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ERRATA.-In the November number pages 241 to 284 should be 341, &c. In the
December number from pages 434 to 448 are dated January, 1868, instead of
December, 1868.

THE

MERCHANTS' MAGAZINE

AND

COMMERCIAL REVIEW.

JULY, 1 8 6 8.

ON THE TRADE WITH THE COLORED RACES OF AFRICA. *

I propose to take a general survey of the commerce between the colored or Ethiopic races of Africa and the civilized world; and then briefly to consider the means by which that commerce, hitherto confined to the coast, can be extended to the interior.

The Ethiopic races inhabit that vast country south of the great desert, which may with tolerable accuracy be defined by a line drawn from the River Senegal to Cape Guardafui as its northern boundary; while its southern limit is the Cape Colony. It thus comprises about forty-five degrees of latitude, and is bounded, east and west, by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans; its area being equal to one-fifth or one-sixth part of the habitable globe.

Apart from any question of inherent inferiority of race, it is obvious that the country occupied by the Ethiopians is not calculated to engender civilization. It lies in too compact a mass, unbroken by bays or inlets; nor do the rivers afford either defensive frontiers or the means of commu

* Read before the Statistical Society of London by Archibald Hamilton, Esq.

nication and transport equal to those which divide and traverse the other divisions of the globe. The great desert cuts it of from the ancient civilization of which the Mediterranean was the centre, while the intercourse subsequently established by the Arabs, is limited and impeded by the same cause. The rivers are all subject to a dry season, which renders them during a part of the year unfit for inland navigation; and they are all more or less interrupted by rapids and cataracts; though it is true equal obstacles have not hindered the St. Lawrence from becoming the great means in the settlement of Canada.

There are two circumstances which give reason to hope, not only that our commerce with the races dwelling on the coast will be rapidly enlarged, but also be extended inwards. I mean the almost total stoppage of the Christian or transatlantic slave trade, and the rapid strides which have of late been made in the exploration of the continent.

In 1854 Livingstone penetrated from the Cape Colony to Loanda, aud thence he crossed to Quillimane, tracing the course of the Zambesi on his way. Subsequently he explored Lake Nyanza, and it has recently been a public consolation to learn that he is now on his way home, most likely down the Nile, to complete our knowledge of Lake Tanganyika, first discovered by Burton. Barth has supplemented the labors of Denham and Clapperton in Central Africa, between the Niger and Lake Tchad, the most hopeful and important district of all. Speke and Grant advancing, northwards from Zanzibar, have discovered Lake Victoria Nyanza; while Baker, coming in the opposite direction from Egypt, has terminated the long mystery as to the source of the Nile, having beheld it issuing from the great lake Albert Nyanza. Brilliant as have been the results of these explorations, and others of lesser note, the field of adventure is far from exhausted; much remains for discovery before the map of Africa can be filled up, and the future highways of commerce be traced out. Happily, however, the spirit and enterprise of our countrymen are more likely to be stimulated than diminished by the exploits of the celebrated travelers to whom I have alluded.

There is one subject which occupies a large space in every book of African travel-the slave trade. I do not intend to enter into any details of the horrors attending that traffic; but as human beings have for three centuries been one of the chief exports from Africa, this subject is inseparably mixed up with that of legitimate commerce; because of the anarchy which the slave trade everywhere creates, the ceaseless kidnapping-slave hunts and wars undertaken expressly to obtain captives, to the destruction of settled industry. It is even the principal cause of the difficulties experienced in exploring the country; and has, moreover, brutalised the natives on the coast far below the condition of the people in the interior

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