Lagos - A History In Pictures

In August 1961, Onuora Nzekwu edited a Special Centenary Supplement of Nigeria Magazine, No. 69 (a quarterly publication for everyone interested in Nigeria and its peoples, and edited by Michael Crowther and published by the Federal Government of Nigeria and printed by A Brown & Sons, Hull, England). At the time, the quarterly had been published for over 20 years, and was headquartered at the Exhibition Centre, Marina, Lagos.

This edition, No 69 was dedicated to LAGOS and highlighted the history of the city from 1861 to 1961, thus celebrating the Centenary of this great city.

The magazine, consisting of many advertisements which showed that Nigeria had once been great, with potential, started with a short preface and then several chapters as thus:

  • The British Occupation of Lagos, 1851-61, A Critical Review by J F Ade Ajayi
  • The Beginning of Modern Lagos, Progress over 100 years, by N S Miller
  • Traditional Kingship in Lagos by Dr J Olumide Lucas
  • Lagos – Nigeria's Melting Pot by Akin Mabogunje
  • Brazilian Influence on Lagos by A B Laotan
  • Nigeria's Finest Moment by Cyprian Ekwensi
  • King Eyo Honesty II of Creek Town by J V Clinton
  • Nigeria as seen by Leo Africanus, 1526 (A Note by M Raymond Mauny of Ifan, Dakar)
  • Book Reviews.

I cannot reproduce all the articles in this Magazine, but I have decided to make it a historical pictorial journey, to remind us of our former greatness. Maybe one day at a time, I will reproduce the various fascinating and interesting articles which I am proud to be in possession of, after a world-wide hunt.

The preface started like this:

"On 6th August, 1861, the small Yoruba Kingdom of Lagos was ceded to Britain by its ruler, Dosunmu (wrongly spelt and called, Docemo). Though Britain had been active in Lagos for at least fifteen years beforehand, as well as in many other parts of the Coast, this was the first time they occupied land in what is now the Federation of Nigeria. Today, one hundred years later, Lagos is the capital of the largest independent nation in Africa. From these small beginnings in 1861, Lagos has developed into an international commerce centre, with a vast port and a population of over 350,000 people. This special centenary supplement is an attempt to present some of the factors that led to the occupation of Lagos, its subsequent growth as a commercial and political capital culminating in the achievement of Independence on 1st October, 1960, when Lagos, as capital of the Federation, was the focus of the nation's celebrations."

alt

Top Left: The destruction of Lagos by the British Squadron in 1851 because it was a notorious "slave post".

alt

Top Right: Treaty with Lagos, 1861 signed by British Naval Officers on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen of Great Britain, and Docemo, King of Lagos, on the part of himself and Chiefs.

The Beginnings of Modern Lagos:

alt

Tapa Street Police Station. Rifle slits in walls were provided for repelling attacks

alt

Top: MacGregor Canal, built by Sir William MacGregor before 1900

Bottom: Glover Memorial hall opened in 1887

alt

Top: House on Odunfa Street, plaster work executed by the last of the Brazilian master craftsmen.

Bottom: A typical Brazilian trader's house, fantastic plasterwork but spoilt by the roof

alt

Top: The picture above was taken from a coloured print made in 1859, in the possession of Lagos Yacht Club. At that time, there were 16 British, 2 French, 2 Italian, 3 Hamburg and 5 Brazilian traders in Lagos. The picture below is a panoramic view of the water-front in modern Lagos, 1961

alt

Top: Lagos: 1500 – 1961

alt

Top: A picture of a Lagos Street taken about 1905 showing the steam tramway track running up the centre.

Bottom: Old Carter Bridge (1901-1931) in the background. The railway (foreground) went on to a jetty on the right of the picture where passengers from the mail boats travelled on the "attendant" to the ships lying outside the bar.

alt

Top: Balogun Street about 1910 showing the tram track laid in the roadway

alt

Top: The original Supreme Court in Tinubu Square (1887); note one of Gov. Glover's kerosene lamps and Registrar John L Otumba Payne's office on the right.

Bottom: Methodist Church built in Tinubu Square about 1865, a tower was added later.

alt

Top: CMS House prefabricated in the UK and brought to Lagos from Badagry in 1852 by the Rev Gollner, the first "storey" house to be built in Lagos and was known as "Ile Alapako" or the House of Planks.

Bottom: A 19th Century photo of Lagos marina showing some of the numerous jetties of the time.

alt

Top: The Lagos Steam Train on the Marina about 1910

Bottom: Passenger and freight train crossing on the Marina. The track shown in the foreground was in position until June 1960

alt

Top: Oba Adeniji Adele II, The Oba of Lagos; Bottom Right:

alt Top: Iga Iduganran, official residence of the Oba of Lagos built by the Portuguese at the end of the 18th Century, has given way to the more modern palace.

Bottom Left: Figure of an African mother with children dug up in the tomb of Oba Adele I

Bottom Right: Map of Lagos Island

altalt

Brazilian Influence on Lagos:

alt

Top Right: Yoyo Araromi House situated at the junction of Tokunbo and Oshodi Street, a fine piece of Brazilian architecture

Bottom: The Central Mosque along Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, which was started by Senhor Joao Baptistda Costa and completed by his trainee, Sanusi Aka

altalt

Top: Shitta Mosque along Martin Street was built by Joao (Juan) Baptist da Costa who was second only to Francisco Nobre, the best of the Brazilian masons.

Below Top: Senhor Lazaro Borges da Silva, one of the master masons

Below Bottom: This fantastic plaster work at Odunfa Street was executed by the last of the Brazilian craftsmen about 1913alt

In this remarkable and excellent historical journal, it is important to reproduce here that the great historian, Prof J F Ade Ajayi debunked the theory and the belief that the British bombarded Lagos because it was a notorious "slave depot" in 1851 or annexed it in 1861 because "the permanent occupation of this important point in the Bight of Benin is indispensable to the complete suppression of the slave trade" or the assertion that Britain acquired Lagos "reluctantly and almost under duress". Or that "because the local ruler had revived the slave trade and reduced the flow of legitimate commerce to a trickle"

J F Ade Ajayi contended that "it is at best a half-truth to say Lagos was bombarded in 1851 because it was a "notorious slave depot". The anxiety of the British to intervene in Lagos was not just the philanthropic desire to destroy the slave trading activities of the Portuguese and Brazilians there, but also the economic desire to control the trade of Lagos from which they had hitherto been excluded and from where they hoped to exploit the resources of the vast country stretching to and beyond the Niger"

In fact, the background to the British intervention in Lagos is the international rivalry that existed between the various European Powers to control the trade of important areas in West Africa…… Thus there was a strong commercial interest in Britain's struggle against the slave trade. That is to say, the overseas slave trade, for the internal slave trade which was necessary for the development of legitimate trade was tolerated till the railways and wage labour made it unnecessary, J F Ade Ajayi wrote.

The dispute in 1811 between Akitoye and Kosoko, long before Britain started trying to divide African rulers into those for and those against the slave trade, was also a factor in the British intervention and eventual annexation of Lagos by the British.

I will endeavour to reproduce the whole article(s) at later dates.

I would like to dedicate this effort in reproduction to the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (1938 – 2009), who, though not an Isale-Eko man, lived most, if not all his life in Lagos, and contributed immensely to the rich history and development of Lagos and, and indeed, Nigeria. May his soul rest in perfect Peace.

Eko o ni baje o.

(Please note that I am not from Lagos, but an Ibadan man; however, the history of Nigeria has always been my interest and hobby)

Akintokunbo Adejumo lives and works in London, UK



1
Re: [Article Comment]Lagos - A History In Pictures
What? posted on 09-13-2009, 18:12:20 PM
Good piece, thanks.

Sadly some enterprising foreign graduate student will go to Nigeria armed with a camera, notebook, and recorder, write a book and become an expert on Afro-Brazilian Architecture while our local students who can do the same are still waiting for "big man" jobs or working in banks.

I am waiting for the day the American student that was street hawking appears on CNN or the BBC as an "expert" on the Nigerian parallel economy.
Lagos - A History In Pictures
Free Publius posted on 09-13-2009, 19:58:11 PM

This is an excellent posting.  We look forward to more submissions as promised. 

Lagos - A History In Pictures
Orems1 posted on 09-13-2009, 21:02:56 PM

Excellent excellent. No other comments 

[Article Comment]Lagos - A History In Pictures
Akintokunbo A Adejumo posted on 09-13-2009, 21:30:13 PM

In August 1961, Onuora Nzekwu edited a Special Centenary Supplement of Nigeria Magazine, No. 69 (a quarterly publication for everyone interested in Nigeria and its peoples, and edited by Michael Crowther and published by the Federal Government of Nigeria and printed by A Brown & Sons, Hull, England). At the time, the quarterly had been published for over 20 years, and was headquartered at the Exhibition Centre, Marina, Lagos.

This edition, No 69 was dedicated to LAGOS and highlighted the history of the city from 1861 to 1961, thus celebrating the Centenary of this great city.

The magazine, consisting of many advertisements which showed that Nigeria had once been great, with potential, started with a short preface and then several chapters as thus:

  • The British Occupation of Lagos, 1851-61, A Critical Review by J F Ade Ajayi
  • The Beginning of Modern Lagos, Progress over 100 years, by N S Miller
  • Traditional Kingship in Lagos by Dr J Olumide Lucas
  • Lagos – Nigeria's Melting Pot by Akin Mabogunje
  • Brazilian Influence on Lagos by A B Laotan
  • Nigeria's Finest Moment by Cyprian Ekwensi
  • King Eyo Honesty II of Creek Town by J V Clinton
  • Nigeria as seen by Leo Africanus, 1526 (A Note by M Raymond Mauny of Ifan, Dakar)
  • Book Reviews.

I cannot reproduce all the articles in this Magazine, but I have decided to make it a historical pictorial journey, to remind us of our former greatness. Maybe one day at a time, I will reproduce the various fascinating and interesting articles which I am proud to be in possession of, after a world-wide hunt.

The preface started like this:

"On 6th August, 1861, the small Yoruba Kingdom of Lagos was ceded to Britain by its ruler, Dosunmu (wrongly spelt and called, Docemo). Though Britain had been active in Lagos for at least fifteen years beforehand, as well as in many other parts of the Coast, this was the first time they occupied land in what is now the Federation of Nigeria. Today, one hundred years later, Lagos is the capital of the largest independent nation in Africa. From these small beginnings in 1861, Lagos has developed into an international commerce centre, with a vast port and a population of over 350,000 people. This special centenary supplement is an attempt to present some of the factors that led to the occupation of Lagos, its subsequent growth as a commercial and political capital culminating in the achievement of Independence on 1st October, 1960, when Lagos, as capital of the Federation, was the focus of the nation's celebrations."

alt

Top Left: The destruction of Lagos by the British Squadron in 1851 because it was a notorious "slave post".

alt

Top Right: Treaty with Lagos, 1861 signed by British Naval Officers on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen of Great Britain, and Docemo, King of Lagos, on the part of himself and Chiefs.

The Beginnings of Modern Lagos:

alt

Tapa Street Police Station. Rifle slits in walls were provided for repelling attacks

alt

Top: MacGregor Canal, built by Sir William MacGregor before 1900

Bottom: Glover Memorial hall opened in 1887

alt

Top: House on Odunfa Street, plaster work executed by the last of the Brazilian master craftsmen.

Bottom: A typical Brazilian trader's house, fantastic plasterwork but spoilt by the roof

alt

Top: The picture above was taken from a coloured print made in 1859, in the possession of Lagos Yacht Club. At that time, there were 16 British, 2 French, 2 Italian, 3 Hamburg and 5 Brazilian traders in Lagos. The picture below is a panoramic view of the water-front in modern Lagos, 1961

alt

Top: Lagos: 1500 – 1961

alt

Top: A picture of a Lagos Street taken about 1905 showing the steam tramway track running up the centre.

Bottom: Old Carter Bridge (1901-1931) in the background. The railway (foreground) went on to a jetty on the right of the picture where passengers from the mail boats travelled on the "attendant" to the ships lying outside the bar.

alt

Top: Balogun Street about 1910 showing the tram track laid in the roadway

alt

Top: The original Supreme Court in Tinubu Square (1887); note one of Gov. Glover's kerosene lamps and Registrar John L Otumba Payne's office on the right.

Bottom: Methodist Church built in Tinubu Square about 1865, a tower was added later.

alt

Top: CMS House prefabricated in the UK and brought to Lagos from Badagry in 1852 by the Rev Gollner, the first "storey" house to be built in Lagos and was known as "Ile Alapako" or the House of Planks.

Bottom: A 19th Century photo of Lagos marina showing some of the numerous jetties of the time.

alt

Top: The Lagos Steam Train on the Marina about 1910

Bottom: Passenger and freight train crossing on the Marina. The track shown in the foreground was in position until June 1960

alt

Top: Oba Adeniji Adele II, The Oba of Lagos; Bottom Right:

alt Top: Iga Iduganran, official residence of the Oba of Lagos built by the Portuguese at the end of the 18th Century, has given way to the more modern palace.

Bottom Left: Figure of an African mother with children dug up in the tomb of Oba Adele I

Bottom Right: Map of Lagos Island

altalt

Brazilian Influence on Lagos:

alt

Top Right: Yoyo Araromi House situated at the junction of Tokunbo and Oshodi Street, a fine piece of Brazilian architecture

Bottom: The Central Mosque along Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, which was started by Senhor Joao Baptistda Costa and completed by his trainee, Sanusi Aka

altalt

Top: Shitta Mosque along Martin Street was built by Joao (Juan) Baptist da Costa who was second only to Francisco Nobre, the best of the Brazilian masons.

Below Top: Senhor Lazaro Borges da Silva, one of the master masons

Below Bottom: This fantastic plaster work at Odunfa Street was executed by the last of the Brazilian craftsmen about 1913alt

In this remarkable and excellent historical journal, it is important to reproduce here that the great historian, Prof J F Ade Ajayi debunked the theory and the belief that the British bombarded Lagos because it was a notorious "slave depot" in 1851 or annexed it in 1861 because "the permanent occupation of this important point in the Bight of Benin is indispensable to the complete suppression of the slave trade" or the assertion that Britain acquired Lagos "reluctantly and almost under duress". Or that "because the local ruler had revived the slave trade and reduced the flow of legitimate commerce to a trickle"

J F Ade Ajayi contended that "it is at best a half-truth to say Lagos was bombarded in 1851 because it was a "notorious slave depot". The anxiety of the British to intervene in Lagos was not just the philanthropic desire to destroy the slave trading activities of the Portuguese and Brazilians there, but also the economic desire to control the trade of Lagos from which they had hitherto been excluded and from where they hoped to exploit the resources of the vast country stretching to and beyond the Niger"

In fact, the background to the British intervention in Lagos is the international rivalry that existed between the various European Powers to control the trade of important areas in West AfricaÂ…Â… Thus there was a strong commercial interest in Britain's struggle against the slave trade. That is to say, the overseas slave trade, for the internal slave trade which was necessary for the development of legitimate trade was tolerated till the railways and wage labour made it unnecessary, J F Ade Ajayi wrote.

The dispute in 1811 between Akitoye and Kosoko, long before Britain started trying to divide African rulers into those for and those against the slave trade, was also a factor in the British intervention and eventual annexation of Lagos by the British.

I will endeavour to reproduce the whole article(s) at later dates.

I would like to dedicate this effort in reproduction to the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (1938 – 2009), who, though not an Isale-Eko man, lived most, if not all his life in Lagos, and contributed immensely to the rich history and development of Lagos and, and indeed, Nigeria. May his soul rest in perfect Peace.

Eko o ni baje o.

(Please note that I am not from Lagos, but an Ibadan man; however, the history of Nigeria has always been my interest and hobby)

Akintokunbo Adejumo lives and works in London, UK



..Read the full article
Re: [Article Comment]Lagos - A History In Pictures
Anonimi posted on 09-13-2009, 21:30:13 PM

In August 1961, Onuora Nzekwu edited a Special Centenary Supplement of Nigeria Magazine, No. 69 (a quarterly publication for everyone interested in Nigeria and its peoples, and edited by Michael Crowther and published by the Federal Government of Nigeria and printed by A Brown & Sons, Hull, England). At the time, the quarterly had been published for over 20 years, and was headquartered at the Exhibition Centre, Marina, Lagos.

This edition, No 69 was dedicated to LAGOS and highlighted the history of the city from 1861 to 1961, thus celebrating the Centenary of this great city.

The magazine, consisting of many advertisements which showed that Nigeria had once been great, with potential, started with a short preface and then several chapters as thus:

  • The British Occupation of Lagos, 1851-61, A Critical Review by J F Ade Ajayi
  • The Beginning of Modern Lagos, Progress over 100 years, by N S Miller
  • Traditional Kingship in Lagos by Dr J Olumide Lucas
  • Lagos – Nigeria's Melting Pot by Akin Mabogunje
  • Brazilian Influence on Lagos by A B Laotan
  • Nigeria's Finest Moment by Cyprian Ekwensi
  • King Eyo Honesty II of Creek Town by J V Clinton
  • Nigeria as seen by Leo Africanus, 1526 (A Note by M Raymond Mauny of Ifan, Dakar)
  • Book Reviews.

I cannot reproduce all the articles in this Magazine, but I have decided to make it a historical pictorial journey, to remind us of our former greatness. Maybe one day at a time, I will reproduce the various fascinating and interesting articles which I am proud to be in possession of, after a world-wide hunt.

The preface started like this:

"On 6th August, 1861, the small Yoruba Kingdom of Lagos was ceded to Britain by its ruler, Dosunmu (wrongly spelt and called, Docemo). Though Britain had been active in Lagos for at least fifteen years beforehand, as well as in many other parts of the Coast, this was the first time they occupied land in what is now the Federation of Nigeria. Today, one hundred years later, Lagos is the capital of the largest independent nation in Africa. From these small beginnings in 1861, Lagos has developed into an international commerce centre, with a vast port and a population of over 350,000 people. This special centenary supplement is an attempt to present some of the factors that led to the occupation of Lagos, its subsequent growth as a commercial and political capital culminating in the achievement of Independence on 1st October, 1960, when Lagos, as capital of the Federation, was the focus of the nation's celebrations."

alt

Top Left: The destruction of Lagos by the British Squadron in 1851 because it was a notorious "slave post".

alt

Top Right: Treaty with Lagos, 1861 signed by British Naval Officers on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen of Great Britain, and Docemo, King of Lagos, on the part of himself and Chiefs.

The Beginnings of Modern Lagos:

alt

Tapa Street Police Station. Rifle slits in walls were provided for repelling attacks

alt

Top: MacGregor Canal, built by Sir William MacGregor before 1900

Bottom: Glover Memorial hall opened in 1887

alt

Top: House on Odunfa Street, plaster work executed by the last of the Brazilian master craftsmen.

Bottom: A typical Brazilian trader's house, fantastic plasterwork but spoilt by the roof

alt

Top: The picture above was taken from a coloured print made in 1859, in the possession of Lagos Yacht Club. At that time, there were 16 British, 2 French, 2 Italian, 3 Hamburg and 5 Brazilian traders in Lagos. The picture below is a panoramic view of the water-front in modern Lagos, 1961

alt

Top: Lagos: 1500 – 1961

alt

Top: A picture of a Lagos Street taken about 1905 showing the steam tramway track running up the centre.

Bottom: Old Carter Bridge (1901-1931) in the background. The railway (foreground) went on to a jetty on the right of the picture where passengers from the mail boats travelled on the "attendant" to the ships lying outside the bar.

alt

Top: Balogun Street about 1910 showing the tram track laid in the roadway

alt

Top: The original Supreme Court in Tinubu Square (1887); note one of Gov. Glover's kerosene lamps and Registrar John L Otumba Payne's office on the right.

Bottom: Methodist Church built in Tinubu Square about 1865, a tower was added later.

alt

Top: CMS House prefabricated in the UK and brought to Lagos from Badagry in 1852 by the Rev Gollner, the first "storey" house to be built in Lagos and was known as "Ile Alapako" or the House of Planks.

Bottom: A 19th Century photo of Lagos marina showing some of the numerous jetties of the time.

alt

Top: The Lagos Steam Train on the Marina about 1910

Bottom: Passenger and freight train crossing on the Marina. The track shown in the foreground was in position until June 1960

alt

Top: Oba Adeniji Adele II, The Oba of Lagos; Bottom Right:

alt Top: Iga Iduganran, official residence of the Oba of Lagos built by the Portuguese at the end of the 18th Century, has given way to the more modern palace.

Bottom Left: Figure of an African mother with children dug up in the tomb of Oba Adele I

Bottom Right: Map of Lagos Island

altalt

Brazilian Influence on Lagos:

alt

Top Right: Yoyo Araromi House situated at the junction of Tokunbo and Oshodi Street, a fine piece of Brazilian architecture

Bottom: The Central Mosque along Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, which was started by Senhor Joao Baptistda Costa and completed by his trainee, Sanusi Aka

altalt

Top: Shitta Mosque along Martin Street was built by Joao (Juan) Baptist da Costa who was second only to Francisco Nobre, the best of the Brazilian masons.

Below Top: Senhor Lazaro Borges da Silva, one of the master masons

Below Bottom: This fantastic plaster work at Odunfa Street was executed by the last of the Brazilian craftsmen about 1913alt

In this remarkable and excellent historical journal, it is important to reproduce here that the great historian, Prof J F Ade Ajayi debunked the theory and the belief that the British bombarded Lagos because it was a notorious "slave depot" in 1851 or annexed it in 1861 because "the permanent occupation of this important point in the Bight of Benin is indispensable to the complete suppression of the slave trade" or the assertion that Britain acquired Lagos "reluctantly and almost under duress". Or that "because the local ruler had revived the slave trade and reduced the flow of legitimate commerce to a trickle"

J F Ade Ajayi contended that "it is at best a half-truth to say Lagos was bombarded in 1851 because it was a "notorious slave depot". The anxiety of the British to intervene in Lagos was not just the philanthropic desire to destroy the slave trading activities of the Portuguese and Brazilians there, but also the economic desire to control the trade of Lagos from which they had hitherto been excluded and from where they hoped to exploit the resources of the vast country stretching to and beyond the Niger"

In fact, the background to the British intervention in Lagos is the international rivalry that existed between the various European Powers to control the trade of important areas in West AfricaÂ…Â… Thus there was a strong commercial interest in Britain's struggle against the slave trade. That is to say, the overseas slave trade, for the internal slave trade which was necessary for the development of legitimate trade was tolerated till the railways and wage labour made it unnecessary, J F Ade Ajayi wrote.

The dispute in 1811 between Akitoye and Kosoko, long before Britain started trying to divide African rulers into those for and those against the slave trade, was also a factor in the British intervention and eventual annexation of Lagos by the British.

I will endeavour to reproduce the whole article(s) at later dates.

I would like to dedicate this effort in reproduction to the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (1938 – 2009), who, though not an Isale-Eko man, lived most, if not all his life in Lagos, and contributed immensely to the rich history and development of Lagos and, and indeed, Nigeria. May his soul rest in perfect Peace.

Eko o ni baje o.

(Please note that I am not from Lagos, but an Ibadan man; however, the history of Nigeria has always been my interest and hobby)

Akintokunbo Adejumo lives and works in London, UK



..Read the full article
Re: [Article Comment]Lagos - A History In Pictures
Agidimolaja posted on 09-13-2009, 23:08:30 PM
Thanks again,'Tokunbo. You always make my day anytime you came up with historical facts and you did the same today as I arrived back from some weeks of vacation.

As an ardent student of history, I'm always so happy with people who know history and are generous enough to present history as it is.

Pls, see to it that you did not stop to do what you are currently doing for us.
Lagos - A History In Pictures
Anioma777 posted on 09-14-2009, 18:47:00 PM

Well done for posting this pictorial article. It is very refeshing to see a fellow Nigerian who has an interest in the past,and taking the time and effort to publish. Well done sir, if only there where more like you.

Lagos - A History In Pictures
Gringory posted on 09-15-2009, 08:49:14 AM

Great - I look forward to your future articles.

For those who are interested, you may want to checkout http://happylagosian.blogspot.com/ for some fantastic pictures of old and new Lagos.

1
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