From July 1840 to July 1853 Thomas Williams served successively at Lakemba, Somosomo and Bua

Disillusioned by wars, cannibalism, widow-strangling and general opposition Williams broke down and left the mission, reaching Sydney with Rev. Walter Lawry in December 1853 after several months in New Zealand.

Ex-printer, Calvert aids publication: While in Fiji Williams developed an interest in ethnography, illustrating his material with detailed sketches. His manuscript ‘The Islands and their Inhabitants’ was taken to London in 1856 by his colleague James Calvert and edited by G. S. Rowe as Fiji and the Fijians, 1 (London, 1858), which is accepted as a classic account of Fijian society before the conversion of Cakobau, chief of Bau, in 1854. He also published Memoir of the Late Rev. John Hunt, Feejee.
http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060438b.htm
Image;  Australasian Art Collection LINDSAY, Lionel Creswick, Victoria, Australia 1874 – Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia 1961 Reverend Thomas Williams Print, intaglio Technique: drypoint, printed in black ink, from one plate Support: paper Bequest of Alan Queale, 1982. Accn No: NGA 83.906 NGA IRN: 93032 Courtesy of the National Library of Australia
Provenance : Alan Queale, Brisbane. Bequeathed to the National Gallery of Australia by Alan Queale, Brisbane, 1982. Alan Queale Bequest accepted by the National Gallery of Australia, 1983.

Advertisements

21 June 1840, American whaler Shylock, wrecked on Vatoa Reef, missionary, James Calvert does deal to buy 2100 hogsheads of oil

The American whaler Shylock, was was wrecked on Vatoa Reef on the night of 21 June 1840. The master, first mate, and 16 hands got away in two boats.

Eight men were left on the wreck; but seven managed to get on shore on a jibboom. Lieutenant-Commander Ringgold, of the United States Exploring Expedition, who went down to Vatoa in August 1840, to investigate, says that the derelicts were treated in a kindly manner by the natives of Vatoa who were then under the influence of native Christian teachers. Captain Taber, afraid to land in Fiji, had gone to the Friendly Islands, and returned to Lakemba in the Triton with Thomas Williams and (Wesleyan Missionary) Superintendent Waterhouse. The Shylock at the time of the disaster had a cargo of 2100 hogsheads of oil, of which Calvert bought a quantity at a cheap rate, and shared it with his brethren at Rewa, Vewa and Somosomo.

The Journal Of Thomas Williams, Missionary In Fiji, 1840-1853 By G. C. Henderson, M.a. (Oxon.) Emeritus Professor Of History, Adelaide University. Author Of Sir George Grey: Founder Of Empire In Southern Lands, Fiji And The Fijians” 1845 -1856. In Two Volumes Vol. I Australia Angus & Robertson Ltd, 1931. The original manuscript of The Journal Of Thomas Williams is in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, in two folios, containing 874 pages and about 250,000 words.

24 May 1738: John Wesley’s conversion, while reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans was a foretaste of religious revivals at Vewa, Ono, Lakemba and Mbua Bay 100 years later

24 May 1738 was day and hour of John Wesley’s conversion, while reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans.  “It came, somewhat unexpectedly it would appear, at 8.45 on the evening of 24 May 1738 at a meeting in London of which he has left a definite record in his Journal: In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a Society in Aldersgate where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans.
I felt my heart strangely warmed: About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change that God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death. I began to pray with all my might for those who had in a more especial manner despitefully used me and persecuted me. I then testified openly to all what I now first felt in my heart.
This was the day and hour of John Wesley’s conversion: Those who have made a study of his life and watched the development of his religious thought and feeling up to this time will not, perhaps, be able to see so much of the cataclysmic in this supernatural illumination as he and his followers did. The light which shone so brightly and warmly in his soul at that meeting had been smouldering for years, and was ready to burst into a blaze as soon as. the truth which he had been half blindly seeking was revealed to him through the words of Luther. He saw because, by that time, he was ready to see.
Sudden conversion a pattern of the culture: His experience at that little meeting was as much the final stage in a process of progressive illumination as it was a sudden revelation. But on the other hand it would, be a mistake to underrate the importance , of the crisis. It made a profound impression on his followers. They, like him, were accustomed to look back to a definite day on which their souls  found rest in the consciousness of a, change of heart. About the period of spiritual preparation when their souls were in labour for the coming of the great event they say comparatively little. It was the day and hour of.conversion or new birth on which they placed nearly all the emphasis.
Religious revivals in England under the preaching of Wesley: The accounts of the religious revivals in England under the preaching of Wesley and Whitefield must be read in the light that is thrown upon them by a study of the Romantic Revival. There were some strange happenings at these meetings, especially among the poor and uneducated violent emotions and brain storms j and it is clear from what he wrote at various places in his Journal that Wesley expected and welcomed these outward manifestations of inward conflict. Just as the missionaries looked for them in the religious revivals at Vewa, Ono, Lakemba and Mbua Bay. The more wicked the conscience-stricken one, the more violent did they expect the disturbance to be before a genuine conversion could be effected. Did he turn red or black in the face, bellow and roll upon the floor in agony, so much the better: sore travail of the soul was the prelude to spiritual newbirth. The result was a sharp cleavage in the ranks of the Church of England. Wesley saw this, but held on his course, passing from one innovation to another without any serious thought of severing his connexion with the Established Church”.
The Journal Of Thomas Williams, Missionary In Fiji, 1840-1853 By G. C. Henderson, M.a. (Oxon.) Emeritus Professor Of History, Adelaide University Author Of Sir George Grey : Founder Of Empire In Southern Lands, Fiji And The Fijians 18s5-1856 In Two Volumes Vol. I Australia Angus & Robertson Ltd,1931.  The manuscript is in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, in two folios, containing 874 pages and about 250,000 words.

1842: US Naval survey at Levuka: Charles Wilkes survey of Fiji Islands between May and August

Charles Wilkes was an extraordinary individual; an astronomer-captain, with evidence of exceptional organising ability. By the age of 30, he was in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments (forerunner both of the Naval Oceanographic Office and of the Naval Observatory)aug21-flying-fish-and-porpoise America. During that cruise, Wilkes briefly commanded Franklin’s tender Waterwitch before being detached from Franklin on 3 March 1823 to command the American merchant ship Ocain on her way back to Boston, where he arrived on 15 October. From there, he reported to Washington for duty in conjunction with the court-martial of Capt. Stewart, his former commanding officer in Franklin.
Lieutenant age 25: On 28 April 1827, Wilkes was promoted to lieutenant. Apparently at home awaiting orders between 1826 and 1830, Lt. Wilkes requested surveying duty in March of 1827 but withdrew his application in July 1828 in favor of one for duty with a proposed exploring expedition. Late that fall, he received orders to New York where he set about the task of procuring the necessary instruments for that expedition.
In April 1830, Lt. Wilkes resumed sea duty. Assigned to Boston, he made a cruise in her to the Mediterranean. On 15 November, he transferred to Fairfield in which ship he served until May 1831 at which time he was detached and ordered home to await orders. Late in the spring of 1832, Wilkes returned to active duty as a member of the team which surveyed Narragansett Bay.
Head of Depot of Charts and Instruments, age 31: In February 1833, he received orders to duty in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments (forerunner both of the Naval Oceano-graphic Office and of the Naval Observatory). In August of 1836, Wilkes briefly took leave of that post when he sailed to Europe to acquire additional equipment for the exploring expedition. He returned to the Depot of Charts and Instruments after that trip.

Age 35 joins astronomy department of the exploring expedition: March 1837, Secretary of the Navy Mahlon Dickerson requested Wilkes to take a position in the astronomy department of the exploring expedition.

Age 36, command of South Seas Exploring Expedition : That fall, he participated in an oceanographic survey of the Carolina coast. The following spring, Wilkes learned that he had been chosen to command the South Seas Exploring Expedition. President Van Buren approved his appointment on 20 April, and Wilkes assumed command of Vincennes at Norfolk on 7 July. He received his final orders on 11 August and set sail in Vincennes in company with Peacock, Porpoise, Sea Gull, Flying Fish, and Relief—on the 18th. After stops at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Tierra del Fuego located at the southern tip of South America, Wilkes took his expedition on its first cruise through Antarctic waters in February and March of 1839. He returned to Tierra del Fuego and then later headed through the south seas to Sydney, Australia, where he arrived on 29 November. On the day after Christmas, he embarked upon his second voyage to the Antarctic.
In January 1840, he sighted the actual land mass which constitutes Antarctica, though it took later explorations to vindicate his assertions that the continent existed.
Age 38, in spring 1840 in the South Pacific: By late spring 1840, the expedition moved north again and began the exploration of the islands of the South Pacific. After surveying the Fiji Islands between May and August, the expedition departed those islands, bound for Hawaii on 11 August. The Hawaiian survey, conducted between 24 September 1840 and 5 April 1841, centered upon a study of the volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Wilkes completed his work in Hawaii in April 1841 and set sail on the 5th for the west coast. After surveys of parts of the coast of the Pacific Northwest during the summer of 1841, he brought his expedition into San Francisco on 14 August. Its arrival back in the United States, however, signaled no end to the work of the expedition. On 1 November, it put to sea once again, this time for a voyage to the western Pacific. During that cruise, Wilkes visited Manila in the Philippines, the British colony at Singapore, and Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa. Wilkes and his command concluded the expedition upon arrival at New York on 10 June 1842.
Publishes reports: During that period, he supervised the publication of the results of that exploration in a series of Narratives under the auspices of the Navy. He also received two promotions during that time to commander in 1843 and to captain in 1855.
Outbreak of the Civil War: The only break in this duty came in the second half of 1858 when the Secretary of the Navy sent Wilkes on a special mission to evaluate the potential for naval use of the natural resources primarily iron, coal, and timber of North Carolina’s Deep River region. The outbreak of the Civil War, however, brought an interruption to his scientific work.
Commissioned to destroy the Norfolk Navy Yard: On 19 April, he was detached from his duty with the expedition publication program in order to help destroy the Norfolk Navy Yard before Union forces abandoned it to the Confederacy. In May, Capt. Wilkes received orders to take command of the steam-powered frigate San Jacinto. He arrived on board his new command on 27 August, at Monrovia, Liberia, just before she set sail to return to the United States.
Wilkes caught in war with Great Britain: During the voyage home, he took her to the West Indies in search of the Southern commerce raider, CSS Sumter, under the command of Capt. Raphael Semmes later commanding officer of the famous Confederate cruiser CSS Alabama. During that mission, his ship stopped at Cienfuegos, Cuba, for coal, and Wilkes learned that the South’s commissioners to England and France, James Mason and John Slidell, had escaped from Charleston on board the fast coastal packet Theodora and were then in Havana awaiting transportation to Europe. San Jacinto quickly headed for Havana, hoping to catch Theodora when she embarked upon her return trip but arrived a day late. He learned, however, that Mason and Slidell were still in Cuba and planned to board the British mail packet Trent at St. Thomas for the voyage to Europe. Thereupon, he concocted a plan to intercept Trent in Old Bahama Channel, some 230 miles east of Havana, and capture the two Confederate diplomats. On 8 November, the British ship steamed into sight, and Wilkes coerced her into stopping with two shots across her bow. A boarding party seized Mason and Slidell and their secretaries and then allowed the neutral ship to continue her voyage.
San Jacinto then headed home with her prisoners.
Dubious legality of Wilkes’ action: Upon his arrival in Boston, Wilkes was loudly acclaimed for his action, but soon the clouds of war with Great Britain over the incident began to darken the horizon. Ultimately, the dubious legality of Wilkes’ action and the threat of war with Britain and France brought a complete disavowal of Wilkes’ act by the Federal Government and the release of the prisoners.
On 30 November, Capt. Wilkes was detached from San Jacinto and ordered to duty with the Board of Naval Examiners.
Commodore age 60: That assignment lasted until the following summer. He commanded the James River Flotilla briefly in July and August of 1862 and received his promotion to commodore at that time. On 29 August, Wilkes left that post and took over the Potomac River Flotilla. That assignment proved to be of short duration. On 8 September, he received orders to command the West India Squadron. Promoted to acting rear admiral, Wilkes directed the West India Squandron—primarily concerned with hunting down Southern commerce raiders and blockade runners—until the summer of 1863. On 1 June, he was detached from the squadron and, on the 30th, set sail from Havana for the United States in Roanoke.
Wilkes’ court-martial early in 1864: Conflicts with the Navy Department, probably stemming from his treatment during the Trent affair negotiations, culminated in Wilkes’ court-martial early in 1864 over the publication of a letter he wrote to Gideon Welles castigating the Secretary for statements made against Wilkes in his annual report.

Acting Rear Admiral, age 62: On 26 April 1864, Acting Rear Admiral Wilkes was found guilty by court-martial of disobediance of orders, insubordination, and other specifications and was sentenced to receive a public reprimand and suspension from the service for three years. President Lincoln reduced the term of suspension to one year, at the conclusion of which Wilkes retired from the Navy.
Age 64 rear admiral on the retired list : On 6 August 1866, he was promoted to rear admiral on the retired list and, for the remainder of his life, worked for the completion of publication of the results of the Wilkes Exploring Expedition. He also took time out to do some writing, including an autobiography.
Death age 75: On 8 February 1877, Rear Admiral Wilkes died at Washington, D.C. Initially interred at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, his body was moved to Arlington National Cemetery in August 1909.
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/441.htm

1840: Fijians at Rewa see no trade value in alcohol or salted foods; but do want tobacco

Leaving the Vincennes at (Levuka) Ovolau, the Peacock sailed for the island of VITI-LEVU; and on the 16th, (May 1840) reached the anchorage about six miles below the town of Rewa. They offered goods for trade, but tobacco was the only good wanted, and demand was mild:

Trade goods wanted at Rewa: “Salt is readily obtained from sea-water, but the Feejeeans use very little; and they uniformly manifested dislike on tasting our salted provisions”.

Tobacco wanted: “Spirituous liquors do not meet with more favour, although tobacco in one locality was making some slight progress”.

Cooking – Fijians use earthen pots, not hot stones: “Cooking is not, as with the Polynesians, conducted exclusively by the use of heated stones, and in the open air ; but articles of food are steamed rather than boiled, in earthen pots.

Yams the prime food: “Yams constitute the principal support of the population ; and are kept for months in elevated storehouses: a paste is likewise prepared from them which resembles the fermented bread-fruit of Taheiti, and in like manner ” is deposited in the ground.”

Warfare, but not over food: “The Feejeeans have besides a variety of compound dishes. They dwell in the midst of abundance ; and it has been truly remarked of them, that ” no people in the South Seas could live more comfortably and happily, but for their continual treachery towards each other.”

1840: Levuka Chief offers gifts of women United States Exploring Expedition finds refusal hard as gifts refused, are “destroyed”

“This custom of the country may not be so easily avoided; for as gifts when refused are destroyed, in the case of the present of a wife, considerations of humanity will place a resident stranger in a dilemma.

Clash of cultures: “European ideas’ of ” loyalty ” make but a slight approach to the deep feeling entertained by the Feejeeans towards their chiefs. In this the women appear even to exceed the men; and their devotion to their chiefs was said to be so entire, ” that they regard it as an honour to receive death from their hands…No point of difference from the Polynesians was so striking as this political change”.
The Races Of Man; By Charles Pickering, M.D., Member Of The United States Exploring Expedition.