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Jane Poyner

British colonel turned revolutionary, and African‐Caribbean wife (also described as African‐American in origin). In 1790, when Colonel Despard arrived in London after nearly twenty years of British military service in the Caribbean, he brought with him his wife, Catherine, and their young son James. Catherine's background remains unclear: by some accounts she was the daughter of a Jamaican preacher, by others an educated Spanish Creole. The couple had married some time between 1786 and 1789, while Edward was Superintendent of the newly created British enclave of Belize. The Despards' mixed‐race marriage was perhaps the only such example in Britain at the time.

In London the Despards, turning their backs on respectable society, threw themselves into radical politics, Catherine focusing her energies on abolitionism and prisoners' rights. Edward's political views fell under government suspicion and Catherine took an increasingly public role in defending him against charges of ...

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Jeremy Rich

intelligence agent, was born on 16 June 1922 in Concord, New Hampshire, in the United States. The son of an army colonel, Devlin grew up in San Diego, California, and served in the US military in World War II, reached the rank of captain by the end of that conflict. Devlin earned an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 1947, before beginning a master's degree in international relations at Harvard University, where the US Central Intelligence Agency recruited him to join as an agent. Little is known of his activities in the CIA prior to 1959, when he learned he was to be stationed in the Congo. Devlin had closely observed in Brussels the Round Table discussions in January and February 1960, in which Congolese politicians and Belgian officials negotiated a rapid path to independence in June 1960.

Devlin finally arrived in the ...

Article

Bill Nasson

Cape Coloured rural artisan and British collaborator in the Anglo-Boer or South African War of 1899–1902, was born on 12 September 1864 near Carnarvon in the northern Cape Colony He was the only son of Adam Esau and Martha April who lived and worked as itinerant field laborers and house servants on several farms in the interior of the northwestern Cape He received some elementary schooling in English at a Wesleyan mission station outside Prieska This period of education had a significant formative influence that was deepened through his adolescence In the 1870s the Esau family had a lengthy period of service on the farm of a paternalist English speaking farmer with a local reputation for seeing to the needs of laboring families The Esau household developed a distinctly Anglicized cultural sensibility and became differentiated socially from surrounding rural Dutch Afrikaans speaking working class people Growing up in a ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

politician and businessman, was born on 21 July 1943 in the Yakoma sector, Nord Ubangi district, Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. He belonged to the small Ngbandi ethnic community that lived in the far northwest part of the country, although his father was a Polish judge. Because Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko was also Ngbandi, this connection was later very valuable for Yale's career. He attended primary and secondary school at Catholic mission schools at Molegbe. He then became a student at Lovanium University in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa.

Yale became a very active figure in university politics, and he joined the Association Générale des Étudiants de Lovanium (AGEL). In 1967 his fellow AGEL members elected Yale president of the organization. The university was a center of opposition to Mobutu Sese Seko, who took control over the Congolese government in a military coup on 24 November 1965 ...