American Egyptomania Search

From West Africa to Palestine

Freetown: Manchester, 1873

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Art & Architecture

perambulates the land on a visit to my ancestors, the "blameless Ethiopians". I felt lifted out of the commonplace grandeur of modem times; and, could my voice have reached every African in the world, I would have earnestly addressed him in the language of Hilary Teage:

"Retake your fame!"

Now that the slave-holding of Africans in Protestant countries has come to an end, and the necessity no longer exists for stripping them of the attributes of manhood, it is to be hoped that a large- hearted philosophy and an honest interpretation of the facts of history, sacred and secular, will do them the justice to admit their participation in, if not origination of, the great works of ancient civilization.

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The heat was not so great within the pyramid as might at first be supposed; it seems to be ventilated from some quarter. Before the Arabs would consent to guide us out they insisted on receiving bakhshish—a present, corresponding to dash among the aborigines in West Africa. We had to promise them solemnly and earnestly that on gaining the open air we would satisfy all their desires. Had they left us, as they pretended to be about to do, it would have been utterly impossible for us to get out; and the idea of stumbling in the darkness, rolling down slippery places, and falling into deep holes, was harassingly frightful. We were considerably relieved, therefore, when they accepted our pledge, and, taking us upon their shoulders, carefully carried us out.

On reaching the opening the Arabs sold us coffee, in very small cups, which considerably refreshed us. I felt that my perilous adven- ture had given me the right of inscribing my name among the hundreds which I saw engraved over and on each side of the entrance, bearing dates as early as the sixteenth century. Borrowing, or rather hiring, for I paid him a shilling for the use of it, an engraving knife from one of the Arabs, I engraved, not far from a name dated 1685, the word LIBERIA, with my name and the date— July 11th, 1866—immediately under it. There is a tolerable degree of certainty, therefore, that the name at least of that little Republic will go down to posterity.

After this I attempted to walk around the Pyramid, but I found that my strength, considerably reduced by the visit to the interior, did not allow me, especially as it was necessary to climb over a great deal of rubbish which has collected about the base. I therefore