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Est: £2,000 GBP - £3,000 GBP
Sotheby'sNovember 18, 2004London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


Two letters, apparently autograph and signed, by the African missionary Jacob Wainwright, partly about David Livingstone, with a signed photograph of Wainwright:

Condition Note: to Joseph Moore ("Dear Sir"), the first letter giving wainwright's first-hand account of his travels with livingstone and how he brought his body back to england, 6 pages, 8vo, South Kensington and Kessingland, Suffolk, 23 May to 10 July 1874, corner of last page of second letter cut away including signature and part of text, light soiling and fold marks; the photograph of Wainwright by Elliott & Fry, London, carte-de-visite size, inscribed by him to Joseph Moore on the verso, signed and dated July 1874


Joseph Wainwright was an African member of Livingstone's expedition to map the southern part of Lake Tanganiyka in 1873, during which Livingstone died. Wainwright accompanied his coffin to England and was a pall bearer at the funeral in Westminster Abbey.

In the present letter to Livingstone's old friend Joseph Moore, Wainwright recounts how he joined the Livingstone Search Expedition, found him at Unyanyombe around July 1872, and travelled with him until his death at Ilala on 10 May 1873; how he preserved the body in salt and brandy in a coffin "made of bark of a tree", conveying the body "on a dangerous and toilsome journey of 11 (eleven) months", embarking from Zanzibar on a steamship on 12 March 1874 and arriving at Southampton on 15 April. He adds that he hopes to study in England and that he has visited many places there ("...and lastly I have visited Windsor Castle and had conversation with the Queen. Her majesty presented me a beautiful book...").

In the second letter he acknowledges receipt of "that book and the tracks and the photographs" and tells of his stay with the Rev. W.S. Price at Kessingland near Lowestoft and their plans to start a missionary station at Mombasa near Zanzibar.

Auction Details

Natural History, Travel, Atlases and Maps

November 18, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

34-35 New Bond Street, London, LDN, W1A 2AA, UK