CROWTHER, Samuel Ajayi. Journal of an Expedition up the Niger and Tshadda Rivers. Undertaken by MacGregor Laird, Esq. in Connection with the British Government, in 1854. London, Church Missionary House, 1855.
8vo. Original ribbed cloth, spine lettered in gilt, ornamented in blind; pp. iv, 234, folding engraved map; name on front fly-leaf, light spotting to map; a very good copy.
Scarce first editon.The author, 'bishop of western Africa and linguistic scholar, was born of Yoruba parents at Oshogun, in the south-west of Nigeria. Captured in war in 1821 he was sold on 7 April 1822 to a Portuguese slave ship in Lagos, but freed that evening by two Royal Navy ships' (ODNB). HE was then edurcated by the Church missionary Society in Africa and England. 'With the publication of his dictionary and grammar of Yoruba in 1843 Crowther began to standardize Yoruba by fixing its orthography and spellings, inventing the system for expressing its tonality, and laying the foundation for its printed literature in his beautiful translations of the Book of Common Prayer and his Yoruba Bible. As he continued work in Yoruba Crowther pioneered studies of other Nigerian languages, using his experiences during the British Niger expeditions of 1854 and 1857, publishing a primer of Igbo in 1857, another for the Nupe language in 1860, and a full grammar and vocabulary of Nupe in 1864 (ODNB).