David Livingston’s diary: 15th July, 1871

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The reports of guns on the other side of Lualaba tell of Dugumbe’s men murdering for slaves. Manilla is in it again and it is said that Kimburu gave him three slaves to sack the ten villages we saw in flames.

And so it goes on, making me fear to go with Dugumbe’s people to be partakers in their blood guiltiness.

About 1,500 people came, though many villages were burning before us.

I saw three of Dugumbe’s people with guns in the market place with wonder, but thought it ignorance and retired – when 50 yards off two guns were fired and a general flight took place – goods thrown away in terror.

Firing on the helpless canoes took place. A long line of heads in the water shewed the numbers that would perish, for they could not swim two miles.

Great numbers died – and a worthless Moslem asserted that all was done by the people of the English. This will spread, though the murderers are on the other side plundering and shooting. It is awful – terrible, a dreadful world this.

Oh let Thy kingdom come.

The canoes were all jammed in a creek at the bottom of the market place and the owners could not get them out – women threw away their produce and scrambled for dear life – men left their paddles in dread as the merciless fire was rained upon them by other men who must been cognisant of the plan of Murder.

The women soon sank into their watery graves – I counted 33 canoes afloat + 19 still in [the creek], one capsized.

One long canoe that could have held 30 was occupied by one man, who seemed to have lost his head – no one will ever know how many perished in this bright summer morning.

I count 12 villages burned this morning – this with the previous ten makes 22.

I went over to Dugumbe and proposed to catch the bloodhounds and put their heads on poles.