This Day in History – November 10th, 1871

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Dr. David Livingstone

“Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” the famous question asked Henry Morton Stanley on this day in 1871 upon locating missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika.

David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. Perhaps one of the most popular national heroes of the late 19th century in Victorian Britain, Livingstone had a mythic status, which operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class “rags to riches” inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of commercial empire. His fame as an explorer helped drive forward the obsession with discovering the sources of the River Nile that formed the culmination of the classic period of European geographical discovery and colonial penetration of the African continent.

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Sir Henry Morton Stanley

Sir Henry Morton Stanley GCB (born John Rowlands) was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Stanley is also known for his discovery of the source of the Nile, his work in and development of the Congo Basin region in association with King Leopold II of Belgium and for commanding the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. He was knighted in 1899 by Great Britain.

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