Mary Slessor's house

Mary Slessor’s house in Calabar and its history

Mary Mitchell Slessor was a Scottish missionary sent by the United Presbyterian Church to Nigeria in the 19th century. Mary Slessor house, erected around 1880 in Akpap Village, Calabar, Cross River State, is one of the monuments dedicated to her memory. 

Initially, the home was a two-bedroom mud house with a veranda, a store, and a parlor. She referred to it as a “caravan,” but the locals referred to it as “good pass all.” In 1889, Mr. Owens, a missionary carpenter, was commissioned to construct a more permanent structure for her. The walls were composed of iron sheets with wooden doors and windows.

Miss Slessor acted as a female magistrate and a skilled diplomatic ambassador when Southern Nigeria became a British Protectorate. She got the Efik moniker Obongawan Okoyong (Queen of Okoyong) for her efforts in Okoyong.  

She was also instrumental in establishing the Hope Waddell Training Institute in Calabar, which provided Efiks vocational training. Miss Slessor is widely regarded as a hero in Nigeria’s history, and the Mary Slessor House stands as a historical site in honor of the missionary in Ekenge, Calabar, Cross River State.

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