14 Pages

Introduction The Written Pacific

On 6 March, 1797, the missionary William Wilson, one of the first London Missionary Society party sent to evangelise the region following the visit to Tahiti by Samuel Wallis in 1767, described a particular encounter with several of the Tahitians among whom Wilson and his colleagues had arrived only twenty four hours before:

[ . . . ] the captain, Mānne Manne, the two Swedes, with brother Cover, Henry, and a few more of the missionaries, went on shore in order to examine a large house standing on the extremity of Point Venus. They called it E Fwhārre no Prītane (the British House), and said it had been built by Pomārre for Captain Bligh, who had said he should come back and reside there [ . . . ] Thus hath the Lord appeared to set before us an open door, which we trust none shall henceforth be able to shut.