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rior Lybia. The latter name recalls at above names, except that of Wassapah, once that of Gana, and that of Guin, which was unknown to that author. The that of Ghenneoa, and of Ghinoy, placed terminations, or rather radicals, ind, and, by Edrisi on the Niger, and which may ano, iné, or anah, only differing from be the Jenné of Mungo Park.” Men- each other by the variation of vowel telle XVI. 235-239.
sounds, enter into the composition of all The Niger may be considered as the the foregoing nouns, even that of Gangadiscovery of the Nassomonians, mention- ra, or Wangara. It may be farther res ed by Herodotus, as their relation con- marked, that the same substitution of one tained the first intelligence conveyed to consonant for another, which changes, the people of Europe of the existence of Gangara into Wangara, also changes that stream. It is worthy of remark that Cassena into Wassena. By a singular the account of the adventures of these combination of facts, that could never be mèn, as preserved by the Father of His- the fruit of invention, only one village is tory, informs us that they were made cap- mentioned by Sidi Hamet, between Tom, tives by the blacks, and carried into the buctou and Wassánah, and its name is Bin interior of the continent. This is pré- bina. Binbinah is above Cassenah, or Wascisely what would happen at present un- sanah, and Wangara below. It will proder similar circumstances. From all we bably be found, when the etymologies of have learned of the recent moral state of these names are known, that the prethe people of Africa, society has expe- fixes and suffixes to the radical names, rienced but little change in the last 2500 are expressive of their relative situation, years.
or some other distinctive circumstance. In the New-York Library is a copy Itineraries, especially where regular of a Geography, in French, published journals are not kept, must give uncer in 1607, in which is inserted an elegant tain data respecting course and distance, map of Africa. Upon this map the Ni- but are as much entitled to credit as any ger is drawn in its true relative position, other species of information, as far as the and is represented as receiving from the mere existence of places is concerned. north east the waters of the Wad el Ga. Whether Wassanah is wrongly or corzel, and the Miselad; but the main stream rectly placed upon our maps, may be is conducted west into what are now'call- controverted, but the existence of a city ed the Gambia and Senegal, all of which of some magnitude, and bearing that are united by interlocutory streams. This name, wbich stands upon the left bank of map is evidently founded upon the autho- the Niger, is proved by independent, rity of Edrisi, and what is very remarka- and yet corresponding testimony. ble, there are two countries placed upon There is a simplicity in Sidi Hamet's it called Cassena and Gangara, occupy. relation that speaks strongly in favour of ing nearly the same relative situation its accuracy. It is demonstrable that with the Gana and Wangara of our more this sensible, but uneducated Moor, knew modern maps.
nothing of the powerful aid his narration In the controversy upon the authenti- could receive from the science of ancient city of Riley's report of Sidi Hamet's re- and modern times. Of Ptolemy or lation, or rather upon the veracity and Edrisi, it is probable he knew nothing. oorrectness of the latter, it has not been Combining the various known facts, observed hitherto, that Ganó, Gana, collected by ancient and modern authors, Ghiony, Guiné, Ogané, Casseña, Cassi- by Herodotus, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, nä, Kassina, and Wassanah, as well as Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, Edrisi, Abulfeda, the Ta-Gana of Ptolemy, are all names Leo the African, D'Anville, and the of the same kingdom or city. The obser- crowd of respectable witnesses that have vations I have quoted from Mentelle, al- appeared in the last half century, and who most demonstrate the unity of all the have given their testimony to the world on the subject, the geography of central out of which is discharged a supposed riAfrica now presents the following aspect. ver, which, pursuing a southwest direcA chain of mountains commencing near tion, joins the Niger in the alluvial lands the Atlantic Ocean about N. lat. 10°, and of Wangara. gradually rising as it advances eastward, I trust that the evidence presented in gives rise in 70 west from London, by its this communication ought to remove all lateral ridges, to three large rivers, the doubts respecting the existence of WasGambia, Senegal, and Niger ; the two sanah, and, of course, establish the credit former flowing west into the Atlantic of Sidi Hamet's account of the final issue Ocean, and the latter east towards the of the congregated waters of the Niger, central parts of the continent. The moun. Kuku, and Miselad." Happily, in Ametains are, by us, denominated Kong, and, rica, numerous instances occur of the coas far as correctly known, continue their incidence of natural phenomena between original direction to the eastward. North the rivers of the two continents. The of the Kong mountains, extends an im- doubts of Mr. Pinkerton respecting the mense valley lying parallel to the chain, improbability of rivers passing mountain the repository of whose waters is the Ni- chains, evinced great ignorance of the ger, Joliba, or Zolibib river. In the early geography of America; and where the part of its course, from N. lat. 12o and assumed fact is erroneous, the inducW. long. yo to Tombuctou, in N. tion must be erroneous also. Any person lat. 16° 30', and E. long. 1° 30' from of ordinary informaation upon the topograLondon, the Niger pursues a course con- phy of America, would have known the siderably north of east. Below Tombuc- passage of the Hudson through the Hightou, the Niger assumes an eastern course, lands; the Delaware and Susquehannah but gradually to the south, and after run- piercing the Alleghany in numerous places; ning through an entire length of about of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge ; 30° of longitude, is left undefined in the and of the stupendous gorge of Tecondama, alluvial lands of Wangara. The north where the Magdaline river forces its way side of the valley of the Niger is termi- through the Andes. In addition to the nated by the dreary and elevated Sahara, proof afforded by the American rivers, of or Desert; upon the south, this valley has the frequency of their passage through a slope of about three hundred and eighty mountains, they also present several inmiles, between the main stream of the stances of remarkable resemblance, in Niger and the mountains of Kong. How general course, to that of the Niger. The many, or of what magnitude, are the tri- Ohio, and its confluents from the northbutary streams that flow from either the east ; the Mississippi, and its tributary wamountains or desert, remains undeter. ters from the north west, and the Mismined. The country marked in our maps. souri, from the west, all uniting within a by the name of Wangara appears to be short distance, and discharging their uni. the centre of a very wide basin. East of ted streams to the south, by the main voWangara, and west of the Bahr el Abiadh, lume of the Mississippi , all exhibit a picor main stream of the Nile, extends ano- ture so similar to the Niger, Kuku, Mither slope nearly at right angles to that selad, and the Gozen Zaire, that its strik, of the Niger. Upon the eastern valley ing similarity must excite admiration even is found two rivers, flowing in nearly op- in a mind accustomed to compare the posite directions towards each other; the great objects in nature. The Columbia Kuku, or Wad el Gazel, rises in Bour- is composed of two principal streams, nou, and flows to the south; the Miselad, which flow towards each other in very rising in the same mountains with the nearly opposite directions, and receiving Bahr el Abiadh, flows to the north, or some large additions from the east, north west. These two rivers unite in a the whole mass pierces two, mountain lake, or overflowed country, called Fitre, chains and by a western course, nearly at right angles to its principal compo- source of information. I have already nepts, reaches the Pacific Ocean. observed, the first knowledge given to ci
It is needless, however, to multiply ex• vilized Europe of the existence of the amples to prove the probability of the Ni. Niger, was the relation of the Nassomoger passing the Kong mountains, as the nians, published by Herodotus. It was fact must be admitted, if the truth of Sidi the Joliba, or western Niger, here spoken Hamet's relation respecting Wassanah of; its course assumed truly from west to is established ; and the mass of direct and east. All the other Greek and Roman correlative testimony in its support ren- geographers, to Ptolemy inclusive, gave ders reasonable doubt scarcely possible. to the Niger its real course. The identity of the Kong chain with that Edrisi, în Arabian author, about 1170 of the Dgebil Kumri, has been question of the vulgar era, first contended that the ed; it may be sufficient in this place to Niger flowed to the west ; and he, from observe, that wherever the continent of his respectability, was followed by many Africa has been reached by civilized man, others who adopted the same opinion. between pine and twelve degrees of north The data upon which the system of Edrisi latitude, very high mountains have been
was founded, were, in most part, corencountered. A principal chain is found rect; the error lay in mistaking one river south of Abyssinia, with lateral ridges for another. Edrisi understood by his proceeding from it obliquely; the same Niger, the stream now called Miselad, phenomenon is encountered near the
or some other river, flowing westward sources of the Gambia, Senegal, and Ni- from the Egyptian Nile, towards the real ger. It is then a fair induction that Cape Niger of Herodotus, Ptolemy, and D’AnVerd, and Cape Garda Fui, are the two ville. As far as correct information is extremities of a chain of mountains tra- received, the veracity of Edrisi is estaversing Africa from east to west, or, in an blished, and I am much mistaken if subinverted direction to that of the Andes of sequent discovery does not more strongly South America.
confirm his accuracy. It is now proved, beWhere the waters of the great central yond doubt, by Mr. Browne's tour in the valley unite, north of the Kong, is an in- ' regions west of the Bahr el Abiadh, that undated country, similar to the estuary of in the meridian of 25° E. of London, most large rivers. On the map of that through more than twelve degrees of latipart of Africa, published in Riley's Nar- tude, the water all flows westward. It rative, but projected by your late son, was the latter country, and not that Mr. J. H. Eddy, the respective positions drained by the Joliba, or real Niger, that of the rivers do not materially differ was meant by Edrisi; his want of more from those laid down by D'Anville and extended information explains his misArrowsmith; but the names and situations take. of places, upon the former map, are indi- Abulfeda wrote about 1340, and being cative of extended information gained an Arabian, he adopted the information since the works of D'Anville, particularly, given by the authors of his nation. His were published. In all the maps of Africa residence, being sultan of Hamath in Sythe country of Wangara is marked as ria, necessarily gave him more intimate abounding in lakes and interlocking acquaintance with eastern than western streams, the usual appendages of an annu- Africa. Adopting the system of Edrisi, ally inundated region.
Abulfeda also gives the Niger a course to It is impossihle to glance upon this part the west. of the map of Africa without, at once, per-, It was indeed, not until very lately, ceiying the true cause of the long contro- that the real geography of the basin of versy respecting the course of the Niger. the Niger was understood; and when its Each author described the river from general features were assented to as phywhat he considered the most authentic sical truths, their curious phenomena
produced conflicting hypotheses upon the Cassina, Kassina, and Wassanah, are realdisposal of the accumulated waters that ly expressive of the same object, but dis. inundated its lowest point of depression. torted by varietyin vowel pronunciation.
- Major Rennel assumed the lead amongst And that, finally, if the reality of Hamet's those who discharged the Niger and its relation respecting the city of Wassanah tributaries into an African Caspian, or is admitted, the corollary follows, that who dissipated its mass of water amongst the Niger does actually pass that city the sands of interior Africa. Many, as and flow into the Atlantic Ocean. well as Mr. Pinkerton, considered a river Assuming the identity of the Niger and passing a chain of mountains as an ex, Gozen Zaire, as deterrnined, the followtravagance of human imagination. But ing table will exhibit the lengths respecnature, without being influenced by any tively of ten of the principal rivers of our þuman system, it appears has actually earth. permitted the Niger to find its way to the
Eng. miles. Deg. of a g. circle. Atlantic Ocean, through sandy deserts Zaire
3252 47 and craggy mountains, and will, it is pro- Nile.
2076 30 bable, soon enable the hand of science to Blue River 2283 33 conser upon this great stream the second, Yellow River . 2283 33 if not the first rank, amongst the rivers Jenisea
1868 27 of this globe,
2214 32 Like all other rivers of great length, in Oby.
2076 tropical countries, the quantity of water Rio de la Plate 1799 26 in the Niger, or Zaire, must differ very
2283 33 much in the dry and saudy seasons; and Mississippi. 2076 30 must also present that feature, so remark. The above table is constructed by able in the Nile, of a regular rise and measuring the respective rivers with a fall. Having its entire course within the sweep of five degrees of a great circle. tropics, its banks must be suitable to the This method omits the smaller curves, production of an infinite variety of the but yields an accurate result upon the . most valuable vegetables, and if the sun- comparative lengths. You will perceive beams of civilization should ever pene- that the Zaire is nearly one thousand trate the center of Africa, this noble ri- miles longer than any other river on the ver may contribute its rich resources to globe. There is every reason to believe future nations of enlightened men. that the magnitude of this mighty stream
Without dilating this communication is correspondent to its length of course. to an updue length, I could not insert all I hope you may find the scattered rethat occurs upon the subject; I will con- flections contained in this communication clude by a summary of the evidence, and satisfactory. facts proved.
Dear Sir, From the quotation drawn from Men
Yours with respect and esteem, telle it is demonstrated that the Arab,
WILLIAM DARBY. or Hebrew language, was established, or MR. THOMAS EDDY. mingler with the native dialects of the most rcinote regions upon the Niger, 2200 With the foregoing, the Editor received years past. It is also shown, from the
the following Letter from Mr. Darby. same testimony, that the radix of the name of Wassanah was known to Ptole- New-York, December 15th, 1818. my, who placed it nearly where Wassa. MR. HOLLEY, nah was found by Sidi Ilamet. It has The enclosed Essay on Riley's Narraalso been shown that the probability is tive was written, as you will perceive, strong that the nouns, Ta-Gana, Gana, near nine months past, addressed to Mr. Gang, Ghinny, Guinné, Ozané, Cassena, Thomas Eddy of this city. Since it was written, the account of the Adventures the eye of reason and science. Fromi of Capt. Judah Paddock, written by that this extraordinary history it will be seen gentleman himself, has been published; that in the desert of Africa, the Foulan's, and the two works, that of Riley and or a humane society of Mahometans have of Paddock, are now identified, as they associated themselves together, amid bar, have been published together, are bound barism and superstition, to soften the pains together, and their merits must stand or of the captured slave. To our shame fall together. A few days past a friend and honour, we have slaves and Foulahs į put into my hand a copy of each ; Riley's at the moment that this article is writing, work I had read before, and as the fore- we have wretches prowling over our land going will show, I give to the author my to entrap the infant of the black; but we full credence. Paddock's Narrative was also have our Foulahs we have men entirely new, and it gave me the more whose days are spent in giving comfort to satisfaction, because on every subject the unfortunate, and in shielding the optouched by the two writers, one confirms pressed. the veracity of the other. This will ap- I cannot but recommend, and that with pear from a comparison of leading facts emphasis; this part of Paddock's Narralaid down in the two narrations.
tive to the attention of my countrymen. 1st. The cause of the respective ship I am convinced that it contains some facts wrecks.
* respecting the human character that can 2d. Capture by the natives of the coun
never be too well understood. Facts that try.
may be of the greatest utility in the fu31. Character of those natives, and their ture improvement of our species, and in manners and customs.
future reasoning upon human character. 4th. Final destination of the respect
It would be useless to point out every ive shipwrecked parties.
coincidence between these two authors; In all these respects an accordance ex- most of those who will read this article, ists between the two works, which, to all will also read, or liave already read, both candid minds, will carry more than mere Riley's and Paddock's narrations. In assent to the fidelity of each narrator. point of composition there is a marked Respect for the men will add infinitely to difference ;-Riley's work derives an acthe interest due to their sufferings. ditional charm from the pleasing style of
I will not swell an already long article his narrative; we cannot doubt the auby extracts, but will refer to the pages thenticity of his facts. The unparalleled of each, Riley's and Paddock's narrative, sufferings of himself and his men,' and where the latter fortifies the correctness the signal fortitude with which those suf of the former in the most important points, ferings were withstood; the generous and particularly that of thë indraught or magnanimity of Mr. Willshire and Mr. current, which produced the unfortunate Sprague; their restoration to their homes wreck of both vessels, the Oswego and and their kindred; and the new and wonthe Commerce; and the law of nations derful views of human nature opened to practised upon the African coast, of en- the civilized world by the history of their slaving all strangers who are thrown upon adventures, form together one of those their shores, and appropriating the pro- pictures which will for ages continue to perty contained in wrecked vessels to enchant and interest the feelings of mantheir own use. Riley's Narrative, page kind. 26, Paddock's, page 19; Riley, page 30, A striking simplicity runs through the Paddock, page 45; and I cannot but re- whole of Paddock's account; the incicommend to very serious attention, Pad- dents are touchingly related, without the dock, page 106. The sequel will exhi- aid of ornamental language. The facts bit, perhaps the most extraordinary pic are at once assented to; the mind does ture of human character that ever met not a moment hesitate to give credence