1853: [Ma’afu] “has introduced order, proprietery and rule” wrote Lyth after the arrival of Ma’afu amd Sefanaia Laulua

‘Wesleyan missionary, Lyth wrote repeatedly to King George Tuopu of Tonga asking for his intervention to control the behavour of Tongans in Fiji. …Ma’afu played no particularly prominent role in in Fiji until 1853, when Tupou ,at the request of the missionaries, appointed him and Lualala (the former Vava’u rebel) jointly to govern the unruly Tongans in Fiji’. (p72)

Ma’afu feared by Cakobau: ‘From that time onwards Ma’afu became more important in Fijian affairs. He became involved in other chiefs’ quarrels and wars and sometime the presence of Tongan mission teachers gave him an opportunity to bring his warriors and impose his authority. By 1858, Ma’afu was possibly the most powerful man in Fifi, feared even by the great chief of Bau, Cakobau, who Europeans called Tui Viti, of King of Fiji’.

I.C . CAMPBELL, Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern. Canterbury University Press. 1992. ISBN 0-098812-14-0

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1858: Ma’afu the most powerful man in Fiji

Heneli Ma’afu was son of Josiah Tupo’u, the previous Kanokupulo. It is often suggested that George Tupou, King of Tonga sent Ma’afu to Fiji to make a kingdom for himself in in 1947 because he was a potential rival whose high birth and cleverness could make him a leader for the Kings energies. However there is no evidence that Tuopu did send Ma’afu to Fiji. Ma’afu played no particularly prominent role in Fiji until 1853, when Tupou – at the request of missionaries – appointed Ma’afu and (Sefania Lualua) jointly to govern the unruly Tongans in Fiji.

I.C . CAMPBELL, Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern. Canterbury University Press. 1992. ISBN 0-098812-14-0

September 1858: Maafu’s men massacre 30 of Ritova’s party in Church on Sunday at Natakala, Bua

aug16-bechehttp-wwwhistorynavymilacexplorationwilkes98-089-bnConsul Pritchard favoured Cakobau over Maafu,  because of the brutality of the Maafu-lead Tongan Methodist Wesleyans.  Cakobau (Thakombau) in his time, was as brutal, but by the time Pritchard arrived at Levuka, Cakobau had begun to modify his traditional behaviour;  he  had  a decade of  engagements with missionaries and traders, notably,  beche de mer trader, Mary Wallis.
Pritchard shocked at Maafu ‘s warfare: The newly -arrived Pritchard  – from the relative peace of Tahiti – reported – in shock – one example of Maafu-style Tongan warfare, this way : ‘Two wily.crafty chieftains were met face to face, each suspicious of the other, and both attempting to overreach one another. The result of their interview was that Thakombau sent a canoe, under the command of a trusty chieftain, to accompany Maafu’s expedition.
A watch over Maafu: Thakombau’s real object in sending this canoe was to have a watch over Maafu, knowing as he did that he really could not check Maafu’s plans without an open rupture, for which he was not prepared. Maafu’s object was to shelter himself under the countenance of Thakombau, until it suited his purpose to turn upon his associate. Both chieftains conceived that they had each attained their respective aims, and overreached the other.
Maafu and his followers arrived at Bua: In due course Maafu and his followers arrived at Bua, the head-quarters of Tui Bua’s district. Thence the united forces proceeded up the Mathuata coast, carrying all before them, and sending death and devastation into every Fijian hut.
Tongans a fiercesome lot: In missionary reports we read fearful stories of Fijian atrocities and treachery, while not a line is penned to record the butcheries of the favoured Tongans, whose boast it is that they are the champions of Wesleyanism in Fiji.
Surrender in Church: At a town called Natakala, Ritova’s party, worsted in a fight, took to the bush. After destroying all their yam plantations and cutting down all their cocoa-nut trees, Maafu left his Lieutenant Semisi to hunt up the fugitives. Though he could not capture them in the bush, Semisi managed to communicate with them, He promised them that if they would return to the town, submit to Maafu, and deliver up their arms, their lives should be spared. The Fijians asked for a guarantee. Semisi replied, ” Meet me in the church on Sunday morning; there, in the house of God and in His presence, our deliberations shall be sacred.”
Fiijians surrender: The Fijians, to the number of about thirty, accepted the invitation, and on Sunday morning they emerged from their hiding-places, and appeared in the church. They gave up their arms, which were placed in the centre of the building.
Tongans kill Fijians as they are ‘heathens”: Surrounded by armed Tongans, Semisi addressed them : ” You are all heathens ; you are all wicked men. You have fought against us who are propagating the religion of Tonga. You must all die.”* This speech concluded, Mafi, a Tongan, stepped from the side of Semisi, in obedience to a wave of his hand, and began tying one man’s right hand to the next one’s left, until he had completed the circle. Unarmed and entrapped, resistance was useless,  remonstrance worse than useless. And with that stoicism which not unfrequently marks the conduct of the savage when inevitable death, however horrible the manner, stares them in the face, the Fijians passively submitted to their fate.
Eyes gouged out; heads chopped off: Their hands tied, Mafi, in their presence and under the direction of Semisi, sharpened an American axe on a grindstone that was kept in readiness for the occasion. He then took up a bayonet that was fixed to a spear, and outdoing Nahash the Ammonite, deliberately gouged an eye out of each man’s head ! This done, he resumed his axe, and as the victims sat, tied hand to hand, and powerless, in the house of God, he chopped off each (head)’.
Pritchard, William T. 1866 Polynesian Reminiscences; or, Life in the South Pacific Islands. London: Chapman and Hall.

1858: Mr. John Binner, Wesleyan teacher, and Mr. John Binner, oil trader are the same person

On the 10th September, 1858, the new British Consul arrived in Levuka. William Pritchard rented two rooms from  John Binner.  Binner was the Wesleyan mission Training Master at Levuka, and under another hat a considerable trader.

Binner’s fleet of trading boats: William Pritchard reported “Another of the complaints thus early brought before me was against the natives of Waca, a small island on the western limits of the group. Mr. Binner, Wesleyan Mission Training Master at Levuka, had several boats, manned by mixed crews of whites and natives, trading amongst the islands for cocoa- nut oil, beche-de-mer, and turtle-shell.
Waea peoples ate Binners crew: A few weeks before my arrival, one of his boats had gone to Waea, in charge of two white men and some natives; one of the former was an Englishman, and the other an American.The natives of Waea had captured the boat, killed and eaten the crew, and appropriated the merchandise. Mr. Binner, as a British subject and owner of the boat and cargo, now pressed his ” claim for redress and indemnity.”

Binner calls in US fire power: ... the U.S. corvette ‘ Vandalia ‘ arrived at Levuka, and at the request of the American Consul, her commander,

Mission politics: Captain Sinclair, took up the matter on behalf of the murdered American, and who it now appeared was in some manner interested with Mr. Binner in the ownership of the boat or cargo,  a fact which had not been made apparent in the first statement of the case to me. Mr. Binner was now convinced that it would be less injurious to the Wesleyan mission for Captain Sinclair to inflict retributive punishment for the murder of the American and his companion, rather than for me to press the savages ” for redress and indemnity ” for Mr. Binnes’s calicoes and hatchets. And so, much to my satisfaction, the case passed out of my hands into those of Captain Sinclair. A party of fifty men was quickly dispatched to Waea, to demand the murderers and to obtain indemnity.

500 men at Waea prepare to fight; The Waea people, mustering nearly five hundred fighting-men, defied the party and declined all communications. The Americans attacked them in their fort on the summit of a hill some 800 feet high. Some twenty of the natives were killed, as many wounded, and their town and fort burnt ; of the Americans five were wounded.