I bought this 119-year-old original copy of the front page of The Graphic of Saturday September 8, 1900. It was delivered to my office from the UK last week. The illustration, drawn from a picture supplied by Rev. I.A.E. Richardson, shows Bishop Herbert Tugwell and his party sitting before Emir of Kano Alu Maisango at his Fanisau palace in March 1900.
Read the drama that ensued in the picture cutline below.
THE BRITISH MISSION TO KANO: AN AUDIENCE OF THE KING
The Rev. I.A.E. Richardson, a member of Bishop Tugwell’s expedition to Kano, describing the reception of the Mission by the King, says:- “The Palace, a splendid specimen of mud architecture, was a mass of people, and the courtyards were crammed. While we stood in the Judgment Hall, which was thronged with well-dressed men squatting on the floor, suddenly all the instruments of music bursts forth, our umbrellas were snatched from our hands and we were hurried into the King’s audience chamber, a splendidly built room, thirty feet square. At the far end, on a rich red dais, was seated the King, wearing a black rawani, which covered everything but his eyes. Round the king were seated his courtiers in compact rows attired in magnificent costumes of green, red, and other hues.
We were seated on the mud floor. During the audience, which lasted ten minutes, the king scarcely deigned to notice us, and occasionally made angry gestures. Despite every explanations he refused to allow us to remain in his town unless we had written permission from the King of the Moslems, the Sultan of Sokoto. Although pressed to do so, the King refused to allow us to remain pending the receipt of this permit, telling us that we could go and live anywhere, but not in Kano. So ended a very stormy ten minutes. Three hours after our return to our hut the Ma’aji came to us. He looked very serious and said, ‘You are allowed three days in which to do your business. On the third day you must go or take the consequences’”.
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