Rev. Lewis Grout

Play Audio

  • Grout and wife Lydia leave for Africa and discover life there and mistreatment of natives, struggle to learn Zulu and defend the rights of the natives, then return home to work with people of color in the Southern US following the Civil War.

  • Grout describes being chased by a giant Black Momba snake in Zululand


The soaring heights of the remarkable National Historic Register Grout House on Western Avenue in West Brattleboro speak to the elevated consciousness of the Reverend Louis Grout, his wife and his daughter, who built it in 1880. As a Congregationalist minister at a remote station in the Zulu country of today's South Africa, Grout (1815-1905) and his family witnessed and participated in the suppression of the native Zulu as missionaries trying to convert natives to Christian ways. Unlike others, Grout fought for the Zulus and spent 10 years writing what was to be the first Zulu language book in the US and translated the Bible into Zulu. Upon returning home from Africa, he wrote "Zulu-Land: Or, Life Among the Zulu-Kafirs of Natal, South Africa", in 1864. Among his other publications are poetry, essays on Zululand and the Bohr Wars and a history of Early West Brattleboro.

Tour Stop Location

9 Bonnyvale Road, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301, United States

Research & Production

Audio Editing: Wendy Wallas
Production/Script Assistance and Recordings: Lissa Weinmann
Research/Script/Narration: Kathleen 'Kit' Whallon
Voice of Grout: Orion Barber

Michael Nickolas (tribal call, from Audio Blocks)

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