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Category: African History

Map sheet that shows a portion of the Niger River with vegetation and towns marked along the banks.

A Trip Down the Niger River

Posted by: Amelia Raines

In 1887, a French lieutenant named Edmond Caron sailed a gunboat down the Niger River to gather information and expand French influence in the western Sahel. After setting out from the colonial capital in Saint-Louis, on the Atlantic coast of Senegal, he traveled inland to the Inner Niger Delta of modern central Mali, an area …

French printed map of the upper Nile region

When Pride Mattered

Posted by: Mike Klein

The small sun baked village of Kodok receives little attention these days.  Lying on the west bank of the Upper Nile River in the world’s newest state, South Sudan, its population has swelled within the last few years due to an increase in refugees fleeing genocide and poverty in Sudan.  Save for a few dusty …

Map of Boer Republics in relation to neighboring colonial possessions.

The Rise and Fall of the Orange Free State and Transvaal in Southern Africa

Posted by: Ryan Moore

The Orange Free State and the Transvaal (officially the South African Republic) were independent countries in southern Africa in the 19th century established largely by Dutch/Afrikaans-speaking settlers known as the Boers (Boer translates to “farmer” in Dutch). Occupying areas in what is today South Africa, the Boers of the 19th century were pastoral and religiously-oriented, …