During the 19th century many people were literally obsessed with exploration of the world. Thanks to the new methods of transportation, which were faster and more reliable than ever before, white spots on the map were becoming increasingly scarce. Fortune and glory awaited those brave individuals who could reach them before anyone else. The 19th century was the time when the greatest explorers in history lived. Those people did not need man and van services to move their homes, because everything they needed they were carrying on their backs – or, as it often turned out, on the backs of hired porters. But most importantly, they were dedicated to the passion of exploration, a romantic one, and attractive in all ages and societies. Let’s have a look at some of the greatest explorers of the 19th century.
- Sir John Franklin, a noted Navy officer, who went down in history thanks to his passionate exploration of the Arctic. During his career he charted the north coast of Canada, then headed down to Tasmania, where he attempted to do the same with the Northwest Passage – but he never returned from that mission.
- Sir Francis Burton was not a human being, but rather a force of nature. A writer, explorer, translator, inventor and what not, he traveled all over the world – in Africa, in the Near and Middle East, in South America. He wrote detailed accounts of his adventures, including his exploration of the Amazon, the exploration of the African Great Lakes, and his journey to Mecca, where he was actually not supposed to be, being non-Muslim and an Englishman at that, in an age where both those facts could have got him killed. Oh, yes, he also translated the 1001 Nights in English.
- David Livingstone is one of the true legends of Victorian Britain. First, he was a Christian Missionary in Africa and he did his job really consciously. Second, he was just a poor Scottish boy who managed to get out of the gutter and become rich, thus turning into one of the fist success stories that are an inspiration to so many people even today. We was an anti-slavery activist, explorer and scientist. Should we go on? He discovered and names the Victoria Falls, Lake Ngami, Lake Malawi, and Lake Bangweulu, and attempted to find the origin of the great river Nile. He explored Zambia extensively and actually died there. His helpers and good friends buried his heart under a Mvula tree in the yard of his villa there.
- One of Livingstone’s associates, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, was destined to become famous on his own right. He explored the Congo River, claimed the land for the Belgian King, and before that let an expedition which goal was to actually find Livingstone, who got lost during one of his own adventures. The legend has it that when the two finally met, Stanley approached the much more famous explored with the words: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.