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Beamish-Sinclair Tanganyika Papers 1930-1932

Identifier: SC MS 0211

Scope and Contents

Collection contains approximately 162 items including letters, envelopes, notes, newspaper clippings, flyers and brochures. Items marked Scanned have been Scanned into the Digital Library file “I Remain.”


  • 1930 to 1932


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

This collection is composed primarily of correspondence dated 1930-1932 between Patrick James Sinclair, who resided at Moshi on Mt. Kilimanjaro, possibly as a coffee planter, and Henry Hamilton Beamish, a British author, who resided in England and Southern Rhodesia and eventually Lawrence Henry Gipson. Tanganyika from 1885 to 1919 was a part of the German East Africa colonies. The growing of coffee was introduced by the Catholic and Lutheran missionaries in the area in the 1880s under German military protection. Moshi, the home of Sinclair, was a pioneer coffee growing district on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The coffee growers in Tanganyika were both Europeans (European Association of Tanganyika 1929) and Africans (Kilimanjaro Native Planters Association 1925). At the time the Germans also introduced growing sisal. After World War I, the League of Nations made Tanganyika a British Mandate from 1919-1939 along with Kenya and Uganda as Protectorates. During the time of this correspondence, Sir Donald Cameron (1872-1948) was Tanganyika’s second governor and is mentioned in the letters. His aim was to educate the Africans to stand by themselves for eventual independence. In 1964 on its independence from Britain, the country’s name was changed to Tanzania. In 1929 the European Association of Tanganyika was formed by the European settlers in Tanganyika to support a closer union with Kenya and Uganda for mutual defense and economy. Tanganyika coffee growers supplied one third of the coffee to Kenya’s coffee export to Belgium. Sinclair was president of the European Association and corresponded with Beamish on that behalf. H. H. Beamish founded the nationalistic organization known as “The Britons.” He promoted the idea of sinister activities of international Jewry in the 1920s and 1930s. Beamish advocated the “Madagascar Plan” of sending all Jews to this island off the coast of east Africa. The European Association expressed fears of the rise of African nationalism and its threat to overcoming the European settlers. They were against the administration of Governor Cameron who favored the natives. This correspondence apparently is an effort to seek counsel from Beamish how to deal with the problem. There is included in the collection correspondence from Sinclair to L. H. Gipson indicating that he would sent a manuscript of possible interest. Sinclair read a volume of Gipson’s history of the American Revolution and appreciated Gipson’s scholarship. Sinclair thought that Gipson would understand the parallels of the British Colonial policy. There is a note that also states Sinclair was “a great coffee planter” and possibly this Beamish-Sinclair correspondence was the manuscript.


1 box, .5 linear feet

Language of Materials



This is an interesting collection of correspondence expounding the British political and economic attitudes toward its African colonies in the early 1930s through the opinions expressed by H. H. Beamish to his various correspondents. The Sinclair family was quite prominent in Tanganyika at the time and wanted a close alliance with Kenya in promoting the coffee trade and in dealing with the “native question in East Africa.” Both Tanganyika and Kenya as British colonies shared the coffee growing highlands on the lower slopes of Mr. Kilimanjaro. The coffee growing Europeans (British and Germans) were in conflict with the African native growers. The problem of the white supremacy attitudes of the European settlers and the British colonial governors attempting to educate the natives in preparation for eventual independence are expressed in these letters. Sinclair, as president of the European Association in Tanganyika, sought counsel from Beamish and his associates.


The correspondence has been filed chronologically in folders.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute – May 27, 1960

Related Materials

Iliffe, John. 1979. A Modern History of Tanganyika, Cambridge University Press.

The Official Gazette of the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya. 1947. In His Majesty’s Supreme Court of Kenya at Nairobi Probate and Administration, Cause No. 108 of 1947 Re. Patrick James Sinclair, deceased. General Notice No. 1300, July 18, 1947.

Shaw, Diane Windham. 1984. Guide to the Papers of Lawrence Henry Gipson.

Eleanor Nothelfer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)