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Thomas Lewis Johnson

(1836—1921) missionary evangelist and author


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(1836–1921). American missionary, author, and evangelist. He had been a house slave in Virginia, but reached England in 1876, where he and his brother-in-law studied at Spurgeon's College. He became a Baptist missionary in Cameroon in 1878–9, but ill health forced him out. He then promoted self-help ideas among American Blacks, travelling widely in the United States. He gathered sufficient support in Britain and Ireland to send Dr T. E. S. Scholes and a carpenter named Ricketts (both from Jamaica) to the Congo. In Britain he associated with the evangelist Henry Gratton Guinness, the Anti-Slavery Society, the Pan-Africanist Henry Sylvester Williams, and the choirmaster Frederick Jeremiah Loudin. In 1900 Johnson became a British citizen. He now lived in Bournemouth, where he was a well-respected individual who would talk of American slavery, tropical Africa (where his first wife, Henrietta, had died), and the Christian message.

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From The Oxford Companion to Black British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.


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