On this day in Alabama history: President hosted missionary at White House

On this day in Alabama history: President hosted missionary at White House
Edited version of the portrait used in William Henry Sheppard's book, "Presbyterian Pioneers in Congo,” published in 1917. (Wikipedia)

January 14, 1905

President Theodore Roosevelt hosted missionary and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society William Henry Sheppard Jr. at the White House. A native of Virginia, Sheppard attended seminary training at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa before traveling to the Congo Free State, today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Selma minister Samuel Lapsley. Sheppard spent 21 years in Africa, founding the American Presbyterian Congo Mission and becoming a noted explorer and collector of African art. In 1908, he published an article exposing atrocities committed against the Congolese people by Belgium, leading to diplomatic sanctions and the disgrace of Belgium’s King Leopold II.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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