Ohio History Journal

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The Life and Times of Daniel Lindley (1801-80): Missionary to the Zulus,

Pastor of the Voortrekkers, Ubebe Omhlope. By Edwin W. Smith. (New

York, Library Publishers, 1952. xxx+456p., illustrations, end-paper

maps, biographical table, glossary, and index. $5.50.)

This is a record of the colorful and adventurous career of one of the first

American missionaries in South Africa. The name of Daniel Lindley has

been perpetuated in the name of a town in South Africa, and a large airplane

has been christened in his honor. His name "rings lovely in the ears of

Afrikaners." Seventy years after his death this first biography has been

published, which should make his name better known in his native land.

Daniel Lindley was born at Ten Mile Creek in Western Pennsylvania

in 1801. His forebears had been pioneers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In 1803 his father, Jacob Lindley, moved to Waterford, Ohio, near

Marietta. Five years later he became professor and first preceptor of Ohio

University and minister of the Presbyterian Church at Athens. Daniel

graduated at Ohio University in 1824 and the same fall entered the

theological seminary at Hampton-Sydney College, which before his gradua-

tion in 1831 had become the Union Theological Seminary. After graduation

he accepted a call to the Presbyterian Church at Rocky River, North Carolina.

In 1834 he resigned a highly successful pastorate there to volunteer for

the mission field in the service of the American Board of Commissioners

for Foreign Missions. In December of that year he sailed with his wife of

a few weeks, the lovely Lucy Allen, and five other missionary couples bound

for South Africa. They arrived six years before the advent of David

Livingston on the dark continent. Three of the couples, including the

Lindleys, trekked inland for over one thousand miles by ox wagons across

burning deserts, over treacherous mountain trails, through fertile valleys,

fording swollen rivers, and suffered all the hardships of the trail. They

reached Mosega in February 1836 and there began the building of a mission

among the Matebele. Daniel Lindley had considerable influence with their

great chief Mzilikazi, and for a time the prospects for the mission were


The arrival of the American missionaries in South Africa almost coincided

with the beginning of the Great Trek of the Boers. As the warfare between

the Boers and the native tribes threatened the safety of the mission, the