Tewodros had rifles smuggled through the Sudan and Massawa, both under hostile Ottoman rule, obliged Protestant missionaries to cast cannon for him, and built roads for his artillery. He also sought to develop relations with Europe, to exchange embassies with foreign powers, and to import gunsmiths and other craftsmen. He accordingly wrote to Queen Victoria, but his letter remained unanswered, so he decided to force the British government to listen by arresting the British envoy and other Europeans, the provoking the British government in 1867 into sending an expedition against him. The British advanced rapidly against his mountain fortress of Magdala. Tewodros, unable to repulse the invaders, killed himself on 13 April 1868. Produced by Eugen Lulves of Hanover, identified verso by a backplate.
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