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Rivers.) The two principal rivers are the Niger and the Wad-el-Gazel. The Niger rises, as has already been mentioned, in the mountains of Kong, and flows east; how far it is not known. The Wad-el-Gazel rises in the eastern part of Central Africa, and flows north for a considerable distance, till it is lost in the sands of the desert.
The following are the principal countries, known to Europeans, in Central Africa.
BAMBOUK is a kingdom lying between the sources of the Sene-gal and Gambia. It abounds with gold, and appears to be the main source of the large quantity of that melal which is on one side conveyed down the Gambia and Senegal, and on the other across the desert to Barbary. The inhabitants are Mandingo negroes. JALLONKADOO is the name of a country lying around the sources of the Senegal. Kong is a kingilom south of the Niger near its source. Kaarta is a kingdom of considerable extent between the Niger and the Senegal. Kemmoo is the capital.
BAMBARRA is a populous and powerful kingdom, bounded west by Kaarta, and east by Tombuctoo. It is traversed through its whole extent from west to east by the Niger. This country was visited by Mr. Park, and he represents it as in general very feriile and highly cultivated. The inhabitants consist of a mixture of negroes and Moors. The negroes are the ruling people, and are of a very kind and gentle disposition: the Moors are more intelligent, active and commercial, but they are rough in their manners and intolerant. Sego, the capital, is situated on both sides of the Niger in lon. 2° 30' W. and contains about 30,000 inhabitants. Bammakoo is 180 miles S. W. of Sego, on the Niger, at the point where the navigation is interrupted by cataracts. It carries on a great trade in salt.
TOMBUCTOO, one of the most powerful and civilized kingdoms in Central Africa, lies on both sides of the Niger, east of Bambarra. Caravans proceed annually from Tombuctoo to Morocco, Tunis, and the other principal cities in Northern Africa, carrying with them gold, slaves, ostrich feathers, goatskins, gums, ivory, &c. and bringing in return various European and African wares. This extensive commerce implies a numerous population and a considerable degree of refinement, and Europeans have been very anxious to obtain more information respecting this interest ing but unknown country. No white man has ever yet been able to penetrate so far into the interior of Africa, if we except Adams, the American sailor, who according to his own account was carried captive, in 1811, to the city of Tombuctoo, the capital of the kingdom. His account, however, has been doubted, and all the other information we possess is derived from the reports of Moorish merchants. From tbem it appears that the inhabitants are partly negroes, and partly Moors, that the sove
reign is a negro and is despotic, that the religion is Mahometanism, that schools are established, and that cotton and linen goods are extensively manufactured. The city of Tombuctoo is about 2 miles from the banks of the Niger, and 60 days journey from Morocco.
Houssa is an extensive country on the Niger, east of Tom. buctoo. It has never been visited by Europeans, but is said by the merchants to be more civilized than Tombuctoo. The inhabitants consist of negroes and Moors, but the negroes are the rigling people and form much the largest portion of the population. They are the most intelligent people in the interior of Africa. They manufacture cotton cloths in great quantities, and their agricultural system is as perfect as that of the Europeans, though its processes are more laborious. The city of Houssa, situated two days journey north of the Niger, is said to be considerably larger than Tombuctoo.
BORNOU is an extensive country, lying on the Wad-el-Gazel, which traverses it from south to north and is lost in the desert of Bilma, which lies on the N. W. side of the kingdom and forms a part of the Sahara or great desert. The soil is fertile and produces Indian corn, rice, grapes, apricots, melons, lemons, and pomegranates in abundance. The limits of Bornou are very uncertain, but the emperor seems to be by much the most powerful sovereign in the interior of Africa; for, independent of his own very extensive dominions, all the countries to the south and west are his tributaries. Bornou, the capital, is situated about a days journey from the Wad-el-Gazel, and is said to be a very large city. Domboo is situated on the northern frontier, 200 miles N. N. W. of Bornou. Near it are the salt lakes whence not only this kingdom, but many of the states on the Niger are supplied with salt.
BEGHERME is a country very little known, lying south of Bornou and dependent upon it. Bergoo is an extensive territory having Begherme on the west, Darfur on the east, and on the north Bornou, to which it is tributary. Wara is the capital.
DARFUR is a considerable kingdom, filling up a large portion of the wide interval between Abyssinia and Bornou. On the N. W. it has Begherme and Bergoo, wbich separate it from Bornou, and on the E. Kordofan and the country of the Shilluks, which separate it from Sennaar and Abyssinia. The population is estimated by Mr. Browne at 200,000, and consists partly of settled inhabitants, living in towns and villages, and partly of wandering Arabs. Cobbe, the capital, contains 6,000 inhabitants, chiefly foreigners from Egypt, Sennaar and other eastern countries. The government, as is usual in Mahometan countries, is despotic. Darfur has an extensive commerce with Egypt, carried on by
There is also considerable intercourse with Mecca, which is carried on sometimes directly througb Suakem and Jidda, but more frequently circuitously, by the way of Egypt.
KORDOFAN is situated to the west of the Bahr el Abiad, between Darfur and Sepnaar. It is sometimes subject to Darfur and sometimes to Sendaar, but according to the latest information it was independent. The natives of Kordofan cherish an inveterate hatred against those of Darfur, and have entirely interrupted their direct communication with Senpaar. Ibeit is the capital.
Wangara is a country lying south of Bornou, to which it is subject. Our knowledge of it is very imperfect. It is said to be traversed by the Niger, and according to Major Renbell's theory, that river loses itself in the lakes and marshes of this country.
Kasına or Cassina is an extensive kingdom situated to the W. of Bornou, and supposed to extend as far south as the Niger. Cassina, the capital, is a city of great extent, but very little is known respecting it. It is five days journey north of the Niger, and the caravans from the countries south of that river pass through it on their way to Egypt and Barbary, Like most other states in this part of Africa, Cassina is now tributary to Bornou.
EN is a powerful kingdom lying north of Kashna and west of Bornou. The inhabitants belong to a tribe of the Tuarik, a powerful but barbarous race, who wander over all the adjoining part of the Sahara. Agades, the capital, is a place of extensive trade, and is on the route of the caravans which pass be. tween Cassina and Eastern Barbary. The merchants of Agades are the sole carriers of the salt, which is found on the banks of the lake of Domboo, in the desert of Bilma, though that territory belongs to Bornou.
Fezzan lies between Bornog and Tripoli, and forms, as it were, a great island in the midst of the Sabara. Il consists of an extensive valley, bounded by an irregular circuit of mountains on all sides except the west, where it opens into the desert. The part capable of cultivation is about 300 miles long and 200 broad. The heat of summer is iniense and sometimes scarcely supportable eyen by the natives, while the winter, on the other hand, is accompanied with cold and bleak winds, which are painful even to the natives of a northern climate. The population is estimated by Mr. Horneman at 70,000 or 75,000. The king, who is an hereditary monarch, pays a small annual tribute to the bashaw of Tripoli, but in other respects is entirely independent, and rules bis dominions with absolute sway.
Fezzan derives its chief importance from that farorable situaliop, which renders it a grand depot for the immense interior
commerce carried on between Northern and Central Africa, The intercourse with Tombuctoo indeed has always been carried on chiefly from Morocco, while the caravans io Sennaar and Darfur go directly south from Egypt. But the communication of Egypt and of Barbary with the vast countries situated to the east and south of the Niger, centers almost entirely in Mourzouk, the capital of Fezzan. A caravan sets out annually from Cairo, and passing by Siwah, Augila and Zuila, reaches Mourzouk in about 40 days. The journey from Tripoli is usually performed in 27 days. Of the caravans to the south, the principal is that to Bornou, with which kingdom Fezzan maintains a regular and extensive intercourse. The road is attended with considerable difficulty as the travellers have first to cross the losty and rugged mountains of Tibesty, and then the extensive desert of Bilma, which appears to equal in desolation any part of the Sahara. As they approach Domboo, however, life and fertility again make their appearance; and the rest of the journey is through the cultivated part of Bornou, and along the banks of its great river Wadel-Gazel. At length, after a journey of fifty days, they reach the capital. Another grand caravan goes directly southward into Cassina. It proceeds by Ganat and Assouda to Agades. Some merchants stop at that great commercial city and proceed no farther; but the greater number go on to Cassida. The route from Mourzouk to Cassina occupies about 60 days. A few proceed still farther southwards, and directing their course westward, cross the mountains of Kong to Ashantee. The goods sent from Fezzan to the southward consist of fire arms, powder, sabres, koives, paper, tobacco, India goods, red worsted caps from Tunis, glass and toys of various kinds. The imports are, gold dust from the countries on the Niger, particularly Wangara; copper from Bornou; civet, tiger skins, dyed leather, and slaves in large numbers. The number of slaves brought to Mourzouk in 1819 was 5,000.
The British government have recently appointed a consul to reside at Mourzouk, and another at Bornou, and are determined to make vigorous efforts to penetrate by this route into the interior of Africa.
The parts of the Sahara both on the east and the west of Fezzan are inhabited by wandering tribes. The principal races are the Tuarik and the Tiboo. The 7boo occupy the tracts to the east and south-east of Fezzan. They bear a strong resemblance to the negroes, but are not so black. The Tuarik possess all the northern part of the Sahara, extending from Fezzan and the country of the Tiloo on the east, to Morocco on the west. The inhabitants of the kingdom of Asben are of this race. Besides Fezzan ibere are several considerable oases or fertile spots interspersed in different parts of the Sahara ; the principal of which is Tuat or Twat, extending from 1° to 6° E. lon, in about lat. 23° N.
Socotra, situated about 120 miles east of cape Guardafui, is 80 miles long and 20 broad. It has a considerable population of Arab origin, and is subject to the Imam of Mascat in Arabia. The chief commodity for which the island is resorted to is aloes, which are of a superior quality 10 those produced in any other part of the world.
The COMORRO ISLANDS, four in number, lie about mid-way between the northern part of Madagascar, and the continent of Africa. The inhabitants are harmless and gentle, but they have been dreadfully harassed by a band of desperate pirates who occupy the northwestern part of Madagascar. Joanna, the largest of the group, is frequented by Europeans, particulary the English, for water and provisions.
MADAGASCAR, the largest of the African islands, is separated from the eastern coast of the continent by the channel of Mozambique. It extends from 12° 10 25° S. lat. The length is about 900 miles, and the area is computed at 230,000 square miles. A chain of very lofty mountains runs through the whole length of the island from N. to S. The climate is genial and the soil is fertile, producing rice, which is the principal food of the inbabitants, the sugar-cane, the cocoa-put, the bapana, and all the common productions of tropical climates, besides several which are peculiar to the island. The population is estimated at 4,000,000, and on the coast is composed of various races, Malays, Arabs and Jews; but the interior is inhabited by a negro race. They are considerably advanced in civilization, practising agriculture and several of the useful arts, and carrying on commerce by barter. The island is divided into numerous petty statęs, and the form of government is usually aristocratical. The French formerly attempted to establish settlements in different parts of the island, but were repeatedly driven out in a disastrous manner owing to the hostility of the natives. Their most permanent establishment was at fort Dauphin on the S. E. side of the island.
Bourbon is an island belonging to France, situated about 400 miles to the east of Madagascar,and containing 2,500 square miles. It is composed of two mountains, one of which is a volcano, and is contiqually throwing out flame, smoke and ashes. Coffee nas long been the principal cultivated production. The island yields also corn, rice, maize, tobacco, the sugar-cane, aloes, ebony and a variety of trees that afford odoriferous gums and resins. There are no good harbors, and violent burricanes frequently damage the shipping, and destroy houses and crops. The population in 1811 was 80,346, of which number 16,400 were whites, and the rest free negroes and slaves.