Jacob Wainwright

Jacob Wainwright (born Yamuza;[1] c. 1859 – April 1892) was a Black African man who worked as an attendant for the explorer David Livingstone.[2][3][4]

Jacob Wainwright
David Livingstone- the story of one who followed Christ (1882) (14761204231).jpg
Illustration of porters carrying Livingstone's body
Born
Yamuza

c. 1859
DiedApril 1892 (age about 33)
Occupationporter, servant, interpreter, teacher
Known forAssociation with David Livingstone

Early lifeEdit

 
Yao dancing man, 1896

Wainwright's birth date is unknown; accounts of his age vary widely. Some accounts put him at being born in 1849/50, but other accounts estimate that he was about fourteen when he joined Livingstone's expedition, suggesting a birth date around 1859. He was born into the Yao people, who lived in East Africa, on the south of Lake Malawi, and given the name Yamuza.

In his teens, he was kidnapped by Arab slave traders. He was rescued by a British anti-slavery ship, baptised a Christian and given the name "Jacob Wainwright."

Wainwright was educated at a Church Missionary Society school in Bombay, British India.[5] He also stayed at the Nassick African Asylum for freed slaves in Nashik, India.[6]

With LivingstoneEdit

Aged about 14, Wainwright was hired to accompany Dr. Livingstone as he explored East Africa.

 
Inscription by Jacob Wainwright on the tree under which Livingstone was buried

Dr. Livingstone died at Ilala, near the edge of the Bangweulu Swamps (in modern Zambia) on 1 May 1873. Wainwright and two other Africans, Abdullah Susi and James Chuma, resolved to bring his body the 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to the British consulate at Bagamoyo[7] in Zanzibar.[8] Before the journey, Livingstone's heart and entrails were removed from his body and buried in an iron box.[9] Wainwright recorded that a massive blood clot, possibly a cancerous tumour,[10] was found in the lower bowel. At the burial ceremony Wainwright read from the Book of Common Prayer. He was also given the responsibility of making a full inventory of Livingstone's possessions.[9] Before the party left Ilala, Wainwright carved the following inscription on the tree marking Livingstone's grave:

Dr. Livingstone
May 4, 1873
Yazuza, Miniasere
Vchopere[11]

 
Jacob Wainwright accompanying David Livingstone's coffin on board the SS Malwa

As the most literate member of the party, Wainwright was also responsible for writing a letter to the relief expedition which included Livingstone's son, informing them that Dr Livingstone had died.[12] At Zanzibar, it seems that the British assumed that Wainwright was the leader, despite his youth, because he was the only African servant who could speak and write in English. He was dispatched with the body for England, picking up with the Peninsular and Oriental liner the SS Malwa at Aden,[13][14] and with the help of the explorer's son Thomas from Alexandria onwards, Wainwright guarded Livingstone's coffin on its journey to Britain.[15] Wainwright was the only African among the eight pallbearers at the explorer’s funeral in Westminster Abbey on 18 April 1874.[5][15][16]


Later life and deathEdit

Following Livingstone's death Wainwright stayed in England at Kessingland, Suffolk and travelled across the country addressing meetings of the Church Missionary Society[17]. In 18 August 1874, he went to teach freed slaves at Kisulidini, near Mombasa. He was dismissed from this job in 1876.[18] There are also accounts of Wainwright teaching at a school at Frere Town, a settlement for freed slaves north of Mombasa.[19]

 
Wainwright's companions, Susi and Chuma (from Stanley and the White Heroes in Africa, 1890)

By 1879, Wainwright was working as a door-porter in Zanzibar, following his dismissal from his previous position as a result of "impudent and forward" behaviour[20]. In 1881 he was hired as interpreter, teacher and personal servant by the missionary Philip O'Flaherty. They travelled to Lubaga (Rubaga) together, where Wainwright was hired by Muteesa I of Buganda. In 1884, Wainwright joined a mission led by Edward C. Hore and in the late 1880s he joined the London Missionary Society mission in Urambo District, German East Africa (modern Tanzania) where he translated hymns and passages of scripture.[21]

Wainwright died at the Urambo Mission in April 1892 [22] as a result of burns and scalds from falling onto a fire and upturning a pot of water[21]. He was buried near his hut, his grave marked by a borassus palm until in 1931 the Moravian Church, Salem, North Carolina, USA presented a metal tablet to be laid at his grave.[21]

LegacyEdit

Wainwright recorded his experiences on the Livingstone mission.One diary that detailed the bringing of Livingston'e body to the Swahili coast for repatriation to Great Britain was published by the Hakluyt Society in 2007.[23] In 2019, one of Wainwright's entire handwritten diaries, as well as a few personal letters, were digitized and made available online.[24] The diary is valued, as few indigenous Black African servants of white European explorers are known to have written about their experiences.[25][26]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "relic - Collections Online - Auckland War Memorial Museum".
  2. ^ "Jacob Wainwright and the Body of Dr. Livingstone: Der Neger Jacob Wainwright Sitzt an Deck Eines Schiffes Neben Dem Sarg Von Livingstone". McClure. 25 April 1874 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "They publish the diary of Jacob Wainwright, the black assistant of Livingstone". Spain's News. 24 April 2019.
  4. ^ "The Missing Chapter - Jacob Wainwright, London, 1874".
  5. ^ a b Batty, David (24 April 2019). "Diary of explorer David Livingstone's African attendant published" – via www.theguardian.com.
  6. ^ "Proceedings". Edward Stanford. 25 April 1874 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "Livingstone's Life & Expeditions". Livingstone Online. 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Historia Kenya". www.facebook.com.
  9. ^ a b Ross, Andrew C. (2006). David Livingstone : mission and empire (Paperback ed.). London: Hambledon Continuum. p. 235. ISBN 9781852855659. OCLC 271693961.
  10. ^ Ross, Andrew C. (2006). David Livingstone : mission and empire (Paperback ed.). London: Hambledon Continuum. p. 263. ISBN 9781852855659. OCLC 271693961.
  11. ^ Simpson, Donald Herbert. (1975). Dark companions : the African contribution to the European exploration of East Africa. London: Elek. p. 96. ISBN 0236400061. OCLC 2930820.
  12. ^ Simpson, Donald Herbert. (1975). Dark companions : the African contribution to the European exploration of East Africa. London: Elek. p. 98. ISBN 0236400061. OCLC 2930820.
  13. ^ "The Reception of Dr. Livingstone's Remains". Southampton, Hampshire, England: The Hampshire Advertiser. 15 April 1874. p. 3. Retrieved 27 March 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "SS Malwa". P&O Heritage. DP World. Retrieved 27 March 2020. Malwa (1873) carried the body of explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone from Aden to Southampton in March 1874.
  15. ^ a b Ross, Andrew C. (2006). David Livingstone : mission and empire (Paperback ed.). London: Hambledon Continuum. p. 237. ISBN 9781852855659. OCLC 271693961.
  16. ^ "David Livingstone - Biography, Expeditions, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  17. ^ Simpson, Donald Herbert. (1975). Dark companions : the African contribution to the European exploration of East Africa. London: Elek. p. 104. ISBN 0236400061. OCLC 2930820.
  18. ^ Campbell, R. J.; Beals, Herbert K.; Savours, Ann; McConnell, Anita; Bridges, Roy (15 May 2017). "Four Travel Journals / The Americas, Antarctica and Africa / 1775-1874". Routledge – via Google Books.
  19. ^ Simpson, Donald Herbert. (1975). Dark companions : the African contribution to the European exploration of East Africa. London: Elek. p. 137. ISBN 0236400061. OCLC 2930820.
  20. ^ Simpson, Donald Herbert. (1975). Dark companions : the African contribution to the European exploration of East Africa. London: Elek. p. 140. ISBN 0236400061. OCLC 2930820.
  21. ^ a b c Simpson, Donald Herbert. (1975). Dark companions : the African contribution to the European exploration of East Africa. London: Elek. p. 142. ISBN 0236400061. OCLC 2930820.
  22. ^ Pettitt, Clare (14 March 2013). "Dr Livingstone I Presume: Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers and Empire". Profile – via Google Books.
  23. ^ Campbell, R. J.; Beals, Herbert K.; Savours, Ann; McConnell, Anita; Bridges, Roy (2017-05-15). Four Travel Journals / The Americas, Antarctica and Africa / 1775-1874. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315582894. ISBN 978-1-315-58289-4.
  24. ^ "Home | Livingstone Online". livingstoneonline.org. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  25. ^ "Rare diary reveals eyewitness accounts of David Livingstone's death". www.historyscotland.com.
  26. ^ J. E. Lewis. "Empires of sentiment; intimacies from death: David Livingstone and African slavery 'at the heart of the nation'" (PDF).