Negotiating Colonialism: The Life and Times of Arthur Wellington Clah

Document Type

Book Chapter


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




Brock, Peggy. ‘Negotiating Colonialism: The Life and Times of Arthur Wellington Clah’ in Evangelists of Empire?: Missionaries in Colonial History, ed. Amanda Barry, Joanna Cruickshank, Andrew Brown-May and Patricia Grimshaw [online] Melbourne: University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2008.


Norman Etherington, in his introduction to Missions and Empire, suggests that in the past the link between the missionary movement and modern imperialism has been exaggerated; that missionaries were strongly resisted by colonists in many parts of the British empire, while many missionaries advocated strongly against colonisation of regions where they had established themselves. Missions did, nevertheless, facilitate the spread of modernisation and globalisation.1 Elizabeth Elbourne, writing about southern Africa, makes a similar point. Missionaries in the early nineteenth century had little power to effect change, followed by a brief period when they became important intermediaries between Indigenous groups and the metropolitan centre before being relegated to irrelevance by settlers. By 1850 disillusioned Africans blamed missionaries for unsatisfactory agreements they had helped negotiate with the imperial state