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.

Custom of Polygamy

This custom of Polygamy was one of the troubles we had to deal with. We did not feel that we could encourage the practice by taking such men into the church and yet it seemed unfair to make a man give up his wives, who perhaps had several children. So it seemed the best we could do was to compromise and receive the man with the wives he had, not to allow him to take more.

We were once much disappointed in a man who had accepted Christianity but had two wives. Of course, he understood that it was against our rules for him to take more wives. For a long time he remained faithful, and we had great faith in him. But at last he came and told us that he was going to take another wife. And to all our protests and pleading, he would reply that he had already paid his money and would not lose it. This refers to their custom of a man paying a small dowry to secure his wife. The contract was made with the parents and the girl had nothing (to say)

(Page 25)

Often this contract was made when the girl was a small girl or a mere baby and the man would have to wait for years before she would become his wife. But he might already have one or many wives, according to his ability to pay for them. I never knew of divorce. I think they had no such custom.

August 2000 - Notes - WRE Jr.

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