7 - 8 April 2004
BAINES, Thomas (1822-1875). Autograph manuscript route traverse completed in the field and recording his journey from Dakar to the Victoria Falls and along the course of the Matietsie River to his encampment at Logier Hill, July - September 1862, in pencil, the rivers depicted in blue ink, the track (and some details) in red, with numerous annotations in pencil including dates ('first sight of Falls'), latitudes, natural features, settlements and observations on his future plans, with some earlier pencil workings, paper squared in pencil, lower left-hand corner torn away with some loss of text, lightly mounted, some dampstaining, annotated 'Sheet 10', 200 x 250 cm.
AN IMPORTANT EXPLORER'S MAP OF THE VICTORIA FALLS BY THOMAS BAINES. The route traverse depicts the information derived by Baines from his travels principally between 11-20 September 1862 when he records his progress on seven occasions. He also refers to his first sight of the Victoria Falls on 22 July and speculates on the course of the Zambesi ("The Zambesi between these points, may be now explored by Dr. Livingstone but is not laid down by observation in any map yet published"). It was not until 17 September that he came upon the right bank of the Zambesi.
It is possible that this route traverse was prepared for his travelling companion, James Chapman who had left for Boana on 1 September. Baines refers to their plan to build a boat to discover whether the Zambesi was navigable to the east coast. ('I find that Moambwa falls are below us say 15 or 20 miles and our boat must be built below them'). But this plan was not carried out.
The route traverse records other significant details such as the furthest points it was possible to take the wagons, the prevalence of poisonous flies, the Pretorius grave and the point at which Dokkie, one of the bearers, was wounded.
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