Life Histories in Missionary Sources

Richard Anderson and Kyle Prochnow

This collection comprises autobiographies and biographies of former slaves from the nineteenth century as recorded in the archives of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and Methodist Missionary Society (MMS). It includes testimonies from the CMS missions in Sierra Leone and Yorubaland and the MMS missions in Sierra Leone and the Gambia. These sources include the autobiographies of Africans who received mission schooling and wrote accounts of their own experiences of enslavement as well as second-hand accounts recorded by European missionaries. Most of these accounts are by Liberated Africans who arrived in Sierra Leone on slave vessels intercepted by the British Royal Navy after 1807. Other accounts are by Africans from Senegambia, previously slaves at Gorée or Saint Mary’s Island, who resided at Bathurst, Gambia in the 1830s.

For more information on this document collection see Richard Anderson, “Uncovering Testimonies of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Missionary Sources: The SHADD Biographies Project and the CMS and MMS Archives for Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and the Gambia”, Slavery & Abolition (2016).


Allen, William allen-william
Attarra, John attarra-john
Barber, James barber-james
Bartholomew, Joseph bartholomew-joseph
Campbell, John campbell-john
Crowther, Samuel Ajayi
Cupidon, John
Eisami, Ali (William Harding)
Gay, Mary Ann
Gerber, James gerber-james
Grenn, Sago
Gum, Amady
Gum, John
Harding, Charles harding-charles
Harding, Matthew Thomas harding-matthewthomas
Jobe, Goree
Juff, Mbar
Juff, W.
King, Thomas king-thomas
Macumba, Jack
May, Joseph Boston
Nicholls, Peter
Noah, David noah-david
Thompson, George thompson-george
Upsden, J.
Will, James
Wilson, Peter wilson-peter
Wright, Joseph
Yamsey, Josiah yamsey-josiah