Project Canterbury

Handbooks on the Missions of the Episcopal Church.


New York: The National Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1928.

THE world cataclysm of 1914, resulting in the collapse of the Central Powers and Russia, shot off from the old organism, sections of the broken empires and kingdoms to float helpless and pilotless in the sea of nations. Among these shattered pieces were large segments of Africa —the Kamerun, Togoland, German East Africa and German South West Africa—segments which had accrued to the German Empire out of the barterings and exchanges which so largely characterized the partition of Africa by the European Powers in the final quarter of the nineteenth century. This partition—in reality an international scramble for native lands enormously rich in natural resources and accomplished under the cloak of developing these same natural resources—left to the natives themselves but two small slices of territory, the ancient independent Kingdom of Abyssinia on the east coast, and the little Republic of Liberia on the west coast.

Out of the cataclysm which caused such wreckage in the organization of the world, there arose the League of Nations to which were committed certain obligations and responsibilities with regard to backward races. Foremost among these responsibilities was the care of the former colonial possessions of the fallen empires. For this purpose the old Roman system of mandates was adapted to international usage. Under the machinery thus created, the [3/4] dependent races ceased to be objects of barter and exploitation, and were placed tinder the trusteeship or tutorship of responsible governments for training and guidance along the precarious and difficult road toward national independence. They became, in fact, wards for the duration of their political immaturity. When they reach a state of development sufficiently advanced to assure their position in the family of nations the territories will assume their rightful status as independent States.

That the powers of the mandated territories might not be emasculated during the period of national infancy, and that the mandatory power might have a guide by which to regulate its actions, certain restrictions and regulations were imposed upon the mandatory. These restrictions and regulations afford a most interesting field of study, but it is impossible here to do more than enumerate them and to let them indicate for themselves the scope of their powers and the evils that they were aimed to destroy. The section of the Covenant of the League of Nations pertaining to mandates says that certain peoples, notably those in Africa, were in such a stage of development as to make the mandatory "responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, the prohibition of abuses such as the slave trade, the arms traffic and the liquor traffic, and the prevention of the establishment of fortifications or military and naval bases and of military training of the natives for other than police purposes and the defence of [4/7] territory." These safeguards, supplemented by later regulations prohibiting other abuses such as forced labor under any guise whatsoever, indicate in some small measure how Africa has come to be regarded—a continent of tremendous potentialities; the continent of the future; but, withal, a continent of and for the black man.

This "continent of the future" with an estimated population of one hundred and twenty millions, about equal that of the United States, is four and a half times as large as the United States. It is beyond doubt the richest of the six continents. Its naturalwealth is enormous: one-third of the entire gold output of the world comes from Johannesburg alone, while there are other rich gold fields in South West Africa and South East Africa, on the Congo, along the .Gold Coast, and in the Libyan Desert. The diamond trade of the world is controlled by the Kimberley mines. In other minerals—copper, tin, coal—Africa is also rich. Natural products such as timber, ground nuts, palm oil, ostrich feathers, morocco skins, and ivory, Africa has in abundance and vast areas of her territory are adaptable to agriculture and stock-raising.

The question naturally arises why with such natural resources, Africa has never before broken its bonds and emerged the foremost continent of the world. A variety of causes, some inherent in the land itself, others incidental, have contributed toward retarding Africa's advance. A vast continent unknown and unexplored for centuries except along its coasts; a continent of great rivers arising in the high plateau regions of the interior, breaking [7/8] through the barrier mountain chains, and taking their courses seaward through impenetrable tropical forests; a land sparsely inhabited by primitive races of mankind divided into innumerable tribes in varying stages of development, with no common language of inter-course, no contacts except hose of inter-tribal war, and no incentive to labor, no stimulus toward progress, and no initiative,—such were the primary factors in the retarded development of "The Dark Continent." To these natural drawbacks, must be added the effect of the crude native religion of the African Negro. Animistic heathenism binds him in a relentless fear of spirits, demons, and souls from which his gods cannot save him. He lives in continual terror, and regulates his entire life and conduct with a view to a propitiation of the awful spectres of his imagination. "He knows not whence he cometh, whither he goeth, or how he should demean himself upon the way." It is small wonder that the native, surrounded by these cares and devoted to trying to find peace and content amidst this mass of superstition, bewilderment, and heathen falsehood, should have had little opportunity or desire to develop his resources.

But the chief obstacle of all is the extraordinary silence of the people. From "the Dark Continent" there comes no voice or cry. The forests and the waste places alike are dumb, shrouded in a silence impenetrable and all-enveloping, a silence which the foreigner has had the greatest difficulty in breaking through, and which has made more arduous the task of unveiling the great resources of Africa.

[11] Among the incidental factors which have contributed to the backwardness of the African races, the spread of Islam must be placed foremost. It is often asserted, and with some degree of truth, that the effect of Mohammedanism upon a purely heathen and primitive people is beneficial. This is true in so far as it displaces the intolerable reign of evil spirits by some conception of the one God. True also, in its emphasis upon worship, and its theoretical ban upon the use of liquor. But this is about as far as the Moslem religion can proceed in dealing with a backward race. And against these benefits must be placed the sensual license sanctioned by the precepts of the Koran; its stimulus to the natural fighting instinct; its degrading of womanhood; and its strictures upon education. There can be no question but that Islam, while it can present to a primitive people the first upward steps toward progress, can never enable them to complete the ascent.

For fourteen hundred years the flaming banner of Mohammedanism has been sweeping over the African continent until today it is an ever increasing menace. The danger of Islam, both to the natives themselves and to the Christian forces eager to spread the truth of the living God over the length and breadth of Africa, and through Whom alone can come the enlightenment necessary to realize the fulfillment of Africa's immense potentialities, war rants our pausing for a moment to examine its extraordinary power.

The power of Islam lies in the missionary zeal of its votaries. Not only is every Moslem a determined and active agent in the propagation of his [11/12] faith by example and precept, but the whole body of Islam has behind it the force of an absolute unity of purpose, and a corporate passion for its fulfillment.

It is this individual and corporate zeal which made possible the Mohammedan conquest of southern Nyassaland in a single decade. It is this enthusiasm which turns thousands, including the foremost teachers of Islam, toward Mecca each year for a missionary conference. And what conferences! Unlike the sporadic gatherings of Christian missionaries, such as was the Edinburgh Conference, these conferences at Mecca meet annually and conduct their business with precision and efficiency. It is small wonder that these meetings, attended by those seeking to translate their already existing interest and enthusiasm into terms of immediate activity, should result in a well-nigh irresistible propaganda, especially toward the great continent which presents the most favorable conditions for its advance, and the one of all others in which Christendom has allowed a comparatively free field to Islam. Thus has "The Dark Continent" borne within itself, for centuries, the chief causes of its lack of progress.

But what of its external contacts? What effect have these had on its development? To the early European adventurers who explored the coast, Africa presented little more than an apparently inexhaustible supply of slave labor for the developing colonies of the Spanish Main. The trade grew apace, and Arab slave dealers penetrating farther and farther into the interior, on their persistent raids for [12/13] "black ivory," brought about the practical extermination of the more accessible tribes of natives. Thus the first contacts of these tribes with the outside world served merely to inspire terror and to drive them back into safer isolation.

The nations of Europe were not slow in recognizing other potentialities of the African continent, and as the native tribes were driven back or their feeble resistance overcome, their lands were seized by foreigners and annexed as "Protectorates," while the people themselves were, in too many cases, drafted into a form of enforced labor little better than slavery itself.

The virtual partition of Eastern and Southern Africa among the European Powers did little to raise the status of the native population; but it did serve to exploit the rich natural resources of the country occupied, and to stimulate further exploration. On the west, the great Niger River gave, to the French, access to the vast territory south of the Sahara Desert, while the Congo served as a waterway for the Belgians to the central regions of Equatorial Africa; but, again, such access served in no degree to develop the people discovered in the process.

The horrors of the Belgian occupation of the Congo are still fresh in the minds of the present generation, but though these were brought to light and thereupon severely condemned by the whole of Christendom, it is doubtful whether they were really worse than the less advertised treatment of the native population generally throughout the occupied; areas of the continent. With the use of the rivers, [13/14] the building of railways, and the increase in other means of transportation, there came also that curse which has proved debasing, if not fatal, to every primitive race in its first contacts with Europeans—alcohol, in all its varied forms, and with all its accompanying vices. The extent to which this curse has retarded the development of the native African, otherwise open to civilization, can hardly be exaggerated.

Nevertheless the dark picture of Africa has many high lights of promise. The early explorers and pioneers were not all adventurers seeking gain. One remembers such names as Livingstone and Stanley, Mackay and Hannington, Coillard and Crowther, Slessor and Ferguson—heroic souls who, amid inconceivable difficulties, opened the gates of Africa to the triumphant Christ. Politically, too, the future is full of hope so long as the Christian conscience of the world supports the mandates assigned by the League of Nations for the safeguarding of human rights in Africa and for the upbuilding of independent States. These mandates are widespread; but their application has been unnecessary in two outstanding cases—Abyssinia and Liberia—an independent native Kingdom, and an independent native Republic. It is with the latter that we are, at present, chiefly concerned.

In a little corner of the west coast of Africa, just at the chin of the lion-like head of the continent, lies Liberia.

The small Republic extends for about three hundred and fifty miles along the upward bend, from the Ivory Coast to Sierra Leone, with irregular [14/15] boundary lines running into the interior enclosing an area of 41,000 square miles—a territory almost exactly the size of the State of Ohio. To this country the Church in America sent its first foreign missionary.

But before embarking on the story of our endeavors in that small native State—endeavors marked by inky shadows and brilliant lights—it will be well to examine further into the country,—typical in many respects of the whole of the African continent which we have just briefly considered--its beginnings, peoples, and customs.

Early in the nineteenth century, the American Colonization Society was organized for the purpose of establishing a home, in the land of their forefathers, for the American Negroes who had gained their freedom. Hence the name Liberia, which was given to the small area at first acquired from the natives and later much enlarged. Jehudi Ashmun, an American, is credited with the actual founding of the colony in 1823.

"The first, and perhaps the only, motive of the Society was to fulfill what they regarded as their solemn duty to the freed Negroes, and to do this in a way which they thought ought to be most agreeable to the Negroes themselves." No thought, apparently, was given to the conditions which would face them in a land to which they were native by racer but utterly alien by recent experience.

A professor in the University of Chicago who has traveled extensively in Africa, has said: "Take any town of 12,000 in the State of Ohio, Bellaire for example. Divide the people into ten or twelve [15/16] little settlements along the shore of Lake Erie; now put along that shore about 30,000 ignorant fishermen, then fill the country of Ohio lying back with a million wild Indians—and there is the problem of Liberia." For here was a small company of Negro colonists from America, preparing to settle among some thousands of native Africans half civilized through contact with traders just along the coast, and back of them for miles a vast unexplored region inhabited by powerful tribes of totally uncivilized heathen. Nor did the migration of freedom from America ever attain the proportions fondly hoped for by the Colonization Society. Since the Civil War, less than two thousand Negroes have availed themselves of the opportunity of returning to the land of their fathers, and one hundred years after the founding of the colony the total population of Americo-Liberians was only about twelve to fifteen thousand.

As a recent writer has said, "It does not require a vivid imagination to picture the tragic condition of the earlier colonists as they arrived in the fatherland, and faced a wild country to be subdued, savage kinsmen who were their foes, a land without law, and a climate without kindness. These freed Negroes were, by training and experience, alien to the natives, and strangers to their fatherland. The story of those early years must be read elsewhere; but this merest hint cannot but call forth sympathy for the actors in the drama."

There have always been those who have judged Liberia and Liberians by the standards of long-established and stable governments, and drawn the [16/17] conclusion that the Negro, left to himself, is incapable of a high degree of social development. Such conclusions ignore the terrific difficulties wit which the Liberians were confronted from the very outset. A recent and well-informed writer states the situation admirably a small company of Negroes only lately out of bondage facing, in a remote, and isolated corner of the earth, conditions no less unfriendly than did the Pilgrim Fathers, but without their advantage of a thousand years of culture and experience in government; with no means or opportunity for improvement, and no knowledge of how to acquire such means; surrounded, on the one hand, by savage and aggressive native tribes, an on the other, by the Colonial possessions of European powers ready on every occasion to take advantage of their untutored simplicity; always financially distressed and hampered; nominally possessing rich natural resources, but with neither the means no the training to develop them; so recently freed from enforced labor under authority that all manual labor was scorned and everyone desired to rule; their numbers added to now and then from America, but more often by hordes of captured slaves for whom England and America, engaged in suppressing the traffic, could find no more convenient dumping-ground. [See A Social History of the American Negro, by Benjamin Brawley. Chapter IX.]

The marvel is, not that the Negro colonists failed, in a measure, to develop enlightened self-government, but that they succeeded at all in an [17/18] environment and under conditions such as have more than once proved fatal to colonies of whites.

The wild country to which the colonists went consists of bold headlands and high promontories near Cape Mount and Cape Messurado with wide undulating plains near Cape Palmas. The whole region covered with the richest tropical verdure, is drained by the three principal rivers—the St. Paul, the St. John, and the Cavalla; the last being navigable by small craft to the falls, sixty miles from the coast. This land of perpetual summer with alternating dry and rainy seasons is, like the rest of the continent, rich in natural resources—minerals, fruits, rubber, palm oil, cane; while in the forests are trees capable of yielding valuable lumber and dyestuffs, and the whole land abounds in animal life.

For twenty-five years the Colonization Society directed the colonial policies in this strange new land, until, in 1847, the colonists declared Liberia, with a government modeled after that of their native America, free and self-governing. Great Britain and France promptly recognized the new State, but it was not until 1862 that the United States did likewise. Since then, the Republic of Liberia has held its unique position among the nations of the world, though frequently it has had to submit to the unscrupulous aggressions, veiled under the guise of "ancient claims," of European Powers. In that way the infant Republic lost some of her valuable border territories.

When in 1821, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church was formed, the growing colony of freed Negroes [18/21] in Liberia seemed to offer a splendid opportunity for the foreign missionary endeavors of the new Society. This choice of a field seemed particularly advantageous, for several of the leaders of the American Colonization Society as well as that Society's agent in Liberia, Mr. Ephraim Bacon, were Churchmen and interested in the extension of the Church's influence and work. In fact, Mr. Bacon, was so eager to advance the Church's work that he severed his connections with the American Colonization Society and offered himself as a missionary. His application, together with that of his wife, was accepted, and they were appointed in May, 1822. In order to make more secure their future work, Mr. and Mrs. Bacon spent the months immediately succeeding their appointment in travel throughout the eastern United States in an endeavor to arouse interest and to obtain funds for their work. To this end, about $1,800 and a considerable- amount of equipment were received. When, however, the time came for sailing, the American Colonization Society upon whom the Board had been relying for the transportation of its workers, refused the use of its ships for either missionaries or their goods. This abruptly brought to a halt the beginning ,of a work which had promised so much. After five years of effort to establish the work, the Foreign Committee of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society again appointed a worker to the African field. This time its appointee was a young colored candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Connecticut, Jacob Oson. But misfortune again visited the enterprise [21/22] for between his ordination, in February, 1828, and the date set for his sailing, Mr. Oson died.

Although in the years that followed, the Foreign Committee received various applications for service, the candidates were not of such a quality as to warrant their appointment and so it was not until June, 1835, that the Committee was again able to secure a representative in the Liberian field. This time the appointment fell to Mr. and Mrs. James M. Thompson, colored, who were already resident in the colony, having emigrated from Connecticut in 1831. It is not unlikely that the appointment came as a result of information furnished the Committee by Governor James Hall of the Cape Palmas Colony that there was a movement on foot to organize a religious society under the name of St. James' Church, Monrovia. To this new Church which wished to be associated with the American Episcopal Church, Mr. Thompson was acting as lay-reader at the time of his appointment. Simultaneously with the appointment a small appropriation was made and a school to be known later as Hoffman Institute, was built at Mount Vaughan and opened, in 1836, with five boys and two girls. It did not seem wise at the outset to leave the whole responsibility for the Mission in the hands of the colonists. Moreover, the appointment of a white missionary to Liberia was deemed advisable in order to keep the Church at home in contact with the Mission. To this end, the Rev. Thomas S. Savage, a volunteer from Connecticut, was appointed to the Liberian field. He had the advantage of a thorough medical training, and was further noteworthy as the first [22/25] white missionary sent by our Church to a foreign field.

The next year the Rev. and Mrs. John Payne and the Rev. Lancelot B. Minor, of Virginia, arrived, followed by others in fairly quick succession. For a decade these devoted servants of our Lord, battling with an unhealthy tropical climate and amid the petty tribal jealousies and intrigues between natives and colonists which seriously impeded the progress of their work and enhanced its difficulties, labored steadfastly to establish the faith of the colonists and to spread the Gospel among the neighboring natives. In 1849, the staff was increased by a number of workers, among them the Rev. C. C. Hoffman; and good progress was made at the main stations—Mt. Vaughan, Cape Palmas and Half-Cavalla—and new ones were opened at Taboo, a town some little distance east of Cape Palmas, and at Rockbookah, the capital of the Babo tribe. But the work was totally devoid of Episcopal oversight, and it became increasingly apparent that this lack would have to be supplied, if the Mission was to resist the dangers arising from unsettled political conditions such as, at one time, threatened the complete destruction of the Mission. The need was further emphasized by the inroads made, through sickness and death, upon the Mission staff. At its meeting in 1850, General Convention elected as "Bishop of Cape Palmas and Parts Adjacent," the Rev. John Payne who had served the Church in Liberia since 1837. Trinity Church in New York City immediately gave five thousand dollars toward the endowment of the new Episcopate, and in the [25/26] following year Mr. Payne returned to the United States for his consecration which took place on July, 11, 1851, in St. Paul's Church, Alexandria, Virginia. The Bishop returned at once to the field, accompanied by five new workers. On Christmas Day, 1852, exactly sixteen years after the coming of the first white missionary to Liberia, Bishop Payne confirmed a class of twenty-five candidates at St. Mark's Church, Cape Palmas.

At the beginning of Bishop Payne's Episcopate there were four mission stations—Cape Palmas, Cavalla, Rockbookah and Taboo—and feeling that the Church in Liberia was firmly established, the Bishop made plans for beginning work at Monrovia, the capital of the Republic, where the corner stone of Trinity Church was laid in 1854. Work was also started at Bassa Cove, sixty miles southeast of Monrovia, and at Sinoe, a populous settlement about halfway between Bassa Cove and Cape Palmas. In the years which followed Bishop Payne skillfully guided and enlarged the enterprises of the Church, and, it is probably true to say that seldom in the history of missionary enterprise has there been so much of heroism, and of tragedy, bravely and quietly and naturally endured, as in this Liberian Mission during the period of twenty years which Bishop Payne's Episcopate covered and in the thirteen preceding it. It is rightly called the "Period of Establishment" when, at the cost of quite one-fourth of the splendid lives devoted to the cause, the foundation of the native Church was firmly laid both to resist every shock of heathen attack and to offer its [26/29] strength to the super-structure of the native living Temple of God.

"The call upon faith and zeal, so peremptory in Bishop Payne's life, was echoed to the Church at home. The answer came in the persons of both white and colored volunteers; among them, the Rev. Eli W. Stokes, and the Rev. Thomas A. Pinckney, both of them Negro priests." In 1853, the staff of Negro clergy was greatly strengthened by the coming of the Rev. Alexander Crummell, whose father was a native of the Gold Coast.

It had been the consistent policy of Bishop Payne that the Liberian Church should develop its own pastors, and to this end the Government supplied an opportunity in the establishment of the Liberian College of which Dr. Crummell was a distinguished professor. Throughout its history, College and Church have been closely associated in developing the Republic. Already, through the schools which had gradually grown in number as in attendance, the boys and girls had been preparing to take their places in the College, and as teachers and guides and pastors of their people. The coming of Stokes, Crummell and Pinckney and their Christian wives, furnished models in racial kind to both boys and girls, though Mrs. Thompson, widow of the first lay-reader, had long been a wholesome example. In 1853, news reached home of the admission of two candidates for Holy Orders from among the natives—Ku Sia, who, upon Baptism, had received the name, Clement F. Jones; and Mu Su, re-named John Musu Minor. These men, ordained on Easter, April 16th, 1854, were the first products of the [29/30] Liberian Church Schools, and from that time the ranks of the native clergy were slowly but steadily re-enforced. These ordinations had been preceded by the first ordination to take place in Liberia, that of Mr. Garretson W. Gibson, an Americo-Liberian who had been made deacon on January 15, 1854.

Thus far, as may be inferred from the title applied to Bishop Payne, the jurisdiction had been confined to the coastal parts of Liberia, and particularly the southern portion of the Republic; but in 1855 the Board of Missions in New York, through its Foreign Committee, took the following action, which changed the entire status of the work in Liberia. "Resolved: That the whole extent of the American Colonial Settlements in Western Africa, including the State of Liberia and the colony of Cape Palmas is considered as a missionary station occupied by this Committee." From this time on, the Mission of the Church was no longer the Cape Palmas Colony and its near neighborhood, but was coterminous with the whole Republic of Liberia.

With this change in the status of the Mission it may be interesting to note its progress as reviewed in the Cavalla Messenger of that year (1855): "It is just nineteen years last Christmas Day since the Rev. Dr. Savage formally opened the mission at Mt. Vaughan, in the only building connected with it and that but half finished. On that day only about a half-dozen communicants, if so many, were in connection with the Episcopal Church. Since then, ‘through the good hand of our God upon us,' the Mission has established permanent stations, of greater or less efficiency, at fourteen different places, [30/31] amongst colonists and natives. It has expended for churches, Mission houses, and school houses, a sum not less than one hundred thousand dollars. In the day and boarding schools sustained by it, not fewer than three thousand children and adults have received the rudiments of a Christian education. From six, the communicants—partly now living, partly dead, foreign, colonists, and natives—have numbered at least three hundred. The number at the present time is' two hundred and forty-one. The blessed Gospel is preached regularly to four colonist congregations, in some twenty different tribes, and to one hundred thousand people. There are now, including the Orphan Asylum, seven commodious Mission houses, three churches completed and a fourth nearly so—two being of stone, one brick, and one wood—besides one very superior school house and several more indifferent, for colonists and natives. A more sufficient cause of thankfulness still is to be found in the number and character of the schools connected with the Mission. The high school and female day-school at Mt. Vaughan; the Orphan Asylum at Harper (Cape Palmas); the native schools at Fishtown, Rocktown, Cape Palmas, Cavalla. Hening Station, Rockbookah and Taboo; the boarding and colonist-day-school at Bassa Cove, the Female High School at Monrovia, and the native boarding and colonist-day-school at Clay Ashland, give evidence of earnest and well directed effort to diffuse Christian instruction throughout the bounds of the Mission."

The year 1855, also marked the meeting of the first Convocation which was held at Cape Palmas [31/32] in August. This gave an added impetus to the work, and the years which immediately followed were very encouraging as indicating the desire to reach the unevangelized tribes of the interior. In 1857, Bishop Payne, encouraged by an appropriation of a few hundred dollars by the Foreign Committee and of a bequest of $25,000 from Mrs. Jane Bohlen took steps to open a new station about seventy miles inland, around the Falls of Cavalla. The site chosen was Nitielu, the capital of the Webo tribe, and the centre of a population of over 30,000 natives. A native catechist was established there until buildings could be erected and a white missionary provided.

The next year, with the addition of a missionary physician to the staff, a much needed hospital, St. Mark's was begun at Cape Palmas. Unfortunately, however, many adverse conditions, including the outbreak of the Civil War in America, brought all of this advance work to a sudden halt.

The years of the Civil War in America were especially trying, since revenues from the Mother Church were much decreased. Work had to be curtailed. Yet, through all the trials, 'the laborers in the field, missionaries, catechists and teachers, remained steadfast under the leadership of Bishop Payne who saw clearly that the hope of the Liberian Church lay in the gradual development of the will and ability to become self-supporting, and the arousing of missionary zeal toward the unevangelized tribes of the interior.

In 1862, the Bishop wrote, "We endeavor always to impress upon our native converts that the lesson God means to teach them, by the troubles in [32/33] America, is to exert themselves for their own support and that of the Gospel in their midst. And they feel and acknowledge the situation."

That the situation was indeed felt and acknowledged was evident at several points. The colonist population at Cape Palmas enlarged St. Mark's Church at their own expense, and the congregation at Monrovia contributed $300 for the erection of a chapel at Caldwell and several hundred dollars for the repair of their own church.

In the midst of these lights and shadows, the year 1862 marked the strengthening of the organization. The widely scattered missions were brought into a more compact oneness by the formation of a General Missionary Convocation which held its initial meeting at St. Mark's Church, Cape Palmas. For convenience of administration, the Convocation designated five missionary districts which, later, were reduced to four, i.e. (1) the Cape Palmas district; (2) the Bassa District; (3) the Sinoe District; and, (4) the Montserrado District. [For details see The Spirit of Missions, August, 1862, Vol. 27, pp. 248 ff.] Thus efforts were begun to bring the whole Church together in conference and mutual communion at stated times.

"Before the close of the trying War period, the Mission sustained the loss of one of its most efficient workers, Mrs. James M. Thompson, who, for twenty-eight years had taught in our Mission schools." Her death caused great sorrow in the entire community.

Another loss to the Mission was the death in the following year (1865) of the Rev. C. Colden [33/34] Hoffman, who for sixteen years had labored in Liberia. In advising the Board of Mr. Hoffman's death, Bishop Payne wrote: "This event will sadden the hearts of thousands, and fall like a thunderclap on the Church, as it did on the Mission and the community he so much honored and in which he was so much beloved. But none like those associated with him in his labor of love could so highly appreciate him or feel so deeply his loss—Our beloved Barnabas—the wise, ready counsellor, the constant loving friend, the perfectly consecrated Christian minister, the zealous ever-active, able, single-minded missionary, the dear fellow laborer in the Gospel, delighting above all things, to sound it out according to grace given him, to every creature; we as a Mission mourn a loss never before experienced."

In 1869, after thirty-one years of devoted labor in foundation-building, Bishop Payne found himself obliged, by ill health, to withdraw from the field. Two years later, because of continued disability, the Bishop tendered his resignation to General Convention meeting at Baltimore in October, 1871. Simply and modestly he gave the following account of his stewardship.

"To the praise of His grace, God has prospered the work of my hands as well as prolonged my days. At my own station (Cavalla) I have baptized 352 persons, of whom 187 were adults. In the Mission I have confirmed 643 persons. I have lived to ordain Deacons—two foreign, eight Liberians, four natives—in all, fourteen; of Presbyters, three foreign, seven Liberians, one Native—in all, eleven; or, altogether, twenty-five ordinations have been [34/35] held. And at twenty-two places along 250 miles of what was, fifty years ago, a most barbarous heathen coast, has the Church been planted, and I. j radiating points for the light of the Gospel established. Nine churches may be considered established and supplied with ministers of the country. Besides schools, common and Sunday, we have a High School for boys, a Training School for young men, and an Orphan Asylum to take care of destitute children in the colonies. The Church and Mission by God's blessing, may be considered established." [These included: St. Mark's Church, Cape Palmas, completed 1851; Church of the Epiphany, Cavalla, corner stone laid 1851; Grace Church, Clay Ashland, erected 1853; Trinity Church, Monrovia, corner stone laid 1854; St. James' Church, Hoffman Station, erected 1858; St. Andrew's Church, Bassa, corner stone laid, 1870.]

The General Convention which accepted Bishop Payne's resignation did not elect his successor. This created a very serious situation, for it laid upon the only remaining white missionary, the Rev. John G. Auer, practically the whole burden of oversight. Mr. Auer had come to the American Mission early, in 1862 from the Accra Mission of the German Lutheran Church in the Gold Coast colony, and had been ordained to the priesthood on Easter Day of that year. Immediately upon his ordination, he had been placed in charge of the Bohlen Station, and for ten years did a good work there and at the school for boys which, it will be remembered, had been started in 1836 at Mount Vaughan, near Cape Palmas. In 1868, this school was moved to a new site, at Cavalla, twelve miles distant from Mount Vaughan, and received from Mr. Auer the [35/36] name Hoffman Institute. He was also in charge of the stations at Fishtown, Rocktown, Springhill, Nitielu and Graway. The additional tasks placed upon him by the withdrawal of Bishop Payne proved too heavy a burden. His health broke down and he was forced to resign in 1872. A few months after his resignation and return to Germany, he was elected Bishop of Cape Palmas and parts adjacent by the House of Bishops meeting in New York. Mr. Auer was a very sick man at the time of his election but he promptly responded to the call and returned at once to the United States where he was consecrated at St. John's Church, Georgetown, D. C., on April 17, 1873. The new Bishop returned to his jurisdiction late in the same year and immediately began infusing new life into the missionary activities which had languished for want of Episcopal supervision. But the strain had been too great, both before and after his elevation to the Episcopate, and he died on February 16, 1874, less than a year after his consecration. He had been active right up to his death; the day before he died he had confirmed a class of fifteen persons.

As soon as news of Bishop Auer's death reached America, the Foreign Committee designated May 31, 1874, as a day of memorial services in the Church at large, and in view of the fact that Trinity Church, Monrovia, had recently been destroyed by fire, the Foreign Committee issued an appeal for funds to rebuild the church as a permanent memorial to Bishop Auer. Again Liberia was without a bishop, and the proposal was made to Bishop Payne that he revisit the scene of his early labors; [36/39] but his health was too precarious, and he was forced to refuse. A few months later he died at his Virginian home.

During the following two years, the Mission deprived of Episcopal oversight, hampered everywhere by lack of money for repairs and upkeep, and disturbed by recurrent hostilities between the Grebos and the Liberian Government, barely held its own under a few recently recruited white leaders assisted by the small group of faithful Negro clergy cate chists, and teachers, but who with the inadequate facilities available could not have been more than partially trained. A change in policy advocated by the Foreign Committee involved the discontinuance of work at Sinoe, Bassa, and Montserrado Counties, but new work was begun at Cape Mount. In 1876, the House of Bishops, meeting at Philadelphia, elected the Rev. Charles Clifton Penick, D.D., rector of the Church of the Messiah, Baltimore, as Missionary Bishop of Cape Palmas and Parts Adjacent. He was consecrated on February 13th, 1877, at St. Paul's Church, Alexandria, Virginia, which it will be remembered was also the scene of the consecration of Bishop Payne.

Bishop Penick arrived in his new field in October, and, two months later, returned this message to the Church at home, which sounds discouraging enough: "I find the American Mission confusion worse confounded. The work here has been so long without any head that the disorder is very, very great. Every building connected with the Mission is tumbling to pieces. I can put my foot through the rotten floor in the room where I now write, and [39/40] it is one of the best in the house, and the house as good as any in the Mission. Books are all moulded and bug-eaten to worthlessness; furniture eaten to honeycomb; records like autumn leaves, only not so close together; no school system, no educational system; not the first move towards self-support; many changes and old questions to be settled, and not enough clergy to form a court."

In the face of this discouraging outlook the Bishop took some courage from the fact that he found three hundred from the heathen tribes who could read God's word; and some twenty-five young men who could teach their country-men to read. Eighteen of these young teachers were at as many schools; at Cavalla, ninety scholars were enrolled; the Orphan Asylum at Cape Palmas was caring for twelve young girls with manifest results in minds and lives.

This indicated in some small measure the lines along which the Bishop should proceed to re-establish the work which had so severely suffered from lack of supervision. Consequently, he promptly inaugurated a thorough system of instruction, the first step of which was the appointment of a superintendent of schools whose duty it was to visit the schools and see that the teachers were faithful and diligent in their work.

The plan also called for the establishment of a coffee-farm in conjunction with each of the Mission schools, the profits from which, it was hoped, would make each school self-supporting in the course of a few years.

It was very difficult to carry out these and other [40/43] plans because much of the work of Bishop Penick's predecessors, especially that at Mt. Vaughan, Bohlen Station and elsewhere, had so thoroughly decayed as to leave no trace. In this situation, the Bishop was greatly handicapped by an inadequate supply of both men and materials. Some help came, however, from the President of Liberia who gave the Missions thirty acres of land near Cape Mount. Late in March, 1878, Bishop Penick accompanied by a few of his helpers went to Cape Mount to select the offered land. He chose a beautiful site lying at the north end of the Cape on a plateau four hundred feet above the sea and overlooking it and Robertsport Lake. The place was immediately cleared of brush and trees and the ground prepared for farming purposes and the erection of buildings. This was the beginning of a work which later developed into St. John's Mission.

In 1882, strenuous work and the African climate broke down the health of the Bishop and forced him to leave his jurisdiction. The next year, finding his hope to return groundless, he tendered his resignation which was accepted by the House of Bishops. "Bishop Penick's noteworthy contribution to the Church and people of Liberia consisted in the practical industries and the business system introduced at the moment when these became practicable. He was a spiritual power always both as preacher and pastor," and in a farewell letter to his people he wrote: "Give all diligence to raise up a true and courageous ministry. Seek out your truest and best, and set them over the things of the Lord. So shall He bless you richly in all things."

[44] The statistics, at the close of Bishop Penick's Episcopate, are thus given: "Total average attendance in the churches, 1,063; number of communicants, 567; attendance at Day and Boarding Schools, 392; at Sunday Schools, 719. Total number of agents employed, including the Bishop, 8 presbyters, 5 deacons, and others engaged in the Mission staff, 57."

"So closes for the time being, the succession of bishops of an alien race in Liberia. Against this time, God had been preparing a great Negro leader for His Church. After a trying vacancy of three years in the Liberian Episcopate, the Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson, rector of St. Mark's Church, Harper (Cape Palmas), was elected bishop," on April 23, 1884, and was consecrated, the following year, in Grace Church, New York. He was the first Negro of our Church to be consecrated as bishop. [The Rt. Rev. James T. Holly, D.D., of Haiti, consecrated November 8, 1874, is frequently thought of as the first Negro bishop of our Church. He was, however, consecrated a bishop in L'Eglise Orthodox Apostolique d'Haiti.]

"Bishop Ferguson was born in Charleston, S. C., on January 1st, 1842; and, while ill, was baptized by Bishop Gadsden of South Carolina, at the request of his Roman Catholic mother. In 1848, the family moved to Liberia, where the father and two children soon fell victims to the tropical fever, leaving the mother and Samuel David to establish their home in the new land. Bishop Payne took charge of the boy, put him at school, and was as a father to him in his formative years and until he became, first a teacher, then a priest of the Church. While still a student,. he was a Christian teacher to his [44/45] less fortunate fellow students. From one post of responsibility to another his faithfulness and growth in grace and wisdom combined to call him. When Bishop Penick arrived, he quickly singled out Mr. Ferguson as a fit person to be the business agent of the Cape Palmas District. He was for many years the President of the Standing Committee. The high death-rate caused by the climate, among the white missionaries, the growing emphasis placed upon the necessity of making the Church a truly national Church, the increasing mental and spiritual development of the Negro clergy, had all conspired to arouse in the Liberian Church the desire for a bishop of their own race, and, in the home Church, the willingness to grant it. In the Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, as the trial proved, the man was found eminently fitted for the sacred office and the arduous tasks. After his consecration in America, the Bishop visited the home of his childhood, Charleston, and other points in the South. His first service as Bishop was in Norfolk, Virginia, where he confirmed a class for the Rev. J. H. M. Pollard in the Church of the Holy Innocents." Just before returning to Africa, he preached in the Church of the Crucifixion, Philadelphia, where one of the congregation described the new. Bishop as "tall and slender, and at his age shows the trying effect of the climate of West Africa. His delivery is earnest, slow, and graceful. The sermon though scholarly, was expressed in language so simple that everyone present must have understood him. He is a workman thoroughly furnished for his work." Upon [47/48] returning to Africa, the Bishop received a most enthusiastic welcome from his people.

Before the year closed, the King of the Grebos presented himself to the Bishop for Baptism; and later, the king's wife, thus opening a door of future influence for the Church, though the habit of polygamy temporarily deterred many from surrender to the Faith which forbade it.

"Most encouraging was the personal interest of the President and members of the Cabinet, and of the mayor of the capital city and most of the officials. The Secretary of State was Superintendent of Trinity Sunday School, and others were active on the vestry or as worshipers."

From the Church at home came encouragement, too. In 1886, Bishop and Mrs. Bedell of Ohio gave two thousand dollars for the establishment and equipment of a new post to be known as Thurston Station in memory of Mrs. Bedell's mother. The new station was located in a heathen village in Maryland County and placed in charge of Mr. John Payne Gibson, who immediately began erecting a house and necessary farm buildings.

Bishop Ferguson had, while on the voyage to America for his consecration, mapped out his plans for the development of his field. Among the enterprises projected were a theological school of high grade, a medical college for whose conduct native physicians had been preparing, and an industrial school completing the design of his predecessors.

"In 1888, after another journey to the United States, the Bishop set about establishing a manual labor farm which might be developed in [48/49] connection with Hoffman Institute already established at Cavalla. To this new enterprise Mr. R. Fulton Cutting, of New York, gave the sum of $5,000 which was used for the purchase of a tract of one hundred acres in a fine and healthy location named Cuttington in honor of the donor. A scientific farmer was placed in charge, and thus the Bishop was enabled to begin one of the great enterprises to which he had set his efforts in his initial plans for development. An interesting sidelight is thrown on the success of these enterprises by the Rev. Mr. Fair in describing his work at Bassa. The coffee crop here was nearly doubled in one year through the use of improved methods, and the whole crop was sold to Park and Tilford of New York—a testimony to the excellence of the sample." Other similar under1 takings, though not so immediately successful, fully justified their establishment.

Meantime Hoffman Institute which, under Bishops Payne and Auer and a notable native leader, the Rev. M. P. K. Valentine, had been developed' into an effective training school, was finally removed to Cuttington; and here, in 1889, a new school building—Epiphany Hall, was erected. In keeping with the spirit which prompted this whole educational enterprise, the Institute finally received the title "The Cuttington Collegiate and Divinity School."

Another educational venture of the new Bishop was the enlarging of the girls' school at Cape Mount which was named St. George's School in appreciation of the financial assistance it had received from St. George's Church, New York.

[50] Under the direction of Mrs. M. R. Brierly, who for seventeen years had been a missionary of the English Church Missionary Society in Sierra Leone and who had joined our Mission in 1882, St. George's achieved a notable success. The location of the school proved disadvantageous, however, and, in 1903, it was abandoned, and a new site was selected about ten miles up the St. Paul River from Monrovia. This change not only supplied the school with plenty of space for development, but gave it also a strategic position toward the children of several neighboring tribes as well as advantageous in serving the civilized and Christian population of the coast. The generosity of an American Churchwoman made possible the erection of a building on the new site which received the name Bromley. Under the terms of the gift the new building was to be named for the general secretary of the Woman's Auxiliary, Miss Julia C. Emery. The corner stone of the "Julia C. Emery Hall" was laid in 1902, but it was not until four years later that the building was formally opened and occupied by the Girls' Training School. Being a training school, instruction was given in industrial work as well as the usual school subjects and the girls helped with the work of the school. In 1927, the school had forty-four pupils.

This brief account has prevented any mention of the devoted teachers to whom the carrying on of the school, was due. In addition to Mrs. Brierly, mention should be made of Miss Agnes P. Mahoney, and Professor Firth of Liberia College who long served as superintendent.

[53] Another stimulating evidence of the new life in the Mission at this time is contained in the report for the year 1889: "The native converts are becoming increasingly interested in the spread of the Gospel and evincing a desire for self-help"—such is the message. Church after church set itself the task of raising as much as possible for the support of the rector and the meeting of its home charges, while some also included contributions for the general work outside their borders. This marked the beginning of a new day for the Liberian Church, when the vision of a mission to others was dawning.

The year 1890 brought encouragement and satisfaction to the laborers in the Mission. Materially, there were notable additions. Several structures of corrugated iron with pitch pine frames, floors, walls, and woodwork were received ready-cut from America and speedily erected where all could see and appreciate. The Board purchased a brick house in Monrovia for an Episcopal residence, and advised Bishop Ferguson that he was also to receive a 25-foot naphtha launch. Thus the Bishop acquired a residence befitting his position in the Republic, and also secured the means whereby, for the first time, proper communication could be established between the widely scattered coast stations. All the time the work was spreading, and during this period work was begun at New Town, Sodeke, Tubake, and Teblebo on the Cavalla River, and Kabo, Nmanolu and Gyutu in the interior.

"In 1890, a high recognition of the Negro leadership of the Church came in the election by the authorities of the Republic, of the Rev. G. W. [53/54] Gibson as president of the College of Liberia." A few years later, he became Secretary of State, and filled that post most acceptably.

In October, the General Convocation met in St. Paul's Church, Greenville, Sinoe, and organized a missionary society, thereby showing a realization of the great work which faced the Church in Liberia.

Although the newly awakened missionary spirit of the Liberian Church was, time and again, thwarted by hostilities among the tribes within whose borders Mission work was carried on, there is abundant evidence that foundations were being laid. Thus, when in 1892, the tribes of the Cavalla region were notified by the Bishop that disturbances caused by them necessitated the discontinuance-of Mission work, the chiefs, naively begged for a withdrawal of the notice, and that they be not denied the light of Christianity.

Such appeal reads: "We are looking to you, as the people that started leading us to the Great One, still to continue His message amongst us. But if you mean to leave us to remain in darkness, please let us know; for we do not think it right to seek it elsewhere until we hear and know the same from you, that you have already given us up. We close with the following—that we sincerely and earnestly need the preaching and teaching of the Word of God amongst us with more force and spirit than ever in other past times. We are sincerely and earnestly yours for whom God's Son died too. Signed, Teba Yue Hue, King." Who could resist so earnest and childlike an appeal! Many a white church might envy such a witness to its labors.

[57] In the year 1895, the efforts of the Church toward self-help and national autonomy had so far progressed, that the General Convocation of the Church of Liberia, meeting in St. Mark's Church, Harper, sat for the first time as "The Board of Directors of the Protestant Episcopal Church Missionary Society of Liberia for the Conduct of the Business of God," and has so continued ever since.

"Steadily the native Church grew—many of the children of early converts in the ranks, still more of the grandchildren. From these, the ordained ministry was recruited, teachers prepared, doctors taught, and nurses trained."

Bishop Ferguson's influence served to emphasize the need of a high moral standard in the Republic. The race exhibited such an example as the Rev. M. P. Keda Valentine, of whom Bishop Penick, his former Bishop, on hearing of his death, wrote: "He was one of the foremost spirits who ended the forty years' war between two factions of the Grebo tribe. He was foremost in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, music, athletics, courage, marksmanship, statemanship," and Christian character amongst his fellows. Deeds of daring, self-sacrifice, patient endurance, forgiveness, and justness cluster about this man's life as about few I have even seen or read of . . . For six years I was in touch with Keda Valentine, as his Bishop; I, coming from the center of Christian culture and light; he, from the depths of heathen corruption and superstition; yet I cannot recall one solitary instance when this man, by word or deed, fell below the mark of lofty Christian manhood as we know it. No duty assigned was ever too hard, [57/58] no promotion over him ever drew a word or look of protest, no echo of envy did I ever hear from his lips. I saw him sit amongst the kings and sages of his people, where no other young man had ever sat, and when I asked them why he was there, they answered, `True, he is very young, but God has put plenty of His Book in him, and he is fit to sit with us and make laws.' Now he is gone to join the other brave cultured, true spirits—Montgomery and Walters—three bright stars in that dark land's firmament."

Always, Bishop Ferguson's mind was set upon developing more of such exemplars of Christian character through the best education which the pitiably narrow resources of the Church permitted. Fortunately; some help was forthcoming from America.

As a memorial to Mrs. Brierly, who for thirteen years had labored to advance the cause of girls in Liberia, the Woman's Auxiliary at a general meeting held in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1895, pledged $4,000 for the rebuilding of the Girls' School at Cape Palmas, which Mr. Hoffman had begun in the early days of the Mission. Two years later, work on the new building to be known as Brierly Memorial Hall, was begun. The school which served as an orphanage and girls' school combined, was situated in such a healthy, sanitary spot, that, each year, applications far exceeded accommodations, and the number of rejected applications frequently equalled the number of those admitted, solely because of insufficient space. There was never room for more than eighty boarders and twenty-five day students.

[59] The last years of the century and the first years of the new century were marked by much building activity. It was in these years that the comparatively adequate buildings at St. John's, Cape! Mount, were begun—St. John's Church, Langford'; Memorial Hall, and Brunot Memorial Hall for girls. St. Philip's Church, Gardinerville; St. Peter's Church, Caldwell; St. John's Chapel, Lower Buchanan; and St. Luke's Chapel, Edina, were either begun or completed during these years. They were evidences of the increasing ability of the Liberian toward self-help.

The meeting of the Biennial Convocation at St. Mark's Church, Harper, in 1903, was marked by an event of unusual interest to the Liberians and the native tribes alike. On Convocation Sunday, February 15th, Bishop Ferguson set apart as Deaconess, Mrs. Rosa D. Gibson, the widow of the late Rev. R. H. Gibson, for work in St. Mark's Parish. Mrs. Gibson was the first woman so set apart in this Diocese. Another event of equal interest was the admission to the diaconate, late in the same year, of Z. B. Seda Roberts, the first member of the Kru tribe to receive Holy Orders in the Church.

The year 1905, marked the twentieth anniversary of Bishop Ferguson's elevation to the Episcopate. In his report for that year, the Bishop recalls the plaps which he had made at the outset and which were gradually becoming accomplished facts. The number of stations had been doubled despite the many trying and discouraging circumstances created through foreign aggression and internal tribal disorders. Educational institutions [59/60] had been multiplied and strategic points occupied with a view to reaching the tribes of the interior. Some progress had been made toward inspiring the Liberian Church with an ideal of self-help and missionary responsibility. Finally, in 1905, the Bishop of Liberia and his entire staff of clergy, with one exception, were all Africans; and all except the Bishop had been born on that continent, educated in our Mission schools, and there prepared for the ministry of the word of God and of His Sacraments to their own people. This steady growth of a native ministry and toward an autonomous Church, promised much for the future.

The bright outlook, however, the Bishop wrote, was contingent on three things: "(1) The continued blessing of God; to secure which we shall always have to walk conformably to His Will.

(2) We shall need the friends of this Mission in the United States to still stand by and extend the helping hand until we are able to walk alone. By their continuing to manifest an interest in the work here, we shall be encouraged and stimulated to do more in the direction of self-support. (3) There must be no abatement of the interest and efforts of the workers in the field, but rather an increase of energy and zeal and fidelity, backed up by the constraining love of Christ. By their joint co-operation, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, every obstacle will be overcome and the prophet Isaiah's prediction be fulfilled here in Africa. ‘The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose'."

[63] At the Biennial Convocation of this same year (1905) arrangements were made for securing an endowment fund for the District. The Convocation also approved the proposal to change the name of the District from "The Missionary District of Cape Palmas and Parts Adjacent" to "The Missionary District of Liberia." After being submitted to the various parishes for their approval, General Convention was memorialized to sanction the change which was finally done in 1913.

Miss Mahoney, who, it will be remembered, withdrew from the field on account of ill health shortly after the removal of St. George's Girls' School from Cape Mount to the St. Paul River, was able to return to Africa in 1904, and she brought back with her two thousand dollars and materials with which to inaugurate her long devised plans for medical work. She selected a site about a mile from St. John's, Cape Mount, on one of the hills, where there was good water, and more land available if the need arose. Here was set up a portable house which Miss Mahoney had brought with her from the United States. But to establish and maintain a hospital single-handed proved to be a task beyond the powers of even so zealous a worker as Miss Mahoney. Some dispensary work was done among the natives, but hardly more than a year elapsed before Miss Mahoney was again obliged to return home worn out; and, with her departure, all immediate hope of a hospital disappeared. It seems almost incredible that the Church at home should, for years, so far have disregarded the necessities of the case as to leave her workers (to say nothing of the [63/64] Liberian and native populations) absolutely without medical care and protection in a land where any knowledge of sanitation and hygiene was practically nil, and exposed to a tropical climate most inimical to white people. Yet such was literally the case; and the result of the neglect was a waste of valuable lives and a general loss of efficiency throughout the whole Mission.

Meantime, however, Miss Mahoney had started another enterprise which was destined to become more successful. With the assistance of Miss Ridgely, a newcomer, she opened a small day school for girls known as The House of Bethany. Under Miss Ridgely, the school prospered, and was presently able to secure a fairly commodious house and to take a number of boarding pupils. While the school gave the day pupils instruction through the first seven years and a complete course in domestic science, the boarders coming as they did from the native tribes of the interior were cared for until their marriage. Occasionally the better of the girls were sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone, for further training. Several of them who finished their courses there returned to the school as assistant teachers to Miss Ridgely.

The seventieth anniversary of the establishment of missionary work in Liberia was marked by the erection of a monument at Mt. Vaughan, on the spot where the first work was begun, in memory of those missionaries who had sacrificed their lives in the enterprise. This monument was unveiled with impressive ceremonies on December 7, 1906.

For many years the District had been without [64/67] any official Church paper to keep the scattered units in touch with one another. Bishop Payne had founded The Cavalla Messenger as the diocesan paper in 1852. This had contributed largely to the dissemination of news throughout the District; but, with the death of Bishop Auer, and the subsequent years of travail, this paper had ceased to exist. In 1907, therefore, Bishop Ferguson began the publication of The Silver Trumpet, a quarterly journal, as the official organ of the District.

Again, however, the venture proved short-lived, and it was not for many years that it was renewed under better auspices.

In 1910, the Republic was sorely oppressed. Though the efforts of the Mission had been ever to bring about concord and unity between the Americo-Liberians and the aborigines, occasional disorders between these two classes arose. A conflict of special severity broke out along the Cavalla River in this year; and the danger of the disorder was accentuated by efforts of France to secure more and more of Liberia's border—territory under the disguise of "ancient claims." Thus, torn asunder from both within and without, Liberia appealed to the United States for aid in maintaining her independence and in carrying on a peaceful, orderly, efficient government. The United States Government responded by sending a Commission of three to examine into Liberia's affairs and conditions. Commenting on this, the Annual Report of the Board of Missions for 1909-1910 says:

"Action has been taken by Congress looking toward the settlement of the pending boundary [67/68] disputes, the refunding of its debts, the reform of its internal finances and in other ways assuring the stability and independence of the Republic.

"Under this new order of things, the Church, which has always exerted a strong influence in Liberia in conserving the high moral standard of the Liberians, will be more potent than ever, and will open the door to still larger fields of usefulness if only the Mother Church at home will come to her assistance.

"In spite of all the hardships through which the little Republic has passed, the Church, under the splendid leadership of Bishop Ferguson, has developed into a power for good throughout the whole length and breadth of the country."

The difficulties above mentioned were much alleviated by help from the United States; but this assistance had no magical effect upon the natives, and disturbances of one sort or another broke out spasmodically. One of especial severity was a native uprising in the Grand Bassa region which, though not directed against the Mission, greatly disturbed the latter in its work. Elsewhere, conditions were encouraging.

Early in the year 1913, Trinity Memorial Church, Monrovia, was declared free of debt and was thereupon consecrated on the first day of the meeting of the Biennial Convocation of that year. [In memory of Bishop J. G. Auer. See supra page 27.] The session was concerned with several measures of note. A rumor was current that a proposal had been made to transfer the work in Liberia to the Church of England, a proposal based on the existence of [68/71] strong Missions of that Church on either side of Liberia in the colonies of Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast. The Convocation showed itself strongly opposed to any such plan. The Convocation also completed the necessary steps for changing the name of the District, the accomplishment of which we have already noticed. [See supra page 43.] Constructive action was taken for making more strenuous efforts towards self-support, and in formulating plans for a Sunday School Union intended to raise the effectiveness of the instruction given in such schools.

During the year preceding this Convocation, the Liberian legislature had enacted a measure modifying the existing divorce-law in such a way as to threaten the whole moral fabric of the Republic. Realizing the danger, Bishop Ferguson had brought all power possible to bear upon the President in order to insure the veto of this law which would have done so much to undo the splendid work of the Mission in bringing moral standards in Liberia to a Christian level. The President vetoed the act in no unmistakable terms, and the Convocation went on record as being heartily thankful to the Bishop for the part he had played in preventing the proposed divorce-law from being enacted.

Late in the same year (1913), Bishop Ferguson went to the United States to attend the meeting of General Convention. With him went the Rev. F. A. K. Russell, rector of St. John's Church, Grand Bassa, who was the first Liberian representative ever to sit in the House of Clerical and [71/72] Lay Deputies. It was also Mr. Russell's first trip outside of Liberia.

Reference has been made to the inauguration of St. John's Mission at Cape Mount as early as 1878. The location of a school here was favorable because of its proximity to the Vai tribe which had, from the outset, proved peculiarly open to civilizing influences. The Mission, and especially, the school connected with it, had proved increasingly successful as the years passed.

Unfortunately the lack of men and money prevented St. John's from expanding its curriculum of fundamental education to include industrial and agricultural instruction. This limitation of activity or neglect of industrial training, inevitable as it was under the circumstances, imposed a serious handicap on Liberia's prosperity; nor was it our own Mission only which was to blame in this respect.

Trained and educated men have gone forth from Liberia's schools—both government and mission--into important, but on the whole, unproductive fields. The dearth of well trained mechanics, carpenters, and manual workers of all kinds, retarded the economic development of the Republic, and forced the people to live on a low economic level which necessarily reacted disastrously upon the standards of the nation. Fortunately St. John's was able, finally, to inaugurate, in 1921, an agricultural program under the direction of an expert. At that time also, the name of the institution was changed from St. John's School to St. John's Academic and Industrial School.

[75] Bishop Gardiner, himself a member of the Vai tribe and an early pupil at St. John's, wrote, in 1922: "The influence of this mission has been wonderful, not only among the Vai people but also among the adjacent tribes far and near. In 1897, there were not five men in the Vai territory who spoke correct English; today hundreds of my people express themselves in that language. Today nearly all business letters, petitions and other diplomatic documents from Vai Kings and merchants are written by Vai boys and girls in civilized language. In 1877, there was not a single Christian among us—today there are hundreds."

The carrying out of the program indicated by the new title "St. John's Academic and Industrial School" was further advanced by the addition, in February, 1922, of a department of normal instruction and a school of trades. This was made possible by the addition to the school's staff of the Rev. William Hoke Ramsaur, who began to give instruction in carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring, and printing. Mr. Ramsaur, who had joined the Mission in 1920, had studied at the University of North Carolina and the Philadelphia Divinity School. At the latter, he was the honor man in the Class of 1917. Following his graduation, he spent three years as traveling secretary of the Student Volunteer Movement, urging college men and women throughout the country to offer themselves to the overseas' service of our Lord. He then offered himself for this service and chose Liberia as the field where our Church came most closely in [75/76] contact with Mohammedanism. Upon his arrival in Liberia, he devoted his energies to the tribes of the interior, especially the Vais and the Golas. His explorations in this country were of great assistance in the subsequent opening of the Holy Cross Mission at Masambolahun. His sudden death a few months after going to St. John's was a severe blow to this enterprise as well as to the whole Church, but fortunately it was possible to continue the plans under the direction of the Rev. Elwood L. Haines, who for many years had been stationed at Bendoo, and Mr. Ellis H. Robison, a graduate of the Cornell Agricultural School.

After the establishment of the industrial department in St. John's School, a third attempt was made to establish a diocesan magazine for the general information of the widely scattered congregations. In October, 1922, the boys of the printing department of St. John's, printed the first issue of the Liberian Churchman, which served to maintain the esprit de corps of the District. Incidentally, it served as an object lesson of the capabilities of its Negro apprentices.

In 1928, the School was housed in five buildings, mainly of stone, and including the Langford Memorial Dormitory named in honor of a former General Secretary of the Board, Ramsaur Mechanics House, and St. John's Church. Eight teachers gave instruction to about one hundred and ninety boys, many of whom were drawn from the surrounding tribes—Vai, Bassa, Mendi, Kru, and Mandingo, but chiefly from the Vai.

[79] During the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the World War, there was a considerable amount of building activity. St. Mark's Church, Harper (Cape Palmas), undertook to establish a Mission for the natives of Maryland County, and to that end erected the James M. Thompson Memorial Chapel in memory of our first worker in Liberia. A new St. John's Church was erected in the Grand Bassa region; the old building being converted into a school and used also for general parish activities. The corner stone of the "Eli W. Stokes Memorial Hall," Royesville, in honor of the Negro worker who, it will be remembered, went out to Liberia in the early days of the Mission in response to Bishop Payne's call, was laid, in 1914; and the "Crummell Memorial Hall," Clay Ashland, was dedicated during the same year.

When the Great War began in 1914, its effect was severely felt even in far-distant Liberia. Shipping was greatly curtailed, and communication between the widely separated stations, as well as with the outside world, was badly disorganized. To add to this inconvenience, the British Government, when it issued its "white list" of acceptable shippers, failed to include any of the business agents of the Mission, or of the firms through which they dealt. This was a serious obstacle to the work, and it was only through the untiring efforts of the Bishop and his workers that this list was modified so as to include six firms through which the Mission could work, but which were not directly connected with the Mission. These worries placed an added strain [79/80] upon the already over-taxed strength of the Bishop; and, suddenly on the evening of August 2, 1916, he died from an attack of paralysis of the heart—just one hundred years after the organization of the American Colonization Society, to which the Republic of Liberia owed its existence.

Before the great Bishop's death he had had the joy of seeing the first steps toward an achievement for which he had long labored. During the summer of 1916, the Vestry of Trinity Memorial Church, Monrovia, had voted to assume the support of its rector. This congregation was the first in the District to become self-supporting, and thus carried one step forward the development of an independent Church which, up to that time, had, with some measure of success, devoted most of its energies to the training of a native ministry.

The Rev. Mr. Matthews furnishes the statement here quoted as to the condition of the District just prior to Bishop Ferguson's death: "When he was made bishop the Church had but ten clergy in the District; today we have 26, all colored. Then only 24 lay helpers; now we have 74. Then but 9 dayschools, with 284 pupils; now we have 25 schools with 1,094 pupils. From 5 boarding schools with 251 scholars, we have now grown to 20, with 596 boarders. The number of Sunday School scholars has increased over 2,000. The number of stations and churches has increased 150 per cent, and the communicant list has grown over 2,000. From being, in 1885, absolutely dependent for support on the home Church, the Liberians in 1913, contributed nearly $7,000 toward self-support."

[83] "We must not close the story of Bishop Ferguson's devoted labors without a reference to his relation to the Republic. This relation was unique. The Bishop was generally regarded as the chief citizen, the ‘grand old man' of the Republic. In his more than fifty years of service as teacher and bishop, he had trained many of the rulers and legislators in whose hands lay the destiny of Liberia. These men knew him as man, as teacher, as bishop. They knew his honor, his love for country and people, his wisdom, his unselfishness. They trusted him. He was their adviser. At crucial times he was called upon to address and to advise their Congress. The President felt that, in him, a wise counsellor was at hand; and he used him as the Bishop was willing to be used. Well did the Liberians say of him, with set purpose to abide by it: ‘Let us imitate the good example he has set us'."

The citizens of Monrovia sought to emulate the good example of their late Bishop in an extraordinary but peculiarly effective way. Conscious that the 80-odd Mission schools scattered along the coast and in the interior could influence but little more than the fringes of the vast hordes of natives, the civilized cultured people of Monrovia began taking native children into their homes. One Monrovian remarked that he had thirty-one children and hastily added that none of them were his own. Before Mrs. Ferguson died she had eight native children in her home, one Kru girl, six Bassa and one Buzzi boys, the latter being the son of a chief. Along a typical Monrovian street of twenty [8384] homes, forty-eight adopted native children were found to he living. Throughout the city, in the civilized homes of the community, the same or a larger proportion of adopted children per home prevailed. Thus the citizens of Monrovia met in a very practical way a national problem of great dimensions and urgency, that is, the transformation of the native elements of the population into men and women capable of sharing in the responsibilities of a free and democratic government. It was a tremendous task that these people had assumed when it is remembered that the uncivilized elements of the population outnumber the civilized fifty to one; but the results justified their courage.

It was not until 1917, through the generosity of a Philadelphia Churchwoman that necessary funds for the establishment of a hospital were obtained. With the funds in hand for the building, ways for securing a site were sought. The Government offered two acres of land on the site of a beautiful hill rising above Cape Mount. The boys of St. John's School promptly offered to quarry the necessary stone and Miss Sarah E. Conway, who for many years had been treating over thirty patients a day without hospital accommodations, soon had a compact little hospital with wards, dispensary, supply room, and rooms for white nurses and for black nurses, in which to minister to the physical needs of the Liberians. This was the only hospital throughout the width and breadth of Liberia until in 1923, the Lutheran Mission on the St. Paul River began a similar venture. It is therefore, not surprising that Miss Lois M. Ford, who succeeded Miss [84/87] Conway as superintendent, with her associate, Miss M. C. Gordon, treated more than 10,000 cases a year.

The death of Bishop Ferguson brought to the front very forcefully the question of the future of the Liberian Church. For three trying war-years the matter of the Liberian Episcopate and the full independence of the Church was discussed in all its bearings. And that the Church at home might have first-hand information regarding existing conditions, a Commission consisting of the Rt. Rev. A. S. Lloyd, President of the Board of Missions, and the Ven. T. A. Schofield, Archdeacon of Colorado, visited Liberia and spent the first half of 1918 in an intensive study of the Mission there. The Commission rendered a very full report of its findings''` from which the following observations and recommendations are rather freely quoted. The Commission found an active and vigorous body of clergy, intelligently devoted to their work. Entirely free from self-seeking, their hearty enthusiasm had frequently led them, in addition to their regularly assigned duties and at their own expense, to carry on work among the uncivilized heathen. These men had to minister to their people in churches which, with one or two exceptions, were desperately unfit and unfurnished. With no proper chancel or altar, it was difficult for the Church's service to be rendered fitly; yet the Commission found always a most reverent spirit even under trying circumstances. As there were no adequate churches, so the other Mission buildings were equally dilapidated, and [87/88] Bishop Lloyd most earnestly protested that "the wasteful economy of the Church in America has piled up a heavy score against the Board in America. Repair, amounting to practical rebuilding, must be done."

But, although the Church at home had clone so little to encourage the Church in Liberia, the Commission found no evidence of misapplied or unwisely invested funds, and the degree of self-help shown by the Church in Liberia compared favorably with that in any of our other Mission fields, and was more generous than in many dioceses of the Church in America. That generous help from America would soon make the Church in Liberia practically self-supporting, was the opinion of the Commission.

Upon the basis of these observations, the Commission felt that if the work was to be carried on successfully, it would be necessary for the American Church to reconstruct her ideas about Liberia and the Church's work there, and to realize that the problem in Liberia was to enable the Church of Liberia to carry the Gospel and Christian civilization to the uncivilized tribes of the interior. But this must be done by Liberians and not by white men; though, the Church in Liberia would still need the help of white leaders in such a forward movement. In order best to carry civilization into the interior, properly constructed compounds would be found necessary. "The appeal to us is not that we help strengthen a Mission of the American Church in a heathen country, but that we help the Church in Liberia to become strong enough to render the [88/91] service that the Church must give the Republic in order that the Republic may be established."

Before leaving Liberia, the Commission called a meeting of Convocation that they might hear the judgment of the men in the District concerning many important matters. Among these, the most vital was the question of the choice of a bishop. At a meeting of Convocation held shortly after Bishop Ferguson's death with a view to discussing the situation resolutions had been passed requesting that a white man be chosen as bishop, but that he be given a suffragan who should be a Liberian. The matter was re-opened at the Convocation called by the Commission, and, after a full public discussion and a conference with the leading clergy and laymen, the following resolution was introduced and passed: "Resolved, that the Church in America be requested to give to the Church in Liberia a bishop who will be a Liberian; and that, for the help and protection of the bishop and the safeguarding of the interests of the American Church in Liberia, an archdeacon be appointed by the American Church who shall be a personal counsellor to said Bishop." Appended to the resolution were suggestions as to the possible relations of bishop and archdeacon, and the manner in which the terms of the resolution could be carried out.

Armed with these documents, the Commission returned to the United States where the question was fully considered; and, though there were strong arguments in favor of a Negro bishop, possibly with a white archdeacon as his adviser, it was finally deemed best by General Convention to [88/91] appoint a white bishop. Therefore, at its meeting in Detroit, in October, 1919, General Convention elected the Rev. Walter H. Overs, as Bishop of Liberia. At the time of his election, Mr. Overs was rector of the Church of the Ascension at Bradford, Pa.; but he was no stranger to Africa, having had experience as a missionary in that continent. He was consecrated on December 18, 1919, in St. Paul's Cathedral, Erie, Pennsylvania.

The new Bishop left immediately for his field, arriving there in February, 1920. For over three years, the District had been without direct Episcopal oversight, and when Bishop Overs landed there he found the Mission property generally run down and the Mission launch, the John Payne, out of commission. But in spite of these handicaps, he made extensive visits throughout the District. To do this he had to use every possible means of getting about—spending hours in surf boats, days in canoes going up the many rivers, traveling over land by hammock and on foot. It is worthy of note that on this initial trip of inspection he ordained five natives to the diaconate and two to the priesthood, as well as admitting six other young men as candidates for Holy Orders.

The Liberian Church, however, was not to be left without a native Episcopate. The Rev. Theopholus Momolu Gardiner, a native of the Vai tribe, and a priest of high Christian character, had long since given evidence of what the Negro can attain to under the training of the Church. The Liberians themselves, as we have seen, had expressed an eager desire for a bishop of their own race, and no one [92/95] was more fitted to fulfill those desires than Mr. Gardiner. In October, 1920, he was elected by the House of Bishops as Suffragan Bishop for Liberia, and was consecrated in the Church of the Incarnation, New York City, on June 23, 1921.

Bishop Gardiner was a native, a product of St. John's School and of the Divinity School at Cuttington. In his consecration sermon, Bishop Overs thus graphically pictured the task to which the new Bishop was called, and for which God had been preparing him. "You and I have traveled through much of Liberia together. You know the field and the work. You are a member of the Vai tribe, one of the most promising tribes of Liberia. But it is the only tribe of the Republic that is influenced by Mohammedanism. Your name is Momolu, which means in English Mohammed. Your father—a Mohammedan priest—gave you that name, but he also sent you to a Christian school, to learn letters. You learned to be a Christian. Gradually you have come to the position which you now hold. What a responsibility is yours! You must claim your tribe for Christ. Just before I left Monrovia, last month, one of your chiefs, a Mohammedan, came to me and said, `The mosque in my town is falling down; if you will send me a teacher, I will build a Christian church and school in the very place where the mosque has stood.' It is prophetic. It will come. Then there are twenty other tribes in our District for whom little has been done from the standpoint of religion, education, or development in any way. You particularly represent these people. Your work will not be easy. Nothing worth while is [95/96] The work is vast. The task is tremendous. But the opportunity is magnificent."

At the close of the service, Bishop Gardiner read a statement, addressed to the Bishops assembled, in the course of which he said:

"This solemn service that we have just concluded has brought forcefully to my mind my own limitations, and the great responsibility I have entered upon. To me, it is a new era—a new chapter in my life—and what will that chapter contain? .. . For the present, the District of Liberia must look to this great Church for guidance and support and leadership. We need your prayers; we need sympathy. . . . Instead of being ashamed, I am proud of the fact that I have been taken from heathenism and brought into the bosom of the Church. . . . I ask you to pray for the success of the work in the Missionary District of Liberia."

The most notable progress under these two leaders was in connection with work in the interior. "This work," Bishop Overs wrote in his 1920 Report, "is the heart and soul of our Mission. If we fail in this, we fail in everything. . . . We have been hugging the coast line too long. This whole interior of Liberia is calling for Christian teachers."

The Vais had always proved the most amenable to civilizing influences of all the tribes of Liberia. They early came in contact with the Mission, and from among them were recruited many Christians of note. Farther inland were the Golas, a fine people physically, energetic and capable. Heretofore, they had not been reached to any appreciable extent by civilizing agencies, notwithstanding their strategic [96/99] position among the surrounding tribes. Moreover, the Golas had failed notably to respond to the Moslem approach and made their appeal, rather, to Christianity. This tribe, therefore, offered a most favorable opportunity—an opportunity not to be neglected if Christianity in Liberia was to be advanced.

In the autumn of 1920, Miss Emily de W. Seaman, ones of the American teachers at the House of Bethany, Cape Mount, was detailed to proceed into the interior and to establish St. Andrew's Mission at Balomah, on the borderland between the Vai and Gola tribes.

As a beginning, a small clay and thatch house--hardly more than a hut—was built, and a school was begun with six children. Friendly relations established with the people of the village, led to the securing of a shed in which services could be held; but within a few months of this hopeful beginning, circumstances arose at the House of Bethany which necessitated the recall of Miss Seaman. The Mission at Balomah was, therefore, closed for the time being. Fortunately, Miss Seaman was able to take back with her to Cape Mount, the whole of her Gola school—fourteen pupils—and to place them in the House of Bethany. The incident formed a striking comment on the need for more teachers if the Church were really to seize the opportunities afforded by the native tribes.

In 1922, the Rev. M. W. C. Muhlenberg, a colored priest at Cape Mount, was sent to work among the Golas. He re-opened the school at Balomah, and a well instructed young native woman was [99/100] placed in charge. Three years more were to elapse, however, before a suitable building for the school, known as the Fanny Schuyler Memorial School for Girls, was completed. Within a very short time, the school had a capacity attendance of twenty pupils and had become a definite and helpful factor in the life of the community.

From Balomah, work in neighboring villages, Macca and Dambalah, was inaugurated. In the latter, the Gola chief gave the necessary land and two huts for a boys school where before the end of the first year more than a third of the pupils had been baptized.

The succeeding years witnessed the opening of more stations in the interior, not only among the Golas and the Vais, but also among hitherto untouched tribes—Bassas, Gbande, Mendi and Buzzi. Pandemai, a far interior station, was eager in missionary work. Here the William Hoke Ramsaur School built by the women of the Province of Sewanee was the centre of an effort extending to outlying regions. With the co-operation of the local chiefs, it was determined to push out farther toward the Franco-Liberia frontier. Balked in this project at first by dissensions among the chiefs and by the determined opposition of one Mandingo leader, whose opposition was finally broken down and, inter-tribal peace being restored, permission was obtained from the chiefs for the establishment of a school at Bondi. The opposing leader presently became one of the active supporters of the project. Yet this was in a region where, even at a centre like Pandemai, a proposed Christmas festivity had, only [100/101] the previous year, been spoiled by the wholesale desertion of the populace frightened by the rumor that Christians offered a human sacrifice on that day.

Work was also extended in other districts. Among the Bassas, the Grand Bassa Convocation established a school in the interior town of Sartroh where the people built houses for a teacher and pupils, and whence six boys in November 1924 were presented for Baptism. From Grand Bassa, work was carried on entirely by native lay workers at the town of Timbo. In the Cavalla River District, the result of missionary work among the Greboes was shown by the gift, from local chiefs, of new buildings for the mission in the up-country station of Gedabo. It was at this time, also, that a most unusual result of the new missionary activity occurred at Sodeke, a sub-district of Cape Palmas, when one of the Grebo chiefs was baptized. Thus the Church sought to expand its efforts among the tribes and to withstand the threat of Mohammedanism.

But, as Bishop Overs wrote in his report for 1920, "If the coast of Liberia is to form the base of a progressive mission in Africa, it is essential that such a base of operations be splendidly solid. Broken-down buildings are a had advertisement. They preach a poor Gospel and are not a good recommendation for our work. On the other hand, good ones are an inspiration. They are a necessary' part of a successful work." The adventure of pioneering among hitherto untouched tribesmen, how ever, must not blind the Church to the importance of adequately maintaining the central base upon [101/102] which our work rests. Some neglect of this base was brought home to the whole Church in a most tragic manner during 1922, through the death of two of its ablest workers, the Rev. W. H. Ramsaur and his wife. Mrs. Ramsaur had served in Liberia for ten years, and Mr. Ramsaur for three, yet so effective had been their work that as soon as the news of their death reached the United States, steps were taken to establish a worthy memorial of their labors. Plans were made to enlarge St. Timothy's Hospital, Cape Mount, the new wing to be known as the Sarah L. Ramsaur Memorial Hall and to erect the William Hoke Ramsaur Memorial School at Pandemai.

In the meantime, it became necessary in 1922, for Bishop Overs to return to the United States on account of ill health.

During these same years progress was evident also in the Church's educational work, always the greatest bulwark against the advance of Islam. The Bishop Overs School, Fortsville, made possible by the Birthday Thank Offering presented at the 1925 General Convention was opened the following year, while St. John's Academic and Industrial School, Cape Mount, on its 500 acre farm at Kobolia endeavored to give elementary instruction in farming, an urgent need in a land where an insufficient food supply and famine are ever-present possibilities.

Of far reaching importance was the action taken, in 1924, by the various American organizations interested in Liberia in the creation of an advisory committee on education. The following year Mr. James L. Sibley was appointed Educational Advisor [102/105] to these missionary societies and other agencies. In his efforts to better all educational work conducted by the various Missions, Mr. Sibley inspected many mission schools, conferred with teachers and principals in an effort to secure a proper perspective of the work and to formulate the outstanding problems. The investigation brought to light the need of industrial training, and the work conducted along this line at St. John's School, Cape Mount, and at Pandemai was commended. The establishment of a system for the normal training of teachers, such as is given in a small way at the House of Bethany, was also advised. As a result of these studies and in the light of Mr. Sibley's recommendations plans were made to increase the effectiveness of the Church's educational work through the centralization of the important tasks of industrial, normal, and academic education in large centres such as Cape Mount, Bromley, and Cuttington. This plan in no way affected the continuance of the parochial day school, which were so important a factor in the development of parish life.

In 1924, the new Sarah Ramsaur Memorial wing of St. Timothy's Hospital, Cape Mount was completed. During this year also, largely through the efforts of the Rev. James Dwalu, a large native church was built at Pandemai, while at Gbaigbon a chapel was erected, and at Caldwell, St. Peter's Church was dedicated by Bishop Gardiner.

Although these and other events especially in the direction of self-support were encouraging, real advance demanded the presence in Liberia of the Diocesan. Bishop Overs' continued ill health made [105/106] this impossible for him. Accordingly, in 1925, the sixth anniversary of his consecration and the ninetieth of the establishment of the Mission, Bishop Overs resigned. General Convention, then in session in New Orleans, promptly elected, as his successor, the Rev. Robert E. Campbell, O.H.C., who had served for three years on the staff of the Holy Cross Mission at Masambolahun. Father Campbell was consecrated sixth Bishop of Liberia in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, on November 30th and early in 1926, sailed for Africa.

Bishop Campbell with a rich experience of work among the tribes of the interior began his episcopacy at a time when general interest in Liberia was reviving. Mr. Sibley whose work has already been mentioned was just entering on his new duties; the International Conference on the Christian Mission in Africa was scheduled to meet in September 1926 at LeZoute, Belgium, and the Firestone leases for a million acres of rubber lands were being negotiated.

The LeZoute Conference which met in Belgium exactly fifty years after the famous Brussels Conference of 1876, to consider situations created largely by the earlier conference, was composed of over 200 members representing seventy missionary societies from 14 different countries. Our Church was represented by Bishop Campbell, the Rev. A. B. Parson, the Rev. H. A. Donovan, and the Rev. John Kuhns. In addition, the Conference numbered about 40 consultative members including Colonial Ministers and Governors, doctors of tropical medicine, scientists, historians, educators, and philologists. [106/109] The Conference sought to consider the Christian Mission in Africa, as related to the whole of life--individual, social, and national. It was an epoch-making Conference, the effects of which cannot but be far reaching throughout the whole of Africa.

The advent of the Firestone Plantations Company which it is estimated will need 350,000 Liberians to develop their rubber lands presented a unique opportunity to spread the Gospel among a large number of Liberians otherwise inaccessible. This enterprise, wrote Bishop Campbell "has set in circulation among the people a far greater amount of ready money than ever before. But even then, economic conditions will not allow the matter of self-support to be pushed too vigorously in the Church." Nevertheless, Bishop Campbell wrote later, "I feel certain that with a quickened spiritual sense, together with the daily improving economic condition of the land we shall in a very few years have a mission on the high road to become an independent diocese."

Thus Bishop Overs' constant emphasis on the necessity for self-support began to attain tangible results. In Monrovia, for example, the congregation of Trinity Church which had built its own commodious brick and stone church, was now a fully self-supporting parish. St. Thomas', Krutown, had redecorated its church, was raising money for a new parish house and expected to be fully self-supporting by 1929. There was evident a disposition of congregations to assume an increasing measure of self-support and the Convocation of Montserrado supported its own mission school at Royesville.

[110] A further most important step was taken in January, 1927, when at the General Convocation held at Sinoe, the clergy voted to relinquish 10 per cent, and in some cases 20 per cent, of their salaries received from the Church in the United States and to make up this reduction through the increased givings of the congregations concerned. The plan met with general success, and before the end of the year several of the clergy were suggesting further reductions that their congregations might rise up and do something more. This movement, through gradual annual progress, had as its objective the attainment of complete self-support of all English-speaking parishes by 1936—the Centennial of the Church's Mission in Liberia.

While the educational work suffered early in June, 1927, by the destruction from a tornado of Donovan High School, Grand Bassa, and the temporary closing, late in November, of the Brierly School for Girls to permit of urgent repairs and reorganization, elsewhere progress was evident. Plans were made for a sorely needed department of scientific agriculture at Cuttington and Mr. Sibley returned to Liberia with plans for issuing text-books especially adapted for use in elementary education.

The next year, on May 28, Ridgely Hall, a new dormitory for the House of Bethany was dedicated. Conceived on the occasion of Miss Ridgely's twentieth anniversary (1924) of service in Liberia, the building designed to care for 65 girls, was, at Miss Ridgely's request, named for her mother to whom she has dedicated her years of service in Africa rather than for herself. Two months later [110/111] (July 15) St. John's School, Cape Mount, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. During this half century, the school's influence for good had been felt throughout Liberia. It had been the means of bringing into the Church and giving a Christian education to hundreds of boys, a great majority of whom would otherwise have never known the joy which comes from knowing and serving Christ. Practically a new school since 1921, when under the leadership of Mr. Ramsaur the academic department was reorganized and the industrial and agricultural departments were begun, the school, in 1928, under the Rev. W. J. Reed was striving through printing, carpentry, masonry, agriculture, and the other educational activities to fulfill its aim—to continue to touch with the love of Christ those hundreds of boys both far and near who did not yet know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. This, too, was the purpose of the Church's 62 schools, staffed by 125 teachers, which despite many handicaps enrolled 3,500 pupils, more than a third of the entire school enrollment in the Republic.

Everywhere the work was severely handicapped by the lack of an adequate staff of white missionaries. This was especially true in the medical work. St. Timothy's Hospital, Cape Mount, splendidly equipped and staffed with excellent nurses continued without a doctor. Nevertheless, Bishop Campbell made definite plans for the rebuilding of St. Mark's Hospital, Cape Palmas, in which enterprise he was supported by the G. F. S. A. who assumed $5,000 toward the completion of the project.

Such in brief were the activities of the American [111/112] Church Mission in Liberia to the year 1928. In closing his annual report for 1927 Bishop Campbell wrote: "Spiritually, the people are full of a real faith in God, with a deep appreciation of the Church. This offers the most encouraging aspect of the whole mission. By building up the life of prayer and devotion we hope to gain victories ever more glorious for our blessed Master and Redeemer, and through this inner life of the Faithful quicken every activity for His greater glory."

* * *

No story of the Church's Mission in Liberia would be complete without some account of an important work carried on in the interior by the Order of the Holy Cross.

In 1921, after consultation with Bishop Overs, Liberia was chosen as the first foreign mission field in which the Order would carry on work entirely at its own expense. In the spring of the following year Father Hawkins, with two other priests, was sent out to look over the field. After a careful stirvey of the country east of Pendembu (the terminus of the Sierra Leone Railway) the Bishop assigned the tribal territories of the Gbande, Mendi and Gizi to the Order. No Christian Mission had ever before approached these tribes who seemed friendly, and the village of Masambolahun which was selected as the centre of the Mission, was only ten miles by trail from Kolahun, a civil and military post of the Liberian Government.

Here, in April, 1922, Father Hawkins started the [112/115] building of a small monastery on land provided by the Chief of the Gbande tribe—himself a Mohammedan—whose friendship bad been quickly won. Then Father Hawkins turned his energies to plans for a school building, in which enterprise, as in all else, he had the hearty co-operation of the Liberian District Commissioner. In the autumn of the same year, Father Campbell was sent out to become the Prior of the Mission.

Although the climate proved fairly healthful the need of a physician was here, as elsewhere in Liberia, a primary one. After diligent but unsuccessful search in the United States for a young man willing to volunteer for such a splendid service, the Order was finally obliged to send one of its own members, Father Allen, to take a short course in tropical medicine at Livingstone Missionary College, London, preparatory to joining the staff at Masambolahun. Father Allen arrived on the field in the summer of 1923, and wrote enthusiastically of the prospects for work in the great demand for his services.

Meantime plans for a boys' boarding school had matured, and the school was opened auspiciously a year after the establishment of the Mission. At the same time Father Campbell reported a keen interest in the evangelistic work, on the part of the natives—Mohammedan and heathen alike.

The election of Father Campbell, in 1925, as Bishop of Liberia, necessitated numerous changes in the Holy Cross Mission. Father Harrison was sent out as Prior, but at the end of five months he was invalided home. During that brief time, [115/116] however, the Mission had taken one significant step. Not only was the educational and evangelistic work maintained, but the Holy Cross Hospital was opened under the direction of Dr. Edgar Maas. This work immediately offered an unparalleled opportunity for contact with the tribesmen. During the first eighteen months about 5,000 patients were treated, and a remarkable work was initiated in relieving the native people from a variety of dreadful tropical diseases. The fame of this work done with such unstinted devotion attracted patients from the surrounding country—some even coming seventy-five miles through the hinterland. Not only did the hospital relieve physical suffering but it sought also to prevent some of the people's ills through maternity and child welfare work and rudimentary instruction in sanitation and hygiene. The work of Dr. Maas which had been ably assisted from the beginning by his wife, a trained bacteriologist, was further strengthened in October, 1928, by the coming of a second physician. In addition there were a number of native orderlies who had been trained in the hospital.

Constantly, the Order sought opportunities to establish the Church in neighboring villages. In 1926, a second station was opened at Porluma under Father Allen. Assisted by two native teachers, he conducted a boys' school and a dispensary. A little later work was begun in Borowulahun. Here, a native teacher, assisted by weekly visits from one of the priests at Bolahun, was in charge.

The work of this group of missions has been singularly blessed. Where seven years ago the [116/117] name of Christ was unknown there have been many baptisms and at a recent Church festival a hundred received the Holy Communion. [For detailed information, the reader is referred to The Holy Cross Magazine, published by the Order at West Park, N. Y.]



View from missionaries' residence, Masambolahun.

The Sea from St. John's School, Cape Mount.

Creek near Bendu.

Mask of an African witch doctor.

Vicar-General of the Roman Catholic Mission in Liberia.

Mohammedan teacher and pupils.

Bush dancers in the Vai country.

A nut-gatherer.

The Mission at Mt. Vaughan, in 1838. From an early engraving.

Harper, Cape Palmas.

View of Mt. Vaughan and harbor.

Monrovia from the lagoon.

Old street scene, Monrovia.

Preparing cotton for spinning.

Preparing rice field for planting.

The Rt. Rev. John Payne, D.D. First Bishop of Liberia, 1851-1871.

An African harp.

Native salesmen.

The Rt. Rev. John G. Auer, D.D. Second Bishop of Liberia, 1873-1874.

The Rt. Rev. Charles C. Penick, D.D. Third Bishop of Liberia, 1877-1883.

"Hunting for the chigre."

Surf-boating near Monrovia.

Cooking in Liberia.

The club or strangers' house in a Vai village.

Making palm oil.

Native potter.

Vai woman.

Native load carriers in the interior.

The Rt. Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson, D.D., D.C.L., Fourth Bishop of Liberia, 1885-1916.

Epiphany Hall, Cuttington.

Students, Epiphany Hall.

Julia C. Emery Hall, Bromley.

St. Luke's Church, Edina.

St Andrew's Church, Upper Buchanan.

Brierly Memorial Hall, Harper.

St. James' Church, Hoffman Station.

St. John's Church, Cape Mount.

St. Peter's Church, Caldwell.

Candidates for Baptism, Bendu.

Typical residence of a generation ago.

Church at Royesville.

Main Street, Monrovia, from Bishop's House.

Bishop's House, Monrovia, 1920.

House of Epiphany, Cape Mount.

St. Timothy's Hospital, Cape Mount.

Brunot Memorial Hall, Cape Mount.

Langford Memorial Hall, Cape Mount.

"The Carpenters."

"The Masons." St. John's Academic and Industrial School.

"The Printers."

The "Shoemakers."

Native laundry.

Volunteer workers on St. Timothy's Nurses' Home, Cape Mount.

Interior, Church of Our Saviour, Bendu.

Crummell Memorial Hall, Clay Ashland.

St. Paul's Church, Sinoe.

Travel in the interior: hammock bearers racing.

Crossing a river on a raft.

Liberian clergy with the American Liberian Commission, 1918.

The Rt. Rev. Walter H. Overs, Ph.D. Fifth Bishop of Liberia, 1919-1925.

The Rt. Rev. T. Momolu Gardiner, D.D., Suffragan Bishop of Liberia, 1921-.

St. Michael and All Angels' Chapel, Gbaigbon.

Fanny Schuyler Memorial School, Balomah.

Village en route to Pandemai.

Ramsaur School, Pandemai.

Pupils, Bishop Overs School, Fortsville.

St. Mark's Hospital, Cape Palmas, 1927.

A Firestone village.

Building Liberian houses: "mudding."

The Rt. Rev. Robert Erskine Campbell, D.D.
Sixth Bishop of Liberia, 1925--.

Choir, St. Thomas' Church, Krutown

Trinity Church, Monrovia

Altar of the Church at Masambolahun

Project Canterbury