Rhodes, Cecil John, a South African statesman; born July 5, 1856. He was the fourth son of the vicar of Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, England; was sent for his health to Natal, where his brother was a planter. He subsequently went to the Kimberley diamond diggings; there he soon became conspicuous and amassed a fortune. He went back to England, and entered at Oriel College, Oxford, and though his residence was cut short by ill-health, he ultimately took his degree. He entered the Cape House of Assembly as member for Barkly. In 1884 General Gordon asked him to go with him to Khartum as secretary; but Rhodes had just taken office in the Cape ministry, and decided to remain in South Africa. He sent $50,000 to Mr. Parnell to forward the cause of Irish Home Rule. In 1890 he became prime minister of Cape Colony. His policy may be described as the ultimate establishment of a federal South African dominion under the British flag. He was an earnest advocate of the construction of a railroad "from Cairo to the Cape." He died in Cape Town, South Africa, March 26, 1902. In his will Mr. Rhodes left about $10,000,000 to found a number of three-year scholarships tenable at Oxford, England. The income from each scholarship was $1,500 a year, and two were offered to every State and Territory in the American Union, to every English speaking colony; while five were set apart for students of German descent.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.