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Said ibn Sultan Sayyid (1791 - 1856) became ruler of Oman and Zanzibar (1806 56), with his capital at Muscat on the Persian Gulf.

Africa. Mocaranga, Sabia, Cape Colony. Mapmaker, Johnson. 1850.Map of Africa.

In 1822, assisted by the British, he sent an expedition to Mombasa, whose rulers, the Mazrui family, were seeking independence.

He himself visited Mombasa in 1827 and in the next decade brought many East African ports under his control. In 1837 he ended Mazrui rule in Mombasa and signed commercial agreements with Britain, France, and the USA. He brought property in Zanzibar in 1828 when he introduced clove production. In 1840 he took control of Zanzibar. Said sent trading caravans deep into Africa, seeking ivory and slaves, and Zanzibar became the commercial capital of the East African coast.

The Sulvan of Zanzibar.

Although an ally of the British, he was under constant pressure from them to end his trade in slaves, which he did in 1845. When he died, he divided the Asian and African parts of his empire between his two sons.

In the late 19th century, Germany conquered the Africa regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into Tanganyika, a part of German East Africa.

Excerpted from Encyclopedia.com

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Tanzania, Zanzibar

January 1, 1861, Cape and Natal News, London, United Kingdom

The East Coast
Captain Speke's Expedition

We have been favoured with the following copy of a communication received by his Excellency Sir George Grey from C. P. Rigby, Esq., Consul at Zanzibar:

British Consulate, Zanzibar, August 23,1860. DEAR SIR GEORGE GREY,--Captain Speke arrived here in the Brisk on the 17th instant, and from him I have received the letter and you so kindly sent me, and for which I feel very much obliged to you. Knowing the deep interest you take in everything connected with Africa and its races, I have often wished to communicate to you subjects connected with these parts of it, and I will do so on every future opportunity, and also forward to you, as often as I can, information regarding the progress of Captain Speke's expedition. I think he has every chance of success in his favour; British influence has been very much increased here by the events of the last two years, especially by the active aid given to the Sultan by British ships of war during the rebellion of his brother and the El-Harth tribe of Arabs.

Slaves, Spices & Ivory in Zanzibar. Abdul Sheriff.

I have also emancipated four thousand five hundred slaves, who were held by subjects. I have had all these slaves brought to the consulate and given each a certificate of emancipation, with new (clothing) and presents of money and sweetmeats, and all the tribes on this coast are now aware that the English are their best friends. The negroes of this part of Africa are a most good-natured, docile, merry race, and soon become very much attached to Europeans. I have not yet had time to study the Zooloo Kafir Dictionary you so kindly sent me, but in glancing over it I was surprised to find how many words are exactly the same as those of the Kisuaheli language, spoken throughout the Zanzibar dominions, and in lately reading Magyr's Travels, I observed the same of the language spoken by the of the west coast near Benguela, proving beyond a doubt that the people of the continent as far north as the equator are of one original race.

An Arab merchant who has travelled across Africa from Opposite Zanzibar to Loando, lately returned here, and he told me that the languages all across were so similar to that spoken here that his people had no difficulty in making themselves understood.

Capt. Speke had dozens of volunteers to accompany him directly his arrival was known, and many of his former companions are anxious to proceed with him. Dr. Roscher, a young German, who left Zanzibar in June last year to explore the Lake of Myassa, was murdered on the 18th of March last, and his two murderers were beheaded here this morning. He reached Nussera on the east shore of the Lake of Nyassa on the 19th November, and remained there nearly four months, being treated with the greatest kindness by the Sultan and all the inhabitants.

British Naval Officer with the Sultan of Zanzibar. 1878.

On the 16th of March he left Nussera to go to the River Rovooma, accompanied only by two Negro servants and with no arms but a revolver. On the third day's march, whilst resting at a village, they were attacked by robbers, and poor Dr. Roscher was shot in the throat and chest with arrows, and expired in a few minutes. One of his servants was also shot; the surviving servant returned to the Sultan of Nussera on the lake, and the scene of the murder being beyond his dominions he sent him with ail escort to the Sultan Kinzomanza, in whose territories the murders occurred. This chief at once proceeded to the spot and arrested the murderers, and recovered as much of Dr. Eosdher's property as he could, and sent the men here, together with all the articles Dr. Roscher had left at Nussera. Considering that no white man had ever before visited these districts and that Dr. Roscher had no escort and the kindness with which he was treated by the chiefs and people is a strong proof of their good disposition towards white men. His unfortunate death was entirely owing to his own imprudence in travelling through wild districts with valuable instruments, &c., so entirely without any means of defence.

Another German gentleman, the Baron van der Deeken, a colonel in the Hanoverian army, is now here preparing for a journey to the Nyassa, and by him I intend sending some presents to the Sultan Nussera and the Sultan Kinzomanza, who behaved so nobly towards a solitary and unprotected white traveller. Dr. Roscher said that it is a magnificent country all the way up to the lake, which he reached in eighty-five days from the coast. The Revooma is crossed about six days before reaching the Nyassa, and is these a deep, broad stream; it discharges an immense body of water into the ocean and is well worthy of being explored.

Whilst lately engaged in writing out the certificates of emancipation for these four thousand five hundred slaves, I remarked that most of those who had been brought here from the coast some years ago belong to the tribes which inhabit the coast opposite Zanzibar, whilst those which have been brought here within the last few years are from the south, and belong to the great tribes of Mazindo, Mizahow, and M'Nyassa, and I was then informed that most of the tribes which formerly furnished most of the slaves are now nearly extinct, and the country between the coast and the Lake Nyassa is fast becoming depopulated. An Arab merchant, who recently returned here from the Nyassa, informed me that he travelled for seventeen days through a country covered with ruined towns and villages, which a few years ago were inhabited by the M'Nyassa arid Mizahow tribes, and where no living soul is seen.

1889 Illustrated London News

Slave Gang, Zanzibar. Australia. Fernery. Sydney.


Last year 19,000 slaves were imported through the custom-house here; of these, 4,000 were from the coast opposite and 15,000 from Eeelwa, the destination of the caravans from the Nyassa. Every year the slave traffic is extended further into the interior, and a great many slaves are now brought from beyond the Nyassa, and even the Mazanza from the valley of the Shir are now brought here. If it should ever be found possible to put a small steamer on the Lake Nyassa, it would cut off the chief supply of slaves to the east coast. The foreign slave trade has been lately very much on the increase on the east coast.

This is now the chief market in the world for the supply of ivory, gum copal, and cloves. In 1869 the export of ivory amounted to 488,600 lbs., value 146,666; of gum copal to 875,875 lbs., value 87,166; and of cloves to 4,860,100 lbs, value 55,666.

This trade is all the growth of the last few years, and were the slave trade on the mainland abolished a great quantity of cotton, sugar, gums, &c., might be exported. Within the last few years they have commenced to grow seasamum on the mainland. Last year 8,388,360 lbs of sesamum were exported from here, and 8,016,000 lbs. of cowries, value 61,444 were exported from here to the west coast.

The whole of this island is of exceeding fertility; sugar-cane, cotton, cloves, nutmegs, pepper, coffee, rice, holcus sorghum, etc., grow in the greatest profusion. The cassava, or manioc, which forms the chief food of the slaves and poorer classes, yields three or four crops a year without any trouble. Almost the whole of the trade here is now in the hands of British-Indian subjects; they have settled at all the towns on the coast, and even far in the interior. The Arabs are a poor, debased, ignorant race, and are fast becoming confirmed drunkards. Persons bring out great quantities of cheap spirits.

Dhows of the Colonial Economy of Zanzibar.

The climate of Zanzibar is not unhealthy, although from the excessive dampness, and there being no cold weather, it is very enervating. The fall of rain last year amounted to 16'7 inches, more than double the annual fall at Bombay. The extreme range of the thermometer during the year was only 19 deg.; and the mean range P.9 deg. The climate of Zanzibar has acquired a very bad reputation from the great amount of sickness which prevailed amongst ships of war some years ago after coming here, but I believe that it was chiefly owing to their taking supplies of water from impure sources near the town.

Seven Wonders. World Heritage Sites of Tanzania.

Now aqueducts have been constructed at some distance from the town, and they afford a never-failing supply of pure water. The crews of the merchant ships work here all day in the sun and never appear to suffer. The Sultan has also given an order to a Hamburg firm to keep up a supple of coal here for the use of any ships of war requiring it. I think that the Zanzibar state may have a very important effect upon the future of East Africa . . .

C.P. Rigby

December 12, 1877, Guardian, London, United Kingdom

The River Livingstone.

Brief mention has already been made of the emergence at Loanda, on the west coast of Africa, of Mr. Henry M. Stanley, who started from Zanzibar, on the east coast, some three years ago, on it further expedition to explore equatorial Africa. Mr. Stanley's enterprise, as is known, was undertaken at the expense of two newspapers, the Daily Telegraph of London and the Herald of New York. The project was thus invested with a certain advertising garb; but the importance of the results cannot be denied. What has occurred is briefly this -- Mr. Stanley struck the Lualaba, a great river which Livingston first made know to the civilised world, and which Livingstone though -- perhaps rather hoped, however, than believed -- was "the grand old Nile," and by following its course found himself at length on the bosom of that great river, having its outlet in the west coast of the continent, which is best known as the Congo.

This identity has of late years been guessed: Stanley has established it. The story is related in letters to the two newspapers which employed him, published a few days ago. The expedition lost one European and thirty-four Africans. The European was Stanley's companion, Francis Pocock, of whom the leader says that he was "an extraordinary man; a man to make himself respected and beloved; a man of many fine qualities of cool, steadfast courage that knew no quailing; of great manliness, a cheerful, amiable companion, a gentle, pious soul, and a staunch friend in trouble." The river now traced right across mid-Africa its explorer decides to call the Livingstone: he says of it:

"The entire area which the Livingstone drains embraces about 860,000 square miles. Its source is in that high plateau south of Lake Tanganika, in a country called Biea or Ubisa by the Arabs. The principal tributary feeding Bemba Lake is the Chambezi, a broad, deep river, the extreme sources of which must be placed about E. long. 33deg. Bemba Lake, called Bangweoloby Livingstone, its discoverer, is a large body of shallow water, about 8,400 square miles in extent. It is the residuum of an enormous lake that in very ancient times must have occupied an area of 500,000 square miles until by some great convulsion the western maritime mountain chain was riven asunder, and the Livingstone began to roar through the fracture. Issuing from Bemba Lake, the river is known under the name of Luapula, which, after a course of nearly 200 miles, empties into Lake Mweru a body of water occupying an area of about 1,800 square miles. Falling from Mweru, it obtains the name of Lualaba from the natives of Rua. In Northern Una it receives an important affluent called the Kamalondo. Flowing in a direction N. by W., it sweeps, with a breadth of about 1,400 yards, by Nyangwe, Manyema, in 8. lat. 26deg. 15min. 45sec., E. long 26deg, 5min, and has an altitude of about 1,450 feet above the ocean. The distance the Livingstone has flowed from its extreme extreme source in Eastern Bisa to Nyangwe, Manyerna, is about 1,100 miles. Lake Ulenge I inquired very industriously for, but I am unable to confirm what the Doctor appears to have heard from Abed-bin-Salem and Mohammed-bin-Said, his informants. Kauialoudo River, which runs through Rua to the Lualaba, is a lacustrine channel, and I am told it has several small lakes in its course. Probably Uleuge may be a name given to one of these. At Nyangwe, Manyerna, the Livingstone is distinguished by various titles. The Arabs and Wauguann call it the Ugarowa, the Wagubha carriers pronounce the name Lualaba, emphasizing the second syllable. The natives of Nyangwe, also emphasizing the second syllable, call it Lu-alawa, while the Northern Wagenya distinctly pronounce the name as Ru-arowa. To prevent confusion, however, it is best to adopt the spelling given by the European discoverer of the river viz. Lualaba. A few days north of Nyangwe the Lualaba inclines east of north. It meets impediments. High spurs from the Uregga hills bristle across the river, and wild scenes of falls and foamy water meet the eye."

How I Found Livingstone How Mr. Stanley found Livingstone.
(Wordsworth Classics of World Literature)

Henry Morton StanleyHow I found Livingstone.

Without quoting the whole of Mr. Stanley's verbal trace of the stream, we may mention that the river receives, in that portion of its course now first explored, a large affluent, the Ikelemba, nearly as important as the main river itself. The peculiar colour of the Ikelemba, which is like that of tea, does not commingle with the silvery ripples of the main stream until after a distance of 130 miles below the confluence, but at length mixes, and gives a light brown color to the lower Livingstone.

A little after passing E. long. 18 deg., the river called by Europeans, on their vague charts of the inland region, the "Wang," enters the Livingstone through lines of hills, soon after attaining an altitude of mountains. This Wang is known to the natives as Baric Kun, or the River of Nut. A little west of E. long. 17 deg., the great river, which had spread itself out into enormous breadths, slowly contracts, becomes interrupted by lines of rocky relies of hill points, craggy islands, or bars of lava, and thunders down steep after steep along a distance of nearly 180 miles to the majestic and calm lower Livingstone. In these 180 miles it has a fall of 585 feet, but the cataracts and rapids may be flanked overland by a month's easy march along either the south or the north side. Presently the "lower Livingston" turns out to be the so-called "Congo." The length of the Livingstone is about 2,900 miles, divided thus: From the source to Mange, 1,100 miles; from Mange to the Atlantic, neatly 1,800 miles. Mr. Stanley thinks that--

Whatever efforts may be made by the explorer in future in the commercial development of this river, no one need try to ascend through any part of the cataract region by means of any kind of floating vessel. It might perchance be done, since very few things are impossibilities; but the ascent mainly must be overland, as nothing floating could well climb 6, 10, 20, and 25 feet falls. Besides, even where there are neither cataracts nor foaming rapids the rush of water through the rocky narrows is so great that it would be a Sisyphean labour altogether. The Livingstone river is the Amazon of Africa, the Nile is the Mississippi. While the latter has greater length, the Livingstone could furnish water to three Niles. It requires enormous breadth or great depth to restrain all this impetuosity. Though the Nile is a most valuable river for commerce, the Livingstone is still better. The former has its course frequently interrupted, but the latter fortunately has all its obstructions in two series. The upper, between E. long. 2o deg. and 26 deg., consisting of six great falls, terminates all navigation that might be established above the lower series, which consists of sixty two important falls and rapids though there are many minor impediments of the same kind I do not think necessary to include in the list. I told Frank that I hoped I should find the cataracts in a 'lump.' Once above the lower falls we have indeed the half of Africa before us with no interruption, and not, like the Lower Nile regions, deserts of sand, but one vast populous plain, so teeming with life, indeed, that, excepting Ugogo, I know no part of Africa so thickly inhabited."

Swahili Women with Fetish.

Swahili Women with Fetish.

In this region the usual term village is a misnomer for most of these collections of dwellings: they are towns in some places two miles long, with one or more broad streets between rows of neat, well-built houses, superior to anything in East Central Africa. The natives are different also: " Every thought seems engrossed with trade, and fairs and markets are established everywhere. There has been a suspicion generally entertained that ivory must soon become a curiosity; but I can vouch that at least it will not be so for three or four generations. This is the land of ivory 'temples,' or idol enclosures, where the commonest utensils for domestic use are made of ivory. The people do not seem able to comprehend why any one should take the trouble to pay for it when it is so plentiful in each village. The entire plain is also distinguished for its groves of the oil palm. In Ukusu there are huge forests of this tree. Almost everything that Africa produces is to be obtained in the Livingstone basin cotton, India rubber, groundnuts, sesamum, copal (red and white), palm kernels and palm oil, ivory, &c.

German East Africa.

By means of its broad and glorious waters a journey to the gold and copper district of Katanga is moreover rendered very easy. The Great River gives 110 miles below and 835 miles above the cataracts of navigable water, while the large affluents north and south, traversing the basin, will afford over 1,200 miles, and perhaps much more. The greatest affluent, the Ikelemba, must be more than a thousand miles in length; the Nkntu River is over 700, the Aruwimi must exceed 500, while there are four or five others which, by their breadth, I should judge to be navigable for great distances.

January 10, 1890, Guardian, London, United Kingdom


It appears that the German Government are not prepared to give Major Wissmann the free hand which he understood to demand.

An English ship of war is to be sent to investigate the circumstances of the massacre of the Kunzel expedition (of which it appears two members survive) in Vitu. Herr Kunzel himself, from accounts published in the German papers, was a man of overbearing temper, and may have provoked his own fate.

With regard to alleged slavery proclamation at Bagamoyo, the Zanzibar correspondent of the Times telegraphs under date of Thursday:

"It is publicly stated here that the Germans have telegraphed to Berlin energetically denying the truth of the statement. A denial of the death of Queen Anne would be equally profitable. The only question for investigation seems to be the apportionment of the responsibility for the course of action taken, of which certainly neither the German Government nor their representative here could have had the least previous knowledge. The views of the German Government on the subject of slavery and the nature of their instructions seem forcibly illustrated by the reported present activity of the German Counsul General and by the news which has just arrived that last Tuesday an Arab or Swahili was publicly hanged at Bangamoyo for slave dealing."

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

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



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