Richard Lander, an English traveller, the discoverer of the course of the river Niger in Africa, born in Truro, Cornwall, in 1804, died on the island of Fernando Po in February, 1834. He was brought up as a printer, but in 1825 accompanied Capt. Clapperton upon his second African expedition. After the death of Clapperton he returned to England, and published "Records of Capt. Clapperton's Last Expedition to Africa " (2 vols. 8vo, London, 1829-'30), prepared from Clapperton's papers and his own journal. In January, 1830, accompanied by his brother John, he sailed for Africa under government auspices to continue the explorations. Departing from Badagry near Cape Coast Castle, March 22, he reached Boossa on the Quorra, or Niger, June 17. Thence the brothers ascended the river 100 m. to Yaoorie, and returning to Boossa early in August, commenced the descent of the stream in canoes, Sept. 20. They reached the mouth of the river through its principal arm, the Nun, in the latter part of November, and in June, 1831, arrived in England. In the succeeding year a narrative of the expedition, prepared by Lieut. Becher from the account of the Landers, was published in 2 vols, with a map.
They were the first to ascertain the confluence of the Niger with the Benoowe or Tchadda. In 1832 an expedition, consisting of a brig and two small steamers, organized by a company of Liverpool merchants for the purpose of opening a trade with the tribes along the Niger, and placed under the command of Richard Lander, ascended that river to Boossa. The natives showed little disposition to trade with the Europeans, and Lander returned ill to the seacoast in the succeeding spring, with the loss of several of his men by sickness. In July he reascended the river; but the expedition, as a commercial venture, was a failure. On this voyage he ascended the Benoowe as far as the country of Domah, 104 m. On Nov. 27 the expedition was again in motion up the river under the command of Dr. Oldfield. Richard Lander, following with supplies, was wounded, Jan. 20, 1834, in a conflict with the natives of the Eboe country. He escaped in a canoe, and reached Fernando Po, where he died soon after. In 1835 an account of his last voyage was published under the title of "Narrative of the Expedition into the Interior of Africa by the River Niger, in the Steam Vessels Quorra and Alburkah, in 1832,1833, and 1834, by McGregor Laird and R. A. K. Oldfield, surviving officers of the expedition."