This is the first full-length biography of George James Christian. Originally from Dominica, Christian qualified as a barrister-at-law in London, participated in the first pan-African conference and migrated to the Gold Coast in 1902 where he made his home and developed a complex extended family. He ensured that his children were well educated and they followed his tradition of service to the community. Shortly after his arrival in the Gold Coast, he established a legal practice that successfully served a wide range of clients. His friendship with the renowned Dr James Kwegyir Aggrey, as expressed in their correspondence during the establishment of Achimota College, together with a discussion of the experience of Christian’s children as staff and students there, provide fresh data on this important Ghanaian institution. The book also sheds light on Christian’s service in the Legislative Council, his role as honorary consul for Liberia, his involvement as a Freemason, businessman and philanthropist.
“This book illuminates an important dimension of the African experience – returnees from the British West Indies to West Africa. While not entirely overlooked in the historiography, the theme has always lacked adequate biographies. This, therefore, is a welcome addition. It has the additional value that it employs the career of George Christian to illuminate a broader community of English Caribbean professionals who made sterling contributions to the political and economic development of Ghana.”
—Franklin W. Knight, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor Emeritus and Academy Professor, Johns Hopkins University
MARGARET D. ROUSE-JONES, now retired, was University/Campus Librarian, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. She has contributed to the literature in the fields of history, historiography, biography, Caribbean bibliography and librarianship.
ESTELLE M. APPIAH, now retired, was Director of Legislative Drafting, Attorney-General’s Department, Ministry of Justice, Ghana. She currently works as a legislative drafting consultant and is the granddaughter of George James Christian.