Baker, Samuel White (1821-1893)

Baker, Sir Samuel White, African traveller, born in London, June 8, 1821, in 1845 went to Ceylon (where he established an agricultural settlement at Nuwara Eliya), and afterwards superintended the construction of a railway across the Dobrudja. In 1860 he married a Hungarian lady, and with her undertook the exploration of the Nile sources. Setting out from Cairo in April 1861, at Gondokoro they were joined by Speke and Grant coming from the south, who told Baker of the Victoria Nyanza, which they had discovered; they also mentioned that the natives had described to them another great lake, named Luta Nzige. Baker resolved to reach this lake; and after many adventures they beheld, on 14th March 1864, from a lofty cliff, the great inland sea to which Baker gave the name of the Albert Nyanza. In 1869-73 he commanded an expedition, organised by the pasha of Egypt, for the suppression of slavery and the annexation of the equatorial regions of the Nile Basin. He thoroughly explored Cyprus in 1879, and afterwards visited Syria, India, Japan, and America. Knighted in 1866, he died at his home near Newton-Abbot, 30th December 1893. He published The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon (1854); Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon (1855); The Albert Nyanza (1866); The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia (1867); Lsmailia (1874); Cyprus as I saw it (1879); and Wild Beasts and their Ways (1890). See Life by Murray and White (1895). His brother, Col. Valentine Baker (1831-87), or 'Baker Pasha,' served in the British army 1848-75, and entered the Turkish service in 1877.
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 62.

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