Volume 71 1962 > Volume 71, No. 1 > Rarotongan sandalwood: The visit of Goodenough to Rarotonga in 1814, by H. E. Maude and Marjorie Tuainekore Crocombe, p 32-56
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The Visit of Goodenough to Rarotonga in 1814
This paper was presented (in abstract) at the Tenth Pacific Science Congress of the Pacific Science Association, held at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, from 21st August to 6th September, 1961, and sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, and the University of Hawaii.
Mr. Maude, who has published frequently in this Journal, is Senior Fellow in Pacific History at the Australian National University. Mrs. Crocombe, a Rarotongan schoolteacher, has lived for several years in Canberra where her husband has just completed his Ph.D. At the Australian National University.

CRITICISM HAS BEEN DIRECTED of recent years against what has been termed the ethnocentricity of Pacific historians. Probably as a result of their professional training and the availability of their sources, the majority of historical writers have treated their subject matter as a regional extension of imperial history; a story of power politics in which the people of the islands themselves play a largely passive role.

However satisfying the results of these studies may be to the European ego they are likely to appear increasingly unconvincing, and often irrelevant, to the Pacific islander of tomorrow, to whom western political domination will seem merely an aspect of a phase in the totality of his historical development. It is unlikely, furthermore, that the Polynesian, in particular, will continue to ignore the rich store of vernacular source material written by his own people, nor again that he will share European feelings on the sacrosanct character of documentation as against oral tradition.

There is indeed a striking difference between the accounts given by the European and local participants in almost any contact situation; particularly at the outset of European penetration in the South Seas, before any degree of mutual understanding had become possible. Each narrator is naturally apt to see events in the light of his particular cultural norms, ignoring in his narrative much of the behaviour of his own people, as being obvious and natural, while stressing the oddity and unpredictable nature of the other side's reactions. The ‘savage treachery’ on the one side of the coin thus becomes on the other an understandable and praiseworthy retaliation for infractions of the local code of conduct too atrocious for any right-thinking person to condone.

Furthermore, the story as told by each side is necessarily incomplete, since the episode in which they interact is for both only a period in their otherwise separate and distinct histories, and it is only by considering the material available on each of these, in addition to the - 33 episode itself as described from both viewpoints, that one can essay to discover not only what happened but why it happend thus and what were the consequences for both participating groups.

The task of interpreting racial interactions objectively is admittedly not easy, for few historians possess the necessary familiarity with the two languages and cultures involved, while the anthropologists who may be expected to have this advantage usually lack sufficient knowledge of the documentary sources. At least this was the experience of one of the present authors when investigating an episode replete with the misunderstandings and conflicts which characterized early post-contact relations in the islands: the visit of Philip Goodenough and W. C. Wentworth to Rarotonga in the schooner Cumberland during the year 1814. Bit by bit he pieced together the scattered European documentation; but when it was all assembled it was obvious that he had been viewing the game from one side only, and that the resultant narrative of the play was incomplete and prejudiced.

At this juncture, however, he fortunately met his collaborator, a Rarotongan school-teacher who, though unfamiliar with the European literature relating to the episode, was fully conversant with the language, social institutions and political structure of her island. In addition to collecting oral traditions about the visit, she was able to contribute her own translations of vernacular records in those instances where no suitable translations existed and, in the light of her local knowledge, to integrate these sources with those of the European writers.

It is to be hoped that the issue of the literary partnership which ensued will prove to be a more valid and objective study than either of the authors could have produced alone; aided, as they have been, by information and advice kindly supplied by Kivao Rangatira (Nia Rua), Uirangi Mataiapo, Judge H. J. Morgan and others, and by the meticulous documentary research of Ida Leeson, late Mitchell Librarian, to all of whom their joint thanks are due.


In the year 1812 Australia's infant trade with the Pacific Islands was experiencing its first recession. It was still less than a decade old: born when the first cargo of sandalwood and beche-de-mer came from Fiji in 1804 on the 26-ton schooner Marcia, and growing with the import of salt pork from Tahiti, of which there had been about a dozen shipments in colonial bottoms since 1807, and with the commercial exploitation of the Tuamotu pearling grounds a year later. 1

But Fijian sandalwood was becoming increasingly hard to get (in 1810 only one Sydney vessel was engaged in the trade, and the following year none), while the Tahitian civil war which commenced in 1808 had depleted that island of pigs. New Zealand, too, was virtually closed to shipping owing to the Boyd massacre, the news of which reached - 34 Australia in February 1810, after which date for more than three years ‘no master of a vessel would venture for fear of his ship and crew falling a sacrifice to the natives’. 2

There were by now eleven vessels of over 50 tons on the colonial registry, nearly all of them engaged in the South Seas trade or in sealing, and a few others were colonial owned though of British registry. 3 The importance of the South Seas trade to the Colony was obvious for, as Governor Macquarie pointed out: “. . . at present this country is not so fortunate as to furnish almost any one article of its own growth or produce worthy of Export; and the Consequence has been that its efforts to obtain Exports have been turned to the procuring of the Oil, Skins, Shells, etc., which the surrounding Seas and South Sea Islands produce”, and this “at a weighty Expence in the Outfit of the necessary Shipping”. 4

It is not surprising, therefore, to find the Sydney shipowners and the captains of their vessels seeking every opportunity to extend their operations to hitherto unexploited islands; and in particular to discover some untapped supply of sandalwood, the richest cargo of all. The prizes in this intensely competitive trade went to those who could keep their plans secret, while endeavouring to learn what the others were up to.

The most enterprising of the Sydney merchant owners was the emancipist Simeon Lord, who had pioneered the South Pacific sandalwood trade and possessed a share in every other. Knowing from experience the risk to vessel and crew involved in procuring beche-de-mer in Fiji, he directed Captain Michael Fodger, then in his employ as master of the brig Trial, to drop Captain John Burbeck on uninhabited Palmerston Island, with three other Europeans, an American, a Brazilian and several Tahitians, to collect beche-de-mer, shark fins and anything else of commercial value. Burbeck was already familiar with the islands, having been twice to Tahiti in command of the schooner Venus. The party landed on July 15, 1811, commencing the first commercial establishment in the Cook Islands. 5

The Infamous Michael Fodger

A little more than a year later, on September 26, 1812, Fodger left Port Jackson on the brig Daphne for Calcutta, via the Eastern Pacific, where he hoped to pick up a cargo of sandalwood, pearl-shell or other island produce saleable in Bengal. 6

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Although many of the early captains in the island trade had a deserved reputation for toughness, few were of the calibre of Fodger, a predatory scoundrel who evinced throughout the voyage a complete indifference to the rights or feelings of everyone he came into contact with, ashore or afloat.

On his way east Fodger took the Daphne past Palmerston, presumably out of curiosity for the fate of the colony he had left there, and when still seven miles off the island she was boarded by a swimmer who announced that Burbeck and another European were dead and a third speared but possibly alive, while he himself had been hiding in the bush for 13 months. The crew offered to forego their wages and keep on half rations if Fodger would attempt to rescue the wounded European; instead he pressed on to the Austral Group. 7

At Rimatara fourteen of the eighteen natives who visited the ship were driven overboard to drown, while at Raivavae the Chief was taken hostage and eventually ransomed for 1½ tons of sandalwood. Five of the European crew were sent ashore at Tahiti at the point of a revolver, one being shot in the process, with a recommendation to the local chief that they should be stripped naked and have their brains beaten out with stones.

Not surprisingly, Fodger was finally murdered by his Tahitian and Tuamotu divers, aided by a Lascar picked up at Anaa. Six Europeans were spared to navigate the Daphne to Tahiti, the remainder being either killed or marooned.

At Tahiti the Daphne anchored in Matavai Bay where she was retaken by Captain Theodore Walker of the brig Endeavour, engaged in the pork trade. The Polynesian divers got safely ashore, after looting the ship, but Amile the Lascar, who had taken an active part in the mutiny, was captured and hung from the yard-arm, allegedly at Walker's orders. 8

When the Endeavour arrived at Port Jackson the story leaked out and Walker was called on to stand his trial for the murder in England. 9

The Sandalwood Company

The importance of this not very edifying preamble in relation to Rarotongan history lies in the fact that in his preliminary examination by the Sydney magistrate, D'Arcy Wentworth, Walker was directed to produce the log-book of the Endeavour in evidence of what had transpired.

What Wentworth really found of interest in the log was, however, a brief statement of the Endeavour “having discovered on the passage hither a new Island, the situation of which the Master entered in her log-book, with a remark that the Island abounded in Sandal Wood”. - 36 Walker himself, on being questioned, “repeatedly vouched for” the truth of his entry, and even produced a piece of sandalwood in proof. 10

D'Arcy Wentworth was convinced; but as the island trade was out of his line he consulted Garnham Blaxcell, the well-known Sydney entrepreneur and owner of the schooner Cumberland and the brig Governor Macquarie, and Alexander Riley, a brother magistrate with many trade connections. The three were already closely associated as contractors to Governor Macquarie for building the General Hospital in Macquarie Street, commonly known as “The Rum Hospital”, which had proved a most profitable venture.

With these were joined William Campbell, by far the most experienced captain in the island trade and former owner of the Harrington, seized by convicts in 1807, and D'Arcy's son, William Charles Wentworth, later to become one of the most celebrated figures in Australian political history.

The five thereupon formed The Sandal Wood Company to obtain the wood, “by bartering articles of Traffic with the Natives”, for shipment to the China or Manila markets. Owing to the East India Company's monopoly this could only be done in a “free-bottomed vessel”, i.e., one owned or licensed by the Company to trade with its monopoly areas, but as none could be procured it was eventually agreed to charter Blaxcell's schooner Cumberland at a figure of £12 a month payable by each of the other four parties. 11

W. C. Wentworth had contracted a lung complaint as a result of his pioneer crossing of the Blue Mountains with Gregory Blaxland and Lieutenant Lawson the year before and it was believed that a voyage in warmer latitudes might prove beneficial. 12 He was accordingly signed on as supercargo “to take upon himself the management of the traffic with the Natives”, at a salary of £20 a month. 13

The Cumberland was to take as many cargoes of sandalwood as possible at what came to be known as Walker's Island (after the Endeavour's captain) and deposit them at Palmerston Island “in charge of some careful person”. As soon as a free-bottomed vessel could be bought or chartered William Campbell was to sail her to this depot to lift the cargoes to China or Manila, where W. C. Wentworth was to sell them and in turn purchase merchandise for the Sydney market with the profits. For his work Campbell was to receive £50 a month, a prodigious wage for the time; this and other costs, including Blaxcell's charges for outfitting and provisioning the ships (at a commission of 5%), were to be shared equally by the partners, but apparently not till the completion of the enterprise. 14

The Cumberland left Port Jackson on January 20, 1814, with Philip Goodenough as captain. 15 Goodenough had commanded the Endeavour in 1809 and the Brothers in 1811 but his previous experience as captain - 37 or mate had been entirely on the New Zealand coast. He had the reputation of being a hard man, though obviously with a weakness for women, but contemporary records do not suggest that he was the monster of infamy that some later detractors have tried to make out; admittedly he had not the character and standing of William Campbell, but at the same time he was no Fodger. 16

Unfortunately we know the European names of only nine of the crew and passengers: Philip Goodenough (Kurunaki), captain; W. C. Wentworth (Tivini), supercargo and acting mate; John Croker (Taparau), William Travis (Tere) and George Strait (Tiaori), European seamen; Deanyer and Boxho (Kaoa and Kino), Lascar seamen; and Ann Butcher (Nati), the captain's consort. Maretu mentions an additional European seaman, Tumu; a second European woman, Mere; two Tahitians, Te Are and Tomi; and two Tahitian women, Tavai and Tumai. Gill was told that there were 19 Europeans in all; and the Sydney Gazette gives the names of 20 European seamen (in addition to those listed above) as intending to leave on the Cumberland; probably not all of these sailed. 17

It would appear that the brig carried no mate (at least who could navigate) for family tradition asserts that Wentworth assisted the master with his navigational duties, including the taking of sights, having learnt this accomplishment during his earlier visit to England; furthermore, Maretu speaks of him as the first mate. 18

The Cumberland sailed via New Zealand, where the chief Duaterra arranged with him to take on board two of his men, Veretini and Tupe. 19 She should have arrived at Walker's Island during March, although we do not know the exact date.


As we shall see, Walker's Island turned out to be in fact Rarotonga, the principal island of the Cook Group, which had been discovered by Fletcher Christian on the Bounty in 1789, but apparently never sighted since until the Endeavour's visit during September or October 1813; almost certainly no European had ever landed there. 20

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What may be termed the European source material relating to Goodenough's visit to Rarotonga is virtually confined to a half column account given to the Sydney Gazette on the return of the Cumberland to Port Jackson, a few anecdotes concerning Wentworth's part in the expedition in biographies and newspaper articles, and one or two scattered references in later missionary literature. From them one can obtain a picture of what happened, but no idea at all of why it happened other than the usual vague charges of native duplicity and unprovoked attack; a typical summing up being that: “The case was one of many which were of frequent occurrence at the time, almost every vessel that came into port bringing a similar tale of treachery and bloodshed”. 21

Fortunately, however, our sources on the Rarotongan side are much more detailed and specific, and from the fine histories of Maretu, Papehia and Terei, supplemented by more incidental material by Itio and Teariki Taraare, one can reconstruct the main events of the visit with an appreciation of their causation and significance such as Goodenough and Wentworth clearly never possessed at the time. We have been surprised, furthermore, at the extent to which events connected with the expedition are remembered on the island to this day, often in considerable detail, and by the degree of compatability evinced between oral tradition and the primary documentation. If we can now exonerate the people of Rarotonga from the charge of unprovoked aggression, it will serve to remove, a century and a half after the event, one of the many stereotyped allegations of this nature made against the South Sea Islanders.

Rarotonga in 1814

Before proceeding further, however, we must know something of the political set-up on Rarotonga at the time of the Cumberland's stay, for it had an important bearing on the march of events. When Tangiia came from Raiatea and Karika from Manu'a (say about the end of the twelfth century A.D.) they found an earlier group of Polynesian settlers, the Mana'une or Tangata Enua (people of the land), already living on Rarotonga. Much of the island's subsequent history is concerned with the detail of interacting rivalries and alliances between the descendants of these autochthones and the two invading parties, but suffice it to say here that by the time of Goodenough's arrival Rarotonga had become divided politically into three districts: Takitumu in the east, Te Au o Tonga (or Avarua) in the north and Puaikura (or Arorangi) in the west. Though they were autonomous to some degree, there was considerable interaction between districts, and especially between the ariki families, while, owing to shifts of allegiance by lineages near the boundaries of the districts, these had no long-term fixity.

The vaka (tribe) of Takitumu was headed by the joint ariki (high chiefs) Pa, descended from Tangiia's adopted son, and Kainuku, representing the autochthones; Avarua by the ariki Makea, the descendant of - 39 Karika; 22 and Arorangi by the ariki Tinomana, descended from Tangiia's born son Motoro, but through one Rongooe who had been banished to that area during the fifteenth century for his despotic conduct.

Under the ariki were a descending hierachy of mataiapo (chiefs), komono (deputy chiefs), rangatira (minor chiefs), metua (heads of households) and unga (commoners), each mataiapo being the head of a tapere (sub-district), the occupants of which were known collectively as the matakeinanga. Each of the above titleholders headed a descent group which was known as the ngati. 23

Initial Contacts

This then was the setting into which the Cumberland unwittingly sailed: an uneasy balance of power periodically endangered by the competition and intrigues of the rival ariki; a situation, in short, in which it behoved lesser men, and particularly strangers, to tread warily. Knowing nothing of such subtleties, however, Goodenough's main concern was to find a safe anchorage. Approaching the island from the south, the first opening he sighted in the reef was the Avarau passage at Ngatangiia. 24

Here two attempts were made to land in one of the ship's boats, but: “without intending any mischief, the wild, savage, yet delighted natives rushed to the boats and made attempts to secure each one for himself, a white stranger”. 25 Understandably alarmed at this boisterous - 40 welcome the sailors retreated to their boats, firing over the heads of the islanders who, whether in retaliation or because they saw them departing “attacked them with slings, from which they threw round stones 6 lbs. Weight, with surprising dexterity”. 26

Unwilling to give up with the supposed treasures of sandalwood almost within his grasp, Goodenough sailed round to Avarua on the north coast of the island, now the main passages used by shipping; here he was given a friendly welcome by the Ngati Makea, who occupied the district, landing parties going ashore every day for a week, and several of the crew living ashore with the Makea Ariki in their koutu at Araite-Tonga. 27 But he was apparently not satisfied with the exposed nature of the two passages there so, once assured that the Rarotongans were now friendly, he returned to Ngatangiia, entered the harbour and dropped anchor at Vaikokopu. 28

Collecting the ‘Yellow Dye Wood’

Freedom to roam the island soon revealed that there was not, in fact, a single sandalwood tree to be found on all Rarotonga. 29 The fact that Theodore Walker had actually written in the Endeavour's log when passing along the coast that “the island abounded in Sandal Wood” makes it probable that he was mistaken rather than deliberately lying; at a distance Rarotonga shows a luxuriant covering of tropical vegetation and no doubt wishful thinking could detect the sandalwood among the other trees. On the other hand he was certainly lying when he produced a piece of the wood in evidence of his assertion.

In any case it was a bitter blow to Wentworth's hopes and, rather than return to Sydney empty-handed, he decided to load a cargo of the yellow dye wood Morinda citrifolia, known to the Cook Islands Maori as nono. The inner bark scrapings of the roots of this tree were used on Rarotonga, as elsewhere in Polynesia, to produce an effective yellow dye for staining and decorating the local cloth made from the papermulberry, breadfruit or banyan. 30 Wentworth hoped that it would prove equally valuable to commercial dyers in Australia and elsewhere.

Sixty men of Ngatangiia were now engaged to dig up the nono roots and load them on board the brig, payment being made in “tochies, tomahawkes, and other suitable articles”. 31

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Political Involvement

It was only to be expected that rival factions on the island would endeavour to enlist the aid of the visitors and their guns in one of the endemic inter-district feuds, and it seems that while the vessel was still of Avarua, with the Europeans staying at Arai-te-Tonga, Makea Karika asked them to “go and shoot Tinomana and his people”.

Assured that neither Makea nor his followers had any friends in Arorangi:

“Makea Keu and Ngaaio and the Europeans then went to Inave and when they got there, they went inland and on to a mountain. 32 When they got to the ridge Kuti, they stood there and they saw two warriors Numanga and Paenui descend from the mountain. The Europeans aimed their guns which exploded and killed Numanga the son of Tuki. Paenui also was shot dead. When these two men knew that they would die, they ran and did not stop. When Ngoru heard that these two had died, he came from his home at Raopiro and climbed the ridge Tengete and faced towards Makea, Ngaaio and the Europeans. When the Europeans saw Ngoru standing on the ridge they aimed their guns intending to shoot him, Makea grabbed their hands and said to them ‘Do not shoot him, he is my ‘metua’ 33 Then the Europeans turned to Makea Ke'u and said ‘You said that you had no friends here’. So they left off the shooting and turned and went back to Avarua to Arai-tetonga and stayed there. They were not allowed to shoot any more people.” 34

While the marksmen are referred to by the translator as Europeans, the original uses the term papaa (strangers) and it seems evident from Maretu that they were in reality Veretini the Maori and Te Are theTahitian. Maretu asserts that men from Ngatangiia as well as Avarua were engaged in hostilities against Tinomana, that four and not two people were killed and that it was his own father, Tuaivi, a Ngatangiia chief, who stayed the marksman's hand: in general, however, the accounts are in agreement. 35

Gathering Clouds

With the removal to Ngatangiia the visitors came more in contact with the Takitumu people than with those from Avarua. It was not long before trouble began to arise through the Europeans' disregard of native custom, and in particular property rights, the usual cause of friction in the early days of inter-racial contact throughout the Pacific Islands. 36

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The visitors wanted three things: food, women and a commercial cargo; and what they wanted they took with a free hand, not noticeably concerned with the niceties of legal ownership. Maretu makes it clear that in this behaviour they were encouraged, at least at first, by some of the Rarotongans, “who urged the Europeans to steal food and coconuts and pigs”, and that although a few of the women “were chased by the Europeans and forced to live on the ship”, others came willingly enough. 37

The evidence suggests that Pa and Kainuku, the two ariki of the Takitumu district, were prepared to ignore much of what was going on in consideration of the enhanced status which they gained from having such distinguished guests as their special protégés, while at the same time endeavouring to divert their exactions to the neighbouring districts.

The Europeans, furthermore, were ill-served by Duaterra's Maori warriors, Veretini and Tupe, both of whom went ashore to live with the Rarotongans. Veretini married Te Rangi Uira, the daughter of Akamoeau of Kaireva at Avana in Kainuku Ariki's tapere, where he became known as Rangi; while Tupe lived with Veiia, one of Pa's sons, and also married. 38

Tupe in particular appears to have borne some grudge against his former shipmates, possibly owing to his treatment on board the Cumberland, for we are told that 'he taught the people ways of killing the Europeans”. He did not last long, however, for one of Pa's relations, a rangatira named Kurikuri, informed Goodenough and Wentworth of his intrigues; as a result two of the sailors visited Veiia's house at Turangi and, calling Tupe to come out, shot him dead. 39

For interpretation and mediation with the Rarotongans Goodenough's people were, therefore, dependent on the two Tahitian members of the crew, Te Are and Tomi, and it is unlikely that any attention would have been paid to warnings or advice given by them.

The Storm

So long as Goodenough's men confined themselves to seizing the food and women of the unga, or commoners, it is possible that open conflict might have been indefinitely avoided. Public opinion united against the strangers, however, when they extended their amorous intrigues to the wives of the ariki and mataiapo, with some of whom they were accused of committing adultery, and even more reprehensibly, as adding sacrilege to personal injuries, they proceeded to dig up the nono trees which grew in front on the various sacred marae. 40

The final straw was the desecration, on the 12 August 1814, of the marae of Arai-te-Tonga, built on the koutu where the Makea resided and where the Europeans had stayed as guests on their first arrival: “there they took Makea's coconuts from his store house and brought - 43 them to Ngatangiia”. 41 They could hardly have done anything more calculated to give offence not only to the ariki and people of Avarua but, to a lesser degree, throughout Rarotonga, since the importance and sanctity of Arai-te-Tonga was recognized throughout the whole island.

The folly was apparently abetted, if not actually instigated, by Veretini, the tattooed Maori warrior long remembered on the island for his size; and, according to Maretu, the offender thereupon “seized upon pigs, the property of several people, even as far as Arai-te-Tonga, where Makea-metua lived. He seized all that ariki's coconuts and carried them off. The ariki lamented loudly for the loss of his property”. 42

Retribution was swift. Rupe, a half-brother of Makea Tinirau and a noted warrior, pursued the two European seamen, George Strait (Tiaori) and William Travis (Tere), who were engaged in supervising the carrying away of the coconuts, calling out to the people to attack and kill them. Travis was thereupon killed by the people of Titama at Matavera while Strait was despatched at Turangi by the mataiapo Tepuretu and Kamoe of Matavera. 43

Rupe himself killed Veretini at Akamoeau's house at Avana, where he was discovered being deloused by a couple of women while lying in a soporific state after imbibing too much kava. Shortly after, when W. C. Wentworth (Tivini) and a sailor named John Croker (Taparau) came looking for Veretini, the latter was also killed by Rupe. 44 Wentworth “drew and snapped his pistol at the assailant, but it missed fire”, whereupon he took Croker's pistol from his belt and “menacing and menaced, made his way to his boat”. Thus, as an Australian commentator remarks, “our Constitution was saved”! 45

Perhaps the least excusable act of vengeance was perpetrated by Moe who, on hearing of the death of the others, killed the captain's consort Ann Butcher (Nati).

While the written record does not give the reason for the slaying of Nati, the oral traditions of the island fortunately supply the explanation. It appears that Nati had been befriended (though some say seized) by the Ngati Uirangi lineage of the tapere of Areiti and that one of the men of that lineage had taken her as a wife, though whether voluntarily or by force we do not know. The Ngati Uirangi openly boasted of their good fortune in having acquired a European wife and thus aroused the jealousy of the Ngati Tamake'u of Tikioki. The Ngati Tamake'u, it seems, were not then on good terms with the Ngati Uirangi. Moreover, they had no reason to be indebted to the crew of the Cumberland, for as they had not shared in the work of supplying and loading the nono they had little hope of economic gain, and as none of the visitors had befriended them they could not claim the prestige which derived from an established relationship with the strangers from the “other world”.

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When news of the other killings reached their ears, the Ngati Tamake'u despatched a raiding party, led by Moe, to slay poor Nati. According to tradition, she was finally taken at the foot of an ancient chestnut tree which still stands on the inland road in front of the Uirangi homesite. This tree is a well known boundary mark in that tapere and is known to the people as ‘Te I‘i o Nati’ (the chestnut tree of Nati). Accounts vary as to whether she was killed then and there, or whether she was carried off to Tikioki alive by the Ngati Tamake‘u, but all agree that she was thereupon baked in an earth oven, thus qualifying for the unenviable distinction of being the only European woman in all Polynesia to be eaten. “Oh those heathens”, exclaims the pious Maretu, “who felt no sympathy for that good woman”. 46

War and Peace

Though the ariki Pa and Kainuku had nothing to do with the fracas it seemed probable that they would be the chief sufferers in any retaliation. They must have been torn between displeasure at Rupe for touching off an incident which threatened not only their safety but also their hopes of economic gain, and anger at the Europeans for their blatant disregard of custom. In point of fact the two districts soon joined forces and prepared an ambush for the Europeans.

That evening a boat's crew was landed, but the ambush evidently failed, for after a man named Kitikitiakiri of Turangi had been shot “the people fled inland, moving all their belongings and their gods to the mountains, and remained there six days”. 47

Meanwhile the Rarotongans loading the Cumberland, who expected to be killed in revenge after Wentworth brought the news of the massacre, were surprised to find that work was continued as usual and that no harm came to them. 48 Both sides, in fact, saw nothing to be gained by a continuance of hostilities and after a week in the mountains:

“The two ariki went forth to negotiate peace, pigs and kava were the food they took [as a peace offering]. They went to ask the two captains to come ashore. They embraced [lit, pressed noses with] the Europeans and the two captains then they resumed carrying the nono to the ship.” 49

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Shortly afterwards the vessel was loaded to capacity and the workers paid off and returned ashore.

When the Cumberland finally left, she took with her two Rarotongan women and one man: Tapaeru Ariki, the daughter of Rupe and Makea Pori's half-cousin, with her companion Mata Kavaau; and Kupauta. 50 Both Tapaeru and Math Kavaau were women of high rank and Tapaeru at least seems to have been carried away by force; if we can credit Gill's affecting but possibly apocryphal picture of her being dragged to the boats while Rupe “clasped her in his arms, and weeping on her neck, cried to his gods for help”. 51

The motives for taking these people cannot be identified with certainty, but in abducting (apparently as his substitute consort) the daughter of the man ultimately responsible for the eating of his former companion, Ann Butcher, Goodenough may well have been actuated by motives of poetic justice; 52 while Mata Kavaau came as her companion and retainer, and Kupauta apparently as a seaman.

It is easier to conjecture why the women were dropped at Aitutaki shortly afterwards. 53 Six weeks before the Cumberland left Port Jackson, Governor Macquarie had promulgated a Government and General Order dated December 1, 1813, requiring a good behaviour bond of £1,000 from all vessels trading in the Pacific Islands, to be forfeited on commission of a number of stated acts, including the taking from their islands of any male natives without their consent and that of their chiefs, or of female natives without the additional prior consent in writing of the Governor of New South Wales. 54

Now the Cumberland's crew had committed most of the offences specifically mentioned in the bond, including trespass on native property - 46 and interference in local “disputes, quarrels and controversies”, but all this they could rightly expect to get away with as any other ship's crew had done in the past; without witnesses there was simply no means of enforcing justice, even if the Australian courts had possessed the necessary jurisdiction.

But to bring island women to Sydney on board vessels was simply asking for trouble; they could hardly be disguised as members of the crew and, indeed, their purpose on board implied only one explanation, and that not likely to commend itself to the authorities. It is not surprising, therefore, that before sailing for Port Jackson, the women were deposited ashore.


On October 20, 1814, the Cumberland again dropped anchor at Port Jackson, with what must surely have been the most useless cargo ever brought to New South Wales: 60 tons of Polynesian nono wood, for which they were charged a duty of 5/-. 55

In a report to the Sydney Gazette, Goodenough described this as having been obtained at ‘Loratonga’, which he stated with probably deliberate inexactitude to be 16 leagues east of Tongatabu. After giving a brief summary of events on the island and reporting the death of Ann Butcher and his three seamen, he volunteered the opinion that all had been eaten. 56

The ‘Seringapatam’

By that date no less than three other ships had visited Rarotonga, the first being the Seringapatam, which had been taken as a prize by Captain David Porter, of the U.S. Frigate Essex, during the course of the British-American war of 1812-13. Porter brought her to his base at Nukuhiva, in the Marquesas, where on May 6, 1814, the seamen on board as prisoners recaptured her and made sail for Australia.

On May 21, the Seringapatam passed Atiu and, as the following entries from her Journal will show, two days later she evidently passed close to Rarotonga:

“23 Fresh breeses Made an Island name unknown—NW Dist 20 Latt Obs 21 30' Long 160 0'
“24 Calm Natives came alongside we permitted several to Come on Board—they seemed to have no knowledge whatever of ever seeing a Ship or any White Person as they came and smelt of us and seemed to descredit our being alive.” 57

From her general course and position the Seringapatam must have sailed to the south of the island, and therefore past the harbour of Ngatangiia, where the Cumberland was then lying at anchor. That she - 47 did not sight the brig with her sails furled and sheltered by the reef motu is not surprising, but it is likely that she was herself seen by the people on board the Cumberland who, however, were certainly not going to disclose their whereabouts if they could avoid it.

The ‘Campbell Macquarie’

On June 28 the brig Campbell Macquarie (Captain Richard Seddins) 58 was approaching the coast of New South Wales from Bengal, with her owner, the Sydney merchant Joseph Underwood, on board, when she sighted the Seringapatam drifting with light winds and led her into Port Jackson harbour, where she anchored on July 1. 59

Evidently a leakage of information about Goodenough's activities took place soon after the Campbell Macquarie's arrival, for she was immediately discharged and prepared for a sandalwood voyage. Her destination was ostensibly Fiji, but instead of proceeding there:

“On the 25th of August she made Walker's Island, where Captain Seddins had received information that wood was to be procured: but here, after a friendly intercourse with the natives for some days, he found only a species of yellow wood, which though apparently possessed of a dyeing quality, he did not think proper to risque lading with. He afterwards touched at Palmerston's Islands, and at Tongataboo; at neither of which he made any stay.” 60

In other words the Campbell Macquarie must have arrived at Rarotonga only a few days after Goodenough and Wentworth had left.

It would be nice to think that Seddins had been tipped off about the Cumberland by the grateful crew of the Seringapatam, but it seems evident that they knew nothing; Theodore Walker, still awaiting trial, knew about the Rarotonga venture but probably not about the Palmerston depot; and on the whole it would seem most likely that the leakage was through a member of the Sandalwood Company, all of whom no doubt had business connections with Joseph Underwood.

The ‘Governor Macquarie’

In the meantime Blaxcell and William Campbell had persisted with the original plan of the partners to send a second vessel to the Cook Islands in order to ship Wentworth's anticipated stock-pile of sandalwood and revictual the Cumberland to enable her to collect further shipments; but not being able to secure one with a ‘free bottom’ Blaxcell - 48 decided to send Campbell in another of his own ships, the brig Governor Macquarie. D'Arcy Wentworth and Riley, however, declined to contribute funds towards her outfit. 61

On the return of the brig from the Tuamotus with a cargo of pearl-shell she was accordingly refitted and left “for Otoheite, and the neighbouring islands” on August 28. 62 She duly called at Rarotonga, whose inhabitants must have been getting a bit tired of seeing ships and hearing enquiries about sandalwood, and probably at Palmerston. But she did not linger unnecessarily at either, for before leaving Port Jackson the astute William Campbell had picked up an item of waterside gossip worth far more than anything Wentworth was likely to have found: the news of plentiful sandalwood in the Marquesas.

This tip was almost certainly obtained from the crew of the Seringapatam, for although the Americans had been obtaining sandalwood from the Marquesas since 1810, when Rogers discovered it on Nukuhiva, not a word had hitherto percolated to the Australian ships trading in all the other archipelagos of the Eastern Pacific. 63

Sandalwooding was like gold mining, however, and once news of a strike reached Sydney the race was apt to be on with the choicest prizes to those who got there first. Campbell certainly lost no time, but was back in Port Jackson on February 23, 1815, with a cargo of 59 tons of Marquesan sandalwood worth £4,000 and a large quantity of miscellaneous loot from the wrecks of Porter's prizes. 64

It was only then, apparently, that Campbell's rivals realized what was afoot, but before the year was ended five colonial ships were operating in the Marquesas and Campbell was obtaining his, third cargo at Nukuhiva. Thus commenced the Australian Marquesas sandalwood trade.

Dissolution of the Sandalwood Company

Campbell's return resulted in the break-up of the Rarotonga Company, for Blaxcell, who was in financial straits, refused to share the profits of the Governor Macquarie's voyage with the other partners on the grounds that D'Arcy Wentworth and Riley had declined to contribute to the cost and that in any event when in the Marquesas she was engaged ‘on a different speculation’. 65 W. C. Wentworth, who had a better case than Riley and his father, since he was away on the Company's business at the time of Blaxcell's requisitions and so could not be held to have with drawn from the undertaking, commenced legal proceedings against Blaxcell, but nothing seems to have come of it. 66 This may well have been because Blaxcell rapidly became insolvent and - 49 two years later absconded from the country, only to die on the voyage to England.

As far as Riley and the Wentworths were concerned, any slender hopes that might still remain of making a profit from the activities of the Sandalwood Company now rested on the commercial value of the Cumberland's cargo of nono wood. These, too, were soon extinguished for the wood proved quite unsaleable either in Australia or abroad.

In desperation Alexander Riley wrote to his brother Edward, a merchant in Calcutta:

“My dear Edward—I send you by Capt. McFarlane a sample of Yellow Dye Wood procured at one of the Eastern Islands by a vessell sent by Blaxcell, Wentworth and myself after Sandal Wood, but there being none procurable young Wentworth, who had charge of the Party, filled the Brig with this Article and I shall not be surprized if it is somewhat desirable to the Dyers as it gives a most brilliant yellow to silk, cotton & wool in various shades. There is around 40 tons of it. Pray have it tried by some experienced dyer and let me know the probable value.” 67

No reply can be traced, and indeed Edward Riley left India shortly afterwards to join his brother in Sydney; it would seem that young Wentworth's “Dye Wood”eventualy rotted away, or was used to kindle the fires of early Sydney.

Sydney Sequels

One can well believe that the partners, and particularly W. C. Wentworth, now wanted nothing more than to forget all about the unfortunate voyage of the Cumberland. Ugly rumours of what had transpired in Rarotonga began to circulate on the waterfront and soon reached the ears of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, who had only a year before been instrumental in forming the “New South Wales Society, for affording Protection to the Natives of the South Sea Islands, and promoting their Civilization”. 68

Hearing that “the most dreadful murders had been committed on one of the islands by some of the people belonging to the Cumberland” and being informed by the New Zealand chief, Duaterra, who was then on a visit to Sydney, that one of his two henchmen had been killed by a European, he called the first business meeting of the Society. 69

Marsden did his best to urge a general enquiry into the proceedings of the Cumberland at Rarotonga, but to no avail:

“Some of the members attended and some did not. At the meeting many objections were started against examining into any of the transactions of the Cumberland while she was amongst the islands. I used every Argument I could to prevail upon the Committee to hear what I had got to say, and to examine the witnesses I had to bring to prove the facts, agreable to the resolutions entered into at the first formation of the Society: but to little purpose—one could not because he was part owner, another was interested some other way, hear any evidence - 50 or examine in any way into the Business. Several Europeans as well as natives had been killed, but no notice whatever was taken of the death of the Europeans even. I have no doubt, had the Committee allowed me to have investigated this Subject, but an horrid Scene of Rapine, murder and Violence would have been laid open to the public eye . . . Tho’ Duaterra attended the meeting and wished to know the Cause of the death of the man whom he had Committed to the care of the Master; and several of the Crew belonging to the Cumberland had been killed and one Otaheitian, yet the matter would not bear examination. The whole was hushed up in Silence and remained so to this very day. All that Duaterra could learn was that his man had been shot by one of the Ship's Company, but for what reason he was not told.” 70

The result is hardly surprising in view of the fact that three of the twelve members of the Society's General Committee were Garnham Blaxcell, Alexander Riley and D'Arcy Wentworth, and the remainder for the most part their business associates. 71

Attempts to bring Theodore Walker to account for the alleged crime which inaugurated the whole episode were no more successful, but retribution caught up with him a few years later when he was found dead in his cabin; “smothered in liquor”, to quote the unkind verdict of the Sydney Gazette. 72

Repercussions on, Rarotonga

Now that Rarotonga was found to possess neither sandalwood nor any other product of commercial importance, it was soon forgotten by the outside world; and since no one had seen fit to report its position to the cartographers, it remained unrecorded on any chart. As a consequence, whenever it was sighted by some passing ship, the captain regarded it as a new discovery, and the Walker's Island of the sandalwooders became the Oruruti Island (lat. 21° 18' S; long. 160° 00'E) of the Tahiti-born Captain William Henry, the Armstrong Island (lat. 21° 21' S; long. 158° 56' E) of the Americans and the Roxburgh Island (lat. 21° 36' S; long. 159° 40'E) of Captain White of the Medway. 73

On the island itself, however, the Cumberland had been like a pebble thrown into the lagoon of Rarotongan society. The pebble disappeared after a momentary splash, but it set in motion a series of waves which, though considerable at the point of contact, were of less significance in the more remote areas of the island. The waves of change were not even and regular, but modified here by particular structural features of the surrounding culture and there by the existence of political currents, and again in other parts running in unexpected eddies where obstacles were encountered.

The rivalry between the tribes took a new turn; Ngatangiia was provided with an adequate rationale for exacting vengeance from Avarua when, following the death of the mataiapo Manavaroa of Avana, - 51 Kainuku and Makea became involved in a quarrel over which of them should take his wife. In the ensuing battle Rupe, who had incited Avarua to action against the Cumberland and its hosts the people of Ngatangiia, was slain. The victorious Takitumu tribe laid bare the Avarua district, burning their houses and plundering their crops. 74 The Avarua tribe was then banished to the western side of the island, where they remained for seven years before peace was again restored and they were able to resume the occupation of their own territory. 75

Fortunately for them, the Avarua harbour proved to be less exposed to the south-east trades than the anchorage at Vaikokopu, favoured by Goodenough, and possession of what came to be the accepted commercial port enabled the Makeas, like the Pomare dynasty on Tahiti, to become the primus inter pares among the ariki, a position which was in later years at least tacitly accepted by the others and more explicitly by the missionaries. This political dominance was in practice acquiesced in by the British and New Zealand governments and has subsisted to some degree to the present day.

The Cumberland's visit, the details of the incidents with which it was involved, and the political repercussions outlined above were recorded and preserved in the traditional manner by the island's sages, the are korero, and in less esoteric versions, in the historical chants or pe'e. 76

But apart from these effects, which merely involved reactions along traditional lines, there were also repercussions of a different order which foreshadowed in miniature the cultural impact which was to follow as the wave of European expansion spread and intensified throughout the Pacific. Concepts of commerce and wage labour, strange techniques and artefacts, new knowledge and the awareness of a powerful monotheistic religion were all introduced in embryo by the Cumberland and her crew.

Though the roots of the nono were the source of a dye and its fruits could be eaten in times of famine, the tree was so plentiful in its natural state that it could hardly have been of importance in the island economy. That the Europeans' scale of values should apparently have been so different from theirs was confirmed by the visit of the next trading vessel, which apparently sought to purchase the expressed juice of the ti (cordyline terminalis); 77 and subsequently by the whole gamut of European commercial relations.

As we would expect, the sight of more efficient tools and other useful articles soon stimulated a demand among the Rarotongan people - 52 to possess these things themselves. The ship itself, the first they had examined at close hand, set new levels of aspirations for status-conscious chiefs as well as for the indigenous craftsmen. In succeeding years each of the districts acquired its own European-style vessels and the canoe-makers craft was adapted to the new art of ship-building.

The seamen on the Cumberland were apparently accorded relatively free access to Rarotongan women and, though neither tradition nor manuscript records the details, we can be reasonably certain that it was these men who introduced the first infusion of non-Polynesian blood to the island, an element which was to increase rapidly as a result of the subsequent visits of whalers, traders and settlers, until today probably the whole population of the island contains at least a trace of it.

Some of the descendants of the women abducted by Goodenough, born of Aitutakian fathers, later claimed rights to land in their maternal lineages of origin on Rarotonga and constituted the first known instances on the island of persons born of absent relatives claiming rights to lineage lands. The Rupe lands, in which some of Tapaeru's Aitutakian issue later claimed rights, became an issue of protracted dispute for some decades. And with the coming of European shipping and the increased mobility of population, such claims by absentees through uterine connections became frequent and later developed into one of the most contentious causes of land disputes.

When the missionary John Williams called at Aitutaki in 1823 in the schooner Endeavour, he met Tapaeru Ariki, as well as some other Rarotongans who had drifted to the island by canoe some years earlier, 78 and he accordingly determined to find and convert the island, which he already knew of from the traditions of the people of Raiatea. As the Rarotongans were “anxiously awaiting an opportunity to return home, to make known to their deluded friends and countrymen the wonderful tidings of which they were in possession”, Williams took them aboard and set out to find the island. 79

His eventual success, thanks to accurate sailing directions given by the ariki Rongomatane of Atiu, is one of the most publicized feats of missionary exploration; and in the course of time he came to be considered the discoverer of Rarotonga. 80 Even Williams himself seemingly acquiesced on occasion in this view, for example, in his famous Missionary Enterprises he states that “This splendid island escaped the untiring researches of Captain Cook, and was discovered by myself, in 1823”. 81

The Raiatean missionary, Papehia, was left on Rarotonga and his phenomenal success in converting the island is well known. It was Goodenough's visit, however, that paved the way for conversion in the first place by making the Rarotongans aware of the existence of people with material possessions and techniques markedly superior to their - 53 own and thus eminently worth acquiring; that these were due to the superiority of their gods could scarcely admit of doubt.

“The word that was brought on that ship by Veretini and Te Are was the name of God. These were the names—Jehovah and Jesus Christ; he was the mightiest God in heaven and earth.” 82

One of the Tahitian women on board had also apparently spoken of the European marvels that she had seen on her island and that “the servants of Jehovah, and Jesus Christ, the white man's God, had come and were still residing there”. 83

The result of this propaganda, coupled by the visual evidences of superiority to be found on theCumberland, was that:

“The king, Makea, called one of his children “Tehovah” (Jehovah), and another “Teeteetry” (Jesus Christ). An uncle of the king, whom we hope is at this time a truly good man, erected an altar to Jehovah and Jesus Christ, and to it persons afflicted with all manner of diseases were brought to be healed; and so great was the reputation which this marae obtained, that the power of Jehovah and Jesus Christ became great in the estimation of the people.” 84

A more direct effect of Goodenough's visit, however, was the fact that it was Tapaeru, who had been converted to Christianity on Aitutaki, who protected Papehia throughout his early days on Rarotonga; this she was able to do through being the close relative of Makea Karika, who “promised his protection to her friend”. The men, Tairi and Teiro, who had been returned with her, also did all they could to support Papehia:

“The visitors stayed at Tuituika-moana and taught the heathens the word of God. Tairi went to Ngatangiia to do his teaching there because he was from there. Teiro, Vataua and Papehia remained at Tuituikamoana . . . Tairi and Te Iro told the people that the people of Aitutaki had burnt their heathen gods and their “maraes” were now living in peace and were ardent believers in the word of God which the strangers had taught them.” 85

“But for Tapaeru”, said the new teacher after their first night ashore, “we should not have been alive this morning”; 86 and indeed it seems unlikely that the Gospel could have been introduced into Rarotonga without bloodshed had it not been for the visit of the Cumberland nine years before—an outcome which would have astonished the partners of the first and only Sandalwood Company of Rarotonga.

- 54
  • BARTON, G. B., 1897. “The True Story of Margaret Catchpole.” Article XX. Evening News [Sydney], 10/7/1897, et. seq.
  • — — 1898. “Australian Biography. The Life and Times of William Charles Wentworth, Patriot, Orator and Statesman.” The Australian Star, 19/11/1898, et. Seq.
  • BOURNE, R. And WILLIAMS, John, 1823. Voyage to Hervey Islands. London Missionary Society, South Sea Journals, Box 5. London, L.M.S. Archives.
  • BUCK, Peter H., 1944. Arts and Crafts of the Cook Islands. Honolulu, Bernice P. Bishop Museum (Bulletin 179).
  • CAMPBELL, William, 1815. Letter to W. S. Davidson re Sandalwood Obtained at Hivaway [?] and Shipped on [Duke of] Wellington to China, March 16, 1815. Macarthur Papers, vol. 4, p. 44. Mitchell Library MS. A2900.
  • CHEESEMAN, Thomas F., 1903. “The Flora of Rarotonga, the chief island of the Cook Group.” Trans. Of the Linnean Society of London, 2nd ser., vol. VI—Botany—Part VI (May, 1903), pp. 261-313.
  • COOK ISLANDS ADMINISTRATION, n.d. ‘Historical facts pertaining to the Cook Islands.” MS. In secretariat file 11/19, Rarotonga.
  • CRAMP, K. R., 1923. William Charles Wentworth—Exporer, Scholar, Statesman. 3rd ed. Sydney, Vaucluse Park Trust.
  • CROCOMBE, R. G., 1961. Land Tenure in the Cook Islands. MS. Thesis for Ph.D., Australian. National University.
  • ELDER, J. R., (ed.), 1932. The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden. Dunedin.
  • GILL, William, 1856. Gems from the Coral Islands; or, incidents of contrast between Savage and Christian Life of the South Sea Islanders. Vol. II. Eastern Polynesia: comprising the Rarotonga Group, Penrhyn Islands, and Savage Island. London, Ward and Co.
  • GOSSET, Ralph W. G., 1940. “Notes on the Discovery of Rarotonga.” The Australian Geographer, 3, 8 (August, 1940):4-15.
  • HENDRIKE, A., 1813. Affidavit of Nov. 16, 1813, re events at Palmerston and during cruise of “Daphne”. Col. Sec. In-letters, Bundle 7 (1913), pp. 298303. Mitchell Library MS. 4/1728.
  • HENRY, W., 1813. Letter from W. Henry, Justice of the Peace for Otaheite and the Adjacent Islands, to Governor Macquarie, Eimeo, Nov. 16. 1813. Col. Sec. In-letters, Bundle 7 (1813), pp. 292-297. Mitchell Library MS. 4/1728.
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  • HOADLEY, Samuel E., 1812a. Deposition of Oct. 28, 1812, before M. Fodger (Capt.) on “Daphne” re events on Palmerston and murder of Captain Bearbeck. Col. Sec. In-letters, Bundle 7 (1813), pp. 210-212. Mitchell Library MS. 4/1728.
  • — — 1812b. Affidavit of Dec. 15, 1812, before W. Henry re events on Palmerston and murder of Captain Bearbeck. Col. Sec. In-letters, Bundle 7 (1813), pp. 198-204. Mitchell Library MS. 4/1728.
  • Howe's Weekly Commercial Gazette and Miscellaneous Intelligeneer [Sydney], 1825.
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  • ITIO, 1870. “Extracts from the Papers of the late Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, Ll.D.—No. 13. E akatara, no te tamaine a Rupe i te riroanga ki te pai o Kurunake.” Journal of the Polynesian Society, 20 (Dec., 1911): 195-196.
  • KRUSENSTERN [Adam Ivan von], 1835. Supplémens au Recueil de mémoires hydrographiques, publiés en 1826 et 1827, pour servir d'analyse et d'explication a L'atlas de l'Océan Pacifique. St. Petersberg, A. Pluchart.
  • LAWS OF RAROTONGA, 1879. Made by the Council of Arikis, by Makea, Karika, Tinomana, Pa and Kainuku. Rarotonga, Mission Press.
  • MCNAB, Robert (ed.), 1908. Historical Records of New Zealand. 2 vols. Wellington, Government Printer.
  • MARETU, 1873. “Extracts from the Papers of the late Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, Ll.D.—No. 14. E tuatua no te Kai-tangata i Rarotonga [A Word about Cannibalism at Rarotonga]”, translated by Stephen Savage. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 20 (Dec., 1911):196-209.
  • — — n.d. “Extract from the Papers of the late Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, Ll.D.—No. 13. Ko te taenga mai o te pai o Kurunaki ki Rarotonga, i te Mataiti, 1820 [The Coming of Goodenough's ship to Rarotonga in 1820]. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 20 (Dec., 1911):189-195.
  • — — 1871. MS. On Rarotongan history. Polynesian Society, Wellington.
  • MARSDEN, Samuel, 1815. Letter to Rev. J. Pratt, Secretary, Church Missionary Society re allegations made against the crew of the schooner “Cumberland”, Oct. 26, 1815. Hocken Library, Dunedin, MS. 55/35.
  • MAUDE, H. E., 1958. “In Search of a Home.” Journal of the Polynesian Society, 67:104-131.
  • — — 1959. “The Tahitian Pork Trade: 1800-1830.” Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 15:55-95.
  • MUNROE, Mark, 1811. The Petition of Mark Munroe to Ellis Bent, Esq., Judge Advocate of the Territory of New South Wales. New South Wales Supreme Court papers, Bundle 26, no. 53. Mitchell Library (Archives).
  • NATIVE LAND COURT, RAROTONGA, n.d. Minute Books 1 and 9 in the Native Land Court Records, Rarotonga.
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  • NUMA, John A., n.d. MS. On Cook Islands History, Australian National University.
  • PAPEHIA, c. 1830. MS. On the introduction of Christianity to Rarotonga. Polynesian Society Library, Wellington, N.Z.
  • PITMAN, Charles, 1839. Ko Tiare (George) and Nati (Nancy) eaten by Rarotongans. Letter dated Aug. 10, 1839, in London Missionary Society Correspondence: South Seas, Box 12. London, L.M.S. archives.
  • PROUT, Ebenezer, 1843. Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. John Williams, Missionary to Polynesia. London, J. Snow.
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  • SANDALWOOD COMPANY, 1814. Articles of Agreement concerning the Sandalwood Company, January—, 1814. Mitchell Library, Wentworth Papers A752, pp. 97-100.
  • Seringapatam, 1814. Journal of the ship Seringapatam from the island Nooevah towards Port Jackson, 6 May to June 22, 1814. Anonymous MS. Written on the back of two charts, Nos. 8 and 9 of Arrowsmith's Chart of the Pacific Ocean in 9 sheets. Mitchell Library MS X980/7.
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  • WALKER, Theodore, 1814. Petition to Governor of New South Wales for re-examination re death of Lascar at Tahiti, Jan. 3, 1814. Col. Sec. In-letters, Bundle 8 (1814), pp. 5-6. Mitchell Library MS. 4/1728.
  • WENTWORTH, W. C., 1815. Letter to T. Moore on the affairs of the Sandalwood Company, June 4, 1815. Mitchell Library, Wentworth Papers A756, pp. 5-11.
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1   The ships engaged in the Tahitian pork trade before 1804 were either Government or English owned.—Maude 1959:58-65.
2   Elder 1932:62.
3   New South Wales Pocket Almanac 1814. At this early date most of the whalers were from England, with a few Americans, though the largest of the colonial vessels, the 186 ton King George, was engaged from time to time in whaling.
4   Governor Macquarie to Earl Bathurst, 15/5/1817.—Historical Records of Australia (Ser. I) IX:401.
5   Hoadley 1812a:1; 1812b:1-2.
6   Hendrike 1813:1-6. Fodger had been to the Tuamotus the previous year on the Trial. Owners of the Daphne were Michael Fodger and Joseph James, both licensed mariners of Calcutta, and Garnham Blaxcell of Sydney (later partner in the Sandalwood Company).
7   When Captain R. S. Walker visited Palmerston in the brig Governor Macquarie during March or April, 1813, he found a quantity of collected beche-de-mer “in a spoiling state”; but of the inhabitants there was not a trace.—Sydney Gazette, 8/5/1813.
8   Hendrike 1813:6-7; Henry 1813.
9   Historical Records of Australia (Ser. I) VIII:96-108.
10   Wentworth 1815:1.
11   Sandalwood Company 1814:1.
12   Barton 1898; Cramp 1923:5-6.
13   Sandalwood Company 1814:2.
14   Sandalwood Company 1814:2-4; Wentworth 1815:5.
15   Sydney Gazette, 22/1/1814.
16   One can gain some indication as to his character from Munroe, 1811; his main missionary critic is Gill 1856:7-9, but for an adverse opinion by a layman see Cheeseman 1903:261. The last two, of course, based their views on hearsay only.
17   Sydney Gazette, 6/11/1813, 13/11/1813, 20/11/1813, 27/11/1813, 4/12/1813, 11/12/1813, 18/12/1813, 1/1/1814, 22/10/1814; Maretu n.d.:193; Gill 1856:7. George Strait was not listed among those intending to leave, as required by law, but he may have joined the ship in New Zealand.
18   Barton 1898; Maretu 1871:1. Maretu uses the term “rangatira paraparau”—literally “talking captain”.
19   These were “committed to the care of the Master” and it would seem probable that they were to be disembarked at Port Jackson to visit Duaterra's friend, the Rev. Samuel Marsden.—Marsden 1815. For a memoir of the celebrated Bay of Islands chief see McNab 1908:I:338-346.
20   Maude 1958:121-124. Two canoes visited the Bounty and their occupants went on board to barter fowls, coconuts and bananas; no contact with the Endeavour has been recorded.
21   Barton 1897.
22   Not long before Goodenough's visit the Makea title had been divided between the eldest sons of the then Makea's three wives under the separate titles of Makea Nui (or Makea Pini), Makea Karika and Makea Vakatini. The following diagram shows the relationship between the various Makeas referred to in this article.
Family Tree. Makea te Pa Tua Kino (m), = 1st wife, = 2nd wife, = 3rd wife Makea Pini (later known as the Makea Nui line), Makea Karika, Makea Vakatini, Makea Tinirau (referred to by Maretu as Makea Metua) died 1826, Makea Ke'u, Makea Pori, died 1837

The name of the original titleholder became a heritable title name to which the personal name of the particular holder was sometimes added for clarification.
23   For a more detailed analysis of Rarotongan pre-contact history see Crocombe 1961. There were neither mataiapo nor komono in the Avarua district at that time.
24   Avarau is the name given to the passage into Ngatangiia Harbour, famed in tradition as the departure point of the Maori migrations to New Zealand.
25   Gill 1856:6-9. This anxiety to secure a visiting foreigner as a friend persisted until much later times, as shown for example by Law 21 of the Laws of Rarotonga 1879, where it was laid down that: “When a boat comes to the shore people must not rush into the water and take hold of the foreigner and crowd him. When he is on shore that is the time to receive him as a friend”.
26   Sydney Gazette, 22/10/1814.
27   Terei 1908:44. A koutu (or more strictly speaking a Koutu-ariki) was the official seat or Court of an ariki, who resided there with members of his family and other important functionaries.
28   Vaikokopu, lit. “water of the mountain trout”, is the point in the Ngatangiia Harbour where the Avana stream enters the lagoon.
29   Neither Cheeseman 1903, nor Wilder 1931, mention the sandalwood tree as growing on Rarotonga, and so far as we know it does not grow anywhere else in the Cook Group with the possible exception of Mitiaro, where there are small clumps of a tree considered by some to be sandalwood.
30   For the manufacture and use of nono dye in the Cook Islands see Buck 1944:71-74.
31   Sydney Gazette, 22/10/1814. “Tochies” were the adzes and axes used in the early South Seas trade. “Toki” is the indigenous Rarotongan (and New Zealand Maori) word for a stone axe and appears to have been applied by early traders to imported axes as well.
32   By Ngaaio is meant the Ngaaio people of the Takuvaine Valley in Avarua, who accompanied Makea Karika on the expedition.
33   Metua = classificatory father. It seems highly probable that Ngoru was sent by Tinomana just because he was closely related to Makea Karika.
34   Terei 1908:44-5 (as translated by Tai Tekeu). Makea Ke'u was the then holder of the Makea Karika Ariki title.
35   Maretu 1871:9(b). The first and second assertions are probable enough, but the last is unlikely. Terei's account of the episode is by far the most detailed.
36   e.g. On Tubuai a quarter of a century earlier.—Maude 1958:106-116.
37   Maretu 1871:3.
38   Maretu 1871:10. It has been argued that Tupe was not his original name, but a marriage name given to him, in accordance with Rarotongan) custom, by the Tupe branch of the Pa family into which he married.
39   loc. cit.
40   Maretu 1871:10. The marae were the centres where the religious activities of the lineage groups were held.
41   Maretu 1871:4.
42   Maretu 1873:207. Makea Metua was an alternative name for Makea Tinirau.
43   Titama is a tapere in Matavera. Turangi a tapere in Ngatangiia. Both are part of the Takitimu district.
44   Itio 1870:196; Maretu 1871:4-7. Avana is a tapere in Ngatangiia, close to the Cumberland's anchorage.
45   Sydney Gazette, 22/10/1814.
46   Maretu 1871:7 (b). Rarotongan informants have suggested that Ann Butchers was called Nati because she wore her hair in a ‘bun’ (known locally as a nati). Nati were commonly worn by men, but never by women and, following the custom of naming persons after some distinguishing peculiarity, it seems likely enough that the Rarotongans chose Nati as the obvious name for Ann. It may also be worth noting here that Judge Morgan was told (by Samuela Ariki of Mauke) that an uninscribed memorial stone beside the pathway to the Oiretumu church on that island was erected as a memorial to Nati, though it is hard to imagine why this should have been done.
47   Maretu 1871:8(b).
48   Presumably Goodenough and Wentworth realized that any reprisals would effectively prevent them from loading what they hoped would prove a valuable cargo, and that a counter-attack from the shore would probably cut them off before they could get under way.
49   Maretu 1871:8(b). The “two captains” were Goodenough and Wentworth, the latter being referred to earlier as “talking captain”.
50   Maretu 1871:9(a). Two other sources (Bourne and Williams 1823:24 and Terei 1908:45) suggest that Goodenough also took Tairi and Teiro to Aitutaki, but Maretu explains that these two men had travelled to Aitutaki on a canoe belonging to Tuaeu—Maretu, 1871:39.
51   Gill 1856:8. The relationship of Tepaeru Ariki to the Makea chiefs is shown by adding the following to the genealogical table in footnote 22:
Family Tree. Makea Pini (m), = 1st wife (Pare Akatea), = 2nd wife (Ngamarama Apai), Makea Tinirau (and others), Rupe (and others), Makea Pori, Tepaeru

Ngamarama Apai (the mother of Rupe and wife of Makea Pini) had been the third wife of Makea Pini's father prior to his death. Mata Kavaau was the daughter of Kainuku Tainoko Ariki and one of his subsidiary wives named Putaerere.
52   Sterndale 1884:53.
53   Gill says two days later, but cites no authority; writing when he did, he could conceivably have obtained his information from one of the voyagers.—Gill 1856:21. “Kupauta was taken on to Panipe, where he stayed, learning the word of God there. It is said that he was returned and left at Tupuai where he married many wives. There he died”.—Maretu 1871:9(a). Panipe is the Rarotongan name for Botany Bay (Sydney) while Tupuai is located in the Austral Group.
54   McNab 1908:1:316-318.
55   Naval Officers' Quarterly Reports, 1814.
56   Sydney Gazette, 22/10/1814.
57   Seringapatam 1814. The traditional Cook Islands greeting known as ongi, in which noses are pressed or rubbed together on meeting, has already been mentioned as sealing the reconciliation between the ariki Pa and Kainuku and the crew of the Cumberland.
58   This was a brig of 133 tons, built at Hobart in 1813 and called after Underwood's former Campbell Macquarie, which had been lost at Macquarie Island the previous year. There was another brig by the same name engaged in the South Seas trade during 1814 under Captain William Burnett. Siddons is the correct spelling of the captain's name—lm Thurn and Lockerby 1925:163.
59   Sydney Gazette, 2/7/1814.
60   Sydney Gazette, 11/3/1815. As already noted, Walker's Island was the name given to Rarotonga in 1813, after Captain Theodore Walker, who was considered to have discovered it. Im Thurn, in his Introduction to Lockerby's Journal, identifies Walker's Island as being “on the extreme west of the Fiji Group”, but this is clearly an error.—Im Thurn and Wharton 1925:c.
61   On the grounds that it had been originally agreed that no funds were to be required, except for the purchase or hire of a free-bottomed vessel, until the end of the venture, Blaxcell in the meantime acting as ship's husband on a commission of 5%.—Wentworth 1815:3-5.
62   Sydney Gazette, 3/9/1814.
63   Roquefeuil 1823:52.
64   Sydney Gazette, 25/2/1815.
65   Wentworth 1815:4.
66   Wentworth 1815:1-7.
67   Riley 1814.
68   The New South Wales Society . . . 1813.
69   Marsden 1815.
70   loc. cit.
71   Sydney Gazette, 22/1/1814.
72   Sydney Gazette, 27/5/1824.
73   Krustenstern 1835:15; Howe's Weekly Commercial Express and Miscellaneous Intelligencer, 15/8/1825.
74   This chapter of events is described in detail by Maretu 1871:15-22.
75   This is confirmed by oral tradition which refers to the period of banishment as “itu kuru, itu paroro” (seven summers or seasons of plenty and seven winters or seasons of scarcity).
76   One such pe'e about this incident is recorded by Itio 1870:195-6. Oral tradition also blames the Cumberland for first introducing fleas on Rarotonga.—Gosset 1940:14.
77   Maretu describes the visit but does not give the name of the ship. The captain is referred to as Piti but his identity has not yet been established.—Maretu 1871:134.
78   Maretu 1871:39.
79   Williams 1838:56-58.
80   e.g. By his biographer Prout, who argues that he was the discoverer because he did not know its position.—Prout 1843:184-186.
81   Williams 1838:19.
82   Maretu 1871:2.
83   We accept the identification of the woman mentioned by Williams, who had “by some means or other, been conveyed from the island of Tahiti to Rarotonga”, with one (or both) of the Tahitian women reported by Maretu to have been on the Cumberland.—Williams 1838:106; Maretu 1871:1.
84   Williams 1838:107.
85   Terei 1908:50. Tuituikamoana, slightly inland from the Avarua harbour, is now occupied by the central fruit-packing warehouse.
86   Gill 1856:24.