Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston (June 12, 1858 - July 31, 1927) was a British explorer, linguist, artist, botanist, and colonial administrator who spoke several African languages. Born in London, Johnston attended King's College London and then studied painting at the Royal Academy for four years. He traveled to southern Angola in 1882 with the Earl of May, and he met Henry Morton Stanley in the Congo the next year. During that visit he became one of the first Europeans after Stanley to see the Congo River above the Stanley Pool. In 1884, the Royal Geographical Society and the British Association appointed Johnston to lead a scientific expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro, during which he concluded treaties with several local chiefs (succeeding where German efforts had not), to the advantage of the British East Africa Company to whom the treaties were transferred. Johnston became vice-consul in Cameroon and the Niger Delta in October 1886 and was promoted to acting consul in 1887. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, Johnston played an important role in Britain's efforts during the Scramble for Africa, spending time in Katanga, Nyasaland, and North-Eastern Rhodesia. Johnston was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of Bath in 1896 and was transferred to Tunis to serve as consul-general, since he was suffering from 'tropical fevers'. Johnston was sent to Uganda to serve as special commissioner to reorganize the administration of that protectorate in 1899. He published over forty books on African subjects. He retired to Poling, in West Sussex, in 1906, and spent his retirement focused on literary endeavors. In 1925, Johnston suffered two strokes, from which he never fully recovered and became partially paralyzed. He died two years later.

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