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obtained vellers.

With these

Moor

Temarks,

and Arab tra- and which the Arabs term "the sea under ground." Be this as it may, however, it is plain that their inform

I proceed to

the "facts aced in the volume, ation told them that there was a river

more

concerning the most important namely, the

prominent and

point of the whole; sert, then certainly, but imperfectly

to the south of the Great African De

to the eastward.

of the mighty River and terminatioto Ptolemy makes the matter clearer,

I

show these, must adduce the theories and errors brought forward by various writers, and by none more pertinaciously than by the writer in the Quarterly Review. These are thus shortly stated in the volume referred to, p. 3

"The theories at present most in Vogue are, first, that it flows eastward, reaching beyond the parallel of 18 deg. N. Lat, and then, in about 20 deg.E.Long. that it flows south-east," (See Quarter. Rev., May, 1820,) the parent stream of the Bahr-el-Abiad, or Nile of Egypt. Secondly, That it terminates in a large lake in the in terior, which also receives the Gir, or Nile of Sudan, coming from the eastward. Thirdly, That the waters of both rivers are lost in, and absorbed by, swampsand sandy deserts, in a country called Wangara. And, fourthly, that the Niger, from its middle course, flows south, and joins the great River Congo or Zaire. Every one of these theories is grossly erroneous, contrary to every authority on which reliance can be placed, and in opposition to every feature of geography exhibited any where else on this globe." "That the Niger flows to form the Bahr-el-Abiad, is contrary to all probability—contrary to the good authority of Ptolemy-contrary to the authority of the best Arabian geographers and contrary to excellent modern authority. Yet it is most surprising that an opinion so improbable in itself, and so directly opposed to all the authorities mentioned, should, even to this day, continue to be believed and maintained."

and, in the general course of the great rivers, very nearly indeed what modern investigation has found it to be." He wrote in Egypt in the second century of the Christian era. Then Africa was better known. The interior of the northern division he describes, apparently from good authority, and with considerable accuracy, only he seems altogether to leave out the Great Desert. Mount Mandrus, the middle of which was 22 deg. N. Lat. aud 23 deg, E. Long. from Ferro, and Rhisadirus mountain, more to the south, he places as the barrier that divides the waters which flow westward into the Atlantic Ocean, by the Rivers Stachirus, &c. (the Senegal, Gambia, &c.) from those which flow eastward in the Niger. Turning eastward from Mount Rhisadirus, we find Mount Caphas in about 10 deg. N. Lat., which divides the waters that flow south into the Great Gulf, or Gulf of Guinea, from those which flow north to join the Niger. In Caphas we readily recognise the Kong range. Eastward, in the same parallel, there is a blank or opening, and then comes Mount Thala, situated in 10 deg. N. Lat. and 38 deg. E. Long. from Ferro, on the very place where Denham found the Mandara hills, and high 'Moon Mountains,' stretching southward from them." Turning north, in 10 deg. N. Lat. and 50 deg. E. Long. from Ferro, we have the chain of hills called the Garamantican Rampart, which divides the waters which flow west in the Gir, from those which flow east to the Nile, and from those deserts which stretch eastward to the Nile. Turning westward in the parallel of 21 deg. N. Lat. and extending along by the sources of the River Cinips, from 40 deg. to 41 deg. E. Long, we have Mount Girgires; and from 8 deg. to 10 deg. farther west, in the same parallel of latitude, are the Usurgala mountains. Next, in N. Lat. 32 deg. and E. Long. 20 deg. 30 min., we have Mount Sagapola placed (if the

Strabo and Pliny had a vague idea that the streams descending from the south side of Mount Atlas, after run ning under the desert, emerged, and formed the Great River of Central Africa, which continued its course to the Egyptian Nile; and they seem to have imbibed this idea from the remarkable fact, that upon digging some feet below the surface, and in the very middle of the Great Desert, abundance of fresh water is found,

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latitude is correctly given) most erroneously in the map accompanying the work, (Ptolemy's,) in 20 deg, N. Lat., and 15 deg. E. Long, on the south side in place of the north side of the desert. The formidable bar riers here enumerated, according to the delineation of Ptolemy, encircle, or enclose, those extensive valleys, if I may use the expression, through which the Niger, the Gir, and their tributary streams take their courses, leaving only the opening between Mount Thala and Mount Caphas, for the collected flood to escape to the southward. How much these gene ral outlines agree with modern accounts, our future investigations, and the map accompanying this work, will shew."-P. 7, &c. 0-1790%di

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1

Pages 10 to 14 go on to shew Pto lemy's account of the rivers Gir and Niger the former running from east to west, and enumerating the chief cities situated on its banks, for the space of 12 degrees of longitude; and the latter running from west to east, enumerating also the most cele brated cities situated on its banks, from 19 deg. to 31 deg, east longitude from Ferro, shewing a declination of the river to the south of no fewer than 5 deg. on the latter meridian. Ptolemy places his Nigrites Palus in 18 deg. N. latitude, and 15 deg. E, longitude from Ferro, which is very near the true position of Lake Dibbie; she places his Nigira Metropolis in 17 deg. 45 min. N. latitude, and 25 deg. 30 min. E longitude, (about 3 deg. east longitude from Greenwich,) almost on the very spot where all modern accounts place Timbuctoo; and he brings a great branch of the Niger to the Nigrites Palus from the north-west, which is actually found to be the fact, as stated in the Report of the Committee of Privy Council of 1789, the travels of Sidi Hamed, who marched along its banks several days, and also from the travels of Batouta, and others. D'Anville, in an early map, lays down a river in the same space, but makes it run from the Lake to the Senegal. Ptolemy also brings a branch to the Niger from the east ward," above the Lybian Lake," that is, to the south of the Lybian Lake, which lake he places in 16 deg. 30 min. N. latitude, and 35 deg. E. longitude from Ferro, the branch no

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doubt descending by or from Mount Thala, which I have denominated Dar Kulla, and Lander has found under the name of Tshaddi.

211

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These are all very remarkable, and, generally speaking, accurate features of African Geography, as delineated by Ptolemy; and after considering them and several others attentively, the arbitrary and despotic manner in which the writer in the Quarterly Review insists that Ptolemy knew nothing whatever of the rivers which flow in Central Africa to the south of the Great De sert, and that his authority should be wholly set aside, cannot fail to excite astonishment and reprobation. The accuracy of modern geography we are not to expect in Ptolemy's accounts, but certainly his general delineation of the rivers of Northern Central Africa is worthy of attention, and cannot be mistaken, and, at any rate, is more accurate and worthy of attention, than any thing that has ever previously been advanced about them by the present writer in the Quarterly Review, 90 18

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So much for " facts" from Roman authority. Let us next come to Arab authority. Belad-el-Soudan, or the country of the blacks, o says Ebn Haukal, is more extensive than that of any other nation of blacks," whe ther Habeshis (Abyssinians) or Zingians (Ethiopians.) It is situated on the coasts of the ocean to the south." Edrisi distinctly informs us that a river, corresponding to the Gir of Ptolemy, ran from east to west. In part 4th of climate 1st, that is, in the part of Ethiopia, S., and S. W of Nubia, says Edrisi, "is seen the separating of the two Niles. The one flows from south to north into Egypt, and the other part of the Nile flows from the east to the utmost bounds of the west, and upon this branch of the Nile lie all, or at least the most celebrated kingdoms of the Negroes. The Blacks mostly inhabit the banks of the Nile, or the streams that flow into it. It waters the country from east to west. Scheabeddin, who flourished about the year, 1400, brings the Egyptian Nile and the Nile of the Blacks from one source. "From this lake," says he, comes the Nile, the greatest and most beautiful river of all the earth. Many rivers derived from this great river

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89

9

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Shabeeny states very pointedly, that

Niger

nea, in its largest he always understood the N

run into the sea, the salt sea, or
Great
the coasts of Gena-

Pointed out maintained. It is the wador Guinea." (Jackson's ShaWho lays down his beeny.) M. Beaufoy was informed

by an intelligent Moor, that below Ghinea (that is, Genawa) is the sea, into which the river of Timbuctoo disembogues itself, and that boats went with the stream to Glinea." Mr Grey Jackson, who had received much information concerning the interior of Africa, states that it is "the general African opinion, that the Neel-el-Abeed (Niger) discharges itself into the salt sea." The natives on the coasts of Benin and Biafra, says Robertson and others, 66 assert that all the rivers in the Delta come from one great river, which descends from the north." "The Niger,” said Park, in the last dispatch that he wrote which has reached Britain, and on the eve of his embarking at Sansanding," can terminate nowhere else

island load the course to the mouth but in the sealDele RTSH 1250

I pass over with merely alluding to the many facts disclosed by Ba touta, Leo, and by several of the Arabian geographers, about the course and existence of various rivers in Africa, which, when the true course of the Niger was learned and kept in view, were all useful to shew the grand result. For the same reason,

interior, by means of the decidedly the "fact" mentioned by Leo, and

of the Leo speaks

of a country, "Guinee or Genawa, extending along the Niger, bordering upon the ocean sea, in the same place where the Niger falleth into that sea. This region, during July, August, and September, is yearly environed with the overflowing of the Niger" &c. Horneman and Park were pointedly informed that the Niger ran southward of Nyffe, till it joined the Bahar Kulla. Windhus Was informed at Morocco, in 1721, that the Niger, or Blacks River, had a passage into the SOUTHERN Barnes was told that the Nger discharged itself into a large lake, on the borders of which there were white inhabitants, who dressed in the style of the Barbary Moors, but do Not speak Arabic. In this we recognise the coast of Guinea and Benin, ind the Europeans which then frequented that quarter Eb Hadgi

so long sneered at, about the cold being so great about Zegzeg and Cano, that the inhabitants were obliged to kindle fires under their beds at night in order to keep themselves warm. Our unfortunate countryman, Dr Oudney, lost his life by being exposed to this cold, and found in De cember, and in the lat. of 18 deg. N., the water in their water-skins frozen to A SOLID MASS, and this amidst those elevated lands, through which the Quarterly Review in 1820 had carried the Niger in its eastern course to the Egyptian Nile!! I also pointed out, that old Dutch maps, and the maps of D'Anville, laid down rivers coming from the north from Agadez,&c. and joining the Niger through the Bahr lake, or river of Goober; and moreover, that the maps of De Lisle and Vagondy, made for the King of France, laid down a river joining the

Niger from the north-west, at or immediately below Boussa, which we now find the Menai and other rivers certainly do. I also pointed out, that in some very fine maps drawn for the use of the French navy during the government of Bonaparte, the Rio de Formosa was laid down as coming from about N.N.E.; and that in some Portuguese maps, near three centuries old, attached to the copy of Ptolemy's Geography, in the library of Glasgow College, the river of Formosa is laid down as descending nearly from north to south, and traced upwards to 10 deg. 30 min. N. lat. This direction of the bed of the Rio de Formosa accorded with my own opinion formed from other authorities.

I might fill pages with "facts" collected and published in my work on Africa in 1821, from various authorities, shewing the progress of the Niger, under various names, in its course through Northern Central Africa, but I content myself with only entering more minutely into one authority regarding the middle course of this celebrated stream, and that is the narrative of Sidi Hamed, an intelligent Moor belonging to the empire of Morocco. This individual, in company with a large caravan, travelled, from Timbuctoo to Wassanah, fifty-seven days along the northern bank of the river, either close to its bank, or else every day, once or oftener in sight of the stream. His journeys I estimated at ten geographical miles made good daily in the general bearings on which his route lay, and at six miles each day during the space of six days, when the caravan crossed a rugged ridge of mountains against which the river ran.— Taking the above scale as correct, Sidi Hamed travelled from Timbuctoo, along the north bank of the river, first easterly (six days,) sixty miles; secondly, more to the S. E. (fifteen days,) one hundred and fifty miles, through a hilly and woody country, the river bent by a very high mountain flowing in a majestic stream in that direction. At this distance from Timbuctoo two very large towns appeared on its southern bank. For thirty miles farther the river pursued a winding course S. E. About this point, the travellers from Dagwumba

and Ashantee cross the river in their route to Houssa. Bowditch (p. 206) places the ferry at twenty-four days' journey below Timbuctoo. At this part of its course the river approached a very high ridge of mountains covered with trees, and so close that no path remained between the stream and the mountain. "It ran against the steep side of the mountain," said Sidi Hamed. In passing through this ridge, the Niger makes a turn to the S. W. Sidi Hamed took six days to cross this ridge, travelling at the rate, I suppose, of six miles per day, or thirty-six miles. After crossing the ridge, the caravan came to the river again at a place where it was narrow and full of rocks," which dashed the water most dreadfully." Below Kaffo, Amadou Fatouma, Park's guide, states that they came to a place where the river was divided into three channels and full of rocks, but that through one channel, smoother than the others, their canoe passed safely.

From the ridge mentioned, the stream continued to flow in a S.E. direction for 120 miles, receiving, in this part of its course, many small streams from the eastward. "The stream looked deep," but "was not very wide." At this point they found a great ferry, no doubt the celebrated ferry of Yaoori, so much frequented by all travellers from the countries situated on the S. W. to the countries situated on the N.E. of the Niger. Continuing its course from this ferry, the Niger flows south-eastward 150 miles, to Wassanah, a city twice as large as Timbuctoo, and the capital of a great kingdom. "Here the river turns nearly south, and is so broad, that it is scarcely possible to discern a man on the opposite bank. From 300 to 400 canoes, each capable of containing from ten to twenty persons, plied constantly on the river." The land was well cultivated, and produced abundance of rice, The sovereign and principal people wore shirts and trowsers of European manufacture, and the king's guards were armed with muskets. Here the river was called "Zadi." From this point the son of the king of Wassanah pressed Sidi Hamed to accompany him, (but which the latter declined,) with a fleet of 60 canoes and

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500 slaves, and then west people, who boats, and der, tobacco, they

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I stated, p. 142," Mandingo merchants informed de la Brue, at Galam, that some leagues from Timbuctoo the river was navigated by masted vessels. Dr Laidley, who resided at Pisania, was informed that vessels of 100 tons burden frequented Houssa. A priest who had visited Timbuctoo informed Mr Park that the canoes on the Niger were large, and not made of a single tree, but of various planks united, and navigated by white people. Major Houghton was informed by a Shereef whom he met at Medina, and who had been at Timbuctoo, that they had decked vessels with masts, with which they carry on trade from Timbuctoo eastward to the centre of Africa. The crews

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