Samuel Ajayi Crowther
Samuel Ajayi Crowther (* 1809 in Osogun, † December 31, 1891 ) was a yorubastämmiger missionary, bishop and linguist during the British colonial era in Nigeria. Crowther was the first bishop of the Anglican Church of black African origin.
As a 12 - or 13 -year-old was Crowther's hometown Osogun in Yorubagebiet of Nigeria today - probably of Muslims from Oyo and members of the Fulani people - attacked. He was kidnapped and sold to Portuguese slave traders. Shortly before the British had banned and started to take patrols to enforce this ban on ships of other nations, the slave trade. Such a ship brought the slave ship on on which Crowther was and brought him as well as his former fellow prisoners to Freetown in the former British colony of Sierra Leone.
There he was educated by the Church Mission Society, was baptized in 1825 and trained as a missionary. After baptism he took the name Samuel Crowther. He identified himself all his life except his Yorubaherkunft also with the Sierra Leonean Kreolentum. In 1826 he traveled to England. After his return to Freetown in 1827, he visited the newly-opened Fourah Bay College (now the University of Sierra Leone), where he learned Latin and Greek, but also the language of Sierra Leone Temne. Later he taught at a school and married a baptized, a former Muslim who as he had been on the same slave ship.
In 1841 he first participated in a missionary expedition into the hinterland of Nigeria. The attempt to establish a permanent presence there, but failed and Crowther moved his missionary work in the coastal places Badagry and Abeokuta. Crowther began translating the Bible into his native language Yoruba, from which he graduated in the 1880s, and a dictionary of the Yoruba. 1843 a grammar book of his was published, later a Yorubaversion of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Crowther 1857 published a reader in the language of the Nigerian Ibo million people and a 1860 in the language of the central Nigerian Nupe. He has also written a grammar and a dictionary in Nupe, which appeared in 1864.
In 1861 he was appointed the first African bishop of the Anglican coast. He was assigned to the Diocese " Niger river ".
Crowther was African nationalist and fought several times against the encroachments of the British colonial government in Nigeria and against the idea that the spread of Christianity was to promote British interests in Nigeria. In 1890 he resigned his post as Bishop on the Niger River.