The title of this lesson is one of the most famous quotes ever spoken.

It was supposedly spoken by the reporter and expeditionist Henry Morton Stanley in 1871 when he discovered the British missionary, explorer and physician, David Livingstone, in deepest, darkest Africa.

Stanley was commissioned by the New York Herald and London Times to go on an expedition and find the man who was greatly loved by the British people and  regarded as one of their  national heroes during the reign of Queen Victoria.

It took Stanley eight months from his point of arrival in Zanzibar on Africa’s eastern shore to reach and track down Livingstone in a small remote village on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in modern day Tanzania.

It was a tortuous trip through dense rain forest and sunless jungle, torrential rain, progress weakened by hunger, crippled by festering sores, incapacitated by malaria and dysentery, affected by natives with poisoned arrows and spears.

Stanley finally came upon a bedraggled, sick, weary white man with a grey beard.

He wore a blue cap with a red band round it, a red–sleeved waistcoast and a pair of grey tweed trousers.

Livingstone sat on a veranda with a mud platform under the broad overhanging eaves made from goatskin which also made good for the seat covers over the mud.

It was in these primitive surroundings amid a rushing crowd of locals that Livingstone met his unexpected guest and recalled to him about his discovery and charter of the Zambesi river and Victoria Falls a few years before.

Stanley returned to the western world to journal the story of this epic meeting, alas, unsuccessful in persuading Livingstone to leave Africa with him.

Within a couple of years, disease, dysentery and illness would take its toll on David Livingstone who would not live beyond his sixtieth birthday and who would never leave Africa alive for all the twenty three years he had spent on the African continent since 1840.

Livingstone was a man who was focused on two missions, firstly to charter the yet undiscovered continent and secondly to achieve the abolition of slavery of the African people by their European colonial masters.

This is a story which has written into history.

Ironically, the true source of the Nile remains a mystery to this day.



  1. Kristen

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