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generations! May it stand like the African palm-tree, majestic for stateliness and beauty, and the emblem of prosperity; its fruit giving food and its shade affording rest to thousands and tens of thousands in the ancestral tropical land.
“ Heaven bless the Institute in its plans, its officers, and its pupils Bless it, God of Ethiopia, who hast' made of one blood all nations of men!' Be thou glorified on every continent! Be thou glorified by Africa!”
Rev. WILLIAM CHESTER, Philadelphia, Pa.
John M. KELTON, Esq.,
[From the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London.]
EXPEDITION TO THE WHITE NILE. Eleventh Meeting, Monday Evening, April 27, 1863.
SIR RODERICK I. MURCHISON, K. C. B., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
The President said he had received a letter from Mr. Tinne, in reference to the explorations of the Dutch and English ladies, his relatives, up the White Nile, which he would read.
“ Being unable to attend your neft meeting, I have much pleasure in giving you, as requested, some further information regarding my lady relatives, of whose return from Gondokoro to Khartum on the 20th of November last you have already been apprised.
“ Their last letter is to the 5th of February, at which date they had started on a fresh expedition up the White Nile, but were stopped, about three hours' sail from Khartum, by an accident which happened to one of their boats and threatened to swamp her. This was caused by the captain and the pilot, who, on being examined, were made to own that they had bored a hole in the bottom, being unwilling to go up the White Nile.
“ The damage having been repaired, and a new crew engaged, they were on the point of proceeding on their voyage again.
“One of the ladies remained at Khartum, and Madame Tinne and her daughter were accompanied by Mr. D’Ablaing, a Dutch gentleman, who had come across from Abyssinia ; by Mr. Heuglin, whose communications from Africa are known to the Royal Geographical Society, and by another German gentleman-whose name
I am not yet acquainted with-a medical man and naturalist, who also draws beautifully; so that, as Madame Tinne remarks, 'they hope to make a more scientific, if not a more agreeable, journey than the last.'
“ The health of the party that had been at Gondokoro, some of whom had suffered from fever, was entirely restored during their prolonged stay of two months and a half at Khartum, and all were in excellent spirits. The weather had been cool, rather stormy at times, but agreeable and bracing, and the sky bright and blue. “ Their present expedition is on a larger scale than their former
They have the steamer and five boats, with 168 people to provide for, 50 of whom are additional soldiers, besides 4 camels, 30 mules and donkeys, and 3 horses. The boats had been repaired and refitted with new sails, and they had laid in guns, ammunition, new tents, and ample stores of all kinds. Further on, nothing of that description could be got, and everything therefore had to be procured beforehand.
“ The Dutch gentleman intended to proceed up the Nile, and Madame Tinne and her daughter were to turn off at Bahr-el-Gazal. At some point of this river they would find the rest of their party, who had gone on in advance. Disembarking there, they proposed leaving their boats and commencing a land journey into the interior; to use Madame Tinne's own words, . into unknown parts.'
“ She mentions Mr. Baker having started, and also speaks of the rumor about Mr. Petherick's disappearance, but nothing more decided than we have heard previously as to his fate.”.
For this communication from Mr. Tinne the President begged the Fellows to return their best thanks, for he was sure there were few persons more entitled to be honorary members of the Royal Geographical Society than those adventurous ladies.
The papers read were1. Exploration of the Elephant Mountain in the Batonga Country,
West Africa. By Capt. R. F. Burton, H. M. Consul for the Bight of Biafra and Fernando Po.
Capt. Burton visited Batonga Bay in September, 1862, about the commencement of the second rainy season of the year.
The bay is a mere roadstead, and the ship-H. M. S. Bloodhound-lay in mile from the land. A heavy surf breaks on the whole coast from the Cameroons river to Corisco Island, and landing is almost exclusively effected in light native canoes. The shore shows a long line of densely wooded lowland, based upon yellow sand. Inland are seen groups of low hills, conjectured to be the spurs of the Sierra del Crystal. This range, never yet crossed by any European, seems to form a line of Ghauts similar to those in Eastern
at about 100 or 150 miles from the coast. The most remarkable among the intermediate hills is the “ Elephant Mountain,"
80 called from its resemblance to an elephant couchant. There are two or three factories belonging to European merchants in the bay, but none of the residents appear to have ever penetrated a mile of the interior. Although the country is rich, there is no trade but ivory; and this comes from a distance, as no elephants are found within four days' march of the coast. The Elobe river pours itself into the bay by a low cataract, above which the party obtained a view of the stream, without, however, succeeding in obtaining any information about its upper course or its source.
On the 14th of September Capt. Burton landed with Lieut. Stokes to explore the Elephant Mountain. After considerable difficulty with the chiefs on the coast, who, as usual, were unwilling
traveller should pass beyond their own territories, the party started the following day. The path, a narrow line, led them first pass some villages of bushmen, and then through an undulating country, densely wooded, with a profuse variety of vegetation. Water was abundant in clear running streams, but game nowhere to be seen. The first day's march, which was much delayed by palavers at the villages, and at the ferry across the Elobe, was about 7 miles.
Leaving Labele, their night's halting-place, the next morning the party crossed a deep hollow, and began the ascent of the mountain from the southeast. The path, at first easy, soon became steep and slippery, and the wood grew thinner, and after three hours' march the summit was reached. The elevation was found by B. P. thermometer to be 1707 feet, agreeing with the trigonometrical measurement given in the chart. The party descended by a still more difficult path on the western side, and returned to the coast on the 17th.
2. Narrative of a Journey to Ode, the Capital of the Ijebu Country,
in January, 1862. By Capt. BEDINGFELD, R. N. The object of the expedition which visited Abeokuta, Porto Nuovo, and Ode, after the cession of Lagos, was to conciliate and explain to the chiefs our views in forming the colony, and to induce them to put a stop to the petty wars, and to open their roads to legitimate commerce.
The Ijebus had never before been visited by any white man, except Mr. Champneys, a Wesleyan missionary. The present party was received in a most friendly manner, and the visit was in every way satisfactory. They were much struck with the beauty of the country, the amount of cultivation, and the industry of various kinds shown by the natives. One large village contained a great number of blacksmiths, occupied in manufacturing hoes.
Capt. Bedingfeld, accompanied by Lieut. Dolbin, of the Prometheus, and an interpreter, left Lagos on the 12th of January in a canoe, and reached Egine, at a distance of about 35 miles, the next
day. Starting again on horseback in a northeasterly direction, through forest land extensively cleared, they reached the village of Omu, where a quarrel between one of the porters and a native nearly caused a serious affray. This was, however, prevented by the presence of mind and judgment of the officers in charge of the expedition. The party arrived at Ode in the afternoon of the same day.
Ode is about 26 miles N. N. E. of Egine, and is surrounded by a wall about 12 miles in circumference. The houses are substantially built of redclay. Then atives are a remarkably fine, tall, race. Their religion is gross fetichism, and both human beings and animals are occasionally sacrificed. Their principal food is maize, which is procured in great abundance, and is sold for about 2d. per bushel.
3. Travels in Western Africa. By W. WINWOOD READE, Esq.
Mr. Reade left England in December, 1861, and arrived at the Gaboon on the 13th of February. He first made a six days' excursion into the Shekani country, on the right bank of the river. In March he went to Corisco, and thence to Bapuka, where he remained about a month. Passing on to the Muni, he followed the main stream for about 30 miles, and then branched off by a tributary which led him to the spurs of the Sierra del Crystal. In May he ascended the Gaboon, and discovered the rapids in the heart of the Crystal Mountains. He then went to the Fernando Vaz, as far as Ngambi. After a visit to Prince's and St. Thomas's Islands, he sailed in a Portuguese schooner to Loanda. Here he was hospitably received by Mr. Gabriel, a Fellow of this Society, who has, however, since fallen a victim to the climate. After a trip to the interior as far as Ambaka, he sailed to the Cape de Verde Islands, whence he crossed to Goree early in December; and after visiting the_Senegal, the Casamanza, and the Gambia, he finally returned to Europe in February last.
Mr. Reade made inquiries at Loanda respecting Dr. Livingstone's supposition that the Quango joins the Zaire, and he found that it received unanimous confirmation. But there seems to be some doubt about the position of Matiamvo. The Secretary of Benguela informed him that the kingdom known by that name is situated to the southeast of that colony, and that a more powerful prince named Domba reigns to the east of Matiamvo. This was confirmed by the Commandant of Quellengues, a Portuguese fort in the interior. Mr. Reade saw at Ambaka a runaway slave of Matiamvo's, who told him that the name of that tribe was the Boloni. The country itself, he said, was without hills or high trees like those at Ambaka; that the animals found there were lions, elephants, leopards, jackals, giraffes, wild cattle, and small monkeys.
Kikassa, a great river, is said to run from the rising sun to the north ; angther river called the Matiamvo joins it, coming from the west and running east. Another large river, called Ru, passes close to Matiamvo's palace, and runs east and west; and in this river are hippopotami, while in the others are only crocodiles.
Mr. Reade in the main confirmed M. du Chaillu's account of the country and people.
The President said the paper showed that Mr. Winwood Reade was an enterprising traveller, who had visited many parts of Africa, but not, as he modestly said, as a scientific man. He had certainly brought before us some remarkable facts and statements respecting the natives. With regard to the concluding observations, he was happy to hear what Mr. Reade had said of M. du Chaillu. M. du Chaillu was about to embark on a new voyage to that country which he had explored on a former occasion under considerable difficulties, and he hoped to go out now more as a man of science than he did before, taking instruments with him, so as to determine some latitudes and longitudes. M. du Chaillu would be very happy if Mr. Reade or some other Englishman would accompany him.
Capt. Bedingfeld, R. N., said the only interest attached to his paper would be its connection with our new colony of Lagos. He went to Porto Nuovo first of all, then to Abeokuta and Ode, in order to explain our reasons for the cession and to conciliate the different chiefs in the neighborhood. He was particularly struck with the immense amount of industry of the natives. The whole distance they travelled, as far as they could see, the corn-fields on both sides were beautifully cultivated. They passed through one village entirely of blacksmiths; the whole village was taken up with forges, and the men were mannfacturing the country hoes from native iron. They were received very kindly at all these places, and they succeeded in getting the objects they had in view carried out, one of which was to establish a market at Egine for the trade of the Ijebu country. On their return they had a palaver at this market, and it was opened for trade. All these places had since been destroyed, and he was afraid that the feelings of the King in our favor had been very much modified. With regard to the bar at Lagos, when they first went in they had some difficulty, but afterwards ships came in frequently, and with very little trouble. He had since heard by the last mail that another passage of 33 fathoms had been opened out, so that he believed there would be very little difficulty in merchant ships getting in. Trade was, however, at present entirely stopped on account of the wars; and those wars would, in his opinion, go on until the slave trade was abolished.
Mr. Crawfurd asked if the King of Abeokuta or his Prime Minister could read or write, or whether Capt. Bedingfeld knew any negro who could read or write.
Capt. Bedingfeld, R. N., replied the King certainly could not, but he knew several negroes who could read and write.