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Jeremy Rich

British colonial governor in Africa, was born on 29 September 1903 in London. His father, Evelyn Baring (Lord Cromer), was a central figure in the British occupation and administration of Egypt from 1882 to 1907, and was sixty-two when his son was born. His mother, Katie Baring, remained a close confidante of her son until her death in 1934, eighteen years after his father passed away. The younger Lord Cromer never knew his father very well, even though his towering career as an architect of colonial policy would shape his own career. Baring attended top private primary and secondary schools, and then went on to Oxford University.

After finishing at Oxford in 1924, Baring volunteered for the Indian Civil Service, the colonial administration of India. From 1925 until 1929 he was an official in several districts of what would later become India and Pakistan ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

colonial politician, was the son of the British lawyer Alfred Blundell and his wife Amelia Blundell (née Richardson). Born on 7 April 1907 in London in a solidly upper middle class family, Blundell received his education at the elite Wellington College secondary school from 1921 to 1925. Although Blundell's family expected him to attend Oxford University, the young man decided to follow an invitation to help out on a farm in the British colony of Kenya in 1925. He already had developed a deep interest in colonial matters. Blundell soon changed his previous ideas about Africans and their treatment by British settlers while staying at the farm of Timothy Brodhurst-Hill, an aristocratic veteran. Brodhurst-Hill beat his workers, considered African beliefs and culture as hopelessly backward, and slighted Blundell once a young British aristocrat moved to their farm. He moved in 1926 to manage another farm and ...

Article

Leyla Keough

Although he was considered a radical in the 1970s and 1980s, observers have described Paul Boateng as a “traditional” moderate since he took his seat in the British Parliament in 1987.

Boateng was born in Hackney, London, in 1951, to a Ghanaian father and a Scottish mother. When he was two, his family moved to the newly independent Ghana, where his father served as a cabinet minister. Boateng grew up in Ghana and attended the prestigious Accra Academy. When a 1966 coup placed his father in jail, he, his sister, and his mother fled to Great Britain. They settled in Hemel Hempstead, where Boateng was the only black to attend his secondary school. His peers quickly accepted him, and he became captain of the debating team. He went on to study law at Bristol University.

At a time when the British Parliament had no members ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

district colonial chief and master farmer, was born in Njau Village, in the Upper Saloum District of present-day Gambia in 1890. His name is also spelled Sise or Sisi. He was among the few formally educated Gambian colonial chiefs, having attended the prestigious Mohammedan School in Bathurst (now Banjul) in the 1910s before working as an interpreter for the Traveling Commissioner North Bank Province. Interpreters were central to the running of the colonial machinery. As the intermediaries between the local people who could not speak English and colonial officials, they wielded influence because of their perceived proximity to the colonial powers. European officials also did not always trust the interpreters, who were occasionally sacked or jailed for suspected treachery.

Unlike the French colonizers who completely replaced local chiefs with French officials the British in West Africa administered their colonies through preexisting traditional authorities and used local customary institutions ...

Article

Matthew V. Bender

colonial civil servant in Kenya, Tanganyika, the Bahamas, Northern Rhodesia, and Uganda, was born Charles Cecil Farquharson Dundas. The son of a lifelong British consular officer, Dundas spent little time in his native Scotland. In 1903, at the age of nineteen, he took his first post in the Hamburg office of the prominent shipping company Elder-Dempster. Five years later he entered the British colonial service and received his first posting in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. Dundas served in various capacities in both Mombasa and Nairobi until 1914, when he took a post with Indian Army forces dispatched to invade German East Africa.

Dundas’s performance in both Nairobi and Mombasa, as well as during World War I, helped him to establish himself as a rising star in the colonial service. In 1921 he was named commissioner of the Moshi District Tanganyika Territory The posting situated in ...

Article

Willie Henderson

British colonial administrator of Basutoland and queen’s commissioner of Bechuanaland Protectorate (modern-day Botswana), was born in Claygate, Surrey. He attended Charterhouse School and then Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied law. During World War II, he served as a lieutenant-commander in the Royal Navy. Immediately after the war, he joined the Colonial Service and was sent to Basutoland (Lesotho). He then spent some time in the High Commissioner’s Office in Pretoria (South Africa), where he worked under first Sir Evelyn Baring, whom he greatly admired, and then Sir John le Rougetel. In 1954 he became government secretary of Bechuanaland working under Forbes Mackenzie and then Martin Wray His career developed within the anomalous colonial administration of the High Commission Territories Bechuanaland Basutoland and Swaziland were under the High Commissioner s Office in Pretoria When the Union of South Africa was established it had been envisaged that the High Commission ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

religious leader, diplomat, cabinet minister, educationist, and ardent nationalist, also known as J. C. or Reverend Faye, was born in Bathurst (present-day Banjul, Gambia) to Wolof and Serer parents. His father was a shipwright and his mother a housewife. Faye attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and the Methodist Boys High School in Banjul, where he completed his studies in 1926. He got his teachers’ certificate in 1927. From 1927 to 1942, he taught at various mission schools in Bathurst, the capital and main administrative center of the British colony of Gambia.

In 1942 Faye helped start the famous Kristikunda School in Kantora in the Upper River Division of Gambia opening the gates of education to the people living in the Gambian interior which the British ruled as a protectorate The school whose name in the local Fula language means Christ s home was a bold experiment in ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

also called Tamba Jammeh, a Gambian colonial chief, farmer, and political figure, was born probably in 1880, to Jatta Selung Jammeh, a Serere-Mandinka, and Awa Job, a Wollof in the Baddibu district of Gambia. He retired in 1964 and died on 13 October 1987. When the British colonialists declared a colonial protectorate in Gambia in 1893, Jatta Selung was allowed to become the first chief of the Illiasa district. His son, Mama Tamba, attended the Muhammedan School in Bathurst (now Banjul) from 1905 to 1913. Soon after, he was employed as a scribe in his father’s court. In 1925, he was appointed deputy chief, as his father was infirm. Mama Tamba Jammeh became chief of Illiasa on 28 February 1928.

The new chief of Illiasa embodied tradition modernity sagacity and innovation At a time when only European colonial officials could afford cars Mama Tamba ...

Article

Cyril Daddieh

was a reforming French colonial administrator in the Côte d’Ivoire. Little is known of his early life. As commandant of Fort-Archambault in August 1940, he rallied Chad to the Free French cause, and served briefly as governor of the French colony of Ubangi-Shari in 1942. In recognition of his loyalty, General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French in London, appointed him to replace the Vichy-designated governor G.-P. Rey. Latrille served as governor of Côte d’Ivoire from 1943 to 1947. An avid Gaullist, Latrille had little love for the Vichy-supporting European planters and was sympathetic to the need to redress the grievances of the African population, especially as concerned forced labor. Significantly, at the conference in Brazzaville in 1944 Governor Latrille issued a report on the brutality of forced labor camps which compared the practice to those of the Nazis Latrille represented a new generation ...

Article

Karin Pallaver

German military leader and colonialist, was born in Saarlouis (Western Saarland). Son of General Paul Karl von Lettow-Vorbeck and his wife, Mary, he came from a noble Pomeranian family with a long tradition of military service. In 1888 he began his military career and acquired a rather exceptional international experience for his time. He was a member of the German detachment of the Eight-Nation Alliance army sent to China to suppress the Boxer Rebellion (1900–1901). Later, he was sent to German South-West Africa where he took part in the suppression of the Herero and Nama revolts (1904–1907), during which he was wounded. Back home, Lettow obtained the command of a marine infantry battalion. In 1913 he asked to become part of the colonial forces in Africa, and in 1914 he was appointed head of the Schutztruppen (Protective Forces) in German East Africa.

After the outbreak of World War I Lettow ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

French colonial administrator in French Equatorial Africa, French diplomat, and Chadian politician, was born Gabriel Francesco Lisette on 2 April 1919 in Puerto Bello, Panama. His parents were Guadeloupeans of African descent, and they soon returned with their son to their original home. Although his family was largely made up of fishermen and artisans, Lisette attended secondary school at Lycée Carnot in Point-à-Pitre and Lycée Henri IV in Paris. In 1939, he entered the École Nationale de la France d’Outre-Mer in Paris, and received a degree that allowed him to enter the colonial administration. However, World War II interfered with his education.

Lisette only officially received a post in the French colonial administration in 1944 Like so many other administrators from the Antilles Lisette ended up in the poorly staffed and unpopular bureaucracy in French Equatorial Africa He was assigned to the governor general s office in Brazzaville ...

Article

Nicole D. Price

Equatorial Guinean landowner, liberation activist of the Fang ethnic group, and hero of the independence movement, was born in Cameroon. Nothing is really known about his youth. Before his participation in the independence movement of Equatorial Guinea, Mañé Elá was known throughout the Río Muni region (the continental part of Equatorial Guinea) as a fairly wealthy landowner. Because of his status as an emancipado, or privileged African under Spanish colonial rule, Mañé Elá had very few restrictions placed upon him as far as travel and accumulation of wealth, both of which figured prominently in his role in the independence movement.

The independence movement in Spanish Guinea started to formally take shape in the late 1940s, when emancipados realized that even with their privileged status in colonial society, they would never have the same rights as the Spaniards. In 1947 a group of emanicipados, led by Marcos Ropo Uri ...

Article

Betty Sibongile Dlamini

British colonial administrator in Swaziland, was born to Scottish parents in 1877 in Natal Province, South Africa. He came to Swaziland in 1903 with the first influx of British colonial administrators, and gradually climbed the ladder of administrative posts in the southern part of the country where he worked. He was fluent and articulate in Zulu and soon was viewed favorably by many of the Swazi people.

In 1907 he became assistant commissioner at Mbabane and was chosen to escort a delegation of Swazi men commissioned by Indlovukati Queen Labotsibeni to the Colonial Office in London in protest of the planned British expropriation of Swazi lands under the Partition Proclamation According to the resident commissioner Robert Coryndon Marwick s primary responsibility was to pass along intelligence on the delegation s diplomacy to the Colonial Office and to arrange the agenda so that the tactics of the colonial secretary Lord ...

Article

Portuguese governor general of Angola, was born on 23 March 1867 in the town of Ponte de Lima in northern Portugal. He came of age during Portugal’s waning constitutional monarchy and from 1890, when that political system entered crisis, until its fall in 1910 Norton de Matos served as a professional soldier with a colonial career in Asia including Portuguese India and Macau It was under Portugal s liberal First Republic 1910 1926 however that Norton de Matos reached the pinnacle of his colonial career and political power Serving twice as Portugal s chief governing officer in Angola as a cabinet officer on several occasions and as Portugal s ambassador to Britain he achieved fame but also suffered as a result of the Republic s financial weakness and administrative instability Norton de Matos was a leading figure as a staunch Republican and leading Mason during this unstable period ...