Free Trade Imperialism as an Ideology of Inequality: Americans in the Congo Free State, 1890-1912

Arwen P. Mohun

For a quarter century, the American-born Richard Dorsey Mohun participated in the processes of global imperialism while holding onto his U.S. citizenship. This talk provides an overview of the various jobs Mohun held in Africa between 1892 and 1912. While the range and variety of his experiences is probably unique, he is representative of a much larger cohort of Gilded Age Americans who sought their fortunes by working abroad within the structure set up by European imperial powers and private corporations. These expatriates provided crucial technical expertise, project management, and “eyes on the ground” for their employers.