Trade and Travel in Early Barotseland: The Diaries of George Westbeech, 1885-1888, and Captain Norman McLeod, 1875-1876

By Edward C. Tabler; William Fairlie | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE present rapid spread of nationalistic ideals among the indigenous peoples of tropical Africa is lending political cohesion to populations which appeared up to a decade or so ago to be fragmented irreconcilably by tribal loyalties. It is giving them also a better appreciation of their own values, greater independence to conduct their own affairs, and is focussing a new interest on the necessity for a better understanding of Africa's peoples and their problems.

The accompanying revival and reorientation of interest in African history is hardly to be wondered at, therefore, and is resulting in a re-examination of the published source material, renewed search for unpublished manuscripts, and a new consideration of the traditional oral records. These sources, together with that derived from archaeological excavations, are now being used, not as heretofore, to trace the history of the expansion of European colonial enterprise in Africa, but to write the history of the peoples who inhabit that continent.

This second volume in the Robins Series contains records not previously published of considerable interest for the history of the Barotse peoples and of the Barotse Protectorate.

The diary of George Westbeech, who is described by his editor as 'the man responsible for establishing a British foothold in Barotseland,' deserved much earlier publication. That it has not appeared in print before is partly due to the unsuccessful attempt to trace an earlier diary which it is believed he must have kept. If such still exists today, it is to be hoped that the present volume will bring it to light, for this, together with the full diary of MacLeod, which also is missing, would amplify considerably our knowledge of details of happenings and personalities in the Barotse Valley in the '70s.

Livingstone, in the 1850s, was the first to describe Barotseland and its people, then under the dominance of the Makalolo. Westbeech takes up the story again some twenty years later and through his diary carries Barotse history down to the establishment of the Paris Mission stations by the Rev. François Coillard and records many details of the confused events after the death of his friend

-xi-

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Trade and Travel in Early Barotseland: The Diaries of George Westbeech, 1885-1888, and Captain Norman McLeod, 1875-1876
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • The Diary Of George Westbeech - 1885-1888 23
  • The Diary Of Captain Norman Macleod - 1875-1876 103
  • Bibliography 113
  • Index 117
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