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Throne of Thunder, The

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"The Throne of Thunder," Mary Kingsley, 1896



The Throne of Thunder

From the National Review


by Miss Mary Kingsely


        Mungo Mah Lobeh, The Throne, or place, of Thunder, as the Natives call it, The Peak of Cameroons as the Whites call it, is the highest point on the western side of the African Continent.  

        The first view the voyager gets of it, who, coming from the north, has been coasting for weeks, along low shores, and up the stagnant rivers fringed with mangrove swamp is a thing no man can forget. Suddenly, right up out of the sea, the great mountain rises to its 13,760 feet, while close at hand, to the westward, towers the lovely island mass of Fernando Po to its 10,190 feet; and great as is its first charm, every time you see it, it becomes greater, although it is never the same. Five times I have been in the beautiful bay at its foot, and never seen it twice alike; sometimes it is wreathed with indigo-black tornado clouds, sometimes crested with snow, sometimes standing out hard and clear as though made of metal, and sometimes softly gorgeous, with green, gold, purple, and pink vapors tinted by the sunset. There are only two distinct mountains, or peaks, to this glorious thing that geologists brutally call “an intrusive mass” – Big Cameroon and Little Cameroon. The latter, Mungo Mah Etindeh, has not yet been scaled, though it is only 5,820 feet; one reason for this doubtless is that people desirous of going up mountains, a rather rare form of human being in fever-stricken, overworked West Africa, naturally try for the big peak; also the little peak is mostly sheer cliff, and covered with almost impenetrable bush. Behind the Cameroons mountain, inland, there are two chains of mountains, or one chain deflected, bearing the names of Rumbi and Omon mountains. These are little known at present, and are clearly no relation of Mungo’s; they are almost at right angles to it, and are, I believe, infinitely older in structure, and continuous with the many-named range we know in Congo Française as the Sierra del Crystal. In a south-west direction from Cameroons mountain, out in the Atlantic, are a series of volcanic islands, presumably belonging to the same volcanic line of activity – Principe, 3000 feet; San Thomé, 4913 feet; and further away still, Ascencion, Saint Helena, and the Tristan d’Acunha groups. The Cameroons mountains cover, it is said, a base of twenty miles in diameter, and some seven hundred or eight hundred miles in extent, but the N.E. and N.N.E. this country is unexplored by white men.

        Cameroons mountain was first ascended by Merrick in 1847, but he failed to reach the summit, and the first successful attempt was that of Burton, Mann, and Calvo in 1862. Herr Mann claimed to have ascended it a few days before he was joined by the others, but this Burton seems to doubt.

        Since then twenty-seven white men have reached the peak, and the account I give is an account of the twenty-eighth ascent, the second successful attempt from the S.E. face. The other people, with the exception of the first lieutenant and doctor of the Hyaena, a German man-of-war stationed in Cameroons have gone up from the sea front via Babundi.

        Since my return to England I have read Sir Richard Burton’s account, and as the account you will hereinafter find will be very inferior to that of this most vivid writer, I will just quote his account of the summit itself: -

“Victoria mountain, now proved to be a shell of huge double crata opening to the south-eastward, where a tremendous torrent of fire had broken down the weaker wall. The whole interior and its accessible beach now lay before me, plunging sheer in vertical cliff. The depth of the bowl may be three hundred and sixty feet. The total diameter of the two, which are separated by a rough partition of lava, one thousand feet….Not a blade of grass, not a thread of moss, breaks the gloom of the Plutonic pit, which is as bleak as Erebus except where the fire has painted it red and yellow.” 1

I will now proceed to tell you how I got into this “Plutonic pit” through the S.E. break in it.

        I left Victoria at 7.30 on the 20th of last September, in fine weather, and with a gang of miscellaneous men Bum, the head man, was a Bassa boy, there was one other Bassa boy, two Wei Weis, one Sierra Leoneian, a Timneh boy, named Ke falla, and two natives of the mountain, Bakwiris.

        Herr von Lucke, the governor of Victoria, or more truly the government-staff of Victoria, for his subordinate officials were, I regret to say, almost all done with fever, came with me as far as the bridge across the Lukola River, although I besought him not, and he was himself almost convinced that he could not be in three places at one time, from the series of experiments he had energetically been carrying on for some weeks; however, man-like, instead of giving the thing up and getting ill himself, as I should have done, he must needs go start an experiment series for four places, and see me on my way, and then, after giving me valuable advice, and my men strict injunctions to behave well, and prophesying me a terrific cold in the head, he marched back to look after Victoria in detail at a rate of about seven miles an hour.

        I, with my gang, kept up the grand new government road. This road is quite the most magnificent of roads as regards the breadth and general intention that I have ever seen in Africa, and it runs through the most superbly beautiful country. It is, I should say, as broad as Oxford Street. On either side of it there are deep open drains, to carry off surface water, and then come banks of varied and beautiful shrubs and ferns, behind which rises one hundred or one hundred and fifty feet high walls of grand forest, the columns – like stems either hung with flowering climbing plants or ferns, or showing soft red and soft grey shafts for sixty or seventy feet without one interrupting branch. Behind these, again, high up against the sky, are the beautiful foot-hills of Mungo Mah Lobeh, colored, in the mist-laden air, a most perfect dark, lambent blue. The whole scheme of color is indescribably rich and full in tone. The very earth underfoot is a velvety red-brown, and the butterflies that abound show themselves off in the sunlight with their canary color, crimson, and peacock-blue liveries to perfection.

After five minutes experience of this road after passing the bridge, I added envy to admiration in my contemplation of those butterflies, for although I do not believe that on earth there is a more lovely road than this which, when finished, is to go from Victoria to Buea, up three thousand feet on the face of the mountain, and although it is a noble and enterprising thing for a government to do, considering this climate and country, yet, at present, to obtain any genuine pleasure out of it, it would be requisite to hover in a bird or butterfly-like way, for of all the awful things to walk on, that road was the worst I have ever met. This arose from its not being finished, not having its top on in fact; the first part you go over, which is finished, you could go over in a bath-chair, the rest of it makes you fit for one for the rest of your natural life, for it is one mass of broken lava roack, excellent stuff for the underwork of a road, with here and there a leviathan tree stump partially blown up with gunpowder.

        When we neared the upper end of the road it came on to rain heavily, and I, noticing a little hut at the left-hand side of the road made for it, and found it belonged to the white engineer, an Alsatian gentleman, who was superintending the road-making by a large group of cheerful natives, imported from the windward coast, of course. He most kindly invited me under the shelter of his verandah, the hut built by himself consisting of one room and a verandah, and the verandah was the best part of the structure. My men were in want of water, so I waited while they went for it to a place some twenty minutes off, meanwhile talking to the engineer, who I found had been in the employ of the Congo Free State Railway, and as I had been up this on my previous voyage to the coast, we compared experiences. I will not narrate out observations, but I was glad to hear him say he found the German authorities infinitely better people to work for.

        The rain kept on with unabated violence, but I presently observed Bum sitting right in the middle of the road, on a lump of lava, totally unsheltered, so I felt ashamed at displaying cowardice in the face of the black man’s aquatic courage, and besides Herr von Lucke had said I was sure to half-drowned and get that awful cold. So it was just as well to get the operation over, and off we started. I conscientiously help up my umbrella, knowing it was useless, but the proper thing to do, and in a few minutes we came to the upper end of the road, and turned off to the right into the unbroken forest, following a narrow, slippery, muddy, root-benetted path, that was a comfort after the road. Presently we came to a lovely mountain torrent flying down over red-brown rocks in white foam – an exquisite thing, and only a shade damper than the rest of things round. Seeing this I solemnly reefed my umbrella, and gave it to Ke falla, telling him to take care of it, as a curiosity. My relations say the most scathing things about my behavior with regard to water; but really my conduct is founded on sound principles. I know, from a series of carefully conducted experiments on the Devonian Lynn, that I cannot go across a river on stepping stones; attempts to keep my feet out of water only end in my violently putting the rest of myself in – I therefore take charge of fate and wade. This particular stream required most careful wading too, for the rocks over which it came with much violence, were arranged in a picturesque but perilous confusion. However, all went well, and we clambered up the other side, the rain, meantime, coming down heavier than ever, and the atmosphere was like that in a cucumber frame with the lights on. We were evidently dealing with foot-hills, but the mist was too thick for us to see twenty yards in any direction. Out of it rose enormous palms, and cotton-trees, many hung with climbing and parasitic plants, and we seemed to be passing through a ghostland forest as the great forms rose up in front of us, and faded away behind us as we went on.

        The rocks, which edge and strew the path, are covered with exquisite ferns, and mosses of every delicate shade of green, and here and there are touches of absolute gold-colored moss, which looks as if some ray of sunlight had lingered too long playing on earth, and had got shut off from heaven by the mist, and was waiting till it could rejoin the sun. The path was now a shallow rushing torrent, with mud-thickened water, which cascaded round the front of our ankles, and occasionally round our knees in the hollows and round our heels as we went downhill. Underneath the water there was about an equal mixture of med and rock, I judged by sensations, for I never saw my boots from the time we left the government road until we reached Buâna. From the top of these first foot-hills we should have had a fine view of the sea, had be not been surrounded by an atmosphere that was ninety-nine and three-quarters per cent. water; as it was, there was a vast white sheet, or, more properly speaking, considering its stuffy woolliness, a white blanket, stretched across the landscape to the south-west, where the sea would show.

        On we went, up one hill and down another, sometimes passing through weed-grown native plantations, sometimes through stretches of high sugarcane-like grass, which hangs across the path in a lackadaisical way, swishing you in the face, cutting you like a knife when you get it edgewise, and pouring insidious rills of water down your neck.

        I do not think the whole Atlantic Ocean could have got any more water on me that I had by this time accumulated. Every now and then I pulled up and wrung some of it out of my skirt, because it was heavy. I did not imagine anything could have comedown heavier in the way of water from above than the rain, but it can; every now and again, when we had go to the top of one of the foot-hills, a cold breeze would come, that chilled you to the bone, and bent the heads of the palm-trees, and they sent down water by the bucketful, with a slap at you, hitting or missing as the case might be.

        We were all anxious to reach Buâna, for we wanted our “chop,” and a little after one o’clock we came up to the big hut Bum had been singing about the charms of, and to our horror found it represented by a few charred poles and roof-mats. There had been a fire in that simple savage home. The path we were following is here cut by a path going east and west, and, after a consultation with the Bakwiris, we turned down to the east, down a steep slope among weedy plantations, and then up a steep little hill with a long, low hut at the top. Two European-dressed young natives came out and I asked them if they could spare room for us, volunteering the information I would pay for it, and they readily assented, and we filed dripping in. On this hilltop the wind was very chilly to us in our sodden garments, and my teeth chattered as I served out rations to my men and gave them tobacco to buy firewood from the owners of the house, who I found were Bible-readers for the Basel mission. As I was assured that the road on from this place to Buea was more rocky, mountainous, and altogether trying than the road we had come, and that we should get to the worst part of it after nightfall, and therefore, in all human probability “settle” there, I decided to remain at Buâna for the night, and did so, spending thereby the most wretched night I have ever spent in Africa, and sighing for the charms of the Fan villages I had left six weeks before. It was a noisy night withal, for it was market-day away down in Victoria, and gathers of families had gone down the shopping, and had not returned at the proper hour. The women in the village, foolish creatures, were evidently fearful that something had happened to them, or that they were lost, and kept up a long-drawn, melancholy coo-ooing for them the whole night through. About 9.30 one husband returned to the next door hut, in a bellicose condition, and whacked his wives, and their squeaks and squalls, instead of acting as a warning to the other ladies, seemed to stimulate them to wilder, weirder coo-ooing than ever, for their lost lords to come home and whack them too, I suppose.

        The next morning we were off early. It was still pouring with rain, and we trudged along back to the four-cross path, and picked up our old one, and followed it onward. The first part of the walk was through sticky, and slippery mud, intensely sticky, and intensely slippery; the path underneath it was, I found, sharply V-shaped, and the safest part was through the deepest mud. On we went, patiently, mud pulling, through the valleys, then toiling up the side of a hill, among lumps of rock, into a valley again. Evidently we were moving over a succession of foot-hills, but the mist was too thick for us to get a general view of the make of things. As we went on further, the hills became more and more abrupt in form, and the valleys became mere rocky ravines, each of which, the water-worn boulders demonstrated, was occupied by a rushing torrent during the wet season, but as I went up there were only isolated pools in them, for the weather before I left Victoria, I was told, had been dry for more than a fortnight, and the rich, porous earth here soaks up an immense amount of water. The slipperyness of this finely pulverized earth was remarkable; there is an outcrop of clay round by Buâna, but that is not so bad as the velvet red earth when wet. One ravine I shall not forget. It had a long, slippery slide down into it and out of it, on the other side there was a perfectly glassy slope – an almost irresistible passion to plant your nose against the hill-side and wave your earthward extremities in the air seized you when you were about the middle of the slope, or close of the top. Three of my men gave way to this impulse. Of course I did not, but when I felt it coming on like a sort of fit, I threw myself into the scratchy bush that grows thickly on either side, and waited until the feeling went off, and then got out and had another try at the slide. A very pretty image I must have been at this time – black and red mud caked to the knees, blood about the face and hands, and drenching wet all over.

        We passed by a widening in the path, which, since we had left the Buâna plantation, lay through forest; this widening, I was told, was a bush market, and then we came to a smaller one, “where men blow,” i.e., rest, and we passed through an opening in the Great War Hedge of Buea. This war hedge is a very wonderful thing, the like of which I have not seen anywhere else in Africa. It is a growing stockade, some fifteen feet high, the lower part wattled with bush-rope and saplings. How far the hedge extends I cannot tell you, because I could find no one who could tell me, this part of the Cameroons mountains having only very recently opened up by the Germans, and on this same path only a twelvemonth before, they had lost a gallant and universally esteemed lieutenant in a fight with the Bueans. I cross now marks the place where he fell, but his body now lies under a beautiful monument in Cameroons. I cut through the hedge five or six times during my stay on the mountain; it was always the same well-kept dense structure, and must have been a grand protection to Buea before the Germans came and determined to open up the country this fierce tribe had kept shut up, to open pacifically if possible, but to open it up.

        The temperature in this higher region was quite cool after the days of suffocating heat below, and there were quantities of native indigo with its under leaf a blackish-blue, and lovely crotons with red markings on the upper leaf and crimson linings, and great banks of bergamot and balsam, returning good for evil, and smelling sweetly as we crushed them.

        Now and again we got glimpses of the beauty of the surrounding country, when the winds from the mountain came and pushed aside the mist veil, for a second, like spirit hands, and then lit it fall together again.

        At last, when I was least expecting it, we reached Buea. Going down a large ravine-side we found ourselves facing a rushing river, wherein a squad of black soldiers were washing clothes, assisted by a squad of black ladies, with much skylarking and uproar. I hesitated on the bank. Query – Shall I make an exhibition of myself to these good people, or to the unknown German officer at Buea? Remembering the superior position of white men, I decided to appear before him as well as possible, so stood in the river and washed my face and hands, and some of the mud out of my skirts, and then waded through and wrung out on the further bank. But what is life without a towel? The ground on the further side was cleared, and bore only a heavy crop of balsam and bergamot, and a few yards on I found myself facing a plank and corrugated-iron little house, and a large quadrangle surrounded by mat-huts – the barrack-yard. A fine, grey-eyed, fair-haired German gentleman came forward to greet me; unfortunately I see I have not impressed him by my efforts to appear before him clean and tidy, and, hastily asking me into his spare room, he suggests an instant hot bath. Men can be trying. I declined the bath. For how, should I like to know, could I have a bath in a room that had got no door but slung army blankets, nor any windows but two pair of sketchy wooden shutters!

        I was much struck by his house, and my admiration for the individual German increased. His government had sent the man up here with seventy black soldiers a few months before, and he now had had to superintend the building of the barracks for them, after clearing ground of dense forest, and build his own house out of mere planks and corrugated iron; and he had done these things alone, and he had done them well; he had not yet got so far as finishing fittings and window frames, but he was busy at them – and the luxurious creature had made the windows for his own room and stretched across them greased paper, and for his spare room, which he kindly placed at my disposal, he had made a washstand and a table. There was no looking-glass, but as a Danish lady once said anent the absence of such an article in the Cavendish Laboratory, “That was no matter, for it would only a disappointment be.” 2

        After seeing my men housed, and giving them out their rations, I made a rapid change of raiment, and went out on to the verandah, and discoursed with Herr Liebertz while he made, in a very artful and professional way, a door. He was suffering from a very bad foot arising from some of the purulent matter from a sore on one of his men whom he was doctoring having got into a wound on his foot; he had nearly lost his leg, or, more properly speaking, his life, for he lay thirteen days in bed, and there was no doctor nearer than Cameroons River to take the leg off if the sore had turned to gangrene. It struck me as a sharp contrast to the Niger Coast Protectorate, with its comfortable quarters and its thirteen doctors; however, he made nothing of it, and hopped about in a most energetic way, looking after his seventy soldiers, their wives and families, giving them out their rations, drilling them, and everything else, and a squad of black laborers into the bargain, and was hankering to do more. Many of his soldiers were down with bad feet in consequence of the badness of the paths around here about. These soldiers are a mixture of Wei Weis and Yorubas; they are smart men, but the Fatherland has ordained that they shall wear braces, and those unnecessary articles, for an African, as soon as they were off guard, were worn flowing free. It was most amusing to watch them changing guard at the guard-house at the entrance to the barrack yard. The squad going on guard would muster, salute, and all that sort of thing, and then march in a rigid manner to the guard-house until they got within twenty yards of it where there was one of those Cameroon slides, and then flounder and flop for a few seconds down it – re-form, and go on guard in grand style.

        The house at Buea faces the aforesaid barrack-yard, behind which the ground rises steeply, in a great band of high forest, which runs in tongues up into the great barren grass land above. This rises like a wall and is the south-east face of the great south-east crater of Mungo. The peak itself we could not see because that rises again, above and beyond the largest of the seventy craters, but what we did see looked awfully steep when you knew you had to go up it. The bare neck of the crater itself is, I am told, two thousand feet, and as I looked up at it I remembered the words of my kind friend who landed me at Victoria, Captain Davies: “Look here, now, you’d better chuck it. It’s not a picnic.” I was much interested in the account I had of the gallant opening up of Buea. Bush fighting in this country is dreadfully dangerous work; you are hemmed in by bush on a narrow path where you must pass single file, a target for all invisible hidden natives crouching in the dense undergrowth, and the war hedge I have mentioned was an additional danger to the attacking party. The lieutenant and his party had, after a stiff fight, succeeded in forcing an entrance through this, and then their ammunition gave out and they had to fall back. The Bueans, regarding this as their victory, rallied, and chance shot killed the lieutenant instantly. A further expedition promptly went up from Victoria and whipped the error out of Buea’s mind and a good many Bueans with it; but they have evidently been dealt mercifully with, for their big towns, Sapa, etc., are still standing, and the natives come to and fro into the barrack-yard, and down to Buâna and Victoria markets in a perfectly contented way – a great advantage to them. I have long thought that there is a good deal of misconception at home regarding many points in this bush fighting. One is that you gain much by forbidding the importation to the natives of “weapons of precision,” i.e., rifles. I have been fired out by rifles and muskets, and I prefer rifles, as long as there are not too many, but given the choice of being fired at, by a bushman, with one rifle, or one musket, I do not expect any coaster would hesitate a second in saying rifles; for having a weapon of precision is no advantage to you if you have not got precision yourself, and the untrained African cannot hit a haystack at forty yards, except by accident, whereas with a scatter gun, like a musket loaded with a miscellaneous collection of bits of iron pot, stones, and poisonous seeds, the chances are he will hit something, and when you get these rugged and poisonous abominations into you, there is no chance at all but what you will have a nasty, long-continuing wound.

        The next morning I reconstituted my gang. Several of them were complaining of hot foot, and abdominal trouble. I kept Bum, Ke falla, Charley, and the cook, who gave himself airs of knowing all about mountains, having been, he said, with a government expedition up a big mountain up Cameroons River, where “If you fall down one side you die. If you fall down the other side you die.” The officer gave me some laborers to replace those I sent back to Victoria, and we started off, led by a black sergeant, Sasu, to make a camp at the head of the forest belt. This we succeeded in going, after making a false start up a densely overgrown track. It poured with rain, of course, a thing we might hardly have noticed, so accustomed to this state of weather had we become, had we not had out two first thunder-storms on the mountain. Never have I seen anything like the thunder-storms Mungo makes. Great masses of blue-black cloud used to roll out over the great crater above us, flashing lightening in their van, and being too heavily loaded to go to sea, as tornados should, simply sat down and burst in the forest. The sensation was not that of having a heavy storm burst over you at all. You felt you were in its engine-room, when it had broken down badly. The lightning ran about the ground in livid streams of living death, and when this was over, the rain, if you may call it rain, when it disdains to go into details of drops, makes such a roar on the forest trees that you have to shout to make yourself heard.

        The forest belt is of exceeding beauty, the lower slope of it close to Buea has groves of infinitely stately great tree ferns, satin-leaved begonias, and gigantic ammoms, and the trees have a luxuriance of growth, and a size, and soft greenness of leaf I have never elsewhere seen. As we went higher the ferns grew less, and we passed into, and made our camp at, the edge of the forest, where a few steps would take you on to the grass-land belt, between two long tongues of forest, every branch and twig whereof was festooned with long pale grey-green lichens. But where we built our fire house hut, we were just below the lichens. Imagine a vast, apparently limitless cathedral, with all its countless columns covered with the most exquisite dark-green, large-fronded moss, with here and there a delicate fern for decoration. The white wool mist came down from the grass land, stealing into the forest, creeping and twining around, and streaming through the columns, sweeping over us in sheets, and wrapping us in its chill, clammy embrace, now receding, now advancing, until it closed in, and made the atmosphere all its won; but, ah me! who can tell the glory, and the weirdness and the charm, a charm that calls you every hour you are away from those West African forests.

        I will not say that forest camp was comfortable, but it would have been far less so had I not recently had a grand education in bush life from the Fans, and so knew to a certain tree, the pith whereof you can always make a fire with, let it rain never so heavily, and I also knew that, although you yourself could get on all right without a shelter, your fire could not in bad weather, and must have a house built for it. My men were a set of semi-educated blacks, who had always been accustomed to be looked after, and fed like so many children, and I soon realized that, although Bum was an honest, sober, strong fellow, he was too easy-going to keep order. In addition to this, the officer at Buea had lent me a regulation camp bed, and so imbued was this thing in military spirit, that it exasperated me; nothing but a sincere regard for the owner, William, emperor of Germany, restrained me from boring holes right through the bed, for the waterproof ground sheet Herr von Lucke had lent me had had a label sewn on to it, hence it leaked, and the water besides drove in under it, when it was mounted on stakes over the bed as a shelter, so the bed was half its time a water tank. “My orders are to be waterproof,” said the bed, “and waterproof I’ll be.” I made several powerful disparaging remarks to it for its rigid adherence to duty, and tilted it over to empty its water out, repeatedly, and left it behind in the forest camp, when, on the next morning, we started to make a camp in the south-east crater.

        I had taken compass bearings, and formed a plan of attack on the great crater wall, during a temporary surcease of rain the previous evening, and we all went off in high spirits, for it was a fine, sunny day. Little good it was to us, however. We made out way through wet, waist-high, jungle grass, over the rocky hummocks, and the still rockier watercourses between them, to the foot of the wall. When we had nearly reached this I observed a halt being made, and, coming up with the others, found “Monrovia Boy” down a hole, a deep blow-hole, looking for water. I then learnt, for the first time, that we were utterly without water, and there was none to be got nearer than the stream down at Buea.

        The suppression of this piece of information was evidently a trick of my men, who thought that, when I found this water palaver out, I should return, and they should go safely home, and get their pay, and live happily ever after, without facing the traditional horrors and dangers of the peak. I did not enter into this view, but saw, unless the affair was instantly tackled, it meant failure, so I at once set the most reliable boy down to Buea, with a note asking for five demijohns of water, and I sent three other boys back to the forest camp, one with orders to bring up at once four bottles of soda water I had left there, and the others to bring up the demijohns of water to us the next day; I started up the wall, followed by Zenia and Black Boy. The others said they would come on with the soda water, and sat down.

        The wall is not hard climbing. Seen from below, it looks almost vertical, but it is not, and it looks most impressive from its enormous breadth, making the entire face to this side of the mountain.

        It is covered with short, yellowish grass, through which the cinder-like lava rock protrudes. To the right and left of where I was there were two chasms, or scars, in its face, looking like giant quarries, and I made my way towards the left-handed one and skirted its rim. Soon the hot sun, which was reflected back by the rock, burnt my face mercilessly, and I thought, as there was lots of time, for we were only going to the crater above to camp that day, I would rest, and I did, close to another blow-hole. Zenia soon joined me, and flung himself on the ground. “Where them Black boy live?” said I. “Black boy say he tire too much,” said Zenia, and I looked down to see what had become of the rest of my Pappenheimers; there they were, still sitting, looking like little dolls in the distance below; below them again was the forest-belt on the slope of the mountain and then Buea station looking like little dolls’ houses. Buea evidently stands on a shelf, and the plain round it runs along the mountain side for miles to the N.N.E. and the S.S.W., a strange looking bit of country, clad with low brush, out of which rise isolated great white-stemmed cotton-trees; here and there curled up little blue whiffs of smoke from native towns – towns which, beyond Sappa [sic?], to the N.E. and N.N.E., have not yet been visited by white men. Below this plain was a dense belt of forest, and below and beyond this stretched the mangrove swamps, fringing the rivers and creeks, of the Great Cameroons estuary. This scene was a typical instance of the peculiar quality of beauty you often get in West Africa, namely, colossal sweeps of color. The mangrove swamps looked that day like one vast damson-colored carpet, threaded with silver where the waterways ran through it, spread at the foot of the great mountain. Far away eastward are seen the abrupt, strange forms of that range of mountains, or which we have many names but little knowledge, the Rumbi, or Omon, - which I have certain reasons to believe are a continuous chain with my well beloved Sierra del Crystal. After taking bearings of two noteworthy peaks among them, I turned my face to the wall, and went on up, expressing a wish to Zenia that those men would hurry up, to which he sagely replied, “Softly, softly, still hurts the snail,” 3 sic The reflected sun from the rocks was trying, but the air was cool, and with a keen N.E. wind – a wind, I may remark, that seems to be always tearing across the peaks, for I find since I have read Burton on my return to England that he met it on the other face. I should not wonder if it is made here, considering the vileness of the other sorts of weather Mungo makes. I gradually made my way, now angling away to the right, until I came into a great lane, walled rather neatly with rock, as if it had been made by human hands. This ran up and down the mountain face, nearly vertical in places, at a stiff angle always, but it was easier going up the lane, because it was sheltered by the walls from the wind. When I reached the top of it, at the top of the mountain wall, I found myself facing a great rock-encumbered plain, across the other side of which rose the great, many-pointed mass of the Peak, abruptly. Three rough cones were evidently higher than their comrades. This plain was now free from mist, but mist hung, and wandered across the grey summits, and the wall, from which they rose. Anxious to look towards the sea, I made my way towards the S.W, end of the wall I had ascended, which was the highest part of it, and when I got there, I was rewarded for all and everything.

        Some ten thousand feet below me lay Ambas Bay, with its diadem of forested foot-hills of Mungo, and its ornaments of rocky islands. The sea looked like a plain of frosted silver, and across it, out in the west, barely twenty miles distant, rose Fernando Po to its ten thousand one hundred and ninety feet, with that majestic grace peculiar to a volcanic island. To the S.E. was the glorious stretch of Cameroons estuary, with a line of white cloud lying along the course, Cameroons River, but the Bimbia, and Mungo Rivers, gleamed clear. In one of the chasms of the wall, I have mentioned, the one furthest to the left, there was a tornado thunder-storm brewing, and seemingly hanging on to, or streaming out of, the mountain side. A soft, billowy mass of dense, cream-colored cloud, with flashes of golden lightning playing about in it, with soft growls of thunder. As I stood, spellbound, watching, I saw the white mist steal up from the mangrove swamps, growing rose-color in the light of setting sun as it swept upwards over the purple, high forest. In the heavens above me was a vividly colored rainbow, one arm of which was behind the peak, the other in the sea below, and the mist rose, and rose, turning from pale rose to lavender, and then, when the shadow of the great mountain fell on it, to a dull leaden grey. It was soon at my feet, level with the top of the wall on which I stood, and then flowed over into the crater plain, and then everything was shut out, save the summits - Cameroons close to me, and Clarence on Fernando Po. These two stood alone, like two great mountain island masses made of iron, rising from a formless, silken sea. The space around was boundless, infinite: there was neither sound, no color, save these. It was like a vision, and fascinated me as I stood with nothingbut the power to gaze on it, and the feeling of gratitude at being allowed to do so, until the memory of those anything but sublime men of mine came into my wool-gathering mind, and I turned and scuttled off, like an agitated ant left alone in a dead universe, with the knee deep mist flying over my swirling skirts. I soon pick up the place I ascended by, and went down over, with three times the rapidity, and ten times the scratches and grazes I had got coming up. I soon found the place where I had left Zenia, but there was no Zenia there, nor any response to my bush-call for him. So I did not wait to erect a monument to his memory, but in the rapidly fading light went on, and came upon the place where I had left the men, but there were no men; I did not erect a monument to them, though I am afraid I wished they were in a condition to require it. The air was full of white mist now, but there was enough light to see the rocks I had made note of, and the trodden down grass. Shortly after this, I found Zenia, lost on his own account, and distinctly quaint in manner. Then I remembered I had been warned that Zenia was slightly crazy, and this seemed confirmed when I found he had, earlier in the afternoon, given Black Boy my bag and taken in exchange for it a broken lantern with no candle in it, and the lid of a saucepan - a pretty outfit to spend the night with, in this country!

    The moving moon went up the sky
        And nowhere did abide,
    Softly she was going up
        And a star or two beside. 4
Only she was a young, and inefficient moon, and I have said before, it was misty, and Zenia and I had a fine, variegated set of athletic experiences before we found the entrance in the forest wall to our camp, a thing at the best of times as easy as to find as a rabbit hole; but we did it, about 11.30 P.M., and there were the men, safe and comfortable, round the forest camp fire.
        I draw a veil over the rest of that night, particularly over my observations to the men. They, each and every one, said it was "not him but the other Boy who got fright too much." I will draw a veil over the next day, which we spent waiting for water, etc., to come up from Buea, but I shall never forget how glad we were to get it, for its absence meant not only the absence of water to drink, but the absence of food, and for me, the terrible deprivation of tea. Of course I gave the men some of my scant store of tinned food, a doubtful kindness, as it was salt-herring. However, the water came, and with the men who brought it I sent down Black Boy and Charles, who were complaining of being sick; they did not want to go, but I was firm, for I had no intention of starting a sanatorium in that crate above.
        The next morning off we started again. It was fine, but when we were half way up the wall, I needless to say severely bringing up the rear of the expedition, and not going wandering off ahead, like a hen turkey, as on the previous occasion. It poured in torrents, and the bitter wind swept across the face of the mountain side seemingly intent on tearing us off, or failing that, chilling us to death where we were. However, in due course up we got into the crater, which was, this day, a swirling, seething cauldron of wind-torn mist. I really believe if my men had been left to their own devices, they would have simply sunk down and died, more Africano 5, for they were fairly stupefied with cold. I had great difficulty in urging them towards a great mass of rock, which I had observed on my previous visit, and which lies away to the left in the crater plain. However, I got them there, and then opened the two loads of beautiful, thick army blankets the German officer had kindly lent us. I wrapped one round each man, and gave them a tot of raw rum, and then tore down a lot of scraggy, dry bush that grows, or more properly speaking has grown here, for it is dead and dry as tinder, and getting some dry lichen from under the rock, and some matches out of my soap-box, carefully treasured in the breast of my blouse, I made a fire - it soon blazed under the shelter of the rocks, and in a few minutes the men revived, and I got them to make more fires, and then grabbed a blanket from under the outspread umbrella I had sheltered them with, and sat down, and shivered.
        We spent an awful night, a night of cold, wet, miscellaneous misery, and particularly afflicted with smoke, for the wood of these stunted bushes round here is of a resinous and aromatic nature. It sounds nice, but it is not, for the smoke brings tears into your eyes, and there is too much of it. The boys gathered closely round the fire, and came near being suffocated, every few seconds one or the other of them would scramble up, and go apart, and cough out smoke like a novice in the profession of fire-eating. I made an heroic resolve - my resolves are always good, my performances never - I would keep awake all night and see the fires were kept up, and rouse any man who might catch alight, from huddling into the fire; and reflecting that you may as well do all you can to make yourself comfortable, in a place like this, safely relying on nature to see that you do not get sufficient luxury to really injure your moral fibre, I took my little wood chop-box, with its magnificent inscribed lid - "an Hoch wohl ge borenen Frei herr von Stettin," and settled it, with much trouble and bits of rocks, for there wasn't a level place the size of a six-penny piece, against what I regarded as a charming tree, a sorely stunted weather-worn tree, but just the proper angle to lean against, and covered with a cushion of soft lichen. 6 I must have dropped off to sleep, for it was 2.15 A.M. when I woke up, and found out that wretched tree's true nature. The miserable vegetable was nothing better than a water spout. The rain had run down the moss and into my blanket and men, penetrating to the spine, and forming a pool to keep my geet in, in the little hollow in the rock. I arose, very stiffly, and putting a lot of wood from the pile the men had made, into Zenia and Ke falla's fire, I sat down as close to it as possible, to windward, and, pulling the blanket over my head to keep off the smoke, which I could not stand because it irritated my eyes, before dawn came I fell asleep three separate times, and on to the fire, which I should most certainly have put out like a bucket of water, had not the smother I occasioned roused Zenia and Ke falla who got me off it.
        The dawn broke grey and cheerless, but the men were revived by their warm night's rest, and quite cheerful, and after giving breakfast I asked for volunteers to come up the final stage. Bum and Zenia volunteered, and we just took with us my little black bag with some food in it, and I insisted on their taking two blankets, against their will of course, for they were improvident creatures; they had, I found, sold the two blankets apiece I had given them at Buea, so had we not had the army blankets to use we should have failed miserably.
        The crater plain is a broken bit of country with rocky mounds, slightly overgrown with tufts of grass; here and there bog-like patches, with tufts of rushes, and among the rocks sorely afflicted shrubs of yellow broom, and the aromatic wood-shrub, which blooms with a lovely big yellow flower, like a large wild rose - one might think that the race of shrubs were dying out, for for one living one there are twenty skeletons which fall to pieces at a touch. The trend of the ground is down-hill at first, although you are all the time going over, or scrambling round, rocky hummocks. Then the general level is flat, and then you commence to go up again, and are soon on the peak wall.
        I steered N.W.W. until we struck the face of the peak, and then comes a stiff, rough climb, and we keep as straight up as circumstances allow, for strange ribs of rock come straight down. The higher we got the more tiresome they became, crumbling into dust, so rotten and weather-eaten are they. Bum got half-a-dozen falls on his way up, and after two hours of this sort of thing, Zenia collapsed from the cold and climbing. We made him wrap himself up, and tucked him in out of the wind among some rocks, and I and Bum went on. When we were some eight hundred feet or more from the summit, the icy iron-grey mist that had been lurking in all the clefts of the mountain, apparently watching us, came curling and waving round the rocks above, like some savage monster defending them from intruders, and hitching myself on to some rocks, I took compass bearings, and careful notes of local peculiarities, to note our own path, and Zenia's position. Bum elected now to fail for the third time - he had been with two expeditions before from the Babundi face - and he wrapped himself in his blanket, and I turned my face to the mist and went up into it. The scene was weirdly wild and desolate, the black grey dead cinder and rock showing at one's feet, and every now and again when the mist was torn and driven by the fearful wind, away on every side appeared great wild walls and peaks as black as night. After an hour I observed with joy, a bottle, an empty one - but nevertheless a great comfort, for it showed me I was on the track of the first successful expedition to reach the peak from this side, that of the first lieutenant, and doctor of his Imperial Majesty's Ship Hyaena. A break in the mist showed a great crag away to the right and I made for it, thinking it was the right one. When a third of the way up, another break in the mist showed me that this was not the case, and that the next one was higher, and I scrambled away and got on the face of this new one, and after a hard time, got up it and saw the cairn which I am told contains a tin box wherein passes left by those who have previously asended have been now carefully stowed by some kind-hearted German explorer, and I observed more bottles. I had no bottles to contribute to the collection, and did not interfere with the cairn, save to add a few rocks to it, and taking speciments, and putting my card among them, merely as a complimentary call on Mungo, for long ere now it must be pulp.
        As the weather consisted of a hurricane raging in a fog, and there was not a view to be got in any direction, I felt heartily disappointed, for my motive was by no means the legitimate motive for a mountainer, I only went up in the hope of getting a view that would give an idea of the way the country was made towards the estuaries of the Rio del Rey and Calabar, and I hoped to be able to fill in my knowledge with the details of this end of the country.
        I got down to Bum, and as the mist came round to us I was in a fearful fidget about finding Zenia, but we did at last, and then I sat down among the rocks, and we three lunched on the contents of the black bag, which included a bottle of beer Herr von Liebertz had kindly sent up to me with the other stores. While we were doing this, Bum drew my attention to a strange funnel-shaped black phenomenon in the clouds away to the north-east, a water-spout I presume. We hurried on, down over the rocks, in hope of getting into the crater before the mist, and partially succeeded; but no soonere were we half way across the plain, then it closed in round us, but we had seen the camp-site clearly enough to enable us to steer for it, and reached it safely. The men had kept the fires blazing, and I instantly noted a dreadful smell of burning negro. It was cook, who was sound asleep in front of one of them, with a bit of burning wood smouldering in his hair.
        I will not weary you with an account of our dilemmas and disasters during our descent, which was far worse than the ascent. The misadventures of that hardy mountaineer the cook, would alone fill a folio volume. We went down to the forest camp, stayed a night there, it poured, etc.; then down to Buea, it poured again; and then in one day's march down from Buea to Victoria, for I was not anxious to revisit Buâna, and it poured worse.
        I carefully timed my own arrival to take place after dark, but before dinner, at Government House, and was delighted to find on my arrival there, by the back way, that no one was back from the government office in town. I asked Idabea, on the spot, for tea, and that excellent steward said nothing, but rushed off; in a few seconds there was a great uproar in the room above, and streamed through the ceiling of the dining-room. "No use trifling about tea," Idabea thought, "what you want is a bath," and by the time Herr von Lucke returned I had made myself as presentable as I could, and he also had the cold intellectual pleasure of finding his prophecy realized. I had got a cold, one of the most terrific colds in the head of modern times. I cannot express my gratitude for the kindness and assistance I received from the German officers, assistance without which, I should certainly never have got anything beyond a foot view of the Peak, and probably have died in the bargain; and I hope this recital of the tiresomeness of my men may not be taken as a sweeping accusation of West Coast natives, in general; these men were all good in their way, always cheerful, obliging, and obedient; they were fair specimens of the Coast porter; a race it is nothing less than murder for a white man to take into the bush, unless he is prepared to look after them, their food, and their feet.




"West Africa..Brit. Possess."


Special thanks to Nik and Sean for proofreading.


Notes on the Text


1. from Abeokuta & the Cameroon Mountains: An Exploration. Volume II. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1863. 165-66. Full PDF text available at Burtonia.org.


2. I'm working on this one, but I'm having a lot of trouble - AK


3. An old, common native proverb, meaning, however little you hurry a snail you incommode it. [Kingsley's note]


4. from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


5. Latin meaning "in the manner of Africans." Possibly she meant morte Africano which would translate as "from an African death."


6. I would like to provide a translation, but I don't know anyone who speaks adequate German -AK



Alsatian: a person from Alsatia, a province between France and Germany.


Bakwiri: Bakwiri or Ba-kwiri is an ethnic group from the Bantu language group. The name means 'brushmen."


Basel mission: A Protestant missionary society founded in Germany in 1815. Missionaries began working in Cameroon in 1886.


Bassa: Bassa, Basa, or Basaa is an ethnic group native to Cameroon. It is part of the Bantu language group.


blow-hole: a hole from one layer layer of earth through to another hollow or cavernous layer which is more likely to retain water.


braces: suspenders


Buea: see location on map.


Burton: Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890) was a British explorer and writer. He was the British consul at Fernando Po from 1861-1865.


Calvo: Judge Carlos Calvo (1824-1906) was an Argentine diplomat and historian.


Cavendish Laboratory: The Department of Physics at Cambridge University, named after Henry Cavendish.


Clarence: Mountain on Fernando Po, see location on map.


Congo Française: The French Congo became a colony of France in 1891.


Congo Free State Railroad: The Congo Free State existed between 1885-1908 under the rule of King Leopold II of Belgium. The railway sustem he implemented was highly adrmired, however, his regime was known for the brutal killings and mutilations of the native populace. Kingsley's preference for German administration is probably not a reflection of the Congo Free State Railroad in particular, but of King Leoplod's policies in general (RBOU).


demijohn: one gallon glass container


Devonian Lynn: The river Lyn runs through the Devonian rocks in Exmoor National Park located in the southwest counties of Somerset and Devon, England (Exmoor National Park).


Fan: The Fan, more commonly called Fon, are native to Benin (formerly called Dahomey). They belong to the Kwa language group.


Fernando Po: An island off the west coast of Africa colonized by the Spanish, renamed Bioko (alternate spelling Bioco) in 1979. See location on map.


hot foot: painful plantar nodules that develop on the soles of feet after contact with the bacteria P. aeruginosa (NEJM).


Mann: M. Gustav Mann (1836-1916) was a German botanist.


Merrick: Joseph Merrick (1808-1849) was a Jamaican Baptist Missionary.


Mungo Mah Lobeh: marked as Kamerun Mt. on map.


Niger Coast Protectorate: a British protectorate formed in 1891 in what is currently Nigeria. Kingsley's point seems to be that England has a better arrangement for her colony.


Pappenheimer: a family from Bavaria who lived in the 1500s by begging and performing seasonal employment. They were accused of witchcraft among other crimes. They were tortured before being burned alive (Pavlac).


protectorate: a political entity or state that agrees by treaty to enter into a fundamentally unequal relationship with a stronger political entity. The protector keeps third parties from hamring the weaker state in exhange for goods or services.


Timneh: Kingsley identifies Timnehs as being from an area north east of Sierra Leone (Kingsley, TWA 507).


Victoria: see location on map.


Wei Wei: Kingsley identifies Wei Weis as being from Sierra Leone (Kingsley, TWA 564).


William, Emporer of Germany: William II, full name Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert (1859-1941), was Emperor of Germany from 1888-1918, when he abdicated.


Yoruba: An ethnic group native to southwest Nigeria and Benin (formerly Dahomey).


Commentary on the Text



Alexis K., February 2008


        Dea Birkett describes Mary Kingsley's trips to Africa as a way for Kingsley to be "first, white, and only secondly a woman" (172). Everything that appeals to me about Kingsley's writing is encapsulated in that tight statement. Reading Kingsley's writing as a twenty-first-century reader, I am always torn between hailing Kingsley as a feminist and denouncing her as a racist. After researching her further, I can only conclude that she was both and neither.

        Kingsley shocked Victorian society by heading, by herself, to explore West Africa. Unmarried women could do charitable work with the poor if they felt like they needed to do something, but they certainly did not leave England to collect fish specimens and fetish artifacts. Because of her independence, the Daily Telegraph claimed she was a New Woman, a title Kingsley despised (Birkett 175). Kingsley believed that women are the weaker sex and that her success was dependent on help from men. This belief seems surprising considering that Kingsley was the first woman to climb Mungo Mah Lobeh, and only the 28th European to ascend to its peak.


        Kingsley also frequently shocks current readers when they realize she is traveling in Africa in a full black dress with a long neck and skirt, under which there are multiple layers of undergarments. While Kingsley's skirt is clearly an added burden in the rain and mud, there are other times when her strict Victorian dress serves her a distinct advantage:



"I made a short cut for it [the path] and the next news was I was in a heap, on a lot of spikes, some fifteen feet or so below ground level, at the bottom of a bag-shaped game pit.

          "It is at these times you realize the blessing of a good thick skirt. Had I paid heed to the advice of many people in   England, who ought to have known better, and did not do it themselves, and adopted masculine garments, I should             have been spiked to the bone, and done for. Whereas, save for a good many bruises, here I was with the fullness of my skirt tucked under me, sitting on nine ebony spikes some twelve inches long, in comparative comfort, howling lustily to be hauled out" (Kingsley, TWA 269-70).


While this situation is comical, it also highlights that Kingsley had a choice -- she choose to continue wearing a dress. It may be hard for current readers to envision wearing a full length dress in Africa as an empowering moment, however, it is. Kingsley has the option to dress as a man, an option she would not have had in England, but she choose not too.

        Readers now may also be uncomfortable with the racism that is inherent in "The Throne of Thunder," however, Kingsley's views were much more progressive than most Victorians. While she seems condescending when she writes that it is "murder for a white man to take [Africans] into the bush, unless he is prepared to look after them, their food, and their feet," her attitude at other times complicates the matter (Kingsley, ToT). Kingsley admits to feeling "ashamed at displaying cowardice" of the rain when she notices one of her men patiently sitting in the rainy road (ibid). If Kingsley felt that Africans were like children or beasts -- who they were commonly compared to in Victorian England -- she would not have been ashamed. She can only be ashamed because there is another person, an equal regardless or race, involved. What speaks more than Kingsley's words about Africans is the subtext of her situation. Kingsley, a lone, unmarried, white woman, is traveling through the jungle in the company of only African men. She does not have a chaperone. If she was truly racist she would fear what African men might do to her once they were alone in the jungle, but she isn't afraid.

        Kingsley also firmly believed that traditional African cultures should be valued and preserved. She recognized what few of her fellow British did -- that British culture could not be imported into Africa without both damaging the British people who came and the African people who already lived there. What is appropriate for cool and rainy England is not appropriate for hot and humid West Africa. Her contemporaries who were racist would not care about what was appropriate or not becuase if it was good enough for England, it would be good enough for Africa, and the Africans should thank them for saving them from theirselves.

        All of this brings me back to my original statement, that Kingsley was both and neither a feminist and racist. She made choices that few other women would make, however, she did not view herself as being capable of competing with men. She frequently patronized particular Africans in her writing, however, she staunchly supported the retention of traditional African cultures. It is precisely because Mary Kingsley is hard to define that I find her writing so interesting, and I hope you will too.



Nicole Bryant, March 17th 2008

I must admit, that I too was quite offended at my first read of this, but through a second read and the editor's commentary, I feel I have a better grasp on the complexities of Kingsley's journaling. I am especially intersested in the section of her writing toward the end that discusses the cold nights and lack of water. It seems completely logical to me that a woman from England would be much better suited to brave the cold than peoples who have rarely endured such weather. I think Kingsley's selfless giving of blankets, fire, food, and sleeping in uncomfortable locations show her compassion for those who have made the journey with her. Her decision to stay awake the whole night is not only kind, but shows her dedication to the members of her crew, even if she does refer to them as "boys". I also find Kingsley's personal humility--her willingness to admit her faults and shortcomings--an enduring trait that reminds me of Jane Eyre. In fact, in many ways Kingsley's voice seems akin to Jane's practical, introspective, dogged, brave actions and thinking.


Ryan Pavlica, March 18th 2008

I agree with the assessment that Kingsley is a multidimensional character in regards to her relations with the African people and culture. It is obvious that she has a love for the place and a certain respect for the people which inhabit it. And yet throughout the entry we recieve the remarks of a blind rascist: how many times does she refer to her guides and helpers as "children" or "boys?" To make such a trek, they most assuredly must have been grown men, and not boys at all. I also view the anecdote about her man sitting in the rain differently than Alexis; it never did strike me that, because she saw her man unafraid of getting rained on and decided to take action, she viewed them as equal. After all, if you see someone who you view as beneath you (in some way) doing something, don't you say to yourself, "If he can, then of course I can." The remark about her men dying "an African death" if without her and left to their own devices strikes me as a compeltely uneducated response to the actions of the men and their way of life. Like Alexis, however, I still cannot help but admire the positive aspects of Kinglsey. As Nicole pointed out, she does strike me as  Jane Eyre-type character, because she is able to balance (what she percieves as) her womanly traits and the adventurous side of her personality. And while showing rascist traits, we understand that when this was written she would be considered highly liberal. Overall, this is a fascinating look at a women and her views of the African land.




Works Cited



Birkett, Dea. "Mary Kingsley and West Africa." Victorian Values: Personalities and Perspectives in Nineteenth Century Society. ed. Gordon Marsden. London: Longman, 1990. 170-185.


"Exmoor National Park." Exmoor National Park Authority. 2005. 23 February 2008. <http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/looking_after/looking_after_landscape/geology.htm>


Kingsley, Mary. "The Throne of Thunder." Littell's Living Age, 209 (June 6, 1896): 623-635.


-- --. Travels in West Africa. 1897. New York: Barnes & Nobel, 1965.


"New England Journal of Medicine." 22 February 2008. <content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/345/5/335>


Pavlac, Brian. "List of Important Events for the Witch Hunts." King's College. 2007. 23 February 2008. <http://departments.kings.edu/womens_history/witch/witchlist.html#pappen>.


Royal Belgium Overseas Union. 23 February 2008. <www.urome.be/fr2/reflexions/casemrepo.pdf>


"West Africa..Brit. Possess." Map. London: Edward Stanford, 1885. 22 February 2008. <http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewmap.cmd?number=531>


Please be sure to cite reference works, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, scholarly articles, other 19th century sources, and other websites that you used in preparing this page. In particular, it is extremely important to use quotation marks when copying material directly from another source, to provide a parenthetical citation to the source and relevant page number, and to include that source here. If you do not know how/when to decide what to cite or how to format citations in MLA Style, please consult your instructor. [Please retain these directions.]






For Additional Reading


"The African Guide." <http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes>. This website contains information about various African tribes including the Fon and Yorubas.


Kingsley, Mary. West African Studies. 3rd ed. London: Frank Cass & Co, 1964.


"Lovetoknow." <http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Ba-Kwiri> Contains further information about the Bakwiri.


"Making of America." Cornell University Library. <http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa>. This website contains the full text of "The Throne of Thunder," as well as the full contents of Littell's Living Age.


This is the place to add bibliographic information for print OR online sources that usefully supplement your chosen text. Please format entries for print sources in MLA style. Please format links to websites ''using brief titles (e.g. The Charles Dickens Page) followed by a one-two sentence description of the contents of the site''. [For the benefit of future users, please do not delete these directions.]





Project Group Members



Member Name





 Alexis K. Eastern Michigan University LITR 565
 Nicole Bryant  Eastern Michigan University  Litr 565






Project Completed: Winter 2008



Group Chat


Use this chat room to facilitate collaboration if you are working on this project from multiple locations. [Please don't delete these directions.]


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