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William Loney RN - Background

Home-Loney-Background-Niger expedition-Book Chapter XI * Chapter XIII

A NARRATIVE
OF THE
EXPEDITION TO THE RIVER NIGER
.

VOLUME I, CHAPTER XII.


Appearance of Iddah by moonlight - Native welcome - Landing-place - Splendid panoramic view from the cliffs of Iddah - Doctor McWilliam and Mr. Schön sent to communicate with the Attàh - Native mode of salutation - Edina, a chief - His wives - Etiquette to be observed by strangers at Iddah - Princess Amadá Bue - The Attàh's pretty daughter, Idjee-Futhul - Amadá Bue prepares a breakfast in native fashion for the strangers - The Attàh's unwillingness to appear - His dress - Ministers of State - The message delivered - Singular reply of the Attàh - Rain must never fall on the Attàh - Conference of the Commissioners with the Attàh - Natives testify their joy at seeing white men - Amadá Bue's idea of human sacrifices - Appearance of the Attàh and his courtiers - Lobo, the chief judge - Articles of a treaty agreed on for the suppression of the Slave Trade and human sacrifices - The Attàh's desire for the establishment of a model farm - Promises to protect white settlers, and wishes to have "white teachers" - His evident anxiety to obtain the presents.


By the light of the moon, which threw its rich though softened rays over the river, and adjacent scenery with delightful effect, we could discern the irregular outline of the cliffs on which the town was situated. Fires were blazing in several places, and we heard the noisy tom-tom, or wooden drum, commingled with merry voices, as if to welcome our arrival, which had doubtless been looked forward to with some anxiety for the last two days.

Throughout the entire night, the inharmonious welcome was kept up beneath a huge monkey bread-fruit tree (Adansonia digitata), whose wide-spreading branches were shewn in bold relief, and where we could imagine some native dance, or superstitious ritual, was going on.

The 'Albert' and 'Soudan' had arrived a little before us. During the night, we had a delightfully refreshing breeze. On the following morning, the red sandstone cliff presented a new and agreeable feature, quite different to anything we had hitherto met with, rising abruptly from the margin of the river to a height of 185 feet, its summit dotted with conical huts, while numerous Convolvuli and other trailing plants hung in long festoons over the precipitous edge.

{The cliffs of Iddah consist of beds of sandstone, from twelve to sixteen inches thick, inclining about 3° to the south-east, each bed in itself stratified. The sandstone is entirely composed of pieces of quartz, with a few lamellae of mica and feltspar. The quartz hangs loosely together in the upper beds, while in the lower, a minute portion of clay helps to combine it.

In a few of the strata above the water-mark, I found some fossil remains; but, from the nature of the sandstone, in which the impressions only were left, as also the friable character of the formation, I could never obtain them in sufficient perfection to determine them. The pieces of quartz are perfectly white; proving that not even a solution of iron could have been present at the time the sediment was formed, which is the more surprising, as it abounds in the deposit at the mouth of the river.

On the right bank, where exactly the same formation exists, I saw in the specimens collected for me, a combination with oxide of iron. The surface contains a layer of ferruginous sandstone, or iron conglomerate, about four feet thick, which forms the table-land of the country, and which, with a small angle of inclination, may be carried from the Kong mountains, at the confluence, to the hills of Iddah. The iron sandstone consists of quartz, with quartzose clay, combined with a solution of iron. The latter was sometimes found in fragments. On the southern slope of the hills, the ferruginous sandstone alters into iron-wacke, the porous red-coloured clay hanging between the fragments. There is also a similar description of iron-wacke found on the surface at Sierra Leone. The sandstone has been undermined and washed away; the more compact iron sandstone had broken down from its own weight; and so the valleys around Iddah have been covered with alluvial matter, consisting of clay and sand loosely bound together.- Roscher's MSS.

{The soil on the hill is inferior to the flat and overflowed banks, but still capable of producing a good harvest.- Roucher's MSS.}

The landing-place is near the village of Abokko, the former chief of Adda-mugu, and brother of the late King; from whence a narrow winding path leads up the acclivity to the town of Iddah.

On reaching the summit, a splendid panoramic view was obtained; on the right, were the irregularly scattered houses of the town; to the left, the smooth bright surface of the river extending upwards and downwards in its magnificent breadth, while on the opposite shore, a diversified and hilly country, clothed in richest verdure, was gradually lost in the outline of several distant mountain ranges.

[illustration: The landing place at Iddah]

As we had already consumed a large portion of our fuel, it became necessary to have recourse to wood; the 'Wilberforce' and 'Soudan' were therefore sent over to the right-bank, where the Krumen were landed for the purpose of felling such trees as they know are suitable for the purpose.

Commanders William and Bird Allen, and Mr. Cook, remained with Captain Trotter on board the 'Albert' at the anchorage off Iddah, in order to open the negociations with the King for the attainment of the objects of our mission. As a preliminary step, and with the view of ascertaining the feelings and disposition of the Attàh, or King of Iddah, towards the Expedition, Dr. McWilliam, Mr. Schön, Brown, and an interpreter, were deputed to proceed on shore, with a present and a friendly message. As they passed along to the town, the natives frequently came out of their huts, uttering the usual congratulations of the country, "Sinùh, God protect you," or "health," while, at the same time, they prostrated themselves, touching alternately the earth and forehead with the fore-finger of the right hand. After a short walk, the deputation reached the residence of Okana, one of the sons of the late chief, Abokko; it consisted of a series of circular huts, very dark and close, with oval apertures, so small as to render ingress somewhat difficult. Okana being absent, they went to the hut of Apigo, favourite son of the late chief. He was employed in a way very agreeable to these people - counting out his cowries, the country money. The object of the visit was explained, on which they were accompanied to the house of Edina or Missia, Abokko's son, and 'Captain of the Port.'

He received them under a verandah or projecting eave of the circular buildings, the walls of which were rudely ornamented with red clays. The doors, neatly carved, represented in slight relievo, short swords, heads, and various small figures, not unlike Egyptian hieroglyphics. The verandah was covered with a well-wrought matting of grass and bamboo. While sitting with Edina, who appeared very glad to see us, several Mallams or priests, from Adda Kuddu came to pay their respects to him. On approaching the verandah, they prostrated themselves, lifting earth to their foreheads nine times - they then entered, muttered a prayer for a few minutes - in which the host joined, and then shook hands in the native fashion, with the usual expression of welcome, "Sinùh."

Edina, a Mahomedan, is a tall, fine-looking man, with rather a good head for a negro. He had on a red cap, and a long purple tobe, nicely ornamented over the breast with needlework. The feet uncovered, according to their custom.

At the door of the hut opposite, several young and rather good-looking women were staring at the strangers, with the usual amount of laughter - these were some of Edina's wives. On Dr. McWilliam asking him how many he had, he replied, "I have now fifteen, but I expect soon to be enabled to add to my establishment."

Edina informed them it was part of the etiquette of the Iddah Court, that the King should be apprised, through a near relation, of a stranger's intended visit, and that this duty at present devolved on Amadá Bue, the Attàh's sister, who would on seeing them, send a messenger to the King, or Attàh, and would inspect the presents about to be offered.

After waiting an hour or more, one of the Attàh's eunuchs came to say the Princess would receive them. Proceeding by a long narrow path, they reached the wall separating the northern and southern divisions of the town - near which was Amadá Bue's house, which they found no slight difficulty in entering, having to scramble through a dozen dark huts successively.

After sitting a few minutes under the verandah of the dwelling, a spare black figure crawled forth on hands and knees from a narrow and obscure recess; this was no less a person than Princess Amadá Bue, the Attàh's sister. She was apparently about forty years of age. The head was closely shaven, and the jet visage, was rendered the more so, by some application to the nose and cheeks; which, with a black cloth thrown loosely round her middle, indicated that she was observing the ceremonial of mourning for some near relative. She was accompanied by Idjee-Futhul, daughter of the Attàh, a very pretty girl of seventeen or eighteen, whose only garment was a blue cotton cloth folded negligently round the loins. Her arms were each encumbered with fifteen brass rings, so weighty, that she was obliged to rest them on the shoulders of her attendants; the toes were also decorated with metallic rings. The perforated ears had each a blue cylindrical bead; the hair combed into a ridge traversing the back of the head. Amadá Bue received her guests kindly, smiled, held out her hands and saluted them with the usual congratulation, "Sinùh," or "God protect you." It appeared she was at present in retirement, sorrowing according to native fashion for her husband, who had died some time previously. Haying sent a message to the Attàh, who would announce when he was ready to receive the strangers, she examined in the meantime the small presents for her brother, and one for herself, with which she was much gratified. Tired of waiting for the royal answer, the officers walked round the town, and returned in an hour; but still no summons, which rather annoyed them, as they were fatigued, and had unfortunately landed before breakfast. The courteous widow, however, begged them to remain a short time longer, when she came back with two slaves, each bearing a wooden dish, which was placed before the visitors. Another attendant brought in a brass basin containing water, into which she dipped her fingers gracefully, then stooped and uncovered the dishes, taking out a little from each, which she ate, to show it was good and wholesome, then desiring them to be refreshed, she retired.

The repast consisted of stewed meat and duck, with Foo-Foo, or yam pounded, palm-oil poured over it, which were both very palatable after so long a fast. About half-past twelve, the King's eunuch came to say his Majesty would now give audience, and they soon reached the palace - a number of quadrangular and circular huts, some of them rather dilapidated, enclosed by a wall - here they were ushered into a circular one, used as a sort of waiting-room, where their patience was further tried. Some mats and two pieces of Kidderminster carpet were placed for them to sit on, which Brown recognised as those presented by the late Mr. Lander. They were thence conducted into an oblong court, surrounded by huts, where, after again sitting two hours, the Attàh sent to say, "he wished God to bless them but it rained to-day, and that, as rain never falls on the King, he could not receive them."

The messenger was requested to go back to his Majesty and say, " they had waited a long time, on the promise that he would grant an interview; that Englishmen did not like to be trifled with, and that they must return to the Captain of the Expedition."

Soon after this, the eunuch came to inform them the "Attàh would see them."

At the same time, a sort of rude throne was prepared by throwing an ample scarlet cloth over a framework of bamboo, and over all, a piece of Turkey carpet.

A discordant din of drums and rude instruments of reeds, &c., announced very shortly the approach of his Majesty. A door was suddenly opened at the further end of the court, whence he was borne in on a large cushion, by eight stalwart slaves - the difficulty with which he was carried, plainly testifying to his large size and weight. The noise of the populace outside was deafening.

Having deposited the Attàh on his throne, a screen was suspended before him for a few minutes, probably to conceal some further arrangement of his toilet; on this being withdrawn, the sovereign of Iddah received the strangers in a composed and dignified manner. He is a person of immense size, the skin jet black and shining, the eyes large, but sluggish. He wore an ample tobe of red velvet, and a pair of loose scarlet trowsers, with a helmet-shaped cap of divers colours, ornamented with beads and coral: a profusion of this latter hung around his neck. His feet, which were enclosed in very large red leather boots, surrounded with little bells, dangled carelessly over the side of the throne, A large crimson umbrella was held over him. There were several fan-bearers in the suite, who observed a certain regularity of motion in keeping the air freely circulating. On the left stood the "King's Mouth," or prime minister, having in his hand a small horn, partly covered with red cloth. Under the throne sat the judges (Mallams), and a host of others, all eager to hear the "white man's palaver."

Johnson, the interpreter, was then desired to say, "that the party came by order of the Captain of the ships, who, with three other gentlemen, were Commissioners to the Attàh from the Queen of England, conveying her Majesty's desire to make a friend of the Attàh, as also of all good black men. That the Commissioners hoped the Attàh was in good health, and they would be very glad if he would come on board, and receive the Queen's message from their lips. That the interpreter himself had been once a slave, taken when a boy from this very place; but, through the power of the Queen, he was made a free man; and such her Majesty wished all men on earth to be."

A small present, sent by the Commissioners, was then shewn the Attàh; on which he asked through his 'mouth,' or prime minister, "if they had said all, and if they had done;" and being informed they had for the present; the Attàh, through his 'mouth,' replied:

"I am glad, and I first thank God to see you near me. If your countrymen are glad to see me, they must believe what I say. The late King wished white men to come to his dominions, but he did not care to see them. I am now the Attàh, or King; and white people have come to visit me, and it gives me great pleasure. If they intend to be true friends, they must not be in a hurry; for I like my friends to eat and drink with me several days. If a stranger comes to me, I cannot let him depart without a fair and proper understanding. I did not like to come out in the rain; but the white men were resolved to see me, and I imagined from that, they could stop it; but it rains as much as ever. The river belongs to me, a long way up and down, on both sides, and I am King. The Queen of white men has sent a friend to see me. I have also just now seen a present, which is not worthy to be offered to me - it is only fit for a servant. God made me after His image; I am all the same as God; and He appointed me a King. Can I send a messenger to the Queen of the Whites?"

Dr. McWilliam said, "Most certainly; the Queen will be delighted to hear from the Attàh of Iddah, and to establish a lawful trade with him."

The Attàh, through his 'mouth' - "You ask me to go on board of a ship. A King in this country never goes on board ship. He never puts foot in a canoe. When white people were here before, the King never went on board. If any one desires to see me, he must come to me. If to speak privately, I will dismiss my people. If it be a public matter, then I shall allow them to remain; but the King never goes on board ship."

Dr. McWilliam said, "they were only messengers, and not at liberty to say anything more; they could only convey the King's answer to the Commissioners; but felt assured, that if a palaver was held with them, the Attàh would be much more satisfied."

The Attàh -"Very well, I will see no one, unless the chief man (captain) comes. Good night! God bless you all!"

Turning to Johnson, the interpreter, who was an Eggarah, and a relative of the Attàh's, he said, "You may thank God your family is now on the throne."

The Attàh was very much amused at Mr. Schön's spectacles, and even smiled, which obliged the fan-bearers to hide the royal countenance for a short time; as it is contrary to etiquette to let strangers or common people witness an emotion so entirely beneath the dignity of an Iddah sovereign. When he eats or drinks, the persons in attendance all turn their backs to him, that he may not be seen doing what is inconsistent with their notions of royalty.

  3 A.M. Th. 79° Wet bulb Mason's Hygr. 76°
  9 A.M. " 77° " 74°
  3 P.M. " 76° " 74°
  9 P.M. " 76° " 73°

4th.- This has been an important day, and full of interest, the conference between the Attàh of Iddah and the Commissioners having taken place this afternoon. They landed at 2 P.M., accompanied by such officers as could be spared from the different vessels; a guard of marines, led by Duncan, master-at-arms of the 'Albert,' a fine-looking man who had been in the 1st. Life Guards, dressed in the uniform of that regiment, with cuirass and helmet. The procession was headed by a Timmani black, from Sierra Leone, in sailor's clothes, bearing the union-jack, On landing, the party was met by a native band with wooden drums and reed instruments, which continued to perform a variety of simple airs, or what one might properly style "a concord of rude sounds." Passing along a narrow path for about two miles, we reached with difficulty the dwelling of Princess Amadá Bue. On all sides, the inhabitants testified the greatest delight at the presence of the white people; shouting out "Sinuh! Sinuh! God protect you!" and shook their clenched hand at us, which was very complimentary, while not a few jumped about and danced in the exuberance of their happiness. There was an immense crowd assembled, all eagerly pressing forward to get a glimpse of the strangers, or to be near the Attàh's musicians.

Having received the Commissioners and officers with great politeness, the Princess dispatched a messenger to the Attàh, to inform him of their arrival. She was still in her mourning attire, a loose black cloth folded negligently round her; the natural darkness of her skin was heightened by an earthy preparation. Her niece, Idjee, was with her. Palm-wine, native beer made from Guinea corn, and goora or kola-nuts, were handed round, the affable hostess first partaking of each, to shew there was no poison in any of them. The goora-nut is used all over Western Africa, not only as a tonic, and to add a goût to fluids, but also as an especial mark of welcome and distinction to the stranger. It is an agreeable bitter. The kernels have a thin external covering of a chocolate colour; within, the fruit is of a purplish tinge, traversed by darker fibres. It is generally divided - not unfrequently as boys divide apples, i.e. by the teeth - into small pieces when presented. This Princess is the same person who was so influential on Lander's visit, and was then called the Queen. She still appears to be all-powerful; at least she had the arrangement, as before, of our interview with the King, though she did not accompany us. She bears evidence of increased age, and being in mourning, she was so filthily dirty and mean in her appearance, that it required some exercise of faith in the correctness of our recollections to induce the belief that she was the gay, bustling woman who managed all the preceding King's affairs, and who, taking Lander's arm, led us into the royal presence. She now crawled out of a dark hut, and sat in the entrance, conversing with us on various points relative to our present and former visits; having remembered Commander William Allen quite well, and inquired after Mr. Lander.

One of the missionary gentlemen explained to her the views and benefits of Christianity, which she listened to with deep interest, and expressed a desire that Christian 'Mallams' should be sent to teach them. She acknowledged the folly of the superstitions of her country; but having been brought up in the observance of them, and being but a woman, did not dare to make any alteration in her faith. As to human sacrifices, she allowed that they do invariably obtain, on the death of Kings and chief men; as also when their successors take up the office: at least one wife and ten eunuchs and servants forfeit their lives on the demise of an Attàh. Although she could feel for others, yet she would wish to be placed in a position so to suffer.

Amadá Bue's house is situated at the northern extremity of the cliff, commanding a view of the river and of the country to the eastward, through which a beautiful little stream meanders among cultivated land and magnificent forests.

After having exhausted all our topics of conversation, and some jars of country beer, with the dirty Princess, we became tired of her company, and wandered to the precincts of the palace, rather prematurely, as it appeared, for no preparations were yet made for our reception. We sat some time in a small court-yard, surrounded by buildings having verandahs, and some attempts at architectural ornament. At one end was a lofty thatched tower, which was erected, we understood, in order that the late King might be enabled to see our vessels. We were here reminded of the respect due to the place by an attendant, who requested us not to talk loud. Some great men, and some very dirty ones, soon began to assemble. Among the first was Lobo, the chief judge; a fine-looking person, very handsomely dressed: his manners and appearance were, indeed, so dignified and elegant, that he at least could not be classed among the uncivilised.

The court now filled with people of all grades, judging from their motley appearance, though it is to be presumed that none but the privileged were allowed the entrée. Among the crowd were a number of 'Mallams,' one of whom was pre-eminent in age and importance, of which his long snowy beard was a very distinguished evidence.

[illustration: The Court of the King of Iddah]

A party issued from a side-door to the sound of bells, and we then expected the King to make his appearance. They took their seats at the upper end of the court, with their backs to the verandah, which was concealed by a curtain. The musicians made a loud discordant noise, and the populace outside gave a shout; at the same time a large curtain was lowered at the end of the court, and Ochejih, Attàh of Eggarah, was seen on a throne, formed of a bamboo frame, covered with mats and carpets; the latter were given him by Lander. He was almost smothered by his garments, and surrounded by attendants, who were fanning him vehemently. Their office was also to conceal the royal countenance when speaking or laughing, and they then uttered the most hideous yells, in which the courtiers joined. This practice Commander W. Allen had seen at the Court of Fandah, and it was brought here by the present King, who is of the royal family of that country; it had not been introduced by the former sovereign.

The Attàh was arrayed in an ample tobe, fantastically brocaded with gold, beneath which was another of red velvet; and, judging from his size, many others of various hue might have been his under-garments. The trousers were loose, and of the favourite colour, scarlet. His feet were inserted in a pair of enormous red leather boots, to which a number of bells were fastened; and the royal pastime of jingling these, ever and anon, reminded us of the nursery rhyme -

"Rings on the fingers, bells on the toes," &c.

A large brass or gilt plate, with a raised representation of the human face (not unlike 'the man in the moon'), suspended from his neck, and hanging down on the breast, seemed to be an important article in the regalia. It was worn by the former King when Lander and Allen visited him. His cap was conical, something like that of Obi's, but ornamented with feathers; and in his ears were ivory discs, stuck in the lower lobe, large enough to cover the whole ear.

The principal courtiers were seated close round the throne, with their backs towards it, excepting a large party (probably of 'Mallams,' or 'Mahomedans,' as the old man before mentioned was at their head); these sat facing the King. They were, for the most part, neatly dressed in white tobes and small caps, though some had them blue or checked, with a sort of embroidery round the opening for the neck. Others wore dresses which they seemed to have vowed never to take off, they were so filthy and so ragged.

Lobo, thy chief judge, was pre-eminent for dignity, as he was in the elegance of his dress, and looked remarkably handsome. His tall figure enveloped in an ample tobe of very light blue cloth, with a broad fringe of red figured damask; beneath this appeared a loose shirt of scarlet cloth. Over one shoulder hung a scarlet scarf; several leather amulets were suspended round his neck; one of which was covered with snake-skin. He wore a dark woollen cap, with a blue band; each ear was partially concealed by an ivory ornament, which was retained in its place by piercing the lower lobe. His fingers were covered with various metallic and ivory rings. A loose pair of scarlet trowsers completed the costume. He was attended by a young slave, who carried the sword of justice. His whole appearance was extremely commanding, and his features expressive of intelligence, dignity and benevolence, which accorded well with the accounts given of him by his countrymen.

The Attàh attempted to look very grave and important, but at once invited the Commissioners and officers of the party (who had accommodated themselves with seats as well as they could, none having been provided) to shake hands, which they did, each repeating the salutation, 'Sinùh!' Mr. Schön, our excellent chaplain and missionary, when it came to his turn, addressed him in the Haussa language, in the style usually observed towards Kings and great people - 'God give you long life!' To which he responded "Amin, Amin!" looking astonished that a white could speak in the native language. Captain Trotter now intimated, through Johnson, the interpreter (a relative of Ochejih's), his wish to open the proceedings, when the Attàh was ready.

As it is quite beneath the dignity of an Attàh to reply from the throne except through his 'mouth,' or Bekki'n Sàliki; this functionary, who stood near the throne, explained, "that when strangers came to visit him, the Attàh first gave them water; after which he will be ready to hear." This speech elicited the applause of all his court, as well as the people outside, who were probably apprized, in some way, when to join the acclamations.

Palm-wine, county beer, in small English jugs, and goora-nuts were then handed round, and when partaken of, the Commissioners thanked him for the refreshment.

The Attàh observing some of the officers writing, said through his 'mouth,' or interpreter, "that he did not like it." It was, however, soon explained to him, that they were merely taking a description of his court, which caused him to laugh. The fan-bearers immediately put forth their fans to screen their sovereign from such an exposure of his feelings, it being quite incompatible with Eggarah royalty to betray any emotion in presence of strangers.

Attàh (through the 'mouth,' or interpreter).- If you have anything to say, begin.

Commissioners (to Johnson).- Tell the Attàh that our sovereign, the Queen of Great Britain, has sent the four ships to the river, and the four Commissioners now present, with a message to him; and that she wishes her people and the Attàh's people to be good friends. (This announcement was followed by a loud shout of applause.) Our Queen is most anxious that black men should not be taken away from their country, their homes, their wives, children, friends, and sold into slavery; but wants the trade in slaves to be done away. (All became very silent and attentive at this statement.) The Queen desires to do away with that traffic altogether, and to establish instead of it a friendly commerce in palm-oil, camwood, ivory, and any other articles the Eggarah people can produce for sale.

Attàh's 'mouth.'- The Attàh is very glad. (A loud shout from the attendants.)

Commissioners.- Tell the King, that English people trade with all parts of the world; and that the Queen will encourage her people to come to Iddah to trade, if the King will abolish the Slave Trade.

Attar's 'mouth.'- Attàh says, when you have said all, he will answer.

Commissioners.- Say to the King, that if he will consent to give up the Slave Trade, our great Sovereign will not only encourage her people to come to Iddah to trade, but that the King shall have one twentieth part of all merchandise sold in the Eggarah country from British ships.

Attàh.- Very good.

Commissioners.- Will the King make a law to abolish the Slave Trade in forty-eight hours.

Attàh.- Promises to do so.

Commissioners.- Tell the King that English ships have been here to trade, but his people have been so busy in slave-dealing, that they have not had any cargoes ready to sell them; it will therefore be impossible for us to recommend them to come back, unless the King does away with the Slave Trade, and gets articles ready for traffic when the ships come.

Attàh.- Will do so.

Commissioners.- Say to the King, that as he has agreed to abolish the traffic in slaves, the Queen has sent him a handsome present, and will be very glad to hear that the Attàh has put down the Slave Trade. The King will have to sign an agreement, and when it is done, the presents shall be given to him; and say further, that it is our religion which makes the Queen and the British people anxious to do good to the African people. That she does not trade, but that her people do.

Commissioners.- Tell the King that we profess the Christian religion, and are anxious his people should be taught.

Attàh.- Very well.

Commissioners.- Tell the King that God's word is contained in this book (handing up an Arabic Bible to him), and that it will be left with him.

Attàh.- Is very glad. (The Bible was handed by his people to the chief ' Mallam,' or priest, to inspect).

Commissioners.- Say to the King, that this Bible is God's book; that teachers will come and instruct his people, and when they do come, he must treat them well. If the Attàh's people meet a boat on his waters carrying slaves, he must break the boat or canoe, and liberate the slaves.

Attàh.- Is willing. (Another loud shout of approbation.)

Commissioners.- Say that the Queen's subjects must be permitted to trade with any of the Attàh's people; that English vessels or boats may pass up and down the river, whether they stop to trade or not. That the Queen of England has plenty of ships on the great water to catch ships carrying slaves, and that she sets the black men taken in them free. The Queen is very powerful; so much so, that the sun never sets upon her dominions.

Attàh.- If you have done with all the questions, he will give you an answer.

The list of presents intended for his acceptance was then read. On which the Attàh said, "He was much obliged to the Commissioners;" and said, "God save the Queen."

Commissioners.- Ask the Attàh what articles his people most require, that they may be brought up here to market. The English want ivory, cotton, indigo, and will send people to teach them how to cultivate the soil properly. Traders desirous of passing through the Eggarah country to other countries, must pass free. If agents and teachers are sent, will they be safe?

Attàh.- Will be very glad to have them and will take care of them.

Commissioners.- Our Queen hears that the Attàh allows the sacrifice of human victims, and wishes him to give up this custom, because it is contrary to the commandments of God - that God who made all men.

Attàh.- Will discontinue human sacrifices.

Commissioners.- Do the Filatah people trouble the Attàh's country at Adda Kuddu, and other places?

Attàh.- Yes.

Commissioners.- Have they driven your people from Adda Kuddu?

Attàh.- Yes.

Commissioners.- Will the King give us Adda Kuddu, with a large tract of land, to be purchased, to make a farm there, to show them how to grow indigo and cotton properly?

Attàh.- Will give land, and will tell the person now in charge as Governor, to give it up to the white men, and will send his people to learn from them. He also consented to send a person up with the Expedition to order the Governor to cede the land to them.

The Commissioners hope the Attàh will soon be friends with his enemies, and that he will be successful in his war. (This remark was made in consequence of the King's stating that he was at war with a branch of his own family.)

The Commissioners cannot go to war in the Attàh's behalf, but, if possible, they will induce his enemies to make peace with him.

This announcement pleased the Attàh very much.

Commissioners.- We wish to build a fort to protect our countrymen, and those under them.

Attàh.- Will permit the building of a fort, and will assist.

Commissioners.- Wish to have an island in the river.

Attàh.- Is very willing. It is very good. From Jogùh to Kakanda below, the country belongs to him; when the King puts Englishmen as rulers they must let him know if the people trouble them, and they must not forget him. If any body annoys him, he will tell the white men, that he and they may be as one. He has nothing more to say, but he would like to see the presents which have been enumerated to him, and hopes to see them to-morrow.

Commissioners.- Tell the King that to-morrow (Sunday) is God's day, and we do not work on that day, but will go this evening to the other side, and return to him on Monday with the presents. God says in His Book, that we shall keep one day in seven holy. God made heaven and earth in six days, and rested on the seventh.

Commissioners.- God does not allow us to make any image of Him; but we pray on the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. God made everybody. If a man be rich, God bestows it; if a man be strong and healthy, God gives it. God directs all things in the world.

Being now almost dark, and no lights forthcoming, the interview was concluded until Monday, when the Treaties were to be finally adopted. Before the Commissioners departed, the Attàh sent for Duncan, whose striking uniform and soldierly appearance took his fancy very much. He wished to know if the Queen had many soldiers as fine looking and well accoutred. He could scarcely believe the statements about our military force.

The King was as impatient as Obi, but with more dignity. He frequently said, "When you have done with all your questions, I will answer them." But if he intended to have made a long speech, he was prevented by the lateness of the hour, which he frequently alluded to by pointing to the setting sun, and he appeared to think, as Obi had, that the white men did not know the value of time. All the points of the Treaty were acceded to on their being proposed, his anxiety to receive the presents being evidently an all-prevailing motive, though, in some of his remarks, he shewed that he was not inattentive to his interests, nor to the explanations which were given. A considerable portion of time was occupied in complimentary speeches on both sides; and, on one occasion, when our august and beloved Sovereign was alluded to, he called forth a burst of enthusiastic loyalty from our party, by saying 'God bless the Queen,' which was immediately responded to by our bugles playing the National Anthem, all the officers of course standing with heads uncovered, unmindful of the tropical sun.

The Attàh wished to see the bugle, the complicated construction and gold-like material of which excited his astonishment, and he no doubt would have been glad to accept it. He was, however, too well-bred to give utterance to such a wish. He only asked for some writing paper, which was promised.

In reference to the objects proposed by the Agricultural Society, in establishing a Model Farm on the banks of the Niger, Dr. Lushington and Sir T.F. Buxton, had addressed a letter to Lord John Russell, urging the great importance of having the nascent Colony on British territory, and, indeed, that it was indispensable, in their judgment, for the success of the views of the Society. His Lordship, however, thought it right only to instruct the Commissioners to make this proposition the subject of their careful inquiry, with a view to reporting:
1. Whether a tract of land of that nature could easily be obtained, and on what terms.
2. Whether such territory might be acquired in a district deemed tolerably healthy for Europeans.
3. Whether the neighbouring tribes would be likely to be friendly or hostile to the proposed agricultural establishment; and
4. What force would be necessary for the protection of such territory.

His Lordship further directs, "You will have carefully to weigh, therefore, the practicability, advantages, and dangers of acquiring sovereignty for the Crown over a considerable territory. You are not to satisfy yourselves that a single chief is willing to sell his dominions, or a portion of them, but are to consider the hazard of jealousy, and of hostility being excited among neighbouring chiefs, by the appearance of the British flag, as a token of sovereign power in the midst of their possessions. You will have to calculate the force that would be necessary to maintain and defend the territory that might be acquired - the facility or difficulty of relief - the extent of territory necessary to protect those who might seek shelter and security within its borders, as well as the danger of invasion from any European power which might have settlements on the coast."

The Commissioners took all these points of view under their serious consideration, and the only one which appeared in an unsatisfactory light, was with respect to "the facility or difficulty of relief" - which we could not but see from the experience we had had of the fatal climate, and the intricate navigation of the river, as well as the shortness of the period during the whole year in which it would be open to vessels of our draft, was not to be decided on favourably in the present insufficient state of our knowledge.

{In a dispatch subsequently received from Lord Stanley, the Commissioners were expressly prohibited by his Lordship "from concluding any treaty or agreement with any African Chief, which should have the effect of binding Her Majesty to give military aid to such chiefs, or to assume any right, or sovereignty, or protection over any portion of the soil or waters of Africa. In no case are you to take any step which may fetter the discretion of the Queen's Government."}

The sovereignty of the territory, therefore, which the Attàh was so willing to cede was only accepted conditionally, subject to the approval of Her Majesty's Government.

Sept. 4.- 3 A.M. Ther. 77° Wet bulb Mason's Hygr. 74°
  9 A.M. " 78° " 74°
  3 P.M. " 82° " 75°,5
  9 P.M. " 80° " 76°

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