David Livingstone was a very interesting personality of the nineteenth century. He is rightfully regarded as a legend in the British Isles.
He set out as one of the missionaries who wanted to convert Africans to Christianity. But, as he and others of that time realized, many Africans were not interested in converting to this new religion. Eventually, he ended up converting a grand total of one person.
His heart was set on two main goals:
- to explore the vast territories north of Botswana
- to put a stop to slave trade
So, starting off in the southern country of Botswana, he set about northwards exploring the continent. Malaria and yellow fever were major problems in the region at the time. So he developed a medicinal pill made of quinine, which he used to treat himself and others.
To show his dedication, he convinced his wife and children to accompany him. However, she died after seventeen years of marriage after contacting Malaria.
Amongst his achievements was naming the Victoria Falls for Queen Victoria.
When he was not heard of for several years, Henry Morton Stanley, an American reporter, set out on a commission to the region. When he caught up with Livingstone in Ujiji, he uttered the famous words:
Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
Though he wrote vigorous letters to the British people condemning slavery and rousing popular opinion against the practice of slavery, he did benefit from the assistance of some of the Arab slave traders of Tanzania.
One of Livingstone’s final goals, which he failed to achieve, was to locate the source of the Nile.
Livingstone died in Zambia at the age of sixty after catching dysentery.