David Livingstone Autographed Letter Signed.

David Livingstone Autographed Letter Signed.


Item Number: 110363

Autograph letter signed (‘D. Livingstone’) to an unnamed recipient (‘Dear Sir’). [London] 57 Sloane St., 24 April [1857]. 8vo bifolium, pp. 3 + 1 blank (endorsed ‘Letter Dr Livingstone 24th April 1857’), comprising 38 lines, neatly written in dark brown ink; creases from folding, slightly toned; good, housed in wooden frame with base. An interesting letter from the great explorer to an unidentified recipient, sent from 57 Sloane Street, London, where Livingstone lodged following his epic expedition to cross Africa in 1853-56, and where he began to write his great work, Missionary travels and researches in South Africa (published with great success later in 1857 by John Murray). Here Livingstone refers to two important Portuguese traders and explorers whom he encountered on his expedition, namely Antonio da Silva Porto (1817-1890) and Caetano Ferreira of Lisbon, whose travels between Angola and the upper Zambezi predated his own: ‘The name I find was in the volume of my journal which is lost but I have an impression that it was Porto from his native name being Moporotla a kind of tree. Another one named Caetano was nicknamed “Father of a bag” from being borne in a hammock … They could all read and write. To the best of my recollection Porto was the man who published part of his journal while I was in Loando. This is often done and I imagine a good deal of information could be gleaned from them.’ Livingstone appears to have been somewhat dismissive of both men, presenting them as half-castes rather than European rivals to his travelling laurels. Porto is mentioned in a footnote in chapter XII of Missionary travels (p. 217).

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