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Great African Travellers From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley   By: (1814-1880)

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Great African Travellers, from Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley, by W.H.G. Kingston.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the coastal parts of Africa were of course well known, and in any of the territories round the coasts there were European officials, such as consuls, and European traders. This becomes very apparent as you read this book, as many of the travels described involve sorties from an existing European base.

On the other hand the very sources of the various major rivers were not on the map, and the object of many of the travellers was to find these sources, for instance that of the Nile, or rather, that of any one of its major components, such as the Red Nile and the Blue Nile.

On the whole the various regions they passed through had already a settled African regime. In most cases this regime was friendly, but in some cases the opposite was the case. These explorations and travels could only take place if the native rulers could be brought to give assistance, and in most cases this was forthcoming. On the other hand some of the lesser known early travellers were murdered, and the goods they travelled with, stolen. It is really only those travellers who were able to complete their self imposed tasks, and return to Britain, that have become famous.

Written in an easy style, this book is a good read, and very worth the while of even today's teenagers. There are too many names to make an audiobook very easily, so we have not done so, and have no comments on that.

GREAT AFRICAN TRAVELLERS, FROM MUNGO PARK TO LIVINGSTONE AND STANLEY, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.

FROM MUNGO PARK TO LIVINGSTONE AND STANLEY.

CHAPTER ONE.

INTRODUCTORY.

INTRODUCTION THE AFRICAN ASSOCIATION LEDYARD LUCAS FIRST INFORMATION RESPECTING THE NIGER, OR QUORRA, AND THE GAMBIA TIMBUCTOO HEARD OF THOMPSON AND JOBSON'S VOYAGE UP THE GAMBIA MAJOR HAUGHTON'S EXPEDITION AND DEATH.

When the fathers of the present generation were young men, and George the Third ruled the land, they imagined that the whole interior of Africa was one howling wilderness of burning sand, roamed over by brown tribes in the north and south, and by black tribes if human beings there were on either side of the equator, and along the west coast.

The maps then existing afforded them no information. Of the Mountains of the Moon they knew about as much as of the mountains in the moon. The Nile was not explored its sources unknown the course of the Niger was a mystery. They were aware that the elephant, rhinoceros, cameleopard, zebra, lion and many other strange beasts ranged over its sandy deserts; but very little more about them than the fact of their existence was known. They knew that on the north coast dwelt the descendants of the Greek and Roman colonists, and of their Arab conquerors that there were such places as Tangiers, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers with its piratical cruisers who carried off white men into slavery; Morocco, with an emperor addicted to cutting off heads; Salee, which sent forth its rovers far over the ocean to plunder merchantmen; and a few other towns and forts, for the possession of which Europeans had occasionally knocked their heads together.

From the west coast they had heard that ivory and gold dust was to be procured, as well as an abundant supply of negroes, whose happy lot it was to be carried off to cultivate the plantations of the West Indies and America; but, except that they worshipped fetishes, of their manners and customs, or at what distance from the coast they came, their ignorance was profound. They possibly were acquainted with the fact that the Portuguese had settlements at Loango, Angola, and Benguela; and that Hottentots and Kaffirs were to be found at the Cape, where a colony had been taken from the Dutch, but with that colony, except in the immediate neighbourhood of Cape Town, where ships to and from India touched, they were but slightly acquainted... Continue reading book >>




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