13/04/2019
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Scottish explorer Hugh Clapperton died - On this day in history

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On 13 April 1827, explorer Hugh Clapperton died whilst undertaking an expedition in Africa to find the source of the Niger river.

Clapperton was born in Annan, Dumfriesshire and joined a ship's expedition at the age of thirteen. After service in the navy, he fought in the Napoleonic wars before befriending fellow Scot Walter Oudney, who inspired him to travel.

Clapperton, Oudney and Dixon Denham, another Scottish explorer, explored Nigeria extensively and in 1823, were reported to be the first Europeans to see Lake Chad. Clapperton died of dysentry after returning to Africa to meet the Sultan of Sokoto, who had been keen to open new trade routes with the West.

Further reading

A sailor in the Sahara: the life and travels of Hugh Clapperton by Jamie Bruce Lockhart

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