Memorials of Edward Spenser Burns, F. R. G. S. with special reference to his work in the service of the International African Association. Edward Spenser Burns, Dawson Burns, Cecil.
Memorials of Edward Spenser Burns, F. R. G. S. with special reference to his work in the service of the International African Association.

Memorials of Edward Spenser Burns, F. R. G. S. with special reference to his work in the service of the International African Association.

London: For Private Circulation, 1886. Hardcover. A memorial vanity printing consisting of Burns' correspondence with his parents regarding his travels and exploration in America, Australasia and Africa, signed by his parents. Burns visited New Zealand and Australia between March and December of 1881. The majority of the letters pertain to his experience in Africa; these begin in 1883 and continue to 1885. Edward Spenser Burns (1861 - 1885) died on an expedition in the Congo at Stanley Pool at the age of 24 (Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, Annual Address, June 8, 1885). Burns was on the mission to the Congo for the International African Association, opening up a new route towards the Kouilou-Niari River. His father, a noted British temperance activist and minister, assembled his son's correspondence, and wrote the explanatory text in this memorial.

Burns spent two years and 20 pp on his time in New Zealand, from 1879 to 1881. He states that on his arrival there was a depression and there were no openings anywhere. He states there is a great deal of drinking in NZ, visits the New Zealand Alps and has memories of a NZ Christmas. His time in New South Wales is shorter, but covers 15pp, visiting Newcastle, Tamworth, the Rivers Darling & Barwon, Goondi, Homebush & Sydney. One copy listed on Trove, Lib Aus ID 44683907, at the State Library of NSW.

The International African Association was established at the Brussels Geographic Conference in 1876, and was conceived of as a multi European nation scientific and humanitarian group meant to explore central Africa. It rapidly devolved into separately organized nationalized expeditions bent on African land acquisition. Henry M. Stanley worked secretly at this time for Leopold of Belgium to organize the Congo as a state; the French explorer de Brazza claimed the western Congo basin for the French; and Great Britain and Portugal cooperated to block access to the Atlantic.

Young Edward Burns had just been named the Chief of Grantville, which was the principal Station of the International Association in the Kwilu district. Burns' letters record many of his encounters with Henry Stanley, including this one, written from the "station of Isangila, River Congo, Sept 21, 1884: "Stanley has had often a great difficulty with idiots to deal with, and he told me himself that had he only had a few good English men, and not a useless mixture of Belgians, Swedes, Germans, Italians, and Americans, he could have done four times what he has towards the opening up of the Congo. If only this thing was under English management it would be very different! but the Belgian management in Brussels is something frightful". (p195). Stanley wrote a letter of condolence to Burns' father, included here.

Small 8vo, 240pp. Cream gilt cloth covers marked, spine darkened. Libraries Australia ID
44683907. OCLC: 154556857 lists the Turnbull Library holding a copy. Not in Ferguson. Very good condition. Item #19726

Price: $225.00

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