From the letters brought home by Stanley from Dr. Livingstone, it appears that he has been principally engaged during the past three years in tracing out the watershed of the Nile, and thinks that he has now nearly finished the business. He has discovered some very remarkable regions, full of great fountains, streams, and lakes. "I have ascertained," he says, "that the watershed of the Nile is a broad upland, between 10° and 12° south latitude, and from 4,000 to 5,000 feet above the level of the sea. Mountains stand on it at various points, which, though not apparently very high, are between 6,000 and 7,000 feet of actual altitude. The watershed is over 700 miles in length from east to west. The springs that rise on it are almost innumerable."
[Scientific American, September 11, 1872]
“MARTYR TO SCIENCE”
Livingstone had been in poor health in the last four years of his life, and he finally succumbed in May 1873. His heart was buried in the village where he died, and his body was brought overland to the coast by two of his servants and then by ship to England. Scientific American published this obituary:
The Death of Dr. Livingstone
Information has recently reached England of the decease of Dr. Livingstone, the celebrated African explorer, during June last. It seems that, in journeying over a partially submerged country, he was obliged to wade some four days through quite deep water. The exposure brought on a severe attack of dysentery, of which he fell the victim.
David Livingstone was born near Glasgow, Scotland, in the year 1815, and at the age of twenty-five became one of the agents of the London Missionary Society in Southern Africa. During the sixteen years of his residence in that country, he traversed the region from the Cape of Good Hope to 10 degrees south latitude, and then followed the Zambesi River to its mouth, thus completing a journey of over 11,000 miles. Returning to England, he organized a small expedition, which set out in 1858, and returned in 1863, after further exploring the above mentioned country. In 1868 Dr. Livingstone again went back to Africa, and again entered a region totally unknown to civilization. Until found by the Herald reporter Stanley, some two years ago, little was heard from him, and numerous rumors of his death were extensively circulated. After Stanley's departure, he continued his exploration, but no news of him has been received until the present time, when the British officials at Zanzibar transmit the intelligence of his death.
It would be difficult to describe the labors of this most indefatigable of travelers in the space here at our disposal. In his death geographical science loses one of its most persevering students. It may be truly said that for a blank spot on the map of Africa—for a region unknown save through tradition—he has substituted a country rich, fertile and productive, which, before many years, will exercise no small effect upon the commerce of the world. His labors toward the suppression of the slave trade are well known, and have tended largely to limit the spread and decrease the barbarities of that infamous traffic. He resolutely refused to discontinue his work until he should believe it complete; and so, isolating himself from home and his own race for nearly a quarter of a century, he has existed among the savages, enduring privations without number. Though to many his toil may appear fruitless, and the years of patient search, barren in directly useful results, the world is nevertheless the gainer by the example of "one who loved his fellow men," who, single hearted in his devotion, died as he had lived, a martyr to science.
[Scientific American, February 14, 1874]