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Jeremy Rich

Portuguese explorer who helped open up European commercial links to both western and eastern Africa, was born sometime between 1460 and 1469. He probably was born at Sines, a town on the southwestern coast of Portugal. His father was Estêvão da Gama, a knight in the court of the Duke of Viseu. Da Gama’s mother was Isabel Sodré, a woman of noble descent. It is a paradox that so little is known of da Gama’s life, given his fame as the first Portuguese sea captain to reach India. Since da Gama was a younger son, he may have entered Atlantic exploration to make up for losing out on his father’s inheritance.

At some point da Gama became an agent of King João II of Portugal who sought to promote Atlantic trade and exploration like his more famous predecessor Henry the Navigator Gama joined the Order of Santiago a brotherhood ...

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Jeremy Rich

abolitionist and governor of Sierra Leone, was born on 2 May 1768 in Inveraray, Scotland. His father John was a Protestant minister, and Zachary had eleven other siblings. One brother, Alexander, served in the British army in India. Another brother was a prominent Anglican priest. As for Zachary, his early life hardly indicated future greatness. In order to make a living, Macaulay left Scotland to work as an accountant on a Jamaican plantation.

The brutal violence of plantation slavery left a deep mark on Macaulay over time. By 1780 he returned to England rather than remain in the service of slavery There his brother Thomas Babington introduced Macaulay to evangelicals such as the tremendously active reformer and abolitionist William Wilberforce as well as Thomas Clarkson Macaulay became a member of the Clapham Sect a reformist association of evangelicals within the Anglican Church opposed to slavery and in favor of ...

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Eric J. Morgan

Dutch merchant and founder of Cape Town, South Africa, was born on 21 April 1619 in Culemborg, the Netherlands. Born Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck, Jan, as he was known from his childhood onward, was trained as a medical surgeon, like his father before him. Van Riebeeck is known as the father of Afrikanerdom, as his establishment of Cape Town in 1652 led to the migration of tens of thousands of settlers from northwest Europe, who eventually became the Boer or Afrikaner ethnic group who settled in South Africa.

Following his youth in the Netherlands, in 1639 van Riebeeck was employed as a surgeon and later as a merchant by the Dutch East India Company, and during his employ traveled to the East Indies, Japan, and Vietnam. The Dutch East India Company recalled van Riebeeck from Vietnam in 1645 when it learned that the merchant was trading for his own ...