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Sir Samuel White Baker

sources add only ~15% to the Nile flow at this point, the remainder provided primarily by outflow from Lake Victoria. He started upon his return journey, and reached Khartoum, after many checks, in May 1865.
In the following October he returned to England with his wife, who had accompanied him throughout the whole of the perilous and arduous journey. In recognition of the achievements by which Baker had indissolubly linked his name with the solution of the problem of the Nile sources, the Royal Geographical Society awarded him its gold medal, and a similar distinction was bestowed on him by the Paris Geographical Society. In August 1866 he was knighted. In the same year he published The Albert N'yanza, Great Basin of the Nile, and Explorations of the Nile Sources, and in 1867 The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia, both books quickly going through several editions. In 1868 he published a popular story called Cast up by the Sea. In 1869 he travelled with King Edward VII (who was the Prince of Wales at that time) through Egypt.
Despite Baker’s travels with the notorious Prince of Wales, he never received quite the same level of acclamation granted to other contemporary British explorers of Africa. Queen Victoria, in particular avoided meeting Baker because of the irregular way in which he acquired Florence, not to mention the fact that during the years of their mutual travels, the couple were not actually married. A court case involving his brother Valentine Baker (following his indecent assault of a woman on a train) also harmed Samuel Baker’s chances of wider acceptance by the Victorian establishment.
In 1869, at the request of the khedive Ismail, Baker undertook the command of a military expedition to the equatorial regions of the Nile, with the object of suppressing the slave-trade there and opening the way to commerce and civilization. Before starting from Cairo with a force of 1700 Egyptian troops - many of them discharged convicts - he was given the rank of pasha and major-general in the Ottoman army. Lady Baker, as before, accompanied him. The khedive appointed him Governor-General of the new territory of Equatoria for four years at a salary of £10,000 a year; and it was not until the expiration of that time that Baker returned to Cairo, leaving his work to be carried on by the new governor, Colonel Charles George Gordon.
He had to contend with innumerable difficulties - the blocking of the river in the Sudd, the bitter hostility of officials interested in the slave-trade, the armed opposition of the natives - but he succeeded in planting in the new territory the foundations upon which others could build up an administration.
He returned to England with his wife, Flora Sass, a Hungarian from Transylvania, today part of Romania (bought as a slave, alleged to be an Eastern European princess) in 1874, and in the following year purchased the estate of Sandford Orleigh in south Devon, his home for the rest of his life. He published his narrative of the central African expedition under the title of Ismailia (1874). Cyprus as I saw it in 1879 was the result of a visit to that island. He spent several winters in Egypt, and traveled in India, the Rocky Mountains and Japan in search of big game, publishing in 1890 Wild Beasts and their Ways.
He kept up an exhaustive and vigorous correspondence with men of all shades of opinion upon Egyptian affairs, strongly opposing the abandonment of the Sudan by the British empire and subsequently urging its reconquest. Next to these, questions of maritime defence and strategy chiefly attracted him in his later years.
He died at Sandford Orleigh in 1893 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main works

Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon (English)
Cyprus, as I Saw It in 1879 (English)
In the Heart of Africa (English)
Ismailia (English)
The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile (English)
The Nile tributaries of Abyssinia, and the sword hunters of the Hamran arabs (English)
The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon (English)
Wild Beasts and Their Ways, Reminiscences of Europe, Asia, Africa and America (English)

From book «Cyprus, as I Saw It in 1879»  fragment 1

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