Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: WOLF, C. Eugene A.

image of individual

Birth Date: 24.1.1850 in the Palatinate

Death Date: 10.5.1912 Munich

Nationality: German

First Date: 1892

Last Date: 1893

Profession: Correspondent

Area: Uganda

Book Reference: North, UJ

School: Heidelberg and Paris

General Information:

Uganda Journal - Vol 21 - Eugen Wolf 1850-1912 by H.B. Thomas - …….. He had landed in Zanzibar from South Africa, and had made himself known to Sir Gerald Portal, the Consul-General, as early as August 1892. The conflict of evidence upon the course of events in Uganda which had culminated in the disturbances at Mengo in the previous January was becoming glaringly apparent. Portal was still very much in the dark, for Lugard had not yet reached the Coast from Uganda. When therefore Wolf announced his plan to proceed to Uganda, Portal - explicably but as it proved most unwisely - asked him to report back his impressions of the situation, past and present, in Uganda.
At Mombasa Wolf was able to join a caravan bound for Uganda under James Martin, and on 25 August just beyond Voi met Lugard hurrying down to the coast. Reaching Kampala early in December with bona fides attested by Portal's letter he was taken into collaboration by Major Macdonald throughout his enquiry into the disturbances of January 1892.
It was clearly through him that advance information of Macdonald's report 'leaked' to his own paper, Berliner Tageblatt, and so to the European press, thus adding to the acrimony of the already heated exchanges between the French and British Governments. Macdonald accepted Wolf as his intimate associate. They messed together and in March safari-ed in company to visit the White Fathers' Mission in Buddu.
There is a sidelight upon his character in Ernest Gedge's diary which confirms Lugard's comment in 'The Rise of our East African Empire, vol ii, p. 544. Leaving Villa Maria on the same morning of 8 March 1893 Gedge notes "Wolf was very amusingly bad tempered on the road. He does bully his men in the most beastly fashion". He joined Wissmann in German East Africa in 1890 to take part in the Rufiji expedition and in operations against rebellious tribesmen on Kilimanjaro; and on his return to Europe he had a first audience with Pope Leo XIII. In 1891-2 he was in the Transvaal, Swaziland and Zululand. ……. Later (1894) he explored in Madagascar; while at home he pressed Germany's need to establish herself in Eastern Asia. In 1896 with official encouragement he travelled to China and reported on Kiaochau. A second visit to the Far East followed in 1897-8 ….. He died at Munich on 10 May 1912, and may be regarded as an industrious minor labourer upon the construction of the edifice of German colonial expansion whose foundations had been laid by Bismarck. Vol 22, p. 189 - Letter from A.T. Matson - The strange relationship of Eugen Wolf and Sir Gerald Portal which is referred to in UJ, 21 (1957), 222 is further illustrated by a personal letter from Wolf to Portal, dated Kampala, 12 December 1892, which was found among Portal's papers after his death. It appears in Foreign Office reprints for 1894 and throws some additional light on Thompson. Wolf told Portal that he had arrived at Kampala on 6 December 1892 in company with James Martin and Thompson of the IBEA Company and formerly of Smith, Mackenzie. All were well except Thompson who had failed to look after his health on the march. An attack of dysentery had so weakened him that he had to be carried during the last fortnight. It was at first intended to send Thompson back to the coast when Martin left Kampala on 12th (after only 5 days' stay) together with Bagge and a consignment of ivory. Unfortunately Thompson committed a further imprudence and it was decided that he should travel with that part of Bishop Tucker's caravan which was to return soon after the Bishop's arrival later in the month. Matters were eventually so arranged as is noted in UJ, 21 (1957), 233. Wolf claimed to have some medical knowledge (which is substantiated by the notes on his early life in UJ 21 (1957), 222, and he had taken care of the sick on the journey up. This entailed looking after 600 men - and Thompson; he estimates that he gave 716 treatments with the few badly-chosen medicines carried by the caravan.

Back to search results