Fascinating group lot of items related to Henry Morton Stanley and his fateful journey to the African continent in search of missionary and fellow explorer David Livingstone, which includes: an ALS signed “Henry M. Stanley,” two pages on two adjoining sheets, measuring 10.25 x 8.25 unfolded, Fifth Avenue Hotel letterhead (struck through and emended to read “Parker House, Boston”), December 20, 1872, addressed to Captain Josiah Richmond, whose whaling vessel, the Falcon, brought Stanley and his men to the Zanzibar coastline in 1871. In full: “The Bostonians monopolize too much of my time with their various ways of showing their appreciation of a man to permit me have leisure enough to run to New Bedford. Besides every night for at least three months is already engaged. So that until April or May, I doubt that I can find time to visit your town. I should like to very much, I can assure you, for I ought to have three or four stout friends in New Bedford besides yourself. I took two white men (Farquhar who came from seychelles with me—and Shaw, mate of ship ‘Nevada,’ Capt. Lunt) with me into Africa. Farquhar died 70 days from the coast—while going. Shaw died on the fourth month from Zanzibar. ‘Omar’ died five days before Farquhar. Indeed for about two months I thought death would sweep us all clean from the face of the earth. Selim, however, survived and is now a tall boy returned to Jerusalem. Before visiting New Bedford, I shall notify you beforehand. For the present, however, I subscribe myself.” The letter is matted and framed to an overall size of 14.75 x 12.75.
Also included with the letter is a pair of opera glasses personally-owned and -used by Stanley, which are accompanied by their original leather case, an original 4 x 2.25 New York Herald business card belonging to “Henry M. Stanley,” and a newspaper article from 1939 that explains how the granddaughter of Capt. Richmond, a Mrs. George C. Cartwright, came into possession of the letter, the business card, and the opera glasses: ‘These glasses Stanley had intended to take with him into Africa. Captain Richmond, according to family legend, says Mrs. Cartwright, persuaded Stanley to exchange the small glasses for a pair of his own binoculars.’ The same story is part of a detailed family biography of Josiah Richmond, which is also included. In overall very good to fine condition, with scattered light foxing to the letter, creasing to the visiting card, and heavy wear to the opera glasses' case; the glasses themselves are in fine working order.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.