New York Herald/August 15, 1872
Bunder Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika
December 26, 1871
The goal was won. Finis coronat opus. I might here stop very well — for Livingstone was found — only the HERALD I know will not be satisfied with one story, so I will sit down to another; a story so interesting, because he, the great traveler, the hero Livingstone, tells most of it himself.
We were met at last. The HERALD’s special correspondent had seen Dr. Livingstone, whom more than three-fourths of all who had ever heard of him believed to be dead. Yet at noon on the 10th of November of this year I first shook hands with him, and said to him, “Doctor, I thank God I have been permitted to shake hands with you.” I said it all very soberly and with due dignity, because there were so many Arabs about us, and the circumstances under which I appeared did not warrant me to do anything else. I was as much a stranger to Livingstone as I was to any Arab there. And, if Arabs do not like to see any irregularity, indeed I think that Englishmen must be placed in the same category.
But what does all this preface and what may this prolixity mean? Well, it means this, that I looked upon Livingstone as an Englishman, and I feared that if I showed any unusual joy at meeting with him he might conduct himself very much like another Englishman did once whom I met in the interior of another foreign and strange land wherein we two were the only English-speaking people to be found within the area of two hundred miles square, and who, upon my greeting him with a cordial “Good morning,” would not answer me, but screwed on a large eye-glass in a manner which must have been as painful to him as it was to me, and then deliberately viewed my horse and myself for the space of about thirty seconds, and passed on his way with as much insouciance as if he had seen me a thousand times and there was nothing at all in the meeting to justify him coming out of that shell of imperturbability with which he had covered himself.
Besides, I had heard all sorts of things from a quondam companion of his about him. He was eccentric, I was told; nay, almost a misanthrope, who hated the sight of Europeans; who, if Burton, Speke, Grant or anybody of that kind were coming to see him, would make haste to put as many miles as possible between himself and such a person. He was a man also whom no one could get along with — it was almost impossible to please him; he was a man who kept no journal, whose discoveries would certainly perish with him unless he himself came back. This was the man I was shaking hands with whom I had done my utmost to surprise, lest he should run away. Consequently you may know why I did not dare manifest any extraordinary joy upon my success. But, really, had there been no one present — none of those cynical-minded Arabs I mean — I think I should have betrayed the emotions which possessed me, instead of which I only said, “Doctor, I thank God I have been permitted to shake hands with you.” Which he returned with a grateful and welcome smile.
Together we turned our faces towards his tembe. He pointed to the veranda of his house, which was an unrailed platform, built of mud, covered by wide overhanging eaves. He pointed to his own particular seat, on a carpet of goatskins spread over a thick mat of palm leaf. I protested against taking this seat, but he insisted, and I yielded. We were seated, the Doctor and I, with our backs to the wall, the Arabs to our right and left and in front, the natives forming a dark perspective beyond. Then began conversation; I forget what about; possibly about the road I took from Unyanyembe, but I am not sure. I know the Doctor was talking, and I was answering mechanically. I was conning the indomitable, energetic, patient and persevering traveler, at whose side I now sat in central Africa. Every hair of his head and beard, every line and wrinkle of his face, the wan face, the fatigued form, were all imparting the intelligence to me which so many men so much desired. It was deeply interesting intelligence and unvarnished truths these mute but certain witnesses gave. They told me of the real nature of the work in which he was engaged. Then his lips began to give me the details — lips that cannot lie. I could not repeat what he said. He had so much to say that he began at the end, seemingly oblivious of the fact that nearly six years had to be accounted for. But the story came out bit by bit, unreservedly — as unreservedly as if he was conversing with Sir R. Murchison, his true friend and best on earth. The man’s heart was gushing out, not in hurried sentences, in rapid utterances, in quick relation — but in still and deep words.
His quondam companion must have been a sad student of human nature or a most malicious person — a man whose judgment was distorted by an oblique glance at his own inner image, and was thus rendered incapable of knowing the great heart of Livingstone — for after several weeks’ life with him in the same tent and in the same hut I am utterly unable to perceive what angle of Livingstone’s nature that gentleman took to base a judgment upon. A happier companion, a truer friend than the traveller thus slandered I could not wish for. He was always polite — with a politeness of the genuine kind — and this politeness never forsook him for an instant, even in the midst of the most rugged scenes and greatest difficulties.
Upon my first introduction to him Livingstone was to me like a huge tome, with a most unpretending binding. Within the book might contain much valuable lore and wisdom, but its exterior gave no promise of what was within. Thus outside Livingstone gave no token — except of being rudely dealt with by the wilderness — of what element of power or talent lay within. He is a man of unpretending appearance enough, has quiet, composed features, from which the freshness of youth has quite departed, but which retains the mobility of prime age just enough to show that there yet lives much endurance and vigor within his frame. The eyes, which are hazel, are remarkably bright, not dimmed in the least, though the whiskers and mustache are very gray. The hair, originally brown, is streaked here and there with gray over the temples, otherwise it might belong to a man of thirty. The teeth above show indications of being worn out. The hard fare of Londa and Manyema have made havoc in their ranks. His form is stoutish, a little over the ordinary in height, with slightly bowed shoulders. When walking he has the heavy step of an overworked and fatigued man. On his head he wears the naval cap, with a round vizor with which he has been identified throughout Africa. His dress shows that at times he has had to resort to the needle to repair and replace what travel has worn. Such is Livingstone externally.
Of the inner man much more may be said than of the outer. As he reveals himself, bit by bit, to the stranger, a great many favorable points present themselves, any of which taken singly might well dispose you toward him. I had brought him a packet of letters, and though I urged him again and again to defer conversation with me until he had read the news from home and children, he said he would defer reading until night; for the time he would enjoy being astonished by the European and any general world news I could communicate. He had acquired the art of being patient long ago, he said, and he had waited so long for letters that he could well afford to wait a few hours more. So we sat and talked on that humble veranda of one of the poorest houses in Ujiji. Talked quite oblivious of the large concourse of Arabs, Wanguana and Wajiji, who had crowded around to see the new comer.
There was much to talk about on both sides. On his side he had to tell me what had happened to him, of where he had been, and of what he had seen during the five years the world believed him to be dead. On my side I had to tell him very old, old news, of the Suez Canal and the royal extravagance of Ismail Pacha; of the termination of the Cretan insurrection; of the Spanish revolution; of the flight of Isabella; of the new King, Amadeus, and of the assassination of Prim; of the completion of the Pacific Railroad across the American Continent; of the election of General Grant as President; of the French and Prussian war; of the capture of Napoleon, the flight of Eugenie and of the complete humiliation of France. Scores of eminent persons — some personal friends of his — had died. So that the news had a deep interest to him, and I had a most attentive auditor.
By and by the Arabs retired, understanding well the position, though they were also anxious to hear from me about Mirambo, but I sent my head men with them to give them such news as they wanted.
The hours of that afternoon passed most pleasantly — few afternoons of my life more so. It seemed to me as if I had met an old, old friend. There was a friendly or good-natured abandon about Livingstone which was not lost on me. As host, welcoming one who spoke his language, he did his duties with a spirit and style I have never seen elsewhere. He had not much to offer, to be sure, but what he had was mine and his. The wan features which I had thought shocked me at first meeting, the heavy step which told of age and hard travel, the gray beard and stooping shoulders belied the man. Underneath that aged and well spent exterior lay an endless fund of high spirits, which now and then broke out in peals of hearty laughter — the rugged frame enclosed a very young and exuberant soul. The meal — I am not sure but what we ate three meals that afternoon — was seasoned with innumerable jokes and pleasant anecdotes, interesting hunting stories, of which his friends Webb , Oswell, Vardon and Cumming (Gordon Cumming) were always the chief actors.
“You have brought me new life,” he said several times, so that I was not sure but that there was some little hysteria in this joviality and abundant animal spirits, but as I found it continued during several weeks I am now disposed to think it natural. Another thing which specially attracted my attention was his wonderfully retentive memory. When we remember the thirty years and more he has spent in Africa, deprived of books, we may well think it an uncommon memory that can recite whole poems of Burns, Byron, Tennyson and Longfellow. Even the poets Whittier and Lowell were far better known to him than to me. He knew an endless number of facts and names of persons connected with America much better than I, though it was my peculiar province as a journalist to have known them. One reason, perhaps, for this fact may be that the Doctor never smokes, so that his brain is never befogged, even temporarily, by the fumes of the insidious weed. Besides, he has lived all his life almost, we may say, within himself — in a world of thought which revolved inwardly, seldom awaking out of it except to attend to the immediate practical necessities of himself and his expedition. The immediate necessities disposed of, he must have relapsed into his own inner world, into which he must have conjured memories of his home, relations, friends, acquaintances, familiar readings, ideas and associations, so that wherever he might be, or by whatsoever he was surrounded, his own world had attractions far superior to that which the external world by which he was surrounded had.
Dr. Livingstone is a truly pious man — a man deeply imbued with real religious instincts. The study of the man would not be complete if we did not take the religious side of his character into consideration. His religion, any more than his business, is not of the theoretical kind — simply contenting itself with avowing its peculiar creed and ignoring all other religions as wrong or weak. It is of the true, practical kind, never losing a chance to manifest itself in a quiet, practical way — never demonstrative or loud. It is always at work, if not in deed, by shining example. It is not aggressive, which sometimes is troublesome and often impertinent. In him religion exhibits its loveliest features. It governs his conduct towards his servants, towards the natives and towards the bigoted Mussulmans — even all who come in contact with him. Without religion Livingstone, with his ardent temperament, his enthusiastic nature, his high spirit and courage, might have been an uncompanionable man and a hard master. Religion has tamed all these characteristics; nay, if he was ever possessed of them, they have been thoroughly eradicated. Whatever was crude or willful religion has refined, and made him, to speak the earnest, sober truth, the most agreeable of companions and indulgent of masters.
I have been frequently ashamed of my impatience while listening to his mild rebuke to a dishonest or lazy servant, whereas had he been of mine his dishonesty or laziness had surely been visited with prompt punishment. I have often heard our servants discuss our respective merits. “Your master,” say my servants to those of Livingstone, “is a good man — a very good man. He does not beat you, for he has a kind heart; but ours — oh! he is sharp, hot as fire — mkali sana-kana moto.” From being hated and thwarted in every possible way by the Arabs and half castes upon first arrival in Ujiji, through his uniform kindness and mild, pleasant temper he has now won all hearts. I perceived that universal respect was paid to him by all.
Every Sunday morning he gathers his little flock around him and has prayers read, not in the stereotyped tone of an English High Church clergyman, which always sounds in my ears insincerely, but in the tone recommended by Archbishop Whately — viz., natural, unaffected and sincere. Following them he delivers a short address in the Kisawahili language about what he has been reading from the Bible to them, which is listened to with great attention.
There is another point in Livingstone’s character about which we, as readers of his books and students of his travels, would naturally wish to know something — viz., his ability to withstand the rigors of an African climate, and the consistent energy with which he follows the exploration of Central Africa. Those who may have read Burton’s Lake Regions of Central Africa cannot have failed to perceive that Captain Burton, the author, was very well tired of Africa long before he reached Ujiji, and that when he had reached Ujiji he was too much worn out to be able to go any farther, or do anything but proceed by boat to Uvira, near the northern head of the Tanganyika — a task he performed, we must admit, in no enviable humor. We also know how Speke looked and felt when Baker met him at Gondokoro; how, after merely glancing at the outflow of Lake Victoria into the Victoria Nile, he was unable or indisposed to go a little farther west to discover the lake which has made Baker famous and given him a knighthood. Also, do we not all know the account of Baker’s discovery of that lake, and what resolutions he made after his return to civilization from his visit to the Albert Lake?
When I first met the Doctor I asked him if he did not feel a desire to visit his country and take a little rest. He had then been absent about six years, and the answer he gave me freely shows what kind of man he is, and how differently constituted he is from Burton, Speke or Baker. Said he: “I would like very much to go home and see my children once again, but I cannot bring my heart to abandon the task I have undertaken when it is so nearly completed. It only requires six or seven months more to trace the true source that I have discovered with Petherick’s branch of the White Nile, or with the Albert Nyanza of Sir Samuel Baker. Why should I go before my task is ended, to have to come back again to do what I can very well do now?”
“And why,” I asked, “did you come so far back without finishing the short task which you say you have yet to do?”
“Simply because I was forced; my men would not budge a step forward. They mutinied and formed a secret resolution that if I still insisted on going on to raise a disturbance in the country, and after they had effected it to abandon me, in which case I should be killed. It was dangerous to go any farther. I had explored six hundred miles of the watershed, had traced all the principal streams which discharged their waters into the central line of drainage, and when about starting to explore the last one hundred miles the hearts of my people failed, and they set about frustrating me in every possible way. Now, having returned seven hundred miles to get a new supply of stores and another escort, I find myself destitute of even the means to live but for a few weeks, and sick in mind and body.”
Let any reader study the spirit of the above remark, and compare it with those which animated a Burton, a Speke or a Baker. How would those gentlemen have comported themselves in such a crisis, unprepared, as we all know they were, for the terrible fevers of Central Africa?
Again, about a week after I had arrived in Ujiji, I asked Livingstone if he had examined the northern head of the Tanganyika. He answered immediately he had not, and then asked if people expected he had. I then informed him that great curiosity was felt about the connection that was supposed to exist between the Tanganyika and Lake Albert. One party said that a river flowed out of the Tanganyika into the Albert; another party held that it was impossible, since the Tanganyika was, according to Burton and Speke, much lower than the Albert. Others were inclined to let the subject alone until they should hear from him, the only one capable at the present time to set the matter at rest forever.
The Doctor replied to these remarks that he was not aware so much importance was attached to the Tanganyika, as his friends at home, instead of writing to him, contented themselves with speculating as to where he should come out of Africa, and thus he had been kept ignorant of many things of which those who took any interest in him should have informed him.
“I did try before setting out for Manyema to engage canoes and proceed northward, but I soon saw that the people were all confederating to fleece me as they had Burton, and had I gone under such circumstances I should not have been able to proceed to Manyema to explore the central line of drainage, and of course the most important line — far more important than the line of the Tanganyika; for whatever connection there may be between the Tanganyika and the Albert the true sources of the Nile are those emptying into the central line of drainage. In my own mind I have not the least doubt that the Rusizi River flows from this lake into the Albert. For three months steadily I observed a current setting northward. I verified it by means of water plants.
“When Speke gives the altitude of the Tanganyika at only 1,880 feet above the sea I imagine he must have fallen into the error by frequently writing the Anno Domini, and thus made a slip of the pen; for the altitude is over two thousand eight hundred feet by boiling point, though I make it a little over three thousand feet by barometers. 11 Thus you see that there are no very great natural difficulties on the score of altitude, and nothing to prevent the reasonable supposition that there may be a water connection by means of the Rusizi or some other river between the two lakes. Besides, the Arabs here are divided in their statements. Some swear that the river goes out of the Tanganyika, others that it flows into the Tanganyika.”
“Well, Doctor,” said I, “if I were you, before leaving this part of the country for Unyanyembe, perhaps never to return here — for one knows not what may occur in the meantime — I would go up and see, and if you like I will accompany you. You say you have no cloth and only five men. I have enough cloth and men for all your purposes. Suppose you go up and settle this vexed question, for so far as I see by the newspapers everybody expects it of you.”
Many a traveler, as I have shown, would have pleaded fatigue and utter weariness of mind and body, but Livingstone did not. That very instant the resolve was made; that very instant he started to execute it. He sent a man to Said Ben Majid to request the loan of his canoe, and his baggage was got ready for the voyage. Not yet recovered from the sore effects of his return from his unsuccessful and lengthy journey to accomplish the object that lay so near his heart; yet suffering from an attack of diarrhea and the consequent weakness it induced, the brave spirit was up again, eager as a high-spirited boy, for the path of duty pointed out.
The above is but a slight sketch of the main points in the great traveler’s character, whose personal story I am about to relate. It was necessary that the reader should know what sort of man this Dr. Livingstone was, after whom the NEW YORK HERALD thought proper to dispatch a special correspondent, with an expedition, at no matter what cost. After this study of him I cannot better sum up his character than by using the words of one of my own men: “He is a good man, an extremely good and kind man.” Is it not true, then, that his quondam companion did not know the nature of the man with whom he lived and travelled, who said that Livingstone would run away from any other white man who would come after him; and, is it likely that the intellect of the facetious gentleman who stated his belief that “Livingstone had married an African princess, and had settled down for good,” could fathom the single-minded traveler and upright man, David Livingstone?
Dr. David Livingstone left the island of Zanzibar in March, 1866. On the 7th of the following month he departed from Mikindini Bay for the interior, with an expedition consisting of twelve Sepoys from Bombay, nine men from Johanna, of the Comoro Isles, seven liberated slaves and two Zambezi men (taking them as an experiment), six camels, three buffaloes, two mules and three donkeys. He thus had thirty men, twelve of whom — viz., the Sepoys — were to act as guards for the expedition. They were mostly armed with the Enfield rifles presented to the Doctor by the Bombay government. The baggage of the expedition consisted of ten bales of cloth and two bags of beads, which were to serve as currency by which they would be enabled to purchase the necessaries of life in the countries the Doctor intended to visit. Besides the cumbrous moneys they carried several boxes of instruments, such as chronometers, air thermometers, sextant and artificial horizon, boxes containing clothes, medicines and personal necessaries.
The expedition travelled up the left bank of the Rovuma River, a route as full of difficulties as any that could be chosen. For miles Livingstone and his party had to cut their way with their axes through the dense and almost impenetrable jungles which lined the river’s banks. The road was a mere footpath, leading, in the most erratic fashion, in and through the dense vegetation, seeking the easiest outlet from it without any regard to the course it ran. The pagazis were able to proceed easily enough, but the camels, on account of their enormous height, could not advance a step without the axes of the party first clearing the way. These tools of foresters were almost always required, but the advance of the expedition was often retarded by the unwillingness of the Sepoys and Johanna men to work.
Soon after the departure of the expedition from the coast the murmurings and complaints of these men began, and upon every occasion and at every opportunity they evinced a decided hostility to an advance. In order to prevent the progress of the Doctor, in hopes that it would compel him to return to the coast, these men so cruelly treated the animals that before long there was not one left alive. Failing in this they set about instigating the natives against the white man, whom they accused most wantonly of strange practices. As this plan was most likely to succeed, and as it was dangerous to have such men with him, the Doctor arrived at the conclusion that it was best to discharge them and accordingly sent the Sepoys back to the coast, but not without having first furnished them with the means of subsistence on their journey to the coast. These men were such a disreputable set that the natives talked of them as the Doctor’s slaves. One of the worst sins was their custom to give their guns and ammunition to carry to the first woman or boy they met, whom they impressed for that purpose by either threats or promises which they were totally unable to perform and unwarranted in making. An hour’s march was sufficient to fatigue them, after which they lay down on the road to bewail their hard fate and concoct new schemes to frustrate their leader’s purposes. Towards night they generally made their appearance at the camping ground with the looks of half dead men. Such men naturally made but a poor escort, for had the party been attacked by a wandering tribe of natives of any strength the Doctor could have made no defence, and no other alternative would be left to him but to surrender and be ruined. The Doctor and his little party arrived on the 18th July, 1866, at a village belonging to a chief of the Mahiyaw, situated eight days’ march south of the Rovuma and overlooking the watershed of the Lake Nyassa. The territory lying between the Rovuma River and this Mahiyaw chieftain was an uninhabited wilderness, during the transit of which Livingstone and the expedition suffered considerably from hunger and desertion of men.
Early in August, 1866, the Doctor came to Mponda’s country, a chief who dwelt near the Lake Nyassa. On the road thither two of the liberated slaves deserted him. Here, also, Wakotani (not Wikotani) a protege of the Doctor, insisted upon his discharge, alleging as an excuse, which the Doctor subsequently found to be untrue, that he had found his brother. He further stated that his family lived on the east side of the Nyassa Lake. He further said that Mponda’s favorite wife was his sister. Perceiving that Wakotani was unwilling to go with him further the Doctor took him to Mponda, who now saw and heard of him for the first time, and, having furnished the ungrateful boy with enough cloth and beads to keep him until his “big brother” should call for him, left him with the chief, after first assuring himself that he would have honorable treatment from that chief. The Doctor also gave Wakotani writing paper (as he could read and write, being some of the accomplishments acquired at Bombay, where he had been put to school) that should he at any time feel so disposed he might write to Mr. Horace Waller or to himself. The Doctor further enjoined on him not to join any slave raid usually made by his countrymen, the men of Nyassa, on their neighbors. Upon finding that his application for a discharge was successful, Wakotani endeavored to induce Chum ah, another protege of the Doctor’s, and a companion or chum of Wakotani, to leave the Doctor’s service and proceed with them, promising as a bribe a wife and plenty of pombe from his “big brother.” Chumah, upon referring the matter to the Doctor, was advised not to go, as he (the Doctor) strongly suspected that Wakotani wanted only to make him his slave. Chumah wisely withdrew from his tempter.
From Mponda’s the Doctor proceeded to the heel of the Nyassa, to the village of a Babisa chief, who required medicine for a skin disease. With his usual kindness he stayed at this chiefs village to treat his malady. While here a half-caste Arab arrived from the western shore of the lake, who reported that he had been plundered by a band of Ma-Zitu at a place the Doctor and Musa, chief of the Johanna men, were very well aware was at least a hundred and fifty miles northnorthwest of where they were then stopping. Musa, however, for his own reasons — which will appear presently — eagerly listened to the Arab’s tale, and gave full credence to it. Having well digested its horrifying contents, he came to the Doctor to give him the full benefit of what he had heard with such willing ears. The traveller patiently listened to the narrative — which lost none of its portentous significance through his relation, such as he believed it bore for himself and master — and then asked Musa if he believed it.
“Yes,” answered Musa, readily; “he tell me true, true. I ask him good, and he tell me true, true.”
The Doctor, however, said he did not believe it, for the Ma-Zitu would not have been satisfied with simply plundering a man; they would have murdered him; but suggested, in order to allay the fears of his Moslem subordinate, that they should both proceed to the chief with whom they were staying, who, being a sensible man, would be able to advise them as to the probability or improbability of the tale being correct. Together they proceeded to the Babisa chief, who, when he had heard the Arab’s story, unhesitatingly denounced the Arab as a liar and his story without the least foundation in fact, giving as a reason that if the Ma-Zitu had been lately in that vicinity he would have heard of it soon enough. But Musa broke out with “No, no, Doctor; no, no, no. I no want to go to Ma-Zitu. I no want Ma-Zitu to kill me. I want see my father, my mother, my child in Johanna. I no want Ma-Zitu kill me.” Ipsissima verba. These are Musa’s words. To which the Doctor replied, “I don’t want Ma-Zitu to kill me either; but, as you are afraid of them, I promise to go straight west until we get far past the beat of the Ma-Zitu.”
Musa was not satisfied, but kept moaning and sorrowing, saying, “If we had 200 guns with us I would go, but our small party they will attack by night and kill all.”
The Doctor repeated his promise, “But I will not go near them; I will go west.”
As soon as he turned his face westward Musa and the Johanna men ran away in a body. The Doctor says, in commenting upon Musa’s conduct, that he felt strongly tempted to shoot Musa and another ringleader, but was nevertheless glad that he did not soil his hands with their vile blood. A day or two afterwards another of his men — Simon Price by name — came to the Doctor with the same tale about the Ma-Zitu, but, compelled by the scant number of his people to repress all such tendencies to desertion and faint-heartedness, the Doctor “shut him up” at once and forbade him to utter the name of the Ma-Zitu any more. Had the natives not assisted him he must have despaired of ever being able to penetrate the wild and unexplored interior which he was now about to tread.
“Fortunately,” as the Doctor says with unction, “I was in a country now, after leaving the shores of the Nyassa, where the feet of the slave trader had not trodden. It was a new and virgin land, and of course, as I have always found it in such cases, the natives were really good and hospitable, and for very small portions of cloth my baggage was conveyed from village to village by them.” In many other ways the traveler in his extremity was kindly treated by the undefiled and unspoiled natives.
On leaving this hospitable region in the early part of December, 1866, the Doctor entered a country where the Mazitu had exercised their customary spoilating propensities. The land was swept clean of all provisions and cattle, and the people had emigrated to other countries beyond the bounds of these ferocious plunderers. Again the expedition was besieged by famine and was reduced to great extremity. To satisfy the pinching hunger it suffered it had recourse to the wild fruits which some parts of the country furnished. At intervals the condition of the hard-pressed band was made worse by the heartless desertion of some of its members, who more than once departed with the Doctor’s personal kit — changes of clothes and linen, &c. With more or less misfortunes constantly dogging his footsteps, he traversed in safety the countries of the Babisa, Bobemba, Barungu, Baulungu and Londa.
In the country of Londa lives the famous Cazembe — made known to Europeans first by Dr. Lacerda, the Portuguese traveler. Cazembe is a most intelligent prince; is a tall, stalwart man, who wears a peculiar kind of dress, made of crimson print, in the form of a prodigious kilt. The mode of arranging it is most ludicrous. All the folds of this enormous kilt are massed in front, which causes him to look as if the peculiarities of the human body were reversed in his case. The abdominal parts are thus covered with a balloon-like expansion of cloth, while the lumbar region, which is by us jealously clothed, with him is only half draped by a narrow curtain which by no means suffices to obscure its naturally fine proportions. In this State dress King Cazembe received Dr. Livingstone, surrounded by his chiefs and body guards. A chief, who had been deputed by the King and elders to find out all about the white man, then stood up before the assembly and in a loud voice gave the result of the inquiry he had instituted. He had heard the white man had come to look for waters, for rivers and seas. Though he did not understand what the white man could want with such things he had no doubt that the object was good. Then Cazembe asked what the Doctor proposed doing and where he thought of going. The Doctor replied that he had thought of going south, as he had heard of lakes and rivers being in that direction. Cazembe asked : “What can you want to go there for? The water is close here. There is plenty of large water in this neighborhood.” Before breaking up the assembly Cazembe gave orders to let the white man go where he would through his country undisturbed and unmolested. He was the first Englishman he had seen, he said, and he liked him.
Shortly after his introduction to the King the Queen entered the large house surrounded by a body guard of Amazons armed with spears. She was a fine, tall, handsome young woman, and evidently thought she was about to make a great impression upon the rustic white man, for she had clothed herself after a most royal fashion, and was armed with a ponderous spear. But her appearance, so different from what the Doctor had imagined, caused him to laugh, which entirely spoiled the effect intended, for the laugh of the Doctor was so contagious that she herself was the first who imitated, and the Amazons, courtier-like, followed suit. Much disconcerted by this, the Queen ran back, followed by her obedient damsels — a retreat most undignified and unqueenlike compared to her majestic advent into the Doctor’s presence. But Livingstone will have much to say about his reception at this Court and about this interesting King and Queen; and who can so well relate the scenes he witnessed, and which belong exclusively to him as he himself?
Soon after his arrival in the country of Londa, or Lunda, and before he had entered the district of Cazembe, he had crossed a river called the Chambezi, which was quite an important stream. The similarity of the name with that large and noble river south, which will be forever connected with his name, misled Livingstone at that time, and he accordingly did not pay it the attention it deserved, believing that the Chambezi was but the headwaters of the Zambezi, and consequently had no bearing or connection with the sources of the river of Egypt, of which he was in search. His fault was in relying too implicitly upon the correctness of Portuguese information. This error cost him many months of tedious labor and travel. From the beginning of 1867 — the time of his arrival at Cazembe — to the middle of March, 1869 — the time of his arrival in Ujiji — he was mostly engaged in correcting the errors and corruptions of the Portuguese travellers. The Portuguese, in speaking of the River Chambezi, invariably spoke of it as “our own Zambezi” — that is, the Zambezi which flows through the Portuguese possessions of the Mozambique. “In going to Cazembis from Nyassa,” said they, “you will cross our own Zambezi.” Such positive and reiterated information like this not only orally, but in their books and maps was naturally confusing. When the Doctor perceived that what he saw and what they described was at variance, out of a sincere wish to be correct, and, lest he might have been mistaken himself, he started to retravel the ground he had travelled before; over and over again he traversed the several countries watered by the several rivers of the complicated water system like an uneasy spirit; over and over again he asked the same questions from the different peoples he met until he was obliged to desist, lest they might say, “The man is mad; he has got water on the brain.”
But these travels and tedious labors of his in Londa and the adjacent countries have established beyond doubt first, that the Chambezi is a totally distinct river from the Zambezi of the Portuguese, and secondly, that the Chambezi, starting from about latitude eleven degrees south, is none other than the most southerly feeder of the great Nile, thus giving this famous river a length of over two thousand six hundred miles of direct latitude, making it second to the Mississippi, the longest river in the world. The real and true name of the Zambezi is Dombazi. When Lacerda and his Portuguese successors came to Cazembe, crossed the Chambezi and heard its name, they very naturally set it down as “our own Zambezi,” and without further inquiry sketched it as running in that direction.
During his researches in that region, so pregnant in discoveries, Livingstone came to a lake lying northeast of Cazembe, which the natives called Liemba, from the country of that name, which bordered it on the east and south. In tracing the lake north he found it to be none other than the Tanganyika, or the southeastern extremity of it, which looks on the Doctor’s map very much like an outline of Italy. The latitude of the southern end of this great body of water is about nine degrees south, which gives it thus a length, from north to south, of 360 geographical miles.
From the southern extremity of the Tanganyika he crossed Marungu and came in sight of Lake Moero. Tracing this lake, which is about sixty miles in length, to its southern head, he found a river called the Luapula entering it from that direction. Following the Luapula south he found it issue from the large lake of Bangweolo, which is as large in superficial area as the Tanganyika. In exploring for the waters which emptied into the lake he found by far the most important of these feeders was the Chambezi. So that he had thus traced the Chambezi from its source to Lake Bangweolo, and issue from its northern head under the name of Luapula, and found it entered Lake Moero. Again he returned to Cazembis, well satisfied that the river running north through three degrees of latitude could not be the river running south under the name of the Zambezi, though there might be a remarkable resemblance in their names.
At Cazembis he found an old white-bearded half-caste named Mohammed ben Salih, who was kept as a kind of prisoner at large by the King because of certain suspicious circumstances attending his advent and stay in his country. Through Livingstone’s influence Mohammed ben Salih obtained his release. On the road to Ujiji he had bitter cause to regret having exerted himself in the half-caste’s behalf. He turned out to be a most ungrateful wretch, who poisoned the minds of the Doctor’s few followers and ingratiated himself in their favor by selling the favors of his concubines to them, thus reducing them to a kind of bondage under him. From the day he had the vile old man in his company manifold and bitter misfortunes followed the Doctor up to his arrival in Ujiji, in March, 1869.
From the date of his arrival until the end of June (1869) he remained in Ujiji, whence he dated those letters which, though the outside world still doubted his being alive, satisfied the minds of the Royal Geographical people and his intimate friends that he was alive, and Musa’s tale an ingenious but false fabrication of a cowardly deserter. It was during this time that the thought occurred to him of sailing around the Lake Tanganyika, but the Arabs and natives were so bent upon fleecing him that had he undertaken it the remainder of his goods would not have enabled him to explore the central line of drainage, the initial point of which he found far south of Cazembis, in about latitude 11 degrees, in the river Chambezi. In the days when tired Captain Burton was resting in Ujiji, after his march from the coast near Zanzibar, the land to which Livingstone, on his departure from Ujiji, bent his steps, was unknown to the Arabs save by vague report. Messrs. Burton and Speke never heard of it, it seems. Speke, who was the geographer of Burton’s expedition, heard of a place called Uruwa, which he placed on his map according to the general direction indicated by the Arabs; but the most enterprising of the Arabs, in their search after ivory, only touched the frontiers of Rua, as the natives and Livingstone called it; for Rua is an immense country, with a length of six degrees of latitude and as yet an undefined breadth from east to west.
At the end of June, 1869, Livingstone took dhow at Ujiji and crossed over to Uguhha, on the western shore, for his last and greatest series of explorations, the results of which was the discovery of a series of lakes of great magnitude connected together by a large river called by different names as it left one lake to flow to another. From the port of Uguhha he set off in company with a body of traders, in an almost direct westerly course, through the lake country of Uguhha. Fifteen days’ march brought them to Bambarre, the first important ivory depot in Manyema, or, as the natives pronounce it Manuyema.
For nearly six months he was detained at Bambarre from ulcers in the feet, with copious discharges of bloody ichor oozing from the sores as soon as he set his feet on the ground. When well, he set off in a northerly direction, and, after several days, came to a broad, lacustrine river, called the Lualaba, flowing northward and westward, and, in some places southward, in a most confusing way. The river was from one to three miles broad. By exceeding pertinacity he contrived to follow its erratic course until he saw the Lualaba enter the narrow but lengthy Lake of Kamolondo, in about latitude 6 deg. 30 min. south. Retracing it south he came to the point where he had seen the Luapula enter Lake Moero.
One feels quite enthusiastic when listening to Livingstone’s description of the beauties of Moero scenery. Pent in on all sides by high mountains clothed to their tips with the richest vegetation of the tropics, Moero discharges its superfluous waters through a deep rent in the bosom of the mountains. The impetuous and grand river roars through the chasm with the thunder of a cataract; but soon after leaving its confined and deep bed it expands into the calm and broad Lualaba — expanding over miles of ground, making great bends west and southwest, then, curving northward, enters Kamalondo. By the natives it is called the Lualaba, but the Doctor, in order to distinguish it from other rivers of the same name, has given it the name of Webb’s River, after Mr. Webb, the wealthy proprietor of Newstead Abbey, whom the Doctor distinguishes as one of his oldest and most consistent friends. Away to the southwest from Kamolondo is another large lake, which discharges its waters by the important river Loki, or Lomani, into the great Lualaba. To this lake, known as Chebungo by the natives, Dr. Livingstone has given the name of Lincoln, to be hereafter distinguished on maps and in books as Lake Lincoln, in memory of Abraham Lincoln, our murdered president. This was done from the vivid impression produced on his mind by hearing a portion of his inauguration speech read from an English pulpit, which related to the causes that induced him to issue his emancipation proclamation, by which memorable deed 4,000,000 of slaves were forever freed. To the memory of the man whose labors in behalf of the negro race deserved the commendation of all good men Livingstone has contributed a monument more durable than brass or stone.
Entering Webb’s River from the south-southwest, a little north of Kamolondo, is a large river called the Lufira, but the streams that discharge themselves from the watershed into the Lualaba are so numerous that the Doctor’s map would not contain them, so he has left all out except the most important. Continuing his way north, tracing the Lualaba through its manifold and crooked curves as far as latitude four degrees south, he came to another large lake called the Unknown Lake; but here you may come to a dead halt, and read it thus: ****** Here was the furthermost point. From here he was compelled to return on the weary road to Ujiji, a distance of 600 miles.
In this brief sketch of Doctor Livingstone’s wonderful travels it is to be hoped that the most superficial reader, as well as the student of geography, comprehends this grand system of lakes connected together by Webb’s River. To assist him, let him procure a map of Africa, by Keith Johnston, embracing the latest discoveries. Two degrees south of the Tanganyika, and two degrees west, let him draw the outlines of a lake, its greatest length from east to west, and let him call it Bangweolo. One degree or thereabout to the northwest let him sketch the outlines of another but smaller lake and call it Moero; a degree again north of Moero another lake of similar size, and call it Kamolondo, and still a degree north of Kamolondo another lake, large and as yet undefined limits, which, in the absence of any specific term, we will call the Nameless Lake. Then let him connect these several lakes by a river called after different names. Thus, the main feeder of Bangweolo, the Chambezi; the river which issues out of Bangweolo and runs into Moero, the Luapula; the river connecting Moero with Kamolondo, Webb’s River; that which runs from Kamolondo into the Nameless Lake northward, the Lualaba; and let him write in bold letters over the rivers Chambezi, Luapula, Webb’s River and the Lualaba the “Nile,” for these are all one and the same river. Again, west of Moero Lake, about one degree or thereabouts, another large lake may be placed on his map, with a river running diagonally across to meet the Lualaba north of Lake Kamolondo. This new lake is Lake Lincoln, and the river is the Lornami River, the confluence of which with the Lualaba is between Kamolondo and the Nameless Lake. Taken altogether, the reader may be said to have a very fair idea of what Doctor Livingstone has been doing these long years, and what additions he has made to the study of African geography. That this river, distinguished under several titles, flowing from one lake into another in a northerly direction, with all its great crooked bends and sinuosities, is the Nile, the true Nile, the Doctor has not the least doubt. For a long time he did doubt, because of its deep bends and curves — west, and southwest even — but having traced it from its headwaters, the Chambezi, through seven degrees of latitude — that is, from latitude eleven degrees south to a little north of latitude four degrees south — he has been compelled to come to the conclusion that it can be no other river than the Nile. He had thought it was the Congo, but he has discovered the sources of the Congo to be the Kasai and the Quango, two rivers which rise on the western side of the Nile watershed in about the latitude of Bangweolo; and he was told of another river called the Lubilash, which rose from the north and ran west. But the Lualaba the Doctor thinks cannot be the Congo, from its great size and body and from its steady and continual flow northward through a broad and extensive valley, bounded by enormous mountains, westerly and easterly. The altitude of the most northerly point to which the Doctor traced the wonderful river was a little over two thousand feet, so that though Baker makes out his lake to be 2,700 feet above the sea, yet the Bahr Ghazal, through which Petherick’s branch of the White Nile issues into the Nile, is only a little over two thousand feet, in which case there is a possibility that the Lualaba may be none other than Petherick’s branch. It is well known that trading stations for ivory have been established for about five hundred miles up Petherick’s branch. We must remember this fact when told that Gondokoro, in latitude four degrees north, is 2,000 feet above the sea, and latitude four degrees south, where the Doctor was halted, is only a little over 2,000 feet above the sea. That two rivers, said to be 2,000 feet above the sea, separated from each other by eight degrees of latitude, are the same stream may, among some men, be regarded as a startling statement. But we must restrain mere expressions of surprise and take into consideration that this mighty and broad Lualaba is a lacustrine river — broader than the Mississippi — and think of our own rivers, which, though shallow, are exceedingly broad — instance our Platte River flowing across the prairies of Colorado and Nebraska into the Missouri. We must wait also until the altitude of the two rivers — the Lualaba, where the Doctor halted, and the southern point on the Bahr Ghazal, where Petherick has been — are known with perfect accuracy.
Webb’s River, or the Lualaba, from Bangweolo is a lacustrine river, expanding from one to three miles in breadth. At intervals it forms extensive lakes, then contracting into a broad river it again forms a lake, and so on to latitude four degrees north, and beyond this point the Doctor heard of a large lake again north. Now, for the sake of argument, suppose we give this nameless lake a length of four degrees of latitude, as it may be the one discovered by Piaggia, the Italian traveller, from which Petherick’s branch of the White Nile issues out through reeds, marshes and the Bahr Ghazal into the White Nile south of Gondokoro. By this method we can suppose the rivers one— for the lakes extending over so many degrees of latitude would obviate the necessity of explaining the differences of altitude that must naturally exist between the points of a river eight degrees of latitude apart. Also, that Livingstone’s instruments for observation and taking altitude may have been in error, and this is very likely to have been the case, subjected as they have been to rough handling during nearly six years of travel.
Despite the apparent difficulty about the altitude, there is another strong reason for believing Webb’s River, or the Lualaba, to be the Nile. The watershed of this river, 600 miles of which Livingstone has travelled, is drained by a valley which lies north and south between the eastern and western ranges of the watershed. This valley or line of drainage, while it does not receive the Kasai and the Quango, receives rivers flowing from a great distance west — for instance, the important tributaries Lufira and Lomami, and large rivers from the east, such as the Lindi and Luamo; and while the most intelligent Portuguese travellers and traders state that the Kasai, the Quango and Lubilash are the head waters of the Congo river, no one as yet has started the supposition that the grand river flowing north, and known to the natives as the Lualaba, was the Congo. If this river is not the Nile where, then, are the head waters of the Nile? The small river running out of the Victoria Nyanza and the river flowing out of the little Lake Albert have not sufficient water to form the great river of Egypt. As you glide down the Nile and note the Asua, the Geraffe, the Sobat, the Blue Nile and Atbara, and follow the river down to Egypt, it cannot fail to impress you that it requires many more streams, or one large river, larger than all yet discovered, to influence its inundations and replace the waste of its flow through a thousand miles of desert. Perhaps a more critical survey of the Bahr Ghazal would prove that the Nile is influenced by the waters that pour through “the small piece of water resembling a duck pond buried in a sea of rushes,” as Speke describes the Bahr Ghazal. Livingstone’s discovery answers the question and satisfies the intelligent hundreds, who, though Bruce and Speke and Baker, each in his turn had declared he had found the Nile, the only and true Nile sources, yet doubted and hesitated to accept the enthusiastic assertions as a final solution of the Nile problem. Even yet, according to Livingstone, the Nile sources have not been found; though he has traced the Lualaba through seven degrees of latitude flowing north, and though neither he nor I have a particle of doubt of its being the Nile, not yet can the Nile question be said to be resolved and ended. For three reasons:
First — He has heard of the existence of four fountains, two of which give birth to a river flowing north — Webb’s River, or the Lualaba; two to a river flowing south, which is the Zambezi. He has heard of these fountains repeatedly from the natives. Several times he has been within one hundred and two hundred miles from them, but something always interposed to prevent him going to see them. According to those who have seen them, they rise on either side of a mound or hill which contains no stones. Some have even called it an ant hill. One of these fountains is said to be so large that a man standing on one side cannot be seen from the other. These fountains must be discovered, and their position taken. The Doctor does not suppose them to lie south of the feeders of Lake Bangweolo.
Second — Webb’s River must be traced to its connection with some portion of the old Nile.
Third — The connection between the Tanganyika and the Albert Nyanza must be ascertained.
When these three things have been accomplished, then, and not till then, can the mystery of the Nile be explained. The two countries through which this marvelous lacustrine river — the Lualaba — flows, with its manifold lakes and broad expanses of water, are Rua — the Uruwa of Speke — and Manyema. For the first time Europe is made aware that between the Tanganyika and the known sources of the Congo there exist teeming millions of the negro race who never saw or heard of the white peoples who make such noisy and busy stir outside of Africa. Upon the minds of those who had the good fortune to see the first specimen of these remarkable white races Livingstone seems to have made a favorable impression, though, through misunderstanding his object and coupling him with the Arabs who make horrible work there, his life has been sought after more than once.
These two extensive countries, Rua and Manyema, are populated by true heathens — governed not as the sovereignties of Karagwah, Urundi and Uganda by despotic kings, but each village by its own sultan or lord. Thirty miles outside of their own immediate settlements the most intelligent of those small chiefs seem to know nothing. Thirty miles from the Lualaba there were but few people who had ever heard of the great river. Such ignorance among the natives of their own countries, of course, increased the labors of Livingstone. Compared with these all tribes and nations in Africa with whom Livingstone came in contact may be deemed civilized. Yet in the arts of home manufacture these wild people of Manyema are far superior to any he had seen. When other tribes and nations contented themselves with hides and skins of animals thrown negligently over their shoulders the people of Manyema manufactured a cloth from fine grass which may favorably compare with the finest grass cloth of India. They also know the art of dyeing them in various colors — black, yellow, and purple. The Wanguana or freed men of Zanzibar, struck with the beauty of this fine grass fabric, eagerly exchange their cotton cloths for fine grass cloth, and on almost every black man returned from Manyema I have seen this native cloth converted into elegantly made damirs (Arabic) — short jackets.
These countries are also very rich in ivory. The fever for going to Manyema to exchange their tawdry beads for the precious tusks of Manyema is of the same kind as that which impelled men to the gulches and placers of California, Colorado, Montana and Idaho; after nuggets to Australia, and diamonds to Cape Colony. Manyema is at present the El Dorado of the Arabs and the Wamrima tribes. It is only about four years since the first Arab returned from Manyema with such wealth of ivory and reports about the fabulous quantities found there that ever since the old beaten tracks of Karagwah, Uganda, Ufipa and Marungu have been comparatively deserted. The people of Manyema, ignorant of the value of the precious article, reared their huts upon ivory stanchions. Ivory pillars and doors were common sights in Manyema, and hearing of these one can no longer wonder at the ivory palace of Solomon. For generations they had used ivory tusks as doorposts and eave stanchions, until they had become perfectly rotten and worthless. But the advent of the Arabs soon taught them the value of the article. It has now risen considerably in price, though yet fabulously cheap. At Zanzibar the value of ivory per frarsilah of thirty-five pounds weight is from fifty dollars to sixty dollars, according to its quality. In Unyanyembe it is about one dollar and ten cents per pound; but in Manyema it may be purchased for from half a cent to one and a quarter cent’s worth of copper per pound of ivory.
The Arabs, however, have the knack of spoiling markets by their rapacity and wanton cruelty. With muskets a small party of Arabs are invincible against such people as those of Manyema, who until lately never heard the sound of a gun. The report of a musket inspires mortal terror in them, and it is almost impossible to induce them to face the muzzle of a gun. They believe that the Arabs have stolen the lightning, and that against such people the bow and arrow can have but little effect. They are by no means devoid of courage, and they have often declared that were it not for the guns not one Arab would leave the country alive, which tends to prove that they would willingly engage in fight with the strangers, who have made themselves so detestable, were it not that the startling explosion of gunpowder inspires them with such terror.
Into whichever country the Arabs enter they contrive to render their name and race abominated. But the mainspring of it all is not the Arab’s nature, color or name, but simply the slave trade. So long as the slave trade is permitted to be kept up at Zanzibar so long will these otherwise enterprising people, the Arabs, kindle against them throughout Africa the hatred of the natives. On the main lines of travel from Zanzibar into the interior of Africa none of these acts of cruelty are seen, for the very good reason that they have armed the natives with guns and taught them how to use weapons, which they are by no means loath to do whenever an opportunity presents itself. When too late, when they have perceived their folly in selling guns to the natives, the Arabs repent and begin to vow signal vengeance on the person who will in future sell a gun to a native. But they are all guilty of the same folly, and it is strange they did not perceive that it was folly when they were doing so. In former days the Arab, protected by his slave escort armed with guns, could travel through Useguhha, Urori, Ukonongo, Ufipa, Karagwah, Unyoro and Uganda, with only a stick in his hand; now, however, it is impossible for him or anyone else to do so. Every step he takes, armed or unarmed, is fraught with danger. The Waseguhha near the coast halt him, and demand the tribute or give him the option of war; entering Ugogo he is subjected every day to the same oppressive demand, or to the other fearful alternative. The Wanyamwezi also show their readiness to take the same advantage; the road to Karagwah is besieged with difficulties; the terrible Mirambo stands in the way, defeats their combined forces with ease and makes raids even to the doors of their houses in Unyanyembe, and, should they succeed in passing Mirambo, a chief stands before them who demands tribute by the bale, against whom it is useless to contend. These remarks have reference to the slave trade inaugurated in Manyema. by the Arabs. Harassed on the road between Zanzibar and Unyanyembe, minatory natives with bloody hands on all sides ready to avenge the slightest affront, the Arabs have refrained from kidnapping between the Tanganyika and the sea; but in Manyema, where the natives are timid, irresolute and divided into small, weak tribes, the Arabs recover their audacity and exercise their kidnapping propensities unchecked. The accounts which the Doctor brings from that new region are most deplorable.
He was an unwilling spectator of a horrible deed — a massacre committed on the inhabitants of a populous district — who had assembled in the market place, on the banks of the Lualaba, as they had been accustomed to for ages. It seems the Wa-Manyema are very fond of marketing, believing it to be the summum bonum of human enjoyment. They find unceasing pleasure in chaffering with might and main for the least mite of their currency — the last bead — and when they gain the point to which their peculiar talents are devoted they feel intensely happy. The women are excessively fond of their marketing, and as they are very beautiful, the market place must possess considerable attractions for the male sex. It was on such a day, with just such a scene, that Tagomoyo , a half-caste Arab, with his armed slave escort, commenced an indiscriminate massacre by firing volley after volley into the dense mass of human beings. It is supposed that there were about two thousand present, and at the first sound of the firing these poor people all made a rush for their canoes. In the fearful hurry to avoid being shot the canoes were paddled away by the first fortunate few who got possession of them. Those that were not so fortunate sprang into the deep waters of the Lualaba, and, though many of them became an easy prey to the voracious crocodiles that swarmed to the scene, the majority received their deaths from the bullets of the merciless Tagomoyo and his villainous band. The Doctor believes, as do the Arabs themselves, that about four hundred people, mostly women and children, lost their lives, while many more were made slaves. This scene is only one of many such which he has unwillingly witnessed, and he is utterly unable to describe the loathing he feels for the inhuman perpetrators.
Slaves from Manyema command a higher price than those of any other country, because of their fine forms and general docility. The women, the Doctor says repeatedly, are remarkably pretty creatures, and have nothing except their hair in common with the negroids of the West Coast. They are of very light color, have fine noses, well-cut and not over full-lips, and a prognathous jaw is uncommon. These women are eagerly sought after for wives by the half-castes of the East Coast, and even the pure Amani Arabs do not disdain connection with them. To the north of Manyema Livingstone came to a light-complexioned race of the color of Portuguese, or our own Louisiana quadroons, who are very fine people, and singularly remarkable for commercial “cuteness” and sagacity. The women are expert divers for oysters, which are found in great abundance in the Lualaba.
Rua, at a place called Katanga, is rich in copper. The copper mines of this place have been worked for ages. In the bed of a stream gold has been found washed down in pencil-shaped lumps, or particles as large as split peas. Two Arabs have gone thither to prospect for this metal, but as they are ignorant of the art of gulch mining it is scarcely possible that they will succeed.
From these highly important and interesting discoveries Dr. Livingstone was turned back when almost on the threshold of success by the positive refusal of his men to accompany him further. They were afraid to go unless accompanied by a large force of men, and as these were not procurable in Manyema the Doctor reluctantly turned his face toward Ujiji.
It was a long and weary road back. The journey had now no interest for him. He had travelled it before when going westward, full of high hopes and aspirations, impatient to reach the goal which promised him rest from his labors; now returning unsuccessful, baffled and thwarted when almost in sight of the end, and having to travel the same road back on foot, with disappointed expectations and defeated hopes preying on his mind, no wonder that the brave old spirit almost succumbed and the strong constitution almost wrecked. He arrived at Ujiji October 26, almost at death’s door. On the way he had been trying to cheer himself up, since he had found it impossible to contend against the obstinacy of his men, with “it won’t take long, five or six months more; it matters not, since it can’t be helped. I have got my goods in Ujiji and can hire other people and make a new start.” These are the words and hopes with which he tried to delude himself into the idea that all would be right yet; but imagine, if you can, the shock he must have suffered when he found that the man to whom was entrusted his goods for safe keeping had sold every bale for ivory.
The evening of the day Livingstone had returned to Ujiji Susi and Chuma, two of his most faithful men, were seen crying bitterly. The Doctor asked them what ailed them, and was then informed for the first time of the evil tidings that awaited him. Said they: “All our things are sold, sir. Shereef has sold everything for ivory.”
Later in the evening Shereef came to see him and shamelessly offered his hand, with a salutatory “Yambo.” Livingstone refused his hand, saying he could not shake hands with a thief. As an excuse Shereef said he had divined on the Koran and that had told him the Hakim (Arabic for Doctor) was dead. Livingstone was now destitute. He had just enough to keep him and his men alive for about a month, after which he would be forced to beg from the Arabs. He had arrived in Ujiji October 26. The HERALD Expedition arrived November 10 from the coast — only sixteen days difference. Had I not been delayed at Unyanyembe by the war with Mirambo I should have gone on to Manyema, and very likely have been traveling by one road, while he would have been coming by another to Ujiji. Had I gone on two years ago, when I first received the instructions, I should have lost him without doubt. But I am detained by a series of circumstances, which chafed and fretted me considerably at the time, only to permit him to reach Ujiji sixteen days before I appeared. It was as if we were marching to meet together at an appointed rendezvous — the one from the west, the other from the east.
The Doctor had heard of a white man being at Unyanyembe, who was said to have boats with him, and he had thought he was another traveler sent by the French government to replace Lieutenant Le Sainte, who died from fever a few miles above Gondokoro. I had not written to him because I believed him to be dead, and of course my sudden entrance into Ujiji was as great a surprise to him as it was to the Arabs. But the sight of the American flag, which he saw waving in the van of the expedition, indicated that one was coming who could speak his own language, and you know already how the leader was received.
(Source: “Stanley’s Despatches to the New York Herald,” Archive.org)