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Lord Lugard: A Preliminary Evaluation

Abstract
Opening Paragraph

To give the first Lugard Memorial Lecture upon Lord Lugard himself is at once a task of great honour and of great difficulty. I need not explain to this audience why it is an honour: we know that we are here to recall the life and work of a great man, who was a creator of our Institute and for nearly nineteen years (1926-45) its Chairman. But the difficulty does need some explanation. I must attempt at least a preliminary evaluation of a life that was immense in the period of time covered and in the range, both in space and in character, of its activities. Yet I cannot assume that you have a full knowledge of that life since its story has yet to be told. Some here knew him in his later years; there are, indeed, some still alive who worked with him in the vigorous days of his prime. There is also his own vivid account of four of his most adventurous early years, and there is the impressive documentation of his governorships. But there are large areas in his youth and even in his manhood which are still quite unknown. And when these have been explored the parts have still to be put together to form a biographical whole. Here is my difficulty: I cannot, in the time we have this evening, attempt both to tell the story, even in outline, and to comment. Yet how can the story and the comment be divorced? I must attempt a compromise. I must offer you something not much more than a chronology of his life, and tell you a little—and how little it must be—of some of his earlier, less known achievements; and then, assuming your knowledge of his later life, offer, in all humility, my first provisional evaluation. I emphasize provisional because my biography is only half drafted and there is much, especially between his leaving Nigeria in 1906 and the latest part of his life when I knew him, that is still, for me, a subject for research.

Résumé

LORD LUGARD: UNE APPRÉCIATION PRÉLIMINAIRE

Cette communication constitue le texte de la première des conférences institutée par l'Institut Africain International, pour honorer la mémoire de Lord Lugard, son premier président. La conférence fut faite par Mademoiselle Margery Perham le 3 Avril 1950, à Amsterdam, lors de la réunion du conseil exécutif de l'Institut.

Mademoiselle Perham, qui doit achever prochainement la biographie officielle de Lord Lugard, traça les grandes lignes de sa vie, de 1858 à 1945, et souligna la portée tres étendue de ses activités. Elle décrivit son enfance pieuse dans l'ère victorienne, ses aventures au cours des diverses guerres coloniales des années quatre-vingt et son affection dramatique et soudaine à un poste en Afrique, continent dont de nombreuses régions restaient encore à explorer. Entre 1888 et 1900, il entreprit des expéditions dangereuses et difficiles dans le cœur de l'Afrique, pour le compte de quatre compagnies différentes, dont les activités dépassaient l'action d'un gouvernement encore hésitant. Ses aventures furent plus émouvantes qu'un récit de pure fantaisie. II prit part, également, dans les polémiques politiques qui furent soulevées au sujet de l'annexion des territoires africains et devint un ami de Joseph Chamberlain et de bien d'autres personnalités de l'époque. Finalement, en 1898, Chamberlain le chargea de l'organisation des forces armees de la frontière de l'Afrique occidentale et de contester à la France les frontières occidentales de la Nigérie.

Dans sa description de la période suivante de sa vie, pendant laquelle il fut Gouverneur de la Nigérie (1900-1918), Mademoiselle Perham traita brièvement du système d'Administration indirecte introduit par Lugard, du succès remporté par ce système à l'epoque, et des critiques formulées ultérieurement. Ensuite, Mademoiselle Perham décrivit l'œuvre immense accomplie par Lord Lugard pendant sa retraite sur des aspects politiques, internationaux et scientifiques des affaires coloniales, et le volume énorme de ses écrits sur ces sujets, y compris son livre bien connu, The Dual Mandate. La diversité de ses talents lui permit de contribuer largement, et de diverses façons, aux affaires africaines, au cours des trois périodes principales de sa vie.

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Africa
  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
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