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Significant Scots
Frederick Stanley Arnot

Frederick Stanley Arnot (12 September 1858 – 14 May 1914) was a British missionary who did much to establish missions in what are now Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


I HESITATED long as to the form the Life of Arnot should take, alternating between a descriptive narrative amL a transcript of his diaries and letters. As I read and re-read these I felt something of the spell that the diaries' of David Brainerd, Henry Martyn, and Murray McCheyne have exercised over so many, and I felt that it would be better for the most part to allow Arnot to tell his own story. So I have made a plentiful use of his own words, believing that the result of combining the two methods will be the addition to our literature of a story that will be both interesting from a narrative point of view, and stimulating and inspiring from the devotional standpoint. In the use of letters I have not specified, except on occasions when I have deemed it necessary, to whom they were addressed.

Arnot must be reckoned, not only amongst the greatest saints and missionaries of modern times, but also amongst its greatest travellers. He made nine journeys to the centre of Africa. Without reckoning the tens of thousands of miles that he had to travel on the ocean to get to Africa and back, without counting the journeys around the coast from port to port, and without including the long distances he was able to go in the latter part of his life by train over railways that had then been built, it is estimated that he covered 29,000 miles in all by foot, in hammocks, on the back of donkeys or oxen, or in canoes. This is a record that has probably never been surpassed in Africa, and it is doubtful if many have equalled it in other parts of the world.

I am greatly indebted to the hearty co-operation of Mrs. Arnot, the widow of F. S. Arnot, for the loan of diaries, letters, and other papers, and for numerous articles and booklets written by Arnot from time to time. Mrs. Arnot’s counsel has been invaluable in deciding what to include and what to eliminate.

Some of the material has of necessity appeared already in Arnot’s principal books, Garenganze, Bihe and Garenganze, and Missionary Travels in Central Africa, and grateful acknowledgment is hereby made both to Mrs. Arnot and the publishers of these works for permission to use the material contained therein.
Miss Ray Arnot, Arnot’s eldest daughter, who assisted him in his later years in his literary work and correspondence, has been a great help in correcting place-names.

Then a word must be said for the great traveller’s mother, Mrs. Arnot, who is still alive, and, at the time of writing, is eighty-six years of age. She resides in Glasgow and has followed with great interest the progress of this Biography, and has trusted letters of her son to the mercy of the seas, infested in war time with the deadly submarine. Glimpses of him, in a tenderer and more vivid light, can thus be given to the public than could be obtained from a perusal of his journals and letters, which were written with a view to publication.

Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Life & Explorations of Frederick Stanley Arnot
The Authorised Biography of a zealous missionary, intrepid explorere & self-denying beneactor amongst the natives of Africa by Ernest Baker (1921) (pdf)

Missionary Travels in Central Africa
By F.S. Arnot, with Introduction by W. H. Bennet (1914) (pdf)

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