Missionary David Cargill: biographical timeline

Wesleyan missionary David Cargill died in Tonga, age 34.  His first wife , Margaret, died age 30, in Fiji, after  the birth of her 6th child, over  7 years of marriage.

20 June 1809: David Cargill was born in Brechin, Forfarshire, Scotland on 20 June 1809, the second son of James Cargill, a banker, and Grace Mary Cameron Cargill.

1830: graduated MA. He graduated MA from King’s College, Aberdeen in 1830. Whilst studying in Aberdeen he joined the Aberdeen Methodist Circuit

1831:  admitted to the church as a preacher.

1832:   first missionary appointment for the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, to Tonga, in the South Pacific.

1832: He married Margaret Smith (1809-1840), of Aberdeen on 6 September 1832 in Old Machar parish, Aberdeen, and left the country with his wife in October that year. They worked together on Vava’u, Tonga with another missionary for three years, during an important period of Christian development and revival.

( date?) The Cargills then moved with their young family and other missionaries to the Fiji Islands, where Christian influence was minimal. Margaret died there on 2 June 1840, and David Cargill, griefstricken, returned to Britain for a short while with their four daughters.

27 November 1841: He remarried on 27 November 1841, to Augusta Bicknell, and shortly afterwards was re-appointed to a training mission on Tonga.

30 April 1842: Cargill, his new wife, four daughters and their governess sailed for Hobart, Tasmania, aboard the Haidee. His children became seriously ill with measles during the voyage, but survived;

11 August 1842:  his son David was born aboard ship on 11 August 1842. During the voyage Cargill preached to his fellow passengers; the ship arrived at Hobart in late August of 1842. Cargill preached at many settlements in Tasmania, including Port Arthur.

15th December 1842: Cargills again set sail, this time on board the Triton, bound for their final destination of Tonga.

21 January 1843 Triton arrived at Vava’u in Tonga : Cargill took over the superintendancy of the Vava’u Wesleyan mission from Peter Turner, and spent the next three months preaching at various mission stations, but was struck by dengue fever, leading to severe exhaustion. This illness, combined with continuing grief for the loss of his first wife, deepened the depression to which he was prone;

25 April 1843: died of an overdose of laudanum on.
http://www.mundus.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search?coll_id=1038&inst_id=52&keyword=Tonga

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25 April 1843: did Wesleyan missionary David Cargill, die in Tonga, of a self-administered overdose of opium?

laudanum-bottle at http://19thcenturyartofmourning.com/19th_century_laudanum_bottle.htm
Two versions exist of the death of David Cargill; in one, he dies of smallpox, and , the other, an over dose of laudanum (liquid opium). Cargill’s diaries – and other reports of him – show he wore a high sense of self-importance. He was perhaps, at first, tempered by the mild manner and community-popularity of his first wife, Margaret. David Cargill married again; but remained obsessed with his first wife; a woman who appeared to require, and retain, a saintly patience. The possibility of suicide appears implied in reportage.
The smallpox death-theory: ‘Cargill set foot once again in Vavou on 21st February 1843. On 29th March he preached twice in Tonguese and once in English. Within a month he was dead, succumbing to smallpox on 25th April’. wrote J. Malcolm Bulloch, in June, 1921.

The Dengue fever theory : http://www.mundus.ac.uk reported  ‘Cargill took over the superintendancy of the Vava’u Wesleyan mission from Peter Turner, and spent the next three months preaching at various mission stations, but was struck by dengue fever, leading to severe exhaustion. This illness, combined with continuing grief for the loss of his first wife, deepened the depression to which he was prone; he died of an overdose of laudanum on 25 April 1843’.
http://www.mundus.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search?coll_id=1038&inst_id=52&keyword=Tonga
“Laudanum”: The common name for Tincture of Opium, and the form in which that drug is most frequently administered. . . It is narcotic, sedative, and being made with spirit, is also, to a certain extent, stimulant and anti-spasmodic. For relieving pain, wherever situated, to diminish irritation, and to procure sleep, it is the best of the medicines we possess.” (From: The Family Doctor, a Dictionary of Domestic Medicine and Surgery, by a Dispensary Surgeon. London, c.1860) More, Small pox reference: (J. Malcolm Bulloch, June, 1921.)An Aberdeen graduate as pioneer in Fiji by J Malcolm Bulloch from the Aberdeen University Review, June 1921 http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wordscape/Cargill/Aberdeen.html

1853: [Ma’afu] “has introduced order, proprietery and rule” wrote Lyth after the arrival of Ma’afu amd Sefanaia Laulua

‘Wesleyan missionary, Lyth wrote repeatedly to King George Tuopu of Tonga asking for his intervention to control the behavour of Tongans in Fiji. …Ma’afu played no particularly prominent role in in Fiji until 1853, when Tupou ,at the request of the missionaries, appointed him and Lualala (the former Vava’u rebel) jointly to govern the unruly Tongans in Fiji’. (p72)

Ma’afu feared by Cakobau: ‘From that time onwards Ma’afu became more important in Fijian affairs. He became involved in other chiefs’ quarrels and wars and sometime the presence of Tongan mission teachers gave him an opportunity to bring his warriors and impose his authority. By 1858, Ma’afu was possibly the most powerful man in Fifi, feared even by the great chief of Bau, Cakobau, who Europeans called Tui Viti, of King of Fiji’.

I.C . CAMPBELL, Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern. Canterbury University Press. 1992. ISBN 0-098812-14-0

March 1855: Siaosi (Taufa’ahau) arrived from Tonga with forty ships and 10,000 warriors

Berthold Seeman wrote, ‘In March 1855 Siaosi arrived from Tonga with forty drua (ships) and 10,000 warriors, turning Cakobau’s siege of Kaba, into a victorious charge. After some ambassadors were killed on the shore, the Tongans on their way home, killed 300’. Siaosi (Taufa’ahau) aso known as King George, Tupou II, ruled Tonga from 1852-1893.
Book sparks cotton boom: Seemann’s book gave a favourable account of the possibilities of commercial development in Fiji (or Viti as it was originally named). He has been credited with sparking an influx of Australian settlers there in the 1860s, at a time when British sovereignty of the islands was being debated.
Seemann, Berthold, 1825-1871. Viti : an account of a government mission to the Vitian or Fijian islands in the years 1860-61 / by Berthold Seeman. (Cambridge : Macmillan, 1862)

1795: Australian convicts Morgan, Ambler and Connolly land on Tonga, off American ship, Otter

‘Towards the end of the 1790s a new influence came to Tonga in the form of permanent European residents. The first of these were convicts who had escaped from the British Colony of NSW, which had been established on the east coast of Australia by the British government primarily as a punishment for criminals. In 1795, some of these found a place on on the American ship Otter, which put them ashore on Tonga.
First white men to live in Tonga, a novelty: The names of these men were Morgan, Ambler and Connolly. As the first white men to live in Tonga, there were a novelty, and the chiefs were eager to patronise them. They were claimed by Tuku’aho*, who although he was not Tui’Kanokupulo, was the most powerful chief in Tonga.
Usefulness of foreigners: Foreigners had often lived with powerful chiefs, but in past they has almost always been Samoans or Fijians, and were useful because they did not have obligations – except to the chief who adopted them. European residents became quite highly valued by the chiefs in the same way and some of them became quite important’.
* A cousin of Maa’fu
p.42. CAMPBELL.I.C , Island Kingdom, Tonga Ancient and Modern, Canterbury University Press, 1992 ISBN 0-908812-14-0

In June 1838 a large canoe provided byTaufa’ahau of Ha’apai, the future king of all Tonga, brought to Lakeba six more teachers to serve the Fiji mission:

In June 1838 a large canoe provided by Taufa’ahau of Ha’apai, the future king of all Tonga, brought to Lakeba six more teachers to serve the Fiji mission: Joeli Pulu (spelt Bulu in Fijian), Sailosi Fa’one, Siuliasi Naulivou, Uesile Langi, Selemaia Latu and Semisi Havea. Guided by Cargill, they acquired the dialect of Lau.

Long succession of Tongan missionaries: Their names, renowned in the annals of Fiji, indicate at this early stage the importance of a long succession of Tongan missionaries who used their country’s many contacts in Fiji to introduce their faith. By the time these Tongans arrived Gross had gone on ahead to Bau and Rewa, following Josua Mateinaniu’s track. Peter Dillon , the Irish Roman Catholic mariner, transported him, at a price, to Bau. Unfortunately Tanoa, the highest chief, was found to be not at home. Gross met his son, Seru, the future Cakobau. Young, wild in his appearance, very much incontrol of the interview, he told Gross he could stay if he wished on Bau, but that his safety was not guaranteed. Gross, with prudence but limited foresight, decided to go on and try Tui Dreketi, the highest chief of nearby Rewa on the Viti Levu mainland, who was at that time allied with Bau.

Cakobau not impressed with Gross: There he was offered the protection he sought and decided to settle. The meeting between Gross and Cakobau retarded Wesleyan advance in Fiji. Gross, small of stature and sensitive, was no chief. In Fiji men were measured by their physical presence and airof authority. John Hunt, who later earned Cakobau’s respect, once observed that one of the pre-Christian high chiefs at Rewa feared Hunt as a likely spiritual competitor because Hunt, unlike Cross, was tall. Cakobau, always eager to appropriate white men of any kind for his ownadvantage, was also piqued because Gross went to Rewa instead of residing on Bau.