Doctor Livingstone, I presume

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 2 23:48:10 UTC 2011

Thank you. This is one of apparently several stories that appeared in the
Herald during the month. Barry Popik cited a similar story on July 11. But
there remains some question as to what, if anything, might have appeared
before the NYT printing of excerpts on July 2.

Incidentally, there are several variations in the versions of the story
retold between 1872 and 1915 (after that, the accounts are pretty much
completely recycled). There are two versions of the story--one with Stanley
and his group coming up on Livingstone almost directly vs. encountering his
servants and associates in the village first, then finding Livingstone
himself. Some details may appear or disappear, such as gestures on the part
of either man with respect to the hat/cap/helmet. But few mention any "Arab
dignitaries", as it is told here.


On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 7:30 PM, Baker, John <JMB at> wrote:

>        From the account in The New York Herald, July 15, 1872, p. 5,
> via Access Newspaper Archive:
>        Passing from the rear of it to the front I saw a knot of Arabs,
> and, in the centre, in striking contrast to their sunburnt faces, was a
> pale-looking and gray-bearded white man, in a navy cap, with a faded
> gold band about it, and red woollen jacket. This white man was Dr. David
> Livingstone, the hero traveller, the object of the search.
>                THE MEETING.
>        It was the dignity that a white man and leader of an expedition
> ought to possess that prevented me from running to shake hands with the
> venerable traveller; but when I first caught sight of him--the man with
> whose books on Africa I was first made acquainted when a boy--so far
> away from civilization,
> it was very tempting. False pride and the presence of the grave-looking
> Arab dignitaries of Ujiji restrained me and suggested to me to say with
> a shake of the hand,
>        "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
>        "Yes," was the answer, with a kind smile.>>
> John Baker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of victor steinbok
> Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 5:28 PM
> Subject: Doctor Livingstone, I presume
> Has July 1872 NY Herald been scanned anywhere so that at least that part
> of
> the mystery can be solved?

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