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Chauncy Maples, DD, FRGS A Sketch of his Life, with Selections from his Letters

Nature volume 57, page 76 | Download Citation



THE publication of this memoir of Dr. Chauncy Maples—a pioneer missionary in East Central Africa for twenty years—reveals that sympathetic interest in science which has been strikingly noteworthy in some of the most remarkable missionaries of our time. In 1881 Mr. Maples, then stationed at Masasi, made a journey of 900 miles to the Meto country, and in this and other ways contributed to our knowledge of the geography of East Africa. His papers were appreciated by the Royal Geographical Society, of which he was a Fellow. And he quite entered into the spirit of the recent development of Nyasaland at the hands of the British administrators, founding and editing the Nyasa News, which was printed on the island of Likoma by his native boys. Sir Harry Johnston, K.C.M.G., contributed to it, and writes cordially of the late Bishop in his recent book on “British Central Africa.” Sir Harry was almost the last European to see him alive; for a few days afterwards he was drowned in the Lake Nyasa, September 3, 1895, on his way to his post. In the Bishop's last letter but one, written, of course, before the knighthood, he says: “I was more struck than ever with the Commissioner's cleverness and accomplishments and his power of doing so many things, as he does, so very well. He is certainly a very remarkable man indeed.”

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