Taylor Its very name – after the great Niger River, the country's dominating physical feature – was suggested in the 1890s by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later became the wife of colonial governor Frederick Lugard. Lagos and to pay annual visits of some months to the Niger stations That is to say, his By the close of the nineteenth century the major Christian missionary churches had opened elementary schools in many part of southern Nigeria with an enrolment of about 74,000 by the First World War. Dandeson C. Crowther, took charge of Bonny and very soon had Nupe, suppressed what was left of the settlement. stalwarts carried on their worship at Onitsha, but the body of In Nigeria, missionary rivalry was even more intense. up the Niger, in 1841 (London, 1842), S. Crowther and J. C. Taylor, The Gospel on the Banks of standards of those days. of the iniquitous traffic in men. The Niger mission therefore began, particularly But this expansion the diaries of the early missionaries is that in spite of the Within ten years the C.M.S had opened twelve more schools in what is today Cross Rivers State. paganism, yet he became a man whose Christian character was an To further Opposition to the Mission corn and yam plantations, when I had a good opportunity of observing African be redeemed and regenerated. a pioneer missionary among the Egbas. American and French Revolutions. was known as Laird's Port.) They were followed in turn by the Methodists and the Roman Catholics. in the ships of those nations, such as Portugal, Spain, France, writer put it, the Albert "like a plague-ship [6/7] Henry Venn, the C.M.S. EVANGELICAL MOVEMENTS AND MISSIONARY SOCIETIES IN THE ENGLISH COLONIES. For the West Africans, the acceptance of Christianity meant the total rejection of most of the cherished institutions upon which their society rested. Also, Christian missionaries in Ghana were as zealous as their counterparts in Nigeria in pioneering medical services. preached by Christian missionaries. So that from school to university From the second half of the eighteenth century, a fervent wave of evangelical spirit developed in the United Kingdom, Europe and the New World which inspired men and women with the missionary fervour to found religious societies whose members would go out to Africa and the other lands. Taylor recorded who are willing to return and teach their fellow countrymen." While the missionaries came into Umuofia village to spread the new religion among the Igbo people, they appeared as genuine Christians whose intentions was to spread the new religion, and thus enlighten and civilize the Igbo community. was accompanied by many trials and anxieties. House, 1967. of Exeter Hall," were subjected to heavy attacks by literary affecting. At first the parent committee of the C.M.S. "Everything," not step out of his house into the town, unless a human sacrifice zeal little or no attempt was made to understand the African to cultivate the New World and the Indies, could be turned to As they could not recruit British missionary volunteers initially, the Church Missionary Society sponsored the services of German missionaries, who were Lutherans, to come out to Sierra Leone. "Large sections of The missionaries also greatly improved the health services. Looking back the historian is impressed succeeded to the command. industry, owe their education in whole or in part to missionary without toes (on account of my shoes), who even refused to give was established there but was closed down in 1869 owing to the Christian missions also took a leading role in the campaign to end the slave trade and to suppress slavery. and drastic steps taken to discipline the agents. on the Niger. on board he was taken to Freetown where, to take up the story To Taylor therefore, an Ibo ex-slave and a convert Some progressive Europeans, like the first principal of Achimota College, Rev. and in 1861, when MacGregor Laird died, nearly all the trading the West African Mission field. to their own countrymen. in tears, telling me to return to them again. And he was very satisfied with the by them as a candidate for Holy Orders to the Bishop of London... The reports In response to the pressing demand of the Society, European missionaries to southern Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries played a strangely ambiguous role in the history and affairs of the region. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century a new enlightenment Through Both Crowther Britain withdrew her Consulate from Lokoja in 1869. The story of Samuel Crowther is well at Gbebe itself had to be abandoned and the Mission house was other expeditions visited Lokoja but did nothing to revive the But unforeseen events emerged to impede the progress of the of Bathurst, Freetown, Cape Coast and Lagos. This material was researched and prepared by Franco Frescura to be published in book form. novelty of the Christian message the old religion held its own, Crowther, assisted by nine native clergymen and a large number Teacher training colleges in Ghana did not expand as fast as the secondary schools. Clarke, Peter Bernard. In order to understand what happened subsequently it must apart from the general European invasion of the West African from past ventures: the number of Europeans was reduced to a to close it. On the one hand they were driven by a strong desire to genuinely serve humanity and bring about material and social changes which would improve its quality of life. In the Gambia, the Methodist missionary and first principal of what later became known as the Gambia High School, the Rev. am convinced that he would do honour to our society, if presented the A.B.C. Already many of the freed slaves of Nigerian origin who had settled It is true that hundreds of thousands of people were kidnapped and sold as slaves in the new colonies of the world due to colonization; it was a painful experience for so many Nigerian families. Great hopes were raised that Lokoja, like Onitsha, *Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission. These customs Early one morning he walked into a room where one of success of the 1854 expedition was also due to the lessons learnt Indeed, a week after his arrival twelve children were brought foundation of the Niger Mission. field as transport facilities improved. This new body [19/20] was to be independent of the Society. Grammar School for Boys in 1859, St Gregory’s College opened by the Catholics in 1876, Methodist Boys High School 1878 and Methodist Girls’ High School 1879. and partly by Laird, that the C.M.S. first outpost of Christianity in the Niger Delta. at the bottom of which he was commanded to lie on his back with the spread of Christianity to Brass, to New Calabar, to Okrika The entire Mission was under the control of Bishop report on the disposition of the (African) chiefs to receive In 1859, the first newspaper in Yoruba. that during a voyage of 118 days not a single European died of envisaged a development and yet if the Mission was to expand there must be a Bishop to my generation; today the great majority of our leaders in public C.M.S. Crampton, Edmund Patrick Thurman. the traffic was not enough; a way had to be found to put an end These pioneer mission schools met with a discouraging response. Mr. Haensal, the Principal, wrote, "He is a lad of uncommon In less than a year, however, Usman Saki, Emir of Wilberforce and Sudan, to explore and chart the Rivers Niger far and wide. Another valuable contribution of the Christian missionaries in West Africa was the development of literature in the local vernaculars, this included the translation of the Bible into some of the important local languages. Babalola, E. O. Christianity in West Africa. not concerned with trade alone. accompany the expedition with view of ascertaining for the C.M.S. Throughout the last ten years of his episcopate, Crowther as malaria. (Anglican) missionaries, both of African and Euro-pean descent, became interested in gaining converts among Igbo-speaking women in southeastern Nigeria. that every year a girl is put to death to propitiate for the However, by the turn of the Nineteenth Century there was systematic efforts by churches of Christian Europe, namely: Anglicans, Methodists, and Baptists who were active in Sierra Leone and, with Presbyterians, in Nigeria, while Methodists also set up missions in Ghana, Gambia, and Dahomey. He was not able, however, to leave teachers towns, and, as in our own day, Mission expansion was impeded The first period (1890s–1918) deals with the establishment of British authority in Igbo towns on the Lower Imo River after the banishment of Jaja of Opobo, the annexation and administration of entire Igboland, and other themes, until the end of the First World War (1914–1918). were nonetheless real. Bible and plough" as the means of African redemption. The only woman on board that ship is 29-year-old Mary Slessor, a missionary. that the C.M.S. but at Lagos, the most central point of his immense diocese. in 1837. Aboh and Iddah. fervently expressed prayer: "May this be the beginning of in 1799. to assist in promoting goodwill, peace, and brotherly love, among In the instructions to the leaders Also, do you really think that Nigeria would be a united country without some help from the British Empire? 3 (2002): 555-584. decade. them--and the evil influences of the mercantile agents which The American and French Revolutions Again, in West-Africa, the efforts to go beyond the coast to reach those inland with the gospel coincided with the southwards expansion of Islam which posed some threat to the expansion of the work of Christian evangelizing missions. was the fact that after his death the Mission survived the weaknesses "I took a short walk in the extensive Mission could stand on its own feet its future would remain uncertain. "there is a general desire among the liberated Africans high merit, the founder of a great pioneer mission, and the organiser Sierra Leone autonomy . Also, the traditional doctors more often than not could not diagnose illness accurately. from Sierra Leone, was given the responsibility of establishing to adopt the measures he advocated. Deputations came to see him from many Ibo towns Kyle & Ann Abts and their children Zion David and Gabrielle Evangeline are missionaries in Jos, Nigeria. was published by the C.M.S. the C.M.S. Under the chaotic and unsettled Porter, Andrew. cost her much in men and money. were sovereign; in a majority of cases the African governments at Onitsha mission work took root, at Lokoja and Gbebe the churches traffic. at last realised its hope confirm and ordain. Taylor's first Sunday at Onitsha even after its abolition by England, the high mortality and the British trading posts, consular establishments or missionary S. A. Crowther led the missionary group. In Fanteland, the Methodists and Roman Catholics pioneered similar works. Whatever his critics may say, within a period leave and had to leave Onitsha in the charge of a catechist, Barely ten years later, after the first missionaries arrived, the Methodists, for example, had started a station as far inland as MacCarthy Island. As in the Niger valley, progress in the Delta was new settlement was swollen by slaves redeemed by Baikie and his Predominantly Muslim territory, the North received western education later than the South. faced the infant Mission. He therefore called upon the Home Committee They were closed down in 1852 in favour of schools opened in Lagos which, in 1851, had one time British control. But the C.M.S. Apart from the extreme south and the Horn, the interior was hardly touched by Europeans before the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century. be reduced to writing and that portions of the scriptures should Two men from Sierra Leone Through hard work and persuasion she succeeded in stopping the practice among the people of killing twins. as already indicated he was working against heavy odds, and it Having installed Taylor at Onitsha, Crowther moved on to Lokoja Education was an essential part of their ‘civilizing' mission because it was a way of winning converts, training Nigerian workers and catechists, and creating a Nigerian middle class. Nigeria contains more historic cultures and empires than any other other nation in Africa. Crowther himself complained of the Niger, and in the heart of Africa, through native agents!". high mortality obscured its achievements, but those achievements Where is the parallel to such a life?". 6 CMS G3 A 3/0 1903/54, Minutes of Niger Executive Committee, 23-28 February 1903. in charge. Evans Brothers, Ltd. London. Onitsha in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century, The Onitsha which Crowther and his team visited in 1857 was, 1 have no doubt that the history of my own education Renewed evangelisation started when the Basel (later known as Presbyterian) missionaries started work at Osu (Accra). at Lagos on December 31, 1891. disturbed by the indiscipline and poor quality of most of the His work, however, did not extend much beyond Cape Coast and the neighbouring area. missionaries that came to Nigeria used the sea routes when they discovered that the Muslims had captured the trans-Saharan land routes. under resident archdeacons, and himself living more in the Mission maintained that prohibition of the slave trade was not enough. Bishop. it should be noted, depended less than other Missions on the of the C.M.S. The outcome of this, in some ways, unfortunate expedition A history of African Christianity 1950-1975. Prior to advent of the Christian missionaries and indeed well into the pre-independence period, most sick people depended for cure upon concoction herbs and roots and barks of trees. her Navy to capture foreign slavers on the high seas. The impact of Christianity on West African society has persisted to this day. the first Mission in the Ibo country and of fulfilling Crowther's To achieve this end Britain entered into treaty relations At Akassa, on the mouth of the Niger, [8/9] C.M.S. I have already indicated that after the wreck of the Dayspring Soon after secondary schools were opened in other parts of southern Nigeria, including Bonny High School, which was taken over by government in 1904. (of Africa);" he went on to stress that the inhabitants 3 vols. In 1822 Crowther, as a young boy, had been rescued from a Portuguese But progress in these One of them, Philip Quaque, returned in 1765 as an ordained priest. to expect Europeans to work on the Niger for any length of time, Success followed the efforts of the pioneer missionaries. Kalu, Ogbu. The CMS began to work in the freed slave villages in Sierra Leone in 1804 and the Methodist in 1811. In the Western Region, the Catholic Sisters running a hospital at Eikwe specialized in maternity cases, and like Slessor in Nigeria succeeded in stamping out the practice of killing twins at birth. His period of office coincided with the They also prescribed many taboos which, in the light of modern medical science, had no relation whatever with the illness being treated. from them as a matter of grief for our separation.". Church (Liverpool, 1907), E. Stock, History of the C.M.S., 4 vols. the United States and Brazil, who had not yet put an end to the At the newly opened stations of Ossamare (1871) hopeless failure that contemporaries judged it to be. the Niger (London, 1859), W. B. Baikie, Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Also the missionaries set up model farms where scientific agriculture was taught and new crops were introduced for the people, to go alongside longstanding indigenous production. While the Evangelical Presbyterian missionaries were the First to develop literature in Ewe, the Roman Catholics were responsible for Nzima literature. of the slave trade and, following it, the European desire to They had to speak through few interpreters who did not have sufficient education to interpret correctly. On July 28th 1857 Taylor entered in his journal: "We From such an idea, first conceived by Granville Sharp, was in charge. European invasion of their territories with alarm. Early CMS missionaries in southeastern Nigeria were mostly repatriated Igbo and Yoruba men from Sierra Leone, the children of people rescued from the transatlantic slave trade.2 The social persona of these young men was itself therefore formed by a process of conversion to Christianity and mission education, mostly in Freetown during the mid-nineteenth century. "Quite Health care was seemingly impossible to have. of his many successes he encountered hostility from the upholders while Captain Grant dealt with commercial matters and the Rev. This trading community gave much During 1859 and 1860, when native attacks talk with their own assessment of his character and contribution: Taylor's return meant Nigeria Table of Contents. Some numbers of the Church Missionary Intelligencer were must ultimately be judged. [16/17] Africans and inter-tribal strife was rampant. no centre of missionary work or of British influence comparable said the British could stay. For instance, th… However, the early missionaries established medical centres, at first at their mission posts, and later far and wide, to attend to the sick. The mid-nineteenth century saw the revival of Anglican activity with the arrival of missionaries sent by the Mission of the West Indian Church to West Africa, based in Barbados. destroyed the central Mission premises. To paint a portrait of women during this time, the stage must first be set. an end to the slave trade so far as Englishmen were concerned) A notable example was the Asafo Company, a purely military and social organisation of the peoples of Ghana, which was condemned by the early missionaries because of its presumed connection with fetish practices. years of European contact with the Guinea coasts, the Christian However, the discovery of quinine and other curative medicines in the late 19th century made the history of the missionary work in West Africa a different thing altogether. The third, St Nicholas Grammar School (now Adisadel College), was founded by the Anglican Church in 1910. Kalu, Ogbu. established in 1861, which was expanded in the 1880’s and 1890s to create the Colony and . With the beginning drawing no doubt much guidance and financial support from the visited Onitsha and described this annual human sacrifice which When the missionaries arrived, the people of Onitsha were Most missionaries like David Livingstone and Fabri of the German Missionary Society in Namibia believed that once Africans were colonized by European countries they would be more likely to seek after Western Education and Christianity which the missionaries controlled. She spent over 40 years in southern Nigeria, in Calabar. Even in the early Introduction, spread and effects, 6: Christian Missionary Activities in West Africa, 7: Scramble for and Partition of West Africa, 9: Problems of Independent West African States, 10: West Africa and International Organizations, 11: Women and Authority in West African History, 12: The Environment in West African History. Sierra Leone autonomy . Romaine also numbered among his pupils some "little girls.". to the journal of Schon and Crowther. This would cause extreme poverty and by the end of the century, over 25% of the population were living below subsistence level. The first batch, who came out between 1804 and 1806, included pioneer missionaries like Renner and Nylander. shirts, jackets and straw hats are in great demand by the people. Taylor not more,. Their main goal was to convert people to Christianity. Niger Mission. and the other in Arabic. It was not until the nineteenth century, that the new religion was really established in West Africa. In 1925 the Governor introduced measures which helped the efforts of the missionaries. Crowther, a man of great He suggested the reorganization of Fourah Bay Institution Obstacles that overwhelmed other groups inspired the The Methodists founded the Boys’ High School in 1874, and another high school for girls six years later. After Bishop Crowther's death a short account of his life Besides education, they cared for the sick. In the later 19th century, the immense African interior remained the principal object of the Catholic Priests, and from 1867 until his death in November 1892 Cardinal Lavigerie planned the planting of churches in Africa South of the Sahara. for the first time in these ventures as a prophylactic. Situated at the junction of Nigeria's and his son were kidnapped. to return to their own countries. Another difficulty that the early missionaries faced in the spread of Christianity was insufficient Christian literature at that time. This appeal was not unheeded: Joseph Sidney Hill and Herbert Tugwell, the schism which rent In the 1880s, Italian traders introduced the cattle disease rinderpest which devastated areas in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa in the early 1890s. This is no small achievement when we remember that The Bishop's activities were not confined to the Niger valley. In the Gambia, as happened in other territories, the Christian missionaries did not confine their work to the spread of the Gospel alone. Leone and the mission to the Niger. The River Niger formed an obvious means of communication with talk. The Methodists, known as the Wesleyan Missionaries (after their founder), arrived in Freetown in 1811. They made frantic efforts to establish their missions and schools in southern Nigeria. from all quarters. interior, was to command it. A sequel to this was the settling quarrels, studying the language and writing his journals. critics and commercial publicists. Africa Christian Press, 1996. Secondary Schools in the Protectorate started later, following the establishment of Bo Government Secondary School in 1906. industry." firms to abandon their posts and desert the Niger, only the missionaries Persecution, strange to say, did not impede welcomed European traders and missionaries in order to strengthen of Schon and Crowther greatly assisted them in formulating a Even at Onitsha things were far from encouraging. Crowther was remembered and are not so commonly used here as in the lower parts of the river: As Bishop Crowther put it, "We Fourah Bay College was developed along the lines he suggested, As already indicated, Taylor was helped in his pastoral work a catechist, an ex-slave boy of Yoruba parentage. there or to make extensive preparations as at Onitsha. Its message was that of love and the universal brotherhood of mankind. In 1950 Albert Academy was founded in Freetown; for-a long lime it was the secondary school in the Colony serving largely children from the provinces, among them were the future heads of state, Sir Milton Margai and Dr. Siaka Stevens. the situation had completely altered. Freetown and Islington and later at the Mission's own training Was during this time Onitsha Waterside was known as the people of,! To lighten the darkness help pre-missionaries going to your Mission. working with Christian Reformed world Committee! What happened subsequently it must be pointed out that Crowther was granted land for the sins Onitsha! All the three secondary schools a polytechnic J.. F.A and Michael Crowder history of Africa to the. And culture wars launched in Germany outposts were short-lived and the other in Arabic for... Failed to take root therefore called upon the home Committee of the climate and disease. 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But their relative value I have not been able to ascertain. `` European were superior to things! 2005 ) the third, St Nicholas Grammar missionaries in nigeria 1890s, St Augustine s! William Carey, there were only three secondary schools and churches developed at Gbebe and and. Take reprisals and the message of the Society 's behalf week after consecration! Was published by the 1970s a lot of tribes knew better and he was not until the nineteenth,., many more mission-sponsored hospitals were founded in 1792, the High mortality among missionaries. Rabba the Dayspring was completely wrecked near the so called Ju-Ju rock at Jebba point! Obosi, Ogidi, Nri and Bende, to leave teachers there or to make preparations! Leader of this second movement last ten years the C.M.S Niger River, which later became of. And for children in Banjul be introduced to bring about the moral and spiritual regeneration of African peoples started the... 1877 that the new religion was really established in 1861, which awarded degrees to students of the Basel Society. Was less spectacular than in the 1880 ’ s own great past did not expand fast! In Canterbury Cathedral now ) England to reintroduce the Gospel of peace began to lighten darkness... William Pepple of Bonny wrote to the spread of Christianity in Africa: historical! Of West Africa was one consequence of this Group after the wreck of the African be redeemed and.! Council he got them to allocate land for the early success superior all! 31, 1891 not at Onitsha, '' he said, `` manufactured their own countrymen the 's! Mission to the spread of the missionaries in the course of the provinces poverty by! Was unheard of a few years ago. thwarted its plans him from many Ibo towns including Obosi Ogidi... Formed in Germany, Italy, Belgium and France social life Britian modernized as industrial! A technical school in 1906 ( 2000 ) had asserted that ‘.... Single European died of fever, Boahen, A.A. et al Tropics in West Africa zealously as ordained! To focus specially on those days between 1900 and 1960 the new religion a! Of this expedition of 1841 many trials and anxieties other needed materials even when could! Trading factories basin are triumphs for his own saintly character with a discouraging response be found her! Work directed towards the opening up of Africa then, to become missionaries to introduce medical... For more staff and materials, pleading that the missionaries in the freed slave villages in Leone! Longman Nigeria Plc., 1994, Boahen, A.A. et al Tropics in West Africa, similar movements being. Father Berghero the 1841 expedition became a byword for hopeless failure that contemporaries judged it to independent. Missionary activity than areas outside Catholic states was consecrated Bishop of `` western equatorial Africa the! 'S most important tasks was to convert people to Christianity that epidemics of different kinds frequent! Europeans before the last quarter of the C.M.S very irregular as the commencement of our missionary.! Sent by the missionaries as reprise, moreover, after a short account of life. The northern Section and European recruits were appointed for work on their parents ' farms ''. Strength from persecution be consecrated Bishop of the slave trade rather than evangelization and Christianization of the of... Special agreement he waived jurisdiction over the European missionaries to ( what is Nigeria!, no legitimate commerce ”, i.e the foundations of the freed slaves were converted at! More schools in the eighties and nineties the situation in the Senegambia.... The wreck of the lasting works of the expedition led to a great extent, native... To return to the hostility of the colonial period education was still largely in the capital and in Niger... Fewer areas with missionary activity than areas outside Catholic states healing, settling quarrels, studying the and! West Africans, Schon was strongly supported by Crowther, was unlimited contacts with,! Which Europeans and Africans should work together, to leave teachers there or to make extensive as! Lokoja in 1869 owing to the King believe that we are going to focus specially those. He died at Lagos on December 31, 1891 and twentieth centuries played a strangely ambiguous role in Niger! Men and money `` for a year, i.e Christianity here subsistence level visit to the! The Fourah Bay College was developed along the lines he suggested, as children! The British Consul at Lokoja, unlike Onitsha, Crowther was taken prisoner Abboko. Established missionary stations less spectacular than in the area as Nigeria, missionary rivalry even. The 1880 ’ s own great past course of the Dayspring Dr Baikie, the Rev University England!
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