MISSIONARY TO EAST CENTRAL AFRICA
Jelena Rahel Jaehnig
B.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1990
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
This thesis for the Master of Arts
Jelena Rahel Jaehnig
has been approved for the
occupation by Germans and Britons in 1885? To explore
these questions is the goal of this study.
Hutley kept a journal during his four year stay in
Africa from which much can be learned about the mission
and the Africans and Arab traders it encountered. It
must also suffice as the record of Hutley's deportment in
Africa, for as he was the undermost member of the mission
not much was written about him elsewhere. A few letters
and papers in the archives of the London Missionary
Society constitute the only other information available
on his work at Lake Tanganyika.
Using these sources, then, an attempt will be made
to picture the mission as Hutley experienced it and to
form a portrait of Walter Hutley himself. His work in
Africa will be discussed, as well as his relationships
with fellow missionaries, Arabs and Africans. He was a
kind, unpretentious young man with not a little courage
whose bearing commanded the respect of others. He shared
some, though not all, of the paternalistic attitudes of
his contemporaries, yet little of the arrogant behavior
of many. As such he served the missionary cause in more
ways than he may have been aware of. His careful
observations of an Africa as yet untouched by European
occupation contribute insights to its study.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidate's thesis. I recommend its phbli
2. THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY
AND THE LAKE TANGANYIKA MISSION...............6
3. WALTER HUTLEY: THE MAN AND HIS WORK...........53
4. RELATIONS WITH OTHERS IN AFRICA...............87
5. HUTLEY'S CONTRIBUTION ...................... 126
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS.................................139
NOTES ON THE NAMES OF TRIBES AND PLACES...............142
Selected sources from the archives of
the London Missionary Society ............. 143
Contemporary Works .............................. 145
Newspaper clippings sent by Kate Hutley
to James B. Wolf...........................14 6
I. The Route from Zanzibar to Tanganyika.............17
II. Ujiji and its environs .........................35
III. Lake Tangany ika.................................46
Following David Livingstone's death in the remote
swamps of Central Africa in 1873, and Stanley's
subsequent call in the New York Herald and The Daily
Telegraph for Christian work in Buganda, several British
missionary societies were inspired to take up the
challenge of sending expeditions to East Africa, into
what today is Tanzania. Among these was the London
Missionary Society (L.M.S.), to which Livingstone himself
had belonged in his early years. The L.M.S. resolved in
1876 to establish a mission at Lake Tanganyika, in the
trade town of Ujiji. Chosen for this task were four
clerics, three of them older and experienced, one newly
ordained; and two artisans. Of the latter one was a
mariner, the other a young carpenter. Nineteen-year-old
Walter Hutley had not seen much of the world outside of
his native Essex before embarking a ship bound for Cairo
on April 9, 1877. It must have been a momentous
experience for him to travel to East Africa and journey
with the L.M.S. caravan into the interior. He proved
himself an able participant and a careful observer.
Hutley kept a journal during his four year stay in Africa
from which much can be learned about the mission and the
Africans and Arab traders it encountered.
What kind of a man was Walter Hutley? What
kind of a missionary and what kind of a representative of
European culture was he during this brief period of
limited European activity in East Africa before its
occupation by Germans and Britons in 1885? To explore
these questions shall be the goal of this study. An
attempt will be made to picture the mission as Hutley
experienced it and to form a portrait of Walter Hutley
himself. His work in Africa will be discussed, as well
as his relationships with his fellow missionaries, Arabs
and Africans. As the youngest layman of the mission
Hutley began the journey as the undermost member of the
group. The withdrawal from the endeavor of two of the
clerics, however, and the death of the other two left
Hutley and fellow artisan Edward Coode Hore the sole
L.M.S. representatives at Tanganyika for a time. Hutley
found himself taking on many responsibilities and
fulfilling them ably. His thoughtfulness and diligent
study of native languages served him well in his dealings
with others. He was a kind, unpretentious young man with
not a little courage whose bearing commanded the respect
of others. He shared some, though not all, of the
paternalistic attitudes of his contemporaries, yet little
of the arrogant behavior of many. As such he served the
missionary cause in more ways than he was perhaps aware
of. His careful observations of an East Africa as yet
untouched by European occupation contribute insights to
Hutley's journal must largely suffice as the record
of his deportment in Africa, for, as he was the undermost
member of the mission, not much was written abut him
elsewhere. A few letters and papers in the archives of
the London Missionary Society1 constitute the only other
information available on his work at Lake Tanganyika.
Accounts of contemporaries, both fellow missionaries and
explorers, who traversed East Africa before and after
Hutley, help paint a picture of the land and customs of
fThe London Missionary Society archives are now
located in the archives of the Congregational Council for
World Missions, London.
its people. Yet an idea of how he worked there must be
gleaned in a large part from his own accounts.
Characterizations given Hutley in his obituaries in
Australia in 1931 can be superimposed on the young man.
Since he worked with a missionary spirit all his life it
can be assumed that he possessed some similar qualities
throughout. Yet the diaries remain the basis of the
study, for which they lend themselves tolerably well.
With Hutley and Hore at times the only ones keeping track
of the Julian Calendar 800 miles into Africa, it was
understandable that they sometimes failed, yet Hutley's
journal bears only a few incorrect dates.2 More
importantly, and to the best of our knowledge, Hutley
reported fairly accurately. When he was too sick and
delirious to reason he made no entries at all. Hutley
wrote the journal for himself and never intended it for
publication.3 It must be trusted that he applied the
humility with which he approached his work also to
2James B. Wolf, ed., The Central African Diaries of
Walter Hutley 1877-1881. African Historical Documents
Series, no. 4. (Boston University, African Studies
Center, 1976), pp. 32ff, 143, 279, 282. (Diary)
3Piarv. p. v.
estimations of himself.
An outline of the East Africa in the late days of
the last century will preface the study. An account of
the year-long trek to the interior and the mission in
Ujiji and across the Lake will then provide a backdrop
for Hutley's work. A discussion of the nature of his
work follows. In a further attempt to draw impressions
of Walter Hutley's character from his writings, his
relationship with others in Africa, missionaries, Arabs
and Africans, will be examined. Concluding the study
will be an analysis of the impact of Hutley's work and a
glimpse of how he lived out the rest of his life.
THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY
AND THE LAKE TANGANYIKA MISSION
The contours of Central Africa were, until late in
the last century, unknown to most of the world. It was
not until explorers like David Livingstone, Richard
Burton and John Speke revealed its secrets that great
lakes began to appear on the maps of Africa. One of
these lakes was called Tanganyika. With the secrets of
Geography were revealed also secrets of a more horrible
kind, those of the East African Arab slave trade. New
areas of the interior were ravaged by it every year, and
it left in its wake a trail of death and destruction. It
was not as though these methods were really secrets to
those Europeans who until recently had participated in
similar activity on the West Coast. Yet as light fell on
the secrets of the great lakes attention fell also on
those who continued to carry on the inhuman traffic after
it was no longer 'fashionable.'1
For the first time the Arab State of Zanzibar came
to the attention of the world. Arabs had inhabited the
East African coast for a thousand years. In 1832 the
Sultan of Oman transferred his capital to Zanzibar, an
island off the East African coast.2 Seyyid Said wished
to make his new lands prosperous and revived the old
caravan trade with the African interior, the trade in
ivory and slaves. Arab traders penetrated to the great
lakes and established outposts on the way.3 The traders'
relations with the Africans were primarily commercial,
though, as Coupland points out, "...armed as they were
with muskets, they were usually...the masters of the
The British slave trade was officially ended in
1808, and slavery in the colonies in 1834, except in
India, where it was legal until 1843. Reginald Coupland,
The Exploitation of East Africa 1856-1890: The Slave
Trade and the Scramble. (Great Britain: Northwestern
University Press, 1967), pp. 10-11.
2Heinrich Brode, Tippoo Tib: The Story of His Career
in Central Africa. Translated by H. Havelock. (Chicago:
Afro-Am Press, reprinted 1969), pp. 5-9; Norman Bennett,
History of the Arab State of Zanzibar. Studies in
African History, no. 16. (London: Methuen and Company,
Limited, 1978), pp. 5-23.
3Coupland, pp. 4-5; Bennett, Arab State of Zanzibar,
country through which they marched..."4 Europeans for
the first time took an interest in the area and a few
foreign firms set up commercial houses in Zanzibar.
Eventually, consuls were appointed, Britain's in 1841.
Before this time East Africa had been "a backwater of
Empire," the one coastal region of little interest for
the protection of India. Now it was thought the Arab
slave trade should be ended, hnd a few navy cruisers
began to patrol the 4,000 mile coast. That the attempt
was largely ineffective was soon apparent. The British
Government, through its Consul in Zanzibar, began to
pressure Sultan Said to suppress the trade in his
dominions, but it was equally apparent that this placed
him in an awkward position.5 John Kirk was the British
consul in Zanzibar from 1873 to 1886. He believed it was
in Britain's best interest to support the sultan1s
4Coupland, p. 6.
5Roland Oliver, The Missionary Factor in East Africa.
3rd ed. (London: Longman Group, Limited, 1970), p. 3;
Bennett, Arab State of Zanzibar, pp. 30-37.
affairs in the interior.6
After Livingstone died at Lake Bangweolo in 1873,
and through Stanley's call in the New York Herald and The
Daily Telegraph for Christian work in Africa, the plea
for help was extended to the British public.7 Several
British missionary societies took up the call. Still
during the great doctor's lifetime the ill-fated
Universities Mission to Central Africa was launched in
the Shire valley,8 and soon after his death the Free
Church of Scotland established the Livingstonia mission
at Lake Nyasa.9 Other Scots followed and set up the
6John Kirk had also been a member of David
Livingstone's Zambezi expedition. Coupland, pp. 38-61,
479-480; James B. Wolf, "Captain Hore's Mission: The
London Missionary Society's Adventure at Lake Tanganyika
1878-1888." (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University
of California, Los Angeles, 1968), p. 78.
7Norman Bennett, ed., Stanley's Despatches to the New
York Herald 1871-1872. 1874-1877. Boston University
African Research Studies, no. 10. (Boston: Boston
University Press, 1970) 14 April 1875, p. 226. Norman
Bennett, Mirambo of Tanzania 18407-1884. (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 75.
801iver, Missionary Factor, pp. 12-14.
Robert Laws, Reminiscences of Livingstonia.
(Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934), pp. 2-8.
Blantyre mission, and the Church Missionary Society
(C.M.S.), already active at Mombasa since 1844, renewed
its efforts in Africa.10 Their hope was to help the
Africans shake off the great scourge of slavery and other
social ills by teaching them about the gospel of Christ.
Another organization to respond immediately to
increasing British interest in Central Africa was the
London Missionary Society (L.M.S.). It decided in 1876
to send a mission to Lake Tanganyika, though it had still
in 1870 focused instead on Asia, the South Seas, the West
Indies and Southern Africa.11 As late as November, 1875,
while congratulating the C.M.S. on its decision to open a
station in East Central Africa, the L.M.S. declined to do
the same just yet.12 Before the year was over, however,
a wealthy citizen of Leeds, Robert Arthington, offered
10Oliver, Missionary Factor, pp. 6-8, 19, 36-37.
James B. Wolf, ed., The Central African Diaries of
Walter Hutlev 1877 1881. African Historical Documents
Series no. 4. (Boston University: African Studies
Center, 1976), p. ix, (Diary); James Stewart, Dawn in
the Dark Continent, or Africa and its Missions. The Duff
Missionary Lectures for 1902. (New York: Young People's
Missionary Movement, n.d.), p. 102.
12Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 22-23.
Â£i5,000 to open a station in Central Africa.13 He
suggested Lake Tanganyika as a site and the use of the
Arab trade route between Zanzibar and the Lake for
transportation.14 Though hesitant at first, the Society
decided on March 25, 1876, to accept Arthington's offer
and establish a station on Lake Tanganyika in the trade
town of Ujiji, famous as the site of the 1871 meeting of
David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley. The idea was
that the mission would in time develop into a string of
stations around the Lake.15
Arthington's offer stipulated that a steamship was
to be taken to the Lake by the missionaries. The
Directors thought this plan too costly and complicated,
13Robert Arthington had been left a brewery by his
father. As he was a good Quaker, Arthington sold the
brewery, netting L200,000. By wise investment he was
able to increase this amount. When he died he was worth
over a million pounds. Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 23;
H. Alan C. Cairns, Prelude to Imperialism: British
Reactions to Central African Society 1840-1890. (London:
Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), p. 41.
14Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 25.
15Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 32; James B. Wolf, ed. ,
Missionary to Tanganyika 1877-1888: The Writings of
Edward Coode Hore. Master Mariner. Cass Library of
African Studies. Missionary Researches and Travels, no.
21. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971), p. 2.
at least for the first expedition, but their donor did
not back down from his request. It was a part of his
vision of spreading the word of God quickly in Africa and
enlightening as many people as possible. A steamship
could facilitate the process. The Society accepted the
offer, but would not get the Good News steaming on the
Lake for another decade.16 There seemed to be a desire
to test newly found steam navigation on the great Lakes
recently discovered, as steamships figured in the plans
of all five of the British missionary societies to enter
Central Africa at this time.17
When the London Missionary Society was founded in
1795, its fundamental principle was that it would be
nondenominational and open to all dissenting churchmen.
By the mid 1800s it drew its support primarily from
Congregationalist churches, and held, of the missionary
societies, the least formal conception of Christianity.
Its missionaries were individualistic Christians rather
than representatives of a church. Many local decisions
16Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 24-32, 151; Wolf,
Missionary to Tanganyika, p. 2.
17Oliver, Missionary Factor, p. 27.
were made by District Committees, composed of the
ordained members in the area. It sought not only men who
could preach the gospel but also those who could teach
practical things.18 For its first expedition to Lake
Tanganyika it chose four clerics and two artisans. The
younger of the artisans, a nineteen-year-old carpenter,
was Walter Hutley.
Walter Hutley was born on January 10, 1858, in the
small town of Braintree in Essex. He grew up in nearby
Coggeshall, though as there was no Congregational church
there the Hutley's attended worship at the Braintree
Congregational church, about thirteen miles away. Little
more is known about Hutley's life before his appointment
to the mission. Nothing can be derived from the L.M.S.
"Candidate Papers, 1796-1899," which contain background
information for most of its other missionaries. It was
the recommendation of a Rev. A. Goodrich of the church in
Braintree that brought Hutley to the attention of the
London Missionary Society. On April 9, 1877, Hutley was
hired by the Society. On April 14 he left England for
18Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 9, 39; Oliver,
Missionary Factor, p. 42.
Embarking a ship for the open ocean and new and
unknown lands must have been a tremendous experience for
the young man from small-town England. He was in good
hands. With him was the other artisan appointed to the
expedition, Edward Coode Hore. A sailor and Hutley's
senior by ten years, Hore had travelled the world for a
decade. He had been chosen with the idea that he could
aid in assembling the proposed steamship at the Lake. It
would also be his duty to complete the geographical
survey of Lake Tanganyika begun by previous Africa
explorers Richard Burton, Verney Lovett Cameron and Henry
Morton Stanley.19 20 Hore and Hutley met the clerical
members of the expedition in Zanzibar.21
These included Joseph Thomson, who had ten years'
experience in Southern Africa. Arthur Dodgshun was a
newly ordained graduate of the Cheshunt Missionary
College. Elbert Clarke had been working independently
19Piarv, pp. xii-xiii.
20Wolf, Missionary to Tanganyika, p. 1.
21Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 49.
among the Ama Pondo in Natal and had agreed to send his
wife back to England and join the Lake Tanganyika
mission. Roger Price was a survivor of the ill-fated
University's Mission sent to the Makololo tribe in 1859
at Livingstone's request.
It was Roger Price who was to lead the Lake
Tanganyika mission. He preceded the others in East
Africa to investigate the conditions awaiting them in the
interior. During an exploratory journey from the coast
to Mpwapwa and back he concluded that the tsetse fly,
fatal to cattle, was not present and that ox-drawn wagons
could be used for transport. The possibility would
revolutionize transport in the region not only for the
L.M.S., who feared the expense of the traditional system
of hiring porters, but for all interested in the
penetration of Central Africa. Oxen and ox-cart drivers
were brought up from Natal.22
The group established a base camp on the main land
at Nduni, where the preparations for the journey began.
June and July were spent compiling an inventory of the
22Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 33, 49.
stores, packing supplies, and requisitioning porters
(upwards of 200) to carry loads that did not fit into
the wagons.23 On July 25, 1877, the missionaries began
their long and arduous trek inland. It was on this day
that Walter Hutley began the journal he was to keep so
carefully during his next four years in Central Africa.
When the London Missionary Society entered East
Africa in 1878 Seyyid Said's son Barghash was Sultan and
Captain John Kirk the British consul. The missionaries
were provided with letters of introduction from both
Sultan and consul.
The route that was chosen by the L.M.S. for its
first expedition to Lake Tanganyika was the traditional
caravan road between the coast opposite Zanzibar and
Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika. The route had been pioneered
by the Wanyamwezi, a Bantu-speaking people in central
Tanzania, when they began to bring ivory to the coast.
In the 1830s and '40s Arab traders retraced the route
inland on their ivory and slave gathering expeditions.
In the process they established settlements along the
^Diarv. p. xiii.
The ROUTE from ZANZIBAR
to TANGANYIKA via S A AD AN!
^ Kikwaso^ v
I. The Route from Zanzibar to Tanganyika via Saadani
way, at Tabora and at Ujiji, where some Arabs came to
live permanently, enjoying independence from the
established power structure of Zanzibar, and where
passing caravans could rest and restock. From these
inland strongholds some penetrated on into the Congo
Basin and to Lakes Victoria Nyanza and Nyasa. Slaves and
ivory were purchased for calico, guns and gunpowder. The
east-west route was well-travelled when the British
missionaries followed it. Of help also were the accounts
of their countrymen Richard Burton, John Speke and Verney
Lovett Cameron, and also that of H.M. Stanley, who had
taken the road before them.24
Traveling through East Africa was not easy. Most
roads were footpaths, which in overgrown areas were
usually single track. In open or desert areas several
might run next to each other for a stretch. In jungle
^Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 27; Richard Burton, The
Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration.
Vol. 1. (New York: Horizon Press, 1961), p. 337. Six
months after the L.M.S. Lake Tanganyika mission entered
the continent, Stanley emerged at the mouth of the Congo
in the west. His trip proved that Central Africa could
be reached from the west, and ended the notion that the
Arab trade road in the east would be the only major route
into Central Africa. Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 45.
areas paths were reduced to tunnels through thorns and
trees.25 "In Western Uvinza and near Ujiji, the paths
are truly vile," Burton writes, "combining all the
disadvantages of bog and swamp, river and rivulet, thorn-
bush and jungle, towering grasses, steep inclines,
riddled surfaces and broken ground."26 In wooded areas
paths were studded with sign posts for purposes ranging
from useful directions to rituals: imitations of bows and
arrows pointing to water sources, broken posts and
gourds, horns and skulls of game and cattle, and heads of
holcus. Where several trails met, those to be avoided
were barred with a twig or crossed by a line in the
earth. In the rainy season long stretches of road
became completely overgrown, during which time they were
considered "dead" by the Africans.27 After rains the
tall grass and reeds, through which the path wound in
many districts, were so wet that walking through them
^Burton, Lake Regions I. pp. 335-336.
26Burton, Lake Regions I. p. 336.
27Burton, Lakes Regions I. pp. 3 35-33 6.
would drench a man in minutes.28 There were many waters
and rivulets that had to be crossed, most on foot. On
August 10, 1878, Hutley reports walking "for about two
miles in water up to our knees."29 A river crossing
earlier in the year had him wading through water that was
up over his shoulders. This was not uncommon. He
described how one river was crossed by tying a rope
across, everyone then holding on to it as they went
over.30 The drinking water supply was sometimes
precarious. Water found enroute was often brackish and
could cause illness.31 The health of the missionaries
was a major concern. They were frequently sick with
malaria. Hutley also had some trouble with his feet,
which for a while showed symptoms of blood poisoning and
were very painful to walk on, a condition not uncommon
for Africa travelers.32
The traditional method of transport along these
roads was by porter caravan. It was the Wanyamwezi, the
pioneers of the east-west trade route, who most readily
hired themselves out as carriers to merchants and
explorers. Porterage on the long and toilsome journey
was considered by them a test of manliness.33 Caravans
could range from a few dozen porters to over a thousand
in size, although few were thht large. The L.M.S.
caravan numbered a little over 200 and was composed
mostly of coastal Swahili. Most porters, or pagazi. were
young, although there were usually a few older ones in a
group. At the head was the kilangozi. the caravan guide,
through whom all orders to the carriers were given. Pay
was in the form of cloth, with which the carriers were
responsible for buying their own provisions at each
village. Ironically, it was this same cloth which made
up many of the loads carried by the pagazi. but so did
beads and wire, both also used as currency in Central
33Burton, Lake Regions I. p. 3 37; Bennett, Mirambo.
p. 12; Walter Hutley, "Mohammadanism in Central Africa."
Selected sources from the archives of the London
Missionary Society. Notes in the possession of Professor
James B. Wolf. (L.M.S. Correspondence)
Africa, and whatever other goods the employing traveler
might be transporting. These goods were packed into
sixty to seventy pound loads that the men carried on
their backs. The days' march was usually begun in the
early morning hours and completed before the day grew too
hot, around ten or eleven. To prepare for the night, the
men built shelters with whatever materials they could
find at the spot. At some Villages a public tembe, or
house, could be occupied by the caravan. The rest of the
afternoon would be spent in cooking, eating, lounging and
smoking, and sometimes singing and dancing.34 The
departure time for the following morning had to be agreed
upon the night before. Hutley recounts how the signal
for a march on the morrow was given "...by a man blowing
his horn very loudly, at which all the men respond most
heartily."35 Despite having promised to begin early, the
men were often difficult to rouse the next morning. At
about five a.m. a few low voices were heard among the
smoldering remains of the campfires. If a march was
^Diarv. pp. 3-52; Burton, Lake Regions I. pp. 337-
3SPiarv. p. 37.
going to happen cries began to be heard throughout the
camp: "Kwechai Kwecha! Pakia! Pakia! Hopai Hopa! Collect!
Pack! set out! Safari! Safari leo! a journey, a journey
today! and some peculiarly African boasts, P'hunda!
Ngami! I am an ass! a camel! accompanied by a roar of
bawling voices, drumming, whistling, piping, and the
braying of.. .horns. "36 The men then filed out of camp
picking up their loads for the day, or perhaps refusing
to do so. The huts that had been built as overnight
shelters were often burned to the ground before the camp
was deserted. The desire seemed to be to prevent others
from using the comfort intended for themselves alone.37
Frequently a few loads were left unclaimed, sometimes
because their carrier had run away. Desertion was a
problem among the pagazi especially close to the coast or
in the vicinity of their home village.38
Not far into the missionaries' journey they
encountered problems within their own ranks. Clarke left
36Burton, Lake Regions I. pp. 345-346.
37Piarv. p. 29.
38Piarv. pp. 14, 19, 27, 29-30; Burton, Lake
Regions I. p. 338.
the mission to nurse his health and be with his wife.39
The assessment of the ease with which East Africa was to
be penetrated by ox wagons proved incorrect. The wagon
drivers were often sick with malaria and unhappy in their
situation. They were frequently at odds with the
porters.40 The wagons were large and cumbersome objects
to be taken on a relatively undeveloped road. Alexander
Mackay of the C.M.S. was cutting a 250 mile road from
Saadani to Mpwapwa at the time and planned to use bullock
wagons as well.41 Yet the road was still rough and carts
39Piary. p. 13.
40Piary. pp. 3-6.
41In 1877 William Mackinnon and Thomas Buxton
conceived of a road from the coast at Kilwa west to the
north of Lake Nyasa. Kilwa proved to be an unsuitable
terminus, so project managers John and Frederick Moir
began the road further to the north, in Par-Es-Salaam.
From there to Lake Nyasa was the old caravan route and
was said to be the best and easiest way to Ujiji, but it
had not been used in twenty years. After 40 miles had
been cut the Moir brothers returned to Scotland and the
project was abandoned. The section which had been
completed was soon overgrown. Wolf, "Hore's Mission,"
pp. 50-52. See also Norman Bennett, ed., From Zanzibar
to Uilii: The Journal of Arthur W. Podqshun 1877-1879.
(Boston University, African Studies Center, 1969), pp.
had to be unloaded at every river crossing.42
forests trees had to be cut to allow the carts to pass
through. Most alarming, of course, was that the oxen
sickened and died. In late September, four died within a
week.43 The tsetse fly proved dominant in the region
after all. Some samples had been sent to Kirk for
testing. His disheartening reply reached the expedition
on the same day in March of 1878 as the news that Price
had been dismissed from the mission.44 Roger Price had
been summoned to London earlier to confer with the
Directors; there was more than the ox-cart issue that
they disagreed upon. He advised too much caution for the
mission in the Directors' estimation and their
42Piarv, pp. 7-10.
43Piarv. p. 10.
^Diarv. pp. 16-17.
differences could not be resolved.45
When the caravan left Kirasa in May, 1878, it was
in a reorganized form. Joseph Thomson, who at the
beginning had felt a little put down upon hearing that it
was Price and not he who was to lead the expedition, now
took the command. Hore also carried greater
responsibility. As the supervisor of the porters he was
now caravan master.46 Initial friction between the two
led to the agreement that Thomson would be the spiritual
leader of the mission while Hore would be responsible for
45Since his pioneering journey to Mpwapwa,. Price had
insisted that it was much too difficult and expensive to
ship large amounts of supplies to Lake Tanganyika in one
season. He believed the first expedition should remain
light so as to be more maneuverable, and that
intermediate mission stations should be established
between the coast and the Lake, the opening of a station
on the Lake gradually being built up to. As has been
seen, not all of these suggestions were followed, and in
retrospect it can be said that this was perhaps to the
disadvantage of the mission. The expedition was not kept
light. Price, frustrated, had sent back to the coast
some of the supplies. The Southern Committee of the
L.M.S. disagreed with the idea of establishing
intermediate stations between the coast and the Lake.
They finally agreed to one, at Urambo, the capital of the
powerful chief of the Nyamwezi, but Roger Price was not
sent back to Africa. Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 34, 56-
46Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 37, 62-63.
Thomson's illness would soon
all practical matters.47
leave the mariner as the missions only leader.
At Mpwapwa, a principal supply center on the caravan
route, past which the ox-wagons were not to be taken, the
missionaries split up. Thomson, Hore and Hutley
continued on to Ujiji, while Dodgshun accompanied Swiss
trader Philippe Broyon, bringing up the large supply
caravan.48 The first group pushed on into the land of
the Wagogo, which Hutley found to be much the way Stanley
described it.49 Upon entering the country the travelers
were thronged by people eager to get a glimpse of the
Muzungu (European), and, as soon as they had settled in
camp, were brought great varieties of foodstuffs for
sale, including vegetables, melons, nuts, meal and,
something brought to the L.M.S. missionaries but not to
Stanley, who had passes through the area seven years
47Piary. p. 29, n. 19.
48Broyon had been hired by the L.M.S. at Mpwapwa to
oversee the transport of some of their goods to Ujiji.
Bennett, Mirambo, p. 88; Diary, p.33.
49Piarv. p. 34; This refers to Stanley's description
in Henry M. Stanley, How I Found Livingstone: Travels.
Adventures, and Discoveries in Central Africa. (New
York: Negro University Press, reprinted 1969).
earlier, goats and sheep. This confirmed to both Hutley
and Stanley that the land must be very productive50
although, as Hutley noted, "the soil is very unfavorable,
being a light, sandy soil in which salt is found in great
quantities. . "51
Ugogo was also a land where each chief required a
tribute, called honcro in East Africa, to allow caravans
to pass. The settlement of the amount to be paid could
take a couple of days, especially if the chief was found
drunk or not in the mood for negotiations when the
travellers arrived. Frequently requested were guns,
which the missionaries were reluctant to give.. Most
hongo was paid in the form of cloths and beads, and
sometimes brass wire. A caravan might settle its payment
in conjunction with another caravan passing through the
area at the same time, in the hope that both could get
off cheaper. The L.M.S. group once paid together with an
Arab traveler and another time with a group of
Wanyamwezi, although the latter then had some difficulty
S0Diarv. pp. 34 -35; Stanley, Livingstone, pp. 175-
slDiarv. pp. 34-35.
This tax can
paying their share to the missionaries.52
be seen as only fair to be levied by native rulers on
those who were continually passing through their lands,
often carrying great wealth, and Hore was perhaps wrong
to refuse to pay at a place where he knew it to have been
unprecedented.53 Yet much extortion was often used by
the chiefs to acquire payment. When in need of boats to
cross the great Malagarazi River shortly before Ujiji,
the L.M.S. caravan found itself forced to pay for the
crossing twice, once shortly before and once at the
river.54 Or, as it happened to Hut ley on his journey out
of Central Africa three years later, honcro was paid and
the travelers ferried to dry ground, only to find, after
a few steps, another stretch of water ahead of them.55
After passing through Ugogo the caravan approached
Urambo, which they reached on July 27, 1878. This was
the stronghold of the powerful ntemi (chief) Mirambo, who
immediately placed at the missionaries disposal a house
where they could store their goods, and told them that he
wanted them to stay for a month. Urambo seemed to Hutley
the best place in Africa he had yet seen for a mission,
and Mirambo was desirous to have a European come and live
with him. He wanted to learn how to read and write and
wanted the same for his children.
The first exchange of gifts between the missionaries
and the ntemi were, on the one hand, perhaps not the best
foundations for future missionary work in the town.
Mirambo was given, among other things, two guns, and the
Englishmen in turn accepted from him six oxen.56 It was
the missionaries' policy not to give guns to chiefs, and
they had been advised by Alexander Mackay of the C.M.S.
not to accept oxen from Mirambo as these would surely
have been obtained by raids on surrounding villages.57
It was really only logical for the missionaries to accept
this exchange of gifts, however. Mirambo wanted guns and
was sure to acquire them somehow; Thomson would give him
56Piarv. p. 44.
57Piarv. pp. 25-26.
yet another before leaving town. The missionaries would
resort to giving guns to other chiefs also. To accept
Mirambo's oxen was a measure of courtesy. The garrulous
chief, to whom cattle raiding was a manner of life, would
have felt slighted had his gift been refused. The
exchange was a means to establish a good relationship
with Mirambo, to ensure his good will so that future
missionary work in his town would indeed be possible.
Eager to press on, the L.M.S. missionaries stayed in
Urambo only a week before embarking on the last leg of
their journey to Lake Tanganyika. The road led through
Uvinza, an area where salt was procured from the ground
in great quantities, and included the crossing of the
great Malagarazi river. Ujiji was reached on August 23,
1878. It must have been quite an experience for everyone
in the caravan to at last lay eyes on the water of the
great Lake that for so long had been the goal of their
journey. Hore mentions the occasion, and we learn from
his journal that he went to some pains to create a good
impression by marching his caravan into town properly,
with unfortunate results. The Arabs resident in Ujiji
considered Hore's display of force an affront. We learn
also that Hutley and his group did not come up until the
end of the day because they had taken the wrong route.58 9
Hutley therefore did not enter Ujiji with the commotion
and display of the others. He summed up his first
impression of the town, "thus we have entered Ujiji but
it neither disappoints nor surprises me, except that the
Arabs have more fruit than expected.1,59
Ujiji was a large, multi-ethnic urban community. In
1876 its size was estimated at 3,000, in 1883 at 5,000
people.60 It was a regional market center as well a
major up-country caravan depot and one of the inland
centers for Islam and the Swahili culture. Once just
another of the many small fishing villages that framed
Lake Tanganyika, it had grown to be the bustling
community the missionaries found due to a variety of
58Wolf, Missionary to Tanganyika, pp. 60-62; Wolf,
"Hore's Mission," p. 80.
S9Piarv. p. 52.
60The 1876 estimate is Stanley's (in Henry M.
Stanley, Through the Dark Continent. Vol. 2, p. 6) and
the 1883 estimate is Pere Ameet Vyncke's of the White
Father's Mission, as cited in Beverly Bolser Brown,
"Ujiji: The History of a Lakeside Town, c. 1800-1914."
(Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University
Graduate School, 1973), p. 88.
factors. Among these were certainly its geographical
advantages. The town lay in one of the few breaks in the
high wall of hills that line the northeastern shore of
Tanganyika, in the lowlands that cradle the Malagarazi
and Luiche rivers as they flow into the Lake. It fronted
some of the Lake's richest fishing waters, and numerous
types of fish were pulled from the inland sea each year.
It bordered the fertile Luiche river valley, where the
land yielded a great variety of crops. Maize, sorghum,
sugarcane, bananas and oil palms were grown in homestead
gardens; cassava, peanuts, sweet potatoes, yams, tobacco,
beans, cucumbers and cotton in the fields that surrounded
the town. Ujiji's early inhabitants had been industrious
and the town's natural and economic potential attracted
thousands of newcomers from all directions: permanent
settlers from the western shores, migrant labor from
Manyema, and transient traders from the east.
Together they developed Ujijis economy.61
Ujiji's daily market was a noisy, busy center
attended by people from various towns around the Lake.
Women brought crops, pottery and gourds of pombe (beer)
and palm wine. The men sold fish and meat, goats, sugar
cane, nets, baskets, bark cloth and spear and arrow
staves. From Warundi were brought corn and canoe
paddles, and from the island of Ubwari hemp. From Uvira
came ironwork and from Uvinza salt. Vendors took up the
same positions daily and often built shelters out of palm
fronds to protect them from the hot sun.62 The common
currency at the market was sofi beads, which resembled
pieces of pipe stem, and Hutley noted their conversion
system: twenty sofi made up a hebe, and ten hebe a fundo.
"When we want to buy something," he wrote, "the cloth is
taken to the exchange merchant, who gives its value in
61Brown, pp. 1-3, 3 8-42; Norman Bennett, "Mwinyi
Kheri," Leadership in Eastern Africa: Six Political
Biographies. ed. Norman Bennett. Boston University
African Research Studies, no. 9. (Boston University
Press, 1968), p. 145; Bayard Taylor, ed., The Lake
Regions of Central Africa. (New York: Negro Universities
Press, reprinted 1969), pp. 99-101.
62Cameron, Across Africa. Vol. 1, pp. 244-245, as
quoted in Brown, p. 46.
Ujiji and its environs in the
late nineteenth century
prom; Beverly Bolser Brown, "Ujljl;.
The History of a Lakeside Town, c, 1800^1914,"
Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Boston
University Graduate School, 1973,
beads...but unless one looks sharp after them you find
them short of a hebe. .,|63
Ujiji's ethnic diversity colored the town's physical
appearance as well. A variety of house-types stood
amidst the gardens that sloped gradually up from the
Lake: conical, thatched homes of the Jiji and other
native dwellers; rectangular, mud and wattle "Swahili"
houses; and flat-roofed, red brick Arab tembes. Gardens
and thick hedges surrounded them and well-worn paths
wound like ribbons through the thicket of green. During
the wet season they were choked with weeds and slippery
with puddles of red clay. In the few dry month they were
dusty, and a smokey haze from burning fields hung over
the town.63 64
The original inhabitants of the lakeside town, the
Wajiji, continued to make up a vibrant part of the
community. Their umwami (king or sultan), who lived in
Manyovu in the hills northeast of Ujiji, was still the
nominal head of the town and exacted a tribute from the
63Piarv. p. 55.
MBrown, p. 87-90.
Arab residents and would do so also from the missionaries
once they settled there. Indicative of the Ujiji power
structure, the Arabs and the Jiji mteko. or headman,
Abee, collected the honcro from the missionaries for the
king. There were Jiji headmen in each province of town
who served as the link of communication between residents
of Ujiji, both native and foreign, and the distant
umwami.65 Abee, the aging mteko of the Kawele district,
was in close contact with missionaries throughout their
stay. He had been known to David Livingstone and perhaps
also to Richard Burton.66
The Jiji king at the time of the missionaries
arrival was Mugasa II. Beverly Brown lists his reign as
dating from 1862 until his death in 1880, at which time
his son Rusimbi II took the helm and ruled until 1935.67
It is interesting to note that Hutley heard a rumor in
65Piarv. pp. 53, 93, 240; Bennett, "Mwinyi Kheri," p.
66Hutley refers to him a Abee or Abey, Hore as Abe,
and Livingstone as Habee, he might be the same Habeyya
mentioned by Burton. Diary, p. 65, n. 7.
67Brown, p. 23.
August, 1879, that the sultan of Ujiji was dead.68
Mugasa II actually die a year earlier than Brown
calculated? Or did he grow ill in 1879 and not die until
1880? A severe illness, coupled with the belief that the
umwami should not die of natural causes69 was probably
enough to spark a rumor of his death.
In March of 1879 Hutley met a son of Mugasa II, and
writes of him,
...my impressions of him on the whole are
favourable. He seems to be a pleasant, good-natured
man, but not very intelligent...His eyes, however,
looked very remarkable, but he seemed to lack
something what I can hardly define.70
It is doubtful, however, that this was the future umwami,
for Hutley estimates the age of the man he met at 40
years, and Rusimbi II must have been younger in 1879 if
he ruled until 1935. He was said to be young when he
succeeded his father in 1880.71
Despite the nominal power of the umwami over Ujiji,
68Diarv. P- 124
69Brown, P- 25.
70Diarv. P- 91.
71Brown, P- 23 .
the Jiji inhabitants no longer controlled the town.
Ujiji had become an Arab stronghold on the east-west
trade route. It was for a time the terminal of the Arab
caravans coming to the Lake, but had by the 1870s become
a major supply base from which enterprising traders
ventured even further into Central Africa in their search
for ivory and slaves. Many went west into the Congo
basin, to Manyema. The most well-known of these was
probably the Arab trader Tippu Tib. Others penetrated to
the north and northeast of the Lake, to Rwanda and
Burundi.72 The first Arabs to settle in Ujiji were Mrima
men.73 Mwinyi Kheri, Mwinyi Hassani, and Mwinyi Akida
arrived in the 1840s and were still there when the
missionaries came.74 Several other Arabs lived in Ujiji
and together they formed a considerable community.
Kheri, Hassani and Akida had prospered in the town
72Brown, pp. 58-61.
73The term Arab will refer here not only to Omani
Arabs but also to Arabized Swahili. The majority of
settlers and traders in the interior were of the latter
category. Diary, p. 83, n. 19.
74Brown, p. 56; Bennett, "Mwinyi Kheri," p. 147;
Diary, p. 221, n. 4.
and established a position of leadership over the local
Wajiji, who could make no decisions without their
approval. To enforce this position, the Arabs allowed
them no firearms or gunpowder.75 The relationship
between the two was a complicated one. Certainly the
wealthy Arabs were willing to pay a tribute to the Jiji
king to maintain their advantageous position, but they
did not pay him much deference. In late 1880, early 1881
the umwami was so angered by difficulties in his kingdom
caused by foreigners that he issued an eviction order to
all outsiders except Kheri, Hassani and Akida. The
entire Arab/Swahili community began to pack and the
missionaries wondered how to respond. But the Wajiji
were well aware of their dependence on the business of
the Arabs and convinced their king to rescind the
order.76 The missionaries soon realized it would be
impossible to make contact with the Wajiji without the
interference of the Arabs.
Slavery had not been introduced to Ujiji by the
75Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 80.
76Piarv. pp. 218, 222.
Arabs, but it was they who were the chief propagators of
the nefarious institution in town. Most residents had
slaves. A wealthy Arab might own hundreds, some of whom
lived quite comfortably and were entrusted with their
master's business, while even the poorest Wajiji often
kept some miserable wretch to help with the daily toil.
The relationships could be quite complicated.77 It must
be considered that a large part of the population of
Ujiji was enslaved. Another factor that colored the
atmosphere of the town was the passing through of
numerous porters. During the busy caravan season
hundreds of them could be in Ujiji at a time. After long
and arduous journeys they regarded the urban center as "a
place to fire guns, beat drums, find women, dance, drink,
and eat abundantly.1,78 Such raucous living frequently
led to altercations with the native town dwellers and
fights, some fatal, were not uncommon.79
This, then, was the town Hore and Hutley entered on
^Edward Coode Hore, "On the Twelve Tribes of
Tanganyika," as quoted in Brown, p. 93.
78Brown, p. 120.
79Brown, p. 120.
August 23, 1878, and where they would attempt to run a
mission station for the next two and a half years. It
was with the Arabs that they made their first contacts,
because they offered hospitality with some of the
familiar comforts of civilization and because, as the
dominant group in town, they held the key to the
The relationship between the missionaries and the
Arabs in Ujiji was one of outward friendliness but mutual
distrust. The L.M.S. expedition carried with it, as was
customary for Europeans in East Africa, letters from the
Sultan of Zanzibar introducing the travellers to the
Arabs in the interior.80 The Sultan's authority inland
was very limited, however, and the Ujiji Arabs accepted
or rejected his letters as it suited their needs.81 The
Arabs were distrustful of the missionaries because they
knew them to be opposed to slavery, the key aspect of
80Norman R. Bennett, Arab Versus European: Diplomacy
and War in Nineteenth-Century East Central Africa. (New
York: Africana Publishing Company, 1986), p. 69; Diary,
81Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 82, n. 24; Diary, p.
81, n. 17.
their economy and way of life. They also predicted with
great foresight that these few Englishmen were "...but
the thin edge of the wedge which once inserted is
gradually entered until the whole country is overrun with
white men, and (the Arabs) will be forced to leave."
This the Arab Nassur told Hutley.82 For these reasons
most of Ujiji's Arabs were determined to do everything in
their power to keep the missionaries from settling in the
town permanently. They were not convinced by the
brethrens1 protestations that they were not government
officials and did not plan to take either the Arab's land
or slaves by force.83 When the missionaries presented
Barghash's and Kirk's letters the only response from
Ujiji's Arabs was a request for further letters from the
Sultan before anything could be decided. Yet subsequent
letters from the Sultan were countered only with requests
for more specific ones in other words, they were
avoided. E.C. Hore thought an increased show of force by
the Sultan in Ujiji would buttress the mission's
82Piarv. p. 81.
83Piarv. pp. 70, 79, 127, 146.
position. John Kirk suggested Barghash appoint a wali,
or governor, in Ujiji as he had in Tabora. Ironically,
the post would fall to Mwinyi Kheri, the man who most
opposed the mission.84 The fact that land to build on
was never granted the L.M.S. in Ujiji was a matter of
acute dispute between the two groups for the duration of
Hutley's stay in Central Africa. It would in the end
lead to the closing of the Ujiji mission.
Hore spent the first months at Ujiji refitting a
dugout canoe rented from the Arabs with half decks and a
mast. Finished in November, 1878, it was named the
Calabash.85 With it he began to explore the Lake. He
would compile the first complete charts of its nearly
thousand mile shoreline, and confirm Cameron's and
Stanley's notion that the Lukuga river on the west bank
^Wolf, "Hore's Mission,"
Kheri," p. 157.
8SWolf, "Hore's Mission,"
p. 128; Bennett,
was its sole outlet.86 Hore's voyages also had the
intent of finding sites for new mission stations around
the Lake. He was frustrated with the futility of the
efforts in Ujiji. Populous and agriculturally productive
centers were wanted.87 He reported to the Directors
numerous towns from whose chiefs he had received
invitations to settle, though he was aware these were
usually extended as tokens of good manners rather than as
genuine expressions of welcome.88
The L.M.S. missionaries had agreed to divide the
lake region with the French Catholic White Fathers, who
86Wolf, Missionary to Tanganyika, p. 3; Joseph
Thomson, To the Central African Lakes and Back: Narrative
of the Royal Geographical Society's East Central African
Expedition 1878-80. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. Cass Library of
African Studies. Travels and Narratives, no. 46.
(London: Frank Cass and Company, Limited, reprinted
1968), pp. xii-xiii; Joseph Thomson, To the Central
African Lakes and Back: The Narrative of the Royal
Geographical Society's East Central African Expedition
1878-80. Vol. 2. 2nd ed. Cass Library of African
Studies. Travels and Narratives, no 46. (London: Frank
Cass and Company, Limited, reprinted 1968), pp. 57, 64-
87Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 98.
88Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 132.
lake Tanganyika and its
environs in the late
.From: Beverly Bolser Brown.
"Ujiji: The History of a Lakeside
Town, c. 1800-1914." Unpublished
Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University'
Graduate School, 1973.
arrived in Ujiji early in 1879. The White Fathers would
take the northern and the L.M.S. the southern half. Hore
preferred the southern half as he had encountered hostile
peoples in the north.89 A new site was chose, however,
before Hore had explored all of the southern end, though
Stanley had recommended it for missions.90 The new
station would be at Mtowa, in Uguha, opposite the Lake
and a little south of Ujiji. It was a manageable voyage
from the first station and Hore had received an
invitation from the principal local Waguha chief, Kasanga
Mahongoro, which appeared more sincere than others.91
The new station would be opened under the direction of
Rev. William Griffith, who had arrived in September,
1879, with the second L.M.S. expedition to Lake
Tanganyika, in which its Foreign Secretary Joseph Mullens
89Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 90; Diary, p.128.
^olf, Missionary to Tanganyika, p. 105. The
explorer Joseph Thomson, on the other hand, could not
recommend any place along the southern shores of Lake
Tanganyika for a mission station. Diary, p. 149.
91Hore, Missionary to Tanganyika, p. 98; Diary, p.
131; Edward Coode Hore, "Notes of Three Voyages of the
'Calabash' on Lake Tanganyika. L.M.S. Correspondence.
With him had come
had died shortly before Mpwapwa.92
also Dr. Ebenezer Southon, who was sent to open a station
in Urambo. Griffith was to be joined at Mtowa by Walter
Hut ley .93
Mtowa lay at the water's edge on the west side of
the Lake in the country of Uguha, which was home to an
estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people. The capitol of the
region was Ruanda, a town of about 5,000 inhabitants,
home of Kasanga Mahongoro, who was in turn subject to
greater chiefs. Mtowa was a small village when Griffith
and Hutley first arrived. Hutley measured it as being
160 yards by 50 yards and ninety houses across at the
widest part. The thatched roof houses appeared conical
from the outside but were built on rectangular frames.
Maize and millet were grown in the gardens and the
natives kept goats, sheep and fowl. The Waguha were a
92William Griffith, "Central Africa." Log of the
expedition from Saadani to Chakombee, 16 June 10 July
1879; William Griffith, "Centra Africa." Log of the
expedition from Mpwapwa to Lagula, 25 July 5 August
1879. L.M.S. Correspondence.
93Piarv. p. 131; Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 93-94.
proud tribe, more handsome and friendly than the Wajiji.
Behind the village the land rose gradually into a semi-
circle of hills.94 The missionaries chose a site a
little above town with a view of the shore. Griffith
named it "Plymouth Rock" because it was on the west side
of the "sea" and reminded him of the Devonshire hills.95
Griffith and Hutley settled in. Hutley built a house for
the mission and a boat for short voyages.96 It was hoped
that at Mtowa evangelization would be possible without
Arab interference. Yet Uguha, and especially the port
village of Mtowa, was an unfortunate selection for a
mission station. It was a lakeside stopover for many of
the Arab/Swahili caravans going to and coming from
Manyema and was nearly as much under the influence of
Muslim traders as Ujiji. To make matters worse, the site
Griffith and Hutley had chosen was near the traditional
caravan campground. Droves of wretchedly poor Wamanyema
^Walter Hutley, "Geographical Notes." L.M.S.
Correspondence; Diary, pp. 165, 197.
95Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 98.
96Piarv. p. 152.
in search of food and work often stopped over there,
sometimes for weeks. Such sights could easily dampen the
spirit, especially since the missionaries were helpless
to affect the suffering they saw caused by the slave
trade. The Waguha leadership proved unwilling to give up
the peace and profit enjoyed with the ivory and slave
traders for missionary promises of a better life.97
Yet Hutley felt more at home in Mtowa than he ever
did in Ujiji.98 He was able to look past his
differences with Griffith and the difficulties of his
work to make himself as comfortable as possible in the
town. He cultivated friendships with the natives and
undertook a casual study of their culture. It seems that
at Mtowa he felt himself more independent at work than he
did at any other time in Africa.
Yet he could not stay for more than a year. In the
fall of 1880 the third L.M.S. expedition arrived in
Ujiji. Walter Palmer, a medical missionary, was to join
^Thomson, Central African Lakes II. p. 73; Diary,
pp. 131-132, 137, 146, 149.
98Piarv. pp. 165, *197.
Griffith in Uguha. David Williams was sent to help Dr.
Southon in Urambo. The Reverend Alfred Wookey would man
the mission in Ujiji. Hore was furloughed back to
England to report. Hutley's familiarity with the town
politics and his knowledge of Kiswahili and Kijiji were
needed in Ujiji. He returned to the old station to help
During his second stay in Ujiji Hutley witnessed
some interesting developments. Mwinyi Kheri was
appointed the Sultan's governor. The blood red flag of
the Arab State of Zanzibar now flew in the town. As the
Arab/Swahili community sought to strengthen its political
power in the area, the Wajiji strove for more
independence from the Arabs.* 100
It was in these days that Hutley's health began to
fail seriously. Recurrent fevers had so weakened his
constitution that Dr. Palmer thought it necessary he
return to England at least for a while, and a letter from
"Diary, pp. 217-220.
1 Diary, pp. 209, 240, 242, 258, 268, 270.
L.M.S. Foreign Secretary Ralph Wardlaw Thomson advised
him to do so.101 He spent his last weeks at the Lake in
Butonga, in the hills above Mtowa, to which the Plymouth
Rock Station was soon moved to as well. The climate was
thought to be more salubrious there.102 At the end of
June, 1881, Hutley left Central Africa and began the long
trek back to the coast. At the beginning of the journey
he was so weak that for the first time during his stay in
Africa he asked two Wanyamwezi to carry him to Urambo.103
101Diarv, p. 253; Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 130, n.
87; Ralph Wardlaw Thomson. Foreign Secretary of the
L.M.S. Letter to Walter Hutley. London, 29 July 1881.
102Piarv. pp. 261-262.
103Piarv. p. 276.
WALTER HUTLEY: THE MAN AND HIS WORK
What kind of a man was Walter Hutley? What kind of
a missionary and what kind of a representative of
European culture was he during the brief period of
limited European activity in East Africa before the
country was occupied by Germany and Britain? What had
inspired him to leave England for Africa at the age of
nineteen? As has been seen, not much information is
available for Hutley before this time. We know that he
grew up in the small village of Coggeshall in Essex. It
can be surmised from a diary entry he made while in
Africa that his mother's brother rendered him some kind
of assistance for nearly three years.1 We do not know if
this means Hutley received financial support from his
uncle or whether perhaps the uncle lived in a town where
Hutley might have completed some or all of his six years'
practice as a builder and joiner and there provided
Barnes B. Wolf, ed., The Central African Diaries of
Walter Hutley 1877-1881. African Historical Documents
Series, no. 4. (Boston University, African Studies
Center, 1976), p. 100. (Diary)
residence for his young nephew. We know that Hutley was
recommended to the L.M.S. by the Reverend A. Goodrich of
the Congregational church in Braintree, which the Hutleys
attended for lack of one in Coggeshall.2 But was it
Goodrich's idea that Hutley should become a missionary?
Or did the initiative come from the young man himself, he
having perhaps been inspired by the lecture of a
missionary returning to England from the field?
Some may wonder whether Hutley wished to become a
missionary in order to attain a higher social scale.
Strayer argues that this was in some cases a
consideration, many missionaries originating in the
"aristocracy of labour," or lower middle class, and
hoping through their missionary work to attain the status
of ordination without university degrees.3 Hutley came
from the artisan class, he was a carpenter, but it is not
probable that he ever approached his engagement with the
L.M.S. with this intent. He was too young and humble at
2Piarv. pp. xii-xiii.
3Robert Strayer, The Making of Mission Communities in
East Africa: Anglicans and Africans in Colonial Kenya
1875-1935. (London: Heinemann, 1978), p. 5.
went to Africa to
the time to be so ambitious. Hutley
help as a carpenter. Once there, he became engaged in
many other fields of missionary work, such as the leading
of worship, the education of children, the dispensing of
medical services, conferences with chiefs, gardening, and
the keeping track of stores, but he was never ordained.
He was, in 1880, promoted from the status of a mere
artisan to membership on the L.M.S. District Committee in
the Lake Tanganyika region, a status usually reserved for
ordained members. He was also placed on the Society's
list of missionaries.4 Though Hutley was extremely
pleased by the appointment, it had not been his reason
for joining the mission. He had gone to Africa to help
the natives, not to help himself. When he was thus
rewarded he viewed it more as a tribute to his ability to
serve others than as a step upward in the social scale of
4J.O. Whitehouse. Foreign Secretary of the L.M.S.
Letter to Walter Hutley. London, 13 February 1880.
Selected sources from the archives of the London
Missionary Society. Notes in the possession of Professor
James B. Wolf. (L.M.S. Correspondence); Diary. p. 171;
James B. Wolf, "Captain Hore's Mission: The London
Missionary Society's Adventure at Lake Tanganyika 1878-
1888." (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of
California, Los Angeles, 1968), pp. 70-71.
England. In late 1880 Hutley wrote to the Society asking
for leave in 1882. Once back in England he planned to
take a course of study that would make him a better lay
member. "A missionary cannot know too much," he wrote.5
Shortly before his return to England in 1881, he
expressed a desire to become a medical missionary before
returning to Africa a second time so as to make him more
useful in the field.6 The Society was unwilling to
finance his retraining.7
It can be assumed that Hutley did not face many
competitors for his position with the first L.M.S.
mission to East Africa. Those willing to give up the
familiarity of life at home for trying conditions in
unknown and potentially dangerous lands cannot have been
5Walter Hutley. Letter to the L.M.S. Ujiji, 7
November 1880. L.M.S. Correspondence.
Walter Hutley. Letter to the L.M.S. Urambo, 12
August 1881. L.M.S. Correspondence.
7Piarv. p. xiii.
too numerous.8 Yet even if no one else was vying for the
post, there must have been something about Hutley that
convinced L.M.S. Foreign Secretary Joseph Mullens he
could do the job, or at least that he was worthy of
sending to Africa. In photos taken late in his life
Hutley bears a friendly but determined countenance.
Assuming he already had a touch of the same intense
resoluteness in his eyes at nineteen, a prospective
employer must have realized that he was not one to take
assignments lightly. Hutley was remembered in his
obituaries as one to fight passionately, yet with
tenderness and tactfulness, for his principles..9 He
developed these gualities early in his life and displayed
them in his work in Africa.
It may still be asked what expectations Hutley
brought to his missionary work. What was he hoping to
8Roland Oliver, The Missionary Factor in East Africa.
3rd ed. (London: Longman Group, Limited, 1970), pp. 8-9,
12-13; Diary, p. xii; H. Alan C. Cairns, Prelude to
Imperialism: British Reactions to Central African Society
1840-1890. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), p.
9The Advertiser. 14 February 1931. Newspaper
clippings sent by Kate Hutley to James B. Wolf. In the
possession of Professor James B. Wolf. (Obituaries.)
achieve in Africa when he left England in 1877? Or can
it be assumed that he was as yet too young and uninformed
about the situations that awaited him to have been able
to form many ideas about them? The latter was probably
the case. Hutley's early journal entries in Africa show
an open, receptive attitude, without preconceived notions
that he may have brought with him. He formed his ideas
about what needed to be done during his stay in Africa.
When he came to see how difficult they would be to
implement, he also grew more disappointed.
Hutley was employed by the London Missionary Society
to build houses and furniture for the stations, to be
opened at Lake Tanganyika. On April 9, 1877, he received
a three year contract that granted him -L40 a year for his
services as well as household stores and accommodation.
Hutley joined the mission as its undermost member, but
soon proved himself able and willing to take on more
responsibilities. His duties as a carpenter he fulfilled
industriously. He brought to the task six years'
experience as a builder and joiner and constructed houses
and furniture for the mission stations at Ujiji, Mtowa
and Urambo. He also worked on boats, helping Hore with
the Calabash and refinishing his own while in Uguha.
Finding adeguate wood often proved to be a challenge. It
was difficult to find trees that were both large enough
and suitable for building purposes. Those which once
grew in accessible areas had often been taken by the
Arabs. Many planks that seemed practicable when cut were
found infested with insects a few days later. We find
Hutley once looking for a small canoe out of which he
hoped to make boards to fix the Calabash. Hutley also
took some interest in how the natives worked at
Was Hutley's work as a carpenter truly missionary
work? There were those among Protestants who questioned
altogether the validity of artisan missionaries.11 To
Catholics it seemed natural that religious teaching and
material benefits should go hand in hand. The latter
were considered "the free gifts of a beneficent Creator
10Diarv. pp. 58, 86, 145, 158, 163, 172, 224, 225,
249-250; Walter Hutley, "Geographical Notes." L.M.S.
"Oliver, Missionary Factor, p. 10.
to His dutiful children."12 Evangelical subscribers,
however, paid and prayed for conversions.13 A member of
the C.M.S. Committee felt this way about it:
I am entirely in favor of the Lay Evangelist, the
Female Evangelist, the Medical Evangelist, whenever
Gospel-preaching is the substantive work. But when
it is proposed to have a pious Industrial
Superintendent, or an Evangelical tile-manufacturer,
or a Low-Church breeder of cattle and raiser of
turnips, I draw my line.14
The London Missionary Society was not, of course,
Evangelical, but Congregational, and did not view the
task of missionaries so narrowly.
Livingstone and others believed that Africans needed
to be shown the basics of civilization before they would
be receptive to Christianity. This idea was variously
appraised by different people. At the base of the issue
lies the question of how far one can separate
civilization and Christianity. Are the two not
120liver, Missionary Factor, p. 24.
130liver, Missionary Factor, pp. 24-25; Strayer, p.
14R.N. Cust as quoted in Oliver, Missionary Factor,
interwoven in many western minds?15 Differing opinions
arose about whether to civilize first and teach
Christianity later, or vice versa.16 Some felt that,
precisely because the two were so closely connected,
Christianity could not be understood by those unfamiliar
with some aspects of western culture.17 The point of
industrial training, explained Dr. Stewart of the
Livingstonia mission, was to teach the Africans that
Christianity and idleness were incompatible.18 Most
Africans were of course far more interested in the
missionaries for the skills they could teach than for
15Cairns, pp. 199-200; Edward H. Berman, African
Reactions to Missionary Education. (New York: Teacher's
College Press, Columbia University, 1875), p. 9.
16James Stewart, Dawn in the Dark Continent, or
Africa and its Missions. The Duff Missionary Lectures
for 1902. (New York: Young People's Missionary Movement,
n.d.), p. 25; Cairns, p. 201.
17Norman Goodall, A History of the London Missionary
Society 1895-1945. (London: Oxford University Press,
1954), p. 468; Cairns, p. 199.
18A. J. Hanna, The Beginnings of Nvasaland and North
Eastern Rhodesia 1859-95. (London: Oxford University
Press, 1956), p. 16.
The London Missionary Society,
their religious ideas.19
nondenominational yet built on the idea of
Congregationalism, was willing to hire the best men
available and allow them to decide on their own how to go
about evangelizing the natives, based upon the
necessities they found in the field.20 It sought not
only those who could preach, but also those who could
teach practical things. If it seemed most feasible to
get the Africans' attention by teaching them carpentry,
let that be the approach.21
It was in this capacity that Hutley made his
greatest contribution to the Lake Tanganyika mission. He
brought to the Africans skills in carpentry. Wherever he
was stationed people came to examine his tools and to
watch him work, though he observed that the Waguha were
19Robert Rot berg, Christian Missionaries and the
Creation of Northern Rhodesia 1880-1924. (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1965), p. 90; A. J. Hanna,
"The Role of the London Missionary Society in the Opening
up of East Central Africa," Transactions of the Royal
Historical Society. Fifth series, Vol. 5, 1955, p. 46.
20Goodall, pp. 566-568.
21J.O. Whitehouse. Foreign Secretary of the L.M.S.
Letter to Walter Hutley. London, 17 December 1880.
more interested in the missionaries' things than the
Wajiji.22 Those who worked with him learned many
techniques. Hutley approached this as missionary work,
which the attitude he brought to it confirms. He did not
think he should make anything for the natives, but rather
that they could learn from him how to do it themselves.
This became evident particularly on one occasion in
Uguha, when Kasanga Mahongoro wanted Hutley to make a
boat for him like the one he had made for himself.
Griffith thought Hutley should do so, but the young
carpenter repeatedly and adamantly refused.23 Hutley
made stools for the Arabs,24 but did not consider them
his pupils. Another exception he made was to work on
guns brought to him for repair.25 Gun mending was a
sure way for missionaries to gain influence among the
natives, though there were those, such as L.M.S.
missionary in Southern Africa J.S. Moffat, who refused to
22Piary. p. 243.
23Diary, pp. 189, 192, 195.
24Piary. p. 62.
^Diarv. pp. 44, 127.
do so on moral grounds.26
There were times when Hutley sincerely doubted the
impact of his efforts and believed more time should be
spent on directly preaching the gospel in order to have
any effect at all on the natives.27 The missionary
Stewart also questioned the impact of industrial
education: "Such things only excite the native's
curiosity, they do not move his heart nor touch the
springs of action."28 Foreign Secretary J.O. Whitehouse
of the L.M.S. assured Hutley that practical work was
important, yet reminded him not to lose sight of the
Your progress in the mechanical department is
evidently exciting attention, and is among the many
things which are helping on the higher work, though
not closely connected with it. But in the midst of
that bodily labour, you have many opportunities of
stimulating enquiry, gratifying curiosity, and
little by little educating those who gather around
you...as the requirements of the mechanical kind are
being met, there will be the more opportunity to
enter upon and pursue a higher and more systematic
26His father, the old Robert Moffat, pioneering
L.M.S. missionary at the Kuruman station in Southern
Africa, did mend guns for Africans. Cairns, p. 183.
27Piarv. p. 151.
28Stewart, p. 27.
course of procedure.29
Whether Hutley participated in any of the higher work
needs still to be examined. He certainly performed above
and beyond his duties as a carpenter.
Hutley took on many responsibilities not originally
assigned to him. Some of these were tasks that probably
befell every missionary. They all found themselves in
some measure working as gardeners, doctors and
educators.30 The L.M.S. missionaries kept a garden,
which Hutley must have been largely responsible for, as
he once called it his own.31 It was surely cultivated
more with the intent of providing food than growing a
crop that could be sold for profit, something that was
done by some missionaries.32 He seems to have had more
luck with his wheat crop than his brethren in
Matabeleland, but nevertheless lost about two thirds of
29J.0. Whitehouse. Foreign Secretary of the L.M.S.
Letter to Walter Hutley. 17 December 1880. L.M.S.
30Rotberg, pp. 90-97; Goodall, pp. 456, 508;
Cairns, p. 31.
31Piarv. p. 128.
32Rotberg, p. 97.
it before it could be harvested.33
All missionaries in parts of the world sparsely
served by doctors were called upon to apply as well as
they could their knowledge of western medicine to
ailments and accidents brought to them by the natives.34
The L.M.S. brothers at Tanganyika were no exception.
Among those who were not doctors, William Griffith and
Alfred Wookey gave this work the most attention.35
Hutley also dispensed medicines, dressed wounds, and
assisted his elders in minor operations, a few of which
he described in detail.36
Walter Hutley became an educator in Africa. He
taught those who worked with him skills of his trade.
The missionaries in Ujiji and Mtowa also hoped to teach
children to read and write. Hutley invested much effort
trying to get Africans to send boys to the mission for
lessons. Many seemed wary of the offer and some actually
33Piarv. p. 128; Cairns, p. 31.
^Goodall, p. 508; Rotberg, pp. 90-91; Cairns, p.
35Piarv. pp. 154, 251.
36Piarv. pp. 64, 86, 106, 116, 239, 247.
afraid.37 A few sought to be paid for it. This was
apparently not uncommon.38 Griffith resorted to this
method but Hutley adamantly rejected it.39 A few boys
finally came and they received lessons in the alphabet
and attended services.40 It is not known whether it was
the English language that was taught, though this is to
be presumed. The quality of education given above and
beyond the alphabet also is hot known, such as whether
the children were taught to repeat verses about God and
sin like those mentioned in Smith's essay on missionary
education in Tanganyika before 1914.41 Walter Hutley and
William Griffith, who of the L.M.S missionaries at the
Lake in the early years spent the most time teaching
children, did not progress very far with it. They were
never able to get more than one or two boys to come to
37Piarv. pp. 74, 86-87, 130, 144, 154, 156, 160-161,
38Strayer, p. 60.
39Piarv. pp. 189, 209-210.
40Piarv. pp. 164, 198, 199, 203, 210.
41Anthony Smith, "The Missionary Contribution to
Education (Tanganyika) to 1914." Tanganyika Notes and
Records 60 (March 1963), p. 95.
them, and none stayed more than a year, if even that.
After both Joseph Thomson and Arthur Dodgshun had
died, Hutley and Hore were, for a year, the only
representatives of the L.M.S. in Ujiji. When Hore began
to explore the Lake Hutley was left alone. At such times
it did not matter that he was merely an artisan he was
in charge of the mission and responsible for everything
it entailed. He lived up to the expectation and
performed his duties well. He was for several different
periods responsible for the mission's stores. This was a
task made especially difficult by the white ants. The
supplies had to be rid of them almost daily. Hutley's
diligence served him well for the assignment, though
Hore, in character with his lack of patience for others
to do a job he thought he could do best, once declared
displeasure at the way Hutley was doing it. He could not
have done too badly, however, as Hore had him take over
again.42 Once Hutley even undertook to hire a boat in
42Piarv. pp. 29, 114, 115, 127.
43Piarv. pp. 127-128.
During much of his stay in Africa, Walter Hutley was
responsible for the African and Wangwana employees of the
mission; at times he was even responsible for hiring
them. This would prove to be a challenging assignment,
but one where he could test his ability to deal with the
natives, and his interpersonal skills. The mission first
employed carriers to transport its goods inland. Once at
the Lake it sought men to build its houses and furniture,
to help work on its boat and in its garden, and to assist
in keeping up the supplies. It also employed household
servants, common for missions at the time.44 It could be
difficult to find such personnel.45 During harvest
season all were busy in the fields and in the months when
cross-country travel was possible, many were engaged as
pagazi in the caravans. The Wajiji were not generally
interested in working for the Europeans. The
missionaries often resorted to engaging Wangwana, coastal
Muslims who had come inland in the employ of traders. In
Uguha there were always Wamanyema looking for work. It
44Rotberg, p. 52.
45Cairns, pp. 31-32.
was not an ideal situation, of course, to have either
Muslims or another's wretched slaves working at the
Christian mission. In the case of the household
servants, most Africans and Arabs did not understand why
the missionaries did not buy them outright.46
It was difficult to get these employees to work
according to western standards. They did not seem
interested in coming out ahead, but worked just enough to
support themselves. Whenever they tired of doing
something they asked to quit and demanded their wages,
regardless of whether the task was done.47 Many
Europeans considered them lazy. Hutley never used that
word when referring to them but it is clear that he
thought it of some of them; he was often frustrated with
their lack of a work ethic.
For a time at the beginning Hutley questioned his
abilities as an overseer of the workers. He felt he was
not able to be stern enough with them and consequently
was not receiving enough respect. This self-criticism
46Piarv. pp. 103-104; Cairns, p. 32.
47Piarv. pp. 63-64; Cairns, pp. 31-32, 79-80.
may have been motivated in part by Hore's use of strict
discipline on the men.48 Yet it was surely also a
realization on Hutley's part of a shortcoming in
effectiveness due to his young age. During his stay in
Africa he found a means to handle employees on his own
terms. He possessed mediating skills that served him
very well in his management of workers. He displayed
these already early in the expedition when he calmed the
one or the other altercation between the ox-cart drivers
from Natal and the SWahili porters. When relations with
the drivers had soured so much that some of them deserted
the expedition and returned to Zanzibar to complain to
Consul Kirk of mistreatment, it was Hutley who was sent
after them to dissuade them from the idea. He was not
successful, but Kirk ruled in the missionaries' favor and
sent the drivers back.49 Later there would be many
incidents between the missionaries' men and the Arabs' or
others' slaves in Ujiji. These altercations Hutley was
usually wise enough not to involve himself in. He dealt
48Piarv. p. 62, n. 5.
49Piary. pp. 3-6, 18, 26.
with them by issuing warnings to his men or by granting
the Arabs permission to punish them for their
Christian ethics were at times applied to the
management of employees. A man who was found to have had
a woman on board the Calabash for a night would have been
let go were it not for the missionaries' reluctance to
antagonize the Wajiji so early in their acquaintance.
Two years later Hutley did withhold wages from one of his
men while the fellow was ill with syphilis.51
The missionaries had a recurrent problem with
employees stealing from them, a phenomenon Livingstone
found in all areas touched by the slave trade. Such
infractions were dealt with in a less Christian fashion,
namely with corporal punishment. For theft or attacks on
others a standard ten strokes were given.52 Upon what
basis the missionaries felt they had a right to do this
might be considered. It was the prevalent method of
50Diarv. pp. 77, 81-82
51Diarv. pp. 79, 263 .
52Diarv. pp. 115 , 193.
controlling ones employees in Africa at the time.
Europeans almost without exception felt it important not
to appear weak before the Africans, who were considered
child-like.53 The first flogging administered on a
paaazi by the L.M.S. expedition to Lake Tanganyika was
suggested by the Swahili caravan master.54 Joseph
Thomson had, earlier in his life, experienced what could
happen if more egalitarian methods of enforcing obedience
were introduced. In a wave of idealism he had once tried
to replace flogging with fines and was met by a strike of
his porters, who preferred the whip to returning home
Flogging was effective for moving caravans along,
Cairns points out, but not for obtaining conversions.56
There were a few who questioned its use by missionaries
altogether. R.N. Cust found the two utterly
53Cairns, pp. 41, 43.
^Diarv. p. 10.
55Cairns, p. 42.
56Cairns, pp. 42, 71.
if it is agreed, that an expedition cannot be
carried on, unless the leader of it commits day by
day acts of brute violence, the reply is, that
Missionary expeditions had better not be
The Ujiji and Mtowa missions never reached the stage of
exercising civil jurisdiction over Africans and thus did
not have to grapple with the issue to the extent that the
Blantyre and Livingstonia stations did.58 Nor did
anything occur in Ujiji or Mtowa that came close to the
Blantyre atrocities.59 The L.M.S. did not issue any
directives on the problem until 1898, at which time
missionaries were prohibited from passing sentences or
administering punishment. This was to be left either to
the hands of native custom, or, if occurring in territory
57R.N. Cust as quoted in Cairns, p. 41.
58"The problem of civil jurisdiction did not arise
for the L.M.S. Tanganyika mission until about 1890.
Captain Hore showed himself fully aware of the danger
inherent in it when, at the time of the withdrawal from
Niamkolo in 1885, the people who had settled there begged
him to take them with him to Kavala island, which was
then his headquarters. "[T]his I cannot do," he
reported, tho' I fain would, for troubles would in time
be sure to arise, and in spite of all efforts I should be
regarded as chief of the new settlers.'" Hanna,
Nvasaland. p. 47.
59Hanna, Nvasaland. pp. 26-30.
under the rule of a civilized power, to that civil
authority.60 As Norman Goodall, a historian of the
London Missionary Society, points out, however, "this
whole problem had as its background a state of society
which is not easy to envisage today."61 Most areas of
Central Africa were not yet under civil authority; the
Lake Tanganyika region at the time of the L.M.S. stations
at Ujiji and Mtowa certainly was not. There the
jurisdiction of Arab traders and local customs vied for
authority, and both had some. Both could be haphazard
and included a fair amount of physical brutality
themselves.62 Hutley saw several people killed and one
expelled from the country for being "witches." He also
observed an "ordeal," common in Africa, whereby people
suspected of witchcraft were made to drink poison, often
from the mvumi tree. If they vomited it, they were
60Goodall, p. 272
61Goodall, p. 272
62Cairns, p. 123.
considered innocent; if not they were guilty, and dead.63
An offender was most likely better off receiving ten
strokes from the missionaries than being turned over to
either an Arab or a chief. Moreover, mission employees
were considered by others like slaves of the white men
and not under any other jurisdiction. It would have been
unwelcome to a chief to have to deal with the squabbles
of the Europeans and their servants. It might be
remembered also that corporal punishment was not shunned
in the British armed forces or workhouses of the time.64
Hutley never questioned its use. He even seems to have
approved of Mirambo1s execution of three men accused of
robbing a caravan.65
Hutley possessed an ability that made him invaluable
to his fellow missionaries at times. He was, in Dr.
63Piarv. pp. 200, 202, 204-205, 210, 211-212, 227,
245, 260; Hanna, Nvasaland. p. 17; J. Spencer
Trimingham, Islam in East Africa. (London, Oxford
University Press, 1964), p. 159.
^Cairns, p. 41.
65Piarv. p. 44.
Southon's words, "an excellent linguist."66
arrival in East Africa onward he devoted many hours to
the study of the languages spoken there. He began with
Kiswahili, and added, once he reached Ujiji, Arabic and
Kijiji. He studied diligently. Once he was able to make
contacts with some natives in Ujiji he took lessons in
their language.67 He compiled, at Hore's request, a
Kijiji vocabulary.68 During his second sojourn in Ujiji
Hutley focused more on learning Arabic, though he had
begun studying it earlier.69 We find L.M.S. Foreign
Secretary Whitehouse writing to him in December, 1880,
that the "Syria Arabic Grammar" he had requested was
difficult to obtain in London.70 Hutley made himself
useful to the Arabs as an interpreter on several
Ebenezer Southon. Letter to the L.M.S. Ujiji, 18
September 1879. L.M.S. Correspondence.
67Piarv. pp. 62, 231.
68Walter Hutley. Kijiji vocabulary. L.M.S.
Correspondence; Diary, p. 62.
69Piarv. pp. 161-162, 260-261.
70J.O. Whitehouse. Foreign Secretary of the L.M.S.
Letter to Walter Hutley. London, 17 December 1880.
Hutley's careful study of the languages allowed him
to progress with them more quickly than most of his
colleagues did and left to him the task of interpreting
during the negotiations between the missionaries and the
Arabs or African chiefs.72 He writes of one of these
Oh, these shauries are indescribable and, as I act
as interpreter, it is bad for me as at times I have
to listen to English and a number of Swahili at
once, and at the same time, try and explain
something to someone else, but it is the place or
time to obtain a good knowledge of the African
It might also have been an opportunity for Hutley, as
principal speaker, to have some influence over what was
said to the Arabs and Africans, but there is no
indication he ever conveyed, or wished to, anything other
than what his superiors said.
As a member of a Congregational mission, Hutley
could conduct services though he was not ordained. He
71Piarv. pp. 161-162, 260-261.
72Piarv. pp. 80, 260, 227.
73Piarv. p. 80.
was a very religious man already at nineteen. Recurring
in his diary are meditations on his attempts to grow
spiritually, and pleas to God to help him in the
endeavor. It was not always easy for him. Hutley was
acutely conscious of his responsibilities as a missionary
in Africa and attempted to meet those expectations with a
serious mien. On some days he doubted whether he was
equal to the task. In May, 1878, he lamented,
I conducted the worship in the morning. Oh how far
from it my heart is. I feel that it is not mine and
that taking part in it is almost hypocrisy.74
Three days after Thomson's death he wrote,
...this I fear, my heart is getting callous and
indifferent, and although every day I read, or
nearly so, my Bible, it is only to admire it as
a brilliant gem, of no use to me And I try
not [sic] to check my sin which fast grows on
Though he bewailed his inadequacies Hutley led a pious
life in Africa. He worked very diligently. He had no
relations with women, which Mirambo thought very
curious.76 Only once during his stay in Africa, in May,
74Diarv. P- 29-30.
75Diarv. pp. 61-62
76Diarv. P- 46.
1881, did he mention partaking of some pombe (native
beer) in a village.77 If he did so more often we do not
know about it.
Hutley found very draining the ineffectiveness of
the mission, the futility of trying to do anything with
or for the natives. On many days there was not much work
for him and this tired and depressed him.78 Missionaries
were frequently lonely because they could not completely
immerse themselves in the cultures that surrounded
On many days Hutley was actually sick. During his
four year stay in Africa he was seriously ill no less
than forty times, about once every two weeks, with a few
longer periods of respite. Most instances were bouts of
malaria, though the complaints varied. Footsores,
headaches, indigestion and diarrhea bothered him
periodically. Some unfamiliar food of the African
interior must surely have contributed to the latter. The
^Diary. p. 263.
78Piarv. pp. 109-110, 166, 169, 250-251.
79Cairns, p. 32.
understanding of tropical diseases was limited. The
cause for the fevers was as yet unknown to the
Englishmen. It was observed that some areas, generally
low-lying and swampy one, were unhealthier than others.
Ujiji was particularly pestilent. Drinking water was
seldom boiled.80 The fevers were at times attributed to
various causes, some more and some less likely, such as
heat strokes, idleness and even frustration with the
delay of certain negotiations.81 It was known that the
powerful fevers could cause deliriousness and affect
one's ability to reason. They resulted in long-term
exhaustion. The lack of nourishing food prolonged
recovery.82 Recurrent bouts could so weaken the body and
the will that a state of general lethargy set in. Hutley
wrote of "...that state which felt no energy to do
anything or try even,"83 and the loss of "all taste for
80Diarv. pp. 66, 69; Cairns, p. ll
81Diarv. pp. 93, 109 -110, 114.
82Cairns , P- 11.
83Piarv. p. 64.
mental exertion."84 The missionaries treated their bouts
of malaria with remedies as best as they knew how at the
time. Colycinth and calomel were sometimes used, but
quinine most frequently. It alleviated the symptoms
while causing temporary deafness if taken in large
quantities.85 The aftereffects of the medication could
be quite terrible.86
Hutley's constitution was seriously weakened by
recurrent fevers. By August, 1881, he had lost all
confidence in it.87 There had been times when he nearly
despaired about his state of health. Entries such as
this can be found in his journal:
...am extremely weak and have been since last
entry. Sometimes better, then worse again. I
often think I shall not recover unless moved
away from here. Hore exceedingly kind. I am
unable even to reason clearly, unable to walk
any distance without fear of falling. W.H. My
trust is still in the crucified One. I cannot
^Diarv. p. 268.
85Piarv. p. 36; George Seaver, Pavid Livingstone:
His Life and Letters. (New York: Harper and Brothers,
1957), p. 413.
86Piarv. pp. 65-66.
87Piarv. p. 279.
In January of 1880 Hutley pondered whether he should
inform the Directors of the Society that he was too weak
to perform the task expected of him. He did not want to
be standing in the way of a better man.89 His initialing
of the above paragraph lends a mood of finality to the
passage, and there were indeed times when Hutley feared
for his life. Twice in 1879 he made up a will.90 By the
spring of 1881, he was so critically ill that the L.M.S.
doctor at the Lake, Walter Palmer, invalidated him
Hutley carried a deep dedication to the Tanganyika
mission, however, and did not rush home. Even after Dr.
Palmer's advice and letters from the L.M.S. in London
88Diarv. P- 71.
89Diarv. P- 154.
90Diarv. PP . 69, 100, 143
91Diarv. P- 253.
he offered to
asking him to come home on sick leave,92
stay on in Uguha until reinforcements arrived to join
Griffith, and then stayed in Urambo longer than planned
to assist Southon in his work. He felt bound to help the
understaffed missions in Central Africa. Perhaps it was
the death of young David Williams in Urambo that scared
him into the realization that he had better leave Africa
or risk meeting the same fate. At the outset of the
expedition in 1877 Price's first impressions of Hutley
had been that he was "a nice lad but constitutionally not
suitable" for work in Africa.93 Yet in the end Hutley
was one of the survivors.
On good days in Africa Hutley must have been of a
cheerful nature. Mirambo commented that he laughed much
and even sent some people to witness it.94 Hutley had a
sense of humor, which can be detected in diary entries
92Piarv. p. 257; Ralph Wardlaw Thompson. Foreign
Secretary of the L.M.S. Letter to Walter Hutley.
London, 29 July 1881; Ralph Wardlaw Thompson. Foreign
Secretary of the L.M.S. Letter to Walter Hutley.
London, 21 October 1881. L.M.S. Correspondence.
93Roger Price, Private Journal. L.M.S.
^Diarv. p. 45.
such as these, "Private and confidential. Shaved my chin
to the admiration of many natives and the terror of
others."95 Hutley had found times of true happiness in
Africa mostly at dusk when, after a refreshing bath in
the Lake, he gazed from a hillside upon a village lying
peacefully at the water's edge, smoke rising from its
huts into the evening sky. He developed a fondness for
the Waguha and the Wajiji and found it difficult to leave
Hutley's dealings with his fellow human beings may
have been kind, but he was not far enough ahead of his
times to show the same fairness to animals. He hunted
not only in the hopes of catching something to eat, but
also for sport. He and Palmer went crocodile shooting
once, after which Hutley reports, "I hit several but
killed none and had several misses."97 Helen Caddick, an
English traveler in Central Africa in 1898 who, on the
whole, was not favorably disposed towards missionaries,
9SPiarv. p. 171.
96Piarv. p. 270; Walter Hutley. Letter to the
L.M.S. Ujiji, 2 April 1881. L.M.S. Correspondence.
^Piary, p. 269.
decries such behavior.
The missionaries endeavor to impress (the
Africans) with a sense of gentleness and
tenderness of Christianity and yet they see
professing Christians indulge in wanton cruelty
of this nature. Birds and animals of all kinds
are shot and left to die in great pain.98
In August, 1881, Hutley shot two rare birds, "...a fine,
white-headed eagle and a kuru-kuru. This latter is one
of the prettiest, rarest.. .birds in Central Africa."99
The fact that Hutley was proud of such an act must of
course be understood within the customs of his time, and
yet it can be remembered that Livingstone, who travelled
Africa before Hutley, never engaged in hunting for
98Helen Caddick as quoted in James B. Wolf, "A Woman
Passing Through: Helen Caddick and the Maturation of the
Empire in British Central Africa." Unpublished, p. 18.
"Diary, p. 279.
100Seaver, p. 368.
RELATIONS WITH OTHERS IN AFRICA
To form a more complete picture of Hutley's
deportment in Africa it will be helpful to look at his
relationship with others during his stay missionaries,
Arabs and Africans. We will find him amiable and
unpretentious with all. To his fellow missionaries at
Tanganyika Hutley was a hard-working, dedicated
companion. In Joseph Thomson he found a sincere friend
and trusted advisor. He talked to him often for
reassurance.1 This was despite impressions Dodgshun
formed that Thomson was less accommodating towards other
missionaries, especially younger ones, than Roger Price
had been.2 When Thomson grew seriously ill at Mpwapwa,
Hutley began to fear that he would not live. Thomson
Barnes B. Wolf, ed., The Central African Diaries of
Walter Hutley 1877-1881. African Historical Documents
Series, no. 4. (Boston University, African Studies
Center, 1976), pp. 13, 15-16. (Diary)
2James B. Wolf, "Captain Hore's Mission: The London
Missionary Society's Adventure at Lake Tanganyika 1878-
1888." (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of
California, Los Angeles, 1968), pp. 62-63.
survived a month a Ujiji before he succumbed to the
fever. He grew confused and delirious in his last days.
Hutley was present at his death, which was a profound
experience for the young man. He described it in much
detail in his diary.3 He lamented,
I cannot say how much I miss him... He had
seemed to be taking more care of me than ever,
and now he is taken away from me, and once more
I am left to my own resources to rely more on
Hutley made Thomson's coffin and a site was selected at
Kigoma, north of Ujiji, where he would be buried. Hutley
and Hore then proceeded to arrange for his papers to be
carried to Zanzibar in a trunk.5 They each donated Â£5 to
A half year later the two buried another comrade in
the hills at Kigoma. Young Arthur Dodgshun lived only a
week at Ujiji after his toilsome journey bringing up the
3Piary. pp. 58-60.
4Piarv. p. 61.
sPiarv. pp. 60-61, 69.
6Walter Hutley. Letter to the L.M.S. Ujiji, 29
Pecember 1879. Selected sources from the archives of the
London Missionary Society. Notes in the possession of
Professor James B. Wolf. (L.M.S. Correspondence.)
supply caravan with Swiss trader Philippe Broyon. His
expedition had been way-laid when Mirambo took some of
the missionaries' supplies thinking they were Broyon's,
who owed him money.7 Hutley and Hore waited anxiously
for him at Ujiji. Hutley gave no indication as to what
he thought of Dodgshun. He mentioned that the natives
called him "Meridadi" "over dressed" or "dandy."8 Yet
he never got to know him well. The two travelled
together for only a short time before the expedition
split up and Dodgshun was at Ujiji but a week. It can be
assumed, however, that Hutley was sad to lose the other
young member of the expedition. He was certainly shaken
by another death in the group. He called it, "one of the
most painful days of my experience."9 It led him to
wonder who would be next.10
Hutley's relationship with Edward Coode Hore is far
7Wolf, "Hore's Mission," pp. 71, 120-121; Norman
Bennett, ed., From Zanzibar to Uiiii: The Journal of
Arthur W. Dodgshun 1877-1879. (African Studies Center,
Boston University, 1969).
8Piarv. pp. 85, 86, n. 26.
9Piarv. p. 95.
10Diarv. p. 96.
more difficult to decipher. Hore became known as a man
who was difficult to work with. He was impatient and
would rather do a job himself than tolerate a less than
perfect performance. He was very overbearing with his
fellow missionaries.11 James Wolf claims that the only
man with whom Hore worked well was Alfred Swann, who led
the 1888 L.M.S. expedition to the Lake.12 This can be
contested. Hore and Hutley never worked together as
equals, of course, but there are many indications that
they developed mutual respect. Hutley once complained
about Hore's domineering attitude,13 yet he valued the
older man's wealth of experience. Hore was a little
wary, and probably also a little jealous, of Hutley's
attempts at shipbuilding. He never mastered Kiswahili
and often relied on Hutley to interpret for him. The two
"Diary, p. 62, n. 5; Wolf, ''Hore's Mission," pp.
12Wolf, "Hore's Mission," p. 178, n. 52; Alfred J.
Swann, Fighting the Slave Hunters in Central Africa: A
Record of Twenty-Six Years of Travel and Adventure Round
the Great Lakes. 2nd ed. Cass Library of African
Studies. Missionary Researches and Travels, no 8.
(London: Frank Cass and Company, Limited, 1969).
13Piary. pp. 89-90.
not infrequently sat up nights talking.14
21, 1878, Hutley wrote, "Hore and myself seem drawn into
deeper intimacy with each other than ever."15 When Hore
left Central Africa in late 1880, Hutley was truly sorry
to see him go.16
Hutley's relationship with William Griffith, on the
other hand, was very strained. The two began to get on
each other's nerves shortly after they were sent to Uguha
together. Neither Griffith nor Hutley ever gave specific
reasons for their differences, nor did they report them
to the L.M.S. Foreign Secretary.17 Their personalities
clashed and they held different opinions about how best
to proceed with the mission. More specific ideas about
their conflict can be gathered from Hutley's diary. It
seems Hutley found in Griffith rather than Hore someone
who dealt with his subordinates high handedly. Griffith
definitely considered himself the head of the mission at
14Piarv. pp. 63, 113, 154, 172, 183, n. 5.
lsDiarv. p. 70.
16Piarv. p. 223.
17Piary. p. 192, n. 1.
Mtowa and treated Hutley as an employee, not as an equal.
Hutley once reported working "with men in the shop upon
some of the articles which Griffith has ordered me."18
Hutley was willing to defer to Hore, and never questioned
his authority. Their relationship was a straight forward
one. But it was not inevitable to him that Griffith
should command him. He had been in Africa longer than
the cleric and considered his contribution to the Mtowa
station sufficient to merit some respect. When Griffith
asked him to make a boat for Kasanga Mahongoro he
refused.19 When Griffith was eager to expand missionary
work into the lands west of Mtowa Hutley counseled
caution. Though Griffith was usually reluctant to accept
advice even in carpentry from the young artisan, he
listened to his reasoning that it was necessary to focus
first on strengthening the stations at the Lake before
taking on new territories. Griffith abandoned his
18Piarv. p. 2 02.
19Piarv. pp. 189, 192; see also p. 195.
20Piarv. pp. 153, 154, 205.
Hutley and Griffith fought often and Hutley reported
a few incidents with disgust.21 There is a tone in two
of the accounts of reconciliation that make it appear
Griffith was aware his narrow-mindedness was at fault.22
Dr. Walter Palmer also had difficulties with the
minister. When the two manned Mtowa they lived in
separate houses.23 And Hore may have found it hard to
relate to him. After a walk with Griffith and Hore,
Hutley remarked that "in two there is company, in three
there is none. "One wonders who was wished absent. It
is safe to assume that Griffith was the unwanted party.24
Further misunderstandings arose with Griffith when
Dr. Palmer invalidated himself and Hutley home. Hutley
twice asked Griffith if he wanted him to stay, to which
Griffith gave no reply. It appeared that on the one hand
he was eager to make himself a hero by remaining at Mtowa
alone, and on the other he resented his colleagues for
21Diarv. pp. 204, 207
22Diarv. pp. 205-212.
23Diarv. pp. 253, 262
24Diarv. P- 188.
leaving and considered them weak for abandoning the
mission. When they had been gone two months Griffith
became lonely and paranoid about his own ill health and
the intentions of the natives. He asked for a brother
from Urambo to come out and join him.25
Hutley had a short encounter with young David
Williams when he stopped at Urambo on his way out of
Africa. He appraised him as one who would never make a
successful missionary because he talked much but was not
willing to work hard. When Dr. Southon left Urambo for a
week Hutley was placed in charge of the station.
It was not thought Williams could handle the
responsibility. Hutley, nevertheless, found the young
man amiable. When he died in September, 1881, Hutley was
for the first time shocked into the realization that he
could face the same fate if he did not leave Africa.26
Hutley was also very fond of the other missionary he
found at Urambo, Dr. Ebenezer Southon, yet passed
judgements about his abilities as well after observing
25Diary, pp. 267-269, 279.
26Piarv. pp. 279-280, 283-284.