Rhodesia (name) - Origin of The Name 'Rhodesia'

Origin of The Name 'Rhodesia'

The complexity of dates for the Rhodesian territories above is exacerbated by the fact that the name wasn't used at first. When settlers moved in to 'Southern Rhodesia' in 1890, and when the BSAC was chartered to administer 'North-Western Rhodesia' and 'North-Eastern Rhodesia', it was not under those names, but the names of the parts, e.g. Mashonaland, Matabeleland, Barotseland, and so on. Collectively the territories were referred to as Zambezia or the BSAC territories or Charterland. The BSAC and British government did not use the name Rhodesia officially until May 1895. However, Rhodesia started being used informally by the settlers, and became common enough usage for newspapers to start using it in articles in 1891. In 1892 it was used for the name of two newspapers, the Rhodesia Chronicle and The Rhodesia Herald.

Although 'Northern Rhodesia' was not an official name until 1911 when North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia were combined, the name was used informally from 1895 onwards when referring to those two territories collectively.

The first official use of Rhodesia was actually for a boma on Lake Mweru near the mouth of the Kalungwishi River in 1892 established under the authority of Alfred Sharpe, the British Commissioner of the British Central Africa Protectorate based in Nyasaland. After 'Rhodesia' became the official name of the territories in 1895, the boma's name was changed to 'Kalungwishi', and it was closed some years later.

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