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William and Louisa Anderson
Part III - Old Calabar Period, 1849-1889, & Closing Years, 1889-1895
Chapter 13


Another Victory—Right of Sanctuary for the Innocent Vindicated —Egbo Blown upon the Mission—Consular Intervention

THE events which led up to the important victory gained in June 1856 took place in the end of 1854, and were duly chronicled by Mr. Anderson at the time. Writing on 28th November 1854, Mr. Anderson mentioned that three persons had been killed by the poison nut at Henshaw Town:—

Sad doings here again. On Friday last a boy died at Henshaw Town. The boy's father, who is one of the blood - covenant men, declared that someone had killed his son with freemason (ifot)\ a number of the plantation people were called in, and these, joined by a number of Duke Town gentlemen, went on Saturday to Henshaw Town to find out who had killed the boy. On their return to Duke Town on Saturday evening, Mr. Sutherland counted them as they passed our gate, and their number was 548 men, armed with guns, swords, sticks, etc. We then learned that the abia-idiong had charged a poor harmless old man with having ifot for the boy who had died. He and his family were kept under guard all night. I spoke to several of the Duke Town gentlemen about the matter, as also to Henshaw Town people, condemning the ordeal by the esere (poison bean, but I could not learn whether they really intended to administer it. On Sabbath morning we went to the town at our usual hour, seven o'clock, and held four meetings. At the close of the meetings, and just as I was about to go on board the Lady Head to preach, I learned that while we had been at our meetings the plantation people, accompanied by a number of Duke Town gentlemen, had gone to Henshaw Town and administered the nut to the old man, one of his sons, and one of his daughters. Mrs. A., accompanied by Mr. Sutherland, the Sierra Leone people, and a number of the school children, hurried off to Henshaw Town, Mrs. A. carrying with her a supply of tartar emetic. As the boat did not immediately appear, I followed them, and, like Ezekiel (iii. 14), "I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit," fully expecting to have to cope with the 548 armed murderers; but to my surprise, on entering the town, all was still. We were too late—the father and the son were dead ; they would not show us their bodies. After some search, we discovered the poor female, attended only by her weeping daughter; she was in death's agonies. We could do nothing for either body or soul. The murderers had previously dispersed, all save five or six, who gazed on us sulkily as they leaned on their muskets.

On Monday morning I went round among the Calabar gentlemen, protesting against the murders of the previous day, and remonstrating as strongly as I could against the ordeal of the poison bean. The most of them listened patiently to my reproofs and exhortations, and I thought I could see that some of them, for their own safety's sake, would hail the abolition of the horrid practice. I feel assured that a stern remonstrance in the Queen's name, through any of the man-of-war captains on the coast, would be of immensely beneficial influence at present for the abolition of the poison ordeal here.

The crisis which arose in the end of May and beginning of June 1856 is fully described in a letter of Mr. Anderson's of date 30th June:—

We have had rather stirring times at this station since I last wrote you. The occurrences which have taken place are of considerable interest and importance, and will probably exercise no small influence on the future of the Mission, and also of the country. I proceed to give you some of the details.

After referring to the poisonings that took place in November 1854, he goes on to say:—

In November last year, 1855, the Pale Horse and his rider Death revisited the household of Oko Odiong, and another of his sons then sickened and died. As usual here, several persons were suspected of having killed him, also, by freemason, and were doomed to take the ordeal of the esere. Three persons in particular were thus suspected, and thus doomed. These were—(1) Okunya, a half-brother of Oko Odiong, a young man of about twenty-four or twenty-five years of age; (2) a half-sister of Okunya, named Iquaya, a comely damsel of eighteen or twenty years of age; (3) a decent-looking matronly lady of from forty to fifty years of age. The two young people call her "mother," but I believe she is their aunt.

These three persons, dreading the too frequently fatal ordeal of the esere, fled to the mission-house for protection. As I was confident that they had committed no crime, protection was at once afforded them. Time passed on; it was well known that they were on the mission premises, but they were never demanded from me, in any manner, by the gentlemen of the town. A band of the "blood-people" did indeed come to Henshaw Town one morning, and took off as prisoners several of the relatives of the refugees, in the expectation that either they would deliver themselves up, or that I should give them up, to take the esere. I went, accompanied, if I remember rightly, by Mr. Goldie, both to the headman of Henshaw Town, and to the Duke, about the matter, as we had strong grounds ot suspicion that both of them not only connived at, but encouraged, the blood-people in their violent proceedings.

I went repeatedly to the Duke, requesting him to allow the refugees to return to their home, under his protection; to cause Oko Odiong to restore their property, of which he had unjustly taken possession ; and to have done with the freemason nonsense at once and for ever. The Duke, both when drunk and when sober, was very surly when spoken to on the subject, and represented that, as Oko Odiong was a headman among the blood-people, he could do nothing to protect the three refugees from these people; and finally, on my last application, he got very insolent, and charged me never to mention the thing again in his hearing.

When Mr. Consul Hutchinson visited this river officially in January last, I reported the matter to him, and requested his good offices on behalf of the refugees, whom I presented to him. He approved of my having afforded them an asylum, and wrote a letter to the Duke, intimating that, as they had been guilty of no crime, and had sought protection under the British flag, he (Consul H.) took them under his protection, and that they were not to be molested till he should return to the river.

After this the refugees remained undisturbed for a time. They were afraid to leave the mission premises, but wrought industriously at any work which was going on at the station, and were thus entitled to their food. But a storm was impending.

In the end of April or beginning of May, Oko Odiong himself died in the plantation, between io and 20 miles from the mission premises. For five months the deceased and the refugees had not been within several miles of each other ; yet, strange to say, they were pitched on as having killed Oko Odiong by ifbt or witchcraft. It began to be rumoured that the Duke and the blood-people between them were resolved to administer the cscrc to the refugees. They were greatly affrighted, but I endeavoured to assure them, by representing to them that they were fully under the protection of the white people, and that they should not be given up. I could scarcely bring myself to believe that the Duke would be either so rash or so ill-advised as to molest them. In this, however, I was disappointed.

Tuesday, May 27.—Yesterday and to-day a number of "blood-men" are coming into the town armed, to demand the supposed murderers of Oko Odiong, that they may take the escre.

Wednesday, 28.—At Old Town during the greater part of the day. On my return, was informed that the Duke had sent for me three times. I could not conjecture for what, for up till this time I never imagined that they would trouble our refugees.

Thursday, 29.—Was sent for by the Duke early this morning, and immediately went off to see what were his demands. I found him with all his gentlemen in council assembled. After the usual compliments, there was an ominous silence for two or three minutes, during which several of the more intelligent of the gentlemen seemed sitting on thorns, and then the Duke stated that "Them blood-men and all we gentlemen wait for you to bring down them man and woman to chop nut in market, for they kill Oko Odiong for freemason? I at once replied that if they would convince me that the man and the two women whom they wanted had killed Oko Odiong with sword, or gun, or poison, or with a stick, or in any other way by their hands, I would at once give them up, but that I knew it was an utter impossibility for them to have killed that man, as they had been in my yard for five mouths, and he had died only four or five weeks ago, a long way from them. I had then to listen to a lecture from the Duke explanatory of ifot, which, it appears, is far superior as an instrument of death to all other "long ranges" ever heard of, seeing that it enables its possessor to kill at any distance. This led to a rejoinder in reference to the folly of representing any human being as invested with the attributes of Deity.

I then reminded the gentlemen assembled that H.B.M.'s Consul had taken the people under his protection, and that I should be incurring the displeasure of my country if I gave up people "to die for nothing," and that they had better allow the matter to lie over till the Consul should return, seeing he had been daily looked for for some time past. They were inexorable—did not want "talk" about the matter—they must have the refugees. The Duke swore most lustily that the Consul had never sent him a "book" about them—a declaration which some of the gentlemen present knew to be untrue, but they ivisely said nothing.

I told them that, come what might, I could not give up innocent people to die; but, I added, "This is a big matter—you must give me a little time to call the white gentlemen together, and then we can hear what they all say about it." This was opposed by them; however, I left the meeting under promise to be back in a little, to give them my ultimatum on the subject. There were, to all appearance, several hundreds of "blood-men" lounging about in all directions. I had every reason to suppose that the Duke had brought them into the town, and was, indeed, at the bottom of all the mischief. I was not sure, however, but that they might get excited beyond the Duke's control, and perhaps attempt to capture the refugees by force. To place them utterly out of the reach of the bloodthirsty rabble who were longing for their destruction, I gave Mr. Haddison a hint as to what he might do, and in a few minutes he had them safely on board one of the ships.

I wrote a short circular to the river gentlemen, requesting them to meet immediately and take measures to ensure the safety of the refugees, sent it off, and, accompanied by Mr. Edgerley, went off to attend the meeting. I could now breathe freely, knowing that the refugees were safe. The rain was falling heavily, but we did not mind it. We observed the palaver-house full of the blood-men, some of them looking ferociously enough on us. We met Captain Davies in the marketplace. We all three went to the Duke's, and had a long talk with him about the matter. Captain Davies took a noble stand on the side of humanity, and joined us in condemning the abominable "chop nut." He attempted to show the Duke that it was simply impossible for any white man to give up any person who had gone to him for protection, on such a foolish charge as that of freemason. The Duke would listen to no argument, however. He said that he had just one word more to say. "What is that?" Fixing his eyes on me; "I ask you last time if you will to make them man chop nut?" My response was, "No." He shook his head in quite a threatening manner, and uttered, "Very well."

We left him, and went off to the ship Africa, where all the supercargoes save one, who was not very well (who also had the refugees on board his ship, under his protection, soon met. .After consultation, it was considered that the best way to deal with the Duke was to impress on his mind the fact that a British magistrate had taken the refugees under his protection, and that he might expect "big palaver" ere long if he should trouble them. A copy of the letter sent him lies before me, and I may as well transcribe it for you as report its substance:—

Ship Africa
29th May 1856.

King Duke,

Sir,—We whose names are at the end of this letter, hold meeting here this clay, and unite in giving you our best advice about them three people who live at the mission-house, that you better let them alone till Consul Hutchinson come back to the river.

You know very well that the Consul see them people that time he live here, and he say no man must trouble them. He send you book say they can't take esere. You be king for town, and we know veiy well that them blood-people no fit to do anything if you no will. Also we hear it be you send for them blood-men to come into town. We want to know if that be true. So if any thing trouble them men it be your palaver. Better wait till Consul comes, then that palaver can be set.

This no be mission—also it be no palaver for ship captain. It be Consul's palaver, so you better take care what you do.—We are, sir, your friends,

Signed EDWARD DAVIES.
JOSEPH CUTHBERTSON.
James Shaw.
William Hearn
Jon. Baak
Wm. Anderson.
Saml. Edgerley.
Saml. Macmillan.
J. A. Allcroft.

I was deputed to carry this letter to the Duke, which I did. I also read it, and explained it to him. He would not take it into his hands, however, so I pocketed it, and left him, after having a few words with him in reference to Egbo.

While we were holding our meeting on board the Africa, the Duke had sent out his Egbo messengers and drums to put the Mission under ban. The first sound that Mr. Edgerley and I heard when we landed was that of the Egbo drums and messengers issuing some proclamation, we knew not what; but we were soon informed. We learnt first from Henry Cobham, and I afterwards learned from the Duke himself (when I took the above letter to him, as well as from Mrs. A., and others on the Mission Hill; for the proclamation was made very loudly on the public road, within a few yards of the mission-house, that on account of my refusal to give up the refugees to take the escre—

1. No person is to go to any of the Mission premises with provisions of any kind whatever, for sale or clash.

2. All gentlemen who have children or slaves living on the Mission premises must take them away to the town at once.

3. No Calabar person must go to visit the missionaries.

4. No child must be sent or allowed to go to school.

5. No gentleman must allow meeting in his yard on Sabbath for the hearing of God's word ; and no one belonging to the town must go to church on Sabbath, or to meetings of any kind, with the Mission people.

Some declare that there was a sixth article, forbidding all who live on the Mission Hill from going to the town market to obtain provisions. The Duke declares, however, that he did not blow to stop our people from going to market, so that I have not inserted that item among the things acknowledged to have been blozvn. The result of the proclamation was that our people were excluded from market. It was verging on the market hour when it was made; and our young people, who were on their way to exchange coppers and buy country provisions, as well as those belonging to Mrs. Goldie, Mr. Edgerley, Mr. Haddison, and the Sierra Leone people, were all turned back by the town people, and not allowed to go near the market. The case of the Sierra Leone people is one of peculiar hardship. We in the Mission can manage to get on for a time without country provisions (Vegetables, yams, fowls, etc.), but they cannot do so as yet. To prohibit their access to market is to sentence them to starvation.

Friday, 30.—Our market people again' prevented from buying or selling. They are told that they may buy for black coppers, but that they must not sell anything. It is only by selling European goods that the black coppers can be obtained.

Saturday, 31.—Sierra Leone women driven back from market to-day, and not allowed to purchase supplies, even though they have black coppers.

Having an opportunity of sending to Fernando Po, I took the opportunity of forwarding the substance of the above statement to Mr. Consul Hutchinson.

Went round the town in the evening to announce the Sabbath as usual. No prospect of meeting anywhere in town, except in Henry Cobham's. Henry seems inclined to let the Duke see that he "be king for Cobham Town." Went to the Duke's. I found a number of native gentlemen assembled in his house. Some of them were very sulky, others very saucy, and others very silent. The Duke very furious, and gave me a good deal of insulting language. He and one or two others asked me how many coppers the Mission had paid for the Mission ground—stated that Eyamba had only lent the ground, and that I had broken country law and Egbo law, and that by and by they would want their ground, and that the Mission must leave the country, etc. I stated to them that the Mission had plenty of books to show how the case stands about the ground we occupy, that we can attend to that by and by—that I had broken no country fashion or Egbo law in protecting the refugees. I reminded them that on King Archibong's death, the late Mr. Young and his brother (sitting among them!), and also Eyamba's daughter, all fled to Creek Town to escape the esere, and were protected there till the palaver was set; that King Eyo had told me I had done "quite right" in refusing to give up the people ; and that they themselves had broken country fashion and their own Egbo law in troubling people who run to the mission-house, and in blowing Egbo on me, and trying to stop me from speaking God's word in the town. I concluded by giving the Duke a formal invitation to come to me for lodging and protection, should the day come when he himself might wish to escape the "chop nut."

The more intelligent people of Duke Town admit that I have only done what is right, and in accordance with their own customs, in protecting the refugees, and seem glad at the stand I have taken on the subject. At this very time the Duke himself has a refugee from one of the Efut villages. He is charged with having killed one of the Efut with ifot. His neighbours wished to subject him to the ordeal of the bean; he fled to the Duke for protection, and he (the Duke) very properly refuses to give him up.

Wishing to suggest suitable subjects of meditation to the young people who can read, and who will be afraid to venture out to church or Sabbath school, I cut a number of slips of paper and jotted down a few texts on each. These I distributed as I had opportunity. I give you a copy:—

Read Dan. iii.; Matt. x. 28; Luke x. 16; Acts iv. 18, 19; Acts v. 28, 29, 38, 39.

Sabbath, June 1.—Went my usual Sabbath rounds. Had a pretty good meeting in Henry Cobham's. Read and commented in Efik; on Dan. iii. Afterwards I called at other five houses, where meetings are frequently held. Three of the gentlemen were "not at home"; the other two were at home, but seemed as much afraid as if they had seen a spectre when I made my appearance. One of them vanished into his inner yard, after having begged of me not to bring him into trouble ; and the other set a jar of mimbo and a tumbler on the table before me, which seemed all he durst do in the way of showing me his friendly regards, and then bolted, leaving me in undisturbed possession of his yard and the mimbo. I learned afterwards that on leaving me he hurried towards the Duke's, with the view, I suppose, of showing that he was observing the recent Egbo proclamation.

Having plenty of time before me, 1 walked the length of Qua. The headman was absent; but I got a small meeting in the house of one of the gentlemen (who was a refugee in my house for several weeks about two years ago), and repeated the discourse on Dan. iii.

On return home, I found that Airs. Goldie, Mrs. Anderson, and Miss Darty had attempted their usual meetings in the women's yards; but—except at H. Cobham's—the ladies were all as afraid of them as the gentlemen were of me.

Mr. Edgerley preached the English sermon at four p.m. in the church. At the close of the service I made the following statement:—

"Present circumstances seem to require a few words from me ere we separate. The war is still going on between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, according to the ancient oracle, Gen. iii. 15. The same spirit which animated the chief priests and rulers when they apprehended the apostles and cast them into prison, actuates many in authority around us. We cannot be too grateful for our privileges as British subjects. The authorities here would cast the apostles into the inner prison (if there were one) if they dared ; but, situated as we are, they find it easier to put their whole country under interdict than to use violence towards any one of us. For this we should be grateful to the King of nations. Those of us who suffer most from the proclamation made the other day have this consolation, that we suffer in a good cause. I trust that every member of the church— that everyone present—would be willing to suffer anything and everything rather than be accessory to the shedding of innocent blood. We must observe the laws of hospitality at whatever expense.

"Considering what has occurred as a manifestation ot hostility to the progress of religion and civilisation, I think we should feel encouraged to prosecute our work with increased vigour ; for the opposition shows that Satan is beginning to feel alarmed about this portion of his dominions, and is struggling hard to retain possession of it. I have every confidence that the things which seem to be against us shall soon be found to have tended rather to the furtherance of the gospel than to its obstruction. We have the 2nd Psalm to cheer us: 'Why do the heathen rage?' etc. We can say, if we will, as well as Luther: 'Come, and in spite of the devil and all his children we shall sing the 46th Psalm.' In respect to the poor deluded ones all around us, what can we do but pray for them that they may be rescued from the destroyer? We can adopt this prayer in reference to them: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' They allow us not to speak to them about God ; let us earnestly and constantly speak to God about them. Let us now, brethren, before parting, pray for them."

All the young men who have joined the Church, except one, are and have been for some weeks absent from town, being at the distant oil markets, so that I do not know how they would have stood the trial had they been within reach of the church to-day. The one at present in town did not show face. He has been for some time suspended from Communion. Not one belonging to the town attended Sabbath school or service in English. The attendance was between forty and fifty notwithstanding. We had a comfortable meeting. Mr. Edgerley preached a seasonable and encouraging discourse from 2 Thess. i. 10.

Monday 2 till Saturday 7.—A quiet week on the Mission Hill. No scholars from town. From the mission-houses and Sierra Leone people's settlements, however, we muster a school of fourteen or fifteen. Market operations not interfered with this week. Took usual rounds on Saturday evening to announce the Sabbath.

Sabbath, 8.—Good meeting in Henry Cobham's. Could not manage to get a meeting elsewhere. Scattered a few handfuls of the good seed by the wayside among passers-by as opportunity presented. Preached in the evening to our usual English congregation from Ps. exxvi. 5. Two young lads not connected with the church braved the Egbo ban, and attended both Sabbath school and church.

Thursday, 12.—Not being able to do much in town at present, I have for the past ten days been busy transcribing for the press a translation into Efik of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and chapters 8,9, and 15 of 1st Corinthians. Finished this work to-day. May the Master accept of the feeble attempt to serve Him, and bless the translation, in making it instrumental in advancing His glory!

Friday, 13.—About noon, H.M.S. Scourge made her appearance. Mr. Edgerley and I went on board to pay our respects to Mr. Consul Hutchinson and Commodore Adams. The Consul summoned a meeting of the native gentlemen on board to-morrow, that he may learn why Egbo has been blown on the Mission.

Saturday, 14.—An important meeting held on board H.M.S. Scourge. Being called on by the Consul, I narrated as above the circumstances which led to the "blowing of Egbo," intimating my conviction that by thus acting the native gentlemen had broken the arrangements entered into at the commencement of the Mission, both in the attempt to stop the work of the Mission and in trying to do away with the right of sanctuary on the Mission premises for runaways who are guilty of no crime. I could appeal to all present that the right of sanctuary had never been abused by me; that while I had often sheltered the innocent, I had never protected any really guilty person further than this, that before giving up a criminal I always stipulate that he is not to be killed, and, if a slave, beg his master not to flog him "too much." I referred the Consul to Rev. Mr. Waddell for information as to the grant of land to, and arrangements made with, the Mission at the commencement of operations here. Mr. Waddell, having been called on for this information, showed most satisfactorily that while it was true (as Duke Town people had been saying) that the land had not been sold to the Mission, nevertheless it had been made over to the Mission Board for mission purposes "for ever" by King Eyamba and all his gentlemen, and that the present procedure of King Duke and his gentlemen was a violation of the stipulation entered into with the missionaries on their arrival, as well as of the promises made to them before they came. The Duke Town people being asked for their statement of the case, had nothing new to add to my version of the matter. Mr. Hogan, who had to act as their chief speaker, seemed ashamed to refer to the root of the matter, freemason, but confined himself chiefly to the declaration that the Egbo ban was never meant to prevent the Mission people or the Sierra Leone people from buying and selling in the market as they had been accustomed to do, etc. The Duke, however, was dissatisfied with the line of argument pursued, and stated that "when man kill other man with freemason, he must chop nut." To the questions, Why does the Duke himself protect at this moment an Efut gentleman from the esere ordeal? and why did he disregard the letter of the Consul in reference? I do not think that there was any answer given.

Both the Consul and the Commodore strongly condemned their present procedure, and, to cut matters short, I need only add that in a very few minutes after the Duke and gentlemen reached the beach, Egbo messengers, with their drums, were traversing the town, publishing to all that the proclamation of May 29 was reversed, and that liberty to visit the missionaries, to attend school, to go to church, to carry provisions to the mission-houses, etc. etc., was fully granted.

Sabbath, 15.-—Usual meetings held in both Cobham Town and Duke Town to-day. The Consul, the Commodore, and a number of the officers of the Scourge set a good example to our countrymen in the river, by attending divine service in the evening.

Monday, 16.—Some "trade palavers" on board the man-of-war with which I had nothing to do. But, looking at the religious state of the country (rather its irreligious state), I could not help remarking to the Consul at the tea-table this evening, that I feel convinced that till there be more of the fear of God, both in the country and in the river, Calabar will never be a prosperous country; its trade regulations and other laws may be drawn up by a legislator as wise as Solomon, but so long as the Almighty is defied, the Bible unread, the Sabbath unsanctified, the house of God unattended, His blessing, which makcth rich and addeth no sorrow, cannot be expected to rest on the country.

Tuesday, 17.—Last public meeting on the Scourge. The Duke, I have since learned, had no idea that he was required to go on board again, so that, when the Kru-boys went with a boat for him, he declined to go on board without some formal notice. The Consul, considering that he had given due notice of the meeting, thought, as was very natural, that the Duke was getting contumacious, and a little warlike demonstration was made in the way of pointing guns towards the town, etc., to bring him to his senses. The demonstration referred to seemed somewhat to alarm King Eyo and others who were on board. The supercargoes and some others present entered into the spirit of the feint, and urged King Eyo to despatch some of his brothers at once to hurry off the Duke. This he did in double-quick time, and speedily the Duke and his people were on deck of the Scourge, and were severely rebuked for their trifling. Ignorance, and not obstinacy (as I have since learned), was the cause of the delay.

At this meeting the Consul reprobated strongly and justly the pernicious practice of private persons, whether black or white, taking law into their own hands when they consider themselves aggrieved. All such matters should be brought before some lawful authority. He gave the natives to understand that they had full right and liberty to complain to him should any British subject injure them, just as British subjects have a right to appeal to him for redress when they feel aggrieved; and he obtained a written declaration from the native authorities that for the future "British subjects coming to, trading at, or residing in the Old Calabar territory, shall not be maltreated," etc. etc. It was explained to the natives that should any missionary do what they dislike, they must report the matter to him, but no more blowing of Egbo must be resorted to.

In reference to the three refugees, the Consul stated to King Eyo, King Duke, and Henry Cobham, that they were under his (the Consul's) protection, and that they must not be further molested. The decision in this case appears to me to be almost, if not altogether, the deathblow to the esere ordeal in Duke Town.

I may add that the man and the elder lady are with us here. The young woman has been with Mrs. Sutherland since Mr. S.'s death, and gives great satisfaction.

We have gained three points by the prompt interference of the Consul in this matter:—1st, There will, I should suppose, be no more misunderstanding on the minds of the present generation of Calabar gentlemen as to the validity of the tenure by which the Mission Board holds the ground occupied by the Mission premises, and a small tract of land around them. 2nd, The Mission premises and mission work will no more be put under Egbo ban, during the present reign at all events. The anti-progress party were evidently determined to try their strength, but they find that they have gone a little too far. They have been made to feel that they are somewhat under check, and cannot carry all before them. And 3rd, The Mission premises have been more publicly than at any former time recognised as a sanctuary for refugees who are guilty of no crime. What has taken place is in fact equivalent to a public proclamation that anyone doomed to the ordeal of the escre on the charge of ifot or freemason, will be protected from it if he can only reach the mission-house.

I have information that a great number of the so-called blood-men are quite glad that the refugees were not given up. Doubtless some of them are looking forward to their own day of danger, and inwardly rejoicing that a city of refuge is open to them. I regret to be obliged to add, however, that some of the headmen among them, on their return to the plantations, seized on the wife of Okunya (The male refugee with us), and compelled her to take the fatal bean, under the influence of which she died.

Oh! how much innocent blood cries to heaven for vengeance from Old Calabar! "When I fe maketh inquisition for blood," who of its guilty inhabitants shall stand? Oh that they would attend to the message of mercy, and apply to that blood which cleanseth from all— even from scarlet and crimson-dyed—sin, ere their day of grace shall for ever pass away!

The consular intervention did good, for on 24th July Mr. Anderson wrote of the better feeling among the chief men:—

You will be glad to learn that no bad feeling appears to be cherished among the natives on account of the "man-of-war palaver," which I reported last month. The Duke never seemed so cordial to the missionaries as at present ; he was telling Mr. Baillie and me the other day that he is brother for all God men now, and cannot make any more palaver with them. About three weeks ago, a fellow who appeared to have been somewhat deranged, took it into his head to stab two of his neighbours with a knife. When brought to the Duke for judgment, the first step taken was to ascertain from the missionaries what God's law or English law would say about the matter. Neither of the parties being then dead, I sent word to the Duke that the man ought to be kept in confinement till the result of the wounds should make it appear whether he was a murderer or not. The poor wretch had, however, stabbed himself also (in the abdomen) and fearing lest he should escape punishment by dying, my objections to his execution were overruled. One of his victims died the day after, so that I was obliged to admit to the Duke Town gentlemen that, in this case, "Calabar had not killed a man for nothing."

I was convinced in my own mind, and I expressed the conviction to Mr. Consul Hutchinson, when he was here, that the course he had taken in reference to the three refugees from HenshawTown would prove the death-blow to the poison-bean ordeal in the whole of this portion of Old Calabar. And I am glad to be able to report that, on the death of a person of some standing in Henshaw Town, about a fortnight ago, and when several of the relatives went, as usual, with a charge of freemason against some of their neighbours to the Duke, he would not hear their story, scolded them for bringing such a story to him, and then, like Gallio of the olden time (Acts xviii. 16), "he drave them from the judgment-seat."


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