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STANLEY'S PLAN FOR THE LIVINGSTONE EXPEDITION
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STANLEY'S PLAN FOR THE LIVINGSTONE EXPEDITION

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STANLEY'S PLAN FOR THE LIVINGSTONE EXPEDITION

RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON (1821-1890) The Lake Regions of Central Africa. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1860. 2 volumes, 8° (212 x 136mm.). 10 chromoxylographic plates only (of 12), including frontispieces. Wood-engraved illustrations. With half-titles. (Lacking two plates and folding map in vol. I, two plates in vol. II torn along bottom margin and detached, some waterstaining and occasional soiling.) Contemporary green half calf and marbled boards, spine compartments ruled in gilt and directly lettered, speckled edges (rubbed). Provenance: 'stock 2 vols. 20/-' (purchase price pencilled on verso of front free endpaper to vol. I) -- copious pencil annotations in H.M. Stanley's hand.

FIRST EDITION OF BURTON'S SECOND BOOK ON AFRICA. STANLEY'S COPY WITH NUMEROUS PENCIL NOTES AND ANNOTATIONS, INDICATING THAT IT WAS USED AS A GUIDE FOR EQUIPPING AND PLANNING HIS EXPEDITION TO RESCUE LIVINGSTONE. The expedition sailed from Zanzibar on 5 February 1871, after Stanley had spent a month gathering men, stores and equipment. Stanley's interest in the text is purely pragmatic, and reveals a debt of practical know-how to Burton, as the earlier explorer of the region, which is not acknowledged either in How I found Livingstone or the Autobiography. In effect, Burton's text is used as an explorer's Baedeker, a guide to routes, to the number of miles that can be travelled in a day, the stores and provisions needed and, above all, to the financial budgeting of the expedition. Particular attention is given to his 'List Stasimetric and Hypsometric. Names of Khambi or stages made by the East African expedition, and heights of the central crucial stations' on pp. xi-xiv of volume I. Here Stanley has noted the number of days it takes to travel through a particular area in the left hand margin, and repeated Burton's figures of altitude in the right hand margin, adding up some of the smaller figures. In some cases, he has also made a note of stages as being 'safe' or 'good,' 'good for milk,' or alternatively 'feverish' or a 'bad place,' drawing his information from the chapters that follow. In the main narrative, there are more occasional annotations and calculations, covering some 24 pages, and further passages are scored or underlined, again indicating Stanley's wish to move fast -- his interest in the distances travelled in a given quota of days, and likewise in portering methods and costs. He notes what supplies of beads, cloth, wire and shot are needed as payment for porters, also the amount of food rations (for example, see vol. I, pp. 146-151, and vol. II, p. 229). Other points of interest are weather conditions and opportunities for shooting.

On page 340 of volume I, Burton has recorded the $20 cost of taking a single porter to Lake Tanganyika and back; while Stanley has neither annotated nor scored this page itself, he has scribbled the information down on the front free endpaper: 'Porters to Lake and Back to Zanzibar page 340 vol. I. $20 each.' Above this reference, there is a column of figures giving an estimate of expenses for his own expedition in dollars ('Donkeys and supplies 800 Cloth 700 Beads 130 Wire 150 Europeans 300 Guard 10 men 600 30 porters $20 each 600,' making a final total of [$]3280). The costs copiously listed on the rear endpapers and pastedown of volume II are given in enough detail to show that they are actual expenses incurred rather than estimates. Many relate to goods required for barter or to make payment for porterage ('coil bracelets, cloths, strings of beads, white beads'), and such small purchases are noted as '2 good coffee mills [$]5' and '1 flag [$]1.' Particularly fascinating are the costs given for making his 'Canvas Boat ... 30 feet long -- 12 feet beam,' recorded on the rear pastedown of volume II, also the necessary tools for making and maintaining the boat. A list of other essential supplies, though not of costs, is given on the front pastedowns of volume I-II. This list begins: 'Norton's tube wells 100 lbs. Gunpowder 60 lbs. Bar Lead 98 lbs. Shot tobacco vaccinating matter calcium light Introductory letters to Kaseb 1 dozen Collis Brown's Chlorydiper ....'; the rest of the list in volume I is partly obscured by the mounting of a dried and pressed East African leaf on the pastedown; another leaf, either from the same tree or species of tree, is squashed in on the rear pastedown.

This association copy of The Lake Regions of Central Africa links two of the greatest names in African exploration -- Burton and Stanley. It has the interest of showing how Stanley planned and budgeted for his first expedition, and reveals the strength of his ambition, his competitive wish to match or even exceed the distances that Burton could accomplish through a heavier investment in men and supplies. Stanley complained on his return to England that neither Burton nor Speke gave sufficient information on how to plan an expedition. However, this was not the case as both dealt with the subject, rather that the scale of expedition that Stanley planned was not how these venerable explorers worked. Hosken p. 34; Penzer p. 65. (2)
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