- Stanley, Henry Morton
- (1841 - 1904)Anglo-American journal-ist and explorer of AfricaHenry Stanley, who followed up on the New York Herald's quest to find missionary David Livingstone, with whom contact had been lost, eventually would share fame with the subject of his quest. He wrote a best-selling book and added the phrase "Doctor Livingstone, I presume!" to the popular culture.Stanley was born John Rowlands at Denbigh, Wales, the illegitimate son of John Rowlands and Elisabeth Parry He received a modest education at St. Asaph Workhouse, beginning at the age of five. In 1857, he ran away to sea, eventually landing in the United States. Still in his teens, he was adopted by a merchant who gave him the name by which he was later known. He became a newspaper reporter and in that capacity traveled to Turkey as a correspondent in the year immediately after the American Civil War.Then in 1869, he accepted a commission to locate David Livingstone, who was exploring Central Africa, seeking the headwaters of the Nile and Congo Rivers. The expedition began almost two years later in East Africa. After a series of setbacks (desertion by his bearers, disease, and problems with various tribal conflicts) he located Livingstone near Lake Tanganyika in Ujiji on November 10, 1871. The pair subsequently explored the northern end of Lake Tanganyika. Stanley then returned to the United States and published his best-selling How I Found Livingstone (1872).Stanley was also deeply affected by his encounter with Livingstone, and following the missionary's death in 1873 decided to continue his exploratory work. His legacy would be mixed, and his rather successful explorations would lead to the furtherance of European colonialism.Setting out in 1874, Stanley first explored Lake Victoria, establishing it as the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. He also traced the Congo River from its source to its mouth, which set up further exploration to survey the wealth of the Congo Basin and verify that the residents could accommodate European efforts to bring them into a modern "civilized" state. Stanley's travels led directly to the establishment of theCongo Free State. In 1877, Stanley traveled the 800 miles of the Iruri River, a Central African river that joins the Congo near present day Kisangani. He continued exploring the Congo in the employ of King Leopold of Belgium until 1884.Upon his return to the West, Stanley became a popular writer and lecturer, eventually settling in England. In 1888, he went to Africa again, this time to search for Emin Pasha (1840-92), a German explorer who in 1878 had become the governor of the southernmost province of the Egyptian Sudan. His territory had been cut off from the outside world by a revolution in the Sudan, and Stanley set out to find him. Succeeding, Stanley convinced Pasha to accompany him to Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast.Stanley lived his last days as a celebrity in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia. He sat in Parliament for several years and was knighted in 1899. He died in London on May 10, 1904.See also Africa, sub-Saharan.Further reading:■ Byron Farwell, The Man Who Presumed: A Biography of Henry M. Stanley (New York: Holt, 1957)■ Frank McLynn, Into the Dark Continent: The Travels of Henry Morton Stanley (London: The Folio Society, 2002)■ Henry M. Stanley, The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, ed. by his wife, Dorothy Stanley (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909)■ ----, How I Found Livingstone: Travels, Adventures and Discoveries in Central Africa, Including an Account of Four Months' Residence with Dr. Livingstone (New York: Scribner/Armstrong, 1872)■ ----,Through the Dark Continent: Or, the sources of the Nile around the Great Lakes of Equatorial Africa, and Down the Livingstone River to the Atlantic Ocean. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1878).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.