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Life in Feejee, or, Five Years among the Cannibals


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Expecting to embark with my husband on a long voyage to the Pacific Ocean, I was induced to make a record of passing scenes and events, for my own amusement, to beguile the many lonely hours which must be experienced when far away from home and friends, and to afford some little entertainment to my personal friends on my return. Subsequently, however, those whose opinions I respect at home, and the missionaries at the Feejee Islands, with whom I had the happiness of becoming acquainted, advised me to offer my journal to the public, as it contained many facts never before published In America, and some things which have not appeared in any land. This opinion is thus expressed by Rev. James Calvert, Wesleyan Missionary, in a communication addressed to Rev. C. W. Flanders, of Beverly, Mass.

"Vewa, Feejee, Dec. 7, 1849.

"Rev. Sir,

"It has been the happiness of the Wesleyan Mission families who reside in Feejee, to be favored with page ivvisits from Mrs. Wallis, a member of your church. She has been one with us, has labored to promote the cause of missions, and has eagerly availed herself of every opportunity to attend the means of grace with us at the mission stations.

"I have been favored with a peep at her journal, and have been pleased with her account of the state of society in popish Manilla, and with her remarks on tedious and long voyaging, and on the various places she visited. But her journal is peculiarly interesting and instructive, on account of its copious delineations of the condition and practices of the Feejeeans. As far as I have read, I consider her accounts quite correct, and they must have cost her much time and deep application. No account has been given to the public, which details so fully the past and present abominations of cannibal Feejee. This long neglected and deeply degraded people have excited much Christian sympathy, expense, and effort, and the Great Head of the church has been pleased to succeed our labors with his abundant blessing. Long and firmly established principles and precedents are giving way; the entrance of God's word is spreading light, and the chiefs and people are saying in effect, 'We know that the Lord hath given you the land; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.'

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"The glorious gospel of the blessed God has been attended with a saving energy, so that a goodly number of the most debased of our species have been completely turned from darkness to light; from the power of Satan unto God.

"I think it exceedingly desirable that Mrs. Wallis's journal should be published; and that, too. as speedily as possible. I hope you will coincide in this view, and hasten the publication."

Many others have expressed themselves decidedly in favor of the publication of the journal, believing that it would be both entertaining and useful. Influenced by these opinions, the following pages are submitted to the reading public; and if they contribute to the gratification and entertainment of any; especially, if they are the means of exciting.deeper feelings of philanthropy, and of awakening a livelier interest in Christian missions, which aim at the enlightenment and elevation of the benighted and degraded of our race, my most fondly cherished desires will be gratified.

M. D. W.

November, 1850.
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