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An Autobiography

came down in torrents. Some interesting missionaries were on board. One of them, the
venerable Dr. Brown, who had been for 30 years labouring in the Pacific, introduced me
to Sir John Thurston. Mr. Newell was returning to Samoa after a two years' holiday in
England. He talked much, and well about his work. He had 104 students to whom he was
returning. He explained that they became missionaries to other more benighted and less
civilized islands, where their knowledge of the traditions and customs of South Sea
Islanders made them invaluable as propagandists. The writings of Robert Louis
Stevenson, had prepared me to find in the Samoans a handsome and stalwart race, with
many amiable traits, and I was not disappointed. The beauty of the scenery appealed to
me strongly, and I doubt whether "the light that never was on sea or land" could have
rivalled the magic charm of the one sunrise we saw at Samoa. During the voyage I
managed to get in one lecture, and many talks on effective voting. Had I been
superstitious my arrival in San Francisco on Friday, May 12, might have boded ill for the
success of my mission, but I was no sooner ashore than my friend Alfred Cridge took me
in charge, and the first few days were a whirl of meetings, addresses and interviews.