The History of the Yorubas: From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate

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More About This Textbook


Samuel Johnson (1846–1901) was an Anglican minister and historian renowned for his magisterial history of the Yoruba people. Born in Freetown in Sierra Leone and educated by the Church Missionary Society, Johnson was sent with his family to Idaban in Nigeria in 1857. He was ordained in 1880 and by 1897 had finished the manuscript for The History of the Yorubas. However the original publisher mysteriously misplaced the manuscript. After Johnson's death his brother, Dr Obadiah Johnson, recompiled the text from Samuel's notes. This volume, first published in 1921, contains that reconstructed edition. This pioneering volume brought together various oral and recorded accounts of Yoruba history, describing not only political history but also social customs, language and laws. Although recent analysis of the text has revealed some inaccuracies, this volume remains the standard reference for the history of the Yoruba people.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781108020992
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2010
  • Series: Cambridge Library Collection - History Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 750
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Author's preface; Editor's preface; Part I. The People, Country, and the Language: 1. Origin and early history; 2. The origin of the tribes; 3. Religion; 4. Government; 5. Yoruba names; 6. Yoruba towns and villages; 7. The principles of land law; 8. Manners and customs; Part II; Section 1. First Period - Mythological Kings and Deified Heroes: 1. The founders of the Yoruba nation; Section 2. Second Period - Growth, Prosperity and Oppression: 2. Historical kings; 3. The kings of Oyo Igboho; 4. A succession of despotic kings; 5. Bosorun Gaha and his atrocities and Abiodun's peaceful reign; Third Period - Revolutionary Wars and Disruption: 6. The revolution; 7. The rise of the Fulanis to power; 8. Consequences of the revolution; 9. Further development of the anarchy; 10. Spread of the anarchy; 11. The revolution in the Epo districts; 12. Wars for the consolidation and balance of power; 13. The last of Katunga; 14. The interregnum; Section 3. Fourth Period - Arrest of Disintegration. Inter-tribal Wars. British Protectorate: 15. The new city, new government, Ilorin checked; 16. Fratricidal wars; 17. Subjugation of the Ijesas and Ekiti's social reforms; 18. A glorious end and a gory dawn of two reigns; 19. Sequels to the Ijaye war; 20. The close and the opening careers of two heroes; 21. Two administrations of opposite policies; 22. A new reign and evil prognostication; 23. The commencement of the 16 Years' War; 24. Conflicts in the north; 25. Ibadan at its extremity; 26. Failures at reconciliation; 27. A rift in the cloud; 28. The Rev. J. B. wood and the A.O.K.; 29. The intervention of the British government; 30. Dispersal of the combatants by special commissioners; 31. Disturbance in every part of the country; 32. Abortive measures to terminate the war; 33. The dark before the dawn; 34. The end of the war; 35. The establishment of the British Protectorate; Appendices; Index.

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