“The History of Caras Farrar of Finding Dr Livingstone, in Central Africa”
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The History of Caras Farrar of finding Dr. Livingstone,
in Central Africa
In February, 1872 I was at Sharaupur School
near Nasick. I heard Mr Price talk of an expedition going
to Africa to find out Dr. Livingstone. I and many others were
willing to go and join the expedition. Some time after the
Rev. W.S. Price received a telegram. Whether it was from
London or Bombay I cannot tell; but this I know, that I,
Jacob Wainwright, and four others were chosen for the ex-
pedition. We were ordered immediately to leave Nasick
for Bombay. At Bombay the Rev. J.S.S. Robertson, the Secre[-]
tary, got us all the necessary things for our journey from
Bombay to Zanzibar. Having got ready, I and my fellow
companions left Bombay per ship "Livinia," bound for
Zanzibar. The captain of the ship was very kind to us through
out the voyage. We had pleasant wind which made our
ship to glide rapidly over the mighty foaming ocean. But
it did not continue so for many days. One day a heavy
storm made our little ship to reel fearfully, so much
so that we and other passengers on board had entirely
despaired of our lives. But God in whose hands the powers
of the sea are, was with us. The raging of the water soon
ceased and our hearts began again to look on the blue
sea with less fear. After sailing twenty-one days we
landed at Zanzibar. We anchored about half past 6 p.m.
Next day very early in the morning the captain of our ship
took me and my companions to the English Consul, Dr. Kirk.
He was very kind to us and he got us a room where we
lived in waiting for the remainder .
We were only four days in the island when the remainder of the expedition
consisting of young Livingstone, Mr. Dawson and others arrived
from England. After their arrival everything was got ready.
The Livingstone Search Expedition then left the is-
land of Zanzibar for Buàgamoyo. At Buàgamoyo while
we were ready for leaving the country for the interior, Mr.
H.M. Stanley at once made his appearance at Buaga-
moyo from the interior, bringing the news of Dr. L. being
found. We were all glad to hear that the good Dr. was
alive. We all then returned to Zanzibar again with Mr.
Stanley leaving some of us behind to take care of some
of the baggages that were left behind. At Zanzibar the
Europeans were all very glad to see Mr Stanley, specially the
young Livingstone. About ten days were given to the men
who came from the interior with Mr. Stanley for refresh-
ment, after which time they were again asked to go and
carry some stores for the Dr. L. sent by Mr. Stanley. Young
Mr Livingstone was willing to join this caravan in order
to go and see his beloved father. But the European friends
at Zanzibar would not permit him to go. He asked me
and my companions whether we would prefer going to India
back or joining the party that was ready for going to carry
some stores for his father. We all preferred going to see the
Dr. in the heart of Africa which was one object in leaving
India. The whole party consisted of 70 persons in all. We
then left Zanzibar for Buagamoyo again. At Buàgamoyo
we did not stay long for we remained there only two days
and then commenced our long journey to Unyembe in the interior.
In about 2 months and a half we reached Uniembe. Here we
found the great missionary and enterprising traveller, living
with savage Africans and half barbarous Arabs. The Dr. was
very pleased to see us a little band of Christians. Many and if
not all of the nine boys who joined him at first in his long
and adventurous travels had entirely deserted him. It was
therefore natural for him to ask us whether we preferred
going back to the coast or following him in his adventurous
work. He was afraid we would prove ourselves the same
as our brothers. He therefore gave us a day for consideration as
to whether we would go and be faithful to him in all the trials
and enormous difficulties and countless privations while journey
ing about through countries unknown to finish his work assigned
to him or make our way to the coast again. Some of us were willing
to return to the coast a thing which would go very much against us
had we left him. After a little consultation we all made up our
minds to follow him. Ten days were then given us here at Uniem-
be for taking rest. When the ten days were expired we left the
Uniembe country for Cawende. In this country there is the lake
Tanganyika. We then commenced our journey by coasting the lake
towards the north east till we reached the country of the Nama-
roongoo. Leaving the country of the Namaroongoo we entered
the country of the Wapipa. But before leaving the frontiers
of the fierce race of the Namaroongoo for Pipa, the Dr. was
asked to give something to the chiefs of the country as he was quitting
their land. The Dr. instead of heeding to their everlasting demands
ordered the men to take up their loads and move onwards
without giving them anything: After marches and countermarches
of many a long day we entered the Wemba country. Here we
with great difficulties arising from want of food. The natives
had deserted their country owing to some petty wars and our
whole expedition was thrown to the severest test as we lay for
days without any means of sustenance. We fed upon wild fruit
of the jungle. The Dr. then despatched ten men full armed to go
finding if any trace of a road leading into countries or
villages could be found while the whole of the expedition
and the Dr. remained behind. The ten men travelled 3 days
after which they found villages. The news of our arrival soon
reached Kumbakumba an enterprising Arab chief and one
of the Dr.'s friend, who hearing of his coming sent him some
rice, goats, etc. Kumbakumba is an Arab chief and is a terror
of that part of the country. After remaining a few days at Wemba
we left it for the island where the king Matipa lives in the midst
of the large sheet of water called Bemba. We found the king
in the middle of Bemba Lake. We reached him by going in
small native canoes. The Lake has many islands in it and it
took us two to row to go to the island where the king resides. We
were detained for a long time by the king in this island as he was
not willing to give us canoes. At last the Dr. ordered all his
men to arm themselves and to follow him to the king's hut to
demand boats. After telling the king the folly of his keeping us
longer against our will we demanded to leave the place soon any[-]
how contrary to his will. The king seeing that the Dr. was determined
to leave he immediately procured him many boats which soon
transported the Dr., his men, and their baggages on the other side
of the Bisa country. It took us 3 days to cross the Bemba
lake to get to other side of Bisa country. When we got to the other
side of the Bisa, the Dr. divided his men into two divisions.
One division went with the Dr. coasting one of the rivers called
Chambesi which falls into the Bemba Lake. But he had
soon to leave following Chambesi and went coasting
another river the name of which I do not now remember.
The second division went on by land following the same
direction from where the Chambesi flowed. We travelled
three days without meeting the Dr.'s party. We then halted
three days near a river which the natives of the country would
not allow us to cross it owing to the war that was going on
in that part of the country. The Dr. while coasting the river
in canoes took sickness. He then sent some of his men
to find out where the second division was, in order to get
the Dr.'s donkey from them for him to ride as he was ill
with dysentery which sickness added to the inclement clime
and the need of medical man did greatly weaken his con-
stitution. He then soon came and joined with the second
division. The next day we all along with the Dr. crossed
river where the natives detained the first division.
The Dr. then began to grow worse and worse every day. He was
no longer able to ride on his donkey, and yet, strange to say,
he urged us all forward though we did not know where we
were hastening to. But each and all of us plaining saw
that our master was declining every day by the fatigue of the
journey and by the sickness. When he could no longer ride or
be able to sit on his donkey we then carried him on a cot.
But time soon came when we could no longer also carry him
about in the open heat of the sun of central Africa. We there-
fore halted at a place called Kalonga Njofu on the frontiers
of the Bisa country where we remained five days. Leaving
this place we crossed a river which divides the Bisa country
and Illala. In Illala we raised a booth for the sick
Dr. His sickness increased every day which thing greatly alarmed
us. We six Nassick felt more fear as we were the only xtians
while the majority were Mohammedans. We thought if our
master die in this part of the world surely none of us
that are Christians would survive to go and tell the story
of our master's death. But our God overruled the whole
affair as it pleased him. Majuàra was his waiting
boy in the booth. On the morning of the second day of our
arrival at Illala, Majuàra who always slept near our
sick master, was compelled by necessity to leave the booth
for some minutes leaving the Dr. on the cot in side the
booth. But on his return again he found the Dr. fallen
on the ground already expired. This took place on the 4th May
1873. We were all as it may easily be seen then described
very sorry for our master. The whole camp wept for him.
We decided that our master's death should be kept a secret
from the natives. But the king of Illala soon heard
the Dr.'s death on the second day. He was grieved for not
having been informed by us at once of the Dr.'s death.
To show how much loved the Dr. was he summoned all
the chiefs, men, and women of his country to come out
with their drums and other materials of war to morn for
the Dr. after their custom. Accordingly his orders were obeyed.
There was then the most devilish and fanatical morning
dance in which men, women and children promiscuously
mingled. The whole caravan knowing the great loss they
had sustained fired incessantly their guns in honour of
their master. The morning was kept up for two days. Three
days after, the bereaved faithfuls of the great traveller
held a council as to what should be done to the body of
their deceased commander. After each giving his own
private opinion it was unanimously carried out that
the body of our master should not be left in the in-
terior of Africa but embalm it and carry it to the
coast. Accordingly, I and another Swahili man dissected
the body and after removing all the abdominal parts
filled it with salt and brandy and then exposed it to
the sun fifteen days. We then began to think of return
ing to the coast with our master's remains. There is a large
tree at Illala and if travellers are ever to reach that
part of Africa they will not fail to see the inscrip-
tions made on it. The name of the famous traveller
is there nicely cut on the tree and the date of his
death. Thus far did I and my companions go with
Dr. L. whom death refused us to bring him alive again.
We then soon left Illala and travelling westward
after three days we came to the river Luapulla
which we crossed.
After crossing the Luàpulla we entered the country
of Cawende. Leaving Cawende we entered the country
of Wemba. Here we met our formerly road which we
followed and led us to the country of the King Kapesa
one of the Dr.'s best friends. King Kapesa when told
of the Dr.'s death, he sighed heavily for him and also
appeared to be very sorry for him. We then left the
Wemba country and travelling every day about a
score of miles we came to a country called Pipa.
There was no occasion for losing time now. Leaving the
Pipa country we followed the same course we took go-
ing time that is coasting the lake Tanganyika. Visiting the
Pipa country we entered Namaroongoo country. Leaving
Namaroongoo country we hastily passed the Cawende
and Conongo countries and finally arrived at Uriem-
be country. Here we met three Europeans, to wit, Mr.
Cameron, Dr. Dillon and Mr. Moffatt. They were proceed-
ing to Ujiji with a view of reserving some remaining
papers left there by the Dr. L. But as they saw the re-
mains of the Dr. with us, two of them Dr. Dillon and
Mr Moffatt changed their minds so that instead
proceeding on their journey they preferred returning
with us to the coast. We were one month at Uniembe
with the three gentlemen. On the day of our leaving
Uniembe, Mr Cameron also left it for Ujiji while Mr.
Moffatt and Dr. Dillon joined us. Dr. Dillon, however,
soon took sickness on the way. After journeying three
days from Uniembe Dr. D. blew up his own brains
with a gun and instantly expired. We buried him
in the same country where he died.
Leaving Uniembe we came to a country called Ugogo.
Hitherto the Dr.'s remains was carried on the shoulders
of two persons throughout, but coming to the Ugogo
country for fear of the natives knowing that we were carry
ing dead body it became necessary to make it single man's
load. It is an abomination thing among some of the African
tribes to carry a dead body through their country. The Wagogo
are a fierce and warlike race and we were afraid
in passing their country the remains of our master
would fall into their hands. But we soon passed
their country and entered the Usagara country. Rapidly
passing through the Usagara country we entered the
Usigua. Leaving Usigua we rapidly moved on till we
once more again saw Buàgamoyo "heria bahari" or
welcome sea, was the cheering word heard from every[-]
body's lips while approaching Buagamoyo.
At Buagamoyo there is a French Roman Catholic mission
and as soon as we arrived Mr. Moffatt took the body to
the mission house where a coffin was made for it.
On the following day Mr. Moffatt took the body on board
a ship which soon weighed anchor and left for Zanzibar
leaving many of us behind. But as the end of our journey
was not ended there was no reason for us to remain
long at Buagamoyo; hence remaining only there we
left it also for Zanzibar. We raised our grateful thanks
to our heavenly father for his goodness in bringing us safe
again thus far. We all went to the English Consul's house.
Of the nine boys who followed the Dr on the first out set
two only followed his remains to Zanzibar; to wit, Ed.
Gardiner and Nathaniel Cumba. These men throughout
the journey never associated with us six Christian boys
their brothers as they have turned out Mohammedans.
Chuma and Suse, in spite of all that the Dr. did for
them in getting them English education at Dr. Wilson's -
School at Bombay have at last turned out Mohammedans
also. One of the nine boys, Simon Price by name, deserted
the Dr. long before his death and is now trading between
the coast and the interior. Abraham Pereira is at Uniembe
he like Simon deserted their master. Andrew Powell, James
Brown and Albert we did not see them nor did we
get any satisfactory account of them. Richard Isenberg
died soon before the Dr. left for the interior. Reuben
Smith having fallen ill at Zanzibar was sent back
to Bombay. John Wainwright, one of our number was
lost on the way while returning to the coast along with us.
Having delivered the body at Zanzibar we remained there
a few days. The English Consul paid five of us 87½ dollars.
After a few days' stay the English Consul sent Jacob
Wainwright to England while four of us he sent
to Mombas. At Mombas I not liking Mr. Sparshott's
ill treatment I engaged myself to an engineer on board
the man of War called "Daphne". After cruising about
she went to Aden where the engineer charged me as being
unfit for the duties I engaged myself. I then paid my pas-
sage and went to Bombay where I arrived on the first
of July. Here ends my journey of finding the great African
explorer in the central Africa. and back again to India.
Bombay September 9. 1874.
Author(s) & contributor(s): Caras Farrar; Anonymous
Date(s): 9 September 1874
Place(s) of creation: Bombay
Form & transmission history: Manuscript narrative in another hand with signature in author's hand.
Object description: Carbon copy; nine-page letter in one hand with closing signature in author's hand.
Repository: University of Birmingham. Cadbury Research Library (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Shelfmark / Identifier: CMS/Z 19
Digital edition & date: One More Voice, 2020
Critical editing & encoding: Caitlin Matheis, Adrian S. Wisnicki
Rights: Critically-edited text copyright One More Voice. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Cite this digital edition (MLA): Farrar, Caras; Anonymous. “‘The History of Caras Farrar of Finding Dr Livingstone, in Central Africa’” (9 September 1874). Caitlin Matheis, Adrian S. Wisnicki, eds. One More Voice, site launch edition, 2020, https://onemorevoice.org/html/transcriptions/liv_020061_TEI.html.
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