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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Diary of William Stevenson, elephant hunter
Author:Stevenson, Hew
Periodical:The Society of Malawi Journal
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:colonial history
diaries (form)
About person:William John Stevenson (1861-1943)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/29783618
Abstract:This paper presents a recently discovered diary - covering the period 1 July 1885-9 May 1886 - which gives an uncensored account of what life was like for a 25-year-old Englishman looking for adventure in Africa. William John Stevenson (1861-1943) was one of several young men who joined the African Lakes Company in its early days. This company had been started in 1878 by a relative, James Stevenson, a wealthy Glasgow chemical manufacturer and benefactor of the Free Church of Scotland. The company's aim was to fulfil David Livingstone's dream of supplanting the Arab slave trade with 'legitimate' commerce while promoting Christianity. To persuade the British government to include the Nyasa region (now Malawi) in its expanding empire, the company's joint managers made a series of controversial treaties with the Nyasaland tribes. William Stevenson tells in his diary the part he played in this process. Much of the diary is dominated by gruesome accounts of the slaughter of elephants for the company's ivory trade. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]