Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/802

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there to determine geographical problems left unsolved by the deaths of Livingstone and Speke, and the discovery by Sir Samuel Baker of Albert Nyanza, a lake then reputed to extend inimitably in a southerly direction. Finally, Sir Edward Lawson (afterwards Lord Burnham), the editor and proprietor of the Daily Telegraph, to whom Stanley had communicated his desires, and Sir Edwin Arnold of that journal, induced Mr Gordon Bennett to join them in raising a fund for an Anglo-American expedition under Stanley's command. This expedition lasted from October 1874 to August 1877 and accomplished more than any other single exploring expedition in Africa. Politically, also, the journey had momentous consequences; it led directly to the foundation of the Congo State and to the partition of the hitherto unappropriated regions of Africa between the states of western Europe. Stanley started from the east coast and reached the ocean again at the mouth of the Congo, having demonstrated the identity of that river with Livingstone's Luaiaba by navigating its course from Nyangwe—the point at which both Livingstone and Lovett Cameron had turned aside. This wonderful achievement was accomplished in the face of difficulties so great that they could have been overcome only by such a man as Stanley proved himself to be—a man of inflexible will, who having conceived a vast design carried it to its conclusion regardless of any obstacles, sparing neither himself nor his associates and, if opposed, prepared to shed blood to attain his object. Of the three white men who accompanied him all died during the journey; Stanley himself was prematurely aged. The discovery of the course of the Congo, though the greatest, was but one of many geographical problems solved during this memorable expedition. The part played by the Kagera in the Nile system, the unity and approximate area of Victoria Nyanza, the true length and area of Tanganyika and the whereabouts of its outlet, and the discovery of a new lake, Dweru, which at the time Stanley believed to be a branch of Albert Nyanza, are some of the other discoveries made by Stanley at this time. The story of the expedition was given at length in Through the Dark Continent (London, 1878). Stanley's letters from Uganda and his call for missionaries to go to the court of Mtesa met with an immediate response and proved the first step in bringing the region of the Nile sources under the protection of Great Britain. Important as was this result of his journey it was eclipsed by the events which followed his revelation of the Congo as a magnificent waterway piercing the very heart of Africa. Of the commercial possibilities of the region he had made known Stanley was well aware. The one other man who at once grasped the situation was Leopold II., king of the Belgians, who sent commissioners to intercept Stanley at Marseilles, when he was on his way back to England, with proposals to return to the Congo, proposals which Stanley, much needing rest, put aside for the time. Approached again in the summer of 1878 Stanley lent a more favourable ear to Leopold's suggestions. Efforts made by the explorer in the autumn to arouse British merchants to the importance of the Congo basin were unavailing, and in November Stanley went to Brussels and committed himself to the schemes of the king of the Belgians. A Comite d'Uudes du Haul Congo was formed and Stanley was entrusted with the leadership of the new expedition, which was, in his own words, "to prove that the Congo natives were susceptible of civilization and that the Congo basin was rich enough to repay exploitation." Stanley reached the Congo in August 1879, and the work he accomplished there in the ensuing five years enabled the Comité, which had meantime changed its name to that of Association intemationale du Congo, to obtain the recognition of America and Europe to its transformation into an independent state ("The Congo Free State") under the sovereignty of King Leopold. Stanley described his labours in The Congo and the Founding of its Free State (London, 1885), a book which throws valuable light on the manner in which the promoters of that enterprise set to work, and the object at which, from the beginning, they aimed. For the political aspects of this question see Africa (§ 5) and Congo Free State. Here it is only necessary to indicate what Stanley actually accomplished on the Congo. At the outset the area of his activities was restricted by the enterprise of the French traveller de Brazza, who, reaching Stanley Pool by a more northern route, placed—September and October 1880—the neighbouring districts on the north bank of the Congo under French protection. De Brazza's journey was directly inspired by Stanley's discoveries, and thus early had those discoveries led to international rivalries. Notwithstanding this check Stanley, without much trouble with the natives, founded stations for his association along the banks of the river as high up as Stanley Falls. A more difficult task was the making of a road through the cataract region and the carrying over it in sections of four small steamers, all of which were launched on the middle river. This road-making exploit earned for Stanley from the natives the name of Bula Malari, the rock-breaker, the all-powerful—a fit description of the man who allowed no obstacles to turn him from the achievement of his purpose.

Stanley returned to Europe in the middle of 1884 and attended the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, which dealt with African affairs, acting as technical adviser of the American plenipotentiaries. While in Germany he lectured in various cities on the benefits which would result from the opening up of Central Africa, and found the Germans more alive than the British to the great interests at stake. The revelation of what the Association intemationale had done intensified the struggle among the powers for the possession of African territory. Stanley did not return to the Congo on the recognition of the Free State but took up his residence in London. With James F. Hatton, a leading Manchester merchant, he promoted the Royal Congo Railway Company to connect Stanley Pool with the lower river, but the scheme at the time came to nought, partly owing to the indifference of English capitalists and partly in consequence of a clause inimical to British interests in the charter which King Leopold proposed to grant the company.

Though still an American citizen Stanley's interests and ambitions were becoming distinctly British, his sympathies in that direction being joined to a personal loyalty to the king of the Belgians.[1] A desire to serve both parties was one of the leading motives in his next African adventure. Stanley had become deeply interested in the schemes of Mr (afterwards Sir) William Mackinnon, chairman of the British India Steam Navigation Company, for establishing a British protectorate in East Equatorial Africa, and it was believed that this object could be furthered at the same time that relief was afforded to Emin Pasha (q.v.), governor of the Equatorial Province of Egypt, who had been isolated by the Mahdist rising of 1881-1885. Stanley agreed to conduct an expedition, nominally in the service of the khedive of Egypt, for the relief of Emin. The major part of the funds needed was supplied by a committee, of which Mackinnon was chairman. Instead of choosing the direct route via Zanzibar or Mombasa, Stanley decided to go by way of the Congo, as thereby he would be able to render services to the infant Congo State, then encountering great difficulties with the Zanzibar Arabs established on the upper Congo. Stanley left Europe in January 1887 and at Zanzibar entered into an agreement with Tippoo Tib, the chief of the Congo Arabs, appointing him governor of Stanley Falls station on behalf of the Congo State, and making another arrangement with him to supply carriers for the Emin relief expedition. Stanley and Tippoo Tib travelled together up the Congo as far as Bangala, reached on the 30th of May. Thence Tippoo Tib went on to Stanley Falls and Stanley prepared for a journey to Albert Nyanza, where he expected to meet Emin. On the 15th of June Yambuya, on the lower Aruwimi, was reached, and here Stanley left his rear-guard under command of Major E. M. Barttelot and Mr J. S. Jameson. On the 28th Stanley and the advance-guard started for Albert Nyanza, " and until the 5th of December, for 160 days, we marched through the forest, bush and jungle, without ever having seen a bit of greensward of the size of a cottage chamber floor.

  1. Of the later policy pursued in the Congo State Stanley wrote, in 1896, that it was "erring and ignorant." To go back to the Congo "would be to disturb a moral malaria injurious to the reorganizer" (Autobiography, p. 537).