Henry Morton Stanley
Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) was an explorer, administrator, author and journalist. He was born at Denbigh on 29 June 1841. He was the son of John Rowlands of Llys, near Denbigh, and of Elizabeth Parry, the daughter of a small butcher and grazier of that town. The boy was baptized at Tremeirchion church in the name of John Rowlands. His father died in 1843; his paternal grandfather, a well-to-do farmer, declined to have anything to do with him, and he was left to the care of his mother's relatives.
His boyhood was hard and loveless. His mother, who had gone to service in London and afterwards married again, he seldom saw; and he was boarded out with an old couple who lived within the precincts of Denbigh Castle, his maternal uncles paying half-a-crown a week for his maintenance. In 1847 the weekly subsidy was withdrawn, and he was taken to St. Asaph workhouse. Here he spent nine years, exposed to the brutal tyranny of the workhouse schoolmaster, John Francis, a savage ruffian who ended his career in a lunatic asylum. He seems, however, to have taught his victims something. Young Rowlands read the Bible and the religious biographies and romances in the school library; and he also learnt a little geography, arithmetic, drawing, and singing, as well as gardening, tailoring, and joiner's work.
His energy of character developed early. In May 1856 the boy wrested a rod from the hands of the brutal schoolmaster, and thrashed him soundly. Then he ran away from the workhouse, and took refuge with his Denbigh relatives. One of his cousins, the master of the National school at Brynford, employed him as a pupil teacher, and taught him some mathematics, Latin, and English grammar. Nine months later he was helping an aunt who kept a farm and inn near Tremeirchion, whence he passed to some other relatives, working-people in Liverpool. He got a place in a haberdasher's shop, and then at a butcher's till he shipped as a cabin-boy in the winter of 1859 on board an American packet bound for New Orleans.
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Arrival in America
He received no wages for the voyage, and stepped ashore, friendless and penniless. Walking along the streets of New Orleans in search of work, he attracted the notice of a kindly cotton-broker named Henry Stanley, who obtained a situation for him in a store. Mr. Stanley took to the boy from the first, made him free of his house, and eventually adopted him as his son, intending to prepare him for a mercantile career. John Rowlands, thenceforward and for the remainder of his life known by his benefactor's name, spent two happy years traveling among the Mississippi towns with, this kindly and cultivated man, and educating himself by sedulous reading. In September 1860 he was sent up to Cyprus Bend, Arkansas, where he was to serve a sort of apprenticeship in a country store, while his adopted father went on a trip to settle some business in Havana. They never saw one another again. The elder Stanley died suddenly in the spring of 1861, without having made any provision for his adopted son.
Meanwhile the state of Arkansas was seething with, excitement over the approaching civil war. The young Welshman's friends and neighbors were ardent secessionists, and all the young men were eager to put on uniform for 'Dixie.' Stanley was carried away in the stream, and in July 1861 he entered the service of the Confederate States as a volunteer in the 6th Arkansas regiment. In later life he regarded this step as 'a grave blunder,' for his sympathies, if he had considered the matter, would have been with the north. He served with the Confederates nearly ten months, and had some rough experiences in camp and on the march in the winter of 1861-2. On 6 April in the latter year his regiment was in the thick of the fighting at the battle of Shiloh. Stanley seems to have borne himself bravely, and advancing beyond the firing line when his company retired he was taken prisoner. He was confined at Camp Douglas, Chicago, with some hundreds of other captured Confederates in a state of utter wretchedness and squalor. He endured the miseries of this situation, with disease and death all round him, for some two months. On 4 June he obtained his release by enlisting in the United States artillery. For this transaction he was often reproached afterwards, but in all the circumstances it was excusable enough. He had, however, no opportunity of taking part in the operations of the Federal armies. He was attacked by dysentery and low fever within a few days of his enrollment, taken to hospital, and a fortnight later discharged from the service at Harper's Ferry, without a penny in his pocket, and almost too weak to walk, in a condition 'as low as it would be possible to reduce a human being to, outside of an American prison.'
A kindly farmer took pity on him, and gave him shelter for several weeks until his health was restored by good food and fresh air. He left this harborage in August 1862, and for the next two years was engaged in an arduous, and at first unpromising, struggle for a livelihood, taking such employment as he could obtain. In the late autumn of 1862 he shipped on board a vessel bound for Liverpool and made his way to his mother's house at Denbigh, very poor, in bad health, and shabbily dressed. He was told that he had disgraced his family and was 'desired to leave as speedily as possible.' He returned to America and the life of the sea. During 1863 and the earlier part of 1864 he made various voyages, sailing to the West Indies, Italy, and Spain. He was wrecked off Barcelona and swam ashore naked, the only survivor of the ship's company. In August 1864 he enlisted in the United States navy, and served as a ship's writer on vessels which took part in the two expeditions against Fort Fisher in North Carolina. A daring exploit commonly credited to him was that of swimming under the fire of the batteries in order to fix a rope to a captured Confederate steamer. Some accounts of these stirring events he sent to the newspapers, and so made his entry into journalism. When he left the navy at the close of the war in April 1865 he had already established a sufficient connection with, the press to enable him to wander about the western states as a more or less accredited correspondent of the newspapers. With his budget of adventures, his keen observation, and the graphic descriptive style he was already beginning to acquire, his journalistic progress was rapid. He was well paid for his contributions, and by July 1866 his resources and his connections were sufficient to enable him with a companion to take a trip to Asia Minor. The two young men left Smyrna in search of adventures, and found them, as Stanley usually did. They were attacked by a body of Turkoman brigands, robbed of their money, insulted, beaten, and threatened with death. Escaping with some difficulty, they made their way to Constantinople, where the American minister took up their cause, and obtained compensation for them from the Turkish government. Later in this year, on his way back to America, Stanley revisited his Welsh birthplace, where some of his relatives were now by no means unwilling to recognize the clever and rising young man of the world.
The following year he was sent by the 'Missouri Democrat' as special correspondent with General Hancock on his expedition against the Comanche, Sioux, and Kiowa Indians. His picturesque letters were afterwards republished by himself in the first volume of the book called 'My Early Travels and Adventures in America and Asia' (London, 1895). Through his contributions to the 'Democrat' and other newspapers, he was able to make ninety dollars a week in addition to his expenses; and 'by economy and hard work' he had saved at the beginning of 1868 six hundred pounds. Hearing of the British expedition to Abyssinia, he threw up his engagement with the Missouri journal, went to New York, and offered his services to the 'Herald,' which gave him a commission as its correspondent for the campaign. He accompanied Sir Robert (Lord) Napier's column in the long and difficult march to Magdala, and described the operations and the entry of the British troops into King Theodore's capital in animated dispatches. The campaign established his reputation as a graphic writer and an exceptionally able and energetic journalist. By a smart piece of enterprise he outpaced all his competitors as well as the official despatch-writers, so that London first heard the news of the fall of Magdala through the telegrams of the 'New York Herald.' Stanley was now a man of mark, and was recognized as one of the foremost newspaper correspondents of the time.
His ambition rose to higher things. 'I was not sent into the world,' he wrote long afterwards in his autobiography, 'to be happy or to search for happiness. I was sent for a special work.' He had a premonition that the work was concerned with travel and exploration in Asia or Africa, and he was preparing himself for it by the study of history and geographical literature. His Abyssinian letters are those of the student as well as the adventurer. He had further opportunities of enlarging his knowledge and experience. After the Abyssinian war he wandered about the Mediterranean islands, sending interesting letters from Crete and elsewhere to the 'Herald.' Then he went to Spain, where he saw more fighting, and described the flight of Queen Isabella, and the republican rising of 1869.
It was in October of that year that his great opportunity came. Dr. David Livingstone. the famous Scottish missionary and explorer, was lost somewhere in the Lake Tanganyika region, and England and America were interested in his fate. In November 1868 Stanley had been requested by Mr. Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of the 'New York Herald,' to interrupt his Spanish tour in order to go to Egypt and meet Livingstone, who was supposed to be returning down the Nile. He went to Aden and spent ten weeks there, corresponding with the consul at Zanzibar ; but no tidings could be gathered of the missionary, and Stanley was sent back to Spain. He was at Madrid in the autumn of the following year when he received a hasty summons to Paris to meet Bennett, who gave him instructions to 'find Livingstone,' wherever he might be. Stanley was to make such arrangements as he thought fit and to be supplied with all the funds he would require. The commission was accepted without a moment's hesitation, and Stanley set to work to carry it out the next day, 17 Oct. 1869. But Mr. Bennett required him to undertake a number of other important missions before entering upon the search for Livingstone. The first was to describe the series of imposing fetes and ceremonies with which the opening of the Suez Canal was celebrated.' Afterwards he went up the Nile and wrote of the scenery and antiquities of Egypt with a growing breadth of knowledge and outlook. Then he was at Jerusalem looking on at Sir Charles Warren's explorations of the underground passages and conduits, and writing with enthusiasm and interest of Biblical topography. From Palestine he passed to Constantinople and began a long journey to the Caucasus, Batoum, Tiflis, Baku, and Resht, and over the Persian table-land through Teheran and Shiraz to Bushire, where he took ship for Bombay. Thus it was not till 6 Jan. 1871 that he reached Zanzibar and was able to begin organizing his expedition into the interior of Africa.
He left Bagamoyo on 21 March with a 'compact little force' of three whites, thirty-one armed Zanzibaris, 153 porters, and twenty-nine pack-animals and riding horses. The objective of the journey was Lake Tanganyika, as it was understood that Livingstone was somewhere near the borders of that inland sea. The march was long and arduous. Passing through the Unyam-wezi country, Stanley came to the Arab colony of Unyanyembe, where he imprudently took part in the war between the Arabs and the powerful chief Mirambo and suffered considerable losses both of men and stores. He was compelled to turn southward, and at one time was reduced to so much distress through the disorganization of his caravan and the exactions of native chiefs that he had thoughts of returning to the coast. News of a white man on the lake shore encouraged him to go forward, and on 10 Nov. 1871 he arrived at Ujiji. Livingstone had reached this place only ten days earlier on his return from his long journey west of the lake to trace the course of the Lualaba and ascertain whether it flowed into the Nile. The missionary was 'reduced to the lowest ebb in fortune,' in very bad health, 'a mere ruckle of bones,' almost without followers and provisions. He was, however, still determined to pursue his discoveries, and declined Stanley's offer to escort him back to Zanzibar. The two explorers spent some weeks together on the lake, examined its northern shore, and arrived at Unyanyembe on 18 Feb. 1872. On 14 March Stanley began his journey to the coast, reaching Zanzibar fifty-four days afterwards. A fortnight later he was able to despatch to Unyanyembe a well-equipped caravan with which Livingstone set out on what proved to be the last of his explorations.
Stanley returned to find himself famous. England and America rang with the story of his African adventures, which he proceeded to describe in detail in his book 'How I found Livingstone' (1872). But there was a good deal of jealousy of the young explorer, and a tendency among the high-priests of geographical orthodoxy to sneer at his enterprise as a piece of advertising journalism promoted by a newspaper which had become notorious for its sensationalism. Sir Henry Rawlinson [q.v.], president of the Royal Geographical Society, said that it was not Stanley who had discovered Livingstone, but Livingstone who had discovered Stanley; and some of the newspapers threw doubts upon the authenticity of the whole story of the expedition, and found 'something mysterious and inexplicable' in its leader's narrative. Stanley's own bearing did little to soften the prejudices of those who were determined to dislike him. He was quick of speech and temper, and he answered the aspersions cast upon him and his work with passionate directness. At the meeting of the geographical section of the British Association at Brighton he gave an account of his travels to a large and distinguished audience. In the discussion which followed Francis Galton [q. v. Suppl. II] and other eminent men of science showed little respect for either Stanley or Livingstone as geographical experts, and pointed out the weakness of the missionary's theory that the Lualaba was the source of the Nile. It was reserved for Stanley himself at a later period to demonstrate the erroneousness of this belief. But the attacks upon his friend as well as himself nettled him, and at this meeting and at other gatherings he hit back with a vigour that was sometimes indiscreet, and gave fresh opportunities for hostile criticism. These episodes created a prejudice against him in certain sections of the English press and London society which left traces for years. 'All the actions of my life,' he wrote long afterwards, 'and I may say all my thoughts since 1872, have been strongly colored by the storm of abuse and the wholly unjustifiable reports circulated about me then. So numerous were my enemies that my friends became dumb.' But the authenticity of the journals he had brought home was certified by Livingstone's family; and in spite of the sneers of the geographers, Stanley received many gratifying proofs of recognition. He was entertained by the duke of Sutherland at Dunrobin Castle, and there presented to Queen Victoria, who sent him a gold snuff-box set with brilliants. His book was widely read and was a great pecuniary success, and so were the lectures which he delivered during the next few months to large audiences, first in England and then in America.
In 1873 the 'New York Herald' commissioned him to accompany the British expedition against the Ashantis under Sir Garnet Wolseley. Stanley won the approval of the English officers by his conduct during the march to Kumassi. Lord Wolseley was struck by his courage. 'I had been,' he wrote (in his Story of a Soldier's Life, ii. 342) 'previously somewhat prejudiced against him, but all such feelings were slain and buried at Amoaful. Ever since I have been proud to reckon him amongst the bravest of my brave comrades; and I hope he will not be offended if I add him amongst my best friends also.' Stanley embodied his account of this, and the other British campaign which he had witnessed, in the vivacious pages of his book, 'Coomassie and Magdala,' published in 1874.
On 25 Feb. of this year, on his way back from West Africa, he heard the news of Livingstone's death. 'May I be selected to succeed him,' he wrote in his diary, 'in opening up Africa to the shining light of Christianity!' He was anxious also to settle the great geographical problems left unsolved by Livingstone and by Speke, Burton, Grant, and Baker — that of the Lualaba and of the outlets and extent of the Great Lakes. It was to clear up some of these mysteries that Stanley undertook his next great expedition to equatorial Africa under a joint commission from the 'New York Herald' and the London 'Daily Telegraph.' In the autumn of 1874, after elaborate and expensive preparations in London and Zanzibar, he was able to begin his march from the coast. He was in his thirty-fourth year, with a store of invaluable experience, and a fund of dauntless energy. The expedition he commanded was probably the best equipped which had ever accompanied a white traveller into the interior of Africa, and it did more to open up the heart of the continent and to elucidate its geography than any other before or since. Stanley with two white companions, Francis and Edward Pocock, a white servant, and 356 native followers, left Zanzibar on 11 Nov. It was nearly three years before he emerged upon the shores of the Atlantic, having in the interval crossed Africa from ocean to ocean, determined the limits, area, and northern river connections of Lakes Nyanza and Tanganyika, examined the interesting kingdom of Uganda, and laid the foundations for its conversion to Christianity by his conversations with King Mtesa, and his communications to the Church Missionary Society. From the lake region he struck west for the Lualaba, worked down it till he reached its confluence with the Congo, and then traced the course of that river along its immense curve to the sea. The difficulties of this amazing march through lands unknown even to the Arab traders and slave-hunters were prodigious. Stanley triumphed over them by the exercise of that indomitable resolution, invincible patience, and sagacious judgment which entitle him to a place in the very front rank of the world's greatest explorers. This journey of 1874-7 left an enduring impress upon history: for out of it grew the Congo State and the Anglo-Egyptian dominion on the Upper Nile; and its direct result was to embark the nations of the West upon that 'scramble for Africa' which created new dominions, protectorates, and spheres of influence in the dark continent, and new rivalries and alliances in Europe. Incidentally Stanley solved a geographical problem of the first importance, and revealed the estuary of the Congo as the entrance to one of the mightiest rivers of the earth.
It was on 9 Aug. 1877 that Stanley's wearied column staggered into Boma. His three white companions were dead; he himself had suffered severely from the strain and solitude of the prolonged marches. With that solicitude for his native followers which he always exhibited, in spite of stories to the contrary effect, his first care was to convey them to their homes on the shores of the Indian ocean. He took them round to Zanzibar by sea, and thence made his own way back to England. The full account of his expedition was published in 'Through the Dark Continent' (1878), and the book was read with avidity in every civilised country. Its author threw himself into the task of bringing commercial enterprise and civilised government into the vast regions he had disclosed to the world. He lectured to interested audiences in the great manufacturing and trading centres, corresponded with merchants and financiers, and approached the British government; but he met with no effective support in England for his project of bridging the rapids of the Lower Congo by a road and railway from the sea to the navigable portion of the river. He was reluctantly compelled to obtain assistance from another quarter. King Leopold II of Belgium, a monarch of many faults, but with some large and imaginative ideas, was alive to the possibilities of equatorial Africa. In August 1878 Stanley met King Leopold's commissioners in Paris, and in November he was the king's guest at Brussels, and assisted in the formation of the 'Comité d'Études du Haut Congo,' which was intended to prove the capabilities of the Congo territory, and to lay the basis for its systematic exploitation. And it was as the representative of this committee, which afterwards changed its name to that of 'Association Internationale du Congo,' and with funds supplied by its subscribers, that Stanley again set out for Central Africa.
As before he recruited his immediate followers in Zanzibar, taking some of his old faithful retainers who had served with him through the great trans-continental march. He brought them by sea to the mouth of the Congo, where he arrived on 15 Aug. 1879, just two years after he had reached it on his descent of the great river. He remained in the Congo region for nearly five years, and they were years of arduous and fruitful labour. Their story is told in 'The Congo and the Founding of its Free State,' which Stanley published in 1885. The explorer and adventurer had now to act as pioneer, town-builder, road-maker, administrator, and diplomatist. M. de Brazza, a French traveller who had heard of Stanley's projects, made a rapid dash for the Upper Congo, and just forestalled its discoverer in obtaining from the native chiefs the cession of a long strip of territory on the north bank of the river. Thus was Stanley indirectly responsible for endowing France with a great tropical dominion. He secured for the Association Internationale the whole south bank of the river and the north and west shores as well beyond the confluence with the Mobangi. Then he began the work of establishing a chain of trading stations and administrative stations along the course of the Congo, making treaties with the native chiefs, buying land, building fortified block-houses and warehouses, choosing sites for quays, river-harbors, streets, European settlements, even gardens and promenades. The work was all done under his personal superintendence, and some of it with his own hand; for he often toiled in the midst of his assistants with axe and hammer under the blazing African sun, and his energy in road-making through the boulder-strewn valley of the Lower Congo caused the natives to call him Bula Matari, the Breaker of Rocks, a name which appealed to his imagination and was recalled by him with satisfaction to the end of his life. He was frequently prostrated by fever, and in 1882 he was compelled to make a trip to Europe. He returned after a few weeks' absence and went on steadily with his political and pioneering work along the thousand miles of the navigable Congo from Stanley Pool to Stanley Falls, laying the foundations of that vast administrative system, extending from the Atlantic to the great lakes, and from the Sudan to Barotseland, which became the Congo State. By the summer of 1884 he felt that the initial stage in the establishment of the State was finished, and it only remained for him to hand over his functions to a competent successor.
He returned to Europe, having given to the huge tract of the dark continent which he had opened to the fight, definite boundaries, and the elements of what he hoped might develop into an organized system of government under European direction. He had shown high administrative talent, and on the whole a just and liberal conception of the principles by which European rule over Africans should be inspired. If his counsels had been followed, the abuses which overtook the Congo administration some years later would have been avoided. For these scandals of the Belgian regime Stanley was in no way responsible, and they caused him much chagrin and vexation, which he sometimes revealed in private, though his loyalty to his former employer, the king of the Belgians, restrained him from any public expression of opinion on the subject, The king frequently invited him to return to the Congo; but he declined, having no desire (so he wrote in 1896) 'to see mistakes consummated, to be tortured daily by seeing the effects of an ignorant and erring policy,' or to be tempted to 'disturb a moral malaria injurious to the reorganizer.'
But for some time after his return to Europe in 1884 he continued to be closely interested in Congo affairs. He attended the Berlin Conference, in which he gave his services to the American delegation as an expert adviser on geographical and technical questions. He lectured in Germany on the commercial possibilities of the newly discovered region, and did much to rouse German interest in Central African trade and exploitation. In England, by lectures and by personal communication with influential groups of financiers and merchants, he endeavored to promote enterprise in the equatorial regions, and he tried hard to get his scheme for a Congo railway carried out by English capitalists. He regretted that England had allowed the first-fruits of the harvest he had sown to be reaped by others; but he was anxious that she should still obtain the advantage of being the pioneer in that portion of the African continent which was still unappropriated. It was in pursuance of these ideas that he undertook his next and final mission to the lands of the equator.
The expedition was indirectly due to the catastrophe of 26 Jan. 1885, when Khartoum fell into the hands of the Mahdists and Gordon was killed. The Sudan was submerged by the dervish hordes and the only organized Egyptian force left was that under Emin Pasha in Wadelai on the left bank of the Nile, about 25° north of Lake Nyanza. Emin, a German naturalist whose real name was Eduard Sclinitzer, had been appointed by Gordon to the governorship of the equatorial province, and was understood to be in a very precarious situation. His difficulties aroused much sympathy in England; Sir William Mackinnon [q. v. Suppl. I], chairman of the British India Steam Navigation Company, raised a fund for his relief, and received a grant for the same purpose from the Egyptian government. To Stanley was entrusted the organization and leadership of the rescue expedition. Sufficient funds were in the hands of Mackinnon's committee by the end of 1886; and in December of that year Stanley, who had gone to America on a lecturing tour, was recalled to England by cable to begin his preparations for the adventure. It proved in some respects the least successful of his greater enterprises. From the outset it was hampered by divided aims and inconsistent purposes. It had other objects besides that of relieving Emin Pasha. MacMnnon and his Glasgow and Manchester friends desired to establish a British sphere of influence and trade in the region between Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean, and they believed that this project might be carried out in connection with the advance to Wadelai. Stanley, fully concurring in this scheme, was also anxious to do what he could for the Congo State and its proprietors. The expedition had been intended to start from Zanzibar and to march westward through Uganda to Lake Albert. But the route was changed almost at the last moment, and it was decided to work from the east coast and march across the whole extent of the Congo state to the Nile. The north-eastern portion of the state would thus be explored, and it was hoped that Stanley would be able to make suitable arrangements with the local chiefs and Arab slave-traders who had not yet acknowledged the authority of the new government. The decision, as it turned out, led to difficulties and misfortunes of many kinds. There were other adverse circumstances. Stanley was not a man who worked easily with others ; his personality was too strong and dominating to allow him to give his complete confidence to his lieutenants. On this occasion a good deal of pressure was brought to bear to induce him to accept the services of some of the young men of spirit and social standing who were eager to accompany him. Among those selected were Major E. M. Barttelot and three other officers of the British army, and Mr. Jameson, a wealthy sportsman and naturalist. These young gentlemen, though brave and adventurous, had no specific knowledge of African exploration, and they did not always carry out their leader's instructions with the unquestioning obedience he expected from those under his command.
He recruited his native followers as usual in Zanzibar, and early in 1887 took them by sea to the mouth of the Congo. The expedition arrived at Stanley Pool on 21 March 1887. Stanley had made an agreement with Tippu Tib, a great Arab trading chief, whereby that powerful personage was appointed governor of the Eastern Congo district, and in return undertook to supply the caravan with provisions, guides, and porters. The party worked its way up the Congo to its junction with the Aruwimi, and then at the end of May turned eastward to march direct to the Albert Nyanza. A fortnight later Yambuya was reached, and at this place Stanley divided his force. Major Barttelot and Jameson were left in command of a strong rear-guard which was to remain at Yambuya and advance when required with the reserve stores and baggage. Stanley himself, with five Europeans and three hundred and eighty-four natives, pushed on, believing Emin to be in such desperate straits that it was essential to lose no time in going to his assistance. The march lay through five hundred and forty miles of absolutely unknown country, much of it dense tropical forest, through which a path had to be cleared with axe, cutlass, and billhook. For five months the party were hidden under this 'solemn and foodless forest,' scarcely ever seeing the open sky, or a patch of clearing, 'with ooze frequently a cubit deep, the soil often as treacherous as ice to the barefooted carrier, creek-beds strewn with sharp-edged oyster shells, streams choked with snags, chilling mist and icy rain, thunder-clatter and sleepless nights, and a score of other horrors.' The Manyuema raiders had scared away such natives as might have supplied food, privation and fever worked havoc in the column, and half the colored followers had perished before the Albert Nyanza was reached on 13 Dec. Here Stanley expected to find Emin and the steamers he was known to have at his disposal.
The Pasha, however, was not there nor were his vessels. The governor, as it turned out, was by no means anxious to be rescued in the sense intended by his English friends. Relief, in his view, did not include being relieved of his governorship or coming away as a fugitive. He exercised a show of authority in the province, his Egyptian officers, though insubordinate and unruly, yielded him a nominal obedience, and he had made terms with some of the powerful local chiefs. He remained at Wadelai, and for nearly three months the relief column awaited him in vain. At length Stanley sent up one of his assistants, Arthur Jenny Mounteney Jephson [q. v. Suppl. II], to get into touch with the German Pasha, who was with much difficulty induced to come down the lake in his steamer, with a Sudanese guard, an Italian, and several Egyptian officers, and a welcome and much-needed supply of provisions. Twenty-five days were spent by Stanley in camp with Emin, who continued to exhibit the greatest reluctance to be taken away without his 'people,' the soldiers and civilians who had come with him from Egypt and their native dependents. He was still undecided when Stanley left him to retrace his steps through the forest and look for his rear-guard.
Of that force nothing had been heard, and Stanley's anxiety on its account was fully justified. The rear-column had met with terrible disaster. Tippu Tib had broken faith, and failed to supply food and proper transport ; and Major Barttelot had been compelled to linger for ten months at Yambuya before setting out on Stanley's traces with a body of disorderly Manyuema savages, whom Tippu Tib had sent as carriers. With these Barttelot advanced ninety miles to a place called Banalya. A month before Stanley's arrival the Manyuema broke out into mutiny and Barttelot was shot through the heart. Jameson, who had been sent up the Congo to collect fresh carriers, soon afterwards died of fever, two other officers had gone down to the coast, and only one European was left ; three-quarters of the native followers were dead or dying. The remnants Stanley reorganized with his own column, and once more made a march through the Aruwimi forest. Many perished during this toilsome and painful journey ; but by the first month of 1889 the whole force (reduced, however, to a third of its original number) was collected on the shores of Lake Albert. Emin, whose troops had revolted during Stanley's absence, was at length induced to join the party, with several hundred of his people, Egyptian officers, clerks, native servants, women, and children. The march to the coast occupied the summer and autumn of 1889 ; and in the course of the journey Stanley discovered the great snow-capped range of Ruwenzori, the Moimtains of the Moon, besides a new lake which he named the Albert Edward Nyanza, and a large south-western extension of Lake Victoria. On the morning of 4 Dec. 1889 the expedition reached the ocean at Bagamoyo. Friction again occurred with Emin, who ultimately transferred himself to the German service, leaving Stanley to come home without him. Thus the expedition had failed to achieve its primary object. It had, however, accomplished great things, it had made notable additions to African geography and ethnology, and it had come upon the pigmy tribes who had inhabited the great African forest since prehistoric times. On his way down to the coast Stanley had concluded treaties with various native chiefs which he transferred to Sir William Mackinnon's company and so laid the foundation of the British East African Protectorate. In the short space of fifteen years a single private individual, unsupported by a great armed force or the authority of a government, had been the means of incorporating over two million square miles of the earth's surface with the political system of the civilized world.
Before he returned to Europe Stanley stayed for some weeks in Egypt to rest after the fatigue and privations of a journey which shortened the lives of his younger companions and left his own health shattered. After his arrival in England he had to encounter much hostile comment upon the miscarriage of the Emin Pasha 'rescue' project ; and an embittered controversy arose over the tragedy of the rear-guard. But the value of Stanley's work and the magnitude of his achievements were recognized by those best capable of understanding them and by the public at large. If he cannot be cleared of all responsibility for some of the misfortunes incurred in the expedition, his gifts of character were never more conspicuously displayed than in the courage and tenacity by which he redeemed the failures, saved his broken columns from utter ruin, and rendered the enterprise fruitful, and, in its ultimate consequences, epoch-making. Only a man of his iron resolution and invincible resource could have carried through the awful marches and counter-marches in the tropical forests and along the banks of the Aruwdmi. The journey from the lakes to the coast, with his own weak and exhausted column escorting Emin's mob of a thousand men, women, and children, a worn, diseased multitude, ill-supplied with food, in itself called for the highest qualities of leadership. Sir George Grey, the veteran pro-consul, wrote from Auckland to congratulate Stanley on his exploit. 'I have thought over all history, but I cannot call to mind a greater task than you have performed. It is not an exploration alone you have accomplished ; it is also a great military movement.' Honors and distinctions were conferred upon Stanley by universities and learned societies at home and abroad. Ten thousand people attended the reception given by the Royal Geographical Society at the Albert Hall to hear him lecture on his discoveries ; and the vote of thanks to the lecturer was moved by the Prince of Wales. The press controversy only increased the demand for the book, 'In Darkest Africa' (1890), in which he wrote an account of his journey. It was published simultaneously in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch, and in its English form alone it had a sale of a hundred and fifty-thousand copies.
On 12 July 1890 Stanley was married in Westminster Abbey to Miss Dorothy Tennant, a lady with many accomplishments and many friends, a painter of distinguished talent, the second daughter of Charles Tennant of Cadoxton, Glamorgan, sometime M.P. for St. Albans. After a restful honeymoon in the south of France and the Engadine, Stanley went with his bride to the United States, where he gave lectures, and had a great reception everywhere. The following year he started with Mrs. Stanley on a prolonged lecturing tour in Australasia, and returned to settle down in England. The king of the Belgians offered him another mission to the Congo ; but his health was no longer equal to the strain of any journey more arduous than a holiday trip. Other activities, however, still lay before him. He abandoned his American citizenship and was re-naturalized as a British subject ; and in June 1892 he endeavored, or was induced to endeavor, to enter parliament. Only a fortnight before the polling day he came forward as liberal unionist candidate for North Lambeth, declaring in his election address that his 'one mastering desire' was for 'the maintenance, the spread, the dignity, the usefulness of the British Empire.' He was defeated by a majority of a hundred and thirty votes ; and though he heartily detested everything connected with electioneering he consented to stand again. In July 1895, more by his wife's exertions than his own, he was returned as member for North Lambeth with a majority of four hundred and five.
In the House of Commons his career was inconspicuous. He spoke occasionally on African affairs and strongly urged the construction of the Uganda railway. But he made no parliamentary reputation and soon tired of his legislative duties. He had no real interest in party politics, and he disliked the bad air, the late hours, and the dilatory methods of the House of Commons. At the general election of 1900 he did not seek re-election. In October 1897 he paid a visit to South Africa at the invitation of the British South Africa Company and the citizens of Bulawayo, to take part in the opening of the railway connecting that town with the Cape. After a trip through Rhodesia to the Victoria Falls he made a tour in the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, and Natal, conversed with Boers and Uitlanders at Johannesburg, and had an interview with President Kruger, whose conduct and character he felt convinced would eventually lead to a rupture with the imperial government. His estimate of the military as well as the political situation was singularly acute, and in a letter written just two years before the outbreak of the Boer war he pointed out the strategic weakness of the English position in Natal. With the account of his tour published under the title of 'Through South Africa' (1898) his literary activity came to an end. His health made a country life essential. In the autumn of 1898 he bought the estate of Furze HUl, Pirbright, Surrey ; and there he passed most of his time, residing in London occasionally at the house of his wife's mother, 2 Richmond Terrace, Whitehall. In 1899 his services to geographical science and the British empire were tardily recognized by the grand cross of the Bath. The king of the Belgians had already conferred upon him in 1885 the grand cordon of the order of Leopold. His life at Furze Hill was peaceful and happy. He drained, built, and planted, and devoted himself to the improvement of his Surrey estate with the same systematic method and forethought which he had bestowed on greater enterprises. Time and matured experience had toned down his former nervous, self-assertive vitality. He was a man essentially of a kindly and humane disposition, with strong religious convictions ; and there was never any warrant for the allegation that he treated the African natives with brutality or callousness, though no doubt in his earlier expeditions he was sometimes hasty and violent in his methods. His views on the subject are expressed in a letter he sent to 'The Times' in December 1890, during the discussion over the Emin relief expedition.
'I have learnt' (he then wrote) 'by actual stress of imminent danger, in the first place, that self-control is more indispensable than gunpowder, and, in the second place, that persistent self-control under the provocation of African travel is impossible without real, heartfelt sympathy for the natives with whom one has to deal.' The natives should be regarded not as 'mere brutes' but 'as children, who require, indeed, different methods of rule from English or American citizens, but who must be ruled in precisely the same spirit, with the same absence of caprice and anger, the same essential respect to our fellow-men.'
His constitution had never completely recovered from the effects of his equatorial expeditions, particularly the last. On 15 April 1903 he was stricken with paralysis; and after a year of suffering, borne with characteristic fortitude, he died at Richmond Terrace on 10 May 1904. It was his wish to be buried in Westminster Abbey, beside Livingstone. But the requisite permission was not granted; and the traveller who had done more than Livingstone, or any other explorer, to solve the mysteries of African geography, and open up the interior of the dark continent to European trade, settlement, and administration, was buried in the village church-yard of Pirbright. A granite monolith above his grave bears only the inscription 'Henry Morton Stanley, 1841-1904,' with his African name 'Bula Matari,' and by way of epitaph the one word 'Africa.' Lady Stanley was married in 1907 to Mr. Henry Curtis, F.R.C.S.
There is a good portrait of Stanley in Windsor Castle, painted for Queen Victoria by von Angeh in 1890. It is an excellent likeness and a favorable example of the painter's work. Another portrait, also of considerable artistic merit, was painted by Lady Stanley in 1895. A portrait by Sir Hubert von Herkomer was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1887; and a sculptured bust by Henry Stormont Leifchild in 1873.
[Personal knowledge and private information; The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, edited by his wife, Dorothy Stanley, London, 1909, which contains Stanley's absorbing account of his boyhood and experiences in America up to the time he quitted the Federal army, with many extracts from his later diaries and correspondence and a connecting narrative; Stanley's own My Early Travels and Adventures in America and Asia, 2 vols. 1895; Henry M. Stanley, the Story of his Life, London, n.d., written by a relative, Cadwalader Rowlands, about 1872, gives some information about Stanley's early years and his family, but is inaccurate and untrustworthy. The record of the great African adventures must be read in the vivid pages of the explorer's travel-books, the titles of which are given above; and they may be supplemented by two lighter works, My Kalulu, Prince, King, and Slave, 1873, and My Dark Companions and their Strange Stories, 1893. For the Emin rehef expedition and the controversies that arose in connection with it, see H. Brode's Tippoo Tib, 1907; G. Schweitzer's Emin Pasha, his Life and Work, 2 vols. 1898; Major G. Casati's Ten Years in Equatoria and the Return with Emin Pasha, 1891; A. J. Mounteney-Jephson's Emin Pasha and the Rebellion at the Equator, 1890. The books compiled by those who had a close personal interest in the disasters of the rear column, J. R. Troup's With Stanley's Rear Column, 1890; Herbert Ward's With Stanley's Rear Guard, 1891; Mrs. J. S. Jameson's The Story of the Rear Column, 1890; and W. G. Barttelot's Life of Edmund Musgrave Barttelot, 1890, must be read with caution, especially the last, which is written in a spirit of virulent animosity against Stanley. See also for general summaries of Stanley's career and achievements. The Times, and The Standard, 11 May 1904; and an article by the present writer in the Cornhill Magazine for July 1904.]
Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement. pgs. 384-393.
1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 25. pgs. 779-781.
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