Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "The Accidental Ethnographer." (Coming Soon)
Click below for other posts from Ocean and Isle:
|[a] Beach RF|
|[b] Hillside RF|
He wrote about it all, and he took pictures. The former is not without problem; the latter is easily his legacy. It is all a fascinating picture of an American abroad in a peculiarly resonant time in American history—from the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 to the end of World War I. This series will grow as my research does, but let's get started with Geil's own words—a little from each of his published books.
|[c] Reef RF|
Ocean and Isle—The Author's
Worldwide Tour of Observation
By His Pastor, John Howard Deming (1901)
One of the prominent features of the opening of the New Century is the increased interest in Foreign Missions. As an expression of the spirit of the times we call attention to the projected world-wide tour and circuit of all the chief missionary stations of Heathendom to be begun this month by the brilliant American Evangelist, Author, and Traveller, Wm. Edgar Geil, whose inspiring and successful work in many parts of our country is well known to the Christian public. The purpose of the tour is that of independent observation of the whole missionary field, in its actual condition, operations, modes of organizations, instruction, and efforts, its different peculiarities, its needs, its difficulties, its relations to existing forms of Heathen religion, to international and denominational policies, to political events, and what of encouragement or discouragement may exist in the great work of extending the gospel to the world, and especially to the neglected parts of Heathendom. A special object is to minister spiritual comfort and cheer everywhere, to all laborers in the field, as opportunity may offer; to visit schools, colleges, and institutions of sacred learning in connection with missionary operations, and report the results to the whole Christian church.
|[d] Floral RF|
The competency of this self-denying and brave evangelist for the task undertaken is beyond question. His able and attractive work on "Patmos" (the result of a previous tour of observation), guarantees the value and success of the correspondence. The entire course of travel has been carefully mapped out, and is expected to occupy over three years. Very naturally we may expect that as the observation is independent, many things will come to light not hitherto known to the Christian public—what the real value of statistics is, what the effect of the commercial war-spirit and policy of the Christian world powers is upon the heathen, in how far they are responsible for impressing a false idea of the Christianity, and to what extent their influence has been for good, what the present attitude of the competing heathen religions towards the cause of missions, what the real reasons of the Mohammedan success, now that it has to so great an extent used other means than the sword for its propagation, outstripping in many regions the Christian progress; and what the decided anti-Christian forces which the missionary has to meet.
A tour of visit so unique and rate—the first of its kind—cannot fail to be welcomed by every missionary on the field. This unique journey, so full of Christian heart, energy, activity, and prayerful consecration, and deep sympathy, must be greatly blessed to all concerned in the mission work, at home and abroad. The observation will be made not alone in reference to Protestant missions, but Roman Catholic as well. We have only words of encouragement for Mr. Geil. He holds a ready pen, and in addition to his general observations we may expect many a graphic sketch of local coloring and incident, full of interest to all his readers. We invoke God's blessing upon him.
Doylestown, Pa., U.S.A
May 2, A.D. 1901
|[e] Interest RF|
William Edgar Geil, Ocean and Isle (Melbourne: Wm. T. Pater & Company, 1902), 1-3.