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Douglas R. Egerton and Judith Mulcahy

[This entry contains two subentries dealing with the American Colonization Society from its establishment in1817 through 1895. The first article discusses reactions and controversy related to the society until1830, while the second article includes discussion of debates within the free black community and attacks on ...


The history of United States is one of a constantly shifting frontier. The first outsiders to explore (and later settle) the land formerly occupied only by Native Americans traveled mostly on the coasts, gradually moving inland. From the thirteen original colonies, white settlers in the seventeenth century looked to the West and saw unknown territory in what is now America's Midwest. With the Louisiana Purchase and acquisition of previously Spanish land, the frontier again edged west, to the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains and beyond. Even more than its practical meaning as the edge of European settlement, the frontier has had symbolic importance in American popular culture, peopled by mythical figures such as trailblazers, cowboys, and pioneers. Often overlooked or omitted from this legend, though, are the African Americans who lived and worked on the Western frontier.

From its earliest nonindigenous history the American West was traveled by people of ...


Kate Tuttle

The roots of Americo-Liberian society can be traced to modern Liberia's settlement by free American blacks. From their arrival on the coast of West Africa in 1821, the settlers and their sponsors at the American Colonization Society (ACS), a white abolitionist group, had a complex relationship with the people who were already living there. The settlers brought with them American social, political, and economic values (as expressed in the first constitution of the Commonwealth, later the Republic, of Liberia). They were also strongly influenced by the ACS's ties to the Christian missionary movement. The motives of both white abolitionists and African American colonizers were challenged by critics such as the nineteenth-century African American writer Martin Delany, who charged that the ACS, in “deporting” free blacks, was helping to sustain the practice of Slavery in the United States Furthermore these critics noted the black settlers were establishing a ...



Matthew C. Whitaker

African Americans in Arizona have a long history of community building and organizing to better their social, economic, and political status. By 1896, people of African descent had resided in what is currently the state of Arizona for at least 368 years. Beginning in 1528 with the arrival of the Moroccan Esteban de Dorantes, the first of many Spanish-speaking blacks, people of African descent have been a critical component of this diverse region. Many of the English-speaking blacks who moved to the territory by 1880 worked to integrate themselves, directly and indirectly, into the area's fledgling economic and political culture. Moreover, African American cowboys, like the legendary Nat Love, later drove cattle through Arizona. The 9th and 10th cavalries, or “buffalo soldiers,” served the U.S. government by protecting settlers and subduing Mexican revolutionaries, indigenous Americans, outlaw gunfighters, and cattle thieves. In addition, black women including Elizabeth Hudson Smith ...


M. W. Daly

British adventurer, explorer, and administrator, was born in London to Samuel Baker, a businessman, and his wife. Educated in England and Germany, and a civil engineer by training, he played a notable role in the history of the Upper Nile in the 1860s. His varied and peripatetic life as a planter, big-game hunter, writer, and controversialist may be studied in his extensive writings and the enormous literature on European travel in Africa.

His work in Africa began in 1861–1865 with explorations in the eastern Sudan, up the White Nile, (where he met James Augustus Grant and John Hanning Speke), and beyond to the Great Lakes. Credit for discovery of the source of the Nile has gone to Grant and Speke; Baker, famously accompanied by his second wife, Florence, explored and named Lake Albert Nyanza. For these adventures, embellished in several books, Baker was much acclaimed, and in 1869 as ...


Graham Russell Hodges and Thomas Adams Upchurch

[This entry contains two subentries dealing with black nationalism from the seventeenth century slave trade through the late nineteenth century The first article discusses the first formations of African national identities and the influence of various revolutions on black nationalism while the second focuses on the most significant figures ...


Gayle T. Tate

When most people, regardless of age, sex, or race, are asked to identify black nationalists, they may mention Marcus Garvey, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), or, more recently, Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. To others, who are aware of the back-to-Africa movements of the late nineteenth century, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner frequently comes to mind. Rarely however, have black women nationalists such as Maria W. Stewart, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Henrietta Vinton Davis, Audley “Queen Mother” Moore, or Amy Jacques Garvey been recognized for their contributions to the history of the black nationalist movement and ideology Other black women through mass movements political organizations church groups female societies and the early women s club movement fueled the movement s growth at different times in African American history Although African American men were in the foreground of the ...


French explorer and administrator, was born on 26 January 1852 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, to the aristocratic family of Ascanio Savorgnan de Brazza and Giacinta Simonetti de Brazza. Although he was born and raised in Italy, he volunteered to join the French navy and became an officer in 1869 and served in Algeria. In 1874, he proposed to the French Minister of the Navy an expedition to travel up the Ogooué River, the longest waterway in Gabon, to see if it eventually reached the Congo River. Although French officials had established a small coastal enclave on the northern Gabonese coast in 1843, the limited budget and personnel of the colony had restricted exploration of the Gabonese interior.

Brazza assembled a collection of several dozen Frenchmen and Senegalese soldiers for this mission His ability to combine intimidation with diplomacy proved very useful as he struggled to convince Adouma Fang ...


After schooling and naval service in France, the Italian-born Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza became a naturalized French citizen in 1874. The following year he led his first official trip to Africa to explore Gabon. From 1875 to 1878 he traveled along the Gabon coast and up the Ogooué River to its source, also reaching the Alima River, a tributary of the Congo River. In 1880, in competition with American journalist and explorer Henry Stanley, Brazza traveled into the Congo River basin interior. There he signed a treaty with leaders of the Téké people, clearing the way for French control of the northern bank of the Congo River, an area that would be known as the Moyen-Congo. He served as general commissioner of the Moyen-Congo from 1884 to 1898, establishing the town that became Brazzaville and building the colonial administration As commissioner Brazza became disenchanted with ...


Paul Finkelman and Sam Hitchmough

[This entry contains three subentries dealing with civil rights from 1619 to 1895 The first article provides a discussion of the topic during the colonial period through the American Revolution the second article discusses the topic up to the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 and the third ...


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 ...


Efforts to colonize African Americans to Africa began at the time of the Revolutionary War. In 1777, the Virginia legislature discussed Thomas Jefferson's proposal for the colonization of the state's free blacks. Proponents of colonization represented diverse interest groups, including blacks and whites, northerners and southerners, as well as proslavery advocates and antislavery leaders. Some colonization supporters believed that whites and African Americans could never live together peacefully in the United States and that African Americans should therefore return to Africa. A number ofslavery s advocates wished to relocate the southern free black population to Africa in order to create a southern society comprised exclusively of enslaved blacks and free whites Some abolitionists supported the movement because they believed that colonization would result in the gradual emancipation of slaves by proving that African Americans were self reliant Other colonization supporters argued that American blacks could go ...


Jeremy Rich

explorer and colonial official, was born in Nancy, France on 18 November 1864 the son of Charles Victor Crampel a devout Catholic tobacco inspector and Elisabeth Pierret After attending primary school in Nancy and Dordogne Crampel then attended secondary school in Périgueux and Bordeaux Since other civil servants had doubts about Crampel s father s loyalty to the French Republic due to his Catholic faith his career required Paul and the rest of the family to move frequently Like so many other young Frenchmen Crampel became interested in Africa through the work of explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza whose first two expeditions to Africa received much coverage in the French press Crampel viewed both his mother s religious zeal and the discipline he endured in secondary education as backward Rather than continue his education as his father had hoped Crampel quit the prestigious Henry IV school where he ...


legendary founder of the Chadian kingdom of Baguirmi, was apparently born in the early sixteenth century. Given the wealth of legends about his life and the lack of documentary evidence, it may be that stories involving Dala Birni Bisse may refer to events linked to several early mbang kings of Baguirmi Many oral traditions collected about Dala Birni Bisse claim that his grandfather ʿAbd al Tukruru was the great grandson of ʿAli son in law of the prophet Muhammad Supposedly ʿAbd al Tukruru s father Muhammad Baguirmi was a black child of two Arabian parents who was nearly killed by his angry relatives ʿAbd al Tukruru advised his twelve sons and twelve of their friends to leave Yemen and establish a kingdom somewhere to the west They brought with them bellows made of stone from the holy city of Medina three drums three trumpets and three lances carried by ...


Felix Macharia Kiruthu

pioneer white settler in Kenya, settled in the country in 1903. At the time he first visited the country during a hunting expedition in 1897, he had inherited the family title, as Third Baron Delamere, and the family estate, bringing him a fortune at the age of seventeen. Using his family wealth, he traveled widely, visiting Corsica, New Zealand, Australia, India, and Somaliland before settling in Kenya. Benefitting from a land grant from the colonial government in Njoro, between the Mau escarpment in the west and the Aberdare Ranges in the east in 1903, he named his parcel of land the Equator Farm in 1904. In due course, he acquired additional land in the country’s Rift Valley Province, and subsequently relocated to the Soysambu Farm near Lake Elementeita in 1910 Together with the East African Syndicate Delamere owned one fifth of all the alienated land ...


Allan D. Austin

Martin Robison Delany's haphazard education began clandestinely before his family's escape from slave-state Virginia in 1822. By 1832, in Pittsburgh, Delany, always proudly black and Africa-respecting, had joined the local African Education, Antislavery, Temperance, Philanthropic, Moral Reform, and Young Men's Bible societies. Further, he cofounded the Theban Literary Society—named after the Egyptian city.

By 1836 he began studying medicine, insisting upon civil rights, and preaching professional training for African Americans rather than barbering or manual labor suggestive of servant or second-class status. When black suffrage was rescinded in Pennsylvania in 1838, Delany, alone, passed through slave territory to then independent Texas to test its potential as a home for free blacks (1839–1840), his first adventure in emigration and exploration. Disappointed, but with scenes and dialogues he would use later in Blake, his only novel, he returned to Pittsburgh.

In 1843Delany married ...


Eric Bennett

Detroit was founded by French slaveholders, but when Michigan joined the United States in 1837, the state legislature abolished slavery. The city soon earned a reputation as a major stop on the Underground Railroad, and by the Civil War (1861–1865), fugitive slaves constituted the largest group of African Americans in Detroit. The black community founded a reading room, a Young Men's Debating Club, and even an African-American Philharmonic Association, and many abolitionists made Detroit their center of activity.

After the Civil War, the black population in Detroit increased sevenfold as freedpeople arrived in search of work, largely from Virginia and Kentucky. Empowered by growing numbers as well as the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave freedmen the vote, African Americans began to seek and win local political offices.

By the turn of the twentieth century Detroit s liberal reputation combined with worsening conditions in the South to encourage ...


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 ...


Fred Lindsey

As early as 1780 Americans debated the return of African Americans to Africa. This action was supported by people on both sides of the color line, primarily because whites thought that this was the best course of action to improve black and white relations in the country, and some blacks agreed. By definition, however, when blacks developed such plans, they were called “emigrationists,” and when whites created matching plans, they were called “colonizationists.” Both groups were determined that blacks should leave the United States.

In many communities, black and white, there were discussions on the merits of colonization and emigration, which to many was the only viable scheme for ending slavery that was generally acceptable to whites. Against this backdrop of public debate over ending the slave trade and repatriating blacks, the American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in Washington, D.C., in 1816 The ACS was to sponsor the ...


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 ...