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The Recruitment, Training and Conflicts surrounding “Native teachers” in the Moravian Mission in the Danish West Indies in the Nineteenth Century

  • Jan Hüsgen


This article studies the role of indigenous teachers within the school system run by the Moravian mission in the Danish West Indies. The mission opened its first day schools for enslaved children in 1841 a few years before the abolition of slavery. The missionaries were reliant on the support of teachers of Afro-Caribbean origin, which were trained in one of the teacher training institutes run by the Mico-Charity Society. This article proposes that the recruitment of Afro-Caribbean teachers with different denominational backgrounds and professional education challenged the mission hierarchy. This will be pointed out by focusing on the recruitment and training of the teachers and by an analysis of their position within the mission society.



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Jan Hüsgen is a Research Associate at the Department for Research and Scientific Cooperation at the Dresden State Art Collections (Germany). His main research interests are the Moravian mission in the Danish and British Caribbean, with a special focus on slavery and slave emancipation.



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Primary Sources
Unity Archives, Herrnhut, Germany (UA):
Minutes of the Unity Elders Conference (UEC)
R 15 Bb 26h, Letters from the Mission in the Danish West Indies to the UEC (1834–1843)
R 15 Bb 26i, Letters from the Mission in the Danish West Indies to the UEC (1844–1854)
R 15 Ba 28, Minutes of the School Conference in Friedensthal, St. Croix 1841
R 15 Bb 19 (b), Negotiations with the Danish Government
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The Recruitment, Training and Conflicts surrounding “Native teachers” in the Moravian Mission in the Danish West Indies in the Nineteenth Century

  • Jan Hüsgen


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