By Ebenezer Prout
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1843
Subjects: Church history , Social and cultural anthropology
This account of the life of the missionary John Williams (1796–1839), first published in 1843, celebrates his character and his achievements in evangelizing the South Sea islands. Williams believed that the spread of Christianity, 'civilization', and commerce went hand-in-hand, and his work in and around Tahiti and Rarotonga from the time of his first posting there by the London Missionary Society in 1817 was largely well received. In 1830 he became the first person to introduce Christianity to Samoa and, after returning to England in 1834 to raise money and support for the cause, he returned to the Pacific as a celebrity. His final voyage was to Eromango in the New Hebrides, where he was killed and eaten. This violent death combined with the success of his earlier missions caused him to be regarded as a heroic figure and inspired much popular literature.