David Livingstone

David Livingstone (March 19, 1813 - May 1, 1873) was a Scottish missionary and explorer of the Victorian era, now best remembered because of the meeting with Henry Morton Stanley which gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr Livingstone, I presume".

Livingstone was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland and first studied medicine. While working in London, he became attracted by the example of another Scot, Robert Moffat, whose daughter he married, and joined the London Missionary Society, becoming a minister. From 1840 he worked in Bechuanaland (now Botswana), but was unable to make inroads into South Africa because of Boer opposition. He married in 1844, and his wife traveled with him for a brief time, but returned to England with their children. In the period 1852-56, he explored the interior, discovering Victoria Falls (which he named after the then monarch, Queen Victoria). The purpose of his great journey was to open trade routes, whilst accumulating useful information about the African continent. While there, his wife Mary died April 29 1863, but Livingstone continued to explore, eventually returning home in 1864.

In March 1866, Livingstone returned to Africa, this time to Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania), whence he set out to seek the source of the Nile. He was taken ill, and completely lost contact with the outside world. Eventually he met Stanley, who had been sent to "find" him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869. Stanley joined Livingstone, and together they continued exploring the north end of the Tanganyika (the other constituent of the present Tanzania), until Stanley left the next year. Livingstone, however, was determined not to leave Africa until his mission was complete, and he died there in 1873 from malaria. His body was returned to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey.

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