Title: "Diplomatic Negotiation"

Journal: Evening Bulletin

Place of Publication: Maysville, Kentucky

Date: October 14, 1884

Places: Congo River; Niger River

Analysis

Most Americans did not have access to Congressional debates about whether the U.S should recognize the sovereignty of King Leopold II of Belgium's Congo Free State—which prompted the convening of the Berlin Conference—or discussions of U.S. engagement with the "African Question." [note 1] They turned to newspapers to glean any information about the major international issue for the West at the time—the present and future state of African affairs. U.S. media coverage of the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 was extensive, with articles published in the major coastal newspapers and dailies in the South, West, and Midwest, attesting to the scope of American interest in European designs on Africa.

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Diplomatic Negotiation.

The prospect of an international conference at Berlin for dealing with West African colonial questions are very satisfactory. Preliminary negotiations are going on between Germany and England on the subject. These are also associated with the recent flying visit of Count Herbert Bismarck to Paris. The outcome of the conference is likely to be the adoption of a plan of the British Government for controlling the Congo and the Niger by commissions, and for the amicable settlement of certain conflicting claims to isolated stations in the basins of both rivers.

The British Government have formerly decided to annex the southern shores of New Guinea and certain adjacent islands. It is yet unsettled wither they will take the solomon and other groups. Negotiations are proceeding in Parish which may lead to an important arrangement between England, France and Germany of the principle of protection in view of the opening of the Panama Canal, and of the Pacific islands becoming important to European commerce with Australasia as coaling depots and the like.