"Americans in Africa",
A review by Carroll Quigley in Xxxxxxx, xxxx 1967,
of a book.
AMERICANS IN AFRICA, 1865 - 1900,
by Clarence Clendenin, Robert Collins, and Peter Duignan.
Stanford: Hoover Institute on War, Revolution and Peace, 1963.
"Americans in Africa"
AMERICANS IN AFRICA
Clarence Clendenen, Robert Collins, and Peter Duignan
1865-1900. Pp. 130. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, 1966. $4.00.
The Preface calls Americans in Africa,
1865-1900 a "monograph," one of a series “designed as building blocks
for the use of scholars in many disciplines concerned with many
different parts of the world.” It was read in manuscript by seven
professors from six universities and is companion to an earlier
"monograph" which expounded the history of the American slave-trade,
1519-1862, in seventy-two pages. This volume, by three authors for 109
pages, has a pretentious bibliography of seven pages, including fourteen
items of "Unpublished Materials," which contributed nothing significant
to the text.
Within this framework of academic scholarship is a skimpy and
superficial survey of the subject on the level of a sophomore term
paper. The organization is geographic, although this is concealed from
the reader by romantic, and unspecific, chapter titles worthy of a
nineteenth-century novel; these include: (1) “The Vanishing Flag”; (2)
"The Lamb and the Wolves"; (5) "Traders and Soldiers of Misfortune"; (6)
"Miners and Adventurers"; and (7) "Capitalists and Men of God."
The text has little to offer to any reader. It is not even
consistent within itself. On page 19 we read, "Americans remained
conspicuous in Zanzibar and the commerce of East Africa until after the
Civil War, which, for a variety of reasons, initiated the decline of
direct American foreign commerce and the virtual end of the American
merchant marine." But on page 43 we are told, "arriving at Zanzibar on
an American whaler in January 1871, Stanley noted that the greater part
of the vessels in port were American, principally from New York and
Salem." In this book there is no reference to contacts with Africa by
American whalers nor to the role played by the traders observed by
Stanley. The authors seem unaware of the rich materials available on
both of these groups, in Salem and elsewhere in New England. We are told
(p. 50), "Stanley's immediate staff of assistants included an American
named Sparhawk, an 'old Africa hand' upon whom he came to rely heavily,"
but that is the only mention of Sparhawk. There were a surprising number
of Sparhawks and Trader Horns in Africa before 1900, and something
should have been done with them, in a "monograph" with this title, just
as much more should have been done with American missionary efforts.
Having avoided the real subject, it is, perhaps, not surprising to
find that the authors have padded their few pages with nonrelevant
material, of which the worst example is a chapter of thirteen pages on
Stanley in the Congo. Although Stanley was born and died a British
subject, this jejune account, in a book on "Americans in Africa," is
justified on the legalistic grounds that he was an American citizen in
his middle years.
Even on the …. they were writing, these authors could have produced
a more valuable hook if they had abandoned their unhelpful geographic
organization and provided a succession of chapters on traders,
missionaries, Negro missionaries, Negro recolonization, and miners,
with, perhaps, separate chapters on men like H. S. Sanford and R. D.
Scans of original review