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Attoh Ahuma
1863 to 1921
Methodist / African Methodist Episcopal Zion
Ghana


Attoh Ahuma was a ghanaian churchman, a journalist and a celebrated nationalist campaigner. Originally his name was Samuel R. B. Solomon, born on 22 December 1863, son of the Reverend James Solomon of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. After going to school at the Wesleyan elementary school and high school in Cape Coast and then at Richmond College in the same town, he was ordained a minister in 1888.

In the 1890s Reverend Solomon became a celebrated journalist and a nationalist campaigner. He edited the Gold Coast Methodist Times and used it to protest against British rule. In 1897 the newspaper headed the campaign against the Lands Bill and Reverend Solomon helped found the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) to protest against the bill. After an article entitled "Colony or Protectorate: Which?" the Wesleyan Mission authorities, upset at Reverend Solomon's political activism, removed him from the ministry that same year. The Methodist Times collapsed when he ceased to be editor.

About then he visited England though early in 1898 he joined the Gold Coast Aborigines when it was started as the "ARPS" organ. He joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) mission, an Afro- American one, and in 1898 he and James E. K Aggrey were chosen by the mission to go to the U.S.A for studies. In that same year he changed his name to Attoh Ahuma. He spent four years at Livingstone College, Salisbury, North Carolina, where he graduated with B.A. (Hons) in 1902; he later completed an M.A. thesis for the same college.

Returning to Gold Coast, he became the principal of Accra Grammar School, but this closed down soon afterwards. Then he became principal of the AMEZ Secondary School at Cape Coast. In these and the succeeding years he published a number of books : Memoir of West African Celebrities (1903), Cruel as the Grave (1913), His Quest and Conquest (1917), and most famous, The Gold Coast Nation and National Consciousness (1911). The latter, especially, marked him as a leading pioneer nationalist like his contemporary, J. Casely-Hayford, in Ghana.

In 1912 he founded a new nationalist newspaper, The Gold Coast Nation. He continued to be active in the ARPS, becoming its secretary in 1913 and its dominant member from then on until his death. But despite his political activity he wished to return to work as a minister in the Methodist Church. He was allowed to do this in 1914 and worked for the missionary church at Axi, Elmina and other places in southwestern Gold Coast. He died at Elmina on 15 December 1921.

 


Sources Consulted Include:

* Africa Year Book and Who's Who (London: Africa Journal, 1977).
* Africa Today, first edition, (Denver, CO : Africa Today Associates, 1981).
* Africa Who's Who, first edition, 1981.
* Africa Who's Who, second edition, 1991 (published by Africa Books Ltd., U.K).
* Ralph Ewechue (ed.), Makers of Modern Africa, 2nd edition (London: Africa Books, 1991).
* Daily Times of Nigeria (Lagos).
* Nigeria Year Book, 1974, 1975, 1976-1978, 1979, 1980 (Lagos : Nigerian Printing & Publishing Co.).
* S. Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Togo, 3rd ed., (London : Scarecrow Press, 1996).
* Ralph Uweche, Africa Who's Who, 1991 (Lagos, Nigeria: Africa Book Ltd.).
* J. C. Choate, The Voice of Truth International, 1991, Vol. 21 (U.S.A.)
* E. EL Hadj-Omar, Who's Who In Africa Dictionary.
* In the Land of the Pharaohs- An introduction to a 1968 case study by Khalil Mahmud, 2nd ed., (London : Cass, 1968).
* L. H. Ofosu-Appiah, Dictionary of African Biography, volume on Ghana & Ethiopia, volume on Sierra Leone & Zaire, (New York : Reference Publications, 1977-).
* Cyril P. Foray, Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone (London : Scarecrow Press, 1977).
* Gailey H. A., A History of Sierra Leone.
* I. Geiss, The Pan-African Movement (London : Methuen, 1974).
* L. C. Gwan, Great Nigerians.
* E. Kay (ed.), Dictionary of African Biography (London : Melrose Press, 1971-1972).
* Pan-Vegio Patriot Macdonald- H. Edward Wilmot
* R. K. Rasmussen, Historical Dictionary of Rhodesia Zimbabwe (London : Scarecrow Press, 1979).
* E. Rosenthal, Encyclopaedia of South Africa, 7th ed., (Cape Town : Juta, 1978).
* S. Ramgoolam, Seychelles Government Annual Reports.
* S. Taylor (ed.), The New Africans (London : Paul Hamlyn, 1967).
* V. Thompson and R. Adlof, Historical Dictionary of Congo (London : Scarecrow Press, 1996).
* Times Newspapers Ltd; Obituaries from the Times (Volume 1, 1961-1970; Vol.2, 1971- 1975)
* P. J. Vatikiotis, The History of Egypt, 3rd ed., (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985, c1969).
* H. Zell and H. Silver (eds.), A Reader's Guide to African Literature (London : Heinemann, 1972).
* H. Zell, C. H. Bundy and V. Coulon (eds.), A New Reader's Guide to African Literature, rev. ed., (London : Heinemann, 1983).

Articles in Learned Journals

* Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria (Ibadan : Ibadan University Press): Vol. V Nos. 2 & 3, 1970, (Adeleye, R. A.).
* Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria (Ibadan : Ibadan University Press): Vol. VI Nos. 204, 1969, (Ekejiuba, F.).
* Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, "A Biographical Sketch," (Omu Okwei), (Ibadan : Ibadan University Press): Vol. III No 4, 1967.
* Journal of African History, (London : Cambridge University Press): Vol. V No 3, 194 (Hopkins A. G.).

Periodicals and Newspapers Consulted

Africa (Tunis : Ministère des Affaires Culturelles et de l'Information, 1971 ff).
Africa Diary (Delhi : Africa Publications (India), 1961 ff).
Africa Research Bulletin (Africa Research Ltd), (Oxford : Blackwell, 1964 ff).
Ambassador International (Vol 211; 1985).
Commonwealth Currents (1978).
Guardian (London, s.n.).
Independent (London, s.n.).
The Times (London).
West Africa (London : West Africa Publishing, 1917).