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.

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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.