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Darwin Correspondence Project

Alexander Gordon Laing


Scottish army officer and explorer. Educated at Edinburgh University. Held various military posts in Barbados, West Indies, Jamaica, Honduras, and Sierra Leone. Captain to the Royal African Colonial Corps, 1822; posted to Sierra Leone. Charted the Rokel and Niger rivers, 1822–3. Took part in the Ashanti War of 1823–4. Investigated the hydrography of the Niger basin. First European to reach Timbuktu, 1826.




ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.