IN December, 1856, my father sailed from Samoa for England, leaving me as Acting Consul. On the 28th of September, 1857, I was appointed H. M. Consul at Fiji, though I still served in Samoa until the middle of 1858. Prior to my appointment there had not been a British Consul resident in Fiji, for though the group was included in my father’s consular district, his residence was at Samoa.
At this period there were not living in Fiji more than thirty or forty Europeans and Americans, and but few vessels trading were there.
Bad behaviour on all sides: The unenviable character of the natives, their cannibalism, their frequent outrages upon the few whites already settled amongst them, and their constant intertribal wars, deterred the colonial traders from visiting them ; the reported difficult navigation of the group led shipmasters to give it a wide berth ; and indeed the character attributed to the whites themselves, represented them all most unjustly I afterwards found as little better than the Fijians.
Polynesian Reminiscences; Ob, Life In The South Pacific Islands. By W. T. Pritchard, F.R.G.S., F.A.S.L.