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George Washington Williams
George Washington Williams
Background information
Feature films The Legend of Tarzan
Short films
Television programs
Video games
Park attractions
Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson
Portrayed by
Animators
Voice
Performance model
Designer
Inspiration George Washington Williams (1849 – 1891)
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name George Washington Williams
Other names George
Mr. Williams
Washington
Personality
Appearance
Occupation Soldier, minister, Historian, Lawyer, Journalist
Alignment Good
Affiliations African-American history
Nationality African-American
Birthday
Goal
Home Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania
Relatives
Pets
Allies
Minions
Enemies
Likes
Dislikes
Powers and abilities
Possessions
Weapons
Fate
Quote

George Washington Williams (October 16, 1849 – August 2, 1891) was an American Civil War soldier, Christian minister, politician, lawyer, journalist, and writer on African-American history.

Shortly before his death he travelled to King Leopold II's Congo Free State. Shocked by what he saw, he wrote an open letter to Leopold in 1890 about the suffering of the region's inhabitants at the hands of Leopold's agents, which spurred the first public outcry against the regime running the Congo since such a regime had caused the loss of millions of lives.

Samuel L. Jackson played Williams in the 2016 film The Legend of Tarzan.

BiographyEdit

Williams was born in 1849 in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, to Thomas and Ellen Rouse Williams. The state had abolished slavery after the American Revolution. He was the oldest of four children; his brothers were John, Thomas and Harry Lawsom. He had a limited education and a stint in a "house of refuge" where he learned barbering. Williams enlisted in the Union Army under an assumed name when he was only 14; he fought during the final battles of the American Civil War.

Williams went to Mexico and joined the Republican army under the command of General Espinosa, fighting to overthrow Emperor Maximilian. He received a commission as lieutenant, learned some Spanish, got a reputation as a good gunner, and returned to the U.S. in the spring of 1867.

In the United States, Williams continued his military career, enlisting for a 5-year stint in the army. While serving in the Indian Territory, he was wounded in 1868. He remained hospitalized until his discharge.

Once back in civilian life, the young veteran decided to attend college and was accepted at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, DC. Records do not show his having stayed there very long. In 1870, he began studies at the Newton Theological Institution near Boston, Massachusetts. In 1874 Williams became the first African American to graduate from Newton.

He met Sarah A. Sterrett during a visit to Chicago in 1873. They were married the following spring and had one son together.

After graduation from Newton Seminary, Williams was ordained as a Baptist minister. He held several pastorates, including the historic Twelfth Baptist Church of Boston.

With support from many of the leaders of his time, such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, Williams founded The Commoner, a monthly journal, in Washington, D.C. He published eight issues.

Williams moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where he studied law under Alphonso Taft (father of President William Howard Taft). He later became the first African American elected to the Ohio State Legislature, serving one term 1880 to 1881.

In 1885, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Williams as "Minister Resident and Consul General" to Haiti. He never served.

In 1888 he was a delegate to the World's Conference of Foreign Missions at London.

In addition to his religious and political achievements, George W. Williams wrote groundbreaking histories about African Americans in the United States: A History of Negro Troops in the War of Rebellion and The History of the Negro Race in America 1619–1880. The latter was the first overall history of African Americans, showing their participation and contributions from the earliest days of the colonies.

In 1889, Williams was granted an informal audience with King Léopold II of Belgium. At that time, the Congo Free State was the personal possession of the King. He employed a private militia to enforce rubber production by the Congolese and there were widespread rumors of abuses. In spite of the monarch’s objections, Williams went to Central Africa to see the conditions for himself.

From Stanley Falls he addressed "An Open Letter to His Serene Majesty Léopold II, King of the Belgians and Sovereign of the Independent State of Congo" on July 18, 1890. In this letter, he condemned the brutal and inhuman treatment the Congolese were suffering at the hands of Europeans and Africans supervising them for the Congo Free State. He mentioned the role played by Henry M. Stanley, sent to the Congo by the King, in deceiving and mistreating local Congolese. Williams reminded the King that the crimes committed were all committed in his name, making him as guilty as the perpetrators. He appealed to the international community of the day to "call and create an International Commission to investigate the charges herein preferred in the name of Humanity ...".

While traveling back from Africa, George Washington Williams died in Blackpool, England, on August 2, 1891, from tuberculosis and pleurisy. He is buried in Layton Cemetery, Blackpool.

PersonalityEdit

AppearanceEdit

Role in the filmEdit

BibliographyEdit

RelationshipsEdit

QuotesEdit

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

v - e - d
Tarzan film logo
Media
Films: Tarzan of the ApesThe Romance of TarzanTarzan the Ape ManTarzan and His MateTarzan EscapesTarzan Finds a Son!Tarzan's Secret TreasureTarzan's New York AdventureTarzan TriumphsTarzan's Desert MysteryTarzan and the AmazonsTarzan and the Leopard WomanTarzan and the HuntressTarzan and the MermaidsTarzan's Magic FountainTarzan and the Slave GirlTarzan's PerilTarzan's Savage FuryTarzan and the She-DevilTarzan's Hidden JungleTarzan and the Lost SafariTarzan and the TrappersTarzan's Fight for LifeTarzan's Greatest AdventureTarzan, the Ape ManTarzan the MagnificentTarzan Goes to IndiaTarzan's Three ChallengesTarzan and the Valley of GoldTarzan and the Great RiverTarzan and the Jungle BoyTarzan, the Ape ManGreystoke-the-legend-of-tarzan-lord-of-the-apes-52f3e4e67701aTarzan and the lost city 1998 logoThe legend of tarzan 2016 logo

Soundtracks:
Television series: 1966 TV series2003 TV seriesThe Batman/Tarzan Adventure HourTarzan, Lord of the Jungle (Filmation)
Home video: Video

Characters
TarzanJane PorterTarzan's parentsLord Charles EskerThe 6th Earl of GreystokeCapitaine Philippe d'ArnotJeffson BrownMajor Jack DowningSir Hugh BelcherCaptain BillingsWillyBullerSir Evelyn BlountThe Rev. StimsonNigel RavensMugambeCaptain DooleyWilkesSchillerKayaGeorge Washington WilliamsCaptain Léon Rom and his menChief MbongaMajor KerckhoverMuviroMr. FrumGorillas
Locations
EnglandAfricaJungleCongo Free StateCongo BasinBoma, Democratic Republic of the CongoGreystoke Manor
Transportation/Vehicles
Objects
Television Episodes
1966 episodes:

2003 episodes

See also
Warner Archive CollectionWarner Home VideoFirst National Pictures

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