In our todays book-feature is ‘The Graphic Stanley Number 1890’ by Edward Joseph Mansfield.
In 1890, the popular British magazine The Graphic published this special issue dedicated to Henry Stanley’s adventures in Africa. Stanley wrote several books such as: In Darkest Africa’ and ‘How I found Livingstone’.
Stanley was born in Denbigh, Wales on 28 January 1841 as John Rowlands and died 10 May 1904 in London. He was a Welsh journalist and explorer, who was known for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Stanley found Livingstone on 10 November 1871 in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika in present- day Tanzania. Probably he greeted him with the now-famous line, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” It may also have been a fabrication, as Stanley tore out of his diary the pages relating to the meeting.
In 1874, Stanley got financed on another expedition to Africa. His objective was to complete the exploration and mapping of the central African lakes and rivers, in the process circumnavigating Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika and finding the source of the Nile.
In addition Stanley claimed the Congo for the Belgian King. King Leopold II of Belgium, who had organized a private holding company in 1876 disguised as an international scientific and philanthropic association, which he called the ‘International African Association’. The king spoke of his intention to introduce western civilization and bring religion to that part of Africa, but did not mention the fact that he wanted to claim the lands. Stanley travelled for him to the Congo in order to successively buy the Land. He made the Congolese local chiefs sign the sales agreement, without telling them what they’re actually signing. The sales agreement included the transfer of the manpower of the residents into the ownership of Leopold. Through his work it was possible for a private person – Leopold II. to become the owner of 2,5 million square kilometre land.