Remarkable People

ID #5224

David Livingstone 1 Missionary, Explorer and Anti-slavery Campaigner, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa.

David Livingstone (1813–1873) was a missionary and African explorer. His meeting with H. M. Stanley gave rise to the quotation, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Livingstone gained mythical status in 19th century Britain as a missionary martyr, his "rags to riches" story, explorer, reformer, anti-slavery crusader and advocate of commercial empire. His attempt to discover the source of the Nile culminated in penetration of the continent. His travels, disappearance and death led to missionary initiatives in the "Scramble for Africa". He made geographical discoveries and inspired slave-trade abolitionists, explorers and missionaries. He opened up Central Africa to missionaries who initiated education and health care for Africans and trade by the African Lakes Company. He was esteemed by many chiefs and local people and his name facilitated relations with the British. As a result, colonial rule was established in Africa and white settlement extended within fifty years of his death.

On the other hand, two aspects of his legacy paradoxically helped end the colonial era in Africa. Livingstone was part of an evangelical movement in Britain which during the 19th century changed the mindset from the divine right to rule “lesser races” to ethical ideas in foreign policy. Secondly, Africans educated in mission schools were at the forefront of independence movements in Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.

While Livingstone had an impact on British imperialism, he did so at a great personal cost. In his absence, his children grew up fatherless and his wife Mary became an alcoholic and died of malaria. He had six children: Robert reportedly died in the American Civil War, Agnes, Thomas, Elizabeth (who died two months after birth), William Oswell and Anna Mary. Only Agnes, William Oswell and Anna Mary married. His one regret in later life was that he did not spend enough time with his children.

attached files: David Livingstone -- Later Years.doc, David Livingstone -- Early Years.doc, David Livingstone -- Source of the Nile.doc, David Livingstone -- Robert Moffat.doc, David Livingstone -- Exploration.doc

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Last update: 2014-03-02 21:46
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.5

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