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David Livingstone arrived in Africa in 1840 with two goals: to explore the continent and to end the slave trade (see Livingstone Discovers Victoria Falls, 1855). In England, his writings and lectures ignited the public's imagination regarding the "Dark Continent" and elevated Livingstone to the status of a national hero.
In 1864 Livingstone returned to Africa and mounted an expedition through the central portion of the continent with the objective of discovering the source of the Nile River. As months stretched into years, little was heard from the explorer. Rumors spread that Livingstone was being held captive or was lost or dead. Newspapers headlined the question "Where is Livingstone?" while the public clamored for information on the whereabouts of their national hero. By 1871, the ruckus had crossed to the shores of America and inspired James Gordon Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald, to commission newspaper reporter Henry Stanley to find Livingstone.
Henry Stanley was a remarkable man. Orphaned at an early age he spent his formative years in a workhouse in Wales, crossed the Atlantic at age 15 as a crewman of a merchant ship and jumped ship in New Orleans. Befriended by a local merchant, he took the man's name - Henry Stanley - as his own and went on to fight in the Civil War before working his way into a career in journalism.
Leading an expedition of approximately 200 men, Stanley headed into the interior from the eastern shore of Africa on March 21, 1871. After nearly eight months he found Livingstone in Ujiji, a small village on the shore of Lake Tanganyika on November 10, 1871.
"Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"