By John Williams
In response to John Williams' meticulous documentation of his travels, this 1837 quantity bargains 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 zone. in addition to recounting the widespread threats to his safeguard from indignant natives, struggle, traditional catastrophe and disorder, Williams presents certain surveys of the peoples, languages and usual setting 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 by way of the author's demise by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's book, this is often a rare account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who grew to become a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary circulate.
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Extra 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
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.
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.
32 ON CORALS. " A third opinion is, that the dead animal is converted into coral. This latter idea appears to be sanctioned by some persons of eminence. " * Mr. "f In venturing to offer a theory upon this topic, differing from those entertained by scientific men of great eminence, I must cast myself upon the candour of any who, by their superior discernment, may detect a want of soundness in my propositions. That there exists a considerable portion of calcareous matter, or carbonate of lime, in salt water, has, of course, long been known ; it was, however, a fact with which I was unacquainted, until, when abroad, being in want of salt, we were compelled to make it by boiling down sea water.
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