David Livingstone

Scottish explorer and missionary (1813-1873)

David Livingstone (19 March 18131 May 1873) was a Scottish missionary and explorer of the Victorian era, now best remembered because of his meeting with Henry Morton Stanley which gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.

QuotesEdit

 
Dr. Livingstone, I presume? ~ Henry Morton Stanley
  • People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.
    • Speech to students at Cambridge University (4 December 1857)
  • Creeping with awe to the verge, I peered down into a large rent which had been made from bank to bank of the broad Zambezi, and saw that a stream of a thousand yards broad leaped down a hundred feet [30 m] and then became suddenly compressed into a space of fifteen to twenty yards.
  • The islands above the falls are covered with foliage as beautiful as can be seen anywhere. Viewed from the mass of rock which overhangs the fall, the scenery was the loveliest I had seen.
  • July 29, 1869. — Went two and a half hours west to village of Ponda, where a head Arab, called by the natives 'Tipo Tipo' lives; bis name is Hamid bin Mohammed bin Juma Borajib. He presented a goat, a piece of white calico, and four big bunches of beads, also a bag of holens sorghum, and apologized because it was so little.
  • The natives are quick to detect a peculiarity in a man, and to give him a name accordingly. The conquerors of a country try to forestall them by selecting one for themselves. Susi states that when Tipo Tipo stood over the spoil taken from Nsama, he gathered it closer together, and said: "Now I am Tipo Tipo,'that is,'the gatherer together of wealth.'"
  • And if my disclosures regarding the terrible Ujijian slavery should lead to the suppression of the East Coast slave trade, I shall regard that as a greater matter by far than the discovery of all the Nile sources together.
    • Livingstone in a letter to the editor of the New York Herald
  • To overdraw its evil is a simple impossibility
    • Livingstone While talking about the slave trade in East Africa in his journals.
  • We passed a slave woman shot or stabbed through the body and lying on the path: a group of men stood about a hundred yards off on one side, and another of the women on the other side, looking on; they said an Arab who passed early that morning had done it in anger at losing the price he had given for her, because she was unable to walk any longer. 27th June 1866 - To-day we came upon a man dead from starvation, as he was very thin. One of our men wandered and found many slaves with slave-sticks on, abandoned by their masters from want of food; they were too weak to be able to speak or say where they had come from; some were quite young.
    • Livingstone 1874, p. 62
  • The strangest disease I have seen in this country seems really to be broken-heartedness, and it attacks free men who have been captured and made slaves... Twenty one were unchained, as now safe; however all ran away at once; but eight with many others still in chains, died in three days after the crossing. They described their only pain in the heart, and placed the hand correctly on the spot, though many think the organ stands high up in the breast-bone.
    • Livingstone 1874, p. 352

Quotations about David LivingstoneEdit

  • Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
    • Henry Morton Stanley, spoken on October 27, 1871, in Ujiji near Lake Tanganyika in present-day Tanzania. (Elsewhere said to have occurred on November 10, 1871)
    • There were no other white men known to be in the vicinity. As the two had not been formally introduced, it was a proper way to address Livingstone without committing a breach of etiquette.
  • During the anti-colonial 1960s, Livingstone was debunked: he made only one certified convert, who later backslid; he explored few areas not already traveled by others; he freed few slaves; he treated his colleagues horribly; he traveled with Arab slave traders; his family life was in shambles—in short, to many he embodied the "White Man's Burden" mentality. Nonetheless, at a time when countries are being renamed and statues are being toppled, Livingstone has not fallen. Despite modern Africans' animosity toward other Europeans, such as Cecil Rhodes, Livingstone endures as a heroic legend. Rhodesia has long since purged its name, but the cities of Livingstone (Zambia) and Livingstonia (Malawi) keep the explorer's appellation with pride.
    • Alvyn Austin in 1997

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