Captain James Wilson (1760–1814), brought the first British missionaries to Tahiti on ship Duff in 1797. Wilson was a deeply religious man. The missionaries he brought were from the London Missionary Society. There were thirty men, six women and three children.
Wilson, on the Duff also explored and visited many islands in the Pacific, some of which had never had any recorded visit by a European. Among these the most important are Mangareva in the Gambier Islands and Pukarua in the Tuamotus. Duff Paid a visit as a missionary ship to Tahiti during 1796, as a result, Missionary Society has first been established in Tahiti. Three years after the establishment, the directors of the Society appointed a committee to consider a suitable memorial for presentation to Wilson for his services in helping to establish the first mission in the South Seas.
^Smith, B. 1960 European vision and South Pacific 1768-1850, Oxford University Press, London.