AFRICA THROUGH WESTERN EYES
Parts 1 & 2: Original Manuscripts from the Royal Commonwealth SocietyLibrary at Cambridge University Library
T O Fraser: Boer War Diary, 1899-1900 (South Africa)
It has not been possible to trace any further details concerning T O Fraser.
David Livingstone: 6 letters, 1858-1859 (Written to Sir Frederick Grey
(1805-1878) relating to exploration in Eastern Africa)
David Livingstone (1813-1873) was born in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, and started
work in a cotton factory at the age of ten. Through a process of self-education
and evening classes he qualified for university and took Greek, Divinity and
Medical classes at Glasgow University. Here he came into contact with Lyon
Playfair and William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) and offered his services to the
London Missionary Society. In 1838 he travelled to London to gain further
medical and missionary training. He gained a formal medical qualification from
Glasgow University and was ordained as a missionary in 1840. Under the direction
of Dr Robert Moffat, Livingstone chose South Africa as his missionary field.
He arrived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in May 1841 and commenced a
series of long journeys, 1841-1844, into the interior which opened up fresh
possibilities for missionary work. He married Mary Moffat, daughter of Robert
Moffat, in 1844 and they lived in a variety of missionary residences. She helped
him in his work, serving as a teacher, making clothes, candles and soap, and
running the mission station. She also gave birth to and raised three children.
Livingstone continued his peregrinations exploring the Transvaal, Botswana, the
Kalahari desert, and other areas, gaining recognition from the Royal
Geographical Society in 1849. In 1852 he returned to Cape Town and sent his wife
and children back to live in England. In 1853 he mounted an expedition up the
Zambezi river, through west central Africa, eventually reaching the west coast
in Angola in 1854. His description of his journey earned him a Gold Medal from
the RGS. He declined passage home, preferring to return with his Makalolo guides
and helpers. He set forth in late 1854 and on 13 November 1855 he became the
first European to view the 'smoke that thunders', which he named the
Victoria Falls. He continued eastwards, reaching Tete in Mozambique in May 1856.
He returned to London in December 1856, enjoying a heroic reception and many
honours. He parted company with the London Missionary Society in 1857, and
earned substantial sums from the publication of his Missionary Travels.
He was appointed Consul of Quilimane on the East Coast of Africa in February
1858 and used much of his money to build a paddle steamer with a light draught
to mount a second expedition. He was accompanied by the naturalist and physician
John Kirk, Richard Thornton, George Rae and Charles Livingstone, his brother. He
was rejoined with the Makalolo tribesman in Tete in September 1858 and proceeded
to explore the Zambezi and Shire rivers. Despite the failure of the steamer,
between 1858 and 1863 Livingstone and Kirk suceeded in reaching Lake Shirwa and
Lake Nyasa (now Lake Malawi) and returning to the Victoria Falls. Livingstone
also recorded the activities of slave-traders and came into conflict with them.
Mary Livingstone joined her husband in January 1862 and accompanied him on
explorations in a new steamer. Tragically she contracted a fever and died in
April 1862. Kirk returned to England in 1863 and Livingstone followed in 1863.
His second book, The Zambezi and Its Tributaries was an assured success.
The RGS and the Foreign Office financed a third expedition in 1866 to Lake
Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika, where Livingstone was laid low by sickness and found
it impossible to send messages to his backers. Reports of his death provoked a
search for Livingstone, successfully concluded by Henry Morton Stanley in 1871.
The two explorers started a circumnavigation of Lake Tanganyika. Stanley tried
unsuccessfully to get Livingstone to return to England, but Livingstone was
obsessed with the idea of finding the source of the Nile. He parted company with
Stanley and travelled South East to what is modern Zambia. He died in Ilala on 1
May 1873 and his body was borne by his faithful followers to Zanzibar and thence
Charles Du Val: The News of the Camp nos 1-40, issued during the
Siege of Praetoria
(with photographs) (South Africa)
Charles Du Val (1846-1889) was born in Manchester. He was articled to a law firm
but soon left it for the stage, making his professional debut in Dublin in 1870
as a monologue entertainer. After some success, he went to South Africa with a
touring show in 1879. After visiting Cape Town he went to Kimberley, through the
Free State to Natal and arrived in the Transvaal late in 1880 just as the Boers
proclaimed the restoration of their Republic and took up arms, after three years
of British rule. Du Val enlisted in the Pretoria Carabinners and, with most of
the British forces, was besieged in Pretoria, where he joined forces with C W
Decker, the proprietor of the Transvaal Argus to produce the newspaper News
of the Camp, published thrice weekly from December 1880 until peace with
self-government for Transvaal in April 1881. Du Val spent a few more months in
South Africa, returned to England and wrote a book on his experiences. He
returned to life on the stage, taking a tour to India, Ceylon and the Far East.
In 1888 he set sail for Cape Town on the start of a World Tour. At the end of
the year Du Val had some kind of breakdown in Colombo. He was returning home
when he was lost overboard from the S.S. Oceana in the Red Sea in February 1889.
News of the Camp Royal Commonwealth Society Library Notes no. 178, January
Allen, Vivien, Du Val tonight! The Story of a showman. Worcester: Square
One Publications, 1990.
Du Val, Charles, With a show through Southern Africa: and personal
reminiscences of the Transvaal. London: Tinsley, 1882.
William Craig Napier: Memorandum Book, 1838 (South Africa)
Capt. (later Colonel) William Craig Emilius Napier (1818-1903) (of the 25th
Regiment, later the Kings own Scottish Borderers) accompanied his father Sir
George Napier 1784-1855) to the Cape on the latter's appointment as Governor
in 1837. Sir George served as Governor until 1844, during the period of the
Great Trek. He annexed Natal in 1843.
Maxwell, W.A., The Napier Journal. Royal Commonwealth Society Library
Notes, no. 11, 1957.
Sir John Hawley Glover: Letters and Papers, May 1863 - May 1872
Sir John Hawley Glover (1829-1885) was a Captain in the Royal Navy, who later
served as the Administrator of Lagos and Governor of Newfoundland. He was
severely wounded in Burma in 1853 when a ball struck him under the right eye and
exited by the right ear. From 1855 to 1857 he commanded the Otter, a
small steamer, and joined William Baiikies's expedition to the Niger. He
returned in 1861. In April 1863 he was appointed Administrator of Lagos, then
Colonial Secretary for the same territory. He saw special service in the Ashanti
War of 1873, raising 16,000-20,000 native troops. After peace was declared in
1874 he was appointed Governor of Newfoundland, in which post he served
1874-1881 and again 1883-1885.
Sir John Hawley Glover: Letters and Papers, May 1872 - November 1872
Sir John Hawley Glover: Letters and Papers, January 1873 - March 1878 +
Sir John Hawley Glover: Orders - Ashanti, 1873 - 1874
Letterbook containing documents relating to the Ashanti War. (West Africa/Ashanti)
Sir John Hawley Glover: Sir S M Rowe's papers on Glover's expedition,
Letterbook, 6 August 1873 - 6 Sept 1875
- Papers by Deputy Commissioner Goldsworthy on the Volta Expedition
- Diary of the Ashanti War, 11 Sept 1873 - 19 June 1874. Author unknown