Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionary - Africa 1882 - 1892

Memories of a Missionary Tour of Duty in Africa: 1882 - 1892
by Laura Boardman Houchens Eubank
Wife of Rev. Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionaries To Nigeria 1882
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, VA.

Sierra Leone

Here they had made their home, raised their families, multiplied and prospered till now. It had become a colony of sane importance.

In a book recently written by Mrs. Helen Barrett Montgomery, she tells the story of Bishop Samuel Crowther of West Africa and of his great work there. As a boy, he was stolen by slave dealers from his home in the interior, and with many others was carried to the coast, placed on hoard a Portuguese slave ship, placed in irons in the dark hold of the ship and carried-out to sea. There they lay in upper despair, seeing no hope of help from God or man. Suddenly one day they were startled by loud noises over head, the hold was opened, strange men rushed in and released them from their chains. These were Englishmen in pursuit of the slave ships. They were carried back to Sierra Leone, this slave colony set free, put in the care of Missionaries who sent them to school and taught them the Christian religion. He became a Christian and as he grew up developed the idea of himself becoming a missionary to his own people. He was sent to London where he was educated and eventually did return to his own land and taught his own people the Christian religion. He made frequent trips to London where he sat in counsel with the great religious leaders and was held in very high esteem by all. After 25 years, he was sent back to his old home in Abeogrets where he found his old mother and sister who had long mourned him as dead. They too became Christians and were among the first fruits of his ministry. Much and often we heard of Bishop Crowther who was then an old man. I never saw him for he was at that time located in charge of their work on the Wiges. But I did know very well some members of his family - among them a daughter in Lagos, In later years, we heard of his death.

So this same Sierra Leone was the same place to which we had come, where we were to meet a British steamer on which we would continue our Journey down the coast to Lagos where we were to be located. We were welcomed by the agent of Yates and Porterfield who was in charge of their business here and entertained for dinner at their pleasant hone. It was indeed a Joy to be on land again, to be free of the limitations of the little sailing vessel and to have the pleasure of again enjoying fresh fruit, vegetables and meats.

In the evening, we were taken to the one little hotel of Sierra Leone where we were made quite comfortable for the three days that we remained. The people were pleasant and friendly, as we always found them in Africa. Both here and in the Yoruba country to which we went later, we found much the same type of people to which we had been used at home; there known as the "Guinea Negroes" - the same type of features and the same color. All along the coast the color was at times modified, as at home, by contact with the white race. There was some degree of civilization where the people had come in contact with English schools and churches.

On Sunday, we were taken to the main church of the place - the Church of England, always call the "C.M.S." - Church Missionary Society. There was a good audience and the services were conducted much as the same church over in England. In the evening we hunted up a little church in which we were personally interested; very small, with a very small audience and a young man, very crude and illiterate, as minister, but I have always remembered his text - "Be not weary in well doing." On the way home, we heard the firing of the cannon which was always the signal for the arrival of a steamer. We soon found this very important for it was always the signal for the arrival of the weekly mail from home.


August 2000 - Notes - WRE Jr.

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