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KRAPF, Johann Ludwig.

Travels, Researches, and Missionary Labours,

during an Eighteen Years' Residence in Eastern Africa. Together with Journeys to Jagga, Usambara, Ukambani, Shoa, Abessinia, and Khartum; and a cosating voyage from Mombaz to Cape Delgado. With an Appendix respecting the snow-capped mountains of eastern Africa; the sources of the Nile; the languages and literature of Abessinia ands eastern Africa, etc. etc. and a concise account of geographical reseaches in eastern Africa up to the discovery of the Uyenyesi by Dr. Livingstone in September last, by E. G. Ravenstein.

Published: London: Trübner and Co., 1860

Stock code: 109012

Price: £850

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First edition in English, the most important work of the German Protestant missionary and explorer Johann Ludwig Krapf (1810-1881), who arrived in Ethiopia in 1837 before moving on to Cairo in 1842. “For the next eleven years, 1844-55, Krapf worked in the coastal areas of modern Kenya, first in Mombasa… and then at Rabai, on a ridge a few kilometres inland… In November 1848 Krapf himself set out with eleven bearers on an inland journey to visit the Kamba, traversing the almost waterless thorn scrub that stretches some three hundred kilometres inland from the coast behind Rabai. After twenty-one days march he reached the edge of Ukambani, where the chief, Kivoi, said he had often seen a mountain called Kegnia (Kenya) which was covered with a cold, white substance. When he invited Krapf to a nearby hilltop the missionary could see in the distance both mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya. The expedition was beset by illness and a mutiny of the porters, and Krapf returned to the coast. Krapf’s second journey to Ukambani followed in April 1851. Kivoi agreed to build a mission station on his territory but disaster struck when Kivoi and fifty followers accompanied the missionary to the agreed site for the headquarters. Kivoi’s enemies ambushed him in the forest, killed him and put his men to flight. Krapf, left alone and destitute, wandered through the forest, shunned by the Kamba, and eventually limped back to the coast… In 1852 Krapf and another Basel-trained missionary, Johann Erhardt, sailed down the East African coast as far as Kilwa, in the process providing the first new information about the coast since the British coastal survey of 1822-24” (Howgego).

Octavo (214 x 132 mm). Contemporary brown morocco, blind banded spine and panelling on covers, all edges gilt, yellow coated endpapers. Steel-engraved portrait frontispiece of the author, folding coloured map of eastern Africa, folding map of routes taken by Krapf, 12 chromolithograph plates. Neat 20th century ownership inscription on front pastedown, scattered foxing and browning, closed tears into folding map of routes. A very good copy in what may be the publisher’s deluxe binding.

Bibliography: Henze 3 pp. 70-74; Howgego K22.

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