SIR ROGER DAVID CASEMENT (1864-1916)

Historians appear to be at odds over how to acknowledge the deeds of Sir Casement, thanks in great part to homophobia -- the same homphobia that contributed to Casement's execution in 1916. Casement served as British consul to several African countries in the late 19th century and eventually brought to light atrocities commited by white traders against native laborers in the Congo and Peru. This report brought him world-wide acclaim and knighthood. But when Casemen retired from political service in 1912, he became involved with the growing nationalist movement in his native Ireland. His actions against Britain and an ill-advised attempt to involve Germany in the conflict led to his arrest for treason. Casement's reputation initially elicited strong support, but when word was spread (reportedly by official sources) that Casement was not only homosexual but had kept an explicit and graphic account of his sexual encounters, that support quickly faded.

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