1 May 1840: Levuka resident, David Whippy warns Wilkes of United States Exploring Expedition, to “never completely trust the Fijians”

The United States Exploring Expedition vessel, Peacock arrived on 1 May and the scientists assigned to it, including Agate, returned to their assigned berthing. Three days later the squadron left for the Fiji Islands.
David Whippy meets the Americans: “On arriving at Ovalu Island they were met by David Whippy, a Nantucket sailor who had settled there. Whippy proved himself useful, acting as interpreter and advisor on local customs. An important piece of advice he offered was to never completely trust the Fijians”.
Missionaries warn of stories of treachery and murder: “Both Whippy and the local missionaries told stories of treachery and murder among the island’s cannibal population. In response, Wilkes issued orders for extra care when in contact with the islanders. Landing parties could only leave the ships when absolutely necessary and officers should be armed.”
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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