This post is the second in a three post series by National Museum of African Art Library volunteer Judy Schaffer. If you missed the first installment, posted right before our shutdown-induced hiatus, check it out here.
“. . . this trade in Hell, this open sore of the world . . .”
David Livingstone’s first book, Missionary travels and researches in South Africa, published in 1857, was a huge success, not only because of the harrowing adventures it related but because it alerted the British public to the existence of the Arab slave trade flourishing along Africa’s east coast. The book, along with Livingstone’s many lectures and letters, provoked a call for action once again, and finally, in 1873, a few weeks after Livingstone’s death, Parliament outlawed this trade, too (the West Coast trade had been outlawed in 1834). The Royal Navy sent ships to Africa to enforce the ban.