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Study Guide for King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochshild

by Jim Jones (Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

This page contains two iems intended to assist he readers of King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochshild. The first is a timeline of the events described in the book, and the second is a list of the people named in the book.

Timeline of events from King Leopold's Ghost

1874: Stanley finds Livingstone

1876: Leopold hosted anti-slavery conference in Brussels,. As the group's host, he was named "chair" of the new group. Later, the group met once more and voted to name Leopold its chair, then never met again. That gave Leopold a platform from which to promote himself as an anti-slavery activist.

1879-1884: Stanley obtained land treaties in the Congo on behalf of Leopold.

1885: Congress of Berlin internationalizes the Congo and recognizes the International African Association as the agency with responsibility for the Congo. A few months later in May, Leopold created the "Congo Free State" and declared that all "vacant" land in the Congo was the property of the state.

1885-1889: Using land titles, Leopold granted land concessions to entice investors to the Congo, but made sure to retain controlling itnerest on their boards.

1888: Founded the Force Publique which reassured investors about security in the area

1889: Convinced other European nations to grant the right to colelct tariffs to the Congo Free State

1890-1898: Built the railroad

1890: George Washington Williams visited the Congo and wrote "An Open Letter" to King Leopold about attrocities. He died in 1891.

1892: William Sheppard arrived as a missionary in the Kasai region

1895: Force Publique killed Irish subject Charles Stokes, a merchant who operated from German East Africa

1897-1903: E. D. Morel began to realize what was going on in the Congo and publicize it.

1903: British Parliament resolution concerning the treatment of the Congolese. In December, Roger Casement, British consul in the Congo, completed his report condemning the Free State's labor practices.

1904: Henry M. Stanley died.

1905: Morel's informant Shanu committed suicide.

1904-1905: Extensive international criticism of Leopold, and a public relations counteratack.

1906: Belgian parliament's inquiry is critical.

1908: In March, the Belgian parliament completed an agreement to take over the Congo Free State and assume its debt. In November, the takeover was completed.

1909: Sheppard acquiited in lawsuit brought by Kasai company for defamation. In December, Leopold died.

1919: Belgian government estiamtes that half of the Congo population died during the rubber period.

1924: First Congo census reports ten million inhabitants.

Names of People mentioned in King Leopold's Ghost

[Format: Last name, First name: Description (page #)]

* Bennett, James Gordon: publisher of the New York Herald (48)

* Bleichr”der, Gerson: lobbied for German recognition of the Congo in 1884 (79)

* Bula Matari/Matadi: African name for Stanley during the construction of the road through the Crystal Mountains in 1879-1882. Means "Breakstones" (68)

* Canisius, Edgar (1866-?): American state agent who recorded the testimony of an African woman named Ilanga who was enslaved by CFS forces (131, 192)

* Casement, Roger (1864-?): British consul who investigated conditions in the Congo in 1903 (195).

* Conrad, Joseph: real name: Konrad Korzeniowski, visited the Congo in August 1890 and wrote Heart of Darkness in 1900 (140)

* Dilke, Sir Charles: member of English parliament and critic of Leopold (188)

* Harris, John & Alice Seeley: missionary couple who toured the Congo in 1906 and supplied photos to Edmund Morel (216); led the merged Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society in 1912 (273)

* Huntington, Collis P.: railroad builder who supported George Washington Williams' 1891 trip to the Congo (107)

* Jones, Sir Alfred: the head of the Elder Dempster Lines, president of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and the honorary consul to the Congo from Liverpool in the late 1890s (185).

* Kingsley, Mary: English writer who wrote of travels in Africa in 1897 (189).

* Konrad Korzeniowski: See Conrad, Joseph.

* Kowalsky, Colonel Henry I.: Republican lawyer and lobbyist who exposed Leopold in the USA in 1906 (245)

* Lefranc, Stanislaus: Belgian prosecutor who was the first European to write about beatings with the chicotte (120)

* Leopold II (1835-1909): King of Belgium from 1869 to 1908 (33, 265) Head of International African Association in 1876 (45).

* Levy-Lawson, Edwin: publisher of the London Daily Telegraph (48)

* Livingstone, David: English missionary (29)

* Marie-Henriette (1836?-1903?): Archduchess of Austria who married Leopold II of Belgium in 1853 (35).

* Moncheur, Baron Ludovic: Belgian minister to Washington in 1906 (247)

* Money, J. W. B.: English author of Java; or, How to Manage a Colony, which influenced Leopold II (37)

* Morel, Edmund Dene (1873-?: bilingual clerk of the Elder Dempster Line who became Leopold's strongest critic (177)

* Morel, Mary Richardson: wife and collaborator of Edmund Morel (209)

* Morgan, John Tylor: Senator of Alabama who supported Henry Shelton Sanford by introducing a bill for US recognition of the Congo in April 1884 (79)

* Morrison, William: Presbyterian missioanry and ally of Sheppard who was sued by Leon Rom and the Compagnie de Kasai (262)

* Niama, Mulume: Leader of Sangha rebels in Katanga who perished in a cave due to smoke inhalation (124)

* Nzansu: led 1893 uprising west of Stanley Pool that killed Belgian official Eugene Rommel (125)

* Pasha, Emin: see Eduard Schnitzer

* Rom, L‚on (1861-): CFS officer in the Force Publique who became a celebrity (137)

* Rommel, Eugene (?-12/5/1893): One of Leopold's district officers killed during a revolt west of Stanley Pool in 1893 (125)

* Sanford, Henry Shelton: American entrepreneur and former ambassador to Belgium who went to work for Leopold (59). Lobbied President Chester Arthur on Leopold's behalf in November 1883 (76).

* Schnitzer, Eduard: German Jewish physician who became the Anglo-Egyptian governor of the Upper Nile in the 1880s, where he was cut off by the Mahdist uprising (97)

* Shanu, Hezekiah Andrew (?-1905): Nigerian born British subject who operated a business in Boma and gave information to Roger Casement in 1903 and Edmund Morel after that (218)

* Sheppard, William (1865-): black American minister who founded a Presbyterian mission on the Upper Kasai River in 1890 (154).

* Stanley, Henry Morton (1842-1904): Welsh-born journalist and explorer who arrived in the USA in 1859, fought on both sides of the US Civl War, and began to write for the New York Herald in 1867. He "found" Livingstone in 1871 (21). Second African expedition (42). Hired by Leopold at the end of 1878 (63). Buil road around Crystal Mountains 1879-1885. Led Emin Pasha Relief Expedition 1889 (97)

* Starr, Dr. Frederick: author of pro-Leopold pamphlet, The Truth About the Congo (236)

* Stevens, Arthur: art dealer who lobbied for French recognition of the Congo in 1884 (79)

* Stoke, Charles: Irish ivory trader killed in 1896 in the eastern part of the Congo by the Force Publique, leading to criticism of Leopold in Germany and England (174)

* Strauch, Colonel Maximilian: President of the "Committee for Studies of the Upper Congo" which hired Stanley to survey a road around the Crystal Mountains in 1879 (64).

* Tippu Tip: Hamed bin Muhammed el Murjebi. East African trader named as governor of the eastern province of the Congo in 1887 (131).

* Twiss, Sir Travis: Oxford legal scholar hired by Leopold to assert that private companies could make treaties with African rulers (71).

* Williams, George Washington (1849-08/02/1891): black American soldier, journalist, minister and Ohio state legislator (1879) who visited the Congo in 1891 and criticized it in an "Open Letter" to Leopold and a subsequent report to President Benjamin Harrison (101).

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