NOV. 10 - 'Doctor Livingstone, I presume' ...and efforts to stop Arab Muslim Slave Trade in Africa
"Doctor Livingstone, I presume," was the greeting NOVEMBER 10, 1871, by New York Herald newspaper reporter Henry Stanley as he met David Livingstone on the banks of Africa's Lake Tanganyika.
the internationally renowned missionary who had discovered the Zambezi
River, Victoria Falls, and searched for the source of the Nile, had not
been heard from in years and was rumored to have died.
Stanley, a skeptic, was sent from America to find him and write a story.
Livingston had been raised in the Church of Scotland, then the
Congregational Church, and committed his life to Christ to become a
medical missionary to China.
When the medical school required him
to learn Latin, David Livingston met a local Irish Catholic to tutor
him, Daniel Gallagher, who later became a priest and founded St. Simon's
Church in Glasgow.
David Livingston's plans changed when the Opium Wars broke out in China.
was convinced by Missionary Robert Moffat to go to South Africa to see
"the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary had ever been."
In his journal, David Livingstone wrote:
"I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.
anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given
away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall promote the glory
of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time and eternity."
Traveling 29,000 back and forth across Africa, David Livingston was horrified by the Arab Muslim slave trade.
His letters, books, and journals stirred up a public outcry to abolish slavery.
often passed caravans of 1,000 slaves tied together with neck yokes or
leg irons, marching single file 500 miles down to the sea carrying ivory
and heavy loads.
Slaves who complained were speared and left to
die, resulting in slave caravans being traced by vultures and hyenas
feasting on corpses.
David Livingstone recorded in his journal:
overdraw its evils is a simple impossibility...We passed a woman tied
by the neck to a tree and dead...We came upon a man dead from
passed a slave woman shot or stabbed through the body and lying on the
path. Onlookers said an Arab who passed early that morning had done it
in anger at losing the price he had given for her, because she was
unable to walk any longer..."
strangest disease I have seen in this country seems really to be broken
heartedness, and it attacks free men who have been captured and made
Livingstone estimated that each year 80,000 died while
being captured or forced to march from the African interior to the Arab
Muslim slave markets of Zanzibar.
the Muslim slave trade as "a monster brooding over Africa," Livingston
once walked 120 miles near Lake Nyasa without seeing a single human
being, as Arab slave traders had so depopulated the area.
1862, David Livingstone received a steam boat, but attempts to
navigate the Ruvuma River failed due to the paddle wheels continually
hitting bodies thrown in the river by slave traders.
had hoped to open up "God's Highway" to bring "Christianity, Commerce
and Civilization" into Africa, and thereby put an end to the Arab Muslim
slave trade, as he wrote to the editor of The New York Herald:
if my disclosures regarding the terrible Ujijian slavery should lead
to the suppression of the East Coast slave trade, I shall regard that
as a greater matter by far than the discovery of all the Nile sources
Reaching the headwaters of the Congo at Lualaba River
in 1871, which he mistakenly thought to be the Nile, Livingston
recorded that at Nyangwe he saw Arab Muslim slave traders massacre
nearly 400 Africans.
Disheartened, he went back to Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika, where, after years of the world not hearing from him, The New York Herald reporter Henry Stanley found him.
Henry Stanley described the famous old missionary:
"Here is a man who is manifestly sustained as well as guided by influences from Heaven.
Holy Spirit dwells in him. God speaks through him. The heroism, the
nobility, the pure and stainless enthusiasm as the root of his life
come, beyond question, from Christ.
There must, therefore, be a
Christ;-and it is worth while to have such a Helper and Redeemer as
this Christ undoubtedly is, and as He here reveals Himself to this
David Livingston, ever the explorer, stated: "I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward."
attacked by a lion, Livingston wrote that it: "caught me by the
shoulder as he sprang, and we both came to the ground together. Growling
horribly close to my ear, he shook me as a terrier does a rat."
was so loved by Africans that when they found him dead in 1873 near
Lake Bangweulu, kneeling beside his bed after suffering from malaria,
they buried his heart in Africa before sending his body, packed in salt,
back to England to be buried in Westminster Abbey. GET THE NEW DVD - How the Birth of Jesus affected the Calendar
In his Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, 1857, Dr. David Livingstone revealed what motivated him:
perfect fullness with which the pardon of all our guilt is offered in
God's Book, drew forth feelings of affectionate love to Him who
bought us with His blood...
A sense of deep obligation to Him for His mercy has influenced...my conduct ever since."