Peddie and Campbell in the Soudan—Ritchie and Lyon in Fezzan—Denham, Oudney, and Clapperton in Fezzan, and in the Tibboo country—Lake Tchad and its tributaries—Kouka and the chief villages of Bornou—Mandara—A razzia, or raid, in the Fellatah country—Defeat of the Arabs and death of Boo-Khaloum—Loggan—Death of Toole—En route for Kano—Death of Oudney—Kano—Sackatoo—Sultan Bello—Return to Europe.

The power of Napoleon, and with it the supremacy of France, was scarcely overthrown—the Titanic contests, to gratify the ambition of one man at the expense of the intellectual progress of humanity, were scarcely at an end, before an honourable rivalry awoke once more, and new scientific and commercial expeditions were set on foot. A new era had commenced.

Foremost in the ranks of the governments which organized and encouraged exploring expeditions we find as usual that of England. It was in Central Africa, the vast riches of which had been hinted at in the accounts given of their travels by Hornemann and Burckhardt, that the attention of the English was now concentrated.

As early as 1816 Major Peddie, starting from Senegal, reached Kakondy, on the River Nuñez, succumbing, however, to the fatigue of the journey and unhealthiness of the climate soon after his arrival in that town. Major Campbell succeeded him in the command of the expedition, and crossed the lofty mountains of Foota-Djalion, losing in a few days several men and part of the baggage animals.

Arrived at the headquarters of the Almamy, as most of the kings of this part of Africa are called, the expedition was detained for a long time, and only obtained permission to depart on payment of a large sum.

Most disastrous was the return journey, for the explorers had not only to recross the streams they had before forded with such difficulty, but they were subjected to so many insults, annoyances, and exactions, that to put an end to them Campbell was obliged to burn his merchandize, break his guns, and sink his powder.

Against so much fatigue and mortification, added to the complete failure of his expedition, Major Campbell failed to bear up, and he died, with several of his officers, in the very place where Major Peddie had closed his career. The few survivors of the party reached Sierra Leone after an arduous march.

A little later, Ritchie and Captain George Francis Lyon, availing themselves of the prestige which the siege of Algiers had brought to the British flag, and of the cordial relations which the English consul at Tripoli had succeeded in establishing with the principal Moorish authorities, determined to follow Hornemann's route, and penetrate to the very heart of Africa.

On the 25th March, 1819, the travellers left Tripoli with Mahommed el Moukni, Bey of Fezzan, who is called sultan by his subjects. Protected by this escort, Ritchie and Lyon reached Murzuk without molestation, but there the former died on the 2nd November, worn out by the fatigue and privations of the journey across the desert. Lyon, who was ill for some time from the same causes, recovered soon enough to foil the designs of the sultan, who counting on his death, had already begun to take possession of his property, and also of Ritchie's. The captain could not penetrate beyond the southern boundaries of Fezzan, but he had time to collect a good deal of valuable information about the chief towns of that province and the language of its inhabitants. To him we likewise owe the first authentic details of the religion, customs, language, and extraordinary costumes of the Tuarick Arabs, a wild tribe inhabiting the Great Sahara desert.

Captain Lyon's narrative also contains a good deal of interesting information collected by himself on Bornou, Wadai, and the Soudan, although he was unable to visit those places in person.

The results obtained did not by any means satisfy the English Government, which was most eager to open up the riches of the interior to its merchants. Consequently the authorities received favourably the proposals made by Dr. Walter Oudney, a Scotchman, whose enthusiasm had been aroused by the travels of Mungo Park. This Dr. Oudney was a friend of Hugh Clapperton, a lieutenant in the Navy, three years his senior, who had distinguished himself in Canada and elsewhere, but had been thrown out of employment and reduced to half-pay by the peace of 1815.

Hearing of Oudney's scheme, Clapperton at once determined to join him in it, and Oudney begged the minister to allow him the aid of that enterprising officer, whose special knowledge would be of great assistance. Lord Bathurst made no objection, and the two friends, after receiving minute instructions, embarked for Tripoli, where they ascertained that Major Denham was to take the command of their expedition.

Denham was born in London on the 31st December, 1783, and began life as an articled pupil to a country lawyer. As an attorney's clerk he found his duties so irksome and so little suited to his daring spirit that his longing for adventure soon led him to enlist in a regiment bound for Spain. Until 1815 he remained with the army, but after the peace he employed his leisure in visiting France and Italy.

Denham, eager to obtain distinction, had chosen the career which would best enable him to achieve it, even at the risk of his life, and he now resolved to become an explorer. With him to think was to act. He had asked the minister to commission him to go to Timbuctoo by the route Laing afterwards took when he heard of the expedition under Clapperton and Oudney; and he now begged to be allowed to join them.

Without any delay Denham obtained the necessary equipment, and accompanied by a carpenter named William Hillman, he embarked for Malta, joining his future travelling companions at Tripoli on the 21st November, 1821. The English at this time enjoyed very great prestige, not only in the States of Barbary, on account of the bombardment of Algiers, but also because the British consul at Tripoli had by his clever diplomacy established friendly relations with the government to which he was accredited.

This prestige extended beyond the narrow range of the northern states. The nationality of certain travellers, the protection accorded by England to the Porte, the British victories in India had all been vaguely rumoured even in the heart of Africa, and the name of Englishman, was familiar without any particular meaning being attached to it. According to the English consul, the route from Tripoli to Bornou was as safe as that from London to Edinburgh. This was, therefore, the moment to seize opportunities which might not occur again.

The three travellers, after a cordial reception from the bey, who placed all his resources at their disposal, lost no time in leaving Tripoli, and with an escort provided by the Moorish governor, they reached Murzuk, the capital of Fezzan, on the 8th April, 1822, without difficulty, having indeed been received with great enthusiasm in some of the places through which they passed.

At Sockna, Denham tells us, the governor came out to meet them, accompanied by the principal inhabitants and hundreds of the country people, who crowded round their horses, kissing their hands with every appearance of cordiality and delight, and shouting Inglesi, Inglesi, as the visitors entered the town. This welcome was the more gratifying from the fact that the travellers were the first Europeans to penetrate into Africa without wearing a disguise. Denham adds that he feels sure their reception would have been far less cordial had they stooped to play the part of impostors by attempting to pass for Mahommedans.

At Murzuk they were harassed by annoyances similar to those which had paralyzed Hornemann; in their case, however, circumstances and character were alike different, and without allowing themselves to be blinded by the compliments paid them by the sultan, the English, who were thoroughly in earnest, demanded the necessary escort for the journey to Bornou.

It was impossible, they were told, to start before the following spring, on account of the difficulty of collecting a kafila or caravan, and the troops necessary for its escort across the desert.

A rich merchant, however, Boo-Bucker-Boo-Khaloum by name, a great friend of the pacha, gave the explorers a hint that if he received certain presents he would smooth away all difficulties. He even offered to escort them himself to Bornou, for which province he was bound if he could obtain the necessary permission from the Pacha of Tripoli.

Denham, believing Boo-Khaloum to be acting honestly, went off to Tripoli to obtain the governor's sanction, but on his arrival there he obtained only evasive answers, and finally threatened to embark for England, where he said he would report the obstacles thrown in his way by the pacha, in the carrying out of the objects of the exploring expedition.

These menaces produced no effect, and Denham actually set sail, and was about to land at Marseilles when he received a satisfactory message from the bey, begging him to return, and authorizing Boo-Khaloum to accompany him and his companions.

On the 30th October Denham rejoined Oudney and Clapperton at Murzuk, finding them considerably weakened by fever and the effects of the climate.

Denham, convinced that change of air would restore them to health, persuaded them to start and begin the journey by easy stages. He himself set out on the 20th of November with a caravan of merchants from Mesurata, Tripoli, Sockna, and Murzuk, escorted by 210 Arab warriors chosen from the most intelligent and docile of the tribes, and commanded by Boo-Khaloum.

The expedition took the route followed by Lyon and soon reached Tegerry, which is the most southerly town of Fezzan, and the last before the traveller enters the desert of Bilma.

Denham made a sketch of the castle of Tegerry from the southern bank of a salt lake near the town. Tegerry is entered by a low narrow vaulted passage leading to a gate in a second rampart. The wall is pierced with apertures which render the entrance by the narrow passage very difficult. Above the second gate there is also an aperture through which darts, and fire-brands may be hurled upon the besiegers, a mode of warfare once largely indulged in by the Arabs. Inside the town there are wells of fairly good water. Denham is of opinion that Tegerry restored, well-garrisoned and provisioned, could sustain a long siege. Its situation is delightful. It is surrounded by date-trees, and the water in the neighbourhood is excellent. A chain of low hills stretches away to the east. Snipes, ducks, and wild geese frequent the salt lakes near the town.

Leaving Tegerry, the travellers entered a sandy desert, across which it would not have been easy to find the way, had it not been marked out by the skeletons of men and animals strewn along it, especially about the wells.

"One of the skeletons we saw to-day," says Denham, "still looked quite fresh. The beard was on the chin, the features could be recognized. 'It is my slave,' exclaimed one of the merchants of the kafila. 'I left him near here four months ago.' 'Make haste and take him to the market!' cried a facetious slave merchant, 'lest some one else should claim him.'"

A kafila of slaves
A kafila of slaves.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

Here and there in the desert are oases containing towns of greater or less importance, at which the caravans halt. Kishi is one of the most frequented of these places, and there the money for the right of crossing the desert is paid. The Sultan of Kishi, the ruler of a good many of these petty principalities, and who takes the title of Commander of the Faithful, was remarkable for a complete disregard of cleanliness, a peculiarity in which, according to Denham, his court fully equalled him.

This sultan paid Boo-Khaloum a visit in his tent, accompanied by half a dozen Tibboos, some of whom were positively hideous. Their teeth were of a dark yellow colour, the result of chewing tobacco, of which they are so fond that they use it as snuff as well as to chew. Their noses looked like little round bits of flesh stuck on to their faces with nostrils so wide that they could push their fingers right up them. Denham's watch, compass, and musical snuffbox astonished them not a little. He defines these people as brutes with human faces.

A little further on the travellers reached the town of Kirby, situated in a wâdy near a low range of hills of which the highest are not more than 400 feet above the sea level, and between two salt lakes, produced by the excavations made for building. From the centre of these lakes rise islets consisting of masses of muriate and carbonate of soda. The salt produced by these wâdys, or depressions of the soil, form an important article of commerce with Bornou and the whole of the Soudan.

It would be impossible to imagine a more wretched place than Kirby. Its houses are empty, containing not so much as a mat. How could it be otherwise with a place liable to incessant raids from the Tuaricks?

The caravan now crossed the Tibboo country, inhabited by a peaceful, hospitable people to whom, as keepers of the wells and reservoirs of the desert, the leaders of caravans pay passage-money. The Tibboos are a strong, active race, and when mounted on their nimble steeds they display marvellous skill in throwing the lance, which the most vigorous of their warriors can hurl to a distance of 145 yards. Bilma is their chief city, and the residence of their sultan.

On the arrival of the travellers at Bilma, the sultan, escorted by a number of men and women, came out to meet the strangers. The women were much better-looking than those in the smaller towns; some of them had indeed very pleasant faces, their white, regular teeth contrasting admirably with their shining black skins, and the three "triangular flaps of hair, streaming with oil." Coral ornaments in their noses, and large amber necklaces round their throats, gave them what Denham calls a "seductive appearance." Some of them carried fans made of grass or hair, with which to keep off the flies; others were provided with branches of trees; all, in fact, carried something in their hands, which they waved above their heads. Their costume consisted of a loose piece of Soudan cloth, fastened on the left shoulder, and leaving the right uncovered, with a smaller piece wound about the head, and falling on the shoulders or flung back. In spite of this paucity of clothing, there was not the least immodesty in their bearing.

A mile from Bilma, and beyond a limpid spring, which appears to have been placed there by nature to afford a supply of water to travellers, lies a desert, which it takes no less than ten days to cross. This was probably once a huge salt lake.

On the 4th February, 1823, the caravan reached Lari, a town on the northern boundary of Bornou, in lat. 14° 40' N. The inhabitants, astonished at the size of the "kafila," fled in terror at its approach.

"Beyond, however," says Denham, "was an object full of interest to us, and the sight of it produced a sensation so gratifying and inspiring, that it would be difficult for language to convey an idea of its force or pleasure. The great Lake Tchad, glowing with the golden rays of the sun in its strength, appeared to be within a mile of the spot on which we stood."

On leaving Lari, the appearance of the country changed completely. The sandy desert was succeeded by a clay soil, clothed with grass and dotted with acacias and other trees of various species, amongst which grazed herds of antelopes, whilst Guinea fowls and the turtle-doves of Barbary flew hither and thither above them. Towns took the place of villages, with huts of the shape of bells, thatched with durra straw.

The travellers continued their journey southwards, rounding Lake Tchad, which they had first touched at its most northerly point.

The districts bordering on this sheet of water were of a black, firm, but muddy soil. The waters rise to a considerable height in winter, and sink in proportion in the summer. The lake is of fresh water, rich in fish, and frequented by hippopotami and aquatic birds. Near its centre, on the south-east, are the islands inhabited by the Biddomahs, a race who live by pillaging the people of the mainland.

The explorers had sent a messenger to Sheikh El Khanemy, to ask permission to enter his capital, and an envoy speedily arrived to invite Boo-Khaloum and his companions to Kouka.

On their way thither, the travellers passed through Burwha, a fortified town which had thus far resisted the inroads of the Tuaricks, and crossed the Yeou, a large river, in some parts more than 500 feet in width, which, rising in the Soudan, flows into Lake Tchad.

On the southern shores of this river rises a little town of the same name, about half the size of Burwha.

The caravan soon reached the gates of Kouka, where, after a journey extending over two months and a half, they were received by a body of cavalry 4000 strong, under perfect discipline. Amongst these troops was a corps of blacks forming the body-guard of the sheikh, whose equipments resembled those of ancient chivalry.

Member of the body-guard of the Sheikh of Bornou
Member of the body-guard of the Sheikh of Bornou.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

They wore, Denham tells us, suits of chain armour covering the neck and shoulders. These were fastened above the head, and fell in two portions, one in front and one behind, so as to protect the flanks of the horse and the thighs of the rider. A sort of casque or iron coif, kept in its place by red, white or yellow turbans, tied under the chin, completed the costume. The horses' heads were also guarded by iron plates. Their saddles were small and light, and their steel stirrups held only the point of the feet, which were clad in leather shoes, ornamented with crocodile skin. The horsemen managed their steeds admirably, as, advancing at full gallop, brandishing their spears, they wheeled right and left of their guests, shouting "Barca! Barca!" (Blessing! Blessing!).

Surrounded by this brilliant and fantastic escort, the English and Arabs entered the town, where a similar military display had been prepared in their honour.

They were presently admitted to the presence of Sheikh El-Khanemy, who appeared to be about forty-five years old, and whose face was prepossessing, with a happy, intelligent, and benevolent expression.

The English presented the letters of the pacha, and when the sheikh had read them, he asked Denham what had brought him and his companions to Bornou.

"We came merely to see the country," replied Denham, "to study the character of its people, its scenery, and its productions."

"You are welcome," was the reply; "it will be a pleasure to me to show you everything. I have ordered huts to be built for you in the town; you may go and see them, accompanied by one of my people, and when you are recovered from the fatigue of your long journey, I shall be happy to see you."

Reception of the Mission
Reception of the Mission.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

The travellers soon afterwards obtained permission to make collections of such animals and plants as appeared to them curious, and to make notes of all their observations. They were thus enabled to collect a good deal of information about the towns near Kouka.

Kouka, then the capital of Bornou, boasted of a market for the sale of slaves, sheep, oxen, cheese, rice, earth-nuts, beans, indigo, and other productions of the country. There 100,000 people might sometimes be seen haggling about the price of fish, poultry, meat—the last sold both raw and cooked—or that of brass, copper, amber and coral. Linen was so cheap in these parts, that some of the men wore shirts and trousers made of it.

Beggars have a peculiar mode of exciting compassion; they station themselves at the entrance to the market, and, holding up the rags of an old pair of trousers, they whine out to the passers-by, "See! I have no pantaloons!" The novelty of this mode of proceeding, and the request for a garment, which seemed to them even more necessary than food, made our travellers laugh heartily until they became accustomed to it.

Hitherto the English had had nothing to do with any one but the sheikh, who, content with wielding all real power, left the nominal sovereignty to the sultan, an eccentric monarch, who never showed himself except through the bars of a wicker cage near the gate of his garden, as if he were some rare wild beast. Curious indeed were some of the customs of this court, not the least so the fancy for obesity: no one was considered elegant unless he had attained to a bulk generally looked upon as very inconvenient.

Some exquisites had stomachs so distended and prominent that they seemed literally to hang over the pommel of the saddle; and in addition to this, fashion prescribed a turban of such length and weight that its wearer had to carry his head on one side.

These uncouth peculiarities rivalled those of the Turks of a masked ball, and the travellers had often hard work to preserve their gravity. To compensate, however, for the grotesque solemnity of the various receptions, a new field for observation was open, and much valuable information might now be acquired.

Denham wished to proceed to the south at once, but the sheikh was unwilling to risk the lives of the travellers entrusted to him by the Bey of Tripoli. On their entry into Bornou, the responsibility of Boo-Khaloum for their safety was transferred to him.

So earnest, however, were the entreaties of Denham, that El-Khanemy at last sanctioned his accompanying Boo-Khaloum in a "ghrazzie," or plundering expedition against the Kaffirs or infidels.

The sheikh's army and the Arab troops passed in succession Yeddie, a large walled city twenty miles from Angoumou, Badagry, and several other towns built on an alluvial soil which has a dark clay-like appearance.

They entered Mandara, at the frontier town of Delow, beyond which the sultan of the province, with five hundred horsemen, met his guests.

Denham describes Mahommed Becker as a man of short stature, about fifty years old, wearing a beard, painted of a most delicate azure blue. The presentations over, the sultan at once turned to Denham, and asked who he was, whence he came, what he wanted, and lastly if he were a Mahommedan. On Boo-Khaloum's hesitating to reply, the sultan turned away his head, with the words, "So the pacha numbers infidels amongst his friends!"

This incident had a very bad effect, and Denham was not again admitted to the presence of the sultan.

Lancer of the army of the Sultan of Begharmi
Lancer of the army of the Sultan of Begharmi.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

The enemies of the Pacha of Bornou and the Sultan of Mandara, were called Fellatahs. Their vast settlements extended far beyond Timbuctoo. They are a handsome set of men, with skins of a dark bronze colour, which shows them to be of a race quite distinct from the negroes. They are professors of Mahommedanism, and mix but little with the blacks. We shall presently have to speak more particularly of the Fellatahs, Foulahs, or Fans, as they are called throughout the Soudan.

South of the town of Mora rises a chain of mountains, of which the loftiest peaks are not more than 2500 feet high, but which, according to the natives, extend for more than "two months' journey."

The most salient point noticed by Denham in his description of the country, is a vast and apparently interminable chain of mountains, shutting in the view on every side; this, though in his opinion, inferior to the Alps, Apennines, Jura, and Sierra Morena in rugged magnificence and gigantic grandeur, are yet equal to them in picturesque effect. The lofty peaks of Valhmy, Savah, Djoggiday, Munday, &c., with clustering villages on their stony sides, rise on the east and west, while Horza, exceeding any of them in height and beauty, rises on the south with its ravines and precipices.

Derkulla, one of the chief Fellatah towns, was reduced to ashes by the invaders, who lost no time in pressing on to Musfeia, a position which, naturally very strong, was further defended by palisades manned by a numerous body of archers. The English traveller had to take part in the assault. The first onslaught of the Arabs appeared to carry all before it; the noise of the fire-arms, with the reputation for bravery and cruelty enjoyed by Boo-Khaloum and his men, threw the Fellatahs into momentary confusion, and if the men of Mandara and Bornou had followed up their advantage and stormed the hill, the town would probably have fallen.

The besieged, however, noticing the hesitation of their assailants, in their turn assumed the defensive, and rallying their archers discharged a shower of poisoned arrows, to which many an Arab fell a victim, and before which the forces of Bornou and Mandara gave way.

Barca, the Bornou general, had three horses killed under him. Boo-Khaloum and his steed were both wounded, and Denham was in a similar plight, with the skin of his face grazed by one arrow and two others lodged in his burnoos.

The retreat soon became a rout. Denham's horse fell under him, and the major had hardly regained his feet when he was surrounded by Fellatahs. Two fled on the presentation of the Englishman's pistols, a third received the charge in his shoulder.

Denham thought he was safe, when his horse fell a second time, flinging his master violently against a tree. This time when the major rose he found himself with neither horse nor weapons; and the next moment he was surrounded by enemies, who stripped him and wounded him in both hands and the right side, leaving him half dead at last to fight over his clothes, which seemed to them of great value.

Availing himself of this lucky quarrel, Denham slipped under a horse standing by, and disappeared in the thicket. Naked, bleeding, wild with pain, he reached the edge of a ravine with a mountain stream flowing through it. His strength was all but gone, and he was clutching at a bough of a tree overhanging the water with a view to dropping himself into it as the banks were very steep, and the branches were actually bending beneath his weight, when from beneath his hand a gigantic liffa, the most venomous kind of serpent in the country, rose from its coil in the very act of striking. Horror-struck, Denham let slip the branch, and tumbled headlong into the water, but fortunately the shock revived him, he struck out almost unconsciously, swam to the opposite bank, and climbing it, found himself safe from his pursuers.

Fortunately the fugitive soon saw a group of horsemen amongst the trees, and in spite of the noise of the pursuit, he managed to shout loud enough to make them hear him. They turned out to be Barca Gana and Boo-Khaloum, with some Arabs. Mounted on a sorry steed, with no other clothing than an old blanket swarming with vermin, Denham travelled thirty-seven miles. The pain of his wounds was greatly aggravated by the heat, the thermometer being at 32°.

The only results of the expedition, which was to have brought in such quantities of booty and numerous slaves, were the deaths of Boo-Khaloum and thirty-six of his Arabs, the wounding of nearly all the rest, and the loss or destruction of all the horses.

The eighty miles between Mora and Kouka were traversed in six days. Denham was kindly received in the latter town by the sultan, who sent him a native garment to replace his lost wardrobe. The major had hardly recovered from his wounds and fatigue, before he took part in a new expedition, sent to Munga, a province on the west of Bornou, by the sheikh, whose authority had never been fully recognized there, and whose claim for tribute had been refused by the inhabitants.

Map of Denham and Clapperton's Journey
Gravé par E. Morieu.

Denham and Oudney left Kouka on the 22nd May, and crossed the Yeou, then nearly dried up, but an important stream in the rainy season, and visited Birnie, with the ruins of the capital of the same name, which was capable of containing two hundred thousand inhabitants. The travellers also passed through the ruins of Gambarou with its magnificent buildings, the favourite residence of the former sultan, destroyed by the Fellatahs, Kabshary, Bassecour, Bately, and many other towns or villages, whose numerous populations submitted without a struggle to the Sultan of Bornou.

The rainy season was disastrous to the members of the expedition, Clapperton fell dangerously ill of fever, and Oudney, whose chest was delicate even before he left England, grew weaker every day. Denham alone kept up. On the 14th of December, when the rainy season was drawing to a close, Clapperton and Oudney started for Kano. We shall presently relate the particulars of this interesting part of their expedition.

Seven days later, an ensign, named Toole, arrived at Kouka, after a journey from Tripoli, which had occupied only three months and fourteen days.

In February, 1824, Denham and Toole made a trip into Luggun, on the south of Lake Tchad. All the districts near the lake and its tributary, the Shari, are marshy, and flooded during the rainy season. The unhealthiness of the climate was fatal to young Toole, who died at Angala, on the 26th of February, at the early age of twenty-two. Persevering, enterprising, bright and obliging, with plenty of pluck and prudence, Toole was a model explorer.

Luggun was then very little known, its capital Kernok, contained no less than 15,000 inhabitants. The people of Luggun, especially the women—who are very industrious, and manufacture the finest linens, and fabrics of the closest texture—are handsomer and more intelligent than those of Bornou.

The necessary interview with the sultan ended, after an exchange of complimentary speeches and handsome presents, in this strange proposal from his majesty to the travellers: "If you have come to buy female slaves, you need not be at the trouble to go further, as I will sell them to you as cheap as possible." Denham had great trouble in convincing the merchant prince that such traffic was not the aim of his journey, but that the love of science alone had brought him to Luggun.

On the 2nd of March, Denham returned to Kouka, and on the 20th of May, he was witness to the arrival of Lieutenant Tyrwhitt, who had come to take up his residence as consul at the court of Bornou, bearing costly presents for the sultan.

Portrait of Clapperton
Portrait of Clapperton.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

After a final excursion in the direction of Manou, the capital of Kanem, and a visit to the Dogganah, who formerly occupied all the districts about Lake Fitri, the major joined Clapperton in his return journey to Tripoli, starting on the 16th of April, and arriving there in safety at the close of a long and arduous journey, whose geographical results, important in any case, had been greatly enhanced by the labours of Clapperton. To the adventures and discoveries of the latter we must now turn. Clapperton and Oudney started for Kano, a large Fellatah town on the west of Lake Tchad, on the 14th of December, 1823, followed the Yeou as far as Damasak, and visited the ruins of Birnie, and those of Bera, on the shores of a lake formed by the overflowing of the Yeou, Dogamou and Bekidarfi, all towns of Houssa. The people of this province, who were very numerous before the invasion of the Fellatahs, are armed with bows and arrows, and trade in tobacco, nuts, gouro, antimony, tanned hares' skins, and cotton stuffs in the piece and made into clothes.

The caravan soon left the banks of the Yeou or Gambarou, and entered a wooded country, which was evidently under water in the rainy season.

The travellers then entered the province of Katagoum, where the governor received them with great cordiality, assuring them that their arrival was quite an event to him, as it would be to the Sultan of the Fellatahs, who, like himself, had never before seen an Englishman. He also assured them that they would find all they required in his district, just as at Kouka.

The only thing which seemed to surprise him much, was the fact that his visitors wanted neither slaves, horses, nor silver, and that the sole proof of his friendship they required was permission to collect flowers and plants, and to travel in his country.

According to Clapperton's observations, Katagoum is situated in lat. 12° 17' 11" N., and about 12° E. long. Before the Fellatahs were conquered, it was on the borders of the province of Bornou. It can send into the field 4000 cavalry, and 2000 foot soldiers, armed with bows and arrows, swords and lances. Wheat, and oxen, with slaves, are its chief articles of commerce. The citadel is the strongest the English had seen, except that of Tripoli. Entered by gates which are shut at night, it is defended by two parallel walls, and three dry moats, one inside, one out, and the third between the two walls which are twenty feet high, and ten feet wide at the base. A ruined mosque is the only other object of interest in the town, which consists of mud houses, and contains some seven or eight hundred inhabitants.

There the English for the first time saw cowries used as money. Hitherto native cloth had been the sole medium of exchange.

South of Katagoum is the Yacoba country, called Mouchy by the Mahommedans. According to accounts received by Clapperton, the people of Yacoba, which is shut in by limestone mountains, are cannibals. The Mahommedans, however, who have an intense horror of the "Kaffirs," give no other proof of this accusation than the statement that they have seen human heads and limbs hanging against the walls of the houses.

In Yacoba rises the Yeou, a river which dries up completely in the summer; but, according to the people who live on its banks, rises and falls regularly every week throughout the rainy season.

On the 11th of January, the journey was resumed; but a halt had to be made at Murmur at noon of the same day, as Oudney showed signs of such extreme weakness and exhaustion, that Clapperton feared he could not last through another day. He had been gradually failing ever since they left the mountains of Obarri in Fezzan, where he had inflammation of the throat from sitting in a draught when over-heated.

On the 12th of January, Oudney took a cup of coffee at daybreak, and at his request Clapperton changed camels with him. He then helped him to dress, and leaning on his servant, the doctor left the tent. He was about to attempt to mount his camel, when Clapperton saw death in his face. He supported him back to the tent, where to his intense grief, he expired at once, without a groan or any sign of suffering. Clapperton lost no time in asking the governor's permission to bury his comrade; and this being obtained, he dug a grave for him himself under an old mimosa-tree near one of the gates of the town. After the body had been washed according to the custom of the country, it was wrapped in some of the turban shawls which were to have served as presents on the further journey; the servants carried it to its last resting-place, and Clapperton read the English burial service at the grave. When the ceremony was over, he surrounded the modest resting-place with a wall of earth, to keep off beasts of prey, and had two sheep killed, which he divided amongst the poor.

Thus closed the career of the young naturalist and ship's doctor, Oudney. His terrible malady, whose germs he had brought with him from England, had prevented him from rendering so much service to the expedition as the Government had expected from him, although he never spared himself, declaring that he felt better on the march, than when resting. Knowing that his weakened constitution would not admit of any sustained exertion on his part, he would never damp the ardour of his companions.

After this sad event, Clapperton resumed his journey to Kano, halting successively at Digou, situated in a well-cultivated district, rich in flocks; Katoungora, beyond the province of Katagoum; Zangeia, once—judging from its extent and the ruined walls still standing—an important place, near the end of the Douchi chain of hills; Girkoua, with a finer market-place than that of Tripoli; and Souchwa, surrounded by an imposing earthwork.

Kano, the Chana of Edrisi and other Arab geographers, and the great emporium of the kingdom of Houssa, was reached on the 20th January.

Clapperton tells us that he had hardly entered the gates before his expectations were disappointed; after the brilliant description of the Arabs, he had expected to see a town of vast extent. The houses were a quarter of a mile from the walls, and stood here and there in little groups, separated by large pools of stagnant water. "I might have dispensed with the care I had bestowed on my dress," (he had donned his naval uniform), "for the inhabitants, absorbed in their own affairs, let me pass without remark and never so much as looked at me."

Kano, the capital of the province of that name and one of the chief towns of the Soudan, is situated in N. lat. 12° 0' 19", and E. long. 9° 20'. It contains between thirty and forty thousand inhabitants, of whom the greater number are slaves.

The market, bounded on the east and west by vast reedy swamps, is the haunt of numerous flocks of ducks, storks, and vultures, which act as scavengers to the town. In this market, stocked with all the provisions in use in Africa, beef, mutton, goats' and sometimes even camels' flesh, are sold.

Writing paper of French manufacture, scissors and knives, antimony, tin, red silk, copper bracelets, glass beads, coral, amber, steel rings, silver ornaments, turban shawls, cotton cloths, calico, Moorish habiliments, and many other articles, are exposed for sale in large quantities in the market-place of Kano.

There Clapperton bought for three piastres, an English cotton umbrella from Ghadames. He also visited the slave-market, where the unfortunate human chattels are as carefully examined as volunteers for the navy are by our own inspectors.

The town is very unhealthy, the swamps cutting it in two, and the holes produced by the removal of the earth for building, produce permanent malaria.

It is the fashion at Kano to stain the teeth and limbs with the juice of a plant called gourgi, and with tobacco, which produces a bright red colour. Gouro nuts are chewed, and sometimes even swallowed when mixed with trona, a habit not peculiar to Houssa, for it extends to Bornou, where it is strictly forbidden to women. The people of Houssa smoke a native tobacco.

On the 23rd of February, Clapperton started for Sackatoo. He crossed a picturesque well-cultivated country, whose wooded hills gave it the appearance of an English park. Herds of beautiful white or dun-coloured oxen gave animation to the scenery.

The most important places passed en route by Clapperton were Gadania, a densely populated town, the inhabitants of which had been sold as slaves by the Fellatahs, Doncami, Zirmia, the capital of Gambra, Kagaria, Kouari, and the wells of Kamoun, where he met an escort sent by the sultan.

Sackatoo was the most thickly populated city that the explorer had seen in Africa. Its well-built houses form regular streets, instead of clustering in groups as in the other towns of Houssa. It is surrounded by a wall between twenty and thirty feet high, pierced by twelve gates, which are closed every evening at sunset, and it boasts of two mosques, with a market and a large square opposite to the sultan's residence.

The inhabitants, most of whom are Fellatahs, own many slaves; and the latter, those at least who are not in domestic service, work at some trade for their masters' profit. They are weavers, masons, blacksmiths, shoemakers, or husbandmen.

To do honour to his host, and also to give him an exalted notion of the power and wealth of England, Clapperton assumed a dazzling costume when he paid his first visit to Sultan Bello. He covered his uniform with gold lace, donned white trousers and silk stockings, and completed this holiday attire by a Turkish turban and slippers. Bello received him, seated on a cushion in a thatched hut like an English cottage. The sultan, a handsome man, about forty-five years old, wore a blue cotton tobe and a white cotton turban, one end of which fell over his nose and mouth in Turkish fashion.

Bello accepted the traveller's presents with childish glee. The watch, telescope, and thermometer, which he naively called a "heat watch," especially delighted him; but he wondered more at his visitor than at any of his gifts. He was unwearied in his questions as to the manners, customs, and trade of England; and after receiving several replies, he expressed a wish to open commercial relations with that power. He would like an English consul and a doctor to reside in a port he called Raka, and finally he requested that certain articles of English manufacture should be sent to Funda, a very thriving sea-port of his. After a good many talks on the different religions of Europe, Bello gave back to Clapperton the books, journals, and clothes which had been taken from Denham, at the time of the unfortunate excursion in which Boo-Khaloum lost his life.

On the 3rd May, Clapperton took leave of the sultan. This time there was a good deal of delay before he was admitted to an audience. Bello was alone, and gave the traveller a letter for the King of England, with many expressions of friendship towards the country of his visitor, reiterating his wish to open commercial relations with it and begging him to let him have a letter to say when the English expedition promised by Clapperton would arrive on the coast of Africa.

Clapperton returned by the route by which he had come, arriving on the 8th of July at Kouka, where he rejoined Denham. He had brought with him an Arab manuscript containing a geographical and historical picture of the kingdom of Takrour, governed by Mahommed Bello of Houssa, author of the manuscript. He himself had not only collected much valuable information on the geology and botany of Bornou and Houssa, but also drawn up a vocabulary of the languages of Begharmi, Mandara, Bornou, Houssa, and Timbuctoo.

The results of the expedition were therefore considerable. The Fellatahs had been heard of for the first time, and their identity with the Fans had been ascertained by Clapperton in his second journey. It had been proved that these Fellatahs had created a vast empire in the north and west of Africa, and also that beyond a doubt they did not belong to the negro race. The study of their language, and its resemblance to certain idioms not of African origin, will some day throw a light on the migration of races. Lastly, Lake Tchad had been discovered, and though not entirely examined, the greater part of its shores had been explored. It had been ascertained to have two tributaries: the Yeou, part of whose course had been traced, whilst its source had been pointed out by the natives, and the Shari, the mouth and lower portion of which had been carefully examined by Denham. With regard to the Niger, the information collected by Clapperton from the natives was still very contradictory, but the balance of evidence was in favour of its flowing into the Gulf of Benin. However, Clapperton intended, after a short rest in England, to return to Africa, and landing on the western coast make his way up the Kouara or Djoliba as the natives call the Niger; to set at rest once for all the dispute as to whether that river was or was not identical with the Nile; to connect his new discoveries with those of Denham, and lastly to cross Africa, taking a diagonal course from Tripoli to the Gulf of Benin.