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JOHN WILLIAMS (1796-1839)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 682 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN WILLIAMS (1796-1839), English Nonconformist missionary, was born at Tottenham near London on the 29th of June 1796. He was trained as an ironmonger, and acquired considerable experience in mechanical work. Having offered himself to the London Missionary Society, he was sent, after some training, in 1816 to Eimeo, in the Society Islands, where he rapidly acquired a knowledge of the native language. After staying there for a short time, he finally settled at Raiatea, which became his permanent headquarters. His success as a missionary here and elsewhere was remarkable. The people rapidly became Christianized and adopted many of the habits of civilization. Williams was fairly liberal for his age, and the results of his labours among the Pacific Islands were essentially beneficial. He travelled unceasingly among the various island groups, planting stations and settling native missionaries whom he himself had trained. From the Society Islands he visited the Hervey group, where he discovered, and stayed for a considerable time on, the island of Rarotonga. Most of the in-habitants of the group were converted in a remarkably short time, and Williams's influence over them, as over the people of other groups, was very great. Besides establishing Christianity and civilization among them, he also, at their own request, helped them to draw up a code of laws for civil administration upon the basis of the new religion. While at Rarotonga he, with the help of the natives, built himself a 6o-ft. ship, " The Messenger of Peace," within about four months; with this he
End of Article: JOHN WILLIAMS (1796-1839)
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He is my great G G gradfather and I am looking for any teaching material he has written
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