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Papers of the Mission of the United Presbyterian Church from the National Library of Scotland

The papers of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland cover the period 1874-1928. Formed in 1847 by the union of the United Secession and Relief Churches the UPC inherited missions in the Caribbean and in Calabar, Nigeria. Soon after the union the UPC also took over the work in Jamaica that had been commenced earlier that century by the Scottish Missionary Society, as well as the mission in Kaffraria that had been established by the Glasgow South African Missionary Society.

Hope Masterton Waddell (1804-1895) led the mission in Nigeria from 1847 onwards and his work is well covered in these papers. Waddell remained at the mission until 1859. He was joined by William Anderson (1812-1895), a dominant figure in the period 1849-1891, and Hugh Goldie (1815-1895) who became the mission's leading Efik scholar and translator. Progress was at first slow, the missionaries concentrating partly on education and partly on preaching by which they hoped to effect both religious and social change. They were particularly concerned to alter such practices as ritual killing, the killing of twins and poison ordeals. Church membership remained small, but in the 1880s some growth was evident and the mission began a period of expansion, for example, to Okoyong. The Hope Waddell Institute in Duke Town was established during this period. These initiatives are covered in the UPC papers.

In 1900 the UPC was united with the Free Church of Scotland to form the United Free Church.

This microfilm publication concentrates on the African missions of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland and contains all incoming letters from missionaries in Africa sent to the UPC Foreign Mission Committee between the years 1874-1928.

The letters are divided into:

• Letters from missionaries in Nigeria and the Gold Coast, 1919-1928
• Miscellaneous letters concerning West Africa, 1919-1925
• Letters from missionaries in Kaffraria, 1885-1908
• Letters from missionaries in North Kaffraria, 1883-1904
• Letters from missionaries in Natal 1874-1909
• Letters from missionaries in South Africa, 1919-1928

The papers also include:

• Correspondence concerning the return of German missionaries to the stations in West and East Africa from which they were expelled during WWI and for which the United Free Church took temporary responsibility,1917-1926

• Three letters from David Livingstone to the conveners of the Foreign Mission Committee – Rev William K Tweedie, 1861, Rev Robert S Candlish, 1862 and to Rev John Wilson, missionary and orientalist, 1872

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