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.


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

Subjects: British History.

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