Walter Dundas Bathurst Papers
Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Walter Dundas Bathurst (1859-1940) was the son of Henry Thomas Dundas Bathurst (1811-1891), a career civil servant, and Margaret Ann Dundas Bathurst (1834-1916), of London. In 1883, he signed a contract with the colonizing entity Association Internationale du Congo (AIC) to serve for three years as an assistant at one of the association's stations.
Bathurst started his assignment in February 1884 at Vivi beyond Boma on the Congo River, where he came under the direct command of Sir Henry Morton Stanley. One of Bathurst's first tasks was to supervise road-building to link trading posts that had been established. In August 1884, Bathurst was sent to Kinshasa and worked alongside Anthony Bannister Swinburne, H.M. Stanley's former assistant. By the end of his term, Bathurst's role involved engaging in high-level negotiations, including those with high-ranking representatives of the Teke people.
After his service with the AIC, Bathurst, with help from his father, continued in his father's footsteps as a civil servant with the Exchequer and Audit Department. He started out as a senior clerk auditing the accounts of the Gold Coast and Lagos in 1889. His service required his residency in Gibraltar for a time in the early 1890s.
Bathurst was married to Alice Matilda Willis (b. 1862) from 1891 until her death in 1917. They had one child, Marjorie Dundas Bathurst (b. 1892). In 1919, Bathurst married Rhona Batstone (1887-1977) with whom he had a son, Thomas Dundas Bathurst (1919-2006).
Principally, this collection consists of three diaries kept by Walter Dundas Bathurst (1859-1940) during his time as an officer with the Association Internationale du Congo (AIC) from December 1883 (with his departure from England) until September 1886. They offer a detailed, first-hand account of Bathurst's involvement in Belgium's colonization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also included is some correspondence and ephemera related to Bathurst's time with the AIC as well as other professional correspondence and personal documents. Photographs, documents, and ephemera related to the Bathurst family are also included.
Purchase, 2017. (AM 2018-55)
This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in February 2018. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in February 2018.
No materials were removed from the collection during 2018 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.
- Civil service—Great Britain--Sources
- Teke (African people)--Africa, Central--History--19th century--Sources
- Indigenous peoples--Africa, Central--History--19th century--Sources
- Indigenous peoples--Congo (Democratic Republic)--History--19th century--Sources
- Belgium—Colonies—Congo (Democratic Republic).
- Congo (Democratic Republic)—Colonization--Sources.
- Congo (Democratic Republic)—History—19th century--Sources.
- Congo (Democratic Republic)—History—To 1908—Sources.
- Congo (Democratic Republic)--Foreign relations--Belgium--Sources.
- Great Britain—Politics and government—19th century--Sources.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Author
- Faith Charlton
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
Includes Bathurst's diaries and correspondence.Physical Description
Each diary contains a list of outgoing letters entered on the upper inside cover.Physical Description
The second half of the notebook includes a partial script of James Albery's comedy, "The Two Roses," (1870) written in another hand.Physical Description
The last couple of pages of the notebook includes a section entitled, "Curious Witch Palavers," in which three related stories are recounted.Physical Description
A memorandum signed by A.B. Swinburne from Leopoldville, sending supplies to Bathurst at Kinshasa.Physical Description
Correspondence with both the British and Belgian authorities concerning Bathurst's application to be awarded the Congo Star.
Incoming letters are in French.Physical Description
Four autograph letters by Bathurst's former colleague John Rose Troup, one of the few surviving veterans of the Rear Column of H.M. Stanley's Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, discussing the controversy that broke out about the expedition after their return to England.Physical Description
Correspondents include Henry Thomas Bathurst, C. Mallet, C.L. Ryan, and Richard A. Hoblyn, among others.Physical Description
Last letter Bathrust received from his father before his father's death.Physical Description
Includes marriage and death certificates related to Bathurst's first wife, Alice Matilda, as well as a rental agreement.Physical Description
A couple of items relate to Henry Thomas Dundas Bathurst.Physical Description