Journals of Church Missionary Society Agent, James Thomas in Mid-Nineteenth Century Nigeria. Introduction and Notes by Femi J. Kolapo

Author: Kolapo, Femi J.
Year:2012
Pages:316
ISBN:0-7734-2935-2
978-0-7734-2935-2
Price:219.95
Consists of the complete compiled transcriptions of a nineteenth-century Christian missionary in Nigeria. James Thomas was born into slavery, and then converted to Christianity. Later in his adult life he was transformed was rescued from slavery by a British anti-slave trade squadron. He was then turned into a Christian missionary who converted people and built churches in Nigeria. This book not only gives a rich history of certain regions of Nigeria in the nineteenth-century, it also shows how Christianity and the slave trade molded its history as well.

Reviews

“These diaries and letters provide an important source of information on many aspects of life in the confluence area in the nineteenth century, and its links to the wider world.”

-Prof. Ann O’Hear,
Niagara University


“The richness of this new historical source relies upon the mode of representing the writings by an indigenous actor within the unfolding of the Christian enterprise and European civilizing agency within Nigeria in general… this book is a valuable resource for understanding the history that constitutes the Niger-Benue confluence area.”

-Prof. Attah Anthony Agbali,
Indiana University


“Any work that provides primary sources written by Africans during colonialism is significant and commendable, and this manuscript falls into that purview.”

-Prof. Kwabena Akurang-Parry,
Shippensburg University


Table of Contents

Foreword by Ann O’Hear . . . . i

Preface. . . . . . . iii

Map of the Niger-Benue Confluence Area. . . vii

Introduction to James Thomas's Journal. . . 1
Biography. . . . . . 9
Residence in Sierra Leone. . . . 11
Pre-enslavement History. . . . 13
Missionary Service. . . . . 17
Gbebe Mission station. . . . 21

JAMES THOMAS’S JOURNAL. . . . 35

Document No. 1
[Letter from] Clarence Cove, Fernandopo, June
15th 1858 . . . . . 37

Document No. 2
[Letter from] 8 Street, Wellington. Nov 21th 1861 47

Document No. 3
Journals of James Thomas from June 25th 1858
to September 26th 1859 . . . 49
Document No. 4
[Letter from] Jas. Thomas. Gbebe September
2nd 1859 . . . . . 95

Document No. 5
Gbebe. The Account first commenced November
1th(sic) 1859 By me James A. Thomas . 99

Document No. 6
[Letter from] Mission House, Gbebe,
October 8th 1860 . . . . 123

Document No. 7
Journal Kept By James Thomas Native teacher
from October 19th 1862 to June 9/63 . . 125

Document No. 8
[Letter dated] June 9th 1863–Gbebe Mission house 147

Document No. 9
[Letter from the] Mission House, Gbebe in
Confluence. August 10th 1864 . . 151

Document No. 10
[Letter from the] Mission House Gbebe.
13th Oct. 1864 . . . . 157

Document No. 11:
Gbebe 1863. Journals kept by me James
Thomas - Native Teacher . . . 159

Document No. 12
The Journal of James Thomas - Native teacher
at Gbebe 1864 -1865 . . . . 175

Document No. 13
Journal of James Thomas. One of the Native
Teachers, Lokoja. From October 1866 to 1867 189

Document No. 14
[Journal for 1867-1868 . . . 209

Document No. 15
Journal of James Thomas Native teacher
from Oct 4 1868 . . . . 225

Document No. 16
The Journal of James Thomas Native Teacher
Lokoja From 1869-1870 . . . 241

Document No. 17
Journal of James Thomas [1870-71] . . 253

Document No. 18
The Report of Mr James Thomas for the year
ending September 30th 1874 . . . 259


Document No. 19
[Letter from] Lokoja: River Niger.
August 29th 1874 . . . . 265

Document No. 20
The Journal of Mr. James Thomas. [1874-1875] 267

Document No. 21
Lokoja, September 20th 1879 [Report] . 279

Bibliography . . . . . . 283

Index . . . . . . . 287