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Lot 18: f - LIVINGSTONE, DAVID.

Sotheby's

December 7, 2006
London, United Kingdom

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Description

AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, TO GEORGE RAE

expressing his regret on receipt of Rae's report on the Lady Nyassa, "as I had set my heart on shewing you the Lake", informing him that "it should not do to be later than November" in readying the boat, suggesting a journey upriver in October although acknowledging likely difficulties ("...it would be difficult to get the present men to turn back again ... they have fears of one white man dying & blame be[ing] put on them..."), and asking if he could manage without the assistance of Edward Young who could be used instead to manage the sails, 4 pages, 4to, [Murchison cataracts, river Shire], 18 July 1863, about twenty words faded, nicks, minor soiling

LITERATURE

unrecorded: not in Clendennen and Cunningham

NOTE

"...the idea has been continually in my head that we should yet do some good to africa together..."

An indefatigable Livingstone presses onward in the last months of the Zambezi expedition. After five years in the region, sickness, exhaustion, and a dreadful journey towing their steamer the Lady Nyassa up to the Murchison cataracts, Livingstone's party had received news of its recall on 2 July. Livingstone here encourages his reluctant engineer George Rae to hasten his work preparing the steamer for the trip down-stream and out of Africa (in the end, Livingstone was to make an audacious trip in the tiny steamer across the Indian Ocean to Bombay). Despite all these setbacks, Livingstone writes with enthusiasm about another dangerous expedition to occupy these last months, which he here hopes Rae will join, in which he was to travel up towards Lake Nyasa to explore the sources of the regional slave trade.

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