William Harris (beachcomber)
William Harris (born in 1812 or 1813, presumed dead in 1889) was a British-born beachcomber who settled in pre-colonial Nauru and adopted a Nauruan lifestyle.
A convict sentenced to the penal colony on Norfolk Island, he escaped and made his way to Nauru in 1842. There he "assimilated native culture [...,] took a Nauruan wife, fathered several children, and was adopted as a Nauruan. He became perhaps the only beachcomber the Nauruans ever fully accepted and trusted." He acted as an intermediary between his people of adoption and passing European trade vessels.
In 1881, Harris informed the Royal Navy that civil war had broken out on the island.
In 1888, when Nauru became a German protectorate, he assisted the German authorities in informing the Nauruans of the way in which the country would be governed, and in persuading them to relinquish their firearms, with which a third of the population had been killed during the civil war.
In 1889, his canoe was swept away to sea by strong currents, and he was not seen again.

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William Harris (beachcomber) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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William Harris (beachcomber) - The Times of India - Indiatimes
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William Harris (beachcomber) quotes | Quotations at Dictionary.com
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To live among the stars: Christian origins in Oceania - Google Books Result
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Books on the term William Harris (beachcomber)
To live among the stars: Christian origins in Oceania
To live among the stars: Christian origins in Oceania
Johm Garrett, 1982
William Harris, a beachcomber who had settled on Nauru in 1842 and married various local women, consistently requested Christian missionaries. He sponsored and helped Philip A. Delaporte, an American from Honolulu sent in 1899 by the ...
Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature
Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature
Carl N. McDaniel, John M. Gowdy, 1999
William Harris, the acculturated beachcomber, boarded the ship, and in the evening the flagship semaphored the rest of the squadron: "A civil war on the island. An escaped convict is king. All hands constantly drunk: no fruit or vegetables to be ...
Sexual encounters: Pacific texts, modern sexualities
Sexual encounters: Pacific texts, modern sexualities
Lee Wallace, 2003
Frequently cited is the case of the recently ordained William Harris, who was put down at Tahuata in 1797 by the ship Duff, ... Harris slept alone, having declined the 1 1 The ranks of Pacific beachcombers are well catalogued in H. E. Maude, ...
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Blog posts on the term
William Harris (beachcomber)
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