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Book - “The Life and Travels of Mungo Park”
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Title: Book - “The Life and Travels of Mungo Park”
Identifier: 979.6.1335
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1844-1858
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A hardcover book entitled "The Life and Travels of Mungo Park" published by Harper & Brothers. The book has a plain brown cover with gold-coloured lettering on the spine. The inscription reads "Arthur B. Harris/ February 4th/58." The book describes the travels of Mungo Park (1771-1806), a Scottish explorer of the African continent. In 1794, Park offered his services to the African Association to discover the course of the Niger River.

Mungo Park was born in Scotland in 1771. He was a trained physician for the East India Company. He was contracted by the African Association to travel to Africa to find the Niger River. The African Association's aims were to investigate the possibilities for economic opportunities as well as scientific study in Africa. Park made three unsuccessful attempts to locate the Niger river, until his trip in 1795. He spent 18 months in the interior regions of Africa, traveling eastward from the Gambia River towards Timbuktu. He finally found the Niger River on July 22, 1796. Park's record of his travels was entitled "Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa", and it was first published in 1799. Park's final trip to Africa was in 1805 where he died, the cause being unknown for certain, it is recorded that he was attacked by natives and drowned in the Niger River.

Arthur Beveridge Harris (1843-1932) was the only surviving son of Elizabeth (née Molony) (1829-1884) and Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884). He later married Mary Magrath (1859-1954) and they had three children, Annie (1882-1986), Naomi (1883-1968), and Margaret (1887) who died shortly after birth. Arthur helped his father with the daily tasks of maintaining a farm. He inherited Benares in 1884, upon the death of his father, Captain Harris. In the same decade, both Arthur and Mary received a number of inheritances that made life easier at Benares.
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