Mungo Park was born on the 10th of September, 1771, the son of a
farmer at Fowlshiels, near Selkirk. After studying medicine in
Edinburgh, he went out, at the age of twenty-one, assistant-surgeon
in a ship bound for the East Indies. When he came back the African
Society was in want of an explorer, to take the place of Major
Houghton, who had died. Mungo Park volunteered, was accepted, and
in his twenty-fourth year, on the 22nd of May, 1795, he sailed for
the coasts of Senegal, where he arrived in June.
Thence he proceeded on the travels of which this book is the record.
He was absent from England for a little more than two years and a
half; returned a few days before Christmas, 1797. He was then
twenty-six years old. The African Association published the first
edition of his travels as "Travels in the Interior Districts of
Africa, 1795-7, by Mungo Park, with an Appendix containing
Geographical Illustrations of Africa, by Major Rennell."
Park married, and settled at Peebles in medical practice, but was
persuaded by the Government to go out again. He sailed from
Portsmouth on the 30th of January, 1805, resolved to trace the Niger
to its source or perish in the attempt. He perished. The natives
attacked him while passing through a narrow strait of the river at
Boussa, and killed him, with all that remained of his party, except
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