Gathering for God: George Brown in Oceania
Combining 'the gathering of artefacts with the gathering of souls', George Brown was a key figure in the Christian, and especially the Wesleyan Methodist, history of nineteenth-century Oceania. Using his life as a case study, Helen Bethea Gardner examines the role of Christian missionaries in the Pacific Islands. Brown's career (1860-1908) spanned one of the most tumultuous political periods in the South Pacific, as one by one islands were colonised by imperial nations. He was one of the most politically engaged of all missionaries, encouraging colonial rule in the Pacific by America, Britain, Germany and, eventually, Australia and New Zealand. Originally from the north of England, he worked as a missionary in Samoa from 1860, moving to the Bismarck Archipelago (now Papua New Guinea) in 1875. From the 1880s until his retirement in 1907, he worked in Sydney as the general secretary of the Australasian Methodist Overseas Mission. 'Gathering for God' examines Brown's missionary letters, journals and journalism, exploring how he attracted Pacific Islanders to Christian teachings, analysing his leadership during an armed attack on New Britain villages accused of cannibalism, and looking at his work in the new discipline of anthropology. He was a major collector of artefacts (his collection is now in the Osaka Museum) and photographer of Pacific peoples (his collection is in the Australian Museum).
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Aborigines analysis annexation Anthropology April argued artefacts Auckland Australian Museum Autobiography believed Bismarck Archipelago Bowes Museum Britain British Brown to Chapman Brown to Rabone C.B. Fletcher cannibalism church civilisation claimed congregations customs Danks described Duke of York E.B. Tylor established ethnographic ethnology European Evangelical Exogamy faith Fiji Fijian Fison Frazer Gazelle Peninsula George Brown German gift Gunson Ibid imperial Ireland July June Kaplen letter LMS missionary London Maori material culture Matupit Melanesians and Polynesians Melbourne Methodist mission Mitchell Library moral narrative natives noted Pacific History Pacific Islands Papua New Guinea Papuan photographs political Port Hunter Pratt published Pulu race raid recorded region relationship religious reported Samoa savage Savai'i Science scientific September 1878 shell money Society South Seas Sydney Morning Herald tale teachers texts theological theories Tolai Tonga totemism trade University Press village Wallis Waruwarum Weekly Advocate Wesleyan western Pacific wrote York Islands Zealand