|Chapter XI.||Henry M. Stanley - His search for Livingstone - A sketch of his life - An inmate of a poor-house - His fortune in America - The English war with King Theodore - Murder of Consul Plowden - Storming of Magdala - Suicide of the king - Stanley's services in the East - Outfitting an Expedition at Zanzibar - Departure for Central Africa - Haunts of hippopotami - A hard march - Wading turbid streams - Jungles, slaves and African belles - Tidings of Livingstone - A walled and castellated city - The Sultana of Simbamwenni - The Sultana's revenge - A terrible swamp - Effects of drunkenness - An imposing entrance into Ugogo - Application of the whip - A moment of dread - Sunshine after the storm - Arrival at Unyanyembe - A whiff of ammonia by an untutored chief - A land abounding with game - Leopard attacks a donkey - A savage boar and ravenous crocodile - Arrival at Ujiji - Meeting with Livingstone - A champagne dinner - Challenged by an elephant - Parting between Livingstone and Stanley - Home again and honored by the Queen of England.|
|Chapter XII.||Burial of Livingstone, and Stanley's Second Expedition - Joint enterprise of the Herald and London Telegraph - Equipment of the expedition - Search for the Nile's source - Circumnavigating Victoria Lake - A procession of hippopotami and crocodiles - The enchanted cave - Look out for an attack! - The fight! - A messenger from King M'tesa - An imposing reception - Spectacle of the king's troops - The savagery of M'tesa - Effects of Moslem teachings - A sham battle, in which several are killed - A bloody fight with natives - Killing five men at four shots - Attacked by hippopotami - An hour of triumph - A seance with King Lukongeh - Wonderful superstitions - Another battle - Return to M'tesa's capital - War declared - Movement of M'tesa's great army - A wondrous spectacle - A naval battle - The wizards of war - Defeat of M'tesa's navy - Stanley's dreadful war-boat - End of the war - Stanley leaves M'tesa's kingdom - Return to Ujiji - Among the cannibals - Dwarfs and boa-constrictors - Engagement of Tipo Tib - Direful predictions - The strange people of Uregga - Sounding the Lualaba River - A village of skulls - Horrible evidences of cannibalism - Dangers line the way - Capture of a dwarf - Parting with Tipo Tib - In the toils of a boa-constrictor - Drowning of Kalulu and Frank Pocock - Shooting cataracts - A starving expedition - Arrival at Embomma - Return to England - STANLEY'S THIRD EXPEDITION - Up the Congo - In conflict with M. De Brazza - Surmounting enormous difficulties - M. De Brazza's treaty with the tribes - Establishment of the Congo Free State - Results of Stanley's Congo expedition.|
|Chapter XIII.||Chinese Gordon - Life Sketch of a remarkable man - From a family of warriors - His services in the Crimea - A visit to the Far East - The war in China - A great Chinese prophet - The Taiping rebellion - The Heavenly King - Two American adventurers - Ever-victorious army - The attack on Shanghai - Death of Ward - Defeat of Holland - Gordon in command of the Imperialist forces - Siege of Taitsan - Horrible tortures - Investment of Soochow - A hellish night - Desertion of Chinese generals - Murder of the deserting generals - Gordon's anger - He is rewarded by the Emperor - Starvation of the peasantry - Forced to eat the dead - The storming of Kintang - Blowing up the gates - Fall of Chanchu-fu - Tragic end of the false prophet - Murder of his hundred wives - A man of inconceivable cruelty - End of the war.|
|Chapter XIV.||Gordon in the Soudan - His welcome to England - Employed by the Khedive - Suppression of the slave trade urged - Insincerity of the Khedive - Off for Central Africa - En route for Khartoum - Adventures along the Nile - Crocodiles and hippopotami - Among the Dinkas - The man-hunters of Fashoda - Arrest of a slaver - Opening a route to the lake regions - Fighting all along the line - Dethronement of Kabba Rega - Shooting hippopotami - Guarding against assault - The killing of Linant - Shooting a wizard - An insult from the Khedive - Commendation - On Lake Victoria - Stampeded by elephants - Tossed to his death.|
|Chapter XV.||Gordon's Second Expedition - Affairs in Bulgaria - Two calls for Gordon's services - Re-engagement by the Khedive - Ending a war in Abyssinia - Battles between rival rulers - Remarkable diplomacy - Off again for Khartoum - Perils en route - Killing the camel-drivers - Gordon's epigrammatic speech - His great generosity - Disbanding the Bashi-Bazouks - Services in Khartoum - Battle with the Leopards - A wondrous march - Treachery of Suleiman - A terrible storm - Rapid action, but days of torment - Gordon's tag-rags - A triangular dispute - Breaking up a thieves' den - The horrors of slavery - Human misery in its extremity - Playing it smart on an ambitious young slave dealer - Called to Cairo - Gordon refuses to become a corrupt tool for the Khedive - Back again to Khartoum - Execution of Suleiman - Resignation of Gordon - Gessi rewarded.|
|Chapter XVI.||Gordon's Last Expedition - Gordon the hero - He longs for rest - A visit to China - His services in preventing war between China and Russia - Return to England - Invited to the Belgian Court - Meeting with Stanley - At the tomb of his great lieutenant - Sent to subdue the Boers of South Africa - A visit to the Holy Land - Gordon's researches in and about Jerusalem - Governor - General of the Soudan -The false prophet - His insurrection in the Soudan - His claims to Messianic power and purpose - Descriptions of the Mahdi - His spiritual leaders - Fanatic zeal of his followers - Battles with the dervishes - The fall of El Obeid - Charging the Remingtons - Annihilation of Hicks's army - The last message - England aroused - Gordon sent to relieve Khartoum - Negotiations with the Mahdi - Horrible scenes of oppression - Gordon hailed as a saviour - The cry for help - The Mahdi again in the saddle - Gordon in peril - His coolness and sagacity - Defeated at Helfiyeh - Treachery of his officers - Two of them shot - The siege of Khartoum - A desperate defence - Trying to save his people - The spirit of insubordination - Gordon's tragic death - Abandoned by his government - An o'er sad tale.|
|Chapter XVII.||Labors of Emin Pasha - Life of an enigmatic man - His professional career - Not mentioned in Gordon's writings - Emin joins Gordon in the Soudan - His eminent services - On a dangerous mission to Uganda - Success of his undertaking - Makes a treaty with Kabba Rega - Appointed Governor General of the Equatorial Provinces - Condition of his territory - His administration - His capital at Lado - Emin's soldier's and their duties - Native tribes of the Soudan - Why they are so hostile - Characteristics and customs of the various tribes - Agriculture and stock-raising - Farmer's pests - Hippopotami and birds - Dress of the natives - Nakedness without shame - Beautiful women of the Hadi tribe - Weapons - Savage beasts - Savagery of the crocodile - Thrilling experiences - Kingdoms of Unyoro and Uganda - The Cojoor priests - Burning at the stake - Mwanga, the successor of M'tesa - Kabba Rega - The situation of Emin Pasha - Effects of the Mahdi rebellion - Cut off from civilization - Emin's appeal for help - Escape of Dr. Junker - A dreadful fire - Discovery of the Kubik River - Rebuilding of Wadelai - Stanley to the Relief of Emin - Other relief expeditions - Wissmann's journeys and explorations - Three times across the continent - Wissmann's several expeditions and discoveries - In search of Stanley - Massacre of Dr. Peters - Return of Stanley and Emin - An accident to Emin.|
|GO TO PART II||Chapters XVIII - XXXI plus Appendix and Epilogue|
Coincident with the purpose which Bennett had thus formed was his determination to appoint Henry M. Stanley, who had at the time a roving commission as correspondent of the Herald, commander of the expedition. This selection was not made without a thorough knowledge of his peculiar qualifications to take charge of so important as well as dangerous undertaking, his fitness having been proved by his execution of other commissions of only secondary responsibility, where masterly abilities were absolutely necessary. A brief biographical sketch will better explain what special qualities and hardy experience he possessed.
Stanley has been regarded as an American explorer, but he is an American only by adoption, having been born in Wales, near Denbigh, in 1840. His parentage was obscure, but his real name is known to be John Rowlands; and it was under this name that at the tender age of three years he was sent to the poor-house at St. Asaph. Whether his parents were living at this time, too poor to care for him, or dead, he, himself, does not know; but in either event his patrimony was certainly that of extreme poverty. He remained at the almshouse of St. Asaph ten years, during which time he was given such advantages of schooling as the institution afforded, which is said to have been considerable. So well did he improve his opportunities that upon his own request he left the poor-house and directly after engaged as a teacher at Mold, in Flintshire; but after a year's experience, not entirely profitable, he shipped as cabin boy on a vessel bound for New Orleans. Arriving at that port he soon found employment with a merchant named Henry M. Stanley, whose name he adopted and with whom he remained until his benefactor's death, at the beginning of the civil war. Immediately after this sad event Stanley enlisted in the Confederate Army, but was directly taken prisoner. Securing a parole he then volunteered in the United States Navy and afterwards served as ensign on the iron-clad Ticonderoga. Before the war was ended, however, he secured a discharge and became a war correspondent of the St. Louis Democrat, with which paper he continued for a considerable while after the war, being appointed as correspondent to accompany the Indian Peace Commission that settled the Sioux Indian troubles and located that tribe in the north-west, in 1866.
In the mean time, besides his travels in the far east, Stanley represented the Herald as correspondent with the British expedition sent to Abyssinia to obtain redress from King Theodore for outrages committed upon English subjects. A brief description of the war which followed will be interesting, as well as germane to the general subject of this work, as it reflects, in a degree, the character of the people with whom Chinese Gordon had to deal, as will be thereafter related.
The events which led to a declaration of war, and the tragedies therewith connected, may be briefly described as follows: Between the periods of 1831 and 1855, Abyssinia was visited by a number of explorers, who returned to their respective countries with considerable knowledge of the kingdom, and which served to increase popular interest that had first been excited by the romances about Prester John, as already explained. This public interest prompted the appointment of Walter Plowden as counsel to Abyssinia by the British Government. About this time (1848) there was an internecine war waging between the predatory followers of Lij Kasa (latterly King Theodore) and the queen dowager, who, however, was acting as regent of her infant son, Ras Ali, in the government of the Dembea district. In this war, which Kasa waged for title and rulership, he was successful, and secured, as a concession, not only the governorship of the district, but also a wife in the person of the daughter of Ras Ali of Amhara, the de-facto Governor of Central Abyssinia. His ambition, however, not being fully gratified, a year after his marriage Kasa began a war, upon some frail pretence, against his father-in-law, whom he easily drove out of office, and then following his success with a subjugation of the other chiefs, in 1855 found himself absolute master of the whole country, and was crowned king of the kings of Ethiopia,. taking the new name of Theodore.
Plowden, and another Englishman, named Bell, continued to reside in
Abyssinia until 1860, when they were killed, as some assert, by King Theodore
himself, but others say by insurgents in an emeute that came near plunging
the entire country into another war. In 1862 England appointed Capt. Cameron
as Plowden's successor, who landed in due time at Massowa with presents
for the king. Though Theodore was not averse to the new appointee, he desired
a recognition in the character of a representative at the English court,
and accordingly sent a messenger bearing a letter containing a request
for such representation to that country. England, however, treated the
request with such discourtesy as to even refuse to make any reply thereto,
following a precedent set by France the year previous, to which a like
letter had been dispatched. Theodore was so incensed at this indignity
that in November, 1863, he ordered the missionaries in the Dembea district
thrown into prison; and in January following Captain Cameron and his suite
were similarly seized, and, being first subjected to many barbaric tortures,
were confined in the prison at Gondar, but soon after were removed to Magdala.
suicide of King Theodore]
Two boats were purchased from the American consul for $120, one of which would carry twelve men and the other half as many. These boats were stripped of their boards and tarred canvas substituted, as a much lighter material and less liable to leakage or rupture, being intended only for crossing streams and navigating rivers and lakes. Twenty donkeys were purchased, and a cart was constructed, eighteen inches wide and five feet long, to carry the narrow ammunition boxes along the goat paths.
When his purchases were all completed, Stanley found materials aggregating a weight of six tons, nearly all of which had to be carried to the centre of Africa on the shoulders of men; and for this purpose one hundred and sixty carriers had to be engaged at Bagamoyo, situated on the mainland, across from the island of Zanzibar.
Twenty-eight days after his arrival in Zanzibar, Stanley was ready to start upon his search for Livingstone, but before departing the Sultan gave him an audience, at which royal letters were prepared by his Highness commending Stanley to the gracious favor of all Arabs whom he might meet. The Sultan also gave him a beautiful horse, and an American merchant at Zanzibar added another, a fine blooded animal worth $500. But when everything was ready and the dhow that was to ferry the expedition to Bagamoyo was on the point of leaving, it was discovered that Farquhar and Shaw were missing; a long search finally revealed them in a beastly state of intoxication at one of the grog-shops in a quiet corner of the town, and they had to be led down to the boat.
The first trouble encountered was at the turbid Kingani river. The jungle along its right bank was threaded some distance, when a narrow sluice of black mud, not more than eight feet broad, crossed the path, and to get the animals over this it was necessary to construct a bridge by felling trees and [Engaging porters at Bagamoyo] covering them with grass. Further on the river had to be crossed, which was effected, after much labor, in one frail canoe, hollowed out of an immense tree.
After the process of ferrying was fairly begun, Stanley amused himself for a while shooting at the many hippopotami that infested the stream, but as he used a No. 44 Winchester, so little execution was done that he appeared to be less amused than the huge creatures whose thick hides readily deflected the bullets that struck them.
After making a crossing of the Kingani, the expedition came to a village
called Rosako, where camp was made, but peace and rest was alike disturbed
by the demonstrative curiosities of the natives, especially the women,
who added impertinence to their surprise, and made most shocking exhibitions
of their disgusting nakedness. The route which the expedition had now entered
upon [Affectionate curiosity of
Rosako women] to reach Ugogo was a new one, over which no white man
had ever before passed, so that the rudeness of the natives was somewhat
excusable; but Stanley was so annoyed at length that he turned loose a
watch dog which he had brought with him from Bombay, to disperse the crowds
that surrounded his tent, and a most effective expedient it proved to be.
On the 18th of April they met a chained slave-gang, bound east. The slaves did not appear to be in the least down-hearted; on the contrary, they seemed imbued with the philosophic jollity of the happy servant of Martin Chuzzlewit. Except for their chains, it would have been difficult to discover master from slave; the physiognomic traits were alike -- the mild benignity with which they regarded Stanley's party was equally visible on all faces. The chains were ponderous, they might have held elephants captive; but as the slaves carried nothing but themselves, their weight was not insupportable. [A belle of Kisemo]
The expedition encamped one evening at a prettily situated village, named Kisemo. The district was extremely populous, there being five villages in a circuit of as many miles, each fortified by stakes and thorny abattis. The belles of Kisemo are famed for their extraordinary natural development, and their vanity finds expression in brass wire, which adorns their waists and ankles, while their less attractive brothers are content with such adornments as dingy cloths and split ears. A more comical picture is seldom presented than one of these highly-dressed females with the magnificent developments already noted, viewing herself in a looking-glass, or engaged in the homely and necessary task of grinding corn for herself and family. The grinding apparatus consists of two portions: one a thick pole of hard wood, about six feet long, answering for a pestle; the other, a capacious wooden mortar, three feet in height; and the swaying motion of the women in handling this pestle forms a rare and ludicrous picture.
The Sultana, or ruler of this African city, was the eldest daughter of the famous Kisabengo, who was another Theodore on a small scale. Sprung from humble ancestry, he acquired distinction for his personal strength, his powers of harangue, and his amusing and versatile address, by which he gained great ascendancy over fugitive slaves, and was chosen a leader among them. Fleeing from justice, which awaited him at the hands of the Zanzibar Sultan, he arrived in Ukami, and here he commenced a career of conquest, the result of which was the acquisition of an immense tract of fertile country. On its most desirable site, [City of Simbamwenni] with the river flowing close under the wall, he built his capital and called it Simbamwenni, which means "The Lion," or the strongest city. In old age the successful robber and kidnapper changed his name of Kisabengo, which had gained such a notoriety, to Simbamwenni, after his town; and when dying, after desiring that his eldest daughter should succeed him, he bestowed the name of the town upon her also.
Stanley, after praising the country for its great beauty and marvellous fertility, says: "A railroad from Bag-amoyo to Simbamwenni might be constructed with as much ease and rapidity as, and at far less cost than, the Union Pacific Railway, whose rapid strides day by day toward completion the world heard of and admired. A residence in this part of Africa, after a thorough system of drainage had been carried out, would not be attended with any more discomfort than generally follows upon the occupation of new land. The temperature at this season during the day never exceeded eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit. The nights were pleasant -- too cold without a pair of blankets for covering."
Five miles further on, a cook belonging to the expedition was arrested for stealing. This being his fourth offence, Stanley ordered him to be flogged with a cowhide over his jacket, a punishment which was hardly as severe as the thief deserved; and in order to frighten him, Stanley told him that he must leave the camp and get back to Zanzibar the best way he could. The man, thinking the order was given in earnest, bolted off and disappeared in the jungle. Stanley knew that the man must perish if he really attempted to travel to Zanzibar, and supposing he would come back, left a donkey tied to a tree, upon which he might ride and overtake the caravan.
Directly after this incident Bombay came riding up to Stanley and reported the loss of a gun, a pistol, an American axe, a bale of cloth, and some beads; he explained that he had laid the articles down while going to a stream for water, and upon returning found them gone, stolen, he declared, by the subjects of the Sultana.
The caravan was now obliged to stop, while Stanley sent back three soldiers to recover the articles, if possible, and also to find the culprit who had run off. After a search of two days the soldiers found the donkey and missing articles in possession of two natives, whom they took to the Sultana, where they were charged with murdering the missing man. This they strongly denied, but the Sultana believed them guilty and threw them into prison to await the next caravan going to Zanzibar, whither she would send them for sentence. The Sultana next ordered the three soldiers seized and placed in chains, and also confiscated their property, and declared she would detain them until their master should return and pay her the tribute she had demanded. The unfortunate soldiers were kept in chains in the market-place, exposed to the taunts of the servile multitude, for sixteen hours, when they were discovered by a shiek who had passed Stanley five days before. This man recognized the soldiers as members of the expedition, and sought an audience with them. After hearing their story, the good-hearted sheik sought the presence of the Sultana, and informed her that she was doing very wrong -- a wrong that could only terminate in blood. "The Musungu is strong," he said, "very strong; he has got two guns which shoot forty times without stopping, carrying bullets half an hour's distance; he has got several guns which carry bullets that burst and tear a man to pieces. He could go to the top of that mountain, and could kill every man, woman and child in the town before one of your soldiers could reach the top. The road will then be stopped, Syed Burghash will march against your country, the Wadoe and Wakami will come and take revenge on what is left, and the place that your father made so strong will know the Waseguhha no more. Set free the Musungu's soldiers, give them their food, and grain for the Musungu; return the guns to the men and let them go; for the white man may even now be on his way here." [Stanley crossing the inundated savannah]
These exaggerated reports of Stanley's power produced a good effect, for the soldiers were released, their arms and the donkey restored, and sufficient food was furnished to last them for four days, until they could overtake the caravan. Stanley was very much exercised over the outrage which he felt had been committed on his men, but he was now so far advanced that he could not afford to turn back and obtain satisfaction. But the runaway cook was not found, nor were any tidings of him, good or bad, ever obtained.
On the following day another part of the swamp was reached, which was five miles across and from one to four feet deep; this was the sorest march made by the expedition, and so serious were its effects that two of the carriers (and the dog) died, also twelve of the donkeys, and Stanley was brought to the brink of the grave from fever and acute dysentery.
On May 4th they ascended a gentle slope to a village named Reheuneko, where a halt of four days was made, to rest and recover from the effects of the fever with which all were suffering. It was a delightful place, most fortuitously reached, for another day in the swamps would have, no doubt, destroyed the expedition.
Farquhar, who had charge of the fourth caravan, had preceded Stanley two days, but he sent back word to Reheuneko that all but one of his donkeys had died and his provisions were almost exhausted. Upon learning this Stanley pushed on to Lake Ugombo, where he met Farquhar and found him in a most pitiable condition, his feet and limbs being swollen to frightful proportions from elephantiasis, which made it almost impossible to move about even in his tent. But this affliction was largely the result of his inordinate dissipation, while the exhaustion of his supplies was likewise attributable to his neglect of duty, due to drunkenness. Shaw was no more reliable, and to his worthlessness he added insolence, which Stanley was finally compelled to rebuke by knocking him down. Smarting under this punishment and humiliation, on the following night he attempted to assassinate Stanley, the bullet from his rifle passing through the pillow on which Stanley was resting his head. Being unable, as well as indisposed, to move further, Farquhar, at his request, was left at a village in the Ugogo country, with plenty of supplies and in charge of a kind old man.
The entrance into Ugogo was the very counterpart of a circus parade; Stanley rode at the head, and as he came in sight of the village its swarming inhabitants rushed out to meet him, shouting with all the strength of their lungs. The whole village was soon before, abreast and behind his heels, lullalooing and shouting in the most excited manner; for Stanley was the first white man they had ever seen. From one village to another, which are in immediate succession and called Ugogo, the crowd kept gathering, until a furious mob of naked men, women and children, their bodies ornately tattooed, pressed upon the white man. "Hitherto," says Stanley, "I had compared myself to a merchant of Bagdad, travelling among the Kurds of Kurdistan, selling his wares of Damascus silk, kefiyehs, etc.; but now I was compelled to lower my standard, and thought myself not much better than the monkey in the zoological collection at Central Park, whose funny antics elicit such bursts of laughter from young New Yorkers. One of my soldiers requested them to lessen their vociferous noise; but the evil-minded race ordered him to shut up, as a thing unworthy to speak to the Wagogo! When I imploringly turned to the Arabs for counsel in this strait, old Sheik Thani, always worldly wise, said, 'Heed them not; they are dogs who bite besides barking.'"
A camp was made, and negotiations with the natives soon began. The quantity and variety of provisions produced in the country was positively astonishing, proving Ugogo to be one of the very richest districts of all Africa. The natives brought and sold milk, both sour and sweet, honey, beans, Indian corn, a variety of peas, peanuts, bean-nuts, pumpkins, watermelons, musk-melons, cucumbers, and many other kinds of vegetables. But the great Sultan of Mvumi, or ruler of Ugogo, was a most extortionate old relic of Arabic cupidity and autocracy, and compelled Stanley to pay a large tribute of cloth and beads for the privilege of crossing his country.
"Hitherto, those we had met had contented themselves with staring and shouting; but these outstepped all bounds, and my growing anger at their excessive insolence vented itself in gripping the rowdiest of them by the neck, and before he could recover from his astonishment administering a sound thrashing with my dog-whip, which he little relished. This proceeding educed from the tribe of starers all their native power of vituperation and abuse, in expressing which they were peculiar. Approaching in manner to angry tom-cats, they jerked their words with something of a splitting hiss and a half bark, and spitting at my legs. The ejaculation, as near as I can spell it phonetically, was 'hahcht,' uttered in a shrill crescendo tone. [Impertinent curiosity of the Wagogo] They paced backward and forward, asking themselves, 'Are the Wagogo to be beaten like this by Musungu? A Mgogo is a Mgwana (a free man); he is not used to be beaten-hahcht!' But whenever I made a motion, flourishing my whip toward them, these mighty braggarts found it convenient to move to respectful distances from the irritated Musungu."A march of three days brought the expedition to the Wahumba district, which is small, comprising only a few villages, and these not numerously inhabited; but the people are none the less remarkable. They live in cone huts plastered with cow-dung, and shaped like the Tartar tents of Turkestan. The men are remarkably well formed and handsome, having clean limbs and the most exquisite features. Athletics from their youth, they intermarry and keep the race pure. The women are as handsome as the men, and have a clear ebon skin of an inky hue. Their ornaments consist of spiral rings of brass, pendant from the ears, brass ring collars about their necks, and a spiral cincture of brass around the loins, used as an ornament and also to keep the goat-skins folded about their persons in place; these skins depend from the shoulder and shade one-half the bosom.
Halting, he asked what was the matter, and what they wanted, and why they made such a noise? One burly rascal, taking his words for a declaration of hostilities, promptly drew his bow, but in an instant Stanley's faithful Winchester, with thirteen shots in the magazine, was ready and at the shoulder, but he waited to see the arrow fly before pouring the leaden messengers of death into the crowd. They vanished as quickly as they had come, leaving the burly Thersites, and two or three irresolute fellows of his tribe, standing within pistol range. Such a sudden dispersion of the mob which, but a moment before, was overwhelming in numbers, caused Stanley to lower his rifle, and to indulge in a hearty laugh at the disgraceful flight of the men-destroyers. The Arabs, who were as much alarmed at their boisterous obtrusiveness, now came up to patch a truce, in which they succeeded to everybody's satisfaction. A few words of explanation and the mob came back in greater numbers than before, and the savage who had been the cause of the momentary disturbance was obliged to retire abashed before the pressure of public opinion. A chief now came up, whom Stanley afterward learned was the second man to Swaruru, the Sultan, and lectured the people upon their treatment of the "White Stranger." "Know ye not, Wagogo," shouted he, "that this Musungu is a Sultan (mtemi -- a most high title). He has not come to Ugogo like the Wakonongo (Arabs), to trade in ivory, but to see us and give presents. Why do you molest him and his people? Let them pass in peace. If you wish to see him, draw near, but do not mock him. The first of you who creates a disturbance, let him beware; our great mtemi shall know how you treat his friends." He thereupon [The chief teaching his subjects manners] seized a long stick and laid about him so vigorously that the crowd was driven into the huts and did not offer any further annoyances.
The Arab governor of Unyanyembe, Sayd bin Salim, received Stanley in a most hospitable manner and with delightful courtesy, which did not relapse during the three months that he was compelled, by sickness and a war which was at the time being prosecuted by a native chief named Mirambo against the [Only a whiff of ammonia] Arabs, to remain in Unyanyembe. This interval also gave Stanley time to reorganize a new force, of which he stood greatly in need, because of the insubordination of a large part of his original escort.
The public highway to Ujiji was rendered very dangerous to travellers by Mirambo's soldiers, who were in ambush in many places along the route watching for Arab troops and caravans, so that Stanley very prudently decided to proceed by a long circuit to the south-west, which, though it presented many difficulties, was at least secure. Accordingly, on the 20th of September, the expedition set forward again, but not without many interruptions. Shaw became a victim to hypochondria, and so totally unfitted for travel that at his entreaties he was sent back to Unyanyembe, where a few weeks later he died.
The route taken by Stanley led through Ugunda, a well fortified city
of three thousand people, and an elevated, healthy and highly productive
country in which he expected supplies would be easily obtained. But the
general fear of Mirambo made it difficult to open negotiations with the
natives, and but for the diplomacy of Bombay, the expedition would have
suffered from a scarcity of food. This cunning and most serviceable lieutenant
finally gained the ear of the Manyara chief, and by the presentation of
a quantity of royal cloths and brass secured not only the chief's confidence,
but a liberal supply of honey, fowls, goats and vegetables. This confidence
soon assumed the air of familiarity by the chief and his principal men
entering Stanley's tent, where their curiosity was regaled by a dose of
strong brandy and a whiff of ammonia. They complained of the terrible strength
of the white man's pombe and the chief of the tumbled over backwards when
he took a deep inhalation the ammonia, to very great amusement of all present.
Confidence returned after the subsidence of the mutineers, and Bombay came forward to embrace Stanley and swear perpetual allegiance. The country too was now much improved, and as Lake Tanganyika was less than one hundred miles distant, the spirits of everyone appeared to suddenly rise at the pleasing prospects before them. On the 22d of October, Stanley went into camp on a clear stream of water called the Mtambu, at which lions, leopards and wild boars came to quench their thirst, and about which elephants and rhinoceri were very numerous. When driving the donkeys and goats down to water a black leopard leaped out of the adjacent jungle and fastened on the neck of a [A boar! A boar!] donkey. The surprise was so great that the men broke in precipitate retreat, leaving their herds to the mercies of whatever ravenous animal might wish to satisfy its hunger. The poor donkey stood his ground, however, and set up such a deafening braying that the leopard was more frightened than the men, and leaving its perch on the donkey's neck retreated into the thicket, nor did any of the wild animals, so plentiful thereabouts, show themselves to any member of the expedition. The braying donkey had cleared the country.
Two days after this incident, November 2d, the expedition reached the Malagazazi river, which was considerably swollen by recent rains. There was no other means of crossing the donkeys than by swimming them over, while the men walked across on a large fallen tree, holding to the lariats. In making the passage one of the donkeys was seized by a monster crocodile, and despite its braying and struggling and the shouts of the men as they pulled on the rope to which it was fast, the poor creature was drawn under and carried away, to be devoured.
The following day Stanley met a party of Waguphas, who lived in a district south-west of Lake Tanganyika, from whom he learned the welcome news that they had just come from Ujiji, where they saw a white man who had marched from a far country, and being deserted by his carriers had come into Ujiji in a sick and greatly enfeebled condition.
The entrance into the post was made amid the beating of drums, firing of guns and waving of flags, so great a noise being thus made that, weak as he was, Livingstone came out of his quarters to discover the cause. The servants of Livingstone preceded him to the place of tumult, and from these Stanley learned that the object of his search was near by; directly after Livingstone himself came up, to whom Stanley addressed the first words -- "Dr. Livingstone, I presume."
The joy of this meeting was inexpressible, and hence no attempt was made by either to measure his thankfulness in words. It was like the reunion of the prodigal son and his father, who feasted upon the fatted calf in order to place the stomach in harmony with the spirit, for after the first greeting Stanley and Livingstone at once indulged themselves at a rich repast with champagne accompaniment, a few bottles of which Stanley had brought with him in anticipation of just such an occasion.
They had travelled several days, and after camping one afternoon, Stanley thought he would endeavor to procure some meat, which the interesting region where they then were seemed to promise. He sallied out with his little Winchester along the banks of the river eastward. After travelling for an hour or two, the prospect getting more picturesque and lovely, he went up a ravine which looked very promising. Unsuccessful, he strode up the bank, and to his astonishment found himself directly in front of an elephant, who had his large broad ears held out like studding sails -- the colossal monster, the incarnation of might of the African world.
Kalulu, who was with his master, shouted, "Tembo! tembo! bana yango! Lo! an elephant! an elephant, my master!" for the young black rascal had fled as soon as he saw the awful colossus in such close vicinage. Recovering from his astonishment, Stanley thought it prudent to retire also -- especially with a pea- shooter loaded with treacherous sawdust cartridges in his hand. As he looked behind he saw the elephant waving his trunk, as much as to say, "Goodbye, young fellow, it is lucky for you that you went in time, for I was going to pound you to a jelly."
They rested at Unyanyembe until March 18th, when Stanley divided his goods with the Doctor and set out on a hurried march for Zanzibar, where it was arranged that he should enlist a new company and send them back to Livingstone, with such additional supplies and goods as he needed. It was a sad farewell. A strong mutual attachment had sprung up between the two men, alone in the wilderness of Central Africa, and when the time came they found it hard to separate. Stanley was going home to the comforts and pleasures of civilization, while his friend would again plunge into the dark forests in search of that ignis fatuus, the source of the Nile. They walked together along the homeward route for some distance; then Livingstone stopped and held out his hand. The time to part had come. Words stuck fast in the throats [Stanley's meeting with Livingstone] of each during that silent, earnest grip of the hands. Livingstone turned his face to the west, and walked slowly back toward Unyanyembe, and descending a gentle slope he disappeared forever from the civilized world, while Stanley thoughtfully and sorrowfully turned his face to the east.
The news of Stanley's return and the success of his expedition was immediately sent to all parts of the world, where the telegraph reaches, and Europe and America stood with outstretched hands waiting for his presence to load him with honor. The English were at first jealous of his success, because he was an American, but this feeling soon changed to admiration. He arrived in England late in July, and read on account of his expedition before the British Association at Brighton, August 16th. This report was immediately published, and being read by the Queen, as a testimonial of her appreciation of his services she sent him a gold snuff-box set with diamonds, and a month later he was honored with a banquet furnished by the Royal Geographical Society.
When the distinguished dead arrived in England, funeral arrangements were made to give to the burial a pomp equal to that bestowed on a dead king, and Stanley was selected as one of the pall-bearers. When the body was lowered into the grave, besides kings, queens, and the great potentates and master minds who have lent fame and lustre to England, Stanley turned away in a reflective mood, thinking of the energy, self-denial, aspirations and accomplishments of the great Livingstone, and how his life had suddenly terminated when the allurements of hope for ambition attained seemed most seductive. In this mood he conceived the idea of taking up the work which the beloved explorer had thus laid down, and with like aspirations pursue it to such an end as God would give him to accomplish.
Shortly after Livingstone's funeral Stanley was a caller at the office of the London Daily Telegraph, where, engaging in conversation with the proprietors, the subject of African exploration was introduced, in which Stanley expressed some opinions regarding the lake regions of that continent that excited so much interest in the proprietors of the paper that they asked him how he would like to attempt a completion of the labors left unfinished by Livingstone. The question immediately aroused him to a pitch of enthusiasm, and he exhibited such an intense desire to enter upon the undertaking that arrangements were directly made by the Telegraph and New York Herald to jointly equip an expedition, and place Stanley at the head with a commission to explore the lake regions of Africa, to complete the discoveries of Burton, Speke, Grant and Baker; and, incidentally, to determine the true sources of the Nile, and the Lualaba, or Livingstone, rivers.
There was no lack of money at his disposal, and he was thereby enabled to equip his expedition with everything that he might by any possibility require; and when he set sail on the 15th of August, 1874, for Zanzibar, he was better prepared for the work before him than any previous expedition. He arrived at Zanzibar on the 21st of September, and on November 12th, more than two hundred porters having been engaged, the expedition set sail for Bagamoye. When ready to start for the interior, the expedition comprised three hundred and fifty-six persons, among whom were thirty-six women, and when they marched out of Bagamoyo, on the 17th of November, they formed a line half a mile in length. Among the heaviest articles was a boat, named Lady Alice, forty feet long, six feet beam, and thirty inches deep. It was made in twelve sections, and afterward cut into as many more, to facilitate its transportation.
Stanley's experience, obtained on his previous expeditlon, was of such
service to him that he pushed forward with great rapidity, being detained
at few places, because he knew the character of the people along the route
and had learned [Stanley's
dogs in the village of Kagehyi] how to avoid oppressive tolls without
exciting their open hostility. The first serious misfortune that befell
the expedition was in the death of Edwark Pocock, on the 17th of January,
1875, who succumbed to a virulent attack of typhus fever, after a very
But the great cost of living in the district made it necessary to move as quickly as possible, so that on the second day after their arrival Stanley launched the Lady Alice and prepared for a circumnavigation of the lake. Kaduma endeavored to dissuade Stanley from his purpose, by declaring that the lake was so large that it would take years to cross it, while along its northern shores lived tribes so ferocious that no stranger dared approach them; some of these people were gifted with tails; others trained enormous and fierce dogs, while others preferred human flesh to all other kinds of meat. These superstitious fears had such an effect upon Stanley's men, that when he called for volunteers [Village of Igusa] to accompany him on the voyage, not a single one came forward. Persuasion being of no avail, he was compelled to conscript ten of the young guides enlisted at Bagamoyo, who were boatmen, and on the 8th of March the lake voyage was begun. Five miles from Kagehyi they came to the village of Igusa, where, by offers of large rewards, a fisherman named Saramba, who had been much on the lake, was engaged as guide.
Interesting sights engaged the attention of the navigators. Hippopotami
and crocodiles were almost plentiful enough to dispute the passage, and
many were shot, without the party being attacked in return, as is often
the case. On the 21st of March they landed on a beautiful little island,
which, besides its verdure and inviting shades, contained a remarkable
natural bridge of basaltic rock, which formed an irregular arch more than
twenty feet in length, under which there was great depth of water and which
Lady Alice to pass. Another island nearby was distinguished
as possessing a grotto which might be likened unto that in which Calypso,
the enchantress, lived. [Stanley
circumnavigates Lake Victoria]
"The Kabaka sends me with many salaams to you. He is in great hopes that you will visit him, and has encamped at Usavara, that he may be near the lake when you come. He does not know from what land you have come, but I have a swift messenger with a canoe who will not stop until he gives all the news to the Kabaka. His mother dreamed a dream a few nights ago, and in her dream she saw a white man on this lake in a boat coming this way, and the next morning she told the Kabaka, and, lo! you have come. Give me your [Magassa inviting Stanley to M'tesa's court] answer, that I may send the messenger. Twiyanzi- yanzi-yanzi!" (Thanks, thanks, thanks.) By Magassa's request Stanley remained another day at Kerudo, to give time for more ample preparation at the court to receive him, as the king had not supposed that a realization of the queen's dream was so near at hand.
On the following day Magassa, in his superb canoe, led the way, with
Stanley following. When about two miles from Usavara, they saw what they
estimated to be thousands of people arranging themselves in order on a
gently rising ground. When about a mile from the shore, Magassa gave the
order to signal the advance upon it with fire-arms, and was at once obeyed
by a dozen [Reception
of Stanley by M'tesa] musketeers. Half a mile off Stanley saw that
the people on the shore had formed themselves into two dense lines, at
the ends of which stood several finely dressed men, arrayed in crimson
and black and snowy white. As they neared the beach, volleys of musketry
burst out from the long lines. Magassa's canoes steered outward to right
and left, while two hundred or three hundred heavily loaded guns announced
to all around that the white man -- whom M'tesa's mother had dreamed about
-- had landed. Numerous kettle and brass drums sounded a noisy welcome,
and flags, banners and bannerets waved, and the people gave a great shout.
Very much amazed at all this ceremonious and pompous greeting, Stanley
strode up toward the great standard, near which stood a short young man,
dressed in a crimson robe which covered an immaculately white dress of
bleached cotton, before whom Magassa, who had hurried ashore, kneeled reverently,
and turning to the visitor, begged him to understand that this short young
man was the Katekiro (Prime Minister).
"The Kabaka (king) sends salaams unto his friend who has travelled so far to see him. The Kabaka cannot see the face of his friend until he has eaten and is satisfied. The Kabaka has sent his slave with these few things to his friend that he may eat, and at the ninth hour, after his friend has rested, the Kabaka will send and call for him to appear at the burzah. I have spoken. Twiyanzi-yanzi- yanzi!"
The appointed time approached, and Stanley was prepared for the memorable hour when he should meet the foremost man of Equatorial Africa. Two of the king's pages came to announce that everything was ready. Forthwith issued from the court-yard five of the boat's crew on each side of Stanley, armed with Snider rifles. They reached a short broad street, at the end of which was a hut. Here the Kabaka was seated, while a multitude of chiefs, wakungu (generals) and watongoleh (colonels), ranked from the throne in two opposing kneeling or seated lines, the ends being closed in by drummers, guards, executioners, pages, etc. As they approached the nearest group it opened, and the drummers beat mighty sounds. The Great King of Equatorial Africa arose and advanced, at which all the kneeling and seated lines stood up-generals, colonels, chiefs, cooks, butlers, pages, executioners, etc.
M'tesa took a deliberate view of Stanley, as if studying him, while the compliment was reciprocated, since the latter was no less interested in the king. After the audience Stanley repaired to his hut and wrote the following: "As I had read Speke's book for the sake of its geographical information, I retained but a dim remembrance of his description of his life in Uganda. If I remember rightly, Speke described a youthful prince, vain and heartless, a wholesale murderer and tyrant, one who delighted in fat women. Doubtless he described what he saw, but it is far from being the state of things now. M'tesa has impressed me as being an intelligent and distinguished prince, who, if aided in time by virtuous philanthropists, will do more for Central Africa than fifty years of gospel teaching, unaided by such authority, can do. I think I see in him the light that shall lighten the darkness of this benighted region; a prince well worthy the most hearty sympathies that Europe can give him. In this man I see the possible fruition of Livingstone's hopes, for with his aid the civilization of Equatorial Africa becomes feasible. I remember the ardor and love [M'tesa's capital and palace] which animated Livingstone when he spoke of Sekeletu; had he seen M'tesa, his ardor and love had been for him tenfold, and his pen and tongue would have been employed in calling all good men to assist him."
But that the effects of conversion to Mohammedanism were most beneficial to M'tesa cannot be disputed, though no other traveller than Stanley had the opportunity of visiting him after his adoption of the faith. It was not long after Stanley's visit, however, that the king died, and whatever good influence he exerted as a convert was buried with him, for his subjects have since exhibited all their former savageness, as subsequent expeditions have proved.
Among other entertainments which M'tesa provided for the amusement of his guest was a sham naval battle between forty splendid canoes, each having a crew of thirty men, in which the most admirable manouvring and skilful throwing of spears was witnessed. At the conclusion of the battle, in which several persons were injured, M'tesa showed that he had not lost his interest in firearms since Speke's visit, for he sent several of his servants out in search of hippopotami and crocodiles, anxious to see Stanley display his skill in shooting such large creatures. A crocodile was soon discovered, and the king, taking Stanley, ran quickly to the place where it was reported lying on a log, calling his women to come and see the white man shoot. The crocodile was found lying in an exposed position, and Stanley fired his Reilly rifle, carrying a three-ounce ball, with such precision that the reptile's head was half severed, which drew many rounds of applause from the king and his escort.
When at last, against many requests to protract his visit, Stanley determined to resume the circumnavigation of the lake, M'tesa supplied him with thirty canoes and a large force of men under the leadership of Magassa; but this fellow, who had been promoted, proved to be an obstinate, lazy, and most unreliable officer, whom Stanley had to frequently scold and threaten, and finally to send back to Uganda. The escort of thirty canoes, therefore, did not accompany him more than fifty miles, when he was left alone again to complete the exploration of the lake.
Nothing occurred to arrest their progress until the 28th of April, when hunger induced them to steer for an island in quest of food. When fifty yards from shore, a great number of natives rushed down the slopes, uttering fierce ejaculations [Stanley attacked by savage islanders] and war cries. As this was a common circumstance, Stanley thought but little of it, having no doubt that the natives would be speedily reconciled by the payment of a few yards of cloth and strings of beads.
As the boat came near the shore, several native's rushed into the water and, seizing it, dragged it about twenty yards over the rocky beach, high and dry. Then ensued an indescribable scene; a thousand black devils, armed with bows, spears and knotty war-clubs, swarmed around the boat, with threatening gestures, and yelling like demons. Stanley arose to confront them, with a revolver in each hand, [Along the shores of Lake Victoria] but his guides restrained him, as any resistance would have only invited a massacre. At length an old man, who was leader of the warlike host, was somewhat placated by a liberal present of beads and cloth, and through his influence the crowd was drawn off a little way for council. Stanley seized this opportunity to effect his escape; he ordered his men to push the boat again into the water with all possible speed. -This scheme succeeded so well that the boat was out in the lake before the natives could reach the water. A fight now took place that was very lively for a time. Stanley fired his Reilly rifle four times and killed five men. A shot-gun loaded with buck-shot was brought to bear on them next, by which several more were slain. This served to stop their attempts to reach the boat by wading, but others quickly manned a half-dozen canoes and shot out from shore to continue the battle. Two of these canoes Stanley sank with the shell-bullets from his Reilly gun. In the midst of the fight two monster hippopotami were observed advancing with wide-open mouths upon the Lady Alice, their anger having no doubt been excited by the booming of firearms. Stanley shot one through the brain when it was hardly more than a yard distant, and so badly wounded the other that it sank and retreated. The result of these two shots seemed to produce a panic among the natives, for they immediately relinquished the attack and the canoes were put back to shore with great energy. It was a narrow escape.
At the end of fifty-seven days the circumnavigation of Victoria N'yanza was completed, the distance being 1000 miles. As the boat came in sight of the camp at Kagehyi, a joyful shout was sent up, and when they landed Stanley was raised upon the shoulders of several men and carried triumphantly around the camp, while salutes were fired from all the muskets. This joyful return was sadly marred, however, by news of the death of Frederick Barker, who had died twelve days before. Six other members of the expedition had also fallen victims to dysentery.
Upon reaching the island where he had been attacked, Stanley put in for provisions, considering himself secure now against attack, but the people were still defiant, and being so numerous they surrounded him, and though afraid to attack at close quarters they harassed and prevented a resumption of the journey. He was thus besieged for several days and until the fortunate arrival of Magassa, who had. been sent out by M'tesa with 300 men in search of him, for a purpose which will soon be explained. With this augmentation of his force Stanley started again, but being compelled to pass through a narrows, where the points of land came within fifty yards of each other, the natives laid in wait there to give him battle. As the canoes approached the passage, arrows, stones and spears began to fly, which were answered by a fusillade of firearms that killed hundreds of the fierce natives and sent the rest flying with a fear that the white man had sent flames to devour them.
The expedition reached M'tesa's on the 23d of August, and the king received Stanley in his council chamber with great ceremony and many evidences of friendship. Stanley took this occasion to inform him of the object of his visit, which was to procure guides and an escort to conduct him to Lake Albert. M'tesa replied that he was now engaged in a war with the rebellious people of Wavuma, who refused to pay their tribute, harassed the coast of Chagwe and abducted his people, "selling them afterward for a few bunches of bananas," and that it was not customary in Uganda to permit strangers to proceed on their journeys while the Kabaka (king) was engaged in war; but as soon as peace should be obtained he would send a chief with an army to give him safe conduct by the shortest route to the lake. Being assured that the war would not last long, Stanley resolved to stay and witness it as a novelty, and take advantage of the time to acquire information about the country and its people.
"The advance-guard had departed too early for me to see them, but, curious to see the main body of this great army pass, I stationed myself at an early hour at the extreme limit of the camp. First, with his legion, came Mkwenda, who guards the frontier between the Katonga valley and Willimiesi against the Wanyoro. He is a stout, burly young man, brave as a lion, having much experience of wars, and cunning and adroit in their conduct, accomplished with the spear, and possessing, besides, other excellent fighting qualities. I noticed that the Waganda chiefs, though Moslemized, clung to their war-paint and national charms, for each warrior, as he passed by on the trot, was most villanously bedaubed with ochre and pipe-clay. The force under the command of Mkwenda might be roughly numbered at 30,000 warriors and camp- followers, and though the path was a mere goat-track, the rush of this legion on the half-trot soon crushed out a broad avenue.
"The old general, Kangau, who defends the country between Willimiesi and the Victoria Nile, came next with his following, their banners flying, drums beating and pipes playing, he and his warriors stripped for action, their bodies and faces bedaubed with white, black and ochreous war-paint.
"Next came a rush of about 2000 chosen warriors, all tall men, expert with spear and shield, lithe of body and nimble of foot, shouting as they trotted past their war-cry of 'Kavya, kavya' (the two last syllables of M'tesa's title when young -- Mukavya, 'king '), and rattling their spears. Behind them, at a quick march, came the musket-armed body-guard of the Emperor, about two hundred in front, a hundred on either side of the road, enclosing M'tesa and his Katekiro, and two hundred bringing up the rear, with their drums beating, pipes playing and standards flying, and forming quite an imposing and warlike procession.
"M'tesa marched on foot, bare-headed, and clad in a dress of blue check cloth, with a black belt of English make round his waist, and -- like the Roman Emperors, who, when returning in triumph, painted their faces a deep vermilion -- his face dyed a bright red. The Katekiro preceded him, and wore a dark gray cashmere coat. I think this arrangement was made to deceive any assassin who might be lurking in the bushes. If this was the case, the precaution seemed wholly unnecessary, as the march was so quick that nothing but a gun would have been effective, and the Wavuma and Wasoga have no such weapons.
"After M'tesa's body-guard had passed by, chief after chief, legion after legion followed, each distinguished to the native ear by its different and peculiar drum-beat. They came on at all extraordinary pace, more like warriors hurrying up into action than on the march; but it is their custom, I am told, to move always at a trot when on an enterprise of a warlike nature." [M'tesa's war canoes]
When finally, M'tesa grew weary of theological dispute, he resolved to renew hostilities as a fresh divertissement, and on the 14th of September he ordered forty canoes to cross over to the island, or within hailing distance, to feel the enemy, while with the rest of his army he took up a position on a high point from whence a view of the lake was obtainable. This time he adopted the very wise precaution, so to speak, of bringing into action the services of a large number of his medicine men or wizards, who, armed with gourds filled with pebbles, took upon themselves the duty of creating such a din as would frighten away all evil; but it strangely happened that their noise must have had a contrary effect. In addition to the tumult thus raised, these priests brought also their charms, which they laid at M'tesa's feet, followed by the witches or priestesses, who also made their oblations, and then offered their fetiches to the king. These charms consisted of dried lizards, pieces of hide, nails of dead people, claws of animals, beaks of birds, compounds of deadly herbs borne in ornamented vessels, and wooden fetiches.
When all had thus been made ready, the forty canoes crossed over to the island, where they were met by the Wavuma, who chased them back to Nakaranga Point. At this, 230 more canoes, laden with M'tesa's soldiers, started to the succour of their retreating friends, and these were in turn met by 192 canoes bearing the Wavumas. A great battle now seemed imminent, but M'tesa's navy again retreated to a point where they were re-enforced by the entire army, and where four small cannons had been planted.
The cowardice of his men, whose numbers greatly exceeded those of the Wavuma, so incensed M'tesa that he was in a towering passion, in which he threatened all who would again exhibit such pusillanimity with the punishment of a slow fire. Under this dreadful threat, on the 18th the fight was renewed by the advance of 230 canoes, in two of which howitzers were carried. But the Wavuma were undeterred, and moved resolutely to the centre of the intervening space in the lake and began a fusillade with spears and arrows. The howitzers, however, proved a surprise, for when these opened fire the Wavuma became panic stricken and precipitatedly retreated, but did not make their escape until ten of their canoes were destroyed and several of the occupants were killed.
The small victory obtained, M'tesa's men did not attempt a pursuit of the enemy, but forthwith returned to the shore to receive the king's congratulations.
On the 20th of April following, upon arriving at Seromo, Stanley learned that the great bandit king, Mirambo, was in the neighborhood and desired an audience with the white man. At this news that portion of the escort sent by M'tesa, which had remained loyal, were so frightened that the utmost efforts of Stanley hardly availed to prevent their desertion, but fortunately a second and very friendly message followed fast on the first, which had the good effect of disarming their fears.
In response to Mirambo's message desiring to establish friendly relations with Stanley, a reply was sent in equally assuring terms, and on the following day the renowned bandit and Napoleonic general appeared before Stanley's tent and was cordially bidden to enter. A very pleasant interview followed, which ended in a return of the visit by Stanley, at which the ceremony of blood-brotherhood was performed.
On the 27th of May the expedition reached Ujiji, having failed to discover
the Muta Nziga, but skirted the shore of Lake Tanganyika from the point
where the Rusizi river enters it to that station without meeting with any
serious obstacle. [Mirambo.
The great African chief]
This disappointment made him the mare anxious to prosecute the great work he had set his heart upon and return to England as soon as possible. He accordingly had the Lady Alice launched again in the waters of LakeTanganyika, determined to accomplish its circumnavigation, with the view of discovering its outlet, if it had any. This enterprise was accomplished without special incident in fifty-one days, and resulted in an exposition of the fact that it had no outlet proper, all streams with which it had any connection being inlets, though there was evidence that in former years the Lualaba, or Congo river, furnished an outlet to the lake and drained its waters into the Atlantic.
On returning to Ujiji again, Stanley found Frank Pocock, who had been left in charge of a part of the expedition during his absence, pale and haggard from a long spell of fever, five of the Wagwara soldiers had died of small-pox, and six others were down with the dreadful scourge, which was also decimating the population of the town. Stanley was stricken with fever the day after his arrival, but was again on his feet at the end of five days. He now decided to cross the lake and push westward as quickly as possible, and so announced to his men. This created a panic among them, for they fully believed that if they went among the Manyuema cannibals they would be roasted and eaten. Thirty-eight had already deserted during his absence, and many of the others now threatened to do likewise. As a precaution against further desertions, he had those whom he suspected of being untrustworthy arrested and put into a large hut, where they were guarded until he was ready to depart.
Everything at last being ready, they crossed the lake an the 25th of August, and after a necessary halt of a few days to rest and organize, the expedition pushed westward through the wilderness toward the Manyuema country, for the purpose of exploring the great river flowing to the northwest, through that region, and from which Livingstone had been driven back by the war between the Arabs and natives previous to his meeting with Stanley. The Manyuema nation is composed of a number of tribes, varying greatly in disposition and general appearance. Some are handsome and intelligent, others are filthy, ugly and degraded; but, with a few exceptions, all are mild and gentle in disposition, although universally addicted to cannibalism.
Stanley continued his march westward until the middle of October, when he arrived at M'K wanga, which is only eight miles from the confluence of the Luama and Lualaba rivers. While here encamped he learned of the presence of a large party of Arabs at a village called Mwana Mambo, eighteen miles distant, which he decided to join at once. A meeting occurred on the following day, at which Stanley was received most cordially by the commander of the [Leopard hunters of Uregga] Arab force, Tipo Tib. This ivory dealer had considerable knowledge of the country, gained in frequent journeys through it, besides a large force of soldiers and porters; hence his services were of the greatest importance to Stanley, who was fearful that his present small force would be unable to make a passage through the wild region it was necessary to cross.
In the interview which followed their meeting, Tipo Tib told Stanley that the "great river" -- Lualaba -- flowed directly towards the north until it emptied into the sea, and that its shores were covered with dense woods, which were inhabited by the most ferocious savages, reptiles and animals. He also declared that he had made one trip through this dangerous region, in one part of which his party found ivory so plentiful that a tusk might be purchased for a single cowrie shell. But while the trade in ivory appeared most promising of enormous profit, his party was not permitted to leave the country with their stores. The Wakuma, a large race, were very hostile, but to their enmity was added the implacable vengeance of a race of dwarfs, whose territory bordered that of the Wakuma. These little incarnate devils descended upon the Arabs at night, and with their poisoned arrows fought so courageously that the Arabs were forced to retreat with the greatest precipitation, and in the flight all save thirty of the party were killed.
But there were other evils besides savage cannibals, which the Wakuma and dwarfs were represented to be, for Tipo Tib declared that in the adjoining country of Uregga the dense woods harbored thousands of boa constrictors, which, suspended from tree-branches, watched for the passing underneath of men and antelopes, which these reptilian monsters greedily devoured. In these same woods were also the greatest number of leopards, which, emboldened by hunger and the fear they inspired in the natives, committed the most appalling ravages among the people. The sokos, a species of chimpanzee, were also numerous and attacked men without provocation, biting off their fingers and otherwise maiming them. Tipo Tib averred that travelling on the river was but little less dangerous than on land because of the great number of wicked falls that it was necessary to pass over, and which resulted in the drowning of nearly every one who attempted their passage.
The expedition now marched to Nyangwe, where another section of the Arab party was encamped; Tipo Tib's party consisted of 700 persons when united. Nyangwe is a village of 300 huts and nearly 2000 people; it is a great market for slaves, and is the westernmost Arab trading station on the road from the east. As the village is situated on the Lualaba river, Stanley here launched [Encounter with a boa-constrictor] his boat, the Lady Alice, to make soundings. He found the river studded with large islands, and its mean depth, taken in thirty-six soundings, was eighteen feet nine inches, while its breadth was from 4000 to 5000 yards, making it one of the greatest rivers of the earth.
After five days' marching through dense, almost impenetrable forests, where they were compelled to hew their way with axes step by step, they came to the country of Uregga, and halted to rest. The inhabitants of this country live as secluded in their dark forests as the chimpanzees; but they provide themselves with comforts unknown to other African tribes. Their houses, in the villages, are all connected together in one block, from 50 to 300 yards in length, and are covered with a kind of pitch. They furnish their homes with many luxuries known to civilization, such as cane settees, beautifully covered stools, sociable benches, exquisitely carved spoons, etc. The women of Uregga wear only aprons four inches square, of bark or grass cloth, fastened by cords of palm fibre. The men wear skins of civet, or monkey, in front and rear, the tails downward. It may have been from a hasty glance of a rapidly disappearing form of one of these people in the wild woods that native travellers in the lake regions felt persuaded that they had seen "men with tails."
In one of these villages, called Kampunzee, Stanley was much astonished to see two rows of what appeared to be human skulls, and upon counting them found there were 186. He asked the chief of the village the meaning of these gruesome trophies, but a direct answer was avoided by a pretence that the skulls were those of sokos captured in the hunt. Stanley was none the less satisfied that they were human, but to prove the matter more thoroughly he brought several to England on his return and had them examined by Prof. Huxley, who not only pronounced them to be human skulls, but found on nearly all the marks of a hatchet that had been driven into the head while the victim was alive.
Five miles beyond Kampunzee the expedition came again to the Lualaba, at which point Stanley renamed the river the Livingstone, by which it has since been called. Here he made arrangements to cross the stream, and after launching the Lady Alice he called on the natives of the opposite shore for their assistance with canoes. After an offer of many presents the canoes were furnished, but the moment the expedition had made a crossing the natives attacked it with great vigor, but were driven off without loss.
The obstacles to land travel had been so great, while the dangers from [A village in Uregga] ambushing parties seemed to be increasing, that Stanley decided to take to the river and follow it down to its outlet, regardless of Tipo Tib's warning against the many falls that must be passed. After much difficulty and the payment of a large sum in presents, the required number of canoes was procured, in which the expedition embarked.
On November 26th they reached the village of Nakanpemba, which presented [Fighting their way through the cannibals] the usual horrible picture of streets lined with human skulls, the dreadful relics of many a barbarous feast. Throughout this region the evidences of cannibalism were so numerous that human flesh must have been a common dish at every table.
Tipo Tib's story about the many dangerous rapids that made navigation of the Livingstone river so perilous was soon found to be true. As the expedition went on down the river, the first fifty miles were hardly covered before they came to a rock shoal over which the water dashed in a mad and impetuous manner, rendering passage impossible. It was therefore necessary to land and carry the canoes and Lady Alice around the treacherous place, which involved, besides great delay, the most exhausting labors.
This strange creature stood, when measured, four feet six-and-a-half inches In height, and proved to be fully a head taller than the average of his people. His head was large, his face decked with a scraggy fringe of whiskers, and his complexion light chocolate. He was exceedingly bow- legged and thin-shanked, and was altogether a hideous looking fiend and ugly little savage brute, and as to intelligence very little above the beasts of the forest. Stanley retained him as a prisoner and guide for several days, but finally dismissed him and sent him home with a handful of beads and shells and some bead necklaces. He had expected to be eaten, according to the custom of his country, and though his captors shook hands with him at parting, and smiled, and patted him on the shoulder, the dwarf could not comprehend why he had not furnished a feast for his captors, and evidently did not feel safe until he had plunged out of sight in his native woods.
On the 26th of December, Tipo Tib and his Arabs bade farewell to Stanley, and started on their return. They had not fully kept their contract, but their excessive fear of the cannibals and the dwarfs was having a bad effect on Stanley's men, and he decided to let them go; so, after a grand banquet in the wilderness, they shook hands and parted. At this time Stanley was not sure whether the stream that he was following would empty into the Niger or the Congo, as everything in advance of him was unknown and doubtful; but he determined to proceed and let the future take care of itself. His force now consisted of one hundred and forty-nine persons, in twenty-three boats, and on the departure of the Arabs, they embarked and commenced their long and dangerous drift toward the unknown.
Standing up in his boat, Stanley surveyed his people. How few they appeared
to dare the region of fable and darkness! They were nearly all sobbing.
They were leaning forward, bowed, as it seemed, with grief and heavy hearts.
He spoke to them words of encouragement; told them of their past brave
deeds, and exhorted them to be men. But it was with wan smiles that they
responded to his words, and feebly they paddled down the dark-brown current.
Poor fellows! Many of them were indeed going into the land of the Unknown.
King of the Jungle]
It was not until January 19th, 1876, that Stanley passed by the last tribe of cannibals, and came to a greater falls than any theretofore passed, to which he gave the name of Stanley Falls. Just below these was a village called Balobo, where he met a very kind old king named Chumberi, who relieved the very pressing needs of the expedition with a good supply of provisions, and also furnished Stanley with an escort of forty-five men to accompany him the next fifty miles down the river and pilot the expedition through some treacherous rapids.
Soon after going into camp after the first day's march from Balobo, everybody was thrown into a state of nervous excitement by the terrible shrieks of a boy, and upon rushing to the spot from whence the alarm came Stanley was horrified to see a huge python uncoil itself from the body of one of the black boys of the expedition and glide off quickly into the jungle. In the darkness the boy had mistaken the snake for one of his companions, as it reared its horrid head to the height of a man, and he approached so near that it seized him in its dreadful folds. His screams and the rush of men to his assistance so alarmed the reptile that it released its hold and fled. In half an hour the python, or another one, was discovered, in a different part of the camp, about to embrace a woman in its folds; but this time, after tremendous excitement, the monster was dispatched. It measured only thirteen feet six inches in length, and fifteen inches around the thickest part of the body. [Killing a boa]
The repeated calamities of the expedition had by this time so discouraged the people that it was with the greatest effort Stanley could induce them to proceed. They seemed to think they were going to certain destruction, and became languid, sullen and despondent. On the 20th of June thirty-one of them deserted in a body, but returned a few days afterwards, having met with anything but a friendly reception from the natives. Stanley's great leadership now manifested itself in keeping his people together, quieting their complaints, and infusing enough energy and determination into their wasted bodies to induce them to push on to the ocean. Famine stared them in the face, and he knew that nothing but a persevering, persistent, impetuous advance toward the sea could save them.
On the 31st of July, 1877, having explored the river to Isarigila Falls, and proved that it was the Congo, Stanley decided to leave the water and proceed overland by a direct route to Embomma, a Portuguese settlement on the coast, and only a few days' march distant. The delight of the people at this announcement manifested itself in loud and fervid exclamations of gratitude.
But the sufferings of the expedition, even with the glad promise of reaching a Portuguese settlement soon, were not yet ended, nor indeed had their most desperate straits been passed. Forty of the men were sick of dysentery, ulcers and scurvy, and the list became greater each day as their exhaustion increased. When at length they reached the coast, it was at a point where the most imbruted natives had formed a small settlement, and from whom they were unable to obtain any food whatever. Weak from their long fast, the expedition continued on until, three days later, Nsanda was reached, where a stop was made with the hope of obtaining some provisions. The chief came out to Stanley's camp and asked at once for rum, but as all that had been brought from Zanzibar had long before been exhausted, Stanley was unable to grant the chief's request. At this the old savage became angry, and refused to supply the starving men with any kind of food whatever.
The situation was now critical in the extreme, as his men were literally dying of starvation; and as a last recourse to secure relief, Stanley wrote [Stanley's starving people] a letter in English, French and Spanish, addressed to the people of Embomma, describing his condition and asking relief. This letter was dispatched by three of his best men, and on the following day, August 4th, it was placed in the hands of Mr. John W. Harrison, representing an English firm, who immediately sent a large amount of provisions, by a score of carriers, to the suffering expedition, and thus saved them from dying of starvation within a day's march of the journey's end.
On the 9th of August Stanley marched into Embomma, where he was most graciously received by Mr. Harrison and the Portuguese population, who, as a mark of honor, gave him a magnificent banquet on the following evening.
After enjoying the generous hospitality of these people for two days, Stanley was ready to depart, but he first strolled down to the river, on the banks of which Embamma is situated, to take a farewell look at its broad and placid waters. "Glancing at the mighty river on whose brown bosom we had endured so much," said he, "I saw it approach, awed and humbled, the threshold of the watery immensity, to whose immeasurable volume and illimitable expanse, awful as had been its power and terrible as had been its fury, its flood was but a drop. And I felt my heart suffused with purest gratitude to Him whose hand had protected us, and who had enabled us to pierce the Dark Continent from east to west, and to trace its mightiest river to its ocean bourne."
Stanley proceeded with his company an a steamer to Kabinda, and thence to Loanda, where his sick and suffering people were received into the Portuguese hospital, and remained until September 27th, five of them dying in the mean time. From Loanda the expedition sailed to Cape Town, and thence back to Zanzibar, where the people were paid off and discharged. Stanley started for England December 13th, 1877, and upon his arrival in London was received with distinguished honors, such as he well deserved. He had fairly won the English heart as well as the heartiest praise of his own country. He had proved himself, next to Livingstone, the greatest explorer that ever penetrated Africa.
Portugal, as stated in an early part of this book, held possession, for centuries, of the lower Congo, their district extending inland about one hundred miles; but their trade was of no consequence fifty miles from the coast, and so little had this profited them that they seemed to set no value on the trade of the interior or its possibilities. Within a few months after Stanley's return, therefore, "The International Association" took steps to profit by his discoveries.
This Association was the result of an assembling in 1876, at Brussels, of the principal geographical societies of Europe and America, in response to an [Cutting a passage around the cataracts] invitation from Leopold 11., King of Belgium. The intention was to extend the civilizing influences of Christianity through Central Africa, and the opening up of trade over all available routes, whether by land or river.
King Leopold sent a letter to Stanley inviting him to attend upon His Majesty, to which the explorer at once responded, and the interview that followed resulted in the organization of another expedition under the command of Stanley, and in the interest of the International Congo Association.
The Association which had assumed, with consent of the powers, a national character, adopted as their ensign a blue flag with a golden star in the centre, and this Stanley bore as the emblem of his authority to negotiate with the native tribes for exclusive privileges.
The great difficulties encountered by Stanley in this expedition was in making a passage around the cataracts, to accomplish which it was necessary for him to draw his boats sometimes for miles overland, and to cut a way through the dense wood, involving an incredible amount of labor. In one place the hills rose so high and abruptly above the cataracts that the only means of effecting a passage round them was by digging and blasting out an angle at the base, a work that required several months to perform. When be reached the stream above the cataracts his astonisbment was as great as it was discouraging to find that M. De Brazza had preceded him, and by a treaty with tbe tribes had secured exclusive privileges to tbe French government for trade on the south sbore of the river, and claimed a protectorate over an area of thirty-five tbousand square miles of territory, over which he had indeed raised the French flag. [Wonderful bridge across Gordon Bennett River]
Stanley was first apprised of the treaty made between De Brazza and
the [C]ongo tribes on his arrival at Gordon Bennett river, where it joins
the Congo. While being hospitably entertained by two chiefs, Gampa and
Babnjali, he was visited by a colored sergeant named Malamine, dressed
in uniform, and accompanied by two negro sailors from the Gaboon. Hearing
of Stanley's presence in the country, they visited him, bearing the French
colors, and after a polite greeting presented him with two papers. One
of these was a copy of [De
Brazza concluding a treaty with the natives] the treaty, and the other
a request, signed by De Brazza, to show hospitality to any white person
found within the protectorate.
The disputes occasioned by the treaty with De Brazza were so bitter that the whole country was thrown into distraction, rendering it next to impossible to make any binding settlements with the natives, who now viewed all strangers with suspicion, if not hostility. Stanley therefore concluded to return to England with the fruits of his accomplishments. By establishing so many stations and exploring the Congo, he had opened a route to Central Africa and made it possible to extend a profitable commerce between Europe and the people of the Congo region. Besides this, he discovered Lake Mantumba, a considerable body of water, and explored the river Malundu, known on the maps as Ikelembu, for a distance of one hundred miles. He found it to be a stream about the size of the Arkansas river, and deep enough for any fresh-water craft. His further acquaintance with the country, thus acquired, led him to estimate the population of the Congo basin at forty-nine millions. Throughout this populous district, gems, rubber, ivory, woods of great value, fruits, etc., could be exchanged most profitably for articles of European manufacture, and all the people were anxious for the establishment of trade relations. Stanley's report, on his return to England in 1882, was therefore very flattering, and has led to great rivalry between the English, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Germans, all of which nations have kept agents in the Congo region ever since. This rivalry resulted in the establishment of the Congo Free State, and the country is open to all nations and will be speedily settled up. Already lines of steamers have been established on the river, and a railroad is projected, in fact being built, from Banana Point to Leopoldville, which will furnish transportation to millions of immigrants into Central Africa within the next ten years.
No man has had a more remarkable career, none so distinguished, when we consider the many different flags he fought under and the diversified commands that he held. His life was like a twelfth century romance, reflecting the glamor of the crusading and chivalric ages; he was a Peter the Hermit in pious devotion, a Lancelot in skill, a Barbarossa in impetuous courage. But though he was one of the gods of war, if the metaphor be not too florid, he was in quiet scenes a babe of peace, and thus within him were those warring elements that, like hot and cold currents of air coming together to produce a cyclone, swept him into the most furious actions and left upon his brow the marks of heroic struggle. While nature seems to have made him a great military leader, endowing him with Napoleonic sagacity and almost unexampled courage, yet his heart was so gentle that it might well have served the most pious nun. And with woman's sweetest sympathy there was joined the greatest charity, devotion, loyalty, and all the holy attributes that belong to a truly generous nature. Though he was a very thunderbolt in battle, and was as anxious on the eve of action as a war-horse that is held under curb when he hears the rattle of musketry, yet the martial spirit that moved him to valorous deeds found satisfaction in execution, and was, enigmatic as it may appear, intensely displeased with every effort made to invest him with the mark of honor. He had no thirst for distinction, being as insensible to fame as the most rigid ascetic of olden times, and for wealth he had no desire whatever. Thus, when he was offered the princely salary of $50,000 per annum by the Khedive he refused it, but accepted $10,000, and more than two-thirds of this sum he gave away in charity to the impoverished people of the Soudan, whom he was sent to subdue and govern. And when he returned to England, from China, with a few hundred pounds that he had earned in such hard service, he expended it all in founding a school for poor boys in London. But with all this, he was adapted to command and to lead in battle, as we shall see.
We are not surprised to learn that Gordon was descended from a family
of warriors, of heroes; that his great-grandfather was a Highland soldier
who distinguished himself at Preston-Pans, and that his kinsmen were in
the forefront under the banner of the Pretender. And his grandfather fought
on the bloody field of Culloden, but the service he performed, alas! is
not recorded. From Scotland the grandfather came to America, where he was
soon after killed in an accident ; but he left many sons, some of whom
fought at Minorca, and at the siege of Louisburgh, and others perished
with Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham. The father, Henry William, born 1786,
was a member of the Royal Artillery, and last of his generation. He married
Elizabeth Enderby, of Blackheath, by whom he had five sons and six daughters.
Three of the sons entered the army, the youngest of whom, born in 1830,
was our hero, whose career, I regret, space permits me to only briefly
sketch. [GENERAL CHARLES
In May, following the close of the Crimean war, Gordon was appointed assistant commissioner, and sent to join Major Stanton in Bessarabia, where he helped to mark the new boundaries between Russia, Turkey and Roumania, a service in which he was engaged for eleven months. In April, 1857, he assisted in the delimitation of the boundary of Asia, and was thus for the first time brought into contact with uncivilized tribes, and especially familiarized himself with the Kurds. This experience with Asiatic people aroused in him a desire to visit China, which he had the opportunity of gratifying in July, 1860. On his arrival at Hong-Kong he learned of the capture of the Taku forts, and shortly after of the massacre of several distinguished Englishmen who had first been taken prisoners by the forces under Sankolinsin. This was one of the first inhuman acts committed by the Chinese in their resistance to the English, who had sent a fleet to effect an opening of the ports of China. In consequence of this massacre, the allies marched on Pekin in October and invested the city. In this engagement Gordon took a leading part, and was present at the sacking and burning of the Summer Palace, which followed the capture of the city, October 12th. Thereafter he served as commander of the royal engineers, his duties taking him far into the interior, and to places which white men had never before visited.
The events which led to this uprising against the government are not wholly unlike those which led to the war in the Soudan, as will be hereafter seen. During the Opium war of 1842, when firearms were first introduced into China, a native schoolmaster, named Hung-tsue-schuen, of Taiping, announced himself as called by the gods to overthrow the Manchoo race and to take possession of the Dragon throne. He described many revelations made to him by the spirits, and succeeded in enlisting the active assistance of 20,000 converts to his pretensions, who spread the new dispensation with the greatest persistency and at the expense of the largest self-denial. Growing stronger in numbers, they at length, while ostensibly travelling about the country on a proselyting tour, began breaking idols and effacing Confucian texts from schools and temples. Hung now claimed that he was the Heavenly King, the Emperor of the Great Peace; and having defeated the mandarins in his first collision with them, his forces so greatly augmented that, with the legions at his command, he began a devastation of the country.
Hung's success gave color to his heavenly commissioned pretensions,
while affording at the time a ripe opportunity for piracy and all manner
of lawlessness. He marched at last upon Nanking, which speedily capitulated
to his [Soldiers of
the Imperial Army] enormous army, and in this city he established himself
as the Heavenly King, and there he continued in the usurpation of the sovereign
prerogative until 1860. He had avoided any connection with the war between
England and the government, pretending that he was attempting to establish
the Christian religion in the country, hoping thereby for English and French
interference in his behalf. But when this hoped-for aid was finally denied,
he became insolent, and in 1860 threatened Shanghai and all the consular
The success that had attended their enterprise prompted Ward to name his force the "Ever-Victorious Army," a title which seems to have been fortunately bestowed, since its lists of victories so largely increased that Ward, as generalissimo, continued to act on the aggressive and pursued the rebels until checked and turned back by a new army, under one of the Taiping leaders, that had marched down from the interior to assist in the intended attack on Shanghai. Ward's army was thus forced back into Sung-Kiang, where it was invested by a large force, while another rebel contingent marched on Shanghai, committing every conceivable depredation on the way.
After a short period of inactivity at Soochow, the Heavenly King went to Nanking, from which point, in October, he sent forth four immense armies to attack the Imperialists along the Yangtze river, in a district of some four hundred miles. The ports along this river had been opened up to foreign trade by the Pekin treaty, so that the British Naval Commander, Sir James Hope, ascended the river with his fleet, and, obtaining an interview with the rebel king, obtained from him a promise not to interfere in any way with the trade of that river, and also not to make any demonstration on Shanghai for the period of one year, both of which promises were faithfully fulfilled.
But the year 1861 was full of disasters to the Heavenly King, who in trying to capture Hankow was driven from that metropolis back again into the neighborhood of Shanghai. The rebel king now notified Sir James Hope that upon the expiration of the year's truce he would move upon Shanghai, which, despite the warnings given him in reply, he proceeded to do in January, 1862.
The allied forces -- French and British -- resolved to defend the city and also to form a junction with Ward, who was still at Sung-Kiang, with a force of 1000 well- drilled Chinese soldiers. The result of this alliance was the rout of the rebels again, who were driven to Ning-po. The fighting continued, however, but in September, Ward was killed in a skirmish, and was succeeded in command of the Ever-Victorious Army by Burgevine, who, however, was cashiered for looting the local Chinese treasury of Shanghai, in January following.
Up to this time the two American adventurers had been in practical command of the allies, but with their disappearance the British Government was formally applied to for a new commander. This step was rendered the more necessary by a refusal of the British and French to lend any aid towards a suppression of the rebellion, more than to guard the frontier within thirty miles of Shanghai, where the foreign interest was entitled to protection.
The request for a new commander of the Ever- Victorious Army was conveyed to general Staveley, who referred the matter to the Horse Guards, but in turn it was sent back to him for action. The result was the selection of Gordon, who was soon after given the title of General, and was raised to the post of Mandarin.
Gordon found it necessary to reorganize his army, and after infusing it with some of his own indomitable courage, he led it, though only 1000 strong, in an attack on the rebel stronghold at Fushan, on the Yangtze river. This place he bombarded until it was evacuated, and then without halting he marched on Chanzfu, inland some ten miles, which he relieved, to the intense delight of the citizens, who had been, surrounded for several weeks by the rebels and until starvation was threatening.
Twice the Imperialists were repulsed, but cheered on by their heroic commander, they charged again to the breach and at length were swept through and over the walls by the impetuous ranks that closed up from behind. The city was taken by this irresistible assault, and several thousands of the rebels made prisoners. Among these were seven special offenders whom the Mandarins decreed should suffer the penalty of a slow and torturous death. Gordon had no sympathy with the manner of punishment that the Imperialists, according to all Chinese customs, inflicted upon their enemies, but his influence, great as it was, could not prevent it. The seven unfortunates, who had themselves inflicted a similar torture upon Imperialist prisoners who had fallen into their hands, were taken to a place near Waikong, and were there tied up by their arms and legs and exposed to public view five hours before decapitation. To increase [Preparing a prisoner for torture] the torture, while thus hanging, arrows were forced through their bodies in various places, and a large piece of flesh was cut out of the right arm of each victim, [Gordon fighting his way up the Yangtze river and Grand Canal] so that when they were finally brought before the executioner they were so far exhausted as to be insensible to their last but more merciful punishment.
After the brilliant victory at Taitsan, Gordon's name became a household word in China, and he appeared to them as the matchless, the unconquerable, the Ever-Victorious Englishman. With this reputation he was able at length to force the Mandarins to treat their prisoners of war with more humane consideration, so that tortures like those described were not repeated.
Gordon's next effort was the reduction of the great fortifications around Quinsan and capture of the city, which he accomplished in a three days' attack, in which the enemy lost 5000 men, while his own fatalities numbered only two killed and five drowned. After garrisoning this large city and most valuable strategical point he continued his victorious march towards Soochow, the capital of the empire, and the most important city on the grand canal. In this place was the flower of the Taiping army with a force estimated at 30,000. Although he now had at his command hardly 10,000 men, and the city which he had resolved to invest was the best fortified of all the cities of the kingdom, yet he seemed to have the utmost reliance in his ability to effect its capture. Accordingly, he sent two of his small gunboats up the canal, which with little opposition captured the canal outposts of the place. He then, with his main army, swept around to the eastward and planted his siege guns against the other outposts. Simultaneously with the beginning of a bombardment of the outer posts he made an assault upon Leeku, which soon capitulated, and with its fall followed that of Wauti, which completed the investment of Soochow.
Even though the rebels had beaten back their enemies, they felt that a [After the battle] capitulation of the city was only a question of time, and so general was their fears of disaster attending the result of further defence, that several of the Taiping generals became anxious not only to surrender, but they actually sent a proposal to Gordon to come over to the Imperialists, with several thousands of their men. In order to accomplish this proposed desertion, they requested Gordon to make an attack on the east gate, by which the deserters would be able to separate from the other rebels, and thus escape from the main body without a knowledge of their intention being discovered.
In pursuance of the proposal received, Gordon brought his siege guns again into action on the point indicated, and opened such a tremendous fire that the stockades were soon reduced and many large breaches made in the walls; but an entrance to the city was not yet open, and more desperate fighting would be necessary before reaching the inner walls.
An interview was arranged between several of the rebel generals and Gordon, at which the former promised to abstain from action during the next assault if they were guaranteed immunity from harm by the Imperialists tlpon the city's capitulation. This agreement was received with favor, the more so because Gordon's available force was now only 5500 men, and the inner wall of the city was protected by a deep moat of appalling width. To demonstrate their sincerity, the deserting generals even arranged to surrender one of the gates of the city, but in this promise Gordon did not place the greatest confidence, though by way of enforcing compliance he put on a bold front, and declared that if it were not done he would not be responsible for the conduct of his soldiers.
Being unable to bring Ching and Li to a summary justice, Gordon felt that the only course open to him now was in resigning command of the army, feeling that further service with such barbarians would be the lending of an active support to their inhuman, treacherous and villainous policies.
On the 19th of February, 1864, Gordon quitted Quinsan with a force of nearly ten thousand, and marched against the rebel strongholds in the midinterior, where he must depend for supplies almost wholly on such forage as he could obtain. He had not proceeded many miles towards Yesing before he discovered that the country had been ravaged by the rebels to such an extent that millions of people had been left in a starving state. Indeed at one village he found the inhabitants not only without shelter, but so reduced by lack of food that the survivors were feeding off the bodies of the dead. But the desperate poverty of the people was at least one advantage to Gordon, for it made them anxious to join the Imperialists, both for revenge against the rebels and to relieve their indescribable distress. Thousands accordingly signed their allegiance to the Emperor, and though generally without arms, gave Gordon considerable assistance.
Gordon was badly hurt, but, his restlessness and indomitable courage would not suffer him to keep his couch for more than a week, and with his leg in a swollen, feverish and still bleeding condition, he again headed his little army and at once began driving the rebels from village to village and into their capital strongholds. The country through which his operations had to be made was one vast desolation, with starvation on every side, and cannibalism a necessity at almost every home. To subsist his army was possible only by beating the enemy from place to place and capturing their supplies. He was therefore forced to conduct his movements with the utmost rapidity, and keep constantly on the enemy's flank, or at their heels.
About this time an order was received from the British Crown withdrawing
permission, given two years before, for English officers to take service
under the Chinese Government. Had it come a month earlier the rebels might
have ultimately gained control of the government, but with the fall of
Chanchu-fu there was not enough vitality left for the dying snake of rebellion
to wag its [BEHEADING
THE PRISONERS.] tail any longer. It now fell to pieces with astonishing
rapidity, those who had thus far held out being anxious to surrender in
order to escape the punishment that would follow capture. #ch14b
On the fall of Nanking, which occurred a few days after the dismissal of Gordon's army, the great Hung, once a village school-teacher and later the Heavenly King, the so- called vicegerent of God, the head of the Taiping rebellion, committed suicide by shooting himself through the head. This was his miserable end, but he deserved a more tragic fate. No other human being has been charged with perpetrating such cruelties as he. Prisoners who fell into his hands -- so they were not foreigners -- were put to inconceivably horrible tortures; flaying alive was the more common method he employed, but as the humor possessed him he broke the bones, crushed the flesh, drove spikes into the body, and burned and harrowed his victims. His last act, preceding that of his own taking off, was the hanging of all his wives, nearly one hundred in number. Thus lived and perished the great false prophet of China, so horrifying in his every aspect, so inhuman in character, that the tragedy of his ending had the one good effect of destroying the hope of any succeeding fanatic bound by his abominable creed.
In 1873 the Ashantees became very troublesome and were planning an attack on Cape Coast Castle, and otherwise seriously interfering with British trade on the coast of West Africa. A general request was almost immediately voiced by the press that Gordon should be appointed to take command of the forces it had been decided to send against the Ashantees; but while the popular demand was being urged there was a request for his services in a new field, where energy, adroitness and courage such as his were particularly necessary.
Sir Samuel Baker had returned from the Soudan, as already described, but though partially successful in establishing Egyptian sovereignty in the Soudan, much yet remained to be done, and that too immediately, or else all of Baker's work would be speedily lost, leaving the Soudan in more chaotic condition than before. In 1873 Gordon left Galatz, where he had been serving as vice-counsel of the Danubian Commission, and at the solicitation of Nubar Pasha in the year following entered the Egyptian service. The Khedive proposed to give him $50,000 per annum for his services, but he refused to accept more than $10,000, the sum which he was then receiving from his own government.
He had been in Cairo only a short while before he discovered signs of insincerity in the Khedive's motives, for in writing home he says: "I think I can see the true motive of this expedition, and believe it to be a sham to catch the attention of the English people."
But though Gordon discovered, through the thin veneering of feigned
sympathy for the poor blacks of Africa, a desire to secretly perpetuate
the slave [Gordon's infantry escort]
trade, his own sympathies were so excited that even without the Khedive's
co-operation he still hoped to be able to relieve some of the untold miseries
which followed an open and unrestricted license of slave abduction and
The party reached Suakim February 25th, and a fortnight later they crossed the desert to Berber, where the following assignments were made: Gessi and Anson were first sent to open communication with the natives in the region of the Bahr Gazelle, whose friendship was essential to the purposes in view, and among whom it was desirable to learn the workings of the slave-trade. Kemp and Russell were dispatched to the falls below Gondokoro, to learn if the Nile was navigable at that season around them. The Linants undertook the more responsible duty of visiting the several tribes that are to be met with along the route, with the intent of establishing friendly relations with them. [GORDON REVIEWING HIS TROOPS AT KHARTOUM.] Colonel Long was at once given charge of the district of Gondokoro, which placed him in command of a section of country extending to Lake Victoria. Abou Saood, though known to be very treacherous, was most serviceable to the expedition in affording information about the country and people, which he knew so well, and in being chief interpreter between Gordon and the natives.
The expedition departed from Berber after a short stay and proceeded on to Khartoum, only three days sail distant, where upon his arrival he issued the following proclamation:
"By reason of the authority of the Governor of the Provinces of the Equatorial Lakes, with which His Highness, the Khedive, has invested me, and the irregularities which until now have been committed, it is henceforth decreed:
- That the traffic in ivory is the monopoly of the Government.
- No person may enter these Provinces without a permit from the Governor-General of the Soudan, such permit being available only after it shall have received the indorsement of competent authority at Gondokoro or elsewhere.
- No person may recruit or organize armed bands within these Provinces. [Scene along the Nile]
- The importation of firearms and gunpowder is prohibited.
- Whosoever shall disobey this decree will be punished with all the rigor of the military law.
His interest in these moving scenes of animated nature had heretofore been that of a spectator, exciting in him a more reverential admiration for the works of One who had thus diversified the world with such surprising creations; but his revery and wonder were suddenly disturbed by the unexpected uprising of a hippopotamus, whose great head struck the bottom of a small boat in tow of his vessel, and in which several sheep were being transported to provide meat for the expedition. The force of the impact was such that the boat was lifted several feet sheer of the water, and the sheep were thrown from both sides into the river, no doubt more astonished at the rudeness than was Gordon. It was now time for a demonstration of active interest in the moving scenes of nature, and thus while men were sent at once to recover the sheep, Gordon seized his rifle and opened fire on the beast that had so discomfited his pious reflections.
April 2d the district occupied by the Dinka tribe was reached, and several of these naked wizard worshippers were seen, but it was with the greatest difficulty that a chief could be induced to come on board even to receive a splendid present of beads. Two days later, however, several others were met that made themselves most offensively familiar, their misery no doubt serving to make them less timid.
But despite the danger of his surroundings he set fearlessly to work to win the confidence of the blacks, and by first sending them presents of beads, rings and cloths, and following this by giving supplies of grain to those most sorely pressed by hunger, he soon came to be known as a friend to the oppressed. He had not been many days in Gondokoro before it became too apparent that the Arabs in the place were operating as much in the interest of the Government as in their own. They were detected in stealing cattle from the natives and in kidnapping and making slaves of the owners; and then sharing their booty with officers very close to the Khedive. Directly after making his first discovery of this kind, by accident he gained possession of a letter from some man-eaters of Fashoda, announcing to their correspondent their success in capturing 2000 head of cattle and half that number of negroes, which were then on the way to Gondokoro, en route for Cairo. He waited his opportunity, and on the arrival of these spoils at Gondokoro a few days later, Gordon confiscated the cattle and liberated the slaves. As the latter were now far from their homes, several of them were taken into his own service, and the rest, such as desired to do so, were allowed to depart. This act, which was followed by the imprisonment of the chief slavers, had a great influence among the natives favorable to the purpose of his appointment. Henceforth he was nowhere so secure as when among the tribes, who manifested their affection by touching his hands and even kissing his clothing. He established another station on the Sobat river, where he remained two full months, doing many acts of kindness to the natives, but on returning to Gondokoro he found the garrison in a deplorable state and his officers engaged in an intrigue against [THE FORT AT GONDOKORO.] him. Two of his men, Raouf Bey and Abou Saood, were ready to rise in rebellion, and so insubordinate that he was forced to make an example of the latter by dismissing him and reporting his intriigue to the Khedive.
Getting rid of Abou Saood, Gordon reinstated Raouf Bey, upon his promise of future good behavior, and then went about establishing new stations, which he founded at Sobat, Bohr, Lado, Rageef, Fatiko, Duffili and Makrake, which latter post was on the frontier of the Niam-Niam country. Up to this time he had made his expedition more than self- sustaining through reprisals from the slave dealers and collections of license from the ivory dealers.
Scarcely had he departed, however, when news reached him from Foweira, 100 miles south of Duffili, that Kabba Rega, King of Unyoro, was planning an attack against the ex- slave dealers who were now in the Khedive's service in that section. This report, soon after confirmed, determined Gordon to move against Kabba Rega with the purpose of wresting Unyoro from him and giving it to Rionga, who it will be remembered gave Baker such valuable assistance, and was appointed his Vakeel in 1872. But almost at the moment of making this resolve, Gordon learned that the station of Rageef was in danger from a threatened attack by a chief named Bedden. To save this post, therefore, Gordon made a rapid march to Rageef, and as the most effectual means for breaking the power of this hostile chief he decided to raid his cattle pens. This new plan of warfare was successfully accomplished, and the chief's submission was immediately afterwards secure by a return to him of twenty cows which Gordon had thus captured. The importance of such a move against the Soudanese will more clearly appear when the fact is understood that all the pastoral tribes of Africa set a higher value upon their cattle than upon any of their other possessions; indeed, they regard them with an affection greater than that which they feel for one another. A chief would more resignedly bear the loss of his wife, children, and liberty itself, than the capture of a single head of his herds. This singular estimation and attachment is therefore often taken advantage of by travellers who are brought into hostile contact with the natives, and particularly by Arab slave-dealers, who steal cattle and return them again upon the surrender to them of so many slaves. [The Soudanese's love]
From Rageef Gordon went north to Lado, from which post he proceeded to Kervi with one hundred soldiers, and there founded another station, but remained only a short while when a report of the river's rise reached him and he started again for Duffili. The trip up the river was an extremely slow and laborious one, owing to the fact that heavy boats, called nuggars, had to be used, which were especially built to withstand the charges of hippopotami.
To add to the other difficulties and harassments that afflicted him on the journey to Duffili, Gordon had to contend with treacherous Arabs, who composed his soldiery, and with hostile tribes that constantly hovered near, ready [The station at Duffili] to strike him at every opportunity. In making his camp at night he was forced to guard against assault by setting up posts four feet in height and stringing telegraph wires along the top so as to stop any rush that might be made upon his camp at night. To have entrusted himself to Arab pickets would have been most imprudent, because at no time could they be depended upon, hence he was compelled to practically protect himself by cunning expedients, such as have been described.
Linant, who was a brave fellow, seeing that a much longer continuance of this unequal fighting might result disastrously, requested permission of his chief to recross the river and make reprisal on the enemy by burning their villages and stampeding their cattle. Receiving permission, on the 25th of August Linant took thirty-six soldiers, two officers and three regulars, with which force he entered upon the hazardous enterprise of invading the villages. About midday Gordon saw Linant on a hill beyond the river, being able to distinguish him, through a spy glass, by a red shirt which he wore and which Gordon had lent him. Late in the afternoon firing was heard and several [Offering indignities to the head of Linant] natives were seen running towards the river, while in another place Gordon saw one of his own party gesticulating wildly, evidently in the greatest excitement, and he sent a canoe to bring him across. When the fugitive, which he proved to be, had landed, he explained to Gordon how Linant and his whole party had been killed, he alone escaping, a story which was soon after verified, except that four of the party, instead of only one, had escaped. Partly out of revenge for this loss of his able and courageous Lieutenant, Gordon fired at an old wizard who stood on the apex of a hill exciting his people to another attack, and had the satisfaction of seeing him fall forward on his face, dead. This proved to be a piece of great fortune to Gordon, for, with the death of their supposed invulnerable prophet, the natives fled, leaving the General to continue his journey. But he had not received full satisfaction, and resolved on further punishing the hostiles, which he was soon after able to do through the arrival of the Governor of Fatiko with five hundred men. With this large force Gordon attacked the villages and, drawing the natives out, captured 200 cows and 1500 sheep, besides the chief's daughter. At this unlooked-for attack the enemy were scattered, but they reassembled, and putting the heads of the Linant party, which they had killed, on poles, set them up and offered them many indignities, the head of Linant receiving their principal attention, into the face of which they spat and then cursed it. But they were again dispersed by a second attack, and were seen no more.
Events had been favorable to his purposes thus far in the year, so that
Gordon had time to carry out his resolution to explore Lake Victoria and
plant the Egyptian flag on its shores. Accompanied by Gessi, his Italian
lieutenant, he started with two boats for Magungo and the lakes. Reaching
the shores, he hoisted the flag, and then sent Gessi to circumnavigate
the Victoria, [Tossed to his death]
which he accomplished in nine days, finding it to be 140 miles long and
50 miles wide.
The killing of a villager in the neighborhood, a short while before, in which a wounded elephant pursued and overtook the man and tossed him on high to his death, had served to give the natives great uneasiness, so that the least intimation of the approach of a herd threw them into a state of consternation. A few nights after Gordon had encamped at the place, on his present visit, the alarm was sounded that three elephants were crossing the river, and making their way towards the cut in the bank. The camp was set immediately in a bustle, and if the natives had been depended upon the elephants might have pursued their most riotous intent unmolested; but Gordon's well-armed sentries manifested sufficient courage to stand their ground, and as Gordon rushed out of his tent to the attack a volley was fired at the elephants just as they reached the shore. While none of the animals were killed, they were driven back to the other bank, to the intense relief of the village occupants, and little less satisfaction to Gordon, who remarks: "You see, if they landed and got frightened they would break down my house in a moment, and do a deal of damage." Gordon continued his operations in the region of Lake Victoria, passing from one station that he had established to another, always encouraging the post, until the expiration of his commission, October the 6th, when he returned to Khartoum, thence to Cairo, where he reported to the Khedive, after which he proceeded directly to London.
Gordon had resolved never to re-enter the Egyptian service again to assist in suppressing the slave-trade, unless he was given command over all the Soudan, as his previous experience had shown the futility of all his efforts when his power extended over only a limited district, outside of which the slave trade was permitted to flourish without restriction. In response to the Khedive's invitation, Gordon proceeded to Cairo in February, 1877, and was not only cordially received, but to secure his services again the Khedive granted his every request. By the desire of Gordon, therefore, Ismail Pasha Yacoub was removed from the office of Governor-General of the Soudan, and this office was conferred upon Gordon, who was thus placed in absolute command of a district which was 1640 miles long and 700 miles wide. He was provided with three deputies, one of whom should act as governor of the western Soudan, another for Dafour, and the third should have charge of the Red Sea littoral; thus dividing the Soudan proper into three districts, in all of which Gordon should establish a government with the special view of suppressing slavery.
In the first battle that followed the Egyptian troops were badly beaten, but in the spoils that were taken King John refused to divide with the prince, who deserted with his army, ostensibly to the Egyptians, though taking no active part, but holding himself in readiness to take advantage of either. The Abyssinians were now beaten in turn, and the triangular dispute became so ominous of evil to his rule, that John sent an ambassador to Cairo to treat with the Khedive. But the Egyptian ruler refused to receive him, and when he appeared in the streets the populace pelted him with stones.
This was the chaotic condition of affairs when Gordon was sent to Magdala, as the Khedive's representative, to treat with King John. In the middle of March he reached Masawa by way of the sea route, and from there proceeded to Keren, which was the capital of Bogos, by camel. The prince, learning his mission, and hoping to secure the favor of Gordon in an adjudication -- which it virtually was -- of the difficulty, sent out 200 cavalry to receive him, by which he was conveyed in state to the city. Here he was treated with such genuflexion as begat his contempt, for he was not a man to court fawning favors. As he came into Keren a band of musicians met him, and ten officers were specially ordered to assist him in dismounting. An escort of 200 infantry and 60 cavalry was also provided to constantly attend him, and altogether such distinguished consideration was shown him that he writes: "I can truly say no man has ever been so forced into a high position as I have. How many I know to whom this incense would be the breath of their nostrils! To me it is irksome beyond measure. Eight or ten men to help me off my camel, as if I were an invalid! If I walk, everyone dismounts and walks also; so, furious at such obsequiousness, I get on again."
Gordon arrived at Khartoum on the 3d of May, and two days later was installed as Governor-General before a very large assembly, to whom he made no other speech than a declaration that, "With the help of God, I will hold the balance level." This epigrammatic expression of purpose greatly delighted the oppressed people, whose poverty so wrought upon his sympathy that he distributed no less than $5000 out of his own purse among the natives.
The Khedive resolved that Gordon should live in state while representing the Egyptian Government, and therefore had provided him with a very large mansion and an attendance of two hundred servants and orderlies. Besides this it formulated a code of etiquette that the people must conform to when in his presence, all of which was intensely disagreeable to his democratic disposition. This courtly deference had the effect of creating burning jealousies which greatly increased the natural difficulties of his surroundings. These were of a most discouraging nature and might well oppress him with grave fears, and doubts. All the officers of the district had been purchasable by the slave dealers, and this custom of bribery had not only to be abolished, but the venials must be punished. He had also to disband 6000 Bashi-Bazouks who composed the frontier guard, and who were encouraging the slave trade instead of using any effort to suppress it. Besides these herculean tasks he must subdue the vast district of the Bahr Gazelle, which was at the time under the sway of the slave traders. Could he do it?
Gordon began his great work by first bringing Khartoum itself under his rule. By his generosity he had won the hearts of the natives, and he now [Gordon seeking a friendship with the natives] made himself popular with the people of the place by devising a means for supplying the town with a rude kind of water-works which gave the citizens an abundant supply of pure water, and in cleaning the place of its long accumulated filth that had made it a very court of death. Thus, under his orders Khartoum had been quickly transformed from a city of evil and disease to a place both orderly and healthy, the change being so grateful that the people hailed him as a benefactor.
There was no morale, no discipline, no fighting qualities, and the officers were no better than the troops. With these Gordon could do little more than use them as a show, and even the spectacle of a horde of such men could inspire little terror.
Everything therefore depended upon his own personal resources, but these fortunately he possessed to a phenomenal extent. He not only put spies into the camps of his enemies, but set some of his faithful ones to scatter the seeds of discontent among them. By these means he stirred up a hostility between Haroun, Suleiman and Sebehr, until they came to look upon one another with suspicion, and were ready to aid in an attack against each other. This was his only course to prevent his own annihilation, besides, it aided immeasurably in the accomplishment of his purpose. [Treating with the Leopards for unconditional surrender]
While thus rapidly marching from place to place, giving relief to beleaguered garrisons and exciting the active sympathy of various tribes, upon which source he was compelled to rely for recruits, Gordon became a witness to many acts of what may be denominated refined cruelty. The whole country was blighted by plunderers, who not only kidnapped the natives but pillaged granaries and drove off cattle, until village after village was seen in which the inhabitants were starving to death, every article of food having been stolen from them.
Besides these sights of distressing poverty there were others almost daily witnessed that excited no less compassion. Gangs of slaves, shackled in galling yokes, were common spectacles. These were promptly set at liberty, and their masters made prisoners, but there were dying slaves by the wayside, women and children who, being exhausted with hunger, thirst and feebleness, were ruthlessly brained by their inhuman drivers to prevent them from falling into other no less rapacious and cruel hands.
This much accomplished, which he hardly expected could be permanent, Gordon returned again to Khartoum, from which place he was suddenly summoned [MURDERING SLAVES THAT BECOME EXHAUSTED] to Cairo by the Khedive to reform the Egyptian finances, which were now in a deplorable state. Gordon reached Cairo in March and was received with royal cordiality, [Bringing in slaves to the Shaka market] being taken immediately to the palace, and at a dinner which followed directly upon his arrival he was placed on the right hand of the Khedive. The real object of his summons to court, which he very soon learned, was to make him a figure-head in an inquiry into the Khedive's finances, and which he resented as an imputation upon his honor. He declared to the Khedive that if he was placed at the head of a commission of inquiry he would probe to the bottom and expose, every misappropriation. This honest asseveration so discomfited the Khedive that without further ado he sent Gordon again to Abyssinia to complete the treaties that had been partially made between King John, Menelek and Walad el Michael, the Prince of Bogos, on his previous visit. He finally arranged these complications, and returned again to Khartoum, disregarding another summons to repair to Cairo to undergo an examination of the affairs in the Soudan before the Council of Ministers.
He easily beat Suleiman, and following him up several other severe battles were fought with equally fortunate results to Gessi, until the country about Dem Idris was cleared of the slavers and 10,000 slaves liberated.
Strange as it appears, nevertheless when Gessi had performed such signal services towards suppressing the slave trade in the Egyptian Soudan, and had overcome the son of the arch slave dealer of that region, the Khedive insisted on Gordon appointing Zebehr, the father of Suleiman, to the governorship of Dafour. This act confirmed Gordon in his previous intention of relinquishing his office, as it proved conclusively the real desire of the Khedive to perpetuate the curse of [TRACK OF THE SLAVES] slavery. But Gessi was now calling on him for aid, so at the risk of offending the Khedive, Gordon not only refused to make the appointment requested but left Khartoum for Shaka, where the slavers had again established themselves, with the purpose of breaking up the cursed traffic there a second time. But only a day before reaching Shaka he received news from Gessi, who had attacked Suleiman at a place named in honor of the slaver, Dem Suleiman, where he beat him so badly that all the booty of the place fell into his hands, and Suleiman himself narrowly escaped capture.
Suleiman now had the effrontery to send emissaries to Gordon, but instead of these accomplishing their object they were court-martialed and shot, though one of them was Zebehr's chief secretary. Soon after this Gordon and Gessi met, and for the latter's splendid services Gordon decorated him as Pasha, and bestowed upon him the honorarium of $10,000. But Gessi remained idle scarcely a day, for increasing his force again to 300 regulars he set out to renew the pursuit of Suleiman, whom he at length found in a village with 700 men.
Gessi boldly sent him a demand for immediate surrender, which was promptly [RETURN OF GESSI AFTER THE DEATH OF SULEIMAN.] complied with, and Suleiman and ten of his officers were sent as prisoners to Gordon, who quickly disposed of them by a court-martial that ordered them to be shot. It was less than two months after this that Haroun was attacked by Gessi at Dafour and killed, so that with the death of these two slavers and pretenders there was peace in the Soudan. Tewfik Pasha was now appointed to the Khedival dignity of the Soudan, and Gordon surrendered his office of Governor-General and returned to England.
In May, 1881, there was a shaking up of British officers in India. Lord Lytton had resigned the vice-regal rule, and was succeeded by Lord Ripon, who desired Gordon to accept a private secretaryship, which office was somewhat analogous to that of Prime Minister. Gordon, strange to say, accepted this subordinate position, but in the belief that the duties were so little exacting as to afford him the means for a longed-for rest. He soon discovered his error, however, and resigned while on the way to India, but went to China instead, at the invitation of Mr. Hart, Chinese Commissioner of Customs at Shanghai. While en route, in the Indian Ocean, the steamer on which he had taken passage encountered a terrific storm and several great waterspouts, which came so near wrecking the vessel that Gordon always regarded the escape as a special interposition of Providence. A war was threatening between China and Russia, during the time of his visit, which Gordon very largely assisted in preventing by his opportune counsel with Li, the Governor-General of the Taiping rebellion period, and now Prime Minister.
Gordon was several months in China, returning to England late in the winter, and was almost at once invited to the Belgian Court to discuss a projected international expedition to the Congo, to which Stanley was also invited; and here it was that the two great explorers and administrators first met. Stanley, it will be remembered, was placed permanently at the head of this [Waterspouts in the Indian Ocean] company [Among the Boers in South Africa], so that Gordon sailed for the island of Mauritius, to repose for a time in that most paradisiacal resort. On his way, and while passing through Suez, he visited the tomb of his great lieutenant, Gessi, who had died in the French hospital at Suez, Apri1 30th, from protracted sufferings brought on in his campaigns against Suleiman. Arriving at Mauritius without special incident, he remained there, experiencing a delightful rest for a period of ten months, when he was recalled to England, made a Major- General, and sent to the Cape to look after affairs there, that were in an unsettled state because of an uprising of the Boers. He arrived at Cape Town in due time, and was installed as Provisional Governor of the Colonial Government, May 18th,1882. Here he remained until October 5th following, in the mean time having restored the district to peace, and secured the lasting friendship of the people whom the Home Government had expected him to fight.
After several months thus spent in Palestine he returned to England and began to labor among the poor in London, even opening a school at Gravesend and taking the place of teacher to hundreds of children who had never attended school. While thus engaged he was for a second time summoned to the Belgian Court of Leopold II., and asked to take charge of the "International African Society," and to proceed to the Congo with the view of assisting in suppressing the slave trade in that district.
In response to this appeal of Leopold, he asked a leave of absence from his Government, without forfeiting his commission as Major-General, and this being granted, he again set sail for the Dark Continent. But at this very moment a cry went up for his presence again in the Soudan, in which the English Government joined, and instead of proceeding to the Congo, he went again to Cairo to resume the Governor-Generalship of the Soudan.
Mahomet Ahmed, also written Achmet, was a native of the province of Dongola, but laid no claim to being of royal blood. On the other hand he made a pretence of being a Christ, if not Jesus himself, and to carry out the pretension more fully, he said his father was like that of Christ, a carpenter. He himself was apprenticed to an uncle whose trade was that of a boatman, but he ran away from that service, and became the disciple of a faki (head dervish) who lived near Khartoum. As the result of a close study of religion, he was himself made a faki, and in 1870 took up his residence on the island of Abba, near Kana, on the White Nile. He speedily began to acquire a reputation for great devoutness, and so became wealthy, gathered disciples, and married freely, selecting wives from the families of the most influential sheiks of the vicinity. In the earlier part of 1881, Gordon having gone, he began to assert the claim that he was "the Mahdi" -- the long expected redeemer of Islam whom Mahomet had foretold - and claiming a divine commission to reform Islam, and to establish a universal equality, a universal law, a universal religion, and a community of goods. Setting himself to gather about him a following, he addressed appeals to his brother fakis, one of whom informed the Government of his schemes and pretensions, adding the belief that [Meeting of Emin Pasha, and Mr. Stanley. -- (see page 476)] he was a madman. Raouf Pasha, the then Governor of the Soudan, proceeded to take cognizance of him as the result of this information; and it is at this stage of his career that the Mahdi steps out into the arena of contemporary history. Colonel Stewart thus characterizes him: "In person the Mahdi is tall and slim, with a black beard and a light brown complexion. Like most Dongolawis [A Dongolawis Woman] he reads and writes with difficulty. Judging from his conduct of affairs and policy, I should say he has considerable natural ability. The manner in which he has managed to merge together the usually discordant tribes denotes great tact. He probably had been preparing the movement for some time." Colonel Stewart, in another portion of his report, gives some indication of the reason why a religious fanatic finds so readily a following in the Soudan. "The Arabs and Dongolawis," he writes -- "negroes, and others settled within the Arab (the northern) zone of the Soudan -- are all Mohammedans of the Maliki school. This religion, however, owing to the prevailing ignorance of the people, partakes mostly of an emotional and superstitious nature. Hence the enormous influence of the fakis or spiritual leaders, who are credited with a supernatural power, and are almost more venerated than the prophet." Another cause for the strength of the Mahdi's following seems to have been that the great slave owners -- the sheiks and chiefs who had flourished on their nefarious practices under Zebehr, and whom all the efforts of Baker and Gordon had not put down -- threw in their lot eagerly with any enterprise that struck at the Egyptian rule, under which a term had been definitely fixed for the emancipation of the slaves.
The Mahdi easily repulsed the detachment Raouf Pasha sent out to bring him in, and at the end of 1881, defeated in the most summary style a stronger force under Rashid Bey that had been dispatched to drive him out of Gebel Gadir. But these were petty successes compared with the great victory he gained in June, 1882, over the main Egyptian army of the Soudan, which Abdul Kadir, who had superseded Raouf Pasha, had gathered for the purpose of crushing him, and the command of which had been entrusted to Yussuf Pasha. Very few of the Egyptian soldiers escaped, and all their commanders were slain. Thus early did the Arab fanaticism display itself. The attack at Gebel Geon was led by the dervishes, headed by an enthusiast of exceptional dash and fury, who was known as "The Dervish," and of whose conduct Colonel Stewart reported, "I hear that the desperate and fearless way in which he rushes on a square armed with Remingtons is something marvellous."
After his victory at Gebel Geon the Mahdi pursued the offensive. He overran the open country unchecked, but failed to achieve any success against places that had been fortified, even though the fortifications were feeble. In assailing El Obeid he met with a severe repulse, losing 6000 of his warriors in one assault alone. During the months of the campaign which the battle of Tel-el-Kebir ended so summarily, there were discrepant rumors concerning affairs in the Soudan. Now there were reports of the dispersal of the Mahdi's bands; reports, again, of their threatening Khartoum and the towns on the White Nile. Then, later, in the winter season of 1882-3, came definite tidings of the surrender to the Mahdi of the town of El Obeid, after the garrison had endured desperate straits. The surrender, however, once consummated, most of the garrison, with the Commandant Iskander Bey at their head, took service under their conqueror. With the proverbial zeal of the renegade, Iskander Bey became the medium for endeavoring to gain over officers in the Egyptian army in which he had himself held a commission. After the fall of El Obeid the Mahdi remained himself inside the Kordofan Province, but his emissaries were active in other parts of the Soudan.
"We opened a tremendous fusillade from our front face, apparently without effect, for still they came on gallantly, but at 500 yards they began to fall fast. Still the chiefs led on their men with all the reckless and romantic chivalry of the Saracen knights. One by one they fell, dismounted, two or three to rise again and dart forward on foot, waving their standards, only to drop and rise no more. After half an hour's continuous rattle of musketry, seeing their chiefs fallen and their banners in the dust, the advancing hordes wavered, and were greeted with a tremendous yell from our troops, who had stood firmly and unflinchingly, and I may say as steadily as any troops could. Now the enemy moved off to the right among the long grass, and our front was cleared. Shells burst among them. Soon all were out of sight, except a few who walked about unconcernedly, and actually singly came up, after the rest had retreated, to within a few yards, brandishing their spears in defiance. One after another those fanatics were shot down. …Nordenfeldts and Remingtons are no respecters of creeds or fanatical idiosyncrasies. Sheik after sheik had gone down with his banner, although the Mahdi had assured each that he was invulnerable, and their faithful but misguided followers had fallen in circles around the chiefs they blindly followed. Twelve of the most prominent leaders -- nine from Samoar and three from Kordofan -- had left their bones to whiten on the field amidst three hundred of their followers.
In pursuance of orders, on September 9th Hicks left El Duem for El Obeid, the Mahdi's strongest position, and which was fully two hundred and thirty miles from the nearest Egyptian post, and thus in the very heart of the enemy's country. Hicks asked for re-enforcements, but these could not be furnished, so, with his feeble, undrilled, cowardly tag-rags, he had to face the dread alternative of disobeying orders and being in disgrace, or probable annihilation. Brave man as he was, he chose the latter. The last information that came back from the doomed column was a message sent by O'Donovan, the London Times' correspondent, who dispatched the following from a point forty-five miles south-west of EI Duem:
"We are running a terrible risk in abandoning our communications and marching two hundred and thirty miles into an unknown country. But we have burnt our ships. The enemy is still retiring, and sweeping the country bare of cattle. The water supply is the cause of intense anxiety. The camels are dropping." And so ended O'Donovan's work in the profession which he adorned; so closed too, the scanty record of this fateful advance!
Authentic details may never be forthcoming of the stupendous catastrophe which befell Hicks's column; and a lurid cloud of mystery may hang over the last scenes for all time. No European present in the fighting that wrought its annihilation is known to have survived.
The news of the fate of Hicks's army reached England November 20th, and caused a profound sensation. Thus far the British Government had refused to take any interest in the efforts of the Egyptian Government to subjugate the Mahdi, and now Lord Granville insisted on an abandonment of the Egyptian Soudan. But how could this be done? The Egyptian population in that district numbered fully 30,000, while a large number of British subjects were engaged in trade with the people of that region, and not a few held their residences in Khartoum. Must these be abandoned to the poor mercy of the Mahdi? Mr. Gladstone measured the situation fully, and his influence was in favor of the adoption of measures for relieving the garrisons. More than this, his acute discernment and high sense of justice led to energetic action to this [Hicks Pasha's Tag- rags] end, for on January 19th, 1884, General Gordon left England for the Soudan, having accepted the mission to report on the military situation there, to provide in the best manner for the safety of the European population of Khartoum, and of the Egyptian garrisons throughout the country, as well as for the evacuation of the Soudan, with the exception of the seaboard."
Mr. Gladstone afterwards, in the House of Commons, on the evening of February 12th, defined more closely the duty which Gordon had undertaken. "General Gordon went," said the Premier, "not for the purpose of reconquering the Soudan, or to persuade the chiefs of the Soudan -- the sultans at the head of their troops -- to submit themselves to the Egyptian Government. He [Hicks Pasha's Last Rally] went for no such purpose as that. He went for the double purpose of evacuating the country, by extricating the Egyptian garrisons and re-constituting it -- by giving back to these sultans their ancestral powers, withdrawn or suspended during the period of Egyptian occupation. General Gordon has in view the withdrawal from the country of no less than 29,000 persons under military service in Egypt, and the House will see how vast was the trust which was placed in the hands of this remarkable person. We cannot exaggerate the importance we attach to his mission. We are unwilling -- I may say we were resolved to do nothing which should interfere with the pacific scheme; a scheme, be it remembered, absolutely the most politic and which promised a satisfactory solution of the Soudanese difficulty, by at once extricating the garrisons and reconstructing the country upon its old basis of local privileges."
These opinions were put in the form of a letter of instructions, issued by Lord Granville, under the seal of the British Government, and placed in Gordon's hands the day previous to his departure.
Leaving Cairo, Gordon was convoyed by General Graham as far as Assouan.
Thence Gordon travelled with Colonel Stewart across the Nubian desert,
on camel-back, a distance of two hundred and forty miles, to Abou Hamed,
and thence to Berber. While making this journey, news of another dreadful
massacre reached the Home Government. On February 4th, General Baker's
Egyptian force, while marching towards Tokar to relieve the garrison of
that place, was attacked by a detachment of Osman Digna's Arab levies,
which resulted in a loss of two-thirds of Baker's force, and a complete
dispersion of the balance, so that reorganization was impossible. This
news caused Gordon great uneasiness, and gave the British Government equal
concern, as little doubt was now felt that Khartoum would fall into the
hands of the Mahdi in a very short while, unless something could be done
to arouse the people in the district to make a resistance to the false
prophet. To this end, before leaving Berber, Gordon confirmed Hussein Bey
Halifa Governor of the province, and then sent forward orders to Khartoum
removing Hussein Pasha from the Vice-Governor Generalship, and appointed
Colonel de Coetlogen in his stead. He also sent a proclamation, and had
it posted all over the city, proclaiming the Mahdi Sultan of Kordofan,
remitting one-half the taxes, and permitting [Osman
Digna's attack at Tokar] the trade in slaves to be carried on. This
action, though opposed by his nature, as perpetrating a great wrong that
he had before tried so hard to suppress, was the only course left open
to Gordon; for the power of the Mahdi was now grown so great that it was
practically irresistible with the force available, while the people would
join in any measure calculated to fully restore their immemorial slave-trading
privileges. Gordon's purpose, therefore, was to placate both the Mahdi
and the people, hoping thereby to save the garrisons [Victims
of the slave-trading privileges] from massacre, and give a truce to
hostilities until the evacuation of the Soudan could be accomplished.
He had so but begun the day's work. From the council chamber he hurried to the hospital, thence to inspect the arsenal. Then he darted to the heart of the misery of the prison. In that loathsome den two hundred wretched beings were rotting in their chains. Young and old, condemned and untried, the proved innocent and the arrested on suspicion, he found all clotted together in one mass of common suffering. With wrathful disgust Gordon set about the summary work of liberation. Before night came the chains had fallen from off scores of the miserables, and the beneficent labor was being steadily pursued. Ere this busy day closed, Gordon's energy had left him hardly anything to do inside of Khartoum. He had arranged that the Soudanese soldiers were to stay in their native land, and had appointed to the command of them a veteran negro officer who had distinguished himself in Mexico under Bazaine. He had settled that the Egyptian soldiers were to be sent across the river to Am Durman, where was Hicks's camp before he started on his ill-fated march, and that they and their families were to be sent down the river in detachments, and so also were to go the European civilians who cared to leave.
But when Gordon's hopes were brightest the most distressing news came from Cairo, which pictured the situation as being suddenly changed to one of a serious and alarming character. The Mahdi was again in the saddle, and with a force of 300,000 dervishes, as his soldiers were called, was said to be marching towards Cairo, with an avowed purpose of sweeping the hateful Turk and Infidel from off the earth. Berber was besieged, and the enemy was investing El Fasher, Dawa, Masteri, Foga, while Om Shanga and Thashi had already surrendered.
Telegraph communication being cut off, Gordon sent Colonel Stewart up the Nile to ascertain the feeling of the northern tribes. All were friendly as far as Webel Aul, but beyond that point the people were very hostile. The Khedive was filled with alarm for Gordon's safety, but refused to send Zebehr Pasha to his aid, though message after message besought him to do so. Every day the situation became more critical. Within Khartoum, however, there was peace, and by the issuance of paper money, to relieve the stringency and poverty produced by the collection of exorbitant taxes, trade had revived and the daily market scene was a lively one. This fortunate turn in local affairs had served to endear Gordon to the citizens and they were both loyal and grateful. But beyond the Khartoum district war was sounding its wildest alarms. From the west, north and south hostile tribes were reported as advancing on the city, and the Mahdi had declared his intention of not only capturing the place but also of killing Gordon. Appeals to England for help met with no response, while none of the English forces within the Egyptian Soudan were available.
In the midst of these anxieties Gordon sallied out with as large a force as he could muster, 3000 men, to attack the rebels at Halfiyeh, but owing to the treachery of two of his Arab officers, who fired on their own gunners and then [The battle at Halfiyeh] sounded the retreat, the fight was little more than a massacre of Gordon's men. The two treacherous officers were apprehended, and after a full hearing, which clearly established their guilt, they were shot. This prompt and vigorous action served greatly to diminish the effects of the defeat, as it gave renewed confidence to both the Egyptians and Bashi-Bazouks, who saw in Gordon a leader who, while generally pacific, sympathetic and merciful, yet in extremity was courageous and always hopeful.
The reverse met with at the hands of the enemy at Halfiyeh, though a stunning blow, was in a sense helpful to Gordon, as it brought to his aid the merchant Arabs of Khartoum, who contributed in a most substantial manner to the defence of the town, which was now about to be beleaguered. Gordon's treasury was empty and his soldiers clamorous for pay, which distressful and threatening condition was to a great extent relieved by an Arab who loaned him $5000; and by another who raised and equipped a force of 200 blacks, which he placed at Gordon's service.
Up to this time Gordon had been sending people away from Khartoum in anticipation of a siege, and continued so doing until his armed steamers had to make an almost uninterrupted engagement with the rebels who now swarmed both banks of the river. At last all communication was cut off and the Mahdi encamped his great army opposite the town, where he threw up breastworks and planted three large Krupp guns with which to bombard the city. The siege was begun.
A complete investment of Khartoum was made early in July, and for a period of six months following there was the excitement, fear and horror that attends attack, charge, sortie and vigorous defence. Gordon was now like the caged lion, which, though powerful of limb, still finds the bars of his prison too strong to be overcome. A thousand obstacles confronted him. Provisions were [Khartoum during the siege] ample for the time being, but his force was relatively small in number, money had almost ceased to circulate, because the paper currency which he had issued to bridge a temporary stringency had depreciated to the point of worthlessness, but above all were the defects found in his army. The men were practically undisciplined, poorly armed, and worse than this, were treacherous. Desertion was punished by death, and yet every day one or more of his soldiers passed the guards and made their way to the enemy, carrying news of his condition and serving to give rise to a spirit of insubordination.
Against the tremendous odds that confronted him, Gordon bore up so bravely that his presence gave encouragement in quarters even where hope had faded. Almost day and night he was with his men, taking scarcely any rest whatever, leading in every defence and being seemingly at every point where he was most needed. The rebels, finding that the place was so well defended, and that their assaults were invariably disastrous -- more than 40,000 dervishes having fallen before the trenches -- at length resolved to give over these tactics and settled down to a reduction of the town by starvation. About a dozen shots were fired each day into the city from the rebel cannons, but they did little execution, and were probably intended only to keep Gordon apprised of the enemy's continued presence and determination. [Headquarters of the Mahdi during the siege]
While this siege was going on, the Parliament of Great Britain was engaged in discussing the importance of the Soudan with an indifference to Gordon's fate that fairly dumbfounds the world.
The particulars of Gordon's death have never been authenticated; a hundred stories have been told, but the carnival of massacre that followed simultaneously with the assassination threw every spectator into a chaos of horror, and blinded the mind's eye by a confusion of fear that made description impossible. It is told that Gordon had one faithful attendant: a poor, half-naked black, who was armed with a matchet, or broad-bladed sword, with which he tried to defend his master, but was bayoneted by two of Gordon's soldiers. It may be so; but frightful enough is it to know that Gordon died at the hands of those who should have been his friends -- his soldiers and his country.
It is not necessary, nor relevant, to describe the war which followed Gordon's death, it being only important in this connection to state the fact, that very late in the fall of 1884 English sympathy was excited on behalf of Gordon, and the government finally sent an army under Charles Wilson ostensibly to his relief. In fact, however, the army was expected to arrest the Mahdi's movements toward Cairo, and to give protection to British subjects in the Soudan, rather than to rescue Gordon. This intention is best evidenced by the manouvres in which the army indulged so long before placing gunboats and transports on the Nile to relieve Khartoum, the investment of which had been known to Lord Granville for several months. But at last -- I say "at last," because too late, -- the English fleet reached Khartoum and engaged the rebels, but not till January 28th, or two days after the fall of the city, and the death of our hero, when by a vigorous shelling the rebels were put to rout and the city recaptured. The army was now put to some real service and did great execution in every battle that followed; many thousand dervishes being killed and the Madhi's power overthrown completely in the Soudan, so that his field of operations was transferred to the Equatorial Province, where he still holds his spiritual and militant supremacy. Thus did Gordon's services in the Egyptian Soudan end finally, though incidentally, in the accomplishment of the purpose for which he was sent there by England and the Khedive.
The real name of Emin Pasha is Eduard Schnitzer, and his birthplace is Oppeln, which is a city of Prussian Silesia. Eduard lost his father at a youthful age, but he was left a considerable patrimony, which enabled him to attend the universities of Berlin, Breslau, Koenigsberg, Vienna and Paris. He developed a zeal for the natural sciences, and was especially interested in a study of ornithology, in which he exhibited marked proficiency. In the year 1864 he completed a course of medicine at the Koenigsberg Institute and received his degrees, removing to Berlin to enter upon the practice of his chosen profession. His success, however, was so far from satisfactory that he concluded to visit Constantinople with the hope of mending his fortune, but while there he discovered an advantageous opening at a Turkisk port in Albania, at which he located and practised with much success for four years.
Though Dr. Schnitzer found his profession quite profitable as a local physician in Albania, he had a longing for the military, so that he seized the opportunity of joining an expedition to Syria and Arabia, in which he held the post of physician. From 1871-74 he was the constant companion of Ismail Pasha in Trapezund, Erzeroum, Constantinople, and in Ianina of Epirus, where Ismail died. After this event, which considerably changed his fortunes, Dr. Schnitzer returned to Germany, in 1875, but he again disappeared, and kept himself so well in seclusion that his friends knew nothing of him until he came into notoriety as Emin Bey.
Dr. Schnitzer's travels had been so extensive, and his acquisition of languages so great that he became a master of French, English, Italian, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and several Slavonian idioms, besides acquiring occidental customs and manners that entirely destroyed every appearance of his Germanic descent.
It seems, from circumstances since made public, that Gordon almost immediately formed the highest opinion of Emin's abilities both as a physician and administrator, for the latter part of 1876 Gordon sent him on a most important mission to Uganda, with instructions to bring back three hundred men who had gone, contrary to Gordon's orders, to the capital of Uganda with the intention of annexing the country to Egypt. It was known that the appearance and purpose of this force would be considered as an invasion, and would most likely create an intensely hostile feeling, which it was particularly desirable to avoid. Emin so well acquitted himself, however, on this delicate mission, that the troops were brought back, and by a gift of many presents and kindly assurances, M'tesa, King of Uganda, was brought into a friendly relationship with Emin, besides giving promises of aid, in case of necessity, to the Egyptian contingent.
Gordon was so pleased with the success of Emin's mission, that as a
mark of [A UGANDA VILLAGE.]
his appreciation he made Emin surgeon-general of the Equatorial Province,
with additional powers of sub- governor. Soon after he sent the doctor
to another enterprise of still greater importance, in which a yet more
diplomatic adroitness had to be practised, for Gordon himself hardly expected
the mission to be successful.
When Emin took charge of the administration of the Provinces, he was in the unenviable, indeed dangerous, position of one who finds himself at the head of a friendly body surrounded by a powerful and hostile force. The only district in peace was a narrow strip along the Nile from Lado to Albert Lake and in a small country east of the Nile, occupied by the Shulis tribe. But nowise discouraged, Emin laid aside all fear, if indeed he ever experienced the meaning of such a word, and set about the work of extending his authority and promoting peace. So resolutely did he apply himself that by 1880 most of the stations founded by Gordon, some forty in number, had been rebuilt, and a weekly post between them established, which was perfectly secure. In short, peace settled down upon the land with the quiet of a brooding dove, for even the slave dealers had been effectually rooted out. [EMIN HAILED BY UNYORO WARRIORS.] Besides this beneficent work, the Equatorial Provinces, which in 1878 showed a deficit of nearly $200,000 per annum, had not only become self- sustaining, but actually exhibited a surplus of $40,000. This result was due to well matured consideration of the people's need, and a rigid application of economy, combined with well directed labor. He had divided the whole province into districts, in each of which was a military station where the tax of grain and cattle was collected from the natives. His own capital was fixed at Lado, ten miles north of Gondokoro, which he greatly improved and made of it a well built town, all the government buildings and the mosque being of brick and roofed with corrugated iron, though the other buildings were chiefly grass huts, such as are common among most of the African tribes.
The streets are wide and considerable space is left between the houses and the fortifications, while beyond these are large gardens. The fortifications are pierced by three gates, at which sentries are kept posted day and night, the gates being opened from 6 A.M. to 8 P. M. Here the best order prevails, not only among the garrison but among the people as well; for while the soldiers are made to drill regularly, the inhabitants are required to observe rules of cleanliness, not only in their own households, but to sweep the streets also, while the curfew is rung at 8 P.M as a protection against fire, the many grass houses of the place rendering this olden time precaution necessary.
Emin's soldiers are, or were, nearly all Makraka men, who are distinguished for their bravery no less than for their physical perfection, which is remarkabl e. They are armed with Remington rifles and wear a uniform composed [Station of Lado, capital of the equatorial provinces.] of a white tunic and trousers, boots, fez, and a belt of leopard skin which serves to hold cartridges, sword, bayonet and knife.
Each village is also required to support a police force, as conservators of the public peace and who attend to collecting the government tax. These police, who act also the part of dragomen, attend, on application, to the engagement of porters when work is required about the station. They are so nearly naked as to have no uniform, but are armed with double-barrelled shot-guns, which they have learned to use with no small skill, and are as brave as they are savage appearing.
The strongest stations in Emin's province are those at Lado, Kirri, and Duffili, but the most interesting one is Wadelai, from the fact that it was at this place Emin made his last residence, and where he was so long invested, as will be described hereafter.
Africa is the home of perhaps a hundred distinct tribes, but along the Nile, between Khartoum and the great lakes, are to be found the most diverse characteristics, ranging from the perfectly naked, shiftless, cannibal Niam- Niams, to the fairly well governed, clothed and housed Wagandas who, though occupying the most central kingdom, are undoubtedly the foremost people of the so-called dark regions of Africa.
All the various tribes are communistic and live in villages composed most commonly of sticks, or poles bent in the shape of a domed hut, and thatched with grass. These habitations are variously shaped, however, even while retaining the general dome design, for some terminate in a sharp apex, others are cylindrical and pointed, many are oblong, with high and wide doors, and yet others with entrance so small as to admit a person only when crawling on his hands and knees. Not a few are raised on posts several feet from the ground so as to afford shade for a large group of villagers sitting underneath; while, to cap the climax of human eccentricity in the construction of dwellings, a few have their homes in caves excavated in the hill-sides.[ STATION AT KIRRI]
Most of the tribes along the Nile are pastoral, and raise immense herds of cattle which they never, or very rarely kill for meat, but make the best uses of milk, by drinking it pure, or making butter, cheese, curds, etc. Though a great quantity of butter is made, it is never eaten, being used exclusively for greasing the hair and body, for an African without grease is like an American belle without jewelry. Some of the tribes pay considerable attention to raising grain, of which doorah, a sorghum maize, is the principal product. Though not worried by invasions of crows, cut-worms, locusts or grain flies, the African agriculturist is not without natural enemies that render his crops precarious. Several species of birds attack the plant when it first peeps above the ground, and so great would be the ravages, if no protection was offered, that to defend his growing crop the agriculturist is compelled to adopt expedients more effective than scare- crows. In the centre of the field -- which is never very large, being more like a garden --a high platform is erected, to which strings are attached radiating to every point of the field. Boys are stationed on the platform, and when flocks of birds make a swoop to attack the plants they pull these strings sharply and thus frighten the winged pests. Hippopotami and elephants are the most serious curse to the grain-fields; however, for these cannot be frightened away.
In addition to the butter that is used for greasing the body, many employ ochre or other mineral pigments, also, ashes, burnt bricks, etc., with which the legs, arms, breast and face are colored in almost identical resemblance to many of the Indian tribes of our country. This use of grease and coloring matter takes the place of clothes, for in so warm a country, clothing being a discomfort, a comfortable substitute is found by giving color to the skin that serves to hide a disgusting nakedness. A thought of indecent exposure no more occurs to him than it does to an animal, and as Baroud Bey observes, "any garment on him is as much out of place as a coat would be on one of his cows." All of the tribes south of Fashoda, as far as Unyoro, are seen in their natural state, except that in addition to the application of oil and ochre, they wear rings around their arms, necks and ankles, made of copper, iron, ivory, serpent's skin or hippopotamus hide. To these body ornaments the women of a few tribes mutilate their lower lips and lobes of the ear, and insert large round pieces of quartz, ivory or colored glass, after the manner of certain South American people. Beads, of course, are everywhere seen, and are worn as girdles, necklaces, and formed into passementerie, besides being used very largely as currency. Besides other decorations, especially among the Shooli, Madi, Lango and the Latooka Baris, the women wear helmets of plaited hair, [CAVE- DWELLERS ALONG THE NILE.] or work the hair into fantastic shapes and in the most ingenious and intricate manner. Feathers are also often used to heighten the effect.
The Madis are smaller in size than the Baris, but more graceful, and, in fact, are almost the realization of the perfect type of physical manhood. They take infinite pains in adorning their bodies, and in dressing the hair, and this too with such taste and becomingness that the effect is highly pleasing. Among the women are to be found not a few, but many, of the most charmingly appearing nymphs, as beautiful in form and feature as Virgil ever conceived.
Very few of the tribes along the Nile carry shields, but are well armed with spears, bows and poison-tipped arrows. The latter are also fiendishly barbed to make the greatest lacerations. Blacksmiths are common among nearly all the tribes, and though they work iron by the most primitive methods, contrive to make very useful implements. Molots, or hoes, hand-plows, spears, ironpointed arrows, are the principal articles that they manufacture. [DEFENDING THE GRAIN FIELDS.] [A visit to the savage king] [The Demon dance of the Bari]
Throughout this large district, at least south of Gondokoro, large game is plentiful, which gives evidence that the people are not good hunters. Elephants and hippopotami are very numerous and give nearly all the tribes infinite trouble by seeking the granaries, or rioting among the growing crops, destroying field after field in the night- time, and giving themselves small concern for the shouts, cries and trumpet-blaring that is used with the vain hope of scaring them away. Besides these huge animals there are leopards that occasionally become so bold as to dispute the passage of a man, and to often stalk men and women. Whole villages are sometimes called out to give aid in destroying some leopard that has become an epicure on human flesh. Wild boars, a few giraffes, great herds of antelope, hartbeests, and quaggas abound. Buffaloes, though still common, are not nearly so numerous as formerly, their numbers seeming to have been greatly reduced during the past dozen years.
tail into the stream. If herds attempt to swim a creek or river some of them are sure to be pulled under by its dreadful jaws. But the crocodile is no discriminator among living things; he lies in wait and is content with whatever fortune throws in his way. He loves young pig, or a fat monkey, but his appetite is omnivorous and he takes with equal greed a luscious negro boy or a piece of putrid offal, the last remains of some cow or ox that has lain blistering in the sun until pushed into the water.
As a measure for protecting water-carriers from greedy crocodiles, the
place where water is drawn from the river by village women is nearly always
guarded by a barrier made by driving piles in a semicircle so as to make
a small enclosure, inside of which it is possible to dip up water with
security. Orders are, indeed, given forbidding anyone from taking water
at any other place, but despite these precautions and warnings, every village
along the Nile has a weekly mourner for some more adventurous person who
has been borne away by a crocodile. Emin Pasha reports that six women lost
their lives in this way during the first few weeks of his stay in Lado,
while more than a dozen very narrow escapes were reported. In one instance
a crocodile even mounted the bank and crawled up to a porch of one of the
houses on which two young gentlemen were taking an afternoon nap, evidently
with the intention of breaking [Stalked
by a leopard] his fast on human steak. Fortunately, the young men awoke
in time to disappoint the courageous reptile, but they were scared to the
point of death.
The Dinkas are a pastoral people, but nevertheless they are extremely poor, thin to a cadaverous appearance, effeminate, and altogether so repulsive that it is little wonder they are regarded only as fit to be slaves. The Shir [Native Blacksmiths] tribe is only one degree improved, though in some respects they are to be commended, especially as they are noted for their affectionate dispositions and the strength of family ties, which is equal to that found among the most highly civilized people. They are also plumper and better formed than the Dinkas, but are no more courageous.
The Shooli, Lango and Umiro tribes are vigorous, independent and brave, by which characteristics alone they have ,avoided absorption by their powerful [ATTACKED BY A CROCODILE.] neighbors of Uganda and Unyoro. Like all the more northern tribes, they maintain and are largely influenced by their Cajoor priests, who were at once rain-makers, medicine men and purveyors of magic in a hundred forms. The office of Cajoor would be a very pleasant one, in that he is regarded with the most reverential awe, were it not for the exceedingly discouraging fact that it frequently happens he forfeits his reputation by attempting things which he is unable to perform. He is often called on to heal a sick chief, or to produce rain when the country is suffering from a long protracted drouth; or to bring disaster upon an invading enemy. Failure of his magic to work these benefices is commonly punished by the people seizing the Cajoor and burning him at the stake. [BURNING A CAJOOR IN UGANDA.]
Uganda and Unyoro, which for many years have remained intact through an alliance offensive and defensive, are the largest and most prosperous kingdoms of Africa. Since the visit of Long to M'Tesa in 1875, that potentate has been outwardly a Moslem, or was up to the time of his death in 1886, although Stanley has claimed him as a Christian. His son, and successor, M'wanga, has been a pronounced Moslem and built several mosques in his kingdom, so that nearly all his subjects now profess that faith. [Nile region, in which Gordon operated]
Kabba Rega, the ruler of Unyoro, has been less pliant than M'tesa, and has remained insensible to Mohammedan influence. He has preferred to occupy a neutral position in order to reap like advantages from both Moslems and Christians, receiving each alike and giving encouragement for both to win his favor by liberal gifts. In fact, the king is still a hearty believer in fetiches, though he does not expose his idols so openly as formerly. In his palace are still found many greegrees and rudely carved wooden images of men and animals, to which he pays his devotions, and consults on occasions of need.
Until the uprising, or rebellion, of the so-called Mahdi, in 1882, as already described, the Egyptian Soudan, as well as Emin's provinces, was in an orderly [Ceremony of conferring title of Pasha on Emin] and thoroughly peaceful condition. This most unfortunate occurrence, in a remarkably short space of time, utterly destroyed the peaceful and civilizing effects of Gordon's rule, and plunged the whole country into greater savagery than before, because to barbarian instincts, was now added the more exciting and cruel disposition of religious fanaticism.
Though the Mahdi's rebellion had its seat in the Soudan, its baneful influence spread far and wide, until Emin's provinces became involved. Gordon and his followers had to sustain the brunt of battle, but an invasion of the Equatorial district was attempted by the rebels, but which was successfully resisted by Emin through the bravery and fidelity of his negro soldiers. [INDUSTRIES INAUGURATED BY EMIN.]
But news from the north, reporting repeated victories by the Mahdi's troops, unsettled affairs in Emin's provinces and resulted in cutting his communicatiou with the civilized world. Mwanga, son of M'tesa, and the new King of Uganda, at once developed hostility to all Europeans through his open sympathies with the Mahdi, and to prevent the possibility of relief coming to Gordon's rescue by way of Zanzibar, which must expose his own kingdom, he put a strong force to guard the south-east route and closed every avenue leading in or out of the kingdom. Thus the last news that we received from Emin was transmitted in 1883. For his successful resistance to the rebels, the Khedive conferred upon Emin the title of Pasha, which honorable promotion reached him just before communication between him and the outer world was cut off.
In 1886, Dr. Junker succeeded in getting through the Uganda lines and reaching Zanzibar, following which escape the King of Uganda withdrew his lines of guards from the route and again permitted communication between his kingdom and Zanzibar. In this same year (1886) Emin sent several communications to friends in Europe, and to Dr. Junker, who was then in Vienna, describing his critical situation; which letters resulted in an earnest appeal being made by Junker and the International Society for government aid to relieve him.
While the tribes of the lake region were still hostile to Emin and were giving him much harassment through the intrigues of Arabic slave dealers, his personal liberty was little restricted. He might any time, indeed, have quitted the country, a thing which the slavers were eager for him to do, but he could not bring himself to even consider such a step. To leave the country as a fugitive would be to abandon the stations he had established, and the people who had a lawful claim upon his protection. His sense of honor and duty compelled him to remain and share the fate of his subjects, whatever it might be. To take his people out of the country was an impossibility. He had no means for provisioning so many on the long route to Zanzibar, and if this difficulty could be met, another equally great still remained, for women and children could not endure so long and fatiguing a march without hundreds dying on the way. Emin, accordingly, honestly and wisely awaited the result of his appeal for aid, and in the mean time continued his geographical and ethnological studies.
When the true situation of Emin became known in Europe, it was believed that Egypt, which he had so bravely served, would immediately dispatch a force by way of Zanzibar for his deliverance; but that government contented itself with the bare offer of a promise to advance $50,000 to an expedition that would attempt his relief, and with inviting proposals to that end.
The indifference exhibited by the Egyptian Government, which seems to have become utterly unmindful of Emin's services in extending the sovereignty of that nation to the great lakes, and in carrying the beneficent effects of civilization over such an immense district, aroused England, and caused to be set on foot well directed means for rescuing the heroic Pasha. Government action was, however, anticipated by private persons, who thoroughly equipped a large expedition for the purpose, and placed Stanley in command, recognizing his incomparable fitness for such an undertaking.
The messengers thus sent forward met Emin at the southern extremity of Lake Muta Nziga, as he was returning from a trip to Usongora to visit the chief who had helped him to rebuild Wadelai. The news thus brought to Stanley's advance was a most pleasant surprise to Emin, whose anxiety to meet his deliverer repressed all other ambitions. Not knowing the route Stanley would take to reach the lake regions, Emin proceeded to Wadelai, reasonably conjecturing that, since nearly all his letters describing his critical situation had been sent from that place, Stanley would no doubt make every effort to push on directly for that station. But even after learning from the messengers of Stanley's approach, Emin wrote to Dr. Falkin, of Edinburgh, under date of April 17th, 1887, reiterating his previously expressed resolution never to abandon his work in Africa, and to remain in his position even after Stanley's arrival. [Waiting the return of Stanley] He declared the same in letters also written to Dr. Junker and to the British Anti-Slavery Society. This resolution, however, was no doubt made in the belief that Stanley's purpose was to relieve him by furnishing new recruits and supplies of ammunition to last for a protracted period, which would enable him to hold his position for an indefinite time; and not with any idea that Stanley would give such assistance as would permit him to leave the stations garrisoned and to remove all the people who desired to make their escape to the coast.
At length, an expedition was proposed, to go in search of both the explorers. Out of this proposition grew the organization of two expeditions under German auspices: one, under command of Lieutenant Wissmann, to enter Africa by the Congo; and the other, led by Dr. Peters, to begin the search by proceeding by way of Zanzibar, the two expecting to meet somewhere in the lake regions.
Lieutenant Charles Wissmann was born in Frankfort-on- the-Oder, in 1853, whose father was a German inspector of military stores, whose duties compelled him to change his residence so frequently that young Charles was not put in school but received instruction from private tutors until the death of his father in 1866, when Charles attended consecutively the high schools at Erfurt, Kiel and New Ruppir. Upon reaching the age of eighteen he joined a cadet corps in Berlin, and two years later was attached to a regiment of Mecklenburg infantry. He was distinguished for his knowledge of the natural sciences, to a study of which he applied himself most industriously, setting these much above his interest in military affairs. Nevertheless, in 1873, he was promoted to a second lieutenancy, which permitted him to resign from the army, and through the influence of Dr. Pogge he offered his services to the African Society of Berlin. Upon an acceptance of his services by the society he was appointed topographer to Dr. Pogge's expedition, with which he sailed for St. Paul de Loando to make a journey into West Africa.
The expedition commanded by Dr. Pogge reached St. Paul early in 1883, and proceeded directly through the Ulunda States and up the valley of the Tschicapa, across by Kassai, Lubilosh, Lomani and on to Niangwe, where, they arrived on May 5th. At this point Wissmann left the main body and continued his journey eastward until he reached Zanzibar on the 15th of November, 1882, thus making the trip across the continent in less than two years.
Wissmann returned to the Atlantic coast at the end of 1884, and retired to Madeira for a time to restore his shattered health, but his recuperation being rapid, in the fall of 1885 he returned to the Congo with the purpose of exploring the country lying north-east of the Lulua river. He penetrated far into the interior without meeting any serious obstacles until he reached the Baluba nation, where he was so fiercely assailed by the natives that he was forced to retreat for a distance of one hundred miles down the Lulua. Here he stopped for a time at a friendly village and then started across the continent. On the way he explored several tributaries of the Lulango river, and ascertained the sources of the Tschnapa and Lomani rivers. He then proceeded on to Lake Tanganyika, the shore of which he reached in April, 1887. After a short stay at Ujiji, Wissmann again crossed the lake and visited Nyangwe, which is two hundred miles west of Tanganyika, where he remained a month exploring the vicinity, and then turned eastward again and reached Zanzibar in August following, thus having crossed the continent twice, and once penetrated to the Central regions, so that altogether he had the experience of quite 12,000 miles of travel in Africa.
Dr. Peters, in the mean time, had pushed forward through a thousand obstacles, as far as Lake Victoria, where he was so beset by large bodies of hostile natives that he was compelled to abandon all efforts at further advance, and to employ all his energies to beating back the enemy. His position was therefore as critical as was Emin's, for he had divided his force and one half of it had been driven back to the main highway leading to Zanzibar, over which it retreated to the coast. At the present writing reports have been received of the massacre of Dr. Peters and all the people with him, by a force of 1200 Somalis against which he vainly fought for several days.
Stanley's return at last with Emin and 560 persons composing the command has relieved the doubts and dark forebodings of the millions who believed for a long while that both were dead, and from his own reports we are able to follow, with accurate details, his changing fortunes, the perils that [Wissman attacked by the natives] beset him, the fears that assailed him, and the desperate adventures which he met with on his dreadful march through Africa to the rescue of Emin. Stanley arrived at Bagamoyo on the afternoon of December 4th, 1889, and on the second day crossed over to Zanzibar, where a crowd of friends gave him joyous welcome. In the following chapters we will be made acquainted with all the details of Stanley's expedition from the time it penetrated the Dark Continent to the triumphal return; and also a description of Emin's defeat at the hands of the victorious Mahdi. [STANLEY TO THE RESCUE OF EMIN.]
Emin, however, met with a dreadful accident upon the very moment of his return to civilization, which nearly cost him his life. On the evening following his arrival at Bagamoyo, while, it is stated, partially under the influence of wine that had been drunk to the health of those who welcomed his return, but more probably through his very defective eyesight, he walked out of an open window in the house where he intended to lodge for the night, and fell to the ground, a distance of twenty feet. He received injuries in the head which were so severe that for several days his life was despaired of. More complete particulars of the accident will appear in a subsequent chapter.
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