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The Slave Trade on the Congo River.

The following is an extract from a letter sent by Mr W. J. Davy, who is at Stanley Pool, Congo River, to his uncle, Major Parris, of Taranaki : From Boma, on the lower part of the River Congo, to Stanley Falls, a distance of about a thousand miles, the trade in slaves is carried on amongst the Natives and Arabs. From Boma to the Falls the Natives trade in slaves, ivory, ground nuts, oil, copal, and rubber. One can buy a fullgrown man on the Upper Congo for three or four pieces of cloth, or an equivalent in money, say from 5a to 10s. A woman fetches a little less. On the tributaries of the Upper Congo the slave trade is very brisk, and one often sees a canoe going along full of slaves; and often this occurs a few hours after their capture. Sometimes a whole village will go and raid another one, and of the capture they will select from fifty to one hundred and sell them as slaves; the remainder are sold a3 occasion permits. Many die of starvation; some are killed and offered as a sacrifice to save some chief from sickness or trouble of some kind, and others are made use of to settle a dispute. Amongst the many ways of sacrifice, one method is to break the legs and arms of the slave, and then to bury him up to his neck in the earth, and there to let him remain until he is dead. There he remains in the burning sun, and no one is allowed to give him food or water on pain of being placed in the same position. The method adopted for settling a dispute between villages is to break the legs and arms of the slave, and then to hang the victim up by the feet to a tree or branch of a tree, and there to let him remain until death puts an end to his sufferings. For these sacrifices they generally take a slave who is small—the fat and healthy ones they kill and use for food. I have been sitting amongst a lot of these savages when a woman was being killed and cut up for food, whilst I was none the wiser until some parts of the body were brought to me for sale. I have seen a man's arm cut off at the elbow and tied to a stick in order to settle a dispute. Sometimes they cut the ears, nose, or fingers off. The Arabs do more raiding around and about the basin of the Stanley Falls than the Natives do on the whole Congo River. The Arabs capture hundreds, and take all their ivory. You can buy at Stanley Falls, right under the nose of the authorities in the Free States, hundreds of slaves. Stanley Falls is governed by an Arab belonging to the Zanzibar tribe, called Tippoo Tip, and has a contract with the Free States to suppress the slave trade, but he does not carry out his work. He has a few Arab chiefs with him, and these men take a large force and go out on raids lasting from six to eight months. They bring back with them slaves in large number and great quantities of ivory. Tippoo Tip has just given the Free States six months' notice that if they do not supply him with guns and ammunition that he will | leave. I should have, however, stated that the Free States have stopped guns and powdejr going to Stanley Fills, and most of

it; was for Tippoo Tip. The Arabs say thej have no time to talk of trade when they are thinking of war. So much for the Free States of Congo and the slave trade, which is increasing every day under a mismanaged and useless Government. W. J. Davy. Kinchassa, Stanley Pool, Upper Congo River, Africa.

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Bibliographic details

The Slave Trade on the Congo River., Issue 8006, 7 September 1889, Supplement

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The Slave Trade on the Congo River. Issue 8006, 7 September 1889, Supplement

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