These Seventy Years: Autobiography of Thomas Lewis

Picture of Thomas Lewis [1859-1929]
Thomas Lewis [1859-1929]

Thomas Lewis served with the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) in Africa in the areas known today as Cameroon, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this pulic domain book available for digitisation.

Thomas Lewis [1859-1929], These Seventy Years. An Autobiography. London: The Carey Press, 1930. Hbk. pp.300. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  • Preface
  1. Early Years
  2. At College
  3. Before the Candidate Committee
  4. Sailing For Africa
  5. Along the West African Coast
  6. Vixtoria and its Peoples
  7. My First Christmas in Africa
  8. Germany Annexes Cameroons
  9. Lasts Days in Cameroons
  10. My First Furlough
  11. First Voyage up the Congo River
  12. San Salvador and the First Baptisms
  13. Mostly Concerning Colleagues
  14. The King’s Golden Necklace
  15. Developments of the Native Church
  16. Building a Mission Station
  17. Pioneering in Zomboland
  18. Moving the Tent
  19. Travels from Kibokolo
  20. Difficulties and Setbacks
  21. A Critical Period
  22. Further Travels
  23. Changes
  24. Kimpese and the Valley of the Shadow
  25. Unsettled Days and the Return to Kimpese
  26. A Fresh Start at Kibokolo
  27. “The Stones of Kibokolo”
  28. Reflections
  29. Nkand’a Nzambi—Book of God
  30. Final Words
  • Index

Life of George Grenfell: Congo Missionary and Pioneer

This is a detailed and well-illustrated biography of the George Grenfell, pioneer missionary to the Congo. The endpiece is an extremely detailed map of Equatorial West Africa. My thanks to Redcliffe College for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

George Hawker [1857-1932], The Life of George Grenfell. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1909. pp.587. [Click to visit the George Grenfell page for this the download link to this title and other material on this missionary]


  • Introduction
  1. Early Years
  2. College Days
  3. At the Cameroons
  4. At the Cameroons (continued)
  5. Pioneering in the Lower Congo
  6. The Coming of the ‘Peace’
  7. The Coming of the ‘Peace’ (continued)
  8. Boat Journey to the Equator
  9. The First Voyage of the ‘Peace’
  10. From Autumn, 1884, to Autumn, 1887
  11. From Autumn, 1884, to Autumn, 1887 (continued)
  12. Forward Movements on the Upper River
  13. The Seizure of the ‘Peace’ and the Coming of the ‘Goodwill’
  14. The Lunda Expedition
  15. Bolobo and Yakusu—1893 to 1896
  16. Missions and Social Results
  17. ‘In Journeyings Often’
  18. Up the Aruwimi
  19. Illness and Last Furlough
  20. Letters to His Children
  21. Balked by the State
  22. To Yalemba at Last!
  23. ‘The Death of “Tata” Finished’


When I was requested by the Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society to write the biography of my friend and former fellow-student, George Grenfell, it was stipulated that the volume should contain a section of about a hundred pages to be contributed by an expert (Sir Harry Johnston, if possible), in which the scientific side of Grenfell’s work should be duly discussed and appraised. Subsequently, Sir Harry Johnston· consented to undertake this task. But when Grenfell’s papers and journals came to hand, it was apparent that two or three chapters included in a general biography would be quite inadequate for the worthy treatment of Grenfell’s scientific achievements. It was therefore arranged that Sir Harry Johnston should write a separate ,vork, an arrangement in which I cordially concurred.
That work has been published under the title George Grenfell and the Congo, and has secured the high encomiums of competent critics…

Page vii

George Grenfell of the Congo

Shirley J. Dickens, Grenfell of the Congo. Pioneer Missionary and Explorer.George Grenfell [1849-1906] was a Baptist missionary who worked with Alfred Saker [1814-1880] in the Cameroon and later went on to explore the Congo region. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan. This title is in the public domain.

Shirley J. Dickens, Grenfell of the Congo. Pioneer Missionary and Explorer. London: The Sunday School Union, [1910]. Hbk. pp.126. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  1. Early Years
  2. In Training For the Mission Field
  3. At the Cameroons
  4. Service and Sacrifice
  5. Pioneering on the Congo
  6. The Peace
  7. Into the Interior
  8. Difficulty, Delay, and Disaster
  9. Cloud and Sunshine
  10. In the Service of the State
  11. Pushing Forward
  12. A Well-Earned Furlough
  13. State Opposition
  14. The Reward of it All
  15. The Man and His Work

Prefatory Note

The purpose of this little book is not only to present to its readers an interesting account of George Grenfell’s life and work, that they may learn to honour one of the heroes of the mission field; but, by simple narrative, to place the missionary appeal before them in such a form that they may gain a deeper insight into the meaning of the Great Commission, and may possibly hear and respond to the same call which led George Grenfell out to service and sacrifice in the dark places of Africa.

I gladly acknowledge my great indebtedness to Grenfell’s colleague, the Rev. Lawson Forfeitt, for the special information with which he has kindly provided me, and for the revision of the MS.; and to the Baptist Missionary Society for permission to use the accompanying illustrations. [Continue reading]

Alfred Saker Pioneer of the Cameroons

Emily M. Saker [1849-?], Alfred Saker. Pioneer of the CameroonsAlfred Saker [1814-1880] was a pioneer of Baptist Missions to Cameroon, West Africa, where he served for 32 years. He is remembered for his translation of the Bible into Duala. Wikipedia has a superb article on Saker which is worth consulting. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan. This title is in the Public Domain.

Emily M. Saker [1849-?], Alfred Saker. Pioneer of the Cameroons, 2nd edn. London: The Carey Press, 1929. Pbk. pp.224. [Click to download complete book in PDF]



  1. Early Days
  2. The Call to the Field
  3. First Experiences of Africa
  4. First Settlement in Cameroons
  5. In Perils by the Heathen
  6. In Labours More Abundant
  7. In Weariness and Painfulness
  8. The Care of All the Churches
  9. Cast Down But Not Destroyed
  10. In Journeyings Oft
  11. More Than Conqueror
  12. Not Alone!


My father went out as a missionary to Cameroons in 1843, and came home finally in 1876, after thirty-two years of unresting labour in a deadly climate. He saw the inauguration of the greater work on the Congo, which was the direct outcome of the Mission in Cameroons, but he did not live to see the events of 1885, when the work in which he had spent his life was surrendered into foreign hands. It is his story that I tell in this book.

The memoir was first published in 1908, and has been out of print for some time. This new edition is issued by the request of the Baptist Missionary Society as one of its publications for the Jubilee Year of its Congo Mission. It was felt that the story of that earlier work might well be retold in this time of rejoicing. It was those brave men and women in the Cameroons Mission who laid the foundations of the greater work, and laid them faithfully and well in patience, devotion and self-sacrifice. Thomas Comber and George Grenfell, the first messengers to the King of Kongo, were Cameroons missionaries, stationed at Victoria, when they received the order to explore the new waterway opened up by Stanley. [Continue reading]