Hugh Clapperton, a traveller in Africa, born at Annan, Scotland, in 1788, died near Sackatoo, Africa, April 13, 1827. At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to a shipmaster trading between Liverpool and New York, with whom he made a number of voyages. For an accidental violation of the excise laws he was sent on board a man-of-war, and speedily reached the rank of midshipman. He served on the American lakes during the war of 1812 - '15, became lieutenant, and was placed in command of a schooner. He returned to Scotland in 1817, and remained on half pay till 1822, when he joined Dr. Oudney's expedition for the exploration of the interior of Africa. The expedition started from Moorzook, Nov. 29, 1822, and reached Lake Tchad, in the kingdom of Bornoo, Feb. 4,1823. The distance was 800 m. Six days after entering Kuka, the capital, Clapperton and Oudney set out for Sackatoo, the capital of Houssa, more than 700 m. W. of Kuka. The journey was long and disastrous, occupying 90 days, and accompanied by many privations. When they had accomplished about a third of the distance Oudney died; and Clapperton, having reached his destination, was not suffered to proceed further westward, and after a short stay returned to Kuka, whence he proceeded in company with Major Denham to Tripoli, and thence to England. Within six months after his return he was raised to the rank of captain, equipped with the necessary men and goods for trading, and sailed for Badagry in the bight of Benin. Arriving there Dec. 7, 1825, he journeyed N. E. toward Sackatoo. Two of his companions, ('apt. Pearce and Dr. Morrison, fell victims to the fatal climate within a short distance of the coast; still Clapperton, accompanied by his faithful servant Richard Lander, pressed on.
At Katunga they approached the Joliba, the western and main branch of the Niger, and crossed it without knowing that it was the stream of which they were in search. Proceeding north, they reached Kano, a considerable town, from which proceeding west they arrived again at Sackatoo. Here he was detained for more than a year by the jealousy of the native king and the intrigues of the pasha of Tripoli, until he fell a victim to dysentery. (See Lander.)