- Stanley, Sir Henry Morton
- (1841–1904)British-American journalist, politician, and explorer whose expeditions to find David Livingstone and explore the Congo river basin opened the African interior to European expansion and touched off the Scramble for Africa. Born John Rowlands, he left Britain in 1859 as a deck hand on a ship bound for New Orleans and on arrival took the name of a local businessman who befriended him. After serving in the American Civil War, the newly renamed Stanley began his career as a journalist working for the Missouri Democrat and then the New York Herald.Stanley’s coverage of the 1868 Abyssinia War led the New York Herald to send him to Africa in search of David Livingstone, the British missionary who had disappeared while exploring the lakes region of central Africa. Stanley traveled overland from Zanzibar, finally finding Livingstone in November 1871. After returning to Europe to publish an account of his exploits, he resumed his African explorations in 1874 with a new expedition that circled Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika and then followed the Congo from its source to the Atlantic. Shortly thereafter he was hired by Leopold II of Belgium and worked from 1879–1884 overseeing the construction of trading stations and signing treaties with local chieftains who gave Leopold control over the Congo. Stanley returned to Africa in 1887 to lead an expedition to rescue Emin Pasha, the Egyptian governor of Sudan who had been cut off by the Mahdi ’s revolt. Although the mission was a success, the expedition’s heavy losses and his reputation for violence and brutality earned on earlier expeditions signifi-cantly damaged Stanley’s reputation. Shortly after his return to England in 1889, he married, became a re-naturalized British subject, and ran for Parliament as a member of the Liberal Unionist party. He was knighted in 1899 and retired to his country estate in Surrey the following year.See also <
>; < >; < >.FURTHER READING:Bierman, John. Dark Safari: The Life behind the Legend of Henry Morton Stanley. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990;Dugard, Martin. Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone. New York: Doubleday, 2003;McLynn, Frank. Stanley: The Making of an African Explorer. London: Constable, 1989;Newman, James L. Imperial Footprints: Henry Morton Stanley ’ s African Journeys. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2004.KENNETH J. OROSZ
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.