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Mary Kingsley
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Explorer
    (September 13, 1862-June 3, 1900)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Explorer, ethnographer and author
    Made two trips to West Africa (1893,1894-95)
    First European to visit parts of Gabon
    Wrote 'Travels in West Africa' (1897) and 'West African Studies' (1899)
    Niece of author Charles Kingsley
    She wrote, 'I have seen at close quarters specimens of the most important big game of Central Africa, and I have run away from all of them.'
    She was embraced by suffragettes as an example of the 'new woman,' much to her own annoyance.
    She claimed, 'Women are unfit for Parliament and Parliament is unfit for them.'
    She said allowing women to join the Royal Geographic Society would 'inhibit scientific discussion.'
    She collected specimens for the British Museum, including three new species of fish that were named after her.
    She saved one of her African companions from being eaten by cannibals.
    She criticized Christian missionaries and colonial governments for destroying native African cultures without providing any real benefits.
    She said, 'A black man is no more an undeveloped white man than a rabbit is an undeveloped hare.'
    Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain secretly met with her for advice on how Britain's colonies in Africa should be governed.
    She died of typhoid while serving as a nurse at a Boer prisoner of war camp in South Africa.

Credit: C. Fishel


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