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THE SOUTH SEAS,
IN THE U.S. SHIP TINCENNES,
DURING THE YEARS 1829 AND 1830;
WITH NOTICES OF
BRAZIL, PERU, MANILLA,
BY C. S. STEWART, M.A.,
Chaplain in the United States' Navy, and Author of " A Residence
in the Sandwich Islands in 1823 and 1825."
EDITED AND ABRIDGED
BY WILLIAM ELLIS.
FISHER, SON, & JACKSON, NEWGATE STREET,
THE ENGLISH EDITION.
The author of the following pages is not unknown to the British public, either as an exemplary teacher of the Christian religion, or an agreeable and instructive writer. A former production of his pen, a Journal of a Residence in the Sandwich Islands, published in America and England in the year 1828.; the third edition of which is now circulating in this country, has been extensively read, it is believed, with pleasure and advantage. Since the first appearance of the work above mentioned, circumstances have prevented Mr. Stewart from resuming his efficient exertions among the Sandwich Islanders, and have opened before him another walk of usefulness scarcely less interesting and important. But though no longer directly employed in promoting the extension of Christianity among the heathen, he has still a missionary heart, and is evidently alive to every thing connected with the delusion and wretchedness of paganism, as well as the best means of effecting the instruction and deliverance of its votaries. The cause of this change in his pursuits, he has himself set forth in the unassuming and appropriate Introduction to his Visit to the South Seas : and the present volume, though not so decidedly missionary in its character as his former publication, contains evidence, in the highest degree satisfactory, of the advantages the religion of the Bible has conferred on those communities in the Pacific, by whom it has been received, with much that is interesting and important, as well as entirely new, respecting that portion of the Marquesas which he visited.
His profession and station, together with the influence of high personal regard from distinguished individuals of his own country, secured facilities for observation in Brazil and in Peru, which Mr. Stewart has turned to a good account: and the graphic and characteristic notices he has given of Rio de Janeiro, and of Lima, as well as those of Canton, Manilla, and St. Helena, will add much to the variety and interest of his work.
To those who take an interest in the moral and religious improvement of the inhabitants of the
South Sea Islands, the present volume will be peculiarly acceptable, as furnishing much additional and satisfactory evidence, that the reports which have been recently circulated of the injurious consequences of missionary exertions among the islanders, from the crude fictions of Kotzebue, to the insinuations and inferences of the anonymous writer of the account of the Bounty, are altogether untrue. The geographical knowledge of the latter writer appears to be much upon a par with that of the former; the name and position seems to be all he knows about Tahiti; though he quotes Captain Waldegrave as his authority, when he states, that the depopulation of the island has been so great, that, according to a census taken by the missionaries, Tahiti only contains 5000 persons. Did the writer, when he inade this statement, for the purpose of insinuating that the change effected by the missionaries had occasioned or accelerated the depopulation of the island, not know that Tahiti consists of two peninsulas, joined by an isthmus; and that, in the census of the missionaries, which Captain Waldegrave saw, the population of only one of these peninsulas was 5000? If he did not know this, ought he not first to have ascertained that he was correct, before he thus recklessly published his criminating charge ? And if he did know it, I leave my readers to determine the degree of credit to which he is entitled.