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Section IV: Africa Missions

Part 2: West Africa (Sierra Leone), 1820-1880

" The archives of the Church Missionary Society’s Africa missions are among the most important documentary sources on 19th century European missionary enterprise in Africa. They tell us much about African social history and thought during this period, and about the aspirations and prejudices of Victorian and Edwardian expansion. Their publication in microfilm will ensure that this material is for the first time placed within reach of a wide community of scholars."
Ike Achebe,
Trinity College, University of Cambridge

Please see the copy for Section IV Part 1 for details of the CMS missions to Sierra Leone.

Part 2 contains the Original Papers O 1-87 covering the years 1820-1880 of the Sierra Leone mission. O 1-24 contain a mixture of material and very detailed information can be found in the Catalogue to the Papers which has been filmed on Reel 1 in Section IV: Part 1. Material comprises: Minutes of Missionaries’ Meetings covering all aspects of mission business, Minutes of Finance Committee and general meetings of the clergy and the catechists, letters from the mission secretaries to the Secretary in London, correspondence between the local missionary committee and the colonial government with subjects covered such as the care of the liberated slaves and the material development of the colony, Circular Letters from the local committee to the missionaries, miscellaneous correspondence and papers of the local committee and mission secretaries which includes correspondence with the mission surgeon, petitions from native congregations, and complaints against missionaries and disputes in the mission, reports and statistics of the mission, Local Associations and Auxiliaries, the Native Church Pastorate Auxiliary Association, Committee Minutes, miscellaneous education papers and correspondence, lists of children named after CMS benefactors, requisition lists of medicines, books and stores, mission balance sheets, papers related to mission buildings and property, missionaries’ medical certificates, reports and printed papers of Benevolent and Improvement Societies, Census papers, correspondence and papers on emigration to the West Indies, miscellaneous depositions made before magistrates, magazines and newspapers, miscellaneous letters to the Secretary and committee in London and petitions to the committee at Headquarters from missionaries, native congregations and outside bodies.

O 25 contains the letters and papers of the Bishops of Sierra Leone and covers a wide range of matters relating to policy and administration of the mission and the native pastorate.

O 26 begins coverage of the letters and papers of individual missionaries, catechists and others arranged alphabetically. Part 2 covers O26-087 (Adcock – Denton) and Part 5 of Section IV covers the Original Papers O88-235 ( Dicker -Young plus some extra names non alphabetically listed). The locations given are their permanent stations. The papers contain all manner of material but are mostly letters and journals with some newspaper cuttings. The papers of Rev Samuel Crowther are to be found in O79, covering the years 1828-1844 and containing letters on his boyhood enslavement written in 1837, journal extracts including that of his expedition to the Niger from June 1841-June 1842 and an account of Shengo,Yoruba god of thunder.

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