Saturday, January 21, 2006

A bit of much needed History

I urge all the readers of the Salon who are interested in the Congo, and Africa as a whole, to go read the Newspaper clippings on Congo Free State.

This site publishes retranscriptions of newspaper articles that are contemporary to the Congo Free State, that vast piece of land, peoples and kingdoms, that a certain Leopold II, king of the Belgians, decided to make his private property. The piece of land that is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These articles give accounts of the realities in the Congo, from the point of view of the Westerners who lived at the end of the 19th century. A very interesting website.



Fred said...

Thanks for the tip - very interesting.
For those who haven't heard of it, King Leopold's Ghost makes excellent further reading, despite the criticism that all history is liable to.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much. I thoroughly enjoyed A Tale of a Tusk of Ivory and Cruelty in the Congo Free State, especially this part from the latter's February 1895 entry: "The state soldiers are constantly stealing, and sometimes the natives are so persecuted that they resent this by killing and eating their tormentors. Recently the state post on the Lomami lost two men killed and eaten by the natives. Arabs were sent to punish the natives; many women and children were taken, and twenty-one heads were brought to the falls, and have been used by Captain Rom as a decoration round a flower-bed in front of his house!"

If I remember correctly, Adam Hochschild mentions Captain Rom in "King Leopold's Ghost" as the person who very well might have been the inspiration for the character of Mr. Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkess".

Sj said...

Thank you from me as well for the link.

TheMalau said...

You are all very welcome. I urge you all to go read 007 in Africa's blog (find it on The Salon's blogroll), as she has very interesting posts on Congo.

Em Asomba said...


Just dropping a note to say thanks for the link. I will come to visit more often.

Cheers -- -- Emma

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