Note: Each annotation below is keyed to the page and line number of as well as to the specific passage in the Letter to Horace Waller. Inline references point to the Integrated Project Bibliography.
0001.1 / Bambarre – Also Bambare, Kabambare, or Kabambarre. A village in Manyema, eastern Congo. Livingstone stayed here from 21 September to 1 November 1869, 19 to 26 December 1869, and 22 July 1870 to 16 February 1871. During the last period he was confined to his hut from 22 July to 10 October 1870 because of what he describes as "irritable ulcers on the feet" (1870e:X). When Livingstone finally left Bambarre on 16 February 1871, he entrusted this letter to an Arab trader named Mohamad Bogharib, with whom Livingstone had previously traveled. Bogharib intended to return to Zanzibar in the near future (Livingstone 1870i:LXII). However, six months later, as Livingstone was again passing through Manyema on his way back to Ujiji, he heard that Bogharib was "still at Bambarre with all my letters" (Livingstone 1871k:; 1874,2:151). Upon reaching Bambarre, Livingstone was able to confirm the truth of the rumor. In a later letter to Waller, Livingstone wrote: "I received two [sic] letters from you in February last and answered them, but in September I found them in the spot they were left – The Post Office authorities in Manyema had neglected to furnish the postman with velocipedes, and as I never saw these machines I could not urge their adoption and brought the answers to Ujiji myself" (Livingstone 1871o). Elsewhere, Livingstone provides more information on sending letters from Manyema at this time: "Manyema country is an entirely new field, and nothing like postage exists, nor can letters be sent to Ujiji except by large trading parties who have spent two or three years in Manyema" (1872c:). Although the subsequent fate of the letter is unknown, it is likely that Stanley – after his famous meeting with Livingstone in late 1871 – carried the letter back to England in 1872 where it was delivered to Waller (for a discussion of the letters Stanley delivered for Livingstone, see Clendennen and Cunningham 1979:325-28).
0001.1 / Manyema – Also Manyuema or Maniema. A region in eastern Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) roughly bordering the Lomami River to the west, Katanga to the south, Lakes Tanganyika and Kivu to the east, and the territory of Stanley Falls to the north (Cornet 1955:10). An ethnographic map of the region is in Raucq (1952:n.pag).
0001.2 / Waller – Horace Waller (1833-96) was a missionary, priest, and abolitionist as well as a great admirer of Livingstone. He joined the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) in 1859 and traveled to East Africa in 1861, where he first met Livingstone who was then in the midst of the ill-fated Zambesi Expedition (1858-64). The two soon developed a vibrant friendship because of their shared interest in abolition and their mutual regard. The men, writes Helly (1987:31), "talked for hours on end about the strategies Englishmen might use to bring about the regeneration of Africa." After Livingstone’s body and notebooks were brought back to England, Livingstone’s children asked Waller to edit the diaries for publication. These were published as The Last Journals (Livingstone 1874) and from Waller’s time to the present have played a major role in shaping the popular image of Livingstone as both "a gentle, saintly martyr" and abolitionist crusader (Helly 2008; for more on Waller’s strategic editing of the diaries, see Helly 1987).
0001.2-3 / your 3 letters of Octr Novr Decr 1869 – Two of these letters survive, those of 25 October 1869 and 24 November 1869, and are held in the Waller Papers at the Rhodes House Library in Oxford (Waller 1869a, 1869b). Separately, the Waller Papers also include the envelope for the November letter (Waller 1869c; Marion Lowman, Rhodes House Library, Oxford, provided the foregoing information). These details suggest that Waller either sent the December 1869 letter separately, or that there were only two letters (October and November) and Livingstone mentioned the third by mistake. In another letter (Livingstone 1871o; for the wording, see the note for 0001.1 / Bambarre, above), Livingstone only refers to two letters from Waller.
0001.4-5 / "you gave Kirk ... to me" – Waller had written to Livingstone that "I shall let Kirk tell you all the news because I have written to him with that intent for I find it so likely you will come out viâ the Nile that one catalogue of items will do better for the purpose than two" (Waller 1869b).
0001.4 / Kirk – Sir John Kirk (1832-1922), doctor, naturalist, and later political agent. Kirk served as Livingstone’s chief assistant during the Zambesi Expedition, and was appointed Surgeon to the British Agency in Zanzibar in 1866 through Livingstone’s influence. During the period in question Kirk was acting Consul and Political Resident at Zanzibar (Jeal 1973:299, 322; McMullen 2004).
0001.7 / Muff – "A foolish, stupid, feeble, or incompetent person; spec. one who is clumsy or awkward in some sport or manual skill." Oxford English Dictionary (accessed 2 June 2010).
0001.16-19 / Two great friends ... afterwards – "Dotheboys Hall" is the brutal boarding school in Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby (1839), which is based on a school Dickens visited in Yorkshire where the children were bullied, flogged, and half-starved. Livingstone’s allusion to the schooling of his three sons – Robert, Thomas, and Oswell – refers to the period after the publication of Missionary Travels (1857), sales of which enabled Livingstone to deposit more than £9,000 with Coutts Bank by the spring of 1858 (Ross 2002:115). When Livingstone set out on the Zambesi Expedition, "the care of the children was shared by a board of trustees and Livingstone's spinster sisters in Hamilton" (Jeal 1973:279). The trustees included Livingstone’s friend James Young, a scientist and entrepreneur he had known since his schooldays (Ross 2002:189). An unofficial trustee was the Quaker Joseph Bevan Braithwaite, who lived in Kendal and was a barrister and legal adviser to Livingstone (Nicholls 1998:38). The boys attended Gilbertfield (near Hamilton) and the Quaker school in Kendal (Cumbria), among others. Neither the two friends nor the specific Scottish school referenced here have been conclusively identified, but in a letter dated 19 February 1862, Livingstone did express concerns about Thomas’s health while the latter was at Kendal (qtd. in Holmes 1993:206).
0001.19-21 / I am glad ... to do – See Waller 1869a and 1869b.
0001.16 / my three boys – Robert Livingstone (1846-64), Thomas Livingstone (1849-76), and William Oswell Livingstone (1851-92).
0001.22-23 / Youngs trip ... Musas lies – Waller wrote that "The Geographical Society might in short be called the Livingstone Society for the last 2 years[.] The report of your murder, Sir Roberick's vehement denial, Young's most successful clear-up of Moosa's lie have all united to surround you with a halo of romance such as you can't imagine [...]" (Waller 1869a). Musa was the leader of the ten men from Johanna (Anjouan), Comoros, who accompanied Livingstone during his last journey. In late 1866, while Livingstone’s party was just west of Lake Nyassa, they heard rumors that the country ahead had been overrun by hostile Mazitu (Ngoni). As a result, Musa persuaded his associates to desert Livingstone and the ten men returned to Zanzibar, where they announced Livingstone’s murder at the hands of the Mazitu. In response, in mid 1867 the Royal Geographical Society launched the Livingstone Search Expedition, headed by E.D. Young, who had previously been a member of Livingstone’s Zambesi Expedition. The expedition gathered ample evidence that Livingstone was alive and that Musa and his men had fabricated a series of lies (Jeal 1974:308; Bridges 1968:92-94; Young 1868a; 1868b; cf. Livingstone 1870h:XX; 1874,2:74).
0001.23 / successful laying of the Atlantic cable – After several unsuccessful attempts, the transatlantic telegraph cable was finally laid in 1866. Livingstone would not have this fact confirmed for him until his meeting with Stanley (Livingstone 1866-72:; 1874,2:156).
0001.24 / my Canadian brother – John Livingstone (1811-99).
0001.24-25 / "last cable news ... mourning" – This "cable news" was probably based on the report of the recently completed Livingstone Search Expedition (Young 1868a; 1868b; see the note for 0001.22-23 / Youngs trip ... Musas lies, above). A letter to John Livingstone, composed before June 1869, was among the 42 letters allegedly destroyed by the Arab Governor Said bin Salem Buraschid (Livingstone 1870i:XXXIII; 1874,2:280; 1879:481). Livingstone’s letter may have been written in response to the one cited here.
0001.26-28 / new Government ... ministers – Waller had written to Livingstone that "By the slowest degrees people are beginning to learn there is a slave trade on the East Coast of Africa. We have just the right men in office to take it up and tho I do not like John Bright a bit, he and above all the Duke of Argyll will never let it drop if urged by you [...]" (Waller 1869a). The First Gladstone Ministry (1868-74) came into power in December 1868, with John Bright serving as the President of the Board of Trade and the Duke of Argyll as the Secretary of State for India.
0001.29-30 / Ten men here come from Kirk – On 8 July 1868, while near Lake Bangweolo, Livingstone (1869-70b) had written to Kirk asking for supplies to be sent to Ujiji. Upon arrival at Ujiji in March 1869, Livingstone discovered that these goods had been pilfered. As a result, he wrote again (Livingstone 2016a:) to Kirk on 30 May 1869 asking for "fifteen good boatmen to act as carriers if required" as well as a variety of goods. In response, Kirk hired a group of Banian slaves to carry the required goods; the party left Zanzibar in October 1869. Following the example of their two leaders, the slaves then proceeded to plunder Livingstone’s goods and, as Livingstone (1872d:12) wrote, "spent fourteen months between the coast and Ujiji, a distance which could have easily been accomplished in three." Seven of the slaves, along with another group of men returning to a camp near Bambarre, finally reached Livingstone on 4 February 1871.
0001.31-44 / in the midst ... Cape – Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is found in water or food contaminated by the excrement of its victims. Symptoms include agonizing cramps, diarrhea and desperate thirst. Dehydration triggers medical shock causing heart attack and organ damage: "A toxin is released which sheds the layer of the outer bowel; death may occur within two hours of onset" (McLynn 1992:248). This fatal Asiatic "fecal-oral" disease originated in the Ganges River in India and was transmitted through the maritime trade of the East India Company to Persia (modern Iran), from where it spread via trade and pilgrimage routes to Mecca and Medina, and thence to Africa (Afkami 1998:206). In 1869 and 1870 the epidemic devastated Zanzibar. In his 1870 Field Diary, Livingstone (1871b:LXXIX; 1874,2:96) elaborates on the information given here: "70,000 thousand [sic] victims in Zanzibar alone! and it spread inland to the Masai and Ugogo – cattle shivered, and fell dead [–] The fishes in the sea died in great numbers – Here the fowls were first seized and died then men – [...] Formerly the pest kept along the seashore now it goes far inland and will spread all over Africa – This we get from Mecca filth – nothing was done to prevent the place being made a perfect cesspool of animals' guts & ordure of men."
0001.35 / Mecca Medina & Judda – Cities visited by large numbers of Muslims during the yearly Hajj (pilgrimage), with the first two named being, respectively, the first and second holiest cities in Islam. "Judda" is Livingstone’s spelling of Jeddah.
0001.37 / the new political economy ... alone – Livingstone here critiques the economic and social doctrines of the so-called Manchester School of businessmen and politicians. This movement, an outgrowth of the Anti-Corn Law League of Richard Cobden and John Bright (the latter of whom Livingstone mentions elsewhere in his letter, see the note for 0001.26-28 / new Government ... ministers, above), drew on the ideas of Adam Smith to advocate for "laissez faire as the prime determinant" of economic and social policy. The downside to this approach, as Victorian opponents were quick to point out, was that it could result in a variety of social ills, especially regarding working and living conditions (Altick 1973:128-39), a point to which Livingstone here alludes.
0001.40 / All the able bodied all off ivory collecting – Arab traders had only begun to explore the ivory-rich territories of southern Maniema and Legaland to the north in the previous decade or so. As a result, there was still a great deal of inexpensive ivory to be found. Livingstone (1872-73:70) wrote that the traders had "got into a sort of frenzy on finding that all ivory which has fallen for ages just lay in the dense forest where the animals had been slain; and if the people were civily treated, they brought the precious tusks to them for a few thick copper bracelets." The scale of Arab endeavor also caught Livingstone’s attention: "One trading party I met had 18,000 lbs. weight of ivory; another I came part of the way out with had 35,000 lbs. of it; none came empty home."
0001.44 / the Standard – Waller sent Livingstone a copy of the 24 November 1869 issue of The Standard along with the three letters mentioned in the opening of Livingstone's letter. A note in Waller's hand on the back of the envelope that contained the letters (Waller 1869c) also mentions this issue: "I have sent you a newspaper too. HW." Later, when Livingstone ran short of paper, he wrote his diary for 23 March 1871 to 11 August 1871 across the pages of this copy of The Standard using ink made from the seeds of a local plant. All the pages of this diary (Livingstone 1871f), many now virtually impossible to decipher, are held at the David Livingstone Centre.
0001.44-47 / I have not seen ... clubs – Waller had written to Livingstone that The Times "hates everything African and is as infamous a publication as ever. It put in Cooly's [sic] letter making you out all that was idiotic and bombastic but shut me out when I answered the letter" (Waller 1869a). For the letter Waller cites, see Cooley 1869.
0001.47-48 / Cooleys ill natured twaddle as "geography" – William Desborough Cooley (1795?–1883), geographer and founder of the Hakluyt Society. Through his early work on mapping the interior of Africa (using classical sources and contemporary first-hand accounts), Cooley built his reputation as a geographical authority. Later critiques and "corrections" of leading nineteenth-century explorers, however, transformed Cooley into one of the most notorious "armchair geographers" of his day (Bridges 1976a, 1976b, 2004, 2007).
0001.48-56 / I would not answer ... for ever – In an 1864 paper read before the Royal Geographical Society but never published in full, Cooley drew on the "accounts of several Portuguese travellers" to argue – in stark contrast to recent claims by Livingstone – for "the total separation of the rivers Liambeji and Zambesi (the upper and lower courses of the Zambesi)" and offered "a large map" to illustrate his views (Cooley 1864:256; cf. Bridges 1976a:38).
0001.56-0002.4 / My work leads ... Zanzibar – As Jeal (1974:323-35) writes, "Livingstone [...] came to the conclusion that there were three main interconnecting ‘lines of drainage’ in central Africa, running roughly parallel with each other from south to north. [...] The central line itself ran from Lake Bangweolo, through Moero and then on north as the Lualaba. The eastern line [...] began at a point just north of Lake Moero, where the Lualaba split in two, sending the main body of its water due north, to continue as the central line, and the rest of its water north-east into the western side of Lake Tanganyika." As a result, Lakes Tanganyika and Albert, which Livingstone believed to be "connected by a river flowing from the northern end of Tanganyika to the southern end of Albert," served as "the eastern line of drainage," or what Livingstone in the letter here calls "the Eastern arm followed down by Speke Grant & Baker." The western line took the most intriguing course, according to Livingstone’s theory (1873-74:265-66): "West of this Lualaba, the central line of drainage of the Great Nile Valley, there are two large rivers, each having the same native name Lualaba. These two unite and form a large lake, which I am fain to call Lake Lincoln. Looking back from this lake to the Sources on the watershed, a remarkable mound gives out four fountains not more than 10 miles apart. Two of these on the northern side form large rivers, which again form Lake Lincoln, and then the united stream coming out thence flows, I suppose, into the western arm of the Nile." The two fountains ten miles to the south, in turn, gave rise to "the Liamba or Upper Zambesi" and "the Kafui." Livingstone (1879:480; cf. Herodotus 1987:141-45) concluded from this analysis that the four fountains were "probably the Nile fountains, which were described to Herodotus as unfathomable, and sending one-half of the water to Egypt, the other half to inner Ethiopia." Jeal (1974:324) includes comparative maps that show the hydrography of Central Africa as it is and as Livingstone believed it to be.
0001.58 / Speke Grant & Baker – John Hanning Speke (1827-64), explorer, hunter, and the first European to see Lake Victoria, now considered the "source" of the Nile. James Augustus Grant (1827-92), explorer, accompanied Speke on his second expedition to the African lakes region (1860-63). Samuel White Baker (1821-93), explorer, hunter, and the first European to see Lake Albert.
0002.4-5 / Bakers plan – Waller had written to Livingstone that "Sir Samuel Baker is at the head of a host of Egyptians pushing on into the upper Nile districts. Ostensibly he goes to put down the slave trade there; has £10,000 a year for doing it &c!" (Waller 1869a). In early 1869, Isma’il (r.1863-79), Khedive of Egypt, appointed Baker as governor-general of the equatorial Nile basin for a four-year term. Isma’il instructed Baker to annex the equatorial Nile basin, establish Egyptian authority over the region south of Gondokoro, suppress the slave trade, introduce cotton cultivation, organize a network of trading stations throughout the annexed territories, and open the great lakes near the equator to navigation (Ofcansky 2008; cf. Gray 1961:88; Baker 1873-74; 1874).
0002.5-9 / conquering the small ... slaves – Two practices facilitated the advance of Turco-Egyptian slave traders into regions south of Khartoum. First, using armed Arab servants, the slave traders established permanent interior stations known as "zeribas." Second, the slave traders exploited rivalries among local African populations for the purposes of the cattle, slave, and ivory raids known as "razzias" (Wisnicki 2010:5; cf. Gray 1861:27-69).
0002.9-11 / no large chief ... detail – Livingstone here (and elsewhere, e.g., 1872c:9) glosses over a complex set of political and social circumstances. The savanna lands of southern Maniema also constituted part of the northernmost province of the Bantu-speaking Luba empire (Wilson 1972:557, 581). This empire was not culturally homogenous, but instead consisted of a "complex ethnic mosaic, full of distinct groupings by lineage, clan, politics, and geography [...]." Although it had a central ruler and could exert force, the empire depended foremost on trade and on a "flexible set of relationships that extended in a wide circle of influence rather than authority" (Roberts and Roberts 1996:20; cf. Reefe 1981:148-52), a situation that Livingstone’s observation fails to capture. However, because southern Maniema was a frontier region, one located at the edge of the rainforest, the inhabitants of the region also had political and social affinities with the Sudanic-speaking peoples of northern Maniema, who – as per Livingstone’s impressions – were "[d]istributed very sparsely over the land, much more mobile, and much less involved in trade than others," and so whose "societies were more fragmented into tiny autonomous groups than anywhere else" (Vansina 1990:186).
0002.13-15 / the Egyptian expeditions under the French – Livingstone here refers to the French ivory and slave traders, for instance Alphonse de Malzac and Jean-Alexandre Vayssière, who operated out of Egypt and the Sudan in the 1850s and early 1860s and who, through their use of Arab mercenaries, became known for "deeds of widespread cruelty and injustice" to the local populations of the Sudan (Gray 1961:21, 41, 47).
0002.19-21 / My packet ... destroyed – In his journal, Livingstone (1866-72:; 1874,2:8) notes that "I have been busy writing letters home and finished forty two which in some measure will make up for my long silence." Elsewhere Livingstone (1872d:10) describes the contents of this packet as "despatches, copies of all the astronomical observations from the coast onward" – namely from when Livingstone landed on the east African coast in late March 1866 – "and sketch maps on tracing paper, intended to convey a clear idea of all the discoveries up to the time of arrival at Ujiji" on 14 March 1869. Livingstone (1866-72:; 1874,2:11-12) attempted to entrust the packet to Thani bin Suellim, an agent at Ujiji of the Governor of Unyanyembe, and offered "two cloths and four bunches of beads" for the conveyance. Thani at first refused, saying "he was afraid of English letters – he did not know what was inside," but on further entreaty accepted the packet. It was then heard of no more. Livingstone (1871b:LXXXIV) discovered the disappearance of the letters only when the ten men from Kirk reached him:
4th February, 1871 – Ten of my men from the coast have come near to Bambarre and will arrive today [–] I am extremely thankful to hear it for it assures me that my packet of letters was not destroyed – they know at home by this time what has detained me and the end to which I strain.
D[itt]o. Only one letter reached and 40 are missing.
Of the letters written between mid August 1868 and 29 May 1869 – the day that Livingstone handed over his packet – only three survive because Livingstone copied them into his journal: Lord Stanley (26 Mar. 1869), Abdallah (19 Apr. 1869), and Said Majid (20 Apr. 1869) (Livingstone 1866-72; Clendennen and Cunningham 1979:82-83). The letter that did reach the coast (Livingstone 2016a) was not part of the packet but carried separately by another traveller, Musa Kamaals.
0002.21-35 / The governor ... 1000 dollars – The Governor of Unyanyembe was Said bin Salim Buraschid (c.1815-c.1879), also known as Said bin Salim al Lamki. Born at Kilwa and previously the governor of Saadani, Said bin Salim first came to the notice of British explorers when Said Majid, the Sultan of Zanzibar, appointed him "ras kafilah, or caravan-guide" for the East African Expedition (EAE) of Burton and Speke of 1856-59 (Burton 1860,1:10). Although Uvira, which lies on the northwestern shore of Lake Tanganyika, was indeed the furthest interior point reached by the EAE, Burton (1860,2:126-27) suggests that Said bin Salim did not accompany the expedition on the last leg of its journey. Burton continuously complained of Said bin Salim’s conduct, and the latter was eventually dismissed because of his thievery (Burton 1860,2:237-38). For a set of complex reasons, when Burton and Speke sailed from African they failed to pay the wages of their African and Arab attendants, including those of Said bin Salim, who had been promised a thousand dollars and a gold watch. After an extended dispute, the Government in Bombay paid the outstanding debt (Brodie 1967:182-83, 186; Simpson 1976:23-24; for the relevant correspondence, see Burton 1860,2:430-41).
0002.25 / Burton – Richard Francis Burton (1821-90), explorer, author, and translator.
0002.36-53 / He was soured ... destroyed – Elsewhere, Livingstone (1872a:4; see also 1866-72:) describes this incident in greater detail: "When I sent a stock of goods to be place in depot at Ujiji to await my arrival [in March 1866], the Banyamwezi porters, as usual, brought them honestly to Unyanyembe; the Governor [Said bin Salim] then gave them in charge to his slave Saloom [Musa bin Salim], who stopped the caravan ten days in the way hither, while he plundered it and went off to buy ivory for his master in Karague." Livingstone did not discover the theft until his own arrival at Ujiji in March 1869; he conjectured Said bin Salim had ample grounds for destroying the letters because of the plundering and any censure or retribution that might ensue.
0002.44-45 / went off to Karagwe to buy ivory – Karagwe, a region in northwest Tanzania, just west of Lake Victoria, played an important role in East African trade in the mid to late nineteenth century. Although its resources were relatively scant, "it was strategically located not only for the exchange of commodities of long-distance trade with the coast, but also of those in the regional trading networks" that linked Unyanyembe with Rwanda and Buganda (Sheriff 1987:183-84).
0002.53-55 / His agent ... "the contents" – See the note for 0002.19-21 / My packet ... destroyed, above. The agent was Thani bin Suellim.
0002.55-59 / I regret ... at Ujiji – For the period in question, Livingstone recorded all his astronomical observations in a dedicated notebook, which has indeed survived (Livingstone 1866-68). The original despatch from Bangweolo was written to the Earl of Clarendon in July 1868 (Livingstone 1869-70a), while the supplementary despatch, which also survives because Livingstone copied it into his journal (1866-72:ff.; see the note for 0002.19-21 / My packet ... destroyed, above), was written to Lord Stanley on 26 March 1869.
0002.59-66 / The gross carelessness ... altogether – John Arrowsmith (1790-1873), geographer and cartographer. Arrowsmith produced the maps for both Missionary Travels (1857) and the book Livingstone and his brother Charles co-authored, Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi (1865). Livingstone found Arrowsmith’s leisurely pace of working irritable. As a result of Arrowsmith’s delay in completing the map for the Zambesi Expedition narrative, the book was not published until Livingstone had left England for his final journey (Ransford 1978:232). This, and the subsequent reference to Arrowsmith, touch on the cause of this delay, namely that Arrowsmith initially based the Zambesi map on rough sketches Livingstone and John Kirk sent from Africa to the Royal Geographical Society council. Information Livingstone provided at the end of the expedition forced Arrowsmith to alter the map, so Arrowsmith charged Livingstone and his publisher, John Murray, £300 for the additional labor. During his final expedition, Livingstone remained embittered towards Arrowsmith and refused to share his notes with the RGS council: "I sent [Arrowsmith] the two volumes of observations from the Zambesi. [H]e could make nothing of them. So if [I] can help it neither observation nor sketch nor note shall go to the Geographical till after publication" (Livingstone 2016b:).
0002.66 / your wife – Alice Brown, daughter of Thomas Brown of Kent. Horace Waller married Alice on 13 April 1869 (Helly 2008).
0002.69-70 / The Governor’s statement ... such – See the note for 0002.19-21 / My packet ... destroyed, above.
0002.71-77 / A. then charged ... council – "A." is John Arrowsmith. For the incident discussed here, see the note for 0002.59-66 / The gross carelessness ... altogether, above.
0002.71 / Murray – John Murray (1808-92), publisher.
0003.1-2 / It is not ... Cooley – Waller wrote to Livingstone that "Cooly [sic] has crowed over your grave and called you an ass, Burton, through his wife has called you a fool for liking Arabs 'niggers' and disliking Musselmen [...]" (Waller 1869a). For the latter allusion, see Burton 1869.
0003.2 / Burton – During the East African Expedition of 1856-59, Burton and Speke became the first Europeans to see Lake Tanganyika (both men) and Lake Victoria (Speke only). Although unable to prove so definitively, Speke rightly asserted that Lake Victoria was the "source" of the Nile. Burton countered Speke’s claim by collaborating with the geographer James M’Queen to publish The Nile Basin (1864), which argued – incorrectly and on rather insubstantial grounds – that Lake Victoria was not one lake but several and that Lake Tanganyika was the true source of the Nile. Livingstone disputed the claims of both men. Moreover, he was ill disposed towards Burton for a variety of reasons, foremost among them being Burton’s contempt for Africans. Livingstone believed that "if he could prove the geographical theories of both [Burton and Speke] to have been wrong, thus making their discoveries seem insignificant, it would be a victory for his own views, on the benefits of trade and Christianity, over Burton’s pessimistic assumption that Africans were immutably ‘unprogressive and unfit for social change’" (Jeal 1973:286, see also 282-87).
0003.4-5 / my party consisted ... Heathen – Livingstone’s figures are not correct. Before taking on African porters on the mainland, Livingstone began his last expedition (1866-73) with a party of thirty-six men: "I have 13 Sepoys – 10 Johanna men – 9 Nassick boys – 2 Shupanga men – 2 Waiyao" (Livingstone 1866-72:; 1874,1:8-9). The Sepoys were from the Bombay Marine Battalion and were under the command of an Indian corporal; the "Nassick boys" had been selected on the advice of Sir Bartle Frere, then Governor of Bombay, from a government-run school for freed slaves in Nashik, India. The Johanna men had been hired with the assistance of the British Consul at Johanna (Anjouan), Comoros, while the Shupanga (Susi and Amoda) and Yao (Chuma and Wikatani) had been taken by Livingstone to India after his previous African expedition (1858-63) and collected just prior to this one (Jeal 1973:296).
0003.5-25 / the Moslems ... every other – Livingstone revisits and elaborates on many of the sentiments expressed here in an undated entry in his 1870 Field Diary (1870h:XX; 1874,2:74-76).
0003.10 / the Heathen had been in the Portuguese service – When they first met Livingstone in August 1858, Susi and Amoda were employed in the service of Major Tito Sicard, the Commandant of Tete, who was then stationed in Shupanga. Chuma and Wikatani were former Portuguese slaves freed by Livingstone’s party and the members of the Universities Mission in July 1861 (Livingstone and Livingstone 1865:31-32, 355-59; Seaver 1957:328-29, 388-90).
0003.11 / heathen Makololo – An African tribe that occupied the general area of the Upper Zambesi River basin during the period in question. Flint (2003:394, 402) describes them as "a composite horde resulting from the assimilation of peoples from groups conquered by the Bafokeng under the leadership of the charismatic and astute Sibituane," and notes that the group "had migrated in stages from an area close to modern-day Lesotho as part of the dispersals referred to as ‘the Difaqane’ in south-eastern Africa, across the High Veldt, then west and north through present-day Botswana." Livingstone developed a good relationship with both the tribe and their leader. He traveled with Makololo attendants during his famous trans-African journey of 1852 to 1856 and set them at the center of his scheme to develop Africa through Christianity, commerce, and civilization (Livingstone 1857; Wisnicki 2009). Livingstone abandoned all his plans for the Makololo during the ill-fated Zambesi Expedition (Jeal 1973:147-148).
0003.15-16 / I have seen ... describe – Livingstone visited India in mid 1864 after the Zambesi Expedition, and again from late 1865 to early 1866, just before his final expedition to Africa.
0003.26-28 / I am truly thankful ... subjects – Waller had written to Livingstone at length of this possibility (Waller 1869a, 1869b). For a detailed study of the slave trade, see Sheriff 1987. The Sultan to whom Livingstone refers is Said Majid (r.1856-70). Although Said Majid died in October 1870 and was succeeded by Said Barghash (r.1870-88), it is unlikely that Livingstone was aware of this development when he wrote his letter to Waller.
0003.29-30 / the exertions of our friend Kirk – Livingstone and Kirk became friends on the Zambesi Expedition and Livingstone’s interest in abolition had a strong influence on Kirk, as became evident when the latter became acting Consul and Political Resident at Zanzibar in 1870. Unfortunately, Stanley wrongly came to believe that Kirk had not done his best to select the men for Livingstone mentioned in this letter, and as a result eventually turned Livingstone against his former friend. Kirk’s own abolitionist efforts culminated in 1873 when he persuaded Said Barghash to sign an anti-slavery treaty that effectively closed Zanzibar’s notorious slave market and provided for the protection of all liberated slaves (Coupland 1968: 38-61; McMullen 2004).
0003.34 / the Kilwa traders – Kilwa served as "the premier slave port of the East African coast, with nearly 90 percent of the slaves originating from it." By the 1860s Kilwa exported nearly 19,000 slaves annually (Sheriff 1987:163).
0003.35-36 / the atrocious Portuguese ... witnessed – Waller, who had been in Africa from 1861 to 1864 as part of the Universities Mission, had a particularly good opportunity to witness the activities of the Portuguese slave traders during his five-month stay at the mission station on Mount Morambala (Livingstone and Livingstone 1865:472-73).
0003.41-43 / The whole horrible system ... Zanzibar – Sheriff (1987:190) notes that, with some qualifications, "[b]y the early 1870s, the boundaries of the commercial empire [of Zanzibar] extended from Tungi Bay near Cape Delgado, passing to the south of Lake Nyasa, as far as Linyati in the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. From there it extended northwards through Katanga and down the Lomami to its confluence with the Lualaba. The boundary then extended to the northern end of Lake Tanganyika, and northwards again to include much of Uganda and Kenya, terminating at the Benadir of Somalia."
0003.42-44 / the Sultan of Zanzibar ... attendants – Livingstone’s assessment sidesteps a much more complex situation. In addition to his dependence on Britain to bolster his power, Said Majid also struggled financially. For instance, in 1869 his total revenue was $345,000 per annum, but expenditure on his army of mercenaries alone accounted for $108,000; on the Sultan’s death in 1870, Kirk valued Majid’s assets at $610,000 and deficits at $843,000, representing a significant overall deficit of $233,000 (Coupland 1968:71).
0003.45-47 / ["]The system South ... Portugal – In other words, the formal boundary claimed by Zanzibar was just south of the Rovuma River. The determination of the boundary had apparently been made partly when, during the Zambesi Expedition, Livingstone considered using the Rovuma as an alternative to the Zambesi River: "no sooner was it proposed that we should go to the Rovuma, than the Governor-General d’Almeida hastened up to Zanzibar, and tried to induce the Sultan [Said Majid] to agree that the river [be] made the boundary between him and the Portuguese. This movement [...] was happily frustrated by Colonel Rigby [H.M. Consul and Political Resident at Zanzibar]; and the Governor-General had to be content with Cape Delgado as the extreme limit of Portuguese claims northward" (Livingstone and Livingstone 1965:241). In fact, Portuguese colonial settlement did extend to the Rovuma (Newitt 1995:279) and to this day the river forms a large part of the formal boundary between Tanzania and Mozambique.
0003.47-50 / so said one ... unchecked – During the period of Livingstone’s Zambesi Expedition, João Tavares d'Almeida was Governor-General of Mozambique, while his brother, António Tavares d'Almeida, was Governor of Tete. Livingstone’s comments here (including the canceled passage) allude to the fact that both were ardent supporters of the slave trade, although the former professed "to have an intense desire to suppress" the trade and as a result had "gained a character for uprightness among the officers of H.M. cruisers" (Livingstone and Livingstone 1965:420-21).
0003.50-59 / The most startling ... three days – Livingstone here refers to an incident in which Said bin Habib took a large number of slaves in revenge for the death of his brother in Rua. In his journal, Livingstone (1866-72:; 1874,2:93-94) writes that the slaves endured captivity until they saw "the broad river Lualaba roll between them and their free homes [–] they then lost heart" and died within a matter of days, despite having plenty of food to eat. Contemporary medical historians have questioned Livingstone’s diagnosis: "Although people would agree that severe grief could cause death by a direct effect on the heart, from the medical standpoint there is little proof of the existence of such a condition" (Gelfand 1957:258).
0003.51 / earth or clay eating – Geophagy is a subject of considerable research in the fields of anthropology and tropical medicine. It is called "safura" by Livingstone (1870i:LXIII; 1874,2:83). Although the practice originates as a behavioral response to physiological stress, especially the instinctive craving for sources of essential minerals, among other nutrients, Hunter (1973:185) suggests that "[o]ver time, [...] in certain societies, more elaborately organized and sophisticated institutional forms emerge." The ingestion of clay, which may contain both parasites and toxins, can result in the symptoms that Livingstone (1870j:LXIII-LXV; 1874,2:83-84) describes: "The feet swell flesh is lost and the face looks haggard. The patient can scarcely walk for shortness of breath and weakness and he continues eating till he dies." The source and preparation of the clay can determine the risk of infection. While infection from parasites such as ascarid worms and hookworm is common where topsoil is consumed, "there are few reports of infections routinely associated with geophagy by pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa, probably because women take clays from 60 cm to 90 cm below the soil surface and, at least some of the time, they bake the clays" (Callahan 2003). Clay eating was certainly known in Livingstone’s day and earlier. In Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa – a book Livingstone carried with him during at least part of his last journey (see Livingstone 1874,2:175) – Mungo Park (1799:327) writes, "This practice is by no means uncommon amongst the Negroes; but whether it arises from a vitiated appetite, or from a settled intention to destroy themselves, I cannot affirm." Curiously, in Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens (1839:68) also mentions clay eating in a chapter on "Dotheboys Hall" (see the note for 0001.16-19 / Two great friends ... afterwards, above): "Nicholas distended his stomach with a bowl of porridge, for much the same reason which induces some savages to swallow earth – lest they should be inconveniently hungry when there is nothing to eat."
0004.9-45 / I once saw ... oppressed – An earlier draft of this incident appears in Livingstone’s journal (1866-72:; 1874,1:306-07): "[S]ix men slaves singing as if they did not feel the weight and degradation of the slave sticks – asked them what their song was about – They replied ‘that when they were dead their souls would come back and haunt and kill the different men who had sold them to go to Manga’ or the sea – The names of these men were the chorus – as if it were ‘oh Johnny Smith, Johnny Smith oh’ [...]."
0004.46 / "There be higher than they." – "If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they" (Ecclesiastes 5:8).
0004.47-50 / I am terribly ... fogie – Livingstone reiterates the sentiments expressed here in several letters from this period (see, for instance, 1872b). In Bambarre he endured choleric fever, breathing difficulties due to a recent bout of pneumonia, and "irritable ulcers on the feet" that ate through "muscle, tendon and bone" and which he treated with the Arab remedy of powdered malachite (Livingstone 1870e:X; 1964a). He also suffered from chronic hemorrhoids, which at times prolapsed and needed to be lanced, and which were exacerbated by his constant use of drastic purges (Jeal 1973:191; Northcott 1973:106). The bleeding was so severe that medical historians have suggested it might have been chronic colitis; Livingstone, however, refused to have a potentially life-saving operation (Gelfand 1957:279; Northcott 1973:11, 106; Ransford 1978:227). Livingstone’s "second childhood" refers in part to the loss of his teeth, some of which he pulled himself (Livingstone 1880:397).
0004.50-51 / doubtful if I live ... again – Waller had written to Livingstone, "When you come home send me a telegram from Paris and I will come and meet you were we parted at Dover," and had closed the same letter with the words, "Goodby God bless you Dr, may He grant that we soon meet" (Waller 1869b).
0004.54 / my good daughter – Agnes Livingstone (1847-1912).
0004.59-61 / News came lately ... De Bono? – This "news" was probably delivered to Ujiji in 1870 or early 1871 by a party of Ganda soldiers on their way to Zanzibar as envoys of Mutesa, whom Livingstone later encountered in Unyanyembe on the return leg of their journey (Grant 1872:265-66; Livingstone 1874,2:176-77; cf. Kiwanuka 1972:158-60). However, the specific attack mentioned here eludes conclusive identification. Although Livingstone speculates that it might have been carried out by the men of Baker or De Bono, and in the overtext on this page leans towards the choice of Baker, this assumption is not correct. Baker’s army never reached Buganda and did not even arrive in Bunyoro, the region directly to the northwest of Buganda, until early 1872 (Baker 1873-74; Baker 1874). De Bono, in turn, sold off his assets to the Egyptian government and ceased operations in the region in 1865 (Gray 1961:82). It is more likely that the invading force consisted of Turco-Egyptian slave traders employed by the Egyptian trader and Governor of Khartoum, Muhammad al-‘Aqqād, who at the time was "the sole owner of trading ‘rights’ in the area" south of Gondokoro (Gray 1961:95, 99). Some of al-‘Aqqād’s men had arrived in Bunyoro with Baker on his first visit to the region in 1864 and had subsequently become involved in the succession war that followed the death of Kamrasi (r.1857?-69), the ruler (Omukama) of Bunyoro, and that resulted in the ascension of his son Kabarega (r.1870-99) (Wisnicki 2010; Doyle 2006:50). In that war Mutesa supported Kabarega, and as a result probably had his "first dealings" with the Turco-Egyptians in 1869 or 1870 (Kiwanuka 1972:146-47, 160). That said, there are no references to the specific attack noted by Livingstone nor, more generally, to any forays by the Turco-Egyptians into Buganda in the relevant oral sources from Bunyoro and Buganda (see, e.g., Wilson in Johnston 1902,2:597-98; Fisher :160-61; Kaggwa 1971:158-59; K.W. 1937:63-64; Nyakatura 1973:110-11). However, another incident described by Baker (1874,2:98-99) may have some relevance here. When Baker met some of al-‘Aqqād’s representatives in Fatiko in early 1872, he learned that they had only recently made their first visit to Mutesa "and had been treated like dogs [...] and [...] had slunk back abashed, and were only glad to be allowed to depart. They declared that such a country would not suit their business: the people were too strong for them [...]." On one hand, the details of this incident seem to preclude any previous attacks on or visits to Buganda by the Turco-Egyptians and so correlate with the oral sources cited above. On the other hand, in its rough outlines the Turco-Egyptian visit described by Baker parallels the attack mentioned by Livingstone, and so the former may have ultimately served as a basis for the latter, being either played down by al-‘Aqqād’s men when speaking with Baker or exaggerated by the Ganda envoys during their visit to Ujiji.
0004.59 / Turks (Egyptians?) – Livingstone’s uncertainly regarding the identity of the invading force arises from the fact that Egypt was at this time governed not by the "true" Egyptians of the lower Nile, but by a heterogeneous group known collectively as the "Turks," whose numbers included Turks, Circassians, Kurds, Greeks, Albanians and Berberine Egyptians as well as Turkomans from central Asia, Slavs from Bosnia and Laz from Trebizond (Wisnicki 2010:4; cf. Hill 1959:1).
0004.61 / Sunna is Spekes Muza with his fathers name – Sunna was the ruler (Kabaka) of Buganda until his death in 1857. He was succeeded by his son Mutesa (r.1857-84) (Burton 1860,2:188-89), whom Livingstone here mistakenly calls "Muza." During his second expedition to Africa (1860-63), Speke stayed at Mutesa’s court from early to mid 1862 (Speke 1863:283-452).
0004.61 / can this be Sam Baker or De Bono? – For Baker’s expedition in the service of Isma’il, see the note for 0002.4-5 / Bakers plan, above. Andrea De Bono (1821-71) was a Maltese slave trader and pioneer in the southern Sudan (for more on his activities, see De Bono 1862-63; Gray 1961; Catania 2002). Livingstone no doubt knew of De Bono’s activities because Speke and Grant had previously encountered De Bono’s agents in southern Sudan (see Speke 1863:579).
0004.63-66 / how often the Portuguese ... East – "West" and "East" refer, respectively, to Angola and Mozambique. For more on Portuguese initiatives in these areas, see Henderson (1979) and Newitt (1995).
0004.67-68 / I don’t know his plan – See the note for 0002.04-05 / Bakers plan, above.
0004.69-71 / on the Zambesi ... hated us – The reference is to the experiences of Livingstone and his party during the Zambesi Expedition. In their narrative of the expedition, Livingstone and his brother Charles (1865:76) indicated that they had secured the goodwill of the local Zambesi populations by distinguishing their objectives (i.e., the expedition’s) from those of the Portuguese: "Dr. Livingstone went ashore; and on his explaining that we were English and had come neither to take slaves nor to fight, but only to open a path by which our countrymen might follow to purchase cotton, or whatever else they might have to sell, except slaves, Tingane [a local chief] became at once quite friendly." The Portuguese, though prevented from outright hostilities by political considerations (as Livingstone here indicates), still resented Livingstone’s presence in their territories because of his possible "territorial ambitions," because of previous criticism he had leveled at the Portuguese administration of Angola and Mozambique in Missionary Travels and because of an increase in their slave trading activities in the area (Jeal 1973:218-20; see also Newitt 1973). Livingstone and his brother Charles (1965:241) elaborate on the situation thus: "Public instructions [...] had been sent from Portugal to all the officials to render us every assistance in their power, but these were understood with considerable reservation. From what we observed it was clear that, with the public orders to the officials to aid us, private instructions had come to thwart us."
0004.75-77 / But for cannon ... great – Livingstone’s assessment of Buganda’s military capabilities is roughly correct. Buganda was at this time the dominant state in the interlacustrine region, but its power was due to the size and skill of its army, rather than to possession of firearms. Although firearms probably reached Buganda in about 1844, and during the reign of Mutesa "their symbolic importance was immense," the supply of such weapons to the kingdom did not increase significantly until the mid to late 1860s (Reid 2002:219; Kiwanuka 1972:143-45). Those weapons that did reach Buganda, such as muzzle-loaders and flintlocks, were notoriously unreliable. Moreover, until about 1880 only a minority of the army would have been professional or semi-professional soldiers armed with spears and shields or, later, guns; the remainder were peasants armed with clubs or heavy sticks (Roscoe 1911:252-53).
0004.76 / 3000 troops – At its largest, Baker’s army consisted of a total of 1500 Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers. However, when Baker finally made the push from Gondokoro to Bunyoro in early 1872, he traveled with a force of just over 200 men (Baker 1873-74:53, 57-58).
0004.77 / 100 000 warriers – The figure here refers to the size of Mutesa’s army, which was drawn from levies on regional chiefs. Despite Livingstone’s disclaimer, the number he gives is low compared with the estimates of other contemporaries. With reference to Arab informants, Burton (1860:189) suggested that Mutesa’s army was made up of "‘at least 300,000 men,’" while Stanley (1961:99), who visited Buganda in 1875 and saw the army firsthand, wrote in his diary that it consisted of "some 150 thousand warriors [...], accompanied with something like 50,000 women, and 50,000 slaves and boys." Reid (2002:207) suggests that both estimates have been exaggerated for dramatic effect.
0004.78-81 / Revise ... uncorrected – This text is not in Livingstone's hand, but was written as an address to Livingstone on the proof copy of the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society upon which Livingstone wrote his letter (for more on this topic, see Note on the Text of the Letter).