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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Reichstagsakten 1889/90, 7. Lp., Vol. 127, Attachment 44: Collection of Documents pertaining the Uprising in East Africa, No.2: Report of the Imperial Commissioner for East Africa
Bagamoyo, May 1st 1889
Arrived Berlin May 22nd 1889

On the reconnaissance trip most obediently announced to Your Excellency, at Bagamoyo I found works on the fortification of the town had progressed far. In Dar-es-Salam, similar works had just begun; yet the area near the anchoring place of S.M.S. "Carola" is secured.
In Pangani on the morning of my visit the steam pinnace was taken under fire. Large crowds of men had assembled off the town, seemingly expecting an assault; the fortifications established in the port entrance were manned. It seemed odd that in spite of these conditions dhows entered and departed freely. In Tanga, a place of much lesser importance, also armed men were to be seen, which keenly observed every move of the ship. Saadani, now also occupied by the rebels, is surrounded by a god ring of palisades.
Admiral Deinhard had concluded a truce with Buschiri lasting until my arrival and Buschiri had formulated the conditions under which he was willing to sign a peace. As I was not yet ready to strike, I accepted the truce, but had Buschiri informed that I dealt with him exclusively as a rebel and refused his peace conditions. These conditions were of a kind that they can only be regarded as "ridiculous". This disregarded, I will take a blunt position toward further proposals by Buschiri, as I hope to gain more from a successful strike against him than can ever be achieved by a favourable peace. Buschiri soon violated the truce by, in the glacis, having had taken prisoner one of my men and returning him with his hands and salaams cut off. At the request of the British consulate on Zanzibar I have postponed the execution by hanging of two men guilty of treason in this matter and suspected of espionage, until the British missionaries in Mombasa, currently held hostage by Buschiri, are liberated.
For me, the missionaries held by Buschiri are like thumbscrews.
I have told the French missionaries to either plave themselves under my protection or to go to Zanzibar, and that I would refuse any responsibility in case they would not follow my advice. Should Buschiri, who still recognizes the neutrality of the French mission, take up hostilities against them, I would order the missionaries to leave the country.
To the English missionaries in Mpwapwa and elsewhere in the interior, the road through Massailand south of the Kilimandjaro and to Witu, fully untouched by the movement, is open; I have advised them to take this road, which also had been taken by the two employees of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft. - On the 28th of last month Buschiri raided the small village of Kaule located 2 1/2 km to the south of Bagamoyo, the sheikh and eldest of which (Baluchis) I have arrested as suspicious. The inhabitants of the village had sufficient time to flee and have settled under the protection of the Fort at Bagamoyo. About 1000 Wanyamwesi, the oldest of whom knew me from my visit near Mirambo in 1882, also settled down in Bagamoyo and have fought all skirmishes with the station against Buschiri, who aimed at their ivory; they have lost 50 men. These men will be a highly appreciated assistance in the intended attack on Buschiri, as I can rely on them completely. I ordered the fortification of Dar-es-Salam sped up with all craftsmen available and it will have reached a satisfactory state, as in the case of Bagamoyo, before Your Excellency will receive this report.
The distribution of war material and supplies at the stations was completed, when, on the 29th of last month, the Somali arrived in Bagamoyo in four companies; they were armed and lodged the same day. Many well preserved houses and the repair of a number of slightly damaged houses facilitated the lodging of the troops in Bagamoyo.
Immediately I dispatched 60 men to complete the garrison at Dar-es-Salam, as the admiral has withdrawn the "Carola" from its anchoring place close to the coast to the outer roadsted, for health reasons.
I may not count on the 100 Zulus from the south; my forces, after the arrival of (p.90)
the "Martha", which I await any hour, will be sufficient; they compose of :

a) 6 companies of Sudanese, 100 men each = 600 men
minus 50 stationed at Dar-es-Salam 
together 550 men
b) 50 Somalis minus 10 in Dar-es-Salam = 40 men
together 590 men
Askari at Bagamoyo Station 60 men
Somalis of the Emin-Pascha-Expedition 80 men
(of 100 men, almost 20 are sick at any given time); the latter have 
been placed under me by Dr. Peters

In total 730 blacks, armed with the Mauser rifle, and about 200 irregular Waniamwesi armed with muzzle-loaders, commanded by about 20 Germans, in addition a body of 40 German troops. If conditions permit a support by the navy, eventually of boats with armed men on the Kingani River, on this matter I am still in negotiation with Admiral Deinhart.
Buschiri has camped in 3 camps on a line 6 km outside of Bagamoyo in a half circle and has the Kingani, which presently has high water, behind himself, the ferry across it 8 km behind him. The main camp in the center is under his personal command; it is the strongest, occupied by 500 men; among them are 200 Arabs who joined him recently, coming from Mombasa. It is located on a flat elevation and is surrounded by an earthen wall and palisades made of palm tree trunks. A flooded plain which has to be crossed under any circumstances surrounds the fortified hill. A favourable position for my small, portable cannons is available. I assume to be ready to strike 4 to 5 days after the arrival of the "Martha" and hope that the British missionary still in the hands of Buschiri will be free by then.
The representative of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft is obliging in any way. I send in copy the protocoll of the first agreement with him.

signed Wissmann

His Excellency Prince von Bismarck

attachment to No.2

Excerpt of a protocol agreed upon by the Imperial Commissioner for East Africa, Captain Wissmann, and the General Representative of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, von St.Paul-Maire, dated Bagamoyo April 28th 1889

Transferred to the Reich Commissioner, from today, are

1.) the supreme command over the military means of the stations, as well as over all military measures and operations
2.) supervision and order of constructions and other installations necessary to defend the station buildings and settlements.
3.) the supreme leadership over the civilian administration, except the customs administration.


Station Bagamoyo

1. Buildings

a) the station house and the edifices belonging to it will be placed, by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, at his disposal for his purposes
b) the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft reserves for her purposes the rooms for living quarters and offices of its employees remaining there
c) the station house and the edifices belonging to it remain in the possession of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, which will have made construction amendments at her expense after consultation with the Reich Commissioner.

2. Inventory

The entire inventory, which remains property of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, will be placed, for the time being, at the disposal of the Reich Commissioner
Repairs and new acquisitions of necessary inventory will be at the expense of the Reich Commissioner; the Gesellschaft reserves the right, at the time the station will be transferred back to her, to take over these at an appropriate price.
Gesellschaft vessels are at the disposal of the Reich Commissioner at any time.

3. Officials

a) concerns the transfer of 3 Gesellschaft employees into the service of the Reich Commissioner
b) on the station, of the European Gesellschaft employees, 3 will remain (three names follow) of coloured officials :
1. the craftsmen and supervisors employed in construction
2. the Comorese Ali who heads the factory
3. one boat crew and one servant each for the Gesellschaft employees who remain on the station.
c) the European and coloured employees of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft who remain in the station are placed, in military and administative respect, under the command of the Reich Commissioner respectively the station chief acting as his deputy; otherwise they receive their orders from the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft. - The officials are at the disposal of the Imperial Commissioner for all military actions within the administrative district, but until the latter's troops arrive, they shall be freed of guard duty if possible. Any requisition for temporary or permanent occupation or for demission of a Gesellschaft employee the Reich Commissioner will direct in writing to the General Representation of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, which will take the necessary measures. In especially urgent cases the Reich Commissioner is entitled to order the employees to return to Zanzibar without prior notification of the general representation.
In case of necessity the staff at the station may be added to by the general representation (p.91) in communication with the Reich Commissioner.
d) the coloured soldiers of the station are placed under the command of the Reich Commissioner and receive all their orders from him from May 1st onward.

III. Station Dar-es-Salam

1. Buildings

a) the old station building with court, which remains in the possession of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, will be placed at the disposal of the Reich Commissioner for his purposes.
b) the Gesellschaft reserves one room on the second floor which serves as living quarters and office to the customs clerk.
c) all construction work necessary in the new station (which was formed by the inclusion of the wali house into the fortification) are conducted by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft in communication with the Reich Commissioner
d) and e) concern the return conditions and the rent

2.) Inventory

What has been said on the inventory in Bagamoyo also applies for Dar-es-Salam

3.) Officials

a) deals with the transfer of one Gesellschaft employee into the service of the Reich Commissioner
b) only one Gesellschaft employee, at the same time customs clerk, will remain on the station
c) the Gesellschaft no longer makes use the few Arab Askaris and Waniamwesi recruits and leaves it up to the Reich Commissioner if he wants to take them in his service or to dismiss them
d) in regard to the boat crew and the servants the same applies as said in the case of Bagamoyo

4.) Mess

The mess conditions are to be regulated in the same way as in Bagamoyo

5.) Factory

The establishment of a factory in Dar-es-Salam by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft is reserved to further agreements.

Bagamoyo, April 28th 1889

signed Wissmann signed von St. Paul

Note : The internet edition of the Reichstag Protocols (1867-1895) is a project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Copyright for all electronic documents lies with the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The translations are published on psm-data with explicit permission ! 

posted on the web for psm-data by: GM; Originaldokument [S.89] [S.90] [S.91]
translation and English language table of contents: AG