The Story of the Life of Mackay of Uganda Told for Boys


The Story of the Life of Mackay of Uganda Told for Boys is a biography of Alexander Murdoch Mackay (1849–90), a pioneering Scottish missionary to Uganda. Written by Mackay’s sister, Alexina Mackay Harrison, and published in London in 1892, the book was intended to inspire boys to follow Mackay’s example and devote their lives to service in Africa. It begins with a brief account of the early European explorers of Africa: Mungo Park, who in 1796 ventured up the River Niger; James Bruce, who in 1770 traced the Blue Nile to its source; and other explorers, including Speke, Grant, Stanley, and Livingstone. An account of Mackay’s early life in Scotland follows, reporting the influence on him of a deeply religious and highly literate family, and his early commitment to preaching the Christian gospel. It recounts Mackay’s studies in engineering at the University of Berlin, his learning German, and the close ties he developed with German church and missionary circles. In 1876, Mackay answered a call of the Church Missionary Society to serve in Uganda. He arrived in Africa in November 1878, where he spent nearly 14 years, never once returning to his native Scotland. The book describes Mackay’s friendship with King Mutesa I of Buganda (reigned, 1856–84) and his difficulties under Mutesa’s successor, King Mwanga, who fiercely persecuted the early Ugandan church. The concluding chapter recounts the work of Alfred R. Tucker, Anglican bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa in 1890–99 and first bishop of Uganda in 1899–1911, and of six early Ugandan Christians who continued Mackay’s work after his death: Sembera Mackay, Henry Wright Duta, Mika Sematimba, Paulo Bakunga, Zachariah Kizito, and Yohann Mwira.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Hodder and Stoughton, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

vii, 338 pages : illustrations, frontispiece ; 21centimeters


  • From Ndejje University Library. Digitized at the National Library of Uganda with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York

Last updated: January 10, 2014