AFRICAN exploration was not destined to halt. We find Sir Samuel
Baker upon a second expedition fully equal in interest to the one
described in the preceding chapter. This expedition was urged by
the Prince cf Wales and was furthered by powerful patrons in Eng-
land. Baker had proved himself a bold spirit, the master of events and
circumstances, an explorer of great tact, endurance and energy, and it was
confidently believed that if he were sent into Central Africa not only would
a path for commerce be opened, but a large part of the country could be
annexed to Egypt, and active measures could be taken for the suppres-
sion of the slave traffic and other deeds of violence which rendered this
vast region a complete pandemonium.
The expedition was to last four years. During this period Baker was
made a Pasha, or was constituted an Egyptian governor. His territory
was vast in the extreme, being nothing less than the Nile region. It will
be understood that the Khedive of Egypt, by whose immediate authority
Baker conducted this expedition, received his title from the Sultan of
Turkey, and was given this name by virtue of having been made the
ruler of Egypt. Thus Baker began his great undertaking with as much
authority as it was needful or possible for anyone to have. He was sent
without let or hinJrancc, was given comand of his own forces, was
A RENOWNED EXPEDITION. 501
invested even with the power of life or death. He was made an autocrat,
was constituted a supreme ruler, and had he not been a very wise,
judicious, and self-possessed man, he would unquestionably have become
a tyrant, and a curse instead of a benefactor to the savage and warlike
tribes of Central Africa.
For the most part we shall permit Mr. Baker to tell his thrilling story
in his own language.
In my former journey, he says, I had traversed countries of extreme
fertility in Central Africa, with a healthy climate favorable for the settle-
ment of white men, at a mean altitude of four thousand feet above the
sea-level. This large and almost boundless extent of country was well
peopled by a race who only required the protection of a strong but
paternal government to become of considerable importance, and to
eventually develop the great resources of the soil.
I found lands varying in natural capabilities according to their position
and altitudes — where sugar, cotton, coffee, rice, spices, and all tropi-
cal produce might be successfully cultivated; but those lands were with-
out any civilized form of government, and " every man did what seemed
right in his own eyes."
A Scene of Desolation.
Rich and well-populated countries were rendered desolate; the women
and children were carried into captivity ; villages were burned, and crops
were destroyed or pillaged ; the population was driven out ; a terrestrial
paradise was converted into an infernal region ; the natives, who were
originally friendly, were rendered hostile to all strangers, and the general
condition could only be expressed in one word — " ruin."
To effect the grand reform contemplated it would be necessary to
annex the Nile Basin, and to establish a government in countries that
had been hitherto without protection, and a prey to adventurers from the
Soudan. To convey steel steamers from England, and to launch them
upon the Albert Lake, and thus open the resources of Central Africa ; to
establish legitimate trade in a vast country which had hitherto been a
field of rapine and of murder ; to protect the weak and to punish the
evil-doer, and to open the road to a great future, where the past had
been all darkness and the present reckless spoliation — this was the grand
object which Ismail, the Khedive of Egypt, determined to accomplish.
Before I left England I personally selected every article that was nec-
essary for the expedition ; thus an expenditure of about forty-five thous-
and dollars was sufficient for the purchase of the almost innumerable
items that formed the outfit for the enterprise. This included an admir-
able selection of Manchester goods, such as cotton sheeting, gray calico,
cotton, and also woolen blankets, white, scarlet, and blue ; Indian scaris,
red and yellow ; handkerchiefs of gaudy colors, chintz printed ; scarlet
flannel shirts, serge of colors (blue, red), linen trousers, etc., etc.
Tools of all sorts — axes, small hatchets, harness bells, brass rods, cop-
per rods, combs, zinc mirrors, knives, crockery, tin plates, fish-hooks,
musical-boxes, colored prints, finger-rings, razors, tinned spoons, cheap
watches, etc., etc.
Musical Boxes and Magic Lanterns.
I thus had sufficient clothing for a considerable body of troops if nec-
essary, while the magazines could produce anything from a needle to a
crow-bar, or from a handkerchief to a boat's sail. It will be seen here-
after that these careful arrangements assured the success of the expedi-
tion, as the troops, when left without pay, could procure all they required
from the apparently inexhaustible stores of the magazines.
In addition to the merchandise and general supplies, I had several
large musical boxes with bells and drums, an excellent magic lantern,
wheels of life, and an assortment of toys. The greatest wonder to the
natives were two large girandoles ; also the silvered balls, about six
inches in diameter, that, suspended from the branch of a tree, reflected
the scene beneath.
In every expedition fhe principal difficulty is the transport. " Travel
light, if possible," is the best advice for all countries; but in this instance
it was simply impossible, as the object of the expedition was not only to
convey steamers to Central Africa, but to establish legitimate trade in the
place of the nefarious system of pillage hitherto adopted by the so-called
White Nile traders.
The military arrangements comprised a force of one thousand six hun-
dred and forty-five troops, including a corps of two hundred irregular
cavalry, and two batteries of artillery. The infantry were two regiments,
supposed to be well selected. The black, or Soudani, regiment included
many officers and men who had served for some years in Mexico with
the French army under Marshal Bazaine. The Egyptian regiment
turned out to be for the most part convicted felons who had been trans-
ported for various crimes from Egypt to the Soudan.
I reviewed the irregalar cavalry, about two hundred and fifty horse.
These were certainly very irregular. Each man was horsed and armed
according to his individual notion of a trooper's requirements. There
wore 1 nk. half starved horses; round, short horses; very small ponies;
horses that were all legs ; others that were all heads ; horses that had
been groomed ; horses that had never gone through that operation
The saddles and bridles were only fit for an old curiosity-shop. There
were some with faded strips of gold and silver lace adhering here and
there ; others that resembled the horse in skeleton appearance, which had
been strengthened by strips of raw crocodile skin. The unseemly huge
shovel-stirrups were rusty ; the bits were filthy. Some of the men had
swords and pistols ; others had short blunderbusses with brass barrels ;
many had guns of various patterns, from the long, old-fashioned Arab
to the commonest double-barreled French gun that was imported. The
customs varied in a like manner to the arms and animals.
Having formed in line, they now executed a brilliant charge at a sup-
posed enemy, and performed many feats of valor ; and having quickly
got into inconceivable confusion, they at length rallied and returned to
their original position.
I complimented their ofificer; and hiving asked Djiafifer Pasha, one of
the Khedive's generals, if these brave troops represented my cavalry
force, and being assured of the fact, I dismissed them, and requested
Djiaffer Pasha to inform them that " I regretted the want of transport
would not permit me the advantage of their services. ' Inshallah ! '
(Please God !) at some future time," etc., etc.
I thus got rid of my cavalry, which I never wished to see again. I had
twenty-one good horses that I had brought from Cairo, and these,
together with the horses belonging to the various officers, were as much
as we could convey.
I had taken extra precautions, in the packing of ammunition and
all perishable goods. The teak boxes for ammunition, also the
boxes of rockets, were lined hermetically sealed with soldered tin. The
light goods and smaller articles were packed in strong, useful, painted
tin boxes, with locks and hinges. Each box was numbered, and when
the lid was opened, a tin plate was soldered over the open face, so that
the lid, when closed, locked above a hermetically sealed case. Each tin
box was packed in a deal case, with a number to correspond with the
box within. By this arrangement the tin boxes arrived at their destina-
tion as good as new, and were quite invaluable for traveling, as they
each formed a handy load, and were alike proof against the attacks of
insects and bad weather.
Camels and Gun-carriages.
I had long water-proof cloaks for the night sentries in rainy climates,
and sou'-wester caps; these proved of great service during active opera-
tions in the wet season, as the rifles were kept dry under the cloaks, and
the men were protected from wet and cold when on guard.
The provisions for the troops were wheat, rice, and lentils. The sup-
plies from England, and in fact the general arrangements had been so
carefully attended to, that throughout the expedition I could not feel a
want, neither could I either regret or wish to have changed any plan
that I had originally determined.
For the transport of the heavy machinery across the desert I employed
gun-carriages drawn by two camels each. The long steel sections of
steamers and the section of life-boats were slung upon long poles of fir
arranged between two camels in the manner of shafts. Many hundred
poles served this purpose, and subsequently were used at head-quarters as
rafters for magazines and various buildings.
I had thrown my whole heart into the expedition ; but I quickly per-
ceived the difficulties that I should have to contend with in the passive
resistance of those whose interests would be affected. The arrangements
that I had made would have insured success, if carried out according to
the dates specified. The six steamers and the sailing flotilla from Cairo
should have started on June loth, in order to have ascended the cataracts
of the Wady Halfah at the period of high water. Instead of this the ves-
sels were delayed, in the absence of the Khedive in Europe, until August
29th ; thus, by the time they reached the second cataract, the river had
fallen, and it was impossible to drag the steamers through the passage
until the next season. Thus twelve months were wasted, and I was at
once deprived of the mvalu^le aid of six steamers.
Steaming Up the Nile.
A train of forty-one railway wagons, laden with sections of steamers,
machinery, boiler sections, etc., etc., arrived at Cairo, and were embarked
on board eleven hired vessels. With the greatest difficulty I procured a
steamer of one hundred and forty horse-power to tow this flotilla to
Korosko, from which spot the desert journey would commence. I
obtained this steamer only by personal application to the Khedive.
At length I witnessed the start of the entire party of engineers and
mechanics. One steamer towed the long line of eleven vessels against
the powerful stream of the Nile. One of the tow-ropes snapped at the
commencement of the voyage, which created some confusion, but, when
righted, they quickly steamed out of view. This mass of heavy material,
including two steamers, and two steel life-boats of ten tons each, was to
be transported for a distance of about three thousand miles, four hundred
of which would be across the scorching Nubian deserts !
The foregoing account of the obstacles encountered by Baker lends
an almost superhuman character to his subsequent success. Nothing
stopped him ; he leaped over difficulties that would easily have defeated
weaker men. His transport of the heavy freight of his expedition for
so great a distance over desert sands and through unexplored regions was
one of the bravest achievements of modern times.
The white Nile, says Baker, is a grand river between the Sobat junc-
tion and Khartoum, and after passing south to the great affluent the dif-
ference in the character is quickly perceived. We now enter upon the
region of the immense flats and boundless marshes, through which the
river winds in a labyrinth-like course for about seven hundred and fifty
miles to Gondokoro. Having left the Sobat, we arrived at the junction of
the Bahr Giraffe, thirty-eight miles distant, on February 17th. Having
turned into the river, I waited for the arrival of the fleet.
The Bahr Giraffe was to be our new passage instead of the original
White Nile. That river, which had become so curiously obstructed by
masses of vegetation that had formed a solid dam, had been entirely neg-
lected by the Egyptian authorities. In consequence of this neglect an
extraordinary change had taken place. The immense number of floating
islands which are constantly passing down the stream of the White Nile
had no exit : thus they were sucked under the original obstruction by
the force of the stream, which passed through some mysterious channel,
until the subterraneous passage became choked with a wondrous accu-
mulation of vegetable fhatter. The entire river became a marsh, beneath
which, by the great pressure of water, the stream oozed through innum-
erable small channels. In fact, the White Nile had disappeared. A
vessel arriving from Khartoum in her passage to Gondokoro would find,
after passing through a broad river of clear water, that the bow would
suddenly strike against a bank of solid compressed vegetation — this was
the natural dam that had been formed to an unknown extent ; the river
ceased to exist.
I was rather anxious about this new route, as I had heard conflicting
accounts in Khartoum concerning the possibility of navigating such large
vessels as the steamers of thirty-two horse-power and a hundred feet
length of deck. I was provided with guides who professed to be thor-
oughly acquainted with the river ; these people were captains of trading-
vessels, who had made the voyage frequently.
The rear vessels of the fleet having arrived, the steamers worked up
against the strong current independently. Towing was difficult, owing
to the sharp turns of the river. The Bahr Giraffe was about seventy yards
in width, and at this season the banks are high and dry. Throughout
the voyage on the White Nile we had had excellent wild-fowl shooting
whenever we had halted to cut fuel for the steamers. One afternoon I
killed a-hippopotamus, two crocodiles, and two pelicans, with the rifle.
We found many young pelicans 'unable to fly. Flocks of the old birds
were sitting upon the benches of the lagoon, and it appeared that the
islands were their breeding-places; not only so, but from the number of
skeletons and bones there scattered, it would seem that, for ages, these
had been selected as the closing scene of their existence. Certainly none
more likely to be free from disturbance of every kind could have been
chosen, than the islets of a hidden lagoon of an uninhabited locality ;
nor can anything be more consonant to their feelings, if pelicans have
any, than quietly to resign their breath, surrounded by their progeny,
and in the same spot where they first drew it.
Day by day,
New lessons, exercises, and amusements
Employed the old to teach, the young to learn.
Now floating on the blue lagoon behold them,
The sire and dam in swan like beauty steering.
Their cygnets following through the foaming wake,
Picking the leaves of plants, pursuing insects,
Or catching at the bubbles as they brake ;
Till on some minor fry, in reedy shallows,
With flapping pinions and unsparing beaks,
The well-taught scholars plied their double art,
To fish in troubled waters, and secure
The petty captives in their maiden pouches ;
Then hurry with their banquet to the shore,
With feet, wings, breast, half swimming and half flying
And when their wings grew strong to fight the storm,
And buffet with the breakers on the reef.
The parents put them to severer proofs."
As the fleet now slowly sailed against the strong current of the Bahr
Giraffe, I walked along the bank with Lieutenant Boker, and shot ten of
the large francolin partridges, which, in this dry season, were very
numerous. The country was, as usual, flat, but, bearing due south of the
Bahr Giraffe junction, about twelves miles distant, is a low granite hill,
partially covered with trees; this is the first of four similar low hills that
are the only rising points above the vast prairie of flat plain.
As we were walking along the bank I perceived an animal ascending
on the river about two hundred yards distant, where it had evidently
been drinking ; we immediately endeavored to cut off its retreat, when it
suddenly emerged from the grass and discovered a fine lion with large
shaggy mane. The king of beasts, as usual, would not stand to show
fight in the open field, but bounded off in the direction of the rocky hils.
The Lie Treat.
The explorers had to return. Quoting from his journal Baker says :
All the vessels are stuck fast for want of water! This is terrible.
I went on in advance of my diahbeeah, accompanied by Mrs. Baker, for
about three miles to explore. Throughout this distance the greatest
depth was about four feet, and the average was under three feet. At
length the diahbeeah, which drew only two feet three inches, was fast
aground ! This was at a point where two raised mounds, or dubbas,
were on opposite sides of the river. I left the vessel, and, with one
of my men, explored in the rowing-boat for about two miles in advance.
After the first mile, the boat grounded in about six inches of water upon
firm sand. The river, after having deepened for a short space, was sud-
denly divided into three separate channels, all of which were too shallow
for the passage of the diahbeeah, and two were even too shallow to admit
the small-boat. The boatmen jumped out, and we hauled her up the
shallows until we reached the main stream, above the three channels, but
having no greater mean depth than about two feet six inches.
We continued for some distance up the stream with the same unfortu-
nate results. The banks, although flooded during the wet season, were
now dry, and a forest was about a mile distant. Having left the boat
and ascended a white ant-hill about eight feet high, in order to take a
view of the country, I observed a herd of very beautiful antelopes, of a
kind that were quite unknown to me.
There is no change so delightful as a little sport, if you are in low
spirits; thus, taking the rifle, I rowed up the river for about half a mile
in the small boat, and then landing, I obtained the right wind. It was
exceedingly difficult to approach game in these extensive treeless flats,
and it would have been quite impossible, had it not been for the innu-
merable hills of the white ants; these are the distinguishable features of
these swampy countries, and the intelligence of the insects directs their
architecture to a height far above the level of the highest floods. The
earth used in their construction is the subsoil brought up from a consid-
erable depth; as the ant-hills are yellow, while the surface-soil is black.
The earth is first swallowed by the insect, and thus it becomes mixed with
some albuminous matter, which converts it into a cement that resists the
action of rain.
These hills were generally about eight feet high in the swampy districts,
but I have frequently seen them above ten feet. The antelopes make use
of such ant-hills as they can ascend as watch-towers, from which lofty
position they can observe an enemy at a great distance. It is the custom
of several varieties to place sentries while the herd is grazing; and upon
this occasion, although the sentry was alone visible, I felt sure that the
herd was somewhere in his neighborhood, I have noticed that the sen-
tries are generally bulls. On this occasion I resolved, if possible, to stalk
the watchman. The grass was very low, and quite green, as it had been
fired by the wandering natives some time since ; thus, in places, there
were patches of the tall, withered herbage that had been only partially
consumed by the fire while unripe : these patches were an assistance in
A Very Beautiful Animal.
It was, of course, necessary to keep several tall ant-hills in a line with
that upon which the antelope was standing, and to stoop so low that I
could only see the horns of the animal upon the sky-line. . In some
places it was necessary to crawl upon the ground. This was trying work,
on account of the sharp stumps of the burned herbage, which punished
the hands and knees. The fine charcoal dust from the recent fire was
also a trouble, as the wind blew it into the eyes. The water-mark upon
the ant-hills was about eighteen inches above the base, proving the height
of the annual floods; and a vast number of the large water-helix, the size
of a man's fist, lay scattered over the ground, destroyed and partially cal-
cined by the late prairie fire.
The sun was very hot, and I found crawling so great a distance a
laborious operation; my eyes were nearly blinded with perspiration and
charcoal dust; but every now and then, as I carefully raised my head, I
could distinguish the horns of the antelope in the original position. At
length I arrived at the base of the last ant-hill, from which I must take
There were a few tufts of low scrub growing on the summit. To these
I climbed ; and digging my toes firmly into an inequality in the side of the
hill, I planted my elbows well on the surface, my cap being concealed by
the small bushes and tufts of withered grass. The antelope was standing
unconsciously about one hundred and eighty yards from me, perfectly
motionless, and much resembling a figure fixed upon a pedestal. I was
delighted with my capture. It was a very beautiful animal, about thir-
teen hands high at the shoulder, the head long, the face and ears black,
also the top the body bright bay, with a stripe of black about
fifteen inches in widtih extending obliquely across the shoulder, down both
the fore and the hind legs, and meeting at the rump. The tail was long
with a tuft of long black hair at the extremity. The horns were deeply
annulated, and curved backward toward the shoulders.
On the 1st of May Baker established a camp at Tewfikayah. Here he
was visited by the king of the Shillooks, a well-known tribe. A descrip-
tion of this tribe will be of interest in this connection, only a brief men-
tion having been made of it in a preceding chapter.
The Shillooks are a tall and fine-made race of men, approaching very
closely to the Negro, being black, with woolly hair. The flat nose and
enormous lips of the true Negro are, however, absent, and only in a few
cases is there an approach toward that structure.
The Shillook men are very fond of ornament. Their ornaments con-
sist chiefly of iron bracelets, anklets, and bead necklaces, and shoulder
and waist garments made of feathers. Caps of black ostrich plumes
decorate their heads, and many of these caps are ornamented with a
circle of cowrie-shells. Their weapons are clubs and lances, the latter
having iron wire twisted round the butt, so as to counter-balance the
head. They also carry a remarkable bow-like shield.
The women wear no clothes until marriage, and then assume a couple
of pieces of dressed hide, one in front and the other behind. These
hides reach nearly to the ankles, and are decorated round the lower
edge with iron rings and bells. The heads are shaved, and the ears are
bored all round their edges with a number of holes, from which hang
small clusters of beads.
The villages of the Shillooks are built very regularly, and in fact are
so regular as to be stiff" and formal in appearance. The houses are made
of reeds, tall, of nearly the same height, and placed close to each other
in regular rows or streets, and when seen from a distance are compared
by Baker to rows of button mushrooms.
The Shillooks are very clever in the management of their rafts, which
they propel with small pebbles; and even the little boys may be seen
paddling about, not in the least afraid of the swarming crocodiles, but
always carrying a lance with which to drive off the horrid reptiles if they
attempt an attack.
On one occasion the daring Shillooks established a small colony on
the eastern or Dinka bank of the river, on account of the good pasturage.
As soon as the Dinka had withdrawn toward the interior, the Shillooks
crossed over, built a number of reed huts, ran an extemporized fence
round them, and then brought over their cattle. They had plenty of
outposts inland, and as soon as the enemy were reported the Shillooks
embarked in their rafts, and paddled over to their own side of the river,
the cattle plunging into the water in obedience to a well-known call, and
following the canoes and rafts of their masters. Strange to say, the
crocodiles do not meddle with cattle under such circumstances.
Aided by their rafts, the Shillooks employ much of their time in fish-
ing. They do not use either net or hook, but employ the more sports-
manlike spsar. This weapon is about ten feet in length, and has a
barbed iron head loosely stuck into the end of the shaft, both being con-
nected with a slack cord. As soon as the fish is struck, the shaft is dis-
engaged from the head, and being of light wood floats to the surface,
and so " plays " the fish until it is exhausted, and can be drawn ashore
by a hooked stick. The Shillooks often catch fish at random, wading
through the river against the stream, and striking their spears right and
left into the water.
Polygamy is of course practiced among the people. Mr. Petherick
gives a very amusing description of an interview with a chief and his
" At one of these villages, Gosa, with a view to establishing a trade in
hide, or if possible in ivory, I made the acquaintance of its chief, Dood,
who, with several of the village elders, entered my boat, the bank being
crowded with every man, woman, and child of the village. The chief, a
man past middle age, struck me by his intelligent remarks, and a bearing
as straightforward as it was dignified and superior to that of his com-
panions. A few presents of beads were greedily clutched by his attend-
ants, he, however, receiving them as if they were his due ; and, passing
an order to one of his men, the trifle I had given him was returned by a
counter-present of a sheep. On his leaving I requested he would call
before sunrise, attended by his sons only, when I would make him and
them suitable presents.
You Don't Know My Family Yet.
" Long before the appointed time Dood and a crowd of men and strip-
lings, with their inseparable accompaniments of clubs and lances, on the
shore, woke me from my slumbers; and, as I appeared on deck, a rush
took place toward me, with cries of ' The Benj ! the Benj ! ' (the chief),
followed by salutations innumerable. As soon as these shouts subsided,
Dood, disembarrassing his mouth with some difficulty of a quid of
tobacco the size of a small orange, sat down by my side.
" My first remark was astonishment at the number of his followers .
having expected none but his sons. ' Oh, 'tis all right : you don't know
my family yet ; but, owing to your kind promises, I sent to the cattle-
kraals for the boys ; ' and with the pride of a father he said, ' These are
my fighting sons, who many a time have stuck to me against the Dinka,.
whose cattle have enabled them to wed.'
" Notwithstanding a slight knowledge of Negro families, I was still not
a little surprised to find his valiant progeny amount to forty grown-up
men and hearty lads. ' Yes,' he said, * I did not like to bring the girls
and little boys, as it would look as if I wished to impose upon your
" ' What ! more little boys and girls ! What may be their number, and
how many wives have you ? '
" ' Well, I have divorced a good many wives ; they get old, you know;
and now I have only ten and five.' But when he began to count his
children, he was obliged to have recourse to a reed, breaking it up into
" Like all Negroes, not being able to count beyond ten, he called over
as many names, which he marked by placing a piece of reed on the deck
before him ; a similar mark denoted another ten, and so on until he had
named and marked the number of his children. The sum total, with the
exception, as he had explained, of babies and children unable to protect
themselves, was fifty-three boys and twenty girls — seventy-three !
" After the above explanation I could no longer withhold presents to
the host on the shore ; and, pleased with my donations, he invited me to
his house, where I partook . of merissa and broiled fowl, in which, as a
substitute for fat, the entrails had been left. Expressing a desire to see
his wives, he willingly conducted me from hut to hut, where my skm^
hair, and clothes underwent a most scrutinizing examination. Each wife
was located in a separate batch of huts ; and, after having distributed my
pocketfuls of loose beads to the lady chieftains and their young families,
in whose good graces I had installed myself, I took leave of the still
sturdy village chief."
The code of government among the Shillooks is simple enough. There
is a sultan or superior officer, who is called the " Meek," and who pos-
sesses and exercises powers that are almost irresponsible. The Meek
seems to appreciate the proverb that " familiarity breeds contempt," and
keeps himself aloof from his own subjects, seldom venturing beyond the
limits of his own homestead. He will not even address his subjects
directly, but forces them to communicate with him through the medium
of an official. Any one who approaches him must do so on his knees,
A RENOWNED EXPEDITION. 515
and no One may either stand erect or carry arms in his presence. He exe-
cutes justice firmly and severely, and especially punishes murder and theft
among his subjects, the culprit being sentenced to death, and his family
sold as slaves.
Theft and murder, however, when committed against other tribes, are
considered meritorious, and, when a marauding party returns, the Meek
takes one-third of the plunder. He also has a right to the tusks of all
elephants killed by them, and he also expects a present from every trader
who passes through his territory. The Meek will not allow strangers to
settle within the Shillook territories, but permits them to reside at Kaka,
a large town on their extreme north. Here many trading Arabs live
while they are making their fortune in exchanging beads, cattle bells, and
other articles for cattle, slaves, and ivory. The trade in the latter article
is entirely carried on by the Meek, who has the monopoly of it, and
makes the most of his privilege.
While at Tewfikeeyah Baker liberated a boat-load of slaves that had
been captured by the Shillooks. Continuing his narrative he says : I
ordered the slaves to wash, and issued clothes from the magazine for the
naked women. On the following day I inspected the captives, and I
explained to them their exact position. They were free people, and if
their homes were at a reasonable distance they should be returned. If
not, they must make themselves generally useful, in return for which they
would be fed and clothed.
If any of the women wished to marry, there were many fine young men
in the regiments who would make capital husbands. I gave each person
a paper of freedom signed by myself This was contained in a hollow
reed, and suspended round their necks. Their names, approximate age,
sex, and country were registered in a book corresponding with the num-
bers on their papers.
These arrangements occupied the whole morning. In the afternoon I
again inspected them. Having asked the officer whether any of the
negresses would wish to be married, he replied that all the women wished
to marry, and that they had already selected their husbands ! This was
wholesale matrimony, that required a church as large as Westminster
Abbey, and a whole company of clergy !
Brown Men All United.
Fortunately, matters are briefly arranged in Africa. I saw the loving
couples standing hand in hand. Some of the girls were pretty, and my
black troops had shown good taste in their selection. Unfortunately,
however, for the Egyptian regiment, the black ladies had a strong antipathy
to brown men, and the suitors were all refused. This was a very awkward
affair. The ladies having received their freedom, at once asserted "woman's rights."
I was obliged to limit the matrimonial engagements ; and those who
were for a time condemned to single blessedness were placed in charge of
certain officers, to perform the cooking for the troops and other domestic
work. I divided the boys into classes ; some I gave to the English work-
men, to be instructed in carpenter's and blacksmith's work ; others were
apprenticed to tailors, shoe-makers, etc., in the regiment, while the best-
looking were selected as domestic servants. A nice little girl, of about
three years old, without parents, was taken care of by my wife.
When slaves are liberated in large numbers there is always a difficulty
in providing for them. We feel this dilemma when our cruisers capture
Arab dhows on the east coast of Africa, and our Government becomes
responsible for an influx of foundlings. It is generally quite impossible to
return them to their own homes ; therefore all that can be done is to
instruct them in some useful work by which they can earn their liveli-
hood. If the boys have their choice, they invariably desire a military
life ; and I believe it is the best school for any young savage, as he is at
once placed under strict discipline, which teaches him habits of order and
obedience. The girls, like those of other countries, prefer marriage to
regular domestic work ; nevertheless, if kindly treated, with a due amount
of authority, they make fair servants for any rough employment.
A Liittle Black Pet.
When female children are about five years old they are most esteemed
by the slave-dealers, as they can be more easily taught ; and they grow
up with an attachment to their possessors, and in fact become members
of the family.
Little Mostoora, the child taken by my wife, was an exceedingly clever
specimen of her race ; and although she was certainly not more than
three years old, she was quicker than most children of double her age.
With an ugly little face, she had a beautifully shaped figure, and possessed
a power of muscle that I have never seen in a white child of that age.
Her lot had fallen in pleasant quarters : she was soon dressed in con-
venient clothes, and became the pet of the family.
It was not till December that the fleet quitted Tewfikeeyah, which was
then dismantled. The Shillook country was left at peace. The treacherous
governor was disgraced, and the king's sons rewarded. The ships then
began cutting their way south. One vessel was found sunk, and after
many " heart-breaking " disappointments, progress was resumed. A dam
had to be made to float the fleet, and during all the time the boats and
working parties were attacked by hippopotami, while disease broke out
among the soldiers. But on the 15th of April, 1871, the fleet arrived at
Gondokoro, after traversing an " abandoned country," a distance fourteen
hundred miles from Khartoum.
Natives Up in Arms.
The natives were not pleased at the arrival of Baker, who proceeded
to annex the country in the name of the Khedive, and issued a procla-
mation to the effect that everything belonged to the Khedive, and no
trading must proceed on any other basis. As may be anticipated, such
measures as these gave considerable offence, and the Bari tribe revolted
against his authority. They didn't want any government, and on June
1st an order was issued to the effect that, the Baris having refused obe-
dience to the proclamation, force was necessary, and would be used
against them. The capture of women and children was forbidden during
hostilities, under penalty of death.
Preparations were made for defence, for the Baris were threatening.
Soon they came and drove off the cattle, the guards having presumably
gone away. The thieves were followed, and some of the cattle recap-
tured. Hostilities were now continuous, and the arrival of a treacherous
trader, Abou Saood, did not tend to improve matters, and Baker remon-
strated with him for continuing his friendly relations with the enemies of
the Government, commanded his withdrawal from the district, and made
him forfeit his stolen cattle.
This too lenient conduct was regretted by Baker afterwards, and,
during the time he remained, the incessant attacks of the Baris and the
half-hearted service of some of the troops made things very unpleasant,
and dangerous after a while. The crocodiles, too, were extremely fero-
cious, and many serious losses were occasioned by their attacks. One
animal was captured which contained five pounds weight of pebbles in its
stomach, a necklace, and two armlets, such as worn by the Negro girls.
A Dangerous Encounter.
In giving an account of the capture of one of these monsters in the
early part of the expedition, Baker says: Yesterday, as the men were
digging out the steamers, which had become jammed by the floating
rafts, they felt something struggling beneath their feet. They immedi-
ately scrambled away in time to avoid the large head of a crocodile that
broke its way through the mass in which it had been jammed and held
prisoner by the rafts. The black soldiers, armed with swords and bill-
hooks, immediately attacked the crocodile, who, although freed from
imprisonment, had not exactly fallen into the hands of the Humane
Society. He was quickly dispatched, and that evening his flesh glad-
dened the cooking-pots of the party.
I was amused with the account of this adventure given by various
officers who were eye-witnesses. One stated, in reply to my question as
to the length of the animal, " Well, sir, I should not like to exaggerate,
but I should say it was forty-five feet long from snout to tail !" Another
witness declared it to be at least twenty feet ; but if one were seized by
such a creature he would be disposed to think that, whatever might be
its length, it is made up mainly of jaws.
The Baris were still very enterprising, and came night after night to
attack the expedition. Their wily method of advance, and the silence
which they observe, make their attack all the more dangerous. The
passive resistance of Baker had been regarded as cowardice, and one
evening a grand attack took place. The tribes were driven off, but the
troops in camp had permitted themselves to be surprised. Baker was
not at headquarters, and the artillery was " not even thought of! "
Baker having fortified Gondokoro, which he now named Ismailia,
quitted it to carry the war into the enemy's country with 450 men. The
little force met the Baris after a march of thirteen miles, and an attack
was made on the stockades, which were carried at the point of the bay-
onet. The Baris bolted, and Baker bivouacked. After some skirmish-
ing, a treaty was proposed, and an alliance suggested. But treachery
was at work, and Baker discovering it, attacked the Baris in their stock-
ades. He then planted ambuscades, and succeeded in beating the Baris
at their own game.
The discipline of the troops under him gave Baker considerable unea-
siness ; they wanted captives, which their commander had forbidden them;
and after some time his chief captain, Raouf Bey, mutinied. An expe-
dition was ordered to counteract this, and it succeeded, but the available
force had been much reduced by Raouf sending so many invalids and
others to Khartoum without orders. The treacherous trader had also
done all he could to paralyze the expedition, and things did not look
hopeful. Baker, however, determined not to be beaten, and he made an
expedition to the last cataracts of the White Nile. The result was a peace
with the Baris ; the swift steed and the Snider rifles had subdued the tribes ;
Abou Saood and his people had departed.
An expedition to the South was now determined on, and, full of confi-
dence, Baker set out to open the communication with the Albert Nyanza.
Says Baker : I knew the risks and the responsibiUty of this undertake
ing; but I could not remain passive. I had often got through difficul-
ties, and if risks are to be measured in Africa by ordinary calculations,
there would be little hope of progress.
Should my small force meet with defeat or destruction, both the mili-
tary and civil world would exclaim, " Served him right ! the expedition to
the interior made under such circumstances showed a great want of judg-
ment — a total ignorance of the first rules in military tactics. What could
he expect, without an established communication, at a distance of three or
four hundred miles from his base ? Simple madness ! — not fit to com-
mand ! "
I determined to carry as large a supply of ammunition as could be
transported, together with sufficient merchandise, carefully assorted, to
establish a legitimate Ivory trade in my old friend Kamrasi's country,
I selected my officers and men, carefully avoiding Egyptians, with the
exception of several true and well-tried men. Several of the officers had
served in Mexico under Marshal Bazaine.
Our servants had much improved. The Negro boys who had been
liberated had grown into most respectable lads, and had learned to wait
at table, and to do all the domestic work required. First of the boys in
intelligence was the Abyssinian, Amarn. This delicate little fellow was
perfectly civilized, and always looked forward to accompanying his mis-
tress to England. The next was Saat, who had received that name in
memory of my good boy who died during my former voyage. Saat was
a very fine, powerful lad, who was exceedingly attached to me, but he
was not quick at learning. Bellaal was a thick-set, sturdy boy of four-
teen, with rather a savage disposition, but quick at learning.
My favorite was Kinyon (the crocodile), the volunteer. This was a.
very handsome Negro boy of the Bari tribe, who, being an orphan, came
to my station and volunteered to serve me at the commencement of the
Bari war. Kinyon was tall and slight, with a pair of very large, expres-
sive eyes. The name Kinyon, or crocodile in the Bari language, had
been given him because he was long and thin. Both he and Amarn were
thoroughly good boys, and never received either chastisement or even a
scolding throughout a long expedition.
Jarvah was also a good lad, who went by the name of the " fat boy.'*
I should like to have exhibited him as a specimen of physical
comfort. Jarvah had a good berth ; he was cook's mate. His superior
was a great character, who, from the low position of a slave presented by
the king of the Shillooks, had risen from cook's mate to the most import-
ant position of the household. Abdullah was now the cook ! He had
studied the culinary art under my first-rate Arab cook, who, havings
received his discharge, left the management of our stomachs to his pupil
Abdullah was an excellent cook, and a very good fellow, but he was dull
at learning Arabic. He invariably distinguished cocks and hens as
" bulls " and " women."
The last and the smallest boy of the household was little Cuckoo (or
Kookoo). Cuckoo was a sturdy child about six years old : this boy
had. I believe, run away from his parents in the Bari during the war, and
had come to Morgian, our interpreter, when food was scarce among the
tribe. Following the dictates of his appetite, he had been attracted by
the savory smell of Abdullah's kitchen, and he had drawn nearer and
nearer to our establishment, until at length by playing with the boys,.
and occasionally being invited to share in their meals. Cuckoo had
become incorporated with the household.
Abdullah and the six boys formed the native domestic corps. My
wife, who was their commanding officer, had them all dressed in uniform.
They had various suits of short, loose trowsers reaching half-way down
the calf of the leg, with a shirt or blouse secured at the waist with a
leather belt and buckle. These belts were made in England, and were
about six feet long ; thus they passed twice round the waist, and were
veiy useful when travelling, in case of a strap and buckle being required
The uniforms were very becoming. There was dark blue trimmed
with red facings ; pure white with red facings, for high days and holi-
days ; scarlet flannel suits complete ; and a strong cotton suit dyed
brown for traveling and rough wear. The boys were trained to change
their clothes before they waited at the dinner-table, and to return to
their working dresses after dinner, when washing-up was necessary. In
this habit they were rigidly particular; and every boy then tied his din-
ner suit in a parcel, and suspended it to the roof of his hut, to be ready
for the next meal. There was a regular hour for every kind of work ;
and this domestic discipline had so far civilized the boys that they were
of the greatest possible comfort to ourselves.
The washing-up after dinner was not a very long operation, as half a
dozen plates and the same number of knives and forks, with a couple of
dishes, were divided among six servants. Directly after this work play
was allowed. If the night were moonlight, the girls were summoned,
and dancing commenced. During the day their games were either play-
ing at soldiers, or throwing lances at marks.
Thieving was quite unknown among the boys, all of whom were
scrupulously honest. The sugar might be left among them, or even
milk ; but none of the boys I have mentioned would have condescended
to steal. They had been so well instructed and cared for by my wife,
that in many ways they might have been excellent examples for boys of
their class in civilized countries.
The foregoing account of those who composed this new expedition for
the South might be extended. Baker gives a very complete description
of it. He advanced to Lobore, after a march full of incident, through a
Baker was careful to note everything of interest that transpired along
his journey. Many marvels of nature might be described here, which are
peculiar to the Tropics.
Of course a country so extensive as Africa comprises all varieties of
scenery. There is the beautiful landscape ; there is the broad and flowing
river ; there are the deep marshes and jungles; and there in some places
are mountains, if not the loftiest in the world, certainly of majestic pro-
portions. And one advantage in following the great explorers through
the Dark Continent is that we obtain a definite idea of the general appear-
ance of the country and of the geological formations, and we emerge from
this same Dark Continent feeling that we have been in a world of wonders.
In one part of his expedition Baker came upon a very singular rock.
It was a formation very unusual, called by the natives " table rock." It
will be seen from the accompanying illustration that the projection of the
table over the pedestal on which it stands is so great that cattle may find
shelter under it. The rock forms a natural protection to man and beast.
This rock was considered so singular that an engraving of it has been
made, and we here reproduce it. It is only one of many marvellous
geological formations belonging to Africa.
An Old Superstition.
This rock must have chanced to fall upon a mass of extremely hard
clay. The wearing away of the sloping surface, caused by the heavy
rains of many centuries, must be equal to the present height of the clay
pedestal, as all the exterior has been washed away, and the level reduced.
The clay pedestal is the original earth, which, having been protected
from the weather by the stone roof, remains intact.
The Baris, says Baker, seemed to have some reverence for this stone ;
and we were told that it was dangerous to sleep beneath it, as many peo-
ple who had tried the experiment had died. I believe this superstition is
simply the result of some old legends concerning the death of a person
who may have been killed in his sleep by a stone that probably detached
and fell from the under surface of the slab. I examined the rock care-
fully, and found many pieces that gave warning of scaling off. Several
large flakes, each weighing some hundred-weight, lay beneath the table-
rock, upon the under surface of which could be distinctly traced the
mould of the slab beneath.
On the March.
At length Baker arrived at Fatiko, where his old enemy, Abou Saood,
again endeavored to annoy him and thwart the expedition. His treachery
was afterwards carried to greater lengths.
On all these marches game of various kinds was found, and many
exciting captures are related. The following thrilling account is given in
Baker's own words :
I had been observing the country for some time from my high station,
when I suddenly perceived two rhinoceroses emerge from a ravine ; they
walked slowly through a patch of high grass, and skirted the base of the
hill upon which we were standing; presently they winded something,
and they trotted back and stood concealed in the patch of grass.
Although I had a good view of them from my present position, I knew
that I should not be able to see them in their covert if on the same level ;
I therefore determined to send to the tent for my other horses, and to ride
them down if I could not shoot them on foot ; accordingly, I sent a man
off, directing him to lead the horse I had been riding from the peak and
to secure him to a tree at the foot of the hill, as I was afraid the rhinoce-
ros might observe the horse upon the sky line. This he did, and we saw
him tie the horse by the bridle to the branch of a tree below us, while he
ran quickly towards the camp.
In the meantime I watched the rhinoceroses ; both animals laid down
in the yellow grass, resembling masses of stone. They had not been
long in this position before we noticed two pigs wandering through the
grass directly to windward, toward the sleeping rhinosceroses ; in an instant
these animals winded the intruders, and starting up they looked in all
directions but could not see them, as they were concealed by the high
Having been thus disturbed, the rhinosceroses moved their quarters
and walked slowly forward, occasionally halting and listening ; one was
about a hundred yards in advance of the other. They were taking a
direction at the base of the hill that would lead them directly upon the spot
where my horse was tied to the tree. I observed this to one of my men,
as I feared they would kill .the horse. " Oh, no," he replied, " they will lie
down and sleep beneath the first tree, as they are seeking for shade — the
sun is like fire."
The Rhinoceros Attacks the Horse.
However, they still continued their advance, and upon reaching some
rising ground, the leading rhinoceros halted, and I felt sure that he had
a clear view of the horse, that was now about five hundred yards distant,
tied to the tree. A ridge descended to the hill, parallel with the course
the animals were taking ; upon this I ran as quickly as the stony slope
permitted, keeping my eye fixed upon the leading rhinoceros, which, with
his head raised, was advancing directly towards the horse. I now felt
convinced that he intended to attack it. The horse did not observe the
rhinoceros, but was quietly standing beneath the tree. I ran as fast as I
was able, and reached the bottom of the hill just as the willful brute was
within fifty yards of the horse, which now for the first time saw the
approaching danger ; the rhinoceros had been advancing steadily at a
walk, but he now lowered his head and charged at the horse at full speed.
I was about two hundred yards distant, and for the moment I was
afraid of shooting the horse, but I fired one of my rifles, and the bullet, miss-
ing the rhinoceros, dashed the sand and stones into his face as it struck
the ground exactly before his nose, when he appeared to be just into the
unfortunate horse. The horse in the same instant reared, and breaking
the bridle, dashed away in the direction of the camp, while the rhinoceros,
astonished at the shot, and most likely half blinded by the sand and
splinters of rock, threw up his head, turned round, and trotted back upon
the track by which he had arrived. He passed me about a hundred
yards distant, as I had run forward to a bush, by which he trotted with
his head raised, seeking for the cause of his discomfiture.
Reeling to and Fro.
Crack ! went a bullet against his hide, as I fired my remaining oarrel
at his shoulder ; he cocked his tail, and for a few yards charged towards
the shot ; but he suddenly changed his course and ran round several
times in a small circle ; he then halted, and reeling to and fro, retreated
very slowly, and laid down about a hundred yards off. I knew that he
had his quietus, but I was determined to bag his companion, which in
alarm had now joined him and stood looking in all quarters for the source
of danger ; but we were well concealed behind the bush.
Presently, the wounded rhinoceros stood up, and walking very slowly,
followed by his comrade, he crossed a portion of rising ground at the
base of the hill, and both animals disappeared. I at once started off
one of my men, who could run like an antelope, in search of the horse,
while I despatched another man to the summit of the peak to see if the
rhinoceroses were in view ; if not, I knew they must be among the small
trees and bushes at the foot of the hill. I thus waited for a long time,
until at length the two greys arrived with my messenger from the camp.
I tightened the girths of the Arab saddle, and had just mounted, cursing
all Arab stirrups, that are only made for the naked big toe, when my
eyes were gladdened by the sight of my favorite animal cantering
towards me, but from the exact direction the rhinoceroses had taken.
" Quick ! quick !" cried the rider, " come along ! One rhinoceros is
lying dead close by, and the other is standing beneath a tree not far off."
I immediately started, found the rhinoceros lying dead about two
hundred yards from the spot where he had received the shot, and I,
immediately perceived the companion standing beneath a small tree. The
ground was firm and stony, and all the grass had been burnt off except
in a few small patches ; the trees were not so thick together as to form a
The Rhinoceros Lay Kicking on the Ground.
The rhinoceros saw us directly, and valiantly stood and faced me as I
rode up within fifty yards of him. I was unable to take a shot in this
position, therefore I ordered the men to ride round a half-circle, as I knew
the rhinoceros would turn towards the white horses and thus expose his
flank ; this he did immediately, and firing well, exactly at the shoulder,
I dropped him as though stone dead. The rhinoceros lay kicking upon
the ground, and I thought he was bagged. Not a bit of it ! the bullet
had not force to break the massive shoulder-bone, but had merely
paralyzed it for the moment; up he jumped and started off in full gallop.
Now for a hunt! up the hill he started, then obliquely; choosing a
regular rhinoceros path, he scudded away, my horse answering to the
spur and closing with him ; through the trees, now down the hill over
the loose rocks, where he gained considerably upon the horse. I took
a pull at the reins until I reached the level ground beneath, which was
firm and first-rate. This gave me just the advantage I needed for suc-
I saw the rhinoceros pelting away about a hundred and twenty yards
ahead, and spurring hard, I shot up to him at full speed until within
twenty yards, when round he came with astonishing quickness and
charged straight at the horse. I was prepared for this, as was my horse
also; we avoided him by a quick turn, and again renewed the chase, and
regained our position within a few yards of the game. Thus the hunt
continued for about a mile and a half, the rhinoceros occasionally charg-
ing, but always cleverly avoided by the horse, which seemed to enjoy the
fun, and hunted like a greyhound. Nevertheless I had not been able to
pass the rhinoceros ; he had thundered along at a tremendous pace when-
ever I had attempted to close ; however, the pace began to tell upon his
wounded shoulder ; he evidently went lame, and as I observed at some
distance before us the commencement of the dark-colored rotten ground,
I felt sure that it would shortly be a case of " stand still." In this I was
correct, and upon reaching the deep and crumbling soil, he turned sharp
around, made a clumsy charge that I easily avoided, and stood panting at
bay. One of my men was riding a very timid horse which was utterly
useless as a hunter, but, as it reared and plunged upon seeing the rhi-
noceros, that animal immediately turned towards it with the intention of
charging. Riding close to his flank, I fired both barrels of my rifle into
the shoulder ; he fell at the shots, and stretching out his legs convulsively,
he died immediately.
This was a capital termination to the hunt, as I had expected the death
of my good horse, when the first rhinoceros had so nearly horned him.
The sun was like a furnace, therefore I rode straight to camp and sent
men and camels for the hides and flesh. As I passed the body of the
iirst rhinoceros, I found a regiment of vultures already collected around it.
Arrival in Gondokoro.
Passing on, Baker reached Masindi, in Unyoro, The king was visited,
and he expressed pleasure at Baker's arrival. He also gave accounts of
the bad behavior of Abou Saood. The king is described as an " undig-
nified lout of twenty years of age, who thought himself a great monarch."
He turned out a spy, and was evidently not to be trusted. The natives
were suspicious, Abou Saood treacherous, and the position in Masindi
Avas becoming more strained. However, Unyoro was annexed to the
Khedive's dominions with some ceremony ; but after a while, sonie poi-
soned plantain cider having been sent as a present, and nearly proved
fatal to many, Baker prepared for resistance. But ere he could lay his
plans, the natives suddenly rose, and a fierce conflict ensued.
The battle lasted an hour and a quarter : the natives were diefeated,
their capital destroyed. Baker lost several men, and his valued servant
Mansoor amongst them. The march was continued to Foweera, on the
Victoria Nile, fighting all the time ; and while at that place Baker heard
how Abou Saood had planned the attack and the poisoning at Masindi.
Until January, 1873, Baker and his brave wife remained in the country.
using severe discipline ; but at last peace and prosperity were estab-
Abou Saood was put in irons and sent to Cairo ; but he was set free
to trouble Colonel " Chinese" Gordon, who succeeded Baker, and whose
expedition resulted in important consequences to Central Africa.
Colonel Gordon reached Khartoum in March, 1874, and met the same
" sudd," or vegetable obstruction, on the White Nile. The dam broke,
and carried ships and animals for miles. The scene is described as ter-
rific. Gordon quickly reached Gondokoro after this. He was accom-
panied by Geori, an Italian; Colonel Mason, Purdy Bey, and Colonel
Long, Americans. Visits were made, and geographical observations
and discoveries pursued. Darfour was conquered, and its cruel blind
ruler made captive. Gordon returned to England in 1879, and went to
India. When, in 1884, on the point of proceeding to the Congo for the
International Association, he was dispatched by the Liberal Govern-
ment to pacify the Soudan. Hostilities were excited against him and he
lost his life, a brave hero to the last.
For a long time there was a vast amount of speculation concerning
Gordon's fate. The difficulty of obtaining news from the Soudan pre-
vented the outside world from arriving at a definite conclusion as to
whether he had been murdered or was still living. The miraculous
escapes he had already experienced, the wonderful nerve and resolution
characterizing him, the charmed life he had hitherto lived, overcoming
all obstacles, escaping from all plots, and proving himself apparently
superior to death itself, threw around him such an almost superhuman
character that it was believed he must still be living, although news came
of his death. Slowly the world was compelled to accept the unwelcome
intelligence that the great hero of the Soudan, the most marvelous fig-
ure standing against the sky of the Orient, had fallen before the spears
of his foe?
TWO CELEBRATED EXPLORERS.