"The Lord is with us in every direction we go"

The Hebrew inscriptions testify to the great part Jews played in opening up trade all along the coast of Sierra Leone during the last century. H. B. Levi, for instance, whom the epidemic also swept away, and his brother John, whom it spared, were well established in business in Freetown by 1859.

Nathaniel Isaacs, a Jew from Canterbury, had a large trading establishment on Matacong Island-now part of French Guinea-with an agent, Emmanuel Lyons, in Wilberforce Street.

Nathaniel Nathan settled in what was still the Sherbro village of Bonthe in the early 1850s; there is still a monument to his little daughter in the old cemetery in Claffin Lane, Bonthe.

Further south two Jewish brothers, John and Nathan Harris, started trading at Sulima; it was largely their efforts that prevented the British government from giving all the land south of the Sherbro to Liberia.

Reprinted from Sierra Leone Studies, NS, No 2 | By C.H. Fyfe




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