Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous author of Treasure island and Jekyll and Hyde, suffered from tuberculosis (who wasn’t back in the 19th century?) and believed that journeying to the South Pacific would be good for his health. Stevenson loved to travel and was glad to depart.
He once wrote, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” So off he went and eventually ended up meeting one Rev. Dr. Charles McEwan Hyde.
Now, to be clear, Hyde, a Presbyterian, was no monster like the Hyde that Stevenson had written about years earlier in his famous novel. Dr. Hyde was working on getting smallpox vaccinations for the natives there as well as better education. But something came between the two. Actually someone.
That someone was Father Damien, a Catholic who lived among lepers in a leper colony on the island of Molokai.