Travels in Africa. Park, Denham, Clapperton, Lander, and Others

The vast continent of Africa, measuring 5000 miles in length, and about 4700 in its greatest breadth, and the area of which is calculated at 12,000,000 square miles, or nearly one-fourth of the entire land area of the globe, has presented greater obstacles to human enterprise than any other equal portion of the earth's surface. The peculiar physical condition of Africa has operated as one cause of her isolation from the rest of the world. The other portions of our earth situated under the tropics consist generally either of sea, or of narrow peninsular tracts of land, the clusters of islands blown upon the sea-breeze. Africa, on the other hand, presents scarcely one gulf or sea-break in its vast outline. A consequence of this compact geographical shape of a continent, the greater part of which is within the torrid zone, is its subjection, throughout its entire extent, to the unmitigated influence of the sun's heat. All that is noxious in climate we are accustomed to associate with Africa. Here stretching out into a boundless desert, where for days the traveler toils amid burning sands under a stifling sky - there covered with dense and swampy jungle, breathing out pestilence, and teeming with all the repulsive forms of animal life, the African continent seems to defy the encroachments of European civilization. And although, probably, our ideas of these African horrors will be modified by more accurate knowledge, enough seems ascertained to prove that the lying open of interior Africa to the general flood of human influence will be among the last achievements of the exploring spirit of our race.

Notwithstanding the difficulties which lie in the way, Africa has at all times been an object of curiosity and interest to the inhabitants of the civilized parts of the earth; and scientific zeal, the desire of extending traffic, and even the mere thirst for adventure, have prompted many expeditions for the purpose of exploring its coast and making discoveries in its interior. The ancients appear to have acquired much knowledge of Africa, which was afterwards lost, and had to be reacquired by the moderns for themselves. The African coasts of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea were not only familiar to the ancient geographers, but were inhabited by populations which performed a conspicuous part in the general affairs of the world, and ranked high in the scale of civilization - the Egyptians, Carthaginians, etc. Nor, if we may believe the evidence which exists in favor of the accounts of the circumnavigation of Africa by ancient navigators, were the ether coasts of the continent - those, namely, which were washed by the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean - unvisited by northern ships. Regarding the interior of Africa, too, the knowledge possessed by the ancients, although very meagre in itself, was nearly as definite as that possessed by their modern descendants, until within a comparatively recent period. As far as the northern borders of the Great Desert, their own personal observation might be said to extend; and respecting the wandering tribes of black and savage people living farther to the south, they had received many vague notices. The Nile being one of the best known rivers of the ancient world, its origin and course were matters of great interest, and the African geography of the ancients, in general, may be said to consist of speculations respecting this extraordinary river. The first mention made of the other great African river, the Niger, is by Ptolemy, who lived seventy years after Christ. Ptolemy believed that this river discharged itself ultimately into the Nile; others, however, did not admit this conclusion, and acknowledged that the real course of the Niger was a mystery.

Such are some of the more prominent points in the ancient geography of Africa. How wild and inaccurate must have been the notion entertained respecting the shape and total extent of the African continent, may be judged from the fact, that one geographer describes it as an irregular figure of four sides, the south side running nearly parallel to the equator, but considerably to the north of it! Others, again, held forth the fearful picture of Central Africa as a vast burning plain, in which no green thing grew, and into which no living being could penetrate; and this hypothesis of an uninhabitable torrid zone became at length the generally received one.

The invasion of Africa by the Arab races in the seventh century, wrought a great change in the condition of the northern half of that continent. Founding powerful states along the Mediterranean coasts, these enterprising Mohammedans, or Moors, as they were called, were able, by means of the camel, to effect a passage across the Desert which had baffled the ancients, and to hold intercourse with the negroes who lived on its southern border along the banks of the Niger and the shores of Lake Tchad. In some of the negro states the Arabs obtained a preponderance, and with others they carried on an influential and lucrative commerce. The consequence was a mixture of Moorish and negro blood among the inhabitants of the countries of Central Africa bordering on the Great Desert, as well as a general diffusion of certain scraps of the Mohammedan religion among the negro tribes. Hence it is that, in the innermost recesses of interior Africa at the present day, we find the negroes partly professing Paganism, partly Mohammedanism, but all practicing ceremonies and superstitions in which we observe the Pagan spirit with a slight Mohammedan tincture.

It was not till the fifteenth century that the career of modern European discovery in Africa commenced. The Portuguese, leading the van of the nations of Europe in that great movement of maritime enterprise which constitutes so signal an epoch in the history of modern society, selected the western course of Africa as the most promising track along which to prosecute discovery their intercourse with the Moors having made them aware that gold and other precious commodities were to be procured in that direction. In the year 1433, Cape Bojador was passed by a navigator called Gilianez; and others succeeding him, passed Cape Blanco, and, exploring the entire coast of the Desert, reached at length the fertile shores of Gambia and Guinea. The sudden bending inwards of the coast line at the Gulf of Guinea gave a new direction and a new impulse to the activity of the Portuguese. Having no definite ideas of the breadth of the African continent, they imagined that, by continuing their course eastward along the Gulf, they would arrive at the renowned country of the great Prester John, a fabulous personage, who was believed to reign with golden sway over an immense and rich territory, situated no one could tell where, but which some contended could be no other than Abyssinia. The Portuguese, while prosecuting their discoveries along the African coast, did not neglect means for establishing a commercial intercourse with those parts of the coast which they had already explored. Settlements or factories for the convenience of the trade in gold, ivory, gum, different kinds of timber, and eventually also in slaves, were founded at various points of the coast between Cape Verd and Biafra. Various missionary settlements were likewise founded for the dissemination of the Roman Catholic faith among the natives.

The chimera of Prester John was succeeded by the more rational hope of effecting a passage to India by the way of Southern Africa. This great feat, accordingly, was at length achieved by Vasco de Gama, who, in 1497, four years after the discovery of America by Columbus, persisted in his course to the south so far as to double the Cape of Good Hope, and point the way northward into the Indian Ocean. By his voyages and those of his successors, the eastern coast of Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope through the Mozambique Channel to the Red Sea, was soon defined as accurately as the western coast had been by the voyages of his predecessors; and thus the entire outline and shape of the African continent were at length made known. This great service to science and to the human race was rendered, it ought to be remarked, by the Portuguese, who may be said to have conducted the enterprise of the circumnavigation of Africa from its beginning to its end; and this is perhaps the greatest contribution which the Portuguese, as a nation, have made to the general fund of human knowledge.

The outline of Africa having thus been laid down on the maps, and the extent of its surface ascertained, the attention of discoverers was next turned to its interior. The efforts made by the Portuguese to explore Nigritia in search of Prester John have been already alluded to; but it was by the other nations of Europe, especially the English, the French, and the Dutch, who, on the decline of the Portuguese power, began to compete with each other in this field of enterprise, that the greatest advances were made in the knowledge of geography of the various parts of Africa, and of the races which inhabit it. For these last two hundred years, discoverers and travelers of various nations have been adding to our information respecting this vast continent; and in consequence of their joint labors, some in one part, some in another, we are now able to form an idea, very general, it must be admitted, but still tolerably distinct, of Africa and its inhabitants. In presenting a summary view of the progress of African discovery, from the period of the final circumnavigation of the continent, and its correct delineation in outline, down to the present time, it will be advantageous to take up its various divisions in the following order: - Western Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa or Nigritia, and Northern Africa, including the Great Desert.

WESTERN AFRICA. The shores of Western Africa, especially those which border the Gulf of Guinea, have retained to the present time the distinction which they acquired at the period of their discovery by the Portuguese, of being the market which European ships visit for African commodities.

The Portuguese, as we have already mentioned, where the first to plant factories along this coast, from the southern termination of the Great Desert to Congo, and other maritime districts south of the equator. Allured by the profits of the slave trade, other European nations hastened to occupy stations on the same coast; and towards the end of the eighteenth century, the number of European forts and factories round the Gulf of Guinea were said to be forty in all; of which fifteen belonged to the Dutch, fourteen to the English, four to the Portuguese, four to the Danes, and three to the French. Deriving its principal commercial importance from the trade in negroes, which this chain of forts was intended to guard, Western Africa has, since the abolition of the slave trade, fallen consider ably out of view. According to the best information, however, that has been obtained, the territory is in the possession of a number of petty states, many of which compose aristocratic republics, turbulent, restless, licentious, and generally rendered more depraved by their intercourse with Europeans.'

Proceeding from north to south, let us briefly notice the various countries of the western coast, with the tribes which inhabit them. The most northerly is Senegambia, the name applied to the district watered by the two rivers Senegal and Gambia, commencing from the Desert, and extending as far as the Grain Coast. According to Mango Park, this territory is inhabited by four tribes the Feloops, the Jaloffs, the Foulahs, and the Mandingoes. In all these tribes, part are Mohammedans by profession; but the great body of the people are Pagans, called by their Mohammedan brethren Kafirs, or infidels, and practicing the Fetish form of worship; that is, the worship of inanimate objects. The Feloops were described by Park as a gloomy and revengeful race, but honorable and faithful in their dealings with friends; the Jaloffs as an active and warlike people, with jet-black skins, but among the most handsome of the negroes, divided into several principalities, and excelling in the manufacture of cotton cloth. The Foulahs - a race of more importance in Africa than Park imagined - as of a tawny complexion, with soft silky hair and pleasing features, much attached to a pastoral life; and the Mandingoes, who are by far the most numerous people in this part of Africa, as of a mild, sociable, and obliging disposition, the men commonly above the middle-size, well-shaped, strong, and capable of enduring great labor, the women good-natured, sprightly and agreeable.

The tract of country adjoining Senegambia on the south, and stretching along the Gulf of Guinea, from the Grain Coast to the Bight of Biafra, has been named Upper Guinea, and includes, besides the colonies of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory and Gold Coasts, so noted for their unhealthiness, three native states namely, Ashantee, Dahomey, and Benin. Our information respecting these negro kingdoms is derived from the discoveries of various travelers, among whom may be mentioned Mr. Norris, who undertook a journey to the court of the king of Dahomey in 1772, with the hope of making arrangements beneficial to English trade; Mr. Bowditch, who took part in a mission for a similar purpose to the king of Ashantee in 1817; and Captain Adams, who visited Benin at a later period.

Ashantee is described as a hilly country, well watered by numerous streams, and covered almost entirely with that rich vegetable luxuriance, the labor of removing which, it has been observed, is as severe for the agriculturist as the opposite labor of fertilizing barren lands. The Ashantee negro clears the land by means of fire thus both removing the rank vegetation, and spreading the soil with a rich manure, which yields two crops a year. Besides innumerable kinds of fruit and flowers, and all the giant trees of the tropics, the productions are sugar, tobacco, maize, rice, yams, and potatoes. All kinds of tropical animals likewise swarm in Ashantee. The human inhabitants of the whole region or empire are estimated at three millions, and though possessing, in a marked degree, some of the worst negro characteristics, they are, upon the whole, more advanced than most of the African tribes, not only practicing a regular and tolerably skilled agriculture, but showing considerable ingenuity in several mechanical arts - as dyeing, tanning, pottery, weaving, and the manufacture of instruments and ornaments out of gold, iron, etc. They are also cleanly, and well clad, and pay some attention to the building and decoration of their houses. Their government is an absolute monarchy, or nearly so; the classes of society under the monarch being cabocees or nobles, gentry, traders, and slaves. Polygamy is allowed, but no one but the king possesses many wives. The royal number of wives is said to be precisely 3333, who, however, act also in other capacities; as bodyguards, etc. The most horrible of the Ashantee customs is that of sacrificing a number of persons on the death of every man of rank, the number of victims being regarded not only as indicating the dignity of the deceased in this world, but as determining his rank in the next. The belief in a future state is one of the strongest of their religious ideas. Regarding the origin of mankind, they, as well as other negro tribes of the Guinea Coast, have the following singular tradition: - The Great Spirit, they say, having created three white men and women, and as many black, offered the blacks the first choice of two articles which he held in his hand, one of which was a calabash, the other a sealed paper. The blacks chose the calabash, which contained gold, iron, and all the choice products of the earth; in consequence of which the negro race to this day possess these blessings in abundance: while the sealed paper falling to the share of the whites, has conferred on them a higher gift of knowledge, wherewith the contents of the calabash may be turned to account. This admission of the superiority of the whites on the part of the Ashantees appears also in their belief that the good negroes become white in the future state. No part of Africa, or even of the world, is believed to be richer in gold than Ashantee.

The kingdom of Dahomey, situated eastward from Ashantee, resembles it in the general aspect of the soil, and in many other particulars. It appears to be a recent negro state, formed by the conquest of a number of tribes by a powerful race from the interior. The government of the Dahomans, like that of the Ashantees, is an absolute monarchy; but the Dahoman king seems to be still more despotic in practice than his Ashan tee neighbor. When, in obedience to some superstitious freak, he wishes to send a message to some of his deceased relatives in the other world, he delivers the message to some attendant negro, whose head is immediately cut off, as a means of forwarding him to his destination; and if the mon arch has forgot any part of his communication, he immediately adds a postscript by a second messenger. The bloody custom of sacrificing a number of victims on the occasion of a great man's funeral is practiced at Dahomey as well as Ashantee. The Dahomans have similar religious beliefs with the Ashantees: their principal object of worship, appropriately enough, is the tiger. Of late years some improvement is said to have taken place in the habits of this fierce African race.

Passing from Upper Guinea, of which Ashantee and Dahomey are the principal territories, we come next to Lower or South Guinea, which extends from the Bight of Benin to the commencement of Southern Africa, and includes the provinces or districts of Loango, Congo, Angola and Benguela. The whole of this tract of coast presents the aspect of a country degraded and deteriorated by intercourse with Europeans, to a condition worse than its original negro barbarism. Here, more than three centuries ago, the Portuguese established themselves partly as missionaries of Christianity, and partly as traders in slaves; and while their efforts in the former capacity, directed as they are by the most absurd and wretched bigotry, produced almost no beneficial effect, the curse of the slave traffic which they imported has adhered to the country with a tenacity which all the rigors of modern philanthropy cannot overcome. It is from these coasts that the exportation of negroes is said to go on at the present time more busily than it did before the abolition of the slave trade. The characteristics of the coast, and of the population which inhabit it, are determined by the brutal traffic of which it is the scene. It is impossible, within our limits, to give a description of the whole line of shore, of the small porttowns scattered along it, with their motley population of negroes, mulattoes, and slave-dealing Portuguese; or of the negro districts in the interior, where the natives fight and kidnap each other to supply the demand for s laves on the coast.

SOUTHERN AFRICA. Occupied with their commerce on the coasts of Western Africa, the Portuguese scarcely give a thought to the southern extremity of the continent, the aspect of which was less promising; and accordingly, for a century and a half after the famous voyage of Vasco de Gama, the district round the cape of Good Hope remained a blank waste to Europeans. The prudent and enterprising Dutch, however, having embarked in the East India trade, soon discovered the importance of the cape as a commercial station, and in the year 1650 they founded Cape Town, the capital of Cape Colony, the most flourishing of all the European settlements in Africa. Encroaching, without the least scruple, on the territories of the natives, the Dutch extended their possessions so as to -include an area of upwards of 120,000 square miles, some spots of which were cultivated and planted with vines, or laid out in corn fields, but the greater part of which was converted into immense grazing farms. Under the Dutch the natives suffered dreadfully, numbers of them being reduced to bondage, and others driven into the interior to find subsistence as they best could. In 1795 the colony was taken by the English; it was again restored to the Dutch in 1800; a second time, however, it was taken by the English, to whom it was finally ceded in the year 1815, and is now, accordingly, art English possession. Both before and after the cession of Cape Colony to the British, various travelers have undertaken journeys among the tribes inhabiting this extremity of Africa; and no accounts are more full and interesting than those of the various missionaries, who, since the beginning of the present century, have employed themselves in the arduous task of carrying the doctrines of Christianity into the heart of the native tribes. The native tribes of Southern Africa are two in number - the Hottentots and the Caffres; the former, so far as not extirpated, inhabiting the tract of country adjacent to Cape Colony on the western coast, and the other the tract adjacent to the colony on the eastern coast.

Of the Hottentots of the colony and its vicinity, it is said that they have become noted and almost proverbial for presenting man in his lowest estate, and under the closest alliance with the inferior orders of creation. It must, indeed, be admitted that they take particular pains to render their external appearance the most hideous that the human body can possibly present. Grease is poured over their persons in copious streams, which, being exposed to the perpetual action of smoke, forms on their skin a black and shining cake, through which the native color, a yellowish-brown, is scarcely perceptible. Grease in Africa forms the chief distinction of rank - the rich besmearing themselves with fresh butter, while the poorer classes are obliged to tear the fat from the bowels of slaughtered animals. They assign as a reason for this singular practice, an effect which has been readily admitted by judicious travelers - namely, that such a coating has, in this climate, a most salutary influence in defending them from the rays of the sun, and in averting many cutaneous disorders. Nature seems to have aided the task of disfiguring them, by covering the head with irregular tufts of hard and coarse hair, and causing singular prominences, composed of fat, to jut out in parts where they are least ornamental. Nor do their habits of life present anything to redeem this outward deformity. Their kraals or villages, consist of a confused crowd of little conical hovels, composed of twigs and earth, in which large families sit and sleep without having room to stand upright. The fire in the middle fills these mansions with thick smoke, the floors being deeply covered with every species of filth. At festivals, when an ox or a sheep is killed, the Hottentots rip open the belly, tear out the entrails, which they throw on the coals, and feast on them before the animal is completely dead. Yet they are a friendly, hospitable race, living together in the greatest affection and harmony. The sluggish and senseless stupidity with which they have been so generally taxed, seems to have been in a ' great measure produced by their degrading subjection to the Dutch boors.' It has been asserted that the Hottentots are destitute of all ideas of religion; but this is not correct. It is ascertained that they believe in a Supreme Being, as well as in an inferior spirit of malignant nature; and that they practice certain superstitious rites, such as are usual among savages.

Such is the description given of the Hottentots as they were under the Dutch rule. Since the Cape came into the possession of the British, they have not been treated with the same neglect and cruelty as they experienced from the Dutch, who used to prohibit Hottentots, equally with dogs, from entering their places of worship; still, with some exceptions, arising from the beneficial effects produced in some places by the missionaries, the account seems to remain substantially true. Immediately to the north of the colony, and on the borders of the Snewburg or Snowy Mountains, are the Bosjesmans, or Bushmans, the most savage and degraded of all the South Africans. They were visited in 1797 by Mr. Barrow, private secretary to Lord Macartney, with the view of ascertaining whether friendly relations might not be entered into with them, to prevent their incursions upon the farms of the Europeans.

Mr. Barrow, at the same period, crossed the frontier which divides the colony from the country of the Caffres, and made acquaintance with this race, differing widely in almost all respects from their neighbors the Bushmans. He found them a handsome and spirited people, of frank and generous deportment, leading a roaming pastoral life, and possessing numbers of cattle, in the rearing of which they seemed proficient.

Before the commencement of the present century, little more was known respecting the original inhabitants of Southern Africa than what we have thus generally indicated. But in 1801, two gentlemen, Messrs. Trutter and Somerville, made an excursion to a considerable distance beyond the districts of the Bushmans and the Caffres, whom Mr. Barrow had visited, and discovered a large river, now called Orange River, flowing westward into the Atlantic. The banks of this river they found inhabited by a pastoral tribe called the Koranes; and the information they received from this people inducing them to continue their journey still farther to the north, they at last reached what not a little surprised them a city or town of two or three thousand houses, very neatly built, and well-arranged. The name of this city was Lattakoo; and the accounts which the travelers brought back of it to the Cape, and of the friendliness with which they had been received by the Boshuanas, who were then the prevalent tribe, induced the government to send Dr. Cowan and Lieutenant Denovan to continue the discovery, and, if possible, make their way past Lattakoo, so as ultimately to reach Mozambique on the east coast. The issue of this expedition was unfortunate. The travelers reached Lattakoo in safety, but were killed at a distance of eleven days' journey beyond it. The same route was afterwards pursued by Dr. Henry Lichtenstein, who added considerably to the knowledge then possessed of this part of Africa. But the most enterprising traveler in these regions was Mr. John Campbell, a missionary, who, animated with an eager desire to spread Christianity among the rude Hottentots and Caffres, undertook a journey for that purpose in 1813. He reached Lattakoo, made known the object of his visit to Mateebe, king of the Boshuanas, and, after some importunacy, obtained leave to establish a missionary station in the capital. Having succeeded in the object of his expedition, Mr. Campbell returned, but made a second journey to Lattakoo in 1820. He found the missionary establishment in active operation, but little progress had been made in converting the natives, who manifested the most profound indifference on the subject of religion. Mr. Campbell now penetrated beyond Lattakoo, and came among tribes till then unknown, some of them showing a considerable advance in the arts of life, inhabiting neat villages, cultivating the ground, smelting iron and copper, and manufacturing various implements. He also came upon the borders of an immense desert, which, from its appearance, and the information which he was enabled to collect respecting it, he thought entitled to be named the Southern Sahara, as rivaling in extent the Great Northern Desert. Whether, as he was led to imagine, this Desert stretches from the tropic of Capricorn, where he saw its extremity, to the equator, is a point which can only be settled by farther discovery; but the supposition does not appear probable.

Subsequently to Mr. Campbell's journey, these regions have been visited by other travelers, who have made us better acquainted with the tribes of the South Cape, by giving us details of their customs and manner of life. The latest of these is Mr. Robert Moffat, likewise a missionary. The general conclusion, from the accounts of these various travelers, seems to be, that the southern extremity of Africa is inhabited by two principal races - the Hottentots, who, both physically and intellectually, are far inferior to the average of mankind; and the Caffres, a bold and savage, but promising race, resembling in their general features the natives of other parts of Africa, and divided into a number of tribes, who inhabit villages scattered through the country which borders on the Southern Desert.

While describing the inhabitants of Southern Africa, we have left the general features of the country itself undescribed. The following passage will supply the deficiency: - 'Southern Africa consists,' says a writer, of a most strange assemblage of mountains and plains, of spots lovely and picturesque beyond description, and gifted with inexhaustible fertility, and of seemingly boundless plains, where barrenness reigns so completely para mount, that the very principle of vegetation appears to be extinct. At a certain distance from the colony we enter upon regions over which the clouds of ignorance - almost the only clouds one meets with - still brood. We traverse large rivers, which rise no one knows where, and envelop their exits in equal obscurity. Ranges of mountains also, with appellations un couth, and hiding no one knows what treasures of the animal and vegetable kingdoms in their unvisited recesses, sweep before us along the verge of the horizon, dim, blue, and shadowy, like so many fragments of fairyland. And if the great outlines of the landscape be original and bold, the filling up and coloring are no less so. Everything upon which the eye rests has the appearance of having been cast in a mould nowhere else made use of in the system of nature. Among the terrestrial animals, what bulk and fantastic formations! How numerous and strikingly contrasted are the groups that present themselves! In their character and habits what extremes seem to meet! How unspeakably lavish seems to be the waste of vitality Yet who will dare to say that, in this prodigious outpouring of animal life, there is a single creature that does not enjoy and adorn the scene on which it moves? If there be anything we should be disposed to think out of place, it is the stunted representatives of humanity, who, under the name of Bushmen, roam in indescribable misery and degradation over those sublime savannahs. To a man of imagination, nothing more inspiring can be conceived than climbing one of the breezy peaks overlooking that strange wilderness, at the moment that the dawn is busily unfolding all its varied features. From every tree the heavy dew drops pour like rain; streams of white mist, smooth and glassy as a tranquil river, float slowly down the valleys, reflecting from their surface the trees, and cliffs, and crags on either hand. Here, through openings between feathery mimosas, weeping-willows, and tall trembling reeds, we catch a glimpse of some quiet lake, the haunt of the hippopotamus; while a herd of graceful purple antelopes are seen drinking on its further margin. There, amidst thick clumps of camel-thorn, we behold a drove of giraffes, with heads eighteen feet high, browsing on the tops of trees. Elsewhere, the rhinoceros pokes his long ugly snout from a brake; while the lion, fearless in the consciousness of his own strength, parades his tawny bulk over the plain, or reclines, in sphinx-like attitude, beneath some ancient tree.'

EASTERN AFRICA. With the exception of the countries bordering on the Red Sea - Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia - which cannot be included in so general a survey as the present, the eastern coast of Africa is undoubtedly the least-known portion of the whole circuit of the continent. The tract of country extending from the northern extremity of Caffreland to Cape Guardafui, and including the states or territories of Sofala, Mozambique, Zanguebar, and Ajan, was early visited by the Portuguese in their voyages to India; and in the course of the sixteenth century, various settlements were planted in it by them, similar to those which they planted along the Guinea Coast. The most conspicuous difference was, that here the ruling race were not pure negroes, but men of Arabic descent, and vehement Mohammedans. It was from these that the Portuguese wrested the immense line of coast-territory which they once held in this part of Africa, and of which they made Mozambique the capital. On the ruin of the Portuguese power in India, their settlements in Eastern Africa declined; the Arabs and blacks reconquered a great portion of their ancient territory; and it is now merely by sufferance that the once-powerful Portuguese retain a footing on the coast at all. What they do possess, however, they guard with the utmost jealousy; and they testify extreme aversion to the intrusion of any other European nation into those territories where they once lorded it so proudly. Mr. Salt, who visited Mozambique in 1808, found it to contain a population of less than three thousand, of whom only five hundred were Portuguese. ' The rural population of this part of Africa,' says Mr. Macculloch, 'is in the most degraded state; and although the soil be naturally rich and productive, the culture of cotton, indigo, sugar, and other articles of commerce is wholly neglected. Rice, millet, and manioc are raised almost without labor, furnishing, with cocoa-nuts, almost the entire food of the slaves. The commerce of Mozambique has greatly decreased, in consequence of our exertions to suppress the traffic in slaves; but although much diminished, the slave trade is still carried on to a considerable extent both with Brazil and Arabia. These slaves, who are chiefly of the tribe of the Monjores, and brought from the centre of the continent, a distance of forty or forty-five days' journey from the colony, are procured from the native merchants in exchange for salt, shells, tobacco, coarse cloths, etc. Goods costing about two dollars, will bring in, as far as the case may be, either a slave or an elephant's tusk, weighing from sixty to eighty pounds of ivory. Hippopotamus' tusks, gold dust, Columbo-root, gums, and amber, are the other chief exports.'

From these few particulars, which include nearly all that is known of this part of Africa, it will appear that, with the exception of the infusion of the Mohammedan and Arabic element, which is here very strong, it bears a close resemblance to the corresponding portion of the western coasts. There are at the same impediments, arising from climate, to the acquisition of much knowledge of the country by Europeans, who, at best, are unable to penetrate farther than a few miles into the interior. It appears probable, indeed, that the last portion of the coast of Africa to be thoroughly explored will be these sites of the declining Portuguese colonies.

CENTRAL AFRICA. Under the general name of Central Africa may be included the whole of the interior of the continent south of the Great Desert. This immense extent of country may be divided into two parts Southern Central Africa, lying between the tropic of Capricorn and the equator; and Northern Central Africa, called also Souden, or Nigritia, lying between the equator and the Great Desert. The former is as yet totally unknown and unexplored; and before our information respecting it can be at all authentic and accurate, two most difficult expeditions must have been made, which have not yet been so much as proposed one from the Cape of Good Hope northwards as far as the Mountains of the Moon, the other transversely across the continent from Congo to Zanguebar or Mozambique. At what future period the spirit of enterprise may achieve these two journeys it is impossible to tell.

Northern Central Africa, or Nigritia, has, on the other hand, been penetrated by travelers, who have advanced into it from all directions. From the earliest times this part of Africa attracted attention, as being the country through which the famous Niger flowed, on whose banks the great city of Timbuctoo, of the wealth of which vague accounts had reached the shores of the Mediterranean, was reputed to be situated. To ascertain the course of this river, and to reach this celebrated negro city, were the leading objects of all who engaged in the enterprise of African discovery. In the year 1618, an English company was formed for the purpose of opening up a communication with Timbuctoo, and not long afterwards a similar company was formed in France. For a century and a half the two nations continued to compete with each other in the enterprise: the English trying to make their way up the river Gambia, which they imagined to be the outlet of the Niger; the French, on the other hand, persevering along the Senegal, which seemed to them more likely to be identical with the Niger. Much useful information was acquired in these successive voyages respecting Western Africa; but no intelligence was obtained of the site of the great city of the negroes. It was clearly ascertained, however, that neither the Senegal nor the Gambia could be identical with the Niger, supposing the traditionary accounts of that river to be true. Three distinct opinions respecting this river began to be entertained. Some said that there was no Niger at all, such as the ancients had described it, but that some river, branching off into the Senegal and Gambia, was alluded to. Others believed that the ancient accounts of the Niger as a river flowing towards the east was correct, and that it was to be considered one of the upper branches of the Nile. A third party maintained that the supposition of the Niger being identical with the Nile was untenable, considering the immense breadth of the continent, and that the true Niger was some stream rising in the interior of Africa, and flowing into the sea at some point of the western coast farther south than the Senegal and the Gambia. A subsequent modification of this opinion was, that the Niger did not flow into the sea at all, but terminated in some great marsh or lake in the interior of Africa, resembling the Caspian Sea.

Such was the state of information, or rather of doubt, with respect to the course of the Niger, when, in the year 1788, a number of spirited men of science, including Lord Rawdon, Sir Joseph Banks, the bishop of Landaff, Mr. Beaufoy, and Mr. Stuart, formed themselves into an association for the purpose of prosecuting this and other questions of African geography to an issue. No sooner had the society been formed, than it commenced its labors. The first travelers, however, whom it sent out were cut off by death. One of them, Major Houghton, ascended the Gambia, and never returned; it was afterwards ascertained that he had been killed by the Moors in the interior. It was at this juncture that the celebrated Mungo Park presented himself to the society. Born in the county of Selkirk, in Scotland, in the year 1771, and having been educated for the medical profession, Park had just returned from a voyage to the East Indies in the capacity of assistant-surgeon on board one of the East India Company's vessels, when he offered his services to the association through Sir Joseph Banks. After due inquiry into Mr. Park's character and qualifications, they were accepted. This was in 1793; but he did not depart on his expedition till the summer of 1795. His instructions were, on his arrival in Africa, to pass on to the river Niger either by the way of Bambouk, or by such other route as should be found most convenient - that he should ascertain the course, and, if possible, the rise and termination of that river that he should use his utmost exertions to visit the principal towns or cities in its neighborhood, particularly Timbuctoo and Houssa - and that he should be afterwards at liberty to return to Europe either by the way of the Gambia, or by such other route as, under all the then existing circumstances of his situation and prospects, should appear to him to be most advisable.'

The ship in which Park sailed reached the African coast in the latter end of June 1795, and on the 5th of July the traveler took up his residence in the house of an English settler in the village of Pisania, situated on the northern bank of the Gambia, at a considerable distance from the coast. After remaining here about five months, preparing for his journey into the interior, and acquiring information respecting the western parts of Africa, Park launched upon his perilous enterprise on the 2d of December 1795. For three months he toiled on in a north-westerly direction, passing through various negro kingdoms, and numberless towns and villages, almost everywhere received with kindness and respect, although the cupidity of some of the negro sovereigns stripped him of most of the articles of value he had brought along with him, as a tax for allowing him to pass through their dominions. For a detailed account of all his adventures during the journey, we must refer to his own narrative, which has long and justly been regarded as one of the most interesting and best-written books in the English language. Suffice it to say, that after having pushed on till he found himself near the southern borders of the Great Desert, and when fancy had already placed him on the banks of the Niger, and presented to his imagination a thousand delightful scenes in his future progress,' a cruel accident came to delay, and, as it seemed, utterly to prevent, the fulfillment of his golden dream.' In this part of Africa he found that the Moors, or men of Arab blood, were the ruling race, domineering over the negroes in the most insolent manner; and while from the negroes, almost universally, he experienced kind treatment, the Moors he describes as the most barbarous and tyrannical of the human race. Accordingly, after entering the countries which, from their proximity to the Great Desert, were under the thraldom of the Moors, he proceeded with greater caution than he had found it necessary to adopt in passing through the countries inhabited by a pure negro population. His caution, however, was of no avail; on the 7th of March, 1796, he was carried away captive by a Moorish chief to Benown, a village on the margin of the Desert, where he was detained for nearly three months, enduring incredible hard ships from the cruelty of his keepers, who persecuted him both as a stranger and as a Christian.

Escaping at length from the hands of his tormentors, Park continued his journey in a south-easterly direction, passing, as before, through several negro kingdoms, where, however, the Moors seemed to exercise a powerful influence, and where, consequently, he was obliged to undergo much suffering and insult, although, even in the depths of his distress, he always found sympathy and compassion from some poor negro. On the 21st of July, 1796, he was approaching a large town called Sego, the capital of the kingdom of Bambarra, in company with a party of negroes, who were proceeding thither, and who entertained him on the way with accounts of the traffic which went on at this town, and of the Great Water, or Joliba, which flowed past it. This stream Park had no doubt was the Niger, of which he was in search; and so it proved. We rode together,' he says, through some marshy ground, where, as I was anxiously looking around for the river, one of them called out, " Geo affilli!" (" See the water!") and looking forwards, I saw with infinite pleasure the great object of my mission - the long-sought-for majestic Niger glittering to the morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing slowly to the eastward. I hastened to the brink, and having drunk of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the Great Ruler of all things for having thus far crowned my endeavors with success.'

Having thus been successful in reaching the banks of the long-sought Niger, Park would have pursued his journey along them so as to ascertain its farther course, and even trace it to its termination; but his entire destitution of everything necessary for such an enterprise, and the reports which he received of the bigotry of the Moors who ruled in the districts through which he must pass, prevented him from advancing farther than. Silla, a town considerably to the east of Sego. Accordingly, having collected all the information he could respecting the course of the river beyond this point - having done all that he could towards the settlement of the question of the course of the Niger - having ascertained the existence of large trading cities in the interior of Africa, some of which he had visited, and the position of three others of which (namely, Jenne, Timbuctoo, and Houssa) he had learnt by accurate inquiry - having, moreover, accumulated a vast mass of information respecting the manners, customs, and social condition of the natives of Central Africa - Park returned to the coast along the banks of the Niger, and consequently by a route different from that which he had adopted on his journey inland. He reached Pisania on the 10th of June, 1797, having thus been absent twenty-one months in the interior of Africa. He arrived in London on Christmas Day in the same year; was received with great enthusiasm by all classes; prepared the narrative of his journey for publication; and at length, in 1800, having in the meantime married, he settled as a medical practitioner in Peebles.

Park's success gave an impulse to the spirit of discovery, and two attempts were made shortly after his return to follow up what he had begun. 'A German, named Hornemann, undertook to penetrate into the continent by way of Egypt, and succeeded in reaching Fezzan, whence he wrote, in April, 1800, to England; but no particulars relative to his future history are known. He was never again heard of till 1824, when Captain Clapperton, who followed the same route with a better issue, learnt that the German traveler had succeeded in penetrating from Fezzan to Nyffee, or Nouffie, on the Niger, where he fell a victim to dysentery. Hornemann's papers had been all accidentally burnt.

In 1804, another enterprising spirit, Mr. Nicholls, endeavored to enter the African interior from the Calabar coast, in the Gulf of Guinea, but, at the very outset of his journey, he also perished from the pestilential fever of those latitudes.' At length Mr. Park - who, notwithstanding the public respect and domestic comfort which he enjoyed in the situation in which he had settled down, still hankered after a life of wandering in Africa, avowing, it is said, to Sir Walter Scott, who was one of his most intimate friends, that he preferred it to any other consented, on the invitation of government, to undertake a second journey. All requisite preparations for the enterprise were completed before the end of January, and on the 30th of that month 1805, Park set sail from Portsmouth, in the Crescent transport, taking on board with him from the dockyards of that place four or five artificers.' He was accompanied also by his brother-inlaw, Mr. Anderson, and a friend, Mr. Scott. When, on the 21st of March 1805, the transport anchored in the Goree Roads, near the mouth of the Gambia, and Mr. Park's purposes were made known here, almost every man of the garrison volunteered his services for the expedition. The traveler selected thirty-five able-bodied men, and also accepted the offered services of one officer, Lieutenant Martyn, thinking it of consequence to have in the party some one already acquainted with the soldiers. Two experienced seamen from the Squirrel frigate were added to the party with the view of benefiting by their valuable assistance in sailing down the Niger.

Park communicated these arrangements by letter to the colonial department, and thus he describes his departure from Goree: - " On the morning of the 6th of April we embarked the soldiers, in number thirty five men. They jumped into the boat in the highest spirits, and bade adieu to Goree with repeated huzzas. I believe that every man in the garrison would have embarked with great cheerfulness; but no inducement could prevail on a single negro to accompany me." ' Park's intentions with respect to this second journey were stated to government before his departure from England. He said that he would proceed up the Gambia, cross the country to the Niger, and travel down that river to its termination.' Sailing up the Gambia as far as Kayee, Park and his party commenced their land journey from that point on the 27th of April, in high spirits, and amply provided with all necessaries. At Kayee he was able, for the first time, to perfect his preparations for the route, by attaching a few natives to his party. Isaaco, a Mandingo priest and merchant, and one well inured to long inland journeys, engaged himself to act as a guide to the expedition, and to give it the assistance of several negroes, his own personal attendants.' Unfortunately it was the worst season of the year for traveling, and the journey was one of continued toil and sickness. Before the 19th of August more than three-fourths of the party had died, or been left behind to die. On that day, after leaving the place called Toni, coming,' says Park, to the brow of a hill, I once more saw the Niger rolling its immense stream along the plain!' This was a pleasant sight for Park's companions. Several more of them, however, died before Sego, the capital of Bambarra, was reached. Here, being kindly received by Mansong, the king of the Bambaraas, Park hoped to be able to obtain a vessel in which he might navigate the Niger to its termination. He waited for several weeks at Sansanding, a town a little below Sego, using all his endeavors to obtain from Mansong a canoe sufficient for his purpose. After much labor, he did get a vessel of the desired kind fitted up, and named it his Britanic majesty's schooner the Joliba. At Sansanding, on the 28th of October, Mr. Anderson underwent the fate of so many of his companions, and regarding his death Park observes - " No event that took place during the journey ever threw the smallest gloom over my mind till I laid Mr. Anderson in the grave. I then felt myself as if left a second time lonely and friendless amidst the wilds of Africa."

'At this point the authentic account of Mungo Park's second journey ends. Isaaco's engagement here terminated, and the papers given to him by the traveler, and carried back to the coast, constitute the only records of the expedition which came from Park's own pen. These papers were accompanied by several letters, the most interesting of which is one (dated Sansanding, November 17) addressed to Lord Camden. In this letter Park says - " I am sorry to say, that of forty-four Europeans who left the Gambia in perfect health, five only are at present alive; namely, three soldiers (one deranged in his mind), Lieutenant Martyn, and myself. From this account I am afraid that your lordship will be apt to consider matters as in a very hopeless state; but I assure you I am far from despairing. With the assistance of one of the soldiers, I have changed a large canoe into a tolerably good schooner, on board of which I this day hoisted the British flag, and shall set sail to the east, with a fixed resolution to discover the termination of the Niger, or perish in the attempt. I have heard nothing that I can depend on respecting the remote course of this mighty stream, but I am more and more inclined to think that it can end nowhere but in the sea. My dear friend Mr. Anderson, and likewise Mr. Scott, are both dead; but though all the Europeans who are with me should die,, and though I myself were half dead, I would still persevere, and if I could not succeed in the object of my journey, I would at last die on the Niger." '

These were the last words which Park sent to Europe; the next intelligence was a vague rumor of his death. For five years, however, no authentic information of the event was received; but from the exertions of Isaaco, Park's former guide, who was induced in 1810 to make a journey with a view to ascertain the traveler's fate, it appeared that his prophetic words had been accomplished, and that he had died on the Niger.' Isaaco obtained the particulars from Amadi Fatouma, who acted as guide to the party onward from Sansanding. They were as follows: - Passing Jeuné and Timbuctoo in safety, the little schooner, with Park and his surviving companions (eight in number) on board, reached Yaour, in the kingdom of Houssa. Not willing to delay his progress by landing, Park sent Amadi Fatouma, whose engagement as guide terminated here, on shore with presents to the king. These presents being treacherously appropriated by the inferior chief to whom Amadi delivered them, the king of Houssa, thinking his dignity insulted, sent an army after the schooner. The army came upon the schooner at a part of the river called Boussa. ' There is before Boussa a rock extending across the river, with only one opening in it, in the form of a door, for the water to pass through. The king's men took possession of the top of this rock, until Park came up to it and attempted to pass. The natives attacked him and his friends with lances, pikes, arrows, and other missiles. Park defended himself vigorously for a long time; but at last, after throwing everything in the canoe overboard, being overpowered by numbers, and seeing no chance of getting the canoe past, he took hold of one of the white men and jumped into the river; Martyn did the same; and the whole were drowned in their attempt to escape by swimming. One black remained in the canoe, the other two being killed, and he cried for mercy. The canoe fell into the hands of the natives. Amadi Fatouma, on being freed from his irons three months afterwards, ascertained these facts from the native who had survived the catastrophe.'

From 1805 to 1822, various attempts were made to penetrate after Park into the heart of Nigritia. In 1809 Roentger, a German, proceeded from Morocco with a view to cross the Great Desert, but he seems to have been murdered by his guides. Shortly after, some information was obtained from two Americans, Adams and Riley, who were wrecked off the coast of the Great Desert, and carried into the interior by the Arabs. Adams alleged that he had been carried as far as Timbuctoo, but little credit was attached to his statement. The famous Burckhardt was to attempt a journey into the interior from Egypt, but died before carrying his resolution into effect. In 1816 the British government, possessed with the idea, which we have seen that Park himself came latterly to entertain, that the Congo was the outlet of the Niger, fitted out two expeditions, one of which, under Captain Tuckey, was to ascend the Congo in vessels; the other, under Major Peddie, was to penetrate the interior by Park's route, and, embarking on the Niger, to sail down it so as to meet Captain Tuckey, which would of course happen if the Niger and Congo were identical. Both parties were brought to a halt the expedition up the Congo by cataracts, which prevented further navigation, and the land expedition by the hostility of the natives; and the only result of consequence was to explode the hypothesis that the Niger and the Congo were the same.

About the year 1819 attention was drawn to the possibility of penetrating into Central Africa by a route not yet tried - namely, from Tripoli through the Great Desert; and as the bashaw of Tripoli, whose influence extended far into the interior, was understood to be willing to cultivate the good will of the British, it was resolved to make the attempt under his auspices. Accordingly, in 1819, Mr. Ritchie and Lieutenant Lyon began the journey from Tripoli across the Desert. They reached Mourzouk in Fezzan; but Mr. Ritchie dying there of bilious fever, the expedition was abandoned. In April 1822, however, three new adventurers, Major Denham, Captain Clapperton, and Dr. Oudney, with several companions, followed the same route. A caravan, belonging to a great native merchant named Boo Khaloom, was on the point of starting for Soudan on the Niger, and with this the band of travelers were to cross the Desert in company.

Boo Khaloom, a Moor or Arab of remarkable abilities, and of a liberal and humane disposition, had a retinue on the journey of above two hundred Arabs, and with this company performed their dreary marches, under a burning sun, across the sands of the interior. The most extraordinary sight on this route was the number of skeletons strewed on the ground, the wrecks of former caravans. Sometimes sixty or seventy my in one spot, and of these some lay entwined in one another's arms, as they had perished! For fourteen days, hills of sand, and plains of sand, constituted the only objects in sight of travelers. At the end of that time they again beheld symptoms of herbage, being now on the northern borders of the kingdom of Bornou. Shortly afterwards, on reaching a town called Lari, the British travelers beheld a sight which made up for all they had undergone. This was the great inland sea of Africa, Lake Tchad, the existence of which had been so often canvassed, and which now lay before them " glowing with the golden rays of the sun."

Lake Tchad, one of the most interesting points of Central African scenery, is a vast triangular sheet of water, about one hundred and eighty miles long from east to west, and above one hundred miles in extent at its greatest breadth. It lies between 14 and 17 degrees of north latitude, and 12 and 15 degrees of east longitude. Two large streams flow into it - the one called the Yeou, from the west, and the other the Shary or Tshary, from the south. Lake Tchad is situated about five hundred miles to the east of the Niger, and the country lying between them bears the general name of the Soudan, though particular appellations are given to provinces, such as Houssa, and others. Bornou is the district lying immediately to the west of the lake. Major Denham spent a considerable time here. He found the kingdom of Bornou in a very peculiar position as to government. The people are negroes, and had once been subjugated by the Foulahs or Fellatahs - a bold race, of uncertain descent, and the conquerors and oppressors of many kingdoms in the interior. But a Bornouese negro, of humble birth and powerful talents, had aroused his countrymen and driven out the Fellatahs. This individual was found by Major Denham to be in possession of the whole power of Bornou, though, out of respect to the prejudices of his people, the old Fellatah prince was still permitted to hold a nominal throne, and the empty title of sultan. The real ruler contented himself with the title of sheikh. He is described by Denham as being extremely intelligent, and as holding the reins of power with great firmness and sagacity. The Bornouese are disciples of Mohammed, and may be called well civilized in comparison with other inland nations. Their country supplies them abundantly with food, and they carry on manufactures to a considerable extent in cotton.

'Major Denham found an opportunity of traveling round nearly the whole of Lake Tchad, and thus satisfied himself that the waters of the Niger did not enter this inland pool. After eighteen months' stay in Bornou, Denham was joined by Captain Clapperton who had separated from him in order to explore the country of Soudan - an excursion on which Dr. Oudeney unfortunately perished from fatigue, and the diseases incidental to the climate. Clapperton was well received at Soccatoo, the Capital of Houssa, and the seat of Bello, the great Soudanite monarch, and the head of the Fellatah nation. Like the sheikh of Bornou, Sultan Bello was found to be an able and intelligent man.

‘Soccatoo, the capital of Houssa, situated on a tributary of the Niger, and distant four days' journey from that river, is one of the largest cities of the interior, containing, to appearance, above forty thousand inhabitants. The city is laid out in regular streets, and is surrounded, like most African towns, with clay walls. The houses are well-built cottages, generally of clay; and the mosques, as well as parts of the sultan's palace, are ornamented with painted wooden pillars, in a very pretty style of architecture.

'Upon the whole, the two countries of Houssa and Bornou must be regarded as far above any kingdoms of the African interior yet visited by Europeans in point of power and civilization. The Fellatah sultan, Bello, was extremely anxious that an English consul should be sent to Soccatoo, and that a trade should be opened up with the English. Before the travelers left either Houssa or Bornou, however, they found the rulers of these places to cool in their desire for British intercourse. This arose, without doubt, from the intrigues of the Arabs, who were afraid that the traffic through the Desert from the Mediterranean might be superseded by the commerce of the British from the Atlantic or western coast. The Arabs, therefore, artfully placed before the minds of the African princes the consequences which had resulted to India and other countries from a connexion with Britain.'

Having spent in all about three years in the interior of Africa, Denham and Clapperton returned to Tripoli, which they reached on the 26th of January 1825. 'The safe return of two principal members of this expedition, and the interesting nature of the observations made by them, was cheering and encouraging to the British authorities, and to all who took an interest in African Discovery. But the question of the Niger's outlet, through which alone it was obvious commercial intercourse could be securely and effectually established with the interior, remained yet in doubt, though the late travelers were fully convinced that the river flowed into the Atlantic somewhere in the Gulf of Guinea. Ere he had rested many months at home, Clapperton, one of the bravest of the many brave men who had risked their lives on the same dangerous adventure, was again on his way to Africa at the head of an exploratory party. His companions were Dr. Morrison and Captain Pearce, besides a faithful servant of Clapperton, Richard Lander. It was resolved on this occasion to enter the interior from Badagry, a district on the northern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, from which Clapperton believed the Niger might be soonest reached.'

In the course of their arduous journey all of the party died except Clapperton and his servant Lander. They persevered, nevertheless, passing through many populous negro towns situated between the coast and the Niger. The whole of this tract of country they found very thickly peopled; and the natives appeared, at a distance from the coast, to be of superior disposition and character. In April 1826 they reached Boussa on the Niger, the place where Park had been killed; they saw the spot where the traveler had met his death, and heard that some relics of him were still preserved, but could not obtain a right of them. After staying some time at Boussa, Clapperton crossed the Niger, and paid another visit to the territories of his former acquaintance, Sultan Bello, who, however, seemed less friendly to him than on the previous occasion, apparently suspecting the motives which actuated the British in their efforts to procure information respecting a part of the world so remote from their own. Wearied out by his toils, Clapperton became ill at Soccatoo, and died there on the 13th of April 1827, in the arms of Richard Lander, who, with great difficulty, made his way alone back to the coast, which he reached in November. He immediately set out for England, carrying Captain Clapperton's papers with him, and a journal of his own proceedings subsequent to Clapperton's death.

Meanwhile the British government were making another attempt from the Mediterranean. About the time that Clapperton set out on his second journey, Major Lang, an able officer, who had already traveled on the African coasts, entered the Desert by way of Tripoli, under the protection of a personage who had resided twenty-two years at Timbuctoo. When in the middle of the Desert, the party was attacked by a band of wild Carrick, and Major Lang was left for dead, with twenty-four dreadful wounds on his person. He recovered, however, by the care of his surviving companions, although numerous portions of bone had to be extracted from his head and temples! When able to do so, he pursued his journey, and on the 18th of August reached the famous city of Timbuctoo. Several letters were received from him, dated at this place, which he described as having disappointed him in point of extent, being only about four miles in circuit, but that he had found its records copious and interesting. Major Lang never had the opportunity, unhappily, of making these valuable discoveries known, being murdered, three days after leaving Timbuctoo, by a wretch who had undertaken to guide him to the mouth of the Senegal, or its neighborhood. What became of the ill-fated traveler's papers is not known.

The next light thrown upon African geography came from a source somewhat different from those described. Rend Catiline, a Frenchman of humble origin, assuming the character of a Mohammedan on a pilgrimage to Mecca, joined, on the 19th of April 1827, a small native caravan, traveling from the river Munoz to the interior. He soon after reached the Joliba (the name which the Niger bears as far down as Timbuctoo), but was detained by illness for five months at a place called Time. On his recovery, he passed onwards to Jennie on the Niger, a city described by him as containing eight thousand or ten thousand inhabitants, and as being a place of considerable traffic. At Jennie, he embarked in a loose native vessel of sixty tons burden, and sailed with a party of merchants through Lake Debbie, and down the Niger, until, in April 1828, the vessel stopped at Ca bra, the port of Timbuctoo. The inhabitants of Ca bra were about twelve hundred in number, and were solely occupied as porters, either in unloading goods, or in conveying them on the backs of asses to Timbuctoo. That city itself lies about ten miles from the Niger, and is a place of some ten thousand or twelve thousand inhabitants. It is chiefly built of bricks, and is supported entirely by commerce. The population are partly negroes and partly Moors; but the king is a negro, and the government is solely in the hands of that class. On the other hand, though all the people engage more or less in trade, the Moors are the principal merchants. The great article of traffic is salt, which is brought from the mines in the neighboring Desert of Sahara, and is disseminated from Timbuctoo over the whole of Central Africa.

After leaving Timbuctoo, Catiline made his way across the Desert to Tangier, where he arrived in August 1828, and whence he was forwarded by the French consul to Europe. Upon the whole, however, M. Catiline has contributed little to the removal of those glaring blanks which have so long defaced the map of Africa.

Not so the next adventurer to whom we have to allude. This was Richard Lander, the faithful follower of Clapperton. Lander made an offer of his services to government for the investigation of the course and termination of the Niger. The offer was accepted; and Lander embarked at Portsmouth on the 9th of January 1830, accompanied by his younger brother John, who shared in all the toils and honors of the expedition. The Landers arrived on the 19th of March at Bandar, and at the end of the month started on the same route pursued by Clapperton in his journey to the Niger. Passkey, the old guide, was again taken into service by the Landers. After an interesting journey through the populous cities of Aria, the travelers arrived at Boussa on the Niger on the 17th of June. The king of Boussa welcomed them with great cordiality. Though gentle and hospitable, this prince was a mere ignorant savage in comparison of the kings of Boussa and Bornou. At Boussa, notwithstanding that aversion always evinced by the natives to speak about Park, the Landers found an old nautical publication belonging to that traveler, with a loose paper or two between the sheets - one of them an invitation card to dinner. The man who possessed this book regarded it as his household god - every written paper being of magical import in the eyes of the natives. The tobe, or surtout-dress, of rich crimson damask, which Park had worn, was also recovered at Boussa by the Landers; but no distinct account was got of the mode in which these articles came into the hands of their owners.'

After making all inquiries, so as to rescue any relics of Park, and even ascending to Yaourie, a city and province a few days' journey farther up the Niger for that purpose, obtaining for their trouble a double-barreled gun which had belonged to the traveler, the Landers endeavored to procure a canoe, that they might sail down the river, and solve the great problem of its course and termination. They were assisted in the kindest manner by the king of Boussa, who sent messengers down the Niger to a town called Rabba, in order to pave the way for the secure passage of the travelers. On the 20th of September, the travelers embarked in a canoe provided for them on the Niger.

On the 7th of October they arrived opposite Rabba, having passed a number of islands and towns on the river, which was always a magnificent stream, but varying considerably in width. Rabba is a large market town, governed by a relative of Sultan Bello. The ruler of Rabba being dissatisfied with the presents made to him, the travelers were reluctantly forced to give him Park's tobe, and they subsequently had the misfortune to lose his gun. Near Rabba, the river took a wide sweep to the eastward, but it again turned to the south. Egga, another famous market town on the river, and Kacunda, were afterwards passed, and the mouths of two large tributaries, the Coodoovia and the Tchadda, were also seen. Various other towns were passed in succession, the largest of which were Bocqua and Attah. The Landers had now arrived at a region where signs of European intercourse were seen, and where the natives had been tainted by the demoralising consequences of the slave commerce. At a place called Kirree the travelers suffered a heavy misfortune. They were attacked by a number of canoes, seized, and their property taken from them. Richard's journal, amongst other articles, was lost in the river, though the notes of his brother were happily preserved. The travelers expected nothing but death at this time themselves; but their lives were saved, that they might be carried down the river to Eboe Town where the king of the Eboe people resided, and by whose subjects the attack had been made.

On their way to Eboe Town, they passed a large lake on the river, which afterwards divided itself into three broad streams, flowing at different inclinations to the south-west. From this, and previous branchings of the stream, the Landers felt convinced that they were close by the termination of the Niger in the Gulf of Guinea; and their anxiety to continue their route was proportionable to their pleasure at the near accomplishment of their task. Obie, the Eboe king, resolved to detain them, however, till a ransom was got up from the English; but King Boy, a monarch residing farther down the river, and who was then in Eboe Town, became bound for the ransom of the Landers, and carried them down (what proved to be the stream commonly called the Nun River) to Brass Town, his father's capital. King Boy subsequently went down to the mouth of the river with Richard Lander, leaving John at Brass Town. An English merchantman was lying in the Nun, and, with hope in his heart, Richard Lander went on board of her with Boy, and explained his situation to the commander, Captain Lake, expecting to find a country's sympathy and aid. The wretch refused to expend a penny on their ransom, though, if he had possessed a spark of intelligence, he might have been assured that the British governement would gladly have paid, ten times over, any outlay made in such circumstances. Richard Lander with difficulty prevailed on Boy to go and bring his brother John to the brig, by which time the traveler hoped Lake would relent. The brutal captain, however, did not relent and when John Lander came to the brig, he and his brother, much against their will, were forced to leave the river without satisfying Boy, who had generously taken the risk of recovering their ransom. It is a consolation to think that the British government ultimately remunerated Boy beyond his expectations. In Captain Lake's vessel, meantime, the Landers, after much danger, crossed the bar of the river Nun, and entered the open sea in the Bight of Benin, Gulf of Guinea, with the deep satisfaction on their minds of having thus attained the glory of discovering the termination of the Niger! On the 1st of December they were put ashore at Fernando Po, where they experienced the warmest reception from the British residents. Shortly after, they found a passage homewards, and reached Britain on the 9th of June 1831, after an absence of a year and a half.

The solution of the great African mystery by the Landers was justly felt by their countrymen as a national triumph. But the matter, when explained, looked so simple, as in the case of Columbus with the egg, that men wondered how they could have been so long in the dark with respect to it. The splitting of the Niger into numerous branches near its close, some of them a hundred miles distant from others, was the real cause of all the difficulty. Like the Nile, the Niger has a large delta (so called from the shape of the Greek letter delta), and each of its branches bore the look of independent streams. The delta of the Niger is partly inhabited, but is extremely marshy.'

Since the completion of Park's great discovery by the Landers, two expeditions have been fitted out for the navigation of the Niger from its mouth into the interior. At first there was a general belief that now a communication had been opened up with Central Africa, and that, by means of the Niger, an easy and speedy intercourse could be held with the negro tribes living south of the Great Desert. Accordingly, two steamers, one of them entirely iron, were fitted out in 1832, at the expense of some individuals in Liverpool anxious to commence the new trade. They arrived at the Delta of the Niger in the month of October, accompanied by a sailing-vessel laden with articles for traffic. Many of the crew were carried off by the pestilential influence of the climate; and the steamers did not ascend very far. The Tchadda, a tributary of the Niger, was explored for about a hundred miles by one of them; but its banks were not found to present much opportunity for commerce, and the steamer returned to the Niger. Richard Lander, who had given his services to the expedition, was mortally wounded in a scuffle with the natives, while ascending the river in a boat with a supply of kowries which he had returned to the sea-coast to procure. He died thirteen days after, on the 2d of February 1834; and in July, the vessels left the Niger on their voyage home, the crew of the one having been reduced from twenty-nine to five and that of the other from nineteen to four. In a commercial point of view, likewise, the expedition was a failure, the only article of value procured from the natives being ivory, and that in too small a quantity to pay the expenses of the enterprise.

A second expedition, consisting of three iron steamers commissioned by government, set sail for the Niger in May 1841. The object of this expedition was to open up such an intercourse with the native princes on the banks of the Niger as might serve to assist in suppressing the African slave trade, and to plant the seeds of civilization in the centre of the continent. Besides being amply manned and furnished, the vessels carried with them all that was necessary for establishing a little colony or model farm on the banks of the Niger, such a scheme seeming best fitted for inoculating the African population with the habits which it was desired to naturalize among them. The entire number of individuals connected with the expedition was 301, of whom 145 were Europeans, and 156 persons of color. The vessels commenced the ascent of the Niger on the 20th of August; passed Aboh, the capital of the Eboe country, where the commissioners negotiated with Obie, the king or chief of the district, regarding the suppression of the slave trade. Ninety-five miles farther up they came to Iddah, the capital of the king of Eggarah, with whom a treaty was also concluded. On the 10th of September the confluence of the Niger and the Tchadda was reached; and here it was determined to establish the model farm. Accordingly, the part of the crews and cargoes intended for the purpose was disembarked.

Meanwhile sickness had become so prevalent, and the number of deaths so great, that two of the steamers were obliged to descend the river with the invalids, in order to give them the chance of recovery on the coast. The remaining steamer, the Albert, advanced as far as Egga, about 350 miles from the sea. Farther than this, however, the increasing illness of the crew prevented it from proceeding; and accordingly, having explained to the chief of the place the object of their visit, the commander turned back on the 5th of October, and descended the river, there being hardly hands sufficient left to manage the vessel. The Albert reached the sea on the 16th of October, the other two steamers having reached it on the end of the previous month. The expedition had been most disastrous. Of the 145 white men, only fifteen escaped the river fever; while of the 156 blacks, only eleven were attacked. The list of deaths showed a total of fifty-three. The news of these unfortunate results having reached England, orders were sent out in the summer of 1842 to abandon the enterprise and remove the laborers from the model farm; which was accordingly done.

By way of summing up the information which we have yet been able, by all our researches and expeditions, to obtain respecting Soudan or Nigritia, we may state an opinion which seems to be gaining ground. It is maintained by some that there is evidence that great changes have occurred in Central Africa within the last few centuries; that, in fact, a general movement towards civilization is discernible in the heart of this vast and forbidding continent a movement not originated by European contact, but born among the Africans themselves. There is evidence, it is said, that a few centuries ago the inhabitants of Nigritia were very far inferior in promise and culture to what they are at present; that the commercial spirit and manufacturing ingenuity which travelers report to exist among the negro tribes are of recent growth. The great agents in this change in the condition of Central Africa are said to be the Foulahs a people of doubtful origin, but possibly Asiatic. These Foulahs are represented as having acted as conquerors of the original negro tribes triumphing by virtue of their superior temperament and organization, and incorporating the petty states of the old negro chiefs into large kingdoms helping also to civilize the natives by introducing among them the ideas of Mohammedanism, which, however inferior and pernicious in themselves, were yet an advance upon the original negro beliefs.

'Throughout the whole extent of Nigritia or Negroland,' says a writer who advocates the opinion we have just stated,' the Foulahs undoubtedly occupy preeminence. They are found spread over a geographic region of 28 to 30 degrees of longitude (1500 miles), and 7 to 10 degrees in latitude, or 500 miles. They extend from the Atlantic Ocean, from the mouth of the Senegal and Senegambia on the west, to the kingdoms of Bornou and Mandara on the east; from the Desert of Sahara on the north, to the mountains of Guinea or Kong on the south. This wide superficies contains more than 700,000 square miles, which is equal to the fourth part of Europe, and a tenth part of the immense continent of Africa.'

In some parts of this vast extent of territory the Foulahs are politically supreme, in others they are feudal dependents of the original chiefs; but everywhere they seem to be the growing power. 'The Foulahs,' says Mr. Hodgson, 'are not negroes. They differ essentially from the negro race in all the characteristics which are marked by physical anthropology. They may be said to occupy the intermediate space betwixt the Arab and the negro. All travelers concur in representing them as a distinct race in moral as in physical traits. To their color, the various terms of bronze, copper, reddish, and sometimes white, has been applied. They concur also in the report that the Foulahs of every region represent themselves to be white men, and proudly assert their superiority to the black tribes among whom they live. The Foulahs are rigid Mohammedans, and, according to Mollien the French traveler's report, they are animated by a strong zeal for proselytism. They are the missionaries of Islam among the Pagan negro tribes. Where they have conquered, they have forced the adoption of the Koran by the sword; and whilst pursuing quietly their pastoral occupation, they become schoolmasters (maalims), and thus propagate the doctrines and precepts of Islam. Wherever the Foulah has wandered, the Pagan idolatry of the negro has been overthrown; the barbarous Fetish and greegree have been abandoned; anthropophagy and cannibalism have been suppressed.' ... Thus the Foulahs are now exercising a powerful influence upon the moral and social condition of Central Africa. I do not doubt that they are destined to be the great instrument in the future civilization of Africa, and the consequent suppression of the external Atlantic slave trade. They will, probably, erect one vast empire in the Soudan, and the influence which that power may exert in the great question of African civilization, gives them no ordinary importance.' If this opinion be true, what might not be the result if the Foulahs, at present barbarians and Mohammedans, themselves were over powered by the higher and purer ideas which have raised Europe to its present supremacy over the earth? Meanwhile, it is consoling to think that, even in Central Africa, the human race has been moving onward.

NORTHERN AFRICA AND THE GREAT DESERT. Respecting that vast section of the African continent which extends from the Mediterranean to Nigritia, it appears that we are only beginning to obtain a correct description. Various officers of the French army at present engaged in the arduous enterprise of establishing the colony of Algeria, have occupied themselves in collecting information regarding the numerous tribes overspreading Northern Africa; and it would seem, from their accounts, that the ideas we have been accustomed to entertain concerning these regions are far from correct.

According to the recent accounts, Northern Africa, between the Mediterranean and Nigritia, consists of two portions the Tell, or that strip of land varying from 50 to 120 miles in breadth, which lies along the sea; and the Sahara, or, as it has commonly been called, the Great Desert. The following remarks respecting the Tell are from the work of Mr. Hodgson previously quoted: - ‘On the Mediterranean coast of Africa, there are in progress at this moment great political and commercial revolutions. There exists in that region a sanguinary and unceasing conflict of Christianity with Mohammedanism, of civilization with semi-barbarism. France having conquered the extensive territory of Algeria, is now pushing forward her victorious legions into the more important and more populous empire of Morocco. The result of a conflict between undisciplined hordes and the science of European warfare cannot be doubtful. But there are elements in this contest which perhaps have not been well understood. It is not with the Arab populations of those countries with which France has chiefly to contend. That, indeed, is the more intellectual but smaller portion of the people of Algeria and Morocco. The more ferocious and larger portion of that population consists of the aboriginal Berbers, the ancient Numidians, and Mauritanians. The Romans term this race genus insuperabile bello -" unconquerable in war." It remains to be determined if they have lost that proud appellation.'

'To form a correct conception of the Sahara,' says a writer in the Edinburgh Review (No. 169), condensing the information contained in some of the recent French publications on the subject, our readers must dismiss from their minds all loose and fantastic conceptions which have been attached, from time immemorial, to the interior of Northern Africa. Instead of a torrid region, where boundless steppes of burning sand are abandoned to the roving horsemen of the Desert, and to beasts of prey, and where the last vestiges of Moorish civilization expire long before the traveler arrives at Negroland and the savage communities of the interior, the Sahara is now ascertained to consist of a vast archipelago of oases; each of them peopled by a tribe of the Moorish race or its offsets, more civilized, and more capable of receiving the lessons of civilization, than the houseless Arabs of the Tell (the mountainous tract lying between the Great Desert and the sea); cultivating the date-tree with application and ingenuity, inhabiting walled towns, living under a regular government, for the most part of a popular origin; carrying to some perfection certain branches of native manufactures, and keeping up an extensive system of commercial intercourse with the northern and central parts of the African continent, and from Mogador to Mecca, by the enterprise and activity of their caravans. Each of the oases of the Sahara, which are divided from one another by sandy tracts, bearing shrubs and plants fit only for the nourishment of cattle, presents an animated group of towns and villages. Every village is encircled by a profusion of fruit-bearing trees. The palm is the monarch of their orchards, as much by the grace of its form, as by the value of its productions; and the pomegranate, the fig-tree, and the apricot cluster around its lofty stem. The lions and other beasts of prey with which poetry has peopled the African wilds, are to be met with only in the mountains of the Tell, never in the plains of the Sahara. The robber tribes of the Tuaricks frequent the southern frontier of the Sahara, and the last tracts of habitable land which intervene between these oases and the real Desert; but in the Sahara itself, communications, carried on after the fashion of the country, are regular and secure. War is, indeed, of frequent occurrence between the neighboring tribes, either for the possession of disputed territories, or the revenge of supposed injuries; but all that is yet known of these singular communities shows them to be living in a completely constituted state of society, eminently adapted to the peculiar part of the globe which they inhabit, governed by the strong traditions of a primitive people, and fulfilling with energy and intelligence the strange vocations of their life.'

'Almost all the Sahara tribes,' says M. Carette, a French captain of engineers, who has contributed much to clear up our notions of this portion of Africa, are accustomed to a system of annual peregrination, which must have existed from time immemorial, inasmuch as it is based upon the nature of the climate and the produce, and the primary wants of their existence. This general movement is commonly performed in the following manner: - During the winter and spring the tribes are collected in the waste tracts of the Sahara, which, at this season of the year, supply water and fresh vegetation, but they never remain more than three or four days on any one spot; and when the pasture is exhausted, they strike their tents, and go to establish themselves elsewhere. Towards the end of the spring they pass through the towns of the Sahara, where their merchandise is deposited. They load their camels with dates and woollen stuffs, and then turn their steps towards the north, taking with them their whole wandering city - women, dogs, herds, and tents - for it is at this season that the springs begin to dry and the plants to wither on the Sahara, at the same time that the corn is ripe in the Tell. There they arrive at the moment of the harvest, when corn is abundant and cheap, and thus they take a double advantage of the season, by abandoning the waste as it becomes arid, and seeking their fresh stock of provisions in the north, when the markets are overstocked with grain. The summer they pass in this country, in commercial activity, exchanging their dates and woollen manufactured goods for corn, raw wool, sheep, and butter; whilst their herds are allowed to browse freely upon the lands, which lie fallow after the gathering in of the harvest. The signal for the return homewards is given at the end of the summer; the camels are reloaded, the tents again struck, and the wandering city once more marches forth, as it came, in short day's journeys towards the south. The Sahara is regained about the middle of October, the period when the dates are ripe. A month is passed in gathering and storing this fruit; another is devoted to the exchange of the wheat, and barley, and raw wool, for the year's dates and the woollen stuffs - the produce of the yearly labor of the women. When all this business is concluded, and the merchandise stored away, the tribes quit the towns, and lead their flocks and herds from pasture-land to pastureland among the waste tracts of the Sahara, until the following summer calls for a renewal of the same journey, the same system of trade.

'The Sahara,' . continues M. Carette, 'is that part of Algeria which is most civilized and most capable of receiving civilization. It is there that habits of precision are most generally diffused, and there that we find the greatest amount of intelligence, activity, and social disposition.' The only portion of the Sahara which answers to our ideas of an uninterrupted waste of sand, seems to be the most southern belt of it, which adjoins Nigritia, and which is infested by a roving race called the Tuaricks, who conduct a commercial intercourse, especially in slaves, between the negro countries and the oases of the more northern parts of the Sahara. These Tuaricks,' says M. Carette, 'pretend to be of Turkish descent, and affect to treat the Arabs with disdain. They are tall, strong, of slender make and of fair complexion, with the exception of a few of mixed blood. They wear a head-dress, one of the ends of which covers the whole face except the eyes; and almost all, whether rich or poor, have their feet bare, because, according to their own account, they never go on foot.' The southern Tuaricks keep the towns of the Soudan in a constant state of blockade, hunting down the negroes in their neighborhood, and carrying them off for sale.

CONCLUSION. From the general survey which we have taken of Africa, and of the progress of African discovery, it appears that, while there is scarcely a point in its vast circuit where Europeans have not attempted to settle, scarcely any of the settlements have flourished. For the purpose of trade, such establishments will no doubt be maintained at a vast sacrifice of life the consequence of the pestilential effects of the climate on European constitutions; but it is not likely that any settlements of a permanent description will be effected except at the southern and northern extremities of the continent. Cape Colony, as yet, is the most prosperous, indeed the only settlement, worthy of the name, in Africa: whether the French will be able to make anything of Algeria, remains yet to be seen. As for the centre of the continent, it seems quite hopeless to suppose that Europeans can ever operate there directly. The utmost that can be anticipated is, that they shall be able to act upon the continent through native agents. By establishing a commerce with Central Africa, they may stimulate whatever tendencies to civilization exist among the negro races; they may create an activity through the continent resembling that caused by the slave traffic, but everyway nobler and more beneficial. Whatever seeds of improvement there are among the natives, whether negroes, Foulahs, or Arabs, may be developed by this means, and made to fructify. In this respect, nothing could be more gratifying than to know that the opinion explained in a former part of this article with regard to Central Africa is well-founded, and that an actual movement is in progress among the natives towards a more advanced stage of humanity.