Sketch of Equatorial Africa: Containing the Latest Information Collected by Agents of the International Society of the Congo


The Association Internationale du Congo (International Association of the Congo) was an organization established by King Leopold II of Belgium to lay the basis for creation of a central African colony. Between 1879 and 1884, Leopold employed the explorer Henry M. Stanley to acquire from local chiefs, by means of treaties they did not understand or were coerced into signing, tracts of land along the Congo River and its tributaries. The association also established posts along the river. At an international congress in Berlin that convened on November 15, 1884, and concluded on February 26, 1885, the powers of Europe and the United States recognized the association as the de facto government of a vast territory. On July 1, 1885, the Congo Free State was constituted, with Leopold as its sovereign. This map of November 1884, drawn up in Brussels on the basis of information provided by the association, shows the association’s posts in the territory. The map undoubtedly was designed to influence the deliberations of the Congress of Berlin. Leopold claimed that the association was set up to benefit the people of the Congo, but his rule was in fact highly exploitative, and within a few years gave rise to an international outcry against the atrocities committed against the native population.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Institut national de géographie, Brussels


Title in Original Language

Croquis de l'Afrique Équatoriale : Contenant les Dernier Renseignements Recueillis par les Agents de l'Association Internationale du Congo

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 color map ; 42 x 91 centimeters


  • Scale 1:4,000,000

Last updated: October 17, 2011