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David Livingstone, Scottish Missionary
New York Public Library
Photograph - Photograph
David Livingstone (1813-1873) was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. One of the most popular national heroes of the late 19th century in Victorian Britain, Livingstone had a mythic status, which operated on a number of levels Protestant missionary martyr, working-class "rags to riches" inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer and anti-slavery crusader. His fame as an explorer helped drive forward the obsession with discovering the sources of the River Nile that formed the culmination of the classic period of European geographical discovery and colonial penetration of the African continent. Livingstone died in 1873 from malaria and internal bleeding caused by dysentery. England wanted the body to give it a proper ceremony, but the tribe refused. They finally relented, but cut his heart out and put a note on the body that read, "You can have his body, but his heart belongs in Africa!".
June 1st, 2013
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