American Egyptomania Search

From West Africa to Palestine

Freetown: Manchester, 1873

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made, as in other countries, as to whether the smoke offends: everybody takes it for granted that everybody else smokes.

Mr. Palgrave tells us that among the Wahabites, Mohammedan purists in Arabia, such is the heinousness of the sin of smoking, in the view of the religious chiefs, that any man, however elevated his position, is punished with a severe beating with rods if found guilty of it. The king's brother, the heir apparent to the throne, was detected in the use of tobacco, and was publicly hoisted and beaten at his own palace gate for the offence. The Minister of Finance, who had also indulged in the practice, was beaten so severely that he died the next day. I wished a thousand times during that railway ride that the Wahabites had extended their vigorous laws and prac- tices on the subject of tobacco into Egypt before my arrival there.

On reaching Cairo I at once, armed with a note of introduction from Rev. Dr. Schmettau, Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in London, and with Mr. Adam's letter, repaired to the residence of Rev. Dr. Lansing, American Missionary at Cairo, by whom and his associate, Mr. David Strang, I was most hospitably received. Dr. Lansing being obliged to leave for Alexandria on the same day of my arrival, I was left in charge of Mr. Strang, who, with Miss Dales, teacher of the female school, made my stay in Cairo very pleasant.

This mission, established a few years ago by the American United Presbyterians, is doing a very important work in various needy and populous localities in Upper and Lower Egypt. Besides having the mission work carried on as usual in the mission churches and schools, both boys and girls, and among the women, and at the book depots in both Alexandria and Cairo, the members of the mission were constrained, by the urgency of the case, to form a mission-station at Osiut, one of the largest and most important towns in all Upper Egypt, and afterwards at El-Medineh, one of the most fertile and populous of all the districts in the valley of the Nile. There is a wonderfully increasing demand for books among the natives, and the spirit of inquiry is largely on the increase;so that it has been thought necessary to establish in connection with this mission a printing press to print works in the Arabic language.


Mr. Strang kindly undertook the arrangement of all preliminaries in the way of securing donkeys, guides, etc., to enable me to visit the pyramids on the next day. After a hearty supper I retired early, so as to be up betimes the next morning to enjoy a cool ride to