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1.- Proposed Mission on Lake Tanganyika. TI
MTTHE friends and constituents of the Society throughout the country
will be as gratified to learn, as the Directors are to report, that the Rev. ROGER PRICE, having fulfilled the important and arduous commission with which he was entrusted in connection with the proposed mission on LAKE TANGANYIKA, has returned to England in health and safety after an absence of nearly six months. Mr. Price reached London on the evening of Wednesday, the 6th of September, and on the following Monday, at the usual Board meeting, the Directors had the pleasure of welcoming him and of hearing from his own lips a report of his proceedings.
Our readers are aware that the main point to which Mr. Price's enquiries were to be directed was the means of transit between the coast and the interior. It has now been found by actual experiment that it is perfectly feasible to take a bullock wagon from the eastern sea-coast up to the Central Plateau, and that there is neither jungle nor swamp, hill nor tsetse fly to hinder such a course. In planning this expedition, like others who have had to do with the long journey into the interior, the Directors were greatly troubled by the great difficulties connected with the carriage of goods; the large numbers and unmanageableness of the bearers; their high pay; the heavy tribute; the huge quantities of cloth, beads, and wire, which have to be purchased and carried; the stores that have to be taken, and the large amount of goods and stores which have generally been stolen or have had to be thrown away. Their long experience in South Africa and among the Bechuana tribes had not shown such troubles and losses to be a necessary element in dealing with the native races there, and it struck them that if the South African wagon, with its four thousand pounds weight of stores and its long string of oxen, could be transported into
Central Africa, many of those trials and troubles would disappear. Having arrived at Zanzibar, and made many enquiries from Dr. Kirk, Her Majesty's Agent and Consul-General, and others, from all of whom he received the warmest encouragement and help, Mr. Price paid a visit to the chief at Saadani, the little town on the north bank at the mouth of the Wami River. He was assured that there was no fly on their route to Mpwapwa ; that bullocks were sometimes brought down to the coast, and that the road itself was passable. Chief and people all begged him to try it. Returning to Zanzibar, he found a pair of wheels, knocked up a cart, and proceeded to train bullocks.
On the 5th June he crossed with his team of four oxen to Saadani. He also took with him thirty bearers with supplies of cloth and beads; both systems of carriage being necessary, since the bullocks were an experiment. His effort was a complete success. In twenty-six days he reached Mpwapwa on the Plateau, bullocks and all : rested four days, and in sixteen days more was at Saadani, on the coast, again, safe and well.
The following is a brief account of his journey :-After leaving Saadani, he came at once upon high land, a spur of the Usagara Hills which here reaches right down to the coast; he had no swampy plain such as the Bagamoyo route presents. The jungle is rather thick at an early point of the route, but it was cut down with ease. A little later he had to pass through a thicker wood, and the cutting a road open cost rather severe labour. The cart proceeded a long way on, but at last was caught on a hidden stump in the grass and was broken in two. Leaving the eart, Mr. Price took the bullocks on in order to make sure about the tsetse fly. The ascents were not difficult, and the inner valleys were not deep. He found the Nguru mountains nearer the coast than he expected, and having pushed along them for a time, he suddenly turned into a gap of the hills thirty miles long, and went through on comparatively level ground with high hills on each side. The streams in the valleys were little trouble ; on his return, near the end of July, they were quite easy to pass. On going, one stream was deep; two others were crossed by bridges. Near the upper part of the course he found a large population and herds of cattle. There was no tsetse all the way. The people everywhere were hospitable and kind; there were no gangs of slaves. Food was sold at ordinary rates. The entire cost of the journey from Zanzibar to Mpwapwa and back was a little over £200.
DR. KIRK has expressed the warmest interest in his success, and has
written a very hearty letter to Lord DERBY on the subject, extracts from which are given below. He thinks that the employment of wagons and oxen on the road to the interior furnishes hopes of a development of trade, which was utterly out of the question, so long as everything depended on strings of pagazis and slaves. The merchants in Zanzibar were longing for some solution of the difficulty, and they all gave Mr. Price a warm welcome.
EXTRACT OF DESPATCII FROM DR. KIRK, HER MAJESTY'S AGENT AND
Consul-GENERAL AT ZANZIBAR, ADDRESSED TO THE Right Hon. THE
“With reference to what I stated in my report dated June 19, I have now to add that the Rev. Roger Price, agent of the LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY, has returned to Zanzibar, after having accomplished all he was sent to do, that is to examine the road from the coast to the Ugogo country, with a view to wagon travelling as a means of establishing a Mission on the Lakes.
“Mr. Prico's journey has been in every way successful, and he returns prepared to give a most favourable report on the road, the country, and the temper of the people among whom he passed.
“On Mr. Price's arrival, seeing that he was a man of experience in African travel, and had in view a scheme which, if successful, would do more than anything yet attempted to open up the Lake regions to legitimate trade, I obtained an interview, and strongly recommended him to the Sultan of Zanzibar, and it was after careful consideration the line of route was selected.
“Abandoning the Bagamoyo route, the one almost universally followed at present, but known to lead through a district infested by the Tsetse fly, so deadly to cattle, it was determined to land at Saadani, and passing through Uzugua and Nguru, reach Mpwapwa on the borders of Ugogo, where the ordinary caravan route is joined, and beyond which all travellers describe the country as possessing cattle, and not difficult to pass through. The dangers were first from the Tsetse fly, and secondly from the nature of the ground, for in many parts of the coast the grasses and woody jungles are practically impenetrable for wagons, unless the road were first cut at great expense, and again it remained to be seen whether the formidable slopes of the Usagara hills that wall in this part of East Africa could be passed on suitable gradients.
“Mr. Price has now determined that on this line of road there is no fl:
country, and this he has done not by personal observation alone ; for he is too experienced an African traveller to depend upon the eye in so essential a matter ; but he has taken with him cattle from the Island of Zanzibar, and safely returned to the coast, with the same, passing part of the way through country where cattle are now kept by the people.
“ Again, as to the nature of the road, he tells me that on the whole way there is not a place to compare for difficulty with those the colonists daily pass, and that the ordinary road between Graham's Town and Algoa Bay is more difficult than that he travelled in going to Ugogo.
“After leaving Saadani there are a few days' journey over ground covered with long grass heavy in the wet season for cattle, also one or two belts of jungle, which, however, he was able to cut his way through without difficulty, taking a wagon drawn by cattle with him so far.
“On reaching the higher ground, where the grass became shorter, he left the wagon but took on the cattle, for the purpose I have already stated. Reaching the passes in the mountain he found the path leading between the two hill masses of Nguru on the north and Usagara on the south. There he must have attained a considerable elevation, for the thermometer fell at night to 45°, although the days were hot; but he had no means of measuring heights, what he was there engaged on being rather to view the roads, and he tells me that he could pass these ridges with a bullock wagon
without any extraordinary difficulty.
“Many parts of the country he traversed possess a dense population, and the hills are cultivated to the summits. Sugar cane he describes as grown in large quantities and most luxuriant, the difficulty being to understand how so much can be consumed, where sugar is not extracted and the cane simply chewed.
“Although Mr. Price will on his arrival submit a full report on all he has seen, I have thought the above sketch of his proceedings may not be uninteresting to your Lordship, as indicating a practicable means of developing at once the resources of the interior in a way that, so long as every
article sold or bought had to be carried by porters, could never have been done, and I have urged His Highness to take advantage of the opportunity offered for increasing the commerce of the interior, and retaining the trade his people now possess with the Lake regions in his own hands.
“ The Church Mission Society party have in the meantime devoted themselves to examining the Rivers Wami and Kingani, with results I shall be able to give more in detail hereafter.”
HE district of NAGERCOIL takes its name from the village of Nagercoil, the
principal station of South-East Travancore. This is now a large Christian
village of 800 souls, and is about one mile from three populous heathen towns. This station, besides the printing-office, the large girls' boarding-school, and the native church, contains the SEMINARY of the mission, with its boys' school, and classes for theological students and school teachers. The mission was commenced in the year 1809. Present missionaries, Revds. J. DU THIE, S. Jones, and G. O. Newport,
In the obituary record presented by the Nagercoil Mission for the year 1875 the number of deaths as stated is 134. Of these seventeen were church members; one was an evangelist; three were catechists; one had been a catechist, but was for years laid aside from active service through age and infirmity. The report adds: “A number whose lives were exemplary have, we are sure, gone to be with Christ. The remainder for the most part believing on Him, we trust, with hearts unto righteousness, had hope in their death.” In selecting a few individuals for special remark, the Rev. S. JONEs writes
"The first to claim attention is in proclaiming the 'Good News,' and GNANAPIRAGASAM. He was born of urged upor his relations, with all heathen parents at MAYILADI in the earnestness, the importance of giving year 1786. TH
first twenty years of themselves to Christ without delay. his life were passed in total ignorance The first to obey the call was PERUMAL, of the true God and in idolatrous afterwards called GNANAMUTTHU, the practices of the most abominable and elder brother and guardian (both degrading character. The devil was his parents were now dead) of GNANAin all his thoughts-was the only god PIRAGASAM. Others soon followed. he worshipped, the only master he So, without a missionary, by the served. As yet, the Light of Life had influence and teaching of one Christian not visited Travancore. But the dawn native only recently converted, was at hand, and our esteemed friend originated Protestant Christianity in was one of the very first to catch its South Travancore. Shortly after, beams. Indeed, that blessed dawn when the Rev. W. T. Ringeltaube, by appeared first of all among his own the invitation and entreaty of Vatharelatives. It happened on this wise. manikkam, came to Mayiladi (from His cousin, Maga Rayan, afterwards Tranquebar) he found a number of called Vathamanikkam, while on a people quite ready for baptism. pilgrimage to Tanjore, to worship at a Among those was the subject of this celebrated shrine of Siva, chanced to sketch, who was then in his twentyhear the Rev. J. C. Kohloff, of the second year. Baptism, however, did Tranquebar Mission, preach, and was not give pardon and peace. He speaks so wrought upon by the truth that he of himself at this time as having been sought further instruction, embraced greatly distressed by certain texts; the Christian religion with all his such as, 'Except a man be born again, soul, and became a new creature. he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Returning to Mayiladi he lost no time If any man be in Christ he is a new