Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, transmitting, in compliance with resolution of January 27, report of Lieutenant Taunt of a journey on the river Congo
Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, transmitting, in compliance with resolution of January 27, report of Lieutenant Taunt of a journey on the river Congo, pp. -42 ff.
JOURNEY ON THE RIVER CONGO. went in the transport service during the four months I was up country. The goods now are checked at Lukungo only, and loss can be readily traced, and robbery quickly punished, whereas before it was impossible to trace the many losses. Manyanga South is situated on the south bank of the river, five hours' march above Lukungo. This station receives all goods sent from Vivi, via Isanghila. The river is navigable for small steamers and whale- boats a distance of some 90 miles above Isanghila, and heavy goods are usually dispatched by this route. Leopoldville, the next in size and importance to Vivi, is about eight -days' march from Manyanga, and situated on a small arm or bay off ,Stanley Pool, about a mile above the first cat'ract of the Livingstone Falls. The steamers on the Upper River rendezvous at Leopoldville, and it is the receiving depot for men and supplies for that section. The approaches to Leopoldville by water are very dangerous, outlying reefs are near the entrance of the bay, and the strong current that tends ;down to the cataract makes it extremely dangerous for any but power- ful light-draught steamers to attempt the passage in and out. While I was at Leopoldville in June, 1885, the En Avant, one of the small launches belonging to the State, while crossing to Brazzaville, barely escaped being carried over the cataract. The present station is to be aban- cdoned and re-established near the head of the Pool. The State was some time in conciliating the natives around Stanley Pbol, especially K'Galliamo, one of the most powerful chiefs, but finally he was brought around, and is now one of the strongest friends it has among the natives. Kinchassa Station is situated on Stanley Pool, about midway be- tween the head and the first cataract of Livingstone Falls. This is one ,of the best sites on the river. It is healthy, the soil is fertile, and the present chief, Mr. Swinburne, has been very successlul in raising sup- plies. I was entertained at dinner, one day at Kinchassa, when we had ,n the table Irish potatoes, onions, radishes, cucumbers, and lettuce, all the products of Swinburne's garden. It was at Kinchassa that the French, under M. de Brazza, attempted to hoist the French flag, in May, 1884. They were driven off by the natives under NSchulu, the native chief of Kinchassa, Mr. Swinburne, 'hief of the station, leaving the matter entirely in the hands of the matives. Kwamouth Station, established by Stanley in 1883, is about three days above Stanley Pool, and is situated on the left bank of the mouth Of the Kassai River. This station is destined to be one of the most important on the river, as it will be the outlet for all the trade of the 'Valley of the Kassai. Boloho, five days above Kwamouth, was established by Captain Hans- 1ons (Belgian) in 1882. This station is the commencement of what is called the Byanzi country. It is beautifully situated on a hill well back from the river, and is, I think, the healthiest spot on the Congo. The fiver at this point is from 10 to 12 miles wide, and the greater part of the day a most delightful breeze is blowing through the station. The soil is fertile, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, radishes, lettuce, yams, plan- tains and bananas being raised in abundance. The natives are unre- liable; the station has been fired twice by them, once in July and again lu December, 1883. In September, 1885, the garrison consisted of but fourteen fighting men, armed with Snider rifles and one small Krupp. The natives are traders, rich, warlike, and will not work.
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