South America, the Dark Continent by Emilio Olsson

Inscription inside The Dark Continent by Emilio OlssonThis particular volume of Emilio Olsson’s book on the urgent need  for increased missionary effort in South America appears to have proved inspirational to at least one person. The inscription on the title page reads: “Edward Barton, 29th February 1904” – presumably the date on which the book was purchased. It continues: “Just before I sailed by “Panama” from Liverpool for Rio de Janeiro”. The “Panama” here may refer to refer to the S.S. Aleutian, which was renamed S.S. Panama in 1905.

My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

Emilio Olsson, South America: The Dark Continent. New York: M.E. Munson, 1899. Hbk. pp.89. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Introduction
  • Carrying the Bible Into the Forest
  • In Wildest South America
  • A Marvelous Continent
  • Among the Gauchos
  • Sleeping on Scorpions
  • On the Great Pampas
  • Lost in the Forest
  • The Falls of the Madeira
  • Among the Savage Tribes
  • Curious Courtship
  • Marriage in Patagonia
  • Strange Burial Ceremonies
  • The Warlike Tobas
  • Burying Aged People Alive
  • South American Dialects
  • Indians of the Amazon
  • Descendants of the Incas
  • The Gospel and South America


No field could be riper for the harvest than South America is to-day for the Gospel of Christ. A vast continent, extensive regions of which are unexplored, and the semi-civilized parts of which are but little known to Christendom, cries out, with the cry of Macedonia to Paul, to the heart and conscience of the Protestant world. \Vhile nearly every steamer crossing either ocean to Africa or the Orient bears some message of light to the heathen groping in the darkness of idolatry and superstition, millions of South American heathen at our threshold remain neglected, and plungej in barbarism and ignorance even to a greater degree than when Columbus first landed in the western hemisphere….

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