12 May 1840: United States Exploring Expedition commander, Wilkes summons Tanoa to Levuka

“On 12 May King Tanoa arrived from his home on Ambau Island and took up residence in the mbure, or council house in Levuka: Wilkes on Whippy’s advice, hired spies among Tanoa’s people.
Wilkes aims to establish dominance: “One of Wilkes’ first acts in the Fijis was to send a summons to a local great chief, Tanoa. In local custom, compliance would be an acknowledgement of Wilkes’ dominance, and Whippy, the local chiefs, and settlers wondered what the response would be.
Tanoa arrives in Levuka from Ambau Island: “On 12 May King Tanoa arrived from his home on Ambau Island and took up residence in the mbure, or council house. Eager for trade, he gladly signed an agreement for the future safety of United States ships in Fiji. In spite of the treaty, Wilkes was not entirely convinced they would be safe. In setting up his observatory at Levuka, Ovalu, he assigned Marines to it for protection, and on Whippy’s advice he hired spies in the king’s retinue to keep him informed of any contemplated mischief”.
Department Of The Navy — Naval Historical Center The Alfred Agate Collection: The United States Exploring Expedition (Porpoise, Flying Fish, Vincennes Peacock) , 1838-1842 http://www.history.navy.mil/ac/exploration/wilkes/wilkes14.html Accessed 16 August 2008

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