THE VISIT OF FREDERICK FORBES TO

Author : Fredrick Forbes

Year :1833

Previous issues of this journal have carried information about early nineteenthcentury
visits to the northern coast of Somalia by John Studdy Leigh, who
claimed that he and not Richard Burton was the first European to succeed in
penetrating inland to the city of Harar. Leigh’s claim was made in 1892 and he
said his trip had been made in 1838-1839.1 Although Marcus and Page gave some
cautious credence to Leigh’s story, Kirkman subsequently showed that the
evidence of Leigh’s own journal proved that although he had been at Berbera in
1838-1839, he had definitely not gone inland to Harar.2 The journal entries also
throw doubt upon another of Leigh’s assertions of 1892: that the people of
Berbera regarded him as “the first European that has visited . . . within .

more