African History Since 1875

AFRICAN HISTORY TIMELINE: Nineteenth Century West Africa

Copyright 1998 by Jim Jones
All rights reserved

.......DATE............. ...............................EVENT............................. ..............
1673 France assumed control over a trading post at the mouth of the Senegal River.
1787 Freetown was founded on the West African coast by the British to receive liberated slaves.
1807 The British government abolished the slave trade along the Guinea Coast.
1819 The British establish court of vice-admiralty and headquarters for anti-slave station at Freetown (Sierra Leone).
1820 First steamship operated on the Senegal River by a private French trading firm.
1823 First Anglo-Ashanti War began with the defeat of a small British force and the death of its commander Sir Charles McCarthy.
1826 The British defeated an Ashanti army but did not try to penetrate inland. The British victory ended the First Anglo-Ashanti War .
1829 First European, a Frenchman named Rene Caillie, visited Timbuctu and returned.
1830 French invade Algiers.
1830s English trader George Maclean became influential along the Gold Coast.
1841 The French founded the colony of Gabon at the mouth of the Ogou‚ River valley.
1844 The British government recognized treaties of protection with Fanti leaders collected along the Gold Coast by British army officer George Maclean.
1848 End of Abdel Kadir's resistance to the French in Algeria.
1849 The British government sent John Beecroft as consul to the Oil Rivers. He was a trader and anti-slavery crusader.
1850 Britain bought the remaining Danish forts along the Gold Coast.
1854 Louis Faidherbe became governor of Senegal and launched the French advance inland along the Senegal River.
1860 The German firm of Woermann & Company first arrived in Cameroon.
1861 The British considered exchanging the Gambia (surrounded by Senegal) for French territory.
1863 The London Missionary Society sponsored a group of Rhineland Germans to establish a mission at Walvis Bay.
1863 Ashanti-Fanti dispute led to British casualties and public opinion that the Gold Coast was "a quagmire".
1865 A parliamentary commission recommended that Britain give up all of its West African possessions except for Freetown.
1865 French expansion in Senegal ended when Faidherbe left.
February 19, 1866 The British made Freetown the center of administration for their West African holdings.
1871 Prussia defeated France and annexed Alsace-Lorraine.
1872 Cape Colony became an autonomous colony in the British Empire.
1872 Britain bought the remaining Dutch forts along the Gold Coast, leaving Britain in sole possession of the coast.
1873 The Second Anglo-Ashanti War began when the Ashanti invaded the coastal region to protest the departure of the Dutch.
1873 The "Great Depression" began. It undermined the European economy until 1896.
July 1874 The new Disraeli government (in office since 1874/02) converted the Gold Coast into a "crown colony.".
1876 French army officer Savorgnan de Brazza began to explore the right bank of the Congo River.
1876 The Association Internationale Africaine (AIA) was founded with King Leopold of Belgium as president.
1877 The French and British made competing claims in the the "Southern Rivers" region from their respective bases in Conakry and Freetown.
1878 Britain occupied the harbor at Walvis Bay and provoked a diplomatic incident with Germany.
1879 Admiral Jaur‚guiberry, a supporter of colonial expansion and the former governor of Senegal (1860s), became the French Minister of Marine, which oversaw the colonial military troops along the Senegal River.
1879 The United Africa Company (UAC) was founded by George Taubman Goldie [Chamberlain, docs 12 & 15] to organize small trading firms along the Lower Niger River.
1879 British and Portuguese opened negotiations over the future of the Portuguese African colonies.
1879 Germany introduced high tariffs designed to protect its industries against British competition.
October 1880 France's Savorgnan de Brazza obtained his first treaty with the Makoko in the Congo River basin.
1881 Construction began at two locations along the Senegal River on a French railroad to the Niger River.
1881 The North Borneo Company became the first royal chartered company in modern British history.
1882 France raised its tariffs to protect its industries against British competition.
1882 Several important investors joined the UAC and changed its name to National African Company (NAC). Meanwhile two French companies began to trade on the Lower Niger River in competition with the NAC.
1882 The British and French reached a settlement for the "Southern Rivers" region between Sierra Leone and Guinea.
September 15, 1882 British troops occupied Cairo and ended dual control of Egyptian finaces by England and France.
November 1882 The French revived de Brazza's 1880/10 treaty to soothe domestic public opinion after the British ended dual control in Egypt.
Summer 1882 British troops occupied the Lower Nile Valley in Egypt.
1883 The French revived their protectorate over Porto-Novo (between Lagos and Gold Coast). They also established a fort on the Middle Niger River at Bamako.
1883 The Germans asked the British what their intention was for the area around Walvis Bay, and the British gave a non-committal reply.
April 1883 A German trader with interests in the Transvaal bought land to establish a post at Angra Pequena, near Walfisch Bay.
1884 The British consul at Fernando Po solicited treaties with African leaders in the Lower Niger Valley.
1884 Leopold of Belgium presented agreements collected by the Association Internationale Africaine (AIA) as treaties of protection with African leaders in the Congo basin.
1884 Goldie's NAC bought out its French competitors and gained a monopoly on trade along the Lower Niger River.
February 1884 Anglo-Portuguese Treaty recognized Portuguese claims over the region of the mouth of the Congo River and established an Anglo-Poruguese commission to control navigation on the river.
April 1884 Germany declared a protectorate over Walvis Bay.
July 1884 News reached England of Gustav Nachtigal's treaties granting Germany the right to provide "protection" in Togo and Cameroon.
November 15, 1884 The Berlin Conference opened.
1885 Charles Freycinet (Minister of Public Works in the late 1870s, became Prime Minister of France.
February 26, 1885 The Berlin Conference ended with a number of agreements, including one which required Europeans to occupy the land they claimed in Africa.
June 1885 The British declared their "protectorate" over southern Nigeria.
1886 The NAC became the Royal Niger Company [Chamberlain, doc#15a], the first of the British chartered companies in Africa.
1886 In response to the Great Depression of 1873, the British parliament conducted an extensive inquiry into the state of British industry.
1890 The French conquered Segou in the Middle Niger Valley.
1893-1894 The Third Anglo-Ashanti War took place.
1894 The French conquered Timbuctu in the Middle Niger Valley.
1895-1896 The Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War took place.
1897-1898 The British and French nearly went to war in the region around Busa (western Nigeria).
1898 The French captured Samori Toure to end resistance in the Upper Niger Valley. However, members of the French expedition to Lake Chad committed atrocities as they passed through the Middle Niger Valley.
June 14, 1898 France and Britain signed an agreement that defined the border between Nigeria and Dahomey.
September 1898 The British general Kitchener advanced up the Nile River with an Egyptian force and won the Battle of Omdurman against the Mahdist forces.
October 1898 French and British forces engaged in a stand-off at Fashoda, on the Upper Nile River south of Khartoum.
March 21, 1899 The French and British concluded a boundary agreement for territory in the Upper Nile Valley.
1900 The French captured the African resistance leader Rabah and ended resistance around Lake Chad.
September 26, 1901 The British annexed the Gold Coast.