- Livingstone, David
- (1813–1873)Scottish explorer, missionary, and philanthropist, David Livingstone was born in Blantyre Works, Lanarkshire. Of humble origins, he was nonetheless able to save sufficient money to attend medical school in Glasgow and win a degree in 1840. In 1841, the London Missionary Society assigned Livingstone to Bechuanaland, although he had sought instead to be sent to China, where he set to work converting the indigenous population to Christianity, treating disease and combating the local slave trade.In 1852, Livingstone organized an expedition across the Kalahari Desert to Lake Ngami and in 1851 explored the Zambezi River. In 1852, he began the explorations of Central Africa that ultimately won him a national and international reputation -the capstone of which was the discovery and naming of Victoria Falls - as a great geographer. Livingstone was appointed British consul for eastern Africa, a position through which he continued his explorations, discovering Lake Nyasa in 1859, and became an ever more determined enemy of slavery and slave trading. In 1865, he became British consul to Central Africa and embarked on his last, greatest, and fatal expedition, the central goal of which was to understand the watershed of Central Africa and to locate the sources of the Congo and Nile Rivers. The Nile, he thought, could be the artery for bringing Christian civilization from the Mediterranean to the heart of the continent. He disappeared for many years until he was at last found at Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika by the American explorer Henry Stanley. Livingstone carried on his explorations against the gathering predation of disease until he succumbed in April 1873, having opened vast new territory to British influence - not least of all by force of his personal humanity.See also <
>; < >.FURTHER READING:Huxley, Elspeth. Livingstone and the African Journeys. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1974.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.