Livingstone and Stanley Monument

 Livingstone and Stanley Monument, Memorial, Burundi, Africa

Public Art: Livingstone and Stanley Monument (in French 'La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley')

Sculptor: Unknown

Date: Unknown

Description: A huge boulder with Livingstone and Stanley's name and date (25-XI-1871) carved into it.

Location: At Mugere, 12 km out of Bujumbura on the road leading to Rumonge over looking Lake Tanganyika.

History: This rock is often mistaken as the famous site where reporter Henry Stanley, on discovering Dr Livingstone, declared, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?". That event happened on the 10th of November in the small village of Ujiji, in Tanzania, and not on the 25th indicated on the rock. The rock is a memorial to the two days, Livingstone and Stanley, spent at the village of Chief Mukamba in Mugere, Burundi. Six days after discovering the old doctor, the two headed by canoe up the north-east shore of Lake Tanganyika to explore rivers which might flow out of it. Still searching for the source of the Nile, I presume! As they were the first white men to visit the village they were treated like royality by the Chief and the villagers. The rock is in honour of this visit.

Background: David Livingstone (19th March 1813 – 4th May 1873) was a Scottish Presbyterian pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and explorer. In 1840 Dr Livingstone travelled to Africa to explore the continent and to help end the slave trade.
On his return to England, Livingstone had become somewhat of a "national hero" through his writings and lectures about the " Dark Continent" where he stirred up public support for the abolition of slavery.
In 1864, 24 years after his first journey to Africa, Livingstone returned to Africa, but this time on a mission to discover the source of the Nile River. When no word of Livingstone was forthcoming in the months which followed , people feared he was either lost , dead or held captive by remote tribes. Newspapers began printing headlines such as " where is Livingstone?". As months passed into years the publics interest in this man never waned. In 1871, seven years after Livingstone left the shores of England, word of his disappearance had reached America. The story inspired the publisher of the New York Herald, George Bennett, to send reporter Henry Stanley ( 28th January 1841 – 10th May 1904), in search of the British hero. Many saw this as merely a publicity stunt. Bennett commissioned an ex-Civil War fighter, Henry Stanley for the job. On the 21st of March, 1871, Stanley and 2,000 men (mainly slaves) set off on the search for Livingstone. The expedition started on the Eastern shores of Africa and from there they headed into the trecherous interior. For eight long months they scoured the plains, jungles and forests of the deepest darkest Africa looking for the elusive Doctor. For months they faced famine, floods, dysentry and starvation resulting in the death and desertion of nearly two thirds of the original party. On November 10, 1871 the group came across a small village called Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. They were greeted by a large crowd of villagers, but through the mass of people they spotted an old man with a white beard. Pushing through the crowd, Stanley, walked up to the man, took off his hat and said" Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

 

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