'At home or abroad': Scottish Presbyterian Missionaries in the British Empire

Material Information

'At home or abroad': Scottish Presbyterian Missionaries in the British Empire
McMullen, Russell
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Academic libraries ( jstor )
Annual reports ( jstor )
Baptists ( jstor )
British culture ( jstor )
Christianity ( jstor )
Morality ( jstor )
Pastors ( jstor )
Religion ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Undergraduate Honors Thesis


In the nineteenth century the British Empire was changing. A new imperial energy began to emanate from middle-class Britons who increasingly professed evangelical brands of Protestantism. The idea that the Empire could be the vehicle that took the light of Christianity and British civilization to spiritually and culturally dark ‘heathen’ populations became a powerful justifying force for imperially-minded Britons. The Scottish Presbyterian missionaries that participated in this ‘civilizing project’ represented Scotland’s claim to moral legitimacy and proved that the Empire was indeed a British one and not just English. Who were these missionaries, and how did they go about presenting their cultural package to the native populations in the colonies? Did the missionaries succeed in molding uncivilized heathens into ideal British, Christian citizens, or did they meet resistance? In order to answer these questions and demonstrate its importance to Scottish national identity, I will examine the methods, daily work, and consequences of Scottish Presbyterian missionary activity in nineteenth-century Jamaica, India, and Old Calabar. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Arts; Graduated May 4, 2010 magna cum laude. Major: History
General Note:
Advisor(s): Dr. Jessica Harland-Jacobs
General Note:
College/School: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Russell McMullen. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.


This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


1 I Introduction As the Rev. Samuel Edg erley stood on board the H.M.S. Antelope and watched shot from t he ships guns tear through the homes and community buildings that made up Old Town in the West African region of Old Calabar, he must have been feeling a mixture of anger and exasperation. Edgerley and his wife lived in Old Town as missionaries sponsored by the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland from 1849 unti l early 1855 when British Foreign Office officials sent the Antelope up the Calabar River to level the town. In 1854 the chief of Old Town died and, per traditional Efik custom, his slaves were sacrificed and buried with him as a final honorarium. Scott ish missionaries like the Edgerleys had been working hard with local leaders to eliminate this and other traditional practices that they perceived as abominations, and these leaders had agreed to prosecute the men responsible for the murders. But British merchants and bureaucrats were anxious to teach the uncivilized Efiks a lasting, more visible lesson. No one was killed or even hurt in the bombardment; the citizens of Old Town were given notice of the decision to punish the town and left with their fami lies and possessions. 1 the leader of the Presbyterian mission, H.M. Waddell to the F oreign Office summarized the Scottish our entreaties are a cunning device to ensnare them into promises which shall be enforced by 1 W.H. Taylor. Mission to Educate: A History of the Educational Work of the Scottish Presbyterian Mission in East Nigeria, 1846 1960 (New York: E.J. Brill, 1996), 62 63.


2 the thunder of war guns, it is easy to see how vain will be our best endeavours for their 2 The Old Town episode illustrates several themes of nineteenth century Scottish Presbyterian missions. Like most evangelical Christians of their generation, th e Edgerleys and the Waddells needed the Christian religion and Western educ ation to elevate their backward societies and simple civilizations. Yet in the same moment the mi ssionaries were compassionate people who worked hard for the betterment of the populations to whom they ministered. Scottish missionaries (and their English counterparts) regularly took unpopular stances against the colonial authorities on behalf of their parishioners. Culturally elitist ideas were not confined to the minds of liberal evangelical Protestants; conservative, landed members of the established churches of Scotland and England also thought that Western culture was the ideal. What distinguishe d evangelicals like the Old Calabar missionaries in the early mid nineteenth century was their conviction that they were called by God to be the vessels that carried the Gospel message and superior British society to destitute corners of the world. They we re not like the trans Atlantic merchants of the eighteenth century who were motivated by their financial bottom line and only passively haphazardly transmitted aspects of Scottish or English culture wherever their business ventures happened to take them. The Scottish Presbyterian missionaries were part of a movement made up of people like the Edgerleys and the Waddells whose good intentions and desire to improve the spiritual and temporal lives of colonial subjects were just as real as their less savory i deas about race, 2 William Marwick and William Anderson. William and Louisa Anderson (Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, 1897), pg. 301.


3 religion, and culture. Yet they were undeniably every bit the colonial agents that their commercially, and politically minded compatriots were. So how did Scottish Presbyterian missionaries impact the British Empire in the nineteenth ce ntury? In this paper I will demonstrate that Scottish missionaries were instrumental in keeping the empire truly British. The missionary impulse of the mid nineteenth century was borne out of a British middle class popular culture that valued what Cather ine Hall philanthropy. 3 Scottish Presbyterian missionaries helped shape the British Empire by fully participating in spreading this evangelical Christian cult ure abroad. They partnered with English missionaries to evangelize, civilize and mold native heathens into model British Christian citizens. A ccording to T.M. moral legitimacy by the m 4 Without Scottish participation in this project, a key component of the nineteenth century empire would have been solely English. The Scottish Empire would have been seen as stuck in the eighteenth century, a little backwards, heroic in battle and shrewd in commerce, but lacking the Christian zeal and moral fiber that I will illustrate how Scottish Presbyterian missionar y efforts in Jamaica, India, and Old Calabar brought the empire home and helped to cultivate a sense of national investment in the new nineteenth century, moral, civilizing empire. I will also discuss the pioneering and unique ly Scoto Presbyterian preaching and teaching that left distinct footprints where the missionaries 3 Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall. Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780 1850 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 91. 4 T.M. Devine. The Scottish Nation, 1700 2000 (New York: Viking, 1999), 366.


4 worked, and made the empire itself more Scottish and certifiably British. The essential story of central to the nineteenth nteractions with the native populations also feature prominently, and some analysis from their perspective will be offered as well. And although it will not be a recurring theme, through evidence in the chapter on mission education in Jamaica I will demon strate that the British government generally considered Scottish Presbyterians to be a vital part of the moral crusade. The majority of my work will deal with missionary activity in Jamaica and its ties to Scotland. There has been no scholarly examination focusing on the Presbyterians in Jamaica. It was actually the peripheral treatment of these men and women in other works on Caribbean missions that sparked my interest in this project. Jamaica in the early nineteenth century is a veritable playground fo r any student of the interaction between religion and empire. It was a hugely important colony in the British Empire, and one of the most valuable in the Caribbean generally. Af ter the revolution in Saint Dom pr 00 slaves who worked the sugar cane and coffee plantations. Most white colonials saw the missionaries, who began arriving on the island in significant numbers after 1815, as radicals who were at worst allied with the British abolitionists and at best carr ying a dangerous message that slaves were in this hostile en


5 highlight the impact that style schools that taught Afro Jamaicans. These schools were key to the goal of civilizing the black Jamaican population and transforming them into model British citizens. But, like the mission churches, they were waning Jamaicans to govern their own civil society (chapter 3). T he Indian and Calabari sto ries have been documented by historians and so they are not the product of any original research. T hey do, however, provide some needed comparisons that give a more full understanding of Presbyterian contributions to the empire. Prior to the Scottish Pre Efik relationship was strictly an economic one. The British government did not have political jurisdiction in Old Calabar ; however as illustrated by the Old Town incident, the Foreign Office in West Africa was ne ver shy about becoming apparent to most Britons that India needed to be civilized. Also evident was the fact guide British policy in India. The Council decided to educate Indians out of their heathenism and ignorance by promoting the English language. This would be an effective avenue since the native Indian vernaculars were they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work 5 5


6 Presbyterians were in fact trend setters and pioneers in the British mission field (chapter 4). And while the missionaries to Jamaica did not revolutionize missi on work in their chosen colony, they did make a significant impact both on the Afro Jamaicans to whom they ministered and the Scottish claim to the civilizing project. This paper deals with the questions that evangelical Scots were interested in were the strategies and techniques did they employ? What obstacles stood between Afro Jamaicans, Hindus, and Efiks and ideal British citizenship? These questions have not yet been asked in a comparative framework. Linda Colley deals extensively with Scottish identity and the empire in her book Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707 1837 However, she confines her treatment of Scots in the empire to the eighteenth century w hen a concerted effort to evangelize native populations abroad was virtually fully integrate into a coalescing British nationalism by the end of the eighteenth cen tury. Interestingly, in 1815 T.M. Devine argues that participating in the empire allowed Scotland to retain its national pride and like hats. Human beings can 6 Neither of these works deal with nineteenth century The Oxford History of the British Empire by John Mackenzie does use evidence from missionaries and their patrons to discuss imperial culture. He concludes regarding the Scots 6 Linda Colley. Britons: Forging the Nation 1707 1837 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 6.


7 church, educational system, and ot 7 Nineteenth century Scottish Presbyterian missionaries receive more coverage from historians of missions like Andrew Porter W.H. Taylor. These scholars treat Presbyterian work in India and Old C alabar respectively, with great detail and fairness. Mary Turner lightly touches on Scottish Presbyterians in her work Slaves and Missionaries: The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave Society, 1787 1834 However because English missionaries and the societie s that sponsored them were numerically more significant than their Scottish counterparts, the Scottish Presbyterians are mentioned only in passing. None of these historians connect s Scottish Presbyterians in their specific locality to Presbyterian work in the rest of the empire. While Civilising Subjects: Colony and Metropole in the English Imagination, 1830 1867 focuses exclusively on English Baptists in Jamaica, its methodology is helpful as a model to demonstrate the way that missionar ies connected Britain to its empire. Michael Fry comes close to blending Scottish Presbyterian mission work and Scottish imperial identity. He includes several chapters on Scottish missionaries in both India and Old Calabar in his book The Scottish Empir e But his chronology spans from the Darien Scheme to the middle of the twentieth century, his subjects come from all corners of the globe, and they cover a broad spectrum of imperial roles, so it is virtually impossible for him to draw any significant co nclusions linking the nineteenth century missionaries to Scottish sentiments at home. 7 The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. III: The Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pg. 289.


8 church history. While both are interesting and were certainly well known by the missionaries neither of these literatures has anything to say about missionaries and imperial identity. Presbyterianism was a definite point of pride for Scottish citizens. But in practice nineteenth century evangelical Protestantism tended to break down theological differences between supposedly marked off Presbyterians from other Protestants. Is he [the missionary] to tell them [the heathen] that God loved a few men scattered somewhere or other throughout the world, and that therefore, for aught that he could know, there may happen to be some of these favoured ones among them, and for these Christ died? Men need not go to heathen lands with a doctrine of limite d atonement in their creed; or, if they go with it, they must hide it and preach in a manner practically contradictory to it. 8 Ultimately this thesis is a work studying the relationship between Christianity and the British Empire in the nineteenth centu government had the same goal of civilizing the empire And as will be seen in Jamaica, missions were even used as a mechanism to carry out imperial government policy. Yet after examining some Scottish Presbyterian examples, particularly the Old Town and Jamaican indentured servant episodes, it is clear that the relationship had to endure so me tension. Occasionally missionaries and the British government did not agree on the proper way to carry out the civilizing project. So while the stereotype of religion and empire advancing 8 Rev. James Morrison quoted in A .C. Cheyne. Revolution (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1983) 63 64.


9 together will still hold true at the end of this thesis, the un derstanding of empire religion interaction will be more nuanced. As an encouragement to a missionary in Jamaica the secretary of the Scottish Missionary Society wrote which cann 9 Scottish Presbyterians did not become missionaries to participate in empire building; they were motivated by scripture and a sense of Christian duty. But whether they liked it or not the Scottish Presbyterian missionaries were inextricably wrapped up in the spirit that gave shape to both the British Empire itself and how Britons perceived the objectives of the empire in the nineteenth century. Indeed it is n ot going too far to say that without the Scottish Presbyterian missionaries, the British Empire would not have been truly British. I I The Jamaica Mission and its Metropol itan Connections Historians have thoroughly explored the cultural distinctiveness and clannishness that marked off Scots in the empire from their English counterparts. They have generally focused on Scottish commercial enclaves, military exploits, and political placements B ut as described above recent work by Duff, Taylor, McKenzie, Fry and Devine has highlighted Presbyterian missionary accomplishments. How ever none of these scholars has treated the Scottish Presbyterian Jamaica mission. And since Jamaica i the Presbyterian work there represents an important aspect of Scottish self perception in the early nineteenth century empire. 9 S.M.S. to Blyth, Mar. 29, 1828. NLS, MS.8985.


10 This chapter will tell the Scottish Presbyterian story in J amaica from its humble that the traits influenced the way that these missiona ries ran their churches. Periodically th is narrative of cultural interaction will cross the Atlantic and include the voices of contemporary Scottish imperial commentators. It was probably Archibald Stirling Esq. of Keir, proprietor of Hampden estate in J amaica missionary to the slaves in twenty five years. 10 Unlike the later missionaries who went to the Blyth did not hold i dealistic or even optimistic view s of Jamaica In fact, before Stirling assured him that the climate was actually mild, he thought that going to the island was a very real way to end up as just another dead European in the Caribbean 11 In 1798 the Edinbur gh Missionary Society (predecessor to the Scottish Missionary Society) sent three men to Jamaica to preach to the slave population. Two of the company died of disease ce of being single material or spir itual condition of the slaves. 12 Fear among white colonists engendered by the 10 George Blyth. Reminiscences of Missionary Life (Edinburgh: Oliphant and So ns, 1851), 35; William Fraser. The Stirlings of Keir, and their Family Papers simply states that an S.M.S. board member who had been a proprietor in Jamaica convinced him to go ther e. The principal patron for his entire missionary career, it is safe to assume that he was the one to convince Blyth. 11 George Blyth. Reminisc ences of Missionary Life (Edinburgh: Oliphant and Sons, 1851), 36. 12 Annual Report of the Scottish Missionary Society, 1838, pg. 7. New College Library, tNE6.


11 slave led revolution in Saint Domaingue and rage over the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 13 The Rev. George Blyth and his wife travelled to Jamaica in 1824 under dramatically different circumstances than did Reid and hi s ill fated fellow missionaries. By 1824 mainstream British public opinion was swinging away from the West Indian sugar interests and towards free trade and the eventual emancipation of the enslaved Afro Caribbeans. The Blyths and the six other S.M.S. mi ssionary couples sent to Jamaica before emancipation in 1834 were supported by several absentee Scottish sugar planters who wanted their slaves instructed in the principles of Christianity. Undoubtedly these men saw Christianity as a pacifying force that would teach slaves to be diligent and dutiful. But there was also at least some purely religious motivation Samuel Moulton Barrett owned the Cinnamon Hill estate in Jamaica He was English but he was related by marriage to William Stirling, an S.M.S. bo ard member. Barrett had a conversion experience in the mid until H.M. Waddell arrived (financially sponsored by Barrett) to minister full time in 1828. 14 Once the slaves accepted Ch ristianity they could easily be guided to a new morality that featured monogamous sexual relationships, rejection of strong drink and idolatrous spiritual ceremonies, and strict Sabbath keeping. In the minds of the missionaries and the patron planters Chr istianity, morality, societal health, and the amelioration of the slave condition were all bound together. 13 Mary Turner. Slaves and Missionaries: The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave Society, 1787 1834 (Urbana: University Press of Illinois, 1982), 19. 14 Fraser, The Stirlings o f Keir, and their Family Papers 108; Turner, Slaves and Missionaries 22.


12 As the Blyths were beginning their missionary careers, a twelve year old Scottish boy named William Anderson was passing the hours at his job tending animals by daydreaming about the more exciting life of a missionary preacher. Years later he recalled, discourse did I deliver on Sabbath to the cows, the sheep, the peesweeps, and the whaups by the upper mill 15 The life of William Anderson provides a prime example of the influences that Scottish education and religion had in both the metropole and the British Empire. Throughout his formative years in Scotland and his missionary adventures in Jamaica and Old Calabar, Anderso n found meaning in his passionate commitment to education, learning and the Presbyterian form of Protestant Christianity. From the long solitary days spent tending cattle and reading the Bible cover to cover in his teenage years, to the hours teaching yo ung Efik scholars the rudiments of English using that same text in a sweltering schoolroom, Scottish cultural values, and romanticized compassion for the abstract o William Anderson (1812 1895) was steeped in Scottish Presbyterianism from an early age. His father was an influential member in a small church that was part of the Secession Presbyterian Church, a more evangelically flavored denomination than the established Church of Scotland. 16 Anderson and his sister participated in a strict Sabbath day routine that included singing, exhortation by the male head of the household, and biblical 15 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 35. 16 Virtually all Protestants in Scotland were Presbyterian (there was a small contingent of Episcopalians). As a concession in the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, Scotland was allowed to keep its established Church that differed from the Church of England on a few doctrinal points, in style of worship on Sundays, and church government. There were several secessions from the established Church of Scotland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries over issues of doctrine and church politics. These groups that split off from the Church kept the same worship and government practices, and so, still considered themselves Presbyterian even though they


13 discussion and public worship at the ch urch building or tent. This Sabbath day of his childhood was the ideal that Anderson carried with him to the mission field and the model that remembrance of our morning and evening worship and of the stillness and solemnity of the 17 is mother had died when he was an infant) and he and his sister went to live in the village of Ford with his poverty stricke n aunt and uncle. The Anderson the modest fees for his schoolin g thus far. By his own account Anderson was a voracious reader and an excellent student. But his aunt and uncle could not afford the school fees and so Anderson was forced to drop out and begin work at a mill carding either cotton or wool from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., six days per week, year round. 18 After Anderson had work ed at se veral odd jobs throughout his adolescence including stints as a cattle grazer and quarry hand, his material circumstances changed for the better. He had been teaching a Sabbath school class at his church, and several older members of the congregation recommended him to the secretary of the Scottish Missionary Society as an excellent teacher/catechist candidate for the burgeoning mission in Jamaica. The year and a half from early 1838 through the fall of 1839 was a whirlwind for Anderson as he went from being under educated, working at a quarry, with little prospect of social or economic 17 William Anderson. Autobiography: Vol. I pg. 22. National Library of Scotland, MS.8946 18 I bid.


14 advancement to sailing for fabled Jamaica with a profound sense of purpose : to teach the newly emancipated Afro Jamaicans. 19 Anderson had been unable to take advantage of intelligen t, widely read, committed religiously, and orthodox theologically, so the S.M.S. felt comfortable employing him upon his completion of a six month teacher training program. As Anderson left Scotland in 1839 public interest in Jamaica was cresting. Mainstr eam British society was intently watching the unfolding Jamaican drama: could free black men and women create a prosperous, moral, Christian society with the paternalistic aid of the missionaries? Would Afro Jamaicans take responsibility for themselves? A Western style education, that included religious and moral instruction, was seen as a key component of the civilizing project. Liberal evangelical Britons were optimistic that it would succeed, and Anderson sailed for Jamaica full of hope and proud to b e part of such a noble cause. For him there was no higher calling. To bestow on once oppressed young black Jamaicans the gifts of literacy and Christianity was at once a solemn and thrilling responsibility. On leaving Scotland e laid my account with bidding my native land Farewell for ever. But Christ is in Jamaica as well as here may the joy of the Lord be my strength and may I be the honoured instrument of turning at least a few of the long despised children of Africa to t he 20 Before he sailed for Jamaica, Anderson had been a part of the evangelical Scottish public and as such he read the S.M.S. publications regularly. Writing from Old Calabar he 19 Ibid., 66. 20 William Anderson. Autobiography: Vol. II pg. 73. National Library of Scotland, MS.8947.


15 re membered ry Society of which I ever heard; its monthly Registers and Quarterly Papers were the only periodicals that, so far back as 21 The S.M.S. requested that the missionaries keep detailed journals of their experie nces and provide commentary on the spiritual and social condition of the ir field The missionaries would send their accounts to Scotland at the end of each year and the journal entries would be synthesized into the S.M.S. Annual Report and other periodica ls. These publications were intended to generate income for the society through subscriptions and philanthropic donations. They also served as unifying cultural source for evangelical Scottish Presbyterians that fused notions of national identity, religi on, and empire. It was a great source of pride for members of the Secession and Relief denominations as well as evangelicals in the Church of Scotland to read that Scots were engaged in bringing true religion and morality to destitute Jamaican slaves. Bu t the S.M.S. missionaries in Jamaica could also be a source of shame for some, more radical Presbyterians. Following the so called Baptist War in 1831 several of the slaves who had organized the uprising were found to be members of Baptist missionary cong regations. The Baptist missionaries had certainly not encouraged open slave rebellion, but this did not stop enraged white colonists from setting fire to several Baptist and Methodist chapels in the parish where the rebellion began. In contrast, the Pres byterians often enjoyed the benevolence of influential Scottish magistrates. On one occasion the Presbyterians petitioned the Jamaica Assembly to secure various rights for their slave screened from the indignation of the assembly, by a noble band of evangelical curates, 21 Marwick and Anderson. William and Louisa Anderson 183.


16 who, on observing the obloquy which the presbyterians had brought upon themselves, hastily prepared, signed, and presented another petition of similar import and the storm which had burst upon [us] spent its fury upon them. 22 In another case of Scottish patronage, Blyth appeared before the parish officials and was treated with civility by all; but I believe I was much indebted to the kind ly influence of a Scotch gentleman of the name of Guthrie 23 These denominational stereotypes were well known and hotly discussed in the metropole. One Secession Church minister voiced his suspicions that The virulence of persecution has for a series of years been assailing the missionaries of the Baptist and Methodist denominations in the slave colonies But with our Scottish Missionaries judging from their own statements and from other sources of information all has been comparatively smooth and calm while the planters build their churches and worship under the ministry of these missionaries and welcome them as frien ds and companions in their select social circles I confess I cannot rid myself of the conviction that there is something in this matter seriously wrong and that there has been on the part of some of your missionaries a dereliction of t hat straight forward, bold, and decided course of duty which even in their confessedly delicate circumstance they ought to have pursued. 24 However the Rev. Dr. Burns of Paisley adopted a more positive spin on the missionary planter while the missionaries from other societ ies, particularly form those in the South, have been looked upon with suspicion and jealousy, and have been cruelly harassed in their benevolent labours the missionaries from this Society have been cordially received God 25 22 Blyth, Reminiscences of a Missionary Life 68. 23 Ibid., 49. 24 S.M.S. to H.M. Waddell, J une 14, 1833. NLS, MS.8984. 25 Annual Report of the S.M.S., 1830, pg. 61. New College Library, tNE6.


17 Scots definitely viewed evangelism and missions in nationalist terms. In 1825 the S.M.S. sent out a letter to pastors and divinity school students. The authors called on the reci national pride and sense of Christian duty to drum up missionaries for the field. And even during the last thirty years, though Scotland has participated in the mighty impulse which has been given to the Ch ris tian world, and has contributed to Bi ble and Missionary Societies, with a liberality, (considering her wealth and population) equal perhaps to an y other country; yet it must be acknowledged that she has hitherto sent forth but a small number of labourers to the heathen world. 26 To be sure the missionaries identified themselves as Christians first; above all else they Ever bear in mind that yo u are ambassadors from God to men, that you are not sent to be reformers of the state, that it is 27 Yet their national, imperial, and denominational identities were no less real to them and constantly interacted with their Christian ideals. The S.M.S. periodicals had a unique influence because of the hold that Presbyterianism had on Protestant religious life in Scotland. Dissenting denominations in England like the Ba ptists and Methodists dramatically differed from the established Church of England in Scotland that broke away from the established Church chose to retain the Presbyte rian ecclesiastical structure, and style of worship. While English evangelicals had several outlets for 26 ege Library, O.A/22. 27 Letter of Instructions from the Directors of S.M.S. to their Missionaries Among the Heathen


18 their missionary energy including the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, the Baptist Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society and the Soci ety for the Propagation of the Gospel, the S.M.S. was the only evangelically oriented foreign missionary option in Scotland until 1835. 28 Throughout its Protestant history Presbyterianism had made Scotland different from England, and for some Scots living in the mid nineteenth century, maintaining national identity was more important than ever. As Scotland industrialized, commercial and political connections with England increased. Scots who thought about such things worried that their 29 Religious leaders were also anxious about the corrosive effects of industry and urbanization on traditional Scottish values like learning and piety. 30 T.M. Devine convincingly arg ues that Scottish patriots had nothing to worry about in the middle of the nineteenth century. He claims that a strong sense of national identity lay undisturbed especially in the middle and working classes. If Colley is right, they allowed themselves to their staunchly Scottish identity. 31 This Scottish cultural distinctiveness was maintained in large part via the empire. In Jamaica Scots took advantage of commercial opport unities in numbers disproportionate to their population and economic influence in the home market. Scots were 28 The established Church of Scotland had been sending m inisters abroad since the middle of the eighteenth century, but they confined themselves to pastoring the Scottish communities in the empire. The purpose of the S.M.S. was to evangelize native populations. The S.M.S. secretary Rev. William Brown explicit ly stated in a letter to evangelically minded Church of Scotland ministers which further cemented its position in the early nineteenth century as the engine of Presbyterian foreign missions. 29 Sir John Sinclair quoted in T.M. Devine. 1815 Pg. 360. 30 Devine, 361. 31 Colley, Britons 6.


19 particularly prolific as doctors and plantation overseers in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. One contemporary quipped in 1812 tha 32 These enterprising Scots carried a reputation for being thrifty, efficient, and the harshest task masters in the B ritish West Indies. 33 businesses, and fully participated in the slave system as a means to the end of making a fortune and taking it back to Scotland. But as middle class, liberal, evangelicals began to impose their relig iously informed cultural values like philanthropy, ideal gender roles, and abolitionism on mainstream British society, a new kind of Scottish migrant began to permeate the empire. In the eyes of serious Scottish Presbyterians the se missionaries were nation al heroes; 34 as public attention turned increasingly towards slave conditions in the British Caribbean, it became en vogue to patronize mission work on the family positioned indeed to take advantag e of the rise in philanthropic sentiment. 35 Upon arrival in Jamaica Blyth and the S.M.S. missionaries that followed him were forced to negoti ate deep seated Scoto Presbyterian values in a complex, alien society. One such value was the intense Sabbatarianis m demonstrated in the Anderson household. The Sabbath in 32 Samuel Taylor Coleridge quoted in Devine, 244. 33 Devine, 245; Michael Fry. The Scottish Empire (Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd., 2001), 79. 34 The S.M.S. had been sending missionaries to Russia and India before work in Jamaica began in 1824. But the public took the most interest In Jamaican mission work among the slaves. The mission to Russia was stopped in 1828 and the S.M.S. Indian mission s tations were given to the auspices of the newly formed, better funded Church of Scotland Foreign Missions Committee in 1836. 35 Annual Report of the Scottish Missionary Society, 1826, pg. 18. New College Library, tNE6.


20 Scotland was a solemn, reverent day of spiritual significance, and the recollections of another nineteenth century Scot illustrate the importance that serious Presbyterians placed on keeping that da y holy: All of a sudden everything I had been doing last week had become wicked. marbles, singing, except psalms, playing the fically wicked), or anything exce it was so difficult to keep it perfectly; and I knew the doom of Sabbath breakers 36 The Scottish Presbyterian missionaries carried this Sabbath day ideal to Jamaica and found the opposite of the awe and esteem that they deemed the appropriate Sabbath attitude. In pre emancipation Jamaica Sundays were market days for the slaves. The loca l market was a hub of festivity, games, drinking and music. It was also an essential time for the slaves who needed to sell and barter the vegetables from their provision grounds in order to supplement their meager rations. In Scotland, doing business on the Sabbath would be grounds for concessions. They probably would not have had a congregation had they not worked around theless criticized by periodicals like The Abolitionist for allowing Sabbath breakers to take communion and be baptized and therefore failing to keep the Sabbath holy. 37 In his defense Blyth wrote, I have not a doubt in my mind, but that the slaves are of ten obliged to provide for themselves on Sabbath because through their earthly bondage they are unable to rest on the Sabbath, can I therefore dare to s u peradd spiritual oppression and injustice, by depriving them of the bread of life, and withholdin g from them the comfort and consolations which the ordinances of religion are designed to impart? I consider the practice I have adopted as sanctioned by him who justified his disciples in plucking the 36 Robert Wallace quoted in A.C. Chey ne. ( Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1983 ), 48 49. 37 S.M.S. to George Blyth. April 22, 1832, NLS, MS.8985


21 ears of corn on the Sabbath to satisfy the cravings o f hunger, and who wil l have mercy and not sacrifice. 38 Soon after this tension came to light the S.M.S. asked its patron proprietors to allow slaves another day to work at the market William Stothert replied, Attorney to Jamaica appointing my joint managers, two men of religious principle; who, I have every reason to believe, will carry into immediate operation the plans for preventing the D ay on which the hearts of the Directors as well as my own are so 39 The Christian culture that the missionaries created changed daily life on the estates where they ministered. In and around the town of Lucea where t he Rev. James Watson ministered, t he white Jamaicans complimented him often on the the better [that] has taken place among the lower classes of the inhabitants. Watson himself boasted that [t] here is now seldom or never hear d the sound of music and dancing on that sacred day, a custom exceedingly comm on on my arrival in this 40 The slaves and later free Afro Jamaicans that made up the majority of the missionary congregations on the island found meaning in the structured community life that formed around the church. These congregations contributed liberally to the cost of raising large chapels, spent their free time helping to build the structures, and packed the pews when they were finished. On Emancipation Day (Aug. 1 1834) the missionary chapels were where the I preached to such a congregation of people as I never saw before in Jamaica. There never, in the recollection 38 Annual Report of the S.M.S., 1833, pg. 37 38. New College Library, tNE6. 39 S.M.S. to George Blyth. March 15, 1833, NLS, MS.8985 40 Annual Report of the S.M.S., 1828, pg. 28. New College Library, tNE6.


22 of man, was seen such a co ncourse of negroes in this town at one time; every church was filled to suffocation, and thousands of well dressed negroes could not gain admission into any of 41 The churches also hosted soirees that were well attended. Over 1100 bought tickets and 42 Jamaican missionaries held a powerful influence in the areas where they worked. Afro Jamaican Christians regarded their ministers with respect and affection. W hen the Watson s returned to Jamaica from a furlough in Scotland, they found almost the entire congregation on the dock in the middle of the night to welcome them. 43 Where the missionaries labored, an Afro Jamaican Christian identity began to form. By joining a ch urch black Jamaicans could become more than slaves or later, lower class peasants and wage laborers. The Sunday school students who showed promise could eventually be trained as teachers. And through demonstrated leadership, piety, and religious zeal bl ack Jamaican men could be elected an making council of the congregation and helped the minister keep in touch with its members. They could lead worship services if the minister was sick or away, and could exhort We are now more bound to serve God than we were before; we should all live like Christians I have heard several persons say, I am making plenty of money since the free came. We should reme should give more back to the cause of religion and missions, than we do. 44 41 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1835, pg. 23. New College Library, tNE6. 42 Scottish Missionary Chronicle, Jan. 1841, pg. 6. New Colle ge Library, B.c.b. 7/13. 43 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1838, pg. 15. New College Library, tNE6. 44 Scottish Missionary Chronicle, Jan. 1841, pg. 7. New College Library, B.c.b. 7/13.


23 Since the Presbyterian missions set a high moral standard for their church members, part of the minister of back sliding congregants. So the elders wielded a significant amount of social power in the community. many Afro Jamaicans had woven Christianity into their culture. slaves ignored or laughed at their clumsy attempts to break up drinking and dancing parties. Once the Rev. John Cowan had resorted to singing hymns just outside the dancing circle after his initial exhortations were rebuffed. 45 But in the ten or so years following emancipation almost all serious members of the Presbyterian mission congregations had joined temperance and abstinence societies. 46 Everywhere that mission stations sprung up, Christian marriages became the norm. This would have been inconceivab asking the plantation managers if they could marry. 47 The missionaries encouraged Afro Jamaicans to marry as a counter to what must have seemed like sexual chaos. Having multiple partners was normal and white plantation managers and overseers regularly sexually exploited 48 The salvation of Jamaican society would come from Christianity, morality as defined by the missionaries, and Af ro Jamaican industriousness as they learned how 45 Annual Report of the S.M.S., 1829, pg. 48. New College Library, tNE6. 46 I Christian population as well. Over 1,300 were involved in Reminiscences of a Missionary Life 114. 47 Ibid., 48. 48 Ibid., 76.


24 to live like free men. The fact that a substantial proportion of the black Jamaican population believed in this formula ensured that the local missionary chapel (and school house that usually accompanied it) remained at the center of community life. The Scottish Presbyterians were not ashamed to claim that they enforced the nineteenth century evangelical moral code more strictly than did the Methodists and Baptists in Jamaica. A large congregation with five hundred attendants and two hundred formal members could expect to lose one or two members each year to backsliding. 49 church not even repentance could return the privileges of membership to those who had lost them. Even though Blyth was pl eased by two particular adulterers who demonstrated genuine restore them to communion, (they having been nearly twelve months under Church censure) for the sake of example to others. 50 Becoming a full member in a Presbyterian church was a long and difficult process that included scripture memorization, catechism repetition, and demonstration of righteous living. Before a candidate could be admitted with all of the rights and responsib ilities of membership, he or she had to be examined by the elders and the minister. And Presbyterian missionaries prided themselves on keeping a close watch over their congregation. They also took great pains to define themselves against other denominati ons, most notably the Baptists, who m they perceived as neglectful of the moral and spiritual condition of their parishioners. Baptist missionaries had a significantly lower standard for membership than their Presbyterian counterparts, thus their congregat ions tended to be larger and more difficult to oversee. 49 S.M.S. to Waddell. April 10, 1836. NLS, MS.8984. 50 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1838, pg. 9. New College Library, tNE6.


25 Baptist class leaders were given the same responsibilities as Presbyterian elders, but tended to extend their influence in the Afro Jamaican community far outside the bounds of the Protestant orthodo xy that was so important to the missionaries. In keeping with their radical dissenting origins, the Baptist mission churches gave their lay leaders an autonomy that facilitated a slippage in orthodoxy. According to Waddell, the black Baptist leaders woul sometimes hear and interpret dreams, and then pronounce on the spiritual state of the 51 Black Baptist mission church leaders were notorious in the missionary community for cultivating their own Afro from their renegade flocks and propagate their own syncretistic form of Christianity that incorporated African magic practices and polytheis m. In the mental framework of commentators on British missions and the empire, black and Baptist were connected. I n the years immediately following emancipation one lly 52 If the s were uniformly white colonial elites. How then did Britons view the Scottish Presbyterians in Jamaica? 51 Catherine Hall. Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830 1867 (Chic ago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002) pg. 156. 52 Ibid.


26 The overwhelming majority of Presbyterian congregants in Jamaica were black, yet the Rev. John Simpson and his wife pastored a mountain town that w as predominantly mulatto. 53 A nd they were well accepted by the large contingent of white Scottish colonials. The connection with these political guardian angels in combination with their more authoritarian church organization and emphasis on church discip line placed the Scottish Presbyterians in a you have been less f aithful than other missionaries, else you would not have met with the favor you have experienced in Jamaica but would have been opposed and persecuted as they have 54 Several statements by Blyth in 1833 defending his right to have an unpaid, black do mestic servant reinforced the perception that the Scottish Presbyterians were on the wrong end of the liberal, evangelical continuum. 55 After emancipation, when political protection was no longer necessary for the mission stations to function and they par ticipated in the island wide missionary movement to educate Afro Jamaicans and set up free villages for the new peasant class, the Presbyterians became more definitively in the mainstream of British evangelical missions. It was during apprenticeship and i mmediately afterward that Scottish Presbyterians began criticizing the Baptists and, to a lesser extent, the Methodists for laxness in their congregational oversight. Perhaps these criticisms reflect simple personal rivalries, since there certainly were s everal. But a better explanation lies in the fact that these missionaries were simply reflecting their cultural 53 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1829, pg. 45. New College Library, tNE6. 54 S.M.S. to Waddell, June 14, 1833. NLS, MS.8984. 55 Ibid.


27 and religious backgrounds in how they ran their mission stations. Part of what made the British Empire rich and complex in the nineteenth centu ry was this national and denominational competition. That these differences were not only tolerated but counted as an important part than a century removed from 56 In evangelical Christianity a truly British identity was being forged at home and in the empire. By fulfilling their Christian duty the Scottish Presbyterians also solidified the nineteenth century e mpire as British by actively propagating the mainstream Scottish religion abroad at the same time that they spread British civilization. III Missionary Education and Missionary Disillusionment in Jamaica From the beginning of the Scottish missionary efforts in Jamaica, education was part of the cultural package that the missionaries delivered to the colony After his companions died and his solitary evangelistic efforts were rendered ineffective, Mr. Reid, the lone survivor of the 1798 missionary journey, spent the rest of his days teaching in K ingston. 57 Given the prevailing colonial attitudes towards educating slaves at the time Reid probably instructed the children of white merchants and artisans. His approach undoubtedly reflected pedagogical ideas in Scotland, and western Europe generally, that defined religious and moral instruction as the purpose of education. The evidence in this chapter will illustrate the impact that Scottish education made on Presbyterian mission work. Specifically I will discuss the importan ce of mission schools to t he Jamaican response to western style education, and 56 In 1745 the Jacobite Rebellion made up of mostly Scottish highland troops was brutally put down by English forces. 57 Annual Report of the Scottish Missionary Society, 1838, pg. 7. New College Library, tNE6.


28 the role of Scottish women in the educational effort. I will also situate the Scottish Presbyterian efforts within the larger missionary push to educate Afr o Jamaicans. Before he went to the mission field, the S.M.S. sent William Anderson to be trained by a Mr. Wood who taught at the Edinburgh Sessional Daily School. The school was chartered by local philanthropists to instruct classes of society in the arts of and as Anderson observed he became 58 In Scotland sessiona l schools were the secondary level of education after the primary parochial schools. Children who were both talented and fortunate enough to have a benefactor could continue their studies at sessional school and then, if they showed enough academic promis e, on to university. School was affordable for middle class families in Scotland, but as evidenced by William Anderson, it was often not available to the working poor no matter how gifted. Giftedness meant excelling at the core curriculum which was reading arithmetic, and writing. However the ultimate goal of a nineteenth century Scottish educator was to cultivate an understanding and execution of proper religious, moral, and civic duty. So curriculum at every level of education was thoroughly Christian. In parochial schools students learned to read using the Bible as their textbook. Teachers, who were often trained in seminary or elders in the local Presbyterian church, sought to imbibe their young pupils with correct doctrine and knowledge of the scri ptures. The school day always began with a devotional time in which 58 Marwick and Anderson. William and Louisa Ande rson 68 69.


29 hymns were sung and scripture was recited. 59 Nineteenth century students learned their the ins tructor asking questions and the class responding with rote learned information, was the predominant teaching technique. And the later round of Presbyterian missionaries to Jamaica that began with George Blyth took the principles, methods, and techniques that this essentially Christian pedagogy fostered, and replicated them in the mission schools for Afro Jamaicans. However, according to R.D. Anderson, Scotland could not boast in unique curriculum, methodology, or even literacy rates. Catechetical, rel igious based instruction was in place across western Europe, and ties between England and Scottish education were especially close. Yet the Scottish educational landscape was distinctive in one important way. It was separated from England and the rest of western Europe by the remarkable ratio of universities per capita. There were five universities in Scotland serving a population of 2.2 million people compared 60 Therefor e it was comparatively easy for young Scottish men to enter university. 61 So while the traditional Scottish claim to a superior educational system basically amounted to a national legend at the primary and secondary levels, it was in fact partially substan tiated by the This academic liberality had positive consequences both at home and abroad. In Scotland lads from the lower ranks of society could occasionally climb the social ladder via education (as we will see with Alexa nder Duff in the India chapter). And since the Presbyterian 59 Marwick and Anderson. William and Louisa Anderson 230. 60 Taken from the 1821 census figures. 61 R.D. Anderson. Education and Opportunity in mid Victorian Scotland. ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983 ), 32


30 tradition required ministers to have a seminary degree, all of the Scottish missionaries who went to Jamaica were ordained ministers and university graduates until James Drummond was dispatched i n 1835 specifically as a teacher. 62 This helps explain the stamp of approval that Scottish elites in Jamaica gave to the Presbyterian missionaries. Influential Scottish magistrates, planters, and merchants shared distinct cultural and religious bond with the Presbyterian missionaries that English elites and Baptists or Methodists did not have. Also their and relatively easy to vouch for; they had been trained in t heology, Latin, Greek, and church history. English Baptists on the other hand, who came from the lower middle and working classes, could have gotten their religious and political ideas from anywhere, and were viewed with much more suspicion. It was plant er patronage that allowed the Presbyterians to get a head start opening and slave conditions identified religious instruction as a high priority. However, Lond on was thousands of miles away, planters still ruled their estates, and without sympathetic planter interference the missionaries had a difficult time going against the grain of white Jamaican interests. And the common wisdom among white colonials was tha t educating the slaves would 63 In contrast, the absentee Scottish proprietors who sat on the board of the S.M.S. gave enthusiastic permission for their slaves to be taught reading and writing. And by 1827 Archibald Stirling ha d paid for a school house to be erected on his 62 Annual Report of the S.M.S., 1836, pg. 11. New College Library, tNE6. 63 James Phillipo, a Baptist missionary, quoted in Turner, Slaves and Missionaries 86.


31 Hampden estate while elsewhere on the island missionaries from Britain were getting their preaching licenses revoked arbitrarily by local magistrates. 64 s gaining a sort of reluctant acceptance from Jamaican elites as they came to terms with the inevitability of emancipation. Both missionaries and slaves took full advantage of the changing attitude on the island. Black Jamaicans were eager to read and mi ssionaries, who saw education as a key component of the civilizing project, were just as eager to teach them. 65 Missionaries understood what a vital training grou nd the schools could be, so they began organizing them in more sophisticated ways to maximize their potential. Watson superintended a network of schools in Lucea and employed several intelligent free women of color The Governor Lord Mulgrave personally toured these Presbyterian schools and approved of them so heartily that he gifted them fifty pounds sterling out of his own pocket 66 Missionaries also provided outlets for literate black and mixed race Jamaicans to effectively teach members of their commu nities. The Rev. John Simpson organized twenty night schools on the plantations in his vicinity. He travelled to each of the estates and found one or two Afro Jamaicans who could read the New Testament, gave them a hymn book or catechism sheet as reading material, and defrayed the cost of their light. 67 When formal instruction was not possible, Afro Jamaicans took teaching and learning upon themselves. Children could attend the growing number of daily schools run by the missions, but the once a week Sabb ath school was the only source of formal instruction for 64 S.M.S. to Blyth, Nov. 11, 1826. NLS, MS.8985. 65 Blyth, Reminiscences of Missionary Life 99. 66 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1833, pg. 29. New College Library, tNE6. 67 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1837, pg. 24. New College Library, tNE6.


32 most black Jamaican adults and teenagers. So the children who went to school earned pocket schools began with hi s discovery of an elderly woman who read with a fluency which surprised me. I enquired of her who taught her to read. She said she had been in town and had picked up a little reading there, which she had improved upon till she had go t on to read the New T estament. She was already instructing five or so small children to read and I asked if she would like to start a school if I could help her she said. 68 The Afro Jamaican enthusiasm for learn ing and their reception of Christianity, albeit with a good deal of unorthodox syncretism, illustrates the fact that the black population at large did not see missionaries as cultural imperialists. They embraced education and understood it as another exam ple alongside Christian ity and communal organization, of the p ositive contribution that the missionaries brought to island society. Once daily schools had been established as an effective tool for meeting the spiritual and temporal needs of Afro Jamaicans the societies and their missionaries worked hard to extend mission school influence. Running a daily school and pastoring a congregation were taxing jobs in and of themselves; as both the schools and the churches expanded in the mid arly impossible for the missionaries to do both. So the mission societies began sending individuals expressly as school teachers. Like William Anderson, these men and women received training in the latest teaching techniques and methods. These professio nal teachers were welcomed heartily by the established missionaries. They relieved the burden of 68 Ibid.


33 m anaging the day to day activities at the schools, became valuable members of the congregation, and were often immediately elected as elders. 69 The wave of mis sionary teachers definitely helped to facilitate the expansion of formal, western European education in Jamaica. James Drummond took over teaching duties from h ouses had been erected near Hampden estate. 70 These teachers introduced creative Anderson instituted a successful competitive system in his school whereby the best students were promoted and the worst were demoted based on a class vote. 71 was pretty typical in the late hundred scholars would cram into the one room buildin g. And as more Afro Jamaicans became literate, standards for membership in the Presbyterian churches went higher. In a very Scottish Presbyterian move, as of 1836 Blyth required all candidates for membership to be able to read the New Testament fluently. 72 character, this new addendum would further ensure that only serious, industrious, respectable Afro Jamaicans be counted as a functioning member of Presbyterian churches. The Baptists and Methodist s certainly could no t claim such a high standard for membership. But then many n o t even Christians in the estimation of the 69 Blyth, Reminiscences of Missionary Life church near the Hampden estate. His passage to Jamaica and salary of forty pounds sterling per year was paid by 70 Ibid., 98. 71 Ibid., 85; Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 146. 72 Annual Report of the S. M.S. 1836 1837, pg. 10 11. New College Library, tNE6.


34 Presbyterian missionaries. According to William Anderson, the problem lay with the lax s tandards in the churches. Many of the so called churches in Jamaica do no good they do much harm it is a task of immense difficulty to get the grossly ignorant to become learners, and the irreligious to repent and change their mode of life, when th ey call themselves members of a church. We have got some of the most accommodating churches churches which would give baptism to the children of parents not only grossly ignorant, but living in open fornication; churches er for a shilling a head! Of the twelve churches referred to as being within seven miles of Rose Hill, nine may be struck off the list as being lamentably defective either in affording instruction or in administering discipline, or in both. 73 Scottis h Presbyterians may have counted themselves as the guardian of church discipline, but they were only too aware that they were not on the cutting edge of missionary education in Jamaica. Not only were they numerically less significant than the Baptists and Methodists, but they lacked the radical vision that endeared the Baptists to black Jamaicans and gave them such a prominent place in Jamaican society after emancipation. 74 To be sure, the Presbyterians would not have traded endearment from blacks and stature in the new Jamaican society if it meant compromising on their traditional strictness. However there is a a thoroughly educated married person to conduct a normal school for the education of Native Teachers. The other Missionary Societies are at work here, and why should Scotland, always first in the race of education, be behind in a field so inviting? 75 73 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 170. 74 The Baptist missionaries had big ideas about how to make the free black Jamaicans into model, responsible citizens. They laid out plans for a Jamaicans on political issues more fervently than the other denominations. 75 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1838, pg. 33. New College Library, tNE6.


35 Presbyterian academy for advanced students, who could become teachers or catechists upon graduation, was erected in Montego Bay two years later. 76 A much more significant validation of Scottish Presbyterian miss ionary work came in the form of a circular letter from the Colonial Office to the S.M.S. in the summer of 1835. 77 During the 1835 legislative session Parliament had created the Negro Education Fund It allocated £20,000 for the construction of school buil societies. After much debate, the missionaries were deemed the most effective agents to make use of the money. provide a moral 78 The fact that the S.M.S. was offered money by the British gover nment to use in their ministry is an example of the direct, concrete cooperation that could exist between Christian missions and the British Empire. It also illustrates that fact that Scottish Presbyterianism was evidently considered mainstream, and an in tegral part of the civilizing project by the English dominated bureaucracy. Yet for all of the material good that came from the Negro Education Fund, it was terminated less than ten years after it began and became part of the disappointment that dominated the Jamaican 76 Blyth, Reminiscences of Mis sionary Life 138. 77 Sir George Grey, secretary to Lord Glenelg circular of Sep. 10, 1835. NLS, MS.8987. 78 Carl Campbell, Towards an Imperial Policy for the Education of Negroes in the West Indies After Emancipation (Mona: University of the West Indies, D ept. of History, 1980), 37.


36 The Negro Education Fund dried up because of a lack of missionary resources and political will in the imperial government. The unsta ble nature of philanthropically based missionary society f inances meant that the societies were often unable to meet their commitments to the project. Extra cash for an intensified school building campaign, even one subsidized by the government, was hard to come by for societies already on a tight budget. And a s of 1841 the imperial government had disavowed all long term responsibility for education in Caribbean colonies. The British people had done their part, they had set the slaves free, and given them the light of Christianity by supporting missionaries, th ey had even contributed £20,000 per annum for seven years to negro education. 79 By the mid time for the non whites in Jamaica to grow up and take responsibility for themselves. The missionaries and the new peasant class in Jamaica were caught between an increasingly unsympathetic metropole and an island elite trying to hold its power. The planters still dominated the Jamaican House of Assembly and had no interest in taking up the slack in educational funding that the imperial government left off. A Board of Education was created after apprenticeship, but it existed on a paltry £2,000 annual budget and never supplied the governmental support that the Jamaican education system needed. Even the missionary societies, the most influential friends of the negro in Britain, were either unable or unwilling to fund the expanding educational needs in Jamaica. The S.M.S. folded in the face of financial difficulties in 1846. 80 Also in 1846 a plea from the Jamaican Baptist churches to the Baptist 79 80 All of the S.M.S. missionaries were transferred to the auspices of the United Secession Presbyterian Church.


37 Mission ary Society for education funds was denied. Now that they were free, the Jamaicans were supposed to be able to pay for their schools and churches like respectable British citizens. To be sure the pockets of missionary education that had been established were well run and filled their function by disseminating religion, literacy, and lessons in respectability to the youth of society. And for their part the Afro Jamaican children were still eager to learn. In a letter home William Anderson actually encou raged Scottish pupils to emulate the Afro Jamaican children. Would you like to come into Carron Hall school some day and see me busily employed among 130 or 140 blacks? I have about 200 scholars altogether but there are always a great many absent. One re ason of this is that a great number of them have to work a week a month or so, that they may procure food and raiment and be able to pay their school fees. They are kept at school, not by their parents as you are, but by themselves. With few exceptions t hey are diligent and anxious to get on with their learning 81 In the big picture however, mission schools were mostly isolated throughout the countryside and so they could never constitute an effective, long term education system. As between eat ing and sending their children to school. By 1850 twenty four Baptist schools around the island were sitting empty for want of a teacher or students who could pay the plagued the mission schools, the Presbyterian schools remained relatively strong. In 1846, there were 178 schools in Jamaica educating just 9,530 regular attendees of the 75,558 children 81 Marwick and Anderson. William and Louisa Anderson 102 103.


38 a ged five to fourteen on the island. 82 The Scottish Presbyterians w ere responsible for forty of these schools. 83 There was not much difference between schools in Jamaica and schools in Britain. In both metropole and colony, schools were intimately connected with the church, they collected fees which some laboring class families could not afford, and teachers used the same techniques. However the reality in Jamaica was that a missionary school education offered little practical advantage to an Afro pupils could advance to the denominational academies and become paid teachers and evangelists. But the white stranglehold on politics, the judicial system, and access to capital in Jamaica guaranteed that Afro Jamaicans would not have access to the reigns of power. I t was possible in Britain, more so in Scotland than in England, for especially gifted students to gain positions of influence from humble origins. The Scottish ideal that said a man could rise through the ranks of society via his academic talents was cert ainly not available to Afro Jamaicans. So there simply was no such incentive to induce Afro Jamaicans to invest in an education. worldview told them that Christianity and education would raise the former slaves to be responsible British citizens, but their plan was crumbling around them. They had been the 82 Or 12.6% of school aged children. Carl Campbell. Social and Economic Obstacles to the Development of Popular Education in Post Emancipation Jamaica, 1834 1865 (Mona: University of the West Indies, Dept. of History, 1 980), 114 83 Annual Report of the S.M.S., 1844, pgs. 10 11. New College Library, tNE6.


39 interest, and the Afro Jamaicans themselves did not seem to understand that they needed education and religion in order to be capable of governing themselves. In 1849 several Friend in the potential of the civilizing project in Jamaica. Through the munificence of the British nation, they are blest with the inestimable boon of perfect and entir e freedom, but what will this avail if they be still left in the depths of ignorance? Left a prey to their own unrestrained passions, it is to be feared that their course will be marked by licentiousness, violence, heathenism and every species of crime an d will terminate only in endless despair. 84 Economic factors prevented an educational infrastructure from forming in Jamaica, but it was the potential of schools to mold Jamaican society. Ultimately the significance of Presbyterian educational efforts in Jamaica lies in the unique curriculum or a radical program that cha nged the education system in Jamaica, they had a substantial number of schools on the island and the British government recognized them as an important piece of the effort to make Jamaica respectable. Additionally, t he education initiative in Jamaica gave ordinary, unordained Scots like William Anderson the chance to become missionaries. The fusion of education and missions work also provide d opportunities for British women that they had not known previously. Single women could find purpose beyond marriage and a domestic life in Britain by becoming teachers and catechists in the mission field 84 Address to the Friends of Education in Great Britain from a Meeting of Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists Falmouth, Feb. 15, 1849. Quoted from Hall, Civilising Subjects 207.


40 that first made William Anderson notice her is doubtless rather heavy for a female about 160 in attendance just now but really the school is better conducted than some of the far famed seminaries in the Scottish 85 Clearly nineteenth century missionaries were no gender egalitarians. Wives were expected to be subordinate to their husbands, as Louisa was to William when they eventually married. Neither were women allowed to be ordained as ministers, but becoming a eal. Religion, education, and the empire gave women a new avenue to social respectability. Missionary wives were vital cogs in the day to day activity of the mission station. Before teachers began arriving in Jamaica in the mid ught the males and missionary women instructed the female class, which often had more pupils. And after trained teachers took over the schools, the missionary women still taught the female Afro Jamaicans in Sabbath school and helped counsel the women in t he congregation. They were extraordinarily committed to the mission. After the Rev. John Leslie died suddenly of fever, his wife decided to the family had arriv ed in the mission field less than a year prior to his death. 86 Disease claimed 85 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 90. 86 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1837, pg. 26 27. New College Library, tNE6.


41 demonstrates how much husbands and wives relied on each other in their work and for emot ional comfort amid the ups and downs of missionary life. Her zeal in the great cause of Missions was most enlightened, active, and sincere. Her sweet and amiable temper endeared her to all who knew her, and to none more than to the poor Negro women I may attribute much of the success of my Mission to her incessant and unwearied labours, both by night and day. The unaffected simplicity of her manners rendered her eminently fit for taking a part in the work of instruction, to which we had devoted our lives she is gone from me, but not forever. She rests in the same spot where lie the ashes of our lamented brother Leslie a spot rendered sacred as containing the mouldering remains of these faithful servants of the Lord; and to me especially, it is hallowed by a thousand tender recollections. Farewell, beloved friend 87 The fact that women, and even single women played a large role in missionary efforts was not uniquely Scottish. But it was part of the new liberal, evangelical culture in B ritain and sending its women abroad was another way that Scotland solidified itself in the nineteenth century imperial mainstream. So if the missionaries were finding satisfaction in their work, and the Afro Jamaicans were benefitting spiritually and ma terially from the missionary presence, why were both groups era Scottish and English missionaries bought tracts of land from the failing sugar plantations, move away from the plantations and the often exorbitant rent tha t the planters charged. brought out the hard work and respectability of the Afro The inhabitants are all 87 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1838, pg. 23 24. New College Library, tNE6.


42 industriously employed, either in building th e new houses, or working on the neighboring properties Indeed I may remark of the whole of my congregation, that I am not aware of one of the, that enjoys health, who spends his time in idleness 88 Afro Jamaicans respected and loved their mission ary pastors for bringing the gospel, education, and free villages. The general impression, even among those who did not go to church regularly, was that the missionaries were a positive influence on society. But most contemporary commentators agreed that by 1850, black Jamaicans were becoming less interested in religion and what the missionaries had to say about morality and respectability. When the United Secession minister Rev. David King toured the island in 1849 he found that Connexion with the chur ch is less valued than it was, and many members of congregations would be pleased to have their names quietly dropped from the roll of communicants, if they were to be exempted in consequence from all demands on their pocket, and all reproofs for their mis conduct. They are willing or desirous to be let alone. 89 They were also increasingly ineffective Board of Education w as one example. Black Jamaicans also resented t he Indian and African indentured labor brought in by the white elite, and later sponsored by the British one class [the Afro 90 So the missionaries remained political advocates for Afro government. However, the missionaries could not e ffect any real change in black Jamaican 88 Scottish Missionary Chr onicle, Jan. 1841, pg. 5. New College Library, B.c.b. 7/13. 89 David King, The State and Prospects of Jamaica (London: Johnstone and Hunter, 1851), 96. 90 Blyth, Reminiscences of Missionary Life 111.


43 political circumstances. And for the majority of Afro Jamaicans, the spiritual food that the missionaries offered was pushed aside in the search for something more tangible. The story of Presbyterian educational activity in Jamaica rose and fell with the trends of general Scottish mission provided opportunities to preach and teach relatively unhindered until emancipation, whereas the Baptists and Methodists experienced significant obstruction and oppression. The apprenti ceship years were kind to missionaries from every evangelical denomination. Churches and schools were burgeoning. The growing numbers of S.M.S. missionaries were joined on the island by fellow evangelical Scots sponsored through the United Secession Pres byterian church, with whom they formed a unified ecclesiastical body called the Presbytery of Jamaica. Trained teachers like William Anderson Louisa Peterswald began work on the island through the missionary societies making the schools more efficient and helping to expand the number of Afro Jamaicans receiving instruction. The civilizing project in Jamaica seemed on target in the change. Imminent failure was the overriding feeling in the Jamaican missionary community even among Presbyterians who claimed that their churches and schools were doing relatively twenty five y ears after Blyth and his wife landed as the only evangelical Scots on the island in 1824. 91 The period from emancipation through the Morant Bay rising in 1865 was a time of growth in missionary activity overall. Not only were the Scottish Presbyterians a s ignificant part 91 Blyth, Reminiscences of Missionary Life 153.


44 of that expansion numerically, but the way that they ran their schools, established Christian Afro Jamaican communities, and set up free villages all contributed to their claim as full fledged members of the civilizing project in Jamaica. The Scottish Presbyterian work in Jamaica provided Scots evangelical Christians with a point of national pride when they reflected on their God on Earth. The c haracteristics of the nineteenth century British Empire were missions, and an impulse to imp rove the native populations as a humanitarian justification for imperialism. Without the evangelical Scottish Presbyterians, Scotland would not have played a part in that essential piece of British history. Indeed their inclusion as a mechanism in the Negro Education Act demonstrates that the English considered them a vital part of the humanitarian, Christian, imperial cause. When William and Louisa Anderson left J amaica in May of 1848 they were seasoned veterans of that cause. Ten years earlier he had been a poor, twenty six year old bachelor, as the Rev. William Anderson, a married man, with the respect and admiration of his home community. He and his wife had been chosen to join the Waddel l and the Jameson families in starting s truly Victorian rather than mercantilist. Anderson had manufactured respectability and achievement out of his intelligence, evangelical zeal, and in the words of a fellow missionary, 92 92 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 188.


45 In the end the Jamaica mission provided mo re opportunity for advancement for Scots than the Afro Jamaicans they went to work with. This is not to say that many Afro Jamaicans Jamaicans did not achieve the respectable British citizenship so vaunted by the missionaries national level. IV The mission to Old Calabar actually began in 1846, two years before the Andersons left Jamaica. In 1844 the King Eyo Nsa II of Creek Town wrote to George Blyth requesting missionaries to start western style schools among the Efik people. 93 The newly formed Presbyterian Synod of Jamaica decided to send the Waddells and Jamesons to Old Calabar soon However t he missionaries were not alone in their enthusiasm for the West African mission. The Afro Jamaican Christians had long desire d to 94 stemmed from denominational rivalry. The Methodists, Baptists, and even the Anglicans had already made forays into West Africa from Jamaica. However there had b een no previous missionary presence in Old Calabar By going to Old Calabar the Scottish Presbyterians left a 93 The King had heard from traders that there were missionaries who taught Afro Jamaicans, and Blyth happened Mission to Educate, 52. 94 Annual Report of the S.M.S. 1838, pg. 12. New College Library, tNE6.


46 significant mark on the empire because they were evangelizing alone. Presbyterianism was the only taste of Christian doctrine, worship style and church structure that the Efik people had in the mid nineteenth century However Old Calabar did not yield the fruit that the Scottish Presbyterians had tasted in Jamaica. From the beginning of the mission in Old Calabar the missionaries struggled to educate and evangelize the Efik. Interestingly, similar difficulties were being realized on a much wider scale, with a much different population in India. William Anderson arrived in Jamaica when British enthusiasm for civilizing former slaves was at its peak. He left as public interest in the West Indian colonies was in full decline. In the imagination. Indian civilization held a high place in the heathen hierarc hy. It was old, sophisticated, and written sacred texts. Indian elites were interested in philosophy and higher learning. In the defeated the Sikh kingdom and annexed the valuable Punjab region, much more dramatic developments than free blacks haggling over land and wages with morally bankrupt white West Indians. 1848 also marked a significant achievement for Alexander Duff and the Scottish missionaries in Calcutta. A small congregation made up of mainly converted Bengali intellectuals came together and formed a Christian church. 95 elite could lead the 95 Fry, The Scottish Empire 192.


47 remainder of the population away from Hinduism and towards a certifiably civilized British colony. 96 Debate over the right evangelical approach to take in India had been raging among Presbyterian leaders in Scotland since the East India Company began letting missionaries into the country in 1814. Thomas Chalmers and his Evangelical friends (including the S.M.S. board) challenged the Moderate strategy that insisted that Indians needed to be educated and taught English before they could b ecome Christians. 97 The first Scottish missionaries to the Hindus were of this Evangelical bent. Several S.M.S. missionaries and a few ministers supported independently by congregations began preaching in the bazaars and studying the local vernaculars. T heir linguistic work was impressive, but Scottish mission patrons wanted to hear about converts not grammar systems. The Hindus were not responding to the evangelical n to favor Anglicization and English education as a strategy for getting through to the Hindus. Even zeal more than 98 96 delivered before the Gener 97 legislature. Ministers and elders made up the voting members. The main partisan friction came from the Moderate Par ty (conservative) and Evangelical Party (liberal). In 1796 a Moderate majority voted down a until the creation of the Foreign Missions Committ ee in 1836. 98 Journal of Religious History 9, no. 2 (1975): 120.


48 Indian men to help them hone their English. Then he taught t hem philosophy and logic via a creative question and answer lecture style. He also had them read philosophical treatises and literature that was not the Bible. But Duff was no Unitarian, or secularist. He believed that the power of the English language 99 mind is perpetually brought into contact with new ideas and new truths so that by the time the language has been mastered, the student must be tenfold less the child of pantheism, 100 Duff did not talk religion in the classroom ; he wanted each student to come to Christianity through reason and take it up freely after throwing away the shackles of Hindu un were indeed producing an educated Ind ian elite but there were few conversions to Christianity. 101 The Calcutta congregation was an exception to the rule of unconverted Hindu elites, so strategy was not prod ucing Christians, British missionaries continued to use it through the Mutiny for a lack of a better strategy. Andrew Porter nicely sums up the missionary experience 99 Fry, The Scottish Empire 191. 100 Ibid., 192. 101 Ibid.


49 emed 102 century British imagination, the Efiks who lived in Old Cal abar would probably fit the description. Only one or two Efiks spoke English when the first contingent of Scottish Presbyterians from Jamaica arrived in 1846. 103 The Efik people only wanted to learn English and mathematics so that they could trade more eff ectively with the British merchants in the region. Ever since the British had cut off the Atlantic slave trade from Old Calabar in 1842, the Efik chieftains had been looking for know what to do for them. If I can get some cotton and coffee to grow and men to teach me 104 Efiks did not see any value in sending girls to the mission schools, and some men were downright opposed to 105 The Efik were unlike Afro Jamaicans in that most parents seemed not to value weste rn education. In Jamaica school fees could be charged to help pay for materials and school buildings. In Old Calabar William Anderson reported that, no means to constrain the attendance of their children at school. Hence we have in a manner 102 Andrew Porter. Religion versus Empire?: British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 181. 103 Taylor, Mission to Educate 12. 104 Taylor, Mission to Educate 51. 105 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 20 6.


50 to pay them for attending. We have to give them books, shirts, frocks, pictures, and occasionally food. 106 However the missionaries were persistent and faithfully taught the small, inconsistent classes that gathered in the mission buildings that sometimes served as living quarters, chapels, and school buildings. Attendance slowly grew, and eventually only the most conservative Efik families resisted western education in an attempt to preserve their traditional way of life. 107 They resented the wholesale ch anges that the missionaries were introducing to Efik society. Suddenly Efik children were taking part in a school day routine, and school itself was apparently eroding the fabric of traditional culture since some children were coming home having pledged n ot to pray to animistic shrines any more. 108 purely oral culture. So it took some traditionalists time to come around to the advantages of the written Efik language that Samuel Edgerley, William Goldie, an d H.M. Waddell set down. Edgerley also brought a printing press and produced 500 Efik English Bibles in the four years from 1847 to 1850. 109 But like in India, Scottish Presbyterians in Old Calabar always had more success as teachers and linguists than as religious proselytizers. The bulk of the Efik population had no interest in the Christian God, had no need for a missionary led religious community, or was suspicious of any change that the missionaries proposed. From the perspective of Efik elites, the missionaries were challenging the social system that supported them. Slavery was very much entrenched in their society, and although treated well compared to the chattels of pre 1834 Jamaica, the Scots 106 Ibid., 207. 107 Taylor, Mission to Educate 70. 108 Ibid., 61. 109 Ibid., 68.


51 quickly established that they opposed slavery in any form. So when slaves felt threatened by their masters they learned that they could run to the missionaries and receive asylum. This owning Efik families. Conversions were hard to come by for the missionaries; they had to wait until 1853 for the first orthodox, Christian Efik. 110 cription of a typical Sabbath day in the early years of the mission explains his nostalgia for the reverent, deeply spiritual When a few gentlemen seldom more than two or three with their attendants have come, we go on with the meeting. While I read out the 100 th Psalm, all who do not understand English smile and whisper to each other, and think it very funny. When we begin to sing, some laugh outright. Louder than laugh or song, Mr. Young [an Efik man who translated for Anderson] reproves the laughers, and they hang their heads, turn their backs, or run out of the yard When I begin to preach, and Mr. Young to explain, if the subject be mere history or incident, all are attentive; if doctrinal, the fat ones soon begin to nod, and Mr. Y. soon wearies. 111 Interestingly the first converts were manumitted slaves who had previously sought refuge at the mission stations. Former slaves became the Efik social group that latched onto Christianity the most in Old Calabar. Some were quite zealous and became the first native Efik ministers and evangelists later in the nineteenth century. 112 Why was it that Efik slaves and Afro Jamaicans were so open to accepting Christianity, while Efik and Indian elites were indifferent? The answer lies in the organized, meaningful social and spiritual communities that missionaries created and socially oppressed populations found attractive. Belief in the God of the Bible made Efik slaves and Afro Jamaicans more than slaves or apprentices or wage laborers. They had an identity as Christians. Most Efik and Hindus felt no real need for a new 110 Taylor, Mission to Educate 63. 111 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson 208. 112 Ibid., 64.


52 belief system or avenue of social advancement that evangelical Protestantism had provided for Afro Jamaicans, Efik slaves and indeed for the Scots as wel l. Like the Jamaican missionaries, Scottish Presbyterians in Old Calabar were frustrated by was frustrating. Efiks not only held slaves and honored thei r elites through human sacrifice, they also worshiped idols, they practiced infanticide when twins were born, and polygamous homes were prevalent. 113 To combat these evils, the missionaries lobbied with Efik kings and their courts. It was through these cha nnels that the Scottish Presbyterians seemingly made inroads against the most abominable Efik customs. Anderson and Waddell thought that they had eradicated the worst practices in 1849 when they persuaded the kings of Old Town and Duke Town to join their 114 However the customs that the missionaries preached against, and even the ones that the Efik kings made laws against, continued o n in varying degrees of openness. And the missionary victories in the civilizing crusade were always only local wins, never tribe wide. ordered all animistic idols in his jurisdiction to be thrown into the Calabar River, many citizens were outraged, and those who complied did not convert to Christianity or stop worshiping in their traditional ways. 115 The missionaries had underestimated the power of ingrained cultural pract ice and conservative, traditional Efik citizens. 113 Twins were considered unnatural and the product of evil spirits Taylor, Mission to Educate 46. 114 Ibid., 59. 115 Ibid., 61.


53 The Old Town bombardment signaled another such underestimation. Traditional Efik elites were certainly not going to dishonor their king by allowing him to enter the afterlife alone. The Old Town incident also signaled a moment when the missionaries and the imperial government disagreed on the methodology of the civilizing project. In Jamaica they butted heads with the government over its sponsorship of the indentured servant scheme. When placed side by side the two episodes reveal that the missionaries were sometimes willing to stand up to the government to defend their parishioners. Yet they never had the political will or ability to effect change in government policy on behalf of their congregants. A nd the fact that Edgerly watched the bombardm ent from the deck of a British ship signifies that even though the missionaries and imperial go vernment occasionally disagreed they were still partners, and they were committed to the civilizing project The And erson biographer celebrated their mission work that ushered in of better days for the whole population, in the decay of many evil customs, and in the creation of a public opinion and of a moral standard, which will make it less difficult for the generations 116 I n the second half of the nineteenth century the Scottish Presbyterian mission became entrenched as an institution in Old Calabar. And Efik society was ural imperialism. However, like in Jamaica and India, the day when the colonial subjects would be able to run their own society in a civilized, British fashion was perpetually in the distant, unknown future. Compared with their Jamaican co religionists, the Scottish Presbyterians in Old Calabar and India played a large part in shaping the history of the areas in which they worked. For 116 Marwick and Anderson, William and Louisa Anderson v.


54 instance while S.M.S. and later United Secession Church missionaries in Jamaica simply reproduced the Scottish and Engli methodology in India was pioneering and original. In its heyday the Scottish Presbyterian Jamaica mission probably made a larger cultural impact in the metropole by providing in the empire, than it did in Jamaica by helping to Christianize the island. The Scottish missionaries in India set trends and laid unique claims to the civilizing project. Through the linguistic work of its Orientalists and the system of elitist Englis h language schools established by Duff, Scotland put its wealth of trained minds to work for the empire. In the middle of the nineteenth century dozens of university educated Scots travelled to India as missionaries to carry out educational and eva ngelistic vision. 117 England had no such abundance of university educated, evangelical minds to spare for the civilizing project. We have seen that the missionaries in Old Calabar also used their trained minds to do impressive linguistic work. 118 Their impact on Efik society was especially profound since the Scottish Presbyterian version of how church and schools operated were all that Efiks knew of British cultural imperialism. Taylor even cites the Scottish Presbyterian eagerness to take on th e Old Calabar mission as an example of Scottish pride in their desire to retain independence from England and other dissenting denominations. 119 Yet it is also necessary to analyze the Scottish Presbyterians elf representation, and impact that they wanted to have in the British Empire And ultimately they would have traded 117 Fry, The Scottish Empire 193. 118 Even William Anderson who never attended university in Scotland contributed to the effort that set down the Efik written language. He had studied Greek and Hebrew on his own in Jamaica and earned a certificate from the Presbytery of Jamaica that qualified him to be an ordained minister. 119 Taylor, Mission to Educate 9.


55 all of these historically significant achievements in India and Old Calabar for the evangelistic success that they had experienced in Jama ica. V Conclusion By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Scottish Presbyterian missionaries had entrenched themselves as active cultur al and religio us proselytizers on three different continents. These missionaries left their mark on Jamaica, I ndia, and Old Calabar, and so they helped shape the legacy of the British Empire. In some cases Scottish Presbyterians actually preserved native culture i nstead of molding colonial subjects to Br itish standards of civilization Orientalists in East India were interested in studying local vernaculars for the purpose of evangelization. And even as they sought to divulge Efiks from their inhumane traditions, Scottish Presbyterians printed the first books in Efik and taught the people the practical skills th at they wanted: English and math. But in that process they were shaped and changed themselves. Indeed George Blyth and his fellow missionaries to Jamaica ventured into uncharted theological waters, which was not popular with the S.M.S., when they comprom ised by allowing Sabbath breaking slaves to take communion. T he p urpose in travelling to the colonies was to evangelize and expand the Kingdom of God identity as British civilizers. However i author attempts to downplay this aspect of nineteenth century mission work. He claims that The true story of Calabar, however, is not the record of European civilization and of Christianity in a Presbyterian dress introduced among the people, but the emergence of the native tribes from the night of superstition and barbarism into a civilization in which they shall remain Africans and not become pseudo Europeans Despite what critics say, Christian missions do this only in a minor degree and indirectly, and the tendency of


56 missionaries is rather to discourage than to encourage the a ping of a f oreign civilization. 120 Given the evidence in this thesis it is a curious statement to be sure. own volume is also littered with anecdotes that feature the Andersons actively working to mold Efik and Afro Jamaicans He was writing in 189 7 two full generations after Blyth, however according to the leading scholars on late nineteenth century Jamaican culture 121 In fact the ties between Christ ianity, civilization, and empire became even more interwoven in Jamaica as the century went on. By the end of the nineteenth century this process included patriotic, Boer War sermons and Empire Day celebrations in mission churches. 122 T his comparative appro ach to Scottish Presbyterian mission work has given a more complete understanding the relationship between Christianity and the British Empire. As the evidence from Jamaica at the end of the nineteenth century shows, the two had a firm friendship after ro ughly a hundred years of mission work. But as seen elsewhere in this paper, the missionaries and British officials were not always so happy with each other. The advantages of comparison have also been a useful tool for analyzing why missionaries failed t o populations that they worked with in the middle of the nineteenth century Scottish Presbyterians worked with a broad range of cultures and used varying techniques but, like their fellow missionaries from England, they could not imbibe local target groups with whatever it took to become model British citizens. 120 Marwick and Anderson, William and Lou isa Anderson iv. 121 Brian Moore and Michele Johnson, Neither Led nor Driven: Contesting British Cultural Imperialism in Jamaica, 1865 1920 (Mona: University of the West Indies Press, 2004), 174. 122 Ibid., 181.


57 So the legacy of the Scottish Presbyterians missionaries in the mid nineteenth century British Empire is one of mixed success. They did not meet their own expectations i n the arenas that mattered most to them, that is, converting heathen populations into Christian British subjects. But despite their limited successes, Scottish Presbyterian missionaries became identified in the public mind as quintessential civilizers.