Title: "[Brief News Item]"

Journal: Evening Bulletin

Place of Publication: Maysville, Kentucky

Date: February 5, 1885

Place: Congo 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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While the Congo conference is discussing in long and weary debates the proposition to grant the southern bank of the Congo to the International African association, Portugal suddenly knocks the association into "pi" by appropriating both banks of the river.