The Practical Imperialist

Letters from a Danish Planter in German East Africa 1888-1906


This book provides a rare opportunity to follow the daily life on and around plantations and towns in the first years of the German colonial presence in East Africa, as seen through the eyes of a Danish master farmer working for the German East Africa Company. There are few memoirs and personal letters from these years, and existent letters are primarily by explorers, colonial officials, missionaries or the occasional settler. Lautherborn's material provides one of the very few entry points into the daily business of colonial expansion and consolidation in the early years of German East Africa as seen through the eyes of a practical man trying to do a job in a complex and changing world.

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Biographical Note

Marianne Rostgaard, Ph.D. (1991) is an Associate Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark. She has mainly published on Danish 19th and 20th century social and cultural history. Jane L. Parpart is Professor of International Development Studies, History and Gender Studies at Dalhousie University and visiting professor in politics at Stellenbosch.

Review Quotes

"The translation of these letters into English offers anyone interested in Tanzania history a fascinating source" ( Emma Hunter, Tanzanian Affairs, Aug. 2007)

Table of contents

List of llustrations . Foreword by Mogens Thøgersen, Director of Vendsyssel Historiske Museum Foreword by the editors Note on editing Map of Tanganyika with names of places and tribal names Modern map (1976) of the Northern East Coast of Tanzania Chapter 1 Christian Lautherborn: The Danish Context Chapter 2 The African Context: German East Africa 1888-1906 Chapter 3 Journey to Africa and Settling In Chapter 4 The War in East Africa: Pangani and Bagamoyo Chapter 5 End of War in Bagamoyo and Stanley’s Visit Chapter 6 Rebuilding Bagamoyo and Return to Pangani Chapter 7 Kikogwe: The Cotton Plantation Chapter 8 Kikogwe and Mwera: Cotton and Coffee Chapter 9 Kikogwe and Sisal: Last Years in Africa Bibliography (Chapters 3–9) Glossary Index

Index Card