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

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July 23, 1868: Polynesia Company gets 200,000 acres of land, including Suva from Cakobau and six principal chiefs

In 1868 two gentlemen, by name Brewer and Evans, arrived in Fiji from Melbourne as agents for the Polynesia Company, Limited, of Melbourne, then about to be formed.
Polynesia Company agrees to pay debt:
On July 23, 1868 a charter was granted them, as such agents, by Cakobau, who is chief signatory, with the ratification and confirmation of six principal chiefs under Cakobau.
The deal: By the material portion of that charter, Brewer and Evans undertook on behalf of the said company to provide for the payment of the compensation, already referred to, to the United States of America; and, in consideration thereof, Cakobau ceded, granted, and transferred to Brewer and Evans as trustees for the said proposed company about 200,000 acres of land as specified in the schedule.
Sells Suva to Polynesia Company: Paragraph 4 of the schedule is as follows : “4. Also Suva, its harbour, territories, and district, commencing from Lami, running along the coast towards Rewa, to the township of Kalabo, and running inland to the Waimanu” (memorial, p. 259). The lands so described include those in respect of which Henry’s claim arises.This charter was accompanied by the following agreement: “The Company agree not to alienate any of the land until the whole of the American debt is paid. Should the amount not be paid within the time specified in the agreement of the Company with Dr. Brewer, the land reverts to King Thakombau” (memorial, p. 259).
Debt paid in two parts: On the following day, July 24, Evans and Brewer executed an agreement under seal, by which they undertook to pay the balance of the compensation due from Cakobau to the uv, the first instalment on their return to Melbourne, the second and final instalment on or before July 24, 1869.

HEIRS OF JOHN B. WILLIAMS (UNITED STATES) v. GREAT BRITAIN (Fijian Land Claim*. November 0, 1923, Pages 606-611.) Cession Of Sovereignty, Annexation : Private Property Rights Acquired Previous To.Interpretation Of (“Primitive) Municipal Law. Reports Of International Arbitral Awards Recueil Des Sentences Arbitrales Benson Robert Henry (United States) V. Great Britain (Fijian Land Claims) 2 November 1923 Volume Vi Pp. 100-104 http://www.untreaty.un.org/cod/riaa/cases/vol_VI/100-104_Benson.pdf

1868: Frederick Moss came to Fiji to grow cotton after American civil war made sea-island cotton price rise

Moss was a New Zealand businessman who went to Fiji in 1868 during the cotton rush, when the American civil war made sea-island cotton precious in the markets of the world). In 1869 he returned to New Zealand and became an administrator and politician. He maintained a strong interest in the Pacific and visited the islands on many occasions and in 1890 was appointed first British Resident at Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Moss believed strongly in involving the native peoples in their own government, but this led to trouble with the European colony there and Moss was eventually recalled
Moss, Frederick J. (Frederick Joseph), 1829-1904. Through atolls and islands in the great South Sea / by Frederick J. Moss. (London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1889)