Imatges de pÓgina

Senegal, and on 14th December, the party, consisting of 100 men and 200 animals, landed at Kakundy, on the Rio Nunez; but, before they could begin their march, Major Peddie was attacked with fever and died. Captain Campbell, on whom the command devolved, proceeded in the line proposed, till he arrived at a small river called the Panietta, on the frontier of the Foulah territory. By this time many of the beasts of burden had sunk, and great difficulty was found in obtaining a sufficient supply of provisions. The King of the Foulahs, on being asked for permission to pass through his territories, seemed alarmed at hearing of so large a body of foreigners about to enter his country. He contrived, under various pretexts, to detain them on the frontier four months, during which their stock of food and clothing gradually diminished, while they were suffering all the evils that arise from a sickly climate and a scanty supply of necessaries. At length their situation became such as to place them under the absolute necessity of returning; and all their animals being dead, it was necessary to hire the natives to carry their baggage, an expedient which gave occasion to frequent pillage. They reached Kakundy with the loss only of Mr Kummer the naturalist; but Captain Campbell, overcome with sickness and exertion, died two days after, on the 13th of June, 1817. The command was then transferred to Lieutenant Stokoe, a spirited young naval officer, who had joined the expedition as a volunteer. He formed a new scheme for proceeding into the interior; but unhappily he also sunk under the climate and the fatigues of the journey.

A sentence of death seemed pronounced against all who should attempt to penetrate the African continent; and yet there were still daring spirits who did not shrink from the undertaking. Captain Gray of the Royal African Corps, who had accompanied the last-mentioned expedition under Major Peddie and Captain Campbell, undertook, in 1818, to perform a journey by Park's old route along the Gambia. He reached, without any obstacle, Boolibani, the capital of Bondou, where he remained from the 20th June, 1818, to the 22d May, 1819; but, owing to the jealousy of the monarch, he was permitted to proceed no farther. With some diffi. culty he reached Gallam, where he met Staff-surgeon Dockard, who had gone forward to Sego to ask permission to proceed through Bambarra,—a request which had also been evaded. The whole party then returned to Senegal.

In 1821, Major Laing was sent on a mission from Sierra Leone, through the Timannee, Kooranko, and Soolima countries, with the view of forming some commercial arrangements.

On this journey he found reason to believe that the source of the Niger lay much farther to the south than Park had supposed. At Falaba, he was assured that it might have been reached in three days, had not the Kissi nation, in whose territory it was situated, been at war with the Soolimanas, with whom Major Laing then resided. He was inclined to fix the source of this great river a very little above the ninth degree of latitude.

The British government were, meantime, inde. fatigable in their endeavours to find out other chan. nels for exploring the interior of Africa. The Bashaw of Tripoli, though he had usurped the throne by violent means, showed a disposition to improve his country by admitting the arts and learning of Europe ; while the judicious conduct of Consul Warrington inclined him to cultivate the friendship of Britain. Through his tributary kingdom of Fezzan he held close and constant communication with Bornou and the other leading states of Central Africa ; and he readily undertook to promote the views of any English expedition which might proceed in that direction. Such an opportunity was not to be lost. The usual means were supplied by the ministry, and the ordinary inducements held forth by the Associ. ation. Mr Ritchie, a young man of scientific acquirements and zeal for discovery, undertook the direction of this adventure. Captain Marrayat of the navy proposed to accompany him ; but, being prevented by private considerations, his place was taken by Lieutenant Lyon, who, as a naval officer, was expected to be useful in navigating the Niger when the party should reach that river. The mission were perfectly well received at Tripoli, and set out on the 22d March, 1819, for Fezzan, with Mukni, the sultan, who gave them the most solemn assurances of protection. This chief, wever, was a ruffian, who had made his way to power by the massacre of the late sovereign and his brother, and who supported his favour at Tripoli by annual slave. hunts, which he extended over the whole Desert to the frontier of Soudan. Thus he brought annually to Tripoli 4000 or 5000 of those unhappy victims, a large proportion of whom were bestowed in presents to his liege lord. Under such guardianship the mission could not be sure of that support of which they soon stood very much in need. Mour


zouk was found extremely unhealthy, being intensely hot, and surrounded by pools of stagnant water, which rendered even the natives liable to fever and ague. The members of the expedition soon felt its effects, Lieutenant Lyon being seized with dysentery, and Mr Ritchie with bilious fever, under which they languished during the whole summer. The treacherous Mukni not only withheld all aid, but studiously prevented others from giving them assistance. At length Mr Ritchie, overwhelmed by disease and anxiety, died on the 20th November, 1819; after which Mr Lyon found himself without the means of penetrating farther than to the southern frontier of Fezzan. He obtained indeed a good deal of information respecting the remoter countries, which, however, has been rendered less important by the fuller and more recent intelligence received through Denham and Clapperton. He passes a very unfavourable judgment upon the territory of Fezzan, which he considers nearly as barren as any part of the surrounding Desert. The cultivation is confined to a few gardens, into which water is raised by immense labour from wells of considerable depth.


Journey of Denham and Clapperton.

It was

NOTHING could shake the determination of the British government to obtain, by some means or other, a competent degree of information respecting the unknown countries of Africa. The great favour and influence enjoyed at the court of Tripoli was still regarded as a favourable circumstance. chiefly due, as already observed, to the prudence and ability of Mr Warrington, without whose advice scarcely any thing of importance was transacted. The bashaw was therefore disposed to renew his protection to any mission which Britain might send. Nor could the protection of any sovereign have been more efficient; for the influence of this petty prince, and the terror of his name, are almost unbounded in the greatest kingdoms of Central Africa. One weapon,

in the hands of his troops, gives him all this superiority; for the remoter nations, from the Nile to the Atlantic, scarcely know any other arms besides the spear, the bow, and the javelin. A musket among those tribes is an object of almost supernatural dread ; individuals have been seen kneeling down before it, speaking to it in whispers, and addressing to it earnest supplications. With troops thus armed, the Bashaw of Tripoli is esteemed

the gun,

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