https://levuka.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php 31 October 1887: Levuka harbour: etching by E. C. Church from The Graphic

Etching of Levuka The Graphic Oct 31 1987

Levuka Timeline Structure 1700 -1800

July 2012; three years on.  Learned a lot in this process. Met some nice people – some of which I find myself related to.    I think its time to work together to set up a family history centre in Levuka to coordinate research.  
May be we can cooperate and organise a family history tour?

  

16 July, 1868: Smithyman’s cotton plantation at Mokagai near Levuka generates 8551b per acre of seed cotton

 Mr Smithyman has a considerable plantation at Mokagai, and has from the first kept a very close account of his returns of produce and stock.
 Experiments: He is of opinion that Sea Island cotton can only be grown to advantage on a dry soil—in a dry air, and near the sea. These conditions are found in perfection at Mokagai, and the Sea Island cotton produced there ranks very high. 

The cotton season: On the other hand, the same dryness of soil and air will be likely to render it unsuitable for coffee and perhaps for sugar. The season for planting Sea Island, is from October to February inclusive. 

Trees cleared and burned: At Mokagai it bears very quickly, and picking commences in the fourth month after planting. The cost of clearing and burning bush land is below 20 per acre, even where the bush is unusually heavy and the stump  of the trees extracted. The usual course is to leave the stumps to rot in the ground, which they do in from 12 to 15 months. 

Sea Island produces throughout the year, and the yield of the second year is quite equal in quantity to that of tho first, although the quality is a little coarser and the staple is not so long. 

Third year: Mr Smithyman’s plantation is in its third year, and the yield shows no appreciable diminution. Tho best lands are those covered with bush or reed. Coarse grass land, with Nokonoko (ironwood), or Balava (screw pine), is very poor and bad. Pruning has not yet been tried at Mokaga

The return monthly from May, 1807, to May, 1868, the plantation, as near as could be estimated, being 44 acres, and the bushes from 6 to 18 months old. 

Total for the year was 37,5931b:  The monthly yields were, for June, 3021lb; July, 4274 ; August, 4965 ; September, 2910 ; October, 2506 ; November, 4346 ; December, 4927 ; January, 1728 ; February, 2820; March, 853 ; April, 2123 , and, to the 25th of the following month, 57491b. The total for the year was 37,5931b —equal to 8551b per acre of seed cotton. As a good deal of the plantation….was very young, the quantity for next year is estimated at one thousand lbs per acre. This would produce between 3001b and 3501b of ginned cotton, worth, according to some accounts, if properly sorted and sent to market, from 2 shillings to 2 and 6p per lb in Liverpool. 

Sells for 6 pence a pound: In Levuka, it sells at only six pence, unginned, equal to—when thn cost of cleaning and baling   added—10.5 and 11p per pound for cleaned cotton, The difference between this and the estimated Liverpool value is enormous, and only to be accounted for by imperfect modes of packing, or by want of competition among the few buyers hitherto in the islands.

A man picks about 30 pounds in weight per day: As to  labour, a man picks about 30 pounds in weight per day. Rain shrivels up the cotton, and discolours it. This discolouration is more injurious to Sea Island than to the shorter descriptions. 

Chickens and pigs among the cotton: There are also at Mokagai very fine poultry and remarkably good pigs. The fowls are of mixed Shanghai and Fiji breeds. They lay more or less throughout the year, and increase rapidly in despite of hawks, crabs, pigs, and wild cats. Goats flourish and give abundance of milk but, unless penned, are a great nuisance to the planter. 

No fences: It must not be forgotten that in Fiji the plantations are never fenced. The small quantity of stock renders it easier to confine them in paddocks, and as there are no inducements to any, who have not islands to themselves, to keep much more stock than suffices for their own use, this inversion of the usual colonial system as to fencing will probably be permanent.

Otago Daily Times , Issue 2111, 10 November 1868, Page 3

March 22, 1875: Polynesia Company, Limited land claims: selections granted and conveyances issued to Messrs. Wm. Grey Baillie, F. L. Smyth, Kelt, and Haynes, at Suva

 1. Present, Messrs. Auies, Brache, Crook, and A. K. Smith in the chair. The following resolutions by Mr. Brache were read and carried: That the selections granted and conveyances issued to Messrs. Wm. Grey Baillie, F. L. Smyth, Kelt, and Haynes, at Suva Point, have been erroneously and illegally granted and conveyed to the parties aforesaid, and do not represent the grounds selected by them, respectively ; that all legal steps be taken forthwith to declare the aforesaid conveyances null and void; that the selection originally made by William Grey Baillie and granted is for land situate immediately on the north of Mr. Copeland’s selection on the original plan of the company, and not as shown on the registered plan of the company; that Mr. F. L. Smyth’s original selection, as granted of the same area, conveyed to him erroneously, is situate 20 chains north of the position marked on the company’s registered plan; that the selection of Kelt, as granted and conveyed to him erroneously, is situated 20 chains north of the position marked on the company’s plan; that the selection of Mr. Haynes was not made for ground conveyed to him on the east side of Tamavua River, but was made on the west side, and north of the town reserve, and that this selection was granted and the conveyance issued illegally, and is hereby declared null and void; that a conveyance for the original selection of Mr. B. R. Henry for 160 acres adjoining Walu Bay, as per company’s plan, is hereby granted, and a conveyance to be issued forthwith; that the solicitor of the company is hereby instructed to take all legal requisite steps to carry out the foregoing resolutions; that new conveyances on application and surrender of the previous conveyances to the company be issued to W. G. Baillie, F. L. Smyth, and Kelt for the land originally selected by them, and that the manager be instructed to notify these parties that their present conveyances are declared null and void March 10, 1875.

 

Signed. A. K. S.

Alex. Kennedy Smith,

Chairman.

 

Sent to John Matthew Smith, the solicitor of the company, on March 22, 1875. Extracted from the Minute Book No. 2, pages 272 and 273. Compared with it by Edward Kuhl, manager, Polynesia Company, Limited.

We hereby certify that we have examined the foregoing extract this 28th day of January, 1880, and we find the same correct.

 

Robert C. Gresson, Solicitor and Notary Public, Chancery Lane, Melbourne.

Septimus C. Daniel. Extract from pages 2J2 to 27J, Directors’ Minute Book No. 2, minutes of a meeting of directors of the Polynesia Company, Limited, held in the registered office of the company, Anudiulo Chambers, No. J2 Queen street, on Friday, the 12th of March, 1875, at J. JO o’clock p. m.

March 22, 1875: Polynesia Company, Limited land claims: selections granted and conveyances issued to Messrs. Wm. Grey Baillie, F. L. Smyth, Kelt, and Haynes, at Suva

 1. Present, Messrs. Auies, Brache, Crook, and A. K. Smith in the chair. The following resolutions by Mr. Brache were read and carried: That the selections granted and conveyances issued to Messrs. Wm. Grey Baillie, F. L. Smyth, Kelt, and Haynes, at Suva Point, have been erroneously and illegally granted and conveyed to the parties aforesaid, and do not represent the grounds selected by them, respectively ; that all legal steps be taken forthwith to declare the aforesaid conveyances null and void; that the selection originally made by William Grey Baillie and granted is for land situate immediately on the north of Mr. Copeland’s selection on the original plan of the company, and not as shown on the registered plan of the company; that Mr. F. L. Smyth’s original selection, as granted of the same area, conveyed to him erroneously, is situate 20 chains north of the position marked on the company’s registered plan; that the selection of Kelt, as granted and conveyed to him erroneously, is situated 20 chains north of the position marked on the company’s plan; that the selection of Mr. Haynes was not made for ground conveyed to him on the east side of Tamavua River, but was made on the west side, and north of the town reserve, and that this selection was granted and the conveyance issued illegally, and is hereby declared null and void; that a conveyance for the original selection of Mr. B. R. Henry for 160 acres adjoining Walu Bay, as per company’s plan, is hereby granted, and a conveyance to be issued forthwith; that the solicitor of the company is hereby instructed to take all legal requisite steps to carry out the foregoing resolutions; that new conveyances on application and surrender of the previous conveyances to the company be issued to W. G. Baillie, F. L. Smyth, and Kelt for the land originally selected by them, and that the manager be instructed to notify these parties that their present conveyances are declared null and void March 10, 1875.

 

Signed. A. K. S.

Alex. Kennedy Smith,

Chairman.

 

Sent to John Matthew Smith, the solicitor of the company, on March 22, 1875. Extracted from the Minute Book No. 2, pages 272 and 273. Compared with it by Edward Kuhl, manager, Polynesia Company, Limited.

We hereby certify that we have examined the foregoing extract this 28th day of January, 1880, and we find the same correct.

 

Robert C. Gresson, Solicitor and Notary Public, Chancery Lane, Melbourne.

Septimus C. Daniel. Extract from pages 2J2 to 27J, Directors’ Minute Book No. 2, minutes of a meeting of directors of the Polynesia Company, Limited, held in the registered office of the company, Anudiulo Chambers, No. J2 Queen street, on Friday, the 12th of March, 1875, at J. JO o’clock p. m.

1881: C. Hedemann offered Conrad Machens employment at Levuka, Fiji; German trade expands

From the book Conrad Machens: A merchant living between Germany
and Fiji (1856-1930) Husum, 2009, 181 pages including two originals by Conrad making, many contemporary b / w illustrations, hardcover, 17 x 24 cm
ISBN 978-3-89876-482-7 € 19.95 Husum Publishing Group
http://www.verlagsgruppe.de

This item is translated from a German item on Wikipaedia, sourced from a book and exhibition about Machens and Gerrman trade in the Pacific.

Conrad Machens, born 3 May 1856 in Ahrbergen, was a German South Seas buyer. Machens was a seventh or eighth child of farmer Johann Conrad Machens (1806-1877) and second wife Therese Magdalene Machen (1818-1906), in the village Ahrbergen, near Hildesheim (since 1866, Prussian).

Age 17 years Conrad Machens went  to the province capital Hanover for training. In the spring 1876  he had an employment in a meat goods wholesale in Hamburg.

Two years later, Conrad Machens, equipped with a good reference, left the Hanseatic city and went to London.

When Conrad Machens found no place there, he continued to travel.

Conrad Machens emigrated to Australia 17 September 1878 on board the SS Hankow of the Colonial Line of Australian Packets,

In Sydney Conrad Machens received  a temporary job clerking for loading and unloaded ships owned by Frederick Caesar Hedemann. Hedemann traded between Europe and the South Seas.

Conrad Machens then worked;

–  as a salesman in an ethnic German gentleman clothes business in Maitland;

–  as a decorator on the World Fair 1879 in Sydney as well as driving goods – in New South Wales. Machens borrowed 250 pounds from Hedemann to set up his own business.

In , since 1874, a  British Crown Colony.

There, in the capital at that time Levuka on the small island Ovalau, Hedemann 1871 had support (today still existing) of the Hamburg commercial firm Wachsmuth & Krogmann (gegr. 1797), and the  famous Hamburg trading firms Joh. Cesar Godeffroy & Son

The company formed under the name Hedemann & Co. and by led by Hedemanns younger brother Ferdinand Hugo.

In Fiji  Conrad Machens was a successful buyer within only few years and worked also to document  conditions of Fiji.

In 1883 Conrad Machens  became a partner with Hedemanns and in 1888 temporarily exclusive owner of the increasing enterprise.

In the same year Conrad Machens returned for the first time from business reasons to Germany and married the 16-year old Bertha Sebald, daughter of the Hildesheimer of hairdresser master and inventor of a well-known (Haartinktur?) shortly before Conrad and Bertha Machen  returned journey to Fiji on 14 January 1889 (with Johann Sebald?).

In Fiji Conrad and Bertha Machen in Fiji had two daughters, Florence and Bertha. Shortly after the birth of Bertha Junior  Bertha Machen died aged 20 years on 27 August 1892 child bed fever. (The grave is at the cemetery of Levuka.)

The care of two small children transferred to a family worker of many years, “Charley”, a Solomon Islander. (Charley Seromeo).

Conrad Machens decided it was better in the long term to give the children to the care of his mother and his older sister in Germany in order thereby a German education to make possible at the same time.

Conrad Machens travelled with Charley and the little girls; Florence and Bertha to Germany on one year absence of Fiji.

In his absence Conrad Machens invited a familiar coworker of many years Frederick Vollmer (1852-1918, later mayor of Levuka), a British naturalized Hamburger, as a partner to the company.

Conrad Machens also appointed the British naturalized William Kramp (1858-1943) as manager in co-operation with his new partner Frederick Vollmer .

Im 1895 Conrad Machens returned temporarily to Fiji, decided however, also for health reasons to remain permanently  from 1897 in Germany in order to transact from now on the purchases of European goods (particularly of materials from Manchester, the European center of the textile industry) for the export into the South Seas.

The management it left to a large extent to its two German (British naturalized) partners Frederick Vollmer  and William Kramp (1858-1943).

Conrad Machens introduced 1897 from Germany  private picture postcard on the Fiji islands. In the following years Conrad Machens undertook numerous expanded journeys outside of Europe, among other things into the United States of America, to Canada, India, Japan and China as well as into the German colony Samoa.

Conrad Machens documented experiences in numerous detailed, so far unpublished reports on a journey.

During the outbreak of the First World War Conrad Machens on his fifth sea voyage was to Fiji faced increasing differences over the further future of his company. Hedemann & Co. wanted to negotiate.

By the start of the war entrance the German steamers could not enter Fiji and Conrad Machens begain to work from port of Tjilatjap in Java.

From there the British refused Conrad Machens departure. So Conrad Machens changed the company into a British Limited company.

With the aid of Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet Escott (1857-1941) at the end of of May 1915 Conrad Machens had permission to embark on a small American Schooner to San Francisco.

In Fiji Conrad Machens – making as much money before – found the need to exchange for in gold.

On 26 August 1915 Conrad Machens went in New York on board a Danish steamer.

On 15 September after an exciting sea voyage Conrad Machens  was finally again at his home-town of Hildesheim.   There Conrad Machens drew war loans with the saved gold in patriotic enthusiasm, for 45.000 Marks.

Conrad Machens stayed in his homeland; Germany

But in Levukia Frederick Vollmer  and William Kramp were declared enemy aliens, at the beginning of November 1917.  They were extradited and interned in Australia until the end of the war.

Frederick Vollmer died shortly after his premature release  13 March 1918.

The company Hedemann & Co., which 1915 had been reorganized preventing into one limited company with capital stock had been increased to £ 30,000, was meanwhile liquidated like the remaining German Konkurrenzfirmen.

From the end of the war Conrad Machens struggled – on the basis of article 297 of the Versaille of Peace Treaty – for many years for his compensation. Conrad Machens however at end of 1924 lost his claims for damage due to the additional deprivation of its Prussian nationality. Thereupon it strove for the reimbursement of proceeds from the liquidation of its private property with the Londoner places.

The last years of his life Conrad Machens spent with   of his family in Hildesheim.

He died there on 27 April 1930.

The family burial place with its grave is in the Godehardi cemetery.

Conrad Machenss left an extensive private and business correspondence, several handwritten reports on a journey and landeskundliche recordings as well as hundreds of photographies with motives of the archipelagos Fiji, in private property, Samoa, Tonga and the Norfolk island. These show that there was another form apart from the colonialism in the conventional sense still another German commitments in the South Seas. Beyond that they provide a singular culture, social and economics source for a time of increasing globalization during late 19. and to early 20. Century.

Note: translated from German from http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_Machens

Sources Handwritten letters and recordings, private archives of the family of Mueller making. Literature [work on] The Cyclopedia OF Fiji (Illustrated). A Complete Historical and Commercial Review oF Fiji (Sydney 1907; Reprint Fiji museum, Suva, Fiji, 1984) P. 321. Stefan A. Lütgert: ” Fiji Machens” – a Hildesheimer buyer in the South Seas.The magazine for history and culture, number 9/2008, P. 26-30. Ders.: Conrad Machens – a buyer life between Germany and Fiji. Husum publishing house, Husum 2009, ISBN 978-3-89876-482-7. Ders. (Hrsg.): Conrad Machens. Letters from Fiji from the year 1883. Books on and GmbH, north first EDT 2010, ISBN 978-3-8391-3811-Stephan A. Lutgert, Conrad Machens: A merchant living between Germany

and Fiji (1856-1930) Husum, 2009, 181 pages including two originals by Conrad making, many contemporary b / w illustrations, hardcover, 17 x 24 cm

ISBN 978-3-89876-482-7 € 19.95 Husum Publishing Group

www.verlagsgruppe.de.

1870: Anglican clergyman Revd. William Floyd arrives in Fiji

Image“A body of Church of England folk in Levuka in 1868 met for the purpose of securing a clergyman to minister to them, and a committee was formed in Melbourne to forward this purpose. 

The Revd. William Floyd was a member of this Melbourne Committee, and eventually he offered his services and arrived in Fiji in 1870. 

 He proved so acceptable to the Church members that in 1874 they applied to the New Zealand Bishops to consecrate him. 

 The application was met by a request for further information and a suggestion (which proved impracticable) that the Bishop of Melanesia should undertake the episcopal oversight.

 Almost all Mr. Floyd’s papers and records were lost soon after his death, and so too little is known of his work. 

 It was 10 years before a second clergyman arrived in Fiji, and another 20 years before the third one arrived:

 – Mr. Poole to Suva in  1880 and 

 – Mr. Lateward to Labasa in 1902.

 There is extant a document granting a small piece of land in the centre of Levuka, where a small church was built, but soon destroyed in a hurricane. 

 The second church remained in use for many years, until Floyd’s dream of a building in permanent material was realised and the present church in concrete consecrated in 1904”.  

Golden Jubilee, Diocese of Polynesia, 1908-1958 Transcribed By Dr. Terry M. Brown Retired Bishop Of Malaita, 2010 Golden Jubilee 1908-1958 Diocese Of Polynesia – Suva – Fiji http://anglicanhistory.org/oceania/polynesia_jubilee1958/