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was born in Marseilles, France, on 12 February 1872, to Joseph Raphaël Jean-Baptiste Antonetti and Antonia Rose Joséphine Antonetti (née Magaud). Antonetti was a crucial figure in colonial French African rule from 1909 until 1934, yet no complete biography had been written about his life until over seventy years after his death. Little is available about his early years or education. He joined the French colonial administration and spent his formative years in government as an official on the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Canada at the turn of the twentieth century. He briefly served in 1905 in Djibouti. In 1906 he was appointed as a senior administrator of the same colony. It is unclear why Antonetti was transferred to French West Africa, but he advanced quickly and became the governor of Dahomey (modern Benin) in 1909 He held this position until ...

Article

French military officer, colonial administrator, and governor-general, was born in Annonay, France, on 29 March 1860. Clozel completed his military service in Algeria and entered the colonial service there in 1885. He spent virtually his entire career in Africa. He had earned a degree in Arabic language from the École des Langues Orientales (School of Oriental Languages) in Paris before pursuing further studies in Islamic culture at the Faculté des Lettres in Algiers. In 1892 he joined an exploration group to Chad and the Congo. In 1894–1895 he led his own expedition to the north of Congo. He met Louis-Gustave Binger, the first governor of the Ivory Coast (1893–1895), upon his return to France.

In 1896 he was posted to the Ivory Coast as a young colonial officer and assigned to the Anyi Ndenye region where he was attacked and wounded by Anyi warriors Unlike his successor ...

Article

Richard A. Bradshaw

French colonial administrator in Ubangi-Shari and governor-general of French Equatorial Africa, was born Adolphe-Félix-Sylvestre Éboué on 26 December 1884 in Cayenne, French Guyana. The fourth of five children of Yves Urbain Éboué (1851–1898) and Aurélie Léveillé (1856–1926), his maternal and paternal great grandparents were brought as slaves from Africa in the early nineteenth century to work at Roura, close to Cayenne, but they were manumitted in 1848.

Éboué attended primary school at Cayenne, started secondary school at the College of Cayenne, and obtained a diploma to teach primary school in 1901. Governor Émile Merwart of Guyana then granted Éboué a half-scholarship that allowed him to attend the Lycée Montaigne in Bordeaux until 1905, after which Éboué studied at the Colonial School in Paris and graduated in 1908 Éboué was then sent to Ubangi Shari where he served off and on for twenty years Merwart the governor ...

Article

Richard Watts

Félix Éboué was born in Cayenne, French Guiana. A very bright child with a nearly photographic memory, he was at the head of his primary school class. He received a French government scholarship to attend high school in Bordeaux, France, where he met René Maran, a Martinican-born Négritude writer. Éboué’s passion for learning translated into a passion for politics, as the young man aligned himself with the Socialism of Jean Jaurès, publisher of the left-wing daily, l’Humanité. Éboué finished his secondary studies in 1905 and entered the French Colonial School in 1906 at a time when the colonial vocation was not considered incompatible with socialism.

After completing his studies in 1908, Éboué turned down a coveted position as colonial administrator in Madagascar to take a similar position in the French Congo where he thought he could do more to help the people of his race He immediately ...

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

Raymond Dumett

treaty maker, cartographer, and one of the great West Africans of his generation, was born to an African mother and a Scottish father in the central coastal town of Anomabu in the Gold Coast’s Fanti region in present-day Ghana. Like several prominent members of the African middle class, he was educated at the famous Wesleyan School of Cape Coast. He also attended school in Sierra Leone. On the basis of strong recommendations, Ferguson was selected to join the colonial government as a clerk in 1881. In 1884 he began his career as a mapmaker by drawing a map of the Gold Coast Colony and Protectorate which was of assistance to the governor in showing the approximate boundaries of various linguistic groups their states and chieftaincies Ferguson proceeded from strength to strength and with each new job effectively completed he was rewarded with greater responsibilities by the colonial government ...

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David Killingray

Fantesurveyor and colonial agent born on the Gold Coast and educated in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He became a teacher and then a civil servant. As an employee of the Gold Coast colony he accompanied the Governor on a mission inland, producing a map that showed the ethnic divisions of the colony. He was entrusted with a further mission to the interior that resulted in Akwamu becoming part of the British protectorate. Ferguson's surveying skills were developed by his work with the British–German Boundary Commission of 1886. In 1887 he came to London and studied mining and surveying at the School of Mines, graduating with a first‐class certificate. During the 1890s Ferguson led important political missions to Asante and to the northern hinterland of what is now modern Ghana. By 1894 he had signed eighteen treaties of trade and friendship with northern rulers Ferguson s reports and precise ...

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Nick Nesbitt

Victor Hugues was the son of a baker from Marseilles, France. At the age of twelve, he joined his uncle in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) at the height of that island's colonial prosperity. After sailing the Caribbean as a corsair in search of English ships, in 1784 Hugues settled in Port-au-Prince, where he opened a bakery. In 1788, when the French King Louis XVI convened the Estates General in Versailles in an attempt to defuse rising antimonarchical sentiment, Hugues was elected and returned to France to represent the petit blancs, or white shop owners and traders. Hugues also became embroiled in the conflict between petits blancs and a mulatto class striving for legal recognition: in February 1791 Port-au-Prince was burned by armed members of the mulatto class, and Hugues, by his own estimation, lost seven-eighths of his worldly goods.

When the French monarchy was overthrown in ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

A son of missionary parents, Frederick John Dealtry Lugard was born in Fort St. George, Madras, India. He was educated in England and trained briefly at the Royal Military College, which he left at the age of twenty-one to join the British army. While in the army, Lugard was posted to India and also served in Afghanistan, Sudan, and Burma (present-day Myanmar). In the late 1880s, however, Lugard left the army to fight slavery in East and Central Africa. In 1888 Lugard led his first expedition in Nyasaland (present-day Malawi) and was seriously injured in an attack on Arab slave traders. A year after he established the territorial claims of British settlers, in the hire of the British East African Company, Lugard explored the Kenyan interior. In 1890 he led an expedition to the Buganda kingdom in present day Uganda Lugard negotiated an end to the civil war in ...

Article

Rafai  

Richard A. Bradshaw and Juan Fandos-Rius

Bandia paramount chief of a Zande kingdom that straddled the Chinko River in what is now southeastern Central African Republic (CAR). Rafai was born c. 1855, the eighth son of Bayangi, who, according to oral tradition, was the son of Sangou, the son of Tossi, the son of Kassanga, the son of Ngubenge, the son of Kube. The Bandia, an Ngbandi clan from the southern bank of the Ubangi River region west of the Azande, spread northeast across Azande territory in the late eighteenth century. By c. 1800, the Bandia had become the rulers of a number of states on the forest margins north of the Mbomu River. The Bandia ancestors of Rafai came to rule an Azande population on both sides of the Chinko River.

Rafai was one of the youngest sons of Bayangi and so at birth he appeared to have little chance of ever leading ...