No Cross Marks the Spot

No Cross Marks the Spot: The story of the Makololo Mission is one of the most tragic episodes in the annals of missionary history in Southern Africa.
Kilby, Stella
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39,95 € *

Title: No Cross Marks the Spot
Author: Stella Kilby
Publisher: Galamena Press
Southend on Sea, United Kingdom 2001
ISBN 0954101618 / ISBN 0-9541-0161-8
Hardcover, dustjacket, 15 x 22 cm, 314 pages, many illustrations and fotos

About: No Cross Marks the Spot

The story of the Makololo Mission is one of the most tragic episodes in the annals of missionary history in Southern Africa, yet up to now it has only been discussed as a passing episode in stories about the other persons involved, or about the region. When, on a visit to South Africa my late cousin Grace Norton gave to me a cache of letters and documents for safe-keeping, I knew that the story warranted a book of its own. Here it is. This is the story of Holloway's life and work, which ended prematurely and tragically, when he was just 44 years old.

It is the story of his successful seventeen years at Lekhatlong, near Kuruman, where he developed a thriving mission station. It publishes for the first time in full Holloway's journal of the party's traumatic journey from Kuruman to the Makololo, when they nearly perished in the hot, dry desert and it provides in detail the tragic end to the mission, when nine of their party of twenty one died in the marshes. No single person or event can be blamed for the tragedy; it is a catalogue of hasty and disastrous decisions.

However, although David Livingstone subsequently exonerated himself from any involvement, it is clear that he must take a large share of the blame. The purpose of No Cross Marks the Spot is to piece together for the first time all the events leading to the fateful decision to proceed with this venture, despite the setbacks and misgivings. It aims to explain and dispel some of the allegations of previous authors. It also aims to respond to four as yet unanswered questions in the aftermath of the tragedy:

1. How far Livingstone should be blamed for the tragedy
2. Whether the victims died of fever or whether they were poisoned
3. Where the Makololo had their town and where the missionaries had their camp
4. Where the victims were buried

No Cross Marks the Spot includes an account of a recent unique journey by the author, following the same route that the party took, with anecdotes about the region as it is now compared with the nineteenth century. It also includes an interview with the khuta, or council of elders for the Mayeyi people who now inhabit the Linyanti marshes. The material is drawn mainly from original documents in archives and in the personal possession of the author, supplemented by that from other books touching on this episode.

List of Illustrations: No Cross Marks the Spot

Holloway Helmore - 1839
Holloway Helmore - 1858
Anne Helmore - 1858
David Livingstone - circa 1856
Mary Livingstone - circa 1856
Robert Moffat - circa 1871
Mary Moffat - circa 1871
Roger and Isabella Price - 1858
John Mackenzie - circa 1858
Olive Helmore - 1858
Anne Sophia Helmore - circa 1865
The Moffats' homestead at Kuruman
The weir on the dam that Holloway Helmore built on the Harts River at Lekhatlong
Kuruman - Old road alongside the Moffat homestead
A typical Tswana home
Driving across the Ntwetwe Salt Pan, Makgadikgadi
Camping alongside Chapman's Baobab
Helmore's carving on Chapman's Baobab
Looking across the Mababe Plains from the Gutscha Hills, Savuti
Transport old and new - Sangwali
Sebituane's grave, Sangwali
Chief Bornface ShuFu and his council inside the khuta at Sangwali
Chief Bornface Shufu with his council and invited advisers outside the khuta at Sangwali
Site of the Helmore/Price camp at Malengalenga
1. South and Central Africa, showing Helmore/Price route and that of the Kilby party
2. Southern Africa, 1850 - sketched by James Wyld
3. Detail of above map, showing Griqualand and the mission stations
4. Detail from Livingstone's map of his journey through Barotseland, drawn in 1853
5. Livingstone's Zambezi journey, 1853-1855
6. Detail from above, showing diversion at Kebrabasa Rapids
7. The Linyanti region as it is today