25 July 1840: sixty crewmen of United States Exploring Expedition burn Malolo island towns of Sualib and Arro, destroyed all the crops and huts between them

On 25 July 1840 a group of sixty crewmen of the United States Exploring Expedition burned the towns of Sualib and Arro and destroyed all the crops and huts between them. This was after the nephew of the Exposition leader Commander Wilkes and another crew member was killed. “A search of Sualib produced some personal property from Underwood and Henry. On the 27 a small group of chiefs led by a woman came asking for peace, but in keeping with Fiji custom, Wilkes rejected it and demanded that all islanders appear before him. When they came, the commander agreed to peace on condition that they bring provisions to Porpoise on the next day, which they did. In his later accounts of the voyage, Wilkes blamed Lieutenant James Alden, commander of the party with not taking proper precautions and even for pursuing the trade, which Wilkes believed was unnecessary. The squadron departed the Fiji Islands on 11 August”.
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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