List of colonial governors of the Congo Free State and Belgian Congo

This is a list of European colonial administrators responsible for the territory of the Congo Free State and Belgian Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Belgian Congo (dark green) depicted with Belgian Ruanda-Urundi (light green), 1935.

International Association of the CongoEdit

Prior to the creation of the Congo Free State, the International Association of the Congo (IAC) had signed treaties with over 300 native Congolese chiefs and in effect exercised sovereignty over a large area of the Congo Basin. The IAC was headquartered in Belgium and run by a committee under the presidency of Maximilien Strauch. Prior to the creation of the office of Administrator-General, authority on the ground in the Congo had been exercised by a Chief of Expedition, who until April 1884 was Henry Morton Stanley.[1]

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of office Notes
Took office Left office Time in office
  Francis de Winton
(1835–1901)
Administrator-General 22 April 1884 1 July 1885 1 year, 70 days

Congo Free StateEdit

Administrators-General / Governors-GeneralEdit

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of office Notes
Took office Left office Time in office
  Francis de Winton
(1835–1901)
Administrator-General 1 July 1885 April 1886 9 months
  Camille Janssen
(1837–1926)
Administrator-General April 1886 17 April 1887 6 years, 3 months
Governor-General 17 April 1887 1 July 1892 [2]
  Théophile Wahis
(1844–1921)
Governor-General 1 July 1892 15 November 1908 16 years, 137 days

Vice Governors-GeneralEdit

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of office Notes
Took office Left office Time in office
  Camille Janssen
(1837–1926)
Vice Administrator-General 25 September 1885 April 1886 6 months
  Herman Ledeganck
(1841–1908)
Vice Governor-General 31 January 1888 January 1889 11 months [3]
  Henri Gondry
(1845–1889)
Acting Vice Governor-General January 1889 18 May 1889 4 months [4]
  Camille Coquilhat
(1853–1891)
Vice Governor-General 1890 24 March 1891 0–1 years [5]
  Théophile Wahis
(1844–1921)
Vice Governor-General 15 April 1891 1 July 1892 1 year, 77 days [6]
  Francis Dhanis
(1861–1909)
Vice Governor-General 4 September 1896 1897 0–1 years
  Émile Wangermée
(1855–1924)
Vice Governor-General 11 April 1897 1 December 1897 234 days
  Alphonse van Gèle
(1848–1939)
Vice Governor-General 1 December 1897 10 January 1899 1 year, 40 days
  Paul Costermans
(1860–1905)
Vice Governor-General January 1904 March 1905 1 year, 2 months
  Félix Fuchs
(1858–1928)
Governor-General ad interim 25 December 1902 4 March 1904 1 year, 70 days
Vice Governor-General 1907 1908 0–1 years
  Albert Lantonnois van Rode
(1852–1934)
Vice Governor-General May 1905 1906/7 1–2 years

Belgian CongoEdit

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of office Notes
Took office Left office Time in office
  Théophile Wahis
(1844–1921)
Governor-General 15 November 1908 20 May 1912 3 years, 187 days
  Félix Fuchs
(1858–1928)
Governor-General 20 May 1912 5 January 1916 3 years, 230 days
  Eugène Henry
(1862–1930)
Governor-General 5 January 1916 30 January 1921 5 years, 25 days
  Maurice Lippens
(1875–1956)
Governor-General 30 January 1921 24 January 1923 1 year, 359 days
  Martin Rutten
(1876–1944)
Governor-General 24 January 1923 27 December 1927 4 years, 337 days
  Auguste Tilkens
(1869–1949)
Governor-General 27 December 1927 14 September 1934 6 years, 261 days
  Pierre Ryckmans
(1891–1959)
Governor-General 14 September 1934 31 December 1946 12 years, 108 days
  Eugène Jungers
(1888–1958)
Governor-General 31 December 1946 1 January 1952 5 years, 1 day
  Léo Pétillon
(1903–1996)
Governor-General 1 January 1952 12 July 1958 6 years, 192 days
  Hendrik Cornelis
(1910–1999)
Governor-General 12 July 1958 30 June 1960 1 year, 354 days

On 1 July 1960, the Belgian Congo became independent as the Republic of the Congo (République du Congo).

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Boulger 1898, pp. 258–59.
  2. ^ Janssens & Cateaux 1908, p. 20. Janssen continued as an Honorary Governor-General until his death.
  3. ^ Janssens & Cateaux 1908, p. 163. He left for the Congo on 6 February 1888 and returned to Europe on 19 May 1889.
  4. ^ Janssens & Cateaux 1908, p. 165. He left for the Congo on 6 January 1889 to replace Ledeganck.
  5. ^ Janssens & Cateaux 1908, p. 48. He embarked for the Congo on 28 March 1890 and was named Vice Governor-General shortly after his arrival.
  6. ^ Janssens & Cateaux 1908, p. 28. He was appointed Vice Governor-General on 19 November 1890, but did not arrive to take over his post until 15 April 1891.

ReferencesEdit

  • Boulger, Demetrius Charles (1898). The Congo State: Or, The Growth of Civilisation in Central Africa. London: W. Thacker & Co.
  • Gann, Lewis H.; Duignan, Peter (1979). The Rulers of Belgian Africa, 1884–1914. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Henige, David P. (1970). Colonial Governors from the Fifteenth Century to the Present: A Comprehensive List. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Janssens, Édouard; Cateaux, Albert (1908). Les Belges au Congo: notices biographiques. Antwerp: J. van Hille-De Backer.

External linksEdit