28 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
offering an annual gold medal to be competed for by public school boys. He afterwards took a considerable part in the agitation which ended in the recognition of geography as an academic study.
Galton was active in many other ways for the cause of geography. In 1861 he was asked to give the Church Missionary Society some information as to Zanzibar as a possible centre of missionary enterprise, having regard to its climate, physical features and the moral and social condition of the people. Galton read a paper to'the society on June 1st and it is published in their journal The Mission Field'. In the paper he points out the dominant Arab and Moslem influence which radiated from Zanzibar, not only all along the .coast of the mainland but far into the continent, perhaps one-third across. Galton gave his information from manuscript notes of Burton and from photographs of Grant lent by Speke. Galton on the whole spoke well of the Arabs, but ill of the negro natives of the mainland, thus following Burton rather than Speke. He concluded as follows
"The natives are most assuredly no inquiring race, open to influence, but the very contrary. Again their countries are intersected by commercial routes through which a tide of Moslem ideas is constantly flowing, and could a handful of missionaries, looking at past and present
history to guide us in our speculations, be supposed to avail against it? It strikes me, too, as something not quite generous to avail ourselves of the courtesy and the unusual tolerance of a Moslem power to sow seeds of a certain harvest of discord. What we find in Zanzibar is a farreaching and far-influencing, but not a strong power; anxious to do well, seeking to consolidate itself, amenable to a good English influence, but above all things, the sine qud non of its existence is that it should be Moslem. With our very limited missionary agency, it seems to me that we should divert its current to healthier and more hopeful fields than Zanzibar, and that England, so far as she may interfere at all, whether through her representative or by any other agency, should try to effect the following results : To relieve the Sultan, by means of our moral support, from the embarrassment of foreign pressure; to promote safe lines of legitimate and civilising traffic into the far interior of Africa; and to open better communication between Zanzibar and the more civilised world than now exists. This is the schedule of what England is actually
doing, and I further believe it is all she ought, for the present, to undertake in Zanzibar'."
This is not the first, nor the last, occasion on which Galton' emphasised the possibly superior civilising effect of Moslems over Christians on barbarous races. Of course- he speaks here of the state of affairs in 1861, before the medical work (India and China) or the craft-school factor (Nigeria) had been added to the purely religious activities of the Christian .missionaries. There is a characteristic table of the Zanzibar climate on p. 124, detailing the wind, the rainy, cold and hot seasons and the seasonal healthiness ; the paper probably has now fallen much behind the present state of knowledge.
In 1862 Galton took Sir Roderick Murchison's place, who fell ill just before the meeting, as President of the Geographical Section of the British Association. If he gave any opening address, it was certainly a makeshift effort and has not been published. Mrs Galton merely notes that her husband was at Cambridge for the Association'. Ten years later, however, 1872, Galton was again President of the same section and gave the cus
i Vol. vi, No. 66, pp. 121-30. 2 Loc. cit. p. 130. 3 See Vol. i, p. 207. 4 Galton recounts an amusing incident of the meeting in his Memories, pp. 208-9.