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.

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’.
“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

1858: Ma’afu the most powerful man in Fiji

Heneli Ma’afu was son of Josiah Tupo’u, the previous Kanokupulo. It is often suggested that George Tupou, King of Tonga sent Ma’afu to Fiji to make a kingdom for himself in in 1947 because he was a potential rival whose high birth and cleverness could make him a leader for the Kings energies. However there is no evidence that Tuopu did send Ma’afu to Fiji. Ma’afu played no particularly prominent role in Fiji until 1853, when Tupou – at the request of missionaries – appointed Ma’afu and (Sefania Lualua) jointly to govern the unruly Tongans in Fiji.

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

September 1858: Maafu’s men massacre 30 of Ritova’s party in Church on Sunday at Natakala, Bua

aug16-bechehttp-wwwhistorynavymilacexplorationwilkes98-089-bnConsul Pritchard favoured Cakobau over Maafu,  because of the brutality of the Maafu-lead Tongan Methodist Wesleyans.  Cakobau (Thakombau) in his time, was as brutal, but by the time Pritchard arrived at Levuka, Cakobau had begun to modify his traditional behaviour;  he  had  a decade of  engagements with missionaries and traders, notably,  beche de mer trader, Mary Wallis.
Pritchard shocked at Maafu ‘s warfare: The newly -arrived Pritchard  – from the relative peace of Tahiti – reported – in shock – one example of Maafu-style Tongan warfare, this way : ‘Two wily.crafty chieftains were met face to face, each suspicious of the other, and both attempting to overreach one another. The result of their interview was that Thakombau sent a canoe, under the command of a trusty chieftain, to accompany Maafu’s expedition.
A watch over Maafu: Thakombau’s real object in sending this canoe was to have a watch over Maafu, knowing as he did that he really could not check Maafu’s plans without an open rupture, for which he was not prepared. Maafu’s object was to shelter himself under the countenance of Thakombau, until it suited his purpose to turn upon his associate. Both chieftains conceived that they had each attained their respective aims, and overreached the other.
Maafu and his followers arrived at Bua: In due course Maafu and his followers arrived at Bua, the head-quarters of Tui Bua’s district. Thence the united forces proceeded up the Mathuata coast, carrying all before them, and sending death and devastation into every Fijian hut.
Tongans a fiercesome lot: In missionary reports we read fearful stories of Fijian atrocities and treachery, while not a line is penned to record the butcheries of the favoured Tongans, whose boast it is that they are the champions of Wesleyanism in Fiji.
Surrender in Church: At a town called Natakala, Ritova’s party, worsted in a fight, took to the bush. After destroying all their yam plantations and cutting down all their cocoa-nut trees, Maafu left his Lieutenant Semisi to hunt up the fugitives. Though he could not capture them in the bush, Semisi managed to communicate with them, He promised them that if they would return to the town, submit to Maafu, and deliver up their arms, their lives should be spared. The Fijians asked for a guarantee. Semisi replied, ” Meet me in the church on Sunday morning; there, in the house of God and in His presence, our deliberations shall be sacred.”
Fiijians surrender: The Fijians, to the number of about thirty, accepted the invitation, and on Sunday morning they emerged from their hiding-places, and appeared in the church. They gave up their arms, which were placed in the centre of the building.
Tongans kill Fijians as they are ‘heathens”: Surrounded by armed Tongans, Semisi addressed them : ” You are all heathens ; you are all wicked men. You have fought against us who are propagating the religion of Tonga. You must all die.”* This speech concluded, Mafi, a Tongan, stepped from the side of Semisi, in obedience to a wave of his hand, and began tying one man’s right hand to the next one’s left, until he had completed the circle. Unarmed and entrapped, resistance was useless,  remonstrance worse than useless. And with that stoicism which not unfrequently marks the conduct of the savage when inevitable death, however horrible the manner, stares them in the face, the Fijians passively submitted to their fate.
Eyes gouged out; heads chopped off: Their hands tied, Mafi, in their presence and under the direction of Semisi, sharpened an American axe on a grindstone that was kept in readiness for the occasion. He then took up a bayonet that was fixed to a spear, and outdoing Nahash the Ammonite, deliberately gouged an eye out of each man’s head ! This done, he resumed his axe, and as the victims sat, tied hand to hand, and powerless, in the house of God, he chopped off each (head)’.
Pritchard, William T. 1866 Polynesian Reminiscences; or, Life in the South Pacific Islands. London: Chapman and Hall.

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.