LIVINGSTONE, David, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Livingstone prepares to set sail

LIVINGSTONE, David (1813-1873). African missionary & explorer.
Autograph Letter Signed to John Laird, 4 pages 8vo with endorsements on the last page, Edg[e]hill [Liverpool], 3 March 1858. Concerning the final arrangements for the Zambesi expedition of 1858 to 1864, and asking Laird to inform other members of the expedition of his plan to come over the next day to 'to your place'.
John Laird (1805-1874) was a shipbuilder. After retiring from his business he became member of parliament for Birkenhead, 1861-74). Laird had built for Livingstone's Zambesi expedition the small pre-fabricated steamer, named by Livingstone the Ma-Robert, which was transported on the Pearl. There is one letter to Laird recorded by Clendennen and Cunningham (David Livingstone, a Catalogue of Documents), dated 21 June 1858, in which the explorer praises the little boat and suggests a few improvements. The present letter is apparently unpublished.
'... I got a telegram yesterday saying that the Pearl would leave at one oclock. I cannot find that she has arrived though it was expected she would about 10.A.M.'
The Colonial Office steamship Pearl, carrying the members of Livingstone's expedition including his wife, Mary and son, Oswell left Liverpool on 10 March 1858 arriving off the east coast of Africa in May. As the ship neared its destination it was discovered that Mrs Livingstone was pregnant, to the annoyance and embarrassment of her husband, who would be deprived of her services on his expedition.
 The fourth page of the letter bears several contemporary annotations including the date and the note Zambesi Expedin in red ink.
[No: 20563]


The image is of the third page


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