I once saw … oppressed
An earlier draft of this incident appears in Livingstone’s journal (1866-72:24 June 1868; 1874,1:306-07): "[S]ix men slaves singing as if they did not feel the weight and degradation of the slave sticks – asked them what their song was about – They replied ‘that when they were dead their souls would come back and haunt and kill the different men who had sold them to go to
Manga’ or the sea – The names of these men were the chorus – as if it were ‘oh Johnny Smith, Johnny Smith oh’ […]."
"There be higher than they."
"If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they" (Ecclesiastes 5:8, King James).
am terribly … fogie Livingstone reiterates the sentiments expressed here in several letters from this period (see, for instance, [1870e] 1872). In Bambarre he endured choleric fever, breathing difficulties due to a recent bout of pneumonia, and "irritable ulcers on the feet" that ate through "muscle, tendon and bone" and which he treated with the Arab remedy of powdered malachite (Livingstone 1870-71a:X; [1870b] 1964). He also suffered from chronic hemorrhoids, which at times prolapsed and needed to be lanced, and which were exacerbated by his constant use of drastic purges (Jeal 1973:191; Northcott 1973:106). The bleeding was so severe that medical historians have suggested it might have been chronic colitis; Livingstone, however, refused to have a potentially life-saving operation (Gelfand 1957:279; Northcott 1973:11, 106; Ransford 1978:227). Livingstone’s "second childhood" refers in part to the loss of his teeth, some of which he pulled himself (Livingstone [1869b] 1880:397).
if I live … again
had written to Livingstone, "When you come home send me a telegram from
Paris and I will come and meet you were we parted at Dover," and had
closed the same letter with the words, "Goodby God bless you Dr, may He
grant that we soon meet" (Waller 1869b).
my good daughter
Agnes Livingstone (1847-1912).
News came lately … De Bono?
This "news" was probably delivered to Ujiji in 1870 or early 1871 by a party of Ganda soldiers on their way to Zanzibar as envoys of Mutesa, whom Livingstone later encountered in Unyanyembe on the return leg of their journey (Grant 1872:265-66; Livingstone 1874,2:176-77; cf. Kiwanuka 1972:158-60). However, the specific attack mentioned here eludes conclusive identification. Although Livingstone speculates that it might have been carried out by the men of Baker or De Bono, and in the overtext on this page leans towards the choice of Baker, this assumption is not correct. Baker’s army never reached Buganda and did not even arrive in Bunyoro, the region directly to the northwest of Buganda, until early 1872 (Baker 1873-74; Baker 1874). De Bono, in turn, sold off his assets to the Egyptian government and ceased operations in the region in 1865 (Gray 1961:82). It is more likely that the invading force consisted of Turco-Egyptian slave traders employed by the Egyptian trader and Governor of Khartoum, Muhammad al-‘Aqqād, who at the time was "the sole owner of trading ‘rights’ in the area" south of Gondokoro (Gray 1961:95, 99). Some of al-‘Aqqād’s men had arrived in Bunyoro with Baker on his first visit to the region in
1864 and had subsequently become involved in the succession war that followed the death of Kamrasi (r.1857?-69), the ruler (Omukama) of Bunyoro, and that resulted in the ascension of his son Kabarega (r.1870-99) (Wisnicki 2010; Doyle 2006:50). In that war Mutesa supported Kabarega,
and as a result probably had his "first dealings" with the Turco-Egyptians in 1869 or 1870 (Kiwanuka 197:146-47, 160). That said, there are no references to the specific attack noted by Livingstone nor, more generally, to any forays by the Turco-Egyptians
into Buganda in the relevant oral sources from Bunyoro and Buganda (see, e.g., Wilson in Johnston 1902,2:597-98; Fisher :160-61; Kaggwa 1971:158-59; K.W. 1937:63-64; Nyakatura 1973:110-11). However, another incident described by Baker (1874,2:98-99) may have some relevance here. When Baker met some of al-‘Aqqād’s representatives in Fatiko in early 1872, he learned that they had only recently made their first visit to Mutesa "and had been treated like dogs […] and […] had slunk back abashed, and were only glad to be allowed to depart. They declared that such a country would not suit their business: the people were too strong for them […]." On one hand, the details of this incident seem to preclude any previous attacks on or visits to Buganda by the Turco-Egyptians and so correlate with the oral sources cited above. On the other hand, in its rough outlines the Turco-Egyptian visit described by Baker parallels the attack mentioned by Livingstone, and so the former may have ultimately served as
a basis for the latter, being either played down by al-‘Aqqād’s men when speaking with Baker or exaggerated by the Ganda envoys during their visit to Ujiji.
Livingstone’s uncertainly regarding the identity of the invading force arises from the fact that Egypt was at this time governed not by the "true" Egyptians of the lower Nile, but by a heterogeneous group known collectively as the "Turks," whose numbers included Turks, Circassians, Kurds, Greeks, Albanians and Berberine Egyptians as well as Turkomans from central Asia, Slavs from Bosnia and Laz from Trebizond (Wisnicki 2010:4; cf. Hill 1959:1).
Sunna is Spekes Muza with his fathers name
Sunna was the ruler (Kabaka) of Buganda until his death in 1857. He was succeeded by his son Mutesa (r.1857-84) (Burton 1860,2:188-89), whom Livingstone here mistakenly calls "Muza." During his second expedition to Africa (1860-63), Speke stayed at Mutesa’s court from early to mid 1862 (Speke 1863:283-452).
can this be Sam Baker or De Bono?
For Baker’s expedition in the service of Isma’il, see above. Andrea De Bono (1821-71) was a Maltese slave trader and pioneer in the southern Sudan (for more on his activities, see De Bono 1862-63; Gray 1961; Catania 2002). Livingstone no doubt knew of De Bono’s activities because Speke and Grant had previously encountered De Bono’s agents in southern Sudan (see Speke 1863:579).
how often the Portuguese … East
"West" and "East" refer, respectively, to Angola and Mozambique. For more on Portuguese initiatives in these areas, see Henderson
(1979) and Newitt (1995).
I don’t know his plan
See note for "Baker’s plan" above, page 1v.
on the Zambesi … hated us
The reference is to the experiences of Livingstone and his party during the Zambesi Expedition. In their narrative of the expedition, Livingstone and his brother Charles (1865:76) indicated that they had secured the goodwill of the local Zambesi populations by distinguishing their objectives (i.e., the expedition’s) from those of the Portuguese: "Dr. Livingstone went ashore; and on his explaining that we were English and had come neither to take slaves nor to fight, but only to open a path by which our countrymen might follow to purchase cotton, or whatever else they might have to sell, except slaves, Tingane [a local chief] became at once quite friendly." The Portuguese, though prevented from outright hostilities by political considerations (as Livingstone here indicates), still resented Livingstone’s presence in their territories because of his possible "territorial ambitions," because of previous criticism he had leveled at the Portuguese administration of Angola and Mozambique in
Missionary Travels and because of an increase in their slave trading activities in the area (Jeal 1973:218-20; see also Newitt 1973). Livingstone and his brother Charles (1965:241) elaborate on the situation thus: "Public instructions […] had been sent from Portugal to all the officials to render us every assistance in their power, but these were understood with considerable reservation. From what we observed it was clear that, with the public orders to the officials to aid us, private instructions had come to thwart us."
But for cannon … great
Livingstone’s assessment of Buganda’s military capabilities is roughly correct. Buganda was at this time the dominant state in the interlacustrine region, but its power was due to the size and skill of its army, rather than to possession of firearms. Although firearms probably reached Buganda in about 1844,
and during the reign of Mutesa "their symbolic importance was immense," the supply of such weapons to the kingdom did not increase significantly until the mid to late 1860s (Reid 2002:219; Kiwanuka 1972:143-45). Those weapons that did reach Buganda, such as muzzle-loaders and flintlocks, were notoriously unreliable. Moreover, until about 1880 only a minority of the army would have been professional or semi-professional soldiers armed with spears and shields or, later, guns; the remainder were peasants armed with clubs or heavy sticks (Roscoe 1911:252-53).
At its largest, Baker’s army consisted of a total of 1500 Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers. However, when Baker finally made the push from Gondokoro to Bunyoro in early 1872, he traveled with a force of just over 200 men (Baker 1873-74:53, 57-58).
warriers The figure here refers to the size of Mutesa’s army, which was drawn from levies on regional chiefs. Despite Livingstone’s disclaimer, the number he gives is low compared with the estimates of other contemporaries. With reference to Arab informants, Burton (1860:189) suggested that Mutesa’s army was made up of "‘at least 300,000 men,’" while Stanley ([1874-77] 1961:99), who visited Buganda in 1875 and saw the army firsthand, wrote in his diary that it consisted of "some 150 thousand warriors […], accompanied with something like 50,000 women, and 50,000 slaves and boys." Reid (2002:207) suggests that both estimates have been exaggerated for dramatic effect.
… Africa This text is not in Livingstone's hand, but was
written as an address to Livingstone on the proof copy of the Proceedings
of the Royal Geographical Society upon which Livingstone wrote his
letter (for more on this topic, see Note on the