The Gospel on the Banks of the Niger. Journals and Notices of the Native Missionaries accompanying the Niger Expedition of 1857-1859.London, Church Missionary House; Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday, 1859 Stock Code: 98141
NotesFirst edition. Decidedly uncommon, just 8 copies on Copac, with only single copy noted at auction. The only published account of the Third Niger Expedition which was intended to "establish trading stations on the Niger's banks" profiting from trade in their immediate locales, but also taking advantage of proximity to Kano, the "most important market city" in West Africa (Howgego). "The third Niger expedition was not accidental. It was a result of the success recorded in the second expedition of 1854, and the recommendations of Samuel Crowther about the voyage that prompted the British Government to set in motion this third expedition that was later to be labelled the 'New Era of the commercial history of West Africa'" (Adeuyan, The Journey of the First Black Bishop: Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther 1806 - 1891, pp.125-6). Crowther was a Yoruba who was captured as a slave during the civil wars, and freed when the Portuguese slaver he was on was taken by the British Navy. Freed in Sierra Leone in 1821, he was educated by the Church Missionary Society, baptized in 1825, becoming a schoolteacher in 1841. He was sent to England and ordained in 1845, returning to Yorubaland in 1846 as a missionary, baptizing his first convert in 1862. "He became bishop of 'Western Equatorial Africa beyond the Queen's Dominions' in 1864, a post he held until 1890" (Howgego). Prize inscription verso of the front free endpaper recording presentation to G.C Spencer by the headmaster of Chatham House, the Rev. Alfred Whitehead, father of the great mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead.
Octavo (189 x 119 mm) Strictly contemporary calf prize binding, black morocco label, raised bands milled gilt, compartments pleasingly tooled within double fillet panel, both boards with concentric panelling in gilt and blind incorporating an attractive palmette roll, front board with laurel wreath prize supralibros of Chatham House, Ramsgate, as centre tool, milled edge-roll, edges gilt, floral roll gilt to the turn-ins, marbled endpapers, red silk page-marker still intact.
Folding engraved map.
Just a little rubbed, a scatter of light foxing, but overall a very good copy.
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