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David Livingstone was a Scottish missionary, abolitionist and physician known for his explorations of Africa, having crossed the continent during the mid-19th century.
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With the explorer thought to be lost, a transatlantic venture was developed by the London Daily Telegraph and New York Herald, and journalist Henry Stanley was sent to Africa to find Livingstone. Stanley located the physician in Ujiji in late 1871, and upon seeing him, uttered the now-well-known words, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
Livingstone chose to stay, and he and Stanley parted ways in 1872. Livingstone died from dysentery and malaria on May 1, 1873, at the age of 60,
in Chief Chitambo's Village, near Lake Bangweulu, North Rhodesia (now Zambia). His body was eventually transported to and buried at Westminster Abbey.
Livingstone has been positioned as a staunch abolitionist who believed in the dignity of Africans, the viability of commercial enterprises for the continent and the imposition of Christianity, despite indigenous spiritual beliefs. His findings contained hitherto unknown details about the continent that led to European nations seizing African land in imperialistic zeal, which some speculate Livingstone would have opposed.
A copy of Livingstone's 1871 diary entries can be found at the website of the David Livingstone Spectral Imaging Project, which chronicles his time in Nyangwe and sheds light on his place as a complex historical figure.
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Throughout the centuries, brave explorers have fearlessly traveled the globe and beyond to discover new lands, people, animal species, riches and glory. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal proved the world is round with his mission to sail around the world. His fellow countryman Vasco da Gama commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea. Norseman Leif Eriksson is regarded as the first European to reach North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the “New World” of the Americas. Juan Ponce de León scoured Puerto Rico and Florida in his quest for the fountain of youth. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed new trails during their Corps of Discovery Expedition across the western half of the United States. Traveling to new heights of discovery were mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon. These intrepid explorers and more have made an indelible mark on human history. See all Explorers.
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