Monday, May 18, 2015

The Sultan's Palace

Staring at the Emperor Franz-Joseph, the sovereign of Austria-Hungary.  An unexpected bit of side burn facial hair I did not expect to see at the Sultan's Palace in Zanzibar.  His Imperial Majesty of the dual monarchy, and my great-grandfather's emperor before he booked it to the new world, had presented his portrait (as well as the utterly fascinating Empress Elisabeth) on the occasion of the signing of a commercial treaty between Austria-Hungary and Zanzibar in 1888.

The first commercial "Most Favoured Nation" Treaty was with the United States of America.  Yes, between the Sultan and Uncle Sam in 1833.

This let foreign traders access the ports and harbors of Zanzibar.

It also let the U.S. establish a consulate on Zanzibar--the first to do so in 1837.

Foreign traders had to pay a maximum of 5 percent import duty, as well as the duties imposed by the Sultan.

Cloves and spices, ivory and slaves.

In return, Zanzibar received unbleached "Marekani" cloth, guns, beads and metal wires.

Cloth, guns and wires for spice, ivory and slaves.

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