Great Britain: Foreign Policy and the Span of Empire, 1689-1971: A Documentary History - Vol. 4

By Joel H. Wiener | Go to book overview

EXPANSION INTO AFRICA

Report from Commander Sholto Douglas to Commodore W. Edmonstone Describing a Commercial Expedition to the Niger Valley, 2 October 1861*

I arrived and anchored off the Nun bar on the evening of the 9th July. At about 9 P.M. a vessel arrived and anchored not far from me, this proved to be the “Sunbeam” from Bonny; the tide being favourable, I followed her over the bar the next morning, taking fourteen feet across. I remained a few days at the anchorage inside Palm Point, waiting for the “Sunbeam” discharging and receiving cargo; this time I employed in getting out and leaving on board the hulk all the heavy stores so as to lighten the ship as much as possible. Started for the ascent on the morning of July 13, at 9 P.M.; had not got very far before the ship took the ground in Louis Creek; came off the next day at high water, and after some detention from the shoals about Sunday Island, arrived at Angiana on the 17th, and had an interview with the Chiefs and head men; settled one or two little disputes that had arisen between the agent in charge of the factory and the native traders, and left again on the 19th leaving them apparently well satisfied. This factory is the one that was founded in November 1860 by the “Bloodhound;” since this date there has been a brisk trade in palm oil carried on, and latterly it has increased very much.

After leaving Angiana no difficulty was encountered on the bar marked in Glover’s Chart at the south point of Wilberforce island, but just after passing the village Asasi again grounded at the mouth of the Brass Creek; after some trouble got off. In sounding for a channel sufficient water could not be found for the “Espoir,” though the “Sunbeam” from her light draft of water was able to cross with facility; as the water was now expected to rise very rapidly warped close up to the bank in readiness to get over.

On the 27th July finding the water rising very slowly took advantage of the offer of Captain Walker of the services of the “Rainbow” (see Inclosure No. 2), and proceeded to lighten the ship by getting all stores, coals, &c, into this vessel and lashing her alongside; by this means I was able to bring the ship up from twelve feet to ten feet ten inches.

On the 30th July, as a boat was despatched down the river I took the opportunity of writing in hopes of it reaching and informing the senior officer of my being detained at this point.

*Parliamentary Papers, 1862, LXI, Cmd. 2958, 107-09.

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Great Britain: Foreign Policy and the Span of Empire, 1689-1971: A Documentary History - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 2721
  • Contents 2723
  • Involvement in Asia and the near East 2729
  • Governor Eyre Controversy 2781
  • Developing Self-Government and the Definition of Imperial Ties 2791
  • Expansion into Africa 2857
  • Dissolution of the Empire 1914 - Present 2917
  • Dissolution of the Empire 1914 - Present 2919
  • Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire 2922
  • Formation of the British Commonwealth of Nations 2938
  • Movement toward Indian Independence 3014
  • Conflict in the Middle East 3103
  • The End of Empire 3199
  • Postwar Commonwealth Problems 3300
  • Principal Officials 3363
  • Bibliography 3373
  • Acknowledgment 3382
  • Index 3383
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