ELLIS, WILLIAM, an English missionary and authqr. He was a poor boy with a scanty education, but bright and intelligent. When 20 years old, having come under deep religious impressions, he offered himself as a missionary to the London missionary society, and after spending a year in studying theology and acquiring several practical arts, such as printing and book-binding, he was sent to the South Sea islands in 1816, and reached his destination a year later. Here his labors were exceedingly fruitful, contributing much toward the great and beneficent changes that have taken place dur ing the present century in that portion of the world. At the end of seven years he was compelled by the illness of his wife to return to England. The homeward voyage was made by way of the United States, where he spent several months in traveling and addressing missionary meetings, doing much thereby to arouse a missionary spirit in the American churches. On his arrival in his native land, he was appointed traveling agent of the London missionary society,, whose principles and purposes he advocated in nearly every important town in Great Britain. While thus employed he published his Tour through Hawaii, which he had written while on the journey home; and also his Polyne sian Researches, in two volumes, a work of much interest and value. In 1832, he was
appointed foreign secretary of the society which he had so long served in other capaci ties, discharging the duties of the office with zeal and efficiency for seven years till ill health compelled his resignation. During this period he had married his second wife, Miss Sarah Stickney, the well-known author, and published his History of Madagascar. After resting for a time in France, he took up his residence at Hoddesdon, Hertford• shire, where, in 1847, he became pastor of a small Congregational church. At length he was called by the London missionary society to visit Madagascar, to promote the resumption of the missionary enterprise there. The results of this agency are set forth in his Three Visits to Madagascar; one of the most romantic narratives in the whole literature of missions. He made a fourth visit to the island in 1863, of which an account will be found in his Madagascar Revisited. He also wrote and published A Vindication of the South Sea Missions from the Misrepresentation of Otto von Kotzebue; and Village Lec tures on Popery.