Stanley, Henry Morton

Anglican Communion (Church Missionary Society)
Uganda , Democratic Republic of Congo

Henry Morton Stanley Henry Morton Stanley was a journalist and Africa explorer. Stanley was born John Rowland in Denbigh, north Wales. Brought up in a workhouse, he immigrated to the United States in 1858. Arriving in New Orleans, he was adopted by a merchant who gave him his own name. Stanley became a journalist and in 1869 was commissioned by the New York Herald to search for David *Livingstone in central Africa. His success in finding Livingstone at Ujiji in November 1871-immortalized by his greeting “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”-made Stanley a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. After Livingstone’s death, Stanley continued his exploration of central Africa. He visited the court of Kabaka Mutesa I of Buganda in 1875 and then published an appeal for missionaries to be sent to Buganda. As a result, the Church Missionary Society commenced its Uganda mission in 1877. In the same year his journey from Nyangwe to Boma at the mouth of the Congo proved that the Lualaba River was not, as Livingstone had believed, a headwater of the Nile, but the upper reaches of the Congo. Through this journey, and his work from 1879 to 1884 as an employee of Leopold II of Belgium, Stanley was instrumental in opening the Congo to Protestant missions.

Brian Stanley


Stanley’s numerous books include:

  • How I Found Livingstone (1872)
  • In Darkest Africa (1890).

Other resources: I. Anstruther, I Presume: H. M. Stanley’s Triumph and Disaster (1956)

R. Hall, Stanley: An Adventurer Explored (1974)

Frank Hird, H. M. Stanley: The Authorized Life (1935).

D. Stanley, ed., The Autobiography of Sir Henry M. Stanley (1909).

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.