Dr. Livingstone is nearly forty years old. His face is furrowed by hardships and thirsty fevers, and black with exposure to a burning sun. His left arm is crushed and rendered nearly helpless from the embrace of a lion.
Dr. Livingstone's discoveries, in their character and commercial value, have been declared by Sir Roderic Murchison to be superior to any since the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by Vasco de Gama. But greater than any commercial value is the lesson which they teach—that all obstacles yield to a resolute man.
[Scientific American, January 24, 1857]
FROM MISSIONARY TO SCIENTIST
In 1858 he resigned from the London Missionary Society, was elected as a Fellow into the pre-eminent scientific society of the day, the Royal Society, and left again on an expedition to Africa.
This time he had more equipment:
Dr. Livingstone's New African Expedition
It has been announced, that the vessel which has recently sailed with the now celebrated Dr. Livingstone for the southeast coast of Africa, has on board a peculiar steamboat, provided by the British Government, to enable the veteran traveler to prosecute his investigation of the Zambesi River. This small steamer or launch has been built at Birkenhead, opposite Liverpool, by John Laird, and the material of which it is principally constructed is the "homogeneous metal," noticed previously in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. The plates for the hull of this steamer will be as strong as those of common iron double the thickness. For convenience of transport, it has been built in three sections. The center section contains the boiler and a single horizontal high-pressure engine of 12- horse power, and the two end sections are fitted up for the accommodations of the persons onboard the boat. Great results are expected from this expedition.
[Scientific American, March 13, 1858]
The expedition also had some commercial goals:
The late expedition fitted out with the famous Dr. Livingstone as its chief, has for one of its main objects the encouragement of cotton cultivation in Africa. It is intended to establish various trading stations, and induce the natives to practice agriculture, and the raising of useful native products for foreign export. There are on that continent, it is asserted, tracts of country thousands of miles in extent, on which the best qualities of short staple could be raised and sold at a cost far below American cotton. The attempt, therefore, is to be made to carry the war against American King Cotton into Africa; with what success the future alone can truly determine.
[Scientific American, May 8, 1858]
REPORTS FROM AFRICA
In 1860 Livingstone sent a progress report back to the Royal Society:
Latest Discoveries in Africa
A letter was read before the American Geographical and Statistical Society, on the 5th of this month, addressed to that body by the celebrated African traveler, Dr. Livingstone, under date of "Tette, Zambesi, Feb. 22, 1859," in which he gives some interesting particulars of his latest discoveries. Referring to his explorations of the Zambesi river, he says:
"We are now quite sure now, that, during at least eight months of each year, a steamer of four or five feet depth of draught could trade without embarrassment. The reason why so little has been known about the Zambesi may have been the branching in the stormy promontory, by which it was hidden from navigators. And these easy-chair geographers, dreaming over the geography of Ptolemy, actually put down the Zambesi as flowing into the sea at Quilimane, which in his days it probably did, though not a drop of Zambesi water in ordinary circumstances reaches that port. Had some branch of the Anglo-Americans planted their footsteps on its banks, the world would have known all about it long ago; and no one would have ventured to play with the river as has been done, making it lose itself and flow under the Kalahari desert."