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Section IV: Africa Missions

Part 6: Nigeria - Niger, 1857-1882

The CMS Archives reveal much about African history and culture. They record the collision between western and indigenous cultures and the changes that resulted from this. They describe the introduction of western medicine, the establishment of schools, and the confrontations and compromises between differing religious beliefs. The papers are a rich source for ethnologists, social historians and all those trying to understand Africa both before and after missionary intervention.

Please see the copy for Section IV Part 3 for more details of CMS missionary activity in Nigeria.

Part 6 covers the papers of the Nigeria – Niger mission for the years 1857-1882. It includes a Letter Book (1858-1882), Mission Books (1857-1880) and Original Papers (1857-1880).

The Letter Book for 1858-1882 which is indexed covers copies of outgoing correspondence of all kinds from the Secretary in London to the missionaries and mission secretary.

The Mission Books for 1857-1880 contain copies of all the Original Papers (O1-43). The letters were copied out in full.

The Original Papers for 1857-1880 contain all the incoming papers sent to London by the mission secretary. They mainly consist of letters and journals of the individual missionaries, catechists and others arranged alphabetically from Bishop Samuel Crowther (O4) to Rev Jonathan Lawton Buckley Wood (O43). Bishop Crowther’s papers contain letters from native pastors and catechists, correspondence with native authorities, the colonial government, naval officers, trading companies and merchants, journals of his expeditions and visits to the Niger mission and annual letters.

Also included are the papers of missionaries such as Archdeacon Dandeson Coates Crowther and Rev John Christopher Taylor, a native pastor. The Original Papers also contain Minutes of the Finance Committee and Conference meetings, miscellaneous mission papers such as requisitions and accounts and miscellaneous letters to the Secretary in London. The full listing of the Original Papers can be found on Reel 97 in Part 6.

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