7 - 8 April 2004
STANLEY, Henry Morton (1841-1904). Two autograph letters signed (the first with signature excised, the second signed 'Henry M. Stanley') to Agnes Livingstone, 46 Fleet Street, London, 3 August 1872 and [Zanzibar], 4 [no month] 1874, 3 pages, 8vo, and 5 pages, 4to.
TWO IMPORTANT LETTERS TO LIVINGSTONE'S DAUGHTER, REPORTING ON HIS MEETING WITH THE EXPLORER, AND TWO YEARS LATER ON HIS SHOCK AT THE SALE OF LIVINGSTONE'S EFFECTS. Stanley, writing soon after his arrival in England from his 'finding' of Livingstone, responds to a letter from Agnes, in which 'I trace the spirit of the great traveller whom I succored [sic] when in so sad a condition'. Stanley emphasises his own gratitude to Livingstone, 'for he really made my Expedition a success' by agreeing to have the posting of his own letters delayed until 24 hours after confirmation that the New York Herald had received his dispatches: 'In order to permit me to keep my pledge and do everything justly & honorably our agent here telegraphed his two letters at an expense of $8000 - or £1,600'. Stanley trusts that Agnes will have received Livingstone's letters, and that 'the vile insinuations of some portions of the English press may be entirely set aside', and reflects bitterly on the ingratitude of his reception in England. The remainder of the letter comprises a biting attack on John Kirk's 'neglect and indifference' towards Livingstone: Stanley condemns Kirk's 'want of energy ... No one at Zanzibar ever believed that Dr Kirk was doing what he all the time reported himself to be doing ... I went to Zanzibar with full of [sic] admiration and faith in Dr Kirk. I came out of it with this admiration & faith entirely eradicated ... I mean to say that had Dr Kirk exerted a tithe of the energy that he ought to have exerted I should not have found Dr Livingstone almost starving at Ujiji'. Stanley warns Agnes against rumours that Livingstone was unbalanced in his criticism of Kirk - he was 'never so sane as he is now, and his heart is so full of gratitude for the smallest action kindly done'.
The second letter reports the arrival of Stanley's Trans-African Expedition at Zanzibar; on arriving there, he has been 'very much shocked at hearing that a sale was made of your father's effects for which the sum of three pounds was realized!' - Stanley declares himself 'shocked and indignant' on Agnes's behalf at the dispersal of 'valuable souvenirs' for such a paltry sum of money. He has been pleased however to have 'a good sympathetic talk' with a number of Livingstone's followers, including Halima 'the invaluable woman cook'. (2)
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