History October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

5 enslaved Africans who became royals and noble members of Western societies

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am | History

Angelo Soliman 

 Born Mmadi Make around 1721, Soliman was an Afro-Austrian Freemason and a prominent member of the Viennese society.

Soliman was taken captive as a child from a location believed to be modern-day northeastern Nigeria or northern Cameroon and ended up in Marseilles as a slave. After working for a while, he was sold again to a marchioness in Messina. While there, he got an education, was baptised and given the name ‘Angelo’.

In 1734, he was ‘gifted’ to Prince von Lobkowitz then-governor of Sicily. Soliman worked as his valet and travelling companion. Upon the death of von Lobkowitz, Soliman ended up in the household of Joseph Wenzel I, Prince of Liechtenstein.

Soliman married a French woman, Magdalena Christiani and became a nobleman in society and joined the Freemasons. He was a member of the True Harmony Masonic lodge, together with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Hungarian poet Ferenc Kazinczy.

 

Conversations

Must Read