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Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa   By: (1813-1873)

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Also called, Travels and Researches in South Africa;

or, Journeys and Researches in South Africa.

By David Livingstone

[British (Scot) Missionary and Explorer 1813 1873.]

David Livingstone was born in Scotland, received his medical degree from the University of Glasgow, and was sent to South Africa by the London Missionary Society. Circumstances led him to try to meet the material needs as well as the spiritual needs of the people he went to, and while promoting trade and trying to end slavery, he became the first European to cross the continent of Africa, which story is related in this book. Two appendixes have been added to this etext, one of which is simply notes on the minor changes made to make this etext more readable, (old vs. new forms of words, names, etc.); the other is a review from the February, 1858 edition of Harper's Magazine, which is included both for those readers who want to see a brief synopsis, and more importantly to give an example of how Livingstone's accomplishments were seen in his own time. The unnamed reviewer was by no means as enlightened as Livingstone, yet he was not entirely in the dark, either.

The casual reader, who may not be familiar with the historical period, should note that a few things that Livingstone wrote, which might be seen as racist by today's standards, was not considered so in his own time. Livingstone simply uses the terms and the science of his day these were no doubt flawed, as is also seen elsewhere, in his references to malaria, for example. Which all goes to show that it was the science of the day which was flawed, and not so much Livingstone.

I will also add that the Rev. Livingstone has a fine sense of humour, which I hope the reader will enjoy. His description of a Makololo dance is classic.

Lastly, I will note that what I love most about Livingstone's descriptions is not only that he was not polluted by the racism of his day, but that he was not polluted by the anti racism of our own. He states things as he sees them, and notes that the Africans are, like all other men, a curious mixture of good and evil. This, to me, demonstrates his good faith better than any other description could. You see, David Livingstone does not write about Africa as a missionary, nor as an explorer, nor yet as a scientist, but as a man meeting fellow men. I hope you will enjoy his writings as much as I did.

Alan R. Light

Monroe, N.C., 1997.]


Including a Sketch of Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of Africa, and a Journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the West Coast; Thence Across the Continent, Down the River Zambesi, to the Eastern Ocean.

By David Livingstone, LL.D., D.C.L., Fellow of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow; Corresponding Member of the Geographical and Statistical Society of New York; Gold Medalist and Corresponding Member of the Royal Geographical Societies of London and Paris F.S.A., Etc., Etc.




President Royal Geographical Society, F.R.S., V.P.G.S.,

Corr. Inst. of France, and Member of the Academies of St. Petersburg,

Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brussels, Etc.,

This Work

is affectionately offered as a Token of Gratitude for the kind interest he has always taken in the Author's pursuits and welfare; and to express admiration of his eminent scientific attainments, nowhere more strongly evidenced than by the striking hypothesis respecting the physical conformation of the African continent, promulgated in his Presidential Address to the Royal Geographic Society in 1852, and verified three years afterward by the Author of these Travels.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE. London, Oct., 1857.


When honored with a special meeting of welcome by the Royal Geographical Society a few days after my arrival in London in December last, Sir Roderick Murchison, the President, invited me to give the world a narrative of my travels; and at a similar meeting of the Directors of the London Missionary Society I publicly stated my intention of sending a book to the press, instead of making many of those public appearances which were urged upon me... Continue reading book >>

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