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Name: TOEPPEN, Eugene Max Kurt

Nee: 'Bwana Fujoo', 'Haji Mustafa'

Birth Date: 21 Mar 1861 Udzikau, East Prussia

Death Date: 16 Dec 1914 Hamburg Barmbeck

Nationality: German

First Date: 1887

Last Date: 1895

Profession: Trader, German Witu Co.

Area: Witu, Lamu

Married: Naimata Yorjan b. 1 Dec 1875, a Lamu woman and converted to Islam. She died and he married her sister in 1901

Book Reference: North, Kiewiet, Ylvisaker, Mombasa Mission

General Information:

North - In India 1895
Kiewiet - a bitterly anti-British trader who in 1887 was named head of the German Witu Company. …. 1889 Denhardt ousted and Toeppen, who later became a Mohammedan, was in ascendency. Portal remarked "Mr Toeppen's anglophobism is notorious" [FO84/1981 Portal to FO]
North - Arr. EA as asst to W. O'Swald & Co., Zanzibar c. 1887; based at Lamu to purchase ivory for O'Swald 1887/8; representative of German Witu Co. & Sultan of Witu June 1888; Administered German Postal Agency Lamu 22/11/1888-30/6/1890; replaced C. Denhardt as adviser to the Sultan of Witu 28/9/1889; Lamu Nov.-Dec 1889; dismissed as the Sultan of Witu's adviser Jan 1890; at Lamu 1/5/1890; Married Lamu woman & converted to Islam, due to dep for Mecca on Haj Sept 1890; 'a penniless adventurer' (Euan-Smith, FO 84) Oct 1890; returned from Mecca and took name 'Hajji Mustafa' (the pilgrim whose heart has been cleansed) 1891; employed by Sultan Hamed bin Thwain [sic] to spy on British c. 1892; in Bombay Sept 1895, 31/12/1895; employed by Sultan Hamoud in the ZP Agricultural Dept under Robert Lyne following the death of Hamed bin Thwain Nov/Dec 1896; after wife died of disease he married her sister 1901; working for a British company on a plantation near Tanga 1902; In Germany seeking employment with EAP Oct 1903; 'He had completely cut himself off from the German community even refusing to speak to them' (Anton, ZA)
Ylvisaker - In 1887, the Witu Company received new personnel, including a new head, Kurt Toeppen, "Bwana Pembe" (Mr Ivory), who became a great favourite at Witu, with Avatula, and generally with mainland and island peoples. …….. In 1887-1888, Toeppen unsuccessfully attempted to secure the customs farming at Lamu, and gained the reputation of being bitterly anti-British ……….. With Avatula and his followers Toeppen got on more successfully than he did with the British in Lamu. Toeppen was the first European to visit Starani, and he soon arranged to trade in ivory with Avatula. When Avatula gathered a suitable amount of ivory, he sent a delegation to Toeppen's house in Lamu …….. [more]
Ylvisaker - In September 1889 Kurt Toeppen officially replaced Gustav Denhardt as chief adviser to the Sultan of Witu.

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