National Geographic : 1907 Dec
ENGLISH IISSIONARIES AND THEIR CHARGES English Missionaries and Some of their Charges From "The Congo and Coasts of Africa." Copyright by Richard Harding Davis THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CONGO* W E have been hearing so much in the last several years of cruelties and slavery in the Congo Free State that three volumes just published on this part of the world will prove very welcome. The authors do not agree in their conclu sions. Mr Wack had free access to all the archives of the Belgian government, with permission to read private and secret re ports from governors in the Congo Free State. Dr Frederick Starr lived for nearly a year in the Congo Free State, traveling 15,000 miles on its rivers. Mr * The Story of the Congo Free State. By Henry Wellington Wack. With 125 illustra tions and maps. Pp. 634. G. P. Putnam's Sons. The Truth about the Congo. By br Fred erick Starr. With illustrations. Pp. 129. Forbes & Co. (Chicago). Congo and the Coasts of Africa. By Richard Harding Davis. With illustrations. Pp. 220. Charles Scribner's Sons. Richard Harding Davis spent several weeks in the Congo regions and the neigh boring colonies of French Cameroon. Mr Davis declares that the worst stories told of Belgian cruelties and murder fall far short of the actual atrocities taking place, while both Mr Wack and Dr Starr emphatically deny these outrages, and it must be admitted that they present a much stronger case. They admit that there are occasional instances of misgov ernment in the Congo, as in every part of the world, but they assert that as a whole the government is considerate, wise, and effective. To quote from Dr Starr: "Of course, I saw much to criticise. It is true that there are floggings, and chain gangs, and prisons. I have seen them all repeatedly. But there are floggings, chain gangs, and prisons in the United States. Mutilations are so rare that one must seek for them; and I had too much else to do.