Saturday, 3 January 2009

Travels in North West Rhodesia

My Travels in North West Rhodesia; Or, a Missionary Journey of Sixteen Thousand Miles By Rev. G. E. Butt, Eighteen years missionary in South Africa, President of the Primitive Methodist Conference, 1905. The trip described is in 1908.

There's no index in this book, unfortunately, but it is a conventional account of travels in North Western Rhodesia - the old territory covering Zambia west of the Kafue River. They travel to and from N'Kala (or Nkala), which appears to be between Choma and Kalomo.

As is usual for this era, very few first names of people are given. Travel begins in the usual way from Cape Town, proceeding north up the rail line through Zimbabwe / Rhodesia, including Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. From there they proceed to Broken Hill (Kabwe), Nambala, and then to the Kafue "about 200 miles higher than the train station". Then on to Nkala, Nanzela, Kasanga, Kalomo and back home via Livingstone. It's not very clear what the route is.

Other place names (or versions of them) that turn up include Mumba and Kokobells Road.

Loading a train at Wankie coalfields

Livingstone station

Staff at Nanzela


Missionary graves at N'Kala, including those of Elsie Buckenham and the first Mrs Pickering

Staff at Nambala

The first mission house at N'Kala,
Some quotes:

"Kafue River trader's station... "a few huts, one for a shop; one for a store; one to live in... I think he is a German Jew"

Victoria Falls Hotel "capable of holding 200 guests... one storey iron erections, lined with wood and matting" p.43

At Broken Hill "the late postmaster... shot himself" This is about Aug 1908

At Livingstone "we passed the old seat of government... removed about 18 months since to New Livingstone. The buildings are still there but in ruins... fixtures have been removed. One cannot but feel sorry for the change... Sufficient remains to show that some of the buildings were very substantial and fine"


He has an interesting conversation with his carriers about taxes:


"Would 'Moruti' tell them why the Missionaries brought the Magistrates into the country? They were glad to have Missionaries, but did not want Magistrates... because they taxed people."

He goes on to explain the purpose of taxes. The spokesman was a Barotse man who had been sold into slavery as a boy, but ran away to Nanzela.

"that can never happen to any of your boys and girls; because the Government is against slavery... " and he explains how taxes help to protect them. Eventually they all agree that taxes are good!


The following names turn up (pages follow, approximately)

BALDWIN (N'Kala) 114, 138, 139, 144 (photo)
BROWN (Victoria Falls Hotel) 43, 51-2
BUCKENHAM (family, including Elsie, died at N'Kala) 138-9, 144, 150-51, 165
CHAPMAN 23, 68, 95, 106, 119, 126, 139
CREWE, Col. 12
DALE (magistrate) 191
DIPHOOKO (mason, bricklayer from Kimberley; Nambala) 95, 106, 109, 182
FELL 185
GILLENDER, Rev. R. 25-6
HALSE (Bulawayo) 29, 33
HARRISON (nee HALSE, Bulawayo) 33
HEATH, Rev (From midlands of UK, Vryburg) 18
HINDES (postmaster, Mumba) 86
JALLA (Brothers, French Mission near Livingstone) 51
JOSEPH (a teacher, perhaps his first name?) 161
KAKOA's village 133 (father of MONO)
KEMUEL (from Basutoland) 163, 195, 223, 225, 238, 243, 264
KERSWELL (Broken Hill) xiii, 66-7, 71, 75-6, 78, 83-5, 91, 95, 104, 109, 111-4, 117, 121-2, 125, 130, 135, 154, 163, 168, 176-8
KHAMI (King) 20
KNIGHT (Aliwal) 11,12
LEGG (Cape Town) 11
LETSEA (son of Lewanika) 234-9
LOWE (Wesleyan minister, Johannesburg) 20,23
LUSE (slave rescued from Portuguese raiders in 1908) & Husband (photo of both)
MAOLOSI, Robert 68, 95, 114, 139, 150, 163
MONO 's village 112
PRICE xiii, 136-149, 154-160, 178-192, 205-6, 211, 219, 222, 230, 235-37, 251, 258-60
RAMATHE, D. (evangelist from Aliwal) 138-40, 144-9, 162-3, 173, 176, 181, 183
SHALOBA (Chief) 191, 220
SMITH 23, 106, 119, 126, 155, 163, 185, 205, 215, 230, 261
WATSON (assistant magistrate) 196-9, 215-6
WILLOUGHBY, Rev (Tiger's Kloof) xii, 19,25,208

PICKERING - lost the reference...