1795: Australian convicts Morgan, Ambler and Connolly land on Tonga, off American ship, Otter

‘Towards the end of the 1790s a new influence came to Tonga in the form of permanent European residents. The first of these were convicts who had escaped from the British Colony of NSW, which had been established on the east coast of Australia by the British government primarily as a punishment for criminals. In 1795, some of these found a place on on the American ship Otter, which put them ashore on Tonga.
First white men to live in Tonga, a novelty: The names of these men were Morgan, Ambler and Connolly. As the first white men to live in Tonga, there were a novelty, and the chiefs were eager to patronise them. They were claimed by Tuku’aho*, who although he was not Tui’Kanokupulo, was the most powerful chief in Tonga.
Usefulness of foreigners: Foreigners had often lived with powerful chiefs, but in past they has almost always been Samoans or Fijians, and were useful because they did not have obligations – except to the chief who adopted them. European residents became quite highly valued by the chiefs in the same way and some of them became quite important’.
* A cousin of Maa’fu
p.42. CAMPBELL.I.C , Island Kingdom, Tonga Ancient and Modern, Canterbury University Press, 1992 ISBN 0-908812-14-0


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