Henry Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Fort Bodo, Congo

Wednesday, 19 December 1888

Henry Morton Stanley, an English explorer who lived in America, was commissioned by The New York Herald with the task of finding explorer David Livingstone. No one had heard from Livingstone since he left for Africa in 1840. Finding Livingstone in 1871 brought fame for Stanley and he became known as the man who uttered the words “D.R Livingstone, I presume” upon meeting him. After finding Livingstone, Stanley continued to explore Africa and went deeper into the Congo region. He attempted to interest the British government into developing Congo and failed.  He was assigned by Belgian King Leopold II to explore the region as part of his second expedition.

Stanley returned to Europe at the end of the expedition but was sent back to Africa in 1887 on an assignment to find Emin Pasha (also known as Dr. Schintzer), the governor of Egyptian province of Equatoria (now South Sudan) who had been captured. The rescue mission was termed the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. It was during this rescue mission that he found himself exploring the Congo River and returning to Fort Bodo (meaning ‘peaceful’) in Lake Albert which he had built and named on a previous expedition. He reached Fort Bodo on 19 December 1888 on his third expedition. He was however not successful in returning with Pasha.

Stanley wrote several books during his expedition including his most famous How I Found Livingstone (1872) and Through the dark continent (1878). He returned to England and was knighted in 1899 in recognition of his work in Africa. He married artist Dorothy Tennant. He died in England on 10 May 1904.

• The Atlantic Monthly Company (1996). ‘Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904)’ from The Atlantic Online [online]. Available at www.theatlantic.com [Accessed 5 December 2011]
• Brooks, N. (2011). ‘HENRY M. STANLEY (BORN 1841)’ from Web-Books [online].  Available at www.web-books.com [Accessed 5 December 2011]