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Major von Wissmann und seine Officiere, 1889-1890

 Record Group — Group: 55, Album: 1
Identifier: 55-1

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African photographs is comprised of about 6,500 photographs organized in 75 primary collections of separate albums, scrapbooks or loose collections. Primary collections range from a single photograph to a set of several photograph albums plus envelopes of loose photographs.


  • 1889-1890


Language of Materials



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Biographical Notes

In 1889, Hermann von Wissmann [1853-1905] was appointed Imperial Commissioner, and later Governor of German East Africa. His first task was to put down the revolt instigated by the Arab, Bushiri bin Salim el Harthi (the German East Africa Company had failed to do so). The ‘Araberaufstand’ was successfully undertaken by von Wissmann in 1889-90 and it is to this punitive expedition that catalogue item 55 relates.

Biographical / Historical

Following von Wissmann’s death in 1905, five of the officers portrayed in the album (G.Richelmann, C.von Perbrandt, Rochus Schmidt, Dr. A. Becker and Dr. W. Steuber) compiled a book (see below) on the life and work of von Wissmann, a man they all held in the highest regard. Four of the illustrations in their work (plates 22-25) comprise multiple portraits of officers who accompanied von Wissmann. The composition of these plates is comparable to the format used in the Von Wissmann photograph album. The identification of ten of the officers in the album has been made possible by reference to the published plates. They are Chef Richelmann (from plate 22), Chef End (plate 23), Chefarzt Dr. Becker (plate 23), Leutnant Langheld, Stabsarzt Gärtner, Leutnant Herrmann, Stabarzt Dr. Steuber and Kapitän Prager (all from plate 24) and Premierleutnant Fischer and Leutnant von Elpons (plate 25). The Araberaufstand was not von Wissmann’s first African expedition; it was his fourth. His first took place in 1880-3 when he crossed the continent from Loanda in the West to Zanzibar in the East with Paul Pogge. His account of this expedition was published by in Berlin in 1889 under the title, ‘Unter deutsche Flagge quer durch Afrika von West nach Ost’. His second, the Kassai-Expedition of 1884-5, was confined to West Africa in the Congo region. On the third expedition (1886-7), von Wissmann again traversed the African continent and his account, ‘Meine zweite Durchquerung Äquatorial-Afrikas von Congo zum Zambesi während des Jahre 1886 und 1887’ was published in 1890 in Frankfurt (Oder). In 1891 he led an expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro and in the following year another to Lakes Nyassa and Tanganyika. Von Wissmann’s final book, an account of his exploits hunting for big game, was published in Berlin in 1901, ‘In Den Wildnessen Afrikas und Asiens’.


1 album (1 album, 33 p., 28 x 23 cm.) : Quarto (28 x 23 cm.), containing 64 cartes-de-visite and cabinet portraits, albumen prints, 29 identified and captioned in a later hand; contained in a custom-bound album, full morocco, with bevelled edges, brass clasp, all edges gilt, gilt lettering to upper cover, ‘Major von Wissmann und seine Officiere’.


Portraits of Major Hermann von Wissmann and his officers in the 1889-1890 expedition to suppress the Arab revolt.

Repository Details

Part of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies Repository

Northwestern University Libraries
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US