African Testimony in the Movement for Congo Reform: The Burden of Proof, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

African Testimony in the Movement for Congo Reform

The Burden of Proof, 1st Edition

By Robert Burroughs


186 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138631694
pub: 2018-07-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315208664
pub: 2018-06-27
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


The humanitarian movement against Leopold’s violent colonisation of the Congo emerged out of Europe, but it depended at every turn on African input. Individuals and groups from throughout the upper Congo River basin undertook journeys of daring and self-sacrifice to provide evidence of atrocities for the colonial authorities, missionaries, and international investigators.

Combining archive research with attention to recent debates on the relation between imperialism and humanitarianism, on trauma, witnessing and postcolonial studies, and on the recovery of colonial archives, this book examines the conditions in which colonised peoples were able to speak about their subjection, and those in which attempts at testimony were thwarted.

Robert Burroughs makes a major intervention by identifying African agency and input as a key factor in the Congo atrocities debate. This is an important and unique book in African history, imperial and colonial history, and humanitarian history.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Note on Place Names


Introduction: The Burden of Proof

1. Humanitarianism and Diplomacy: West African Migrants in the Congo Free State (c.18901903)

2. Behind the Casement Report (19034): Guides, Interpreters, and Interviewees

3. Before the Commission of Inquiry (19045): Travellers and Testifiers

4. The Silencing of Witnesses: The Stannard Trial (1906) and the Sheppard Trial (1909)

5. ‘Bringing hands to the English’: Injured Bodies as Evidence

Conclusion: A Humanitarian History from Below



About the Author

Robert Burroughs is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities, Leeds Beckett University, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Africa

This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political, cultural and social history of individual countries as well as broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Themes include social and economic change, colonial experiences, independence movements, post-independence governments, globalization in Africa, nationalism, gender histories, conflict, the Atlantic Slave trade, the environment, health and medicine, ethnicity, urbanisation, and neo-colonialism and aid.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact Leanne Hinves

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Africa / General
HISTORY / Africa / Central
HISTORY / Modern / General