Nota Bene: always click on the red words, they are links to more info.
I had already seen the statue presented below, that of Stanley, the man remembered as finding the most famous missionary: David Livingstone in 1871.
Maybe Denbighshire Council should have had second thoughts before sticking that statue at the top of High Street, outside the library. Ok, he was born in Denbigh but he was the most violent and immoral explorer ( adventurer) not to mention devoid of any sense of humanity. He represents the very dark side of African colonization by the British and the Belgian in the XIXth century.
His life began in inauspicious circumstances: he was an illegitimate child born to a farm servant from an unknown father. In those days, being illegitimate meant being stigmatized for the rest of your life. His mother abandoned him and was partially brought up by his grandfather who died quickly. Then he was sent as a renegade to the terrible workhouses so well described by Dickens in his novel: Oliver Twist
He was apparently abused and raped. That could explain why he had become such a ruthless and brutal man after escaping to America at 14.
In his exploring years in Congo, massacres and looting were to be added to the liabilities of the explorer, who didn’t hesitate to shoot blacks like rabbits, unless, homosexual repressed, he didn’t use them as sex toys.
Now, I know a little bit more about that scoundrel, not listening to local people’s tales about him. They don’t know, probably haven’t enquired about that guy or don’t want to see. Choose.
A highly controversial explorer indeed!