How Nigeria was created by Lord Sir Frederick Lugard & Royal Niger Company

Share it:

Selected Correspondence: The Royal Niger Company

GEORGE TAUBMAN GOLDIE AND FREDERICK  LUGARD


[Inserted from Lugard Papers]


The Royal Niger Company, Chartered &Limited, London, W.C. 2 July 1894.
Dear Capt Lugard,
Before we come to a final arrangement, it is necessary that I should put formally before you matters relating to your position and duties, which 1have already referred to in conversation.
The Company, ever since its foundation, has been engaged in a work-that of opening up tropical Africa-which a great number of persons still be­lieve to be impracticable. The Company believes it practicable on one con­dition; namely that, in view of  the difficulties resulting from  the climate, the difficulty of access to inner Africa, the barbarism of the populations and other abnormal causes, abnormal energy, persistence, patience and, above all, discipline should be displayed by all the officials of The Company from the Governor and Council down to the junior Customs clerk.

Engaged in J campaign against natural and other forces which would overwhelm us if we made mistakes, it is essential that every person working for The Company should observe the same discipline that is expected from an officer on active service. The two greatest dangers at home are the apathy of public opinion, as a general rule, about western Africa, and the excitability of public opinion, for short periods, when led astray on some popular hobby, by one sided or exag­gerated reports.

This latter danger can only be averted by the discipline to which I have above referred. Every official of The  Company, whether  a member of the Council or a judge or an Executive officer or a soldier is very properly bound not to publish, nor  to communicate  to anyone likely to publish, anything connected with The Company as a Government  or as a commercial society, or  the Company's Territories  or  regions visited when  in The  Company's service, without the previous assent of the Governing Body of The Company.

You will understand that in the difficult and complicated game which The
Company is playing, every move of which has  to be calculated with  the greatest care, it would be intolerable that any individual should be allowed to
be the judge of what he might (directly or indirectly) publish or communicate to other persons than the Council of The Company.

But whether you agree or not with the necessity of the above policy, 1must on behalf of the Governor and Council, make it quite clear to you, in this formal and official letter, that The  Company cannot  make an exception in anyone's favour, and I shall be obliged by your returning me this letter with its appended assent on your part. I will then send you a duplicate to keep.
There will be no difficulty about your publishing books or delivering ad­dresses after your return, provided that all proofs are subject to the revision of the Council.
I am, &c, &c,
(Sgd) George Taubman Goldie, Deputy Governor.
                                               
                                               [Printed letter enclosed]
London    r8
Dear Sir,
In accordance with an arrangement adopted with other officers of The Company, J shall feel obliged by your signing the letter annexed to this and returning the whole to me. You will probably understand why this is desir­able, but I think it only proper to state in writing why these conditions are necessary•. With the Governments of European States it is an understood thing that their officials o re bound to keep inviolate, as a matter of honour, all matters  that  come officials to  their  knowledge. The principle should of course apply equally to the Government of the Niger Territories, authorized by Royal Charter, but it is quite conceivable that some person in The Com­pany's service might, in the event of a dispute, commit indiscretions and salve his conscience with the plea that it was not a Government he was serving, but only a Trading Company. Moreover, some of the clauses of your agreement relate to matters about which a Government does not, as a rule, trouble itself: In Europe, as a rule, a judge is nothing but a judge; an administrator has only administrative work to perform; a soldier, only soldier's work; a doctor, medi­cal work; and a trader is only a trader.

But in Central Africa, where every European  is, more or less, thrown in contact with all manner of people, it might happen that the judge or the officer might have some important dis­covery communicated to him; or might be, out of policy, compelled to receive valuable presents from some native prince; or, if exploring either the Territo­ries or the extra-territorial regions, he might be able, and if able, might find it desirable to conclude important agreements with native chiefs or individuals.
The Company is most willing to reward liberally all such discoveries or all such advantages gained for it so soon as they produce actual pecuniary remits, but it holds jealously to its sole and entire proprietary right in such matters.

With reference to the engagement  not to divulge matters to any outside person, official or private, it must not be imagined that The Company has any desire to hide its actions under a bushel, but it claims and insists on its right to state its own case. What, indeed, would otherwise be the effect of a number of Judges, Constabulary Officers, Executive Officers, Trading Agents, &c., all contradicting each other, or splitting up into factions in newspaper squabbles, or in communications to other Governments? With reference to pamphlets, books, &c., I have no reason to doubt that whatever you might write would pass the necessary revision in this office with but little alteration; but it is only fair to say that there are a great  number of matters on which it would be decidedly inadvisable that anything should as yet be published.

Like other officials of The Company, you are bound to comply with these
Restrictions under 'liquidated damages' to the extent of £1,000, without preju­dice to the right of The Company to restrain a continuance of the breach of the agreement. While retaining their legal right to pursue you for damages, or to obtain an injunction against you, the Council rely more on your honour­ able pledge to fulfil to the best of your powers the conditions referred to, in spirit as well as in letter, even in the extremely unlikely event of a dispute or lawsuit occurring between you and The Company.
Yours faithfully,


London, 2nd July 1894.

Dear Sir G. Goldie,
I have carefully read the above letter and  pledge myself to observe the conditions  required of me, not only during  my term of service with The Company, but for five years after its conclusion.


Yours faithfully,
                                                                                    (Sgd) F. D. Lugard. Capt
MEMORANDUM of AGREEMENT between Capt. Lugard and the Royal Niger Company, dated the Twenty fourth day of July 1894.

Capt.Lugard will leave Liverpool for the Niger Territories on the 28th July to carry out the institutions contained in Sir George Goldie's letter of even date. The Company will pay Capt.  Lugard's passage to and from the Territories and will give him pay at the rate of One Thousand Pounds per annum from the day of his leaving Liverpool to the day of his return to England. The total period of his services with The Company  including  his passages to and fro will not be less than eight months nor more than Sixteen months  unless by mutual agreement.

The Company finds all the necessary material for Cap. Lugard's Expedition and allows him a sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds for his personal outfit. The Company has already advanced Capt. Lugard One Hun­dred Pounds in respect of such pay and outfit and will give him the balance on his return home subject to such further reasonable advances as The Company may make to Capt.  Lugard or his assigns at his written request; and in the event of Capt. Lugard's prior decease his pay would be calculated up to the day of his decease. Capt.  Lugard undertakes to keep careful accounts of the expenditure of his Expedition for the information  of the Council. 

He understands  that  the  barter goods supplied  to him for payments  to native Kings and Chiefs and for the other expenses of the Expedition are considered by The Company to be largely in excess of what he will require and have been  furnished by The Company on the principle that it would be better that Capt. Lugard  should  bring  back n large balance of unused goods  than  that  the slightest risk should  be run of the Expedition  being unable to do valuable work from any deficiency whatsoever. Capt. Lugard undertakes to hand over any unused balance of such goods as well as of such remaining material of the Expedition  as belongs to The  Company to some responsible official of The Company and to see that a proper inventory is taken by such official, that it is signed and forwarded to the Council in London.

SIGNED on behalf of the Royal Niger Company, Chartered & Limited by
(Sgd.) George Taubman Goldie Deputy Governor. (Sgd.) F. D. Lugard Captain, 9th Foot.
WITNESS to the signature of Sir George Taubman Goldie
J. Carden, 185 Barry Road, E.Dulwich, S.E. Clerk
WITNESS to the signature of the said Capt. Lugard
Joshua Berkeley,Junior Army & Navy Club, Sr.James's Street.


ITINERARY TO JEBBA
Royal Niger Company.
24 July 1894.
Dear Capt Lugard,

The following will serve you as concise general institutions- more for your own satisfaction than for any need of written instructions after our numerous and lengthy conversations Berths have been secured for yourself and Mr.Mottram in the steamer leav¬ing Liverpool for Akassa on the 28th inst. I have received a promise of a separate cabin for yourself and probably-but this is not certain-for Mr. Mottram. Doubtless Mr. Flint, our Agent General and Chief of the Execu¬tive Power in the Territories, will meet you at Akassa, as he has full instruc¬tions about your expedition, which he will assist to the utmost of his power.

But should it prove that, owing to his being up country when our letters arrived, he has not been able to reach Akassa in time to meet you, you are furnished, herewith, with a letter for the local authority at Akassa to pass your expedition up to Lokoja as rapidly as possible. Mr. Watts, our Senior Execu¬tive Officer in the Nupe Districts (which include Jebba and Bajibo) cannot sail with you as I had hoped, owing to urgent private affairs; but he will follow the next week in a steamer which will land him in the Forcados River, whence he will make his way up to reach you at Lokoja or higher up and assist in collecting and starring your expedition.

You cannot do better than trust to the experience of Mr. Flint and Mr. Watts to get together all the men, horses, donkeys etc that you require. Mr. Flint has instructions to detach from our staff an able young man, Mr. Reynolds, to accompany you. You will find him docile and active, while his constitution is thoroughly acclimatized-an im¬mense advantage in Western Africa.

I believe him to be thoroughly sober, but there are few men in West Africa whom I should trust too tar with the care of liquors: the depressing climate predisposing the best men to take stimulants unduly. I say nothing of your journey from Akassa to Jebba or Bajibo, lea, ng this for you to arrange with the local authorities: but if you decide to make your start from Bajibo instead of Jebba, please to insist that no launch is used in  that  dangerous stretch of river for tl1e transport of either  your men or stores.
The officials might feel bound to press this civility on you, instead of transporting by land; but the Council could not recover the insurance on a vessel lost in these dangerous rapids.

ITINERARY  WESTWARD

ln the event of your not receiving a cablegram 'Lugard Kuka', you will, at the very earliest possible date, complete  your caravan and leave Jebba (or op¬posite) Bajibo for Kiama. Your westward journey will follow, generally, the pencil lines traced in the maps handed to you; but it is very desirable
(a) to visit Nikk1 either on the homeward or outward journey and obtain a treaty unless you discover that Nikki is no longer the capital of an extensive region, or on the other hand you obtain the assurance that our Boussa treaty is really given by the Nikki King;
(b) to touch that point on the 9th parallel of north latitude which is the eastern and northern limit of the present French Da¬ homey sphere and to advance from that point about W.N.W.so as to pass between Tschautscho land and Sugu.
(c) to skirt but on no account to make treaties in the 'neutral zone' marked in the maps handed to you;
(d) to reach, if convenient, the 4th meridian  west of Greenwich, but not to go west of it unless you find you are likely to have time to spare, in which case the further west you penetrate the more successful your journey will be from a diploma¬ tic point of view;
(e) to visit Mossi, if you find from the Hausa (and other) caravans that you meet, that this country is, as I expect, a congeries of inde¬pendent tribes, with whom you can therefore make treaties without regard to any treaty that Monteil may have made with Wogodogho;
(f) to return by any route that you like, bearing in mind Nikki and also what will have been done by the expedition just returning under Mr. Wallace, of whose work you will obtain full information when you arrive in the Territories-that is, it would be of no use your making tor Say and working your way down river, if Mr. Wallace has been able to carry out his instructions to do this; but if he has failed to do so, then such work would be most valuable, as we want treaties south and •west of Sav, even with people who are really tributary to Gandu.

In your itinerary westwards it may be necessary for you to zig-zag a good deal, so as to run networks of treaties across and between the few treaties obtained by Monteil, Crozat and (in a portion of your region) Binger, tor France.


OBJECTS OF YOUR JOURNEY WEST

The last sentence conveys the objects of your journey. France has obtained a few treaties with powerful chiefs on  the strength  of which she claims im­mense regions in the great bend of the Niger, known in France as 'le boucle du Niger'. Yet although her own rights in these vast regions are so slight and unfounded, she sends her adventurers into a recognized British Sphere to make treaties with persons who are undoubtedly subjects or tributaries of kings having treaties with England, and she defends this policy in the only possible manner by asserting the independence of these Subjects or tributary princes.

I do not think that in your journey westward you will need to follow her example; as it is probable that great numbers of tribes and States are really quite independent of the chiefs with whom the French explorers have made treaties. I do not for a moment anticipate that you will be able to found a continuous British Protectorate from the Niger to Long. 4° W. It will be sufficient to secure great numbers of small regions, which can be reached by strips (however narrow and however circuitous) either from Gandu or Borgu or Illorin or the Gold Coast Colony-including the Neutral Zone, over which free transit exists.

Your objects will therefore be as follows:-
(a) In places where the French pretend that they have made treaties, to obtain a written declaration from the rulers that such statements are false, and then to make treaties for us.
(b) In places where no such pretense has been made, to secure treaties accompanied by a short declaration that no previous treaties have been made with any European. Wherever  you cannot  obtain  a written  declaration in Hausa, or some other language which your interpreter  can read, you had better have the verbal declaration written in English and after carefully ex­ plaining each point to the Chief: ask him to set his X to it and have that mark duly attested by your companions.
(c) To collect the fullest information as to the extent (mileage in every
direction) of the jurisdiction of all the above places, so as to enable the fullest claims to be made for British rights and proper limits to be set to the preten­sions of France.
(d)To collect general information of every kind about the regions you visit, which you will remember is one of the most important objects of your expedi­tion, but especially to make inquiries as to the existence of gold, either alluvial or in reefs, and to bring home for investigation any specimens of rock or sand which the natives assure you contain gold. The gradual lightening of your loads as you proceed will enable you to do this on a considerable scale.
(e) To check Mr. Mottram's astronomical observations by your own cal­culation of your marches, and to insist on his taking as many independent observations as possible in each place so that mistakes can be rejected
(f) To urge on all chiefs and men of influence the importance to them of Europeans bringing goods to their country, which can only be done if they sign the treaties.
(g) To obtain from natives and especially from caravan men (Hausas and others) the greatest possible number of lists of itineraries, with the number of days march, from every town of importance to every other. These lists cannot be obtained from too many independent persons, so as to enable us to reject those which differ too widely from the average.
(h) To note specially prevalence of Gum trees, Shea Butter trees and rubber vines.
(i) To remember, above all, that diplomacy and not conquest is the object of your expedition westwards.

The French Press for the last six years have inces­santly boasted that French officers and travellers, with (or even without) a single French companion and with very few native carriers and armed men, are able to cross new regions peacefully, and acquire valuable treaty rights where Englishmen can only make their way by force, leaving behind them a hatred and fear of Europeans. I do not for a moment admit the truth of this; but it is possible that, in regions where Europe has absolutely no military power, the gaiety, cajolery and sympathetic manner of the French have more effect in obtaining treaties than the sterner and colder manners of our coun­trymen.

I suggest this only to emphasize the fact that in your expedition west, the exercise of force cannot further your objects, but must on the contrary prevent them being attained. On the other hand, it is vital that by constant vigilance, entrenching yourself and other precautions, you should secure yourself against treachery and violence. The above remarks are made not because you, with your experience, need them, but only to discharge our Council of a heavy responsibility.


PO SSIBLE ALTERNATIVE  ITINERARY  EASTWARD

As you have been informed verbally, it is just possible that you may, before leav­ing Jebba or Bajibo, receive a cablegram 'Lugard Kuka', meaning char instead of proceeding westward, you will retrace your steps to Lokoja and make your way to Bornu and Lake Chad. There are several routes by which you can do this. You might ascend the Benue to Lokoja, thence to Zaria, Kano and Kub. Or you might go to Ibi and thence to Yakoba (in Bautshi) and Kuka.

This would be the most interesting route. Or you might ascend the Bcnue to Yola and thence to Kuka. To meet this last possibility, I enclose the itinerary of Mr. Charles Mclntosh's journey to and from Kuka.But one point must be noted. He started from Ribago, which was then a station of The Company but has since been ceded to Germany. You have a map showing the Anglo-German frontier, which starts from a point Five Kilometres (3 1/8 miles) below the confluence of the Faro with the Benue and runs to a point on the southern shore of Lake Chad. It is very desirable that you should slightly modify the route of the previous expedition so as not to cross into the German sphere.


OBJECTS OF KUKA JOURNEY

The conquest of Bornu by Rabeh and the subsequent defeat and death of the latter has no doubt created great changes, of which we are still unaware, in the political conditions of the country hitherto known as Bornu. Your work would be to ascertain in whose hands power now rests; to conciliate and if possible obtain treaties with the person or persons holding such power; to obtain every information which may enable you to report fully to our Council on the present state of affairs and the probable course of events in the imme­diate future; to perform the same work of mapping and obtaining astronomi­cal observations which you would have carried out on the itinerary westward; and, generally, to exercise your discretion in doing your best in the interests of The Company and Great Britain.

If a special crisis were to occur, which should render your remaining in Bornu desirable, you would be at liberty to do so, and utilize any native allies you could gain for the purpose of extending the effective jurisdiction of The Company over those regions; but it must be distinctly and positively under­ stood that The Company is not prepared, without full knowledge and consid­eration of the facts, to incur large expenditure for this purpose. The Council cannot delegate to anyone, no matter how competent and experienced, the authority to involve The Company, on his own responsibility, in undertakings or liabilities which would seriously involve the prosperity of The Company.

YOUR PERSONAL POSITION

As our Council's representative deputed to arrange matters with you, it is my duty to put formally on record, what is already fully understood between us, that you go our altogether as a Special Agent of The Company and in no way of Her Majesty's Government, to whom our Council and our Council alone are responsible, as the Governing Body of the Royal Niger Company.
Believe me, Yours sincerely,
(Sgd.) George Taubman Goldie
Deputy Governor.

SOURCE: In The Diaries of Lord Lugard: Nigeria, 1894:and 1898, vol. 4, cd. Margery Perham and Mary Bull (Evanston, I11.: Northwestern University Press. 1959-196J), 52-61. George Taubman Goldie was born in 1846 and died in 1925; Frederick Lugard was born in 1858 and died in 1945.


Exerpts from
The Diaries of Lord Lugard• Nigeria
FREDERICK LUGARD


In Frederik Lugard's  early journal entries,  the soldier and  colonial civil servant assessed what he considered  his disappointing  career; his period of African service, however, provided a dramatic  professional  turning point Lugard (1858-1945) raised and commanded the West African Frontier Force (1897) and was appointed commissioner of northern  Nigeria in 1900. Lugard and his wife, Flora Shaw, were obliged to leave Africa, due to her adverse reaction to the African climate.

Lugard was appointed governor of Hong Kong (1907-1912), where he founded the University of Hong Kong. When the opportunity to return to Africa came about, Lugard accepted it; he served as governor-general of Nigeria from 1912 to 1919. On his return to England, Lord Lugard was appointed a member of the Permanent Mandates Commis­sion of the League of Nations (I923), the International Slavery Committee (1924), and the International Labour Organization Committee on Forced Labour (1927). He was made a Peer of the Realm in 1928. Frederick Lugard also served as the chairman of the International Institute of Languages and Cultures from 1926 to 1945.)


6th [November 1894]
At last the Caravan book is complete. The Long Roll contains every man's name-soldiers, Hausa-porters, Yorubas, and Nupes, Headmen, Interpret­ers, Horse and donkey attendants, servants &c; all advances are entered, each man and also date of engagement. Every man is shewn who left Jebba with us. This agrees with the 'Present State' which is completed and done to October 31st, shewing all changes. The Itinerary of each day is written up to date. All orders signed by me on Jebba Store are shewn in their place. Private accounts of Europeans also. The barter goods are balanced to October 31st.

The treaty presents are tabulated and issues noted-this will be balanced quarter6•• Once well started it will not be difficult to keep it written up accurately, and it will save a lot of useless book-keeping work. It forms my own personal record and check on every detail of the expedition. Entries are made by myself and the book kept by myself, and no expenditure of a single cowrie is authorised unless passed through it.  At the final paying off of the expedition I can account for every single thing.

I sent Joseph and Omoro to the King early this morning with my salaams
And to make an appointment for me to come and see him formally at mid-day today. They returned to say that whenever traders and people had come here they had always sent a present to the King and unless my messengers brought a present in their hands they could not be received.

The Liman sent a private message to say he was going to see the King, and would do his best to explain &c. I replied that we had not come to trade, but to make friends. We had Come at the wish of the King himself and guided by his own Envoy, we were guests. If we had brought goods for trade it would be a different matter, we should then desire to remain here a long time, and make profits.

We merely wished to make friends and pass on, and as I had already told him, if he did not want us we would have gone elsewhere. As guests it is always the custom-which has happened to us everywhere-that the King sends us some food for the night-nothing had come. Of course the King would receive a present, before we went, if everything went well. Omoro again saw the Liman first as he was going off to see the King, and told him what I said, and asked him from me, to come and have a talk with me. He said he would come secretly by night.

17th
Nothing to do but wait until His Gracious Majesty shall be pleased to summon us to an audience. We sent salaams to him early by Joseph. Worked very hard all day at various camp jobs, made the magazine for sporting amtn, collecting box, canvas hold-all for tools, &c.
In  the afternoon a summons came from  the King about  4 P.M. Went  up with Watts, who is still very shaky with fever, and we were kept waiting in the sun  for  nearly  half  an  hour.  I got terribly out of patience.

It is a radical mistake, this abasement of the European before very petty African chieflets. I would not be treated so at any Government Department in England. I brought the scarlet coat emblazoned with gold lace and stars and foolery, but I wrapped 1t up in a towel and only put it on at the door. I detest this mummery, it is more irksome to me to dress myself up like a Punch and Judy show than to visit a dentist. The King of all the Bussas turned out to be a specially dirty and mean-looking savage, seated on a filthy and greasy carpet and Musnud, surrounded by a group of ordinary savages.

The door-ways were blocked with gazing crowds of naked girls and semi-nude women-sheep, goats and fowls wandered about. And this man is subsidised by the Royal Niger Company to the tune of £50 a year. And on his whim the representative of the Company has to stand in the sun and wait, with fever on him! &c. At Rome we must do as the Romans do, but my heart sinks at the thought that I must submit to such customs and indignities for another year! On entering no-one made way for  us, and  I  asked  somewhat brusquely  if he  could  not  provide  a chair. Thereupon he sent for one, and I sat opposite him. He made no courteous overture-and on a former occasion had refused Watts' hand when he offered it! I said I had been sent from England to make friends with Kings here, and had come to him first, on my return I should report of his friendliness &c.

This was only an official and formal visit, would he name a time when I could see him privately and say what I had to say. He said he would let me know-I thanked him for his hospitality, (he has not sent us a single yam I believe!) and with many polite phrases I withdrew. I had intended going shooting and was promised a guide, but he turned up to say it was too late, the place was far &c. and I must wait till early tomorrow. With an ill grace I had to do so.

19th
We were to have left today, but there is now no chance of it. I would greatly have liked  to go  out  shooting this  morning but  refrained  lest  the  King's message might come in my absence. Instead of this a message was returned by Joseph {whom I had sent to ask if the letter &c. was ready) to say that before writing it he wished to see us again, that today he had some ceremonies to perform in the vicinity of my camp near the river, about 2 P.M., and later in the evening would see us. Bye and bye another message came to ask me to take my tent away as his horses must be tethered on the spot. So I had to pack up, strike my tent, and move to Watts' house!-Quousque tandem! Later again a message came to ask for spirits as he was making holiday, tho' he well knows they are prohibited. I replied we had not a drop public or private.

I asked Watts if all this is the customary procedure. He says it is, and that when he goes to Bida he prepares to wait 10 days! I asked if Macdonald was treated like this for he came as a Government Official and put on full uniform, with Ferryman as a Lieutenant, and hundreds of porters carrying every con­ceivable luxury, and with large presents. Watts replied that Bida refused to see him in a hurry thereupon M. said he would go, and would not give him his present. Bida replied he could keep the present for he did not want it! Mac­donald sent the present and left! The King of Yola was even worse, and refused to see Macdonald at all!

I don't see my way dearly in this business I have undertaken. I am al-together the wrong man. The 'intrepid French explorers' who have succeeded in penetrating these countries with a handful of men and no goods or rifles, and have brought back packets of treaties, are roundly accused here of never having translated the real contents of these treaties. Facts seem to point to this conclusion. To secure a treaty with Sokoto, Thomson spent £500. Mac­donald's futile trip to Bida when he never was received by the king at all cost £80. Bida gets presents of £500 at a time, and a subsidy of about £3000.

Even a petty chief like Bussa gets a small subsidy-how then could Frenchmen secure important treaties for nothing at all? Again they say here, that once a Frenchman has got his soi disant treaty he clears out, and if the French want to come into the country with which they have made a treaty they invariably have to fight, which shews that the treaty was Nil. Mizon's methods of which we have some accurate knowledge are a case in point. Now I am not that class of man, so success on those Lines is denied me. The alternative is apparently a man who will eat any amount of dirt. Bida threatened to cut off Wallace's head and he is deputy to Flint and Agent General when he [Flint] is at home. Nothing was done; MacTaggart was tied to a tree and shot at-and another agent was flogged! A man used to trading, arguing, haggling, and not to ruling or asserting himself might succeed but I could hardly have been chosen on those grounds!

Meanwhile yesterday and today the people I have sent to purchase food cannot get a single yam. The men in camp pick up some, but there are few if any women hawking goods, as at Yashikera, Kaiama &c. where the air re­ sounded from morning till night, with the monotonous cry of the women, crying their goods for sale. There is a report in camp that the King has given orders that no provisions are to be sold to us. I trust it may not prove true-for 415 rations are daily wanted. Borgu is a trying country to travel in! The Liman was all the afternoon  with  the  King, and came as he  had promised to me after night-fall. He is an old man, somewhat garrulous but shrewd.

I found out from him that the real obstacle is that the King-or rather the people-are possessed by this prophecy that if the King sees a European he will die within 3 months. He said that nothing would induce them to allow me to see the King. Moreover, as he justly remarked, supposing that the King, who is old and blind, did happen in the course of nature to die within 3 months, what would happen to the prince of Yashikera who had so strongly urged our coming, and to himself?  Mentally I went a step further and thought what a hole we should be in if the silly old pagan died now! The whole population  of Borgu would rise to rend us-ergo let us reduce the chance as far as may be by getting away as soon as possible.

I thanked the old man, and said I was glad to know the real reason, and not to have evasive answers and false reasons. I had before once been placed in  this identical position (at Ankole), but the King agreed to send his son who made blood brotherhood  with  me, and 4 old Councillors  to whose words he pledged himself. The Liman said that he would be the King's proxy, and would bring a confidential slave from the King who would witness everything he said or did.

I pressed the matter of 4leading chiefs, but it seems that they are as afraid to see a White man as the King is. I don't believe this, for the King's son came to see me yesterday, and later the old Liman said incidentally that so soon as the matter was settled I should be flooded with visitors. He wishes, of course, to keep the whole game in his hands, and aggrandise himself, and secure a regal present in conscquence. It will be a difficult matter to handle for if I offend him my chance is gone.

I then said that as he professed to be a man of such influence-he said that it was he who put the King of Kaiama on his throne, and the King was wholly guided by him-how was it that he came to see me secretly by night? This hit the root of the matter, for I well knew that the absence of any present of a single yam or of water meant that things were not yet right. The King had insisted on my messengers bringing a present. I had refused, and said that as his guest it was right he should first send me food and water at once on my arrival. We had not come to trade, nor was I a trader, but an officer, and his guest by invitation. It was on this subject mainly that the Liman had gone to the King.

He now said he had wholly succeeded, that the King had had the drums beaten round the town, for everyone to bring yams, and tomorrow or next day they would be here, with the water. It is the custom to send (as at Kaiama) a great number of women carrying gourds of water- not only I take it is this a civility to save our drawing it, but it means, I suppose, that we are welcome to the water (viz. to the country) an entirely African idea. Thus in East Africa it is for permission to draw water that Hongo is demanded.

Till the King had sent these presents the Liman said he could not come openly­ all the people were most eager to see us, and to see our camp, but dare nor come till this had taken place, not knowing the King's attitude towards us. If true I have scored a point, and made the King climb down. It appears, however, that the reason chiefs have not visited me is not because they fear the prophecy which refers to the King only, but because the King has not yet sent yarns and water.

After this interview I gave the old man a piece of brocade, and a quire or so of the crested Mohammedan paper. He was greatly pleased-it seems now as though everything depends on him at the moment.  I told him with great force the urgent necessity of haste. Traders come and settle down for a month to sell their goods, we have no such object but are bound for a distant country, and each day's halt costs us a bale of cloth to feed our men.

Nothing can be done till the King's present comes, and he assures me it will be here tomorrow. I then told Joseph to take him off and have .t quiet talk, and broach the subject of the treaty, and tell him its main provisions from memory. This he says he did, and that the Liman said there would be no difficulty now that the matter was in his hands, I hope it may prove so.
Miscellaneous work today-completed the Caravan book, wrote up diary, wrote a few letters &c.

7th
A fowl and salutations from the Liman. Then another 'King's son' to visit me. Then a man to complain that my men had stolen food and yams from his fields. I made the Crier cry round camp that any man caught stealing from the natives or forcing women-for there was also a complaint that the men pre-tended to buy, and then got the food from the natives and refused to pay, and also tried  to get  the women into the  bush-should get 70 lashes (my old punishment  in East Africa).

That in this matter there was one law for every man in the caravan from top to bottom-Headmen, soldiers and porters alike. I begged the natives to catch a man in the act and bring him to me, or to run and tell me when it occurred so that I might catch the man. I gave the plaintiff a piece of cloth, warning them at the same time that it was useless in future to come to me for compensation unless they caught the thief.

1 was wondering only last evening that I have had no case of this sort, for food is expensive and hard to get, and these long halts always result naturally in the men tampering with women. I n East Africa my halts were always employed In building stockades and the men were very hard worked.
At the same time I sent out a corporal and 2 men in the direction of the nearest fields-they caught a man stealing in the act. He got a handsome flogging straight away, before the whole caravan. The Crier then went round again saying that was what every man would get who was caught stealing from the natives.

I also gave orders that the Sergeants on duty should send out a patrol continually every day to catch such thieves. I said I was very pleased that they had caught this man, and if they caught more I should recognise that they were doing the work for which they were here-viz. helping me to enforce the law of the Expedition.  If not then 1 should order them daily parades, and fatigue duties while in camp.

There has been a great improvement the last few days in the C.S.T.-I only hope it may continue. It came about thus. On arrival at Wenn I called Bela­ribe, and told him that I had not done with the matter of his reply regarding their rations the day we left Yashikera. That after bothering me to buy their rations because they thought I should not be able to buy the amount with the cloth issued, he had had the insolence to come and say that now it was bought (and was the full ration) they could not carry it. If I gave them their ration a day in advance they said they could not carry it, if I waited till arrival in camp, and till I could then buy, they complained of delay.

If l gave them cloth, they complained they could not get the rations; if I gave them yams, they said I favoured the porters, who could with their cloth buy varieties of food. Of all this I was heartily sick. He himself told me that the men troubled him greatly, and would listen to no orders.

Though pleased with him as an individual, he was worthless as a Sergeant. I pointed out how that very day my orders had not been enforced. Porters allowed to pass in front of the advance guard, the loads laid out late &c. I would promote Abdr Rahman as senior sergeant, and see if things went better. Belaribe was in a great state of agitation. Said he had been 9 years in the C.S.T. and never a fault before &c. He also said-and it appears to be the case-that Abdr Rahman told him to go with that message to me.

As Abdr Rahman did not deny this, I said I could not promote him over Belaribe for a fault in which he was equally a participator so things should remain as they were, but unless orders were better obeyed the matter would only be deferred. Since then I have not seen Belaribe's face. He has utterly collapsed, and Abdr Rahman has represented him, on the plea I believe that Belaribe has toothache, and things have been much better.

I wrote letters most of today, as I shall send back mails by the Kaiama guides and envoys. Mottram hard at observations trying to find the cause of the collapse of his longitudes. The latitudes are apparently right. Sosoon as he has got some clearly worked out, I am going through them with him.
In the evening the late King's son came to see me, with a very unprepos­sessing crew.

Also a small present from the Magija (chief woman adviser) a personage who seems to be a great swell in all Borgu towns. Each of these 'princes' &c. brings a fowl and from 6 to 15 yams, and I have to give a piece of cheap cloth,  and even that  is so little  that  I am on  renter-hooks lest the recipient should enact the role of the Beteh man.

The present, however, is not worth half a piece at purchasing price, and this runs away with our cloth, about which I am getting very anxious indeed. The Nupes ration is due today, and there was a rumpus. Food is hard to buy here, and after careful inquiry I found that the utmost I could make a piece go for, was tor 5 days (instead of 6 as at Yashikera) between 8 men.

This the Nupes refused, and so did the Yorubas-so I had the cloth done up again. Tomorrow the Hausas' are due. I sent for Derrie and asked him if the Hausas intended to try the same game. He said that the Hausas knew that I had to calculate how far my cloth would go, and provide against starvation in the future. Whatever I gave would be accepted without a word and made to last. I told him to go and tell the men that a piece would be given for 5 days.

8th
Issued to the Hausas who were quite contented, and chaff and laughter prevailed, not a trace of sulkiness. Then the Yorubas were called, and told that the cloth was for 5 days-they had lost yesterday's ration by refusing. They replied that they wanted a regular fixed ration to last for so many days-a head of cowries per week per man for instance.

What was the buying price was nor my business. I told them that it was my business to provide against starvation, to give the men the food necessary and no more. They could take the cloth or leave it as they preferred. They got up and went away in a body. I told the Headman to let it be known that any single individual could have his cloth if he came for it-there is apparently no response.

What these 167 men intend to do I have not an idea. I wish that sufficient goods had been sent that I might not have to cut corners so fine. M\'last issue was a piece of Baft at 3/3 (14yards of the cheapest possible cloth) for a man for 48 days (Viz. 8 men for 6 days). This issue is at the rate of a piece for 40 days­ And it really is barely sufficient. Yet even thus we consume a bale a day and more. As it is 167 men out of 281 are in a state of mutiny.

I sent Joseph at daybreak today to the Liman, to ask about the 'King's water' viz. his present of welcome, which was to have come yesterday and didn't. Here are 3 or 4 days gone and nothing done, and I am very worried about it. He returned to say that the King had been very vexed that his order of yesterday had not been carried out, and that assuredly the present would come today. If the people did not bring it quickly he would send to their fields and seize it.

He had heard of the man complaining to me about theft from his fields, and how I had given him a bit of doth, and how the Crier had cried round my camp, and how I had caught a man and flogged him, and he was astonished and said that it was indeed true that Europeans were quite different in their methods from other people, and i t was wrong of him to [keep] such people waiting. Joseph also added that these princes and people who have been to see us with presents are the very people who opposed our coming! This is all very satisfactory talk-Inshallah the event will prove equally so.

Later. The 'King's water' has at last arrived-viz. a wretched-looking sheep and 35 very medium yams-a very different present from Kaiama's! He sent me a very large cow, 4 goats, corn, yams (daily) &c. and lastly a horse. However, I replied that I was very pleased indeed, and now the King had sent the 'water' I knew I was welcome to the country. It was the custom of every country that, after the guest had received his welcome, he went to pay a formal visit, and to render his thanks &c. But I had heard that the King feared to see me personally therefore his messengers must return my thanks for me, and ask him to appoint someone to whom I might speak of the matters which had brought me here-either the Liman alone, or better still the Liman and some other chiefs.

At the same time I sent to tell the Liman, and to say that as his interview with me was secret 1 had not divulged its purport, but had given this reply­ and now he had better get the King to appoint him as his representative. I also asked him to come and see me openly as the King's present had now come.1t appears there was much discussion around the King; some wanted the Liman alone to deal with me, others desired several chiefs should come. As the argument was protracted the Liman could not come to see me.

The Nupes and Yorubas have caved in and taken their rations, but 1 am vexed to hear that the Hausas too-those from Lokoja- are clamouring for advances from their pay, or a higher ration. I am more bothered about them than about these cackling Nupes. If l say the cloth is only to last 4 days instead of 5 it means a whole bale expenditure. Then these return presents to 'Princes' and 'Princesses', leading councillors, Magajis &c. &c. run away with so much. In this country it is the custom (a custom the Niger Company have created and fostered on the Niger I am told) that if a man brings a present he expects double its value-if he be a 'Prince' he probably expects 6 times the value.

I have cut this down to the narrowest possible limits, but when a big chief (as here) sends a fowl and a dozen yams one can't give him less than a 'piece' of the commonest doth-viz. the value of 40 men's rations! So again in the matter of the C.S.T. They are entitled to 6 oz. of meat a Day = 17 1/2 lbs. of meat-a goat or sheep of the country is barely the ration of clear meat, and that would cost 5 or 6 heads. That is to say that I should have to give each man of the C.S.T. the value of 3 rations a day!-1have declined this in toto.

I give them the sheep and goats and oxen which we receive as presents, keeping only the very small ones (sucking kids &c.) and the fowls for ourselves. Thus the whole expedition is on the very minimum of ration which is adequate and just, the presents are cut down to the very least 1can possibly give.

We practically spend nothing on the cookhouse, except to buy occasionally a little country grain for our bread or a bunch of bananas; I am positive in my mind that no such economy has been practised before. I use every possible expedient to reduce the number of loads, and have employed women and temporary carriers from village to village &c.at the cost of a very great deal of extra work and anxiety, and have sent back all the spare men-yet our expenditure to date is 34 loads of cloth and this in spite of the enormous reduction in the ration scale which I made since leaving Kaiama-a reduction which I have already had to alter back partly, and which will vanish and more than vanish as we go south and come upon Lagos goods, or West towards Salaga. Besides cloth must be issued in small quantities for clothing.

It is a bale a day roughly (for the expedition was rationed for 7 days at starting) and we had 145 bales to start with, including the expensive cloths which will not realise their value in food purchase. AU this I have written about and asked for a caravan of cloth to be sent to meet me at Kwampanissa. If it does not come the expedition cannot last more than 5 months or so, I fear.1fit does come we can go on for the 10 months arranged. This matter worries me considerably.

The crux of the whole difficulty about food &c. seems to me to arise from the following circumstances. The men composing this expedition are mostly men engaged at Lokoja. These are not regular porters-(eithe Hausas, Yoru­bas or Nupes) they are all discontented and mutinous because

(1) I will not make them a fixed allowance for food regardless of how cheap or expensive it may be where we are. If l acceded it would of course mean that so long as food was cheap the men would get double or treble rations, and if there was a dearth of food they would come crying to me for more. Such a system is impossible, and the regular travelling porters engaged at Jebba know that, and say not a word and give no trouble.

(2) Because I will not give them a portion of their pay here on the march in cloth. If l did that of course the expedition would collapse for want of goods to buy food. The reason that these men were engaged appears to be that there was a general strike among the regular men, consequent on some extreme bitterness at Mr. Wallace's settlement after the Sokoto expedition. I found this to be the case when I sent Omoro and Derrie to Langwa to enlist some.

They said, I am told, that they would never serve the Company again. I thought of sending back every spare man I could from here, under charge of the returning envoys from Kaiama. I might have got rid of some 24 porters, and 6 donkey and horse-men, say 30 in all-but I do not think shall attempt it now.

It would probably lead to trouble, and as the men are at the moment discontented, many would be clamouring to go back, or if they are contented those selected to go and their friends would be a trouble as they considered they are engaged for the whole expedition. I should have to give these men at least 10 or 12 days ration to reach Jebba, and probably by that time we should be in Kwampanissa. However I shall see how things go.

The Liman came today, and went off to see the King and finally arrange about who was to represent him, regarding the business I wanted to speak of. He promised to be back again by 1or2 P.M. He duly turned up with two more ch1efs who with himself were deputed to represent the King. We went though the treaty very carefully, as before I explained and paraphrased every sentence, and those who understood Hausa re-translated it into Borgu for those who did not.

The Liman of course speaks Hausa. He led the way the moment Joseph had translated each sentence in saying 'Keoh' (good, excellent) with the air of a man calling for '3 cheers'. The other principal chief only spoke Borgu, and a man of his own, I think, translated it for him, when he too was quite pleased with everything. So we finished by sunset.

I have written a great number of English letters today. I showed them the King of Ilorin's letter, also Kaiama's-one of the men read them. They took IIorin's letter as a sample to write me another like it to carry me on my way.

[Treaty inserted from Foreign Office Records]

(A copy of the Nikki treaty was sent to the Fore1gn Office by the Niger Company and is in F.O. 2/167, p.194. The printed treaty form is used, with insertions copied by hand; here these insertions are given in italics.)

(Form No. 12.) (For Moslems.) Treaty made on the 10th day of November
1894, between The King of Nikki (which is the capital of Borgu), on the one hand, and THE ROYAL NIGER COMPANY, Chartered and Limited, tor them¬selves and their assigns, forever, hereinafter called 'The Company', on the other hand.

1.    1.      I, Lafia (also called Absalamu, son of Wurukura), King of Nikki and of all Borgu country, with the view of bettering the condition of my country and people, hereby give to The Company and their assigns, for ever, full criminal and civil jurisdiction of every kind over aJI Foreigners to my country, includ¬ing the rights of protection and taxation, and I pledge myself and my suc¬cessors not to exercise any jurisdiction whatsoever over such Foreigners with¬out the sanction of The Company.

2. I bind myself not to  have any intercourse, as representing my tribe or State, on tribal or State affairs with any Foreigner or Foreign Government other  than The  Company;  but  this provision shall not  be interpreted  as authorizing any monopoly of trade, direct or indirect, by The  Company or others,  nor any restriction of  private or commercial intercourse with  any person or persons; subject, however, to such administrative measures as may be taken by The Company, as a Government, in the interests of order and of commerce.

3- I recognize that the Company, as a Government, represents Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and T  accept the protection of the British Flag, but I understand  that such protection against  the attacks  of neighbouring tribes can only be afforded as far as practicable.

4. I give to The Company and their assigns, forever, the sole right to mine or dispose of mining rights in any portion of my territory.

5. In consideration of the foregoing, The Company bind themselves to interfere with any of the native laws or customs of the country, consistently with the maintenance of order and good government and the progress of civilization.

6. As a pledge of their good £1ith, The Company have this day paid the said Lafia, King of Nikki and Borgu, a donation, receipt of which is hereby ac¬knowledged.
This Treaty having been interpreted to us (the representation deputed to act for him by the above-mentioned Lafia, King of Nikki and of Borgu), we hereby approve and accept it for the King and for his successors forever.
(Signature of Native Ruler.)
Arabic signatures of The Leman, The Sirkin Powa, The Naimin
(Attestation.) Witness to all signatures: (Signed) T.A. Rynolds, Guy N Mottram.

I, Captain F. D. Lugard, for and on behalf of The  Company, do hereby approve and accept the above Treaty, and hereby affix my hand.
(Signed) F.D. Lugard, Captain Commanding Borgu Expedition.

I certify and solemnly declare that I was sent to the King Lafia by Captain Lugard to carry to him a present from The Company, and that at that interview, in accordance with my instructions, I asked the King myself. in the presence of various Chiefs and people, whether he bad himself deputed the Leman and Sirkirr Powa and Naimin to act for him in the matter of this Treaty, and that he thrice declared to me that he had done so. (Signed) T.F joseph Witnesses:(Signed) T. A. Reynolds. Guy N. Mottram.

Declaration by Interpreter
1, T. F joseph, native of Sierra Leone, do hereby solemnly declare that I am well acquainted with the Hausa language and that on the 10th day of November, 1894, I  truly and  faithfully explained  the  above Treaty  to the  representatives deputed by the said Lafia, and  that they understand  its meanings.

Signature or mark of interpreter (Signed} T.F. joseph Witnesses to the above Interpreter's mark or signature: (Signed} T.A. Reynolds, Guy N. Mottram. Done in triplicate at Nikki, Borgu, this 10th day of November,1894.

The King being blind, and also having a superstitious dread of personally meeting any European, has deputed the Leman and the Sirkin Powa to be his representa­tivs and proxy, and to sign the treaty on his behalf In the presence of these and other important men the treaty has been translated word by word, and fully explained in Hausa-many understanding that language-and retranslated again, sentence by sentence, into Borgu dialect.
(Signed) F D. Lugard, Captain, Commanding Borgu Expedition. 10th Signed the treaty early this morning.

Made out the present or donation which the Company gives. I gave about £6 to the King, £5 to the Liman and 15/- each to the two chiefs. Reynolds all day opening bales and getting it out. It goes early tomorrow. Tomorrow the letter is to be ready and also the guide. The 3 ides from
Kaiama return, and will take my letters to Jebba for me.

They are excellent fellows, and very great friends of ours. It is largely due to them that we have got on here- they are interpreters and go-betweens and .work all day. I made out presents for them, also for the guide the King of Nikki sent to bring us here. I found out some information about routes, trade, &c. today, and wrote more home letters.

The question of sending back men from here is no longer on the tapis for the Kaiama guides decline to take them. Twice lately we have had a dense fog at sunrise, which has lifted about 7
A.M. and been succeeded by a blazing hot day.


11th
Joseph took the present to the King, and I instructed him to ask the King if he had in reality deputed the 3 men to act for him in the matter of the treaty. He did so three times over, and each time the King said 'Yes'. The King, who is old and blind, was behind a screen. He was very cordial, and sad that never before had Europeans entered Borgu.

Now he thanked God that it was in his life-time they had first come, and even if he died tomorrow that fact and honor would remain. Now we had made a treaty of friendship, and from North to South and East to West, whichever direction we wished to go in at an)' time, the country was open  to us and we were welcome. Guides and envoys would be provided, both to precede us and to go with us, and make us welcome everywhere.

I sincerely and most earnestly hope after the treaties that I have made, which are thorough and not a farce, that the Company w1ll never 'swap' or abandon Borgu to France, but get it included in the British Empire eventually.






Share it:

Archives

Post A Comment:

0 comments: