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Jeffrey Green

Civil servant and author born in British Guiana (now Guyana). He became postmaster at Victoria‐Belfield in the 1890s, where he organized a black self‐help group with social and agricultural ambitions. He transferred to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) Post Office in 1902. With his wife, Caroline, and five children he settled in Acton, west London. Three more children were born, but five (and their mother) were dead by 1919, and in 1920, in London, he married Edith Goring (who was born in Barbados and had taught in the Gold Coast, 1906–20).

Barbour‐James'sAgricultural and Industrial Possibilities of the Gold Coast was published in London in 1911. In 1917 he retired from the colonial postal service, and he worked with the African Progress Union from 1918 (his friend Kwamina Tandoh was president from 1924 to 1927 accompanied South African delegates to meet the Prime Minister ...

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John Gilmore

Politician, born in Jamaica into a family of wealthy plantation owners. Sent to England in 1723, he was educated at Westminster School and Oxford. He later studied medicine at Leiden in Holland, but broke off his course there when the death of his father obliged him to return to Jamaica in 1735. When his elder brother died in 1737, he inherited most of the family properties and continued to add to them by inheritance and purchase over the next 30 years. At the time of his death he was sole owner of thirteen sugar plantations in Jamaica, together with other real estate and about 3,000 slaves.

In 1737William Beckford became a member of the Jamaican House of Assembly, but by 1744 he had left Jamaica for Britain where he settled in London as a West India merchant selling the produce of his own estates ...

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Jeremy Rich

colonial politician, was the son of the British lawyer Alfred Blundell and his wife Amelia Blundell (née Richardson). Born on 7 April 1907 in London in a solidly upper middle class family, Blundell received his education at the elite Wellington College secondary school from 1921 to 1925. Although Blundell's family expected him to attend Oxford University, the young man decided to follow an invitation to help out on a farm in the British colony of Kenya in 1925. He already had developed a deep interest in colonial matters. Blundell soon changed his previous ideas about Africans and their treatment by British settlers while staying at the farm of Timothy Brodhurst-Hill, an aristocratic veteran. Brodhurst-Hill beat his workers, considered African beliefs and culture as hopelessly backward, and slighted Blundell once a young British aristocrat moved to their farm. He moved in 1926 to manage another farm and ...

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Jeremy Rich

scholar and colonial official, was born on 23 May 1871 in the town of Moulins in the Allier department of France, to Léon-François Bruel, a doctor and agricultural estate owner from a well-off family, and Françoise Leyrit. Bruel attended the Lycée Théodore de Banville primary school from 1876 to 1888, but excelled only in his study of geography and history, and attended the Lycée Monge secondary school in Paris until 1892. He then took placement examinations to enter the Saint-Cyr military academy and the nearly founded École Coloniale for future colonial administrators. Bruel failed the Saint-Cyr examinations, but passed the École Colonial admissions test. He spent three years at the École Coloniale and graduated in July 1895 Even before he completed his studies Bruel demonstrated an interest in the French territories in central Africa The first article he published examined the Adamoua region of northern ...

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Hassoum Ceesay

district colonial chief and master farmer, was born in Njau Village, in the Upper Saloum District of present-day Gambia in 1890. His name is also spelled Sise or Sisi. He was among the few formally educated Gambian colonial chiefs, having attended the prestigious Mohammedan School in Bathurst (now Banjul) in the 1910s before working as an interpreter for the Traveling Commissioner North Bank Province. Interpreters were central to the running of the colonial machinery. As the intermediaries between the local people who could not speak English and colonial officials, they wielded influence because of their perceived proximity to the colonial powers. European officials also did not always trust the interpreters, who were occasionally sacked or jailed for suspected treachery.

Unlike the French colonizers who completely replaced local chiefs with French officials the British in West Africa administered their colonies through preexisting traditional authorities and used local customary institutions ...

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Elizabeth Heath

French military officer and colonial official, was born 1 February 1866 in the Corsican town of Marignana, roughly 75 kilometers from the capital of Ajaccio. His parents were Domenico Coppolani and Giacinta Coppolani (née Luciani). Madame Coppolani’s belief in popular Catholicism had a deep impact on his later views on Sufi Islam, with which he found many parallels. Like many other Corsican families, the Coppolanis moved to the French colony of Algeria to make a living. Xavier Coppolani spent his first years at Marignana, but his family relocated to the Algerian town of Sidi Mérouan. Coppolani attended primary school at Sidi Mérouan, and then completed his secondary education at the port city of Constantine from 1883 to 1886.

On 1 April 1889 Coppolani became a member of the colonial administration as secretary for the Algerian town of Oued Cherg This position brought him into contact with politically influential ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Matthew V. Bender

colonial civil servant in Kenya, Tanganyika, the Bahamas, Northern Rhodesia, and Uganda, was born Charles Cecil Farquharson Dundas. The son of a lifelong British consular officer, Dundas spent little time in his native Scotland. In 1903, at the age of nineteen, he took his first post in the Hamburg office of the prominent shipping company Elder-Dempster. Five years later he entered the British colonial service and received his first posting in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. Dundas served in various capacities in both Mombasa and Nairobi until 1914, when he took a post with Indian Army forces dispatched to invade German East Africa.

Dundas’s performance in both Nairobi and Mombasa, as well as during World War I, helped him to establish himself as a rising star in the colonial service. In 1921 he was named commissioner of the Moshi District Tanganyika Territory The posting situated in ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, Alemtejo. He was en route to India when he became the second European to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in 1497. During the two-year voyage commissioned by King Manuelof Portugal, da Gama stopped at various points along the coast of East Africa, including present-day Mozambique, Mombasa, Malindi, and Zanzibar. During his stop in Malindi, da Gama met ibn Majid, the pilot who taught da Gama the route and navigation skills necessary to complete his journey to Calicut, India. After an unsuccessful attempt to establish a trading post in India, da Gama returned to Portugal in 1499 with many stories of East Africa.

In 1502 da Gama was again commissioned by the king to round the Cape of Good Hope this time to establish economic and political sovereignty over areas of East Africa ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Portuguese explorer who helped open up European commercial links to both western and eastern Africa, was born sometime between 1460 and 1469. He probably was born at Sines, a town on the southwestern coast of Portugal. His father was Estêvão da Gama, a knight in the court of the Duke of Viseu. Da Gama’s mother was Isabel Sodré, a woman of noble descent. It is a paradox that so little is known of da Gama’s life, given his fame as the first Portuguese sea captain to reach India. Since da Gama was a younger son, he may have entered Atlantic exploration to make up for losing out on his father’s inheritance.

At some point da Gama became an agent of King João II of Portugal who sought to promote Atlantic trade and exploration like his more famous predecessor Henry the Navigator Gama joined the Order of Santiago a brotherhood ...

Article

British imperialist and businessman, was born on 20 May 1846 in the town of the Nunnery on the Isle of Man between Ireland and England. His family belonged to the Manx elite as his father, John Taubman Goldie-Taubman, was the speaker of the House of Keys, the lower branch of the Isle of Man legislature. His mother, Caroline Everina, was the daughter of a prosperous attorney from England, John Eykyn Hovenden. Goldie attended the Woolwich Royal Military Academy and served for several years in the Royal Engineers. Goldie also spent time in Upper Egypt and became interested in the possibility of finding a link between the Nile and Niger rivers. In 1870 Goldie married Matilda Catherine Elliott.

Goldie became a willing participant in African adventures in the mid 1870s According to one biographer Goldie s fascination with Africa was evident even in his youth when he dreamed of painting a ...

Article

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 ...

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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 ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

also called Tamba Jammeh, a Gambian colonial chief, farmer, and political figure, was born probably in 1880, to Jatta Selung Jammeh, a Serere-Mandinka, and Awa Job, a Wollof in the Baddibu district of Gambia. He retired in 1964 and died on 13 October 1987. When the British colonialists declared a colonial protectorate in Gambia in 1893, Jatta Selung was allowed to become the first chief of the Illiasa district. His son, Mama Tamba, attended the Muhammedan School in Bathurst (now Banjul) from 1905 to 1913. Soon after, he was employed as a scribe in his father’s court. In 1925, he was appointed deputy chief, as his father was infirm. Mama Tamba Jammeh became chief of Illiasa on 28 February 1928.

The new chief of Illiasa embodied tradition modernity sagacity and innovation At a time when only European colonial officials could afford cars Mama Tamba ...

Article

Cyril Daddieh

was a reforming French colonial administrator in the Côte d’Ivoire. Little is known of his early life. As commandant of Fort-Archambault in August 1940, he rallied Chad to the Free French cause, and served briefly as governor of the French colony of Ubangi-Shari in 1942. In recognition of his loyalty, General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French in London, appointed him to replace the Vichy-designated governor G.-P. Rey. Latrille served as governor of Côte d’Ivoire from 1943 to 1947. An avid Gaullist, Latrille had little love for the Vichy-supporting European planters and was sympathetic to the need to redress the grievances of the African population, especially as concerned forced labor. Significantly, at the conference in Brazzaville in 1944 Governor Latrille issued a report on the brutality of forced labor camps which compared the practice to those of the Nazis Latrille represented a new generation ...

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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 ...

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Jeremy Rich

French colonial administrator in French Equatorial Africa, French diplomat, and Chadian politician, was born Gabriel Francesco Lisette on 2 April 1919 in Puerto Bello, Panama. His parents were Guadeloupeans of African descent, and they soon returned with their son to their original home. Although his family was largely made up of fishermen and artisans, Lisette attended secondary school at Lycée Carnot in Point-à-Pitre and Lycée Henri IV in Paris. In 1939, he entered the École Nationale de la France d’Outre-Mer in Paris, and received a degree that allowed him to enter the colonial administration. However, World War II interfered with his education.

Lisette only officially received a post in the French colonial administration in 1944 Like so many other administrators from the Antilles Lisette ended up in the poorly staffed and unpopular bureaucracy in French Equatorial Africa He was assigned to the governor general s office in Brazzaville ...

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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 ...

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Jeremy Rich

abolitionist and governor of Sierra Leone, was born on 2 May 1768 in Inveraray, Scotland. His father John was a Protestant minister, and Zachary had eleven other siblings. One brother, Alexander, served in the British army in India. Another brother was a prominent Anglican priest. As for Zachary, his early life hardly indicated future greatness. In order to make a living, Macaulay left Scotland to work as an accountant on a Jamaican plantation.

The brutal violence of plantation slavery left a deep mark on Macaulay over time. By 1780 he returned to England rather than remain in the service of slavery There his brother Thomas Babington introduced Macaulay to evangelicals such as the tremendously active reformer and abolitionist William Wilberforce as well as Thomas Clarkson Macaulay became a member of the Clapham Sect a reformist association of evangelicals within the Anglican Church opposed to slavery and in favor of ...