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. Fourth Thousand. Illustrated with Engravings on Wood by G. Baxter
London: J. Snow, for the Author, 1837. Early printing (4th thousand), same year as the first, and the first printing to contain the Baxter portrait of the author. Original brown cloth decorated in blind, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, original grey endpapers. pp (xx), 590 + colour frontispiece portrait of Williams + folding map + 6 b&w plates; illustrated title page and 18 illustrations in the text (all plates present). Professionally rebacked, with original only lightly sunned spine laid down, inner cloth inner hinges; rubbing to inner margin of front free endpaper; horizontal crease to frontispiece; old pencil notes to verso of front free endpaper about the portrait and an ink note ("George Baxter" to the margin of the author's Preface to the Fourth Thousanda few small light spots on front cover; corner chip to pp 565-66 (no text affected); old pencil owner name on front pastedown; else a VG clean and unworn copy, attractive, not foxed. "A non-conformist missionary, Williams was sent by the London Missionary Society to the Society Islands in 1816. He traveled about the islands, converting the native populace to Christianity. He made his headquarters at Raiatea, but also visited the Cook Islands and discovered Rarotonga, where he sojourned for a considerable time. After his return to Raiatea, he set forth on the other voyages to Samoa, Tonga, and the neighboring islands.[Later he] sailed to the New Hebrides; while visiting the island of Erromanga, he was murdered by cannibals on November 20, 1839. These insights into missionary and native life are very important to a complete understanding of Pacific history" - HILL 1875. The pencil note at front states: "First portrait in colours by Baxter & drawn from life. The portrait was also sold as a separate print & it was this sale which first impressed upon Baxter the advantages of separate prints. (from Coutney Lewis print no. 71)". This book was one of the best and most popular accounts of missionary activity in the Pacific at the time.
Condition: Binding: Hardcover