Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

direct permission of His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar) in showing to the Mahommedan Chiefs of Nyasaland how completely at one with us the Sultan is in his desire to suppress the Slave Trade.

H. H. JOHNSTON, Her Majesty's Commissioner

and Consul-General. Zomba, November 24-December 29, 1891.

(Inclosure 5.)- Translation of an Arabic Letter from the Sultan of

Zanzibar.

To the neighbouring Sheikbs, Makanjira and Kaponda and Sharif

Majid and Salim-bin-Nasir and the other Arabs residing in Tanganyika. May God keep them safe.

AFTER this I inform you, through this letter of mine, that my friend Ali-bin-Surūr is going that side. I have sent him from my side to let you know the news which has reached me from my friend the Consul-General of the Queen for Zanzibar. I let you know that Englishmen are my friends and nearest of all men to me; their friendship for me, for my subjects, is more than I can describe. They are since long long years in Zanzibar, and since time past they have treated me with extreme kindness and good-will. They have always done things in my favour. Many of the respectable and honest men among my friends have lately arrived here, who brought me the most annoying news that amongst my subjects who are there, Mlozi, Kopakopa, and Salema are doing harm to Englishmen, and treating them, in Nyasa, such as they ought not to be treated. I ask you how such things bappened to them from my subjects ? I wish you to learn they are the nearest men to me in friendship and affection. I am astonished to see how you heard these things and did not forbid. You know that Englishmen are both my and their friends. I am sending Ali, who will explain to you and to them that you are to respect and look upon Englishmen as you respect me and look upon me. Whatever of their property has been lost, immediately try to find out and return to them, and always remain with them in peace, and be careful not to create any difficulty with them for the second time. This news has also come to me, that all my subjects in Nyasa and Tanganyika are helpius the Slave Trade and capturing them (slaves) for that purpose. This Trade is abolished and forbidden, so if you continue to do this you will be supposed to be against the Treaty formed between me and the friendly English Government. If you are obedient to me, do help Englishmen in everything, and if you will do against this

u will receive from me something which will harm you. If any them will go out displeased from your territories I will not pleased with you.

I hope you will, acting upon my advice, caretul not to do anything like this in future. If you will listen my advice and attend to ny letter I shall be thankful to you.

May the peace of God rest upon you. ritten by order.

'ABDUL ’AZIZ-BIN MOHAMMAD MADDA. Dated 1st Dh'il Hajja, 1305 (July 1887),

I declare that the foregoing is a true translation into English of be letter of Saïd Khalifa’s, which is attached thereto. ABDUL HALIM 'Asim, Oriental Clerk to Iler Majesty's

Commissioner, British Central Africa.

No. 2.- Commissioner Johnston to the Marquess of Salisbury.

(Received April 6, 1892.) Extract.)

Blantyre, December 26, 27, 1891. I TELEGRAPHED to your Lordship two days ago the sad news of the death of Captain Cecil Maguire, commanding the Indian contingent of the British Central African Police Force. This event, which bas caused a profound sorrow throughout the Sbiré Province, occurred as follows:

Aster returning from the expedition against Kawinga, Captain Maguire was disposing himself to rest a few weeks at Zomba and cure the slight flesh-wound wbich he had sustained in the engagement with Kawinga's men, when news arrived from the lake of a meditated attack on Fort Johnston by Makanjira.

Desiring to reinforce the garrison there and complete the defensive works, also to renew the supplies of ammunition, Captain Maguire insisted on starting at once and settling this business before Christmas. I let him go, urging on him, however, the greatest prudence and the avoidance of any further military operatious till next year, when we expected reinforcements from India and the arrival of a second Indian officer. He promised me he Would be careful of himself.

Everything went well with him up to the unlooked for disaster. Chiefs from all directions came in with their adhesions to our Protectorate and anti-Slave Trade policy. One of these Chiefs, however, was the means, I trust unintentionally, of sending Maguire to his death. This man, Kazembe, the Sultan of Ritu, on the southWest shores of Lake Nyasa, wrote a letter informing us that he had stopped a huge slave-caravan of Saidi Mwazungu's, one of Makanjira's

[graphic]

leading men (a Swahili balf-caste from Kilwa), and would hand it over to Maguire ; but that, in return for this, Maguire must destroy two of Makanjira's dhows which were making ready to descend on Kazembe's coast to punish him for acting in concert with the English. Maguire, tempted by the doble prospect of setting free 200 or 300 slaves, and of striking a final blow at Makanjira by destroying his last two dhows, and thus effectually stopping his slave-raids across the lake, resolved to carry off the matter by a rapid journey in the Domira to Kazembe's town. He tool with him thirty Sepoys, the Parsee surgeon to the Indian contingent (Dr. Boyce), and six Zanzibaris.

Arrived at Kazembe's, he ascertained that the slave-caravan was detained there ; but he postponed the settlement of this business, because Kazembe advised him first to deal with Makanjira’s dhows and offered a guide to show where the dhows were hidden. Maguire took the guide and crossed the lake to Kisungule, on the south-eas coast, about 10 miles north of Makanjira's main town, which we had destroyed at the end of last October. Here the two dhows were visible, but the approach to the shore was most difficult, being a mazy channel between rocks and sand-banks. The wind, too, has sprung up, and with it the waves became alarmingly big; neverthe less, unwilling to leave the dhows and return unsuccessful Kazembe, he decided to attempt their seizure, though the officers of the steamer and the doctor begged him not to run the risk of the boat being swamped.

Accordingly, he attempted to land with his Sepoys and Zanzibari in a barge called the Eland, which the steamer was towing; but owing to the intervening shoals he left this barge in shallow water, stuck on a bank, and waded for some distance up to the dhoway which were drawn up into shallow water. He was hotly attacked by Makanjiri’s men, who seemed to be there in ambush prepared for his coming, and with stores of ammunition all ready. Nevertheless Maguire burnt one dhow to the water's edge, and inflicted sudd damage to the other as to render ber unfit for further use. The seeing that a large force of Makanjiri's men* were streaming down on to the beach, be called off his men and waded out to wher he had left the barge. But meantime this barge had been lifted the sand-bank by the increasing storm aud the heavy surf, and been dashed literally in pieces on the rocks. Maguire then (and 4 this time under a perfect hail of bullets) signalled to the steamer let down the small dingy. This they did, and although it repeatedly swamped, it succeeded in conveying on board all Sepoys, except three who had been killed. Maguire having seen a

The officers on the steamer and the Zanzibaris say " about 2,000 or 3,000

is surviving men safe on board, waded out to the steamer till e got iuto deep water and within 10 yards of the ship. Then, ust as he raised himself by a supreme effort to grasp a rope thrown

him by MacEwan, the chief engineer of the steamer, a bullet truck him in the back of the head, or at the back of the neck, and je sank into the water, dead. Iu striving, however, to find some means of getting out his body, the chief engineer, MacEwan, and ight Sepoys were more or less severely wounded, and compelled to desist in their efforts, the more so as the steamer now demanded all their attention ; for, as if Nature herself were fighting on behalf of the slare-traders, the storm had now increased to such a violent gule that the Domira was torn from her moorings and driven on a vand-bank close to the shore. At this juncture, too, the rope thrown out to Captain Maguire had got entangled round the propeller, and the engines would not work. No sooner was the vessel asbore in shallow water than a furious fusilade was directed on her by the enemy at very short range. With heroic efforts the Indians, directed by Mr. Urquhart, managed to rig up a screen of boxes and loads of cloth round the landward side of the ship, which sheltered them to some extent; and though night-fall brought no truce to their terrible sufferings, they were somewhat sheltered by the darkness, and could better the steamer's position. The next morning the fusilade was renewed with greater fury, and such of the eneny 18 were not armed with Winchester rifles proceeded to use the steel bolts of the shattered barge as charges for their guns.

Mr. Keiller, the captain of the Domira, had been severely wounded in the head on the first day, and Mr. MacEwan (the chief engineer) in the side ; Mr. Urquhart was wounded in the face and mouth the second day.

The steamer lay in this hideous predicament for six days, from the 15th December, the day of Captain Maguire's death, till Sunday the 20th. On the evening of the 16th the enemy proposed a truce and when this was accepted, they immediately fired on the men who were striving to get the steamer off. On the morning of the 18th, however, their proposals for a truce were again renewed, and they sent off two men to treat. For sixty pieces of calico they agreed to send sixty men to work at getting the steamer off, but they insisted on two of the white men going first on shore to draw up sone document to conclude peace.

This proposal was demurred to, but Dr. Boyce, the Parsee surgeon, was confident that no harm was meant, and volunteered to be one of the two messengers; MacEwan, the engineer, being selected as the other.

There was an additional reason which impelled what otherwise seems to us--calmly criticising it at a distance—an act of the greatest imprudence, this trusting themselves unarmed, and with only six unarmed followers, in the hands of these pitiless slavetraders.

[graphic]

But after the day of the storm, the waves had washed up Captain Maguire's body on to the beach (where it lay for five days exposed to the view of the unhappy people on the steamer) together with the bodies of three Sepoys.

Dr. Boyce had for Captain Maguire the strong personal regard and affection with which he inspired all of us who knew him. He yearned to give a becoming burial to his remaine, and the wily wretches, Makanjira's Envoys, when he told them of his desire lured him to his death by a promise that he should carry away Maguire's body. It was his one besetting thought during severaldays. He kept saying to the Swahilis and the Indians, “ We must get the Captain's body."

Dr. Boyce, under the mild and timid manners of a Parsee, hid > brave soul. I had found this out on the previous campaign in which I had taken part, and on my return to Zomba I bad asked him to accept a special honorarium from the Administration in acknow. ledgment of the courage he had displayed. I do not think he really counted the cost of recovering Maguire's body. He cared for him too deeply to calculate the risk he was running.

Mac Ewan and Boyce accordingly went on shore with three Swahili men and three steamer boys (natives of Nyasa); they passed out of sight of the steamer, and were led into a house, Here they were kept waiting for about an hour with negotiations. Then messengers were sent to Makanjira to ask for his answer. His answer was: “The wbite men and all their people are to be killed.” Forthwith several men stepped forward and shot MacEwan in three places. Dr. Boyce, the Swahilis, and two steamer boys were all speared to death ; one only survived, a steamer boy named Kutsapa, who, though speared in two places while attempting to save MacEwan by pushing aside the guns aimed at him, managed to escape and hide in some thick reeds, where he lay concealed till a chance was afforded of his wading out to the steamer. He brought the information of the massacre, and further information was obtained from Kifayat Khan, Captain Maguire's orderly, who had gone on shore with them to look for his master's body, and who fortunately managed to return to the steamer, being on the beach when the massacre took place in the house; then the two wounded Europeans and the Indians and Swahilis knew that there was no hope for them but their own exertions. During the nights of the 18th, 19th, and part of the 20th they toiled unceasingly at working the steamer off by digging under her keel and laying out anchors. On the night of the 20th the steamer floated off the bank into deep

1

« PreviousContinue »