The New York Times, April 7, 1873, p.5:|
A Visit to a Slave Market
In a letter from Zanzibar, dated the 15th ult., the London Daily Telegraph's correspondent, after referring to a report that the Sultan has not accepted the proposals made to him by the British Government to prohibit the transport of slaves from the coast to the islands, describes a visit he had paid to the slave market at Zanzibar, as follows:
It is in a corner of the poorest quarter of the town, principally inhabited by negroes. At the time of my visit—5½ P. M.—said to be the busiest in the market, there were about seventy-five slaves for sale. The slaves exposed were all Africans, both the new importations and those whom their masters, for their faults or owing to pecuniary pressure, had sent to the market. The two classes could easily be distinguished.
The latter were in good condition, and fairly clad, two or three had even silver ornaments, which, however, I was informed, were to be removed the moment their wearers were sold. They were all females, and, with three or four exceptions, young. A few of these were made to stand in a row for the inspection of intending buyers; the others sat in the verandas of the huts, talking to each other in a subdued voice—a point insisted upon by their masters and brokers, very much against their own inclination—while those in the row stood stood mute, like soldiers after the word "attention."
The new slaves squatted in single file, describing something like a semicircle, a few being deposited in the middle. Unlike the other class, these were of both sexes, young and old, some mere children, and all of them nearly skeletons, with emaciated figures, and attenuated faces, hardly less repulsive than skulls dug up from the grave. Their appearance excited pity and loathing.
Conspicuous among this squatting group were two negroes who were manacled and fastened together by a thick chain. I was told that they were so treated in consequence of their attempts to run away. They were young men, strongly built, but the savage was plainly written in their faces, and if I had been told that they were cannibals, it would have been hard to disbelieve it.
I pretended to be looking out for a cook and a boy. Three girls were pointed out to me from among those sent to market by their masters; and thus I entered upon the business as a bona fide purchasers. While I was questioning the man in charge of them as to the knowledge of each in cooking, I observed the way in which other intending purchasers examined the rest of the batch. They looked into their mouths, felt their hands and shoulders and limbs, as you would a horse.
The girls—for all these were young negresses—wore a resigned look, and seemed to submit to the degradation as a criminal does to a degrading punishment. They appeared to have been born in Zanzibar, and, having lived in Arab families, had certainly not lost, judging from their demeanor, the natural modesty of their sex. Two of them were regularly put up by auction, and every bidder had a right to examine them. While all this was going on, the poor girls had their heads cast down or turned aside from the crowd before them.
Not having found a cook who knew the dishes I mentioned, I turned to the newly-imported batch of negroes. There were few purchasers for these, and the whole lot presented such a repulsive appearance that it was impossible for me to remain long among them. Males and females—adults and children—all seemed to be perfectly indifferent as to their lot—so entirely unconcerned at what was going on around them—their physiognomies, as a rule, so unlike that of the Arian and Semitic races that, had it not been for the slaves who were sent up from the town for sale, and who, compared with these savages, were civilized beings, I should remember the slave market of Zanzibar only by association with the cattle market of England.
The Federal Reserve Bank's estimated consumer price index shows that $1 in 1873 was equivalent to $17.93 in 2008.
The New York Times, August 25, 1873, p.2:|
ZANZIBAR AS IT IS
The present condition of Zanzibar is thus described by the correspondent of the London Times, writing under the date of July 5:
To those who know Zanzibar in its former palmy days its present state must be quite astonishing. With the slave market closed, and no slave dhows discharging their wretched cargoes at the Custom-house, it seems as if the slave trade had been stopped for years instead of weeks.
There are six men-of-war in harbor—the Glasgow, the Briton, the Daphne, the Wolverine, the Nimble, and the Magpie, and the Vulture and the Shearwater are expected daily. All six vessels have their boats out, blockading the coast with a vigilance and devotion to duty suicidal to their own hopes of prize money and promotion, but admirably efficient in impressing on the Arabs a sense of the almost certain destruction to which they expose their dhows should they attempt to run them in the face of the new-signed treaty.
It is true that many of the men-of-war's boats have taken prizes; but in no case hardly have they been found to be filled with slaves, their condemnation generally depending on the technical point as to whether a single slave or so found on board has been shipped as merchandise to be sold, or is a domestic slave as recognized by law and custom.
These constant captures may be useful at present as demonstrating to the Arabs the hopelessness of attempting to escape our energies, though they naturally increase in a very heavy degree the work of the British Consul; but it is nevertheless fortunate that Dr. Kirk is a man of tact, discretion, and sound discrimination in his judgement, as it is very advisable that we should not imbue the Arabs with an idea that we intend immediately to proceed to the last extremities of search and capture under the new power confided to us by the treaty, and this they might justly imagine did we condemn and destroy on every colorable pretext.
It need not be said that the present stagnation of the slave trade can hardly be expected to continue unless this vigilance on our part is unceasingly kept up. There are thousands of slaves on the coast of Kilwa and Lamoo, who have been brought down for shipment, and who are now sold with difficulty at the small sum of $1 per head; and it can well be believed that the prospect of enormous gains which such a price holds forth will have induced many traders to purchase now in the hope of time and opportunity affording them some chance of being able later on to run a cargo with safety; but it is, nevertheless, distinctly a subject for the most sincere congratulation, and a proof of the success of Sir Bartle Frere's mission, that within three months of the departure of the special envoy from Zanzibar, the measures and policy which he then initiated have had the effect of bringing the slave trade to a temporary (it may be) but still to a complete standstill.
The snake is of course scotched and not killed; but we have our own weapons to light with now, and it will be our fault if it again shows signs of any real vitality before it is completely destroyed. There can be no doubt that numbers of the slaves now on the coast will be transported by land to any spot where the dealer may fancy that he is likely to find a market or port of embarkation. We can safely trust our cruisers to watch the coastline, but it is most necessary that we should now use all our influence with Egypt and Turkey to induce those powers to stop the scandal of any part of their dominions being made the highway through which this accursed trade can still safely find its way to a profitable market.
The New York Times, April 7, 1897, p.7:|
END OF SLAVERY IN ZANZIBAR.
The Government Will Allow Compensation for Those Legally Held.
ZANZIBAR, April 6.—The Sultan of Zanzibar has issued a decree abolishing slavery. It provides that existing rights over concubines shall remain as before, unless her freedom is claimed by a concubine on account of cruelty. But in general terms the concubines will be regarded as wives.
The Government will allow compensation for all slaves legally held. If Zanzibar is unable to meet the full expense, it is believed that the Imperial Government will assist.
The Sultan explained the decree to leading Arabs before issuing it, on the theory that the compensation and harem clauses would reconcile them to the measure. No resistance is expected, as the Arabs have been cowed by the recent bombardment. It is feared, however, that the revenues will suffer.
The New York Times, July 3, 1881, p.10:|
TO TANGANYIKA'S SHOREYOUNG JOSEPH THOMSON'S AFRICAN EXPEDITION.*.
NARRATIVE OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY'S
EAST CENTRAL AFRICAN EXPEDITION
AS TOLD BY KEITH JOHNSTON'S SUCCESSOR—
THE OUTLET OF TANGANYIKA LAKE.
It may be remembered that when the news came by way of Zanzibar that the leader of the Royal Geographical Society's expedition through East Central Africa had died of fever and dysentery before reaching the Central African Plateau, the general impression was that nothing would be accomplished even if the expedition proceeded... young John Thomson buried his dead leader and pressed on to the goal. That goal was chiefly the determination of certain problems regarding Lake Tanganyika which Livingstone, Cameron, and Stanley had not been able to solve.
See also: Uganda News - Kenya News|
Congo News - Mozambique News
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