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Khartoum is one of three sister cities, built at the convergence of the Blue and White Niles: Omdurman to the north-west across the White Nile, North Khartoum, and Khartoum itself on the southern bank of the Blue Nile.

Journal des Voyages. A La Recherche de Gordon.
Sudan the Mahdi's Troops
take Khartoum

Khartoum has a relatively short history. It was first established as a military outpost in 1821, and is said to derive its name from the thin spit of land at the convergence of the rivers, which resembles an elephant's trunk (khurtum). Khartoum grew rapidly in prosperity during the boom years of the slave trade, between 1825 and 1880. In 1834 it became the capital of the Sudan, and many explorers from Europe used it as a base for their African expeditions.

Khartoum was sacked twice during the latter half of the 19th century -- once by the Mahdi and once by Kitchener when the Mahdi was ousted. In 1898, Kitchener began to rebuild the city, and designed the streets in the shape of the British flag, the Union Jack, which he hoped would make it easier to defend. On the opposite bank of the Nile, North Khartoum was developed as an industrial area at about the same time.

October 30, 1872, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The African Slave Trade
Astounding Facts from Upper Egypt.

From the St. Louis Republican.

Now that slavery is a thing of the past in this country, and people are no longer perjudiced in their views of that institution by personal interests involved, the details which now and then come to as of the sickening horrors of human bondage in Turkey and Egypt and other countries of the Far East must appall all alike, and excite a universal desire for the emancipation of those thousands and thousands of unfortunate human beings who drag out their miserable lives in a servitude more cruel and more horrible than was ever witnessed tn this country. The infamous slave traffic continues unabated in those lands, and from Circassia on the one side, and Abyssinia on the other, the human freights is hurried forward year after year to Turkey and Egypt. The Sulitan at his capital in Constantinople is complacently indifferent to its horrors, and his Viceroy at Cairo but reflects his indifference.

The extent of thbe slave traffic between Upper and Lower Egypt is enormous. A correspondent of the New York Herald, writing from Khartoum, which is the capital of the African slare trade, gives some important information concerning it.

How the Game Begins.

In the month of August, he says, the traders begin to prepare for their departure in November. They have no great sums of money on hand, so they borrow it, paying from 5 to 12 per cent a month or 60 to 144 per cent per annum. All the salaried Clerks who get above 10 a month are enabled to lend in this manner, and in a year's time they find they have a snug profit. The traders, most of whom are mild, inoffensive appearing men, wtih their river boats, ascend in a regular squadron before the north wind. Every expedition means war, and, according to its magnitude, is provided with 100 to 1,000 armed men. The soldiers employed consist of the miserable, Dongolowie, who carry double-barrelled shotguns and knives; and are chiefly noted for their huge appetites and love of marissa (beer). Each large dealer has his his own territory, and tie resents promptly any attempt of another trader to trespass thereon. For instance, Agate, the most famous of all African slave traders, knew, and his men frequently visited, the Victoria Nianza long before Speke ever dreamed of it. When asked why he did not report tbe circumstance officially he demands, very simply, "What for?" Neither Agate nor any of the other traders are aware of the tons of manuscript which have been wasted upon "The Sources of tbe Nile," and if they did know it would boot nothing.

Agate's station is now near the Nianza, and he keeps up a heavy force there, as indeed he does at all his stations. When the expedition is ready it moves slowly up to the Neam-Neam country, for instance, and if one tribe is hostile to another, he joins with the strongest, and takes his pay in slaves.

Active spies are kept in liberal pay to inform him of the number and quality of the young children; and when the chief believes he can steal one hundred he settles down to work, for that figure means $4,000. He makes a landing with his human hounds, after having reconnoitred the position, generally ia the night time. At dawn he moves forward on the village, and the alarm is spread among the negroes, who herd together behind tbeir aboriginal breast-plates and are clouds of poisoned arrows. The trader

Open with Musketry

And then begins a general massacre of men, women and children. The settlement, surrounded by inflammable grass, is given to tbe flames, and the entire habitation is laid in ashes. Probably out of the wreck of 1,000 charred and slaughtered people his reservers have canarbt the 100 coveted women and children, who are flying from death in wild despair. They are yoked together by a long pole and marched off from their homes forever. One third di them may have the small-pox, and then with his infected cargo he proceeds to his nearest station. Thence the negroes are clandestinely sent across the desert to Kordofan, whence they are dispersed over Lower Egypt and other markets. It not unfrequently happens that the negroes succeed in killing their adversaries in these combats. But the blacks are not brave. They generally fly after a loss of several killed, except with the Neam-Neams, who always fight with a bravery comrnensorate with their renown aa cannibals.

The Statistics of the Northern African Slave Trade

Slave Market at Khartoum.
In the Slave-Market at Khartoum

Are, unhappily, tbe most difficult portions of the history of thls atrocious traffic. Yet, from many sources I think I may be safe in saying that the annual export of slaves from the country lying between the Red Sea and the Great Desert is 25,000 a year, distributed as follows: From Abyssinia, carried to Jaffa or Gallabat, 10,000: issuing by other routes of Abyssinia, 5,000; by the Blue Nile, 3,000; by the White Nile, 7,000.

To obtain these 25,000 slaves and sell them in market more than fifteen thousand are annually killed, and often the mortality reaches the terrible figure of 50,000. It is a fair estimate to say that 50,000 children are stolen from their parents every year by persons who have the names and reputations of being civilized and educated. I cannot stop here. The horrible figures must march on. The abduction of these 50,000 causes heart-burnings at home, and great mental suffering in Africa is the most potent cause of death. I doubt not I have fairly arrived at 60,000 inhuman wrongs . . .

The Finest Black Soldiers


are recruited from the Dinkas, who are strong, handsome negroes, the finest of the White Nile. The other races are thickly built and clumsy, and are never ornamental; the Abyssinians, for whatever service and of whatever class, excel all their rival victims in slavery. They are quiet and subdued, and seldom treacherous or insubordinate. They prefer slavery, many ol them, to freedom, because they have no aspirations that are inordinate. The girls are delicate, and not built for severe labor. They are tender, sentimental beings, who, in another atmosphere, would adorn tbe loftiest ideal of womanhood . . . Peney, Hausel, La Forque, De Bons and others, purchased young Abyssinian girls, and afterward married them.

Ibrahim Peney came to see me yesterday, and we discussed the question, and he told me, "Am I not an example? My mother was an Abyssinian slave, and my father married her." Young Poney and his brothers as well are highly educated, speak French and Italian, and are respected by all who know them. This is no uncommon case. Slaves vary in price, according to age, beauty and accomplishments . . . There is great competition for handsome slave girls, who are used as wives.

The Slave Trade on the White Nile.

As long as Baker remains a Pacha at Gondokoro (now Ismaila) there is no danger of a direct White Nile slave trade. Indeed the traffic may be said to be "on its last legs." Ivory alone is the object now, so they say, but rest assured that if a trader goes inland far enough and can grab a few villages he will do it. When I say "direct slave trade" I mean no slaves will be made to descend within the reach of knowledge of Baker, Pacha. But unhappily he cannot cover a whole continent. Last year (1871), when Baker says that not one slave came down the Nile, Mr. Hausel, Austrian Consul, tells me that there were 12,000, Agate alone bringing 3,000.

A New English Version
Stephen Mitchell
Gilgamesh is considered one of the masterpieces of world literature; this version translator by the acclaimed author of the Tao Te Ching and the Bhagavad Gita. Inscribed on stone tablets a thousand years before the Iliad and the Bible and found in fragments, Gilgamesh describes the journey of the king of the city of Uruk in what is now Iraq. At the start, Gilgamesh is a young giant with gigantic wealth, power and beauty—and a boundless arrogance that leads him to oppress his people. As an answer to their pleas, the gods create Enkidu to be a double for Gilgamesh, a second self. Learning of this huge, wild man who runs with the animals, Gilgamesh dispatches a priestess to find him and tame him by seducing him. Making love with the priestess awakens Enkidu's consciousness of his true identity as a human being rather than as an animal. Enkidu is taken to the city and to Gilgamesh, who falls in love with him as a soul mate.

The Pyramid Builder
Cheops, the Pharaoh Behind the Great Pyramid
Author Christine El-Mahdy is a widely renowned Egyptologist whose interest in the subject started as a child (she taught herself to read hieroglyphics aged nine). She has worked in the Egyptian departments of Bolton Museum and Liverpool University Museum and, in 1988, she founded the British Centre for Egyptian Studies which she now runs. She has previously written three internationally bestselling books on ancient Egypt.

Encyclopedia of Goddesses and HeroinesGoddesses and Heroines.
Patricia Monaghan
Goddesses and Heroines.
Previously published as a two-volume set in 2009, this revised paperback edition contains more than 1,000 entries on goddesses and heroines from around the world. The material is divided into geographic sections: “Africa,” “Eastern Mediterranean,” “Asia and Oceania,” “Europe,” and “The Americas.” Europe is treated with the most granularity, with roughly 140 pages divided into eight subsections. The sections and subsections open with a few pages of introduction, followed by entries for each individual goddess or heroine, arranged alphabetically within each region. Entries range from a scant paragraph to nearly a page in length. Each entry has at least one source text, but a significant portion have several (more than 10 in some cases). These sources are listed in a bibliography, which lists for each region both primary sources (indicating “in translation” and “oral” when applicable) and “other sources.” Author Monaghan was a pioneer in contemporary women’s spirituality, and her perspective here has the flavor of radical feminism, where goddesses have been lost to the repressive patriarchy. ~ Booklist

Literary Fiction

Gospel According to Yeshuas Cat.
The Gospel According to Yeshua's Cat
C. L. Francisco, PhD
From the Author: Although nothing can compare with the excitement of diving into a new research project, I've always chosen fiction for my downtime reading. My favorites are fantasy, science fiction, and mystery, although I have an inexplicable weakness for several books by Elizabeth Goudge. Fiction sneaks up on me, gets under my guard, and touches my heart in a way that non-fiction just can't. It opens up new possibilities and sets me dreaming. Books that have been life-changing for me have always been fiction, most noticeably books by C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. That's probably why I chose to write a book like Yeshua's Cat.

Amelia Peabody's Egypt.
Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A CompendiumAmelia Peabodys Egypt.
Elizabeth Peters

Crocodile on the Sandbank.
Crocodile on the Sandbank
(Amelia Peabody, Book 1)
A Mystery Novel set along the Nile.
Author Elizabeth PetersEgypt. is a New York Times best-selling novelist. She also earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Chicago, thus the setting of much of this 19-book series: Egypt and the antiquities along the River Nile. Set during the late 1800s the tales start when British Amelia Peabody travels to Egypt to quench her thirst for history.

Tomb of the Golden Bird.
Later works, such as Tomb of the Golden BirdTomb of the Golden Bird., have Amelia travelling to Palestine where an English adventurer is planning to excavate Jerusalem's Temple Mount in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Her writing is brilliant and hysterically, ascerbically humorous, which seems somewhat unusual in books including tomb robbers and murderers.

Palace Walk: The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz.Egypt.
Palace Walk
The Cairo Trilogy, Volume 1
The Cairo Trilogy..
Written by the Noble Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk is the first book in his Cairo Trilogy. Palace Walk is about a merchant living in Cairo, who makes his family follow strict religious social rules while he breaks all of them himself. If you are planning on visiting Egypt, start here.


The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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