Reprint from Sierra Leone Studies, no. 1, December 1953

Sir Samuel Lewis and the Legislative Council

It is fifty years since the death of that distinguished Sierra Leonean, Sir Samuel Lewis. Although the study I am making of

his work in the Legislative Council is far from complete, the occasion demands some commemoration of his achievements. This is chiefly based on the minutes of council and on official dispatches. The latter I have consulted both in the Sierra Leone archives (where they are incomplete), and the the C.O. 267 series in the Public Record Office, London. As the latter series is chronologically arranged and specific dispatches are easily found from the catalogue I have given volume numbers only in the case of private letters placed in the official files.

There is a short sketch by F.W. Hooke, "Life-story of a Negro Knight, Sir Samuel Lewis" (Freetown, 1915). Lewis himself wrote three pamphlets: "A Few Suggestions of the Wants of Sierra Leone written for the information of a Member of Parliament" (1879); a reprint of his address to the Sierra Leone Association of 6th August, 1885; and "The Agricultural Position of Sierra Leone" (Liverpool, 1881), which I have not seen. He also wrote an introduction to E.W. Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race (London, 1886). I have received valuable assistance from Sir Samuel's surviving children of his second marriage, Evelyn Lewis, Esq, and Mrs Richards, and from Mr. C.H. Fyfe.

Samuel Lewis was born on 13th November, 1843, second son of a liberated African merchant ofSir Samuel Lewis, 1843-1903 Oxford Street. He received his early education at the Government School, the Buxton Wesleyan School and, from 1857 till 1861, at the C.M.S. Grammar School. After a few years in business with his father he went to England in 1866. He returned to Freetown in 1872, having qualified as solicitor and barrister. His legal career lies beyond the scope of this article; stories are still told in Freetown of his shrewdness and forensic brilliance. He soon became the acknowledged leader of the Freetown Bar, and received many tempting offers of legal or judicial office under the Crown. In 1872, the very year of his return, he became acting Queen's Advocate of Serra Leone; later he acted as Chief Justice, and was offered various permanent appointments in the West African settlements.1 But these he always declined; his chief service to Sierra Leone was to be as an unofficial member of the Legislative Council.

The Legislative Council of Sierra Leone began its separate existence in October, 1863; previously legislative and executive

1 He acted as Queen's Advocate of Sierra Leone from November, 1872, till February, 1874, and for a few weeks in the first half of 1895; as Chief Justice for short periods in early 1882 and in August and September, 1894. According to Hooke, Lewis acted as Queen's Advocate of Lagos in 1874, and was offered permanencies as Chief Magistrate of the Gold Coast (1873) and as Police Magistrate in Sierra Leone. The latter post he also held temporarily.

functions were concentrated in a single Council. Besides the Governor, the new Council originally consisted of the Chief Justice, the Officer Commanding the Troops, the Colonial Secretary, and the Queen's Advocate (all members also of the Executive Council), plus three or four members nominated by the Governor, subject to Colonial Office approval. In 1863 these were Commissiong, Collector of Customs (who sat for four months only), Dr. R. Bradshaw, Colonial Surgeon; Charles Heddle, the fabulously rich European merchant; and John Ezzidio, a Liberated African merchant who was nominated by a rather complicated procedure intended to obtain " the recommendation of the merchants generally".1 Members in this category were referred to as "non--official members", and mentioned in the minutes by name rather than office, even though some of them were salaried officials of the Colony.2 But soon there were changes in the Council - a growth in its responsibilities,

accompanied by an increase in the proportion of purely unofficial African members. This followed the report of the British Parliamentary Committee of 1865 and its policy of promoting early self-government in the West African settlements (an uninspiring policy, be it said, inspired by complacent anti-imperialism rather than genuine liberalism, conceived with little vision, and conducted with little zeal). By 1872 there were in the Council, besides the Governor and the four permanent members, only one nominated official (the Colonial Treasurer) and three African unofficial members.3 In addition, official seats were quite often occupied by Africans, including Lewis himself. Although Sierra Leone was the one West African settlement from which even the 1865 committee had not recommended complete British withdrawal, and although its readiness for self-government was probably exaggerated by many people (notably the demagogically inclined

1 On the choice of Ezzidio, see Newcastle to Blackall, Conf. 8th October, 1863; Blackall to Newcastle, 152, 16th December, 1863; Newcastle to Blackall, 451, 23rd January 1864.
2See, e.g., Kennedy to Kimberley, 237, 22nd December, 1869; and on the general status of such "nominated officials", the Buckingham circular of 17th August, 1868. (Cited M. Wight, "Development of the Legislative Council," pp. 109-110.)
3Technically there were for a time four - Ezzidio (1863-1872), William Grant (1870-1882), Syble Boyle (1872-1894, with temporary membership from 1870), and Henry Lumpkin, Senior (1872-1877, with temporary membership from 1870). But Ezzidio had long been unwell, and never sat with the other three before his death late in 1872.

Governor Pope-Hennessy),1 it seemed likely that the Legislative Council might soon develop into a body through which the Creole élite of merchants and professionals would come to control the local affairs of the Sierra Leone peninsula.

Lewis first sat as a temporary unofficial member of the Legislative Council in October, 1874, but he was not nominated to a vacancy on the unofficial side until March, 1882. He seems to have been rather impatient at the delay; in his pamphlet of 1879 he suggested that unofficial members should normally sit for two years only, so that more Africans might gain experience of the Council.2 But once his own appointment came through Lewis quickly acquired a position of leadership in the Council unequalled by any African before or since.

Despite the increase in this quasi-representative element in the Council, responsible government or democratic elections were still hardly contemplated. Power remained concentrated in the Governor and the minimum role of the Legislative council was that of a check, a guarantee that power would not be used arbitrarily in disregard of all local opinion. How could the unofficial members best make their contribution and help the influence of the Council to increase further? Lewis believed they should regard themselves as "virtual representatives" of the general public. "Unlike the Unofficial Members in some other of Her Majesty's Colonies," he declared in 1892, "those in Sierra Leone do not study to oppose any and every measure proposed by the Government, but rather to give it frank support whenever they can honestly do so." But this, he added, did not affect their right to criticize Government policy, fairly but severely, whenever they judged it necessary.3 By presenting petitions from members of the Freetown community (and sometimes by stimulating them), by voicing grievances, especially in debates on the Estimates, by applying his legal training to the scrutiny of the Ordinances submitted to the Council, Lewis built up his reputation as chief spokesman of the people, as an informal "leader of the unofficial

1See my article on "Idealism in African Politics", The Twentieth Century, May 1953 - which flatters him.
2"A Few Suggestions..." But on this subject Lewis changed his mind after his own nomination. In 1895 Governor Cardew sought to clear up the question of the tenure of unofficial members (cautiously avoided by all previous Governors) by restricting it to five years, so that Lewis would retire in 1901. Lewis, who was acting as Chief Justice, criticized the proposal in Executive Council as likely to make unofficial members less free and independent in their criticism. Cardew to Ripon, 101, 23rd May, 1895.
3 Lewis, Leg. Co. 23rd May, 1892.

members".1 He was, moreover, especially vigilant for any sign of neglect of the rights and privileges of the Legislative Council. Members of Council, he held, had the right to the fullest information about all matters they were asked to discuss, especially if money was to be voted; members of the public, in turn, should be kept informed about the work of the Council. The Governor should not enforce the passage of measures by the votes of the official majority without giving proper consideration to the views of the unofficials, and to any petitions they might present. And in defending these privileges of the Council Lewis might on occasion find support from the "official side" - notably from the Chief Justice or the military representative, who differed from the other "officials" in working less directly under the authority of the Governor.2

What did Lewis achieve through his labours in the Council? Three of the many measures for which he was largely responsible may be briefly mentioned. The long and complicated Freetown Municipality Ordinance of 1893 and the supplementary Improvement Ordinance of 1899 both owed much to his patient work at details, in his office, in committee, and in Council. It was very fitting that he should serve as the first Mayor of Freetown, under this Ordinance, from 1895 till 1897, and again in 1899. Critics may say that the Municipality would have had a better start if Lewis had given a more courageous lead in pointing out the responsibilities involved in local self-government, notably the responsibility for raising revenue; yet Lewis, who did denounce in Council public reluctance "to take up the responsibilities of citizenship" and declare that "we had had too much done for us",3 can hardly carry all the blame for the not-unprecedented reluctance of the public to pay direct taxation.

Lewis was a devout Wesleyan; and one of the first matters to engage his attention on his return to the Colony was the privileged financial position of the Church of England. On 25th November, 1872, a few days after first taking his seat as acting Queen's Advocate, the twenty-nine year old Lewis provoked a burst of criticism by declaring the application of public money towards the salary of the Bishop to be "unsound in principle and injurious to the settlement".

1 Bishop, Leg. Co., 3rd May, 1895
2For examples of Lewis's views on the rights of the Council see, e.g. Leg. Co., 4th March, 1886; 25th August, 1886; 14th December, 1893; 9th May, 1896; 10th June, 1896.
3Lewis, Leg. Co. 13th November, 1892; also 21st February, 1893

For many years Lewis would register a vain protest against the Estimates for the ecclesiastical vote; but he was in fact on the winning side in a debate which was at this time going on throughout the British Empire. From 1892 he began to intensify his opposition and, when doubts were expressed about his claim to speak for the community, to mobilize opinion in favour of disestablishment in the form of petitions.1 There were petitions on the other side too; but the Secretary of State was

persuaded that the Colony was ready for a change, and in 1898 the Church was disendowed, under a scheme worked out with the full co-operation of Bishop Taylor-Smith (who described it as "a blessing in disguise" for Anglicanism).2

Like the father of his first wife, Moses Pindar Horton, Lewis believed that if Sierra Leone was to prosper as a healthy community her agriculture would have to be developed and extended. He tried to play his own part by personal action. In 1882 he purchased from the Crown the large estate near Waterloo known (after his first wife) as Christineville, and there carried out experimental work in the growing of coffee, rubber, and other trade crops, and in stock-rearing. In England in 1889 he attended the agricultural college at Hollesley Bay; even so, the Christineville estate was not a success, and he lost heavily on it.3 His influence on public policy was more fortunate; it was a cogently-written and well-informed memorandum which he submitted to Governor Cardew in August, 1894, that led to the establishment of the Botanical Garden in Freetown (near the Pademba Road) and to the inauguration of agricultural shows with prizes as inducements to farmers.4

These were among Lewis's successes; but, given the status of the Legislative Council in his time, there were severe limitations to the influence which an unofficial member could hope to exercise. In the first place, much depended on the personal attitude of  individual Governors. As one reads dispatches and debates, it is clear that some Governors regarded Lewis as a genuinely valuable adviser, whose co-operation was of the greatest value to the government. Others

1Leg. Co., 17th December, 1892; 5th December, 1893; 31st October, 1894; enclosures in Cardew to Chamberlain, Conf. 37, 8th July, 1896
2Chalmers Report (1899), Part II, para. 8186.
3On Christineville, see H.O. Newland, Sierra Leone: Its People, Products, and Secret Societies (London, 1916), pp.33-4; S.L. Archives, Minute Paper Conf. 88/1910; and Lewis's evidence to the Chalmers Commission. (II, pp.133ff.)
4Enclosed in Cardew to Ripon, 230, 9th August, 1894. See also Lewis, Leg. Co., 1st June, 1887.

regarded him as an able man whom it would be safer to have as an ally than as a critic. In 1892, when the Government was perturbed by the ritual murders in the Imperri, Acting Governor Quayle-Jones temporarily appointed Lewis to be an unofficial member of the Executive Council. But this was done, Quayle-Jones admitted, "not only with a view to obtaining his advice, but also so as to save unnecessary discussion in the Legislative Council should it unfortunately be necessary to pass an Ordinance" (authorizing the detention of a British subject with whom Lewis was acquainted".1
Other Governors were  less anxious to veil their mistrust or dislike of Lewis; most important of these was Governor Cardew. During his administration there came to the surface the most fundamental of the Colony's problems, a hitherto partially submerged reef which was to prevent the unofficial minority  from steering a smooth and direct course to local autonomy.

The Legislative Council as described above was a not unsatisfactory institution for governing a small coastal settlement; but in the later nineteenth century it was becoming clear that Sierra Leone could  not permanently remain a small coastal settlement. In his pamphlet of 1879 Lewis himself, recognizing that a Council of men from the peninsula were governing a Colony no longer confined to the peninsula, had suggested that a representative should be appointed from the Sherbro. But including a merchant from Bonthe would in no real sense have given representation to the tribes of the Sherbro and the adjoining districts who, nominally at least, had formed part of the Colony since 1861. By the 1880's it was clear that the proportion of territory of this sort which would pass under Imperial control was bound to increase; ironically enough, it was Lewis and other leaders of the Freetown community who were most insistent that British control should be extended over a greater part of the hinterland. In 1885 Lewis was taking a leading part in the Sierra Leone Association - a most interesting organization of merchants and others concerned to revive the trade of the Colony. The depression of that year was attributed locally to the advance of French authority (and French tariffs) in the northern rivers and beyond Falaba, and to the tribal wars in the interior which led to frequent closing of the trade routes on which Freetown's prosperity depended. In fact, causes at least equally important were to be found in world economic trends - one of the cyclical depressions of

1 Quayle-Jones to Knutsford, Conf. 10, 1st March, 1892

trade reached its "trough" in 1885-6 - but it was only natural that local attention should be focused on the more tangible factors. On 6th August, 1885, Lewis addressed a public meeting of the Sierra Leone Association in Freetown and found almost unanimous assent to his demand that "as often as occasion offers within certain limits into the interior, the Government should acquire a more permanent jurisdiction"; his predominantly African audience differed mainly as to the means by which such expansion should be carried out.1

This demand did not end when trade began to recover; and it soon found increasing support among traders and intellectual imperialists in Great Britain. In a discussion at the Royal Colonial Institute in London in 1889, Lewis again urged the extension of British authority, lest Sierra Leone should become "urbs et praeterea nihil" - a mere strip of coast, driven to seek closer association with Liberia.2 In 1892 Lewis (though he does not seem to have engaged in trade himself) became Vice-President of the reconstituted Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce; in the same year the Manchester Chamber of Commerce set up its "African Sectional Committee".3 This body, and the corresponding one at Liverpool, now began to keep a watch on all West African developments which might affect commercial prospects in any way, and to press its advice on the Colonial Office at any sign that British interests in the hinterland might be neglected. Sometimes these British committees got their information from the Freetown agents of their constituent firms, but sometimes it came from the Freetown press and sometimes from direct correspondence with the Freetown Chamber. This mercantile pressure, though not in itself decisive, played an important part in the decision to establish a Protectorate, plans for which were being seriously discussed from 1893 onwards.

Before any final details had been settled Colonel Frederick Cardew had arrived at Freetown to act as Governor in March 1894; he was to remain for six years, which were perhaps the most formative period in the whole history of modern Sierra Leone. This is not the place to discuss in detail the achievements and mistakes of this able, energetic, courageous, autocratic, and intolerant soldier, who had

1See the pamphlet already cited, also Lewis, Leg. Co., 21st May 1885, and the enclosures in Rowe to Stanley, 24th August, 1885.
2Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute, 15th Jan, 1889; Vol XX, pp. 113-17.
3Annual reports of this committee, published by the Chamber from 1893 onwards, reprint some of its correspondence with the Colonial Office.

first turned to colonial administration in Zululand four years earlier. He is important for those interested in Lewis, because his policy of establishing and consolidating the Protectorate was the occasion of serious conflict, and a decline in the latter's influence. Cardew had little confidence in the Creoles as a people (though there were important exceptions to his dislike), and did not think them ready for self-government. (It was unfortunate that his first years in Sierra Leone saw a number of charges, of varying gravity, levelled against leading African officials.) The number of African unofficial members in the Legislative council shrank to two during most of Cardew's tenure of office. And Lewis, most distinguished of these, soon became the chief target of Cardew's dislike.1

In 1893 Lewis had received the C.M.G., and in the New Year Honours' List of 1896 he became the first African knight. The very natural increase in his pride and self-confidence seems to have been accompanied by the beginning of a decline in his powers; there are references to failing eyesight, to neglect of his legal practice, to bad health, which doubtless was due to the first signs of the cancer which later killed him. His knighthood also had the effect of bringing to a head the animosity of Cardew, who was disappointed that he himself was not knighted until June, 1897.2 The tension between the two men rose to a dramatic climax in the Legislative Council over a trivial dispute about some land in the Bagru.

This complicated question has much of interest for the student of early African administration; here the facts can only be briefly stated.3 In February, 1895, a land dispute between the towns of Mokassi and Bunjema forced itself on the attention of Cardew, during one of his long pioneer tours in the Protectorate. The claims of the parties were so complicated and based on testimony so difficult for any stranger to assess that an arbitrary award of "rough justice" seemed the only solution possible; first Sub-

1Cardew to Hemming, Private, 28th November, 1894 (C.O. 267/410). Cardew to Chamberlain, Conf., 28th May, 1898.
2When Cardew did receive his knighthood, Lewis's letter of congratulation was an interesting study in slightly malicious reserve. A copy of this, dated 22nd June, 1897, is in possession of E. Lewis, Esq.
3Besides the Leg. Co. debates referred to, see Cardew to Chamberlain, Conf. 33, 10th June, 1896; Conf. 36, 6th July, 1896; Conf. 40, 15th September, 1896; 322, 13th November, 1896; Chamberlain to Administrator, 50, 23rd March, 1897; Statements by Captain Moore and S.M. George in Cardew to Chamberlain, Conf. 28th May, 1898; Minute Paper 6000/1896; Ordinances Nos. 12,16, 21 of 1896, No. 9 of 1897.

Inspector Taylor, of the Frontier Police, and later Deputy Governor Caulfield, found in favour of Bunjema. But the people of Mokassi were thoroughly convinced that their claim was better; they several times drove their neighbours from the land by force, and in November, 1895, they retained the professional services of Lewis with a fee of ten or twelve pounds.

Lewis did not visit Mokassi, but was soon convinced, not only that the claim of his clients was sound but that they were entitled to the justice of British courts, as inhabitants of the rather ill-defined territory of the Colony.1 What to the Government seemed an administrative question which might develop into a threat to internal peace became for Lewis an important issue of legal principle. In defending this principle, he was to pass the limits of discretion.

In January, 1896, Madame Yoko, Paramount Chief of the area, reported to Government that she

feared renewed hostilities; Cabba Gaindah, a big man of Mokassi, was claiming that lawyer Lewis had given his people the land, and the power to kill their enemies. Frontier Police patrols and preventive arrests failed to pacify Mokassi; the people were claiming that "Sir Sam was their Governor". On 20th April Lewis advised Cabba Gaindah that the police had no right to eject his people from the land, and might be resisted by force. But Cardew had already ordered the detention of the leading people of Mokassi as political prisoners - the customary way of dealing with trouble-makers outside British jurisdiction. These prisoners arrived in Freetown on 5th May; on Friday, 8th May, Lewis obtained for them a writ of habeas corpus, to take effect at 8.30 a.m. the following Monday.

Freetown was eight days from Mokassi, and this release would have had no serious consequences; but Cardew characteristically regarded Lewis's action as insolent and irresponsible defiance, and

1Treaty No. 68 of 9th November, 1861 (printed in Montague's Ordinances, III, pp. 280-1), ceded to the the Crown "that piece and portion of Sherbro called Bagroo and Mana Bagroo and Belley, extending from the Yall Tucker river on the north to the Bagroo and Belley rivers on the south, and extending about thirty miles inland from the Sherbro river which borders it to the west..." Bunjema is just under thirty miles from the Sherbro as the crow flies; on the "rough tracing" by Parkes, enclosed in Fleming to Ripon, 467, 13th February, 1893, it would fall within the Colony. According to Lewis, the inhabitants had always regarded themselves as living in the Bagru. Pinkett to Derby, 154, 25th August, 1883, regards Bunjema as outside the Colony, though this does not seem particularly authoritative opinion; and certain actions of Government described below suggest lack of confidence about this.

resolved to deny him a victory against the Government. The Legislative Council was convened on Saturday, 9th May, and invited to pass immediately an Ordinance, on a familiar pattern, to legalize the detention of certain political prisoners alleged to have "endangered the peace of the British sphere of influence". Lewis, and his unofficial colleague T.C. Bishop, protested, firstly that the prisoners ought to be heard in their own defence; secondly, that evidence of their guilt should be produced; thirdly, that there was no urgency to justify the suspension of Standing Orders and the passage of the Ordinance through all its stages at one sitting; fourthly, that the dispute arose within the Colony, and should have been decided in a court of law rather than by administrative award. But the authority of the Governor was now pledged to secure the barring of the writ of habeas corpus; Cardew, personally convinced that no substantial injustice had been done, did not scruple to pass the Ordinance at one sitting by the vote of the official majority.

Lewis did not let the matter rest there. Cardew later suggested that his interest was mainly mercenary; but it seems clear that his real objects were to secure justice for his clients and a personal success against Cardew - two purposes which in his mind were not easily distinguishable. But the odds were heavily on the side of Government. Lewis could only have succeeded by convincing the Colonial Office; and, though his reputation there was higher than with Cardew, he could do this only at one trivial point.1 He began by opening legal proceedings against the Serjeant who had effected the arrests, claiming the exorbitant damages of £10,000; Cardew then passed through the Council a Public Officers' Indemnity Ordinance, intended to protect the Serjeant and all public officers acting in good faith to preserve order in the interior. This measure was strongly criticized in Council on 24th June, 1896, by Lewis and Bishop (and it certainly did confer dangerous immunity on the not always trustworthy detachments of Frontier Police); Cardew replied with an intemperate personal attack on Lewis, accusing him of acting in bad faith, which finally made harmony between the two men impossible. The prisoners were then released, but Lewis continued certain proceedings on their behalf in the Colony courts.

1 Sir R. Meade's note on Cardew, 101, 23rd May, 1895 - "Probably Mr. Lewis is by far the most valuable unofficial that could be found" - cf. the minutes on Cardew Conf., 33, 10th June, 1896.

When these seemed about to be successful (unexpectedly to Cardew), yet another piece of special legislation was passed on 10h October, 1897. This placed under the new Protectorate administration certain parts of the Colony "so situated that they cannot be conveniently governed" from Freetown. In itself, this was sensible and necessary enough; but the chief lands affected were those in dispute, and a further clause took from the Colony courts all jurisdiction there - even in actions already instituted. Cardew did not conceal that he had the Mokassi case in mind; but though Lewis again petitioned the Secretary of State against the Ordinance, all the Colonial Office would do was to direct the passage of a further Ordinance (of 27th May, 1897) making costs already incurred in the Colony recoverable in actions transferred to the Protectorate courts. This did not meet Lewis's case, for he had little confidence in the legal training or even the impartiality of the young District Commissioners who were being appointed; but he could do no more, and his clients had to be content with what the Queen's Advocate described as "justice of a rough and ready kind".

On this occasion, Lewis had over-reached himself. He had discovered that the Legislative Council could be used, not only to give a voice to unofficial members but also to overrule them; and that during the difficult and dangerous period of the establishment of the Protectorate the Government was not prepared to allow the same constitutional rights there as in the more settled Colony. Yet in his new role as Cardew's chief opponent Lewis found that he could still command much influence. When the original Protectorate Ordinance was being debated, on 8th and 10th September, 1896, Lewis made long and well-reasoned speeches against certain of its provisions - notably those relating to waste lands, which were in fact subsequently repealed by direction of the Secretary of State. When he expressed doubts about the validity of the legal basis for the Protectorate he was hastily and indignantly ruled out of order by Cardew - "it is not becoming for this Council to discuss the jurisdiction of Her Majesty" - and Lewis later declared that the opportunity for criticism given to unofficial members as "a mockery"; but, to the Governor's surprise, he did not oppose the Ordinance as a whole.1 He had no intention of obstructing the Protectorate; probably he dreamed of offering it leadership.

1Leg. Co., 8, 10th September, 1896; Parliamentary Papers, 1899, LX (the Chalmers Report - cited hereafter as "C.R."), Part II, paras. 2705 ff.; C.O. 267/426, Cardew to Bramston, Pte., 16th September, 1896

Was this merely a presumptuous dream? Lewis was in no real sense "representative" of the Protectorate, which he rarely entered. But where could a better spokesman have been found? Lewis and others were alive to the need to give the people of the newly-acquired territory a voice in the Council which now had the power to legislate for them; but until Western education was extended it was difficulty to see how any Protectorate man could usefully hold his own in that relatively sophisticated legislature.1 Certainly many of the chiefs and people of the Protectorate, like those of

Mokassi, turned naturally to Lewis for advice and assistance. According to his own statements, he was in November and December, 1896, approached by a number of chiefs from the Skarcies and offered a retainer to act on their behalf against the Protectorate Ordinance. This he declined, to avoid any appearance of disloyal or factious opposition. In October, 1897, chiefs from around Port Loko brought him a petition against the hut tax; Lewis handed this to the Governor instead of presenting it to the Legislative Council, and also advised the chiefs to pay their tax. In January, 1898, he was approached by Momo Kaikai and other chiefs from the south-east.2 The causes of the 1898 rising probably lay too deep for Lewis or any other man to have completely exorcised them; yet if he had not been inhibited by Cardew's suspicions of his loyalty, and had been able to give frank advice to the Government as well as to the chiefs, some at least of these early misunderstandings might have been removed.

But the rising took place; and it was as a critic of Cardew's policy that Lewis appeared before the Special Commissioner, Sir David Chalmers (who had relieved him as Queen's Advocate in 1874, and had now retired to Edinburgh after a varied Colonial career). The extensive survey of the problems of Sierra Leone which Lewis gave in evidence clearly had a great influence on Chalmers' strongly dogmatic report, so adverse to Cardew.3 In fact the

1See, e.g., C.R. 11, paras. 474-5; 2705 ff.; 7057 ff.
2See his evidence, C.R. 11, paras 2592-2603, 2648; C.R. 1, paras 42, 49; statement by Moore enclosed in Cardew, Conf., 28th May, 1898.
3Cardew himself was very positive about Lewis's influence over Chalmers. "It is clear to me that he (Chalmers) has been entirely won over by Sir Samuel Lewis, who I have grounds for supposing has been getting up the whole case against the government on behalf of the Chambers of Commerce and the Sierra Leoneans." C.O. 267/450, Cardew to Antrobus, Pte., 12th January, 1899. Lewis owned the Sierra Leone Times, a paper which Cardew, exaggerating heavily, considered to have encouraged disaffection.

Report was too partisan to achieve its purpose; it caused Chamberlain and many of the officials of the Colonial Office to react still further against the condemnation of Cardew's policy which they had been inclined to pronounce immediately after the rising. They now tended to listen to Cardew's warnings that the people of the Colony should not receive too much responsibility too quickly. Cardew's impassioned dispatch of 29th May, 1898, had already denounced "half-educated people...who had had free institutions given them which they cannot use aright, and a liberty of the Press which has degenerated into license" and suggested a curtailment of these liberties. In the margin Chamberlain wrote "this must receive attention".1 No one in the Colonial Office shared the extreme views of Cardew; but it was less easy to encourage self-government in the Colony now that the Legislative council was also responsible for the unrepresented Protectorate. There was a temporary halt to the advancing influence of the unofficial members of the Legislative Council.

Sir Samuel Lewis died of cancer in London on 9th July, 1903, and was buried in Acton cemetery. The circumstances were tragic - the onset of the disease coincided with financial set-backs as well as with the check to his hopes of rapid political progress for Sierra Leone. Yet he left a distinguished record and a considerable achievement. He made errors of judgment, especially in the exhilaration of success; but no Sierra Leonean politician of the next generation was of the same stature.

1Cardew to Chamberlain, Conf., 28th May, 1898; Conf., 68, 23rd August, 1898