In 2004 The Richard Lander Society arranged and expedition following the Lander brothers' historic journey in 1830. This is a video of that trip.
Many Cornish people may know his name, but fewer are aware of Richard Lander's achievements.
Lander, who has a memorial statue on Lemon Street, was born in 1804, in the Fighting Cocks Inn, which stood at the east end of the Leats, by the river (where the Lemon Quay bus stop is today).
At that time, Lander's father was the publican who ran the Fighting Cocks Inn and it was a popular meeting place for sailors and travellers. By the age of 9, Richard had no parents to guide him, and so, inspired by exotic tales from sailors visiting the port of Truro, he set off to London, on foot, to seek employment as an explorer. When he arrived, he met the adventurer Captain Hugh Clapperton. Young Lander had written to the African explorer asking to accompany him as a servant and learn all he could during his travels. Following several voyages working as a servant with wealthy families during his teens, Lander finally accompanied Clapperton on a trip to Africa in 1825.
Sadly, during the dangerous exploration of the west African interior his master died and Lander was forced to return home alone. Undeterred by the arduous African journey, Lander returned in 1830 on a government expedition to find the source of the River Niger – a trip that would see him canoe hundreds of miles along the mighty stretch of water accompanied by his brother John. Two years later, aged 30, Lander was attacked by tribesmen and fatally wounded in his leg during an exploration of the Niger and Benue Rivers, a trip funded by Liverpudlian merchants keen to establish trading posts in the area.
He died from his wounds aged just 30 years old, but in the same year was awarded the first gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society. He left his mark in Africa, naming Truro Island along the Niger River and giving a hill along its riverbank the name Cornwall Mountain.