The Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa, in the Year 1805, by Mungo Park

ISAACO’S JOURNAL.

Government House

Sierra Leone, 10th December, 1811.

“MY LORD,

“With reference to my letter of the 8th of March 1810, communicating having engaged a person to go in search, and ascertain the fate of the late Mr. Mungo Park; I have the honour to communicate to Your Lordship, that this person returned to Senegal on the 1st of September; but I am concerned to state that his information confirms the various reports of Mr. Park’s death.

“I have enclosed a copy of the Journal of the person whom I sent, which was kept in Arabic, and has been translated into English by a person resident in Senegal.

“Isaaco has been paid the promised reward, which I hope will be approved by your Lordship.

“I have the honour to be,

“MY LORD,

“Your Lordship’s most obedient

“humble Servant,

“C.W. MAXWELL.

Governor.

To the Right Honourable The Earl of Liverpool.

ISAACO’S JOURNAL.

I, Isaaco, left Senegal on Sunday, the 22d day of the moon Tabasky; [Footnote: Seventh of January, 1810.] in the afternoon we came to an anchor at the foot of the bar. We passed the bar next morning, and had like to have lost ourselves; we got on board the George. Weighed anchor in the night of the 23d, from the roads, and anchored at Goree the 24th at about 4 P.M. [Footnote: These times of the day are not very exact, being regulated by the Mahometan times of prayer.] On my arrival there, I found some of my effects had been stolen; I signified to the commandant of Goree my intention to postpone my voyage, until my stolen goods were found. The commandant sent me back on board the George, and ordered the vessel to return to Senegal, that I might make there my complaint to Governor Maxwell. We were nine days at sea with heavy weather, and could not fetch; we were obliged to return to Goree on the tenth day.

The commandant next day (Friday) after my arrival, sent a courier to Senegal to the Governor, with the account of my goods being stolen; and on the Friday following the courier brought me my effects. [Footnote: These goods had been stolen in the lighter outside of the bar.] The same day in the afternoon, I left Goree in the George, and arrived in Gambia, the night after at Yoummy. We left Yoummy on the Sunday following, and arrived on Monday at Jilifrey. We left Jilifrey the same day; passed Tancrowaly, in the night, and on Tuesday came opposite a forest. Passed this spot, and came to anchor at Baling. From Baling came to an anchor opposite a forest at four P.M. We got under weigh in the night and came to in the morning. Departed after breakfast, and came to at noon. Departed immediately after, and came to after sunset. Passed Caour in the night, and came to anchor at four A.M. (Thursday). Weighed in the evening and came to Yanimmarou at noon. We left Yanimmarou in the morning of Friday, and came to Mongha. Left the Mongha the same day at sunset, and came to Mariancounda late in the evening, and Robert Ainsley being there, I landed and presented to him the Governor’s letter; making in all eight days from Goree to my arrival at Mariancounda.

Robert Ainsley kept me five days with him. He gave me, by the Governor’s desire, one horse, one ass, and twenty bars of beads. I left Robert Ainsley on Wednesday morning, and went to the village of the king of Cataba to pay my respects. I had previously sent the same day, my baggage and people, to Giammalocoto. On my arrival before Cataba, I gave him one musket, and one string of amber No. 4. which he distributed to his attendants. In the evening of the same day, I took leave of the king, and arrived at Giammalocoto, after sunset, where I met my people and effects. I left Giammalocoto, on Friday morning, and slept at Tandacounda. I departed next morning (Saturday) and slept at Guenda. On Sunday crossed a rivulet and slept under a tamarind tree close to the village of Sandougoumanna. I sent to Sallatigua-koura, king of that country, five bars of tobacco (ten heads). I went and slept at Woullimanna. I gave to Mansancoije, the chief, two bars of scarlet cloth and two bars of tobacco, and to his son, one bar of scarlet cloth. I also gave to my landlord three bars of tobacco. Departed next day early; stopped at Carropa at noon, and went to Coussage, where we slept. I there found my family, who had been driven away by the Bambarra army. I staid at Coussage two days and gave Maitafodey, chief of the village, three bottles of powder. [Footnote: One bottle of powder passes for five bars.] We left Coussage in the evening, with all my family; arrived at Montogou in the morning, where my family resided before the Bambarra army entered this country. I here found my mother. I staid at Montogou about one month and a half, or forty-six days.

Having disposed of such of my property as I could not carry with me, I left Montogou at about nine A.M. with my family and people, stopped at Moundoundon, having crossed three rivulets; slept there. Mamadou, the chief, killed me a sheep: I gave him one bottle of powder. We departed in the morning, stopped at Couchiar at noon, under a bark-tree, where we passed the rest of the day. We filled our leather bags with water and departed about four P.M. We travelled all night and came to Saabie at three A.M. This village is inhabited by Marabous (priests). We stayed there two days. I found there a relation of one of my wives. I gave him one bottle of powder and three pagnes (a piece of cloth the natives make use of in their dresses). We left Saabie in the morning, stopped at noon at Joumajaoury, and arrived at Tallimangoly. I there met a relation who killed a sheep. I gave him three grains of amber. We slept there. Next morning we departed, and arrived at midnight at Baniscrilla, where I found the King of Bondou with the Bambarra army. I went to pay my respects to him, and gave him ten bottles of powder, thirteen grains of amber No. 1, two grains of coral No. 1, and one handsome tin box. To his first valet one pagne, worth one piece of baft; to his goldsmith four pagnes; to the Chief of the village two bottles of powder. (Ten bars.) Slept there two nights; departed early, so did the army on their way to Gambia. We stopped at noon at Cambaya, being very hungry: we departed in the evening; and slept on the road. At about eight A.M. on the next day, we passed Gnary and Sangnongagy; received at this last village some peas without stopping. We stopped at noon at Dougay. Next morning early we departed, and stopped at noon at Daacada; in the evening we stopped and slept at Bougoldanda. Next day we stopped at noon at Saamcolo. Some singers of the village paid me a visit; I gave them a few trinkets. I had here a grand palaver (dispute) about one of my dogs, who had, as was said, bit a man; with great difficulty I prevented the animal from being killed.

Departed next day early; arrived at noon at Soumbourdaga, and slept there. Next morning at nine A.M. arrived at Debbou; my friend Saloumou gave me two sheep; I gave him two bottles of powder. Saloumou told me he would keep me company to Sego if I pleased; I readily agreed, and gave him ten pagnes to give to his wife to support her until his return. Next morning, Saloumou being ready, we departed from Debbou: we crossed the Faleme, and stopped on the other side at a village also called Debbou. I bought there two sheep and some corn; we staid there three days, and had our corn converted into kouskous. We departed from Debbou early on Monday, the first day of Raky Gamon, [Footnote: May 4, 1810.] and arrived at noon at the village of Diggichoucoumee, the residence of the King of Bondou: we stayed there four days and killed two sheep. I gave to Almami Sega two bottles of powder; bought one sheep. Departed early and went to Sabcouria, where we slept; it is the last village of Bondou to the northward.

Left Sabcouria early, and passed Gouloumbo: we slept on the road. Next morning at nine A. M. we stopt at Dramana, in sight of Saint Joseph, the Fort of Galam; we staid there five days. I was forced to stay there so long, on account of a palaver I had with the family of one of my wives, who opposed her going on the voyage with me: I was divorced, and she had to give me what she had received at our marriage, which is the law among us Mahomedans. I received one bullock and four sheep. I gave the Chief Euchoumana fourteen bars in amber and powder; to the people one bottle and a half of powder, and two bars of amber; to the Chief of Galam two bottles of powder and twenty flints.

We departed early; crossed Choligota [Footnote: The Ch must be pronounced through the throat.] and Taning_ch_olee, two rivulets, and arrived at noon at Moussala; slept there. We were well treated by the Chief. I gave him two flints and thirty loads of powder. Departed very early, and arrived at Tambouncana on the Senegal River. I there saw a Moor who had a very fine mare, which I bought with the goods which were returned to me in my palaver at Dramana. The King of Bambarra built there a large fort. We departed, and arrived at noon at Samicouta; we then went to Gui_ch_alel, where we slept at the house of Amady face, Chief of the village. We stopt there the next day, owing to one of my slaves running away, whom I got back again. Early in the morning we crossed the Senegal River at Settoucoule, on the Moors’ side. I bought one sheep; slept there, and was well treated.

Departed early; stopt at nine A.M. at Coulou, and slept there; we found there only the women, the men had followed the Bambarra army. Departed early, crossed Cholibinne and arrived at Challimancounna, where I staid two days. Ourigiague, the Chief, received me well, and killed a bullock. I gave him one bottle of powder. We departed long before day-break, crossed Fallaou, stopt at day-break at the Lake of Douro to take water; we went on, and arrived at nine A.M. at Medina. I was obliged to stay there twelve days, to wait the return of one of my fellow travellers; not hearing any thing of him, I sent a man after him, because I had lent him my mare and a musket. The man brought me back my mare and musket. I was there well treated by the Chief and village people, who gave me five sheep. I gave them in return one bottle of powder, and one and a half bars. I bought a sheep. This completed the three moons from my departure from Montogou.

We departed early, and crossed Kirgout, a river full of hippopotami and alligators. At noon arrived at Cougnacary, formerly the metropolis of the kingdom of Casso, but now occupied by Bambarras. Received one sheep, and gave one bottle of powder and five flints. We slept there, and next day early went round and crossed the river Kirgout again. At nine A.M. passed Maretoumane; farther on, passed a large rock called Tap-pa. Arrived at noon at Camatingue, after crossing five rivers; we staid there two days; received a bullock and a sheep from the Seracoolies residing in Casso. I gave to Nare–Moussa, the Chief, half a bottle of powder, and ten grains of amber. One of my slaves was there redeemed, and I received another in exchange. I met there the King of Bambarra’s messenger; I gave him half a bottle of powder. We departed early, crossed Garry between two rocks; arrived at noon at Lambatara; slept there. We were all the way surrounded by mountains and rocks. We started early, after taking water for our provisions, and had to ascend high mountains. About noon we arrived at the top of one of them; a part of my people went forward. When on the very top of the hill, they were surrounded and attacked by such a quantity of bees, that my people and beasts of burden were scattered; [Footnote: The bees in those parts of the country are very numerous, especially on the tops of the mountains. A similar accident from the attack of bees is mentioned by Park in his Journal, p. 37. See also Vol. I. p. 331.] when they were a little appeased, we went after our beasts, who had thrown away every thing they had on their backs. I found one of my asses dead, being stifled by the bees getting into its nostrils, and one of my men almost dead by their stings. I had to give him something to bring him to life, and that with a great deal of pains. We slept at the foot of that mountain, under a monkey-bread tree.

Departed early; at nine A.M. we met on the road one of the King of Bambarra’s messengers, who was sent after me; we stopped and sat under a tree together; he told me he was sent by his master, to let me know if he met me at Cougnacary, he was ordered to procure me plenty of provisions, and keep me there to rest myself; but as he had met me on the road, and a long way past Cougnacary, he would lead me to the first village, would get me some provisions, and that I might stay there to rest myself; to which I agreed. We passed Goundouguédé and arrived at four P.M. at Jyggiting Yalla; on my arrival I told the messenger my intention of sending somebody to the King, to let him know of my being in his dominions, and near him. I then sent Saloumon my friend to Giocha, where the King resided. I told him on his arrival at Giocha, to go to Sabila, the chief of all the King’s slaves, and a confident of his, to give him thirteen grains of amber No. 1, one pair of scissars, one snuff-box, and one looking-glass; and tell him I sent him those things as a present, and let him know of my arrival. After this man’s departure, I sent another messenger, and desired him to go to Giocha, to endeavour to see my old friend Allasana–Bociara, one of the King of Sego’s messengers, who were sent as ambassadors, and tell him that I send him this grain of amber, and that piece [Footnote: One round half dollar.] of silver, as a mark of my being near him, and not to leave Giocha before he saw me. I had learnt his arrival there by a caravan of slaves I met on the road.

After I had sent these two messengers unknown to one another, the King’s messenger came in the evening, and told me he was going away, but should give orders to the first village he should come to, to receive me well and give me provisions and all assistance; and that I should wait there for further orders. I then slept there: in the course of the night, the Chief of the village where I was ordered to go and stop for further orders, sent a messenger to his son here, where I was, desiring him to stop me here. Next morning his son came to me, and said it was useless for me to go any farther; that his father had sent to him and desired he would furnish me with whatever I wanted and keep me here. I told him, if I staid where I was, I should die with all my family, of hunger and thirst; and that I would go on where I was ordered, unless I was stopped by force. I immediately got every thing ready and departed.

At noon, we arrived at Maribougou, where I was ordered to stop. Foula Massa, the Chief, sent me to his brother to take up lodgings. When I came to his brother’s house I was refused lodgings; I then went under a large monkey-bread tree and made halt there. The Chief came and told me to stay here; I said I could not, as water was very scarce, and my company very numerous. He immediately gave orders that no one in the village should draw water, so that I might not want, and that I should have no excuse. I took that opportunity to give drink to all my people and cattle, and filled my skins. Being ready to depart from thence, the two men I had sent to Giocha from Jyggiting Yalla, arrived; one told me he had seen Sabila, and delivered my message and present to him; that Sabila said, he perceived I wanted to be his friend, to which he had no objection; the other messenger told me, that the King of Sego’s ambassador said I might be assured he would not leave Giocha before he saw me, according to my desire.

I had in my caravan a merchant I met at Dramana; he came from Senegal, and had some friends in this village, who sent to tell him to take away his goods from mine and put them aside, as I was in great danger of being plundered, and his goods would be lost to him if found amongst mine; to which he objected; which gave me a proof of his good intentions, and of his friendship to me. I was then convinced something unpleasant was planning against me. I therefore forced this merchant to take away his goods from mine; as it would be unjust he should suffer on my account. I then placed myself and people against the tree, well armed. I had two double-barrelled guns and a musket in good order, and well loaded; and waited for what should happen.

While I was in this state of defence, a messenger from the King came to me, the same man I had met first, who told me, that as I was complaining of want of water, he would conduct me to another village. We accordingly departed, and arrived at Wassaba; when there, the messenger shewed me a house where I was to take up my lodging, and have my things in safety. He then wanted to separate my people from me and scatter them in the village, so as to have a better chance to plunder me; to which I strongly objected. I went with my people, baggage, &c. into the middle of the yard of the house appointed for my lodging, and staid there.

The Chief of the village came to me, and desired I should give him my people to go and fetch me a bullock: the King’s messenger took him aside and spoke a little while to him: he came again and told me he could not give me now the bullock, as his cattle were too far off among the King’s herd. When the messenger saw me settle in the yard, and disposed to spend the evening there, he left me and went away.

When I was sure of his departure, I sent another man to Giocha, and ordered him to go to Madiguijou Marabou, who would introduce him to Sabila; and when there, to give Sabila seven grains of amber, and tell him to go and let the King know, that wherever I went, I met some of his people who stopped me from one place to another; and my intention was positively to go to him, and to beg Sabila to obtain my request. My courier came back the next day, and told me that Sabila said, the King, his master’s pleasure was, that I should stay where I was, and come to see him (the King) on the next day, with which I complied.

Next day the King sent a messenger to me with orders to lead me to him. I left my family and baggage, taking three horsemen of my people with me and four footmen, and departed with the messenger. I had, previous to that, sent a man before me with five grains of the largest amber No. 1. with orders to wait at Giocha for me. We arrived at the back of the village at three P.M. on Tuesday; the man I had sent before me, was there waiting for me; he told me softly that where I was going we were betrayed; and not to let the King know of my going to Sego, as our lives depended upon it. I told him, that he well knew, I was sent by the Governor of Senegal to Sego; and to Sego I must go, unless I was prevented by death or force. I then entered the village and went straight to the King’s door, followed by his messenger, I there alighted; the messenger made me wait at the door, and went in to take the King’s orders. He came back immediately and told me the King was sleeping; the guard took possession of my people and me, and lodged us in the guard-room with them. It was then about sunset, and not a single soul of my friends and acquaintances or relations came to see me. I then began to think seriously what was to be done. A griot [Footnote: Ballad singer and dancer.] woman was the only person who came to comfort me in my distress.

This woman on leaving me went immediately to the ambassadors of Sego (which I afterwards learnt), and said to them, “Oh me, oh me, my back is broke.” [Footnote: An expression of sorrow among the cassonkes.] The ambassadors asked her the reason; she said, “Because Isaaco our friend is here, and they are going to kill him.” Sabila being a very powerful man, and not hearing from him, I sent my boy to Madiguijou; and begged he would introduce the boy to Sabila, and when there, to give him the five grains of amber. Not being well guarded, I sent another man to my landlord where I always resided when I passed in this village, with my compliments, and my surprise at not seeing him since my arrival. He sent me word that he was happy to hear of my being so near him and in good health, and that nobody had given him any notice of my arrival: which last words I attributed to his being afraid to meddle with me while in the King’s hands. I sent in the night the merchant who was advised to draw his goods from mine at Maribougou, to the Sego ambassadors; and informed them of my being here.

Seeing the guards’ carelessness, I went (still in the night) to my landlord, who had still some influence near the king, and gave him one of my wives necklaces, nine grains of amber, and seven grains of coral. From thence I went to Madiguijou, and told him I was sent on a mission to the King of Sego, with some papers; in order to facilitate me on my voyage in search of a white man gone in the interior of this country long ago. I went from there to Sabila and told him the same thing. Afterwards I went back to the guard-house, and laid myself down to sleep; while the guards were amusing themselves in dancing, singing, and drinking. My slumber being disturbed by my uneasy mind, I awoke and found all the guards gone.

I went to take the air, and returned again to sleep, but could not. I heard the feet of several horsemen in the street, going, I presumed, to Sabila’s house. Early in the morning I sent another message to the ambassadors, to let them know how critically I was situated; that I heard they were going away to Sego without me; and my uneasiness at not hearing a word from them. They sent to ask me why I did not follow this time the same road I had followed on my other voyage. I sent back the man to let them know as the two kingdoms were at peace, I thought it secure and safe to travel through this part; that Mungo Park had promised King Mansong a present; and Mungo Park not returning, the Governor of Senegal had entrusted this same present to me for Mansong, and that I was now the bearer of it. However, since they were determined to go without me, they might do so, and whether I should be released or die; they should hear it soon enough at Sego. They sent to Tiguing–Coroba [Footnote: Vulgarly Tiguing-coro.] (the King) a message saying; We have heard that Isaaco our friend is at Giocha, bearer of a present to Dacha (King of Sego) which Mr. Park had promised to Mansong (Dacha’s father); that Mr. Park not returning in time to his country, his friends had appointed Isaaco to be the bearer of that present, which is with him now, and is destined for Sego, to the King our master. In case Isaaco wishes to go back, we beg you will not let him do so; but if he wishes to go on, on his mission to Sego, we also beg and hope you will give him all assistance, and some trusty persons to conduct him to Sego.

[Footnote: This equivocal invitation was given to the King, who well knew that the King of Sego was more powerful than him; and if he should injure Isaaco in any manner, he would be driven from his dominions.]

Then came Massatan Wague, a Marabou, who told me what I have above related, and how I had been arrested with an intention to destroy me, and take what I had; that Sibila had been the means of my escaping such danger, and had saved my life; to which story I gave little credit, knowing well the reason why they shewed me such mercy; but I thanked God alone for my preservation. Massatan Wague advised me to give the King’s only son something. I went to that prince, and gave him half a piece of white baft, and two grains of amber No. 1. I went back to the guard-house, where I passed the following night.

Next morning my landlord went to the King to beg (as every thing was settled and appeared favourable on my side) that he might take me to his lodging; to which the King consented. He immediately came and took me away to his house with my people. I went with my land-lord (Tong–Manchong) and my people to the King: on arriving, after the usual salutations, I presented him with a fine tin box. The King addressed Sabila, and said with a nod, “Here is the business.” Sabila said, “This man is our old friend, and is a good man.” My landlord said the same. The King turned to me and said, “No; here is your box and keep it; what else you have brought in my country I shall keep; you may return to the place you first started from, and travel on your mission by the same road you travelled first, with the white men; but your goods, and every thing else you have with you, I shall keep. I know what you have is destined to the King of Sego.” I said, “I might, it is true, have traveiled by other roads, and you would never have heard of me; but in my way, I heard you lived in peace and friendship with the King of Sego; I therefore thought I might with security travel through your country.” He stopped me, saying, “What I have said to you is enough.”

I left the house with part of his slaves. I went to my lodging, and immediately completed the amount of sixty bars in powder, amber, &c. I took the horse Robert Ainsley had bought for me, three ducks, and the tin box he refused. I gathered all these things, and went with my landlord and offered them as presents to the King, which he accepted: in his presence I gave Sabila one bottle of powder; to the King’s singer one snuff-box. The King, on seeing these presents, (the only thing to cool his anger) told me he would lend me somebody who would conduct me straight to Sego. I said, “I could not go so soon; because if I did, whoever would see me would think I deserted from him; and I therefore thought proper to stay where I was and rest myself awhile.” The King said to Sabila, “You see Isaaco appears to be a courageous man; if he had been of a weak-spirited mind, he would have run away, and left his things in my hands.” I went home, and spent the rest of the day and the night.

In the morning I departed with my people to Wassaba, to fetch my family and things; I staid there two days; but being uneasy in my mind, and being afraid of something planning against me, and as I had good reason to think so by the few words I heard at different times, I went back to Giocha, presented myself to the King; and told him that before I left his dominions, I had thought proper to come and swear fidelity and friendship to him; and that whenever I should go backwards or forwards from Senegal to Sego, I should always pass through his country and see him; but that I should wish also at the same time that he would swear to protect and treat me well, and be my friend; even should he be at war with the King of Sego. He sent for Chiaman, the eldest son of the royal family, who swore the same to me in his and the King’s name. I likewise swore before them what I related above. After swearing, Chiaman told me to give him a handsome gun or a coussabi (shirt) by way of cementing our oaths. I told him, I had none at present fit to present to him, but gave him my word, that if I should go back to the white men’s country, on my return I would bring him one of those two objects.

I staid in the village until the next morning. I had in the mean while wrote a prayer (Grisgris) or amulet, to a man who gave me a bullock, which I carried to Wassaba; I slept there. Next morning I had the bullock killed. The next day Iaque, Chiaman’s brother, sent me word to wait there for him. I immediately sent my family and things by another road, and waited for Iaque. He came and presented me with an ass loaded with kouskous to help me in my travels. I gave him half a piece of fine white baft, five bottles of powder, two looking-glasses, and two snuff-boxes. He then left me, and I went the same day to Giocha, to take leave of the King, and beg he would let me have the promised conductor (between Wassaba and Giocha there being seven rivulets to cross.) He gave me a man named Mourocouro, who went on foot. He then shook hands with me, saying, “Isaaco, I bear you no malice now; but did so once, because you conducted white men to Sego; and never passed here to let me have something from them, whilst every body else shared their generosity.” I took my leave of him and went to Chicouray, Chiaman’s village, where I met my family and things safe. I staid there two days. Chaiman killed me a bullock, and I gave him one pagne, worth two pieces of bafts, one bottle of powder, twenty flints, and one bar of scarlet cloth.

We started in the evening and arrived at Chicouray. [Footnote: These two last villages bear the same name.] Sambabile (Chiaman’s other brother) gave me some corn and a sheep. I gave him a blue pagne, a striped ditto, one bottle of powder, twenty flints, and one bar of scarlet cloth; which pagnes I got by the sale of three slaves I was obliged to sell to help me in my expenses. I staid there two days; in the morning I started, and arrived at noon at Jyallacoro; where resided Madifoutane, the King’s son, to whom I had given half a piece of fine cotton and two grains of amber; he gave me some corn. Madimarian, a Marabou, killed me a bullock; I give him one bottle of powder.

Next morning I started from thence, passed three villages, and arrived at three P.M. at Cobla. I received cooked victuals from the village; I gave two flints. We departed next morning early, and arrived at noon at Amadifalouma bougou, the last village belonging to King Tiguing-coro, it being on Wednesday, and six moons [Footnote: July 2, 1810.] after my departure from Senegal. I bought there an ass.

Having before me a large forest to cross, and uncertain of the right road, I hired four men to conduct me. I departed next morning, and crossed a small river near the village. We entered the forest at noon, and came to a large muddy pond, where the hogs could not pass safely; our guides shewed us a better road, where we crossed easily. At two P.M. we stopped where had been formerly a village. We found in our way after sun-set, a large land turtle, which we killed; and passed the night there. Departed early; at ten A.M. passed Sarina, formerly a village; stopped awhile. The four men I had charged to go as guides, wished to go back; they were afraid to go on further. I was much disappointed at such behaviour, and got angry with them, and said I would sooner go back than be left in such a forest. They shewed me a road, and told me to follow it straight along, and to be careful not to turn either to the right or left, and that I should soon find a village inhabited. I gave them half a bottle of powder and ten flints, and let them go, as I could not do otherwise.

I went on, and found the road the King of Sego’s army had taken nine years ago. [Footnote: When at war with Tiguing-coro.] Farther on we met a small pond; being very thirsty, we spent there the best part of the day; a little farther we found a large pond, where we made a halt, and past the night under a tree. Departed early; arrived at noon at the lakes of Chinchare and Tirinn. These lakes are never dry; and the King’s army always stops at them to take water. After dinner we started, and at five P.M. arrived at another lake. We went on, and came to the village of Giangounte after sun-set; where we stopped five days, on account of one of my people being sick; received the first night a few provisions; next day they killed me a bullock. Here I thanked God for my escape.

On the third day the King’s people came; the village gave them a bullock and a sheep, which I killed myself; they gave me a quarter of each for my share. This village is surrounded by a mud wall, is well fortified, and I presume is well secured against any attack. One of the hogs being very large and fat, I could not carry it any farther, but with great difficulty: I told the Chief of the village to take charge of the hog, and have it conveyed to the King his master; to which he objected, being afraid to take charge of an unknown animal, and the additional responsibility of taking charge of it for his master. I told him I found it impossible for me to carry it any farther; I should therefore leave it with him, and he might do with it as he pleased. That the village belonged to his master, so did the hog, and I was sure he would take good care of it.

We departed early and arrived at noon at Fabougou. After dinner we went to Giongoey, where we arrived after sun-set; we staid there two days. Early in the morning we departed, and at ten A.M. arrived at the lake Sonne; stopped a little under a tree; crossed the lake; stopped awhile at Tonneguela; arrived and stopped at Gommingtora, where we spent the night; received a sheep. Departed early, and at ten A. M. arrived at Wattere. Departed in the evening and came to a large open field, very dangerous for travellers, on account of the Moors passing there very often. We therefore travelled during the day and all the night.

At three A.M. came to Toucha. On my way from Gommingtora here, I saw a tree grown on the top of the dried stump of another large tree; the wood of the above tree is employed in the composition of our gunpowder. There is also near the tree a large and high rock, forming a pyramid, and a large stone on the top of its head. On my arrival at Toucha, I missed a chest which my nephew carried, and which contained some looking glasses, beads, my fine coussabi, and my wife’s bracelets, which were given me by Governor Maxwell. I asked the boy what was become of it; he said, that being fatigued on the way, he had given the chest to a man who had followed our caravan from Giocha. I suspected the man had stolen it, by not seeing him with us. I left my family and things there, and went immediately with some of the King’s people to Wattera in search of the thief. I had the Chief of Toucha’s son and the son of the Chief of Wattera with me. From Wattera we went to Tagoubou, where we found the thief, who had broken the chest and taken away the things; he had on my coussabi, had sold some things, and had in hand the remainder, looking after a slave to purchase. We seized him. The Chief of Tagoubou begged me not to hurt him in his village, but to carry him to Dinghang. Arrived at Dinghang. Maineoro, the Chief, told me, since I caught the thief, I might take him away, and do as I thought proper with him.

We went and slept at Togouboo, and next morning went to Wattera. Departed in the evening and arrived at night at Toucha, and joined my family. On our way the thief shewed me where he had destroyed the chest. I found the boards useless, and left them. I left Toucha early next morning, and at nine A.M. arrived at Douabougou. The Chief wished me to stay, but I refused, and he gave me a sheep. Farther on we passed Dilla-faa Courna and Bonabougou, where we staid awhile, and went to see Magnacoro at sunset: (these villages are all surrounded by Ronn-trees; [Footnote: A species of palm tree. (I do not know the particular name.)]) the thief carrying all the way the remaining hog. On my way there, one of my people staid on the road, having a sore leg. I was well treated at Magnacoro and slept there; the man with the sore leg came next day. I staid two days. There is in this village a fine Doualli tree, the first I had seen on my way from Senegal; this tree is most beautiful, always green and in blossom, but bearing no fruit whatever. On the back of the village there is a foundery for casting iron; at a little distance on the river there is a cataract, not quite so high as the Feloups. I took guides to shew me the right road. Departed early; at noon arrived at Soubacarra, passed Tacoutalla; crossed there a small rivulet; farther on crossed another, and stopped at Sirecaime, a village situated between two mountains, where we slept. Next morning received ten moulles [Footnote: A small measure made out of a calabash.] of corn and departed.

At noon arrived at Camecon; received there from Fiong, the Chief, a sheep, some milk, and corn. In the afternoon departed, and passed Sidong. At sun-set arrived at Sannanba, where we slept. I found here my sister and one of my wives I had left in my voyage with Mr. Park, and where they waited for my return. I asked them what they heard concerning Mr. Park. They assured me that they had seen Alhagi Biraim, who told them that Mr. Park was dead; and that he saw the canoe in which he died in the country of Haoussa; to which country, he, Alhagi, had been, and to the place where Mr. Park died. Yamme Marabou gave me bullock; so did Moulina one; Guiniba one; and Facoro, the Chief, also one and some corn. Two sheep were given to me by Alhagi; one by Fatuna-bougou; one by Amadibinne-doucara, and three by Dimba Soumares. We staid there eight days.

On the ninth day the hog I had left behind was brought here. I received one ass from Mouline: I gave to Amadibinne one musket and five yards of white cotton; to Yamme half a bottle of powder; to my sister ten dollars and one muslin pagne; to the Chief one bottle of powder and twenty flints. I released here the thief, who all the way had carried the hog; I released him, because I was certain, that, if once in the King’s power, he would be put to death. Four days after the hog came, being the thirteenth day of my stay at Sannamba (Saturday), and the seventh moon of my voyage.

I departed early, and ordered the hog to be brought along by the same people; passed Baromba, took water at a large fountain; passed Bancoumalla. After passing a large lake, stopped and slept at Sirberra, at the house of Babamerine, who killed a sheep: received from Manchia the Chief, one sheep; I gave them twenty loads of powder and ten flints. Departed in the night, and arrived at two in the morning at Counnow. There is but one well for the whole village, and three beautiful large Doualli trees are round it. Found there the King’s army.

There is on the east of the village an enormous large tree, inhabited by a great number of bats; another such tree is on the west side of the village, likewise full of bats; but what is most extraordinary, the bats of the east constantly go at night to the west, and return to the east at the approach of day; those of the west never go to the east. The bats are all of the same kind. The natives say that their lawful king lies on the west. [Footnote: Tiguing-coro, the descendant of the lawful Kings of Sego.] The army departed about three, and I about day-light; we met on the road the rear guard on its way to join the army. At four P.M. arrived at Gargnie, a large village, where we slept. There is but one door to enter it, and two large trees on each side of the door; the village is situated in the front of a beautiful large lake, which supplies them with water. We met there a caravan from Cancare; received from them a few collas. Departed early, and at ten A.M. arrived at Dedougou, where we slept. The people of Gargnie had brought here the hog and gone back; and the people of this village being all out in their fields, I was obliged to wait until next morning, so as to have the hog carried; received three fowls; I gave three loads of powder. Next morning I required four hands to carry the hog (which imposition I laid on every village I came to) and departed. Passed Issicora and five deserted villages; at four P. M. arrived at Yaminna, and stayed there three days, at the house of Boya Modiba, who killed me a sheep. I gave him two bars of scarlet cloth. A woman who had been redeemed at Montogou, and who had followed my caravan, found here her husband, who gave me a sheep and a hundred collas.

Departed early and arrived at noon at Yaminna, [Footnote: Bearing the same name as the last place.] on the river Joliba (Niger). I wanted to cross the river immediately, but the rain prevented me; at four P.M. embarked in a canoe, and went on till about ten P.M. Arrived at Mognongo, on the other side of the river, having passed nine villages. The river here is very wide. Departed again, and arrived at noon at Samman; lodged with Guinguina, where we formerly lodged with Mr. Park, and where we lost three white men by sickness. At four P.M. departed, and arrived at sun-set at Sego-coro, on the opposite side of Samman, having passed four villages; lodged with Sego Somma.

This village was formerly the residence of the kings; and to this day, when the King wishes to go to war, he always goes there to have his gris-gris (amulets) made, and to prepare himself. When they take a king, a prince, or a man of high rank, whether a stranger, or of the country, they confine him until the fasting moon is come. He is brought in that moon to this village, and laid down in a house appropriated for this purpose only. His throat is then cut across. When the blood has completely stained the ground, the body is carried into the open field, and left a prey to the wild beasts. There is not a fasting moon, but that one or more are butchered in the house, and for the space of eight days after these executions, no man, whatever he may be, is allowed to pass by that house (called Kognoba) without pulling off his shoes or cap.

Departed early, passed Segobougou, Segocoura, and Douabougou, and arrived about eight A.M. at Sego-chicoro, the residence of Dacha King of the Bambarras, on Monday 11th of the moon. [Footnote: August 26, 1810.] This town was built by Dacha’s grandfather, [Footnote: Mansong’s father, named Wolloo.] who rebelled against the lawful king; being chosen leader at the head of his party, drove the king from his dominions, who retired to the west, [Footnote: He is obliged to gather another army and go himself at the head of it, to revenge the first, should it be destroyed.] and was proclaimed king himself. Being a great warrior, he maintained himself on the usurped throne, and left it to his posterity, who enjoy it peaceably now.

I lodged with Guiawe, a man attached to the King. Next morning the King hearing of my arrival, sent to tell me he was going to Douabougou, and wished I would go and see him there. He had got on his horse and was proceeding, when a heavy shower of rain came on; he dismounted and went back to his house. After the rain, he ordered me to come to him, and bring him the hogs in the manner I had tied them for travelling. On my entrance in the first yard I found a guard of forty men, young, strong, and without beards. On entering another yard I met another guard, well armed and very numerous, lying in the shade. A little farther on I found the king sitting; there were four broad swords stuck in the ground, on each side and behind him, which had been given to him by Mr. Park. He had on his military coat, which he is obliged to wear when he sends out an army, and cannot leave off until the army returns. He commonly wears dresses of white or blue cotor, or silk, with a great many gris-gris, covered with plates of gold or silver, sewed about his dresses. I sat down on one side of him, and my landlord on the other side. After the usual salutations, I laid before him the drum, the two blunderbusses, the bed, the two hogs, the scarlet cloth, &c. and one dog. [Footnote: The other got away on leaving Mariancounda, and was lost.] I said to him: “Maxwell, Governor of Senegal, salutes you, and sends his compliments to you; here is the present which Manchong (or Mansong) your father asked of Mr. Park, and which he promised to send him.” He said, “Is the Governor well?” I said, “Yes, he is well, and desired me to beg your assistance in his endeavours to discover what is become of Mr. Park, and ascertain whether he is dead or alive; and that you would give me a vessel to facilitate my voyage; and the Governor will reward you for so doing.” He replied, “What does the Governor mean to give me?” I said, “If you render me all the assistance in your power, the Governor will give you two hundred bars.” He asked me, how the Governor could give him that sum, being so far from him? I told him, the Governor, it was true, was far from him; but that I was there to represent and answer for him. He then accepted my offer and promised me his assistance. The King ordered a bullock to be killed for me. I staid to the end of that moon. [Footnote: September 13, 1810.]

The first [Footnote: September 14, 1810. They reckon one day when the moon is seen.] of the following moon, being the day I intended to depart, a prince of Tombuctoo came to Sego, to demand a wife who had been promised him. The King went out to meet him with a guard of six hundred men, almost naked and well armed. The prince said, that being a friend of his father (Manchong), he thought it his duty to come and let him know of his coming to take the wife promised him; the King replied, “Why have you permitted the people of your country to plunder one my caravans, [Footnote: My landlord lost his share in that caravan; seven hundred gros of gold and a slave.] and why did you not prevent it, and why did you yourself plunder another, belonging also to me?” The King left the prince out, and returned to his house with the guards, after unloading their muskets. The prince went to his lodging. He reflected how critically he was situated, and that by his bad behaviour, the wife which he had once been promised, had been given to another; and that the people of the caravan he had plundered, had been before the King and there had denounced him; and that his life was at stake. He immediately sent three horses to the King, and half a piece of cotor [Footnote: So in the MS. of this translation.] to all the chiefs present.

Next day the ambassadors of Giocha came together with the ambassadors of Tiguing-coro. The day after the King went to Impebara. I next day went to meet him there. After staying there nine days, and hearing nothing, I was much displeased; some one went to the King and told him that I was angry, and was about to depart. He sent to tell me he was going to Banangcoro, and that I should go with him; he did depart from Banangcoro, but I staid; he sent me a courier to order me near him. I went to Banangcoro, and lodged with Inche, the King’s slave and confident. The motive of the King’s journey was to see one of his children. He has six now living: and three he had destroyed. The custom is when a male child of the King’s wives is born on a Friday, that the throat should be cut; which is done immediately. The King sent for me. I went to him at ten A.M.; he ordered part of the presents to be brought before him; which was done, and among which were the hogs. [Footnote: The remaining hog died shortly after my arrival at Sego.] They were left loose before him and pleased him much.

On the next day (Friday) he gave me a canoe with three hands (fishermen), and I departed on my voyage after Mr. Park the following tide; we passed ten villages, and arrived at supper time at Sansanding, [Footnote: This village is two days journey by land from Banangcoro.] where we slept; departed by land at three P.M. and arrived at sunset at Madina, and lodged with Alihou. I found there Amadi fatouma, [Footnote: Amadou fatooma.] the very guide I had recommended to Mr. Park, and who went with him on his voyage from Sansanding. I sent for him; he came immediately. I demanded of him a faithful account of what had happened to Mr. Park. On seeing me, and hearing me mention Mr. Park, he began to weep; and his first words were, “They are all dead.” I said, “I am come to see after you, and intended to look every way for you, to know the truth from your own mouth, how they died.” He said that they were lost for ever, and it was useless to make any further enquiry after them; for to look after what was irrecoverably lost, was losing time to no purpose. I told him I was going back to Sansanding, and requested he would come the next day there to meet me, to which he agreed. I went to Sansanding and slept there; next day I sent back the canoe to Impebara. Amadi fatouma came at the appointed time to meet me, being the 21st day of the moon. [Footnote: 4th October, 1810.] I desired he would let me know what passed to his knowledge concerning Mr. Park.

AMADI FATOUMA’S JOURNAL.

We departed from Sansanding in a canoe the 27th [Footnote: This Journal mentions no moon nor year.] day of the moon, and went in two days to Sellee, [Footnote: Called Siila in Mr. Park’s first voyage.] where Mr. Park ended his first voyage. Mr. Park bought a slave to help him in the navigation of the canoe. There was Mr. Park, Martyn, three other white men, three slaves and myself as guide and interpreter; nine in number, to navigate the canoe: without landing we bought the slave. We went in two days to Ginne. We gave the Chief one piece of baft and went on. In passing Sibby, [Footnote: Here no mention is made of times. Called Dibbie in the plan.] three canoes came after us, armed with pikes, lances, bows and arrows, &c. but no fire-arms. Being sure of their hostile intentions, we ordered them to go back; but to no effect; and were obliged to repulse them by force. Passed on; we passed Rakbara; [Footnote: Called Kabra in the plan.] three came up to stop our passage, which we repelled by force. On passing Tombuctoo we were again attacked by three canoes; which we beat off, always killing many of the natives. On passing Gouroumo seven canoes came after us; which we likewise beat off. We lost one white man by sickness; we were reduced to eight hands; having each of us fifteen muskets, always in order and ready for action. Passed by a village (of which I have forgotten the name), the residence of King Gotoijege; after passing which we counted sixty canoes coming after us, which we repulsed, and killed a great number of men. Seeing so many men killed, and our superiority over them, I took hold of Martyn’s hand, saying, “Martyn, let us cease firing; for we have killed too many already”; on which Martyn wanted to kill me, had not Mr. Park interfered. After passing Gotoijege a long way, we met a very strong army on one side of the river; composed of the Poul nation; they had no beasts of any kind. We passed on the other side and went on without hostilities.

On going along we struck on the rocks. An hippopotamus rose near us, and had nearly overset the canoe; we fired on the animal and drove it away. After a great deal of trouble we got off the canoe without any material danger. We came to an anchor before Kaffo, and passed the day there. We had in the canoe before we departed from Sansanding, a very large stock of provisions, salted and fresh of all kinds; which enabled us to go along without stopping at any place, for fear of accident. The canoe was large enough to contain with ease one hundred and twenty people. In the evening we started and came to before an island; we saw on shore a great quantity of hippopotami; on our approach they went into the water in such confusion, that they almost upset our canoe. We passed the island and sailed. In the morning three canoes from Kaffo came after us, which we beat off. We came to near a small island, and saw some of the natives; I was sent on shore to buy some milk. When I got among them I saw two canoes go on board to sell fresh provisions, such as fowls, rice, &c. One of the natives wanted to kill me; at last he took hold of me, and said I was his prisoner. Mr. Park seeing what was passing on shore, suspected the truth. He stopped the two canoes and people, telling the people belonging to them, that if they should kill me, or keep me prisoner on shore, he would kill them all and carry their canoes away with him. Those on shore suspecting Mr. Park’s intentions, sent me off in another canoe on board; they were then released. After which we bought some provisions from them, and made them some presents.

A short time after our departure, twenty canoes came after us from the same place; on coming near, they hailed and said, “Amadi fatouma, how can you pass through our country without giving us any thing.” I mentioned what they had said to Mr. Park; and he gave them a few grains of amber and some trinkets, and they went back peaceably. On coming to a shallow part of the river, we saw on the shore a great many men sitting down; coming nearer to them they stood up; we presented our muskets to them, which made them run off to the interior. A little farther on we came to a very difficult passage. The rocks had barred the river; but three passages were still open between them. On coming near one of them, we discovered the same people again, standing on the top of a large rock; which caused great uneasiness to us, especially to me, and I seriously promised never to pass there again without making considerable charitable donations to the poor. We returned and went to a pass of less danger, where we passed unmolested.

We came to before Carmasse, and gave the Chief one piece of baft. We went on and anchored before Gourinon. Mr. Park sent me on shore with forty thousand cowries to buy provisions. I went and bought rice, onions, fowls, milk, &c. and departed late in the evening. The Chief of the village sent a canoe after us, to let us know of a large army encamped on the top of a very high mountain, waiting for us; and that we had better return, or be on our guard. We immediately came to an anchor, and spent there the rest of the day, and all the night. We started in the morning; on passing the above-mentioned mountain, we saw the army, composed of Moors, with horses and camels; but without any fire-arms. As they said nothing to us, we passed on quietly, and entered the country of Haoussa, and came to an anchor. Mr. Park said to me, “Now, Amadi, you are at the end of your journey; I engaged you to conduct me here; you are going to leave me, but before you go, you must give me the names of the necessaries of life, &c. in the language of the countries through which I am going to pass;” to which I agreed, and we spent two days together about it, without landing. During our voyage I was the only one who had landed. We departed and arrived at Yaour.

I was sent on shore the next morning with a musket and a sabre, to carry to the chief of the village, also with three pieces of white baft for distribution. I went and gave the Chief his present: I also gave one piece to Alhagi, one to Alhagi-biron, and the other to a person whose name I forget, all Marabous. The Chief gave us a bullock, a sheep, three jars of honey, and four men’s loads of rice. Mr. Park gave me seven thousand cowries, and ordered me to buy provisions, which I did; he told me to go to the Chief and give him five silver rings, some powder and flints, and tell him that these presents were given to the King [Footnote: The King staid a few hundred yards from the river.] by the white men, who were taking leave of him before they went away. After the Chief had received these things, he enquired if the white men intended to come back. Mr. Park being informed of this enquiry, replied that he could not return any more. [Footnote: These words occasioned his death; for the certainty of Mr. Park’s not returning induced the Chief to withhold the presents from the King.] Mr. Park had paid me for my voyage before we left Sansanding: I said to him, “I agreed to carry you into the kingdom of Haoussa; we are now in Haoussa. I have fulfilled my engagements with you; I am therefore going to leave you here and return.”

Next day (Saturday) Mr. Park departed, and I slept in the village (Yaour). Next morning, I went to the King to pay my respects to him; on entering the house I found two men who came on horseback; they were sent by the Chief of Yaour. They said to the King, “we are sent by the Chief of Yaour to let you know that the white men went away, without giving you or him (the Chief) any thing; they have a great many things with them, and we have received nothing from them; and this Amadou fatouma now before you is a bad man, and has likewise made a fool of you both.” The king immediately ordered me to be put in irons; which was accordingly done, and every thing I had taken from me; some were for killing me, and some for preserving my life. The next morning early the King sent an army to a village called Boussa near the river side. There is before this village a rock across the whole breadth of the river. One part of the rocks is very high; there is a large opening in that rock in the form of a door, which is the only passage for the water to pass through; the tide current is here very strong. This army went and took possession of the top of this opening. Mr. Park came there after the army had posted itself; he nevertheless attempted to pass. The people began to attack him, throwing lances, pikes, arrows and stones. Mr. Park defended himself for a long time; two of his slaves at the stern of the canoe were killed; they threw every thing they had in the canoe into the river, and kept firing; but being overpowered by numbers and fatigue, and unable to keep up the canoe against the current, and no probability of escaping, Mr. Park took hold of one of the white men, and jumped into the water; Martyn did the same, and they were drowned in the stream in attempting to escape. The only slave remaining in the boat, seeing the natives persist in throwing weapons at the canoe without ceasing, stood up and said to them, “Stop throwing now, you see nothing in the canoe, and nobody but myself, therefore cease. Take me and the canoe, but don’t kill me.” They took possession of the canoe and the man, and carried them to the King.

I was kept in irons three months; the King released me and gave me a slave (woman). I immediately went to the slave taken in the canoe, who told me in what manner Mr. Park and all of them had died, and what I have related above. I asked him if he was sure nothing had been found in the canoe after its capture; he said that nothing remained in the canoe but himself and a sword-belt. I asked him where the sword-belt was; he said the King took it, and had made a girth for his horse with it.

ISAACO’S JOURNAL IN CONTINUATION.

I immediately sent a Poule to Yaour to get me the belt by any means and at any price, and any thing else he could discover belonging to Mr. Park. I left Madina and went to Sansanding, and from thence to Sego. On my arrival I went to Dacha, the King, and related to him the above facts. He said he would have gone himself to destroy that country, if it had not been so far. He gathered an army and went with it to Banangcoro. I followed him there. He ordered the army to go and destroy the kingdom of Haoussa. The army went away, passed Tombuctoo a long way, and made a halt at Sacha; and dispatched a courier back to the King, to let him know where they were, and that Haoussa was at too great a distance for an army to go, without running many dangers of all kinds. The King ordered them to go to Massina, a small country belonging to the Poule nation, to take away all the Poules’ cattle, and return. They did so, and brought with them a great many cattle. The vanguard came with the cattle after a voyage of three months; and the army came one month after, which made four months they had been out. The King was much displeased with the Chiefs’ conduct, and wanted to punish them for not going where he sent them; but they observed that they went as far as they possibly could; that the distance was too great and would have destroyed an army; and that prudence and the hardships they had already sustained, had dictated the necessity of returning, though very contrary to their inclinations. We all returned to Sego.

I went back to Sansanding and staid there, waiting for the arrival of the Poule I had sent to Yaour. Four months after he came back, having been eight months on his voyage, and having suffered greatly. He brought me the belt; and said that he had bribed a young slave girl belonging to the King, who had stole it from him; and that he could not get any thing more, as nothing else was to be found which had belonged to Mr. Park or his companions.

I went to Sego and informed the King of what I had got belonging to Mr. Park, and that I was going to Senegal immediately. The King was desirous that I should spend the rainy season with him. I said I could not stay; as the object of my mission was attained, I wished to go as soon as possible. Amadi fatouma being a good, honest, and upright man, I had placed him with Mr. Park; what he related to me being on his oath, having no interest, nor any hopes of reward whatever: nothing remaining of Mr. Park or his effects; the relations of several travellers who had passed the same country, agreeing with Amadou’s Journal; being certain of the truth of what he had said, and of the dangers I should have run to no purpose in such a distant part; all these reasons induced me to proceed no farther. After obtaining the belt, I thought it best to return to Senegal.

Further Intelligence from Isaaco.

Isaaco says that Mr. Park gave him his papers to carry to Gambia to Robert Ainsley, with an order on Robert Ainsley for ten bars. That Mr. Park went away from Sansanding with Amadi fatouma, in his presence; that he cannot tell precisely the date, but that Mr. Park died four months after his departure from Sansanding, which date may be nearly taken from the date of Mr. Park’s papers brought by him (Isaaco) to Robert Ainsley. That Mr. Park had lost all his companions but four men. He arrived at Foolah Dougou with thirty-three white men, and from Foolah Dougou to Sego (which was eight days march, but which is generally performed in three days by a Negro) they lost twenty-six men by rains, the damps, &c. Mr. Park went away from Sansanding, with four men, and he himself making five.

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