MOREL, Edmund Dene, 1873-1924, MP

Scope and Content

Biographical material of Edward Dene Morel, including diaries and photographs; papers and correspondence concerning Morel's parliamentary candidature and activities as an MP, his publications, the Congo Reform Association and its publications, trials and atrocities in the Congo, the Union of Democratic Control, and research into the origins of World War One and armaments after the war; general correspondence; books of outgoing letters concerned mainly with the Congo Reform Association and the publication of the 'African Mail'; material relating to the newspapers with which Morel was involved, including the 'West African Mail', the 'African Mail', and 'West Africa'; books, pamphlets and articles by Morel and others on Africa, the Congo, and World War One; British and Belgian parliamentary reports and discussions concerning the Congo; and family correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edmund Dene Morel, 1873-1924, was educated in Eastbourne but moved to Liverpool in 1891. Forced to leave school at the age of 15 due to his mother's financial difficulties, Morel worked as a clerk for the shipping firm Elder Dempster, and supplemented his income with part-time journalism. Many of the articles that Morel wrote related to stories from visitors to the shipping office, including material on British trade in Africa. Morel became concerned about the consequences of such trade for African culture. In 1900, he published a series of articles concerning the Congo, and was forced to resign from Elder Dempster due to the company's involvement in the rubber trade in the Congo. In 1904, Morel founded the Congo Reform Association and took a leading part in the movement against Congo misrule. He published many pamphlets on the subject and travelled to the United States to create a similar movement there. Morel was Honorary Secretary of the Congo Reform Association from 1904 to 1912. In 1909, he took part in the formation of the International League for the Defence of the Natives of the Conventional Basin of the Congo. He was also a member of the West African Lands Committee (Colonial Office), 1912-1914, and vice-president of the Anti-Slavery Society. His interest in African affairs extended to his journalism. He published 'Le Congo Leopoldien' with the French explorer Pierre Mille, and was editor of the 'African Mail' for ten years before bringing out his own paper 'The West African Mail' in 1903. Morel was also active in the political world. He was the Liberal candidate for Birkenhead, 1912-1914, resigning when the First World War broke out. He then formed the Union of Democratic Control, a political party that opposed the war. From 1917 to 1918 he was imprisoned for violation of the Defence of the Realm Act. After the war he joined the Labour Party and was the Labour candidate for Dundee, 1921-1922.


This collection is arranged in 18 sections:
1. Biography, 1887-1924.
2. Parliament, 1908-1924.
3. Publications, 1900-1921.
4. Congo Reform Association, 1898-1913.
5. Congo Documents, 1887-1913.
6. Union of Democratic Control, 1910-1928.
7. Foreign Affairs, 1914-1924.
8. General Correspondence, 1898-1925.
9. Miscellaneous Correspondents, 1895-1924.
10. Letter Books, 1902-1910.
11. Newspapers, 1901-1912.
12. Print, 1721-1948.
13. Pamphlets and Articles, 1883-1924.
14. Parliamentary Report, 1885-1917.
15. Press Cuttings, 1893-1924.
16. Scrapbooks and Press Cuttings, 1897-1923.
17. Various Correspondence, 1885-1957.
18. 'Foreign Affairs', 1921-1931.

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Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 29, 2002

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Geographical Names