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Name: ROGERS, James Wood

Birth Date: 30 Apr 1861 Wayland, Allegan, Michigan

Death Date: 8 Oct 1911 Mustafa, Belgina Congo

Nationality: USA

First Date: 1904

Profession: Mining engineer in USA. Elephant hunter in the Lado Enclave - shot by British Native Police

Area: Lado Enclave

Married: In Alameida, California 13 Nov 1884 Lillian Vestalina Roberts b. 7 Oct 1865 California, d. 12 May 1941 Alameda County, California

Book Reference: Adventurers, UJ, Chandler

General Information:

Adventurers - 'Rogers, another of these late-comers, whom I encountered making for the Congo and Lado at this time, was shot by British Govt. Native Police in Belgian territory in the following tragic circumstances. Rogers, who was a brave and enterprising man, though of the rough and ready type, had been poaching in the Sudan. He was spotted and chased over the border by the local troops. There he should have been safe, at least from molestation by the British authorities. The Sudanese Military Police had, however, in the ardour of the chase, far outstripped their commanding white officer, and, not knowing or taking no notice of the frontier, they followed Rogers across and shot him on foreign soil. .......... (more)
Uganda Journal - Vol 24, p. 217 - Ivory Poaching in the Lado Enclave by R.O. Collins - ……Through the efforts of the Intelligence Department of the Sudan Government the more flagrant poachers were well known to the Sudan authorities. ……… the pursuit of James Wood Rogers by Charles Vincent Fox, Inspector, Mongalla Province. Rogers was an American. He was a husky, barrel-chested six-footer about 50 years old with "a stomach so elastic that it could accommodate itself to any given, or stolen quantity of liquor". A lover of jokes; he was coarse, boisterous, and jovial when pleased, but a bullying, cursing, fighting scoundrel when angry. He had a considerable reputation as a gold-miner and had made a large fortune in the Klondike which he lost at the gambling tables of Monte Carlo. Travelling to Johannesburg he remained there only long enough to be involved in a swindle. Fleeing to Rhodesia and Elisabethville he was again forced to take flight to avoid being apprehended for other misdeeds. Making his way northward he was determined to recoup his losses by poaching in the Lado Enclave. He made 2 successful trips into the Enclave in 1910 and 1911 and, returning from the latter to Uganda in April 1911 with over 4,000 lb. of ivory, was determined to march back into the Enclave as soon as possible. In July 1911, Rogers suddenly appeared at Wadelai accompanied by 'Dr' J.E.A. Pearce, 90 Baganda porters and an Irishman. Pearce was both in stature and character a smaller man than Rogers. A native of Britain, he was "formerly a missionary, once a medical student, then a poacher". The Irishman, who had served in the British Army in South Africa and later took employment as a guard on the Uganda Railway, had agreed to accompany Rogers to the Enclave in order not to be arrested for debt in Nairobi. But it appears that he was too much even for Rogers. Thoroughly frightened of elephants, continually drunk, and, having consumed all the whisky of the party, he left by mutual consent after the first hunt with a pair of tusks and "the honest if not very noble intention of reaching a British post and there becoming a distressed British subject and travelling home at the expense of His Majesty. Having tricked the Ma'mur of Wadelai - the civilian administrative assistant of the Sudan Government who was stationed on the west side of the Nile opposite Wadelai in Uganda - into letting them proceed, Rogers with his party crossed into the southern Enclave. By so doing they violated not only the 'Preservation of Wild Animals Ordinance, 1908' but also the 'Proclamation Regarding Closed Districts 1908' and 'The Sleeping Sickness Proclamation of 1909'. Hearing from the Ma'mur of Dufile about the Rogers Expedition, Owen Bey, irritated and exasperated by the failure to check poaching, was determined to make an example of Rogers. He ordered Bimbashi (Captain) C.V. Fox, Inspector, Mongalla Province, to proceed to the southern Enclave, arrest Rogers and his party and bring them to Mongalla for trial. ……………….. [long  detailed description of Fox's chase of Rogers and his party] ………[Rogers died after being shot just inside the Congo Free State, 'Dr' Pearce was tried and convicted of poaching at Nyangara and deported]
Application for a US passport (Ancestry)

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