The North American Review/Volume 147/Issue 385/Is Stanley Dead
|The North American Review (1888)
Volume 147, Issue 385 (December, 1888): Is Stanley Dead?
|Hon. James G. Blaine→|
NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW
IS STANLEY DEAD?
The dark continent, which Mr. Stanley has done so much to make us acquainted with, hides him from us at present in her innermost recesses. Speculation is rife not only as to his whereabouts, but even as to his being alive. Mystery always enshrouds the doings and fate of him who ventures beyond those gloomy barriers of forest, mountain, swamp and river, which screen Central Africa from even the faint and reflected gleams of civilization. This is now the case with the great traveler whose name has long been synonymous with successful daring, perseverance, determination, indomitable pluck and marvelous powers of endurance. Having had the advantage of being able to study his character during one of our little wars, where I watched him when exposed to danger and to musketry fire that made some around him, may I say somewhat unsteady, I feel convinced that he has reached Emin Pasha. Of course, he may have succumbed to disease, or been killed by some chance shot on his march to Wadelai. Although he was almost proof against African fevers, this possibility cannot be eliminated from our calculation. The strongest and most seasoned often fall a prey to fever at last. He was such a master of tribal African warfare that I am sure he would never fall into any trap laid for him or his party. It is possible that his handful of fighting men may have been trampled to death by sheer force of numbers, but I am certain he was not surprised by any enemy, no matter how adroit. Let us examine the facts and reasons upon which I base my belief that Stanley is alive: In the first place, we have had no news of his death, and, according to our most recent information, he was alive and pushing forward towards his goal. In the case of every desperate enterprise I estimate its chances of success not so much by any exhaustive study of the difficulties to be surmounted, the dangers and foes to be conquered, as by my knowledge of the leader's qualities in the enterprise in question. The strong point upon which I rely in forming the opinion I have come to, is my personal knowledge of Mr. Stanley's fitness to conduct the expedition he undertook. I pin my faith upon the man, and, thinking of him, I forget the dangers and the difficulties which have beset him on all sides. Why dwell upon the obstacles to be overcome in the four hundred miles of trackless country lying between Yambuya, his starting place on the Aruwimi River, and Emin's headquarters at Wadelai, on the Bahr el Jehel. Stanley felt he could master those obstacles, and I believe he has done so. This is convincing to me because I know him, but to those who have not that privilege the following dates will, I think, go far to at least convince them that the time for despair has not yet come. Stanley started on the 28th June, 1887, from his camp at Yambuya, leaving Major Barttelot there to collect carriers and follow him when he had done so. Stanley's party numbered in all about four hundred souls. The last news we had from himself was only up to the 19th July, 1887, when he was well, and had made eighteen marches from his starting point. Some deserters from his party subsequently reached Barttelot's camp the following November. They had left Stanley when they said he was only about forty marches from Yambuya. He had had some fighting, and had entered a hilly wooded country, cut up with rivers and marshes, and where no food was to be had. Following upon these reports came the vague rumor of the arrival of a white pasha in the Bahr el Gazelle province. There can be little doubt, I think, that Stanley was that pasha. His advance would take him near the southern frontier of that province, from whence the news of his having reached either Sanga or Tangasi would quickly spread northwards through Darfur and Kordofan, from one market place to another, until it had reached the bazaars of Khartoum. There the Mahdi's followers would probably regard it as news of a British expedition, undertaken to avenge General Gordon's death. This rumor would soon spread down the Nile to our outposts in the great Nubian desert, and so reach the enterprising correspondent of Cairo. A careful investigation of the date when Stanley most probably reached the places on the edge of the Bahr el Gazelle, which I have named, and of the time which that news would take in reaching our advanced post of Wady Halfa, tends to strengthen the assumption that Stanley and the White Pasha are one and the same person. Last June intelligence reached us, which, if true, would have given cause for grave anxiety. It came from Leopoldville, at Stanley Pool, and was to the effect that our great traveler had been wounded, and was in great danger. We received, however, at the same time letters from Major Barttelot informing us that none of those about him put any faith in the report. The latest news we have heard of him came from Zanzibar on the 1st instant, and I think there is a fair semblance of truth about it. It professes to tell us of Stanley's doings to this time. Last year his force was said to be much reduced by desertion, disease and losses in action. He had traversed a most difficult country, through which progress had been extremely slow, and where he had had to fight for food. He had been seriously ill and had recovered, but one of his white companions had died. If this report be true, as I think, we have every reason to believe he should have reached Wadelai before the first day of this year. Now, for what we know of Emin Pasha, the latest real news we have from him was dated Kilbiro, on the Albert Lake, 2d November, 1887. Up to that time he had had no news of Stanley. In June last a report came from the Victoria Nyanza that some men who had been taken prisoners a few months before by the Uganda in their war with the Unyoro had escaped, and brought news of Emin up to April, 1888. A careful scrutiny of the dates will show this to be an impossible story. These men had been prisoners with the Uganda for some months before their escape, and had left the mission station at the southern extremity of the Victoria Nyanza last April. Their news, in fact, must date back to about the beginning of this year, when they could not have been in touch with Emin, as most recent letters from the Uganda missionaries inform us that Kabrema, the chief of the Unyoro, has been at war with Mwanga since May last, that he had put to death Captain Casati and Mahommed Bin, the emissaries of Emin. As far as one can gather from all we have learned from Zanzibar, the country between it and Emin Pasha's headquarters has been so disturbed by this war that no news or messengers have been allowed to pass through the line of contending tribes. It is not only that we have no news of Stanley since last November, but neither have we had any from Emin. To me it is quite evident that we shall hear of both at the same time, and I believe it will be to the effect that Stanley reached Emin about the end of last year. Upon reaching Wadelai it is certain that Stanley would give his men a rest of some six or eight weeks, during which he and Emin would have time to decide upon a plan of further operations. It is possible that they might wait some weeks longer for poor Major Barttelot, the news of whose murder is not likely to reach them direct. Emin tells us in his last letter that it was not his intention when relieved by Stanley to quit the provinces over which he has now ruled so long. I have always imagined that Stanley left England with some faint hope of being able to return by the Soudan, and in doing so give the deathblow to the Mahdi's rule. If such an operation were possible with the small means at his and Emin's disposal, he would be just the man of all others to carry it out. Up to the present, however, there is no sign that the dervish power has been so weakened as to make this attempt possible. The two friends will have great difficulty in even getting safely to the sea on the east coast; to get there they must either make a treaty with Kabrega or fight a way through the dominions of that powerful chief. Under either contingency, when due allowance is made for the difficulty of supplies, the uncertainties of African traveling, the delays inseparable from all negotiations with African potentates, I do not believe Mr. Stanley could have begun what I may call his return journey until about May last. In my opinion, it is most probable that he will himself be the bearer of the news that he has fulfilled his mission and relieved Emin Pasha. At any rate, knowing the fibre of which Mr. Stanley is made, I shall not be seriously anxious about him until news from Emin up to February last tells us that he could give us no intelligence of the daring traveler who had left England determined to rescue him or die in the attempt.
Stanley started with his expedition for the relief of Emin Bey from Yambuya on the Congo on the 23d of June, 1887. His objective point was Wadelai, on Lake Mwutan Nzige (Albert Nyanza), where Emin Bey was when last heard from. The distance from Yambuya, Stanley's starting point, to Wadelai, in a straight line, is about five hundred and sixty miles; but when the nature of African exploration is considered, through a region as yet unknown; the devious course that may be necessary from the natural features of the country; the many windings and turnings that may be required, and other difficulties in the onward movement of so large a body as Stanley commands, especially in the time of the rains, the journey may involve a distance of at least 750 miles. This would require four months, moving at the rate of six miles a day, which was the average rate in Stanley's march in 1876 from Zanzibar to the Victoria Nyanza, and that time is now quadrupled without anything being heard from him, except a message three days after his departure that all was well. The elapsing of such a length of time, however, without hearing from him, is not, in itself, a cause for apprehension. Sir Samuel Baker was not heard from for a much longer time, and Emin Bey, for whose deliverance this expedition has been undertaken, was shut up in Wadelai in 1883, and not heard from until 1886, when his companion, Dr. Junker, escaped to the coast.
But Sir Samuel Baker had but a few guides and boatmen, and exploring Africa with so small a force is a very different thing from the movement of so large a body as the one conducted by Stanley. The Emin Bey Association, by whom it was sent out, subscribed £10,000, and the Egyptian government added an equal amount. With this large means an expedition of nine hundred men was organized, consisting of soldiers, couriers and servants, and the serious question that arises is the obtaining of provisions for the maintenance of so large a force, and the possible failure of ammunition, if the column is exposed, as it possibly may be, to frequent hostile attacks. The country to be traversed extends north of the equator to about three degrees north latitude, and is between twenty-five degrees and thirty-three degrees east longitude. It is inhabited chiefly by a people known as the Mombuttos, a fierce race, who have hitherto resisted all previous efforts, on the part of the whites, to enter their country, and who doubtless have all the craft and cunning that warlike savages, of such a nature, generally possess. There is also, over all this part of Africa, a hatred, which the Arabs have created, against the whites, for the active efforts they have made to suppress the slave trade of the interior, the present curse of Africa.
When all these things are considered, it is impossible not to feel apprehension in respect to Stanley's safety. It is also to be considered, however, that he chose this route, through the Mombutto country to the Albert Nyanza, after great deliberation. He first contemplated taking the route from Zanzibar, and having afterwards selected the Mombutto route, he must have done so with a full conception of the difficulties he might meet, and what would be necessary to overcome them; for he is as well informed upon that subject, if not better, than any one else; having himself encountered the Mombutto in his exploration of the Congo to its mouth. While not without his defects, he is especially well qualified to conduct such an expedition, alike from his peculiar nature and the great experience he has had. He has displayed in his former explorations, and especially in his exploration of the Congo, remarkable geographical insight. I mean by that the quality for which the Duke of Wellington was celebrated; the ability to foresee from the nature of the country he has passed through, what the nature of the country will be that he is about to enter, and is not likely to be entrapped by unforeseen difficulties, or caught in an ambuscade.
I have not believed any of the reports of his death, etc., as I was not satisfied with the sources from which they emanated, and I do not put any reliance upon the recent report, in the newspapers, that the President of a Geographical Society at Lisle, in France, has received information of the massacre of Stanley and all his command, except two, who escaped. It is not impossible, but highly improbable, that such an important piece of intelligence should be first made known to a gentleman in an interior town in the north of France. Over every part of the African coast that is in communication with the interior where Stanley is the greatest interest is felt respecting him and the expedition, and if a piece of intelligence so important as this should reach any part of the coast, it would quickly be brought to the nearest point of telegraphic communication and transmitted either to the Emin Bey Association in London, or to London, Brussels or Berlin, these cities being central points, where the latest intelligence from this part of Africa is generally received. The means of communication, moreover, between the coast and the interior is much greater now than it was a few years ago, so that if such an event had occurred as the massacre of Stanley and his whole command, the intelligence would not be long in reaching the coast.
Many things occur to me that would account for the delay in hearing from the expedition, but I think it unnecessary to go into such speculation. There is certainly ground for apprehension, but I have great confidence in Stanley's ability and in his thorough acquaintance with what he has undertaken, and shall place no reliance upon any report of disaster, or of his death, that is not thoroughly authenticated.
Since writing the above I have been asked my opinion of the telegram received recently from Zanzibar, respecting Stanley's expedition, brought by two couriers from Tabora to Zanzibar. It is to the effect that Arabs trading between Lake Mwutan Nzige and Tabora, which in a short line is about five hundred and fifty miles west of Zanzibar, met the rear guard of the expedition, consisting of thirty men, natives of Zanzibar, west of the lake and southeast of Sanga, which is in the Akka country about two hundred and twenty miles west of Wadelai, in November, 1887, Stanley then being two days ahead.
The information is that this rear guard had been then on the march for five days, after halting for three weeks in consequence of the illness of Stanley, who was then well. That the expedition had suffered a great deal in getting through a thick forest, where they could march only a mile and a quarter a day, that in their progress they had suffered greatly in the marshes, while many had died or disappeared; that forty were drowned in crossing a great river, running from east to west; that one white man had died; that the expedition had frequently halted, expecting reinforcements from the Congo, and had been obliged to fight some tribes that refused to supply it with provisions; that these Arabs were told that Stanley had decided to march no longer in a northeasterly direction, but would go to the north, expecting thereby to avoid the swamps, and, after getting at a certain distance, that he would take an oblique line to the east, and go direct to Wadelai, where it was thought he would arrive in fifty days, or about the middle of January, 1888; that the Arab traders estimated the strength of the expedition, after all losses, at two hundred and fifty men, and that, in their opinion, it was strong enough to reach Wadelai.
I should require something more respecting the sources of this information than is contained in this telegram before giving it entire credence. It may be true, but it appears to me to contain too many exact details, which is not a characteristic of information transmitted in the way it has to be in Africa from the interior to the coast, unless it is transmitted in writing, which may have been the case, but is not so stated in the telegram. It is so particular and so in accordance with the recent views of geographers of Stanley's supposed difficulties, of a probable change in his route, and what that would be, that I hesitate to accept it without more information than is contained in the telegram. Previous accounts, purporting to be intelligence from the expedition, have been brought by messengers to Zanzibar during the past year, to the effect that Stanley was hemmed in by hostile tribes, together with rumors that he had several conflicts, with a large loss of men and of provisions, and had changed his course and gone in an unknown direction; so that anything purporting to be news from the expedition that is now received has to be carefully weighed and considered.
Chas. P. Daly.
In considering the question of the present condition of the expedition for the relief of Emin Pasha, it will be necessary to keep in mind the following facts Mr. Stanley left his camp on the Aruwimi June 28, 1887, with a force of over four hundred picked men, intending to go due east to Lake Albert Nyanza, a distance of about five hundred miles, the greater part of which was absolutely unknown territory. He expected to march at least twelve miles a day, and, accordingly, to join Emin in August, and to be back on the Aruwimi in November.
In a dispatch dated August 15, Major Barttelot says: "A lagger on the march came in on August 12 and reported he had left Mr. Stanley at a river flowing north into the Aruwimi, eighteen days' march out from here. He reported all as well." From Mr. Stanley himself, however, there has come neither messenger nor communication of any kind since he left camp Yambunga.
Emin, meanwhile, having been apprised of Stanley's plans went up to the lake in October, and sent out a reconnoitering party to look for him, which returned without news. Emin's letter, dated November 2, stating this, is the last direct communication with this gallant officer. Last June news came that deserters from the expedition were said to have been picked up in April, who reported it to be in a very rough and mountainous region, coversed with dense forest, and inhabited by tribes made fiercely hostile by the false statements of the Arabs as to the object of the expedition; that a third part of the men had been lost, and that Stanley himself was wounded, but was still pressing on. Simultaneously with these rumors came the news that pilgrims at Suakin from the interior of the Sudan reported having seen an armed force in the province of Bahr-el-Gasal, to the northeast of Stanley's intended route, under the command of a "white pasha." About the same time messengers from Khartum reached Cairo, stating that the Mahdi had despatched in March a large force up the Nile to repel the unknown invader, and capture Emin. Since then reports have been received of the defeat of this force, and, very recently, additional rumors of the continued advance of the "white pasha."
These being the facts, what conclusions can we draw from them in regard to the fate of the expedition? At the outset I think it can be said without hesitation that the mere fact that nothing certain has been heard of Stanley for more than a year is no proof that he is dead or has even met with serious disaster. Sir Samuel Baker, with a much larger force, was for two years and five months entirely without communication, even with Khartum, though he was on a navigable river with steamers. It should be remembered that if Stanley, as is probable, has passed through a hostile country, it would be impossible for him to send back messengers to the Congo, while the only other avenues of communication with Europe to the north by the Nile or the east by Uganda and Zanzibar are absolutely closed.
With equal confidence it can be asserted that the expedition has not been destroyed, up to within at least four months, by the natives. It is well nigh inconceivable that so large and well-appointed a force should have been annihilated without the knowledge of the Arabs of the Upper Congo basin. Although the tidings of Stanley's death or failure would be welcome to them, Major Barttelot reports them as believing Stanley to be alive.
The same conclusion can be drawn, though less confidently, in regard to disaster from natural causes. There are three grave dangers to which the expedition was exposed, each of which would cause an indefinite delay of its progress. It might have to pass through a sterile and uninhabited country of unknown extent. In this case not only would exploring parties have to be sent out, but supplies sufficient for a long march would have to be collected, tasks which might well consume months of time. If his carriers deserted him, Stanley's progress would for the time be absolutely stopped. From this cause Baker was "for three months starving in one spot."
It is certain that the expedition, in order to reach Emin, would have to pass through a district which is converted into a swamp during the rainy season, which, it should be noted, set in shortly after its departure from the Congo. From Emin's own experience we can learn the difficulty of overcoming this obstacle. For days he marched through a region where "the water between each single thicket reached up to our necks, and the roots caught our feet like nooses."
The "sudd," however, is the gravest danger to which Mr. Stanley will be exposed if he has been obliged to turn to the northeastward from his intended route, as most authorities appear to regard as nearly certain. This is the name given to the vast floating masses of vegetation which at times form almost impassable dams, especially in the rivers of the province of Bahr-el-Gasal. So compact is their mass, says a European officer in the Sudan, who made a study of them, that they at times destroy all river life, containing not merely innumerable dead fishes, but "even the bodies of crocodiles and hippopotami who have perished there." Sir Samuel Baker encountered these sudds several times. On one occasion he says: "We have been hard at work for thirteen days with a thousand men, during which time we have traveled only twelve miles." At another time six of his vessels were destroyed by the sudden breaking up of the sudd. In October, 1880, Gessi Pasha, one of Gordon's lieutenants and governor of this province, with a force of about five hundred men, on a steamer and four boats, was imprisoned by the sudd over three months. When he was rescued—for he was unable to extricate himself—four hundred of his people had perished of starvation, and he himself died soon after from the terrible sufferings to which he had been subjected, from anxiety, the want of food, the heat, and the pestilential atmosphere. Stanley, however, was thoroughly aware of this danger, and we can confidently assume that he would take every precaution against meeting a similar fate.
If the expedition still exists, as all persons without exception, so far as my knowledge goes, well-informed about Africa, believe to be the case, and is not absolutely at a standstill, it is now in one of two regions. Stanley has either stuck to his original plan, has reached the lake and has been joined by Emin. The latter may have been obliged to retreat to the southward by the Mahdi's force, and in that case the two would probably go to Msalala, about 500 miles distant to the south of Lake Victoria Nyanza, where a supply camp has been formed for Mr. Stanley. This probability is the stronger from the fact that Stanley's unexpected delay may have led to the exhaustion of the supplies which he was carrying to Emin.
The other alternative is, however, the one which I am most inclined to hold. The weight of evidence seems to point to the fact that the expedition did turn to the northeast into the province of Bahr-el-Gasal; that it has successfully overcome all obstacles to its progress, and has defeated the Mahdi's army, possibly in conjunction with Emin, who was reported to have gone down the Nile to anticipate the attack about to be made upon him. This he would hardly have done unless Stanley had joined him or he had learned of his presence in the country to the north of his province. That is, I believe Stanley to be the "White Pasha."
James M. Hubbard.
On the 18th of June, it was a year since Stanley had left his camp on the Aruvimi, and since that day he has not been heard of. His presumptuous hope of reaching Wadelai at the end of July proved fallacious, and the unflagging confidence of the public was followed by long-continued anxiety for his safety. What has become of Stanley? What was the fate of his expedition, the speedy equipment and starting of which was prompted by the most humane of motives—the desire to help an unfortunate, noble man, who struggled against fanatic enemies for promoting the welfare of his province and the people that had been entrusted to his care?
During the slow progress of the expedition up the Congo Stanley's grudgers were busy spreading alarming and discouraging news. Later on, when all communication with the expedition had ceased, the same envious persons continued to spread false reports of Stanley's death, of the destruction of his caravan and the total failure of his expedition. All these reports may be traced to the boulevards of Paris, where the great work of the Congo Free State is watched jealously, and where the loss of the long hoped for supremacy in Central Africa is still grieved at. Therefore we may discard a consideration of all these reports.
Month elapsed after month, and no news was received. Letters came from Emin's Province—some from the southern point of Lake Albert Nyanza—Stanley was not heard of. The distance from this point to Yambuya Rapids, on the Aruvimi, does not seem very long, and great disappointment was felt at the prolonged lack of information.
Is there any cause for evil anticipations? Is it probable that Stanley has perished? Let us consider the state of affairs.
On June 23 and on July 12, 1887, Stanley sent letters recording his progress up the Aruvimi. He had a caravan of 50 Europeans and 465 soldiers and carriers. At Yamhuya, which was first visited by Stanley in 1883, he left Major Barttelot in command of a rear guard, consisting of four Europeans and 125 soldiers. As soon as carriers could be obtained, Barttelot was to start with his forces and supplies and follow Stanley. Tippoo-Tib, the well-known Arab trader, had promised to send the necessary number of carriers from the upper Kongo, but failed to do so until about a year after Stanley's departure. In December, 1887, several deserters from Stanley's caravan were met with by Arabs on the upper Aruvimi. They told that they had left the expedition after five months' hard traveling in a mountainous region, which they described as very populous. According to their reports, several fights against the natives took place, and in one of these struggles Stanley was said to be wounded. Barttelot started northeastward in July, but was slain by one of his carriers. The caravan was at once scattered. Thus Stanley's rear guard was destroyed; the ammunition and provisions it carried were lost.
No further reports were received from the Kongo, but some interesting information has come from Zanzibar. Up to the end of last year Emin Pacha was in regular communication with Unyoro and Uganda. Then, all of a sudden, Kabrega, King of Unyoro, who had so far been friendly to Emin, prevented all further intercourse, and since November, 1887, we are without news from the Equatorial Province. Quite recently some Arabs trading between Lakes Muta Nzige, Moutan Nzige and Tabora claim to have met Stanley's rear guard southeast of Sango. Between the place, which was visited by Junker in 1882, and Lake Moutan Nzige, lies the unknown district Stanley has to traverse. The strength of the caravan was estimated at about two hundred and fifty men, the country was described as swampy and thickly wooded.
Our first conclusion from these reports is that the prime object of Stanley's expedition has not been attained. His own caravan has been so much weakened by the loss of the rear guard under Barttelot and by the prolonged march through a difficult country, that he cannot be of any material assistance to Emin. The latter wants ammunition and various European manufactures; even if Stanley has left a small supply of these, it can be no more than a temporary relief to Emin, who needs a continuous open route of intercourse with the coast, either by way of the Kongo or of the great lakes of East Africa. It is hardly necessary to state that Stanley has not opened a route between the Kongo and Waldelai; and it must be considered a fundamental mistake in organizing his expedition, that this object was not clearly kept in mind, or that the difficulties of establishing such a work were underestimated.
However, we feel no serious anxiety as to Stanley's safety. Of course, traveling in Africa is dangerous, and the malignant climate may sweep away even the hardiest and most experienced traveler; the arrow of a hostile native may strike Stanley, as it happened to other travelers. But setting aside this point, neither the long delay of his arrival at Wadelai, nor the various reports which reached us from time to time, contain anything which justifies apprehensions regarding the destruction of the caravan. First of all, the latest news from the East Coast are from November, 1887. The vague report of the Arabs who claim to have met Stanley's rear guard may or may not be true. There is no way of telling whether Stanley has reached Emin since November, 1887, or not. The rumored presence of a "white pasha" in the Bar-el-Gazal region is too indefinite to be adduced as making it probable that Stanley had entered that district.
If anything had happened to Stanley; if his expedition had perished, what would have been the effect? The arrival of a caravan of such magnitude, headed by fifty Europeans, coming from a distant country, nobody knows from where, going to unknown regions, unknown to the natives, is an event of such importance in African life, that it is much talked about. The destruction of such a caravan would be so impressing to the native mind, that the news would spread rapidly all over the country and reach a European station somewhere. But does news travel any distances in Africa? Remember the days when the interior was still unknown! Rumors of the immense distant lakes were afloat in Zanzibar and our cartographers excelled one the other in giving the fabulous inland sea wonderful extent and form. Everywhere the natives are able to describe the country hundreds of miles distant from their homes. Intertribal communication in Africa is highly developed. You may enter the continent at any point and cross it in all directions without ever leaving a well trodden trail, few regions excepted. That this is true also in regard to the region Stanley has to traverse, is shown by Junker's travels and inquiries. It seems that the tribes west of Lake Moutan Nzige have little intercourse with their eastern neighbors, but there is no indication that the tribes on the upper Aruvimi are isolated from their western and southern neighbors. On the contrary, the occurrence of similar types of implements all over the region north of the Kongo shows that there exists a continuous intercourse between the various tribes. Therefore, it seems probable, that if Stanley had perished on his march to Wadelai, the news would have reached the Kongo and Tanganyika somewhere. It may be assumed that three or four months would have sufficed to carry the news from Lake Moutan Nzige to the Kongo.
The slowness of Stanley's progress does not make us wonder. Junker describes the region to be crossed as full of swamps and impenetrable forests. The size of the caravan makes it very difficult to procure the necessary supplies, and necessitates long halts at short intervals. The region is inhabited by numerous petty tribes, which are unable to cause serious obstacles. If there existed any nation of considerable power or extent, it would be known in the neighboring districts.
Therefore we look confidently forward to a day when the telegraph will inform us of the fact that Stanley and Emin have joined hands.
And after that? Both men will be in no better position than that in which Emin is at present. From the north, Arabian fanatacism is still threatening to swamp the Equatorial Province. In the south, the kings of Unyoro and Uganda are jealously watching Emin; and undoubtedly opposed to any increase of his power. To the north, east, south and southwest Arabian slave traders, hostile to all European influence, are ravaging the native villages. The recent events in East Africa show their influence over the natives, their power to obstruct the work of European nations, and the general hatred against the whites which has ever been growing since the decadence of the Sultanate of Zanzibar. Thus Stanley and Emin are in a worse position than the latter alone before the “relief expedition” was undertaken, and Stanley's fate will be inseparably connected with that of Emin. Strenuous efforts, starting from the east coast, must be made, to liberate the enterprising explorer and to enable the persevering governor to carry on his work.
Dr. Franz Boas.
- Gen. Viscount Wolseley mailed a contribution to this symposium on the 12th of November; but as it failed to reach New York in time for the printer, his lordship, on the 21st instant, sent by cable the subjoined brief synopsis of his delayed contribution—Editor North American Review.