By Jamie Bruce Lockhart
Clapperton was once born in Annan within the Scottish borders in 1788. Like many Scots of his new release, he observed provider at sea because the route to reputation and riches within the British Empire. in the course of the Napoleonic Wars he served within the Mediterranean and the East Indies, and at the nice Lakes of Canada within the conflict with the U.S..
After his discharge as a lieutenant in 1817, boredom and thirst for experience spurred him to exploration in Africa. He participated in expeditions to map the Niger and the tremendous unexplored hinterland of the Guinea coast, and had command of the second one of those - a whole scale diplomatic challenge to a sector of big value to Britain's burgeoning political and advertisement imperial pursuits.
Jamie Bruce Lockhart has retraced Clapperton's footsteps and takes the reader via woodland, barren region and extremes of weather. during this brilliant and sympathetic biography the reader witnesses Clapperton's adventures, hopes, fears, misfortunes and his eventually lonely fate.
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Additional info for A Sailor in the Sahara: The Life and Travels in Africa of Hugh Clapperton, Commander RN
Clapperton was eager to take part in the action, but transhipment problems conspired to delay his arrival by a further nine months. He was re‐entered on Psyche’s books, no longer as a supernumerary but in the capacity of midshipman – Edgecombe was glad to make use of the talents of the thrusting and energetic young petty officer on his quarterdeck. And on 9 June 1810, in a strong breeze which had already carried away some of her sails, HMS Clorinde arrived in the Trincomalee Roads. He had been wounded in action in the Medi‐ terranean, had seen service on patrols in the Channel and the Atlantic and had performed his duty with acknowledged valour in a dangerous mid‐ocean rescue operation.
His opportunity came three months later, when the privateer went alongside the Gibraltar Mole for reprovisioning. Clapperton jumped ship, headed straight for a nearby naval frigate, HMS Renommee, and volunteered his services. It was pointed out to him that he could be flogged as a deserter, and that he must swear to perform his duty faithfully before being accepted as a volunteer. A Fifth Rate ship armed with forty guns, she carried a crew of two hundred and forty‐six men and some forty‐five marines.
It was indeed a new world. When the Americans renewed their offensive in 1813, British forces, aided by an Indian militia, held off General Proctor’s attacks in the west, and neither side obtained military advantage.
A Sailor in the Sahara: The Life and Travels in Africa of Hugh Clapperton, Commander RN by Jamie Bruce Lockhart