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Cyril Daddieh

French colonial administrator in the Ivory Coast, chronicler, governor, and deputy in the National Assembly, was born on 8 February 1872 in Longjumeau, near Paris. Not much is known about his childhood and early education. He attended the École coloniale (Colonial School) in Paris, which produced bureaucrats for service in the French empire, and earned a degree in administration. He also studied Chinese at the École des langues orientales (School of Oriental Languages) in Paris. He then embarked on a career in the colonial civil service.

Angoulvant served in several positions in Asia and Africa before he became governor of the Ivory Coast Côte d Ivoire and then governor general at different times of both French West Africa Afrique Occidentale Française AOF and French Equatorial Africa Afrique Équatoriale Française AEF He had little African experience prior to being posted to the continent Angoulvant served as resident chancellor in Tonkin vice ...


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 ...


Nathaniel Mathews

Baron Dhanis, Belgian soldier and colonial official in the Belgian Congo, was born on 11 March 1862 to Joseph-Edmond Dhanis, the Belgian consul in London, and his Irish wife, Brigitte Maher. His parents had married in Australia, Dhanis was born in London, and when young Francis was seven or eight, his parents moved near Cardiff in Wales. Dhanis studied at Saint Joseph’s Institute before being admitted to the École Militaire in Belgium in March 1882.

After completion of military school in 1884, he volunteered for service in the Congo Free State, which King Leopold II of Belgium had established in 1885 At the Berlin Conference King Leopold had maneuvered to bring this vast region of Central Africa under the control of the Association Internationale Africaine an organization he personally controlled Leopold now needed manpower to establish military control over the vast territory Initially Dhanis conducted missions of ...


M. W. Daly

British soldier and administrator in the Sudan, was born at Woolwich in England on 23 January 1833, the son of General H. W. Gordon and his wife, Elizabeth Enderby. Owing to his exploits in the Sudan, culminating in his death at Khartoum in January 1885, Gordon was and remains one of the most famous figures in the colonial history of Africa.

A Royal Engineer, Gordon served in the Crimea (1855) and as a commissioner delimiting the Russo-Turkish borders in Bessarabia and eastern Anatolia. For his soldiering during the Second Opium War and suppression of the Taipeng rebellion in 1860–1864 he became known popularly in Britain as “Chinese Gordon.” In 1874 he began the first of three stints in the Egyptian Sudan where the Khedive Ismaʿil had begun to rely on European officers to suppress the slave trade As governor of Equatoria Gordon continued the work of Samuel ...


Jeremy Rich

French military commander and imperialist, was born on 17 November 1867 in Paris, France. He was the eldest of six children, and his family was deeply faithful to Catholicism. Gouraud himself remained a practicing Catholic despite the growth of anticlerical views in the French Third Republic, and later in life his beliefs would lead him to consider French colonialism as the triumph of Christianity over Islam. Gouraud attended secondary school at the College Stanislas. Gouraud’s family had no prior ties to the military profession, but Gouraud was haunted by the Prussian victory over France in 1870 and 1871 and wanted to rebuild his country’s glory through African conquests. His budding interest in the army surprised his parents, but they supported their son’s decision to enter the acclaimed Saint-Cyr military academy, from which he graduated in the class of 1888 At first he accepted his father s wish that he ...


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 ...


colonial official and explorer, was born on 17 July 1858 in Chandernagor, a tiny city and former French colonial enclave in southern India. When Liotard's parents, Pierre Liotard and Hélène Liotard (née Durup de Dombal), died while Victor-Théophile was a very young boy, several families of doctors and pharmacists helped to raise Liotard. With their support Liotard eventually studied at a secondary school in Rochefort, France. He enrolled at the Ecole de Médicine Navale in Rochefort in 1882 after a short stay in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. On 28 July 1883 Liotard graduated from medical school with a degree as a pharmacist. From 1884 to 1885 Liotard served on the Iles du Salut in French Guiana South America where he helped to battle a yellow fever epidemic Reassigned briefly to Cherbourg the French naval headquarters Liotard received orders to serve in the French colonial medical service in the ...


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 ...


Geoffrey Roper

French army officer and colonial administrator in Morocco, Algeria, and Madagascar, was born at Nancy on 17 November 1854. His father was from a family of soldiers and administrators, and his mother was an artistically inclined aristocrat, both of which tendencies influenced his life and career. In infancy he suffered a severe accident, which disabled him until the age of twelve; but he later entered the military college at Saint-Cyr, from which he graduated as a cavalry officer.

In 1880 he was posted to Algeria where he spent initially two years during which he acquired some knowledge of and taste for local Muslim manners and customs carefully learning spoken and written Arabic He found poetry even in Algiers but he was especially enthusiastic about the deserts and mountains of the hinterland whose vistas he described as a fairyland at every minute worth all the beautiful but drab landscapes ...


Portuguese governor general of Angola, was born on 23 March 1867 in the town of Ponte de Lima in northern Portugal. He came of age during Portugal’s waning constitutional monarchy and from 1890, when that political system entered crisis, until its fall in 1910 Norton de Matos served as a professional soldier with a colonial career in Asia including Portuguese India and Macau It was under Portugal s liberal First Republic 1910 1926 however that Norton de Matos reached the pinnacle of his colonial career and political power Serving twice as Portugal s chief governing officer in Angola as a cabinet officer on several occasions and as Portugal s ambassador to Britain he achieved fame but also suffered as a result of the Republic s financial weakness and administrative instability Norton de Matos was a leading figure as a staunch Republican and leading Mason during this unstable period ...



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 ...


Thomas V. McClendon

colonial official in Natal, South Africa, was born in Westbury- on-Trym, England, on 8 January 1817, the son of a stonemason, John William Shepstone, and his wife, Elizabeth Shepstone (née Brooks). The family joined the wave of British settlers who emigrated to the Cape Colony in southern Africa in 1820 as colonial authorities sought to Anglicize the eastern frontier of the former Dutch possession they had acquired in 1806 John a Methodist became a lay missionary at a series of mission stations in African chiefdoms near and beyond the Cape colonial frontier Theophilus Shepstone s early life therefore developed in a missionary and frontier context surrounded by African communities and rulers Four important consequences flowed from the setting of his childhood First young Shepstone became fluent in the local language that was eventually standardized by missionaries as Xhosa closely related to the Zulu language spoken in the Natal ...


Rosemary Elizabeth Galli

nineteenth-century Mozambican warlord, was born on 10 November 1835 in Mapusa, Goa (Portuguese India). His parents were Felix de Sousa, a landowner, and Doroteia Tomásia de Mascarenhas. He went to Mozambique in the early 1850s to manage his maternal uncle’s estate and married his cousin, Maria Anastásia de Mascarenhas. He became a rich and powerful ivory trader in the Sena region, gathering together a private army of elephant hunters and slaves with which he raided surrounding territories. He built a heavily fortified base camp in the Gorongosa Mountains in the 1850s from which he built an empire. He helped Portugal gain control over central Mozambique, challenged first by the Nguni and powerful estate holders and later the British. Locally he acquired the name of Gouveia, said to be a corruption of the term meaning “Goan.”

Sousa found his opportunity to extend his landholdings in the 1860s when Nguni armies ...


colonial official, was born in Wetteren in the eastern Flanders region of Belgium on 2 June 1846. His father was Baptist Joseph Renaud Storms and his mother was Hélène Caroline Joséphine Hansez. It appears that Storms had no surviving siblings. He joined the Belgian army on 11 December 1861, and briefly fought in a Belgian army unit with French forces against the Prussians in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Storms reached the rank of lieutenant in 1876. After Leopold II of Belgium formed the International African Association (IAA) to promote European exploration of Central Africa and to covertly allow Leopold to create his own personal colony, Storms joined the organization. His superiors in the IAA assigned him in 1882 to lead an expedition from the Indian Ocean coast of modern Tanzania to Karema a station already established on the southeastern coast of Lake Tanganyika ...