William and Louisa
Anderson Part III -
Old Calabar Period, 1849-1889, & Closing Years, 1889-1895
Labours, 1874-1876—War between
Duke Town and Henshaw Town
WRITING on the 1st of May 1874, Mr. Anderson sent
the following extracts from his Journal: —
Thursday, Jan. 1.—No such inbringing of the year
here as you had in Edinburgh. ... At ten forenoon I preached in King Archibong's
yard to the largest assembly of worshippers I have ever addressed in the town.
With one exception, the multitude were deeply attentive. King and queen were
both present. Oh for a ripple of the wave of revival by which Edinburgh has been
Thursday, 22.—Saddened somewhat to-day on receipt
of intelligence of departure of a right noble fellow-worker when I was in
Jamaica, George Millar, Esq., long Principal of the Academy at Montcgo Bay. Many
hearts in Jamaica will be softened when they hear—doubtless they have heard ere
now—of his departure. In regard to myself, I have said saddened somewhat, for
really I do not feel now as in earlier years when friends are taken away At my
time of life I feel the death or funeral of a friend to be something like
bidding him good-bye as he embarks on the homeward - bound mail steamer. A
steamer or two more, I must pack up and follow.
Thursday, Feb. 5. — Over creek to-day at what I
call Henshaw Town North. Have not been there for several weeks. There is a large
population in the town. Some of the headmen are—or profess to be—anxious for a
school to be opened among them for their children. One or two of the native
members go over on Sabbaths and hold meetings in several of the houses, but this
scarcely satisfies our friends.
Sabbath, 8.—Attendance to-day very cheering.
Cob-ham Town people were present in a body, the first time for years. Queen
Archibong, and a great number of ladies in her train, also put in an appearance.
An old story, the Sixth Commandment, forenoon ; our Lord's Ascension, afternoon.
In a paper entitled "Retrospect of a Quarter of a
Century" [Record, May 1875. in a letter to Mr. Chisholm, Mr. Anderson remarks:
"You would wonder to see me represented in the Record as viewing twenty-six
years as a quarter Of a century. That paper was written on Feb. 10, 1874, and
began with a reference to ' twenty-five years ago.' Dr. MacGill, however, just
kept it idle for a whole twelvemonth—and then changed twenty-five into
twenty-six. Had it been written in Feb. last, the numbers of members, ete. and
several allusions would have been rather different."] Mr. Anderson reviewed in a
characteristic way the changes that had taken place in Duke Town during the
twenty-five years he and Mrs. Anderson had laboured there:—
For a long time the work was of a very "uphill"
kind indeed. We had sometimes very interesting meetings, and sometimes my
hearers would favour me with their remarks on what was said. One day, when I had
been speaking on the greatness or glory of God, Henry Cob-ham observed, "I think
God has no night." . . . One Sabbath morning I found Henry quite out of humour,
and expatiating on the ingratitude of his slaves. "What have they been doing
now, Henry?" " Look here, I call them all at nine o'clock, give every one a
glass of rum to make them come when you come, to hear God's word; and see! They
drink my rum, and now they all go away! I can't find one of them!" "Well, we
must just go on without them." . . . One Sabbath, shortly after some deed of
blood, I was speaking of the resurrection of the dead, intimating that, at the
sound of the last trumpet, murderers and murdered will arise together, and
together stand before God. My auditors could bear no more. King Archibong I.
jumped up in fury: "We go now," and hurried off towards the doorway of the yard.
H. Cobham cried out: "That plenty for to-day"; and Mr. Young said in his softest
manner: "That do for to-day, Mr. Anderson; you come back next Sunday and tell us
all about it." And thus my congregation dismissed me that day. . . . During the
period under review, seventy-nine adults have been baptized here. Of these,
fifteen are dead, twelve have drawn back, and several have gone to other
localities. Forty-one persons, including several of our own countrymen, baptized
elsewhere, have been received into full communion here. Of these, sixteen are
known to be dead, six are known to have drawn back, and most of the others are
now elsewhere. Sixty-three have been received in full communion from other
churches. Of these, sixteen are known to be dead, and most of the others are now
in other parts of the world. The church has just been a temporary resting-place
for most of these. Eight of those baptized in infancy have been admitted to the
Lord's table. Of these, one has died. There have thus been in connection with
the church at Duke Town during the quarter of a century one hundred and
ninety-one. Of these, forty-eight are known to be dead. Forty-seven infants haw
boon baptized, and of these nine have died.
The school has never been so well
attended—perhaps it has not been so well conducted—as it should have been. This
arises from the fact that during the greater portion of the time under
consideration one man has had to be both minister and schoolmaster at the
station, and this has doubtless interfered with the effectiveness of his work in
both capacities. I believe that about four hundred young people have been at
school, the most of whom have been taught to read, and also to do a little in
writing and arithmetic. In Mr. Morton we have a teacher whose heart is in his
work, and it may be expected that henceforth our educational department will
flourish as it has never done hitherto.
Our Church membership is but small. In all
countries there may be more members than Christians in a Church; but I believe
that in a community like ours there may be more Christians than there are Church
members. Polygamy, very properly I think, excludes from Church fellowship; but I
have never ventured to denounce perdition on all who have entered into such a
state of life while ignorant of New Testament law on the subject, and who have
not been able to see it to be their duty to abandon that position. I have no
hesitation in declaring that all who enter into such relationships, after they
know the mind of Christ on the matter, do thereby ruin their souls. I believe
that the stringent rules of the Church in regard to slavery have proved a
barrier to some in regard to joining the Church. They see quite well that the
anti-slavery declaration which they are required to subscribe before being
received into fellowship, if honestly carried out, renders their slaves
practically free. I do not wonder that this appears to some as an insuperable
barrier to their becoming Church members. A man having twelve slaves may wish to
join the Church. He may not only sign our declaration in regard to them, he may
even give each of them a sort of writ of manumission, declaring that he gives up
all claim to them. What more could the man do? But such a document would be
utterly ignored by all the laws and customs of the country. The master would
still remain responsible to the community for the misdeeds of any of the
supposed twelve—as much so as if he had not given up all claim to them. Not only
so, but each of these twelve ma)' purchase another twelve slaves, and thus the
poor man, ere he is aware of it, may be responsible to the public for the
conduct of one hundred and forty-four persons, besides his original twelve. Not
only so; but there is nothing, in so far as I know, save want of means, to
prevent those one hundred and forty-four purchasing other slaves to any extent,
thus indefinitely increasing the responsibilities as well as the wealth of the
great man whom all acknowledge as their master and owner. I for one am not
prepared to say that a man cannot be a Christian unless he break through all
entanglements under this head, and subscribe the declaration as required by the
Church in order to membership. And then there are the old, the diseased, the
very poor, and the oppressed, among wives, widows, and slaves, who cannot attend
public service anywhere, but who are instructed privately in regard to the way
of salvation; some of whom we know to be instant in prayer, and humbly looking
for pardon and salvation through the merits of the One Mediator. All these
things considered, I cherish the conviction that our Communion roll does not
contain the names of all around us who are on the way to everlasting bliss. On
"that day" there will assuredly be found many discrepancies between earth's
Communion roll and the Lamb's Book of Life—some of them very melancholy, and
others very delightful.
No one will imagine that the foregoing statements
are meant to indicate that Duke Town is thoroughly evangelised. The work of the
gospel is little more than begun, but I think I can say that it is begun. A few
hundreds have been brought, more or less, under the influence of the sacred
word; but the thousands still remain unimpressed, uninterested, and
uninstructed. Contrasting the first Sabbath I spent in Duke Town with Sabbath
last, I see much reason why I should thank God and take courage. . . .
But the great result of this brief retrospect of
a quarter of a century ought to be, I trust will be, increased effort in time to
come; greater earnestness in prophesying to the dry bones, and saying unto them,
"Live"; and greater earnestness in prophesying to the wind, "Come from the four
winds, O breath ! and breathe upon these slain, that they may live."
The Journal continues:—
Tuesday, Feb. 12.—Twenty-five years to-day since
my partner and I first set foot on Calabar soil. We have had our ups and downs,
our sorrows and our joys. We have seen many changes in the town and among the
shipping. We feel grateful that during the greater portion of the quarter of a
century which has passed over us here we have been so seldom laid aside by
sickness. We trust that we have not been altogether idlers in the vineyard,
though we may not have been able to do so much as we expected to accomplish. In
looking at the then and now, we feel that it becomes us to erect our Ebenezer
anew today, and to proclaim with grateful hearts, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped
us!" And we feel confident that He will not forsake us now that the evening
shades are gathering around us.
Wednesday, 25.—At Creek Town, at the coronation
of our friend Henshaw Tom Foster, long a consistent member and office-bearer in
the Church, now transformed into King Eyo Honesty Vii. It has been, I trust, a
good day for the Church in Calabar.
Friday, 27.—Along with several other members of
the Mission, and at the request of our new Consul, George Hartley, Esq., at a
consular meeting held on one of the hulks.
Sabbath, March 1.—The sixth anniversary of the
opening of our church. A great crowd forenoon ; both church and schoolroom
packed full. Both places respectably filled in afternoon. Mrs. Anderson, Mrs.
Sutherland, Mrs. Fuller, and Mr. Morton all put forth their energies to meet the
emergency. Those who got into church had their attention turned to the old, old
story—forenoon, Isa. xxxii. 2; afternoon, Luke vi. 19. The school attendance was
divided into classes, and taught by the ladies. A laborious but happy day.
Black Davis, one of the wealthiest and most
influential of the native traders, died on Jan. 25, and was buried on Jan. 27.
Mr. Anderson described in his Journal the funeral and the events that followed:—
Went to town at eight forenoon to see what was
going on. Returned again at noon, accompanied by Mrs. Sutherland and Mr. Morton,
and authorised by King Archibong to see everything that could be seen. We saw
the grave, eighteen or twenty feet deep; the coffin, rather an imposing affair;
crowds of mourners; and piles of European goods, contributed in respect for the
dead, a part of which was to be put in the grave, and a part to be divided
among— I hardly know whom. Gifts came pouring in from all quarters all the time
we could spare, so that we had to leave before the coffin was laid in its
resting-place. The scene was diversified here and there by the sight of a
slaughtered bullock. Better slaughtered bullocks than murdered men.
Wednesday, 28.—The departed Black Davis owned a
vast number of people in the plantations. The males form a powerful party among
the blood-men. 1 had information from a trustworthy source that a large body of
these men had come into the town, and seemed bent on mischief—i.e., wished to
charge some person or persons with causing their master's death, and to cause
such person or persons to eat the poison bean. I intimated this to our European
friends who were at the weekly prayer meeting in the evening, and requested
their aid in keeping the blood-men in check. . . . Three volunteered to aid mc
in any way 1 thought best, namely, Mr. Morton, Captain Walker, and Mr. White.
All four set out at once under the splendid moonlight, secured the town, went to
King Archibong's and implored him not to allow any eserc to be administered. He
said he would not. We went to Black Davis's, met a large number of the blood-men
on the premises, got chairs and sat down among them, and reasoned as best we
could on the evil of murder and the folly of imagining that in such a ease as
that of their late master there could be any if'dt which caused death. Whether
our exhortations were of much avail, I know not. We felt that we had done what
we could. I have no doubt that it was well to let the whole town see that their
proceedings were watched with interest by white men.
Saturday, 31.—Glad to learn that Egbo
proclamation was made to-day, forbidding any devil-making for Black Davis
to-morrow. This will ensure in great measure the quiet of the town.
Monday, March 16.—A dark scene opens. Black
Davis's people seem determined to have some victims to follow their late master
into another world. Down to town twice this forenoon, accompanied by Mrs.
Sutherland, to save one of the widows from the ordeal. We did not know till too
late that the esere had been administered to other three of the widows, all of
Tuesday, 17.—In town both forenoon and afternoon,
trying to ascertain on what grounds the three women were made to take esere
yesterday. Laying together all the information obtainable, I believe that two of
them had been unfaithful before Black Davis's death; and in regard to the third,
that a few days before he was seized with his last illness, he had found fault
with her about some food she had prepared for him, when she told him very
significantly that in a little while he would follow his fathers, i.e. die. It
is alleged against one of the other two, that, when she heard in the plantation
of Black Davis's death, she, in presence of several witnesses, expressed her
joy. But the victims are not here to answer for themselves. Talked seriously
with King Archibong about the matter.
Wednesday, 18.—The blood-men in great measure
dispersed, but felt it my duty to go again to town to see how matters stand, and
endeavour to prevent any further evil. After consideration, wrote and forwarded
to King Archibong this letter:—
March 18, 1874.
"Kino Archibong III.,—Sir, I spent a good part of
yesterday trying to find out why these three women were compelled to take esere
on Monday. I cannot find any good cause for killing them. I look on the affair
as just killing for the dead—the very thing that you are bound by treaty with
England not to do. . . .
"This doing puts me to plenty shame. I write good
about Adam Archibong (now King Archibong III.), and this bad fashion has come up
again. I hear that no esere has been given in Creek Town for twenty years. How
is it that Duke Town keeps up such a fashion?
"Another thing. This puts me in trouble this way:
Suppose I write to Consul that Duke Town break treaty, and he come and fine town
heavily; then Duke Town people will say, ' Oh, Mr. Anderson is a bad man—brings
plenty trouble on us !' Suppose I no write to Consul about such a thing, then
what will white men say?—' Oh, Mr. Anderson is a worthless fellow, no fit to be
a missionary! He see Calabar kill people for nothing, and does not report it'
What am I to do?—I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
To the above letter King Archibong sent me a
verbal reply, in substance a repetition of what he said to me, to the effect
that he was very sorry that he did not send for me or some other white man, that
I might hear all the evidence against the women, and also their own confession,
which left no doubt as to their guilt ; and that, should any other case of the
kind occur, he will send for me and be greatly guided by my opinion in such a
matter. This is certainly an improvement on the style of our last king: "You
white men attend to your own business; you have nothing to do in town palavers."
Sabbath, 29.—Our Communion. Our brother, Dr.
Robb, who has been with us a short time for health's sake, took part in the
service. His vigour of address, both in Efik and English, shows how well Duke
Town air agrees with him.
Tuesday, April 7. Roused between ten and eleven
forenoon by the welcome intelligence that a mother and twins were at Henshaw
Town beach, having just arrived from a distant plantation, where the birth had
taken place about twenty-four hours before. Mrs. Anderson, though suffering a
good deal, hurried off to meet and welcome the strangers, and in a short time
she had them at home. She declares the twins to be two of the finest and
strongest-looking boys she has ever seen of their age. The family belongs to
Henshaw Town, whose chief had no objection to their being at once located in the
town ; but Mrs. Anderson and he agreed that it would be better for the trio to
be at the mission-house, till the mother be strong enough to take care of the
little fellows,—so that this is not a case requiring an appeal to friends for
Friday, 10.—Being in the Qua neighbourhood, I
thought 1 might step the length of Old Town and see what was being done in the
school there. Found our teacher busy in school, but with only eight scholars
present. Catechised them a little, and found them familiar with the answers of
our smallest Catechism. Found the King of Qua not unwilling to have a school in
his town. Came in by Henshaw Town North, and made a few calls, announcing the
approach of Sabbath. "To-morrow Saturday, and then?"—"Then God's day."— "Well,
remember Fourth Commandment."
Wednesday, 15.—Visited Qua and Akim, taking with
me an interpreter and two large alphabet cards. Had a little gospel work and
school work at both places. There is a fine field for an energetic worker at
Qua—not so sure about Akim. Mrs. Sutherland expended a good deal of labour on
both, many years ago, the results of which are still visible.
Tuesday, 21.—Captain Walker has opened a new
school, a mile and a half or two miles from Walkerwood, at a small town called
Ikot-ansa. Accompanied by Captain Walker, visited both schools to-day. It seems
that the etiquette of the region forbade the chiefs of Ikot-ansa to send their
children out of their territory to be taught. The same teacher does duty at both
schools, teaching at the new place in the morning, and at the old in the
evening. Twenty children were at the new school to-day, all neat and clean, and
clothed in suitable raiment, provided by Captain Walker and his friends. I was
struck with the fine countenances of the children. . . . The king and the queen
and a number of ladies and gentlemen were present, and seemed interested in the
examination of the school. Examined Walkerwood school in the afternoon, and
found that progress was being made there. The region in which Captain Walker
operates, lying between Old Town and the Qua River, is one of great beauty.
Monday, May 4.—An attack of fever began on Friday
evening, and lasted thirty hours. I gratefully acknowledge, however, that the
attack was exceedingly gentle. It left me yesterday morning a good deal
In the Annual Report for 1874 it was stated:—
The Rev. Dugald Campbell has lately returned to
this country in a^state of broken health; and but for a lack of labourers,
arising from this and other causes, Mr. Anderson would have availed himself of
the arrangement, by which it has been customary to obviate the dangers of the
climate by periodical changes at intervals of about five years.
With reference to the English service, note is
taken of the changed conditions of European trading life in Calabar:—
The European occupants of the hulks are few in
number when compared with those of the olden time on board the ships. There are,
however, nine European trading establishments on the river, each with its
supercargo, clerk, mate, etc. Out of all these only three are in fellowship with
the Church. These three, and I may say two—or perhaps three—others, arc the only
Europeans who have attended public worship with anything like regularity during
the past year. It is matter of thankfulness that luiropean example in a matter
of this sort is not so potent as it was twenty years ago.
Extracts from Journal,1 giving an account of the
work during the first half of 1875, follow:
Friday, Jan. 1.—The year opens auspiciously. Very
s^ood attendance at our New Year's Dav service in King Archibong's yard. At the
close of the service the king intimated to all present that he himself was very
glad to have God's word, and that, if any of his people wished to leave off the
old fashions and join the Church, they should not be molested on that account.
Tuesday, Feb. 16.— Had a long conversation
to-day, in his own house, with our friend George Duke, Esq. lie is certainly a
good deal under the power of the world to come. The one barrier in his way is
polygamy, and he seems strongly disposed to break it down, though he feels that
it will be a difficult task to accomplish. Called his attention to promised
support and strength: "My grace is sufficient for thee."
Thursday, 25. Our friend George Duke has taken
the decided step—has effected a friendly separation from all his wives. Nine of
them are free women, and are considered ladies of importance. To one of them he
is to be married "in Christian fashion" in a few days.
Thursday, April 20.—Slavery is indeed a curse! A
number of people have been living beside us for years whom we looked upon as
emancipadoes, most of them furnished with consular free papers—said free papers
having been approved by Her Majesty's Government. Xo one had troubled the
persons referred to during three reigns; but soon after the accession of our
present king, one of the free young men presented his claim to ten or twelve of
them as being his slaves. His plea is, that the eldest of the party, who
redeemed all the others, was once his father's slave, and was given to him when
he was an infant! According to Calabar law and custom, all the slaves bought by
a slave belong to the master or mistress of the purchaser. In the present case,
however, no just claim can be made for either purchaser or purchased. The
purchaser of the others was taken under British protection in 1849 by the
commander of an English man-of-war, and with the full concurrence of King
Archibong I. and all the gentlemen of Duke Town. He purchased several
individuals Hiis wife among the rest), but not with the intention of their1
being slaves to him or to anyone else ; for his purchases, whom he and we
considered as redeemed from slavery, were presented to successive consuls on
their official visits to the river, and received from the consuls free papers in
the form approved by the Foreign Office. But I find I must not enter into the
history of the matter here. Suffice it for the present to say, that the young
man who claims the individuals referred to has annoyed them so much for some
time past, that eight of them, including five members of the Church, embarked
to-day on the mail steamer to search for a habitation where they will be allowed
to enjoy peace. They go in the meantime to Fernando Po. May they be provided
for, protected, and blessed!
Wednesday, 28.—At Henshaw Town North, arranging
with the householders (a School Board not being as yet organised!) for the
opening of a school here. At our last meeting of Presbytery it was agreed to
withdraw William Cobham from Henshaw Town South, that he might devote his time
to some more destitute locality.
Found all the heads of the houses anxious to have
a school and preaching station established among them— the only preliminary
being that I should get King A.'s assent to the movement. Called on the king on
my way home, laid the case before him, and he at once approved of the project,
so that we can at once carry it into execution.
Sabbath, May 9.—Another interesting and
delightful day. Four adults were received into Church fellowship by baptism, two
of the four being our long-continued friend George Duke, Fsq. and his wife.
After the seniors had been received into communion, six of George's children
(one of them a girl) were also baptized.
All things considered, it has been judged proper
to have a larger session than we have had for years—Captain Walker and I being
the only members thereof. There was a difficulty, however. We have no old Church
members whose years (as Church members) would render them venerable, so we must
either be content to have young men associated with us, or none. We chose the
former alternative ; and my townsman as well as countryman, Mr. A. S. Morton,
and a native, Ene Antika, were some time ago duly elected to the office of
ruling elders, and both were ordained this afternoon with the usual formalities
to the important office.
Sabbath, May 16.—Our Communion. A very pleasant
day, and, I trust, profitable to the souls of many. Seventy-five communicants
took their places at the sacred festival. We remembered with affectionate
interest the five of our members who since last Communion have gone to find a
resting-place in Fernando Po, if the Lord will.
Tuesday, 18.—At Old Town, in company with Mr.
Goldie, examining the state of the mission premises there. Miss Mary Johnstone,
[Sister of Mrs. Goldie and of Miss K. Johnstone. She joined the Mission in 1S74,
and afler twenty years' faithful service retired in 1894.] in compliance with
the request of the Presbytery, has kindly and courageously agreed to take the
superintendence of that station. The headmen of the town seem delighted at the
prospect of another European being located among them, and they promise fair to
attend meetings, send children to school, etc. etc. May they remember their
promises and perform them!
Tuesday, June 22.—Nine years to-day since 1 last
bade farewell to my native land. I have never spent nine shorter years than
those which have elapsed since then. It "seems only a few days" since my last
return to Old Calabar. How different my experience of this climate from that of
our esteemed brother now making preparation for leaving us finally! Let me not
forget that, where much is given, much shall be required.
Friday, 25.—Meeting of Presbytery to-day,
probably the last that Dr. Robb will ever attend in this land. At the close of
the business he gave us a very touching and interesting address, which was
responded to in a very feeling manner, on behalf of the remanent members of
Presbytery, by Mr. Goldie. We are sorry to be called on to part with any
brother, especially such a brother as Dr. Robb, but we feel thankful to the Head
of the Church for permitting him to live and labour with us for upwards of
seventeen years. We are grateful that he has been able to leave such monuments
of ability and industry behind him as the Old Testament, Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress, and other useful books, in the native tongue; thankful for the success
that has attended his preaching to the people, and his tutorial labours among
the young men; and we look with hopefulness towards his future, believing that a
wide door of usefulness will yet be opened up to him, and that he will be guided
into some sphere in which he will be able to render important service both to
the Church at home and to the cause of missions.
Sabbath, 27.—A solemn day for us. Dr. Robb
preached to us in Efik in the morning, and in English in the evening. His "last
words" among us were received with deep attention by both natives and Europeans.
Tuesday, 29.—Accompanied Dr. Robb to the ship,
and then we took leave of each other—it may be till "that day." He leaves us
accompanied by the best wishes of us all. He has been enabled to do a great work
here: perhaps even a greater awaits him elsewhere!
Wednesday, 30.—One of our young men, James
Ballantyne by name, was sent about six weeks ago to take charge of the school at
Old Town. I have dropped in <>n him repeatedly, and found him on each visit
working day energetically among twenty young people. I hear that' his addresses
at the meetings held on Sabbath are interesting and instructive, and listened to
attentively. Should European agency here decrease, ma)' native agency increase!
The following letter, dated Sept. 14, 1875,
contains a graphic account of the fighting that took place on mission ground,
between Duke Town and Henshaw Town:—
To Rev. John Law, John Chisholm, Esq., and all
other friends besides them.
. . . You arc aware that the Mission Hill lies
between the two towns, Duke Town and Henshaw Town. Henshaw Town people—a few
years ago—would have their own king. Duke Town admitted that Henshaw Town people
were proprietors of their own territory, and possessed regal I might call it
imperial power in their own town—could make what laws they chose—had the power
of life and death over their own subjects, etc., but would not permit them to
call their chief by the English title "king." Egbo, you are aware, is the title
of a sort of Freemason Society, with which the freemen of all the towns in
Calabar are connected, and the decisions of the institution in regard to
international matters or inter-townal matters; are final. Well, Duke Town
prevailed on the Egbo Institution to proclaim to the people of Henshaw Town that
they were not to call their headman "king." Henshaw Town people set the Egbo ban
at defiance, and also disregarded the counsel of their best friends both in the
Mission and in the river—which was to "sit softly till they grew stronger."
The}' had already got a crown and sceptre from Europe, and they actually held
their coronation cercmonv, with abundance of flags, firing cannon, etc. For
this, Egbo pounced upon them,—took their crown and sceptre and destroyed them
ignominiously in Duke Town,—and fined them I think at first 600 boxes of brass
rods, and then reduced it to 1300 boxes of brass rods—say, £6co to £joo. From
that clay to this there had been no cordiality between the towns. H. T.
complained some time ago that D. T. was oppressing them too much at the interior
oil markets. D. T., of course, denies this. But I must be brief.
On Tuesday, Aug. 10th, a young man named Prince
Duke (I should say styled so; connected with the
leading families of Duke Town, was visiting a friend in the neighbourhood of
Henshaw Town. On his way home he called on one of the H. T. chiefs, and they
seized him as a prisoner—put him in chains—and handled him rather roughly. This
was a rash step. In about half an hour hundreds of armed men were rushing up the
hill from D. T., and about 40 or 50 came round from H. T. to the line of the
mission ground. Mr. Morton and I hurried to the line—accompanied by a few Sierra
Leone men—the opposite parties were then shouting and pointing their rifles at
each other. I drew a line across the road with my staff, and proclaimed that
whoever should cross that line would involve themselves in war with white men.
Mr. Morton and I, with the Sierra Leone men, then stood on the line between the
parties—addressing them by turns. We were relieved from our position ere long by
an Egbo drum being sent by King Eyo of Creek Town (then a refugee here)
forbidding all firing of guns, and ordering all to keep quiet till the chiefs
should meet and consider what should be done. Our presence had been beneficial,
King Eyo, the river gentlemen, and we in the
Mission did what we could in the interests of peace for three weeks, during
which Prince Duke was kept a prisoner. But the Henshaw Town men's demands were
too high. They required to be put, in all things, on a level with Duke Town and
Creek Town. To look at this on black and white seems only reasonable, but Creek
Town has some Egbo privileges and honours peculiar to itself. Duke Town has
ditto. It was not likely that either town would surrender its peculimn?
An Egbo from Oron appeared on August 30th, and —
I scarcely know how—prevailed on Henshaw Town to release Prince Duke. Whenever
he was released, Duke Town demanded that the person named or known as King
Henshaw in. should be put into King Archibong's hands, to be kept in chains and
treated in the same way as Prince Duke had been treated—and for the same period
three weeks. Intimation was also given that if James Ilenshaw (King Henshaw
III.) were not surrendered in a short period, Duke Town would take him by force.
Both parties then prepared for war.
On Tuesday morning last, large masses of armed
men -many of them blood-men from the plantations—moved up the Mission Hill. Mr.
Morton was then absent, having been away for change. He returned about noon.
Mrs. A. and I went to see what was to be done. We kept for a time in the inside
of our mission fence. A strong party of II. T. men
were stationed behind a strong barricade about twenty yards from us. Hostilities
began by D. T. people pitching billets of wood, spiked at each end, among the
II. T. people. H. T. speedily returned the billets. So
far as I have been able to learn, only one serious wound was inflicted by these
missiles—one poor fellow got his mouth sadly smashed. The cry from both sides
rang out wildly, "Top, top," "Fire, fire," neither part}- being desirous of
firing the first shot. At length a shot was fired. Though so near, I cannot tell
from what side—the combatants were so near each other. We thought it as well to
move to a distance, but we experienced some new sensations, as shot of various
kinds went whistling—whistling is not the proper term, but I have no better at
hand—past us, snapping off the twigs and leaves of the trees around us. Mrs. A.
went off to get lint and bandages for the wounded. The most of them, however,
were carried off at once to the town. But I cannot write with composure on the
occurrences of the day. My chief design in taking up my pen at present was to
alla\r any apprehension which you may be under (should you see " Loanda's "
news; as to our safety. A considerable quantity of shot fell in our yard, and
one rifle ball which I may yet show you popped through one of our window panes.
So far as I can form an estimate, there were killed, of Duke Town 8 or 10, and
of Henshaw Town 14 or 16; wounded, of D. T. about 20; of H. T. about 25.
The firing continued the whole day. D. T.
attacked H. T. also from the river.
It was a most melancholy day for me ; for most of
the chiefs of both armies were wont to form part of my Sabbath congregation, and
many on both sides were my old scholars.
When evening came, Mr. Goldie, Mr. Morton, and I
went to King Archibong's to beg him to allow us to bring all the women and
children from Henshaw Town to the mission premises. He would not consent to our
going to Henshaw Town, but told us that he would send orders to his people to
molest no unarmed person, male or female, who might wish to leave H. T. After we
left King A., the river men went to him. H. T. reported to them that they were
quite exhausted. After going between the parties all night—King Henshaw having
escaped to one of the hulks—this bargain was concluded: James Henshaw (ex-king)
is to be handed to King A. Six hours will be allowed for all the H. T people to
escape with the most valuable portions of their property.
At 12 noon on Wednesday, 8th inst., the town was
vacated, and D. T. hordes poured in, removed the valuables from the various
houses, and set fire to all.
I forgot to say above, in connection with the
flying about of shot, that both parties paid the utmost respect to the mission
premises. What a mercy was it that parties fired at were in little danger of
being struck! Had there been only three or four trained riflemen on each side,
the carnage would have been vastly greater than it was.
On Sabbath A.M. I had a goodly congregation of D.
T. people. I called their attention to 2 Chron. xxviii. 1-16, Obad. 10-15, and
Luke xiii. 1-5. I palavered with some of the D. T. fellows, for they seemed glad
in the destruction of H. T. I told them that they had nothing to boast of—3000
against 150 or 160. Not more than 100 men in H. T. would have been admissible
(physically) into any English regiment. But probably, on the other hand, not
1000 out of the 3000 would have satisfied a British army surgeon.
H. T. people are now D. T. prisoners, but in the
hands of the Europeans. It is not yet settled where their future location is to
Sabbath was our Communion. I was utterly knocked
up at its close. Was unable to leave bed yesterday. A little better now. Not in
trim for writing. To-morrow Wednesday anniversary of formation of Presbytery. I
have to preach the sermon. Alas for my hearers! — Yours, worn-out, W. A.
On Sept. 28 Air. Anderson wrote from the hulk
I drop only a line or two from the hulk of our
friend Air. Gilbertson, [Brother of Mrs. S. H. Edgerley.] to say that we have
just left a meeting at which matters have been arranged between Duke Town and
Henshaw Town, under the auspices of H.B.M.'s Consul. The chief provision is that
Henshaw Town people may rebuild their town, but are to live henceforth as
subjects of the king of Duke Town. They are to have the same rights and
privileges as the freemen of Duke Town, but are not to form a separate and
independent kingdom. This is perhaps the best arrangement that could have been
made, and we are all obliged to Consul Hartley for his prompt and effective
The Gambia arrived last evening with Miss
Edgerley and Mr. Swan. They had a very pleasant voyage, and look well. I must
get up the hill, as this is the evening of our Efik prayer meeting. Both church
and schoolroom were crowded twice last Sabbath.
Dr. Robb in a letter remarked :—
Is it not pleasing to see these men modifying
their old barbarities, and, after a trial of their strength, arranging and
ending their quarrel, under civilised and Christian influence, with some regard
to justice and humanity? But for this influence that quarrel would have had a
different issue—in perhaps the extermination of a whole village, in which
neither women nor children would have been spared. The members of the church at
Creek Town were collecting and purchasing food to be sent to the people whose
homes had been burned down. Such is the way in which the kingdom of God
progresses, changing men and their manners, softening and subduing their
savagery, and in the end making them humane and Christian.
In the Record for Aug. 1875 there was published
an account of the revival associated with the name of Mr. D. L. Moody, and a
vigorous appeal by Mr. Edgerley for men for Calabar. The whole appeal is worth
reprinting, especially at the present time. I can only give a portion bearing
specially on the state of the Mission in 1875:—
How has our section of the Church carried out her
plans with regard to the Calabar Mission? She has allowed us to struggle on
short-handed. At one time we were able to extend, and, while rejoicing in our
numerical strength, added Ikoneto and Ikorofiong to the list of our
stations—each new place being nearer the aimed-at interior. It is now fourteen
years since Ikorofiong was reached, and during this interval our numbers have
been such that at one time we were able to hold our own, and at present are
barely able to do so. We only do so by extra labour, which can seldom be given.
Duke Town, with its surrounding districts of Old Town and Qua, is very far from
being sufficiently occupied; Ikorofiong, with Ibibio before it, is in the same
condition; and Ikoneto is empty—a native teacher being there alone, and, being
alone, is unable to strike out into the surrounding farms and villages as we
wish him to do. Creek Town, with its larger staff of native teachers to assist,
is the only part of Calabar that can boast of a sufficient number of men to face
the work lying at its door. The consequence of this weakness is, first, The
burden of work on each labourer is not small, and, from its magnitude, is apt to
be disheartening ; a second, When any of us is under the not altogether pleasant
duty of visiting this country, he comes knowing that his absence throws
additional work on the brethren behind; and lastly, If we can hardly hold our
present ground, how are we to act on the aggressive and win additional tribes to
Brethren have come to our help at different
times, and for them we thanked God, while we gave them cordial welcome, and
applauded their kindness and courage. But they have been few and far between.
During that time disease and death have thinned our ranks as rapidly as the
Church has added to them ; and instead of rising to meet the emergency and keep
up our staff, our loving mother—the United Presbyterian Church—seems disposed to
leave her children who remain to work and pray, to weep and die alone. I
believe, and dare to say, that, judging as men judge, there would have been
fewer cases of sickness and death in the Calabar Mission had there been more
labourers in it to help and cheer one another.
The climate is unhealthy. I wish I could say
otherwise about it, but I cannot. At the same time, it is not so bad as friends
at home believe it to be. The weaker the constitution the more care is
necessary, but there are constitutions that can continue healthy in Calabar and
give comfort to their possessors, without the employment of more care than
prudence and common sense would suggest anywhere. There are yet present in the
Mission those—ladies also—who have been in it over a quarter of a century.
There are reasons why we should call loudly for
help at present. God is blessing this country by pouring out His Spirit in
pentecostal measure and winning souls to life. Looking at this revival and at
the vastness of heathendom, it appears to me that the Lord is preparing an army
for an assault upon the world at large. I am glad to learn that some of those
who have got good to their souls have offered themselves for the foreign field.
I hope that every new day will report additions to them. Let them come ; there
is room for all in the wide world! We shall be glad to see half a dozen of them
come to Calabar. Do not think this number large to ask for at once, unless you
think that God either will not find them work or cannot find them support.
Mr. Goldie, writing in his Journall with
reference to the departure of Dr. Robb, said:—
His leaving makes a great subtraction from our
strength, being so few that we are unable even to man the stations at present
formed. Indeed we have never been able to do more than hold the ground occupied,
and that for the most part inefficiently, from lack of agents. . . . We were
hopeful that the revival movement would have inspired some of those who have
offered themselves for the foreign service of the Church with as much zeal and
devotion as would lead them to brave the danger even of any field, and so we
solicited six new agents. Our hope has been disappointed. Either such zeal
exists not, or our Mission Board has not discovered it.
In reply to this, Dr. MacGill wrote:—
Our agents are too few, and they feel oppressed
by their littleness as a band. Mr. Goldie wonders that the revival has not given
a greater result to Calabar. Since he penned his very suggestive complaint, one
fruit of the revival we have obtained in a young man (Mr. James Swan), the son
of one of our ministers, who has left business and gone to join the Mission; and
we are glad to assure Mr. Goldie of our hope that there are "more to follow."
One minister, the Rev. Alexander Ross, has left his congregation in Lismore, and
sailed from Liverpool with his wife, along with the Rev. S. H. and Mrs. Edgerley,
in the end of Oct. Mr. Ross goes to strengthen Mr. Anderson's hands at Duke
Mr. Anderson wrote to Mr. Chisholm on Dec. 24 :—
This is my last home letter for 1875. I feel it
only right to let you know of our purposes in regard to a change of climate for
a season. Mrs. A. and I had resolved never to leave the station again at one
time, but she is far from well—indeed I have never seen her more worn-out. My
health remains as usual, but dental infirmity requires that I be home soon. As I
have now a good substitute in Mr. Ross—Messrs. Goldie and Edger-ley being quite
willing to help Mr. Morton with the Efik services, etc. etc.—we purpose leaving
this some time in April, and being near you, if all go well, in end of May or
beginning of June. . . .
Matters are moving on with us in pretty much the
old way now. Henshaw Town people are vigorously at work rebuilding their town.
Their spirits are not at all subdued. I suspect that all of them are feeling
towards Duke Town pretty much as many in France feel towards Germany. I am sorry
for this. . . .
Mr. Morton has been a great deal the better of
his trip to Gaboon and his sojourn there. lie is very well at present, and
prosecuting his studies.
With reference to the work at the station, the
Annual Report for 1875 says:-—
Sabbath school has been attended by 100 children
and from 60 to 70 adults. The Mission agents, with Miss Patterson and several of
the native members, teach the different classes. We have two public services in
Efik. . . . For several Sabbaths we have had fully 500 at each service, both
church and school being filled, worship in both places being held at the same
time; but the aggregate attendance at the two services has generally been about
400. For the last two months [Nov. and Dec.], however, attendance at the native
services has been sadly interfered with by the authorities paying up long
arrears of devil-making. The revelry has been carried on both day and night for
weeks past, and is likely to be so for weeks to come. This is a sad drawback on
attendance at both church and school. King Archibong declares that, after this
bout is over, there will be no more devil-making in his day. We said amen to
that. King Archibong is blind, and, owing to this infirmity, he scarcely ever
leaves his house, even on account of secular matters. He is not so much alive to
the importance of divine things as to allow himself to be led to the sanctuary;
so, for his sake and for the sake of others also, I commenced, some months ago,
a new service in Efik. It is held in the king's yard each Sabbath at 11 o'clock
forenoon. The attendance is in general very good. The king has never been
absent, and the queen (so-called; has been so very seldom.
After morning service in church, Mrs.
Sutherland,— who, as heretofore, is indefatigable in her labours among the
women,—Mr. Morton, and generally several of the church members, go to the town
and hold meetings with the non-churchgoers. We consider that fully 600 hear the
word of life at this station from Sabbath to Sabbath. At the morning Efik
service we have read and commented on Ex. x. to Deut. xi.; and in the afternoon
we have done the same with the Gospel by Matthew and Acts i. to xii. At both
diets of worship we have a discourse upon some particular text or theme. The
English service has been kept up as usual from 5 to 6 o'clock afternoon, but the
attendance has not been very encouraging.
The Rev. Alexander Ross is addressing himself to
the language with equal diligence and success, and he is not seldom varying his
other work by taking charge of the English service.
Dr. MacGill, in presenting the Report in the
Record, wrote regarding Mr. Anderson :—
Mr. Anderson has lingered in his tropical
station, amid its heat, its smokes, and toils, twice the ordinary time without a
furlough. Indeed all our Calabar agents, with the exception of those who have
gone out for the first time, have been twice in this country since Mr. Anderson
was here ; but it is believed he is, with Mrs. Anderson, on his way hither at
the moment when this report is being presented to the Synod.
Ministers and congregations, who were went to
welcome Mr. Anderson with peculiar satisfaction into their pulpits, cannot so
readily calculate on his services during his present visit, as other important
work awaits him when he will be able for it. The Jamaica Synod has asked two
evangelists to visit and stir up their churches; and the Foreign Committee,
knowing his stirring powers, his acquaintance with the Jamaica people, and his
undying interest in them, have proposed, after he shall have rested for a while,
to give him this important commission to Jamaica.
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