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Bible Encyclopedias
Sir Julius Vogel

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

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SIR JULIUS VOGEL (1835-1899), British colonial statesman, son of Albert Leopold Vogel, was born in London on the 24th of February 1835, was educated at University College school, London, and emigrated to Victoria during the exciting years which followed the discovery of goldfields there. He became editor of a newspaper at Maryborough, stood for the Legislative Assembly and was defeated, and in 1861 left Victoria, carried in the mining rush to Otago, New Zealand, where much gold had just been found. Settling in Dunedin, he bought a half-share in the Otago Daily Times, and was soon its editor and a member of the Otago Provincial Council. He made his paper the most influential in the colony, and was returned to the House of Representatives. In 1866 he was head of the Otago Provincial Executive; by 1869 he had made his mark in the New Zealand parliament, and was treasurer in the ministry of Sir William Fox. Without delay he brought forward a scheme for the construction of trunk railways and other public works, the purchase of land from the Maori tribes, and the introduction of immigrants, all to be done with money borrowed in London. At that time New Zealand hardly contained a quarter of a million of white settlers, was exhausted by the ten years' struggle with the Maori, not then ended, and was depressed by the low price of her staple product, wool, and the abatement of a gold-fever. Yet Vogel's sanguine, energetic appeals and remarkable gift of persuasion induced the House of Assembly to adopt a modified version of his scheme. For the next six years he was the most powerful man in the colony. Millions were borrowed, railways were pushed on, immigrants - state and voluntary - streamed in. Lasting peace was made with the Maori, a telegraph line laid to Australia, a steam mail service secured across the Pacific to San Francisco; a government life insurance office, and a public trust office, were established, both of which proved useful and were well-managed. During a visit to London on the colony's financial business, Vogel succeeded in arranging for the inscription of colonial loans at the Bank of England, an arrangement afterwards confirmed by the imperial parliament. In 1875 he was knighted.

In 1874 Vogel, until that time a supporter of the Provincial system, decided to abolish it. In this, with the aid of Sir E. W. Stafford and Sir H. A. Atkinson, he succeeded. In the struggle, however, he broke with many of his old allies, and in 1876 suddenly quitted New Zealand to take the post of agent-general in London. This he held until 1880, and while holding it negotiated a loan for five millions. Having become connected with certain public companies, and the New Zealand government objecting thereto, he had to resign his position. An attempt, too, which he made in 1880 to enter the House of Commons as Conservative member for Penryn was unsuccessful. In 1884 he returned to New Zealand, was at once elected to parliament, and formed a coalition ministry with the Radical leader, Sir R. Stout. They held office for three years, but though Vogel showed some of his old financial skill, they were not years of prosperity for the colony, or triumph for the government. A deficit, a rejected scheme of taxation and a crushing defeat at the polls ended Vogel's career as a minister. After a few months of failure as leader of an outnumbered Opposition he gave up the contest, left New Zealand for the last time, and for the last eleven years of his life lived quietly near London. Throughout his life he had from time to time to struggle with deafness, lameness and acute bodily pain, while an impulsive, speculative nature led him once and again into financial difficulties. The persistency with which he faced trouble and embarrassment, the hopefulness he showed under stress of ill fortune, the sympathy and pleasantness of manner which won him friends at all times, were elements in his curious and interesting character no less remarkable than the fertility and imaginative power of his busy brain.

Vogel was among the pioneers of Imperial Federation; he would have extended Great Britain's influence in the Pacific Ocean had he been allowed. He was the first minister to secure the second reading of a Women's Franchise Bill in New Zealand. As long ago as 1874 he endeavoured to save the New Zealand forests from the reckless destruction by axe and fire which has since gone on. In 1889 a novel from his pen, Anno Domini 2000, was published, and reached a second edition. He died at East Molesey on the 13th of March 1899. His wife, who was the daughter of William Clayton, government architect, New Zealand, two sons and a daughter survived him. Another son had been killed in the Matabele War in South Africa. Vogel was a Jew of the Ashkenazi rite. (W. P. R.)

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Sir Julius Vogel'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​bri/​s/sir-julius-vogel.html. 1910.
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