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Off to the Congo
History of the Congo
The history of the Congo as expressed through published resources
would seem to begin not much earlier than the late 1870's, when
Henry Morton Stanley went on his famous expedition (funded by the
New York Herald) to find the explorer David Livingstone.
In fact, the Portuguese had "discovered" the mouth of the Congo
River in 1482 but for almost three centuries Europeans never ventured
very far inland. Chapin might have spent some time reading Duarte
Lopes's Report on the Kingdoms of Congo… from 1597 and might
have picked up Abbe Proyart's 1776 account of the history of the
kingdoms of the Congo. Captain James Tuckey's 400-page account of
his 1816 exploration of the river was available in the Columbia
library, but little else was published on the Congo until Stanley
took off in the 1870's.