Hannah Kilham entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Hannah Kilham was remarkable as an early nineteenth-century activist, an advocate for the poor, for chimney-sweeping children, for the Irish, for slaves and ex-slaves, for Africans whom she saw as needing Christianity, and against the current practices of colonialism and colonial trade. A writer of diaries and letters from an early age and throughout her life, she became successively a moral and didactic writer, a producer of textbooks for the study of African languages, and a politically astute reporter on missionary and educational activity.
12 August 1774 Hannah Spurr (later HK) was born in Sheffield, her parents' seventh child. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 July 1796 Hannah Spurr, later HK (who had kept a diary from the age of ten), began a religious journal in shorthand on loose leaves of paper: it opened: "This morning I have given myself to God." Bibliographic Citation link.
By October 1830 HK's final book, published with her name, is her most ambitious: The Claims of West Africa to Christian Instruction, through the Native Languages. Bibliographic Citation link.
1831 Extracts from HK's letters appeared, first in the Friends' Magazine, then the same year at Bristol, as a pamphlet bearing her intials: Extracts from the Letters . . . at Sierra Leone. Bibliographic Citation link.
31 March 1832 HK died at sea between Liberia and Sierra Leone, three days after her ship was struck by lightning in a storm. Bibliographic Citation link.
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