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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
(1887)

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. [1]-42 ff.


Page 16

JOURNEY ON THE RIVER CONGO.
in banana leaves and boiled, making a very palatable article called
chiquango.
Pork is raised and eaten by the natives on the Lower River, but it is
not considered healthy by the whites, and is seldom used.
TROOPS AND LABORERS.
The stations belonging to the State are garrisoned by Houssa troops
from Lagos and the Gold Coast, and also by Zanzibaris from the island
of Zanzibar.
The Houssas are really the military, and are not employed as laborers
except under certain circumstances. The Zanzibaris are required to do
the work of the stations, and also to fight when called upon. The
greater part of the Zanzibaris are slaves of the Sultan of Zanzibar,
although there are some freemen. Both the Houssas and Zafizibaris
engage to serve the State for three years. Of the Houssas, there are
now about one hundred and fifty, distributed among the different sta-
tions, and some two hundred Zanzibaris. The latter, however, have all
been withdrawn from the Stanley Falls Station on account of their
sympathy with the Arabs.
I met with great discontent, and, in two instances, open mutiny among
the Houssas and Zanzibaris, brought about by their not being relieved
and sent home at the expiration of their terms of service. The State
makes no provision for men detained over their contract, and as the gar.
risons on the Upper River are seldom relieved on time, there is always
trouble. At the Equator and Bangala the garrisons were some months
over their times when I passed up river, and on my return trip the
Equator people were in a state of open mutiny.
The question of men for garrison duty is becoming most serious. No
more lHoussas can be had, and the last lot of Zauzibaris, received just
before I left the river, were a most worthless set. The freemen do not
return, and no doubt prevent others from coming by their reports of
breach of contract, &c.
The stations on the Upper River have but few people, and I could not
hear of any steps that had been taken by the committee to supply the
deficiencies. The iloussas' terms are all expired, and they should now
be returning home.
It will be, I think, an impossibility for the State to maintain its sta-
tions on the Upper River, unless it can garrison them with a proper
force, and in sufficient numbers to command the fear and respect of the
natives.
In my opinion, it is not yet expedient to attempt to govern these sav-
ages by kind treatment. The only thing they respect is power, and, with
the coming of the white man, they look for wealth and power.
Below Stanley Pool large garrisons are not necessary. The natives
are quiet and friendly, and they have seen much more of the whites than
their brethren on the Upper River. In addition they seem to be an en-
tirely different race of beings, not so powerful and naturally ot so hos-
tile nor savage.
The ioussas and Zanzibaris are armed by the State with breech-
loading Sniders, and the Winchester magazine gun. At Vivi, Leopold-
ville, and the stations on the Upper Congo, there are Krupp rifles' of a
small caliber, and war rockets.
The agents of the State are furnished with the Martini breech-loader.
The punishments administered to the blacks employed by the Stato
are imprisonment and flogin


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