Alexandre de Serpa Pinto bigraphy, stories - Explorer and soldier

Alexandre de Serpa Pinto : biography

April 10, 1846 - December 28, 1900

Alexandre Alberto da Rocha de Serpa Pinto (aka Serpa Pinto; April 20, 1846 – December 28, 1900) was a Portuguese explorer of southern Africa and a colonial administrator.

Nyasa Region

In 1879 the Portuguese government formally claimed the area south and east of the Ruo River (which currently forms the southeastern border of Malawi), and in 1882 occupied the lower Shire River valley as far as the Ruo. The Portuguese then attempted to negotiate British acceptance if their territorial claims, but the convening of the Berlin Conference (1884) ended these discussions.J McCracken, (2012). A History of Malawi, 1859-1966, Woodbridge, James Currey, p. 51. ISBN 978-1-84701-050-6. In 1884, Serpa Pinto was appointed as Portuguese consul in Zanzibar, and given the mission of exploring and re-mapping the region between Lake Nyasa and the coast from the Zambezi to the Rovuma River and securing the allegiance if the chiefs in that area.C E Nowell, (1947). Portugal and the Partition of Africa, p. 10. In 1885, Serpa Pinto undertook an expedition in 1885 with Lieutenant Augusto Cardoso as his second-in-command. Serpa Pinto fell seriously ill and was carried to the coast, where he eventually recovered. Cardoso twenty-five-year-old lieutenant continued the exploration, visiting Lake Nyasa and the Shire Highlands but failed make any treaties of protection with the Yao chiefs in territories west of the lake Malawi.M Newitt, (1995). A History of Mozambique, London, Hurst & Co, pp 276-7, 325-6. ISBN 1-85065-172-8

Britain declined to accept the Portuguese claim that the Shire Highlands should be considered part of Portuguese East Africa, as it was not under their effective occupation.F Axelson, (1967). Portugal and the Scramble for Africa, pp. 182-3, 198-200. Johannesburg, Witwatersrand University Press. In order to prevent Portuguese occupation, the British government sent Henry Hamilton Johnston as British consul to Mozambique and the Interior, with instructions to report on the extent of Portuguese rule in the Zambezi and Shire valleys and the vicinity, and to make conditional treaties with local rulers beyond Portuguese jurisdiction, to prevent them accepting protection from Portugal.J G Pike, (1969). Malawi: A Political and Economic History, London, Pall Mall Press pp.83-4. In 1888, the Portuguese government instructed its representatives in Portuguese East Africa to attempt to make treaties of protection with the Yao chiefs southeast of Lake Malawi and in the Shire Highlands and an expedition organised under Antonio Cardosa, a former governor of Quelimane set off in November 1888 for the lake. Rather later, a second expedition led by Serpa Pinto, who had been appointed governor of Mozambique, moved up the Shire valley. Between them, these two expedition made over 20 treaties with chiefs in what is now Malawi.J McCracken, (2012). A History of Malawi, 1859-1966, pp. 52-3. Serpa Pinto met Johnston in August 1889 east of the Ruo, when Johnston advised him not to cross the river into the Shire Highlands.J G Pike, (1969). Malawi: A Political and Economic History, pp. 85-6. Although Serpa Pinto had previously acted with caution, he crossed the Ruo to Chiromo, now in Malawi in September 1889.J McCracken, (2012). A History of Malawi, 1859-1966, pp. 53, 55 Following minor clashes with Serpa Pinto's force, Johnston's deputy, John Buchanan, declared a British protectorate over the Shire Highlands, despite contrary instructions, although this was later endorsed by the Foreign Office.M Newitt, (1995). A History of Mozambique, p 346.

Early life

Serpa Pinto was born at the Castelo de Poldras (Tendais) in Cinfães, a Portuguese village on the river Douro. He joined Colégio Militar at age 10. There he became the first student Battalion Commander in 1864, when he joined the Portuguese army and was sent to Portuguese Mozambique. In 1869 he took part in suppressing tribes in revolt around the lower Zambezi.

Later life

Shortly afterward this clash with Britain, Serpa Pinto returned to Portugal where he was promoted to the rank of colonel.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine