Paolo Savorgnan di Brazzà, best known as Pierre Paul François Camille Savorgnan de Brazza (January 26,1852 - September
14, 1905), was a
Franco-Italian explorer, born in Italy and later naturalizedFrenchman.
With the backing of the Société de Géographique de Paris, he opened up for France entry along
the right bank of the Congo that eventually led to French colonies in Central
Africa. His easy manner and great physical charm, as well as his pacific
approach among Africans, were his trademarks. Under French colonial rule, Brazzaville,
the capital of the Republic of the Congo was named in his honor.
Born in Rome on January 26,1852, Pietro
Savorgnan di Brazzà was the seventh son of Count Ascanio Savorgnan di
Brazzà, a nobleman of Udine with many French connections and Giacinta Simonetti.
Pietro was interested in exploration from an early age and won entry to the French naval school at Brest,
graduated as an ensign, and went on the French ship Jeanne d'Arc to Algeria.
Exploration to Africa
His next ship was the Venus, which stopped
at Gabonregularly, and in 1874, de Brazza made two trips, up the Gabon Riverand Ogoue
River. He then proposed to the government that he explore the Ogoueto its source, and with the help of friends in high places, including Jules Ferryand Leon
Gambetta, he secured partial funding, the rest