Rev. George Champion

sahoboss's picture
Posted by sahoboss on

People category:

Biographical information



First name: 
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
Location of birth: 
State of Connecticut, United States
Date of death: 

Reverend George Champion was born in the state of Connecticut, United States in 1810. After graduating from Yale University, Champion joined the American Board for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in 1833 and in 1834 was appointed along with five other missionaries to undertake missionary work in South Africa. The missionaries and their wives sailed from Boston, Massachusetts to Cape Town on 3 December 1834 and arrived in the Cape on 5 February 1835. 

On 20 December 1835 Revs Champion, Aldin Grout and Newton Adams arrived in Port Natal (present-day Durban) from Cape Town on “The Dove” and proceeded to the capital of Dingane at Mgungundhlovu to obtain the Zulu king’s permission to work among his subjects. Despite Dingane’s indunas voicing some objections to their presence in Zululand, the king in August 1936 allowed Champion and Grout to open a mission station, on a site chosen by Dingane himself, on the Umsunduzi River. The station was subsequently named “Nginani” (I am with thee).

Following the destruction of the mission station at Nginani in the fighting between the Zulus and the Boers, who arrived in Natal following the Great Trek, Champion returned to the United States in 1839. He died in 1841.

  • Williamson, M. (1970).
  • Booth, A. R., & Struik, C., eds (1967). The Journal of the Rev. George Champion: American Missionary in Zululand 1835-1839, Cape Town, p. viii
  • Tabler, E.C., & Balkema, A.A. (1977). Pioneers of Natal and southeastern Africa. 1552-1878. Cape Town, p. 21. 

Last updated : 06-Jul-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.