THOMSON, Joseph, Scottish explorer in Africa : b. Penpont, Dumfriesshire, 14 Feb. 1858; d. London, 3 Aug. 1895. He was edu cated at the University of Edinburgh and there distinguished himself so highly that he was appointed in 1878 geologist and naturalist to the exploring expedition•sent out to East Cen tral Africa by the Royal Geographical Society under the command of Alexander Keith John ston. When Johnston died, 28 June 1879, Thom son assumed the leadership of the party and conducted it to Lake Tanganyika and near the head-waters of the Kongo. A mutiny of his followers prevented him from proceeding farther and he returned by way of Lake Leo pold, reaching the coast 10 July 1880. In 1882 he set out on a great journey from the east coast of Africa to Victoria Nyanza. This was undertaken on behalf of the Royal Geographi cal Society and during it he visited Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenia and proceeded through the country of the Masai by way of Lakes Naivasha and Baringo to Victoria Nyanza, In 1885 he was awarded the founder's medal of the Royal Geographical Society and in the same year trav eled in Nigeria on behalf of the National Africa Company in order to conclude treaties with the kings of Sokoto and Gando. In 1888 he ex
plored the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and in 1890-91 traveled on behalf of the British South Africa Company in the territory of the Central Africa Protectorate. His travels are described in his works 'To the Central African Lakes and Back: the narrative of the Royal Geo graphical Society's East Central African Ex pedition, 1878-80' (1881) ; 'Through Masai Land: a Journey of Exploration Among the Snowclad Volcanic Mountains and Strange Tribes of Eastern Equatorial Africa' (1x5) ; 'Travels in the Atlas and Southern Morocco: a Narrative of Exploration) (1889). He also wrote a work on (Mungo Park and the Niger) (1890) and a novel 'Ulu,' with Miss Harris Smith. Consult 'Life by J. B. Thomson (1896).