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Colonial Cases

Stanley v Tippoo Tib, 1889

[breach of contract]

Stanley v Tippoo Tib, 1889

Consular Court, Zanzibar
1889

Source: The Times, 30 December 1889

ZANZIBAR, DEC. 29

Mr. Stanley and his officers leave here on the 31st inst.  Mr. Stanley has begun an action in the Consul-Genera's Court, with damages laid at £10,000, against the notorious Tippoo Tib for losses to the expedition arising from breach of contract and bad faith.  Startling evidence is being taken. ...

Mr. W. B. Cracknell, Judge of the Consular Court here, yesterday heard the evidence of Mr. Stanley and Mr. Bonny in the case of the Emin Pasha relief Expedition versus Tippoo Tib.  The evidence showed that the latter broke his contract with the expedition with a view to obtaining all the stores and ammunition belonging to it.  The witnesses also declared that Tippoo Tib's nephew, Salim Mohamned, punished by death the natives who were desirous of bringing food to the expedition, and prevented the Zanzibaris from meeting those who were brinbing them sustenance, thus causing a high rate of mortality among Mr. Stanley's followers.  It was further shown that in June, 1888, Tippoo Tib provided 430 Manyema, his ulterior objective being to desert Mr. Stanley.  The expedition claims £10,000 and Tippoo's agent, Tharie, has been forbidden to part with a sum of that amount belonging to Tippoo.

 

Source: Los Angeles Herald, 30 December 1889

FAITHLESS TIPPOO TIB.

How He Embarrassed the Emin Relief Expedition.

ZANZIBAR, December 29. - The Consular Court has heard the evidence of Stanley and Bonny in the Emin Relief Committee's action against Tippo Tib. ...

 

Source: The Times, 31 December 1889

TIPPOO TIB.

Civilization is marching apace in Africa; English law has at length reached the heart of the continent; the "Bismarck of Central Africa," as Tippoo Tib has been called, has been indicted before a British Court.  It is a pity that either the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition of the Congo Free State has ever felt compelled to solicit this man's favour.  It may be remembered that some time before the relied expedition was thought of the Stanley Falls Station of the Upper Congo had, on account of certain transactions with reference to a female slave, been attacked by the Arab slavers and evacuated by the officials of the Free State.  Of course it was well known that the "Arabs" who thus took possession of the station were the retainers of Tippoo and his fellow slave-hinters.  On the principle of setting a thief to catch a thief, Mer. Consul Holmwood, who was then at Zanzibar, on behalf of the King of the Belgians, made terms with Tippoo, by which, for a monthly consideration, he consented to act as chief of the Stanley falls Station, and so became an official of the Congo Free State.

It will be remembered that Tippoo accompanied Mr. Stanley in the Madura from Zanzibar to the Congo, having entered into an agreement to supply, on payment of a certain sum, several hundreds of his retainers to accompany the rear column from Yambuya to the Albert Nyanza.  In the faith that he would keep his promise, Mr. Stanley left Yambuya with the first contingent of the expedition on June 28, 1887.  Month after month passed, and on one excuse or another Tippoo failed to fulfill his engagement, and so Major Bartelot and his white companions had to remain shut up in the intrenched camp at Yambua.  Mr. Stanley's anxiety, his letters to major Bartelot, his weary march back to search for the rear column, and the sad news which Mr. Bonny had to tell when he, with a wretched remnant, met Mr. Stanley at Bonalya, are all fresh in our memories.

The statement made by Mr. Werner has already been referred to in The Times.  From information obtained by himself on the spot he assures us that Tippoo Tib had given the merciless Manyuemas - whom at last he sent to accompany the rear column - instructions to kill Major Bartelot if his treatment of them was not to their liking.  Every one knows what happened.

There is not the least doubt that much of the disaster which befell the expedition was, directly or indirectly, due to Tippoo Tib, who, intentionally or unintentionally, broke the contract he made with Mr. Stanley.  It is a question to be considered whether it is prudent to proceed openly against such a man, who has it in his power to do so much injury to civilization and missionary effort in Central Africa.  Certainly if he can be brought ton justice and effectively prevented from carrying on his nefarious business it would be well.  But since he is to be put on his trial it might be well, not only to examine into the charge brought against him by Mr. Stanley and mulct him of his ill-gotten gains if he is proved guilty, but also to sift the story which Mr. Werner tells with so much circumstantial detail.

We can hardly expect Tippoo and his fellow-slavers to be friendly to European enterprises in Africa; it means a death-blow to all illegitimate trade.  Now he is being closed in by Germany and England on the one side and by the Congo Free State on the other he may well feel driven to bay.  We may bear in mind, however, that his ideas and his morale are not ours, and in his own eyes, doubtless, he regards himself as a righteous and ill-used man; though, as the old Scotch Judge said to the eloquent murderer, he would "be nane the waur o' a hangin'."  After all, he may be able to justify his conduct before our Consular Court; at least he must have a fair hearing.

Both Cameron and Stanley speak in their narratives in glowing terms of Tippoo Tib on their first meeting with him; of his dignity and grace, his intelligence, his rich and spotless raiment, of his willingness to help them - for a price.  Although he drew back from accompanying Stanley all the way down the Congo, the two parted on friendly terms, and Tippoo and Frank Pocock were pitted against each other in a boat-race on Christmas Day, when Tippoo beat the Englishman by several lengths.  Others who have met Tippoo in Central Africa speak well of him, but then they had no occasion to come between him and his trade. [Description and biography.]

Probably in order to further the object of the Emin Pasha Expedition, Mr. Stanley would see no other course than to disarm the hostility of Tippoo, as far as possible, by professing to take him into confidence.  At the result we need not be surprised.  For the credit of European reputation in Africa it may be best now to break with him.  As chief of the remotest station in the Congo Free State, no doubt he could send much ivory down the river; but as with these Arabs ivory and slave-raiding are inextricably mixed up, it will be well, in these inquisitive days, for the King of the Belgians to avoid the appearance of evil.  Doubtless Mr. Stanley has not entered upon his suit without first taking the advice of those at home for whom he is the agent.

 

Source: The Horsham Times (Victoria, Australia), 31 December 1889

PER REUTER.

EMIN PASHA AND TIPPOO TITT.

ZANZIBAR, December 30.

An action has been brought by Emin Pasha for the relief of whom the expedition of which Mr. Stanley was commander has just returned, against Tippoo Titt, an Arab trader who was engaged to accompany the expedition up the Congo river.  Damages to the extent of £10,000 are claimed for breach of contract for committing various acts seriously prejudicing the success of the expedition.  The case commenced on Saturday at Zanzibar before the consular court which hjis ordered Tippoo's agent not to pay away the sum of £10,000 lying in his hands belonging to that Arab trader.

 

The Tamworth Herald, (Tamworth, England), 4 January, 1890.

TEN THOUSAND POUNDS CLAIMED FROM TIIPPOO TIB.
  Mr. W. B. Cracknall, judge of the Consular Court at Zanzibar, on Saturday heard the evidence of Mr. Stanley and Mr. Bonny, in the case of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition versus Tippoo Tib.  The evidence showed that the latter broke his contract with the expedition with a view to obtaining all the stores and ammunition belonging to it. The witnesses also declared that Tippoo Tib's nephew, Salim Mohamed, punished by death the natives who were desirous of bringing food to the expedition, and prevented the Zanzibaris from meeting those who were bringing them sustenance thus causing a high rate of mortality among Mr. Stanley's followers.  It was further shown that in June, 1888, Tippoo Tib provided 430 Manyema, his ulterior object being to desert Mr. Stanley. The expedition claimed £10,000, and Tippoo's agent, Tharie, has been forbidden to part with a sum of that amount belonging to Tippoo.

 

Source: The Times, 3 April 1890

EMIN PASHA AND THE GERMANS IN EAST AFRICA.

BAGAMOYO, MARCH 31.

LATER.

An unprecedented incident has occurred in Zanzibar to-night, which has left even the solemn Arab world agape.  At sunset a body of men paraded the streets scattering broadcast copies of a proclamation printed in European and Arabic characters and signed by Emin Pasha.  It is addressed to the whole Arab population, and contains a vehement and absolute disclaimer of the Pasha being concerned in anyway whatever with Mr. Stanley and the English in the civil action recently brought by the former against Tippoo Tib in the British Consular Court.

The proclamation at once gives the measure of Emin's resentment against Mr. Stanley and his respect for the power of Tippoo Tib; but the Pasha has overshot the mark, and only amused the populace, his name never having been mentioned in connexion with Mr. Stanley's action.

 

Source: The Times, 3 April 1890

GERMAN ACTIVITY IN EAST AFRICA.

EMIN PASHA A GERMAN OFFICIAL.

Long article on Emin Pasha.

 

Source: The Times, 14 April 1890

ZANZIBAR, APRIL 13.

Tippoo Tib, who has been at Tabora, is stated to be hurrying to Zanzibar, in answer to the suit of the consular Court.  ... Emin Pasha leaves Bagamoyo for the interior next week, and is expected to be absent nine months.  His disappointment at not obtaining employment under the British Company, it is stated, has made him resolutely inimical to the spread of English interests in Central Africa. ...

 

Source: The Times, 15 September 1890

ZANZIBAR, SEPT. 14.

The action of the Emin Relief Committee against Tippoo Tib came on for hearing on Friday before the Consular Court, but the proceedings were postponed for three months to give the defendant time to appear.  Tippoo is believed to be at Tabora. ...

 

Source: The Times, 16 December 1890

MR. STANLEY AND TIPPOO TIB.

ZANZIBAR, DEC. 15.

Judge Cracknell, of the British Consular Court, has fixed January 15 for the hearing of Mr. Stanley's case against Tippoo Tib.  This postponement is due to the fact that a sworn statement by Tippoo Tib's brother, which is daily expected, has not yet arrived. - Reuter.

 

Otago Daily Times (NZ), 1 January 1890

STANLEY AND TIPPOO TIB.

ZANZIBAR, December 30.

(Received December 31, at 12.30 a.m.)

The Consular Court is occupied hearing an action brought by Stanley against Tippoo Tib.  He claims then sum of £10,000 for breach of contract by the latter.

 

Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic., Australia), 13 February 1890

ACTION BY MR. STANLEY AGAINST TIPPOO TIB.

Mr. W. B. Cracknell, Judge of the consular Court at Zanzibar, heard the evidence of Mr. Stanley and Mr. Benny in the case of Emin Pasha Relief Expedition v. Tippoo Tib. ...

 

The Argus (Melbourne, Australia), 5 April 1890

LONDON, April 3.

Statements have been published that Emin Pasha is concerned in the action for £10,000 damages for breach of contract which Mr. H. M. Stanley is bringing against Tippoo Tib in the Consular Court, Zanzibar.  Emin has written vehemently denying that there is any truth in the statements.

In England the conduct of Emin Pasha in taking service with Germany after being rescued by the English expedition under Mr. Stanley is considered unworthy and treacherous.

Note

See Heinrich Brode, Tippoo Tib, the story of his career in Central Africa, London, 1907 (online at Cornell University Library: http://archive.org/details/cu31924028752644).

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School