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his Representative here, who persists, with his master, in viewing the Turkish claim to the Bogos, Halhal, and Habab as illusory.
Whatever the claim in question may be worth, it only asserts a right to levy tribute, and makes no pretence either to furnish protection to the inhabitants, ameliorate their condition, or keep them in restraint.
I have written to King Theodore twice since my last despatches to the Foreign Office, once telling him that I had forwarded a letter to the Pasha of Cassala to insure tranquillity on his side, and that it was now a point of honour with His Majesty to do the same by his own Governors, and a second time from here to-day, putting the best colour I can on facts which it is impossible for me to ignore, recommending him to establish a regular Government of some kind here, which can be easily kept in check by my locum tenews for Massowah, and telling him that I will go to Cassala myself, in order to settle everything there as far as possible.
My letters from Cassala assure me that I will have no difficulty in doing so, which I have also told the King, in order to prevent his making any hostile movement.
"What effect the news from here may have on a character at once so passionate and politic, it is impossible for me to say. He may either allow his grievances to accumulate, in order to lay them before Europe hereafter, or at once take violent measures to compel the Turks to a certain amount of decency in their transactions on his frontier. He will, however, do nothing without seeing his way.
But for his having called away the principal nobles of Tigre, of ■which I before informed your Lordship, serious local hostilities would already have commenced, His Majesty having given orders to the Governor of Hamazeyn immediately to resent any aggression on the part of the Turks. I reported this iu my despatch of the 22nd July last.
I have to-day written a letter to the Pasha of Massowah, in which, without entering on the vexed question as to what part of these provinces belongs to Abyssinia, what to Turkey, I have recommended him to keep a strict watch over his collectors of tribute, whose irregularities are great, and to set at liberty the Chiefs made prisoners by the Nayib's Wakil, unleas he is quite sure that the Wakil was in the right, as all these matters may soon be laid before Europe, and it may tell mischievously for his country if he proved in the wrong.
I have alluded to the rebel Cassa's being in his district; but left it to himself to act as he thinks most wise.
I shall proceed to Cassala a3 soon as I receive answers to my despatches of the 31st October.
I would leave at once, but that the country on that side, too, is unsettled, and the bearer of my next batch of letters might be killed or captured.
Earl Russell. C. DUNCAN CAMERON.
No. 8.—Mr. Murray to Consul Cameron. Sie, Foreign Office, August 13, 18(53.
I Am directed by Earl Russell to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 31st of March last, suggesting that you should be formally authorized to purchase what you may require, whenever possible, with the view of freeing yourself from the interference of the King of Abyssinia's officers.
In reply, I am to refer you to Lord Russell's despatch of the 22nd of April last, and to state to you that as you have been ordered to return to and remain at Massowah, your proposal need not be considered.
I am also to remind you with reference to the expressions "Envoy" and " Mission," which repeatedly occur in your despatch, that as Her Majesty's Consul at Massowah, you hold no representative character in Abyssinia. I am, &c.
C. D. Cameron, Esq. JAMES MURRAY.
No. 9. — Consul Cameron to Earl Russell.—(Received August 28.) Mr Lord, Kadarif, May 20, 1863.
I Have the honour to inclose your Lordship copies of 4 despatches of mine to our Consul-General at Alexandria. As the public service may require that you should be acquainted with some portions of their contents as soon as possible, 1 shall do myself the honour of reporting to vour Lordship hereafter. I have, &c.
Earl Russell. C. DUNCAN CAMERON.
(Inclosure 1.)—Consul Cameron to Consul-General Colquhoun. Sir, Karadif, Soudan, May 20, 1863.
I Have the houour to state that my late locum tenens, Mr. Walker, having left; Massowah, I have requested a gentleman named Speedy to take his place.
His orders for the present are to communicate directly with Her Majesty's Consul at Jeddah, in uny cases which may arise between himself and the Kaimakain of Massowah, and I would beg that if you approve of this arrangement you will, as soon as possible, inform Mr. Speedy of your approval. My experience has shown me that direct reference to Jeddah is the only way open of despatching the business of Massowah during my absence.
If you agree with me, he might be furnished with some document to the Turkish authorities which would give him an official standing in their eves.
I have determined to return to Abyssinia by Matemma, in order to make myself acquainted with the state of affairs on that side of the Egyptian frontier. The confusion there seems as great as at Bogos, on the south-eastern side, whence I have just come. My object in coming to Soudan was to visit Cassala, whither the Roman Catholic priest Stella, who at present enjoys paramount influence at Bogos, had gone to reclaim certain cattle lately taken from the inhabitants of that country by the neighbouring tribes under Egypt; also to inquire what had been done in regard to the cattle and people swept away from thence by a former Pasha of Cassala, in 1854, and which on our representation to the Pashalic of Egypt that Government promised to restore. Finally, to do my utmost to prevent such irregular attacks for the future.
With regard to the first of these objects, you are aware that, during the late troubles in Abyssinia, Mr. Plowden assumed the protection of the tribes of Bogos and others in the neighbourhood: a step which, though I cannot refer to archives, I must suppose was known to, and not disapproved by, Her Majesty's Government.
I do not feel justified, without further instructions, in relinquishing an influence which has already done much to prevent the absorption of these frieudless people into Islam,—to avert from them those more than material evils that everywhere follow Mussulman predominance on this unhappy continent, and which may be of political importance to us hereafter.
Taking this view, and finding that Pere Stella's application had been neglected by the Pasha of Soudan, who was then at Cassala, I have written the latter the inclosed letter, informing him that I still consider Bogos under British protection, and that if he cannot or will not return the cattle in question before the end of August, Mr. Speedy is directed to forward to you a detailed report on the subject, with a statement of the value of the property taken, when it will rest with others, according to the character of the report, to decide whether to press the matter or not.
I have taken this ground because I expect it will be alleged that there have been counter aggressions on the Abyssinian side, aud that these must be settled before the claims of the Bogos people can be met. To which it may be replied, that whatever may have been done by others, the people of the protected provinces have never been accused of aggression. They are, in fact, too weak to protect themselves. There may be other excuses which Mr. Speedy's report will explain.
The fact is, the Egyptian Government is totally indifferent on the subject, and cares little if its frontier people plunder or are plundered, as long as they pay their tribute. The best way to rouse it to a sense of its responsibility would be to m ike a money claim on behalf of these protected tribes. If it only had the effect of preventing further irritation of King Theodore until the return of his Embassies from Europe, the advantages of such a stop would be great.
In regard to future aggressions on the protected provinces from the Egyptian side, I have directed Mr. Speedy to remonstrate strongly in every case, and to assess property taken, as he has been ordered to do in the present instance, forwarding the assessment to you: whether urged or not, such documents may be useful for reference hereafter.
As regards the Abyssinian side, I have done my best to impress on King Theodore the necessity of restraining these aimless and unauthorized expeditious, and shown him how mischievous they may be to his cause.
I have not hitherto been without success, and will continue the same course as I have opportunity.
As regards the second object I had in view, viz., the claims of the people of Bogos, for the individuals and cattle taken in 1854 the case is clear, and may easily be gathered from my predecessor's letters lodged in your archives.
A Pasha of Cassala inflamed by fanaticism, and who makes no secret that Islam ought to be advanced by the sword, falls upon an inoffensive Christian people under our protection, carries into slavery 350 men, women, and children, and distributes among his followers 1,800 head of cattle, besides goats aud sheep.
His Government, on the report of our Representative here, repudiates such barbarity. The people taken are subsequently returned. In the mean time, our Representative leaves for the interior, and never returns. The local authorities, profiting by the want of pressure from without, have delayed the return of the cattle to this day. Having formally taken this matter over on the part of the people of Bogos, my course is plain. I will have nothing to do with the local authorities, who are of a stamp to throw disgrace on any Power pretending to the slightest civilization; nor will I have anythiug to do with payment in cattle, which may delay all settlement indefinitely.
Taking Mr. Plowden's statement as a base, I have assessed the value of 1,800 head of cattle at the Bogos price, with the average loss to their former proprietors, from the date when they were taken to the present time. I annex the assessment to this despatch, to be dealt with as you may think proper.
In regard to my third object, viz., the using my official influence to prevent further aggression, I would beg to state that I have already seen several of the frontier Chiefs between this and Bogos, and remonstrated with them on their lawlessness, explaining to them that they may be made to return what they have taken from Abyssinia; and have at the same time spoken or written to various authorities here ou the subject, and I shall continue doing this until I re-enter Abyssinia.
I have also requested Mr. Speedy on his way to Massowah, to visit as many Chiefs as possible formally in my name with the same object.
He has further orders to consider the statu qtw of the hitherto protected provinces when Mr. Plowden left them as the true one, until further instructions from you, and taking it for granted that tliey belong to Abyssinia, who levies tribute from them, to remonstrate strongly against any double levying of tribute on the part of the Turks of Massowah, and he is directed in this case likewise to assess the amount of tribute taken by the Turks from the time of Mr. Plowden's leaving, until uow, for lodgment in your archives in the event of its being thought necessary to press repayment.
I have informed the Kaimakam of Massowah of this, so that if he chooses to act as he has hitherto done on this point, he will at least be doing so with a knowledge of possible consequences.
I have, &c.
R. O. Oolquhoun, Esq. C. DUNCAN CAMERON.
(Inclosure 2.)—Consul Cameron to the Pasha of Soudan. Excellence, Kadarif, Soudan, le 19 Mai, 1863.
Peemettez-moi d'abord d'exprimer mes regrets que je n'ai pas eu le plaisir de vous trouver à Cassala.
Mon but principal en visitant le Soudan était de consulter avec les autorités ici, afin qu'ils fassent cesser les incursions féroces des peuplades sur la frontière Abyssinienne, qui vous payent de tribut, et qui se jettent sur l'Abyssinie pour piller et tuer les Abyssins dans kur voisinage.
Personne ne sait mieux que votre Excellence que les vrais intérêts aussi bien que la réputation du Gouvernement Egyptien souffrent par ces incursions irrégulières. Us souffriront encore plus si de tels faits sont publiés en Europe.
J'espère donc que vous prendrez des mesure! sévères pour restreindre autant que possible les brigandages, pendant que de ma part, je ferai mon mieux à mon retour chez le ltoi Théodore, pour les empêcher de l'autre côté, comme en effet j'ai fait déjà, et avec quelque succès.
11 y a encore un point sur lequel je me fais l'honneur d'écrire à votre Excellence. Quelques semaines avant mon arrivée à Bogos, les gens do Bisha et des Bareas assujettis à l'Egypte ont enlevé 300 vaches des gens de Bogos.
Les gens do Bogus ont été sous notre protection spéciale