EVIDENTLY WRITTEN FROM DEEP IN THE INTERIOR OF AFRICA
DR. DAVID LIVINGSTONE
THANKING A YOUNG LADY BACK IN ENGLAND FOR HER PRAYERS FOR HIS CONTINUED SUCCESS AND SPEAKS OF HIS CONVERTING THE NATIVE AFRICAN POPULATION TO CHRISTIANITY:
“PAUL IS ONE OF THE FIRST CONVERTS OF THE KURUMAN AND LATELY JOINED US. MELROSE HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY COMPANION A HARD WORKER & AN UPRIGHT MAN.”
LIVINGSTONE, DAVID. (1813-1873) Pioneer medical missionary and African explorer; best known for his explorations and having been ‘found’ by journalist Henry Stanley. Important Partial Autograph Letter Signed, “David Livingston”. [Note the lack of the final ‘e’, in his signature. We have encountered this before, in several of his earliest letters. The exact cause, and when he added the final “e”, remains a mystery to us.] One page, small quarto, with integral postal cover. Red postmark of June 20, 1849, and “SHIP LETTER” stamped in black. “Care of Rev. Dr. Philip — Cape Town” crossed out atop address panel section. Some toning, otherwise very fine condition. Addressed in Livingstone’s hand: ‘To Miss Marten, Plaistow, Essex, England” In this fascinating and insightful final page of his letter, Livingstone writes:
“things to contend with to what you have at home & we need your prayers more than anything that the Divine spirit may be poured out upon their souls & that their hearts may be inclined to great salvation. We have two natural teachers with us – very good & useful men. Paul is one of the first converts of the Kuruman and lately joined us. Melrose has always been my companion a hard worker & an upright man. We commend your prayers and sympathies. Will you present our united salutations to all your family & to Mr. — & to children of your school. Affectionately yours, D. Livingston.”
This is a most extraordinary letter in many facets, giving clear biographical information about this African companions, and deserving of its addition in the finest of African continent related collections, or a collection specializing on Livingstone himself.