By Bronwen Everill (auth.)
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Extra resources for Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia
Although it was intended to ensure that British and Sierra Leonean goals were aligned in their common pursuit of the end of slavery in West Africa and the spread of the British way of life, Sierra Leoneans often had their own interpretation of the doctrine, which frequently led to conflict with British authorities. Civilization, Commerce, and Christianity in West Africa was not merely a British anti-slavery message; it represented the core elements of Sierra Leonean identity and contributed to their interventions throughout West Africa in the period before partition.
Although many governors described the leftover ‘native’ habits of some Liberated Africans and the tradition of funeral societies was continuously popular amongst the Sierra Leone population, in venturing out of the colony, many Sierra Leoneans felt their ‘civilization’ reconfirmed by a contrast between their Christian beliefs and the indigenous beliefs they encountered. Liberated African Samuel Ajayi Crowther’s account of the Niger Expedition recalled the image of an African woman praying ‘as if she was asking for some protection from the gods.
21 Nicholas Guyatt points out the rhetorical use of the Plymouth settlers and the notions of American colonization in ACS propaganda. 22 In the early years of its existence, the ACS very clearly stated its goals of establishing on the coast of Africa a colony not only for the removal of free and enslaved African Americans, but appealing to any potential supporters who were interested in spreading an empire of American culture, civilization, Christianity, and commerce. In this way, it appeared to be consciously modelling its new settlement in Liberia on the parish plan of Sierra Leone.
Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia by Bronwen Everill (auth.)