Mobile Caravan Motorhome Repairs
Dr. Livingstone I Presume?
By Lindsey Williams
Dr. David Livingstone of Scotland, the great African missionary, narrowly escaped with his life in an Arab slave-raid near Lake Victoria in early 1871.
With no supplies, and but a few surviving porters, he struggled south to his depot at the Arab trading center of Uijiji on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
The desperate party, "reduced to skeletons, arrived to find their goods had been sold by the rascal who had been left in charge, leaving them almost beggars among strangers."
It is not surprising that Livingston fell into despondency. "I felt," he wrote in his journal, "as if I were the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves."
But when his spirits were at their lowest ebb, a Good Samaritan was close at hand, according to an article in Harper's Monthly Magazine of March 1875. It was written from Livingstone's voluminous, posthumous notes.
On the morning of Nov. 10, 1871, his faithful African servant, Susi, came running and gasped, "An Englishman! I see him coming," and darted off to meet him. Livingstone followed.
An American flag at the head of the approaching caravan revealed the stranger's true allegiance. Henry Stanley, a reporter for the New York Herald, stepped forward and extended his right hand, "Dr. Livingstone I presume?"
This taciturn greeting was so incongruous -- after hazardous thousand-mile treks by both men through uncharted jungles and swamps -- it has become a classic of modesty.
Dr. Livingstone replied, "You have brought me new life!"
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David Livingstone was born at the little town of Blayntyre in 1813. As most other children there, at age 10 he went to work as a tie-er in the cotton-spinning mill from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. After a quick supper, he attended Children's Night School.
He studied hard and at proper age attended medical classes at Anderson's College in Glasgow. In winters he studied Greek at Glasgow University where he was made a licentiate (licensed assistant) on the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons.
While at college, he attended a lecture by Dr. Robert Moffat. The fellow Scot was home on furlough from a Christian mission at Kuruman 500 miles north of Cape Town, South Africa.