1868: Levuka Mountain Lovonis captured and enslaved to cotton planters: Thakombau at the head of the Government

“The first partially-successful attempt at the establishment of a Government was made in June, 1871, by some adventurers from Australia, with whom were associated two of the business men of Levuka.
These placed an old chief named Thakombau at the head of the Government and constitution as King of Fiji, and he in turn appointed them his Ministers.
 Self-appointed Government created: “They were afterwards joined by Mr. J. B. Thompson, the present Administrator, and others, and continued to conduct the business of the Government aftor a style for some time, in face of numerous obstacles and difficulties, amongst which was a war with the Lovonis, a mountain tribe, which occupied the fastnesses in the centre of Ovalau.. (the Lovoni valley, occupying the centre of Ovalau, the beautiful scenery of which is a great attraction to tourists.)
Better to be enslaved, than eaten? …..”but who being at last totally defeated and taken prisoners, wero allotted to the planters as labourers for a term of years, a happy escape, as they thought, for they expected nothing loss than to be killed and eaten in accordance with time-honoured custom”.
 Rebellion against Thompson Government: “A large section of the European population nlao persistently opposed their solf-elcclcd rulors, whoao régime was of a most arbitrary character, and in 1873 this culminated in open rebellion, until at last, finding it impossible to continue the (facade?) of self-Government any longer, the Ministers accoptd the inevitable, and, with the consent  of the chiefs, made an offer of cession to Great Britain.
The Mercury Supplement, (Hobart, Tasmania)  Saturday 13 February, 1886.  This item appears written by a Levuka resident in early 1886, or late 1885.  It encourages tourism to Levuka, as a rest from an overheated Australia.  Author uses the name “Tasmanian”. Possibly Frederick Langham   Perhaps ship-owner and trader with a long term trading relationship with Levuka and Suva, for at least five years – since 1880.

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