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hope of mercy. The consequence is, that truth respecting its internal affairs can find in the present reign corruption is practised | its way. The whole host of functionaries more circumspectly, but not a whit less that is to say, almost every man in the emactively than ever. In fact, notwithstand- pire above the condition of a serf—is ing his unwearied vigilance, the Emperor is banded together in a conspiracy to dupe the last man in his dominions to whom the l him.
from Lowe's Magazine.
THE NAVIGATION OF THE NIGER.
The veil of mystery which envelopes the, tress; then by the re-ascent of the Wilberinterior of Central Africa seems destined force, to remove the Government model soon to be rent asunder. The reputed farm; and finally by the subscription expewonders that, from the earliest times, tempt- dition originated by Mr. Jameson of Livered adventurers to explore it, can scarcely pool, the results of which, as reported to have formed adequate, however romantic, the subscribers, have just fallen under our inducements for daring discovery. The notice. The report evinces the possibility early search after “ Prester John,' follow- of establishing commercial intercourse, with ed up by the fanatical missions of the Rom- every prospect of pecuniary success,
and ish Propaganda, afforded no hold upon some chance of sanitary impunity, along Pagan races, never brought to regard the the course of the Niger or Quorra, as high Christianity of such as Fathers Jerome and up as Rabbah. Bonaventure, as other than a novel sort of Much as they abused their opportunities superstition, very apt to become altogether by perverting them to the purposes of the distasteful when enforced, as in the hands slave trade, the Portuguese monarchs are of Fathers Carli and Merolla, by the argu- entitled to the chief credit of exploring the ment of the lash! Cupidity, intensely ex- African coast. The name of Vasco di Gacited by accounts which began to circulate ma is written indelibly on the Cape of Good of golden treasures in the burning sands, Hope. Yet Hanno the Carthaginian is scarcely supplied courage to face the dan- held by Major Rennell to have voyaged ger. It may read well in romance, that beyond Sierra Leone. By M. Gosselin he men will dare all, and brave all, for sordid is regarded as having gone beyond the river dross; but avarice at the best is a mean Nun. His boundary, wherever it was, is passion-essentially selfish-and therefore gravely notified in the Periplus of Scylax as destitute of courage, however capable of one beyond which “ the accumulation of intrigue. Far different were the motives mud and seaweed renders navigation imthat led to the only intelligible tracks of possible.” What if Hanno's shipping had discovery ; that disinterested spirit of ad-only got entangled in the mangrove-swamps venture in which Mungo Park, Clapperton, of the Delta of the Niger? and the Landers, penetrated into Western Something also has been done by the Africa! It is to Liverpool commercial en- French ; but it is peculiarly English enterterprise that, in our day, we owe the im- prise that has solved the great question of parting of an impetus to the course of African geography. inquiry started by these travellers ; an im- he name of "Mungo Park contains a pulse which, carrying civilization and gospel spell that rekindles our earliest dreams of Christianity in its train, promises to unite youthful imagination ! Disinterested adthe nations of the African world in the ventures and sufferings like his, encountered general brotherhood of the human race. with the view of helping to dissipate the
The unfortunate expedition of Macgre- estrangement of large sections of the human gor, Laird, and Oldfield, was followed by race, and recorded along with those traits the first ascent of the Ethiope steamer, and of emotion alternately humane, tender, and the still more disastrous Government expe- religious, illustrating his personal character, dition of H.M.S. Albert, Wilberforce, and and distinguishing his writings, impart to Soudan, up the Niger, and the re-ascent of the pages of Park a power to captivate and the Ethiope to relieve the Albert in dis-, melt the soul. The reader beholds the man now sitting a forlorn outcast in a foreign lated amongst the negroes, might thus be land, the guest of a poor negro woman, and employed in disseminating its milder doccheered by the sympathy which he finds in trines. Both Jews and Pagans have, in the simple songs of her household. Anon several instances, since been led to peruse he sees him despairing, dying in the depths the Holy Scriptures both of the old and of the African wilderness, roused by con- New Testament openly in the schools of templation of the extraordinary beauty of our African Missions-of which we are glad a small moss in fructification--by observing to observe, in the reports before us, there the delicate conformations of its roots, are traces in the neighborhood of the Galeaves, and capsula—to the sublime inspir- boon River. ing thought that in his own language) the Park was quietly prosecuting his profesBeing who planted, watered, and brought sion as a surgeon in the little town of to perfection, in that obscure part of the Peebles, but with a heart still set upon a world, a thing which appeared of so small future career of discovery--for we call to importance, would not look with unconcern mind the little anecdote Sir Walter Scott upon the situation and sufferings of crea- was so fond of repeating of his plumbing tures formed after his own image. Park the depth of the pools in the Tweed, by had risen to the source of all true courage, pitching in pebbles, and watching and meaand imbibed resolution and fortitude at the suring the undulating circles on the surface. fountain-head, before seeking to brave the He was soon called upon to undertake the dangers which had already proved fatal to second and fatal expedition that terminated the previous travellers of the African Asso- his career, but did not close it until he had ciation of 1778, Ledyard, Lucas, and followed the Niger to Boussah, forty miles Houghton. With that unswerving reliance only from Rabbah, the point to which this which he placed in Providence to sustain most interesting of African rivers has been his energies and direct his steps, this young navigated upwards from the ocean. In surgeon of twenty-four, arrived on the speaking of the Niger, we know it to be banks of the Gambia 21st June, 1795, per- debated whether the great river now destined severed undauntedly through a series of to be known as such in modern geography, dangers and difficulties, of which there be really the Nigir of the ancients, rising in could have been no previous conception, Mount Atlas, and losing itself in the desert. and in spite of plunder, privation, and And, indeed, it is doubtful if the Nigir of Moorish captivity, at length had “ the in- the ancients were situated southwards of expressible satisfaction of seeing the long- the Sahará at all
. But we feel entitled to sought majestic Niger, glittering in the assume that river to be the Niger-the morning sun, as broad as the Thames at modern Niger-which, rising under the Westminster, and flowing slowly from west name Joliba, amidst the Kisseh mountains, to east." Park thus solved the greatest flows eastward past the half-fabled Timgeographical problem of his day. He con- buctoo, and, trending to the south under firmed to the Niger the course ascribed to the name of Quorra, finds its way to the sea it by the ancients, and actually followed in that immense Delta stretching its base the eastwardly direction of the river a dis- from the Bight of Benin to the Bight of tance of thirty miles, from Sego to Silla. Biafra. That another and a greater In the course of his travels he afforded a stream might realize our pre-conceived clue to the sources of the Niger, the Sene- notions of the far-famed Niger, might roll gal and the Gambia. His Moorish capti- its waters upon other parallels further vity in the desert city of Benowm enabled athwart the vast African interior, and lose him to define, to some extent, the limits of itself in the thirsty sands ; or as a separate Moorish and Negro dominion in Africa. river fall into an inland sea ; And, most important of all, he discovered tributary swell the same great stream by the mode of proselytism practised by the travelling from an opposite source all this Moors for the propagation of Mahomme-now scarcely remains open for conjecture. danism amongst pagan children, by plying The Niger of which we speak, is at all their thirst for knowledge with the doctrines events that on which Timbuctoo has its of the Koran, administered as morning and port of Kabra. And the day seems not evening instructions in reading, to those far distant when British enterprise will employed as domestic slaves during the day. trace backwards the track of those devoted Park suggested that a short introduction to men, who, amidst the raging storms of Christianity, printed in Arabic and circu- 1 November, 1805, floated through sickness Vol. XII.-No. IV.
or as a
and assault hundreds of miles apon the gination had arisen respecting Timbuctoo or
But, alas ! they were ruthlessly dissipated
the largest cities of Central Africa, and
Yaureh to be a large walled city of twenty
is not very dignified. Considering the latah empire--the rule of the nomadic conslight elevation of his demeanor, habits, querors and Shepherd Kings of Sockatoo and pursuits, above those of the meanest over the Central African principalities, around him, the secret of the prince's des- widely and firmly as Clapperton had found potic power is palpably a mystery. As for it extended, had undergone serious changes his exchequer, excepting such petty tribute even at the period of the Landers’ visit ; as tolls and gifts from strangers, merchants, and the Fellatahs, whilst losing their hold and passengers, and possibly a direct con- on the central regions, were extending their cern in trade, -revenue their African ma- conquests to the west. jesties positively seem to have none. It is The Niger flows eastward 120 miles frequently forgotten that the Niger has from Rabbah in a volume of water eight been navigated, as by the Landers, upwards miles wide, through
through well cultivated, from Boussah. At and near Boussah, both thickly inhabited shores, with large cities at above and below, it is contracted, according intervals along the banks. At the close of to their statement (which ought to be at the reach, where the river again trends tentively weighed), to a narrow span, and southward to the sea, the trading town of probably separates into re-uniting branches, Eggah occupies a low position close to the since, further up, as well as further down, river, sometimes inundated by the waters, it regains its amplitude and spreads out in and housing a portion of its inhabitants, as each case into a magnificent sheet of water in China, in large roofed canoes, floating on several miles in breadth. In the assent to the water. Portuguese cloths from Benin, Yaureh, it is partially broad and spacious, exposed for sale at Eggab, gave the Lanbut broken more frequently by rocks into ders their first indications of an approach narrow channels, occasioning a navigation to the sea. Hence to Kacundah the Landifficult and even dangerous to the large ders noticed a fine shore, covered with nu
Below Boussah, the Niger ismerous villages. Forty miles below Kanavigable to Patashie, a fruitful and finely cundah, they saw the influx of the Chadwooded island. Twenty miles thence to dah, three or four miles in breadth at its Lever (the highest point to which Becroft junction with the Niger, and the trading subsequently ascended in the Ethiope) the mart of Kuttum-Karafféh at the point of channel is full of rocks and sandbanks, ren- union.
The Chaddah was covered with dering the progress difficult. But from numerous canoes. At Damugoo they noLever to the ocean the river is broad and ticed another symptom of the neighborhood noble, sometimes as broad as six, seldom of the sea-the scanty clothing of the naless than one, and averaging usually two or tives was of Manchester cotton. In a scufthree miles. Where they are not fiat and file with the natives below Kirree, Richard marshy, the banks are beautifully wooded, Lander lost his journal. The country bewith singing birds amongst the branches, low Kirree to Eboe, presented the appearand green festoons of crceping plants droop- ance of an alluvial swamp covered with ing from the trees. Lofty mountains, villages concealed in vast entangled forests gloomy and romantic, border the lower -a desert, save for the number of peoNiger, fringed with stunted shrubs and ple coming down the river. There was overhanging precipices.
no grain in the fields ; no cattle were on From Rabbah, the point to which the the meadows; the banana, the plantain, latest expedition penetrated, it is interest- and the yam, trees and roots alone, with ing to compare notes with the brothers fish caught from the river, furnished the Lander. Rabbah was descried by th inhabitants their od. Bu even then the Landers from the opposite shore of Zago- Landers remarked, what has proved so shey, and is described by them as the larg- striking to recent observation, that the est and most flourishing city of Nyfféh, sur- palm tree afforded not only a refreshing rounded by a fertile corn country, boasting juice, but palm oil sufficient for an extenof horned cattle remarkable for their size, sive trade. The Delta of the Niger in fact and horses admired for their strength and commences at Kirree, where a branch (apbeauty, Rabbah has since been levelled parently the Ethiope) diverges to Benin. with the dust.
About seventy miles further, at Eboe, it As we shall have occasion to advert to separates into numerous channels, interthe political condition of these countries, secting the country in every direction, and and particularly to the cause of the fall of entering the Atlantic by numerous estuaRabbah, it is proper to state that the Fel-Iries. Eboe, where the habitations are
formed of yellow clay, thatched with palms, lumbine, a fine brig of 200 tons. They and sheltered with trees, is filled with a left Liverpool 19th July, 1832, and having busy, bad, dissolute, cruel, but commercial obtained å supply of Kroomen on the coast race. Obie, the king of Eboe, put a ran- of Guinea, reached the mouth of the Nun som of twenty bars on the Landers, and in three months after quitting Liverpool, detained them until king Boy of Brass crossed the difficult bar" (but had scarcely Town, “speculating for the rise,” took done so ere the work of death commenced), their book or bill for thirty-five, and they and there they lost the captain and one were conveyed by King Boy on board the of the engineers of the Quorra. The English brig Thomas, lying in the mouth of steamers ascended the river. The Columthe Nun, passing on their way through the bine anchored within reach of the sea immense swamps of the Nuo river covered breezes. Neither land nor mud was visible with impenetrable forests of mangrove, to the steamers for thirty miles upwards, where Brass Town stands on a creck half mangrove trees alone marking the channel. buried in mud.
Ulcers, guinea worms, and cutaneous erupThe entire course of the Niger then is tions, covered the persons of the miserable this : Rising amid the mountains of Kisseh, inhabitants of the swamps. At length the two hundred miles from Sierra Leone, it river grew wider, the banks higher, the passes through the countries of Foota Jallo woods thicker, the trees more stately. The and Kankan, taking its course at Bamma- mangrove thickets disappeared. A hunkoo over the fine plain of Bambarra, pass- dred and sixty miles up they arrived at ing Sego, the capital, in volume equal to Eboe. The population in the Delta, from the Thames at Westminster, flowing north the sea to Eboe, they estimated not to exwesterly into and through Lake Dibbie, till ceed four thousand adults, but here they it passes Timbuctoo, thence passing to had now a town of from eight hundred to a Yaureh, and from Yaureh to the sea, after thousand houses, with an average of six to a course of altogether more than three a household. A little ove Eboe, large thousand miles. The base of the triangle branches issued from the river to Benin forming the Delta of the Niger, is three and Bonny. Higher up, the Quorra was a hundred miles in length from Cape For- mile and a half broad. The scenery still mosa to Old Calabar. Its vertex at Kirree improved, but death continued to deal is a hundred and seventy miles inland ; forth havoc. Fifteen out of thirty-seren and its area is twenty-four thousand men died within a few days. The sick at equare miles, equal to half the superficies of length caught sight of the mountains, England. The Delta of the Niger is one stretching before them the promise of a betdreary swamp, whence death and disease are ter climate. They reached Attab, perched exhaled by the smiting rays of the tropical upon lofty overhanging cliffs two hundred sun, from the dark and gloomy shades of feet perpendicular. And they pronounced it the mangrove forests, those amphibious the only place on the river where a European trees that extend their roots with their could possibly exist for any lengthof time. branches over the swampy soil, till multi- The river above Attah forces its way plied enormously in their watery stations. through the mountains (sandstone resting
The geographical question of the Niger on granite), all of flat summits and equal was settled by the Landers. All subse- height, apparently 2500 to 3000 feet above quent attempts to explore the stream, the level of the river. Bokweh or Iccoreh whether originating in government enter- Island Market, the largest on the river, is prise or private speculation, have had in held every ten days on a sand bank, attendview the establishment of commercial in-ed by thousands of people from distances tercourse. Mr. Macgregor Laird, and Mr. of two and three hundred miles. The suOldfield, were the sole survivors of the first perior reach is described as opening to the Liverpool commercial expedition, to which view an immense river, three thousand Richard Lander fell a victim. He died at yards wide, as far as the eye could reach, Fernando Po, 16th February, 1834, of a flowing majestically between lofty banks, gunshot wound received on the Niger. studded with clumps of trees and brushThis ill-fated expedition consisted of two wood, like a gentleman's park. Smoke steamers built expressly for the occasion, arose from the towns. Canoes in large the Quorra, 112 feet in length, and the numbers floated on the river, in security Alburkah, constructed entirely of wrought and peace. Between Eboe and the coniron, and only 70 feet long; with the Co-fluence of the Chaddah, Mr. Laird com