The dramatic first-hand account of the establishment of the Congo Free State, a private colony set up under King Leopold of Belgium to stamp out the Arab slave trade in central Africa, written by a participant in the wars and adventures of the 1890s in that country.
Recruited to the service of the Congo Free State by the famous explorer Henry Morton Stanley, the author's first two years were spent along the upper and lower Congo River.
After being replaced by a Belgian officer, Ward joined the Sanford Exploring Company, but was soon recruited once again by Stanley, who was then assembling the Emin Pasha relief expedition.
Appointed with the rank of lieutenant, Ward held the position allocated to them for the next 14 months, only finally returning to England in 1899.
All during this period, he kept a diary and made careful sketches of all he saw and experienced, which included many instances of violence, savagery, cannibalism-and beauty.
His work provides some of the most detailed descriptions ever captured of the main tribes, of human sacrifice, of the central African Arab slave trade, the wildlife and the interior of Africa before urbanization. It is a glimpse of an Africa which has gone forever but the imagery he captured in writing and image is as enduring as ever.
This is a new, completely reset edition, which contains all the original illustrations digitally restored to the highest possible quality.