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Living in the British empire - Africa
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Extract from a report of 1856 by the explorer Dr Livingstone on his experiences with Africans
(Catalogue ref: FO 881/657)
  • This source is an extract from a series of reports written by David Livingstone for the British government between 1852 and 1872. Livingstone's reports were extremely detailed but also easy to read. He became a hero in Britain and his adventures were closely followed.
  • Livingstone (who lived from 1813 to 1873) was a Scottish doctor, anti-slavery campaigner and missionary. He spent most of his working life in Africa. By any standards, Livingstone was a remarkable man. He was brave, intelligent and dedicated. He was also unlike most Europeans in that he respected the native Africans and genuinely cared for them.
  • Livingstone hoped to end the continuing slave trade in Africa by opening up the interior to honest trade and development. He published his diaries describing his journeys in 1856. The book was called Missionary Travels. It was an instant best seller. He made a further two long journeys through the African interior.
  • Livingstone discovered the Zambezi River and the Victoria Falls in 1855. His next great journey was to try to find the source of the River Nile.
  • Livingstone died on 30 April 1873 in Chitambo. His heart was buried in Africa, and his body was brought back to England and buried in Westminster Abbey.
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