Notes on a Journey from Zeila to Khartum

Oscar T. Crosby
1901 Geographical Journal  
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more » ... HARTUM. 46 NOTES ON A JOURNEY FROM ZEILA TO KHARTUM. footsteps and become a most valuable and accomplished geographer and geologist. They have given us two most interesting papers, and I am sure the meeting will wish me to convey to them a vote of thanks, not only for the papers which they have communicated to us, but for the exceedingly interesting photographs which accompanied them. DURING the period February to June of 1900, I journeyed from Zeila, in British Somaliland, to Cairo, passing Harrar, Addis-Abeba, Markos (the capital of Gojam), Wombera (the westernmost post of Abyssinian troops on the Blue Nile); thence following closely the Blue Nile to Roseires; thence by boat to Khartum. It was my good fortune while in Cairo to meet Sir Rennell Rodd, secretary to the British agency, who made my official way easy by letters to Captain C. F. Harold, in Samaliland, Mr. Gerolomato, consular agent at Harrar, and Colonel J. L. Harrington, diplomatic agent at Addis-Abeba. These gentlemen, and Mr. J. L. Baird, assistant to Colonel Harrington, by their helpfulness and hospitality, have given me a store of happy recollections concerning a journey which might otherwise have been painful, and in some part impossible. Were the space in this journal available for personal reminiscences, I should become garrulous in writing of the pleasant days in the club at Aden, the mess at Khartum, the Residency at Zeila, and the compound at Addis-Abeba. I may at least say that in meeting these men who stand as outposts of the Empire, an American may learn much of the secret of Britain's glory. The caravan route followed as far as Addis-Abeba is now a familiar one; it is not probable, therefore, that anything of interest, from a geographical point of view, could be reported from my notes. Camels were used from Zeila to Gildessa; thence to Harrar, donkeys; beyond Harrar, mules. Arrived at Addis-Abeba, I had resort to the unfailing kindness of Colonel Harrington, through whom the necessary interviews with Menelik were arranged, and permission obtained to complete the journey as above outlined. I felt particularly satisfied with the route chosen for getting out of Abyssinia, since it carried me through a considerable area in the western part of Abyssinia; thence through a sort of " no-man's-land," between Abyssinia and the Sudan; thence to the easterly post of the Sudan, a region not heretofore traversed by a white man. As the difficulties actually encountered were not considerable, I presume the failure to have visited earlier this portion of the course of the Blue Nile has been due to two causes; first, that, as to the Abyssinian region, there has been * The illustrations are from photographs by Mr. John L. Baird. footsteps and become a most valuable and accomplished geographer and geologist. They have given us two most interesting papers, and I am sure the meeting will wish me to convey to them a vote of thanks, not only for the papers which they have communicated to us, but for the exceedingly interesting photographs which accompanied them. DURING the period February to June of 1900, I journeyed from Zeila, in British Somaliland, to Cairo, passing Harrar, Addis-Abeba, Markos (the capital of Gojam), Wombera (the westernmost post of Abyssinian troops on the Blue Nile); thence following closely the Blue Nile to Roseires; thence by boat to Khartum. It was my good fortune while in Cairo to meet Sir Rennell Rodd, secretary to the British agency, who made my official way easy by letters to Captain C. F. Harold, in Samaliland, Mr. Gerolomato, consular agent at Harrar, and Colonel J. L. Harrington, diplomatic agent at Addis-Abeba. These gentlemen, and Mr. J. L. Baird, assistant to Colonel Harrington, by their helpfulness and hospitality, have given me a store of happy recollections concerning a journey which might otherwise have been painful, and in some part impossible. Were the space in this journal available for personal reminiscences, I should become garrulous in writing of the pleasant days in the club at Aden, the mess at Khartum, the Residency at Zeila, and the compound at Addis-Abeba. I may at least say that in meeting these men who stand as outposts of the Empire, an American may learn much of the secret of Britain's glory. The caravan route followed as far as Addis-Abeba is now a familiar one; it is not probable, therefore, that anything of interest, from a geographical point of view, could be reported from my notes. Camels were used from Zeila to Gildessa; thence to Harrar, donkeys; beyond Harrar, mules. Arrived at Addis-Abeba, I had resort to the unfailing kindness of Colonel Harrington, through whom the necessary interviews with Menelik were arranged, and permission obtained to complete the journey as above outlined. I felt particularly satisfied with the route chosen for getting out of Abyssinia, since it carried me through a considerable area in the western part of Abyssinia; thence through a sort of " no-man's-land," between Abyssinia and the Sudan; thence to the easterly post of the Sudan, a region not heretofore traversed by a white man. As the difficulties actually encountered were not considerable, I presume the failure to have visited earlier this portion of the course of the Blue Nile has been due to two causes; first, that, as to the Abyssinian region, there has been * The illustrations are from photographs by Mr. John L. Baird. This content downloaded from 128.235.251.160 on Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:45:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
doi:10.2307/1775763 fatcat:kch7f7iyyzhixld57y5dx5bw5q