Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 eBook

James Richardson (explorer of the Sahara)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 295 pages of information about Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1.

With reference to the treaty, it may, perhaps, be considered in a fair way to be finally accepted.  At the winter souk every person of influence and authority in the country will be present, and in the form in which I have presented it, I believe it will provoke little or no opposition.  The clauses with reference to religion and the slave-trade have, of course, been left out; the first as unnecessary, the second as dangerous at this early stage of our proceedings.  Even already it may be said that the market at Ghat may safely be visited by British merchants; for although Hateetah may require heavy presents, he will certainly protect them.

However, we must bear in mind, that in a country governed in so irregular way, it is very difficult to answer for the future.  The governor, Haj Ahmed himself, told me in a deprecating manner, “Ghat is a country of Sheikhs!” and Hateetah says, half jocularly, “Ghat has thirty Sultans!” Fortunately, however, it is the interest of the rulers of this part of the desert to encourage traffic; they live by it; otherwise it would be dangerous to trust to their assurances.

We were in all but seven days in Ghat, so that I had no time to make researches.  However, I am fortunate in procuring a collection of dialogues and a vocabulary of most of the common words in the Tuarick dialect of the tribes in Ghat.  I employed for this purpose Mohammed Shereef, nephew of the Governor of Ghat, who is a pretty good Arabic scholar.  I have also made an arrangement with my friend Haj Ibrahim to forward to the British Government a small quantity of Soudan manufactures for the Exhibition of 1851; so that the industry and handicraft of the dusky children of Central Africa may be represented side by side with the finished works of Paris and London artisans.[6]

  [6] This account of Mr. Richardson’s residence at Ghat is copied
      from a summary in his journal, with occasional insertions
      from his despatches to Government.  It is very brief and
      imperfect; but the traveller was so fully occupied by
      various kinds of business during his stay, that he was not
      able to write, and only threw upon paper a rough memorandum
      after he had started on his way to Aheer.  The imperfection
      is the less to be regretted, as, up to this point, the
      Sahara had previously been pretty well travelled and
      described.  He now breaks fresh ground, and is more copious
      in his notes.—­ED.


Start from Ghat—­Reflections—­Beautiful Valley of Berket—­Last Date-palms—­The Kailouees—­Dr. Barth lost again—­Meet our Guides—­The Akourou Water—­Ghadeer—­Soudan Influence on the Tuaricks—­Wataitee leaves us—­Oasis of Janet—­Kailouee Character—­A sick Slave—­Rocky Desert—­Gloomy Scene—­Servants—­Egheree Water—­Ajunjer—­A threatened Foray from Janet—­Sidi Jafel Waled Sakertaf—­We have no Money—­Region of Granite—­Dr. Barth’s Comparisons—­A Slave Caravan—­Granite Rocks—­Beating Women—­The Bird of the Desert—­Desolate Region—­Our Relations with the Kailouees.

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Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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