Monday, August 15, 2016

Temporary Post

Bruce said to post this partially written material. We hope for helpful comments, though I personally don't expect any. ... If we found this difficult going, most of our readers will find it unfamiliar ground too. But 'hope springs eternal.'

Usual rules. You may copy for your own use. Do not share it. It will go away in a few days. Do not rely on it as is. It will change. It is unfinished research. Because something appears on the Internet does not mean it's accurate. That's true of our research as well. Expect corrections in the final product. Enjoy; comment!


           A letter from Harper, Cape Palmas, Liberia, appeared in the June 1884, issue of Zion’s Watch Tower. Dated April 29th, it was from a one-time Episcopal clergyman who had received a copy of Food for Thinking Christians:

DEAR BROTHER: – Having accidentally met with the little pamphlet published by you, entitled “Food for Thinking Christians,” and having carefully read it more than once, I am deeply interested in it, believing I get through it a clearer and more correct knowledge of the teaching of God's holy word than I ever had before. I am constrained to avail myself of your very liberal offer, and ask you to send to my address some copies for distribution among some of my friends and neighbors, who I think will make a judicious and profitable use of them. I should be also very thankful for a few of the tracts, entitled “The Tabernacle and Its Teachings.” Wishing you abundant success in your efforts for the good of mankind, I beg to remain, with assurance of high esteem, yours very respectfully,

            Later comments reveal this to be from Samuel W. Seton. Seton was a native Grebo born in Maryland County, Liberia. His exact birth date is unknown though it was sometime in the 1830s. His original name was Samuel Tobe Kade. He was educated at Protestant Episcopal mission schools and given the surname Seton at his baptism. Early in life he was “a seaman and a warrior,” but he turned to religion in the 1860s, serving first as a catechist. He and Samuel D. Ferguson were ordained Episcopal deacons in 1865.[1] Their relationship is part of this story, and we meet Ferguson again. Seton was ordained a priest in 1868. In the early 1870s he journeyed inland, preaching to unconverted natives.[2]
            As a native-born Liberian, Seton was despised by the Americo-Liberians, American-born or the descendants of American-born blacks who ruled the country. Jane Martin’s excellent biographical treatment of Seton notes that no Americo-Liberian ever asked an educated Grebo tribe member to dinner, “not even Rev. Seton.” Seton sought a return to tribal sovereignty, co-founding in 1873 the Grebo Confederacy, an attempt to unite the Grebo and reassert tribal soverignty. He opposed central government authority and some claimed he “was on the battlefield during armed conflict with the government” in 1875. Seton denied participating in the fighting, but he was a Grebo peace negotiator in 1876

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roberto said...

Great research. I like it. Well done Bruce and Rachael

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Excellent. Thanks!!!