Title: "The Congo Question."

Journal: Evening Bulletin

Place of Publication: Maysville, Kentucky

Date: March 2, 1885


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 Congo Question.

Washington, March 2. -- The house committee on foreign affairs, by a majority vote, adopted the following resolution, submitted by Mr. Phelps on the Congo question:

Resolved, That no prospect of commercial advantage warrants a departure from the traditional policy of this government, which forbids all entangling alliance with other nations that the participation of delegates of the United States in the so-called Congo conference, while carefully guarded, is unfortunate in its departure from the policy which forbids the government of the United States to participate in any political combination or movement outside the American continent.