Biography of Daniel Mtusu by Donald Fraser

Daniel Mtusu (frontispiece)

This biography of Malawian Christian Daniel Mtusa was written by Donald Fraser, based on Mtusu’s own account of his life. My thanks to Redcliffe College for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Donald Fraser [1870-1933], The Autobiography of an African. Retold in Biographical Form & in the Wild African Setting of the Life of Daniel Mtusu. London: Seeley, Service & Co Ltd., 1925. Hbk. pp.210. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  1. The Red Land and the Red Chief
  2. The Child
  3. The Herd-Lad
  4. The House-Boy
  5. The Contest
  6. War
  7. Restless Desires
  8. Discussions
  9. The Decision
  10. The Baptism
  11. The Witness
  12. A Shameful Assault
  13. Citizenship
  14. Adventures
  15. The Teacher
  16. Pioneering
  17. Beulah Land
  18. A Filibuster
  19. An Adventorous Journey
  20. Tempting Offers
  21. A Village Flitting
  22. The Evangelist
  23. Perils of the Way
  24. The Preacher
  25. His Character
  26. His Death
  • Author’s Note

Author’s Note

A few years ago I asked Daniel Mtusu, the subject of this book, to write for roe an account of his life. He had completed it to a period a little beyond the time of his baptism, and was contemplating a further instalment when he died. His friend, the Rev. Andrew Mkochi, completed the story for me. I have rewritten in English what they have told me in their own language, and have added a certain amount of background to their pictures, so as to make them more intelligible to readers at home. I have followed throughout their account of events, and especially Daniel’s own story of his youth and mental awakening.

My thanks are due to Rev. Charles Stuart, Miss Genner and to my wife for revising what I have written, and for many valuable suggestions. Rev. Alex. A. Russell has most kindly seen the book through the press, a work which I could not do personally, as I am in Nyasaland and my publisher in London…

Page 8

Livingstone and the Exploration of Central Africa

Sir H.H. Johnston [1858-1927], Livingstone and the Exploration of Central AfricaDavid Livingstone [1813-1873], pioneer medical missionary and explorer is probably the best known of Victorian missionaries. This biography is a “cheap edition” of a volume that originally appeared as part of a series about the world’s greatest explorers and was republished in this format to mark the centenary of Livingstone’s birth. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to digitise. This book is now in the public domain.

Sir H.H. Johnston [1858-1927], Livingstone and the Exploration of Central Africa. London: George Philip & Son, Ltd., 1912. Hbk. pp.372. [Click to download complete volume in PDF]


Publisher’s Note

  1. Central Africa – Natural History
  2. Central Africa – Human History
  3. The Hour and the Man: Livingstone’s Upbringing
  4. First Impressions of the Missionary Life
  5. Marries, Teaches, and is Troubled
  6. The Boers, “God’s Chosen People”
  7. Mission-Work; Its Failures and Successes
  8. Missionary Becomes Explorer
  9. Betshuanaland
  10. Fever, Tsetse-Fly, and Horse-Sickness
  11. From the Zambesi to Angola
  12. From Loanda to Quilimane – Across Africa
  13. The Zambesi
  14. Livingstone Returns to England
  15. The Second Zambezi Expedition
  16. Last Visit to England
  17. Four Great Lakes and a Mighty River
  18. The Manyema and Their Land
  19. Stanley Relieves Livingstone
  20. The Death of Livingstone

Chapter 1: Central Africa – Natural History

The history of the southern half of the African continent has widely differed from the northern portion as regards the manner and period in which it has been explored and made known by rates higher than the Negro. More than that, the Negroes inhabiting the long half of the Dark Continent which lies to the south of an irregular border-line commencing at the Cameroons of the West Coast, and passing across the continent to the East Coast at Mombasa, present two very distinct language-stocks, which are totally unrepresented in the northern half of Africa For convenience, I shall call this line dividing Northern from southern Africa the “Bantu Border line,” because it coincides exactly ·with the northern limit of the Bantu language-field. [Continue reading]

Life of William Percival Johnson Archdeacon of Nyasa

William Percival Johnson [1854-1928] was a missionary of the Anglo-Catholic Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. He was know as the “Apostle of the Lake” [Lake Nyasa] in what is now Malawi. He opposed the unnecessary imposition of European culture in Africa. This short biography of Johnson is in the Public Domain.

Dora Yarnton Mills [1859-?], A Hero Man. The Life and Adventures of William Percival Johnson Archdeacon of Nyasa, 2nd edn. London: Universities’ Mission to Central Africa, 1933. Hbk. pp.64. [Download complete book in PDF]



  1. Early Days
  2. Africa Calls
  3. The Adventure Begins
  4. Towards the Goal
  5. Life at Masasi
  6. The Vollage of Released Slaves
  7. Privations in an African Village
  8. A Set-Back
  9. The Lake at Last
  10. The Lonely Trail
  11. “In Journeyings Often”
  12. Stricken With Bindness
  13. The “Charles Janson” Launched
  14. “In Perils From the Heathen”
  15. Building Up The Church
  16. The Care of the Villages
  17. The Steamer “Chauncy Maples”
  18. How the African Lives
  19. The Hero Honoured
  20. The End of the Adventure

Chapter 1

Early Days

When a certain boy, named William Percival Johnson, came to Bedford Grammar School, his comrades very soon found he had ideas and a will of his own. A strong will is a fine thing if it is rightly controlled. Johnson kept his in order all right. From the beginning he was a leader. He had not been in the school long before he was head of all the games in his school house. Whatever he did, whether work or play, he did it with all his might. Among his school-fellows he made friends, but expected them to come up to his idea of friendship and in those early days he was inclined to be hard on those who did not reach his standard.

He was a brilliant mathematician, keen and eager when other boys were dull or stupid. He did not waste his school-days, but got as much good out of them as he possibly could.

When his schooldays were over, he went to University College, Oxford, and there he soon made his mark, not only in the College, where he worked as before with all his might, but on the river, where he stroked his college boat to victory at the head of the river. Some of you have probably watched this race and know the great excitement and enthusiasm which thrills the onlooker.

“Johnson was determined to win; you could see that by the earnest look on his face as day by day he practised on the river.” So testified the master of his college. And that determination and pertinacity were among the most distinguished characteristics of his many-sided character. [Continue reading]

History of the Universities’ Central Mission to Africa

A.E.M. Anderson-Morshead [1845-1928], The History of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa 1859-1898, 2nd ednThe Universities’ Central Mission to Africa (c.1857 – 1965) was set up by Anglican graduates from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Cambridge, Durham and Dublin. It’s work was concentrated on Nyasaland (now Malawi) and Zanzibar (now a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania). For more information about the mission, see this Wikipedia article (which does not link to this book yet). This history covers the years 1859-1898 and is now in the Public Domain.

A.E.M. Anderson-Morshead [1845-1928], The History of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa 1859-1898, 2nd edn. London: Office of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa, 1899. Hbk. pp.494. [This material is in the Public Domain]


Author’s Preface
Chronological Table

  1. The Call to the Work
  2. The Shiré Highlands
  3. War, Famine, and Pestilence
  4. New Ground
  5. A Fellow-Worker
  6. The Church in the Slave Market
  7. Daily Work in the Island and on the Mainland
  8. On the Edge of the Wilderness
  9. Lake Nyasa
  10. Last Days of Bishop Steere
  11. The Mission on the Lake
  12. Christian Villages on the Rovuma
  13. Magila in the Bondé Country
  14. The Usambara Group of Missions
  15. The Years in Zanzibar
  16. The Chief Pastors
  17. A Parting View of the Mission
  18. After Two Years
  19. Slavery


  1. Methods of Home Work
  2. Methods of Mission Work
  3. Constitutional History of the Mission
  4. Synodical Action
  5. English Members of the Mission