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Peter Fraser

Founder of the African Association, which held the first major Pan‐African Conference in 1900. Born in Arouca in Trinidad, Williams qualified as a teacher and taught until 1890, when he left for North America. Little is known of his time there but he arrived in England in 1896, studied law, and married an Englishwoman, Agnes Powell. He lectured for the Temperance Society and on colonial topics. He formed the African Association, mainly with fellow West Indians, and organized the Conference in London in July 1900. Its aims were to secure ‘the full rights and promote [the] business interests’ of all Africans. Encouraged initially by Booker T. Washington, it was attended by W. E. B. DuBois, Washington's rival. DuBois was to call the second conference at the end of the First World War His hand can be seen in its final declaration that the ...


Chris Saunders

pan- Africanist activist and lawyer, was born on 19 February 1869 in Arouca, Trinidad. The eldest son of immigrants from Barbados, Williams attended local schools and taught in them until 1890, when he left for the United States. He went on to Canada and in 1893–1894 attended Dalhousie University in Halifax. He then moved to London, where he enrolled at King’s College to study Latin and was admitted to Gray’s Inn in December 1897. He earned his living as a lecturer for the Temperance Society, while lecturing widely on colonial matters, and he founded the African Association in the British capital to promote the causes of African people. In 1898 he married Agnes Powell, a typist from Gillingham, Kent, despite her father’s objections to her marrying a man of color.

Williams s greatest claim to fame is that he was mainly responsible for calling the first Pan African ...