Keith Hunt - Slave Trade of 1888 - Page Onehundred- fortythree   Restitution of All Things

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The Slave-Trade of 1888

Many nations involved!

                       THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 1888

I told you I had bought the 6 DVD pack of the National Geographic
- all issues from the beginning in 1888 to 208. It will take me
years to read them all, but I've made a start. In the second
edition of 1888 was an article on Africa. The following in its
section concerning the "slave-trade." It should be mandatory
reading in all schools. Here is the issue of "slave-trade" seen
by through the mind of the writer of this 1888 article.
The reader should obtain the excellent DVD movie called "Amazing
Grace" - based on the true life of the Englishman in Parliament
that was responsible in spear-heading the outlawing of slaves
in Britain. You can obtain this movie probably from a Bible Book
store, or possibly on the Internet. In the following article all
** are mine for emphasis - Keith Hunt


     One of the departments of this society is the geography of
life. At the head of all life stands man: it is therefore within
our province to investigate those questions which more intimately
concern and influence his welfare.
     Slavery and the slave-trade have, within the last two
hundred years, affected African life more than all other
influences com-bined; and this trade, with all its sinister
effects, **instead of diminishing, is ever increasing.** It has
had a marked effect not only on the personal and tribal
characters of the inhabitants, but on their social organization,
and on the whole industrial and economic life of the country.    
It has not only utterly destroyed many tribes, but it has made
the condition of the other tribes one of restless anarchy and
insecurity. **It has been the great curse of Africa, and for its
existence the nations of Europe have been, and are, largely
responsibl** **The temper and disposition of the Negro make him a
most useful slave. He can endure continuous hard labor, live on
little, has a cheerful disposition, and rarely rises against his
     There are two kinds of slavery, home and foreign. **The
first has always prevailed in Africa. Prisoners taken in war are
sacrificed, eaten, or made slaves. Slavery is also a punishment
for certain offences, while in some tribes men frequently sell
themselves. These slaves are of the same race and civilization as
their masters. They are usually well treated, regarded as members
of the family, to whom a son or daughter may be given in
marriage, the master often preferring to keep his daughter in the
family to marrying her to a stranger. This slavery is a national
institution of native growth. It is said one half of the
inhabitants are slaves to the other half. The horrors of the
slave-trade are unknown in this kind of slavery.**

     In the other case **the slave is torn from his home, carried
to people, countries, and climates with which he is unfamiliar,
and to scenes and civilization which are uncongenial, where his
master is of a different color and of another and higher
civilization, where the master and slave have nothing in common.
The Spaniards made slaves of the Indians of America, but they
were incapable of work, unfitted for slavery, and rapidly faded
away. In pity for the Indians, the Africans were brought to
supply their places. Their ability to labor was proved, and they
were soon in great demand.**
     It is impossible to ascertain the number of slaves imported
into America. The estimates vary from 4,000,000 to 5,000,000. The
larger number is probably an underestimate; **but these figures
do not represent the number shipped from Africa, for 12 per cent
were lost on the passage, one-third more in the process of
"seasoning" so that, out of 100 shipped from Africa, not more
than 50 lived to be effective laborers.**
     **Livingstone, who studied the question of slavery most
carefully, estimated, that, for every slave exported, not less
than five were slain or perished, and that in some cases only one
in ten lived to reach America. If the lowest estimate is taken,
then not less than 20,000,000 Negroes were taken prisoners or
slain to furnish slaves to America. No wonder that many parts of
Africa were depopulated.**

     **Though the slave-trade with America has been suppressed,
thousands are annually stolen and sold as slaves in Persia,
Arabia, Turkey, and central and northern Africa. Wherever
Mohammedanism is the religion, there slavery exists; and to
supply the demand the slave-trade is carried on more extensively
and more cruelly to-day than at any previous time. The great
harvest-field for slaves is in Central Africa, between 10 south
and 10 north latitude. From this region caravans of slaves are
sent to ports on the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, and thence
shipped to Indo-China, the Persian Gulf, Arabia, Turkey in Asia,
and even to Mesopotamia, wherever Mussulmans are found.** The
English at Suakin are a constant hindrance to this traffic; and
therefore Osman Digna has so often within the past five years
attacked Suakin, desiring to hold it as a port from which to ship
slaves to Arabia. **Other caravans are driven across the desert
to Egypt, Morocco, and the Barbary States. Portuguese slave-
traders are found in Central Africa, and, though contrary to law,
deal in slaves, and own and work them in large numbers. Cameron
says that Alrez, a Portuguese trader, owned 500 slaves, and that
to obtain them, ten villages, having each from 100 to 200 souls,
were destroyed; and of those not taken, some perished in the
flames, others of want, or were killed by wild beasts. Cameron
says, "I do not hesitate to affirm that the worst Arabs are
angels of mercy in comparison to the Portuguese and their agents.
If I had not seen it, I could not believe that there could exist
men so brutal and cruel, and with such gayety of heart."
Livingstone says, I can consign most disagreeable recollections
to oblivion, but the slavery scenes come back unbidden, and make
me start up at night horrified by their vividness."**

     If the chief or pacha of a tribe is called upon for tribute
by his superior, if he wishes to build a new palace, to furnish
his harem, or fill an empty treasury, he sends his soldiers,
armed with guns and ammunition, against a Negro tribe armed with
bows and spears, and captures slaves enough to supply his wants.
The territory from which slaves are captured is continually
extending; for, as soon as the European traveler has opened a new
route into the interior, he is followed by the Arab trader, who
settles down, cultivates the ground, buys ivory (each pair of
tusks worth about $500 at Zanzibar or Cairo); invites others to
come, and when they have become acquainted with the country, and
gathered large quantities of ivory, and porters are wanted to
carry the tusks to the coast, a quarrel is instigated with the
Negroes, war declared, captives taken, men for porters, women for
the harem, the villages are burned, and the caravan of slaves and
ivory takes its route to the coast, where all are sold. **We are
told on good authority that during the past twenty years more
slaves have been sent out than formerly were exported in a
century.** Wissmann tells us what he has seen:

**"In January, 1882, we started from our camp, 200 souls in all,
following the road, sixty feet wide, to a region inhabited by the
Basonge, on the Sankuru and Lomami Rivers. The huts were about
twenty feet square, divided into two compartments, the furniture
consisting of cane and wooden stools; floor, ceiling, and walls
covered with grass mats. Between the huts were gardens, where
tobacco, tomatoes, pine-apples, and bananas were grown. The
fields in the rear down to the river were cultivated with
sweet-potatoes, ground-nuts, sugar-cane, manioc, and millet.
Goats and sheep and fowls in abundance, homestead follows
homestead in never-ending succession. From half-past six in the
morning, we passed without a break through the street of the town
until eleven. When we left it, it then still extended far away to
the south-east. The finest specimens in my collection, such as
open-work battle-axes inlaid with copper, spears, and neat
utensils, I found in this village.
Four years had gone by, when I once more found myself near this
same village. With joy we beheld the broad savannas, where we
expected to recruit our strength and provisions. We encamped near
the town, and in the morning approached its palm groves. The
paths were no longer clean, no laughter was beard, no sign of
welcome greeted us. The silence of death breathes from the
palm-trees, tall grass covers every thing, and a few charred
poles are the only evidence that man once dwelt there. Bleached
skulls by the roadside, and the skeletons of human hands attached
to the poles, tell the story. Many women had been carried off.   
All who resisted were killed, whole tribe bad ceased to exist.
The slave-dealer was Sayol, lientenant of Tippo Tip."**

     Sir Samuel Baker was largely instrumental in the suppression
of the slave-trade, and, **while the rule of the English and
French in Egypt was maintained, slavery was greatly diminished;
but, since the defeat and death of Gen. Gordon, the slave-trade
has rapidly increased, and is now carried on more actively than
at any other time.** The only obstacles to this traffic are the
presence of Emin Pasha at Wadelai, the English and American
missionaries, and English trading-stations on Lakes Victoria
Nyanza and Tanganyika.

     The slave-traders unite in efforts to destroy Emin Pasha,
and to expel the missionaries and all European travelers and
traders, except the Portuguese, and for this purpose excite the
hostility of the Negro against the foreigner. In this they are
aided by the Mahdi. The work of the Mahdi is largely a missionary
enterprise. The dervishes who accompany his army are religious
fanatics, and desire the overthrow of the Christians and Emin
Pacha as earnestly as the slave-trader. Religious fanaticism is
therefore united with the greed of the slave-trader to drive out
the Christians from the lake region.
     Aroused by these reports, and influenced by these views,
Cardinal Lavigerie, for twenty years Bishop of Algiers and now
Primate of Africa, last summer started a new crusade in Belgium
and Germany against slavery and the slave-trade. The cardinal has
organized societies, and is raising a large fund to equip two
armed steamships for Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyassa, the
headquarters of the slave-trade, and offers, if necessary, to
head the band himself. The Pope has engaged in the work, has
contributed liberally to this fund, and sent three hundred
Catholic missionaries to Central Africa. 

     **The slave-trade is carried on with arms and ammunition
furnished by European traders. Without these arms, the
slave-trade could not be successfully carried on, for the Negroes
could defend themselves against slave-traders armed like
themselves. While the demand for slaves continues, the
slave-trade will exist, and will not cease until the factories of
European nations are planted in the interior of Africa.**



You will note there were many other countries involved in the
African "slave-trade."

You will notice the Pope and the Roman Catholic church knew
"slave-trade" was UN-Christian and supported people who wanted
the slave-trade business to be put to an end. 

What a sin and abominable practice went on in many nations
involved in, and the practicing of, the "slave-trade" life.
Today, it is hard to understand the mentality that ruled so many
nations in the cargo of life and commerce, that was the "slave-
trade" industry.

Keith Hunt

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