Copy journal of James Henry Archer-Burton

Scope and Content

Photocopied typescript, 1989 of journal, 1894-1902 of James Henry Archer-BurtonMatabele Jim, transcribed and edited by hisson James R. Archer-Burton using British South Africa Company correspondence andother material now held in the National Archives of Zimbabwe; includesphotocopied photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Henry Archer Burton (1850-1922) was educated at Southampton School, Winchester, then moved to Minnesota in 1875 to farm with his brothers Gream and Leonard. In 1890 he moved to Montana and then the Yukon, Alaska in search of gold. He travelled to southern Africa in 1894 to continue prospecting and to set up a trading post with the Ndebele and Shona.

He saw action in the Mazoe Valley during the Ndebele War in 1896, where he was shot in the face by an Ndebele with a stolen Martini rifle. The wound defied all attempts at treatment, both in Salisbury, Rhodesia and in England, forcing him to forgo any long term plans at developing land previously left to him by Cecil Rhodes.

In 1902, after a brief return to trading in Rhodesia from 1898-1901, he married Minnie Beatrice, with whom he had two daughters who died as infants, and one son. He booked, then cancelled a berth on the Titanic in 1912, then enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment, serving in the Chaplain General's Department at Parkhurst Barracks, Isle of Wight, throughout World War One. He returned to Minnesota in 1919.

Conditions Governing Access

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

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Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.