African American Activists in Scotland Amanda Berry Smith

‘I held several meetings at different places in Scotland’
Amanda Berry Smith

Born into slavery in Maryland, Amanda Berry Smith (1837-1915) became a world-renowned evangelist and human rights advocate. In her inspirational book, ‘An Autobiography: The Story of the Lord's Dealings with Mrs. Amanda Smith the Colored Evangelist’, published in 1893, she shared her experiences of her visit to Scotland. An extract of Smith’s autobiography is below.


‘On the 24th, I leave London for Scotland, stop at Carlisle, with Mrs. Walker's sister, Mrs. Johnston. What a lovely home this is. I was so tired and would so like to have rested, but I had not been in long before a number of dear friends gathered and I had to have a meeting. I felt I really could not, at first, but I asked the Lord to help me, and He did, praise His name. On Monday, the 26th, I leave Carlisle for Alloa, Scotland. Miss Patten, of Morris Hill House, through my dear friend, Mrs. Lisle, had kindly invited me to Alloa to have a little rest, God bless her, I shall never forget her kindness in every way to me. Before I ever saw her she wrote and sent me five pounds, which came just at a time when I needed it. God's word of promise did not fail. (Phil., 4:19).

After a little rest, I held several meetings at different places in Scotland, at Alloa and then at Crief. Here Miss Patten took me to the great Hydropathic institution, at her own expense, where I could well have spent a month, but because of an engagement for some meetings at Edinburgh, I could only spend one week. How kind the people were, and the baths and treatment that I received during the short stay did me the greatest good. I shall ever praise God for Miss Patten, and for the kindness shown me at this beautiful institution. I was asked to give a little missionary talk one morning in the chapel, which seemed to be very much appreciated.

From Crief I went to Edinburgh, after holding meetings a week, arranged by Mr. Govern, who had also arranged a series of meetings at Peble's, on the River Clide, and at a number of other places. Then, leaving there, I went to Blaine O'Chile, Dunblain. I went on Friday to stay until Monday. This lady, Mrs. Chapman, was a very dear friend of Mrs. Lisle, who had spent a number of years in Africa on the Congo and at Old Calibar, where I first met her, and worked with her a little while there. It was through her that I got to know Mrs. Chapman; since then she has gone to her reward. May God bless her memory.

Mrs. Chapman is a lady of large means, and I think I never saw one whose means and all was so fully consecrated to God. How many young men she has educated for foreign work, both white and colored, and has also been the help of many others. Her record is in heaven.

She invited me to come and see her before I left Scotland. I was getting ready to go home and I felt I needed the money, still I wanted to go and see this lady, so I told the Lord if He would have me go, not to let me be anxious about the means, but to open the way for me. I had a good quiet Saturday, and it was very stormy and rainy on Sunday, so that Mrs. S. said we would not go to church in the morning. In the afternoon she asked me if I would take a service and speak to the servants in the large kitchen. This I did, and spoke with great freedom from the 15th of John. We had a very interesting meeting. At the close Mrs. S. said, I think the meeting has been very profitable. She was very pleased, and as we went to the next room she said, "I want to hand you a little donation," so she handed me six pounds. I said, how the Lord has answered prayer!

On Monday morning as I was leaving she said, "I think I had better give you another pound." I thanked her and praised the Lord.

From here I went on to Grenock, spent a night and spoke to a large congregation in a hall. On the 15th I left for Belfast, spent a few days at Neury; held several meetings there. On the 18th I leave Neury for Fox Rock, Dublin; stopped with my friend Mrs. Margaret Davis, whom God raised up to help me so while in Africa; God bless her forever.’