40. David Livingston [Livingstone], Chonuane [Chonwane], to Rev David G. Watt, Almorah, East Indies

Scope and Content

Personal letter; discusses Watt's recovery and return to India; refers to his new son [Robert Moffat Livingstone]; describes journey east with his family; notes the more densely populated areas and the tensions between the indigenous peoples and the Boors [Boers] who are finding their way into these regions; describes a Boer raid; encounters with Boers have inspired fear against all white men; feels there are more missionaries in the Colony ("French, German, English, Scotch, Wesleyan &c &c") than the region requires, and enumerates the various mission personnel in each station; the "real missionary stations have long ago served their purpose" (such as Bethelsdorp and Hankey); describes his preferred method of leaving a community "under native instruction" and moving on as soon as possible; local practices of spinning with cotton and working with tin and copper; refers to the need for an institution for training teachers and the opposition encountered to this in the District Committee; his desire to have "as little to do with the other missionaries as possible. I have had nought but grief & injury from them"; death of Mrs Ross from dysentry; Inglis away in the Colony for supplies - complains that missionaries frequently leave their posts for months at a time to do this and his determination not to visit the Colony if he can avoid it; loss of geological specimens on the railroad; difficulty in preserving animal specimens due to the heat; has sent valuable seeds to Calcutta; describes particular trees and roots he has observed; describes a type of fly that will prevent travelling North with waggons or horses [Tsetse]; refers to fever near the coast; asks "Who will penetrate through Africa?".

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