Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Booth, Joseph (A)

Malawi , South Africa

English Missionary.

Throughout his career he frequently shifted his affiliation among different Christian denominations, but consistently championed African’s rights. In 1892 he opened his first station for the Baptists in Malawi, where an early convert was John CHILEMBWE, the leader of a 1915 rebellion against the British. He traveled with Chilembwe to the United States in 1897, where they separated permanently. Booth’s influence on Chilembwe’s later career has never been satisfactorily established.

Booth returned to southern Africa to launch a series of new missions under a succession of denominations. He frequently clashed with European authorities over political issues. Suspected of complicity on Chilembwe’s 1915 rising, he was expelled from South Africa and returned to England destitute.

Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen


Shepperson, George A. & Thomas Price. Independent African: John Chilembwe and the Origins, Setting and Significance of the Nyasaland Native Uprising of 1915. Edinburgh: University Press, 1958.

Lohrentz, Kenneth. “Joseph Booth, Charles Domingo, and the 7th Day Baptists in Northern Nyasaland, 1910-12.” JAH 12 (3), (1971): 461-480.

Rotberg, Robert I. The Rising of Nationalism in Central Africa: The Making of Malawi and Zambia, 1873-1964. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967.

Pachai, Bridglal (ed.). Livingstone, Man of Africa: Memorial Essays, 1873-1973. London: Longmans, 1973

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Dictionary of African Historical Biography, 2nd edition, copyright © 1986, by Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. All rights reserved.