It's a guess, but this might be the British South Africa Company.
There's something on its origins at Kew
See also "the scramble for Africa"
Colin Garvie <garvie@...> wrote:
> I have the following in "They Came to Northern Rhodesia", compiled by
> Richard Sampson (1956) from local archives. This (slim) book records
> "persons who had entered what is now the territory of (Northern
> Rhodesia) Zambia by 31st December 1902."
Could you check for me too, please?
I have the following transcribed clipping, a printed letter addressed to a certain Dr
Munro, regarding a trip Donald Sutherland Garvie made into Central Africa but I have
never been able to establish
the source of this nor who the Dr Munro is. Perhaps you or
someone else on the list can assist.
JOHANNESBURG, January 23, 1899.
Dear Dr Munro,
I have pleasure in stating, according to your request, what I saw generally, as well as re
locusts, in my travels in the north of South Africa and in Central Africa. There were three
partners of us, and we went on a trading tour as well as on a voyage of experience and
discovery. We started from Buluwayo, and trekked northwards, along the Guay River,
crossing the Zambesi River at Wankies Drift, about the 27th degree longitude, that is,
seventy or eighty miles east of the Victoria Falls, or about the confluence of the Guay
River with the Zambesi. We travelled in a northerly direction to the Mashu Kalumbwe
country, passing through parts of the Betonga country, and crossing the Mashu
Kalumbwe northern border at Naupagi.
We then journeyed north-west to the Kafue
River, extending about 250 miles into Central Africa proper, to the north of the Zambesi
River at the point mentioned. As far as we could ascertain, never did any white man
travel in these parts or along the same route through the Mashu Kalumbwe country
before. The natives made long journeys to see us. In the Betonga country, for a distance
of about 100 miles to the north of the Zambesi, over which the Chartered Company has
some sort of influence, the natives are peaceably inclined, and before approaching you,
the custom - amounting to a rule - is universally observed, namely, to lay down their
arms -assegais. But farther north in the Mashu Kalumbwe country they do not do so, they
do not acknowledge this right or obligation upon approaching a white person, so they
retain some seven or eight assegais under the left arm, and one in the right hand, ready
for action if they see occasion. In
all that country the natives have no firearms, and all
appear to be frightened of them. The Betongas use the old elephant muzzle-loading guns,
and seldom do they ever waste a shot, as they shoot at a very short range. We met with
some trouble on more than one occasion from the Mashu Kalumbwe natives.
The locust plague extends all over the country through which we travelled. We passed
many swarms on the wing during our journey. The natives suffer immensely by the
locusts, and many of the Betonga natives are in great wretchedness from this cause, and
are actually dying of starvation, the locusts having almost cleared the fields of grain.
In order to illustrate the state of things induced from this cause in that country, it will be
well to state what I passed through - of course, any description must fall short of the
reality in such a case. The thought of the sights I saw makes me still shudder as I recall
them to mind. In the
course of our business it fell to my lot to return alone by a certain
route. The journey was one of twelve days' fair or good travelling, and I had to walk all
the way, I left my partners at a native village called Marico, about forty miles from
Mondy, where I intended trading, and securing enough grain to last me until my arrival at
the Zambesi River, which was five days' journey from Mondy. So, after providing myself
with the necessary beads and limbo, i.e. calico for trading, and procuring food, I
proceeded from Marico to Mondy. But on making the requisite inquiry at Mondy, I
found to to my surprise and consternation that no grain could there be had to help me in
the way I expected. The locusts has eaten it up, so that I could at most secure only one
small wooden bowlful (just enough for one meal). All the way down from Mondy to the
Zambesi River I discovered in several instances that the natives had been starving, and
many had died from this cause. On arriving at the native village, called Matagalli, it
was very evident that the people were ingreat distress, for they subsisted for the means of
living solely on roots and the bark of a certain tree. Out of the five days' march from
Mondy to the Zambesi River I had only three meals, which consisted of boiled Kaffir
Game of all kinds is very plentiful, north of the Zambesi River, but having run short of
ammunition, I was unable to kill or procure any game. Often on the march I had to delay
an hour or two to enable the "boys" who were travelling with me to dig up roots to eat.
Then again I have seen the natives eat the locusts. They cook them by roasting them
entire on the cinders obtainable from a fire of wood, and they eat all except the wings.
On arriving at the Zambesi River, the difference there was notable - there the natives
were more fortunate, for they had an abundance of fish,
and a fair amount or supply of
grain. I managed to secure enoughgrain to carry me on to N'Gwatie's, where we had left
our waggon on the outward journey, with ample provision for our return journey. At this
place I met my partners, and there we exchanged accounts of our respective perils and
experiences. They had in their tour observed the same distress amongst the natives,
caused by the locusts, along the route in which my companions also travelled.
The Mashu Kalumbwe country possesses very beautiful scenery. Its large palm trees give
great picturesqueness to it. It abounds in fine pasture, and there are numerous herds of
cattle, especially north of the Kafue River. Some large droves of sheep and goats are to
be found in the Betonga country, but very few cattle there.
Anything that could alleviate this vast extent of fine country from the plague of locusts
would be a great benefaction, not only or merely, though very
directly to the natives, but
also to the entire country - a gain to the world in its own way.
With my compliments and best wishes for the success of your aims and objects,
I remain, yours faithfully,
DON. S. GARVIE.
Donald Garvie (b.3 Jun 1873, Edinburgh, Scotland) married Cornelia Steyn (b.?, Barclay
East) and are referred to in Meinetzhagen's "Kenya Diary"....
"The only European settlers in the whole of the Nandi country are two Boer families
called Garvie and Steyn...terrified of the Nandi."
- Col. R.Meinertzhagen, Kenya 1905.
Donald died and is buried in Nairobi in 1912.
Any information pertaining to either the Garvie or Steyn referred to here would be
greatly appreciated. As well as references to Dr Munro and the "Chartered Company"
mentioned in the letter.
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