A Sailor in the Sahara: The Life and Travels in Africa of by Jamie Bruce Lockhart

By Jamie Bruce Lockhart

Hugh Clapperton used to be one in every of Africa's maximum 19th-century explorers. doubtless forgotten for years, he's now delivered to existence in Jamie Bruce Lockhart's terrific new biography.
Clapperton used to be born in Annan within the Scottish borders in 1788. Like many Scots of his new release, he observed carrier at sea because the route to reputation and riches within the British Empire. through the Napoleonic Wars he served within the Mediterranean and the East Indies, and at the nice Lakes of Canada within the conflict with the U.S..
After his discharge as a lieutenant in 1817, boredom and thirst for event spurred him to exploration in Africa. He participated in expeditions to map the Niger and the significant unexplored hinterland of the Guinea coast, and had command of the second one of those - a whole scale diplomatic project to a quarter of massive significance to Britain's burgeoning political and advertisement imperial pursuits.
Jamie Bruce Lockhart has retraced Clapperton's footsteps and takes the reader via wooded area, barren region and extremes of weather. during this bright and sympathetic biography the reader witnesses Clapperton's adventures, hopes, fears, misfortunes and his eventually lonely fate.

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And in an overwhelmingly inhospitable climate, commanding men on and below deck during lengthy unbroken periods at sea was not for the faint‐hearted. Tropical fevers were rife, yellow fever amongst them, and internal disorders commonplace.  The crews perforce bore those risks and other attendant miseries as stoically as they might.  For two months, on constant alert for Ladrones (pirates from the eponymous islands), Briggs patrolled the coast and moved between Macao and the Canton river, to press and allocate men among naval ships and to assist the East Indiamen in their cooperation with powerful Company officials at Whampoa.

Midshipman Clapperton was once more at their Lordships’ disposal. On return home, Alexander Skene was appointed flag captain to Vice‐Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, lately made commander‐ in‐chief of the North Atlantic station, and given command of the flagship, HMS Asia, shortly to be deployed to Bermuda. Skene entered Clapperton’s name for the Atlantic fleet and the young petty officer was happy to be asked to accompany him to the new front, where undoubtedly lay the best prospects of action, promotion and eventual command.

Clapperton jumped ship, headed straight for a nearby naval frigate, HMS Renommee, and volunteered his services.  It was pointed out to him that he could be flogged as a deserter, and that he must swear to perform his duty faithfully before being accepted as a volunteer.  A Fifth Rate ship armed with forty guns, she carried a crew of two hundred and forty‐six men and some forty‐five marines. She had been captured from the French in the West Indies and was relatively old fashioned and lightly armed for the time, but her Scottish captain, Sir Thomas Livingstone, Bart, son of the Earl of Linlithgow, was an experienced officer and her record on the Mediterranean station was good.

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