Reflections of a Pioneer Missionary by William R.S. Miller

Reflections of a Pioneer Missionary by W.R.S. MillerWilliam Miller [1872-1952] was a Church Missionary Society Missionary to the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. He spent 50 years working in that country and assisted in the translation of the Bible into the Hausa language. My thanks to the Church Missionary Society for their kind permission to place this book on-line.

W.R.S. Miller [1872-1952], Reflections of a Pioneer. London: Church Missionary Society, 1936. Hbk. pp.227. [Click to download complete book in PDF]

A bibliography of other works by and about William Miller is now also available.

Contents

  1. Introductory
  2. The Team and Their Preparation
  3. The Situation in 1900
  4. Slavery in Northern Nigeria
  5. Seeking a Foothold
  6. Hausa, Fulani, and Pagan
  7. The System of Indirect Rule
  8. The Beginnings of the Misison at Zaria
  9. Mission and Government at Zaria
  10. The Story of an Experiment
  11. Aliyu: Prince, Emir, and Exile
  12. Building for the Future
  13. Marriage Customs and Problems
  14. Moral Standards
  15. Racial Relationships
  16. Language and Literature
  17. Conclusion

Epilogue
Index

Foreword

Dr. Miller has asked me to write a foreword to this book, and I do so with very real pleasure.

To those who have lived and worked for any length of time in Northern Nigeria, as missionary or government official, no introduction of its author is necessary. Indeed, his name will long be remembered by Africans and Europeans alike.

By some he may be remembered chiefly as a great linguist. He says that he conceived it to be his duty to learn to speak Rausa so that some day he should not be detected, when speaking in the dark, by a native of the country. He was commonly reputed to have achieved that standard of proficiency in Hausa-speaking, and he is probably the only European of whom it could ever truly have been said. Others may have had as great or even greater knowledge of the language from a philological standpoint, but he, to an extent achieved by no other European, had the power to express his thoughts in the Rausa manner, to clothe them with the appropriate words and phrases, using just the right tone and faultless pronunciation. [Continue reading]