By John Williams
In line 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 via alternate, set sail for the South Sea Islands in 1817 with the goal of spreading the gospel and introducing smooth know-how to the sector. in addition to recounting the widespread threats to his protection from offended natives, warfare, usual catastrophe and sickness, Williams offers specific surveys of the peoples, languages and common atmosphere he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the influence made upon barbarous humans by way of their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant through the author's dying by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's ebook, this can be a unprecedented account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who grew to become a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary move.
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Additional resources 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
P. 300. 28 SUBTERRANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS. In Atiu and Mauke, the latter of which I discovered in 1823, there are several extensive caverns, having a stratum of crystallized coral fifteen feet in thickness, as a roof. In one of these exquisitely beautiful caverns I walked about for two hours, and found no termination to its windings. This circumstance, together with the entire absence of scoria, lava, and other volcanic phenomena, in this class of islands, may lead to a supposition, that they may have been elevated by some expansive power, or volcanic agency, without eruption.
The plumes of the cocoa-nut tree, overtopping the whole, and waving majestically to the passing breeze from the ocean, give an exquisite finish to the landscape. CHARACTER OF THE FIRST CLASS. 21 These islands are from 2000 to 10,000 feet above the level of the sea. The mountains of Hawaii are said to be about 15,000 feet in height. In all the above-mentioned islands there are evident traces of volcanic eruption. In many of them the rocks are composed of a fine grained black basalt, of which the natives make their penus, or pounders, to beat their bread-fruit into a paste, and of which also they made their hatchets prior to the introduction of iron tools.
Captain Beechy visited an island, supposed to be an elevated reef, eighty feet high; Mr. Stuchbury and myself have visited Rurutu, the rocks of which are of the same material, and are a hundred and fifty feet in height, and the calcareous rocks of Mangaia are about three hundred feet. Now, all these are supposed to be reefs elevated out of the sea, and if it takes a century to produce a reef six inches in thickness, and three thousand years to produce one fifteen feet thick, eighteen thousand years would be required to produce the island visited by Captain Beechy, thirty thousand for the rocks of Rurutu, and fifty or sixty thousand for * See Lyell's Geology, vol.
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