Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
George Winchcombe notebook in Louis Becke papers, 7 May 1881 - 2 December 1887
Safe 1/8, Item 5
Diary 37 & 4
Abalems' Copra for Boat – Nunamea
March 21st – Debts due to Cap. Sellasen
1408 lbs. - Namier - $2.00 - Copra recd.
June 12th – Tv'ali $4.00 – Copra recd.
Aug. 6th – Pollingahwho $4 – Copra recd.
2165½ lbs. Total
Weir & wife $8.00 – Copra recd.
Teacher – 28 ct. Copra recd.
Joshua $ - Copra recd. 400 lbs.
Diary 37 & 4
From fol. 37
& told us, that Teacher would be removed next time "John Williams" arrvd.
Acct. made up with Sailor to June 1884 as follows. Debt.
When the Missionary left for the Vessel in a Canoe, it got capsized & all that were in the Canoe were well washed in the water. "John Williams" sailed same day – in a few days after this the police sent message paper to myself & Frank, that they requested me to leave the Island on arrival of our Vessels that we were not good to the people.
Monday 21st Decr. I declined to buy nuts unless they placed their Pigs in Pens, which they would not accede to, but the people were told to bring Copra for anything they bought.
Jan. 26th Tuesday.
Schr. "Miniha" of D.H. McKinsey of Auckland arrived, Captn. Couch, Mr. Gilmer Supercargo. Frank Jackson left in her for Samoa, took all trade & Copra abt. 2500. Wanted to buy my Copra at 2 ct. per ton. Sailed Thurs. 28th. Said "Matauta" had got on the reef on Line.
Saturday 27th March 1886
Schr. "Three Cheers" of Henderson & from Auckland arrived – OK. Monday Mr. Baker, Manager & the Captn. Robins came ashore, bought Copra for cash at 1 cent per ton. Agreed with Natives to take 200 of them to Nui & Nuilam for $300 & to return with them in 8 or 10 days. Sailed Monday, same day. Forward to page 4.
Persons indebted to Captn. Sellasen after deducting payments made up to & inclusive this day Feby. 28 1884 which was deducted out of the Copra shipped this day per "Matauta".
Sampson –320¾ lbs. Mar. 4th. Recd. by C.S. 34 lbs. Transferd. from Neva 25½ lbs. Apl. 24 – 115 lbs. – Octr. 11 – 48 lbs.
Bal. due 146¼ lbs. 48 - -98¼
Currie - 1279 lbs. Recd. by C.S. Mar. 3rd. – 115 lbs.
Copra [indecipherable] Apl. 15 – 268½ lbs. – May 13, 178 lbs. June 10 – 103 lbs. – June 26 – 54½ lbs. Transfer from [indecipherable]. Tamarrah 13½ lbs. (Omitted in the addn. Dec. 18th – Copra 30 lbs. See old ledger & Day book.) Acct. made up with Sailor to [indecipherable] as follows – Debt $15. All Copra etc. 983½ lbs. up to June 26 - $5.16½ due. June 27 54½ lbs. July 8th 13½ lbs. [indecipherable] Oct. 3rd 189 lbs. (this is transfer from Matio). Oct. 4 – 80½ lbs. – Oct. 10 – 67 lbs.
[Notes not transcribed]
Torn – 300 lbs. Apl. 24. 152½ lbs – July 21 – 147½ lbs. Settled.
Demortea – 200 lbs.
Myhu & family – 439 lbs. To be paid in Waitupu so he Sailor tells me.
Flabo - Contract withdrawn – paid him for 45 lbs. Copra, which I had recd. on acct.
1555 lbs.. Cancelled.
April 1886 – From fol. 37.
Thursday 8th. Schr. 3 Cheers returned with Natives. I sold her some Copra to buy provision etc. She sailed on Friday 9th for Line.
Wednesday 12th May 1886. Vessel not certain 2 or 3 Masts passed the Island going North – head wind.
June 7, 1886, Monday. HMS "Miranda" arrived, anchored during the night, in the morning I went aboard, had 2 teeth extracted & got some medicine. Captn. Roulle & Doctor came ashore, bought some pigs & fowls & sailed & steamed for the Line Islands soon after 12 a.m., game me a note from Sellasen stating he would be here in the "Matauta" in few days.
Wednesday June 16, 1886. "Matauta" arrived Captn. Sellasen. Shipped Copra finally made up our Accts. & on Friday 18th sailed for the Line, promised faithful to be here in 3 mos.
Thursday, Sept. 2nd 1886. Barque "John Williams" arrd. had Books & papers for Missionary Mr. Wilson, sailed same day for Line.
Sept. 16th, a Barque beat about the Island for some hours, it was blowing hard at the time, her course appeared to be for Fiji. The Canoe went off but could not get to her, in the morning she disappeared.
Thursday Sep. 30, Henderson's Vessel arrived. Mr. Clarke Supercargo took Copra for passage money & settled up. Sailed for the Line Islands following day 1st Octr. (Friday).
Sunday 4th Octr. 1886. "Matauta" arrd. Captn. Sellasen. I went aboard but was going simply to get Copra from the Line, first going to Nunamanga with abt. 80 passengers, which she brot. from there – sailed abt. 4 p.m. Monday 5th, said to be here again in abt. 3 mos. or sooner.
Sevuka from Lansico – 134 lbs. Jany. 26 36 lbs. Mar. 3rd Recd. by C.S. 78 lbs., Mar. 21st 40 lbs, Apl. 25, 6 lbs, paid up.
Jany. 19th "Matauta" arrd. Capt. Sellasen took Copra, I went aboard got some things & made up our acct. – said to be here again in beginning of April or if go to Line first, to be here latter end of Apl. – sailed now for Samoa filled up. Sailed on 20.
Monday May 2nd, 1887. "Matauta" arrived took Copra & took Jemima to remain in Nanamanga & to call for her in about 2 mos. to take her to Kunufetaen & the Matauta to be here in about 6 or 8 mos. time. Sailed Tuesday 3rd instant.
June 24 1887. New Zealand Schr. arrd. Captn. Rogers, Mr. Ben Hird Supercargo. I bought 1 tin flour & Bottle Pills – got letter from Jemima, Nanamanga to pay for 1 bag Rice which
she got from the Vessel – the Police asked him to land a Trader, but he said, not this time, would be here again in abt. 4 mos. Sailed for Carolines etc. same day.
July 23rd Saturday night, said they saw a vessel 2 mast, that it was the "Matauta", as if bound for the Line.
Augt. 20th. New Zealand Vessel "Ska Vaka" arrd. from Nanamanga, brought Jemima back, "Matauta" not having arrd. there as Sellasen promised to take her to Nukufetau – would give me 1¾ ct. for all Copra, but I wd. not sell – Sailed same day for Line.
Thursday 1st Sept. 1887. "Matauta" arrd. from Nukufetau via Nanamanga – Kinifaur passenger remained here – sea very rough, difficult to ship Copra – partially made out one Balce. sheet, will be here again in 2½ mos. & take us to Kunufetaen – sailed for Line Saturday Sep. 3rd for Line.
1887 Sept. 12th Monday. "John Williams" arrd. – Missionary Mr. Marryatt landed on Tuesday morning, had an interview with him – sailed on same evening – going to few more Islands & thence to Samoa, arrd. here from Line.
Dec. 2nd – Schr. "Ska Vaka" arrived according to promise to take me to Nukufetau, if Matauta did not arrive, so I left Nanumea this day in this Vessel for my health was in a serious state, I believe from what I have heard that Matauta arrd. at Nanumea same evening after I left – being
[indecipherable] 2 wks. after his time.
[Across page – Teacher's marriage register. She was marriage at Lour to Nelai ([indecipherable]) 1st June 1893.]
Notes from Diary – Nukufetau, Ellis Groupe.
Geo. P. Winchcombe
Re Beck – Trader & Goods landed in Teachers house
An English man Lewis Beck arrived here May 7 1881 in the Schr. "Red Coat" to await the arrival of another Vessel to take him to the Line Islands.
The Natives were not at all anxious about his landing here, from some previous tidings of him about the Islands offered him no accommodation, he therefore went to Teacher's house and soon made arrangements to land here & to live with the Teacher "Mekish". Mekish accompanied him to the Vessel, his trade and other traps landed & placed in Missionary house, he also boarded and slept there himself.
Amongst other things were about 50 Guns with ample ammunition & about 30 cases Liquor, here he remained sevl. weeks passing his time by firing guns day after
day really disturbing the quietness of the Island, we visited each other occasionally & I purchased few articles of him in the Teachers house & drank Grog there with him.
There was a little Girl remaining at Teacher's house as playmate to
the his little Girl, she might have been about 14 years old, Beck was middle aged man – and as I can suppose, influenced by Effects of drink, he pressed this little girl to give her consent to marry him, then freely presenting the Father with cloth & other things won his approval & willingness to the marriage, but it was conjectured by the people, that the Teacher would not marry a child at that age & contented themselves it could therefore not be carried into Effect, they were however greatly disappointed for when the appointed day arrived, the marriage was solemnized by the Teacher in the Church. [indecipherable]
May 14 1881. "Emerald" ship of War arrived, Captn. Maxwell & sevl. of the officers landed and as the Captn. said he wished to see the Missionary Buildings, myself & Beck conducted him to the Teacher's house, thence to the Church & School. While in the Teacher's house, the Captn. remarked to Beck, that he was well supplied with fire arms & Liquor & enquired if it was for sale on the Islands etc. Beck replied in the negative.
Augt. 14 1881. Beck left the Island in the Schr. "Orwell" for the Line & returned his young wife to the Father again, since which she has been fined 2 or 3 times for criminal offences. Said he wod. return to his wife in 1 or 2 years.
A few weeks prior to Becks departure, he quarrelled with the Teacher about something, & posted papers on the trees about the Church, on a Saturday night, charging him, the Teacher, with being a liar etc. This was written in Samoan language, & remained up all day Sunday. This is what Beck & the Natives tell me. I did not read them myself.
Departure of Schr. "Ariel" with passengers for Nuitao, June 1883.
Captn. Kastell - Young Girl fined.
A number of the people leaving by this Vessel on a visit to Nuitao etc. Teacher, wife & other people went aboard to witness their departure, but unfortunately after the vessels sailing, a young Girl named Marrapa was fined £6 for criminal offence, aboard the Vessel.
Teacher bought Boat
Sep. 19, 1883. Teacher bought Boat of Captn. Kastell Schr. "Ariel" for $200, paid down $80 residue to be paid by instalments, people much dissatisfied his contracting such an unnecessary debt. Dr. Turner told me in Nuitao, Teachers were not allowed to contract smallest debt with vessels or Traders.
[This section crossed out.]
Mr. Powell in Nuitao
N.B. I may say that when I lived in Nuitao I was not trading, nor had I any goods for sale at the time.
Upon the Teachers request "Tabbo" I went and
resided in one of his Outer homes, not in his Dy house.
Mr. Powell visited Nuitao & on that occasion he told me, that the Teacher had broken the Missionary laws by inviting me to reside in any of the Missionary Buildings & that he would be reported – for altho' I had no trade I was in Nuitao for the purpose of trading when an opportunity offered – I told him I would at once remove to anr. house & did so same day.
[End of section crossed out.]
Schr. "Ariel" Captn. Kastell.
Sep. 27, 1883 - Teacher's daughter sleeping aboard etc.
Mekish, the Teacher allowed his little girl to go aboard with the Captn. & a Woman (whom he called his wife) and slept all night. Natives greatly astonished, their wives & children tabued from going aboard ships at any time. (Captn. Kastell has another wife with him this time June 7, 1884.)
Dec. 12 1853. Same child fined by the Police (double offence) $12. 2 Boys fined also.
Schr. "Whoboro" T.W. Williams aboard
Trade in Teachers house etc.
representing himself as supercargo, he talked a great deal to the Natives about Vaitupu & very ably defending & clearing himself in that affair together with making them few presents soon won their respect & confidence.
Landed a quantity of Trade into the teachers house for some object saying he will come here & take it away in August or Sept. next & has left Trade with a Kanaka here to buy Copra. Taken 6 young men from here, supposed to go to Sydney to work in Vessels, but the Captn. told me he was going from here up the Line & the probability is, they will all be put to trade on the Line Islands.
The Police and people were not agreeable to his leaving any trade here and told him so, but I suppose seeing the Teacher so accommodating, they ultimately consented to his leaving trade with one of them to buy Copra.
Intended Treaty Laws etc.
June 7, 1884. Schr. "Ariel" arrived & Sapolu passenger from Samoa, represented himself as having power and authority from King of Samoa to Enter into a treaty with this Island, alter & make laws etc. indeed in a very short time, they had so far yielded to what he told them, that he hoisted or fixed his flag in front of their police House, this put them to a stagger & they kept coming to me, that Sapolu was going to take the command of the Island, that he had discharged sevl. of the Police & the King & was appointing new ones – that he had condemned 2 of their laws already viz:
1. Not to fine strangers for offences.
2. Not to fine single people for Criminal Offences.
My advice to the people was this
Treat Sapolu with Civility, listen to what he has to say – don't give in to anything, don't consent to anything – sign no paper whatever, but tell him the matter would
Sapolu & the Natives contd.
be put before the Missionary on arrival of "John Williams" for his advice & pressed upon them to hold fast to this & not to be in the least afraid, that he could do nothing – there was no power from Governor of Fiji.
Soon after, the people retracted from what they had before
nearly given consent to, and Sapolu told them that why should they now withdraw from what they had previously told him, and having overheard them speaking of what I had told them, he asked them what I had been saying to them about his business, I was therefore sent for, to the Police house & I attended.
Sapolu asked me if I had said anything to them about his business, I answered in the affirmative, he then said he had letters & power from King of Samoa to visit this Groupe &
make if they were agreeable to make the laws good for the people, that they were now very bad & unreasonable inconsistent. I asked
Sapolu & the Natives contd.
him if the King of Samoa or himself had any authority from the Governor of Fiji. He simply replied I have letters & authority
power from King of Samoa. I told him I knew nothing about any power the King of Samoa could have over this Island, & as there appears no authority from the Governor, I had told the people not to be alarmed, do what they liked themselves certainly, that there was nothing compulsory. Upon this I left.
Shortly after I saw them disburse & the flag taken down, had the flag been allowed to remain up I would have taken it down before the Vessel & Sapulo had left, as the people had entered into no agreement – or treaty with him – in writing.
(Contd. Next page)
[This passage crossed out] N.B. I may remark Captn. Kastell has another woman for a wife this time, not the one had when the Teacher's daughter slept aboard. This shows a looseness on the part of Teacher, taking it too quickly for granted, that
a woman aboard a Vessel is the Captain's wife.
Sapolu & Natives contd.
The police & people came to the conclusion, that one or two of them should proceed to Fiji in this Vessel, the "Ariel" to ask an interview with the Governor & to solicit his protection. On hearing of this I went to the police house and told them, not to be so foolishly frightened & not to think no more, of going to Fiji to bother the Governor, but to wait until "John Williams" & Missionary arrived & to be advised then, as to what was best to do – to this they assented.
Dr. Turner at Nuitao
When I lived at Nuitao Dr. Turner's attention was directed to some of the laws. He summoned a meeting & after some conference with the Police & people, he advised some of their laws to be
done away with abandoned, as highly improper & unreasonable, and it was at once done.
Dr. Turner told me it was the duty of a Teacher to point out & give his advice on any bad law that the Natives may make.
Teacher receive moiety of Fines from Police
Teacher receives or in other words the police present him with moiety of the fines, this creates a delicacy on the part of Teacher in suggesting any improvement in the Laws, however unreasonable & unjust they may be.
Bad Law – Young men leaving Island etc.
Any man having a desire to go to work in a Vessel for a stated time, is prevented by the police from going, under the penalty of $5 – to be paid to them, this is like slavery & drives young men to leave their wives & children clandestinely & stow away in Vessels – they complain to me that the laws are bad & that they are anxious to get off the Island.
May 15, 1884. Six young fellows left here with Williams (some not 12 months married) supposed to take them to Sydney to work in some Vessels, but the Vessel was bound from this Island to the Line etc. & my ideas are they will
Bad laws etc. contd.
be stationed on Island there, to buy Copra.
Some of them got Williams to pay their fines to the police & some of them left clandestinely on the Vessel's departure.
June 4, 1884. Five more young men left in a similar way with Captn. Sellasen Schr. "Mata" also bound for the Line etc.
In all 11 men has left within so short a time & most of them recently married, their wives left to weather the consequences that may result to them, that probability is, they will be fined sooner or later for crimination - & then add. to the police funds.
Remarks from a Fiji Vessel
A few months ago a Schr. belonging to Fiji with returned labor for the Line called here for water etc. & one day some of the Police folk were in my house when the Mate & Government Agent came in, presently entered into a conversation with the Police & asked them what they did with all the fines, & being told that they the Police, kept them for their own use, the Government Agent remarked it was very wrong & a shame to do so – they said it was according to the bible, he said no, nothing of the kind in the Bible, that the fines should be distributed amongst your people, as in other well regulated Islands, Irretonga etc.
Want of good Evidence
There is a lack of good Evidence in cases tried before the Police & I am inclined to believe, that frequently persons declare their innocence, they are unjustly fined. There is no objection made to any witness, however great a foe or ill disposed he may be to the defendant.
Fines kept by Police etc.
All fines are converted by the Police for their own private use & benefit, no portion distributed for the benefit of the people or
the Town any improvement to the town.
The Police keep no watch over the Island at all, either day or night, or doubtless it would reduce misdemeanours next to nothing – no beats kept nor parading a little about the place at night. Still they claim all the fines, which on one occasion, not long ago, all the fines due, amounted to over $200.
Fines kept by Police etc. contd.
At the present time there is a great deal of fines not paid up.
Single people have to rob the land of the Parents brother & sister & thereby render the whole family poor.
The fines for Criminal Offences, are too large for the produce of the Island. The fine was formerly 2000 nuts, now it is 6000 & much more Crime. There are plenty of young people here, that if they had their land given them, would not return them in nuts 2000 a year, whereas the fine is 6000.
Why not put them to work, or give them the option to marry & then escape the fines. This is not suggested to them at the time they are fined – the nuts are preferable.
As the law stands now to get married in such cases would not exonerate them from paying the fines, so that they have not that inducement to bring them to the marriage.
Letter recd. by King at Fonafote from Fiji Government.
When I lived in Fonafote I had an official letter given into my hands addressed to King of that Island, respecting a dispute about some land, between a white man who was then residing there, & some of the Natives, which resulted to an assault committed by the Natives upon the white man, apparently letters were written by both parties to the Governor of Fiji. T.W. Williams I believe dictated a letter for the Natives. A portion of the Governors letter, or rather written by his authority, as nearly as I can remember, was as follows, "You have done right in writing to me. The white man was right under the English law, in claiming his wife's land. You have done bad by going to his house and assaulting him. Don't let me hear of your doing that again. As he has left the Island I say no more now. Give up all his wife's land immedly. to his wife and children."
Decon trading & remarks upon the laws generally
It is questioned amongst the people & has been asked me if a Deacon of the Church is doing right in trading on the Island. I gave no definite reply to this, but refer'd them to the Missionary. They alude to one of the Deacons named "Tom" (who was formerly King here). I understand he buys goods of ship, such as Tobo. pipe etc. & sells it for nuts & copra.
I have several times spoken & conferred
with the Police upon the inconsistency & absurdness in some of the laws they make, and as they are nearly all members of the Church, make reference to the Bible, which if acted upon, would be their best president.
I have had some of them into my house & have convinced them, the Bible being my authority, &
which they also read gave them some verses to read, that several of their laws is not in conformity with that Book.
Do what you will, nothing will move them from their old habits & Customs in an amicable way but suggestions from the Missionary.
1. People frequently tabued from getting food off their own land.
2. Tabued from going to work in Vessels.
3. Single young people fined for Criminal Offences, instead of being induced & advised to marry, otherwise put to work.
4. Convicting without being particular enough in obtaining
impartial & credible witnesses.
5. Canoes tabued from taking white men to a Vessel until it meets the pleasure of the Police, often times vessels leave before you can get aboard, simply laying off & on & on one occasion I wanted to buy provisions.
Proposal to write to Governor Fiji
Lately the police & myself having had a little talking together it was considered expedient, if I would write a letter to the Governor of Fiji, explaining Sapolu's visit here etc, etc. I told them it was not advisable to do anything in the matter until the Missionary arrived & to ask & take his advice upon the Laws of the Island, Sapolu's business, and on anything else that might spring up or occur to them worthy of the Missionary's consideration & opinion.
If the Teacher was competent to advise them upon the imperfect state of their laws & other matters generally, it would be attended to & adopted, and the Missionary relieved from any such interference & trouble - & other Governments would be offered no inducement or opportunity for interfering.
Arrival of Ships & Memorandums
Thurs. 28 Feby. Matauta arrd. from Line, Capt. Sellasen aboard, shipped all my Copra & we finally balanced accts. Sailed Fri. 7 Mch.
Duck sat on 12 Eggs – March 15th March.
Wed. 19th Mch. F & A Schr. passing from the Line with retd. labor from Fiji. Canoes went off & she came into the Lagoon. Capt. said if they had 15 or 20 Tons Copra he wod. not mind giving
the it – but not for smaller quantity, might call in returning from Line if not loaded with Copra, but wod. give no more than 1½ ct. for small quantity.
Took some water & firewood & sailed Sun.
7 23rd Mch.
Copra was rose by me by direction of Captn. Sellasen to 1½ ct. in trade, the money to remain as before 1¼ ct. but if circumstances rendered it Expedient, to rise the price again, but not to exceed 1¾ ct. per ton.
Thursy. Apl. 10th. Schr. "Whoboro" arrived from Sydney via Samoa. Mr. T.W. Williams aboard Supercargo, went to meet to buy Copra 1 5/8 ct. per ton
about 6 or 7 Tons in all. Captn. came over here in Boat & bought Mekish's copra that he had collected for paying on acct. of Boat about 2 Tons. Sailed for Nunamoa & Nuitao, with some passengers from here on Thursday 17th Apl. - & said he wod. return with them in a month or 6 weeks, if he got more passengers to come here, & that if me or the otr. traders gave more for the Copra, that he wd. ? give them more. I rose copra to 1 5/8 ct. trade &
[indecipherable] money – or they wod. keep it for Willy. Left 20 Sunday. Duck commenced hatching Saty. & concluded today.
9 young Ducks
Left 21st. Some people came from Molto with Copra & I bought it at 1 5/8 ct.
May 7th Wedy. "Whoboro" returned bought Nukufetau people back with 3 Canoes, having previously taken 100 passengers from Nuitao to Nunamanga. Captn. came over in Boat with quantity of trade, put it in Teacher's house, until the vessel arrives here again in Augt. next. Left trade with Kanaka & going to put trade on Islands in this Groupe. Captn. told me, no vessel can compete with them, as they bring goods direct from the market in Sydney, not as the Germans do, take it
first to Samoa which makes the Expense more on the trade they put on the Islands & traders have no chance to make anything, they want white men & if I was not Engaged,
[indecipherable] said they he said he would would give me a good chance in chgr. of Goods & to keep acct. of what goes about the Islands in the Groupe – going to bring white man from Sydney to put here. Sailed Thurs. 15 for the Nunamanga to put trade & thence to the Line, where Captn. says they have traders – but I believe it to be a lie. Taken 5 Boys from here, under the pretence of going with them to Sydney to work in a vessel, but my opinion is, they will station them on the Line to trade.
Sunday 1st June. Captn. Sellasen arrived in Schr. filled up with Trade, bound for Line, I bought some provision & little trade & he went to Molto & bought little Copra at 1 5/8 ct. per ton – brought letter from Missionaries to Mekish. Sailed.
Sunday 1st June. Captn. Sellasen arrived in Schr. "Mata-Tra" from Samoa, went Big Island bought 1¼ ton Copra 1 5/8 ct. & I took little trade & provn. – said he would be back from the Line in abt. 3 mos. & he expected the "Matauta" abt. that time to be at Fonafote, but if the Matauta came here before he retd. from Line for me to give the Copra and left letter for Captn. Sailed & took Boys from here Wedy. 4th June.
Saty. 7th June. Schr. "Ariel" arrived, passenger Sapolu &
and man from Samoa. Sapolu represented himself here as an Agent or Ambassador from the King of Samoa & he had a Flag which he said was the Government flag of Samoa, he endeavoured to get the Natives here to agree to become under the protection of Samoa, said he was authority by the King from whom he said he had letters & papers to enter into a treaty with this Island. He went so far as to dismiss some of the Authorities here from their respective offices & appointed others in their stead, even the King he put out and in his room appointed his Son – he ultimately hoisted his flag, the people were much excited & told him that they would not go under Samoa Government, that if he had had Authority & letters from Governor of Fiji they would be willing. Having asked me what they shod. do, I told them agree to nothing, sign nothing, as he had no power to act from the Fiji Government, treat him civilly & listen to what he had to say. Finding at last he could not influence or frighten them to accede to his object, he unshipped the flag, told them to consider it over in their minds. Before leaving he had a talk with me & said he would be here again before returning to Samoa, that he was now going to all or. Islands in this Groupe.
Ariel shipped Copra abt. 8 Tons & left trade. Captn. sd. he would not be here again, but that Mr. Whiteman wod. come around. Sailed for Nuitao & then to Line.
Wedy. June 11th 1884. Sapolu left with her.
The more Bad & Absurd Laws
Whatever may be thought of the rest, the following 3 things should be cancelled at once & it will be done at Missionary's suggestion,
1st. Fining men going to work in Vessels.
2nd. Taking all nuts from young people & their relatives instead of putting them to work – or to Exonerate them from fines, if they consent to get married.
3rd. Tabuing the Canoes from taking whitemen to Vessels.
This Not thought of on the other Islands in this Groupe – this Island is an Exception to the other Islands, for as I lived a short time in Fonafote & Nuitao, I can testify the Laws are in far a better state.
Canoes tabued from White men living ashore
In referring to the tabu on their Canoes from taking Whitemen to the Vessels, I would say it sounds slavishly when Captn. on visiting the Whitemen ashore, is told their reason for not going off to the Vessel simply because the Police have not gone to the Vessel and has been remarked "Ah just fancy what these natives would do to whitepeople if
they possessed the power."
Arrival of Man of War
When the Emerald War ship, Captn. Maxwell arrived here, a whiteman living here at the time, took his Canoe & one Native to assist him, to meet the ship on entering the Lagoon, so as to point out the most Eligible spot for anchorage, he was gladly recd. on board & much thanked for the information.
Soon after the departure of the Vessel, the Police fined the Native for going with the Whiteman in the Canoe.
The Natives are always paid by me 2/- when I trouble them for their Canoes.
If a "Man of War" arrives before the Missionary visits here I intend to lay this case in particular before the Captain, as it is most ridiculous & shameful.
Uncertainty as to whom the Goods belong to
Captn. Kastell told me the other day for positive, that he knows, the owner of the Goods left here by T.W. Williams & that he will shortly be around in a Barque to take up the trade & Copra off the Islands & finish up – but the Goods left with the Teacher, he did not know whether it belonged to Williams or
any some one else. I told him Williams left the goods here as being his own, he said it could not be so. If the Goods should be given up to any other person than Williams himself, he may hold the Teacher or the island responsible for them, in the absence of leaving no orders to that effect.
3 Traders on the Island
There is now more Goods in trade on this Island than could be bought by the Natives for the next ½ doz. years.
We are 3 Traders, one for Captn. Kastell, one for T.W. Williams & myself for Mr. Ruge – and I cannot understand why those people should be continually pressing upon every Captn. that comes here, to leave trade. I have traded
with them several years, they cannot get better & cheaper Goods & I give the highest current price for the Copra, still they are never content, but keep moving & rolling things about all the time. This Island will only produce for sale about 30 Tons Copra in a year & how is 3 Vessels going to be supplied, as also to support the traders – cannot be done, some alteration must very shortly take place & it is very probably they will get themselves into the same dilemma, they were in, once before, Vessels coming here & no Copra, taking the Trade away & no vessels coming to the Island, (with the exception of the Vessel I now trade for, for over 2 years) – but at that time I was not trading for this Vessel, she only put in here occasionally.
The Natives say if it had not been for Mekish, the 2 last Vessels that left trade here, had no inducement from them to do so.
Inventory of Trade Copra & Cash – and sketch of Dr. & Cr. acct. made 5th May 1884.
Dr. – Contra – Cr.
Balce. In favour of G. Sellasen – Stock trade in hand $381.18
From last settlement - $335.70 – Copra in hand – 51.91
Amt. of last Invoice – 130.87 – Dr. Comn. recd. for C. Sellasen – 5.03
Recd. on Board "Matauta" – Due [indecipherable] recd. for Copra – 11.28
Not yet Invoiced – 15.44 – Cash in hand – 121.40
Balce. In favour of G.W. – 88.79
$570.80 - $570.80
[Notes not transcribed]
Brt. Up - $90.20
Goods taken by me – 2.58
Balce. in my favour – 88.79 – May 17 & 19 Nuts Broken 180 lbs. – 2.92
4 Acct. Books 20 ct. – 90.54
2 Panicans – 37 – 57 – Tuesday May 27 – Trade retd. from Molto – 1.70
$88.22 – 92.24
5 pr. Calico BB for Screen – 62½ - Pr. Hinges – 25
$87.591/2 – 91.98
2 Bar Soap – 35½
15 doz. Pipes 20 ct. – 3.00
Friday 20th June 1884 – All people retd. from Molto.
Friday July 11th – One of the Police, Phebo, came & asked me what they had better do with the nuts they brot. from small Island. The people were not willing to preserve them in case of any fine that might be claimed by Sapolu, shod. he come here again. I said, let every man do as he likes with his nuts, if any fine can be made by Sapolu, it is time enough then to see about paying it.
Thursday 24 July 1884
"John Williams" arrd. Mr. C. Philips Missionary, laid papers before him.
Held Meeting in school house. I was asked to attend, Captn. & Missionary addressed the people about their laws & suggested improvements which was assented to.
Saturday 26th July 1884
"John Williams" sailed, Mekish the Teacher left, New Teacher was landed.
August 11, 1884. Sampson, Flabo & Sampson, Police, came to my house with Tom, & wanted to know what to do with your Copra in Molto, that they thought the Crabs etc. would eat it all – said that you gave the Police 75 Tobo. for putting it in the Police house, but that you did not tell them to look out for it, they wanted me to put in my Copra house. I told them the Tobo. was given them to look out for the Copra & that they ought to have brot. it over with them. They could put it in with my Copra, but I would weigh it, or they could put in their own Copra House, I would not take it witht. weighing. I advised them to get over at once.
[Notes not transcribed]
Blk reels damaged 20 or 8 lbs.
Do. do. not damaged 30 or 12 lbs.
Red reels damd. 6 nuts or 2½ lbs.
Do. do. not damd. 10 nuts or 4 lbs.
W. Reels 30 nuts or 12 lbs.
or 16 ct.
37½ 40 ct. 2nd Dr. 35 ct. small 25 30
Panicans 25 ct. each
Rack Comb -
35 40 ct.
Files 32 lbs, & 40 lbs,
37½ 40 ct. & 40 50 ct.
Braiding pr F. 3¾ ct.
3 2½ lbs. 8 7 nuts
(10 F. 1 piece) 37½ ct. for 1 piece
Braid 6 ct. pr F. – 7½ F. in 1 piece.
Salt – 6 ct. per oz. 15 nuts 5 lbs.
Coal tar pr. Quart 37½ ct.
Black Coal $2.50
Blue Canton Cloth 50 ct. pr yd.
Powder pr. 2 lb. Canister 32½ ct.
Shot pr. 2 lb. 32½ ct.
Umbrellas $1 37½ ct.
Felt Hat $1.50
Calicos same as before, only B.A.
7 yards for $1 ea or whole piece 4 F. for 3 pieces, Household 4 3 F. for $1
Turkey Red 3 F. for $1.00
Matches 4 ct. 8 nuts
3 4 lbs.
Navy Blue 3 F. for $1
Big Knives $1.00
Razors $5 50 ct.
Lead pencils with India rubber top [indecipherable]
do. do. another [indecipherable]
Copy Books 25 ct.
25 ct. each.
Do. 37½ ct.
Foolscap 10 ct. 25 nuts & 1 sheet
Pens 6 nuts each or 3 ct.
Do. Big pens, 10 nuts, 6 or 5 lbs.
Salts 12 nuts 5 lbs. Copra
Small acct. Bks. 10 ct. 7 lbs Copra
or 8 lbs. Copra or 20 nuts
Scissors 30 ct.
Poll Combs 50 ct. ea.
Box lock 50 ct.
4 3 cts. or 2 lbs. Copra
Ribbon 25 ct. pr. yd.
Lama Red 7 cts. pr. yd.
Big slates 50 ct.
Small do. 35 ct.
Woollen Shirts 175 ct. & $2
Cotton Shirts $1.00
75 ct. & $1.00
Needle 3 nuts 1½ ct.
Smoking Glasses 50 ct. & 35 ct.
Small do. 15 lbs. Copra
[Notes not transcribed]
White Muslin 25 ct. pr yd.
Belts 1/- & 1/6d.
Largest size books 10 nuts
Big Pick Locks 6 nuts ea.
Small do. 2 do. Big Nuts
Wax Matches 10 Nuts 4 for 1/-
6 ct. or 4 lbs.
Lead pencils with tops 30 nuts 18 ct.
or 12 lbs. or 20 cents.
Lead pencils 20 nuts 9 lbs. or 16½ ct.
Prints 2 F. $1.00
Do. 5 yards 1.00
White Cotton 10 Nuts or 6½ ct.
4 [indecipherable] Copra
Monkey Jacket $4.50
Small size Fish Line 40 for 50 ct.
Plane irons 50 ct., 40 ct., &
37 ct 37½ ct.
Tweeseal's Paint $2.60
Foolscap paper 6 lbs. or 12 Nuts
Note do. 3 lb. or 7 nuts.
Pipes 5 ct. or 4 lbs. or 10 Nuts.
Dr. Turner in Nuitao
Dr. Turner told me; speaking of the defects in laws; that it was the Teachers place to give his opinion to the Police, upon any laws that were bad & inconsistant.
When I lived there, the fines were for work & not for Nuts – and at any time when I wanted to go to the Vessel I could always get Canoes on payment.
If Mekish the Teacher had less to do in going aboard vessels, he would not be so likely to be talked over & get into trouble.
I would suggest a clause in the law, which they have not got or thought about viz,
Rape & attempting rape $100 to be paid in nuts.
[This section crossed out.]
Diary Contd. from last page
May 24 1885
King Matauta arrived. Captn. Sellasen landed – May 25th
Tanoa a Native came to my house, as he said with a message from the King & police to Captn. Sellasen & when speaking got greatly excited & spoke high & in a masterly & insolent manner & ultimately told Captn. Sellasen to go out he would fight him.
Shipped 20368 lbs. Copra. I was aboard got trade & provisions.
Matauta sailed this day 25th for the Line.
June 18 – 1885.
New Zealand vessel arrived shipped Copra & landed a Trader in the place of Robert. Captn. & self agreed to fix Big Tobo. 10 Nuts, smaller size 8 Nuts. Sailed Monday 22nd June.
July 18 Saturday. Tabu reserved my Tobo. at 8 big nuts. Franks tabued.
[End of section crossed out.]
Sept. 17th "Matauta" landed me some trade, Captn. came ashore but could take no copra, weather very bad, Harry & wife aboard from Nui, going Samoa, Captn. gave me Invoice & took my ret. & almost immediately ret. to ship bound for Line to meet Sellasen.
Sept. 22nd. Tabu removed off Franks Tobo.
Octr. 21st. John Williams arrived. Mr. Newell Missionary, myself & Banks had an interview with him respecting some petty nuisances on the Island, & he spoke to the Teacher & police on the subject.
Carried back 2nd
4th page from beginning.
An Account of Copra stored commending March 6th 1884.
Thursday 25th Augt. 1884.
Bargd. I.R. Sever arrd. Mr. Grissmill bought some copra, in all abt. 14 Bags at 1¾ each & 2 ct. trade. Grissmill was in a bad way, as he said he was led to believe there was more Copra here – tendered for 8 pkts. matches for piloting the vessel into the Lagoon but Tom claimed $5 & Grissmill & Tom had a row & ordered Tom off the vessel. Tom went to the Captn. & he was ultimately paid $5, but said they would not come this Island again.
Grissmill had the cheek to ask me to sell the Copra that he would give me 2 ct. a lb. I told him 100 ct. per to. would not buy it, as it was not mine to sell. He said Mr. Ruge offered him 1¾ cts. pr. ton. for Cargo of Copra in Samoa but he refused to sell it to him, as Mr. Ruge was working all he could against him. Sailed for Line etc. Friday 22nd Augt. 1884.
Sept. 16th, Tuesday, Sydney Schr. arrd. Wiley supercargo. Shipped abt.3 ½ Tons Copra. Got note from Sellasen who had arrd. at Fonafote from Line – said he was to meet Sellasen at Newy & arrange about price of Copra to Natives etc. Sailed Saty. 20th Sept. & was to meet Captn. Sellasen at Newy to arrange about prices. Willy told me that he paid [indecipherable] $11 pr. month & that his money was $44 & that he gave Tom $5 for piloting.
(See forward notes at Nunamea)
Nunamea Copra Account.
Copra capsized from Coat & got back 325 lbs. Nuts.
Nov. 26. Schr. passed, Police went alongside, News, full of Copra from ½ ct.
Dec. 10th. Attended Police Hse. at request & after a great deal bother, Tabu removed.
See back 3 pages for Diary.
Trade in Boxes
Black Box Large Chest, Dungary Pants, All Regatta & damaged white Shirts, Coat, Black Pants, Hat, Poll Combs, damaged Cotton, All Singlets, Smoking Glasses. My Box Jeminas Box Black Box, Blue Sheathes, Pouches, Belts, Powders, Shot, Copra Plane irons, Fish Lines small, Fish hooks, All Knives, Razors, Blue stone, Hinges, Lock, Gimlets, Files, Caps, Smoking Glasses, All Singlets, Braiding, Combs Rack, Hair Nets, Salts, Poll Combs, scent [indecipherable] Camphor Box, Matches Ribbons, Poll Combs, Needles, Scissors, Lama, Ink, All Cotton, Ribbon, Needles, All pencils, Scent, Scented soap, Salts, [indecipherable], Lady's grey [indecipherable], Screws. Camphor Box, All Singlets, Smoking glasses Slate pencil, Lead pencil, ink, [indecipherable], Screws Matches. [indecipherable] Box, White Shirts, Matches
[Transcribed for the State Library of New South Wales]