William Cole: Another claimant to origin of the name, “Nigeria”

William Cole: Another claimant to origin of the name, “Nigeria”

Saturday, October 1, 2016 12:25 pm


where-nigeria-is-mentioned-in-the-journal. Credit: Nairaland

where-nigeria-is-mentioned-in-the-journal. Credit: Nairaland

The journal

The journal

The general belief is that Flora Shaw coined the name, “Nigeria,” and suggested it to the Governor General, Lord Frederick Lugard.

However, an argument ensued in Nairaland.com on this and the name William Cole came up as the one who first used it about 30 years before Shaw mentioned did. See the debate here: http://www.nairaland.com/1525502/flora-shaw-lord-lugards-wife#19680346
A contributor actually referred others to a book/journal written by a European trader who visited these parts, entitled:

Life in the Niger, or, The Journal of an African Trader

First published in 1862, William Cole’s journal records his experiences in the highly challenging circumstances of a trading expedition to Africa.

Cole outlines in graphic detail the dangers he had to endure, and describes how he ‘surmounted the most glaring difficulties’. Often displaying a wry humour, Cole’s memoir speaks directly to the reader, with a tone of immediacy.

In an anecdotal style, he describes the customs and costumes of the natives, and their often hostile reactions to him, and recounts how he was regularly without food, arms or assistance. The journal tells of the barbarity and cruelty he witnessed, alongside occasional acts of kindness or amusing situations.

Cole’s thoughts frequently revert to England, displaying his homesickness and his longing to return. Describing his life in Africa as ‘a mixture of smiles and tears’, Cole paints a vivid picture of a European in Africa during the mid-nineteenth century.

http://www.cambridge.org/asia/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9781108031226

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