In March 1880 Gordon visited the king of the Belgians at Brussels, and King Leopold suggested that he should at some future date take charge of the Congo Free State.
The king of the Belgians then asked him to take charge of the Congo Free State, and he accepted the mission and returned to London to make the necessary preparations.
[LEOPOLD LOUIS PHILIPPE MARIE VICTOR] (1835-1909), king of the Belgians, son of the preceding, was born at Brussels on the 9th of April 1835.
During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) the king of the Belgians preserved neutrality in a period of unusual difficulty and danger.
While still duke of Brabant he had been the first to call the attention of the Belgians to the need of enlarging their horizon beyond sea, and after his accession to the throne he gave the first impulse towards the development of this idea by founding in 1876 the Association Internationale Africaine.