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William and Louisa Anderson
Part III - Old Calabar Period, 1849-1889, & Closing Years, 1889-1895
Chapter 3


Early Labours—Election of King Archibong I.—1849

When Mr. Anderson reached Duke Town, he found matters in rather an unsatisfactory state. The chief power was shared by three persons—Mr. Young, Archibong Duke, and Duke Ephraim. They were all claimants to the kingship. Owing to the conflicting claims, Mr. Anderson, as we have already seen, found it rather difficult to excite interest in the cause of the Mission. But by repeatedly calling on the leading men, and holding meetings in their yards, he conciliated their regard, and got them to aid him in his work. Mr. Goldie, who was watching with keen interest the work of his brother missionary at the station he himself had formerly occupied, writes in his Journal, under date May 9th, regarding the better prospects at Duke Town: "Mr. Anderson is succeeding much better than I anticipated with his Sabbath meetings at Duke Town, and Mr. Young gives his aid to the work much more than I thought he would. May He whose message we bring to this people make that message successful, opening the blind eyes, unstopping the deaf ears, breaking the hard hearts." And at his own station, Creek Town, an increased interest was being shown in divine things. There was at that time a severe dearth, arising from the failure of the yam crop, and it had the effect of reducing the attendance of children at school. The poorer classes, not having anything to eat in the towns, were obliged to take to the plantations to see what they could pick up there; and on that account Old Town was almost deserted for the time being.

The following extracts from Mr. Anderson's Journal show the progress of the work. The setting apart of the late King Eyamba's palaver-house as a temporary place of worship, and the exclusive use of the Grand Egbo bell as a Sabbath bell, were hopeful signs. The election of the young [In the Juvenile Missionary Magazine for October 1850, p. 229, his age is said to be about twenty-eight years, and his portrait is given "as he appeared on the quarterdeck of H.M. ss. Rattler, wearing his crown and state sword. His loins were covered with a rich silk, and round his neck and ankles he wore a quantity of coral beads.'"] Archibong Duke as king, and of the capable and experienced Ekpenyong, or Mr. Young, as his prime minister, tended to do away with the friction existing between them, and indirectly made for the progress of the gospel:—

Sabbath, April 22.— Had meeting in Mr. Young's yard; well attended, and very attentive. Spoke from Matthew v. 7, 8, 9. About ten o'clock P.M., just after we had retired to rest, I found that, notwithstanding the doctrine of Matthew v. 7, some who heard it must still be classed among the unmerciful. At the time above mentioned we were alarmed by screams and calls of "Edem Ekpo! Edem Ekpo!" On rising and running out, we found two men who had fled to seek protection for their lives. Archibong had ordered both to be beheaded, but by some means they escaped. Our premises, by Egbo law, are sacred. I need hardly say that we afforded them an asylum.

How strangely constituted is the human mind! We were so distressed and horrified by the circumstance just related, that sleep forsook our eyes for the greater part of the night. On the following day I wondered at the coldness with which the affair was treated by those white gentlemen to whom I had an opportunity of relating it; it appeared to them as a mere matter of course. Now, when transcribing these occurrences (August), were half a dozen of men to flee to me for their lives, I would not do less for their protection ; but I would not feel a tithe of the painful excitement I endured in April. Oh! let it be one part of the prayers of the Church in behalf of its missionaries here, that their "moral sense" may ever remain acute, however much their nervous sensibilities may be blunted.

Monday, 23. — Heard the story of the fugitives. I shall not here transcribe it. Both were head slaves of the late King Eyamba. One of them "chopped nut" last night, drank oft four of the deadly nuts, vomited them, and, according to Egbo law, should then have been dismissed. But instead of this, the order (as translated to me in English) was given, "Take both, and chop off heads one time," i.e. at this time—immediately. I learn, too, what I am glad to learn, that Mr. Young not only connived at their escape, but aided it, and gave them a hint where they would be safe. From all that I have seen and heard of Mr. Young since my arrival here, I see no reason for supposing him to be an unmerciful man.

Saturday, 28. — Attended Mr. Young's chop to-day. He proposed to come to the mission-house to-morrow morning at nine o'clock to hear God's word. This is a hint that he wishes no meeting in his yard to-morrow. Went to Archibong's. It is very plain that he and Mr. Young are at strife. That being the case, they will not meet to-morrow. Intimated to both Mr. Young and Archibong that the two men were in my house. Mr. Young's remark was, "Let them stand, but no say I tell you so." Archibong's was, "Them be tief."

Sabbath, 29.—Dull day. Heavy rain in the morning. No meeting of adults. Small Sabbath school. Went to one or two of the gentlemen of the town; but no attention. In the evening felt quite downcast.

Wednesday, May 2. — As an encouragement to the school children to attend regularly and learn diligently, I have introduced a ticket-currency among them. I give them tickets for attendance and diligence, and have fixed the price of school-books, etc., at so many tickets. When I went into school this afternoon, I was amused by seeing one of the bigger boys driving a small trade in boiled pork, which he was selling, and the others buying with all good will, for tickets. I never contemplated that my tickets should be used for such a purpose, and my first impression was to stop the traffic. Many of the poor things are so ill fed, however, that after a little consideration 1 thought better to say nothing. Indeed, I felt glad to see some of them thus able to procure a little chop.

Sabbath, 6.—Our Communion at Duke Town; my first in this land. We had a pleasant season. One of the captains at present lying in the river was, in the usual form, received into the fellowship of the Church.

Sabbath, 13. — A solemn and interesting day for Duke Town. O that it may be the commencement of better days than any that have yet been seen here! In consequence of the reluctance of many of the gentlemen of the town to attend meeting in Mr. Young's yard, I. had repeatedly asked of him permission to hold meetings in an excellent palaver-house which belonged to the late King Eyamba. Last Sabbath he gave full consent to my proposal, and during the week our Krumen (kindly furnished for our work by Captain Lewis) cleared and levelled all around the house, and Mr. Chisholm made a table for the Bible to lie on, and put up a few seats. Having talked privately to all the native gentlemen about the business previously, we had a large attendance. Mr. Young, Archibong, and Duke Ephraim, and many others of very opposite views in politics, were present. For the first time in Old Calabar was a house set apart for the public worship of the Most High. We were favoured with the presence and aid of the Rev. Mr. Merrick of Bimbia, who, with Mrs. M., and other members of the Baptist Mission, came up in the Dove yesterday.

Wednesday, 16.—Nine communicants of the Baptist Mission being with us—some of whom are to leave us tomorrow— Messrs. Goldie and Edgerley also being present, we had, according to previous arrangement, an interesting valedictory Communion service in the schoolroom. Mr. Newbigin preached; Mr. Merrick, being senior brother present, dispensed the Communion; and Mr. Goldie concluded.

Sabbath, 20.—Delighted to be able to report that the sweet tones of a Sabbath bell have been heard by the dwellers of this dark spot. At the close of service last Sabbath, when publicly thanking Mr. Young for giving the palaver-house to be God's house, and stating how much I rejoiced to see so many gentlemen present, I added, that there was one thing more which I would like very much to obtain, provided they were all agreeable, and that it was not interfering too much with any of their own laws—namely, to have their fine big bell in the marketplace, whose tongue had been silent since my arrival, rung each Sabbath morning to call all men in town to come pray to God. Archibong immediately said, "I will, I will." I was informed that the bell was under his care; but, to make matters sure, and prevent opposition to him in time to come, I asked the gentlemen all round if they were agreeable to the proposal,—"O yes, O yes," was responded heartily by each. This morning, about seven o'clock, an Egbo drum was sent round the town, and due proclamation was made, that the grand Egbo bell is henceforth to be used only on God's Day to call all men to go to God's house to hear God's word. The bell—a very fine one, seven feet in diameter, made in Spain—was struck about eight o'clock, and by nine a good congregation had assembled. At the commencement, I gave to Mr. Young and Archibong two handsome pocket Bibles, sent by members of Rev. Mr. Johnstone's congregation, Nicolson Street. Both were delighted with the gifts. The meeting was addressed by Rev. Mr. Newbigin of the Baptist Mission.

Sabbath, 27.—A good meeting in the palaver-house. Good attendance also at Sabbath school. Our English service (held each Sabbath at four o'clock P.M.) was attended by two officers of H.M. steamer Teaser, which came up the river last night.

Monday 28. — Lieutenant Selwyn, commanding the Teaser, in compliance with his instructions, held a meeting with the missionaries and the masters of vessels in the river, to ascertain who is successor to the late King Eyamba.

After a good deal of talk and deliberation, it was considered that, from his superior wealth, extensive trade, and connection with the original royal family (Duke Ephraim's line , Archibong Duke is the proper successor to Eyamba, and rightful king of Duke Town. It was proposed by one or two of the captains that King Eyo should be consulted in the matter. This Lieutenant Selwyn instantly opposed, stating that the British Government considered Dnke Town and Creek Town as separate States, and the kings as entirely independent of each other. All the shipmasters voted Archibong as king; Mr. Edgerley and I, the only missionaries present, did not vote at all. From Mr. Young's age, ability, and influence, it was agreed that he be recognised as premier. The meeting was held in our schoolroom ; and Lieutenant Selwyn having got all the information he wanted, at his request I sent for Archibong and Mr. Young. Both came attended by large retinues. None were allowed to enter the schoolroom but the two chiefs. Being deprived of their armed men, they evidently thought some mischief was intended. They have an unspeakable dread of a man-of-war ship. It was with fear and trembling they took the seats provided for them. They felt much relieved when Lieut. Selwyn told his errand—that he had been sent by the Queen to find out who is king of this country, and to pay him one of the instalments of coppers promised in the treaty made with Eyamba for the suppression of the slave-trade in this river. After a little talk, Mr. Young gave up all claims to the kingship, and accepted the premiership. Archibong was then recognised by all present as king—renewed Eyamba's treat)' about the slave-trade—and was told to send for the coppers mentioned in the treaty as soon as convenient. In the afternoon, his Majesty King Archibong I. visited the Teaser, and was received with a royal salute of twenty-one guns. There was, I understand, a sort of coronation in the evening, at which I was not present.

Commander Selwyn very warmly and strongly commended the missionaries and the cause of Christ to both Archibong and Mr. Young.

I send here copy of a letter from King Archibong to Lieut-Commander Selwyn;—

Duke Town, Old Calabar,
29th May 1849.

Dear Sir,- I thank Queen Victoria for her good present, and hope she and I be good friend, all same as she and King Eyamba.

I thank you very much for your kindness to me since you came here.

I no will allow any slave-trade; it be bad thing. I will to keep treaty King Eyamba make with Queen of England, and I sign yesterday.

I keep heed for what you say about the missionaries. Them and me be good friends. I give them place to hold meeting, and ring big bell in marketplace every God day to call all man to hear God's word.

I wish all good to attend you, and am, dear sir, your friend,

ARCHlBONG I., King of Calabar.
Com. Selwyn, of H.B.M.'s Ship Teaser.

Thursday, 31.— Called on Mr. Young. He seems scarcely satisfied with Monday's arrangement. He professes to be "king for all the black man, suppose Archibong be king for the white." Advised him to keep good friends with Archibong, and to continue, as he has always, to act as a father to him, and to give him always good advice. This he promised to do.

Walking with Dr. Taylor past our chapel, we saw two fellows fighting with big sticks. One broke the other's head. We took both to his Majesty to see how he would settle the palaver. The trial was very short. Only one party was heard—the complainant. Having heard the story, the king cut the matter short by giving his decision —not a solemn-like one, certainly—which was, translated into a kind of English,—"Him break your head? Why you no break his back again? Go!" The parties immediately went off, and the king assured us that "this be proper fashion for Calabar; when one man hurt another, other must hurt him back, and if another man make palaver {i.e. a third party interfere), shoot him." Dr. Taylor and I tried to give him some idea of his duty as a king to settle disputes, etc., but he seemed to think the old way the best.

On coming home, found a little girl at the mission-house who had fled thither for protection. Her mistress, one of the late Eyamba's wives, died on Tuesday at the plantation. The corpse was brought to Duke Town for interment. The little girl declares that she saw one man killed and buried with the body. She, the little girl, was in chains, and was to be slaughtered in a day or two. The old woman who had charge of her having left her for a little, she took an old axe which was lying near her and broke the padlock by which the chain was fastened round her neck. She was in the bush the whole of yesterday, in the heavy rain, and all last night. She saw a man this morning who advised her to come here. She is the third individual who has saved her life by fleeing to the mission-house since I came here. Is it nothing to encourage the hearts of the members of the United Presbyterian Church that they have erected, and are maintaining, a "city of refuge" for the innocent in this land of blood?

Saturday, June 2.—Saw at "Big Adam Duke's," for the first time, an abia-idiong at work. He had four strings, with a number of seeds, bones, teeth, etc., attached to each at both ends. These he threw down first by one end, then by the other, occasionally looking very minutely at the position of seeds, bones, etc., and sometimes touching Adam with the same, accompanying every touch he gave the big man with the sharp sound of a whistle. Adam is sick, and he told me that by these manoeuvres the abia-idiong could find out "what man make him sick." Tried to show him that "trouble springs not from the dust, nor sorrow from the ground."

Monday, 4.—There being a supernumerary large Bible in the mission-house—not a very handsome one, indeed—I presented it to his Majesty in the evening. I put on it the following inscription: "To King Archibong I., of Duke Town, Old Calabar, from the Scottish Missionaries residing there, 4th June 1849. Deut. xviii. 18, 19; Psa. ii.; Prow xx. 28; Jer. xvii. 18-27; Rev. xix. 16." I read and explained shortly the passages marked. He seemed highly delighted with the gift. Felt sorry I had not a handsomely-bound Bible like Eyo's and Eyamba's to give him. I assured him it was the best I had.

Friday, 8.—A big gentleman—Henny Egbo—buried to-night. Dr. Taylor and I went to see what was going on at the funeral, but were not allowed to approach within a stone-cast of the house. All the gentlemen deny that any slaves have been slaughtered, but we have heard from some of the slaves that thirteen persons have been killed for him. Whom are we to believe? The gentlemen have some inducement to conceal, but it is of no advantage to the slaves; indeed, it is dangerous for them to reveal anything about such murders; so that, from the power of old habit and the character of the people, I have every reason to receive the darker evidence as the true.

Sabbath, 10.—A good meeting in the palaver-house. Subject, "Life of Abraham." Spoke of Ishmael and the Arabs. All the gentlemen are well acquainted by report with such a people. The)- call them here Tibare. They deal largely in slaves in the interior. Mr. Young says: "Them be wild people, same as Bible say—fight with all man, all man fight with them. They wear trousers like white man. Plenty people here in palaver - house be bought from them people."

Sabbath, 24.—Was surprised, on going to the palaver-house to-day, to see King Archibong and all the gentlemen, with their armed attendants, already assembled. Found that they were deliberating respecting some of their own matters. Suddenly the king and chiefs got up, went away to one of Eyamba's yards. There they soon finished their business, and in the most orderly manner they returned, and sat down to hear God's word. My subjects were (from Heb. ix. 27) "Death and Judgment." Had the largest and most attentive audience I have seen in Calabar. In speaking of God's appointment of death, I mentioned that the time and circumstances of every man's death should be left to Him. Took the opportunity to speak of the evil of usurping God's place, and killing men, whether free or slave, for nothing, as they do here. I said: "Suppose King Archibong build a beautiful house, far better than Eyamba's palace—suppose he pay for it thousands, thousands of coppers—furnish it with best furniture, tables, sideboards, chairs, sofas, mirrors, etc.— and put in it to live some person he like very much—too much—and suppose some man come and break down that house, smash all the fine furniture, and drive the king's friend who live in it to the bush, What would the king think? say? do? I think he vexed too much, and be ready to kill the man who do so." All assented, and showed that it would be even so. It was easy to apply the supposition. Each man's body is the house; God builds that house; God likes man's soul very much; He puts it into the finely fitted-up and furnished house—the body, to live there; the man who kills man breaks down the house, and drives its tenant into another world; God is angry with even- man who spoils His work by killing his brother man." All seemed struck and impressed by the simile. Alas! alas! I well knew there was not a free man in that assembly to whom I might not have pointed and said, "Thou art the man!" However, as I wished not to provoke, but to instruct, I avoided personalities. Mr. Young interpreted with greater length than usual, and with seemingly greater interest.

Friday, July 20—While at breakfast I received a note from one of the ship-captains, intimating that the neck of one of Efiong Toby's wives was in danger. Went immediately, and had a long talk with him. He has sore eyes, and blames one of his women for having freemason for him. He understands English pretty well. The king and gentlemen had finished a palaver about the affair just as I went to him. Was happy to learn that the woman had escaped condemnation. Told Efiong of the true cause of all our troubles, but found him one of the self-righteous, who has done nothing against God or man all his days, though both have done plenty bad to him. Brought before him the doctrines of both law and gospel. After getting home, had an interesting conversation with Henshaw Duke. He came to tell me that his heart no stand good, and to entreat me to pray for him. His language was in effect that of the jailer: "What must I do to be saved?" I pointed him to the Lamb of God, and prayed with him.

Thursday, 26.—A sister of Mr. Young's died in Duke Town to-day.

Tuesday, 31.—Another of Mr. Young's sisters, by name "Mary Young," having been suspected of killing the one who died on Thursday by freemason, was made to chop nut yesterday, and is now also dead. Oh, what a land of blood! Poor Mary is represented by the ship-captains who were acquainted with her as a most harmless creature. She was, I am told, the only Calabar woman who could speak English, and she used to traffic a little with the shipping in fowls, yams, etc.

Wednesday, August 1.—In the evening called on Mr. Young, and had a talk with him about Mary's chopping nut. His brother, Antaro Young, seems to have had the chief hand in the matter. Called on Antaro, and talked with him. He tells me that Mary has killed plenty men —that she make King Eyamba die—that she foretold the death of her sister who died last week, having told some person that she would die four days after her return from plantation, and that she die for true just four days after she come back, that she must have freemason for her, else she no saby that. And he added, "Suppose she say she no chop nut, I take my gun and shoot her dead at one time." I remonstrated and reasoned with him, and brought the matter to the bar of "the law and the testimony"; but he was determined not to give up his opinion that the fallacious ordeal of the nut "be good fashion for all black men.''

Sabbath, 5.—Subject, "The giving of the law to Moses and Israel on Mount Sinai." When explaining the Second Commandment, observed more than usual interest. The gentlemen had a talk and a laugh about something, I did not know what, till Mr. Young rather archly said, "We think white men make all them things. We see plenty of them on ships." He referred to the figureheads of the vessels. I showed the difference between having such things as ornaments and having them as juju. It was evident Mr. Y. mentioned the thing in banter ; but I am glad he did so, for I have no doubt that many less intelligent persons consider the figurehead of a ship as its deity.

On the 7th of August the mission ship—the Jane, better known, through the Rev. J. (afterwards Dr) Edmond's spirited lines, as The Children's Calabar as the money that provided it was raised by the children of the Church—arrived at Duke Town, and was received with the greatest joy and enthusiasm. The. Mission party brought out by her consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Waddell and their little six-year-old daughter Jessie, Miss Euphemia Miller, afterwards and better known as Mrs. Sutherland, and Mr. f afterwards Rev. and Dr.) William Cooper Thomson. Mr. Waddell wrote regarding the welcome to Duke Town:—

While yet seven or eight miles off, when we rounded Seven Fathom Point, and got the ships in sight at their anchorage ground, we observed that one of them fired a gun, and immediately afterwards flags were hoisted both at Duke Town and Old Town mission-houses—signs of recognition and welcome which were truly gratifying. Soon boats were discerned coming off from the ships and clown the river to meet us; and happy was I to see old acquaintances coming on board and filling the deck of our little vessel. . . . Our dear brother and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, were not among the last to arrive; and most happy and thankful was I to learn that all the members of the Mission family were in good health, and everything for the most part going on well at the different stations. Mr. Anderson had signalled our arrival to Mr. Goldie before leaving his house. . . . Soon after landing, Mr. Goldie and Mr. Edgerley came down the river to see us, and we all spent a blessed evening together.

Mr. Anderson wrote regarding the joyful event:—

The long-looked-for, prayed-for Calabar Mission ship arrived here to-day. About two P.M. she rounded the corner at Seven Fathom Point. When I saw her I exclaimed, "The Calabar at length!" but durst hardly credit my own words. Twice already had we been disappointed, and we were afraid we might be so again. Glad were we to meet old friends and new friends, and glad, too, to have letters from distant friends.

Saturday, 11.—Took my usual turn among the gentlemen this evening, to remind them that to-morrow is God's day. Read portions of Mr. Goldie's selections to Archibong, and also to Ephraim Duke and four of his wives. Mr. Young was not sure if we can have a meeting to-morrow, as it is Grand Nyampe Day. I mentioned the subject to Archibong, who immediately said, "You come, you come {i.e. come you). I no will let nothing stop meeting for God's day."

Sabbath, 12.—Archibong was as good as his word. At the usual time the large bell was rung, and we had a very good meeting. It has been the stillest Sabbath I have seen in Calabar.

Monday, 13.—Forty-seven at school to-day. The largest number I have yet had in school at one time since I came here. Indeed, we had fifty-seven in the afternoon, but ten of these were strangers, whom we may not see soon again.

Wednesday, 15.—This afternoon has been a painful one. Big Adam having found one of his slaves, a boy, guilty of stealing, he laid hold of him, fisted him till he was weary, chained him, then cut off his right ear, then kindled a fire of mats, etc., and put him into it; and because he would not be quiet in the fire, he sent for his loaded gun to shoot him. Before he could do this, however, Mr. Young had heard of what was going on; and no sooner did he hear of it, than he set off at full speed—which cannot be very great—bareheaded, through a heavy shower, and saved the boy. But for his interposition, the work of death had been accomplished. Went down immediately to the town, and called on both Mr. Young and Adam. Saw the fire still blazing which had been deprived of its victim.

Thursday, 16.—Saw the boy this morning at Mr. Young's. Both ears are cut, and his legs are considerably injured by the fire.

In sending the preceding extracts from his Journal, Mr. Anderson wrote on 22nd August:—

You will see from my Journal that we have now a king in Duke Town. Compared with Eyo (of Creek Town), he is young, inexperienced, and rash. I hope he will improve. Both he and Mr. Young are friendly. Whoever is absent from our Sabbath meetings, they are always there. The number attending our Sabbath meetings varies from 100 to 150. Though small, yet it is a beginning ; and who may despise the day of small things? . . . The day-school is attended by sixty children ; but of this number there are seldom above forty in actual attendance. Some of them are doing very well indeed. There are six or eight very fine boys among them, of whom two of the best are sons of the late King Eyamba. There are very few girls at school; still, there are a few, which affords some encouragement to hope that others will yet come out to enjoy the blessings of instruction.

Other extracts from Mr. Anderson's Journal were sent home at a later date, and appeared in the Record for November 1850:—

October 7.—Grand Xyampe Day. Egbo, having come from the bush, had called an assembly of the gentlemen, who were all with him in the town palaver-house when we went for public worship to the church palaver-house. Supernatural beings of Egbo's order do not, I suppose, relish the sound of the "church-going bell"; for no sooner were its first tones vibrating the circumambient fluid than he made a precipitate flight, and his assembly was dispersed. A goodly number of his friends came to our meeting, and appeared interested while I discoursed to them on the miracles of Christ.

Wednesday, 17.—Eifty-three at school to-day, of whom twelve were girls. At request of Captain Taylor, went to see a sick man (an Englishman) on board the Jemima. Visited him at midday and about eight in the evening. lie was crying much to God for mercy. I spoke to him from 1 Tim. i. 15, and told him about "poor Joseph." The text and the story seemed to comfort him not a little. I heard him saying at one time in a whisper, "Heaven's gates are open to receive me!" This demeanour reminded me of the question and the response, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Come and see." Why should not God magnify His mercy in constituting the humble and illiterate tenant of a ship's forecastle an heir of eternal glory?

Thursday, 18.—Went on board to see the sick man. While on board, between twelve and one, he died. Just before he breathed his last, I heard him praying earnestly that God would take him away. We buried him in the Mission ground in the evening.

Saturday, 27.—Visited Henshaw Town in the evening. Read the Ten Commandments in Calabar to (King) Jemmy Henshaw and his people. He promised to send all his children to school, and among the rest his daughter, a fine girl, ten or twelve years old, who is promised in marriage to King Eyo. Any objection to the match is of course met by the irrefragable argument, "It be Calabar fashion."

Monday, 29.—My visit to Henshaw Town on Saturday has produced thirteen new scholars.

Tuesday, 30.—Sixty-eight children at school to-day — the largest number we have yet had here. Gave them a little chop in the forenoon (sixty-four being present), which made them all very cheerful.

Sabbath, 18.—A perfect contrast to this day twelvemonth. This was my last Sabbath in my native country —to me an interesting, busy, solemn day. This morning the biennial purgation of the country, called Ndem Efi'k, or Great Calabar Juju, was performed. At "cock-speak"— i.e. cock-crow—this morning guns were fired, bells were rung, and all sorts of noises, imaginable and unimaginable, were made, to frighten the devils and ghosts out of the town. What with Egbo runners, men in masks, etc., there has been very little appearance of Sabbath here. There is one change in the aspect of the town, namely, the absence of the nabikim—grotesque figures of men, tigers, and alligators, which have for some weeks been posted as sentinels at the doors of the houses. They were all thrown into the river this morning.

Monday, 26.—Received, per special messenger, the following letter from one of my scholars:—

Mr. Axdersox, I shall be ylat to see you quick—my father want flock is slave- I am your friend,

EVO HENNY COKHAM.

Hurried down to the father's on receipt of this, and found a slave strongly bound, and about to be thrown into the river, because his master had strong suspicions that he had broken into the store during last night's tornado and stolen a quantity of tobacco. With much difficulty I begged the poor fellow off. I believe he was flogged after I left.

Mr. Young told me yesterday of a trick he had lately played on an abia-idiong. He (Mr. Y.) hid something, and sent for an abia-idiong to discover it. This gentleman, having gone through his manoeuvres, pitched on one of Mr. Young's slaves, and declared him to be the thief of the article. Mr. Young said nothing, but took the honest conjurer by the hand, led him to the spot where it was concealed, and acknowledged that he had himself been the thief.

Saturday, 29.—As 1 was taking my usual round to announce the approach of Sabbath, I witnessed a cruel, and to me a novel, operation going on in Henny Cobham's yard. It was an ordeal which six persons were undergoing for the purpose of proving their innocence or guilt of theft, of which crime they were under suspicion. The ceremony was thus performed:—The suspected party sat down on the ground; the abia-idiong then came forward with a number of small phials containing juices of plants or roots. He first opened the suspected's right eye and poured in a few drops of a green liquid, then a few drops of a pale liquid; then lifting the eyelid he slipped in a small crooked bone or horn, resembling a bird's claw, which Henny Cobham told me was a snake's tooth, and finished by adding a few drops of another liquid. The slave's master then pronounced some incantatory words, which were responded to by the mystic scream of the abia-idiong's whistle. The person under trial then rolled his eye and shook his head in every possible way in order to eject the torturing bone; but in each of the cases which I witnessed the attempt was unsuccessful. If by motion of head or eye the tooth be emitted, the person is declared innocent; if not, he is guilty. I saw the operation performed in two cases. I might have seen other four ; but my own eyes became painfully affected, and so did my heart. I felt quite sick, and was obliged to withdraw; which I did not do, however, till I had strongly protested against such an iniquitous system of trial. The want of sympathy among the whole body of the people is deplorable. Each failure to get rid of the tormenting bone was the signal for a hearty cheer and laugh from the 150 or 200 who were spectators. But such callousness is daily to be seen in this dark land.

Monday, 31.—Gave prizes this day to those scholars who have attended school best during the year. Gave each in the Bible class a copy of a work prepared by Rev. Mr. Goldie, and just issued from the Old Calabar Mission Press by Mr. Edgerley, entitled Ik'd nkpo oro evil cwetdc ke Akaui Testament, an epitome of Old Testament history in the Efik tongue. I consider this book as quite an acquisition to our schools, as well as to Calabar literature.

Tuesday, January 22.—Felt quite overjoyed to-night in school on account of what thousands of good people would consider a trifle. Well, it is a good thing that a small matter can rejoice the heart when great matters are not attainable. My cause of rejoicing was simply this :—My scholars, hitherto to all appearance utterly indifferent to, and utterly incapable of, any attainment in the music line, actually sang the hymn beginning—

"Great God, and wilt Thou condescend
To be my Father and my Friend?"

to the good old tune called "Portugal," quite correctly and unaided. It is my earnest prayer that many of them—all of them—be trained for "nobler songs above."

Monday, February 4.—Had an interesting conversation to-day with my Bible class in reference to the Lord's Supper, which we observed here yesterday, and the great fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion. These are well understood by three of them—namely, by James Carpenter, who was for some time at Creek Town school, but who reads the Bible for himself, and is constantly asking me for the explanation of passages in the sacred volume. He tells me that he is all the same as two men. He is one man in my house and at school; but when he goes home, he is no sooner at Cobham Town than he becomes another man. When on the Mission ground he feels a new man; when he leaves it, he become the old man. This is his interesting account of himself. These doctrines are also well understood by Jane Archibong, who was for a time under the instructions of Mrs. Goldie and Mrs. Edgerley; and also by Sarah Eshan, who can now read her Bible very well, but who, when we came here, did not know the alphabet.

Mr. Anderson's letters to Mr. and Mrs. Elliot had been read at the annual missionary meeting of Ford congregation in August, and were listened to with deep attention and interest. The impression which Mr. Anderson's abundant and indefatigable labours made on those at home is described in a letter from the Rev. A. Elliot, dated 27th Sept. 1849, and contains a needed word of caution, similar to that given previously regarding Mr. Anderson's exertions in Jamaica:—

Do not expose yourself unnecessarily—do not attempt too much—do not labour over-much. This, I think, is the danger you have to guard against. And this is the opinion of all your friends in this country, and especially of the Missionary Committee, who are best acquainted with what you are doing and planning to do. Mr. Somerville has expressed to me, in the strongest terms, his fear in this respect, and his anxiety lest by over-taxing your strength you render your high and honourable career a short one, and soon disable yourself for the warfare. . . . Remember that your place will not be easily supplied. You are appointed to a great work, and you must consider, not how it may be soonest done, but how it may be best and most effectually done. "Thy God demands thy strength," and to Him you must be unflinchingly faithful; but He forbids you to throw away your life, or needlessly expose it. But enough of this.

But a time of trial was coming, in which not only physical endurance and courage of heart were needed, but prompt decision regarding, and swift execution of, action to be taken at great personal risk and almost single-handed, if a great victory was to be achieved or a disastrous defeat sustained. If the work was to be clone "effectually," it had in this case to be done promptly or not at all.


 


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