Skip to main content

Full text of "Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842"

See other formats














1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 184^. 












I.\- THE clerk's office of the district court for the district of COLUMBIA. 


'tat. Oilice U13, 

sterkotvpkd nr j. faoan. 
printed by C«.«I1ERMAN. 




1* . w 











LAU 139-162 





BAY 163—202 




























Nukualofa, Toxga. 



Ngaraningiou's House. 

Queen of Rewa. 


Club Dance. 

Biciie de Mar Housf 

Tombs at Mutiiuata. 

Observatory Peak. 

Valley of Voona. 

Pali, Oahu. 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by C. A. Jewett, 3 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by Rawdon, Wright and Hatch, 56 
Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by W. C. Armstrong, 109 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by J. F. E. Prudhomme, 119 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by Welch and Walters, 127 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by J. W. Paradise, 136 

Drawn by J. Drayton. 

Engraved by Rawdon Wright and Hatch, 190 
Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by J. F. E. Prudhomme, 220 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by J. Smillie, 231 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by Jordan and Halpin, 239 

Sketched by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by Jordan and Halpin, 292 

Sketched by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by J. B. Neagle. 391 

Tonga Gateway. 


Sketched by C. Wilkes, U. S. N. 

Engraved by Wm. H. Dougal, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by 0. A. Jewett, 




Tanoa's Canot:. 



Wailevu or Peale's River. 

Waicama, Feejee. 

MuTHUATA, Feejee. 

Henry's Island. 

Upper Town, Somu-somu. 

Feejee Pottery. 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by J. N. Gimbrede, 54 

Sketched by J. Drayton. 

Engraved by Smillie and Hinchelwood, 86 

Sketched by T. R. Peale, 

Engraved by G. B. Ellis 124 

Sketched by J. Drayton. 

Engraved by Smillie and Hinchelwood, 197 
Drawn by J. Drayton. 

Engraved by Sherman and Smith, 226 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by E. Gallaudet, 272 

Drawn by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by Smillie and Hinchelwood, 300 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 

Engraved by Sherman and Smith, 348 


Tonga Fence. 

King George's House. 



Rotuma Chief. 

Native of Tonga. 

Native of Erromago. 


Tui Levuka. 


Ava Bowls, &c. 

Feejee Girl. 

Feejee Oracle. 

Cannibal Cooking-Pots 




Drinking Vessels. 

Head-dress of Chiefs. 

Feejee Clown. 


Feejee Baskets, &c. 

Feejee Woman. 

Henrietta's House. 

Front of House. 

Dillon's Rock. 


AsAUA Woman. 

Feejee Arms. 

Diagram, Malolo. 

Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by J. Drayton. | 
Sketched by J. Drayton.f 
Sketched by J. Drayton, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by J. Drayton. 

Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 
Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Engraved by J. J. Butler, 

Engraved by R. H. Pease, 
Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 
Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate.j Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by J. Drayton.t Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 
Sketched by J. Drayton, 

Sketched by A. T. Agate.j Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by J. Drayton.t Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 
Sketched by J. Drayton. Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 

Sketched by A. T. Agate. Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate.f Engraved by R. H. Pease, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. Engraved by R. H. Pease, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate.j- Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Sketched by J. Drayton. Engraved by R. H. Pease, 
Sketched by J. Drayton, 

Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by A. T. Agate.t 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by J. Drayton, 
Sketched by A. T. Agate. 
Sketched by A. T, Agate, 
Drawn by F. D. Stuart 

Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Engraved by T. H. Mumford, 
Engraved by J. J. Butler, 
Engraved by R. H. Pease, 
Engraved by J. J. Butler, 

Engraved by R. H. Pease, 
Engraved by T. H. Mumford, 
Engraved by J. J. Butler, 






Wild Feejee Man. Sketched by A. T. Agate. Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 291 

Feejee Drum. Sketched by J. Drayton.t Engraved by R. O'Brien, 300 

Chief's House. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by J. J. Butler, 305 

Monument. Sketched by J. Drayton. Engraved by J. J. Butler, 311 

Feejee Drummer. Sketched by J. Drayton. Engraved by J. J. Butler, 316 

Woman Braiding, Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 338 

Maloma. From the Collection.! Engraved by R. H. Pease, 342 

AiRou. From the CoUection.t Engraved by R. H. Pease, 342 

Toka. From the CoUection.t Engraved by R. H. Pease, 343 

Ula. From the CoUection.t Engraved by R. 11. Pease, 343 
Mode of Building Houses. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by R. O'Brien, 344 

Feejee Canoe. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 345 

Cooking-Jars. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by R. H. Pease, 349 

Mode of Drinking. Sketched by J. Drayton.t Engraved by R. H. Pease, 349 

Mode of Sitting. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 351 

Mode of Sitting. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by R. S. Gilbert, 353 

LiKus. From "the CoUection.t Engraved by J. J. Butler, 355 

Feejee Wigs, &c. From the CoUection.t Engraved by J. J. Butler, 364 
Mode of Carrying Burdens. Sketched by J. Drayton.t Engraved by R. H. Pease, 389 

Street, Honolulu. Sketched by A. T. Agate.t Engraved by J. J. Butler, 394 

Those marked with a t, were drawn on the wood by J. H. Manning ; those marked 
with a t, by W. G. Armstrong. Those not marked, by the Artists of the Expedition. 









Having completed such repairs as were necessary, the Vincennes, 
with the Porpoise and Flying-Fish in company, sailed from the Bay 
of Islands on the 6th April, for Tongalaboo. I believe that no person 
in the squadron felt any regret at leaving New Zealand, for there was 
a want of all means of amusement, as well as of any objects in whose 
observation we were interested. 

We had at first a light breeze from the northward and westward, 
followed by a calm, after which the wind came round to the southward. 
The weather was remarkably pleasant. 

Cape Brett, according to our observations, is erroneously placed in 
the charts, which make it forty-two minutes too far to the eastward. 
We experienced after sailing a current of eight miles to the northward 
in twenty-four hours. On the 8th April, the current set northeast-by- 
north, half a mile per hour. 

On the 9th, the sea was very smooth, and the day calm ; and we not 
only tried the current, but the distance below the surface at which a 
white object was visible. The sun's altitude was observed at the same 
time. These observations are recorded in Appendix I., and it will be 
seen that the rate of the current had increased considerably. 



I was desirous to pass over the positions of some of the doubtfu' 
shoals, and to verify the longitude assigned to Sunday Island, (the 
Raoul of D'Entrecasteaux.) Had this not been my design, I shorJd 
have preferred pursuing a more eastern route than I did, which I am 
satisfied would have shortened our passage to Tongataboo. I do not 
conceive, however, that there is any difficulty in reaching that island, 
or any risk of falling to the leeward of it at this season of the year, for 
westerly winds prevail in its neighbourhood. We had a light wind 
from northeast to east-northeast. 

On the 11th April, we had reached latitude 29° S., longitude 178° 
W., and had on that day a most beautiful halo. It was formed at first 
of the segments of two great circles, the chords of which subtended an 
angle of 54°. These gradually united, and formed a circle around the 
sun,, whose diameter measured 42°, Its appearances, at 2'' 40"" and at 
3 p. M., are represented in the figure. 

The parhelia were very distinct, and had spurs on their outer sides ; 
two points in the vertical plane intersecting the sun, were very bi'ight, 
but did not form parhelia ; the sun's altitude was 29° 20' : no decided 
clouds were to be seen, but the whole sky was hazy, and the wind 
fresh from the northeast. About two hours after this phenomenon, 
much lightning occurred, with torrents of rain, but no thunder, and 
this continued throughout the night. Tlie barometer stood at 29-99 in ; 


thermometer 71° 75'. The weather by six in the morning had cleared, 
and we had the wind light from the westward. The clouds were seen 
flying rapidly from the northeast. 

On the 13th the wind still continued from the southward and west- 
ward, but light clouds were still flying from east-northeast, and the sea 
was rough and uncomfortable. We had passed over the place as- 
signed to the Rosetta Shoal, and I believe I may safely state it does 
not exist in that place. 

On the 14th we made Sunday Island, the Raoul of D'Entrecasteaux. 
It is high and rugged, and had every appearance of being volcanic ; 
the rocks rise like basaltic columns. The island aftbrds no anchorage, 
and the wind being light, I was not able to get near enough to send a 
boat to land and procure specimens ; the sea, also, was very rough. 
Sunday Island, according to our observations, lies in latitude 29° 12' S., 
and longitude 178° 15' W., which agrees well with its established posi- 
tion ; it is said to be inhabited by a few white men, and some of the 
officers reported that they saw smoke. 

On the 15th, we fell in with the Tobacco Plant, American whaler, 
Swain, master, that left the United States about the same time we did. 
She had not been very successful. A singular circumstance is con- 
nected with this ship during her cruise : H. B. M. ship Herald, Captain 
Nias, whom we met in Sydney, picked up, several months since, ofl" 
Java Head, four hundred miles from land, a whale-boat, with six men, 
who reported to Captain Nias that they had left the ship Tobacco Plant, 
which had been burnt at sea. They were taken on board the Herald, 
most kindly treated, brought and landed in New South Wales. The 
crew of the Herald presented them with £100, and Captain Nias 
allowed them to sell their boat ; besides all this, they were amply sup- 
plied with clothes. This report of the loss of the ship seemed placed 
-beyond contradiction, and to meet her afterwards caused us great 
surprise. A day or two after we had lost sight of the ship, a man 
whom I had taken on board as a distressed seaman, confessed that he 
had deserted from her, and also informed us that the six men had left 
the ship at sea in an open boat, in consequence of the ill treatment they 
had received from the captain, and the short allowance of provisions 
on board. The manner in which they carried on their deception upon 
Captain Nias, his officers, and crew, was remarkable, and shows how 
much commiseration all classes of men feel for those in distress, and 
how unwilling they are to scrutinize a tale of sorrow, when they have 
the apparent evidence before them of its truth. These men were 
upwards of twenty days on board the Herald, and yet I was told that 

A '2 

6 T O N G A T A B O O. 

they were throughout consistent in their account of the alleged mis- 
fortune, and apparently showed much proper feeling for the fate that 
had befallen their companions. 

Until the 19th we had light breezes ; in the afternoon of this day 
we saw the appearance of a water-spout, forming about half a mile 
from the ship ; the water was seen flying up, as if from a circle of fifty 
feet in diameter, throwing off" jets from the circumference of the circle, 
not unlike a willow basket in shape, and having a circular motion from 
right to left ; there was a heavy black cloud over it, but no descending 
tube ; and it did not appear to have any progressive motion. Desirous 
of getting near, I kept the ship off for it, but we had little wind ; the 
cloud dispersed, and the whole was dissipated before we got near to it. 
The electrometer showed no change. 

The next day, the 20th of April, in latitude 24° 26' S., longitude 
174° 47' 30" W., we took the trades from about east : passed over the 
position assigned to the island of Vasquez, but saw nothing of it. 
Some appearance of land existing to the eastward, the Porpoise was 
despatched to look for it. 

On the 22d, we made the island of Eooa, and that of Tongataboo. 
The wind the whole day was very variable, with squalls and heavy 
rain ; and it being too late to run through the long canal that leads to 
the harbour, I deemed it most prudent to haul off for the night. A 
southerly current drove us further off' than I anticipated, and we did 
not succeed the next day in regaining our position ; we experienced 
much lightning and rain, with the wind strong from the eastward. 
On the 24th, at 1 p. m., we rounded the eastern end of Tongataboo, 
and stood down through the Astrolabe canal. This is a dangerous 
passage, and ought not to be attempted when the wind is variable or 
light ; it is nine miles in length, and passes between two coral reefs, 
where there is no anchorage ; it was at the western end of it that the 
Astrolabe was near being wrecked in 1827. It is from half to one 
mile wide, gradually narrowing, until the small island of Mahoga 
appears to close the passage. When nearly up to this island, the 
passage takes a short and narrow turn to the northward ; in turning 
round into this pass, I was aware of a coral patch, laid down by the 
Astrolabe, and hauled up to avoid it, by passing to the eastward ; but 
the danger was nearer the reef than laid down, and the sun's glare 
being strong, we were unable to see it, and ran directly upon it. For 
a moment the ship's way was stopped, but the obstacle broke under 
her, and we proceeded on to the anchorage off Nukualofa, the residence 
of King Josiah, alias Tubou. In our survey of the above passage, no 


shoal was found in the place where the ship had struck, and we had 
the satisfaction of knowing that we had destroyed it without injury to 
the vessel. 

The tender had arrived before us, and I found also here the British 
vessel Currency Lass. This harbour, when it is reached, is a safe 
one, and is well protected by the reefs. 

Nukualofa is a station of the Wesleyan Mission, the heads of which, 
Messrs. Tucker and Rabone, paid me a visit, and from them I learnt 
that the Christian and Devil's parties were on the point of hostilities ; 
that Taufaahau or King George, of Vavao, had arrived with eight 
hundred warriors, for the purpose of carrying on the war, and putting 
an end to it. 

The islands of Tongataboo and Eooa are the two southern islands 
of the Hapai Group (the Friendly Isles of Cook) ; the former is a low, 
level island, while that of Eooa is high. The highest part of Tonga- 
taboo is only sixty feet above the level of the sea, while that of Eooa 
rises about six hundred feet ; the strait between them is eight miles 
wide. Tonga is extremely fruitful, and covered with foliage, and 
contains ten thousand inhabitants ; while that of Eooa is rocky and 
barren, and contains only two hundred inhabitants. 

Believing that I might exert an influence to reconcile the parties, 
and through my instrumentality restore the blessings of peace, I 
proffered my services to that effect, which were warmly accepted by 
the Reverend Mr. Tucker. I therefore sent a message to the chiefs 
of the Christian party, to meet me in fono in the morning, and late 
at night received a notice that they would be prepared to receive me. 
On the morning of the 24th, I landed, with all the officers that could 
be spared from other duties ; we were received on the beach by Mr. 
Tucker, and were at once surrounded by a large number of natives. 
It was impossible not to be struck with the great difference between 
these people and those we had just left in New Zealand ; nothing of 
the morose and savage appearance so remarkable there, was seen; 
here all was cheerfulness and gaiety; all appeared well-fed and well- 
formed, with full faces and muscles. The number of children particu- 
larly attracted our notice, in striking contrast to the New Zealand 
groups, where few but men were seen. In a few minutes we heard 
the native drum, calling the warriors and people together; we went a 
short distance along the beach, passed into the fortification, and up a 
gentle acclivity, on the top of which is now the Mission church, and 
the house of King Tubou. On our way up we passed by the drum, or 
as it is here called, toki, which is a large hollow log, not unlike a pig- 
trough, made of hard, sonorous wood ; it is struck with a mallet. 

8 TON G A T A B O O. 

shaped somewhat Uke that used by stone-cutters ; it gives a sound not 
unlike a distant gong, and it is said may be heard from seven to ten 

From the top of this hill (sixty feet high, and the most elevated 
point on the island) there is an extensive view, over the island on one 
hand, and on the other over the encircling reefs and the deep blue sea. 
I felt familiar with the scenes around me, from the description I had 
often read in Mariner's Tonga Islands, and feel great pleasure in con- 
firming the admirable and accurate description there given. The 
names we heard were famihar to us, and we found, through the natives 
and missionaries, that many of the descendants of the persons of whom 
he speaks were present. 

I was within the fortification of Nukualofa, the scene of many of 
the exploits which Mariner relates. I was now surrounded by large 
numbers of warriors, all grotesquely dressed and ready for the fight, 
with clubs, spears, and muskets. In addition to the usual tapa around 
their waist, they had yellow and straw-coloured ribands, made of the 
pandanus-leaves, tied around their arms above the elbows, on. their 
legs above and below the knees, and on their bodies : some had them 
tied and gathered up in knots ; others wore them as scarfs — some on 
the right shoulder, some on the left, and others on both shoulders. 
Some of these sashes were beautifully white, about three inches wide, 
and quite pliable. Many of them had fanciful head-dresses, some with 
natural and others with artificial flowers over their turbans (called 
sala) ; and nearly all had their faces painted in the most grotesque 
manner, with red, yellow, white, and black stripes, crossing the face 
in all directions. Some were seen with a jet black face and vermilion 
nose ; others with half the face painted white. When a body of some 
eight hundred of these dark-looking, well-formed warriors, all eager 
for the fight, and going to and fro to join their several companies, is 
seen, it is hardly possible to describe the effect. The scene was novel 
in the extreme, and entirely unexpected, for I considered that we were 
on a mission of peace. A few minutes' conversation with Mr. Tucker 
accounted for it all. The evening before, the "Devil's" party, it 
appeared, had attacked their yam-grounds ; some of the natives were 
wounded on both sides ; and great fear had been entertained that they 
would have followed up their attack even to the town of Nukualofa ; 
most of the warriors had, therefore, been under arms the whole night. 

We were led through all this confusion to the small hut of Tubou 
or King Josiah : here we were presented to his majesty, with whom 
I shook hands. He was sitting on a mat winding a ball of sennit, 
which he had been making, and at w^hich occupation he continued for 


the most part of the time. He has the appearance of being about 
sixty years old ; his figure is tall, though much bent with age ; he has 
a fine dignified countenance, but is represented as a very imbecile old 
man, fit for any thing but to rule ; as domestic and affectionate in his 
family, caring little about the aflfairs of government, provided he can 
have his children and grandchildren around him to play with, in which 
amusement he passes the most of his time. Seats were provided for 
us from the missionaries' houses, and were placed in the hut, whose 
sides being open, gave us a full view of all that was passing without. 
King Josiah, with his nearest relatives and the highest chiefs, about 
ten in number, occupied the hut, together with the missionaries and 
ourselves. The warriors were grouped about in little squads, in their 
various grotesque accoutrements. 

When all was apparently ready, we waited some few minutes for 
King George. When he made his appearance, I could not but admire 
him : he is upwards of six feet in height, extremely well proportioned, 
and athletic ; his limbs are rounded and full ; his features regular and 
manly, with a fine open countenance and sensible face; all which were 
seen to the greatest advantage. The only covering he wore was a 
large white tapa or gnato, girded in loose folds around his waist, and 
hanging to the ground, leaving his arms and chest quite bare. He at 
once attracted all eyes ; for, on approaching, every movement showed 
he was in the habit of commanding those about him. With unas- 
suming dignity, he quietly took his seat without the hut, and as if 
rather prepared to be a listener than one who was to meet us in 
council. This was afterwards explained to me by Mr. Tucker, who 
stated that King George is not yet considered a native chief of Tonga, 
and, notwithstanding his actual power here and at Vavao, is obliged 
to take his seat among the common people. On observing his situa- 
tion, and knowing him to be the ruling chief de facto, I immediately 
requested that he might be admitted to the hut ; and he was accord- 
ingly requested to enter, which he did, and seated himself at a respect- 
ful distance from the king, to whom he showed great and marked 

Mr. Rabone, the assistant missionarj^, was the interpreter, and the 
conversation or talk that passed between us was in an undertone. 
The peculiarity of figurative speech, common to all the islanders, was 
very marked in King George, affording a condensed, or rather concise 
mode of expression, that is indicative of sense and comprehension. 
They began by assuring me of the pleasure it gave them to see me, 
when they were just about going to war, and were in much trouble. I 
proposed myself as a mediator between the parties, and that each party 

VOL. III. 2 


should appoint ten chiefs, to meet under my direction and protection, 
in order to arrange all the difficulties between them ; that these should 
meet on neutral ground, on the island of Pangai-Moutu, about half- 
way between the heathen fortress of Moa and Nukualofa. I also 
offered to send officers or go myself to the heathen fortress, to make a 
similar request of them. With all this they appeared pleased, but in 
answer to it King George simply asked, "Will they ever return?" 
After a little conversation, they assented to my propositions. I then 
took the occasion to rebuke them mildly for allowing their followers to 
assemble in their war-dresses, and with so many warlike preparations 
on such an occasion, telling them that I thought it indicated any thing 
but the peaceful disposition, in the belief of the existence of which I 
had called the meeting. The affair concluded by their leaving the 
whole matter to my discretion, and with an assurance that they would 
conform to my decision. During the half hour spent in this confe- 
rence, the whole multitude outside seemed as though they were trans- 
fixed to the spot, awaiting in anxious expectation the result. As King 
Josiah (who it seems is exceedingly prone to somnolency) was now 
seen to be nodding, I judged it time to move an adjournment, and the 
council was broken up. 

All now became bustle and apparent confusion ; every one was in 
motion ; the whole village, including the women and children, carry- 
ing baskets, hoes, sticks, &c., besides their arms and war instruments : 
all were going to the yam-grounds, expecting an engagement with the 
heathen. It had a fine effect to see them passing quickly through the 
beautiful cocoanut-groves, in companies of fifteen to twenty, in their 
martial costumes, painted, belted, and turbaned,' — some of the finest 
specimens of the human race that can well be imagined, surpassing 
in symmetry and grace those of all the other groups we had visited. 
The fashion of their warlike dress is changed for every battle, in order 
to act as a disguise, and prevent them from being known to the enemy, 
but yet they are readily distinguished by their own party. 

Anxious to know the actual cause of the war, I made every inquiry 
that was in my power, and satisfied myself that it was in a great 
measure a religious contest, growing out of the zeal the missionaries 
have to propagate the gospel, and convert the heathen. With this is 
combined the desire of King George, or Taufaahau, who is already 
master of Hapai and Vavao, to possess himself of all the islands of the 
group. About three years prior to our visit, a war had broken out in 
Tonga of a similar character, and the Christian party being hard 
pressed, sent to ask the aid of King George, who came, relieved them, 
and defeated their enemies. Mr. Rabone, the missionary above spoken 


of, was residing at Hihifo, a town or fortress on the west end of the 
island, where he converted a few of the natives, who were required to 
remove from the district by the ata, which is the title the governor 
of the district bears. They refused, as they asserted their lands 
were all there, and they wished to remain. About the same time, 
Mr. Rabone thought proper to shoot one of their sacred pigeons, which 
incensed the people against him; for if a native had committed the 
same act, he would have been clubbed, and as he himself confessed he 
knew their superstitious feeling for this bird. Mr. Rabone, in conse- 
quence of this occurrence, was obliged to remove to Nukualofa. The 
heathen also complained that their temples were desecrated, their 
customs broken in upon, and their pleasures destroyed by the Christian 
party, who endeavoured to interdict their comforts, and force laws 
upon them in the shape of taboos through their king ; that they even 
prohibited the smoking of tobacco, an innocent pleasure, which the 
natives have long been accustomed to, and take great delight in, but 
which is now forbidden by royal ordinance to the Christian party, and 
any infraction of the law severely punished. The heathen now said 
that they could no longer endure these acts, and were determined to 
resist them by retaliation, and prevent the further propagation of the 
Christian religion. 

The natives who had renounced heathenism, and joined the Christian 
party, finding they were not permitted to remain at Hihifo, retired to a 
short distance from it, and built themselves a small fortress, which the 
ata finally blockaded. The Christian party now sent for aid to 
Nukualofa, and having enlisted the feelings of the missionaries and 
their adherents in the cause, they sent a message for King George, 
who again came with a large force from Hapai and Vavao to their 
assistance. On his arrival, a long conference ensued, in which the ata 
expressed himself desirous of treating for peace, and proposed that a 
conference should take place in his fort. 

To this King George assented, and proceeded to the small Christian 
fortress in the vicinity of Hihifo, where it is said he was met by a 
deserter from Hihifo, who told him that the only purpose of inviting 
him to a conference there was to assassinate him and his chiefs. This 
story was said to have been confirmed from other sources, but this 
additional evidence seemed far from being satisfactory. King George 
immediately resolved to invest and storm the fortress of Hihifo ; and, 
for the purpose of diminishing the enemy's strength, had recourse to a 
singular stratagem. He directed all of his men who had any friends 
or acquaintances in Hihifo, and of these there were many, to advance 
towards the walls, and each one to call to his relation, friend, or 


acquaintance, within, and assure him of safety if he would desert ! 
This had the desired effect, and a great many persons, forming a large 
part of the garrison, jumped over the wall, and joined the besiegers. 
The remainder, being weakened and disheartened, surrendered. Thus 
the difficulty ended for the present, the rest of the heathen not having 
yet joined in the affair, although it was said they were fully prepared 
for hostilities. King George now re-embarked, to return home with 
his warriors, sailing for Honga Tonga and Honga Hapai, which is 
the route taken in their voyages when going back to Vavao. 

The following account of the resolution he took there was derived 
from King George, through Mr. Tucker, and clearly proved to my 
mind that his object now was to enlarge his dominions, by adding to 
them the island of Tonga. " Here he reflected upon the subject of his 
departure, and the defenceless state of King Josiah or Tubou ; and he 
was so forcibly struck with his danger, and that of the missionaries, 
that he resolved to return, and remain at Nukualofa until the heathen 
were finally subdued." We, in consequence, found him estabUshed, 
building and fortifying a town, and his forces daily arriving from 
Vavao and Hapai. Indeed his whole conduct did not leave us any 
room to doubt what his intentions were, and that the missionaries and 
he were mutually serving each other's cause. I mentioned my suspi- 
cions, relative to King George's ambition, to the missionaries, and how 
likely it would be to prevent any reconciliation or peace with the 
heathen, and was much surprised and struck with the indifference with 
which Mr. Rabone spoke of the war. He was evidently more inclined 
to have it continue than desirous that it should be put a stop to ; viewing 
it, in fact, as a means of propagating the gospel. I regretted to hear 
such sentiments, and had little hope, after becoming aware of them, of 
being instrumental in bringing about a peace, when such unchristian 
views existed where it was least to be expected. 

On consultation, Eliza Anne Tubou was selected as the most proper 
messenger of peace that could be sent, and the only one indeed who 
could go with safety. She is the daughter of Faatu, the heathen chief 
of Moa, one of the largest heathen fortresses ; is married to a chief of 
the Christian party. She is a fine intelligent-looking woman, with good 
sense and much good feeling, and entered warmly into the arrange- 
ments. She was despatched with a written proposal for the conference, 
and was to return the next day. She is called the sacred daughter, 
and goes where she likes without being molested. 

After the council was over, I went with Mr. Tucker to the mission- 
ary houses, passing through the town (if so it may be called), com- 
posed entirely of reed huts, of small dimensions, and enclosed with 


wicker-work fences. The missionary houses are on the out skirts ; 
the whole contains about six hundred houses ; and on looking into a 
few, they did not appear to be very cleanly. The houses are built 
after the fashion of the Samoans, only the sides are of wicker-work, 
made of the slender sugar-cane. The dwellings of the missionaries 
are very like those of the better sort, and are within an enclosure ; 
and the only difference I observed was, that they had glazed windows. 
Like the others, they had no floors, and the earth was covered with 

Mrs. Tucker, whom we found exceedingly intelligent, gave us a kind 
welcome. She has for some time been the principal instructress of 
both old and young : I can myself vouch for the unexpected proficiency 
of some of her scholars in speaking English. To her and her husband 
I feel much indebted for their answers to the many inquiries respecting 
the state of things in the island, — the employments and character of 
the natives, their wars, manners, and customs. They appeared inde- 
fatigable in their exertions for what they considered the good of the 
natives ; among other things, they have endeavoured to introduce a 
variety of vegetables and fruits : cabbages, turnips, and mustard were 
seen ; among the fruits, were pine-apples and custard-apples, which 
thrive well ; oranges have been introduced, but do not succeed, be- 
cause they are injured by an insect, which leaves its larvse on the fruit, 
and causes it to fall before it reaches maturity. They are obliged to 
pull all their fruits before they are ripe, in consequence of their liability 
to destruction by the ants, if left to ripen on the tree. 

King George, or Taufaahau, is building his town near by, just 
without the fortification of King Josiah : it is an enclosure of four 
hundred yards square ; the fence consists of close wicker-work, made 
of the small sugar-cane, and in order to make it stronger, several 
thicknesses are put together : this makes a more effective defence than 
one would imagine ; it is about eight feet high, and trimmed oflf on the 


top, and when new has a very pretty appearance. The permanency 
and arrangement with which the town is laid out, make Taufaahau's 
intentions quite evident. The avenues cross the square diagonally, 
the gates being at the corners, and in the centre is a large area, left 
for a chapel. 



The houses of King Josiah's or Tubou's town are mostly within the 
fortress ; this is a high mud wall or embankment, on the top of which 
is a wicker-work fence ; on the outside of the wall is a ditch, twelve 
feet wide by five feet deep. There are three principal gateways, 
which are very narrow entrances, formed by thick cocoa-nut posts, 
set firmly and closely in the ground, admitting only two persons at a 
time ; these entrances are about fifteen feet long, and in order to se- 
cure them against an attack, they are so arranged as to be filled up 
with earth ; they have likewise a number of hollow logs buried in the 
wall, and set obliquely, serving as loop-holes, through which they may 
have a cross-fire at their enemies as they approach. These loop-holes 
can only be used for muskets, and have been introduced since the 
natives began to use fire-arms, or since the time of Mariner, for he 
makes no mention of them in describing the fortresses. 

King George's house is near by : it was originally built at Hihifo, 
for a chapel ; the chief of that place gave it to Taufaahau, and it was 
divided into three parts, and brought to Nukualofa in canoes. On my 




visit the kin^ was not at home, but Mr. Tucker asked me to walk in. 
The building is not a large one ; it is divided into three apartments 
by tapa screens, and was partly furnished. I observed many de- 
canters and tumblers on a shelf, the former well-filled to appearance 
with spirits and gin ; but I had no opportunity of knowing actually 
what the contents were. Many of the queen's waiting-maids were 
present, arranging the house previous to her arrival ; she was hourly 
expected from Hapai, and is reported to be the most beautiful woman 
in the group. The new town is rapidly progressing ; great regularity 
exists, and every thing is so arranged that each company of warriors 
with their families are assigned a particular quarter in which to build ; 
they have come prepared, too, for the purpose, having brought many 
parts of their houses with them. These houses have a temporary 
appearance, although they are very comfortable ; and the rapidity 
with which they build them is astonishing : the enclosure, and about 
fifty houses, were built in three days; twelve men can complete a 
house in a little more than a day. The average size of the houses is 
fifteen by twenty feet, and about fifteen feet high under the ridge-pole ; 
they are of circular or elliptical form. The furniture of the natives 
consists of their implements of war, ava-bowl, a chest or box for their 
valuables, and a set of mats, some of which are made for the floors, 
and others for screens ; the latter are about two feet in width, and are 
seen partly surrounding them when sitting, standing on their edges, 
which are supported by scrolls at each end ; they are quite pretty, 
some of them beinsc much ornamented. 



They have great quantities of tapa cloth, in a thin sort of which 
they use to roll themselves at night, as a security against the musqui- 
toes, with which their island abounds. The new town is beautifully 
situated in a bread-fruit and cocoa-nut grove, which gives it perpetual 
shade, whilst it is sufficiently open to admit the cool breeze. 

On the 26th, agreeably to my engagement, I moved the ship to the 
island of Pangai-Moutu, in order to be near the place of meeting of the 
conference between the two belligerent parties, and to protect both 
from the treachery they seemed mutually to fear. Pangai-Moutu is 
about three and a half miles from Nukualofa, and is now considered as 
neutral ground ; the anchorage is a good and safe one. Our messen- 
ger, Anne Eliza Tubou, returned, and gave me assurances that the 
heathen were willing to meet in conference ; that they desired peace, 
and to be left in the quiet enjoyment of their land and their gods, and 
did not wish to interfere or have any thing to do with the new religion. 
They again asked me, if they came, would I protect them fully 1 In 
reply to this, I sent the strongest assurances of protection to them. 
My hopes, however, of producing a peace and reconciliation among 
them, began to decline ; for it was evident that King George and his 
advisers, and, indeed, the whole Christian party, seemed to be desirous 
of continuing the war, either to force the heathen to become Chris- 
tians, or to carry it on to extermination, which the number of their 
warriors made them believe they had the power to effect. I felt, in 
addition, that the missionaries were thwarting my exertions by per- 
mitting warlike preparations during the pending of the negotiations. 

On the 28th, our boat returned from Moa, bringing an old blind 
chief, called Mufa. The wife of Faatu came in place of her husband, 
accompanied by four or five lesser chiefs, who had been deputed to 
attend the council. The wife of Faatu is a large fat woman. He 
himself was wilhng to attend, but his chiefs and people interfered and 
prevented him, as he was coming to the boat, fearing lest he should be 
detained as a hostage ; and they made such an outcry (according to 
the officer) against it, that he was obliged to yield. 

Mufa is the grandfather of Taufaahau, and was supposed would 
have some influence with him. From every thing we saw, we became 
satisfied that the heathen were desirous of making peace, at least the 
people of Moa. I gave orders to provide them with every thing for 
their comfort, giving them full assurance of my protection, and their 
safe return ; and finding them ill at ease on board ship, I ordered a 
tent to be pitched on shore for their accommodation, and had them 
supplied with rice and molasses, as well as the food they are in the 
habit of eating, consisting of yams, taro, &c. 


Deeming it advisable that Faatu should be present himself, I again 
sent a boat for him. The people of Moa, though heathens, have not 
taken an active part in the late disturbances, which are for the most 
part confined to Bea and Houma ; and although the Moans are more 
strongly allied to the latter, they have always kept up an intercourse 
with Nukualofa. 

One can readily enter into the feelings of the heathen, who are 
inhabitants of the sacred Tonga, and have always been looked up to 
by the inhabitants of the rest of the group, who were obliged to carry 
thither offerings, &c., to the gods, as superior to themselves, when they 
see an attempt made to subjugate them, by those whom they have 
always looked upon with contempt, and to force upon them a new 
religion, and a change in every thing they have hitherto looked upon 
as sacred. Such feelings are enough to make them war against any 
innovation in their social polity and laws ; and after having been 
acknowledged from time immemorial as pre-eminent throughout the 
whole group, including Wallis, Hoorn, Traitor's and Keppel's Islands, 
it is not surprising that they should be found the active enemies of 
religious encroachments. Their vexation is augmented by the disap- 
pointment they experienced in the last election of the King of Tonga 
(Tui Kanakabolo) ; Tubou, although the brother of his predecessor, 
was chosen by them in preference to Mumui, the son, because they 
believed him to be favourable to their side, and opposed to the Chris- 
tian party; Mumui, on the other hand, was brought up by the 
missionaries, speaks English tolerably well, and is the missionaries' 
principal school-teacher. Mr. Tucker informed me that Mumui is now 
considered as the son of Tubou, and will be entitled to the succession, 
for which both Faatu and Taufaahau, are likewise candidates, on the 
death of Tubou. 

The singular custom is said to prevail in Tonga, that none of the 
royal family ever receive a title of ofHce ; for by so doing, I was told, 
they would virtually renounce their right to the kingdom. The Tui 
Kanakabolo has the power of rescinding titles. In one view, the 
government may be considered a kind of family compact, for the 
persons holding titles and offices, address one another by the names of 
father, son, uncle, and grandfather, without reference whatever to their 
real degree of relationship. 

The titles generally consist of the name of the district over which 
the chief rules, and of which they receive the revenues, with " Tui," a 
word synonymous with lord, before it. This, however, is not always 
the case, for there are others who have distinct titles, as Lavaka, the 
King of Bea, one of the bitterest opponents of the Christians, and who 

VOL. III. B3 3 



is determined to die rather than submit to them ; and Ata, Takafauna, 
and Vaea, the great chief of Houma. The latter was deposed a short 
time since, yet still retains his title among the heathen. 

Shadrach, or Mumui, as he is also called, is a good sample of the 
Tongese. I saw him at Mr. Tucker's, where he was introduced to 
me; and I must confess myself not a Uttle surprised to hear him 
address me in tolerably good English, asking me the news, and what 
occurrences had taken place in Europe. It appeared ridiculous to be 
questioned by a half-naked savage upon such subjects ; but I must do 
him the justice to say he seemed quite familiar with some of the events 
that have taken place during the last fifteen or twenty years. He is 
one of the missionaries' most zealous converts, and I believe to Mrs. 
Tucker is due the credit of teaching him ; he has, I understood, sole 
charge of their large school of three hundred scholars, and it, in order 
and regularity, equals, if it does not exceed, any in our own country. 
Mrs. Tucker thinks this is partly to be ascribed to his being a high 
chief, whom they are brought up to have a great respect for. Mumui's 
countenance shows much intelligence, but his figure is rather out of 
proportion: his age is under thirty. 

On the 27th, I visited Nukualofa, on business respecting the English 
schooner Currency Lass, Captain Wilson, which vessel was found 
here. The master reported that two of his men had been seized by 
King George, and imprisoned, until a ransom was paid, and the four 
Feejee women he had on board were deUvered up. On inquiry, it 
proved that two of the crew of the Currency Lass, with the knowledge 
of the commander and owner, (who was present,) had taken the Feejee 
women on board at Vavao, knowing it to be against the laws of that 
island; they thence sailed for Tonga. On their leaving Vavao, a 
canoe was immediately despatched to Tonga, to inform King George 
of the occurrence, and it arrived before the vessel. King George, on 
her arrival, immediately sent on board for the purpose of a search; 
but the women were concealed below, and they were believed not to 
be on board. It however became known, in some way, that they were 
there, and when four of the vessel's crew were sent on shore to mend the 
casks to receive oil. King George seized them, and tied them to trees. 
He then sent word, that the women must be given up, and that the 
owner must pay a ransom of muskets for the men. I found no difficulty 
in arranging the business. King George was very frank and straight- 
forward about it, and told the facts very much as they are above 
related. On my pointing out to him that he had taken the wrong 
course, and was punishing the innocent men of the crew, he said he had 
no means of telling who were the guilty, but that if he had done any 


thing wrong he was willing to make amends. I thought that the 
conduct of the Currency Lass had been improper, and the decision 
being left to me, I determined that the men should be set at liberty, the 
women given up, and the muskets paid; that King George should 
return the water-casks, and pay for those that had been injured. I 
took occasion, however, to impress upon King George the necessity 
of not being so precipitate in punishing the innocent for the guilty. 
The men of the Currency Lass who had received bad treatment at his 
hands, received a recompense, and so the affair was ended. 

On the morning of the 29th, it was reported to me that Mufa, the 
old blind chief, and his companion, had decamped, without giving any 
notice of their intention, and after eating their fill of the good things 
set before them, besides carrying off the remains of their feast. This 
movement, I afterwards learnt, was owing to their having received 
intelligence of the people of Bea having made another attack upon the 
yam-grounds of the Christians, and carried off a large quantity ; and 
they were fearful lest some retaliatory measures should be taken to 
intercept them. 

This day the kings visited me, with a number of their chiefs and 
people in a large canoe, and made a fine appearance on approaching 
the ship ; it was the largest we saw during the voyage : it was one 
hundred feet in length, and of the double kind, which consists of two 
canoes of different size joined together by a deck thrown across them 
both ; on this deck a small house is constructed, which serves for a 
cabin to keep off the weather ; above the house was a small platform, 
eight feet square, with a railing on each side ; the mast, which is about 
thirty feet long, is supported by guys, having a long yard attached to 
it, with its mat-sail of huge dimensions furled. 

In all canoes, both double and single, small hatchways are left at 
both ends, with high combings, and when under way, a man is always 
seen in each baling out the water. Their mode of propelling the canoe 
by sculling is peculiar to the Tongese and Feejees; the sculler, instead 
of using the oar as we do, stands behind it, and holds it perpendicularly. 
The oar has a broad blade, and is ten feet in length : the sculler thus 
has the whole weight of his body to assist his strength in using it : it is 
confined in a hole in the platform. There is generally one of these 
oars at each end, and they are enabled to propel one of these large 
canoes between two and three miles an hour by means of them. 

The Tongese are great adepts in managing their canoes when 
under sail ; and they sail much more swiftly on a wind than before it. 
As this canoe is of Feejee origin, I shall defer describing it until a 
succeeding chapter. 



The canoe of these chiefs was seen advancing slowly over the calm 
sea by the efforts of its scullers, and was filled with men, all singing 
the following air, keeping perfect time and making excellent music ; 
the notes were obtained by Mr. Drayton. 

9—9— Sj g I I r ly «y 1 6^ 


"I rz\~ 


To this they sing any words, but generally such as are applicable 
to the mission of business or pleasure they may be on ; and although 
the air and bass are heard most distinctly, the four parts are all sung 
in the most perfect harmony. From the fact that the tenors and 
basses sing parts of a bar, alternating with each other, and come in 
perfectly, it would seem that they cultivate music in their own rude 
way, producing a wild but agreeable effect. To this the scullers keep 

This music has a great resemblance to that of the Samoan Group, 
and it is the custom in both to sing it while at work. It may there- 
fore be inferred that it is native, for the Tongese never had foreign 
music of any kind taught them. The missionaries themselves do not 
sing, and declared they were not able to tell Old Hundred from God 
save the King, if the same words were adapted to both ! The females 
of this island, generally, have very musical voices, whose pitch is the 
same as that of European women ; the voices of the men are a full 
octave below, round and full; all are very apt in learning a tune. 
Mr. Drayton remarks that he did not hear a single strain in the minor 
mood in singing, nor even in their natural sounds in speaking. Music 
might be cultivated among this people with great success, from the 
evident delight they take in musical sounds, and their strong desire to 
learn ; but they could with difficulty be prevailed upon to sing, for the 
state of the country and the fear of the missionaries, or the order of 
the king, prevented it. 

Finding me engaged on the island of Pangai-Moutu, at the observa- 


tory, the natives passed to the shore. I received them in my tent, and 
the first words spolien were to inform me that they had come to the 
conference ; and they asked where their adversaries were 1 Being 
well aware that they had avoided coming the day before, and had 
gone out to make battle, instead of coming as appointed to the meet- 
ing, and that they knew the chiefs of Moa had returned, I took care to 
let them know that I was not to be imposed upon by such a trick. 
When they saw they could not deceive me, they seemed disposed to 
laugh it off; but finding that their chiefs and warriors (upwards of one 
hundred) were all armed, I took care to retort upon them for their 
want of confidence, and to tell them how unlike it was to their pro- 
fession of Christianity, and that they must show a proper disposition, 
before the white people would give them any credit for being Chris- 
tians. I then took the two kings with me on board the ship, leaving 
their canoe to follow. Shortly after we had embarked. King George's 
followers, finding a canoe on the beach owned by three natives of 
Rotuma, who reside at Moa, stole the paddles out of it, turned it over, 
and set it adrift. On making it known to King George, however, he 
promised recompense, but would not punish or seek to find out the 
perpetrators of the deed. I felt provoked that the king should not 
have had more control over them. He in truth seems to exercise very 
little power over his people. The kings were shown over the ship, 
and several guns were fired, which they pretended to wonder at very 

They remained on board upwards of an hour, and took lunch with 
me. I was much amused with their conduct; they ate heartily of 
every thing on the table, and finally crammed themselves with 
almonds and raisins, with a most unkingly appetite. They then 
requested leave to take some to their wives, which they tied up in the 
corner of their tapas. Before they left the ship, I presented King 
George (in the name of the government) with a handsome fowling- 
piece, and King Josiah with a red silk umbrella, which highly de- 
lighted him. Their majesties were both naked, except the tapa wound 
around their waists ; and it was a curious sight to see them endea- 
vouring to imitate us in the use of knives and forks. They left the 
ship highly delighted with their presents and visit, embarked in their 
canoe, and proceeded to Nukualofa, all joining again in the same 
chorus. The canoe was nearly level with the water, and appeared 
like a floating mass of human beings. 

Thus ended my hopes of effecting the desired reconciliation between 
the two parties. The heathen are represented by the Christian party 
and missionaries, as a set of cruel savages, great liars, treacherous, 

22 T O N G A T A B O O, 

and evil-disposed; and this character seems to be given to them only be- 
cause they will not listen to the preaching; and it is alleged they must 
therefore be treated with severity, and compelled to yield. Under 
these feelings it was in vain to expect to produce a reconciliation; and, 
had I been aware of them, 1 should not have attempted the task. I 
must here record, that in all that met our observations, the impression 
was, that the heathen were well-disposed and kind, and were desirous 
of putting an end to the difficulties. 

Several of the officers visited Moa. In order to reach it, it is 
necessary to pass in boats through a large shallow lagoon, and it must 
be crossed nearly at high water, or the channel will be found very 
tortuous. The town or village is situated a little above the general 
level; it is surrounded by a ditch, which has little depth, as the coral 
rock is soon reached, and is not cut into. The intrenchment is com- 
posed of earth and logs, over which is a wicker fence, like that at 
Nukualofa ; at the gates the ditch is interrupted, so as to form 
entrances, which are narrow and low. On the inside a guard-house 
with a sentinel was found ; within the intrenchment was a high and 
well-built fence, and inside again were separate enclosures. They 
were led to the house of Faatu, the principal chief, who treated them 
with civility and kindness ; they found him to possess both dignity and 
politeness. In his house were several Tonga drums, which were offered 
as seats. The natives were in great numbers, of all ages and sexes. 
A brisk trade was carried on for the supplies we needed ; and although 
Faatu took no active part, yet the whole was evidently under his 

The missionaries were kind enough to give me the following outline 
of the belief of the heathen belonging to this group of islands. They 
worship many gods, who are believed to possess unlimited power over 
them, and are called the gods of Bulotu or Atua faka Bulotu, whom 
they believe immortal ; some of these gods are of this world, and are 
called Atua. 

They believe that all evil is inflicted by certain gods, called Atua 
Banuu; that the spirits of all chiefs go to Bulotu; but that those of 
poor people remain in this world, to feed upon ants and lizards ; that 
the island of Bulotu is not distant, although they do not attempt to fix 
its locality ; that both gods and goddesses have visited Tonga within 
thirty years past, when they drank ava in their temples, and were 
married to Tonga chiefs ; that the higher gods or those of Bulotu do 
not consider lying, theft, adultery, murder, &c., as crimes, but as 
things of this world, which are left for the inferior gods to deal with, 
and do not concern their more elevated natures. The onlv crime 


against the higher gods is sacrilege, committed towards their temples, 
or an improper use of the offerings. They call their oldest god 
Maui, and say that he drew the world or islands out of the sea with a 
hook and line : the first he drew up he named Ata, which is referred 
to Pylstart; the next was Tonga, with all its group of islands; then 
Lofanga and the other Hapai islands ; and last, the Vavao Group. 
After he had finished his work, he came and fixed his residence at 
Tonga. In those days the sky was so near the earth that men were 
obliged to crawl. One day Maui is represented as having met an 
old woman with water in a cocoa-nut shell, of whom he begged 
some drink, which she refused until he promised to send the sky up 
high, which he did, by pushing it up, and there it has remained ever 
since. To Maui is ascribed the origin of that most useful tree called 
toa, the iron-wood (Casuarina), which in time reached the sky, and 
enabled the god called Etumatubua to descend. Maui had two sons, 
the eldest called Maui Atalonga, and the younger Kijikiji, but by 
whom is not known. Kijikiji obtained some fire from the earth, and 
taught them to cook their food, which they found was good, and from 
that day food has been cooked which before was eaten raw. In order 
to preserve the fire, Kijikiji commanded it to go into certain trees, 
whence it is now obtained by friction. They further say, that during 
the time old Maui was on the earth, the only light was like that of the 
moon, and that neither day nor night existed ; that Maui and his two 
sons live under the earth, where he sleeps most of his time ; that 
when he turns himself over, he produces earthquakes, which they call 
" mofooeke." Maui is not now worshipped by any tribe, nor is he 
loved or feared. 

Tangaloa, their second god, is thought to be nearly as old as Maui, 
and equal to him in dignity. He resides in the skies, which the 
Tongese believe to be very numerous. Hikuleo is the god of spirits, 
and is the third in order of time ; he dwells in a cave in the island. 
Bulotu is most remarkable for a long tail, which prevents him from 
going farther from the cave in which he resides than its length will 
admit of In this cave he has feasts, and lives with his wives, by 
whom he has many children ; he has absolute power over all, and all 
are forced to go to him ; he is a being without love or goodness ; 
to him the spirits of the chiefs and mataboles go, becoming his 
servants, and are forced to do his will, and to serve for what purpose 
he pleases ; he even uses them to make fences of, or as bars to his 
gates ; and they have the idea that his house and all things in it are 
made of the spirits of people, where they continue to serve without 
end. They never pray to Bulotu, except when some sacrilege has 



been committed to the offerings they make him ; and on this occasion 
they always make a human sacrifice. They also invoke him when the 
Tui Tonga is sick ; and it depends on the reigning Tui Kanakabolo 
whether or not a human sacrifice is offered. None but gods are ever 
permitted to come from Bulotu. This god has his spirit-temple where 
all their valuable presents to the gods are deposited. I was shown by 
the missionaries some large whale's teeth that were prettily carved, 
which had been found in the temple lately destroyed by the Christian 

We saw here three natives of the island of Rotuma, who had been 
some time at Tonga : one of them was said to be a chief of high rank ; 
another, an old man, a chief also, and a kind of Mentor to the former, 


who spoke a little English, and was quite blind, having become so since 
he had left his own island. The old man seemed to feel great soUci- 
tude about his charge, and expressed a wish to get away from Tonga. 
The reason he gave me for this desire was, '* there was too much fight 
here ; it would be bad for the young chief, who was to be a king." 
He told me also there had been no war on his island for many years. 
It is generally known by the whalers and others, that at Rotuma, the 
people are the most peaceable of any of these Polynesian islanders 
and the whalers have been in the habit of resorting thither, because 
they experienced little difficulty, and are in no danger of being mo- 
lested by the natives. He mentioned that many of his islanders were 
now abroad, on board of whale-ships, where they earned good wages, 
and afterwards returned to the island with some properly ; he said that 



Rotuma contained very many people. He who was designated as the 
high chief, was a pleasing, handsome young man, and appeared mo- 
dest and gentle in his deportment. Some thought he resembled in 
physiognomy our American Indians, but I did not myself remark it. 

The natives of Tonga, in habits, customs, looks, and general appear- 
ance, are so like the Samoans, that we were greatly struck with the 
resemblance; indeed, in writing of Samoa, I mentioned that many 
things have been derived from Tonga, particularly their tapa covering 
from the waist downwards, called siapo. The two races also agree in 
having no covering for the head, and the females resemble each other. 
The missionaries, through the king's ordinance, have caused the females 
to clothe themselves up to the neck with the pareu ; but this is only 
conformed to before the missionaries, for we as frequently saw it worn 
in the native fashion. 


In colour the Tongese are a little lighter than the Samoans, and the 
young children are almost if not quite white. As they grow up, they 
are left, both males and females, to run about in a state of nature, with 
their hair cropped close, except a small curly lock over each ear. 
This is a practice which has before been spoken of, as prevalent among 
the Samoans. Indeed, the similarity between the appearance of the 
children in the two groups is such, that they might be mistaken for 
each other. A larger proportion of fine-looking people is seldom to be 
seen, in any portion of the globe ; they are a shade lighter than any of 
the other islanders ; their countenances are generally of the European 
cast; they are tall and well made, and their muscles are well de- 
veloped. We had an opportunity of contrasting their physical cha- 
racters with those of several other natives, and particularly with a 
native of Erromago. The features of the latter were more nearly allied 

VOL. III. c 4 



to those of the negro than any we had yet seen. His hair was woolly, 
his face prominent, and his lips thick. His nose, however, was not re- 
markably broad ; his eyes were small, deeply sunk, and had a lively 


expression ; his countenance was pleasing and intelligent, and his 
cheeks thin ; his limbs were slender, and the calf of his leg high.* 

We also found some of the Feejee islanders here : the intercourse 
between Tonga and the windward islands of the Feejee Group, is fre- 
quent. This intercourse is said to be the cause of the warlike habits 
which the Tongese have acquired. The people of Feejee appear to 
disadvantage when contrasted with those of Tonga; for the latter have 
much larger frames, their colour is several shades lighter, and their 
hair straight and fine, while that of the Feejee is frizzled. 

The women of the Tonga Group are equally remarkable for their 
personal beauty. 

The natives of Tonga, from the missionaries' accounts, are indus- 
trious and ingenious ; much attachment exists between husband and 
wife, and they are very fond of their children. We were surprised at 
their numbers, which give a striking air of cheerfulness and gaiety to 
the scene, when they are seen in groups, playing, and practising many 
kinds of jugglery. 

As far as we observed, the Tongese are very fond of amusements, 
and smoking tobacco is absolutely a passion with them ; this is raised 
by themselves : the leaf is cut up very fine, and then rolled within a 
fine pandanus-leaf, forming a cigar. The Christian party are not 

* Among other peculiarities of this native of Erromago, it was stated by the low whites, 
that instead of wrapping liimself up in tapa at night, like the Tongese, he was in tiie habit 
of burying liimself in the sand in order to avoid the musquitoes. 


allowed to smoke, although they use large quantities of ava, made of 
the Piper mythisticum, which has more intoxicating and deleterious 
effects than tobacco. So singular an interdiction of the one, with the 
free use of the other, induced me to ask Mr. Tucker the reason of it, 
and why, if they had only the power to prevent the use of one, they 
did not prohibit the most pernicious? The only answer I got was, 
that it would be a pity to break up their ava circles. I believe that 
few rise from them without being somewhat stupified, but it does not 
amount to actual intoxication. The manner in which these natives 
use tobacco is one of the most pleasing of their social customs, and 
shows an absence of all selfishness ; it is the same as at the Samoan 
Group, where the person who lights a pipe seldom gets more than two 
whiffs of its contents, as it is immediately passed around. 

As a people they may be termed warlike; and war-councils, making 
speeches, and drinking ava, may be called the business of their lives. 

The women are said to be virtuous ; their employments are to make 
tapa, mats, baskets, &c., and do the housew'ork. The men cultivate 
the ground, and fish. The females are more in the habit of using 
lime-water and lime on their hair than those we have seen elsewhere. 
This application turns it red, but its chief use is to promote cleanliness. 
Of the ingenuity of the men we saw many proofs, in their manufacture 
of boxes, baskets, and miniature canoes. 

The last day I visited Nukualofa, Mr. Tucker was kind enough to 
take me to see Tamahaa, the aunt of Tui Tonga, who is considered 
of divine origin, for which reason great respect and hotiours are paid 
her. It is said that she has great influence with the heathen, although 
being a convert, she is favourable to the Christian side. As a token 
of the great respect with which she is regarded, it was remarked that 
the natives never turn the back upon her until at thirty or forty feet 
distance, and never eat in her presence. She is old enough to remem- 
ber the arrival of Cook when she was a child. We found her sittino- 
in her house, with a child who could just walk, (both enclosed in a 
rolled screen, before described,) whom she was feeding with cocoa- 
nut pulp. We shook hands and sat some time with her, making many 
inquiries about the former persons of the island, which the entertain- 
ing volumes of Dr. Martin, relating the adventures of Mariner, had 
made me acquainted with. She seemed to know Togi Uummea, the 
name by which Mariner was known, and also most of the people 
mentioned in Mariner's account. 

On a visit to the missionaries, I found Tubou or King Josiah, who 
had been sitting for his pictui'e, and had fallen fast asleep. Wishing 
to get some information from him, I felt desirous of waking him up. 

28 T O N G A T A B O O. 

and for that purpose asked him some questions about the kingly sport 
of rat-hunting, described in Mariner's Tonga Islands, and whether he 
could not indulge me with an exhibition of a hunt. His eyes at once 
brightened, and he became aroused to great animation, as though his 
former feats and pleasure in this sport were vividly before him. He 
regretted that the present state of the island, and the all-engrossing 
war, occupied too much of their attention to allow them to engage in 
any such peaceful occupation. He was represented to be a great 
sportsman, and the animation with which he spoke gave evident proof 
of it. He said that the game or sport was now seldom practised ; that 
the rats had in consequence, much increased, and were a great annoy- 
ance to the cultivator ; — but the war seemed to engross all the powers 
of his feeble mind. He told me that the heathen in all had fifteen 
hundred warriors ; that they usually made war by attacking the taro 
and yam-grounds ; these they plunder and destroy, which ultimately 
produces a famine, not only to their enemies but to themselves. He 
seemed to rejoice that the heathen had made the first attack, as they 
would thereby, according to their belief, be conquered. He told me 
he much desired peace and quietness, and was willing to do any thing 
to bring it about; and as far as he was personally concerned, I believe 
he was in earnest, for every one seemed to give him the credit of 
being an imbecile sleepy fellow, and paid him little or no respect. 

During this visit I also saw a noted Feejee warrior, who had been 
absent from Tonga many years, and on his return had been engaged 
in these wars ; he was described as a very wicked fellow, and if so, I 
can only say that his looks did not belie him : a worse or more brutal- 
looking man I have seldom seen. I understood that his arrival had 
been looked for with much impatience by the heathen, as affording 
them additional strength in a noted leader ; but, to the surprise of all, 
he joined himself to King George, and desired to. become a Christian; 
he was received as such, and was now employed fighting against the 

On the evening of the day on which King George visited the ship, 
he held a council, in which he addressed his chiefs and warriors on 
the necessity of carrying on the war with vigour ; and measures were 
taken to prosecute it accordingly. The meeting took place in the 
malai opposite his house, while he sat in the doorway with his two 
children, with the church-people forming a circle around him. At 
this meeting was seen the noted chief and Feejee warrior who has 
already been spoken of, fully armed, in the background. After the 
council had debated and talked over the subject fully, King George 
gave some commands, which several messengers were sent to execute 


and the council was dismissed in a truly primitive style and language : 
" Let every man go and cook his yams." 

After the assemblage was dismissed, the king and chiefs remained 
some time in consultation. In this council, an attack upon the heathen 
towns was arranged. The next morning, smoke was seen ascending 
from some of the heathen villages, and word was brought to me after- 
wards, that King George, having sallied forth with eight hundred 
warriors at midnight, had burned two of the heathen towns. Al- 
though he had ordered seven hundred more warriors to follow him at 
daylight, he did not pursue the heathen, who fled before him. On his 
return in the evening he held an ava feast in honour of his success ; at 
this meeting, Lavaka and Ata, or the chiefs who held these titles, were 
formally degraded from their offices by the king, — a stroke of policy 
that is thought will have much influence in alienating this people, as it 
has usually had that effect ; I, however, very much question its success 
in the present instance, when the parties have such a deadly animosity 
towards each other ; for the very authority by which the act of 
degradation is performed, has abandoned the religion by which the act 
was sanctioned. 

The population of the Tonga Islands, as now given by the missiona- 
ries, is 18,500, viz.: 

Eooa, 200 

Hapai, 4,000 

Vavao, 4,000 

Keppel's, 1,000 

Boscawen, 1,300 

Tonga, 8,000 

Total, .... 18,500 

At present the number on Tonga is increased by about one thousand. 

About four thousand five hundred of the natives are Christians, of 
whom two thousand five hundred are church members. 

The jurisdiction of Tui Kanakabolo, or Lord of Kanakabolo, used 
to extend to Uea or Wallis Island, and several of the smaller islands 
in the neighbourhood. 
. This group of islands is divided into three missionary stations, viz. : 

Tongataboo, commenced in 1829 

Hapai, " 1829 

V^avao, « 1830 

The missionaries reside at each of these stations. The smaller 
islands are under the care of native teachers, and are visited occa- 




sionaliy by the missionaries to marry and baptize, &c. There is a 
printing-press established at Vavao, which has been in operation since 
1832. Many of the women can sew, and a great number of the na- 
tives have learned to read and wa'ite ; a few of them have been taught 
the rules of arithmetic, and the principles of geography. A very 
great improvement has taken place in the morals of the Christian part 
of the community; but the attachment of the people to their ancient 
usages is so strong, and the island so little visited by civilized nations, 
that they have not had that stimulus to improvement which others have 
derived from such advantages. 

While I bear witness to the arduous labours and well-conducted 
operations of these missionaries, I cannot help remarking that I was 
disappointed in finding religious intolerance existing among them. It 
was to be expected, that among a class so devoted, and undergoing so 
many privations, dangers, and sacrifices for the cause they are en- 
gaged in, charity would not have been wanting ; and that they would 
have extended a friendly hand to all, of whatever persuasion, who 
came within their sphere of duty, especially those engaged in similar 
duties with themselves; but an instance of intolerance came to my 
knowledge here, that I regretted to hear of On board the Currency 
Lass were tvs^o Catholic missionaries, who had been in this small vessel 
of one hundred and twenty tons for five months, and three w^eeks of 
that time they were in this harbour, without having received even an 
invitation to visit the shore from the Wesleyan missionaries, nor were 
any civilities whatever offered or paid to them. I can easily conceive 
why objections should be made to their preaching or remaining to 
propagate their creed in a field that was already occupied ; but to 
withhold from them the common courtesies of life, in the present state 
of the world, surprised me not little ; and I am satisfied that the exam- 
ple set in this case by the missionaries has caused much remark among 
the natives themselves upon this want of hospitality. They cannot 
understand the dogmas of the different sects of Christians, so that they 
naturally look upon them all as missionaries of this same faith, and 
cannot see why they should treat each other with less courtesy than is 
extended to those w^ho are not missionaries. Their ideas of enemies 
only extend to those who fight, which they well know all missionaries 
refuse to do. Were missionaries aware of the unfavourable impres- 
sion produced on the minds of most of the natives by such intolerance, 
it would never be practised, particularly as it is calculated to excite 
prejudices in strangers who visit their different mission stations, which 
not unfrequently so blinds them that they go away with unfavourable 
impressions. Every endeavour is frequently made by those whites 


who are resident near them to store up and repeal these facts, with 
exaggerations, which go far to damp the ardour of those who are in- 
terested in forwarding the great cause in which they are engaged. 
For all these considerations, they ought to avoid, by every means^ fall- 
ing short of that high-minded liberality that is expected from them. 

The Tongese are remarkable for their feats in swimming, and are 
very daring when sailing their canoes. An instance was told me that 
occurred in 1889, the year before our visit, which is looked upon as a 
well-established fact in this group. Two canoes left Hapai for Vavao; 
on their way, the wind arose and blew a strong gale from the north 
directly against them ; one of them was driven back and landed at 
Ofalanga, an uninhabited island of the group, occasionally visited by 
the natives for nuts, shells, fish, &c. ; in the other canoe as they were 
taking in sail, a man fell overboard, and the wind and sea being strong 
and high, it was found impossible to save him without risking the 
lives of all on board, and he was given up; this was about four 
o'clock, and the canoe was just in sight of land. The man accord- 
ingly turned his face towards Hapai, and resolved to reach it if 
possible ; he knew the wind was north, and directed his course by 
feeling the wind in his right and left ear, intending to swim before it; 
he continued swimming, and resting by floating upon the water, until 
the moon rose ; he then steered his course by that luminary, and thus 
continued until morning, when he was near land and almost within 
reach of the coral reef. When he had thus nearly escaped drowning, 
he was on the point of becoming the prey of a huge shark, whose 
jaws he avoided by reaching the coral shelf; he then landed upon the 
island, which proved to be Ofalanga, where the first canoe had been 
driven ; the crew found him on the beach senseless, and attended to 
him ; he soon was brought to, and shortly afterwards recovered his 
strength. This man's name is Theophilus Tohu; he is a native of 
Huano on the island of Hapai. The canoe from which he was lost 
returned to Huano before Theophilus did, and when he reached his 
home, he found his friends had passed through the usual ceremonies 
of his funeral. 

The island of Tongataboo is of coral formation, and with extensive 
coral reefs to the northward of it ; it has a shallow lagoon, which ex- 
tends about ten miles into the interior. The soil is deeper than upon 
any island of coral formation we have yet visited ; it is nearly a dead 
level, with the exception of a few hillocks, thirty or forty feet high ; the 
soil is a rich and fertile vegetable mould, and it is not composed of 
sand, as in the other coral islands. The vegetation, pi'obably for this 
reason, does not altogether resemble that found on those islands. The 


luxuriance of the foliage is not surpassed. Some few specimens of 
pumice have been found on its shores, probably drifted there from the 
island of Tofooa, which is said to have an active volcano. Tofooa is 
the highest island of the group, and next in height is Eooa. There 
is a marked difference in the appearance of the islands of Eooa and 
Tonga ; on the former of which there is comparatively little vege- 

On Tonga, although the vegetation equals any within the tropics, I 
was struck with the exaggerated accounts of the cultivation of the 
island ; for, so far from finding it a perfect garden, exhibiting the 
greatest care in its cultivation, it now appeared to be entirely neglected. 
The yam-grounds are more in the interior of the island, and in conse- 
quence of the war, there was no safety in passing beyond the limits of 
the party which possessed the north part of the island, or that in the 
vicinity of Nukualofa. 

The natives cultivate yams, sweet-potatoes, bananas, cocoa-nuts, 
bread-fruit, sugar-cane, shaddock, limes, and the ti (Spondias dulcis) ; 
the pandanus is much attended to, and is one of their most useful trees, 
and of it all their mats are made ; a little corn is grown, and they have 
the papaw-apple (Papaya), and water-melon. The missionaries have 
introduced the sweet orange from Tahiti, and a species of cherimoyer 
(Annona) ; many other things have, as I learned, been attempted, but 
have hitherto failed. I presented the missionaries with a variety of 
both fruit and vegetable seeds, and trust that they will succeed and be 
of advantage to future visiters ; the natives, I was told, understand the 
different kinds, discriminating among them in their planting. 

The botany of this island resembles that of the Samoan Group. A 
species of nutmeg was found here, diflfering from either of the Samoan 
ones : the trees were very full of fruit, and much larger ; one of them 
was observed a foot and a half in diameter, and upwards of forty feet 
in height. There was a number of ornamental shrubs. A description 
of climbing plants, which it was found a difficult matter to trace among 
the varieties of forest trees, gave a peculiar character to some parts of 
this overgrown island. 

The climate of Tonga is humid and the heat oppressive, rising fre- 
quently to 98° in the shade ; much rain falls ; the mean temperature 
during our stay was 79-25°. The trade-winds are by no means con- 
stant, and westerly winds occasionally blow in every season, which, 
from their variable character, have obtained the name with the natives 
of " foolish winds." 

We had to regret the state the island was in, as it prevented our 
making that full examination of it that I had intended and hoped ; we 


saw enough, however, to satisfy ourselves that Tongataboo is not the 
cuhivated garden it has been represented to be. The Ficus tree figured 
in the voyage of the Astrolabe, whose trunk is there stated to be one 
hundred feet in circumference, was visited. We were surprised to 
find it had no proper trunk, but only a mass of intertwined roots, 
through which it is possible to see in many directions, rising to a height 
of eighty or ninety feet, when it throws around its great and wide- 
spreading branches. Two other species of Ficus were found, one 
with labiate branches and horizontal spreading arms, the other with a 
trunk about nine feet in diameter. 

The climate cannot be considered salubrious ; very heavy dews fall 
at night, and no constitution can endure frequent exposure at this time ; 
the transitions from heat to cold are sudden and great, and the nights 
are often so chilly as to make blankets necessary. 

Hurricanes are frequent in this group, scarcely a season passing 
without some occurrence of the kind: the months of February and" 
March are those in which they occur ; but they have also taken place 
in November and December. The missionaries as yet have made no 
series of observations, nor kept any kind of meteorological diary ; but 
in answer to my inquiries I obtained the information, that the storms 
begin at the northwest, thence veer to the eastward, and end in south- 
east. The wind continues to increase until it becomes a hurricane : 
houses are levelled, and trees torn up by the roots; vessels are di'iven 
on shore; canoes lost or driven hundreds of miles away to other 
islands. In these storms the wind is frequently observed to change 
almost immediately from one point to its opposite ; and in the same 
group of islands, trees have fallen, during the same gale, some to the 
south and others to the north. They are local in their effects, and fall 
chiefly upon Hapai and Vavao; if the fury of the storm be felt at 
Vavao, Tonga generally escapes, and vice-versa; but Hapai is more 
or less the sufferer in both cases, situated as it is between the two 
places. A very severe hurricane was felt at Lefooka, Hapai, in 1834. 
These hurricanes vary in duration from eighteen to thirty-six hours ; 
after a destructive one, a famine generally ensues, in which numbers 
of the natives die : it destroys all their crops. The natives give the 
name to those which are most severe, " Afa higa faji," or the hurricane 
that throws down the banana-trees. 

Earthquakes are frequently felt here, though there is no knowledge 
of any destructive effects from them. 

The diseases of this climate are influenza, colds, coughs, and con- 
sumption; glandular swellings, some eruptive complaints, fevers, and 
some slight irregular intermittents are experienced ; but to judge from 

VOL. TII. 5 


the number of old persons, longevity is by no means uncommon. The 
venereal disease has not made the same devastation here as elsewhere; 
probably because, as respects morals and virtue, these natives are the 
opposite to those of Tahiti. 

Desirous of obtaining some of their arms, implements, and other 
curiosities, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Hale, and Mr. Vanderford, went to 
Nukualofa to make purchases, taking with them a large assortment of 
articles for the fair. The difficulties to be encountered in making 
purchases of the natives is scarcely to be imagined ; no small amount 
of patience is required to go through the chaffering that is necessary 
to secure the, article desired; for if their price is at once acceded to, 
they consider their bargain is a bad one. No inducement is sufficient 
for them to part with several articles of a kind at once ; each must be 
disposed of separately, and on all, a like chaffering must be gone 
through with. The natives, before they bring articles for sale, fix their 
minds upon something they desire to obtain, and if that is not to be 
had, they take their things away again, it matters not whether the 
article is equivalent in value or not. Mr. Vanderford, who has been 
here several times since 1810, told me " he had never found the Tonga 
people such saucy fellows." 

During our stay here, we were much incommoded by the mus- 
quitoes. I never saw them more troublesome ; and for three or four 
nights the officers and men obtained no sleep, which, added to the 
excessive heat, was overpowering, after the fatigues of a day spent in 
surveying. I never saw the men look as much fatigued when the day 
dawned ; some of them declared that the musquitoes had bitten through 
every thing but their boots and hats ; they even sought shelter in the 
tops and cross-trees, hoping thus to escape the attacks of these tor- 
mentors ; the ship was so filled with them, that she was (not unaptly) 
likened to a musical-box. Their attacks bade defiance to all defences 
in the way of musquito-nets ; night observations became almost imprac- 
ticable in consequence of this intolerable annoyance, and I felt quite 
desirous for the time of our departure from the island to arrive. 

On the 1st of May, our observations and surveying duties being 
completed, the instruments were embarked, and the boats hoisted in. 
A new difficulty now arose ; for I was informed that the native pilots 
had received a message from the king, forbidding them to take the 
ships through the reefs ; and although we needed their services but little, 
yet I thought it was a circumstance that required some investigation. 
I however gave orders to weigh anchor ; but, while in the act of doing 
so, the Porpoise was reported as in sight: I therefore awaited her 
joining company. She had been detained in consequence of light, 

T O N G A T A B O O. 35 

variable winds ; had seen nothing of Vasquez Island, but had sighted 
Pylstart's Island. 

We found that the crew of the Porpoise had been, as well as our- 
selves, affected by the epidemic influenza, and that one case (that of 
David Bateman the marine) was somewhat serious; we therefore 
received him on board the Vincennes, for his better accommodation. 

In the afternoon we ran down to the anchorage, off Nukualofa, 
when the Porpoise and Flying-Fish both went ashore on the reef, in 
consequence of the sun preventing it from being seen ; they got off 
soon after without any damage. On anchoring, I despatched an officer 
on shore, to inquire into the reason of the order sent the pilots ; word 
was immediately returned, on the part of the kings, that they knew 
nothing of the business; and they disclaimed any interference with 
them at all. On further investigation, the report was found to have 
grown out of the jealousy between two pilots, Tahiti Jim and Isaac : 
the former being the favourite of King George, whilst the latter was 
attached to King Josiah. Isaac having come on board first, was 
accepted as pilot; but Tahiti Jim being shrewd and cunning, (of 
which we had much experience afterwards,) did not like the idea of 
Isaac, who, as he told me, was no pilot, reaping all the reward ; he 
accordingly intimated to him, that unless he promised to share the 
profits with him, he should report him to King George ; and that if 
he got the ship ashore the captain would hang him. This so alarmed 
Isaac, that, being unwilling to fall under the displeasure of the king, 
and equally so to divide his profits, concocted the story that he was 
ordered by the king not to take the vessel to sea. I rather suspected 
Tahiti Jim of delivering such a message ; finding, however, since the 
arrival of the Porpoise, that there was now a prospect of profit for 
both, they became reconciled. This affair being settled, and having 
finished my orders for the Peacock, and sent them to the missionaries, 
we hove up our anchors, and made sail. Before we had got without 
the reef, a sail was descried, which proved to be the Peacock. After 
passing congratulations, by cheering, I made signal to anchor, which 
was done, near the outer reefs, in ten fathoms water. We were now 
once more together, and only a few days behind the time allotted for 
reaching the Feejee Group, and beginning operations there. 

The Peacock, as we have seen, was left at Sydney to complete her 
repairs ; these detained her until the 30th of March, for it was found 
extremely difficult to obtain mechanics ; and all who were employed, 
except two, were a lazy and drunken set : they all belong to the 
" Trades' Union ;" and to such an extreme is the action of this asso- 
ciation carried, that they invariably support the most worthless, and 


make common cause with them. Employers are completely under 
their control, and there is no manner of redress for idleness or bad 
work. If the employer complains, they all leave work, refusing to 
do any thing more, and soon compel him to re-engage them through 

The repairs were made, as has been stated, in Mossman's Cove, on 
the north shore of the harbour of Sydney, one of the many natural 
docks that nature has provided for this harbour. The ship was laid 
aground, so as to expose her whole fore-foot, during the ebb tide. 
The damage which she had sustained has been before spoken of; the 
stem was literally worn to within an inch and a half of the wood- 
ends. After repairing this, by scraping the stem and putting on a 
new cut-water, they made use of a diving apparatus to place the new 
braces, and mend the copper that was broken. 

Although they were removed some distance from Sydney and its 
vile grog-shops, despite the utmost caution to prevent the crew from 
pi'ocuring spirits, it was found that a plan had been formed to supply 
them with it. In a hut near by, lived an Irishman, familiarly called 
Paddy, who acted as a kind of suttler, in supplying the messes of the 
officers and men with fresh bread and milk, and also doing the washing. 
After a few days it was discovered that the men were obtaining some 
extra allowance of spirits, and suspicions naturally enough fell on 
Paddy as the cause of this irregularity, and its consequent disturb- 
ances. Orders v/ere therefore given to search him, on his next visit to 
the ship ; this fully confirmed the suspicion, and his presence on board 
was at once interdicted. 

Paddy had no idea of being thus defeated in reaping his harvest 
from the ship's company ; he therefore enlisted in his service a man, 
if possible, of a worse character than himself, whom he kept con- 
stantly supplied with rum, brandy, and gin from Sydney, and made 
it known to the crew that he was ready to furnish his former custo- 
mers. The men soon managed, under various pretexts, to visit his hut, 
and supply themselves at the expense of their clothing, or some other 
equivalent. This new arrangement succeeded for a time, but was at 
length detected, and the nuisance wholly stopped ; steps were also 
taken for the punishment of the offenders, by making a complaint 
against them, which caused the apprehension of Paddy and his 
partner, and he was required to pay a fine of £30, or be imprisoned 
for six months. 

Paddy was not the only annoyance they had to encounter. Another 
was the poisonous snakes that infest the secluded nooks of Mossman's 
Bay, numbers of which were daily seen near the ship ; among them 

T O N G A T A B O O. 37 

was one resembling the diamond-snake, of a light silvery colour, about 
eighteen inches in length, and as thick as the little finger: these are 
very numerous, and it is very desirable to avoid coming in contact 
with them, for their bite has often proved fatal. Instances are known 
in Sydney of persons who have been bitten, and have died in a few 
hours. An eminent physician of Sydney, on being asked the treatment 
in case of a bite, replied : " To bandage the affected part as soon as 
possible, cut it out, and as soon as preparations can be made, ampu- 
tate the limb !" These venomous snakes frequently crawl into houses 
near the woods, and persons have been bitten whilst sitting at their 
doors in the evening. A lady, living on the north shore near the resi- 
dence of the American consul, was sitting playing on the piano, when, 
hearing some rustling noise, suddenly looked around, and discovered a 
diamond-snake only a short distance from her; she screamed aloud 
and jumped on the music-stool ; a servant soon came to the rescue, and 
killed the intruder. Instances occur repeatedly of these snakes infest- 
ing the houses, and so common are they, that if a person is stung, it is 
at once supposed to be by a snake. The effects of the bite, if not fatal, 
are said to produce partial blindness. 

On the 30th of March they left Sydney, and passed the Heads of 
Port Jackson on the same afternoon. They had at first light winds, 
and made but little progress. When about seventy miles from the 
coast, in latitude 33^° S., they experienced a change of four degrees 
in the temperature of the sea ; and on the 3d of April, they found they 
had been set thirty miles to the southward during the day. On the 
5th, the temperature again fell to 72°, with an easterly current. 
Several English vessels were seen cruising for whales in latitude 28° 
S., longitude 157° E. The winds continued contrary and light. On 
the 9th, in longitude 159° 43' E., latitude 26° S., an opportunity 
occurred for trying the deep-sea temperature. At eight hundred and 
thirty fathoms below the surface, the temperature had decreased to 
46°, that of the surface being 76° ; and the current was found setting 
east-by-south half a mile per hour. The next day, in longitude 160° 
E., latitude 25° 40' S., the experiments were repeated, at different 
depths ; the results will be found in Appendix I. 

The current was now found setting to the south-southwest, at the 
rate of half a mile per hour. 

On the 18th they again attempted to get a deep-sea cast, and had 
nineteen hundred fathoms of line out ; in hauling in the line it parted, 
and nearly seventeen hundred fathoms of it were lost, besides the only 
self-registering thermometer we had left in the squadron, which put a 
stop to our experiments. They had now several days of light variable 


winds, with occasional rain and much lightning and thunder. The 
island of Eooa was made on the 30th of April, and on the 1st of May 
they passed through the reefs and joined the squadron. 

The present King Josiah is one of the sons of Mumui, who was 
reigning in Cook's time. Three of King Josiah's brothers have pre- 
ceded him as rulers of Tonga: these were Tugo Aho, Tubou Toa, and 
Tubou Maloki. The fii^st reigned but a short time, being put to death 
by Tubou Ninha, a brother of the celebrated Finau. Tubou Ninha 
was afterwards murdered by Tubou Toa, who reigned over the Hapai 
Islands, Tubou Maloki receiving the title of King of Tonga, or rather 
Tui Kanakabolo, or Lord of Kanakabolo, while that of Vavao was 
governed by the younger Finau, adopted son of Finau Ulukalalu. This 
was the state of the island at the time of Mariner's, or Togi Uummea's 
visit. A few months after his departure, Finau died a natural death, 
and w-as succeeded by his uncle, Finau Feejee, having Toa Omoo to 
assist him. Finau Feejee was murdered by Hala Apiapia, who suc- 
ceeded him ; but his ambition of obtaining kingly power was not long 
satisfied, before he was put to death by Paunga, a high chief The 
son of Finau Ulukalalu, named Tuabiji, succeeded, but died within a 
few years, and did not bear a good character. His dominions were 
immediately seized upon by Taufaahau, the present King George, then 
King of Hapai, the son of Tubou Toa, and grandson of Mumui; and 
there is now a prospect of his becoming king of the whole group. The 
Tui Kanakabolo, Tubou Maloki, was succeeded by the present King 
Josiah, or Tubou. Before the death of Tubou Maloki, his power had 
become very limited, Tonga itself being distracted by many civil broils; 
neither has his successor. King Josiah, more energy. His domain 
may now be said to be circumscribed to the town of Nukualofa; and if 
it had not been for the timely aid of Taufaahau, he would in all pro- 
bability ere now have been driven from his kingdom. The son of 
Tubou Maloki, Mumui, before spoken of, is most thought of as his 
successor, though against such a powerful competitor as King George, 
he does not stand much chance. 

Since leaving the island, in the month of August, whilst employed in 
the neighbouring group (the Feejee), we learned that the war in Tonga 
had terminated very differently from what had been anticipated, — in 
the complete rout of the Christian party, King George and all his 
warriors being compelled to fly the island. On the arrival of Captain 
Croker, of H. B. M. sloop Favourite, he warmly interested himself in 
the advancement of the missionary cause, and determined to engage 
in negotiations with the heathen ; but finding that many difficulties 
impeded his plans, he unfortunately determined to bring matters at 


once to an issue, and demanded that the terms he dictated should be 
acceded to by the heathen within a few hours. To enforce his demand, 
he landed a large part of his crew, with officers, and proceeded to the 
fortress of Bea ; only an hour was given its defenders to decide. I 
am informed that it has since been understood that if a longer time 
had been granted, they would have acceded to his demand. He was 
punctual to his time, and on the chiefs refusing to surrender, he made 
an attack upon the fortress. On his advancing near the gate, he, with 
many of his officers and men were shot down ; the survivors suffered 
a total defeat, and were obliged to retreat forthwith. The heathen 
now became the assailants, and the Christian party, together with the 
missionaries, were forced to embark, and afterwards landed at Vavao; 
King George was obliged to retire, and Nukualofa was invested by the 
heathen. Thus ended this religious war, and I cannot but beheve that 
the precipitate zeal of the missionaries was the cause of so disastrous 
a result. That the heathen were well disposed to make peace, I am 
well assured ; a little patience and forbearance, and at the same time 
encouraging intercourse with their towns and setting them a good 
example, would have gradually and surely brought about the desired 
results ; while to force them to become converts, was a mode of pro- 
ceeding calculated only to excite their enmity and opposition. 

The night previous to our sailing, May 3d, two of the Feejee 
women who had been smuggled from Vavao by Captain Wilson, 
paddled off in a canoe to the Peacock, entreating to be received on 
board and conveyed to their own country, and with the view of 
securing their object, it was found they had thrown away their 
paddles. The request was denied, and Captain Hudson had new ones 
at once made for them ; they were compelled to enter their canoe 
again, and paddled off. They then visited the tender Flying-Fish, 
and in order to prevent their being turned off in the same way, they 
set their canoe adrift. As it was late at night, they were retained on 
board, and sent to the Vincennes early in the morning. Well under- 
standing, from the interview I had with King George in relation to 
the Currency Lass, his feelings on the subject, (for the abduction of 
these very women from the island of Vavao had been the cause of the 
difficulty,) I immediately ordered them to be landed. I did this be- 
cause I was not willing to have an appearance of inconsistency in the 
minds of these natives, in first blaming conduct I thought unwarrant- 
able in Captain Wilson, and then doing the same act myself Had I 
taken any other course, it would no doubt have provoked aggression 
upon the first American vessel that visited any of the ports of this 
group. My commiseration and that of many of the officers was 


excited at the sight of these poor defenceless creatures, who were 
desirous to return to their native island, and who had made such 
strenuous efforts to accomplish their wishes ; but my public duty was 
too well defined for me to allow their tears and entreaties to prevail 
over higher considerations. 

The intercourse between the Feejee and Tonga Islanders, has been 
of late years frequent; the latter are more inclined to leave their 
homes than the former, and when a Tongese has once visited the 
Feejee Group and returns safely, he is looked upon as a traveller. In 
Tonga they consider and look up to the Feejee Islanders as more 
polished, and their opinions are viewed with much respect ; this, one 
not only observes in their conversation, but they show it in adopting 
their manners and customs, and the attention and deference they pay 
to the opinions of those who have visited or belong to that group ; 
from them they obtain their canoes, and have learned the art of sailing 
and navigating them ; and from the situation of their islands, being 
more exposed to a rough ocean, they are probably now better and 
more adventurous navigators. This intercourse is kept up more par- 
ticularly with the eastern islands of the Feejees : at Lakemba we 
found many of them residing. When Cook visited this group, little 
was known of the Feejees. Thirty years afterwards, during the time 
Mariner resided on the Tonga Islands, the intercourse and informa- 
tion had become greater and more accurate; and at the period of our 
visit, we heard of many things that were passing in that group as 
familiar topics ; and we found among them many Tongese who were 
enjoying the hospitality of their western neighbours. The prevailing 
winds are in favour of the intercourse on the side of the Tongese, 
which may in some measure account for it; and the favour with which 
they have always been received, and the flattering accounts those who 
returned have given of their reception, may in some measure account 
for the desire they always evince to pay the Feejee Group a visit. In 
a very few years, through the intercourse that will be brought about 
by the missionaries, there will be as much passing to and fro between 
them, as there is now among the several islands of either group, which 
will have a great tendency to advance the civilization of both. 

Previous to my departure, a sailor by the name of Tom Granby 
desired to have a passage to the Feejees, and although I entertained 
always much suspicion of the vagabonds who frequent the different 
islands, Tom's countenance was so very prepossessing, and his modesty 
as to his capabilities as a pilot such as to satisfy me that he was not 
one of the runaways or convicts ; he was, besides, as he informed me, 
a resident of the island of Ovolau. I had already made up my mind 



that this Island should be the first place the squadron should go to, 
on account of its central position, which, if the harbour proved con- 
venient, offered the best point whence to superintend the duties and to 
fix my observatory at; Tom was therefore taken on board, and 
remained with us during the whole time we were in the Feejee Group, 
and T was well satisfied with him ; in short, he did not belie his 


VOL. ill. 







O V O L A U. 

At daylight on the 4th of May, the squadron got under way from 
the harbour of Nukualofa, and passing without the reefs through a 
narrow passage, safely bore off to the westward under all sail, having 
the wind from east-northeast. At meridian we had the islands of Honga 
Tonga and Honga Hapai to the north of us ; these are both high, and 
are distant from Tonga twenty-seven miles. On the 5th we had a sight 
of Turtle Island, and determined it to be in longitude 178° 33' W., 
latitude 19° 48' S. ;* it has the appearance of a small rounded knoll. 
The wind was blowing fresh from the southeast, and after dark I 
determined to heave-to, to await daylight, off the southern and eastern 
islands of the Feejee Group ; this was done in order to set the Porpoise 
at her work. Since leaving Tonga, we have found ulcers prevalent 
among our men, from the bites they had received ; they were inflam- 
matory and difficult to cure, prevailing among those apparently most 
healthy. Just at dawn we made an island, and at the same time a 
large sandbank, about half a mile from us ; had darkness continued 
half an hour longer, we should have probably been wrecked upon the 
latter, as I did not believe myself within five miles of it. Our unex- 
pected vicinity to it was caused by a strong current to the northward. 

At 6 A. M. we began our observations, and at eight I made signal to 
the Porpoise to part company, in order that Lieutenant-Commandant 
Ringgold might proceed to carry into execution the orders which will 
be found in Appendix II. 

We continued our course with the Peacock and Flying-Fish in 

* Subsequent observations by the Porpoise, place it in longitude 178=' 37' 13" W., lati- 
tude 19° 50' R 



O V O L A U. 

company. I liad compiled a chart of the comparatively unknown sea 
we were about to traverse ; but the weather was threatening, and from 
the specimen we had had in the morning of its dangers, I thought it 
would be prudent to haul off, which I did, at 2 p. m. At five, land 
was reported ahead, and on the lee bow; it proved to be the island of 
Totoia, which I now found was thirty miles out of the position assigned 
it by former navigators. I at once came to the determination of 
running into the group, feeling assured we should thus save much time, 
and probably find smoother water; the dangers we had to encounter 
in either way were about equal. It was now blowing a fresh gale, 
which obliged us to take three reefs in the topsails ; it is by no means 
a pleasant business to be running over unknown ground, in a dark 
night, before a brisk gale, at the rate of seven or eight miles an hour. 
The sea was unusually phosphorescent, and the night was disagreeable 
with rain and mists. The Peacock and Flying-Fish followed us. The 
morning proved fine, and at daylight we were within a short distance 
of the Horse-shoe Reef, unknown to any of us but Tom, who thought 
we must be at least twenty miles from it. We found ourselves in the 
midst of a number of beautiful islands, viz.,* Goro, Vanua-levu, and 
Somu-somu on our right; Nairai, Ambatiki, and Matuku, on the left; 
whilst Ovolau, Wakaia, and Mokungai, were in front ; they were all 
girt by white encircling reefs. So beautiful was their aspect, that I 
could scarcely bring my mind to the realizing sense of the well-known 
fact, that they were the abode of a savage, ferocious, and treacherous 
race of cannibals. 

Each island had its own peculiar beauty, but the eye as well as 
mind felt more satisfaction in resting upon Ovolau, which as we 
approached, had more of the appearance of civilization about it than 
the others ; it is also the highest, most broken, and most picturesque. 
In consequence of light winds, we did not succeed in reaching the 
harbour of Levuka that evening, and passed the night under way, 
between Ovolau and Wakaia. At daylight on the 8th of May, we 
were off the port, and made all sail for it. At nine o'clock, being off" the 
entrance, I took the precaution, as the breeze was light, to hoist the 
boats out (having to pass through a passage only eight hundred feet in 
width), and sent them ahead to tow. At first it is not a little alarming 
to approach these entrances with a light wind, and often with a strong 
current setting in or out ; the ship rolling and tossing with the swell 
as she nears the reefs, the deep-blue water of the ocean curling into 

* In the orthography of the names of the Feejee Group, I have followed the pronuncia- 
tion, and not the true construction of the language, which will be explained in a subsequent 

O V O L A U. 47 

white foam on them, with no bottom until the entrance is gained, 
when a beautiful and tranquil basin opens to the view. 

The remarkable peculiarity of these coral harbours, if so I may call 
them, is that in gaining them, it is but an instant from the time the sea 
is left until security is found equal to that of an artificial dock ; this is 
particularly the case with the harbour of Levuka. The shore was lined 
with natives, watching our progress with their usual curiosity ; and it 
was amusing to hear the shouts of applause that emanated from the 
crowds on shore, when they witnessed the men, dressed all in white, 
running up the rigging to furl the sails. 

In passing to the anchorage, we saw a tiny boat, in which was 
David Whippy, one of the principal white residents here, with one of 
his naked children. This man ran away from a ship, commanded by 
his brother, that was ti'ading in this group, in consequence of the ill 
treatment he received on board ; he now has been eighteen years on 
this island, and is the principal man among the whites. He is con- 
sidered a royal messenger, or Maticum Ambau, and is much looked 
up to by the chiefs. He speaks their language well ; is a prudent 
trustworthy person, and understands the character of the natives 
perfectly : his worth and excellent character I had long heard of.* 
He immediately came on board to welcome us, and after we had 
anchored near the town, he brought off Tui Levuka, the chief of the 
Levuka town. This dignitary was a stout, well-made man, strong 
and athletic, entirely naked, with the exception of a scanty maro, 
with long ends of white tapa hanging down before and behind, and a 
turban of white fleecy tapa, not unlike tissue-paper, around his head, 
of enormous size. These turbans designate the chiefs, and frequently 
have a small wreath of flowers over them. His face was a shining 
black, having been painted for the occasion ; his countenance had a 
good expression, and ho seemed, after a few moments, to be quite at his 
ease. As is customary, I at once gave him a present of two whale's 
teeth and two fathoms of red cotton cloth, with which he was well 
satisfied, clapping his hands several times, which is their mode of ex- 
pressing thanks. His hair was crisped, with a small whalebone stick 
or needle, twelve or fourteen inches in length, stuck into it on one 
side ; he did not leave me long in doubt as to the use to which the 
latter is put, for it was continually in requisition to scratch his head, 
the vermin being not a little troublesome. He was very desirous of 
doing every thing for me, and said that any ground I wished to oc- 

* He has, since our return, been appointed vice-consul for the Feejec Group 


O V O L A U. 

cupy, was at the service of the countrymen of his friend Whippy. 
Mr. Drayton during our stay obtained a camera lucida drawing of 
him, whilst he was leaning against a tree. 



Ovolau is the principal residence of the white men in the group, to 
whose general deportment and good conduct I must bear testimony ; I 
met with none better disposed throughout the voyage than were found 
there. I at once engaged them to become our interpreters during the 
time we stayed, which afforded us many advantages in communicating 
with the natives. 

About three hours after the Vincennes anchored, the Peacock en- 
tered ; but there was no news or sign of the Flying-Fish, nor had she 
been seen while the Peacock was in the offing. I felt much uneasiness 
about her, more so on account of the inexperienced officer who had 
her in temporary charge. 

I directed the chief, Tui Levuka, to send a message immediately to 
Ambau, to inform King Tanoa of my arrival, and desire him to visit me. 
This was at once assuming authority over him, and after the fashion (^as 
I understood) of the country ; but it was doubted by some whether he 
would come, as he was old, and a powerful chief I thought the ex- 
periment was worth trying, as, in case he obeyed, it would be con- 
sidered that he acknowledged me as his superior, which I thought 

O V O L A U. 49 

might be beneficial in case of any difficulty occurring during our stay ; 
I believed, moreover, that it would add greatly to the respect which 
the natives would hold us in. 

The town of Levuka contains about forty houses ; it is situated on 
the east side of the island of Ovolau, in a quiet and peaceful valley, 
surrounded by a dense grove of cocoa-nut and bread-fruit trees, with 
a fine stream of fresh and pure water running through it to the 
beach ; high, broken volcanic peaks rise to the west, forming the 

The frames of the houses are built of the bread-fruit tree, and are 
filled in with reeds, whilst the roof is covered with a thatch of the wild 
sugar-cane. They are usually oblong in shape, and from twenty to 
twenty-five feet in length by fifteen in breadth. 

The most conspicuous and remarkable structure is the mbure, or 
spirit-house, which is built on a raised and walled mound : its propor- 
tions are exceedingly uncouth, being nearly twice as high as it is broad 
at its base, and forming a singular, sharp-peaked roof; the piece of 
timber serving for the ridge-pole, projects three or four feet at each 
end, is covered with numbers of white shells (Ovula cyprsea), and has 
two long poles or spears crossing it at right angles. A drawing of 
one of these mbure will be seen in the succeeding chapter. At the 
termination of the thatching, the roofs of all the houses are about a 
foot thick, and project eighteen inches or two feet, forming eaves, 
which secure them from the wet. For the most part they have two 
doors, and a fire-place in the centre, composed of a few stones. The 
furniture consists of a few boxes, mats, several large clay jars, and 
many drinking vessels, the manufacture of pottery being extensively 
carried on by them. The sleeping-place is generally screened off, and 
raised about a foot above the other part of the floor. 

Having settled definitively the mode of operation I intended to pursue 
in surveying the group, I was desirous of fixing some of the main points 
in my own mind, as well as in that of the officers, and therefore ordered 
a large party from each ship to be prepared to accompany me on the 
following morning, to one of the high peaks of the island, called Andu- 
long, taking with us the barometers, &c,, for measuring its altitude. I 
likewise issued an order, directing officers who left the ship for any 
purpose, to be armed ; being well satisfied that every precaution ought 
to be taken, in order to prevent surprise in any shape ; I also impressed 
upon all the necessity of circumspection, and of keeping themselves on 
their guard, which, as I learned from the few incidents related to me 
by Whippy and others, was highly necessary; orders were also given 
to prepare the boats of both ships for surveying duties. 

VOL. HI. E 7 

50 O V O L A U. 

I understood that about forty whites had taken up their residence 
here; but we only found twelve, who were all married to native 
women, and generally had large families. 

We found lying at anchor here a small sloop, about the size of a 
long-boat, called "Who'd have thought it!" a tender to the ship 
Leonidas, Captain Eagleston, who was at another island curing the 
biche de mar ; she was in charge of his first officer, Mr. Winn, who 
had been about trading for tortoise-shell at the different islands. He 
reported to me that one of his men had been enticed from the boat, and 
had been murdered, and probably eaten : this was said to have occurred 
near Muthuata, on the north side of Vanua-levu. It appeared that Mr. 
Winn, with only four or five men, had been trading in this small boat, 
for vessel she could not be called, around the group ; they had with 
them a small skiff" or punt, capable of holding only one man. In this 
one of the crew had been sent on shore, for the purpose of ascertain- 
ing whether the natives had any thing to dispose of On his landing, 
he was led up from the beach, and never returned. This incident 
claimed our attention afterwards, and our proceedings in relation to it 
will be spoken of in their proper place. 

On the morning of the 9th, the weather proved fine, and at half-past 
seven wo all went on shore with our instruments. Orders were left 
with the ship to fire guns, on a signal being given from the top of Andu- 
long. I put up both of the barometers, and made several comparisons, 
and then left one under charge of an officer to make half-hourly obser- 
vations. We set off" for the peak of Andulong, apparently but a short 
hour's walk. Our party consisted of about twenty-five officers and the 
naturalists, all intent upon their different branches of duty. Being 
entirely unused to so fatiguing a climb, some gave out, and were obliged 
to return ; the strongest of us found no little exertion necessary to over- 
come the difficulties which beset our path : every now and then a per- 
pendicular rise of fifteen or twenty feet was to be ascended, then a 
narrow ridge to be crossed, and again a descent into a deep ravine ; 
the whole was clothed with vines at intervals, and the walking was 
very precarious, from the numbers of roots and slippery mud we encoun- 
tered ; water continually bubbled across our path from numerous rills 
that were hurrying headlong down the ravines. The last part of the 
ascent was sharp and steep, having precipices of several hundreds of 
feet on each side of us. On passing up the path, I saw our native 
guides each pull a leaf when they came to a spot, and throw it down ; 
on inquiry, Whippy told me it was the place where a man had been 
clubbed : this was considered as an offering of respect to him, and, if 
not performed, they have a notion they will soon be killed themselves. 

O V O L A U. 51 

Judging from the number of places in which these atonements were 
made, many victims have suffered in this way. The path we followed 
over the mountain was the high-road to the interior towns, and the 
inhabitants of these mountains have the character among the cannibal 
population of the coast, of being very savage ! Just before noon, we 
reached the top of Andulong, and succeeded in getting the meridian 
altitude. The scene that now presented itself was truly beautiful ; the 
picturesque valleys of the island of Ovolau lay in full view beneath us, 
exhibiting here and there spots of cultivated ground, with groves of 
cocoa-nuts and bread-fruit ; the towns perched upon apparently inacces- 
sible spots, overlooking their small domains ; the several peaks rising 
around, all cut and broken in the most grotesque forms, only one of 
which, that of Dille-ovolau, overtopped the one on which we were, 
being about two hundred feet higher ; around us in the distance, we 
had the various islands of the group, and the fantastic needle-shaped 
peaks of Vanua-levu were distinctly seen, although at the distance of 
sixty miles. The detached reefs could be traced for miles, by the water 
breaking on them, until they were lost in the haze. The squadron lay 
quietly beneath us, and every danger that could in any way affect the 
safety of a vessel was as distinctly marked as though it had been 
already put upon our charts. Each ofScer was now directed to observe 
a series of angles between all the points, peaks, and islands, and to 
enter the names of them : these were obtained through the interpreters. 
The barometer was set up, and observations made. The signal was 
now given, upon which guiis were fired from the vessel, while we noted 
the time that elapsed between seeing the flash and hearing the sound. 
The angles of depression were also taken of all objects. The results 
of these different methods gave the altitude of Andulong two thousand 
and seventy feet. 

We remained on the summit until near sunset, and obtained much 
knowledge relative to the situation of all the islands and reefs that 
lay around us, which I found of much service in the progress of our 

During our stay on Andulong, a native came up, who appeared to 
be under the influence of great fear ; he reported that one of the officers 
had fallen down, and that something was the matter with him. On 
being asked why he left him, he told us that the chief had said G — d 
d — n, and that he was afraid that he would kill him. Lieutenant Em- 
mons went down with him, and after a short descent, he found Mr. 
Eld lying quite exhausted near the path, and it was with difficulty he 
was enabled to reach the town. 

The descent proved more toilsome and dangerous than the ascent ; 


the slipperiness of the path frequently brought us in contact with sharp 
rocks. I have seldom witnessed a party so helpless as ours appeared, 
in comparison with the natives and white residents, who ran over the 
rocks like goats. Darkness overtook us before we reached the town ; 
many of the natives, however, brought torches of dried cocoanut-leaves 
to light us on our way, and we reached our respective ships without 
accident, though much fatigued. Many new specimens were added to 
our collections, and I believe all felt gratified in having had an oppor- 
tunity of viewing from so elevated a point this labyrinth of islands, 
reefs, and sunken shoals. 

The island of Ovolau is eight miles in length, north and south, by 
seven in breadth, east and west ; it is of volcanic formation, and its 
rocks are composed of a conglomerate or pudding-stone ; it is high and 
rugged throughout. The valleys extend only a short distance into the 
interior, and leave but little level ground ; they are, however, exceed- 
ingly fertile, with a deep and rich soil, and are well cultivated. Its 
harbours are all formed by the reefs, and were it not for these, there 
would be but few in the group ; that of Levuka is safe, has good hold- 
ing-ground, and is easy of access. 

On the 10th, the Flying-Fish was still missing. 

Feeling satisfied that Ovolau was the most suitable place for my pur- 
pose, I selected a site for my observatory on a projecting insulated 
point, about thirty feet above the beach, on which was sufficient room 
to accommodate our tents and houses. I also obtained a few acres of 
ground from the chief, for the purpose of planting a garden, which was 
well fenced in, and placed under the direction of our horticulturist, Mr. 

On the 11th, the instruments, tents, &c., were landed and put up. 
The surprise of the natives was extremely great to find a village or 
town as they called it, erected in a few hours, and every thing in 
order : the guards on post to prevent all intrusion most excited their 

All the necessary arrangements having been made, the launch and 
first cutter of the Vincennes, under Lieutenants Alden, Knox, Mid- 
shipman Henry, and Assistant-Surgeon Whittle, were despatched to 
survey the north shore of Viti-levu ; the launch and first cutter of the 
Peacock, under Lieutenant Emmons, Passed Midshipman Blunt, and 
Mr. Dyes, to examine and survey the south shore, visiting Viwa, 
Ambau, and Rewa, the missionary posts : Chaplain Elliott was of the 
latter party, that he might be enabled to gather information from these 
establishments ; pilots, who acted as interpreters, were sent with both. 
Orders, of which the following is an extract, were issued to the officers 

O V O L A U. 53 

in writing, in relation to the natives, pointing out to them the necessity 
of watchfulness. 

" You will observe the following instructions very particularly, and 
in no case depart from them, unless it is for the preservation of your 

" 1st. You will avoid landing any where on the main land or 
islands, unless the latter should be uninhabited. 

" 2d. Every precaution must be observed in treating with these 
natives, and no native must be suffered to come alongside or near 
your boats, without your boarding-nettings being up ; all trading must 
be carried on over the stern of your boat, and your arms and howit- 
zers ready to repel attack. 

" 3d. You will avoid any disputes with them, and never be off your 
guard, or free from suspicion ; they are in no case to be trusted. 

" 4th. Your two boats must never be separated at night, but an- 
chored as close together as possible. 

" You will always keep the boats within signal distance of each 
other, separating them in cases of extreme necessity only for a short 

These and other instructions will be found in Appendix III. 

The Flying-Fish now made her appearance, to my great relief. 
Her delays had been owing to her having run (on the 8th, the night 
after she parted company with us), through carelessness, on the reef 
off the island of Nairai, in fine moonlight, with the reef full in view ; 
here she remained some hours, having had a narrow escape from total 
wreck ; she, however, only lost a part of her false keel. Lieutenant 
Carr, the first-lieutenant of the Vincennes, was immediately put in 
command of her. The Peacock and Flying-Fish were now ordered 
to prepare for sea with all despatch. 

I must confess I felt great anxiety for the safety of our parties in 
the boats, and issued the foregoing orders very particularly, in order 
to avoid all misapprehension, and to leave as little as possible to the 
discretion of the officers who had charge of the boats. They were all 
well armed, and the boats were provided with boarding-nettings ; for 
I felt satisfied that any inattention or want of care would inevitably 
lead to the destruction, if not of the whole, at least some of the party . 
the accident that had recently occurred to the tender of the Leonidas, 
showed that the least degree of confidence reposed in the natives was 
attended with great risk, and that so treacherous a people were not to 
be trusted under any circumstances. A departure from these instruc- 
tions, and an undue confidence, resulting from having for a long time 
escaped the many dangers encountered, was, I regret to say, the cause 



O V O L A U. 

of the loss we met with before leavuig this group, and taught, when 
too late, the necessity of obeying strictly the orders of their com- 
manding officer, whether absent or present. 

On the 12th, whilst engaged at the observatory, the canoe of Tanoa, 
the King of Ambau, was discovered rounding the southern point of 
the island : it had a magnificent appearance, with its immense sail of 
white mats ; the pennants streaming from its yard, denoted it at once 
as belonging to some great chief It was a fit accompaniment to the 
magnificent scenery around, and advanced rapidly and gracefully 
along ; it was a single canoe, one hundred feet in length, with an out- 
rigger of large size, ornamented with a great number (two thousand 
five hundred) of the Cyprsea ovula shells ; its velocity was almost 
inconceivable, and every one was struck with the adroitness with 
which it was managed and landed on the beach.* 

Tanoa disembarked, accompanied by his attendants, who are gene- 
rally Tonga men, forty of whom had the direction and sailing of his 
canoe. Shortly after landing, he was met by Mr. Vanderford, who 
had formerly been shipwrecked here, and who had lived under his 

* I was told that Tanoa frequently amuses himself, when sailing, by running' down ca 
noes, leaving those who belong to them to recover their canoe and property the best wai 
they can. 

O V O L A tJ. 55 

protection for ten months. The meeting was a curious one : the old 
chief walked up to him, and stood looking, first on one side and then 
on the other, without noticing him, and pretending that he did not 
see him ; Mr. Vanderford then walked up to him, clapped him on 
the back, and called him by name, when they both began laughing 
heartily. Mr. Vanderford spoke much of the kindness of Tanoa to 
him during his residence among the people of Ambau : it is true, that 
he robbed him of every thing but his skin, but then he protected him 
from the attacks of others. Shortly afterwards a large double canoe 
arrived, entirely manned by Tonga people, under their two chiefs, 
Lajika and Tubou Total, who were both of them, with about five 
hundred of their followers, paying Tanoa a visit at Ambau; they were 
the sons of Tubou Ninha, and nephews of the celebrated Finau. 
Tubou Total told me that he and his brothers had been residing seve- 
ral years in the Feejees ; that they were employed building canoes on 
some of the eastern islands, and that it generally took them seven 
years from the time they left Tonga, to finish them and return. 

Tanoa took up his abode in the mbure, or council-house, which is 
the place where all strangers are entertained. Here he seated himself, 
with his principal attendants about him, when his orator, or prime 
minister, made a complimentary oration, at the end of which a clap- 
ping of hands took place ; to this oration one of the principal towns- 
people replied. This is the usual mode of conducting the ceremony : 
the guest, the moment he arrives, gives a condensed account of all his 
doings since they last saw each other, ending with many compliments; 
to which the host replies in equally flattering terms, wishing him all 
kinds of happiness and prosperity. This ceremony being over, Tanoa 
despatched David Whippy on board to inform me of his arrival, when 
I immediately sent Lieutenant Carr to call upon him and inform him 
that my boat would be at the shore in the morning for him. Food 
was then brought by the Levukians, according to their native custom : 
it consisted of two large baskets containing each a roasted pig, yams, 
taro, bread-fruit, &c., which were placed before the company; this 
present was accompanied by another speech, to which the prime 
minister again replied ; then came clapping of hands, and the feast 
ended with ava drinking. 

On the following morning, when the boat landed, the three chiefs 
were waiting on the beach, and all came on board, the large canoe 
following the boat; every thing was prepared to give them a most 
marked reception, excepting the salute. Tanoa was the first to mount 
the side of the ship, where I was ready to receive him, with the officers 
at the gangway. When he reached the deck, he was evidently much 

50 O V O L A U. 

astonished, particularly when he saw the marines, with their muskets, 
presenting arms, and so many officers. The novel sight, to him, of 
my large Newfoundland dog, Sydney, who did not altogether like the 
sable appearance of his majesty, the noise of the drum and boatswain's 
pipe, combined to cause him some alarm, and he evinced a disposition 
to retire, keeping himself close to the ship's side. He was, after the 
fashion of his group, almost naked, having a small maro passed around 
his loins, with long ends to it, and a large turban of tapa cloth in folds 
about his head, so as almost to hide the expression of his countenance; 
his face was bedaubed with oil and ivory-black, as were also his long 
beard and mustaches, the natural hue of which I understood was quite 
gray. From his begrimed look he has obtained the sobriquet of " Old 
Snuff," among the whites; he is about sixty-five years old, tall, slender, 
and rather bent by age ; on his breast, hanging from his neck, he wore 
an ornament made of mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, and ivory, not 
very neatly put together, and as large as a dinner-plate, (called diva 
ndina) ; on his arms he had shell armlets, (called ygato,) made of the 
trochus-shell by grinding them down to the form of rings ; his counte- 
nance was indicative of intelligence and shrewdness, as far as it could 
be seen; his mind is said to be quite active; he is about five feet ten 
inches in height, and of small frame ; his features are rather inclined 
to the European mould, and not the least allied to the negro ; his hair 
is crispy ; he speaks through his nose, or rather as if he had lost his 
palate; his body is, like that of all his people, remarkably hairy. After 
presenting him to the officers, and receiving the rest of his suite, I led 
him to the after part of the deck, where mats were laid down, and wo 
all seated ourselves to hold a council ; for I was anxious to finish first 
the business for which I had particularly sought the interview ; this 
was to procure the adoption of rules and regulations for the intercourse 
with foreign vessels, similar to those established in the Samoan Group 
the year preceding. David Whippy became my interpreter, but Tanoa 
had too much dignity about him to receive the interpretation through 
Whippy alone, although he understood all that he said perfectly, for 
Whippy speaks their language well ; but he had his " speech-explain- 
ing counsellor," Malani-vanua Vakanduna, or prime minister, who 
was a remarkably good-looking, intelligent man. Whippy gave his 
name as Korotumvavalu, and said that he had great influence with the 
king. It was amusing to see their mode of conducting the business, 
and to understand that Tanoa's dignity would be offended by holding 
discourse with our friend Whippy as interpreter ; not, however, (as it 
was explained to me by Tubou Total,) from any objection he had to 
Whippy, but it would be derogatory to his rank and station. 


w ^■ 


/ \ 



O V O L A U. 57 

On the production of the rules and regulations, Tanoa seemed rather 
confused, and at first appeared dull and stupid; this I imputed to his 
ava drinking, in which they had all indulged to excess the night 
before. He did not seem to comprehend the object of them, or as the 
interpreter expressed it, " could not take the idea." This is not to be 
wondered at, when it is considered that this was the first act of the 
kind he had been called upon to do. Tubou Total being a traveller 
of some note, readily understood their meaning, and through his ex- 
planations Tanoa soon comprehended the object, and listened with 
attention (his whole suite sitting around), to the reading of them, 
sentence by sentence ; after which he made signs of understanding 
them, and gave his approval and consent to having them established, 
and the next day signed them, by making his mark. (See Appendix 
V.) That which he was to keep I had rolled up and put into a bright 
round tin case, which he seemed to regard with great pride. 

Although I did not anticipate much immediate good from these 
regulations, yet I was well satisfied they would be of use in restraining 
the natives as well as masters of ships, and in securing a better under- 
standing between them ; at any rate it was a beginning, and would 
make them feel we were desirous of doing them justice. I talked to 
him much, through the interpreter, of the necessity of protecting the 
whites, and of punishing those who molest and take from them their 
goods in case of shipwreck. He listened to me very patiently, and said, 
" he had always done so ; that my advice was very good, but he did 
not need it ; that I must give plenty of it to his son Seru, and talk hard 
to him ; that he would in a short time be king, and needed it." 

We now proceeded to show them the ship. Tanoa expressed great 
astonishment at the wheel, and the manner of steering our large canoe 
or man-of-war. I told him I was going to order some guns to be fired 
with balls, when he immediately expressed his joy at it, saying that 
he thought I was oflfended with him, from my not firing when he 
came on board. On my telling him it was not so, but that he must 
consider it more honourable to him to fire balls, he was well satisfied. 
It was amusing to see the curiosity excited among them all, when 
they understood the large guns were to be fired. On the firing taking 
place, they all made an exclamation of surprise and astonishment — ■ 



followed with a cluck of the tongue in a high key, putting their fingers 

VOL. III. 8 

58 O V O L A U. 

to the mouth, and patting it after the fashion of children, or one of 
our own Indians in giving the war-whoop. Tanoa would not at first 
look at the ball flying along and throwing up the water. When the 
second was fired, he uttered the same marks of surprise as the rest ; 
and after the third, he begged that no more should be fired, as he was 
amply satisfied with the honour, and the noise almost distracted him. 
As they went about the ship, when they saw any thing that pleased 
them, they would say — 

m — 9 — 




na - ka Vi na-ka. 

In expressing their satisfaction for many things, they repeat the words 
vi naka several times very quickly. 

Suitable presents were now distributed to Tanoa and suite, consist- 
ing of shawls, axes, accordions, plane-irons, whales' teeth, and a variety. 
of other articles, among which was a box of Windsor soap, tobacco, 
a musket, watch, &c. These were received with clapping of hands, 
their mode of returning thanks. It was my intention to have had the 
feast of rice-bread and molasses on board, but I found their numbers 
so great that I determined on sending it on shore, and only treated 
them to some w^eak w^hiskey and water in lieu of ava, with which they 
were much pleased. The marines were put through their exercises, 
marched and countermarched to the music of the drum and fife, which 
delighted them extremely. After being three hours on board, hearing 
that the provisions for the feast had been sent on shore, they desired to 
depart, and were again landed. The Tongese sang their boat-song as 
they sculled his canoe ; but this custom, according to Whippy, is not 
practised by the Feejees. 

I have scarcely seen a finer-looking set of men than composed the 
suite of Tanoa. There was a great contrast between the Tongese and 
Feejees ; the former being light mulattoes, while the latter were quite 
black : their whole make seemed to point out a different origin. The 
Tongese have small joints, and well-developed and rounded muscles, 
while the Feejees' limbs are large and muscular; the latter are slender 
in body, and apparently inured to hard fare and Kving. The difference 
in manner was equally great: in the Tongese there was a native 
grace, combined with fine forms, and an expression and carriage as if 
educated ; whilst there was an air of power and independence in the 
Feejees, that made them claim attention. They at once strike one as 
peculiar, and unlike the Polynesian natives, having a great deal of 

O V O L A U. 59 

activity both of mind and body ; this may be owing, in a great measure, 
to their constant wars, and the necessity of their being continually on 
the alert, to prevent surprise. It was pleasant to look upon the Ton- 
gese, but I felt more interest in the Feejees ; the contrast was some- 
what like that observable between a well-bred gentleman and a boor. 

After the king got on shore, they had much talk at the mbure-house, 
upon all they had seen, and among other things, he remarked, " that 
my men might be good warriors, but they walked very much like 
Muscovy ducks," a bird of which they have numbers. 

Tanoa sent me word he would like to come and see things without 
ceremony, to which I readily consented. The next day he came on 
board, as he said, to look and see for himself; he stayed some hours. 
When he entered the cabin, I was pouring out some mercury for my 
artificial horizon, of which I gave him several globules in his hand. 
He complained of their being hot, and amused himself for a long time 
in trying to pinch them up, which of course he found it impossible to 
do, and showed some vexation on being foiled, nipping his fingers 
together with great vehemence to catch the metal. His actions 
resembled those of a monkey ; he kept looking at his fingers, and 
seemed astonished that they were not wet, and could not be made to 
understand how it could wet a button, (which I silvered for him,) and 
not his fingers. He talked a great deal of the regulations he had 
signed. I was desirous of knowing whether he fully understood them, 
which I found he did. I then asked him if it would not be better for 
his son Seru to sign them also, as he is understood to be the acting 
^hief ; he said " no," that his signing was quite sufficient, and made 
them binding on all the dependencies of Ambau. He desired me, when 
his son Seru paid me a visit, to talk hard to him, and give him plenty 
of good advice, for he was a young man, and frisky; but he himself 
was old, and saw things that were good and bad. He said Seru would 
visit me in a few days, when he returned, as they could not both leave 
Ambau at the same time. 

The observatory duties were now commenced, and Lieutenant Perry 
and Mr. Eld were ordered to assist me. I had, while thus employed, 
ample time to get information from David Whippy, who seemed not 
only to have acquired the language perfectly, but also a good know- 
ledge of the customs, manners, and habits of the natives. 

Ovolau is divided into four districts, viz., Levuka on the east, 
Fokambou on the southwest, Barita on the southeast, and Vaki 
Levuka on the northwest ; besides these, there is the interior or moun- 
tainous region, called by the natives Livoni. Levuka is mhati to the 
chiefs of Ambau; Fokambou and Barita are ygali to the same power, 

GO O V O L A U. 

but Vaki Levuka is ygali to Levuka, whilst the mountainous regions 
are independent and predatory. The term mbati signifies allies, or 
being under protection, though not actually subject to it. Ygali ex- 
presses that they are subjects, and compelled to pay tribute yearly, or 
obliged to satisfy the demands of the chiefs, whenever made upon 

Tui Levuka is the principal chief of Ovolau ; his authority extends 
over eight towns on the east side. He is very friendly to the whites, 
and is represented by them to be a kind-hearted and honest chief: he 
is between forty and fifty years of age, and has a pleasing countenance; 
he rules his village with great popularity. It was amusing to see his 
bewilderment in attending to the various duties and offices he had to 
perform, in providing the large supplies of food, consisting of yams, 
taro, &c., that were required for our use ; he was, however, very 
industrious, and by the aid of Whippy, got through very well, though 
with much fear and trembling, lest he should be held accountable for 
any theft or depredations committed on our property, or accident to 
our men, in the various occupations that were all going forward at 
the same time, consisting of watering, wooding, digging gardens, 
making enclosures, building, as he said, towns, holding markets, and 
trading all day long for spears, clubs, shells, &c. ; he had great fears, 
too, of exciting the jealousy of the Ambau chiefs, who he judged would 
not like to see the advantages he was reaping from our lengthened 
stay, which would naturally enough bring their displeasure upon him. 
I found him of great use, and was in the habit of receiving from him 
almost daily, visits at the observatory, so that when Whippy was at a 
loss for any information relative to the islands, Tui Levuka was always 
at hand to supply it. 

The rest of the island is under the Ambau chiefs, or as they express 
it, ygali to Ambau, excepting the mountaineers, who are easily brought 
over to fight on any side, and are, from all accounts, true savages. 
Tui Levuka has never been properly installed into office, although 
from his courage and talent as a leader, he is highly respected. The 
circumstance which has prevented this ceremony from taking place 
was, that the Ambau chiefs succeeded by stratagem in getting posses- 
sion of Ovolau about fifteen years ago, or in 1825, before which time 
it had belonged to Verata, with which Ambau was at war. The 
Verata chiefs had been always in the habit of installing the chiefs, but 
since they have lost Ovolau, they refuse to perform the rite, and the 
Ambau chiefs will not exercise it, on account of religious dread, and 
the fear of offending their gods. 

The islands of Wakaia and Mokungai, near that of Ovolau, are 

O V O L A U. 61 

under Tui Levuka; they have but few inhabitants. Tui Levuka's 
eldest son is the chief of Wakaia. 

The town of Levuka is much larger than one would imagine on 
seeing it from the water. Many of the houses are situated on the side 
of the hill. Its natural position is pretty : it has a fine brook running 
through it, coming from the gorge in the mountain, the water of which 
is made great use of for irrigating the taro-patches, which, with their 
yam-grounds, claim the principal attention of the inhabitants: the 
natives constantly bathe in it, and are remarkably cleanly in their 
persons ; the evident pleasure they take in the bath is even shared by 
those who see them sporting in the water. 

The Feejee Group is composed of seven districts, and is under as 
many principal chiefs, viz. : 

1st. Ambau. 5th. Somu-somu. 

2d. Rewa. 6th. Naitasiri. 

3d. Verata. 7th. Mbua. 
4th. Muthuata. 

All the minor chiefs on the different islands are more or less con- 
nected or subject to one of these, and as the one party or the other 
prevails in their wars, they change masters. War is the constant 
occupation of the natives, and engrosses all their time and thoughts. 

Ambau is now the most powerful of these districts, although it is in 
itself but a small island on the coast, and connected with Vitilevu ; but 
it is the residence of most of the great chiefs, and, as I have before 
observed, Tanoa, the most powerful chief of all the islands, lives there. 
The original inhabitants of Ambau were called Kai Levuka, and are 
of Tonga descent. During the absence of most of the natives on a 
trading voyage to Lakemba, the natives of Moturiki, a neighbouring 
island, made a descent upon Ambau, and took possession of it, ever 
since which the Kai Levuka have remained a broken people : they still 
retain their original name, but are now only wandering traders ; they 
have no fixed place of residence, and are somewhat of the character 
of the Jews. They reside principally at Lakemba, Somu-somu, Vuna, 
and occasionally at other islands. Most of the exchange trade is in 
their hands ; their hereditary chief resides at Lakemba ; they are much 
respected, and when they visit Ambau, they are treated with the best 
of every thing, in acknowledgment of their original right to the soil. 
At Ambau there are now two classes, one known by the name of Kai 
Ambau, or original people of Ambau, and the other as Kai Lasikau, 
who were introduced from a small island near Kantavu, some sixty 
years since, to fish for the chiefs ; these are considered as inferior to 


63 O V O L A U. 

Kai Ambau, but are not exactly slaves. About eight years before our 
arrival, dissensions arose betwee"n these tM^o classes, which resulted in 
Tanoa's being expelled, and obliged to seek refuge in another part of 
his dominions. 

According to Whippy, at the commencement of the present century, 
Bamivi ruled at Ambau ; he vv^as succeeded by his son UUvou. At 
this time Verata was the principal city of the Feejees, and its chiefs 
held the rule: this city or town is about eight miles from Ambau, 
on Vitilevu; the islands of Ovolau, Goro, Ambatiki, Angau, and others 
were subject to it, as was also Rewa. The introduction of fire-arms 
brought about a great change of power; this happened in the year 
1809. The brig Eliza was wrecked on the reef off Nairai, and had 
both guns and powder on board. Nairai was at this time a dependency 
of Ambau, and many of the crew, in order to preserve their lives, 
showed the natives the use of (to them) the new instrument. Among 
the crew was a Swede, called Charley Savage, who acted a very 
conspicuous part in the group for some few years. These men joined 
the Ambau people, instructed them in the use of the musket, and 
assisted them in their wars. The chief of Ambau was at that time 
Ulivou, who gladly availed himself of their services, granting them 
many privileges ; among others, it is said that Charley Savage had a 
hundred wives ! Taking advantage of all the means he now possessed 
to extend his own power and reduce that of Verata, he finally suc- 
ceeded, either by fighting or intrigue, in cutting off all its dependencies, 
leaving the chief of Verata only his town to rule over. 

In the early part of Ulivou's reign a conspiracy broke out against 
him, but he discovered it, and was able to expel the rebels from 
Ambau. They fled to Rewa, where they made some show of resis- 
tance ; he however overcame them. They then took refuge on Goro, 
where he again sought them, pursued them to Somu-somu, and drove 
them thence. Their next step was to go to Lakemba, in order to col- 
lect a large fleet of canoes and riches, for the purpose of gaining allies 
on Vitilevu ; but they were again pursued, and being met with at sea, 
were completely destroyed. This fully established Ulivou's authority, 
and the latter part of his reign was unmarked by any disturbances or 
rebellion against his rule. He died in 1829. Tanoa, his brother, the 
present king, was at this time at Lakemba, on one of the eastern 
islands, engaged, according to Whippy, in building a large canoe, 
which he named Ndranuivio, (the Via-leaf,) a large plant of the arum 
species. When the news reached him he immediately embarked for 
Ambau, and on his arrival found all the chiefs disposed to make him 
king. It is said that he at first refused the dignity, lest "they should 

O V O L A U. 63 

make a fool of him ;" but by promises and persuasion he was induced 
lo accede. Preparations were accordingly made to install him. This 
ceremony is performed by the Levuka people, the original inhabitants 
of Amuau, uniting with those of Kamba, inhabiting a town near 
Kamba Point, the most eastern point of Vitilevu, and about ten miles 
east of Ambau. As soon as the chiefs of Ambau have elected a king, 
the}' make a grand ava party, and the first cup is handed to the newly 
elected chief, who receives the title of Vunivalu. Some time after 
this, the Kamba and Levuka people are called in to make the installa- 
tion, and confer the title of royalty. It is related, that while the 
preparations for this ceremony were going on, the chiefs of Ambau 
were restless, and determined to make war upon Rewa, a place 
always in rivalry, about fifteen miles distant from Ambau, to the south. 
Tanoa, however, was well disposed towards the people of this district, 
being a Vasu of Rewa. There are three kinds of Vasus, Vasu-togai, 
Vasu-levu, and Vasu. The first is the highest title, and is derived 
from the mother being queen of Ambau. Vasu-levu is where the 
mother is married to one of the great chiefs of Rewa, Somu-somu, or 
Muthuata, and the name of Vasu extends not only to the minor chiefs, 
but also down to the common people. It confers rights and privileges 
of great extent, and is exclusively derived from the mother being a 
high chief or wife of some of the reigning kings. It gives the person 
a right to seize upon and appropriate to his own use any thing belong- 
ing to an inhabitant of his mother's native place, and even the privilege 
of taking things from the sovereign himself, and this without resistance, 
dispute, or hesitation, however much prized or valuable the article may 
be. In the course of this narrative, some instances of the exercise of 
this power will be related. Tanoa therefore used all his efforts to 
prevent an outbreak, but without success, and he was compelled to 
carry on the war. He, however, secretly gave encouragement, and, 
it is said, even assistance, to the opposite party ; this becoming known, 
produced much difficulty and discontent among the Ambau chiefs and 
people. Notwithstanding this, he at length contrived to bring about a 
truce, and invited many of the Rewa chiefs and people to visit him, 
whom he received with great distinction. This incensed his new sub- 
jects very much ; and on his presenting to the late enemy his new and 
large canoe, Ndranuivio, their indignation was greatly increased, and 
caused some of them even to enter into a plot to murder him. Among 
the conspirators were the head chiefs, Seru Tanoa, Komaivunindavu, 
Mara and Dandau, of Ambau, Ngiondrakete, chief of Nikelo, and 
Masomalua, of Viwa. Tanoa, on being advised of this, took no 

(J4 O V O L A U. 

means to frustrate their plans openly, but appears to have been some 
what on his guard. 

In the third year of his reign, whilst on a visit to Ovolau to attend 
to his plantation of yams, the rebellion broke out, of which he was 
soon advised, and fled to Goro, where his enemies followed him ; but 
he continued his flight to Somu-somu, the people of which had been 
always his friends and supporters. Here he found protection, his 
defenders being too numerous for his enemies. The conspirators tried, 
however, to urge upon them the propriety of giving up their king, 
saying that they only desired he should return and reign over them ; 
but the people of Somu-somu deemed this too shallow a pretence to be 
listened to. After Tanoa's expulsion, the rebels installed his brother 
Komainokarinakula as king. Tanoa remained under the protection 
of the chief of Somu-somu for three years, in gratitude for which he 
made over to him all the windward islands, viz. : Lakemba, Naiau, 
&c. During all this period, Tanoa was carrying on a sort of warfare 
against the rebels, with the aid of the natives of the eastern group and 
those of Rewa, who remained faithful to him, encouraging them all in 
his power, collecting his revenue from the former, which he distri- 
buted bountifully among his adherents, and buying over others to his 

As Tanoa was about to sail for Lakemba, word was brought to him, 
that his nephew, called Nona, residing on Naiau, a neighbouring island, 
had been bribed by the chiefs to put him to death. He therefore, on 
his way, stopped at Naiau, and when his nephew approached him 
under the guise of friendship, Tanoa at once caused him, with all his 
family and adherents, to be seized and put to death. 

Tanoa, finding his strength increasing, concluded to prosecute the 
war with more activity. In order to do so, after having first collected 
all his means, he removed to Rewa, M'here he established himself, and 
began his secret intrigues to undermine and dissipate his enemies' 
forces. He was so successful in this, that in a short time he had 
gained over all their allies, as well as the towns on the main land or 
large island in the vicinity, and even many of the chiefs at Ambau. 
The latter object was effected through the influence of his son, Ratu 
Seru, who had been suffered to remain there during the whole war, 
although not without frequent attempts being made on his life, which 
he escaped from through his unceasing vigilance and that of his adhe- 
rents. During the latter part of the time, he was constantly in com- 
munication with his father, who kept him well supplied with the articles 
in which the riches of the natives consist : these were liberally distri- 

O V O L A IT. 65 

bated among the Lasikaus, or fishermen, and gained the most of this 
class over to his interests. All things being arranged, on a certain 
day the signal was given, and most of the allies declared for Tanoa. 
Whilst the rebel chiefs were in consternation at this unexpected event, 
the Lasikaus rose and attacked them. A severe contest ensued ; but 
it is said the fishermen, having built a wall dividing their part of the 
town from that of the Ambau people, set fire to their opponents' quarter, 
and reduced it to ashes. The latter fled for refuge to the main land, 
across the shallow isthmus, but found themselves here opposed by the 
king with his army, who slaughtered all those who had escaped from 
Ambau. This done, Tanoa entered Ambau in triumph, and receiving 
the submission of all the neighbouring towns, resumed the government, 
after an absence of five years. This recovery of his kingdom took 
place in 1837. Being thus re-established, Tanoa, in order effectually 
to destroy his enemies, sent messages to the diflferent towns, with pre- 
sents, to induce the inhabitants of the places whither the rebels had fled 
to put them to death. In this he soon succeeded, and their former 
friends were thus made the instruments of their punishment. Tanoa 
having succeeded in establishing his rule, put a stop to all further 
slaughter ; but all the principal chiefs who had opposed him, except 
Masomalua, ofViwa, had been slain. Tanoa's authority was now ac- 
knowledged in all his former dominions ; but this has not put an end to 
the petty wars. The three chief cities, Ambau, Rewa, and Naitasiri, 
are frequently at war, notwithstanding they are all three closely con- 
nected by alliances with each other. Here, in fact, is the great seat of 
power in the group, though it varies occasionally. These three places 
form, as it were, a triangle, the two former being on the north and 
south coasts, while that of Naitasiri is situated inland, on the Wailevu, 
or Peale's river. These disturbances most frequently occur between 
Ambau and Rewa. Tanoa takes no part in these contests, but when 
he thinks the belligerents have fought long enough, he sends the Rewa 
people word to " come and beg pardon," after the Feejee custom, 
which they invariably do, even though they may have been victorious. 
Mr. Brackenridge, our horticulturist, was soon busily engaged in 
preparing the garden for our seeds. I had been anxious that this 
should be done as soon as possible, in order that we might have a 
chance of seeing it in a prosperous state before we left the island ; and 
I feel much indebted to him for the zeal he manifested. About twenty 
natives were employed in putting up the fence, the chief having agreed 
with each of them to make two fathoms of it. Some were employed 
in clearing away the weeds, and others in bringing reeds and stakes 
down from the mountains. Mr. Brackenridge marked out the line for 

VOL. III. P2 9 

66 O V O L A U. 

the fence, but they could not be induced to follow it, or observe any 
regularity, each individual making his allotted part according to his 
own fancy ; these separate portions were afterwards joined together, 
forming a zigzag work. The parts of the enclosure were tied together 
by a species of Dolichos, crossed, braced, and wattled like basket- 
work, the whole making a tight fence, which answered the purpose 
well enough. 

The digging of the ground was performed with a long pointed pole, 
which they thrust into the ground with both hands, and by swinging 
on the upper end, they contrived to raise up large pieces of the soil, 
which was quite hard. After this, two sailors with spades smoothed 
it. The centre of the garden had been a repository for their dead, 
where many stones had once been placed, which had become scat- 
tered. These the natives were told to throw in a pile in the centre. 
They went on digging for some time, probably without an idea that 
any one had been buried there, but as they approached the pile they 
simultaneously came to a stop, and began to murmur among them- 
selves, using the words mate mate. No inducement could persuade 
them to proceed, until it was explained to them by David Whippy, 
that there was no desire to dig in the direction of the grave, which 
was to be left sacred. With this intimation they seemed well satis- 
fied, and went on digging merrily. A large quantity of seeds, of 
various kinds of vegetables and fruits, were planted. For the fencing 
and digging of the garden I gave, by agreement, a trade musket, and 
I believe this included the purchase of the ground ! 

The day after Tanoa's visit, I received from him a royal present of 
ten hogs, a quantity of yams, taro, fruit, &c. 

Our stay at Ovolau continued for six vi'eeks. Among the incidents 
which occurred during this time were the following. 

On the 17th May, David Bateman died. He had been a marine on 
board the Porpoise, and had been transferred to the Vincennes at 
Tonga. A post mortem examination showed that the right lung was 
almost wholly destroyed by disease, and there was about a pint of 
purulent matter in the pleura. 

On the 19th, Seru, the son of Tanoa, arrived from Ambau, for the 
purpose of visiting me. I immediately sent him and his suite an 
invitation to meet me at the observatory on the following day, with 
which he complied. Seru is extremely good-looking, being tall, well 
made, and athletic. He exhibits much intelligence both in his expres- 
sion of countenance and manners. His features and figure resemble 
those of a European, and he is graceful and easy in his carriage. 
The instruments at the observatory excited his wonder and curiosity 

O V O L A U. 67 

He, in common with the other natives, beheved that they were in- 
tended for the purpose of looking at the Great Spirit, and in conse- 
quence paid them tlie greatest respect and reverence. This opinion 
saved us much trouble, for they did not presume to approach the in- 
struments ; and although some of them were always to be found with- 
out the boundary which had been traced to limit their approach, they 
never intruded within it. They always behaved civilly, and said they 
only came to sara-sara (look on). 

I afterwards took Seru on board the Vincennes, v/here, as his father 
had recommended, I gave him plenty of good advice, to which he 
seemed to pay great attention. I had been told that he would pro- 
bably exhibit hauteur and an arrogant bearing, but he manifested 
nothing of the kind. He appeared rather, as I had been told by his 
father I would find him, " young and frisky." He was received with 
the same attentions that had been paid to his father. The firing of 
the guns seemed to take his fancy much, and he was desirous that I 
should gratify him by continuing to fire them longer ; but I was not 
inclined to make the honours paid to him greater than those rendered 
to his father, knowing how observant they are of all forms. The 
whole party, himself included, showed more pleasure and v/ere much 
more liberal in their exclamations of vi naka, vi naka ! and whoo ' 
using them more energetically than the king's party, as might be 
naturally expected from a younger set of natives. Seru is quite in- 
genious ; he took the musket given him to pieces as quickly, and used 
it with as much adroitness as if he had been a gunsmith. His ambati 
(priest) was with him, and the party all appeared greatly delighted 
with the ship. On the whole I was much pleased with him during his 
visit; shortly afterwards, he, however, visited the ship during my 
absence, and displayed a very diffei-ent bearing, so much so as to 
require to be checked. I learned a circumstance which would serve 
to prove that the reputation he bears is pretty well founded. He on 
one occasion had sent word to one of the islands (Goro, I believe), for 
the chief to have a quantity of cocoa-nut oil ready for him by a certain 
time. Towards the expiration of the specified interval, Seru went to 
the island and found it was not ready. The old chief of the island 
pleaded the impossibility of compliance, from want of time, and pro- 
mised to have it ready as soon as possible. Seru told him he was a 
great liar, and without further words, struck him on the head and 
killed him on the spot. This is only one of many instances of the 
exercise of arbitrary authority over their vassals. 

One day, while at the observatory, I was greatly surprised at seeing 

68 O V O L A U. 

one whom I took to be a Feejee-man enter my tent, a circumstance so 
inconsistent with the respect to our prescribed Umit, of which 1 have 
spoken. His colour, however, struck me as Hghter than that of any 
native 1 had yet seen. He was a short wrinkled old man, but appeared 
to possess great vigour and activity. He had a beard that reached to 
his middle, and but little hair, of a reddish gray colour, on his head. 
He gave me no time for inquiry, but at once addressed me in broad 
Irish, with a rich Milesian brogue. In a few minutes he made 
me acquainted with his story, which, by his own account, was as 

His name was Paddy Connel, but the natives called him Berry ; he 
was born in the county of Clare in Ireland ; had run away from school 
when he was a little fellow, and after wandering about as a vagabond, 
was pressed into the army in the first Irish rebellion. At the time the 
French landed in Ireland, the regiment to which he was attached 
marched at once against the enemy, and soon arrived on the' field of 
battle, where they were brought to the charge. The first thing he 
knew or heard, the drums struck up a White Boys' tune, and his 
whole regiment went over and joined the French, with the exception 
of the officers, who had to fly. They were then marched against the 
British, and were soon defeated by Lord Cornwallis ; it was a hard 
fight, and Paddy found himself among the slain. When he thought the 
battle was over, and night came on, he crawled off" and reached home. 
He was then taken up and tried for his life, but was acquitted ; he w^as, 
however, remanded to prison, and busied himself in effecting the 
escape of some of his comrades. On this being discovered, he was 
confined in the Black Hole, and soon after sent to Cork, to be put on 
board a convict-ship bound to New South Wales. When he arrived 
there, his name was not found on the books of the prisoners, conse- 
quently he had been transported by mistake, and was, therefore, set at 
liberty. He then worked about for several years, and collected a small 
sum of money, but unfortunately fell into bad company, got drunk, and 
lost it all. Just about this time Captain Sartori, of the ship General 
Wellesley, arrived at Sydney. Having lost a great part of his crew 
by sickness and desertion, he desired to procure hands for his ship, 
which was still at Sandalwood Bay, and obtained thirty-five men, one 
of whom was Paddy Connel. At the time they were ready to depart, 
a French privateer, Le Gloriant, Captain Dubardieu,put into Sydney, 
when Captain Sartori engaged a passage for himself and his men to 
the Feejees. On their way they touched at Norfolk Island, where the 
ship struck, and damaged her keel so much that they were obliged to 

O V O L A U. 69 

put into the Bay of Islands for repairs. Paddy asserts that a difficulty 
had occurred here between Captain Sartori and his men about their 
provisions, which was amicably settled. The Gloriant finally sailed 
from New Zealand for Tongataboo, where ihey arrived just after the 
capture of a vessel, which he supposed to have been the Port au 
Prince, as they had obtained many articles from the natives, which 
had evidently belonged to some large vessel. Here they remained 
some months, and then sailed for Sandalwood Bay, where the men, 
on account of their former quarrel with Captain Sartori, refused to go 
on board the General Wellesley : some of them shipped on board the 
Gloriant, and others, with Paddy, determined to remain on shore with 
the natives. He added, that Captain Sartori was kind to him, and 
at parting had given him a pistol, cutlass, and an old good-for-nothing 
musket ; these, with his sea-chest and a few clothes, were all that he 
possessed. He had now lived forty years among these savages. After 
hearing his whole story, I told him I did not believe a word of it ; to 
which he answered, that the main part of it was true, but he might 
have made some mistakes, as he had been so much in the habit of lying 
to the Feejeeans, that he hardly now knew when he told the truth, 
adding that he had no desire to tell any thing but the truth. 

Paddy turned out to be a very amusing fellow, and possessed an 
accurate knowledge of the Feejee character. Some of the whites told 
me that he was more than half Feejee ; indeed he seemed to delight in 
showing how nearly he was allied to them in feeling and propensities ; 
and, like them, seemed to fix his attention upon trifles. He gave me 
a droll account of his daily employments, which it would be inappro- 
priate to give here, and finished by telling me the only wish he had 
then, was to get for his little boy, on whom he doated, a small hatchet, 
and the only articles he had to offer for it were a few old hens. On my 
asking him if he did not cultivate the ground, he said at once no, he 
found it much easier to get his living by telling the Feejeeans stories, 
which he could always make good enough for them ; these, and the 
care of his two little boys, and his hens, and his pigs, when he had 
any, gave him ample employment and plenty of food. He had lived 
much at Rewa, and until lately had been a resident at Levuka, but 
had, in consequence of his intrigues, been expelled by the white resi- 
dents, to the island of Ambatiki. It appeared that they had unani- 
mously come to the conclusion that if he did not remove, they would 
be obliged to put him to death for their own safety. I could not 
induce Whippy or Tom to give me the circumstances that occasioned 
this determination, and Paddy would not communicate more than 


O V O L A U. 

that his residence on Ambatiki was a forced one, and that it was as 
though he was Uving out of the world, rearing pigs, fowls, and chil- 
dren. Of the last description of live-stock he had forty-eight, and 
hoped that he might live to see fifty born to him. He iiad had one 
hundred wives. 








Before proceeding to the narration of the operations of the squadron 
in the Feejee Group, it would appear expedient to give some account 
of the people who inhabit the islands of which it is composed. A 
reader, unacquainted with their manners and customs, can hardly 
appreciate the difficulties with which the performance of our duties 
was attended, or the obstacles which impeded our progress. Our 
information, in relation to the almost unknown race which occupies 
the Feejee Group, was obtained from personal observation, from the 
statements of the natives themselves, and from white residents. I also 
derived much information from the missionaries, who, influenced by 
motives of religion, have undertaken the arduous, and as yet unprofit- 
able task of introducing the light of civilization and the illumination 
of the gospel into this benighted region. 

Although, as we shall see, the natives of Feejee have made consi- 
derable progress in several of the useful arts, they are, in many 
respects, the most barbarous and savage race now existing upon the 
globe. The intercourse they have had with white men has produced 
some effect on their political condition, but does not appear to have had 
the least influence in mitigating the barbarous ferocity of their cha- 
racter. In this group, therefore, may be seen the savage in his state 
of nature ; and a comparison of his character with that of the natives 
of the groups in which the gospel has been profitably preached, will 
enable our readers to form a better estimate of the value of missionary 
labours, than can well be acquired in any other manner. 

The Feejeeans are generally above the middle height, and exhibit 
a great variety of figure. Among them the chiefs are tall, well-made, 

VOL. in. G ]0 ('3) 



and muscular ; while the lower orders manifest the meagerness arising 
from laborious service and scanty nourishment. Their complexion 
lies, in general, between that of the black and copper-coloured races, 
although instances of both extremes are to be met with, thus indicating 
a descent from two different stocks. One of these, the copper-coloured, 
IS no doubt the same as that whence the Tongese are derived.* 

None of them equal the natives of Tonga in beauty of person. 
The faces of the greater number are long, with a large mouth, good 
and well-set teeth, and a well-formed nose. Instances, however, are 
by no means rare, of narrow and high foreheads, flat noses, and thick 
lips, with a broad short chin ; still, they have nothing about them of 
the negro type. Even the frizzled appearance of the hair, which is 
almost universal, and which at first sight seems a distinct natural 
characteristic, I was, after a long acquaintance with their habits, in- 
clined to ascribe to artificial causes. Besides the long bushy beards 
and mustaches, which are always worn by the chiefs, they have a 
great quantity of hair on their bodies. This, with the peculiar propor- 
tion between their thighs and the calves of their legs, brings them nearer 
to the whites than any of the Polynesian races visited by us. 

The eyes of the Feejeeans are usually fine, being black and pene- 
trating. Some, however, have them red and bloodshot, which may 
probably be ascribed to ava drinking. 

The expression of their countenances is usually restless and watch- 
ful ; they are observing and quick in their movements. 

The hair of the boys is cropped close, while that of the young girls 
is allowed to grow. In the latter it is to be seen naturally arranged in 
tight cork-screw locks, many inches in length, which fall in all direc- 
tions from the crown of the head. The natural colour of the hair of 
the girls can hardly be ascertained, for they are in the habit of acting 
upon it by lime and pigments, which make it white, red, brown, or 
black, according to the taste of the individual. Mr. Drayton procured 
a very correct camera lucida drawing of a girl about sixteen years of 
age, which will give the reader a better idea of the females of that age 
than any description : she is represented in the cut. 

When the boys grow up, their hair is no longer cropped, and great 
pains is taken to spread it out into a mop-like form. The chiefs, in 
particular, pay great attention to the dressing of their heads, and for 
this purpose all of them have barbers, whose sole occupation is the 
care of their masters' heads. The duty of these functionaries is held 

* The question of the origin of the Feejeeans will be found ably illustrated in the report 
of our philologist, Mr. Hale. 




to be of so sacred a nature, that their hands are tabooed from all other 
employment, and they are not even permitted to feed themselves.* 
To dress the head of a chief occupies several hours, and the hair is 
made to spread out from the head, on every side, to a distance that is 
often eight inches. The beard, which is also carefully nursed, often 
reaches the breast, and when a Feejeean has these important parts of 
his person well dressed, he exhibits a degree of conceit that is not a 
little amusing. 

In the process of dressing the hair, it is well anointed with oil, 
mixed with a carbonaceous black, until it is completely saturated.f 
The barber then takes the hair-pin, which is a long and slender rod, 
made of tortoise-shell or bone, and proceeds to twitch almost every 
separate hair. This causes it to frizzle and stand erect. The bush of 
hair is then trimmed smooth, by singeing it, until it has the appearance 
of an immense wig. When this has been finished, a piece of tapa, 
so fine as to resemble tissue-paper, is wound in light folds around it, 
to protect the hair from dew or dust. This covering, which has the 
look of a turban, .is called sala, and none but chiefs are allowed to 
wear it; any attempt to assume this head-dress by a kai-si, or common 

* These barbers are called a-vu-ni-ulu. They are attached to the household of the chiefs 
in numbers of from two to a dozen. 

t The oil is procured by scraping and squeezing a nut called maiketu; the black is pre- 
pared from the laudi nut. 


person, would be immediately punished with death. The sale, when 
taken care of, will last three weeks or a month, and the hair is not 
dressed except when it is removed ; but the high chiefs and dandies 
seldom allow a day to pass without changing the sala, and having 
their hair put in order. 

The Feejeeans are extremely changeable in their disposition. They 
are fond of joking, indulge in laughter, and will at one moment appear 
to give themselves up to merriment, from which they in an instant 
pass to demon-like anger, which they evince by looks which cannot 
be misunderstood by those who are the subjects of it, and particularly 
if in the power of the enraged native. Their anger seldom finds vent 
in words, but has the character of sullenness. A chief, when offended, 
seldom speaks a word, but puts sticks in the ground, to keep the cause 
of his anger constantly in his recollection. The objects of it now 
understand that it is time to appease him by propitiatory offerings, if 
they would avoid the bad consequences. When these have been ten- 
dered to the satisfaction of the offended dignitary, he pulls up the 
sticks as a signal that he is pacified. 

According to Whippy, who had an excellent opportunity of judging, 
the Feejeeans are addicted to stealing, are treacherous in the extreme, 
and, with all their ferocity, cowards. The most universal trait of their 
character, is their inclination to lying. They tell a falsehood in pre- 
ference, when the truth would better answer their purpose; and, in 
conversing with them, the truth can be only obtained, by cautioning 
them not to talk like a Feejee man, or, in other words, not to tell any 

Adroit lying is regarded as an accomplishment, and one who is 
expert at it is sure of a comfortable subsistence and a friendly recep- 
tion wherever he goes. Their own weakness in this respect does not 
render them suspicious, and nothing but what is greatly exaggerated 
is likely to be believed. In illustration of the latter trait, I was told 
by Paddy Connel, that he never told them the truth when he wished to 
be believed, for of it they were always incredulous. He maintained 
that it was absolutely necessary to tell them lies in order to receive 

Covetousness is probably one of the strongest features of the Fee- 
jeean character, and is the incentive to many crimes. I have, how- 
ever, been assured, that a white man might travel with safety from 
one end of an island to the other, provided he had nothing about him 
to excite their desire of acquisition. This may be true, but it is im- 
possible to say that even the most valueless article of our manufactures 
might not be coveted by them. With all this risk of being put tc 


death, hospitable entertainment and reception in their houses is ahnost 
certain, and while in them, perfect security may be relied on. The 
same native who within a few yards of his house would murder a 
coming or departing guest for sake of a knife or a hatchet, will defend 
him at the risk of his own life as soon as he has passed his threshold. 

The people of the Feejee Group, are divided into a number of tribes, 
independent and often hostile to each other. In each tribe great and 
marked distinctions of rank exist. The classes which are readily 
distinguished are as follows: 1. kings; 2. chiefs ; 3. warriors ; 4. land- 
holders (matanivanua) ; 5. slaves (kai-si). The last have nominally 
little influence ; but in this group, as in other countries, the mere force 
of numbers is sufficient to counterbalance or overcome the force of the 
prescriptive rights of the higher and less numerous classes. This has 
been the case at Ambau, where the people at no distant period rose 
against and drove out their kings. 

Among the most singular of the Feejee customs, and of whose origin 
it is difficult to form a rational opinion, is that which gives certain 
rights to a member of another tribe, who is called Vasu (nephew). To 
give an idea of the character of this right, and the manner in which it 
is exercised, I shall cite the case of Tanoa. He, although the most 
powerful chief in the group, feels compelled to comply with, and ac- 
knowledges Thokanauto (better known to foreigners as Mr. Phillips) 
as Vasu-togai of Ambau, who has in consequence the right of sending 
thither for any thing he may want, and even from Tanoa himself. 
On Tanoa's first visit to me, among other presents, I gave him one of 
Hall's patent rifles. This Thokanauto heard of, and determined to 
have it, and Tanoa had no other mode of preserving it than by send- 
ing it away from Ambau. When Rivaletta, Tanoa's youngest son, 
visited me one day at the observatory, he had the rifle with him, and 
told me that his father had put it into his hands, in order that it might 
not be demanded. 

Afterwards, when Thokanauto himself paid me a visit, he had in his 
possession one of the watches that had been given to Seru, and told 
me openly that he would have the musket also. While at Levuka, he 
appropriated to himself a canoe and its contents, leaving the owner to 
find his way back to Ambau as he could. The latter made no com- 
plaint, and seemed to consider the act as one of course. 

When the Vasu-togai or Vasu-levu of a town 6y district visits it, he 
is received with honours even greater than those paid to the chief who 
rules over it. All bow in obedience to his will, and he is received 
with clapping of hands and the salutation, " O sa vi naka lako mai 


vaka turanga Ratu Vasa-levu," (Hail ! good is the coming hither of 
our noble Lord Nephew.) 

When the Vasu-levu of Mbenga goes thither, honours almost divine 
are rendered him, for he is supposed to be descended in a direct line 
from gods. Mbenga formerly played a very conspicuous part in the 
affairs of the group, but of late years it happened to get into difficul- 
ties with Rewa, in consequence of which Ngaraningiou attacked it, 
conquered its inhabitants, and massacred many of them. Since that 
time it has had little or no political influence. 

The hostile feelings of the different tribes makes war the principal 
employment of the males throughout the group; and where there is so 
strong a disposition to attack their neighbours, plausible reasons for 
beginning hostilities are not difficult to find. The wars of the Fee- 
jeeans usually arise from some accidental affront or misunderstanding, 
of which the most powerful party takes advantage to extend his 
dominions or increase his wealth. This is sometimes accomplished 
by a mere threat, by which the weaker party is terrified into submis- 
sion to the demand for territory or property. 

When threats fail, a formal declaration of war is made by an 
officer, resembling in his functions the heralds (feciales) of the Ro- 
mans. Every town has one of these, who is held in much respect, 
and whose words are always taken as true. When he repairs to the 
town of the adverse party, where he is always received with great 
attention, he carries with him an ava root, which he presents to the 
chiefs, saying, " Korai sa tatau, sa kalu," (I bid you goodbye, it is 
war.) The usual answer is, " Sa vi naka, sa lako talo ki," (it is well, 
return home.) Preparations are then made on both sides, and v/hen 
they mean to have a fair open fight, a messenger is sent from one 
party to ask the other, what town they intend to attack first. The 
reply is sometimes true, but is sometimes intended merely as a cover 
for their real intentions. In the latter case, however, it rarely suc- 
ceeds ; in the former, both parties repair to the appointed place. 

In preparing for war, and during its continuance, they abstain from 
the company of women ; and there were instances related to me, 
where this abstinence had continued for several years. 

When a body made up of several tribes has approached near the 
enemy, the vunivalu, or general, makes a speech to each separate 
tribe. In this he does all in his power by praises, taunts, or exhorta- 
tions, as he thinks best suited to the purpose, to excite them to deeds 
of bravery. To one he will talk in the following manner: 

*' You say you are a brave people. You have made me great pro- 


mises, now we will see how you wuU keep them. To me you look 
moi-e like slaves than fighting men." 

Or thus : " Here are these strangers come to fight with us. Let us 
see who are the best men." 

To another tribe he will say : " Where do you come from ?" Some 
one of the tribe starts up, and striking the ground with his club, replies 
by naming its place of residence. The vunivalu then continues, 
" Ah ! I have heard of you ; you boast yourselves to be brave men ; 
we shall see what you are; I doubt whether you will do much. You 
seem to be more like men fit to plant and dig yams than to fight." 

After he has thus gone through his forces, he cries out : " Attend !" 
On this the whole clap their hands. He then tells them to prepare for 
battle, to which they answer, " Mana ndina," (it is true.) 

In some parts of the group the forces are marshalled in bands, each 
of which has a banner or flag, under which it fights. The staff of 
these flags (druatina) is about twenty feet in length, and the flags them- 
selves, which are of corresponding dimensions are made of tapa. As 
an instance, the forces of Rewa are arranged in four bands, viz. : 

1. The Valevelu, or king's own people, who are highest in rank, 
md held in the greatest estimation. 

2. The Niaku ne tumbua, the people of the vunivalu or fighting 

3. The Kai Rewa, or landholders of Rewa. 

4. The Kai Ratu, which is composed of the oflspring of chiefs by 
common women. 

The flags are distinguished from each other by markings : that of 
the Valevelu has four or five vertical black stripes, about a foot wide, 
with equal spaces of white loft between them ; the rest of the flag is 

In the flag of the vunivalu the black and white stripes are horizontal. 

The flag of the Kai Rewa is all white. 

The Kai Ratu use, as flags, merely strips of tapa, or array them- 
selves under the flag of a chief. Each of the first three bands is kept 
distinct, and fights under its own flag, in the place which the com- 
mander appoints. The flag of the latter is always longest, and is 
raised highest, whether he be king or only vunivalu. To carry a flag 
is considered as a post of the greatest distinction, and is confined to 
the bravest and most active of the tribe. 

A town, when besieged, has also its signal of pride. This consists 
of a sort of kite, of a circular shape, made of palm-leaves, and deco- 
rated with ribands of white and coloured tapa. When an enemy 
approaches the town, if the wind be favourable, the kite is raised by 


means of a very long cord. The cord is passed through a hole made 
near the top of a pole thirty or forty feet in height, which is erected in 
a conspicuous part of the town. The cord is then drawn backwards 
and forwards through the hole, in such a manner as to be kept floating 
as a signal of defiance, immediately over the approaching enemy. 
The attacking party, excited by this, rush forward with their flag, and 
plant it as near the walls as possible. If the garrison be sufficiently 
strong they will sally out and endeavour to take the flag ; for it is 
considered as a great triumph to capture a flag, and a foul disgrace to 
lose one. 

When flags are taken, they are always hung up as trophies in the 
mbure ; and in that of Levuka I saw many small ones suspended, 
which, as I was informed by Whippy, had been taken from moun- 
taineers of the interior of the island. 

The towns are usually fortified with a strong palisade made of 
bread-fruit or cocoa-nut trees, around which is a ditch partly filled 
with water. There are usually two entrances, in which are gates, so 
narrow as to admit only one person at a time. The village of Waitora, 
about two miles to the north of Levuka, is justly considered by the 
natives as a place of great strength. This was visited by Messrs. Hale 
and Sandford, who give the following description of it. It is situated 
upon a hill, and can be approached only by a narrow path along the 
sloping edge of a rocky ridge. At the extremity of this path is a level 
space of about an acre in extent, which is surrounded by a stone wall, 
and filled with houses. In the centre is a rock, about twenty feet 
high, and one hundred feet square. The top of this is reached by a 
natural staircase, formed by the roots of a banyan tree, which insert 
themselves in the crevices of the rock. The tree itself, with its numerous 
trunks, spreads out and overshadows the whole of the rock. A house 
stands in the middle of the rock. This contains two Feejee drums, 
which, when struck, attract crowds of natives together. 

Some of the principal towns are not fortified at all. This is the case 
with Ambau, Muthuata, and Rewa. The fortifications of which we 
have spoken, whether palisades and ditch or stone walls, are con- 
structed with great ingenuity, particularly the holds to which they 
retire when hard pressed. For these a rock or hill, as inaccessible as 
possible, is chosen, with a small level space on the top. Around this 
space a palisade is constructed of upright posts of cocoa-nut tree, about 
nine inches in diameter, and about two feet apart. To the outside of 
these, wicker-work is fastened with strong lashings of sennit. Over 
each entrance is a projecting platform, about nine feet square, for the 
purpose of guarding the approach by hurling spears and shooting 


arrows. The gates or entrances are shut by sHding bars from the 
inside, and are defended on each side by structures of strong wicker- 
work, resembUng bastions, which are placed about fifteen feet apart. 
When there is a ditch, the bridge across it is composed of two narrow 
logs. The whole arrangement affords an excellent defence against 
any weapons used by the natives of these islands, and even against 

Sieges of these fortified places seldom continue long; for if the 
attacking party be not speedily successful, the want of provisions, of 
which there is seldom a supply for more than two or three days, 
compels them to retire. Although such assaults are of short duration, 
the war often continues for a long time without any decisive result. 

If one of the parties desires peace, it sends an ambassador, who 
carries a whale's tooth, as a token of submission. The victorious 
party often requires the conquered to yield the right of soil, in which 
case the latter brins; with them a basket of the earth from their district. 
The acceptance of this is the signal of peace, but from that time the 
conquered become liable to the payment of a yearly tribute. In addi- 
tion to this burden, the more powerful tribes often send word to their 
dependencies that they have not received a present for a long time ; 
and if the intimation has no eflfect, the message is speedily followed by 
an armed force, by which the recusant tribe or town is sometimes 
entirely destroyed. The bearer of such a message carries with him a 
piece of ava, which is given to the chief of the town in council, who 
causes it to be brewed, after which the message is delivered. But 
when an errand is sent to Ambau, or any superior chief, the messenger 
always carries with him a gift of provisions and other valuables. 

If a town is compelled to entreat to be permitted to capitulate, for 
the purpose of saving the lives of its people, its chiefs and principal 
inhabitants are required to crawl towards their conquerors upon their 
hands and knees, suing for pardon and imploring mercy. The 
daughters of the chiefs are also brought forward and offered to the 
victors, while from the lower class victims are selected to be sacri- 
ficed to the gods. Even such hard conditions do not always suffice, but 
a whole population is sometimes butchered in cold blood, or reduced to 
a condition of slavery. To avoid such terrible consequences, most of 
the weak tribes seek security by establishing themselves on high and 
almost inaccessible rocks. Some of these are so steep that it would 
be hardly possible for any but one of the natives to climb them ; yet 
even their women may be seen climbing their rocky and almost per- 
pendicular walls, to heights of fifty or sixty feet, and carrying loads 
of water, yams, &c. 

VOL. III. 1 1 


Tribes that do not possess such fastnesses, are compelled to take 
refuge under the protection of some powerful chief, in consideration 
of which they are bound to aid their protectors in case of war. They 
are summoned to do this by a messenger, who carries a whale's tooth, 
and sometimes directs the number of men they are to send. A refusal 
would bring war upon themselves, and is therefore seldom ventured. 
There is, however, a recent instance in which such aid was refused 
with impunity by Tui Levuka, who was persuaded by the white resi- 
dents* to disobey a summons sent from Ambau. Having done this, 
the people of Levuka felt it necessary to prepare for defence, by re- 
pairing their stone walls and provisioning their stronghold in the moun- 
tains. They thus stood upon their guard for a long time, but were not 

The religion of the Feejeeans, and the practices which are founded 
upon it, differ materially from those of the lighter-coloured Polynesian 

The tradition given by the natives of the origin of the various races 
is singular, and not very flattering to themselves. All are said to have 
been born of one pair of first parents. The Feejee was first born, but 
acted wickedly and was black : he therefore received but little clothing. 
Tonga was next born ; he acted less wickedly, was whiter, and had 
more clothes given him. White men, or Papalangis, came last ; they 
acted well, were white, and had plenty of clothes. 

They have a tradition of a great flood or deluge, which they call 
Walavu-levu. Their account of it is as follows : after the islands had 
been peopled by the first man and woman, a great rain took place, by 
which they were finally submerged ; but, before the highest places 
were covered by the waters, two large double canoes made their ap- 
pearance; in one of these was Rokora, the god of carpenters, in the 
other Rokola, his head workman, who picked up some of the people, 
and kept them on board until the waters had subsided, after which they 
were again landed on the island. It is reported that in former times 
canoes were always kept in readiness against another inundation. 

The persons thus saved, eight in number, were landed at Mbenga, 
where the highest of their gods is said to have made his first appear- 
ance. By virtue of this tradition, the chiefs of Mbenga take rank 
before all others, and have always acted a conspicuous part among the 

* This is not the only instance in which the white residents have exercised a salutary 
influence. It is fortunate for the natives that those who have settled among them have 
been principally of such a character as has tended to their improvement. There are, 
however, some exceptions, by whose bad example tlie natives have been l';d into many 



Feejees. They style themselves Ngali-duva-ki-langi (subject to heaven 

The Pantheon of the Feejee Group contains many deities. The 
first of these in rank is Ndengei. He is v^^orshipped in the form of a 
large serpent, alleged to dwell in a district under the authority of 
Ambau, which is called Nakauvaudra, and is situated near the western 
end of Vitilevu. To this deity, they believe that the spirit goes imme- 
diately after death, for purification or to, receive sentence. From his 
tribunal the spirit is supposed to return and remain about the mbure or 
temple of its former abode. 

All spirits, however, are not believed to be permitted to reach the 
judgment-seat of Ndengei, for upon the road it is supposed that an 
enormous giant, armed with a large axe, stands constantly on the 
watch. With this weapon he endeavours to wound all who attempt to 
pass him. Those who are wounded dare not present themselves to 
Ndengei, and are obliged to wander about in the mountains. Whether 
the spirit be wounded or not, depends not upon the conduct in life, but 
they ascribe an escape from the blow wholly to good luck. 

Stories are prevalent of persons who have succeeded in passing the 
monster without injury. One of these, which was told me by a white 
pilot, will suffice to show the character of this superstition. 

A powerful chief, who had died and been interred Vv'ith all due 
ceremony, finding that he had to pass this giant, who, in the legend, 
is stationed in the Moturiki Channel, loaded his gun, which had been 
buried with him, and prepared for the encounter. The giant seeing 
the danger that threatened him, was on the look-out to dodge the ball, 
which he did when the piece was discharged. Of this the chief took 
advantage to rush by him before he could recover himself, reached the 
judgment-seat of Ndengei, and now enjoys celestial happiness ! 

Besides the entire form of a serpent, Ndengei is sometimes repre- 
sented as having only the head and half the body of the figure of that 
reptile, while the remaining portion of his form is a stone, significant 
of eternal duration. 

No one pretends to know the origin of Ndengei, but many assert 
that he has been seen by mortals. Thus, he is reported to have 
appeared under the form of a man, dressed in masi (white tapa), after 
the fashion of the natives, on the beach, near Ragi-ragi. Thence he 
proceeded to Mbenga, where, although it did not please him, on 
account of its rocky shores, he made himself manifest, and thence 
went to Kantavu. Not liking the latter place, he went to Rewa, where 
he took up his abode. Here he was joined by another powerful god, 
called Warua, to whom after a time he consented to resign this loca- 


lity, on condition of receiving the choicest parts of all kinds of food, 
as the heads of the turtle and pig, — which are still held sacred. Under 
this agreement he determined to proceed to Verata, where he has 
resided ever since, and by him Verata is believed to have been 
rendered impregnable. 

Next in rank, in their mythology, stand two sons of Ndengei, 
Tokairambe and Tui Lakemba.* These act as mediators between 
their father and inferior spirits. They are said to be stationed, in the 
form of men, at the door of their father's cabin, where they receive and 
transmit to him the prayers and supplications of departed souls. 

The grandchildren of Ndengei are third in rank. They are innu- 
merable, and each has a peculiar duty to perform, of which the most 
usual is that of presiding over islands and districts. 

A fourth class is supposed to be made up of more distant relatives 
of Ndengei. These preside over separate tribes, by whose priests they 
are consulted. They have no jurisdiction beyond their own tribe, and 
possess no power but what is deputed to them by superior deities. 

In addition to these benignant beings, they believe in malicious and 
mischievous gods. These reside in their Hades, which they call 
Mbulu (underneath the world). There reigns a cruel tyrant, with grim 
aspect, whom they name Lothia. Samuialo (destroyer of souls) is his 
colleague, and sits on the brink of a huge fiery cavern, into which he 
precipitates departed spirits. 

These notions, although the most prevalent, are not universal. 
Thus : the god of Muthuata is called Radinadina. He is considered 
as the son of Ndengei. Here also Rokora, the god of carpenters, is 
held in honour; and they worship also Rokavona, the god of fishermen. 

The people of Lakemba believe that departed souls proceed to Na- 
mukaliwu, a place in the vicinity of the sea. Here they for a time 
exercise the same employments as when in this life, after which they 
die again, and go to Mbulu, where they are met by Samuialo. This 
deity is empowered to seize and hurl into the fiery gulf all those whom 
he dislikes. On Kantavu they admit of no god appointed to receive 
departed souls, but suppose that these go down into the sea, where 
they are examined by the great spirit, who retains those he likes, and 
sends back the others to their native island, to dwell among their 
friends. Another belief is, that the departed spirit goes before the god 
Taseta, who, as it approaches, darts a spear at it. If the spirit exhibits 
any signs of fear, it incurs the displeasure of the god, but if it advances 
with courage, it is received with favour. 

* Some say he has but one son, called Mautu (the bread-fruit). 


On Vanua-levu it is believed that the souls of their deceased friends 
go to Dimba-dimba, a point of land which forms Ambau Bay. Here 
they are supposed to pass down into the sea, where they are taken into 
two canoes by Rokavona and Rokora, and ferried across into the 
dominions of Ndengei. When it blows hard, and there are storms of 
thunder, lightning, and rain, the natives say that the canoes are getting 

Some few of the natives worship an evil spirit, whom they call Ruku 
batin dua (the one-toothed Lord). He is represented under the form 
of man, having wings instead of arms, and as provided with claws to 
seize his victims. His tooth is described as being large enough to 
reach above the top of his head ; it is alleged he flies through the air 
emitting sparks of fire. He is said to roast in fire all the wicked who 
appertain to him. Those who do not worship him, call him Kalou- 
kana, or Kalou-du. 

At Rewa, it is believed that the spirits first repair to the residence 
of Ndengei, who allots some of them to the devils for food, and sends 
the rest away to Mukalou, a small island off Rewa, where they remain 
until an appointed day, after which they are all doomed to annihilation. 
The judgments thus passed by Ndengei, seem to be ascribed rather to 
his caprice than to any desert of the departed soul. 

This idea of a second death is illustrated by the following anecdote, 
related by Mr. Vanderford. This officer resided, for several months 
after his shipwreck, with Tanoa, King of Ambau. During this time 
there was a great feast, at which many chiefs were present, who re- 
mained to sleep. Before the close of the evening amusements, one of 
them had recounted the circumstances of his killing a neighbouring 
chief. During the night he had occasion to leave the house, and his 
superstition led him to believe that he saw the ghost of his victim, at 
which he threw his club, and, as he asserted, killed it. Returning to the 
house, he aroused the king and all the other inmates, to whom he re- 
lated what he had done. The occurrence was considered by all as 
highly important, and formed the subject of due deliberation. In the 
morning the club was found, when it was taken, with great pomp and 
parade, to the mbure, where it was deposited as a memorial. All 
seemed to consider the killing of the spirit as a total annihilation of the 

Among other forms of this superstition regarding spirits, is that of 
transmigration. Those who hold it, think that spirits wander about 
the villages in various shapes, and can make themselves visible or in- 
visible at pleasure; that there are particular places to which they 
resort, and in passing these they are accustomed to make a propitiatory 



offering of food or cloth. This form of superstition is the cause of an 
aversion to go abroad at night, and particularly when it is dark. 

It is also a general belief, that the spirit of a celebrated chief may, 
after death, enter into some young man of the tribe, and animate him 
to deeds of valour. Persons thus distinguished are pointed out as 
highly favoui'ed ; in consequence, they receive great respect, and their 
opinions are treated with much consideration, besides which, they have 
many personal privileges. 

In general, the passage from life to death is considered as one from 
pain to happiness, and I was informed, that nine out of ten look for- 
ward to it with anxiety, in order to escape from the infirmities of old 
age, or the sufferings of disease. 

The deities whom we have named are served by priests, called 
ambati, who are worshipped in buildings denominated mbure, or spirit- 
houses. Of such buildings each town has at least one, and often 
several, which serve also for entertaining strangers, as well as for 
holding councils and other public meetings. In these mbures, images 
are found ; but these, although much esteemed as ornaments, and held 
sacred, are not worshipped as idols. They are only produced on great 
occasions, such as festivals, &c. 

The ambati, or priests, have great influence over the people, who 
consult them on all occasions, but are generally found acting in concert 


with the chiefs, thus forming a union of power which rules the islands. 
Each chief has his annbati, who attends him wherever he goes. The 
people are grossly superstitious, and there are few of their occupations 
in which the ambati is not more or less concerned. He is held sacred 
within his own district,' being considered as the representative of the 
kalou, or spirit. Mr. Hunt informed me, that the natives seldom 
separate the idea of the god from that of his priest, who is viewed with 
almost divine reverence. My own observations, however, led to the 
conclusion, that it is more especially the case at Somu-somu, where 
Mr. Hunt resides, and where the natives are more savage, if possible, 
in their customs, than those of the other islands. If intercourse with 
white men has produced no other effect, it has lessened their reverence 
for the priesthood ; for, wherever they have foreign visiters, there may 
be seen a marked change in this respect. 

The office of ambati is usually hereditary, but in some cases may 
be considered as self-chosen. Thus, when a priest dies without male 
heirs, some one, who is ambitious to succeed him, and desirous of 
leading an idle life, will strive for the succession. To acccomplish 
this end, he will cunningly assume a mysterious air, speaking inco- 
herently, and pretending that coming events have been foretold him 
by the kalou, whom he claims to have seen and talked with. If he 
should have made a prediction in relation to a subject in which the 
people take an anxious interest, and with which the event happens to 
correspond, the belief that his pretensions are well founded is adopted. 
Before he is acknowledged as ambati, he, however, is made to undergo 
a further trial, and is required to show publicly that the kalou is enter- 
ing into him. The proof of this is considered to lie in certain shiver- 
ings, which appear to be involuntary, and in the performance of which 
none but an expert juggler could succeed. 

I had an opportunity, while at Levuka, of seeing a performance of 
this description. Whippy gave me notice of it, having ascertained 
that the offering which precedes the consultation, was in preparation. 
This offering consisted of a hog, a basket of yams, and a quantity of 
bananas. In this case the ambati had received notice that he was to 
be consulted, and was attached to the person of Seru, (Tanoa's son,) 
for whose purposes the prophetic intervention was needed. 

On such occasions the chiefs dress in the morning in their gala 
habits, and proceed with much ceremony to the mbure, where the 
priest is. On some occasions, previous notice is given him ; at other 
times he has no warning of their coming, until he receives the offering. 

The amount of this offering depends upon the inclination of the 
party who makes it. The chiefs and people seat themselves promiscu- 


ously in a semicircle, the open side of which is occupied by the person 
who prepares the ava. This mode of sitting is intended as an act of 
humihation on the part of the chiefs, which is considered as acceptable 
to the gods. When all is prepared, the principal chief, if the occasion 
be a great one, presents a whale's tooth. The priest receives this in 
his hands, and contemplates it steadily, with downcast eyes, remaining 
perfectly quiet for some time. In a few minutes distortions begin to 
be visible in his face, indicating, as they suppose, that the god is enter- 
ing into his body. His limbs next show a violent muscular action, 
which increases until his whole frame appears convulsed, and trembles 
as if under the influence of an ague fit ; his eyeballs roll, and are dis- 
tended ; the blood seems rushing with violence to and from his head ; 
tears start from his eyes; his breast heaves; his lips grow livid, and 
his utterance confused. In short, his whole appearance is that of a 
maniac. Finally, a profuse perspiration streams from every pore, by 
which he is relieved, and the symptoms gradually abate ; after this, he 
again sinks into an attitude of quiet, gazing about him from side to 
side, until suddenly striking the ground with a club, he thus announces 
that the god has departed from him. Whatever the priest utters while 
thus excited, is received as a direct response of the gods to the prayers 
of those who made the offering. The provisions of which the offering 
is composed are now shared out, and ava prepared. These are eaten 
and drunk in silence. The priest partakes of the feast, and always eats 
voraciously, supplying, as it were, the exhaustion he has previously 
undergone. It is seldom, however, that his muscles resume at once a 
quiescent state, and they more usually continue to twitch and tremble 
for some time afterwards. 

When the candidate for the office of ambati has gone successfully 
through such a ceremony, and the response he gives as from the god 
is admitted to be correct, he is considered as qualified to be a priest, 
and takes possession of the mbure. It is, however, easily to be seen, 
that it is the chief who in fact makes the appointment. The indi- 
vidual chosen is always on good terms with him, and is but his tool. 
The purposes of both are accomplished by a good understanding 
between them. There can be no doubt that those who exercise the 
office of ambati, and go through the actions just mentioned, are con- 
summate jugglers ; but they often become so much affected by their 
own efforts, that the motions of the muscles become in reality involun- 
tary, and they have every appearance of being affected by a super- 
natural agency. 

By the dexterity with which the ambati perform their juggling 
performances, they acquire great influence over the common people; 



but, as before remarked, they are merely the instruments of the chiefs. 
When the latter are about going to battle, or engaging in any other 
important enterprise, they desire the priest to let the spirit enter him 
forthwith, making him, at the same time, a present. The priest 
speedily begins to shake and shiver, and ere long communicates the 
will of the god, which always tallies with the wishes of the chief. It 
sometimes happens that the priest fails in exciting himself to convul- 
sive action ; but this, among a people so wrapt in superstition, can 
always be ingeniously accounted for: the most usual mode of excusing 
the failure, is to say that the kalou is dissatisfied with the offering. 

The chiefs themselves admitted, and Whippy informed me, that 
they have little respect for the power of the priests, and use them 
merely to govern the people. The ambati are generally the most 
shrewd and intelligent members of the community, and the reasons for 
their intimate union with the chiefs are obvious : without the influence 
of the superstition of which they are the agents, the chief would be 
unable successfully to rule ; while without support from the authority 
of the chief, the ambati could scarcely practise their mummeries with- 
out detection. 

The priests, when their services are not wanted by the chiefs, are 
sometimes driven to straits for food. In such cases they have recourse 
to the fears of the people, and among other modes of intimidation, 
threaten to eat them if their demands are not complied with. To give 
force to the menace, they pretend to have had communication with 
the god in dreams, and assemble the people to hear the message of the 
deity. This message is always portentous of evil ; the simple natives 
are thus induced to make propitiatory offerings, which the priest 
applies to his (5wn use. 


The priest at Levuka pretends to receive oracles from a miniature 
mbure, an engine of superstition of the form represented in the. figure, 

VOL. III. H2 12 


which he keeps behind a screen in the spirit-house. It is about four 
feet high ; the base is about fifteen inches square ; it is hollow within, 
has an ear on one side of it, and a mouth and nose on the other. 

This oracle is covered with scarlet and white seeds, about the size 
of a large pea, which are stuck upon it in fantastic figures with gum. 
To the priest this is a labour-saving machine; for, on ordinary occa- 
sions, instead of going through the performance we have described, he 
merely whispers in the ear of the model, and pretends to receive an 
answer by applying his own ear to its mouth. 

The occasions on which the priests are required to shake, are 
usually of the following kinds: to implore good crops of yams and 
tare ; on going to battle ; for propitious voyages ; for rain ; for storms, 
to drive boats and ships ashore, in order that the natives may seize the 
property they are freighted with ; and for the destruction of their 

When the prayers offered are for a deliverance from famine, the 
priest directs the people to return to their houses, in the name of 
Ndengei, who then at his instance is expected to turn himself over, in 
which case an earthquake ensues, which is to be followed by a season 
of fertility. 

When it is determined to ofl'er a sacrifice, the people are assembled 
and addressed by a chief. A time is then fixed for the ceremony, until 
which time a taboo is laid upon pigs, turtles, &c. On the appointed 
day, each man brings his quota of provisions, and a whale's tooth if 
he have one. The chief, accompanied by the others, approaches the 
mbure, and while he offers up his prayers, the people present their 
gifts. The latter then return to their houses, and the offering is dis- 
tributed by the priest. 

When a chief wishes to supplicate a god for the recovery of a sick 
friend, the return of a canoe, or any other desired object, he takes a 
root of ava and a whale's tooth to the mbure, and offers them to the 
priest. The latter takes the whale's tooth in his hands, and then goes 
through the operation of shaking, (fee, as has already been described. 

Besides the occasional consultation of the gods through the ambati, 
there are stated religious festivals. One of these, which is said to be 
only practised in districts subject to Tui Levuka, takes place in the 
month of November, and lasts four days. At its commencement an 
influential matanivanua (landholder) proceeds just at sunset to the 
outside of the koro, or town, where, in a loud voice, he invokes the 
spirit of the sky, praying for good crops and other blessings. This is 
followed by a general beating of sticks and drums, and blowing of 
conchs, which lasts for half an hour. During the four days, the men 


live in the mbure, when they feast upon the balolo,* a curious species 
of salt-water worm, which makes its appearance at this season, for one 
day, while the women and boj^s remain shut up in the houses. No 
labour is permitted, no work carried on ; and so strictly is this rule 
observed, that not even a leaf is plucked ; and the offal is not removed 
from the houses. At daylight on the expiration of the fourth night, the 
whole town is in an uproar, and men and boys scamper about, knock- 
ing with clubs and sticks at the doors of the houses, crying out, " Sina- 
riba." This concludes the ceremony, and the usual routine of affairs 
goes on thenceforth as usual. 

At Ambau a grand festival takes place at the ingathering of the 
fruits. This is called Batami mbulu (the spirit below or in the earth). 
On this occasion a great feast is held, and the king, chiefs, and people 
walk in procession, with great pomp and ceremony, to Viwa, where 
they pay homage to the spirit. I was unable to obtain further details 
of this festival, but its object was explained to be a return of thanks for 
the fruits of the earth. 

The marriages of the Feejeeans are sanctioned by religious ceremo- 
nies, and, among the high chiefs, are attended with much form and 
parade. As at all other ceremonies, ava drinking forms an essential 
part. The ambati, or priest, takes a seat, having the bridegroom on his 
right and the bride on the left hand. He then invokes the protection of 
the god or spirit upon the bride, after which he leads her to the bride- 
groom, and joins their hands, with injunctions to love, honour, and 
obey, to be faithful and die with each other. 

During this ceremony, the girls are engaged in chewing the ava, on 
which the priest directs the water to be poured, and cries out " Ai 
sevu." He then calls upon all the gods of the town or island. He 
takes care to make no omission, lest the neglected deity should inflict 
injury on the couple he has united. He concludes the ceremony by 
calling out " Mana" (it is finished) ; to which the people respond 
" Ndina" (it is true). 

For the marriage of a woman, the consent of her father, mother, 
and brother is required, and must be asked by the intended husband. 
Even if the father and mother assent, the refusal of the brother will 
prevent the marriage; but, with his concurrence, it may take place, 
even if both father and mother oppose. In asking a woman in mar- 
riage, rolls of tapa, whales' teeth, provisions, &c., are sometimes pre- 

* The balolo is obtained at Wakaia, and is eaten both cooked and raw, as suits the fancy, 
and from it November receives its name. 


sented to the parents. The acceptance of these signifies that the suit 
is favourably received ; their rejection is a refusal of the suit. 

If the proposals of the young man are received, he gives notice of it 
to his own relations, who take presents to his betrothed. Her own 
relations, by way of dowry, give her a stone-chopper (matawiwi) and 
two tapa-sticks (eki), after which the marriage may take place. 

Among the common people the marriage rites are less ceremonious 
than those of the chiefs. The priest of the tribe comes to the house, 
when he is presented with a whale's tooth and a bowl of ava, and 
making a sevu-sevu (prayer), invokes happiness upon the union. The 
bride's near relations then present her with a large petticoat (licolib), 
and the more distant relatives make gifts of tapas, mats, and provisions. 

Every man may have as many wives as he can maintain, and the 
chiefs have many betrothed to them at an early age, for the purpose 
of extending their political connexions by bonds which, according to 
their customs, cannot be overlooked. 

The daughters of chiefs are usually betrothed early in life. If the 
bridegroom refuses to carry the contract into effect, it is considered 
as a great insult, and he may lay his account to have a contest with 
her relations and friends. If the betrothed husband die before the 
girl grows up, his next brother succeeds to his rights in this respect. 
Many of the marriages in high life are the result of mutual attachment, 
and are preceded by a courtship, presents, &c. The parties may be 
frequently seen, as among us, walking arm-in-arm after they are 
engaged. Forced marriages sometimes occur, although they are by 
no means frequent in this class; in such instances suicide is occasion- 
ally the consequence. A case of this sort had occurred previous to 
our arrival, when a daughter of the chief of Ovolau killed herself by 
jumping off a precipice behind the town, because she had been forced 
to marry a brother of Tanoa. The females of the lower classes have 
no such delicate scruples. Among them, marriages are mere matters 
of bargain, and wives are purchased and looked upon as property in 
most parts of the group. The usual price is a whale's tooth, or a 
musket; and this once paid, the husband has an entire right to the 
person of the wife, whom he may even kill and eat if he feel so dis- 
posed. Young women, until purchased, belong to the chief of the 
village, who may dispose of them as he thinks best. Elopements, how- 
ever, sometimes take place, when a marriage is opposed from difference 
of rank or other cause, when the parties flee to some neighbouring 
chief, whom they engage to intercede and bring about a reconciliation. 

Wives are faithful to their husbands rather from fear than from 


affection. If detected in infidelity, the wonnan is not unfrequently 
knocked on the head, or nnade a slave for life. The man tnay also be 
treated in the same manner; but this punishment may also consist in 
what is called suabi. This is a forfeiture of his lands, which is sig- 
nified by sticking reeds into the ground. These are bound together by 
knots, so as to form tripods. If the offender wishes to regain his lands, 
he must purchase the good-will of the offended party by presents. In 
some cases, the friends of the injured party seize the wife of the 
offender, and give her to the aggrieved husband. There are also other 
modes in which a husband revenges himself for the infidelity of his 
wife, which do not admit of description. 

We have seen that the extent to which polygamy is carried is 
limited only by the will of the man and his means of maintaining his 
wives. The latter are almost completely slaves, and usually, by the 
strict discipline of the husband, live peaceably together. The house- 
hold is under the charge of the principal wife, and the others are 
required to yield to her control. If they misbehave, they are tied up, 
put in irons, or flogged. 

The birth of the first child is celebrated by a feast on the natal day; 
another feast takes place four days afterwards, and another in ten days, 
when suitable presents are made to the young couple. 

Parturition is not usually severe, and some women have been known 
to go to work within an hour after delivery. Others, however, remain 
under the nurse's care for months. It is the prevailing opinion that 
hard work makes the delivery more easy. After childbirth the women 
usually remain quiet, and live upon a diet composed of young taro-tops, 
for from four to eight days, after which they bathe constantly. 

Midwifery is a distinct profession, exercised by women in all the 
towns, and they are said to be very skilful, performing operations 
which are among us considered as surgical. Abortion is prevalent, 
and nearly half of those conceived are supposed to be destroyed in this 
manner, usually by the command of the father, at whose instance the 
wife takes herbs which are known to produce this effect. If this do 
not succeed, the accoucheur is employed to strangle the child, and 
bring it forth dead. 

A child is rubbed with turmeric as soon as it is born, which they 
consider strengthening. It is named immediately, by some relative or 
friend. If, through neglect or accident, a name should not be forth- 
with given, the child would be considered as an outcast, and be 
destroyed by the mother. 

Girls reach the age of puberty when about fourteen years old, and 
boys when from seventeen to eighteen. This period in a girl's life is 


duly celebrated by her ; for which purpose she requests the loan of a 
house from a friend, and takes possession of it, in company with a 
number of young girls. The townspeople supply them with provisions 
for ten days, during which they anoint themselves with turmeric and 
oil. At the expiration of this time, they all go out to fish, and are 
furnished by the men with provisions. 

The only general fact to be derived from the various opinions in 
relation to the spirits of the dead, which have been stated in the way 
we received them, is, that a belief in a future state is universally 
entertained by the Feejeeans. In some parts of the group, this has 
taken the following form, which, if not derived from intercourse with 
the whites, is at least more consistent with revealed truth than any of 
those previously recorded. Those who hold this opinion, say that all 
the souls of the departed will remain in their appointed place, until the 
world is destroyed by fire and a new one created ; that in the latter 
all things will be renovated, and to it they will again be sent to dwell 

This belief in a future state, guided by no just notions of religious 
or moral obligation, is the source of many abhorrent practices. 
Among these are the custom of putting their parents to death when 
they are advanced in years; suicide; the immolation of wives at the 
funeral of their husbands, and human sacrifices. 

It is among the most usual occurrences, that a father or a mother 
will notify their children that it is time for themio die, or that a son 
shall give notice to his parents that they are becoming a burden to 
him. In either case, the relatives and friends are collected, and 
informed of the fact. A consultation is then held, which generally 
results in the conclusion, that the request is to be complied with, in 
which case they fix upon a day for the purpose, unless it should be 
done by the party whose fate is under deliberation. The day is 
usually chosen at a time when yams or taro are I'ipe, in order to fur- 
nish materials for a great feast, called mburua. The aged person is 
then asked, whether he will prefer to be strangled before his burial or 
buried alive. When the appointed day arrives, the relatives and 
friends bring tapas, mats, and oil, as presents. They are received as 
at other funeral feasts, and all mourn together until the time for the 
ceremony arrives. The aged person then proceeds to point out the 
place where the grave is to be dug ; and while some are digging it, 
the others put on a new maro and turbans. When the grave is dug, 
which is about four feet deep, the person is assisted into it, while the 
relatives and friends begin their lamentations, and proceed to weep 
and cut themselves as they do at other funerals. All then proceed to 


take a parting kiss, after which the living body is covered up, first 
with mats and tapa wrapped around the head, and then with sticks 
and earth, which are trodden down. When this has been done, all 
retire, and are tabooed, as will be stated in describing their ordinary- 
funerals. The succeeding night, the son goes privately to the grave, 
and lays upon it a piece of ava-root, which is called the vei-tala or 

Mr. Hunt, one of the missionaries, had been a witness of several of 
these acts. On one occasion, he w^as called upon by a young man, 
who desired that he would pray to his spirit for his mother, who was 
dead. Mr. Hunt was at first in hopes that this would afford him an 
opportunity of forwarding their great cause. On inquiry, the young 
man told him that his brothers and himself were just going to bury 
her. Mr. Hunt accompanied the young man, telling him he would 
follow in the procession, and do as he desired him, supposing, of 
course, the corpse would be brought along ; but he now met the pro- 
cession, when the young man said that this was the funeral, and 
pointed out his mother, who was walking along with them, as gay and 
lively as any of those present, and apparently as much pleased. Mr. 
Hunt expressed his surprise to the young man, and asked how he 
could deceive him so much by saying his mother was dead, when she 
was alive and well. He said, in reply, that they had made her death- 
feast, and were now going to bury her ; that she was old ; that his 
brother and himself had thought she had lived long enough, and it was 
time to bury her, to which she had willingly assented, and they were 
about it now. He had come to Mr. Hunt to ask his prayers, as they 
did those of the priest. He added, that it was from love for his 
mother that he had done so ; that, in consequence of the same love, 
they were now going to bury her, and that none but themselves could 
or ought to do so saci'ed an office ! Mr. Hunt did all in his power to 
prevent so diabolical an act; but the only reply he received was, that 
she was their mother, and they were her children, and they ought to 
put her to death. On reaching the grave, the mother sat down, when 
they all, including children, grandchildren, relations, and friends, took 
an affectionate leave of her ; a rope, made of twisted tapa, was then 
passed twice around her neck by her sons, who took hold of it, and 
strangled her ; after which she was put into her grave, with the usual 
ceremonies. They returned to feast and mourn, after which she was 
entirely forgotten as though she had not existed. 

Mr. Hunt, after giving me this anecdote, surprised me by express- 
ing his opinion that the Feejeeans were a kind and affectionate people 
to their parents, adding, that he was assured by many of them that 


they considered this custom as so great a proof of affection that none 
but children could be found to perform it. The same opinion was 
expressed by all the other white residents. 

A short time before our arrival, an old man at Levuka did some- 
thing to vex one of his grandchildren, who in consequence threw 
stones at him. The only action the old man took in the case was to 
walk away, saying that he had now lived long enough, when his 
grandchildren could stone him with impunity. He then requested his 
children and friends to buiy him, to which they consented. A feast 
was made, he was dressed in his best tapa, and his face blackened. 
He was then placed sitting in his grave, with his head about two feet 
below the surface. Tapa and mats were thrown upon him, and the 
earth pressed down ; during which he was heard to complain that they 
hurt him, and to beg that they would not press so hard. 

Self-immolation is by no means rare, and they believe that as they 
leave this life, so will they remain ever after. This forms a powerful 
motive to escape from decrepitude, or from a crippled condition, by a 
voluntary death. 

Wives are often strangled, or buried alive, at the funeral of their 
husbands, and generally at their own instance. Cases of this sort have 
frequently been witnessed by the white residents. On one occasion 
Whippy drove away the murderers, rescued the woman, and carried 
her to his own house, where she was resuscitated. So far, however, 
from feeling grateful for her preservation, she loaded him with abuse, 
and ever afterwards manifested the most deadly hatred towards him. 
That women should desire to accompany their husbands in death, is 
by no means strange, when it is considered that it is one of the arti- 
cles of their belief, that in this way alone can they reach the realms 
of bliss, and she who meets her death with the greatest devotedness, 
will become the favourite wife in the abode of spirits. 

The sacrifice is not, however, always voluntary ; but, when a 
woman refuses to be strangled, her relations often compel her to 
submit. This they do from interested motives ; for, by her death, her 
connexions become entitled to the property of her husband. Even a 
delay is made a matter of reproach. Thus, at the funeral of the late 
king, Ulivou, which was witnessed by Mr. Cargill, his five wives and 
a daughter were strangled. The principal wife delayed the ceremony, 
by taking leave of those around her ; whereupon Tanoa, the present 
king, chid her. The victim was his own aunt, and he assisted in 
putting the rope around her neck, and strangling her, a service he is 
said to have rendered on a former occasion, to his own mother. 

Not only do many of the natives desire their friends to put them to 


death to escape decrepitude, or immolate themselves with a similar 
view, but families have such a repugnance to having deformed or 
maimed persons among them, that those who have met with such 
misfortunes, are almost always destroyed. An instance of this sort 
was related to me, when a boy whose leg had been bitten off by a 
shark was strangled, although he had been taken care of by one of the 
white residents, and there was every prospect of his recovery. No 
other reason was assigned by the perpetrators of the deed, than that if 
he had lived he would have been a disgrace to his family, in conse- 
quence of his having only one leg. 

When a native, whether man, woman, or child, is sick of a linger- 
ing disease, their relatives will either wring their heads off, or strangle 
them. Mr. Hunt stated that this was a frequent custom, and cited a 
case where he had with difficulty saved a servant of his own from 
such a fate, who afterwards recovered his health. 

Formal human sacrifices are frequent. The victims are usually 
taken from a distant tribe, and when not supplied by war or violence, 
they are at times obtained by negotiation. After being selected for 
this purpose, they are often kept for a time to be fattened. When 
about to be sacrificed, they are compelled to sit upon the ground, with 
their feet drawn under their thighs, and their arms placed close before 
them. In this posture they are bound so tightly that they cannot stir, 
or move a joint. They are then placed in the usual oven, upon hot 
stones, and covered with leaves and earth, where they are roasted 
alive. When the body is cooked, it is taken from the oven, and the 
face painted black, as is done by the natives on festal occasions. It is 
then carried to the mbure, where it is offered to the gods, and is after- 
wards removed to be cut up and distributed, to be eaten by the people. 

Women are not allowed to enter the mbure, or to eat human flesh. 

Human sacrifices are a preliminary to almost all their undertakings. 
When a new mbure is built, a party goes out and seizes the first pei'son 
they meet, whom they sacrifice to the gods ; when a large canoe is 
launched, the first person, man or woman, whom they encounter, is 
laid hold of and carried home for a feast. 

When Tanoa launches a canoe, ten or more men are slaughtered on 
the deck, in order that it may be washed with human blood. 

Human sacrifices are also among the rites performed at the funerals 
of chiefs, when slaves are in some instances put to death. Their 
bodies are first placed in the grave, and upon them those of the chief 
and his wives are laid. 

The ceremotties attendant on the death and burial of a great chief, 
were described to me by persons who had witnessed them. When his 

VOL. III. I 13 


last moments are approaching, his friends place in his hands two 
whale's teeth, which it is supposed he will need to throw at a tree that 
stands on the road to the regions of the dead. As soon as the last 
struggle is over, the friends and attendants fill the air with their lamen- 
tations. Two priests then take in each of their hands a reed about 
eighteen inches long, on which the leaves at the end are left, and with 
these they indicate two persons for grave-diggers, and mark out the 
place for the grave. The spot usually selected is as near as possible to 
the banks of a stream. The grave-diggers are provided with man- 
grove-staves (tiri) for their work, and take their positions, one at the 
head, the other at the foot of the grave, having each one of the priests 
on his right hand. At a given signal, the labourers, making three 
feints before they strike, stick their staves into the ground, while the 
priests twice exchange reeds, repeating Feejee, Tonga ; Feejee, Tonga. 
The diggers work in a sitting posture, and thus dig a pit sufficiently 
large to contain the body. The first earth which is removed is con- 
sidered as sacred, and laid aside. 

The persons who have dug the grave also wash and prepare the 
body for interment, and they are the only persons who can touch the 
corpse without being laid under a taboo for ten months. The body 
after being washed is laid on a couch of cloth and mats, and carefully 
wiped. It is then dressed and decorated as the deceased was in life, 
when preparing for a great assembly of chiefs : it is first anointed with 
oil, and then the neck, breast, and arms, down to the elbows, are 
daubed with a black pigment; a white bandage of native cloth is 
bound around the head, and tied over the temple in a graceful knot ; a 
club is placed in the hand, and laid across the breast, to indicate in the 
next world that the deceased was a chief and warrior. The body is 
then laid on a bier, and the chiefs of the subject tribes assemble ; each 
tribe presents a whale's tooth, and the chief or spokesman says : " This 
is our offering to the dead ; we are poor and cannot find riches." All 
now clap their hands, and the king or a chief of rank replies : " Ai mu- 
mundi ni mate," (the end of death) ; to which all the people present 
respond, " e dina," (it is true.) The female friends then approach and 
kiss the corpse, and if any of his wives wish to die and be buried with 
him, she runs to her brother or nearest relative and exclaims, " I wish 
to die, that I may accompany my husband to the land v/here his spirit 
has gone ! love me, and make haste to strangle me, that I may over- 
take him !" Her friends applaud her purpose, and being dressed and 
decorated in her best clothes, she seats herself on a mat, reclining her 
head on the lap of a woman ; another holds her nostrils, that she may 
not breathe through them ; a cord, made by twisting fine tapa (masi). 


is then put around her neck, and drawn tight by four or five strong 
men, so that the struggle is soon over. The cord is left tight, and tied 
in a bow-knot, until the friends of the husband present a whale's tooth, 
saying, " This is the untying of the cord of strangling." The cord is 
then loosed, but is not removed from the neck of the corpse. 

When the grave is finished, the principal workman takes the four 
reeds used by the priests, and passes them backwards and forwards 
across each other ; he then hnes the pit or grave with fine mats, and 
lays two of the leaves at the head and two at the foot of the grave; on 
these the corpse of the chief is placed, with two of his wives, one on 
each side, having their right and left hands, respectively, laid on his 
breast ; the bodies are then wrapped together in folds of native cloth ; 
the grave is then filled in, and the sacred earth is laid on, and a stone 
over it. All the men who have had any thing to do with the dead 
body take oflf their maro or masi, and rub themselves all over with the 
leaves of a plant they call koaikoaia. A friend of the parties takes new 
tapa, and clothes them, for they are not allowed to touch any thing, 
being tabooed persons. At the end of ten days, the head chief of the 
tribe provides a great feast (mburua), at which time the tabooed men 
again scrub themselves, and are newly dressed. After the feast, ava 
is prepaiod and set before the priest, who goes through many incanta- 
tions, shiverings, and shakings, and prays for long life and abundance 
of children. The soul of the deceased is now enabled to quit the body 
and go to its destination. During these ten days, all the women in the 
town provide themselves with long whips, knotted with shells ; these 
they use upon the men, inflicting bloody wounds, which the men retort 
by flirting from a piece of split bamboo little hard balls of clay. 

When the tabooed person becomes tired of remaining so restricted, 
they send to the head chief, and inform him, and he replies that he 
will remove the taboo whenever they please ; they then send him 
presents of pigs and other provisions, which he shares among the 
people. The tabooed persons then go into a stream and wash them- 
selves, which act they call vuluvulu ; they then catch some animal, a 
pig or turtle, on which they wipe their hands : it then becomes sacred 
to the chief. The taboo is now removed, and the men are free to 
work, feed themselves, and live with their wives. The taboo usually 
lasts from two to ten months in the case of chiefs, according to their 
rank ; in the case of a petty chief, the taboo would not exceed a 
month, and for a common person, not more than four days. It is 
generally resorted to by the lazy and idle ; for during this time they 
are not only provided with food, but are actually fed by attendants, or 


eat their food from the ground. On the death of a chief, a taboo is 
laid upon the cocoa-nuts, pigs, &c., of a whole district. 

Taking off a taboo is attended with certain ceremonies. It can be 
done by none but a chief of high rank. Presents are brought to the 
priest, and a piece of ava, which is brewed and drunk ; he then makes 
a prayer (sevn-sevu), and the ceremony is finished. 

In laying a taboo, a stone about two feet in length is set up before 
the mbure, and painted red ; ava is chewed ; after which the priest 
makes a prayer, and invokes maledictions on the heads of those who 
shall break it. Trees that are tabooed have bands of cocoa-nut or 
pandanus-leaves tied around them, and a stick is set in a heap of 
earth near by. We had an instance of this at the time of our arrival, 
when we found all the cocoa-nuts tabooed. We in consequence could 
obtain none, until I spoke to the chiefs of Ambau, who removed the 

To the funeral ceremonies we have described, others are added, in 
some parts of the group, and there are differences in some of the details 
of the rites. Thus, at Muthuata, the body of a chief is usually taken 
to the royal mbure, on the island of that name, to be interred. The 
corpse, instead of being dressed in the habiliments of life, is wrapped 
in white mats, and borne on a wide plank. On its arrival at the 
mbure, it is received by the priest, who pronounces an eulogium on 
his character, after which the young men foi'm themselves into two 
ranks, between which, and around the corpse, the rest of the people 
pass several times. 

All the boys who have arrived at a suitable age are now circum- 
cised, and many boys suffer the loss of their little fingers. The fore- 
skins and fingers are placed in the grave of the chief. When this 
part of the ceremony is over, young bread-fruit trees are presented by 
the relatives of the chief to the boys, whose connexions are bound to 
cultivate them until the boys are able to do it themselves.* 

The strangulation of the chief's wives follows ; and this is suc- 
ceeded by a farther eulogium of the deceased, and a lament for the 
loss his people have sustained. The whole is concluded by a great 
feast of hogs, taro, yams, and bananas. 

The funerals of persons of lower rank are of course far less ceremo- 
nious. The body is wrapped in tapa or mats, and sometimes sprinkled 
with turmeric, and is buried in a sitting posture, just below the surface 
of the ground. Even in this class the wife generally insists on being 

* This custom has an important influence in keeping up a stock of this important source 
of food, and may have originated with that view. 


strangled. Instances are now, however, beginning to occur, in which 
this custom is not persisted in, a circumstance which seems to show 
that the dawn of civiUzation is breaking upon them. 

On the day of the death, a feast called mburua is always provided ; 
another four days after, called boniva ; and a third at the end of ten 
days, which is called boniviti. 

The usual outward sign of mourning is to crop the hair or beard, or 
very rarely both. Indeed, they are too vain of these appendages to 
part with them on trifling occasions ; and as the hair, if cut off, takes 
a long time to grow again, they use a wig as a substitute. Some of 
these wigs are beautifully made, and even more exact imitations of 
nature, than those of our best perruquiers. 

Another mark of sorrow is to cut off the joints of the small toe and 
Uttle finger ; and this is not done only as a mark of grief or a token 
of affection, but the dismembered joints are frequently sent to families 
which are considered wealthy, and who are able to reward this token 
of sympathy in their loss, which they never fail to do. 

Women in mourning burn their skin into blisters, as is the practice 
also in other groups visited by us. The instrument used for the pur- 
pose is a piece of tapa twisted into a small roll and ignited. Marks 
thus produced may be seen on their arms, shoulders, neck, and breast. 
This custom is called loloe mate. 

The eating of human flesh is not confined to cases of sacrifice for 
religious purposes, but is practised from habit and taste. The exis- 
tence of cannibalism, independent of superstitious notions, has been 
doubted by many. There can be no question that, although it may 
have originated as a sacred rite, it is continued in the Feejee Group 
for the mere pleasure of eating human flesh as a food. Their fondness 
for it will be understood from the custom they have of sending por- 
tions of it to their friends at a distance, as an acceptable present, and 
the gift is eaten, even if decomposition have begun before it is re- 
ceived. So highly do they esteem this food, that the greatest praise 
they can bestow on a delicacy is to say that it is as tender as a dead 

Even their sacrifices are made more frequent, not merely to gratify 
feelings of revenge, but to indulge their taste for this horrid food. In 
respect to this propensity, they affect no disguise ; I have myself fre- 
quently spoken with them concerning it, and received but one answer, 
both from chiefs and common people, that it was vinaka (good). 

The bodies of enemies slain in battle are always eaten. Whippy 
told me that he saw, on one occasion, upwards of twenty men cooked; 
and several of the white residents stated that they have seen bodies 


brought from such a distance as to be green from putrescence, and to 
have the flesh dropping from the bones, which were, notwithstanding, 
eaten with greediness and apparent pleasure. 

War, however, does not furnish enough of this food to satisfy their 
appetite for it. Stratagem and violence are resorted to for obtaining 
it. While we were at Levuka, as a number of women belonging to 
the village were engaged in picking up shells and fishing, a canoe 
belonging to the Lasikaus, or fishermen, in passing by the reef, seized 
and carried off two of them, as it was believed, for cannibal purposes. 
When 1 heard the story I could not at first believe it ; but it was con- 
firmed by Tui Levuka, who said that the Lasikaus frequently stole 
women from the reefs for the purpose of eating them. 

All doubt, however, was removed, when Mr. Eld, while stationed 
at the observatory, became an eye-witness of an attempt of the kind. 
The daughter of the Vi Tonga* chief, with some of her companions, 
was engaged in fishing on the reef in a small canoe. By some acci- 
dent the canoe was swamped, which rendered them a prize to whoever 
should capture them. A canoe from Ambau had watched the poor 
creatures like a hawk, and, as soon as the accident happened, pounced 
upon them. The men in the canoe succeeded in capturing the chief's 
daughter, and . forced her into the vessel. When near the shore, how- 
ever, she contrived to make her escape by jumping overboard, and 
reached the shore before they could overtake her. Clubs and spears 
were thrown at her, with no other effect than a slight scratch under 
the arm, and a bruise on her shoulder. On the beach she was re- 
ceived by her friends, who stood ready to protect her, upon which 
the Ambau people gave up the pursuit. 

The cannibal propensity is not limited to enemies or persons of a 
different tribe, but they will banquet on the flesh of their dearest 
friends, and it is even related, that in times of scarcity, families will 
make an exchange of children for this horrid purpose. 

The flesh of women is preferred to that of men, and they consider 
the flesh of the arm above the elbow, and of the thigh, as the choicest 
parts. The women are not allowed to eat it openly, but it is said that 
the wives of chiefs do partake of it in private. It is also forbidden to 
the kai-si, or common people, unless there be a great quantity, but they 
have an opportunity of picking the bones. 

As a further instance of these cannibal propensities, and to show 
that the sacrifice of human life to gratify their passions and appetites 
IS of almost daily occurrence, a feast frequently takes place among 

* Vi Tonga is a town immediately below the point on which the observatory was placed. 



the chiefs, to which each is required to bring a pig. On these occa- 
sions Tanoa, from pride and ostentation, always furnishes a human 

A whale's tooth is about the price of a human life, even when the 
party slain is of rank, as will be shown by the following anecdotes. 
Rivaletta, the youngest son of Tanoa, while passing along the north 
end of Ovolau in his canoe, descried a fishing party. He at once 
determined to possess himself of what they had taken, and for this 
purpose dashed in among them, and fired his musket. The shot killed 
a young man, who proved to be a nephew of Tui Levuka, the chief of 
Ovolau, and was recognised by some of Rivaletta's followers. This 
discovery did not prevent their carrying the body to Ambau to be 
feasted upon ; but, in order to prevent it from being known there, the 
face was disfigured by broiling it in the fire in the canoe. Tanoa, 
however, soon became aware of the fact, and forthwith sent a whale's 
tooth to Tui Levuka, as the value of his loss, together with a number 
of little fingers, cut from the people of Ambau, as a propitiatory offer- 
ing. The remuneration was received by Tui Levuka as sufficient, 
and no more notice was taken of the matter. 

Before we left the group, an inferior chief ran away with one of the 
wives of Tui Levuka. The latter immediately despatched his son to 
the town where the chief resided, for the purpose of killing the ofl^ender, 
which was effected, and the woman brought back. Tui Levuka there- 
upon sent a whale's tooth and some tapa to the principal chief of the 
town, and the affair was ended. 

When they set so little value on the lives of their own countrymen, it 
is not to be expected that they should much regard those of foreigners. 
It is necessary, therefore, while holding intercourse with them, to be 
continually guarded against their murderous designs, which they are 
always meditating for the sake of the property about the person, or to 
obtain the body for food. Several recent instances are related, where 
crews of vessels visiting these islands have been put to death. One of 
these, in particular, became known to me, and led to certain proceed- 
ings on my part, which will form an important part of the following 

The vessel in question was the American brig, Charles Doggett, 
Captain Bachelor. I had heard of the attack upon her, and after 
Paddy Connel paid me his first visit, of which I have before spoken, I 
learned that he had been on board the brig at the time, and had a full 
knowledge of all who were concerned in the transaction. I therefore, 
on his next visit, questioned him in relation to the affair, and obtained 
the following particulars. 


In the month of August, 1834, Paddy, with some other men, was 
engaged by Captain Bachelor to assist in getting a cargo of biche de 
mar. The brig then went to Rewa, where the captain made a con- 
tract with Vendovi, a chief of that island, and Vasu of Kantavu, for 
further assistance in attaining his object. Here the conduct of Vendovi, 
Thokanauto, and other chiefs, led to the suspicion that some mischief 
was intended ; Paddy heard rumours of the great value of the articles 
on board the brig, accompanied by hints that the crew was but small, 
and predictions that it would not be well with her. He also found 
that a desire was evinced that he should not go further in the vessel. 
In consequence, Paddy, while on the way to Kantavu, mentioned his 
suspicions to Captain Bachelor, and advised him to be on his guard. 
When they arrived at Kantavu, they proceeded to a small island near 
its eastern end, where the biche de mar house was erected, and a 
chief of the island was, as usual, taken on board as a hostage. The 
day after he came on board, he feigned sickness, and was, in conse- 
quence, permitted to go on shore. He departed with such unusual 
exhibitions of friendly disposition, as served to confirm Paddy's pre- 
vious suspicions ; but he felt assured that all would be safe so long as 
the captain remained on board. 

On the following morning, (Sunday,) Vendovi came off, saying that 
the young chief was very sick, and he wanted the captain to come to 
the biche de mar house, where he said he was, to give him some 
medicine. In this house eight of the men were employed, of whom 
two were Sandwich Islanders. The captain was preparing to go 
ashore with the medicine, when Paddy stepped aft to him, and told 
him that to go on shore was as much as his life was worth, for he was 
sure that the natives intended to kill him, and to take all their Hves. 
The captain in consequence remained on board, but the mate went on 
shore, and took with him the bottle of medicine. Vendovi went in the 
boat, and landed with the mate, but could not conceal his disappoint- 
ment that the captain did not come also. Paddy now was convinced, 
from the arrangements that had been made to get the people and boats 
away from the brig, that the intended mischief was about to be con- 
summated. He therefore kept a sharp look-out upon the shore, and 
soon saw the beginning of an affray, the mate, Mr. Chitman, killed, 
and the building in flames. The others were also slain, with the ex- 
ception of James Housman, who had been engaged at the same time 
with Paddy, and who swam off, and was taken on board. Those in 
the brig opened a fire from the great guns, but without effect. 

On the following day Paddy was employed to bargain with the 
natives for the bodies, seven of which were brought down to the shore 


much mutilated, in considei'ation of a musket. The eighth, a negro, 
had been cooked and eaten. Captain Bachelor had the bodies sewed 
up in canvass, and thrown overboard, in the usual manner. They 
however floated again, and fell into the hands of the savages, who, as 
he afterwards understood, devoured them all. They complained, how- 
ever, that they did not like them, and particularly the negro, whose 
flesh they said tasted strong of tobacco. The brig then went to 
Ovolau, where Paddy left her. 

In addition, Paddy told me that he was satisfied that all the chiefs 
of Rewa had been privy to the plot, particularly the brothers of Ven- 
dovi, and that the whole plan had been arranged before the brig left 
that island. Vendovi, however, was the person who had actually per- 
petrated the outrage. 

Having heard this statement, I determined to capture Vendovi, and 
asked Paddy if he would carry a letter immediately to Captain Hudson, 
who was then, with the Peacock, at Rewa. After some hesitation he 
agreed to do it, if I would give him a musket. I accordingly prepared 
instructions directing Captain Hudson to make Vendovi prisoner, and 
despatched Paddy next morning in a canoe for Rewa. 









R E W A. 

When the Peacock left the harbour of Levuka for Rewa, it was 
for the purpose of visiting that town and inducing the King of Rewa 
to sign the Feejee regulations, and also to carry on the surveys in 
that quarter. (The instructions will be found in Appendix VI.) The 
Peacock left Levuka on the 15th May, and reached Rewa at noon the 
next day. The harbour of Rewa is formed by two small islands, 
called Nukalou and Mukalou, with their attached coral reefs, and has 
three passages into it. The two southern ones are safe, though nar- 
row, but the northern one is much obstructed with coral lumps. The 
port is a secure one, and the anchorage, which is off the island of 
Nukalou, is about three miles from the mouth of Wailevu, or Peale's 
river, and six from the town of Rewa, which is situated on a low 
piece of land, which the river, passing on each side of it, has formed 
into an island. The east point of Vitilevu is low, and is divided by 
several small and unimportant streams, which we had not time to exa- 
mine ; there is, also, at high water, a passage for canoes through one 
of them to Ambau, which lies ten miles to the northward. 

The launch and first cutter of the Peacock, under Lieutenant Em- 
mons and Passed Midshipman Blunt, were found here, having ad- 
vanced thus far in their surveying operations. They had passed 
around the bay of Ambau, stopped at the town, and met with rather 
an unfriendly reception there ; the chiefs refused to give them any 
water unless paid for, on account, as they said, of our trade-master 
not paying a higher price for the yams they carried him. For this 
reason the chiefs were in a bad humour, and had refused a supply of 
water to the boats. 

Ambau is a singular-looking place. It occupies a small island, 
which is entirely covered with houses, among which the mbure stands 

K (109) 

no REWA. 

conspicuous. The approach to the town is much obstructed by reefs 
of coral ; and the water being shallow, is impassable for an armed 
vessel. The island is connected with the main land or large island, by 
a long flat of coral, which is fordable, even at high water, and is in 
places quite bare at low water. One is at a loss to conceive how this 
place could have acquired its strength and importance. I am rather 
inclined to impute it to the enterprise of its first settlers, and the 
ascendency given it by the accidental aid that has been afibrded its 
chiefs by the whites, who came among them and joined their side. 
It was, probably, at first, the retreat of the fishermen ; and from their 
enterprise, the difficulties they had to encounter, and the powerful 
connexions they have formed with the other towns and districts, it is 
likely that their rule will continue until the people shall have become 
civilized, when, from the want of internal resources, the terror of its 
name will pass away, and it must fall to the rank of a place of secon- 
dary importance. 

At present it is in the ascendency, and its chiefs have a high 
estimate of their own importance. Thus, while I was at Levuka, I 
was much amused by a question put me by Seru, " Why I had not 
gone with my ship to Ambau? why come to Levuka, where there 
were no gentlemen, none but common people (kai-si) 1 all the gentle- 
men lived at Ambau." 

The towns of Verata and Viwa are within a short distance of 
Ambau, and have both been its rivals. At each of these some fearful 
outrage has been perpetrated upon trading vessels, for which the guilty 
have been but partially punished. The chief of Viwa, I understood, 
had made it his boast that the French had only burned a few of his 
mud huts, which he could shortly build again ; that it would give a 
very few days of labour to his slaves ; and that he would cut oflf the 
next vessel that came, if he had an opportunity. He thinks that it 
was a very cheap purchase to get so much property for so little 
damage. The Ambau people also spoke vauntingly of having given 
the French permission to destroy Viwa, as it was nothing, and satis- 
fied the Papalangis ; but they did not intend that any property or lives 
should be lost, for they had sent to inform the Viwa people that the 
attack was to be made, and even helped them to remove all their 
valuables. Viwa is not so large a town as Ambau, but is built on a 
larger island, and affords more conveniences for a port. 

The whole bay of Ambau is well shielded by extensive coral sea- 
reefs. Here the launch and first cutter again left the Peacock, on 
their way to the island of Mbenga, to the westward. 

Captain Hudson, after anchoring, sent Lieutenant Budd to the town 

REWA. Ill 

of Rewa for the purpose of communicating with the king and chiefs, 
and of obtaining the services of Thokanauto (Mr. Philh'ps) as inter- 
preter and pilot. Lieutenant Budd observed much apparent fear among 
the chiefs and people. The king, Kania, on the approach of the boats, 
had gone to hide himself in the outskirts of the town, but Mr. Phillips 
was met on the way coming towards them, and after much hesitation 
determined to accompany Mr. Budd on board the ship. The natives 
appeared to entertain the same fears as their chief. 

Phillips is about thirty years of age, of middle size, active, and well 
made ; he is more intelligent than the natives generally, and his appear- 
ance less savage ; he speaks English tolerably well, though it is not 
difficult to perceive whence he has obtained his knowledge of it by the 
phrases he makes use of It was not a little comical to hear a Feejee 
man talk of " New York highbinders," " Boston dandies," " Baltimore 
mobtowns." On assurances being given to the natives that we were 
their friends, they became more reconciled, and after a time the king, 
Kania, or Tui Ndraketi, was found, and invitations delivered to him to 
pay a visit to the ship. Lieutenant Budd then crossed the river to the 
missionaries' houses, where he saw their wives, and found Mr. Jagger, 
who is one of the mission. The Rev. Mr. Cargill had visited the ship 
shortly after the Peacock anchored ; his canoe was manned by Tonga 
men. He was on his way to a town fifteen miles distant, where the 
chief and a few of the people had just embraced Christianity. He was 
invited to preach on board the next day ; he complied, and delivered 
an excellent discourse. 

On the morning of the 18th, Monday, the king and his brother, 
Ngaraningiou, visited the ship. The king came in a canoe of beautiful 
construction, about forty feet in length, propelled by paddles, which 
the king alone is allowed to use. Ngaraningiou was in a much larger 
canoe, having a large mast and sail, and the chief's pennant flying 
from the yard, but sculls were used. 

Captain Hudson now despatched Lieutenant Budd and Passed 
Midshipman Davis, with two boats, up the river. Mr. Peale, one of 
the naturalists, went with this expedition, and Mr. Phillips's services 
were engaged to accompany and protect the boats in the exploration 
of the river. 

The ship had been prepared for the king's visit; he was received 
with due ceremony, and was led aft, and seated on the quarter-deck. 
Tui Ndraketi is about forty years of age, and is a tall, fine-looking 
man, with a manly expression of countenance, and much dignity. His 
intellect is not as quick as that of his brother, Mr. Phillips ; and his 

] 12 R E W A. 

manner was cold and repulsive. He was without any attendants of 
high rank. Ngaraningiou shortly afterwards made his appearance, 
accompanied by six chiefs, and a retinue of thirty or forty men, form- 
ing a singular contrast to the unassuming appearance of the suite of 
the king. Another of the party was a chief of high rank, called Vuni- 
valu, " Root of war :" he is a descendant of the royal family that were 
dethroned by Kania. His position gives him great influence, and, in 
case of war, the operations are confided to him. This chief bears, 
among the foreigners, the title of governor. 

Ngaraningiou is equally tall with his eldest brother, the king, and 
better and more gracefully formed. He may be considered a good 
specimen of a Feejee man of high rank and fashion ; indeed, his de- 
portment struck the officers as quite distinguished : he has, withal, 
the appearance of a roue, and his conduct does not belie the indications, 
and he is considered by all, both natives and white residents, as a dan- 
gerous man. The young chiefs who were his companions, resembled 
him in character and manners. They were all shown over the ship, 
and every thing exhibited that it was thought could interest them ; the 
small-arm men were exercised, the only music on board, the drum and 
fife, were played. These, together with the firing off the gims, shotted, 
did not fail to draw forth their usual expressions of wonder and sur- 
prise, " whoo-oo !" the same that was uttered by Tanoa's party, on 
board the Vincennes. After partaking of some refreshments with 
Captain Hudson, the rules and regulations, similar to those subscribed 
by Tanoa, were carefully interpreted to them by Mr. Cargill, and 
willingly subscribed by the king and chiefs, with the strongest 
assurances, on their part, that they should be carried into effect, and 
most strictly observed. Suitable presents were then distributed to the 
king and chiefs, and they left the ship, apparently highly delighted 
with their visit. 

The surveying operations were now prosecuted, and the naturalists, 
with as many officers as could be spared, visited Rewa. Captain 
Hudson describes the passage up to Rewa as tortuous and difficult, 
even for a boat, on account of the many sand-banks and shoals. 
Several of the gentlemen embarked with Mr. Cargill in his canoe, 
which had a high platform, underneath which was a sort of cuddy, 
with seats. It was a tolerably comfortable conveyance in fine weather ; 
but it was their misfortune to experience a heavy rain, and all were 
well wetted. The wind being contrary, they were obhged to scull 
the whole distance, and they describe the canoe as having an uncom- 
fortable rocking motion. 

REWA. 113 

Captain Hudson visited the missionaries, and found them most mise- 
rably accommodated, in a small rickety house on the left bank of the 
river, opposite the town of Rewa, the dwelling-house that they had 
occupied having been blown down in the tremendous storm* which 
happened on the 25th of February, 1840. 

After Captain Hudson had spent some time with the missionaries, 
m}'' messenger, Paddy Connel, made his appearance and delivered him 
my letters. Paddy had a very awkward mishap in rounding Kamba 
Point, for his canoe had capsized, and he had. been obliged to swim 
for his life. He had thought, as he saidj that some ill luck would 
overtake him, and had, therefore, tied my letter in the handkerchief on 
his head. By this means he kept it dry, and he believed the impor- 
tant paper, as he called it, had kept him from drowning. 

Although it had rained hard, Captain Hudson resolved to fulfil his 
promise to the king, of showing him some fire-works, and the gunner 
had been ordered up with rockets, fire-works, &c., for that purpose. 
He, therefore, proceeded across the river to the king's house, where 
he found a large collection of natives. The house is large, and in 
shape not unlike a Dutch barn : it is sixty feet in length and thirty in 
width ; the eaves were six feet from the ground^ and along each side 
there were three large posts, two feet in diameter and six feet high, set 
firmly into the ground ; on these were laid the horizontal beams and 
plates to receive the lower ends of the rafters ; the rafters rise to a 
ridge-pole, thirty feet from the ground, which is supported by three 
posts in the centre of the building ; they were of uniform size, about 
three inches in diameter, and eighteen inches apart. The usual thick 
thatch was in this case very neatly made. The sides of the house 
were of small upright reeds, set closely together. All the fastenings 
were of sennit, made from the husk of the cocoa-nut. Some attempts 
at ornament were observed, the door-posts being covered with reeds 
wound around with sennit^ which had a pl-etty effect. There are two 
doorways, one on each side : these are only about three feet in height, 
and are closed by hanging mats* At the inside of the principal door 
are two small cannons, pointed across it, which, in the eyes of the 
king, give it a formidable appearance. A sort of dais was raised at 
one end, a few inches; this was covered with mats for the king and his 
wives, while at the other end mats were laid for his attendants ; above 
was a shelf for his propei'ty, or riches^ consisting of mats, tapa, 
earthenware, spears, and clubs. On one side of the house, as is usual 

* This storm appears fo havfe been coihcicFent with, if not part ofj the gale that occurred 
at New Zealand on the 1st of March.- 

VOL. HI. K2 15 

114 REWA. 

among the Feejeeans, the cooking-place is excavated, a foot deep and 
about eight feet square; this was furnished with three large earthen 
pots, of native manufacture, and two huge iron kettles, obtained from 
some whaling-ship, such as are used for trying out oil. These were 
crammed with food. 

Some of our gentlemen entered a short time previous to Captain 
Hudson's arrival, and found the king taking a meal, with his principal 
wife beside him stretched out on a mat. All those around him were 
sitting after the manner of the natives, for none presume to stand or lie 
down in the presence of the king. When he had finished eating and 
pushed the food from him, a general clapping of hands took place, 
after which water was brought, and the cup held to his mouth until he 
nad done drinking, when clapping of hands again ensued. This was 
repeated whenever the king finished doing any thing — a piece of 
etiquette always observed with great strictness. 

On state occasions this ceremony is carried much farther : the 
king's food at such times is passed around a large circle, until it 
reaches his principal wife, who feeds him with her hands. Many ot 
the chiefs always require the ava-cup to be held to their mouths. 
Notwithstanding all this ceremony, the chiefs, and the people sitting 
around them, join familiarly in the conversation, and appear otherwise 
perfectly at their ease. 

The king at once ordered provisions for his guests, for whom seats 
were provided on a sea-chest. The principal article of food was the 
salt beef he had received as a present from the ship, and which he 
named bula-ma-kau. The origin of this name is not a little singular, 
and is due to our countryman, Captain Eagleston, who has been for 
several years trading among this group. Wishing to confer a benefit 
on these natives, he took on board a bull and cow at Tahiti, and 
brought them to Rewa, where he presented them to the king. On 
being asked the name of them, he said they were called " bull and 
cow," which words the natives at once adopted as a single term to 
designate both, and thenceforward these animals have been known as 
bula-ma-kau. The beef was found to be more savoury than on board 
ship, perhaps from being twice boiled. The king was asked to join 
them, which he did, although he had just finished a hearty meal. After 
the meal was over, a small earthen finger-bowl was brought to the 
king to wash his hands, and as the attendant did not seem to be pre- 
pared to extend the like courtesy to our gentlemen, a desire for a 
similar utensil was expressed and complied with, although apparently 
with some reluctance. In like manner, when the jar of water was 
brought to the king, one of the party seized upon it and drank, and the 

REWA. 115 

rest followed suit, to the evident distress of the attendant. It was 
afterwards understood that his anxiety arose from the vessel being 
tabooed, as every thing belonging or appropriated to the use of the 
king is. The Papalangi chiefs are exempted from these restrictions. 

When the meal was finished, the whole company seated themselves 
in a semicircle. The house was now converted into an audience-hall, 
and the officers and stewards of the king entered to render their report 
of the day respecting the management of his business. A chief had 
just arrived to pay his respects to the king, and was dressed in a piece 
of new tapa, which was wrapped around his body in numerous folds. 
When he had seated himself, he unrolled it, and tore it into strips of 
three fathoms in length, which he distributed to the chiefs around him, 
who immediately substituted it for their own dresses. This chief was 
the messenger announcing a tribute from Kantavu, and he had come 
to receive the commands of the king relative to its presentation, which 
was fixed upon to take place the next day. 

Ava was chewing when Captain Hudson and his party entered. 
They were kindly received by the king, who seated them near him. 
There is a peculiar ceremony observed among this people in mixing 
their ava. It having been first chewed by several young persons, on 
the pouring in of the water, they all, following the ambati, raise a 
kind of howl, and say " Ai sevu." The people present were arranged 
in a semicircle, having the chief operator in the centre, with an im- 
mense wooden bowl before him. The latter, immediately after the 
water is poured in, begins to strain the liquid through the woody fibres 
of the vau, and at the same time sings. He is accompanied in his 
song by those present, who likewise imitate all his motions with the 
upper part of their bodies while in a sitting posture. The motions 
keep time to the song. The king joined occasionally in the song ; and 
when any important stage of the operation was arrived at, the song 
ceased, and a clapping of hands ensued. As each cup was filled to be 
served out, the ambati sitting near uttered the same wild howl as 
before. The first cup is filled from another, that answers both for 
dipper and funnel, having a hole in it, over which he who brew^s the 
ava places his finger when dipping, and then withdrawing it, lets the 
liquid run out in a 'stream. They are very particular to see that no 
one touches the king's cup except the cupbearer. 

On the present occasion, a worthless Englishman by the name of 
James Housman, called Jim or Jimmy, officiated. Few would have 
distinguished him from a native, so closely was he assimilated to them 
in ideas and feelings, as well as in his crouching before the chiefs, his 
mode of sitting, and slovenly walk. On the king's finishing drinking. 

]1G REWA. 

there was a general clapping of hands; but when the lower order of 
chiefs were served, this was not observed, and in lieu of it, there was 
a general exclamation of " Sa madaa," (it is empty.) After ava the 
king rinses his mouth, lights his cigar or pipe, and lolls on his mat. 
It was laughable to see the king's barber take his ava ; as he is not 
allowed to touch any thing with his hands, it becomes necessary 
that the cup shall be held for him by another person, who also feeds 
him. One of the officers gave him a cigar, which was lighted and 
put in his mouth, and when he wished to remove it, he did it in a very 
ingenious manner by twisting a small twig around it. 

The king made many inquiries, spoke of his riches, his patent rifle, 
and the feast he intended to give; but he wanted a double-barrelled 
gun. He likewise spoke of being desirous of sending his two little 
girls (the only children he has) to the missionary school, but their 
attendants (they have male nurses) were such thieves they would 
steal every thing they could lay their hands on from the missionaries, 
and in this way would give him a great deal of trouble. Captain 
Hudson induced him to promise to build the missionaries comfortable 
houses, as soon as the weather became good and he had received his 
tribute from Kantavu. He spoke kindly of the missionaries, and 
seemed well satisfied that their object was to do himself and his people 
good. The king ordered his household to chaunt a kind of song, for 
the amusement of his guests, the subject of which was the adventures 
of a chief on a voyage, after leaving his wife, and her resolution to 
destroy herself in consequence of his failing to return. 

About nine o'clock the fireworks were exhibited. When the first 
rocket was sent off, the natives exhibited fear and excitement; the 
king seized Captain Hudson by the hand and trembled like a leaf. 
When the rockets burst, and displayed their many stars, they all 
seemed electrified. The effect produced by the blue-lights on the dark 
groups of naked figures, amazed and bewildered as they were, was 
quite striking, particularly as the spectacle was accompanied by the 
uncouth sounds of many conchs, and by the yell of the savages, to 
drive away the spirits they supposed to be let loose and flying in the 
air. Paddy Connel, alias Berry, told them that nothing but the un- 
willingness we had to do them injury prevented us from sending them 
to Ambau, ten miles distant, and he said there was no doubt that they 
believed that it could be done. This exhibition excited the wonder and 
amazement of all the country round, and induced them to believe that 
these flying spirits were collected for the destruction of Rewa, and that 
they themselves would be the next to suffer. 

After the fireworks they all retired. Captain Hudson taking up his 

REWA. 117 

abode with the king, and continuing to tall<^ with him until a late hour. 
When they retired to their sleeping apartments, he found his place of 
rest was divided by tapa-cloths and screens from the rest of the apart- 
ments of the house, and well furnished with musquito-netting. Ere he 
got to sleep, he was surprised to find his musquito-net moving, and still 
more so when he saw the figure of a woman, one of the king's own 
wives, of whom he has a large number, endeavouring to become his 
bedfellow. This was to him an unexpected adventure, and an honour 
of which he was not ambitious. He therefore called loudly for Paddy 
Connel and Jimmy, the king's body-servant and cup-bearer, and through 
them very politely declined the honour ; but the lady positively refused 
to go away, saying that she had been sent by the king, and must sleep 
there ; that she durst not go away, for the king would cliLh her ! She 
was told that she must go, that the matter would be arranged with the 
kinor in the morning^, and she need have no fears about it. She then 
left the musquito-net, although with evident alarm as to the conse- 
quences, and would go no further. Seeing this. Captain Hudson sent 
Jimmy to the king, to say he did not wish a bedfellow ; to which the 
monarch replied it vv'as well, and directed the woman to withdraw, 
which she did as soon as satisfied that it was the king's command. 
This circumstance, together with the continued trampling of the mice, 
with which the palace is overrun, drove away any thing like sleep; 
and Captain Hudson, in self-defence, was obliged to pass the remainder 
of the night with Paddy and Jimmy over the fire. 

As soon as the day dawned, his majesty, who is an early riser, called 
for his ava, and her majesty called out lustily for Jimmy to light a 
cigar and bring it to her in bed, for she is as fond of cigars as her royal 
spouse. After the king had drunk his ava and smoked his cigar, they 
had breakfast of baked pig, taro, and yams. The repast was spread 
upon a mat; after which Captain Hudson, accompanied by the king 
and Paddy Connel, crossed the river, to the missionaries, where they 
partook of a second breakfast, the king behaving himself with great 
decorum at the table ; and Paddy, too, took his second lunch behind 
the door, with great enjoyment. The king renewed his promises to 
build their houses, as soon as the weather became fine, and said that 
then he would not leave them until they were finished. This engage- 
ment, I am happy to say, he fully performed. After breakfast, they 
again crossed the river to Rewa, and, the weather having cleared up, 
the town presented an entirely different appearance. The scenery 
around Rewa is fine. There are in its neighbourhood many creeks, 
not unlike narrow canals, bordered on each side with rich and beau- 
tiful vegetation, resembling that of Oriental regions. Dr. Pickering 

118 REWA. 

and Mr. Rich threaded many miles of these creeks, in the canoe of 
Mr. Cargill, who was kind enough to loan it to them. During this 
excursion they landed and went to a village, where they saw a well- 
planned ball-alley, kept in good order, level and clean, Taro and 
sugar-cane were found to be extensively cultivated. After wading 
across several creeks, they finally reached an uncleared wood, consist- 
ing of large trees of Inocarpus, Barringtonia, and Uvaria, with Palms 
and Pandanus, resembling the vegetation of Ovolau. The country 
appeared very wet, and was full of mud-holes and small creeks, which 
rendered walking irksome. They returned to Rewa by dark, and 
the next day proceeded in another direction, when a Feejee dandy 
offered to be their guide, and was extremely attentive to them through- 
out their excursion. He refused all compensation, until a little girl, 
who was near, seeing a jews-harp, requested to have it. He then 
accepted it, and gave it to her. This act, together with his civil and 
attentive behaviour, produced a favourable impression upon them. 

The town of Rewa, though in a low situation, has a picturesque 
though singular appearance. It extends about a mile along the river, 
and contains from five to six hundred houses of all sizes, from the 
lofty mbures with their pointed roofs, and the barn-like edifices of the 
chiefs, to the rickety shantees of the kai-sis, and the diminutive yam- 
houses, perched on four posts, to protect the yams from the depredations 
of the rats. It is every where intersected by narrow lanes, closely shut 
in with high reed fences. 

The party visited the most conspicuous houses of the place. The 
first which they saw was the mbure, situated on the spot where the 
king's father was murdered ; the mound on which it is built is an 


artificial one, ten feet high. The mbure is about twelve feet square, 
and its sides or walls only four feet high ; while its high-pitched roof 
rises to the height of about thirty feet. The walls and roof of the 

REWA. 110 

mbure are constructed of canes about the size of a finger, and each 
one is wound round with sennit as thick as a cod-line, made from the 
cocoa-nut husk. At a little distance, the whole house looked as though 
it was built of braided cord, and presented a singular and curious 
appearance, creating a favourable idea of the skill as well as labour 
expended in its construction. 

There are others of small dimensions, of which the wood-cut on the 
preceding page, will give an idea. These are generally used as the 
depositories of the chiefs or persons of note. 

The next building visited was that of the king's women. This is 
one hundred and eighty feet in length, twenly-four feet wide, and thirty 
ieet high. Here were a number of women engaged in making mats, 
tapa, and baskets. They were gay and merry, though busily engaged 
at their work. 

Another large spirit-house was next visited, in which the moun- 
taineers congregate ; and on their exit from it they saw a bull near 
the door, which the natives, in essaying to follow the party, had to 
encounter. It was not a little amusing to see them spitting at the 
beast to drive him off. 

Ngaraningiou's dwelling was then visited. This is considered the 
most elegant house in the Feejees. It is very elaborately ornamented 
with sennit and braid. Order and decorum reign throughout, for 
Ngaraningiou is extremely dignified and reserved in his domicile, and 
is reputed to be somewhat of a tyrant. He will not suffer any of the 
natives to approach and gaze in at his doors, which is a common 
practice with them ; and when, on one occasion, a stranger took the 
liberty to peep in at his door, he is said to have asked him if his head 
was made of iron that he dared thus to presume. 

Thokanauto's house was occupied by several of our gentlemen 
during their stay. It is quite a large establishment, and was one of 
the noisiest that can well be imagined ; for Phillips himself being absent 
with the boats, his wife did not possess the requisite authority to main- 
tain order. On the first night of their lodging there, about fifty persons, 
men, women, and children, were collected, feasting, drinking ava, and 
maintaining a prodigious racket. They were apparently engaged in 
detailing and discussing the events that had taken place on board ship, 
and the narrative was constantly interrupted by jokes, laughter, ex- 
pressions of astonishment, and arguments leading to sharp words, until 
the shrill voice of the young mistress of the mansion was heard in 
earnest expostulation. The eloquence of Phillips's orator, and his many 
barbers, was not to be so easily repressed ; and, after a few moments' 
silence, an altercation arose, that gradually grew into a quarrel and 


R E W A. 

terminated in a furious figiit, in which one of the combatants was 
thrown against the musquito-bar serving as a screen to our gentlemen, 
breaking down one end of it. They now sought their arms, and placed 
themselves on their guard for self-protection, not knowing what Feejee 
ferocity and treachery might bring about. The hostess at last inter- 
fered with some effect, and put down the commotion, and the house 
was quieted for the night, excepting the rats and mice, which during 
the nocturnal hours took full possession. Little can one imagine the 
noise of these rat races ; Whittington's cat, here, would indeed be 
worth her golden price. 

Mr. Agate made good use of his short stay at Rewa. While wan- 
dering about, he was met by a priest, who came to him and signified 
by signs he wished him to sketch something, and at the same time 
pointing to a house. Mr. Agate followed him in. There were a large 
number of retainers present, and shortly after his entrance a man was 
aroused from his mat, who said he wished his likeness taken. His 
head v/as dressed in the most elaborate and extravagant fashion oi 
Rewa, and from the number of his retainers he appeared to be a high 
chief. A day or two after he proved to be the notorious Vendovi, 
brother to the king, and the person whom we desired to capture. He 
had his face smeared with oil and lamp-black. 

From his head-dress our gentlemen recognised him as the individual 
who had been their guide in one of the short excursions they had made 
in the neighbourhood, and with whom they had been so much pleased 
when they offered him a reward for his services. 

Mr. Agate also obtained good likenesses of the king and queen. 

R E W A. 121 

Whilst he was employed in sketching these, he witnessed the de- 
livery of their tribute by the people of Kantavu. When the king was 
seated in state, with his principal officers around him, the chiefs of 
Kantavu appeared, each encircled with many folds of tapa and mats. 
After leaving their clubs, &c., near the door, they entered, crouching 
upon their hands and feet, and thus passed round the semicircle to 
their appointed places. Their chief continued to proceed towards the 
king, and when near, presented his majesty with a whale's tooth, 
neatly slung in the manner of a powder-horn. The king, on receiving 
it, answered, " Endina." The chief then retired, and was followed by 
another, who, after disburdening himself of the tapa in which he was 
enveloped, gave place to another, and so on to the last. Each offering 
was acknowledged by the king in the same tone of voice and manner. 
When all had been received, they retired in the same order they had 
entered, and the king took especial care to place the new acquisitions 
among his valuables. This was understood to be the tribute for a year. 

These presents are usually received in the square before the king's 
house, and a dance generally follows. But owing to the heavy rains, 
which had converted, not only this spot, but the whole of Rewa, into 
a mud-puddle, they were deprived of an opportunity of witnessing one 
of these tribute dances ; a deprivation which they much regretted, for 
foreigners seldom have an opportunity of seeing them. 

The expedition under Lieutenant Budd, that went to explore the 
river, had now returned, after having proceeded forty-five miles above 
Rewa, which is ten miles farther than it had been before ascended. 
The party consisted of Lieutenant Budd, Passed Midshipman Davis, 
and Mr. Peale, with two boats. They left the ship at one o'clock, and 
in consequence of rain took refuge in an mbure at the town of Vatia. 
There they found a large quantity of arms, collected by a tax on each 
male, of a spear, club, &c. These being kept in a consecrated place, 
the wounds made by them are considered as always fatal, while the 
same kind of injury by a new or unconsecrated spear would heal. 
They had here an opportunity of seeing the reverence paid to Phillips, 
who is a very high chief Whenever the natives saw him, they in- 
variably dropped on their hams until he passed ; when he spoke to 
them, they clapped the palms of their hands together; and in his 
presence none presumed to walk upright. 

In the village they saw quantities of the cyrenas and lingula shells, 
the tenants of which had been eaten by the inhabitants. They found 
subsequently on their trip, that the former made excellent soup. This 
village is famous for its pottery, and some earthen jars were seen that 
would hold a barrel of water. The clay of which. they are made is 

VOL. 111. L 16 

122 REWA. 

yellow, and is dug out of the banks of the river. The mode of mo- 
delling these vessels is described in another place. The pots are very- 
light, and of many fanciful shapes ; but they are quite fragile. 

They reached Rewa before dark, and took up their lodgings in 
Phillips's house, which is one of the largest in Rewa, and built in the 
same manner as the king's. Screens of ornamented tapa were used 
to divide it into apartments, and the floor was neatly covered with 
mats. The furniture consisted of a hand-organ, table, benches, several 
arm-chests, and a closet. To crown all, the supper-table was laid 
with a cloth, dishes, plates, knives and forks, and they were waited on 
by his white steward (an Italian), who was left here sick by the Cur- 
rency Lass under his charge. He has also a white carpenter. 

The night was passed uncomfortably, in consequence of the many 
noisy natives who assembled to drink ava. The ava-bowl of Phillips 
was three feet in diameter. In drinking the ava, the first cup was 
handed to Phillips, and as there was more in it than he chose to 
drink, the remainder was poured back into the bowl. The ceremony 
of clapping of hands was then performed. Instead, however, of their 
serving out more ava from the bowl, the whole was thrown away, for 
it is the custom that when any is poured back from the chief's cup, 
none must drink from the vessel. More ava was therefore prepared, 
which they sat drinking nearly all night. The usual savage hospitality 
was offered each of them, and they kept their arms and accoutrements 
in readiness. 


The next morning they proceeded up the river, the banks of which 
were from eishl to ten feet above the water, and covered with a thick 

REWA. 123 

growth of reeds. Beyond them are well-cultivated fields of taro, yams, 
and bananas, as before described; all giving evidence of the over- 
flowing of the banks. Islets were continually passed, and many towns 
containing from two or three hundred to a thousand inhabitants. 
Numerous creeks disembogued on both sides. 

The town of Nou Souri was next passed. Here the chief Cornu- 
balavoo sent presents to them — he is the cousin of Phillips — and after- 
wards accompanied them up the river in a canoe. 

About seven miles up from Rewa is a creek leading to Ambau, 
which is passable for canoes at high water. The town of Natacallo 
is here situated, and the first rise of hills takes place. This is one of 
their great battle-grounds, and was, according to Phillips, the scene of 
many of his deeds, which he recounted. 

About a mile above this there is a bar which extends nearly across 
the river. The channel hes close to the hills, which are two hundred 
feet in height. Below this bar the banks of the river are all alluvial. 
There is here an elbow in the river, above which is the town of 
Capavoo, of four hundred inhabitants, which was the scene of one of 
the bloody attacks of the Ambau people under the notorious Charley 
Savage. It is said that he was afterwards killed near Mbua or 
Sandalwood Bay, and so great was the enmity of the natives towards 
him, that he was not only eaten, but his bones were ground to powder 
and drunk in their ava. Phillips mentioned that a daughter of this 
notorious villain is now married to one of the king's brothers, at Rewa. 
Stopping in the evening for the men's supper, they saw many fine 
shaddock trees in full fruit along the banks, and Mr. Peale shot a 
beautiful parrot, with very gay blue and red plumage ; he also obtained 
two ducks. Phillips says the low islands have been formed in the 
river by the frequent floods from the mountains, " since he has had 
whishersJ^ His age is supposed to be thirty-five years. 

The native houses hereabouts are constructed with a solid basement 
surrounded with piles, to prevent their being washed away on the 
occurrence of the floods. 

At night they stopped at the town of Coronganga, about eighteen 
miles above the mouth of the river. " Here they took possession of the 
mbure, and with the assistance of Mr. Phillips's white steward, they 
made themselves quite comfortable. The same deference and respect 
were paid Phillips here as they had before observed; but, notwith- 
standing this, Lieutenant Budd and party took every precaution to 
prevent surprise, to convince the natives that their watchfulness was 
never asleep. 

The banks showed a rise and fall of the water during the night. It 



was full tide about eleven o'clock at night; according to Phillips, the 
tide flowed some miles above this place. The current of the river was 
found by the boats to be about a mile and a half the hour. 

Having passed a comfortable night, (more by reason of their own 
fatigue than the comforts of the mbure,) notwithstanding the musqui- 
toes and bats, which were both very numerous, they left the town of 
Coronganga at an early hour in the morning. The best possible under- 
standing existed between themselves and the natives, and they distri- 
buted presents to the chiefs, for which the latter expressed many thanks. 

Shortly after leaving Coronganga, they passed the town of Nacundi, 
containing about six hundred inhabitants. The scenery here was 
beautiful, being embellished by many clumps of noble trees, resembling 
our oaks in their wide-spreading branches, covered with vines, and 
interspersed with ferns and tall graceful palms. The banks were here 
twelve feet high, and steep. From appearance the country is thickly 
populated, notwithstanding the destructive wars which have been 

R E W A. 125 

waged with the people of Ambau. All the inhabitants were observed 
to be clustered in the villages, for the purpose of mutual protection ; 
and the same reason causes them to choose as their sites for building 
either some inaccessible point, or a place that affords facility for forti- 

Five miles above Coronganga, the country changes its character ; 
the river passes by cliffs of sandstone five hundred feet in height, 
whose stratification dips ten degrees to the eastward. Ranges of 
hills now rear themselves to a goodly height, and extend some miles 
back into the interior. 

They next passed the town of Naitasiri, where one of the brothers 
of Phillips, called Savou, is chief. Naitasiri is the capital of this 
district, and is next in power to Rewa, on the island of Vitilevu. 
Phillips was not disposed to land here ; for a misunderstanding had 
occurred between him and his brother, in consequence of Savou 
having taken charge, for Phillips, of some two hundred hogs, of 
which, when demanded after a short time, only ten or fifteen were to 
be found, Savou having either eaten or given away the remainder. 
Cornubalavoo went on shore in his canoe, and took Savou on board, 
who spoke as he passed Phillips, but the latter would not condescend 
to return his salutation. 

As they passed further up the river, they were preceded by Savou, 
and when opposite the town of Tavu-tavu, a canoe came off with a 
present of baked taro and yams, from Savou to Phillips and Lieu- 
tenant Budd. This was considered as a peace-offering, and appeared 
to be acceptable, at least to the vanity of Phillips. 

In the vicinity of this village there was much sugar-cane growing. 
Just above it is an elbow in the river, the point formed by which was 
that reached by Captain Bethune, of H. B. M. sloop of war Conway. 
This Lieutenant Budd called Bethune's Point. They shortly after- 
wards passed the small town of Viti, opposite to which is a cliff four 
hundred feet in height, overgrown with shrubbery ; and near this many 
streamlets enter the river. Just after passing this place, the guides 
pointed out a creek that led to Ambau. The country appeared here 
more thickly peopled than that below ; many more natives were seen, 
and the whole surface was well cultivated. There was great astonish- 
ment evinced at the appearance of our boats, and it is believed our 
people were the first whites who had been thus far in the interior. 

The mountain district was reached at thirty-six miles from the 
mouth of the river, and the ridges were from twelve to fifteen hundred 
feet high. The Wailevu, which I have named Peale's river, here 
makes a turn to the westward of four miles, to a point where it divides 


126 R E W A. 

into two branches. That on which they were, comes from the moun- 
tains direct, while the other, taking a course to the south, is said to 
disembogue at the town of Indimbi, on the south shore, about ten 
miles to the westward of the harbour of Rewa, and opposite to the 
island of Mbenga. Having reached the mountains, they could pro- 
ceed no further in the boats, and began to retrace their route. Near 
the place where they turned back, there was a remarkable waterfall 
of several hundred feet leap. 

The natives state that this river flows from a large lake in the centre 
of Vitilevu, and that, by ascending the heights above Ragi-ragi, the 
water may be seen.* 

On their return they were again presented by Savou with a load 
of cooked provisions, and a fine red-striped variety of sugar-cane. 
Savou seemed to be very desirous of mollifying Phillips's anger. 
They were well drenched with rain all the afternoon, and reached 
their old quarters at Coronganga just at dark. They had a disagree- 
able night. The next morning they set out early, and reached Rewa 
in the afternoon, without accident. Their royal guide presented every 
one of the party with something as a token of remembrance, even to 
each of the boat's crew. 

Phillips returned on board ship with them, where a handsome present 
awaited him, for his good and hospitable conduct. 

The number of inhabitants comprised in the towns and villages on 
this river is, from the computation given by Phillips, about six or seven 

The party having now returned, all the officers were ordered on 

Captain Hudson's next step was to endeavour to capture Vendovi. 
From information he obtained, it was believed that this chief intended 
to visit the ship the next day, to receive the presents which, as was 
given out, awaited his coming. Captain Hudson would then have 
had an opportunity to detain him without any difficulty or disturb- 
ance whatever. They all, therefore, left Rewa for the ship, and on 
the way down the river, stopped at the small village of Vatia to pur- 
chase some earthenware ; this is a village of potters. They were at 
once surrounded by several hundreds of the inhabitants, all pressing 
their wares on them, of which they bought several specimens, but not 
enough to satisfy the venders, who, when they found that the officers 
did not intend to purchase more, hooted and shouted many offensive 
epithets, that only became known through the interpreter's report. 

* This I very much doubt, as fron the topography of the island it does not seem probable. 


(g)W3i3iM ®rf m.mwM..., 

R E W A. 127 

At an early hour on the 21st, the king and queen, one of their chil- 
dren, and Ngaraningiou, together with the son of Vunivalu, came on 
board. As Mr. PhilUps was already there, all the royal family, except- 
ing Vendovi, were, by their own act, within our power, and it was 
said he was also to come in the afternoon. There was an evident 
constraint in the manner of the visiters, which was apparent from their 
not expressing the usual astonishment at every thing they saw. Theii 
little daughter, of five or six years of age, had a sprightly countenance, 
and, as is usual, her head was enveloped in twisted locks. One of the 
officers presented her with a sash, which he tied on, and the bystanders 
were much amused to see the queen rearranging it after the Feejee 

The queen was observed to have paid more attention than is usual 
to the decency of her dress, being enveloped in the pareu, after the 
Tonga fashion. She is a fine-looking woman, with an intelligent coun- 
tenance. The king wore his maro, accompanied with the seavo, which 
is the name they give to the long trains of tapa attached to it, that are 
worn by chiefs to denote their rank. The seavo of the king trailed 
several feet on the ground. 

The person who attracted the most attention was Ngaraningiou, with 
nis attendant chiefs. In truth, he came in fine style, moving towards 
the ship in his beautiful canoe, with its long streamers (denoting the 
rank of the owner) floating in the breeze. When he came on board, it 
was at once seen that he had decked himself specially for the occasion. 
His face was painted red and black, which, if possible, improved his 
appearance as a savage chief. He was, by far, the finest-looking 
person among the whole assembled group. His hair was frizzled out 
with great care ; around his neck he wore a necklace of shells, with 
armlets of the trochus ; and his thighs were encircled with a black 
cord. The usual seavo was worn by him, and over it a flounce of 
black fringe, which added much to the effect of the whole, and gave 
him the look of being partly dressed. Every exertion being made to 
entertain them, the constraint they were under was soon dissipated, 
and never did people seem to enjoy themselves more. 

It was hoped by Captain Hudson, until afternoon, that Vendovi 
would make his appearance ; but four o'clock came, and no chief. 
Captain Hudson then concluded that he was not coming, and that it 
would be impossible to take him, unless by force. He therefore deter- 
mined to try the expedient of retaining those he had on board until 
Vendovi should be forthcoming. He ordered the drums to beat to 
quarters, and placed a sentinel at the cabin-door, ordering at the same 

128 REWA. 

time that all their canoes should be retained alongside. The king and 
chiefs were immediately informed, through the interpreter, that they 
were prisoners, and that the object was to obtain Vendovi, the mur- 
derer of the crew of the Charles Doggett, some eight years before. It 
may readily be imagined that this announcement threw them all into 
great consternation, while it was, at the same time, a matter of surprise 
to all the officers of the ship. The poor queen was apparently the 
most alarmed, and anxiously inquired of Phillips if they were all to be 
put to death. Phillips was equally frightened with the rest, and it was 
observed that his nerves were so much affected for some time after- 
wards that he was unable to light a cigar that was given him, and 
could not speak distinctly. Captain Hudson reminded them, that 
they had visited the ship of their own accord, and without any pro- 
mise of safeguard from him ; that his object was to obtain Vendovi, 
and that all hopes of obtaining him without this decisive measure 
had failed ; that he meant them no harm, but it was his intention to 
detain them until Vendovi was brought off. The canoes were Uke- 
wise secured, and orders given to allow none to leave the ship. The 
whole party thus made prisoners consisted of seventy or eighty 

The king and chiefs, when they had recovered themselves a little, 
acknowledged that our demand was a just one ; that Vendovi deserved 
to be punished ; that he was a dangerous character among themselves ; 
and that they would be glad to see him removed. At the same time, 
they said they thought the capture of Vendovi impossible, and gave 
many reasons for this opinion. They expressed great fears for the 
missionaries and their families, when the people of Rewa should hear 
of their detention. Captain Hudson had assured himself previously 
of the perfect safety of the missionaries and their families, and well 
knew that this was a ruse on the part of the king to induce him to 
change his purpose. 

They soon found him fully determined in his purpose. It was 
shortly arranged that, with his permission, Ngaraningiou and another 
chief should go quietly to Rewa, take Vendovi by surprise, before he 
had time to escape, and bring him on board alive if possible. In order 
to insure protection to the missionaries and their establishments, they 
were particularly told that the missionaries had nothing to do with the 
business, and did not know of it, as was evident from Mr. Jagger 
having returned to Rewa before they were detained, and that every 
influence must be exerted to protect them from harm, or the prisoners 
might expect the most exemplary punishment. 

R E W A. 129 

The selection of Ngaraningiou as the emissary to capture the mur- 
derer was well-timed, as Vendovi had always been his rival, and the 
temptation to get rid of so powerful an adversary was an opportunity 
not to be lost by a Feejee man, although that adversary was a brother. 
He was soon under way in his double canoe, which, with its enormous 
sail spread to a strong breeze, was speedily out of sight. 

The king, at Captain Hudson's request, informed his people that 
none must attempt to leave the ship, or they would be fired at; that 
they must remain on board until further orders ; and that, in the mean 
time, they would be supplied with food. One attempt was made by a 
small canoe to leave the ship, but on seeing the preparations for firing 
at it, the persons in it quickly returned. 

After the departure of Ngaraningiou the king, queen, and chiefs, 
became more reconciled to their position. They talked much about 
Vendovi and the murder he had committed on the crevi? of the Charles 
Doggett, and said that he had also killed his eldest brother. 

The king, during the evening, spoke much of his being a friend to 
the white men, asserted that he had always been so, and adduced, as 
an instance of it, his conduct in the case of the Currency Lass, an 
English trading schooner, of Sydney, New South Wales. He said 
that this vessel, in going out of the harbour, had got on shore near the 
anchorage ; that his people had assembled round about her for plunder, 
but that he went on board himself, and kept all his subjects off that 
were not required to assist. He told Captain Wilson and the owner, 
Mr. Houghton, who was on board, that if she got off he should expect 
a present, which they readily consented to give; but if she broke, and 
got water in her hold, the vessel and property must be his. This, he 
said, they also agreed to. His people, wishing her to go to pieces, 
made several attempts to remove the anchors, but he stopped them, 
and drove them away; and the only thing he did, with the hope of 
getting the vessel himself, while he was assisting the captain to get 
her off", was to send up some of his chiefs to Rewa, to give a present 
to the ambati, at the mbure, to oflfer up prayers to the Great Spirit, 
that he would cause her to get water in. Something went wrong 
with the spirit, and the vessel got clear. The only thing the owner 
gave him was a whale's tooth and a small looking-glass ! 

When the evening set in, the natives (kai-sis) were all brought on 
board for the night, and placed forward on the gun-deck. Here they 
were supplied with plenty of hard bread and molasses, which they 
enjoyed exceedingly, and afterwards performed several dances. The 
performers arranged themselves in two ranks, and went through 

VOL. III. 17 

130 R E W A. 

various movements, with their bodies, heads, arms, and feet, keeping 
time to a song in a high monotonous key, in which the whole joined, 
the ranks occasionally changing places, those in the rear occupying 
the front, and the others retiring behind. 

The inferior chiefs were provided with a sail under the half-deck ; 
the king, queen, and their little daughter, were accommodated by 
Captain Hudson in his cabin. The king having expressed a desire 
to have his evening draught of ava, some of the piper mythisticum, 
from which it is made, was fortunately found among the botanical 
specimens which had been collected, and a large and well-polished 
dish-cover was converted into an ava-bowl. The ava was accordingly 
brewed, and all the usual ceremonies gone through with, even to the 
king's having his own cup-bearer, Jimmy Housman, who was one of 
the party. 

After the ava was over, theatricals were resorted to for the amuse- 
ment of their majesties. This was a business in which many of 
the crew of the Peacock were proficients, having been in the habit of 
amusing themselves in this way. Jim Crow was the first piece, and 
well personated, both in appearance and song, by Oliver, the ship's 
tailor. This representation did not fail to amuse the audience ex- 
ceedingly, and greatly astonished their majesties. Jim Crow's appear- 
ance, on the back of a jackass, was truly comical : the ass was enacted 
by two men in a kneeling posture, with their posteriors in contact ; the 
body of the animal was formed of clothing ; four iron belaying-pins 
served it for feet ; a ship's swab for its tail, and a pair of old shoes for 
its ears, with a blanket as a covering. The walking of the mimic 
quadruped about the deck, with its comical-looking rider, and the 
audience, half civilized, half savage, gave the whole scene a very 
remarkable effect. The king confessed that if he had been alone, he 
would be much frightened at the curvetting and braying of the beast 
before him. The queen, on its being explained to her that what she 
saw was only two men, expressed the greatest astonishment in her 
eager, incredulous look. The dance of " Juba" came off well, through 
the exertions of Howard and Shepherd, but the braying ass of Godwin, 
with the Jim Crow of Oliver, will long be remembered by their savage 
as well as civilized spectators. The whole company seemed contented 
and happy; the king had his extra bowl of ava, the queen and chiefs 
their tea and supper; and all enjoyed their cigars, of which they 
smoked a great number. On Captain Hudson expressing to the king 
his hope that the queen had got over her fears, and inquiring if she 
was tired, he replied, " Why should she be troubled 1 is she not with 

R E W A. 131 

me? When I die, must not she die also?" Thereby intimating that 
were he in peril, she would be equally so, whether present or absent. 
The theatricals having been ended, they all retired to rest. 

One could not but perceive the great difference between the Tongese 
and Feejees who passed the night on board. The former are generally 
Christians, or missionaries' people; they were orderly and respectable, 
and before going to rest, quietly and very devoutly met and had their 
evening prayer; which, contrasted with the conduct of the others, had 
a pleasing effect. 

Mr. Phillips, in recompense for his attention to Lieutenant Budd and 
Mr. Peale, was well provided for by the officers ; and, at various times, 
imparted information respecting the history of Rewa, his own family, 
and others, that may be looked upon as quite authentic ; and I have 
little doubt that it will prove interesting to the reader. 

By the aid of the whites, Tambiavalu, father of Kania, was esta- 
blished as king, upon the dethronement of the reigning family, of 
whom Vunivalu, the governor, is a descendant. Rewa at this time 
was of little consequence, comprising only the small town of Ndraketi, 
from which the king now derives his title. 

Tambiavalu governed with great firmness and wisdom. During 
his reign, all criminals met with exemplary punishment. According 
to the Feejee custom, he had many wives, the chief among whom was 
a descendant of the family of Mbatitombi, who reigned at Ambau 
before Bamiva, the father of Tanoa, succeeded in gaining the kingdom. 
Although considered the queen, and holding the title of Ramdini- 
Ndraketi, she was not the highest in rank. There was also among the 
wives of Tambiavalu a sister of Tanoa, named Salaiwai, who was 
younger, and in consequence had not the station to which her rank 
entitled her to. 

Phillips gives Tambiavalu the credit of having had a hundred chil- 
dren by his numerous wives and concubines, a statement of which 
those best acquainted with Feejee history do not doubt the correctness. 
Of this large progeny, the children by the two above mentioned 
females are alone entitled to any rank. By the queen, Ramdini- 
Ndraketi, he had four sons, named Madonovi, Kania, Valivuaka, and 
Ngaraningiou. By Salaiwai, he had only two, Seru and Thokanauto 
(Mr. Phillips). Of the six, Kania, Ngaraningiou, and Thokanauto are 
still living. 

Tambiavalu had a long and prosperous reign, and under him Rewa 
assumed a rank among the chief cities of the Feejees, having acquired 
much territory, and among the rest, the island of Kantavu. His eldest 
son, Koraitaraano, was the child of a Kantavu woman of rank ; he 

132 REWA. 

was, in consequence, a vasu of the most important possessions oi 
Rewa, and had many connexions and friends throughout the counti'y; 
he had so ingratiated himself with the chiefs and people, that he could 
have made himself king on the death of his father. Ramdini-Ndrakeli, 
the queen, who is represented as a most artful as well as unscrupulous 
woman, was fearful that his popularity might become disadvantageous 
to her children, and she determined to have him removed. She ma- 
naged to instil into the king's mind suspicions that Koraitamano in- 
tended to seize upon the succession, which determined him to put this 
son to death. Koraitamano received a hint of his intentions, and was 
able to evade every attempt. On some occasions he was obliged to 
flee to distant places, once to Ra, the western end of Vitilevu, and 
another time to Mbenga, where he remained until a kind of reconciha- 
tion took place, when he was induced to return. He had not been 
long in Rewa, before the queen recommenced her machinations for his 
destruction, and his father also resumed his designs against him. 

Koraitamano was doubtful whether again to resort to flight or 
remain, when some chiefs who were hostile to the king, represented 
to the young chief that the only method to secure his own safety 
effectually was to put his father to death, assuring him they would 
stand by him in the struggle. By their persuasions he was induced 
to accede to their designs. At night he set fire to a canoe-house, and 
coming into his father's dwelling, he approached the place where he 
was sleeping, and cried out, " Do you lie here asleep when your city 
is burning !" Tambiavalu immediately started up and ran out. Ko- 
raitamano following closely after him, watched an occasion, struck 
him with his club on the back of his head, and killed him on the spot ; 
after which he retired to his own house, trusting to the promises of his 
friends and adherents, that they would protect and defend him. But the 
queen was more than an equal for his cunning, and her hatred caused 
her to go to the greatest lengths in wreaking her vengeance upon 
him. She had the body brought to the house, where, observing that 
the external injury to the head was slight, she conceived the singular 
plan of making the deed of the assassin and his friends recoil upon 
their own heads. She, therefore, at once raised a cry that the body 
showed signs of life, and that her husband was not dead. She then 
had the body conveyed to the farther end of his house, under the plea 
that he required to be removed from the noise ; and no one was suf- 
fered to approach the body but herself and a Tonga woman, who was 
her confidant. She soon spread the report that the king had recovered 
his senses, but was very weak, and called upon several chiefs in the 
king's name, saying that he required the instant death of Koraitamano. 

R E W A. 133 

The chiefs convened a meeting to consider the course that ought to be 
pursued, but could come to no decision, in consequence of the general 
opinion that the conduct of Koraitamano was justifiable; although, on 
the other hand, they feared the wrath of the king, in case he should 
recover, particularly those who had advised and wished to uphold Ko- 
raitamano. The queen becoming aware of their hesitation, on the 
following morning took some whales' teeth and other valuables, and 
presented them herself to the chiefs, saying they were sent by the king 
to purchase the death of his son. Fearing to hold out any longer, 
they went to Koraitamano and announced to him the fatal mandate, 
and he was immediately killed. They then proceeded to the king's 
house to I'eport that the deed was done, and on approaching the couch 
of the king, the putrescent odour which proceeded from the corpse at 
once disclosed to them the deception that had been practised. It was, 
however, too late to amend the matter, and Madonovi, the eldest son 
of the queen, now succeeded his father without opposition. One of 
the first acts of Madonovi was to build an mbure over the spot where 
his father was murdered. His succession deprived Seru and Thoka- 
nauto (Phillips) of their right to the throne, and of course excited their 
hostility to the reigning chief, who was by no means so popular as his 
father, and did not govern to the satisfaction of his subjects. Seru, 
who was the oldest of the two malcontents, was a very tall and re- 
markably handsome man, and had great influence among the people, 
,which excited the jealousy of the king. Such was his strength that it 
is said he could knock down a full-grown hog by a blow on the fore- 
head, and would break a cocoa-nut by striking it on his elbow. 

Mutual words of defiance had passed between the two brothers, and 
they were living in daily expectation of some encounter that would 
bring on serious disturbances. During the height of this feeling, they 
met on the road, where the scene that was enacted was quite remark- 
able, and the narration of it by PhiUips equally so. 

Seru had one of the short missile clubs (ula) in his girdle, which Feejee 
men usually wear stuck in behind. As Madonovi approached, Seru 
placed his back against the fence, without any design. The king had 
three shaddocks (molitivi) in his hand, of which, as he came up to Seru, 
he held one up and called out in sport, that he meant to throw it at 
him. The thought then came into Seru's mind that if the king threw 
and hit him he would let him pass, but that if he missed he would take 
the opportunity to put him to death. He, therefore, replied to his 
brother in the same jocose manner, " Throw, but if you miss, FU try." 
The king threw, but missed. He then drew nearer, and holding up 
another of the shaddocks, cried out, " This time I will hit you." To 

134 REWA. 

which Seru replied, " Take care ; if you miss, then I'll try." The 
king threw again, but Seru, by a quick movement, avoided the missile. 
Madonovi then advanced to within two or three yards of Seru, 
saying, " This time I think I shall hit you." Seru made himself ready 
to avoid it, and with his hands behind him, said, " If you miss, then I 
take my turn." The king threw the third time and missed, for Seru 
stooped, and the shaddock passed over his shoulder. Seru then drew 
himself up, flourished his club in the air, and exclaimed in tones of 
exulting mockery, " Aha, I think you did not see this !" With that he 
hurled his weapon with so deadly an aim that it crushed the skull of 
the king, and killed him on the spot. 

As soon as this event became known, the queen with her other sons 
fled to Ambau, leaving the supreme power in the hands of Seru, who, 
however, did not take the title of Ndraketi, but adopted that of Tui 
Sawau, after the chief town of Mbenga, on which he had made war 
and captm-ed, and by which title he was thenceforth known. He was 
not, however, long left to enjoy his authorit3\ The exiled family made 
several unsuccessful attempts to destroy him, and at last induced Ven- 
dovi, by a large bribe, to undertake his destruction. Vendovi managed 
to get to Rewa unobserved, and looking in at the door of Thokanauto's 
house, saw Tui Sawau lying on his mat eating. He immediately 
levelled his musket and shot him. Four balls passed through his 
breast, but such was the strength of his constitution, that he survived 
for eight days. This occurred in the yoar 1827. 

When it became known at Ambau that this fratricide had been 
committed, the queen and her sons returned to Rewa, and Kania 
assumed the direction of the government, to the exclusion of Thoka- 

The character of Phillips, who calls himself the white man's friend, 
is rather equivocal. He is said while young to have been fed mostly 
on human flesh. When I saw him on board my ship at Levuka, I 
told him I had heard that he liked this food, and I thought that he 
showed much shame at being considered a cannibal by us. His 
youthful practices, which he told as though some credit were due to 
himself for a change in his latter conduct, will tend to show how- 
early these natives employ themselves in inflicting pain on each 
other. One of these was to set a sharp-pointed stick in the ground, 
cover it with earth, and then challenge another boy to jump with 
him. He would then leap in such a manner that the boy on follow- 
ing his example would alight upon the pointed stick, and run it 
through his foot. He is said also to be frequently employed by the 
king as an instrument of his vengeance. The missionaries relate that 

R E W A. 135 

he was once sent to kill a native by the king's order, upon which he 
went to the person's house, and told him that " The king has sent me 
to kill you ;" to which he replied, " It is good only that I should die." 
Phillips struck, but only stunned him, after which he returned, and 
told the king he had not succeeded in killing him. When the man 
recovered, Phillips Vv^as again sent back, and succeeded in giving 
him his deathblow, which he received with the same resignation as 
before. Notwithstanding his bad traits, he is certainly one of the 
most intelligent natives that I have met with in all Polynesia. He 
possesses much information respecting his own people, and would, if 
the king allowed it, be the means of effecting many improvements. 
He has already introduced some into his own establishment, and is 
very desirous of learning, but he unfortunately has not sufficient 
knowledge to distinguish between good and evil. He visits all the 
vessels that touch at this group, and says that he passes most of his 
time on board of them. He produces many recommendations from 
their commanders, which, besides recommending him, give the very 
salutary precaution of always being on their guard while among these 

The prisoners on board the Peacock were early in motion on the 
following morning, looking anxiously for the return of Ngaraningiou; 
and many speculations were thrown out as to whether he would 
succeed in his errand, or connive at the escape of Vendovi. The 
hatred he was known to bear Vendovi, was in favour of his return 
with him, either dead or alive. These surmises were shortly put to 
rest, by the appearance of the large canoe emerging from the mouth 
of the river, which drew all to watch its approach. It soon came 
alongside, and Vendovi was recognised as a prisoner on board. The 
mode of his capture was singular, and shows the force of the customs 
to which all ranks of this people give implicit obedience. Ngaranin- 
giou, on arriving at Rewa, went at once to Vendovi's house, and took 
him by surprise. Going in, he took his seat by him, laid his hand on 
his arm, and told him that he was wanted, and that the king had sent 
for him to go on board the man-of-war. He immediately assented, 
and was preparing to come at once, but Ngaraningiou said, " Not till 
to-morrow." They passed the evening and night together, and in the 
morning embarked to come on board. 

Vendovi was at once brought on board and delivered to Captain 
Hudson, who forthwith examined him before the king and chiefs, and 
in the presence of the officers of the ship, assembled in the cabin. 
Vendovi acknowledged his guilt in causing the murder of part of the 
crew of the Charles Doggett, and admitted that he had held the mate 

136 REWA. 

by the arms while the natives killed him with clubs. Captain Hudson 
now explained why he had thought proper to retain the king and the 
others as prisoners, saying that the course the affair had taken had 
saved them much trouble, and probably fighting, for he would have 
thought it incumbent upon him to burn Rewa, if Vendovi had not been 
taken. The king replied, that Captain Hudson had done right ; that 
he would like to go to America himself, they had all been treated so 
well ; that we were now all good friends, and that he should ever con- 
tinue to be a good friend to all white men. Vendovi was now put in 
irons, and the others were told that the ship would go to Kantavu, to 
punish any other chiefs that had participated in the act, and burn their 
towns. They were assured of our amicable disposition towards them 
so long as they conducted themselves well ; and in order to impress this 
fully upon them, after their own fashion, presents were made them, 
which were received gratefully. 

When the leave-taking came, Phillips appeared the most dejected 
of all. This seemed strange after the part Vendovi had taken in the 
murder of his brother, of one whom he represented as having been 
very kind to him as a protector, and with whom he lived when the 
fatal shot was fired by Vendovi. Phillips expressed himself in this 
way, " That as long as Seru lived he could be saucy, but after his 
death he was all alone, just like a stick." This kind of opposite 
conduct is conformable to the usual policy of this people, and is 
characteristic. Vendovi, at this time, was the only one of his brothers 
who favoured the party of Phillips, and was among his strongest 
adherents. I could mention many other instances of the same incon- 
sistency of conduct on the part of chiefs. 

All the party were now much affected. Kania, the king, seated 
himself on the right side of Vendovi, taking hold of his arm, while 
Navumialu placed himself on the left. Phillips walked up and down 
in front. All shed tears, and sobbed aloud while conversing in broken 
sentences with their brother. The natives shed tears also, and none 
but Ngaraningiou remained unmoved. The king kissed the priso- 
ner's forehead, touched noses, and turned away. The inferior chiefs 
approached and kissed his hands, whilst the common people crawled 
up to him and kissed his feet. One young man who belonged to the 
household of Vendovi, was the last to quit him ; he wished to remain 
with his master, but was not permitted. In bidding farev/ell to the 
chief, he embraced his knees, kissed his hands and feet, and received a 
parting blessing from Vendovi, who placed both his manacled hands 
on his head. The young man then retreated backwards towards the 
ladder, sighing and sobbing as though his heart would break. The last 


REWA. 137 

request the king made to Captain Hudson was, that his own barber, Oahu 
Sam (a Sandwich Islander), might accompany Vendovi. This was 
readily assented to, as he would be a useful man on board ship, having 
sailed in a whaler, and having some knowledge of the English language. 
Mr. Cargill, the missionary, came on board the Peacock shortly 
after the royal party had left her, and informed Captain Hudson, that 
the night before, the chief Vv^ho had been sent for his protection had 
visited him, and said that he should keep guard over him and his 
house, and not suffer any one to cross the river from Rewa. Mr. 
Cargill said there had been no kind of disturbance, the chief having 
remained at his house until the king returned, and he felt much 
indebted to Captain Hudson for the lively interest he had taken in his 
affairs. He did not feel at all apprehensive of danger to themselves, 
and there was no kind of necessity for the detention of the ship on that 
account. At noon Mr. Cargill took his leave. When I saw him, a 
few weeks afterwards, he spoke in very high terms of the conduct of 
Captain Hudson, and the manner in which he had conducted the 
whole business at Rewa. He also told me that the chiefs often spoke 
of it, and were fully sensible that it was just that Vendovi should be 
punished. Mr. Cargill spoke much of the vast benefit that would 
result from our visit, not only to the trading vessels and whites gene- 
rally, but also to the natives, as well as the advantage it would be to 
the missionary cause. 

The surveys of the harbour having been all completed and joined 
with the survey of the river, made by Lieutenant Budd and Passed 
Midshipman Davis, — both of whom deserve much credit for the man- 
ner in which their operations were conducted, not only as regards the 
duties performed, but the care and attention they paid to the party 
entrusted to their charge, — preparations were now made for sailing; 
but, owing to the wind being ahead, they wei-e not able to pass the 
reefs until the morning of the 23d ; in the mean time, Oahu Sam was 
received on board as Vendovi's barber. When they got to sea. Captain 
Hudson again examined Vendovi, before several of the officers, re- 
specting the Kantavu murder, and the part he had himself taken in it. 
He stated, that he was sent by Ngaraningiou to pilot the brig to 
Kantavu, and that a chief of that place, called Thebau, who is now 
dead, was to take the vessel for Ngaraningiou. Thebau was to make 
what he could for himself, and was the leader of the conspiracy to 
murder the crew. Ten of the crew wxre killed, eight of them in the 
biche de mar house, and the mate and boy near the boat. The people 
of the towns of Numbuwallo, Lueti, and Roro, had cut large vines to 
pass under the cable, for the purpose of hauling the vessel on shore 

VOL.. III. M2 18 

138 REWA 

during the night. He also stated that a black man had been roastea 
and eaten by the natives, but that he himself did not partake. Nine 
bodies were given up to Paddy Connel, and were taken on board, 
sewed up in canvass, and sunk alongside. The bodies afterwards 
floated on shore, and were eaten by the natives. His statement, there- 
fore conformed to that of Paddy in all important particulars. 

Vendovi likewise mentioned another act of his, as follows. About 
two years before, the mate of the whale-ship Nimrod, of Sydney, New 
South Wales, landed at Kantavu to purchase provisions. Vendovi 
saw^ some large whales' teeth in possession of the mate, in order to 
obtain which, he made him and the boat's crew prisoners. He then 
told the mate to write to his captain to ransom him and his men, and 
that he must have fifty whales' teeth, four axes, two plates, a case of 
pipes, a bundle of fish-hooks, an iron pot, and a bale of cloth. These 
were all sent him, and they were released, he giving the mate a present 
of a head of tortoise-shell. 

Captain Hudson, having thus successfully accomplished the capture 
of Vendovi, steered for Kantavu, in order, if possible, to bring to pun- 
ishment more of the oflenders ; but the wind fell light, and he found 
that the ship had drifted, during the night, to the eastward of the 
Astrolabe Reef, and consequently would be compelled, in proceeding 
to Kantavu, to retrace his route. This would have occupied much 
time, and the prospect of gaining their port would have been faint. 
He therefore determined, as the allotted time for joining the boats had 
nearly expired, to bear up for the w'est end of Vitilevu ; where I shall 
now leave him, and return to Levuka, to the rest of the squadron. 








Immediately after despatching Paddy Conriel on his errand to 
Captain Hudson, Whippy came to me. He had heard, on board the 
ship, some intimation of the pm'port of the message sent to Rewa by 
Connel, and he advised me to be on my guard for the first movement 
after Vendovi's capture. He thought that an endeavour would be 
made by the people of Ambau to surprise the observatory, and to take 
me prisoner, (for the purpose of ransoming Vendovi,) for they are 
closely allied to those of Rewa. As our distance from Ambau was no 
more than a few hours' travel, it would be easy for Tanoa, or his son 
Seru, to fall upon us with a thousand men, before we could have 
any notice whatever of their approach. After hearing all he had to 
say upon the subject, I sent him for Tui Levuka, who came to my 
tent. His amazement was great when he was told what was in pro- 
gress, and he seemed to be almost beside himself for a few moments. 
When he was sufficiently recovered, I told him that I put implicit 
confidence in him ; that if he sufi'ered me to be surprised by any force, 
on him and his people would rest the responsibility, and that I looked 
to him to give me the earliest notice of any attempt to attack me. 
This he accordingly promised, and, at the same time, he told Whippy, 
the most probable persons from whom any attack would come would 
be the mountaineers, who were all now under the influence of Ambau, 
and would be easily induced to attack us. A thousand of them, accord- 
ing to his opinion, might be upon us in a few hours ; but we had little 
to fear before dawn of day, for that was the only time at which they 
made an attack, choosing the time of the second or soundest sleep. He 



then went off to send out his scouts and spies, in order to bring me the 
earliest information. 

Seru was on board the ship when I heard these things. I, therefore, 
sent off word that he should be kept on board as a kind of hostage, and 
ordered forty men to reinforce the observatory, after dark, for the ship 
was not near enough to use our guns in defending it. The night, how- 
ever, was quiet, and there were no signs of the natives moving about 
on shore. Indeed they are extremely averse to go out after dark, from 
a fear of meeting kalous, or spirits. Seru was amused with rockets, 
&c., on board, and passed his time to his satisfaction. 

On the 21st, the ship was moved up abreast the observatory point, 
in order to protect it, and moored so that her guns might rake each 
side of the point in case of an attack. The knoll on which I had 
erected the observatory was a strong position, and we now set to 
work to make it more so, by clearing it of all the rubbish and brush- 
wood that might afford cover to assailants. Signals were arranged 
with the ship in case of attack, to direct the fire of the guns, and 
all things made ready to give any hostile force a warm reception. 
About eight o'clock in the evening, Whippy told me that a report had 
reached Tui Levuka that there was trouble at Rewa, and that the 
king and chiefs were prisoners; but to this we gave no credit at the 
time. In the morning, however, I learned through him, that one 
old chief had got information that Vendovi was a prisoner, and that 
the king and queen would be released ; in fact, nearly the whole story 
that has been related in the preceding chapter, reached Levuka before 
the day on which it occurred had passed. On inquiring of Tui Levuka, 
through Whippy, after I had heard the particulars and learned how 
nearly they corresponded with the report, how he obtained his informa- 
tion, his answer was, " Did you not tell me to bring you the earliest 
news, and have my spies out?' The news must have been brought a 
distance of twenty miles in less than six hours, for I can scarcely 
believe that any native could possibly have invented the story, or could 
have surmised what was to take place. 

Early on the morning of the 22d, Seru left the ship and proceeded 
to Ambau, although I had been informed that it was his intention to 
go to the different islands, to bring us hogs and yams. Tui Levuka 
called my attention to this, and also to the fact that a messenger had 
brought Seru intelligence of what had happened at Rewa during the 
stay of the Peacock there, and of the sailing of that ship with Vendovi 
on board. 

During this time many things occurred to keep us on the alert. On 
the niarh* of the 23d, the usual number of men were landed at the ob- 


servatory, and in the night a musket was accidentally fired, which, of 
course, created some stir, but it proved a false alarm ; it, however, 
served to keep up our vigilance in case of attack. 

On the 26th the Flying-Fish returned, entering through the reefs 
after dark. Lieutenant Carr had executed the greater part of the 
duties pointed out in his instructions. Among these were that of car- 
rying Tubou Total, the Tonga chief already spoken of, to the Porpoise. 
He was represented as an excellent pilot for the eastern group, and as 
likely to be of service to Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, in pointing 
out the shoals and reefs, which might save much time in the surveying 
operations. Tubou spoke English tolerably well. He had been in 
New South Wales, and was a guest at the Government-House; talked 
much of the kindness of Sir George and Lady Gipps, and amused me 
by the accounts he gave of the balls and parties to which he had been 
invited, and of the attentions he had received, particularly from the 
ladies. He said that they had admired him very much, and called 
him a very handsome man. He knew well how to behave himself, 
was well acquainted with our habits and customs, and had all the grace 
and elegance of a finished gentleman, if one can imagine such a being 
in a Tongese Islander. I have, indeed, seldom seen a native so correct 
in his deportment. He was a professing Christian, and might be 
called more than half civilized. He talked much to me of the gentle- 
men of Ambau ; said " they were such fine fellows, so hospitable, and 
such gentlemen; there was so much pleasure in their society ; there 
was nothing like Feejee fashions." I spoke to him of their eating human 
flesh, but he could not be brought to talk of it, and invariably refused 
to answer my questions in relation to that horrible custom, except as 
regarded himself. He said that he never touched it. At times he 
would evade the question by saying, " Feejee country was a fine 
country," and be silent. 

Tubou Total is the brother of Lajika, who is generally an attendant 
of the preaching of the missionaries.* The brothers are somewhat 
alike in point of face and feature, but Lajika is much darker in com- 
plexion, and seems to have some Feejee blood in his veins. I learned 
from one of the missionaries that the family of these Tongese was of 
Feejee origin, their name being derived from the principal fortress on 
Lakemba, called Tumboa. They are well received in the group, and 
hospitably entertained by the kings and chiefs of Ambau. The minor 

* The proselytes of the missionaries consist altogether of the few Tongese that are now 
in the group; these reside principally at Lakemba, and from what I imderstood are the fol- 
lowers of Lajika and Tubou Totai. 


chiefs and people have, however, different feelings, and call them 
impudent and greedy fellows, saying they breed a famine wherever 
they go. 

Lieutenant Carr also took with him, as a messenger or ambassador 
from Tanoa, an Ambau chief of some note, called Corodowdow. He 
was a true savage, well formed, and of extraordinary size, being six 
feet thi'ee inches in height; his features were finely formed, and his 
countenance of the European cast; his colour a deep black; his hair 
was frizzled ; he had a fine eye, and an intelligent expression, and 
seemed not wanting in quickness of apprehension. He devoured his 
food at first like a savage, and had a portentous appetite : a fowl was 
but a small portion of a meal for him. He is said to have improved 
in his style of feeding, and to have been able to use a knife and fork 
on his return. Few men showed to more advantage in the Feejee 
costume ; the sala and seavo of the white tapa cloth, set off well his 
colossal and dark figure. 

Both Tubou and Corodowdow had their suites of slaves, who were a 
great nuisance to both officers and men ; and had I been aware before 
engaging them, that we m.ust take their attendants also, I am now 
inclined to think I should have dispensed with their services altogether. 
Corodowdow fell in love with a French print of a female that belonged 
to one of the officers, and was hanging up in the tender's cabin, which 
he would sit admiring for hours together. 

Tom Granby was sent in the tender to act as a pilot, and Lieutenant 
Underwood went also with a boat's crew. 

Lieutenant Carr reached Lakemba on the morning of the 17th. He 
was immediately visited by the Reverend Mi'. Calvert, the resident 
missionary, who informed him that it was Lieutenant-Commandant 
Ringgold's intention to return in a few days. The letter and despatches 
were therefore given to Mr. Calvert ; and Tubou and Corodowdow, 
with their attendants, were sent on shore. They were both dressed 
out in their best attire, and when they made their appearance the 
natives all prostrated themselves, uttering, at the same time, a low 
moan. For the kindness shown him, Corodowdow presented Mr. 
Sinclair with his long bone or hair-pricker, as a mark of his friendship, 
telling him it was made from the thigh-bone of one of his enemies 
whom he had killed in battle. 

Leaving Lakemba, Lieutenant Carr proceeded wdth the tender to 
Vanua-vatu, where they began their surveys. The tender's boats 
were launched, and the island was circumnavigated. It rises gradu- 
ally, on all sides, to the height of several hundred feet, and is covered 
with foliage ; it is six miles in circumference, and is encircled by a 

S O M U . S O M U. 145 

reef, through which there are two entrances for boats, but neither of 
them is sufficiently wide for the entrance of a vessel. This island is 
not inhabited, but the natives resort there for the purpose of fishing. 

Lieutenant Carr next surveyed the Tova Reef, which was found 
about equidistant from Totoia, Moala, and Vanua-vatu. He repre- 
sents it as one of the most dangerous outlying reefs in the group ; it is 
a mile in diameter, and nearly circular: the two former islands are in 
sight from it, but the latter, being low, was not seen. At low water 
this reef is quite dry, and it then forms a snug basin, into which there 
is a shallow passage for boats. The soundings within the reef were 
found extremely irregular, varying from two to fourteen feet. At 
high water the reef is entirely covered, and the sea breaks on it at all 

The next island that claimed Lieutenant Carr's attention was Totoia. 
Here he discovered a passage leading through the reef, into which he 
went with the tender, and anchored in fifteen fathoms, half a mile 
distant from the shore. They found hei-e a canoe from Vavao, 
manned by Tongese. Totoia is high and much broken ; it resembles 
the rest of the group in its volcanic formation ; it is covered with 
luxuriant foliage, and has many fertile valleys. On the morning of 
the 20th, in heaving up the anchor in order to proceed with the 
survey, it broke at the crown, and the flukes were lost: an incident 
which does not say much for the goodness of the anchorage on the 
northern side. Lieutenant Carr thinks that this harbour can be useful 
only as a temporary refuge. It is filled with broken patches, has very 
irregular soundings, from three to thirty fathoms, and the passages 
between these patches are quite narrow and tortuous. The weather 
setting in bad, they were obliged to forego the examination of a small 
part of the southern portion of the reef for openings : it is believed, 
however, that none exist. 

Among the whites and natives in the group, the natives of this 
island have the reputation of being more ferocious and savage than 
any other ; they are said to be constantly at war, and are obliged to 
reside on the highest and most inaccessible peaks, to prevent surprise 
and massacre. Water and wood may be obtained here in sufficient 
abundance, but whoever visits the island should be cautious and con- 
tinually on their guard. 

Matuku was the next island. Of this they began the survey on the 
southeastern side, whence they passed round the southern shore. On 
the western side they discovered an opening through the reef, through 
which they passed, and anchored in one of the best harbours in the 
group. This I have called Carr's Harbour. Its entrance is, perhaps, 

VOL. III. N 19 

146 S O M U - S O M U. 

too narrow for a ship to beat in, which the prevalence of easterlv 
winds would generally require to be done; but the channel to it is 
quite clear of patches, and the passage through the reef is a good one, 
though long. Within the reef there is a circular basin of large extent, 
in all parts of which a ship may select her berth with good bottom. 
On anchoring in the harbour, the natives appeared on the beach, armed 
with clubs, spears, and muskets, and evidently with no friendly intent. 
They were very shy at first, but, after some persuasion, were induced 
to bring off cocoa-nuts, yams, &c. They said they were at war with 
their neighbours on the mountains. Their village was close by the 
anchorage, covered and embosomed in trees. There never was but 
one small vessel in the harbour before, which had traded for tortoise- 
shell. Wood and water are to be had here in plenty. The natives 
resemble those of the other islands, and are considered as possessing 
skill in the use of their arms. 

The face of the island is broken into volcanic peaks, but has many 
fertile valleys, and it was thought to exceed any of the other islands 
in beauty. After surveying the harbour, they proceeded with the 
survey around the island ; and, as the}^ were about finishing it, a 
native came off to visit them ; but all that they could understand from 
him was, that he professed to be a Christian. 

On the eastern side, between the islands, there is a small opening, 
leading through the reef, but it is full of patches of coral, and offers no 
facility for vessels. 

Moala was next visited. It is a high volcanic island. There is an 
opening through the reef, on the west side, that leads to an inferior 
harbour, which the boats surveyed. They found here a white man, 
calling himself Charley, who was of some use to them in pointing out 
the localities. Lieutenant Carr sent him, the next morning, with the 
boats, to examine a supposed harbour, into which, in consequence of 
the light winds, the tender was unable to enter. The reef on the north 
side of Moala resembles that of Totoia, being a collection of sunken 
and detached patches. The reef on the northeast makes off to the 
distance of two and a half miles. After passing it, there is a deep in- 
dentation in the island, with a broad passage through the reef, leading 
to a safe and very fine harbour, and, what is unusual, the passage is 
sufliciently wide for a vessel to beat out. This, however, would 
seldom be necessary, as there are several passages through the reef to 
the westward, which are safe with a leading wind. 

This island affords wood, water, and some provisions, and has about 
seven hundred inhabitants. 

The imprudence and over-confidence of Lieutenant Underwood 


was very near involving them in difficulties ; and had it not been 
for the timely caution of Charley, there is little doubt but a disaster 
would have happened to them. The two boats were under charge of 
Lieutenant Underwood and Passed Midshipman Sinclair. In the 
foremost of them was a chief of the island, in the latter was Charley. 
Lieutenant Underwood approached the shore-reef, with the intention of 
getting some hogs and yams, which he had sent the natives to seek ; 
but they would not trade unless the boats landed, and this Lieutenant 
Carr had expressly ordered Lieutenant Underwood not to do. When 
the natives discovered they could not be induced to land, they col- 
lected in great numbers, headed by a chief, became very noisy, and 
showed signs of hostility. Lieutenant Underwood, notwithstanding 
the precautionary orders, was unprepared to meet an attack ; and the 
necessity of resorting to their arms was only thought of, when Charley 
called out, " You had better stand to your arms, gentlemen ; they are 
after mischief" Upon this the boat was immediately hauled out. 
When the arms were displayed, the natives took to their heels. 

According to Charley, these islanders, not long since, seized a boat 
belonging to a trader, and, after plundering it, would only liberate the 
crew on receiving a large ransom. Such appears to have been the 
over-confidence and carelessness of some of the officers on these boat 
duties, that they neglected not only the strict orders, to be at all tiaies 
prepared, but likevi^ise needlessly put in jeopardy the lives of the men 
entrusted to them. It is now, on looking back, a wonder to me that 
we escaped accident so long as we did, and certainly not extraordinary 
that one did at last happen. I am well satisfied, that had full attention 
been paid to the orders given, and specially impressed upon all, no 
disaster could have happened. 

Lieutenant Carr, finding that his time was almost expired, deter- 
mined to proceed to Ovolau, by passing close to the Mothea Reef, off 
the southern point of Nairai. On the 25th, the tender anchored at 
Levuka. On receiving Lieutenant Carr's report, I immediately 
despatched him to survey the passage round the western side of 
Ovolau. The eastern portion, together with the harbour of Levuka, 
had already been completed by the Vincennes. Lieutenant Carr had, 
in the performance of this duty, reached the island of Moturiki, when 
the time allotted for the purpose had expired. He accordingly left 
the two boats under Lieutenant Underwood, to complete the remain- 
ing part of the work, which occupied them two days, during which 
time, it. appears, from Passed Midshipman May's account, they had 
another narrow escape from disaster, under the following circum- 


stances. The night the boats left the tender, they imprudently landed 
on the island of Moturiki, where they unloaded their boats, allowing 
the natives to help them up, and then removed all the things out of 
them up to the mbure, although there was reason to apprehend, from 
their conduct, that mischief was meditated. They deemed it neces- 
sary to have sentinels posted, and all the men remained with their 
arms by their side. The natives before ten o'clock had dispersed, 
except ten or fifteen, who were seemingly on the watch. These were 
discovered passing in some clubs, which were secretly laid by a log. 
Lieutenant Underwood then determined to compel them all to quit the 
house, which they did, going out in rather a sulky manner. The 
moment the tide floated the boats, it was thought necessary to load 
them and shove off. They then anchored, and passed the remainder 
of the night in them. The next night, for greater safety, they sought 
shelter from the rain and wet under the rocks, which caused them 
much difficulty in lighting their fires. This was not overcome until 
their old native guide took the tinder, and, ascending a tall cocoa-nut 
tree to the fronds, quickly returned with a blazing torch. Having 
finished the survey of that part of the Moturiki Passage assigned them, 
they returned to the ship at Levuka. 

The island of Moturiki is almost in contact with that of Ovolau to 
the south of it. The same reef extends around both of them, and 
there is no passage between them, except for boats and canoes. A 
large square castellated rock lies midway between them, called Lau- 
dolib, of which there is a tradition, that Ndengei was bringing it to 
block up the big passage of Moturiki, which, according to the natives, 
leads to his dominions, but being overtaken by daylight, he dropped it 
where it now lies. 

Moturiki is three miles long, and one broad ; it is not so much 
broken as Ovolau, though it rises in its centre, forming a high ridge. 
There are two small islands, named Leluvia and Thangala, to the south 
of it, and between these and Moturiki is the entrance to the bay of 
Ambau, termed the Moturiki Passage : this is about tw^o miles long, 
and is a mile in width towards its eastern end ; the tide flows strongly 
through it, and the flood sets to the westward. 

On the 28th, I had a visit from Tanoa's youngest son, Rivaletta, 
who is a fine-looking young man, about eighteen years of age. He 
was accompanied by a number of young fellows of his own age, but 
could not be induced to visit the ship, either from fear of detention, or, 
as Tui Levuka told me, because he had no presents to give in return 
for those which he should receive, and therefore would not pay a visit 

S O M U - S O M U. 149 

until he could comply with this custom. He was, as I afterwards 
learned, the bearer of a message to the king of Muthuata, to claim his 
daughter as a wife for old Tanoa. 

It is not at all surprising that the chiefs and people of Ambau 
should be so much detested by the inhabitants of the group. As an 
instance of the outrages they are in the habit of committing, Riva- 
letta, after refusing to visit the ship and the observatory, went to a 
village on the mountains, from which the inhabitants fled with their 
valuables for fear of losing them. Failing thus in his intention of 
plunder, he immediately set fire to the town, and left it a heap of ruins. 
He departed the same day for Vanua-levu. 

The tender having returned to Ovolau, I made preparations to leave 
that place. 

The launch and cutter under Lieutenant Alden and Passed Mid- 
shipman Knox, had also returned from the survey of the north side 
of Vitilevu, as far as its west end, and of Malolo. Lieutenant Alden 
reported the natives of the latter island as being extremely hostile to 
the whites, and having a very bad character. 

A native stole a knife from one of the men. Tui Levuka proposed 
killing him, but was told not to do so : the thief was taken on board, 
and confined for two days, when he was released, as I did not think 
his guilt was sufficiently established. The moment he was fiee he 
jumped overboard and swam on shore. 

The schooner Currency Lass, which we had seen at Tonga, arrived 
on the 30th, bringing me letters from Lieutenant-Commandant Ring- 
gold, by which I learned they were all well, and proceeding rapidly 
with their work. The Currency Lass, since she had left Tonga, had 
been at Wallis Island (Ilea), where the Roman Catholic missionaries 
had succeeded in gaining over one half of the population. The Devil's 
men had attacked the converts, and had laid a plan to cut off the 
schooner. The missionaries, however, gave timely notice of it, and 
the abrupt departure of the vessel was the only thing that saved her, 
which the wind fortunately enabled her to accomplish, for a large 
number of canoes had approached the vessel, and were waiting for a 
reinforcement, when they intended to make the attack. The services 
of the Catholic priests on board the Currency Lass not being required 
by their brethren, they afterwards went to Hoorn Island, where they 
were landed and kindly received by the natives. 

Not being able to spare the services of Lieutenant Carr as first 
lieutenant, I transferred him to the Vincennes, and ordered Lieu- 
tenant Case to the tender. Lieutenant Carr was put in charge of the 
'observatory, while Lieutenant Alden in the launch, and Mr. Knox in 



the first cutter, were relieved by Lieutenant Perry and Mr. De Haven. 
Both boats received new crews, and proceeded to survey the reefs 
by Passage Island, and thence to Vanua-levu. I enibarked in the 
tender on the 3d of June, and by night anchored off Mbua or Sandal- 
wood Bay, where I had appointed to meet the Peacock. We burnt 
blue-lights and sent off rockets, but received no answer, and in the 
morning found the ship had not arrived. 

I obtained sights on shore for the meridian distance, and stood into 
the bay to examine it. This done, I anchored a buoy, with a sealed 
bottle and flag attached to it, for Captain Hudson, containing further 
instructions. In consequence of the delays he had met with, he had 
not been able to reach the bay at the appointed time. I then returned. 
The passage back was rather more diflicult to make, for the wind was 
ahead part of the way. In the afternoon, while beating up, although 
we had Tom at the masthead, we grounded in the tender between two 
coral knobs ; but, the tide rising, we were soon enabled to get off, and 
towards evening we anchored under Rabe-rabe Point, which offers a 
safe shelter. All vessels navigating among these islands, should anchor 
during the night, whenever it is possible to do so. 

In the morning, at a seasonable hour, we reached Passage Island, 
where I met Lieutenant Perry and Mr. De Haven by appointment. 
Here I extended their orders. Having acquired a further knowledge 
of the ground, and after observations for time and latitude, and a round 
of angles, we again set out for Ovolau, leaving Lieutenant Perry and 
Mr. De Haven to continue their work along the immense coral reef, 
which nearly forms a junction between the two large islands. 

Levuka was reached at 2 a. m. ; here I found H. B. M. schooner 
Starling, Lieutenant Kellet, consort of the Sulphur, Captain Belcher, 
on a similar duty with ourselves. Lieutenant Kellet informed me that 
the Sulphur, in going into Rewa, had struck on some coral lumps in 
the north passage, and lost her rudder; and the object of Lieutenant 
Kellet's visit was to obtain aid, or new pintles for that ship. As those 
of the Vincennes were thought to be too large, I at once ordered a 
boat to be manned, and sent under charge of Lieutenant Underwood 
to Mbua Bay (seventy miles), to the Peacock, for the purpose of 
obtaining those belonging to that ship. It afforded me great pleasure 
to be of service to any of Her Majesty's ships, and knowing how 
important it was to have prompt and efficient aid, there was no delay. 
I had the pleasure of a few hours' conversation with Lieutenant Kellet, 
but as my appointment with the Porpoise rendered it necessary that I 
should meet her at the town of Somu-somu, on the island of Vuna, I 
was soon obliged to leave Levuka for the eastern part of the group. 


In the mean time, I obtained my return meridian distances and the 
night observations. 

Before I left Levuka, Seru, Tanoa's eldest son, paid us another visit, 
and brought some hogs and other provisions, as a present. On this 
occasion, his conduct towards Mr. Vanderford was not what it should 
have been, for he appropriated some of that officer's property to him- 
self. I regret I did not learn this until some time afterwards, for 1 had 
no opportunity of speaking to Seru again ; but I sent him word that 
his conduct was not approved of, and he must not take such a liberty 

Orders were left with Lieutenant Carr to despatch Lieutenant 
Underwood and Passed Midshipman Sandford, with two boats, to 
survey the islands of Ambatiki, Nairai, and Angau, all of which are 
in sight from Ovoiau. 

At five o'clock the next morning we were under way, in the tender, 
with two boats of the Vincennes in company, and crossed over to 
Wakaia, where I left Passed Midshipmen Knox and May to survey 
that island and Mokungai, with their reefs. Here I fixed a station, and 
observed, with the theodolite, on the distant signals. I then made an 
endeavour to get out of the reef, but the weather looking bad, I put 
back and anchored in a snug bay, which I had called Flying-Fish 
Harbour. This is on the west side of the island of Wakaia, and has 
two passages through the reef to it. 

The next morning we again got under way, and stood for Nemena, 
or Direction Island, where we anchored, after passing through a 
narrow passage in its outlying reef. Direction Island forms two high 
regular hills, covered with a dense foliage. It is not inhabited, being 
only occasionally resorted to for turtles by the natives. 

On the 7th, we were engaged in the survey of the island and reef, 
with the boats, w'hile I fixed a station on its western summit, where I 
passed the day observing for longitude and latitude and angles, on all 
the points, peaks, and signals, in sight. 

In the evening, we sailed for Vuna Island. The wind was very 
light, and we did not make much progress, but spent the greatest part 
of the next day in getting up with the island. Not wishing to be 
detained, I took my gig and pulled for Somu-somu, where I communi- 
cated with the missionaries, Messrs. Hunt and Lylhe, who had heard 
nothing of the Porpoise; and as the townspeople were rather uproari- 
ous, keeping a feast, I thought it advisable that I should repair to the 
small island of Corolib, about a mile and a half from it in the strait. 
Towards dark, not seeing any thing of the tender, and having been 
supplied with some yams, &c., by the missionaries, I went to the island 

152 S O M U - S O M U. 

to pass the night there. Its only inhabitants were goats, which we 
drove from a cave, in which we built our fire, and made ourselves 
comfortable for the night, keeping two men on guard to prevent 
surprise. The tender did not reach the anchorage until late. On 
anchoring, they made signals, but I was snug in the cave and did not 
see or hear them, and of course they got no answer. Lieutenant Case 
and the officers on board became uneasy, for there was shouting and 
yelling on shore, with war-songs and dances, as at their cannibal 
feasts; and it required but little imagination in the vicinity of such a 
people as the Feejees, to give birth to the idea that we had been sur- 
prised and cut off. They had their boarding-nettings triced up, and 
spent a very uncomfortable night. At daylight, however, they dis- 
covered the gig under Goat Island, and I joined them soon after. In 
the forenoon I visited the missionaries, Messrs. Hunt and Lythe, with 
their ladies. They were living in a large house, formerly occupied 
by the king, called Tui Thakau. As he was an old man and incapable 
of moving about, I at once called upon him. He was a fine specimen 
of a Feejee Islander, and bore no slight resemblance to our ideas of an 
old Roman. His figure was particularly tall and manly, and he had a 
head fit for a monarch. The king's oldest son now exercises all the 
powers of king; he is a large, well-made, and truly savage-looking 
fellow; and from the accounts of the missionaries and others, his 
temper and disposition correspond with his looks. His name is Tui 

Somu-somu, although one of the chief towns of Feejee, acknow- 
ledges a sort of subjection to Ambau. The cause of this is found in an 
ancient tradition of a contest between their respective tutelar spirits, 
in which the spirit of Somu-somu was overcome, and compelled to 
perform the tama or salute due to a superior, to the god of Ambau. 

The town of Somu-somu contains about two hundred houses, which 
are more straggling than any I had yet seen. It is partly built below 
a bluff, which affords a very safe retreat and strong defence to its in- 
habitants, and is divided, therefore, into a lower and upper town. The 
old mbure near the missionaries' house is nearly gone to decay. Here 
was found the only carved image I saw in the group ; it was a small 
figure cut out of solid wood, and the missionaries did not seem to think 
that it was regarded by the people with any reverence. The priest 
appears to have taken up his abode with the old king, and was appa- 
rently held in great reverence. 

The town is situated on the northwest side of the island of Vuna, 
which is separated from tlie island of Vanua-levu, or the large land, 
by a strait five miles wide in its narrowest part, which I have called 

so M U.-SO M U. 153 

the Strait of Somu-somu. The island of Vuna rises gradually to a 
central ridge, the height of which, by several measurements, was 
found to be two thousand and fifty-two feet. The summit is generally 
covered with clouds. From its gradual rise, and its surface being 
smoother, it is susceptible of a much higher state of cultivation than 
the other islands; the soil is a rich reddish loam, and it appears to 
be considered as the most fruitful of the islands. At the same time, its 
inhabitants ai-e acknowledged by all to be the most savage. Cannibal- 
ism prevails here to a greater extent than any where else. 

The length of Vuna is twenty-five miles', and its breadth five miles. 
Although there is a navigable passage between Vuna and Corolib, yet, 
it is made somewhat intricate by sunken coral knolls and banks of 
sand. These shoals extend two miles beyond the island, into the strait. 
The tides are strong', but set through the strait. Calms and light winds 
prevail, in consequence of its being under the lee of the high land of 
Vuna, which makes the passage through it tedious and uncertain. 

Corolib, or Goat Island, I made one of my stations, as it commanded 
most of those we had been at ; and I obtained the necessary observa- 
tions to secure its position. 

I dined and spent the afternoon with the missionaries and their 
ladies, and heard a recital of some of the trials they have been sub- 
jected to. I cannot but feel astonished that they can endure to live 
among such a horde of savages. Their house is a tolerably comfort- 
able one, and they have a few Tongese around them as servants, some 
of whom are converted ; but all the rest of the inhabitants are canni- 
bals. Mr. Hunt was kind enough to give me an account of some of 
the scenes they had to witness, which will convey an idea of what 
their situation is, and what they have had to undergo. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, and Mr. and Mrs. Lythe, arrived at Somu- 
somu in August, 1839, and consequently at the time of our visit they 
had been there nearly a year. 

On the 11th of February, 1840, one of their servants informed 
them that the king had sent for two dead men from Lauthala, a town 
or koro not far from Somu-somu. On inquiring the reason, he knew 
of none but that the king was angry ; this was sufficient to know, and 
in some degree prepared them for what they shortly afterwards had to 
witness. They now found that their servant was only partly informed, 
for, instead of two men, they soon observed eleven brought in, and 
knew that a feast was to take place. Messrs. Hunt and Lythe went 
to the old king, to urge him to desist from so barbarous and horrid a 
repast, and warned him that the time would come when he would be 
punished for it. The king referred him to his son, but the savage pro- 

VOL. TIT. 20 

] 54 S O M U - S O M U. 

pensities of the latter rendered it impossible to turn him from his bar- 
barous purposes. 

On the day of the feast the shutters of their house were closed, in 
order to keep out the disgusting smell that would ensue, but Mr. 
Hunt took his station just within his fence, and witnessed the whole 
that follows. The victims were dragged along the ground with 
ropes around their necks, by these merciless cannibals, and laid, as a 
present to the king, in the front of the missionaries' house, which is 
directly opposite the king's square, or public place of the town. The 
cause of the massacre was, that the people of Lauthala had killed a 
man belonging to the king's koro, who was doing some business for 
the king; and, notwithstanding the people of Lauthala are related to 
the king, it was considered an unpardonable offence, and an order was 
given to attack their town. The party that went for this purpose 
came upon the unsuspecting village when (according to themselves) 
they were neither prepared for defence nor flight, or, as they described 
it to Mr. Hunt, *' at the time the cock crows, they open their eyes and 
raise their heads from sleep, they rushed in upon them, and clubbed 
them to death," without any regard to rank, age, or sex. All shared 
the same fate, whether innocent or guilty. A large number were 
eaten on the spot. No report makes this less than thirty, but others 
speak of as many as three hundred. Of these it is not my intention to 
speak, but only of what was done with the eleven presented to the 
king and spirit. 

The utmost order was preserved on this occasion, as at their other 
feasts, the people approaching the residence of the king with every 
mark of respect and reverence, at the beat of the drum. When 
human bodies are to be shared, the king himself makes a speech, 
as he did on this occasion. In it he presented the dead to his 
son, and intimated that the gods of Feejee should be propitiated, 
that they might have rain, &c. The son then rose and publicly 
accepted the gift, after which the herald pronounced aloud the names 
of the chiefs who were to have the bodies. The different chiefs 
take the bodies allotted to them away to their mbures, there to be 

The chief of Lauthala was given to their principal god, whose 
temple is near the missionaries' house. He was cut up and cooked 
two or three yards from their fence, and Mr. Hunt stood in his yard 
and saw the operation. He was much struck with the skill and 
despatch with which these practised cannibals performed their work. 
While it was going on, the old priest was sitting in the door of his 
temple giving orders, and anxiously looking for his share. All this, 


Mr. Hunt said, was done with the most perfect insensibility. He 
could not perceive the least sign of revenge on the part of those who 
ate them, and only one body was given to the injured party. Some of 
those who joined in the feast acknowledged that the people of Lau- 
thala were their relations, and he fully believes that they cooked and 
ate them, because they were commanded to do so. The coolness, Mr. 
Hunt further remarked, with which all this was done, proved to him 
that there was a total want of feeling and natural affection among 

After all the parts but the head had been consumed, and the feast 
was ended, the king's son knocked at the missionaries' door, (which 
was opened by Mr. Hunt,) and demanded why their windows were 
closed ? Mr. Hunt told him to keep out the sight as well as the smell 
of the bodies that were cooking. The savage instantly rejoined, in 
the presence of the missionaries' wives, that if it happened again, he 
would knock them in the head and eat them. 

The missionaiies were of opinion, that after these feasts, the chiefs 
become more ferocious, and are often very troublesome. In the pre- 
sent case, they attempted to bring accusations against the missionaries, 
that they might have a pretext for plundering them, but the only fault 
they could find to complain of was, that they did not receive presents. 
The missionaries' conduct was firm and decided, telling them if they 
desired the property, they must take it by force. This the natives 
seemed afraid to do, and after they were fully convinced they could 
not intimidate them, showed a desire to become friends. The mission- 
aries then took them a present, which they were glad to accept, and 
gave one in return, as a make-peace, since which time they have lived 
in peace. 

I know of no situation so trying as this for ladies to live in, par- 
ticularly when pleasing and well-informed, as we found those at 

The missionaries have made but slow advancement in their work, 
and there is but little to be expected as long as the people remain under 
their present chiefs, for they dare not do any thing but what they 
allow them. All the chiefs seemed to look upon Christianity as a 
change in which they had much to lose and little to gain. The old 
chiefs, in particular, would often remark, that they were too old to 
change their present for new gods, or to abandon what they considered 
their duty to their people ; yet the chiefs generally desire the residence 
of missionaries among them. I was, therefore, anxious to know why 
they entertained such a wish, when they had no desire for their instruc- 
tion. They acknowledged that it was to get presents, and because il 


would bring vessels to their place, which would give them opportunities 
of obtaining many desirable articles. 

The presents from the missionaries are small ; but an axe, or 
hatchet, or other articles of iron, are acquisitions, in their minds, 
which their covetousness cannot forego the opportunity of obtaining. 
They express themselves as perfectly willing that the missionaries 
should worship their own spirit, but they do not allow any of the 
natives to become proselytes, and none are made without their sanc- 
tion, under fear of death. 

It is not to be supposed, under this state of things, that the success 
of the missionaries will be satisfactory, or adequate to their exertions, 
or a sufficient recompense for the hardships, deprivations, and strug- 
gles which they and their families have to encounter. There are few 
situations in which so much physical and moral courage is required, 
as those in which these devoted and pious individuals are placed ; and 
nothing but a deep sense of duty, and a strong determination to per- 
form it, could induce civilized persons to subject themselves to the 
sight of such hoi-rid scenes as they are called upon almost daily to 

On the afternoon of the 9th, the Porpoise joined me here, agreeably 
to appointment. 

On the 10th, I endeavoured to get the chiefs on board the Porpoise 
to sign the treaty, or regulations, which the chiefs of Ambau and 
Rewa had done. For this purpose I gave them an invitation to come 
on board ; but no inducement could persuade them to place themselves 
in our power, for fear of a like detention with Vendovi. Finding that 
they were determined to persist in their refusal to come on board, I 
asked that a council of chiefs should be held on shore. To this the 
king agreed, and issued his orders for the meeting. It took place in 
his house, which is built much after the fashion of an mbure, thouo-h 
of larger dimensions ; it had four apertures for doors ; the fire-place 
was in one corner, and part of the house was curtained off with tapa. 
A large number of junk-bottles were hung from a beam, both for use 
and to display his wealth, for they are very much valued. The king 
also possessed a chair, two chests, and several muskets. The former 
he seemed to take much pleasure in sitting in, having discovered, as he 
told the interpreter, that they were very comfortable for an old man. 
We had a full meeting, and I was much struck with the number of 
fine-looking men who were present. Their complexions were dark, 
and they resembled one another more than any collection of natives I 
had before seen in the group. 

The two sons of the king were present. Tui Illa-illa, who is the 


actual king, is held much in awe by the people. The regulations, 
after a full explanation of their objects, were signed, or rather they 
made their mark, for the first time, on paper. The old king has 
always been friendly to the whites, but his son is considered quite 
unfriendly towards them ; and it is thought, by the missionaries, that 
were it not for the old man, and the fear of punishment by a man-of- 
war, they would not be safe. 

Messrs. Hunt and Lythe acted as interpreters on this occasion, but 
not until after the one I had chosen was unable to make them under- 
stand. This was intentional on my part, for I did not wish the king 
and natives to think that the missionaries had had any part in the pro- 
ceeding ; and they did not undertake the otfice until the king and 
chiefs desired their assistance. Besides the signing, we had the clap 
ping of hands and thighs, and the three audible grunts of satisfaction 
from the audience. The meeting broke up with a distribution of 
presents, and all, I believe, went away satisfied. 

The ceremony attending the ava drinking of the king, at Somu- 
somu, is peculiar. Early in the morning, the first thing heard is the 
king's herald, or orator, crying out, in front of his house, " Yango-na 
ei ava," somewhat like a muezzin in Turkey, though not from the 
housetop. To this the people answer, from all parts of the koro, 
" Mama," (prepare ava.) The principal men and chiefs immediately 
assemble together from all quarters, bringing their ava-bowl and ava- 
root to the mbure, where they seat themselves to talanoa, or to con- 
verse on the affairs of the day, while the younger proceed to prepare 
the ava. Those who prepare the ava are required to have clean and 
undecayed teeth, and are not allowed to swallow any of the juice, on 
pain of punishment. As soon as the ava-root is chewed, it is thrown 
into the ava-bowl, where water is poured on it with great forma- 
lity. The king's herald, with a peculiar drawling whine, then cries, 
" Sevu-rui-a-na," (make the offering.) After this, a considerable time 
is spent in straining the ava through cocoa-nut husks; and when this 
is done, the herald repeats, with still more ceremony, his command, 
" Sevu-rui-a-na." When he has chaunted it several times, the other 
chiefs join him, and they all sing, " Mana endina sendina le." A 
person is then commanded to get up and take the king his ava, after 
which the singing again goes on. The orator then invokes their prin- 
cipal god, Tava-Sava, and they repeat the names of their departed 
friends, asking them to watch over and be gracious to them. They 
then pray for rain, for the life of the king, the arrival of wangara 
Papalangi (foreign ships), that they may have riches and live to enjoy 
them. This prayer is followed by a most earnest response, " Mana 


endina," (amen, amen.) They then repeat several times, " Mana 
endina sendina le." Every lime this is repeated they raise their 
voices, until they reach the highest pitch, and conclude with 
" 0-ya-ye," which they utter in a tone resembling a horrid scream. 
This screech goes the rounds, being repeated by all the people of the 
koro, until it reaches its farthest limits, and, when it ceases, the king 
drinks his ava. All the chiefs clap their hands, with great regularity, 
while he is drinking, and, after he has finished his ava, the chiefs drink 
theirs, without any more ceremony. The business of the day is then 
begun. The people never do any thing in the morning before the king 
has drunk his ava. Even a foreigner will not venture to work or make 
a noise before that ceremony is over, or during the preparation of it, 
if he wishes to be on good terms with the king and people. 

It is almost impossible to conceive the horrible particulars relative 
to these natives, that have come under the personal observation of the 
missionaries, and are not for a moment to be doubted, from such 
respectable authority. They told me, that during their residence they 
had known of only one instance of a natural death, all having been 
strangled or buried alive I Children usually strangle their feeble and 
aged parents, and the sick that have been long ill are always killed. 

Dr. Lythe pointed out to me a chief of high rank, who had strangled 
his own mother, as he himself saw. They went in procession to the 
grave, the mother being dressed in her best attire, and painted in the 
Feejee fashion. On arriving at the grave, a rope of twisted tapa was 
passed around her neck, when a number of natives, besides the son, 
taking hold of each end, soon strangled and buried her. 

Dr. Lythe had a patient, a young girl, in a most crhical state. She 
was scarce fourteen, when she was brutally violated by the same high 
chief who had strangled his mother ; and much injury had resulted, 
in large swellings, which they attempted to cure, according to the 
Feejee custom, by large gashes with sharp bamboos, but without 
success. The seducer had determined to destroy her, when Dr. Lythe 
heard of it, and, by interceding, after much difficulty and I'idicule; 
was allowed to take her away, and put her under treatment. 

Some time previous to our arrival, Katu Mbithi, the youngest son 
of Tni Thakau, was lost at sea, on the knowledge of which event the 
whole population went into mourning. He was much beloved by the 
king. All his wives were strangled, with much form and ceremony. 
Some accounts make their number as high as seventy or eighty ; the 
missionaries stated it below thirty. 

There were various other ceremonies, not less extraordinary. To 
supply the places of the men who were lost with Katu Mbithi, the 


same number of boys, from the ages of nine to sixteen, were taken 
and circumcised. For this ceremony long strips of white native cloth 
were prepared to catch the blood when the foreskin was cut. These 
strips, when sprinkled with blood, were tied to a stake, and stuck up 
in the market-place. Here the boys assembled to dance, for six or 
seven nights, a number of men being placed near the stakes, with a 
native horn (a conch-shell), which they blew, while the boys danced 
around the stake for two or three hours together. This dance con- 
sisted of walking, jumping, singing, shouting, yelling, &c , in the most 
savage and furious manner, throwing themselves into all manner of 
attitudes. The blowing of the conch was any thing but musical ; but 
this is not always the case, for some of their performances have a kind 
of rude music in them, which the missionaries thought was not unlike 
in sound to that which is made in a Jewish synagogue, which cer- 
tainly gives the best idea of the music of a Feejee dance-song. 

After the circumcision of the boys, many of the female children had 
the first joint of their little fingers cut off". The ceremonies ended by 
the chiefs and people being assembled in the market-place to witness 
the institution of the circumcised boys to manhood. In doing this, a 
large leaf is taken, of which they make a w^ater-vessel, which is placed 
in the branches of a tree. The boys are then blindfolded very closely, 
and armed with clubs or sticks ; they are then led about until they 
have no recollection of the situation of the tree, after which they seek 
the vessel, and endeavour to strike it. The first who succeeds in 
knocking it down was to be considered as the future great warrior. 
Two or three managed to hit the vessel, amid shouts and applause of 
the concourse. The sticks were afterwards thrown on the graves of 
the wives of Katu Mbithi. 

Katu Mbithi was considered the finest man in the group, and the 
favourite of his father, the old king, who in passing an eulogy upon 
him, ascribed to him all the beauty that a man could possess in the 
eyes of a Feejee man. He concluded by speaking of his daring spirit 
and consummate cruelty, and said that he would kill his own wives if 
they offended him, and would afterwards eat them ! 

On the 8th of August, 1839, seventeen of the wives of Mbithi were 
strangled, very near the houses of the missionaries, who heard their 
groans and saw the whole ceremony. They considered it a privilege 
to be strangled as the wives of the great chief 

The feast made on this occasion was said to have surpassed any 
thing that had before taken place in Somu-somu. Immense quantities 
of food were prepared for it; one hundred baked hogs were given to 
the people of one town alone; and it is said that after such occurrences 


it becomes necessary to lay a taboo, in order that a famine may not 
be the result of so much waste. 

To give some idea of what the ladies of the missionaries here have 
to endure from such a savage as Tui Illa-illa, he will at times come 
into their house and walk directly into any room he pleases, take up 
any thing he has a fancy to, and endeavour to carry it off. He has 
not unfrequently been found by them before their dressing-cases fixing 
and arranging himself. He carries off spoons, knives, and forks, 
which, on being sent for, are returned. One thing may be said in his 
favour, that he has never attempted any rudeness to the ladies, farther 
than a desire to make use of their dressing-cases. The very sight of 
such a savage, six feet three inches in height, and proportionately stout, 
and the thought of his cannibal appetite, are calculated to intimidate 
persons with stronger nerves than these ladies. How they are enabled 
to endure it, I am at a loss to understand. 

I paid several visits to the old king, and every time with more 
interest. He looks as if he were totally distinct from the scenes of 
horror that are daily taking place around him, and his whole coun- 
tenance has the air and expression of benevolence. The picture of 
him sitting plaiting his sennit, surrounded by his wives and family, all 
engaged in some kind of work, was truly pleasing, and they would 
frequently feed him with the care of love and affection. Such cheer- 
fulness as reigns among them is quite remarkable. He was very 
desirous of making me presents, and among the curiosities I accepted 
was a huge head-dress, in shape somewhat like a cocked-hat. It is 
represented in the wood-cut at the end of this chapter. 

I met his son Tui Illa-illa, and having understood that he was the 
cause of his father's not having come on board, I took care to show 
him that I was not afraid of coming among them, however much they 
feared to trust themselves on board the vessel. He said he understood 
I had a brother of the king of Rewa prisoner, which afforded me an 
opportunity of letting the interpreter give the account of the Vendovi 
transaction, and to say, that although many years might pass over, 
yet any one who committed an act of the kind would be sure to meet 
with punishment sooner or later, and that he himself would be punished 
if any disturbance or harm happened to the whites, particularly the 
missionaries. It seemed to have its effect upon both the old and young 
king, and I took advantage of the moment to make them both promise 
to protect the missionaries and their families against any harm. 

The tender having returned with the boats of the Porpoise from 
surveying the straits opposite Goat Island, we received on board 
Tubou Totai and Corodowdow, together with their suites; and I was 



happy to be able to give the Rev. Mr. Hunt a passage to Rewa, whither 
I intended proceeding on my return to Levuka. Mr. Hunt was going 
for the purpose of oflering to take the charge of the children of the 
Rev. Mr. Cargill, who had met with the melancholy loss of his wife 
shortly after the Peacock had left Rewa. From this gentleman I 
obtained much information, and found that he confirmed a great deal 
of that which I have already given. He was obliging enough to act 
as my interpreter on many occasions afterwards. 









It has been stated tnat the Porpoise parted company with the Vin- 
cennes on the 8th May, off the island of Fulanga. From this time, 
until June 9th, when I met her at Somu-somu, Lieutenant-Comman- 
dant Ringgold had been engaged in the survey of the eastern islands 
of the group ; and it is now time that I should revert to the operations 
in which he had been engaged. 

A heavy gale blowing from the southward and eastward for several 
hours, and which afterwards hauled to the northeast, was followed, 
after it moderated, by heavy rain. These prevented the surveys 
from being commenced as early as I had hoped. When it cleared off, 
the work was begun at the southeast island, called Ongea. There 
are, in fact, two islands enclosed in the same reef, called Ongea-levu 
and Ongea-riki. A good entrance was found on the northwest side 
of the reef, and a harbour, to which the name of Port Refuge was 
given ; but there is little or no inducement to enter it, for the islands 
are barren, and no water is to be found. A few wretched inhabitants 
are on them. The position of these islands is given in the tables. 

Three miles to the southward and eastward of Ongea is a dangerous 
reef and sand-bank, called Nugu Ongea. 

Fulanga was the next examined. This is a fine island, surrounded 
by the usual coral reef, which has an entrance through it on the 
northeast side, (suitable for small vessels,) that expands into a large 
basin, whh many islets and reefs, where large quantities of biche de 
mar have been gathered. The boats circumnavigated this island, 
and their crews were on shore all night, in consequence of having 
been obliged to return to the place where they first began their worl<-, 



and of there being no possibility of passing over the reef to enable 
them to join the brig before the night closed in. They were kindly 

During the night a heavy squall was experienced from the north- 
northwest, with vivid lightning and rain ; but the following day proved 
fine. In the morning the boats rejoined the brig and brought off a 
native who gave his name as Tiana, and through Jim, the interpreter, 
they gathered the information that the island is subject to Tui Neau, 
king of Lakemba. He also gave the names of all the islands in sight 
He knew our flag, and spoke of vessels often visiting this island. 

In preparing the boats for service after dinner, an accident happened 
which nearly proved fatal to a man named Henry Hammond ; in 
passing the arms into the boat, one of the carbines went off when the 
muzzle was within six inches of his side; he gave a loud shriek, and 
fell ; his shirt took fire from the explosion, and all thought the ball had 
DBSsed through his body; but his position was fortunately such that it 
only passed through the integuments, and came out about three inches 
from the place where it entered, having glanced off from one of the 
short ribs. The wound did not prove dangerous. 

The boats left the brig in the afternoon, under the pilotage of Tiana, 
finished the survey of the island, and made the west bluff of Fulanga, 
by triangulation, one hundred and fifty feet high. They then returned, 
bringing on board a chief of the island, whose name was Soangi, and 
the native missionary from Tonga, called Toia. Neither of them had 
any covering but the maro. They remained on board all night. 

In the morning, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold and several 
officers visited the island. The passage through the reef was intri- 
cate, and a strong tide was rushing through it. After passing the 
reef, an extensive basin, with numerous islets and reefs in it, is 
reached, in which the water is deep and of a dark blue colour. The 
islets are composed of scoriaceous materials of volcanic origin, and, 
what seemed singular, was their being undermined by the action of 
the sea to the distance of ten or twelve feet. Some of the rocks had, 
in consequence, the appearance of a large overhanging shelf, of the 
form of a mushroom. 

They landed at the village at the head of the bay, which consists 
of twenty or thirty huts. These were of an oval form, and composed 
of a light frame covered with mats. They contained little else than a 
few mats spread on the ground, and had but a temporary appearance. 
The natives were civil, and had picked up some phrases in English, 
in which they soon began to beg for small articles, such as buttons, 
needles, &c. They sold their fowls and vegetables for tobacco, cloth. 


and knives. Their stock, however, was not very abundant, and they 
had no yams. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold supplied them with 
some for planting, and also with Indian corn, potatoes, onions, &c. 
The native missionary, who is one of the most prominent men among 
the inhabitants, received directions for planting them, and he promised 
that they should be well taken care of. 

This island is one of those on which fine timber grows, and is, there- 
f )re, resorted to by the Vavao and Friendly Islanders for building 
canoes. Three of these were seen in the process of construction, 
under a long shed, one of which, on measurement, was found to be one 
hundred and two feet long, seven feet wide, and five feet deep, of 
a beautiful model; the other two were somewhat smaller. The 
builders said that they were constructing them for a Vavao chief, 
called Salomon, for the Tonga war. The work was performed under 
a contract, and the price agreed on was to be paid in whales' teeth, 
axes, guns, &c. Salomon was at the village, and went off" with Lieu- 
tenant-Commandant Ringgold to the brig, for the purpose of accom- 
panying him to the other islands. He was a remarkably handsome 
man, and resembled the Tonga chiefs more than the other Feejees. 

There is another village situated on the southeast side of the island, 
but it is inaccessible by water except for canoes. Good water, fruit, 
vegetables, and poultry, can be obtained here; the natives are friendly, 
and under the care of a Tongese missionary. The population was one 
hundred and fifty souls, three-fourths of whom were converts to Chris- 
tianity. They manufactured native cloth, mats, and other articles of 
Feejee property in abundance. 

Just before the brig made sail, they were boarded by a large double 
canoe, in which there were fifteen persons, bringing quantities of fowls 
and taro for trade. This canoe resembled those which have been 
described as seen at Tonga, with a platform, and had the immense 
triangular mat-sail. Salomon said that it was capable of containing 
two hundred persons. 

•Assistant-Surgeon Holmes obtained some few botanical specimens, 
and the other officers many shells. The beach abounded with very 
good oysters, and many small turtles were seen. 

At Fulanga several cases of severe pulmonary and cutaneous dis- 
eases were observed by Dr. Holmes, and also a case of well-marked 
consumption in a young woman. 

After liberally rewarding the chief and missionary, Lieutenant- 
Commandant Ringgold bore away for Kambara, having first surveyed 
the small island of Moramba, which is half a mile in diameter. It is 


well wooded, and is surrounded by a reef, but offers no facilities to 

Enkaba, which is two miles long by one wide, is inhabited, well 
wooded, and has a breach in the reef, but no harbour. 

Kambara was the next island in course. It is of a rectangular 
form, is about three miles and a half long and two wide, and is the 
westernmost of what I have termed the Eastern Group. It is fertile 
and well wooded ; its timber is esteemed above that of all the other 
islands of the group for canoe-building ; and cocoa-nut groves abound 
along its shores. The island is not entirely surrounded by the reef, 
which is wanting on the northwest side. On examination it proved to 
have no anchorage for large vessels, but small ones and boats may 
find protection. This island may be known by a remarkable bell- 
shaped peak on its northwest side, which is a good landmark. It is 
covered with rich verdure, and was found to be three hundred and 
fifty feet high. 

Tabanaielli is a small uninhabited island on the western side of 

Namuka, which was the next to claim attention, has a very exten- 
sive reef surrounding it, and offers no anchorage. There are but few 
natives upon it. 

Angasa and three smaller islands are enclosed in one extensive reef, 
along with several small uninhabited islets. Angasa is the largest and 
most eastern of them. It is easily distinguished, and is remarkable for 
long regular ridges, that extend through the centre, and appear as 
though they had been artificially formed. 

Ularua is a small desolate island encompassed by an extensive 

To the north of these were found two small islands, Komo-levu and 
Komo-riki, enclosed in the same reef, through which there is a passage 
on the northeast side. Good anchorage was found here, except in 
northeast winds. 

Motha lies to the eastward of Komo. It is one of the most pictu- 
resque islands in the group, with an undulating surface; its hills wei'e 
more free of wood than those they had before surveyed; it is about 
two miles in diameter, and is surrounded by an extensive reef, through 
which there is only a boat-entrance on the north shore. Karoni, which 
is of small size, lies within the same reef, towards its southern end. 
Motha forms the southern side of what I have called the Oneata Chan- 
nel ; it is a good landmark to run for in making the group, being high 
and surrounded with sloping sides. Its soil is rich. Its population 


consists of a few natives. There are three detached reefs to the east- 
ward, and within a few miles of it. 

Oneata lies north of Motha, and forms the northern side of the 
Oneata Channel. It is of good height, and may readily be known by 
Observatory Isle to the northeast, two hundred and fifty feet in height, 
with three lofty trees on its apex. The reef around Oneata is also 
extensive ; it has two good entrances on the northeast side, and three 
on the west. 

Not being able to pass through the reef of Oneata, Lieutenant-Com- 
mandant Ringgold bore away to the northwest for Lakemba, which is 
twelve miles distant. At nine o'clock on the 15th the Porpoise was 
off its south side, and as the boats were preparing to land, a canoe was 
seen leaving the beach, having on board the missionary, the Reverend 
Mr. Calvert, belonging to the Wesleyan Society. He had been on the 
island more than a year, and succeeded the Rev. Messrs. Cargill, 
Cross, and Jagger, who had removed to the larger and more important 
islands of the group. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold and some of 
the officers returned with him to the island, where they were kindly 
entertained by him and his lady. Mr. Calvert did not express himself 
favourably regarding the natives, describing them as cruel and blood- 
thirsty, and said it was the prevailing custom to destroy all shipwrecked 
persons. Cannibalism, however, is now extinct on this island. 

The king of Lakemba, Tui Neau, was found seated in a large 
canoe-house, near the landing, with a numerous retinue of almost naked 
natives about him. He is a corpulent nasty-looking fellow, and has 
the unmitigated habits of a savage. He is said to have one hundred 
wives ! He exercises despotic power over all the surrounding islands, 
has the character of being a cruel tyrant, and lives in the midst of all 
kinds of excesses. The settlement is dirty and badly built, but has 
some large houses. In it were seen numbers of ugly women and 
children. Salomon, the Tonga chief, left the brig at Lakemba; he 
had been of but little use as a pilot in consequence of being sea-sick 
nearly the -whole time, which was somewhat singular for a person 
who was almost constantly engaged in navigating canoes. In his 
stead they procured a person whose name was Thaki. Thaki was a 
very respectable old man, and had many letters of recommendation, 
giving him the highest character. Among them was a letter from 
some shipwrecked sailors, who by his exertions were saved from death, 
and afterwards supplied by him with every thing that was necessary, 
until they got on board an English vessel. Chevalier Dillon, also, had 
given him a printed document. All of these papers Thaki takes great 
pride in showing, and carries them constantly with him. He had been 

VOL. III. p 22 


at Sydney, and had evidently profited much by his trip. He was 
acquainted with the characters of Napoleon and Washington, and 
when prints of them were shown him, he expressed a desire to have 
them, which was complied with. On seeing a likeness of the Duke of 
Reichstadt, he asked if he had not been poisoned. The print of General 
Jackson was highly prized by him. 

Mr. Calvert was landed in the evening, and the next morning, the 
16th, the brig resumed the surveying duties, the islands of Komo, 
Ularua,and the Aivas, (both the high and low,) Oneata, and Motha, all 
in the neighbourhood of Lakemba, were observed on and explored. 

At night thei'e was a violent squall, accompanied with lightning and 
rain. Among these islands and numerous reefs, such squalls become 
very dangerous, but fortunately they are not of long duration. 

The two Aivas are both uninhabited ; they lie between Lakemba 
and Oneata, and are surrounded by an extensive reef, with the excep- 
tion of a large opening in the northeast side, which afFoi'ds anchorage, 
exposed, however, to the northeast winds. 

On the 17th they were engaged in exploring the great Argo Reef. 
Its native name is Bocatatanoa, and it is one of the most extensive and 
dangerous in the group. Its English name is derived from the loss (on 
its southeast end) of the English brig Argo, which happened in the 
year 1806. 

The outlying reefs off Angasa and Motha, were also examined and 
surveyed. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold then proceeded towards 
Oneata. Here they found excellent anchorage, under Observatory 
Isle, near a settlement on the northeast side of the island. A second 
anchorage is to be found off the west side of the island, near a large 
sandy bay. No water is to be had here, except from wells, but there 
is abundance of fruit, vegetables, and poultry. The population is two 
hundred. Two Tahitian missionaries were found here, and about one 
half of the people are Christians. 

The natives showed themselves sharp traders. They seldom adhere 
to the value they have set upon an article, after their first demand is 
agreed to, but ask a more exorbitant price, and show an indisposition 
to comply with their engagements. It was amusing to witness the 
trade between them and the sailors. They generally took a fancy to 
some one thing, and nothing would suit them but it. Bottles were 
found here to be the articles in most request, and a porter-bottle would 
purchase two baskets of yams or sweet-potatoes, and be received in 
preference to knives or cloth. 

The village is situated on the south side of the island, in a grove of 
cocoa-nut trees, but from the clouds of musquitoes, was not the most 


inviting place. Their plantations seemed lo be well taken care of, 
and large patches of taro, yams, potatoes, some corn (maize), and 
young plantains, were in fine condition. The soil is made up of de- 
composed lava. Large quantities of scoriaceous matter were scat- 
tered over the island, and some pumice-stone was seen floating about. 

There was a small church, plastered and whitewashed, with its 
buryjng-ground attached. Old Thaki here pointed out the graves of 
two of his children, side by side. At the foot of the graves he had 
planted a fragrant shrub, which he said he had brought from Lakemba 
for the purpose, as the plant did not grow at Oneata. Much pains had 
been taken with many of the graves, and a few of them were neatly 
laid out. 

The Tahitian missionaries prepossessed all in their favour by their 
quiet and orderly behaviour. They have many recommendations 
from the former visiters to the island. They have been on Oneata 
upwards of twenty years, having been placed there, as they said, by 
Mr. Williams, who was the pioneer for so many years in the mis- 
sionary field, in which service he lost his valuable life. 

Observatory Island was made one of the magnetic stations, and 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold also obtained there a full set of 
observations for latitude and azimuth, sights for chronometers, and a 
round of angles on all the islands and reefs in sight. The weather 
being unfavourable, they did not succeed in finishing the survey of 
Oneata and its reefs until the 23d. Tiana, the pilot whom they took 
on board at Fulanga, was here parted with. He had proved very 
serviceable, and possessed much knowledge of this part of the group. 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold gave him his discharge with many 
presents, and a certificate of his good conduct and abilities as a pilot. 

The officers frequently visited the shore. The natives seemed to 
vie with each other as to who should appear most in the European 
garb. The native missionaries, and some others, wore ruffled shirts 
marked P. Dillon. These, with a straw hat, constituted their only 
clothing, except the maro.' 

Quantities of vegetables were brought for trade, which gave an 
opportunity of procuring a supply for the crew that was much needed. 
The few days they spent here were the only ones since the preceding 
November, that they had had any respite from duty, having, with the 
rest of the squadron, been kept in a constant state of activity, and, 
much of the time, on very arduous and fatiguing service. 

The southern side of Oneata is a mass of lava, somewhat resem- 
bling the clinkers of the Sandwich Islands, to be spoken of hereafter. 
This rock is comparatively recent, having undergone but a slight 


decomposition. Deep chasms were occasionally met with. The 
whole is partially covered with vines and creepers, and the shore was 
lined with mangroves. 

The men enjoyed the opportunity of a walk on shore, and also the 
chance of bathing. Old Thaki, with many expressions of regret, 
brought off a hatchet and gimlet that had been stolen the day before, 
and had not yet been missed. These islanders are particularly 
anxious to obtain iron tools, and seem to prefer the axes of ^.merican 
manufacture to those of England, considering the former more ser- 

On the 22d, they sailed, and continued the surveys to the eastward, 
towards the Bocatatanoa, or Argo Reef. Besides the brig Argo, 
another vessel, by the name of the Harriet, is said to have been lost 
here. According to Thaki's report, all hands from one of these vessels 
were killed, while only a few from the other escaped. He remembers 
the occurrence, but it was a long time ago. This extensive reef was 
examined, when Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, having heard of 
the arrival of the Flying-Fish, with a pilot and despatches, returned to 

Here they took on board Tubou Total and Corodowdow, with their 
suites, whom I have mentioned before, as having been left by the 
Flying-Fish, the former to act as pilot. , 

It is remarkable that, up to this time, in all their trials of the cur- 
rent, they had found it setting to the eastward about half a mile per 
hour, varying in direction from east-northeast to east-southeast. This 
fact is confirmed by the information obtained from the natives, that 
canoes which are wrecked to the westward are always drifted upon 
these islands. 

On the 28th, Mr. Totten and Dr. Holmes were despatched on shore, 
to ascend Kendi-kendi, the highest peak of the island of Lakemba, for 
the purpose of making observations and getting its height by sympieso- 
meter. The altitude was thus found to be seven hundred and fourteen 
feet. The ascent was not difficult, for a regular path led to the highest 
point. The ruins of a town were found on it, called Tumboa, from 
which the Tonga chiefs of the family of Tubou Total are supposed to 
have derived their name, as has been before mentioned. This town 
was occupied for the purpose of defence against their enemies, both 
Tongese and Feejees. 

Mr. Calvert and his lady received them most kindly at the mission, 
as they had already done the other officers. The house and out-build- 
ings are comfortable, and the church, which stands near the mission- 
house, is a good building, eighty feet long by thirty-two wide, and 


twenty-five feet high. The latter is convenient and appropriate to its 
purpose, and its floor is covered with mats. At 4 p. m. the hollow log 
drum was beaten for prayers, which the officers attended with Mr. 
Calvert. There were only fifteen persons present. A Tonga man 
officiated, as Mr. Calvert was fatigued with his morning jaunt ; and 
the services consisted of singing and prayer. There are about fifty 
resident Christians, nearly all of whom are Tongese, of whom about 
one-third of the population is composed ; and they have literally taken 
possession of the island, for they never work, but subsist on the labour 
of the Feejee population, who hold them in much awe. The difference 
between the two races was as striking here as at Ovolau. Heathenism 
is fast passing away at Lakemba, and its absurd rites are held in ridi- 
cule by most of those who are still considered as heathens. The in- 
fluence of the priest is diminished, and the temple or mbure has fallen 
into decay. 

Lakemba is the largest island in the eastern group. It is five miles 
in diameter ; its shape is nearly round, with an extensive encircling 
reef There is an opening, on its eastern side, sufficient for large 
vessels, but dangerous, from the number of coral patches which stud 
it. The town is on the south side, and contains about two-thirds of 
the population of the island, (one thousand people.) 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, with his officers, again visited 
the king, Tui Neau, at his house, which is really very little better than 
a large pig-pen : it is about one hundred feet long by thirty wide, and 
has in it, after the example of the king of Rewa, two old rusty nine- 
pounders, mounted on damaged carriages. There were a great num- 
ber of women about the king, and some chiefs. He appeared to be 
too fat to be able to exert himself. He is about the middle size as to 
height, slovenly in his person and habits, with a dull-looking counte- 
nance, childish in his behaviour, and has been found to be mean and 
niggardly in his disposition. In proof of this character, a few circum- 
stances will be given, which I have from the missionaries, and which 
happened while they resided there. 

On the occasion of some thefts having been committed on the mis- 
sionaries at Lakemba, they made complaint in a formal manner to the 
king. They were shortly afterwards surprised by a visit from a mes- 
senger, with many apologies, and the presentation of five small sticks, 
on which were stuck five little fingers that had been cut off from those 
•who had committed the thefts, as a propitiation for their losses ! 

A poor man happening to offend a high chief by the name of Togi, 
one of the brothers of Tui Neau, king of Lakemba, the chief in re- 
venge, took his wife from him ; but the woman was so unhappy, that 


she told the chief that she would rather die than live to be his slave. 
He said she should have her desire, she should die ; but she must wait 
a little while, as he had some great work doing, and, when it was 
finished, she should be cooked at the feast, and then eaten. She was 
accordingly kept and fed for that purpose, and when the time came, a 
man was sent to kill her. He, however, was afraid, and, while he 
was contending with his fears, she effected her escape. The chief, 
contrary to the usual custom, spared the man's life. 

Some instances of persons preserved from being buried alive have 
occurred ; but they are few. The fear of disgrace, and the miseries 
that are entailed upon the old and helpless by their friends and rela- 
tives, induces many to undergo willingly this death. Nothing strikes 
one more, among a crowd of natives, than the absence of the aged. 

An anecdote of one of these escapes was told me by a missionary. 
A Tonga man had made it a constant practice to beat his wife, and, 
to use his own words, he had " knocked almost all the teeth out of 
her head, for her disobedience." The poor woman, after one of these 
beatings, was taken ill, and her Feejee friends wished to express their 
love by taking her to her own town to bury her. They took her to 
the grave and put her into it, but she now refused to be buried alive, 
and effected her escape. Her husband knowing v^here she was gone, 
and having some affection for her notwithstanding his ill treatment, 
went to see her. On his way he met, a person from the town, who told 
him that she was dead and buried ; but on his arrival at the place, he 
found that she had extricated herself from her murderous relatives, and 
both husband and wife were much relieved and rejoiced at the meeting. 
In order to free themselves from such customs they both at once 
embraced Christianity, which is considered as absolving them from 
this horrid obligation. 

Tui Neau's authority extends over the eastern group, but he is 
subject to Tanoa, and at present pays his tribute to the king of Somu- 
somu, in consequence of an agreement with Tanoa. It is thought, 
however, that on Tanoa's death, Seru, his son, will insist upon 
receiving the tribute again, as he is known to be very unfriendly to 
the king of Somu-somu, and is now desirous of making war upon him. 

Tui Neau was presented with various articles, and was told the 
object of the visit, and the friendly disposition we had towards him. 
This communication he only noticed by a low grunt. He is disposed 
to be friendly towards the missionaries, and says he will turn Christian 
when Tanoa dies. It was observed that the same savage homage was 
paid him that I have before spoken of in the other islands, similar 
expressions being used by both men and women. 


Two of the officers of the Porpoise remained on shore all night, and 
had an opportunity of seeing a native dance, in which about one 
hundred and fifty men and women were engaged. The men and 
women did not dance together. Tlieir motions were thought to be 
stiff and inelegant. They kept time to a monotonous chaunt, in which 
they all occasionally joined. 

The whole had a wild and singular effect, as seen by the flickering 
light of the cocoanut-leaf torches. Many of their movements were 
highly indecent, and these were much applauded by the natives. 

The people of this island seemed to be far from healthy ; pulmonary 
diseases were common, and often fatal, and an unsightly scrofulous 
affection appeared to be quite prevalent. 

The survey of Lakemba gave its length five miles east and west, 
by three north and south. The reef extends six miles from the island, 
in an east-northeast direction ; in it there are two openings, one on 
the southeast side, and one opposite to the town on the south or south- 
west side. Into the latter a vessel of one or two hundred tons may 
enter ; but after getting in, the space is very confined, and it would be 
necessary to moor head and stern. 

This island is the principal location of the people I have heretofore 
described, under the name of Levukians, as the first settlers of Ambau. 
They live in a village which is denominated Levuka, and have the 
character, at Lakemba, of being a wandering, faithless tribe, addicted, 
occasionally, to piracy. This is not considered the case elsewhere, 
for the Feejee men, in general, look upon them as a useful class, and 
through them they carry on the trade between the different islands. 
It is not surprising that they should bear a bad name among the Tonga 
men, for I heard that they were the means of checking the depredations 
of those of that race who now hold possession of the island of La- 
kemba, and exert a great influence on the southeast islands of this 
group, which they find essential for their purposes of obtaining war- 

Lakemba was found, like the rest of this group, to be of volcanic 
formation. The soil is similar to that of Yanua, composed of a dark 
red loam. The island, in point of fertility, will compare with any of 
the others, and exceeds all those of the southeast in size and produc- 
tiveness. It has rich valleys, or rather ravines, gradually rising and 
contracting until they reach the hills. Extensive groves of cocoa-nuts 
cover its shores and low lands, and add much to its beauty. 

The Porpoise, having taken Tubou Total on board, proceeded to 
the island of Naiau. This is a high island, and rises in perpendicular 
cliffs from the sea to the height of two hundred and seventy-five feet. 



It has only a small reef attached to it on one side, the other side being 
free. It offers no facilities for the visit of vessels. Naiau contains 
a population of two hundred inhabitants, who are perched upon inac- 
cessible peaks, in order to protect themselves from depredations. 

Tabutha is thirty miles north of Lakemba. It has a remarkable 
peak, which rises on its northwest end, and is the Cap Island of the 
charts. A reef surrounds it, in which there are two boat-entrances on 
the southwest and northwest sides. There are on it about ninety 
inhabitants : it has no water except from wells. Tubou Total says 
that this island belongs to him, he having received it as a present from 
the king of Lakemba. There are two small reefs, called Mamouko, 
to the southwest of it, which can be closely approached, and have a 
passage between them. They are three miles from the island, south- 
southwest (true). 

To the eastward of Tabutha lies the small island of Aro. This is a 
very pretty island, and has three reefs in its neighbourhood, — one lying 
northeast seven miles ; another, east half south two and a half miles ; 
the third, south half east two and a half miles. This small island is 
only inhabited during the turtle season, which begins in October and 
ends in February. 

Chichia lies twenty miles to the northwest of Naiau. It is nearly 
circular, is three miles in diameter, and a shore-reef extends around 
it, with no opening but for canoes. Some of its points are three 
hundred feet high. It is in places thickly wooded, and has about 
three hundred inhabitants. There is a small reef to the southwest, 
with a passage between it and the island. The soil is rich, and 
every thing is produced in abundance. Extensive cocoa-nut groves 
clothe its low points. 

Mango is another small island, eighteen miles to the north-north- 
east of Chichia. It is remarkable for an open space near its centre, 
•which appears as if it had been artificially cleared. It is surrounded 
by a reef, which has a break on the northwest side, but affords no 
protection for vessels. The southern part of the reef extends off about 
a mile, and has two small islets in it. It affords no shelter, and there 
is no water except from wells. Its shape is an oval, whose longest 
diameter is three miles, and its shortest two. There is a distinct reef, 
which lies northwest-by-north, four miles from it. 

Vekai, Katafanga, and the reef of Malevuvu, all three lying north 
of Tabutha, were next examined. 

Vekai is six miles from Tabutha. It is a low islet, with an exten- 
sive reef lying on its northwest side, and is resorted to during the turtle 


Katafanga is also a small isle, inhabited only during the turtle season. 
Its reef is much more extensive, being four and a half miles from east 
to west, and has a small opening, which would admit a vessel drawing 
ten feet of water, were it not impeded by some dangerous coral knolls. 
There are huts on its northeast point, and abundance of sugar-cane, 
fruit, and vegetables, may be procured. Both the last named islands 
are volcanic, and specimens of lava were obtained from them. The 
latter island is one hundred and fifty feet in height. 

The reef of Malevuvu is two and a half miles long, and is awash, 
with the sea breaking over it. It is seven miles north-by-east from 
Katafanga. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold having understood 
from Tubou that the reef around Munia enclosed, besides that island, 
six others, and that there was a wide and safe passage through the 
reef, determined, on coming up with it, to enter, which he did on its 
southeast side. The islands, seven in number, were all of considerable 
size : Vanua-valavo, the largest of them, proved to be of a serpentine 
shape, and fourteen miles in length ; each island had its separate reef 
around its shore, and the whole were enclosed by a very extensive reef, 
somewhat of the shape of a triangle, whose sides are twenty-four miles 
in length. The large island is in no place more than two miles wide ; 
it is situated along the western side of the triangle, and contains many 
fine bays and safe anchorages. The other islands are called Munia 
Susui, Malatta, Ticumbia, and Osubu. Lieutenant-Commandant Ring 
gold gave to the cluster the name of the Exploring Isles. 

Boats were dropped to survey the entrance, whilst the brig proceeded 
to her first anchorage under Munia, to which the name of Discovery 
Harbour was given. This anchorage was a good one, in eight and a 
half fathoms water, with fine sandy bottom. In the afternoon they 
landed, and, as they approached, they saw a number of natives holding 
up a white flag, most of whom soon disappeared, leaving only three or 
four in sight. The rest, as Tubou said, had concealed themselves 
behind the rocks for the purpose of attacking the boats. Corodowdow 
hailed them, on w^hich they all appeared, and confirmed the probability 
of Tubou's surmise, by being armed with spears, clubs, bows, and 
arrows. They, however, at once showed the utmost respect for the 
Ambau chief, crouching and stopping when he walked past them, and 
walking half bent when in his presence. 

The koro, or village, was situated some distance from the beach, 
upon hills, which were covered with bread-fruit, cocoa-nut, and 
banana trees. At the koro only two or three persons were found, 
and these appeared to be much terrified ; all the rest, men, women, 
and children, had fled to the hills and bushes. This fear proved to be 
VOL. III. • 23 


occasioned by the presence of Tubou Total, who acknowledged that 
some years ago he had landed on this island and killed sixty of the 
inhabitants, in consequence of their having destroyed a Tonga canoe, 
with all on board. 

Tubou, in order to remove their apprehensions, made them a speech, 
assuring them of his friendly disposition. As is usual among the other 
islands of the group, they applauded at every sentence, by clapping 
hands, in which Tubou himself joined. Confidence was quickly 
restored, the natives flocking around, exhibiting the greatest curiosity, 
examining the clothing, skins, and arms, of our people, and constantly 
uttering guttural sounds. 

The chief of this island (Munia) had but one eye. He appeared 
somewhat under the influence of fear, but made some presents of 
bananas and cocoa-nuts, and complained much of his poverty. They 
returned on board at sunset. 

The next day the boats were prepared for surveying. The launch 
and another boat, under Lieutenants Johnson and Maury, were sent 
to circumnavigate the large island. Parties were also despatched to 
get wood and water. Mr. Totten and Dr. Holmes ascended the 
highest peak of Munia, called Telanicolo, the measurement of which, 
by sympiesometer, gave one thousand and fifty-four feet above the 
level of the sea. This peak is composed of volcanic masses, with 
high, craggy, and overhanging cliffs. The ascent proved difficult, for 
the path passed over steep hills and along the edges of the rocks, and it 
was in places so narrow that only one person could pass at a time. A 
few men might defend the ascent against an army. Upon the summit 
they found the ruins of a small village ; some of the huts were, how- 
ever, kept in repair, as refuge in times of danger. The view from the 
top they describe as beautiful, many of the other islands being in sight. 
The natives who accompanied them, to carry the instruments, &c., 
behaved well, and were amply rewarded. All the natives yet seen by 
the Porpoise were exceedingly fond of tobacco, a very small piece of 
which is an ample reward for a long service. Some thefts were com- 
mitted from the boats by the natives who assisted in bringing the water, 
but on speaking to the chief they were quickly returned. He at the 
same time pointed out the thieves, and requested they might be killed. 

The island of Munia contains about eighty inhabitants, and the 
settlement is on the western side, where water may be obtained in 
small quantities. 

Ticumbia lies five miles to the northeast of Munia. It bears a close 
resemblance to Munia, but is much smaller; the inhabitants are about 
seventy in number. This island affords but little water. 


Susui lies next to Vanua-valavo, and between it and Munia. It is 
divided into three parts, of which the easternmost is low, and covered 
M'ith thick shrubbery and groves of cocoa-nuts ; the western portion 
rises in broken basaltic peaks, several hundred feet high, and is thickly- 
wooded. On this island are several villages, and the number of 
inhabitants is one hundred and fifty. The ground is much better 
cultivated than is usual, the patches of taro and yams being kept 
remarkably neat. Good water may be obtained on the northwest side, 
running from the cliff. On the northwest side, Lieutenant-Comman- 
dant Ringgold discovered a beautiful harbour, secure from all winds, 
whence an extensive valley runs back, thickly covered with bananas, 
cocoa-nuts, &c., with a small stream running through it. They landed 
on the smooth sandy beach, accompanied by Tubou and Corodowdow, 
and took the road to the village, under the guidance of several of the 
natives. The soil of the plain consisted of a rich loam. After ascend- 
ing some distance, they reached a settlement surrounded by large 
banana and other fruit trees. Passing on further, they arrived at a 
second plantation, pitched on an eminence, where they found the 
women all at work making native cloth. Quantities of fossil shells 
were lying about in every direction, and were seen exposed in the 
strata on the hill-sides. Sugar-cane was growing in great perfection. 

The southern side of the island is in close proximity to the reef that 
surrounds the cluster. 

Malatta is the next island. It lies near Susui, and is of snfialler 
size than it. It is divided from Vanua-valavo by a narrow passage. 
The southern part of the latter island is called Lomo-lomo ; its northern 
is called A via; it has a good harbour on its east side, opposite Susui, 
protected by a small islet. On the west side of the island are two 
openings in the reef, a spacious harbour, and large stream of water. 

There is a large village at the head of the bay. The population of 
Vanua-valavo is five hundred. 

Avia is a small island to the northeast of Vanua-valavo. It has a 
few natives residing upon it. 

On the southern side of the great reef, are two small uninhabited 

These Exploring Islands are w&ll situated for the resort of vessels. 
The anchorages are very safe and easily reached. They aflTord an 
abundance of fruit and vegetables. There are five openings in the large 
reef, two at the east end, two on the west, and one on the north side ; 
all safe. Vessels wishing to anchor on the western side must enter 
one of the western passages, as the near approach of Vanua-valavo to 
the large reef does not admit of a passage for vessels between them. 


On the 8th, the Porpoise sailed from the Exploring Isles, and con- 
tinued the surveys of Okimbo and Naitamba, with the surrounding 
reefs, both attached and separate. The former is made up of three 
small isles, enclosed in the same reef, four miles east and west, by three 
miles north and south, which are seven miles to the north of the north- 
west point of Vanua-valavo. The detached reefs are from one to four 
miles in length ; they are awash and dangerous. Okimbo is desolate, 
and affords nothing but turtles in the season, and some biche de mar. 

Naitamba is high and rugged ; it is of a circular form, one mile and 
a half in diameter. The reef does not extend beyond half a mile from 
it, and has no openings. It has few inhabitants. 

The time having now arrived for our meeting at Somu-somu, 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold bore up for that place, passing 
through Tasman's Straits, which lie between the islands of Kamia and 
Vuna. Both of these have many reefs projecting from their shores. 
This passage should not be attempted except in favourable weather, 
and the best time is during the morning hours, when the sun is to the 
eastward of the meridian. The currents are strong, and calms are 
very frequent under the highlands of Kamia and Lauthala. In passing 
through these straits, although they had a careful look-out at the mast- 
head, they were close to a coral knoll before it was seen, and passed 
within a few feet of it. It had no more than eight feet of water on it. 
At noon they rounded the north point of Vuna, entering the Straits of 
Somu-somu, and at two o'clock p. m. they reached the anchorage off 
the town of Somu-somu. 

Having finished all my business at Somu-somu on the 10th of June, 
at ten o'clock at night, I determined, notwithstanding the lateness of 
the hour, to get under way with the tender, in order that I might take 
up the survey of the south side of Vanua-levu, beginning at Tokanova 
Point, early the next morning. We accordingly weighed anchor, and 
stood out of the Straits of Somu-somu. 

In rounding Goat Is-land we did not give it a sufficient berth, and 
grounded on a sunken patch of coral, an accident which hurt the 
feelings of Poor Tom the pilot more than it injured the tender. We 
remained on this shoal about an hour, and after getting off we drifted 
through the strait, and by daylight found ourselves in a position to 
begin the survey. 

At an early hour, Lieutenant Case, Passed Midshipman Harrison, 
and myself, took our boats and entered the reef. Mr. Sinclair was left 
in the tender, with orders to follow the reef close aboard, and direc- 
tions to enter Fawn Harbour ; but having in our progress along the 
reef discovered an opening, I made signal for the tender to enter. 


This entrance appears to be unknown, and leads to a harbour which 

I called Baino, after a town that Tubou informed me was near by. It 

offers good anchorage, being protected by the coral reef, which extends 

off some distance. After the tender had fired guns for fixing our base 

line, a signal was made for her to get under way and proceed to Fawn 

Harbour, four miles to leeward, and anchor at sunset. We joined her 

there, having brought up our work. This has been called Fawn 

Harbour after the neme of an American brig, which was wrecked on 

the reef. In attempting to beat out, she missed stays and went ashore. 

Tubou and Corodowdow requested permission to go on shore and 

spend the night, which I readily gave them, and proposed to Tubou 

to accompany them. On consultation, they said they did not think 

it safe for me to do this, for the people were wild and savage, and 

" there were no gentlemen there." The town is called Tuconreva ; it is 

situated in a pretty cocoa-nut grove, and has a stream of water near it. 

In the morning early we surveyed this small harbour ; and the two 

chiefs having returned on board, we started on our surveys of the 

coast. From the appearance of Tubou and Corodowdow, I thought I 

could perceive the reason why they did not wish my company : they 

evidently had been carousing. The tender at the commencement gave 

us our base by sound, and we proceeded on our survey, leaving her to 

get under way, with orders to anchor at Savu-savu. We continued 

our work all day, and passed only one opening in the reef, which is 

near the small islet of Rativa, and offers little accommodation for any 

class of vessels. It is opposite the town of Nabouni. Lieutenant Case 

and myself stopped for an hour or two to obtain our latitude, on one 

of the small islets, where we found the natives building a canoe. They 

at first seemed uneasy at our presence, but soon became more familiar, 

and finally were disposed to take liberties. I had taken the precaution 

to keep two of the men under arms on guard, and would not permit the 

savages to approach near the boats. 

In the afternoon I observed for chronometer sights on the small 
island of Rativa. Two miles beyond this, the reef joined the shore. Mr. 
Sinclair having conjectured that I had received erroneous information 
respecting the distance to Savu-savu, returned to this point to pick us 
up before dark, and finding an opening in the reef sufficient for small 
vessels, we took advantage of it to join the tender. I at first intended 
to anchor in this little harbour for the night ; but when I reflected how 
necessary it was for me to return to Levuka, I determined, after 
getting on board, to take advantage of the strong breeze, and push 
direct for Ovolau, and at ten o'clock the next morning anchored at 
Levuka, where I found all well, 


The Starling had sailed for Revva with the rudder-pintles of the 
Peacock, which Lieutenant Underwood had succeeded in getting; 
and having heard that Captain Belcher was still at Rewa, I deter- 
mined to visit it, for the double purpose of seeing if we could afford 
him any further facility, and getting observations for latitude and 
meridian distance, as well as eftecting a comparison with my intensity 

Having transferred Lieutenant Case to the Vincennes, Assistant- 
Surgeon Fox and Midshipman Henry joined the tender, and at noon 
we were again under way for Rewa, where we anchored at 9 p. m. 
I had the pleasure of finding Captain Belcher there. He was on the 
eve of sailing, having nearly completed the repairs of his ship, and 
was making his last series of observations. We had many agreeable 
topics to converse upon. 

The Starling had sailed for Mbenga a few days before, whither the 
Sulphur was to go to join her. Captain Belcher sailed the next 
evening; and the following day the tender was hauled in close to the 
beach of the island of Nukalau, in order to protect the spot where we 
were observing throughout the day, and guard against surprise upon 
us by the chiefs of Rewa, which place was but a few miles from us. 
The Rev. Mr. Hunt went to Rewa, and I had the pleasure of a visit 
from the Rev. Messrs. Cargill and Jagger, the missionaries. 

I was not a httle amused at Captain Belcher's account of the effect 
of the regulations as operating upon his vessel. The chiefs required 
him to pay port-charges, and in default thereof refused to give him 
any supplies. In drawing up the Rules and Regulations for the trade, 
it had never occurred to me to mention men-of-war as being free, 
feeling assured that they would all very readily give five times the 
amount of the articles required in presents. But it appears that 
Captain Belcher did not think proper to make the customary present, 
and the chiefs refused to allow any supplies to go to his vessel until he 
should comply with the rules. This incensed the captain, and caused 
him to take offence at the missionaries, who he supposed prevented the 
supplies from being sent. I well knew, however, that they were guilt- 
less. He likewise broke out into strong invectives against the chiefs, 
declaring that it was impossible they could understand the rules, &c., 
although the whole proceeding showed they were not only conversant 
with their meaning, but also with the power they had in their hands of 
compelling the visiter to pay. The following native letter to the 
missionary, received a few days before from Tui Ndraketi, king of 
Rewa, by the Rev. Mr. Cargill, will show the character of this people, 
and the hght in which they viewed the visit of H. B. M. ship Sulphur. 


The king of Rewa, it is necessary to say, is a heathen, and has been 
much opposed to the missionaries making proselytes. The messenger 
presented Mr. Cargill with three reeds of different lengths, the longest 
of which signified that he thought the Feejee fashions and customs 
bad ; the second, that it was wrong to injure white men, and that any 
Feejee man who did so hereafter should be punished ; the third, that 
Captain Belcher was a wrongheaded and bad man ; that he did not 
wish to see his ship there again, or have any thing to do with him, as 
he only came to make trouble, and look at the sun, and consequently 
they believed him to be a foolish fellow. The letter was to condole 
with the missionary, Mr. Cargill, whom he supposed the captain had 

After finishing my observations, we returned to the schooner, and a 
chief of Rewa brought us a present of pigs, for which he received an 
ample return. We saw but few natives, and they all behaved civilly. 

Nukalau is a low, sandy island, well covered with wood. On the 
eastern side it has an extensive coral reef; but the western is clear, 
and may be approached closely. There is a pool of water on the 
island, but no one could water a ship there without the risk of causing 
sickness on board. During the night we were awakened by a great 
noise on deck, and some alarm was experienced. It proved, however, 
to be the chief's pigs that had jumped overboard, and the look-out 
endeavouring to take them ; and before steps could be taken to recap- 
ture them, they had reached the island and effected their escape. 

The Rev. Mr. Hunt here left us for Rewa, and in the morning, 
before daylight, we got under way, on our return to Ovolau. The 
day having proved calm, we were at sunset yet some distance from 
the island. I concluded, therefore, to lay under Ambatiki for the 
night, and by 10 a. m. on the 18th, we again anchored at Levuka. 

The night of the 17th, during my absence at Rewa, there was a 
report that the observatory was to be attacked. Thirty men were, in 
consequence, landed by Lieutenant Carr, and double guards placed. 
The alarm arose from six war-canoes having anchored behind the 
point nearest to the ship, where they were concealed from view. The 
people of the small town of Vi Tonga left their town with all their 
moveable property and fled to the mountains, so apprehensive were 
they of an attack. Natives were seen during the night passing to and 
from the point, who were believed to be spies ; nothing, however, oc- 
curred. In the morning these war-canoes made their appearance, 
when it was given out that it was Seru, with a war-party, on his way 
to attack Goro. His real intention, it was thought, was an attack 
upon the observatory, as he must have known that the usual vigilance 


had not been kept up there for the last week or ten days. His views, 
whatever they may have been, were, however, frustrated. 

Lieutenant Underwood and Passed Midshipman Sandford, I found 
had returned from the survey of the islands of Angau, Nairai, and 
Ambatiki, to the eastward of Ovolau. David Whippy, the Maticum 
Ambau, had been sent with them as an interpreter, and to hold proper 
authority over the natives. 

The first island which had occupied their attention, was Ambatiki. 
It is in shape nearly an equilateral triangle, surrounded by a reef, 
which offers no protection for vessels, and only passages for boats. 
The island is seven hundred and fifty feet high, of a dome shape, and 
contains five hundred inhabitants, all subject (or ygali) to Ambau. 
The people were civil, and gave them taro and yams in plenty, but 
would not part with any pigs. The reason given for this was, their 
fear of Tanoa. They live in villages and seem thriving. The island 
has very little wood on it. The reefs extend one-third of a mile from 
its shore. 

Nairai was the next island visited by them. They first anchored on 
the west end of the Onoruga Reef, that extends oflf from the middle of 
Nairai, five miles in a westerly direction. There is a passage betv^'een 
this and the Mothea, or Eliza Reef, stretching off" from the island to- 
wards the south ; and there are also a good passage and harbour be- 
tween the reef and the island. The Cobu Rock is a good mark for 
the former passage, when it bears east. It lies a mile south of the 
south point of Nairai. 

The boats anchored in the harbour of Venemole, which may be 
known by two small islets, joined to Nairai by the reef, which forms 
a protection against the north winds ; and vessels of any draught of 
water may anchor here in fifteen fathoms, with good bottom, from a 
quarter to half a mile from the shore. Somewhat farther to the south- 
ward is a three-fathom bank, which is the only danger that exists 
inside the reef towards the Cobu Rock or southwest passage. About 
a mile to the north is Venemole Bay. It is circular, with a narrow 
entrance, affording, seemingly, a good harbour ; but, on examination, 
this entrance proved to be quite shallow. The bay had the appear- 
ance of having been an old crater; at low water, it may almost be 
said to become a lake. The officers were much struck with the 
beauty of the bay. It contains a village of the same name and also 
another, called Tulailai; but both are small. The natives were quite 

They anchored at night off" the town of Toaloa, which lies in a 
bight at the north end of the island, and proved the largest town on 


the island. Here David Whippy, acting as the " Maticum Ambau," 
obtained for them all kinds of provisions, and, by his exertions all 
night in superintending the cooking, they were prevented from being 
delayed the next day. Whippy told me that this island held a medium 
betvi^een mbati and ygali to Ambau, being not exactly in that state of 
servitude that the last would imply, nor yet as free as the first. 

Nairai is famous for its manufactures of mats, baskets, &c., a large 
trade in which is carried on throughout the group by exchanges. 

The reef extends from the island four miles northward, and, where 
it ends, turns for a short distance to the westward. There are a few 
patches of rock on its western side, but none farther from it than half 
a mile. This is the reef on which the Flying-Fish struck on entering 
the group, and where she came near being lost. It does not join the 
island, but is connected with the Mothea, or Eliza Reef; and there is, 
between it and the island, a good ship channel, leading to the large 
bay of Corobamba. On the eastern side of this bay, there is safe 
anchorage, in thirteen fathoms water, with a white sandy bottom. 
The reef, extending as it does to the southward for a long distance, 
protects it from the sea in that direction. A broad passage leads from 
Corobamba to the southward, and then passes between Cobu and 
Nairai to the southwest pass through the reef. The only danger is a 
small coral patch, lying east-southeast, a mile from the south end of 
the island, and a mile north of Cobu Rock. 

The town of Corobamba lies at the bottom of the bay, and is next 
in size to Toaloa. The Cobu Rock is a singular one. It is inacces- 
sible on three sides, of volcanic formation, and is enclosed by the 
Mothea Reef, which here spreads to the width of about three miles, 
and extends four miles farther south, where it forms a rounded point. 
The eastern side is an unbroken reef, but the western is somewhat 
irregular and broken, with many openings for boats. 

Lieutenant Underwood ascended the Cobu Rock, for the purpose of 
obtaining angles; and, after observing these with his instrument, turn- 
ing to take the compass's bearing, discovered a remarkable effect of 
local attraction. So great was this, as to cause a deviation of thirteen 
and a quarter points ; Nairai, which was directly to the north, bearing, 
by compass, southeast-by-south one quarter south, while, what was 
quite remarkable, at the foot of the rock, near the water, the same 
compass gave the bearing north, agreeing with that taken from the 
opposite bearing on Point Musilana. 

They next fixed the southern point of Mothea Reef. This has 
obtained the name of the Eliza Reef, from the loss of the brig of that 
name in 1809. On that occasion a large amount of dollars fell into 

VOL. III. a 2 24 


the hands of the natives, who fished them up from the water. They 
were afterwards traded off to the whites, some of whom told me they 
yet occasionally saw a native wearing one as a kind of medal ; but 
none fell under our notice. This accident brought the notorious rascal 
Charley Savage among them. 

They now steered for the northeast point of Angau, whence the 
reef extends off one mile and a half, and has no deep water inside of it. 
It was, therefore, difficult to find a place where they could anchor the 
boats, but at last they found anchorage off the town of Vione, which 
is concealed from view by the mangrove bushes that line the shores of 
this island for several miles. Angau is much larger and higher than 
either Ambatiki or Nairai. 

They found the natives of Angau much more shy than they were 
at either of the other islands. Whippy landed and chased one of them 
into the woods, before he could make him understand that he was the 
great Maticum Ambau of whom they had heard so much. On its 
becoming known to them, they became reconciled, and took the pro- 
visions on shore to cook them. 

The reef continues round the east side, close to the island. There 
are several openings in it, but none that offer a fit place for a vessel 
to anchor. As the south side is approached, the reef extends off several 
miles, and the water upon it is so shoal that even the boats were 
forced to keep on the outside, and, for want of an opening, were 
obhged to anchor without the reef. In the morning they crossed the 
reef at high water, and soon got into deep water. The survey of the 
southern side proved there was safe anchorage, the holding-ground 
being good in twenty fathoms water in the bay, and opposite the town 
of Lakemba ; but during a southerly blow, a vessel would be much 
exposed to the wind and sea. There are several openings and clear 
passages through the reef on the northwest side, and clear water round 
to the south, but the bights to the north are full of coral patches. 

There are villages every few miles around this island. It is subject 
to Ambau, and its inhabitants are considered much more savage than 
those of the other islands in its neighbourhood. 

Having completed the surveys, agreeably to his instructions, Lieu- 
tenant Underwood returned by the way of Ambatiki, and reached 
Levuka after an absence of nine days. The men had been at their 
oars pulling almost constantly for the period of eight days, sleeping in 
the boats, and seldom allowed to land. 

Mr. Knox and Colvocoressis were sent with the tender to complete 
the surveys of Wakaia, Mokungai, and Mekundranga. All three con- 
tain few inhabitants, and have been the scene of the horrid tragedies 


often committed by the stronger on the weak tribes of this group. 
There is a remarkable shelf formed near the centre of the island of 
Wakaia, which goes by the name of the Chief's or Chieftain's Leap. 
Near this there is now a small town, at which the former inhabitants 
for some time defended themselves from their savage enemies, but 
being hard pressed, and finding they must be taken, they followed their 
chief's example, threw themselves off the precipice, several hundred 
feet in height, and were dashed to pieces, to the number of a hundred 
and more. 

Mokungai fell under the displeasure of the Ambau chiefs, and the 
whole population was exterminated after a bloody battle on the beach 
of its little harbour. Some of the whites witnessed this transaction, 
and bear testimony to the bloody scene, and the cannibal feasting for 
days after, even on those bodies that were far gone to decay. They 
are both, as 1 have before said, under the rule of the chief of Levuka. 

Wakaia now contains only about thirty inhabitants, whilst Mokungai 
has only one or two families. 

While the schooner was at Wakaia, a man by the name of Murray, 
swam on shore, assisted by one of the air-mattrasses to buoy him up and 
carry his clothes ; it was two or three days before he was taken, which 
was done by surprising him in the village ; he was found surrounded 
by a number of the natives, who had not time to conceal themselves. 
All the villages, or koros, are very desirous to have a white man living 
with them, and are anxious to procure one if they can. 

These islands are in sight from Ovolau, from which they are 
separated by a strait of ten miles in width. Although several miles 
apart, they are situated within the same reef. There are several 
openings leading through the reef near Wakaia, on its eastern side, 
but they cannot be recommended except for small vessels. I passed 
through one of them, but found it much blocked up with coral knolls. 
The entrance on the southwest side, leading to Flying-Fish Harbour, 
is quite narrow. On the west side of Mokungai there is also a small 
harbour, formed partly by reefs and partly by the little island of 

Finding, on examination, that there was a reef that had not been 
surveyed, orders were sent for the tender to return to Levuka, 
which she did on the follow^ing day, and on the next I sent her, with 
Lieutenant Underwood, to examine the reef off Angau. This reef is 
called JMumbolithe, and is situated fourteen miles to the south of Lobo 
Hill, the southeast point of Angau ; it is oval in shape, and three-fourths 
of a mile in length ; the sea breaks on it at all times. 

In returning from this service, when off Nairai, they had a narrow 



escape from shipwreck, being nearly on the reef, in a dark night, 
before it was discovered. Any other vessel of the squadron but the 
Flying-Fish would probably have been lost; but her admirable quali- 
ties were well proved in the exploration of this dangerous and unknown 

Tui Levuka had prepared an exhibition of the native club-dance, 
which we went on shore, by invitation, on the 24th, to witness. For 
this purpose, all the chiefs and people of the neighbouring town, under 
his authority were called upon to assist, and it required three or four 
days to complete the arrangements. As the day drew near, the bustle 
of preparation increased, and, previous to our landing, many people 
were seen running to and fro, to complete the arrangements. We 
were shown the way to the mbure, the platform or terrace of which, 
overlooking the whole scene, was assigned to us. The street, if so I 
may call it, widened and formed a square at the mbure, both sides 
being enclosed by stone walls ; in front, at about thirty paces distance, 
were seated about one hundred men and boys : these we afterwards 
ascertained were the musicians. The stone walls in the vicinity 
were crowded by numbers of natives of both sexes, while beyond them 
an open space was apparently reserved, and surrounded by numbers 
of spectators. 


We stood in expectation of the opening of the entertainment, and 
were amused to observe the anxiety manifested by the natives, both 
old and young. Suddenly we heard shouts of loud laughter in the 



open space beyond, and saw moving towards its centre a clown. His 
body was entirely covered with green and dried leaves, and vines 
bound round in every way; on his head he wore a mask somewhat 
resembling a bear's head, painted black on one side, and orange on 
the other ; in one hand he carried a large club, and in the other, one 
of the short ones, to which our men had given the name of " Handy 
Billy ;" his movements were very much like those of our clowns, and 
drew down immense applause from the spectators. The musicians 
now began a monotonous song on one note, the bass alternating with 
the air ; they then sound one of the common chords in the bass clef, 
without the alternation. Some of the performers clapped their hands 
to make a sharp sound ; others beat sticks together ; while a few had 
joints of large bamboo, two or three feet long, open at one end, which 
they struck on the open end, producing a sound similar to that of a 
weak-toned drum. Although it could not be called music, they 
kept good time. The notes of the music were obtained, and are as 
follows : 













To this air they use words applicable to the occasion. The dancers 
now advanced two by two, from behind a large rock which had served 
to screen them from view ; they were all dressed in their gala dresses, 
with white salas and new masi on ; the chiefs had around their turbans, 
wreaths of natural vines and flowers, which had a pretty effect ; their 
faces were painted in various patterns, black and vermilion. In enter- 
ing, their progress was slow, taking no more than three measured 
steps between each halt; as they drew nearer they changed their order 
to three and four abreast, using their clubs in a variety of attitudes, 
which are well represented in the admirable drawing Mr. Drayton has 


made of this scene. The whole number of dancers in the procession 
was upwards of a hundred. At the end of each strain of music tliey 
advanced three steps at a time, bowing gracefully to us, and changing 
the position of their clubs. When all had entered the square they 
became more violent in their actions, jumping, or rather treading the 
ground violently, at the same time joining in the song. Each dance 
was finished with a kind of war-whoop at the top of their voices. 

1» — 

Wha hoo 

The clown was, in the mean time, very active in mimicking the 
chiefs and the most remarkable of the dancers. The whole exhibition 
lasted fully an hour, and when the dance was over, each brought his 
club and laid it in front of us as a present. These weapons formed a 
very large pile ; and it was amusing to me to perceive many of them 
change their clubs for those of much less value before they brought 
them to present. In return for these, they expected presents, which 
were given them. 

John Sac, or Tuatti, our New Zealander, was desirous of showing 
the dance of his country, which excited great astonishment among 
them. John's dance was one of great energy and violence, and as 
opposite from that we had just witnessed as could well be conceived. 
We had afterwards several dances by young girls and children, with 
which the afternoon's amusements ended. 

The flute, although much in use among them, was not played on 
this occasion. It consists simply of a piece of bamboo, both ends of 
which are stopped ; it has five holes, one of which is placed near the 
end, to which the left nostril is applied. Of the other holes, two are in 
the middle, and two at the other end, for the fingers. This instrument 
produces a low plaintive note, which is but slightly varied by the 
closing and opening of the holes. It is sometimes accompanied by the 
voice, a union which the whites informed me was greatly admired by 
the natives, who not unfrequently applaud the performance by clap- 
ping their hands. No other instrument but the flute is played by the 
women as an accompaniment for the voice. They likewise have a 
kind of Pandean pipe, made of several reeds of diflerent sizes, lashed 

The next day, Tui Levuka paid me a visit for the purpose of 
receiving the presents, which I told him I was desirous to give him, in 
return for the clubs we received at the exhibition of the dance. He 
remained late in the evening, in order, as he said, to prevent the 


Ambau people from getting a sight of them, in which case they would 
all be taken from him. 

On the 25th of June, as I was employed surveying, having David 
Whippy in the boat with me, it being a remarkably clear day, and 
the peaks on the far-distant islands very conspicuous, I proposed to 
Whippy to ascend an almost perpendicular rock, some eighty feet high, 
on the north end of Ovolau, which we had named Underwood Tower. 
David seemed to hesitate, and said it was beyond the boundary of Tui 
Levuka's authority ; but seeing me anxious, he said he thought it might 
be done. I accordingly landed at some distance from its base. There 
were no natives in sight at the time. After a hard scramble we 
reached the top, which was about ten feet square, with the instruments. 
Here I was soon engaged in my occupation, and took no note of what 
was passing around me, except that after a time I observed several 
natives sitting around, and was a little annoyed by David fidgeting 
about me. Finally, I got through all that I desired, and now found the 
cause of the anxiety felt by David. A number of natives had collected, 
and he thought, to use the expression of white men, they were after 
mischief. He at once ordered them to go beyond club distance, and 
with three men, Whippy, and myself, well armed, passed down safely 
to the boat, where we found the rest of the crew, with their arms in 
their hands, and under no small anxiety to see us safely back. 
Whippy's great care was to get me out of the reach of accident ; and 
he told me after we shoved off, that he never expected to get to the 
boat without killing some of those rascals. He expected the attack on 
the rock, and thought they would have endeavoured to throw me 
headlong down. This incident will serve to show how little these 
natives are to be trusted at any time, and how unaware one may be 
of the danger that is at all times impending. 

The Rev. Messrs. Cargill and Hunt reached Levuka from Rewa. 
Mr. Hunt was to remain with me until an opportunity offered in our 
surveying operations to send him to Somu-somu. Mr. Cargill oftered 
me every information in his power relative to the group, and I here 
take occasion to acknowledge his liberality in this respect, as well as 
that of the rest of the missionaries. Mr. Cargill was about to return 
to England, having recently lost his wife, and been left with five 
young children. For this purpose, he intended proceeding to Sydney 
in the Currency Lass. 

Ngaraningiou, the brother of Vendovi, who, it will be recollected, 
played so important a part in his capture, visited the ship. He is a 
remarkably fine-looking chief He requested that his likeness might 
De taken, and, to his great delight, after it was finished, it was pre- 


sented to him. He was attended by a white man, an Enghshman by 
the name of Wilson, who lives with him, and is a partner of Hough- 
ton, the owner of the Currency Lass. Ngaraningiou was accused of 
having robbed, with the connivance of Wilson, the house of the 
latter, and possessed himself of all the property ; but it appeared to 
me, on an investigation of the business, that it was a complication 
of roguery all round ; I therefore left it for them to settle among them- 

The officers at the observatory, whilst at dinner, were one day 
visited by her majesty the queen of Ambau, one of Tanoa's hundred 
wives. She was not dressed differently from the rest of the females. 
The usual liki was worn ; she had a trochus ring on her arm, and a 
spondylus hung from her neck, and her head was covered with a pro- 
digious mass of parti-coloured hair. Her majesty and retinue soon 
cleared the table of its contents ; and it was quite fortunate that the 
officers had finished their dinner before she arrived. 

Mr. Eld procured from her majesty her bracelets and two baskets, 
in return for which he presented her with a small looking-glass and a 
few brass rings, with coloured glass in them, with which her majesty 
and the attendants were highly delighted. 

The ladies of the seraglio were constant visiters, and seemed de- 
termined to obtain all the presents from us they could possibly extract. 
The expense of gratifying them was trifling ; but after seeing many of 
them they became tiresome, and were not a little annoying by leaving 
large grease-spots where they sat, from the profusion of oil and 
turmeric with which they were covered. The highest queen of Am- 
bau came last, and she took great pains to impress this on every one. 
She brought a large retinue with her, among whom was a young son 
of Tanoa. 

Among the natives who had been round the observatory, were some 
from the town of Lebouni, mountaineers, who had been living in the 
neighbourhood, and doing some little jobs for the men stationed there. 
This young son of Tanoa began throwing stones at the cocoa-nut 
trees, to insult these natives ; and when they remonstrated, he threat- 
ened to stone them also. Some of these natives soon secured the 
youth, near the village of Vi Tonga, and had his head on a stone, and 
their clubs raised to knock his brains out, when he was rescued by 
some of the white men. The affair was finally settled by the queen 
and the chiefs of Levuka and Vi Tonga. 

On the breaking up of the observatory, when I was desirous of 
building the stone pile, the natives of Lebouni, or mountaineers, would 
not assist, alleging that the three who had been working for the 


cook and men had not been treated to extra presents, although they 
could not deny that they had been liberally paid ; and, as we looked 
upon this conduct as an attempt at extortion, no more notice was 
taken of them, and they sat idle during the whole time. 

The white residents at Levuka were very desirous of obtaining a 
mission-school for their children, and Mr. Waldron took a lively in- 
terest in promoting this object. Having bought a piece of ground 
from the chief, he presented it to the missionaries for the purpose. Mr. 
Cargill stayed a few days at Levuka, after our departure, in order to 
make arrangements respecting the erection of a school-house and 
chapel, which the chief had promised to erect on the ground, that the 
white men might enjoy their own religion, or lotu. 

Mr. Hunt mentioned to me, that the gift of Mr. Waldron would, 
according to the custom of the Feejees, enable them to establish a 
mission station at Levuka, notwithstanding the objections of Tanoa, 
for the owners now had a right to do what they pleased with the soil 
or ground that belonged to them, without hindrance or control. Tanoa 
has hitherto resisted every attempt to induce him to admit a missionary 
within his immediate sovereignty, while all the other towns or districts 
have acceded to and desire their residence. I was told that his reason 
for refusing was, that he considers that the moment the missionary 
comes, a chief loses his influence, or must change his religion. This 
he now was too old to do, as he would be unable to learn all about the 
gods of the Papalangis, and it would be showing great disrespect to his 
own gods, whom he has worshipped so long. I have myself but little 
doubt if Tanoa, in the height of his power, had embraced Christianity, 
the whole of his people would have followed ; but as long as he resists 
none will change, partly through fear of their own chief, but more so 
from the punishment which would await them by the orders of the 
great Ambau chief. 

On the 27th, the instruments were all embarked, and the return of 
the tender enabled me to put to sea on the 28th of June. Intending to 
visit the hot springs of Savu-savu on Vanua-levu, we left Levuka in 
the morning, and stood over towards the end of the Wakaia Reef, 
with the view of passing round it. It being Sunday, the Rev. Mr. 
Hunt, who was a passenger on board with me, volunteered to officiate 
for us, which was gladly accepted. After service, I found the wind 
would not permit my weathering the point of the reef; so I bore up to 
pass through the Mokungai Passage, with a strong breeze. After 
getting through (which we had some difficulty in doing, in conse- 
quence of the strong ebb tide setting to the southward and westward), 
I stood on towards Direction or Nemena Island, intending, as the 

VOL. in. R 85 


wind was becoming light, to enter through the narrow passage 
in the reef, and anchor under it, rather than remain surrounded 
by reefs during the night. Tom Granby had some doubts about 
the propriety of attempting it, but, as I knew the passage well my- 
self, I determined to try it, if we reached it before sunset. On our 
way across, we saw a school of sperm whales. These begin to fre- 
quent the seas around these islands in the month of July, are most 
plenty in August and September, and continue about the reefs and 
islands four or five months. I am informed that they are frequently 
seen from the town of Levuka, near the harbour and adjacent reefs. It 
seems remarkable that the natives of these islands, who value whales' 
teeth so highly, should have devised no means of taking the animal 
that yields them, although it frequents their seas for three or four 
months in the year. The chiefs, of whom I inquired, seemed to show 
an ignorance upon the subject that I was a little surprised at. Although 
daring navigators in other respects, they showed a great difficulty in 
comprehending the mode of capturing whales. Their canoes would 
not be adapted to this object, being easily overturned, and, as yet, they 
have but little intercourse with whale-ships. It was nearly four o'clock 
when we reached the passage and passed through. Out of either gang- 
way a biscuit could have been tossed on the reef: there is not room for 
two vessels to pass. Tom could not help congratulating me and him- 
self that we had got through in safety. Three miles more brought us 
to the anchorage. The weather being perfectly clear, and all the peaks 
of Ovolau and the other islands to the south in sight, I determined to 
take advantage of it. I therefore had my boat lowered, and, as soon 
as the ship dropped her anchor, pulled for the shore, where I reached 
the station I had before occupied when in the tender, and succeeded in 
getting all the observations 1 desired. 

Before leaving the ship, I had ordered Lieutenant Alden and 
Passed Midshipman Colvocoressis, with two boats, to join the tender, 
and proceed to the survey of Goro and the Horseshoe Reef. On 
my return on board, I was surprised to see her returning, and ascer- 
tained that they did not think she could get through the reefs, on 
account of the darkness. I immediately sent boats to assist her 
through with lights, for I did not think the alleged impediment a suffi- 
cient one to prevent her. She had been familiarly nicknamed by the 
crew as " The Night-Hawk." By this aid she got through, and, in 
consequence, they were off Goro the next morning, ready to begin 
the survey. Thus, much time was saved by a little perseverance, 
and a determination on my part to have the work executed. The 
occurrence will serve to show the difficulties that frequently arose in 


enforcing the strict observance of orders, by which a loss of time 
incompatible with the service we were upon was often sustained. 

The next day completed my observations and finished the survey 
of Nemena, or Direction Isle. In the afternoon we got under way, 
and stood over to the northward for Savu-savu on the island of 
Vanua-levu. The wind was quite light when we passed out of the 
reef, on the opposite side to that where we had entered it. I had 
previously sent two boats to examine the passage, and anchor in the 
deepest water. We approached the passage with a light air, having 
all sail set, but had very little headway. The water was perfectly 
clear, and the rocks, and fish, with the bottom and keel of the ship, 
were plainly visible. When we got in the passage, the officer in the 
boat told me that the keel looked as if it was in contact with the coral ; 
the lead, however, gave three fathoms, one and a half feet to spare. It 
was a little exciting for twenty minutes, but we did not touch. If we 
had, the ship, in all probability, would have been a wreck ; for, as the 
tide was falling, she would have hung on the coral shelf, and been but 
partly supported by it. This is the great danger attendant on the 
navigation of this group, as indeed of all coral islands. 

We were becalmed during the whole night; and the next morning, 
finding the calm still continued, I took to my boat, directing Lieu- 
tenant Carr to steer in for the bay when he got a breeze, supposing it 
would set in at the ordinary time, eleven o'clock. I landed on a small 
islet, about six miles from the place where I left the ship, and near the 
mouth of the bay. To reach the islet we pulled in over the reef, 
which had on it about four feet of water. The islet was composed of 
scoriaceous lava, much worn, and about twelve feet above the coral 
shelf Here I established myself, and was busy securing my observa- 
tions, when I discovered that my boat was aground, and that the tide 
was still falling. The islet as well as the reef became dry. It was 
not long before we observed the shadow of natives projecting from a 
rock about fifty yards from us, who it now appeared were watching 
us closely ; and not long after not less than fifty shadows were seen in 
different directions. I at once ordered all the arms and ammunition 
to be brought up on the top, and made our situation as defensible as 
possible, for I had little doubt if they saw that we were unprepared 
they would attack us. The firing of one or two guns, and the show 
that we were all on our guard, at once caused a change in their inten- 
tions towards us, which they manifested by bringing articles of trade. 

The natives of this part of the group are considered by the rest as 
the most savage, and have seldom been visited by the whites. The 
afternoon came; and the ship not having made much progress, 1 


made signal for a boat, for my men had nothing to eat, and had 
exhausted their water. The signal was after some time seen and 
answered, and a boat sent, but came without any supply. Towards 
sunset we were relieved from our awkward situation, and shortly 
after, the tide having risen, I took a reconnaissance of the point of the 
reef, and went on board. A light breeze springing up, we stood in ; 
but the wind came out ahead, and I was obliged to send three boats 
to anchor near the danger, in order to be able to enter. I reached a 
temporary anchorage on the shelf of the coral reef at midnight. This 
was the only bottom I could find during the night, and we dropped 
the anchor in fourteen fathoms. Sounding around the ship, we found 
she had scarcely room to swing with twenty-five fathoms of chain 
cable ; but it was better than beating about among reefs, the position 
of which I was then almost wholly ignorant of The next morning 
proved our position to be far from enviable, but the wind kept us off 
the reef Some officers and men were sent to search the reef for 
shells, others were engaged in surveying, whilst with some others I 
procured another set of observations on the islet, off Savu-savu Point. 

In the afternoon we again got under way, and proceeded farther up 
the bay, anchoring off Waicama, or the hot springs, in twenty-eight 
fathoms water. The bay of Savu-savu is a fine sheet of deep water, 
ten miles in length, east and west, by five miles in breadth, from north 
to south ; it is surrounded by very high and broken land, rising in 
many places into lofty needle-shaped peaks; it is protected by the 
extensive reef reaching from Savu-savu Point on the east, to Kom- 
belau on the west, excepting a large opening of about a mile in width, 
two miles distant from Savu-savu Point. On anchoring I despatched 
two boats, under Lieutenants Case and Underwood, to join the surveys 
we had made in the tender, as far as Rativa Island ; they departed the 
same evening on this duty. The projection of land forming Savu-savu 
Point is much lower than that on the other sides of the bay. 

I visited the hot springs, which are situated opposite a small island, 
round which a narrow arm of the bay passes, forming a small har- 
bour ; a considerable stream of fresh water enters the bay, about a 
mile above the situation of the springs. , On landing, we found the 
beach absolutely steaming, and warm water oozing through the sand 
and gravel ; in some places it was too hot to be borne by the feet. 

The hot springs are five in number ; they are situated at some dis- 
tance from the beach, and are nine feet above the level of high water; 
they occupy a basin forty feet in diameter, about half-way between 
the base of the hill and the beach. A small brook of fresh water, 
three feet wide by two deep, passes so close to the basin, that one 



X X J E E . 

hand may be put into a scalding spring, and the other in water of the 
temperature of 75°. That of the spring stands at 200° to 210°. The 
waters join below, and the united streams stand at 145°, which dimi- 
nish in temperature until they enter the sea. In the lower part of the 
bed of the united stream, excavations have been made, where the 
natives bathe. The rock in the neighbourhood is compact coral and 
volcanic breccia, although it is no where to be seen exposed within a 
third of a mile of the spring. The ground about the spring is a deep 
brown and black mould, covered with coarse native grass, (a species 
of Scirpus,) which is thickly matted. There is no smell of sulphur, 
except when the head is brought as close as possible to the water; but 
it has a strong saline taste. No gas appeared to be disengaged. The 
basin is in a mixture of blue and brown clay, and little grass grows 
in it. 

These springs are used by the natives to boil their food, which is 
done by putting the taro or yams into the spring, and covering them 
up with leaves and grass. Although the water scarcely had any 
appearance of boiling before, rapid ebullition ensues. It gurgles up 

198 L A K E M B A A N D S A V U- S A V U. 

to a height of eight or ten inches, with the same noise as is made by 
a cauldron when over the fire. Taro, yams, &c., that were put in, 
were well done in about fifteen minutes. The mouths of the springs 
are from eighteen inches to two feet in diameter, and have apparently 
been excavated by the natives for their own purposes. The account 
they give of them is, that they have always been in the same state 
since the spirit fii'st took up his abode there. They are convinced that 
he still resides there, and the natives say that one spring is kept pure 
for him, which they do not use. There is one ambati or priest who 
has communication with the spirit, and there was a small mbure build- 
ing between the springs and the beach. A chief amused me by say- 
ing that " the Papalangi had no hot water, and that the natives were 
much better off, for they could go to sleep, and when they woke up, 
they always found their water boiling to cook their food in." 

From the accounts of the natives, this place was formerly very 
populous, but constant wars have destroyed or expelled the dwellers. 
At present there are but few, and none reside nearer than the town of 
Savu-savu, which is two miles off. 

On the hills behind the springs, there has been one of the strongest 
forts in the Feejee Islands. It has two moats, and in the centre was 
a high mound, that had evidently cost much labour in its construction. 
These hills were bare of trees. 

On my return I stopped on a coral rock, one-third of a mile from 
the springs, through which boiling water was issuing in several places. 
This rock is one hundred and fifty feet from the beach, and is covered 
at high water, but at low tide rises about three feet above the surface ; 
it is ten feet wide by twenty long. Mixed or embedded in this coral 
rock is a large quantity of comminuted shells. One hundred and fifty 
or sixty feet further in the woods there is another boiling spring, from 
which a large quantity of water is thrown out ; indeed the whole area, 
of half a mile square, seems to be covered with hot springs. The 
coral rock was so hot that the hand could not be kept upon it. A 
considerable quantity of the water was procured, and has been ana- 
lyzed by Dr. Charles T. Jackson, of Boston. It gives the following 

Sp. gr. 1-0097 ; Temperature, 57° F. ; Barom., 30-89 in. 

A quantity of the water, equal in measure to one thousand grains 
of distilled water, was evaporated to entire dryness, and the weight of 
the salts amounted to 7-2 grains. 


These salts yielded upon analysis the following results : 

Chlorine ..... 


Sodium ..... 

1-G65 or Soda— 2-238 

Magnesia ..... 


Lime ..... 


Silica and iron, with a trace of phosphate of lime 


Carbonic acid ..... 



Organic matter and loss 



Early "in the morning, the launch and first cutter came in. From 
the officer's report, I found that he had surveyed (since I left him on 
the 4th of June on Passage Island) the reef between it and Vanua-levu, 
and part of the distance down to Mbua or Sandalwood Bay. There 
he had remained inactive for ten or twelve days, until Captain Hudson 
sent him a fresh supply of provisions, and additional orders to proceed 
along the south side of Vanua-levu, which he was doing when he 
joined me. In extenuation of his delay at Sandalwood Bay, he pleaded 
the literal construction of his orders ; they will be found in Appendix 
VIII. On such duty, a commanding officer frequently labours under a 
disadvantage from giving officers more credit for a zealous disposition 
than they deserve. I thought the orders were sufficiently explicit to 
have allowed a construction to be placed upon them that would have 
saved much valuable time, and have left the officer full liberty to work 
hard if he were so inclined. The bay of Mbua was not even surveyed, 
and I was forced to send him back again the same afternoon to the 
survey of the route he had already passed over. 

On the 3d of July, we were engaged in surveying the upper portion 
of the bay, and in making astronomical observations which were all 
completed by night. 

Towards evening the tender came in and anchored, having suc- 
ceeded in accomphshing the survey of both the island of Goro and the 
Horseshoe Reef. The former is considered by the natives one of the 
most fruitful islands of the group ; it is a high island, though not so 
much broken as the others, and, from appep ranee, would be suscepti- 
ble of cultivation to its very top. It is ygali to Ambau, by which it is 
constantly looked to for supplies. It is surrounded by a reef, which is, 
for the most part, a shore-reef, and affords no harbour ; there is, how- 
ever, anchorage on the northwest side. The island is nine and a half 
miles long, by four miles wide. The produce of Goro is oil and tor- 


toise-shell, and exceeds in quantity that of any other island of the group ; 
its population is two thousand. 

The Horseshoe Reef lies between Goro, Nairai, and Wakaia ; it is an 
extremely dangerous one. The name is derived from its shape, and 
its opening is on the north side ; it is even with the water, which after 
stormy weather may be seen breaking on it, from the heights of 
Ovolau ; it is one mile in diameter ; there are no other dangers nearer 
to it than the north reef of Nairai. 

On the 4th of July, I suspended work, and gave the crew liberty to 
go on shore, which they enjoyed greatly, and amused themselves 
with playing at ball and other exercises. Many of them scalded and 
cleaned their pork in the hot water at the coral rocks. 

On our first arrival here, few natives made their appearance, but we 
soon had a number of them around us from all parts of the bay. Some 
of these from the west side were savage and wild-looking fellows. 
There were, in all, about two hundred, and the females were much 
better looking than those we had heretofore seen. The latter danced 
for us ; if the motions of their arms and legs, and clapping of their 
hands to a kind of chaunt, resembling that of the Jews in their syna- 
gogue, deserve to be so denominated. Their mode of dress is much 
the same as in the other parts of the group. 

Among all this number we did not see one man over forty years 
of age ; and on asking for the old people, we were told they were all 
buried ! 

The district of Savu-savu, from the best estimate I could obtain, 
contains about two thousand three hundred inhabitants. This district 
includes the part of the south coast of Vanua-levu, from Fawn Har- 
bour, in the Tukonreva district, to Nemean Point, about eight miles 
west of the town of Savu-savu; it contains seventeen koros or towns. 

To the westward of Savu-savu district is Wailevu, which extends 
beyond Kombelau, where the chief resides. He is said to have one 
hundred towns under him. This is, undoubtedly, an exaggeration, 
although his district is populous, and from information I received, the 
number of people under his rule may be set down as nearly seven 
thousand. These two districts are entirely independent of the great 
chief of the Feejees. The inhabitants are a fine-looking race of men, 
and we were told that they are well disposed towards the whites. The 
young women are the best-looking of any I have met with in the group, 
and are treated with more consideration and equality than is usual 
among these islands. 

The natives about Savu-savu evinced much greater curiosity re- 
specting us than we had heretofore remarked, and those from the bay 


are particularly wild-looking. As elsewhere, when asked about the 
people of the interior, they describe them as being ferocious and 
crnel, saying that they go entirely naked, wearing no tapa ; are very 
large and strong, eating roots and wild berries. They invariably con- 
nect something marvellous with their accounts; but on closely ques- 
tioning these men, they all agreed that they had never seen one, and, 
from all the inquiries I have made through the missionaries, natives 
and whites, I am satisfied there are very few, if any, inhabitants that 
dwell permanently in the mountains. It is contrary to the usual 
habits of the Feejees, and those of all the groups in the Pacific. The 
climate of the mountains is too cold and wet, and entirely unsuited to 
their tastes and habits; so far from seeking the high lands, they are 
invariably found inhabiting the fruitful valleys, and only in times of 
danger and war resort to neighbouring inaccessible peaks, to protect 
themselves against their more powerful adversaries. Their food is 
almost exclusively produced in the low grounds and along the sea- 
shore, for it consists principally of fish, taro, yams, and cocoa-nuts, 
and the latter, as has been before observed, seldom reach maturity 
oven at the altitude of six hundred feet. 

The bay of Savu-savu may be known by a remarkable saddle- 
shaped peak, lying just behind it; there are several other high peaks, 
that show the interior to be very rugged and high. Some of these 
peaks reach the altitude of four thousand feet. 

On the evening of the 4th, Lieutenant Case returned, having finished 
the survey, connecting his work on with Rativa Island. There was no 
harbour found along this shore, expect for very small vessels and boats. 

Lieutenant Alden, in the Flying-Fish, was now directed to proceed 
and examine some reefs on the north side of Vitilevu, that he reported 
having seen from the top of the Annan Islands, and also to examine 
the ot^ng for reefs. He sailed on this duty at ten o'clock at night. 

At daylight on the 5th, the Vincennes got under way to proceed to 
Mbua or Sandalwood Bay, with a moderate and favourable breeze. 
I determined to take the outside passage off Kombelau Point, although 
that usually pursued, which is close to the land, is considered the 
safest. There is a reef off Kombelau Island, five miles in length by 
two in width; and beyond, and between it and the great Passage 
Island Reef, there is a passage supposed to be full of shoals. I had 
reason to believe, however, from the examination of Lieutenant Perry 
and Mr. De Haven, that there would be no difficulty in taking the 
ship through, which I accordingly did. This channel has shoals in it, 
some with but a few feet of water over them, while others have suffi- 
cient for any class of vessels. The least water we had was nine 

VOL. III. 26 


L A K E M B A AND S A V U - S A V U. 

fathoms. I believe we were enabled to locate all the shoals in it, and 
I think it a safe passage. With the sun in the east, and steering 
towards the west, the dangers are distinctly visible. After passing 
through this channel, we kept the great reef in sight, sailing for Buia 
Point. When about half way to that point, we passed along a reef a 
mile in length, lying four miles off the large island. The water is so 
smooth within these reefs that it is necessary to keep a good look-out 
from aloft, as the smaller ones seldom have any break on them. 

Beyond Buia Point the passage becomes still more intricate, and 
opposite Rabe-rabe Island it is quite narrow, though there is ample 
water for any vessel. We, however, went briskly on, having a fine 
breeze from the eastward. After getting sight of the Lecumba Point 
Reef, there is but a narrow channel into the bay, which we reached at 
half-past 3 p. m. The Peacock had just arrived from the north side of 
Vanua-levu, and anchored. 

Mbua or Sandalwood Bay, though much filled with large reefs, 
offers ample space for anchorage. The holding-ground is excellent, 
and the water not too deep. The bay is of the figure of a large segment 
of a circle, six miles in diameter, and is formed by Lecumba Point on 
the east and that of Dimba-dimba on the west. The land immediately 
surrounding it is low, but a few miles back it rises in high and pic- 
turesque peaks. That of Corobato is distinguished from the Vitilevu 
shore, and has an altitude of two thousand feet. The shores of the 
bay are lined with mangroves, and have, generally, extensive mud-flats. 
There are few facilities here for obtaining either wood or water, as 
the anchorage is a long distance from the shore. Several small 
streams enter the bay in its upper part, flowing from some distance in 
the interior. This was the principal place where the sandalwood was 
formerly obtained, but it has for some years past been exhausted. 1 
shall defer speaking of this district until I have given an account of the 
operations of the Peacock. 

^f^EStfJ- — 








On the 26th of May, the Peacock was off Vatulele. Leaving 
Mbenga to the north, Kantavu on the south, and passing through the 
sea of Kantavu, they had surveyed the southwest side of Vatulele, and 
afterwards stood for the opening in the reef off the west end of Viti- 
levu, through which they passed after sunset, anchoring on the inside 
of the reef of Navula, in thirteen fathoms water. This is the limit of 
the king of Rewa's authority. 

On the morning of the 27th, they coasted along the land inside of 
the reef. The shores of Vitilevu are here low ; but the land within a 
short distance rises to the height of one thousand feet, and has a 
brown and barren appearance. It is destitute of trees, except on the 
low points along the shores, which are covered with mangrove 
(Rhizophora) and cocoa-nut groves. Here and there is a deep valley 
or mountain-top clothed with wood, which is seen in no other places. 
This was afterwards observed to be generally the case with the lee- 
ward side of all the islands, and particularly of the large ones. I do 
not think that this can be accounted for by the difference of cHmate, 
although it is much drier on the lee than on the weather side ; but I 
deem it probable that the practice of burning the yam-beds and 
clearing the ground by fire, may have consumed all the forests, in 
dry seasons. The yam is extensively cultivated every where, and, 
from our observations, it would seem that the leeward parts of the 
island would afford most excellent pasturage for cattle ; yet it is 
remarkable, that, although several head of cattle were introduced 
about five years before our visit, they have not in a single instance 


Beyond the immediate coast, the land rises in mountain ranges, 
between four and five thousand feet hio-h. 

The islands to the west — the Asaua Group, with Malolo, Yomo, 
and the adjacent low coral islands — are all in sight, with their laby- 
rinth of reefs; whilst the numerous towns of Vitilevu, perched on 
their eyrie cliffs, continued to meet the eye, showing very conclusively 
that the savage character of the natives had rather increased than 

Towards sunset the vessel ran upon a coral lump, which gave her a 
considerable jar; but, on getting out a kedge, they very soon hauled 
off, when Captain Hudson anchored for the night. He describes the 
channel through which he was compelled to beat as being tortuous. 
There are many sand-banks on the reefs, and small patches of rock, 
but it is easy to avoid them. The sunken knoll of coral on which 
they struck had about twelve feet of water on it, and Vv^as of small 
dimensions : the bow and stern of the ship were, one in thirteen the 
other in ten fathoms, while she hung amidships. 

In the evening, partly as a signal for the absent boats that were 
appointed to meet the ship here, and partly for effect on the natives, 
they fired an evening gun, burnt a blue-light, and set off three rockets, 
or as the natives term them, " fiery spirits." These brought forth 
many shouts from the land, which were audibly heard on board, al- 
though the vessel was at a great distance from the shore. These sig- 
nals were soon answered by a rocket from the boats, which joined the 
ship early the next morning. 

Lieutenant Emmons, his officers and boats' crews, were all weU. 
No accident had occurred to them, and he reported that he had 
finished his work. After leaving the ship at Rewa, he passed outside 
the reef for several miles, until he came to a narrow and deep passage 
through the reef, which led to a spacious harbour, on which lies the 
village of Suva. The natives of this village told Mr. Emmons's inter- 
preter, that they were subjects of the king of Rewa, and that they had 
lately become Christians. This is the village where the Reverend Mr. 
Cargill had been the Sunday preceding, and its inhabitants were the 
first proselytes he had. 

Suva Harbour was surveyed and found to be an excellent one, free 
from shoals, well sheltered, and with good holding-ground, easy of 
ingress and egress, with an abundance of wood and water. It lies 
ten miles west of Rewa Roads. 

During their stay there, they had some heavy squalls, accompanied 
with thunder, lightning, and much rain. From the frequent occur- 


rence of these squalls every thing in the boats became wet, compelling 
them to sleep in their wet clothes. 

On the 20th, the boats stood over for Mbenga. They found the 
current setting very strong to the eastward, which made a disagree- 
able short sea, obliging them to keep two hands baling to prevent the 
boat from swamping. Towards night they entered the reef that sur 
rounds Mbenga through a shallow passage, and anchored off a deep 
harbour, where they remained for the night. The next morning, 
Lieutenant Emmons examined Sawau Harbour, which he found two 
miles deep and one wide, contracting at the entrance to a quarter of a 
mile ; it has good anchorage in from four to ten fathoms water, on a 
muddy bottom. This harbour enters from the north, and nearly 
divides the island in two. 

Mbenga rises on all sides towards two very prominent peaks, which 
were found by triangulation to be twelve hundred and eighty-nine feet 
in height. The land round the harbour of Sawau rises in most places 
from one to two hundred feet. At the head of the harbour a few huts 
were seen perched upon a perpendicular craggy rock, about five 
hundred feet higher than the surrounding land. The natives were 
very civil, and laid aside their arms at some distance from the party, 
before they approached ; they brought bread-fruit, yams, &c., to trade. 
The island appears in many places burnt, the natives setting fire to the 
tall grass before planting their crops. Another harbour was found on 
the west side, which I have called Elliott's. This is not so deep as 
the one on the north, but is more open at its entrance, and is sur- 
rounded by equally high land. On the left of the entrance is a white 
sand beach, and a neat village of about thirty huts. There are two 
small islands in the neighbourhood of Mbenga, one of which lies to 
the south, and is called Stuart's, and the other to the eastward, to 
which Lieutenant Emmons gave the name of Elizabeth. 

The island of Mbenga has suffered severely of late, years from the 
tyrannical power of the Rewa chiefs, and is now ygali to Rewa. 
Formerly, its inhabitants had a high idea of their importance, styling 
themselves " Ygali dura ki langi" — subject only to heaven ; but of la'e 
years, in consequence of their having offended the king of Rewa, he 
sent a force which finally overcame them, and butchered nearly all the 

Ngaraningiou is said to have been the bloody executioner of this 
act. Since that time these descendants of the gods, according to their 
mythology, have lost their political influence. 

Mbenga, like all the large islands of this group, is basaltic. Its 
shape is an oval, five miles long by three wide. 


The boats now explored the reef, and anchored at night under 
Namuka, within the same reef as Mbenga. They found about one 
hundred natives on this island, who were very friendly, bringing thera 
quantities of cocoa-nuts, fish, and some small articles, for traffic. 

The reef on the northwest side was found to contain many ship- 

After the examination of these, they visited Bird Island, lying in the 
passage between Mbenga Reef and Vitilevu. The reef off this part 
of Vitilevu nearly joins that of Mbenga. Two miles beyond this, 
Lieutenant Emmons entered a well-sheltered harbour, where the boats 
stayed over-night. About three miles to the westward of it, they 
found another similarly situated, after which they continued to pro- 
ceed down the coast, along the reef, without meeting any harbour 
until after dark, when they succeeded in getting into the exposed one 
at Ndronga. Just before anchoring, it being quite dark, they were 
hailed several times in the native language from a small vessel, and 
not answering, they were about being fired into from the •' Who 
would have thought it !" Mr. Winn, who was lying here collecting 
tortoise-shell for the ship Leonidas, Captain Eagleston, which vessel 
was then curing biche de mar at Ba, on the north side of the island. 

The harbour (if so it may be called) of Ndronga, affords no protec- 
tion against the southwest winds, and is only suitable for small vessels. 
The anchorage is in five fathoms water. The reef from this point 
westward increases in distance from the shore from one to two miles. 
It extends to the westward six miles further, where an opening in the 
reef occurs, which leads to a harbour. The entrance of this was 
narrow, and open to the southward and westward, the reef broken, 
and some sunken patches of rock. On the eastern side of the harbour 
there is a small islet with cocoa-nut trees, on which Lieutenant Em- 
mons landed. Here he found a native's hut, but no inhabitants. Some 
shells and cocoa-nuts were procured, and the harbour was sounded 
out, after which the boats put to sea. 

Five miles beyond this harbour they came to the Malolo Island 
Passage, where the great sea-reef from the westward joins, having 
two entrances, the largest of which I have named the Malolo Passage. 
That to the eastward, which I called the Navula Passage, they passed 
through, and anchored at night under the town of Navula. The 
" Who would have thought it !" again joined their company. 

On the 26th, Lieutenant Emmons gained Ba, the point where his 
work was to terminate, and be joined by that of the other parties. On 
ihe 28th they went alongside of the Peacock, after having been in the 
boats seventeen days. 

M B U A BAY AND M U T H U A T A. 20'J 

The Peacock now took the launch and cutter in tow, and began 
beating up for the purpose of reaching the Malaki Islands, in order to 
take a departure from Amboa Bay. 

The natives on this side of the island speak quite a different dialect 
from that of the other portions of the group, and the interpreters were 
not able to understand them at all. Few canoes were seen, and none 
visited them. The land close to the shore is low, but it gradually 
rises for five or six miles in hills from five to seven hundred feet in 
height; and here and there through the breaks maybe seen the dis- 
tant blue mountains, towering above them. 

While the ship was standing in towards Ba, the launch capsized 
and sunk. At the time there were two men in her, by whose care- 
lessness the accident occurred; these were both picked up. Captain 
Hudson immediately brought the Peacock to an anchor, lowered all 
the boats, and made every possible exertion to recover the launch, 
but without success. This was a great loss to our surveying opera- 
tions, and compelled us to redouble our exertions. 

In the evening they anchored off Ba, where the ship Leonidas, 
Captain Eagleston, had been fishing for biche de mar. He had left 
his long biche de mar house:, which was deserted, but contrary to the 
custom of persons in this business, had not been destroyed. A large 
quantity of wood was found near it, which Captain Hudson supplied 
himself from. This was the only house in the valley, but there are 
several towns along this part of the coast, though it has not the ap- 
pearance of being densely inhabited ; and the natives, who are usually 
found following a vessel, seemed all to have vanished. Paddy Connel, 
who was with the boats that landed, showed himself a true Feejee 
man on the occasion, for finding the officers were desirous of having 
communication with the natives, he ascended one of the hills, and 
kept up a continuous hallooing in such a variety of voices that those 
who were left on the beach, believed that at whole host was coming 
down ; but he did not succeed in bringing a:ny to the shore. 

The 30th and 31st they continued beating up to the windwai'd. On 
the latter day, in getting under way, William Dunbar (seaman) had 
the misfortune to have his hand caught in the chain-nipper, which 
crushed several of his fingers so much, that amputation of them 
became necessary. 

On the 30th, they anchored off the town of Tabooa, to the north- 
ward and eastward of the island of Votia. Off this island is a passage 
through the sea-reef, which I have called the Ba Passage. 

On the 1st of June, they reached Dongaloa, where they had some 
communication with the natives. They were very shy, which Paddy 

VOL. III. ^^ 27 


said was owing to some ill conduct on their part. After a while a 
few were induced to venture near, and were much pleased at having 
their faces and noses daubed with vermilion. They belonged to the 
town of Dongaloa, and gave the name of their chief as Aleokalou. 
They said they were mbati to the king of Ambau, being obliged to 
furnish him with fighting men. Paddy said they spoke a different 
dialect from that of either Ambau or Ra.* Jn looks they did not 
differ from the natives of other parts of the island. There were one 
or two Tonga vitis seen, but Mr. Hale found they did not understand 
a word of their paternal language. 

The country in this vicinity so far changes its aspect, that the high- 
lands approach nearer the shore, and level ground is only to be seen 
in narrow and contracted valleys. Little appearance of cultivation is 
to be seen, proving, conclusively, that there are but few people in this 

On the 2d of June, they reached and landed on the island of Ma- 
laki, which is a high islet. Malaki is divided from the large island by 
a narrow strait, near which is the town of Rake-rake, which is also 
subject to Ambau. A few young native boys, one of whom was the 
chief of Rake-rake's son, were looking for shell-fish on the rocks, and 
were at first very timid, but were induced to approach. Being treated 
well, their fears subsided and they became communicative. 

The island of Malaki had once a large fishing town on it, and its 
inhabitants w^ere compelled to send, yearly, a number of turtles to 
Tanoa at Ambau. Unfortunately for them, they one day ate one of 
the turtles they had caught. This soon reached the ears of Tanoa 
and the other Ambau chiefs, and was considered so high a crime 
that orders were immediately given for an expedition to be prepared 
against them. On the war-party reaching Malaki, they put to death 
every man and woman on the island, and carried off the children 
captive. Jt is said that they returned to Ambau with some of the little 
ones suspended to the masts and sails of their canoes ; and it is further 
alleged, that the rest were kept for the rising generation, to exercise 
them in the art of killing ! However extraordinary these circum- 
stances may appear, I can readily believe, from the knowledge I have 
of the people, that far greater atrocities than even these are occasion- 
ally practised. 

Malaki has the appearance of having once been well cultivated, 
and there are a number of terraced taro-patches of great extent, 
which had been erected with great care, but are now entirely de- 

* Ra is the name given to the eastern end of Vitilevu. 

M B U A E A Y A N D M U T H U A T A. 211 

serted. This island is eight hundred feet high, and on the top are 
the remains of a fortification of stone, whose walls are four feet high, 
surrounded by a moat several feet deep, and ten feet wide. From 
this height the passages through the reefs were very distinctly seen, 
and could be traced for a long distance. On presents being dis- 
tributed to all the natives who were present, it was amusing to see 
the young son of a chief, according to the custom of his country, 
very deliberately taking possession of the whole, and rolling them up 
in his maro. 

On the 3d, they were still beating up for the Malaki Passage, and 
were in hopes of being able to pass out of it ; but the wind being 
ahead, it was found too narrow to beat through. After sustaining two 
sharp thumps, it was deemed advisable to return and await a more 
favourable opportunity. Some of the officers again landed on a small 
island of much less height than Malaki, but nothing interesting was 
found. It had evidently been inhabited, from the overgrown and 
deserted plantations which were every where to be seen. The island 
was, for the most part, covered with a sweet-scented grass, (Andro- 
pogon schcEnanthus.) 

They had now been seven days upon this coast, with the wind 
blowing directly along it, and had only made about fifty miles. This 
channel through the reefs must always be fatiguing and wearing to 
both vessel and crew. For the whole distance they found the bottom a 
white clay, and the depth of water varying from five to twenty fathoms. 
As they approached the windward side of the island, they found the 
weather to become more rainy, and the winds much stronger. 

On the 5th, at daylight, they passed out of the reef and stood over 
for Mbua or Sandalwood Bay. The weather during the day set in 
stormy, so much so as to make their situation not only unpleasant 
but dangerous, in consequence of the many reefs by which they were 
surrounded, and which they had to pass through before reaching their 
destination. These reefs on the shores of Vanua-levu, in the most 
favourable times, are dangerous, but particularly so in thick and 
stormy weather. Fortunately, when near the passage, they were 
able to see the land for a short time, and soon after reached their 
destination in safety. 

In passing into the bay they discovered the buoy I had left for 
Captain Hudson, with the despatches enclosed in a bottle, and had it 
brought on board. 

Lieutenant Underwood joined them soon after, and set out the next 
morning with the ship's rudder-pintles for Captain Belcher. Captain 
Hudson then sent a boat to the town for the king or one of the princi- 


pal chiefs, which brought oif Tui Mora, the son of Tui Mbua, from 
whom he learned that the whole district was in a state of civil war, 
and had been so for the last year ; that all their towns were barrica- 
doed and their canoes broken up. This was an unforeseen event, 
putting a stop to the plans we had entertained of getting a chief to 
accompany the surveying party to the Asaua Group. On no conside- 
ration would Tui Mora leave his district, nor had he any one to send. 
Captain Hudson, under these circumstances, after talking to the chief, 
determined, in the first place, to effect a peace, to which he found this 
chief favourably disposed. 

He was desired to send a message to the town of the old chief Tui 
Mbua, which was but a few miles off, in order to ask him to come on 
board. He at once said the king was absent at the Bay of Naloa, 
where the ship Leonidas was fishing. The distance thither, he said, 
was ten miles by land, and thirty by water, and no one's life would be 
safe in going there, as they would have to pass several of the enemy's 
towns, and must certainly be killed. On being asked to send a canoe, 
he said they had none, and if they had had any, it would be impossible 
to reach the desired point, for it would be captured and the men killed. 

Captain Hudson at once determined to proceed himself to the 
Leonidas, and bring the old king back with him, retaining Tui Mora 
on board in the mean time. Accordingly, he left the ship at noon, and 
reached the Leonidas after dark. Tui Mbua was at once sent for and 
proper explanations being made to him respecting the object in view, 
to restore peace, he readily consented to accompany Captain Hudson 
back to the ship. They set out near midnight, and reached the Pea- 
cock by eight o'clock the next morning. 

The tw^o rival chiefs were kept out of sight of each other, until they 
had been made to understand the object in view. When brought 
together they were soon reconciled, and every thing amicably 
arranged : they shook hands and solemnly promised to forget all that 
had passed. They could not, however, help passing an occasional 
accusation against each other, as having been the cause of the war. 
Messengers were immediately despatched by both to their respective 
towns, to proclaim peace, and with orders to the people to put aside 
their preparations for war, and to plant and cultivate their taro and 
yam grounds. This was an end worthy of the exertions that Captain 
Hudson had made to secure it. 

The rules and regulations that had been signed by the chiefs of 
Ambau and Rewa were now explained to both parties, by sections. 
To all of these they agreed, saying they were glad to enter into them, 
and that they should be strictly observed by their people. 


After all this business was finished, a feast was given to the king 
and chiefs. At this they took a particular fancy to the wine, of which 
they seemed inordinately fond. Presents were then made to them, 
consisting of brass kettles, shawls, hatchets, pipes, tobacco, plane-irons, 
and small looking-glasses. 

Old Tui Mbua readily agreed to accompany the boats to the Asaua 
Group, shov/ing thereby great confidence on his part, and an intention 
to be at peace, by leaving his people at the time certainly liable to 
many contingencies, which it was impossible for us to guard against, 
from the treachery of those with whom he had been at war. He, 
however, left an old chief, called Raritona, his counsellor, to act for 
him during his absence. 

During the time occupied in the arrangement of these affairs, the 
first and second cutters were prepared for an expedition to the Asaua 
Cluster. Of this. Lieutenant Emmons, with Passed Midshipman 
Blunt, were placed in charge, with his majesty for a pilot, and two 
white men as interpreters. Tui Mora, who was quite an intelligent 
young man, remained on board, with several of his chiefs. Divine 
service was performed, at which they were present, and behaved with 
great decorum and propriety. They all, including the old king, ex- 
pressed a great desire to have missionaries settle among them, and said 
they would take good care of them, believing that they would put an 
end to their wars ; for " where missionaries lived there were no wars." 

This kind of talk is very common among the Feejee chiefs, for 
deceit is a part of their national character. They are very quick in 
discerning what will please those whom they wish to conciliate, 
and readily accede to their views. That this was the case with these 
people, there can be but little doubt ; for, as far as my experience 
goes, the Feejee character is entirely at variance with the ideas 
they expressed. They have imbibed these notions from the whites, 
which will, in time, however, do good, because they believe that 
what the whites possess is better than that belonging to the dark- 
coloured race. They may thus become fixed, and rendered really 
desirous of obtaining the residence of those who are not only 
the pioneers of religion, but of civilization also, in the islands of 

On the 8th June, Captain Hudson set about the survey of Sandal 
wood Bay. He then, with the naturalists and many of the officers, 
visited the shore. There are three rivers that flow into the bay ; the 
middle one of these they entered. It has two entrances for boats. It 
is bordered on each side by extensive mud-flats, which are bare at 
low water for a considei'able distance. Parts of these flats are covered 


by thick mangrove-bushes, among which many women and children 
were seen catching a large kind of crab, whilst flocks of paroquets 
were flying around them. This river is about two hundred feet wide, 
and very tortuous. 

The town, named Vaturua, is situated about a mile up the river. 
The entrance to it is through a hollow way, to pass through which it 
was almost necessary to creep. 

They were warned of their approach to it by the chattering of the 
women and children, who were assembled in numbers to greet their 
arrival. The village is about two hundred yards from the bank of 
the river ; it is surrounded with palisades of cocoa-nut trees and other 
timber, and a ditch, with gates, &c., very much on the same plan 
as that observed by us at Moa on the island of Tongataboo. It con- 
tains fifty or sixty houses, among which are several mbures. In some 
of their houses graves were observed, which the natives said were 
placed there to protect them from their neighbours. They seemed 
the most good-natured set we had yet met with, and appeared quite 
familiar with the whites. This was, however, to have been expected ; 
for their intercourse with foreigners has been, until recently, more 
frequent than that of any other part of the group. It is here that so 
large a quantity of sandalwood has been shipped. 

It was said that the chief, Tui Mora, had even made the people 
.break up their canoes for the purpose of constructing the palisades to 
fortify the village, and thus at the same time to prevent his people from 
deserting to his enemy. 

On their landing they saw an albino, who had the features of his 
countrymen, although he resembled the lower class of Irish, so much 
so that the sailors jocosely remarked that a blunder had been com- 
mitted by his having been born in a wrong country. His skin was a 
dirty white, and fairer than that of an European would be if exposed to 
the sun ; he was marked with many brown spots, about the size of a 
sixpence or less ; his hair was of the same colour as that of the natives 
who use lime-water for cleaning it ; his eyebrows and eyelashes were 
of a flaxen colour ; his eyes were almost constantly closed, as if the 
light affected them ; the iris was blue, with no tinge of red. On a 
subsequent visit he had dyed his hair a coal-black, which gave him an 
odd and ludicrous appearance. The natives called him Areea. He 
was about thirty years of age. 

The white men say that albinos are not unfrequently seen. I saw a 
man who was partially so, having an appearance as if he had been 
scalded about the face and upper part of his body. Dr. Pickering sug- 
gests that it is not improbable that the white individuals reported to 


have been seen among the inhabitants of New Guinea may have been 
of this description. 

About one-fourth of a mile from Vaturua is another town, called 
Matainole, which also belongs to Tui Mora, and is in all respects 
similar to the other. Betv^een the two towns is a kind of causeway, 
of some width, built by the natives, by throwing the earth up from each 
side. The paths wind along it, and on each side are extensive taro- 
patches, which were flooded. Mangroves abound here, while the 
drier grounds are covered with plantations of bananas and cocoa-nut 

On the way from Vaturua to Matainole, a piece of consecrated 
ground was passed, on which were mounds of stone, with a rude idol, 
dressed with a turban and the Feejee hair-pins. The idol was sur- 
rounded by clubs set up edgewise, and many spears, arrows, trinkets, 
cocoa-nuts, &c., lay around, which had evidently been placed there as 
offerings. A large party of natives, who were with our gentlemen, on 
seeing them approach it, deserted, excepting a man and boy, who, con- 
trary to the others, seemed anxious for them to partake of the offerings 
which lay about, and offered to sell the idol, which was bought for a 
paper of vermilion. Neither of them, however, could be tempted to 
touch a single article himself, although they had no objection to our 
gentlemen doing so. On the next day, Mr. Peale returning from his 
jaunt, took his purchase and carried it on board. 

Tui Mora attended to the disposal of the different articles that were 
brought for sale, consisting principally of taro, yams, fruit (shaddocks, 
bananas, lemons, and cocoa-nuts), but not a pig was to be seen of any 
size ; in fact, these people had but little food to spare. 

The houses are by no means as substantial as those at the principal 
towns of Ambau and Rewa ; their framework is much smaller, and 
the eaves extend to the ground. Both the walls and roof are of reeds, 

The chiefs of the Mbua district are not considered as belon^inff to 
the nobility of the islands, but to the class kai-si ; it is only since the 
whites have frequented the islands, that this place has become of any 
note. Formerly Rawaike, Tui Mora's father, the Tui Mbua, or lord 
of Mbua, governed the whole district, which comprises the coast 
from Buia Point to beyond Naloa on the north shore, or about one- 
sixth of the island of Vanua-levu, and is next to that of Nandi on the 
west, although there are two or three independent towns between them 
near Buia P int. 

In 1809, when Mr. Vanderford, who was master's mate on board 
the Vincennes, was there, Rawaike was very powerful, and exercised 

216 M B U A BAY AND M U T H U A T A. 

rule over nearly the whole island. The bay of Sandalwood was then 
thickly populated, and appeared to enjoy much political consideration 
in the group. Since the accession of the present Tui Mbua, Makatu, 
its authority is very much decreased, and it now is of scarcely any 
consideration at all. Makatu was born in the district of Nandi, but 
was a vasu of Mbua, and managed, when Rawaike died, to be chosen 
king. Since that time they have had continual civil wars, in which 
many of the people have been killed, while others have sought a diffe- 
rent abode. This last war, to which Captain Hudson put a momentary 
cessation, had lasted more than five months, during which time they 
had killed upwards of fifty of the enemy, and lost about thirty of their 
ow^n men. Among the reasons assigned for not coming to terms long 
before was " the fear of being clubbed by the opposite party through 

One of the surveying boats, with Passed Midshipman Blunt, re- 
turned from the island of Yendua, with James Strahan, seaman, be- 
longing to the Vincennes, who had fallen from a tree while cutting a 
sprit, and broken his leg. The boat was again despatched, with an 
extra quantity of provisions, to make up for that consumed by the de- 
lay the accident had occasioned. 

On the 9th, many natives were on board, and gave an exhibition of 
a war-dance (dimba) on deck : many of the officers thought it bore a 
striking resemblance to the war-dance of New Zealand. The per- 
formers held a paddle in one hand, while with the other they struck 
their thighs, keeping time to a song from the whole. They moved 
slowly forward and backward, in a bending postui^e. On the finishing 
of the chorus they stopped simultaneously and stood upright, the leader 
repeating, in a hurried loud tone, a short recitative, which the rest 
answered by their usual guttural shout, huh! huh! huh! flourishing 
their paddles in the air in great excitement. 

On the 10th, Mr. Spieden, purser of the Peacock, visited the shore 
for the purpose of purchasing provisions, and notice was given that all 
the produce they would bring would be purchased. In consequence 
of this the natives brought a quantity of yams, taro, papaws, shaddocks, 
lemons, &c., together with an abundance of crabs, of which, all that 
the boat could carry were purchased. Hatchets, knives, plane-irons, 
scissors, beads, fish-hooks, looking-glasses, red cloth, and red paint 
were given in return, of which the two latter articles were preferred. 
As Mr. Spieden was not able to carry away all they had collected, 
their expectations of a market were not realized, and they threw the 
remainder into the river, saying they had been told, " the white men 
never told lies, but they now saw they had two faces." 

M B U A B A Y A N D M U T H U A T A. 217 

In the afternoon Captain Hudson got under way, allhough nearly all 
the officers and men were still at work on the survey, and anchored 
the ship off the northern point of Mbua Bay. This point is called 
Dimba-dimba, and is considered by the natives as sacred ground ; it 
is kept strictly from any kind of disturbance, for it is supposed to be 
inhabited by the spirits of the departed, and to be the place where they 
embark for the regions of Ndengei. It is a most beautiful spot, and in 
strong contrast with the surrounding country, which is in many places 
devoid of trees, while here they flourish as nature has planted them. 
The ground gradually rises from the shore for a short distance, then 
succeed abrupt precipices, of forty or fifty feet in height ; and the 
land, as it recedes from the water, forms a kind of hanging garden, on 
which is seen a beautiful growth of large forest-trees, with here and 
there clumps of shrubbery of the tropical climates, which give it a 
peculiar aspect. The quiet and hallowed appearance was well cal- 
culated to keep up the impression that their priests have made upon 

On the 11th, the Peacock again got under way, and passed along 
between the shore and reefs. Here large schools of fish were passed 
through, apparently of two kinds, a small and larger one, of which the 
former leaped entirely out of the water. 

By the persuasion of the pilot. Captain Hudson was induced to 
attempt an outer passage, that the pilot thought existed round the island 
of Anganga ; but after getting on coral knolls twice, Captain Hudson 
returned to the inshore channel, leading towards Ruke-ruke Bay, which 
is the next beyond Mbua. 

There is a high and insulated peak north of Dimba-dimba Point, 
which has a town perched on its very top. 

The bay of Ruke-ruke has a reef across its mouth, leaving only a 
narrow ship-channel into it. They anchored under Ivaca Peak, a high 
and bold bluff, whose height, by triangulation, is one thousand five 
hundred and sixty-three feet. On its top is also a town. The island 
of Anganga is immediately opposite to this peak. To the passage 
between them Captain Hudson proposed to give the name of Monkey- 
Face Passage, in consequence of one of the rocks having a remarkable 
resemblance to the face of that animal. 

They visited the village of Wailea, now containing only fifty persons. 
A few years since most of the former inhabitants were exterminated 
by the warriors of Ambau, who frequently make excursions thus far. 

On the 12th, they were under way at an early hour, and soon after 
passed the rock where Captain Dillon's adventure occurred. Captain 
Eagleston, of the Leonidas, came on board, and piloted them to Naloa 


Bay. The Leonidas saluted the Peacock with nine guns, which it 
was regretted could not be returned except by cheers, for the chro- 
nometers forbade all unnecessary firing. To Captain Eagleston the 
squadron is much indebted, and it affords me great pleasure to make 
my acknowledgments to him for his attentions and assistance ren- 
dered the service we were upon. I am also indebted to him for some 
observations relative to the gales that have occurred among these 
islands, which will be spoken of in another place. 

Captain Eagleston was engaged in taking the biche de mar, some- 
times known as the sea-slug. The animal belongs to the genus 
Holothuria, and the prepared article finds a ready sale in the China 
market, where it is used as an ingredient in rich soups. Of the biche 
de mar there are several kinds, some of which are much superior in 
quality to the others; they are distinguishable both by shape and 
colour, but more particularly by the latter. One of the inferior kinds 
is slender and of a dark brown colour, soft to the touch, and leaves a 
red stain on the hands ; another is of a gray colour and speckled ; a 
third is large and dark yellow, with a rough skin and tubercles on 
its sides. 

The second kind is often eaten raw by the natives. 

The valuable sorts are six in number: one of a dark red colour; a 
second is black, from two inches to nine inches in length, and its 
surface, when cured, resembles crape ; a third kind is large and of a 
dark gray colour, which, when cured, becomes a dirty white ; the 
fourth resembles the third, except in colour, which is a dark brown ; 
the fifth variety is of a dirty white colour, with tubercles on its sides, 
and retains its colour when cured ; the sixth is red, prickly, and of a 
different shape and larger size than the others ; when cured, it becomes 

The most esteemed kinds are found on the reefs, in water from one 
to two fathoms in depth, where they are caught by diving. The infe- 
rior sorts are found on reefs which are dry, or nearly so, at low water, 
where they are picked up by the natives. The natives also fish the 
biche de mar, on rocky coral bottom, by the light of the moon or of 
torches, for the animals keep themselves drawn up in holes in the sand 
or rocks by day, and come forth by night to feed, when they may be 
taken in great quantities. The motions of the animal resemble those 
of a caterpillar, and it feeds by suction, drawing in with its food much 
fine coral and some small shells. 

Captain Eagleston stated that the biche de mar is found in greatest 
abundance on reefs composed of a mixture of sand and coral. The 
animal is rare on the southern side of any of the islands, and the most 


lucrative fisheries are on the northern side, particularly on that of 
Vanua-levu, between Anganga and Druau. In this place, the most 
frequent kind is that which resembles crape. In some places the 
animal multiplies very fast, but there are others where, although ten 
years have elapsed since they were last fished, none are yet to be 

The biche de mar requires a large building to dry it in. That 
erected by Captain Eagleston, on the island of Tavea, is eighty-five 
feet long, about fifteen or twenty feet wide, and nearly as much in 
height. The roof has a double pitch, falling on each side of the ridge 
to eaves which are about five feet from the ground. The roof is well 
thatched, and ought to be perfectly water-tight. There are usually 
three doors, one at each end, and one in the middle of one of the sides. 
Throughout the whole length of the building is a row of double staging, 
called batters, on which reeds are laid. 

On the construction of this staging much of the success of the busi- 
ness depends. It ought to be supported on firm posts, to which the 
string-pieces should be well secured by lashing. The lower batter is 
about four feet from the ground, and the upper from two to three feet 
above it. Their breadth is from twelve to fourteen feet. Upon the 
large reeds with which the batters are covered is laid the " fish 
fence," which is made by weaving or tying small cords together. 
This is composed of many pieces, the height of each of which is equal 
to the breadth of the batter. 

A trench is dug under the whole length of the batters, in which a 
slow fire is kept up by natives, under the direction of one of the mates 
of the vessel. The earth from the trench is thrown against the sides 
of the house, which are at least two or three feet from the nearest 
batter, in order to prevent accident from fire. This is liable to occur, 
not only from carelessness, but from design on the part of the natives. 
As a further precaution, barrels filled with water are placed about 
eight feet apart along both sides of the batters. 

After the house has been in use for about a week, it becomes very 
liable to take fire, in consequence of the drying and breaking of the 
material used in the lashings. In this case it is hardly possible to 
save any part of the building or its contents. To prevent the falling 
of the stages by the breaking of the lashings, fresh pieces of cordage 
are always kept at hand to replace those which are charred, and show 
signs of becoming weak. A constant watch must be kept up night 
and day, and it requires about fifteen hands to do the ordinary work 
of a house. 

The fires are usually extinguished once in twenty-four hours, and 

220 M B U A BAY AND M U T II U A T A. 

the time chosen for this purpose is at daylight. The fish are now 
removed from the lower to the upper batter, and a fresh supply intro- 
duced in their place. This operation, in consequence of the heat of 
the batter, is hard and laborious, and fifty or sixty natives are usually 
employed in it. 

Fire-wood is of course an important article in this process, each 
picul of biche de mar requiring about half a cord to cure it. This 
fuel is purchased from the chiefs, who agree to furnish a certain 
quantity for a stipulated compensation. As much as twenty cords 
are sometimes bought for a single musket. In carrying on the drying, 
it is important that the doors be kept shut while the fires are burning. 
Much also depends upon the location of the house, whose length should 
be at right-angles to the course of the prevailing winds. The batters 
also should be nearest to the lee-side of the house. 

Before beginning the fishery, the services of some chief are secured, 
who undertakes to cause the house to be built, and sets his dependants 
at work to fish the biche de mar. The price is usually a whale's 
tooth for a hogshead of the animals, just as they are taken on the reef. 
It is also bought with muskets, powder, balls, vermilion, paint, axes, 
hatchets, beads, knives, scissors, chisels, plane-irons, gouges, fish- 
hooks, small glasses, flints, cotton cloths, chests, trunks, &c. Of 
beads, in assorted colours, the blue are preferred, and cotton cloth of 
the same colour is most in demand. For one musket, a cask contain- 
ing from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and sixty gallons, has 
been filled ten times. When the animals are brought on shore, they 
are measured into bins, where they remain until the next day. 

These bins are formed by digging a trench in the ground, about two 
feet in depth, and working up the sides with cocoa-nut logs until they 
are large enough to contain forty or fifty hogsheads. If the fishery is 
successful, two of these may be needed. 

Near the bins are placed the trade-house and trade-stand. In the 
first the articles with which the fish is purchased are kept, and in the 
second, the officer in charge of them sits, attended by a trusty and 
watchful seaman. The stand is elevated, so that the persons in it may 
have an opportunity of seeing all that is taking place around them. 
All the fish are thrown into the bin before they are paid for. 

In these bins the fish undergo the operations of draining and purg- 
ing, or ejecting their entrails. These, in some of the species, resemble 
pills, in others look like worms, and are as long as the animals them- 

The larger kinds are then cut along the belly for a length of three 
or four inches, which makes them cure more rapidly, but care must be 


M B U A B A Y A N D M U T H U A T A, 221 

taken to avoid cutting too deep, as this would cause the fish to spread 
open, which would diminish its value in the market. 

When taken out of the bins and cut, the fish are thrown into the 
boilers, which are large pots, of which each establishment has five or 
six. These pots have the form of sugar-boilers, with broad rims, and 
contain from one hundred to one hundred and fifty gallons. 

They are built in a row, in rude walls of stone and mud, about two 
feet apart, and have suflicient space beneath them for a large fire. 
The workmen stand on the walls to fill and empty the pots, and have 
within reach a platform, on which the fish is put after it has been 

It requires two men to attend each pot, who relieve each other, so 
that the work may go on night and day. They are provided with 
skimmers and ladles, as well as fire-hooks, hoes, and shovels. 

No water is put into the pots, for the fish yield moisture enough to 
prevent burning. 

The boiling occupies from twenty-five to fifty minutes, and the fish 
remains about an hour on the platform to drain, after which it is 
taken to the house, and laid to a depth of four inches upon the lower 
batter. Thence at the end of twenty-four hours it is removed, as has 
been stated, to the upper batter, where it is thoroughly dried in the 
course of three or four days. Before it is taken on board ship, it is 
carefully picked, when the damp pieces are separated, to be returned 
to the batter. It is stowed in bulk, and when fit for that purpose 
should be as hard and dry as chips. Great care must be taken to pre- 
serve it from moisture. 

In the process of drying, it loses two-thirds both of its weight and 
bulk, and w^hen cured resembles a smoked sausage. In this state it is 
sold by the picul, which brings from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. 

Captain Eagleston had collected, in the course of seven months, and 
at a trifling expense, a cargo of twelve hundred piculs, worth about 

The outfit for such a voyage is small, but the risk to be incurred is 
of some moment, as no insurance can be effected on vessels bound to 
the Feejee Group, and it requires no small activity and enterprise to 
conduct this trade. A thorough knowledge of the native character is 
essential to success, and it requires all possible vigilance on the part of 
the captain of the vessel to prevent surprise, and the greatest caution 
to avoid difficulties. Even with the exercise of these qualities, he may 
often find himself and his crew in perilous positions. 

In order to lessen the dangers as much as possible, no large canoes 
are ever allowed to remain alongside the vessel, and a chief of high 


rank is generally kept on board as a hostage. When these precau- 
tions have not been taken, accidents have frequently happened. 

The biche de mar is sometimes carried to Canton, but more usually 
to Manilla, whence it is shipped to China.* 

The bay of Naloa is a v^^ide opening, protected on the north by tvi^o 
or three small islets, some of which are inhabited. One of them has 
been bought by the Lasikaus or fishermen, who gave Tui Mbua three 
hundred whales' teeth for it. It is not long since they settled on it, 
having been driven from their former location by the war-parties of 
the Ambau people, and taken refuge here. 

Their town, Tavea, although of recent date, is already enveloped 
in a banana grove. The growth of these trees is well adapted for the 
purposes of the natives, and they seldom fail to plant them as soon as 
they begin to build, and by the time their houses are finished and 
occupied, they already yield shade for the planters to retire to in the 
heat of the day. The employment of fishing is considered one of the 
most honourable among the natives. 

Veraki, the chief of Tavea, has the reputation among the whites of 
being " a hearty old cock and a great rascal." 

On another of these islets, which is uninhabited, Captain Eagleston 
has his biche de mar house. The town of Votua on Vanua-levu has 
been the residence of Tui Mbua, since he was driven or expelled 
from Mbua Bay. 

Captain Hudson was desirous of obtaining both wood and water, 
and made arrangements accordingly for their being brought off by 
the natives. This he succeeded in doing, because the chiefs are 
very willing that their subjects should work, when they have all the 
profit of their labour. The natives here were very friendly, and the 
chief desirous of serving us. 

The town of Votua lies about a mile from the shore. It contains 
about fifty buildings, including temples, houses, and yam-houses, which 

* In order to show the profits which arise from the trade in biche de mar, I give the 
cost and returns of five cargoes, obtained by Captain Eagleston in the Feejee Group 
These he obhgingly favoured me with. 




1st voyage . 




2d » 




3d " 

. 1,080 



4th " 




5th " 

. 1,200 



A further profit also arises from the investment of the proceeds in Canton, Captain 
Eagleston also obtained 4,488 pounds of tortoise-shell, at a cost of $5,700, which sold in the 
Unitea States for $29,050 net. 


are all built after the plan of those at Mbua Bay; the rafters being 
planted in the ground, and curved towards the ridge-pole, which is 
supported from within. The rafters are about one foot apart, and are 
covered with reeds, upon which the thatching is laid. 

The chief's house was situated on a small square, on the opposite 
side of which were two temples, and between them was a kind of war- 
trophy, consisting of five of the large earthen jars used for cooking 
human flesh, placed in a row. Beside each of these, some spears 
and clubs were firmly planted in the ground, crossing each other at 
the top, about three feet from the ground ; on these a basket was 
suspended, and long strips of masi or tapa were wreathed about and 
hung upon them. These five jars proved to be the vessels in which 
five of their enemies, whom they had killed in battle about two 
months before, had been cooked ; the baskets were those which haa 
been used at the feast to convey the food about to the cannibal eaters ; 
the masi, spears, and war-clubs were those belonging to the slain. 
At a Httle distance there was another pot, in which a chief had been 
boiled, and behind these again was a basalt column,* serving as a 
sepulchral monument to one of their own chiefs. The top of the 
latter was tied around with rolls of masi, and was surrounded by his 
spears, clubs, &c. There w^ere a number of other columns lying 
about, all of which were taken from the same basaltic quarry between 
the landing and the village. These columns are very distinct and 

The river that runs up near the village may be entered by boats, 
ascending through the mangroves some three or four miles, and has 
very much the character of those emptying into Mbua Bay. The 
river above the town is about seventy yards wide, and there has been 
a bridge over it, of which there are, even now, remains. The bridge 
appears to have been built on piles made of cocoa-nut trees, of which 
there is still a single row left, supported by stakes on each side. 

Some of our gentlemen, in their wanderings under the guidance of 
the natives, were desired to come close to them, as a party was 
approaching ; and shortly afterwards, a troop of native women and 
children were seen moving along in single file, some of them labour- 
ing under excessive loads. The women, in fact, are their beasts of 
burden, and are every where considered as an article of trade. Many 
of the natives were seen with gunshot wounds, received in the late 
war. Word was brought in that a native of another village had been 
killed, which created but little excitement. 

* These stones they call sava. 


M B U A BAY AND 31 U T H U A T A. 


The soil of the islands around Naloa Bay is gravelly and barren ; 
it is covered with a growth of small trees and bushes, among whicii 
Casuarina was most abundant. The scenery was quite pretty: the 
deep green of the mangroves at the beach rising gradually into the 
distant peaks, with here and there some lofty blocks of basalt, joined 
with and toned down by a tropical sky, give an impression little in 
accordance with the savage habits of these horrid cannibals. Some 
of our gentlemen were struck with the number of the singing-birds, 
and the variety of their notes, some of which resembled those of the 
songsters of our own country. 

At the village of Vatea was the largest collection of canoes they 
had seen in the group, and the natives being fishermen, take particular 
pride in them. 

Here the officers saw the operation of making the pottery, which is 
described in another place. Several women were also seen preparing 
mandrai, of unripe bananas, and packing it, after stripping off the 
rind, in large unbaked earthen jars. These are afterwards buried, in 
a spot carefully marked, and secured by a large stone, to provide for 
an anticipated scarcity. 

Having finished wooding and watering, Captain Hudson prepared 
for his departure for Muthuata. The evening before he sailed, the 
chiefs and natives gathered on board the Peacock, where, after being 
remunerated for their labour, they performed several dances similar to 


those already described. The performers were remarkable for the 
regularity with which they moved and kept time to their monotonous 
tune, with their arms, legs, and head. They all joined in the chaunt. 
Paddy Connel, who was instrumental in getting the dances up, was 
urged very much to take part, but he felt it would be lowering himself 
in the eyes of the natives, if he condescended to do so. It was evident, 
however, that he wished to partake, and he at last allowed himself to 
be persuaded to join them, when, taking his club, he flourished it aloft, 
and danced away with all the energy he was possessed of. 

Captain Eagleston, intending to sail at the same time with the Pea- 
cock, fired his biche de mar house in the evening. This is always the 
custom, in order to prevent its being made use of by any other and 
smaller traders. It made a glorious illumination. 

On the 17th of June, the Peacock left the bay of Naloa, in company 
with the Leonidas. On the 18th they had advanced to within a few 
miles of Muthuata, and anchored off the village of Navendarra, where 
the sailor from the " Who would have thought it !" was murdered and 
eaten by the natives. The circumstances, as related to me by Mr. 
Winn, the mate of the Leonidas, who was in charge of the little sloop 
when the accident occurred, were as follows.* 

The man, whose name was Cunningham, volunteered to go on shore 
for some shell, which they understood the natives had for sale, from 
their hailing from the shore. He was allowed by Mr. Winn to go, but 
with the strictest injunctions not to land. On getting to the beach and 
talking for some time, they told him to come again. He came back 
to the vessel, and afterwards went on shore again, when he was 
enticed up to the town, and was there murdered and eaten. Mr. 
Winn, alarmed at his absence, fired guns and made signals, but to no 
purpose. It was afterwards ascertained that Cunningham had been 
employed on board one of the traders, a few years ago, as a sentry 
over the chief Gingi, at whose town he was murdered. This cir- 
cumstance claimed a good deal of our attention, as will subsequently 

On the afternoon of the 19th, the Peacock anchored off the town 
of Muthuata. 

Captain Hudson immediately despatched Lieutenant Budd, with 
an interpreter, to visit the king, and invite him and his chiefs to 
come on board the next day. Lieutenant Budd found the people 
much alarmed : the women and children had all been sent out of 
the town, and every thing packed up for removing. The king, how- 

* For statement, see Appendix XI. 
VOL. III. 29 


ever, consented to come on board, the next morning. The ship was 
prepared for the visit, the quarter-deck being dressed with flags, and 
every thing ready for his reception. At noon the liing sent off word 
that he was sick, the spirit had struck him, and that he was afraid 
to come on board ; but that if Captain Hudson would send an officer 
to remain on shore as a hostage, while he visited the ship, he would 
come. Immediately Passed Midshipman Reynolds and Midshipman 
Hudson (the captain's son) were sent on shore; notwithstanding 
which, the old king was not inclined to venture. One only of the 
principal, with a few of the inferior chiefs, visited the ship : they all 
seemed uneasy and fearful, when they first came on board ; but, on 
being kindly treated and shown around, they soon regained their self- 
possession. They were feasted and received some presents, and left 
the ship apparently well pleased with their visit. When they reached 
the shore, the officers who were there as hostages returned. 

The land on this part of the coast rises abruptly from the water in 
volcanic peaks, to the height of two thousand feet and upwards. 

Lieutenant Emmons reached the Peacock on his return from the 
examination of the Asaua Group. As I shall shortly have to speak 
of the second examination of this group, I will postpone the subject 
till then ; but I feel it my duty to speak of the satisfactory manner in 


which this officer had performed his duty, and the energy and strict- 
ness with which both himself and his assistant, Passed Midshipman 
Blunt, carried out the service they were charged with. 

On the 22d, the Leonidas went to Malitu, twenty-five miles to the 
eastward, where the chief Gingi was erecting a biche de mar house 
for Captain Eagleston. The same day two divisions of boats, the one 
under Lieutenant Walker and Midshipman Blair, the other under 
Lieutenant Budd, Passed Midshipman Reynolds, and Midshipman 
Hudson, started on surveying duty, the one to the eastward, the other 
westward from Kie Island, off Muthuata, on the north side of Vanua- 

On the same day the old king of Muthuata sent off" to Captain 
Hudson a present of eight turtles as a propitiation. Communication 
was now had with the town of Muthuata. It consists of about one 
hundred houses, built closely together, and is situated in an open 
valley close to high-water mark. It is very much exposed and quite 
defenceless ; has but few trees about it, but is one of the best-built 
towns in the Feejees. The style of building resembles that of Rewa. 

The king's name is Ndrandranda ; his title, Tui Muthuata. He is 
old and quite infirm, the result of an attack of elephantiasis in one 
of his legs, which renders it difficult for him to walk. His expression 
of countenance is mild. As is usual, he is surrounded by his wives. 
The head one of these, whose title is " Yandi Muthuata," is one of 
the largest women, if not the very largest, in the Feejees. She is 
upwards of six feet high, very stout, and seems to understand her own 

The second wife, called Henrietta, was a native of Rotuma, and 
spoke a little Enghsh. She had, while at her native island, been 
married to a Tahitian, who was residing there, and had gone with 
him to Tahiti. Thence, wishing to return to Rotuma, they had taken 
passage with Captain Eagleston, about five years before we saw her. 
On reaching Muthuata, they were induced to land and remain with 
some of her countrymen, of whom they found many at this place. 
Unfortunately, the king saw and took a liking to her, and, to remove 
all obstacles, killed and ate her husband, and compelled her to become 
his wife. 

Henrietta is of a fair complexion and good-looking. In other 
respects she cannot be distinguished from the Feejee women ; for her 
hair, which on her arrival was straight and black, has, by frizzling, 
twisting, and colouring, become like that of the natives of these islands. 
She is discontented with her position, and anxious to escape, which, 
however, she finds impossible. 



The third wife is a Feejee woman, who is not regarded by the king 
with as much favour as the others. 

Each of these wives has a separate house, and the king spends his 
time in lounging aUernately in them during the greater part of the day. 
These visits constitute the great business of his hfe. 


Of these three royal ladies, Yandi Muthuata was the favourite with 
the officers of the squadron. She always received them courteously, 
and would, on their entrance, immediately lay aside such household 
occupations as she and her women were generally found engaged in, 
for the purpose of attending to and conversing with them. 

Henrietta, on the other hand, was occasionally found in ill-humour, 
which, however, is not to be wondered at, when we consider her 

On the beach at Muthuata were two fine and large canoes, one of 
which belonged to the king, the other to his son. 

Tui Muthuata has from eighty to one hundred towns under his 
control; and his territory extends from Unda Point to the island of 
Tavea, in Naloa Bay. Many of these towns are of small extent, and 
contain but few inhabitants ; and I found that to estimate the population 
by the report of the chiefs themselves, would give erroneous results. 
Feejee men lie with great plausibility, and particularly if it is to swell 
their own importance. 

After receiving the king's present, Captain Hudson, understanding 
that they were still under alarm on shore, sent word again to the king 
that he had nothing to fear, that they were friends, and again invited 
him to come on board. This message had a good effect, although he 
refused to come, on account of his sickness from his leg. Whether 
this sickness was brought on by his fears, was not determined ; but he 
despatched his son, Ko-Mbiti, and several chiefs ; an officer — Passed 
Midshipman Davis — remaining on shore to satisfy them that no advan- 


tage was intended to be taken of so many being in our power. Ko- 
Mbiti is a very good-looking, well-made man, but appeared near-sighted. 
He had a large retinue with him. It was amusing to see the effect 
produced on him by placing a pair of concave spectacles on his nose, 
and his wonder and astonishment at the change they produced in his 

The chiefs stayed several hours on board, visited every part of the 
ship, partook of refreshments, and received presents, every thing being 
done on the part of Captain Hudson to give confidence, produce good- 
will, and create a good understanding. 

It was known that the chief Gingi was in town to-day, but as there 
was no positive evidence of his having been concerned in the murder, 
it was deemed more prudent to make no attempt for his capture, par- 
ticularly as it would at once destroy the prospect of the good under- 
standing which was being brought about, and which was necessary 
for the prosecution of our duties, as well as for the safety of future 

The invitation to visit the ship being extended to the royal ladies, 
the queen, her daughter (the betrothed wife of old Tanoa of Ambau), 
and three lesser wives, with two of the king's sons, came on board, on 
the 23d. When her majesty arrived on board, she presented Captain 
Hudson with a black pig. These ladies were so much pleased with 
the attention shown them, that they remained six hours. They ate, 
drank whiskey and water, and smoked cigars, of which they are ex- 
tremely fond, looked all over the ship, examining the prints, drawings 
of birds, &c., and seemed delighted. 

There was a circumstance that occurred during this visit that will 
serve to show the Feejee artfulness in a strong light. While they 
were engaged in looking at the engravings in the cabin, the queen 
spoke in rather an authoritative tone to the rest, when they all, from 
seeming inattention, became very attentive, and showed marks of plea- 
sure. Captain Hudson, thinking that they had seen something that par- 
ticularly delighted them, was desirous of knowing what was the cause ; 
but not observing any thing that could account for this burst of enthu- 
siasm, he inquired of the interpreter what the queen had said, who told 
him she had remarked to them, " Why don't you seem pleased ! why 
don't you laugh !" 

Captain Hudson having effected a friendly understanding with the 
king, went on shore on the 24th, with as many of his officers as could 
be spared from duty, to hold an audience with the king and his chiefs, 
at which the rules and regulations were adopted by them, after being 
fully explained. He then made "k demand for the murderers of Cun- 


ningham; for whom the king engaged to send messengers, and to give 
them up if they should be found. Afterwards an appropriate present 
was made to him, in return for his turtles, &c. 

From this time the natives became reconciled, and much intercourse 
was had with them. It was found that the head queen was the prin- 
cipal adviser of Tui Muthuata, and that in all his difficulties her judg- 
ment rules the state. She seemed entirely devoted to him, bestowed 
much care and attention in the selection of his food, and in every way 
endeavoured to please him. 

Near the landing there is a large turtle-pen, in which the king's 
turtles are kept, of which some weigh three hundred pounds. The 
pens* are three in number, each of which contains a dozen. Both 
kinds are caught, hawksbill and green turtle. The former is con- 
sidered the most valuable on account of its shell, and they are indis- 
criminately used for eating. Both are caught in large quantities on the 
islands in the season, and form a principal part of the food of chiefs, 
but the lower class are not allowed to partake of them. It was said 
they were preparing for a large feast, to be given shortly. 

The ship was again visited by a large number of the wives of the 
chief, nearly all of whom were in a state of nudity ; yet they behaved 
themselves well and modestly. A feast was prepared for them, for if 
this were neglected, it would be considered an unpardonable oversight. 
They did not manage very well in sitting at table or using the knife 
and fork. Their attack on the eatables, and the quantity they devoured, 
showed not only appetite, but great capacity of stomach. The knife 
and fork was too slow a process for them, and their use was soon dis- 
pensed with for that of the fingers. 

During their visit, a native was detected stealing a hatchet. This 
was the first theft committed on board the Peacock since being in the 
group. The king's son, who was on board at the time, v/anted to club 
the thief on shore and roast him, but Captain Hudson thought it was 
better for him to settle the business himself, and accordingly punished 
him at the gangway, and gave orders that he should not be admitted 
on board again. 

There are in Muthuata a greater number of light-coloured Feejee 
men than are elsewhere to be met with. They are generally half- 
caste, and this mixture has arisen from their intercourse with the Ro- 
tuma Islanders, of whom they are very fond. 

Mr. Hale succeeded in getting permission to disinter some skeletons 
on the island of Muthuata, which lies immediately off the town. Thi^ 

* The pens are shallow pit?, within the flow of the tide, and surrounded with stakes. 

M B U A B A Y A N D M U T H U A T A. 231 

island not only protects the harbour from the north wind, but adds 
much to its beauty by its high and luxuriant ap- 
pearance. It is a little over a mile in length. It 
appears to have been for a long time a burial- 
place for both chiefs and common people. The 
graves are scattered in groups along the shore, 
those of the chiefs being apart from the rest, and 
distinguished by having small houses built over 
them, from two to six feet high. The fronts of 
these houses were of a kind of lattice-work, formed 


of braided sennit, of which the cut will give an 
idea. These houses were entirely vacant. Before some of them 
spears or poles were crossed in the form of an X ; before others a slick 
was planted in the ground, with its top tied around with sennit; near 
others were long pieces of tapa, suspended from poles, with clubs, 
spears, and a canoe, laid beside them. The natives said that the 
deposit of these articles was (soro soro ni kai viti) a religious cere- 

The graves of the common people (kai-si) had merely stones laid 
over them. On the natives who accompanied Messrs. Hale and Agate 
being told that they had permission to take a skeleton, which they call 
" kalou mate," they showed no reluctance whatever to assist, and took 
them to a grave where they said two Ambau men were buried, who 
had died from eating poisoned fish. Though the grave was not deep, 
some difficulty was experienced in removing the gravel and stones 
with which the bodies were covered. The natives were playing and 
making sport while at their work, and seemed at a loss to know at 
which end to look for the head. There was no covering found on the 
bodies, which had been laid naked in the grave ; the bones were clear 
of flesh and whole, but were brittle and decayed. 

On the 27th, they had a visit from the king's son, who came in full 
costume, with his long seavo pendent both from before and behind, 
and a full turban. His visit was for the purpose of obtaining a small 
pennant that was making for his canoe, consisting of a yard or two of 
red bunting with a white star in it. With this he went off in great 
glee. He was on his way to Somu-somu, to invite the chiefs of that 
place to the feast about to be given at Muthuata. 

Captain Hudson was now informed that the messengers had re- 
turned without the murderers. The report they brought back was 
that they had fled into the mountains, and joined the chiefs there for 
protection, at the time the Peacock passed the town. This was not 
credited, and the king was desired to make another attempt, which he 

232 M B U A BAY AND M U T H U A T A. 

did. He seemed desirous of obtaining the murderers, and together 
with the chief Gingi, advised that the town to which they belonged 
should be burnt, although all the other inhabitants were innocent. 
This Captain Hudson refused to do, as he did not wish to punish the 
innocent for the guilty. 

Gingi himself was suspected of having had a hand in the murder 
of Cunningham. Although not of the royal blood, he has much influ- 
ence in Muthuata, and is, in all respects, a disreputable character. 
He has four houses, which are the best in the tow'n, and are occupied 
by as many wives. He possesses a considerable quantity of other 
property, which he has accumulated from his earnings in the biche 
de mar fishery. He does not hesitate to boast of his savage actions, 
and to reckon up a dozen men whom he has killed with his own 
musket. When I come to speak of the Asaua cluster of islands, some 
of his wholesale massacres will be recorded. In these encounters he 
has not escaped unscathed, for he received on one occasion a musket- 
ball, which entered beneath his shoulder-blade and came out beneath 
the nipple of his breast. Gingi is remarkable for the energy of his 
character, and his savage disposition when offended. 

While the Peacock lay at Muthuata, the naturalists employed them- 
selves in excursions to the mountains. The bright tin boxes carried 
by the botanists attracted much attention, and excited no little alarm, 
for a report had got abroad, that these boxes contained our " fiery 
spirits." In consequence of this idea, when one of these gentlemen, 
after his return from an excursion, opened his box for the purpose of 
looking at the plants he had gathered, there was a general outcry and 
flight among the younger natives. They frequently met native women 
in their walks, who seemed very much amused with the Papalangis, 
and laughed immoderately at the shaking of hands, which some were 
bold enough to venture upon. Those they met would, if alone and 
carrying any thing, throw down their load and run like the wind to 

On their mountain excursions, they were accompanied by a Rotuma 
man who spoke English. On their way up, as they were about to 
enter a hamlet, he advised them to load and prepare their fire-arms, 
saying that the people of the mountain did not like those of the coast, 
and that to visit them was dangerous. It did not prove so, however, 
on this occasion; yet the advice clearly shows that a state of hostility 
exists between those who five in the mountains and those on the coast. 
The former are probably those who have escaped punishment for 
crimes, or from the cruelty of the chiefs on the coast, and who fled to 
the mountains for safety. 

M B U A BAY AND M U T H U A T A. 233 

The excursion to the top of the peak proved very interesting to our 
botanists, whose collections were increased by many specimens, among 
which was a young Kaurie pine. The point which was measured, 
was two thousand feet high ; another point, which was inaccessible, 
was about three hundred and fifty feet higher, making the highest 
point two thousand three hundred and fifty feet. 

The party witnessed some natives who were employed in taking 
fish, near the mouth of a small stream, by poisoning the water with the 
stems and leaves of a climbing Glycine, which grows abundantly near 
the coast. 

They had ample evidence of the hostility existing among these 
natives, in the fear exhibited by their guides when occasionally ap- 
proaching huts on their rambles, and they said that they would not 
have dared to venture among the mountaineers except in company 
with the Papalangis. 

In these rambles they occasionally visited the high peaks, and when- 
ever they had a view of the interior, a number of high, volcanic, and 
many of them sharp-pointed peaks, presented themselves to the eye. 

On the 28th, Passed Midshipman Harrison arrived in the schooner 
Kai-viti, with the supply of yams, and my orders to the Peacock to 
join me at Mbua Bay on the 4th of July. 

The next day was employed in getting ready to sail. Captain 
Pludson had employed his carpenters in getting out the frame of a 
new launch of the iron-wood (Casuarina) ; but subsequently, at the 
Sandwich Islands, we found that it was ill-adapted for that purpose, 
and it was consequently rejected. 

The king again sent off word that his messengers had returned a 
second time, without any further tidings of the murderers than those 
they had first brought. 

This day, Joseph Baxter, the second mate of the Leonidas, who had 
been badly burnt when firing a cannon on board the Leonidas, was 
brought on board the Peacock. The accident was caused by the 
ignition of a cartridge which he had carelessly put into his bosom. 
Every possible attention was paid to him. 

The natives of the town of Muthuata appeared to be busily engaged 
in making preparations for the great feast. Hogs, yams, taro, and 
turtles, were continually brought into town, and it was said that the 
king of Muthuata had collected a hundred hogs and ten thousand 
yams. In anticipation of the coming feast, all articles were tabooed, 
and none could be purchased. 

The women, both old and young, were daily practising their dan- 
cing and music, and preparing turbans and masi for the chiefs, while 

VOL. IIT. U2 30 

234 M B U A BAY AND M U T H U A T A. 

all were engaged in dressing their hair with ashes and a white clay, 
each striving to vie with and outdo his neighbour. 

On the 2d of July the Peacock sailed from Muthuata, and the king 
seemed very happy at the departure of the ship. In the evening they 
anchored in Naloa Bay, off the village of Fokasinga. A fleet of canoes 
came off to the ship the next morning, from which they learned that 
the war had again begun in earnest, and that Tui Mbua's party had 
killed three of the people of the opposite party, in revenge for the 
death of the one who had been killed during the former visit of the 
Peacock. One human body had already been brought over and just 
feasted upon. Shortly afterwards a canoe came alongside, bringing 
the skull yet warm from the fire, much scorched, and marked with the 
teeth of those who had eaten of it. The brain had been roasted and 
taken out, as well as the eyes and teeth. Another canoe came along- 
side with some roasted flesh in it. 

While Mr. Spieden and others were agreeing with the natives for 
the purchase of the skull for a fathom of cloth, a native stood near him 
holding something in his right hand, which he soon applied to his 
mouth, and began to eat. To their utter astonishment they discovered 
it to be the eye of the dead man, which the native had plucked from 
the skull a few moments before. So revolting and unexpected a sight 
produced a feeling of sickness in many; this ocular proof of their 
cannibal propensities fully satisfied them. The native was eating it, 
and exclaiming at the same time, " Vinaka, vinaka," (good, good.) 
Another was seen eating the last of the flesh from the thigh-bone. 
This was witnessed by several of the officers and men, who all testify 
to the same facts. 

Previous to this occurrence, no one in the squadron could say that 
he had been an eye-witness to cannibalism, though few doubted its 
practice, but the above transaction placed it beyond all doubt, and we 
have now the very skull which was bought from those who were 
picking and eating it, among our collections. 

Tui Mbua came alongside with his family, and asked permission 
to remain all night, which was granted him. Mr. Agate succeeded in 
gettinsc a good likeness of him. 

Lieutenant Budd, and the boats under his charge, came alongside in 
the evening, and left the ship again the next morning to complete the 
survey and bring it down to Mbua Bay. 

The next day being the 4th of July, they beat through Monkey-Face 
Passage, and on reaching Ruke-ruke Bay, Captain Hudson anchored, 
after which the crew kept the 4th of July by feasting on a turtle, and 
enjoyed themselves with their double allowance of grog. 



On the 5th, the Peacock anchored in Mbua Bay, about an hour 
before the Vincennes reached it, all well and in good spirits. The 
naturalists were now ordered to return on board the Vincennes, and 
the prisoner Vendovi was also transferred to her, and remained on 
board of her until the expiration of the cruise. 

Dillon's rock. 





3" IfflB^i^ 



UroN the junction of the Peacock with the Vincennes in Mbua Bay, 
I had it in my power to examine and collate all the work that we had 
thus far accomplished. After doing this, I found that so much yet 
remained to be done before a thorough survey of the Feejee Group 
could be completed, that I must either leave this important duty 
unfinished, or devote more time to it than had originally been con- 
templated. I deemed this to be among the most important of the 
objects of the Expedition; and considering that the seas around these 
islands abound in dangers whose position had up to this time been 
entirely unknown, I resolved not only to complete the surveys, but not 
to leave the group until I had entirely satisfied myself of the accuracy 
of the work. 

In furtherance of the last object, I set all who had been employed 
in the service to work in plotting and calculating their surveys, while 
the features of the region were yet fresh in their memories. This duty 
occupied several days after my arrival at Mbua Bay, and was per- 
formed without any loss of time that could have been employed in 
actual surveying; for the weather was bad, in consequence of a 
gale from the southeast that lasted four days, and it would have been 
impossible to work in the open air. 

In consequence of our protracted stay, it became necessary to 
reduce the allowance of the men's provisions one-third. Orders to 
this effect were, in consequence, given. The men, when informed 
of it, readily acquiesced, and I heard not a word of complaint. 

On the Oth, Lieutenant Alden, in the tender, returned from the 
Annan Islands, without having completed all the duties he was 


240 T Y E A N D S U A L I B. 

charged with, and he had seen nothing of the shoal he had before 
reported to me. On the same day I despatched Lieutenant Case and 
Passed Midshipman Blunt, in the second cutter of the Peacock, 
around the north side of the island of Vanua-levu, for the purpose 
of falling in with the schooner Kai-viti, Passed Midshipman Harrison, 
and with directions to proceed with her to Somu-somu, and there 
purchase a cargo of yams. Lieutenant Case had also orders, on over- 
taking Lieutenant Walker, to relieve him, and to continue the survey 
with which that officer was charged, as far as Somu-somu, after which 
he was directed to return by the south side of the island of Vanua- 
levu, surveying and examining the harbours as he went along. 

The Rev. Mr. Hunt took advantage of this opportunity to return to 
his home. Notwithstanding it was raining and blowing a gale, I could 
not delay this service any longer, particularly as I believed that the 
gale would moderate before the cutter would reach the other party, 
and that, as they would pass under the lee of the shore, they would not 
be very much exposed to it. Necessity alone, however, would have 
induced me to despatch a party in such weather. 

For a few days, at this time, every one was employed, who could 
work, in repairing the boats, preparatory to the further examinations 
u'hich I contemplated making on the hourly-expected arrival of the 

On the afternoon of the 12th, Lieutenant Perry arrived in the launch, 
bringinff with him Mr. Knox and the crew of the first cutter. That 
boat had been captured by the natives, at Sualib Bay, about twenty- 
five miles to windward, on the same island. In this bay the launch 
and first cutter had taken refuge during the bad weather, although it 
offers indifferent accommodation. After being there two or three days, 
they attempted to beat out, when the cutter, in trying to go about, near 
the reef, missed stays and was thrown on it. At the time this occurred, 
it was low water. The natives, who, it was supposed by the party, 
had anticipated the accident, had followed along the reef, and, as soon 
as it happened, crowded down, all well armed with clubs, spears, 
stones, &c. Mr. Knox, finding it impossible to get the boat off, thought 
of looking into his means of defence, and found himself completely in 
the power of the natives, for all his arms and ammunition were soaked 
with salt water. Lieutenant Perry, finding that the launch could not 
make headway against the wind and sea, had anchored at long gun- 
shot from the spot where the cutter had gone on shore. As soon as he 
saw what was going forward, he opened a fire on the natives, but 
without efiect ; for they, notwithstanding, collected around Mr. Knox's 
party, and gave them to understand that they must abandon the boat 

T Y E A N D S U A L 1 B. 24 1 

and go on board the launch. Having no choice left, he took out all 
the arms and the chronometers, and, keeping the natives at bay, by 
pointing the guns at them and threats of killing them, the crew reached 
the launch in safety. The natives took possession of the first cutter^ 
dragged her over the reef, and stripped her of every thing. They then 
appeared to be eagerly watching the launch, at which they occasion- 
ally fired their muskets, with which they are better provided on this 
island than elsewhere. They did not prove good marksmen, how- 
ever, for they did no damage. 

Two natives, from another part of the shore, now swam ofl" to the 
launch, with offers of assistance to Lieutenant Perry ; but he supposed 
that this was done to spy out his weakness, and learn how to take ad- 
vantage of it. He, therefore, at once seized and retained them. They 
proved to be a great chief and an inferior one. After he had obtained 
possession of these men, the natives on shore gave him no further 
trouble, but remained lurking about the mangroves. 

The next morning, the weather having moderated, he was enabled 
to get out of the bay, and reached the ship at the above date. 

This occurrence was another cause of detention. Immediately on 
receiving the report, I ordered the two prisoners to be put into irons, 
and the schooner and eight boats, four from each ship, to be ready for 
service at sunset. Twenty additional men and officers were put on 
board the tender. Captain Hudson and myself both accompanied the 
party, which left the ships at the appointed time. Our first ren- 
dezvous was about twelve miles from the ship, and it was my in- 
tention to reach Sualib by daylight the next morning. We, however, 
found so much sea on the outside of the reefs, from the late gale, that 
it was difficult to pull against it. Tom Granby, of whom I have be- 
fore spoken, took an oar in my boat, somewhat reluctantly, to pull 
with the crew. It was no sinecure, particularly to one who was not 
accustomed to rowing, and Tom soon grew weary, as became quite 
apparent to me, by an occasional expression of fatigue, which an oar 
twenty feet long soon brings about. After a hard pull, we reached the 
small island, and I immediately ordered the few boats' crews that had 
arrived to get what rest they could previous to the arrival of the 
others. My own tent was quickly pitched for that purpose, and all 
were snugly slumbering in a short time, except Tom, whose ill-humour 
would not allow him to take rest. He continued grumbling for some 
time, and, finding that no notice was taken of him, allowed his mo- 
roseness to get the better of him. His complaints became so loud as 
to keep many of us from sleeping, and I was compelled to silence him, 
by threatening to tie him to a tree, and leave him there until our re- 

VOL. III. V 31 


turn, if he did not desist. This, with a threat to take a shot at him, 
brought him to his senses, and in part restored his wonted good- 
humour. After a rest of two or three hours, most of the boats having 
joined, we left the island, and reached Sualib Bay at about eight 
o'clock in the morning. Here I again awaited the arrival of the 
schooner and boats, which began to drop in. 

The cutter, we found, had been drawn up to a considerable dis- 
tance, and the tide being low, there was a wide mud-flat between her 
and the place where we lay at anchor, through which a small tortuous 
creek led up to her. 

The natives of the two towns on each side of the bay, one called 
Tye and the other Sualib, seemed both to be active in preparing to 
give us a warm reception. Our interpreter gave me reason to expect 
that we should not get the boat without a sharp fight, and that she 
would be perhaps destroyed by fire before we should be able to save 
her. As it would, in all probability, have been attended with loss of 
life to make the attempt at low water, I determined to await until the 
tide rose, and in the mean time to attempt to procure her restoration 
by negotiation. I therefore sent Whippy and Tom to hold a parley, 
and to state to the natives, that if they restored the boat and every 
thing belonging to her, I would, for this time, forgive them. One of 
their chiefs came half-way to meet Whippy, and, both being unarmed, 
they held a long conference, during which they occasionally referred 
to their principals. Finally the chiefs agreed to deliver up the boat, 
which they launched and brought some distance down the creek 
towards us, whither I sent men to receive her; but she had nothing in 
her but her spars: all other articles, of every description, including 
the men's clothes, books and instruments of the officers, breakers, sails, 
&c,, had been detained. 

My conditions not being complied with, I determined to make an 
example of these natives, and to show them that they could no longer 
hope to commit acts of this description without receiving punish- 

The dinner hour had now arrived, and finding that the tide would 
not suit for two or three hours, I ordered the boats off to the tender to 
get dinner, telling the men that we should burn the town before sunset. 
We accordingly pulled to the tender and took dinner. In the mean 
time I was occupied detailing the boats with officers and men in divi- 
sions, and when the time came, the boats shoved off from the tender, 
leaving only Dr. Palmer and two men in charge of her. 

We moved on in an imposing array, keeping ourselves well prepared 
for an attack, to which we were necessarily exposed on our approach. 


A very few men could have done us much mischief, had they been 
tolerable marksmen and stood their ground. 

To approach the village we had to pass between long lines of man- 
grove bushes, and I was assured by Whippy, who had been before 
on a war-party with a formidable force against these natives and been 
beaten off, that we should have something more than a mere show of 
resistance to encounter. Under this expectation we proceeded for- 
wards ; but all was silent, and no impediment was offered to our course. 

When near the beach the boats were anchored, and the officers and 
men jumped overboard, and waded in about two feet water to the 
shore. Every thing was conducted with the most perfect order ; the 
three divisions landed ; Captain Hudson, with two, proceeded to burn 
and destroy the town, and the third remained on the beach as a reserve 
to protect the boats, for I was apprehensive that an attack might be 
made on them by those on the other side of the bay, a great many of 
whom were visible, armed, and apparently ready for a fight. The pre- 
caution I had taken to let them know, through Whippy, that I held 
their chiefs as hostages, and that their safety depended upon the good 
conduct of the townspeople, I felt was some security, but I had made 
up my mind not to trust the natives in any way. I therefore kept a 
large force under my own charge to repel any attack on the boats, and 
act as a reserve should it become necessary. 

The town was soon fired, but the anxiety of some of the sailors to 
make a blaze, induced them to fire one or two of the thick thatched 
roofs to windward, while the rest of the party had gone to begin the 
work of destruction to leeward. The whole village was in conse- 
quence soon wrapped in sheets of flame, and many of the men were 
exposed to danger on their return, from the intense heat of the burning 
buildings. So close was the resemblance of the noise made by the 
bursting of the bamboo canes, (of which material the houses are for 
the most part built,) to a running fire of musketry, that every one be- 
lieved that a general fight was taking place in the parts distant and 
opposite to him. 

About an hour sufficed to reduce the whole to ashes, leaving the vil- 
lage a heap of smoking ruins. We then returned to our boats in the 
same good order in which we landed. 

The town of Tye contained about sixty dwellings, built of bamboo, 
besides a number of yam-houses, wherein they had gathered their crops. 
The upper and outer yams were well roasted, but the heat from the 
light material was of short duration, so that few in reality were lost. 
Another small collection of yam-houses, about a quarter of a mile dis- 
tant, was also burnt. 


Few things were found in the town, for the natives had removed all 
the articles that could be carried away. Three or four weeks of 
labour would, therefore, suffice to rebuild their houses, and restore them 
to the same state as before the burning. 

There was no opposition made to this attack ; all the Feejee men 
had retired out of gun-shot, and were only now and then seen from be- 
hind the bushes, or on some craggy peak on the sides of the neighbour- 
ing hills, from which they were occasionally dislodged by our rockets. 
This firework produced consternation, and dispersed them in every 
direction. As the boats were pulling off from the shore, a few balls 
fell near us, but did no damage. 

As we pulled off, the launch (Lieutenant Perry) was just seen making 
her appearance, having got aground in the passage up, and lain the 
whole of the tide. His men being much exhausted, were transferred 
to the tender, and others put in their stead. We then all set out for the 
ships, which we reached a little before midnight. 

The infliction of this punishment I deemed necessary ; it was effi- 
ciently and promptly done, and, without the sacrifice of any lives, 
taught these savages a salutary lesson. 

In the first cutter was private and public property to the value of 
over one thousand dollars, which was all lost. 

By reference to my instructions, it will be seen that cases of theft 
were expressly mentioned as occasions that might require punishment 
to be inflicted on the natives ; yet this transaction formed the gist of 
one of the charges preferred against me by the administration, on my 
return to the United States. 

The conduct of the officers and men on this occasion showed a 
promptness and energy that were highly creditable, and gave me the 
assurance that they were as much to be depended upon in dangers of 
this description, as I had hitherto found them in others. 

The next day having become satisfied that the Sualib chiefs who 
had been detained by Lieutenant Perry had really meant to act a 
friendly part, I determined, for the purpose of making the contrast as 
strong as possible between those who had offered aid and those who 
had stolen the cutter, to reward the former for their good intentions.* 

The next morning, all hands were called on deck, and the prisoners 

* It must be borne in mind, that any canoe or vessel, whether native or foreign, when 
driven on shore, is accounted an offering to the gods. All that it contains is considered as 
belonging to the chief of tlie district where the accident happens, and the people on board 
are at once sacrificed. The opinion I formed of the intentions of the two chiefs who swam 
off to Lieutenant Perry, was, that they expepted an accident to occur to the launch, and 
being with her, could have at once claimed lier as their own, and would have protected the 
lives of those on board from the multitude by the aiithority they held over them. 



brought to the gangway in irons, expecting that their time was now 
come, and exhibiting great fear, both in their countenances and 
trembhng Hmbs. Through David Whippy, I then told them, that 
although appearances were at first against them, I had satisfied myself 
that they intended to act a friendly part in assisting the launch, and as 
they had taken no share in the robbery and capture of the boat, and 
the people of their town had done nothing to molest us, instead of 
punishing them, I should reward them with presents, and send them 
back safely to their town. The joy that was depicted on their coun- 
tenances at this change can readily be imagined. Their irons were 
then removed, and the presents given. 

After thanking the oiificers and men for their good conduct in this 
affair, we piped down, and our several occupations were resumed. 

During the time that these chiefs were prisoners on board, a chief 
of this bay, who called himself Tui Mbua, (after the old chief of that 
name who has already been spoken of,) came on board, to beg that he 
might have the bodies of the prisoner chiefs to eat, expecting of 
course, they were to be killed. The request was made to one of the 
oflScers, (Mr. Vanderford,) who had been in this place before, and 
who spoke the Feejee language. It is said that such a request is con- 
sidered the greatest token of Feejee friendship, and it is believed that 
this was the inducement in the present case. 

The two chiefs remained on board some days, in consequence of 
the difficulty of sending them back, for the boats that attempted it 
were obliged to return, in consequence of the fresh trade-wind which 
was blowing. 

They afterwards requested permission to be set on shore, as they 
would prefer going home by land, which was accordingly done. 

During their stay on board, many of their customs were obtained 
from them, through the interpreter. The youngest, as I have before 
stated, was a high chief, and a person of some consequence, and 
what is remarkable for a Feejee man, was fond of music. He sang, 
of course, in the manner of his country. From him Mr. Drayton 
obtained the music, and through the interpreter, the words of the song. 

The character of the music is the same as that heard from others. 
It is as follows : 


ku - la ka tan - gi ta - ka - re 

An - dra tha - 



Se-ni-kun-dra - vi sa-lu sa - lu 

ma-ke-ve va - ke. 


I was sleeping in the Tambu-tangane, 

A red cock crowed near the house, 

I woke up suddenly and cried, 

I was going to get some kundravi flowers, 

For a wreath in the harmonious dance. 


(music very much the same.) 

Ne avu Rewa tala n'drondro ni singa na theva theva, 

So thangi toka ni uthu i Rewa, 

Ma kurea no a sinu kungera. 

Me rathuru salu salu nai alewa 

Thuru sinu ka umbeti a lemba, 

Ra mbola rua kau tombena. 

Ma kerea ko yaudi kau serea, 

Andi ko a luvata ma na oru lemba, 

Kau viriani ki na loya leka. 

Ru thakava na lemba kau thakava, 
Mera ne levu mai a marama, 
Ta a lik'thuru ki na thungiawa, 
Thundru tiko ko tinai Thangi-lemba, 
A onda meke ka suli vakatrava, 
Katu ni votua sa mai lala, 
Vuravaru na vanua saurara, 
Ravuli vuthura tamu rawataka, 
N dromu ndole singa ki Muthuata. 


In Rewa a fine southerly wind was blowing, 
The wind was blowing from the point of Rewa, 
And it shakes down the flowers of the sinu tree. 
So that the women may make garlands. 
String the sinu, and cover it with the lemba flowers. 
When put together I will hang it on my neck. 
But the queen begs it and I take it off; 
Queen ! take our garland of lemba, 
I throw it on the little co'icli. 


Take ye the garland that I have been making, 

That the ladies may make a great noise in coming. 

Let us go to the tliungiawa, (a house.) 

The mother of Thangi-lemba was vexed, 

Why did you give away our dance ? 

The basket of dance-fees is empty. 

This world is a world of trouble. 

They will not succeed in learning to dance, 

The sun goes down too soon in Muthuata, 

The music of the Feejee Islanders is more rude than that of any 
people we have had communication with in the South Seas. The men 
rarely care for music, nor have they any pleasure in musical sounds. 
The tones of the violin, acordion, flute, and musical-box, which caused 
so much deljo-ht amona: other islanders, had no charms for them. 
Their attention is seldom riveted by these instruments, and they will 
walk off" insensible to the sweetest notes. Mr. Drayton says that all 
their attempts at singing are confined to the major key, and that he 
does not recollect to have heard a single sound in the minor. 

Although the Feejeeans have little knowledge of musical sounds, and 
apparently care not for them, yet they are fond of verse-making, and 
appreciate the difficulties they have to encounter in their compositions, 
and according to Mr. Hale, in some of them the manner of rhyming 
is peculiar and difficult, as they are obliged to confine themselves 
throughout the stanzas to those vowels which are contained in the two 
last syllables of the first line of a stanza. For further information I 
must refer the reader to the Philological Report. 

The men's voices in speaking are generally higher than those of the 
natives of the other groups, but some of them speak in a full deep tone. 
The females speak in a higher note than the Samoans or Tongese ; 
their voices are very agreeable, full of intonations and musical force, 
giving expression to every thing they say. 

On the 16th of July, the tender and boats being prepared, I ordered 
the following officers upon an expedition: Assistant-Surgeon Fox, 
Acting-Master Sinclair, Passed Midshipman Eld, and Mr. Agate, to 
accompany me in the tender; Lieutenant Alden and Midshipman 
Henry in the first, and Lieutenant Underwood in the second cutter 
of the Vincennes ; Lieutenant Emmons and Midshipman Clark in the 
first cutter of the Peacock. The boats being fully manned and armed, 
left the vessels in the afternoon, for the island of Anganga. 

Orders were left with Captain Hudson to resurvey the Bay of Mbua, 
(for I was not satisfied with the survey that had been made,) including 
the outlying reef, and after having completed this duty, to proceed with 
the Peacock round to Muthuata, and then return for the Vincennes. It 


was my intention to circumnavigate the whole group of islands, 
carrying meridian distances from island to island, and likewise to 
complete and connect by triangulation all the parts that required 
further examination. I proposed to return to Muthuata by the north 
and east side of Vanua-levu. 

Having satisfied myself with observations on Lakemba Point, I set 
out in the tender at eight o'clock p. m., in order to join the boats early 
the next morning at Anganga Island, about thirty miles from Mbua 
Bay. The night was beautiful, and with a light air the tender fanned 
along. Tom was at the masthead, but, towards morning, being some- 
what fatigued, he got into a doze, while the man at the helm believed 
that Tom would take care of the vessel, and was accustomed to run 
very close to the reef. All at once the tender brought up on the coral 
reef, at the north point of Ruke-ruke Bay. This jarred Tom not a 
little, and waked him up. He protested most strenuously that he had 
not been asleep, but that " a kind of blur had come over his eyes." 
Notwithstanding this excuse, I gave the place the name of Sleepy 
Point, in commemoration of the event. No damage was sustained by 
the tender. We proceeded on, and at 6 a. m. we anchored near the 
west end of Anganga Island, where the boats soon after joined us. 
Finding that Lieutenant Underwood .had carried away his mast, I 
despatched him back to the ship to get a new one, and directed in- 
quiries to be made relative to the provisions that had been served to 
the boats' crews. Three days' allowance had been put on board each 
boat, cooked, which the next morning was entirely gone. I could not 
bring myself to the belief that the quantity which I had ordered had 
been put on board. But it proved to be the case, and will serve to 
show what formidable appetites the men acquired during these boat 

Lieutenant Underwood was directed to join me at Yendua, an 
island lying to the southward and westward of Mbua Bay. After 
despatching the other two boats to examine the reef outside of 
Anganga, I landed at the point and remained on shore during the 
day, with Passed Midshipman Eld, making observations for time and 
latitude. Dr. Fox and Mr. Agate were engaged in picking up shells 
and plants, and the latter also made sketches. Two small and 
beautiful specimens of cyprasas were found here by Dr. Fox. The 
height of the Ivaca Peak was also measured, and found to be fifteen 
hundred and sixty-three feet. 

At noon I was rejoiced to discover the Porpoise in sight. She had 
been looked for during some days, and I could not but feel anxious, 
knowing the dangers with which the service I had sent her on was 


surrounded. On her coming up, I ordered signal to be made for her 
to anchor near us, and in the afternoon we joined company. The 
brig was then ordered to get under way, and follow our motions. 

In standing into Ruke-ruke Bay, in the tender, we stood too near 
the reef, and the wind heading us off, we missed stays and were 
obliged to drop anchor to avoid going on shore. With the assistance 
of the brig we hauled off, ran round Sleepy Point, and it being too 
late to proceed, anchored for the night. It was my intention to reach 
Yendua Island that night, but this mishap prevented us. 

Anganga Island is high, and very much broken ; it is not inhabited, 
and offers nothing but turtles in the season. 

I now had communication with Lieutenant-Commandant Rmggold, 
and before going on with the details of the expedition upon which I 
had set out, will recount those of the operations of the Porpoise, since 
I left her at Somu-somu, five weeks previously. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold procured as pilot, in place of 
Tubou Total, a young Feejee man of Tonga parents, named Aliko, 
quite intelligent, whom he afterwards found remarkably useful. He 
was well acquainted with the outlying reefs and islands, having fre- 
quently visited them. He was extremely good-looking, and his skin 
as light as that of the Tongese. On the 14th they left Somu-somu, 
to continue the surveys, proceeding round the south end of Vuna. 
Owing to variable and light winds, they made but httle progress 
for the first few days. They then passed Vaturera, Nugatobe, and 
Ythata. The former is a high, square-topped, rugged island, with an 
extensive reef, quite desolate, and lying northwest of Chichia. 

The Nugatobe Islets are three in number, and small ; the two 
westernmost are enclosed in the same reef. 

Ythata is a high island, with a bell-shaped peak, lying north of 
Vaturera ; it is surrounded by an extensive reef. There are two low 
islets lying east of it, connected by a reef, in which is a small canoe- 
passage at high water. Ythata has extensive cocoa-nut groves along 
its shores : it is one of the islands that form the southern boundary 
of the Nanuku Passage. It has about twenty inhabitants. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold landed on the islets, and found 
them composed of white sand and coral. Some pandanus trees were 
seen. The centre isle is composed of black lava and stones. The 
reef extends from fifty to one hundred feet, with a break to the 
north. Here magnetic observations and chronometer sights were 

Kanathia, with its many verdant and fertile hills, is a remarkably 
pretty island. Its central peak is sharp and lofty, somewhat resem- 

VOL. III. 32 


bling a lookout-house, formed of basaltic columns. It is surrounded 
by a reef with boat-entrances, and has on the north a break. The 
reef extends four and a half miles on the northeast side, and to within 
two miles of that of Vanua-valavo. Kanathia is three miles long 
from north to south, by two and a half miles from east to west ; it 
lies five miles west of Vanua-valavo. The passage between them 
is clear, and the reefs of both islands are visible at the same time. A 
detached reef lies off the southeast end five miles distant. Kanathia 
has about three hundred inhabitants. 

Malina was next surveyed. It lies north of Kanathia, is low, small, 
and has little herbage. It has an extensive reef surrounding it. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold next visited the island of Vanua- 
valavo, which is included among the Exploring Isles, which he had 
previously visited. He now entered by the western passage, where 
he found good anchorage, and visited several fine harbours, where 
wood and water are to be had in abundance, and the natives were 
quite friendly. From the top of one of the peaks of Vanua-valavo, 
called Mount Totten (after the distinguished head of the engineer 
corps), angles were obtained on all the surrounding islands and reefs. 
The barometer gave for the height of this peak six hundred and sixty- 
four feet. The officers were engaged sounding and surveying the 
harbours, and examinations were made of the several passages.* The 
chief of the principal village is a mild, good old man, who afforded all 
the facilities in his power, and the natives were glad to communicate 
and trade their taro, yams, pigs, &c., in exchange for iron and cloth. 
They are not so swarthy as the other islanders, and some of them are 
nominally Christians. The island is estimated to contain one thousand 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold designated this large and fine 
anchorage as Port Ridgely, after Commodore Ridgely ; and it affords 
me great pleasure to confirm this compliment to one to whom the 
Expedition was much indebted on its outfit. 

On the 23d, they left this anchorage and proceeded easterly along 
the reef that surrounds the Exploring Isles, when they discovered a 
detached reef to the eastward, lying parallel to the side of the main 
reef The southern end of this detached reef is two miles distant from 
the other. It has a small sand-bank on its south side, and trends north- 
northeast and south-southwest for four miles ; there is, also, on it a 
black block of rock. 

On the 25th, they discovered a large bank of coral, on which they 

* All these will be particularly noticed in the Hydrographic Memoir. 


found eleven fathoms of water. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold 
believes that it extends for several miles. There is plenty of water on 
most parts of it for any class of ships, though it would be well to avoid 
it, as there may be some coral knolls that might bring a ship up. A 
current was found here setting to the north a mile and one-eighth 

The next day the Duff Reef was examined, as well as the sea, for 
about thirty or forty miles to the east of it, but no other dangers were 
visible. The Duff Reef has an extensive sand-bank on it, and the 
island of Vuna is plainly visible from it. 

The island of Yalangalala, which lies just to the westward of the 
Duff Reef, has an extensive reef It is uninhabited, and forms, with 
Velerara, the southern side of the Nanuku Passage — the island of 
Nanuku and its reef forming the northern side. This passage between 
these islands is ten miles long; the course through is southwest. The 
islands to the north of this passage are small and low, and sur- 
rounded by very large and extensive reefs. The most northern of 
these are Korotuna and Nukulevu, both of which are low, covered 
with trees, fertile, and have many inhabitants. 

Nukumanu and Nukumbasanga lie to the southward of these ; they 
are almost united by reefs and sunken patches of rock, which extend 
to the Nanuku Reef, and round to Lauthala and Kambia. 

Too much precaution on the part of mariners cannot be used in 
approaching this part of the group. Several times during the survey 
the Porpoise was in great danger. The currents and tides are irregu- 
lar and much governed by the winds, and at times are found running 
with great velocity through the various and contracted passages. 

After making these examinations the Porpoise went to Tasman's 
Straits, or to those to which I have assigned that name, under the 
belief that they are those discovered by that navigator. They lie 
between Vuna and Kambia. This strait was examined, and though 
contracted, affords a safe passage. Although I was able to identify 
Tasman's Straits, his Hemskirch I was unable to make out. There 
is a fine harbour on the Vuna side called after Tubou the pilot, which 
the brig reached on the afternoon of the 3d of July, having dropped 
her boats the evening before to pass round Lauthala and Kambia. 
The boats joined her previous to her entering the straits, having passed 
the night in a small bight off the island of Kambia. 

Tubou Harbour is well protected except from the north winds ; it 
is formed by an extensive reef and sand-bank. The 4th of July was 
spent here, but not in festivity, for I^ieutenant-Commandant Ringgold 
deemed the weather too fine to lose ; so the survey of the straits was 


continued, and many of its reefs and sunken patches determined. 
The next day was similarly employed. 

On the 6th, the Porpoise reached Somu-somu, where they found the 
missionaries all well ; but the town was nearly deserted, as the king 
and chiefs had gone to a distant town to a feast. 

The Porpoise experienced here the same gale of wind we had at 
Mbua Bay, from the 7th until the 11th. On the 10th, it having abated 
a little, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold started for Rambe with the 
launch in tow, intending to despatch the boats inside the reef, down 
the north side of Vanua-levu, agreeably to my orders. On reaching 
the open straits he found that it still blew a gale, and he was obliged 
to run for shelter under the northwest side of Kea, an island on the 
Vanua-levu side of the straits. This place they termed Port Safety, 
having run imminent risk in reaching it. The weather continuing 
boisterous, the time was usefully employed under the lee of the island, 
in examining the bay, reef, and island, officers being sent to the dif- 
ferent points to determine its height, and connect it with the other 
stations that were in sight from its top. Dr. Holmes was one of the 
number who went on a botanical excursion, and after reaching the top 
with the party, he set out to return alone. An adventure then befell 
him, which will be better told in his own words, which I extract from 
his journal. 

"I started alone to return, intending to deviate a little from time to 
time from the direct path, to collect a few botanical specimens. I had 
walked a short distance only, when I struck oW into a fine cocoa-nut 
grove, and pursued my new path so long, that I was puzzled to retrace 
my steps. At length I thought I had succeeded, and reached the 
beach. The form of the island is peculiar; it is narrow, and along its 
central part runs a long range of hills, whose sides are covered with a 
thick tall hedge and underbrush, so densely as to make it impossible to 
cross from one side to the other, except by paths with which I was of 
course unacquainted. I pursued my course along the beach for an 
hour or two quite cheerfully, expecting every moment to see the brig ; 
but as I rounded point after point with quick steps and anxious eye, no 
vessel appeared, and I was fain to push on again for some more dis- 
tant promontory, promising myself that there my walk was to end. 
After spending four hours in this manner, my strength began to fail, 
and I was forced to believe I was on the opposite side of the island to 
that where the brig was anchored. To retrace my steps was now im- 
possible, and I was completely ignorant how far I should be forced to 
walk before I should be in safety. I pushed on until I was completely 
exhausted, and, moreover, found myself stopped by a thicket of man- 


groves, which was utterly impassable. I lay down upon the sand, 
determined to await here until some surveying boat might chance to 
pass; this was but a poor alternative, as I was not aware the island 
was to be surveyed in this manner, nor was it so surveyed. I had 
heard that it was inhabited, and of course could have little hope of 
kindness from a Feejee native. I pushed on a short distance, and lay 
down quite worn out. I had had no food or drink for eight or nine 
hours, and had been incessantly upon the move in a very hot day ; the 
muscles of my legs were cramped and painful, and I could go no 
farther. I committed myself to fortune. I had lain a few moments 
only when I heard voices behind me, and looking around saw two 
huge natives, both well armed and running to the spot where I was 
lying ; one was entirely naked, and the other wore a maro only. I 
was totally unarmed, and rising, offered my hand to the foremost one, 
at the same time giving them the native greeting. I was rejoiced to 
see that one of them was a Tongese. They shook hands with me in 
the most friendly manner, at the same time expressing and inquiring 
where I came from, who I was, and how I got there. I told them, as 
well as I could, that I was a ' Taranga Papalangi,' belonging to a 
* huanga-levu,' lying in the bay, and had lost my way; at the same 
time requesting them to guide me back to her, and provide me with 
water to quench my thirst. After a little parley, during which they 
were joined by two other Feejee men, they despatched one after 
cocoa-nuts, and began to examine my clothes and body, showing 
great curiosity, but being very respectful and good-natured. The nuts 
were soon brought, and, refreshed by the delicious draught, I set off to 
follow my guides, not without great distrust. But a short distance 
was sufficient to deprive me of all strength, and I could drag myself 
no farther ; after a consultation, one of them took me upon his back 
and carried me through the mangroves, another proceeding with a 
hatchet, to cut a path. At last I was brought safely to the spot where 
I had landed from the brig ; guns from the brig, fired for me, served 
to guide my leaders. A boat was immediately sent for me, and I was 
taken on board, worn out with fatigue, but full of joy and gratitude for 
my safe return." 

These men accompanied Dr. Holmes on board, and were liberally 
rewarded for their kindness, with hatchets, cloth, paint, fish-hooks, &c. 

The inhabitants of this island amount to about thirty; they reckon 

ten Feejee men and five Tongese, with their families. They have an 

abundance of provisions, consisting of pigs, fowls, (which are said to 

be wild in the woods,) yams, taro, and cocoa-nuts. A few women 

were seen, but they were kept at a distance, 


After remaining for another day on account of the weather, Lieu- 
tenant-Commandant Ringgold concluded that he ought to rejoin the 
squadron at Muthuata, on account of his provisions becoming short. 
He therefore got under way and stood for Rambe Island. This is a 
lofty island, and very much broken; it is in full view from Somu- 
somu ; is well wooded, with many deep bights or indentations ; one of 
these, on its southeast side, affords anchorage. There is a large settle- 
ment on its northwest side. Between it and Vanua-levu there is a 
passage, though it is much studded with reefs. The island of Rambe 
on the southeast, with Point Unda on the northwest, are the two boun- 
daries of the bay of Natava. 

After making some observations on Rambe, Lieutenant Comman- 
dant Ringgold stood over for Unda Point, and steered along the reef to 
the Sau-sau Passage. When the Porpoise entered this passage, she 
was boarded by Lieutenant Case, and came to anchor. From Lieu- 
tenant Case, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold received my instruc- 
tions of the 9th, and was furnished with a pilot. After supplying 
Lieutenant Case's boats, he proceeded with the Porpoise through the 
channel, along the north shore of Vanua-levu, until he joined me off the 
island of Anganga, as before stated. 

It would have been desirable, at this time, to give all hands a rest, 
before undertaking this second examination. But, from the nature of 
the service, and working against time, as we were constantly obliged 
to do, I found it impossible, and particularly so nov/, as our provisions 
were at a low ebb, and we could not procure any nearer than the Sand- 
wich Islands, whither our supyjlies had been sent. 

On the 17th, we all got under way at daylight, having strong breezes 
from the southward and eastward. The brig was ordered to take the 
first cutter of the Vincennes in tow ; we ran across to Yendua Island, 
through a large number of coral patches, whose exact localit}'- it w-as 
impossible to fix. The whole is foul ground, and ought not to be at- 
tempted by ships. I felt that it was necessary for us to run the 
risk, but I would not advise any one to try this route, as there is a 
free and good channel lying in a direct line from Mbua Bay to 

We passed through a narrow entrance in the reef into a very pretty 
harbour, which I have called Porpoise Harbour; its form is that of a 
large segment of a circle, about one mile and a half deep, and a mile 
in width. It lies open to the southeast, but has a double reef protect- 
ing it ; the entrance is on the east side. This harbour was surveyed 
by the boats of the Porpoise and the tender. 

Yendua may be said to be divided into two islands, having a boat- 


passage between them ; both are composed of a black volcanic con- 
glomerate, and the hills are covered with large boulders of lava. I 
landed at once for observations, tents being pitched for the boats' crews. 
The next morning, Lieutenant Underwood again joined me in the Leo- 
pard, and we passed the dajKon shore, observing for time and latitude. 
The other officers were variously employed in surveying, and some as- 
cended the peak, and succeeded in getting a round of angles on the 
distant peaks. The day was remarkably clear. Round Island and the 
Asaua Group were also in sight. 

There is but one village and only about thirty inhabitants on these 
islands ; very few of the latter are males. Gingi, the noted chief of 
Muthuata, had passed by a few months before, on his way to the Asaua 
Group. Having demanded a large quantity of provisions, yams and 
taro, which it was impossible to supply, as the hurricane of the pre- 
ceding March had destroyed all the crops, ha landed and murdered all 
the men, women, and children that could be found. 

The anchorage and bays on the west side were all explored, particu- 
larly those parts that Lieutenant Emmons, from want of time, had been 
unable to effect ; but they were of minor importance. The anchorage 
in the western bays is not good, as they are so much filled with coral 
patches, as to make it difficult to find a clear berth for a ship. The 
island is about twelve miles in circumference. The ebb tide was found 
setting to the southward and westward. 

Having finished the observations I designed making here, prepara- 
tions were made for an early start in the morning. The boats received 
orders to pass at once over to the Asaua Group, while the brig and 
tender ran down the reef towards Awakalo or Round Island. 

I landed on Round Island in time to secure my observations. The 
shelf on which we landed was found to be of black conglomerate, 
having had the soft sandstone washed away for fifteen or twenty feet 
above. The island is of a crescent form, both on the water-line and at 
its top, rising to the height of five hundred feet in the centre, and drop- 
ping at each end. It is, in various places, so deeply rent, as to make 
it impossible to reach its summit, which I was desirous of doing. 
There is no coral attached to it, but an extensive patch, on which there 
is anchorage, lies to the eastward ; on this, however, it is not safe to 
anchor, for the ground is much broken. From the appearance of the 
water-worn strata, the island would appear to have been upheaved at 
several different times. After going round the island in my boat, I 
joined the tender, and ran over, south-southwest, for the Asaua Cluster. 
The distance was found to be ten miles by the patent log, and the pas 
sage is perfectly clear. 


We reached the most northern island of the cluster, Ya-asaua, 
which has several small islets off its northern point. We were just 
in time to get sight of the black rocks lying off the entrance of what 
I have called Emmons Bay, after Lieutenant Emmons, who had 
surveyed it. I felt so much confidence in this officer's work, that I 
ran into the bay after the night closed in, and was followed by the 
Porpoise. We thus obtained safe anchorage for the night. The 
boats answered our signal by large fires on the beach, at the head of 
the bay. 

In the morning, we set about sounding this bay out, and orders 
were given to the Porpoise, to stand off and look for the great sea-reef 
which was supposed to exist to the westward, with passages through 
it, and to extend as far as Biva Island. This examination, together 
with a subsequent one by the tender, proved that it became deep and 
sunken a little to the northward of Round Island. 

Ya-asaua is a very narrow island, about ten miles in length, and 
rises towards the southern part into a high peak, called Tau-tha-ke. 
Wishing to get observations from the top of it, we ran down and 
anchored near the southern bight, which is well protected, except 
from the northwest, by the small island of Ovawo and two small islets. 
We landed here with a strong party, well armed, as we knew the 
natives were particularly savage. We succeeded in getting good 
observations, and then ascended Tau-tha-ke, from which we obtained 
an excellent set of observations. The weather being very clear, 
the view was remarkably fine from its top, commanding all the 
surrounding headlands, islands, and reefs ; the ascent to it is on the 
northern side, over a fine fertile plain upwards of a mile in extent, 
on which were the remains of a village or town, and of extensive 
plantations of bananas. These are now in total ruin, having been 
entirely destroyed by Gingi in his late expedition. The inhabitants, 
who had the air of a conquered people, treated us with great civility, 
but all the provisions they could furnish were a few cocoa-nuts, every 
thing else having been destroyed. They were found subsisting upon 
the yaka, a kind of root which grows wild on the hills, and is quite 
palatable when roasted. 

Mr. Agate took a most capital likeness of the wife of the chief of 
this village. She was about forty years of age ; her head and side- 
locks were nearly of a scarlet colour ; her necklace was composed of 
a whale's tooth, shells, and a few beads ; the corners of her mouth 
were tattooed in circles of a blue-black colour. 

She was sitting modestly after the fashion of her country, and had a 
peculiar cunning look, through eyelids nearly closed. Altogether she 


furnished the most characteristic specimen of the appearance of this 
people, of any I had seen ; but the imagination must supply the place 
of a bright red lock on the side of the head. 


From the top of Tau-tha-ke, the beautiful little bay of Ya-sau-y-lau 
appeared to lie at our feet, with the picturesque rock on its eastern 
side, having much resemblance to a ruined castle or impregnable 
fortress. This rock is entirely volcanic, with but little vegetation on 
it. Tradition states it to have been the abode of an immense bird, 
called Ya-sau-y-lau, which it is said was in the habit of frequenting 
Vitilevu, where it would pounce upon the first individual it met, and 
carry him off to its eyrie for food. The natives of Vitilevu held it 
in great dread for a long time, but desperation drove them to seek its 
abode on this rock, where they were so fortunate as to find the bird 
asleep on its nest, and killed it. 

Tau-tha-ke was found to be seven hundred and eighty-one feet in 

The boats' crews pitched their tents on shore for the night, near the 
schooner's anchorage. During our visit to Tau-tha-ke, although the 
natives appeared friendly, and were powerless from the late depreda- 
tions, I thought it necessary to get the chief safe on board the tender as 
a hostage. I found him very ready to comply, for they were always 
sure of receiving presents when the time was up. After we returned 
on board, he remained during the evening, when we sent up some of 
our " fiery spirits," which greatly astonished him. He seemed to be 
more intelligent than the others we had met with. Through the 
interpreter I asked him several questions ; among others, what would 
become of him and his people when they died. The answer was 

VOL. III. W2 33 


quickly given, " That it would be the last of him and them ; that 
there were some foolish people, who thought they would live in some 
other world ; but they were very ignorant, and there were very few 
who thought in this way." 

The next morning the boats were ordered to survey and sound out 
Ya-sau-y-lau Harbour, and thence to go on beyond the island of Na- 
viti, passing those of Androna and Yangata. All these islands have 
passages between them, and are little incommoded with coral reefs. 
Some of them rise to a considerable height, that of Naviti being nine 
hundred and fifty-four feet high. They all have many small villages 
on them, which are generally built on a snug bay, and have near 
them a secure place of retreat, on the top of some inaccessible rock. 
I had expected to find anchorage and a good position for observing at 
Naviti, but none was accessible. 

Just to the south of Naviti, is an island, the name of which I could 
not obtain, and which I subsequently called Eld Island, after Passed 
Midshipman Eld. To three others near it I gave the names of Fox, 
Agate, and Sinclair. Eld Island was found to be adapted to my 
purposes. We ascended its peak, and obtained the requisite observa- 
tions. I then despatched the tender to bring up the boats. 

During the absence of the tender, we discovered three or four canoes 
with a number of natives concealed just around the bluff of the next 
island. These natives were watching our motions very closely, and I 
deemed it necessary to put the men at the boat, which was some 
distance from us below, upon their guard, and sent extra boat-keepers 
to reinforce them. These natives learned that we were well-armed, 
by the occasional firing of our guns at birds, and did not trouble us. 
On the arrival of the tender, they went off, and we saw no more of 
them. It was by no means pleasant to be constantly feeling that if one 
of us should straggle, he might be kidnapped and taken off to furnish a 
cannibal feast. The boats again at night pitched their tents on the 
beach near the tender. 

Naviti has several large villages, though there is little level ground 
for cultivation. From the top of Eld Island, that of Biva, in the west, 
extensive coral reefs trending north from the island of Vomo to the 
east, and the small islands in the southern part of this group, could be 
distinctly seen. 

A few natives were seen on this island, who had swum across the 
narrow passage between it and Naviti. They were living in a mise- 
rable hut, and their principal food appeared to be the yaka, which an 
old woman was baking in the fire. From the natives digging in search 


of this root, all the hills on these islands had an appearance as if rooted 
up by pigs. 

At daylight I despatched the Vincennes' first cutter and the Leopard 
to survey the small islands in their route towards Malolo, where I had 
ordered a rendezvous with the brig ; and with the tender and Peacock's 
first cutter I took the inner islands and shoals. The former passed to 
the right of Waia Island, while the latter took the left side. 

Waia is the highest and most broken island of this group, its peak 
being about sixteen hundred and forty-one feet above the level of the 
sea. Connected with it are Waialailai and Waialailaithake, all very 
rugged and broken. On the latter I landed, and succeeded, after some 
difficulty, in getting to the top of one of its rocky peaks, which I called 
Observatory Peak. At the first view it appeared almost inaccessible, 
but in making the attempt, we found that the difficulties fortunately 
diminished as we neared the top. We found the ascent very fatiguing, 
encumbered, as we were obliged to be, not only with our instruments, 
but with fire-arms, for it was very necessary to keep constantly on our 
guard against attacks by the natives. On landing, we had thought 
that this island was uninhabited, but we were not long on the top 
before we saw several natives keeping a close watch upon us. This 
constant necessity of keeping on one's guard for fear of surprise was 
not a little harassing, and made my anxiety for the parties very great. 
The more knowledge I obtained of the natives, the less was I disposed 
to trust them. 

The Waia Islanders are said to be quite independent of any autho- 
rity except that of their own chiefs. All endeavours made to subjugate 
them have proved unavailing ; and they keep themselves retired within 
their own fastnesses, avoiding communication with the other natives, 
except when they occasionally make an incursion, with a strong force, 
on the defenceless towns of other islands. From their cruel conduct 
on these expeditions, they have obtained, even from their cannibal 
neighbours, the name of savages. The island is said to be fruitful, but 
1 can hardly credit the assertion, for it seems little better than a craggy 
rock : it is thought to contain three thousand inhabitants. It is sur- 
rounded by a few patches of coral reef, but not enough to afford it a 
harbour. The western sides of the islands are very much worn by the 
sea, in consequence of there being no sea-reef to protect them from the 
full swell of the ocean, in the storms which at certain seasons rage 
here with violence. 

The observations from Observatory Peak were quite satisfactory, 
for we were fortunate in having very clear weather, so that we had all 


the objects under view that we desired. The height of this peak was 
found to be about five hundred and fifty-five feet. 

In the afternoon, I made for Vomo, and anchored under it. Here I 
found Lieutenant Emmons, on his return from his examinations of some 
detached reefs. 

The southern half of Vomo has a high, narrow, and ahnost per- 
pendicular bluff; the northern half is sand, covered with a thick 
growth of bushes, the resort of many pigeons : it is two miles in 
circumference. There is a detached rock, of a somewhat castellated 
appearance, at its northwest end, which I called Castle Rock. There 
is anchorage for a small vessel, but in any thing of a gale even she 
would be badly protected. 

Messrs. Sinclair and Eld were sent at early daylight to the top of 
the rocky bluff, to get a round of angles, in which they succeeded. I 
passed the greatest part of the day on the beach, making the usual 
series of observations for latitude and meridian distances, and also 
taking a round of angles. 

At about half-past three, just as we were about getting under way, 
a large fleet of canoes was seen approaching the island from Waia. 
Vomo is usually their place of stopping, being about half way to the 
Vitilevu shore from their island. They are always very cautious in 
their descent on the large island, although it is supposed that many 
of its towns hold communication with them, and the original inhabi- 
tants of the Naviti and Waia Islands are said to have been renegades 
from the larger islands. 

Tom told me they must be after some mischief towards us, as they 
seldom left their island with so large a .force. However true this 
might have been, we were soon under w^ay, standing towards the 
Vitilevu shore, for the wind did not permit us to lay our course for 
Malolo. We passed through narrow passages in reefs, and over 
patches of rock, where there was little more water than the tender 

Our pilots had never been over this ground, and thought the natives, 
who are well acquainted with it, must have calculated upon our meet- 
ing with some accident, and intended to be near, to take advantage 
of it. 

Vomo, the island just spoken of, is famous for its turtles, more being 
caught here than on any other island of the group ; the time for taking 
them is from December to March. During this season every place to 
which the turtles are in the habit of resorting is occupied by the 
natives, who remain in these haunts of the animal for the whole of the 


above time, engaged in taking them. At other seasons turtles are 
occasionally taken in nets, made of cocoanut-husk sennit, among the 
shoals and reefs. 

We have seen that the chiefs keep turtles in pens ; and I have been 
informed, by credible witnesses, that when they do not wish to kill 
them, and have an opportunity of disposing of the valuable part of the 
shell, they will remove it from the living animal. They do this by 
holding a burning brand close to the outer shell until it curls up and 
separates a little from that beneath ; into the gap thus formed a small 
wooden wedge is inserted, by which the whole is easily removed from 
the back. After they have been thus stripped, they are again put into 
the pens, and although the operation appears to give great pain, it is 
not fatal. 

Each turtle is covered with thirteen pieces, five on the back, and 
four on each side. These together make what is called a head, whose 
average weight is about fourteen pounds. 

Tortoise-shell, I am informed, sometimes sells in Manilla for from 
two to three thousand dollars the picul (one hundred and thirty-three 
English pounds). It constitutes the chief article of trade in these 
islands, and causes them to be visited by traders every season, while 
it is the chief inducement for the residence of whites among them, 
who endeavour to monopolize the trade. 

The visits of the traders in tortoise-shell, who come in small vessels, 
are attended with no little risk, and there are many accounts of 
attempts made by the natives to cut them off. They resort to many 
methods of effecting this purpose ; among others, one of the most fre- 
quent is to dive and lay hold of the cable : this, when the wind blows 
fresh towai'ds the shore, is cut, in order that the vessel may drift upon 
it ; or, in other cases, a rope is attached to the cable, by which the 
vessel may be dragged ashore. The time chosen for these purposes, is 
just before daylight. The moment a vessel touches the land, she is 
considered and treated as a prize sent by their gods. 

By five o'clock we had anchored under the Vitilevu shore, off the 
point called Viti-rau-rau, where we lay until 2 a. m. Having the 
advantage of the moon, by whose light we trusted to find our way 
through the reefs, and being favoured by a land-breeze, we then 
weighed anchor, in hopes of reaching Malolo in time for early obser- 
vations. At eight o'clock, a. m. it fell calm, and not wishing to lose 
the day, I determined to land on a small sand-island, a mile and a half 
in circumference, (which I called Linthicum Island, after my cock- 
swain,) that was near us, and afterwards to connect it with that of 
Malolo by triangulation. The anchor of the tender was accordingly 



dropped, her sails remaining up, as a signal to the boats of our position.. 
We were then about five miles east of Malolo. I soon landed, with 
Mr. Eld, and became engaged in our observations. In the afternoon, I 
was congratulating myself that I had now finished my last station of 
the survey, and that my meridian distances and latitudes were all 
complete. We were putting up our instruments to go on board, when 
it was reported to me that the three boats were in sight, coming down 
before the breeze. So unusual an occurrence at once made me sus- 
pect that some accident had occurred; and on the first sight I got of 
them, I found that their colours were half-mast and union down. 1 
need not describe the dread that came over me. We reached the 
tender only a few moments before them, and when they arrived, I 
learned that a horrid massacre had but a short hour before taken 
place, and saw the mutilated and bleeding bodies of Lieutenant Joseph 
A. Underwood and my nephew, Midshipman Wilkes Henry. 

The boats were taken in tow, when we stood for Malolo, and as the 
night closed in, anchored in its eastern bay. 







M A L O L O. 

The melancholy event of which I became aware in its full extent 
by the return of the boats under Lieutenant Alden, as related at the 
close of the foregoing chapter, was calculated to excite the most 
intense feelings that can agitate the mind of a man or of an officer. 
It took place just as, — after weeks of intense anxiety for the safety of 
those under my command, exposed in open boats to the perils of the 
sea, and in small detachments to the insidious attacks of savages, 
instigated not merely by cupidity, but by the horrible instinct of can- 
nibal appetite, — I had myself closed the operations of the survey, and 
awaited only my junction with the boats to be satisfied that all our 
perils were at an end. One of the victims was my own near relation, 
confided to my care by a widowed mother; I had therefore more 
than the ordinary degree of sorrow, which the loss of promising and 
efficient officers must cause in the breast of every commander, to 
oppress me. The blood of the slain imperatively called for retribu- 
tion, and the honour of our flag demanded that the outrage upon it 
should not remain unpunished. On the other hand, it was necessary, 
in order that any proceedings I should adopt should be such as would 
be capable of full vindication and meet the approval of the whole 
civilized world, that my action in the case should not appear to be 
instigated by mere vindictiveness, and should be calculated to serve, 
not as an incitement to retaliation upon future visiters, but as a 
salutary lesson, as well to the actual perpetrators of the deed, as to 
the inhabitants of the whole group. 

It was beyond every thing else important, that in the desire of 
inflicting punishment, I should avoid, as far as possible, the risk of 

VOL. III. X 34 (265) 

2G6 M A L O L O. 

losing other valuable lives. The two chief vessels of my squadron 
were at a distance, and I knew that the natives of Malolo were not 
only guarded in their towns by fortifications, impregnable in their 
own mode of warfare, but were furnished with fire-arms and ammu- 
nition. To burn the dwellings of these fastnesses, as I had done at 
Tye, if an adequate punishment for mere thefts, would have been no 
sufficient penalty for the present heinous offence, nor would it have 
served to deter the people of Malolo from similar acts for the future. 

The passions of all around me were excited to the highest pitch, 
and although the most severely injured of any, it became my task to 
restrain the desire of revenge within the bounds of prudent action 
in the conduct of retaliatory measures, as it became afterwards my 
endeavour to prevent a just and salutary punishment from becoming a 
vindictive and indiscriminate massacre. 

My first duty was to receive the report of the officer in command of 
the boats,* and to make such further inquiry into the circumstances of 
the transaction, as should satisfy me that the bloody deed had not been 
provoked on the part of the victims. The results of this inquiry were 
as follow. 

On the 22d July, the first cutter of the Vincennes, Lieutenant Alden 
and Midshipman Henry, and the Leopard, Lieutenant Underwood, 
left, as has been stated, the station at Eld Island, and proceeded along 
the right side of Waia, for the purpose of fulfilling my orders to 
survey the small islands lying north of Malolo. This done, they 
had instructions to join the tender or Porpoise on the western side of 
that island, and survey such islands as they might fall in with on the 
way. After passing Waia, the boats anchored for the night under 
one of the small islands. 

The next day, they were employed in the survey of the small 
islands, and in the evening anchored in the bay on the east side of 
Malolo, formed by it and Malolo-lai-lai, or Little Malolo. 

On reaching this place. Lieutenant Alden, being desirous of ascer- 
taining if the Porpoise was at the anchorage on the west side, directed 
Lieutenant Underwood to land near the south end of Malolo, and to 
ascend a small eminence to get a view of that anchorage. Lieutenant 
Alden, it appears, cautioned Lieutenant Underwood to go well armed 
and to be on his guard with the natives, as on his former visit, about six 
weeks before, he had been led to doubt their friendly disposition, and, 
in consequence, had avoided having any communication with them. 
He also directed Lieutenant Underwood to return before sunset. 

* See Appendix XIV. 

M A L O L O. 267 

Lieutenant Underwood landed and went up the hill with one of his 
men. After a few minutes, Lieutenant Alden observed some suspi- 
cious movements among the natives near the point, and, in conse- 
quence, hoisted a signal of recall. Lieutenant Underwood was soon 
seen returning to the boat with his man and a native. Before leaving 
the beach, he had some talk with the natives. 

On joining Lieutenant Alden, he reported that there was no vessel 
in sight, and mentioned that on his way up the hill, he suddenly came 
upon a native carrying an armful of clubs, who, the moment he per- 
ceived him, threw down his load and attempted flight, but Lieutenant 
Underwood detained and made him go before them to the boat. When 
they reached the beach, a party of natives joined, and appeared to him 
much disconcerted at finding the lad a prisoner, and without arms. 

They passed the night at anchor in this bay, and on the morning of 
the 24th, discovered the tender at anchor to the eastward. At nine 
o'clock Lieutenant Emmons joined them in the Peacock's first cutter, 
having passed the night at one of the small sand-islands in the neigh- 
bourhood. Lieutenant Emmons found them waiting breakfast for him. 
They anticipated that he had some more provisions for them, as he 
had recently parted with the tender, and hoped to procure some yams, 
pigs, &c., from him, or from the tender herself, which would in all 
probability reach Malolo during the day. 

When Lieutenant Emmons arrived, several of the natives, some of 
whom were armed, were on the beach where the boats' crews had 
cooked their breakfast. 

Many inducements were oflered to them for pigs, yams, &c., with 
very little success, each oflTering some excuse, and urging the necessity 
of the boats going to their town for such things. 

Just after they had finished their breakfast, the chief spokesman of 
the village came, wading out near the boats, and invited them, in the 
name of the chief, to their town, where he said the chief had secured 
four large hogs as a present for them. In this talk, Oahu Sam, who 
it will be recollected came on board the Peacock as Vendovi's barber, 
was the interpreter. 

It appears that Lieutenant Underwood now volunteered to go to the 
town for provisions, taking with him John Sac (the New Zealander 
heretofore mentioned) as interpreter, from Lieutenant Alden's boat. 
He, in consequence, shoved off', leaving the other boat to follow him as 
soon as the tide would allow it to cross the reef between the islands. 
Lieutenant Emmons then pushed his boat for the shore, and landed, 
with three armed men, on Malolo-lai-lai, in order to obtain some angles 
from the top of a hill. On his approaching the beach, the natives 

268 M A L O L O. 

waded oft' to his boat, but he ordered them off", and directed the officer 
with him, Midshipman Clark, to keep his boat afloat, and not suffer 
them to approach her during his absence. This order was strictly- 
attended to, and although a similar attempt was again made, the 
natives when ordered off" retired as before. 

Lieutenant Underwood's boat drew too much water to get across 
the reef, and grounded, upon which a number of natives collected 
around her, and joining with the boat's crew, assisted to drag her over 
the reef. At this time the natives got a knowledge of the feebleness 
of the armament of Lieutenant Underwood's boat. To my surprise I 
have since learned that Lieutenant Underwood had left the greater 
part of the armament with which he had been furnished on board the 
brig some few days before. Seven rifles had been put on board that 
vessel, under the idea that it would lighten the boat, and no more than 
three out of the ten he took with him from the Vincennes remained. 

On landing they found no more than two pigs tied to a tree for sale, 
instead of the four they had been promised as presents. These the 
natives declined selling until the chief, who was out upon the reef 
fishing, should return. A messenger was sent for him, and he soon 
made his appearance, but conducted himself haughtily, and refused to 
part with his hogs except for a musket, powder, and ball, which being 
against orders was refused. 

Lieutenant Alden entertained some uneasiness at the number of 
natives that had crowded around the Leopard, and proceeded to join 
her, but was detained near the reef about twenty minutes before the 
tide would allow the boat to pass over, the first cutter drawing more 
water than the Leopard. On entering the bay, he found the Leopard 
at anchor about two thousand feet from the shore, in just sufficient 
water to enable his boat to get alongside. He was informed by the 
boat's crew that Lieutenant Underwood had gone on shore, leaving a 
hostage in the Leopard, whom Lieutenant Alden immediately took 
into his own boat. Lieutenant Underwood was accompanied to the 
shore by J. Clark, armed with a rifle and sheath-knife ; J. Dunnock 
and J. M'Kean, armed with cutlasses ; William Leicester, who had the 
trade-box, unarmed ; John Sac, interpreter, unarmed ; Jerome Davis 
and Robert Furman, unarmed. The rest of his men remained in the 
boat, armed with cutlasses and two rifles. 

Lieutenant Underwood was now seen on the beach, endeavouring to 
trade with a party of about fifteen natives, whence he sent off Robert 
Furman, a coloured boy, to Lieutenant Alden, to say that the natives 
would not trade, except for powder, shot, and muskets. Furman was 
sent back by Lieutenant Alden to say, that he would not consent to 

M A L O L O. 2G9 

any such exchange while the schooner was within reach ; that they 
could be supplied by her, and that he must hurry off, as he thought he 
had been long enough absent (having remained on shore about an 
hour) to purchase all they required, if the natives were disposed to 

After this. Midshipman Henry asked, and Lieutenant Alden gave 
him permission to land in the canoe, and come off with Lieutenant 
Underwood. A few moments after, a small canoe came alongside 
Lieutenant Alden's boat, and exchanged some words with the hostage, 
who displayed a little anxiety to return with them to the shore. As 
the canoe shoved off, he attempted to leave the boat, when Lieutenant 
Alden took him by the arm and directed him to sit down, giving him 
to understand that he must keep quiet. Lieutenant Emmons now 
joined, and the Leopard was ordered to drop in as near to the party 
on shore as possible. The tide had by this time risen sufficiently to 
allow her to go most of the way on the reef. After another half hour 
had expired, Jerome Davis, one of the boat's crew, came off with a 
message from Lieutenant Underwood, that with another hatchet he 
could purchase all he required. 

The hatchet was given to Davis, who was directed to say to Lieu- 
tenant Underwood that Lieutenant Alden desired to see him without 
delay, and that he should come off as soon as possible with what 
he had. 

While Lieutenant Alden was relating the circumstances of the 
hostage's desire to escape to Lieutenant Emmons, from the starboard 
side of the boat, the hostage jumped overboard from the larboard 
quarter, and made for the shore, in two and a half feet water, lookino- 
over his shoulder, so as to dodge at the flash if fired at. He took a 
direction different from that of the party on the beach, to divide the 
attention of those in the boats. Lieutenant Alden immediately levelled 
his musket at the hostage, who slackened his pace for a moment, and 
then continued to retreat. 

Midshipman Clark, who was ready to fire, was directed to fire over 
his head, which did not stop him. 

J. Clark testifies that Lieutenant Underwood, M'Kean, and himself, 
were standing near the beach, waiting the return of Davis, when they 
saw the chief escape from the boat, and heard the report of the musket. 
The old chief, who was standing near, immediately cried out that his 
son was killed, and ordered the natives to make fight. Upon this two 
of them seized upon Clark's rifle, and tried to take it from him. One 
of these he stabbed in the breast with his sheath-knife ; the other Mr 
IFnderwood struck on the head with the butt end of his pistol, upon 


S'/O M A L O L O. 

which both reh'nquished their hold. Lieutenant Underwood then 
ordered the men to keep close together, and they endeavoured to make 
their way to the boat, facing the natives. Lieutenant Underwood also 
called upon Midshipman Henry to assist in covering the retreat of the 
men to the boats, to which Mr. Henry replied, that he had just received 
a blow from the club of a native, and would first have a crack at him. 
He then pursued the native a few steps, and cut him down with his 
bowie-knife pistol, and had again reached the water's edge, when he 
was struck with a short club on the back of the head, just as he fired 
his pistol and shot a native. The blow stunned him, and he fell with 
his face in the water, when he was instantly surrounded by the natives, 
who stripped him. The natives now rushed out from the mangrove- 
bushes in great numbers, some of them endeavouring to get between 
Lieutenant Underwood and the water, while others crowded upon his 
party, throwing their short-handled clubs and using their spears. 
Lieutenant Underwood, having received a spear-wound, fired, and 
ordered the men to do the same ; and after he had fired his second 
pistol, was knocked down by the blow of a club. Clark at the same 
time was struck, and had no farther recollection. 

J. Dunnock says that he was at some distance from Lieutenant 
Underwood at the time the attack was made ; and the first intimation 
he had of it, was Lieutenant Underwood's order to keep together and 
go down to the boat. While obeying the order, he saw the natives 
seize upon Clark's rifle, and strike Lieutenant Underwood ; but after 
this he had as much as he could do to avoid the clubs and spears 
hurled at himself He says that Mr. Henry was near him, and up to 
his knees in water, when he received the blow from the short club 
which knocked him down lifeless, with his face in the water. He did 
not see the hostage escape, nor hear the gun fired. 

M'Kean states that he was standing by the side of Lieutenant 
Underwood at the time they were awaiting the return of Davis ; that 
suddenly there was a movement among the natives, and the cause of 
it was discovered to be the escape of the hostage. Mr. Underwood, 
anticipating trouble, immediately ordered the men to assemble and 
make for the boat. 

John Sac's story corroborates that of M'Kean. He says, that upon 
hearing the gun, and seeing the hostage escaping, the chief cried out 
that his son was killed, and gave the war-cry. 

On seeing the attack. Lieutenants Emmons and Alden pushed for 
the shore, with both boats. The former had already started to en- 
deavour to retake the hostage. The boats commenced firing as they 
sailed in on some natives who appeared to be wading out to meet 

MALOLO, 2^j 

them As soon as the boats took the bottom, all jumped out except 
two boat-keepers, and waded in, occasionally firing at the natives, 
who now retreated, carrying off their dead and wounded, and soon 
disappeared among the mangrove-bushes. 

Before reaching the beach, J. G. Clark was met badly wounded, and 
was taken at once to the boats. On the beach lay Lieutenant Under- 
wood, partly stripped, and Midshipman Henry, quite naked, with a 
native close by the latter, badly wounded, who was at once despatched. 

The party, picking up the bodies, bore them to the boats. On the 
first inspection, some faint hopes were entertained that Midshipman 
Henry was not dead ; but a second examination dissipated this idea. 

The boats now hauled off, and made sail to join the tender, where 
they had seen her in the morning at anchor. 

Every attention was paid to the wounded and dead by the officers 
that affection and regard could dictate ; and I could not but feel a 
melancholy satisfaction in having it in my power to pay them the last 
sad duties, and that their bodies had been rescued from the shambles 
of these odious cannibals. Yet, when I thought that even the grave 
might not be held sacred from their hellish appetites, I felt much 
concern relative to the disposition of the bodies. I thought of com- 
mitting them to the open sea ; but one of the secluded sand-islands 
we had passed the day before occurred to me as a place far enough 
removed from these condor-eyed savages to permit them to be en- 
tombed in the earth, without risk of exhumation, although there was 
no doubt that our movements were closely watched from the highest 
peaks. On consultation with the officers, they concurred with my 
views on this point. 

There being no doubt, from the reports of all parties pi'esent, that this 
outrage was entirely unprovoked, I had no hesitation in determining 
to inflict the punishment it merited, and this, not by the burning of 
the towns alone, but in the blood of the plotters and actors in the 

The two first cutters of the Vincennes and Peacock were therefore 
directed to take up stations to prevent the escape of any persons from 
the island, and before daylight Passed Midshipman Eld was de- 
spatched on the same service with the Leopard. 

The tender got under way at the same time, and proceeded towards 
the spot I had chosen for the place of burial. 

The sun rose clearly, and nothing could look more beautiful and 
peaceful than did the little group of islands, as we passed them in suc- 
cession on our melancholy errand. At the last and largest, about ten 
miles from Malolo, we came to anchor. Dr. Fox and Mr. Agate went 

272 M A L O L O. 

on shore to select a place, and dig a common grave for both the victmis 
About nine o'clock they came off, and reported to me that all was 
ready. The bodies were now placed in my gigj side by side, wrapped 
in their country's flag, and I pulled on shore, followed by Mr. Sinclair 
and the officers in the tender's boat. 

._j*i«-j^ "^ 

Only twenty sailors, (all dressed in white,) with myself and officers, 
landed to pay this last mark of affection and respect to those who had 
gone through so many toils, and shared so many dangers with us, 
and of whom we had been so suddenly bereaved. The quiet of the 
scene, the solemnity of the occasion, and the smallness of the number 
who assisted, were all calculated to produce an unbroken silence. 
The bodies were quietly taken up and borne along to the centre of the 
island, where stood a grove of ficus trees, whose limbs were entwined 
in all directions by running vines. It was a lonely and suitable spot 
that had been chosen, in a shade so dense that scarce a ray of the sun 
could penetrate it. 

The grave was dug deep in the pure white sand, and sufficiently 
wide for the two corpses. Mr. Agate read the funeral service so 
calmly and yet with such feeling, that none who were present will for- 
get the impression of that sad half hour. After the bodies had been 
closed in, three volleys were fired over the grave. We then used every 

M A L O L O. 273 

precaution to erase all marks that might indicate where these unfortu- 
nate gentlemen were interred. I felt as if to refrain from marking the 
spot where they were laid, deprived us of one of the consolations that 
alleviate the loss of a relative and friend, but was relieved when it oc- 
curred to me to fix a more enduring mark on that place, by naming 
the island after my nephew, " Henry," and the pretty cluster of which 
it forms one, " Underwood Group." 

Places remote from the grave were now more disturbed by footsteps 
and digging than the grave itself, and our tracks were obliterated from 
the sand, leaves being thrown about to obscure all indications that 
might lead the wary savage to the resting-place of the dead. 

We wandered about the beach a short time, after which we em- 
barked and weighed our anchor to return to Malolo. Shortly after, we 
discovered the Porpoise entering the Malolo Passage, with whom we 
soon joined company, and anchored again in the bay on the east side 
of Malolo before dark. 

Preparations were now actively commenced to punish the actors in 
this foul deed ; the arms were prepared, and the parties duly organized 
in the course of the night. 

Upon the island there are two towns, Sualib and Arro. The former 
was on the southwest side, and the residence of the principal actors in 
the massacre. Upon this I intended to inflict the heaviest blow. The 
latter, whose inhabitants had also taken a part in the tragedy, and 
whose unprovoked hostility had been exhibited by their firing upon the 
boats from the mangrove-bushes, I determined to burn to the ground. 
It was also necessary to be prepared upon the water to prevent any at- 
tempt at escape, or the more desperate effort to capture the vessels, 
necessarily left under a feeble guard. The two latter objects were con- 
nected, and for this purpose I kept under my own immediate com- 
mand, my gig, the first cutters of the Vincennes and Peacock, under 
Lieutenants Alden and Emmons, and the tender's boat, under Midship- 
man Clark. 

The party which was to land and attack Sualib, was placed under 
the orders of Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold. It was composed 
of seventy officers and men, of the crews of the Porpoise and tender, 
with a few men from the boats, and was arranged in three divisions, 
under Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold himself, Lieutenants Johnson 
and Maury. To the party were also attached Lieutenant North, 
Passed Midshipmen Sinclair and Eld, with Assistant-Surgeon Holmes 
c:nd Mr. Agate. 

The party had orders* after landing, to move upon Sualib, destroy- 

* For orders, see Appendix XIII. 
VOL. Til. 35 


M A L O L O. 

ing all the plantations they should meet on their way, sparing none ex- 
cept women and children. They were then to march across the island 
to Arro, and join me for the purpose of re-embarking. Acting-Master 
Totten, who was too unwell to assist in active operations on shore, was 
left in charge of the brig, with such of the crew as were on the sick- 
list, and had orders to prevent the natives escaping across the channel 
to Malolo-lailai. 

My plan of attack, and the operations which resulted from it, will be 
understood by reference to the annexed diagram of Malolo. 

4 , '^R'VJ, 

The anchor represents the brig's position. 1. Place of landing. 2. Boats' anchorage. 
3. Position of boats off Sualib. 4. Point where the two canoes were captured. 5. Wliere 
Lieutenant Emmons met the canoes, 6. Sand-bank. 7. Hill on which the natives sued 
for mercy. - - Track of boats and shore party. 

Tom Granby, the pilot, with three men, were left to get the tender 
under way, and proceed with her to the north side of the island, to 
cover our landing at the town of Arro. 

The parties were all fully armed, and were provided with port-fires, 
and rockets ("fiery spirits"), which we had found so efficient on a 
former occasion. 

Nine o'clock in the morning was the hour appointed for landing 

M A L L O. 075 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold's force, which was effected in 
good order, and the party being arranged in its three divisions, 
■marched off. Before the disembarkation was effected, two natives 
endeavoured to pass over to Malolo-lailai, but a well-directed shot 
from Mr. Totten compelled them to return. 

As soon as Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold's party had moved 
off, two canoes were seen turning the point of Malolo-lailai. I gave 
immediate orders to chase and intercept them, when, if they were from 
any other island, they were to be directed to return on their course, but 
if belonging to Malolo, they were to be captured. All the boats pulled 
out, and Lieutenant Emmons, who took the lead, succeeded in cutting 
them off from the shore. Through Oahu Sam, he found that they 
belonged to Malolo, and the men in Lieutenant Emmons's boat were 
so much excited that they at once fired several muskets into the 
canoes, by which some of the persons in them were struck ; the rest 
immediately jumped overboard, and swam in various directions. By 
this time I had approached near enough to order the firing to cease, 
and quarter to be given. The swimmers were then picked up. Among 
them were found one of the chiefs of Arro, the town we were about to 
attack, with a woman, a girl, and an infant. I directed the three last 
to be set on shore and liberated, telling them we did not war against 
women and children. The men I sent on board the brig, to be put in 
irons, and had the canoes towed alongside of her. 

I now found that the tender had grounded on the only shoal in the 
bay, and as the tide was rapidly falling, I knew it was useless to 
attempt to get her off. I therefore left her with Tom Granby, morti- 
fied at his bad luck, and disappointed in not having to play a conspicu- 
ous part as her commander, for which he had evidently prepared 

The boats now pulled towards the north end of the island. As we 
proceeded in that direction, towards the town of Arro, which I now 
intended to attack, we heard a distant hail from the shore-party, who 
were on the top of the ridge of the island, informing us that five canoes 
were in sight to the northwai^d, standing for the island. 

As soon as we reached the town of Arro, perceiving no natives to 
oppose us, I despatched Lieutenant Emmons to pull towards the 
approaching canoes and intercept them, while with the rest of the 
boats' crews the town of Arro was burnt. In doing this we met with 
no hindrance, for although the place was large, evidently populous, 
and well fortified with a ditch and fence, it was found deserted. Many 
of the male inhabitants, as I afterwards learned, had gone to Sualib, to 
aid in the defence of that town, while others had accompanied the 

STf) M A L O L O. 

women and children to the mountains, whither all their movable 
property had also been carried. This fact shows that the islanders 
were not ignorant of the consequences that were likely to follow the 
murder of our officers, and had made timely- preparations to resist our 
attack on one of the towns, and save themselves from serious loss at 
the other. 

Having completed the destruction of Arro, 1 proceeded in the gig 
towards the northwest point of the island, for the purpose of joining 
Lieutenant Emmons, on i^ounding which, I observed the smoke of the 
burning of Suahb. As I pulled around the island, 1 saw many of 
the natives on the highest peaks, whither they had retreated for 
safety, and others upon the beach, who, on seeing the boat, fled 
towards the mountains. In pursuit of these, the " fiery spirits," were 
frequently sent, to their great alarm. When I had proceeded far 
enough to get a view of the bay in front of Sualib, neither boat nor 
canoes were in sight, and I turned back, to rejoin the other boats 
off Arro. 

On reaching them, Lieutenant Alden reported that he had executed 
the orders, and had, at high water, towed off or destroyed all the 
canoes. During my absence, an old man had ventured down to the 
beach, with two others in his company, and made signs that he 
wished to speak with them. They held a parley with him, through 
the interpreter, and learned thai he was the chief of Arro. He told 
them that he was houseless, had lost his property, his son, and many 
of his people ; he declared that his village had nothing to do with the 
killing of the Papalangis, and offering pigs, &c., as presents, begged 
that we would not punish him any farther. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, with his party, reached Arro 
just at sunset. His three divisions were separated immediately after 
they landed, in order to cover more space, and more effectually to 
destroy the plantations. The division under Lieutenant Maury was 
the fii'st to approach Sualib. As soon as the natives got sight of it, 
they set up shouts of defiance. No signs of fear were exhibited, but 
on the contrary, every proof of a determination to resist. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold in a short time came up with 
his division, and on examining the defences of the town, thought it 
expedient to await the arrival of Lieutenant Johnson. Upon the latter 
officer coming up, which was shortly after, the three parties descended 
the hill, and approached the ditch of the town. The natives boldly 
sallied out to meet them, with a discharge of arrows, and exhibited 
the utmost confidence. They in truth believed their town to be im- 
pregnable, for it had hitherto withstood every attack made by Feejee 

M A L O L O. 277 

warriors. Its defences evinced no little skill in engineering : a ditch 
twelve feet wide and full of mud and water, surrounded the whole ; 
next came a strong palisade, built of cocoa-nut trunks, placed four or 
five feet apart, among which was here and there a living tree; this 
palisade was united by a fence of wicker-work, about ten feet high, so 
strong and dense as to defy all attempts to penetrate or even see 
through it ; inside of the palisade was a second ditch, recently exca- 
vated, the earth thrown up from which formed a parapet about four 
feet in thickness, and as many in height. In the ditch the defenders 
sheltered themselves, and only exposed their heads when they rose to 
shoot through the loopholes left in the palisade. As the whole party 
continued to approach the fortification, our men spread out so as to 
outflank the skirmishers, and by a few rockets and a shower of balls 
showed them that they had different enemies from Feejee men to deal 
with. This compelled them to retire within the fortification, and 
abandon all on its outside to destruction. When the skirmishers had 
retired into the fortress, all united in loud shouts of lako-mai (come 
on !), flourishing their spears and clubs. 

Our party having approached within about seventy feet of the 
stockade, opened its fire on the fortification. Now was seen, what 
many of those present had not before believed, the expertness with 
which these people dodge a shot at the flash of a gun. Those who 
were the most incredulous before, were now satisfied that they could 
do this effectually. 

For about fifteen minutes an obstinate resistance was kept up with 
.musketry and arrows. In this the women and children were as 
actively engaged as the men, and all made a prodigious clamour. 
After the above time, the noise diminished, the defence slackened, and 
many were seen to make their escape from a gate which was inten- 
tionally left unattacked, carrying the dead and wounded on their 
backs. A rocket, of which several had already been tried without 
visible efiect, now struck one of the thatched roofs ; a native sprung 
up to' tear it off, but that moment was his last, and the roof immedi- 
ately burst into flames. Upon this Lieutenant-Commandant Ring- 
gold recalled several officers who were desirous of storming the town 
through its small gate, an attempt, which even if successful, must 
have been attended with loss of life on our part, and which the suc- 
cess of the rocket practice rendered unnecessary. To force the gate 
would have been a difficult operation, had it been defended with the 
least pertinacity, for it was constructed in the manner of a fish-w^eir. 
The natives, as has been seen, had, in addition to their arrows, clubs, 
spears, and muskets ; but the latter were so unskilfully handled as to 

27 8 M A L O L O. 

do little damage, for they, as I had before been informed was their 
practice, put charges into them according to the size of the person they 
intended to shoot at. They believe that it requires a larger load to 
kill a large man than it does to kill a small one. The bows and 
arrows were for the most part used by the women. 

The moment the flames were found to be spreading, a scene of con- 
fusion ensued that baffles description. The shouts of men were inter- 
mingled with the cries and shrieks of the women and children, the 
roaring of the fire, the bursting of the bamboos, and an occasional 
volley of musketry. 

The heat became so intense, that Lieutenant-Commandant Ring- 
gold drew off the divisions to a cocoa-nut grove in the neighbourhood, 
where he waited until the conflagration should have exhausted its fury. 
After the lapse of an hour, the whole town was reduced to ashes, and a 
few of the officers and men were able, although with difficulty, to enter 
within its ditch. It was evident that large quantities of water and pro- 
visions (pigs, &c.,) had been stored up, in the anticipation of a long 
siege. Numerous clubs, spears, bows and arrows, with several mus- 
kets, were picked up, together with fish-nets, tapa, &c., and the cap of 
Lieutenant Underwood. Only four bodies were found, among whom 
was that of a child, which had been seen during the conflagration, 
apparently deserted, and in a state of danger, from which our men 
would gladly have relieved it, had it been possible. 

Our party sustained but little injury. Only one man was struck by 
a ball, which, however, did no other harm than to tear his jacket. 
Several were wounded by arrows, but only Samuel Stretch, quarter- 
gunner, so severely as to cause any solicitude. 

After the destruction of the town, the third division, under Lieu- 
tenant Maury, was ordered to return to the brig, along the beach of 
the western side of the island. This route was chosen for the sake of 
the M'ounded man, who was unable to travel over the hills. The first 
and second divisions marched across the island to the town of Arro. 
The officers describe the scene that lay before them, when they had 
reached the highest part of the ground that lay in their route, as ex- 
tremely beautiful. In the valley below them, and on the declivities 
of the hills, were to be seen yam and taro-patches kept in the neatest 
order, with the small yam-houses (lololo) in the midst, surrounded by 
groves of tall cocoa-trees, and plantations of bananas. All looked 
quiet and peaceful, in strong contrast to the exciting contest in which 
they had just been engaged, and the character of the ruthless and 
murderous race who had been the occupants of the smiling valley. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, with these divisions, reached the 

M A L O L O. 279 

beach of Arro at sunset,* when a part of the men were embarked in 
the canoes and boats* Lieutenant Alden was at once despatched 
round the island in the cutter, for the purpose of rendering assistance 
to Lieutenant Maury, but he arrived too late to be of service. 

While these transactions were taking place on the island, the water 
also became the scene of a conflict. Lieutenant Emmons, who had 
been despatched to intercept the five canoes, reported to be seen from 
the ridge, pulled round the island without discovering them. While 
making this circuit he fell in with the party under Lieutenant North, 
and took the wounded man into the boat, leaving one of his eight in 
his place. He then pulled to the brig, where he refreshed his men, 
and in the afternoon proceeded round Malolo-lailai to search for the 
canoes, supposing they might have escaped and been drawn up in the 
mangrove-bushes. He soon, however, discovered the enemy poling 
along on the outer reef towards Malolo-lailai. They were somewhat 
separated when first seen, but as he approached, the weathermost 
made sail to leeward to join their companions, and when they had 
accomplished this, all struck their sails and advanced to attack him, 
manoeuvring together. In each canoe there were about eight warriors, 
having a kind of breastwork to protect them from the shot, while 
Lieutenant Emmons's boat's crew consisted only of seven. After a 
short but severe contest, only one of the canoes escaped ; the others 
were all captured, together with their warriors. Lieutenant Emmons 
reached the brig, with three of his prizes, a little before midnight. 

Shortly after daylight, a few natives were seen on the beach oppo- 
site to the tender. I had been hoping throughout the night that some 
overture would be made, and at once look my gig, with the interpreter, 
and pulled for them. As we approached the edge of the reef, which 
was now bare, it being low water, all the men retired, leaving a 
young native woman standing, with the different articles near her 
belonging to Lieutenant Underwood and Midshipman Henry. She 
held a white cock in her arms, which she was desirous of my accept- 
ing; but, believing it to be an emblem of peace with this people, 
(which I found afterwards was the case,) I refused it, but took the 
other articles. I declined the pacific offering, because I had no idea 
of making peace with them until it should be sued for after their own 
fashion. I had obtained a sufficient knowledge of their manners and 
customs to know that it was usual for them, when defeated, and at the 
mercy of their enemies, to beg pardon and sue for mercy, before the 
whole of the attacking party, in order that all might be witnesses. I 

* For his report, see Appendix XIII. 

280 M A L O L O. 

also knew that they never acknowledged themselves conquered unless 
this was done, and would construe my failing to require it of them 
into an admission that I had not succeeded in overcoming them. 
Many messages were, indeed, delivered to me by this girl from the 
chiefs, expressive of their sorrow for having attacked and killed our 
little chiefs ; but, in Feejee language, this amounted to nothing ; and, 
I was determined to receive from them a formal acknowledgment of 
defeat, according to their own mode, before I made peace with them, 
however anxious I was to avoid any more bloodshed. I therefore sent 
the chiefs and people a message that they must come and beg pardon 
and sue for mercy, before all our warriors, on a hill that I pointed out, 
on the south end of the island, saying that I should land there in a little 
Vi^hile to receive them, and that if they did not come they must be 
responsible for the consequences. 

At about eight o'clock I went on board the Porpoise, where I had 
in confinement a chief of Arro and some of his followers, in order 
that the fears of the people of the island might not induce them to 
neglect the opportunity of asking for peace, and knowing that this 
chief would have great influence in bringing about the result I desired. 
1 had an interview with him in the cabin. The first question I put to 
him startled him not a little : it was, whether he could trust his life in 
the hands of any of his people that were on board with him ; for it 
was my intention to send a messenger from among those natives on 
board to the chiefs and people of the island, and if he did not execute 
it and return at the appointed time, I should shoot him. His eyes grew 
very large, he hesitated, and then spoke very quickly. At last he said, 
" Yes ;" but that he would like the two younger boys to be sent, as 
they were the best and most trustworthy. My object was now fully 
explained to him ; and after he thoroughly understood the penalty both 
to himself and the people of the island, he entered warmly into my 
views, as he perceived that by so doing he would at once regain his 
own liberty, and save his island from farther devastation. 

The boys, who were respectively about fifteen and seventeen years 
of age, were then called into the cabin. I took two reeds, and repeated, 
through the interpreter, the messages, which the chief took great pains 
to make them understand. They were to this effect : that the whole 
of the natives of the island should come to me by the time the sun was 
overhead, to beg pardon and sue for mercy ; and that if they did not 
do so, they must expect to be exterminated. This being fully under- 
stood by the boys, they were landed, the chief having previously assured 
them that his life depended on their good conduct and haste in executing 
their charge. 

M A L O L O. 281 

Every thing was now prepared, agreeably to the orders of the night 
before, and the whole force was landed ; but instead of moving on to 
make farther devastation and destruction, we ascended the eastern 
knoll. This is covered with a beautiful copse of casuarina trees, 
resembling somewhat the pines of our own country. Here we took 
our station, and remained from about ten in the morning till four 
o'clock in the afternoon. 

The day was perfectly serene, and the island, which, but a few hours 
before, had been one of the loveliest spots in creation, was now entirely 
laid waste, showing the place of the massacre, the ruined town, and the 
devastated plantations. The eye wandered over the dreary waste to 
the beautiful expanse of waters beyond and around, with the long lines 
of white sparkling reefs, until it rested, far in the distance, on the small 
green spot where we had performed the last rites to our murdered 
companions. A gentle breeze, which was blowing through the casua- 
rina trees, gave out the moaning sound that is uttered by the pines of 
our own country, producing a feeling of depression inseparable from 
the occasion, and bringing vividly to my thoughts the sad impression 
which this melancholy and dreadful occuirreince would bring upon 
those who were far away. 

Towards four o'clock, the sound of dfistarlt wailings was heard, 
which gradually drew nearer and rie'are'r. At the same time, the 
natives were seen passing over the' bills towatrds us, giving an effect 
to the whole scene which will be' long borrie in my memory. They 
at length reached the foot of the hill, but would come no farther, until 
assured that their petition would be received. On receiving this 
assurance, they wound upwsird, and in a short time, about forty men 
appeared, crouching on their bands and knees, and occasionally stop- 
ping to utter piteous moalns afnd wailings. When within thirty feet 
of us, they stopped, and an old man, their leader, in the most piteous 
manner, begged pardon, supplicating forgiveness, and pledging that 
they would never do the like again to a white man. He said, that 
they acknowledged themselves conquered, and that the island belonged 
to us ; that they were our slaves, a!nd would do whatever I desired ; that 
they had lost every thing ; tha't the two great chiefs of the island, and 
all their best warriors hald been killed, all their provisions destroyed, 
and their houses burned. They acknowledged a loss of fifty-seven 
killed. Whether the twenty-five that were opposed to Lieutenant. 
Emmons were included in this number, I know not, but I am rather 
inclined to believe that they were ; for accounts subsequently received, 
give the same number. They declared that they were now convinced 
that they never codd make war against the white men (Papalangis) ; 

VOL. III. Y2 36 

282 M A L O L O. 

and that they had brought two of the chief's daughters as a present for 
the great chief. During the whole time that the old man was speaking, 
they all remained bent down with their heads to the ground. 

I asked them many questions, and, among others, what had induced 
them to murder the little chiefs. They acknowledged that the officers 
had done them no harm, and confessed that they had been killed with- 
out the slightest cause. They stated that all the murderers were slain, 
and that the act was planned and executed by the people of Sualib, 
none of whom were then present, or could be found ; and said that the 
persons present were the only ones uninjured. Some of the officers 
believed that they recognised several of them as having been in the 
fight. I then, through the interpreter, dwelt upon the atrocity of their 
crime, and pointed out to them how justly we were offended with them, 
and how much they deserved the punishment they had received. I 
told them they might consider themselves fortunate that we did not 
exterminate them ; and farther assured them, that if ever a like act 
was committed, or any aggression on the whites again took place, the 
most terrible punishment would await them ; that we did not wish to 
do them any harm, but came among them as friends, and wished to 
be treated as such ; that they must now see the folly of opposing us, as 
they had lost their best warriors, while we had not lost one ; that we 
never fought against women or children, and never received any gifts 
or presents ; that I granted them pardon, but they must do as I was 
about to direct them. 

I then told them, that to-morrow, very early, they must all come to 
the town of Arro unarmed, and bring back every article they had taken 
from the officers, with what provisions they could gather, and that 
they would be employed to bring water for the vessels. This was ac- 
cording to their customs, that the conquered should do work for the 

They readily assented to all these demands, but said that many of 
the articles belonging to the little chiefs must have been destroyed by 
fire, and that they knew not where to obtain them, or where to find 
any thing to eat. I knew that the last assertion was false, as I had 
seen many plantations on the northwest side of the island which had 
not suflered, and remained untouched. I therefore told them they 
must comply with all they had been ordered to do. 

They were then dismissed, and instantly vanished from before us. 
Orders were now given to embark, and we reached the vessels at 

I had great reason to be satisfied with the result of this day's pro- 
ceedings ; for I felt, that after administering to the savages a very 

M A L O L O. 'JS3 

severe punishment, I had probably effected the desirable end of pre- 
venting any further bloodshed. 

Early on the morning of the 28th, the tender and brig got under 
way, and anchored off the town of Arro, where the natives, to the 
number of seventy, came down to the beach, with every appearance 
of humility, to cai'ry into effect the terms we had made with them. 
The water-bags and breakers were given to them to fill and bring to 
the beach for the boats. They found this very hard work, and often 
expressed themselves to the interpreters, who were with the officers at- 
tending to the duty, that it would have been as well for them to have 
been killed in battle as to die of hard work. They toiled thus until 
nearly sunset, and procured about three thousand gallons of water for 
us. They also brought twelve good-sized pigs for the crews, some 
yams, and about three thousand cocoa-nuts. 

Among the articles restored, was the silver watch of Lieutenant Un- 
dervN'ood, almost entirely melted up, and a piece of the eye-glass of 
Midshipman Henry. 

When I went on shore, I saw the chief and about twenty of the old 
men, who were not able to take part in the work. T had a long talk 
with them, through the interpreter, and explained to them that they had 
brought this trouble upon themselves. I pointed out, particularly, that 
the blow had fallen upon the town of Arro, as well as upon that of 
Sualib, because its inhabitants had fired at the boats from the man- 
grove-bushes, which was wrong ; and if it occurred again, or they 
ever molested the Papalangis, they would meet with exemplary punish- 
ment. They all listened with great attention, and said it should never 
occur again, and that when any Papalangis came to their island, they 
would do every thing for them, and treat them as friends and children. 

At evening, I had the chief who was our prisoner brought up and 
liberated. He had now, from the death of the one at Sualib, become 
the highest chief of the island. I gave him good advice, and assured 
him, that if he allowed any white man to be injured, he would sooner 
or later be punished. He promised me, that as long as he lived they 
should always be treated as friends and children ; that he would be the 
first to befriend them ; that he now considered the island as belonging 
to the Papalangis ; that he had noted all that I had said ; that it was 
good, and he would be very careful to observe it ; that he would, if he 
had- no canoe, swim off to the white people's ships to do them all the 
service in his power ; and that his people should do so also. He was 
then, with the natives who had been captured, put on shore. When 
they landed, the whole population were heard crying and wailing over 
him at his return. 

284 MALOLO. 

The above are all the important facts relative to this tragical affair, 
both to the natives and ourselves. I feel little disposed to cast blanne 
any where, but it must be apparent that if the precautions directed in 
the orders given for the conduct of the officers on boat duty had been 
adhered to, this misfortune would not hav^e occurred. It is therefore 
to be regretted, that a strict regard had not been paid to these orders, 
and that care and watchfulness to preserve and keep all on their guard 
had not been constantly manifested. It is difficult to imagine how 
some of the officers should, in spite of all warnings, have indulged an 
over-confidence in the peaceable disposition and good intentions of the 
natives ; and it is still more surprising that this should have been the 
case with Lieutenant Alden, who had charge of the party for the time 
being, and who had frequently expressed himself satisfied, and had also 
warned others, that the natives of Malolo were not to be trusted. This 
opinion was not adopted by him without good grounds ; for on his 
former visit, about six weeks before, they had shown a disposition to 
cut off the launch and first cutter, of which he was then in charge. 
There was no absolute necessity for obtaining provisions, and still less 
for his allowing Lieutenant Underwood to remain an hour and a half 
on shore, chaffering for two or three pigs, when they knew the tender 
was in sight, and that she would reach the place of rendezvous before 

The whole of this afflicting tragedy I cannot but believe grew out 
of a want of proper care and watchfulness over the hostage, after he 
had shown a disposition to escape, and a heedlessness that it is impos- 
sible to look at without astonishment. The hostage certainly would 
never have attempted to escape, had there been a proper guard kept 
over him while in the boat; and from the evidence of all those who 
were on shore, it appears certain that no disturbance took place until 
the escape was made. 

I am well aware, that all the officers and men present were not at 
the time satisfied with the punishment inflicted. Many of them even 
thought that all in any way concerned in the murder ought to have 
been put to death. 

But I felt then as I do now, that the punishment was sufficient and 
effectual, while it was accompanied, as far as it could be, with mercy. 
Some, no doubt, will look upon it as unnecessarily severe ; but if they 
duly considered the wanton murders that have been committed on -the 
whites in this group of islands, merely to gratify the desire of plunder 
or the horrid appetite for cannibal repasts, they would scarcely think 
the punishment too severe. 

The warriors of this island were looked upon as a nest of pirates 

MALOLO. 285 

even by the rest of the group, and had their great crime been suffered 
to go unpunished, would in all probability have become more fearless 
and daring than ever. 

The blow I inflicted not only required to be done promptly and 
effectually, as a punishment for the murder of my officers, but was 
richly deserved for other outrages. It could not have fallen upon any 
place where it would have produced as much effect, in impressing the 
whole group with a full sense of our power and determination to 
punish such aggressions. 

Such has been its effect on the people of Malolo, that they have 
since been found the most civil, harmless, and well-disposed natives of 
the group. 

Notwithstanding that the opinion of all the officers who were present 
and cognizant of all the facts was, that I had not gone far enough in 
the punishment I had inflicted, I found myself charged on my return 
by the administration, as guilty of murder, and of acting on this occa- 
sion in a cruel, merciless, and tyrannical manner. To make out the 
latter charge, it was alleged that I had made the natives actually 
crawl to my feet to beg pardon. The part of the whole affair for 
which I take some credit to myself is, that when I judged it had 
become necessary to punish, it was in like manner obligatory on me to 
study how it could be done most effectually ; and from the knowledge 
I had obtained of the customs of the natives, during the time I had 
been engaged in the group, I was enabled to perform this painful 
though necessary duty, in a manner that made it vastly more effectual, 
by requiring of them their own forms of submission, and their own 
modes of acknowledging defeat. 

All the facts of the case are before my countrymen, and they will 
be able to judge whether I should, for my conduct in the punishment 
of this atrocious massacre, have been arraigned on a charge of 
murder, and of acting in a cruel, merciless, and tyrannical manner, 
and this without any previous inquiry into the facts or motives that 
led to my actions, and merely on the report of a few discontented offi- 
cers of the squadron, whom the good of the service compelled me to 
send back to the United States. These grave charges were not made 
known to me until two days before the court was convened for my 
trial upon them. 

While I am unable to refrain from stating wherein I consider some 
of the officers blamable, I must mention with high praise the promp- 
titude with which the bodies were saved from ministering to the 
cannibal appetites of the murderers. 

The punishment inflicted on the natives was no doubt severe ; but 1 

28G M A L O L O. 

cannot view it as unmerited, and the extent to which it was carried 
was neither dictated by cruelty nor revenge. I thought that they had 
been long enough allowed to kill and eat with impunity, every defence- 
less white that fell into their hands, either by accident or misfortune, 
and that it was quite time, as their intercourse with our countrymen 
on their adventurous voyages was becoming more frequent, to make 
the latter more secure. I desired to teach the savages that it was not 
weakness or fear that had thus far stayed our hands ; and was aware, 
too, that they had ridiculed and misunderstood the lenity with which 
they had heretofore been treated both by the French and English men- 

During the night I found it would be impossible for the boats to 
proceed, and I felt little inclined to run the risk of another accident 
through want of care and necessary precaution in dealing with the 
natives. I therefore determined on sending them back to the ship by 
as direct a route as possible, and ordered them to make the best of 
their way to Muthuata, proceeding first to the Annan Islands, thence 
across to Mbua Bay and along the north shore of Vanua-levu. They 
arrived at Muthuata on the 31st day of July, bearing the sad news of 
the events at Malolo. 

Remaining myself in the tender, I proceeded, with the Porpoise in 
company, to the Vitilevu shore, intending to pass out of the Malolo 
Passage ; but we found the flood setting so strong, that we were com,- 
pelled to anchor under the Navula Reef, where we lay until the tide 
changed, employing ourselves looking over the extensive reef for shells, 
and observing to fix and prove the survey of the passage. The opening 
through the great reef here, which I have called the Navula Passage, 
is very remarkable ; it has for portals two small islands of nearly the 
same size, which I have named Waldron and Spieden, after the pursers 
of the Expedition, between which the tide rushes with great strength. 
The great sea-reef appears to have been here broken asunder by some 
convulsion of nature, and the rushing tide has entirely swept the 
fragments away, leaving a fine open passage between the two islands 
of a mile in width. This may be termed the lee reef of these islands. 
Few things are more remarkable than the extent of these zoophytic 
formations; and the variety of their shapes, direction, and configu- 
ration, seem to put all speculation at defiance. Although I had often, 
in sailing over them in my boat, been impressed with the beautiful ap- 
pearances they exhibited, I thought this day they excelled any I had 
before seen, and had a still closer resemblance to a rich parterre of 
flowers. T could scarcely realize the fact, that objects so essentially 
dilTerent could, by any means or in any way, be made to resemble 

M A L O L O. 287 

each other. At times my gig's crew have called my attention to them 
on either hand, as we drifted slowly over these broad reefs, which are 
not only decked with the rocky habitation of these industrious litho- 
phytes, but innumerable fancifully coloured fish of all shapes and sizes 
find shelter around and beneath them. The water is so limpid as to 
make the smallest marking and lightest shades, not only of the fish but 
of the corals themselves, perfectly distinct. 

Towards sunset, the tide having ceased to flow, both vessels got 
under way and beat through the Navula Passage. This has nearly 
the shape of an elbow, and ought not to be attempted with a contrary 
wind, as there would not be room to beat through, except in a small 
vessel. We reached the open sea before it was quite dark, and began 
beating to the eastward along the Vitilevu shore. 

Finding, during the morning of the 30th, that the brig detained me, 
I determined on parting company, and sent orders to her to repair to 
Ovolau, observe for chronometer sights at Observatory Point, procure 
a large quantity of yams, and thence proceed to Muthuata to join the 
rest of the squadi'on. By the Porpoise I sent orders to Captain Hudson 
to have every thing ready for sea by the 10th of August, as I believed 
that the remaining duties might be performed by that time, and in- 
formed him that I would join the squadron at Mali Island, intending to 
leave the group through the Mali Passage. 

This southwest coast of Vitilevu had already been examined in the 
boats, under Lieutenant Emmons, as I have before mentioned. No- 
thing was left to be performed for the completion of this survey; 1, 
therefore, when opposite the situation of Vatulele, put over the patent 
log and ran for it, by which method I found its distance from Vitilevu 
to be eighteen miles. 

We remained all night under Vatulele, and in the mornins: besran 
the survey of its east side, the Peacock having already completed its 
western shore. 

Vatulele has the appearance of a raised coral island, although it is 
not so, but is of volcanic formation. The north part of this island is 
about seventy feet above the sea level, and is composed of strata of 
reddish clay and sandstone, lying nearly in horizontal layers, and 
closely resembling the red cliffs of Vitilevu opposite to it. It gradu- 
ally descends to a low point at its southern end. There is no more 
than a narrow shore-reef on its western side, but on the eastern shore 
a reef extends off two or three miles, forming a kind of bow from the 
south to the north end of the island. There was no opening in the t-eef 
except for boats, and near its north end it enclosed several small islets. 

288 M A L O L O. 

which bear the names of the midshipmen of the squadron. Vatulele is 
well covered with wood, and is inhabited. 

After having finished the examination of Vatulele, we shaped our 
course for Mbenga, and at noon discovered a coral reef extending about 
three hundred yards north and south, by one hundred and fifty east 
and west. It is awash, and bears from the south point of Vatulele 
east-by-north, distant seven miles. After getting angles on Mbenga 
Peak and Vatulele, and obtaining chronometer sights, we left this 
small, though dangerous spot, which I have called Flying-Fish 
Shoal. We passed the night under the extensive reef that surrounds 
Mbenga, not being able to find the entrance, as the night was ex- 
tremely dark. 

In the morning early we stood over for Kantavu, to survey its north 
side, and reached it in time to secure the latitude close to the point of 
its reef oft' Malatta Bay, which I found to be in 18° 58' 34" S. The 
distance from Mbenga Reef was found to be twenty-six miles by the 
patent log, in a southeast-by-south direction. We then anchored in 
its harbour, formed by the coral reefs, which only exist to any extent 
about this part, where the island is almost divided in two. So low 
and narrow is the isthmus, that the natives frequently transport their 
canoes over it. 

Many natives came oflT, but they were not willing to trust themselves 
on board when they understood who we were. 

The whole length of Kantavu is high and mountainous, with the 
exception of a small part of its centre, near Malatta Bay. This bay 
was surveyed ; it is small, and offers safety to a few vessels for tem- 
porary anchorage, although it is difficult to chose a place for the 
purpose, on account of several reefs that lie across it. The Flying- 
Fish was anchored in sixteen fathoms, sandy bottom. I now esta- 
blished, from several bases, all the peaks and points for our surveying 
operations the next day. 

Many canoes came off to us before we anchored, but we could not 
persuade the people to come on board, as long as we were under way ; 
they said we might carry them ofi'; but on our anchoring they came 
alongside, bringing a few yams, pigs, &c., which they sold cheap. 

A chief coming ofl^, we succeeded in getting him on board, and 
induced him to remain and send his canoe for provisions. He was 
a remarkably fine-looking man, and extremely intelligent, having 
strongly marked Jewish features. He counted forty-five towns on 
Kantavu, which would make its population upwards of ten thousand. 

The island is well covered with pine timber, resembling the Kaurie 

M A L O L O. 28D 

pine of New Zealand, and most of the large canoes used in the Feejco 
Islands are built here. The chief informed me that he would for 
three muskets get me, in three days, trees large enough to make 
masts for the tender. These were fourteen inches in diameter, and 
sixty feet in length, or large enough for topmasts of a ship of seven 
hundred tons. It takes them eight moons to build a canoe. 

The people of Kantavu are industrious, and the chief said they 
had abundance of provisions, of which, if I would stay over the next 
day, he would bring me any quantity I desired. After making inquiry 
about Vendovi, he said that the people of Kantavu were glad he had 
been taken away, for he was continually making exactions on them 
for all kinds of articles, under his authority of vasu. 

The chief said there were no harbours on the south side of the 
island, and that they sometimes transported their canoes over the 
narrow neck to visit that shore, but it was a very rough place, and 
too much exposed to the sea to be safe for canoes. This island, as it 
has been before mentioned, is tributary to Rewa. Most frequently 
the annual tribute is paid in canoes, except when the king of Rewa 
designates otherwise. 

Many whale-ships stop here for supplies ; these are principally 
English, belonging to Sydney, who seldom go to the north of these 
islands. The natives reported that they had seen eight within two 
moons. The bay they generally frequent is one to the westward of 
Malatta, called Tabuca. On this bay there is quite a large settlement 
of the same name, and it was reported by the chief as having ample 
supplies. Anchorage may be had oft' the town in fifteen fathoms 
water, with sandy bottom. It is a very picturesque spot. 

According to the pilot's account of the Kantavu people, they are 
not to be trusted, being prone to acts of violence, which they can 
commit with impunity, as tney have always a secure retreat from 
their enemies, in the mountain districts. Boats and crews, if not on 
their guard here, are frequently detained until they are ransomed ; 
so that it behooves all who visit and wish to deal with these people, 
to be exceedingly cautious. 

Early on the morning of the 3d of August, we got under way, and 
stood along the island of Kantavu, to its western end. The distance 
from Malatta Bay thither was found by patent log to be six miles. 
After reaching this point, we hove about under the Peak of Kantavu, 
which is a dome of large dimensions, and has the appearance of being 
an extinct crater, similar to those we have observed at the other groups. 
Having several remarkable peaks fixed, we were enabled to make a 
good running survey. The most northern coral shoal is oft" Malatta 

VOL. III. z 37 

290 M A L O L O. 

Bay, and it is the only place where there is any detached reef off the 
■whole length of the northern shore of the island. We found the 
island to be twenty-five miles in length. At one o'clock we had 
reached its eastern end, off which lies Ono, a round island with two 
villages on it. 

Ono is about eighty feet high, and between it and Kantavu there is 
a good and well-protected harbour. It was near Ono that the brig 
Charles Doggett was cut off by the chief Vendovi. 

To the north is a cluster of rocky islets, which, finding without 
names, I have designated by those of the passed midshipmen belonging 
to the squadron. They are all situated in the great Astrolabe Reef, 
called after the name of that ship, in consequence of her remarkable 
escape from shipwreck on its eastern side. From Ono it trends nearly 
north. On its east side it is quite unbroken, and extends in a sweep 
round Ono, until it joins Kantavu ; on the west side it is much broken, 
and has several safe passages through to the Passed Midshipmen 
Islands. These are eleven in number, and under some of them there 
is good anchorage. A few of these islands yield cocoa-nuts, but there 
are no inhabitants except on Ono. The length of the Astrolabe Reef, 
fi'om Ono to its northern point, is ten miles ; near the northern point is 
a remarkable rock, which is seen very distinctly from all directions. 
At the northern point of the reef is a clear passage through it. The 
water inside appears as blue as the ocean, and is doubtless very deep. 
Whales were seen sporting within the reef. 

This reef is not only dangerous from its extent, but on account of 
the strong currents which prevail here, which for the most part set to 
the eastward. 

From the point of the reef the high land of Vitilevu and Mbenga 
can be seen. It was just sunset when we left it, and stood on a north- 
by-east course, intending to make the reef off Nasilai Point. After 
running thirty-one miles, we came up with it, and found that we were 
obliged to make two short tacks to get far enough to the eastward to 
clear it, after doing which we arrived off Ovolau at 2 a. m. Notwith- 
standing the darkness, we passed in and anchored near the Porpoise. 

On the 4th, I was engaged until late in the afternoon observing for 
time, in order to verify the meridian distances between Ovolau and 
those places at which I had again observed, and to ascertain if any 
change had taken place in the rates of my chronometers within the 
last five weeks. The proof of their correct performance was most 

Levuka looked almost deserted, in comparison with what it had 
been during our stay there. Tui Levuka received me with much 

MALOLO, 291 

hospitality. I toolc a look at the garden we had planted, and found 
that many of the vegetables had already gone to seed, which the 
white man, George, had gathered ; but it wanted weeding, which they 
promised me should be done, under an injunction that they would pull 
up nothing that they did not know. 

On the Observatory Point, Seru, Tanoa's eldest son, had built an 
mbure for the accommodation of strangers, and the spot is now held 
sacred. I found he had respected the pile of stones I had left as a 
mark for the harbour. 

The Lebouni people, I was told, would occasionally complain that 
they had not been sufficiently rewarded for their services at the kitchen. 
They are a remarkably wild-looking set of fellows, and may be termed 
wild Feejee men. The wood-cut conveys a good representation of 


An anecdote of a noted chief, proves they have some commendable 
points about them. This man is known by the whites at Ovolau by 
the name of the " Dog of the Mountains," he was offered a large 
reward if he would assist in killing them ; but this he positively refused 
to do, or to let any of his people be engaged in so dishonest an affair, 
assigning as a reason that they had always behaved well and been 
their friends, and he would in all ways protect them. When he visits 
Levuka, since this became known to the white residents, he is treated 
with marked distinction and kindness. 

Here I again saw Paddy Connel. He complained of ill health, and 
imputed it to his being capsized in the canoe off Kamba Point, when 
proceeding to Rewa with my letters. He said he w^as now on his way 
to Ambatiki, to live again with his fourth wife, and his two small 

292 M A L O L O. 

brats, the forty-seventh and forty-eighth, and trusted before he died he 
would have two more to make up fifty, for his ambition was altogether 
in that way now. I endeavoured again to find out the cause of Paddy's 
banishment from Levuka, in order to discover by what secret laws or 
rules this small community of whites governed themselves; but he 
would not tell me. He only said that it was as much as his life was 
worth to remain beyond his time. He appeared perfectly contented, 
and was more nearly allied to a savage in feeling and taste than any 
other white man I met with during the cruise. 

My observations being completed, I went on board the tender, 
(leaving the Porpoise taking in yams for the squadron,) and proceeded 
round the north side of the island, within the reef. The afternoon 
was a beautiful one, and the water unruffled. As we passed abreast 
of the valley of Voona, which is one of the most fruitful in the group, 
Mr. Agate succeeded in getting a sketch of it, which is extremely 
characteristic of Feejee scenery. 

One of those almost inaccessible peaks on which the natives locate 
their towns for safety, is conspicuous in this view. 

Sailing along the north side of the island, we passed many fish- 
weirs formed of reeds, into which the fish are sometimes driven. 
At other times the fish are lured by food into these traps at high 
water; the weir is then closed, and the fish taken at low water. The 
women use the hand-net, which is thrown over the school. They have 
large seines for turtles, as well as smaller ones, both of which resemble 
our own, the weights being small bits of coral, while for floats they 
use the seed of the Barringtonia. These nets are all well made. 

They likewise make pens of stones, into which they drive the fish, 
and capture them either by spearing or when the water runs out at low 
tide. It is also a custom with them to dam up small streams, and 
stupify the fish with the Glycine. 

Hand-nets are sometimes used in a peculiar manner, thus : when 
they see a large fish take refuge in the coral shelf, they surround the 
place with a net and drive the fish out into it. 

We passed round the island, in the tender, as far as the island of 
Moturiki, under which we anchored, intending to proceed the next 
day to examine the bay of Ambau, and to have communication if pos- 
sible with that town. 

On the 5th, at an early hour, we stood for Ambau. The wind, 
however, was ahead for the greater part of the distance, and so light 
that I found we could not reach that place without much detention. 
Having no business to transact there, I thought it might occasion some 
delav if I landed, and thus interfere with our other duties, as well as 

M A L O L O. 293 

orolong the time of our stay in the group. We, therefore, contented 
ourselves with surveying those parts that required correction, and 
testing the accuracy of the former examinations. 

Ambau is one of the most striking of the Feejee towns; its mbure is 
very conspicuous, and it is, upon the whole, one of the most extraordi- 
nary places in this group, holding as it does so much of the political 
power. The island on which it is situated is not more than a mile 
long by half a mile wide, and the place has literally been made of 
importance by the assistance of a few renegade whites, who, besides 
aiding the inhabitants in their wars, have taught them all manner of 
roguery. Among those who thus added all the vices of civilized life 
to their own native barbarity, I would include the people of Viwa and 
Verata, w^ho have frequently been enabled to carry on their wars at a 
distance by the assistance of the foreign vessels that have been here, 
and in return have in several instances massacred their white coad- 

It was at Ambau that the French brig Aimable Josephine, Captain 
Bureau, was cut off, on the night of the 19th July, 1834. In retaliation 
for this act, Captain D'Urville destroyed the town of Viwa in 1839. It 
appears that this vessel had been frequently employed in transporting 
the warriors of Ambau from place to place. In return for this service, 
a promise was made to supply Captain Bureau with a cargo of biche 
de mar and shell. Instead of fulfilling this promise, the chief Namosi- 
malua, in whom he had long trusted, seized upon his vessel and caused 
him to be put to death. The chief was, it is said, averse to the latter 
crime, but was constrained to it by the chiefs of Ambau, although he 
at the same time acknowledged himself under many obligations to the 
captain, and professed a great Feejee friendship towards him. The 
captain was warned by the traders as to the danger of trusting the 
natives as much as he did. But he disregarded these cautions, and 
the consequence was the loss both of the vessel and his own life,* 

The brig was cut off through the instrumentality of six of the na- 
tives of Viwa, whom he had on a former visit taken on board and 
carried with him to Tahiti. These went on board on the afternoon 
of 19th July, leaving at the fish-house Charley, an English resident 
of Viwa, and a Frenchman named Clermont. When the natives 
came on board and were in the gangway, the second officer, with the 
cook and steward, were standing on the forecastle, and the captain was 
on the quarter-deck. One of the natives called the attention of the 
captain to the small schooner which was then lying at a short distance 

* See Appendix XVIT., for Captain Eag-Ieston's letter. 

294 M A L O L O. 

from the brig, telling him that she was full of water. The captain 
took his spyglass to examine her, and while he was looking through 
it, one of the natives struck him on the head with a club, and killed 
him on the spot. They then rushed on the second officer and boat- 
swain, and killed them also, although the death of the latter had not 
entered into their plans. The lives of the cook and steward were 
spared, and they were sent on shore. 

Immediately after the murder of the captain. Rata Mura and Na- 
mosimalua went on board, and a general plunder began. 

The native who gave the captain his mortal wound, was the adopted 
son of Namosimalua, and had been treated by the captain with great 
kindness, on which account he had long refused to join in the plot. 
At length, however, the chiefs of Ambau threatened to strangle him 
if he would not give his aid. After the deed was committed, he was 
seen in tears, and told those around him that he would not have done 
it except to save his own life. 

The bodies were thrown overboard, and that of the captain was not 
again seen ; but the other two drifted on shore, where Mr. Osborne 
and Charley obtained permission from the chiefs of Ambau to bury 

From all that Mr. Osborne saw, he was satisfied that those chiefs 
were the instigators of the deed, and had forced Namosimalua into 
the plot. The natives of Ambau were seen the day after the act was 
committed, rejoicing and parading the streets, in the clothes of the 
murdered men. Many articles were also seen at the house of Namo- 

Mr. Osborne went on board the brig on the 22d July, and found the 
chiefs in the cabin engaged in dividing the spoil. They appeared dis- 
appointed, both in relation to the quality and quantity of the goods, 
for but little merchandise remained, and of arms no more than a few 
broken muskets. The crew, who were prisoners, were put to work to 
bend the sails and prepare the vessel for a cruise. 

Mr. Osborne bought at Ambau, from a sailor, a few splendid orna- 
ments that had belonged to Captain Bureau, which he sent to Manilla, 
by Captain Winn, of the ship Eliza, to be dehvered to the French 
consul at that place, for the purpose of being forwarded to Captain 
Bureau's wife. He had not heard whether they reached their desti- 

The natives at first expressed a desire to sell the vessel, but after- 
wards refused to do so. Instead of disposing of her, a large number 
of men were put on board, and sent up the river to attack the town 
of Nasilai, which had hitherto proved impregnable to the people of 

M A L O L O. 295 

Ambau. The vessel's guns being fired against this town, soon com- 
pelled it to capitulate. On her return from this expedition, they 
ran her on shore on the eastern point of the mouth of the river 
that falls into the sea at Ambau, where she bilged and still lies a 

An attack was also made on the English brig Sir David Ogilby, 
which was near proving successful. The particulars of this will give 
a further insight into the treacherous character of the Feejees. 

Captain Hutchins, who commanded this vessel, had made arrange- 
ments to establish a biche de mar house at Verata, on the bay of 
Ambau. This was to have been under the direction of a man called 
Rewa Jack, who was to have managed it, vyith the aid of the native 
chiefs, while the vessel was employed in cruising among the islands. 
One pot had already been landed, and the trade-chest with manufac- 
tured goods, muskets, and whale's teeth, was on deck, ready to be 
sent on shore. 

The vessel was in the act of getting under way, while a number of 
natives, among whom was Fimowlangi, the chief of Verata, were on 
deck, and many more in canoes alongside. The anchor being apeak, 
the crew were engaged in hoisting the fore-topsail, and one of them 
was in the foretop ; the captain was walking the quarter-deck, with 
his cutlass in his hand, and just as he had cried " belay," Fimowlangi 
coming behind, struck him on the head with a club, and killed him 

Fimowlangi, thinking that the death of the captain insured him pos- 
session of the vessel, jumped immediately into the cabin ; but the mate, 
Mr. White, who saw the captain fall, ran to his assistance, although 
unarmed. He was immediately attacked by some of the natives, who 
had seized upon the captain's cutlass ; with this they wounded Mr. 
White severely in several places, and he fell senseless on the body of 
the captain. One of the hands, named William Brooks, jumped over- 
board, where he was also killed. It so happened that an arm-chest 
with muskets and ammunition had been kept in the fore-top, with which 
the man who, as we have seen, was stationed there, began an effective 
fire upon the natives on deck. Two others, one of whom was Rewa 
Jack, succeeded in reaching the foretop ; the rest ran below to seek 
arms, but were unable for a time to return to the deck, of which the 
natives had obtained complete possession. The fire from the foretop, 
however, became so destructive, that the natives began to jump over- 
board, and those who had gone below were enabled to return to the 
deck and regain possession of it. 

The whole of these events occurred in less than ten minutes, during 

296 M A L O L O. 

which a man of the name of Hunter, who had gone below, and was 
armed only with a hammer, had a scuffle with Fimowlangi, which was 
ended by the latter being shot, through the skylight, by one of the men 
who had regained the deck. 

The vessel being thus recovered and under way, went on to Levuka, 
where she arrived the next day. During the passage, the bodies of the 
chief and of another native who was found wounded in the forecastle, 
were thrown overboard. 

It is supposed that this transaction was not the result of a concerted 
plot, but was conceived on the instant ; for many of the natives appear 
to have been as much surprised as the crew. Had this not been the 
case, it is unlikely that the vessel could have been recaptured. 

At Levuka, Captain Eagleston of the American brig Howard, finding 
that there was no officer left to navigate the brig, put her in charge 
of Mr. London, and sent her to Sydney, to the agent or owner, Mr. 
Neill, of that place. We mention, with regret, that Captain Eagleston 
has never received the slightest acknowledgment for this important 

Vessels that visit Ambau are liable to many exactions, and to have 
all kinds of difficulties thrown in their way. It may be as well here to 
caution all traders against admitting canoes alongside, unless they have 
a quantity of provisions and other articles to trade. When hostilely 
inclined, they invariably have a few provisions, for the purpose of de- 
ception ; but those who will take the trouble to examine, will soon dis- 
cover the truth. When any work on board ship, such as getting under 
way, &c., is going on, the natives ought never to be suffered to be on 
deck, but should be kept in their canoes, and away from the vessel's 
side. Those that have the most experience of these savages invariably 
trust them the least. 

After establishing bases by sound, we observed on all the remarkable 
points, and towards sunset anchored in the bay of Ambau. The next 
morning we got under way, with a light breeze from the westward. 
This wind amounts almost to a land-breeze, and frequently lasts until 
near noon. With its aid, we passed out of the Moturiki Passage, 
which has on its southern side the small islands of Leluvia and Than- 
gala, and on its northern, that of Moturiki and its reefs. This passage 
is clear from obstructions, and is one mile and a half in length by half 
a mile wide. An east-by-south course (per compass) leads through it, 
and when Black Peak, on Vitilevu, can be seen, it is a good leading 
mark. The tide sets with some strength through the passage, the flood 
running to the westward, or in, and the ebb to the eastward, or out. 
There is safe anchorage, either under Leluvia or Moturiki, on their 

M A L O L O. 297 

west side, in water from seven to twelve fatiioms deep ; but a good 
and safe harbour exists on the Moturiki side, by entering through a 
narrow channel before reaching Thangala Island. This channel may 
be known by a large coral rock on the reef After getting through the 
reef, there is anchorage in from seven to ten fathoms, with sandy 

We passed through the Moturiki Passage, and steered for Am- 
batiki, examining on our route, the transit bearings, and taking angles 
on the different peaks, in order to verify the charts. We also passed 
close to the Horseshoe Reef, off which I obtained chronometer sights 
and angles; and made many useful observations on Goro, Nairai, 
Angau, Ambatiki, Wakaia, and Ovolau. We thence proceeded to 
Vuna, which we did not reach until daylight on the 7th, after a 
tedious sail, contending with hght winds and calms under its high- 

At Somu-somu we found the missionaries under some alarm re- 
specting the prospect of war with Ambau, which had been for some 
time threatening them, and was now about to commence. The cause 
of hostilities appeared, according to the missionaries, to have been a 
difficulty that had occurred between Somu-somu and the town of Buia, 
on the south side of Vuna. 

Several months previously, some canoes belonging to Vuna, when 
in distress, took refuge in the dominions of Ambau, and received kind 
treatment ; for the people of Ambau, instead of putting them to death, 
or making them slaves, afforded them the means of returning to their 
own country. The Vuna people, after their return, proposed to give 
the Ambau chiefs and people a feast, which, becoming known to 
Tui Thakau, king of Somu-somu, he became offended, and argued, 
that if they were rich enough to give feasts, they might pay more 
tribute, which he at once called upon them to do. This they consi- 
dered as very arbitrary, and contrary to their usages. They therefore 
refused to pay, having first applied to Ambau for protection, which 
was readily promised them, agreeably to the wily policy of Ambau, 
which is always to protect the weak, and produce strife in the different 
districts, that they themselves may finally profit by the contention. 
This prospect of war prevented the Somu-somu chiefs and people from 
uniting in the festivities of the king of Muthuata ; and instead of accept- 
ing the invitation, they were obliged to request the alliance of the king, 
through his son Ko-Mbiti, who, it will be recollected, had returned to 
Muthuata after the Peacock's arrival. The old king of Muthuata, 
although very friendly to Somu-somu, yet feared the displeasure of 

VOL. III. 38 

298 M A L O L O. 

Ambau, with which he already had a misunderstanding, in relation to 
the young wife of old Tanoa. He therefore refused to become the ally 
of Somu-somu, but offered his mediation between the parties. This 
did not settle the affair, as will be seen in the sequel. 

The difficulty was brought to a state of open war by the capture of 
a small fishing-canoe belonging to Ambau, by the Somu-somu people, 
who killed the natives that were in it. Their bodies were afterwards 
eaten by the chiefs and people of Somu-somu, with much exultation 
and rejoicing, at a feast where the captors of the canoe were painted 
and smeared with turmeric, and dances and ava drinking concluded 
the festivities. 

Messrs. Hunt and Lythe, with their ladies, were very glad to see us, 
for they were in much trouble, as the fact of their residing at Somu- 
somu would subject them to be treated as though they were actively 
engaged in the war; for all strangers residing within the limits of the 
koro, are in time of war considered as enemies, so far as being subject 
to plunder. 

I felt a great interest about the missionaries, and regretted the absence 
of Tui lUa-illn, the acting king, who was on the island of Vanua-levu, 
gathering his vi^arriors. Not being able to await his arrival, I had a 
long talk with his old father, Tui Thakau, whom I found sitting in his 
house, as usual, with his wives about him, all of whom asked the inter- 
preter, Tom, for red paint, (aloa.) 

I distinctly told the king, that neither the missionaries nor any other 
white men must be hurt ; that if it ever occurred, or he touched a hair 
of their heads, he might rely upon it, that sooner or later, punishment 
would come upon him ; I urged upon him, for his own sake, the neces- 
sity of taking care that no harm should come to them or their fami- 
lies, and spoke of the necessity of their giving them ground, and 
building them a house without the limits of the town. To all this he 
listened with great willingness, and promised to do all he could ; but 
he said that his son Tui Illa-illa must be consulted, and that when he 
came back he would talk the matter over with him. He, however, 
promised that no harm should come to the missionaries. This had a 
good effect, and quieted in a measure the fears of the ladies of the 

The old king told me he did not pretend to rule out of his own 
house, for he had become too old. He passes his time with his wives, 
muskets, and junk-bottles, of the latter of which he has a goodly 
supply, hung all around his house. His stock of them had increased 
since my last visit, the Currency Lass having, I believe, disposed of 

M A L O L O. 299 

some hampers of them. As I entered, I found one of his young 
wives helping him to food, his hands being tabooed since the death 
of his son. 

Requiring some yams for the vessels, I asked him to have a 
quantity brought. He was all willingness at first, and with those 
about him appeared very anxious to procure a quantity for me ; but I 
• understood this manosuvre, and well knew from other indications that 
none vv'ould be brought. Messenger after messenger in a short time 
began to arrive, stating one excuse and another, and many more mes- 
sengers returned than went forth. 

The king's orator had, on my first landing, importuned me to ex- 
change some yams for bottles, to which I finally agreed, in order to 
get rid of him, and sent my cockswain off to the tender for them. 
About the time the messengers were coming in, the cockswain re- 
turned. The orator, it appeared, had now changed his mind, and had 
no yams to barter. I now began to talk of our " fiery spirits" to 
the chief, through the interpreter, telling them all the mischief they 
could do, how they could burn the roofs off" the yam-houses, so that one 
could see whether the Feejee men told lies, and how they could be 
made to follow a man who did not keep his engagements. To all this 
they listened with great attention, and I wound up by telling them 
that I wished to purchase three hundred yams, and that if they were 
not in a heap before the chief's house before ava could be drunk, 
I would be obliged to send a spirit to look in, for I was well aware 
they had plenty of yams, and large ones too. As respected the 
orator, I said that if he did not at once perform the engagement 
which he had so importuned me to make with him, I would send a 
spirit to chase him. It was truly amusing to see this fellow's con- 
sternation ; he flew about from house to house, begging for yams, (for 
I do not believe he owned one,) until he got his ten ; and these were 
very fine ones. 

In a short time the whole koro was in a stir, and natives of all sizes 
and sexes were bringing yams to the heap. The largest in size were 
carefully placed outside of the heap, and one of these measured four 
feet six inches long, and seven inches in diameter. When the heap 
was finished,, it was presented to me in due form, with a native drum 
(lale), which I had desired to have. For all this I sent the chief a 
musket, the usual price of one thousand yams, and a whale's tooth in 
token of friendship. 

After the drum had been presented to me, I was desirous of hearing 
them beat upon it. They have several beats or calls to give notice to 
the koro, one of which was for the calling of the people together to 


M A L O L O. 

the feast of human bodies. They were all distinct, and they said quite 
audible at a great distance. 

The Feejee drum is similar to that described at Tonga, and is made 

of a log hollowed out and placed on one point. 

It gives out a deep hollow tone when struck 

with the small and large stick, with which they 

produce the different sounds. 

I now had an opportunity of visiting their 
upper town, which was not offered me before. This is situated on a 
bluif rising abruptly behind the lower village, and being strong by 
nature, is susceptible of being maintained against a large force. 
There is a trench and palisade around a great portion of it. 


SOiLO SOli^ 

The upper town is so much concealed by the trees and bushes 
growing on the bluff, that one might be at Somu-somu many times 
without noticing it. The approach to it is through a narrow pass, 
from which there is a beautiful view. 

I also had an opportunity of seeing their manner of trading among 
themselves. This is entirely conducted by barter. The market is held 

MALOLO. 301 

on a certain day in the square, where each one deposits in a large 
heap what goods and wares he may have. Any one may then go 
and select from it what he wishes, and carry it away to his own 
heap; the other then has the privilege of going to the heap of the 
former and selecting what he considers to be an equivalent. This is 
all conducted without noise or confusion. If any disagreement takes 
place, the chief is there to settle it ; but this is said rarely to happen. 
The chief has a right to take what he pleases from each heap. 

Towards sunset, as was my custom, I went on board. 

The missionaries had mentioned to me that the skulls of the men 
that had been eaten a few days since were lying on the beach. We, 
in consequence, looked for them, but they were not to be found. 

We took leave of our missionary friends, with many feelings of 
regret, for their situation is a most deplorable one, and I sincerely 
wished them safely fixed in another and a happier position, and that 
they had some other protector than the brute Tui Illa-illa, in whose 
hands their fate seems to be continually precarious. 

Here I received information of the wreck of the whale-ship Shylock, 
on Turtle Island, and felt extremely desirous of sending one of the 
vessels to the assistance of the crew and preservation of the cargo, if 
any remained. 
j^ I had promised the king and chief that I would show hini some of 

our " fiery spirits" after it grew dark ; and when eight o'clock came, 
the rockets were set off. The loudest shoutings were heard from the 
beach, where the whole koro had gathered to witness the " fiery 
spirits" flying in the air. I had promised that they should do them 
no harm, as we were friends. A rocket happened to be placed just 
over one of the guns, which, Hke the others, was kept primed and with 
the apron on ; but the latter not being fastened, the rocket blew it off 
and set fire to the charge, which went off at the same time. The 
gun was loaded with grape and canister. Fortunately the tender was 
lying so that the shot flew obliquely towards the beach, and fell in the 
water before reaching it. A point or two nearer, and they would have 
had a practical illustration of our " devils" by their sweeping the arms, 
legs, and heads of many of them off. The firing of the gun produced 
great astonishment both to them and ourselves. 

The news of Captain Croker's attack on the town of Bea' at Tonga, 
reached us here, and excited a good deal of interest, as I had but a 
few months before been endeavouring to mediate a peace between the 
hostile parties. It appears that Captain Croker, being desirous of 
bringing the war and difficulties to an end, espoused warmly tht mis- 


302 M A L O L O. 

sionary cause, and delei'inined to bring all the natives into acquies- 
cence. The town of Bea being one of the strongest of those belonging 
to the principal chief of the devil's party, he undertook to capture it, 
but underrated the strength of its fortification and its means of defence. 
For this purpose he landed a large party from his ship (the Favourite 
sloop-of-war), and proceeded to the town of Bea, on reaching which 
he sent a message to the purport that its inhabitants must come to 
terms within an hour, and gave them no time to consult or arrange 
matters, after their own fashion. As soon as the hour was up, he 
called upon them to surrender,, which they refused to do, upon which 
he at once proceeded to attack the gate. The native warriors resisted 
and fired upon him. The affair resulted in the loss of his own life, 
with those of several of his officers and men, and a consequent 
abandonment of the object. The retreat was succeeded by the expul- 
sion from the island of the missionaries and Christian party. It is sup- 
posed that if a longer time had been allowed the chief of Bea, all its 
inhabitants would have come over quietly to the Christian party, under 
the fear of the storming and taking of the place, for they had but little 
idea that they could withstand the attack of a white, or Papalangi force. 

On the morning of the 8th, we left Somu-somu and stood to the 
northward for the Ringgold Isles. These are seven in number, and 
are surrounded by extensive reefs. The highest of the group, called 
Budd Island was ascended : it is composed of volcanic scoria and 
large blocks of lava, rising to the height of eight hundred feet, and 
has an almost perfect crater in its centre. The outside, or rim, of this 
crater forms the island, and is very narrow at the top ; its inner side is 
quite perpendicular, while its outside is generally inclined at an angle 
of fifty or sixty degrees, although in places it is almost perpendicular ; 
the climbing is, however, made comparatively easy b}'' the assistance 
of the roots of the trees that grow upon it, of which some of large 
size are near its base. The other islands in its neighbourhood we did 
not land on : they are uninhabited, except at the turtle season ; they 
are barren rocks, and too dangerous to be approached by a vessel, the 
reefs extending as far as the eye can reach. 

Having succeeded in making all the requisite observations, we 
returned to the tender, and left Ringgold Isles, with the intention of 
anchoring under Rambe ; but we were benighted before we reached 
the reef; and as our pilots did not know where the entrance was, 1 
determined to proceed to Unda Point, off which we arrived near mid- 
night, and lay-to until daylight. 

On the morning of the 9th of August, at daylight, we found ourselves 

M A L O L O. 303 

near the island of Chicobea, which is the most northern of the group. 
We took sights on it, and connected it with Unda Point. The form 
of Chicobea is oval, and it is formed of two hummocks, of conside- 
rable elevation. It is three miles long, southeast and northwest, and 
one mile and three-quarters wide ; is surrounded by a shore-reef, 
which has no openings, except for boats, and offers nothing to tempt a 
vessel to land. We then ran down the reef off the northern side of 
Vanua-levu, and at noon entered the Sau-sau Passage, which is the 
first that occurs in connexion with the ship-channel within the reef. 
There, is, however, one tolerably good harbour, called Tibethe, and 
there are several towns around the bay. Indeed, the north shore of 
Vanua-levu appears to be well peopled. 

At 3 p. M., we were off the island of Mali, which is thinly inhabited. 
Native villages were seen on the high bluffs of the island. Opposite to 
Mali is the Mali Passage, through which it was my intention to put to 
sea with the squadron, which I had, in consequence, directed to meet 
me. As we proceeded to the place of rendezvous, and before sunset 
of the 9th August, we met the remainder of the squadron on their way 
to Mali, when I joined the Vincennes. The wind failing soon after, we 
cast anchor. 

I now received the reports of the operations of the other vessels 
during the time I had been separated from them. 

Under the direction of Captain Hudson, the bay of Mbua had 
been again surveyed, with all its reefs. The work began on the 16th 
July, and continued until the 21st. As soon as it was concluded, 
Captain Hudson proceeded with the Peacock to Muthuata. During 
his absence a tent was set up at Lecumba Point, for the accommo- 
dation of the sick, who were sent on shore. The case which rendered 
this more particularly needful, was that of J. Baxter, the second mate 
of the Leonidas, who, as has been stated, had been badly burnt with 
gunpowder on the 29th June. His wounds were so severe, that from 
the first the surgeon entertained but little hope of his recovery, and he 
did not long survive. Before his decease he disclosed his real name, 
that of Baxter being an assumed one. He was a native of France, 
about thirty years of age, and his true name was Vincent Boudet. 

Our officers and naturalists, during their stay at Mbua, had several 
opportunities of making short excursions into the country. 

They found a considerable difference in the vegetation since their 
former visit, about five weeks before. Many plants, of which there 
were then no signs, were now in full bloom. Several of these were 
very showy, among which were the willow-leaved acacia, a species, 
of callistemon with scarlet flowers, &c. They also met with a new 

304 M A L O L O. 

species of iron-wood, (Casuarina,) which is a tree of upright growth, 
thirty feet high, with a dense green top; its cones are large and 
terminal. The country, for five or six miles inland, is a range of low 
barren hills, producing small shrubs, with masses of wild sugar-cane 
and fern. 

Dr. Pickering and Mr. Brackenridge penetrated, in one of their 
excursions, to the mountains, in search of the sandalwood, to procure 

They landed at Myandone, the town situated on the stream from 
which we obtained our water. This stream is small, and water was 
procured with difficulty, on account of the flow of the tide to a long 
distance up the creek. The natives, however, obviated this difficulty, 
in a great measure, by building a dam of mud, which rose above 
high-water mark, and formed a kind of pool. The water in this, if 
disturbed, would have been too muddy to take, they, therefore, in- 
serted in the dam several bamboo stems, on closing which the water 
rose quietly to some height, and upon opening them again, was drawn 
off quite clear, 

A house was built here, where any of the officers or naturalists who 
might be detained after sunset might sleep in safety. 

The chief of Myandone furnished our gentlemen with guides for the 
mountains, and they set out on their excursion. For the first five miles 
they passed through barren hills, after which they proceeded up a 
valley, through which a small stream meandered, passing by planta- 
tions of bananas, yams, and taro. As they approached the base of the 
mountain, they met with groves of trees, among which were some 
species of Ficus, Bread-fruit, Inocarpus, Erythrina, and several new 

At the base of the mountain, they visited a town scattered over 
several hills on both sides of the stream. At an mbure house their 
guides entered into a discussion with an old man, seemingly to obtain 
permission to proceed. The old man received them with hospitality, 
and cooked some yams for them. 

Crowds of natives, men, women, and children, gathered around to 
see the Papalangis, whom they had never laid eyes on before. The 
distribution of a few beads and a little tobacco, greatly delighted them. 

After the yam breakfast, the old man accompanied them, and was 
of great service in leading them in the right path, for it appeared 
that neither of the men whom they had brought as guides was at all 
acquainted with the route. At the end of two hours, they reached the 
top of the mountain range, which has an elevation of about two 
thousand feet ; but they were unfortunate in being overtaken with rain. 

M A L O L O. 


so that their view was confined to a short distance. Near the top ol 
the mountain they found two species of cinnamon, very aromatic in 
flavour; they also met with a handsome little palm (Corypha), and 
obtained specimens of it in flower. 

They returned to the town by a different route, through the woods, 
and concluded that it was better to attempt to reach the boat before 
sunset, than to remain among these savages. They accordingly set 
out for this purpose, but were benighted, nearly opposite to the town 
of Myandone, where they met the chief, who invited them to his town ; 
and, as there was nothing better for them to do, they accepted the 
invitation. The path led over many mud-holes, which it was dan- 
gerous to cross, even in the daytime, as the means of doing so were 
no more than a single stick, and that stick under water. What was 
dangerous by day, of course became vastly more difficult at night. 
The chief directed that they should mount on the shoulders of the 
natives, and thus astride, they passed over the morass for a distance 
of upwards of a quarter of a mile, finding their way by the light of 
the torches, which served to show them the difficulties they were en- 
countering, and the disaster that was to be expected from a false step 
of their bearers. 

On their arrival at the town, they entered the mbure, and became 
the guests of the chief for the night. He treated them to a supper of 
small clams and yams, and a corner of the mbure was assigned to them 
for sleeping. 

The night was passed under some feeling of insecurity, for their host 
was the noted rebel chief who had been making war on Tui Mbua, 
and was not considered very trustworthy. 


The next morning, after rewarding the chief with jack-knives and 
tobacco, they recrossed the morass in like manner, and reached the 

VOL. III. 2A2 39 

306 M A L O L O. 

ship by the boat. As this party had not succeeded in obtaining the 
specimens of sandalwood they desired, an opportunity offering, through 
the invitation of old Tui Mbua, who was on board the Vincennes, was 
taken advantage of, and several officers embarked with him, to spend 
the night at his village, called Fakosega. They were accompanied 
by David Whippy, as interpreter. Their principal object was to obtain 
specimens of sandalwood, which has now become so rare on these 
islands, and which the old chief promised to find for them. 

This district of Tui Mbua is that whence the sandalwood was for- 
merly obtained. Tui Mbua furnished our gentlemen with guides, and 
they set out. The country was the same as before described on the 
other route, consisting of barren hills, trees being only found in the 
valleys, which are of small extent. They were soon shown several 
specimens of sandalwood, very small, and hardly to be distinguished 
from the surrounding shrubs. The natives call it assi. Proceeding 
on to the top of the hill, several solitary trees of sandalwood were met 
with, the largest of which were no more than twenty feet high, and 
had a stem only six inches in diameter at the height of eighteen inches 
from the base. The general habit of the tree is represented as of slen- 
der form, and a growth very much resembling that of a peach-tree. 
It is found to be affected by a kind of dry-rot, which, however, does 
not lessen the fragrance of the wood. They procured specimens both 
in fruit and flower ; the latter is not conspicuous. The fresh wood is 
destitute of odour, and therefore cannot be recognised by this property. 
The district where this wood is found is exceedingly small, being no 
more than fifteen miles square. A line running north from Lecumba 
Point, and including Anganga Island, will comprise the whole of it. 
This district forms the most western point of the island of Vanua-levu. 
Its soil is rocky and barren, but not more so than that of several other 
districts that have been visited. 

Mr. Brackenridge remarks, that they met with a species of Rhus, 
which grows in the form of an upright tree. Nothing could induce 
the natives to ascend to obtain specimens of it, for it is considered by 
them as poisonous ; and they made signs that it would injure their 
hands and feet, or any part of the body that came in contact with it. 
Our naturalists, however, obtained specimens of the tree by breaking 
down a branch with a hooked stick. 

Tui Mbua's town is situated on an almost inaccessible peak, six 
hundred feet above the level of the sea. It contains about four hun- 
dred inhabitants including men, women, and children. They are all 
now miserably poor, and have little to eat, having recourse to the 

M A L O L O. 307 

fruit of the mangrove (Rhizophora), which the women were seen 
gathering. Tui Mbua had forewarned his guests that he had no kixu- 
ries to give them. 

They had a comfortable mbure, however, to sleep in, and supped 
upon yams. The labour of transporting all the water and provisions 
up the ascent falls upon the women. 

In the town of Tui Mbua, were the two Feejee chiefs of Sualib Bay 
whom I had freed ; they proved to be the friends and allies of the old 
king, and at their request they were landed to pay him a visit, and 
thence to proceed homeward. 

In the evening they were entertained with a Feejee dance by the 
men, which consisted in movements of the body, arms, legs, and head, 
not ungraceful. The dancers had evidently practised a great deal 
together. The glowing light of the bamboo torches on their dark 
skins and fine forms, decked in their pure white turbans (sala), with 
the crowd gathered around, produced a fine effect. A few girls were 
also induced to dance, but they did not do so well, for want of practice. 

With the assistance of David Whippy, they got rid of the old king 
almost by force, as he was inclined to pass the night in their company. 
Tui Mbua has always been a great friend of the whites. They returned 
on board the next day. 

At Lecumba Point, where many of the natives were frequently 
gathered, the ambati or priest was induced to shake as if the spirit 
was in him. He always, however, declined doing so unless they were 
alone, for fear he should lose his influence with his countrymen. His 
first operation was to put every muscle in full tension, clenching his 
fists and placing his feet apart. This done, he would begin to shake 
with great violence, the muscles of his legs becoming so much excited, 
that involuntary motions continued for some time afterwards. A small 
present was usually made him for these exertions. 

Captain Hudson, as has been seen, had proceeded with the Peacock 
to Muthuata. As soon as he arrived at that place, he went on shore 
to visit the king, and demanded of him Hugh M'Bride, a deserter from 
one of the surveying boats. He was the second man who had attempted 
to leave the squadron for the purpose of taking up his abode among 
these cannibals. 

The king disclaimed all knowledge of his desertion, and promised to 
have him sought after. The king's house was found surrounded by 
his warriors and people, armed, who all appeared much agitated and 
alarmed at the second visit of the ship. Every thing was, however, 
done that could be to quiet his fears, but not with much success. 

308 M A L O L O. 

Captain Hudson having furnished his first heutenant with written 
instructions, returned to bring the Vincennes round from Mbua Bay. 

Hugh M'Bride was afterwards found at Muthuata, secreted by natives, 
and strong suspicion existed that it was with the full knowledge and con- 
currence of the king. Many surveying signals were also stolen, even 
in sight of the ship, and in broad daylight. It therefore became 
necessary to put a stop to these thefts, which not only impeded the 
operations, but could not be overlooked without the risk of further 
depredations. Captain Hudson visited the king, and told him distinctly 
that the articles must be returned in a day, or he must take the conse- 
quences. The king made many promises, and kept them better than 
those he had before given, for he set about effecting the recovery of the 
signals in earnest. 

On the 26th July, the king's son Ko-Mbiti, returned from Somu-somu 
in state, without bringing any guests to the famous fete they were pre- 
paring. Instead of them he presented his father with a large whale's 
tooth, and a request that he would take part in the war about to take 
place against Seru, who headed the Ambau warriors. The son, it was 
understood, favoured the Somu-somuans, but the old king more pru- 
dently desired to observe a strict neutrality. 

The observations at Lecumba Point having been finished, and 
Captain Hudson having returned from Muthuata to take the Vin- 
cennes, every thing was embarked in her, and on the 29th they got 
under way for Muthuata. In the evening they anchored in Naloa 
Bay, where the next morning they took in a quantity of wood, and 
visited the town of Tavea on the island of that name. Here Mr. 
Drayton witnessed the making of pottery by women. The clay used 
is of a red colour, and is obtained in quantities on the island, and the 
vessels are formed by the women with the same instruments that are 
described in another place. Some of their work appeared as round 
as though it had been turned in a lathe. The pots are dried in the 
open air, and for baking or burning them, they use a common wood 
fire, without any oven. The vessels are of various shapes, some of 
which are quite pretty. The tenacity of the clay is such, that even 
without baking the pottery is quite strong. 

The islands from Naloa Bay to Muthuata, are for the most part low, 
and covered with tiri (mangrove) bushes. There is one within a few 
miles of Muthuata, called Nucumbati, which is remarkable in shape, 
as well as picturesque in appearance. On this is a deserted town of 
about sixty houses, situated in a beautiful grove of cocoa-nut trees. 
The account obtained of it from our interpreter was, that its chief and 

M A L O L O. 309 

most of its people had been killed, and that the rest had left it. It 
appeared to have been a long time deserted. According to Mr. Budd, 
who was occupied in its survey, the site of the town is easily distin- 
guished by a large spirit-house that stands on the beach in front of it. 

The Feejee tomato (Solanum) in its green state, was first seen at 

It was from this town, Tavea, that the natives belonged, who came 
ofi' to the Peacock eating human flesh, and it was not surprising that 
ranges of pots for cooking the unnatural food were seen beside the 

A short time before noon, the Vincennes got under way, and before 
night anchored off the town of Muthuata, near the Peacock. 

On the 31st July, the boats from Malolo reached the ship, and also 
Lieutenant Case, from Somu-somu, by the south side of the island, 
having been engaged in surveying some small harbours that I was 
desirous should be more particularly examined than had been done 

Captain Hudson now began a very particular survey of the harbour 
of Muthuata, continuing it as far as Mali, the boats of both ships being 
engaged in this duty. The shore was frequently visited by the officers 
and naturalists, and the botanical specimens much increased. The 
tomato, already spoken of, was found here in its ripe state. It is be- 
lieved to be a perennial plant. The fruit is the size of an orange, and 
of an agreeable flavour; it has been grown and ripened in Philadelphia, 
and I am in hopes will in a short titne be acclimated in the United 
States, where it will be a great acquisition. 

The return of the boats from Malolo, brought the melancholy news 
of the death of Lieutenant Underwood and Midshipman Henry. 

Immediately on the receipt of this information. Captain Hudson 
ordered the flags of both ships to be lowered halfmast, and issued the 
following order, which was read to the crews of both ships. 

Information having been received, from the commander of the 
Expedition, of the death of Lieutenant Joseph A. Underwood and 
Midshipman Wilkes Henry, on the 24th instant, who were treache- 
rously murdered by the natives of Malolo, one of the Feejee group 
of islands, the officers of the United States ships Vincennes and 
Peacock will wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days, as a 
testimony of regard for the memory of their departed brother officers, 
who have been suddenly cut off from their sphere of usefulness in 

310 MALOLO. 

the Expedition, while arduously engaged in the performance of their 
public duty, (Signed) William L.Hudson, 

Feejee Islands, July 31st, 1840. Commanding U. S. Ship Peacock. 

Subsequently to this, on the 8th of October, a meeting of the officers 
was held on board the Peacock, at which Captain W. L. Hudson was 
called to the chair, and Lieutenant R. E. Johnson appointed secretary. 
The chair announced that the object of the meeting was to obtain a 
just expression of feeling in relation to the death of Lieutenant Joseph 
A. Underwood and Midshipman Wilkes Henry, who on the 24th of 
July last were treachei'ously killed by the natives of Malolo. On 
motion, a committee, consisting of Lieutenant Johnson, Dr. Palmer, Mr. 
Rich, (botanist,) Passed Midshipman Blunt, and Midshipman Blair were 
appointed to draft resolutions befitting this melancholy occasion. 

The committee, in obedience to their instructions, reported the 
following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted. 

Resolved, That amid the toils and dangers which the officers of 
this Expedition have been called upon to encounter, they could have 
incurred no deeper calamity than the untimely death of their beloved 
coadjutors. Lieutenant Joseph A. Underwood and Midshipman Wilkes 

Resolved, That the loss of these gentlemen is most deeply mourned, 
not only on account of their personal worth, but from our sincere 
interest in the Expedition, which has thus been deprived of two most 
efficient officers. 

Resolved, That the energetic and persevering manner in which the 
lamented dead performed all duties, however arduous, offered an 
example worthy our emulation, and that the strongest terms of sym- 
pathy with their friends at home, are inadequate to the expression of 
our regrets. 

Resolved, That as a mark of afiection and respect for our lost 
associates, we cause a monument, designed among ourselves, to be 
erected to their memory, in the cemetery at Mount Auburn. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the be- 
reaved relations of Lieutenant Underu^ood and Midshipman Henry. 

It was further resolved, that a committee of nine persons be appointed 
to carry the foregoing resolutions into effect, and that the committee 
consist of the following gentlemen: Captain W. L. Hudson, Lieu- 
tenants James A Id en and Case, Dr. J. C. Palmer, T. R. Peale, (orni- 
thologist,) Passed Midshipman S. Blunt, Purser W. Spieden, Midship- 
men G. W. Clark and J. Blair. 

Resolved, That the sum of two thousand dollars be appropriated for 



the erection of the monument, and that the pursers of the Expedition 
be authorized to charge the said sum to the officers and scientific corps 
in proportion to the rate of their several salaries. 

The subject of an inscription was referred to a future meeting, and 
the committee was instructed to select a model from the designs which 
they might hereafter receive. The meeting then adjourned. 

t^'^^i j^A 














JULY 24, 1840. 



MAY, 1839. 



















312 MALOLO. 

Since our return this nnonument has been erected at Mount Auburn, 
after a design by Mr. Drayton, by John Struthers and Son, of Phila- 
delphia. The opposite wood-cut is a representation of it. 

Another deserter from the Peacock was recovered, being delivered 
up by the king. The amount, according to the regulations, was at 
once paid for his apprehension. 

The Kai-viti schooner. Passed Midshipman Harrison, arrived with a 
load of yams from Somu-somu, having on board the nnate and cooper 
of the ship Shylock, Captain Taylor, which vessel had been lost on 
Turtle Island on the 20th of June. The mate stated that the ship was 
run on the reef about ten o'clock, p. m., when seventeen of the crew 
narrowly escaped in two boats, leaving eight on the wreck, whose fate 
was unknown. The two boats reached Vavao in two days and a half, 
without any provisions. Five of the seventeen, including the captain, 
mate, cooper, and two men, joined a missionary schooner, and reached 
Somu-somu, and thence the mate and cooper came in the Kai-viti to 
join the squadron. 

William Smith, ordinary seaman, was accidentally drowned from on 
board the Kai-viti during her last cruise. (See Appendix XVI.) 

On the 2d of August, a sail was descried oft' the island of Kie. 
Lieutenant Budd was despatched with a boat to board and ofl!er 
her any assistance that she might require ; she was brought in 
under the pilotage of that officer, and was found to be the whale- 
ship Triton, Captain Parker, without any guns or arms on board 
whatever ! 

Had it not been for the presence of the squadron, she would at once 
have been taken possession of by the natives, on learning that such was 
the fact. When such imprudence is committed, it is not surprising 
that so many ships that have gone into the Pacific have never been 
heard of In many cases, doubtless, not one has been left to tell the 
tale of the many, very many, valuable lives that have been lost from 
over-confidence in these treacherous savages. 

This alone would point out the strong necessity of providing our nu- 
merous and hardy navigators with a correct knowledge of these 
islands, as well as those still further to the westward. 

I am happy to know that we shall enable the navigator to visit this 
group without fear and with comparatively little danger, if he will but 
observe a proper share of caution; and there is now open to him one 
of the best groups in the Pacific for obtaining supplies and refreshing 
his men after their arduous labours. 

The time having elapsed, the king was punctual in sending off* such 

MALOLO. 313 

portions of the flags stolen as he had been able to recover, soliciting 
pardon for the offence of his people, and making an offering of ten hogs 
and one thousand yanns for the flags not returned. This offering, 
Captain Hudson received, deternnining before leaving to repay their 
full value. 

Captain Eagleston, in the Leonidas, having completed his cargo of 
biche de mar at Mali, again anchored at Muthuata, and communicated 
that Gingi, the chief suspected of the murder of Cunningham, had told 
him that the old king of Muthuata had never sent after the murderers as 
he had promised. 

An otficer was at once sent on shore, with David Whippy as inter- 
preter, to tell the king what had been heard, and to demand the mur- 
derers forthwith. The king, on his part, made many asseverations 
that he had uttered no lies, and had not deceived us, but had made 
every attempt to take the murderers ; that his people were now in the 
bush, and that when they returned he would call a meeting, and let 
Captain Hudson know in the morning. 

The Porpoise joined the squadron from Ovolau, on the 7th of 

As nothing was heard from the king. Lieutenant Walker was des- 
patched on shore, with the interpreter, to ascertain the cause. The 
king replied, that he was afraid, for the people of the town of Naven- 
darra, where the murder had taken place, had sent him word, " That 
if he interfered, they would come and burn him out." This proved 
what had been for a long time suspected, that the old king's power was 
all but extinct; and Captain Hudson, under the circumstances, did not 
feel justified in punishing them. 

The day before his departure, he paid the king and chiefs a visit, 
gave them some advice relative to their future conduct, and mentioned 
to them that he was going away. The king and chiefs, with great 
naivete, replied that they were extremely glad to hear it, for they 
had been in constant dread of having their town burnt, in conse- 
quence of the number of lies that were constantly told to him of 

During the stay of the vessels at Muthuata, one of the mountaineers 
who frequented the town, stole a comb from the king's house. On 
search being made, the thief was discovered among the mangrove- 
bushes, where he was captured and taken before the king, who ordered 
his punishment after the following mode. They laid him on a canoe- 
mast, about seven inches in diameter, one end resting on a log a little 
above the ground ; his hands were tied, and his arms stretched beyond 

VOL. III. 2B 40 

314 MALOLO. 

his head on the mast; they then took a rope, an inch and a half in 
thickness, when, beginning at his ankles, they wound it around his 
body and the mast, the turns being taken not far apart, up to his 
shoulders, allowing his head only to move a little, and thus exposed 
him all day to the sun! He was, towards evening, unbound and 
suffered to go, but he could not move, and was carried by four men. 
It is supposed if the ships had not been there, another and more deadly 
punishment would have been inflicted upon him. 

I have now to speak of the examination the Porpoise made of the 
great sea-reef and islands to the west of the Asaua Group. They left 
the anchorage of Ya-asaua on the 21st of July, and shortly after dis- 
covered a sail, which proved to be the ship Triton, an American 
whaler, from which they obtained a few articles of provisions. 
Occasional soundings were found all over the space to the east 
of the island of Biva, the most western of the group, which I have 
already spoken of as being in sight from the high peaks that were 
observed on. 

On the night of the 21st the brig struck several times with great 
violence on a coral shoal, but got over in safety. The next day they 
v/ere near Biva, a long low island, with two smaller ones connected 
with it covered with cocoa-nut trees. Boats were sent out to examine 
it. The island is surrounded by a reef, and affords no anchorage ; it 
is inhabited by about fifty souls. Fifteen of them came around the 
boat's crew on their landing, armed with clubs and spears, but they 
seemed very timid and inoffensive. They said they had suffered 
much from want of food, and that some had even perished from star- 
vation. The island did not seem to produce any thing but cocoa-nuts, 
of which, after much difficulty, a few were procured. In their trade 
with us they preferred fish-hooks to any thing else, and gave as a 
reason to Alike the pilot, that with them they could obtain food. 
They stated that in times of scarcity each person was allowed no 
more than three cocoa-nuts a day. Their koro was small and not far 
from the place of landing; but it was not visited, as they seemed 
unwilling that the party should do so. 

After obtaining sights for chronometers and making the necessary 
examinations, they returned to the brig, and found the whaling-ship 
in company. 

The reef that surrounds Biva extends three miles to the south 
of the island. Near its southern end is the opening, but it is not 
practicable even for a small vessel, without danger from the nume- 
rous coral lumps. 

MALOLO. 315 

The great sea-reef was entirely lost sight of until approaching 
towards Malolo and the small islands to the north of it. The latter 
are numerous, and as they have no names, and are< as it were, 
detached from the Asaua Group, I have called the separate islands 
after some of the officers of the Expedition, and the whole the 
Hudson Isles. Finding also many others in a cluster on the north- 
east side of the group, I have given them the name of Ringgold Isles, 
and named the several islands after some of the officers engaged in the 
survey of them. 

On the 25th, the Porpoise passed through the Malolo Passage, and 
shortly after joined company with the tender, near Malolo, as has been 
before related. 

The reunion of the several vessels of the squadron did not give rise 
to the feeling of pleasure which had attended such meetings on other 
occasions. A deep gloom on the contrary was spread over the minds 
of all by the melancholy fate of their comrades, who had been the 
victims of the butchery at Malolo. In honour of their memories a 
funeral sermon was preached, on the 10th August, by the chaplain, 
before the assembled officers and crews. The address was afTectins: 
and appropriate, and on our arrival at Oahu was published at the 
request of the officers. 

On the 10th of August, in the afternoon, the squadron beat down to 
Mali, and all the necessary preparations were made for going to sea 
the next day. Among these, several transfers were made in the 
officers of the squadron. 

But a few parts of the group still required some further examination, 
viz.: Natava Bay, lying to the eastward, together with Rambe Island 
and the adjacent reefs, and the sea-reef extending from Kie Island 
towards Round Island. I was desirous, also, of looking after our ship- 
wrecked countrymen on Turtle Island. I therefore gave the Porpoise 
and tender orders to execute these remaining duties, for which see 
Appendix XY. 

We beat out of the passage of Mali, and discharged all the in- 
terpreters and pilots we had employed. They were paid off, and 
put on board their schooner the Kai-viti. It gives me pleasure to 
bear testimony to their respectability and good conduct during our 

The services of these men were of great value to the Expedition. 
To their acquaintance with the natives, I feel myself indebted for 
much of the information I have been able to give of this extraordinary 


I\l A L O L O. 

On taking our final departure from these islands, all of us felt great 
pleasure ; Vendovi alone manifested his feeling by shedding tears at 
the last view of his native land. 





2B2 (317) 


184 0. 

The Feejee Group is situated between the latitudes of 15° 30' and 
19° 30' S., and the longitudes of 177° E., and 178° W. It comprises 
one hundred and fifty-four islands, sixty-five of which are inhabited. 
The remaining eighty-nine are occasionally resorted to by the natives 
for the purpose of fishing, and taking biche de mar. There are also 
numerous reefs and shoals. The latter occupied much of our time 
and attention, and, with the numerous harbours, have been fully 

The shortness of the time we spent in the group may perhaps incline 
some to doubt the accuracy of our surveys. I am however well satis- 
fied myself, that with the exception of the south side of Kantavu, every 
portion of the group has been as thoroughly examined as is necessary 
for any nautical purpose, or for those of general geography. The south 
side of Kantavu, according to the reports of the natives and white 
pilots, contains no harbours, affords no shelter for vessels, and more- 
over had been already examined by the French Expedition. 

During our stay at Levuka, we obtained full sets of moon culmi- 
nating stars for the longitude, placing it in 178° 52' 40-78" E. ; and 
circummeridian observations of sun and stars, making its latitude 17° 
40' 46-79" S. For the other points whose positions were determined, 
I must refer to our tables. These were all carefully fixed by meridian 
distances from Levuka, in the island of Ovolau, which occupies nearly 
a central position in the group. Its position will be more clearly per- 
ceived and understood by reference to the map of these islands, which 
will be found in the atlas. At Ovolau, a regular series of observations 
for magnetic results were gone through. Some interesting magnetic 



disturbances took place, which were observed with Gauss's needle, and 
will be found in the chapter on magnetism, where also are recorded 
the dip and variation at the different points. 

For the manner in which the detail of the survey of this group was 
accomplished, I have to refer to the Hydrographical Memoir, where it 
will be fully explained and illustrated. Taking into account the methods 
employed, and the means placed at my disposal, it will, I trust, be 
apparent that the comparatively short time in which so great a quantity 
of work was performed, can be no reason why its results should not be 
relied upon. 

Besides the four vessels of the squadron, which were for a con- 
siderable part of the time under way, seventeen boats were actively 
engaged in the surveys. Even the amount of work performed will 
give but little idea how arduous the duties were. The boats were 
absent from the vessels from fifteen to twenty days at a time, during 
which the officers and men rarely landed, and were continually in 
danger from the treachery of the natives, who were ever upon the 
watch for an opportunity to cut them off. It gives me great pleasure 
to be able, with but few exceptions, to bear witness to the untiring zeal 
of those who were attached to the Expedition, and to the accuracy 
with which the work was performed ; and in the cases where error or 
careless work was suspected, the doubtful parts were resurveyed, cor- 
recting any mistake which might have been committed in the first 
instance, and verifying the survey where it was accurate. 

The opportunities of the naturalists were as great as could he 
afforded them consistently with their safety. It was considered 
desirable that the interior of the large islands should be reached; this 
was partly effected up the river Wai-levu, by Lieutenant Budd. 
But journeys on foot into the interior were out of the question, and 
only those parts of the islands in the immediate proximity of the sea- 
shore could consequently be visited with safety. Many novelties 
have been obtained. For a more full description of the several 
branches of natural history and botany, I would refer the reader to 
the reports of the different naturalists. 

The climate of the different sides of the islands may, as in all the 
large Polynesian islands, be distinguished as wet or dry, the weather 
side being subject to showers, while to leeward it is remarkably dry, 
and droughts are of long continuance. The difference in tem- 
perature is however small, and on comparing the meteorological 
journal kept on board the Peacock, on the west side of Vililevu, 
with that kept at Levuka, I find that at the same hours they stand 
within two degrees of each other. 


The appearance of the vegetation shows this difference of cHmate 
more strongly than the thermometer ; for on the lee side, the islands 
have a baiTen and burnt appearance, while the weather sides exhibit 
a luxuriant tropical vegetation. 

Our stay in this group was not long enough to enable us to speak 
of the vicissitudes of the seasons, yet we had time to observe a great 
change in the plants, whose flowers succeeded each other. It is by 
these that the natives are guided in their agricultural occupations. 
Thus the scarlet flowers of the Erythrina indica, mark the season of 
planting, and, according to some of the white residents, the natives 
encourage the growth of this plant near the towns, for the purpose of 
pointing out the proper time for this important operation in agriculture. 

The mean temperature at Ovolau, during the six weeks that the 
observatory was established there, was 77-81°. The barometer stood 
at 30-126 in. The lowest temperature was 62° ; the highest 96°. The 
first occurred at 4 a. m. on the 23d, the last at 2 p. m. on the 25th June. 

The only bad weather that was experienced in the Feejee Group, 
was from the 7th to the 11th July, during which time the wind blew 
constantly from the southeast, and was attended with a light rain. 

The winds, from April to November, prevail from the east-northeast 
to southeast quarter, at times blowing a fresh trade-wind. From No- 
vember to April northerly winds are often experienced, and in the 
months of February and March heavy gales are frequent. They 
usually begin at the northeast, and pass around to the north and north- 
west, from which quarters they blow with most violence ; then hauling 
to the westward, they moderate. They generally last two or three 
days. A very heavy gale was experienced from 22d of February to 
the 25th, which may have been the same that was felt by us at New 
Zealand, on the 1st of March. If they were connected, it would make 
the vortex upwards of six hundred miles in diameter. The only data 
I was enabled to get, at all to be depended upon, was from Captain 
Eagleston, who was lying in his ship under Toba Peak, on the north 
shore of Vitilevu. The gale began from the northeast, with heavy 
rain, on the morning of the 22d. During the night, and morning of the 
23d, it was more to the north, increasing with violent gusts. They let 
go a third anchor, and sent down the topmasts and lower yards. On 
the 24th, the gale was the same, attended with much rain and wind, 
hauling to the westward at midnight of the 25th. It became north- 
west in the morning, when it began to moderate, the wind hauling 
gradually to the southward, when it cleared off. The inissionaries 
could give me no further information, than that the gale had lasted four 
days. This gale was not felt at Tonga, although they had strong winds 

VOL. III. 41 


there at that time. It is much to be regretted that the foreign missionary 
establishments should not be furnished with a few instruments to aid 
them in making observations upon the climate. I have found some of 
them without even a thermometer. 

The tides throughout the group appear to be very irregular, until 
they are closely studied. The flood sets in opposite directions on the 
eastern and western sides of the group. Thus, on the south side of 
Vanua-levu, it flows from the east as far as Buia Point, where it is met 
by the flood coming from the west. It is high water at Ovolau at 
6^ 10™, on the full and change of the moon. At Muthuata 5'' 30"'. 
The manner in which the tide flows will be better understood by refer- 
ence to the map of the gi'oup, on which it is exhibited. 

From the observations of the Porpoise, and information obtained from 
the natives, there appears to be a continual current setting to the east- 
ward, at the rate of about half a mile an hour. This current we ob- 
served to exist both on the north and south sides of the island; and lam 
disposed to think it would be found to prevail for the most of the year. 

The greatest rise and fall of the tide is six feet. The currents set 
strongly in and out of the passages, until the water rises above the 
level of the reefs, when it flows over in all directions, and its force is 
much decreased. 

Earthquakes are not unfrequent : according to the white residents, 
they generally occur in the month of February. Several shocks are 
often felt in a single night. The only place where there are any 
visible signs of volcanic heat, is Savu-savu ; but several islands in the 
group exhibit signs of craters. One of these is at the west end of 
Kantavu. There are others at Nairai, Goro, and in the Ringgold 
Isles. The peaks, however, are usually basaltic cones or needles, 
some of which rise to the height of several thousand feet, and no run- 
ning stream of lava has been seen occurring on any of these islands. 
It may consequently be inferred, that the date of the formation of these 
islands is more remote than that of the other groups of Polynesia. 
Volcanic conglomerate, tufa, and compact and scoriaceous basalts are 
found, of every texture and colour, and in all states of decomposition. 
When decomposed, they afford a rich soil, which, clothed with a 
luxuriant foliage, covers the islands to their very tops, clinging to every 
point where it is possible for a plant to take root. This rich vegetation 
gives a degree of beauty to the aspect of the whole group, that is 
scarcely surpassed in any part of the world. 

In relation to the population of these islands, it was found difficult 
to obtain information that could be implicitly relied upon, and we had 
-eason to suspect that the white residents rather overrated the number 



of inhabitants. There is, however, one circumstance, which renders 
it more easy to obtain satisfactory information in relation to the 
amount of population in this group, than in almost any of the others, 
namely, the hostile feelings which exist between the different tribes. 
This renders it impossible for the inhabitants of another district to 
flock to that where ships are lying ; and there is no chance of counting 
the same persons a second time, as we inferred it was probable had 
been the case elsewhere, particularly at Tahiti. 

The number of natives at Levuka during our stay seldom varied 
more than could be accounted for by visits from the neighbouring 
towns. I adopted the plan of counting the inhabitants wherever I had 
an opportunity, in order to check the estimate given me by others. 
The following account of the numbers in the several districts, &c., I 
believe to be as correct as it is possible to arrive at. 

The islands of Ovolau and Kantavu are the most thickly peopled. 
The whole group contains about 130,000 inhabitants, who are divided 
as follows : 

Ambau . 












South side, from Rewa to R 



North shore from Verata to 













































Asaua Group 


Eastern Gro 






This of course can be considered only as an approximation, but I 
am inclined to believe it rather above than below the actual number 
of inhabitants. It will be perceived that I have set down no more than 
five thousand for the number of inhabitants of the interior, although 
there are a number of persons who believe that this portion of the 
large islands is densely peopled. But all my own observations tend to 
confirm me in the opinion, that there are very few inhabitants in the 
interior of these islands. The circumstances attending a residence 
there are so contrary to Feejee habits, that I cannot give credit to a 
statement so entirely at variance with what we find at the other 
Polynesian islands. The food that the natives most esteem, is gathered 
near the sea-shore and from the sea, and there is little probability that 
any persons would dwell in the interior unless compelled by necessity. 

The natives of the different islands are of various sizes: some have 
their forms more fully developed than others, as will have been seen. 
In the opinion of the white residents, the natives of Ovolau were thought 
to be of inferior size to those of the other islands ; this, however, did 
not strike us particularly, and I was of opinion that they were a fair 
specimen of the natives of the group. Those who have Tonga blood 
are designated as the Vitonga, and are decidedly the best-looking 
natives that are met with. These are to be found more among the 
eastern islands than elsewhere, showing the effects of the intercourse. 

Our accounts of the language are derived from the missionaries, 
who are making great exertions to become thoroughly acquainted 
with it, in its different dialects, of which there are several in the 
group. They have found more than ordinary difficulty in bringing 
the language into a written shape, and have not yet fully completed the 
task. The characters they have employed for this purpose are the 
Roman, and they have made such changes in the usual sounds of some 
of the letters, as are absolutely necessary to express the peculiar sounds 
of the Feejee tongue. The vowels are used generally to express the 
sounds they denote in the French language, except the broad sound of 
the a, which that letter is not always confined to ; Z> is used to represent 
the sound m^h ; c, that of the Greek &; d is sounded 71^ d; g, ri'g. Of 
all the letters, r and s retain most closely the sounds by which they are 
known to us ; t has a peculiar sound, partaking of th, and in some of 
the districts is not used at all. The sound of k is entirely wanting in 
the Somu-somu dialect, whilst it is much used and distinctly uttered in 
the others. 

In the Lakemba dialect they use the j, sounded nja, which they 
derive from the Tongese. 

The following is the alphabet adopted by the missionaries. It con- 


sists of twenty-four letters, being the same as our own, with the excep- 
tion of the X, which is wanting. They were kind enough to give me 
the sounds of the different letters, which are as follows: 

A, a, as in father, or in manner. M, ma. 

B, mb, as Bau, sounded Mbau. N, na. 

C, tha or la, sounded tha. O, o. 

D, nda or dina, sounded ndina. P, pa, it is sounded like va. 

E, eda, sounded enda. Q, nka. 

F, fa, soimded like v. R, ra. 

G, nga. S, sa. 
H, there is no aspirate. T, ta. 

I, e, eng-. U, u, French sound. 

J, ja, this sound is seldom used. V, va. 

K, ka. W, wa. 

L, la. Y, ya. 

The missionaries were at first inclined to doubt that any affinity 
existed betw^een the Feejee language and the other dialects of Poly- 
nesia ; but this arose from a superficial acquaintance wdth it, for on 
close study they became satisfied that their original impressions had 
been prematurely adopted, and they are now satisfied that it is no 
more than a branch from the great root whence all the Polynesian 
languages are derived. 

Originality and boldness appear to be the characteristics of the 
Feejee tongue. It has been found to be extremely copious, for a 
vocabulary of five thousand six hundred words has been already 
compiled, and still much remains to be accomplished. It furnishes 
distinctive names for every shrub and every kind of grass the islands 
yield ; the names for various kinds of yam amount to more than fifty ; 
each species of taro and banana has its distinctive appellation ; and 
there are words for every variety of cocoa-nut, as well as for every 
stage of its ripeness, from the bud to the mature fruit. 

Words may be found to express every disease to which the body is 
liable, as well as every emotion of the mind. 

The most delicate shades of meaning may be expressed ; thus, there 
are no less than five words equivalent to our " foolishness," each of 
which has its peculiar signification. 

The superlative degree of adjectives is expressed in six or seven 
different ways ; but all of these are not used at any one place, and this 
constitutes one of the features to which the differences in dialect are to 
be ascribed. These differences, however, are only verbal and not 
idiomatic, and are marked by an omission of letters. 

According to the missionaries, at Rewa and in its neighbourhood the 
language is spoken in its greatest purity. The difference of dialect 



was experienced by our parties in places, which rendered it difficult at 
times to communicate with the natives, but this was apparently con- 
fined to small districts. The natives themselves say, that the language 
of those dwelling on the west end of Vitilevu, is different from that 
which is generally spoken in the group. At the island of Malolo, 
which lies off this part of Vitilevu, Vv'e found no difficulty, however, in 
the communications we had with the natives. But this subject will be 
amply treated in the Philological Department, and on that perhaps I 
may have trespassed too much already. 

The language has the dual number, and plurals for expressing large 
and small numbers. It has distinct inclusive and exclusive pronouns, 
and certain pronouns that are only used in speaking of articles of food. 
One of its peculiarities is the combination of consonants without the 
aid of the usual number of vowels ; as, for instance, " ndrondrolagi," 
a rainbow ; and this constitutes such a difficulty in its pronunciation, 
that natives of no other group can utter these sounds, unless they lived 
among the Feejees from infancy. 

The language affords various forms of salutation, according to the 
rank of the parties ; and great attention is paid to insure that the 
salutation shall have the proper form. Women make their salutations 
in different words from those employed by the men, and no less care 
is taken by them to observe the appropriate formula. Thus, the 
wives of the matanivanua, or landholders, say, on passing a chief's 
house, " a-a-vakau dn-wa-a ;" women of the lower orders say, " ndnoo ;" 
and fishermen's wives say " wa-wa," stooping, with their hands behind 
their heads. 

Equals salute each other with " ei vilitui." Men of the lower 
orders address chiefs, " duo-wa turanga," and the chiefs reply, " ivea 

They have also forms of expression equivalent to our " yes, sir," " no, 
sir ;" as " io saka," and " sanga saka." 

When the men approach a chief they cry out " duo-wa," to which 
the chief replies, " wa !" The salutation is not accompanied by any 
obeisance of the body, except when a chief is met on his route, when 
all retire out of his path, crouch, and lower their clubs. 

The mode of salutation varies in different parts of the group ; but 
in all, a chief would be thought ill-mannered if he did not return the 
salutation of a common man. 

Dr. Fox, the acting surgeon of the Vincennes, had an opportunity, 
during the stay of the ship at the island of Ovolau, to examine many 
of the diseases of the natives, and of practising among them to some 
extent. The most remarkable disease, and one that is believed to be 


peculiar to this group of islands, is what the natives call the " dthoke." 
It somewhat resembles the " yaws" of the West Indies, so common 
among the negroes. In adults who are afflicted with it, it assumes 
the form of secondarj'- syphilis, and those unacquainted with the 
history of the disease, would unhesitatingly pronounce it a syphilitic 
taint. It usually attacks children from two to nine years of age, 
and, according to the natives' and white men's experience, none 
escape. Dr. Fox is of the same opinion ; every child of ten years of 
age that fell under his observation, had had this disease, and in many 
cases, still had it. 

Its first symptoms are fretfulness and inactivity on the part of 
the child ; a swelling of the fingers and pains in the bones follow ; 
these pains, which are rheumatic in character, continue at intervals 
throughout the disease, and are followed by small red spots in dif- 
ferent parts of the body. These become round pustules, varying in 
size, and result in ulcers. After the eruption has appeared, the pains 
about the bones cease to be so general. Sometimes they disappear in 
fine weather, but return when it is damp and wet. In other cases 
they lose the fugitive character, but have a constant fixed pain over 
some bone, which is not relieved until the integuments inflame and 
carious bones find exit. 

In the first attack there is much irritation, particularly at night, 
and more or less fever. This also disappears in most cases as soon as 
the eruption is out. The mouth, arms, and umbilicus, ulcerate around 
the whole circumference. The extent of the disease about these 
parts, Dr. Fox thinks is owing to the constant scratching of the 
child. Very large and extensive ulcers, at the same time, exist in 
various parts of the body, some having the appearance of a fungous 
mass. In adults the pericranium is oftener affected than in children, 
the bone is denuded, and frequently pieces of the table of the skull 
come away. In some cases the eruption does not appear, or after 
appearing immediately dries up. These cases are said to prove inva- 
riably fatal. Cases are by no means rare of the loss of the bones of the 
palate and nose. In several instances we observed the upper lip en- 
tirely gone, and the teeth and gums denuded. The females, in particu- 
lar, are very often seen with deep cicatrices about the lips, so much so 
that in making inquiries relative to their customs, I was induced to ask 
Whippy, if making cicatrices in their lips was one of them. Dr. Fox 
imputes it to the dthoke, though Whippy refers it to tattooing : I am 
inclined to believe the former is the true cause. This disease varies in 
duration, from nine months to three years. The ulcerations continue 
longest on those parts of the body that are easily reached by the 


fingers, and those about the mouth frequently remain after every other 
vestige of the disease has disappeared. The ulcers begin to heal in the 
centre, even while yet enlarging at the edges. They generally attain 
the size of a dollar, and are apt to become fungous about the mucous 
orifices. The natives say this disease has always prevailed among 
them, and always speak of it as a Feejee disease. We have observed 
something of a similar nature on the other islands which I have here- 
tofore mentioned. 

For this disease they have several remedies ; and when the pain is 
severe and fixed, they make incisions over the part, which gives 
relief. The ulcers are usually left to nature, no applications being 
made until they are very foul, from the quantities of pus discharged, 
which serves in place of a covering. The mother takes a child who 
is affected with the disease to a running brook, and with a sharp shell 
or piece of bamboo, scrapes the ulcers all down even with the skin : 
she then rubs them with soot, and the ulcers usually heal rapidly after 
such treatment. It seems a very painful one, but I did not find the 
children complain or cry much while undergoing it. 

They generally believe that the disease will run its course, but they, 
avoid eating pork or any thing sweet, as they have found, by expe- 
rience, it is hurtful and aggravates the disease. If the eruption has a 
tendency to dry up at too early a period, Dr. Fox says they give an 
infusion which has the effect of driving it out; but he did not learn 
particularly what it was. 

While at Levuka, Dr. Fox had several of the white men, affected 
with the disease, under treatment. One of them had had it for about 
a year. Dr. Fox says that this man was improving when he first saw 
him, but was still labouring under severe pains in damp weather. All 
the ulcerations had been healed excepting one upon the fi'ontal bone, 
which was exposed. This ulcer was of the size of a shilling. He 
placed his patient on a generous diet, gave him sarsaparilla freely, and 
before we left Ovolau his pains had left him entirel3^ The outer table 
of the skull came away, and the parts healed over it. He saw this man 
a month afterwards, when he was perfectly well. He adopted the same 
treatment with a number of others, applying the Citron ung. to the 
ulcers, which operated like a charm, healing them up very rapidly. 

Foreigners are not exempt from this disease. If they remain any 
time in the group, they are affected in the same manner as the natives. 
Age seems to influence it but little. 

The natives assign no cause for the disease, but Dr. Fox thinks the 
climate, diet, and habits of the natives, are the general causes pro- 
ducing it. 


The influenza is at times prevalent among the natives, where the 
foreigners call it the "dandy cough." It was so prevalent, that 
scarcely one escaped. The natives give it the name of the Papalangi 
disease, as they suppose that it was brought among them by the whites. 
It made its appearance among them some years since, and again about 
a year before our arrival. Dr. Fox thinks, from the description he 
received from the natives, that it resembles in all particulars the epi- 
demic that raged so extensively in America about the same time. From 
the natives' account, the last time that it occurred, there were not 
enough of well people in the village to look after the sick. In some 
villages one-half the population died. Whippy did not think this account 
exaggerated, and many of the whites say that at least one-tenth of the 
inhabitants fell victims to it, either at the time of the attack or from the 
effects of it. 

Whippy said that the mode of treating it was to drink plenty of 
warm water, roll themselves up in mats, and lay themselves down in 
their houses, where many of them died. Tui Levuka, when asked for 
information about it, spoke of it with much dread. 

From the observations throughout the group, we' found that elephan- 
tiasis did not prevail to the extent that we had remarked at the more 
eastern and northern groups. It is said to prevail most at the isle of 
Kantavu, but as we had but little communication with its natives, I am 
not able to assert that this is correct. 

Dr. Fox remarks, that rheumatism is very common, more particu- 
larly among the women. Acute rheumatism is not very prevalent. 
The pain is principally experienced in the long bones, and they relieve 
it as they do other pains, by making deep incisions over the part 
affected : for this purpose sometimesj when cutting about the joints, 
they sever the tendons. The effect of this practice is seen in large 
scars upon almost every individual. 

Dr. Fox saw a lad, of ten years old, who had been cut in all direc- 
tions for a severe rheumatism he was subject to. Exostosis of all the 
long bones, and also of the skull, were apparent on him. He had, 
however, received so much relief from it, that he rather sought the 
operation. He suffered the most severely at night, and in bad weather. 

Dysentery has never prevailed here as an epidemic, although cases 
now and then occur, from irregularities, as elsewhere. The disease 
of the spine which we found so prevalent aft the Samoan Group, is 
quite rare here. 

Of phthisis pulmonalis Dr. Fox did not see a case, aind he thinks it 
must be rare. In his inquiries among the white men^ he heard of a 
disease somewhat resembling it, and which? he thinks, may be it, or 

VOL. III. 2C2 42 


some acute disease of the lungs. This was said frequently to attack 
fine stout and healthy young men, who would be seen engaged in all 
kinds of sports with their companions, and apparently as active and in 
as good health as any around them, and would suddenly contract a 
cough, become emaciated, and in a few days it would prove fatal to 

Fevers, whether intermittent or remittent, are unknown. 

Ophthalmia is less common here than in the other groups. 

Hernia is as frequent as it is in the United States. 

Primary syphilis does not exist among the people, as far as the 
information of the whites sjoes. No case of it occurred among our 
crew during our visit; nor are the other diseases of this kind found 

Bad ulcers on the extremities are frequent, and this is one of the 
most disgusting things about the Feejee men. I might say, that al- 
most every third man has either his fingers or his toes ulcerated ; but, 
though more common among the Feejee men, it is also frequent among 
the natives of the other groups. These ulcers are often neglected, even 
among the chiefs. Our friend Mr. Phillips had a very bad one on his 
finger. The whites who reside among the natives, told me that they 
frequently had them, but that when treated in time they were easily 
cured. The natives, however, generally leave them without any appli- 

They have no physicians, but were anxious to receive medical 
advice from our surgeons ; and, when the kings or chiefs took medi- 
cine, it sometimes happened that all their people were desirous to take 
it also. 

They occasionally suffered great distress from gunshot wounds, but 
the nature of their climate, and the vegetable diet to which they are at 
most times restricted, operate to efl^ect cures in cases that would else- 
where be dangerous under the most skilful treatment. 

By their constant use of human subjects, they have become some- 
what acquainted with the anatomy of the human frame. They can, 
therefore, perform several surgical operations, in a rude way, and are, 
at times, successful in their treatment of diseases, although, from the 
following anecdotes, they have more confidence in the skill and know- 
ledge of the whites than in themselves, however rude the practitioner. 
One of the natives of Ambau being taken sick at Levuka, David 
Whippy (who told the story to me himself) proposed to bleed him from 
the arm, to which the native consented. Not having any lancets, 
Whippy sharpened his sheath-knife (such as is used by sailors) to as 
fine a point as he could get it, punctured the vein in the arm, and drew 


a qiuinlity of blood, which at once alTordja the native great relief. 
He soon afterwards returned to Ambau, wdiere he related the circum- 
stances to his friends. In the course of a few days several large double 
canoes arrived at Levuka from Ambau, and some of the people pro- 
ceeded to David Whippy's house, informing him that they had come 
to be bled, and that there were a number with them on the same 
errand. Whippy endeavoured to dissuade them, as they were all 
stout-looking fellows. He told them it would do them more harm than 
good, and that they did not require it ; but all he could say was of no 
avail ; they had come from Ambau to be bled, and bled they would be. 
Finding all his remonstrances fruitless, the old sheath-knife was again 
put into requisition, and the next morning the one hundred and fifty 
Ambau men returned to Ambau, having each left behind him a tin pot 
of blood. Many of the natives, since then, have become bleeders, but 
occasionally a canoe still arrives from Ambau, with subjects to un- 
dergo the operation by Whippy. 

While young, both sexes indulge in a variety of amusements. 
Among the girls, the sports, are: vimoli, which is a species of legerde- 
main performed by keeping five or six oranges circling around the 
head ; garali, similar to our hide and seek ; libigilla, or forfeits, in 
which there are two parties, one of which wraps a girl in a mat, and 
carries her to the other, who is to guess her name; if the guess be not 
correct, yams and taro must be paid for a treat. Meke (dancing) is 
also a favourite amusement. For instruction in this there are regular 
dancing-masters and mistresses, who are much esteemed, and receive 
high prices for their services. Those who can invent new figures are 
most in request. The performers in the common dance (nuka i ndina) 
are generally girls, from ten to fifteen years of age. These arrange 
themselves in a line, in a place selected for the purpose, which is usually 
a green in the village. One of them acts as leader, and stands in the 
middle of the line, a little in advance of the rest. The feet of the per- 
formers are seldom moved from the place, and the dance consists alto- 
gether of movements of the body, bowing, twisting, writhing, from side 
to side, and backwards or forwards. All join in a song, and, towards 
the close, arrange themselves in a semicircle, when the dance is brought 
to a conclusion by a simultaneous clap of the hands. 

The boys have a game which is played with sticks. One is set in 
the ground, and another, sharpened at the point, is thrown at it ; the 
first person who succeeds in striking it, wins. They have also the 
game of hide and seek, and another called vitaki, which consists in 
throwing a stick from a hollow reed. He who throws farthest is the 
winner. Men of two different towns also play this game in parties. 


A place about two hundred feet in length is cleared for this purpose, 
and it excites great interest, often producing quarrels attended with 
bloodshed, and sometimes wars. 

The older boys are trained to the use of the spear, using in the 
exercise long reeds and sticks, whose ends are rolled up in tapa, in 
order to prevent accident. 

The Feejee mode of sending messages (lotu) is as follows : a chief, 
when he wishes to send one, gives the messenger as many reeds as 
the message is to contain separate subjects. These reeds are of dif- 
ferent lengths, in order to distinguish them from each other. When 
the messenger arrives at his destination, he delivers the reeds succes- 
sively, and with each of them repeats the purport of the part of the 
message of which it is the memorial. Such messages are carried 
and delivered with great accuracy; and the messengers, when ques- 
tioned on their return, repeat them with great precision. 

A reed is also used as the pledge on closing an agreement, and the 
delivery of it makes it binding. If a chief presents a reed, or sticks 
one in the ground, it is considered as binding him to the performance 
of his promise. 

The women are kept in great subjection, and this is not accom- 
plished without severity. Their lords and masters frequently tie them 
up and flog them, and even the whites punish their native wives, which 
they say they are compelled to do, as without the discipline to which 
they are accustomed, they could not be managed. 

The women are besides never permitted to enter the mbure, nor, as 
we have seen, to eat human flesh, at least in public. They keep the 
house clean, take care of the children, weed the yam and taro beds, 
and carry the roots home after the men have dug them up. Like 
other property, wives may be sold at pleasure, and the usual price is 
a musket. Those who purchase them may do with them as they 
please, even to knocking them on the head. 

The girls of the lower classes of a town or koro, are entirely at the 
disposal of the chief, who may sell or bargain them away as he pleases. 

Next to war, agriculture is the most general occupation of this 
people. To this they pay great attention, and have a great number 
of esculent fruits and roots which they cultivate, in addition to many 
spontaneous products of the soiL 

Of the bread-fruit tree they have nine different kinds, distinguished 
by fruits of difl^erent sizes and shapes, and the figure of their leaves. 
The variety called umbudu, is the largest, sweetest, and most agree- 
able to the taste ; those known by the names of botta-bot and bucudo, 
are also excellent. 


The fruit of the latter are oval-shaped and prickly; when baked 
or roasted, they are not unlike a good custard-pudding. Nature 
seems to have been particularly bountiful in her supply of this fruit, 
for the varieties, in season, follow each other throughout the year. 
March and April, however, are the months in which it is found in the 
greatest perfection; and it may be considered a fortunate circum- 
stance, that many of the sorts ripen between the seasons of taro and 
yams. If the bread-fruit is to be preserved, it is prepared by scraping 
off the rind with a piece of bivalve shell ; a hole is then dug in the 
ground about three feet deep, of the form of an inverted bell, the 
sides of which are lined with banana-leaves. This is filled with the 
fruit to within a few inches of the top, when the whole is thatched 
with banana-leaves, to preserve it from the rain ; many stones are laid 
on the top to press it down, and keep the pigs from it. After a while 
it undergoes fermentation, and subsides into a mass, somewhat of the 
consistency of new cheese. These pits, when opened, emit a nauseous, 
fetid, and sour odour, and the colour of the contents is of a greenish 
yellow. In this state it is called mandrai-uta, or native bread, of 
which they distinguish several kinds, as mandrai n'dalo, mandrai y 
taro, mandrai sivisivi of the ivi, mandrai vundi of bananas, &c. It is 
said that it will keep several years, and is cooked with cocoa-nut milk, 
in which state it forms an agreeable and I should think nutritious food. 
To my taste, however, the bread-fruit is better baked when fresh, and 
I found it superior here to that of any of the other islands we visited. 

There are other uses to which the bread-fruit tree is put ; the green 
leaves are employed to serve their victuals on ; they are also burnt, 
and form a black ashes, from which the natives draw a ley, which 
they use in washing their heads to destroy the vermin, which so much 
infest them. 

The general height of the bread-fruit trees is fifty feet, and some of 
the leaves are two feet in length. 

The banana is called by the natives vundi. This fruit is insipid, but 
the natives make a very nice pudding by forming a cavity in the fruit, 
which they fill with finely-grated cocoa-nut, and pour over it the milk ; 
it is then tied up in the leaves and boiled. They have five or six 
varieties of this fruit. Of the plantain we found three varieties, culti- 
vated to a great extent in Vanua-levu. The natives, instead of 
hanging up the fruit until it becomes mellow, bury it in the ground, 
which causes it to appear black on the outside, and destroys the 
flavour. The wild species of Tahiti and Samoa, called by the natives 
fae, was here found cultivated, displaying its rich orange-coloured 
fruit, densely set on large upright spikes, but not wild. 


The cocoa-nut, called niu, I was told by Whippy that the natives 
say they have three varieties, but I believe our botanists obtained no 
more than two, which are distinguished by the brown and green 
colours of the nuts. The two varieties of the tree are much the same 
in appearance, and frequently grow to the height of seventy or eighty 
feet ; each of them bears from ten to twenty nuts. The natives are in 
the habit of collecting the sap from the flower-stalks when young, by 
cutting off" the extremity, and suspending to it a vessel : this, when 
fresh, forms a pleasant beverage ; it has a tartness that it acquires by 
the length of time it takes to run, but is in other respects very like the 
milk of a green or a fresh cocoa-nut. What all voyagers have said of 
this tree we found to be true; only instead of its uses being exaggerated, 
as some have supposed, they are in my opinion underrated: a native 
may well ask if a land contains cocoa-nuts, for if it does, he is assured 
it will afford him abundance to supply his wants. One circumstance, 
to which my attention was early drawn by Mr. Brackenridge, was 
the peculiarity of its growth, which would seem to point out some- 
thing peculiar in its constitution: it does not thrive higher than six 
hundred feet above the sea. All those seen above that height had 
a sickly appearance ; and the lower it grew, even where its roots 
were washed by the salt water, the more prolific and flourishing it 

There was a use to which it was applied here that we had not before 
seen : the kernel of the old cocoa-nut is scraped, and pressed through 
woody fibres ; the pulp thus formed is mixed with grasses and scented 
woods, and suffered to stand in the hot sun, which causes the oil to 
rise to the top, where it is skimmed off". The residuum, called kora, is 
pounded or mashed, wrapped in banana-leaves, and then buried under 
salt water, covered with piles of stones. This preparation is a com- 
mon food of the natives, and will keep for a long time ; they prepare 
it as a kind of soup, which serves them (according to the whites) for 
tea or coffee. A large quantity of the oil is made and exported. Of 
this a part reaches the United States, where it is manufactured into 
soap, and again sent to Polynesia to be consumed. The wood of the 
cocoa-nut is only used for fortifying their towns, and as sills for their 

The ivi of the natives, (Inocarpus edulis,) otherwise called the Tahiti 
chestnut, produces a large nut that is eaten by them, and is the prin- 
cipal food of the mountaineers. This they store away in pits, in the 
same manner as the bread-fruit. 

The papaw apple, (Carica papaya,) called walete, is in great abun- 
dance, but is not prized by the natives. 


Shaddocks were in great abundance. Both the red and white kinds 
are indigenous. 

The same bitter orange was found here as at the Samoan Group. 
The natives of Feejee call it moh-tiri. The trees grow to the heiglit 
of forty feet. They give the name of moli ni papalangi, or the white 
man's orange, to the lemon and sweet orange. They were both intro- 
duced by Mr. Vanderford, (from Tahiti,) about the year 1823. 

Several new native fruits were seen. One of these, called taravou, 
is about the size of a plum. It grows on a large tree, and has a bitter 
and acrid taste : the natives are very fond of it. 

The indava is also much esteemed, both by the natives and whites. 
The fruit is about the size and shape of a hen's egg, with the exception 
of being flattened at both ends: it has a glutinous, honey-like taste, has 
a kernel, and grows on a tree about fifty feet high. 

The Malay apple, called kabita, was also found here, though it does 
not appear to be as plentiful as at Tahiti and the Samoan Group. 

They have also several other fruits, which are only used in times of 
scarcity, and when hard pressed by famine. 

The new species of tomato, (Solanum,) of which mention has already 
been made, may be almost classed with the fruits ; it is cultivated by 
the natives on account of its fruit, which is round*, smooth, and about 
the size of a large peach; when ripe, its colour is yellow; its taste was 
by some thought to have a strawberry flavour. We have made every 
endeavour to introduce the plant into the United States, by sending 
home seeds, some few of which have fallen into good hands, and been 
taken care of; but I regretted to find the greatest part had been dis- 
tributed to those who had not taken any care in its cultivation. Fruit 
from these seeds has, however, been produced in Philadelphia. The 
plant will, no doubt succeed in the southern section of the Union. It 
is supposed to be biennial. There were also two smaller varieties of 
the same species, which the natives eat, and which are about the size 
of a small egg. 

Mr. Brackenridge also found a nutmeg (Myristica) on the heights 
of Ovolau. The fruit of this, when green, is about the size of a 
pigeon's egg, with a round kernel and a large quantity of mace 
around it. He describes the kernel as having a greasy taste, and 
little of that aromatic flavour distinctive of the nutmeg known to us. 
From a wound in the bark of the tree issued a red acrid juice. We 
did not learn that the natives make any use of this plant. 

Pumpkins, cucumbers, Cape gooseberry, guava, pine-apples, water- 
melons, and large red capsicums, are in abundance. 

The chief proportion, however, of the food of the natives is derived 


from yams (Dioscorea) of which they have five or six varieties. One 
kind is found growing wild on Ovolau. The season when they begin 
to plant their yams is pointed out by the blossoming of the Malay 
apple. This happens about the beginning of August. The old yam 
is cut into triangular pieces, of w^hich from four to six are obtained 
from each root, according to its size. Care, however, is taken to 
notch each root on the top, in order that no mistake may occur in 
planting. Sometimes entire small roots are planted. One set is put 
into each of the hills, which are three or four feet apart. The yams 
are from six to eight months in coming to perfection, and the yam- 
digging season is in April or May. The crop is an uncertain one, 
and the product is from one to fifteen roots in each hill. In some 
places the yam attains a very large size, as in Somu-somu, where I 
saw some four or five feet in length that were very farinaceous. 
Around all the koros or towns are houses for storing the supply of 
yams, in which they keep them well aired and protected from the wet. 
In all parts of the group that were not at war, we found them in great 
plenty ; indeed, they have already become an article of export, for 
cargoes of them have been taken to Sydney with profit. 

There is another root called kawai, which resembles the Malay 
batata. The tuber of this is oblong and of a brownish colour; the 
outer skin is hard, and when cooked, peels off like the bark of a 
birch tree : it is white and farinaceous, of a sweet and agreeable taste, 
and very prolific. The natives, in lifting the large tubers, usually 
allow the smaller ones to remain for the succeeding crop. Our horti- 
culturist was of opinion it would be desirable to introduce this root 
into our country, which any vessel coming direct from the Feejees 
could easily effect by bringing the small tubers alive: it would un- 
doubtedly be a great acquisition. 

At Rewa, a root called ivia is found in the marshy grounds, which 
is peculiar to that island. It is perennial, and if left to grow several 
years, reaches an immense size, becoming thicker than a man's body, 
and several yards long. It has many roots, which send forth others, 
all of which throw out leaves in various directions, so that a single 
plant will form a perfect jungle. When used for food, the outside is 
scraped or peeled ofl', and the inside, after being cut in pieces, is 
boiled ; but, however well cooked, it is usually tough. It is also made 
into a mandrai, called mandrai sivi-sivi. 

The Rewa people, in consequence of their possessing this root, never 
fear a famine. 

Taro is grown here in vast quantities on the margin of streams, by 
which the patches are irrigated. When the root is ripe, the greatei 


part of it is cut off from the leaves ; the portion which is left attached 
to them is at once replanted. These roots are prepared for eating by 
boiling, and when not properly cooked an acrid juice remains, which 
will smart the mouth and throat. They are also pounded into a kind 
of flour, that is preserved by kneading it up into large balls, which 
they make into puddings with cocoa-nut milk. Large quantities of 
taro are also stored away in pits, where it becomes sour, and is after- 
wards used by the natives as mandrai. 

The natives also make use of the arrow-root (Maranta arundinacea), 
which is found in great abundance in a wild state. They pound it up 
into a kind of flour, for puddings. This plant might be cultivated ex- 
tensively, and would prove a valuable article of commerce. 

Sugar-cane is somewhat cultivated by the Feejees, who use it for 
chewing, for thatching their houses, and for arrows. It also grows 
wild in all parts of the islands. 

The root of the ti (Dracaena), which they wrap closely up and bake, 
contains even more saccharine juice than the sugar-cane, and is very 
agreeable to the taste. 

The turmeric (Curcuma) also claims much of their attention. The 
natives dry it, and pulverize the part of the root below the bulb be- 
tween stones. It is used by the women to rub over their bodies to 
promote health, and in their opinion beauty ; from this habit they have 
a yellow oily appearance, and some are seen who are of a saflron 

Tobacco is cultivated in quantities, and smoked with avidity. They 
are exceedingly pleased with a gift of it ; however small, it is always 
thankfully received ; this, however, is the prevailing taste throughout 
Polynesia, and the farther west one travels, the more the natives seem 
to be addicted to its use. 

We were told by the whites of a native nankeen-coloured cotton : 
of this we did not get specimens ; but we found another, which 
produces a fine white cotton. They have also the cotton-tree (Gossy- 
pium herbaceum), which grows to the height of fifteen feet. 

The Feejees carefully cultivate the paper mulberry (Broussonetia 
papyrifera), from which they make their tapa-cloth, and which they 
call malo. The plantations of this tree resemble young nurseries. 
The plants are cut down when the stems are about one inch in dia- 
meter ; the bark is taken off" in as long strips as possible, sometimes 
the whole length of the tree, ten or twelve feet ; it is next steeped in 
water, scraped with a conch-shell called kaku, and then macerated. 
When thus prepared it is laid on a log (nondatua) and beaten with a 
mallet (ike), three sides of which are grooved longitudinally, and the 

VOL. HI. 2D 43 


fourth is plain. They always beat two strips of tapa into one, for the 
purpose of strengthening its fibres, and during this operation it is 
diminished one-fourth in length. The bark is always kept moist by 
water, which unites with the gluten. Although it contracts in length, 
a piece of two inches wide is not unfrequently beaten out to eighteen 
inches in width. They find no difficulty in joining the pieces together, 
for the sap is sufficiently tenacious for that purpose, and the junction 
is often so neatly done as to escape detection. After the tapa is made, 
it is bleached in the sun, as we are in the habit of doing with linen ; 
and that which they desire to have figured, undergoes the following 
process, called kesukesu. Strips of bamboo, of the size of the little 
finger, are fastened on a board ; on these the tapa is laid, and rubbed 
over with a sort of dye, or juice, from the fruit of the laudi, which 
only adheres to the tapa where it touches the bamboo ; it is then 
washed w^ith a thin solution of arrow-root, which gives it a kind of 
glazing. Tapa-making is the work of women, who are generally 
employed at it early in the morning, and a woman can make ten 
fathoms of cloth a day. The tapa is also printed after the manner 
which has been described in treating of the Samoan Group. 

The bark of the Hibiscus tiliaceus is much used in braiding bands, 
&c. ; for this purpose it is first steeped in water, to make it soft and 
pliable; of it the women make their liku, which is a band beautifully 
braided, about three inches wide, where the ends of the bark project 
so as to form a fringe, which is dyed red or black. This is the only 
article the women wear to cover their nakedness. The band is so 
plaited as to be a little elastic, by which means only it is kept on. 
The manner of braiding it is by affixing it to the great toe of the right 

The Pandanus odoratissimus furnishes the materials for their mats, 


called baya-baya ; they are woven in the same manner as at the other 
islands, only they appear stronger, more firmly made, and more 
suitable for the purpose to which they are applied, — that of covering 
the floors. 

A rattan (Flagellaria) is used for making baskets ; for this purpose 
the stem is split, and the baskets are very neatly made. It is also used 
as ties for the fastening of houses. 

The palm-tree (Caryota) is used for rafters in building ; its straight 
stems, with its hard, durable, and tough qualities, render it well 
adapted to this purpose. The stems of the tree-fern are used for door- 

The bamboo is here used for vessels to contain water, and also for 
rafts, which the natives use in taking fish. Another use it is put to, 
is for torches to light them in their evening dances. These, with 
the addition of cocoa-nut oil, give a good light. In some places it 
forms the rafters of houses, but its growth is confined to a few dis- 

The iron-wood (Casuarina indica) is preferred for making spears 
and clubs ; it is a fine-grained and very heavy wood. 

The old pendent roots of the mangrove are used for their bows, 
which are very tough and elastic. 

A species of pine, called by the natives dackui, resembling the 
Kaurie pine of New Zealand, is found on several of the islands, more 
particularly on Vitilevu and Kantavu. One of these was seen growing 
near Levuka, that measured five feet in diameter. 

The yase, or sandalwood, is now almost entirely destroyed, but our 
botanists succeeded in getting a few small specimens in the neighbour- 
hood of Sandalwood Bay. The natives grate it on the mushroom 
coral, (Fungia), and use it for scenting their oil. 

The soil of the islands consists of a deep loam, of a yellowish colour, 
with a large portion of decayed vegetable matter ; combined as this 
is with a fine climate, and abundance of water, it is no wonder that 
all the native plants, as well as those introduced, should grow with 
luxuriance, and be prolific. To give a better idea of the rapidity of 
the vegetation, Mr. Brackenridge, our horticulturist, gave me the 
following memoranda of the garden which he planted. 

Turnips, radish, and mustard seed, after being sown twenty-four 
hours, the cotyledon leaves were above the surface. Melons, cucum- 
bers, and pumpkins, spi'ung up in three days ; beans and peas made 
their appearance in four. In four weeks from the time of planting, 
radishes and lettuce were fit for use, and in five weeks, marrowfat 
peas. Several kinds of beets, carrots, leeks, three kinds of pole with 


Windsor and long-pod beans, three sorts of peas, five varieties of 
gourds, two of punapkins, two of cucumbers, three varieties of musk 
and water-melons, two kinds of turnips, parsley, cabbage, cresses, 
several kinds of small salad, a few tomatoes, together with the Peru- 
vian cherimoyer and Tahiti orange, were vegetating together, and I 
trust will establish themselves in these islands for the benefit not only 
of the natives, but of our navigators who may hereafter visit these 
parts for refreshments. The garden was left under the charge of 
David Whippy, a native of New Hampshire, of industrious habits, who 
I trust will not fail to take the best means to preserve and perpetuate 
what will no doubt prove a great blessing to the future population of 
this group. 

The climate of the Feejee Islands is well adapted to all the various 
tribes of tropical plants, and to not a few of those of the temperate 
zone ; for many of the islands are of a mountainous character, and 
numerous localities present themselves adapted to the growth of the 

These islands were once covered with vegetation from the coral 
reefs to the top of their highest peaks, but below the elevation of one 
thousand feet, on the leeward side of the large islands, the original 
vegetation has been for the most part destroyed by the fires Vv'hich the 
natives use to clear their planting grounds. During our sojourn we 
occasionally saw the fire running over vast fields. The forest above 
that elevation, having escaped its ravages, forms umbrageous masses, 
where the underwood and herbaceous part of the vegetation disappear. 
As the ridges and summits are approached, the trees become more 
sparse, giving an opportunity to the numerous species of ferns (Filices), 
to receive both light and air ; these are found in great quantities, and 
varieties, both terrestrial and parasitical, intermingled with various 
forms of epiphytical orchidese, and many mosses, with which the trees 
are decked. Climbing plants are numerous, but are found chiefly to 
prevail around the margin of cultivated patches and the banks of 
rivulets, finding there more nutriment for their support. Three species 
of Freycinetia, a melastomaceous and asclepiadeous plant, were the 
only climbers observed above the height of two thousand five hundred 
feet. The lower region is usually appropriated to plantations of fruits 
and roots. The yams are generally planted in dry open situations, but 
the bananas and plantains are found in extensive plantations, growing 
in rich soil, protected by the bread-fruit and ivi trees from the violent 
winds which they occasionally experience. The plants that strike the 
eye of a stranger visiting these islands, are those immediately above 
high-water mark, viz. : Hibiscus tiliaceus, Barringtonia, Hernandia 


sonora, Erythrina indica, Cordia, with rich yellow flowers, Xylo- 
carpus, which has a large and very attractive-looking yellow fruit ; a 
species of Ixora and a Volkameria, both with fragrant blossoms ; the 
mangrove (tiri of the natives), which pushes its vegetation even into 
the salt water, and covers large tracts of coral reefs and muddy 
creeks, giving a beautiful appearance to the low and swampy ground. 
The last-named plant seems peculiarly adapted to this situation, and it 
not only lives and thrives in salt water, but the young plants are found 
pushing themselves towards the sea, springing from the chinks and 
cracks of the coral ; they are frequently overflowed three or four feet 
at high water, but they nevertheless contrive to hold their place, and 
when they gain sufficient height, they again send forth their aerial 
roots, which descending, soon give the parent stem sufficient support to 
withstand all the efforts of the surf to displace them. 

Our botanists were extremely industrious in collecting in this new 
and prolific field. The list of the plants gathered amounts to about six 
hundred and fifty species, and they are of opinion, that many more 
remain, which, at some future day, it may fall to the lot of other bota- 
nists to collect. This, however, cannot happen until the islands shall 
have become more civilized, and there shall be some safety in wander- 
ing into the mountain regions, which is now attended with much 

The labours of agriculture, and the phenomena of vegetation, serve 
as the foundation of their calendar, and furnish names to some of their 
months, or the portions into which they divide the year. Of these they 
reckon eleven, viz. : 

1. Vulai songa sou tombe sou, or Nuga leva Reeds blossom. 

2. Vulai songa sou seselieb . . . Build yam-houses. 

3. Vulai Matua, or Endoye doye ' . . Yams ripe. 
4^ Valai mbota mbota. 

5. Vulai kele kele, or Vulai mayo mayo . Digging yams. 

6. Vulai were were ..... Weeding month. 

7. Vulai lou lou Digging ground and planting. 

8. Vulai Kawawaka. 

9. Bololo va va conde. 

10. Bololo lieb. 

11. Numa lieb, or Nuga lai lai. 

The first of these corresponds nearly to January. 

The month of Bololo lieb seems to be the only one that is astrono- 
mically determined ; and that arrives when the sun is over a particular 
part of Ambatiki, an island in sight from Ovolau. 

The month of June is known and established by the flowering of a 
vine, that is found on the shore, called tombebe. 



The months always begin with the new moon, which is called Vula 
vou. When it is first seen, it is celebrated by shouting and beating of 
drums. This takes place particularly on Vanua-levu, or the Buia land, 
as it is sometimes called. 

Connected with the seasons, is a singular ceremony, called Tambo 
Nalanga, which takes place in the month of November, and lasts four 
days. At the commencement, the most influential matanivanua, or 
landholder, goes, just at sunset, without the koro, or town, and invokes, 
in a loud voice, the spirit of the sky for his blessing, good crops, &c. ; 
after which a general beating of sticks and drums, and blowing of 
conchs, takes place for half an hour. During this festival every one 
remains shut up, without labour; and so strictly is it kept, that not even 
a leaf is plucked during this period, nor is any work carried on, and 
all the offal, &c., is retained in the houses. The men, during this 
period, live in the mbure, and feast upon the balolo, a curious sort of 
salt-water worm, of a green colour, which makes its appearance about 
this time ; this is eaten either raw or cooked, as suits their fancy. It 
is generally obtained at Wakaia. At daylight, on the expiration of the 
four days, (or rather nights, for they count by nights instead of days,) 
the whole town is in an uproar, both men and boys scampering about, 
knocking at the houses with clubs and sticks, crying out " Sinariba," 
after which the ordinaiy routine takes place. This ceremony, I was 
told, was only practised in the district subject to Tui Levuka. 

The arms of the Feejees consist of spears, clubs, bows and arrows. 
The spears are of various lengths, from ten to fifteen feet ; they are 
made of cocoa-nut wood, and are used at times with great dexterity. 
Some parts of them are wound round with sennit. They are pointed, 
and the end charred. I have seldom observed any that had any other 
pointing to them, although sharp bone is sometimes used. These spears 
are called motu. 

They have several kinds of clubs, made from the casuarina (iron- 
wood). That which they prize most for their fights is called maloma. 
The larger end of this is generally the part of a tree next the root. It 

is about three and a half feet long, and very heavy. They frequently 
have a variety of figures carved upon it. 

The second kind of long club is peculiar to the chief, and is called 


airou. It is somewhat shovel-shaped, and eqaally heavy, and with it 
they can cleave a man down. 

The toka is the name of another club, of a somewhat peculiar shape, 
being bent near the extremity, and having a large knob full of small 
points, with a single larger point projecting from it. This appears to 
be more for show than use. 

The ula is a short club, used as a missile : it is about eighteen inches 
long ; the handle is small, and at the end is a natural knot. The size 
of the end is as large as an eighteen-pound ball. Our sailors gave this 
the name of Handy Billy, and it is almost incredible with what ac- 
curacy and force the natives can throw this weapon. 

The long club is usually carried by the natives over the shoulder, 
which, on meeting another, is at once lowered to the ground. They 
are never to be found without the ula, which is usually stuck in the 
girdle behind. 

Their bows and arrows are by no means good. The former are 
made of the pendent roots of the mangrove; the latter of the wild 
sugar-cane, with pieces of hard wood inserted, that have been charred : 
they are too light to do much harm. 

There are many of these clubs, spears, and arrows deposited in the 
mbure, which are held in great veneration. Some of these, that they 
say belong to the spirit, it is not easy to buy from them. If a price is 
offered for one, they generally answer, that it belongs to the spirit, and 
cannot be sold. In hopes of a higher price, however, and not allowing 
the purchaser to escape, they usually offer to consult the spirit. For 
this purpose they take up any thing that it may be convenient to con- 
sider the spirit to dwell in, and then name the spirit's price for it. 
This is generally twice as much as they are willing to take, and after 
several consultations the first offer is accepted. 

Besides the general occupations of war and agriculture, and the 
barbers we have mentioned as attending on the chiefs, the men carry 
burdens, and build houses and canoes. In the construction of these 
they employ persons who are by profession carpenters, and who are 
held in great estimation. 

Their houses differ from those of the other groups, although they are 
constructed of similar materials. The frame and sills are made of the 
cocoa-nut and tree-fern ; they have two doorways, on opposite sides. 



from three to four feet high, and four feet wide ; the posts are set in 
the gi'ound, and are placed about three feet apart ; the rafters of the 
pahn tree are set upon a plate, resting on the post; these have a very 
steep pitch, and support a cocoa-nut log, that forms the peak of the 
roof; the ends of the peak extend beyond the thatching at each end, 
and are covered v^'ith shells (Cyprsea ovula). The thatching is peculiai", 
being thickest at the eaves ; to make the roof they begin at the peak, 
whence they thatch down with the wild sugar-cane, under which they 
place fern-leaves. These gradually increase in quantity until they 
reach to the eaves, which are about two or three feet thick, project 
some distance over the sides, and are cut off' square. 


The sides are closed in with small cane, in square wicker-work, and 
not in diamond-shape, as those of Tonga. Mats are hung before the 
doors. The mbures are built after the same manner, but the roofs are 
more peaked ; they are generally fifteen or twenty feet square, and 
about thirty feet high, and have an exceedingly awkward appearance 
in our eyes. The common houses are oblong, from twenty to thirty 
feet in length, and fifteen feet high. Some of the best class of buildings, 
belonging to the chiefs, are exceedingly well and ingeniously built. If 
a person wishes to build a house, he carries a present of a whale's 
tooth to the king or chief, and tells him his wish, the size, &c. The 
king or chief orders the men who are generally employed for such 
purposes, to prepare the timber, and get all things ready. The direc- 
tion of the work is given to some one as the chief superintendent, and 
from one to five hundred men are employed, as may be deemed 
necessary. The house is finished in ten or fifteen days, and will last 
about five years without repairs to its thatching. They are, however, 
generally considered as tenantable for twenty years, or upwards. All 
the houses have fire-places a little on one side of the centre ; these are 
nothing more than an ash-pit, with a few large stones to build the fire 



and place the pots on. The same kind of fire-place is to be found in 
the mbures, where a fire is kept burning night and day, which they 
believe the kalou or spirit requires. The houses generally are not 
divided by partitions, but at each end they are raised about a foot 
above the centre floor. These elevations are for sleeping, and are 
covered with layers of mats until they are soft and pleasant to lie on. 
In sleeping they use a pillow made of a piece of bamboo or other 
species of wood, about two inches in diameter, with four legs; this is 
placed immediately under the neck, and is sufficiently high to protect 
their large head of hair from being disarranged. 

From the constant use of this pillow, a scirrhous lump, as large as 
a goose-egg, is often formed on the nape of the neck. This pillow was 
undoubtedly brought into use to protect their peculiar fashion of 
wearing their hair ; and from the inquiries made, I found it had been 
used from time immemorial. Many of these pillows are carved and 
ornamented, and a chief always travels with his own. The kai-si or 
common people make themselves temporary ones. 

The Feejee canoes are superior to those of ^the other islands. They 
are generally built double, and those of the largest size are as much 
as one hundred feet in length. The two parts of which the double 
canoe is composed are of different sizes, and are united by beams, on 
which a platform is laid. The platform is about fifteen feet wide, 


and extends two or three feet beyond the sides. The smaller of the 
two canoes serves as an out-rigger to the other. The bottom of each 
of the canoes is of a single plank ; the sides are fitted to them by dove- 
tailing, and closely united by lashings passed through flanges left on 
each of the pieces. The joints are closed by the gum of the bread- 
voL. III. 44 


fruit tree, which is also used for smearing them over. They have 
generally a depth of hold of about seven feet, and the two ends, 
for a length of about twenty feet, are decked over to prevent the canoe 
from shipping seas. Amidships they generally have a small thatched 
house or cuddy, to protect the crew from the weather, above which 
is a staging, on which there is space for several people to sit. The 
frames of the canoes which belong to chiefs are much ornamented 
with shells. 

The sails are so large as to appear out of all proportion to the vessel, 
and are made of tough yet pliable mats. The mast is about half the 
length of the canoe, and the yard and boom are usually twice as long 
as the mast. The mast is stepped on deck in a chock. The figure 
on the preceding page represents one of these canoes. 

The halyards are passed over a crescent on the head of the mast. 
These are bent on nearly the length of the mast, from the tack of the 

The natives are very expert in managing these vessels, and it 
requires no small skill in beating against the wind to do so. In 
sailing the canoe, it is always necessary that the out-rigger should be 
towards the weather side ; this is easily effected by proper care ; the 
mode of tacking becomes therefore curious, and is performed by put- 
ting the helm up instead of down. When the wind is thus brought aft, 
the tack of the sail is carried to the other end of the canoe, which now 
becomes the bow, and the course on the other tack is then pursued. 
If the out-rigger gets to leeward while the canoe is under sail, some 
accident always happens, for no kind of vessel is so easily overturned ; 
and yet, when they are properly managed, they will carry sail when 
it blows heavily, and still preserve almost an upright position : this is 
effected by the natives going out on the out-rigger, and thus counter- 
balancing the force of the wind by their weight. The canoes are 
made of logs hollowed out and built upon, and show a great deal of 
ingenuity : they are capable of making long voyages. The only food 
they provide themselves with for sea, is said to be yams. Altogether, 
they have a pretty effect, covered as they are with white shells 
(Cyprsea ovula), and ornamented by white pennants. They use cocoa- 
nut shells to preserve their water in, and with a fire and ava-bowl are 
equipped for sea. 

It is the custom for the chief always to hold the end of the sheet ; 
thus it is his task to prevent the danger of upsetting. They steer with 
an oar having a large blade. In smooth water these canoes sail with 
great swiftness, but from the weight and force of the sail they are 
much strained, leaking at times very badly, requiring always one and 



sometimes two men to be constantly baling out the water. Notwith- 
standing all this, they make very long voyages, — to Tonga, Rotuma, 
and the Samoan Islands. The canoes are generally built of the vas 

The planks are brought into and kept in shape by small ribs, almost 
exactly as in our mode of boat-building. 

The following are the dimensions of a double canoe of the most 
common size : 

Length of the larger canoe, ..... 

70 feet. 

Length of the smaller canoe, .... 


Distance of the canoes apart, .... 


Length of the platform, ..... 


Breadth of the platform, ..... 


Length of the cuddy, ...... 


Breadth of the cuddy, ..... 


Height above water, ..... 


Draught of water, . . . • . 

. , 2 to 3 

Length of yards, . . • • .15, 35, and 60 

Length of mast, ...... 


Such a canoe will carry conveniently forty or fifty men. 

When a chief requires a house or a canoe to be built, he applies to 
the head carpenter, whose title is rokola, and whose office is here- 
ditary. He is a person of great consequence, and the workmen con- 
stitute a caste, in which the trade is hereditary also. The chief gives 
the rokola a whale's tooth as a fee, and pays him for the work, not 
even feeding the workmen, who are paid by the rokola, and provide 
themselves with food. With great exertion, a canoe may be built in 
three or four months, but it usually takes as many years. 

The principal tool of the carpenters is an adze, which, since the 
introduction of foreign tools, they make by lashing a plane-iron to a 
crooked handle, with sennit. They also now use the chisel and knife. 
For boring holes, they use the long spines of the echina, bones, and, of 
late, nails. Carving is performed by the teeth of small animals (rats 
and mice) set in hard wood, much as diamonds are set for glaziers' 
purposes. Their patience, industry, and perseverance in their occupa- 
tion are great, and the workmanship excellent, when the imperfection 
of their tools is considered. They are aware of the superior qualities 
of our tools, and anxious to possess them. That which they prize 
most is the American hatchet, which comes nearer in shape to their 
own instrument than any other. Their knives are made of the outside 
of a piece of bamboo, which is cut down for the purpose and put into 
the proper form while green. After it has dried for a time it is charred, 
which makes it very hard and sharp. It may be fitted for surgical 



operations by charring it a second time, and grinding it down on a 
smooth stone. 

The potters also constitute a separate caste, of which the women 
only exercise the art, and do no other work. They dig the clay, and 
carry it in baskets to the village, where they knead and temper it with 
sand to the proper degree of tenacity. Their tools are very simple, 
namely : a flat mallet (tala) ; a small round flat stone (vatu) ; and a 
circular cushion made of cocoa-nut leaves. 

A lump of the tempered clay is first taken, which is fashioned 
somewhat into the shape of the part of the vessel the workwoman 
desires to form ; the stone then being introduced in the inside, the 
mallet or spatula is used on the outside with the left hand. The diflie- 
rent parts are all fashioned or made separately, and afterwards joined. 
The joints are very neatly closed and finished, so much so as to escape 
detection. The strokes with the mallet are exceedingly hard at first, 
but as the vessel approaches the intended shape they become more 
gentle, and the finish is given by smooth pressing. Many of the vessels 
are extremely graceful in shape, and must require a very true eye to 
form the various parts so as to fit. The figures or tracings that are 
seen upon them are executed by young girls with tiie fibres of a cocoa- 
nut leaf. The pots are baked before an open fire, after which the 
glazing, or rather, varnish is put on, consisting of the resin of a species 
of pine (resembling the Kaurie pine of New Zealand), called makandi, 
mixed with a decoction of the mangrove bark. 




This is the most common 

The use of pottery is the cause of a difference between their mode 
of cooking and that of the other Polynesian islands. While the latter 
bake by means of ovens heated by 
red-hot stones, the Feejees cook almost 
wholly by steam. Their pots or jars for 
cooking will contain from five to ten 
gallons, and they have a mouth suffi- 
ciently large to admit a yam. They 
are set on the fire obliquely. ^ 

When these jars are employed in 
cooking, they use little water, and stuff 
the neck of the jar full of banana-leaves, 
w^hich allow the steam to escape but slowly. 
way of preparing food. 

Their food, as has been seen, is rather steamed than boiled ; they 
also sometimes bake their food. In all their modes of cooking they 
are remarkably cleanly, and they wrap every thing in fresh banana- 
leaves, in which also it is served. 

They have many other kinds of earthen vessels, which they use for 
various purposes, and which are of 
various patterns. Their drinking vessels 
have usually three small holes at one 
end, similar to the eyes of a cocoa-nut. 
They never put the vessel to the mouth 
in drinking, considering it quite objec- 
tionable for several persons to drink out 
of the same vessel with their mouths to 
it. To avoid this they hold the vessel 
eight or ten inches above their heads, 
and allow the water to run into their 
mouths as if from a spout, throwing the 
head back for that purpose. 

It is difficult to conceive the awkward- 
ness of this strange mode of drinking 

until it is tried; but it is invariably practised throughout the group, 
except by the king and high chiefs, whose drinking vessels are always 

They eat with their fingers generally, using a piece of taro or yam 
at the same time. In serving up their food they always sweep off the 
mats or lay down new ones, placing the victuals upon fresh bread-fruit 

Their diet is principally vegetable, consisting of bread-fruit, yams, 





taro, &c. In the mountain districts the ivi is much used as an article 
of food. This is found in great plenty in the more elevated regions. 
It is about the size of an apple, and when cooked resembles a Spanish 
chestnut. On the coast they have abundance of fish, some of which 
are of fine kinds, and differ in species from any we had before seen. 
They likewise have fine crabs, which are caught among the tiri or 
mangrove bushes. The higher classes occasionally indulge in fowls 
and pigs, a luxury the common people cannot aflbrd. 

They make at least twenty different kinds of pudding, each of which 
has its appropriate name, though all are included under the generic 
term of oakalolo. That most frequently met with is called saku-saku, 
and is made of taro or yams, chiefly of the former. The taro is first 
roasted, and plunged while hot into cold water; this takes off" all the 
hard outer surface, and leaves the mealy interior free. The latter is 
pounded into paste with cocoa-nut milk, and wrapped in a banana-leaf 
to be cooked. When thoroughly done, this dish resembles a sweetened 
pudding of coarse Indian meak 

Their feasts are attended with much ceremony and form, and evince 
a degree of politeness and good breeding that was unexpected, and 
cannot but surprise all who witness it. These ceremonies and atten- 
tions to minute punctilios are more evident in their turtle-feasts than 
on other occasions. These may be given either by the king or by 
high chiefs. Those given by the king are held in the mbure, on which 
occasion it is spread with new mats, and the perpetual fire, which is 
usually only smouldering, is excited to a blaze. The king stretches 
himself out near the fire at full length, the guests are seated in rows 
opposite to him, and the dishes are placed between him and them. As 
they are extremely punctilious in relation to rank, there are rarely on 
such occasions more than about fifteen guests. Among these are 
always the councillor of state, a priest, and a distinguished visiter or 
two. The rest are matanivanua (landholders). The other guests, 
and particularly the strangers, are received by the priest, who does the 
honours of the mbure, and makes them a speech of welcome, which is 
closed by a clapping of hands from the rest of the company. 

Each person is seated according to his rank, and to the king a 
separate dish is assigned, while the rest help themselves with their 
fingers out of the same basket. The feast is composed of several 
courses of the different parts of the turtle, with taro, yams, &c. ; and 
after each course, a cocoa-nut shell containing water is handed round 
to rinse the hands. 

The first course is composed of the inferior parts of the turtle ; the 
second of taro, yams, mandrai, and bananas together with the water, 


or soup, in which they have been boiled, which is drunk out of cups 
made of cocoa-nut shells ; the third, or principal course, is the better 
portion of the turtle, baked and served up smoking, in its own shell. 
Over this the priest pronounces a short prayer ; after which two of 
the company proceed to carve it with knives of bamboo. Pieces are 
often cut off to be sent to the king's wives, who are not allowed to be 
present. After the third course, ava is served, and the feast breaks up 
with the retiring of the king. 

The mode in which they sit at feasts, and, indeed upon almost all 
occasions, is peculiar. The annexed figure will give a better idea than 
any description. 


The mbure being used for such purposes, is furnished much after 
the manner of their dwellings, except that a portion of it is screened 
off for the spirit and the priest. The mbure is also used for the re- 
ception of visiters. The coming of these is generally announced 
beforehand, and preparations made for their reception. 

As soon as the canoes heave in sight, the whole population of the 
town go down on the beach to meet them. The strangers land in 
silence, and proceed to where the villagers are assembled, where both 
parties squat down. The chief of the visiting party then tells all the 
news and incidents of the voyage, which done, the chief of the town 
gives a narrative of events since they last met. All then join in a kind 
of song of praise, or thanks to their spirit for his protection, containing 
also a welcome to the strangers. They then unite in hauling up their 
canoes ; and when this is done, the strangers are taken to the mbure 
and feasted. Dancing, stories, and ava-drinking succeed. 

352 F E E J E E GROUP. 

The mbure is not only the phice where feasts are given, and stran- 
gers entertained, but is the usual lounge of the chiefs, in which they 
often sit for hours together, particularly if they can get any one to 
talk to, or to tell them stories. Among other subjects, they are very 
fond of asking questions about foreign countries ; and in this way 
they have been told that the world is round — a statement which was 
observed to be received with incredulity, and an obvious expression of 
unbelief on their countenances. Their own idea is, that the Feejee 
Group is the centre of the world, and the term they apply to the 
whites — Papalangi — signifies " beyond the sky," because they suppose 
that, in approaching their islands, we sail through the visible heavens. 

I was one day amused at an intelligent old chief, who, after many 
other questions had been put to him, through Whippy, was asked if he 
could believe that the world was round. After hesitating some time, 
he said yes ; and on being asked why, he said, because the Papalangis 
told him so : it might be true, for the sun, and sometimes the moon, 
were round ; but he thought the Feejee country was flat, and not like 
other parts. They could seldom be induced to look at the globes that 
were hanging up in my cabin, and invariably turned away from them 
when the Feejee Islands were pointed out. Whippy said they had 
talked about the balls as they called them, and thought them all lies. 

The mode in which the people of the Feejee Group regulate the 
distribution of their time, is in conformity to the nature of their cli- 
mate. They usually rise very early, and, before going to work, wash 
and take ava. Among the chiefs, the latter is, in some places, attended 
with great formality, of which an instance has been given in another 
place. They then go to their work, in which they are engaged until 
ten or eleven o'clock, when they return to their houses, bathe, and 
anoint themselves with cocoa-nut oil. When this is done, they take a 
light meal, which they call " vasse," and their white associates, a 
" snack." During the afternoon, they remain sleeping and lounging 
about, and the higher classes undergo the pleasing labour of the toilet, 
which occupies a large portion of their time. When this is over, they 
resort to the mbure, pay visits, or lounge about, looking at what is to 
be seen (sara sara). In the evening, they take their principal meal 
(vakasi ya levu), over which they spend much time. 

In their toilet, the hair claims the first attention among all classes. 
The barbers of the chiefs are always important personages in their 
suite, and the size to which they contrive to dress out their masters' 
hair is almost incredible. In one case, the bush of hair was mea- 
sured, at Ovolau, and found to be sixty-two inches in circumference. 
The more hair they have, and the wider its mass is distended, the 


more they pride themselves upon it, and the more they are admired 
by their countrymen. The women exhibit droll fancies in the crop- 
ping of their children's hair, always leaving one long lock, which is 
well frizzled, and stands out from some part of the head, giving an 
uncouth appearance to the boy or girl. The hair of the men is cut 
in various shapes. Some clip it close behind, and allow it to project 
in front. Others crop it short, in a band about three inches wide, 
passing across the head from ear to ear. In general, the prevailing 
fashion is to have it cut round. They have a process by which they 
destroy the colour of their hair, and nine out of ten individuals will 
be found with some part of their hair brown or red, as it may have 
suited their fancy. They are obliged to have recourse to some solu- 
tion to destroy the quantity of vermin that infests these prodigious 
mops, so thick that no comb can possibly penetrate ; and one of the 
most disgusting customs of these natives is the search after the insect, 
and sharing in the banquet that results from the hunt. One-third of the 
vermin is awarded to the searcher, and this occupation is constantly 
going on in their villages, when they are at rest. No greater insult, 
I was told, could be offered a native than to appropriate more of these 
spoils than the allotted share. It is also considered a great insult to 
search a child's head, as that is considered entirely the father and 
mother's perquisite. 

Cocks' feathers are frequently worn in their hair, and chiefs wear a 
oand of hibiscus bark around their heads, in which the gay feathers 
of the paroquet are stuck with the gum of the bread-fruit tree. 


Young girls and virgins allow their hair to grow in long locks, of 
which some have many, and others but few, according to their fancy, 
and are frequently decked with flowers. Their curls are naturally 

VOL. III. 2E2 45 


of the corkscrew form, which is called tombi. Their usual mode of 
sitting is represented in the cut on the preceding page. 

After they are married, the locks are clipped off, and the hair is 
kept short and frizzled like a thick wig. They frequently whiten it 
with lime, and then they call it ulu-lase. 

Another preparation is applied to the hair, for the purpose of cleans- 
ing it. This, as has already been spoken of, is prepared from the 
ashes of the leaves of the bread-fruit tree. This is thick and viscid. 
They dip their heads into it, and their mops imbibe a large quantity of 
the liquid, so that on raising the head it courses down their cheeks, 
when on throwing the head from side to side it forms zigzag lines, 
each of which leaves its mark on the skin. These marks are con- 
sidered very ornamental, and are called ndraou. 

Those who have not as much hair as they desire, have recourse to 
wigs, which are made with such ingenuity as to baffle any attempt at 

The face undergoes its daily ornamental style of painting. The oil 
of the maiketa, mixed with the soot or lampblack of the laudi-nut, is 
used to blacken it, and when this can be relieved by a vermilion nose, 
a few spots here and there of the same colour on the face, or a broad 
band of it passing diagonally over the visage, they fancy themselves 
and are considered by their fellows beautiful, and will sit for hours 
with a small six-penny looking-glass admiring themselves with great 
delight. The turban, or sala, and the maro are the distinguishing 
marks of chiefs. The former are of large size, with ample folds ; the 
latter of a length conformable to the rank of the wearer. 

The sala is formed of light tapa, resembling taffeta, and is passed 
from one to a dozen times around the head. The maro, or seavo, for 
the full dress of a chief, is said to be sometimes as much as fifty yards 
in length, and on state occasions I have seen it so long as to require 
an attendant to act as train-bearer. 

The chiefs also wear sometimes a pareu, like that of the Samoans 
and Tongese. High chiefs wear, as an ornament around the neck, a 
single shell of the cyprsea aurora, and a valve of a large red spondylus. 
Both of these are highly prized, and handed down from father to son. 
Some wear a collar or necklace of whale's teeth, fashioned like claws ; 
others strings of beads ; others of human teeth, torn from the victims 
of their cannibal feasts ; others strings of the cypraea moneta, and occa- 
sionally of large shells of the Venus. 

Armlets are also worn, for which purpose the shell of the trochus is 
ground into a ring 


The mode of wearing the hair-pricker, or comb, is an indication of 
rank. None but the king wears it in front. Those next in rank wear 
it a Httle to one side, while the lower class carry it as clerks do their 
pens, behind the ear. 

They have a very high opinion of their taste in dress, and in this 
their national pride may be said chiefly to consist. 

The women are not allowed to wear tapa,* and their dress is slight 
and scanty. It consists of no more than the liku, a kind of band, made, 
as has been stated, from the bark of the vau or hibiscus. Before mar- 
riage the liku is worn short, but after the birth of the first child, it is 
much lengthened. 

Tattooing is only performed on the women, and is chiefly confined 
to the parts which are covered by the liku. The women believe that 
to be tattooed is a passport to the other world, where it prevents them 
from being persecuted by their own sex, numbers of whom, by com- 
mand of the gods, would meet them, if not tattooed, and, armed with 
sharp shells, would chase them continually through the lower regions. 
So strong is this superstition, that when girls have died before 
being tattooed, their friends have painted the semblance of it upon 
them, in order to deceive the priest, and thus escape the anger of the 

Besides the parts covered by the liku, the corners and sometimes the 
whole circuit of the mouth are tattooed, which is said to be done for 
the purpose of preventing wrinkles. 

The Feejee word for tattooing is ngia. It is performed by women 
only, who use an instrument called bati ni ngia. This is dipped in a 
pigment formed by mixing the charcoal of the laudi-nut with oil, and 
is struck in by blows from a piece of sugar-cane. The common women 
are tattooed about the age of puberty (fourteen), but women of rank 

* This prohibition appears to arise from the jealousy of their own sex, who punish 
severely any who infringe upon this custom. As an instance of this, an old woman at Le- 
vuka was pointed out to me by Whippy, who once took it into her head to wear a small 
piece of tapa, with which she showed herself in the village, whereupon the other women fell 
upon her, and after beating her almost to death, bit off her nose, and left her a monument 
of her own vanity, and of the ferocity of the fair sex of Feejee. 


later, and sometimes not until they have borne their first child. Aftei 
being tattooed, they are tabooed for a time. 

Both sexes have the lobe of the ear bored ; the w^omen that of only 
one ear, the men both. For the purpose of distending the holes, rolls 
of tapa, pieces of wood, or shells, are inserted, which sometimes are so 
large as to tear the parts asunder. In one instance the hole in the 
lobe of the ear was so large that the person could pass his hand 
through it. 

The women manufacture wreaths both of natural and artificial 
flowers. With these they adorn their own persons, and the salas ol 
their husbands. This custom, however, is not as common here as at 

Both men and women are extremely fond of using red pigment, and 
a small quantity of vermilion, or croom, as they call it, is esteemed as 
the greatest possible acquisition. 

Whole hours are taken up adorning and ornamenting themselves. 
At times one sees them with their heads entirely covered with lime, 
while others have it shorn quite close, leaving a single lock on one 
side, that has a very droll appearance. 

Though almost naked, these natives have a great idea of modesty, 
and consider it extremely indelicate to expose the whole person. If 
either a man or woman should be discovered without the maro, or 
liku, they would probably be killed. As an instance of this feeling, 
we may cite a circumstance which occurred during the stay of the 
French Expedition at Levuka. A party of French sailors were sent 
on shore to fill their casks with water at the stream which passes 
through the town. Being employed in the water, they had removed all 
their clothes, and were seen in a state of nudity by the chiefs and 
people, who sent ofl' a deputation immediately to Captain D'Urville, to 
represent the indelicacy of it, and to request that he would not allow 
his men to appear so. 

The people keep their bodies well oiled, which they find a preven- 
tive against colds. A Feejee mother therefore desires beyond almost 
all other articles of civilized manufacture, a glass bottle, to contain her 
scented oil, and early every morning she may be seen with her flock 
of Kttle ones around her undergoing ablution, which done, she applies 
the contents of her bottle, until they fairly glisten. 

There is but little opportunity for profitable trade in these islands, 
and they possess few commercial advantages. A cargo or two of 
biche de mar may be collected in the course of a favourable year, 
with a small quantity of tortoise-sheU. Shells as curiosities can be 
procured, but the value is of course small. Sandalwood, as I have 


before stated, is exhausted. On the other hand the group offers 
many inducements for the recruiting of crews after long voyages, and 
yields many of the necessary supplies, with the best facilities for 
procuring wood and water. I deem the harbour of Levuka, in the 
island of Ovolau, to be best suited for these purposes. It is easy of 
access and egress, affords a safe anchorage after it is entered, and the 
natives are unusually well-disposed. It is also the seat of all the 
white residents, who are therefore at command, to act both as pilots 
and interpreters. 

The approach to it is attended with little difficulty, and if a vessel be 
foiled in entering it before nightfall, there is ample room to keep under 
way between Ambatiki and Ovolau. 

The articles most in request are muskets, powder, ball, and flints, 
whales' teeth, plane-irons, vermilion, buttons, bottles, trunks and chests, 
looking-glasses, axes, hatchets, cloth, gimlets, fish-hooks, knives, and 
scissors, and some places blue beads. There is, however, no certain 
and regular demand, the natives at one time preferring one thing, at 
another another, and sometimes refusing to trade altogether. Their 
tastes are in fact capricious. A little vermilion is generally a passport 
to their favour ; when a native has a small quantity put on his nose or 
cheeks, his good-will is at once conciliated, and the envy of those 
around him excited. 

To trade at, or even to visit these islands for refreshment, is, as 
must already have been seen, attended with no little danger both to life 
and property. The character of the navigation in a sea abounding 
with reefs and shoals, of which no chart possessing any claim to confi- 
dence has hitherto been published, has not been the cause of less danger 
than the treachery, covetousness, and cannibal propensities of the 
inhabitants. Eight vessels, of which five were American, are known 
to have been lost within the Feejee Group between the years 1828 and 
1840. In one of these instances every soul on board perished. In 
addition, eleven trading vessels and one English ship of war have been 
on shore, and sustained greater or less damage within the same space 
of time. Considering how small a number of vessels have as yet visited 
these islands, these instances of total or partial loss bear an enormous 
proportion to those of escape without injury. I confidently trust that 
the labours of our squadron will have so far diminished the risks v/hich 
had previously attended communication with this group, as to render a 
visit to them much less perilous. 

From the notes of the missionaries and conversations with them, I 
obtained the following information relative to their operations. There 
are six missionaries, viz: Messrs. Cargill and Jagger, established at 


Rewa ; Mr. Cross, at Viwa ; Messrs. Hunt and Lythe, at Somu-somu ; 
and Mr. Calvert, at Lakemba, all of whom belong to the Wesleyan 
Missionary Society of Great Britain. They have had little success, 
and the principal members of the church are the Tongese. At 
Lakemba, which has the largest number, there are two hundred 
and forty-nine admitted to the privileges of the church, and forty- 
four on trial ; at Rewa there are thirteen members, and thirty- 
seven on trial ; and only twelve members at Somu-somu ; making 
about five hundred in all. But a much greater number attend 
service ; of these, many attend divine service more from curiosity 
than from any commendable motive. 

The missionary schools contain about two hundred and fifty chil- 

In the course of the narrative of our operations in the Feejee 
Islands, I have already shown some of the trials that the missiona- 
ries have at times had to undergo ; but this is only a small part of 
their hardships. They, their wives, and children, are almost hourly 
liable to fall under the displeasure or caprice of these merciless 
savages.. The natives, notwithstanding, seem desirous of having 
the missionaries among them, partly from the feeUng that it will 
be advantageous to them in their intercourse with the vessels that 
come from time to time to bring them supplies, and partly for the 
protection which, in their opinion, the spirit or God of the mission- 
aries will afford to the koro where they reside. 

Upon the whole I think that the missionaries are safe as to life. 
They require much nerve and temper to withstand the trials they are 
often subjected to. The chiefs and others consider that they have 
a perfect right to enter the missionaries' houses at all times, and not 
unfrequently their behaviour is rude and indecent. There is no 
situation in life that requires more moral and physical courage, than 
that into which they are repeatedly thrown, often for the diabolical 
purpose of trying to excite and induce them to commit some act 
which might be taken advantage of to extort presents, or as a pre- 
text to plunder them. The natives are extremely clever in devising 
schemes of annoyance, and will frequently take a vast deal of trouble 
and time to accomplish them. When detected, they have little idea 
of further concealment, and generally join in a laugh at being 

Although they seldom fail in outward respect to the missionaries, 
they interdict their making any converts, or interfering with their 
priests or gods. 

The chiefs will not allow them to construct any dwellings for them- 


selves, but apply the law of the land most rigorously, in not permitting 
any building to be constructed, without their own order and consent. 

On Captain Hudson's reaching Rewa, he found Mr. Cargill, with 
his wife and five children, living in a small house, with only one apart- 
ment, having had his house blown down in a hurricane some two 
months before. The king paid no attention whatever to the request to 
build him a new house, until spoken to by Captain Hudson, when he 
promised to set about it forthwith. I cannot speak too highly of the 
ciieerfulness and resignation with which the members of the mission 
and their families meet the trials they have to go through ; nor can I 
withhold my surprise how any ladies or their husbands can endure a 
residence attended with such dangers and discomfort, cut off as they 
are from all communication with their friends and kindred. Truly, 
there is no poetry in such a life, and it requires all the enthusiasm that 
fervent religion calls forth, to endure the pains and perils to which they 
are subject. 

We regretted to learn the death of Mrs. Cargill during our stay 
among the group, leaving a family of five young children. I can 
scarcely conceive a situation more pitiable than Mr. Cargill's is ren- 
dered by this bereavement. In consequence of the destitute state in 
which his children were left, he was obliged to return to England 
without delay. 

It will be seen that the missionaries here have had but little encou- 
ragement. Neither is there a prospect of their making much progress 
for some time to come. The chiefs are averse to the new religion, 
because they do not choose to adopt, as they say, other gods at their 
time of life, and lest they should lose their authority over their people, 
whom they govern now through the medium of their gods or priests. 
They refuse to allow any one of the natives under their rule to join the 
mission, or receive instruction. From my own observation, I am very 
well satisfied that the common people, if permitted, would readily seek 
the change that would insure any thing like security from the tyran- 
nical customs they are now suffering under. 

The opinion is becoming general, that where a missionary resides 
wars do not take place ; and the moment will arrive when the change 
in this group will be more rapid than that which has heretofore 
attended their exertions elsewhere. Although this^ n)ay yet be at some 
distance, it must certainly ensue, whenever the intercourse with the 
whites shall have so much increased as to make it desirable for the 
chiefs to acquire the art of writing, and they have formed a proper 
estimate of our power. Should the king of one of the powerful dis- 
iricts be converted, his whole tribe will follow the royal example. 


The missionaries have ah^eady been settled from one to five year?; 
at the different stations. A press has been established at Rewa, and 
catechisms have been published in the Ambau, Somu-somu, and Rewa 
dialects. The book of Mark, with some elementary works, have also 
been published in the dialect of Rewa and Lakemba. 

All the missionaries with whom 1 had intercourse, were of opinion 
that the natives of this group were far more intelligent than those of 
other parts of Polynesia. There are few of them that could not 
express themselves with great clearness and force. My own experi- 
ence, and that of the officers generally, is conclusive as to the last 
point, for the interpreters frequently made use of expressions that I am 
well persuaded did not emanate from themselves. 

Since we left the Feejee Islands, a letter has been received from 
David Whippy, giving a history of the transactions that have occurred 
in this group up to 1841. I shall relate the substance of this, as it will 
illustrate the intrigues and cruehies incident to the character and 
government of this savage people. 

The pilots all reached Levuka safely, three days after they left us, 
and found all things well, except the garden, which, David says, had 
come to nought. He was not aware that we ourselves had gathered 
some of the fruits of it. 

Shortly after their return, the mountaineers showed hostile inten- 
tions towards them. The reason assigned for this, and which was 
altogether untrue, was, that the three mountaineers who had been 
employed at the observatory had never been paid, and that the white 
men of Levuka were the cause of it. About the same time, Seru and 
his cousin Wai-nue quarrelled at Ambau, which the latter left, and 
went to Somu-somu, where he was kindly received. This event caused 
the war that had been so long in expectation to break out between 
Ambau and Somu-somu. 

Seru came to Levuka, and wanted the white men to engage in the 
war on his side ; but they refused, preferring to remain at home to 
protect their property, as the natives of Levuka were to accompany 
him. This greatly affronted him. He then went against Somu-somu, 
but came back in a few days, having failed in his expedition. 

In November, the mountaineers ran away with nine of the women 
of Levuka. On application being made to Ambau, Seru sent to de- 
mand that they should be returned, but the mountaineers refused to 
give them up. It was afterwards understood that Seru had privately 
told his messenger to tell the mountaineers not to give the women up, 
— an act of duplicity which the whites accounted for by their refusal 
to join him against Somu-somu. 

F E E J E E GROUP, 3(51 

In December, the Currency Lass again visited Levuka, when Hough- 
Ion, the owner, bought of Seru the island of Wakaia. 

In January, Seru sent a party to Naloa, to create a disturbance 
among the people of Muthuata. This party secretly informed the old 
king, Tui Muthuata, that the chief Gingi was conspiring to kill him, 
and offered him assistance, which he gladly accepted. In the night 
they lauded at Muthuata, and, with the king's party, killed Gingi and 
about ninety of his followers. When this massacre was finished, the 
Ambau people returned home, and there found that the king of Rewa 
and his brother had quarrelled, and that the brother had fled to Ambau 
for protection. 

In February, the Ambau people fitted out another expedition against 
Muthuata, now much weakened by the late massacre. The king 
being absent, they burnt his town, killing and taking prisoners many 
of his people. They also burnt the town of Soulabe, and returned to 
Ambau. During their absence, Wai-nue, the chief who had fled to 
Somu-somu, had bought over the fishing people on the Verata shore, 
who attacked Ambau and killed five of its people, and took their bodies 
to Somu-somu. This caused the war to break out anew between these 
two districts. 

The Ambau people, in March, sought revenge on the fishermen, 
but their expedition proved unsuccessful. During their absence, one 
of Tanoa's queens had burnt Ambau. They then were obliged to 
rebuild it, but prepared for another expedition. 

In April, Paddy Connel died on Ambatiki, without having an}'' more 

The chief of Viwa, Namosimalua, whose town Captain D'Urville, 
of the French Expedition, had destroyed, and who had since pretended 
to turn Christian, and who was, with his nephew, the person who 
instigated the taking of the French brig Josephine, and the massacre 
of her captain and crew, affected to quarrel with Ambau. The cause 
of the dispute was the wife of the Viwa chief. He then sent to the 
fishermen of Verata to engage their assistance against Ambau, which 
was most readily granted. This chief and Seru kept up the semblance 
of great enmity, but planned the destruction of the fishermen, of whom 
they had both become jealous. The day the two parties met, on the 
signal for the fight being given, the Viwa and Ambau forces fell upon 
the unsuspecting fishermen, and massacred one hundred and eighty 
of them. They, however, made a most resolute resistance, and 
killed about seventy of their murderers. In July, Ambau was again 

VOL. III. 2F 46 


On the 2d of August, a total eclipse of the moon occurred. It 
began about 8 p. m., and the moon was totally obscured until two 
o'clock in the morning. When it emerged, it was of a blood-red coloui, 
which it retained until it set. The natives were in great consterna- 
tion, and said that it foreboded the death of some great chief, and the 
destruction of some town. On the strength of it. Whippy says, the 
mountain chiefs on Ovolau began to quarrel, and four of them were 
severely wounded in a fight, but none killed. The chief of Levuka 
sent his son to try and make peace among them, but with little 

The chief of Rewa's brother, Mr. Phillips, who had fled to Ambau, 
returned to Rewa, which he was again ordered to leave; but he 
refused, and is determined to fight if his brother should undertake to 
compel him. 

The islands are becoming worse every day, for the tyrant Seru is 
depopulating them, and will do a great deal of harm if his career be 
not stopped. He is now, in fact, king, for Tanoa does not dare to act 
without Seru's permission. He is constantly sending to the white men 
at Levuka for their property, and notwithstanding his demands are 
complied with, he continues to threaten to break their heads. To please 
him they find to be impossible, and Whippy writes, if his reign be not 
shortened, their lives will be. 

Several trading vessels have been at Malolo, who all speak of the 
natives, both there and in the neighbourhood, as being very friendly 
and civil. 

Several vessels had arrived and were fishing for biche de mar, but 
without much success. The wars and massacres constantly occurring 
had, in a great measure, put a stop to all the labours of the natives, 
and had turned their attention from all peaceful pursuits. 

Tn the latter part of July, both the towns of Levuka were totally 
destroyed by fire, which took place in the dead of the night. Whippy 
and the rest lost all their property ; books, papers, &c., were all burnt, 
but no lives were lost. The town, however, was fast rebuilding, and 
would be much improved. 

The missionaries and their families are all well at Somu-somu, but 
they have made no converts. Mr. Cross complains that the Viwa 
chief, Naugarrasia, had turned out a hypocrite, after having deceived 
him for a year. The missionaries are making no further progress at 
Rewa, and the troubles there will prevent any. They have not yet 
been favoured with a missionary teacher at Levuka, which these 
respectable men have been long endeavouring to obtain. They are 


anxious for the means of instruction for their children, of whom they 
have among them about fifty. It is to be hoped that this opportunity, 
which is offered to the missionaries, will not be long neglected. To 
instruct children, who are thus offered to them, appears to be one of 
the best possible modes of furthering the great object they have in 
view. The present generation of the Feejee nation I cannot but con- 
sider as irreclaimable, and that it would be the true policy to direct 
their whole efforts to the rising one. In this they will be most likely 
to succeed by fostering the white men of Levuka, and connecting 
themselves with them. From them they would receive every possible 
assistance, in consequence of their anxiety to forward the education 
of their own children ; and the latter, under missionary auspices, 
would soon rise up into a class, that, connected in blood and language 
with the natives, and at the same time instructed in the way of religion 
and civilization, could not fail to exert a most salutary influence over 
the destinies of these fine islands. 

In taking leave of the Feejee Islands, I was deeply impressed with 
the recollection of the various feelings and anxieties to which my 
operations among them had given rise. In spite of the severe loss I 
had sustained in the death of one dear to me, I could not but consider 
that we were fortunate in having performed our duties without suffering 
a greater number of serious accidents. The contrast of the character 
of the islands themselves, with that of the race of beings by which they 
are inhabited, is marked most strongly. The latter are truly wretches 
in the strongest sense of the term, and degraded beyond the conception 
of civilized people. For the sake of decency, and to avoid shocking 
the moral sense of my readers, I have refrained from relating many 
things which happened under my own eyes. What I have stated, will, 
however, serve to give an idea of the habits, manners, and customs of 
the natives of Feejee, in every point that can be spoken of without 
exciting a blush. 

No one can visit these islands without feeling a poignant regret that 
so lovely a part of God's creation should be daily and hourly sullied 
by deeds of such unparalleled depravity as those to which I have 

The time will, I trust, ere long arrive, when the missionaries, by 
their perseverance, courage, and devotedness, shall reclaim these 
islanders from their sensual and savage customs, and bring them 
within the fold of civilization. For the success of their meritorious 
labours they have my most hearty prayers ; and it has afforded me no 
small pleasure to learn that we were considered by them as having in 



some small degree aided in making the way for the introduction of 
the gospel more easy and smooth to them, than it had been before oui 
visit to this group. 

The few remaining operations of the squadron in this group will be 
found in the following chapter. 









After the squadron had cleared the reefs, I made signal to the 
Porpoise to part company, for the purpose of proceeding to execute 
the orders I had given her commander. I afterwards despatched the 
tender to run along the sea-reef as far as Round Island, before shaping 
her course for Oahu in the Sandwich Islands. 

The Vincennes and Peacock continued their course to the northward 
in company, and on the 18th, passed from east into west longitude, 
when we in consequence changed our reckoning a day. At the same 
time we lost the regular trade, and began to experience variable winds 
and light squalls. 

Having now made all the necessary arrangements with Captain 
Hudson, I determined that the vessels should part company. By so 
doing, our passage to Oahu would probably be expedited, — a matter 
of some importance, in consequence of the low state of our stock of 
provisions ; and pursuing separate tracks, there would be a better 
opportunity of searching for some doubtful islands, and of obtaining 
information in relation to the currents and winds. The vessels there- 
fore parted company on the evening of the 14th, I having previously 
transferred Passed Midshipman Eld to the Vincennes, and Passed 
Midshipman Colvocoressis to the Peacock. 

On the 15th August, the winds inclined more to the south, and on 
the 16th, on board the Vincennes, we had variable winds, veering to 
the northward. I therefore tacked to the eastward, in order to take 
advantage of the change of wind in making easting. Many tropic- 
birds were now seen. Our latitude was 5° 41' S., longitude 175° 
46' W. 

On the 17th we passed the position where an island has been re- 



ported to exist, but saw nothing of it; and the wind was again from 
the northeast. The sick that had been received in the Vincennes 
from the Porpoise were all recovering rapidly. 

On the ISth, the weather was fine and the wind still light ; tropic- 
birds and tern were seen, and a constant look-out was kept, in the 
expectation of seeing land. This was the second anniversary of our 
sailing from the United States. 

On the 19th, we made an island in the neighbourhood of the position 
assigned to Kemins' or Gardner's Island. Its true place is in latitude 
4° 37' 42" S., longitude 174° 40' 18" W. This is a low coral island, 
having a shallow lagoon in the centre, into which there is no navigable 
passage ; but the reef on the western side is so low that the tide can 
flow into the lagoon. 

When near enough to the island, the boats were lowered, and a 
number of officers and men landed, after passing for a considerable 
distance through a dangerous surf, breaking with violence over that 
part of the reef through which the tide flows into the shallow lagoon. 
The remainder of the reef which forms the island, is white coral sand, 
about three hundred feet wide, on which there is a vegetation that, 
unlike that of the other low islands of Polynesia, is devoid of low 

Birds were numerous on the island, and very tame ; the tropic-birds 
so much so that some of the sailors amused themselves by collecting 
their beautiful tail-feathers, which they twitched from the bird while 
it sat on its nest, — an operation which the bird often bore without 
being disturbed. Besides birds, a large rat was found on this island. 

The flood here sets strong to the northward, and the rise and fall of 
the tide was four and a half feet. No coral blocks were seen on this 
island, and it is less elevated above the water than those further to the 
eastward. The soil, however, appeared to be better than upon those, 
the coral sand being finer, and mixed with a greater quantity of vege- 
table mould. To this may be ascribed the larger growth of the trees 
upon it, which although of the same kinds as those which have been 
already mentioned as found growing on the coral islands, are forty or 
fifty feet in height. The island may be seen on a clear day at the 
distance of fifteen miles. 

Believing this to be the island discovered by Captain Gardner, I 
have retained his name. 

Here we made observations of magnetic declination, inclination, 
and intensity; after completing which, we passed through the surf 
without accident, and on reaching the ship, filled away, and stood on 
our course. 


The dip was T 39' S., the variation T 26' E. 

Light winds continued to blow from the eastward: we held our 
cc»urse to the northward. At ten on the morning of the 19th, breakers 
were discovered from the masthead, and by noon a small island was 
seen, to which I gave the name of the man who first saw it, — M'Kean's 
Island. In the afternoon, boats were despatched to survey it. 

M'Kean's Island is composed of coral sand and blocks, and is three- 
fourths of a mile long, by half a mile wide. It rises twenty-five feet 
above the level of the sea, and has upon it no vegetation except a 
scanty growth of coarse grass. The surf was too heavy to permit a 

Our observations place M'Kean's Island in longitude 174° 17' 26" 
W., and latitude 3° 35' 10" S., and it lies about north-northeast sixty 
miles from that of Kemins. 

The upper stratum of clouds was perceived to be moving to the 
westward with much rapidity, yet we had little wind below. 

On the beginning of the 21st we had showers of rain, accompanied 
with a light wind from the westward, and the weather was much more 
comfortable than it had been for the last few days. During the latter 
part of the day a quantity of rain fell — 5*2 inches. The temperature 
of the rain-water was 62°. This rain destroyed all our wind, but it 
came out again from the northward and eastward, with beautiful clear 
weather. The upper stratum of clouds was moving from the east- 
northeast. We caught a porpoise this day, differing somewhat in 
species from any we had yet seen. 

On the 22d we again had a light breeze from the northward and 
westward, and, what surprised me, a heavy, disagreeable, rolling sea, 
from the southwest, towards which quarter we experienced a current 
of some strength. 

On the 23d, while steering for Sydney Island, we had baffling airs : 
the swell left us, and we found the ship more comfortable. On the 
24th, we had no wind, but experienced thunder, accompanied with a 
little rain. The tropic-birds were screaming around us at night, and 
tern were seen during the day. 

On the 25th we again had thunder-showers from the northeast, suc- 
ceeded by light winds from the eastward, the upper stratum of clouds 
continuing to fly from east-by-north. 

On the 26th we made land, which proved to be a lagoon island, 
about sixty miles to the westward of the position of Sydney Island. 
At ten o'clock, being near it, the boats were lowered and sent round 
one side of the island, while the ship proceeded round the other. 

This island was not found on any chart ; I therefore called it Hull's 

VOL. HI. 47 


Island, in honour of that distinguished officer of our navy. It has no 
doubt been frequently taken for Sydney Island. Its northwest point 
lies in longitude 172° 20' 52" W., and latitude 4° 29' 48" S. To our 
great surprise, we found on this island eleven Kanakas from Tahiti, 
with a Frenchman who had been left there some five months before, 
to catch turtles, of which they had succeeded in taking seventy-eight. 
The Frenchman was unwell and we did not see him, but three of the 
Kanakas came on board and remained a short time. They knew 
Sydney Island, which they told us lay about sixty miles to the east- 
ward, and also two small islands to the northward, but no others here- 
abouts. Sydney Island they said they had visited, and that it was like 
the one on which we had found them. Hull's Island has a little fresh 
water and a few cocoa-nut trees upon it, but offers few inducements 
to visit it, even for the business of taking turtles. The value of those 
taken could scarcely cover the expenses incurred, which must have 
been be}'ond one thousand dollars, taking into consideration the time 
spent by the vessel going and returning. They informed us that their 
vessel had gone to Samoa for the purpose of trading, and that they 
had been expecting her for some time past. 

We now stood for Sydney Island, and ran in the darkness until the 
screaming of the birds around us, warned me that it was most prudent 
to heave-to, and await the morning light. 

The morning proved squally, no land was in sight, and the wind 
was strong from the eastward. No observations could be taken at 
noon, and soon after that hour land was discovered from the masthead, 
bearing northwest, which proved to be Hull's Island, showing that we 
had been strongly affected by a southwesterly current. I now saw 
that to attempt to reach Sydney Island, with the wind as we then had 
it, would occasion much loss of time ; I therefore determined, first to 
search for those islands said to lie to the northward. With the wind 
at east-by-south, we stood to the north, and at daylight saw an island 
twelve miles to the westward, which was Birnie's Island. At ten 
o'clock we made another island, Enderbury's, which our observations 
placed in latitude 3° 08' S., longitude 171° 08' 30" W. 

On the latter island we spent the most of this day, making obser- 
vations for dip and intensity. As it was somewhat peculiar in ap- 
pearance, we made a particular survey of it. It is a coral island, 
with a dry lagoon. The usual shore coral reef, which is from thirty 
to one hundred and fifty feet wide, surrounds it, and extends a short 
distance from its points ; its greatest height above the shore-reef, was 
found to be eighteen feet; it is almost entirely composed of large 
coral slabs, intermixed with sand : the slabs have the sonorous or 


clinky sound heretofore noticed, and are likewise of compact coral 
rock. The bottom of the lagoon is entirely formed of these, and is 
in places below the level of high tide. The slabs are thrown and 
piled in all manner of ways, and are generally about the size and 
thickness of tombstones. They have the appearance of having once 
formed an extensive pavement that is now broken up in all manner of 
ways, and would, if laid down, cover, according to estimation, a much 
larger extent than the whole island. 

The island was found to be three miles long, by two and a half 
wide. The southern end is the widest, and on it are two clumps of 
stunted shrubs and plants, consisting of Cordia, Tournefortia, Portu- 
laca, Boerhaavia, &c. The northern end is almost bare of vegetation, 
with the exception of a small running vine (Convolvulus maritimus). 
At this end the lagoon is most apparent. There is a small channel on 
the eastern side, through which the water probably flows when it is 
unusually high, and fills the lagoon, from which it is gradually evapo- 
rated. On the west side of this island we found a quantity of drift- 
wood, lying just on the edge of the bank of coral slabs. Some of the 
trunks were very large, being fifty or sixty feet in length, and from 
tvi'o to three feet in diameter. This occurrence of drift-wood would 
lead to the conclusion, that during the westerly monsoons in these 
seas, the winds and currents under the equator extend thus far from 
the more v^^estern islands. The locality in which these large trees 
are found, would show that there is at times a very great rise of the 
waters, which must submerge the islands altogether. There were 
likewise rats here, and, as if subverting the order of things, we found 
their nests built on tussucks of grass, about eighteen inches or two feet 
high, while those of the birds occupied the ground. 

At about four o'clock we were all on board, and stood for Birnie's 
Island, in hopes of seeing it before night, which we did not succeed in 
doing, and I was compelled to lay-to, owing to the dangers that were 
reported to exist. By morning I found the ship had drifted so far to 
leeward that it was impossible to reach the island without spending 
much time in beating up. 

The wind now hauled so as to give us the hope that we might reach 
Sydney Island ; but owing to its baffling us, and to the current, we fell 
to leeward a second time. I then stood on to the southward, for a 
supposed reef in latitude 5° S., but none was discovered. 

Feeling that it was necessary for us to be making our way to the 
Sandwich Islands, on account of the shortness of our provisions, I 
tacked to the northward, after having spent thirteen days in this 


On the 31st of August, we found a current setting thirty-three miles 
S. 63° W. 

On the 1st of September, the current was found to have set us to 
the south-by-west twenty-two miles ; and until the 4th, we had strong 
breezes from east-by-north and east-northeast. On the 4th, we crossed 
the line, in longitude 167° 45' 30" W., with delightful weather, but 
met no westerly winds. For two or three days we had seen several 
kinds of birds: tern, plover, boobies, and tropic-birds, indicating that 
land was not far distant. 

On the 6th and 7th, we had changeable weather, short calms, 
squalls, and fresh breezes, both fair and foul. The wind was gene- 
rally from southeast to east-northeast. On the latter day, we expe- 
rienced a current setting to the northeast. The winds appeared to be 
affected by the time of the day, and were found to be regular in their 
veering from one side to the other. The breeze is usually lost after a 
shower of rain. We had now reached the latitude of 7° 10' N., 
longitude 162° 25' W., and had passed the magnetic equator in latitude 
3° S. 

On the 10th of September, the northeast trades were met with, in 
latitude 8° N., and longitude 161° 10' W. 

On the 12th, the wind hauled to the northeast, when I tacked to the 
southward and eastward ; but after a few hours I again put the ship's 
head to the northward, deeming it advisable to run at once through 
the trades. 

Until the 17th, we had light breezes, with occasional squalls, the 
current setting to the westward. Our observations placed us in 
latitude 21° 33' N., longitude 161° 37' W., which being about two 
hundred miles to the westward of Oahu, I determined to beat up for 
it, instead of standing to the northward of the islands. The wind 
occasionally veered four or five points, which was favourable to this 

On the 20th, we made the island of Kauai, which is mountainous : it 
bore north-northwest and east-northeast- The lightness of the ship, 
with the sea and slight current setting to leeward, combined to impede 
our progress, and I found, although we had a good breeze, we were 
beating without making much headway. I therefore, although reluc- 
tantly, determined on filling up our tanks with salt water, to enable the 
ship to hold a good wind and make progress. 

On the 23d of September we made the island of Oahu, and stood in 
for what those who had been there before, and professed to have a 
knowledge of the land, said was the situation of Honolulu. They all 
knew its localitv to be under our lee, and I ordered the course 


accordingly. On approaching the land there was no town to be seen, 
and every one then knew that a naistake had been made, of which no 
one was willing to assume the blame. Instead of being off Honolulu, 
we were under the high land of Mauna Kaala, on the west side of 
Oahu, near the small village of Wainai. 

The appearance of Oahu is by no means inviting; it has a greater 
resemblance to the desert coast of Peru than any other of the Polyne- 
sian islands we had visited, and has as little appearance of cultivation. 
The country would be termed at first sight barren and rocky. The 
land in places is very much broken, and rises into high ridges, here 
and there divided by deep and narrow ravines, with little vegetation, 
except on the mountain ranges. From the published descriptions of the 
Hawaiian Islands, I was prepared to see them, and particularly Oahu, 
a perfect garden. I was inclined to impute my disappointment to our 
approach being made on its lee side, which is unusual ; but I regret to 
say that any side of it, when seen from the sea, is very far from having 
an inviting appearance. 

Judging myself still to leeward of our port, as our observations, on 
calculating them up, proved, I made a tack off, and by four o'clock 
we saw the town of Honolulu, which is very conspicuous from the sea, 
and has more the appearance of a civilized land, with its churches and 
spires, than any other island in Polynesia. It is, therefore, strange that 
it should have been forgotten by those who had once seen it. 

As it was too late to reach the anchorage, I concluded to beat to 
windward till the morning of the 24th, when, at S** 30'" a. m., we came 
to anchor in the roads, and found the tender had arrived a few days 
before us, all well. 

Honolulu exhibits, even to a distant view, many dwellings built in the 
European style, with look-outs, and several steeples rising above the 
habitations. Some edifices of large size are also seen in the progress 
of construction. Native houses, with thatched roofs, however, pre- 
dominate, which prevent it from losing the appearance of a Polynesian 
town, and are associated with ideas of a semi-civilization. To look 
upon it was, notwithstanding, a source of pleasure, as it gave evidence 
of a change being in progress, in which some of our own countrymen 
are performing a prominent part. It has for several years past been 
their scene of action, and bears testimony to their spirit of enterprise. 
They still constitute the majority of the foreign residents. Many of us, 
also, expected to meet friends, and all knew that the squadron was 
anxiously looked for, while letters for us had certainly been accumu- 
lating, in which news from home was to be found. 

The aspect of the country around Honolulu, as seen from the roads 



is barren ; the plain on which the town stands is almost destitute of 
verdure, and exhibits only a few scattered houses. This plain extends 
both east and west from the town, while behind it the land gradually 
rises towards the Nuuanu Valley. Several crater-shaped hills are in 
sight, one of which, called by the foreign residents "The Punch-Bowl," 
stands out in bold relief on one side of that valley. 

The entrance to the valley, with the green taro-patches, affords an 
agreeable relief to the eye, after it has dwelt upon the scorched and 
dusty aspect of all that is seen elsewhere. The fort, with its numerous 
embrasures, and the shipping, lying in the contracted reef-harbour, 
give an air of importance, that could hardly be expected in a Polyne- 
sian island or harbour. The roadstead is safe, except during the winter 
months, when a southwest gale may happen ; but such gales have 
seldom been felt during the residence of the missionaries, for the last 
twenty years. 

Mr. Brinsmade, our consul, kindly sent off our numerous letters, 
which were indeed a treat, as we had been upwards of a year without 
any news from home. I went on shore to make arrangements for 
taking the ship into the harbour, and choosing a suitable position for 
our anchorage. 

On landing, a great uproar prevailed, and groups presented them- 
selves to view, so motley that it would be difficult to describe their 
dress or appearance. There are, indeed, few places where so great a 
diversity in dress and language exists as at Honolulu. The maj rity 
were in well-worn European clothing, put on in the most fanciful 
manner ; but upon the whole, I should say that the crowd were scantily 
covered, some being half-dressed, many shirtless, none fully clothed, 
and numbers of them with nothing on but the maro. I had been led 
to expect a greater appearance of civilization. The women were all 
clad in long loose garments, like bathing-dresses, and many of them 
were sporting in the water as if it had been their native element. 
Some of these natives wore the simple tapa, thrown over their 
shoulders, which gave them a much more respectable appearance than 
those who were clothed in cast-off garments. I was told not to form 
an opinion of the people too hastily, for this was not a fair view of 
them ; but it is as well to give one's impressions on the first appear- 

The place showed much stir of business, owing principally to the 
work of repairing vessels, and the attendance on them by the natives. 
The landing is upon a small wharf, erected on piles; and there ap- 
peared to be sufficient accommodation for the vessels that were in the 
harbour at this time. The number was nine. 


The natives, in colour, are between the Tongese and Feejees. The 
grouping of the adobe walls, European houses with piazzas, native 
houses and pulperias, is as striking as the variety of feature and dress, 
from the Chinese in their loose shirt and trowsers and broad-brimmed 
straw-hat, to the well-dressed European, in cloth coat and tightly- 
strapped pantaloons. 

Every thing is earth-colour, with the exception of a few green 
blinds. The streets, if so they may be called, have no regularity as to 
width, and are ankle-deep in light dust and sand. Little pains are 
taken to keep them clean from offal ; and, in some places, offensive 
sink-holes strike the senses, in which are seen wallowing some old and 
corpulent hogs. One of these, which was pointed out to us as belong- 
ing to the king, was tabooed, and consequently a privileged personage. 
The walk on shore, however, after so long a confinement to the ship, 
was agreeable. After having arranged my business, and received an 
introduction to the ladies of the consul's family, T returned on board to 
read my letters from home. Every preparation was ordered to be 
made to weigh anchor at daylight, which is the only time at which the 
harbour can be entered, for the wind is then light and well to the east- 

On the 25th, early in the morning, we got under way, in charge of 
the pilot, and stood into the harbour, the wind just enabling the fore- 
and-aft sails of the ship to draw full. Hawsers were prepared as guest- 
warps, with two or three hundred natives on the reefs to man them. 
The ship was given a strong headway by coming up with the outer 
buoy under all sail, when every thing was clewed up, and the ship 
luffed up to pass on, until the hawsers were reached, which, being 
taken on board and made fast, the natives marched off with. At this 
time it might almost have been thought that Bedlam had broken loose. 
The whole shore, harbour, fort, boats, vessels, and housetops, were 
covered with a mass of human beings, and a continual shouting kept 
up ; for on the arrival of a man-of-war, all Honolulu is abroad, and at 
the water-side, or on the housetops. It is not novelty alone that creates 
this excitement, for they have many times witnessed the advent of a 
man-of-war; but they look upon it as a kind of silver shower that is to 
fall upon them, and joy and gladness, with a kindly welcome, were 
depicted upon every countenance. 

During the day, the foreign consuls, residents, and missionaries, called 
on board, and gave us a hearty welcome to the island, offering all the 
assistance that might lie in their power. This kind reception, received 
from all, both foreigners and natives, gave us much pleasure, and 
tended to make us at once feel at home. Our arrival had been 


anxiously expected for at least six months. It was to us most agree- 
able to see and meet so many of our countrymen, and feel ourselves so 
immediately identified and connected with the place and its inhabitants. 
I must, however, leave Oahu, and its chief town Honolulu, and return 
to the other vessels of the squadron. 

On the 30th of September, the Peacock reached Oahu, all well. On 
parting company with the Vincennes, Captain Hudson passed over the 
position assigned to a reef, by Captain Swain, in longitude 176° 56' 
W., latitude 9° 55' S., without seeing any thing of it, and continuing to 
the northward, crossed the line on the 27th of August. The winds, 
until the latitude of 3° S., were from the east, after which they became 
more variable, between northeast and southeast, accompanied with 
light squalls of rain and frequent lightning. The weather on the 25th 
being favourable, they tried the current every hour, and also the depth 
at which the white object could be seen. A table of these experiments 
is given in Appendix I. It was clear sunshine throughout the day. 
The table will show the difference with a high and low altitude of the 

The winds, after crossing the line, were found still to be variable, 
though inclining more to the northeast. The weather was at times hot 
and sultry — the temperature throughout the twenty-four hours being 
from 81° to 84°. 

Between the latitudes of 5° and 8° N., the Peacock experienced a 
similar current with ourselves, setting northeast. On the 8th of Sep- 
tember, in latitude 14° N., the wind hauling to the northeast, they 
tacked to the southward, until the 17th, when, having reached the 
longitude of 160° 27' W., their head was again put to the north. They 
continued to have squalls and variable winds during the rest of the 
passage, with a current setting to the westward, and lost much time 
owing to the lightness of the winds. On the Peacock's arrival at 
Oahu, she had no sick on board. 

I will now refer to the operations of the Porpoise, wdiich vessel, it 
will be recollected, received orders the day we left the Feejee Group, 
to proceed to Turtle Island in search of the crew of the ship Shylock, 
which had been wrecked there. 

After parting company, on the 11th, they proceeded to complete the 
surveys pointed out. On the 12th they were employed in the survey 
of the island of Chicobea. From thence they went to Natava Bay. In 
anchoring on a coral patch in the bay for the purpose of surveying it, 
the brig fouled her anchor : in heaving it up the chain cable parted, 
and Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold was obliged to leave it. 

The Porpoise was the first vessel that had anchored in this bay, and 


Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold says that it is without any harbour 
or protection for vessels. There are several small villages around it, 
but no town on the east side, with the exception of a village under 
Natava Peak, where there is the appearance of a stream of water from 
the mountains. The land is much broken into volcanic peaks. The 
bay extends to the southwest twenty miles, and is seven miles wide. 

The bay, which should be more properly called a gulf, affords no 
inducements for commerce, or for vessels to venture in ; there is no 
bottom except with great length of line, and where anchorage exists 
it is very near the shore. On the west side of the bay are many pi-o- 
jecting reefs. 

From this bay they passed round the north end of Rambe, examined 
its reefs, and then stood for Somu-somu, where they found the people 
preparing for a grand feast, in consequence of the breaking out of the 
war with Vuna. The old king was found, as I had frequently seen 
him, braiding his sennit, and surrounded by his wives. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold had communication with the 
king and chiefs respecting the missionaries, and urged upon them the 
necessity of providing a suitable place for them. Tui Illa-illa was for 
a long time unwilling to make any promises, and wished to procrasti- 
nate. He professed great love for the missionaries ; but his character 
being well understood, little reliance was placed in his promises. 
Finding, however, that Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold was not 
to be deceived, he at last consented to assign to the missionaries a 
piece of land in the suburbs of the town, where they might build a 

Tui Illa-illa was very desirous of obtaining one of our " fiery spirits" 
(rockets), with which he believed he could put an end at once to the 
Vuna war ; and the hope of obtaining one was no doubt a great in- 
ducement to his yielding his consent to giving the land so freely to the 
missionaries, for it is well-known he bears them no good will. He 
offered one hundred pigs for a single rocket, and enforced his request 
by kissmg the hands of Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold with great 
eagerness. He did not, however, succeed in procuring the object of 
his wishes. 

During the stay of the Porpoise at Somu- somu, the boats, under 
Lieutenant Maury and Mr. Knox, were despatched to survey the bay 
of Matapuen, on the opposite side of the straits, which service they 
completed, and reported its having a good and safe anchorage. After 
their return, preparations were made for departure. 

At Somu-somu they found the celebrated Ambau chief, Wainue, 
cousin to Seru, with whom he had quarrelled, and had fled to Somu- 

VOL. III. 2G2 48 


somu: he was now about joining in the war against his own relatives. 
He was remarkably fine-looking, tall, and well made, and dressed oul 
in the extreme of the Feejee fashion. 

Provisions were in great abundance, but not for sale, as they were 
reserving them all for the great feast to celebrate the commencement 
of the war. Aliko, their former and favourite pilot, who had been left 
at Muthuala, now returned with some canoes, bringing a refusal on 
the part of old Tui Muthuata to engage himself openly in any con- 
flict with Tanoa of Ambau, which was a great disappointment to the 
people of Somu-somu. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold having now settled all the busi- 
ness for which he had been despatched to Somu-somu, took his de- 
parture at daylight on the 18th for Turtle or Vatoa Island, in search 
of the ship Shylock, of Rochester, Massachusetts, Charles Taber, 
master. The particulars respecting the loss of this vessel are as fol- 
lows : 

On the 21st of June, 1840, at 6 p. m.. Turtle Island bore southeast, 
according to their reckoning, distant thirty miles, and they were 
steering north under all sail, with a man on the look-out ; at about ten 
o'clock p. M., the reef was discovered close aboard, and before they had 
time to avoid it, the ship struck. Two boats were at once lowered, in 
which the master, first mate, and sixteen hands embarked, leaving the 
second mate and six men on board the vesseL 

These boats at twelve o'clock bore away for the Friendly Islands. 
After two days they reached the island of Toofona, on which they 
landed and obtained some food. The next morning they again left 
Toofona for Vavao, stopping on their way for two or three days, at 
the Hapai Islands, where they were kindly treated by the missionaries. 
On the ninth day they reached Vavao, the whole distance being about 
three hundred and fifty miles. The captain, mate, and part of the 
crew, embarked there in a missionary schooner, bound for the Feejee 
Islands, and arrived a few days after at Somu-somu, where several of 
them joined our squadron. 

As usual, while under the lee of the island, the Porpoise experienced 
light winds and hot weather. On the 25th of August they made the 
island of Ono, in latitude 21° S., longitude 179° W., and the same day 
saw Turtle Island, bearing east-by-north. At daylight on the 2Gth, 
Turtle Island was in sight from the deck of the Porpoise, about twelve 
miles distant. In the afternoon they were up with it, and were boarded 
by a canoe, with a white man, who said he was a seaman belonging 
to the schooner Currency Lass, which vessel, on hearing of the Shy- 
lock's disaster, had gone there in search of any of the cargo that 


might have been saved by the natives. The white man gave the fol- 
io w^ing further particulars of the wreck. 

The eight persons who were left on the wreck, (with the exception 
of the boy, who was drowned in falling from the main-top,) succeeded 
in reaching the island on the jib-boom the day after the accident, (22d 
of June,) and were kindly treated by the natives. Two or three days 
afterwards, a boat from a whale-ship, (supposed to have been the Cla- 
rendon,) coming from the Hapai Islands, called at the island, and took 
them off. Twenty casks of the oil, which had drifted ashore, had 
been saved by the natives, and were purchased by the owner of the 
Currency Lass, who arrived on the 3d of August. This purchase was 
made in a most extraordinary manner, and by way of showing it, I 
have inserted the bill of sale in Appendix XIX. Some flour, cordage, 
canvass, and clothing, which had been seized by some natives from 
Lakemba, had been recovered ; and a portion of the oil had also 
drifted on the weather islands of the Feejee Group, and had there been 
secured by the natives.* 

An anchor, chain, and smaller cable, with the main-mast, were still 
on th-e reef. The Shylock struck on the northwest side of the reef, 
which is detached, being two and a half miles from the island, with a 
clear passage between them. The reef is of an elliptical form, six 
and a half miles long, by three and a quarter wide, and has heavy 
breakers on all sides, forming a lagoon, with some narrow boat- 
entrances on the northwest side. The current was found setting five- 
eighths of a mile per hour to the east. 

Vatoa, or Turtle Island, as determined by the Porpoise, lies in lati- 
tude 19° 50' S., longitude 178° 37' 45" W. It was found to be three 
miles long, by one and a quarter miles wide. The reef extends all 
around the island, and is from one and a half to two miles wide. The 
island contains about fifty inhabitants, who have native missionaries, 
and are Christians ; they have but a scanty supply of food, and no 
water is to be obtained. 

The Porpoise now made sail for Vavao, the northernmost of the 
Friendly Islands. On the 29th, they passed the islands of Lati, Too- 
fona, and Koa. The first and last have high conical peaks, while 
Toofona is comparatively low. The latter is the only active volcano 
here, and is said to be in almost constant action; smoke was seen 
issuing from it. The cooper of the Shylock, who was put on board 
the Porpoise, landed on it from the boats on his way to Vavao. He 

* This was an additional proof that the current sets tlie same way as we experienced in 
May last. 


describes its whole surface as being covered with cinders and lava. 
When off the island, he saw the volcano emitting to some height 
columns of flame and smoke. 

Both Lati and Koa have also the appearance of having craters, 
particularly the latter, the summit of which is cleft. 

On the 1st of September, at daylight, they found themselves in shoal 
water, the bottom being distinctly seen, and the lead gave but fifteen 
fathoms depth. This proved to be an extensive shoal lying to the 
southwest of Vavao. A few hours after, they passed over another 
shoal, and were in nine fathoms : but the shoal was of much less 

At noon they took a white man, as pilot, on board, and passed into 
the fine bay of Vavao, called Port Refuge. In going in, they passed a 
large number of rocky islets, uninhabited, and of volcanic formation. 
The pilot informed Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold that there were 
still five of the Shylock's crew on the island, the rest having been taken 
off by H. B. M. sloop Favourite, bound for Sydney. 

The Porpoise anchored in twenty-seven fathoms water, in the outer 
harbour of Port Refuge. This harbour is an extensive and beautiful 
sheet of water, studded with many islets with bold and steep shores ; 
there is little tide, and no concealed dangers. They were boarded by 
a canoe, which showed a printed document in Tongese and English, 
containing the regulations of the port ; among them was one prohibiting 
the introduction and sale of spirits, and another fixing the fees for 
pilotage, and other services. 

The inner harbour is completely land-locked, and on its shores the 
village is situated, which is of considerable size, with a large native 
mission church, and a good parsonage-house. The town, as well as 
island, looked desolate, from the effects of the severe hurricanes, of 
which they have had for several years a succession. The houses, 
fences, trees, &c., were many of them prostrate and going to ruin. 
Few natives are to be seen, and those are only the old, decrepit, and 
very young ; for all the warriors had accompanied King George to 
Tongataboo, to carry on the war against the Devil's party. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, and his officers, visited the 
mission, and found the parsonage exceedingly comfortable and well- 
arranged, exhibiting a strong contrast to the devastation and ruin of 
the native huts and houses. The Rev. Mr. Thomas is the resident 
missionary. A printing-press is established here. 

The missionaries from Tonga had lately made their escape, in H. 
B. M. ship Favourite, from the seat of war. The report of the death 
of the commander of the Favourite, Captain Croker, which I had heard 


at Soinu-somu, was confirmed ; and apprehensions appeared to be 
entertained that King George and his forces, or the Christian party, 
would have to abandon their attempt to reduce the Devil's town, and 
force the inhabitants to become Christians. 

The natives of Vavao were equally good-looking with those of 
Tonga, and some of the women and children Were thought by the 
officers quite faultless in form and feature. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold received on board the Porpoise 
three of the shipwrecked crew of the Shylock, two young Americans 
and an Irishman ; the remaining two of the five preferring to stay on 
shore. Both of the latter were foreigners, one an Englishman, shipped 
at New Zealand, and a deserter from a British ship of war, the other 
a Portuguese, shipped at the Azores. 

After getting chronometer sights and dip observations at the village, 
they returned on board and prepared for their departure. At 11 p. m. 
they got under way, and by four o'clock they had passed the heads, 
and discharged the pilot. They now stood northeast, for the Samoan 
Group. On the afternoon of the 4th of September, they made Tutuila 
and IJpolu, and at night hove-to, to windward of the harbour of Apia. 

At dayHght on the 5th, they made sail along the island of Upolu, 
and saw a ship at anchor in the harbour of Saluafata. A boat soon 
after boarded the brig from the American whale-ship Lome ; and one 
of the Porpoise's boats was despatched to her, in the hopes of obtaining 
a small supply of provisions ; but without success. At nine o'clock the 
brig came to anchor at Apia, and a messenger was at once despatched 
for Mr. Williams, our consul, who lives at Fasetootai, twenty miles 
down the coast to the westward. 

The missionaries were visited, from whom they met a kind recep- 
tion. There appeared some little improvement in the village ; the 
stone church had been finished, and its white walls were seen through 
the deep green groves of bread-fruit trees. This building was con- 
structed by the Rev. Mr. Mills and his flock, and he was constantly 
seen engaged in the manual labour of its erection, the natives all assist- 
ing him cheerfully in the task. He thus not only exhibited a good 
example, but eflfectually taught them how to perform all the operations 
in carpentry and stone-masonry, as well as the use of the tools, in all 
of which they had acquired much adroitness. It was contemplated 
that the church would be finished by the first of the year. An anec- 
dote of the cause which gave rise to the building of the church was 
related by Mr. Mills. 

When the missionaries first came and settled, they were allowed to 
hold their service in the fale-tele, or town-house ; but Pea, the chief of 


the town, contrived to cause objections to be made to this application 
of the building, and the natives, finally, after raising many difficulties 
and throwing obstacles in the v/ay, refused it altogether, and would 
listen to no proposition to build a church. This was quietly borne, and 
Mr. Mills held the meetings in the open air, under a large tree near 
by. One day, as they were engaged in service, and the whole congre- 
gation was seated around in their best attire, a violent shower came 
up. All looked to the preacher, who was Mr. Mills, for an adjourn- 
ment ; but he was too fervent, and continued his exhortations until the 
whole were well drenched, and their finery of tapa, &c., which cannot 
stand the wet, spoiled. This taught them a lesson, and they not only 
agreed to the use of the fale-tele, but set about heart and hand to build 
the church. 

On the arrival of Mr. WiUiams, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold 
was informed that a man by the name of Gideon Smith, a native of 
Bath, Massachusetts, late of the ship Herald, of Dorchester, had been 
murdered by a small chief, named Tagi, at the instigation of Sanga- 
pabetele, chief of the towns of Saluafata, Fusi, and Saleleso. The 
assigned cause was, that Smith had not been faithful to his promise of 
giving Tagi some small articles. He was, in consequence, waylaid 
and killed at night by Tagi. (See Mr. Williams's letter and affidavit, 
in Appendix XX.) 

Mr. WiUiams and the British consul, Mr. Cunningham, held an 
examination of the murderer and his family, and the circumstances 
all clearly proved the murder to have been most deliberate. 

It will be recollected that, according to the rules and regulations of the 
king and chiefs, assembled in fono, at Apia, murderers were to be given 
up to the first man-of-war of our nation which should visit the island. 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, with the consul, proceeded, on the 
morning of the 8th of September, to Saluafata, to demand the murderer 
from the chief in whose town he resided. They reached that place at 
an early hour, and made the demand of the chief Sangapabetele. A 
council of the chiefs was at once assembled, when all united in the 
deliberate falsehood, that the murderer had escaped, but that they had 
sent in pursuit of him. They ended by promising that, as soon as he 
was caught he should be delivered at Apia. 

Three deserters from the American ship Lome, which was at 
anchor in the harbour, were then demanded ; and these men were 
promptly caught and delivered over the next day, to the master of the 
Lome, by the chief of Saluafata. 

The chiefs and people of Upolu, including even our old friend Pea, 
and his natives of Apia, boasted much of the failure of our attempt to 


get the chief, and said we were afraid to take him by force, and this 
too in the presence of the missionaries. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold procured all the papers from the 
consul for my full understanding of the case, and prepared for his 
departure, after laying in a good stock of pork, vegetables, and fruit 
for his crew. The Polenchano, commanded by a Frenchman, was 
lying at Apia : this is the vessel the part of whose crew we saw on 
Hull's Island, engaged in taking turtles. 

On inquiry being made about Opotuno, it was found that no 
claimant had appeared for the reward; the deposit was therefore 
taken on board again, and exchanged for the requisite provisions for 
the crew, which were found in great abundance here. 

On the 10th of September, the Porpoise left the harbour for the 
Hawaiian Islands, steering for some islands which the missionaries 
had reported to me as existing about two hundred and fifty miles to 
the northeast ; but no indication of land was seen on that bearing, and 
at that distance. In this passage they experienced similar winds and 
weather to those described in speaking of the passage of the Vincennes, 
and saw many birds flying about in the neighbourhood of the island we 
visited. They found the magnetic equator in latitude 3° 15' S., longi- 
tude 166° 07' W., and crossed the equator in 166° W. 

They had the east-southeast and east winds until latitude 5° N. 
Between that and latitude 10° N., they experienced the same easterly 
current that we had done. In that latitude the northeast winds were 
fallen in with, accompanied with squalls of rain, and sometimes of 
wind. From latitude 10° N., the current was found to set to the west- 
ward ; and the winds settled with httle variation into the northeast 

On the 7th of October they made the Hawaiian Islands, and on the 
8th reached Oahu ; by ten o'clock they had taken the pilot on board, 
entered the passage, and anchored in the harbour. The officers and 
crew were all well. Their passage from the Samoan Islands occupied 
thirty days ; and their course was nearly direct. 

The tender, agreeably to the orders given her, made the island of 
Kie, and ran down the sea-reef as far as Round Island, where it 
becomes a sunken one, running in the direction of Biva, the most 
western island of the group. The Round Island Passage is the only 
large break through it. There are, indeed, several narrow passages 
as Round Island is approached, but none that it would be advisable for 
a vessel to enter, the ground inside being thickly studded with sunken 
coral reefs. 

The tender, after reaching Round Island, made sail for the Hawaiian 


Islands, and performed the passage in thirty-three days. They did not 
see any thing during the whole route. The weather they experienced 
seems to have been much of the same kind as heretofore described; 
there was little interruption of the easterly winds. The northeast trades 
were met in latitude 10° N., and the tender crossed the equator in 
longitude 166° W. The easterly current was found to afTect her in 
latitudes from 4° to 6° N., and they occasionally experienced the 
westerly current during the rest of the passage. 

I have already mentioned the warm reception we met with at the 
Hawaiian Islands. The governor, Kekuanaoa, kindly placed at my 
disposal the large stone house belonging to Kekauluohi, in the square 
where the tomb in which the royal family are interred, is situated. 
The tomb was at that time undergoing some repairs. The state 
coffins, which are richly ornamented with scarlet and gold cloth, and 
in two of which the bodies of the late king, Liho-liho, and his wife 
were brought from England, in the frigate Blonde, were deposited in 
the house I was to occupy. The governor had them at once removed 
to the tomb, and in two days I was comfortably established, and 
engaged in putting up my instruments, and getting ready to carry on 
our shore duties. 

It will now be necessary for me to enter into some particulars 
relative to the future operations of the squadron, in order to show the 
difficulties that had to be encountered at this part of the cruise. Be- 
fore reaching Oahu, I was convinced that it would be altogether too 
late to attempt any thing on the Northw^est Coast of America this year, 
and to winter there would have rendered us liable to contract diseases 
to which the men would have been too prone, after the hard service 
they had seen in the tropics ; besides, I was averse to passing our time 
in comparative inactivity, and I wished to make the most of the force 
that had been intrusted to my charge. As my instructions had not 
contemplated such an event, I was left to my own judgment and re- 
sources, to choose the course which would prove most beneficial to our 
commerce, and to science ; I had also to take into account what we 
could accomplish in some other direction, prior to the end of April, 
when the season would become favourable for our operations on the 
Northwest Coast, and in the Columbia River. 

On our way from the Feejees, various hints were thrown out that 
the times of the crew had expired, and that they would not reship. 
I understood their disposition, however, and had little apprehension 
of their being led astray by those who were disposed to create diffi- 
culties among them. Their time, in their opinion, would expire on 
the 1st of November; in my mind this construction was at least 


xJoubtful, the wording of the articles being, tliat "they shipped for 
three years from the 1st of November, 1837, to return with the vessels 
to a port of safety in the United States." The latter clause certainly 
contemplated the possibility of the expiration of the time prior to their 
return, and therefore the engagement was not limited to three years; 
nor did it allow of my discharging any of them by paying them off in 
full, or of my crippling or retarding the duties of the Expedition. 
Many of the men spoke very sensibly on the subject, and expressed a 
desire to finish the cruise, which they would be glad to do by re- 
shipping, a course by which they would become entitled to one-fourth 
more pay; others again seemed desirous of producing discord, in 
which they were encouraged by the imprudent language of a few of 
Jhe officers, whether with the intention of producing discontent, 1 
know not. This indiscretion, however, was promptly arrested on its 
becoming known to me. 

As I was obliged to make a deviation from the original cruise 
pointed out in my instructions, which would extend its duration, I 
thought it bur just that new articles should be opened ; and in order 
that all should be placed on an equal footing, I included the crew of 
the Porpoise, as well as all those who had joined the squadron pre- 
vious to our last southern cruise. A large majority of the crew 
re-entered for eighteen months, on doing which they received three 
months' pay and a week's liberty. The few who declined told me 
that it was not from any dislike they had to the ship or service, but 
having families at home, they wished to avoid a longer separation 
from them. About fifteen of them took passage in vessels that were 
bound to the United States. 

The character of sailors was oddly exhibited on this occasion ; the 
man who, before arriving, had protested most strenuously that he 
would not reship, was the first to place his name on the roll, as I had 
predicted he would be; their conduct caused much amusement, and 
showed how little sailors know their own minds. Captain Hudson 
addressed his crew, confidently expecting that every man would 
volunteer to reship, and on his desiring all to pass to the other side 
who did not wish to reship, the whole crew passed over; yet within 
eight-and-forty hours they had all re-entered, with the exception of 
three or four, who held out for a time, to show, as they said, their 

It now became necessary to supply the places of those who had left 
the squadron, and thus to complete our effective complement. Instead, 
however, of resorting to picking up the worthless, dissipated, and worn- 
out vagabonds of all nations, who have been wandering from island to 

VOL. in. 2H 49 


island for years, without any object or employment, I concluded to take 
a number of Kanakas, and enter them upon such terms that I could a1 
any moment discharge them. 

The authorities of Oahu were applied to through our consul, and 
readily agreed to the men being employed, provided they were re- 
turned to the island agreeably to their own laws. Articles of agree- 
ment were consequently entered into to this effect, by which I bound 
the government of the United States to return them after their services 
were no longer needed ; and a stipulation was made that the rations 
of spirits should not be drawn by them. I was thus assured of having 
at least sober men. Word was sent to the different parts of the island 
for those who were disposed to enter, to assemble on a given day at 
the fort, under the authority of the governor. Upwards of five hun- 
dred men assembled in consequence, out of whom Captain Hudson 
and myself chose about fifty, all able-bodied and active young men, 
in perfect health. 

The authority for thus completing our complement of hands is 
contained in the Act of Congress of March the 3d, 1813 ; the ninth 
section of which provides as follows: "That nothing in this act con- 
tained shall be construed to prohibit any commander or master, of a 
public or private vessel of the United States, whilst in a foreign 
country or place, from receiving any American seaman, in conformity 
to law, or supplying any deficiency of seamen on hoard such vessel, 
by employing American seamen or subjects of such foreign country, 
the employment of whom shall not be prohibited by the laws there- 
of" Yet, notwithstanding my acting under this ninth section, on 
my return home it was alleged that I had violated the first section 
of this same act, and it was made one of the charges against me by 
the Secretary of the Navy. The whole act is to be found in Story's 
Laws of the United States, vol. ii. p. 1302. 

It was highly necessary for the service I was engaged in, to enlist 
these men for a time ; it was done according to law ; all the circum- 
stances were duly reported to the government in my next despatches, 
and my conduct was not objected to until the charges were made out 
against me. 

I was now enabled to complete my plans of operation, and every 
exertion was made forthwith to put the vessels in condition for ser- 
vice, half of the crews being retained on board to proceed with the 
outfits, while the rest were on liberty. 

The services on which I proposed to employ the vessels of the 
squadron, were as follows, viz. : 

Captain Hudson, in the Peacock, accompanied by the tender, was 


to be instructed to return to the Samoan Group, and re-examine the 
surveys made by the Flying-Fish and boats, of the south side of 
Upolu, in which I had detected oversights, and suspected neglect; 
to seek for several small and doubtful islands, said to be under the 
equator, and to visit the little-known groups of EUice and Kingsmill ; 
to inquire into the fate of Captain Dowsett, commanding an American 
schooner engaged in the whale-fishery at the Pescadores ; and to seek 
redress for the capture of the American brig Waverley, owned by 
Messrs. Pierce and Co., of Oahu, at Strong's Island. 

Having by the arrival of the Porpoise learned the news of the 
murder of Gideon Smith at Upolu, I included in my orders to Captain 
Hudson, the duty of investigating the circumstances of the crime, and 
punishing the offenders. He was likewise instructed to seek for the 
magnetic equator in longitude 160° W., and to follow it down to 
the westward. These duties accomplished, I directed him, after visit- 
ing Ascension Island, to join me at the Columbia River, towards the 
end of the coming month of April. 

These instructions covered a wide field, which had, as far as I could 
learn, been but little explored, and which our whaling fleet is con- 
tinually traversing. To examine it could not fail to be highly useful 
to those engaged in that important branch of industry. 

I designed to employ the Porpoise in a more close examination of 
some islands in the Paumotu Group or Low Archipelago, which it 
had -not been in my power to accomplish during our visit of the pre- 
vious year. She was also to leave a party, with the boring apparatus, 
upon one of the islands, as soon as she reached the group, to remain 
there for about six weeks, or so long as the vessel was engaged in the 
examination of the other islands. This examination being completed, 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold was directed to touch at Tahiti, 
and thence, after surveying Penrhyn and Flint's Islands, to return to 
Oahu before the 1st of April. 

With the Vincennes, it was my intention to proceed to Hawaii, 
there to ascend to the top of Mauna Loa ; to make the pendulum ob- 
servations on the summit and at the base of that mountain ; to examine 
the craters and late eruptions; and after performing these duties, if 
time allowed, to proceed to the Marquesas Islands, and thence to pass 
along the magnetic equator to the meridian of the Hawaiian Islands, 
whither it was my intention to return before the 1st of April, to meet 
the Porpoise, and proceed, in company with her, to the Northwest 
Coast. I deemed the time from the 25th of November would be amply 
sufficient, with proper attention, to enable us to perform these duties, 


and also afford sufficient relaxation to the officers and men, from their 
long confinement on board ship. 

The tender was overhauled in a few days, when Passed Midshipman 
Knox was again put in charge of her, and the naturalists sent on an 
excursion to Kauai. After their return I again despatched those who 
were attached to the Peacock in her to Hawaii, being desirous that 
they should have an opportunity of visiting as much of these islands as 

On the 28th, I had the honour of an official visit from the governor, 
Kekuanaoa. He is a noble-looking man, upwards of six feet in height, 
and proportionately large. He was in a full dress uniform of blue and 
gold, and was altogether very striking and soldier-like in his appear- 
ance, and pleasing in his address. He was received by the officers 
and guard of marines, and with manned yards. He was self-possessed, 
and appeared quite used to the etiquette on such occasions. He had 
been one of the suite of King Liho-liho on his visit to England, and 
speaks a little English. I entertained him with a collation, and paid 
him the other marks of attention to which his rank entitled him. He 
is one of the highest chiefs, and was the husband of Kinau, the sister of 
Kaahumanu. His children are now the heirs apparent to the throne ; 
they are at school under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Cooke. Kekua- 
naoa is now governor of the island of Oahu, and is possessed of much 
energy of character, of which I shall have occasion hereafter to 

The house which I occupied was in the eastern suburbs of Honolulu, 
near the residence of the missionaries, and in connexion with the 
school of Mr. and Mrs. Cooke for the chiefs' children. The latter I 
had the pleasure of visiting at an early day after my arrival, and was 
much delighted with the order and cleanliness of the whole establish- 
ment. Mr. and Mrs. Cooke superintend the amusements as well as the 
studies of the children, and impress upon them the necessity of appli- 
cation. Much attention is paid to them, and being removed from all 
contagion from without, they have many advantages over the other 
natives. This was the best-regulated school I saw in the islands ; the 
pupils, consisting of eleven boys and girls, were under good manage- 
ment and control. The object of this school is exclusively the educa- 
tion of the royal family; to form their characters, teach them, and 
watch over their morals. Much good, it is thought, will accrue from 
this system of education. I am not, however, satisfied it will have the 
full effect that is hoped for, or that the impressions given them are 
those that are proper in the education of princes. The system pur- 



sued rather tends to republican forms ; a good, practical, religious edu- 
cation, however, may be the result. How for it is intended to carry it, 
I did not learn. I have seldom seen better behaved children than those 
in this school. 

Connected wdth Mr. and Mrs. Cooke, I must not omit to mention 
John li, who i-s their guardian and protector. During my stay I saw 
them frequently. The Saturday after my arrival, I had them on board 
the ship, with their tutors. They were hardly to be distinguished from 
well-bred children of our own country ; were equally vv^ell dressed, and 
are nearly as light in colour. 

After a further acquaintance with Honolulu, it appeared much more 
advanced in the scale of civilization than I thought it at first, and 1 
found some difficulty in being able to realize that I was among a Poly- 
nesian nation, so different are they from the other islanders in the scale 
of improvement. 

One cannot but be struck with seeing the natives winding their way 
along the different thoroughfares, laden with all kinds of provisions, 
wood, charcoal, and milk, to supply the market and their regular cus- 
tomers. Indeed, there are quite as many thus employed as in any place 
of the same number of inhabitants in our own country. 


Their usual mode of carrying burdens is to suspend them with cords 
from the ends of a stick ; this is laid across the shoulders, and so ac- 
customed are they to carry the load in this manner, that they will 
sometimes increase the weight by adding a heavy stone, in order to 
balance it. The stick on which they carry their load is made of the 
Hibiscus tiliaceus, which is very light and tough. Instead of baskets. 


they use a kind of gourd, which grows to a large size, and seems pecu- 
liar to these islands; these are thin and brittle, but with the care the 
natives take of them, are extremely serviceable : they are used for 
almost every thing, as dishes, for carrying water, &c. It takes two 
gourds to make one of the baskets used for transporting articles ; and 
the smaller one being turned over the opening cut in the larger one, 
effectually protects the contents from rain. Some of these gourds will 
contain upwards of two bushels. For travelling on these islands, they 
are almost indispensable. 

The gait of the Kanaka moving with his load is a quick trot, and 
he takes very short steps. The loaded calabashes, when suspended 
from the sticks, have the see-saw creaking sound that is heard from 
an easy old-fashioned chaise. 

Besides the carrying of burdens, there are many natives engaged in 
the same employments as the lower classes in the United States. 

Almost every profession of civilized nations is represented here, 
except that of law, of which, as yet, there are no practitioners either 
in Honolulu or at the other islands. 

There is no great beauty in the. location of the town of Honolulu, 
nor any taste displayed in its plan; yet there are a number of com- 
fortable habitations, surrounded with young trees, intermixed with the 
grass-houses of the natives. The roads, or streets, are entirely desti- 
tute of trees, and the. natives and foreign residents here seem to have 
no inclination to plant them in the town: this surprised me, for it 
would tend more than any thing else to their comfort. The high 
adobe walls, which have been introduced from South America, how- 
ever convenient they may be, certainly do not improve either the 
beauty or comforts of Honolulu; being suffered to fall into decay, 
they, in so dry a climate, add not a little to the discomforts of the 
inhabitants, from the quantity of fine dust that the trade-winds put 
into circulation for a few hours each day. But these dusty roads and 
barren plains can, in a few minutes, be exchanged for one of the most 
agreeable and delightful climates in the world, by a short ride to the 
valley of Nuuanu. The contrast is like passing from the torrid to 
the temperate zone. In this valley a number of the gentlemen of 
Honolulu have cottages, that form pleasant retreats during the hot 

The valley of Nuuanu is formed by a break in the central volcanic 
ridge of Oahu: it ascends gradually from behind the town, and is about 
seven miles long, by half a mile wide at its entrance. It contracts until 
it reaches the northern side of the ridge, where it suddenly terminates 



in a deep precipice of eleven hundred feet, called the Pali. Here the 
trade-wind rashes through, between the two high peaks, fifteen hun- 
dred feet above, with violence, while their tops condense the clouds, 
whose waters are descending constantly in small silver rills, that leap 
from rock to rock on all sides, unite in the middle of the valley, and 
form a large brook, which is again distributed by the natives, to give 
fertility and luxuriance to part of the plain below. 

The beauty of the valley, when passing into it, is at times striking, 
from the effect of the light and shade produced by the clouds, which 
are occasionally seen lowering on the mountain peaks, and are, as it 
were, held in check by them. The clouds now and then escape and 
pass above the peaks, and again burst by with renewed and accumu- 
lated strength, sweeping through the valley, and carrying fertilizing 
showers over it, with every variety of rainbow, while the whole 
western sky is one glorious sunlight. The sunbeams now and then 
gain possession of the valley, thus causing a constant and rapid suc- 
cession of showers and sunshine. 

The ride to the Pali is a most agreeable one. There is a tolerable 
horse-path three-fourths of the way; the remainder would be con- 
sidered impracticable for horses by those unaccustomed to their per- 
formances in a mountain country; but, however frightful the road 
may appear, I would recommend all those who attempt it, to keep to 
the horse's back, and trust to his getting them over the steep knolls, 
and through the miry places. On reaching the Pali, beware of losing 
not only your hat, but yourself; for when the trade-wind is blowing 
strong, it is impossible to stand with safety. The view of the plain 
beneath, the ocean, and the long hne of perpendicular cliffs, will amply 
repay the labour. The Pali may be descended : for this purpose there 
are steps cut in the rock, and an iron rod to assist in accomphshing the 
descent in safety. The path leads to the village of Kanehoe, but is 
little frequented. 

The house which the kindness of Governor Kekuanaoa had placed 
at my disposal, was a double one, of two stories, with piazzas in front, 
and a wing on one side : it aflbrded sufficient accommodations for all 
the duties connected with the surveys, and I took advantage of the 
opportunity to revise and complete all the charts we had constructed 
up to this time. The vessels were undergoing the necessary repairs: 
the officers who were not required on board, were therefore detailed 
for these duties, reporting to me daily at the observatory, at nine 
o'clock A. M., where they were employed until 4 p. m. ; others were 
permanently employed in the observatory duties, magnetic and pen- 


dulum observations, and some in the local surveys of the islands; so 
that, although our stay at Honolulu had the name of relaxation, I 
found it myself one of the busiest parts of the cruise. 

The house, though convenient, was seldom occupied by its owner : 
they invariably prefer the grass-houses, which are more convenient for 
their mode of life, and better adapted to the climate ; and if they could 
be preserved in the state they are when first built, they would be 
exceedingly pleasant residences. 

The chiefs have much ambition to own an European house, which 
are built of coral blocks, taken from the reefs to the westward of the 
town : of this there appears to be an inexhaustible supply. It is found 
in layers of from one to two feet in thickness, and by cutting through 
them, a block of almost any dimensions may be obtained. I understood 
a foreigner had obtained a lease of this profitable source of revenue 
from the government. 

In my first interview with the king, he spoke of the decrease of the 
depth of water in the harbour, imagining the quarrying of the coral 
had been in part the cause of it, and asked me to direct my attention 
to it, and to point out a remedy if possible to obviate it; for they were 
very desirous to preserve the harbour as it was, free from obstructions. 
Within these last fifteen years much alteration has taken place, by the 
deposit of mud, which will in time close it entirely up, if not removed 
or prevented. The stream coming down the Nuuanu valley, though 
small, makes a considerable deposit ; this, with the wash from the 
town, and the dust and earth that are daily in motion from the 
violence of the wind, though imperceptible, will in time produce efi^ect: 
much of this may be obviated by the construction of a wall on the 
reef, near the inner edge of it, which would intercept a great part of 
it, and prevent the deposit from taking place in the deep water, which 
it now does. It will be very easy to direct the discharge of the 
Nuuanu in a direction towards the sea, by damming, and this could be 
done at very little expense. 

The naturalists were not idle, but usefully employed in rambling 
over the islands, so that we had every opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with the productions, soil, climate, and inhabitants. 

We had a good opportunity of observing the advance they were 
making in civilization under the new organization of the government 
and laws, and the amount of good the missionaries had done; of which 
I shall speak hereafter. 

From my long stay at the difl^erent islands of this group, many 
opportunities were afibrded me of examining their establishments in 

HO N O L U L U. 393 

detail. I therefore feel that I may be permitted to give an opinion 
without the imputation of having been over hasty, or prejudiced in 
forming it. Such haste or prejudice may with some reason be imputed 
to those who not unfrequently imbibe their notions of these islanders 
and their teachers from a few days' sojourn, and who have had inter- 
course only with those opposed to both the government and missiona- 
ries. I am not at all surprised that this should be the case with those 
who only visit Honolulu. 

That great licentiousness and vice exist there, is not to be denied ; 
but to throw the blame of them on the missionaries, seems to me to be 
the height of injustice. I am well satisfied that the state of things 
would be much worse were it not for their watchfulness and exertions. 
The lower class of foreigners who are settled in these islands, are a 
serious bar to improvement in morals, being for the most part keepers 
of low taverns, sailors' boarding-houses, and grog-shops. Every in- 
ducement that can allure sailors from their duty, and destroy their 
usefulness, is held out to them here. Such men must be obnoxious in 
any community, and that they are not able to make more disturbance 
than they do, supported as they are by those who ought to know 
better, is, I am satisfied, mainly owing to the attention and energy of 
the governor, and the watchfulness of the members of the mission over 
the natives. 

I do not desire to be understood to express the opinion that the 
course pursued by the missionaries is in all respects calculated to pro- 
duce the most happy effects. I am, however, well satisfied that they 
are actuated by a sincere desire to promote the welfare and improve- 
ment of the community in which they live ; I therefore feel it my duty 
to bear ample testimony to their daily and hourly exertions to advance 
the moral and religious interests of the native population, not only by 
precept, but by example ; and to their untiring efix)rts, zeal, and devo- 
tion, to the sacred cause in which they are engaged. 

I shall hereafter have occasion to speak of the institutions of which 
they are the authors, and of their connexion with the government ; in 
short, of their secular avocations. I have myself had intercourse 
both with the missionaries and those who are their opponents ; and it 
gave me pleasure to perceive that, with but three or four exceptions, 
there was a degree of moderation exhibited by both parties, that 
bespoke the dawn of a good feeling towards each other, to which 
they had long been strangers. 

In consequence of this new state of things, I was not called upon to 
listen to the vituperation and abuse of the missionaries that I had been 

VOL. III. 50 



prepared to hear. A warfare was, however, kept up between the 
individuals belonging to the rival nations of England and the United 
States, which afforded ample room for the tongue of scandal to indulge 
itself. The missionaries wisely abstained from all connexion with 
cither party ; and the governor, with much energy and decorum, sus- 
tained with impartiality the supremacy of the laws. 




















SMITH 431 






2 I (397) 




sun's alt. 




10 A. M, 



16 fathoms. 


11 " 




1 fathom nortli. 

12 noon. 




1 « west- nortli west. 

1 P. M. 




2 " " 

2 " 




2 " " 

3 " 




2 " 

4 " 




2 " west-by-south. 

5 « 




2 " 

6 " 




2 " wcst-soutliwest. 


Water at the surface stood at . 

" 10 fathoms below the surface stood at 

" 20 " " " 

" 30 " " " 

u 40 ** " " 

" 50 «' " " 

" 60 " " " 

(I 70 " " ** 

" 80 " " «« 

" 90 " *' " 

» 100 » » " 

" 200 " " « 

u 300 

.. 400 

" 500 










69 i 

63 i 






I. — Continued. 



sun's alt. 




10 A. M. 

53° 30' 


17 fathoms. 

3^ fathoms south-by-\vest. 

11 " 





12 noon 




i fathoms south-by- west 
^ ( three-fourths west. 

1 p. M. 




2^ " south-by-west. 

2 " 




2 " « 

3 " 




2 " « 

4 « 




1^ » south. 

5 " 




21 " south-by-east. 



U. S. Ship Vincennes, 

Tongataboo, May 4th, 1840 
Sir, — 

Herewith you have enclosed a chart of the Feejee Islands, in which 
you will find the eastern group, including the reefs, marked in red, 
which it is my intention you shall examine and survey, in as parti- 
cular a manner as possible ; beginning at the southern ones, and pro- 
ceeding thence northward, to and fro, as you may find it advantageous, 
and the winds and weather will permit. 

I would desire that nothing may escape you, and that you preserve 
the usual manner of surveying them that has been adopted in our 
former surveys. 

You will keep particular notes relative to the passages through them, 
with the dangers that are to be avoided, and how they may be, taking 
sketches of their appearances; the set of currents, and the harbours, 
if any, to afford shelter for large or small vessels. The supplies to be 
afforded, including wood, water, provisions, &c. 

On reaching Lakemba, you will obtain a pilot. There is one, I 
understand, there, who is well acquainted with the northern part of 
them, and who speaks English: you will communicate with the chief 
who resides there, and has the control of the whole group, and of 


course conciliate his good-will, to obtain the necessary assistance. A 
missionary resides there, through whom you may effect this desirable 

On your reaching Duff's Reef, which I think you will do prior to, 
or by the 1st of June, you will put into the Harbour of Somu-somu, 
where you will find me, or orders directing your movements. 

In the discharge of this duty, I would call your attention par- 
ticularly to the necessity of great accuracy in the bearings of the 
different islands, shoals, and reefs, from each other, the latitude and 
longitude of the different points, and their distance from each other. 

The chart that accompanies this is extremely inaccurate, and is in 
fact but an apology for one. It is, however, though a poor guide for 
your labours, the best that exists at present, therefore all due caution 
is necessary in sailing over space that you have not already explored. 
1 would recommend your constructing one from it on a larger scale, 
(roughly,) say one-fourth of an inch to a mile, and correcting it as 
you go on, at the same time constructing another on a similar scale 
for a fair copy. 

On service of this kind, accidents are to be looked for : in case 
of your meeting with any, you will immediately take measures to 
give information, which will reach me at Ovolau, in the way you may 
think most advisable. 

You will make magnetic observations at all places you can, and 
obtain all the information in your power, relative to the character 
of the natives, their actual state, and obtain all specimens of things you 
may meet with in the different departments of science, which must be 
carefully preserved. Do not omit to measure the heights of the different 
islands by triangulation, or with the sympiesometer, and obtain sketches 
of the natives, their dresses and implements. 

Great confidence is felt in your successful accomplishment of this 
duty, and it is hoped that you will be favoured with fine weather. 
The coming moon will be of assistance in protecting you from acci- 
dents. It is very desirable that both sides of the reefs and islands 
should be examined at the same time ; this you will be enabled to do 
with your boats. The winds are to be expected from the southeast 
to east, with fine weather ; and in order to make the most of it, I 
should deem it advisable that you begin operations every day at day- 
light and work until dark. The sun's amplitude at rising and setting 
are the best bearings to begin and end whh. 

The error and rate of your chronometer (standard) are herewith 
enclosed. I need not tell you, that observations with the artificial 
horizon, w^hen practicable, are to be preferred. 

■"OL. III. 212 51 


You will endeavour to obtain the native names of all the islands 
you survey. 

You will continue in company until signal is made to you to execute 

the above orders. 

I am, &c., 

Charles Wilkes, 
Commanding Exploring Expedition. 

Lieut. Com. C. Ringgold, 

U. S. Brig Porpoise. 


U. S. Ship Vincennes, 

Ovolau, May 10th, 1840. 

Sir, — 

The launch and first cutter, with Mr. Knox, Mr. Henry, and 
Dr. Whittle, twelve men, and a pilot, are placed under your orders 
for a surveying excursion along the north side of the island of 
Vitilevu. You will observe the following instructions very particu- 
larly, and in no case depart from them, unless it is for the preservation 
of your party. 

1 St. You will avoid landing any where on the main land or islands, 
unless the latter should be uninhabited. 

2d. Every precaution must be observed in treating with natives, 
and no natives must be suffered to come alongside or near your boats 
without your boarding-nettings being up. All trade must be carried 
on over the stern of your boat, and your arms and howitzers ready to 
repel any attack. 

3d. You will avoid any disputes with them, and never be off your 
guard or free from suspicion : they are in no case to be trusted. 

4th. Your two boats must never be separated at night, but anchored 
as near together as possible. You will adhere to the following route 
of proceeding, viz. : 

Leaving the ship, you will proceed round the north end of Ovolau 
and steer for the main island of Vitilevu, to a point off which there 
is a small island ; observing, running down, and fixing the reefs that 
may lay in your way there, dividing your boats so as to obtain their 
outlines as accurately as possible, particularly the northern reef that 
leads to the inshore channel of that island, and along its north shore. 
From the above-mentioned point you will proceed to the westward, 
tracing the shore and line of reefs outside of you. The passage 
is supposed to be from two to five miles wide, and is said to be a 
good one for a ship. All coral patches and broken ground that may 
be fallen in with will be particularly observed, and their positions 


ascertained with regard to the main points in sight ; and all entrances 
or passages through the great reef to the northward, must not escape 
your attention : none it is believed occur, until you reach Ragi-ragi, 
on the east side of the Malaki Islands. At these islands, the ship- 
channel is supposed to go between them and the main island. You 
will observe particularly if the main northern reef joins these islands. 
Ascertain their size, and get an azimuth on the high hill of Ovolau if 
possible ; here it is extremely desirable to obtain accurately the lati- 
tude and longitude. Chronometers are furnished both boats, whose 
rates and errors are given. After passing these, you will continue on 
to Taboa, when you will find another passage through the reef to the 
northward ; this will be examined, as that ofT Ragi-ragi, getting the 
trending of the outside reef both east and west by careful bearings at 
both places. Thence you will proceed through the aforesaid ship- 
channel, along the 'island of Vitilevu, down as far as Ba, where you 
will find the ship Leonidas, Captain Eagleston, who no doubt will be 
happy to supply any thing you may be in want of, for which he will 
receive remuneration. You will make no unnecessary delay here, but 
continue on your survey as far as the island of Malolo, ofi' the western 
end of Vitilevu, where you will meet further orders from me in ten 
days ; if, however, this should not occur, you will return. On your 
way back, following the outside reef on its inner edge (which I believe 
does not exist beyond fifteen miles from the land), and taking observa- 
tions so as to establish its various points by bearings and latitude and 
longitude, and regain this anchorage as soon as possible. A patent log 
is furnished you for measuring your distances run, and an azimuth 

You will observe the variation, and not omit your latitude daily by 
meridian observation or double altitudes, and also sights for your 
chronometers, morning and evening; taking comparisons daily be- 
tween them, which will be inserted in your note-books. 

You will make a rough diagram as you proceed, on a large scale, 
which you will have in readiness to send me by any opportunity that 
may occur. 

Each boat will keep a log of her proceedings. 

You will always keep the boats within signal distance of each other, 
separating them in cases of extreme necessity only, for a short time. 

You will communicate these instructions to Mr. Knox. 

I am, &c., 

Charles Wilkes, 

Commanding Exploring- Expedition. 

Lieutenant James Alden, 

U. S. Ship Vincennes. 


U. S. Ship Vincennes, 

Ovolau, May 12th, 1840. 
Sir, — 

The launch and first cutter of the Peacock, with Chaplain Elliott, 
Mr. Blunt, and Mr. Dyes, twelve men, and a pilot, are placed under 
your orders, for a surveying excursion along the south side of the 
island of Vitilevu. 

You will observe the following instructions very particularly, and 
in no case depart from them, unless it is for the preservation of your 

You will avoid landing on the main land or on an island, unless the 
latter should be uninhabited. 

Every precaution must be observed in treating with the natives: 
none of them must be suffered to come alongside or near your boats, 
without your boarding-nettings being up. All trade must be carried 
on over the stern of your boat, and your arms ready to repel any 
attack. You will avoid all disputes with them, and never be off your 
guard or free from suspicion : they are in no case to be trusted. Your 
two boats must never be separated at night, but anchored as near 
together as possible. You will adhere to the following route of pro- 
ceeding, viz. : leaving the ship, you will proceed round the north end 
of Ovolau, running down the reef of the west side of it, until you make 
and get observations on the insulated rock between it and the island 
on the south side of Ovolau (Moturiki), thence to the main land of 
Vitilevu, off a point nearly opposite, near which you will find a small 
island. In running down, you will fix the reef on the east side of the 
passage. At this island you will ascertain your latitude and longitude, 
and observe azimuths on the trending of the coast, east and west. 
From thence you will proceed to the southward, tracing the coast, 
reefs, and channels that maybe practicable for vessels towards Ambau 
and Viwa, and getting a knowledge of the route for vessels navigating 
towards these places, in order that sailing directions may be obtained 
from your chart. From thence, you will proceed round Kamba Point 
inside the reefs, laying down their positions, trending, and passages 
through them, if any occur. One is supposed to exist near the two 
small islands off Kamba Point. Thence you will follow the reefs 
inside of those towards Rewa, in like manner tracing the land, &c. 
Rewa Harbour you will make a survey of, and the passages leading 
into it, and as far up as the town, noting the best anchorages, &c., 
and ascertain its latitude and longitude. 

After completing this duty, you will proceed along the reefs to the 
island of Mbenga, and if safe for your boats, as far as Vatulele ; but 


you will be cautious not to run the risk of passing the night without the 
reefs, but seek always an early and safe anchorage. From thence you 
will run the land down to the western end of the island of Vitilevu, 
anchoring lastly in the harbour of Ea. 

It is believed that twelve days will be amply sufficient for you to 
finish the work designated for you to perform ; should you reach the 
west end before this time, the island of Malolo and the reefs adjacent 
will claim your attention. 

You will examine as much of this locality, and the reefs and island 
to the westward, as will enable you to reach Amboa in time to meet 
the Peacock on the 25th instant, when you v/ill report to Captain 

You will examine all coral patches and detached reefs, locating them 
accurately with the main land and adjacent reef. Chronometers are 
furnished both boats. You will, when practicable, get morning and 
evening observations for the longitude and also latitude, by meridian 
observations and double altitudes : keeping a diagram and chart on a 
large scale (one quarter of an inch to a mile), which will be brought 
up at the end of each day's work. Let your observations be taken, 
when possible, with the artificial horizon, and your courses and dis- 
tances carefully ascertained with azimuth bearings on all points, both 
before you reach them and after you have passed them. 

Each boat will keep a careful and particular log of her proceedings, 
which will be transmitted to me, together with your report and the 
chart made during your passage. You will make no unnecessary delay 
on your route, and care must be taken that your men be not suffered 
to remain in wet clothes at night. 

Comparisons will be made with your chronometers daily, carefully 
noting them in your log-book. 

You will always keep your boats in signal distance, separating them 
only in cases of necessity, for a short time. 

When practicable, Mr. Dyes will be employed in collecting 
shells, &c. 

You will communicate these instructions to Mr. Blunt. 

I am, &c., 

Charles Wilkes, 
Commanding Exploring Expedition 

Lieutenant Geo. F. Emmons, 

U. S. Ship Peacock. 



U. S. Ship Vincennes, 

Ovolau, May 13th, 1840. 

Sib, — 

You will proceed with the Flying-Fish to survey the following 
islands of the Feejee Group. For this purpose Lieutenant Underwood 
is ordered to accompany you, with a boat and crew, and Tom the 

1. Ambatiki, and its distance from Ovolau by patent log, examining 
its reefs on both sides. 

2. Nairai, with its reefs to the south. 

3. Angau. 

4. Matuku, Moalo, and Totoia. 

5. Reef called Tova. 

6. Vanua-vat