Greener Journal of Art and Humanities Vol. 3 (3), pp. 052-056, October 2013
Manuscript Number: 082613800
The Double Face of Sir Samuel Baker’s Anti – Slave Trade Campaigns in the Upper Nile Valley, 1869 to 1874
Lecturer, Department of History, Gulu University, Northern Uganda.
No account of the history of anti-slave trade campaigns in the River Nile valley can be complete without the mention of Sir Samuel Baker. On 1st April 1869, Baker commenced a campaign at Cairo to the Upper Nile Valley to suppress slave trade and introduce legitimate commerce in what is now South Sudan and Northern Uganda. My paper analyzes this expedition, which lasted four years, with the view to unearth Samuel Baker’s true motivation in undertaking it. Using interviews conducted in northern Uganda and basing on published information concerning slave trade abolition movements in Africa during the nineteenth century, I established that Samuel Baker exhibited double character; on one hand, he was a philanthropist, the other, a racist. Although Baker’s legacy in northern Uganda and South Sudan is so strong that schools, roads, hospitals and even children are named after him, it is only because his brutal conduct and denigration of Africans was no measure to that of the slave hunters whom he defeated. Even though Baker did not capture and banish Africans into slavery, he despised, taxed and killed them.
Keywords: Sir Samuel Baker, Expedition, Philanthropist, Racist, Upper Nile Valley.
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