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THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE.

The: labors of the dauntless men who, m the cause of civilization, of science, and of religion, have within the past quarter of a century performed prodigies of pluck and perseverance m penetrating the pathless interior of Central Africa, and among whom the names of Livingstone, Stanley, Baker, Bpeke, Grant, and Bishop Hannington fill the foremost place, are bringing about, nay havo brought about already, the most wonderful and valuable results. A vast field has been discovered for the energy and enterprise of the Western nations, and scope afforded for the' development of largo schemes of colonisation, while ever-broadening avenues for commerce have been opened up, along which will flow increasing volumes of trade between the busy hives of Europe and the teeming millions of this hitherto terra incognita. Nor have the nations of the Old World been m different to the opportunities thus afforded, or^low to turn them to account England, Franco, Germany, Portugal all having hoisted their respective flags over vast territories, and the foundations of what will at no distant day become largo and populous European settlements having already been laid. With all this goes of course the making of roads, the opening up of the magnificent water-wajs, a fleet of steamers, the construction of lines of telegraph and of railway, the cultivation of the land, the multiplication of flocks and herds — m a word, civilisation and progress. But the flood of light which, through the labors of the noble pioneers, some of whose names we have mentioned, has been let m upon the thick darkness that for centuries has enwrapped what has been fitly termed the dark continent, has not only shown us that Central Africa— instead of being the uninhabited and uninhabitable waterless desert which it had been supposed — contains immense tracts of fertile country watered by noble rivers, and splendid lakes, offering almost a new world as a theatre of operations for colonisation and commerce, it has also revealed the existence of a system of slavery and slave-dealing with all its attendant miseries, which calls for the prompt interference of Christian nations. Our readers havo no doubt from time to time perused more'or less graphic accounts of the state of things which prevails, but an article which appeared m a rocent issue of the New York " fciun " paints the picture m colors which are absolutely startling. That journal says : — •' The destruction wrought m Central Africa by Arab slave dealers within- the past five or six years is appalling. In regions where Livingstone, Stanley, and Cameron saw largo populations, no human inhabitants can now bo found. Most of them have j been captured or slaughtered, and remnants of tribes have escaped into other districts. These regions are included betw«en 22deg. and 32dog. east longitude, and between 3deg. and 12deg. south latitude, and embrace an area of nearly 100,000 square miles. Among the moat entertaining writings of Livingstone and Stanley are their descriptions of the beautiful land of the Manyema, west of Lake Tanganyika, and its unique inhabitants, and all these, as Gleerup now reports, have completely disappeared except the gangs of Manyema slaves who work the Arab plantations along the caravan route. The path of Arab devastation extends straight west from Lake Tanganyika, past Nyangwe to the Upper bankuru five hundred jmiles, and for a breadth of seventy-five miles hardly a native has been left to tell of the awful invasion. It was m the western part of this district that Lieut. Wissmann m 1882 visited a Beno Xi town whose single street extended for ten miles, whoso huts were twenty feet high and surrounded by neat courtyards, whose men toiled m the fielda behind the houses, while all the inhabitants bade the stranger welcome, and about 5000 of them visited hie camp that evening. Two years ago Wieemann passed again through that place. 'X here was nothing loft of tho happy homesteads. m tho tall grass that choked the long street were found many charred poles and bleached ekullß. Thjo hordes of Tippu Tib within six months had paid t^reo murderous visits to this large settlement. Many wpmon were carried off, all who offered were killed, and the fields, gardens, and banana groves were laid wasJiO. 6maUpox f introduced by Iho Arabs, and famine completed thp tragedy. The powerful tribe of Bono Xi had ceased to exist, and only a few individuals had escaped south to Zappu Zapp, a chief who was himself a refugee from Arab aggression. Along 300 miles of the Congo, between Nyangwo and Stanley Falls, the Arabs, according jto G}eerup and Lenz, havo depopulated about 15,00j0 square uq[lqb of territory. The numerous tribes whom Stauloy first saw have become slaves or m greatly d/eplp^ed numbers wander through the forests far from tho river. About 10,000 square miles of tho rolling prairies west of Tippu Tib's homo at Kasongo havo been utterly drained of their people. About 20,000 square miles on the western headwaters of the Copgo are no longer a profitable field of slave banting. In the very region whore Livingstone died and where his heart was buried, extending southeast from Lako Banvreolo, and embracing about 15,000 square miles, tho Arabs, we aro told by £jiraud ? have completely ravaged tho country. A»4 from, all j^eje cenjpe o f

devastation the paths of the destro>erßr leading to slave mnrts and shipping I points may be traced by the bones of the victims who fall by the way." Our American contemporary concludes with the remark that •' It cannot be possible that I lie civilised world will much longer permit this colossal criiro of the century to add to its murderous results without taking earnest measures to put a stop to it," and it will now be understood how urgent is the necessity for those vigorous measures for the suppression of this iniquitous trade m human flesh, which are now certain to bo carried out, England, Germany, and France having joined hands m the work, and dispatched a combined squadron for the capture and destruction of vessels engaged m the nefarious business of slavers.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881117.2.29

Bibliographic details

THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1999, 17 November 1888

Word Count
1,015

THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1999, 17 November 1888

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