RICHARD AND JOHN LANDER,
THE INTERIOR OF AFRICA,
FOR THE DISCOVERY
COURSE AND TERMINATION OF THE NIGER;
UNPUBLISHED DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE LATE
JOHN WILLIAM BARBER FULLERTON,
Employed in the African Service:
A Prefatory Analysis of the Previous Travels
PARK, DENHAM, CLAPPERTON, ADAMS, LYON, RITCHIE, &c.
Into the hitherto unexplored Countries of Africa.
BY ROBERT HUISH, ESQ.
Author of the "Last Voyage of Capt. Sir John Ross, to the Arctic
Regions," "Memoirs of W. Cobbett, Esq." "Private and Political Life
of the late Henry Hunt, Esq." &c. &c. &c.
(Printed for the Proprietors,)
PUBLISHED BY JOHN SAUNDERS, 25, NEWGATE STREET.
Many are the acquisitions which geography has made since the
boundaries of commerce have been extended, and the spirit of
enterprise has carried our adventurous countrymen into countries
which had never yet been indented by a European foot; and which, in
the great map of the world, appeared as barren and uninhabitable
places, destitute of all resources from which the traveller could
derive a subsistence. It must, however, on the other hand, be
admitted, that design has frequently had little to do in the
discovery of those countries, however well it may have been
conceived, and however great the perseverance may have been, which
was exhibited in the pursuit. The discovery of America was, indeed,
a splendid example of an enlightened conception, and an undaunted
heroism, crowned with the most complete success; and the laudable and
unabated ardour which this country, in despite of the most appalling
obstacles, has persisted in solving the great geographical problem of
the Course and Termination of the Niger, may be placed second in rank
to the discovery of America.
As long as any fact is shut out from the knowledge of man, he who is
in search of it will supply the deficiency by his own conclusions,
which will be more or less removed from the object of his pursuit,
according to the previous opinions which he may have formed, or to
the credit which he may have placed on the reports of others. These
remarks cannot be better illustrated, than in the case furnished by
the Joliba, the Quorra, or Niger, the termination of which river was
utterly unknown until Richard and John Lander, braving difficulties
which would have broken any other hearts than theirs, succeeded in
navigating the river until its conflux with the ocean. Since Park's
first discovery of the Joliba, every point of the compass has been
assumed for the ulterior course and termination of that river, and
however wrong subsequent discovery has proved this speculative
geography to have been, it is not to be regarded as useless. Theories
may be far short of the truth, but while they display the ingenuity
and reasoning powers of their authors, they tend to keep alive that
spirit of inquiry and thirst for knowledge which terminates in
Various accounts of this river had been gradually collected from
different sources, which afforded grounds for fresh theories
respecting its termination.
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