The June release of African History and Culture, 1540-1921: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia includes perspectives from an Irish pastor in Western Africa, the biography of a Dutch heiress who explored North Africa, and the views of an English soldier in Central Africa.
Missions in Western Africa, among the Soosoos, Bulloms, &c. (1845)
By Rev. Samuel Abraham Walker
Reverend Samuel Abraham Walker described himself as “a man unknown to fame, and of no higher standing in the Church, or the world, than the pastor of a small rural parish in Ireland.” Walker felt duty bound to become a missionary and offered this justification for choosing to work in West Africa:
It is impossible, I conceive, to overrate the importance of our West African Mission: its effects, if the Lord continues to bless it, will be gigantic. In other countries the Gospel merely calls out members of the Church; but in Africa it is enlisting whole regiments of Missionary soldiers, and sending them forth armed and accoutered, to engage in deadly conflict with the demon of superstition, crime, and death; and the facilities afforded for this particular work are among the most remarkable evidences of providential arrangement which the history of the Church of Christ supplies.
Walker’s tome tells of the peoples of West Africa, offers a history of slavery, and recounts, in Walker’s words, “What attempts have been made in modern times to make Christ known to the natives of this vast continent?”
True to his cause, Walker saw Christianity as a panacea. Expounding on the power found in the Christian will and in the word of God, Walker wrote: