TRAVELS OF BURTON--DU CHAILLU--BAINES--ANDERSSON--GALTON--EXPEDITIONS UP THE NIGER--DR. BAIKIE'S VOYAGE IN THE "PLEIAD"--JOURNEYS OF MISSIONARIES, SPORTSMEN, AND OTHERS--CONCLUDING REMARKS.
We must now bid farewell to that land of savagism, so large a portion of which we have seen opened out to the view of the civilised world by the gallant and enterprising men whose footsteps we have traced. We would gladly have accompanied many others who have contributed their _quota_ to our knowledge of the continent. Among the first stands Burton, who ranks as a great traveller in all parts of the world, and who, besides his trip on Lake Tanganyika, has visited Dahomy, the Cameroon Mountains, Abeokuta, and many other places.
We regret to have to omit the travels and wonderful adventures of Du Chaillu through the gorilla country and other portions of tropical Africa.
Interesting journeys have been made by the enterprising travellers, Andersson, the artist Baines, and Mr Galton, who, starting from Walvisch Bay on the West Coast to the north of Cape Colony, visited the Damaras, the Namaquas, the Bechuanas, and other tribes to the west of Lake Ngami.
Several expeditions also have been made to explore the Niger, and open up commerce with the teeming population on its banks. One of the first, sent out a few years after the return of the Landers, proved most disastrous, the greater number of officers and men having perished from fever.
Another, however, which was organised in 1854 by the Government, was far more successful. A small steamer, the "Pleiad," was fitted out with a black crew and a few white officers, and in consequence of the death of Mr Beecroft, who had been appointed to lead the expedition, it was placed under the command of Dr Baikie, R.N. He proceeded up the Quorra, the proper name of the Niger, and entering the mouth of the Binue, known as the Tsadda, discovered by Dr Barth, steamed up that magnificent stream till the falling waters compelled him to return.
Numerous other expeditions have been made on the West Coast by missionaries, for the purpose of extending the blessings of the Gospel.
Still more numerous have been the journeys, with the same object in view, made from the southern part of Africa.
In this direction also no small number of sportsmen, with Gordon dimming at their head, have penetrated far into the interior, many of them having given accounts of their exploits to the world.
The travels of Mansfield Parkyns, and his description of life in Abyssinia, as well as Plowden's, Stern's, and many others, are of the deepest interest.
We would gladly also have given an account of the travels of the enterprising ivory-trader, Mr Petherick, who has visited many of the districts we have gone over, as well as those on both sides of the Nile.
They have all added to our knowledge of Africa; yet a considerable amount of the interior remains unexplored.
Livingstone, undoubtedly, will have solved the problem of the sources of the Nile; but the source of the Congo is still to be discovered, unless the expedition which started from the West Coast to the relief of Livingstone has ere this settled the question: while Sir Samuel Baker, when once he gets his steamers launched on the waters of the Albert Nyanza, is not likely to stop till he has made further discoveries to the west and south of his vast lake.
If he is correct in his belief that the Albert Nyanza and Tanganyika are portions of one vast lake, or united by a broad channel, a direct highway by water exists, nine hundred miles in length, through the interior of the continent, which cannot fail greatly to assist in the civilisation of the teeming population in its neighbourhood. We, however, must await the return of Sir Samuel Baker and Dr Livingstone, to be enlightened on this and many other deeply interesting points.
We shall rest satisfied if the work we have now brought to a conclusion excites the interest of our readers in the numberless black races spread over the continent, and induces them to exert all the influence they may possess in forwarding measures for suppressing the nefarious slave trade throughout the length and breadth of the land, and in aiding those who go forth to carry the blessings of the Gospel to its long benighted people.