My name is Fr Pat Kelly. I am an Irish missionary priest of the Society
of African Missions (SMA Fathers) and am presently working in the USA.
In the late 1970's while working in Liberia, I was given an old
manuscript of typed pages "Legends of Liberia - A collection of Folk
Tales told by the people of Liberia and written down by Peter Pinney" by
Archbishop Francis Carroll - the Archbishop of Monrovia. Archbishop
Carroll has since died. In the early 1980's I had a friend re-type these
stories for me (the original manuscript was in poor condition) - and I
have kept it in my possession since then. I am now re-typing them into
the computer to preserve them.
All these years I have had no idea who Peter Pinney was or is. I have
always imagined he was Liberian, but no Liberian person that I asked
knew the name. Only today I decided to Google the name and I found your
site. When I see the books you have written, my guess is you are the
same Peter Pinney who put this collection of Legends of Liberia
together. Am I right? Did you spend some time in Liberia? Have you
published these stories? Can you give me any information about the
manuscript that was in the possession of Archbishop Carroll? Archbishop
Carroll was a big friend of President Tubman to whom the collection was
dedicated, so perhaps this is how he obtained his copy.
Hoping to hear from you
Dear Father Pat Kelly,
Thank you so much for your email, it has found me his daughter Sava,
not Peter, who died I'm sorry to say in 1992.
In approx. 1953 at a meeting with President Tubman* dad proposed a
book project - collecting and writing up Liberian folk tales and
received the ok and support to do this.
Dad wrote up the Liberian Folk Tales from stories he then collected
traveling with President Tubman to villages.
He was at this time a published author, including travels in Africa.
(*He believed President Tubman to be "the first native president and
one of the greatest men the Guinea Coast has known".)
I hope there is the possibility of life getting better now in Liberia, it's been a tough time.
You are a treasure for safe-keeping the document so well, it exists in some U.S libraries also.
My best regards,
Letter from Rita White
My name is Rita White and I am a friend of Fr. Pat Kelly. He has given me
his copy of your father's manuscript, The Legends of Liberia, to retype for
him. I must say I am enjoying it immensely.
I spent three years in Monrovia in the seventies with my husband who was
working for the U.S. there. And that is where we met Fr. Pat.
Curious as to where your father's writings may be, I contacted the Moorland
Springarn Research Center at Howard University in Washington, DC. They
indeed had a copy and Fr. Pat and I went to see it and compare it to his
copy. It was the same.
Fr. Pat tells me you are thinking of publishing these legends. I think that
is a great idea and with your artistic skills, samples of which I viewed on
your website, would certainly enhance the stories.
I find myself spending a great deal of time on the web reading the Dust on
My Shoes extracts. Your father was indeed a fascinating man.
Well good luck to you and if there is anything I can help with I'd be more
than pleased to hear from you, or just to chat.