1886: law and order in Levuka; drunks put in stocks, and financial dispute settles by public fights on Sunday in Boatmans Square

“During all this time, (1868 to 1871,) it must be remembered, there was no Government, and the state of things reminded off of the glorious times of the first gold rush to California. for on all the rushes – in Australia – law and order were established from the outset.
Here In Levuka, however, notwithstanding a spice of the rowdy element in the presence of those employed in ‘the labour trade’, and (??)  from Australia, tolerably good order was maintained, (by) the British and American consuls being acknowledged in some sort as magistrates,.
Law and order in early Levuka: Obnoxious or disorderly drunkards and othor offenders against publie order and decency were clapped in the stocks, a pair of which were erected
Financial disputes were generally settled by a resort to fisticuffs in Boatman’s-square, in the centre of the town, where a nice piece of turf was surrounded by several drinking shops.
Those encounters generally took place on Sunday afternoon, when other business was suspended”.
The Mercury Supplement, (Hobart, Tasmania)  Saturday 13 February, 1886.  This item appears written by a Levuka resident.  It encourages tourism to Levuka.  Author uses the name “Tasmanian”. Possibly Frederick Langham.    Probably a ship-owner and trader with a long term trading relationship with Levuka and Suva, for at least five years – since 1880.

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1868: Levuka Mountain Lovonis captured and enslaved to cotton planters: Thakombau at the head of the Government

“The first partially-successful attempt at the establishment of a Government was made in June, 1871, by some adventurers from Australia, with whom were associated two of the business men of Levuka.
These placed an old chief named Thakombau at the head of the Government and constitution as King of Fiji, and he in turn appointed them his Ministers.
 Self-appointed Government created: “They were afterwards joined by Mr. J. B. Thompson, the present Administrator, and others, and continued to conduct the business of the Government aftor a style for some time, in face of numerous obstacles and difficulties, amongst which was a war with the Lovonis, a mountain tribe, which occupied the fastnesses in the centre of Ovalau.. (the Lovoni valley, occupying the centre of Ovalau, the beautiful scenery of which is a great attraction to tourists.)
Better to be enslaved, than eaten? …..”but who being at last totally defeated and taken prisoners, wero allotted to the planters as labourers for a term of years, a happy escape, as they thought, for they expected nothing loss than to be killed and eaten in accordance with time-honoured custom”.
 Rebellion against Thompson Government: “A large section of the European population nlao persistently opposed their solf-elcclcd rulors, whoao régime was of a most arbitrary character, and in 1873 this culminated in open rebellion, until at last, finding it impossible to continue the (facade?) of self-Government any longer, the Ministers accoptd the inevitable, and, with the consent  of the chiefs, made an offer of cession to Great Britain.
The Mercury Supplement, (Hobart, Tasmania)  Saturday 13 February, 1886.  This item appears written by a Levuka resident in early 1886, or late 1885.  It encourages tourism to Levuka, as a rest from an overheated Australia.  Author uses the name “Tasmanian”. Possibly Frederick Langham   Perhaps ship-owner and trader with a long term trading relationship with Levuka and Suva, for at least five years – since 1880.

1886 Levuka a peaceable and orderly community; recollections of David Whippy

“Contrary to Suva, which is entirely the growth of the last five years, Levuka possesses some claims to antiquity, and has a history of its own, the first settlement by whites here dating back nearly 50 years.
The first settlers on Ovalau were, however, a very rough lot, being composed mostly of runaway sailors from American whaling ships, or beche-de-mer or sandalwood trading vessels, together with a few escaped convicts from Norfolk Island.
Some of these original settlers, In other parts of Fiji, lived under the protection of individual chiefs, and made themselves notorious by taking part in the intertribal wars, in which their possesssio of  arms rendered them formidable and valuable allies but those who settled
Ovalau seem to have formed a more peaceable aud orderly community, and lived quietly at Levuka under tho protection of its chief, acknowledging the jurisdiction of one of their number, named ( David) Whippy, who was eventually appointed to represent the first Amerlcan Consul in Fiji, Mr. J. B. Williams, who was Consul for New Zealand and Fiji, and resided at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, until he came to Fiji, where he remained permanently until his death in I860.
Whippy’s authority received the countenance of the commanders of tho various men-of-war which occasionally looked in. Some of these earlier settlors still survive, and tell thrilling stories of adventure during the “good old cannibal days”.
The Mercury Supplement, (Hobart, Tasmania)  Saturday 13 February, 1886.  This item appears written by a Levuka resident in early 1886, or late 1885.  It encourages tourism to Levuka, as a rest from an overheated Australia.  Author uses the name “Tasmanian”. Possibly Frederick Langham   Perhaps ship-owner and trader with a long term trading relationship with Levuka and Suva, for at least five years – since 1880.

1886: Levuka Harbour and Beach-street, lovely views of blue ocean, coral reefs ‘no pen can properly describe thelr beauty”

“The view of Levuka from  the  harbour, in contradiction to that of Suva, is most picturesque and romantic, besides being thoroughly tropical.
Nestling  under the wooded heights of the mountainous island, the town occupies quite a narrow strip of land on the seashore, with an easterly aspect.
The principal street, Beach Street, which contains nearly all the business places in the town, is, as its name indicates, actually on the strand itself, and is protected by a seawall from the encroachments of the sea, it duty which during easterly gales, it performs with very doubtful efficiency.
The cross streets are few, and of no length, as the hills rise abruptly behind the town.
Between the two wharves before referred to, the front street is lined with business premise, mostly constructed of wood or iron and painted white, while at either end of the town, and dotting the surrounding hills, are the numerous villa residences of the towns-people, most of them surrounded by pretty gardens in which all sorts of indigenous and imported shrubs and flowers grow luxuriantly, while their being partially embowered in the abundant foliage with which every part of Ovalau is clothed, adds to the charm of the situation’, and the lovely views of blue ocean, coral reefs, and surrounding islets to bo obtained from most of them, require to be seen to be realised, as no pen can properly describe thelr beauty.
 Try it by moonlight: Attractive as is the view of Levuka by day, it is perhaps seen under the most advantageous circumstancrs on a bright moonlight night, when the numerous white buildings peep out from their deep-setting of foliage, and the twinkling lights from the houses, street lamps, and those of the numerous vessels in harbour, give the little town the appearance of being dressed in gala costume.”.
The Mercury Supplement, (Hobart, Tasmania)  Saturday 13 February, 1886.  This item appears written by a Levuka resident in early 1886, or late 1885.  It encourages tourism to Levuka, as a rest from an overheated Australia.  Author uses the name “Tasmanian”. Possibly Frederick Langham   Perhaps ship-owner and trader with a long term trading relationship with Levuka and Suva, for at least five years – since 1880.