Beginning in late 2017, the Fiji Times (“The First Newspaper Published in the World Every Day”) has been reprinting chapters of Albert J. Schütz’s Diaries and Correspondence of David Cargill, 1832–1843 (Australian National University Press, 1977). This book covers three main themes:
- The first deals with the Wesleyan missionaries’ conversion of the Fijians to Christianity.
- The second concentrates on linguistic matters: Developing Fijian’s unusual but efficient alphabet; writing the first grammar and dictionary of a Fijian language; discovering extensive language/dialect variation; and eventually choosing a lingua franca.
- The third describes Cargill’s extreme reaction to unimaginable “field” conditions in Tonga and Fiji, which eventually affected his professional and personal life.
Schütz is grateful to the Fiji Times editorial staff for making this book available to local readers, thus giving them easy access to an important, but mostly unknown, part of Fijian history.
Read the 9-part series: