1-18 of 18 results  for:

  • Exploration and Settlement x
  • Military and Intelligence Operations x
Clear all

Article

Minor Ferris Buchanan

slave, soldier, hunter, guide, and pioneer, was born on Home Hill plantation, Jefferson County, Mississippi, the son of slaves Harrison and Daphne Collier. Little is known of Daphne Collier, although it is believed that she had some Native American ancestry. In 1815Harrison Collier accompanied the famed General Thomas Hinds when he fought alongside General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 at the Battle of New Orleans. As house servants the Colliers maintained a higher status on the plantation, and from all indications young Holt was a favorite of the Hinds family. At age ten he was taken into the upriver wilderness to serve as a juvenile valet and hostler on Plum Ridge plantation in what would later become known as Washington County in the Mississippi Delta.

At Plum Ridge plantation Holt was trained to hunt and kill anything that could be used as food for the growing ...

Article

Jason Philip Miller

astronaut and pilot, was born Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr. into a middle-class home in Washington, D.C., to Muriel and Benjamin Drew Sr. Drew attended local schools and one day in class was inspired by viewing the launch of Apollo 7 (1968), the first manned space flight after the Apollo 1 disaster (1967) killed all three members of the crew. Drew later reported that from that day on, the path of his life was set. Everything he did in his education was aimed at flying in outer space. That was no simple goal. Applicants to the astronaut-training program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were legion, but NASA selected only a tiny fraction of them to participate. The number of successful African American applicants was fewer still.

Drew graduated from Gonzaga College High School in 1980 and from there he matriculated in the U ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

one of at least 289 people of African descent who enlisted in the Connecticut Line during the American Revolutionary War, was born in Southington, Connecticut, where by the laws of that time he was the property of Samuel Riggs, a status inherited from his mother. He was baptized on 18 July 1756. Historical sketches published in 1875 mention that he had a brother named Peter, whose later life is unknown.

Prince's mother and father were later assigned as servants for Reverend Benjamin Chapman, pastor of Southington Congregational Church, who had married Riggs's daughter Abigail in 1756. When Riggs died in 1770, probate of his property listed “a negro boy Prince £50,” who presumably was part of Abigail's share of her father's estate. The young men's parents may be the Peter and Hannah initially bequeathed by Riggs to his wife The entire family eventually ...

Article

George Boulukos

slave, sailor, writer, and activist (widely known in his time as Gustavus Vassa), became the most famous African in eighteenth-century Britain as the author of his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789 While the scholar Vincent Carretta has found some evidence placing his birth in South Carolina Equiano identifies his birthplace as Essaka a small ethnically Igbo town in present day Nigeria His parents remain unknown but Equiano s family was prominent he expected to undergo a scarification ritual but was kidnapped by slavers as a young boy He experienced slavery in a variety of West African communities until he was brought to a seaport and sold to European slavers Neither Essaka nor the name Equiano has been definitively identified although both have plausible Igbo analogs such as Isseke and Ekwuano Both his African origin and his exact ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

was the first African American and perhaps the first of any color to become a millionaire in Texas. His life reflects substantial changes in the social and legal implications of skin color from the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteeth century, distinct from, but closely related to, changes in the institution of slavery.

His father was a “free colored” man named William Goyens Sr. (or Goin), born in 1762, who enlisted in a company of the Tenth North Carolina Regiment May 1781–May 1782 for the Revolutionary War. After discharge from the militia, Goyens Sr. married an unknown woman referred to as “white,” who was the mother of the younger William Goyens. Goyens Sr. then remarried a colored woman named Elizabeth in 1793. Goyens Sr. received an invalid pension for North Carolina militia service in 1835, at the age of seventy-two (Research of Cindy Goins Hoelscher ...

Article

James M. O'Toole

Coast Guard officer and Alaska pioneer, was born Michael Augustine Healy in Jones County, Georgia, to Michael Morris Healy, an immigrant from Ireland, and Eliza Clark, a mixed-race slave owned by Michael Morris Healy. Michael was the sixth of nine surviving children born to his parents, who, though never legally married, maintained a common-law relationship for more than twenty years, neither one of them ever marrying anyone else. Michael Morris Healy was barred by Georgia law from emancipating either his wife or his children, but he treated them as family members rather than as slaves, even as he owned fifty other slaves. He was a successful cotton planter and amassed the resources to send his children north before the Civil War, which he did as each approached school age, beginning in 1844 The children exhibited a wide range of complexion but most of them including young ...

Article

Anne M. Samson

British soldier and imperialist, was born on 24 June 1850 in County Kerry, southern Ireland. Kitchener’s father, Henry Horatio Kitchener, born in London on 19 October 1805, was a lieutenant colonel in the British army and married Anne Frances Chevallier, daughter of Reverend John Chevallier of Suffolk, who was twenty years his junior. Kitchener, his brothers, Henry (born 5 October 1846 in India), Arthur and Walter (born 1852 and 1858 respectively in Ireland), and sister, Millie (born 1848 in London), were first homeschooled and then attended school in Switzerland. Following this, Kitchener attended the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich and the engineering schools in Chatham and Aldershot.

From 1874 to 1878 Kitchener worked with Lieutenant Claude R. Condor to survey Palestine, finding time in 1877 and 1878 to visit Turkey and Bulgaria after which he went to Cyprus to survey that island He was not to return to ...

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

Jason Philip Miller

astronaut and military pilot, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, one of two children of Deems and Grace Melvin, both middle-school teachers. He attended the local Heritage High School, where he was a strong student and an outstanding athlete. Melvin set his sights on a career in the National Football League, and when he graduated from high school in 1982, he matriculated at the University of Richmond on a football scholarship.

As a wide receiver for the Richmond Spiders, Melvin set a number of school records, including one for number of receptions, some of which continue to stand as of this writing. In his senior year, he was named National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I All-American. He graduated from Richmond in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He entered the National Football League draft and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986 but a hamstring injury in ...

Article

the main leader of the Voortrekkers in the Great Trek and founder of the South African Republic (later the Transvaal), was born on 27 November 1798 on a farm in the Graaff-Reinet district on the Cape Eastern Frontier. He was the eldest son of Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (1746–1831) and Susanna Elizabeth Viljoen (1766–1844).

A fifth-generation colonist, Pretorius grew up under the British flag and spent the first part of his adult life cattle farming on the frontier. Little is known of his education, but he was able to express his ideas clearly in writing. Out of a marriage in 1818 with Christina Petronella de Wit (1799–1848), seven daughters and three sons were born. A son, Marthinus Wessel, would later become president of the South African Republic.

A tall robust man with an impressive bearing Pretorius was an articulate and determined leader with much better organizational abilities than the other leaders ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Jason Philip Miller

astronaut, was born Winston Elliott Scott in Miami, Florida, to Rubye Scott (maiden name unknown) and Alston Scott. Information about his parents is difficult to come by. What is known is that Scott attended local schools and was a gifted student, showing a particular interest in music. He graduated from Coral Gables High School in 1968 and matriculated at Florida State University, from which he earned a bachelor's degree in music in 1972. After graduation Scott's career plans changed, however, and he applied for and was accepted into the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School with the goal of becoming a pilot.

Two years later, in 1974 Scott earned his helicopter wings and went on to serve with the Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light 33 unit in northern California Four years later he enrolled in the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California and earned a master s degree in aeronautical ...

Article

Ari Nave

Born in Bideford, Devon, England, John Hanning Speke began serving in the British Indian Army at age seventeen. After serving in Punjab, he explored the Himalayas and then took a leave from the army to hunt in Africa.

In 1855 Speke accompanied explorer Richard Burton to Somaliland (present-day Somalia). When their party was attacked by Somalis, Burton was wounded and Speke was captured and stabbed eleven times, bringing the expedition to an abrupt end. In 1856 the two men met again in Zanzibar and headed for the Great Lakes region of East Africa, determined to find the source of the Nile River.

By the time they reached Lake Tanganyika in February 1858 Burton was too ill to continue so Speke although also sick went on alone He arrived in July on the shores of Ukerewe a vast body of water that he renamed Lake Victoria When local inhabitants told ...

Article

Duane W. Roller

Roman military commander whose long career included the first Roman expedition into sub-Saharan Africa. Nothing is known about his early life, but given the dates of the stages of his career, he was probably born around CE 10.

In 40, the emperor Gaius Caligula summoned his cousin Ptolemy, king of Mauretania, to Rome to explain certain actions that were considered improper for an allied king. Gaius’s own erratic nature also played a role in the confrontation, and for reasons still uncertain, Ptolemy was executed. In Mauretania—whose inhabitants were not pleased at the removal of their king—a revolt broke out, led by a certain Aedemon, probably a member of Ptolemy’s court. The assassination of Gaius himself in January 41 meant that his successor Claudius inherited the Mauretanian problem.

It took at least three Roman commanders at least three years to pacify Mauretania Suetonius Paulinus seems to have been the second of ...

Article

Nicholas Westbrook

sailor, cooper, soldier, surveyor, farmer, and innkeeper, was born in Lunenburg, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Taylor's father was probably Prince Taylor (?–1804), a slave of John Taylor of Lunenburg. It is not known if the younger Prince Taylor was born a slave or free. In occupation and location, Taylor continually reinvented himself to cope with changing circumstances. He did not marry.

Taylor served as steward on the fourteen-gun brig Diligent under Captain Brown for five months in 1779 during the failed Penobscot expedition, America's greatest naval disaster until Pearl Harbor. In his 1818 Revolutionary War pension deposition, Taylor declared, “I am by trade a Saylor” (Revolutionary War Pension Application, Massachusetts service, dossier #S.42.463, National Archives). On 6 March 1781 he accepted the bounty paid by the town of Lunenburg to enlist in the Continental Army for the next three years His enlistment ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

African-born conquistador, was probably born in West Africa around 1505. Sometime before 1533, he arrived in the Americas and became the slave of Alonso Valiente, a notable figure among the Spanish settler community of the Mexican town of Puebla.

Alonso Valiente wrote to his nephew Pedro Mexía on 3 October 1541 about Juan s exploits According to this report Alonso had decided to take Juan to the notary of Veracruz to grant Juan the right to fight in Spanish expeditions to Guatemala and Peru Juan could then earn a salary like any other free soldier and thus could earn the money needed to buy his own freedom Juan Valiente would have to send all of his earnings for four years back to Alonso in order to officially become free However Juan chose not to send money back to his owner Alonso asked his nephew to collect the ...

Article

military commander, was born in the German city of Magdeburg on 3 July 1848, the fourth of his parents’ five children. As Von Trotha's family moved several times during his early years, he attended secondary school in Wittenberg, Koblenz, and Cologne. On 24 November 1865 he began his long career in the military by joining the 2nd Prussian Foot Guard Regiment in Berlin. For reasons that remain unclear Von Trotha was later transferred to a less prestigious infantry unit. He served in the short Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and was promoted to lieutenant in the same year. Von Trotha also served as an officer in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. He married Bertha Neumann in 1872. Von Trotha became a company commander in 1877 and earned the rank of major eleven years later.

The German government s decision to establish African colonies in the mid ...