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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Civil War History of the 57th Indiana (#7 of 52)

Shiloh: Advancing on the Rebels
“As soon as the regiments of our brigade could land and form their companies, we were off at the double-quick for the front. In less than half a mile from the river we commenced passing over the dead bodies of our men, who were killed on Sunday evening; and a little further on came the ground held by the enemy during the previous afternoon and night. Along the roads, and in the woods, we passed men coming to the rear, who were wounded in every conceivable manner. Some would tell us “Our men are cut to pieces!” others, “You’ll soon get to where there’s hot work!”

“A run brought us to the rear of our lines. By order of Gen. Hurlburt, the 57th was detached from the brigade, and sent to assist his division. As soon as we could load our pieces the regiment moved out and formed on the left of an Illinois regiment. In our front lay an open field several hundred yards wide, and the enemy were in the timber on the other side. To our right and near was a battery, which kept up a constant fire, shelling the woods in front.
“When the line was formed, the command was given to advance across the open field on double-quick, raise the yell, and drive the enemy from the woods. Our colors were unfurled, and with a cheer the line advanced briskly across the open ground, until we reached the timber, when we gave them a sharp volley of musketry, to which they gave a feeble reply, and immediately started on the retreat. The fire of the enemy was both weak and scattering.
“We continued the pursuit some distance when, they opened on us with artillery; but on account of our being on lower ground, and a heavy timber between us, their shells were all too high, and caused no damage. Lying down on the ground we awaited their advance; but none was made, and in a few moments we withdrew a short distance, with the hope of drawing their battery into an ambuscade and capturing it.
“A line of skirmishers was now thrown forward, which followed some distance, when the pursuit was abandoned, and the men were ordered to rest on their arms. Remaining until dark on the line occupied at the close of the engagement, we were then moved some distance to the right and ordered to stand all night in line of battle, so that we might be prepared for any daring attempt which the enemy might make to regain his lost ground. No fires were allowed, and without either supper or sleep we took our places in the line, to pass another long and dreary night.

“Soon after dark the rain commenced falling and continued all night. In a very short time we were completely soaked. Our caps did not prevent the water from running down the backs of our necks, and we resigned ourselves to the thorough drenching we received during the weary hours of that memorable night on the field of Shiloh.

“After daylight we built small fires, and made coffee in tin-cups. I shall never, while I live, forget the appearance of my hands on that morning. I was so completely chilled and benumbed with the cold that it was in vain I attempted to straighten my cramped fingers; and my limbs resembled those of drowned persons after they had lain several days under water.”

(Shiloh, Tennessee, April 7, 1862)

Excerpts taken from “Annals of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry: Marches, Battles, and Incidents of Army Life” written by Asbury L. Kerwood immediately after the war.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday: The Story of Foundlings

“During the depression, when families didn’t have enough money to support their children, they’d put them on a train and hoped that someone would pick them up who was able to support them.”

What Is A Foundling?

While some consider foundlings to be orphans, all orphans are not foundlings.
Orphans can be divided into two basic groups. The term “orphan” refers to children who have lost one or both parent by death. Children in the other smaller group, called “foundlings,” are orphaned by abandonment by their parent(s). This does not include children put up for adoption. Most foundlings never know their parents, even though some may be reunited later in life.
Foundlings are almost always abandoned by their mothers. They don’t intend that child should die, but are incapable of caring for the child either emotionally or financially; and for some reason they are reluctant to contact a social services organization for assistance.
A foundling generally has no name and no known parents. Most are discovered in a place where they are likely to be found such as a church or hospital doorstep. This is different from “feral children” who, while still abandoned, are missing either by accident, or are stolen, or left to die of exposure.
Ancient Practices

In ancient times the sanctity of young life was not always assured. In Greek and Roman culture, a newborn child was not considered as a fully viable human being.
Infants whose parents, or the state, were unwilling to raise them were routinely left exposed to the elements or subjected to starvation (as portrayed in the story of Romulus and Remus). Both of these methods were sanctioned by law and by public opinion. Roman administrators decreed that deformed children should be killed in the interest of healthy citizenship. In Greece, Aristotle advocated the enactment of laws which would prescribe the exposure of deformed infants or infants in excess of a socially useful number. Seneca and Pliny both supported allowing superfluous infants to perish. The number of these abandoned children that were reclaimed was very small and those were proclaimed by law to be the slaves of whoever rescued them.
The first serious attempts to rescue abandoned children were due to the early Christian community in Rome. Their influence urged Emperor Valentinian to decree that infanticide was a crime, itself punishable by death. Justinian abolished the practice of making rescued children into slaves; placing them under the care of the Christian Church.
Attitudes Change During the Medieval and Renaissance Periods

In medieval France, marble basins were placed near the church door so that parents could place their infant children so the church could assume care of them. The first “foundling asylums” were established in Milan in 787, Montpellier in 1070, and in Rome in 1198. They were associated with early hospitals which appeared during these same times.
During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the number of foundling asylums grew across Europe. This included Einbeck (1200), Florence (1316), Nuremberg (1331), Paris (1362), and Vienna (1380).
Most of these asylums had at least one design feature in common. It was a revolving crib built into the wall so that one half of it was always on the outside of the building. If an abandoned infant was placed in this crib, rotated to be inside, and a bell rung, the caregivers inside would go the crib to retrieve the child. The sad part of this is that the person abandoning the infant was completely hidden; and they apparently felt absolved from what they had done as evidenced by the huge increase of illegitimacy and abandoned infants. Therefore this practiced was almost everywhere.
Foundling asylums, however, did not become common in most areas of Europe. People still placed their small children at church doors. Those that did exist were greatly overcrowded, so the process of foundling adoption was intensified, as was done with other orphans.
Enlighenment During the 18th and 19th Centuries
Joseph II (1741-1790) of Austria became the Holy Roman Emperor at age 21 and immediately began changing things. Included in the 10,000 edicts he made during his reign was to make formal education available to all children, advocate religious tolerance, and encourage a spirit of service among his subjects. He is considered one of the greatest “Enlightenment” monarchs of Europe.
One of Joseph II’s statutes decreed that a mother who engages herself in a hospital for four months service would have her child taken in and cared for in an orphan asylum until the age of ten. The mother may reclaim the child at any time during this period without penalty. If the mother does not take the child back, it would be placed in a suitable home. The Vienna asylum is one of the largest in the world, caring for 30,000 children every year.

The London Foundling Hospital

In England, care of the foundlings was in the hands three types of organizations. Some were cared for by the Poor Law Guardians. Under their care, many were sent to workhouses (which gave them a roof over their heads and a little food, but that was about all) or were boarded out to families, who were usually compensated. Others continued to be sheltered by the Church, which attempted to also locate foundlings with private families. Failing in that, they went into the regular orphan asylums.
And still others were brought to the London Foundling Hospital which was established in 1739. This was the only institution of considerable size devoted exclusively to foundlings. It was founded by the philanthropist Thomas Coram. Its goal was to care for the “exposed and deserted young children” of London.
In 1756, Parliament decreed that all children offered up should be accepted, and that places across the country be designated where abandoned children could br brought, then moved to the London facility. Almost every child admitted to the Foundling Hospital was the first born to a mother who was unmarried.
A strong benefactor was George Frideric Handel, the famous composer, who conducted his “Messiah” there on frequent occasions, providing additional donations to the institution. The painter, William Hogarth, was another important contributor.
The hospital was relocated outside of London prior to WWII; the original structure was demolished. But the “Foundling Museum” in London has maintained the history and artifacts of the original.
Scotland never had a foundling asylum but did place foundlings in workhouses or boarded them out to families. In Ireland, the care of foundlings was accomplished through the Catholic Church.
New Names
In the 19th Century UK, foundlings were sometimes given a surname that reflected the day they were found. They were frequently given a surname reflecting the day, or season, they were found.
“Foundling Tokens”
Many times, the children were found with some everyday object pinned to their clothes by their mother; usually a button, locket, or charm. These were called “foundling tokens.” Upon entry into the orphanage or hospital, these tokens would be attached to the child’s record of admission. Because foundling babies were given new names, these tokens helped to insure correct identification if the mother wanted to return and claim her child. The children were not allowed to keep their tokens. This may have been the inspiration for the name of the character “Benjamin Button,” in the 2008 film, who was a foundling himself.
In post-Revolution France, all foundlings were considered as wards of the state. Additionally, an early form of welfare was instituted by paying subsidies to the mothers of illegitimate children in order to keep the children in a home.
The U.K.’s “Infants Relief Act of 1874”, stated that every child under two years of age that is cared for by a non-family person (for hire) became under public guardianship. But the actual expense of caring for foundlings still remained the obligation of the church.
Italian and Russian Efforts
Today Italy, in proportion to its population, surpasses all other nations in the number of institutions devoted exclusively to the care of foundlings. In 1888, the Rovigo Provence established a system in which all mothers who acknowledge their infants are supported by the government for a year and a half. During that time, many mothers decided to retain custody of their child. This was a program which benefited the child and was less expensive to the community.
By 1898, the number of Italian foundling asylums was 113. They cared for over 100,000 children (the Florence asylum was the largest sheltering 6,500).
At the end of the Nineteenth Century, Russia had two very large foundling asylums that were established by Catherine II. The one in St. Petersburg cared for over 33,000 foundlings, the one in Moscow over 39,000. One policy was to encourage the mother, if known, to nurse her child, and to pay her for her service. This effort was to try to establish a bond between mother and child.
Foundlings in the Present Day
In Europe, foundling homes and work houses are largely a thing of the past. Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, have a program called “Babyklappen.” After leaving her baby, a mother has six weeks to return and claim the child. If she does, the situation is managed by adoption professionals and not the police. Charges are not filed. The program is being expanded to other German cities.
In large cities in the United States, there are foundling asylums operated by individuals, private charities, religious groups, or communities. In 1907, the Catholic infant asylum of Chicago had 676 children, Boston 858, Milwaukee 408, and San Francisco 480. There were 1,075 children’s homes of all types (including regular orphanages) that cared for over 90,000 young ones.
But in most cases in the U.S., placing children, orphan of foundling, into private homes under public supervision is still the preferred method of care.
Sadly, the number of foundlings doubled during the 1990’s in the UK. The reasons are still not understood.
Today’s Third World countries are a patchwork of ancient traditions, social upheaval, and economic chaos. Foundlings continue to exist and suffer as a result.
Child abandonment can be due to complex reasons. In some cultures acknowledging a child’s birth might actually put the mother’s life in danger; or the loss of virginity could make a young woman unmarriageable. There may be no one to help a new mother; social services and adoption agencies rarely exist. Even the child itself may be in danger. In some parts of the world twins are considered demonic. Overall there is a shared sense of desperation and shame which causes mothers to keep the birth a secret from her parents or doctor.
Continuing Issues
Psychological and Sociological research into parental motives for abandonment and the effects on the child have yielded some truths.
1. A reduction in infant mortality can be realized by programs to prevent illegitimacy.
2. In every case a reasonable amount of effort should be made to discover who the parents are and compel them to assist in caring for the child.
3. Charities are burdened by the volume of cases that should be borne by the parents.
4. Efforts toward giving the child the benefits of a mother’s care, and the parent an appreciation of their responsibility need to be properly funded.
5. The continued use of foundling asylums may be unwise due to marginal conditions and a higher death rate among their occupants.
6. The smaller expense of the family out placement system, and the fact that families are the natural home for infants, makes this process of greater value.
7. Finding suitable family homes in which to place abandoned children, or any children, is greatly influenced by the present economy.
Famous Foundlings and Abandoned Children

Nebuchadnezzer II, King of Babylon (605-562 BCE)
James Michener
Edward Albee
Henry Morton Stanley
Dave Thomas
Billie Holiday
Art Linkletter
Frances McDormand
Barbara Stanwyck
Fictional Foundlings:

Foundlings are frequently portrayed in literature as symbols of early struggles that are overcome including:
Romulus and Remus (founders of Rome)
Tarzan (by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (by Victor Hugo)
Tom Jones (in “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” by Henry Fielding)
Eppie (in “Silas Marner” by George Eliot)
Heathcliffe (in “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte)
Benjamin Button (in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”)
Orphans usually come with at least some history, foundlings come with nothing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Great Opportunist: Henry Morton Stanley

One of the most pleasant stories I remember as a school child was Stanley’s search for Livingstone. And of course there was “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” I have to admit, though, sometimes I couldn’t remember who discovered who. The trekking through the jungle, native baggage carriers, wild animals, and discovery - what’s not to like? Great stuff. But then I grew up and learned of the truth.
Early Life in Wales
In 1841, Stanley was born John Rowlands in Denbigh, Wales. His mother, Elizabeth Parry, was a 19 year old and unmarried. His birth register lists him simply a “bastard.” His father, also named John Rowlands, was 70 years old when Stanley was born.
With his father dead and abandoned by his mother, Stanley spent his early years with two uncles and his maternal grandfather. At age six, when his grandfather died, he was consigned to the St. Asaph Workhouse for the poor which was reported by investigators to be a place where adult males “took part in every possible vice.” In his time at the workhouse, he did get an elementary education and learned to read. After nine years at the workhouse, Stanley left to stay with some relatives, who were not much interested in him either.
Immigration to America
At age 17, he ran away to sea. Stanley booked passage to America landing in New Orleans. He left the ship without paying the balance of his fare. He changed his name from John Rowlands to J. Rolling.
According to his own diaries, he became friendly with a wealthy cotton trader, Henry Hope Stanley. He saw Mr. Stanley sitting on a chair outside his store and asked him if he had any job opening. He did so in the British style, saying “Do you want a boy, sir?” This led to a job and to a close relationship, possibly the first in his life. The young man saw his employer as an adoptive parent so changed his name once again, this time to Henry Morton Stanley. This may show how desperate his psychological need was for a family.
The “junior” Stanley went on to assume a local southern accent and denied to everyone that he was a foreigner. Later, he wrote that the elder Stanley had died two years after they met. Actually, Henry Hope Stanley lived until another nineteen years, passing away in 1878.
The younger Stanley seems to have always had a habit of either lying or exaggerating the truth in both his youth and in his later profession. He was guarded and evasive about his childhood, and never acknowledged his Welsh family.
In 1861, the American Civil War erupted. Twenty year old Stanley participated, although reluctantly, by joining the 6th Arkansas Infantry of the Confederate Army. At the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, the next year, he was taken prisoner. To avoid being held in a prisoner of war camp, Stanley deserted the Confederate Army and joined the Union Army. Three months later he was discharged due to illness.
After he recovered, he worked on a merchant ship for a time, then joined the Union Navy in 1864. Assigned as a record keeper on the U.S.S. Minnesota, he became interest in writing. The next year, Stanley “jumped ship” deserting the Union Navy in New Hampshire to search for adventure and possibly a career in journalism. He is the only known man to have deserted from both the Confederate and Union Armies.
In 1867, Stanley went west. He journeyed around writing free-lance articles, and for a time served as a correspondent for the Indian Peace Commission. He often exaggerated the conflicts between the Plains Indians and the U.S. soldiers, or simply made them up, in order to build his own reputation. These fictionalized accounts of his adventures in the west are included in his book “My Early Travels and Adventures in America and Asia” (1895).
James Bennett, founder of the New York Herald, had heard of Stanley and liked his stories and style of writing. The truthfulness of them was only a marginal issue. Stanley became an overseas reporter for the paper.
In 1869, Bennett, through his son who had taken over the newspaper, assigned Henry Stanley to his first major mission. It was to find the world famous Scottish author and missionary David Livingstone, who had disappeared somewhere in eastern Africa four years earlier. In reality, it was Stanley who had lobbied Bennett over several years to initiate a search, and to put him in charge of the expedition. If successful, he believed his quest for fame and fortune would be assured.
David Livingstone: A Renaissance Man in the Heart of Africa
David Livingstone was one of the most revered figures in 19th Century Britain. He was a pioneering missionary, scientist, and explorer. He was consumed by the relationship between religion and science, and believed that both should be the foundation of society. Livingstone moralized that the African slave trade must be destroyed by the influence of Christianity and the introduction of commerce that was fair to the indigenous population. His motto, at the base of his statue in Africa, is “Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization.”
Livingstone’s other passion was exploration. In the mid-1850’s, he was the first European to see Victoria Falls, which he named for Queen Victoria. They are the largest falls in the world. He was also the first westerner to make a transcontinental journey across sub-Saharan Africa. He travelled from the west (Atlantic Ocean) to the east (Indian Ocean). In 1866, he began his search for the source of the Nile River. Sadly, he never achieved this goal, dying in 1873. David Livingstone was a member of the Royal Geographical Society in London. His remains are interred at Westminster Abbey.
The Search for Livingstone, 1871
With the New York Herald’s money and Bennett’s orders to “FIND LIVINGSTONE,” Stanley arrived on Zanzibar Island, a jumping off point for explorations of east Africa. He outfitted the expedition with the best that someone else’s money could buy, and he hired 200 porters to carry all his supplies. Preparations took nearly a year.
Another expedition led by English colonizer Verney Cameron had already embarked. The Americans, Bennett and Stanley, wanted to prove that they were superior to the British so Stanley was under some pressure to get moving.
The destination was Lake Tanganyika. Some rumors were that Livingstone had been killed in that area, others said that he was still alive but gravely ill. The expedition wound around through the tropical forests travelling 7,000 miles over eight months. Many of his porters deserted Stanley, who they thought he was especially cruel. Others, who had been recruited from the islands off of Africa’s eastern coast and had little immunity, were incapacitated by tropical diseases.
To keep the procession moving, Stanley frequently had to flog the porters and those attempting to desert. This was actually no different from other European led explorations. Later, Stanley wrote that his articles only exaggerated the treatment of his porters to appeal to the Victorian reading public back in New York, but many historians refute this. Contemporary British explorer, Sir Richard Burton, was quoted as saying, “Stanley shoots negroes as if they were monkeys.”
On November 10, 1871, Stanley found Livingstone in the village of Ujiji on the banks of Lake Tanganyika (in present day Tanzania). He greeted the missionary with the words, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” This would have to have been somewhat tongue in cheek, as he was the only white man for hundreds of miles around.
Regrettably, most experts on Stanley and Livingstone think the famous phrase was another fabrication by Henry Stanley. Livingstone’s own account of the meeting never mentions these words. But when Stanley’s letters were published the following year by the New York Times, they quoted the phrase.

Livingstone was 58 years old and suffering from disease, likely dysentery or malaria. With Stanley’s help, he recovered some from his ailments. He and Stanley explored the region around the lake together. They were able to establish that Lake Tanganyika was not the source of the Nile River, but were unable to discover the true source.
In spite of Stanley’s urging, Livingstone refused to leave Africa as his work was not done. Stanley returned to London to tell his story.
David Livingstone died in the village of Ilala near Lake Bagweulu on May 4, 1873 of malaria and internal bleeding. He was only 60 years old but worn down by life. The British government wanted his body returned for burial but the tribe he had lived with would not give it up. Eventually they conceded, but cut his heart out and sent a message to the British saying, “You can have his body, but his heart belongs to Africa.” He was loved by his African followers by preaching, sharing his knowledge of medicines, and opposition to the slave trade.
Stanley’s Expedition to Explore the Congo River, 1874
In 1874, Stanley led a second expedition to Africa sponsored by the New York Herald and Britain’s Daily Telegraph. His mission was to trace the course of the Congo River from its source to the Atlantic Ocean. This was one of the last remaining uncharted areas of Central Africa. His large expedition carried small disassembled boats to be used to navigate on Lake Victoria and the Congo River.
Stanley led a column of hundreds of porters, and heavily armed guards. He used the guns to force his porters forward at a fast pace. In his own book, “How I found Livingstone”, he even included a drawing of himself with gun drawn supervising porters carrying equipment across a stream. The caption read, “If you drop that, I will shoot!” He destroyed everything in his way and fought battles with local tribes.
On August 12, 1877, after two and a half years, what remained of his party arrived at the mouth of the Congo River. Of the 356 people who began the trip, only 114 survived. Stanley was the only surviving European. He was the first European to map these areas. He went back to England with a fortune in Ivory, and more stories to write. More importantly, Stanley opened the area to ruthless colonial exploitation.
Claiming the Congo for Leopold II, 1876
King Leopold II of Belgium was an ambitious man. He wanted to own the territories that had been mapped out by Stanley during the Congo expedition. Leopold wasn’t interested in acquiring them for Belgium, but to own them personally. While publically saying that he wanted to bring religion and generosity to the Congo, privately he created a holding company called the “African International Association” with himself as the only owner.
He planned to use Henry Stanley as his implement of acquisition. Stanley returned to the Congo in 1876.
He pushed eastward from the Atlantic negotiating with local leaders to obtain concessions to use their lands. Later, Leopold replaced these agreements with forged documents indicated that the Africans had ceded ownership of the lands to Leopold. While Stanley was not in favor of the switch, he nevertheless remained in the employ of the king.
Stanley continued to push into the interior. He forced his workers to build roads and cleared all obstacles for Leopold. During these expeditions, he once again was accused of violence and brutality against the native Africans. He did not hesitate to shoot African workers. Stanley wrote in his letters, “the savage only respects force, power, boldness, and decision.”
While exploring these Congo territories, his huge baggage train was responsible for the spread of “trypanosomiasis” across central Africa by their movements. This disease is a parasitic infestation for which the remote villages had no defense. It can cause skin lesions or swelling that obstructs airways and causes suffocation. Today, hundreds of thousands of Africans still suffer from this parasite.   
Stanley’s appreciation of the commercial value of the Congo led to his setting up large trading enterprises that led to the creation of Leopold’s Congo Free State in 1885. He was instrumental in establishing a link between exploration and the exploitive colonization of Africa.
Stanley is now recognized as being responsible for helping to establish the brutal rule of Leopold over the peoples of the Congo. Women and children were taken as hostages, forcing men to work for the Leopold organization. The king’s soldiers used torture and killing to maintain control.
In his novel “Heart of Darkness,” Joseph Conrad speaks about the horrors experienced by the people of the Belgian Congo at the hands of Leopold II.
The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, 1886-89
This mission was one of the last major expeditions into the interior of Africa during the 19th Century. Led by Henry Morton Stanley, it was praised for its impressive crossing of the darkest and densest part of equatorial Africa but infamous for the bloodshed and human suffering it left in its wake.
During the later years of the century, a new Islamic faction arose led by Mohammad Ahmad, a Sudanese military leader. He adopted the name “Mahdi”, which represented the prophesized messiah who was expected to appear at the world’s end. In 1885, the Mahdists occupied much of Egypt’s Sudan region and controlled its southern province of Equatoria, which was administered by the British.
The British had earlier appointed Isaak Schnitzer, a German doctor and naturalist, as Equatoria’s Governor. He was commonly known as Emin Pasha. Emin became the target of the Mahdists. The British government was not interested in getting involved, but the public saw Emin as a heroic figure fighting to defend the British Empire.
A group of wealthy Britons decided to privately fund an expedition to rescue Emin and bring him safely out of Africa. Henry Morton Stanley was asked to head the effort. He saw this as an opportunity to add to his fame and wealth, and declared that he was ready “at a moment’s notice.”
King Leopold II of Belgium was still technically Stanley’s employer. As a compromise for letting Stanley go, he demanded that the rescue effort take a longer route via the Congo so that Stanley could possibly acquire more territory for him.
It was the largest and best equipped expedition to arrive in Africa to date. Like his Congo River expedition three years earlier, Stanley brought disassembled boats to navigate the waterways. He also was equipped with the latest weapons including the new “Maxim Guns,” the first self-powered machine guns. His backers believed that the mere presence of the weapon would scare away any enemy. Stanley himself selected the officers who were to enforce his commands. All were experienced and British. Some were military men, some were big game hunters.
The expedition arrived at the mouth of the Congo River in March of 1887 with enough porters to carry an expected 75 tons of Ivory out of Africa when they departed. They marched under the flag of Egypt.
Progress was slow due to the rainy season and food was running short until they arrived at Leopoldville. At that time, Stanley decided to split his 1,000 man force into two groups. An “Advance Column” commanded by Stanley would push on the Equatoria, and a “Rear Column” would at stay at the village of Yambuya to wait for additional supplies and men. The inhabitants denied Stanley permission to reside in their village. He ordered them attacked and driven from their homes. Their village was converted into a fortified camp. During this expedition, Stanley himself wrote that he had “destroyed 28 large towns” in the Congo Basin.

The Advance Column
Stanley expected the movement to Lake Albert to take two months but took six months due to extreme difficulties moving through the dense Ituri Forest. The term “darkest Africa” stems from this forest where little light makes it through the trees to the ground. Only 169 of the 389 assigned to the “Advance Column” had managed to survive the trek (220 died of disease and malnutrition). At one point, the column was attacked by Pygmies shooting at them with poison arrows. The Pygmies mistook Stanley’s men for an Arab slave trading party.
By April of 1888, they heard that Emin was still alive and on his way to meet Stanley at Lake Albert. Emin arrived by steamer with his remaining men and supplies. He had thus rescued his rescuers.  
Emin had apparently decided that was not going to leave Equatoria afterall. He and Stanley had heated arguments as his mission was to bring Emin out alive. Frustrated, Stanley and his few remaining men departed five days later.
Having not heard from his “Rear Column” for a very long time, Stanley began backtracking to locate them in June.
The Tragedy of the Rear Column
The promised supplemental men and supplies had never arrived at Yambuya. The officers in command had decided to move forward to reunite with Stanley. This march quickly disintegrated into chaos.
Mass desertion resulted from the brutal treatment administered by the British officers and gentlemen commanding the column. They mutilated many and bought others for sex. Beatings and whippings were handed out daily. Open insurrection took place as well; one British major was shot by a porter after behaving with extreme cruelty. Another officer, James Jameson, bought an eleven year old girl and offered her to cannibals just to record, and sketch, how she was cooked and eaten.
Two months later, Stanley found his other column. It was 90 miles from where it was supposed to be encamped at Yambuya. There were only a handful of porters left and only one European left in charge.
Life After Africa
Stanley left central Africa for the last time in January of 1890. Returning to England, he was met by great public acclaim. He received numerous degrees and awards. He married (his new wife forbid him to ever go back to Africa), and wrote his 900 page book, “In Darkest Africa”, in under two months.
Henry Morton Stanley entered Parliament as a Liberal Unionist member, serving for five years, 1895 to 1900. In 1899, he was made a “Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath” in honor of his service to the Empire in Africa.
He died in London on May 10, 1904. His granite headstone includes the word “Bula Matari” which translates to “Breaker of Rocks” in the Kikongo language. It can be seen as either a term of endearment or as a mocking, derogatory characterization. The words fit either way.
Over the years, criticism of Stanley and condemnation of his expeditions grew.
Stanley’s Legacy
Experts on African colonial history accuse Henry Morton Stanley of racist crimes against humanity, and biographers characterize him as the most brutal of all the Victorian age explorers.
Other historians contend that Stanley had one of the biggest “kill rates” of all the great African explorers in terms of the number of people who died during his journeys. Driven by rage against the world for his wretched childhood, Stanley exacted a terrible revenge on the African continent.
Today, Stanley cannot be held up as an unequivocal hero.
There are currently no statues anywhere in the world commemorating Henry Morton Stanley. The one that stood in Kinshasa (formerly Leopoldville) in today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo was pulled down by the descendants of the abused Africans in 1971.
Some residents of Denbigh, the place of his birth, who have recently commissioned a statue of Stanley to be erected there, have defended his name.
One said, “I feel he’s been maligned unfairly in the past. I even met someone from the Congo who told me they were delighted (with the monument) and were full of praise for Stanley.” Another said, “I’m quite surprised that these American academics have picked on this. We shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate our heritage.”
You be the judge.