Cecil John Rhodes was a businessman, adventurer and politician.
Between 1870 and 1890, Rhodes acquired massive wealth in diamonds and gold in the Natal. During the 1880s, he fulfilled his expansionist ambitions and increased British influence in southern Africa by acquiring Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and developing land north of the Limpopo into the grandiosely named Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) through his British South Africa Company. He became prime minister of the Cape Colony in 1890 but was forced to resign in 1895 after a political scandal.
He is referred to in JW's correspondence about 1899.
Porter, Bernard, 'Rhodes, Cecil,' The Oxford Companion to British History, John Cannon (ed.), Oxford Reference online, http://www.oxfordreference.com, (accessed 1 September 2004).