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date: 27 October 2020

Maxwell, John Rennerlocked

(12 Nov 1857–March 1901), West Africa’s first lawyer, first Oxonian, and patriot,
  • Hassoum Ceesay


was born on 12 November 1857 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. His father was Reverend Thomas Maxwell, a prominent scion of the Liberated African Community of Sierra Leone called Krio. There is no extant information on his mother, but it could be assumed that she too was Krio. Nineteenth-century Freetown society was so hierarchical that a Krio would not marry non-Krio as they were seen as heathen and inferior.

Maxwell was born in a fairly well to do family His father was a salaried chaplain to the West African Frontier Force based in Gold Coast Maxwell is better called a West African or even more aptly a Coaster or even an early globalized West African because even though born in Freetown he eventually came to be associated by work and vocation to Gold Coast and The Gambia When he married an Englishwoman Ada Mand Beales his claim to the universe grew ...

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