William Grant Stairs (July 1, 1863 – June 9, 1892) was a Canadian-British explorer, soldier, and adventurer who had a leading role in two of the most controversial expeditions in the history of the colonisation of Africa
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the sixth child and third son of John Stairs and Mary Morrow, he attended school at Fort Massey Academy in Halifax, Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Royal Military College of Canada. "July 1st" redirects here For the Ayumi Hamasaki song see H (song. Year 1863 ( MDCCCLXIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 53 - Roman Emperor Nero marries Claudia Octavia 62 - Claudia Octavia commits Year 1892 ( MDCCCXCII) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located This list of explorers is sorted by surname See also the links below. A soldier is a general English term that refers to a member of a land component of National Armed forces. The City of Halifax (est 1841 is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County Nova Scotia (ˌnəʊvəˈskəʊʃə ( Latin for New Scotland; Alba Nuadh Nouvelle-Écosse is a Canadian province located on Canada 's Merchiston Castle School is a private boarding school located in the village of Colinton in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC is the Military academy of the Canadian Forces, and is a degree-granting University.
After graduating as a trained engineer, Stairs spent three years working for the New Zealand Trigonometrical Survey in northern New Zealand. An engineer is a person professionally engaged in a field of Engineering. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island In 1885, he accepted the offer of a commission in the British Royal Engineers and trained in Chatham, England. An officer is a member of an armed force who holds a position of authority The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers ( RE) and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland In 1891 he transferred to the Welsh Regiment. The Welch Regiment (or "The Welch" was a British Army Regiment from 1881 to 1969.
Captain Stairs was appointed to the privately-funded Emin Pasha Relief Expedition led by Henry Morton Stanley, at the time the most celebrated living explorer of Africa. The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition of 1886 to 1889 was one of the last major European expedition into the interior of Africa in the nineteenth century ostensibly The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition of 1886 to 1889 was one of the last major European expedition into the interior of Africa in the nineteenth century ostensibly Sir Henry Morton Stanley, GCB, born John Rowlands ( January 28 1841 &ndash May 10 1904) was a British journalist Stairs sailed from London on January 20, 1887 and met Stanley in Suez on February 6. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Events 250 - Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Year 1887 ( MDCCCLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Suez (السويس) is a Seaport town (population ca 497000 in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez, near the southern Events 46 BC - Julius Caesar defeats the combined army of Pompeian followers and Numidians under Metellus Scipio Their expedition started from Banana at the mouth of the Congo River on March 19 and ended in Bagamoyo, Tanzania on December 5, 1889. Banana is a small Seaport in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the Atlantic coast The Congo River (for a time known as the Zaire River) is the largest River in Western Central Africa. Events 1279 - A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China. The town of Bagamoyo, Tanzania, was founded at the end of the 18th century Tanzania ˌtænzəˈniːə officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya Events 63 BC - Cicero reads the last of his Catiline Orations. Year 1889 ( MDCCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Stairs was appointed second-in-command after Captain Barttelot was shot on July 19, 1888. Edmund Musgrave Barttelot ( March 28, 1859 &ndash July 19, 1888) was a British Army officer, born in Sussex England Events 711 - Muslim forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeat the Visigoths led by their king Roderic. Year 1888 ( MDCCCLXXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a
During the 5000 km journey across Africa through some of its most difficult country consisting of almost impenetrable rainforest and swamps, Stairs and colleagues suffered frequently from malaria and dysentery. Stairs had endurance, toughness and perseverance. He discovered one source of the Nile, the Semliki River, and became the first non-African to ever climb in the Ruwenzoris, reaching 10,677 ft before having to turn around. The Nile (النيل, Ancient Egyptian iteru or Ḥ'pī, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing River Semliki River is a major river in Central Africa. It flows northwards from Lake Edward in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, across the Uganda He was seriously wounded in the chest by a poisonous arrow during an attack by natives, many of whom assumed they were a slave-raiding party, and the expedition killed hundreds in return. Stairs recovered from his wound to continue the journey. In Dublin, Ireland there is a bronze plaque depicting this August 13, 1887 event on the statue of expedition Surgeon Major Thomas Heazle Parke who removed the arrow and sucked the poison from the wound. Dublin (ˈdʌblɨn/ /ˈdʊblɨn or /ˈdʊbəlɪn/, bˠalʲə aːha klʲiəh or cliə(ɸ is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. Events 3114 BC - According to the Lounsbury correlation the start of the Maya calendar. Year 1887 ( MDCCCLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Surgeon-General Thomas Heazle Parke (1857 -- 1893 was an Irish doctor, Explorer, Soldier and naturalist.
The expedition was lauded in Europe and North America for exploits seen as heroic. On his return to England Captain Stairs was named a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1890. History Founding members of the Society include Sir John Barrow, Sir John Franklin and Francis Beaufort. History The originator of the idea for a national society of geography in Scotland was John George Bartholomew, of the Bartholomew map-making company in Edinburgh Then details emerged of the many Africans killed by the expedition. Stanley's own accounts revealed how he shot Africans who impeded the expedition's progress. The expedition also used brutality against its own porters. Stanley spent his remaining years defending himself and the expedition from criticism made principally in Britain of excessive force and mismanagement of the expedition's Rear Column commanded by Barttelot. 
In 1891 on Stanley's recommendation, Stairs was appointed by King Léopold II of Belgium to command a mission to take Katanga also known as Garanganze with or without the consent of its powerful king, Msiri. The Stairs Expedition to Katanga of 1891−1892 led by Captain William Stairs was the winner in a race between two imperial powers to seize Katanga Year 1891 ( MDCCCXCI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Leopold II (Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909 was King of the Belgians. Katanga is a southern province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Msiri (c 1830 - December 20, 1891) founded and ruled the Yeke Kingdom (also called the Garanganze or Garenganze kingdom Leopold had used Stanley's services before and agreed with his use of force and understood Stairs to be in the same mould, and he had a reputation for carrying out orders completely and without hesitation. 
The Stairs Expedition was a military mission of 400 men under the Congo Free State flag, armed with 200 rifles modern for their time.  (Msiri's men had muzzle-loading muskets). Stairs ran a well-organised expedition and won the loyalty of his officers and chiefs (Zanzibari supervisors). Zanzibar ( is part of the East African republic of Tanzania. It consists of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the It was a smaller and lighter than his previous expedition, with only two other military officers. They were in a race against Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company expanding from the south, which had already sent two failed expeditions to Msiri. Cecil John Rhodes, PC DCL (5 July 1853 &ndash 26 March 1902 was an English -born Businessman mining Magnate, and Politician The British South Africa Company (BSAC was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company Ltd Stairs and Joseph Moloney, the expedition's British medical officer, were aware that they could potentially come into armed conflict with a British expedition, and agreed they would nevertheless discharge their duties to their employer, Leopold. Joseph Moloney ( 1857 - 5 October, 1896) was the Irish-born British medical officer on the 1891-92 Stairs Expedition which 
The Stairs Expedition became notorious for the fate of Msiri. After three days of negotiations without progress, Stairs gave Msiri an ultimatum to sign the treaty the next day, December 20, 1891. Events 69 - Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor. Year 1891 ( MDCCCXCI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common When Msiri did not appear, he sent his second-in-command, Captain Bodson to arrest Msiri, who stood his ground. Omer Bodson ( 5 January 1856 — 20 December 1891) was the Belgian officer who shot and killed Msiri, King of Garanganze Bodson shot him dead, and a fight broke out.  The expedition took their wounded and Msiri's body back to their camp where Stairs was waiting, and there they cut off Msiri's head and hoisted it on a pole in plain view as a 'barbaric lesson' to his people.  Some of the Garanganze were massacred by the expedition's askaris, and most of the rest fled into the bush. Askari is an Arabic, Turkish, Somali, Persian, and Swahili word meaning "soldier" (عسكري ‘askarī 
Stairs handed over Msiri's body to his two brothers and an adopted son, Makanda Bantu, whom Stairs installed as chief to replace Msiri, and who signed the treaty acknowledging Leopold as sovereign. The two brothers refused to do so until Stairs sent Moloney to threaten them with the same fate as Msiri. 
Oral histories of the Garanganze people say that the expedition kept Msiri's head – by some accounts in a can of kerosene – but it cursed and killed everyone who carried it and eventually, this included Stairs.  He was ill with malaria throughout January 1892. After being relieved by another expedition, the Stairs Expedition set out on the long return journey to Zanzibar. Stairs was frequently sick but by May 1891 had recovered. On a steamer down the lower Zambezi he had another attack of malaria which killed him on June 9, 1892. Events 53 - Roman Emperor Nero marries Claudia Octavia 62 - Claudia Octavia commits Year 1892 ( MDCCCXCII) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year He is buried in the European Cemetery in Chinde, Mozambique at the mouth of the Zambezi River. The Zambezi (also spelled Zambesi) is the fourth-longest River in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa 
Only 189 of the 400 men on the expedition made it back to Zanzibar, a year after they had left, most of the rest died and few deserted.  Katanga became part of the Congo Free State, which was annexed by Belgium in 1908 after an international outcry over the killings, brutality and slavery by Leopold's regime. In the early 20th century as Katanga's mining industries developed, some British in Northern Rhodesia, representing the losers in the scramble for Katanga, thought of Stairs as a mercenary and traitor to the British Empire. Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by The British Empire was the largest empire in history and for over a century was the foremost global power. 
Captain Stairs is commemorated at the Royal Military College of Canada and St. The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC is the Military academy of the Canadian Forces, and is a degree-granting University. George's Cathedral in Kingston, Ontario and in Rochester Cathedral near Chatham, England. Kingston Ontario is a Canadian city located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, where the lake runs into the St Rochester Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Norman church in Rochester Kent. A collection of artefacts from his African expeditions are at Fort Frederick (Kingston) and the McCord Museum, Montreal, Quebec and his diaries are preserved in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Fort Frederick is a historic military installation in Kingston Ontario, Canada. The McCord Museum (in French, Musée McCord) is a public research and teaching Museum dedicated to the preservation study diffusion and appreciation Montreal, or Montréal in French ( pronounced in French, in English) is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec
|NAME||Stairs, William Grant|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||Canadian-British explorer, soldier, and adventurer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||July 1, 1863|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|DATE OF DEATH||June 9, 1892|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Lower Zambezi|