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Moroccan writer and explorer, was born in Tangier, Morocco, into a well-respected Berber family of judges who adhered to the Maliki school of jurisprudence. Toward the end of his life he recounted his journeys in a book entitled A Gift to the Observers Concerning the Curiosities of Cities and the Marvels Encountered in Traveling. The work is one of the principal sources available to modern researchers for the social, economic, and political conditions of the fourteenth-century Islamic world. Although not as well known, Ibn Battuta’s travels were more extensive than the journeys of his younger European contemporary, Marco Polo. Over a period of twenty-eight years, he crossed the breadth of Africa and Asia and visited the equivalent of approximately forty-four modern countries. He combined his travels with scholarly pursuits, or with professional posts such as that of judge (qadi in cities along the way A native speaker ...

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Barbara Worley

Like the majority of North Africans, Ibn Battutah (whose full name was Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn’Abd Allah al-Lawati at-Tanji ibn Battutah) was ethnic Berber, and his family traced its ancestry to the nomadic Luwata ethnic group originating in Cyrenaica west of the Nile Delta. Born into the Muslim religious elite in Tangier, Morocco, he would have received a classical literary education in addition to rigorous studies in Islam.

Ibn Battutah wrote poetry in addition to traveling across Africa, Arabia, Asia Minor, India, and China. Most important of his works are his descriptions of the life and culture of peoples of the Niger Basin and Central Sahara, among the earliest and by far the most detailed. After Ibn Battutah returned from his voyages he recounted his observations to Ibn Juzayy, who recorded and edited them at Fès, in Morocco.

At the age of twenty-one, Ibn Battutah set out on ...

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Anthony Gerzina

freed black slave, New England property owner, and husband of Lucy Terry, is thought to have been born in or near Wallingford, Connecticut, near New Haven. He was the slave of the Reverend Benjamin Doolittle, and accompanied Doolittle and his wife, Lydia Todd, from Connecticut to Northfield, Massachusetts, in early 1718, when Doolittle, after graduating from Yale, was named minister of that town. Based on what is known of other nearby towns, the nature of Prince's years in Northfield can be surmised. Northfield, in the Connecticut River Valley just south of the modern Vermont border, was then a small frontier town. Originally settled in 1673, it was abandoned soon afterward, following strife with the native population during King Philip's War. Resettlement began around 1685, but in 1718 it held perhaps only a dozen households none of which owned slaves Although slaveholding ...

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Stephanie Gordon

the first black deputy marshal west of the Mississippi, was born in Paris, Texas, although some historians believe he was born near Van Buren, Arkansas. The son of slaves, Reeves spent his early years on a small farm in Grayson County, Texas, owned by George Reeves a former colonel in the Confederate army Very little is known about Reeves s early life and even less is known about his parents Early on he labored in the Texas cotton fields as a water boy where he learned stories and songs about black outlaws He liked them so much according to one source that he worried his mother with his preoccupation with badmen violence and guns Reeves was chosen as companion for Colonel Reeves s son and he served in this capacity until he was a young adult The relationship came to a quick end however when the two argued during ...

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Michael R. Mahoney

one of the leaders of the Great Trek, during which white settlers from the Cape Colony expanded into the interior and conquered most of what is today South Africa, was born on 12 November 1780 to Jacobus and Debora Retief in Limiet Vallei (today called Wagenmakers Vallei) near the present town of Wellington, Western Cape province. His full name was Piet Mauritz Retief. The Retief family were the descendants of a French Huguenot refugee, François Retif, who came to the Cape in 1689. Retief’s father owned a vineyard, and when Retief himself came of age his father gave him a vineyard estate of his own. He soon lost the estate, however, after a series of unwise investments bankrupted him. He moved to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape in 1812 Two years later he married a widow Lenie Greyling and over the course of their marriage the couple adopted ...

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Robert Joost Willink

Dutch traveler to Africa, was born on 17 October 1835, the only child of John Frederick Tinne and his second wife, Lady Henriette Maria Louise Van Capellen. Her father’s wealth came from sugar and coffee plantations in Demarara in Guiana in the West Indies (present-day Guyana and Suriname), and from his lucrative mercantile business in Liverpool, England. When he died at The Hague in 1844, he left an inheritance that increased enormously in the coming years, thanks to the continued success of his Liverpool company under the management of his son from his first marriage, John Abraham Tinne. Alexine Tinne, as she preferred to be called, used her father’s bequests to finance her later journeys.

Due to her frequent travels abroad Alexine Tinne was responsible for her own education In her writing and conversation she used both English and French She was especially interested in geography painting and ...

Article

Alexandrine Tinné was born in The Hague, Netherlands, to a wealthy family. An unhappy love affair may have prompted her to leave home and embark on a voyage in search of the Nile River’s source. In 1862 Tinné hired a small fleet of boats in Cairo Egypt and left on her first expedition up the Nile Accompanying her were her mother her aunt several scientists and a number of assistants and servants Tinné ascended the Nile as far as Gondokoro in present day southern Sudan above which the river became unnavigable She planned to meet British explorer John Hanning Speke who was exploring the upper reaches of the Nile to the south When Speke s expedition failed to arrive when expected Tinné set off on her own to determine the source of the Nile Traveling overland she ventured into the watershed region between the Congo and Nile rivers in ...