Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/352

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Grant
Grant
340

good stead. He was granted a commission in the 8th native Bengal infantry on 8 June 1846, and was present at both sieges of Multan and at the battle of Gujerat. In 1853 he was appointed adjutant, and acted as such until the mutiny of his regiment in 1857. He was attached to the 78th highlanders at the relief of Lucknow, and was wounded when in command of two companies of the same, forming part of the rearguard of the army. On 23 Oct. 1858 he returned to England on sick certificate.

Grant's acquaintance with John Hanning Speke [q. v.] dated from 1847 ; both were in the same service, about the same age, and ardently devoted to field sports, especially the hunting of big game. When Speke, after his first journey, was commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society to prosecute his discoveries, Grant offered to accompany him, and the offer was immediately accepted. The conduct of the expedition was under the direction of Speke, and on all occasions Grant proved himself a loyal and devoted follower, 'not a shade of jealousy or distrust or even ill temper ever coming between them on their wanderings' (Preface to Grant's Walk across Africa, p. ix). Though acting under his chiefs instructions, he was for long periods in the journey in independent command of a portion of the expedition. He remained at the village of Ukuni from 27 May to 21 Sept. 1861, with the bulk of the baggage, stationary for want of porters, while Speke, with the other portion of the caravan, was vainly struggling to secure effective assistance. The difficulty with regard to porters being at last overcome, they again joined forces on 26 Sept., and marched north between Tanganyika and the Victoria Nyanza, and proceeded through Bogue in company to Karague, 1° 40' S. equator, where they arrived in November 1861. Here Grant remained till 14 April 1862. He was prevented by sickness from accompanying Speke, when the road to Uganda was opened to the latter on 12 Jan. 1862, and shortly afterwards became absolutely unable to move with a dangerously inflamed leg. While thus helpless he was kindly treated by Rumanika, the king of Karague, and though obliged to submit his limb to the cures of the native physician, he found himself sufficiently recovered on 14 April 1862 to set out to join Speke in Uganda. He arrived, after a toilsome journey undertaken for the most part in a litter because of his lameness, at Mtesa's capital on 27 May 1862, where Speke was living in favour with the king. From Uganda the travellers started together on 7 July for Unyoro, but separated again on 19 July, when Grant was despatched with the bulk of the baggage to Chagasi, King Kamrasi's capital, while Speke left with a small party to find the exact point where the Nile emerges from the Victoria Nyanza. The suggestion that Speke did not wish to share with another the discovery of the exact point of emergence is quite unfounded. Grant was asked to accompany him, and afterwards declared that 'his own state of health alone prevented him from accompanying Speke' (Walk across Africa, p. 247). Great difficulty was experienced in approaching Chagasi, owing to the unwillingness of the king to receive the party, and Grant was obliged to retire towards Uganda, when by a fortunate accident he came across Speke's party on 19 Aug. 1862. The explorers now overcame the reluctance of the king, and arrived at the capital of Unyoro, latitude 1° 37' N., longitude 32° 19' E., on 9 Sept., where they remained till 9 Nov., and then proceeded partly by land, partly by water, to the falls of Karuma. They arrived at De Bono's station at Faloro on 3 Dec., and were met and assisted at Gondokoro by (Sir) Samuel Baker [q. v. Suppl.]

During the journey Grant had kept careful meteorological registers, and had made elaborate botanical notes ; these and his drawings were unreservedly handed over to his friend, and made use of in Speke's printed account of the expedition. At first no separate publication on Grant's part was meditated, and it was only at the suggestion of Speke and others of his friends that he undertook to publish portions of his journal. His book appeared in December 1864, and the title 'A Walk across Africa' was suggested by Lord Palmerston's genial remark to the author, 'You have had a long walk, Captain Grant' (Preface to Walk across Africa, p. x). The work was founded on his journal, and dwelt rather on the customs and habits of the native tribes than the geographical events of the expedition ; it was interspersed with personal anecdotes, and was dedicated to the memory of Speke. The gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society and medals from Pope Pius IX and King Victor Emanuel were awarded to Grant in 1864, and in September 1866 he was granted the order of C.B. for his services in the discovery of the source of the Nile. In 1868 he served in the intelligence department with the Abyssinian expedition under Lord Napier, and after the war received the companionship of the order of the Star of India, he retired from the service with the rank of lieutenant-colonel on 7 May 1868. Grant