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The 1903 Skinner Mission to Ethiopia
A Century of Ethiopian-American Relations
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This book features Skinner’s 1903-1904 mission to Ethiopia which resulted in the signing of a treaty between the United States and Ethiopia to regulate commercial relations. The year 1903 marks, therefore, the beginning of official contact between Ethiopia and the United State, one of the earliest official engagements by the United States to the interior of sub-Saharan Africa. 2003 commemorates the 100th anniverary of this bold initiative that launched an important relationship that continues into the present day.
"This book is an indispensable addition to the history of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, beginning in 1903 with the first United States diplomatic mission. Since that time, the Horn of Africa has witnessed an evolution from the tripartite division by Italy, France, and Britain, down to Ethiopia’s becoming the sole sovereign. “One Hundred Years of American-Ethiopian Relations” reviews the immense complications involved in the elaborate negotiations defining Ethiopia and the adjoining colonial territories, and will prove very valuable to all prospective readers."
— Dr. John H. Spencer, Former Senior Legal Adviser to the Government of Ethiopia 1936-1960
"This book recounts in great detail the long-established diplomatic relations between the United States and Ethiopia. It is a great asset for all Ethiopians, the young generation in particular, as well as Ethiopianists who have a thirst for reliable information from bud on the relationship between Ethiopia and the United States. The methodical approach utilized, the full research work and eminent scholarship employed in writing the book, affirms the analytical and lucid explanation proffered on a rational basis."
— Dr. Girma Abebe, Former Counselor, Ethiopian Delegation to the UN and later Secretary, UN Trusteeship Council
"This book is an excellent addition to the historical literature of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In 1903 the first U.S. diplomatic mission arrived in Ethiopia to begin a special relationship between the two nations that has weathered the storms of wars, ideological disagreements, and natural disasters. The depth of mutual reliance between the two countries is masterly traced in this volume from David Shinn’s admirable introduction to “One Hundred Years of American-Ethiopian Relations” through the concluding pages. Shinn’s chapter recounts official and unofficial relations during significant historical eras, with a special emphasis on his time as U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia during the 1990s, and ventures a look to the future of Ethiopian-American interaction. His cogent narrative is a tour de force of the history of diplomatic ties between the United States and Ethiopia. I highly recommend this significant book."
— Prof. Theodore M. Vestal, Professor of Political Science, Oklahoma State University.
Robert P. Skinner, the first official American representative to Ethiopia in 1903, negotiated a treaty regulating commercial relations between Ethiopia and the United States. Later he served as U.S. Consul General in Marseille, 1906; Berlin, 1914; London, 1916-24; U.S. Minister to Greece, 1926-32; Estonia, 1931-33; Latvia, 1931-33; Lithuania, 1931-33; U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1933-36. Skinner died in Belfast in 1960.
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