14. David Livingston [Livingstone], [near Colesberg], to Rev David G. Watt, Benares, East Indies

Scope and Content

Written on the journey to Kuruman, near Colesberg. Comments on his impressions of the "church establishment" [Roman Catholic] at Rio de Janeiro [where their ship was obliged to stop and refit following a storm]; his impressions of Dr [John Philip] & Mrs Philip [whose guest he was for a time upon arrival at Cape Town with William Ross], the relationship between Philip and the young Robert Moffat, and the general feeling towards Dr Philip in the Colony; account of the missionary-political situation in the region as he saw it, observing the "most disgraceful" tension prevailing between missionaries north and south of the Orange River and amongst themselves on each side of it; his own enjoyment of travelling in Africa; reference to the rumours of the existence of a great fresh-water lake [Ngami] at a distance of two months' journey north by ox-wagon, of the rivalry between French and British missionaries to be the first to discover it, and of a private gift of £400 to Moffat from "some gent in England" towards the cost of an expedition; visit to settlement at Hankey and the mission station; hopes to acquire the colloquial language by living and mixing with the people; reference to Abyssinia as a sphere for missionary endeavour; considers profitable life as a "forerunner".

Administrative / Biographical History

David Livingstone was appointed to Bechuanaland in Southern Africa and sailed 8 Dec 1840, arriving at Cape Town on 14 March and at Kuruman on 31 July 1841.

David Gilkinson Watt served with the London Missionary Society in Benares [Varanasi], North India, 1841-1848.

Dr John Philip (1775-1851) served as Agent of the London Missionary Society in Cape Town and Superintendent of the Society's Mission in South Africa from 1820.

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