Illustration from How I Found Livingstone by Henry M Stanley


David Livingstone was a Scottish medical missionary and traveller who had spent many years exploring areas of Africa unknown to Europeans. He was the first European to enter many areas in Central and Southern Africa and his travels expanded western knowledge about this part of the world. 

In 1866, he set out on an expedition to Central Africa to ‘find’ the source of the Nile. However, in 1871 he abandoned the search as a result of loss of supplies and manpower, as well as ill-health. Throughout much of the expedition he was cut off from the Western world and search missions were sent out to find him. In 1869, Henry Morton Stanley, the special correspondent for the New York Herald, was commissioned by the paper to go find Livingstone. In November 1871, Stanley found the doctor in Ujiji, a village on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in present-day Tanzania. He allegedly greeted him with the famous words: 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?'. In 1872, Stanley published his diary of the expedition entitled How I Found Livingstone: travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, shown here.

Full title:
How I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveries in Central Africa; including four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone ... Illustrations and maps
1872, London
Book / Illustration / Image
Henry M Stanley
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Echoes of Empire

Article by:
Tim Youngs
Power and politics

Professor Tim Youngs considers how Victorian authors chronicled and questioned Britain’s imperial expansion.

Related collection items