1813 to 1873
South Africa / Botswana / Zambia / Tanzania / Malawi / Angola / Mozambique
Scottish missionary and explorer.
He first came to South Africa in 1841 to found a mission
station among the Kwena of SECHELE. Tired of working
in one place, in the late 1840s he explored northern
Botswana in search of new mission fields. In 1851 he
reached the Zambezi River where he met the Kololo king
SEBITWANE. Livingstone was enthused by the idea of
opening a mission among the Kololo; he set as his life's
work expanding Christian frontiers in Africa. Several
years later he returned to the Kololo, now ruled by
Sebitwane's son SEKELETU. With their aid he walked
to Luanda on the west coast, and then to Quilimane
on the east coast in search of a practical route inland
(1853-6). Along the way he saw and named the Victoria
Livingstone returned to Britain to find his travels had caused a sensation, and he used his new fame to promote British interest in the Zambezi region. His lectures inspired the immediate founding of the Universities' Mission Society. His own London Missionary Society launched missions to the Kololo and to the Ndebele of MZILIKAZI. Royalties from his popular book, Travels and Researches (1857), made him independently wealthy and enabled him to resign from the London Missionary Society.
Livingstone returned to the Zambezi River as British consul, in charge of an exploration expedition (1858-63). His most significant achievement on this trip was his exploration of Malawi which laid the basis for later British colonization.
During his last major expedition (1866-73) Livingstone travelled through western Tanzania, eastern Zaire, Malawi and Zambia. He resolved some questions about the source of the Nile and Congo Rivers, but his real achievement was to publicize these regions to the outside world. His somewhat exaggerated descriptions of the slave trade encouraged European intervention and eventual occupation of Eastern Africa. His reputation in Europe was boosted tremendously by Henry STANLEY, who visited him at Lake Tanganyika (1871), and then returned home to portray him as a martyr in the cause of African redemption. After his death. His body was returned to England by several African employees--the final touch to his legend.
Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen
Of the many studies of Livingstone, see esp.,
Pachai, Bridglal. Livingstone, Man of Africa: Memorial Essays, 1873-1973. London: Longmans, 1973.
Huxley, Elspeth. Livingstone and His African Journey. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974.
Bennett, Norman. "David Livingstone." In Africa and Its Explorers, ed. R. I. Rotberg, 39-61. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970.
Jeal, Tim. Livingstone. London: Heinemann, 1973.
Page, M. E. "David Livingstone and the Jumbe of Nkhotakota." Rhodesian History 3 (1972): 29-39.
Casada, James A. Dr. David Livingstone and Sir Henry Morton Stanley: An Annotated Bibliography. New York and London: Garland, 1976.