James Henry Archer Burton (1850-1922) was educated at Southampton School, Winchester, then moved to Minnesota in 1875 to farm with his brothers Gream and Leonard. In 1890 he moved to Montana and then the Yukon, Alaska in search of gold. He travelled to southern Africa in 1894 to continue prospecting and to set up a trading post with the Ndebele and Shona.
He saw action in the Mazoe Valley during the Ndebele War in 1896, where he was shot in the face by an Ndebele with a stolen Martini rifle. The wound defied all attempts at treatment, both in Salisbury, Rhodesia and in England, forcing him to forgo any long term plans at developing land previously left to him by Cecil Rhodes.
In 1902, after a brief return to trading in Rhodesia from 1898-1901, he married Minnie Beatrice, with whom he had two daughters who died as infants, and one son. He booked, then cancelled a berth on the Titanic in 1912, then enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment, serving in the Chaplain General's Department at Parkhurst Barracks, Isle of Wight, throughout World War One. He returned to Minnesota in 1919.
Photocopied typescript, 1989 of journal, 1894-1902 of James Henry Archer-Burton Matabele Jim, transcribed and edited by his son James R. Archer-Burton using British South Africa Company correspondence and other material now held in the National Archives of Zimbabwe; includes photocopied photographs.
The copy journal was donated to the library by J.R. Archer-Burton in April 1994.Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Archer-Burton | James Henry | 1850-1922
Zimbabwe | History | Ndebele Revolt, 1896
Zimbabwe | Description and travel
Zimbabwe | History | 1890-1965