“Statement in Regard to the Condition of the Natives in Lake Mantumba Region During the Period of the Rubber Wars Which Began in 1893”

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Inclosure 3 in No. 3.

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Statement in regard to the Condition of the Natives in Lake Mantumba region during the period of the Rubber Wars which began in 1893.

THE disturbance consequent on the attempt to levy a rubber tax in this district, a tax which has since been discontinued, appears to have endured up to 1900.

The population during the continuance of these wars diminished, I estimate, by some 60 per cent., and the remnant of the inhabitants are only now, in many cases, returning to their destroyed or abandoned villages.

During the period 1893-1901 the Congo State commenced the system of compelling the natives to collect rubber, and insisted that the inhabitants of the district should not go out of it to sell their produce to traders.

The population of the country then was not large, but there were numerous villages with an active people—very many children, healthy looking and playful.  They had good huts, large planta- tions of plaintains and manioc, and they were evidently rich, for their women were nearly all ornamented with brass anklets, bracelets, and neck rings, and other ornaments.

The following is a list of towns or villages—giving their approximate population in the year 1893 and at the present time.  These figures are very carefully estimated:—

            1893 1903 Remarks.
Botunu ... ... ... 500 80   
Bosende ... ... ... 600 ...   
Ngombe ... ... ... 500 40 These are not in the old village,
                      but near it.
Irebo ... ... ... 3,000 60 Now a State camp with hundreds
                      of soldiers and women.
Bokaka ... ... ... 500 30   
Lobwaka ... ... ... 200 30   
Boboko ... ... ... 300 35   
Mwenge ... ... ... 150 30   
Boongo ... ... ... 250 50   
Ituta ... ... ... 300 60   
Ikenze ... ... ... 320 20   
Ngero ... ... ... 2,500 300 In several small clusters of huts.
Mwebe ... ... ... 700 75   
Ikoko ... ... ... 2,500 800 Including fishing camps.

This list can be extended to double this number of villages, and in every case there has been a great decrease in the population.  This has been, to a very great extent, caused by the extreme measures resorted to by officers of the State, and the freedom enjoyed by the soldiers to do just as they pleased.  There are more people in the district near the villages mentioned, but they are hidden away in the bush like hunted animals, with only a few branches thrown together for shelter, for they have no trust that the present quiet state of things will continue, and they have no heart to build houses or make good gardens.  In all the villages mentioned there are very few good huts, and when the natives are urged to make better houses for the sake of their health, the reply is, that there is no advantage to them in building good houses or making extensive gardens, as these would only give the State a greater hold upon them and lead to more exorbitant demands.  The decrease has several causes:—

1. O* was deserted because of demands made for rubber by M. N O and several others were similar cases.  The natives went to the French territory.

2. “War,” in which children and women were killed as well as men.  Women and children were killed not in all cases by stray bullets, but were taken as prisoners and killed.  Sad to say, these horrible cases were not always the acts of some black soldier.  Proof was laid against one officer who shot one woman and one man, while they were before him as prisoners with their hands tied, and no attempt was made by the accused to deny the truth of the statement.  To those killed in the so-called “war” must be added large numbers of those
0071 71 who died while kept as prisoners of war.  Others were carried to far distant camps and have never returned.  Many of the young were sent to Missions, and the death-rate was enormous.   Here is one example:  Ten children were sent from a State steamer to a Mission, and in spite of comfortable surroundings there were only three alive at the end of a month.  The others had died of dysentery and bowel troubles contracted during the voyage.  Two more struggled on for about fifteen months, but never recovered strength, and at last died.  In less than two years only one of the ten was alive.

3. Another cause of the decrease is that the natives are weakened in body through insufficient and irregular food supply.  They cannot resist disease as of old.  In spite of assurances that the old state of things will not come again, the native refuses to build good houses, make large gardens, and make the best of the new surroundings—he is without ambition because without hope, and when sickness comes he does not seem to care.

4. Again a lower percentage of births lessen the population.  Weakened bodies is one cause of this.  Another reason is that women refuse to bear children, and take means to save themselves from motherhood.  They give as the reason that if “war” should come a woman “big with child,” or with a baby to carry, cannot well run away and hide from the soldiers.  Confidence will no doubt, be restored, but it grows but slowly.

There are two points in connection with the “war” (so-called):—

                        (1.) The cause.

                        (2.) The manner in which it was conducted.

(1.) The natives never had obeyed any other man than their own Chiefs.  When Leopold II became their King they were not aware of the fact, nor had they any hand in the making of the new arrangement.  Demands were made on them, and they did not understand why they should obey the stranger.  Some of the demands were not excessive, but others were simply impossible.  From the G H* people and the O* group of towns large demands of rubber were made.  There was not much within their reach, and it was a dangerous thing to be a stranger in a strange part of the forests.  The O* people offered to pay a monthly tribute of goats, fowls, &c., but M. N O would have rubber, so they left.  The G H* had to bear the scourge of war frequently and many were killed.  Now they supply what they probably would have supplied without the loss of one person, kwanga and fresh meats, and roofing materials and mats.  Rubber was demanded from some others and war resulted.  These are now providing the State with fish and fowls.

Another fertile source of war lay in the actions of the native soldiers.  Generally speaking their statements against other natives were received as truth that needed no support.  Take the following as an example:  One morning it was reported that State soldiers had shot several people near the channel leading from H K* to the Congo.  Several canoes full of manioc had been also seized, and the friends of the dead and owners of two of the canoes asked that they might have the canoes and food, and that they might take the bodies and bury them.  But this was refused.  It was alleged the people were shot in the act of deserting from the State into French territory.  The Chief who was shot was actually returning from having gone with a message from M. O P to a village, and was killed east of the camp and of his home, while “France  lay to the west.  The soldiers said that the people had been challenged to stop and that they refused, and that they had been shot as they paddled away.  But really they had landed when called by the soldiers; they had been tied hand and foot, and then shot.  One woman had struggled when shot, and had broken the vines with which her feet were tied, and she, though wounded, tried to escape.  A second bullet made her fall, but yet she rose and ran a few steps, when a third bullet laid her low.  Their hands had all been taken off—i.e., the right hand of each—for evidence of the faithfulness of the soldiers.  M. O P shot two of the soldiers, but the leader of the party was not shot, though the whole matter was carried through by him, and he it was that gave M. O P the false report.

A Chief complained that certain soldiers had taken his wives and had stolen all of his belongings that they cared to have.  He made no complaint against the “tax” that the soldiers had gone there to secure, but told of the cruelty and oppression of the soldiers carried on for their own gain.  The white officer kicked him off the verandah and said that he told many lies.   The Chief turned round with fury written on his face, stood silently looking at the white man, and then stalked off; two days later there was a report that all the soldiers with their wives and followers had been killed in that Chief’s town.  A little later the white officer who refused to set matters right, along with another Belgian officer, were killed with a number of their soldiers in an expedition for the purpose of punishing the Chief and his people for killing the first lot of soldiers.

After the rubber demand was withdrawn, in some places labour was demanded.  A very large proportion of the women from this village had to go to P* every week and work there two days.   They returned here on the third day.  Nearly every week there were complaints made that someone’s wife had been kept by a soldier, and when it was suggested that the husband should himself go and report the matter to the white man, they would reply:  “We dare not.”   Their fear was not so much of the white man but of the black soldiers.

(2.) The manner in which this war was conducted was very objectionable to any one with European ideas.  The natives attacked P* and O*, but that was only after numerous expeditions had been made against them, and the whole population roused against the “white man.”  In 99 per cent. of the “wars” in this district the cause was simply failure on the part of the people to supply produce, labour, or men, as demanded by the State.  There was the long struggle with L L L in his long resistance to State authority; but he at first was known as a                 [247] L                 0072 72 quiet man who tried to please the State, and he only started on his career as a fighting man after he had been out to help M. N O.  After the departure of M. N O to Coquilhatville, he went back and made demands and fought the people as he had done with M. N O as his Chief.

When this matter was reported to M. N O, he was angry, and called the Chief a “brigand,” and said that he would be punished.  For numerous offences he was put “on the chain,” and some time after his release the fight occurred (in which fight the two white men were killed) and he joined with others in an ineffectual attempt to drive out the white man.

In most of the fights then the natives were merely trying to defend themselves and their homes from attacks made on them by black soldiers sent to “punish them for some failure to do their duty to the State;” and if the cause for war was weak, the way in which it was carried on was often revolting.  It was stated that these soldiers were often sent out to make war on a village without a white officer accompanying them, so that there was nothing to keep them from awful excesses.

It is averred that canoes have been seen returning from distant expeditions with no white man in charge, and with human hands dangling from a stick in the bow of the canoe—or in small baskets—being carried to the white man as proofs of their courage and devotion to duty.   If one in fifty of native reports are true, there has been great lack on the part of some white men.  They, too, are accused of forgetting the subjects and conditions of war.

Statements made to me by certain natives are appended.

Many similar statements were made to me during the time I spent at Lake Mantumba, some of those made by native men being unfit for repetition.

Q Q’s Statement.

I was born at K K*.  After my father died my mother and I went to L L*.  When we returned to K K* soon after that P Q came to fight with us because of rubber.   K K* did not want to take rubber to the white man.  We and our mothers ran away very far into the bush.  The Bula Matadi soldiers were very strong and they fought hard, one soldier was killed, and they killed one K K* man.  Then the white man said let us go home, and they went home, and then we, too, came out of the bush.  This was the first fight.   After that another fighting took place.  I, my mother, grandmother, and my sister, we ran away into the bush.  The soldiers came and fought us, and left the town and followed us into the bush.  When the soldiers came into the bush near us they were calling my mother by name, and I was going to answer, but my mother put her hand to my mouth to stop me.  Then they went to another side, and then we left that place and went to another.  When they called my mother, if she had not stopped me from answering, we would all have been killed then.  A great number of our people were killed by the soldiers.  The friends who were left buried the dead bodies, and there was very much weeping.  After that there was not any fighting for some time.  Then the soldiers came again to fight with us, and we ran into the bush, but they really came to fight with M M*.  They killed a lot of M M* people, and then one soldier came out to K K*, and the K K* people killed him with a spear.  And when the other soldiers heard that their friend was killed they came in a large number and followed us into the bush.   Then the soldiers fired a gun, and some people were killed.  After that they saw a little bit of my mother’s head, and the soldiers ran quickly towards the place where we were and caught my grandmother, my mother, my sister, and another little one, younger than us.  Several of the soldiers argued about my mother, because each wanted her for a wife, so they finally decided to kill her.  They killed her with a gun—they shot her through the stomach—and she fell, and when I saw that I cried very much, because they killed my mother and grandmother, and I was left alone.  My mother was near to the time of her confinement at that time.  And they killed my grandmother too, and I saw it all done.  They took hold of my sister and asked where her older sister was, and she said: “She has just run away.”  They said, “Call her.”  She called me, but I was too frightened and would not answer, and I ran and went away and came out at another place, and I could not speak much because my throat was very sore.  I saw a little bit kwanga lying on the ground and I picked it up to eat.  At that place there used to be a lot of people, but when I got there there were none.  My sister was taken to P*, and I was at this place alone.  One day I saw a man coming from the back country.  He was going to kill me, but afterwards he took me to a place where there were people, and there I saw my step-father  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  He asked to buy me from this man, but the man would not let him.  He said, “She is my slave now; I found her.”  One day the men went out fishing, and when I looked I saw the soldiers coming, so I ran away, but a string caught my foot and I fell, and a soldier named N N N caught me.  He handed me over to another soldier, and as we went we saw some Q* people fishing, and the soldiers took a lot of fish from them and a Q* woman, and we went to P*, and they took me to the white man.

*            *            *            *            *            *            *

(Signed)                Q Q.

Signed by Q Q before me,
                (Signed)        Roger Casement,
                                              His Britannic Majesty’s Consul.

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R R’s Statement.

I, R R, came from N N*.  N N* and R* fought, and they killed several R* people, and one R* man O O O took a man and sent him to L L L to go and tell the white man to come and fight with Nkoho.  The white man who fought with N N* first was named Q R.* He fought with us in the morning; then I ran away with my mother.  Then the men came to call us back to our town.  When we were returning to our town, as we were nearing, we asked how many people were killed, and they told us three were killed.  Q R had burned down all the houses, so we were scattered to other places again; only some of the men were left to build again.  After a while we returned to our town and began to plant our gardens.  I have finished the first part of the story.

We stayed a long time at our town, then the white man who fought with N N* first went and told R S that the N N* people were very strong, so R S made up his mind to come and fight us.  When he came to O* we heard the news; it was high-water season.  We got into our canoes to run away, but the men stayed behind to wait for the soldiers.  When the white man came he did not try to fight them during the day, but went to the back and waited for night to come.  When the soldiers came at night the people ran away, so they did not kill anybody, only a sick man whom they found in a house, whom they (the soldiers) killed and disfigured his body very much.  They hunted out all the native money they could get, and in the morning they went away.  After they went away we came back to the town, but we found it was all destroyed.  We remained in our town a long time; the white man did not come back to fight with us.  After a while we heard that R S was coming to fight us.  R S sent some Q* men to tell the N N* people to send people to go and work for him, and also to send goats.  The N N* people would not do it, so he went to fight our town.  When we were told by the men that the soldiers were coming, we began to run away.  My mother told me to wait for her until she got some things ready to take with us, but I told her we must go now, as the soldiers were coming.  I ran away and left my mother, and went with two old people who were running away, but we were caught, and the old people were killed, and the soldiers made me carry the baskets with the things these dead people had and the hands they cut off.  I went on with the soldiers.  Then we came to another town, and they asked me the way and the name of the place, and I said “I do not know;” but they said, “If you do not tell us we will kill you,” so I told them the name of the town.  Then we went into the bush to look for people, and we heard children crying, and a soldier went quickly over to the place and killed a mother and four children, and then we left off looking for the people in the bush, and they asked me again to show them the way out, and if I did not they would kill me, so I showed them the way.  They took me to R S, and he told me to go and stay with the soldier who caught me.  They tied up six people, but I cannot tell how many people were killed, because there were too many for me to count.  They got my little sister and killed her, and threw her into a house and set fire to the house.  When finished with that we went to OO*, and stayed there four days, and then we went to P P*, and because the people there ran away, they killed the P P* Chief.  We stayed there several days; then we came to P*, and from there we came on to Q Q*, and there they put the prisoners in chains, but they did not put me in chains, and then he (R S) went to fight with L L*, and killed a lot of people and six people tied up.  When he came back from L L* we started and came on to Q*.

*            *            *            *            *            *            *

My father was killed in the same fight as I was captured.  My mother was killed by a sentry stationed at N N* after I left.

(Signed)                R R.    

Signed by R R, before me,
                (Signed)        Roger Casement,
                                              His Britannic Majesty’s Consul.

S S’s Statement.

S S came from the far back R R*.  One day the soldiers went to her town to fight; she did not know that the soldiers had come to fight them until she saw the people from the other side of the town running towards their end, then they, too, began to run away.  Her father, mother, three brothers, and sister were with her.  About four men were killed at this scare.  It was at this fight that one of the station girls P P P was taken prisoner.  After several days, during which time they were staying at other villages, they went back to their own town.  They were only a few days in their own town when they heard that the soldiers who had been at the other towns were coming their way too, so the men gathered up all their bows and arrows and went out to the next town to wait for the soldiers to fight them.  Some of the men stayed behind with all the women and children.  After that S S and her mother went out to their garden to work; while there S S told her mother that she had dreamed that Bula Matadi was coming to fight with them, but her mother told her she was trying to tell stories.  After that S S went back to the house, and left her mother in the garden.  After she had been a little while in the house with her little brother and sister she heard the firing of guns.  When she heard that she took up her little sister and a big basket with a lot of native money* in it, but she could not manage both, so she left the basket behind and ran away with the youngest child; the little boy                 [247] L 2                 0074 74 ran away by himself.  The oldest boys had gone away to wait for the soldiers at the other town.   As she went past she heard her mother calling to her, but she told her to run away in another direction, and she would go on with the little sister.  She found her little sister rather heavy for her, so she could not run very fast, and a great number of people went past her, and she was left alone with the little one.  Then she left the main road and went to hide in the bush.  When night came on she tried to find the road again and follow the people who had passed her, but she could not find them, so she had to sleep in the bush alone.  She wandered about in the bush for six days, then she came upon a town named S S*.  At this town she found that the soldiers were fighting there too.  Before entering the town she dug up some sweet manioc to eat, because she was very, very hungry.  She went about looking for a fire to roast her sweet manioc, but she could not find any.  Then she heard a noise as of people talking, so she hid her little sister in a deserted house, and went to see those people she had heard talking, thinking they might be those from her own town, but when she got to the house where the noise was coming from she saw one of the soldier’s boys sitting at the door of the house, and then also she could not quite understand their language, so she knew that they were not her people, so she took fright and ran away in another direction from where she had put her sister.  After she had reached the outside of the town she stood still, and remembered that she would be scolded by her father and mother for leaving her sister, so she went back at night.  She came upon a house where the white man was sleeping; she saw the sentry on a deck chair outside in front of the house, apparently asleep, because he did not see her slip past him.  Then she came to the house where her sister was, and took her, and she started to run away again.  They slept in a deserted house at the very end of the town.  Early in the morning the white man sent out the soldiers to go and look for people all over the town and in the houses.  S S was standing outside in front of the house, trying to make her sister walk some, as she was very tired, but the little sister could not run away through weakness.  While they were both standing outside the soldiers came upon them and took them both.  One of the soldiers said: “We might keep them both, the little one is not bad-looking;” but the others said “No, we are not going to carry her all the way; we must kill the youngest girl.”  So they put a knife through the child’s stomach, and left the body lying there where they had killed it.  They took S S to the next town, where the white man had told them to go and fight.   They did not go back to the house where the white man was, but went straight on to the next town.  The white man’s name was C D. The soldiers gave S S something to eat on the way.  When they came to this next town they found that all the people had run away.

In the morning the soldiers wanted S S to go and look for manioc for them, but she was afraid to go out as they looked to her as if they wanted to kill her.  The soldiers thrashed her very much, and began to drag her outside, but the corporal (N N N) came and took her by the hand and said, “We must not kill her; we must take her to the white man.”  Then they went back to the town where C D was, and they showed him S S.  C D handed her over to the care of a soldier.  At this town she found that they had caught three people, and among them was a very old woman, and the cannibal soldiers asked C D to give them the old woman to eat, and C D told them to take her.  Those soldiers took the woman and cut her throat, and then divided her and ate her.  S S saw all this done.  In the morning the soldier who was looking after her was sent on some duty by C D, and before the soldier went out he had told S S to get some manioc leaves not far from the house and to cook them.  After he left she went to do as he had told her, and those cannibal soldiers went to C D and said that S S was trying to run away, so they wanted to kill her; but he told them to tie her, so the soldiers tied her to a tree, and she had to stand in the sun nearly all day.  When the soldier who had charge of her came back he found her tied up.  C D called to him to ask about S S, so he explained to C D what he had told S S to do, so he was allowed to untie her.  They stayed several days at this place, then B D asked S S if she knew all the towns round about, and she said yes, then he told her to show them the way, so that they could go and catch people.  They came to a town and found only one woman, who was dying of sickness, and the soldiers killed her with a knife.  At several towns they found no people, but at last they came to a town where several people had run to as they did not know where else to go, because the soldiers were fighting everywhere.  At this town they killed a lot of people—men, women, and children—and took some as prisoners.  They cut the hands off those they had killed, and brought them to C D; they spread out the hands in a row for C D to see.  After that they left to return to Bikoro.  They took a lot of prisoners with them.  The hands which they had cut off they just left lying, because the white man had seen them, so they did not need to take them to P*.  Some of the soldiers were sent to P* with the prisoners, but C D himself and the other soldiers went to T T* where there was another white man.  The prisoners were sent to S T.   S S was about two weeks at P*, and then she ran away into the bush at P* for three days, and when she was found she was brought back to S T, and he asked her why she had run away.  She said because the soldiers had thrashed her.

*            *            *            *            *            *            *

S S’s mother was killed by soldiers, and her father died of starvation, or rather, he refused to eat because he was bereaved of his wife and all his children.

(Signed)                S S.    

Signed by S S before me,
                (Signed)        Roger Casement,
                                              His Britannic Majesty’s Consul.

* Brass rods.
† The name of the Military Officer in Command of the troops at that date.
0075 75

T T’s Statement.

States she belonged to the village of R*, where she lived with her grandmother.  R* was attacked by the State soldiers long ago.  It was in S T’s time.  She does not know if he was with the soldiers, but she heard the bugle blow when they were going away.  It was in the afternoon when they came, they began catching and tying the people, and killed lots of them.   A lot of people—she thinks perhaps fifty—ran away, and she was in the crowd with them, but the soldiers came after them and killed them all but herself.  She was small, and she slid into the bush.  The people killed were many, and women—there were not many children.  The children had scattered when the soldiers came, but she stayed with the big people, thinking she might be safe.

When they were all killed she waited in the grass for two nights.  She was very frightened, and her throat was sore with thirst, and she looked about and at last she found some water in a pot.  She stayed on in the grass a third night, and buffaloes came near her and she was very frightened—and they went away.  When the morning came she thought she would be better to move, and went away and got up a tree.  She was three days without food, and was very hungry.   In the tree she was near her grandmother’s house, and she looked around and, seeing no soldiers, she crept to her grandmother’s house and got some food and got up the tree again.  The soldiers had gone away hunting for buffaloes, and it was then she was able to get down from the tree.  The soldiers came back, and they came towards the trees and bushes calling out: s “Now we see you; come down, come down!”  This they used to do, so that people, thinking they were really discovered, should give themselves up; but she thought she would stay on, and so she stayed up the tree.  Soon afterwards the soldiers went, but she was still afraid to come down.  Presently she heard her grandmother calling out to know if she was alive, and when she heard her grandmother’s voice she knew the soldiers were gone, and she answered, but her voice was very small—and she came down and her grandmother took her home.

That was the first time.  Soon afterwards she and her grandmother went away to another town called U U*, near V V*, and they were there some days together, when one night the soldiers came.  The white man sent the soldiers there because the U U* people had not taken to the State what they were told to take.  Neither her own people nor the U U* people knew there was any trouble with the Government, so they were surprised.  She was asleep.  Her grandmother—her mother’s mother—tried to awaken her, but she did not know.  She felt the shaking, but she did not mind because she was sleepy.

The soldiers came quickly into the house—her grandmother rushed out just before.  When she heard the noise of the soldiers around the house, and looked and saw her grandmother not there, she ran out and called for her grandmother; and as she ran her brass anklets made a noise, and some one ran after and caught her by the leg, and she fell and the soldiers took her.

There were not many soldiers, only some boys with one soldier (Note.—She means a corporal and some untrained men.—R. C.), and they had caught only one woman and herself.  In the morning they began robbing the houses, and took everything they could find and take.

They were taken to a canoe, and went to V V*.  The soldier who caught her was the sentry at V V*.  At V V* she was kept about a week with the sentry, and when the V V* people took their weekly rations over to P* she was sent over.  The other woman who was taken to V V* was ransomed by her friends.  They came after them to V V*, and the sentry let her go for 750 rods.  She saw the money paid.  Her friends came to ransom her too, but the sentry refused, saying the white man wanted her because she was young—the other was an old woman and could not work.

(Signed)                T T.    

Signed by T T before me.
                (Signed)        Roger Casement,
                                              His Britannic Majesty’s Consul.

U U’s Statement.

When we began to run away from the fight, we ran away many times.  They did not catch me because I was with mother and father.  Afterwards mother died; four days passed, father died also.  I and an older sister were left with two younger children, and then the fighting came where I had run to.  Then my elder sister called me: “U U, come here.”  I went.  She said: “Let us run away, because we have not any one to take care of us.”  When we were running away we saw a lot of W W* people coming towards us.  We told them to run away, war was coming.  They said: “Is it true?”  We said: “It is true; they are coming.”  The W W* people said: “We will not run away; we did not see the soldiers.”  Only a little while they saw the soldiers, and they were killed.  We stayed in a town named X X*.  A male relative called me: “U U, let us go;” but I did not want to.  The soldiers came there; I ran away by myself; when I ran away I hid in the bush.  While I was running I met with an old man who was running from a soldier.  He (the soldier) fired a gun.  I was not hit, but the old man died.   Afterwards they caught me and two men.  The soldiers asked: “Have you a father and mother?”   I answered, “No.”  They said to me, “If you do not tell us we will kill you.”  I said:
0076 76 “Father and mother are dead.”  After that my oldest sister was caught, too, in the bush, and they left my little brother and sister alone in the bush to die, because heavy rain came on, and they had not had anything to eat for days and days.  At night they tied my hands and feet for fear that I should run away.  In the morning they caught three people—two had children; they killed the children.  Afterwards I was standing outside, and a soldier asked me, “Where are you going?”  I said, “I am going home.”  He said, “Come on.”  He took his gun; he put me in the house; he wanted to kill me.  Then another soldier came and took me.  We heard a big noise; they told us that the fighting was over, but it was not so.  When we were going on the way they killed ten children because they were very, very small; they killed them in the water.  Then they killed a lot of people, and they cut off their hands and put them into baskets and took them to the white man.  He counted out the hands—200 in all; they left the hands lying.  The white man’s name was “C D.”  After that C D sent us prisoners with soldiers to P* to S T.  S T told me to weed grass.  When I was working outside a soldier came and said: “Come here;” and when I went he wanted to cut my hand off, and so I went to the white man to tell him, and he thrashed the soldier.

On our way, when we were coming to P*, the soldiers saw a little child, and when they went to kill it the child laughed so the soldier took the butt of the gun and struck the child with it, and then cut off its head.  One day they killed my half-sister and cut off her head, hands, and feet because she had on rings.  Her name was Q Q Q.  Then they caught another sister, and they sold her to the W W* people, and now she is a slave there.  When we came to P* the white man said to send word to the friends of the prisoners to come with goats to buy off some of their relatives.  A lot were bought off, but I had no one to come and buy me off because father was dead.  The white man said to me, “You shall go to....”  The white man (S T) gave me a small boy to care for, but I thought he would be killed, so I helped to get him away.  S T asked me to bring the boy to him, but I said: “He has run away.”  He said he would kill me, but  .  .  .  .

*            *            *            *            *            *            *

(Signed)                U U.

Signed by U U before me.
                (Signed)        Roger Casement,
                                              His Britannic Majesty’s Consul.

[         ]

Item Details

Author(s) & contributor(s): Roger Casement; Q Q; R R; S S; T T; U U

Date(s): [1903]; 1904

Form & transmission history: Statements by a series of unnamed individual from the Congo Free State, as conveyed by one or more unnamed translators from the Congo Free State to a British government officer and as edited for and published among official British government documents.

Original publication details: In “Report on Visit to Interior of Congo State and on Condition of the Natives,” Correspondence and Report from His Majesty’s Consul at Boma Respecting the Administration of the Independent State of the Congo, Africa, 1:70-76. House of Commons. Accounts and Papers. London: Harrison and Sons for His Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1904.

Digital edition & date: One More Voice, 2020

Critical editing & encoding: Caitlin Matheis, Adrian S. Wisnicki

Cite this digital edition (MLA): Casement, Roger; Q Q; R R; S S; T T; U U. “‘Statement in Regard to the Condition of the Natives in Lake Mantumba Region During the Period of the Rubber Wars Which Began in 1893’” ([1903]; 1904). Caitlin Matheis, Adrian S. Wisnicki, eds. One More Voice, site launch edition, 2020, https://onemorevoice.org/html/transcriptions/liv_020058_TEI.html.

Rights: Critically-edited text copyright One More Voice. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

Explore complete/original item: Internet Archive

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