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life before I had arrived at this period of utility. You will, I trust, be able to appreciate the station Providence has placed me in, and feel pleasure at this communication.'
There were many things in Mr. Birkbeck's Letters, and there are soine things in the present publication, very little to our taste. Being neither Republicans, nor Unitarians, nor Americans in sentiment or feeling, neither hating our country, nor despairing of it, there appeared to us nothing in the glowing picture of the Illinois paradise adapted to captivate either the heart or the imagination; while there were many circumstances which seemed to render doubtful the eligibility of the settlement to those who, as a last resource, are driven to the hard expedient of emigration. We must still be allowed to remain sceptical as to the superior advantages possessed by Albion or Wanborough over other settlements. But putting this question aside,-now that this little colony appears to have actually taken root, and fairly laid hold of the ground, whatsoever differences, whether of religious or political opinion, or of taste, may exist between its founders and ourselves, we are not disposed to regard its nascent prosperity with that affected contempt or those jealous and un kindly feelings which bave been betrayed on the occasion by some of our contemporaries. The display of enterprise, perseverance, and energy of mind which such an undertaking peculiarly calls for, the successful struggle of the colonists with new and untried difficulties, the illustration which this miniature specimen presents of the origin and progress of society, the interest attaching to it as a moral as well as a political experiment, --all this renders the future destinies of these rival establishments the object of even a philosophical curiosity. We should be unfeignedly sorry to hear of their being from any cause abandoned. There are, we are aware, persons who would rejoice in the complete failure and appibilation of the scheme. We do not envy them their feelings, in whatever dirty source they originate. Hitherto, the progress which the Colony has made, has been quite as rapid as could be rationally anticipated, and the greatest difficulties appear to be surmounted. The degree of ridicule originally attaebing to the plan as a chimerical or Utopian project, will soon blow over; and when it is found that the settlers do not come back, people will soon begin to applaud their sagacity.
Mr. Benjamin Flower's preface and notes consist chiefly of a statement of his own theological opinions, and strictures upon Cobbett, who, it seems, has sworn that he would write down
Birkbeck and his settlement.' That this marble hearted re
probate, as Mr. Flower styles him, should still retain any bold on the public mind, is a circumstance to be accounted for only in the same manger as the success of Messrs. Cooper and
Co. or of Johanna Southcott is to be accounted for,--by referring it to the boundless gullability of the buinan mind, and the moral force of that species of courage which cominonly goes by the name of impudence. With regard to Mr. Flower's widely excursive remarks, we have only to express a wish that some of them at least had been coufined to the Monthly Repository, which would have been a much more appropriate vehicle for them. He has an undoubted right to bold what opinions lie pleases, and to express them as he pleases; but good taste and sound discretion would, we think, have dictated on this occasion some self-restraint in the venting of them, unless he expects bis readers to be confined to that communion of Christians' whose unquestionable superiority of intellect leads thein to dissent • from that contradiction in terms, Three Divine Persons in Oue. • God ;'-terms which, by so characterizing, they only shew that either they cannot, or will not understand in the import they are employed to convey.
Art. VI. A Voyage to Africa : including a Narrative of an Em
bassy to One of the interior Kingdoms in the Year 1820; with Remarks on the Course and Termination of the Niger and other principal Rivers in that Country. By William Hutton, late Acting Consul for Ashantee, &c. 8vo. pp. 490. Maps and Plates. Price
188. London,'1821. THIS HIS volume contains the narrative of a second inission to
Ashantee, sent out in 1820 under the immediate orders of the British Government. That which was conducted by Mr. Bowdich in 1817, was under the direction of the African Committee, which, happily, as it should seem, for the interests of Africa, has ceased to exist. Credit is given to Mr. Bowdich by the present Writer, for the general correctness of the information he has given the public on the subject of African affairs; but it is contended, that he was not the first to uomask the per• nicious system of a trading government, which has perverted the uses of our settlements on the Gold Coast. Mr. Hutton claims the merit of having addressed a statement to Lord Ba. thurst in 1818, in which the abandonment of several useless stations, the reduction of the establishment at others, the making governors of forts swear to their accounts, and the abolitiou of the African Committee, were strenuously urged as most desirable measures; and they were all soon after carried into effect. In the present volume, he earnestly recommends the occupation of the islands Apna Bona, St. Thomas's, Prince's, and Fernando Po, which lie within a few days' sail of each other in the Gulf of Guinea, -as important, not only in a commercial point of view, but also as it would be the means of effectually checking the Slave-trade, which is still carried on to a great extent in those latitudes by the Portuguese and the Spaniards. Fernando Po, in particular, is important as commanding the entrance of all the rivers that flow into the Gulf of Guinea, and which are supposed to have a communication with the Niger. The great advantages of this settlement have been also pointed out by Mr. M'Queen, and they are fully stated in the Papers printed on this subject, last year, by order of the House of Commons. In 1819, Mr. Robertson, under the sanction of bis Majesty's Government, arrived on the Gold Coast for the purpose of taking possession of the island; but untoward circumstances occasioned, for the time, the abandoument of the plan. By means of the rivers which this station would command, Mr. Hutton is of opinion, that our commerce might in all probability be carried into the very heart of Africa, and inore trade be carried on in one month, than on the Gold Coast, where there are no rivers of any magnitude, in a year.
• It is indeed,' he says, 'surprising, with all the anxious curiosity which has so long been manifested respecting the Niger, that these rivers have never attracted the attention of the African Company, though they are situated only a few days' sail from our settlements on the Gold Coast. How far this has been owing to the contracted means of the African Committee, or to a want of energy and zeal for the public service among the chief directors of their affairs in Africa, I will not now stop to enquire; but certain it is, not one of those rivers has ever been explored by the Company's servants, although it is well known, from ibeir short distance from our settlements in that quarter, small expeditions for this purpose might easily bave been fitted out at Cape Coast, where there are not wanting men of enterprising spirit, who would willingly have hazarded their lives in such an undertaking, had they been encouraged to do so. It is therefore to be hoped, as His Majesty's government have taken the forts from the African Company, that the governor who may be appointed at Cape Coast, will be vested with full powers to send exploratory missions up the Volta, Lagos, Formosa, Calabar, and Del Rey; for even though such undertakings fail in ascertaining the termination of the Niger, they will not fail in acquiring much valuable and interesting information of the eountries on the banks of those rivers. The Rio Del Rey is eight miles broad at its mouth, and is very likely to prove an arm of the Niger, although Mr. M'Queen draws a different conclusion, from the cataracts and rapids which he states this river to be full of; and hence will arise the greatest difficulties in exploring it. The death of Mr. Nichols, who was employed by the African Association to explore it, is to be lamented, as we have no accounts of its source, although Mr. M.Queen supposes it to be on the south side of the mount Thala of Ptolemy; but Mr. Nichols's reports to the African Association give no account of this, and his information is altogether very unsatisfactory. From frequent conversations upon this subject with Mri Robertson, (author of notes on Africa,) that gentlc
man appeared to be better acquainted with the Del Rey and the other rivers which flow into the bights of Benin and Biafra, than any person I have ever conversed with, or any author I have read, excepting only Bosman, whose work certainly contains the best account of the Rio Formoso; it was written by a Dutch captain (Nyandale) in 1702, who had been twice trading in this river, and is to the following effect : "; That sixty Dutch miles (or two hundred and ten English) above its mouth, ships may be navigated with safety, sailing by hundreds of branches, some of which are so wide that they well deserve the name of rivers; its length and source, he adds, he was pot able to discover, ng negro being able to give him an exact account of it."
Grauting, however, that the Formoso may not enable us to get to the Niger, still a trial, with steam boats, ought to be made to ascertain how far it will take us into the interior; and then, mooring a vessel well manned and provisioned, at the highest navigable point of the river, small parties could be sent out daily to make incursions, and after becoming in some measure acquainted with the natives, and obtaining information as to the best means of pursuing the journey, a strong detachment, with men of science, might easily be fitted out from the vessel, which should remain moored as already mentioned; so that the party which may be detached, will have an opportunity of communicating to the cominander, from week to week, the success of the undertaking, and hence we should be able to get in England the earliest accounts of their progress. Upon this subject, I agree with Mr. M'Queen, that the bights of Benin and Biafra are the most desirable points to set out to ascertain the course and termination of the Niger. pp. 394-398.
The Niger might, however, Mr. Hutton thinks, be easily reached by an overland journey through Ashantee. The distance from Cape Coast, he is persuaded, would not exceed seven hundred miles, two hundred of which have been repeatedly travelled ; and with the king of Ashantee's protection, the remaining five hundred might be with ease accomplished in ten weeks. The country through which the expedition would pass, is stated to be abundantly supplied with fresh water, and the people are hospitable and obliging. That the Niger and the Nile unite, according to the opinions of Mr. Dupuis, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Bowdich, and the uniform assertions of the Moors, Mr. Hutton does not attempt to dispute ; but he inclines to believe, that they will nevertheless be found distinct rivers, connected by the Gir, and that the Niger throws off a great body of its water in some branch not yet discovered, to the eastward of the Leasa, and flowing into the bights of Benin and Biafra.
Mr. Hutton, who was then in the African Company's service, joined the expedition of the unfortunate Major Peddie, and ac
conpanied him, in the capacity of secretary, as far as Senegal ; when a disagreement took place respecting the terms of the engagement, which issued in their separation, the Major cousenting to pay Mr. Hutton's expenses back to Cape Coast. The occasion of the failure of this expedition, is thus stated :
• The number of horses purchased by Major Peddie amounted nearly to'fifty, and the asses to a hundred, besides several camels; the officers and men exceeded a hundred'; and the property purchased for the use of the expedition, the presents, and all expenses, could not have cost less than £50,000.; 'that the little good (if any) which has resuhted from this expedition, must plainly shew the bad policy of fitting out such large and expensive missions to explore Africa; for what Chief would let such a formidable expedition pass through his territory ? The king of Ashantee, and all the African chiefs that I have ever been acquainted with, would object to it from the fear alone of such a strong party joining their enemies. It was, therefore, not at all to be wondered at that the king of the Foulahs would not allow the expedition to pass through his territory. Besides, Major Peddie did a very impolitic thing at Senegal, in trying in public how the horses would carry the two fieldpieces, which were intended for the boats after getting to the Niger, as the Moors who were at Senegal, must have noticed it
, and, it was most probable, would send word of the fact to the king of Sego and other chiefs in the interior. But as the fate and particulars of this expedition were long ago known, I shall only add, that Major Peddie lost his life at Kakundy, in the Rio Nunez; and Captain Campbell, who succeeded him in the command, advanced into the Foulah country, where his haughty conduct obstructed his further progress, and constrained him, amidst a thousand difficulties, to retrace his steps to Kakundy, where the fever prevented the execution of a plot formed by his soldiers to assassinate hiin. Lieutenant Stokoe, of the Inconstant frigate, then succeeded to the command; and there was a gentleman of the name of Dochard, a surgeon, who was the next officer to Stokoe, and who, I believe, is now in England; but what became of Lieutenant Stokoe I have never heard. Upon the subject of this expedition, experience has convinced me, that such formidable missions will never succeed in exploring Africa, as the natives are too jealous and too much alarmed at such a force. My humble opinion is, that we must either have no appearance of force at all, or clse uch a force as will surinount every obstacle. pp. 13-15.
We observe that our Author, in his notices respecting the Coast country, refers repeatedly to Mr. Mollien as an authority; in particular as to the remarkable proximity of the sources of the Senegal, the Faleme, the Gambia, and the Rio Grande near Labbe and Teembo. He bears testimony also to the correctness of Mr. Robertson's description of the Coast in his Notes on Africa, and agrees with him as to the great importance of the harbour of Succondee, and of a settlement either at Cape Lahou or Cape Palmas. The latter is recommended by that gentleman as one of ihe most desirable situations for a European colony on the west coast of Africa, and a valuable link of connexion between Sierra Leone and the British possessions on the Gold Coast. But our Author inclines in favour of Cape Lahou, which