Henry Morton Stanley, c. 1871 © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
On this day in 1871, journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his trek to find explorer David Livingstone.
It was Mr Stanley who reportedly uttered the words “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” upon discovering the explorer in Africa.
But like many legends, there may be little truth in this claim. Stanley tore out of his diary the pages which related the encounter, and there is no mention of this phrase in Livingstone’s account.
Stanley’s biographer suggests he may have invented it after the event out of insecurity about his background. This would have been the proper way to greet Livingstone at the time since the two had not been formally introduced.