Sir Samuel White Baker (1821 - 1893) was a British explorer, officer, naturalist, big game hunter, engineer, writer and abolitionist.
As a highly experienced big game hunter, Samuel Baker studied the science of hunting firearms and ballistics. He was one of the world's few hunters that used the two bore rifle. He had immense knowledge of the animal world and in 1863, the German zoologist Theodor von Heuglin, named a Roan antelope subspecies in his honour - Hippotragus equinus bakeri or Baker's antelope. Although Baker never climbed it, Mount Baker in the Ruwenzori Mountains of Uganda, was named after him in 1906.
Sir Samuel Baker used an enormous rifle made by Gibbs which weighed 21lbs, with a 36 inch barrel. It was charged with 16 drams of powder and the spherical ball weighed 3oz. However his favourite rifle was a double .577 express made by Hollands, regulated for 6 drams of powder and a 648 grain bullet and weighing 12lbs.
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The Nile Tributaries Of Abyssinia And The Sword Hunters Of The Hamran Arabs by Samuel W Baker (1868). In this volume Baker traces his discovery of the sources of the lower Nile in the Atbara River and the Blue Nile in Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia and Somalia). Free eBook
Wild Beasts And Their Ways: Reminiscences Of Europe, Asia, Africa And America by Samuel W Baker (1890) "Few persons are aware of the extreme quickness with which an elephant can kick, and the great height that can be reached by this mischievous use of the hind foot. I have frequently seen an elephant kick as sharp as a small pony, and the effect of a blow from so ponderous a mass propelled with extreme velocity may be imagined. This is a peculiar action, as the elephant is devoid of hocks, and it uses the knees of the hind legs in a similar manner to those of a human being. Vol I Free eBook Vol II Free eBook
The Rifle And The Hound In Ceylon by Samuel W Baker (1853) is an early account of field sports and shikar in Ceylon. "Where the character of the country admits an approach (to an elephant) to within ten paces, I prefer the Ceylon method of aiming at either the temple or behind the ear". Baker used explosive shells of his own design, supplied by Reilly & Co. of London..."these were cast iron coated with lead, and their effect was terrific". Includes tales of elephant hunting and capturing, hunting deer of various kinds, coursing deer, wild boar and buffalo Free eBook
Eight Years' Wandering In Ceylon by Samuel W Baker (1855) "It was in the year 1845 that the spirit of wandering allured me toward Ceylon: little did I imagine at that time that I should eventually become a settler." Free eBook
Eight Years In Ceylon by Samuel W Baker (1874) Free eBook is Baker's updated version of 'Eight Years' Wandering In Ceylon'. "Nearly twenty years ago, when settled in the island of Ceylon, I wrote this book. The lapse of this interval of time has produced many important changes; Ceylon has progressed, and is become one of our most prosperous colonies."
The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin Of The Nile And Exploration Of The Nile Sources by Samuel W Baker (1866) details an expedition to discover the sources of the Nile, in 1861. "All is wild and brutal, hard and unfeeling." Free eBook
Ismailia: A Narrative Of The Expedition To Central Africa For The Suppression Of The Slave Trade by Samuel W Baker (1874) is an account of Baker's expedition to the largely unexplored Sudan and huge tracts of Uganda and central Africa which became an epic of hardship and exploration. His adventures, narrated in these two volumes, included frequent attack by hippopotamus as well as hostile slavers, hauling a steamer overland and hunting interludes. Vol I Free eBook Vol II Free eBook
Four Fathers of Big Game Hunting: Biographical Sketches Of The Sporting Lives Of William Cotton Oswell, Henry Astbury Leveson, Samuel White Baker And Roualeyn George Gordon Cumming by T R Thormanby (1901). The illustrated contents of this book include many little known facts and anecdotes on the sport and lives of William Cotton Oswell, Henry Astbury Leveson, Sir Samuel White Baker and Roualeyn George Gordon Cumming. Kindle Version
Baker of the Nile by Dorothy Middleton (1949) is a biography of the famous explorer Samuel White Baker. It covers his explorations of the tributaries of the Nile in Abyssinia and upper Egypt with reproductions of Baker's own drawings. It tells the story of how Baker discovered the Albert N'yanza, fought the slave traders on the White Nile and survived to be the friend of men such as Stanley and Kitchener. Read Review
The Long Walks: Journeys To The Sources Of The White Nile by Frederick Bradnum (1969). These long walks were the expeditions into Central Africa to discover the sources of the White Nile, undertaken by Richard Francis Burton, James Augustus Grant and Samuel White Baker. For this book the author has chosen extracts from the journals kept by the explorers.
Perfect Victorian Hero: Life And Times Of Sir Samuel White Baker by Michael Brander (1982) is a fascinating biography of the Victorian explorer, administrator, soldier and hunter. After farming in Ceylon, exploring Abyssinia and searching for the source of the Nile, Samuel Baker returned to England with a celebrity status. He later returned to Africa with authority from the Prince of Wales to bring an end to the slave trade.
More hunting books by Michael Brander
Stanley And Africa: Also The Travels, Adventures And Discoveries of Capt. John H Speke, Capt. Richard F Burton, Capt. James W Grant, Sir Samuel and Lady Baker And Other Distinguished Explorers. Author Unknown (1890). This is a good example of how the explorers' original accounts were summarized and repackaged for a popular readership.
Lady Florence Baker (1841 - 1916) had her own extraordinary and very colourful life story. She was found by Samuel Baker as a white slave in a slave market. He outbid the prospective buyer and eventually married her in 1865. She travelled everywhere with Samuel Baker and contributed greatly to his African explorations.
Stolen Woman: Florence Baker's Extraordinary Life From The Harem To The Heart Of Africa by Pat Shipman (2004). Born in the 1840s into an aristocratic family who was murdered in the Hungarian revolution, Florence fled to the Ottoman empire with her nurse. She was next heard of living in a harem, barely in her teens. In 1859 she was presented at auction, and it was in this most unlikely of settings that she met her soulmate Sam Baker, a wealthy English adventurer whose geographic discoveries proved crucial to England's understanding of the African landscape. Saving her from slavery, Sam offered her much more - a life of danger, excitement and passion exploring the uncharted interior of Africa in search of the source of the Nile.
To The Heart Of The Nile: Lady Florence Baker And The Exploration Of Central Africa by Pat Shipman (2004) is the story of Lady Florence Baker, a Hungarian who lived in a Turkish harem until sold at auction to her future husband, the explorer Sam Baker. Together they travelled to Africa to discover the source of the Nile, experiencing great privations and dangers along the way. This is the US edition of the 'Stolen Woman'. Kindle Version
Lovers On The Nile: The Incredible African Journeys Of Sam And Florence Baker by Richard Hall (1980) is the story of Samuel and Florence Baker's extraordinary life and travels.
Sleeping on the Moon by Sylvia Adams (2006) With Sir Samuel Baker, Lady Florence Baker travelled to Africa in the 1860s seeking the source of the Nile.
Morning Star: Florence Baker's Diary Of The Expedition To Put Down The Slave Trade On The Nile by Anne Baker (1972). The author is related to Samuel and Florence Baker and the diaries were discovered by her when moving house.