has made a minute examination of the much-spoken-of
"Horned Men of Africa.'' He found that this anomaly
was caused by a congenital malformation and remarkable
development of the infraorbital ridge of the maxillary
bone. He described several cases, and through an interpreter
found that they were congenital, followed no history
of traumatism, caused little inconvenience, and were
unassociated with disturbance of the sense of smell.
He also learned that the deformity was quite rare in
the Cape Coast region, and received no information tending
to prove the conjecture that the tribes in West Africa
used artificial means to produce the anomaly, although
such custom is prevalent among many aborigines."
George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle, Anomalies and
Curiosities of Medicine (1896)
committee are accused of having sent out bricks and
stones from England for the reparation of Cape Coast
Castle on the coast of Guinea, a business for which
parliament had several times granted an extraordinary
sum of money. These bricks and stones too, which had
thus been sent upon so long a voyage, were said to
have been of so bad a quality, that it was necessary
to rebuild from the foundation the walls which had
been repaired with them. The forts and garrisons which
lie north of Cape Rouge, are not only maintained at
the expence of the state, but are under the immediate
government of the executive power; and why those which
lie south of that Cape, and which too are, in part
at least, maintained at the expence of the state,
should be under a different government, it seems not
very easy even to imagine a good reason."
-- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and
Cause of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
saw a great deal of the people of his day, and was apparently
an estimable personage; but as a raconteur he is unpardonably
dull and colorless. His literary importance may be measured
by the fact that the performance in which he took most
satisfaction was his standing godfather to much of the
poetic progeny of the prolific but now forgotten "L.
E. L." This lady is chiefly remembered by the tragical
circumstances of her death (she poisoned herself, if
we are not mistaken, at Cape Coast Castle, in Africa,
where, after having married an officer in the English
army, she had gone to live).
Henry James, English Writers, 1864-1914
WILEY & PUTNAM'S
LIBRARY OF AMERICAN BOOKS
JOURNAL OF AN AFRICAN CRUISER.
Journal of an African Cruiser. Edited by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
beautifully printed, 50 cents.
"To our recollection, the last dozen years have
only produced three books touching upon Western Africa;
that of Holman, the blind traveller, who called at Sierra
Leone and Cape Coast Castle, but of course saw nothing;
Ranken's `White Man's Grave,' which was confined to
Sierra Leone, and which preferred the attractions of
effect to solid accuracy; with Dr. Madden's semi-official
reports, which were obnoxious to the same remark with
a bias superadded. Hence, the`Journal of an African
Cruiser' is not only fresh in its subject, but informing
in its matter, especially in relation to the experiment
of Liberia. It has the further advantage of giving us
an American view of the slave trade and the Negro character,
without the prejudices of the southern planter, or the
fanaticism of the abolitionist."
religious ideas which the Negroes brought with them
to America from Africa were the fragments of a system
of thought and custom, which, in its general features,
is common to most barbarous people. What we call "fetichism"
is, I suppose, merely the childish way of looking at
and explaining the world, which did not, in the case
of the people of West Africa, preclude a belief in the
one true God, although He was regarded by them as far
away and not interested in the little affairs of men."
Booker T. Washington, The Religious Life of the Negro
Winston's heart stirred. That was the bulletin from
the front; instinct told him that it was bad news that
was coming. All day, with little spurts of excitement,
the thought of a smashing defeat in Africa had been
in and out of his mind. He seemed actually to see the
Eurasian army swarming across the never-broken frontier
and pouring down into the tip of Africa like a column
of ants. Why had it not been possible to outflank them
in some way? The outline of the West African coast stood
out vividly in his mind. He picked up the white knight
and moved it across the board. There was the proper
spot. Even while he saw the black horde racing southward
he saw another force, mysteriously assembled, suddenly
planted in their rear, cutting their comunications by
land and sea. He felt that by willing it he was bringing
that other force into existence. But it was necessary
to act quickly. If they could get control of the whole
of Africa, if they had airfields and submarine bases
at the Cape, it would cut Oceania in two. It might mean
anything: defeat, breakdown, the redivision of the world,
the destruction of the Party! He drew a deep breath.
An extraordinary medley of feeling-but it was not a
medley, exactly; rather it was successive layers of
feeling, in which one could not say which layer was
undermost struggled inside him.
George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
the man groped for light; all this was not Life, --
it was the world-wandering of a soul in search of itself,
the striving of one who vainly sought his place in the
world, ever haunted by the shadow of a death that is
more than death, -- the passing of a soul that has missed
its duty. Twenty years he wandered, -- twenty years
and more; and yet the hard rasping question kept gnawing
within him, "What, in God's name, am I on earth
for?" In the narrow New York parish his soul seemed
cramped and smothered. In the fine old air of the English
University he heard the millions wailing over the sea.
In the wild fever-cursed swamps of West Africa he stood
helpless and alone. You will not wonder at his weird
pilgrimage, -- you who in the swift whirl of living,
amid its cold paradox and marvellous vision, have fronted
life and asked its riddle face to face."
W.E.B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk (1901)
so the Colonial Office appointed John Clayton to a new
post in British West Africa, but his confidential instructions
centered on a thorough investigation of the unfair treatment
of black British subjects by the officers of a friendly
European power. Why he was sent, is, however, of little
moment to this story, for he never made an investigation,
nor, in fact, did he ever reach his destination."
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes (1914)
may give one other case: so confidently did I expect
to find gradations in important points of structure
between the different castes of neuters in the same
species, that I gladly availed myself of Mr F. Smith's
offer of numerous specimens from the same nest of the
driver ant (Anomma) of West Africa. The reader will
perhaps best appreciate the amount of difference in
these workers, by my giving not the actual measurements,
but a strictly accurate illustration: the difference
was the same as if we were to see a set of workmen building
a house of whom many were five feet four inches high,
and many sixteen feet high; but we must suppose that
the larger workmen had heads four instead of three times
as big as those of the smaller men, and jaws nearly
five times as big."
Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural
Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in
the Struggle for Life, 1859
Kingsley, in her "West African Studies", tells
us that if we desire to understand the institutions
of this district, we must study the native's religion.
For his religion has so firm a grasp upon his mind that
it influences everything he does. it is not a thing
apart, as the religion of the Europeans is at times.
The African cannot say, "Oh, that is all right
from a religious point of view, but one must be practical."
To be practical, to get on in the world, to live the
day and night through, he must be right in the religious
point of view, namely, must be on working terms with
the great world of spirits around him. The knowledge
of this spirit world constitutes the religion of the
African, and his customs and ceremonies arise from his
idea of the best way to influence it."
Upton Sinclair, The Profits of Religion: An Essay
in Economic Interpretation (1918)
sorts of things we're going to do," said Capes;
"all sorts of times we're going to have. Sooner
or later we'll certainly do something to clean those
prisons you told me about -- limewash the underside
of life. You and I. We can love on a snow cornice, we
can love over a pail of whitewash. Love anywhere. Anywhere!
Moonlight and music -- pleasing, you know, but quite
unnecessary. We met dissecting dogfish. . . . Do you
remember your first day with me? . . . Do you indeed
remember? The smell of decay and cheap methylated spirit!
. . . My dear! we've had so many moments! I used to
go over the times we'd had together, the things we'd
said -- like a rosary of beads. But now it's beads by
the cask -- like the hold of a West African trader.
It feels like too much gold-dust clutched in one's hand.
One doesn't want to lose a grain. And one must -- some
of it must slip through one's fingers."
H.G. Wells, Ann Veronica: A Modern Love Story
were talking about nerve just now," observes the
surgeon. "Just after my qualifying I served in
the Navy for a time, as I think you know. I was on the
flag-ship on the West African Station, and I remember
a singular example of nerve which came to my notice
at that time. One of our small gunboats had gone up
the Calabar river, and while there the surgeon died
of coast fever. On the same day a man's leg was broken
by a spar falling upon it, and it became quite obvious
that it must be taken off above the knee if his life
was to be saved. The young lieutenant who was in charge
of the craft searched among the dead doctor's effects
and laid his hands upon some chloroform, a hip-joint
knife, and a volume of Grey's Anatomy. He had the man
laid by the steward upon the cabin table, and with a
picture of a cross section of the thigh in front of
him he began to take off the limb. Every now and then,
referring to the diagram, he would say: `Stand by with
the lashings, steward. There's blood on the chart about
here.' Then he would jab with his knife until he cut
the artery, and he and his assistant would tie it up
before they went any further. In this way they gradually
whittled the leg off, and upon my word they made a very
excellent job of it. The man is hopping about the Portsmouth
Hard at this day."
Conan Doyle, Round the Red Lamp, 1894