On their way, they discovered the Benue, which joins the Niger two hundred and seventy miles from the ocean, with a volume of water and a width nearly equal to its own.
The expedition, however, succeeded in reaching Rabba, on the Niger, five hundred miles from the sea, ascended the Benue, eighty miles above the confluence, and charts were made and soundings taken for the distance explored.
It was the intention of government to establish a model farm and mission at the confluence of the Niger and Benue; but the officers, discouraged by sickness, abandoned their original purpose, and the expedition proved another failure, involving a loss of at least sixty thousand pounds.
Entering the river in July, they ascended the southern branch, now known as the Benue, for a distance of seven hundred miles from the sea, reaching Adamawa, a Mahometan state of the Soudan.
On the fifteenth of August they encountered the rise of waters, and found the Benue nearly a mile in width and from one to three fathoms in depth.
During this period, he accompanied the Sheik of Bornou, one of the chief Negro states of Africa, on his march as far south as the Benue, explored the borders of Lake Tsadda, crossed the Niger at Sai, and visited the far-famed city of Timbuctoo.
From the sketch we have given of the Niger and its branches, and of the countries bordering upon them, it would appear to be the proper policy of Great Britain and other commercial nations to open a way from Sierra Leone to the Niger, and to establish a colony near the confluence of this river with the Benue.