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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Chalmers, Rev. James

Chalmers, Rev. James, the well-known New Guinea missionary and explorer, was born at Ardrishaig, Argyllshire, on August 4th, 1841, and was brought up in Inverary, where he served articles in a lawyer's office. He was subsequently for some time a city missionary in Glasgow, and then studied for the ministry at Cheshunt College, near London. He left Great Britain as a missionary for Rarotonga, Hervey Group, on Jan. 4th, 1866, in connection with the London Missionary Society, on board the John Williams, and suffered much in the Channel from the severe gale in which the London was lost. Mr. Chalmers arrived at Rarotonga on May 20th, 1867, having been twice wrecked on the way and lost everything. He spent ten years in Rarotonga at the head of an educational establishment, but at the request of the directors of the London Missionary Society left the island in 1877, and joined the New Guinea Mission. During the years that followed Mr. Chalmers explored and opened up many miles of coast line and inland for the purpose of establishing mission stations, and assisted in the proclaiming of the protectorate over British New Guinea. Mr. Chalmers visited the north-east coast of New Guinea three times, and made several important discoveries. In conjunction with Dr. Gill, he wrote "Work and Adventures in New Guinea," and afterwards "Pioneering in New Guinea," both published by the Religious Tract Society.