The Last Expedition -- Stanley's Mad Journey Through the Congo

Easy-to-crochet Tartan Rugs

David Livingstone,
page 7 of 13

there was no fun left in me. I did not play with my little ones when I had them, and they soon sprang up in my absences and left me with the sad consciousness that I had none to play with.” This surely shows, with a touching pathos, the depth of parental affection in Livingstone’s self-sacrificing and warm heart.

In April, 1851, he, accompanied by his family and Mr. Oswell, set out with the intention of sojourning amongst the Makololo for a period. He succeeded, and reached the Chobe, a tributary of the Zambesi, and, in the end of June, discovered the Zambesi itself at the town of Seskeke. Leaving this place on the 13th August, the party reached Capetown in April, 1852, Livingstone having then finished the first period of his career in Africa, the period in which the work of missionary had unquestionably the greatest prominence. Henceforth he was to appear more in the character of an explorer. It must never, however, be forgotten that he through all his life regarded himself as a pioneer missionary, whose work was to open the way for others to follow; and he never, till the hour of his lonely death, neglected an opportunity of proclaiming the saving power of the sacrifice of Christ for the children of men.

On the 23rd April, 1852, Mrs. Livingstone and their four children sailed for England in order that, with all available advantages, their education should be carefully proceeded with. It may be assumed that he parted from them with a heavy heart, but, with his usual self-denial, he was willing to subordinate all his personal comfort for the interests of those he loved so well.

Immediately after he saw his family safely oft, he started again for the country of the Makololo, and on 23rd May he was received in royal style by Sekeletu the chief, and by all the tribes under the latter’s control. Ascending the Zambesi, he resolved to attempt the discovery of a route to the interior of Africa from either the east or the west coast. To accompany Livingstone on this hazardous expedition twenty-seven men were selected from the various tribes under Sekeletu, partly to open up a trade route between their own country and the coast. The expedition set out on 11th November, 1853. On 4th April the Congo was crossed, and on 31st May the town of Loanda was entered, much to the joy of the expedition — Livingstone, however, being nearly dead with fever. From Loanda he sent his astronomical observations to Sir George Maclean, the Astronomer-Royal, then at the Cape. At a meeting subsequently held at Capetown, the Governor, Sir George Grey, the Colonial Secretary, the Bishop of Capetown, and many others united in extolling the traveller’s character and work. The Astronomer-Royal, in bearing testimony to Livingstone’s astronomical observations, said he never knew a man who, with scarcely any previous knowledge of the methods of making geographical observations or laying down positions, became so soon an adept in laying down positions with scientific accuracy. He had done work which had completely stamped his impress on South Africa, and which was altogether unprecedented. Livingstone, when he arrived at Loanda, also sent an account of his journey across Africa to the Royal Geographical Society in London. This learned body, in May, 1855, awarded him, for his discoveries, its gold medal, the highest honour which was in its power to give.

At Loanda Livingstone came to the conclusion that the route to the West Coast, through which he and his followers had travelled with so much difficulty, was not suitable for his purpose,—namely, the suppression of the vile slave trade and the introduction to Central Africa of Christianity


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