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Lot 82: DAVID LIVINGSTONE

Christie's

September 23, 2004
London, United Kingdom

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Description

Autograph letter signed to James Aspinall Turner MP, River Shire, 15 October 1859, 6 pages, folio, envelope.

A TRIUMPHANT STATEMENT OF HIS DISCOVERIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL. Livingstone shares his views in a carefully weighted 'spirit of due deliberation', and describes the country up the banks of the Shire river in terms of three 'terraces', with the Shire Highlands having a climate 'delightfully cool. It was even cold on Zomba and my companions never saw a country so well watered with streams of delicious cool water'; he discusses its cotton-growing potential, describing the indigenous variety, 'more like wool than cotton'; 'the people are great agriculturists -- possess no cattle and according to the Portuguese are quick of apprehension even in a state of slavery. I see a grand prospect of benefit for both my own countrymen & for the Africans. But we must have colonization by Englishmen'. Livingstone asks to be provided with a new steamer in order to establish a trading route, offering if necessary to 'buy it myself with the price of my book rather than fail'; and closes with a robust defence of his discoveries: 'Luabo Kongone Shire are all English discoveries. [The Portuguese] don't even now know where Kongone is'.

Notes

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Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale

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Christie's
September 23, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

London, United Kingdom