A review of the Journals of T. C. John, 19th-century CMS missionary at Lokoja

27 November 2023, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

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Benedetta Rossi – History


Room 115
1-19 Torrington Place
United Kingdom

Revd. Thomas Cole John was the lead agent in charge of the CMS (Church Missionary Society) mission at Lokoja, the confluence of the Niger and Benue between 1865 and 1880. He and two others, James Thomas and Revd. Charles Paul, sent yearly letters and journals back to the CMS headquarters during most of this period, thereby supplying the researcher with considerable documentation of ongoings about and beyond the mission in that region of Nigeria. While bits and pieces of John’s letters and journals have featured in my and others’ research, I recently completed transcribing all his journals written from Lokoja in preparation for possible publication. My presentation will comment on these materials and how useful they are for the scholar of Christian mission and African societies of 19th-century Niger-Benue basin area, especially, as his journals compare to Charles Paul’s, and James Thomas’s, the complete set of the latter which I had transcribed and published in 2013. 

If you are unable to attend this event in person, the livestream can be viewed here.

This lecture is organised in the framework of the LANGARCHIV research project, which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No. 759390.

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About the Speaker

Professor Femi Kolapo

History Professor at University of Guelph, Canada

Dr. Femi Kolapo teaches in the History Department of the University of Guelph, Ont. Canada. His research interests include slavery, abolition of slavery, and 19th-century Christian mission/African relations. His publications on the later theme include The journals of Church Missionary Society agent, James Thomas, in mid-nineteenth-century Nigeria (The Edwin Mellen Press 2012)  and Christian Missionary Engagement in Central Nigeria, 1857–1891: The Church Missionary Society's All-African Mission on the Upper Niger (Palgrave McMillan, 2019).

More about Professor Femi Kolapo