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Notes on the Geography of Kenya: Colonial Nairobi : Photo 19

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Churches take time, so there's room for yet another cornerstone. A failure at Oxford, Mitchell was hired by the colonial office and sent to Nyasaland as assistant resident, age 23, to administer a district with 80,000 Africans. In the war he joined the King's African Rifles; afterwards, he joined the British military administration in Tanganyika. Soon he was district officer in Tanga and, later, Iringa. Rising to chief secretary, he guided the development of Tanganyika's version of indirect rule. Aged 45, he became governor of Uganda, where he promoted coffee, tea, and sugar. as well as the development of Makerere College. During World War II he was an adviser to General Wavell but was eventually packed off to become governor of Fiji. He returned to Africa in 1944 as governor of Kenya. Despite this handsome career, the DNB is not kind to Michell, calling him "set in his ways, intolerant of criticism...." A general strike occurred in 1948 and another in 1950, when it was put down with tear gas in the streets of Nairobi. Mitchell retired in 1952, just after a visit by Princess Elizabeth. Oblivious of the dimensions of the Mau Mau insurrection, and apparently enamoured of Kenya, he began farming in the white highlands. Like Grigg, Mitchell found time to write a book: African Afterthoughts (1954). When independence came to Kenya, in 1963, he pulled up stakes and moved to Gibraltar.

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