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William and Louisa Anderson
A record of their Life and Work in Jamaica and Old Calabar by William Markwick (1897)


The materials for the record of the life and work of William Anderson were widely scattered, and had to be gathered by degrees. For most periods the material has been copious. The greatest difficulty I experienced was in regard to the collection of material for the "Jamaica Period," as the periodicals of the Scottish Missionary Society were scarce. So far as I am aware, this is the first time that the life of a missionary to Jamaica, who began as catechist and teacher, pursued his theological studies there, was licensed and ordained as pastor of a congregation which he was instrumental in forming, has been written.

The autobiographical reminiscences of his early days are not a mere reprint of the papers that appeared in the United Presbyterian Magazine during 1890, but are taken from Mr. Anderson's MS. Autobiography and MS. Journal; and these and the letters and journals from Jamaica show him in unconscious training for his great work in Old Calabar.

The "Calabar Period" contains, not only a record of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson's work, but also the annals of Duke Town. In these pages it will be possible to trace the social changes that have taken place during the last fifty years—the decline of the power of the "king" and the chiefs, and of the authority of the Egbo institution, on the one hand; and, on the other, the growth of Consular jurisdiction, culminating in the establishment of the British Protectorate, which has its headquarters at Duke Town. The relations of the missionary and the trading communities are touched on. The Consular staff is now another factor. It is desirable that the relations of these three chief European factors that make for the welfare or otherwise of Calabar should be friendly —that they should understand one another's aims, and should co-operate as far as possible for common ends, as was done at certain crises in Mr. Anderson's time. In spite of "the talk of the Coast," which is too often reproduced as reliable fact in books of travel, there is, I think, a growing understanding of one another among the various classes, when a missionary wins the respect of all as Mr. Beedie did, and criticism of one another is more discriminating and therefore useful.

The true story of Calabar, however, is not the record of European civilisation and of Christianity in a Presbyterian dress introduced among the people, but the emergence of the native tribes from the night of superstition and barbarism into a civilisation in which they shall remain Africans and not become pseudo-Europeans. There is undoubtedly a danger of trade and British protection fostering a pseudo civilisation. Despite what critics say, Christian missions do this only in a minor degree and indirectly, and the tendency of missionaries is rather to discourage than to encourage the aping of a foreign civilisation. The native tendency is to go from one extreme to another—from "fig-leaves" to "swallow-tails"! When the ancient system of domestic slavery of which some account is given) has merged into the free population of the future, a native Christian Commonwealth and Church will grow and flourish.

Mr. Anderson's distinctive work was done in the early days of the Mission. It was a work of liberation of body and mind. It is to be valued, not only for the sake of the number of scholars in the schools and of converts added to the Church, but also because of the dawning of better days for the whole population, in the decay of many evil customs, and in the creation of a public opinion and of a moral standard, which will make it less difficult for the generations to come to be men and Christians, than it was for their fathers and mothers whether free or slave.

I have not attempted either a character sketch of Mr. Anderson or an estimate of his work. "Deas Cromarty's" Miniature in the British Weekly of Nov. 5, 1891, and a sketch by me in the U. P. Magazine, March 1896, supply to a certain extent what is lacking here. My aim has been to let the man reveal himself, and his work speak for itself. My task has been simply to gather, arrange, and edit the materials of what is really an autobiographical record of William Anderson's career.

It is to be regretted that the material for an account of Mrs. Anderson's life and work is so scanty; nevertheless, her name deserves to be placed beside that of her husband in this Memoir.

Mr. Anderson requested me to prepare this Memoir, and supplied material. I have to thank the relatives and friends who have kindly allowed me the use of letters quoted in the following pages, and others whose contributions I have been unable to insert. I have to thank especially Mr. John Cochrane, College Buildings, for access to and use of literature.

My wife has copied most of the Calabar journals from the U. P. Missionary Record and many letters, has given much helpful assistance and advice, and has read the book both in MS. and in proof.

The late Rev. R. M. Beedie read the first 500 pages in proof and a chapter in MS., and to him I am indebted for various valuable corrections. The book was delayed in part to get the benefit of his revision, and the last few weeks of his life were spent in this work, which he did con anion. The later portion, which touches on his own association with Mr. Anderson at Duke Town, he did not see, and it has since been amplified. It is too soon to estimate the greatness of the loss which Old Calabar, and especially Duke Town, has suffered in the death of Mr. Beedie. It was a great sorrow to me that I was not permitted to return to Calabar along with Mr. Anderson in September 1895; it was still greater grief that I was not permitted to go in September 1896 to the relief of Mr. Beedie, whose colleague I was for a short time in 1892.

"To be baptized for the dead" has become a mode of appeal at the death of a missionary; to be baptized for the help of the few who remain in Calabar seemed to me then, and seems to me still, a more necessary form of appeal; although it is to be hoped that in the following pages the careers of those both men and women— who being dead yet speak, will inspire self-consecration to Mission work in Old Calabar.


10 W. Mayfield, Edinburgh,
February 27, 1897.


Part I
Early Days in Scotland, 1812-1839

Chapter 1
1812-1817 - Parentage—Buckholmside—Dalkeith—Ford— Newbattle Tollhouse
Chapter 2
1817-1819 - Clayhouses—Preaching—Ideas of Ministers and their Office— "Diet of Visitation"—''Seeking the Lord"
Chapter 3
1819-1823 - Reading—Sports—Schoolboy Days—Death of Aunt—Death of Father
Chapter 4
1823-1828 - Sorrows—"Summer Sacrament"—Sabbath School—Reading—Ideal World—Journey to Haddington—Departure from Ford—Nettlingflat— Engagement to go to Fala Mains
Chapter 5
1828-1831 - Fala South Mains—Avocations—Reading—Preaching
Chapter 6
1831-1834 - Ford — Chestcrhill - Blackdub —Reading— Preparation for Communion—Admission to the Church—Sabbath School Teaching
Chapter 7
1834-1838 - Residence in Dalkeith—Death of Friends—First Speech—Engagement to go to Jamaica under the Scottish Missionary Society
Chapter 8
1839 - Leaving Dalkeith—Attendance at Sessional School, Edinburgh - Last Communion at Ford—Glasgow—Galashiels—Farewell Meetings

Part II
Jamaica Period, 1839-1848

Chapter 1
Voyage to Jamaica—Arrival—First Impressions and Beginning of Work
Chapter 2
Catechist and Teacher at Carron Hall and Evangelist at Rose Hill — Engagement to Miss Louisa Peterswald
Chapter 3
The Proposed Mission to Africa—Mr. Anderson's Marriage to Miss Louisa Peterswakl—Prevailing Mortality in Jamaica —1841
Chapter 4
1842 - Formation of a Congregation at Rose Hill—Mr. Anderson's Ordination as an Elder
Chapter 5
In charge at Canon Hill, 1843-44—License and Call to Rose Hill, 1844
Chapter 6
Pastor at Rose Hill, 1845
Chapter 7
Appointment to Old Calabar, 1846—Transference of the Agents of the Scottish Missionary Society to Board of Missions of United Presbyterian Church, 1847— Call to succeed late Rev. W. Jameson—Departure from Rose Hill, 1848

Part III
Old Calabar Period, 1849-1889, and Closing Years, 1889-1895
Map of Calabar

Introduction and Chapter 1
Voyage and Arrival at Old Calabar
Chapter 2
First Impressions and Beginning of Work
Chapter 3
Early Labours—Election of King Archibong I.—1849
Chapter 4
The First Victory—"Society for the Suppression of Human Sacrifices in Old Calabar" formed, and Law Abolishing Sacrifice passed, 15th Feb. 1850.
Chapter 5
Signs of Progress
Chapter 6
Return to Calabar—Death of King Archibong l.—1852
Chapter 7
Mr. Anderson's First Severe Illness
Chapter 8
Renewed Labours—Difficulties and Discouragements
Chapter 9
The First Converts, 1853—Excursion up Qua River—First Marriage in Duke Town, 1854
Chapter 10
The Beginnings of the Native Church
Chapter 11
Bombardment and Destruction of Old Town—Destruction by Fire of Duke Town Mission-House
Chapter 12
Calabar Slavery and Slave-holding in relation to Membership in the Church
Chapter 13
Another Victory—Right of Sanctuary for the Innocent Vindicated —Egbo Blown upon the Mission—Consular Intervention
Chapter 14
Arrival of Rev. Zerub Baillie-Native Affairs—Consular Intervention Death of Rev. Samuel Edgerley, senior—Furlough of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson—Address at Missionary Meeting of Synod
Chapter 15
Return to Calabar and Renewed Labours- Election and Coronation of Archibong II., etc.
Chapter 16
Struggle against Substitutionary Punishment
Chapter 17
Labours, 1862-1865
Chapter 18
Labours and Conflicts, 1866-1867
Chapter 19
A New Church on the Mission Hill
Chapter 20
Refugee Widows—Duke Town at War with Okoyong
Chapter 21
The Diffusion of the Gospel and of Ardent Spirits
Chapter 22
Customs New and Old—The Year of Losses, 1870
Chapter 23
The Rebuilding of Henshaw Town—Illness of King Archibong II.— The Blood-men in Duke Town—Interposition of the Court of Equity—Death of Eyo VI.
Chapter 24
Changes in Old Calabar—Death of Mr. Ashworth, 1871—Mr. George Thomson's Sanatorium—Ordination of Ukpabio, 1872 —Arrival of Rev. D. Campbell—Deaths of King Archibong II., etc.—"Young Calabar"
Chapter 25
Abolition of Sabbath Market at Duke Town, 1873
Chapter 26
Labours, 1874-1876—War between Duke Town and Henshaw Town
Chapter 27
Visit as a Deputy to Jamaica, 1876-77, including Visits to Sister in America
Chapter 28
Renewed Labours in Calabar, 1877-81—The Hopkins' Treaty, 1878 — Deaths of Mr. A. S. Morton and King Archibong Ill., 1879 — Mrs. Sutherland on the Effects of the Treaty—Mr. Anderson's Fortieth Annual Report, 1879
Chapter 29
The Death of Mrs. Anderson, 1882
Chapter 30
The Last Five Years of Active Service, 1884-1889
Chapter 31
The Closing Years

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