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[estimated date, 1904]

Jan 1 1904

In the region bounded by the East Sahara; the great River Niger and the Atlantic,1 dwell many distinct tribes. Here in Senegambia, which lies between the Senegal and Gambia, are the tall Wolofs and Mandingoes, the finest types of the Negro race who seem to have been a very poetic people of whom Mongo Park the great early traveller tells so many tales. Among them roam the Foulahs, meek & peaceable. Along the Niger dwell the [?] & the Yorubas, powerful warlike tribes. The Yoruban capital Eyer being described as 15 miles round and width of 7 miles. Its monarch boasted that his wives linked hand in hand would stretch across his kingdom. But most renowned of all the West African people are the Ashantis, not only in war & commerce but also in agriculture & arts. With them the British ever [?] wage war. In 1873 they surrendered to Sir Garnet Wolseley. The Capital Kumasi has become a word for cruelty.

There is also Dahomey with its army of 8000 Amazons 600 of which were counted as wives of the King. Fearful tales are told of these cannibals. In a palace guarded by Amazons, the walls of the King's bed chamber were ornamented with human jawbones & the path approaching was paved with skulls. Fortunately the French put an end to the Kingdom in 1893.

Nearby the bloodthirsty Benims, treacherous & cruel beyond description, all dealt with the most frightful practices, offering human sacrifices until the British put a stop to it. All along the coast the British Government & the missionaries have waged incessant war against these fearful people.

Lagos, the Liverpool of Africa. Bishop Tugwell once asked a Lagos chief "What makes the hearts of your people so hard, and there houses so shabby." Pulling aside some bushes, the chief asked him to look beneath, there lay thousands of empty gin bottles.

1 For examples of Mary Baker McQuesten's Presbyterian Missionary Society and Public Addresses, see W7172, W7181, W7193, W7203, W8422, W8432, W8447, W0127a, several others are illegible.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.