Letters to Isabella Duncan from William Mills and Lillias Mills

Scope and Content

Five letters from William and Lillias Mills, missionaries stationed at Apia, Upolu, Samoa, to Isabella Duncan, Glasgow. Mrs Duncan was the sister of Lillias Mills. Records everyday life at the mission, including descriptions of the 'progress' of the indigenous Samoan people in learning English and reading the scriptures. Mrs Mills refers to the birth of her son William in July 1837 and his subsequent illness. She later refers to her sons John and James, and her fear for the childrens' 'moral contamination'. She comments of the loneliness of the station, relieved only when ships visit. She also refers to the establishment of a girls school, and engravings of their house which appears in the Missionary Magazine. Mr Mills comments on an incident in May 1841 when war amongst neighbouring districts of Manono and Aana was averted. Also refers to increases in Church membership. Original letters are fragile, but there are typescript copies. The letters were given to the London Missionary Society in 1953 by Rev A. Morton Price, whose wife was a distant relative of Rev. and Mrs Mills.

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