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Two Autograph Letters Signed "F.J.D. Lugard" to "Thomas" and "Fagan" (of Natural History Museum) Dated 1 Sept. 1895 and 15 Feb. 1896 Respectively.
1895 - [South Africa], 1895-6. Octavo. 3 pages each. Octavo letters each ca. 18 x 11 cm (7 x 4 ½ in). The letters are written in a legible hand and are in near fine condition. The two interesting letters are full of content and in the 1895 letter Lugard discusses what "Thomas" has in his collections (especially the horns and skin of a hartebeest) and asks for a spare Kobus Kob skin. He has immature Kobus Kob horns if he wants them from" South of Lokoja on Niger bank." Perhaps he is discussing the results of his expedition to Borgu. In the 1896 letter Lugard describes in detail the sort of man he wishes to employ looking after stores and doing "miscellaneous work", a taxidermist or collector. Presumably he is preparing for the expedition to Lake Ngami (1896-7). "West Africa, 1894-1895: Despite any disenchantment over his experience of two companies and his longed for but dwindling hope of returning to east Africa in senior government service, Lugard now embarked, however hesitatingly, on another roving company expedition. An offer of service came from Sir George Goldie, who had obtained a charter for his Royal Niger Company and in 1894 was busily concluding treaties with local chiefs so as to strengthen the company's capacity to repel the encroachments of the French in the Niger region. Aware that they were preparing an expedition to Borgu, Goldie wanted Lugard to proceed to Nikki, its chief town, and to forestall the French and Germans by securing a treaty from the ruler. In a rapid and remarkable march through unexplored country, Lugard won the so-called 'steeplechase to Nikki', to the dismay of the French, who had no doubt about the motives of one whom they stigmatized as 'the conqueror of Uganda'. Southern Africa, 1896-1897: A brief interlude in southern Africa followed. Lugard left the Niger in April 1895, still hoping that the government would ask for his services in Africa. Agonizingly, his appointment as CB brought nothing more with it, so he accepted an offer from yet another African company, the new British West Charterland Company, and set off to explore a mineral commission near Lake Ngami in Bechuanaland. Here the main problem was not fighting but transport. The journey involved 700 miles across the Kalahari Desert, and a rinderpest epidemic had emptied the country of trek cattle. Nevertheless, the journey was accomplished by September 1896. In the following August, Lugard received an urgent and surprise message from the new colonial secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, inviting him to take up work in west Africa. It was an imperial appointment at last. What Lugard called his 'destiny to Africa' entered its third phase: after central and east Africa, henceforth it was to be west Africa. It turned out to be the longest connection of them all" (Oxford DNB).
      [Bookseller: The Wayfarer's Bookshop, ABAC/ILAB/PBFA]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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