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Israel Gershoni

the third and last khedive of Egypt, ruled the country from 1892 to 1914. ʿAbbas was the seventh ruler in Mehmet ʿAli’s dynasty, which was established in the early nineteenth century. ʿAbbas came to the throne at the very young age of eighteen in January 1892 after his father, Khedive Tawfiq (r. 1879–1892), died unexpectedly. Born in Cairo ʿAbbas was educated by tutors at the Thudicum in Geneva and later in the Theresianum Military Academy in Vienna.

Unlike his father, a weak ruler who was considered a puppet of the British colonial rule, the young ʿAbbas strove to restore the original khedival status as sovereign ruler, patterned after the model established by his grandfather Ismaʿil (r. 1863–1879 and to assert Egypt s unique status as a semiautonomous province within the Ottoman Empire ʿAbbas s aspirations clashed with British rule particularly with the authority of the powerful agent ...


Dario A. Euraque

was born in the Department of Olancho, in eastern Honduras, in the municipality of Juticalpa. His parents were Jorge Bonilla and Dominga Chirinos. He received a rudimentary primary education in the 1850s, and enjoyed no formal high school, much less a university education. We know almost nothing of his infancy and youth, and his black and mulatto ethno-racial background are only discreetly mentioned by his major biographers. However, there is no doubt that General Bonilla was phenotypically black or mulatto, in addition to having been born in a town whose ethno-racial background was the same.

According to Jose Sarmiento, the most important historian of Olancho and Juticalpa, Bonilla’s city of birth, in 1810 in the parish registries we find that nearly all the population is registered as mulatto One of General Bonilla s lesser known biographers also affirms as much Moreover his most important biographer characterizes him as dark ...


Bill Nasson

farmer, general, and first prime minister of the Union of South Africa, was born on 27 September 1862 near Greytown in the British colony of Natal. His paternal grandfather, Philip Rudolph Boot (or Both), was of German settler descent and had participated in the 1830s Boer Great Trek into the interior. The son of migrant trekkers Louis Botha and Salomina van Rooyen, Louis was the ninth of thirteen children. In 1869, the Botha family left Natal and settled on a farm near Vrede in the Orange Free State, where Louis lived until the age of twenty-two. Earlier, he had been schooled at a local German mission where he received only a very basic education.

Botha’s minimal formal learning proved to be no handicap to the development of his exceptional aptitude for fieldcraft and understanding of the working of the highveld terrain. In 1886 he settled on his ...


Robert Ross

South African lawyer and politician, was born in Cape Town on 6 December 1823. His father, Christoffel J. Brand, a member of a leading Cape family, was a noted journalist and parliamentarian and the first speaker of the Cape Parliament in 1854. Brand Sr. had presented a doctoral thesis to Leiden University in 1820 on the rights of colonists, which the British might have considered treasonable if it had not been written in Latin. By the 1840s he, along with a number of his fellow Dutch-speaking settlers, decided to cooperate with British rule, believing, accurately as it would turn out, that they would be able to dominate democratic institutions in the colony when they were eventually granted.

Jan, as he was known, followed his father to Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he studied law, and thereafter he was admitted to the British Bar. In 1849 ...



Stephanie Beswick

prominent Zande leader in southern Sudan, was born about 1860; his father was the Avongara leader Bazingbi (“conqueror of the world”) and his mother, a slave woman. He is also known as “Mbio” or “Yambio.” He gradually rose to leadership in rivalry with several half-brothers and numerous other Zande princes. As a young man he participated in his community’s conquests eastward across the Yubo River into Western Equatoria and the area of Yambio, the town that now bears his name. Attempts to extend the Zande conquests east to the White Nile, however, were repulsed by the Dinka and Bari. Because Gbudwe could no longer expand eastward, he planned new invasions toward the territories along his northern borders. These efforts brought him into conflict with the Turco–Egyptian regime in Bahr al-Ghazal that had succeeded at the fall of al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur in 1875. In 1881 Gbudwe obliterated a large ...


The son of slaves, Juan Gualberto Gómez was born in Santa Ana, Cuba. His parents bought his freedom, a practice allowed through manumission laws in Cuba. He was educated under the tutelage of mulatto (of African and European descent) poet Antonio Medina y Céspedes at a local religious school that was known to be a refuge for black children. Sensing that his racial background would limit his opportunities in Cuba, Gómez left the island in 1869 for Paris, France, where he studied the art of cabinetmaking and, later, engineering. Poverty soon forced him to leave his studies and pursue a career in journalism, a profession that would provide him with an outlet for expressing his political and social views.

Gómez's stay in Paris was a formative experience in his life. He became acquainted with various eminent members of Cuba's expatriate community, including separatists such as Vicente Aguilera ...


Mary Grace Albanese

was born on 2 March 1828 at Cap-Haïtien, the son of Jacques Sylvain Gélin Hyppolite, a leading Haitian politician, and a mother whose name is unknown. A member of the emerging black elite, Hyppolite received an education in Haiti before beginning his military career. In 1848 he was promoted to the rank of captain and by 1888 had risen to the rank of general.

That year, Hyppolite served as minister of agriculture and police in a provisional government established in the wake of former President Lysius Salomon’s flight from Haiti. Led by former President Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal, other members of the government included E. Claude, S. U. St. Armand, C. Archin, former Senator François D. Légitime (of Port-au-Prince), and General Séide Thélémaque (of Cap-Haïtien). Soon after this government revoked the 1867 Constitution, a divide developed between Thélémaque and Légitime. On 26 September 1888 Thélémaque was killed in an attempt ...


James Giblin

also known as Muhina Kisabengo Kingo was prominent in the political and commercial life of eastern Tanzania during the middle decades of the nineteenth century The settlement that he established became an important market center of political power and home to several thousand residents In the twentieth century it grew into the major city of Morogoro Situated on the primary trade route between the Indian Ocean and eastern Africa s Great Lakes it was visited by numerous European travelers who wrote admiringly about its stone fortifications finely wrought wooden gates spaciousness and good order In this way Kisabengo came to the attention of a worldwide reading audience Kisabengo s successor was Kingo a son by his wife Kitukira Because Kingo was very young when his father died Morogoro was ruled in the 1870s by Simbamwene a formidable leader and daughter by another wife Makombera Kingo died shortly after assuming office ...


Robert Fay

Menelik II’s birth name was Sahle Mariam. His father, Haile Malakot, was king of Shewa, the heartland of the Amhara people in present-day central Ethiopia, and his mother was Wayzaro Ejegayahu, a court servant who later married Haile Malakot. His father’s death in 1855 during a military campaign by Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II, whose victory ended Shewa’s autonomy, brought Sahle Mariam to Tewodros’s court, where the emperor held all of his potential rivals. There he received a traditional church education. Sahle Mariam escaped in 1865, returned to Shewa, deposed Shewa’s governor, Bezzabbeh, and at twenty-one years of age declared himself negus (king) of Shewa, though he recognized the emperor Tewodros II as his overlord.

Sahle Mariam expanded Shewa s borders south and east into Oromo and Somali territory through warfare and diplomacy and under his rule Shewa became the largest and most powerful kingdom of Ethiopia At Tewodros s ...


Christopher Clapham

emperor of Ethiopia, was born 19 August 1844 in Ankober, Ethiopia, the grandson of Sahla-Silase, king of Shoa, southernmost of the major provinces of highland Ethiopia. The name “Menilek” referred to the legendary son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and prophesied for him a distinguished imperial future. At the age of 11, he was taken into captivity by the new emperor, Tewodros; but as the emperor’s power waned, he escaped and was received with joy in Shoa as its rightful king. Self-proclaimed king of Shoa, Menilek showed signs of imperial ambitions but lacked the military strength to challenge the ruler of Tigray, who became emperor Yohannes IV. When Yohannes advanced on Shoa, Menilek was obliged to submit, in March 1878. During the eleven-year period from 1878 until 1889 when Menilek was in effect the quasi independent ruler of Shoa he laid the foundations of his subsequent ...


Michael Mwenda Kithinji

Maasai prophet and paramount chief, was born in Ngousa near Mount Kilimanjaro, but his family migrated farther north when he was a child and settled in Namanga. He is also known as Lenana, an anglicized version of his first name. Olonana came from the prophetic Inkidongi lineage of the Ilaiser clan, and his father Mbatian was an Oloibon (great prophet). Olonana had many siblings, including half-brothers Senteu, Ngaroya, Endikita, Lasaloan, and Ngabwel. As a child, Olonana herded his family’s livestock and helped his mother in doing household chores. He also had the privilege of learning the intricacies of prophetic and magical practice from his father at an early age.

Olonana was initiated into adulthood in 1882, joining the Il Talala age-set. A definitive moment in Olonana’s life came in the 1890s when he inherited the mantle of the Oloibon following the death of his father. The Oloibon ...


Lynda R. Day

leader of the Kpa Mende Confederacy who wielded greater authority than any other Sierra Leonean woman of her time, was born about 1849 near Taiama in Gbo. She was originally known by her birth name, Soma, and had three brothers named Ali Kongo, Lamboi, and Goba. Her father and maternal grandfather were leaders in the Kpa Mende expansion westward from the Gorama chiefdom. With both a father and a grandfather who were prominent war leaders, Yoko met one of the most important criteria for leadership in this era, descent from the ruling elite of Mende country.

As a girl, Yoko was initiated into the women’s society, the Sande also known as Bundu there she gained a wide reputation as an excellent dancer Some sources mention a first husband the warrior Gongoima who may have been her cousin her father s sister s son Other sources describe her first marriage ...


Hanna Rubinkowska

empress of Ethiopia (r. 1916–1930), was born Askala Maryam on 29 April 1876 in Inewari, the third and youngest child of Emperor Menilek II. Her mother, Abchiw of Wello, was one of Menilek ‘s consorts. Zewditu’s birth caused Menilek’s wife at the time, Bafena, to take military action against her husband.

As a child, Zewditu stayed at her father’s court under the care of Bafena. In 1882 when she was six she married the son of Emperor Yohannes IV Ras Araya Sellase who was about thirteen years old The marriage was arranged for political reasons as it was meant to bind the interests of the then king of Shewa Menilek with those of Yohannes and was related to the taking of Wello Province from Menilek by the emperor who then gave it to Ras Araya These northern domains played a role in the ties linking Zewditu with the ...