the bullocks. Sariki'n Hausa also took 
a passage in the boat, en route to Hamaruwa, intend- 
ing to return in a couple of days with a further 
supply of ivory, as I had told him we should remain 
at anchor for at least that time. I left the vessel 
under the charge of Mr. Harcus, the chief mate, in 
whom every confidence could be placed, ordering him 
if no sudden or unusual danger occurred in the height 
of the water, to stay at Giirowa until our return, which 
would be in from three to four days. If he felt 
obliged to start, he was to leave a message for us at 
Gurowa, and he was not, if possible, to proceed 
beyond Zhibu, and in the meantime I desired every 
exertion to be made to secure sufficient firewood to 
carry the " Pleiad " to that town. Lastly, having 
learnt that some wild animals had been killed the 
previous night, I desired my assistant, Mr. Dalton, to 
go ashore and endeavour to make some purchases for 
specimens. These matters having been finally arranged, 
Mr. May and I embarked, a little after six o'clock, 
our only passenger being a little pet dog, my constant 


After the tornado of the night the morning was 
dark and gloomy and raw, and, to avoid the strong 
current, we had to pull near in shore, crossing the 
river from time to time, following closely the line of 
slack water. In about two hours we entered a narrow 
creek on the northern side, and presently discovered 
a village, smTounded, and almost intersected by 
water. Here Mr. May and I landed, and desiring 
our boat's crew to shove off and to get their breakfast, 
we asked for the headman. To our astonishment we 
were shewn quite a youth, whom we recognized as a 
late visitor on board, and whom we found to be the 
Pulo governor of the village, which is named Tshomo.* 
We sat down on the beach on a mat, and presently 
an old man was pointed out to us as the native chief, 
though there was nothing in the least distingue in his 
manners or his appearance. Old, dirty, and savage- 
looking, his tout ensemble was the reverse of pre- 
possessing, as he sat, or rather rolled in the dust along- 
side of us, scantily clad, and smoking a greasy pipe. 
The proper opening of the creek by which we went to 
Wuzu is situated here, the opening by which I formerly 
crossed into it, being merely one rendered practicable 
by the great height of the water. The Aborigines 
here are of the same race as those of Zhiru and 
Gui'owa, and call themselves Baibai, being one of the 
Djuku tribes of Kororofa. They have the Negro 
features more strongly marked than any people we 
had met since leaving the Delta. The skin is very 

* Also at times Tsdmo or Shdrno. 


dark, almost black, the nose is broad and flat, the 
cheek-bones rather square ; the eyebrows overhanging 
and very bushy, the ears large, with pendulous 
fleshy lobes. They are not a muscular race, but they 
are large-boned. The expression is heavy, deficient 
in intelligence, and frequently savage. Withal, how- 
ever, the profile is not very prognathous, the chin and 
mouth not projecting much. They wore very little 
clothing, that of the men being composed of scanty 
pieces of cloth or of skins, and that of the women of 
leaves. They are not traders, but live mainly by 
hunting and fishing. I saw a quantity of flesh of a 
hippopotamus which had been killed the day before, 
cut into long, thin stripes, and hung in the sun, the 
smell being now anything but fragrant. In the 
centre of the village, I found a pile of skulls and 
heads of hippopotami, buff'aloes, deer, leopards, and 
crocodiles, this part being considered sacred, and 
dedicated to the God of Hunting. I wished to pur- 
chase some as specimens, and after some debate, was 
allowed to off'er terms. Not having the means with 
me, either of buying them or of stowing them arway, I 
gave a man a note to take to my assistant at Gurowa, 
which he said he would do. At Zhiru, where a similar 
heap was seen, the people obstinately refused to sell 
any of their spoil. The only information I obtained 
was the names of the towns we should pass, namely, 
Lau on the left bank, and Bandawa and Djin on the 
right bank, all more or less subject to Hamaruwa, 
beyond which was Dampsa inhabited by a race so 

CHAP, vr.] THE UPPER BI'nUE. 183 

wild, as to be considered, even by our savage 
acquaintances, as Keferi, and who were said to 
amuse themselves by cutting the throats of unwary 
travellers. On leaving Tshomo, we managed to push 
our way through some long grass, and rejoin the 
river by a short cut. 

For some days previous to om- leaving the ship a 
fresh breeze had blown up the river, on which 
we had reckoned greatly for assistance during our 
cruise ; but now, when we most needed it, it was 
not to be obtained. We had, therefore, to trust 
almost entirely to our oars, and consequently did not 
progress rapidly : as the sun became very powerful, 
we spread our awning, which was a great protection 
to us. During the whole of our sojourn in the 
Kwora and in the Binue, the regular daily breeze was 
from the sea iqj the river ; and this we found to be 
the rule to the furthest extent of our explorations ; 
but I frequently observed that when the usual order 
of things had been upset by the occurrence of a 
tornado, or other violent atmospheric action, the 
sea-breeze for a day or two following, was not 
nearly so strongly felt as usual, and at times did not 
exist; and this was now om* case, as the thunder- 
storm of the preceding night had been succeeded 
by a close, sultry day, with scarcely a breath of wind. 
About mid-day we made fast to some long grass at 
the river side, and allowed ourselves half-an-hour for 
dinner, after which we again pushed on, and just 
afterwards, on rounding a point, surprised a young 


elephant, wliicli was standing quietly half immersed, 
but which no sooner observed us, than it speedily 
dashed a-shore, and disappeared in the bush. We 
saw another one during the afternoon, on the opposite 
side of the river from us, a fine old male, with a magni- 
ficent pair of tusks ; he came down quietly, entered the 
river, by means of his long trunk enjoyed a refresh- 
ing shower-bath, and then deliberately again mounted 
the bank. This was the only opportunity I enjoyed 
of watching the African elephant, and though so far 
off that I had to observe the animal with the glass, I 
was particularly struck with the large size of the ears 
and the rounded forehead. In Central Africa, where 
it exists in enormous numbers, it is not, during life, 
applied to any useful purpose, and in intelligence 
it is believed to be inferior to its Indian congener.* 

The banks of the river appeared to be nearly 
flooded, and except in one small spot we did not 
observe a single place where we could have landed. 
No villages were passed, and the only thing indica- 
tive of life during the day, was hearing at a little 
distance from us the sound of a hunting party pur- 
suing a buffalo. I listened to the cry of this animal, 
which is very peculiar and differs greatly from the 
low of domestic cattle, closely resembling a low, 
prolonged blast, from a shrill hunting-horn. A 

* The characters of the African elephant are so peculiar and constant, 
that it has by Frederick Cuvier been properly constituted into a distinct 
genus, named " Loxodonta" from the structure of the teeth. Though 
now only sought after by hunters, it was iu former ages ti-aiued for war- 
like purposes by the Carthaginians and otlier nations, and this was the 
species, too, most frequently exhibited at Rome. 


thunder-cloud at one time threatened us, but fortu- 
nately passed off to the south-west. After a long 
pull, our men were much revived by seeing in the 
afternoon a village on the left bank, towards which 
we made. Some canoes paddled off as if to recon- 
noitre, and then speedily returned to report their 
observations. The sun was fast verging towards the 
horizon, and its setting rays were brightly reflected 
from the huts, and from a pretty green hill behind, 
while immediately to the westward a grove of tall 
trees, looking down in sombre grandeur on a 
wondering group of natives who stood gazing at the 
sudden apparition of the strange canoe, added pictu- 
resqueness to the scene. The village which was 
Lau, seemed to be in two parts ; so landing at the 
one nearest, we advanced, and shaking hands with 
the persons next to us, asked where the king resided. 
They informed us that he was to be found in the 
other division, so, as no time was to be lost, we 
again shoved off*, and a few strokes of our oars 
brought us to the spot. Again we jumped on shore, 
and on repeating our inquiries, were conducted 
among some huts to a small open space, where we 
were asked to sit down on a large log. After a little 
delay, a tall, elderly, paralytic man came forward, who 
was, we were informed, the native chief, the Hama- 
rtiwa governor being absent. The people, who were 
all Baibai, were very civil, and seemed glad to see us. 
They gave us information confirming what we had 
heard at Tshomo, but said that beyond Djin, on the 


same side, was an independent place named Bat- 
sliama, although nominally it was within the Hama- 
ruwa territory. We asked numerous questions about 
localities near the Paro, and found that many of our 
names were recognized, among others, the town of 
Bundu, and Mount Bagale, but no one knew any- 
thing of Taepe. To the confluence by canoe, from 
Lau, was, they said, reckoned five good days' 
voyage. The village of Wurabeli, at the foot of the 
mountains behind Lau, which is the first stage on 
the short route to Yola, was, we were told, entirely 
inhabited by Ptilbe. Among those standing around, 
one man was pointed out to us, as the son of the 
King of Kwona, whose town was situated inland 
about two days' journey. This Kwona must, I 
consider, be the Koana of Dr. Barth, concerning 
which I have made many fruitless inquiries. The 
people at Lau seemed very poor, and had nothing to 
barter ; their huts appeared to be tolerably neat, but 
in their persons they were quite as dirty as those of 
Tshomo or Zhiru. A few Pulbe who were among 
the residents, were our chief informants, and seemed 
completely to look down upon the native Keferi. As 
it was quite dark we shoved off, and anchored 
about 100 yards from the bank, and prepared our 
supper. About eight o'clock a canoe approached and 
hailed us, telling us that one of our recent acquaint- 
ances wished to come off" to us and have a little 
conversation, probably hoping to get a present ; but 
we excused ourselves, saying it was too late, and that 


we were tired. A heavy dew was falling, so we 
quickly made our night preparations, the awning 
being in readiness in case of rain. Not having much 
spare room, some of the crew stowed themselves away 
in the bottom of the boat, while the others laid the 
oars together and slept on them, Mr. May and myself, 
with our instruments, occupying the stern sheets. 

Before sunrise we were again under way, leaving 
behind us Lau and its inhabitants. The green hill 
we had observed the previous evening shewing so 
resplendently at sunset, looked, if possible, now still 
more beautiful, the rays of the early sun sparkling 
brilliantly among the dew drops, and brightening the 
delicate tints of the verdure. We called it Mount 
Laird, that we might leave on record thus far up the 
Binue, the name of om- excellent friend, who had so 
largely contributed towards the present expedition. 
A little wind springing up, we set our sail, which 
enabled us more successfully to contend against the 
powerful current, and in this manner we proceeded 
along an island, situated in the middle of the river, 
which we named after our ship " Pleiad Island." On 
rounding its eastern extremity we observed on the 
right bank, elevated some fifteen or twenty feet above 
the water, the village of Bandawa, the position of 
which had been pointed out to us at Lau. The 
breeze now freshening permitted us to lay in our 
oars, and to have our breakfast, without losing any 
time. Towards noon we saw ahead upwards of a 
dozen canoes, which we soon overtook, and found to 


contain from seventy to eighty people, returning from 
a hunting expedition, the odour of some of their spoil 
being unpleasantly evident to om* sense of smell. A 
wild, savage-looking set they were, many being 
entirely unclad; but when we came close to them, 
they got alarmed, and paddled in among the long grass 
out of sight. None of them could speak Hausa, and 
we could only make out that Djin was still beyond 
us. While engaged upon our dinner we came rather 
suddenly on a herd of ten or a dozen hippopotami, 
which were amusing themselves in shallow water, but 
did not appear much to mind our intrusion, merely 
expressing their disapprobation by loud snorting. 
Shortly afterwards, while passing between two 
islets, another popped its head above water, so close 
to our quarter that we could have almost touched it 
with an oar, but, alarmed by om* unlooked-for 
proximity, it quickly disappeared. River-horses, as 
far as I have been able to observe them, seldom 
venture into deep water except Avhen crossing from 
one spot to another, and, though gregarious, I have 
rarely seen them together in large numbers. During 
the day their favourite haunt is in still water over 
some shallow, or on sandbanks connected with an 
island. In such places they are to be seen tranquilly 
basking in the sun, frequently with the head only 
above the water. If at aU alarmed they immediately 
disappear below, occasionally coming to the surface 
to breathe and to look around. They can remain 
under water for a long period, but I never had a 

CHAP, vr.] THE UPPER BI NUE. 1 89 

good opportunity of ascertaining their extreme limits 
of endurance. When more sportively inclined they 
may be observed splashing clumsily about, opening 
their enormous jaws, displaying their tusks, and 
tossing their huge heads in anything but a graceful 
manner. When reposing on sandbanks they usually 
form one extended line, at which times nothing is 
visible but a profile view of a long row of faces, just 
above the water, the small eyes and the swollen muzzle 
then constituting the most remarkable features. It 
is from sunset to sunrise that they usually visit the 
shore for feeding, &c., and near marshy spots or 
grassy islets their peculiar noise, something between 
a grunt and a snort, may be heard throughout the 
night. Their flesh is greatly prized, for which they 
are much sought after by the natives, the hunters 
employing in the chase chiefly poisoned arrows : their 
tusks form excellent ivory, and bring a much higher 
price in the markets than that yielded by the elephant. 
The wind again failed us, and our crew, somewhat 
fatigued, laboured hard at the oars ; the way, too, was 
sensibly prolonged by our having so frequently to 
cross the river, to take advantage of the eddies, and 
to avoid the full force of the current. Not having 
passed a single human habitation since morning, we 
were not a little overjoyed and cheered by observing a 
few straggling huts on the north bank, towards which 
we made, and about four o'clock landed to try to 
procure some information. The few inhabitants whom 
we found did not seem much alarmed, and one old 


man, after clapping his hands and welcoming us, gave 
us to understand that Djin was close by, and offered 
to conduct us to it. Having shipped him as our 
pilot, we accordingly pulled about a hundred yards 
further up the river, and entering by a narrow mouth, 
proceeded along a very winding creek, where we had 
to push our way through long grass and reeds, or to 
pass under overhanging branches ; and, surrounding its 
upper portion, we discovered an extensive town with 
a dense population. On landing, a large crowd had 
already assembled to meet us, while numbers of natives 
were wading and swimming across an arm of the creek, 
eager to get a peep at the pale-faced strangers. We told 
them we wished to see their king, on which we were 
asked up into the village, and requested to wait 
beneath the shade of a huge tree. Mr. May and I, 
having asked for a mat, seated ourselves in this spot, 
and presently were surrounded by not fewer than 
from five to six hundred natives, who formed a large 
ring around us. No one could speak Hausa, so that 
we could hold no direct communication with them, 
until three Fulatas and two Bornuese, who were 
temporary residents, pushing forwards, placed them- 
selves beside us, and from them we learnt, that the 
inhabitants were still Baibai, speaking Djuku ; that 
the Paro was fully four days' voyage by canoe, that 
Batshama was more than a day's journey from Djin, 
and that Dampsa was nearly the same distance beyond 
it, and that half way to Batshama was a village 
named Diilti. We could hear of no trade, nor of any 


article of commerce, hunting and fishing being the 
chief supports of the inhabitants. 

In external appearance the people of Djin closely 
resembled those of Gurowa, of Tshomo, and of Lau, 
with the same irregular markings on the upper arm ; 
we had, however, during our progress, marked a 
gradual increase in savage aspect and manners as we 
got further eastward, the natives of Lau, and of 
Tshomo, being less civilized than those of Gurowa ; 
while, in their turn, they were surpassed by the un- 
couth crowd which now encompassed us. The men 
all carried spears and short swords, and both sexes 
were exceedingly scantily clad, some even being 
entirely destitute of any garment. Such a continual 
din and shouting was carried on, that it was with 
much difficulty we could distinguish our own voices, 
and many were our vain endeavours to procure a 
temporary respite. As neither king nor head-man 
made his appearance, we asked repeatedly why this 
was, but received only evasive, unsatisfactory rephes. 
The sun was now down, and we were anxious to 
escape from the mosquitoes and other plagues and 
pestilences of the swamp, we therefore told our 
friends that as we were tired, we should now go on 
board our boat and sleep, an announcement which 
seemed to cause some dissatisfaction ; but we shook 
hands with those around and walked on. One of the 
Fulatas then asked us to his hut, where he showed us 
mats, on which he said we might spend the night ; but 
we thanked him, and declining his offer went towards 


the boat. No sooner, however, had we got on board 
than a crowd of persons seized the gig, declaring that 
we should not leave, but should remain at Djin. We 
remonstrated quietly with them, and at last they said 
that if we were really fatigued, we might sleep in the 
boat, but it should be where we then w^ere — a most 
delightful and repose-inviting spot. Our acquaint- 
ances seemed inclined to become troublesome, or at 
least to wish to press their polite attentions to an un- 
pleasant extent, while we were equally desirous of 
getting rid of them. Our Krumen, who were not a 
little alarmed, were ordered to stand by all ready at 
an instant's notice. Mr. May seized the tiller, while 
I took one or two trifling articles, such as small 
mirrors and clasp-knives, which I distributed to the 
most influential looking individuals within my reach, 
and particularly to one who appeared to be our 
" special retainer." The ruse took, the glittering 
trinkets were eagerly examined, while we, seizing the 
moment that they let go our bow, shoved off, and 
vigorously paddled down the creek, watching closely 
with the last glimpse of twilight to observe the turns 
and curves by which we entered, and to avoid breaking 
our heads against the jutting branches. Before the 
astonished multitude, who had thus let their prize 
elude their grasp, could make up their minds what 
course to pursue, we had regained the river, and 
dropping a little way down landed at the huts where 
we had formerly been, and where Mr. May got an> 
observation for latitude. Our old friend the pilot 


joined us, and presented us with a fowl, on which I 
dehghted his heart by giving him a gay coloured 
handkerchief. We again pushed off, and anchoring 
in three fathoms water, got ready our evening meal, 
and made all snug for the night. About eight o'clock 
some people came to the beach opposite to us, and 
hailing us, tried to induce us to go ashore, telling us 
their king would now receive us, and that there was 
ivory for sale ; but as we had not been over-civilly 
treated by daylight, we had no desire to pay an 
evening visit to Djin. Our Krumen, who had hardly 
yet recovered from their fright, told us that during 
our absence ashore a band of natives had made two 
or three attempts to drag the boat high and dry, 
and to commence pilfering. Throughout the night 
numerous river-horses were busily engaged on an 
extensive marsh not far from us, and their discordant 
sounds might, probably, have disturbed the repose of 
less practised sleepers ; we, however, when waking 
from time to time to look around, merely Hstened 
to them as a rude lullaby, and again slumbered : the 
night, though dark, was fine and clear, and we could 
occasionally distinguish the dim outline of their bulky 
figures, as they plunged from the bank into the 

By early dawn we were again at work, and pulling 
along the northern shore soon passed Djin, below 
which we observed two large herds of cattle feeding, 
all of which were white or light-coloured, Avith small 
humps on the withers, evidently a breed similar to 


those of Hamaruwa, from which they only differed 
in not having among them any dark-skinned indi- 
viduals. A canoe followed us, containing some of 
our quondam friends, who used their utmost powers 
of persuasion to make us return with them ; but 
their logic and their rhetoric proving alike ineffectual, 
they soon gave up the trial. About a mile and a 
half further we saw a small village, of which in 
passing we demanded the name. The reply was not 
altogether distinct, but we understood it to be 
" Abiti." Near all these villages, along the banks, 
were numerous small fishing-stations, which are 
arranged as follows : — Through a kind of pulley at 
the upper extremity of an upright pole planted at 
the water's edge, a rope passes, which is attached to 
the further side of the wooden rim of a large bag- 
net, the opposite side of the rim working in a kind 
of hinge at the foot of the pole. When the rope is 
let go, the net sinks until the mouth is below the 
surface, and in this way it is allowed to remain until 
fish are supposed to have got entangled in the 
meshes, or to be within the bag, when by hauling 
on the line the net is hoisted out of the water and 
its contents secured. 

To our great delight a fresh breeze blew, and we 
made rapid progress. The river was still rising, the 
banks everywhere were overflowed, and the water was 
pom-ing over them into the adjacent country. The 
mountain ranges on either hand still continued, and 
the Muri chain appeared some miles ahead of us to 


come close to the river. We were now under Tan- 
gale, and could well remark its fantastic rocky 
summit, and its sides barely covered with trees, and 
furrowed by precipitous torrent courses. Between 
the mountains and the river we saw some high 
sloping ground, presenting an abrupt face towards 
the river. The Muri range probably extends to some 
distance towards the north, as we could make out 
several successive peaks behind each other. Tangale 
appears to be the greatest elevation, and towards the 
east the heights gradually diminish. Among the 
opposite or Fumbina mountains, the hills were 
more sloping and the peaks less acute, and among 
them were several curious table-tops. The general 
altitude was in this direction much inferior to Bak'n 
Dutshi, Kwona, and other eminences at the western 
extremity; but these altogether compose a large 
group rather than a chain, and what are seen from 
the river are merely the northern boundaries of a 
mountainous region. Considerably beyond us, stand- 
ing close to the river, and quite apart from the regular 
range, we distinguished a peculiar conical hill, esti- 
mated at about 500 feet in height, to which we gave 
the title of " Mount Gabriel." 

About half-past ten we entered a creek on the 
north side, running nearly parallel with the river, and 
shortly afterwards sighted a village, at which we soon 
arrived. To our astonishment the first thing which 
brought us up was our running the bow of the gig 
against a hut, and on looking around we found the 


whole place to be flooded. We advanced right into the 
middle of the village, and found no resting place ; right 
and left, before and behind, all was water. People came 
out of the huts to gaze at the apparition, and standing 
at the doors of their abodes were, without the smallest 
exaggeration, immersed nearly to their knees, and one 
child I particularly observed up to its Avaist. Hoav 
the interiors of the huts of these amphibious creatures 
were constructed I cannot conjecture, but we saw 
dwellings from which, if inhabited, the natives must 
have dived like beavers to get outside. We pulled 
in speechless amazement through this city of waters, 
wondering greatly that human beings could exist under 
such conditions. We had heard of wild tribes living in 
caverns and among rocks, we had read of races in 
Hindustan roosting in trees, of whole families in China 
spending theu' lives on rafts and in boats in their 
rivers and their canals ; we knew, too, of Tuariks and 
Shanbah roaming over vast sandy deserts, and of 
Eskimo burrowing in snow retreats, but never had we 
witnessed or even dreamt of such a spectacle as that of 
creatures endowed like ourselves, living by choice like 
a colony of beavers, or after the fashion of the hippo- 
potami and crocodiles of the neighbouring swamps. 

A little distance from us we espied a large tree, 
round the foot of which was a patch of dry land, 
towards which we pulled, but grounding before 
reaching quite to it, Mr. May and I waded to it, 
instruments in hand, to take observations. We were 
barely allowed to conclude, when nearly the entire 


population of the place, half-wading, half-swimming 
across a small creek, came upon us, and stared at us 
in wild astonishment. A hmTied set of sights being 
taken, we carried our things back into the boat, and 
as we wished to get another set about three quarters 
of an hour after noon, we tried to amuse ourselves and 
to spend the intervening time as we best could. We 
were now able to look a little more attentively at our 
new friends, who in large numbers crowded round, 
and who, male and female, were nearly all equally 
destitute of a vestige of clothing. One young man 
understood a few words of Hausa, and by his means 
we learnt that this was the Diilti of which we had 
heard at Djin, and that the inhabitants were of the 
same stock as at the other villages ; but they were by 
far more rude, more savage, and more naked than any 
of the other Baibai whom we had encountered. A 
canoe came near us, lying in the bottom of which was 
a curious large fish, of which I had just time to make 
a rough eye sketch, when I had to retreat to the 
boat, and Mr. May, w^ho had been exploring in 
another direction, also returned. The behaviour of 
these vrild people now attracted our notice ; the men 
began to draw closer around us, to exhibit their arms, 
and to send away the women and children. Their 
attentions became momentarily more and more 
familiar, and they plainly evidenced a desire to seize 
and plunder our boat. A sour-looking old gentle- 
man, who was squatting on the branch of a tree, was 
mentioned as their king ; but if so, he made no 


endeavours to restrain the cupidity of his sans-culottes. 
Part of a red-shirt belonging to one of our Krumen 
was seen peeping out from below a bag, and some 
advanced to lay hold of it, when suddenly my little 
dog, who had been lying quietly in the stern sheets, 
raised her head to see what was causing such a com- 
motion. Her sudden appearance startled the Dulti 
warriors, who had never seen such an animal before, 
so they drew back to take counsel together, making 
signs to me to know if she could bite, to which I 
replied in the affirmative. Matters were beginning 
to look serious ; our crew, as usual, were timid, and 
Mr. May and I had only ourselves to depend upon in 
the midst of three or four hundred armed savages, who 
were now preparing to make a rush at us. There 
was no help for it ; we had to abandon all hopes of 
our remaining observations, and of so fixing an exact 
geographical position. As at Djm, I seized a few 
trinkets, and handing them hastily to those nearest 
to us, we shoved off while the people were examining 
these wondrous treasures. 

Still anxious, if possible, to get some further 
observations not far removed from the spot where 
the former ones were taken, we pulled about among 
trees and bushes, but without any success. At 
length we shoved in among some long grass, hoping 
to find dry land, but after having proceeded until 
completely stopped by the thickness of the growth, 
we still found upwards of a fathom of water. At 
this moment Mr. May's ear caught a voice not far 


behind us ; so we shoved quietly back, and found a 
couple of canoes trying to cut off oui- retreat. Seeing 
this we paddled vigorously back, there not being room 
for using our oars, and the canoes did not venture 
to molest us. We were quickly paddhng across the 
flooded plain, when suddenly a train of canoes in 
eager pursuit issued out upon us. There were ten 
canoes, each containing seven or eight men, and they 
were sufficiently close to us to allow us to see their 
stores of arms. Our Kruboys worked most ener- 
getically, and we went ahead at such a rate that our 
pm'suers had complete occupation found them in 
paddling, and could not use their weapons. At this 
moment we were about a couple of hundi-ed yards from 
the river, towards which we made as straight a course 
as possible. Not knowing how matters might ter- 
minate, we thought it advisable to prepare for defence, 
so I took our revolver to load it, but now, when it was 
needed, the ramrod was stiff and quite immoveable. 
Mr. May got a little pocket-pistol ready, and we had 
if required a cutlass, and a ship's musket, which the 
Krumen, by this time in a desperate fright, wished 
to see prepared, as they kept calling out to us, " Load 
de big gun, load de big gun." Could an unconcerned 
spectator have witnessed the scene, he would have 
been struck with the amount of the ludicrous it con- 
tained. There were our Kruboys, all as pale as black 
men could be, the perspiration starting from every 
pore, exerting to the utmost their powerful muscles, 
while Mr. May and I were trying to look as uncon- 


cerned as possible, and, to lessen the indignity of our 
retreat, were smiling and bowing to the Dulti people, 
and beckoning to them to follow us. Their light 
canoes were very narrow, and the people were obliged 
to stand upright. The blades of their paddles, 
instead of being of the usual lozenge shape, were 
oblong and rectangular, and all. curved in the direction 
of the propelling stroke. It was almost a regatta, 
our gig taking and keeping the lead. Ahead we 
saw an opening in the bush, by which we hoped to 
make our final retreat, but we were prepared, should 
the boat take the ground, to jump out at once and 
shove her into deep water. Fortune favoured us, we 
reached the doubtful spot, and with a single stroke of 
our paddles shot into the open river. Here we knew 
we were comparatively safe, as if the natives tried 
to molest us in the clear water, all we had to do was 
to give their canoes the stem and so upset them ; our 
only fear had been that of being surrounded by them 
while entangled among the bushes. Our pursuers 
apparently guessed that we had now got the 
advantage, as they declined following us into the 
river, but turning paddled back to their watery abodes, 
and so ended the grand Dulti chase. 



We were certainly not sorry that our affair at 
Dulti had ended without our coming to any 

, . , . T Sept. 29. 

open rupture, which it was our pohcy as well 
as our desire by all means to avoid, as we did not 
wish to have it recorded that the first visit of 
Europeans to these wild regions had been marked 
by quarrelling or by bloodshed, as such an event 
would have tended to convince these savages that 
our advent was not that of friends, as we called 
ourselves, but of foes. Much may be said in excuse 
for the behaviour of these poor wretches. Accustomed 
to visits from none but enemies, there arrived unan- 
nounced at their village a party of strangers, whose 
complexions were fair and resembled those of the 
Pulbe whom they so dreaded. Actuated by no sense of 
honour, nor restrained by any high moral or religious 
sentiment, they merely saw in us a weak handful 
whom they thought they could crush, and in our 
clothes and instruments, inviting objects which they, 
as the stronger party, ought to appropriate. That 
was the only chain of reasoning followed by their 


savage minds ; they were powerful, we seemed to 
be weak ; the temptation was too strong for them, 
they made the attempt, and, fortunately for us, they 

Our determination had previously been to advance 
as far as we could until the noon of this day, and 
then to return ; so, in accordance with our resolution, 
we had now, although most reluctantly, to head 
down the river. We could not have been at Dulti, 
more than fifty or sixty miles from the Paro, and 
had the wind blown as freshly during the first two 
days of our excursion as it did upon the third, I 
have little doubt but that we might have been able 
to attain the wished-for confluence. As it was, we 
had added about thirty miles to our chart, and 
had visited several villages, and met with strange 
people and stranger scenes. All the natives we 
had encountered during our cruize were Baibai, but 
those at Djin and Dulti used a distinct dialect from 
the Djuku inhabitants further west. Our interpreter, 
who understood a little Djuku, could make out many 
words at Tshorao and at Lau, but afterwards he was 
completely puzzled, From this I am inchned to 
believe that there are several distinct dialects of the 
Djtiku language ; and that the one spoken in Koro- 
rofa differs considerably from that used by the more 
eastern Baibai : and this accords well with what I 
have since learnt from Dr. Barth, who informs me 
that his specimens of Djuku, obtained near the Paro, 
do not at all correspond with those given in Koelle's 


" Polyglotta Africana," which latter again we have 
ascertained to agree with the spoken dialect of 

Although Mr. May and myself much regretted 
having so early reached our "ne plus ultra," yet 
our boat's crew took a very different view of the 
subject. Ever since we had visited Djin, they had 
been living in fear and trembling ; and one Kruman, 
not content with assuring us that he was destined 
never again to see his wives and children, in canni- 
balic horror, anticipated his fate, and in imagination 
saw himself slain, cooked, and devoured. During 
the ascent all hands had been too closely occupied 
to allow of surveying, so this duty had now to be 
resumed, the leadsman being stationed in the bows, 
and Mr. May sketching in the sides of the river with 
their ever-varying direction, and taking outline views 
of the mountains. The westerly breeze blew freshly 
against us, and being opposed to the current caused 
a considerable ripple; but the stream being the 
stronger, we went with but little exertion on our 
part, at the rate of fully three knots an hour. The 
sun's rays falling nearly directly upon us, through a 
perfectly cloudless sky, were so powerfully felt, that 
we were obliged in self-defence to set our awning, 
although it somewhat retarded our progress. Just 
before two o'clock we reached Djin, and landing at 
the scattered huts to the westward of the town, got 
a set of sights : while thus occupied, many natives 
came across the swamp, and gathering around, were 


urgent in their entreaties that we should re-visit 
their city, which however we respectfully declined. 
As they increased in numbers they showed a dis- 
position to be again troublesome ; so our operations 
being concluded, we gave a small present to our 
guide of the day previous, and took our departure. 
While close to a little grassy islet a few miles below 
this, we came upon a small herd of river-horses in a 
sportive humour, apparently playing at bo-peep or 
some such analogous game. One suddenly popped 
up its huge head close to us, but amazed at our 
interruption, lost no time in again disappearing below 
the surface. Shortly, Mount Laird and the eastern 
end of Pleiad Island were made out, and passing 
along the northern shore of the latter, by half-past 
four o'clock we reached Bandawa, and by five, Lau ; 
off both which villages we were met by numerous 
canoes. BeloAv Lau we examined on the south bank 
what had seemed to us, dming our ascent, a rocky 
cliff ; but we now found it to consist of a bank of 
red clay some fifteen feet high, with a layer of vege- 
table mould on the top. As long as we could make 
out the river's sides, we continued our progress, but, 
though now only a few miles from Gurowa, being 
unwilling to have a blank in our chart, we anchored 
for the night, although the weather looked very 
threatening, and distant lightning in the east pre- 
saged a storm. We made, accordingly, every prepa- 
ration, having our awning ready in case of rain. 
The moon set shortly after midnight, and was sue- 


ceeded by intense darkness, every thing around being 
unnaturally still : the air was hushed, the wind 

'' . Sept. 30. 

no longer sighed among the branches, and 
nothing was heard save the rippling of the ceaseless 
tide. The sky became completely overcast, one by one 
the stars disappeared, while numerous indications 
heralded an approaching tornado. A few minutes were 
left us to make ready to meet it, which we employed to 
the best advantage we could. More cable was given, 
all heavy weights and top-hamper were placed in the 
bottom of the boat, while Mr. May and I gathered our 
instruments and our few valuables around us, and 
covered ourselves as we best could with a scanty water- 
proof sheet we had with us, merely leaving our heads 
clear, so as to be able to look around. Our Krumen 
stripped themselves, and wrapping their blankets about 
them, were ready to attempt to swim for it in case of 
necessity. Even my little dog seemed to comprehend 
the coming strife of the elements, and nestled closer 
beside me. The rudder was shipped, and the yoke- 
lines laid ready to be seized at a moment's notice. 
By this time the eastern heavens were brightly illu- 
mined by flashes of vivid lightning, the electric 
clouds quickly drawing nearer and nearer to us. 
These flashes issued from strata higher than the 
pitchy tornado cloud, which, by their light, showed 
black as ink and rising rapidly above the horizon. Still 
in our immediate neighbourhood the unearthly quiet 
reigned, all noise, all motion being ignored, and the 
very atmosphere • seeming a blank. In this state. 


however, we were not long permitted to rest ; already 
could we distinguish the hissing of the coming whirl- 
wind, and straining our eyes, we fancied we could 
discern a white line of foam stretching across the 
river. Presently it burst on us in full fury ; the 
hurricane, sweeping along, enveloped our tiny craft, 
and large drops of rain struck fiercely against our 
faces as we attempted to peer into the obscure. 
Our only fear had been that the gale might catch us 
on the broadside, as, our boat being but light, it 
might have upset us, and left us among the croco- 
diles and river-horses ; but, fortunately for us, it 
blew right a-head, and we rode easily. The rain, 
which threatened to be a deluge, ceased after a few 
minutes, and, still more to our astonishment, the wind 
greatly moderated, but these were succeeded by the 
most terrific thunderstorm I ever witnessed. Mash 
followed flash almost instantaneously, until at last 
the whole sky was lit up with one incessant glow 
of the most brilliant light. At last the clouds were 
right over head, and for upwards of an hour every 
part of the heavens to which we could look, had its 
own electric bolt. It was impossible to count such 
creations of the moment, but there must always have 
been every instant from ten to a dozen flashes, until 
at last we were utterly unable to distinguish each 
single thunder-clap, as all were mingled in one pro- 
longed and continued peal, now for a second more 
faintly rolling, now again grandly swelling, and 
echoing in deep reverberations from the rugged sides 


of the mountains. Everything was plainly visible ; 
the island near us, the banks of the river, and the 
more distant hills, all v^^ere distinctly seen. 

Above us, around us, the forked lightning un- 
weariedly still pursued its jagged, angular course, 
while one huge bolt, disdaining the tortuous path 
followed by its fellows, passed straight towards the 
earth, piercing the ground opposite to which we lay 
at anchor. Among the hills the storm raged still 
more furiously, the lightning playing unceasingly 
around each mountain summit, while ever and anon 
a bright spark would suddenly descend into some of 
the ravines below. Sometimes the passage of the 
lightning was from cloud to cloud, even at consider- 
able distances ; and then the stream of fire would 
spread, furcate, and divaricate, like the branch of 
some huge tree. These currents were of a purpler 
tint, and of smaller diameter, while those which 
descended were of a brighter red, and showed a 
much larger body of light. These aerial bolts were 
quite distinct from the ordinary discharge of two 
opposite clouds, and were not the mere passage of 
electricity from one to the other. During the occur- 
rence of a few unusually near and vivid flashes, Mr. 
May and I were distinctly sensible of a feeling of 
warmth in our faces. At length there was a kind of 
lull, and the storm seemed to be decreasing, when a 
small whitish cloud was observed in the far east. It 
was a true cumulo-cirro-stratus, and must have been 
tremendously charged with electricity ; for as it passed 


slowly along, we plainly saw constant powerful dis- 
charges. For some miles it continued to scatter 
around incessant forked bolts ; but at length these 
became gradually fewer, and died away, while the 
cloud altered its shape to cirro-cumulus. A fresh 
breeze sprung up from the westward, and for a little 
time we were apprehensive of a squall up the river, 
which would not have been so pleasant ; but fortu- 
nately this did not occur. By a little after three 
o'clock this magnificent storm had quite ceased, 
leaving no trace behind, save a distant thunder-peal, 
or an occasional flash of hghtning among the moun- 
tains. Intense darkness prevailed ; and now that the 
war of the elements was ended, we could hear about us 
the snorting of numerous hippopotami, which during 
the tempest had in fear been cowering among the 
reeds. Anxiously we waited for the morning ; but 
it was not until half-past five that we could distin- 
guish the river-banks ; but these again visible, we 
weighed anchor, and resumed our voyage and our 

Nothing could have been more fortunate for us 
than our anchorage of the previous night. On 
either hand were lofty mountain ranges, and as the 
tornado approached, the clouds divided into two 
parts, each attaching itself to one of these chains, 
along which the storm raged in its greatest intensity, 
leaving the intervening space, where we w^ere, com- 
paratively free ; and it w^as to this circumstance that 
our exemption from the wind and rain is to be 

CHAP. Vii.] THE RETURN. 209 

ascribed. A few miles below us we could see the 
clouds again uniting, and pursuing their devastating 
course along the river ; and to their further effects I 
shall have again shortly to refer. 

We commenced the morning's exploits by rudely 
interrupting the early repast of a young river-horse, 
which was comfortably browsing on a grassy islet, but 
which, annoyed at the proximity of the impertinent 
strangers, plunged headlong into the river, and from 
the direction it took, probably passed right under the 
boat, but we saw the creature no more. Thick mist 
hung over the land, the horizon was cloudy and indis- 
tinct, and the air felt damp and chill, very different 
from the intensely hot atmosphere and clear sky 
which we had experienced when we ascended this 
part of the river. A little after seven we were 
abreast of Tshomo, immediately above which town two 
pretty green hills standing side by side, close to the 
water's edge, were named Mounts Katherine and 
Eleanor. We were now within sight of Gurowa, the 
position of which we recognized by means of two 
peculiar, very tall trees, and we immediately began 
to look, but to look in vain for the " Pleiad." What 
could have become of her, or where could she have 
gone ? The river was still rising, so that could not 
account for her disappearance. Many were our 
conjectures, but at length we concluded that she had 
gone to Zhiru to look for wood. By eight we were 
at Gurowa, where we landed to call on our acquaint- 
ances, but found the place now nearly a deserted 


village. The various distinguished visitors, and other 
persons of rank and quahty, who had been attracted 
thither by the appearance of our steamer, had now 
returned to their own seats or to the gaieties of the 
metropolis, leaving behind them none but the 
government officials and the aboriginal natives. 
Still we were kindly welcomed, and these uncouth^ 
unlettered beings seemed a highly civilized race after 
the pilfering savages we had met with during our 
cruise. We could merely learn that the vessel had 
left the morning after we did, certainly a hurried- 
looking proceeding ; but at length our curiosity, or 
perhaps our anxiety, was gratified by two despatches 
being produced for me, one from my assistant, the 
other from Dr. Hutchinson. The latter being semi- 
official, I shall quote its information. From it we 
learned, to our surprise, that the water had fallen 
twenty-foiu- inches, and therefore it had been judged 
expedient to proceed downwards. This we could not 
well explain, as the top of a sandbank, near the 
landing-place, which four days previously had been 
distinctly visible, was now quite covered. We 
further found that 10,000 cowries and some cloth 
were to be left for our use to purchase provisions 
with, so we made enquiries after this treasure, but 
could hear nothing of it ; on appealing, however, 
again to the document, we discovered a postscript 
previously overlooked, which mentioned that after 
due consideration the cowries were not to be left, as 
there was some doubt of trusting the people. This 


error in judgment we did not approve of, as it might 
have been a question between our starving and the 
loss of a paltry sum, but fortunately we were quite 
independent. None of us were great gourmands, so 
oui" stock of provisions yet looked well up, our bag 
of rice being nearly half full, and having a little cocoa 
remaining. With the last of our stock of trinkets, 
we made a few presents, and purchased a fowl ; then 
having gathered some sticks for firewood, we bade 
farewell to our friends, and went on in search of the 
"Pleiad." The letter mentioned that she would 
probably remain at Zhibu, a distance from Gurowa, 
by the river, of about 100 miles. 

This unlooked-for departure of the steamer con- 
siderably disarranged our plans. Careful sights had 
been taken before we left in the gig, and it was in- 
tended that, on our return, the chronometers should be 
re-rated, so as to insure accuracy during oui* voyage 
down. I had also anticipated finding that the 
trading gentlemen had reaped an abundant harvest, 
as ivory had promised to be abundant and cheap, and 
Ibrahim had gone to Hamaruwa to procure a larger 
quantity for sale. But I feared that such an abrupt 
departm'e would not be understood by the Sultan, 
especially after all our fine speeches to him, and as 
his people could not report that the river was actually 
falling. I had hoped, too, that Mr. Crowther would 
have been enabled to learn a little of the habits and 
of the history of the Baibai, and to pick up further 
information concerning these little -known regions. 

p -2. 


I regretted particularly not again seeing our friend 
Saraki'n Hausa, to whom we had been so much 
indebted, and to whom I had promised a present on 
my return, which I was now utterly unable to do, and 
had no means either of explaining to him the cause. 
I had certainly left orders that, in the event of any 
emergency or any sudden fall of the water, the 
" Pleiad " should not be kept at Gurowa for us ; but 
here, without any such reason, we were left behind, 
many miles from our ship, which, had we been in 
need of help, could not have yielded it ; and indeed 
had any mishap befallen us in the upper regions, 
we and our boat's crew must either have fallen 
among the barbarous tribes, or else made a desperate 
effort to fight our way to Hamaruwa, while, from 
the distance and the want of communication, our 
friends on board could have known nothing of our 

Silently, and with somewhat heavy hearts, we 
shoved off, disappointed at finding all our plans thus 
frustrated, and fearing that the sudden and inexpli- 
cable departure of our party might sadly embarrass 
any future visitors, and injure their chance of success 
by impairing \}ciQ prestige which we had been all along 
endeavouring to establish for white men. The sun, 
however, hitherto concealed under the thick mists of 
the morning, now bursting through his cloudy prison, 
began to shine brilliantly in true tropical style, and 
the brightness of surrounding objects soon served to 
dispel our gloom. No longer searching for eddies, 


or creeping along in-shore, we now sought mid- 
stream, and aided by a powerful cm-rent, we pro- 
gressed very rapidly. Before noon we had passed 
Zhiru, where the line of the river and the soundings 
being connected mth what had been done formerly, 
we were able to lay in our lead-line, and clap on an 
additional hand to the oars. We recognized many 
objects well remembered during our slow ascent, and 
noted the mouth of the creek leading from Tshomo 
and Wuzu, and passing Bomanda. This end, employed 
by canoes en route from Zhiru to Hamaruwa, is not 
nearly so eligible as that near Gurowa, as it is further 
from the capital, and there being a strong tide to con- 
tend against. Two hours afterwards we were opposite 
Nak, and here we pulled close along the northern 
side to look for the opening of a small river from near 
Yakuba, said to join the Binue near this spot, but 
w^ere not successful in our search. We had now 
reached that portion of the river where we had ob- 
served the banks lined with a beautiful fan-palm, 
and which now again gladdened our sight. Shortly 
after four o'clock we passed the spot where a fort- 
night before we had wooded in the " Pleiad ;" but 
the huge tree which we had then partially cut down, 
and which was at that time fifty or sixty yards from 
the river, was now surrounded by water, and we 
pulled close past it. A little way further on, the 
bank had given way, and the river was poming in 
over the country with terrific violence. Grass and 
bushes had been swept clean away, and nothing had 


been able to resist the force of the flood, save some 
tall palms, the strong round trunks of which were 
the only visible signs that the vast sheet of water 
before us was but of moderate depth. Just before 
sunset we reached a place where the river divided 
into two branches, surrounding an irregular island, 
and meeting at Point Lynslager. We had ascended 
in the steamer by the western branch, but now we 
determined on returning by the other, which we 
fancied might be shorter, and besides by this route 
we should be going over new ground. A little way 
down, this branch again divided, and we selected, 
without much consideration, the more eastern channel. 
The current, as before, was with us, but soon began 
to slacken. We nevertheless pulled on for a couple 
of hours, but without reaching Point Lynslager. 
Our course was tortuous, but the general direction 
being correct, we continued our voyage. The creek 
which had been gradually narrowing, now began to 
spread out, and at length the vast expanse of water 
which we saw by the moonlight, plainly indicated 
that we were cruising about over submerged country. 
Our men were tired ; but being timid, they said 
they wished to pull till they reached the "big 
water ;" but signs of exhaustion being evident, and 
not being well able to pilot ourselves among the 
tree-tops, we anchored in a convenient spot in two 
and a half fathoms, after a pull of about eighty miles. 
We were nearly free from mosquitoes, and the only 
sounds heard throughout the night were the grunts 

CHAP, vir.] THE RETURN". 215 

of hippopotami, revelling, no doubt, in sucli a con- 
genial situation. 

Morning shone out fine and clear, and with the first 
peep of dawn our anchor was weighed. Mr, 

^ ^ ° Oct. 1. 

May got to the mast-head, but made no dis- 
covery ; but as it got a little more light, we made 
out to our delight, though at a great distance, the 
conical top of Mount Forbes, which formed an excel- 
lent leading-mark, and which also showed us that we 
were more to the southward than we had reckoned. 
We also distinguished in the north-west some high 
land, for which, as we thought it might be near the 
river, we accordingly steered. The depth of water 
varied from two to four fathoms, the average being 
about two and a half, and a slight current, of about 
one knot, still remained in our favour. As far as we 
could observe, all around, for many miles, was one 
vast extended lake, the tops of clumps of trees showing 
here and there like little scattered islets. Every- 
thing wore marks of a deluge. A savoury odour 
borne down by the breeze called our attention to 
the decomposing carcase of a buffalo, surprised in 
the low lands by the flood, while still nearer to us 
floated the dead body of a lioness, which, though 
at any other time I would have looked on it as an 
invaluable prize, was now, in our hurry and difficulty, 
allowed to pass unmolested. The trees and the tops 
of the bushes were covered with locusts eagerly 
seeking refuge from the world of waters, or else 
swarmed with other innumerable forms of insect 


life, enougli to have gladdened the eyes and rejoiced 
the heart of any entomologist, but from which I was 
obhged to content myself with picking, en passant, a 
few stray specimens. We observed also, afterwards, 
a canoe paddled by two natives ; but not being able 
to see any habitation, or any dry ground towards 
which they might direct their frail bark, we began 
to speculate whether the Aborigines of these localities 
might not be amphibious animals. We continued 
to sail in a south-west direction, believing that ulti- 
mately we must thus reach the main river ; and at 
length, about nine o'clock, could hardly believe our 
eyesight, when right before us coursed a rapid stream. 
Into this we quickly pushed, and found oiu-selves, 
to the especial satisfaction of the Krumen, once 
more in the Binue, having pulled for nearly seven 
hours, and over fully twenty miles of flooded country, 
and having found ample reasons why these regions 
remain uninhabited. 

The spot where we rejoined the Binue was several 
miles below the junction of the Akam or Bankundi 
river, and we regretted that we had missed seeing the 
narrow portion of the river just above that place, as 
we had been curious to note the state and force of the 
current at full flood, as we remembered well the 
rapidity with which it ran during our ascent, when 
it had nearly baffled om* utmost efforts. Our men 
now pulled with redoubled vigour, and, taking good 
heed not again to try dubious channels, we went 
cheerily along, hoping to reach Zhibu by the evening. 

CHAP. vii.J THE RETURN. 217 

However, about half-past eleven, one of our men, 
quick and sharp-sighted as Kriimen ever are, 
suddenly exclaimed " Dere de ship," and sure enough, 
some miles a-head of us, we could make out her 
mast-heads, her hull being concealed from us by an 
intervening point. Knowing that there was no toAvn 
in that neighbourhood, we were much puzzled to 
fancy what she could be doing; but, on getting 
nearer, finding that she was broadside to the stream, 
and evidently not at anchor, the real cause was too 
apparent. It was not, therefore, with the most com- 
fortable feelings that we got alongside, and stepped 
on board, to find the " Pleiad " aground in a very 
awkward position. 

We were soon put in possession of the movements 
of the steamer. Mr. Harcus, careful and zealous as 
he invariably was, found on going ashore that the 
water had drained off some low grounds, where it had 
accumulated after heavy rain. Anxious about the 
safety of the ship, and desirous of fulfilling my orders, 
he made numerous inquiries about the state of the 
river, and received conflicting replies. Mr. Crowther 
and Mr. Richards, both acquainted with African 
seasons, assured him that there was no danger in 
remaining ; but others on board, some of whom had 
for some time previously been alarmed at our long 
stay, and who had been frequently asking me when I 
intended to retrace our steps, thinking that since I 
was absent the chief obstacle against turning back 
was removed, exerted all their persuasions and argu- 


ments now to accomplish this feat, and succeeded in 
inducing Mr, Harcus to believe that an actual fall of 
water had taken place. Accordingly, the " Pleiad " 
left, and having but a small stock of firewood on 
board, the fuel was soon exhausted, and the only 
remaining plan of descent was by allowing her to drop 
down with the stream, which, Mr. Harcus, having a 
thorough acquaintance with river navigation, managed 
beautifully. At length, on the second day, that was 
on the 29th, he was desirous of passing by a narrow 
channel, which offered the greatest depth of water. 
To prepare against any contingency, a hand was 
stationed by the anchor in order that it might be let 
go at a moment's notice. Unfortunately, just at the 
mouth of this place, the man at the helm either paid 
no attention or did not understand the orders ; the 
ship's head was paying off in the wrong direction, 
so Mr. Harcus sung out to let go the anchor, a com- 
mand which was obeyed after the lapse of about a 
minute. This delay, short as it was, was fatal; 
before she could be brought up, the vessel struck on 
the weather end of a long bank, and remained fast, 
with a powerful current playhig on her broadside and 
driving her further on. The tornado of Friday night 
had been experienced in full force, the wind blowing 
with terrific violence, and sweeping the decks. Such 
was the history of this unfortunate voyage ; the ship 
had now been nearly forty-eight hours in this position, 
and every day the river was expected to fall, and if so, 
she would very soon be left high and dry. 


Mr. Harcus appeared worn out with anxiety and 
hard work, but no one, except Mr. Guthrie, seemed 
to be at all zealous in their assistance. Having 
received his report, and ascertained the various par- 
ticulars, fresh efforts were commenced, but, from 
the rapidity of the stream, much difficulty was expe- 
rienced in laying out the anchors in good positions. 
By night all hands were well exhausted, and labour 
was suspended until the following morning, when the 
attempts were again renewed, and, in the course of 
the forenoon, were crowned with success, as we 
managed to get the afterpart of the vessel hove off 
until the current caught her on the opposite quarter, 
when she speedily swung round to an anchor pre- 
viously laid out a-head. The remainder of the day 
was spent in repairing damages, and preparing for 
another start ; but we were all rejoiced at being once 
more afloat, and freed from the difficulties which 
had so seriously threatened us. 

During the forenoon a canoe was observed coming 
up the river, and on being hailed came alongside. It 
contained a Bautshi trader returning with two slaves 
and some ivory ; the practice being to buy both of 
these commodities at one time, and during any land 
travelling to oblige the slaves to carry the ivory. The 
latter being of good quality was speedily purchased, 
but with the other we could have no concern ; and on 
the man's departm-e Mr. CroAvther besought him to 
be kind and considerate towards the poor captives, 
which he promised to be. The slaves, two young 


men, were secured by irons in the bottom of the 
canoe, and looked sullen and savage. They were 
Baibai, and had been purchased at G6nikoi, the chief 
town of a large district in Kororofa. This town is 
situated on the side and top of a hill, and is about 
five days from the river. During the journey travel- 
lers must sleep mostly in the bush, there being fcAv, 
if any, villages on the way. The inhabitants are all 
Baibai, are pagans, and speak Djuku ; they are all 
clothed, though scantily, some of the women wearing 
a covering made of leaves. He had with him several 
spare pairs of slave-irons, one of which I pm'chased, 
and was glad to find it was of native manufacture, 
and had not been procured from any people calling 
themselves civilized. He had also with him several 
bundles of pieces of iron, pointed towards the ex- 
tremities, but thicker in the middle. Similar pieces 
we had seen at Gurowa, but had not ascertained their 
use, and were now surprised to find they were money, 
and therefore analogous to the hoe-shaped pieces 
formerly seen at O'jogo. One hundred of these, 
which were named " Kantai," our friend informed us 
formed the average price of a male slave from Hama- 
ruwa to Wukari, so much more were these bits of 
metal esteemed than human creatures. He likewise 
told us that horses were sent from Bautshi to Gomkoi, 
and that for one horse five slaves could be procured. 
He confirmed the intelligence we had formerly 
gleaned about the small confluent branch which we 
had seen, which was, he said, named Bankiindi, Akam 


and Wui'obo being villages on its banks. This trader 
was bound for Dali, a town on the right bank, about 
a mile above where we were ; thence he intended to 
proceed inland to Darapara, to Wazai, and to Yakuba. 
The inhabitants of Bautshi were, he stated, nearly 
all, if not all, Muhainmadans, and the languages 
spoken were Hausa and Pulo, but principally the 

Everything being ready, we commenced our voyage 
about nine o'clock, and under Mr. Harcus's 
management dropped down beautifully. We 
once got into shallow water for a short time, but the 
depth was mostly very great, often from ten to twelve 
fathoms. Nearly all along the banks were flooded, 
and the country inundated. Once the current swept 
us alongside the bank, and we got entangled among 
the bushes, but by the use of our sweeps and a kedge 
we got off easily. By seven o'clock we were off" 
Zhibu, and accordingly fired a gun and dropped 

By this time a good many of the Krumen were in 
the sick list, affected, as before mentioned, with 
sweUing of the feet and legs, and with great debihty. 
Their daily allowance of rice had been increased by 
Dr. Hutchinson to two pints, but proved an inadequate 
quantity. We had, hitherto, been rather unsuccess- 
ful in our inquiries after suitable provisions, so that 
I had now to order more vigorous steps to be taken 
to endeavour to procure fresh meat and vegetables 
for their use, and our small remaining stock of wine 


was laid aside entirely for the sick. The firemen who 
had immense fatigue to undergo, in an atmosphere 
often of from 120° to 130° F., had been originally 
allowed a quarter of a pound of salt meat daily, which 
I had previously doubled, but now I ordered fresh 
meat to be issued also to them whenever practicable. I 
am obliged again to allude to these matters, that any 
subsequent expedition may avoid making similar blun- 
ders, and so escape the amount of sickness which we 
encountered, and which was solely to be ascribed to 
deficient and improper nutriment. Though completely 
opposed, as I have stated, to the regular employment 
of spirits, an occasional glass of grog would have been 
of immense service to our crew, and I should make a 
point of being well stocked with rum before again 
undertaking a similar voyage. The late Mr. Consul 
Beecroft used always to allow his Kriimen fresh meat 
and a small quantity of spirits every day, by which 
means he not only kept them in good health, but got 
from them a much larger amount of labour than they 
could have executed under the falsely economical 
system. I regret much thus to be compelled to 
admit that we suff'ered from such a complaint as 
scm-vy, a disease the causes leading to which are now 
so thoroughly understood, that under the most ordi- 
nary management it is never seen, and which bids 
fair to be soon remembered with things which have 
been, but in the victualling arrangements made at 
Fernando Po, common sense as well as physiological 
principles were entirely overlooked. 



In the morning we dropped into our former 
position, and passing a hawser ashore, hauled close in. 
During our previous visit the bank had been six or 
seven feet above the river, but now it was com- 
pletely covered, and the whole country was under 
water to within 120 yards of the walls of Zhibti. 
This being a good wooding station, our first care was 
to send the Krumen ashore with their hatchets to 
procm'e a supply. Having lost the opportunity of 
getting fresh rates for the chronometers at Gurowa, 
I determined to remain here for five days, to enable 
Mr. May to obtain them satisfactorily; and ac- 
cordingly a set of sights was taken this morning. 
Being slightly indisposed, I did not go on shore, but 
requested Mr. Crowther to visit the king for me, and 
to give him a red velvet tobe, which I had kept for 
him. Several visitors came on board, from some of 
whom I obtained information about the river. One 
man had been at the confluence of the Paro, and 
mentioned among other places, which he had visited, 
Tshamba,Bundii, and Kwontsha, possibly the Bundang 


and Kontsha of Petermann's Atlas. They all knew 
G6mkoi, and said that halfway to it was a town named 
Suntai, while about three days' journey beyond it 
was another Djiiku town, Alvinge. A town which we 
had seen above Zhibu, we learnt, was named Sharo 
or Tsharo, and its chief Belal, and another town, two 
days' journey towards the east, was called E'rima. 
Opposite Tsharo, on the Bautshi side, is a village 
Basoi. I found, too, that Wukdri was not above a 
long day's journey from Zhibii, and that the route 
was much frequented. Mr. Crowther, on his return, 
told me he had visited the King, whom he found surly 
and uncivil, hardly thanking him for his present. 
The Galadima, again, or Prime Minister, had behaved 
to him with much kindness and cordiality. The King 
said that the sword he had received formerly was 
broken, and that he therefore wanted another one ; but 
on being asked to exhibit the broken blade, he made 
various frivolous excuses. Mr. Crowther ascertained 
that a messenger from the King of Wukari was now 
in the town, waiting for us, and, if possible, ready to 
be our guide to that place. 

Being very desirous of visiting this important town, 
we went on shore next morning, and calling on the 
Galadima, asked him to accompany us to the King, 
which he readily did. On seeing his majesty, I told 
him the purport of our errand, and asked him for a 
guide and horses, saying, I was ready to pay him any 
reasonable price. Plis manner from the very com- 
mencement plainly indicated that he was not over- 


anxious that we should perform this journey, 
probably from a feeling of jealousy, and being 
unwilling that his rival should derive any knowledge 
of us, except through him. I asked to see the 
Wukari messenger, but on his being produced he 
could give us no information, being awed by the 
presence of the King. Bohari then said, there were 
only two horses in Zhibu, — a statement which we 
knew to be positively false ; and he added, that these 
horses could only take us as far as Zu, an open place 
about halfway to Wukari, where traders from the 
two towns meet ; that at this place we should have to 
sleep all night, and send to Wukari for fresh horses, 
and for his assistance in the matter he demanded 
3 long sabres and 30,000 cowries, — a most exorbitant 
charge. Mr. Crowther mentioned to him the inhospi- 
tality of wishing to make strangers sleep in the bush, 
when, if he liked, he could easily otherwise arrange 
it, and I told him that I would consent to give him 
one sabre and 16,000 cowries, which was ample 
allowance. Seeing he could not deter us from trying, 
he drew back from the bargain, on which I got up, 
telling him that he was breaking faith with us, and 
that I would no longer treat with him. He now 
asked me again to be seated, and after some further 
conversation, it was agreed that horses should be 
ready for us next morning at sunrise, on which we 
took our leave. He spoke, however, with such 
reluctance, that I fully anticipated finding fresh 
obstacles put in our way. 


226 NAliRATlVE OF AN EXPLORIKG VOYAGE. [chap. viii. 

We found extensive preparations being made for 
enlarging the town. Numbers of long stakes had 
been cut, and laid at regular intervals, so as to make 
the v»alls include a space of about 100 yards beyond 
their present site. Outside the gates were fields 
planted with ground nuts {AracJds), of which there 
were two kinds ; one, the commoner one, with obovate 
leaves and a yellow flower, yielding the ordinary nut ; 
the other, not yet in flower, but with elongate, acumi- 
nate leaves, and said to produce a round nut. The 
steward had been tolerably successful in his pursuit of 
fresh meat and vegetables, as several sheep and goats 
had been purchased, besides a good supply of pumpkins 
• — a most valuable acquisition in the state we were in. 

Shortly after daylight Mr.Crowther, Dr. Hutchinson, 
Mr. Richards, and I went ashore, and proceeding to 
the King, found, as we had fully expected, no horses. 
On demanding the reason of this, we were told that 
we had not paid for them, a statement which con- 
firmed our ideas of the King's secret intentions, as 
the day before, when I offered to pay one half before 
starting, and the remainder on our return, I was 
told not to mind. Rather indignantly, I asked 
Bohari if he thought we were going to cheat him, or 
whether he thought the bargain was not fully as 
advantageous for him as for ourselves. Dr. Hutchin- 
son offered to go on board and fetch the sabre and 
cowries, which he did, and they were displayed to the 
King, who then said, that he did not want cowries, 
and that they did not suit him. We then asked for 


the messengers, and said we should perform tlie 
journey on foot under their guidance ; but the King 
said, that could not be, as they were not ready, having 
yet to prepare food for themselves. I said, that was 
no matter, as we should supply them with abundance, 
on which, at a sign from the King, they disappeared, 
and could not again be found. Finding all our 
endeavours to be thus frustrated, and having no means 
of finding the way ourselves, I rose and told the King 
that he had grossly deceived us, and that I should 
not again believe him, and that should I again return to 
the Binue, as I hoped I should, I should take care to 
inform the Sidtan of Hamaruwa, his master and our 
friend, of his bad behaviour. He winced under this, 
and I could see, from the ominous silence around, that 
he met with no support from his followers. I then 
refused to shake hands with him, but went directly on 
board with my party. We had hardly got outside 
the gates when a messenger came running after us, 
asking us to return ; but I replied that if the King 
had any communication to make, he should send it 
properly on board, more particularly as now the sun 
was high up, and it was much too late to start. 

Shortly after oiu* return on board, one of the 
Galadima's people came off, and told us, from his 
master, that, after our departure, the Galadima and 
several others had spoken strongly to the King about 
his conduct, and that it was trusted no quarrel would 
ensue ; on which I asked him to thank the Gala- 
dima for his good offices, and to assm-e him that I 

Q 2 


had 110 dispute witli anyone but Boliari. Not long 
afterwards tlie Galadima himself arrived, and said 
that in consequence of the urgent remonstrances 
made by himself and other head-men, he hoped yet to 
arrange matters and to be able to procure guides and 
horses for us for next day ; and he therefore requested 
that I would again see the King, whose behaviour 
he extremely regretted. I replied by thanking him 
for his good wishes and kind endeavours, but said, 
that, as the King had wilfully and openly broken 
faith with us, I could not again trust liim. I added, 
that as I looked on him (the Galadima) as our sincere 
friend, I would, entirely out of deference to his 
feelings, send messengers to the King this evening, 
and that, as I had not the remotest wish that the 
people should suffer for the fault of their ruler, I 
hoped trading would go on as usual. With this he 
expressed himself satisfied and took his leave. In the 
afternoon I sent Mr. Richards to the Galadima and 
the King, and Mr. Crowther volunteered to accom- 
pany him. On their return they gave such an 
account of their interview that I immediately deter- 
mined to decline having any further communication 
with the King, and sent to intimate this resolution, 
thanking at the same time all those who had assisted 
us. A kind of festival was held at Zhibu this after- 
noon at the installation of a new Saraki'n Doki, or 
Master of the Horse, of which Mr. Crowther has 
given a description in his journal.* 

* Pages 134, 135. 


Bohari is a Baibai by birth, and completely desti- 
tute of the PiJo polish. It is easy at a glance to 
distinguish between those who have Fulata blood and 
the true Baibai. The former have mostly skins of a 
lighter colour, in person they are taller and more 
slender, and their general appearance is more civilized ; 
they have the head shaved, wear head-dresses and 
Hausa tobes ; their expression is less rude, and their 
manners are milder. The Baibai, again, are darker- 
skinned, shorter, and more robust ; their features are 
more strongly marked, their behaviour is more 
rude, and their looks more savage. They seldom or 
never shave the head, which is kept uncovered, but 
have, occasionally, the hair on either side done in two 
slender plaits. The ear-lobes are large and pendulous, 
and pierced with large holes, through which are 
passed ponderous ear-rings. The shape of the head 
is usually circular, and the forehead retreats greatly. 
The upper arm, however, is not marked as among 
the Baibai further up the river. 

The sick-list continued to increase, being recruited 
almost entirely from among the Kruboys, the 
symptoms in all being of a similar description. 

Whether from fear, or whether from an order from 
the King, I do not know, but no trade was carried 
on, and very few natives came off to us. Some 
Wukari men were anxious to know why we did not 
visit their city, on which we told them the reason, 
which they said they would make known on their 
return. Mr. Crowther got some specimens of Djiiku 


words, whicli were found, on comparison, to agree 
almost exactly with those of Koelle. A slave-hunting 
expedition was said to be preparing, and a man came 
off to Mr. Crowther to ask for a charm to insm*e 

The water first showed decided signs of falling 
about the 3rd of October, and by the 5th the decrease 
was very perceptible. On the evening of that day, 
having completed our wooding, we let go our warp, 
and swung further out into the stream, which relieved 
us greatly from the attacks of mosquitoes, and besides 
removed us from the immediate proximity of what 
was now commencing to be marshy land. On 
Sunday afternoon I sent Mr. Richards to say farewell 
to the Galadima, to thank him for his friendly 
behaviour, and to offer him a present. 

Monday morning, being the fifth from the date of 
our arrival, turned out fine and clear, so that 

Oct. 9. 

there was no difficulty in getting sights, and 
finishing the chronometer business ; so, having laid 
in a good stock of fresh provisions, we weighed anchor, 
and tm-ned om' head down the river. Just before we 
started, some fish were brought on board, amongst 
which I was delighted at finding a Pohjpterus, pro- 
bably either P. Se^iegalensis, or else a new species, 
as it differs from the one found in the Nile, Some 
miles below Zhibu we passed a long island, which 
was named " Crowther Island," after our excellent 
and much-esteemed friend. A little before one we 
anchored off Gandiko, and found the banks still so 


flooded, that when we went ashore the boat took us 
very nearly into the town. As a matter of course we 
paid a visit to the King, and renewed our former 
acquaintance. We saw some very fine sheep here, 
the largest we had met with. They all stood high, 
having long legs, and had black and white fleeces. 
Sheep in this country seldom or never get fat, their 
fleeces are more hairy than woolly, and never grow 
long or thick. The King having heard me inquire 
about corn, sent me off" some bundles of the diff'erent 
kinds grown in the vicinity. There was very little 
trade, some hippopotami teeth and lead-ore being 
the only articles offered for sale. 

The kinds of corn grown along the Binue are four ; 
namely, maize, or Indian corn,* two kinds known 
along the coast as Guinea or Dawa (often, though 
incorrectly, Bower) corns, and Gero. The first is 
universally cultivated ; the stalks grow to a height 
of from six to eight feet, and it is known in Hausa 
as Masara. It is used mostly whole, being roasted 
and eaten either alone or with a little pepper and 
salt, in both of which ways it is very palatable ; it 
is more seldom ground. The ripe grain is yellow, 
but is also found white, purple, or red. The 
Guinea corns are also widely spread, especially one 
kind, known as Dawa or Dawa-Masara ; the other, 
called Dawura, being more rare. They are species 
of IIolcus, and the stalks grow to a height of from 
eight to ten feet, or even upwards. The fruit is 

* Zea Mays. 


arranged in loose panicles, and the grains, when 
ripe, are pale-red, though white and dark-coloured 
varieties also occur. This grain is used, when 
ground, for making bread and other articles of food, 
the sweetest and most pleasant native beer is pre- 
pared from it, and a red dye is said to be obtained 
from the ripe stalks. The fourth kind, named Gero, 
is very abundant along the Binue, but to the west- 
ward of the Kwora is said not to be so plentiful, 
though I have been told that it is cultivated on the 
upper parts of the Gambia. It is a species of Peni- 
cillaria, and its small, rounded, greenish-yellow seeds 
are nearly sessile, on a long cylindrical spike. It is 
in daily household use, and most of their beer is 
prepared from it, though it is not so palatable as the 
beer from the Dawa. 

Before leaving Gandiko, Mr. May got a good 
observation for latitude, and also measured by tri- 
angulation the breadth of the river, which he had 
also done at Zhibu. I had a short visit from the 
old chief of the neighbouring town, Gankera, after 
which, about eight o'clock, we got under steam and 
passed rapidly downwards. In the vicinity of Gan- 
diko are numerous trees of a species of Kiaelia 
(p. 128), bearing a very peculiar fruit. The trees are 
of considerable size, with digitate leaves ; and I have 
generally noticed them as growing very near the 
river, — often, during the floods, actually in the water, 
so much so, that I have gathered the fruit from the 
boat. The fruit is pendulous from the extremity of 


a long slender stalk, and bears some resemblance to 
a large, compressed cucumber. It varies in lengtli 
from eight or ten inches to a couple of feet, and is 
filled with a somewhat hard, white pulp. The fruit 
is not used by the natives, but is said to be eaten by 
monkeys and by elephants, and also by some birds. 
The first spot where we met with this tree was near 
jogo ; it was more abundant further up the river, 
and the last place where I saw it, was between 
Tshomo and Lau. 

Below Gandiko the country in its then deluged 
condition w^as rather uninteresting; but we soon 
came to the region of hills, those pretty green ones 
near the river, which we had named during our as- 
scent. We passed in succession. Mount Traill, Mounts 
Trenabie and Adams, and finally reaching Mount 
Herbert, anchored just beyond it, in seven fathoms. 
An unfortunate accident befel us here. By the neglect 
of the man acting as boatswain the cable was not 
properly bitted, and as we had a five-knot current 
carrying us astern, and our steam being exhausted, 
the chain spun out rapidly. The break was worn by 
constant use, and of no service; and it appeared 
that the cable would run out to the clinch, when all 
of a sudden the end appeared on deck, and before 
it could be jammed in the hawse-hole, or anything 
else done, it had disappeared overboard. The other 
anchor was immediately let go, and brought us up. 

Some canoes tried to come ofl" to us, but owing 
to the immense strength of the current were nearly 


upset alongside, and one only managed to get pro- 
perly to us. It brought a message from the chief of 
the village situated on the height above us, named 
An'yishi, to welcome us, and ask us to come ashore ; 
so I sent to say we would go and visit him. We 
accordingly went ; and finding with some difficulty 
the landing-place — which was quite concealed by tall 
trees — prepared to ascend by a winding path a chfF 
composed of volcanic blocks. I measured its height 
above the water by the aneroid barometer, and found 
it to be seventy-six feet. The first sound we heard 
on arriving at the top was, " Salaam Aleikum;" to 
which we replied, " Aleikum Salaam." This is a 
form of salutation we very rarely met with, the more 
frequent one along the Binue being the " Hausa 
sanu " or " lafia," the answer to which is " Birka," 
or thanks. The word " Marhaba " is employed to 
welcome a person from a distance, or who has been 
long absent. Fulatas often use " Wal-ejama," mean- 
ing, " How d'ye do ? " 

An'yishi is a small village situated rather pictu- 
resquely at the top of the cliff", and nearly at the 
foot of Mount Herbert. It was first built about two 
years ago, and is inhabited entirely by Djiikus of 
Kororofa, being directly subject to Wukari. The 
place was surrounded by numerous cultivated patches 
bearing maize and Dawa corn, and among the huts 
were many Papaw trees and Croton bushes. These 
latter I have noticed in great abundance near many 
of the towns, and they grow, I have been informed. 


in equal plenty near the coast. Those which we 
noticed were covered with fruit, the oil from which 
might be easily prepared, and form a very valuable 
product ; the seeds are employed medicinally by the 
natives. We went to see the chief, who received 
us in a most friendly manner in the open air, just 
outside of his hut. Mats, and buffalo and leopard 
skins were spread for us to sit upon, and we com- 
menced our interview through the usual chain of 
interpreters ; but one of them making some mistake, 
the chief laid aside etiquette, and addressed us 
directly in Hausa. When we told him of our 
wishes and the objects of our mission, he raised 
his hands in utter amazement, and it was some time 
before he could find words to express his gratitude. 
Poor man ! brought up as he had been in the midst 
of war and rapine, driven from place to place by 
rude oppressors, obhged day and night to keep 
a vigilant watch for the stealthy approach of the foe, 
and never daring to perform a journey but with 
sword girt and spear in hand, such an idea as that of 
simple philanthropy was quite ignored in his system 
of philosophy, nor could he imagine people coming 
from a far-distant land to endeavour to assist or do 
good to utter strangers. He told us that only 
two years previously he and his people had been 
driven from their former seat, Sundiibe, by Beriberi 
from Lafia, who frequently during the dry season 
ford the river. Wukari was described as a very 
large town, about twice the size of Zhibii, and 


tliickly populated. The king, Anju, is much Hked, 
being himself a Djiiku ; he speaks Hausa with ease. 
From An yishi to Wukari is three good days' joui'ney; 
the first stage to Akwona occupies about ten hours, 
thence to Ariifu or Afiai, two towns not far from 
each other, twelve hours ; and finally to Wukari also 
twelve hours. He said he had sent to some neigh- 
bouring villages to ask the head-men to come and 
meet us, and that the following day they would all 
be present. A man was pointed out to us who had 
lately been taken captive near Gandiko, but who had 
managed to effect his escape. Gandiko, Gankera, 
and I'bi, or their inhabitants, they call Katshara or 
Katshala, but from what cause we could not learn. 
The territory on the other side of the river, opposite 
to An'yishi, belongs to the Keana district of Doma ; 
the distance from An yishi to Keana is a day and a 
half, the night being spent at Magidi. The bearing 
of Keana from An'yishi is about west north-Avest, and 
that of Magidi about north-west. They confirmed 
the name " Nu," as being the correct Kororofa desig- 
nation for the river, but said it was quite as well 
known as the Binue. 

From what we learnt, the journey to and from Wukari 
would occupy from six to seven days, and we also were 
told that the King would be offended if we did not re- 
main with him for five or six days, so that under any 
cu'cumstances it could not be performed in fewer than 
ten days. This was an amount of time, which with 
a rapidly falling river, a sicldy crew, and many things 

CHAP, viil] further disappointments. 237 

on board requiring constant looking after, 1 could 
not consider myself justified in so occupying, and 
had, therefore, to give up the last chance of visiting 
Wukari. I resolved, however, to send a message to the 
King, telling how our endeavours had been opposed 
and frustrated, and hoping that we should be more 
successful another time. The cloth worn by the 
inhabitants of An yishi is chiefly of Wukari manu- 
facture, but some of a finer texture, and occasionally 
with a red thread through it, is from the Doma 
markets. The usual pattern of Wukari cloth is an 
alternate blue and white stripe, but the blue is 
scarcely of so dark a sliade as what I saw in other 
places. The cloth is rather coarse, and is thick and 
strongly made. 

The following morning we again went ashore, and 
getting under a laro-e tree, soon established 

^ ^ ^ . . . Oct. 11. 

a market. Dr. Hutchinson looked principally 
after ivory, the steward sought after provisions, while 
Mr. Crowther and I inquired after manufactures 
and ornaments, &c. Some" balls of camwood were 
brought to us, but they had been got from other 
markets. We purchased several large lumps of lead- 
ore, got near Arufo,* where it is said to be in 
abundance, and to be found near the surface. It 
can be bought cheaply, as the people do not place 
much value on it. Among the spectators we were 

* Since oui' return, specimens of this have been analysed in London, 
and yield the following results :— " Galena or lead ore, sixteen hundred 
weight of lead (equal to 80 per cent.) and three ounces of fine silver to 
the ton of twenty hundred weight." — See Hutchinson's Narrative, p. 146. 


much pleased at recognising some Mitshis, and soon 
got into conversation with the head man of the party, 
a most inteUigent person, named Njoro, who spoke 
Mitshi, Djdku, and Hausa. He called himself 
Mutshi, which was, he said, the same as the word 
Mitshi used further down. He said we were not 
far from the confines of the Mitshi territory, and 
that his own village, named Wum, or Iwum was 
not far distant. He was anxious that we should 
go home with him, and said he hoped on our re- 
turn we would visit his countrymen. He told us 
that the people of Kororofa and of Mitshi are friendly, 
and that along the frontiers then- towns are much 
mixed, as he expressed it to Mr. Crowther by 
inserting the fingers of the one hand among those 
of the other. He then gave Mr. Crowther the 
Mitshi numerals, and some other words of that lan- 
guage. He asked us the name of our monarch, which 
we repeated to him several times, until he himself 
said slowly, Vic-to-ria, which he remarked sounded 
well, and like the name of a great Queen. Being 
obliged to go on board, I asked Mr. Crowther, w^ho 
was going to w^alk with Dr. Hutchinson to Antifo, a 
town on the other side of Mount Herbert where they 
would meet several chiefs, to deliver a message for 
the King of Wukari. This he did to Abiki, the chief, 
who said that his Galadima was shortly about to pro- 
ceed to Wukari, where he should deliver it in person. 
Njoro, being anxious to see the ship, w^nt on board 
with me, and was greatly delighted w^ith everything 


he saw, but was especially struck with a large mirror 
in the saloon, and with the clock, the use of which 
was explained to him. Among other little bits of in- 
formation which he gave me, was that the name of 
the King of Keana was Aduso. He told me also of 
two Kororofa towns, one named Kwoto, about two 
days' journey from An'yishi, and another called A'kate, 
very near the Mitshi boundary. He and his followers 
were all tatooed, just like the Mitshis we had met at 
O'jogo, and though with, similar features, were less 
savage-like, and wonderfully more intelligent and less 
suspicious. Nothing could have exceeded the frank 
manner in which Njoro made our acquaintance, or 
the open way in which he answered our questions, or 
passed remarks to us. Several of the females of his 
party were stained with camwood, and one boy had on 
a necklace of English trade beads. Yams are said to 
be cultivated about Wukari ; a few specimens were 
seen at An'yishi, but of a very indifferent nature. 
We were told that the name of the Pulo who first 
made war on Wukari was Sufa. 

The river ran with such velocity that our light gig, 
pidling five oars, and manned by as many muscular, 
stalwart Krumen, was unable to make any headway, 
so it was impossible to attempt to drag for om* lost 
anchor in the boat. We therefore cut up all the 
wood we had on board, and getting up good steam, 
got our grapnels overboard from the steamer, and 
worked for nearly three hours, until we had only 
sufficient fuel left to carry us to the nearest wooding 


place. We had, therefore, after an unsuccessful hunt, 
to turn the ship's head downwards, and to commence 
our descent in the midst of heavy rain, the atmos- 
phere being so thick as almost to prevent our seeing 
the shore on either side, and quite to spoil our parting 
view of the pretty hills of the Ellesmere range. Of 
several villages seen during our ascent, the only 
evidences now visible were the tops of some huts, 
showing just above the surface of the water. We 
passed along the north side of Washington Island, 
and my intention had been to stop at Abitshi, but on 
nearing this place we coidd hardly recognize it, so 
completely was its appearance altered by the greater 
part being under water. We therefore went on, and 
at a little before three o'clock anchored ofiP Rogan- 
Koto. Our friend Onuse came off to welcome us, 
and she informed us that our messenger, Ztiri, was 
waiting for us at O'jogo; she did not know the 
particulars of his trip, but no white man had returned 
with him. Scarcely was our visit to the chief Jada 
over, when numbers of canoes came off, bringing with 
them for sale corn, pepper, rice, yams, fowls, goats, 
as well as cloths, mats, &c., showing, in their eager- 
ness for trade, and their anxiety to make the most of 
their time, their I'gbira blood. The inhabitants all 
told us that they were delighted to see us once more, 
as they had heard a rumour of our having had a fight 
with Fulatas up the river, which we assured them 
was certainly not the case. Being in need of a supply 
of fuel, I thought it advisable, as our tools were nearly 


worn out, and the strength of the crew impaired, to 
purchase wood instead of cutting, as it could be got 
of excellent quahty, well dried, and at a very cheap 
rate; besides which, we should save two or three 
days in time. Dr. Hutchinson, therefore, went 
ashore with Aliheli, well stocked with handkerchief- 
pieces, romals, and also needles and zinc miiTors, and 
bought capital well-seasoned wood from the people, 
as fast or faster than six or eight men could carry it 
forty yards to the boat, and so by night- we had a 
good stock on board. Among other articles brought 
off by the people was a kind of starch, resembling 
cassada ; some ivory also was offered, but at very 
high prices. Mr. May was successful here, as he 
had been at An'yishi, in getting sights for longitude, 
as well as observations for latitude. We met some 
more Mitshi men here from the opposite town of 
Abagwa, from whom Mr. Crowther obtained a few 
more words. The people of Kondoko, or Akondoko, 
who were formerly living on an island in the centre 
of the river, having been driven from their abodes 
by the rising of the waters, were at this time residing 
a httle way beyond Rogan-Koto, where they had 
erected temporary huts. 

From a man in Rogan-Koto I learnt that the 
proper I'gbira name for the river is Irihu, or 
Ililiii, often contracted Lihu; also that I'gbira and 
Igara call Hausa Abakpa, while Hausa calls I'gbira 
" Koto." A woman to-day mentioned a people 
living near Zaria, whom she called Gbandawa, but 


she could tell little more about them than that they 
spoke a peculiar dialect. The journey from Rogan- 
Koto to Keana occupies a day and a half, the night 
being spent at a village called Tufiye. 

Having now a stock of wood sufficient to carry us 
to the Confluence, and all trading being finished, we 
left Rogan-Koto, and reaching the high wooded 
country near it, about half-past eight were off Ajama, 
and passing the narrow part of the river below, where 
we now found nine fathoms' water, at nine o'clock 
anchored off O'jogo, and immediately landed. The 
town was reduced by the rise of the water to very 
narrow limits, and when we stepped out of our boat 
w^e found ourselves in the middle of the huts. Mr. 
May got a set of sights, after which we called on the 
chief, and sent for our messengers. Mama and his 
two men were all ready, but Zuri and his followers 
were not to be found. I gave them, therefore, half 
an hour, after which I said I should leave, whether 
they were on board or not. I was glad to have Mama, 
on A'ma-A'boko's account, but as for Zuri I did not 
so much care, as his conduct had on several occasions 
displeased me. As no trade was to be done, I went 
to say " Good-bye" to old O'robo, and to thank him 
for taking care of the messengers, and I dehghted his 
heart by giving a green merino cloak and 10,000 
cowries to defray his expenses. We now embarked, 
and I found Zuri in a canoe alongside grumbhng 
very much about going, and making various excuses. 
He said some trading women had come from Ke^na 


with rice to sell to us, on which I told him I would 
give them a small present to prevent any disappoint- 
ment. Finding nothing could induce me to remain, 
he said he would not go, when I replied that it was 
a matter of perfect indifference to me, and as the 
anchor was now at the bow, I went forward for a 
few minutes. On my return aft 1 was a little 
astonished at finding that Zuri had bundled all his 
goods on board, and was now sitting in a sulky 
mood in the ii'on-canoe alongside, the Kedna women 
having returned to O'jogo. Subsequent events induced 
us to believe that Zuri intended to play these poor 
women false, by persuading them to follow him down 
the river, when he would have endeavoured to seize 
them for slaves. Zuri brought wdth him his domestic 
slave O'robo, his son Musa, and a still younger son, 
named Bowalla, whom he had picked up during his 
cruise. Zuri was a fine-looking man, and had a 
great reputation for gallantry. According to the 
custom of his country he had many wives, but in- 
stead of keeping them all in one harem, he followed 
the example of English sailors, who are accused of 
having a wife in every port ; and accordmgly he had 
his spouses distributed among the various towns 
which, in his peregrinations, he was Hkely to visit. 
When we first reached O'jogo we were introduced 
to the wife who was stationed there, a rather good- 
looking young woman. Since that time, however, 
they had quarrelled and separated, and Zuri having 
undertaken the charge of her child, was now bringing 

R 2 


him along with himself. But another boy accom- 
panied him, very different in appearance from the 
others, entirely unclad, and evidently not cared for 
or looked after. Suspecting him to be a slave, Mr. 
Crowther examined Zuri very closely, and though 
he seemed uneasy when spoken to about him, yet he 
assured us that this boy was a domestic slave, whom 
he was taking with him as a companion to his youngest 
son, as he had belonged to his mother. He was told 
that as a domestic slave we had no desire to interfere, 
but that he must recollect that no English ship could 
be for a moment permitted to hold a slave intended 
for sale, and thus it was passed over, but our sus- 
picions having been aroused we determined to watch 

The difference in the level of the water since we 
last passed along this part of the river, not only 
greatly increased the facility of our navigation, but had 
also completely altered the aspect of all around. 
Nowhere could now be seen the httle islets on which 
we used formerly to land and take our evening 
observations, while we quietly steamed over the sand- 
banks which had so puzzled and distressed us. On 
our way we passed by a Yimaha canoe, which was 
retm*ning from Abitshi, which place I believe to be, 
as I have already mentioned, the most eastern to\ni 
visited by canoes fi'om the lower part of the Binue. 
By three o'clock we were at anchor off ATcpoko, and 
immediately went on shore, landing almost at the 
very gate of the town. As soon as Mr. May had got 


bis observations, we crossed the moat, which was 
now full of water, by the old, primitive bridge, and 
found the city-gate all decorated with bones and 
other articles, as dju-djus, forcibly reminding us that 
we had left Muhammadan countries, and were now 
among Pagan tribes. On reaching the King's house 
we were speedily met by our old acquaintance, who 
gave us a very warm reception, one, too, which was 
really genuine. I told him our stay would be short, 
and asked him to tell his people that, if they wished 
to trade, they must come off directly, and I invited 
his majesty to come on board and visit us. Canoes 
followed us off, with a little ivory, goats, fowls, eggs, 
limes, &c., for Avhich cowries were freely taken. 
About five o'clock Magaji arrived, and having looked 
over the ship, was extremely pleased with all he saw. 
I gave presents to him and to his attendants, on which 
he offered me a goat, and a white cock, without a 
a single dark feather, the latter being considered in 
this place a mark of great friendship. He said this 
year had been a happy one for him, as he had seen 
and made friends with white men, whom he hoped, 
would often, often revisit his country. 

Early the next morning we had a sharp tornado, 
w hich left the atmosphere very cool. We got under 
steam a little after six, and in two hours were off 
Dtigbo, where we anchored, and as it was Sunday had 
the decks cleared, and remained quiet for the rest of 
the day. When here formerly there were banks 
eight or ten feet high, but now the whole country 


looked like an immense swamp. It had been entirely 
overflown, but with the subsidence of the river part 
had drained off, leaving here and there extensive pools, 
from which and the surrounding moist ground there 
must have been copious exhalations. The spot was 
not one which we would have selected from choice, but 
necessity had left us no other alternative, we required 
wood and had to get it where we best could. Our 
stay, would not, however, be long, and our anchorage 
was not near the bank. After church service, Mr. 
May and I landed, and with some difficulty fomid a 
spot sufficiently firm to enable us to stand upon. The 
inhabitants had all left their huts, and were now 
encamped on higher ground at some miles' distance. 
Much of their corn was stacked on high stages, on 
which it had been placed to keep it clear of the water. 
Some Agatu people came alongside during the after- 
noon, from whom I got a little information, which will 
be given presently. 

This evening I had a conversation with Zuri, and 
got from him the particulars of his visit to Keana. 
He and his party reached Keana towards nightfall, 
and, according to custom, fired a salute. Next morning 
they waited on the King, offered him his present, and 
delivered the message. They were informed that 
two light-coloured travellers, with two black attendants 
had been in Keana, but had left it forty-seven days 
previously for Doma, and Zmi had since learnt, that, 
after a residence of three days in Doma, they had 
departed thence for Toto and A'bashi hi the I'gbira 


country. This part of liis narrative I am inclined fully 
to believe, especially as it was corroborated by Mama, 
who had no reason for trying to deceive us. That there 
had been some strangers in Keana I have no doubt 
whatever; besides Ziui's account, our informant at 
O'jogo repeated the story again and again Avithout 
any variation, and fiuther the information was 
originally volunteered by him, before he ever saw 
Ziu'i. Who these individuals were is a very different 
question. I suspected, for various reasons, that they 
could not be Drs. Barth and Vogel ; an idea since 
proved to have been correct. Possibly they were 
Fulatas, who, from the lightness of their complexion, 
are often in Central Africa styled " white men." 
About the rest of Zuii's tale I am rather sceptical ; 
he said that the King of Keana was not kind to him 
and his party, that he prevented them from leaving 
for several days, and that finally they had to make 
tlieii' exit by night. This is not at all likely, the 
King had no reason for ill-treating them, they came 
to him well-provided with the best travelling cre- 
dentials for that country, namely presents, and they 
passed to him from a fiiendly town. If any such 
occurrence really took place it must have been owing 
to misconduct on the part of Mr. Zuri, as he has 
about liun a considerable spice of the rogue, and no 
doubt united business with pleasm'e and traded on 
his own account to some advantage. 

Zuri told me that the country marked on the maps 
as Zegzeg, is by its own inhabitants, as well as by 


I'gbira and Doma, always called Zuzu or Zozo, or 
Zaria from its chief town. In other parts of Hausa 
it is named Zigizigi, whence Zegzeg. Certainly the 
only names I heard for it were either Zaria or Zozo, 
which latter, I heard a man one day pronounce Zeze. 
Dagbo at one time paid tribute to Wukari, and after- 
wards, prior to its conquest by the Pulbe of Zaria, to 
Bassa, from which country it had often suffered much. 
Near it stood formerly an A'kpoto settlement, named 
Abogbi, the Abohi of Allen and Oldfield, but some 
years ago its inhabitants had again to return to the , 
south side of the river. It was situated to the east- 
ward, and not to the westward of Dagbo. Dagbo is 
placed at a considerable distance from the Doma 
hills, and not at the base of them as represented in 
the sketch in the admiralty chart. 

After a close, disagreeable night, during which all 
hands suffered much from the predatory attacks of 
legions of bloodthirsty mosquitoes, we were well 
pleased to see the first peep of morning, though it 
brought with it no cool refreshing breeze. We passed 
a warp ashore, hauled closer in, and sent the Kru- 
boys to cut wood. The headman of Dagbo sent me 
a goat, for which I had to give a return present. 
Not a breath of wind all the forenoon, and at noon 
tlie thermometer on board stood at 96' 5° P., in the 
shade, so that I ordered the wooding party to knock 
off work and come on board. About two o'clock we 
weighed anchor and dropped down the river towards 
Eriiko, off which place we anchored about four. 


Shortly afterwards some of us landed, and paid a 
visit to Itshibiza, headman of the place, and one of 
the sons of the King of Bassa. Notwithstanding their 
late disasters we found the inhabitants active and 
bustling, engaged in various pursuits. This is the 
furthest place up the Binue where palm-oil is made, 
for although the oil-palm grows abundantly for many 
miles above this, it is not applied to any use. I saw 
the manufacture of the fine oil prepared from the 
kernel, going on, which was done by breaking the 
nut with a stone, bruising the kernel, and boiling it 
with water, when the oil is skimmed off the top. 
This, which is of a pale yellow colour, and more 
fluid than the ordinary oil obtained from the sarco- 
carp, is used principally for pui'poses of cooking, and 
is sent in small quantities from Eruko in various 
directions. Eruko is surrounded by a double 
pahsade of tall trees, leaving a space of from ten 
to twelve feet betAveen the rows. The trees grow 
so closely together that even a boy could hardly 
squeeze himself in. Beyond the present town stand 
the ruins of a former Eruko, burnt several years ago. 
We examined the remains of some of the huts, which 
exhibited a higher order of architecture than we 
found at any other spot. The w^alls were more sub- 
stantial, better put together, and often smoothly 
covered outside with a kind of mortar. The plans 
were more regular, windows had been formed, and 
small recesses left in the walls to act as cupboards. 
There had been faint attempts in some to archi- 


tectiiral ornament, and rude figures were still to be 
traced on the walls. The huts had been coloured, 
too, both outside and inside, with a faint degree of 
regidarity, that is to say, not in rude daubs, but with 
red, white, and a bluish-black, laid on evenly, and 
equally tinted all over. Near these ruins new huts are 
akeady beginning to appear, and a fresh population to 
spring up. I saw large plantations of a fabaceous, 
pinnate-leafed plant, but not in flower, used for 
poisoning fish. After sunset I collected numerous 
specimens of a handsome, showy beetle, allied to 
Mylahris, they were caught chiefly on stalks of grass, 
or on leaves of Dawa corn. Around Eruko is much 
cultivated ground, including numerous fields of corn, 
near one of which I saw the only flock of Guinea 
fowl {Nwniidd) I encountered anywhere. I bought 
some fine showy pipes, made, some of clay, some of 
copper, with bowls deep enough for a German, said 
to be manufactured at E'kpe, on the borders of 
I'gbira. These are always fitted with a long wooden 
stem, and in smoking them they are frequently passed 
from one to another round a large circle. I observed 
several women with fancy, or, as they are there consi- 
dered, beauty marks, not indelible, done on theu' faces 
and breasts with a blue colouring-matter. I saw several 
others also, with the Kakanda and Ishabe marks on 
their cheeks. Aliheli, who, when a boy, had visited 
this place with Lander, upwards of twenty years 
ago, was, this afternoon, recognized by two persons, 
one an elderly woman, and the other a man of about 


his own age, who was, doling their former acquaint- 
anceship, as Ahheh expressed it to me, " too much 
sauce boy," meaning that he had been an impudent 
young rascal. 

The Bassa people have very dark skins, and 
strongly marked features, and are more typically 
negro than the inhabitants of either I'gbira or Doma. 
They had formerly, and even now partly retain, a 
rather bad character, as being turbulent, wild, and 
dangerous to travellers. During Oldfield and Lauder's 
visit, an Tgbira canoe, passing to market, was seized 
and plundered, and was only rescued by Lander's 
prompt interference ; one of the actors in this piece of 
violence, now an elderly man, was pointed out to 
me. Now they seem improved, tempered perhaps 
by their recent misfortunes, and their behaviour 
towards us was extremely correct. Owing to the 
inroads of the Eulani, many people from Bassa had 
sought refuge on the south bank of the river, when 
some were still residing at a place named Agowoworo. 
Now, however, as the invaders had all left the 
country, most of the refugees were returning. I had 
some difficulty in obtaining the correct name of 
Eruko. Mr. Crowther and I made a number of 
persons pronounce the word, and we found it to vary 
thus — Oruko, Oluko, Eruko, Eluko, such is the un- 
certainty of a merely spoken language. We took 
Eruko as having the majority of voices ; but the 
same individual, if repeating the name several times, 
would generally introduce a variation before finishing, 


especially substituting, as is often done in Africa, 
the liquids / and r for each other. 

We got many particulars of the attack of the Pidbe 
on Bassa, which, with what we had learnt before, 
enabled us to form a tolerably correct idea of the 
whole aflfair. It commenced by the refusal of the 
people of A'fo, named also U'sha and E'kpe, living 
on the borders of Bassa, to pay their usual tribute. 
Adama, King of Bassa, not feeling himself sufficiently 
powerful to coerce them, requested assistance from the 
Fulani, and accordingly A'ma Dogo, or more correctly 
Mukama Dogo, meaning " tall man," a Pulo chief of 
Zozo, came with an armed band for that pm'pose. 
A'fo being subdued, a quarrel arose between A'ma 
Dogo and Senani, brother of the King of Bassa, and 
chief of A'kpata, which led to a general attack on the 
whole country. Ikereku, the capital, about fifteen miles 
from Eruko, was sacked and rendered desolate, and 
many of the people were slain or made captive^ and 
thus the cupidity of the King led to the desolation of 
his territories. Bassa people are said to have come 
originally from a town near Zaria, named Gabi, hence 
in remembrance of theii' origin, one of the titles 
assumed by their king is Agabi. From Ikereku to 
Panda the jomiiey occupies four days, and to Doma 
ten days, but during the rainy season there is much 
difficulty by the way, as most of the roads are under 
Avater. The A'fo mentioned above is so named by 
Doma and Ilausa, but by Ig'bira it is called E'kpe ; 
the language spoken is chiefly I'gbira \ it is a great 


manufacturing town, cliiefly for articles of hardware, 
and ii'on ore is said to be plentiful in its vicinity. E'kpe 
is about lialf a day's joimiey distant from Panda, and is, 
strictly speaking, within the Bassa border, but almost 
adjoining it, to the westward, is another town named 
Agwasa, which is in I'gbira. A'bashi is a town 
about a day's jomiiey to the north-west from Panda, 
and hence to Toto, a rather important seat of trade, 
is also a day's jom-ney to the northward and east- 
ward. A'kpata is a day's jom'ney north-north-west 
from old Ikereku. 

Being desii'ous of communicating with the King of 
Bassa, it was arranged that Mr. May should 

. . , . Oct. 17. 

Visit him, as he and I could not, as matters 
went, both be absent from the ship for any length of 
time. He intended to have started at daylight, but 
was prevented by a violent tornado, which came on 
dming the night, and was followed by heavy rain, 
lasting until after six o'clock. About seven he landed, 
accompanied by Messrs. Crowther and Richards and 
Dr. Hutchinson, and had a cool pleasant walk. The 
King was living in a newly-erected village, about tAvo 
miles and a-half from Eruko, and which has been also 
called Ikereku. Everything around him betokened 
indigence, and he said his people were yet too poor to 
trade with us. The party returned a Httle after ten ; 
and as there was nothing fo delay us fiu'ther, steam 
was got up. Mr. May brought with him the cmious 
long seed-vessel of a shrubby bush,* used by the 

* Belonging to the natural family Asclepiadacece, 


natives for poisoning their arrows, and I got some 
good specimens of the grain named Dawiira. 

Early in the afternoon we were off A'batsho, where 
I had resolved to remain mi til the following day. 
We landed, and as soon as Mr. May had got a set of 
sights, set off on a voyage of discovery. Close to the 
shore there are a few dwellings, chiefly for fishing 
purposes, which compose, I rather think, the original 
A'batsho, but now the principal town is placed about 
a mile inland, having been founded about six months 
prior to our visit, by refugees from Panda. Thither 
we bent our steps, walking over a fine tract of country, 
which bore little evidence that it had been but re- 
cently brought under cultivation ; a good footpath had 
been made, trees had been cleared away, or burnt to 
arrest farther progress, and fine maize and magnificent 
Guinea corn were growing all around us. And when 
we arrived at the village all had a settled look, nothing 
seemed hasty or temporary. We found Mohama, the 
chief, suffering much from lumbago, but he arose and 
welcomed us warmly, telling us how happy he was 
once more to meet us, as he also had heard the report 
of a quarrel and a fight between us and some tribe up 
the river during which several lives were said to 
have been lost. He entertained us with beer and 
Kola nuts, and on our departure gave us some fine 
yams and a goat. I gave him some cloths, a looking- 
glass, and a knife, and as he seemed to be suffering 
much, I promised to send him some medicine. We 
found the industrious inhabitants all hard at work, 


some picking cotton, some weaving, some spinning, 
others preparing for to-morrow's market. In the 
market we observed small balls of camwood, cotton, 
mats, impure lime prepared from burnt shells, yams, 
pepper, soap, &c. I bought a pot of honey, not the 
vegetable syrup which is so named near Hamartiwa, 
but the genuine produce of the bee. Near A'batsho 
two or three Shea-butter trees were growing, but I 
could not learn that they were abundant. On re- 
turning to the ship we found alongside canoes with 
goats, fowls, yams, mats, and firewood, all of which 
met with a ready purchase. Since we had been able 
to obtain vegetables, but especially yams, the improve- 
ment in the health of the crew was very marked. No 
fresh cases of scurvy now presented themselves, and 
those on the sick list were rapidly convalescing, a 
clear proof, if it was required, of the nature of their 

As I before mentioned, a watchful eye was kept 
over Ziiri and the poor little boy. At length Mama 
confessed to Aliheli that he really was for sale, on 
which Zuri was taxed with telling a falsehood, which 
he admitted he had done. I told him, as formerly, 
that no slave could live on board om' ship, and that 
I looked upon the boy as practically free ; but as I 
considered that he might have erred in ignorance, I 
should ransom the boy, paying him the market value 
at the Confluence, which I ascertained to be nearly 
50,000 coAvries, equal in real value to from three to 
four pounds sterhng. I therefore from that moment 


took entire charge of the boy, whose history was 
related to us as follows : — He was a Mitshi by birth, 
his father having been a native of that country, and 
his mother being a Djuku. His father was dead, 
and during some domestic quarrel he had been seized 
from a town named Tombo, nearly opposite to O'jogo, 
by some of his mother's relatives, and sold as a 
slave. He was a fine healthy boy, about eight or 
nine years of age, and remarkably intelligent and 
quick. His skin was of a copper colour, and not nearly 
so dark as those of most of his countrymen whom 
we had seen. He very soon learnt to consider us as 
his protectors, and became much attached, especially 
to Mr. Crowther and me, and to my assistant. 

We were early under steam, and in a couple of 
hours were at anchor off Amaran, an I'gbira town, 
also peopled principally by Panda refugees, but which 
we had not visited during our ascent. It was 
market-day, and hundreds of cm^ious spectators 
thronged around the landing-place, anxious to get a 
peep at the " Pleiad " and her crew. Mr. Crowther, 
Mr. May, and Dr. Hutchinson who all landed, de- 
scribed the scene as remarkably busy and animating. 
Here we obtained the cheering news that our fellow- 
voyagers in the canoe at Igb^gbe were all alive and 
well. The king, named A'ba, came on board, and 
to him and to his headman I gave suitable presents, 
receiving from them a fine goat. Our purchases 
here, with the exception of some native manufactures, 
consisted principally of firewood. An hour's steaming 


brought us to Oketta, on the right bank, which pre- 
sented a very ruinous appearance. The water 
allowed us to come very close to the bank, so much 
so, that at first the inhabitants seemed alarmed, but 
they soon recovered their confidence. Here, for the 
first time, Mr. May got a sun's meridian altitude, 
the height previously having been too great to be 
measured by the sextant in the mercurial trough. 
A short visit was paid to Aikuta, the chief, with 
whom was residing one of the sisters of Oyigu, late 
King of Panda. Our next visit was a fiying one to 
our old friends at Kende, with all of whom we shook 
hands, after which we again proceeded, and, aided by 
the strong current, anchored, a little before three, at 

We landed, and presently w^ent to visit Ogara or 
Mohama, now, by the death of Oyigu, King of I'gbira, 
and, on account of the destruction of Panda, resident 
in this place. He is elder brother of Mohama E'te, 
the present King of A'batsho, both being sons of 
Opanaki, who was one of the sons of Malegedu, the 
first king of Panda. He was formerly, on account of 
some quarrel, obliged to leave I'gbira, and, after some 
wandering, finally settled in Rogan-Koto. By reli- 
gion he is a Muhammadan, and he speaks I'gbira 
and Hausa fluently : in appearance and manner he 
much resembles his brother, but his travelling has 
much improved his mind, and we found him highly 
intelligent, shrewd, and well informed. He told us 
that the country was still in a very poor state, owing 


to the recent aggression, and that his people hardly 
knew yet what to do. As long as the rainy season 
lasted, and there was plenty of water, bush, and 
long grass in the way, they were safe ; but as soon 
as the dry season set in, they would be liable to 
fresh violence. Most of the Fulani had left Panda, 
but were still in the neighboiu'hood of Toto. They 
laid the whole blame on the Bassa people; and 
alleged, and I believe with truth, that after the 
destruction of Ikereku, its inhabitants, jealous of 
Panda, directed the attention of A'ma Dogo to that 
quarter ; and a pretext being speedily found, its sack 
and ruin followed. One old chief, named Madaki, 
who was present, showed me the scars of several 
extensive flesh wounds which he had received during 
the assault. The King appeared much gratified with 
our visit, and gave us, on our leaving him, some jars 
of beer, and a goat. We then walked through 
Yimaha, which now presented a very different scene 
from what it did when we passed up the river. Then 
it was silent and still as the grave ; the huts were 
empty ; the market-place deserted : but now a change 
had come o'er the spirit of their dream. All was 
activity, bustle, and animation, presenting a scene 
such as could not be equalled in any part of Africa 
but in I'gbii'a. Though the day was well advanced, 
business still went merrily on ; idlers were few, and 
everybody and everything wore an aspect of import- 
ance ; the traders still lingered at the place of sale, 
and the artisans still pHed at their respective trades. 


In the market I noted, among other commodities, 
salt, beer, palm oil of both kinds, shea-butter, corn, 
yams, dried yams for making fufu, dried fish, the 
powdered leaves of the Baobab tree used for colouring 
various dishes, different seeds, mats, bags, cotton- 
grass and mixed cloths, the bulb of an orchidaceous 
plant used as food, impure lime, cam-wood, &c. 
Many extensive dye-works and weaving establish- 
ments were around ; and we discovered a blacksmith 
hard at work at his forge, and handling with no little 
dexterity his rude tools. His blast was caused by a 
primitive pair of bellows, consisting of a couple of 
goat-skin bags attached to one end of an u'on nozzle 
close to the fire. Seizing hold of these, one in each 
hand, he alternately compressed and expanded them, 
and filling the one while the other was being 
emptied, kept up a continuous current. Air was 
admitted to them by a small hole pierced in each, 
and when filled, this was closed by a slight movement 
of one of his fingers. Mr. Guthrie was so pleased 
with this man's ingenuity, that he gave him a 
hammer and some other articles likely to be of use to 
him. Mr. Crowther and I went with Alih^li to visit 
an old lady, a distant connection of his, but she — 
as soon as we were introduced — smiling, said she 
was rather in deshabille, and producing a little bit of 
looking-glass and her galena-case, proceeded to stain 
her eyelids, and to arrange her head-diTss. 

Yimaha was so named by Ahoko Zinekii, its founder 
and first chief, from the tents having been originally 


much scattered, its derivation being from the I'gbira 
" aimaha," to scatter, or scattered, equivalent to the 
Hausa word " bereketi." The Hausa pronunciation 
of the word is Yimasha. Almost adjoining Yimaha, to 
the eastward, are two villages, which we did not visit, 
named Bogulogo and Ohcrehu, the chiefs behig 
respectively Ahoko and Ohurihini. 

Among various scraps of information picked up 
here concerning I'gbira, is the following. The founder 
and first King of Panda was named Malegedu, he was 
a native of Koto'n Karifi, and before he commenced 
building Panda, resided for some time at Toto. He 
lived in the early part of this century, and since his 
death eight kings have occupied his throne — a list of 
their names, &c., will be given in the appendix. 
Koto'n Karifi, or as it is often called Kuttum Karafe, 
obtained its title from the rocks on which it stands 
being impregnated with ii'on. This is its Hausa 
designation, Koto meaning I'gbira, and Karifi being 
iron ; the natives call it Egu, and their language is 
I'gbira. It formerly was tributary first to Idda and 
then to Panda, but at present is semi-independent. 

An exceedingly hot, close afternoon, was succeeded 
by heavy rain all niorht, which brouo;ht the 

Oct. 19. -^ / ° 111 

atmosphere to a more pleasant standard, and 
at daybreak we saw the mountain range to the south- 
ward enveloped in a thick morning mist, through which 
only the taUer of the mountains showed their heads. 
This was soon dispelled by the rising sun, and as soon 
as the landscape was clear, Mr. May took outline views 


of Mount Vidal, and the other more remarkable peaks. 
Zuri, who had been ashore all night, brought off the 
mtelligence,that on4he previous evening a council, com- 
prising all the head men, had been held by the King, 
to consider a proposal made to them by the Fiilani, 
namely, to pay an annual tribute of one hundred slaves. 
It was thought, however, that though one hundi-ed 
were now asked, another season two hundred might 
be demanded, and if these were not forthcoming there 
would be a fresh pretext for assault. As long as the 
roads were wet and unpassable, they were safe, and 
they resolved, if again molested, to retire to the south 
side of the river and settle there. In the meantime, 
the Fulatas were allowing them to ransom their 
captives. Mr. Crowther and I Avent ashore early and 
paid a private visit to the King, who, throwing aside 
all his state etiquette, had a long conversation with us. 
We told him of the wish of many I'gbu'a people, now 
residing in Sierra Leone, to return to their native 
country, which Ogara said he trusted Avould speedily 
be the case. He hoped also to see us again ere long, 
when possibly his people would be in a more prosper- 
ous condition, and better able to trade with us. On 
Mr. Crowther's asking him if he would object to 
teachers coming to his country, he replied, quite the 
contrary, he only wished they were now with him. 
He then spoke of the deplorable condition of his sub- 
jects, and mentioned that although they had managed 
to ransom most of the head men, yet numbers of 
women and childi-en still remained captives. We 


expressed our deep sympathy with their misfortunes, 
telling him also how our country disliked war, more 
especially when of this unprovoked and predatory 
nature, and how much we held in abhorrence driving 
captives into slavery. But as something more sub- 
stantial than mere words, I said that as soon as I got 
on board I would send him four bags of cowries 
(80,000), to be applied by him in the redemption of 
his people as he considered most advisable, on which 
all present seemed much moved, and thanked us 
heartily. We then alluded to the offer from the 
Fulani, which the King said he should reject ; I was 
much pleased to hear this, as, had it been accepted, 
a fresh slave mart must have been established. I 
therefore applauded his intention, saying, it was pre- 
ferable to remain as independent as possible, and 
should, which we trusted would not happen, another 
attack be made on them, it would be better for them 
to secure a safe retreat on the A'kpoto shore, where 
they might in comparative safety and quiet pursue 
their industrial occupations. On taking our leave I 
gave him a velvet tobe, which pleased him greatly, as 
he told us that all the royal robes and dresses were 
in the hands of the Pulbe. Desii'ous of getting a 
good supply of the fruit of the Baobab tree, which 
was here plentiful and large, I offered a few cowries 
for any good ones brought on board ; in half an hour 
we were nearly inundated, but I was able to make a 
very excellent selection, and to pm'chase forty or fifty 
good specimens for the value of about a shilhng. 


There was very little ivory at Yimalia, but in other 
respects a brisk trade was carried on dming our stay. 
Yimaha is a very busy place, and its inhabitants being 
of an active disposition and quiet demeanoiu*, it may, 
if left undisturbed by the Fulatas, again become a 
floiuishing town. Its situation is good, and as the 
people are orderly and extremely well disposed towards 
us, it must, if oiu* intercourse ever becomes established, 
be an important station. 

We remained until noon, that Mr. May might 
obtain a meridian altitude of the sun, after which, 
getting under steam, we resumed our passage. We 
anchored for a short time off O'gba, prettily situated 
along the verge of a steep cliff, rising some 80 or 
100 feet above the river. Several of us landed, and 
scrambling up by a rather precipitous footpath, in 
a few minutes found ourselves in the heart of the 
village. It commands a fine prospect, extending to 
many miles along the river, and also over a fine 
extent of level ground, stretching far away towards 
the mountains in the north. The chief, named 
Kpanaki, was absent, his usual residence being at 
Okpangana, on the other side of the river, but we 
were introduced to his deputy, who was his sister, 
and who acted, as Aliheli briefly explained to us, as 
"big-man" of the village, meaning thereby the prin- 
cipal official. There being no inducement to remain, 
we quickly descended, jumping from block to block 
of igneous rock, until we reached the bottom. A 
couple of canoes, bringing a few fowls and goats, 


accompanied us, and presently two others came 
alongside, one of which had been sent from Okpaugana 
to follow us, and to express the chief's regret at not 
being able to call on us, as he had just lost one of his 
wives. I sent him by his brother, who was his mes- 
senger, a small present, with the expression of our 
condolence at his loss. From the other canoe, which 
was retm^ning from market, a tooth of twenty pounds 
weight was bought. We again got under steam, 
passing in rapid succession many small villages, 
among which were A'tipo, Ohimokogi, and finally 
Gande, a little place inhabited by Igara people. It 
being almost dark, and the navigation ratlier intricate, 
we anchored for the night near the Duck Islands. 
Dr. Hutchinson and Mr. Taylor went in the gig to 
visit then' friends in the canoe, and on their return 
reported that Mr. Crawford and Mr. Gower were 
both sick, and that little trade had been done, as it 
seemed to have been interfered with by the King's 



Since we had last been liere there was a great 
change in the appearance of all around. Sacrifice 
Rock, on which we used to land for observations, and 
which was then high above the water, was now com- 
pletely hidden, nothing being left to indicate its 
locality but the top of a tall bush, which had ma- 
naged to withstand the fury of the flood. The Duck 
Islands were reduced to very narrow limits, and the 
confluence of the two rivers seemed to be greatly 
expanded and enlarged. After dayhght we got up 
steam, and soon were off" le-beojbe, where we 

' & o ' ^ Qg^._ 20. 

anchored not far from the landing-place. 
Mr. Crawford, on being brought on board, looked 
very white and thin, but this did not proceed from 
endemic fever, which again had considerably affected 
Mr. Gower. The canoe was moored in a very ill 
chosen locality near the shore, sheltered by tall trees 
from the refi'eshing breeze, and, now that the water 
was falling, close to moist mud. They said they were 
afraid to anchor further out, why I could not make 


out, as thirty yards would have made all the difference 
between a healthy and an unhealthy spot. A warp 
was passed to the canoe, and she was hauled along- 
side, and the proceeds of six weeks' trading were taken 
on board, which only amounted to 278 lbs. of ivory, 
192 lbs. of shea-butter, 192 lbs. of tobacco, and 
some red pepper — a most wretched result ; but Mr. 
Crawford had been so tied down by the orders he 
received about prices, that he could not give even a 
fair market value. I discharged and paid the men 
who had accompanied us up the Binue, giving them 
an amount which completely satisfied them. This I 
did as they had been with us seven weeks, had 
behaved well, and been often very useful, besides 
their journey to Keana. Zuri, certainly, had occa- 
sionally been troublesome, and I could not approve 
of many of his proceedings ; still, through him I had 
got much information about names, places, and man- 
ners. Moreover, I considered that in rewarding them 
well 1 was only paying a slight compliment to A'ma 
A'boko, who had been so friendly to us. 1 offered 
also to settle with Ziiii for the boy, but he had not 
a bag to contain the additional cowries. AVlien the 
canoe parted from us at O'jogo we had given direc- 
tions that the Krumen shoidd employ their spare 
time in cutting wood for our use. This had been 
done, but one large pile, which had been stacked 
too near the river edge, had been swept away ; 
several boat-loads, however, still remained, which 
we commenced shipping at once, as the place where 


it was stored was nearly a mile distant from us, ou , 
the opposite side of the river. 

On lauding, I made some iuquiiies about the 
person alleged to have been stopping trade, and 
found that it was the Galadima, whose name was 
Dagaua, and who, having been charged by the King 
with the safety of the party, had been consequently 
very frequently about them, and they probably, from 
not knowing better, fancied he was interfering with 
them. I learnt also, however, that in consequence of 
the grumbling which was caused by the very low 
prices offered, the King had advised his people to 
cease trading until the return of the ship. We then 
went to visit A'ma A'boko, and to thank him for his 
kindness to our people dming our absence. We 
fancied that the King received us rather coldly, and 
soon found that om* friend Zuri had been before us, 
and had been telling him various untruths to try 
and prejudice him against us. He had very much 
understated the payment he had received, had told 
that Kings up the Binue had got far more valuable 
presents than those offered to A'ma A'boko, and in 
particular he had dwelt on the cowries given to the 
King of I'gbii'a. The King mentioned all these 
points, asking if we had forgotten him altogether, if 
any other chief had taken as much trouble concerning 
us, or had equally cared for our men when we were 
far away. I said that Zuri had quite deceived him 
about his remuneration, which was more than treble 
what he had admitted, and in proof of this I had 


Mama called, and examined before all. I pointed 
out Ziiri's wish for mischief in his garbled stories 
about presents, and finally, as to the cowries at 
Yimaha, I told the King that he ought to be thank- 
ful that he had no relatives who required to be 
redeemed from slavery. With this explanation he 
was perfectly satisfied, and we immediately got upon 
our old terms. We then spoke of the Model Farm 
territory, and I said that though we had left it unoc- 
cupied, yet it was om-s by purchase, and that we 
intended going over to look at it before we left. The 
King laughed and said that, properly speaking, it 
was his, as he had never been consulted about it, nor 
had he received any of the purchase-money, thus in- 
dicating a feeling of independence of Idda. We then 
took our leave, and walked through the town, where 
we found everyone extremely civil. We visited 
several of the numerous dye-works, and in one 
weaving establishment we found that some of our 
Tm'key reds had been taken to pieces, and the 
threads, neatly knotted, were now being interwoven 
with some of their own white and blue. We heard 
that, owing to continued disturbances at Idda, all of 
A'boko's party had left, and had formed a new 
settlement for themselves ; that the Okiri market 
had been discontinued, and now that two markets 
were held instead, one at Igbegbe, and the 
other at A'boko's new town. That at Igbegbe took 
place every five days, and, as the next day was one, 
I resolved to remain for two of them, and accord- 


iiigly intimated this to the trading gentlemen. This 
delay would also allow Mr. May again to rate the 
chronometers. Before going on board we measm-ed 
the apparent fall of the river, which, to this time, 
amounted to twenty-four inches. A few scrivelloes 
were brought on board, and also a fine tooth of 
eighty-seven pounds, which latter was purchased for 
37,000 cowries and some red cloth. 

I must here make a digression, for the purpose of 
giving a short account of the people living near the 
Confluence, and who are to be met with at 
I'gbegbe. Niipe, the Niife and NyflPe of previous 
writers, is a country of ancient date, situated to the 
eastward of the Kwora, and bounded on the south 
by I'gbira. Its inhabitants, now partly Moslemin, 
and partly Pagans, are a very ingenious and trading 
race. Among their articles of manufacture are 
cloths, brass ornaments, and necklaces made of 
pebbles, which they cut and polish for the piu*pose. 
Their language is peculiar, and, as their traders travel 
over a wide extent, it may be heard spoken in many 
places. Fully one half of the population employs no 
national mark, and that used by the remainder con- 
sists of a short cut, proceeding from near the inner 
angle of the eye, in a slightly curved, diagonal direc- 
tion, about two -thirds across the cheek. Nupe, its 
people, and its language, are in Hausa known as 
Takpa (Tappa). This country has, unfortunately, 
been for many years in a very disturbed state, the 
cause of which I will now endeavom- shortly to relate. 


A good many years ago, two persons contested for the 
throne, namely Mamagia (often Mangia and Magia), 
and Ederisa. The former referred his case to the 
Fulani, who, as umph'es, divided the kingdom 
between the claimants, but making both pay 
tribute to a third person called Asumo, and hence 
named Asumo-Saraki. This person, a Pulo by 
descent, if not by birth, was son of Mallam Den'do 
(often also called Mallam Musa), by a Hausa woman, 
and was a grandson of the Sultan Bello. Before he 
was thus placed over the country, he had quarrelled 
with, and tried to kill, his half-brother, Dasaba, who, 
however, escaped from him, first across the Kwora, and 
finally to Lade. Ederisa's head-quarters were about 
E'gga, while Asumo-Saraki and Mamagia resided at 
Rabba. On the death of Mamagia, Asumo-Saraki 
seems to have assumed the entire rule of Nupe, espe- 
cially as Ederisa left no heir. All the feelings of 
Astimo-Saraki being Pulo, the Nupe people supported 
Dasaba, who, as his mother was a Nupe, might be 
looked on more as one of themselves. Thus assisted, 
about 1845 or 1846, he attacked his brother, defeated 
him, and destroyed Rabba, after which Asumo-Saraki 
took refuge in the Hausa country. Rabba though 
sacked and burnt, soon began to recover and to be 
repopulated, but was no longer the seat of govern- 
ment, as Dasaba fixed himself at Lade. Dasaba, who 
is also called Maham^saba, or, by contraction, 
Masaba, is of a cruel and tyrannical disposition, and 
was dreaded alike by his subjects and his neighbours. 


In the early part of 1854, his people rose against 
him en masse, drove him into exile, and selected in 
his stead Baziba, son of Mamagia. Dasaba fled to 
the Yoruba country, and was received and sheltered 
by the Muhammadans of Ilorin (the Alyorie of some 
maps). Of this we had been told in August dming 
our ascent ; but since that time another change had 
taken place, and Dasaba, assisted by Moslemin 
from Ibadan and Ilorin, had effected a bloodless 
revolution, having, by dint of promises of better 
behaviour for the future, induced his subjects again 
to receive him. Not feeling, however, very secure at 
Lade, he was desirous of forming a settlement on the 
Model Farm territory, and had made such a proposal 
to A'ma A'boko, who, on his part, was partly inclined 
to favour the design, thinking that such a powerful 
chief as his friend might prove useful. It was on 
this account, therefore, that Mr. Crowther and I 
spoke to the King about our claims to the ground. 

Just above the Confluence, along the right bank of 
the Kwora, live a people who have been long known 
as Kakanda. But this is not their native name, and 
I have been unable to ascertain exactly by what 
other race it was originally applied. I believe that 
the term Kakanda embraces three distinct tribes, 
named respectively Bassa, Ishabe, and Bonu, difiering 
from each other in language and in national marks. 
In Sierra Leone people from all these three places 
unite and live togther. Not having visited their 
countries, I cannot speak positively, but from what I 


have been able to gather, I think Bassa and Ishabe 
are chiefly known as Kakanda, and in Igbira and 
Igara, this name is applied mostly to the latter. 
Bassa is, I believe, nearest to the Confluence, and the 
mark of the people is two or three broad, unsightly- 
looking, curved lines, extending from the temple along 
the cheek nearly to the chin. Their name for the 
Kwora is " E'du or E'du," and for the Confluence or 
for the Binue E'tshi. Their chief towns are Elmafa, 
half a day's journey from the river, and Tsheberi, 
four hours further on. I fancy that Bonu is next, 
which is possibly the " Puna " of Clarke's Vocabulary.* 
Its dialect I was told by a Bonu man more resembles 
Ishabe than Bassa, but yet they can contrive to under- 
stand each other. Their mark is also two or three 
broad lines like the Bassa, but crossed by some 
shorter and finer ones. Their principal town is Owl, 
and another is named Donyi, which is beyond Ogti. 
As to Ishabe, the distinctive mark is composed of 
four lines along each side of the face, and the chief 
town is Igbido, the Kakanda of some charts, and the 
Budu t of Captain Trotter's reports, and I believe that 
Muye, near the river, is another. Two or three miles 
behind Igbegbe are two villages, named Patta and 
Tshewii, inhabited by refugees belonging to these 
tribes, who had fled thither to escape from the 
marauding visits of Dasaba. 

On the morning following our arrival trade began 

* Page 86. 
+ The Buddu of McWilliam in Allen and Thomson's Narrative, vol. ii. 
p. 80. 


early, and promised to be brisk. Among other 
visitors was Ziiri, wlio made an attempt to carry off 
tlie little Mitslii boy. I spoke very sliarply to him, 
telling him, now that the boy was free, if he dared 
to lay a finger on him, I wonld have him thrown 
overboard. I then ordered him out of the ship, 
saying I would follow and see the King on the 
subject. Accordingly, accompanied by Mr. May and 
Mr. Crowther, I landed and went straightway to 
A'ma-A'boko, and having had Zui'i sent for, I com- 
menced by recapitulating everything connected with 
the boy, how Zmi had brought him on board with- 
out leave ; how, when cjuestioned, he had told a false- 
hood, and had afterwards confessed to a different 
story ; how he had assented to his ransom, and 
expressed himself perfectly satisfied ; and lastly we 
reminded the King of Zuri's behaviour the day 
before, and of the stories he had then told. Mama, 
the King's own man, was then examined in corrobora- 
tion of my statements, and Zuri, on being asked if all 
were true, replied "Yes;" but added that he had 
bought the boy for A'ma-A'boko, on which I said, 
that in that case I should pay him nothing, but 
should give the amount to the King. A'ma-A'boko, 
however, declared that he had no concern in the 
matter, and had nothing to do with Zuri's getting 
the boy. I then told the King and those about him 
the views of England concerning slaves and the slave- 
trade, and taking Zmi as an example, pictured him 
living at home in ease and comfort, until another 


stronger and more powerful than he came, and, 
carrymg him off, sold him into captivity, far away 
from home, wives, and children, where he had to 
labour at the will of, perhaps, a harsh master, and 
content himself with the simplest fare grudgingly 
bestowed. I concluded by saying that in this case, 
I was willing to assume that the man had erred in 
ignorance, and should therefore, whenever properly 
called upon, pay a fair market-price for the boy, but 
that we objected to, and totally repudiated slavery, 
because our God told us it was wicked, and moreover 
had commanded us to do unto others as we would they 
should do towards us. The King and those around 
assented to all I had said, remarking that it was 
" very good," and the King expressed himself per- 
fectly satisfied, and convinced of Ziiri's bad behaviour. 
We then took our departure, and called on the Gala- 
dima, who informed us that our ransoming the boy 
had given general satisfaction throughout Igbegbe. 
Being market-day, we walked through the market, 
where we heard among other tongues I'gbira, Igara, 
Nupe, Hausa, Yoruba, Ishabe, Bonu, &c. ; and among 
articles for sale, we noted palm oil, palm-nut oil, 
shea-butter, cotton, cloths, mats, bags, calabashes, 
pepper, cam- wood, magnificent yams, tomatos, pa- 
paws, plantains, bananas, corn, beer. We also visited 
a blacksmith's shop, and inspected a brewery of rather 
a simple description. The decks of the " Pleiad " 
were covered with traders and their gear, and active 
trade went on, the women proving the keenest 


hands. Ivory was not very abundant this day. I 
paid to Mama 51,000 cowries for the little boy, and 
I asked him on going on shore to make it be generally 
known that the following day being Sunday was 
with us a day of rest, or, as they better understood 
it, our " God's day," and that we should not trade. 
Some canoes alongside were upset, and one poor 
woman lost all her effects, so that I had to give her 
a small present to make it up. 

The decrease of the water was now very percep- 
tible, and we could daily observe a difference 
01 several mches. 1 gave the Mitshi boy the 
name of William Carlin, and determined to take him 
with me to Sierra Leone, that he might be there 
educated and looked after, hoping that, if spared, he 
might one day prove a blessing to his own people, 
and his own land. Dr. Hutchinson during the day 
purchased a good deal of ivory, amounting to 467 
lbs,, all of good quality, and including one tooth of 
107 lbs. I bought some specimens of a raw silky- 
looking material, round some cocoons, which was 
highly prized, and said to have been brought from 
the Hausa country. Our sick men having now 
abundance of appropriate food, were improving 

Mr. May left at daylight in the gig, and landing 
near Mount Stirling, ascended Mount Patte, from 
the top of which he described the view as being 
most magnificent. He brought me with him a nice 
assortment of plants, which he had gathered during 

T 2 


his walk, and wliicli proved very interesting. Much 
palm-nut oil was brought on board, and was offered 
at a very reasonable rate, less than the common oil, 
but none was bought, except about a puncheon pur- 
chased by the steward. A most unaccountable apathy 
prevailed in the trading department, and except by 
Dr. Hutchinson, no steps were ever taken about 
commerce. Mr. Guthrie requiring oil for his engines, 
had to go a-shore and buy it for himself, and he got 
an ample supply in about half-an-hour. We were 
close to a capital market, abundant opportunity was 
offered, but instead of being improved, nothing was 
heard but expressions of alarm all the time the ship 
was allowed to remain. Yams of fine quality were 
very cheap ; but instead of laying in here a sea-stock, 
this was delayed till our arrival at Abo, when four 
times the price was paid for an inferior article. I 
weighed several of the largest, which I found to 
vary from twenty to twenty-eight pounds. The 
yams differ much in shape and appearance at different 
places. At Igbegbe they were very irregular and 
bulky, being generally short in proportion to their 
thickness. I tried to bring some of the largest home, 
but failed. I received numerous presents from the 
natives of various kinds, most of which required some 
sort of acknowledgment. I pm'chased some speci- 
mens of an agricultural implement, made in the shape 
of a spade, but used as a hoe. They are about ten 
inches square, and are rather concave superiorly. A 
short wooden handle is fitted to these, forming an 


angle of about 50° with the upper surface. These 
are made at E'kpe and at Toto, and are much in 
use throughout I'gbira and the adjacent parts of 

On the morning of our last day Mr. May and I 
landed to measui'e a ario:antic Baobab-tree, 

Oct. 25. 

which we had seen a little way beyond the 
town. At eighteen inches above the ground its 
circumference was eighty feet; but here the trunk 
divided into several portions. Most curiously another 
and a very distinct tree had got intimately mixed up 
with it, the trunk of which had sprung up among 
some large branches, and was for some feet above 
the ground so closely enveloped, that it was almost 
impossible to distinguish it. Other parts of the 
Baobab trunk and branches were covered with epi- 
phytes and climbers, the latter being principally 
FahacccB. I have observed that lichens are very 
rarely seen on the trunks oiAdansonice. Preparations 
were now made for departure. Our final observa- 
tions were taken ; the fall of water during our stay 
was ascertained to be nearly six feet, and the name 
of the steamer and the date were conspicuously 
painted by Mr. Guthrie on a large block of rock. 
With Mr. Crowther and Mr. May I went to say 
farewell to A'ma-A'boko, and to thank him for his 
invariable kindness towards us. We again intro- 
duced the subject of the model farm, telling the King 
that Mr. May had been to see it, but that we felt 
assured he would look after it, and not allow it to 


be occupied until oiu- return ; to wliicli lie replied 
" Certainly," nothing but sickness or death would 
prevent his doing so. Mr. Crowther then questioned 
him as to his desire to have teachers placed in his 
town, and to his willingness to receive and protect 
any I'gbira people who might be desii'ous of return- 
ing to their native country. With this he was much 
pleased, saying if they came they should all have 
his warm support, adding, that his people were a 
trading people, and averse to war. Before taking 
leave I gave him several presents ; amongst others, 
some bundles of green, red, and yellow cotton thread, 
which I left with him, hoping that some of his 
weavers might find use for it in their looms, and so 
possibly a market might be opened for this stuff for 
the next vessel. Dagdna, the Galadima, who is a 
Nupe by birth, is a fine specimen of his country, 
active, frank, and hospitable ; he never met any of 
us on shore, without insisting on our going to his 
house, where whatever he thought we might like 
was produced. He was of the greatest service to us, 
as he spent much of his time on board, keeping 
order among the visitors, and fm^thering the ends of 
trade. Among the Muhammadans are a few Mal- 
lams, who know a little Arabic, and from them I 
purchased several MSS., which however consisted 
chiefly of extracts from the Kuran. During one of 
my wanderings I came upon a school, kept by an 
old Mallam, where children were being taught to 
repeat passages from the Kuran. We got into con- 


versation, during the course of which Stamboul 
happened to be mentioned, on which I said that our 
Sovereign and the Sultan of Stamboul w^ere friends, 
and that at that very moment she was assisting him 
to defend his country against a powerfid oppressor. 
Immediately on hearing this, all about me got up 
and shook me by the hand ; then calling their friends 
they told them the news, on which they also sur- 
rounded me, and insisted on going through the same 
ceremony. Among the superstitions of the heathen 
part of the population is the following, similar to one 
practised in Yoruba : — If there be two entrances to 
a hut, or two passages to any part of a dwelling, one 
is kept closed up by a string being put across it, 
and some dju-dju article hung up over it, and this 
obstruction is generally allowed to last for about a 
month, when it is changed to the other opening. 
Yorubans cOme to Igbegbe from Ilorin, by way of 
E'gga or Lade ; one whom we met was highly intel- 
ligent, and was our chief informant about Dasaba. 
One of our sailors was the bearer of a symbolical 
letter from this place to the I'gbira in Sierra Leone ; 
it was similar in construction and translation to that 
mentioned in Miss Tucker's " Abbeokuta,"* and con- 
sisted of a red parrot's feather attached to one end 
of a piece of thread, while to the other was fastened 
a bit of hard wood, burnt at one extremity ; and in 
the middle were secm'ed fom* cowries, two and two, 
with their faces towards each other, one paii- having 

* Page 262. 


the small end uppermost, and the other pair with 
the large romided end upward. Mr. Crowther thinks 
the interpretation may be as follows : — The red 
feather may indicate prosperity on the part of the 
senders, and that the return of their friends is 
speedily expected ; the hard wood may mean that 
•they were well and strong, and the blackened end 
that they were mourning for the loss or absence of 
their countrymen ; and the cowries may denote both 
wealth and well-wishes, those with the small ends 
up being suggestive of a desire to see then*, friends 
face to face, while those inverted may allude to 
the disordered state of the coimtry. 

At two o'clock the whistle sounded shrilly to warn 
• persons out of the ship, and in ten minutes' time we 
were under steam. Just at starting a curious thing 
happened : the two swivels in the bows Avere loaded 
and primed, and the second mate had gone for a 
match while I remained standing beside them. Sud- 
denly one, which had been exposed to the sun, went 
off in a rather unaccountable manner, for though the 
sun's rays playing on the polished surface, had greatly 
heated the swivel, still it could hardly be to the extent 
of igniting gunpowder. I therefore suspect that 
some object near, but which escaped attention, must 
have acted as a lens, and that the concentrated rays 
had been accidentally directed for a moment towards 
the priming. A fresh head breeze blew cool and 
pleasant, and steaming in mid-channel, we soon lost 
sight of Igbegbe, and left behind us that interesting and 


pleasant spot. If tlie commencement then made be 
pm-sued, Igbegbe must be one of the principal trading 
depots, and from its excellent situation, and the active 
habits of the people, mast eventually become a place 
of much importance. We soon reached Mounts Crozier 
and Franklin, and the granitic Beaufort Island, and 
steaming past the site of the Okiri market, and the 
Bird-rock, the latter deeply immersed, by sunset had 
arrived nearly at Agbedamma ; we continued, however, 
until after dark, when hearing voices ashore, we 
anchored in five fathoms water. 

In the morning Mr. May went to measure the 
river, while Dr. Hutchinson landed at Agbedamma, 
and after a short time returned, bringing with him 
Ehimodina, one of our Idda friends. He is a fine- 
looking old man, with a commandhig appearance, and 
is almost reverenced by the whole of A'boko's party. 
On his coming on board all the natives knelt before 
liim, and he was saluted in a similar manner even by 
his nephew, Okeyin or Okeyin-A'boko, whom we had 
formerly met at English Island, and who had now 
come from their new settlement Ututuru, on the right 
bank, just opposite our anchorage. I asked him and 
his uncle to come below to breakfast, when Okeyhi 
made a hearty meal, but Ehimodina, who is a Muliam- 
madan, could not eat before any of his followers, but 
taking a fancy to some bread, asked for a piece of it, 
which he carried home with him. They told us that 
the quarrel with Agabidoko was yet unsettled, and 
consequently all their party had left Idda and were 


settling in this neigliboiirhood. Thus the Atta was 
deprived of his best and most influential subjects, 
who, always keeping together, will probably before 
long form a neAV and independent state. The great 
secret of the spread of power of A'boko's party is that 
all of its members are on friendly terms, and on public 
matters think as one man, keeping clear of petty strifes 
and private quarrels. Among them are no keen factions 
or political rivals ; the different brothers, who are the 
leaders, are all on the most fraternal relations with 
each other, and the common weal seems to be the 
object nearest their hearts. They are a commercial 
rather than a warlike race, though, when requisite, 
they show that they are both able and willing to 
defend themselves. Doubtless, they contain the genu 
of a future powerful race, they deserve to be indepen- 
dent, and will, I trust, use their power for the pro- 
motion of their country's good. Ehimodina is the 
patriarch of the whole party, and Okeyin the chief 
of this particular division. A good deal of ivory 
was brought on board by these people, which was 
readily sold, and Dr. Hutchinson had by noon bought 
555 lbs. Just abreast of where we were, Okeyin 
pointed out to us, to the westward, a few miles from 
the river, a valley, which led into the country of 
rgbira-Shima. He and Ehimodina described the 
inhabitants as being rather a wild set and not tribu- 
tary to Igara. A little below Agbedamma, on the 
same side, stands a town named OTco-Odogbo. 

All trade being over, at two o'clock we fired a gun. 


and weighed anchor, and just before four reached 
Idda, where we got close enough to the landing-place 
to pass a warp ashore. Mr. May and I landed and 
got a set of sights, and being joined after dinner by 
some others of our party, we walked into the town. 
It bore evident marks of its late desertion, as every- 
where were seen empty and ruinous huts. Mr. Crow- 
ther and I met with an A'kpoto man, who told us that 
the inland districts are nominally subject to the Atta, 
and that the language is mostly Igara, but that well 
to the eastward it somewhat resembles that of Doma. 
One of the largest towns in A'kpoto is A'nkpa, the 
chief of which is named Omiakpa. He spoke also of 
an E'lugu town which he had visited, which was called 
E'nike. A threatening tornado hiu-ried us on board, 
but fortunately it passed chiefly to the eastward. 

Aliheli to-night repeated a singular story to me, one 
which he had told me before, and which he always 
affirmed to be correct. I do not know what to think 
of it, as it seems improbable, but yet I have never 
found AHlieli teUing anything approaching an untruth. 
It is that when the Expedition of 1841 was at Idda, 
Captain Trotter and the other Commissioners did not 
see the Atta at all, but that he was personated by a 
headman named O'sata, who is since dead. He says 
he first heard this shortly after the Expedition left, and 
has smce repeatedly known of its having been freely 
talked about at Idda, having himself been told of it 
when there on trading business. The present Atta, 
whose name is Amatshedi, an indolent and unpopular 


man, has been Atta for nearly twenty years. During 
the early part of his reign he was but little seen at 
Id da, and it was usually given out that he was at war 
with some rebellious subjects in A'kpoto, though more 
generally believed that he was living in seclusion not 
far from his capital, enjoying an otium sine dignitate. 
Aliheli stated that he had mentioned this story to 
Mr. Beecroft when at Idda in the " Ethiope," in 
1845, but that gentleman did not seem to pay much 
heed to it. 

In the morning I sent Aliheli to the Atta, to inti- 
mate our arrival to his Majesty, convey our respectful 
compliments, and also carry what would be 
far more satisfactory to the Royal mind, a 
nice present. I did not go myself, having no respect 
for the character of the Atta, and being unwilling 
again to go tlu'ough the hideous ceremony of an 
audience, by which, moreover, nothing could be 
gained. Trade was very dull, and no ivory made 
its appearance. Many visitors came off to us, 
among others the Galadima, Onupia, who had with 
him as a slave an Albino boy. Aliheli on his re- 
turn brought with him two of the King's eunuchs 
as messengers, and two of his daughters, who were 
desirous of visiting the ship. The messengers 
brought the Atta's compliments, and an intimation 
that he had a bullock for us, if we would send for 
it ; on which I said that people would be despatched 
the same afternoon. I then gave each of the mes- 
sengers a red shirt, and selected something more 


feminine for the young ladies, after wliich. tliey all 
took their departure. A young Nupe, who was on 
board, who was lately from Lade, spoke of I'ssa as 
present King of Nupe; but his meaning could not 
be well ascertained. Towards sunset eight stout 
Kruboys were selected, and having been well pro- 
vided with some pieces of strong rope, were sent 
after the bullock. Wishing to see the capture, I 
and several of the officers accompanied them, and 
after a walk of two miles to the place mentioned, 
were disappointed by finding no bullOck there ; and 
the only explanation offered was, that being possibly 
tired of waiting for us, it had gone to rejoin the 
herd in the bush. Vexed at being thus again 
deceived, I sent a sharp message to the Atta, and 
returned towards the shore. It was now nearly 
dark, and a wild festival was being celebrated in 
honour of a war-chief who had died the day before. 
Numbers of men, with their bodies colom-ed, their 
faces disfigured, and in fantastic dresses, rushed at 
full speed wildly about, armed vrith spears and 
swords, screaming, shouting, and uttering hideous 
cries. At first it was reported that some unfor- 
tunate was about to be sacrificed to the manes of 
this deceased warrior, but on inquiry we found to 
our joy that this was incorrect, and that the ceremony 
would be a bloodless one. 

Id da is most decidedly on the decline, and not- 
withstanding its fine position and its many advan- 
tages, it must continue to droop as long as its rulers 


continue indolent, selfish, and tyrannical. The trade 
has completely departed with A'boko's party, who, 
at XJtutiiru, hold extensive markets, which are at- 
tended by people from a great distance. Abo canoes 
come up to them, as Aje is on friendly terms with 
the A'bokos, probably as he finds them to resemble 
himself in being energetic and practical. 

Mr. Crowther and I landed early, and going to the 
Galadima, had a long talk with him on various 
matters. He sent for some palm wine for us, but, 
just before drinking himself, was about, according 
to custom, to pour a little on the ground as dju-dju 
or sacred, when Mr. Crowther stopped him, explaining 
to him the folly of such offerings — to all of which 
he lent a willing ear. He gave us a long account 
of Igara, with many of the traditions handed down, 
and recounted the names of twenty Attas ; but, 
most mifortunately, both Mr. Crowther and myself 
were Avithout our pocket note-books, and so w^e lost 
the list. The present Atta is the twentieth. The 
country of Ado, or Edo, opposite Idda, is believed 
by the natives to have been peopled from Ife, which 
place, according to Yoruban tradition, was also the 
cradle of theii' race.* From Ado, it is said, sprang 
the kings of Igara, of Bini (Benin), and of Abo, and 
secondarily from Idda the kings of Nupe and of 
Panda. What is now known as Igara was formerly 
all A'kpoto. As to the origin of the name Igara, 

* See Crowther's Y6ruba Grammar, second edition, introductory 


occasionally Igala and Igana, there are two accounts : 
one derives it from a Yoruba warrior, so called, who, 
having attacked a tribe living on the western side, 
opposite Agbedamma, drove them first across the 
river, and then further to the eastward ; which event 
is known in Yoruba tradition as the Igara war. The 
other is that the three kings just mentioned were 
brothers, and were sent by their father to found fresh 
settlements. The King of A'kpoto at that time was 
named Igara, and when the stranger arrived from 
Ado he lived as a hunter, and sent most of the fruits 
of the chase to Igara. But after a time followers 
from Ado joined him until, growing powerful, he 
refused to acknowledge Igara, or to give him any 
share of his spoil ; this led to a quarrel, which ended 
by Igara being driven into the interior, leaving only 
his name behind him, on which the first Atta ascended 
the throne. The Galadima said that the language of 
the Ado people closely resembled that of Bini, to 
which place they were tributary, and he added that 
boys and men were sent from Ado to Idda to be 
made eunuchs of. He told us that in A'kpoto were 
many large towns, and he spoke of a country border- 
ing on A'kpoto, which he called Ojiigu, probably 

At several of the market-towns on the south side 
of the Binue, near the Confluence, and at Igbegbe, 
we had seen a peculiar sort of country cloth, orna- 
mented by perforations, which were done during the 
weaving, and which, we were told, was made by the 


I'gbo people, the g here being pronounced hard. We 
had made many inquiries about this race, but until 
our conversation with the Galadima could learn 
nothing satisfactory about them, but now we found 
they were the same as the " I'bo," Tgbo being merely 
the hard pronunciation of this name. These cloths 
are most probably manufactured in E'lugu, that being 
the I'gbo district nearest to Igara, and the cloths 
being found chiefly in the markets near the Confluence. 
On our return on board about eight o'clock we 
found a band, comprising five drums and two fifes, 
playing on the shore very vigorously, but still not 
unmusically ; to reward their exertions I sent them a 
few handfuls of cowries, with which they w^ere vastly 
delighted. When we arrived at Idda in August we 
landed on the beach a few tons of patent fuel, to be 
reserved in case of any emergency. This we now 
found quite safe, and having shipped it, it was put 
aside to be used in crossing the bar. At half-past 
eight we were again under steam, and leaving behind 
us the fine cliff's of Idda, turned our head once more 
downwards. The country passed during this day's 
voyage was rather uninteresting, flat and wooded near 
the water, and with slight elevations a little way 
inland. To the right was Ado, while on the other 
hand was Igara. The only places of any consequence 
passed were, to the eastward the village of Abijaga, 
and to the w^estward the little river coming from the 
Ado country. By two o'clock we were at anchor off" 
Ada-mugu, and with Mr. Crowther, Mr. May, and 


Dr. Hutcliinson, I immediately went ashore. The 
people, a rude-looking set, at first seemed alarmed, 
and came in a large body armed with swords and 
muskets to receive us. The numbers of the latter 
weapon rather sm'prised us, used as we had been of 
late to no missiles but arrows, but we were now 
approaching the coast. On inquiring for their King, 
they answered that he was lately dead, and that his 
son, having committed a murder, had been obliged 
to flee from the place. After a good deal of talking 
a headman was pointed out, who appeared very un- 
willing to acknowledge his responsible situation, but 
at length, by dint of perseverance, laughing, talking, 
smoking our cigars, and showing them how com- 
pletely we felt at our ease, we succeeded in allaying their 
fears, and in becoming friendly. The first symptom 
of confidence exhibited was by the headman advan- 
cing and offering me as a present thirty cowries and a 
couple of kola nuts. His example was followed by 
the head dju-dju man or high-priest of the village, and 
some others, so that I was in a fair way of speedily 
becoming wealthy. But at length their contributions 
ceased, and though the amount of their donations, 
about 100 cowries, equal to about three pence sterling, 
was not exactly a fortune to me, yet it answered its 
purpose by evidencing their feelings towards us. We 
quickly struck up a trade in yams and firewood, both 
of which were abundant and of good quality. The 
latter was pm'chased for blue romals and needles, 
and we kept up the trade until after sunset, when it 


was too dark to continue. The yams were very- 
different from those of the Confluence, being long, 
slender, and pointed at either end, but very well 
flavoured. Fish, beer, and red pepper were also pro- 
duced, and we obtained a curious box, carved to 
imitate a tortoise with its head extended. From a 
canoe returning from a market at A'ra in Ado, I 
bought some mats, which Mr. Crowther at once recog- 
nized as being similar to those made by the Yoruba of 
Ijebu, and there named A'ba, showing thereby that 
the customs, &c., of Ado are more connected with 
countries to the westward than to the eastward, and 
thus indicating theii* origin. 

During the following day, which was Sunday, we 
remained quietly at anchor, having told the natives 
that no business would be transacted. The forenoon 
set in very hot, and at foiu' o'clock the thermometer 
on the poop stood at ninety-six degrees. A slave 
who came on board told us, that he was from a place 
called Bagari, near Bornu, and that before he left his 
own country, he could speak Arabic readily. During 
our stay at Ada-mugii, besides a Meridian alti- 
tude of the sun, Mr. May got two sets of lunar 

The district around and behind Ada-mugu is 
named Abaji, and the language is Igara, though I'gbo 
is also understood. Ada-mugu was founded by 
A'boko, on the site of a former Abaji viUage, at a 
time when he had quarrelled with the Atta ; the 
ground being given to him by the Abaji people. 


A^boko used often to act quite independently of the 
Atta, and at one time made war on Agatu entirely on 
his own account. The latter part of his life was spent 
chiefly at Idda, but his sons are scattered over various 
towns and districts, wherever their adherents live, 
or they possess property. A'ma-A'boko, the eldest, 
succeeded to Igbegbe, as that was his mother's 
country. Not far from Ada-mugu is a town named 
Onuja, which was built by the son of a former Atta, 
who was compelled to leave Idda, being too fond of 
thinking and acting for himself. Below Ada-mugu 
are two towns, one of which, Igbokeyi, is the residence 
of Agabidoko, and the other, named after its proprietor, 
" Amidoko," belongs to a chief who lives at Idda. 

Early on the 30th, canoes were alongside with 
firewood, sheep, fowls, eggs, bananas, coco-nuts, limes, 
yams, pepper, palm-wine, &c. While steam was 
getting up, Mr. May went in the gig and measured 
the breadth of the river, after which we got under 
way. On the left bank we saw the Igara town 
Omodomo, and on the right we passed two market 
towns in Ado, a little way from the river, named A'ra 
and Uto, both founded by ATDoko. In these the 
principal articles for sale are country cloths, mats, 
and provisions. Uto was formerly named A'boko's 
market ; and near it, a httle more inland, stands Oria, 
also a market-place, the inhabitants of both of which 
places speak Igara and Abo, as well as their own 
language. These markets are chiefly frequented by 
people from Idda and from Abaji. A'ra was given 

u 2 


by A'boko to Agabidoko, but some interest is now 
claimed in it by Ossamare ; its inhabitants are termed 
A'param or A'pram. Between Abo and Uto there 
fell out, many years ago, a serious quarrel, and 
ever since, Abo people have ceased to attend its 



We now bade adieu to Igara and Ado, and entered 
the Tgbo territories. Immediately adjoining 
Abaji to the southward is Inam, the people of 
which, though an I'gbo race, formerly paid tribute 
to the Atta, and afterwards to Obi. A branch here 
joins the river, known as the Inam river, and the 
Inam country is nearly a day's canoe-journey up this 
stream. The people trade chiefly at Asaba and 
Onitsha, in country cloths, corn, yams, fowls, &c. 
Next to Inam, but nearer the river, is Nsugbe or 
Isugbe, founded upwards of twenty years ago by a 
man from Abo, who, having killed one of his wives, 
had to leave that place. The dialect spoken is Abo, 
and tribute was formerly paid to Obi ; but, since his 
death, to nobody. Their town, also named Nsugbe, 
is on the north side of the Inam river, but the 
district extends on both sides. The people deal in 
similar articles to those of Inam, but trade principally 
at Onitsha. Inam and Nsugbe are supplied with 
muskets mostly from Idda, to which place they are 
brought from Abo. At the time of our visit the 


value of an ordinary musket at Idda was from 10,000 
to 12,000 cowries, and at Abo, from 8000 to 9000 
cowries ; the value of a flint at Abo was 20 cowries. 
Below Walker Island, on the right bank, stands 
a small village belonging to Asaba, and named 
A'param-U'gboru. The language is Abo, and its 
market is visited by traders from Igara, and from 
Inam. At half-past eleven we anchored off Asaba, 
and landing, Mr. May got an observation for latitude, 
after which we ascended a sloping path leading to 
the town. The inhabitants, at first rather alarmed, 
soon became reconciled to our appearance, and we 
were conducted to their King, followed by a large and 
gradually increasing crowd. Asaba is finely situated 
on a rising ground, about 100 feet above the river, 
and is surrounded by walls, and by palisades of tall 
trees. The huts are numerous, but widely apart ; 
they are oblong, well-constructed, and many are 
whitewashed or coloured. The inhabitants, extremely 
numerous, were disposed to be friendly, but are a 
wild, rude-looking people, much tatooed. The 
principal marks are three perpendicular ones along 
the breast and belly, the centre one being straight, 
and the side ones curved ; another behind, following 
the curve of the armpit, and going downwards; 
seven short, perpendicular incisions on the forehead, 
and a curved row of small lines under each eye. 
These are to be universally seen, but some extra- 
vagant individuals also sport others. The gardens 
are hedged in with tall coco-palms, plantains, and 

CHAP. X.] I GBO. 295 

bananas ; yams are abundant, and fowls, fine slieep, 
and cattle seem plentiful. Altogether we felt sur- 
prised that such an unprepossessing race should have a 
town so rich, so clean, and so well laid out. All the 
men carry arms, muskets, knives, swords, &c., and 
many have in their hands a kind of musical, or 
rather, an acoustic instrument, made of a small 
elephant's-tusk such as a scrivelloe, polished and 
neatly ornamented externally, with a small square 
hole near the apex communicating with the central 
hollow, and through which, when they blow forcibly, 
a loud and disagreeable sound is produced. I was 
anxious to purchase one of these but did not 
succeed. We were conducted to the King's house, 
and seated, some on mats, some on carved wooden 
stools, under a verandah, which sheltered us from the 
intense heat of the sun. An immense crowd stood 
around, and their look, their manner, and above 
all their noise, told us we w^ere among a people 
differing much from those we had lately been 
familiar with ; in short, that we were once more 
among the active, though often troublesome, I'gbos. 
There are a number of petty chiefs in Asaba, who 
made their appearance in full costume, all clad in a 
similar manner. Each had round the waist a large 
piece of white calico, and a belt of leopard's skin. 
They wore red caps, decorated with white and red 
feathers, which I found are only borne by warriors, 
each feather denoting an enemy slain in actual war- 
fare. Some of our entertainers had as many as five 


or six, and I am told tliat Aje at Abo is entitled to 
display seven. Round the eyes was a wliite-coloured 
ring, on the arms were ivory wristlets; strings of 
cowries and charms hung round their necks, and each 
carried in his hand a fan. At length the head chief, 
an old man, named Ezebogo, came forward, habited 
like the rest, but with more ornaments. After our 
salutations, I spoke of friendship, of trade, and of 
education, and particularly enlarged upon the evils 
of war, and the benefits of peace, all of which was 
well received. Some most delicious palm-wine was 
then handed round, of which we all drank deeply, 
and, refreshed by this delightful beverage, we arose, 
and, after another look round this extensive place, 
returned to our ship, accompanied by a messenger, 
who came for a present for Ezebogo. From some 
people on the shore my assistant got some nice 
specimens of fish, and of fresh-water crustaceans. 
There are very few canoes at Asaba, but for what 
reason I could not learn. It is excellently adapted 
for a trading-station, and any European in ordinary 
health could live here as well as in any similar tropical 
spot. The district behind Asaba is named Igbusa, 
and in it are two towns called Ogbori and Ogbobi. 
A little above Asaba is said to be a village named 
Asabutshi. Palm-wine is the drink of all the I'gbo 
towns, and its use extends as far as Idda, above which 
beer replaces it. The Muhammadans, though they 
will not touch beer, yet readily drink palm-wine. 
The palm-wine which we so admired at Asaba was 

CHAP. X.] I GBO. 297 

obtained from tlie oil-palin, and had been sweetened 
witli honey. 

Half-an-hour brought us to Onitsha, where on 
landing we found the market, which is held close 
to the river, nearly broken up, hardly any traders 
being left. Among the canoes were several from 
Abo. The town is situated from two to three miles 
from the river, and we had not time to visit it ; but 
we met the King's son, who is named Odiri, and by 
him I sent a message to Akazua his father. Onitsha 
is in E'lugu, and the dialects spoken are Elugu, 
Isuama, and Abo. The first king of Onitsha was 
named Udogu, who was alive about the time of 
Lau'd and Lander's voyage. Odiri told us that the 
fancy cloths about which we had been so often in- 
quiring, were made near Onitsha. He gave us the 
names of the following Elugu towns, from which 
people attended the market held here every five days, 
namely, Obotshi, Oja, U'mu, O'bba, Nkp6, Abaja- 
Ezonganran, Abaja-O'bba, like, Akuku, Obu, Oto, 
Newti, Ozhi-Owere, Ofu-Abaja, Nteja, Nkuere, 
Nzhibe. Different kinds of fancy cloths are distin- 
guished by difi'erent names, as Owowo, A'naba-Obiri, 
and Nwega. Mr. CroAvther spoke to Odiri about 
sending teachers, and mentioned to him the desire of 
many E'lugus to come and settle here, on which Odiri 
said all w^ould be willingly received and welcomed, 
and would be protected as long as they continued to 
conduct themselves properly. The country about 
and behind Onitsha is elevated and dry, and quite 


as eligible for a settlement as Asaba. Here also, 
canoes are few and small. By half-past three we 
were again wending our way down the river, passing 
on the right bank some villages named O'ko, and on 
the left, the district of Odegbe, which is close to the 
river. I was anxious to have visited A'kra-A'taui ; 
but not knowing the exact locality itself, and trusting 
to Aliheli, he allowed us to pass it before men- 
tioning anything about it. It is said to be oppo- 
site a creek named the O'ko creek. Tradition relates 
that the original inhabitants of Abo were named 
A'kra, and when driven away by the race who came 
from Ado, they went and settled in different direc- 
tions, their towns being distinguished by the prefix of 
A'kra to the previous name of the spot; thus we have 
A'kra-A'tani, A'kra-U'gidi, and A'kra-Uteri. About six 
o'clock we anchored off the mouth of a creek runnmg 
behind Ossamare, and down which is said to be a town 
named Osutshi. Opposite to our anchorage, on the 
right bank of the river, is a village named Ut'shi. 

A sharp squall from the north-north-east brought 
us a deluge of rain and heavy thunder, lasting till 
after six o'clock in the morning. The thermometer 
fell to 74°, which actually felt cold. About seven 
o'clock we got under steam, and passing by Bullock's 
Island, which belongs to Ossamare, at eight o'clock 
anchored off that town. We were almost immedi- 
ately surrounded by canoes of all sizes, some so 
small as to contain only one person, who sat with 
the legs projecting over the sides of his tiny bark, and 

CHAP, x.] IGBO. 299 

when it was desired to alter the direction of the 
canoe, one foot was dropped into the water, accord- 
ing to the side to Avhich it was wished to steer. The 
speed with which these Kttle canoes move, and the 
ease with which they turn, is almost incredible ; 
three or four may be seen hurrying towards one 
common point, and every second the concerned spec- 
tator expects to hear the crash of a collision, and to 
see the occupants struggling in the tide ; but no — 
just as destruction, to the eye of the stranger, seems 
inevitable, wdth a dexterous movement of the foot 
and a smart stroke of the paddle the catastrophe is 
avoided. Two persons named Kaimene and Eyln 
brought me presents of yams, and I offered them 
some things in return. The one was satisfied, but 
the other grumbled, on which 1 recommended him 
to take back his yams, which made him alter his 
tune, as he had only come to see what he could 
make. At eight o'clock I went ashore to pay a 
visit to the King, an old man, called Nzedegu. The 
town is very inferior in situation to either Asaba or 
Onitsha; it stands close to the river, and now especially, 
after the heavy rain of the night, was particularly muddy 
and filthy. To reach the palace we had to cross, by 
a narrow plank, a deep dii'ty pool, and this frail 
bridge bent so much in the middle as to immerse us 
to the ankles. Om' conversation was of the usual 
natm'e, and though the King at first made some 
complaint about our not stopping off" his towm during 
om* ascent, yet we contrived to give a satisfactory 


reason, and to establish a perfectly friendly under- 
standing. Mr. Crowther explained to Nzedegu the 
nature of his visit, and the wishes of the Church 
Missionary Society to send teachers among them ; a 
statement which was eagerly listened to. After 
exchanging presents we retired, and presently re- 
embarked. Ossamare is in Isuama, but is closely 
connected with Abo, to which until the death of Obi 
it was tributary. A considerable quantity of palm- 
oil is brought from the interior for shipment, being 
the principal port of Isuama. The palm-oil is either 
sold duectly to Abo and Oru traders, or else it is 
taken to Abo for disposal. A little ivory occasionally 
reaches it from Idda, but is generally sold to Isuama 
at a high rate. In speaking of Isuama it is often used 
in the contracted form of I'su. 

On the right bank below Bullock's Island stands 
Okpai, after which the Abo territory proper com- 
mences, the first town in it being A'se. Opposite 
the south end of Bullock's Island, to the eastward, is 
the district of Obagwe, with a town of the same 
name, below which is U'gidi, in which is situated 
A'kra-U'gidi. To the southward of U'gidi, still near 
the river is Ogii, and further down the district and 
town of Egboma. Bather behind Egboma stands 
Uguta, the inhabitants of which come to the river 
for fishing and trading. At the mouth of the affluent, 
commonly marked in charts as the Bonny creek, is 
Ndoni, inhabited by a trading people, who go as far 
as Idda for oil, which they bring to Abo for sale. 

CHAP. X.] I GEO. 301 

They speak the Abo dialect, and are reputed as skilful 
artisans. Red-coloured varieties of palm-oil bear a 
higher price in the river markets than the darker- 
coloured sorts. At A'kra-A'tani, two small jars of 
red oil cost 2000 cowries. The kernel oil is only 
manufactured about the Confluence. 

About two o'clock we were at our old anchorage 
off the Abo creek, and shortly afterwards, Mr. Crow- 
ther, with Dr. Hutchinson and Mr. Taylor, went on 
shore, and on their return brought off Simon Jonas, 
who reported that he had been very well treated and 
cared for by Aje. Just after our departure he 
had a severe attack of illness, but was carefully 
watched and nursed. He had lately visited Ossamare, 
ATira-A'tani, Onitsha, and Asaba, at all of which 
places he had been well received, as also at OTio-Ala, 
about a day's journey up the Abo creek. Wherever 
he had shown himself, he had been looked upon as a 
superior person, such influence do knowledge and 
civilization confer on their possessors. He had found 
the people always attentive, desirous of information, 
and retentive of what was taught them. He told us 
that there were many Isuama and Ndoni people 
resident in Abo at this time ; that many canoes had 
been lately from Brass and Orti, but none from 
Bonny ; and that cowries were of but little value in 
the Abo market, as he had seen 2000 paid for a 
single fowl. I had been very desirous of getting a 
pair of large ivory anklets, such as were worn by the 
Abo ladies, and had commissioned Simon to procure 


me a pair, but as he found that their price would 
have been equal to the cost of four slaves, he wisely 
declined getting them. He told me also, that the 
name by which the river is known in the interior of 
I'gbo is " Anyim." I had told the trading gentle- 
men, that if they found any trade, I was perfectly 
ready to make any convenient stay, though one day 
would complete all that Mr. May and I wanted; 
after being ashore, however, they stated that they 
saw little prospect of doing much. Our stock of tea 
was about exhausted, when, this afternoon, out of 
cm'iosity I ordered a chest, which had been kicking 
about and owned by nobody, to be opened, and 
it was found to contain eight large cases of tea ! 
Another such box, opened after we had been passing 
most of the night in entire darkness, not being able 
to afford lights, proved to be filled with excellent 
composition candles ! 

Aliheli related to me a circumstance regarding 
King Obi, which I heard confirmed at Idda, and at 
Igbegbe, and which seems quite to free him from any 
suspicion of being concerned in Mr. Carr's mm'der. 
On hearing of this untoward event, Obi immediately 
sent to the Atta, to acquaint him of it, saying it 
was very unfortunate and would injure their prospects 
of trading with white men, and asking what steps 
ought to be taken about it. The Atta not feeling 
himself sufficiently powerful to act, sent to Dasaba, 
requesting his assistance in punishing the mm'derers. 
This the latter readily agreed to, and off'ered to lead 

CHAP. X.] I GBO. 303 

an army to tke sea, provided the Atta would furnish 
canoes when requii'ed. Accordingly he marched along 
the right bank, until opposite A'da-mugu, when 
getting into swampy ground, he was afraid of losing 
his men, and therefore retraced his steps, making up 
for his disappointment by pillaging and destroying all 
the Kakcinda towns and villages in his way. Obi's 
father was named Ogboma. Aje has fom* large war- 
canoes, and about 250 slaves, while Tshukuma has 
five smaller canoes, and about 50 or 60 slaves. 

In the morning I went ashore with Mr. May, and 
with difficulty finding ground firm enough to support 
us, we got a set of sights. I sent Simon Jonas in the 
gig to bring off" Aje and Tshukuma, whom I had 
invited on board, and in the meantime I settled with 
Aliheli, who now returned to his own abode and his 
two wives. He had proved most faithful and most 
valuable, and had been the means of procuring much 
information for us. Should I be so fortunate as again 
to ascend the Kwora, 1 should consider my stafi" incom- 
plete if he were not included as one of its members. 

About half-past eleven, Tshukuma and his head 
wife came alongside in the gig, on which I ordered 
two guns to be fired. He was attired almost exactly 
as he had been when I last saw him. Presently Aje 
was seen to approach in a large canoe with seventeen 
paddles of a side, and accompanied by several of his 
wives, and some of his brothers and their wives. 
Another salute was fired, after which we received our 
visitors on board, and with some difficidty got them 


all seated on the poop. Aje is a tall, rather stout, 
young-looking man, very superior in appearance to his 
brother, and is said in manner and countenance greatly 
to resemble his father. He appeared dressed in home- 
made scarlet-cloth trousers, a scarlet uniform coat, 
a pink beaver hat, under which, apparently to make 
it fit, was a red worsted night-cap, no shoes, beads 
round the neck, and in his hand a Niger-expedition 
sword. After talking of general matters, I spoke of 
his father, of Captain Trotter, of trade, and of our 
wishes and intentions, on which he replied that he 
considered that whatever his father wished or promised 
was binding on him, adding, however, that we seemed 
very long in carrying out om' part of the agreement. 
I gave him a double-barrelled gun, a large sabre, a 
scarlet tobe, some cloth and beads, and some scissors, 
mirrors, and needles for his wives, and also three 
krus (27,000) of cowries for his kindness to Simon 
Jonas. This last he said must be shared by his 
brother, on which I ofiered Tshukuma an equal amount, 
and gave him also other presents. With all Aje 
seemed dissatisfied, and asked, why we did not give 
so much as Captain Trotter did,* on which I mentioned 
our long voyage, the many presents we had given 
away, and of our stock being exhausted. Still he 
asked for things I had not, until I was obliged to 
speak more plainly, telling him how unreasonable 
his behaviour was, and how unlike what I expected 

* The enormous amount of presents given in 1S41 proved very em- 
barrassing to us, as we were always expected to bestow an equal quantity. 

CHAP. X.] I GBO. 305 

in a son of Obi. He then laughed, showing that he 
was merely trying to get as much as he could, a 
daily Abo practice. He next asked for the traders, 
who were sent for, and showed them a quantity of 
firewood, yams, palm-oil, and a bullock he had for 
sale. He proved a very keen hand, and only parted 
Avitli his articles at a high price ; he looked to 
everything himself, saw things handed on board, 
and the cowries counted. He gave me as his dash 
a bullock and 200 yams, which latter were here, 
though very good, very small and rounded. I took 
him round the ship, fired a swivel off before him, 
and showed him the engine. I explained to him 
that as our provisions were nearly expended, I could 
offer him but little ; on which he said he would merely 
ask for some biscuit, which I gave him. He was 
much amused with the shower-bath, which he called 
all his wives to look at, and was much pleased with 
a German accordian which I gave him. Some one, 
rather foolishly, asked him to a dinner of salt pork 
and yams, with a glass of sour claret, however he 
sat down with us, and the meal passed over tolerably. 
The palm-oil was all rejected, as it could not be started 
on board, and no casks were sent on shore for it. Aje 
told Mr. Crowther and me, that if any order had 
been left in July, he could have had plenty for us. 
The river was now falling quickly, and the decrease of 
the water was perceptible daily. Om' sick-list was 
gradually diminishing, and the few who remained 
were convalescing rapidly under good food. On 


examining our stock of edibles, we found that we 
had made our calculations very fairly, as by the 
time we should reach Fernando Po, we should have 
nearly consumed everything. There were now on 
board just four days' fresh provisions for all hands, 
half a case of biscuit, and flour for eight days for 
the officers, but there was abundance of rice and of 
yams on board, so that we could not starve, and I 
had no desire to leave the river as long as we had 
any provisions fit to eat. 

Mr. May and Mr. Harcus made an early start to 
sound for a supposed rock, marked in Allen's Chart. 
They found a shoal patch with three fathoms, while 
all around it were seven and eight fathoms. As the 
trading gentlemen intimated that they coidd do 
nothing more, I resolved to start in the afternoon. 
In the meanwhile Dr. Hutchinson went to try and 
get some firewood, but returned with a very small 
supply, saying he thought Aje was interrupting the 
sale. On this, with Mr. Crowther, I started off to see 
Aje, while Dr. Hutchinson went again in the pinnace 
to look for fuel. We found Aje at home, when I 
mentioned that he had not kept his promise to us 
about firewood, and I told him that Englishmen liked 
to do business promptly. He apologized and said 
we should have what we wanted in the morning, 
but I answered that would not do, as I should 
leave in another hour. We got, however, very 
friendly, and had a long chat. Mr. Crowther then 
spoke to him of a site for teachers if they were sent 

CHAP. X.] I GBO. 307 

here, when Aje told him that any spot he selected 
would be reserved for that purpose. He gave us 
some capital palm-wine, and seeing that we relished 
it, ordered a quantity to be sent on board. Before 
saying farewell, he asked my name, and ordered two 
messengers to attend us and see us safely off. He 
told us finally that he should expect to see us about 
the beginning of the next rainy season, on which we 
said we could not promise, but hoped we might then 
return. On our way down the creek we got wood 
enough to load both boats, and a man gathered for 
me a specimen of the Malaghetta-pepper plant. We 
did not get up steam, but dropped down the river, 
anchoring for the night off A'kra-Uteri. 

As in addition to what I learnt while in the river, 
I got much information about I'gbo from persons 
belonging to that country at Fernando Po, and at 
Sierra Leone, it will be advisable here to embody all 
the interesting facts connected with it. I'gbo, as T 
have formerly mentioned, extends east and west, 
from the Old Kalabar river to the banks of the Kwora, 
and possesses also some territory at Abo to the west- 
ward of the latter stream. On the north it borders 
on Igara and A'kpoto, and it is separated from the 
sea only by petty tribes, all of which trace their 
origin to this great race. In I'gbo each person hails, 
as a sailor would say, from the particular district 
where he was born, but when away from home all 
are I'gbos. And yet considerable differences exist 
between different parts of this extensive country, and 

X 2 


the dialects spoken also vary greatly. Those of 
whicli we heard during our voyage as being well 
marked are the Abo, Elugu, Isuama, and A'ro, of 
which that of Isuama is the most widely diffused, the 
softest, and the best adapted for the lingual standard. 
E'lugu is in the far north, close to Igara, and near it, 
to the eastward, are two smaller districts, Isielu, and 
Isiago. Of Abo I have already spoken fully. Isuama 
is the most central division, and at the same time the 
largest. A'ro is more to the south-east, and is, as I 
shall presently have reason to mention, a very im- 
portant place. Of other minor districts I may mention 
the following. About a day's journey up the river 
from Okuloma (Bonny) is " Ndoki " as it is termed 
by its own inhabitants, but by the Tghos of the 
interior it is styled O'kwa. Near this is " Ngwa " 
through which it is said, no rivers nor creeks run, so 
that the people have to dig wells for water. In it are 
many villages, in which the streets are left very 
wide. North-west fi'om Ngwa is O'zuzu, where 
the language differs slightly in dialect, and in which 
every town has its own chief. The people employ a 
peculiar mark, viz., three rows of minute lines from 
the ear to the angle of the eye, the middle row straight, 
and the two others converging towards the eye ; two 
curved lines of small incisions from the lobe of the 
ear, curving along the cheek, to the end of the lines 
at the eye, and two short rows of similar lines under 
the eyes towards the nose, and a line of incisions of 
the same kind down the forehead and nose. A similar 

CHAP. X.] i'gbO. 309 

marking is employed by some of the neiglibouring 
districts. O'zuzu people trade much with New 
Kalabar, which they know as Bom, but also as 
Karabari or Kalahari. There is plenty of palm-oil in 
O'zuzu, and abundance of cocos and yams. To the 
north or north-north-west of O'zuzu lies " Mbohia," 
called at Bonny "Ikpofia." There are few towns 
here, it being chiefly a bush country. The derivation 
being from Mba country, and OJda bush. There is 
but little oil made here, and the people are warlike. 
Close to it is another similar district, and with in- 
habitants of like propensities. It is named Ogone, 
but at Bonny is known as Egane. The people of 
Ndoki and Ngwa are reputed cannibals, that is 
to say, after war they eat the flesh of their enemies, 
but generally in secret. One of my informants 
assured me that, when a slave in Ngwa, he was an 
eye-witness to a repast of this nature. It took place 
after the death of a lady of property, when some 
slaves, purchased for the occasion, were slain and 
feasted on. Prom two to four days' journey north 
from Bonny, is a large and important market town, 
named Ogobendo, but which at Bonny is always 
called Bende. It is a grand depot for slaves, as well 
as for palm-oil and provisions, and supplies with the 
former New Kalabar, Bonny, and Andony, as well as 
other neighbouring countries. When the foreign slave 
trade was being actively carried on, this town was in 
the zenith of its wealth and importance, and even 
since has declined but little, as it still remains the 


centre of the home slave mart for the coast, and the 
south of I'gbo. I inquired particularly after a sup- 
posed district or tribe, mentioned by Clarke and some 
other writers, as I'tshi or Bretshi, but found that this 
was a misapplication of the term. There is no place 
of this name, but I'tshi, which means "cut-face," 
refers to certain individuals who are marked by 
numerous cuttings on the forehead, which greatly 
disfigure the countenance. I fell in with one of 
these I'tshi, who confirmed all this, and told me that 
this practice prevails chiefly in Isuama, and that it 
is confined to the families of the wealthy. As far as I 
could gather, it is only the males who are thus 
hideously tatooed, though in I'gbo it is reckoned 
becoming, and entitles the possessors to respect. 
The word Bretshi is wrong, Mbrltshi being the 
correct term, but I'tshi is more frequently employed. 
To the northward and eastward of Ndoki is a large 
district named Abanyim, where the I'gbos and people 
from Old Kalabar meet for trade. Not far from this 
stands the noted city of A'ro or A'no, where is the 
celebrated shrine of TsJmku, or the deity to which 
pilgrimages are made, not only from all parts of I'gbo 
proper, but from Old Kalabar, from the tribes along 
the coast, and from Orii, and Nimbe or Brass. The 
city is described as being nearly three times the size 
of Abo, and as extremely populous. The inhabitants 
are skilful artisans, and manufacture swords, spears, 
and metallic ornaments, specimens of all of which I have 
seen, and can therefore testify to their being very 

CHAP. X.] I'GBO. 311 

neatly finished. The town is always mentioned with 
great respect, almost, at times, with a degree of vene- 
ration, and the people say " Tsliuku ah yamay or 
" God lives there." The dialect of A'ro is peculiar, 
but Isuama and E'lugu are also much spoken, as well 
as E'fik or Old Kalabar, and numerous other languages 
are to be heard among the crowds of pilgrim-votaries 
who throng the shrine. The mark used in A'ro consists 
of a series of (from ten to twelve) short horizontal lines, 
just before the ear. Of other places of which I heard, 
without being able to obtain any remarkable particu- 
lars about them, I may mention Abam to the north 
of Ogobendo, Isiapo a small district between Ndoki 
and Bonny and which may be reached by canoe, 
Orata to the eastward of O'zuzu, and finally Omiimsi, 
a town in E'lugu, the inhabitants of which are said to 
be very short, but very stout. 

The religion of I'gbo is entirely Pagan, mixed up 
with numerous rites and ceremonies, neither in general 
so frightful nor so bloody as those practised in Bini, in 
Dahomi, and other more western countries, but still 
all of a pre-eminently superstitious character. The 
I'gbos all believe in an Almighty-being, omnipresent 
and omnipotent, whom they call TsJmku, whom they 
constantly worship, and whom they beheve to com- 
municate directly with them through his sacred shrine 
at A'ro. But they speak also of another and a dis- 
tinct Deity, who at Abo is known as Orissa, but 
throughout other parts of I'gbo, as ''TsJdkii-OkcJicJ' 
" God the creator, or the supreme God." Abo people 


believe tliat after death, those wlio have been good 
on earth may either go to Orissa and abide with 
him, or they may, if they hke, visit any country on 
earth ; and so slaves often, when dying, say that they 
will go and revisit their native land ; if, on the other 
hand a wicked man dies, it is understood that he is 
driven to OMmq, or hell ; derived from O'ho, fire, and 
mo spirit. In Abo every man and every woman of 
any consequence keeps as dju-dju or sacred, the lowxr 
jaw of a pig, or, until they can procure this, a piece 
of wood fashioned like one. This is preserved in their 
huts, and produced only when worshipped, or when 
sacrifices are made to it, which are at certain times, 
at intervals of from ten days to three weeks. The 
particular days are determined by the dju-dju men 
or priests, and by them intimated to the people. 
They sprinkle this dju-dju with palm-wine, and 
touching it with a kola-nut, speak to it, and ask it to 
be good and propitious towards them. It is named 
Agha, meaning pig, or Agha-E'zlii, or pig's-jaw ; but 
when kept as dju-dju, it is also termed Ofuiii, or " my 
image," and also TsJmkii. People also select particular 
trees near their huts, or, if there are none in the 
neighbourhood, they transplant one ; these they 
worship and caU TsJdImm, or " my God." They hang 
on these bits of white baff (caHco,) as signs of a dju- 
dju tree, and as offerings to the deity. No one ever 
touches these, and if they rot off they are replaced. 
Little wooden images are also used, and are styled 
O'fo-Ts/dku, or " images of God," and to these they 

CUAF. X.] I'GBO. 313 

talk and pray. When a man is suspected of false- 
hood, one of these is placed in his right hand, and he 
is made to swear by it, and if he does so falsely it is 
believed that some evil will speedily befal him. 
Sacrifices, principally of fowls, are made to these 
latter, as to the former. In Isuama and in E'lugu 
there are similar usages, but the pig's-jaw is not 
employed, and no white baff is hung on the trees. 
At Abo one large tree is held as djii-dju for the whole 
district, it is covered with ofiPerings, and there is an 
annual festival in honour of it, when sacrifices of 
fowls, sheep, goats, and bullocks are made. When a 
man goes to A'ro to consult Tshiiku, he is received by 
some of the priests outside of the town, near a small 
stream. Here he makes an ofi'ering, after which a 
fowl is killed, and, if it appears unpropitious, a 
quantity of a red dye, probably camwood, is spilt into 
the water, which the priests tell the people is blood, 
and on this the votary is huiTied off" by the priests 
and is seen no more, it being given out that Tshiiku 
has been displeased, and has taken him. The result 
of this preliminary ceremony is determined in general 
by the amount of the present given to the priests, and 
those who are reported to have been carried off" by 
TsJmku are usually sold as slaves. Formerly they were 
commonly sent by a canoe, by a little creek, to Old 
Kalabar, and disposed of there. One of my informants 
had met upwards of twenty such unfortunates in Cuba, 
and another had also fallen in with several at Sierra 
Leone. If, however, the omen be pronounced to be 


favourable, the pilgrim is permitted to draw near to 
the shrine, and after various rites have been gone 
through, the question, whatever it may be, is pro- 
pounded, of course, through the priests, and by them 
also the reply is given. A yellow powder is given to 
the devotee, who rubs it round his eyes, which powder 
is called in I'gbo, E'do. Little wooden images are also 
issued, as tokens of a person having actually consulted 
the sacred oracle, and these are known as O'fo-Tslmku, 
and are afterwards kept as dju-dju. A person who has 
been at A'ro, after returning to his home, is reckoned 
dju-dju or sacred for seven days, during which period 
he must stay in his house, and people dread to approach 
him. The shrine of Tslmhi is said to be situated 
nearly in the centre of the town, and the inhabitants 
of A'ro are often styled O'mo-TsJmku, or God's children. 
Mo ndjd means a bad or evil spirit. The greatest 
or worst of evil spirits, is named Kamdllo, possibly 
equivalent with Satan. His name is frequently 
bestowed on children, and in some parts of I'gbo, 
especially in Isuama, Kamallo is worshipped. No 
images are made, but a hut is set apart, in which are 
kept bones, pieces of iron, &c., as sacred. Persons 
make inquiries of this spirit, if they wish to commit 
any wicked action, such as murder, when they bring 
presents of cowries and cloth to propitiate this evil 
being and render him favourable to thek designs. If 
the individual intended as the victim suspects any- 
thing, or gets a hint of his adversary's proceedings, 
he also comes to worship, bringing with him, if pos- 

cuAP. s.] i'gBO. 315 

sible, more valuable offerings, to try to avert the 
impending danger, and this is called Erise ndo, or 
" I cut on both sides." Kamdllo means " one going 
about everywhere and in all directions." Another 
evil spirit is named Igw'ihdlla ; alia, meaning " ground," 
and Tffwik, "one who lived above before coming 
down." In Isuama if a man is sick, the doctor often 
tells the friends to consult Igwihalla, and he is also 
worshipped by persons wishing to injure others. His 
supposed abode is generally in a bush, which has been 
well cleared all round, but occasionally huts are 
dedicated to him, and priests execute his decrees. 

Throughout I'gbo the bodies of the dead are 
generally interred. In Abo this is invariably done, 
and the grave is always in the hut of the deceased, 
but this does not prevent the place remaining in- 
habited. In Abo slaves used always to be sacrificed 
on such occasions, and so late as the decease of King 
Obi, Simon Jonas told me that forty slaves were 
killed, these being specially purchased for this horrid 
purpose, domestic slaves never being so treated. As 
far as I could learn, however, this practice is gradually 
dying out at Abo, if it is not altogether extinct. 
Graves, therefore, of chiefs are large pits, into which 
are first thrown a number of dead slaves, then the 
body of the departed, and lastly some more slaves. 
In Isuama it is only rich persons who are buried in 
their own houses, the bodies of slaves being simply 
interred in the bush. In Isuama a part only of the 
clothes of the deceased are thrown into the grave, but 


in Abo almost tlie entire wardrobe and all tlie 
ornaments descend with their late possessors into the 
tomb ; thus women, too, are buried with their rings 
and anklets, a practice which serves to keep up the 
enormous price of the latter, which, again, are seldom, 
if ever, worn in Isuama. 

In E'lugu, 1 Bullocks are killed aud eaten, guns are 

Isuflma, > fired, Dancing and other amusements 

Ebilne, J take place. 

In Ab6, 


In addition to these above mentioned, 
slaves are killed. 

In I'gbo time is measured by years ; by seasons, as 
the dry season, the rainy season, &c. ; by moons, of 
course about twenty-eight days; and lastly, by a 
shorter period, analogous to our week, but consisting 
only of four days. These are termed as follows : — 

First day, E'ke, Third day, Nkwo, 

Second day, O'ri, Fourth day, A'fo. 

E'ke corresponds to our Sunday, and on it no 
regular work is done. Some pass this day in idle- 
ness, others consult their O'fo TsJmJcu and other images 
or sacrifice to them. But they are not very strict 
about its observance. This last division of time shows 
itself in many ways, thus their markets are held every 
four days. 

The food of the inhabitants of I'gbo consists of 
yams, corn, rice, bananas, plantains, coco-nuts, palm- 
oil, and other esculent vegetable matters, also fowls, 
sheep, goats, bullocks, or the flesh of any wild animals. 

CHAP. X.] I'GBO. 317 

Dogs are occasionally eaten at Abo, as also in Igara 
and - Nupe, but not so regularly as in Bini, Oru, 
Nimbe, Ebane, and New Kalabar. There is a con- 
siderable traffic carried on at Abo in dogs, which are 
purchased at Idda, and are sold to supply the 
delta of the river. The price of a large dog is 
usually one bag of salt, and of a small one, one piece 
(seven fathoms) of common calico. Cats are pro- 
cured from Idda for killing vermin, but are not used 
as food. Rats are eaten, as far as I could learn, at 
Nimbe (Brass). Monkeys are prized as food all along 
the river, except by the Hausa Muhammadans, who 
hold this animal in great abhorrence. ' At Abo a great 
medium of barter is salt, which is brought up from 
Nimbe and from Bini, and is always in demand. 
Slaves are almost always purchased with salt, the 
jprices varying somewhat according to the condition 
of the market. The average price of a stout male 
slave is from ten to twelve bags of salt, or from 
60,000 to 70,000 cowries, and for a good-looking 
young female, eight to ten bags of salt, or from 45,000 
to 50,000 cowries. 

Throughout I'gbo great wars are now seldom heard 
of, but petty quarrels often occur. The last time Abo 
was at war was about 1851, with Dasaba, when one 
Abo man, and ten or twelve of Dasaba's party were 
killed. The usual style of disputes generally ends in 
the capture of a canoe, or the confiscation of a cargo. 
When King Boy was at Abo, in 1842, about the 
time of Lieutenant Webb's visit in the " Wilberforce," 


Obi taxed him with having been concerned in Mr. 
Carr's murder, which, however, Boy would not admit. 
But his precipitate retreat from Abo was looked on as 
strong evidence of his guilt, and from that period 
none of his canoes ever came to Abo until about three 
years before our visit, at w^hich time several arrived 
for trading purposes. A quarrel, however, soon took 
place, which ended in the Abo people seizing the 
cargoes, and the Nimbe men retreating and carrying 
off some Abo canoes. Since then friendly relations 
have been dropped, but a year before the arrival of 
the " Pleiad," two headmen had been deputed to go 
to Nimbe to try and settle difiPerences. But various 
diplomatic difl&culties and delays had occurred, and 
when I heard the story, the Abo envoys were still 
residing at the court of Nimbe. 

Not to lose time in the Delta, we were under steam 
as soon as we could distinguish our way. Mr. 
Guthrie told me, from the trials he had made, that 
shea-butter was not well adapted for the engines, 
being dii^ty and too solid, and that it was only fit 
for lubricating slides. The palm-kernel oil again was 
excellent, quite as good as the castor-oil of India, 
and could be employed in any part where the engine 
was warm, but not for the shaft, where only olive-oil 
could be used. The character of the vegetation on 
the river's banks w^as now changing. Bomhacea 
were becoming abundant and seemed to replace the 
Adansonice of the upper regions. About nine o'clock 
observing much cut w^ood near a village, we anchored 

CHAP. X.] IGBO. 319 

close off it, and going ashore easily purchased for 
trinkets a considerable quantity. The village, which 
is the first one in the Oru country, is named Agberi, and 
the chief, called Agbekiim, had been on board as we 
passed on our ascent. Since that time he had been on a 
pilgrimage to A'ro, to inquire why his wife had no 
children, and from this place he had but just retiu-ned. 
Mr. Crowther and I were delighted at such an 
opportunity presenting itself of getting some direct 
information about this mysterious place, so as soon 
as the trading operations were fairly set a-going, we 
got closeted with this man in his hut. He was still 
dju-dju, but we did not feel any particular dread in 
sitting by him, and besides as strangers it was 
permitted to us to visit him. He went by canoe 
from Agberi to a creek nearly opposite Abo, 
and entering it, proceeded to a place named 
Igbdma (Egboma ?), whence he finished his journey 
by land. On arriving at A'ro the priests gave 
him some yellow powder, which he showed us, 
and which they said would kill him if his heart were 
bad : he also exhibited some articles, as guardian 
images, also obtained from the priests. He was un- 
willing to speak freely of Tshuku, whom he told us 
could not be seen, but could only be heard through 
the priests. He told us there were many people 
from Old Kalabar living in A'ro, and also some whom 
he termed " Ibibi," whom I believe to be from the 
country known to white traders as " Egboshari," near 
the Cross river, as the E'fik name for that place is 


Ibibio. We saw here an A'ro slave, when I had an 
opportunity of examining the distinguishing mark of 
that place, to which I have already alluded. Some 
of the people were much interested in seeing Mr. 
Crowther writing, and were extremely astonished 
when handing his note-book to me, I read " Agberi " 
and "Agbekum," the names of their town and of 
their chief. The chief said that if any intimation 
had been given to his people, they could have col- 
lected plenty of palm-oil ready for us to ship now. 
He told us also, that the nearest district inland from 
Agberi was Akpofia (Mbohia), from the borders of 
which they were distant about a day's journey, or 
from fifteen to twenty miles ; while we were wooding, 
Mr. May measured the breadth of the river, and 
got a meridian altitude of the sun. This latter con- 
firmed a careful observation taken at Abo two days 
previously, the result of which was altering the lati- 
tude of Abo by eight miles.* About half-past twelve 
we were under steam, proceeding towards the sea, and 
passing many villages, off none of which we called, 
being desu^ous, if possible, of getting as far as Angiama. 
During the afternoon we had a very fresh breeze blow- 
ing up the river with occasional rain. We continued 
until nearly seven o'clock, when as it was becoming too 
dark to see our way clearly, and Mr. May having to 

* On mentioning this since our return to Captain Allen, that gentleman 
said he would have little doubt in preferring Mr. May's observations to 
his own, as the latter were taken twice, and with an artificial horizon, 
while his were taken with an imperfect natural horizon, and while he was 
suffering from indisposition. 

CHAP. X.J 1 GBO. 321 

revise this part of his chart, we anchored off the lower 
mouth of the Wilberforce Channel. This channel is 
in Allen and Thomson's Narrative * called the O'gu- 
borlh river, but I see on referring to Vogel's Journal,! 
that on asking some natives who were at a distance 
their name for it, they only fancied that they gave it 
as " Oguberri." I should rather think that there is 
some mistake here, and that this name does not refer 
to the river at all, as I always found that they had 
but one designation for the river and its branches, 
viz., " Osimini," except when they described any 
creek as leading to a certain place. This was about 
one of the most unpleasant anchorages which we had 
during our voyage, the air was close and unhealthy, 
and we could by the moonlight see large patches of 
mist hanging about the tops of the trees. Mos- 
quitoes crowded on board, possibly to welcome us on 
our return, but the pleasure of meeting was not 
reciprocal, nor could we persuade them to take a 
(juiet hint and retire. I detected one settling in the 
most cool and impudent manner on the back of my 
hand, preparing to enjoy an extemporary banquet. I 
fancied I recognized this savage intruder as being the 
same which had, during our ascent, committed on me 
an assault to the effusion of blood, but in the heat 
of my indignation I sacrificed this sanguinary gnat, 
without allowing time for mutual recognition, so that 
this question of identity must remain for ever a 
doubtful point in history. 

* Vol. i. p. 1S4. t Page 50. 



The morning brought with it no refreshing breeze, 
and all around us was enveloped in mist. During 
the night there had been heavy rain, and occasional 
showers continued until daybreak. As soon as we 
could see we weighed anchor, and dropping down 
about two miles were abreast of Angiama, where, as 
the water was deep, we hauled alongside the bank. 
Mr. Crowther and I immediately landed, and found 
the place intolerably wet and muddy. The moist 
ground was yielding abundant malarious exhalations, 
and the sun's rays had not yet succeeded in pene- 
trating through the murky atmosphere. Tor the 
first time I was conscious of a disagreeable, sickly 
smell, and after a short time felt so faint that I had 
to return on board and get something to revive 
myself. Before this, however, we had found out the 
King's house, and telling him we wanted fuel, re- 
quested him to desire his people to sell it to us. 
After we had firmly established commercial relations, 
I had a second interview with the King, whose name 
is Ndawa, to whom I spoke of the folly of his people 
in trying to obstruct the free navigation of the river, 
and in attempting to keep all trade in their own 
hands. I told him we were desirous of being 
friendly with them, but that if ever the Oru men 
tried to oppose or injure us, we had the power, and 
should feel obliged to resort to force ; but that 
instead of driving us to employ such unpleasant 
means, how much better would it be for all, were 
enmity laid aside, and quarrelling, which woidd only 

CHAP. X.] I GBO. 323 

lead to bloodshed, entirely foresworn. To all this 
the King returned most peaceable replies, and ended 
by giving me a sheep, and some yams and coco-nuts, 
on which I presented him with a red cloak, which 
pleased him no less than it delighted the spectators. 
On walking through the town I fell in with a doctor's 
shop, a great curiosity, but was unable to see the 
learned gentleman himself, and to claim him as a pro- 
fessional brother. It was a small room, wonderfully 
clean, and painted, the sides being striped with blue, 
black, red, and white, and the back checked with 
the same colom-s. Two pots of herbs in steep were 
placed on a tripod, composed of three branches 
springing from a common origin. Two divining 
rods, many long pointed sticks, (one cut like a 
crocodile's head, another carved to resemble a tortoise, 
and a third painted rudely to represent a man,) were 
in different corners, while hanging around the walls 
were numerous strings of cowries and other charms. 
Coco-palms were very abundant, and at that time 
hung all round with fruit. This is the place where 
Lander was attacked when returning in an open boat 
to rejoin Oldfield. Since that time the village has 
been moved about 300 yards further up, but the 
place opposite which he received his mortal wound 
is marked by a tall palm-tree. We left Angiama 
about a quarter past nine, with the intention of 
having no more stoppages until we arrived at the 
mouth of the river; we passed many crowded 
villages, the inhabitants of which gathered along the 


banks to observe us. As the water permitted, we gene- 
rally steamed near the bank, for the purpose of inquiring 
the names of the towns ; but the people usually replied 
by telling us to come ashore and find out for our- 
selves, for which we had neither time nor inclina- 
tion. Palms were gradually increasing in number, 
and after passing Sunday Island, we came upon our 
old friends the mangroves. Just above Louis' Creek, 
the soundings, it being low ebb, decreased greatly ; for 
a short time we had only one fathom ; but we 
cautiously advanced under Mr. Richards's skilful 
pilotage, and presently at the mouth of the creek, 
again were able to steam on boldly ahead. A few 
minutes more and we were gratified by having a 
distant view of the sea, and of being refreshed by 
the cool sea-breeze. At a quarter past three, we 
anchored off Baracoon Point, exactly sixteen weeks 
from the time we had left it behind us when upward 
bound, and we felt especially thankful that we had 
all been spared to return in health and strength 
after a four months' sojourn up the river Niger. 

There appeared to be a heavy sea on the bar, but 
as that did not concern us, we spent the remaining 
portion of daylight in clearing out the canoes and 
getting them ready for towing, and in getting the coals, 
&c., they contained on deck. The evening was clear 
and cloudless, and about nine o'clock we had a good 
opportunity of watching a partial eclipse of the moon. 

Early in the morning Mr. May and Mr. Richards 
went in the gig by the creek to the Brass river, to 

CHAP. X.] I'GBO. 325 

endeavour to get some news. The hands on board 
resumed their task of clearing out the canoes. At 
6 "30 and 6 4 5 a.m., we heard guns in the distance, 
and fancying that they might be from some ships 
in the offing, we repUed to them, but we subsequently 
ascertained that they had been fired by the ships at 
the mouth of the Brass river, a distance from us of 
ten miles. Some heavy thunder-clouds wdth rain 
passed over us from time to time during the day. 
At half-past eight work was knocked off, and at ten 
we had church service, when Mr. Crowther offered 
up a special thanksgiving for the return of the 
expedition with the entire crew in safety. In the after- 
noon we prepared for sea, securing the deck cargo, 
and passing the canoes astern, as I was anxious to 
attempt the bar in the morning. I had been desirous 
to get to the mouth of the river at this time, being 
just after the top of the spring tides, when the bar 
could be most easily crossed, and luckily we had 
been able to hit om- time very nicely. About sun- 
set Mr. May and Mr. Richards retiu-ned, having had 
a pleasant cruize, but having been unsuccessful in 
obtaining any European intelligence later than what 
we were aware of in July, when we left Fernando Po, 
so cut off from home news are many of the palm-oil 
ships. Mr. May ascertained that the town marked 
as Brass Town in the maps is incorrectly so named, 
it being called Tuwon, the true Brass Town of white 
traders, or Nimbe, being thirty-five miles from the 
sea. As an example of the conduct at times of 


civilized people, I will here relate what had occurred 
in. the Brass river very shortly before this period. A 
white trader, then agent for an English house, had, 
out of a mere freak, ordered a native who came on 
board his ship one day to be seized and flogged. 
This lad's father, however, was a man of consequence 
on shore, and, on hearing of this outrage, he summoned 
his friends, and in two large canoes attacked and 
boarded the ship. The white Captain armed his 
Kruboys with muskets, but they, unwilling to quarrel 
with the natives, or to fight in a bad cause, gave way : 
the captain then retreated towards his cabin, but just 
as he was entering it, he was laid violent hands on, 
in the scuffle had one of his thumbs nearly cut off, 
was put into a canoe, taken ashore, and fastened to a 
tree, where he was left for twelve hours, and the 
natives said openly they would have killed him, but 
that they feared a visit from an English man-of-war. 
This same individual trained his Krumen to fight with 
the Krumen of the other trading ships in the river, 
and in short, endeavoured to carry on his trading by 
brute force. Such transactions as these were formerly 
of daily occurrence, but now fortunately they occur 
but rarely ; but w^hat can be expected of native tribes, 
who see before them, acted by so-called civilized men, 
deeds which would disgrace a very savage ? 

About nine o'clock a canoe from Brass came along- 
side, bringing two black men, coopers, natives of 
British Akra, who begged of me to take them away. 
From their statement it appeared that they had been 

CHAP. X.] I GtBO. 327 

in the employ of the supercargo to whom I have 
above alluded, but had been summarily dismissed by 
him some eight or nine months previously, without 
their wages being paid, and since they had been living 
on shore in a very poor way, chiefly by the kindness of 
the man who now brought them in his canoe. They 
had on several occasions tried to get away from Brass, 
by ships leaving, but their captain had always inter- 
fered to prevent this, and the masters of vessels to 
whom they had applied, unwilling to give offence to 
the stronger party, or anxious to avoid any misunder- 
standing, had invariably refused them. I examined 
the men separately, and got the same story from each, 
and their tale was confirmed by the native. I had no 
jurisdiction, nor had I the means of inquiring into 
the merits of their case ; however, it would not do to 
leave the poor fellows to their fate. I therefore 
resolved to look on them as distressed British sub- 
jects, and determined to carry them to the nearest 
English consulate, when I could hand them over to 
the authorities. I paid the native for his kindness 
in caring for them, that he might know that all white 
men are not ungrateful brutes. This man told us 
that the native name for Brass is Nimbe, but that by 
Abo it is termed Itebu. Nimbe calls Oru, Ejo. The 
Brass dialect differs but slightly from that of Oru, 
Akassa is, he said, an Oru village. The Brass name 
for the Nun is Akassa toro, for the Bio Bento, 
Tuwon toro, for the San Nicolas, Kola toro, for 
the New Kalabar river, Kalaba toro, for the Bonny, 


Okuloba toro, and for the Old Kalabar, Eflngi toro, 
toro being water or a river. The Brass mark con- 
sists of six short perpendicular incisions, between the 
eye and the ear. 

Of the measures employed as hygienic most were 
of a general nature, the only more specific one being 
the free use of quinine. The amount of sickness 
was very little, so that, except with the scorbutic 
cases. Dr. Hutchinson's really medical duties were 
not onerous. Of the Europeans, the most exposed to 
climatial influences, were Mr. Harcus, Mr. Guthrie, 
Mr. May, and myself. Mr. Harcus was chiefly 
exposed during the day, and suffered only from fre- 
quent headaches from the eff'ects of the sun's rays. 
Mr. Guthrie, besides undergoing daily an immense 
amount of fatigue, slept regularly on deck, and never- 
theless escaped entirely. Mr. May and I were ashore 
whenever opportunities occurred, and as often by 
night as by day ; we had frequently to land in 
swamps and other unhealthy spots, yet Mr. May had 
only one very short and not severe febrile attack. I, 
in addition, always slept on deck, and was roused 
regularly at twelve o'clock, and at three in the 
morning, for the purpose of recording meteorological 
observations, but while in the river, I had constant 
health. I mention these circumstances to show, that 
under proper precautions, Europeans may not only 
live quietly, but even commit with impunity what, 
some years ago, would have been considered as 
terrible indiscretions. 



Most of us on board were more or less excited^ 
The white men were anxiously debating on how the 
bar might turn out for our purpose of crossing it ; 
the Sierra Leone people were rejoiced at leaving the 
river in safety ; and the Kruboys were wild with 
delight at the speedy prospect of seeing again their 
homes and their wives. Everyone was early astir, 
long before daylight, but even then we were, to our 
great joy, able to satisfy ourselves that a slight land- 
breeze was in existence. The tide was not yet 
suitable, the flood running strongly, but at length 
we weighed anchor for the last time, and steaming 
slowly down, were off Palm Point at six o'clock, at 
which time we could barely make out anything half- 
a-mile from us. But there was no swell, no sound 
of rushing breakers, and no signs of a south-westerly 
breeze, all of which augm^ed well. By this time it 
was about slack water, so we pushed forward at full 
steam, and at a quarter to seven had crossed the 
bar, without having encountered a single roller, and 
never having had less than three fathoms water. 


Mr. Richards told me this was his eighth passage, and 
he had never once before seen the water so smooth. 
There are three passages across the Nun bar, one to 
the westward, examined by Mr. Beecroft, which is 
long and narrow, but deep ; one in the middle, which 
is in every sense intermediate ; and an eastern one 
broader, but with less water, which was the one by 
which we left the river. For steamers it does not 
matter much, but as the tide sweeps across them, it is 
of consequence that sailing vessels should select the 
one which allows of most room, as often when it is 
most needed, just in the breakers, the breeze fails. 
After having come out by the eastern passage, it is 
necessary to keep along shore, towards Brass, for a 
couple of miles. A light breeze sprung up from the 
south-west, which filled our square-sail and helped us 
along. We observed a sail, which was soon made out 
to be a schooner at anchor, from which we saw a boat 
putting off, and shortly afterwards Captain Robertson, 
of the schooner " Mary," of Fernando Po, came on 
board of us. He brought us a newspaper, an im- 
mense treat to us, though it was some three months' 
old, and it gave us an account of the early part of 
the Russian war. This little vessel was bound from 
Bonny to the Benin river, but had been retarded by 
light winds, and a strong current running east-south- 
east two knots. Nothing else occurred dm-ing the 
day ; our provisions now consisted of yams and sar- 
dines, and, although we had plenty of these, and 
they were very good, some discontent showed itself, 


a few of our voyagers fancying themselves on the 
verge of starvation. On the afternoon of the 
7th November we were near Cape Bullen, so deco- 
rating ourselves as far as our means would allow, we 
steered into Clarence Cove, and firing a salute, which 
was returned by Governor Lynslager's formidable 
battery, we anchored at twenty minutes to six o'clock. 
I at once landed, and going up to the Governor's, 
who was also acting-consul, and Mr. Laird's agent, 
I reported our arrival, and telling him that as my 
connection with the " Pleiad " was now at an end, 
I resigned all further charge over her, and requested 
him to take the requisite steps for handing her over 
to Mr. Taylor, or to whomsoever he thought proper, 
which he at once undertook to do. I also delivered 
over the two Akra men, whose case he undertook to 
investigate, and to forward. The most pleasant por- 
tion of our business yet remained, namely, getting 
our letters, none of us having heard anything from 
Em-ope later than the 24th of May. And singularly 
enough, I believe, throughout the whole batch of cor- 
respondence, not one of us received any disagreeable 
news. The papers told us of the landing of the 
allied troops in the Crimea, and of the glorious battle 
of the Alma, so that we had plenty to occupy our 
thoughts. Having now the means, I gave, on my 
return on board, all hands a glass of grog, while the 
Kruboys got the large drum to have a dance, and 
celebrate, after their own fashion, their happy return. 
Next morning I discharged Mr. Richards, Mr. 


Scott, and Simon Jonas, whom I had engaged at 
Clarence. 1 then got as many of my things ashore 
as possible, and locking up the remainder, took my 
final leave of the little " Pleiad," on board of which 
I had spent four eventful months. Mr. Crowther 
took up his abode with a friend on shore, w^hile we 
Were much indebted to the kind hospitality of the 
Governor, and of Mr. Snape, who accommodated in 
their comfortable houses, Mr. May, my assistant 
Mr. Dalton, and myself, and where we kept clear 
from the disputes and disagreements which daily 
occurred on board of the steamer. 

Our time at Clarence was spent in anything but 
idleness, we had om' journals to write up, our instru- 
ments and collections to pack for the voyage home, 
and Mr. May had to make a clean copy of his chart, 
and to go over many of his calculations. I had ex- 
pected to find waiting for me further instructions as 
to my procedure, but as none had arrived, I was left 
to act according to the best of my judgment. 

Among the residents at Clarence at that time w^as 
Peppel, ex-King of Bonny, who was living there in a 
somewhat anomalous condition. By various means 
he had become very unpopular with his subjects, 
which involved English traders in the river in such 
difficulties, that the late Mr. Consul Beecroft had to 
go to Bonny to endeavom- to settle matters. As a 
precautionary measure, as threats of assassination 
were openly talked of, he recommended King Peppel 
to go over to Fernando Po, and with a httle persuasion 


got him on board H.M.S. "Antelope," by which 
vessel he was, in February, 1854, conveyed to 
Clarence. He had, however, been kept since, it is 
said in accordance with orders from England, as a 
kind of prisoner at large, of which he was well aware, 
but against which he urgently remonstrated. The 
very night of Mr. Beecroft's death, he tried to escape 
by the " Bacchante " steamer, and he had since made 
another attempt. He came and paid me a visit, 
which I returned, and we soon became very friendly. 
He is a tall, intelligent-looking person, but with a 
rather cunning eye. He speaks English very fairly, 
and can sustain a long conversation. His remarks 
were extremely shrewd, and he avoided making any 
very strong statements. He became King of Bonny 
on the 9th of April, 1837, since which period his 
name has become well-known along the coasts of the 
Bight of Biafra, and his influence extended far into 
the I'gbo country, reaching to Abo. Of course in the 
accounts he gave me, he always put the best com- 
plexion to all his proceedings, a version of things 
which I afterwards had occasion greatly to modify. 
His acquaintance with the English form of govern- 
ment, and his general fund of information much sur- 
prised me ; he knew the names and offices of all the 
cabinet ministers, and often referred to WelHngton and 
to Napoleon. Of the latter he was a great admirer, 
and alluding one day to the fate of that greatest of 
generals and of politicians, he proceeded, parva commo- 
ner e viagnis, to sketch a resemblance between his 


own detention in Fernando Po, and that of the French 
Emperor at St. Helena. " Why," said he in his 
pecuHar way, and pointing to a print of Buonaparte, 
" why your gubberment keep me here, I no do bad 
hke he, I be free man, I be King." Whatever my 
thoughts were I could only reply, that, were he injured, 
doubtless before long, and as soon as government 
knew accurately of his case, he would be fully com- 
pensated, as the maxim of England was to dispense 
even-handed justice to all. He exhibited a document 
from the consul, stating that he had no authority for 
considering him as a prisoner, and he likewise showed 
me two letters or certificates, signed by two English 
trading captains, who testified that, being present 
w^hen Peppel left Bonny, he did so of his own free- 
will and accord, and he wound up by observing that 
our behaviour to him would lessen our influence 
among the palm-oil tribes. 

Peppel usually appears in European boots and 
trousers, with a loose shirt as an external covering ; 
in his left hand he carries a long silver-headed stick, 
his right arm being useless, from an attack of hemi- 
plegia or partial paralysis, induced, it is said, by 
undue indulgence in strong drinks and the pleasures 
of a Bonny table, and too great devotion to his 
numerous wives and concubines. By an. agreement 
with his people, they were to allow him while absent 
at the rate of £300 a-year, and he said nearly 
two years' arrears were due by our government of 
the sum stipulated to be paid him by the treaty for 


abolishing the slave-trade, which latter I understand 
he has religiously adhered to. He gave me at 
different times much information about Bonny, 
and some specimens of the language, v^^hich will 
appear in the Appendix. He said the first King 
Peppel,* derived his title from selling pepper to 
Em'opean traders, from which the article he dealt in 
became his own designation, one letter, as is often 
the case, being substituted for another. The revenue 
derived of late by Peppel from the increased palm- 
oil trade, must be little short of, if it does not equal, 
that made in the palmiest days of the slave-trade. 
His income from shipping dues and other sources, 
I have heard reckoned, on sound authority, at from 
£15,000 to £20,000 a-year. The Bonny people 
claim an I'gbo descent. Their territory, which is not 
very extensive, is by them named Ebane, whence 
Bonny. By the I'gbos, it is pronounced Obane, 
and by New Kalabar Ibane. The Bonny-town or 
Grand Bonny-town of the English is correctly Oku- 
loma, by Brass called Okuloba, for which I heard at 
Bonny the followhig derivation. When people first 
came to this place to build a town, they found it a 
vast swamp, where bred numbers of a bird re- 
sembling a curlew, which they called Okulo. After 
settlers became numerous these birds deserted the 

* " And then Pepprell, the King's brother, made us a discourse, &c." 
" We had again a long discourse with the King, and Pepprell his brother, 
concerning the rates of our goods and his customs. This Pepprell being 
a sharp blade, and a mighty talking Plack, &c." See Barbot's Voyage to 
New Calabar, 1699, in Churchill's Voyages and Travels, vol. v. p. 559. 


spot, vvhence they said Okuloma, i.e., the curlews fly 
away. Peppel said that Abo men often called Bonny 
Osimini-ku, but I have myself at Abo heard of 
Okuloma. New Kalabar is in Bonny named Kara- 
bari, but is also known as Bom ; the language 
differs somewhat from the Ebane, but not so much as 
to prevent people of the one tribe from understanding 
those of the other. Oru is known at Bonny as Ejo or 
Eso. Bonny men talk of Abo as E'be and A'be, but 
sometimes distinguish between Abo and Okurotumbi 
in Oru, styling the one Abo'ba or Great Abo, and the 
other Abo'nta or Little Abo, so that Lander was not 
so far wrong about " Little Eboe " after all. Bonny 
people do not make their own canoes, but purchase 
them from the Bassa people in Oru. Much palm-oil 
is bought by Bonny traders in Ndoki, which place is 
known to them as Mina. Among places mentioned 
to me by Peppel as known to himself were Ndeli, 
U'zuzu, Ikpofia, Egane, and A'bua, these being 
written according to his pronunciation. Ndoki, 
Ngsva, and parts of Isuama and E'lugu, can, he stated, 
be reached by canoe. He also said that A'ro, to 
which his people make pilgrimages as well as the Lgbos, 
is from four to five days' journey from Bonny-town. 
In Bonny no national mark is employed, but in New 
Kalabar some mark along the forehead over the eyes 
and shave parts of the head. Between Bonny and 
New Kalabar is a small territory named Okrika, in- 
habited by a separate tribe, but tributary to Bonny. 
The people from this place never trade directly with 

cuAP. XI.] FERNANDO PO. 337 

white men, but are obliged to sell their articles either 
to New Kalabar or Bonny traders ; they spend much 
of their time in canoes, and are great fishermen. 
Beyond New Kalabar are people living on the river 
Sombreiro, who speak a dialect nearly approaching to 
that of New Kalabar, to which place they bring palm- 
oil. To the eastward of Bonny are the Ad6ni or 
Andoni people living on the river Andoni or St. Do- 
mingo. About 1848 or 1849, there was a war 
between Bonny and Adoni, which ended in the sub- 
jugation of the latter. The religion of all these places 
is fetish paganism, the dju-dju or sacred object of 
Bonny being the Iguana, of Okrika the pigeon, and 
of New Kalabar the shark. Further along, at Brass 
or Nimbe the snake is the dju-dju. At Bonny the 
week of seven days has for some time been adopted, 
but formerly, king Peppel informed me, the week was 
one of eight days, of which he gave me the names 
of five, but he had forgotten the others. At Bonny 
and in that neighbourhood blue balf or calico is used 
as mourning, at the Benin river and in that direction 
white baflp is similarly employed, while at Brass both 
are worn. Old Kalabar is known at Bonny as well 
as in I'gbo as Efiki, and at A'ro they talk of a people 
living near or among the E'fik, whom they call Mon 
or Mong. Old Kalabar is not known at all at Abo. 
At Bonny yams are not cultivated, for home use a 
few are got from Okrika, but the greatest supply is 
from the market at Ogobendo ; the ships again have 
to send for this valuable tuber to Fernando Po. 


Chiefly from Mr. Siiape, who has spent some years 
ill the Rio Formoso, I got much information about 
the countries near BIni (Benin). In many old maps 
this large and important town is named Oedo, evidently 
the same word as we met with in the district called 
Ado or Edd, opposite Igara, and derived from the 
same source. The present king is a young man, and 
succeeded to the throne about 1850, at which time 
several hundred slaves were killed, and the anniver- 
sary of his father's death is yet annually observed in 
the same sanguinary manner. This king is favour- 
able to the English, and does what he can to promote 
trade ; of articles brought from the interior to Bini, 
part goes to Lagos, part to the ships in the Rio 
Formoso. Bini is a good day's journey distant from 
the town of Gato or Agato, which is situated up a 
long, narrow creek, communicating with the river. 
It was lately visited by an English trader, who was 
kindly received. Agato is the place where Belzoni 
breathed his last, and though it is usually said that 
he died of dysentery, yet the natives who remember 
him all assert that he was poisoned, and that the 
person who administered the poison to him is stiU 
alive. This person is the head dju-dju man, or high- 
priest of Bini ; he resides at Agato, and is a great 
rogue. He is well-known to the English by the 
name of Parsons, and it is thought that Belzoni's 
papers are yet in his possession, as he is not known 
to have destroyed them — he will not part with them 
to any of the white traders, but it is said that he 


would deliver them to any stranger coming especially 
for them. The people in the country below and near 
Agato use a mark, thus ••', on the temples, opposite 
each eye. Up the Rio Formoso, towards the Abo 
territory, live a people speaking a distinct language, 
who bring palm-oil to the trading ships, and who are 
called Sobo, being tributary to Bini. A district to 
the westward of the lower part of the river, near its 
mouth, is called Tshekeri, but which is known in Abo 
as Iwine, which name they commonly apply to all 
traders from the Eini countries. In Nimbe Tshekeri 
is called " Senama." The town of Tshekeri, up a 
short creek, formerly a place of some importance, is 
now nearly deserted. The son of one of the chiefs of 
this place, whose name was Wako, built a town up 
another creek, nearer to the sea, and this he called 
Jakwa. On his death, two of his sons, who were 
born within a few hours of each other, disputed the 
succession, Djeri, having the larger party, retained 
Jakwa, while his brother, Hefia, moved to another 
creek near the channel leading to Lagos, and there 
founded another town, which Avas termed Jakwatia, 
and which is now nearly as large as Jakwa. The 
Tshekeri people bring much oil for sale, but very 
little of it is the produce of their own country. 
Nearer to the north-west point the inhabitants differ, 
and are probably connected with Ijebus, and along 
the coast are many groups of huts of this people. To 
the east and south-east of the Rio Tormoso, is the 
large district of Wari, inhabited by tribes of the Ejo, 

z 2 


or Orii. Their chief town, or AVari, mentioned by 
older writers as Owarree, was visited by Mr. Beecroft, 
and is about a day and a half's journey by canoe 
from the anchorage. A large branch of the river, 
about three-quarters of a mile broad at its junction, 
leads to this town. W4ri, though semi-independent, 
yet pays some tribute to Bini. The late King Te, of 
Wari, had two sons, born so nearly at the same time, 
that each contests for priority, and, on the death of 
their father, contended for the throne. Neither of 
them are as yet of age, and Te's principal wife, named 
DoUa, acts as Regent, and the one son resides at 
Wari, and the other at Bateri, nearer the Rio Formoso. 
Up the various creeks and branches, the waters are 
infested by a wild, piratical set, who live almost 
entirely iu their canoes, and who subsist by plunder- 
ing traders while on their way to markets, often 
adding murder to their other crimes. They extend 
their ravages from the Brass river on the one side, as 
far as the Lagos creek on the other, and in the Rio 
Formoso they are known to the English as Jo-men, 
evidently a corruption of Ejo. A few years ago 
they became so troublesome, and did so much injury 
by interrupting trade, that the masters and super- 
cargoes in the river, after having applied to the consul 
for advice and interference, to which no reply was 
received, fitted out some armed canoes for the pur- 
pose of chastising these river pirates, which they 
managed to effect. Salt from the lagoons, near 
Tshekeri, is transported in considerable quantity into 


the interior ; and another commercial article is a kind 
of wood named " salt wood," which grows on the 
borders of the salt, swampy creeks; this is annually cut 
and burnt, and the residue, which forms a semi-vitrified 
looking mass, is sold as salt. 

Being anxious to learn a little of the singular 
people who inhabit Feraando Po, a little excursion 
was planned to go to one of their towns, which had 
not been visited by white men for several years. 
Accordingly a party, including Mr. Crowther, Mr, 
Snape, and myself, with Mr. Richards as our inter* 
preter, started one morning by boat from Goderich 
Bay. We pulled about a couple of miles along shore, 
and then landing, proceeded on foot. Heavy rain 
had fallen during the previous night, leaving the 
ground very soft and muddy. Our way was by a 
narrow foot-path, with barely room for single file, up 
a considerable ascent ; and as we walked along we 
sank nearly ankle-deep every step we took, rendering 
the labour of progression very great. We had always 
seen the Fernandians coming into Clarence with long 
sticks in their hands, the use of which we could not 
make out until to-day, when we found it almost 
impossible to proceed, or to avoid tumbling, without 
such sticks. On either side of us was thick forest 
— palm-trees being very numerous. Many native 
huts for the manufactm'e of palm-oil were seen, and 
bunches of the fruit were hanging in the sun, which is 
the usual practice before proceeding to boil them. 
Each native marks his own tree, though sometimes one 


plant may have several owners, who work in concert. 
We observed many palms which had not been touched 
for years, and were now entirely covered with climbers. 
The oil-palms are sought after partly for the exuded 
juice, or palm-Avine, and partly for the fruit, which is 
eaten as food, as w^ell as used for the manufacture of 
oil. 1 saw many most interesting plants, of which I 
intended to have secured specimens during our 
return ; among others one known as " Malaghetta," 
probably the "Bastard Malaghetta." AVhen about 
three-fourths of om' w^ay, our path was crossed by a 
gushing mountain-stream, over which w^e passed on 
large stepping-stones, when, resting for a few minutes, 
we were refreshed by a draught of most deliciously 
cold water, one of the highest treats in tropical 
regions, A little farther on and we reached an 
elevated plateau, where the ground had been partially 
cleared, and where was situated the town of Basipu, 
of which we had been in quest. The distance from 
the landing-place was only three miles, but the 
shocking state of the road made it appear, to judge 
at least from the fatio-ue it occasioned, as fullv double. 
As I mentioned, no European had been at Basipu for 
several years, on account of a quarrel with the natives, 
so that the first people who met us were alarmed, and 
rushed away from us ; but on w^alking into the toAvn 
Mr. Richards was recognized, and so we all became 
good friends. We went into the hut of the chief, and 
there sat down. It was a sorry afi'air, but it sheltered 
us from the sun, which was now getting very power- 

cn\p. XT.] FERNANDO PO. 843 

ful. The huts are all oblong, and constructed in an 
exceedingly slim manner, consisting of upright sticks, 
with the intervening spaces badly closed, and with a 
very poor thatch, so that in wet weather they can- 
not afford much shelter. The chief was very civil 
to us, but not at all communicative, and though 
much pressed, would not tell me any of the tradi- 
tions of his race, or what was their native name. 
He said if I wished to know more of them, that he 
would some day call a meeting of chiefs of villages, 
and ask them to take the matter into consideration. 
The Fernandians are commonly known by the title 
of Bicbl, which, however, is only taken from their 
mode of address, Biibi meaning friend. Their true 
appellation has been said to be Adiya (Adeeyah),* 
but on asking the chief if this were correct, he said 
it was not, but that Adiya was the name they gave 
either to Clarence, or to the white people residing in 
it. I had previously asked Mr. Richards and some 
others at Clarence, who spoke the Femandian language 
fluently, and who had been much among the people, 
if they knew the term Adiya, but not one of them 
knew it. I therefore am inclined to hold, that for 
the present the native designation of the Fernandians 
must be considered as doubtful. Their language 

* The chief authority for this name is Dr. Thomson, R.N., in one of 
the volumes of the Philological Ti-ansactions ; and also in the second volume 
of the Narrative of the Niger Expedition of 1841. In a communication 
with which I have been kindly favoured by this gentleman, he has stated his 
reasons for considering Adiya as authentic, and they are certainly of 
considerable weight. But further enquiry is necessary to decide the 


is quite peculiar, and its affinities, though with some 
South African tongues, are not very decided. These 
people in appearance are unlike any other tribes I 
have met with, being in person rarely above the middle 
stature, and of a spare frame. In colour they are 
seldom black, but they delight in staining their skins 
of a brick-red. Their habiliments are extremely 
scanty, and it is said, that in the more remote parts 
of the island they go about unclad. Their appear- 
ance is much more savage than their behaviour, as 
they are a mild and inoffensive race. Their chiefs 
and headmen wear large, wide, rudely-fashioned 
grass-hats, ornamented with feathers ; round the 
wrists are numerous beads, as also strings of small 
shells, which form their currency, and which are also 
worn round the leg, below the knee, so that a man 
carries about all his riches along with him. Some rude 
ornaments are suspended round the waist, while in- 
serted under a piece of string encircling the upper 
left arm, is carried an unsheathed knife, and though 
the blade is laid along the arm, and is in close con- 
tact with the skin, accidents are said never to occur. 
Similarly secured on the upper right arm is often 
seen a short clay-pipe, both sexes being passionately 
fond of smoking ; the women, however, often carry 
about their pipes in their hair. A most singular 
custom prevails of dressing the hair with red clay 
and palm-oil, until it becomes one entire, solid mass, 
with an irregular or nodulated surface. On certain 
festivals or if they have had any strange dream, they 

onAP. XT.] FERNANDO PO. 345 

frequently appear witli the face covered with chalk, 
or with some yellow powder. I saw a newly-married 
couple, and, according to the customs of the race, the 
bride must remain in her hut for twelve months, or 
for longer if she does not then evidence her intention 
of being fruitful and multiplying. Their faces are 
much tatooed, but I regret not having at the time 
taken a description of the markings ; different mark- 
ings are employed in different localities, and though 
their island is small, several very distinct dialects are 
spoken in the various districts. The total popula- 
tion of Ternando Po is estimated at from 20,000 to 
30,000. Near Clarence they bring in palm-oil, yams, 
bananas, plantains, fowls, &c., which they barter for 
cloth, tobacco, hardware, and guns. Those near the 
sea have good canoes, and are great fishermen. They 
are said to be quick at learning anything, and those 
in the neighbourhood of Clarence speak a little 
English. Mr. Crowther asked the chief if his people 
would allow their children to come to school and be 
taught ; to which he replied, " Certainly, if it did 
not make them become idle." Formerly missionaries 
were labouring among them, and had several stations 
around their villages ; but since Spain has reclaimed 
the island, their endeavours have been prohibited, as 
that philanthropic country has, with what good taste 
or feeling towards the Fernandians I leave it to the 
judgment of my readers, restricted missionary efforts 
strictly to the town of Clarence. During our visit 
Mr. Snape and I became unwell, with a febrile 


accession. Mr. Snapc bad long been subject to ague, 
but it was my first attack, and I have no doubt 
"whatever that I imbibed the malaria poison the morn- 
ing I visited Angiama, thus showing a period of ten 
days as the duration of incubation of the disease. I 
managed, though with difficulty, to retrace my steps, 
and being well sheltered from the sun by the trees 
arching over the pathway, at length reached our boat. 
I was not at all sorry when I found myself back at 
Clarence, only regretting that I had been unable to 
secure my promised botanical specimens, among 
which was a species of Kola. 

Among the persons with whom I had conversa- 
tions, was a Baiori man, from whom I got specimens 
of his native language, which with a few Bati words 
will appear in the Appendix. I also found among 
the residents at Clarence, a native of a country 
named Yala, called by the I'gbo Amani, while the 
inhabitants they term Olalipide. Amani is derived 
from the town of Am an, on the west side of the 
Cross river, a little beyond Akuna-kuna ; it is on the 
borders of Yala, but not in it ; Yala is often called 
Atam, its language resembles the Tgbo. The town 
of Omun is called by the Yalas, Okre, but by its 
own people Idraga. To the northward of Yala is a 
country named Aganyi, and the inhabitants are in 
Yala known as A'kpa. Isuaraa is in Yala termed 
Iswama, and Isielu is called Isiolu. During the dry 
season the Cross river at Yala is easily fordable, 
the water being not more than from eighteen to 


twenty -four inches in depth. Many people from the 
Cameroons and from Bimbia reside at Clarence ; the 
former are the Diwalla, and of late they have adopted 
a mark much resembling that of the Krumen. 

During our stay at Clarence the weather varied 
much, sometimes heavy rain and violent tornadoes, 
at others hot, burning weather, while just before our 
departure, symptoms of the " smokes " began to 
show themselves. This fine island is at present 
almost running to waste, its capabilities disregarded^ 
and its soil uncultivated, and it is sad to think, that 
under the rule of its present possessors no improve- 
ment is likely to take place. How our government 
was ever advised to so mad an action as to give up 
Fernando Po, I cannot imagine ; but it is said on the 
Coast, that among other influences at work, was the 
fear of those interested in Sierra Leone, who dreading 
a rival, thus sacrificed public interest to private 
jealousy. Whenever trade is established by the Kwora 
with Central Africa, as must happen ere long, the 
value of this despised place will then be more easily 
estimated. Situated within a convenient distance 
of the mouths of the rivers, with good harbours, and 
easy of access, it must become the grand depot of 
trade for the Bight of Biafra, and a great emporium 
of commerce. Comparatively healthy, too, compared 
with the coast opposite, it will prove an excellent 
station for sick and for convalescents, as by means 
of the mountain any desirable climate may be com- 
manded. Clarence is finely placed on a height 


upwards of a hundred feet above the sea, with a 
gentle slope which would permit of an easy drainage, 
with fine harbours on either side of it, where boats 
may land without trouble all the year round, with 
ample space for commodious storehouses along the 
beach, and withal with a good tropical climate. 
Behind it is every variety of hill and dale, and thou- 
sands upon thousands of acres of a rich fertile soil. 
The small yams of North-west Bay are considered as 
the finest in Africa, nor are the much larger ones of 
Melville Bay at all to be despised. Many hundred 
tons of palm-oil and palm-kernel-oil might annually 
be produced, and the forests teem with excellent 
timber. Such an island would be considered an 
acquisition anywhere, but situated as it is, it must 
be looked on as destined by Providence to play a very 
important part in the great work of African Rege- 
neration. Clarence is just now but indifferently 
supplied with provisions, as the demand is not 
sufficient to raise an adequate supply. A curious 
epidemic annually commits ravages among the do- 
mestic fowls, ducks, and turkeys, numbers of which 
die during November and December, but I am not 
aware that this disease is general throughout the 
island. In the neighbourhood of Clarence finely 
flavoured oranges and limes grow in abundance, pa- 
paws are numerous, and a solitary bread-fruit tree 
seemed to be progressing favourably. We remained 
at Clarence three weeks, and on every Sunday Mr. 
Crowther performed Divine Service in a large and 


commodious house, built by the late Mr. Beecroft,* 
but now belonging to Governor Lynslager. A large 
and very attentive congregation regularly assembled, 
the numbers varying from 100 to 150. The mis- 
sionaries resident at Clarence are of the Baptist 
persuasion, but one of them now remains nearly 
constantly at Bimbia and the Cameroons, where 
he has a printing press, and where he prints works 
in the Diwalla language. This excellent gentleman 
had for many years to divide his attention between 
Clarence and the Cameroons, and was in the constant 
habit of crossing from the one place to the other in 
an open boat.f 

* I omitted previously to note that Mr. Beecroft's death took place at 
Clarence on the 10th of June, 1854. 

+ Intelligence has just (May 7th) reached this country that a Spanish 
colonizing party, including among others fifty priests, has left Vera Cruz 
for Fernando Po. This, if correct, is greatly to be regretted, as we are 
awai-e, fx'om past experience, that expeditions setting forth under such 
auspices, are much more likely to be productive of harm than of good. It 
is a great pity that this fine island and its interesting inhabitants cannot 
be placed under the guidance of persons of more enlightened tendencies 
and more practical views. 



On Sunday, the 26tli of November, while we were 
attending evening service, the " Bacchante," Captain 
Dring, arrived from England, bringing us fresh supplies 
of letters and of news. All our effects being shipped, 
we took our leave of Governor Lynslager, and our 
other kind and hospitable friends who had rendered 
our stay so comfortable and so pleasant, and sailed 
from Clarence Cove at half-past eleven on the night 
of the 28th. The " Pleiad " was to follow the next 
day, under the charge of the chief mate of the 
*' Bacchante," who was put on board her for that 
purpose. The next day om- pilot ran us aground in 
the mouth of the Cameroons river, so that we had to 
send the mails up by boat some dozen miles while 
we were getting afloat again. On the afternoon of 
the 1st of December, we got to Duke Town in Old 
Kalabar river, and in the evening I went on shore 
and called on Mr. Anderson, the resident missionary, 
whose acquaintance I had made when here on a 
former occasion. On inquiring about the place called 
Egbo-shari, this gentleman informed me that its I'gbo 


name is Umenyi, while the E'fik call it " Ibibio." 
From this place the E'fik derive their origin. The 
native name for Duke Town is Atakpa. The E'fik 
are emigrants, the land on which they are settled 
belonging to the Kwa people, whom they style 
Abakpa, and to whom they yet pay tribute. The 
Kwa people are quite distinct, and speak a totally 
different language ; their country extends far inland, 
and they bring some very good oil to market. I 
could not ascertain their native name, but one desig- 
nation is A'kwa, and from a letter I received a few 
months ago from the Rev. W. Thomson, I find that 
from the interior of their country are brought long 
swords, and other articles, of very superior workman- 
ship, and all of native iron. Some of this tribe live 
on the west side of the mouth of the river, and trade 
both at Duke Town and at Bonny. People from a 
tribe named Mbriikim come to E'fik occasionally to 
trade. They pass through the Kwa country, and the 
journey from their own land, which they say is near 
the Arabs, occupies from two to three months. The 
E'fik mark was formerly the same as that used by 
some of the I'gbos, but more recently they have 
adopted another, viz., three round spots, each about 
the size of a pea, on their temple, opposite the eye. 
Moko people do not come to the E'fik, they are 
believed to be connected with the Baioh. A case of 
poisoning with the ordeal bean had occurred near 
Duke Town on the Sunday previous to our arrival, 
being the first instance for a long period, as (thanks 


to the exertions of tlie missionaries) this shocking 
custom has nearly fallen into entire disuse. Since 
my visit to Old Kalabar many serious occurrences 
have taken place. Old Town has very properly been 
punished by order of the British Consul, for a 
glaring disregard of treaty, by which the natives 
undertook to give up human sacrifices ; and I under- 
stand, also, that Mr. Anderson's comfortable residence 
has been entirely destroyed by fire. Much as I may 
differ from Mr. Anderson and his friends on many 
minor points, and much as I may believe that their 
usefulness would be increased, and their great designs 
furthered by some modifications of their views, I can- 
not but entertain a sincere respect for those who 
truly and entirely devote themselves to the holy 
end of opening the eyes of these benighted creatures, 
who laying aside thoughts of home and of friends, 
banish themselves from the w^orld, sacrificing comfort, 
health, often life itself, in then* earnest endeavour to 
supplant the horrid rites of Paganism by the mild, 
the beautiful doctrines of enlightened Christianity. 

Most of the palm-oil sold at Old Kalabdr is brought 
from the markets in the I'gbo country, but some also 
comes from districts to the eastward, and, as I have 
mentioned, from Kwa. The trust system still prevails 
in Old Kalabar, and when a man dies his debts are 
held to expire with him, a not over-comfortable 
practice for the white traders. In the morning. 
Captain Lewis, wdiom I have before alluded to as 
being so thoroughly acquainted with the pilotage of 


tlie river, came down with us, rather to the disgust 
of John Bull oiu' pilot for the rivers generally, but 
much to the satisfaction of all else on board. He 
told me that along the mouths of the rivers in the 
Bight of Biafra, high water at full and change is 
about six o'clock, which differs from Captain Den- 
ham's statement, who fixes it at about four. At Duke- 
town, it is about seven hours and thirty minutes, and 
the rise with spring tides is seven feet, and fi'om 
four to four-and-a-half feet with neaps. The water 
begins to fall at the last quarter flood, and to rise at 
the last quarter ebb. The Kwa river has three fathoms 
water at its entrance, but it deepens and widens 
further up. Across the bar of the Old Kalabar are 
several good but winding passages. There is a very 
dangerous knoll, with two fathoms of water on it, 
about two miles rio;ht out to sea from the east end 
of the breakers. It is very circumscribed, and the 
sea does not break on it. A ship going in that 
direction "will first have five fathoms, then two-and-a- 
half, and before the lead can be hove again she will 

The first river between the Old Kalabar and Bonny 
is not named in any modern chart, but in some old 
ones I find it marked as the Rio San Pedro, while at 
Bonny I heard it called the Kantoro, and the water 
in it is said to be beautifidly clear, which, if correct, 
would indicate a difl'erent som'ce from all the other 
streams, of which the water is extremely muddy, 
almost opaque. Next to it is the Andoni or St. Do- 


mingo river, witli about nine feet of water across the 
bar, and which communicates with Bonny by a large 
creek. We arrived at Bonny on the 3rd of December, 
and as our boilers required some repair, did not leave 
until the 5th. During this time, as I was much 
annoyed with ague, I took up my quarters on board a 
large and airy vessel, in which Mr. Glanville, one 
of my fellow-passengers in the " Forerunner," was 
carrying on an extensive and lucrative trade. Poor 
fellow, by one of the last mails, I have heard of his 
death, which occurred in October last, though when 
I left him he looked strong, healthy, and acclimatized. 
He took me ashore to Okuloma or Bonny-town, 
where I met all the grandees of the place. I was 
introduced to theKingDappa, a heavy, unintellectual 
looking man, and had the honour of drinking some 
bitter ale with him. I also visited A'ni Peppel, a 
shrewd, but rather too influential man, who was 
beginnino; to be troublesome, and who insisted on 
my drinking some palm-wine with him. I saw also 
King Peppel's first Avife, the legitimate Queen of 
Bonny, who is of a pale copper colour, and was then 
living in a very poor way. Diu-ing the war with 
Andoni, about 1848, the Bonny people brought 
many of the bodies of their enemies home with them, 
for the pm^pose of eating them, and some Europeans, 
one of whom was my informant, went ashore, and 
actually with their own hands rolled several casks 
filled with human flesh into the sea. There is a 
communication by creeks with the district to the 


westward where the Kwa people Hve, as they bring 
much oil to Bonny, and they take readily as money, 
a bad or inferior kind of Manilla (the cmTency of 
Bonny), which will not go elsewhere. I was anxious 
to go over to New Kalabar, but was too unwell to 
attempt it, and was therefore disappointed in getting 
much information about this people. Their King, 
Amakri, had a year previously been visited by Captain 
Macdonald of H.M.S. "Eerret," and made to deliver 
up a number of doubloons he had received from a 
slaving ship. The people differ in appearance and 
in manner from those of Bonny. In New Kalabar 
circumcision is universal, in Bonny it is only prac- 
tised on slaves. In Bonny the breasts of the women 
very soon become loose, flaccid, and pendulous, while 
in New Kalabar they keep plump and firm ; the 
men, too, of New Kalabar are more determined and 
warlike. The trust system has been abohshed, with 
much advantage, in New Kalabar, but in Bonny it 
still hangs like a millstone round the necks of the 
supercargoes. Among others whom I met, were 
Captain Edward Wyllie, a well-known trader, shrewd, 
successful, and much respected, and Captain Witt, a 
most intelligent man, who seemed better acquainted 
with the resources of the country, and with the wants 
and requirements of trade, than any one whom I saw 
in the Bights. At Bonny everything seemed to go 
on with greater regularity and with more smooth- 
ness than elsewhere, and this can only be accounted 
for by the English traders acting so far in concert. 

A A 2 


A commercial or mercantile association was, by the 
exertions of Captain Witt and others, formed, the 
members being the chief white and black traders in 
the place, and the chair is occupied by the white 
supercargoes in monthly rotation. All disputes are 
brought before this court, the merits of opponents 
are determined, and with the consent of the King, 
fines are levied on defaulters. If any one refuses 
to submit to the decision of the court, or ignores its 
jurisdiction, he is tabooed, and no one trades with 
him. The natives stand in much awe of it, and 
readily pay their debts when threatened with it. A 
new court-house of brick is being erected, the former 
one of wood being old and crumbling. Here every 
Sunday the people assemble from the ships, while the 
church-service is read by one of the number. They 
have a code of rules for their guidance, by which all 
men must be off the beach by a certain hour, and 
no trading or work is permitted, as a general rule, 
on Sundays. Mr. Glanville told me that he had once 
gone by boat, through the creeks, to Nimbe or Brass- 
town, and that he found abundant water. The 
currency of Bonny is in Manillas, small horse-shoe- 
shaped pieces of copper, but accounts are reckoned 
in bars. Every river has its own mode of reckoning. 
Bonny counts in bars, equal to about sevenpence 
each. Benin river employs prawns, one being about 
fourpence. In Old Kalabar, coppers are used, 
one copper being about fourpence halfpenny, and 
in the Cameroon river they reckon by krus, which 


are a measure, one ki'u being properly twelve gallons, 
but often twelve-and-a-half or thirteen. In the 
Cameroon river and Bimbia, imperial measure is 
employed, but in the other rivers old wine measure. 
A matchet or large knife is about sixpence halfpenny 
in all these places. I inquired about King Peppel, 
and from what I heard, I came to the conclusion, 
that though treated perhaps not according to strict 
justice, yet he was well away from the place. He 
had become exceedingly cruel and tyrannical, had 
with his own hands shot one of his wives who had 
displeased him, and had inveigled a headman, named 
Manilla Peppel, who was obnoxious to him, into his 
house, and had him seized and murdered ; and finally 
he had, for no reason but to gratify his own ambition, 
nearly involved Bonny in a war with New Kalabar. 
At Bonny since my visit there have been great dis- 
turbances. Dappa the King died suddenly, and some 
one spread a report of poison, which roused party 
strife to a great extent. All trade was stopped, and 
fighting was daily going on, when at last 300 of King 
Peppel's supporters blew themselves up with gun- 
powder, and I believe since this awful tragedy that 
matters have been more peaceable. 

At Lagos we parted with Mr. Crowther, who 
returned to Abbeokuta, to resume those labours 
which have been so simply, yet so charmingly 
described by Miss Tucker. Since that time Mr. 
Crowther has left Abbeokuta and taken up his abode 
at Lagos, a very important, but less pleasant station. 

358 :NAERATIVE of an exploring voyage. [chap. XII. 

It was with a feeling almost of regret that I separated 
from this excellent and upright clergyman, who by 
his amiability, and the unostentatious yet conscientious 
manner in which he performed his duties, had en- 
deared himself to all on board the " Pleiad." Per- 
sonally I w^as greatly indebted to him for his sound 
advice and ready assistance, both ever ready when 
required. To my mind he typically represents the 
true African missionary, and were there only plenty 
of ]\lr. Crowthers, the work of regeneration and im- 
provement would doubtless progress, for it is to the 
efforts of such single-minded, yet earnest and sensible 
men, that w^e must humanly trust for success. At 
Lagos we were joined by the Bishop of Sierra Leone 
and Archdeacon Graf, returning from a visitation to 
the missionary stations in the Yoruba country ; the 
latter gentleman was so exceedingly ill that he had to 
be lifted on board, and wdien I first saw him I 
entertained great fears for his ultimate recovery. 
Bishop Vidal's widely spread diocese extended several 
thousand miles, entailing a responsibility and an 
amount of labour which would have been undertaken 
by none, but those like him, who with great, but quiet 
energy, could throw their whole heart and soul into 
the business. 

Lagos is, by the Portuguese, often called Onin, but 
by the natives is styled E'ko. It is inhabited by the 
E'gba tribe of Yorubans, but the population is much 
mixed, and the language spoken extremely corrupt. 
The word Yoruba (Yo-ru-ba) means " I go meet," and 


it comprehends numerous tribes speaking distinct 
dialects of one common language. The Muhammadan 
population of Yoruba congregates chiefly around the 
large city of Ilorin, and it is there that the language is 
spoken in its greatest purity. The Yoruba name for 
Borgu, a country to the northward, near the Kwora, 
is Ibarba. To the westward of Lagos, along the 
coast stands the town of Badagry, the name most 
probably corrupted from Agbada agi, or from the 
Yoruban Agbadaylgi. Not far from the site of 
Badagry, in former times, a man named Agbada had 
a farm, and people when asked where they were 
going used to reply " Agbada agi," i.e. " to Agbada's 
farm," and this, by process of corruption, gradually 
assumed its present form of Badagry. Near to this 
place the Portuguese had a small settlement, named, 
after the owner of the spot, A'kpa. But this, not 
being near the sea, became inconvenient, so that they 
inquired after a more suitable locality, and hearing of 
Agbada's farm, which was close to the water, they 
established themselves there. A slave-ship, believed 
to have been French, was wrecked off Agbada agi, and 
as, according to custom, the slaves could not be re- 
shipped, they remained, and so increased the number of 
inhabitants. After a period a dispute arose between the 
coloured population and the Portuguese, which ended 
in a general massacre of the latter, and since that time 
the Portuguese have, fortunately, deserted Badagry. 
The caboceers of the old slaving times still nomi- 
nally exist, and when, in 1839, the first liberated 


slaves from Sierra Leone arrived, after their unsuc- 
cessful attempt to land at Lagos, they were put under 
the charge of the English caboceer. Badagry has 
sent out several small colonies on both sides, towards 
Lagos, and also beyond Hwida. The original town 
of A'kpa still stands, and gives its name to the 
Badagry and Porto Nuovo district, and all the towns 
still pay tribute to the King of A'kpa. Badagry is 
also called Bakagu, but I do not know why, or by 
whom. Porto Nuovo is by the natives termed Hag- 
bonu, by the Yorubans Ajeshe, and it is also known 
as Zem. The dialects of Badagry and Porto Nuovo 
closely resemble each other. The dialects of Hwida 
(Whydah) and of Popo are analogous, belonging to 
the Dahomian language. The people of Popo were 
originally from Dahomi proper, having been driven 
out during some revolution. Popo is by the natives 
termed Adeho, and by the Akra people Tom, which 
is more correctly applied to the adjoining river. 
Hwida is the native Grewhe, but by Dahomians is 
called P6. It is a large and busy town, and is very 
well supplied with provisions of all kinds. It is at 
present the principal remaining seat of slave expor- 
tation. An excellent place for vessels wishing to pro- 
cure stock is Kita or Kwita, a little to the eastward of 
Cape St. Paul, and where there is an English fort. 
The inhabitants are Awona, and are somewhat allied 
to Dahomians. By some tribes this place is named 
Adja and Djinikofi. 

At Lagos had also embarked the Rev. T. Freeman, 


the energetic and indefatigable Wesleyan missionary 
of the Gold and Slave Coasts, who was now returning, 
after a visit to the Yoruba country, to his head-quarters 
at Cape Coast Castle. With him was another gentle- 
man, resident at Akra, who had visited Ashanti, and 
had been in Kumassi, the capital, which, he told me, 
is now easily within the reach of Europeans. While 
there he once saw sixty human beings sacrificed at 
once, to the manes of some chief. The king is 
reported to be immensely wealthy, and to possess 
large quantities of gold ; the property of all his sub- 
jects who die without heirs falls to him. The present 
king is a sensible quiet man, but his heir is a restless 
warlike person. The son is never the heir, the suc- 
cession devolving on a nephew, namely, the eldest 
sister's eldest son. The kingdom of Ashanti is more 
powerful than that of Daliomi, and the customs and 
rites arc fully as barbarous, if not more so. The 
Fanti district extends from beyond Cape Coast Castle 
to Akra, being a belt of country from fifty to eighty 
miles in breadth. The language is aUied to the 
Ashanti, and the people are the canoemen of this line 
of coast, extending their migrations as far as Lagos. 
Akwapim is to the north and north-east of Akra, and 
Akim is north-east from Akwapim ; the language 
is Otshi, allied to Ashanti. Asin is north and north- 
east from Cape Coast Castle ; it is a small territory, 
and the language resembles the Fanti. 

I had several interesting conversations with Bishop 
Vidal, who had been much pleased with his visit to 


Abbeokuta and the other stations, and was now full 
of plans for future progress. An ardent and a distin- 
guished philologist, no one could have been more 
adapted for an African see, where every few miles 
introduce the traveller to a new dialect, and where 
most of the languages are yet unstudied and un- 
written. To the Yoruba the Bishop had paid con- 
siderable attention, and he had been inspecting and 
revising translations of portions of the Scriptures into 
that tongue. He told me that at Sierra Leone he 
had several advanced Tgbo scholars, now ready for 
ordination, and who would, were there a return of 
these people to their native lands, accompany them as 
teachers and missionaries. Aware that the Bishop 
had been more lately studying the I'gbo, I had, partly 
at Mr. Crowther's suggestion, taken with me Simon 
Jonas, whom I had intended to show to the Bishop 
as a man well versed in the principal I'gbo dialects, 
and able to give much information towards framing 
grammars or vocabularies. The Bishop, having had 
some conversation with him, was much pleased with 
his intelligence, and said that on reaching Sierra 
Leone he would at once set the matter on foot. The 
Bishop mentioned to me one day that he was inclined 
to trace the word " barbarian " to the Berber tribe, 
as he looked on their name as one of the most ancient in 
Northern Africa, and of course known to the Egyptians, 
from whom the Greeks borrowed both the word itself 
and the idea connected with it; whence, again, it 
passed into other European languages. 


I must now refer to my little Mitslii boy, who, 
since I last referred to him, had made rapid progress. 
For some days after leaving Igbegbe he was rather 
timid, but that soon passed away, and whenever he 
saw me preparing to go ashore he always cleaned 
himself and went with me, behaving himself in a very 
quiet and orderly manner. On board he now and 
then got into trifling scrapes with the men, and I had 
once or twice to punish him, but he very soon quite 
understood when he was doing wrong. Being of a 
warm temper he used to break out into fits of passion, 
when I used to place him in some quiet corner to 
compose himself, and he remained there until he was 
cool enough to come and make friends with me, and so 
our differences always ended. He was fond of imitating 
those whom he saw at work, and soon began to insist 
on assisting the steward, and at Fernando Po always 
did his best to wait at table. When he fii'st went to 
sea he could not comprehend the motion of the ship, 
and he felt rather uncomfortable, but he wonderfullv 
soon became reconciled to it, and in the " Bacchante," 
even when she was rolling heavily, he learnt to carry 
a dish from the galley to the saloon ; all these offices 
were voluntary, as I made him do nothing except keep 
himself clean, and he added to his other duties that 
of superintending the feeding of my little dog, my 
monkeys, and my parrot. He had a great love for 
finery, and whenever he could collect a fcAV beads or 
brass ornaments, he would string them and make 
necklaces of them, and was greatly delighted when he 


got a bright-looking piece of calico, or a showy shirt. 
The Bishop was greatly interested in him, and under- 
took to superintend his education, and I was only too 
glad to be able to leave him in such excellent hands. 

Since I had last been at Akra sad havoc had been 
committed, the inhabitants of Christianborg or Danish 
Akra having rebelled, and having had in consequence 
their town knocked to pieces, and many of them- 
selves killed. The Akra territory is isolated, and 
extends about twenty miles west, and about thirty- 
five to forty miles east, from the town, and about 
ten to twenty miles inland. The inhabitants are but 
remotely connected with the adjoining races, and their 
language, differing entirely from those of the neigh- 
bouring tribes, has been considered by Mr. Hanson, 
himself a native of Akra, to have affinities with that 
of Tumbuktii. By the inhabitants, who call them- 
selves Gha or Ga, Danish Akra is styled Osu, Dutch 
Akra is called Kinka, while British Akra is the real 
Akra. The Fanti use Nkran to designate the three 
towns. In Akra are many Fanti, Ashanti, and Popo, 
and all the natives speak Fanti as well as then* own 
tongue. The women when at work are fond of 
singing extemporaneous songs, suggested generally 
by some passer-by, or by something occurring at the 
moment, but they always sing in Fanti, and not 
in Ga. 

Owing to several of the boiler tubes leaking, 
there was a great waste of coals, and by the time that 
we arrived at Cape Coast Castle our fuel was nearly 


expended. Fortunately at tliis place there is abund- 
ance of a hard red wood, which burns capitally, and 
of this we got a good supply. Here we received on 
board Governor Hill, on his way to assume the chief 
rule at Sierra Leone, one of the few instances in 
Africa of the right man being put into the right 
place. Among other passengers was a former fellow- 
passenger of mine, the lady to whose marriage I 
formerly alluded, and who was now with her 
husband returning to England. Owing to the ex- 
cessive leakage our red Avood burnt as fast as the 
coals or faster, and as we had to put in at Cape 
Palmas to land a number of Krumen, the opportunity 
was taken of laying in a fresh stock. We had to 
take in another supply of wood at the river Sestos, 
where we w^re supplied with good, dry mangrove 
billets. The coast from Cape Palmas, westward, is 
known as the Kru coast, and is the native land of 
that hardy and valuable race of men, who are the 
true sailors of Western Africa. They comprise several 
distinct tribes, which differ much among themselves, 
though agreeing in general appearance, in manners, 
and to a great extent in dialect. Two races are 
always distinguished, the true Krumen and the 
Pishmen, the latter perhaps the more available for 
civilized purposes. Though in feature typically 
negro, they are generally above middle stature, often 
tall, beautifully proportioned, and with muscles 
splendidly developed, enabling them to stand great 
fatigue, and to perform feats of almost Herculean 


strength. They begin to go to sea when young, 
at first under a headman, until they advance in 
years, &c., when they in turn become headmen, and 
take charge of others. A Kruman works until he 
can purchase a sufficient number of wives to look after 
him, labour for him, and so keep him independent. 
They are much attached to their country, and if long 
away from it, pine extremely. When a vessel wants 
Krumen she lies-to oflP one of their towns, and is in 
a very short time surrounded by canoes, which are 
brought off with the greatest neatness and dexterity 
in the roughest weather. A crew is soon selected, 
the pay arranged, a month's w^ages allowed in ad- 
vance, and all is settled. The names of Krumen 
being rather unpronounceable to a European mouth, 
the practice is to give them other designations, often 
exceedingly absurd, but still more easily remembered ; 
thus, among a gang of them may be found, George, 
Tom, Black Will, Yellow Will, Prince of Wales, 
Prince Albert, Liverpool, Priday, Bottle-of-Beer, 
Razor, Plat-nose, John Bull, &c. Krumen allow no 
slavery among themselves ; their domestic slaves they 
purchase from the Basa people, who procure them 
from the interior. They will only buy children, and 
are very kind to their slaves, who are often 
hardly to be distinguished from free men. There 
are only five true Kru towns along the coast from 
Sinu to Piccaniny Kru, and to the eastward of this 
live the Pishmen. The names of the Kru towns are 
Little Kru, Settra Kru, Kru-bar, Nanna Krii, and 


King Will's Town, these being the names by which 
they are known to navigators ; their native designa- 
tions will appear afterwards. At Grand Sestos the 
inhabitants are a kind of mixed breed, and are a very 
troublesome set. The little Sess men are typical 
Fishmen, and at the river Sestos is a Fish colony ; 
many of the villages, too, along the Basa shore, are 
inhabited by Fishmen, as the Basa people seldom 
live near the coast. Near Cape Palmas the language 
again slightly differs, but the people are more nearly 
allied to the Fishmen. The native name of Cape 
Palmas is " Baine-lu," and of the village near it 
" Baine," the American settlement being Harper. 
The natives call Fish-town "Wa," and Garraway 
" Wiagbo." The river Sestos is " Nipua." The best 
canoes along this part of the coast are made at Fish- 
town. Basa, which is to the north-west of the Krii 
coast, has a population with a different language, 
and different marks. Krumen call themselves Krabo, 
the singular being Krabe. They are all Heathens, be- 
lieving in fetishes, and wearing greegrees or charms, a 
very favourite one being the claw of a leopard. The 
whole country, as far as Cape Palmas, is in connec- 
tion with the Republic of Liberia, or as I heard it 
explained in Monrovia, the " Republic claims ter- 
ritorial jmisdiction," which right has been acquired 
by purchase, by treaty, &c. 

At Monrovia our detention was sufficiently long 
to allow me to spend some time ashore, and through 
the kindness and attention of Mr. Newnhara, our 


Consul, I saw all that was to be seen. I met many 
of the principal people of the place. With Monrovia 
I was agreeably disappointed, for from previous 
accounts I had expected to find a very so-so place, 
rather on the decline than otherwise. But, on the 
contrary, within two or three years new vigour seems 
to have infused itself, and it is now progressing 
favourably. Liberia has many natural advantages, 
and its future success must depend principally on 
good management, and sound policy. I was intro- 
duced to the highly-intelligent and clear-headed 
chief of the republic. President Roberts, under whose 
rule, though some afPect to be sceptical about it, it 
cannot be doubted that the country has advanced 
greatly. When I was there it was said, that at the 
next election he would be thrown out of the Presi- 
dential chair, as some acts of his had not been 
popular, he having been too prudent to please a 
number of the people. I do not know whether this 
has occurred, as I have seen no late Liberian intelli- 
gence, but if so it is, I think, to be regretted. Two, 
if not three, newspapers are published in Monrovia, 
which I look upon as a healthy and promising sign. 
The first appearance of a newspaper in a new country, 
let the attempt be ever so feeble, or the contents 
ever so paltry, is to be hailed with satisfaction, as 
it marks an era in the literary intelligence and 
public feeling of the place. Feeble commencements 
often lead to important results, and let an unfettered 
press once be introduced and it will firmly secure its 

cnAi>. XII.] THE VOYAGE HOME. 369 

footing, and powerfully conduce to independence of 
thought and action in its readers, besides tending to 
create a community of feeling and of political action. 
From what I have observed I have great faith in this 
young republic, which will some day, when the worn- 
out dynasties of savage tribes are forgotten, and when 
advancing civilization and Christianity have smoothed* 
the asperities of barbarous customs and bloody rites, 
strongly assert the claims of the African to be ad- 
mitted into the fellowship of his more fortunate 
brethren, and assist him in substantiating his rights 
as an integral, a free member of the vast human 
family. As might be expected, the Liberians are 
very American in their manners and mode of expres- 
sion, but are, at the same time, anything but deficient 
in Yankee shrewdness and energy. 

On Sunday, the 17th of December, when at Cape 
Palmas, Bishop Vidal, though rather indisposed, per- 
formed Divine Service, but at the conclusion he felt 
very faint and unwell, and had to retire early to rest. 
His symptoms, at first rather anomalous and obscure, 
soon indicated an attack of endemic fever of a 
severe type. I then learnt, for the first time, that 
whilst on his return from Abbeokuta, the Bishop had 
unfortunately travelled by canoe late at night, along 
a pestiferous mangrove creek near Lagos, as one of 
his travelling companions had been desirous of 
pushing on, and the good-natured, obliging Bishop 
would ofier no obstacle on his part. He had then 
evidently contracted the seeds of the baneful malaria, 


which now had got the upper hand, and was telKng 
heavily on a constitution not naturally strong. We 
had to attend to him and nurse him in a confined 
cabin, when much depended on his being in a free, 
well- ventilated chamber. We thought of getting 
him on deck, but the torrents of rain which were 
daily falling, would have soaked through any cover- 
ing we could have placed over him. In a few days 
I became very apprehensive for him, his strength 
was failing, and he was not able to contend against 
this powerful and dangerous enemy. The Bishop 
had a few months previously been in England, and 
on his return to Africa had proceeded at once to 
Yoruba ; his wife was to have followed him to Sierra 
Leone by the mail-steamer next to the one in which 
he sailed, and as she was in very delicate health, he 
was naturally most anxious to hear of her safe aiTival. 
But of this he was destined never to learn. When 
at Monrovia the news reached the ship, but by that 
time the Bishop was too insensible to comprehend 
what was told him. In spite of all which could be 
done, the disease could not be controlled, and on the 
forenoon of Sunday, the 24th of December, he expired 
quietly, and without a struggle. During the voyage 
we had on board upwards of twenty cases of remittent 
fever, but the only fatal one deprived us of one whom 
we could ill spare. By the death of Bishop Vidal, 
which took place ere he had well reached the prime 
of life, Africa lost a firm and zealous friend, one never 
weary of well-doing, and who never spared himself 


Avhere the thought that the welfare of her people was 
concerned. Had he been longer spared, it cannot be 
doubted but that signal advances would have taken 
place in the right direction, and that the tenure of 
the occupant of our first episcopal see in Western 
Africa would have corresponded with an important 
era in the history of its civilization. His ideas were 
not those of a lordly prelate, suiTounded by pomp, 
and seeking for worldly renown, but he was in very 
deed a true Missionary Bishop, into whose hands had 
been committed the care and guidance of an im- 
portant yet struggling section of the church, and his 
heartfelt desire was, that he might be enabled to 
render the highest account of his stewardship. His 
example is before us, and may his successors closely 
follow in his footsteps. During a very brief ac- 
quaintance I never met any one for whom I sooner 
acquired a more sincere respect, and though it may 
appear that I have dwelt rather long on his character, 
and his untimely end, I feel that my feeble efforts are 
quite inadequate to do justice to this Christian pre- 
late. How truly it has been said, that " Man proposes 
but God disposes." When at Lagos the Bishop joined 
us in the full enjoyment of his ordinary health, while 
Mr. Graf was considered to be in a highly critical 
condition. Two short weeks had elapsed and the 
strong had passed away from among us, while the sick 
man walked with renewed strength. A death at sea 
is always a sad occm-rence. In such a small com- 
munity as on board ship all are acquaintances, and 

B B 2 


the disappearance of one of the number leaves a sad 
blank. No one can be ignorant of the solemn event ; 
death in all its gloom, in all its horrors, is present to 
each. It is felt that this dread enemy is in the closest 
proximity, and none can tell who may be the next 

The day following was Christmas, we could not 
call it a merry one, yet as we were now nearing 
Sierra Leone, the thought of meeting with former 
acquaintances, and to many the prospect of getting 
completed one half of a dreary voyage, somewhat 
cheered our minds. During the afternoon a large 
water-spout passed about a mile to the eastward of 
us. Its appearance differed much from what is often 
represented; there was no conical mass of water, 
towering upwards from the surface of the ocean to 
meet the descending torrent, but the spout poured 
steadily down, throwing up, like a huge cascade, 
thick clouds of spray. Its hollow centre was plain 
to the naked eye, and it commenced to abate from 
below upwards, the spout gradually contracting and 
receding until it reached its cloudy origin. 

On the 26th of December, we anchored at Sierra 
Leone, our ensign flying ominously but half hoisted. 
The melancholy tidings quickly spread, producing 
throughout Freetown, where the deceased had been 
greatly beloved, a profound sensation of grief. Two 
years before, almost on the same day, Bishop Vidal 
had landed from the " Propontis," full of hope, and 
with a cheering, and inspiriting prospect before him. 


Now how changed, his remains, a mere inanimate 
mass of clay, were quietly removed to the shore, 
in the afternoon to be interred, earth to earth, and 
dust to dust, the spirit having fled to the God who 
gave it. 

Our voyage from Fernando Po had been extremely 
protracted. By the time of our arrival at Siena 
Leone, we ought, properly, to have been as far advanced 
as Vera Cruz or Madeira. But the engines were very 
defective, and sadly in need of repair. A survey was 
held on them, directed by the chief engineer of 
H.M.S. " Prometheus," when it was declared unsafe 
to proceed further without extensive alterations. 
This caused a delay of ten days, at which I cannot 
say that I was altogether sorry, as I was able to turn 
my time to some advantage among the repre- 
sentatives of the numerous tribes who are to be 
found in this vicinity. The hospitality of many 
friends, who did their utmost to render our stay com- 
fortable, enabled Mr. May and myself to pass the 
time very pleasantly. To Mr. Heddle I stand 
especially indebted ; his house was during the whole 
time my home, a large and airy apartment was set 
aside for me for writing in, and for receiving depu- 
tations from the coloured population, and all my en- 
quiries were most kindly furthered. To Mr. Thensted, 
also, and to Mr. Mallard our warm thanks are due, 
as owins to them our reminiscences of Sierra Leone 
are of a very pleasant description. 

It soon became known that the officers who had 


been on the expedition up the "great river," had 
returned, and many of the natives called, partly to 
hear the news, partly to enquire what prospect there 
was of another expedition, and of their being enabled 
to return to their own countries. Ynst and foremost 
there arrived a body, forty-three strong, from the 
I'gbo race, who are in Freetown both numerous and 
wealthy. This was followed by two from the N6pe 
tribe, one of twenty, the other of thirty-eight indi- 
viduals, a smaller one of nine from the I'gbira-Panda, 
and one of nineteen from the Bassa (Kakanda), but 
the crowning one was from the Hausa people, who 
came in upon me to the number of seventy-two. 
Smaller in appearance, but equally earnest, were the 
deputations I received from the Kantiri (Bornu), 
Kanembu, Djuku, Bonu, Ishabe, Oru, Igara, and 
Ado. I have by me the lists of names of all these, 
and I ascertained that they represented the desires of 
from 1500 to 2000 persons. The tenor of conver- 
sation was much the same with all ; they were most 
desirous of re-visiting and settling in the lands of 
their birth, carrying with them civilized habits and 
Christian doctrines. They said they wished to have 
with them teachers to instruct their children, as they 
themselves had been instructed, and they concluded 
by asking if the " land was good," meaning thereby 
if peace prevailed, and if they would be well received. 
I had also conversations with people from I'gbira- 
Sima or I'gbira-Saima, Zaria, Zanfara, Maradi, Berber, 
&c. Two men called on me, who came from a place 


I had never before heard of, called " Grimsa," said to 
be situated on a river named Moi, near a Pulo town, 
and distant from Busa three to four days' journey. 
They said, too, that the dialect spoken there was 
peculiar. The Berber was from a town named 
Wasa, and he spoke both his own tongue and Pulo. 
Among the Hausas, was a man from Maradi (not 
Mariadi), who had, as a mark, a long line along the 
cheek, and he told me that in Gobir the mark is a 
line across the lower part of the cheek, opposite the 
mouth. In these two countries the language is 
entirely Hausa, the religion is mixed, but chiefly 
Pagan, and the people bear an intense hatred to the 
Pulbe. I believe that now they are the only remain- 
ing independent Hausa states. A man from Zaria 
informed me that the last Hausa king of Zaria was 
named Abdokaru, and that, when expelled by the 
Pulo invasion, he fled to Kororofa ; he also set me 
right about Gwandawa or Gbandawa, which I have 
previously mentioned, and which is a district between 
Zaria and Doma, the language and the mark agreeing 
with the latter. Among others were a Djuku, from 
Wakpa, a town west or south-west from Wukari, and 
a Mandara, who had been taken in war by the Pulbe 
of Adamawa. The mark of the latter somewhat 
resembled that of Bornu, and consisted of some curved 
lines along the angle of the jaw, and some fainter 
ones along the cheek. Prom a Bagirmi man I learnt 
that the languages of Bagirmi, of Wadai, and of 
Bornu differ widely, and that the dialect, also, of 


Musgo is quite distinct. The people of Loggone and 
the Kanuri speak much ahke, and they resemble each 
other in appearance and in marking. But in Bornu 
the former is often pronounced Lokone. Among 
my Kaniiri or Bornuese visitors, one was from 
Zinder, one from Birni-Bornu or Biraim-Bornu, 
and one from Minau (Minyo). They said that Kanem, 
north of Lake Tsad or Tsadi, is a bush country, with 
but few towns, and that the Buduma are short, very 
black, and with thick legs. Kanuri is generally 
applied to the people and the language, and Bornu to 
the country, but one man said that strictly speaking 
Kanuri referred to the districts towards Minau, 
while to the southward and eastward was Bornti 
proper. Zinder and Damagram have been united 
into one province, the distance between these two 
chief towns being from three to fom- days. From 
Zinder to Katshina (pronounced Katshina or Katshna 
by the Bornuese), it is eight or nine days. The 
capital of Bornu is properly Kukawa, and not Kuka : 
it was founded after the destruction, in a civil war, 
of Birni-Bornu the former capital, from which it is 
distant three or four days. Minau is often called 
Manga, and Koyam is also named Kuyani. South- 
west from Minau is a place named Karda. Many of 
the people of Damergu are light-coloured ; they have 
plenty of camels. Musgo is usually known in Bornu 
as Mutshgo. The Bornuese buy guns and powder 
in exchange for slaves, at a place called Zeila, where 
caravans halt, and where much Arabic is spoken, and 


where some people come with light-coloured skins, 
whom the Bornuese term Wdsili, nearly equivalent to 
the Hausa Batilri. The slaves are mostly girls and 
boys, forming part of the tribute paid to Kukawa 
from the provinces, whence they are sent across the 
desert. These people brought with them a man from 
a district named Absinawa, said to be past Damergu 
and towards Zeila, where a different dialect was 
spoken. Absinawa is the Hausa name, Kandin is 
the BomuesCj while the native title is Imajaga. In 
appearance he looked exactly like a Bornuese. The 
Bornuese have much more marked negro features 
than any of the nations to the westward of them, so 
much so as to be sub-typical. In the Pulo province 
of Daura the population is Hausa, Pulo, and Bor- 
nuese, and in Hadeja, Hausa, and Pulo ; in the former 
the natives are distinguished by two horizontal cuts 
opposite the mouth. 

As to the countries near the Kwora and Binue, I 
gave these people all the information I could, but as 
to whether they could be assisted in returning to these 
regions, I could, of course, give no reply. All I 
could do was to promise to represent their wishes in 
England, and to endeavoiu" to promote them as far as 
possible. And I sincerely trust that the small boon 
they crave may be accorded to them, as in helping 
them to settle in Central Africa, we should not be 
merely benefitting them, but the entire continent, and 
by thus introducing superior intelligence, we might, 
possibly, be laying the germ of a new nation, to be 


distinguished by its civilized rule and mild sway 
contrasting most strongly with present tyranny and 

Sierra Leone is a thriving place, and of consider- 
able commercial importance. The anchorage is safe, 
commodious, of easy access, and with ordinary pre- 
cautions should be quite healthy. The exports of 
timber, ground-nuts, palm-nuts, palm-oil, pepper, 
gum, ginger, cofPee, arrow-root, cam-wood, bees-wax 
hides, ivory, &c., are of great value. The coflFee is 
veiy good and well flavom'ed, the bean being small, 
like that from Mocha. The quantity of ground-nuts 
shipped annually is immense, being upwards of a mil- 
lion bushels ; these are sent almost entirely to France, 
where ground-nut oil is largely manufactured, a clear, 
excellent article, which I cannot imagine being so 
little valued in this country. Palm-nuts are now also 
largely shipped, and are likewise sent to France, 
where they appear more fully to appreciate the com- 
mercial importance and economical value of these 
oleaginous seeds than we do on this side the 
channel. A new oil-yielding fruit is now coming 
into repute, viz., that of the Carajpa Guineensis, the 
product of which has long been in esteem among the 
natives. Like the C. Guianensis, it bears an irregu- 
larly triangular, chocolate-coloured nut, the kernel of 
which, when bruised and heated, yields a fine vege- 
table oil. A small specimen in my possession, is 
nearly colourless, without smell, and even in the 
tropical heat of Sierra Leone, was solid and firm, 


mucli more so than shea-butter. When better known 
this must become a most important article of com- 
merce. Of arrow-root from 50,000 to 60,000 pounds 
are exported, it is of excellent quality, and is obtained 
at Sierra Leone for about three-pence per pound. 
Lastly, I may allude to hides, which are brought to 
Freetown partly from inland districts, partly by 
coasting vessels fi'om the neighbom*ing rivers ; of 
these nearly 400,000 are every year sent principally 
to markets in the United States. 

Previous to the time of my visit the native popula* 
lation had been much troubled with vexatious Cus- 
toms regulations, or by the undue strictness with 
which these had been carried out. I can better 
illustrate my meaning by an example. Some Yoruba 
men bought a little schooner to trade in with Lagos, 
and accordingly shipped at Sierra Leone a cargo 
which included amongst other things a quantity of 
white rum. This article was, however, found un- 
suitable, and on their return they wished to have it 
exchanged for an equal quantity of coloured rum, to 
ship which they got the usual permission at the 
Custom-house, mentioning theu' reason for doing so. 
They then landed the white rum, quite openly, pro- 
bably thinking that as it was a mere exchange nothing 
else was required. But some of the authorities heard 
of their landing spirits without paying duty, on which 
the whole was seized, and a heavy fine was inflicted. 
Even little canoes coming down the river with fruit or 
some other trifling produce, are ordered to be entered 


at the Custom-house, and any neglect of this injunc- 
tion is punished by confiscation of the property. 
Now in the case of these Yoruba men I cannot see 
that there was any real breach of law. There may 
have been an error in judgment, but they acted as 
they did without any concealment, not in premedi^ 
tated violation of a Custom-house order, but according 
to principles of simple fair dealing, which regulate 
the transactions even of the most savage tribes. How 
easy would it have been in this case to have pointed 
out the error, or rather the informality committed, and 
caution against a repetition, such a com^se would have 
had infinitely more effect than the severest punish- 
ment. And so in respect to the canoe-men, what 
folly to expect people who know only perhaps a dozen 
words of English, to comprehend the nature of such 
regulations. It can hardly be expected that a Timne or 
a Susu, or even a Mandenga or a Pulo, can be versed 
in commercial jurisprudence or political economy, or 
that they can understand the advanced routine of a 
modem Custom-house. Justice, as well as common 
sense, demand that before punishing a person for 
violating a law of this nature, care be taken to explain 
its nature, and to point out its necessity. An undue 
observance of the very letter of the law in all cases, 
except in crimes against society and public order, 
produces not a stricter observance, but induces men to 
find out means of evasion. And in a colony, or a 
new country, where the people to be dealt with are 
unciviUzed or ignorant, a most liberal mode of 


administering law and dispensing justice is absolutely 
requisite. Such a coui'se will secure the affections of 
those governed, while an opposite method, as we 
have too often seen, disgusts and alienates. Such 
oppressive proceedings are, by this time, probably 
modified or stopped, but they were in full force little 
more than a year ago, at which time, also, any person 
in the colony could be seized and lodged in prison, 
without knowing what his offence was. 

After the Bishop's death, Mr. Graf very kindly 
undertook to look after my little Mitslii friend, so 
accordingly I took him ashore and left him, after a 
hearty cry, with no little difficulty at Mr. Graf's 
house, and he has since been placed at school under 
the care of the Rev. Edward Jones. There being no 
person now to undertake the study of the Fgbo 
language, Simon Jonas had to be sent back to 
Fernando Po, but since that time the Rev. Mr. Venn, 
on the part of the Church Missionary Society, has 
directed Mr. Crowther to commence the task, and 
by my last letters from that gentleman Simon Jonas 
was with him at Lagos. 

We sailed from Sierra Leone on the 6th of January, 
having embarked several fresh passengers, among 
whom was Captain Macdonald, R.N., whose constant 
good humour, and unceasing fund of amusement, 
tended greatly to allay the tedium of our lengthened 

Of the remaining part of the passage I have but 
little to relate. One evening the usual phosphor- 


escence of the sea mysteriously disappeared, but in its 
place were seen rolling by the ship large luminous 
balls, which I ascertained to be large Acalepha, but 
where the usual more minute animals had stowed 
themselves away for that night, I cannot imagine. 
At Bathurst we were put to some inconvenience by 
the behaviour of a Custom-house official, whose laws, 
unchangeable as those of the Medes or Persians, were 
not to be shaken by the arrival of a paltry mail-packet, 
and whose colonial consequence far outweighed the 
interests of the owners of the vessel, the proprietors 
of the cargo, and the comfort of the passengers. We 
spent several hours at Goree, where we were received 
with true French politeness, after which we bade 
adieu to the African coast. 

Our incidents were very few, and of the usual 
nature, meeting the huge " Great Britain " on her 
outward voyage, and one dark night being very 
nearly run into by a large brig. The Peak of 
Teneriffe was now covered with snow, presenting a 
very striking spectacle, but the climate at Vera 
Cruz was not at all affected, the sun being nearly as 
powerful there as it was at the Gambia. Not being in 
quarantine we landed, visiting among other places the 
Cathedral, and seeing the British ensigns kept there 
as trophies. I do not know whether it was suspected 
that we intended, as some silly midshipmen once did, 
to try and abstract them, but while we were near 
them, our conductor kept a most watchful eye on us, 
and objected to our getting too close to them. The 


weather, hitherto, had been so fine, that we felt the 
first approach of Eui'opean winter very much. We 
passed a very unpleasant night between Tenerifie and 
Madeira, as, in addition to its blowing hard, three 
seas met from opposite directions, producing in the 
middle, just where we were, such a commotion as to 
set everything on board not securely fixed in violent 
motion ; while sleeping on a locker in the saloon, and 
carefully guarding myself from a leak in the skylight 
overhead, through which a stream poured down 
within about eighteen inches of me, I had a narrow 
escape from being squashed under a huge portmanteau 
which had been stowed away right over my head, and 
which now getting way on, seriously threatened my 
personal comfort. Luckily, at this moment the ship 
gave a roll in the right direction, and the portmanteau 
acquired sufficient impetus to take a flying leap and 
to clear my head. At Funchal so much sea was on 
that at first it was thought that we should not be 
able to communicate with the shore, but have to run 
to Lisbon ; the gale, however, was on the decline, and 
next day the water was fine and smooth. 

During the earlier part of our voyage, both Mr, 
May and I suffered much from frequent accessions oi 
remittent fever, but our stay at Sierra Leone had a 
very beneficial eSect on us. It seemed quite to cure 
him, but I had a fresh seizure at Goree and during 
the remainder of the time had repeated paroxysms. 
Even after my arrival in England they continued, and 
to this day I am liable to troublesome ague, keeping 


me well in mind of my morning visit to the swamp at 

We left Madeira on the 24th of January, and during 
the remainder of the passage had various weather. 
When close to the Lizard, a gale of wind obliged us 
to heave to with our head off shore, and with a very 
heavy sea running the " Bacchante " showed herself 
to be extremely easy and steady. A short interval of 
repose enabled us to reach Plymouth Sound, where 
we anchored on the night of the 3rd of February, 
after a voyage, from Fernando Po, of sixty-seven days. 
The following day we left by train for London to 
report ourselves at the Admiralty. 



In an age so higlily practical as the present one, 
tlie question may possibly be asked, what has your 
expedition abeady done — and what future good do 
you anticipate ? To such inquiries I should wish to 
offer a short reply. A detailed account of the imme- 
diate results has been already given, but here I am 
desirous of speaking in more general terms. Our 
voyage had points of interest for the utihtarian, the 
commercial man, the man of science, and the philan- 
thropist. To the two former I would reply, we have 
discovered a navigable river, an available highway, 
conducting us into the very heart of a large continent, 
and by means of its branches and ramifications we are 
brought into immediate contact with many thousand 
miles of country. We have found these regions to be 
highly favoured by nature, teeming with animal life, 
and with fertile soils abounding in valuable vegetable 
products, and adapted by diversity of position, of 
elevation, and of character, for all the varied purposes 
of tropical agriculture. We have met on friendly 
terms with numerous tribes, all endowed by nature 


with what I may term the "commercial faculty," 
ready and anxious to trade with us, and to supply us 
from their inexhaustible stores, with immense quan- 
tities of highly-prized articles, most valuable for 
various economical appliances. We can likewise indi- 
cate a most important outlet for home manufactures, 
as the unclad millions of Central Africa must absorb 
thousands of cargoes of soft goods, eagerly bartering 
their raw cotton, their vegetable oils, and their ivory, 
for our calicoes and cloths. Thus we can confidently 
point out for those who follow a fresh field for energy 
and activity, an unbroken ground, where both honour 
and riches may be reaped. 

To the man of science we would enumerate the 
additions made to our geographical knowledge, to the 
extent of new country examined and laid down, to 
the survey of a new river, and the determination of 
the erroneousness of the theory which derived the 
Binue from Lake Tsad. How, the course of the 
Kwora being knoAvn to be easterly, and that of 
the Binue being now ascertained to be westerly, 
the accounts of ancient geographers may be recon- 
ciled, the descriptions of some evidently referring 
to the main river, of others to the confluent. We 
could also allude to the new tribes discovered, the 
definitions of the boundaries of various districts, and 
the additions to ethnology, philology, and natural 
history, which, though by no means extensive, will be 
found not to be wholly uninteresting. And to the 
medical philosopher we would mention the results of 


our experience of the climate, our opinions on the 
hitherto much dreaded " African fever," and the con- 
firmation of the views of those who have recommended 
to prevent rather than to cure, but, when attacked by 
disease, to employ a rational instead of an empirical 

And finally, we would address the philanthropist, 
by telling him of multitudes of human beings to 
whom he might well turn his attention. That they 
are organized Hke ourselves, have similar affections 
and desii'es, but that, unlike the inhabitants of our 
happier clime, they have been for ages a prey to the 
strong, ground doAni by ruthless oppression and 
savage passions. That naturally they are mild and 
friendly, apt to learn, and desirous of being taught, 
ready to receive first impressions, whether of good or of 
evil. That these people are, alas ! mostly the slaves of 
degrading superstitions and of heathen practices, and 
totally ignorant of those blessed truths with which we 
have been favoured and which were instilled into our 
minds in infancy. And lastly, that gifted as we have 
been with a revelation from on high, it is only our 
duty to attempt to impart its doctrines to our less 
favom-ed brethren, and that a great — a noble task is in 
store for those who will pioneer the way of civilization 
and Christianity. 

To one topic I must especially allude, — namely, to 
that horrid, that unnatural trafiic in human beings, 
known as the slave-trade. Why the poor African 
should have been solely selected as the victim of the 

c c 2 


cupidity of his brotlier man might form a curious 
subject of enquiry : his intellect, when duly cultivated, 
will rank with that of the white man, and he is infi- 
nitely superior to many other races, such, for instance, 
as the aboriginal Australian. In appearance and con- 
struction he is certainly not more removed from the 
Japetic nations than is the Mongolian, and he has 
been shown to be in every respect made like ourselves 
in the image of the Creator. I do not intend to refer 
to domestic slavery, which, although highly repugnant 
to our notions of freedom of action and equality of 
rights, is yet a very different thing from foreign 
slavery, domestic slaves being, in countries where the 
rights of labour are unknown, the representatives of 
our servants. They are usually treated with kindness, 
and do not in general seem to have much to complain 
of except their original forcible abduction. It is an 
institution, too, so completely and so intimately mixed 
up with the state of society in Africa, that many 
years will not serve to uproot it, nor woidd we be 
justified in employing any but mild and persuasive 
means for stopping it. But of the other, who can 
ever think for a moment without feelings of acute 
horror, mingled with sensations of disgust, that our 
feUow-men can be so base, so degraded, so hardened 
as to pursue and to defend this dreadful commerce ? 
Who, even the most callous amongst us, can meditate 
without intense emotion on the scenes daily enacted 
by the slave-hunter, on the husband separated from 
the wife, the mother torn from her child, brothers and 


sisters, whole families scattered, never again to meet 
on this side of the grave ? But worse than all is the 
conduct of the man who ships these wretched 
creatures, and, stowing them with less care than he 
would horses or cattle, transports them to far distant 

The only real method of effectually checking this 
detestable trade is by striking at the root of the 
supply, by going directly to the fountain-head. It is 
by doing our utmost to improve the natives, by 
softening their feelings, and by showing them how 
much more advantageous it would be for them to 
retain then countrymen at home, even as hewers of 
wood and drawers of water, than to depopulate the 
land, that we shall succeed in om' efforts. Tor these 
purposes no auxiliary is more effectual than commerce, 
which, to minds constituted like those of the Africans, 
is highly intelligible. Prove to them that they can 
derive more benefit by cultivating the ground, and 
by selling their grain, their cam-wood, their palm-oil, 
theii' shea-butter, than by living in a state of per- 
petual warfare. Convince them how much happier it 
would be for all to be able to rest quietly under their 
own vines and fig-trees, when there would be none to 
make them afraid, than, as at present, being in daily, 
nay hourly dread of being carried off into captivity 
by some one more powerfid than themselves. And 
lastly offer them, as long as they abide by oiu: wishes 
and directions, whatever advantages it may be in our 
power to present to them. Thus a promise of regular 


trade, of commercial establishments, of an uninter- 
rupted supply of Em'opean goods, would form legiti- 
mate bribes for good behaviour, and one which would 
exercise great influence. Let but these tribes once 
experience, even for a short time, the comfort of such 
a new mode of life, and I hardly think that they 
would again return to their former ways. These are 
the commencing steps, and when missionary exertions 
are also brought to bear upon them, I can have no 
fear for the future. 

As to the African squadron, I cannot but look on 
it as a very valuable agent, but its influence is only 
temporary and local. As long as we closely blockade 
the known slaving-ports, the traffic will be for the 
time knocked up in them ; but as soon as the ships 
are withdrawn, slavers again appear. Besides, for 
such a lucrative trade other outlets are soon formed. 
But one means remains, which, though it has been 
long ago recommended, we have not yet adopted, 
namely, to declare slave-ships pirates, and to punish 
the officers and crews accordingly. Why this has never 
been done I cannot well imagine. No sensible mind 
can hesitate to pronounce foreign slavery to be 
piracy, yet we shrink from making a public avowal. 
It is but little punishment for a slave-captain to lose 
his vessel, he can easily get another, and the re- 
muneration is too great not to tempt a man to risk 
anything except his life. But further, I have no 
hesitation in declaring, that there is no captain who 
has carried slaves, who has not been, either directly 


or indirectly, guilty of murder. Take even the 
mildest case : when slaves are shipped, they are 
stowed in a confined space, where they have no air 
to breathe, their food is stinted, and in this unwhole- 
some, pestilential hole they are kept for weeks ; a 
certain number of deaths is always allowed for, and 
I hold that he who for mere caprice, or contrary to 
the fundamental laws of humanity, confines human 
beings in such a manner that some must die, must 
be considered as the cause of their decease. And 
now to consider the opposite extreme ; how often 
have we heard of captains of slavers, during a hard 
chase, throwing part or the whole of their human 
cargo overboard, thus consigning these wretches to the 
deep or to the jaws of hungry sharks, and hurrying 
hundreds of immortal souls into eternity ! Who will 
be bold enough to say that such a one is not a 
murderer, and, if so, why not let him receive the 
just reward of his deeds ? Nay, so complaisant were 
our slaving regulations, that a slave-captain could 
thus commit wholesale destruction of his species, be 
seen to do so, and yet, if, when overtaken, no slaves 
were found on board, he could not be seized. Such 
characters, such man-stealers, man -destroyers, de- 
serve no mercy, and should, according to every 
principle of justice, be effectually prevented from 
again pursuing their unlawful calling. Instead of 
puzzling questions about nationalities and national 
flags, and ship's papers and clearances, let every such 
vessel be looked on as piratical, and without inquiring 


for the birthplace of the master, let him be treated as 
a pirate-captain. What does it matter whether he 
is a Spaniard or a Portuguese ? he is equally an 
enemy to the rights of mankind, and the interests of 
society demand his punishment. He follows his voca- 
tion on the high seas, but does that render him the 
less dangerous, the less culpable ? By no means ; 
locality does not mitigate the guilt of abstract crime, 
and he who attempts the lives or the liberties of 
his fellows, equally requires arrest, whether in the 
crowded city or in the middle of the Atlantic. Let 
but this course, therefore, be adopted, and doubtless 
the number of those who would run their heads into 
a noose will soon dwindle away. The professed 
criminal, though he may be hardened, is seldom 
brave, and will not, except when rendered desperate, 
willingly face the prospect of death. 

It is absoi'd to hear the defences of slavery which 
are from time to time offered to the public. It 
cannot clear what is in itself wrong, to tell how kind 
certain masters are to their slaves, or to say that 
negroes are better oJBP in Brazil or in Cuba than they 
could be at home. No art, no ingenuity can palliate 
the original offence. It is very fine to see or hear per- 
sons sitting in comfort and luxury at home, breathe 
forth a sickly sentimentalism and utter common- 
place vapidities on such an important topic. Let 
them place themselves in the position of an African, — 
let them imagine themselves torn from house, home, 
and everything dear to them, — let them picture them- 


selves encased in heavy irons, driven from place to 
place at the point of the lash, sold, bartered for some 
idle trinkets or an old red-coat, put on board ship, 
chained in a space where there is not room to turn, 
deprived of food and drink, landed, again re-sold, and 
oblio-ed to slave out a wretched existence at the com- 


mands of a brutal master. Let them fancy and 
mentally realize such horrors, and then let them say 
Avhether they can approve of this traffic. Whatever 
fine folks may think to the contrary, colour of skin 
constitutes no real difference. Under it is the same 
flesh and blood, a similar brain works, and a like 
heart beats. However refinement may be shocked 
with the idea, it is nevertheless true, that the black 
is indeed " a man and a brother ; " and it should be 
remembered as a solemn truth, that the veriest negro 
on Africa's shore is of as much value in the eyes of 
his ]\Iaker, as the proudest peer or the mightiest 
warrior of our land. 

I believe that for the promotion of commerce and 
of civilization in Central Africa, it is essential to cul- 
tivate the friendship of the Pulo nation as being 
exceedingly powerful and influential, and therefore 
likely, under good management, to be useful. Por 
this purpose I have proposed that the expedition shall 
be renewed, and that the steamer shall proceed up the 
Kw^ora as far as Rabba, from which place a deputation 
should proceed by land to Sokoto, to wait on the Pulo 
Sultan, and to endeavour to form with him a definite 
commercial treaty, and to persuade him to further 


our plans. Such a step gained would be of infinite 1 
importance, and would greatly facilitate future pro- 
gress. I have also proposed that means be adopted 
to assist the civihzed natives in Sierra Leone in re- 
turning to their homes, and in forming settlements. 
And lastly, I would recommend that regular inter- 
course be kept up for several years with the interior, 
after which time it Yill be so established as to follow 
as a matter of course. I am no advocate for endeavour- 
ing to acquire new territory ; on the contrary, I think 
such a proceeding would be prejudicial to our views. 
We should go to Africa as we would to other foreign 
countries, as visitors, as traders, or as settlers, doing 
what we could to improve the race by precept and by 
practice, but avoiding any violent interference or 
physical demonstration. If attacked, we should be 
prepared to defend ourselves, but we should be careful 
not to give cause for offence. 

Though the languages of Central Africa are very 
numerous, there are a few, which if known, are suf- 
ficient for the purposes of all ordinary intercourse. 
There are the Hausa,* the I'gbo, and the I'gbira ; 
and I have placed them according to their relative 
value. The Hausa is smooth and easily acquired, 
and will carry the traveller almost from the sea 
to Bornu, or from Adamawa in one direction to 
Timbuktu in the other. Further to the northward 

* At present the Rev. Mr. Crowther, at Lagos, is engaged in the study 
of the I'gbo Language; and in this country the Rev. Mr. Schciu is re- 
vising and expanding his Hausa grammar. 


others will prove useful, such as Pulo, Kanuri, and 

During the last five or six years much has been 
added to our knowledge of the African continent. 
The travels of Richardson, of Barth, of Overweg, and 
of Vogel have told us much of Bornu, and of the 
Hausa and Pulo countries ; and one of these enter- 
prising men has even penetrated to the almost 
mythical city of Timbuktu. In the extreme south, 
Galton and Andersson have successfully explored vast 
regions previously unknown, while between these the 
adventurous Livingston is even now pursuing his un- 
paralleled journey. The extent of country marked 
" unexplored " on the maps is annually lessening, and 
before many years it is to be hoped that such blots 
will be totally expunged. The time has, I believe, at 
length arrived when the inmost recesses of this 
ancient continent are to be laid open, its people made 
known, and its resources manifested. The cruel ills 
heaped for ages on the heads of its unfortunate in- 
habitants loudly demand reparation, and the neglect 
of ages has yet to be atoned for. England has always 
taken the lead in African exploration, hers has been 
the expense, hers many of the valuable lives lost in 
its prosecution. And now that she has sheathed the 
sword which she drew in a righteous and a just cause, 
let her afford a moment to think of other and not less 
noble purposes. Time is all-important, and every 
season allowed to pass away only further complicates 
the business, and may injuriously affect the result. 


Already two years have elapsed, during wliicli the 
natives have been anxiously on the outlook for our 
wished-for return, and, when the next expedition 
actually does take place, numerous will be the 
allusions to the want of faith and of punctuality on 
the part of white men, and many will be the enquiries 
why they do not practise what they are so ready to 
inculcate. The country is promising, the people are 
favourable, and the way, though not absolutely free 
from danger, is open and not difficult. Thousands 
Avill hail our advent, and in after-ages our first 
attempts to visit and to improve these regions will 
occupy a bright page in African history. Seeing 
these things, why should we further delay ? I am 
not indulging in chimerical expectations, but am 
recording the impressions of actual personal experience. 
The requisite expense for renewing and continuing our 
explorations is very trifling, and when compared with 
the benefit which will be conferred on myriads of our 
fellow-creatures, it is absolutely nothing. Nor will 
we be without our share of temporal rewards, as 
a widely extended field will be opened to our com- 
merce, and for years to come the demands for our 
manufactured goods will steadily increase, while in 
return we shall receive abundant supplies of rich 
tropical produce. Be it England's, then, to follow up 
the good work, commenced so long ago, and conse- 
crated by the blood of Mungo Park, of Martyn, of 
Laing, of Clapperton, of Kichardson, and of many 
others of her own sons, as well as by the lives of 


Horuemann, of Belzoni, of Overweg, and other 
enthusiasts travelhng on her behalf. Let her not 
leave to other nations to finish what she has begun, 
but let her pursue her labour of love, and aim at 
acquiring and retaining the glorious title of the Friend 
of Africa. 


Kriiiii ,1 DrsioM liy Wjlh.-iiii i.aiiil. 


niii.-mJiiiiil Inii Krhf 

Mi«T», Alloiurt,. Sl liiy.r 



The dimensions of the " Pleiad " have already been given at 
page 5 ; the accompanying lithographic plans are so complete 
as hardly to require any description. 

Figure a is a section along the level of the lower deck, 
showing her internal arrangements and the abundant cabin 

Figure B is a longitudinal section, which particularly exhibits 
the angle and shape of the stem, the rake of the masts, the 
line of the shaft, and the draught of water. The amj)le height 
between decks, from six and a half to nearly eight feet is vexy 

Figure c is a section, principally exhibiting the upper deck 
plan, and also displaying well her great beam. 

Figure d is a horizontal section, showing the shape of her 
bottom, and giving a foreshortened view of half the bow. 

Kot only was the " Pleiad " admirably adapted for her work, 
but the extreme beauty of her model must at once be perceived. 
She sailed very well indeed, was very stiff and dry, and the 
only fault which could be found with her was that she was 
rather slow in staying. She had a shifting fan, which was 
found very useful and convenient, as it could be unshipped, 
hoisted on deck, and again shipped within five minutes. 




Admiralty, 23rcZ May, 1854. 

Sir, — Her Majesty's Government having determined to 
send an expedition to the river Chadda, in Central Africa, and 
understanding that you have expressed your willingness to be 
the leader of such an expedition, and H.M. Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs having granted permission for you to be 
absent from your Consulate, I am commanded by my Lords 
Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you that they 
have accepted your offer, and you are hereby directed to take 
charge of the expedition for exploring the river Chadda, and 
all those forming a part of the said expedition are required to 
obey your orders. 

You will be accompanied by Dr. Baikie, a medical officer of 
the Eoyal Navy, who is a natui*alist, and has been preparing 
himself during the past year with this object. Possibly also 
Dr. Bleek, Ph.D., of Bonn, an ethnologist, will be of the party. 
It is further understood that the Eev. Mr. Crowther, from 
Sierra Leone,* will avail himself of this opportunity of 
ascending the river. 

The vessel prepared for this expedition is the " Pleiad," an 
iron screw steamer of 260 tons burthen, rigged as a schooner. 
She is 100 feet in length, 24 feet beam, engines of 60 horse power, 
and having 7 feet draught of water, with three months provisions 
and stores on board, and twenty days' coal of twelve hours 
each. She is officially reported on her trial of sj)eed, at Liver- 
pool, to have made ten knots an hour in smooth water. There 
will be, in addition to this vessel, two 50 feet sectional iron 
trade boats, and the consular boat, all three of which will be 
towed from Fernando Po, as far as the entrance of the Chadda, 
or farther if necessary. 

* This is an eri-or, Mr. Crowther having for several years been stationed 
at Abbeokuta in the Ydruba country, and more lately at Lagos. 


The Expedition has two main objects. 

One is to explore the river Chadda, or Benueh, the eastern 
branch of the Kawara from Dagbo, the highest point reached 
by Oldfield and Allen in 1833, to the country of Adamaua, a 
distance of about 400 miles, where the river was crossed at 
the junction of the Benueh and Fai-o, by Dr. Barth, in June 
1851 ; and thence again, if the season permits and the waters 
are still rising, to the limit of navigation. 

The other is to endeavour to meet and afford assistance to 
that excellent traveller Dr. Barth, who left England for Africa 
towards the close of the year 1849, and who, from the latest 
accounts received from him, would, after reaching Tumbuktu, 
make his way to the banks of the Benueh. On aU occasions 
every possible enquiry is to be made for Dr. Barth, and no 
presents spared in endeavouring to obtain information respecting 
him. The same instructions hold good respecting Dr. Vogel, 
who left England in 1853, and who may have succeeded in 
penetrating to the banks of the Chadda. 

In carrying out these two objects it is the desire of Her 
Majesty's Government, for the benefit of commerce and 
civilization, to take advantage of every opportunity for opening 
trade with the natives at each large town on the banks of the 
river, and within a moderate distance on either side. One 
hundred pounds' worth of suitable presents and samples of 
goods have been supplied by Government for this purpose, to 
be delivered to you by the sailing-master of the " Pleiad," 
and a list of which is enclosed. These are to be freely given 
on all occasions ; it is left to your judgment to limit the 
amount, but the practice is always to be observed in con- 
formity with the custom of the country. It is further desirable 
to make careful enquiries as to the political power of the 
several chiefs, as to the state of civilization among them, as to 
the existence of foreign slave-trade, and if so, whether they 
would consent to put an end to it, if lawful trade could be 
ensured to them, and a market opened for ivory and other 
products of the country. Mr. Crowther will naturally enquire 
into the apparent disposition, willingness, or aptitude of the 
natives to receive religious or secular instruction. 

Erom your experience as a traveller in Central Africa, it is 


almost unnecessary to give you any detailed instructions, yet 
it is right to call your attention to the most recent and best 
map of Central Africa, accompanied by a memorandum com- 
piled by Mr. Petermann from the papers of Messrs. Eichardson, 
Barth, Overweg, and Vogel, placed at his disposal by the 
Earl of Clarendon, H.M. Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs. A copy of this worjc is supplied for your use. In it you 
Avill see that the town of Doma on the north of the Chadda, 
Wukari the capital of Ivororrofa on the south, Juggum a 
settlement of the Koana, Hamarrua, and Tola the capital of 
Adamaua, are places of importance. Wukj'iri is described as 
a very large town lying eight miles south of the river, 
and the capital of the populous country of Kororrofa, 
with the chief of which it is hoped an extensive trade may be 
established. AVithin 30 miles of Yola Mount Alantika is said 
to reach an altitude of 10,000 feet ; if the highest point could 
be attained it would be an admirable position for a round of 
angles or bearings, as on a clear day in that climate the radius 
of vision from it would be fully 100 miles. 

It is essential, as you ascend the Chadda, to make a rapid 
survey of the windings of the river, noting the depths of water 
and width of stream, with the character and height of its 
banks, laying the work down at once on prepared sheets of 
paper by careful compass bearings, and measured or estimated 
distances, checking the whole by astronomical observations at 
every halt for the night. For this latter purpose you will be 
provided with three chronometers and the necessary instru- 
ments. In using the compass it must not be forgotten that 
the observations are made on board an iron ship ; all bearings 
should therefore be taken from the standard compass and 
carefully corrected for local deviation, which should be ascer- 
tained by swinging the vessel at Fernando Po, before starting, 
and testing it every evening by bearings of the pole star, which, 
in those latitudes, will be always within 7° or 8° of the horizon. 

On all occasions you will endeavour to ascertain the height 
of any hill or mountain which may be in sight ; if no means 
are afforded of measuring it by angles or by barometer, never 
omit to estimate its altitude and mark down its position and 
height while on the spot. Trust nothing to memory. 


In the Admiralty " Manual of Scientific Enquiry," a copy of 
■which ia supplied, you will find useful suggestions in 
geography, hydrography, and in all other departments of 

Dr. Baikie is to act as medical adviser to your party. He 
has been supplied with all the necessary medicines, and a 
sufficient stock also to enable him to prescribe for the natives, 
whose goodwill is readily obtained by medical advice and 
assistance, more so perhaps than by any other means. It will, 
therefore, be politic to offer his services on many occasions. 
Dr. Baikie will also act as naturalist to the expedition ; he is 
so well acquainted with the branches of zoology and botany 
that no special instructions are required, but a few suggestions 
are offered by Professor Edward Forbes, as well as some hints on 
geology by Sir Roderick Murchison, on ethnology by Dr. 
Latham, and on terrestrial magnetism by Col. Sabine, with 
instruments, instructions and blank forms for meteorological 
observations. Ton will see that Dr. Baikie is provided with 
boats or the necessary means for facilitating his researches, 
and that every care be taken of any collections he may make. 

The Commander of the " Pleiad " is engaged to comply with 
all your requisitions, as you will observe by a copy of the 
Contract, and of his Instructions from his owners, which are 

The "Pleiad" being armed with a 12.pounder pivot-gun, 
four swivels, Minie rifles and double-barrelled guns for the 
officers, muskets for the crew, and with boarding nettings 
of wire, it is not probable that she will meet with any 
opposition in the lower parts of the river where there may be 
danger. But you will remember that the best security from 
attack consists in the natives seeing and knowing you are well 
prepared to meet it. At the same time you are strictly 
enjoined to use the greatest forbearance towards the people, 
and, while retaining proper firmness in the event of any mis- 
understanding, to endeavour to conciliate as far as can possibly 
be admitted with safety to your party. Tou will, on all 
occasions, enforce the strictest justice, and never, on any 
account, permit one of your party to ill-treat, insult, or cheat 
the natives. 

D D 2 


You will comply with the first Article of War iu Her 
Majesty's naval service, in causing Divine Worship to be cele- 
brated on board on Sundays, and allow no unnecessary work 
to be done, or trading operations to be carried on, on that day. 
At the same time you will be careful to observe the spirit 
rather than the letter of the law, and never allow the vessel or 
your party to remain in a dangerous or unhealthy position, or 
risk being caught in a falling river, or defer any work of 
positive necessity on that day. 

Tou should not delay your departure from Fernando 
Po beyond the 1st July at latest ; if the vessel can be ready 
it would be better to leave earlier, as this late period will 
ouly leave you two months for your ascent of the river, 
since you must commence your return voyage as soon as 
the river ceases to rise, probably about the beginning of 

In the possible, but, it is trusted, most improbable, loss of 
the " Pleiad," on any of the numerous rocks and banks which 
may be expected in an unexplored river, the consular boat and 
two trade-boats will ensure you the means of a safe return to 
the sea ; and their Lordships will direct the mad-packets to call 
off the mouth of the river each voyage from the middle of 
September to the end of the year, to make enquiries as to 
your safety, and to afford you assistance iu case of need. 

During the whole of the expedition you will keep a full 
journal of your proceedings, and, if an opportunity offers of 
sending home despatches from time to time, you will not fail 
to avail yourself of it, transmitting, at the same time, a tracing, 
however rough, of the chart of the river, as far as you may 
have advanced, so that, in case of an accident to your papers, 
the results of the expedition, so far, will be recorded. 

On reaching Pernaudo Po, you will of course resume your 
consular duties ; Dr. Baikie will return to England in one of 
the contract packets, on board of which a free passage is 
provided for him, briuging with him the journal, plans, and 
collections connected with the expedition, and report himself 
to the Admiralty on his arrival. 

Finally, you are strictly enjoined to be careful of the health 
of the party entrusted to your charge, and to afford them the 


benefit of your experience as to the best mode of maintaining 
health in African rivers ; and should, unfortunately, fever 
break out and assume a threatening appearance, you are to 
remember that you are not called upon to persevere in the 
ascent of the river, but that your first care is the safety of 
your people. 

(Signed) E. Osboene. 



London, 3, Mincing Lane, May 8, 1854. 

SiE, — Having appointed you to command the screw steamer 
" Pleiad," about to proceed under a contract with the Lords 
Commissioners of the Admiralty (a copy of which is handed 
you herewith) on an exploring voyage up the river Niger 
and its tributaries, I have now to state the manner in which 
you will carry out the contract, your relation to the govern- 
ment passengers who are appointed to accompany you, and the 
principles which will guide you in your intercourse and trading 
operations with the natives. 

2. Tou will consider all trading operations subsidiary and 
auxiliary to the main design of the voyage, which is to ascend 
the river Chadda, the eastern branch of the Niger, as high as 
possible during the rise of the river. 

3. The Admiralty appoint three gentlemen to accompany 
the expedition, — Captain Beecroft, Her Majesty's Consul at 
Fernando Po, Dr. Baikie, E.N,, and a third, for the purpose of 
laying down the course of the river, and making observations on 
the character of the people and the productions of the country. 

Their relation to you is that of first-class passengers in a 
contract steam-packet, found and provided in everything by 
the ship ; to whom you will afibrd every facility, by stopping, 
proceeding, or delaying your voyage, and supplying them with 
boats, men, and provisions, whenever required for their 
scientific pursuits. 


In case of any difference of opinion, you will require an 
order in writing from the senior present, and that order you 
will obey. Ton are to supply them with any articles of 
merchandise, cowries, or doUars at the market value at tlie 
time of such supply. These gentlemen will join the " Pleiad " 
at Fernando Po, 

4. In your intercourse with the natives you are not to 
assume any other character than that of a trader, which they 
will at once recognize and understand. Ton are not to mix 
yourself up with their local disputes ; and, when they exist, 
change your location as quickly as possible, deal with them 
firmly and justly, and on no account allow the slightest insult 
or the smallest theft olfered or committed on board your 
vessel to pass unnoticed or unpunished. 

Tou will conform to the customs of the country in making 
the usual presents to the chiefs and leading men in the villages 
and towns you visit, using your judgment as to the amount, 
but never omitting the practice, which corresponds to the 
Custom-House charges of civilized countries. 

5. You will enforce strict discipline with your ofi&cers and 
crew, and severely punish any of them who ill-treat, insult, or 
cheat the natives, and you will not permit women to remain 
on board on any pretence. 

6. The " Pleiad " being armed with a 12-pounder pivot-gun, 
four swivels, Minie rifles and double-barrelled guns for the 
ofiicers, and muskets for the coast negroes employed as 
crew, and with boarding nettings of wu'e, it is not probable 
she will meet with any opposition in the lower parts of the river 
where iliere is danger. But you will remember the only 
security from attack is the natives seeing and knowing you are 
well prepared to meet it, and if you are attacked that you 
forfeit all your advantages if you allow them to make a hand-to- 
hand fight of it. 

Tour superiority is in your arms, and a few rounds of- 
canister from your pivot-gun will be sufiicient to show them 
that, after which you will have no more trouble. The cause of 
any collision is generally misunderstanding. As a rule the 
natives are well disposed, but in the lower parts of the river 
they cannot resist the temptation to plunder, if they think 


it can be done witli impunity. Above Eboe there is no 

7. The Rev. Mr. Crowther, to wboin I have oiFered a passage 
in the "Pleiad," will join at Pernando Po from Lagos. It is 
my desire that he has every opportunity given him of seeing 
the country and the people. His position on board is that of 
my guest, and you will see that he is treated with deference 
and respect. 

8. You will have Divine Service on Sundays, and allow no 
unnecessary work to be doue, or trading operations to be carried 
on ; but you will draw a broad line between the Jewish ob.seiw- 
ance of the Sabbath and the Christian one, and never allow 
your ship or ship's company to remain in a dangerous or un- 
healthy position, or defer any work of necessity on that day. 

9. The mail-packet "Bacchante" took out on the 25th of 
April to Pernando Po the cai'go, provisions, and stores for the 
" Pleiad," and two iron sectional boats, 50 feet long by 8 feet 
beam ; and by the mail-packet of the 24th of May three inter- 
preters, selected from the liberated Africans at Sierra Leone by 
Mr. Oldfield, will join you. They will be of Eboe, Haussa, and 
Yariba tribes, the three languages, dialects of which are spoken 
as far as you will proceed. ' 

10. You will follow, with as little deviation as possible, the 
following plan of proceedings : — 

On your arrival at Peruando Po, and assuming command of 
the " Pleiad," which vessel will be delivered to you there by 
Captain Johnston, who takes her out, you will receive your 
provisions, stores, and cargo — shipped per " Bacchante " — 
together with the two 50-feet canoes. These canoes and the 
consular boat are to be towed by the " Pleiad " to the main 
branch of the Niger, and up that stream when needful ; you 
are to load them with coal and such parts of the cargo of the 
" Pleiad " as you may deem best, taking care to leave Fernando 
Po with twenty days' coal of twelve hours for your engines, 
which, if no accident occur, should carry you to the limit of 
navigation in the Chadda. The depax-ture from Fernando Po 
must be as soon after the 1st July as possible. 

The Admiralty Charts of the main branch of the Niger, tlie 
accounts of former ascents, and the presence of Captain Bee- 


croft, -uill be sufficient guides to you in the ascent of tlie river 
from the sea. 

Tou will proceed as rapidly as possible from the mouth of 
the river to the confluence of the Niger and Chadda, where 
you will leave one or both of your 50-feet boats, in charge of 
such of your supercargoes as you may think fit, and proceed 
without delay up the Chadda, making every exertion to reach 
" Tola," the capital of Adamowa. This, either in the " Pleiad" 
or the boats, ought to be done before the 1st of September. 

In your ascent of the river, in order to secure a safe return to 
the sea, in case of the loss of the " Pleiad," trade of some sort 
must be carried on with every large town, and at the two great 
market-places below the Confluence, and you will use your 
discretion either to push on with the steamer, or to leave one 
of the trade-boats to follow you, so as to keep up your mer- 
cantile character with the natives. 

In the extreme case of the loss of your vessel on any of 
the numerous rocks and banks of both rivers, the consular 
boat and two trade-boats will ensure you a safe return to tlie 
sea, and I will move the Lords of the Admiralty to order the 
mail-packets to call oflP the river every voyage. 

On your return down the Chadda, if the river Niger is still 
rising, it will depend on the state of your ship and crew, and 
the wishes of the Government oflicer, declared in writing, 
Avhether you ascend that sti*eam to Kabbah or beyond it. 

Before leaving for the coast you will offer to leave in charge 
of any of your supercargoes, who shall volunteer for the service, 
both the trade-boats and what merchandise you have left, to 
remain in the river until the next season — say July, 1855 — 
and you will leave with them a sufficient crew for both boats. 

On your arrival at Fernando Po you will take passages for 
yourself and the Government passengers in the first contract- 
packet for England, sending the " Pleiad " home under canvass 
in charge of a suitable officer. 

(Signed) Macgeegor Laibd. 



William Balfoiir Baikie, M.D., in charge of the expediti 
Dauiel John May, Second Master, R.N. 

John T. Dal ton, Zoological Assistant. 

Thomas C. Taylor, Sailing-master and Supercargo. 

Thomas J. Hutchinson, Surgeon and Supercargo. 

John Harcus, Chief-mate. 

John Kirkpatrick, Second-mate. 

Charles Johnson (a Prussian), Third-mate. 

William Guthrie, Chief-Engineer. 

Richard Gower, Second-Engineer. 

Samuel R. Crawford, Supercargo. 

John J. Elvege, Steward. 

Europeans 12 

Persons of Colour 54 

Total 66 
A slight numerical error lias crept into the text at page 30. 

To do proper justice to the share taken by Mr. May in the 
proceedings of the expedition, and the assistance he constantly 
rendered, I think it right to publish the official certificate given 
to him on his return to England :— 

" It aifords me more than ordinary satisfaction to testify to 
the general conduct of Mr. D. J. May during the late exploring 
voyage up the rivers Kwora and Tsadda, and to the great assist- 
ance he afforded in carrying out the designs of the expedition. 
Mr. May had been serving on the coast of Africa for three years 
previously in H.M.S. " Crane," but hearing, on the arrival of 
the " Pleiad " at Fernando Po in June last, that the numbers 
of the Government party were much reduced, he at once 
volunteered his services, and from the excellent character 
given him by his commanding officer, was at once entrusted 
with the superintendence of the surveying duties. 

" Prom the very limited period during which our explo- 
rations could be carried on, there was necessarily the closest 
application required. The labour of laying down, within four 
months, 700 miles of river, with careful soundings, besides 
inspecting tributary branches, examining innumerable islands, 
taking constant observations for latitude, longitude, and vari- 


atiou of the compass, frequently re-ratiug chronometers, &c., in 
a tropical climate, can hardly be understood except by those 
who have shared or witnessed such exertions. 

" Whenever I required help of any kind, I had invariably a 
most willing and able assistant in Mr. May, who most readily 
undertook to aid in any branch of enquiry. His intimate 
acquaintance with and love for nautical astronomy and the 
other scientific branches of lus profession, peculiarly fitted him 
for that most important division of our pursuits to which he 
more particularly devoted himself. 

" His charts, the results of his labours, with his work-book, 
showing the observations and other data on which our geo- 
graphical positions are based, being now in the Admiralty, 
will at once show that in what I have now written I have 
done but scant justice to his diligence, his perseverance, and 
his acquirements. 

(Signed) " AY. B. B." 

" London, April 5, 1854." 

The following letter, which, at the conclusion of the voyage, 
I felt it my duty to address to Mr. Crowther, has already, with 
the exception of one paragraph, been published with that 
gentleman's journal, but his characteristic and modest reply 
has not been printed : — 

Clarence, Noremhe)-2S, 1854. 

Mt dear Mr. Ceowthee, — After having been together 
for upwards of four months, closely engaged in exploring 
Central Africa, I cannot allow you to depart without express- 
ing to you, in the warmest manner, the pleasure I derived 
from your company, and acknowledging the information I 
have reaped from you. 

Tour long and intimate acquaintance with native tribes, with 
your general knowledge of their customs, peculiarly fit you for 
a journey such as we have now returned from, and I cannot 
but feel that your advice was always readily granted to me, nor 
had I ever the smallest reason to repent having followed it. 
It is nothing more than a simple fact, that no slight portion 


of the success "sve met with in our intercourse with the tribes 
is due to you. 

Our voyage has providentially terminated so far favourably 
and without loss of life. As to the unhappy diflfereuces which 
existed on board the " Pleiad," I can only say, I regret deeply 
the constant part I was obliged to take in them. I need not 
further allude to them ; they must frequently have disturbed 
your comfort, and the very remembrance of them must be 

Tou are now about to return to the scene of your past 
labours, and to resume your share of the work for civilizing 
and regenerating a vast territory. That your labours may 
continue to meet with success, and that you may be spared to 
see your exertions bearing good fruit, is the sincere wish of 
Tours, very faithfully, 

AVii. Balfoue Baikie. 

The Rkv. Samuel Crowthek. 


Clarence, Fernando Po, November 28, 1854. 

Mt deae Sib, — I have received your kind letter of this 
day's date, and I thank you very much for the sentiment 
therein expressed. 

I have always thought, and do think the same still, that the 
praise and honour of the success which has attended the expe- 
dition to explore the Tshadda, and which you had the honour 
to head, on the part of Government, is due to God, who has 
thus mercifully preserved the health of all the Europeans 
therein engaged, in so singular a manner ; and in the eujoy- 
ment of such health, nothing could deter you from carrying 
out the wishes of Government in that noble object. 

May we be led from this to resign ourselves to God's all- 
wise disposal, who can continue or dispense with our services, 
as seems good in his sight. 

(Signed) Sam. Ckowther. 


The following correspondence took place at Fernando Po on 
t]:e removal of the various instruments from the " Pleiad," 
preparatory to their being sent by the mail-packet to 
England : — 

No. 1. 


S. S. Pleiad, Clarence Cove, November 10, 1854. 

SiE, — Seeing that Mr. May has removed the chronometers 
from the " Pleiad" this morning, I beg to say that, although 
I have no writing concerning them, I consider the fact of its 
having been arranged between Mr. Laird and the Admiralty, 
for them to come out in the vessel, implies that they should 
also return in her. And I hereby inform you, that the vessel 
will be disabled, unless supplied with at least two of them, 
with an authenticated certificate of their error and rate. 

(Signed) Thos. C. Tayloe. 

Dr. Baikie, R.K 

No. 2. 

Clarence, Novemler 10, 1854. 

Sir, — In consequence of your representation to me, of this 
morning's date, of the inefficiency of the screw-steamer 
" Pleiad," from the want of a chronometer for the navigation 
of the ship to England, I have to inform you that I will take 
upon myself the responsibility of supplying you, for that 
purpose, with one of the Admiralty chronometers in my 

One chronometer is the number usually supplied to her 
Majesty's ships and vessels of war of a much larger size than 
the " Pleiad," and is esteemed better than two. 

The instrument with which I intend to supply you is 
"Young, 110," which will be delivered to you, or to a careful 


messenger, by Mr. May, who will take a receipt for the 


The error and rate of this instrument, determined in a 
comparatively doubtful locality, and under very disadvan- 
tageous circumstances, cannot be nearly so correct or so 
satisfactory to yourself as those which you will have ample 
time and opportunity for ascertaining before the "Pleiad" 
can leave this port. 

(Signed) ^Y. B. B. 

Mb. T. C. Taylor. 

No. 3. ' 

S. S. Pleiad, Fernando Po, Novemler 10, 1854. 

SiE, — I have to acknowledge your letter of this date respect- 
ing the chronometers, and beg to say I am so busy just now 
winding up the affairs of the expedition, and making arrange- 
ments for getting the "Pleiad" to England, that it is very 
little time I could spare to finding the error and rate of a 
chronometer; but if Mr. May could spare time, aud would 
take the trouble to do it for me, it would oblige me ; and if 
not, he will please to let me have the present error and rate, so 
far as he knows it, with which whosoever I take as sailing- 
master of the " Pleiad" home must do as well as he can. 

(Signed) Thos. C. Tatloe. 

Db. Baikie, R.N. 

The " Pleiad" did not leave Fernando Po for England until 
the 29th of November. 

The following document may be looked on as a diplomatic 
cui-iosity. The original, from which I copied this, is in the 
possession of King Pepple, and it contains the terms of a 
treaty made between the people of Bonny and of Andoni, 
between whom a fierce and bloody war was waged about ten 
years ago ; — 




Erom tlie date of this document the natives of Andony shall 
be considered as subjects of King Pepple, and shall be entitled 
to the same rights and privileges as the Bonny men. 

2nd. The Andony men bind themselves not to have any 
communication whatever with Young Calabar or Creeka 
country ; if on the contrary such communication is held, the 
person or persons so offending shall be subject to such punish- 
meni; as King Pepple shall choose to inflict. But should 
Young Calabar or Creeka men bring provisions to Andony 
for sale, the Andony men shall be allowed to buy the same ; 
but under no circumstances or pretence whatever shall Young 
Calabar or Creeka men retail spirits in the Andony. 

3rd. No marriages between Andony, Young Calabar, and 
Creeka country will be allowed. 

4th. When the Andony men make their great Jewjew, the 
natives of Bonny promise to give them hip-cloths, caps, rum, 
&c. ; and when the Andony men come to receive the above, 
they promise to present the Bonny men with some dried fish. 

5th. The Andony men further promise, that when desired 
by the King of Bonny to catch fish for the public feasts, they 
will do it. 

6th. They, the Andony men, also promise not to destroy the 
Guano, but allow the animal liberty the same as in Bonny. 

7th. Should there be war between Bonny and any other 
power, the Andony men promise to supply war-canoes, well 
fitted out and ready-manned, in order to assist the Bonny men. 
If the Andony men should be short of canoes, guns, or ammu- 
nition, the Bonny men will supply them with the same. 

Further, if any other country should in any wise molest the 
Andony men, the Bonny men bind themselves to interfere and 
act in the same manner as they would were it their own 

Sth. Each party, — viz., tlie Andony and Bonny men, — 



mutuallj agree and bind themselves, that for the future they 
will not eat human flesh. 

9th. The Andony men also promise to supply Bonny canoes 
■with men to assist in puUing to the fair. 

10th. That in case of any dispute arising between any two 
parties, natives of Andony, King Pepple is to be informed of 
the same, and that he (the King) will send a competent person 
(without charge) to settle the matter. 

11th. The Andonymen bind themselves to pay Jewjew Guano 
800 manillas. 

12th. Should the Andony men kill any elephants, they are 
to present the teeth thereof to King Pepple ; and should the 
Andony men at any time be short of muskets or powder, King 
Pepple will supply them. 

13th. In case of any shipwrecks, and should any white men, 
under whatever circumstances, get into the power of the Andony 
men, they (the Andony men) are immediately to transfer them 
over to King Pepple without injury. 


Chiefs^ Names. To^vns. 


Oto Aboloocaua | 



















V Corro. 

1- Egoole. 

V Allabea. 

[■ Elletoombe. 


/i^^A^ /^ 

Anna Pepple 
Manilla Pepple 
Jack Brown 
Amataeca or Dajipa 
Captain Hart 
Black Foobra 
Jewjew Tiger 
John Africa 
William Pepple 
Jewjew Telefar 
Indian Queen 

his X mark, 

The forenamed chiefs have sent representatives, whose marks 
are affixed below, to ratify to the above-named treatv : — 


Representatives' Names. 
Otebong Lis X liiin'k. Egoo his X mark. 

Sauga do. Ogbolotoo do. 

Amabarra do. 


John Angus Ward, Princess Royal. 

Chas. Calvert, William Batsford. 

Wm. Kelly, Huskisou. 

G. W. S. Witt, Swiftsure. 

G. W. W. Bond, Fanny. 

Wm. Owens, B. Packet. 
Arthur J. P. Cutting, 

Peter Jacobson, Warwick. 

Dated this 22nd December, 1846, in the Jewjew House, or 
Parliament House, Grand Bonny. 


In tlie various districts on the Delta of the Kwora, in 
Yoruba, Biui, I'gbo, Igara, I'gbira, Nupe, and the Hausa and 
Piilo countries, the principal currency consists of cowries. 
These are almost all originally exported from England, and 
vary in price according to the supply and demand. They are 
sold in bulk, the average price being from about 4Z. 4<s. to 
51. 5s. a cwt. Their equivalent in English money in Africa 
ranges from a shilling to a dollar a thousand, the average 
being from 1*. Gd. to 2^. Attempts are being made by the 
missionaries in the Tdruba countries to introduce dollars as a 
mediiim of exchange, which would be a vast improvement. I 
have at pp. 114 and 220 alluded to two forms of iron money 
which we met with. This currency, far from being of recent 
introduction, is most probably of indigenous origin, and cer- 
tainly anterior to the employment of cowries. I find the 
following notices regarding an analogous form : — 

" In Moko they have Coin'd Money, made of Iron in the 
form of a Hoach, the Eundle as big as the Palm of a Hand, 
with a Handle about an Inch long." — Ogilbij^s Africa, fol., 
1670, p. 482. 


" The money of MoJco is of iron, in the shape and figure of 
a thornback, flat and as broad as the palm of the hand, having 
a tail of the same metal, of the length of the hand." — Bar- 
hot's Descr'ij)tion of the Coasts of South Guinea, in ChurchilV s 
Collection of Voyages and Travels, 1732, vol. v. p. 380. 

The various media of exchange now established in the trading 
rivers in the Bights, as brass-rods at Old Kalabar, and manil- 
las at Bonny, have been introduced by European commerce. 
The use of cowries extends far into the interior, reaching even 
to Timbuktu. The coined money along the coast is to a great 
extent English, but other forms are also commonly met with, 
principally French five-franc pieces and Spanish doubloons and 
dollars ; the rate of exchange of the latter varying from 4*. to 
4s. 4^(1. In 1854-5 coin was so scarce, that along the Gold- 
Coast the chief circulating medium was gold-dust, and, of course, 
in weighing and transferring small quantities, considerable loss 
was incurred. 


In reducing previously unwritten languages, — under which 
category have been included, until very lately, nearly all 
African tongues, — great difiiculty has been experienced from 
the want of a uniform system of orthography, and much con- 
fusion has thereby been caused. Until a very recent date, 
each writer transcribed words in accordance with the genius 
of his own language, or to agree with some pet phonetic 
theory, and thus his labours were often comparatively unin- 
telligible to scholars belonging to other nations. In endea- 
vouring to introduce alphabetical writing, the great aim should 
be to employ a system which assigns one simple power to each 
letter, and which represents similar sounds and combinations 
of sounds by the same letters. English philologists ought to 
remember, that when so engaged they should not write merely 
for their own countrymen, but that their transcripts should be 
able to be read and to be pronounced easily by continental 
students, whether French, Italian, or German. A few years 



ago several of the Toreign Missionary Societies having expe- 
rienced the evil results of such discrepancies, proposed the 
adoption of a uniform standard, to comprehend all such vocal 
sounds as were then knovs^n among African trihes, or such as 
were likely to occur. The system then determined on has, 
with some improvements, been pursued ever since, and has 
been productive of the best results. At present the plan 
almost universally in use is that of Professor Lepsius of Berlin, 
with a few modifications, it being the most comprehensive and 
the most philosophical yet proposed. 

The following is, therefore, the alphabet which I have era- 
ployed, and which is the one recommended by the Church 
Missionary Society. In it the vowels are used with the 
powers given to them by the Italians — examples of their 
sounds being added in English words : — 


as in 


as in saw. 





Konig (German), or 





peu (French). 





gilte (German), or 
line (French). 


i as in 

I tide. 1 


as in 


1 oi as in noise. 


b as in bag. 
d „ den. 

f -, fan. 



as in pan. 
„ run. 
„ sun. 

(1 V 

h „ 

h „ 

loch (Scotch). 


,, she. 
„ tan. 
,, thin. 

J „ 
k „ 





„ vail. 
„ will. 

111 „ 




n „ 


English (nasal). 


„ amaze or noise. 



ts like the German z. A-p is the hard co-relative of p6. 

dz is a modified ts. c is always expressed by s or h 

gb is a hard sound of i, found in q ,, „ „ lew. 

many African languages. x „ „ „ Tcs. 


To the westward of the Eio Formoso the language spoken 
is the Ijebu dialect of Toruba, while more inland, towards the 
north-east, is found the Bini (Benin) tongue. From the Eio 
Formoso to the Nun, including all the western portion of the 
Delta, the natives speak Orii or Ejo, and to the westward of 
Abo a distinct dialect is used, namely the Sdbo. Nimbe or 
Brass is very nearly related to the Orii, and I believe that 
Irom the Brass Eiver to the New Kalabar, the natives dwelliug 
on the banks of each of the iuterveniug rivers all talk 
differently. At the Sombreiro I know positively that this is 
the case, but here the dialect closely approaches that of New 
Kalabar. Between the last-mentioned place and Ebsiue or 
Bonny there are well-marked differences, and I have been told 
that the language spoken in the intervening district of Okrika 
is distinct from either, while beyond Okiiloma a fresh language 
is to be found at Andoui. Along both sides of the mouth of 
the Old Kalabar the Kwa language will, I believe, be found 
prevalent, but about fifty miles up this river, around Duke- 
Town, Old Town, and Creek Town, it is replaced byE'fik. 
From Old Kalabar to the Cameroons little, if anything, is 
known of the languages, but that spoken up this latter river is 
the Diwalla. 

Ascending the Kwdra, from the mouth of Wari affluent to 
the borders of Igara, the languages on either side are dialects 
of I'gbo, namely Abo, Isuama, and E'lugu. Beyond this to the 
eastward we find Igara, which is related to the Toruba, while 
opposite to Idda Bini is spoken. The people of I'gbira-Sima 
do not quite reach the river, and beyond them on the right 

E E 2 


bank are heard Bonii, Bassa, and Isbabe. Nupe, though well 
known, does not properly reach so far down as the Confluence. 

On entering the Binue, on the right side is heard the I'gbira- 
Panda dialect of I'gbira, which also prevails in Igbegbe and^in 
the various I'gbira settlements along the southern shore. 
Further up, to the northward, are the Easa and Ddma 
languages, and on the south the Mitshi. In Bautshi and 
Hamariiwa, Hausa is always spoken, though Pvilo is also 
understood by many. lu Kordrofa and among the Baibai to 
the eastward, the language comprises different forms of Djuku. 

The lower part of the Kwdra and the Binue, though they do 
not form quite an absolute barrier, yet constitute a well-marked 
line of distinction between the tribes living on the opposite 
sides. Those to tlie eastward and southward are in most 
respects closely allied to the South African races, while to the 
westward and northward the resemblances are much less 
marked, and intermixture with more northern tribes and with 
Arabs show themselves. All the coast dialects from Oru to 
Old Kalabar, are either directly or indirectly connected with 
I'gbo, which latter Dr. Latham informs me is certainly related 
to the Kafir class, and I have but little doubt that, when 
critically examined, Mitshi and Djuku will prove to be members 
of the same extensive family. 

AVith regard to other tongues, Igara, Tgbira, and Kakauda 
are all related to the Tdruba, which, though not the centre of 
a distinct group, yet may be regarded as forming what would 
be termed in natural history, a sub-family. Basa is connected 
both with Toruba and Niipe, and the affinities of Hausa and of 
Pulo, though not entirely distinctive, yet show them to be very 
considerably removed from the true South African type. 


50 WORDS. 


King (Abo). 

Oris a 

( God the Creator 
\ (Abo). 




God the Creator 




an image. 


a grave. 


my image. 


the Deity. 


my God. 



Ofu Tshuku 

Ood^s image. 


hecutsonboth sides. 

(3mo Tshuku 

God's children. 

moma Tshuku 


mo ndjd, or 

\ a demon, an evil 
J spint, or the devil. 



mo djo 




Satan ? 



r one tvho lived above 

akpopaudo or 

> star. 


■I before coming 


L down. 








( the name of an evil 
\ spirit. 


sv'o east. 



1" a country fashion 


rain or water. 


< for raising an 

miiiyi edo 

rain comes. 

L evil spirit. 


^ . , 

6 mo 

child or children. 

, , . , ' >ioma. 
uwheri (Ozuzu) J 






my mother. 





meninu (6zuzu) sea, i.e. salt water. 




river ov great leater, 



imii or ii 



pig's jaw. 

ebeigwe or eb^Iu thunder. 


cloth, baff. 




blue, black. 



osi, odji (Isiidma) 6?we, hlacJc. 

igrigi or idrigi 





j smoke, used thus, 
1 amum-dko 


blue baff. 



white baff. 








a wedder goat. 




thing or something. 


fog, mist. 


a wooden basin. 

oho mlnyi 

spring of water. 


a calabash. 


l well of water. 



olulu (Ozuzu) 









how do yedo?l^^^^^ 














tshl-'nwho or tshi at 

i6a do. 























ehlnhe or tsbl * 



Both are equally correct. 





Ebdne. Neiv Kalabar. 





mingi minzi or minji 


or migi 













T^mono * 


















The comparisons of these words shew tolerably the relations 
of the above dialects with the I'gbo. 

The following numbers were given to Mr. Crowther and 
myself by King Peppel ; as they were very carefully taken 
down, they may be considered as tolerably authentic. 

English.'^ Ebdne. I'g^o. 

one ngd ote. 

two nin^ abo. 

three tere ^to. 

four 6ni ^wo. 

five sonua ese. 

six siiniu isiu. 

seven sonitlma dsa. 

eight inine as^to. 

nine esdni toili. 

ten ati and oyi in. 

^7z is used for "ten" in counting up or in reckoning, but when 
it is employed to designate a specific number, as " ten men,' 
oyi is selected. These numbers of King Peppel's correspond 
pretty closely with those given by Koelle. The I'gbo numbers 
all belong to the Isuama dialect, except toili, which appears to 
resemble that of A'ro. For " thirty-six," Bonny people say 
" forty without four." 

; English. 

I Hdusa. 





about 8 A.M. 




about 2 P.M. 


„ 4 „ 

la dsev 



about 8 P.M. 




luha, wdluba. 






Tbis seems to correspond witb Oiisa ratber than witb TshuJcu. 



The following was given to me by Mr. Crowther as the best 
division of the dialects of Tdruba. 

1. Ydruba, including Ife. 

2. Egba. 

3. Ijebu. 

4. Ijesha, including Ydgba. (This 

might go with No. 2.) 

5. Ota. 

6. K^tu, spoken on the borders of 


7. Igbdma, near Niipe. 

The purest Toruba is spoken by the Muhainmadans of 
Ilorin. The dialect of Lagos is very impure. Abbeokiita is 


1. Katshlua, the purest and best. 

2. KSino. 

3. Goblr. 

4. Daura. 

5. Zdmfara. 

6. Zuzu. 

7. BirSiata Gobaz. 

8. Kdbi. 

'9. Shira or Shura. 

Specimens of the Mitshi, and of the Ddma or Arago 
languages have been published in the Appendix to Crowther's 


The following, which have also been published by Dr. 
Latham, in the " Proceedings of the Philological Society," 
I procured from a man a native of Baion, whom I met at 



















( ikumbo or 


ntowa or ntoko. 

one hundred 

\ nkumbo. 



a thousand 



fim or mftim. 




bli or mbu. 


















































































nkwdm. ■ 


















faminyfi mS,kwe? 















blade or blue 














On comparing" tliese words with Koelle's Bajon specimens in 
the " Polyglotta African?," there can be no doubt of their 
belonging to one common language, but representing different 


The following I procured also at Fernando Po from a Bati 
man, through a Baidn interpreter. The number of words is 
very few, but I only saw the man for a quarter of an hour 
before I left the place, and I had barely time to secure and 
correct what are here given. 













































monki utshi. 
















These numerals must at once strike as being peculiar and 
elaborate, but I am certain of their being correct. A few of 
the words resemble the Baion, which is very probable, as Bati 
and Baion border on each other. Under the head of BSyon, 
Koelle gives a Pati dialect, which, however, does not at all 
correspond with what are given above. In Petermann's Atlas 
it is said that the Baci people are white ; but this is erroneous, 
as the I saw had a very black skin, and he told me all his 
countrymen were the same. 


A fertile source of confusion and difficulty has arisen from 
different travellers and writers having described the same place 
or the same tribe by various appellatives, which, to the reader 
not previously versed in African geography, must be productive 
of endless trouble and mystery. Thus the Piilo race is known 
in Bornii as Pulata, and in Hausa as Fulani ; English writers 
often style them Eulo, and the French call them Peul. The 
town of Lagos is by the natives known as E'ko, and by the 
Portuguese as Onlu ; and Abo is variously entitled Eboe, Abe, 
Opii and Abo'nta. To endeavour to clear up these points, I 
have drawn up, partly from my own enquiries, partly from such 
authorities as have been within my reach, the following lists 
of synonymes, which catalogue the various names given to the 
same spot or race by different people, and also the numerous 
designations employed by travellers to denote the same place. 
I have been careful to distinguish native and original 
names ; and I trust the lists, which are necessarily rather long, 
may assist the researches of geographers and philologists. 



The Kwora or Niger is kno\A'ii at different parts of its 
course by many distinct names, but the meaning of the greater 
number appears to be "great river." It is very difficult to 
select from these one general one, but perhaps Kwora is the 
most advisable, as being more generally known. The spelling 
I have adopted is that which accords most closely with the 
pronunciation I heard from the natives, and it likewise 
corresponds best with its derivation, which is either from the 
Kauiiri word Kura, pi. wura, signifying " great," or else from its 
flowing through a district named Kura. It is sometimes 
styled Kw(5ra-ba, but chiefly among Muhammadan tribes, most 
of whom have a smattering of Arabic, the word ha being the 
Arabic hahr, sea or river, as Balir el ahiad, the White Nile. 
Tor convenience sake I have divided the river into two 
portions, the one above the Confluence of the Binue, and the 
the other from the Confluence to the sea. 

The Kwora (below the Confluence) is called — 

Osimini, Osimini, ). .,, ,^, UjiQiini, in Igara. 

. . ' -, . . } iiiAboandOru. , , _, 

Ositturi, Osimiri, > QuOrra, „ AUeu s Lliart. 

Anyim, in some parts of Igbo. Akassa-tdro, „ Nimbe. 

tJzie, „ Sobo. 

The mouth is known as the Nun, Non, or First Brass 

The Kwora (above the Confluence) is called — 

Nigeir (Ni7eip), 

by Ptolemy. 


by Park. 

Niger, by ; 
Nile of the Negroes, 

ancient writers, 
by Edrisi. 


r by De Caillie 
I and Jomard. 

Quorra, Quolla, "i 

by modern 

Tembie and Bd, 

by Jomard. 

Kowiira, Kewdra, I 

writers and 


in Timbuktu. 

Kowdra-ba, J 


Oya and Oddya, 

„ Yoruba. 


by Jomard. 


„ Nupe. 

Guliba 'n Kowara, ) 
F^ri 'u rua, ) 

in Hdusa. 


in Bassa and Bonu. 
in Igbira. 


„ Bambara. 


„ Ig^ra. 


„ Geriwa. 

Koara and Ghulby, by Dupuis. 

Bahr Sud^n, 

„ the Arabs. 

Beuueh and 1 , 

Chadda-Benueh, J 
Tsbiidda (Ts^dda), ,. 

The Binue is called 

r. i Dsdde, 

Petermann. ' 


by Koelle. 

rr, , •■ 1 ^, 11 ) >> Allen and 
Tcliadda,Chadda, j oidfield. 




in Io;biia. 

Shary, by Laird. Ilihu, Inhu,Liliu, ' 

Shadderbah, „ Macqueeu. Ehulogi, 

Etshi, in Bonti. Nu, „ Kordrofa. 

Fui'oji, „ Nupe. Ujimini dudu, ,, Igdra. 

Biiki 'n rua, „ Hdusa, Chadee and Shady, by Dupuis. 

I never could hear the name Zanfira mentioned by Barth 
Mouths of the Kwdra. 

1. Rio Formoso, 
Benin River. 

2 Rio dos Escravos, Esclavos, 
Escriidos, Eseardos, 
El Brodei', Brodero, 
Brodi, Slaves River. 

3. Rio dos Foreados, 

Galley-Slaves River. 

4. Rio Ramos, 

Bough River. 

5. Rio Dodo. 

6. Pennington River. 

7. Middleton River. 

8. Winstanley Outfalls. 

9. Sengdna or Segma, 


10. Rio Nun or Nou, 

First Brass River. 

11. Brass River or Second Brass 

River, St. John, Rio Bento, 
Malfonsa, Oddy, Fonsoady. 

12. Rio di San Nicolas, 

Rio di Filana or Tilana, 
Rio di Juan Diaz, 
Sempta or Lempta. 

13. Rio di Santa Barbara, 

Rio Meas. 

1 4. Rio di San Bartolomeo, 

Rio dos tres Irmaos or 

15. Rio Sombreiro, 

Sambreiro, Sombrero. 

16. New Kalabdr, Kalebar, or Cala- 

bar, New Calbary or Calebare, 
Calbarine, Rio Real. 

17. Bonny, Bani, Bandy. 

18. Andoni, Andoney, 

Rio di San Domingo, 
Loitomba or Laitomba. 

19. Kantoro, 

Rio di Conde, 
Rio San Pedro. 

The Old Kalabar is also called — 
Old Calebare or Calabar, Old Kalborgh and Oude Calborgh. 

Pulo (pi. Piilbe) is called — 

Fuldni, Filani, FuMdsi, in Hdusa. 
Fulani, Filani, „ Yoruba. 

Fuldta, Filata, „ Bornii. 

Angoye, Angbdye, „ Igbira. 

Silmira, „ More. 

Kambumdna, „ Gur^n. 

Tebdle & Gayi, in Bdkum, Baion, &c. 
Abdte, in Kororofa. 

Futo, „ Dsaham. 

Biile, „ Mfut. 

Adinyi, „ Borltsu. 

Tebare, in Ndob or Burukera. 

Tibar, „ Bdlu. 

Agoi and Goi, ,, Dsumu and "khe. 
Poula and Fula, by Clark. 
Foulahs, Foules, Poules, by Mollien. 
Fulahs, Peuls, by Golberry. 

Falitahs, „ Lander. 

FuUans, ,, Richardson. 

Foblah and Felarney „ Old field. 
Falatiya and Felatah „ Prichard. 
Fallatah „ Macqueen. 



The following list of states under Piilo rule applies only to 
the Western Piilbe, or to those countries which are tributary 
to So koto. It is correct so far as it goes, but I cannot say 
whether it is quite complete, most probably not quite so. 









Kororofa (part)^ 











Hausa is one of the divisions of Arab geographers, and 
originally its extent was much more limited than at present, 
when it is held to comprehend all countries where tlie Hausa 
tongue is spoken, namely : — 










Hsiusa is called — 



in Igiira, Igbira, 








the Piilbe. 


„ Kororofa. 





„ Mitshi and Boritsu. 





„ Guren. 




Asia d si, 

„ Kidmba. 

Houssa, Housa, 





„ the. 




„ Goili. 





„ Kdnem. 

The early Arab geographers divided Central Africa into 
various regions, some of them defined in a more or less 
arbitrary manner ; but as many of their designations are still 
retained, it is of some importance to be able to recognize them, 
with their varied orthographical forms and synonymes. Some 
of these countries, as Hausa, have in modern times greatly 
expanded ; others, as Takrur, have contracted ; and a few, like 
Ghana, have nearly disappeared. "With these are associated 
certain other names introduced by the modern Muhammadans, 
of which the following are the priicipal: 



Glidna, Gh^nab, 
Ghauat, Ghan^ta, 
Gualata? Wa]ata? 

Jlaghardwa, Maghr^wab, 

Magaraoa, Magardua, 
Magraua, Magaraba, 
I^Iagarawa, Macburebii. 

Kissour 1 

Kuku, KHukaii, 
Kfigbo, Gdgo, 
Kugbali, Karkar, 
Cocbia, CiCuga] 
Kduka, Gbow, 


Damlu, Ddmloo. 

Mali, Meli, 

Meli, Melli, Maly. 

Gunjd, GhuDJdb. 



Inta, Intda. 

Takrur, Tekrur, 
Takrour, Tak-roor, 

Filldni, Fillany. 
H^usa, Houssa, 

Haoussa, Haowssa, 


Oonghdr, Oongooroo, 

Gufiugara, Gflngara, 

Owencdra, Vancaia, 


Ldmlem, Ljlmlem, 

Ny^mnyem, N'yeinn'yeiii, 

Rdmrem, D^mdem, 

Al-Limiyin, N'yumnyiim, 

Gnumgnuni, Nilinnam, 

Temiam 1 
Wdngara, "Wankaia. 

Gbeneoa, Gbinea, 

Cbinoia, Genni, 


* Yemyem or N'y^mnyem is Bot, strictly speaking, the name of a 
country, but was applied to a supposed race of cannibals, believed to live 
on the southern borders of H^usa. The name is now confined to a district 
situated between Bautshi and Boi'nu, or, more correctly, to its inhabitants. 
The "Umburm, near Jacoba," mentioned by Sultan Bello, is probably the 
district of Mbula or Umbiila, east from Bautshi. 

Timbuktu, or Tumbuktu, is called- 

Tumbutum, by Leo. 
Tanbaktu, „ Ibn Batuta. 
Tonbaktoo, „ Bello. 
Timbuctoo, „ Authors. 

Tumbactu, by Professor Lee. 
Temboctou, „ Caillie. 
Tymboctou, „ Jomard. 
Teenbuktu, ., Richardson. 

Agadez, or Agiiadez, is called — 
Agdas in Sultan Bello's Map. 

This place has been supposed, but on insufficient grounds, 
to be the A'udaghost of Edrisi, -which was more probably 
situated to the northward of Ghana. 


Ahir, Ahe'er, or Air, is also called — 
Asben, Azb^n, Asouty, Asouda, or Blad es-Sultan. 

Grhadames, or Ghadarais, is called — 

Gadamfiwa in Hausa. Ghodemis by Cooley. 

Ardamas by De Caillie. 

Tuarik, Tawarik, Touarik, pi. Touarghee, is called — 
Azgher by Richardson. TawarfCk by Bello. 

Sudan, Soudan, is called — 

DarSud^n ^,_^,.._^._ Soodan by Bello. 


Belad el Sudan }by Arabs. ^.^^.^,^ } by older writers. 

Imajaga is called — 

Kandln in H^usa. Absin^wa in Bornu. 

This last title is probably derived from a town named A'bsen, 
situated towards Agadez. 

Sokoto is called — 

Sackatu in Bello's Map. Soccatoo by Clapperton & Oldfield. 

Sokkattoo by Sir R. Donkiu. Succatou ^ ^^ Richardson. 

Saccatoo by Macqueen. Sakkatou J 

Kano or Kanu is called — 

Cauo by Barbot Kanou by Richardson. 

Kanoo by Bello. 

Leo Africanus seems to confound this city with Ghana. 

Katshina, or Kadzina, is called — 

Kdtshina in Boruti. Catsheenah by Lander. 

Chesena and Kasena by Leo. Kotshina and Cashna by Clark. 

Kassene and Kasene „ Ogilly. Kashna by Clapperton & Macqueen. 

Cassena and Ghana „ Barbot. Kasnah „ Bello. 

Kachenah „ Cooley. Katshna „ Earth & Petermann. 

Kdsiua „ Koelle. Kasslna ,, Dupuis. 

Hadeja, or Hadeji, is called — 
Hadega by Clapperton. Kliadedsha in Petermann's Atlas. 


Gobir is called — 

Ghoob^r, by Bello, Gobur, by Clark. 

Ghouber, „ Richardson. Guber „ Petermann and Overweg. 

Goober, „ Macqueen. 

Maradi is called — 
Mariadi, by Overweg. Maladi, by Koelle. 

Gobir and Maradi are the only Hausa provinces which 
remain independent. 

Katagiim is called — 
Kataktima by Ibn S'ald. Caancouma, by Hamaker, 

Bautshi, Baushi, or Bdshi, is called — 

Bowsher, in Bello's Map. Jacoba district, by Clark. 

Boushy & Beetchee, by Clapperton. Bolobolo and Bolewa, „ Barth. 
Bowchee, „ Lander. 

Zuzu, Zdzo, or Zeze, is called — 

Saiia, Zaria, 1 j. ., ,• /.. Zdra, bv Clark. 

' ' }■ from its chief town. „ . ' t^ ,i / v 

and Zalia, J Za-ri-ya, „ Bello, (map). 

Zegzeg and Zegizdgi, in Hdusa. Z;iri, „ Clapperton. 

Zigzag, by Bello. 

Ziua is called— 

Sina, in Petermaun's Atlas. 

Haraariiwa is called — 
Hamarrua, by Barth and Petermann. Ktindi, by the Djiiku. 

Adamawa is the 

Adamowa of the maps. Adamaua of Barth, Petermann, and 

Adamla of Koelle. Richardson. 

It has also been conjectured to be the Haudama of Ibn 
S'aid, but this is very doubtful. 

Takuba is the 

Yacoba of Macqueen. .Tacoba of Oldfield. 

Yakoba ,, Richardson, &c. 


Bula, or Mbiila, is the 

Uiubula of Petermann, possibly the Umburm of Belle and the Rdbtimd of 

Ibn S'ald. 

Bak'n dutslii of Hausa is Moriaii of the Djuku. 

Bundii is the Bundang of Petermann's Atlas. 

Kw6ntsha „ „ Kontsha „ „ „ 

Kw(5iia „ „ Kdana „ „ „ 

Tdngale ,, „ Tangare „ „ „ 

Bdtshama „ ,, Batshamba „ „ „ 

Bagirmi is called — 

Bugai-mi, at Hamaiiiwa. Ibkarem by Ibn S'ald. 

Begharmi, by Clark. BekarmI „ Cooley. 

Bagrmi, „ KoUe. Baghermi „ Macqueen. 

Fumbina is the Foobena of Macqueen. 

Loggone, or Loggene, is called — 
Loggun,byDenham& Macqueen. Lokone, in Bornu. Lagiin, by Richardson. 

Zaafiira, or Zanfira, is the 

Zamfra of Clapperton. Zanfarah of Bello. 

Zumfra „ Lander. Zanfara, or Pharan, of Barbot. 

Zamfari „ Clark. Zeffra of Mohammed Masini. 
Zamfara „ Koelle. 

Daura is the 

Dowry, or Dor, of Bello. Doura of Clark. 

Doula „ Koelle. 

Tsad, or Tshad, is the 

Tsade of Bornu. Shad of Macqueen. 

TSdde „ Muuio. Dshade of Koelle. 

Tchad „ Denham. Chad and Tschad of writers. 

Kaniiri is the Kauowry of Clark. 

Bornii is the 

Burno, Borno, & Burney of Ogilby. Bino of Nupe. 

Barnou of Bello. Kauiki of Ydi'uba, Sierra Leoue. 

Birebire, Balebale of Hausa. 


Minau is the Mauga or Minyo of Petermann'a Atlas, also 
called Munio. 

Kuyaini is the Koyain of Petermaun's Atlas. 

Gaudiko is the Ganako of the Djuku. 

Zhibii, Gaudiko, Gaukera, and I'bi, are the Katshara of the 


Kurdrofa, or Kororofa, is the 

KoroiTofa of Earth. Gbkgban of the Bdritsu. 

Koraorfa „ Bello's Map. Akpa „ „ Ig^ra and I'gbira. 

Koi-a-raffa „ Bello's Narrative. Dsuku „ „ Koelle. 
Ke, or Wlki, of the Tiwi. 

"VVukari is the Okari of W. Allen. 

Mitshi, or Mutshi, is the 

Misi and MIsi of Doma & Akpoto. B^si of Afudu. 

Tiwi, Midsi, & Mbidsi of Koelle. Akpa of Igdra, Igbo, Sierra Leone. 

Gbalpu of Aglya. 

Ddma, or Arago, is the Dauma of Ogilby. 
Nupe is the 

Nufe and Nyffee of writers. Th,kpa of Hdusa. 

Noofee „ Bello. Tagba „ Y6ruba. 

Noufee „ Richardson. Tapa, Tapna, & NufS, „ Clark. 

Nufie & Nupaysee „ Oldfield. Tacwa and Nouffie „ Lander. 

Nife „ the Gdali. Tapua „ Latham. 

Anup^ri „ t^he. Yowi or Yiifi „ IbnS'aid. 

E'be is the Amipe of Hausa and Barba, the Agalati of the 

E'gga is also called E'ga and I'go. 
Yaiiri or Tawiiri is the 

Ya-ori of Bello. Youri of Clapperton. 

Yoouri „ Clark. Yaoori „ Macqueen. 

Yaoorie „ Lander. Yaouri „ Mohammed Masini. 

Liver is the 
Lever of Lander and Beecroft. Layaba of its inhabitants. 

Biisa is the 

Boosa of Lander. Boussa of Clapj^erton. 

Boossa „ Mohammed Masini. 


Mandenga is tlie Mandingo of authors. 

Jdlof is the 

Gelofe, or Jalofe, of Barbot. Jalaf of Ogilby. 

Also Wolof, Woloff, OuollofF. 

Barba, or Ibarba, is the 

Bargu of Hdusa. Bargho of Bello. 

Biso „ ilhe. 

Yoruba is called — 

Yiriba by Hausa. Yekoo by Dupuis. 

Yarriba „ Latham. Ayaji „ Niipe. 

Oyeo „ Barbot. Anagonu or Inago „ Popo. 

Aku in Sierra Leone. Aypnu „ Dabdmi. 

E'ko is the 

Lagos of the maps. Onin of the Portuguese. 

Kakanda is also pronounced Kakandi, Kakiinda, and 

Bonu is probably the Puna of Clark. 
Ishabe is the Shabi and Shabee of Clark. 
Basa (at the Confluence) with Akiiya is the Akandsa or 
Kakandsa of Igara. 

Dsumu, or Idsumu, is the 
Ak6ya of B^sa. Abinu of Anupe. 

Oworo is called — 

Eydgi by Nupe. ;&gbe by Yoruba. 

Akandsa „ IgiCra. 

Ki, or Eki, with Dsiimu, and Oworo, is the 

Akuya of B^sa. Kak.inda and \ ~ UA^^n 

Bonu „ Nupe. Ganagdna J 

Ishdbe „ Igbira and Igdra. Kakandsa „ Igbo. 

Abitshi is the 
Abushi or Bishi of W. Allen. Beeshee of Oldfield. 


Ajewon-Igbira is the 

Rdgan-Koto of Hdusa. Djashi-Agbira of Dj6ku. 

Pumdvo „ Mitshi. 

A'kpa is the Akbah of W. Allen. 
Oketta is the Aketo of W. Allen. 

Ikereku is the 

Cheraku or Karuko of W. Allen. Corracu of Oldfield. 

Yimaha is called — 

Yimasha in Hdusa. Immoshah by W. Allen. 

Yimmahah by Laii'd. 

Odokodo is the 

Addakudda and "1 ^ t • . t Adda-Kuddu of Allen and 

Addah-Kuddah J ' ' Thomson. 

Addacoodah „ Oldfield. 

I'gbira- Panda, also 

fgbira-Ihi, Igbii-a-Odo, and Igbira-Igd or Egti, or simply Igbira, is the 
Igbfila of Mitshi. Egbira, figura, i 

Igberra „ Clark. Egbira-Pande, V of Koelle. 

Birrah „ W. Allen. and Opanda, J 

Kotoonfanda „ Bello's Map. 

Panda is the 

Fundah of Laird. Opdnda of Koelle. 

Fandah „ W.Allen. 

E'kpe (Epe) is the A'fo of Ddma and Hausa. 
Egu or Igii is the 

Koto'n Kdrifi of Hdusa. ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ f of Laird and 
Kotun Karfee „ Bello. L Lander. 

Kuttum Karifi „ Allen's Chart. F ' h / " -^^^^^ ^^'^ 

Kattam Karifi „ W. Allen. I Thomson. 

I'gbira-Sima, also 
Igbira-Shima, Igbira-Sdima, and fgbira-Iddd, is the Igbira-Hima of KoUe. 

Mount Pate is the 

Patteh of Allen's Chart. Lukdsa of Kakdnda. 

F F 2 


Mount Soracte is also named E'tse. 
Beaufort Island is also named Barraga. 

Okiri, or Ikiri, is the 

Iccory of Oldfield. Bocqua of Lander. 

Ikdri „ McWilliam. Bokweh „ Allen's Chart. 

A'kpoto is the Akwottia of Allen's Chart. 

Igara, Igala, or Igana is the 

Atagarra of Bello's Map. Egarra, Igarra, \ ^^ q^^j.]^^ 

Eggarah „ W. Allen. and Igalla, J 

Eggarra „ McWilliam. 

Attd and Attah-< 

Idda is the 
of Laird and Iddah of Allen and Thomson. 

"Wifa is the Wappa of Allen and Thomson. 

Ada-mugu is the 
Damuggoo of Laird. Damagu of McWilliam. 

Ado or Edo is the Edii or Idu of Abo. 
I'gbo (I'bo) is the Hackbous of old writers. 
I'tshi, or Mbritshi, is the Bretshi of Clark. 

Asaba is the 

Kirree of Lander and Oldfield. KiiTi of McWilliam. 

Kiri Market of Allen's Chart. Asabaa of Hutchinson. 

Ossamare is the 
Atchimary of Oldfield. Asamarae of Allen & Thomson. 

E'lugu, E'nugu, or I'lugu, is the Olugu of Clark. 
Isielu is the Isiolu of Yala. 

Isuama, or Isii, is the 
Isoama of Koelle. Iswdma of Yala and of Clark. 

Ogone is called Egane in Okiiloma. 
A'ro or A'no is the Aaru of Clark. 


Abd is the 

Eboe of Laird, Lander, & Oldfield. Ah6 of NImbe, Orti, & BIni. 

Ibu and Eboe of Allen's Chart. Ilbbe „ Oktiloma. 

Abdh „ Schou. Aho 'bd, and \ ^ , ,, ^m yi 

^ , '' .,„,("» Oru & Okuloma. 

Opu „ Igdra. Abo ku. ) 

Mb(5hia is the 
Ikp6fia of Okiiloma. Akp6fia of Orii. 

Korotumbi (AUeu and Thomson) is the 
Little Ibu of Lander, Laird, & Allen. Abo 'nt^ of Okuloma and Oru. 

Wari is the 

Warree of Beecroft. Dowerre, Awerri, "i 

Ouwerre „ Ogilby. Ouwerri, Oveiro, ^of Barbot. 

Forcados, J 

Angiama is the 
Ingiamah of Allen's Chart. Hyammah of Lander & Oldfield. 

Orii is called — 

Ejd & Esd, by Nimbe, Bini, & Ebdne. Udso and Utso, by Koelle. 

Aru and 'Njo, by Clark. 


Oedo of Barbot and old authors. Benin of maps. 

Benyn of Ogilby. 

Ijebii is the 

Jaboe of Barbot and Ogilby. Jaboo of traders. 

Dsebu „ Koelle. 

Agaton is the 
Gotton, Agatton, & Hugato of Barbot. Gatto of traders. 

Tshekeri is the 

Sen^ima of Nimbe. Dsekiri of Koelle. 

Iwini „ Abd. 

Tuw(5a is the 
Brass-town of charts. Twa of English traders. 


Nimbe is the 

N^mbe or Ddmbe of Oiu. Itebu of Abd. 

Numbe of Clark. Brass „ traders. 

New Kalabar is called — 

Andn and B6m in Igbo. Kanibari, Kalabari, in Ozuzu. 

Karabar „ Oni. Okuliibur by Clark. 

Karab^ri „ Ebane. New Calabai-, and't 

' 1— traders. 

Young Calabar 
Ebane is the 

Obane of Igbo. Bandy, Bany, of Barbot. 

Ib^ne „ New Kalabar. Bonny „ traders. 

Bani ,, Ogilby. 

Okuloma (town) is tlie 

Okuloba of Nimbe. Kuleba of Ogilby. 

Osimini-ku „ Ab<5. Okulome „ Clark. 

Culebo „ Barbot. Grand Bonny- town „ traders. 

Okrika is the 

Krike of Ogilby. Akrika, Egriki, of Clark. 

Cricke „ Barbot. Creeka and Young Creeka „ traders. 

Nddki is the 

Mina of Ebdne. Oqua of Clark. 

Okwa „ Igbo. Okua „ Koelle. 

Ogobendo is the Bende of Okuloma, 
E'fik is called — 

:6fi, by Igbo. Karaba by Clark. 

Efiki „ Ebiine. Old Kalabdr,! 

Bie a?KZ Bibie ? 1 _ „ or Calabar, J » *^'^*^^^"^- 

J Tu-i - r.> Koelle. 
and Ibibia, J ' 

Akuna-Kuna is also pronounced Akura-Kura. 

Egbo-Shari is called — 
Um^nyi in Igbo. Ibibio in llfik. 

Omun is the 
Okr^ of Y5,la. Idrdga of its inhabitants. 


Tala is called — 

Amdni in fgbo. Ola^ in Akam. 

Its people are called Olalapide in I'gbo. 

The people of Agauyi are called A'kpa in Yala. 

Baion is the 
Bayung of Clark. Bayon of Koelle. 

Ndob is the 
Burukem of Kororofa & MItshi. Mbrukim 1 of ^fik. 

Cameroon is the 

Diwalla of the Natives. Eh^la of Ngdten and NhaleiHoe. 

Niwira „ Mom^nya. 

The Femandians are the 
Adeeyah (Adiya) of Thomson. Bubi (Boobi) of traders. 

Badagry is called — 
Agbddaylgi in Ydruba, also Bakagli. 

Porto Nuovo is the 
Aj^she of Yoruba, Hagbonu of its people, and also Z^m. 

P^po is the 
Ad^ho of its inhabitants. Egun of Y6ruba. 

Hwida is the 

'''^^ \ of its people. ™^' O^'^^^' ^'^^' \ of Barbot. 

, J and Juyda, J 

Greghwee 1 of Macqueen. Whida, Whidah, \ ^^ ^j-aders. 

and Whydah, J 

Qrewhe and 

Akra is the 
Accra of charts. Nkrdn of the Fanti. 

Asanti is the 

Ashantee of maps. Kambon (pi. Kam- "1 ^^ Gur^n. 

Kambuse „ More. benza) J 



Kr^be (pi. Krjibo) is the 

Gr^bo of Clark. 
Grebo, Cru, and 


f Latham. 

Kr^bo of Koelle. 
Krumen and "1 
Fishmen J 

of traders. 

Native names of tlie Km towns. 

Little Kru, 


Grand Cestos, 


Settra Kru, 








Nanna Kru, 




Kiug Will's Town, 




River Cestos, 

_^ Nipua or 
L Nipoe. 

Cape Palmas, 

f Biiiue-lu or 
\ Qbiimle. 

Town at its Mouth, 


Native Town th( 

3re, B^ine. 

Little or Piganino Cestos, Bit^o. 

Several places along the Krii coast have a name variously 
spelt, Cestos, Sestos, Sesters, or Cess. I have been unable to 
satisfy myself vrhich is the correct one. Barbot says they got 
the designation from Cestos, a Portuguese word, meaning a 
kind of pepper, which was plentiful, but I have not been able 
to trace the word. Mr. Norris suggests that the word may be 
" Sestro," the left, an old Portuguese word, derived from the 
Latin sinister. If so, they were probably named by navigators 
because these places were situated on the left hand while 
sailing southwards ; but they may have been named from 
baskets (cestos) of pepper, which is not improbable. 

Names of places between the Confluence of the Biuue and 
Paro, and ZhibtJ, from a Piilo trader. 






Hftma, i. e. Hamaruwa. 


Kjia (the Chief of :&rima.) 

Garin (probably Gorin, in 






Towns between Zhibvi 

and Anyishi. 

Zhibu. Pia. 


Wukdri. Arufu. 




Names of places between Zhibu and Wukari 







Short route from Hamaruwa to Tola, five long days. 


1. Wurabeli, a Pulo village behind L^u. 

2. Gowoi. 

3. Zdna, passed during the night on account of the natives. 

4. Tahlru, a village belonging to Lawal. 

5. Wtiro-Alahdji, close to 

6. Tola. 

Long route, Hamaruwa to Tola, fourteen days. 

Under the direct rule of the 
Sultan of Hamariiwa. 

1. Zhini, 

2. ;6rima, 

3. Zongo'u Kdwo, 

4. Akdm, 

5. Zdngo'n Kengi, 

6. Gangtime. 

7. Zongo'n d(jka. 

8. Kogi'n bab^. 

9. Zlifin garigflri. 

10. Kwontsha : the Governor is Muhama 'Ngabldo, a Piilo. 

11. Liiro. 

12. Dardio. 

13. Hamedti, governed by Lawal's brother. 

14. Tola. 

Hamaruwa to Yakuba, five days, first halt at Jebjeb. 
The route from Dali to Yakuba leads through Dampara 
and Wazai. 

2 days. 
4 — 5 days. 
24 days, 

3 days. 

1 long day, halt at Zti. 
5 — 6 hours. 

2 days, 
fa day and a half, halt at 



















R6gan-k6to „ 


r 3 — 4 days' route through Ak - 
I wona, Arlifo, and Afidi. 
r a day and a half, halt at 
I Tufiye. 



Rout from Ik^reku to Panda, 

4 days. 

„ „ ,, „ Doma, 

10 days. 

, Ei^ku „ Ik^reku (new), 

1 hour. 

, „ „ Ik^reku (old), 

6—7 hours. 

, Amarin „ Iddd, 

6 days. 

, Old Ik^reku to Akpata, 

1 day, NNW. 

, P^nda to Abishi, 

1 day, NW. 

„ Ikpe, 

half a day. 

„ Abishi „ Toto, 

1 day, NNE. 

Towns between O'jogo 

and Doma. 



Ke^na C). 

Kadordko (') 




D(5ma ('). 

Giza ('). 

Those marked (') are large towns 
Slave routes to the coast. 

Omodi^o (in !&lugu). 







Ogti (in Isudma). 








Eoute of a slave from Baidn to the Cameroon river. 
James Liloben (Tamunku), native of Baion, caught when a 
boy in a war with 'Ngolam, a contiguous country, but speaking 
a different dialect. ' Sold iu Bandem, distant a day's journey, 
thence sent half-a-day's journey to Dokate, and again a long 
day's journey to Bam. Next sold at Yagbasi, half-a-day's 
journey off, and sent a day and a half to Bdnkoi, where he 
escaped and ran two long days to Bidema, from which place he 
came five or six hours by canoe to E'gbo or A'gbo, and, finally, 
one day more by canoe to 'Nfai or Cameroon. 'iSTfai is the 
E'gbo name for the Cameroon : the language of E'gbo resembles 
the Diwalla. 


In Baidn and Bati the people are warlike. Clotli is woven by 
the inhabitants, but some use coverings of leaves ; the bouses 
are all round. The Baion people are not cannibals, but in 
war they cut off the heads of their slain enemies and dry 

Names of Baidn towns. 

Basauga, Basankte, Banka, Basi, Bale,^, Batja, Buna, Bulon, 
Bamanu, Bandebla, Bandem, Bandyo, Bawuii, Balenyo, 
Bamoko, Bandesa, Banem, Bakobi, Balikem, Bafan, Ibuento, 
Babadi, Bamunjo, Bati, Bagan, Bagbo, Bandjindjo, Igbdgba, 
Bakom, Bawo, each of which towns has its own chief. 

These were all my informant could remember ; it will be 
observed that with hardly an exception the initial letter in all 
is the same. 

Names of towns in E'lugu. 

Onitsha, Obiinkar, Mbo-aja or Mbaja (meaning large 
country), U'bri, Updm, Opose, Akeyza, Isiagum, Adeliigbo, 
Opanka, A'da, Ihiie, Ldpa, Utru, Isudtshi, Ndawa, Loyan, 
Abaja, Agoro, Obdye, Esu-ukun, Mbrumbu, Abayan, Lofuja, 
Isupuato, 'Ngddo, Gmodidko, Esomeran, and Omiiinsi, of 
which last the inhabitants are said to be very short and very 

Towns in Isuama. 

Ossamare, Mima, A'wo, Mohinu, Osuniriaua, Ogii, Nivese, 
I'ngulu, A'wo, Amuzuri, Mbedi, TJbago ? Umandha, Amis. 

Towns in Abd. 
Oko-ala, a day's journey up the Abd creek, I'buku, O'ko, 
Asaka, Utagba (large), A'fo, Ibredi, Anyama. 

Kings of Panda. 

1. Malegedd, the founder. 

2. Id6ko, about 1819 or 1820. 

3. Akosa. 

4. MamaUfia, about 1825 or 1827. 

5. Itodo. 

6. Abulia, during Laird's visit in 1832 ; a bad ruler. 

7. Ad^ke. 

8. Oyigtx, slain by the P61be in 1854 : unpopular. 

9. Og^-a, or Mohamma, grandson of the first king; succeeded in 18.54. 



Malegedu was a native of Koto 'u Karifi, whence he emi- 
grated to Tdto, before commencing to build Panda. 


1. Baglrmi 

2. Adamdwa 

3. Hamariiwa 

4. Gombe . 

5. Born6 

6. Shira . 

7. Katagu 

8. M^rma . 

9. Hadeji 

10. K^no . 

11. Awdyo 

12. Kasawurfli 

13. DiCura 

14. Katshina 

15. Zdnfira 

16. Gobiri 
17 Bjiutshi 

18. Z(jzo 

19. Damudu 

20. Nupe 

21. Ilprin 

22. Yauri . 

23. K^bi 

24. Sdkoto . 

States in Central Africa, and their rulers. 

Saraki 'n Baglrmi. 

Mobiimma Bello. 


Sdraki 'n K^bi. 

Alibii, Sdraki 'n Musulmin, or 
Sultan of tbe FaitbfuL 

This list was taken verbatim from the mouth of our friend 
Ibrahim or Saraki'n Hausa at Hamaruwa. In two instances 
his memory failed him, but rather than leave a blank he desired 
me to write down Saraki with the name of the state, Saraki 
meaning king. These names diifer somewhat from those of 
Eichardson in " A Mission to Central Africa," vol. ii. p. 189, 
and also from those of Dr. Earth, in Petermann's Atlas. 


of Ebane. 

1. Pdpa. 

2. Zbidie, bis sou. 

3. Pellkoli, bis son, 

tbe 1st King P^ppel 

4. Fum^ra „ „ 

,, 2Dd „ 

5. Optibu „ „ 

„ 3rd „ 

6. Bribo ,, cousin 

„ 4th „ 

7. D^ppa, son of Optibu „ 5t,h 


He succeeded on April 9th, 1847, and was deposed in 
February, 1854 ; when he was temporarily replaced by another 
Dappa, w^ho died suddenly in 1855. 

By late letters from Fernando Po, I learn that King Peppel 
or Dappa has been freed from aU restraint, and is at liberty to 
go where he chooses. 

Tlie Old Ebaue Week. 

1st day, Eseu-iuiadi. 5th day, Es<5ne-Kinadi. 

2nd „ Es^ue-sduadi. 6th „ ? 

3rd „ Eseue-Suniidi. 7th „ ? 

4th „ Es^ue-SuuanitidL 8th „ ? 

I got these names from King Peppel, but he gave 
them with some hesitation, and he could not recollect the 
last three. 

The Map which accompanies this volume has been very 
carefully reduced by Mr. Arrowsmith, from the large chart 
which he has prepared for the Admiralty from Mr. May's 
drawings. The large chart gives, on a scale of half-an-inch to 
a mUe, merely the courses of the river as far as we went, with 
the countries immediately adjoining, but in the smaller one the 
upper part of the Kvvdra, as far as Eabba, has been adapted 
from Allen's Survey, and the coast line and mouths of the rivers 
have been inserted from Denham. The mouth of the Cameroon 
river is from Capt. W. Allen, and Fernando Po from the most 
recent Admiralty Charts. The principal difficulty experienced 
was with regard to the Old Kalabar, of which there has been 
no actual survey. The Cross river was ascended by Beecroft, 
and the river was laid down by Dr. King, and we have employed 
his latitude for Duke Town as being the only available one. 
Consequently we have had somewhat to adapt the estuary of 
the river to this latitude. In the Kwdra itself Capt. Denham's 
position of the mouth, which dift'ers considerably from Allen's, 
has been assumed as correct, but above that all the points were 
ascertained for ourselves. The principal alterations made in 
the lower parts of the river are moving Abo eight miles further 
south, as several meridian altitudes of the sun taken by 
Mr. May invariably gave the same result. The position of the 


Confluence has been altered a good deal from that originally 
assigned to it ; in the Map it approaches much more nearly to 
that given to it hf the expedition in 1841, but is not quite so 
far west. In the Binue everything beyond Dagbo is of course 
quite new. The furthest good observation was taken at Djin, 
in latitude 9° 22' north, and longitude IP 25' 7" east ; our last 
point, namely Diilti, is not perfectly fixed, as the observa- 
tions taken there were interrupted and consequently imperfect, 
still it cannot be very far out. All the positions determined 
during the ascent were checked by fresh observations during 
the return voyage, when, however, very few alterations seemed 
to be required. The positions of places near the upper Binue, 
differ about a degree and a half from those given in Peter- 
mann's Atlas, but these changes correspond very well with the 
corrections in the longitude of lake Tsad, recently determined by 
Vogel. Dr. Earth has informed me that the positions of places 
towards Tola, sent home by him, were assigned by bearings, 
starting originally from places which have since been proved to 
have been very incorrectly fixed. I am glad, however, to have re- 
ferred to this Atlas, that I may mention of what service it proved 
to us, and that I may record my testimony as to the amount 
and general correctness of the information it contains. During 
July, August, and September, all the meridian altitudes taken 
were of the moon, 'of planets or of stars, as all the observations 
being taken with' an artificial horizon, during these months the 
sun was too high to be within the scope of the sextant. The 
first occasion on which Mr. May was able to obtain a sun's 
meridian altitude, was on the I8fch of October, at Oketta, not 
far above the Confluence. A list of the principal latitudes and 
longitudes determined will be subjoined in a tabular form. 

Throughout the I'gbo country, every place has been noted 
for which a probable locality could be given, but, of course, 
such positions are only inserted provisionally. 1 have dis- 
carded a supposed connecting branch of the river from above 
Abo to Bonny, as I can find no evidence for it, and the testi- 
mony of the natives I examined gave no grounds for believing in 
its existence. I am perfectly certain that there is no direct com- 
munication there. All places marked without absolute authority 
have after them a note of interrogation. On the western side 


of the river there is certainly no affluent higher up than the 
Wari branch, and Abo may be looked as situated at the 
extreme apex of the Delta. Takuba has been placed on the 
evidence of Dr. Vogel, who visited it last year, Prom Dr. 
Petermann I have just learnt that this traveller has recently 
sent some further important geographical results, including tlie 
following latitudes and longitudes, which may, he considers, be 
depended on, the former within two minutes, and the latter 
within five minutes : 

Guj^ba (in Boruu) . . .11° 29' 40" N. 11° 39' 0" E. 
G^bbei (on the frontier of Bornii, 

the Gebbeh of Earth) 
G(5mbe (in Boberu) . . . 10° 49' 0" „ 10° 16' 0" 

^'^^'jir 4' 10" „ 11° 20' 0" 

The only other point to which I wish to allude is the position 
of Cape Pormoso. I was somewhat puzzled by the dis- 
crepancies of the various published maps and charts, some 
placing this much to the eastward, others to the westward of the 
Nun. Not being able to satisfy myself otherwise, I began to 
search the earlier records, aud finding them pretty unanimous 
in favour of the western locality, I determined to follow their 
decision. In this I difter from several persons whom I have 
consulted, and in particular from one whose opinion is so 
deservedly of authority as Mr. Arrowsmith, who holds, as the 
older charts were not laid down from ^^actual survey, and as 
the most projecting portion of the coast is to the eastward of 
the river, that the name ought to be retained for that spot. 
But, again, as the projection there is far from decided, and I find 
some of the voyagers actually naming the coast between the 
Nun and the Sengana as being the Cape, I believe that the land 
in that direction has the right of priority, and ought not there- 
fore to be deprived of its title. Besides, the question is what 
was originally called the Cape, and not what ought geo- 
graphically to have borne the name. The "Brass-Town" of 
charts, Mr. May ascertained during his visit there to be 
properly called "Tuwdn;" it is merely a small village, the 
true " Brass Town " or Nimbe being from 30 to 35 miles from 
the sea. 

4. is 


Table of Latitudes and Longitudes. 


Lat. N. 

Loug. E. 

Agbdri . . . . • 

5° 14' 41" 


5° 31' 16" . 

. 6° 29' 11" 

Asab^ . . . . . 

6° 11' 16" 

Ada-mugu . . . . 

6° 31' 12" . 

. 6° 39' 23" 


7° 6' 2" '. 

. 6° 42' 14" 

South end of Shuter Island . 

7° 17' 46" . 


7° 44' 33" . 

. 6^ 44' 27 "-5 

Atipo . . . . . 

r 50' 53" . 

. 6^ 49' 1.--5 

Little Harriet Island 

7° 55' 30" . 

. 7° 2' 56" -5 

Yimalia .... 

7° 59' 14" . 

. 7° 9' 47" 

Oketta .... 

8° 2' 34" 

West end of Bay Islands . 

8° 1' 15" . 

. 7° 29' 5 "-5 


8° 1' 0" . 

. 7° 35' 23" 

Dagbo .... 

r 59' 30" . 

. 7° 53' 41" 

Akpoko .... 

7° 55' 34" . 

. 8° 5' 22"-5 


. 7° 45' 8" . 

. 8° 28' 31" -5 

R6gan-Kdto . 

r 45' 45"' . 

. 8° 40' 12"-5 

Anyishi .... 

7° 52' 46" . 

. 9° 4' 51 "-5 

G^ndiko .... 

. 8° 10' 39" . 

. 9° 42' 7 "-5 

Zhibti .... 

8° 18' 32" . 

. 9° 56' J7" 

Point Lynslager 

. 8° 43' 17" . 

. 10° 32' 27 "-7 

Gurowa .... 

. 9° 8' 36" 

. 11° 0' 37"-4 

Djlu .... 

9° 22' 0" . 

. 11° 25' 7" -4 


9° 27' 0"? . 

. 11° 30' 0" ? 

I had intended to have added a list of observations for 
variation of the compass, but unfortunately the paper contain- 
ing these has been mislaid, and Mr. May, who possibly may 
have a copy of the document, has been obliged to leave for the 
East Indies. 

I was furnished with " Barrow's Circle," for ascertaining 
the dip of the needle, but unfortunately was not able to 
make many complete series of observations, several having been 
interrupted by the curiosity, &c. of the natives, by heavy rain, 
and other unforeseen accidents. The only sets on which I can 
place much confidence are the following : 

1. Opposite K^nde, lower Binue, on a sand-bank, 12th August, 1854. 
between 10-30 and 1125 a.m., and 12-50 and 1-50 p.m. Wind 
S.S.W. 1—3. Therm. 84°— 94° F. Barom. (aneroid) 29-86- 2995. 
Weather b, c. Dip, 6° 6' 58". 


2. On the sandy shore at Ojogo, 25th August, between 630 and 8'15 

A.M. Wind 0. Therm. 73°— 77° F. Barom. (aner.) 29-79— 29-845. 
Weather b, c. Dip, 4° 37' 8". 

3. At Zhibii, on a grassy bank, 9th September, between 6 '45 and 8 a.m. 

Wind W. 2. Dip, 5° 59' 22". 

This last I place but little coDfideuce in. It is the result 
ouly of a partial set of observations, and the dip was doubtless 
increased by the interruption which compelled ine to stop, 
which was being surrounded by from sixty to eighty natives, 
each of them carrying ii-on weapons. I tried to make them 
lay down their arms at a considerable distance, but being by 
myself, was only partially successful, as fresh arrivals were 
constantly taking place : the vibration of the needles was so 
great and so varied, that it became impossible to obtain a 

During the greater of the river voyage, meteorological 
observations were taken every three hours during the twenty- 
four, the only interruptions being when I was on shore. These 
included registers of pressure, temperature of air, moisture, 
temperature of water, wind, clouds, weather, and general or 
remarkable phenomena, rapidity of the current, ^'c. I was 
furnished with two marine barometers by Adie, which proved 
to be excellent instruments. I had also two Aneroids, which 
though always more sensitive, yet generally corresponded well 
with the mercurial instruments. Moisture was ascertained by 
the wet and dry bulb thermometer. On the 21st of September, 
1854, I took a series of twenty-five hourly observations. I 
have as yet found it impossible to go over and check the whole 
series, and so can now only state the general results. The 
barometers seemed to be very little affected by change of 
weather, the difference between rainy and diy days being but 
slight, and the occurrence of a tornado appeared to exercise 
hardly any influence. Two daily maxima and minima were 
invariable and Avell marked. The maxima occurred at from 
9 to 10 A.M. and p.m., and the minima about 4 or 4"30 a.m. 
and P.M., the morning minimum being generally rather earlier 
than the afternoon one. The daily range of the barometers 


was about '05 to '07 of an inch on the mercurial barometers, 
and from '07 to "09 on the Aneroids. The extreme range of 
the barometers was from 30'23 at the mouth of the river, to 
2977 at the upper part of the Binue, both these being maxima 
readings. This would tend to show that the river has no great 
descent, but flows along nearly level country, which is also to 
be inferred from other appearances. "Working by a rule given 
in one of the volumes of the " Journal of the Geographical 
Society" for the Aneroid barometer, I could only find an 
elevation of 119 feet at the Confluence, and 268 feet at O'jogo; 
but these results are, I should suppose, too low, yet there can 
be no question that the Binue and the lower part of the united 
rivers flow along a very level valley. 

Tlie extremes of temperature were from 69° to 97° F., the 
former being the morning temperature, in October, and the 
latter the extreme in the shade during the commencement of 
the dry season. The arerage mid-day temperature was from 
82° to 84°. The coldest period during the day was from 
4 to 5 A.M. The temperature of the surface water of the river 
varied from 79° to 84°, the average being 81°. 


DistiVigiiishing 7}iarks of different tribes. 

Tatooing, or marks on various parts of the body, is used 
chiefly by the Pagan races, the Muhammadans generally 
avoiding this practice, which they term " Shushiia." 

Trihe. Marks. 

Ori'i. A straight, very promioent line along centre of fore- 

head, and upper part of nose ; three lines extending 
diagonally across the cheek from inner angle of eye ; 
other varied marks on chest and arms. 

Nimbe. Six short perpendicular incisions between eye and ear. 

Abd. Males. — Three short perpendicular cuts on each temple, 

and three short horizontal lines across upper part of 


Tnhe. Marks. 

nose, between the eyebrows. Females — the same on the 
nose, but with six perpendicular lines on the temples. 

Elugu. Six perpendicular lines in front of the ear. 

Aro. From ten to twelve shoi't horizontal lines just before 

the ear. 

Ozuzu. Three rows of minute lines from ear to angle of eye, 

the middle row straight, the two others curving towards 
it ; two curved lines of small incisions from lobe of ear, 
curving along cheek to end of lines at eye ; two short 
rows of similar lines under eyes towards nose ; a line of 
similar incisions down forehead and nose. 

■Mtl /l 1, • r Numerous extensive but varied cicatrices on forehead. 

Mbritshi J 

Asaba Thi-ee perpendicular lines along breast and belly, centre 

one straight, the othei's curved ; one line behind, 
following curve of armpit, and going downwards ; seven 
short perpendicular incisions on forehead ; curved row 
of small lines under each eye. 

Agato. Three spots, arranged triangularly, with base upwards, 

on temple. 

Yoruba. Markings only partially iu use; some have several rows 

of fine lines along the cheeks. 

Basa 1 Two or three broad curved lines from temple to 

(Confluence) J chin. 

Bonu. Same as B^sa, but crossed by several fiue lines. 

Ishabe. Four broad lines along each cheek. 

I'jkvA. Marking not practised. 

Igbira. No distinctive mark. 

Nupe. Markings partial ; a short line, slightly curved, from 

near inner angle of eye, proceeding diagonally about two- 
thirds across cheek. 

Bdsa (on the " 

D6ma. Markings vary. Some employ ten or twelve fine 

curved Hues along the cheek. In Keana, many, especially 
among the females, have two rows of fine perpendicular 
lines under each eye. 

Mitshi. Short perpendicular cuts over each eyebrow ; a curved 

incision on each cheek ; and various devises on breast and 

Kororofa. Ear-lobes pierced with large holes; among B.libai far 

up the river, nvimerous irregular cuts on upper arm. 

_ , ' \- Numerous curved lines along cheeks. 

Loggone. J 

Mandara. Curved lines along angle of jaw; fainter lines along 

Daura. Two horizontal cuts opposite mouth. 

No particular mark. 

1.5:2 ■ APPENDIX. 

I'rihf. Marks. 

Mai'iidi. A long line along cheek. 

Gobir. One horizontal lino opposite mouth. 

J^fik. Three round spots on each temple. 

Krdbo. One broad line down centre of forehead and nose ; 

arrow-head on each temple, with point towards eye. 

Cameroon. A mark adopted of late resembliug that of Kriimen. 

The marks which I have here given for Maradi and Gobir 
differ from those mentioned by Eichardson iu the " Mission 
to Central Africa," vol. ii. p. 222. 

The collections of natural history made during the voyage 
though not very extensive, have as yet been but very partially 
examined, my time having been fully occupied by other matters. 
A brief notice of them vi'as read at the meeting of the British 
Association at Glasgow, by Andrew Murray, Esq., as an Appen- 
dix to his paper on the INatural History of Central Africa. 
Numerous specimens of raw products, and of the cereals, have 
been sent to the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, and some others 
to the Museum at Kew and to Edinburgh ; but of the zoolo- 
gical and botanical specimens most yet remain for future 


As I intend shortly to discuss at some length the question 
of African fever, I shall touch but very lightly on it here. It 
has been hitherto a great bugbear, and until very recently 
has been regarded and treated in an empirical and unscientific 
manner. More sound and common-sense views are now begin- 
ning to spread, and to few persons are medical men more 
indebted for this reformation than to Dr. Bryson, H.N., in 


whose "Reports" is to be found iiiuch sound and valuable 
information. It will be sufficient here to say that African 
fever has nothing specific about it ; that it is certainly not 
sui generis, and that it is merely an aggravated form of the 
disease known in this country as ague. The various divisions 
into continued, remittent, and intermittent are only calculated 
to puzzle and to mislead; they refer to degrees and not to 
f.ctual differences, and these forms gradually, but surely, merge 
into each otlier. In its mildest form the fever is intermittent, 
that is to say, between the paroxysms intervals of health occur: 
more aggravated, the complaint becomes remittent, meaning, 
that between the febrile accessions the symptoms only remit, 
but do not altogether disappear : in its greatest intensity the 
disease is quasi-continued, or to the unpractised eye seems to 
be devoid of paroxysmal changes, but to proceed with an unde- 
viating deadly career. But in all these the poison, the original 
cause of the malady, is essentially the same, and the results 
depend partly on constitutional causes, partly on the amount 
and virulence of the poison imbibed. The same amount of 
poison will, as is the case with alcohol, affect two persons 
inhaling it in very different degrees. The disease is what is 
termed by medical -men periodic, and the remedies required are 
called anti-periodies, of which the best known and the most 
efficacious is quinine. This may be given as soon as the 
complaint shows itself, and the sooner the better, as it is the 
main-stay of the sufterer ; of course, various occasional sym- 
ptoms may occur during its progress, which vsill require to be 
treated according to cii'cumstances. But the great modern 
improvement is the discovery that quinine not only cures, but 
that it actually prevents, and that by taking this invaluable 
drug while in unhealthy localities, persons may escape totaliy 
unscathed. The best form for use for this purpose is quinine 
tvine, of which half a glass should be taken early in the morn- 
ing, and repeated if requisite in the iifternoon. Experience 
likewise proves, that if endemic fever seizes a person who has 
been using quinine as a prophylactic, he will escape much more 
easily, and have a milder and more manageable attack than 
another who has not been so employing it. The other means 
of avoidintr disease are such as reason rrnd ccnmon sense would 


suggest — namely, avoiding uiglit exposure, sleeping in the open 
air, or delay in sickly spots, &c., and for Europeans a ratlier 
generous diet, with the frequent use of the shower-bath. Drugs 
should be avoided as much as possible, especially calomel and 
other mercurials, which are not only unnecessary, but have 
actually killed far more people than ever fever has. Calomel 
has no real or curative effect on malarious poisons, but only 
adds fuel to the fire, as the unfortunate to whom it is adminis- 
tered has to contend against two poisons rather than one. 

Much ingenuity has been displayed by those who believe in 
the specific nature of African fever in endeavouring to discover 
causes for its supposed malignity. At one time sulphuretted 
hydrogen was pronounced to be the origo mali, the theorists 
forgetting that if so, Harrowgate and Strathpeffer would be 
highly dangerous spots. Then putrid matters, moisture, vege- 
table decay, &c., each had their supporters, as well as many 
other hypotheses ; but at present we only know that the poison, 
of the nature of which we are as yet ignorant, may arise from a 
dry soil. It is certainly more abundant where there is moisture, 
and generally more intense ; but all that is really required for 
its production are a certain amount of heat and previous 
moisture. These conditions are widely spread, and therefore 
we find malaria also nearly ubiquitous, though more prevalent 
in warm climates. But in no essential does African endemic 
fever differ from the fever of Hindustan, of Borneo, of the 
Spanish Main, of the West Indies, or of fenny and marshy 
countries in Europe. The treatment required is the same; 
only as the symptoms are more violent, so should the remedies 
be more decided and more quickly pushed. It has been stated 
as an inexplicable paradox, tliat fever often does not make its 
appearance while travellers are actually in malarious regions, 
but that it breaks out, as in the case of the expedition of 1841, 
after reaching healthy regions. But this is easily explained, 
as the miasmata seldom or never lay men prostrate at once, 
but the poison — like in this respect that of small-pox or of 
typhus — has a period of incubation, as it is termed, varying 
from five or six to sixteen or eighteen days, but usually from 
nine to twelve ; so that before the primary symptoms are 
evidenced, tbe swampy district where the seeds of illness 


were sown may have been left far beliind. Lastly, let it be 
always borne in mind, that this disease is strictly and inherently 


To pursue trade to advantage along the Kwora and Biiniej 
it will be necessary to establish at various suitable places along 
their banks depots or stations, from which the products of the 
country can be shipped and carried away. With the natives 
trade will be carried on in a petty manner ; therefore the most 
advantageous method of pursuing it will be by the intervention 
and employment of civilized natives, such as those of Sierra 
Leone, Avho will manage the retail business, and then deal on 
the larger scale with the W'hite trader. Though the climate 
will not be so dreaded as it has been hitherto, still it can never 
prove adapted for Europeans, so that much must be effected by 
coloured agency. These people would reside in the country, 
would collect the products, and store them up until the rainy 
season, when steamers would ascend to bring fresh supplies of 
manufactured goods, and to carry off the products collected 
during the year. Before long not only would, the trade of the 
immediate vicinity of the river be thus concentrated, but that 
of the countries as far as the borders of the Sahara would flow 
in the same direction, as I see in one of Dr. Earth's despatches 
that various chiefs stated, that were ships to ascend the Kwdra, 
they and their people would bring their goods for disposal 
towards the river, in preference to the dangerous march 
across the Desert. 

The staple articles of trade would be palm-oil, shea-butter, 
cam-wood, and ivory, but other articles would also be easily 
procurable, as ground'uuts, indigo, peppers, cotton, croton-oil 
seeds, hides, ostrich-feathers, &c. ; and probably an internal 
trade would spring up in rice, corn, yams, provisions, native 
cloths, &c. Gold-dust would also be obtained, but not in any 
quantity. With the advance of civilization other articles 


Avoulcl be introduced, and other crops cultivated, especially 
coffee and sugar-canes. In exchange the principal demand 
on us would be for soft goods, and in a smaller degree for 
stoneware, hardware, arms, and gunpowder. 

Most of our African colonies have availed themselves of the 
recent postal reductions ; but it would be a great boon if the 
same could be extended to ^the trading rivers, which are, prac- 
tically speaking, floating colonies, inhabited almost exclusively 
by natives of Britain. Having no functionaries, I suppose the 
request has never been made ; but it would be, doubtless, of 
much service to those interested in the prosperity of these 
places. To Sierra Leone, Cape Coast Castle, and Akra the 
postage now is sixpence, while to the rivers it is a shilling. 
But if we wish to write to Madeira or Teneriffe, places much 
nearer England, the postal expense is more than three times 
the amount of a letter to Tasmania — so considerate to us are 
our allies, who depend for the welfare, aluiost for the existence, 
of these dependencies on our support. It certainly is pre- 
posterous, that writing to a sick friend at Madeira we must 
pay for the lightest letter one shilling and eightpeuce, while 
We may send one three or four times the weight, and more than 
treble the distance, for sixpence. Were it not for its English 
visitors and English residents, what would Madeira be ? yet, 
with its uncalled-for quarantine expenses, and its high rate of 
postage, undue restrictions are wantonly heaped on its best 




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