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In 1863, as they travelled south to find Lake
Albert, Samuel Baker and Florence Baker were warmly welcomed here
by the Patiko peoples. Baker wrote “We arrived at Patiko,
situated upon a splendid plateau of rock upon elevated ground
with beautiful granite cliffs, bordering a level tableland of
fine grass that would have formed a racecourse. The people were
wonderfully friendly, and insisted upon a personal introduction
to both myself and Mrs. Baker. They performed the salaam of their
country, by seizing both my hands and raising my arms three times
to their full stretch above my head.”
In 1872 Sir Samuel Baker returned and overcame
a much larger force of well-armed slavers and set up this Fort
to protect the Acholi peoples from the cruel slave-trade. He writes
“During the battle, my wife had placed sentries on the high
rocks which commanded a view of the entire country; she also had
the cattle driven within the fence; and had secured the prisoners."
Florence was magnificently cool in a crisis. Sam once said “She
is not a screamer.” How true that proved to be.
Later, when peace had been established, Samuel
Baker wrote “The children and women flocked to our camp;
and marketing upon a large scale was conducted without a squabble.
The two good men, Shooli and Gimoro, who were daily visitors,
assured me that there was only one feeling throughout the country,
of gratitude and good-will."
Sir Samuel and Lady Baker were dedicated to the elimination of
slavery and showed extraordinary personal bravery in overcoming
the evil trade which plagued the peoples in this region.