Martin Lutuli was born in the mid-1800s, he was raised and educated at the American Zulu Mission at Groutville in Natal, where his parents had been among the first converts. Luthuli was the founder of the Natal Native Congress He was a farmer and wagon maker, and in the 1880s he acted as secretary to Dinuzulu, the Zulu paramount chief. In 1900-1901 he joined Saul Msane, John L. DubeJ. T. Gumede, and other educated Africans in forming the Natal Native Congress, an organization that pressed for increased political representation for Africans as well as for economic and social changes, such as the introduction of private land tenure for Africans. Elected chief of the Groutville mission reserve in 1908, Lutuli remained in that position until his death in 1921. Albert Lutuli, who was his nephew, lived for a time in his household as a youth.


Gerhart G.M and Karis T. (ed)(1977). From Protest to challenge: A documentary History of African Politics in South Africa: 1882-1964, Vol.4 Political Profiles 1882 - 1964. Hoover Institution Pres: Stanford University.

Collections in the Archives