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Divided among five archipelagoes: the volcanic Society Islands, also called the islands under the wind (in the west) and the wind islands (in the east), with the well known island of Tahiti, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands, and the coral Tubuai Islands (Austral Islands). Also included are American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn (famous for the Mutiny on the British ship HMS Bounty), Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Samoa (Navigator Islands)

French Polynesia is a collection of 118 islands covering a vast area of the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

Between 1722 and 1791, European ships landed on Samoa while on their way westwards to search for the Great Southern Continent.

Samoans attacked at least two of the landing parties, giving Samoans a hostile and violent reputation.

As a result, traders (who were developing Pacific trade routes carrying goods such as whale products, sandalwood and beche de mere the sea cucumber) avoided Samoa until the early 1800 when German traders visited the islands and, in 1900 Samoa became a colony of Germany. During this time Reverend John Williams moved to Samoa and converted all of the islanders to Christianity.

By 1820, a few Europeans had braved the reputation of the islanders and settled on Samoa. These were mostly retired whalers and escaped convicts who enjoyed the climate and the solitude and who found the people to be open and friendly.

Discovery and Exploration of the Pacific Islands. Max Quanchi, author.

In 1830, missionaries began arriving. Englishman Peter Turner established a Wesleyan Methodist Mission in Apia and converted the chief of all Samoa, Malietoa Vainu'upo. Following his lead, the general population soon converted and Samoa became predominantly Methodist. Once the Samoans' formidable reputation was dispelled European traders started to include the islands in their regular routes, taking advantage of the seafood and tropical fruits that were grown there.

May 24, 1851, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Notice to Mariners

NAVIGATOR ISLANDS -- Important to Ships to and from California -- Many captains of vessels from California to Sydney and Hobart Town, desirous of calling for supplies, have mistaken the large island of Savaii for this, the proper name of which is Uponlu. The mistake has, in many cases, arisen from Savaii being called "Pola" on the charts; thus confounding the two islands from similarity of sounds. The name Pola is quite unknown to the natives, and must have originated in some blunder of the early navigators. Sometimes the mistake has arisen from Upolu having been laid down incorrectly both in latitude and longitude.

Savaii is the most westerly of the group, and has no proper harbor. Upolu is next to windward to it. The harbor of Apia, where the Consuls reside, is in 13 51 20 S, and 171 44 W.

A paper appeared in the Sydney Herald of July 9th, 1850, by Capt. Plank, of the Maria, full of valuable information respecting various islands where ships to and from California can obtain supplies. From the knowledge we have of the islands mentioned in that paper, we can attest to its general correctness.

G. Pritchard, H.B.M.'s Consul
Apia, Navigator Islands, January 6th, 1850.

Correspondence of the Alta California

June 16, 1855, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California.

Navigator's Islands.

Interesting information regarding this group of Pacific Islands, of which so little is known, appears in a private letter communicated to the California Chronicle.

There had been but four arrivals of vessels at Upolu, for three months.

In thirty-four consecutive days, ending April 12th, there had been but two days without rain, and a great part of the time it came down in floods.

These islands are green, mountainous and pitturesque, abounding in all the productions of tropical climates. Nature has done so much for them, that the natives need but do little more They are, accordingly, a good natured, indolent, well-disposed people hospitable to the stranger, though not always entirely disinterested in their hospitality, and appearing to attach considerable importance to the doctrine of reciprocity, in their attentions and presents. The men are of good size and personal appearance. The women are generally stout, and may be called handsome.

The population of the entire group of islands is estimated at 33,000. The foreign population numbers but 120.

The Samoans are now almost entirely under the influence of the Missionaries, and reading and wrighting are very common accomplishments. In natural intellect, they will not suffer in comparison with the whites. What they lack mainly is energy, and the acquirements of civilization — not the capacity.

Opolu is a beautiful spot for a temporary residence; but to one who places much account on his morning newspaper, or his semi-monthly letters, it is not the place for a permanent abode. It is a peaceful, monotonous island, whose waters are yet to be disturbed by the first steamer, and — happy land! — where editors are yet at a discount. There is a Missionary paper published about once a twelvemonth. To the invalid the climate is general and restorative. I can confidently recommend a residence here to persons of weak lungs, or delicate health generally. The mildness, and particularly the uniformity of the temperature, adapt it to such constitutions. 80 degrees farenheit is the average from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. The wet season extends from September to March; the dry season from March to September when there are only occasional showers. There is little difference in the temperature, however, in the respective seasons; neither is there much in this respect to distinguish the nights from the days. One can, with impunity, and indeed must have his apartments always open to the air. And there is no lack of good fresh water bathing places, where the water is almost always of the right temperature. One must not mind it, indeed, if a Samoan woman or girl comes along occasionally, casts off her "lava, lava," honors him with her company in the water, and afterwards make her toilet before him, in primitive style. Such things are never noticed except by strangers.

Another item which renders these islands a suitable place of sojourn for the valetudinarians, is the small expense of the necessaries of life. There are no boarding houses which offer a fit home for such an one; yet a native house can be built at no great expense, in a manner to answer every purpose in this climate. And one can, with a little "trade," (cotton cloth, tobacco, knickknacks) with which it is well for every one to be provided, procure fruit and vegetables at an actual cost, which is very trifling. We get no fresh meat but pork, and no potatoes that are raised here except a few sweet potatoes. Pigs can be purchased in most places for two or three cents per pound; but there is a " taboo " put on the sale of these animals, (those raised by the natives,) which increases the price to about five cents. Fowls, 25 cents each; ducks, 50 cents; turkeys, $1. For yams there is an established price, which is equal to about one cent per pound. The islands are covered with taro and bread fruit. There can be no food more fit for the human stomach. All kinds of fruit are now plenty, and can be purchased for "a song." Fresh milk, six or eight cents per quart.

There is no end to the coaco nut. From it is obtained the oil which is manufactured into candles, soap, etc., and which forms the main article of export of these islands.

The mosquito figures too extensively here to escape notice in my letter. These creatures are the bane of the island, and there is no such thing as sleeping without "bars " for protection from their ravages. But it is graciously ordained that they bite only at night.

The only great nFlying Fox. atural curiosity which is common here, is the "flying fox," (so called by the residents,) an animal with the wings and arms of the bat, and the head of the fox. I had an opportunity of examining one which was killed a few days, and found it indeed worthy of the name of a curiosity. There are few birds here besides pigeons, which are plenty.

And of quadrupeds, I do not now bear in mind that there are any which are native — some small kinds, as the lizard.

May 23, 1872, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Letter From the Navigator Islands

Prospects of the Future - The United States Officers in Time - Nautral Fruits, Products, Etc., Etc.

Navigator Islands
Apia, April 18, 1872.

Editors Alta: We arrived here from Honolulu on the 1st, (All Fool's day) after splendid passage of thirteen days -- the fastest on record. We arrived here from Honolulu, on the 1st, (All Fool's day,) after a splendid passage of thirteen days — the fastest on record. It was a general source of regret to all on board that your winged correspondent — Swallow — left us at Honolulu. Poor bird, his tender plumage could not stand the terrific gales that we encountered from San Francisco to Honolulu. It was a pity that he did not reach this sunny isle, for it is just the place to bring forth his poetic spirit.

Entering the harbor, just as the sun is sinking beneath the sea, the eye rests on the most perfect tropical verdure, the beach skirted with palm trees, in the background breadfruit, guavas and vii trees, a cascade leaping from the highest mountain on the island, lends a charm to the scene, unsurpassed in any country.

The beach around the harbor, for perhaps one and a half miles is inhabited by the Europeans residing on the island. There are perhaps sixty European houses, badly constructed for the tropics, but the people settled on these, isolated isles, far away from civilization, seem happy and contented. Indeed, the social life in Apia appeals to a stranger to be in a very primitive state. The Scotch reel and Highland fling is danced here, and, as a Frenchman remarked to me, "You English wherever you go carry your games with you, and I feel certain that when I pass to another world if it should be my bad fortune to be cast into the bottomless pit, I shall find a Scotchman dancing the Highland fling and an Englishman a country dance." A ball at Port Apia is a sight not to be met with in any other place. The assembly generally consists of eighteen or twenty ladies and perhaps thirty gentlemen, and dancing is kept up with a vim unknown in colder regions. The windows are all open, and the lights reflect upon the shining skins of the naked natives who crowd the verandahs to gaze on the dance of civilization. The native dance, "hula hula," seems to our eyes obscene in the extreme, but our waltz, danced as the Samoan ladies dance it, appears to the natives equally improper.

Although the European residents enjoy themselves, the natives have little left to look forward to for the unhappy fratricidal war that has desolated the country for the past ten years has left these miserable people almost in a state of destitution.

The Cause of the War

Ten years ago the King of the Samoan Group died, leaving a son of about twenty years of age, who, according to the established rules, was entitled to step into his father's place, but his uncle, then a High Chief on Savii, fifteen miles distant from the seat of Government, invaded the Island of Upolo with a powerful fleet of war canoes and defeated the young King, who retreated to the east end of the island; since that time there has been almost continued warfare, but about two years ago both parties gave up fighting from sheer exhaustion, and ever since have been preparing for war again, and a few days before our arrival hostilities commenced afresh.

On the 1st of April two forts were taken by the invading party, and six heads cut off. It is the custom to give no quarter, and when a person is taken his head is at once cut off. The King, seated on a mat, receives the trophy with great joy, and the fortunate warrior who has taken the head calls out the name of the King.

The town of Apia is neutral, and either party can enter it without arms with perfect safely, but it impresses one with a singular feeling to see a canon being paddled across the peaceful bay with the head of a man stuck up on the end of it; or again, to see the natives passing along the beach with large knives about eighteen inches long, perhaps stained with blood, when the head of some unfortunate native has been taken off just a few minutes before.

Both parties live in perfect harmony with the European and American people residing here, and there is not a single instance of any outrage being committed on the white residents. The war has been entirely carried on by each party to gain the supremacy, and kept up now because the party that wins will take the lands and property of the others, and will destroy the principal chiefs.

The State of Things Prevailed

On the arrival of Mr. Stewart, the President of the Central Polynesia Land and Commercial Company, he at once requested a meeting of the King Malestos and his principal chiefs, presenting to them that the Company be represented had purchased large tracts of land on the Island, and that it was impossible that the war could be continued longer without entirely destroying the native race. The King at once agreed with Mr. Stewart and signified his wish to hand over his right to the United States and the Company, and immediately an agreement was drawn up handing over the royalty of the land to the United States. The following day the other party met in the house of the United States Consul, and agreed to the same proposition, and in accordance therewith a treaty was drawn up, the fifth clause of which reads thus:

We do acknowledge the absolute authority of the United States of America, with regard to all matters whatsoever, and bind ourselves to adopt the common laws of America.

This agreement is signed by the two kings and one hundred and twenty chiefs, and the British and American Consuls attach their signatures and seals, viz:

We hereby certify that the names signed to this agreement are the kings and rulers of Samoa. Jons M. Co.-. United States Consul; J. C. Williams, H.B.M. Consul at Samoa.

It is somewhat singular to see so many English people favor the establishment of am American colony in the South Sea Islands, more particularly so on such an island as this is, covering an area of 2,600 square miles, but this island is not to be surpassed for its beautiful climate, luxuriant foliage and richness of the soil. The highest ridge Is at an elevation of not more than 2,000 feet above the level of the sea and more than three-fourths of the island is suitable for cultivation.

Natural Products, Fruits, Birds, Etc.

The very rocks seem to bring forth vegetation; the eye cannot discover anything but the beautiful tropical verdure. Spices of all kinds are growing spontaneously. The valleys abound with nutmegs, ginger, curri plant, etc. In some parts the ground is covered with pine apples, while the bread-fruit, guava vie and hica lend a perfect and delightful shade to the traveller. Upolo is like no other place on our globe, and the stranger is forced to exclaim that It was the last place created. The Creator, beholding all the most beautiful things in nature, centered them on the Samoan Group. Sunrise on this lovely spot is splendid beyond conception; thousands of birds sing forth the joy of returning day; everything is filled with life, and nature seems to have bestowed more than their share of beauty to the inhabitants.

The Central Position of these Islands

Samoa: Pango Harbour, Isle of Tutuila, 1886 Pango Pango.

Right in the track  the track of the United States, New Zealand and Australian mail steamers, about 1,600 miles from Auckland, 2,000 from Honolulu, 1,100 from Tahiti, 300 from Fiji, and 1,000 miles from New Caledonia, point toward them In the future as being the great depot of commerce in Polynesia. The coaling depot of the steamers is to be at Samoa City, in the harbor of Pango Pango, and our Government has already taken possession of the magnificent land-locked bay as a naval station.

It was Taken Just in Time

Four fourteen days afterward a German man-of-war arrived there for the same purpose, and when the Captain was told by the pilot that the Narragansett had been there and had taken possession, he fell up against the bulwarks of his ship and said, "It cannot be so;" but being assured of the fact, at once sent for the Consul, who told him it was quite true.

During the past few months, affairs in Apia have changed much, and several new houses are being built. This in a great measure has been occasioned by the Central Polynesia Land and - Commercial Company having purchased upward of 300,000 acres of land on this island for planting purposes.

There are two vessels passing inside the reef — one is from Auckland and the other is the Susan from Honolulu with passengers, sugar, planters, etc., to take advantage of the new order of things.

I intended writing you a very long letter, but as the Witch Queen sails in an hour I will have to defer it to another time.. You must make every allowance, for every one seems to avoid work of any kind here, except an old naturalist recently arrived. Yesterday he shot thirty different kinds of birds, some of which he had never heard of before, and no doubt when Mr. Donaldson writes to his friends in Glasgow he will tell all about his newly-discovered treasures.

An excursion to this island would more than repay the curious who wish to behold man in his natural state, a virgin country and people. .

June 18, 1872, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The Treaty with the Samoan Islanders

Know all men by them presents, that we, Maunga, Chief of Le Fagalva; Lelato, Chief of Le Alataus; Faumuins, Chief of Le Saole, Soliai, Chief of Le Ituau; of the Eastern Division of the Island of Tutuila, Samoa, having met In Council this 9th day of March, A.D. 1872, do hereby agree to form a league and confederation for our mutual welfare and protection, and to unite our several districts under the flag raised at Pango-Pango, on the 3d. day of March, 1872.

And we hereby do solemnly bind ourselves to carry out this covenant faithfully, as far as our jurisdiction extends, and to maintain peace with each other, and to carry out, in our several districts, the Commercial Regulations of Pango-Pango, promulgated the 3d day of March, A.D. 1872, and recognized by Commander Richard W. Mcade, V. S. Navy, commanding U.S.S. sloop-of-war Narragansett, (fourth rate).

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals this 9th day of March, 1872:

(Signed) Richard W. Meade, Commander, U.S.N.
(Signed) Thos. Meredith, U.S. Vice Consular Agent
(Signed) Leiato
(Signed) Faumuina
(Signed) O Au A Maunga
(Signed) O Au O Maunga Ma Ituau

Commercial Regulations

For the port of Pango-Pango, Island of Tutuila, Samoa, adopted and promulgated the 3d of March, 1873, and recognized by Richard W. Mead, Esq., commanding the United Steamer Narragansett, (fourth rate)

  1. All foreign Consuls duly appointed shall be protected and respected both In their persons and property, and all foreigners settling on the island as far as under the jurisdiction of the Chief, and conforming to the laws, shall receive the protection of the Government.
  2. The fullest protection shall be given to all foreign ships and vessels which may be wrecked, and any property saved shall be taken in charge by the Consul of the country to which the vessel belongs, who will allow salvage on the property so saved. No embezzlement will be permitted. The effects of all foreigners deceased will be given up to the Consul of the nation of the person so deceased.
  3. Every vessel entering Pango-Pango shall pay a port charge to the Chief, to be regulated by agreement between the Chief, the agent of the California and Australian Steamship Company and the foreign Consuls. Pilots shall be appointed by the same persons. The agent of the Steamship Company to be Pilot Commissioner, ex-officio, and the charge for pilotage for men-of-war and merchant vessels to be one dollar per foot of draft, and one dollar per day for detention on board. Each pilot will be furnished with a copy of the Port Regulations, and to show the same to the matter of each vessel which he may bring into port.
  4. No work shall be done on shore, nor shall any natives be employed on board vessels on Sunday, under a penalty of ten dollars, except under circumstances of absolute necessity, such as aid in the case of a wreck of a vessel, or the coaling of the steamship to proceed on time on her voyage north or south.
  5. All trading In distilled or spirituous liquors, or any kind of intoxicating drink, is absolutely prohibited. Any person so offending shall be fined 1100 on conviction before a mixed court composed of the U. S. Consul, H. B. M's Consul, and the Chief of the Bay. All such liquors found on shore, and kept for sale or barter in any way, shall be seized and destroyed.
    If any native be found intoxicated, the individual who has furnished the drink which has caused the intoxication, to pay a fine of ten dollars.
    If any foreigner be found intoxicated and riotous, he shall pay a line of ten dollars
  6. Prohibits prostitution.
  7. Deserters shall be apprehended by the Chief, on application to him through the Consul, to whom they must be delivered. The usual rewards required by regulation to be paid by men-of-war, and ten dollars shall be paid by merchantmen one-third to go to the Chief.
  8. All fines to be paid in specie or its equivalent, or be commuted at the rate of one month's labor on the roads for ten dollars.
  9. Should any master of any vessel refuse compliance with the local regulations, the case to be referred to the Consul of the nation to which the vessel belongs, and redress sought thence.

Witness: (Signed) Richard W. Meade,
Commander, U.S. Navy.

(Signed) O. Au O Maunga.

(Translated) I am the Maunga or High Chief. The foregoing rules having been signed by the Chiefs in my presence, I shall forward a copy of the same, with my approval, to the United States Government, for the information of all masters of vessels visiting Pango-Pango.

(Signed) O. Au O Maunga.

(Translated) l am the Maunga or High Chief. The foregoing rules having been signed by the Chiefs in my presence, I shall forward a copy of the same, with my approval, to the United States Government, for the Information of all masters of vessels visiting Pango-Pango.

(Signed) Richard W. Meade, Commander U.S. Navy

Trade began to flourish with Britain, the U.S.A. and Germany and, as in other countries, the nations fought to gain control, not only for reasons of trade, but because of the strategic position in the mid-Pacific.

Samoan Chief

Samoan Chief.

In the late 1880s, all three national sent warships to the harbor of Apia to defend their claims to the islands. In 1889, a cyclone slammed into the islands, costing the lost of warships and lives.

In that same year, the three powers signed the Berlin Treaty, establishing an independent Samoa. This caused infighting with Samoan dynastic families, the three nations reached a different agreement, which split Samoa into two nations, one ruled by Germany and the other by the United States.

January 23, 1889, Guardian, London, United Kingdom

Samoa. President Cleveland has sent to Congress the correspondence on the Samoa disturbances, with a message intimating that Germany is at fault. He also says:

"Germany asserts that she has no desire or intention to overturn the native Samoan Government, or to ignore our treaty rights, and still invites our Government to join her in restoring peace and quiet. But thus far her propositions on this subject seem to lead to such a preponderance of German power in Samoa as was never contemplated by us, and is inconsistent with every prior agreement or understanding, while her recent conduct as between the native warring factions gives rise to a suspicion that she is not content with a neutral position. Acting under the restraints which our Constitution and laws have placed upon the executive power, I have insisted that the independence of Samoa should be scrupulously preserved, according to the treaty made with Samoa by the Powers named and their other agreements and understandings with each other."

Samoan Girl. Fiji.

Orders have also been given for strengthening the American force in Samoan waters. Accounts received via San Francisco accused the Germans of very high-handed proceedings tearing down and burning American flags, burning American houses, and firing on the captain and lieutenant of a British man-of-war. The officers of the German ship Eber, however, which left Auckland on the 13th inst., declare that these stories are totally untrue.

May 12, 1890, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

McCarthy and His Casket.

The Undertaker's Charges Surprise the Adams' Officers.
His Complaint Groundless
An Associated Press Correspondent's Version of the Affair McCarthy's Table Manners.

Last October an undertaker from Syracuse, N. Y. named John McCarthy, went to Tutuila, Samoa for the remains of George W. Hall, the Chief Engineer of the U.S.S. Nipsic, who died there last June, while waiting for the Oceanic steamer to take him to San Francisco. McCarthy took a casket and embalming fluid with him, secured the remains and returned to San Francisco, and from here went to Syracuse, where the family of Chief Engineer Hall reside.

Soon after his return home he published charges against the officers of the U. S. S. Adams, which was then stationed at Samoa, accusing them of having treated him with insolence and having refused to render him any assistance in carrying out his mission. He finally laid these charges before the Secretary of the Navy, and was informed that an investigation would to made.

McCarthy declared in his charges that when he arrived at Tutuila on the steamer Zealandia he found the Adams waiting there for the mail. He went aboard the Adams with his casket and presented to the captain a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, explaining his mission and asking that all possible assistance to be given him. He stated that the captain refused to look at the letter and informed him that he could go ashore in one of the native boats that were lying near the Adams. McCarthy said he agreed to this and that the officers and men of the Adams, in their haste to get him out of the way, threw his casket into the sea, but that it was hoisted aboard again and that, as all the native boats had left by that time, he went to Leone Bay, a few miles distant, on the Adams , where he was landed on the following day. He stated that at Leone Bay his casket was again tumbled into the water and floated ashore and that he was left at the place with a few light goods and a warning that the natives would steal everything he had.

As soon as McCarthy made these charges Secretary Tracy forwarded them to the Captain and officers of the Adams and asked for in explanation.

A despatch was received in this city from Washington a few days ago stating that Secretary Tracy had just written a letter to McCarthy informing him that he had made an investigation and found that his charges against the officers of the Adams were groundless.

A correspondent in Apia, Samoa, who is acquainted with the circumstances of the case, sent by the steamer Zealandia, which arrived here Saturday night, the following account of McCarthy's arrival at Tutuila last October, and the treatment he received from the officers of the Adams.

The Zealandia.

The Zealandia arrived off Tutuila last October, about 9 o'clock, on a very dark night. The Adams was waiting off the island for the mail from San Francisco and also for her surgeon, who was expected to arrive from Honolulu.

When the Zealandia was sighted, the Adams despatched a light whaleboat, in charge of Naval Cadet H. A. Wiley, a young man who was aboard the U. S. S. Vandalia during the disastrous hurricane in Apia harbor, in March, 1889, and who was washed from the deck of his vessel and gallantly rescued by the natives after he had been tossed about in the waves for over an hour. When the boat returned to the Adams, Cadet Wiley informed the Captain that he had brought the surgeon and an undertaker with a large, heavy casket. Wiley said that he had objected to bringing the casket at first as it was too heavy to put in the boat, there being a heavy sea on at the time and the casket occupying bo much space in the small boat that only two of the oars could be worked. The captain of the Zealandia, however, informed him that if he did not take the casket he would have to carry it on to Auckland, so Wiley acted on his own discretion and concluded to take it in the boat.

The Adams was then in command of Lieutenant Hunker, Captain Woodward being on shore at Apia, sick. The coast at Tutuila is dangerous, and Lieutenant Hunker was on the bridge directing the movements of the ship when McCarthy came aboard. McCarthy rushed up to Lieutenant Hunker, and the latter asked him what he could do for him. McCarthy replied by flourishing a paper, saying, "read that." As it was perfectly dark, and Hunker was fully occupied in looking after his ship, he requested McCarthy to tell him what the paper contained. McCarthy, however, insisted that the paper be read at once, and the officer read it, and found it was an order from the Secretary of the Navy. He accordingly gave orders to have McCarthy and the casket looked after at once. Some native boats were passing the ship at the time, and Lieutenant Hunker, thinking that McCarthy could get ashore at once in one of these boats, asked him if he would like to go that way. McCarthy seemed pleased with the idea, and arrangements were accordingly made with the natives to take McCarthy and the casket ashore for $7.

McCarthy assented readily to this arrangement, and the casket was slung and passed over the side of the ship. The vessel was rolling heavily, and owing chiefly to the darkness, the slings had not been adjusted properly and the casket dropped into the water. McCarthy, exclaimed: "Oh, that is all right. Water won't hurt it!" The natives became superstitious, refused to have anything more to do with the casket, and went ashore. The casket was accordingly hoisted on the ship again, and the Adams, with McCarthy aboard, proceeded to Leone Bay.

When the Adams arrived at Leone a boat was lowered and McCarthy and the casket sent ashore. A native who was aboard, and who knew the passage through the reef, accompanied the boat. The tide being low, the boat was not able to gee up to the shore and, as McCarthy had said that water would not hurt the casket, it was lifted out of the boat and floated ashore.

A French priest, who was aboard the Adams at the time, had given McCarthy a letter to the French priest at Leone, asking the latter to give McCarthy all the assistance possible in the way of procuring labor, so the undertaker had no difficulty in getting men to carry the casket to the private house. This was no easy task, as it required twenty men to carry the casket up the hill.

McCarthy completed his work of disinterring and embalming Chief Engineer Hall's remains, and when all was in readiness for his departure for San Francisco the Adams returned to Leone, according to the promise of Lieutenant Hunker when he sent the undertaker ashore. McCarthy went aboard the Adams again and was treated as the guest of the wardroom officers, his entertainment being provided entirely at their personal expense. He seemed to appreciate the attentions shown him, and when he left the ship to take the steamer he asked for a broken knife as a souvenir of his stay on the vessel.

The only thing that could have given him offense was a request from one of the officers that he would not appear at the table in his shirt-sleeves and without a collar, and a gentle hint that his ghostly stories of resurrection were not appreciated.

The officers of the Adams were greatly astonished a month later to receive newspapers from America containing statements from McCarthy to the effect that he had been ill-treated by them. Proper explanations were made to the Secretary of the Navy at once.

December 31, 1898, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, USA

Latest News from South Sea Islands
German and British Warships Land Bluejackets to Make a Demonstration in Samoa.

VANCOUVER, B. C, December 30. The Royal Mail Steamship Warrimoo arrived this morning from Sydney, N. S. W., Wellington, N.Z., Sulva, Fiji and Honolulu.

The British gunboat Goldfinch, which recently returned to Sydney, took part in annexing Duff Islands, Cherry Islands and other places.

News from Samoa states that German and British warships have landed parties of bluejackets with the expectation of making a demonstration in consequence of a large number of natives congregating at Mulinuu. They marched through the main streets and back again to the place of embarkation. No news about the election of a King was received.

It is the intention of the French Government to make Noumea the naval headquarters of the French ships in the Pacific, and a large dock and workshops are to be established there. Mr. Hartford, formerly British Consul at Noumea, has been transferred to Manila in a similar capacity.

Captain Mclntyre of the bark Strathgryfe reports that while sailing close to the island of Tristan da Cunha he was hailed by a boat, which put off from the island. The boat contained Captain Shaw of the missing ship Glenhuntly, four half-caste islanders and another white man who had been shipwrecked on the island five years ago.

H. M. S. Penguin has been surveying in the neighborhood of Haapi. The principal change will be the disappearance altogether of Metis Island from the chart. This island in 1880 was 150 feet high, and there was now no sign of it beyond a reef which was beneath it.

April 13, 1899, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The German Consul Urged Mataafa to Keep on Fighting

AUCKLAND, N. Z., April — 9 a. m.

Liebig, Samoa, ApiaSamoa.

Apia, the principal port.

Further advices from Apia, Samoa, say that on the arrival of the British cruiser Tauranga at Apia the British and American Consuls issued a proclamation to give Mataafa a last chance, and that the French priests also used their influence, but all efforts failed, and the rebels continued their depredations. Property was destroyed and bridges and roads were barricaded. On March 29 the enemy was sighted at Maguigi and machine guns and a seven-pounder were used. The friendlies, Malietoa's men, also attacked the enemy during the latter's retreat and several rebels were killed or wounded. '

The friendlies carried one head through Apia, which made Captain Stuart so furious that he went to the King and threatened to shoot any man found taking heads. The King then issued a proclamation, forbidding the practice.

The German Consul wrote to Admiral Kautz, asking if two great Christian nations approved of this inhuman and barbarous practice against the laws of Christianity and the decree of the Supreme Court.

Samoa King Maatfia with Chiefs.

The admiral replied, agreeing with the Consul as to the inhumanity of the practice, and pointed out that had "the German Consul upheld the decree of the Supreme Court in January there would have been no bloodshed; that the custom was an old Samoan one, but first made known to the world ten years ago, when the heads of honest German sailors were cut off by the barbarous Chief Mataafa, whom the representative of the great Christian nation, Germany, is now supporting." (Image: 1900s. Samoa King Mataafa and Chiefs with American Correspondent KleinSamoa King Mataafa.

Expeditions in armed cutters belonging to the Tauranga and Porpoise are doing considerable execution, against Mataafa's strongholds along the coast. The British forces are being assisted by 100 Samoans. About forty-six of Mataafa's boats and several villages have been destroyed. In the meantime flying columns are being sent daily

June 20, 1903, Sausalito News, Sausalito, California, U.S.A.

Jealousy Causes Riot in Samoa
Soldiers and Natives in a Fierce, Battle Over Schoolgirls of Tutuila.

Tutuila, Samoa. About 9 o'clock at night some of the native guard were calling upon some Samoan school-girls at the native mission' house at Fagatoto, not far from the Commandant's residence. Some of the young men of Fagatoto were passing by, and, aroused with a spirit of jealousy, cast a shower of stones in and around the house. One of the native soldiers was severely wounded |in the head. The rest of the guard came out of the house, and a free fight ensued between them and the young men of the village.

Some of the chiefs, hearing of the disturbance, came out and stopped the row. But later it was resumed. Then the whole company became riotous, and many were injured by the flying stones.

Native Governor Manga, who was on the New Zealand steamer, hearing of the disturbance, immediately went ashore, and, finding that the young men and soldiers would not heed the voice of the Commandant, he dashed in with a club, and, vigorously slashing it around indiscriminately, quickly dispersed the rioters.

The disturbers of the peace were taken before the Court, and after several days' trial the ringleaders were found guilty. Two of the men of Fagatogo received a sentence of fifteen months' hard labor, another got four months, one soldier was sentenced to six months' hard labor or to pay a line of $75, and others were fined in lesser amounts.

Samoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands. A Footnote to History
Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa
Samoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands.
Robert Louis Stevenson
As did so many writers of the day, Stevenson's comments reflected his lack of understanding through patronizing and critical view of an entire people. However, as did others, he gives a view of Samoan culture and customs. He lived at Vailima for a number of years, spent much time with his Samoan friends, is captured in photos with both Hawaiian and Samoan rulers, yet seems puzzled by the social customs, native ways, etc. In spite of his prejudices, he was an excellent writer and captured key historical events of interest to history buffs.

South Pacific Tales - Legends And Myths From Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Easter IslandSamoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands.
(Folklore History Series. Various Authors)

Gagana Samoa: A Samoan Language Coursebook
(Samoan Edition)
Samoa.Gangana Samoa.
Galumalemana A. Hunkin
A modern Samoan language resource. Designed for both classroom and personal use, it features a methodical approach suitable for all ages; an emphasis on patterns of speech and communication through practice and examples; 10 practical dialogues covering everyday social situations; an introduction to the wider culture of fa'asamoa through photographs; more than 950 exercises to reinforce comprehension; a glossary of all Samoan words used in the coursebook; and oral skills supplemented by an optional CD.

Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and CulturesSamoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands.
Pacific Worlds.Asia, the Pacific Islands and the coasts of the Americas have long been studied separately. This single-volume history of the Pacific traces the global interactions and remarkable peoples that have connected these regions with each other and with Europe and the Indian Ocean, for millennia. From ancient canoe navigators, monumental civilizations, pirates and seaborne empires, to the rise of nuclear testing, Matt Matsuda ranges across the frontiers of colonial history, anthropology and Pacific Rim economics and politics, piecing together a history of the region.

Samoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands. Tattoo Road Trip Two Weeks in Samoa Samoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands.
Bob Baxter and Bernard Clark
Travel tips and pictures, focusing on the art of the tattoo that the authors found in the birthplace of Polynesian tattooing: Samoa. Baxter and Clark documented their two-week odyssey from Apia to Saleapaga, and from thatched-roofed huts to the legendary mansion of Robert Louis Stevenson. The book displays this unspoiled home of turquoise reefs, volcanic beaches, misty green waterfalls, and vermilion sunsets, where hand-tapped tribal tattoos are still a normal form of body art and ritual.

Let the Sea Make a Noise by Walter A. McDougall. Let the Sea Make a Noise:
A History of the North Pacific from Magellan to MacArthur
Samoa, Pacific Cultures, Islands.
Walter A. McDougall
Author of "Freedom Just Around the Corner" and the Pulitzer Prize winning "the Heavens and the Earth"
"Four centuries of exciting voyages of discovery, pioneering feats, engineering marvels, political plots, business chicanery, racial clashes and brutal wars."

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping.Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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