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This dissertation investigates a little known aspect of American diplomacy--America's interest in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean during the colonial period. The study explores the historical link between the United States and Eastern Africa from the 1820s until 1929. Many scholars, aware of America's increased commercial and military involvement with East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean since the end of World War II, have attributed the American presence there to the Cold War struggles between the Soviet Union and the United States. This dissertation rests on the contention that the period between 1900 and 1929 influenced significantly relations between the U.S. and East Africa, as well as America's relationship to Europe. And, because Britain emerged pre-dominant in the contest for colonies in Eastern Africa, Anglo-American relations had a direct bearing on the scope of American activities in the region.