Page:EB1922 - Volume 30.djvu/33

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3
ACHENBACH—ADAMS

His anti-Christian, anti-Abyssinian attitude led to Yasu's downfall. The Allied representatives at Addis Abbaba, in particular the Hon. W. G. Thesiger, then the British minister, did much to counteract Turco-German propaganda and, except Ras Michael, all the Abyssinian chiefs were opposed to the Emperor's proceedings. They had the support of the people, the Shoans as well as the men of Tigre and Gondar, and they determined to end an intolerable situation. On Sept. 27 1916 the Feast of the Cross by a public proclamation of the Abuna (the head of the church) Lij Yasu was declared dethroned, on the specific ground of his apostasy. His aunt, the Princess Zauditu (Judith), who had been a prisoner in the palace since Menelek's illness in 1910, was proclaimed empress. Dejaz (general) Taffari Makonnen, a cousin of Zauditu, was appointed heir to the throne and regent with the title of Ras (prince). The new regime was at once accepted, practically unopposed, by the chiefs and people of Shoa and by the imperial army (a force of 50,000 kept in the neighbourhood of the capital).

Lij Yasu was then at Harrar, a Moslem centre, arming the Somalis. On receipt of the news of his deposition he showed the weakness of his character by publicly renouncing Islam, a step which gained him no credit either with the Abyssinians or the Somalis. The garrison of Harrar (Abyssinians), sent by Yasu to oppose the Shoan troops which the new rulers had dispatched against him, joined his enemies. On Oct. 8 Yasu fled secretly from Harrar, making for the Danakil country. On the gth Harrar was occupied by the Shoans, who killed some 400 un- resisting Somalis before the slaughter was stopped through the intervention of the British consul.

Ras Michael was made of sterner stuff than his son; moreover, the Wollo Galla remained faithful to him and he was able to put some 80,000 men in the field. Wollo lies on the eastern edge of the Abyssinian plateau, with Gondar and Tigre N. and N.W. and Shoa to the S. Leaving 20,000 to 30,000 men to guard his northern frontier, Ras Michael marched S., hoping to capture Addis Abbaba by a rapid blow. Meantime the new Government had prepared to advance N., fixing on Shano, 40 m. N.E. of the capital, as the place of concentration. Michael, who was first in the field, had an engagement with the advanced force of the Shoans under Ras Lul Seged Oct. 17, before whom he gave way. But on the 19th Michael surrounded and destroyed Lul Seged’s force in a furious battle in which over 12,000 men perished. Lul Seged himself was slain, but his resolute defence had de- layed Michael’s advance; it gave time to the Shoans to complete their concentration. By Oct. 21 they had 60,000 men at Shano, and a great superiority in artillery over Michael. On the 22nd Shoan cavalry under Ras Kassa[1] seized a position in the rear of Michael’s army; the same day his force on the northern frontier was attacked and defeated by the Ras of Gondar (Waldo Giorgis). Cut off from his base, almost enveloped and with supplies running short, Michael’s only alternative to being starved into surrender was to attack. The King chose the latter course and gave battle at Shano on Oct. 27. The fighting was desperate and the slaughter great. The Shoans were at first hard pressed but the timely arrival of Ras Kassa’s cavalry decided the issue. The Wollo army was utterly routed, Michael was taken prisoner and all his artillery captured. This ended the campaign, in which in three weeks over 60,000 lives are said to have been lost, the casualties of the Shoans alone exceeding 20,000. The Fitaurai Hapti Giorgis, Minister of War, who had commanded in chief the Shoan forces, made no attempt to occupy Wollo or to pursue Lij Yasu and thus effectively pacify the country. He returned to Addis Abbaba where the Empress Zauditu reviewed the victorious troops, the ceremony ending with the parade of Ras Michael, a fine-looking, dignified man of about 65, chained to the chief who had captured him.

Profiting by the inactivity of the Government, Lij Yasu gathered together the remnants of his father’s army. He man- aged to keep his footing in the Wollo country for the greater part of 1917 and finally took refuge in Magdala. Closely besieged, Magdala surrendered in Dec. 1917. Lij Yasu escaped, and thereafter appears to have led a wandering life among the Danakil and Somali. In Oct. 1918 he was appealing to the Turks in Arabia for help, and making attempts to raid the Jibuti railway. At the close of 1920 Yasu appeared in Tigre, apparently hoping to gain over that province, but in Jan. 1921 he was captured by Government forces.

The Government of the Empress Zauditu and Ras Taffari was pro- Ally and in the summer of 1919 missions were sent to London, Paris, Rome, Brussels and Washington to congratulate the Allies on their victory. These missions received good advice as to the necessity of an amelioration of social conditions in Abyssinia, the suppression of slavery Menelek’s conquests had given a great impetus to the slave trade and the development of commerce and agriculture.

Economic Conditions and Trade. Two great hindrances to the economic development of the country have been stated internal disturbances and lack of adequate means of communication. After the close of the World War, and with the railway from the Gulf of Aden to Addis Abbaba completed, an improvement was anticipated. A British company, the Abyssinian Corporation, was formed in Dec. 1918, with the approval of the Foreign Office, but owing to restriction of shipping, the fluctuations of exchange and the fall in the price of coffee its first two years' operations were unsatisfactory. Nevertheless the total trade of Abyssinia increased. Valued at about 1,000,000 in 1905, it had more than doubled by 1910; and in 1920, in the absence of any official statistics, was roughly estimated at between 3,500,000 and 4,000,000. Hides and skins, coffee and beeswax are the chief exports. The chief imports are cotton goods and Maria Theresa dollars (minted at Trieste and an exact reproduction of the 1780 issue). The external trade of northern Abyssinia is with Massawa via Asmara; that of Shoa and Harrar with Jibuti and, to a small extent, with Zeila and Berbera (British Somaliland). These are all ancient routes to the sea-coast; to the old trade routes to the Sudan by the Blue Nile has been added that by the Baro-Sobat rivers. Gambela, on the Baro and 60 m. within the Abyssinian frontier, was leased to the Sudan Government in 1907, and in the Sobat flood season (June-Nov.) a steamer service is maintained with Khartum. Although the road from the Baro river to Gore, on the highlands, was and remained very bad, Gambela became an important transport centre. The value of its trade, 43,000 in 1910, was 103,000 in 1913 and was estimated at about 200,000 in 1919. Much of the trade in the country is in the hands of Greeks, Syrians and Arabs. The agricultural and mineral wealth of the country remain as yet if the cultivation of coffee be excepted scarcely tapped, and its water-power unutilized.

See L. de Castro, Nella Terra del Negus, 2 vols. (1915); Capt. Stigand, To Abyssinia through an Unknown Land (1910); G. Montandon, Au Pays Ghimirra (1913) ; Major C. W. Gwynn, A Journey in S. Abyssinia" (with map), Geog. Jnl., Aug. 1911; Major F. L. Athill, “Through S. W. Abyssinia to the Nile,” ibid., Nov. 1920; C. H. Armbruster, Mitia Amharica, Part III. Amharic-English Vocabulary, Vol. I. (1920).  (F. R. C.) 


ACHENBACH, ANDREAS (1815–1910), German painter (see 1.142), died in 1910.


ACHURCH, JANET [Mrs. C. Charrington] (1864–1916), English actress, was born in Manchester Jan. 17 1864. She married Charles Charrington June 1889. She first appeared at the Olympic theatre, London, Jan. 8 1883, with Genevieve Ward in the farce of Betsy Baker. Two years later she joined Frank Benson’s company and played Shakespearean heroines; but her chief success was gained as Nora Helmer in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, when that play was first produced in England in 1889. She appeared later in other Ibsen plays and in those of Bernard Shaw. She died at Ventnor Sept. 11 1916.


ADAM, JULIETTE (1836–), French writer (see 1.172), whose volumes of reminiscences of distinguished contemporaries numbered seven by 1910, subsequently published Impressions françaises en Russie (1912) and Chrétienne (1913), as well as various writings in pursuit of her lifelong policy of revanche, L'heure vengeresse des crimes bismarckiens (1915), Guillaume II. 1890–9 (1917), and a volume of war sketches, La vie des âmes (1919).


ADAM, PAUL (1862–1920), French novelist (see 1.172), published in his later years various novels, including Le Trust (1910) and Stephanie (1913). He was active in propaganda work during the World War, and shortly before his death published Reims dévastée and Le Lion d’Arras. He died in Paris Jan. 7 1920.


ADAMS, HENRY (1838–1918), American historian (see 1.175). died in Washington, D.C., May 27 1918. In 1910 his Letter to

  1. Abyssinian envoy to London for the coronation of George V.