James Elton joined the East Indian Army in 1857, took part in the English campaign in China and in 1863 joined the French occupation army in Mexico. He toured the Transvaal and Natal from 1868 to 1871 , exploring the lower Limpopo .
In 1873 he was appointed vice consul in Zanzibar and in 1875 consul in Mozambique . He repeatedly visited the coast of East Africa to curb the slave trade . In 1877 he went to Lake Nyassa and with Henry Bernard Cotterill climbed the 4400 m high Kondi Mountains at the northern end of the lake, but succumbed to the efforts on December 13, 1877 at Usecha in Ugogo (East Africa) as a result of a sunstroke .
His diaries were revised and completed by Henry Bernard Cotterill after his death and published in London in 1879.
- With the French in Mexico . 1867
- Extracts from the journal of an exploration of the Limpopo . 1871
- Special reports upon the goldfield at Marabastadt and upon the Transvaal Republic . 1872
- From Natal to Zanzibar . 1873
- Travels and researches among the lakes and mountains of Eastern and Central Africa . 1879
- J. Murray, Editor: Travels and researches among the lakes and mountains of Eastern & Central Africa. From the journals of the late J. Frederic Elton, Ed. and completed by HB Cotterill , London, 1879
- Elton . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 5, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 586.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Elton, James Frederick (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||English traveler to Africa and travel writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||August 3, 1840|
|DATE OF DEATH||December 13, 1877|
|Place of death||Ugogo , Tanzania|