1813: Rise of the Fijian Chiefdom of Bau due mainly to the projection of its Sea Power through its sea warriors-the Lasakau and Soso Kai Wai

“The rise of the islet of Bau as the pre-eminent state in pre-colonial Fiji was due mainly to the projection of its Sea Power through its sea warriors – the Lasakau and Soso Kai Wai. As quoted by Deryck Scarr …“for Bau relied on levying… and power projected at sea by the Lasakau and Soso sailors”.
Sea power: ” The kings of Bau based their rule not on native cultivators but on native sailors and fishers-which is to say in Fijian categories, as in political strategies, not on the land but on the sea.
Plus guns from Europeans: Added to this naval superiority was the fire power the War Lord Vunivalu of Bau, Naulivou, exploited through the use of musket-bearing European beachcombers. Of notoriety was Naulivou’s white mercenary Charlie Savage who was the terror of Bau’s enemies until his death in 1813 Thus at the time of Naulivou’s death, Bau seemed well on the way to establishing a Fiji-wide political hegemony.
Author: Jonocan 14 July 2008 (UTC).

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1795: Australian convicts Morgan, Ambler and Connolly land on Tonga, off American ship, Otter

‘Towards the end of the 1790s a new influence came to Tonga in the form of permanent European residents. The first of these were convicts who had escaped from the British Colony of NSW, which had been established on the east coast of Australia by the British government primarily as a punishment for criminals. In 1795, some of these found a place on on the American ship Otter, which put them ashore on Tonga.
First white men to live in Tonga, a novelty: The names of these men were Morgan, Ambler and Connolly. As the first white men to live in Tonga, there were a novelty, and the chiefs were eager to patronise them. They were claimed by Tuku’aho*, who although he was not Tui’Kanokupulo, was the most powerful chief in Tonga.
Usefulness of foreigners: Foreigners had often lived with powerful chiefs, but in past they has almost always been Samoans or Fijians, and were useful because they did not have obligations – except to the chief who adopted them. European residents became quite highly valued by the chiefs in the same way and some of them became quite important’.
* A cousin of Maa’fu
p.42. CAMPBELL.I.C , Island Kingdom, Tonga Ancient and Modern, Canterbury University Press, 1992 ISBN 0-908812-14-0

In June 1838 a large canoe provided byTaufa’ahau of Ha’apai, the future king of all Tonga, brought to Lakeba six more teachers to serve the Fiji mission:

In June 1838 a large canoe provided by Taufa’ahau of Ha’apai, the future king of all Tonga, brought to Lakeba six more teachers to serve the Fiji mission: Joeli Pulu (spelt Bulu in Fijian), Sailosi Fa’one, Siuliasi Naulivou, Uesile Langi, Selemaia Latu and Semisi Havea. Guided by Cargill, they acquired the dialect of Lau.

Long succession of Tongan missionaries: Their names, renowned in the annals of Fiji, indicate at this early stage the importance of a long succession of Tongan missionaries who used their country’s many contacts in Fiji to introduce their faith. By the time these Tongans arrived Gross had gone on ahead to Bau and Rewa, following Josua Mateinaniu’s track. Peter Dillon , the Irish Roman Catholic mariner, transported him, at a price, to Bau. Unfortunately Tanoa, the highest chief, was found to be not at home. Gross met his son, Seru, the future Cakobau. Young, wild in his appearance, very much incontrol of the interview, he told Gross he could stay if he wished on Bau, but that his safety was not guaranteed. Gross, with prudence but limited foresight, decided to go on and try Tui Dreketi, the highest chief of nearby Rewa on the Viti Levu mainland, who was at that time allied with Bau.

Cakobau not impressed with Gross: There he was offered the protection he sought and decided to settle. The meeting between Gross and Cakobau retarded Wesleyan advance in Fiji. Gross, small of stature and sensitive, was no chief. In Fiji men were measured by their physical presence and airof authority. John Hunt, who later earned Cakobau’s respect, once observed that one of the pre-Christian high chiefs at Rewa feared Hunt as a likely spiritual competitor because Hunt, unlike Cross, was tall. Cakobau, always eager to appropriate white men of any kind for his ownadvantage, was also piqued because Gross went to Rewa instead of residing on Bau.