“Death of M. De Brazza,” The Times (London), September 16, 1905, p. 10.

“Long before his death, through dysentery contracted on his last mission to the Congo, de Brazza was the most popular as well as the best known of the creators of the French colonial empire in West Africa. Frenchmen were genuinely proud of this naturalized Frenchman… who had freely spent his own fortune in promoting the interests of France, and whom they regard as a worthy rival of Stanley in the great work of opening up the Dark Continent to civilization…

By the death of M. de Brazza France has lost one of the most energetic and successful of her colonial pioneers in Africa in recent years…”

De Brazza’s obituary in The Times provides a saccharine ode to the work of the explorer, particularly his efforts to navigate, “discover,” and annex territories in West and Central Africa in the name of the French. While The Times may have celebrated De Brazza’s conquests during his career,  it is evident that such a short-sighted account of colonial conquest marginalizes the lives of millions of Africans who became subjected to French colonial rule in the decades that followed.

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