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In Africa's Forest and Jungle, In Africa's Forest and Jungle, 0817355677, 0-8173-5567-7, 978-0-8173-5567-8, 9780817355678, , Religion and American Culture, In Africa's Forest and Jungle, 0817384464, 0-8173-8446-4, 978-0-8173-8446-3, 9780817384463, , Religion and American Cultur

In Africa's Forest and Jungle
Six Years Among the Yorubas
Richard Henry Stone, edited by Betty Finklea Florey

Quality Paper
2009. 228 pp.
6
978-0-8173-5567-8
Price:  $34.95 s
E Book
2009. 227 pp.
6
978-0-8173-8446-3
Price:  $34.95 d

In Africa's Forest and Jungle is the memoir of Richard Henry Stone, a Civil War era Southern Baptist missionary, who served in what is now Nigeria during the late 1850s and again during the first years of the American Civil War. Stone published this work in 1899, when it became clear that age would prevent him from returning to Africa.

Stone served in Africa with his wife and successfully learned the Yoruba language. He was an intelligent, self-reflective, and reliable observer, making his works important sources of information on Yoruba society before the intervention of European colonialism. In Africa's Forest and Jungle is a rare account of West African culture, made all the more complete by the additional journal entries, letters, and photographs collected in this edition.

Betty Finklea Florey is an instructor for the external degree program and Honors College at The University of Alabama

"Richard Henry Stone's memoir of his six years as a Southern Baptist Convention missionary to the Yoruba first appeared in 1899. A standard source for anthropologists and historians, it has been reissued in the University of Alabama's 'Religion and American Culture' series with a new introduction by Stone's great-granddaughter, Betty Finklea Florey. She has also added an appendix of the letters Stone wrote from western Nigeria from 1859 to 1863 and 1867 to 1869. Florey (Univ. of Alabama) praises Stone for his 'surprisingly objective record of what he saw,' but acknowledges that he was very much a man of his time. Born and raised in slaveholding Alabama, Stone learned Yoruba, carefully documented the often-fraught politics of western Nigeria, and praised the industriousness of the Africans among whom he lived. Yet he did not condemn the continued enslavement of Africans and African Americans in his home state, and when he was detained in Virginia on his return in 1863, he refused to sign an oath of loyalty to the Union. Personal politics aside, Stone was a thoughtful observer of precolonial Yoruba society, and scholars and students will benefit from this new edition of his African memoir. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries."
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"This book represents interesting archival material for all those interested in African (Yoruba) history and processes of proselytisation in Africa. It will doubtless inspire new investigations into some of the dimensions adumbrated in existing narratives on social and political discourse among the Yoruba people and their missionary principals at the twilight of the nineteenth century."--Journal of Modern African Studies

“Stone’s book, his journal, and his collections of letters furnish us with valuable information regarding American Christian missions, particularly Southern Baptist African missions during the 19th century, [as well as] the imposition of colonialism in Africa; the relationship among Indigenous African, Christian, and Islamic religions; and the interplay of race, gender, and class among American Christians.”—Sandy D. Martin, author of Black Baptists and African Missions: The Origins of a Movement, 1880–1915 and For God and Race: The Religious and Political Leadership of AMEZ Bishop James Walker Hood

“Stone … provides rare details about diplomacy and intrigues among the locals at that material time [of the 19th century]. But this title is also significant in two other ways. First, Stone’s journal on some of his daily activities, the pictures, and the correspondences with James B. Taylor of the secretariat of the Southern Baptist Convention in America reveal a lot  about the perception and attitude of the denomination and its aficionados towards Africa, and indeed towards the Yorubas. Secondly, the title offers, on the one hand, new evidences about religious interactions among the church people and the natives, and on the other, the status of the Muslims, their institutions, and the Christians, or more appropriately, Stone’s perception of Muslims and their interactions with other religionists. By and large, this is an archival material for all those interested in African (Yoruba) history and proselytism enterprise in 19th century Africa. It will doubtless inspire new investigations into some of the dimensions adumbrated in the narratives on social and political discourse among the Yoruba people and their missionary principals at the twilight of the 19th century.”—Amidu Olalekan Sanni, Journal of Oriental and African Studies

"This book is a true account of the second Baptist missionary among my ancestors at Ijaiye Orile, a sprawling Yoruba town in Western Nigeria, documenting the intra-tribal wars of the late 1800s. . . . The relics and devestation of the Are Kunrumi and Ogumola war can still be seen at Ijaiye Orile today. I cannot think of any other book that would surpass the true and detailed accounts catalogued and dated by Rev. Stone himself."—Lekan Ayanwale, former Professor and Chair of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and currently Professor of Epidemiology at Tuskegee University


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