Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The First Missionaries of The Church Missionary Society in Sierra Leone, 1804–1816: A Biographical Approach


Many early records in West Africa arise from missionary accounts. While they may contain rich ethnographic data, this detail should be approached only after analysis and consideration of the authors of the sources in question. In early Sierra Leone, important data was recorded on behalf of the English evangelical Church Missionary Society, but the missionaries reporting on the ground comprised an insufficiently studied group of German-speaking Pietist Lutherans originating from central and northern Europe. This article analyzes the authors of this information in order to approach their accounts with a better appreciation of existing bias and to better engage with how diverse sociocultural perspectives affect the historical record.


En Afrique de l’Ouest, les écrits des missionnaires figurent parmi les premières sources disponibles sur l’histoire de la région. Bien que ces textes puissent contenir de riches données ethnographiques, les détails qu’ils fournissent ne doivent être abordés qu’après analyse et prise en compte des auteurs des sources en question. Au début de l’histoire de la Sierra Leone, des données importantes ont été mises par écrit au nom de la Church Missionary Society évangélique anglaise, mais parmi les missionnaires travaillant sur place se trouvait aussi un groupe insuffisamment étudié de luthériens piétistes germanophones originaires d’Europe centrale et du Nord. Cet article analyse les auteurs de ces informations afin d’aborder leurs écrits ainsi que leur biais de manière critique et afin de mieux approcher la manière dont diverses perspectives socioculturelles affectent les sources historiques.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

David A. Bell , “Nation-Building and Cultural Particularism in Eighteenth-Century France: The Case of Alsace,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 21–4 (1988), 472490.

Nancy Fox Mouser , “Peter Hartwig, 1804–1808: Sociological Perspectives in Marginality and Alienation,” History in Africa 31 (2004), 263302.

Paul E.H Hair ., “Colonial Freetown and the Study of African Languages,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 57–4 (1987), 560565.

William A Hart ., “A West African Masquerade in 1815,” Journal of Religion in Africa 23–2 (1993), 136146.

Adam Jones , “Decompiling Dapper: A Preliminary Search for Evidence,” History in Africa 17 (1990), 171209.

Arthur T Porter ., “Religious Affiliation in Freetown,” Africa: A Journal of the International African Institute 23–1 (1953), 314.

Johann J.K Reusch ., “Germans as Noble Savages and Castaways: Alter Egos and Alterity in German Collective Consciousness during the Long Eighteenth Century,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 42–1 (2008), 91129.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

History in Africa
  • ISSN: 0361-5413
  • EISSN: 1558-2744
  • URL: /core/journals/history-in-africa
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 78 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 22nd May 2017 - 22nd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.