In 1781, the Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora del Rosario under the command of Captain Francisico Antonio Mourelle visited Vava’u, Tonga, reported The European Connection with Tonga, by James Bade. A number of British and French expeditions followed between 1787 and 1793. Tonga continued to exert a fascination over Europeans well into the nineteenth century. Visitors to Tonga were impressed not just by the friendliness of the Tongans but also by their fine stature. George Angas’s comments on the Tongans in his 1866 study of the Polynesian islands are typical: “They are a fine-looking race, tall, well made, with fully-developed muscles; and the women as well as the men are equally remarkable for their personal beauty” (Angas 1866, 241).
The European Connection with Tonga, James Bade, http://www.eucnetwork.org.nz/activities/conference/conference_auckland_06/docs/jbade.pdf