1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brazza, Pierre Paul François Camille Savorgnan de

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BRAZZA, PIERRE PAUL FRANÇOIS CAMILLE SAVORGNAN DE, Count (1852 – 1905), French explorer and administrator, founder of French Congo, was born on board ship in the harbour of Rio de Janeiro on the 26th of January 1852. He was of Italian parentage, the family name being de Brazza Savorgnani. Through the instrumentality of the astronomer Secchi he was sent to the Jesuit college in Paris, and in 1868 obtained authorization to enter as a foreigner the marine college at Brest. In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 he took part in the operations of the French fleet. In 1874 when the warship on which he was serving was in the Gabun, Alfred Marche and the marquis de Compiègne arrived at Libreville from an expedition in the lower Ogowé district. Interested in the reports of these travellers, de Brazza conceived the idea of exploring the Ogowé, which he thought might prove to be the lower course of the Lualaba, a river then recently discovered by David Livingstone. Having meantime been naturalized as a Frenchman, de Brazza in 1875 obtained permission to undertake his African scheme, and with the naval doctor, Noel Ballay, he explored the Ogowé river. Penetrating beyond the basin of that river, he discovered the Alima and Likona, but did not descend either stream. Thence turning northwards the travellers eventually regained the coast at the end of November 1878, having left Paris in August 1875. On arrival in Paris, de Brazza learned of the navigation of the Congo by H. M. Stanley, and recognized that the rivers he had discovered were affluents of that stream.

De Brazza was anxious to obtain for France some part of the Congo. The French ministry, however, determined to utilize his energies in another quarter of Africa. Their attention had been drawn to the Niger through the formation of the United African Company by Sir George Goldie (then Mr Goldie Taubman) in July 1879, Goldie’s object being to secure Nigeria for Great Britain. A new expedition was fitted out, and de Brazza left Paris at the end of 1879 with orders to go to the Niger, make treaties, and plant French flags. When on the point of sailing; from Lisbon he received a telegram cancelling these instructions, and altering his destination to the Congo. This was a decision of great moment. Had the Nigerian policy of France been maintained the International African Association (afterwards the Congo Free State) would have had a clear field on the Congo, while the young British Company would have been crushed out by French opposition; so that the two great basins of the Niger and the Congo would have had a vastly different history.

Acting on his new instructions, de Brazza, who was again accompanied by Ballay, reached the Gabun early in 1880. Rapidly ascending the Ogowé he founded the station of Franceville on the upper waters of that river and pushed on to the Congo at Stanley Pool, where Brazzaville was subsequently founded. With Makoko, chief of the Bateke tribe, de Brazza concluded treaties in September and October 1880, placing the country under French protection. With these treaties in his possession Brazza proceeded down the Congo, and at Isangila on the 7th of November met Stanley, who was working his way up stream concluding treaties with the chiefs on behalf of the International African Association. De Brazza spent the next eighteen months exploring the hinterland of the Gabun, and returned to France in June 1882. The ratification by the French chambers in the following November of the treaties with Makoko (described by Stanley as worthless pieces of paper) committed France to the action of her agent.

Furnished with funds by the French government, de Brazza returned in 1883 to the Congo to open up the new colony, of which he was named commissioner-general in 1886. This post he held until January 1898, when he was recalled. During his period of office the work of exploration was systematically carried out by numerous expeditions which he organized. The incessant demands on the resources of the infant colony for these and other expeditions to the far interior greatly retarded its progress. De Brazza's administration was severely criticized; but that its comparative failure was largely due to inadequate support from the home authorities was recognized in the grant to him in 1902 of a pension by the chambers. Both as explorer and administrator his dealings with the natives were marked by consideration, kindness and patience, and he earned the title of “Father of the Slaves.” His efforts to connect the upper Congo with the Atlantic by a railway through French territory showed that he understood the chief economic needs of the colony. After seven years of retirement in France de Brazza accepted, in February 1905, a mission to investigate charges of cruelty to natives brought against officials of the Congo colony. Having concluded his inquiry he sailed for France, but died at Dakar, Senegal, on the 4th of September 1905. His body was taken to Paris for burial, but in 1908 was reinterred at Algiers.

See D. Neuville et Ch. Bréard, Les Voyages de Savorgnan de Brazza, Ogooué et Congo, 1875 – 1882 (Paris, 1884), and Conférences et lettres de P. Savorgnan de Brazza sur ses trois explorations dans l'ouest africain de 1875 à 1886 (Paris, 1887); A. J. Wauters, “Savorgnan de Brazza et la conquête du Congo français,” in Le Mouvement geographique, vol. xxii., No. 39 (Brussels, 1905). Giacomo or Jacques de Brazza (1859 – 1883), a younger brother of Savorgnan, and one of the men he employed in the work of exploration, published in collaboration with his companion A. Pecile, Tre Anni e mezzo nella regione del Congo e dell' Ogowe (Rome, 1887).

 (G. T. G) 

BRAZZA (Serbo-Croatian, Brač; Lat. Brattia), an island in the Adriatic Sea, forming part of Dalmatia, Austria. Pop. (1900) 24,408. With an area of 170 sq. m. Brazza is the largest of the Dalmatian Islands; it is also the most thickly populated, and one of the most fertile. Its closely cultivated surface though ragged and mountainous yields an abundance of olives, figs, almonds and saffron, while its wines are of good quality. The corn-crop, however, barely suffices for three months' food. Other local industries are fishing and silkworm-rearing. The most important among twenty small villages on the island is Milná (pop. 2579), a steamship station, provided with shipwrights' wharves. The early history of Brazza is obscure. In the first years of the 13th century it was ruled by the piratical counts of Almissa; but after a successful revolt and a brief period of liberty it came under the dominion of Hungary. From 1413 to 1416 it was subject to Ragusa; and in 1420 it passed, with the greater part of Dalmatia, under Venetian sovereignty.


BREACH (Mid. Eng. breche, derived from the common Teutonic root brec, which appears in “break,” Ger. brechen, &c.), in general, a breaking, or an opening made by breaking; in law, the infringement of a right or the violation of an obligation or duty. The word is used in various phrases: breach of close, the unlawful entry upon another person's land (see Trespass); breach of covenant or contract, the non-fulfilment of an agreement either to do or not to do some act (see Damages); breach of the peace, a disturbance of the public order (see Peace, Breach of); breach of pound, the taking by force out of a pound things lawfully impounded (see Pound); breach of promise of marriage, the non-fulfilment of a contract mutually entered into by a man and a woman that they will marry each other (see Marriage); breach of trust, any deviation by a trustee from the duty imposed upon him by the instrument creating the trust (q.v.).


BREAD, the name given to the staple food-product prepared by the baking of flour. The word itself, O. Eng. bréad, is common in various forms to many Teutonic languages; cf. Ger. Brot, Dutch, brood, and Swed. and Dan. bröt; it has been derived from the root of “brew,” but more probably is connected with the root of “break,” for its early uses are confined to “broken pieces, or bits” of bread, the Lat. frustum, and it was not till the 12th century that it took the place, as the generic name of bread, of hlaf, “loaf,” which appears to be the oldest Teutonic name, cf. Old High Ger. hleib, and modern Ger. Laib.

History.—Bread-baking, or at any rate the preparation of cakes from flour or parched grain by means of heat, is one of the most ancient of human arts. At Wangen and Robenhausen have been found the calcined remains of cakes made from coarsely-ground grain in Swiss lake-dwellings that date back to the Stone Age. The cakes were made of different kinds of grain, barley and one-grained wheat (Triticum monococcum) being among the ingredients. This bread was made, not from fine meal, but from grain crushed between some hard surfaces, and in these lake-dwellings many round-shaped stones have been found, which were evidently used for pounding or crushing grain against the surface, more or less concave, of another stone (see Flour and Flour Manufacture). Perhaps the earliest form of bread, if that word may be used, was prepared from acorns and beech nuts. To this day a sort of cake prepared from crushed acorns is eaten by the Indians of the Pacific slopes. The flour extracted from acorns is bitter and unfit to eat till it has been thoroughly soaked in boiling water. The saturated flour is squeezed into a kind of cake and dried in the sun. Pliny speaks of a similar crude process in connexion with wheat; the grain was evidently pounded, and the crushed remnant, soaked into a sort of pulp, then made into a cake and dried in the sun. Virgil (Georgics, i. 267) refers to the husbandman first torrefying and then crushing his grain between stones:—”Nunc torrete igni fruges, nunc frangite saxo.

The question naturally arises, how did the lake-dwellers bake their cakes of bruised grain? Probably the dough was laid on a flat or convex-shaped stone, which was heated, while the cake was covered with hot ashes. Stones have been found among prehistoric remains which were apparently used for this purpose. In ancient Egyptian tombs cakes of durra have been found, of concave shape, suggesting the use of such baking-slabs; here the cake was evidently prepared from coarsely-cracked grain. In primitive times milling and baking were twin arts. The housewife, and the daughters or handmaids, crushed or ground the grain and prepared the bread or cakes. When Abraham entertained the angels unawares (Genesis xviii.) he bade his wife Sarah “make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.” Professor Maspero says that an oven for baking bread was to be found in the courtyard of every house in Chaldaea; close by were kept the grinding stones. That bread prepared by means of leaven was known in the days of the patriarchs may be fairly inferred from the passage in Genesis ML, where it is said of Lot that he “made a feast, and did bake unleavened bread.” Whether the shew-bread of the Jewish tabernacle was leavened is an open question, but it is significant that the Passover cakes eaten by Jews to-day, known as Matzos, are innocent of leaven. Made from flour and water only, they are about 12 in. in diameter, and have somewhat the look of water biscuits.

The ancient Egyptians carried the art of baking to high perfection. Herodotus remarks of them, “dough they knead with their feet, but clay with their hands.” The practice of using the feet for dough kneading, however repulsive, long persisted in Scotland, if indeed it is yet defunct. The Egyptians