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David Livingstone

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David Livingstone was a missionary and explorer who was born on 19 March 1813 in the town of Blantyre in Lanarkshire into a Protestant family. His mother was called Agnes Livingstone and his father Neil Livingstone. He worked in a cotton mill from the age of 10 until the age of 26 as a piecer, who made old pieces of cotton thread usable once more. He later worked as a spinner, who spun thread. The owner of the mill offered his workers free schooling, which David took advantage of. He said that the somewhat boring work in the cotton mill gave him the skill of endurance and persistence. At the age of 26 he decided to become a missionary. He originally tried to become a missionary in China, but the Opium War broke out and he was unable to do so. It was suggested that he went to the West Indies but he eventually decided to go to South Africa. He arrived in July 1841 and was disappointed with both the size of the village and the indigenous population of unconverted Christians. After improving a lot of missionaries’ villages in the area, he decided to start going on expeditions. His first major expedition was a trip across the width of Africa. It was said that his good qualities for an explorer were that he travelled relatively lightly and that he had something of a penchant for explaining to tribal chiefs that he was not a threat to their people. His most famous expedition was to find the source of the Nile. After he had done this he lost contact with the outside world for approximately five years, and was eventually located by Henry Stanley, a journalist for the New York Herald. He later died on 1 May 1873 in the Rhodesian town of Ilala.