Title: "The Niger."

Journal: Evening Bulletin

Place of Publication: Maysville, Kentucky

Date: October 21, 1884

Place: Niger River


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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The Niger.

This further complicates the financial situation and gives additional interest to the Government plans shortly to be explained to the European Powers. England has assented to the colonial conference at Berlin, subject to certain explanations. These are satisfactory. According to rumor they relate to the British position on the Niger. Germany and France proposed to apply to the Niger the same system of administration and control as to the Congo, but seeing that the mouths of the Niger were lately occupied for England by Counsel Hewett it is hardly likely that Great Britain would encourage this Franco-German project. The English Foreign Office, however, is by no means dissatisfied with the prospects for the Conference, since it promises to carry out Lord Granville's plan, advocated months ago, with the Portuguese in connection with the unfortunate Congo treaty.