By Bronwen Everill (auth.)
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Extra resources for Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia
Both the established churches, and the nonconformists saw struggles between European missionary leaders sent to convert Liberated Africans and the settler preachers. 8 Self-styled preachers were often dismissed by the European missionaries as missing the point of conversion: since Christian association was linked to state benefits, recognition, and social advancement, many were perceived as ‘converting’ for purely practical reasons. 9 The parish plan, then, was a contentious approach to the colony’s anti-slavery and civilization mission.
MacCarthy wrote of the experiment that he conceived ‘that the first effectual step towards the establishment of Christianity will be found in the Division of this peninsula into Parishes, appointing to each a Clergyman to instruct their flock in Christianity, enlightening their minds to the various duties and advantages inherent to civilization’. 11 MacCarthy’s tenure as governor was unusually long for the colony, allowing him to expand educational and commercial opportunities into the interior, court favour with the demanding settlers, and establish Freetown as a regional hub and the capital of the new British West African Territories, founded in 1821, combining the Gold 22 Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia Coast settlements and the Gambia under the Freetown government.
7 Davies, like MacCarthy, viewed religious instruction as the beginning of the civilizing process, rather than the end goal. Both the established churches, and the nonconformists saw struggles between European missionary leaders sent to convert Liberated Africans and the settler preachers. 8 Self-styled preachers were often dismissed by the European missionaries as missing the point of conversion: since Christian association was linked to state benefits, recognition, and social advancement, many were perceived as ‘converting’ for purely practical reasons.
Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia by Bronwen Everill (auth.)