Stanley, a well-known African explorer, started out as a reporter
for the New York Herald. His paper sent him to Africa to search
for Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary and explorer who had been
missing for years. Most believed he was dead. As he searched,
Stanley wrote accounts of his adventures which were printed in
the Herald. These accounts helped to stimulate a popular interest
in the exploration of Africa in Britain and America. When he found
Dr. Livingstone, Stanley reported this famous exchange.
were now about three hundred yards from the village of Ujiji,
and the crowds are dense about me. Suddenly I hear a voice on
my right say, ---
at hearing this greeting in the midst of such a crowd of black
people, I turn sharply around in search of the man, and see him
at my side, with the blackest of faces, but animated and joyous---a
man dressed in a long white shirt, with a turban of American sheeting
around his woolly head, and I ask: ---
the mischief are you?"
am Susi, the servant of Dr. Livingstone," said he, smiling
and showing a gleaming row of teeth.
Is Dr. Livingstone here?"
sure, sir. Why, I leave him just now."
morning, sir," said another voice.
said I, "is this another one?"
what is your name?"
name is Chumah, sir."
are you Chumah, the friend of Wekotani?"
is the Doctor well?"
very well, sir."
has he been so long?"
you, Susi, run, and tell the Doctor I am coming."
sir," and off he darted like a madman.
by this time we were within two hundred yards of the village,
and the multitude was getting denser, and almost preventing our
march. Flags and streamers were out; Arabs and Wangwana were pushing
their way through the natives in order to greet us, for, according
to their account, we belonged to them. But the great wonder of
all was, "How did you come from Unyanyembe?"
Susi came running back, and asked me my name; he had told the
Doctor that I was coming, but the Doctor was too surprised to
believe him, and, when the Doctor asked him my name, Susi was
rather staggered. But, during Susi's absence, the news had been
conveyed to the Doctor that it was surely a white man that was
coming, whose guns were firing and whose flag could be seen; and
the great Arab magnates of Ujiji---Mohammed bin Sali, Sayd bin
Majid, Abid bin Suliman, Mohammed bin Gharib, and others---had
gathered together before the Doctor's house, and the Doctor had
come out from his veranda to discuss the matter and await my arrival.
the meantime, the head of the expedition had halted, and the kirangozi
was out of the ranks, holding his flag aloft, and Selim said to
me, "I see the Doctor, sir. Oh, what an old man! He has got
a white beard." And I---what would I not have given for a
bit of friendly wilderness, where, unseen, I might vent my joy
in some mad freak, such as idiotically biting my hand, turning
somersaults, or slashing at trees, in order to allay those exciting
feelings that were well-nigh uncontrollable. My heart beats fast,
but I must not let my face betray my emotions, lest it shall detract
from the dignity of a white man appearing under such extraordinary
I did that which I thought was most dignified. I pushed back the
crowds, and, passing from the rear, walked down a living avenue
of people until I came in front of the semicircle of Arabs, in
the front of which stood the white man with the grey beard. As
I advanced slowly towards him, I noticed he was pale, looked wearied,
had a grey beard, wore a bluish cap with a faded gold band round
it, had on a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of grey tweed trousers.
I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of
such a mob---would have embraced him, only he being an Englishman,
I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what cowardice
and false pride suggested was the best thing---walked deliberately
to him, took off my hat, and said:---
Livingstone, I presume?"
said he, with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly.
replace my hat on my head, and he puts on his cap, and we both
grasp hands, and I then say aloud:
"I thank God, Doctor, I have been permitted to see you."
He answered, "I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you."
turn to the Arabs, take off my hat to them in response to the
saluting chorus of "Yambos" I receive, and the Doctor
introduces them to me by name. Then, oblivious of the crowds,
oblivious of the men who shared with me my dangers, we---Livingstone
and I---turn our faces towards his tembe. He points to the veranda,
or, rather, mud platform, under the broad, overhanging eaves;
he points to his own particular seat, which I see his age and
experience in Africa have suggested, namely, a straw mat, with
a goatskin over it, and another skin nailed against the wall to
protect his back from contact with the cold mud. I protest against
taking this seat, which so much more befits him than me, but the
Doctor will not yield: I must take it.
are seated---the Doctor and I---with our backs to the wall. The
Arabs take seats on our left. More than a thousand natives are
in our front, filling the whole square densely, indulging their
curiosity and discussing the fact of two white men meeting at
Ujiji---one just come from Manyuema, in the west, the other from
Unyanyembe, in the east.
began. What about? I declare I have forgotten. Oh! we mutually
asked questions of one another, such as: ---
did you come here?" and "Where have you been all this
long time?---the world has believed you to be dead." Yes,
that was the way it began; but whatever the Doctor himself informed
me, and that which I communicated to him, I cannot correctly report,
for I found myself gazing at him, conning the wonderful man at
whose side I now sat in Central Africa. Every hair of his head
and beard, every wrinkle of his face, the wanness of his features,
and the slightly wearied look he wore, were all imparting intelligence
to me---the knowledge I had craved for so much ever since I heard
the words, "Take what you want, but find Livingstone!"