The Harvard African Expedition, Book 2: November 5 - November 21, 1926

D2_Section53.pdf

Creator

Loring Whitman

Date

November 5 - November 21, 1926

Transcription

 No 5th – Nov 21st

In conclusion I am going to sum up the remainder of our stay – for there were many day s in which we did but little or repeated the events of past days.

            In the first place the others returned. First Dr. Allen who appeared – as if by magic after dark on the 5th with his trunks, unchanged and with tales of a successful trip. They had got a giant manis, a porcupine seen a dead elephant – got 350 birds etc etc. We all envied him. Then about 900 PM the next day Theiler – sans beard arrived – this was the day of the great furor – Cheeks Shattuck vs. chauffeur (Sat Nov 6th). Bequaert and Linder returned on Mon the 8th. So we were all together again. We compared notes.

            The furor was as follows. Hal, Dr. George and Cheek were to go hunting at 500. But during the night mr. Cheek had had a lot of his things stolen. Then the chauffeur was late – an hour. Cheek was feeling a bit peeved and being nervous – well Dr. George saw him scuffling with a black, and being early he idly thought the their and rushed to his assistance Cheek hit the man evidently. Then they went out shooting and returned about 900 with some francolins, a cuckoo, a night hawk and some other small birds. But there had been a witness and on their return a mob formed outside the house. They wanted to “get rid of firestone” “get the white people out of there” “we don’t want white men” etc. Quite a tidy demonstration. Mr. Cheek came into our room. He was all cut up. (He is very nervous and excitable) Why had he done it, the disgrace. In the meanwhile the police arrived (without a warrant and arrested Shattuck in his room – they didn’t know his name. They refused to chive him down and made him walk to the jail escorted by the jeering mob. Strong went with him and was also insulted – He was boiling but calm. They returned for Cheek and found him in our room. He was led off in the same way. Both were jailed and released on bail. There was a great powwow. Eventually they were brought to trial after much testimony had been given to the American consul and cables had flashed to the Am. State dept. They were found guilty and fined the max $25. – Then the judge said it was at his discretion to double it – and did. 2 days later the president personally refunded the money – But we left things stirring – what will happen?

            In the meantime we were trying to tie down a ship. The Italian line was every other month – so that was out of the question. The german boat due on the 10th would not come till the 20th and only held 7 – she was also half full. There were no other boats. We sent cables north east south and west – Elder Dempster to Lagos? – but no boat out of there – the same with grand Bassam. – we were stuck and had to trust that we could get on the german boat.

             Then we had to pack and send off all our collections with allen. The night before we had a final dinner in which allen made a beautiful speech – we were all friends – “as the little girl said – a friend is a person who knows all about you – but likes you” – we soon got to know and respect one anothers faults and allowed for them. – He made a survey of each member of the party – in a few words – but all inclusive. We then spoke of him.

             The next day he let. We rowed out to the Wahehe to see him off – all but Hal who was in bed with a slight fever. We chatted about the past and the future – then we rowed ashore – He watched us waving from the rail – I almost wept – and we all were silent as at a funeral – He is the most loveable man I have ever known.

            Then started the packing for the Congo. Trunks were opened and aired etc. All were busy. Dave and Bequaert went out to Duport collecting and brought me back two birds to skin. Another day I went along and got 4 more which I worked over. I developed all my negatives.

            One day I climbed the lighthouse with young firestone and took pictures of Monrovia from there for him both with movie and still camera. 2 days later, I spent the morning at Mt. Barclay taking movies of the plantation, the tapping, collecting and bringing in of the rubber etc. Mr. Firestone and Mr. Ross were with me. When we returned I had lunch with them. Mrs. Firestone is quite young and very pretty. She is very pleasant indeed.

             The Firestones gave a dinner for us the other night – of about 15 people which was very enjoyable but feeling a bit under the weather I was glad to get home and go to bed. I staid in bed the next day.

            Mr. Cheek is quite an unusual man – about 6’ 2” of an athletic build tall and straight. His ambition in life is music – composing – but poverty and relatives to support forced him into business. His father was a medical missionary to the Lao states now part of Siam. Beloved by his people and an efficient business man as well as Dr. he was absolutely maltreated by the home mission. A poor salary – no instruments no medicine and no hospital his meager salary must be turned into those needs. He fell ill and wished to return home for a rest – after 10 years. The mission told him if he had more faith he would not be sick – He became delirious and the native Chief of the states gave him money and ships to go home – He was smuggled out by his wife. Young check was about 6 then. Hospitals in Singapore and London. British teak firms makes offers. Lectures at home in the states and turns money into mission for hospital. – goes back – letter saying that evangelical needs in China had forced them to send that money (earned by Cheek in his lectures there. He would understand. He resigned from the mission leased land from the Lao states built his own hospital and started the teak industry. British concern changes hands. New comers catch Cheek when the dries are on and ask for closing the contract. Absolutely no lumber can be moved and millions of feet cut. Borrows from Siamese govt and pays within a month. First rains pay off his debt and make him a rich man at the same time. Now a period of Prosperity – then in another 3 yr. drought the Siamese play the same trick of closing the contract. They take his forests, his elephants etc. The Chief of the Lao’s give him money to send his wife and children home – he works as a ships Dr., U.S. Consul make enough money to start a bank with 3 branches in Michigan. U.S. govt refuses to help. Cheek dies in Siam trying o get back his just property. Never find his grave. That is the early life. – Now musical, temperamental, a missionary at heart yet hating them, with no faith in the protection of the U.S. Govt. A queer man, cheerful with a beautiful gift for expression. I had many talks with him.

            But enough. We left Monrovia on the 21st – on the german boat. The S.S. Wolfram – and were soon thumbing our noses at the receding shores of Liberia.


So Ends.


Langotown

60 NWN

20 N

10 EN

15 NE to Surmoi

15 WNW

5 NWN To Lobu Kiee

7 NWN

5NWW

7 N

15 NNW To Oula

36 NNW

8 WNW

18 N

Kaka Town

(fast walking)

 

Kaka Town

20 ENE

25 NE ½ E

5 NE

15 NEE ½ E

5 NE ½ E

25 ENE

25 NEE To

15 NEN

10 EN

10 NEE (fast walking)

5 EN

25 ENE

10 EN

20 NE

15 NNE

10 NEN

5 NE To

20 NE

10 E

10 ENE

10 ENE

25 ENE

15 E

10 ENE

5 E

Memmeh’s Town

 

Memmeh’s Town

7 NE

5 ENE

8 EN

10 E to Diunkly

15 E ½ S

20 E ½ N

10 NEE ½ E

5 ENE

10 EN

5 SE To

15 EN

10 E

10 ES

5 E

10 NE

20 E

10 ES

5 NE

Reppu’s Town (fairly fast)

 

Reppu’s Town

20 ES

5 NEE

5 NEN

15 SEE

5 EN

5 SSE

5 SES

10 SE comfortably walking

10 E

5 ESE

5 E

5 SE

7 SE

8 E

10 EN

15 ENE

15 EN

5 ENE

Miamu Station

 

Miamu-

25 NE

5 NEN

15 EN

30 ES

5 NE

20 ES

25 ESE To Ruah Bellah’s

18 ENE

10 EN

7 NEE

50 E

25 ES Good walking

20 EN

20 NE

15 ENE

Zeanshue

 

Zeanshue

10 ES ½ S

30 ESE

15 E

20 E

5 ENE

5 ESE

5 ESS to Saquellah

158S

75 ENE to Bundoi

50 NEE

30 E

Suakoko’s Town

 

Suakoko

40 NE

20 NEN

15 ENE

5 EN

10 E

20 ES

5 ESE to Merikee

25 SSE

10 SE

10 SES to Belinda

20 SSE

Gbanga

 

Gbanga to Garmu

15 NE

5 N

5 NE

5 NE

5 ENE

15 N

5 NNE

20 N

5 NE to Quayah

15 NE

5 NNE

5 N

5 NES to Bonnuh deserted

10 N

15 NNE

15 N to Weenjou

20 N

10 NEN

12 E

18 NE to Bunai

7 NE

7 NE

8 ENE

7 NW

20 N

13 N*E

12 ENE To Paylay

20 ES

15 E

15 EN

15 E To Wartah

20 NE To Quertai

20 ES ½ S

15 ENE

5 EN To Naama

20 EN

8 ESE

12 SN

15 ENE

7 NEE ½ E To Banju

10 NEN

14 E

4 SE

25 E

20 E*S

5 S

5 SE

5 ESE

10 SE

15 ESE

5 E

15 ENE To Banga

10 S

15 SSE

20 SE

15 SE

5 S

5 SE

5 ESE

10 SSE

10 SE

Garmu 

Type

Diary

Identifier

D2_Section53

Citation

Loring Whitman, “The Harvard African Expedition, Book 2: November 5 - November 21, 1926,” A Liberian Journey: History, Memory, and the Making of a Nation, accessed November 20, 2017, http://liberianhistory.org/items/show/3425.