John Payne Jackson was a journalist and philosopher, born on 25 March 1848 in Cape Palmas. His father, Thomas John Jackson, renowned for his intelligence and knowledge, migrated from Maryland in the United States of America to a colony in Liberia. John Payne was born in Liberia but he moved to Nigeria to be a trader. He started the commercially successful Lagos Weekly Record in 1890 and was for the next twenty-five years one of the most outstanding journalists in the whole of West Africa, although his journal’s activities were occasionally suspended due to his erratic personal life conditioned by a weakness for strong drink. Jackson’s philosophy revolved around the amelioration and advancement of African institutions through self-civilization. Although he agreed stimulus for civilization had being provided by the European civilization, he was of the view that African family values were superior to the West’s. When he died in 1915, he was hailed even as “a great king”.