An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

African Mission School

Mission school for training African American Episcopal clergy and laypersons for work in Africa, especially Liberia. It opened on Oct. 6, 1828, in Hartford, Connecticut. It was founded by the African Mission School Society, which was formed on Aug. 10, 1828. The rector of the school was the Rev. Nathaniel Sheldon Wheaton. Six students, Gaylord Jackson, William Johnson, Edward Jones, Gustavus V. Caesar, James Henry Franklin, and Henry Williams, eventually matriculated at the school. Of these six original students, Jones, Caesar, and Williams graduated. Jones was born in 1807 or 1808, in Charleston, South Carolina. He was ordained deacon on Aug. 6, 1830, and priest on Sept. 6, 1830. Jones was sent as a missionary to Sierra Leone, and in 1840 he became the principal of Fourah Bay College, Freetown, where he served until 1858. Later he moved to England and died in Chatham, Kent, on May 14, 1865. Caesar was ordained deacon on Aug. 6, 1830, and priest on Sept. 6, 1830. He and his wife, Elizabeth, went to Liberia. In 1834 he drowned in the St. Paul River, near Monrovia. Little is known about Williams. The first African American priest ordained in Connecticut was Jacob Oson, who was born around 1763. He was ordained deacon on Feb. 15, 1828, and priest the next day. He died on Sept. 8, 1828. The school closed during the nineteenth century.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.