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Daniel Coker

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Title: Daniel Coker  
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Subject: African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Hastings, Sierra Leone, Samuel Bill, Evangelical Missionary Society for German East Africa, Paris Evangelical Missionary Society
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Daniel Coker

Daniel Coker, African-American missionary to Sierra Leone, 1820

Daniel Coker (1780–1846), born Isaac Wright, was an African Methodist Episcopal Church as well as the founder of the West Africa Methodist Church.[1]

Early life

Daniel Coker was born a slave in 1780 in Baltimore,Maryland, to a white indentured servant mother and a black slave father [2][3] in Baltimore. Coker's received a primary school education because his white half brother refused to go to school without him.[1]

Methodist clergyman

In 1802, Baltimore, (founded 1787/1797) [4]

Emigration to Western Africa

Early in 1820,[5] Daniel Coker sailed for Africa on board the Elizabeth. He was part of 86 emigrants assisted by the AME Church. The ACS planned to settle a colony at Sherbro. Swampy, disease-ridden conditions soon claimed the lives of all but one of the twelve white colonists and many of the African Americans, as well. Just before his death, the expedition's leader asked Coker to take charge of the venture. He helped the remaining colonists get through their despair and to survive.[6]


Coker, his wife, and his children settled in Hastings, Sierra Leone a newly established village for Sierra Leone Liberated Africans.[7] Coker became the patriarch of a prominent Krio family the Cokers. Coker's son, Daniel Coker Jr. was a prominent man in the town of Freetown[8] and the Cokers and their descendants still reside inside Freetown as one of the prominent Krio families. Henry McNeal Turner elaborated on this when he said 'It would seem, from all I can learn, that Coker played a prominent part in the early settlement of Liberia. The first Methodist Church established here was the African M. E. Church; but by whom established I cannot say. Tradition says it was afterward sold out to the M. E. Church. Besides the probability of Rev. Daniel Coker's having established our church here, he also played a mighty part among the early settlers of Sierra Leone. His children and grandchildren are found there to-day.'[9]

See also



  1. ^ a b Aaseng, Nathan (2003). "Coker, Daniel". African-American Religious Leaders: A-Z of African Americans. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing. p. 42,43.  
  2. ^ At least one source suggests that his father was the white indentured servant father and that his mother was a black slave.
  3. ^ Newman, R.; Rael, P.; Lapsansky, P., eds. (2001). "Chapter 3: Daniel Coker". Pamphlets of Protest: An Anthology of Early African-American Protest Literature, 1790-1860. New York, NY: Routledge. p. 52.  
  4. ^ Lofton, Kathryn E. (2010). "Coker, Daniel". In Alexander, Leslie M.; Rucker, Walter C. Encyclopedia of African American History v. 2. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO , LLC. p. 341.  
  5. ^ Sources give late January or early February for Coker's departure.
  6. ^ Walston, Vaughn J.; Stevens, Robert J., editors, eds. (2002). African-American Experience in World Mission: A Call Beyond Community, Volume 1. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. p. 31.  
  7. ^ Sidbury, James (2007). Becoming African in America: Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic (Google eBook). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 176.  
  8. ^ Dixon-Fyle, Mac; Cole, Gibril Raschid, eds. (2006). New Perspectives on the Sierra Leone Krio. American University Studies Series IX, History. Vol. 204. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. p. 95.  
  9. ^  


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