The New Student's Reference Work/Speke, John Hanning

Speke (spēk), John Hanning, an African explorer, was born on May 4, 1827, in Somersetshire, England.  At 17 he entered the Indian army, where between his periods of military service he collected specimens in natural history and planned available routes of travel.  In 1857 he was sent out with Burton by the Royal Geographical Society to find the great lakes of Central Africa.  Speke, when alone, discovered the Victoria Nyanza, and in 1860, while associated with J. A. Grant, he returned and explored its coasts and followed the river until he was satisfied it is the Nile.  It was disputed, however, by Burton and other travelers, and Speke made arrangements for a public discussion with Burton at Bath.  But on the morning of the day set, Sept. 15, 1864, he accidentally shot himself.  His writings are Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile and What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile.