A Walk across Africa J. A. Grant's Account of the Nile Expedition of 1860–1863
The Nile Expedition of 1860–1863 was one of the most important exploratory expeditions made in the nineteenth century. The long-debated question of the location of the source of the Nile was answered (despite continuing arguments) and the venture had important historical consequences. Earlier accounts of the expedition have assumed James Augustus Grant to have been no more than the loyal second-in-command to John Hanning Speke, the leader. This new edition of Grant’s 1864 book, A Walk across Africa, provides the opportunity to re-examine his role. The original text has been fully annotated with explanatory notes and also supplemented by extracts from the very remarkable detailed day-to-day journal which Grant kept. Even more unusually, this edition includes reproductions of the whole visual record which he made consisting of 147 watercolours and sketches. This was the first ever visual record of large parts of East Africa and the Upper Nile Valley region. These documentary and illustrative materials have been drawn from the extensive collection of Grant’s papers now in the care of the National Library of Scotland. The Library has co-operated in the preparation of this volume to make possible its special features.
Grant emerges as a much more impressive and important figure than has previously been recognised. He was a trained scientist and his narrative is a well-organised perspective on the expedition and its activities. His own growing understanding of Africa and of Africans becomes apparent and helps to explain his later activities.
The editor provides a context to the expedition and its results and this includes a new approach to the understanding of the Nile source problem by exposing the credulity of the way many previous commentators have used Ptolemy’s information and also by suggesting that the problem should be approached in the light of geological and geomorphological as well as historical information. The Introduction in addition discusses Grant’s work in the light of the development of the academic understanding of the history of Africa and of European involvement in the region.
1. Grant and his Contribution to the Nile Expedition of 1860–1863
2. Prelude to the Expedition: East African Development to 1860 and the Idea of the Nile Expedition
3. The Nile Problem: Controversy and Credulity
4. Grant’s Geographical Work and his Views on the Nile Problem
5. Grant’s Reputation and the Place of his Work and Exploration: a Survey of the Literature
THE TEXT OF A WALK ACROSS AFRICA WITH EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNAL
Preface [by J. A. Grant]
I Plymouth to Zanzibar
II Zanzibar and Bagomoyo
III Journey to Kazeh
IV Sojourn at Kazeh
V Journey to Ukuni and Sojourn at Mineenga
VI Life in Ukuni
VII Ukuni to Karagwe
IX The Uganda March
XI From Buganda to Bunyoro and ‘Captain Speke Proceeds to the Lake Nyanza’
XII Bunyoro, the Omukama Kamrasi and Embarking on the Nile
XIII From Bunyoro to an Egyptian Encampment at Faloro
XIV Life with the Khartoum Traders and News of Speke’s Death
XV Passage through the Bari Country, Gondokoro and the Meetings with Baker and Petherick
XVI From Gondokoro to Khartoum by Boat
XVII ‘A Modern Babylon’: Khartoum
XVIII From Khartoum to Cairo
APPENDIX A: List of Personal Kit Taken with us from England for the Expedition.
APPENDIX B: Letter dated 17 November 1864 from Trenham Reeks to Captain Grant