South Africa in records from colonial missionaries, 1819-1900

South African archives of the USPG

South African archives of the USPG

Sunday 1st morning, service well attended, afternoon Kafir service, all in town present 14. Chiefly women, subject continuation of history of Moses. Evening white service as usual
Joseph Barker's Diary, Mar 1857Natal; Natal, C/AFS/6; img 16

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Accounts of South Africa from the first missonaries in the 1820s through to 1900

The United Society Partners in Gospel (USPG) is a UK-based Anglican missionary organisation that operates around the world. During the 18th, 19th, and early-20th centuries, the USPG went by the name of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). This collection includes letters and supplementary material compiled by its South African branch during the period 1820-1900. The papers provide an invaluable insight into the spread of Christianity in Africa during the 19th century.

Contents

South Africa in records from colonial missionaries, 1819-1900...

Containing 37,903 pages belonging to 283 documents housed in 5 volumes...

View the Volumes & Documents 

Volumes

Capetown

Containing both bound correspondence and loose papers, these items are chiefly concerned with the movements of people and money. Correspondence...

Grahamstown

These items contain more narrative accounts than the Capetown records; however, the concern over obtaining required funds is very similar....

Natal

Combines narrative accounts and correspondence with official paperwork. Requests for funds are a key feature, as are statistical returns. These...

St Johns - Kaffraria

These records cover the expansion of the dioceses and some implications such as boundary adjustment; the statistical component also provides...

Insights

  • These records are divided by location; the areas they covered were located near to the coast, from Cape Town to Zululand between 1819 and 1900.
  • The papers for Zululand reveal some of the challenges facing missionaries in South Africa. These records describe the local chiefs having some doubts about the strangers trying to convert them.
  • Papers covering Natal and Grahamstown provide information about missionaries' moves between dioceses and financial concerns, with some details of their progress.
  • Capetown's records focus on movements of people and money, as well as how respectable missionaries were. They also cover how many natives the missionaries could convince to attend church.
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