Casement, Sir Roger David. (1864-1916). Born in Kingstown,
County Dublin, Ireland. Casement served as British consul in Portugese East
Africa (Mozambique) from 1895 to 1898, in Angola from 1898 to 1900, in the
Congo Free State from 1901 to 1904, and in Brazil from 1906 to 1911.
His reports in 1904 and 1912, revealing cruelties and atrocities against
native laborers perpetrated by white traders in the Congo and Putumayo River
region of Peru, brought him international attention and led to a major
reorganization of Belgian rule over the Congo. It was for his Putumayo Report
that Casement received his knighthood.
He retired from his overseas diplomatic labors in 1912, due to ill health,
and returned to his native Ireland. Casement sympathized with the
predominately Catholic Irish nationalists, despite his own Protestant
upbringing. In 1913 he helped organize the anti-British, Irish National
Volunteers. He sought American aid the organization. He traveled to Berlin in
November 1914 to solicit an expedition to Ireland to fight against Britain,
made up mostly of Irish P.O.W.s and lead by German officers. The German
government was unwilling to back his project. There was considerable doubt as
to whether the Irish P.O.W.s would fight.
On April 12, Casement sailed for Ireland aboard a German submarine. He was
put ashore near Tralee, County Kerry. On April 21 he was discovered, arrested
and taken to London. On June 29, he was convicted and sentenced to death for
treason. Despite his past services to the crown and the efforts of many
prominent people to obtain a reprieve for him, Casement was hanged in London
on August 3rd, 1916.
An unfavorable biography: Roger Casement: a New Judgement by Rene
Marie MacColl, 1956.
A favorable biography: The Accusing Ghost: or, Justice for Casement
by Alfred Noyes, 1957.
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