David Livingstone - Autograph Fragment Unsigned With H. F. Livingstone Wilson
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David Livingstone - Autograph Fragment Unsigned With H. F. Livingstone Wilson:
DAVID LIVINGSTONE - AUTOGRAPH FRAGMENT UNSIGNED 09/14/1966 WITH H. F. LIVINGSTONE WILSON DAVID LIVINGSTONE
His handwritten address of his son Thomas, taken from a letter written by the missionary explorer, accompanied by a 2-page handwritten letter written in 1966 by his grandson, H. F. Livingstone Wilson, discussing the family's history and the provenance of the piece
Autograph Fragment, unsigned: "Mr. Thomas S. Livingstone/Burnbank Road/Hamilton/Scotland", 8½x3½. Ink note (unknown hand) at bottom: "Dr. Livingstone". Soiled,worn and torn at opening. Accompanied by autograph letter signed "H. F. Livingstone Wilson" [David Livingstone's nephew], 1p, 5½x7. Filans, Perthshire (Scotland), 1966 September 14. On personal letterhead to "Dear Leonard". In full: "I received your letter last week and have spent a good deal of time looking up signatures of my grandfather David Livingstone, the African missionary & explorer; but I am sorry to tell you that my old grand aunts (who were David Livingstone's sisters) were constantly asked by all sorts of people for letters or signatures of their quite famous brother. So instead they cut out his signatures from the letters they had kept & handed them out to all their friends. Most of the actual letters, without signatures now, are in the hands of the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh for safekeeping as they are of great value now. [phrase illegible] Leonard, my mother was Anna Mary Livingstone, who was the explorer's youngest child. I was born eighty-two years ago so you will think I am quite old. Well, I do not feel all that old myself; but to a boy of 16 years of age I will seem to be quite ancient! All I could find is the envelope which I send with this, & which he wrote ninety-two years ago to his son Thomas - or 'Tom.' Three of his boys had died before I was born, one died when I was beginning school. & of the two daughters who survived one, Aunt Agnes Bruce, died when I was a medical student, and the other Anne Mary was my mother and she died in 1939 at just about my present age. When Uncle Tom would get the letter in this envelope he would be 20 years old. He had been born in 1849 & was called after my father's good friend, General Sir Thomas [?], but he was never strong & died unmarried about 1875. Now I have given you a bit of family history and hope to hear from you some time at this address. Yours sincerely". Normal mailing folds. Soiled on front and verso. Otherwise good condition. David Livingstone (1813-1873), a British missionary and explorer from Scotland, was not very successful in securing converts to Christianity, but he was an intrepid explorer of East Africa, the first European to see the great falls he re-named Victoria Falls in honor of his Queen. Exploring without military escort or a large professional retinue, Livingstone was often robbed, even more frequently bedridden, and out of contact with Europe for years at a time. But the search conducted for him by explorer/journalist Henry Morton Stanley, culminating in Stanley's famous greeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," heightened his legend. Livingstone's anti-slavery writings were influential in England, and unlike many of his contemporaries he showed great respect for native African peoples and their traditions. The family history is recounted accurately in the accompanying letter by grandson H. F. Livingstone Wilson. If the grandson's memory is accurate, David Livingstone penned his son's address shortly before his death. Two items.
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