May 1840: United States Exploring Expedition “secure within the territory of the chief of Levuka”

Charles Pickering, M.D., Member Of The United States Exploring Expedition reported “One of our first inquiries on landing regarded the safety of travelling ; and we were informed; that ” we should be entirely secure within the territory of the chief of Levuka.”
But not safe in the mountains: It appeared, however, that his dominion included part only of the coast of this small island ; while the interior was held by independent mountain chiefs.
On iny first excursion to the woods, at no great distance above the village, I came upon the lair of a ” mountaineer;” an impression left on the herbage, by reclining to watch a small crop of upland taro. The man had fled, and with” the other mountaineers of the vicinity, kept out of sight ; having been forewarned, “by putting the ear to the ground,” of the approach of footsteps. Next to the indiscretion of travelling alone in these islands, the visitor soon learns not to precede his guide”.
The Races Of Man; By Charles Pickering, M.D., Member Of The United States Exploring Expedition.

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