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commercial and maritime nation like entering the sea on the Gold Coast, this to have remained so long obsti- from the Assine river to the Mesurado nately ignorant of the important fact, river, so it is almost certain that the and to have wasted so much time Coomba is a branch of the Niger. and money as Britain has done, in It is remarkable that Ptolemy brings attempting to do good to Africa by a branch from the same quarter,
directing her energies and resources while, in some very old and excellent to the most unproductive, unhealthy, Dutch maps, I find the higher course impolitic, and unprofitable parts of of the Joliba so laid down, and which, the coasts of Afri while she for- aking it to be the fact, will account sook altogether the more productive for its great magnitude at Couroussa, and wealthy parts of the country, within 100 miles of its reputed and that part of the African coast, source. from which alone any European na- De Caillé, after crossing the river, - tion can, with comparative safety continued his journey S. E. about and celerity, reach the more civi- 180 miles to T'ime, and afterwards lized, industrious, and wealthy parts N. E. about 90 miles to Tangoora, of the interior of Northern Africa. crossing in his journey numerous But let us hope that a different large streams descending from the course will now be pursued with Kong chain, all running N. W. to the energy, and by all the political Niger, particularly one at a short strength and commercial resources distance from Couroussa named which this country can put in ope- Yandan, 450 feet broad, and in his ration.
journey northward from T'angoora | With these observations, I shall to Jinne he crossed several other proceed to take a short survey of the rivers, all bending their course N.W. course and termination of the River to the Niger. From Couroussa the Niger, and the advantages which its Niger continues its course N. E. by navigable stream can afford to the Kaniaba, having previously, and a commerce of Africa, and which it little below Bourre, received the will, I hope, speedily afford to the Tankisso, (this stream was mistaken commerce of this country.
by Mollien for the parent branch of The branch of the Niger at present the Ba Fing, or Senegal,) a consibest known springs on the north- derable river which rises a little to eastern side of the mountain called the west, and runs a little to the south Loma, in 9° 15' N. latitude, and 90 36' of Timboo. From this junction the W. longitude, about 200 miles N.E. Niger pursues its course to Bamby E. of Sierra Leone, and eastward mako, situated in 12° 48' north latiof the sources of the Rokelle and tude,and 3° 40' westlongitude, where Kouranko rivers, which run into the Park, in his second journey, fell in inlet of the sea on which Sierra Leone with it, and found it in the early part is situated. From Loma the Niger, of the wet season one mile broad, but under the name of the Joliba, bends still confined within its natural banks. its course N.E. through Sulimana From this place the Joliba continues and Kankan to Couroussa, a town its course nearly east by Yamina, situated about 80 miles east from Sego, and Sansanding, (here Park Timboo, where De Caillé, in his late embarked upon it in his large canoe journey, going eastward, crossed it, in his last journey,) to Jinne, where · and found it, before the inundation it appears to be divided into several commenced, to be 900 French feet
branches, or else to receive from the broad, and 9 feet deep, with a cur- N.W. some tributary streams. rent at the rate of 2} miles per hour. Having visited Jinne, De Caillé The magnitude of the river at this 'embarked on the eastern branch, place goes to prove that, between about 1200 feet broad, at Cougallia, Loma and Couroussa, the Niger must and proceeded in a course nearly have received a large tribute from due north to Timbuctoo in a canoe the east, and which I conceive to be of about 80 tons burden, and accomthe Coomba or Zamma river, laid panied the greater part of the way down in my first map, and which by a fleet of nearly 80 sail of vessels river is found to the N.W. of Ashan- of the same magnitude, loaded with tee, a considerable stream, running goods. In his journey northwards westward; and, as we find no rivers he passed the lake Dibbie, the great
magnitude of which surprised him deep still-running stream. Boussa is exceedingly, and which stretches situated in 6° 11' east longitude, and from east to west, instead of from 10° 14' north latitude, and consequentnorth to south. In this lake I have ly about 420 British miles, in a direct reason to believe the Niger is joined line from the sea, at the mouth of ·by a river of very considerable mag. the Bonny river. Boussa is an island nitude flowing from the N. W., and formed by the Niger. At a short called by the Moors and Negroes distance below Boussa the Niger Gozenzair or Wad-el-Fenij. From unites in one stream, represented by Jinne to Timbuctoo, the banks of the Clapperton to be a quarter of a river were low and marshy. Below mile broad in the dry season. The Lake Dibbie the river generally was magnitude of the Niger above Timvery deep, and from half a mile to a buctoo, and its magnitude in the mile broad, with a considerable cur- Delta of Benin, as compared to what rent. Although it was at the height it is represented to be, near Boussa, of the dry season when De Caillé naturally excites surprise, and can sailed down it, he found it larger only be accounted for, if the width than the Senegal at Podor, only 120 given be correct, which, however, I miles from the sea; in fact, says he, much doubt, from the greater rapidity
THE SENEGAL IS BUT AN ORDINARY of its current over the rapids, which RIVER COMPARED TO THIS."
are found in this part of its course. Near Kabra, the port of Timbuctoo, Thus we see the great river Congo, the Niger separates into two branches, which above and below the cataracts the larger about three-fourths of a is from four to five miles broad, remile broad, bending its course E.S.E., duced at the great cataract to the and the smaller about 100 feet broadwidth of only fifty yards ! ! but deep, taking its course E. by N. From Boussa, the Niger proceeds to Kabra. The celebrated city of south by Nyffe, and is joined in this Timbuctoo is about eight miles north part of its course by several consifrom Kabra, and from the most ac- derable rivers both from the east and curate information which has as from the west, to Fundah, a celebrayet been received, stands in 17° 30' ted town situated to the eastward of north latitude, and 2 east longi. Katungah, the capital of Yarriba. tude. From Kabra the small branch The river above Fundah (here seveof the Niger turns S. E. and joins ral miles broad) bends for a short the parent stream to the eastward, space to the east, turned aside, perfrom which point we have reason to haps, by the granite hills of Yarriba. believe the Niger flows, in the gene- At Fundah, the Niger is joined by a ral bearing of its course S. E. in an large river from the east, and which united stream, till it approaches more probably is the Coodonia, or Boussa, from which place its course Kadania, mentioned by Lander in is on the general bearing south, until his first journey as descending and it reaches the sea. From Timbuctoo receiving several other important to Youri we know very little of the streams which descend from that Niger or the country around it, ex- elevated land and chain of high hills cept from the journey of Sidi Hamed, which commence to the south of who, as regards the river, describes Kano, in the meridian of 11 degrees it as a very large stream, and the east longitude, and which hills stretch further fact, that Park navigated it SSE. to the high mountains of Marin safety to Boussa. At Cabi, above dara, the mount Thala of Ptolemy; Youri, the Niger, which here assumes and which elevated chain just menthe name of Quorra or Kowara, is tioned intervenes between the river joined by a considerable river, and Shary and the Lake Tchad, thus divi which rises to the east, and flows to ding the waters which flow from the S. the north of the city of Saccatoo, from and S. E. in the Shary, and from the which place the stream bends its west in the river Yeou into that lake, course S. W. to the Niger at Cabi. At from the waters which, springing in Boussa the Niger divides itself into the chain mentioned, flow westward three branches, two of which are fill- and southwestward to the Niger. ed with rocks and rapids, but still pas- About Fundah,
also, I cling to the besable by vessels; and the other, call- lief, that the Niger is joined by a ed Menai, where Park was lost, is a great river descending" by Mount
Thala, from the Mountains of the have, I believe, no communication Moon. From Fundah, the river with the Niger. bends its course south through Be- I have thus, and as concisely as posnin, in which country, and probably sible, brought before the reader the about 7 degrees of north latitude, course and termination of this mighty it separates into numerous branches, stream, which has baffled the rethe principal of which are the Rio de searches of the learned and the curiFormosa, certainly the parent stream ous for nearly three thousand years, which enters the sea in the Bight of Its course in the general bearings of Benin, and the Bonny, and New Ca- the line of its bed will, from Loma to labar rivers, which flow to the SE., Bonny river, be nearly two thousand to the sea nearly opposite the Island six hundred British miles, without of Fernando Po. These rivers, as reckoning any thing for the length we shall presently see, are of great of the Coomba, probably the parent magnitude.
stream. Of this course we know it From the Bight of Benin to the is navigable, and has been navigated Bight of Biafra no fewer than twenty from Couroussa to the sea a distance rivers enter the sea through this allu- of about two thousand five hundred vial Delta, which is completely flood- miles. The countries round its banks ed to a great distance from the sea, are in general very populous. The during the swell of the rivers in the inhabitants are comparatively indusrainy season. The Rio de Formosa trious, and to a certain extent advanis three and a half British miles broad ced in civilisation, and they are at its mouth, where there are two bars moreover great traders, and anxious of mud with thirteen feet water on to engage in trade. The supply of each. Upwards in its course it spreads European articles which they reto a breadth of four miles, and is four ceive is principally obtained from or five fathoms deep, throwing off nu- the Moors and Arabs, after tedious merous branches to the SW., S. and and very expensive and dangerous SE. and on every large branch, to the journeys across the Great Desert, WNW., which joins the sea near La- which so enhances the price that gos. From Rio de Formosa to Cape few can purchase; but the water Formosa, six rivers, each of consider- communication, by means of the able magnitude, enter the sea. The Niger, will so greatly reduce the Rio dos Forcados is the largest of price, that it will render the conthese. Its mouth is the first to the sumption of European articles much south of the Rio de Formosa. South more extensive; while the supply of of it is the large lake called Warree. firearms, and other munitions of Passing Cape Formosa'we have six war, which the nations in the interior rivers (the first and nearest the
Cape will by this means, and by this comis the river Nun, by which the Land- munication, receive, will speedily ers descended to the sea), which en- enable them to repel the fierce inter the sea before we come to the great roads of the Fellatahs, and other wanoutlet of the New Calabar and Bonny dering Moorish tribes who dwell on rivers, which join the sea by four the southern borders of the Great different mouths, the principal of Desert, and there live by plundering which is eleven miles broad, and very the caravans and the peaceable and deep, with a large bank of sand on more industrious nations of the the west point, on which, though the south, which pernicious inroads rewater is thirty feet deep, the breakers tard and always will retard the civiare fearful, owing to the prodigious lisation of the interior of Africa. In force of fresh water which here en- giving the future trade with the incounters a powerfulcurrentin the sea. terior its proper and natural course, Eastward we find a great inlet of the namely, upwards from the Delta of sea, at its mouth twelve miles broad, Benin, by means of the Niger, and extending north nearly 100 miles, its tributary streams, considerable and which is joined by Cross river and serious impediments will no coming from the NW., and certainly doubt for a time be thrown in the a branch of the Niger; and by the way by the ignorance and avarice of Rio Elrei river and Old Calabar the chiefs, and the people comporiver both descending from the high sing and ruling the numerous states lands to the sea eastward; but which into which Africa along the Niger is
unhappily disjointed, but these diffi- millions sterling imports, and of exculties and impediments will be gra- ports to a greater amount; the fora dually removed; while at their out- mer consisting chiefly of the coarset, and in their greatest strength, ser and of some fine articles of Brithey cannot for a moment be com- tish manufactures and produce, and pared to the more vexatious impedi- more especially, and which are more ments and terrific dangers which ac- eagerly coveted than the rest, articles company, the march of the trader necessary for domestic purposes, through the bands of the ferocious and for the cultivation of the soil, and half starved Moors and Arabs who trade, navigation, and war, while the rove through the Great Desert, and exports from Africa in return consist live by plundering the ill-fated tra- of gold-dust and various articles of vellers who cross it. At any rate, it raw produce of great value and imis by means of the water communi- portance in carrying on the different nation now laid open, that the inte branches of our manufactures. At rior of Africa ever can be benefited this moment when so many markets by its intercourse with the civilized are shut against us, and so many nations of Europe, or that these civi- more are rendered so unproductive, lized nations of Europe ever can ma- the trade to which I have alluded is terially extend their trade with, and of great importance to this country the consumption of European ar- to look after, as by perseverance and ticles in the interior of Africa. judicious management, the greater
The exports and imports into the portion thereof, increased and ininterior of that country across the creasing, would unquestionably fall Great Desert, and from the sea-coast into our hands. I am, &c. in the Bight of Benin and Biafra, a
JAMES M'QUEEN. mount annually, as near as I have Glasgow, 18th June, 1831. been able to calculate, to nearly two
“At the Royal Geographical Society, on Monday last, (13 June,) Mr Bar, tow read a short notice from the chair, of the Messrs Landers' recent journey in the interior of Africa. Mr Barrow began by saying, that, at one time, he had hoped to be able to lay a short paper on this subject before the Society at its present meeting, with a sketch of the route followed; but having only obtained the original documents that very day at four o'clock, this was necessarily deferred. In the meantime, referring to the map in Captain Clapperton's last journey, he could state, generally, that Mr Lander and his brother had landed at Badagry, and proceeded, nearly in the tract formerly followed, to Boussa on the Niger, and afterwards to Youri, which they found to lie considerably farther north than is laid down in the map, and nearly west, as they were told, of Soccatoo. They had thence proceeded up as far as the river Cubbie, a considerable tributary which passes Soccatoo, and another town to the eastward called Cubbie, and falls into the Quorra, or Niger, a little way above Youri; and on this they had eñbarked on their downward voyage. Shortly after reaching Funda, the last point laid down in Captain Clapperton's map, they found the river make a bold sweep to the east, being here from five to six miles wide, and in other places it was even broader; it thence turned south-east, and cir. cled round to south, receiving in its course another accession in the Shary, as it was called, a river from three to four miles wide, coming from the east; but which must not be confounded with the river of the same name visited by Major Denham, and which falls into Lake Tchad. (It is likely that the word Shary, or some similar word, is a generic term for river, water, or something of this kind, and that both these streams have their origin in high land interposed between them.) After receiving the Shary the Niger is still further deflected, running to the south and west, till at last it expands into a considerable lake, from which the river Nun, which Mr Lander descended, and probably several other rivers that enter the great bay of Benin in its neighbourhood, issue at dif, ferent points. • La desceñiding the Nun, which is not above three hundred yards wide, the travellers were attacked by a furious party of natives ; and, being taken prisoners, lost all their effects, with some portion also of their respective notes; but, providentially, what one was deprived of, the other was enabled, to a considerable extent; to preserve; so that, between the two, the joint narrative is nearly complete. From the point, then, where Mr Park first embarked, in 1805, this noble river has now been traced above two thousand miles, in the very heart of Africa; and, in Mr Lander's opinion, it is navigable for a great portion of the distance by small steam-boats. The natives, also, in the interior, are eager to see more of us ; and they are even already so far advanced in civilisation as to make a trade with them worthy of pursuit. The greatest obstacles are the still existing slave-trade near the mouth of the river, and the hostile feelings which our attempts to put an end to it have excited in the deluded population there. Palm oil is, as yet, the only other equivalent for their supplies which they have been able to produce; and they naturally look forward with extreme dislike to the prospect of the market for their other and more valuable object of barter being still further curtailed. They are, in a word, the antimachinists of the African world, and do not like to see the demand contract for manual labour. Mutato nomine, de nobis ipsis fabula narratur."
[We have given the above extract from the Literary Gazette, containing a sketch by Mr Barrow of the discoveries of the Brothers Lander, as it exhibits, in a striking light, the extraordinary sagacity of our able correspondent. It is well known to all who have taken an interest in the attempt made to ascertain the geography of Northern Africa, that for many years Mr Macqueen has striven strenuously, in opposition to Mr Barrow in the Quarterly Review, and others, to prove that the Niger terminated in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Bight of Benin and Biafra. The question is set at rest by the grand achievement of these intrepid men; and we do not doubt that Mr Barrow will take the first opportunity of doing ample justice to the great knowledge and powers of reasoning exhibited by Mr Macqueen in his numerous writings on this controversy. One of the numerous mouths of the Niger should certainly be called the Macqueen."
Printei by Butantyne and Company, Paul's W.7., Edinburgh