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They also thought he might protect them or supply them with guns. More than most Europeans, Livingstone talked to them with respect, Scottish laird to African chief. Some explorers took as many as porters when they traveled; Livingstone traveled with 30 or fewer. On an epic, three-year trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean reputedly the first by a European Livingstone was introduced to the 1,mile-long Zambezi.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE: MISSIONARY AND EXPLORER

The river was also home to Victoria Falls, Livingstone's most awe-inspiring discovery. The scene was "so lovely," he later wrote, that it "must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight. Despite its beauty, the Zambezi was a river of human misery. It linked the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique, the main suppliers of slaves for Brazil, who in turn sold to Cuba and the United States. Though Livingstone was partially driven by a desire to create a British colony, his primary ambition was to expose the slave trade and cut it off at the source.

The strongest weapon in this task, he believed, was Christian commercial civilization. He hoped to replace the "inefficient" slave economy with a capitalist economy: buying and selling goods instead of people. After a brief heroic return to England, Livingstone returned to Africa, this time to navigate 1, miles up the Zambezi in a brass-and-mahogany steamboat to establish a mission near Victoria Falls.

The boat was state-of-the-art technology but proved too frail for the expedition. It leaked horribly after repeatedly running aground on sandbars. Livingstone pushed his men beyond human endurance. When they reached a foot waterfall, he waved his hand, as if to wish it away, and said, "That's not supposed to be there. Two years later, the British government, which had no interest in "forcing steamers up cataracts," recalled Livingstone and his mission party. A year later, he was on his way back to Africa again, this time leading an expedition sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society and wealthy friends.

But more important to Livingstone was the possibility of proving that the Bible was true by tracing the African roots of Judaism and Christianity. For two years he simply disappeared, without a letter or scrap of information. He reported later that he had been so ill he could not even lift a pen, but he was able to read the Bible straight through four times. Livingstone's disappearance fascinated the public as much as Amelia Earhart's a few generations later.

Papers carried special editions devoted to the famous meeting. In August , in precarious health, Livingstone shook Stanley's hand and set out on his final journey. When Livingstone had arrived in Africa in , it was as exotic as outer space, called the "Dark Continent" and the "White Man's Graveyard.

Livingstone helped redraw the maps, exploring what are now a dozen countries, including South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, and the Republic of the Congo formerly Zaire. Review This Product No reviews yet - be the first to create one! Need help? Partners MySchool Discovery. Subscribe to our newsletter Some error text Name.

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Email address subscribed successfully. A activation email has been sent to you. Please click the link in that email to activate your subscription. Sitemap Index. Murchison who ensured that the book was dedicated to himself might value Missionary Travels as a commercial prospectus and confirmation of his own theories; Livingstone conceived it as propaganda for the campaign against the slave trade and for his own role in spreading knowledge of the Christian gospel. The book was a highly self-conscious presentation of a career which Livingstone had come to believe was divinely ordained.

This coloured his reporting. He now believed that legitimate trade was a precondition for the spread of Christianity. He thus had a reason not only for noting economic resources but for exaggerating them. Besides, his lifelong fear of being 'cut out' by other travellers led him to imply that he was the first European to travel between Angola and the upper Zambezi. Missionary Travels fails to mention either Silva Porto or Ladislav Magyar , who did so in , let alone earlier crossings of the continent by African-Portuguese or Arab traders.

But these are flaws in an avowedly popular work of unusual humanity. It is untouched by the 'pseudo-scientific racism' of mid-century anthropology, and while Livingstone looked to the 'Anglo-American race' to promote liberty and progress he could also assess African behaviour in terms of environment and history, making cross-cultural comparisons to support his arguments. He concluded that Africans are 'just such a strange mixture of good and evil, as men are everywhere else' Livingstone , Missionary Travels , Livingstone spent the latter part of on a speaking tour.

To one listener he appeared:. A large audience cheered his concluding appeal for missionaries:.

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It is a mistake to suppose that any one , as long as he is pious, will do for this office. Pioneers in everything should be the ablest and best qualified men … I beg to direct your attention to Africa … do you carry out the work which I have begun. By this time, Missionary Travels had appeared. The first impression, of 12,, was sold out before publication in November, and 30, were sold in Britain by A compelling drama of self-improvement, expanding knowledge, and non-sectarian Christian fortitude, it was admired by Charles Dickens , no friend of missionaries, whose own precarious early life had resembled Livingstone's.

Well before the end of Livingstone had become a national hero. Early in he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and in February he had an audience with the queen.


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To help him get back to Africa was a matter of public concern. The travels which made him famous had been financed by well-wishers in Africa, especially Oswell and Sekeletu. Although preoccupied with the Indian mutiny the prime minister, Lord Palmerston , was responsive, while Lord Clarendon had already promised Livingstone a consulate and had recently funded William Baikie's trading expedition on the Niger and supported exploration in east Africa by Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke. The expedition was to include several Europeans besides Livingstone ; in choosing them he was given a remarkably free hand, though Murchison ensured that they included scientists whose work could have practical results.

Livingstone chose Norman Bedingfeld , whom he had met in Luanda, as steamship commander, and George Rae , from Blantyre, as engineer. Murchison chose as geologist Richard Thornton , a recent graduate of the School of Mines; as economic botanist, John Kirk , a young physician; and as artist to the expedition, Thomas Baines , who had lately worked for the RGS in Australia. Finally, and crucially, Livingstone created the nebulous post of 'moral agent' for his younger brother Charles Livingstone , who had recently returned to Britain from the USA he had gone there to study in and had become a pastor in New England.

For the government the aim of the expedition was to assess the prospects for British trade up the Zambezi. This involved negotiations early in with the Portuguese, whose maps were limited and patchy but who claimed authority as far west as Zumbo and confined foreign traders to the mouth of the Zambezi. They exempted the expedition from import duties, but otherwise held firm in opposing free trade and accepted Livingstone as British consul only for Quelimane.

This put in question the ultimate purpose of the expedition and Livingstone was duly angered; besides, he privately cherished the hope that the expedition might result 'in an English colony in the healthy highlands of Central Africa' G. Seaver , David Livingstone , , , albeit very different in character from the British in South Africa, of whom he was highly critical.

He had in any case kept up pressure on the LMS for a Kololo mission, even though he would not take part in it; the LMS , against its better judgement, appointed its own team. The Zambezi expedition left Birkenhead on 10 March , on the steamship Pearl , which carried, in three sections, a steam launch which had been hastily built by Macgregor Laird. This was called the Ma-Robert , the African name for Mary Livingstone , who was on board with her youngest son Oswell : the other children had been left with relatives and were supported by a trust fund from their father's literary earnings.

It then became clear that Mary was pregnant, and she and Oswell were left behind at Cape Town to be taken to Kuruman by her parents. The Pearl reached the Zambezi in mid-May but was too large to sail, as intended, through the delta and up to Tete; instead, stores had to be taken up in relays by the Ma-Robert. Meanwhile, Bedingfeld fell out with Livingstone and resigned. Livingstone took over the Ma-Robert , which often ran aground on sandbanks and also consumed a great deal of firewood.

Kirk realized that these were an insuperable obstacle to navigation. Livingstone refused to admit this; indeed, he asked the British government to supply a more powerful steamer, and asserted that the whole expedition expected the cataracts to be submerged when the river was in flood. This was the Shire River, which joins the Zambezi below Sena , from the north, and which was said to flow from a large lake.

By 9 January Livingstone and Kirk had ascended miles up the Shire; again they encountered cataracts, and again Livingstone made light of them. Moreover, Livingstone's first glimpse of the hill country above the Shire convinced him that this, as well as the Kafue plateau, was suitable both for a mission and for a cotton-exporting British colony, even if the slave trade was also on the increase here.

There was little more that Livingstone could do to further his designs until he knew whether the government would prolong the expedition beyond its allotted two years and replace the Ma-Robert. He was committed to escorting the Kololo back to the upper Zambezi, but the journey would not be practicable before a new harvest in the countries upriver. Rae went home in March to advise on the construction of a steamer which could be carried in sections past the Shire cataracts and placed on Lake Nyasa.

Meanwhile, Livingstone was considering yet another possible water route to the interior: the Rovuma River. This later formed the northern frontier of Mozambique; to Livingstone it appealed because it lay well beyond the sphere of the Portuguese, whom he not only saw as an obstacle to any future British trade but now believed to be implicated in the expanding slave trade of east central Africa. In May , two years later than he had originally intended, Livingstone , with Charles and Kirk , set off from Tete with those few Kololo who wished to go home.

On the middle Zambezi, they found outcrops of coal, supplementing those examined and mined by Thornton near Tete. In August, Livingstone delivered to Sekeletu goods he had ordered in , though not the sugar mill which remained at Tete or the rifles and ammunition. The Kololo told Livingstone of the disastrous LMS mission, which had reached Linyanti in April of the Europeans three out of four adults had died and three out of five children, while four Africans had also died.

During this Zambezi journey the Livingstone brothers quarrelled bitterly; David came to think he had relied far too much on Charles. Yet neither Charles nor Kirk who loathed Charles thwarted David's foolhardy impulse, on the way back, to descend the uppermost Quebrabasa rapids in canoes: Kirk nearly drowned, and lost his notes, drawings, and instruments. At Tete, Livingstone found a dispatch from London extending the expedition for a further three years.

This decision had not been taken lightly. Ministers were unexcited by Livingstone's visions of British colonies in tropical Africa, whether of master farmers or the urban poor, which were 'only to be reached by forcing steamers up cataracts' G. Martelli , Livingstone's River , , Eventually, however, his shift of focus to the Shire highlands was approved, along with his proposal to explore the Rovuma, and a new steamship was sent out. Missionaries were also coming to join him. Livingstone had tried in to interest the Church Missionary Society in the Shire highlands; he also approached the bishop of Cape Town, Robert Gray , who had already reported that Anglicans in the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and Dublin were planning a mission to central Africa.

By the end of this had been organized under the leadership of Charles Mackenzie. In February he met the missionaries, who had just arrived from Cape Town, together with his new ship, the Pioneer. Livingstone insisted that Mackenzie join him on a reconnaissance of the Rovuma.

This diversion proved fruitless: the Pioneer could get only 30 miles upriver.


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Its master resigned, since Livingstone would not accept him as second in command of the expedition. This was a Manganja village harassed by Yao slavers. By entrusting abandoned slaves to the mission, and burning a slavers' village, Livingstone plunged the UMCA fatefully into local politics. Livingstone's next concern was to explore Lake Nyasa. Just below the lake he noted that mosquitoes 'showed … the presence of malaria', but did not guess at a causal connection, despite being aware that tsetse-flies and ticks were vectors of disease.

Once on the lake he hoped to find an outlet to the Rovuma, but he followed the western shore and, delayed by equinoctial gales, turned back at Nkata Bay for want of food. The country they had seen was troubled by Arab slavers, and also by Ngoni raiders. From the lower Shire, in November, Livingstone took the Pioneer down to meet new arrivals.

Livingstone had had to pay for this himself: the Admiralty considered that he 'has already discovered more country and more people than he can deal with' G. Martelli , Livingstone's River , There was also Mary Livingstone , who after the birth of another daughter, Anna Mary , at Kuruman in November had returned to Scotland.

On this latest voyage she was escorted by James Stewart , a young Scots minister who had decided on his own initiative to assess the prospects for a Scottish mission in the Zambezi region. It took over four months to assemble the Lady Nyassa at Shupanga ; meanwhile news came in March of the death of Mackenzie and another missionary, and on 27 April Mary Livingstone died.

The use of quinine as prophylactic or cure for malaria was still at an experimental stage; Livingstone himself had, from at least , relied much on pills combining quinine and mild purgatives. Livingstone pressed on; the Lady Nyassa was launched in June, but by then the Zambezi was too low to allow ascent and instead he took the Pioneer , with Charles , Kirk , and Rae , back to the Rovuma, which this time they entered in sailing boats.

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Livingstone's determination to get the boats through every shallow forced Kirk who in February had declared him 'always very good company' to conclude that ' Dr L. Livingstone himself was aware that such frantic activity was a means to keep grief at bay. After miles , even he had had enough. By December they were back at Shupanga, where they met a disenchanted James Stewart on his way home. The year was still more depressing. This was now a scene of horror: there were corpses in the river and along its banks, victims of drought as well as slave raids.

The river was so low that it was April before the ships reached the cataracts. It was here that Richard Thornton died after his dismissal in he had travelled in east Africa, and in returned to the Zambezi delta, where Livingstone had reinstated him. The rest of the expedition suffered severe dysentery, and on 19 May Kirk and Charles Livingstone left for Quelimane. Livingstone himself, with Rae , began to dismantle the Lady Nyassa and to build a road past the cataracts, but famine threatened food supplies.

At this critical juncture, on 2 July Livingstone received a letter from London recalling the expedition. The ships could not get downriver until the end of the year, so Livingstone decided to investigate the sources of the slave trade to the north-west. He got back to the ships on 1 November and reached the Zambezi mouth in February , after learning to his fury that the UMCA , now much depleted, had decided to withdraw.

With a crew of twelve but without Rae , Livingstone sailed the little ship across to Bombay just before the monsoon broke. He left her in Bombay, where she was later sold unprofitably; he was back in London on 23 July. This time Livingstone's reception was subdued. The Zambezi expedition had cost much more, and achieved much less, than expected. It had lasted six and a half years, though scarcely eighteen months were spent on travel above the Shire and Zambezi cataracts and on the Rovuma, due to sickness and logistical problems.

The geographical and scientific results seemed hardly commensurate with the effort expended, and plans to check the slave trade had come to nothing. Stewart had identified:. He meets a difficulty, overcomes it by an amount of perseverance and an expenditure of strength and money which men will put forth once or twice but which it would be ruinous to carry out as a rule. Kirk was driven to write to Stewart in , 'in him I believe all kindly feelings to be absolutely extinct' J.

Wallis , ed. Fortunately, this was untrue. Livingstone regretted that he had seen so little of his children, and in August he rejoined his family, in Hamilton, though Robert had gone to the USA and later that year died fighting for the north in the civil war. Livingstone then visited the west highlands, including Ulva, as the guest of the duke of Argyll.

Webb , whom he had known in south Africa. Here he worked on a second book. This had originally been planned as a pamphlet in which to accuse the Portuguese of fostering the slave trade in central Africa; however, Charles made his own journal available, and David drew extensively on this. The Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries shows some of the qualities of Missionary Travels , but it is more impersonal and much more tendentious. Given the quarrels and reverses which marred the expedition, there was much for which Livingstone could attract blame, and he sought to direct it elsewhere.

Livingstone was intent on returning to Africa. On his way home he had learned more about the Arab slave trade and had glimpsed possibilities for legitimate trade with India. He was, moreover, convinced that he could throw light on the Nile problem. In Speke had found that the White Nile flowed from Lake Victoria, but Livingstone did not believe this was the whole answer: since at least he had thought that the source of the Nile was close to that of the Zambezi. He wanted to outshine Burton as well as Speke , and by November he had agreed with Murchison that he would try to 'settle' the watersheds of central Africa, though he insisted that he remained primarily a missionary.

He planned to return to the Rovuma, pass to the north of Lake Nyasa, look for the Nile headwaters, and then make for Ujiji , on Lake Tanganyika ; but he still hoped to find a site for a trading mission. The expedition was to be small-scale, without a steamboat, and without other Europeans. Livingstone was appointed to a roving consulship outside the Portuguese sphere, without salary or pension.

David Livingstone, Missionary Explorer

As the time for departure approached he continued to spend much time with Agnes : a month in London, and two months in Scotland where he attended his mother's burial in June. In August he settled Agnes in a finishing school in Paris, before taking ship from Marseilles.


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In Bombay , Livingstone recruited several sepoys, and twelve Africans from mission schools, including four whom he had brought across in His host in Bombay was the governor, Sir Bartle Frere , who in January gave the party passage in a government ship to Zanzibar. Here Livingstone added ten men from the Comoro Islands. Once on the mainland the expedition soon ran into trouble.

It took four months to reach Lake Nyasa, past frightful evidence of slaving, and by then the sepoys had been dismissed. Rumours of war obliged Livingstone to go round the south end of the lake, where the Comorans gave up. In January , soon after crossing the Luangwa River, the chronometers were damaged, which caused persistent error in observations of longitude.