Joseph Thomson (1858 - 1895) was a Scottish geologist and explorer who played an important part in the 'Scramble for Africa'. Thomson's gazelle, Gazella thomsonii, is named after him. Excelling as an explorer rather than an exact scientist, he avoided confrontations among his porters or with indigenous peoples, neither killing any native nor losing any of his men to violence. His motto was quoted to be "he who goes gently, goes safely; he who goes safely, goes far."
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To The Central African Lakes And Back by Joseph Thomson (1881) is the 'The Narrative of the Royal Geographical Society's East Cental African Expedition 1978-80'. Thomson was appointed geologist and naturalist to Alexander Keigh Johnston's Royal Geographical Society expedition to establish a route from Dar es Salaam to Lake Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika. Johnston died early in the journey and Thomson assumed leadership. Vol I Free eBook Vol II Free eBook
Through Masai Land: A Journey Of Exploration Among The Snowclad Volcanic Mountains And Strange Tribes Of Equatorial Africa by Joseph Thomson (1885) was written by a young man who, by his own admission, was more familiar with carrying a gun than wielding a pen. It provides a definitive narrative by someone who had fallen in love with Africa, it's people, wildlife and landscape. Free eBook
Travels In The Atlas And Southern Morocco: A Narrative Of Exploration by Joseph Thomson (1889) Free eBook
Joseph Thomson, African Explorer: A Biography by James Baird Thomson (1896) who was Joseph Thomson's brother. It describes the life, travels and explorations of the African continent by Joseph Thomson. Free eBook
Joseph Thomson And The Exploration Of Africa by Robert I Rotberg (1971) is the first full biography about Joseph Thomson. Towards the end of the era of African exploration Joseph Thomson was active in a surprising number of geographical areas such Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and the Congo. He opened trade routes, made maps and wrote books but died at the age of 37. The appendices show Thomson's outfit and expenses, a list of all the porters and copies of the original treaties made by Thomson on behalf of the British South Africa Company. Thompson's articles and books are listed.