Carte-de-visite of Henry M. Stanley

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Description: Stanley, a newspaper reporter and tireless self-promoter, was hired by the New York Herald to find the missing Livingstone in 1871, winning himself wealth and reputation.

Creator/Photographer: London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company

Medium: Carte-de-visite

Dimensions: 4 in x 2.5 in

Date: 1872

Persistent URL:

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Collection: Russell E. Train Africana Collection - The Russell E. Train Africana Collection includes approximately 2,000 books and an extensive array of manuscripts, photographs, watercolors, sketches, maps, newspaper clippings, artifacts and other ephemera ranging from the late 18th to mid-20th centuries, with a concentration on items relating to early British and American explorers. The famous missionary David Livingstone and journalist Henry Stanley, as well as President Theodore Roosevelt, a renowned conservationist of his time, are well represented with numerous books by and about them, manuscript letters, privately printed materials, dozens of photographs and other ephemera. Some of the published books in the collection are presentation copies autographed by the author, while others have original artwork or engravings.

Gift line: Gift of Russell E. Train

Accession number: SIL28-277-01

View more collections from the Smithsonian Institution.

Related blog posts:
Photos, Guns, Africa, Stanley, & Kalulu

andrefromont/fernandomort (out for a while), and 275 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Coconut_Pilot1 40 months ago | reply

    Well, I wasn't saying the colonizers had nothing but pure motives. I was just opposed to the idea that colonialism offered no benefit to the natives at all, which I believe Tropicalgarderner was saying when he asserted that colonialism was all wrong. Nevertheless, all I was really commenting about was how people would tend to put unjustifiable meaning to this particular picture, which ironically is prejudice in itself.

  2. aquietlife~M 38 months ago | reply

    Aw geez I have to say it... "Mr. Livingstone, I presume ?"

  3. Photography by Styles 37 months ago | reply

    love the boots,were they for kicking the gun bearer i wonder.

  4. jgury 37 months ago | reply

    The "savage world remaining in savagery" argument applies to more than just humans. It really applies to all of nature upon which humanity feels justified in doing whatever it deems appropriate to advance. Ultimately the savages will get nuclear weapons, humanity does not rule the natural world, and greed is not good.

  5. KARN8 28 months ago | reply

    What is see is a man treating a kid like an equal to him. Maybe, this is the closes that he may get to receive male bonding. This photo is so real of that time period. shistoreyb

  6. tropicalgardener1 28 months ago | reply

    Probably being molested by the old WASP bugger?

  7. tropicalgardener1 28 months ago | reply

    The past is even worse than what the false history teller (publisher of old books, old lies); many of these nice white men were molesting, raping and murdering children as they went deep into the heart of Africa. The WASPS hold these myths close so the seething evil will not seep out onto the pages of real history, but some of the truth will get out, and the internet will help with this. The old, romantic pictures only tell one side of the story, the side were have heard, over and over, until we are sick to the soul. We no longer believe the lies. These men were no heros, no saviors; they were exploiters, land stealers, slavers, liars, murderers and rapists

  8. tropicalgardener1 28 months ago | reply

    Thank you for this thoughtful comments; so much romanticized racism these day, mostly from WAPS who were involved in all the evil; obfiscators and apologists.

  9. TexasValerie 28 months ago | reply

    Are child models all slaves or just the black ones? Is it so wrong to tell the story of Livingstone and Stanley with illustrations? Is it not a story worth telling? It is not about racism at all and to say it is is racist in itself.

  10. jgury 28 months ago | reply

    Get real, think how it would have looked to those Victorian era Brits if he had a Brooke Shields looking little girl in rags, or a young Iman or Tyra Banks, as his child slave. Plus even if he liked them, in addition to Kalulu, he would have the difficulty of finding a new lighter skinned Kalulu just in case one of the models got in trouble. Smart guy that Stanley.

  11. eatnray 27 months ago | reply

    Americans are not world travelers for the most part.. how many people do you know that even own a passport? There are heinous aspects to all societies. Slavery exists in all parts of the world in some form or another. It may not be as prevalent today as it once was. However it flourishes in many forms from endentured servitude to sexual crimes against kidnapped victims. Children are quite often the victims. I believe that Stanley found himself in places and times where it was only the character and conscience of his guides and servants that allowed him to survive. I believe he understood the efforts and sacrifices his hired men made for him to complete his adventures. History is filled with outrageous stories of the goings on during explorations and discovery missions. Sir Francis Drake had to deal with mutiny and the hardships of leading a group of men on a wooden vessel around a little known world. He hung some of his men from the yard arm to keep his ship afloat. A story is told of a navy ship from El Salvador coming to port in Hawaii in 2001 and one of the crew was caught stealing a cd from the US Navy base store.. the Salvadorans asked for permission to hang the sailor in port. Permission denied. The ship left port for two days.. then came back. I am sure they came back without the sailor. Did that make it to the media and news? i don't think so.. point is: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

  12. eatnray 27 months ago | reply

    Jgury... love the photos of the child growing up and wearing a tailored suit. .. there is no doubt that is the same child. thanks for your efforts.

  13. eatnray 27 months ago | reply

    My daughter asked me once.."Daddy when will there be world peace?" I said "when man learns not kill things in order to survive."
    Cannibals exist in this world..the Amazon.. New Guinea.. etc. Dahmer proved that cannibals can exist in the modern world. With all of our technology, buildings, roads, cars, society.. we fail. Evil persists as any police blotter or media headline will show you. Wholesale slaughter happens at various times and places around the world. But what we are endeavoring to do is to create peaceful places to live and raise our children. I was in a group of American men recently and i asked how many had ever been actual witnesses to or involved in a violent fight or crime? It came out to less than 10%. Yeah we see it on tv or boxing events, etc. But its rare in the USA for the most part. That is how life has changed over the last hundred years. That is what we are striving for. The third world is a different place, but unless you are well traveled you really don't know or understand that.. and you may not really be able to appreciate what we have here.

  14. dixon-smith 20 months ago | reply

    Wonderful snapshot in time. May I suggest, for all those who added comments about this photograph, that Tim Jeal's book Stanley, The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer, is extremely enlightening, surprising and utterly riveting. Published by Faber & Faber London 2007. Sunday Times Biography of the Year 2007.

  15. jgury 20 months ago | reply

    This book, I presume?

  16. jgury 20 months ago | reply

    Ahhh, ummm, a very foppish gent with fine taste in hats.

    Ummm, Check out page 11 from the Jeal book about how he adored African Children:
    "He adored African children. 'The sight of these tender naked little beings following my camp into the wilderness, laughing in my face, and hugging my knees just thrilled me.'

  17. Panopticonian 10 months ago | reply

    For Stanley's real "work" in the Congo read "King Leopold's Ghost" by Hochschild. A foot soldier for Belgium's conquest, Stanley brought chains and bullets for Africans, under a thin veil of "moral" righteousness.

  18. jgury 10 months ago | reply

    Great book. Really dishes it out about Stanley and much more. Would make a great film. And who does not enjoy the genre of tell all Iconoclasm - except maybe those pathetic sick individuals who maintain museums and fictions about these guys.

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