Travels in Africa - Park Denham, Clapperton, Lander, and Others

'The Sahara,' . continues M. Carette, 'is that part of Algeria which is most civilized and most capable of receiving civilization. It is there that habits of precision are most generally diffused, and there that we find the greatest amount of intelligence, activity, and social disposition.' The only portion of the Sahara which answers to our ideas of an uninterrupted waste of sand, seems to be the most southern belt of it, which adjoins Nigritia, and which is infested by a roving race called the Tuaricks, who conduct a commercial intercourse, especially in slaves, between the negro countries and the oases of the more northern parts of the Sahara. These Tuaricks,' says M. Carette, 'pretend to be of Turkish descent, and affect to treat the Arabs with disdain. They are tall, strong, of slender make and of fair complexion, with the exception of a few of mixed blood. They wear a head-dress, one of the ends of which covers the whole face except the eyes; and almost all, whether rich or poor, have their feet bare, because, according to their own account, they never go on foot.' The southern Tuaricks keep the towns of the Soudan in a constant state of blockade, hunting down the negroes in their neighborhood, and carrying them off for sale.

CONCLUSION. From the general survey which we have taken of Africa, and of the progress of African discovery, it appears that, while there is scarcely a point in its vast circuit where Europeans have not attempted to settle, scarcely any of the settlements have flourished. For the purpose of trade, such establishments will no doubt be maintained at a vast sacrifice of life the consequence of the pestilential effects of the climate on European constitutions; but it is not likely that any settlements of a permanent description will be effected except at the southern and northern extremities of the continent. Cape Colony, as yet, is the most prosperous, indeed the only settlement, worthy of the name, in Africa: whether the French will be able to make anything of Algeria, remains yet to be seen. As for the centre of the continent, it seems quite hopeless to suppose that Europeans can ever operate there directly. The utmost that can be anticipated is, that they shall be able to act upon the continent through native agents. By establishing a commerce with Central Africa, they may stimulate whatever tendencies to civilization exist among the negro races; they may create an activity through the continent resembling that caused by the slave traffic, but everyway nobler and more beneficial. Whatever seeds of improvement there are among the natives, whether negroes, Foulahs, or Arabs, may be developed by this means, and made to fructify. In this respect, nothing could be more gratifying than to know that the opinion explained in a former part of this article with regard to Central Africa is well-founded, and that an actual movement is in progress among the natives towards a more advanced stage of humanity.