Brazza, Pierre Savorgnan de

(1852-1905)
   explorer
   Born in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza was of Italian origin. He studied at the French naval academy (1868-70) and was later (1874) granted French citizenship. Beginning in 1875, he undertook several expeditions in Africa, during which he explored the estuaries of the Gabon and Ogooue Rivers. This brought him to the region north and west of the Congo, which he claimed for France (1879-82). He then founded a settlement that became the city of Brazzaville (see AFRICA, FRENCH IN; BERLIN CONFERENCE). From 1887 to 1897, Brazza served as commissioner general of the region (French Congo), which was declared a French protectorate. Among the native population, he gained a reputation for his sense of fairness and equality. His explorations, however, also helped to stimulate the rush by major European powers to claim African territory during the last decades of the 19th century.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Brazza, Pierre Paul Francois Camille Savorgnan de — (1852–1905)    A Franco Italian naval officer, explorer, and colonial official in Equatorial Africa. Although born into an Italian noble family, he enrolled in the French naval academy in Brest and became a French citizen in 1874. Because of the… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

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