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The Life and Dreadful Sufferings of Captain James Wilson ... In the Missionary Ship Duff
Portsea: G.A. Stephens, 1810. Octavo, a little dusted, but a very good copy; period-style full sheep, spine banded and gilt, morocco label. First edition of this important and rare title, the first biography of Wilson. Wilson, a veteran ship's captain, took the first English missionaries, including George Vason, to the islands of the south Pacific. Inspired by the zeal of Joseph Hardcastle, Wilson sailed in 1796 together with some thirty missionaries on the famous Duff. This account gives valuable information regarding the voyage, as well as including a vigorous account of Wilson's life, and a detailed account of the tribulations of the missionaries during their first decade in the Pacific. 'Although there are several accounts of James Wilson's life, sufferings, and missionary voyage, this was the earliest biography of him to appear. Written anonymously, this lively telling follows Wilson's life from his birth in 1769 and early employment with the East India Company… He took notice of the London Missionary Society and offered his services to captain its ship, the Duff, on a voyage to deliver missionaries to South Pacific Islands. Four short chapters at the end of this volume deal with the progress of the various missions on Tahiti, Tongatabu, Port Jackson, and the Marquesas.' (Hill) There were several other accounts of Wilson and the Duff, including works by John Griffin, George Vason, Albert Étienne de Montemont, and William Smith. This title, with its unusual Portsea imprint, is probably the scarcest of all the published accounts, with only one auction sale recorded in the last thirty years. Ferguson knew it from copies in the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Australia.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-08-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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