By John Williams
In keeping with John Williams' meticulous documentation of his travels, this 1837 quantity deals an perception into the perilous lifetime of a missionary within the early 19th century. the writer, an ironmonger by way of exchange, set sail for the South Sea Islands in 1817 with the goal of spreading the gospel and introducing sleek expertise to the quarter. in addition to recounting the common threats to his security from indignant natives, struggle, usual catastrophe and illness, Williams presents certain surveys of the peoples, languages and typical atmosphere he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the effect made upon barbarous humans by way of their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant via the author's demise by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's e-book, this can be a unprecedented account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who turned a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary circulation.
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Extra info for A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands: With Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants
They are generally small. Tongatabu, however, which is also of this class, is about 100 miles in circumference. The soil upon the coralline islands is frequently very thin, so that but little CORAL REEFS. 23 vegetation is produced upon them, beside the cocoa-nut trees, pandanus, some stunted hibiscus, and a few other trees of dwarfish growth, with a quantity of brush-wood. Tongatabu, however, and the Friendly Islands generally, may be deemed exceptions; the soil there being much deeper, every production of the islands of the first and second class grows in luxuriant profusion.
He was at length loaded with irons of thirty-two pounds weight, and thrust into a horrible prison called the Black Hole; and while there so great at times was the raging of his hunger, that his jaws snapped involuntarily when his scanty meal was brought to him. Often the corpse was CAPTAIN WILSON'S SUFFERINGS. 11 unchained from his arm in the morning, that another living sufferer might take his place, and fall by the same merciless treatment. That he should survive such accumulated misery for twenty-two months, was next to a miracle.
Henry and Mr. Nott,* who were among the first Missionaries in the Duff; and Mr. Davies and Mr. Wilson, who were in the same vessel when she was captured. " For sixteen years, notwithstanding the untiring zeal, the incessant journeys, the faithful exhortations of these devoted men, no spirit of interest or inquiry appeared ; no solitary instance of conversion took place ; the wars of the natives continued frequent and desolating, and their idolatries abominable and cruel. The heavens above seemed to be as brass, and the earth as iron.
A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands: With Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants by John Williams