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Encyclopedia > J. E. Casely Hayford
Photograph of J.E. Casely Hayford
Photograph of J.E. Casely Hayford

Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford or Ekra-Agiman (18661930) was a Fante journalist, author, lawyer, educator, and politician who supported pan-African nationalism. He was born on September 29, 1866 in Cape Coast, in the British Gold Coast colony, now Ghana. His family, part of the Anono clan, was fairly wealthy, and his father was Reverend Joseph de Graft Hayford. 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link is to a full 1930 calendar). ... For the writer, see John Fante. ... Journalism is a discipline of collecting, analyzing, verifying, and presenting news regarding current events, trends, issues and people. ... Pan-Africanism is a term which can have two separate, but related meanings. ... September 29 is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years). ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Cape Coast, Ghana. ... Gold Coast is a popular name for various areas and cities around the world which are located along the coast of an ocean or some other significant body of water, and often have many wealthy residential areas. ... The Reverend is an honorary prefix added to the names of Christian clergy and ministers. ...


Early life

He attended the Wesleyan Boys High School in Cape Coast, and Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone. While in Freetown, Casely Hayford became an admirer and follower of Edward Wilmot Blyden, the foremost pan-African figure at the time, who edited Negro, the first explicitly pan-African journal in West Africa. Upon his return to Ghana, he became a high school teacher, and eventually principal at Accra Wesleyan High School. He was dismissed from his position at the school for his political activism, which prompted him to go work as a newspaper editor, first for his uncle James Hutton Brew at the Gold Coast Echo, then the Gold Coast Chronicle, and the Wesleyan Methodist Times. Map of Sierra Leone showing the capital Freetown Freetown, population 1,070,200 (2004), is the largest city and capital of Sierra Leone, lying on the Freetown Peninsula on the Atlantic coast. ...  Western Africa (UN subregion)  Maghreb West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. ...

In 1893, Casely Hayford traveled to London, and trained to be a barrister at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar November 17, 1896 and returned to Ghana in that year to private law practices in Cape Coast, Axim, Sekondi and Accra, as well as continuing his work as a journalist, editing the Gold Coast Leader. In 1904, he helped found the Mfantsipim School, and in 1910 succeeded John Mensah Sarbah as president of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society. 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom. ... The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple is one of the four Inns of Court around the Royal Courts of Justice in London, England, to which barristers belong and where they are called to the Bar. ... Full name Peterhouse Motto - Named after St Peter Previous names The Scholars of the Bishop of Ely St Peter’s College Established 1284 Sister College(s) Merton College Master The Lord Wilson of Tillyorn Location Trumpington Street Undergraduates 253 Postgraduates 125 Homepage Boatclub The chapel cloisters, through which Old Court... 17 November is also the name of a Marxist group in Greece, coinciding with the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. ... 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Axim is a town, district and kingdom on the coast of Ghana, West Africa. ... Sekondi-Takoradi, population 93,822 (1984), is the capital of the Western Region of Ghana. ... The skyline Location of Accra Labadi Beach Downtown Accra Accra, population 1,970,400 (2005), is the capital of Ghana. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Assembly Hall Mfantsipim School is a high school in Cape Coast, in Ghanas Central Region. ... 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ...

Political activism

Casely Hayford went on to write several books, primarily as commentary and opposition to British land management acts, such as the Crown Lands Bill of 1897, and the Forest Ordinance of 1911. His view was that African identity and African social stability were inextricably linked to conservation of existing conventions concerning land rights. 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ...

Casely Hayford was also heavily involved in the political movement for African emancipation. He participated in Booker T. Washington's International Conference on the Negro in 1912, and his correspondence with Washington fostered the pan-African movement in both Africa and the United States.[1] Booker T. Washington Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American political leader, educator and author. ...

Casely Hayford’s career in public office began with his nomination to the Legislative Council in 1916. As a legislator he served on various public commissions, and received an MBE in 1919. In the same year he formed West Africa’s first nationalist movement, the National Congress of British West Africa, one of the earliest formal organizations working toward African emancipation.[2] He represented the Congress in London in 1920, to demand constitutional reforms from the colonial secretary, and address the League of Nations Union, but was criticized for accepting inadequate concessions from the British. He was also elected as municipal member for Sekondi in September 1927. The National Congress was dissolved shortly after Casely Hayford's death in 1930. 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are... 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 3 - Babe Ruth is traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees for $125,000, the largest sum ever paid for a player at that time. ... The Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, built between 1929 and 1938, was constructed as the Leagues headquarters. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ...

Casely Hayford's novel Ethiopia Unbound is one of the first novels in English by an African, and has been cited as the earliest pan-African fiction.[3] The novel is set in both Africa and England, and relies on philosophical debates between an African and his English friend, as well as references to contemporary African events and ancient African history, to provide a context for its exploration of African identity and the struggle for emancipation. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Africa (disambiguation). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


  • The Truth About The West African Land Question (1898. Reprinted, 1913. Reprinted London: Cass, 1971)
  • Gold Coast Native Institutions: With Thoughts Upon A Healthy Imperial Policy for the Gold Coast and Ashanti (1903. Reprinted London: Cass, 1970, ISBN 0-7146-1754-7)
  • Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation (1911. Reprinted London: Cass, 1969, ISBN 0-7146-1753-9)
  • Gold Coast Land Tenure and the Forest Bill (1911)
  • William Waddy Harris, the West African reformer (1915)
  • United West Africa (1919)
  • West African Leadership: Public speeches delivered by the Honourable J. E. Casely Hayford - edited by Magnus J. Sampson (1951)


  1. ^ Eluwa, G. I. C., "Background to the Emergence of the National Congress of British West Africa" (African Studies Review, Vol. 14, No. 2. [1971], 205-218), 213.
  2. ^ Eluwa 216.
  3. ^ Osei-Nyame, Kwadwo, "Pan-Africanist Ideology and the African Historical Novel of Self-Discovery: The Examples of Kobina Sekyi and J. E. Casely Hayford" (Journal of African Cultural Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 [1999], 137-153), 139n1.
  • Thoemmes Continuum - The History of Ideas: Writings of Ekra-Agiman (J.E. Casely Hayford)



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