Price: $4,855.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good+

On offer is a fascinating diary of an English gentleman by the name of Ben D. Beeley from England who at the very end of the 19th Century travels from London to Borneo to function as a missionary to the local population there. The 1899 New Year begins with a short entry by Beeley: “I commenced the New Year in all Saints Church. O’ Lord help me to serve Thee with true devotion in my life as a missionary in Borneo.” In February, He sail’s aboard steamship from London heading to Singapore. The day before he says his goodbyes: “The saddest day in my life,” he remarks. “I left home this morning at 9 a.m. How awful to say good-bye to the dear ones at home? Dear Father and Darling mother and dear old Gal. M God help them and bless and comfort them...I took my dear little Lottie for a long walk. How happy I was in her company. How sad to leave her, but I am happy since I know she loves me truly and faithfully. I have asked her not to wait for me and she promises she will not. Never can I forget the farewell at All Saints Church. All the girls cried. Jeff embraced me. And those dear men how they did cheer!! My god take away pride from me.” He leaves on the steamer “Kawachi Maru”. The beginning of his journey is less than pleasant, filled with headaches, terrible sea sickness and rough seas. The days get better as they go on, and Beeley notes his activities everyday on the boat. For example: “Awoke feeling much better. Had a better breakfast. Spent the morning on Deck. Talk to one of the Miss Vincents. Bible Reading on Luke xvii 1 -10 . Very rough in evening and much spray.” He writes everyday of the journey to Singapore. From England, the steamer travels across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal. Beeley doesn’t like Port Said much: “I was 4 or 5 times in the day grossly insulted in the street. The whole tone of the place is awful. There is work there for 100 missionaries and there is only one!” The ship reaches Singapore and is therefore only a day before it goes on to Borneo. Beeley is stationed in Kuching, Sarawak as a missionary. His first impressions in early April are very positive and shortly after arriving he get to work: “I took Perry’s boys for scripture from 10 to 10:45. It was a great treat to hear how well they answered. They were all Dyaks and Chinese. My first bit of mission work.” He comes off as an intensely curious person and writes often about the customs and religion of the people around him: “Chinese ancestor worship is very extraordinary....a procession headed by 2 men carrying 2...coloured baskets next to a scarlet banner followed by a dead goat on a stretcher and a young dead pig, both these have fruit in their mouths...”; “The Malays have curious customs of piling up pillows one on the top of the others”; “The Chinese and Malay made an awful row. They believe a dragon was swelling the moon. and they tried to scare him.” He also starts to notice some of the ethnic strife: “This morning 5 Dyaks were executed for the murder of some Chinese. The murder took place about five years ago but the murders have only just been found out. We had some Cricket at the fort. It was good fun. The Dyaks thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a boy in an inch of water on the pitch. I never expected to play cricket in the east in such a quagmire.” While in Kuching, Beeley spends considerable time with one of the “White Rajahs” of Sarawak, Charles of Sarawak (Charles Johnson/Brooke). The Rajahs were a dynastic monarchy of the English Brooke family, who founded and ruled the Kingdom of Sarawak from 1841 - 1947. He receives an invitation for dinner from the Rajah at Astana his palace in Kuching. When Beeley sets off to the field to preach he encounters many obstacles including awful weather, tribes of ‘headhunters’, and dangerous animals. At one village he notices human heads hanging from posts outside of their homes. (“Saribas people are very nice & all want me to stay with them. There were 2 human heads hanging up the house opposite our beds.”)He has near disastrous river trip & almost drowns on several occasions. He also hunts & in one case shoots a 7 foot crocodile outside of his hut. His journey to the more rural and isolated parts of the country is exceptionally fascinating to read. Despite becoming a Deacon in September, Beeley is assigned to a seemingly abandoned missionary station where everything is rundown, and has to live in the ruins of a house. “He suffers bouts of dysentery, and mentions many of his fellow missionaries are depressed and want to leave Sarawak. He writes “ 'This Diocese is in a bad state. Men are all dissatisfied. Gomes, Perry in fact nearly all want to leave. What will be the end I do not know!” Shortly afterward he becomes horribly ill and spends almost two months in a delirious state. He writes often of struggles with his faith (“I hope I shall not be alone in any mission station I am so weak & I am afraid of myself.”; “O’ God help me in the great responsibility of guiding this mission station. Give me strength and help. I do feel the responsibility of this mission I hope all will go well.”) and his own personal salvation. As well as his struggles to actually comprehend the Dyak language and culture and to speak back to them. At the end of the year, Beeley writes a fantastic retrospective passage: “The end of 1899. A wonderful year to me. The beginning of a new life how many things have happened !! Some for good, some almost bringing about my downfall. God thou knowest- all my love thee feeble and weak though it be. Am I better or worse for the past year? The past is gone from us forever. It is gathered and it belongs to us no more. No single work can ever be unspoken no single step retraced. In February I had heart rendering farewells to leave home & my dear family & her whom I love. In April i landed in Sarawak & commenced my work. In July I had fierce trials by temptation. In August I was prostrate on a bed with sickness. In September I was ordained Deacon. In December left alone in the heart of Sarawak. Yet O God I was in thy hands & I know thou will keep me safe.” The book is in good condition. The cover and spine have some aesthetic wear and discoloration but are still structurally good. The binding is still tight. The pages inside show little foxing or rips and tears. The handwriting is clear and legible throughout in black and blue ink and occasionally pencil. Some of the ink has faded a bit, and there are a couple dozen pages where the ink has bled through to the other side. This does slightly affect the ease at which the content can be read for these pages but the bleeding through is minimal and the words can still be made out with slightly more effort. OVERALL: G+; Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, BEN D. BEELEY, LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM, PORT SAID, SUEZ CANAL, SINGAPORE, KUCHING, SARAWAK, BORNEO, CHRISTIAN OUTREACH, PROSELYTIZING, MALAYSIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY, MISSIONARY WORK IN ASIA, TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY, CHRISTIANITY IN ASIA, MALAY PEOPLE, DYAK PEOPLE, CHARLES BROOKE, RAJAH OF SARAWAK, WHITE RAJAHS, KAWACHI MARU, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, DIARY, DIARIES, PERSONAL HISTORY, FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL


Author Name: BEN D. BEELEY

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Diary, All, 19th Century Manuscript,


Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0009160

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Ben D. Beeley LONDON ENGLAND United Kingdom Port Said Suez Canal SINGAPORE KUCHING