Dr Livingstone: The Expedition of the New York Herald in Quest of the Great African Traveler

Henry Stanley

New York Herald/July 4, 1871

Your expedition, sent out under me, has arrived in Unyanyembe. Were you living at Zanzibar or on the East African coast you would have a much better idea what the above few words meant than you have now. You would know, without any explanation, that I had traveled 525 miles, and if you heard that we had traveled that great distance within eighty-two days — a little under three months —you would at once know that we had marched it in a very short time; but since you and your readers live in America I must return to the island of Zanzibar, close to the coast of East Africa, whence we started, and give you a brief summary of the incidents and misfortunes which befell us throughout the march.

The instructions which I received from you close on two years ago were given with the usual brevity of the HERALD. They were, “Find out Livingstone, and get what news you can relating to his discoveries.” But before seeking Livingstone in the unknown wilds of Africa I had other orders to fulfill which you had given me. I had to be present at the inauguration of the Suez Canal; I had to ascend the Nile to the first cataract; I had to write full accounts of what I had seen and what was done — a guide to Lower and Upper Egypt. From Egypt I was instructed to go to Jerusalem, write up what Warren was discovering under that famous city; thence I had to proceed to the Crimea, whence I was to send you descriptions of Sebastopol as it stands today, of the graveyards in and about it, of the battle-fields where England and France met Russia in the shock of war. This done, I had to travel through the Caucasus, visit Turkestan, find out what Stoletoff and the Russians were doing towards the conquest of the Oxus valley, and then advance towards India. Next I had to travel through the length of Persia, and write about the Euphrates valley, the railroad that has been on the tapis so long, and its prospects. Lastly, I had to sail to the African coast, and, according as circumstances guided me, seek out Livingstone and ascertain from him what discoveries he had made — only such facts as he would be pleased to give to one who had made such efforts to reach him.

Quickly and briefly as the instructions were given by you, their performance required time and a large expenditure of money. What I have already accomplished has required nineteen months. I arrived at Zanzibar on the 6th of January of this year, and at once set about making the necessary inquiries from parties who ought to know about the whereabouts of Dr. Livingstone. The most that I could glean was that he was in the neighborhood of Ujiji, which was a little over 900 miles from the coast. It would never do to return to Bombay or Aden with such scanty and vague news after the time and money expended in reaching Zanzibar. Why, all the world knew or supposed such to be the fact. What was I to do? Go by all means, and never to return unless I could better such information. Go I did.

It occupied me a month to purchase such things as were necessary and to organize an expedition to collect such information as would be useful to me on the long march and would guide me in the new sphere in which I found myself. The expense which you were incurring frightened me considerably; but then “obey orders if you break owners” is a proverb among sailors, and one which I adopted. Besides, I was too far from the telegraph to notify you of such an expense or to receive further orders from you; the preparations for the expedition therefore went on. Eight thousand dollars were expended in purchasing the cloth, beads and wire necessary in my dealings with the savages of the territories through which I would have to traverse. As each tribe has its peculiar choice of cloth, beads and wire, much care was to be bestowed in the selection and arrangement of these things; also one had to be careful that an over great quantity of any one kind of cloth or beads should not be purchased, otherwise such things would soon become a mere impediment of travel and cause a waste of money. The various kinds of beads required great time to learn, for the women of Africa are as fastidious in their tastes for beads as the women of New York are for jewelry. The measures also had to be mastered, which, seeing that it was an entirely new business in which I was engaged, were rather complicated, and perplexed me considerably for a time.

These things having been purchased, arranged and adjusted in bales and packages, there remained for me to raise a small company of faithful men, who should act as soldiers, guards to the caravan and servants when necessary. Some of Speke’s faithfuls and Burton’s soldiers yet lived in Zanzibar. These were found out by Johari, the American Consul’s dragoman,and, as they were willing to accompany me, were immediately engaged. Bombay, the honestest of black men who served with Burton, and subsequently with Speke, was commissioned captain and ordered to collect a company of twenty men, in which he succeeded most admirably. All these men are with me today. I could not have been better served by any set of men than I have by these faithful people. By twos and threes I sent them out with the carriers as they were collected, and entrusted to them my bales of cloth, bags of beads and coils of wire, which you must recollect are as gold, silver and copper money in Africa. Three months afterward I found every bale, every bag of beads, every coil of wire in Unyanyembe, 525 miles from Bagamoyo, their initial point on the African coast. Arms were purchased for these men who were to be my soldiers; a musket, a hatchet, a knife, a shot pouch and powder flask, flints, bullets and powder were to be served out to each man. Then there were cooking utensils and dishes, tents to cover the property during the rainy season, which was fast approaching, to be required. In order to guard against such contingencies as might very possibly arise — viz: lack of carriers on the coast, one very grave one — I was obliged to purchase twenty-five donkeys, in which task I had to be careful lest any worthless animals might be passed on me.

Twenty-five saddles for the donkeys had to be manufactured by myself, or by such men as could understand what kind of saddles I needed, for there were nothing of the kind obtainable at Zanzibar.

To assist me in such work, and in tasks of similar nature, I hired two white men, sailors, who had been mates of ships — one an Englishman and the other a Scotchman  — and having cut the canvas for the saddles and cloth for the tents, gave to these practical men the task to sew them up. After they had finished their work I re-engaged them to accompany me to Africa, to fill the respective duties of first and second mates. As I had the success of the NEW YORK HERALD expedition near and dear to my heart, constant thinking about it and the contingencies that might arise to prevent its success, over and over I had long sketched its march from the sea coast to Ujiji, and knew almost as well as if I had been there before what kind of difficulties I should meet. The following is one of my sketches made on board ship while coming to Zanzibar :

“One hundred pagazis will be required to convey cloth, beads and wire enough to keep me and my soldiers for one year and to pay expenses, such as hire of fresh pagazis, &c.; twenty men, to act as guards or soldiers; fifty bales of cloth, ten bags of beads and five loads of wire, for food and pagazi hire. In three months I will try to reach Unyanyembe. Shall stop in Unyanyembe two weeks probably. From Unyanyembe is one month’s march to Ujiji, on the Tanganyika Lake. And after! — where is Livingstone? If Livingstone is at Ujiji my work is easy. I will get what information I can and return to Unyanyembe. The race is now for the telegraph. It is three months to Zanzibar, and from Zanzibar, as I was three months coming to Zanzibar from Bombay, I may be three months going from Zanzibar to Bombay. That will not do. We will try another road. To Lake Victoria N’Yanza from Unyanyembe is twenty-six days. By boat to Uganda would be fifteen days. From Uganda to Gondokoro twenty days. From Gondokoro by Dahabeah down the Nile to Cairo forty or fifty days. I have then the telegraph from Unyanyembe to Bombay from five to six months, from Unyanyembe three to four months. The latter route is the best by far.

“Again: I have reached Ujiji. Where is Livingstone? He may be in Marungu, Ubembe, Uguhha, Usige, Urundi or somewhere else on the other side of the Lake Tanganyika. Shall I expose my mission, which requires speed, to the caprice of a King Kannena or a Hamed Bin Sulayyam? No. I shall take my own boat from Zanzibar, carry it with me to Ujiji, and with it search its coast from Ujiji to Marungu,

Marungu to Usige, Usige to Ujiji, for the long absent Livingstone, and the same boat shall carry me from Muanza, at the southern extremity of the lake, to the Ripon Falls, the point where the Nile issues out of the N’Yanza.

This was one of many sketches I made, and the one I adopted for my guidance. I purchased two boats in Zanzibar — one twenty-five feet long and six feet wide, the other ten feet long and four and a half feet wide. I stripped them of their boards, and packed up the timbers, or ribs, with a few of the boards, keel, stem and stern pieces, thwarts and knees, which should be screwed together as the boat was required, and covered with double canvas skins well tarred. These were my boats, and having such men as sailors with me I doubted not but they could be made to answer. In the absence of anything better they must be made to answer.

Before leaving Zanzibar Captain Francis R. Webb, United States consul, introduced me to Syed Barghash, Sultan of Zanzibar and Pemba. After a very kind reception, besides furnishing me with letters to Said Bin Salim (formerly Ras Cafilah to Burton), now Governor of Unyanyembe, and Sheikh Bin Nasib and to all his Arab subjects, he presented me with an Arab horse. Mr. Goodhue, an American gentleman, residing at Zanzibar, also made me a present of a blooded horse, imported from the Cape of Good Hope. To the other American gentlemen — Mr. Spalding, Mr. Morse and Mr. Sparhawk — I am indebted for many courtesies, but more particularly to Captain Webb and Mrs. Webb, whose many kindnesses were innumerable. It was at Captain Webb’s house I lived for a month, and during that time his forbearance knew no bounds; for, as you may imagine, I littered his house with tons upon tons of bulky material of cloth, beads, wire, tar, canvas, tents, utensils and a thousand other things.

On the morning of the 5th of February, one month after arrival at Zanzibar, a fleet of dhows bore the expedition and its effects from the Island of Zanzibar to Bagamoyo, on the main land, distant about twenty-five miles from the island. We were detained at Bagamoyo nearly two months for lack of sufficient pagazis; but as fast as they were obtained a small number was at once fitted out and dispatched to the interior under guard of two or three soldiers. But despite the utmost efforts and double prices which I paid in order to induce the pagazis or carriers the collecting together of over a hundred men proceeded but slowly. The reason of this was that the cholera, which last year desolated Zanzibar and the coast, had frightened the Wanyamuezi from coming to a place where they were almost certain to meet their fate. They were but just recovering from the effects of their fear when the expedition disembarked at Bagamoyo.

As I must employ the word pagazi often in this letter I had best explain what the word means. A pagazi is a Kinyamuezi word for “carrier”  — one who carries ivory or any other goods on his shoulders. This useful person is the camel, the horse, the mule, the ass, the train, the wagon and the cart of East and Central Africa. Without him Salem would not obtain her ivory, Boston and New York their African ebony, their frankincense, myrrh and gum copal. He travels regions where the camel could not enter and where the horse and the ass could not live. He carries the maximum weight of seventy pounds on his shoulders from Bagamoyo to Unyanyembe, where he belongs, for which he charges from fifteen doti to twenty-five doti of American sheeting or Indian calico, dyed blue, called kaniki, mixed with other cloths, imported from Muscat and Cutch, equal to from $7.50 to $12.50. He is therefore very expensive to a traveler. For the carriage of my goods I had to disburse nearly two thousand dollars’ worth of cloth. The pagazi belongs to Unyamwezi (Land of the Moon), an extensive country in Central Africa, in which Unyanyembe, the central depot of the Arabs, is situated, and which all caravans for the interior must reach, and where they must obtain fresh relays of carriers before they can proceed further. The doti in which he is paid, and which is equivalent to his dollar, measures four yards. A shukka is half a doti, or two yards. The proprietor of a caravan purchases his cloth by the bale, or gorah. A gorah of Merikani (a corrupted name for American sheeting) means a piece of Merikani of thirty yards, into which they are folded up by the mills of Salem and Nashua, N.H. The gorah, therefore, contains seven and a half doti, or fifteen shukka.

During the two months we were halted at Bagamoyo there was plenty of work for us. The eight thousand yards of American sheeting which I had purchased had to be made into bales for the pagazis. A bale is a package of cloth weighing not more than seventy pounds,wherein pieces of American sheeting must be laid in layers alternately with the cloths of India, Cutch and Muscat; so that if one bale or two are lost you do not lose too much of one thing, which might by and by prove fatal to your enterprise. When the cloths are thus laid in alternate layers and the scale indicates the maximum weight a doti of cloth spread out receives them, and after being tied or pinned over it neatly it is then bound as firmly as possible with coir rope and pounded by two men until the bale is one solid roll, three and a half feet long, a foot wide and a foot deep. It is then taken and put in a makanda, or a mat bag, until the pagazi coming for his load and hire cradles it in three long sticks arranged in a fork to receive it, and binds the fork firmly on the bale, for the purpose of protecting the bale from injury from wet, moisture and white ants and for the convenience of lifting it on his shoulder and stacking it when his day’s march is over. Beads are placed in long narrow bags of domestics, and not more than sixty- two pounds are put in the bag, as the bead load is not so flexible as the cloth bale. Wire is conveyed in coils — six coils generally considered a handsome load — averaging sixty pounds. It is arranged for carriage, in three coils, at each end of a five-foot pole.

My life at Zanzibar I thought hard, but my two months at Bagamoyo a convict at Sing Sing would not have envied. It was work all day, thinking all night; not an hour could I call my own. It was a steady grind on body and brain this work of starting. I state with truth, now resting at Unyanyembe, after the fatigues of the long march, after the dangers and vexations we have suffered, that I would prefer the three months’ march, with all its horrors, anxieties, swamps and fevers, to the two months’ preparation for the expedition I had at Bagamoyo. The greatest trouble of all that I endured at Bagamoyo — I am sure you will smile at the thought — was with my agent, who obtained me my pagazis, without whom I could not have started even to this day, probably never; for had I stayed so long I would have thrown up the job as impracticable and would have committed suicide by putting my head in a barrel of sand, which I thought to be a most easy death, and one I gratuitously recommend to all would-be suicides. Smile now, please, when I tell you that his name was Soor Hadji Palloo, and his age nineteen. During my whole stay at Bagamoyo this young gave me more trouble than all the scoundrelism of the city of New York gives to its Chief of Police. Half a dozen times a day I found him in dishonesty, yet the boy was in no way abashed by it; otherwise there had been hopes for him. Each day he conceived a new system of roguery. Every instant of his time seemed to be devoted to devising how to plunder me, until I was at my wits’ end how to thwart or check him. Exposure before the people brought no shame to his cheeks. A mere shrug of the shoulders, which I was to interpret any way I pleased, was the only proof he gave that he heard me. A threat to reduce his present had no effect on him — “a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush;” so $10 worth of goods stolen from me was worth a promise of $20 when his work should be finished. Several times a day the young Hindoo dog escaped a sound thrashing because I knew his equal for collecting pagazis was not to be found. Will you believe it, that after the most incomparable rascality, at the end of two months he had escaped a flogging and received a present of money for his services? The reason was, at last he had released me from torment and I was free to go.

The convict free to go after a protracted imprisonment — the condemned man on the scaffold, with the awful cord dangling before his eyes, the executioners of the dread sentence of the law ready to perform their duties, when told he was at liberty to depart, could not feel keener pleasure than I felt when my business was concluded with Soor Hadji Palloo and I felt myself at liberty to depart on my mission. Five caravans had already been dispatched — four under the protection of soldiers, the fifth under the Scotchman who acted as my first mate. The sixth and last was to be led by myself. Burton and Speke arrived at Zanzibar in 1857, in January — the same month that I, fourteen years later, had arrived. But as the masika, or rainy season, which lasts for forty days, was then drawing near, they preferred to wait on the coast and defer their departure until after the masika. It was not until the 16th June that they left Zanzibar for Kaole (three miles below Bagamoyo), and not until the 27th of the same month that they made the great start, the pagazis, soldiers and donkeys having been collected for them by Ladha Danyee, the most influential man in Zanzibar, second only to the Sultan of the island.

But my mission was one that required speed; any delay would render it valueless; immediate departure was essential to success — departure from the coast — after which my movements would depend in a great measure on my own energy. Forty days’ rain and a 200 mile swamp must not prevent the NEW YORK HERALD correspondent from marching, now that the caravan is ready.

On Saturday, the 1st of April, exactly eighty-three days after arrival at Zanzibar, 41 the sixth caravan, led by myself, left the town of Bagamoyo for our first journey westward, with “Forward” for its mot de guet and the American flag borne aloft by the Kirangozi or guide of the caravan. As it defiled out of the town we bid a long farewell to the dolce far niente of civilization, to the blue sea and its open road to home and to the hundreds of dusky spectators who were gathered to witness our departure with repeated salvos of musketry.

The caravan which I led consisted of ten pagazis, carrying the boats; nine soldiers, under Captain Bombay, in charge of seventeen donkeys and their loads; Selim, my boy interpreter, a Christian Arab from Jerusalem, who had been with me through Persia; one cook and sub from Malabar, and Shaw, the English sailor, now transformed into a rear guard and overseer, mounted on a good riding donkey; one dog from Bombay, called Omar, from his Turkish origin, who was to guard my tent at night and bark at insolent Wagogo, if not to bite their legs — a thing he is very likely to do — and, lastly, myself, mounted on the splendid bay horse given me by Mr. Goodhue, the mtongi leader, the thinker and reporter of the expedition. Altogether the expedition numbers three white men, twenty-two soldiers, four supernumeraries, with a transport train of eighty-two pagazis, twenty-seven donkeys and two horses, conveying fifty-two bales of cloth, seven man-loads of wire, sixteen man-loads of beads, twenty loads of boat fixtures, three loads of tents, four loads of clothes and personal baggage, two loads of cooking utensils and dishes, one load of medicines, three of powder, five of bullets, small shot and metallic cartridges; three of instruments and small necessaries, such as soap, sugar, tea, coffee, Liebig’s extract of meat, pemmican, candles, &c., which make a total of 116 loads — equal to eight and a half tons of material. The weapons of defence which the expedition possesses consist of one double-barrelled smooth bore No. 12, two American Winchester rifles or “sixteen shooters,” two Starr’s breech-loading carbines, one Jocelyn breech-loader, one elephant rifle, carrying balls eight to the pound; two breech-loading revolvers, twenty-four flint-lock muskets, six single-barrelled pistols, one battle axe, two swords, two daggers, one boar spear, two American axes, twenty-four hatchets and twenty-four long knives.

The expedition has been fitted up with care; whatever was needed for its success was not stinted; everything was provided; nothing was done too hurriedly, yet everything was purchased, collected, manufactured and compounded with the utmost dispatch consistent with efficiency and means. Should it fail of success in its errand, of rapid marching to Ujiji and back, it must simply happen from an accident which could not be controlled. So much for the personnel of the expedition and its purpose.

We left Bagamoyo, the attraction of all the curious, with noisy eclat, and defiled up a narrow lane shaded to twilight by the dense umbrage of two parallel hedges of mimosas. We were all in the highest spirits — the soldiers sang extempore, the Kirangozi lifted his voice into a loud, bellowing note, and fluttered the American flag, which told all onlookers, “Lo, a musungre’s (white man) caravan,” and my heart, I thought, palpitated much too quickly for the sobriety of a leader. But I could not help it. The enthusiasm of youth still clung to me despite my traveled years, my pulses bounded with the full glow of staple health; behind me were the troubles, which had harassed me for over two months; with Soor Hadji Palloo I had said my last word; with the blatant rabble of Banyans, Arabs and Beloochees; I had taken my last look, and before me beamed the sun of promise as he sped toward the Occident. Loveliness glowed around me as I looked at the fertile fields of manioc, the riant vegetation of the tropics, the beautiful, strange trees and flowers, plants and herbs, and heard the cry of pee-wit and cricket and the noisy sibilance of many insects; me thought each and all whispered to me, “At last you are started.” At such a time what more appropriate could I do than lift up my face toward the pure, glassy dome of heaven and cry “God be thanked!”

We camped that night on the banks of the Kingani, our dreams being sadly disturbed by the sportive hippopotami, which emerged at night for their nocturnal feed on the tall, high grass that grows on the savannahs to the westward of the Kingani River.

“Sofari, Sofari, leo — a journey, a journey to-day,” shouted the Kirangozi as he prepared to blow his kudu horn — the usual signal for a march. “Set out, set out,” rang the cheery voice of Captain Bombay, echoed by that of my drum major, servant, general help and interpreter, Selim. As I hurried my men to their work, lent a hand with energy to drop the tents, I mentally resolved that if my caravans ahead gave me clear room for travel I should be in Unyanyembe before that day three months. By six o’clock A.M. our early breakfast was dispatched, and the pagazis and donkeys were en route for Kikoka.

Even at this early hour there were quite a collection of curious natives to whom we gave the parting “quahary” with sincerity. My bay horse was found to be invaluable for the service of a quartermaster of a transport train, for as such was I compelled to compare myself.

I could stay behind until the last straggler had left camp, and by a few moments’ gallop put myself at the head of the caravan, leaving the white man Shaw to bring up the rear.

The road, as it is, throughout Africa, was a mere footpath, leading over a sandy soil of surprising fertility — producing grain a hundredfold, though the sowing of it might be done in the most unskillful manner. In their fields, at heedless labor, were men and women in the scantiest costumes, compared to which the fig-leaf apparel of our first parents must have been en grande tenue. Nor were they at all abashed by the devouring gaze of men who were strangers to clotheless living men and women; nor did they seem to understand why their inordinate curiosity should be returned with more than interest.

They left their work as the Wasungu drew near — such hybrids were they in white flannels, solar topees and horse boots! But were the Wasungu desirous of studying the principles of comparative anatomy and physiology, what a rich field for study! We passed them with serious faces enough, while they giggled and laughed outright, pointing with their index fingers at this or that thing in our dress which to them seemed so strange and bizarre.

The western side of the Kingani was a considerable improvement upon the eastern. We were travelling over a forest-clad and jungly plain, which heaved upward as smoothly as the beach of a watering place, culminating at intervals in rounded ridges, whence fair views might be obtained of the new and strange land. The scenery was as beautiful as that which many an English nobleman is proud to call his “park.” On the whole it was lawn and sward, with boscage sufficient to agreeably diversify it.

Passing Kikoka we traversed on the next day a young forest of ebony trees, where guinea fowl were seen, besides pigeons, jays, ibis sacra, golden pheasants, quails, moorhens florican, hawks, eagles, and now and then a solitary pelican winged its way to the distance.

As we advanced further into the interior antelopes bounded away to our right and left, the steinbok and noble kudu fled in terror, giraffes rushed away from us like moving forests and zebra galloped frantic toward the far horizon at the sound of the strange noises which the caravan made.

By Sunday, the 23d of April, we had traveled 125 miles, and had reached Simbawenni, situated in longitude 37°42′ east, latitude 6°20′ south. We had experienced no trouble on the road up to this place. The country was like that above described — park-like — abounding in large and noble game. Not until we had left Simbawenni did we experience any trouble.

The first which we experienced was from the Sultana of Simbawenni, in Usagara, which we found to be a large and well built town, fortified by four towers and a stone wall, having considerable pretensions to architectural skill. The Sultana sent her ambassadors to demand tribute from me. I refused to pay, though she possessed 300 muskets and 500 slaves, on the ground that as my caravans had paid already I was exempted from it according to her custom. The ambassadors retired with a “Ngema” — very well. Soon after passing the town we arrived at Simbo Khombi, and here I was compelled to order my cook to be flogged for his incorrigible dishonesty and waste.

Upon leaving Simbo for the wilderness and swamp of Makata I was made aware that the cook had deserted. I dispatched three soldiers in pursuit, who, in the ardor of following his tracks, fell into the hands of the Sultana of Simbawenni, who robbed them of their guns and put them in chains. Some Arabs happening to see them in this condition, and knowing they were my men, made haste to inform the Sultana that she did not know what white people were capable of doing if they were angered; that I had guns with me that would kill her in her house at the distance of half a mile. This extraordinary announcement caused her to mitigate her anger against me and to release my soldiers, returning one gun and retaining two as just and equitable tribute. The cook was afterward reported to me to be murdered.

From Simbo to Rehenneko in Us agar a extends the terrible Makata swamp, a distance of forty-five miles. It is knee deep of water and black mire, and for five days we marched through this cataclysm.

From here commenced the list of calamities which afterwards overtook me. First the white man Shaw caught the terrible fever of East Africa, then the Arab boy Selim, then myself, then the soldiers one by one, and smallpox and dysentery raged among us. As soon as I had recovered from the effects of the fever I was attacked with dysentery, which brought me to the verge of the grave. From a stout and fleshy person, weighing 170 pounds, I was reduced to a skeleton, a mere frame of bone and skin, weighing 130 pounds. Two pagazis fell victims to this dysentery. Even the dog “Omar” was attacked by it, and presently died. At Rehenneko we experienced the last of the rainy season. It had rained almost every day since we had left Bagamoyo, but until we had arrived at the verge of the Makata swamp we did not experience much inconvenience from it.

Two days beyond Rehenneko we caught up with the fourth caravan, which had been sent out under the leadership of the Scotchman.

I found the white man in a most miserable plight. All the donkeys — numbering nine — that I had sent out with him were dead and he was attacked by dropsy or elephantiasis — a disease of which he has since died. He had wasted upward of six bales of cloth, five of which had been entrusted to him to convey to Unyanyembe. An Arab proprietor would have slaughtered him for his extravagance and imbecility; but I — I had no other course but to relieve him of all charge of such goods. Had I not foreseen some such mismanagement and provided plenty of cloth against such loss I should have been compelled to return to the coast for more bales to replace them.

By the 24th May we had traveled 278 miles, and had entered the dangerous land of the Wagogo. We had passed through the territories of the Wakami, Wakwere, Wadoe, Wasegura, Wasagara and Wahehe. We had crossed the rivers Kingani, Ungerengeri, Little Makata, Great Makata, Rudewa and Mukondokwa. We had discovered the sources of the Kingani, Wami and Mukondokwa rivers and the Lake of Ugombo, three miles long by two and a half miles wide. Our losses up to this date were seventeen donkeys dead, one coil of wire stolen, one tent eaten up by white ants, one tent lost, also one axe, one pistol, twenty pounds of bullets, and Captain Bombay’s stock of uniform clothes, all of which losses I ascribe to the fatigues experienced during the transit of the Makata swamp.

Three pagazis had deserted, two were dead; also one white man and two natives of Malabar had died. The two horses died on the third day after leaving Bagamoyo, for so fatal is this land to both men and animals.

In entering Ugogo we were entering a new land, to meet with different dangers, different accidents from those we had now left behind. We had ascended a plateau 3,700 to 4,200 feet above the level of the sea; the extraordinary fertility and rivers of the maritime region we should not see in Ugogo, but a bare and sterile plateau, though cultivated by the Wagogo.

The Wagogo are the Irish of Africa — clannish and full of fight. To the Wagogo all caravans must pay tribute, the refusal of which is met by an immediate declaration of hostilities. The tribute which I alone paid to these people amounted to 170 doti ($170 in gold), for the mere privilege of travelling through their country to Unyanyembe beyond.

On the thirtieth day after entering Ugogo we arrived in Unyanyembe, at the Arab village of Kwihara — so called from the plain of Kwihara, in which it is situated. The march of this last month had been very rapid, we having travelled 247 miles, while the previous march of 278 miles, viz., from Bagamoyo to Ugogo had occupied fifty-four days. Altogether we had traveled 525 miles in eighty-four days, including halts, which makes our rate of marching per day six and a quarter miles. Burton and Speke in traveling the same distance from Kaole to Unyanyembe in 134 days, which is at the rate of three and one-sixth miles per day. You must not imagine that I am stating this in order to make an invidious comparison, but simply to show you how expeditiously we have traveled. The Arabs travel the distance from two months and twelve days to four months. On the second visit of Speke with Grant to Unyanyembe he made the march in 115 days.

I should like to enter into more minute details respecting this new land, which is almost unknown, but the very nature of my mission, requiring speed and all my energy, precludes it. Some day, perhaps, the HERALD will permit me to describe more minutely the experiences of the long march, with all its vicissitudes and pleasures, in its columns, and I can assure your readers beforehand that they will not be quite devoid of interest. But now my whole time is occupied in the march, and the direction of the expedition, the neglect of which in any one point would be productive of disastrous results.

I shall here proceed to relate what I have heard of Livingstone verbatum.

On the 12th of April I met at Moussoudi, on the Ungerengeri River, four marches from Simbawenni, Salim bin Rasheed, who gave me the following intelligence respecting Livingstone:

“I saw the musungu who came up from the Nyassa a long time ago, at Ujiji last year. He lived in the next tembe to me. He has a long, white mustache and beard, and was very fat. He was then about going to Marungu and Manyema.”

On the 18th of May Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasib found me encamped at Mpwapwa and gave me the following: The musungu (white man) has gone to Maniema, a month’s march from Ujiji. He has met with a bad accident, having shot himself in the thigh while out hunting buffalo. When he gets well he will return to Ujiji. There are many lakes on the other side of the Tanganyika. Lake Ujiji is very great; Lake Uruwa is also great, Lake Bangweolo is great, but Lake Maniema is great, exceedingly great.

At Kusuri, in Mgunda Mkhali, or the land of the Wayanzi, on the 13th of June, I met Sheik Thani bin Massoud, who imparted the following :

“You are asking me about the musungu whom people call Tochter Fellusteen’ (Dr. Livingstone). Yes; I lived near him about three months at Ujiji. His men have all deserted him, except three slaves, whom he was obliged to buy.”


“He used to beat his men very hard if they did not do instantly what he told them. At last they all ran away; no one would stop with him. He had nothing with him, no cloth nor beads, to buy food for a long time; so he had to go out and hunt buffalo every day. He is a very old man and very fat, too; has a long white beard. He is a great eater, Mashallah! He would eat a pot of ghee and a big plateful of rice three or four times a day. Mashallah! but you see this thing (pointing to a tea saucer)?”


“Well he would eat that full of butter, with a potful of ugali (porridge).”

On the 16th of June I met Hassan, a Balooch soldier of Sheikh Said bin Salim, of Unyanyembe, who gave news about Livingstone to this effect:

“He is a very old man, with a beard nearly white. His left shoulder is out of joint from a fight he had with a suriba (lion). He has gone to Maniema with some Arabs. Maniema is three months’ march from Ujiji. He is about returning to Ujiji soon, owing to a letter he received from the ‘Balyuz’ (Consul). They say that although he has been out here so long he has done nothing. He has fifteen bales of cloth at Unyanyembe, not yet sent to him.”

On the 20th, at Kubuga, three days from Unyanyembe, Sheikh Amir bin Sultan informed me as follows:

“Yes, there is a musungu, a very old man, who came to Ujiji by the way of Lake Nyassa and Cazembe. 72 After coming to Ujiji he went to Marungu, and then returned to Ujiji. About a year ago he crossed the Tanganyika Lake, and accompanied some Arabs to Lake Maniema, which, I am told, is a very great lake, much larger than Tanganyika. Lately a caravan coming from Ukonongo brought the news that he was dead. I don’t know whether the news be true or not.”

At this place I have received the following additional information: He is on the road to Ujiji from Lake Maniema, which is west of Uguhha. The lake is fifteen camps from the Tanganyika, in a south-southwest direction. With me are going to Ujiji for him fifteen loads of cloth, eight loads of beads and twelve boxes, containing wine, provisions — such as sugar, tea, salt, pepper, spices and such little luxuries — besides clothes, books and newspapers. If at Ujiji in one month more I shall see him, the race for home shall begin. Until I hear more of him or see the long absent old man face to face I bid you a farewell; but wherever he is be sure I shall not give up the chase. If alive you shall hear what he has to say; if dead I will find and bring his bones to you.

(Source: Archive.org)