A Pilgrimage to My Motherland: An Account of a Journey Among the Egbas and Yorubas of Central Africa, in 1859-60

Description

Robert Campbell (1829–84) was a Jamaican-born printer, journalist, and teacher who, along with Martin Robison Delany (1812–85), made up the Niger Valley Exploring Party of 1859–60, an expedition organized by free African Americans to explore the possibility of colonizing parts of West Africa with black immigrants from America. Campbell traveled first to England in early 1859. He sailed on to Lagos (present-day Nigeria) and traveled northwest to Abeokuta, where he met up with Delany, a journalist, political activist, and graduate of Harvard Medical School. Acting in their capacity as commissioners of the Niger Valley Exploring Party, Delany and Campbell concluded a treaty with the king and chiefs of the Egba giving them the right to establish settlements in the Egba territory. A Pilgrimage to My Motherland: An Account of a Journey Among the Egbas and Yorubas of Central Africa is Campbell’s account of the expedition, and includes descriptions of Abeokuta, ethnographic material, and the text of the treaty he and Delany negotiated. The treaty ran into political resistance among the Egba and was never implemented, but Campbell did immigrate to Africa. With his wife and four children, he settled in Lagos in 1862, where he founded and published the newspaper the Anglo-African and was involved in numerous commercial, civic, and scientific ventures that contributed to the early development of the British colony of Lagos.

Last updated: January 10, 2014