Volume 55 1946 > Volume 55, No. 3 > William Stewart and the introduction of Chinese labour in Tahiti, 1864-74, by Eric Ramsden, p 187-214
WILLIAM STEWART AND THE INTRODUCTION OF CHINESE LABOUR IN TAHITI, 1864–74.
THOUGH William Stewart flashed across the Tahitian firmament in the sixties of last century—and was extinguished almost as sensationally—little is remembered of him today. Only a heap of stones marks the site of his once palatial home in the valley of Atimaono. It was there, during the most prosperous economic period that Tahiti has ever known, that he entertained French administrators, visiting naval officers, and renowned foreigners such as H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. Only a group of mango trees on the hillside above marks the site of the residence to which, like some Eastern potentate of old, Stewart was carried by natives in a litter. From ‘Montcalm’ a magnificent view is obtained of the fertile valley below, the plain of which he filled with toiling Chinese coolies and Polynesian labourers. Today only a few of the older inhabitants speak of ‘Monsieur d';Atimaono.’ Even “Terre Eugenie,” the name that he gave to the estate by way of compliment to the consort of Napoleon the Third, is forgotten. The valley has reverted to its original name of Atimaono. Indeed, what is remembered of Stewart and his period is so distorted and surrounded in mystery that I hope the compilation of this paper, the first attempt perhaps to present Stewart and his enterprise in an impartial light, gathered from official documents that have not hitherto been available for perusal, also from contemporary records, will serve a useful purpose.
Teuira Henry in her monumental “Ancient Tahiti” (Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin, No. 48), has described Atimaono, a district on the west coast of the island, as extending from the Te'avaro River to Pa-mati. The mountain above is Mo;a-roa. The assembly ground below was known for centuries as Paepae-teitei. The point outside is Papa- - 188 reva. The marae was Fare-pu'a. The passage for small craft through the reef was called Te-ava-ra'a (the Sacred Passage). In ancient times there was, at Atimaono, a house for the arioi, the bands of strolling players, minstrels, and reciters of genealogies. It was called Tehira'a-rupo. Therefore, the valley had for generations carried a considerable population, and had witnessed many exciting scenes in Tahitian history long before its people had encountered Europeans.
Today a sugar-plantation occupies the site of the gigantic cotton enterprise founded by Stewart. Ironically enough, it was for years after this period in the hands of the Chinese, the descendants of those people he introduced as labourers. Only a few months ago the plantation was purchased by French capitalists, though the Chinese manager still remains in charge at Atimaono. The area has experienced many vicissitudes. Sugar is grown nearer the motherland of France: consequently, it is obtained more cheaply. Therefore, there is no longer a demand for Tahitian sugar. Indeed, it is problematical whether Atimaono will ever be an economic proposition.
However, in the commercial history of the Pacific the elusive figure of Stewart has a place—even if it is not a particularly creditable one. Stewart was not the pioneer grower of cotton, sugar, or coffee in Polynesia. Credit for such enterprizes must go to the early missionaries. But his name will always be associated with the introduction, on a systematic basis, of Chinese labour into Tahiti. Polynesia has suffered, and suffered grieviously, as a result of the white man's greed and acumen. Yet none of his race ever dealt a more harmful blow to the native society of Tahiti than did Stewart when he persuaded the French authorities to permit him to obtain Chinese labourers for his cotton and sugar plantation at Atimaono. History can only be interpreted in economic terms: for that reason the story of Stewart and “Terre Eugene” should be placed on record.
Today in French Oceania the Chinese are in the commercial ascendant. It is, indeed, a sad experience to stand in the market in Papeete on a morning and observe the native-born Tahitian making his last futile economic protest against the more industrious Celestial. All that the Tahitian has left are his garden plot and his fishing net. In every - 189 village nowadays is found the store of the Chinese: not only do they sell the necessaries of life, but social intercourse with the Polynesians has resulted in the infiltration of much Chinese blood. In the course of time that admixture will become more evident. The Chinese culture will replace what is left of the Tahitian. James Norman Hall, the American novelist long resident on the island, has stated that within half a century the devastating change will be complete: there will not be a single living Tahitian of pure extraction. To those who love and appreciate what is best in the Polynesian culture that is a heart-rending prospect—despite what some apologists have written, believing as they do in all sincerity that the Tahitian-Chinese cross will make for a more virile race. For that apalling change we have to thank William Stewart.
According to the census of 1931, the population of the Society islands numbered 39,713 persons (an increase of only 4,000 since 1926). Of that number 4,056 are Chinese. The Tahitians number about 30,000 (less than a third of the Maori population of New Zealand). Between 1926 and 1931 the Chinese increased by nearly 2,000, and the Tahitians showed an increase of only a few hundreds. However, owing to a new method of classification, many of the Tahitians elected to call themselves “French,” and it is difficult to obtain a correct estimate. Still, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the Chinese ratio of increase is infinitely more considerable than that of the Tahitian. The possibility is, of course, that more recent figures would reveal an increase in the number of Tahitians. But it can also be said that the Chinese born on the island are increasing far more rapidly.
The ruination of plantations in the southern states, following the American Civil War, created an unusual demand for cotton in the world market. Tahiti, Fiji, the distant Marquesas islands, and, of course, Queensland, were exploited by capitalists to supply that demand. But it was one matter to find suitable areas for the growing of that commodity, and another to obtain the labour with which to work the plantations. Labour, or rather the lack of it, was the problem that faced Stewart in Tahiti. A natural conse- - 190 quence was the kidnapping or ‘black-birding’ of natives from other islands. The native Tahitian could not adjust himself to such rapidly changing economic conditions: he refused to toil from early morning until evening in the cotton fields. Why should he toil? A beneficent nature supplied his simple needs. Therefore, other labourers had to be secured, as cheaply and as expeditiously as possible, from more distant places. The inhuman traffic that developed in the sixties and seventies of last century disgraced the nations that participated in it, and particularly Britain and France, the countries then most vitally concerned with the Pacific. It was not until the martyrdom of Bishop J. C. Patteson, which was the direct outcome of ‘black-birding,’ that the British public conscience was sufficiently shocked in 1871 to suppress the trade. Thousands of unhappy natives must have cursed the name of Stewart of Atimaono.
One result of my visit to Tahiti in 1935 was the transfer of certain important documents in the British Consulate at Papeete, by permission of the Foreign Office, to the Mitchell Library at Sydney. For assistance in gaining access to those papers I must acknowledge my debt to Mr. W. W. Bolton, M.A., of Papeete, a notable research worker in the field of Pacific history, who had already made a survey of some of them. There is such an accumulation of important material in that collection that, while I was in Sydney, I was able only to concentrate upon one or two of the issues upon which they shed light. I have done my best to collate the material relating to Stewart and “Terre Eugene.” When on the island I heard something of the adventurer, of his undoubted ability and vision, of the romantic enterprise that was for a time to enrich himself, certain British investors and, of course, some French officials who are alleged to have given him protection and used their influence to further his ambitious ends. It was not, however, until I had studied those Consulate papers, contemporary records and newspaper files, that I realized at just what a price Stewart's ambition was realized.
Little is known of Stewart's history prior to his arrival at Tahiti in 1862. Dora Hort (who was connected by marriage with the pioneer Wellington family of that name,- i
(Mitchell Library print) One of the homes that William Stewart erected at Atimaono. Only portion of the foundations now remains.
- ii Page is blank- 191
also with the Levin family), in her fascinating picture of the period in Papeete, makes reference to Stewart's early connection with Sydney. 1 A story is related by that writer of his hurried departure from Port Jackson. It is apparent that Stewart already had knowledge of the coloured labour-traffic in other parts of the Pacific; that he had at least a nodding acquaintance with the cotton industry. It was related subsequently in Tahiti that he had once lived in India. It is certain that as soon as he saw the fertile valley of Atimaono, then but sparsely cultivated, he at once visualized its possibilities as a cotton and coffee plantation. The newcomer's judgment was correct. In subsequent years the highest prices were obtained for the Atimaono product on the French and English markets. It is not without interest to recall that the first bales of cotton from “Terre Eugene” were shipped by way of Sydney to England.
Such a rosy picture of the future of cotton-growing in Tahiti was painted by Stewart that he soon had the ear of the French Governor, M. de la Richerie. Though it is stated that Stewart arrived penniless in Tahiti, he was soon enabled to leave for England and float a company in London with a capital of £100,000. 2 The company was at first known as the Polynesian Cotton Coy. Ltd.: its initial capital was £30,000. The enterprize, however, soon attracted additional British capital, the initial company was absorbed, and it became known as the Tahiti Cotton and Coffee Plantation Coy. Ltd. The Atimaono estate was for a time called the Plantation Soares, because Stewart had become the personal representative in Tahiti of Augusto Soares, a Portuguese financier who had branches of his house in London and Paris, the man who was intimately associated with his activities from the beginning. It is recorded that the Soares company received £30,000 for its interests, and the new company was incorporated in London on 4 June, 1863.
According to the Messenger de Tahiti, the official French newspaper at Papeete, Stewart returned to Tahiti, by way of San Francisco, on 7 January, 1864. “Last Sunday Mr. Stewart gave a small banquet to which he invited several chiefs of the surrounding districts,” the journal - 192 announced on 30 January. Such methods were typical of Stewart: he was always lavish in expenditure where entertainment was concerned—to the misfortune of those people who had entrusted him with money. The following month he called for tenders for fencing the Atimaono estate. Yet he did not obtain the land, totalling about 12,000 acres, without some difficulty—despite his attentions to a young and handsome chieftainess of the district, and the fact that the Governor (de la Richerie) utilized the official journal unblushingly to persuade the Tahitians to sell or lease their interests.
It is reasonable to assume that G. C. Miller, the British Consul, viewed the enterprize with some suspicion from the beginning. To the more conservative element in Papeete, such as the Millers and the Horts, Stewart was not acceptable socially. He was regarded as a somewhat “flashy” adventurer ready to stoop to anything to achieve his ends, whether it meant making love to the chieftainess of Atimaono or to the Governor's lady. Indeed, his association with the Countess de la Ronciere (the wife of de la Richerie's successor), eventually provoked scandal. Such was Papeete gossip of the period of Stewart's success. However, from the outset Stewart realized that Miller was a force to be reckoned with. In fact, he did his utmost to have Miller dismissed, and did not hesitate to refer to him as his enemy. Perusal of the Consul's official correspondence inclines one to the view that his behaviour throughout the playing of the Atimaono drama was absolutely correct. A man of considerable experience, Miller was balanced and temperate in his outlook, and his despatches appear fair and impartial.
Clearing of the ground at Atimaono was begun in February 1864. From then on the Messenger was flooded with advertisements inserted by alleged Tahitian “dupes,” stating that they had agreed to either lease or sell their lands to Stewart. Thus was the first blow struck at the Tahitian social structure. Such advertisements were, of course, compulsory by law. Even the Queen, Pomare the Fourth, who then under the French Protectorate, only retained the semblance of her former power, fell in with the scheme. Yet Stewart's plans, even at that early period, met with opposition. The Governor himself, it is stated, felt called upon to visit the district, and it is suggested that - 193 he persuaded the owners to dispose of their ancestral holdings. Whether he did that or not, the Government's official gazette was correct in tone: “Know ye, once and for all, that on one hand the Government would see with pleasure that a part of the uncultivated lands of this area were made valuable and gave you a profitable opportunity for employment, but on the other hand it warns you that you are completely free to sell or not to sell.” 3 One cannot say at this stage whether or not Government pressure was applied to reluctant sellers. Nevertheless, such was reported subsequently. Just what it means for a Polynesian to part with inherited lands can only be appreciated by those who understand the peculiar Polynesian psychology. Stewart certainly offered to purchase any stock on the area. 4 He also announced that he intended to form in Papeete “an establishment for the bi-annual cleaning of cotton.” 5
The Messenger declared early in April that, at Stewart's request, he had been granted permission by the French authorities to introduce 1,000 Chinese labourers. Elaborate regulations were promulgated. It was stated that, accompanied by their wives and children, they must arrive at Papeete before 31 December of the following year. No people over forty years of age were to be engaged, the contracts must not exceed seven years, and those under the age of fifteen must be accompanied by a parent or a relative. Strict regulations were insisted upon regarding sanitation and housing, also concerning the food to be furnished. Men were allowed two cotton shirts, two pairs of cotton trousers, and one straw hat a year. For the women two chemises, two dresses or petticoats, and four cotton handkerchiefs were authorized. It was also stipulated that there should be a hospital at Atimaono, and a doctor in attendance. In effect, Atimaono was to be a workers' paradise. A day's work was to constitute twelve hours, including a spell for one or two meals of two and a half hours in all. A French official, the Commissioner for Immigration, alone had power to inflict punishment in disputes likely to arise between employer and employee—a point, apparently, that Stewart soon forgot.- 194
Stewart and Miller were at grips in April, 1865. In a complaint to the Foreign Minister, Earl Russell, Stewart accused the Consul, in association with certain other residents, of preventing him from obtaining all the lands he required which, he declared, had been “guaranteed” to his company by the Governor. “He (Miller) has no idea of his actual position here,” wrote Stewart. “He dabbles in an underhand way in matters that concern his Government not, and which in one of our colonies would not be tolerated.” 6 The Consul indignantly denied the accusation: in his reply he complained of Stewart's insults. Some of the Atimaono lands, declared Miller, including those of certain British subjects, had been taken without consent. Stewart did not have all his own way. The Government in Paris disapproved of the local Governor's enthusiasm to some extent. The latter was unable to fulfil all the privileges he had promised Stewart.
It is evident, too, that Stewart by 1866 had not, in return, fulfilled his obligations to the Polynesian labourers. Among the records is a letter from the “King of Rarotonga” (the Makea-nui-ariki) to the British Consulate at Papeete complaining that certain of his men had not been returned to that island, though the stipulated agreement had been for one year only. 7 Presumably, earlier appeals to Stewart had not drawn any response. Stewart, as a matter of fact, had in person recruited among the Cook islands. A French Government steamer had been placed at his disposal for that purpose.
Dora Hort has characterized the French attitude towards Stewart, and his obtaining of native labour, an act of “startling inconsistency.” Just prior to his advent in Tahiti the authorities had strenuously opposed the recruiting of labour among the Oceanic islands. “They stigmatised Peruvian vessels on this quest as slavers,” she says, “and when tracked and caught by the French cruisers they were treated as such, being seized and brought to Papeete to be sold.” Some vessels actually reached Peru with cargoes of Polynesians who had “not only voluntarily signed an agree- - 195 ment, but had been perfectly satisfied with their treatment during the voyage.” At the request of the French Protectorate, they were returned on ships “so badly provisioned that many of them died of starvation en route.” An indemnity was demanded and obtained from the Peruvian Government for “illegal acts among islands which were not actually under French jurisdiction.” 8 Perhaps this witness, as the wife of a wealthy British merchant in Tahiti, was a little prejudiced. Still, the distinction between the Peruvian slavers and those later despatched by Stewart, with French connivance, is certainly a fine one. Maybe the Peruvians were a trifle more honest: after all, their pretence of legality deceived no one, except the natives, of course, the people most vitally affected. But in such schemes, either Peruvian or French, the Polynesians were not considered. “And after this display of virtuous indignation M. de la Richerie brazenly undertook to procure native labour for Mr. Stewart,” she continued. “The Government vessels were sent among the various islands to collect labourers for “Terre Eugene” with instructions that were carried out to the utmost extent, as one after the other returned laden with half-naked and wholly starved men, women, and children.”
Examination of the newspaper files of the period suggest that Tahiti in 1867 was experiencing a period of exceptional activity. The erection of the long-delayed palace for the Queen was being proceeded with, likewise the completion of Papeete's cathedral. The Messenger printed one paragraph that was of more than passing significance: “Agriculture is making satisfactory progress, but the want of suitable labour is still a matter of serious complaint.” The elaborate rules laid down for immigration had not, presumably, proved an unqualified success, for the Government organ added: “A bank is wanted at Papeete, also a properly organised Department of Immigration.” 9
The first hint of trouble at Atimaono was contained in a letter written by one William Creighton, an employee at the plantation, which he requested that Consul Miller should hand to Captain Turnour, of H.M.S. Clio. Creighton suggested that he had been unable to communicate with a British naval medical officer who had visited Atimaono. The - 196 Consul, in reply, informed Creighton that the French justice of the peace at Papeete was the proper person to apply to “for adjudicating upon between differences between your company and its servants.” 10
Consignments of Atimaono cotton reached Papeete on 5 March. Eleven waggons containing two bales each weighing 700 to 800 kilos, or approximately 32,000 lbs. 11 The cotton was placed on the Titaua for despatch to London, via Sydney. “Since the above date the harvest on the plantation has reached a figure that is really marvellous,” commented the Sydney Morning Herald, which also stated that nearly 1,500 coolies were then employed at Atimaono. “The manager, in order not to lose any part of his crop, has been obliged to call upon the Government to sanction his hiring natives in the adjacent districts to assist him in getting in the crop. This the natives showed themselves very willing to do. The picking averaged from 20,000 to 31,000 lbs. a day.” Quoting from the Messenger, the newspaper added: “It is difficult to realise such an abundance. The vast plain of Atimaono seemed to be covered with snow.” 12 Indeed, additional machinery was being imported from abroad, via Valparaiso, and more was on order from the United States.
Yet, despite such sanguine reports, all was not well at Aitmaono in 1867. Consul Miller reported to the Foreign Office in August that John Mahood, a British subject, had been before the Correctional Court for punishment and sentenced to six months' imprisonment. The press abroad, particularly in the United States and Australia, began to publish sensational reports to the effect that Stewart had instituted a reign of terror, that the employees were cruelly treated, that corruption was rife in Government circles in Papeete. British overseers who refused to thrash the coolies and natives, it was stated, were themselves punished, and in the matter of correction Stewart held extraordinarily unjustifiable powers. One article headed “Tahitian Slavery” that appeared in a San Francisco journal aroused Stewart's wrath, and he approached the Government for an official investigation.
The British Consul was invited by Stewart to attend this inquiry: he offered to place a furnished house at Miller's - 197 disposal while at Atimaono. Miller, however, declined to attend unless he was assured of free access to his own countrymen. 13 Stewart expressed astonishment at the tenor of the reply, and subsequently reported him to the Foreign Office. “On this plantation nothing is done in secret,” he wrote indignantly. The invitation was repeated. 14 “I may, furthermore, state that you (Stewart), like the British subjects in general who have settled in this country, must abide by the laws in force,” Miller answered, “and, when necessary should apply for protection to the proper tribunal, and that it is no part of my Consular duty to interfere with the course of justice ...” 15
The report of the inquiry, which was published in the Messenger on 28 September (within ten days of beginning its sittings), makes interesting reading. It is one of the most glaring examples of “white-washing” it has been my privilege to peruse. The committee reported that 916 Chinese and 323 imported natives were then employed at Atimaono, a total of 1,239 (of whom 108 were women). “These workers have offered to the Commission ... an unquestionable appearance of good health, showing itself in their easy bearing, their muscular development, and in their general appearance. It could not be otherwise ... when we have taken into consideration their healthy lodging, the good quality of their food, and the hygienic care of which they are the objects.” Statements of witnesses, it was stated, “gave the lie to deeds of cruelty that people pretend to have been committed on these natives by the captains who certainly would not have been able to land a second time on those islands which were the scenes of their violent deeds.” The hours of work were given as from 8 a.m. until noon, and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. “The solicitude of the gerant (manager—Stewart) for his employees is not limited to the workers, but the sick, the wounded, and the invalids are the subjects of his greatest care,” it was reported. In fact, a glowing picture, generally, of conditions on the plantation, was presented. Stewart's work was eulogized to the skies. The only serious (?) complaint was made by the Chinese: they had not been permitted to hang themselves! This statement aroused much laughter among the Com- - 198 missioners. All inveterate gamblers, one of the Celestials had committed suicide because of being heavily in debt. When others showed some indication of following that example, it was explained, Stewart had promised such punishment that others had been deterred. No mention was made of the fact (if Dora Hort is to be believed), that he had a guillotine on the estate, and that he had practised on a pig. Mrs. Hort states quite definitely that the execution of at least one coolie actually took place at Atimaono. Miller must have had some justification for believing that the British subjects there would not be in a position to give straightforward evidence. What chance then had the native labourers of telling the truth? In effect, members of the Commission (some of whom had travelled through English, French, and Spanish colonies) declared they had “rarely seen immigrants who were the objects of such intelligent care, who had lodgings so well arranged, who were paid so regularly, and treated with so much kindness.” The Governor, naturally, was delighted with the report. Indignation was expressed officially at unjustifiable attacks at so useful a project in Tahiti. That sentiment was diminished only by the scorn which was due to the authors of “those infamous libels.” The Sydney Morning Herald, as a matter of fact, suffered such an attack of conscience when the report reached Australia that copious extracts from the report were published, and the journal retracted every word of criticism previously printed. Material for attacks had been furnished, it was believed, by “a certain person not without notoriety” in Sydney. “... we arrive at the conclusion that it is not likely such an establishment would subsist anywhere with less abuses,” the Herald solemnly announced, “and that, upon the whole, if such establishments are to be sanctioned at all, they could hardly be conducted with more consideration for the rights of the labourers.” 16
Yet the attacks persisted.
Stewart claimed the “interference and protection” of the British Government. But Lord Stanley, then Foreign Minister, declined to give either. 17- 199
Stewart published on the Government press at Papeete a pamphlet that bore the lengthy title of An Outline of How it Came to Pass that so many Absurb Stories have been Circulated about the Cotton Plantation on Terre Eugene, Tahiti. 18 What was obviously propaganda material was intended presumably, for foreign consumption. It was compiled in English and in French. Significantly enough, it does not bear his name, though extracts are given from his private correspondence. After traversing the history of the Atimaono enterprise, he declared that “a surreptitious petition” was forwarded to France praying that the Government should not permit the lands of the Tahitians to be “expropriated.” Thereupon, de la Richerie received positive orders not to carry out his engagement of 1862 to Stewart. One paragraph is significant: “Although the orders which he had received precluded de la Richerie from taking part in the transactions, yet he showed his favourable disposition by several visits to Atimaono, and by telling the natives generally that he considered it would be to their advantage to encourage the cultivation of the waste lands.” That does indicate that the Governor was not entirely disinterested. Stewart accused Miller of having taxed de la Richerie with having put Government pressure upon the Tahitians in order to make them sell their lands. The Governor denied the allegation, and with his wife, at once left a social function at the Consulate. Stewart then demanded of Miller that he should substantiate the charge. “I cannot admit the right you have assumed of demanding explanations from me concerning an alleged remark which you say I am rumoured to have made to the Imperial Commissioner with reference to the policy of the local Government towards the natives of Tahiti,” Miller replied: “...it forms no part of my duty to yield to the peremptory demand for explanations upon that subject which is contained in your letter.” 19 In an abusive communication to the Consul, Stewart declared: “I call it a malicious untruth, and unless you give me the name of your authority immediately, I cannot be mistaken in proclaiming you publicly as the author of it.” 20- 200
Stewart claimed that Miller engaged in an “extensive official correspondence with the Governor, alleged that he had been “insulted in his public character” by the former, had taken steps before the proper tribunal, and his complaint had been dismissed. Stewart quoted from a letter by Miller to de la Richerie in which he said: “... additional gravity attaches to some portions of Mr. Stewart’s letter from the circumstance of his being well known to have frequent access to yourself, as well as to some of your officers, and still more from his having ... had the honour of entertaining you as his guest in his house at Atimaono on more than one occasion since the conversation before adverted to.” What would be thought of a consul in an English colony presuming to write in such a way to the Governor? Stewart asked, adding: “We cannot hope for a man of very great ability in an out of the way place like Tahiti, but we certainly have a right to expect that the British Consul should be a person in some sort capable of comprehending British interests and of understanding his position as commercial agent so far as to prevent his intermeddling in the political affairs of the country.” He alleged, further, that opponents of his scheme had tampered with the Tahitian police, supplied American newspapers with false information, and had even forwarded a sample of inferior cotton to the Paris Exhibition in a bottle labelled as produce of “Terre Eugene.”
While it would appear that Stewart's influence with the French authorities was considerable, truth could not be suppressed entirely. In December, 1867, Miller received a letter from John Brander, a well-known Papeete merchant, to the effect that forty-five natives of the northern Cook group had been landed against their will on the island of Mopiha by the master of a British vessel who had contracted to return them from Atimaono. These people from Manarauoro, Manihiki, and Rakahanga had been forced on board by the unscrupulous captain, their possessions purloined, and two men and a child had been drowned when swimming ashore. The survivors were brought to Papeete by a French gunboat on 12 December, 1867. The commander, according to a letter from Stewart to Miller, was an Aucklander named Wyatt, and his vessel was the brigantine Zillah. Stewart accused the Consul of “inability” in not having detained - 201 both captain and witnesses at Papeete, also of “repeated acts of hostility towards the concern of which he (Stewart) was the head.” In future, he declared, he would throw himself upon the protection of the French Government.
One of Stewart's difficulties was to obtain reliable overseers for the plantation. In 1866, ten non-commissioned officers of the British Navy and Army, members of the Corps of Commissionaires, arrived at Tahiti for that duty. One was John Mahood who, the following year, received a term of imprisonment. All had been engaged for five years. It was stipulated that the company should provide the return passages. In a statement sworn before the Consul on 1 July, 1870, Mahood declared: “... When we arrived (at Atimaono) at starting off we were all obliged to go into debt ... My bill came to 65 dollars and 40 cents ... Before my bill was paid the manager discharged me by written notice dated August 23, 1866 ... so that I never received any money on the plantation. On the contrary my bill shows me to be in debt.” Mahood disclosed a very different picture of conditions at Atimaono. When visitors were at the plantation, he said, the bell was rung at the correct time to cease labour, but only on such occasions. After finishing a long day's work he was once ordered by Stewart to feed the horses. Mahood demurred. The manager accused him of insolence, and ordered him to the “calaboose” for thirteen hours on bread and water. Rations for Mahood and his wife were stopped. The former was later sent to Papeete in charge of a gendarme as a prisoner. He duly appeared before the court, was sentenced to gaol, and dismissed from the plantation. Unfortunately for himself, he subsequently returned to Atimaono, was arrested on a trumped-up charge of allegedly inciting the Chinese, and was again lodged in prison. On his release Mahood had to exist on what little work he could procure, also with what his wife could make as a seamstress. Stewart declined to furnish them with passages to England. In addition to the gaol term, Mahood was subjected to a fine which increased steadily so long as he remained in prison. The fine was eventually paid by a friend. Mahood returned the money from the meagre pension he received from the British Government. The original charge against him, incidentally, was “habitual idleness and neglect of work.”- 202
The case of John Bible, formerly of the 25th Regiment, was infinitely worse: he was actually driven mad in consequence of Stewart's persecution. Believing that they were leaving for England, he and his wife were placed on a ship, only to find that their passages had been paid to Auckland. In that city Bible died a raving lunatic in a mental hospital. For stating that, on coming to Tahiti, he understood he was “to do with gentlemen,” Bible was placed in the “calaboose” on bread and water for twelve days, his wife's rations ceased, and he was later transferred to the Papeete prison. “I can only add that Mr. Bible tried above any overseer of his party to give satisfaction,” Mahood swore. “At one time he was reckoned to be the best overseer on the plantation.” Mahood also stated, in a passage that was subsequently erased from his sworn declaration: “Convicts in England are better treated than we were at Atimaono.”
Henry Millican, once of the Royal Navy, and his wife, were also the subjects of Stewart's anger. “The manner of Millican and his wife left me under the impression that they were ... so desirous of quitting (Atimaono) as to be willing to make a sacrifice in order to obtain their discharge,” the Consul reported. Millican was more fortunate than the others: he was given £50 towards his passage to England. This man was engaged in London on 16 February, 1866, to proceed to Tahiti at a monthly salary of four pounds three shillings and four pence. Stewart's company was to provide a free passage, house accommodation, also bread, meat, coffee, sugar, etc. When he left Atimaono he claimed £239 in wages. “I had a number of Chinese coolies under me,” he said, “and because I would not beat them Mr. Stewart told me I was useless, and threatened to take me before the tribunal at Papeete ... We began work at 7 a.m., and had to keep on until 6 p.m. without any food but wild fruit, and water to drink.” To the Consul he declared: “I would sign anything, even if it were my own death warrant, sooner than remain any longer ... Although I have been a great sufferer from Mr. Stewart's tyranny, other Commissionaires as well as the Chinese coolies, have suffered still more ... I have frequently seen the Chinese coolies beaten with sticks and whips by the various Chinese overseers and English servants.”- 203
In 1869, the Duke of Edinburgh (Queen Victoria's sailor son), visited the plantation. Millican stated that his wife presented the Prince with a petition on his behalf, also that the Duke “told Stewart to his face he would bring the situation of these British subjects before their Government.”
It seems that these English employees were, with deliberation, set one against the other. Yet at least two of those who fulfilled Stewart's orders later found themselves stranded in Tahiti when the company collapsed, and had to appeal to the Consul for assistance to reach New Zealand. However, before then the majority had disappeared—some to Australia, others to New Zealand—and in every case Stewart evaded payment of their return fares to England. He attempted to force Mrs. Bible to return her husband's contract so that he could cancel it. “But Mrs. Bible put it into her breast,” says Mahood, and replied: “You have drove my husband mad, and I shall keep his agreement!”
In an official report to London which, in main essentials, supports the declarations of these witnesses, Miller wrote: “At the period of the above transactions ... there was notoriously in operation at Atimaono ... a rigid and irk-some system of discipline enforced among other punishments by fines and extra-judicial incarcerations, even in fetters, imposed by order of the manager, Mr. Stewart. Common reports, moreover, stated that certain powers to inflict disciplinary punishment had, in reality, been granted to the manager ... by an order issued in 1865 by the then Imperial Commissioner, Count de la Ronciere. My endeavours to obtain an authentic copy of this order have not been successful ... It is certain that M. de la Ronciere up to the last of his governing here unflinchingly sustained the plantation, declaring that he viewed it in the light of a great, as well as of a conclusive test of the capacity of Tahiti to become a productive country, and taking to himself the credit for its sustenance, whilst he laid the blame for its shortcomings to the charge of the company's administrators in England.” 21 While de la Ronciere disagreed with almost everything that de la Richerie had instituted, the two Governors had something in common—they maintained the - 204 initial policy of friendship and protection for Stewart and his enterprize.
Other official documents from Miller (now in the Mitchell Library) disclose the fact that, rather than lose all opportunity of departing either for New Zealand or Australia, other British subjects withdrew their complaints. But by then pressure had been brought to bear in London, and the Consul was instructed to keep his Government fully posted as to developments. Meanwhile, British investors became increasingly alarmed at Stewart's extravagance, while the latter became more and more convinced that he was being persecuted by Miller and “certain other Europeans.” The company, actually, was in serious financial difficulties. French officials were disturbed. In time Stewart no longer had matters entirely his own way. Storm clouds were gathering fast above the fertile fields of Atimaono, and they were not to be dispersed until long after Stewart's final eclipse.
Stewart realized, of course, that reports published in the foreign press were doing his enterprise considerable harm. In “An Outline” reference was made to a report in the San Francisco Times, the information for which was allegedly provided by one William Poole. It bore the heading “Cruelties of the Slave Trade in the Islands.” Poole declared that the scenes he had witnessed at Atimaono so horrified and disgusted him that he took the first opportunity of returning to California. The labourers (then numbering between 1,500 and 2,000), he said, were slaves “in the most depraved and abject meaning of that term.” On the voyage to Tahiti they had been subjected to “scourge, starvation, and other brutalities,” in order to break their spirit, and so render them suitable for their employment. Poole made many sensational charges: on one occasion, he declared, he had seen Stewart's principal overseer tie up and flog a pregnant native woman, afterwards “exhibiting her on the plantation in a state of nudity to expose her gaping wounds as an example of terror to the balance of the work hands.” The outrages were perpetrated with the knowledge, if not with the consent of the French Governor. “If this be true,” the newspaper commented, “the subject is one worthy of protest from all the governments of the Christian world. Our authority for publication is given. Mr. Poole says he - 205 will stand by their correctness in every particular ...” Stewart, in his pamphlet, attacked Poole's character. Certificates signed by J. Lamphear, who had resided in Tahiti since 1845, and Thomas Clarke, another American, referred to Poole as “a most passionate and desperate man.” As Poole was unable to read or write, they said, it was quite impossible for him to have composed the article to which his name was attached. Whatever Poole's cultural standard might have been, there was nothing to have prevented him from supplying the information to the newspaper and a competent journalist writing the story.
Poole stated that “irons, flogging, and dungeons” were the order of the day on the plantation, also that Stewart's cruelties were not confined to Chinese and natives. Sworn statements before Miller corroborate the following: “Several of these (European employees), pensioners from the English Army, were engaged in London under the most flattering inducements. They soon found ... they were ‘sold.’ Their engagements were broken: they did not get enough provisions for themselves and their families without purchasing them, and their hard-won earnings went to keep their children from starving ... One of the overseers named Mahood was dismissed for refusing to superintend the flogging of Chinamen. He applied to the British Consul, was told that he could do nothing for him as Mr. S. could do what he wished in Tahiti. He next sought justice from a French court but, poor man, he little knew what justice in Tahiti is! His case came on for trial—was immediately dismissed without himself being examined ... he was ordered to pay the costs. He was thrown on his own resources, having an invalid wife and two children to support.” There is a ring of truth in that statement. Poole concluded by saying: “The English and American Consuls can do nothing to stop this tyranny. French steel is everywhere to support it ... In short, the great Mr. Stewart, who claims to be a descendant of the Royal Stewarts of Scotland, is both civil and military Governor of Tahiti. He has but to command and the representatives of the Emperor Napoleon obey.”
Poole's statements were copied in the New York Herald, also in the Sydney Evening News (30 July, 1867). In the latter Stewart was described as a native of the north of - 206 Ireland, though more recently a resident of Sydney. Assisted by his brother James, he represented the company, and virtually governed the island. “Their will is law, and in all they do they are protected by the French, using their ships and troops to enslave their labourers, carry out their nefarious system, and intimidate or punish all who are moved by common humanity to protest.” The first Chinese, Poole stated, were brought from Hong Kong and Macao, but such was the treatment received that Stewart had to look to other ports for subsequent recruits.
Stewart, by way of rebuttal, published the report of the commission of inquiry in full in “An Outline,” and, after attacking Miller, drew attention to the fact that he refused to attend its sittings.
Poole in his charges was emphatic that Stewart was concerned in the kidnapping of natives from adjacent islands.
Toward the middle of 1869 the Moaroa, a schooner chartered by Stewart from Brander, returned to Atimaono with a complement of natives from the Gilbert and Ellice group. According to a sworn statement made in Sydney in 1871 by Walter Oates, who served in her, she was formerly the American whaler General Pike, also that she was purchased by Stewart from Brander in 1869. I find that a vessel called the General Pike was offered for sale at Papeete in 1868.
The Moaroa was badly damaged at sea as a result of an explosion, Blackett, the captain being killed, and generally, the schooner was the subject of much comment on her return to Papeete about August 1869. An elaborate report was furnished by the second mate, a Dane named Steenalt, who was then in command. But as the report is obviously a tissue of lies (though it was accepted by a French court of inquiry), it would serve no useful purpose to quote from it. In effect, it stated that recruited natives had attempted to seize the vessel, also that Steenalt, with much gallantry, had deliberately blown them up with gunpowder. One is inclined to place more reliance on the declarations subsequently sworn to in Sydney by Oates, who was an eye-witness to those tragic happenings. The statements by Oates, which were flatly contradicted at the time, were subsequently confirmed in an unpublished manuscript by J. E. Brown, a New - 207 Zealander, who eventually became Stewart's successor as manager at Atimaono.
Brown said he met a sailor at the Marquesas islands who substantiated the declarations by Oates, that he had actually assisted Steenalt in blocking up the bullet holes in the hold of the Moaroa with putty. The object, doubtless, was to remove the incriminating evidence of the appalling slaughter that took place on the schooner. Moreover, the conscience of that man was still troubling him when he met Brown: he told the latter that he assisted Steenalt in completing the destruction of the Moaroa. The vessel, loaded apparently with Atimaono cotton (but actually with cotton seed), sailed for New Zealand some time later. However, Steenalt is alleged to have taken her well out of her course by way of the Tubuai islands, and headed her for a reef. Apparently there she remains to this day. Consequently, all evidence of an incriminating character was for ever lost ...
As far as one can judge, the facts of that memorable recruiting voyage were as follows—in the beginning it was distinctly disappointing because even such tactics as ramming canoes at sea had not resulted in the capture of many labourers. Neither had chasing natives in the bush, or bartering them for muskets from terrified chiefs, had any appreciable result. It so happened, however, that the Moaroa fell in with the Anne (or Annie), of Melbourne. The latter had about 150 natives on board, all destined for Fiji. But, owing to the vigilance of the British Navy, she had been unable to land them. One Lattin, who was in charge of the natives, offered them to Blackett (the Moaroa's commander), at £5 a head, landed in Tahiti. Blackett, who appears to have been a drunken scoundrel, accepted the offer, and the people were transferred to his schooner. The Moaroa was then flying the flag of the French Protectorate Government. The natives were forced to sign agreements. Oates says they did not understand one word of them. It was considered essential that women should also be procured. This witness told how one awed chief informed Steenalt that he could have as many girls as he liked, provided that he left his men alone. On one island young women were actually tied to each other by the hair of the heads, and so taken to the Moaroa. Some of those people were kept below decks for six weeks, and they died at the rate of five daily.- 208
Was it any wonder that the natives, driven to desperation, revolted? They were also goaded by the fact that Blackett and Steenalt deliberately picked off their leaders through the grating with revolvers. The attack by the natives was launched with such success that Blackett was killed, several members of the crew were wounded, and the remainder were forced into another part of the schooner. For a time the natives were in almost complete charge. It was then that Steenalt recalled that some gunpowder, which had been removed from the Anne, was still on deck. The Dane crept stealthily along, lighted a fuse over the quarter in which were the majority of the natives, and blew most of them to death. Out of three hundred originally imprisoned on the vessel, it is stated that only about fifty reached Atimaono. Many of the injured were left to drown. However, twenty-six men are said to have reached Peru (or Beru), an island in the Gilberts, off which the tragedy took place.
Another notorious blackbirder employed on Stewart's behalf was the Eugenie. That vessel had a double register: in Tahiti she was known as the Eugenie, but she was also registered in New Caledonia under the name of Imperatrice. 22
Additional proof of the manner in which natives were “recruited” for Atimaono is found in contemporary missionary records. A pamphlet published in Sydney in 1871 by the Rev. S. J. Whitmee, of the London Missionary Society, makes reference to a native named Sunday. A man of magnificient physique, he had been captured from that identical island (Peru) and, with others, was taken to Atimaono. Stewart is said to have used him subsequently as a decoy. Sunday sailed on the Moaroa and other vessels used by Stewart, and eventually became notorious in certain parts of the Pacific. Whitmee discovered him on an island many miles from his home, where he had been dumped by a French vessel. Sunday asked for a passage to Fiji. The missionary replied that he could not take him there, but said he would endeavour to land him at his own island. Whitmee comments on the fact that at several islands, such was the hatred of Sunday, that the local inhabitants would have killed him. Throughout the Gilberts Whitmee found “a very bitter feeling against the man-stealing vessels.” - 209 Sunday was a witness to the happenings on the Moaroa, and the information that he gave Whitmee (who returned him to his island), cannot be disregarded.
Such were the instruments used by Stewart in his insatiable ambition for wealth. If riches could be obtained only at the sacrifice of the lives of peaceful islanders, and at the expense of the misery of women and children, it was not worth striving for. Stewart's possessions benefited him not at all in the end.
Corroborative evidence as to actual conditions among the natives at Atimaono came to light in a curious manner. In October 1870, four men who had been kidnapped from the Banks group, arrived in a whale-boat at Pangopango, Samoa. The French Protectorate schooner Lucene had captured one hundred and thirty of them, and all had been taken to Tahiti. On the voyage one man who could not eat the food provided, wept. In consequence he was bound and tossed overboard to drown. “They worked (at Atimaono) for twenty months, during which eighty of the number died,” says an official report. “They had to go to the plantation at 6 a.m. without any breakfast, worked until noon, rested between 2 and 3 p.m., but had nothing whatever to eat. Then they worked until 6 p.m., when they went home to their quarters and had the only meal of the day.” After twenty months of such treatment only five out of twenty-five from Mota-lava (Banks group) survived. “They concluded it would be better to die at sea than to stay on the plantation any longer,” wrote Thomas Dunbabin in his Slavers of the South Seas, “so they escaped in a boat which had been left at anchor. Their supplies for the voyage were ten coconuts. The voyage lasted two months ... One man died after they had sighted Samoa.” 23
We now enter the final phase of the Tahiti Cotton and Coffee Plantation Coy. Ltd. By 1873 no less a sum than £120,000 had been expended by British capitalists in buildings, improvements, the purchase of vessels, and the construction of roads, and it was clear that the Company was in a state of hopeless confusion. A loan of £18,000 was - 210 arranged through the London banking house of Robarts, Lubbock & Coy. which, henceforth, took a prominent part in the Company's control. Other firms had claims on it totalling between £17,000 and £18,000. According to Brown (Stewart's successor) Stewart had been for some time in the habit of repairing to the island of Raiatea on drinking bouts. He was also a sick man: the strain of ten years' battle to establish his enterprize, combined with extravagant living, had told upon him. The shareholders no longer had extra capital to call upon. It became increasingly difficult for the directors to obtain satisfactory reports from their manager. Confidential reports, written without Stewart's knowledge, indicated that the estate was unproductive and going to waste, also that he was deliberately running the Company into bankruptcy in order to secure the business either for himself or his friends. 24
The pockets of certain influential men in London were endangered. Sir John Lubbock, M.P., drew the attention of the Foreign Office to the situation of the Company. An effort was made through the Foreign Minister (Lord Granville) to induce the French Government to send an impartial investigator to Atimaono. But Lord Lytton (then Ambassador in Paris), owing to the fact that he had insufficient evidence as to actual conditions in Tahiti, was against that procedure. Consul Miller, at his suggestion, was asked to report.
The end came when the Protectorate Government proceded against the Company for £4,000, claimed as unpaid registration fees. The London directors were not even aware that such a sum was owing. An appeal was then made to the British Government to obtain protection from the French Government for the Company's assets. On the available evidence it is now difficult to say just what moves were made by interested parties. Soares, in a letter to Lord Granville on 1 April, 1873, did not hesitate to accuse Miller (on evidence furnished by Stewart) of attempting to force the Company into bankruptcy. “The result of such a proceeding ... would be most disastrous as there is no one on the island to buy the property at anything like its value, and it will, consequently, be sacrificed for a mere trifle,” he - 211 declared. Stewart stated that, prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, an offer had been made by a syndicate at Lyons to purchase the estate for £220,000. Creditors in Tahiti acted quickly when, in 1874, Arthur Heather, a representative of the London directors, arrived at Tahiti. The Company's books were seized under an official order. Charges were made against Brown, who was arrested. Heather had to furnish a bond to secure Brown's release, though he had made no complaint as to the manner in which Brown had conducted the Company's affairs during the short period he was in charge at Atimaono. Meanwhile, from London came a cable—“Sell ships and anything available to pay your expenses.” 25
It was then too late.
On 22 August, 1874, the Company was declared bankrupt. The actual order for sequestration was put into effect several days before the landing of Heather. While Stewart had been deprived of all power at Atimaono, he still possessed his own considerable mercantile interests at Papeete. According to Brown the plight of Stewart became pitiable in the extreme. As long as he (Brown) remained on the estate he kept the former manager, then rapidly failing in health, supplied with necessaries for himself and his Tahitian wife. Brown also states that, even at the end of his life, Stewart was consumed by ambitious plans for carrying on the cultivation of cotton on his estate in the Marquesas. That property, he believed, had escaped the notice of creditors.
Dorence Atwater, United States Consul at Papeete, complained bitterly to Soares in London of the alleged cruel treatment of Stewart by Miller. But as Atwater was also an employee of Stewart, and by no means an unprejudiced witness, one cannot take him too seriously. His letter, nevertheless, is valuable, because it sheds light on Stewart's last days: “Mr. Stewart died on September 24 (1873) from liver and other complaints. On September 23 he was declared bankrupt in consequence of the loss in appeal of a suit for damages in the transfer of the mail contract. On September 24 one of the judges and the greffier (judge's clerk) went to Atimaono for the purpose of seeing Mr. Stewart's correspondence. The latter first went into - 212 Mr. Stewart's sick chamber, and on coming out told the judge there was nothing in the room, and that Mr. Stewart was very ill. With that they both started to go away. But the judge returned, and, forcing his way into the sick chamber, demanded from Mr. Stewart his correspondence, and when told that he hadn't it, the judge became furious and threatened. The excitement brought on violent fits of vomiting blood and ended in death eleven hours afterwards. In the meantime a messenger came in for me, but I arrived too late ...” 26 In a letter to the French Commissioner Atwater added: “The last letter which he (Stewart) dictated to his wife and sent to me contained the following: ‘Judge Baudin has threatened me about my correspondence. They are killing me. Come as quickly as you can ...’ I believe that the death of William Stewart was premature,” declared Atwater, “and that I cannot do less than send this to you, and would, if I may be allowed, suggest that the case warrants an investigation.” Soares was informed by Atwater: “I mistake you very much if you do not insist that Mr. Miller, British Consul, give an account of himself in allowing and assisting the persecution of a British subject in the most scurrulous and inhuman manner it has ever been my lot to witness. He cannot plead ignorance ...”
Fortunately, Miller's reply has been preserved.
In a report to Lord Granville dated 28 March, 1874, he declared that Atwater's charge against the French judge was, “not only unsubstantiated but was actually disowned” by Atwater before a commission of inquiry. “I have no reason to think that the late Mr. Stewart was ever the object of unfair treatment here,” continued the Consul. “On the contrary, for a long time more than a common share of privileges and favours were bestowed upon him by the local authorities, whilst to the last they treated him, I believe, with greater consideration than an ordinary individual would perhaps have received at their hands in the place of Mr. Stewart, against whom a criminal charge had been brought of his having embezzled a large sum of money belonging to the Tahiti Cotton and Coffee Coy whilst he was their manager ...” Such proceedings, in consequence of Stewart's failing health, had never been commenced against him, and he was admitted to bail. As for Atwater, Miller - 213 stated that a short time previously he had been employed by Stewart as assistant manager at Atimaono, and he had also been in charge of his mercantile business (which was quite distinct from the Company's affairs). “Mr. Stewart's so-called appeal to the Consul of a foreign Government for protection was, in reality, only a simple request made by him to his salaried employee to come to him to perform some service as such,” Miller commented. “As regards the high respectability which is ascribed by Mr. Atwater to Mr. Stewart,” the Consul explained, “I regret for the sake of the deceased's memory to have to observe that his later transactions in this country were far from being calculated to maintain such respectability. And, for Mr. Atwater's own sake it would have been well if he had abstained from mixing himself up with Mr. Stewart's affairs ... This ... brought no little discredit upon himself, he having ... for instance been compelled after Mr. Stewart's brankruptcy, to deliver up ... property and claims to a considerable sum that the courts declared to have been fictitiously and illegally made over to him by Mr. Stewart to the detriment of the creditors of the latter.”
Such, therefore, was the passing of William Stewart, a man of undoubted ability, force of character, and vision. Under different conditions he might, perhaps, have succeeded in his ambitions—but at what a cost to the native peoples of the Pacific it is appalling to contemplate. Utterly ruthless, Stewart had no thought for the labourers, Polynesian or Asiatic, who were brought to Tahiti to do his will. Certain economic laws were in operation over which he had no control. For example, he could not have, indefinitely, waged a losing battle against the plantations of the southern United States. Once the latter had again settled down, following the Civil War, into the production of cotton, there was no longer any possibility of a market for the Tahitian grown commodity. Lack of suitable labour was certainly his principal handicap. Stewart attempted to remedy that difficulty at the expense of the Tahitian culture.
Paradoxically, the descendants of the Chinese he had introduced to the island were until recently the principal owners of Atimaono, the fertile plains that his grasping hand had taken from their Polynesian owners. Prior to the 1939- - 214 45 War about 500 tons of sugar were produced there annually. Samuel Bennett in his Tahiti and French Oceania wrote: “... Stewart ... lorded in the grand style of the old-time West Indian planter. A few crumbling foundation stones are all that now remain of his once luxurious home on the beach: but a clump of mango trees on the hill above the sugar-mill mark the situation of ‘Montcalm,’ where the cotton king of Tahiti built his mountain castle, to which he was habitually carried in a litter by relays of retainers ... It will be interesting to see what the Chinese will do with it. For Atimaono is the only considerable tract of first-class agricultural land under one ownership in Tahiti.” 27
Russell, unfortunately, did not live to see still another phase in the story of Atimaono. It was announced in the Pacific Islands Monthly on 10 January, 1946, that the plantation had been disposed of to a French company for 7,500,000 francs (Tahitian). That journal's correspondent recalled a legend which he had heard in Tahiti thirty-five years earlier. “Because of some breaches by the original Stewart,” he wrote, “the old Teva chiefs laid a malediction which foreshadowed disaster to all who might hold or cultivate Atimaono until the land should be restored to the families of its ancestral proprietors. The history of Atimaono, during the past seventy years, has been a startling confirmation of that legend. During the war, however, the Chinese operators of Atimaono appear to have appeased the spirits of the angry Teva chiefs.” Though the plans of the new company had not been disclosed, he believed that new machinery would be installed at the mill, also that more productive varieties of sugar-cane would be cultivated at Atimaono.
1 Vide Dora Hort's Tahiti, the Garden of the Pacific, 1891.
2 Letter from W. Stewart, from Tahiti, to Earl Russell, 2 April, 1865.
3 Messenger de Tahiti, 5 March, 1864.
4 Messenger de Tahiti, 5 March, 1864.
5 Messenger de Tahiti, 19 March, 1864.
6 W. Stewart, from “Terre Eugene,” Tahiti, to Earl Russell, 2 April, 1865.
7 Makea Abela, “King of Rarotonga,” to Consul Miller, 31 December, 1866.
8 Ibid, Tahiti, the Garden of the Pacific.
9 The italics are mine.—E.R.
10 Consul Miller, from Papeete, to Sergeant William Creighton, 10 June, 1867.
11 Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June, 1867.
12 Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June, 1867.
13 Consul Miller, from Papeete, to W. Stewart, 17 September, 1867.
14 W. Stewart, from Atimaono, to Consul Miller (undated), 1867.
15 Consul Miller, from Papeete, to W. Stewart, 21 September, 1867.
16 The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 January, 1868.
17 Lord Stanley, from the Foreign Office, to Consul Miller, 13 April, 1868.
18 The pamphlet is extremely rare. I know of only one copy that has survived.—E.R.
19 9 March, 1864 (vide The Outline.)
20 16 March, 1864 (vide The Outline.)
21 Consul Miller, from Papeete, to the Foreign Office, 24 August, 1870.
22 Vide T. Dunbabin's Slavers of the South Seas.
23 Dunbabin's account is fully substantiated by the British Consulate Papers from Papeete, which are now in the Mitchell Library.
24 J. H. Mackenzie, solicitor, of London, to Sir John Lubbock, M.P., 27 March, 1873.
25 Arthur Heather, from Atimaono, to Consul Miller, 23 June, 1874.
26 The letter was dated 5 October, 1874.
27 Published in Sydney in 1935. Russell was at one time British vice-Consul at Papeete.