Volume 82 1973 > Volume 82, No. 1 > Resistance and collaboration in French Polynesia: the Tahitian war: 1844-7, by Colin Newbury, p 5-27
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While there is a growing body of literature on “resistance” movements in Africa and elsewhere, there has been little attempt to study the complex reactions to European settlement in the Pacific, by comparing and analysing periods of armed revolt. The African examples, indeed, may well serve as a warning against the construction of premature “typologies”, when not enough case studies have been prepared. 1 Nevertheless, the Pacific historian might look with advantage at the problems revealed in the African field. Three principal difficulties emerge, familiar enough in themselves, but unresolved in respect of comparative conclusions about resistance in a wide variety of societies. One historian has stressed “ambiguity towards modernization”, in the context of East and Central African revolts, to account for “repudiation but also desire; a rejection of white mastery but a longing for African control of modern sources of wealth and power in an African environment”. 2 But how is one to measure this “ambiguity”, in terms of trade, conversion to Christianity, or the introduction of alien laws and institutions? Does it mean little more than hostility in race relations, summed up in the words of an early Maori nationalist, Wiremu Tamihana: “I like your laws, it is your men that I do not like”? 3 Was it ever possible for Melanesian or Polynesian societies to make a “selection” from European technology and ideas, without falling under the influence, informal or formal, of the technicians and ideologists of European “civilisation”?

Secondly, where there are well documented examples of military resistance, African historians have difficulty in explaining “mobilisation” among fragmented social units, without falling victims to “plot” theories in contemporary European sources. The analysis requires some knowledge - 6 of co-operation between larger political units and also their rivalries. Even where such knowledge is available, usually from later anthropological or administrative studies, it is not always clear just how the dynamics of integration in resistance movements worked prior to armed revolt. Religious cults may be relevant, as in Central African cases or in the latter stages of the Maori war. But such cults may also be the product of, rather than prototypes for, unsuccessful military revolts. Failing a clear account of the origins of armed conflict, there is a tendency to obscure the historical problem by assuming a “nationalism” which is manifested by later techniques of political mobilisation.

Thirdly, there is the inconvenient matter of “non-resisters”, or active “collaborators” who participate on the side of European forces. In the Pacific it is worth re-examining this well-known classification by which whole colonial societies have been grouped as unreconstructed conservatives, or styled as “defter nationalisms”, seeking to retain power by reform. 4 The dichotomy of “co-operation or resistance” has, of course, been questioned and modified by cases elsewhere. 5 But from the Pacific historian's point of view, the assumed homogeneity of a society's response is open to a more detailed scrutiny than is possible in most African cases. Given a sharper focus on the history of particular pieces of “resistance”, it may be more useful to account for the differential response of small groups and individual leaders within island communities, rather than lump them all together in one camp or another.

This paper is concerned with a particular case, rather than a comparative framework. It will attempt, however, to treat in passing the three problems raised above in the context of the example of Eastern Polynesia.

The occupation of Tahiti and Moorea, as a sequel to French annexation of the Marquesas in 1842, has been treated from a diplomatic, rather than a military point of view. 6 Such a treatment misses much of the tenacity with which the bulk of the Tahitian and Leeward Islands populations, numbering about 15,000, refused to admit French rule over the two groups. Diplomacy and resistance enabled the chiefs of Raiatea, Huahine and Borabora to remain independent, according to the terms of the Anglo-French Convention of 1847, for another 40 years. In the same year, the Tahitian resistance collapsed, and the French administration consolidated its rule within the Protectorate. While the rebellion lasted—roughly from early 1844 till December 1846—little outside of the port of Papeete and the isthmus at Taravao was under French control. Apart from a few reports in obscure publications, 7 later historians tend to dismiss the episode as an aftermath of French and English religious and colonial rivalry, attributing the rebellion to “missionary” or “naval” advice and influence, or ignoring it altogether. And yet a sporadic war which cost both sides some 500 casualties, including about 160 French and Tahitian dead, - 7 which destroyed the port and village of Fare on Huahine and which wasted or diverted considerable monetary and material resources, has its place in the general history of Polynesian reactions to European contact. Why did it last so long?

In one sense Tahitian “resistance” has its origins in the ambiguities of the local response to the problem of European lawlessness from the 1820s. There was rarely a consensus among the chiefs and the royal Pomare dynasty, the missionaries, the traders, or the consular advisers, about the location or effectiveness of “authority” over Europeans. It was not difficult for single-minded and ambitious adventurers, such as Moerenhout, or Du Petit-Thouars, to exploit these divisions. 8 The manner in which the main island was “protected” in September 1842, was the climax of a long series of requests for external allies and advisers which, in this case, degenerated into clandestine manoeuvres to give a semblance of legality to the extension of French rule. An unpublished missionary source provides the clearest account:

On the 1st of September the “Reine Blache”, commanded by Admiral Dupetit-Thouars, dropped anchor in Papeiti Bay. For a few days, all appeared friendly. On the 7th, the Queen and principal chiefs were invited to dine on board on the 8th; the Queen was then at Moorea, and so near her confinement as not to be able to attend; at the same time a meeting was announced to be held between the Admiral and the chiefs on the 9th. On the evening of the 8th, the party who had dined on board, namely, Paraita (the Queen's representative), Tati, Utami and Hitoti, returned on shore with M. Morenhout, the French Consul, to his house, and in the course of the night signed a document, the terms of which were propounded by the Consul. During the same afternoon, the British and American Consuls received a document, stating that circumstances had occurred sufficient to cause hostilities between the French and Tahitian Governments, and that in the event of such a catastrophe, an asylum would be granted to them and their families on board the ship, and that the subjects of both Governments must take care of themselves and their property. On the 9th, it was announced that there would be no meeting held, 9 as the four chiefs above named had signed a document satisfactory to the Admiral; at the same time another despatch was sent to the Tahitian Government, 10 stating that, in consequence of a breach of faith on their part, and the neglect of the administration of justice towards some French subjects, the Admiral demanded 10,000 dollars as a guarantee, to be paid by two o'clock on the 10th, otherwise he would take possession of the island, and garrison the little island at the mouth of the harbour, until the will of the French - 8 King should be known. In the meantime the document which had been signed by the four chiefs was sent over to the Queen for her signature, with the distinct understanding, that should she refuse to sign, the threat would be fully put into execution; but, on the other hand, should she comply, all grievances would at once be removed. On the 10th, preparations were made for the execution of the threat, by arming the launch and preparing the frigate for action if required. About one o'clock the document was delivered on board with the Queen's signature affixed. 11

The episode became the subject of a great deal of post facto discussion and recrimination. Depositions were made by the principal signatories. Pomare later gave her own version in her correspondence with Rear-Admiral Thomas:

When this petition for assistance had been drawn up by them (the Governors), with their names appended, and the French Admiral's . . . it was sent to me at Moorea for my signature by Tairapa, who, in connexion with Mr Simpson, 12 I had appointed to act for me in the event of any business of importance transpiring.
Tairapa told me I was to write my name to this document; if not, I should have 5,000 dollars to pay the first following day and 5,000 to pay the second day; and in the event of my refusal to either one or other of these terms, he would, by two o'clock on the following day, commence hostilities with the view of taking my land. 13

Writing to Queen Victoria the first of many appeals, she admitted more openly the divisions of the Tahitian state:

My Government is taken from me by my enemies, Paraita, Hitoti, Tati, and others connected with them. It was they who combined and entered into agreement with the French. They have banished me, that I should not be sovereign of Tahiti—that they should be kings, and also their children. 14

The depositions made by the leading chiefs in 1843, while they blamed Consul Moerenhout for their action, support the general picture of contrived grievances, bribery, and a schism between the Queen and missionaries on the one hand, and the executives and judges, on the other. 15 For his “Proclamation” setting up a provisional government, Du Petit- - 9 Thouars dispensed with the Queen's signature altogether and used the Regent Paraita's instead. 16

Once the French admiral had departed, however, and British allies came to hand, Pomare, Pritchard and the missionaries called the Protectorate into question and brushed aside the rulings of the “provisional” triumvirate of Moerenhout and two officers. Pritchard and Capt. Toup Nicolas effectively promoted the idea that Britain would rectify the Tahitian mistake and confirmed the Queen's resistance by giving her a personal house flag quartered with a crown.

This illusion of independence regained was shattered in November 1843, when the tricolor was hoisted and Tahiti and Moorea were annexed by Du Petit-Thouars and the first governor, Armand Bruat. Pritchard struck his consular flag in protest, and Pomare took refuge in the consulate, before transferring on December 30 to H.M.S. Basilisk. Bruat began his governorship installed in her house with a force of some 500 men at his command and a further 700 at the French posts in the Marquesas. Four of the 11 vessels of the French Pacific squadron were at hand to counter British men-of-war. 17

Restraint and subtlety, rather than force, were required to win support among the local population and the foreign community. Heavily dependent on the advice of Moerenhout (Director of Native Affairs), Paraita and Tati, Bruat still had much to learn about the complex divisions of authority on the island. There was a strong possibility that the annexation might be disavowed in Paris. International incidents involving British officers or residents had to be avoided, but the influence of the missionaries was thought to be all-pervasive and totally anti-French. The deposed Head of State with whom Bruat was supposed to be the King's Commissioner was sheltered on a British warship. What was the status of her authority, compared with a handful of pro-French allies?

Bruat made a final effort, through Tati, on January 5 or 6, 1844, to persuade Pomare to disembark and reside at Papaoa, in return for the construction of a new residence. 18 When she refused, he confirmed some of the pro-French chiefs in their titles and lands and celebrated the formal promotion of Paraita to the position of Regent. 19 Pomare countered this usurpation by corresponding with district chiefs, urging the population to remain calm, but reinforcing the belief that “Britain will not cast us - 10 off”. 20 This restrained defiance, revealed to Bruat by French interception of some of Pomare's letters, confirmed his fear of a plot fomented from the shelter of the Basilisk. Bruat, through Tati, threatened seizure of the Queen's lands, if she persisted. 21

From this point, early in 1844, the question of land sequestration became of paramount importance to Tahitians. Always sensitive over a long period of European contact to the dangers of land alienation, they were now given tangible evidence that the most immediate result of European occupation would be loss of land to the new administration in and around Papeete to settle troops and civilian artisans. Bruat's actions in this respect provide a more convincing explanation for Tahitian reactions than the antipathy of missionaries or naval officers who, from 1844 onwards, attempted to restrain the population from endangering their own and European lives. Bruat's immediate problem was not so much “English influence”, but quarters for his excessively large force and fortified sites for the defence of the port.

In order to secure his base in what was technically a French colony, the governor made a series of appropriations from about mid-January, through February and March. The extent of these can be judged from the decrees passed to regularise them and from the earliest plans of Papeete made in May 1844. 22 Prominent among the property seizures were a number of “old buildings belonging to the State” which included the queen's house, barracks, and houses on lands used for the camps Uranie and Embuscade, the western batteries and the harbour island of Motu Uta. Work on some of these had begun as early as November, when the troops were landed; and it continued, without compensation to occupants or owners, until the Protectorate was restored at the beginning of 1845, when new regulations were passed to cover transfers of land and property. The properties of Europeans were not exempt, though they were rarely owned as freehold by settlers. A projected occupation of St. Amélie village (in reality a whole valley belonging to the Queen, along the River Tipae, behind the town), also dates from this period, although the formalities of sequestration were not completed till October 1845. 23

Clearly the French had come to stay. Bruat attempted to break the mounting tension by a show of force. The interception of Pomare's circulars led to the seizure and incarceration of at least six minor Tahitian - 11 chiefs on board the warship Embuscade. 24 Rumours of a rebel meeting at Papara and the failure of a mission by Moerenhout and Tati to quieten the western districts, led Bruat to “proscribe” chiefs known to have taken part in the Papara “plot”. 25 Among them were: Terai, chief of Atimaono; Pitomai, chief of Papeari and delegate of Atiau Vahine; Fare'au, chief of Mataiea; and Taaviri, a judge of Teva i uta. Their property was to be sequestrated, unless they submitted; and districts sheltering them were to be fined. The general meeting of Teva chiefs at Papara sent a message to Pomare asking what to do with the proscribed chiefs. Lieut. Hunt of the Basilisk reported that “Her Majesty has sent a verbal communication to advise their not allowing the remaining chiefs to be placed in the power of the French, but to do it by retiring to the mountains and by no means to use force, unless actually compelled to it.” 26 The day after his proclamation, when the Embuscade failed to apprehend the “rebel” chiefs on the west coast of the island, Bruat sent the frigate to join a second vessel at Taravao and secure the peninsula of Taiarapu by erecting a fort for a detachment of marine infantry. Two log blockhouses were quickly constructed at the same time on hills behind Papeete and the defence works on Motu Uta were completed.

Again, at the peninsula royal property rights were infringed. The marines landed on February 18 in pouring rain and established themselves in a house belonging to Pomare at Taravao, near an old marae site. 27 Bush was cleared and the house demolished to make way for a log and stone fort. Bruat joined this expedition, personally supervising the construction of the post and the cutting of fire paths. It was during his absence that the nervous Commandant, d'Aubigny, declared a state of siege at Papeete, seized Pritchard as the most likely cause of all French troubles and confined him in one of the blockhouses. Bruat handed him over to Capt. Gordon of H.M.S. Cormorant on his return on March 8, having failed to capture any rebel chiefs. By the 20th, the military works on the peninsula were completed, and the next day the first shots were fired by Tahitians at a sentry. A detachment was attacked and lost a man. The fortifications were also attacked the same day, when the French lost two more men and six wounded. 28 Bruat sent reinforcements on March 23; the Embuscade began an indiscriminate bombardment of houses and hamlets along the coast between Hitiaa and Taravao; and the main body of troops returned to Papeete on the 25th to defend the town.

It was now clear that the whole of the western and eastern districts were actively opposed to French rule. The peninsula was strategically cut off by the Taravao fort. The main body of rebel chiefs and their followers (variously reported to number about 4,000) entrenched themselves along the shore and in the hills at Mahaena, where Fanaue was chief and - 12 received support from the whole of Te Aharoa division. There followed one of the biggest battles of the war against this concentration. 29

On April 17, the frigate Uranie and the steamer Phaeton bombarded Mahaena to cover an early morning landing by some 460 marine infantry. Two small fortified hills were seized by one contingent. The main body came under heavy fire from the Tahitian beach trenches, but rallied sufficiently to take them. The French forces suffered losses of 36 dead (including those who died later at Papeete) and an equal number of other casualties. Seventy-nine Tahitian dead were found in the trenches, though other estimates put the total number of Tahitian losses at over 100. The bulk of the Tahitian forces retreated to the Papenoo Valley, with an outpost at Haapape. They did not again commit the tactical error of resisting naval forces on the beaches. Bruat, too, who nearly lost his life in the action, gained a new respect for the enemy and learned he was up against a determined resistance and not a handful of missionary-inspired malcontents. His forces were obliged to return to Papeete to counter a possible threat to the town. He released the chiefs held on the Embuscade after they had provided evidence against Pritchard.

The war now settled into an uneasy stalemate. The main rebel camps at Papenoo and Punaruu Valley controlled the interior while the French controlled the port and the peninsula. Two more actions confirmed the weakness of the French position and the impossibility of a Tahitian solution to their troubles by military action alone. At the end of June, the rearguard of a French force which marched to Point Venus and Haapape was attacked. Three men were killed and a number wounded. It was in this skirmish that the missionary Mackean was also killed by a stray shot. On the other side of Papeete, a Tahitian attack on Faaa was repulsed by troops from camp Uranie at the cost of four dead and 10 wounded.

For the remainder of 1844, Bruat awaited reinforcements. With Pritchard gone and British official recognition of the Protectorate certain, international relations began to improve. Consul-General William Miller arrived from Honolulu in August and got on well enough with Bruat to be allowed to visit the Tahitian camp at Papenoo. There he was also well received and saw about 200 warriors “each armed with a musket kept in excellent order”. He thought there were some 600 to 800 more in the valley. 30 He did not visit the second main camp in the interior of Punaauia which grouped Tahitian contingents from Papeete, Faaa, the western Teva districts and from Moorea, under their own chiefs and the general command of Utami who had changed sides shortly after the conflict began. 31

This defection of a leading pro-French chief was merely one exmple of various changes of allegiance for and against the French at different levels of Tahitian and European society in 1844 and 1845. Four of the missionaries left; and of the seven who remained, some were opposed to the French, while others were reasonably co-operative. The first generation of - 13 missionary offspring generally co-operated with the French, as did most British or American traders and residents. The Protectorate was formally restored, in Pomare's absence, in Janaury 1845. Consul Miller advised her to remain in the Leeward Islands where she had been transported on a British warship, until the French had made plain their intentions about her position in the local administration. 32 Neither he nor visiting British naval officers held out any hope of British intervention.

Among Tahitians, there were still only a handful of leading chiefs as active French allies at this stage, including Tati, Hitoti, Paraita, Tairapa, chief judge of Moorea, and Hapoto, a chief of Moorea. From the peninsula, Peueue (Vehiatua) and Judge Taaviri defected from the rebel cause and were present at the January ceremonies. 33 Also surrendered, but not on the official list of pro-French chiefs, was Tariirii, son of Peueue who had fought with his two brothers at Mahaena and was to fight for the French in Tahiti and in New Caledonia. 34 Bruat made him chief of Haapape. Other supporters at this stage were untitled iatoai of secondary rank, such as Faitohia (a son of Tati) made chief of Tautira, or relatives of important allies such as Ravaai, related to Paraita, who had seized a rebel flag at Mahaena and was made chief of Papeuiri. Moorea was kept neutral by the great influence of Judge Tairapa after an assembly had debated the issue of peace or war at Afareaitu in July 1844, though this did not prevent contingents from joining the rebels at Punaauia. Faaa, Teva i uta, Te Aharoa and Porionuu divisions remained the main source of opposition on Tahiti.

They were supported almost unanimously throughout the Leeward group, where Pomare sheltered with her relatives — Tamatoa of Raiatea; Teriitaria, Queen of Huahine; and King Tapoa, Pomare's first husband, of Borabora and Tahaa. Bruat made up his mind in January 1845 to take over the group, but lacked sufficient forces to back up attempts to raise the French flag. He precipitated, instead, an unwelcome international investigation of the status of Pomare's “sovereignty” outside Tahiti and an eventual exchange in 1846 of British and French memoranda on the independence of the Leeward Islands. But before their fate was settled, Raiatea was declared to be under French blockade from April 15, 1845; a French Resident was landed on Huahine; King Tapoa was fined; and Capt. Bonard was ordered to take the Uranie and the Phaeton to Huahine to intimidate Queen Teriitaria and encourage a few French allies. 35 On January 17, 1846 Bonard landed 400 soldiers and marines at Fare harbour. The Queen's forces and some 20 European allies “most fiercely defended themselves by a hot and desultory guerilla warfare which the rugged nature of the ground, and the dense bush greatly favoured”. 36 At the - 14 end of two days, the French re-embarked after losing 18 killed and 43 wounded. 37

It was a singular defeat, made more bitter by the direct involvement of other Europeans. The immediate result was to spark off two attacks on Papeete on March 20-22 and to stifle the mission of Ariitaimai and her husband, Alexander Salmon, to talk peace with Pomare. 38 At Papeete losses were minimal; a few houses were burned and the town ramparts scaled. But the French position was revealed as extremely tenuous; much of the European population took refuge in shipping in the harbour. Bruat made a sortie and a landing at Punaauia beach on April 12 and was defeated with the loss of seven men and a number of prisoners. The situation was relieved by the arrival of reinforcements from France which enabled the Governor to form a new expeditionary force of about 1,000 men, including 150 Tahitian and Boraboran allies. A march on Papenoo on May 25 failed to contact the main body of rebels. On the 27th, Bruat swung his offensive again to Punaauia and made an attack up the narrow defile at the head of the valley which cost five French dead, including the troop commander, Bréa, and 29 wounded. Little was achieved apart from the occupation of the coast at Punaauia.

Where frontal assaults failed, the issue was decided by stealth. On December 17, the Punaruu camp was taken in the rear by a brilliantly executed surprise ascent of the Fautahua heights by a small Tahitian-French force guided by one, Mairoto, who lowered a rope ladder to his companions. 39 The war was over, but the peace was not yet made.

The details of the formal surrender of the Papenoo and Punaauia camps in December and the manner of Pomare's return from the Leeward Islands tell us a good deal about the character of Tahitian resistance. 40 Bruat attended the ceremony for Punaauia camp (including the Tahitian posts in the Punaruu valley) on the 22nd, with Paraita. The camp chiefs, Utami and Maro, followed by “plus de mille personnes” promised allegiance to the Protectorate government and were authorised to return to their districts and re-establish their land rights. Bruat replied through his own “Orator”, Arahu, who listed the contingents which had fought in the Punaauia nu'u “armed camp”, thus revealing the extent of support for the rebellion. Every district apart from the Taiarapu peninsula and Te Aharoa was represented. A contingent—estimated in another source at 500—from Moorea also surrendered. Utami's Orator then spoke, listing the warriors of Punaruu camp under the hereditary titles of the major clan divisions of Tahiti and Moorea—titles which were held either by chiefs who were opposed to the French from the beginning, or by others who had been “elected” by their district supporters during the war. Maro also spoke making a personal submission to Bruat and confessing a certain - 15 relief that the leaders of the rebellion were not to be exiled. The whole assembly then accepted the armistice by a show of hands and each district formally surrendered through its own Orator.

On the other side of the mountains, the Papenoo camp surrendered on December 24 in two stages: first by sending envoys who parleyed with Paraita and a number of chiefs who had defected earlier in 1844 and 1845. The latter were concerned to recover their titles and lands in Te Aharoa (eastern districts), as they had been displaced in a number of cases by chiefs elected within the war camp. After prayers, the Orator of Teriitua, chieftainess of Hitiaa, listed all the districts, titles and officers, using a peculiar form of address to Paraita and Ariipaea 41 (titular head of Pare-Arue) and conveyed the general wish for peace. Bruat did not immediately grant this request and there was an anxious delay before the second stage in the ceremonies when, after some private conversations between the chiefs and Paraita, the “peace” was formally handed over to the envoys who “received” it in a ceremonial cloth. Bruat also demanded surrender of the large quantities of guns and ammunition still held by the rebels. A special intercession was made by a Moorean chief on behalf of Manua, Ori and Teriirii, whom Bruat had made title-holders of Tiarei, Papenoo and Haapape, in place of absent rebels. This was agreed by the districts concerned. The ceremonies were concluded with a feast the following day.

Pomare's position as nominal head of the dual Protectorate government was more difficult to settle. Various overtures and personal missions undertaken by Ariitaimai and her husband, Alexander Salmon, and other envoys met with little success in the face of opposition from the Leeward Islands' rulers. Pomare herself seems to have been strongly tempted by Bruat's offer of an annual payment of 25,000 francs, a residence at Papeete and “authority over her people”, made in April 1846. But when Captain Martin of H.M.S. Grampus visited Raiatea in October he found her “petulant, peevish and capricious” and failed to ascertain her true views:

She is sharp enough and cunning enough on matters connected with her own personal comfort or importance—but on all others she seemed dull and unintelligent. I could not keep her attention fixed for 2 minutes, she was thinking of anything but the subject under discussion. 42

On the other hand, he was impressed by the arguments put forward by Tapoa and Tamatoa (when he had satisfied their gargantuan thirst and appetites). The Queen belonged not merely to Tahiti, but was part of the hau fetii—the inter-island aristocracy. To allow her to return was to cut her off from traditional Leeward connections, since the chiefs there could not risk a French expansion in their direction.

There is something very generous in the devotion of the chiefs and people of the Leeward Islands to her cause, even at their own risk. - 16 She and her numerous hangers on are supported by voluntary contribution. Tamatoa has given up his house to her, and there is a general idea that if she chooses to remain at Raiatea, the sovereignty of the island will be made over to her. 43

Two factors probably changed her mind. News of the general surrender at Tahiti and the less public knowledge that Bruat would probably dispense with her altogether as party to the Protectorate government reached her at the end of December. In early February 1847, she was conveyed in the Phaeton first to Moorea, where a short ceremony was held to confirm her official position, and then on February 9 to Papeete, where she was induced to participate in the new order of European and Tahitian “collaboration”.


There seems little point in classifying Tahitian, or other Pacific societies, according to the behaviour of some segments of their population at particular points in their history of contact with Europeans. Not all societies resist by force, though they may contain isolated pockets of military opposition, as among the hill tribes of Fiji, or achieve a disciplined non-co-operation, as in Western Samoa in the 1920s. Examples of military resistance, as in New Zealand or Tahiti, on the other hand, fit uneasily into the neat schematic division of “soldiers' wars”, or “people's wars” used by one Africanist to distinguish different periods of resistance to the Germans in Tanganyika. 44As in New Zealand, whole cross sections of the Tahitian or Leeward Islands populations—men, women and children—were involved in trench warfare, bush fighting and village burning. But other sections remained neutral, as in Borabora and Moorea, or fought on the French side. As Guiart noted in the case of the New Caledonian rebellion of 1878: “le pays rebelle ne présentait pas un visage unique”. 45

The immediate reasons for this recourse to desperate measures are not difficult to understand. For the bulk of the population and their chiefs, French occupation was a novel and unwelcome experience of the more rigorous results of European contact on an unprecedented scale. The Tahitian version of this crisis reveals astonishment and dismay at the character of French “protection”, arising, as the rebels saw it, out of transgressions against Tahitian laws (see Appendix I). Seizure of land and houses confirmed the impression made by the over-hasty imprisonment of chiefs early in 1844. The sea power at the disposal of Europeans seeking redress was well understood; and visits by naval officers demanding compensation and guarantees on behalf of British, American and French subjects were common enough from the 1820s. But barracks, forts, patrols and curfews and the general regimentation of civilian life in a French - 17 naval colony were something surprising and hateful to Tahitians and Leeward Islanders. As usual in military occupations, the presence of poorly fed and housed infantry among a sullen population provoked incidents which exacerbated hostile feelings. 46

The year 1842, in short, marked the end of a period dating from the consolidation of the London Missionary Society churches under the paramountcy of Pomare II. After the death of the King in 1821, the missionary and Tahitian government relied heavily on the ability of chiefs outside the royal lineage to control both Tahitians' reactions against theocracy and European law-breakers. Law and order, as the missionaries and chiefs understood this preservation of their own authority, implied a degree of co-operation between Queen Pomare IV and her kin, on the one hand, and the district heads confirmed in their titles and lands by her father. The early years of the Queen's reign, however, saw serious trouble arising from rivalries between the “monarch”, backed by the mission and the patronage of naval officers and by the chiefs and judges of the old Teva and Aharoa divisions of the island. The Queen was brought “under the law” by Tati, Utami, Paofai and other magistrates; but a civil war in the Leeward group was terminated in favour of her relatives on Raiatea. Divorce from her first husband and marriage to a second precipated further difficulties, resolved only by a short civil war against Moorea and Taiarapu in 1833. Thereafter, Pomare concentrated on consolidating family lands and titles by marriage and adoptive alliances, leaving the major responsibilities of administration to senior Moorean, Teva and Aharoa judges who worked through the Toohitu “High Court”. It was they who made church attendance compulsory and prohibited traffic in spirits and the sale of lands to aliens in the 1830s, until the island was “chief ridden, law ridden and form ridden.” 47 While the mutoi police acted under their orders, Pomare succeeded in forming a militia of her own and took them with her to Borabora in 1841, after Tapoa had adopted her daughter as his heir. There they were used to avert open warfare arising from a dispute between Tapoa and Mai—one of the two senior administrators (Faaterehau) of the island.

By 1838, therefore, it was apparent there were two sources of authority in the two groups of islands—lineage chiefs who were law-makers and judges, and the royal lineage within the hau fetii, or “family government” consolidated under Pomare II. After the expulsion of two Catholic priests and French naval intervention, this latent schism was open to exploitation in terms of religious and international rivalries by a French consul who offered an alternative source of external support to the leading chiefs. It was a game which had been played since the eighteenth century, first in the Pomares' favour, and now against them.

Not all the consequences of calling on French assistance in 1841 and 1842 were foreseen by the signatories of the requests drawn up by Moeren- - 18 hout. There is a ring of truth in the confession made by Paraita that: “so many difficult cases had occurred and the Missionaries did not interfere to instruct him what he should do, therefore he signed the document which had previously been prepared by the French consul”. 48 But once committed to this alliance, only one of the pro-French chiefs defected. And, apart from Pritchard, the British residents and missionaries offered little opposition. The mission, as an agency of civil administration in matters of taxation, trade and social behaviour, lost credibility when faced with a crisis in foreign relations. French “assistance” took an unexpectedly militant form; British patronage did not extend to the use of force against the French. After 1842, British Protestantism, as adapted to Tahiti, retreated to its strongholds in the district congregations and was not allowed to challenge secular authority on the island again (though it profoundly influenced the structure of local district administration).

The faction of pro-French chiefs did not, however, become Catholics. The superficial correlation of rival religions with rival colonial powers mattered much less to Tahitians than to Exeter Hall or the Catholic mission. The basis for their disenchantment with the missionaries and the Pomare dynasty had traditional roots in local history, not in the Reformation. It is significant that Mai and Tefaaora, rivals to Tapoa and Pomare in Borabora, played a similar pro-French role in the Leewards, as collaborators with a new external source of support against the arii aristocracy.

The debate on the “independence” of the Leeward group during the war tended to obscure this point. Too much attention was given to territorial “sovereignty” which French evidence tried to show stemmed from Pomare's titular position in Tahiti, and which British evidence argued was conditioned by the position of Leeward paramount rulers over their “own” islands. What mattered was the ability of the close-knit family of arii to have themselves or their representatives acknowledged as rulers by district families throughout both Tahiti and the Leewards, and to settle continuous wrangles over tribute and lands in their favour. “Sovereignty” was too legalistic a term to apply to a status which might be socially undisputed, but which was not always politically enforceable. The missionary law codes and courts, as adapted by the arii after 1815, had assisted in consolidating this status for a time; but the claims of royalty could not be pushed too far. The missionary Platt, while maintaining officially that the Leeward chiefdoms were “independent” of Tahiti, admitted privately to Capt Martin that “there was a sort of acknowledged supremacy vested in the chiefs of Tahiti, which has never been disputed, and has never been doubted until the recent events made it necessary to abridge as much as possible the claims of France upon them.” 49 On the other hand, the missionary Rodgerson noted that succession to title over whole islands implied a degree of consent: - 19

I have sometimes inquired if Pomare's daughter, adopted by Tapoa (he having no children of his own) would be acknowledged Queen of the Island [of Borabora] at the demise of Tapoa. The reply has invariably been—“She will be so if Faanui” (which denotes all the tribes of the island united) “please to acknowledge her. 50

The essential feature of island government under these conditions was freedom to manoeuvre, to make and cement alliances, if necessary with European advisers. The missionaries and some British naval officers had been co-opted into these manoeuvres since the days of Pomare II. By 1842, it was the turn of the chiefs and office-holders in the church societies, courts and island assemblies—the “new men” who in some cases were leaders within lineages demoted by Pomare's victory—to call in other allies. Not least among their causes of dissatisfaction, shrewdly perceived by Martin, was Pomare's policy of consolidating her family position in the Leeward group by adoptions: “This I believe is one reason why some of the chiefs espoused the cause of the French—for they have children who they think should have been preferred to Pomare's”. 51

The main lines of the schism were complicated by the opening phases of the war. Broadly speaking, the hard core of Pomare's arii supporters consisted of her aunt, Teriitaria (Ariipaea in Tahiti), Queen of Huahine, Tapoa, Tamatoa, Ariifaite the royal consort, Teriitua, aunt of Tapoa and Vairaatoa—the Queen's great-uncle who was a direct descendant of a brother of Pomare I. The latter, however, was persuaded to join the French by Ariitaimai and Alexander Salmon, in 1845, and Bruat used him to replace Teriitaria as chief of Pare-Arue—the Pomare's royal districts and site of the capital. But, on the whole, this corporation of arii had most to lose by a defeat of the Queen's supporters in Tahiti and a conquest of the Leeward group.

The broader spectrum of resistance is explained by Bruat's imprisonments and proscriptions early in 1844. This policy affected the delegates of Atiau Vahine (Teriivaetua, mother of Ariitaimai), chieftainess of Faaa, who had married the eldest son of Tati. Faaa and the western Teva consolidated behind these chiefs. Atiau herself submitted in March 1846. But the bulk of the population and the principal rebels—Pitomai, Fanaue, Nuutere—remained in the field. Other “defections” have been mentioned above. As the war dragged on, resistance followed no clear geographical demarcation according to “districts”, but grouped contingents from all quarters in the two main camps. Where chiefs had sided with the French, warriors elected new titleholders, though Bruat restored his own nominees in 1847, as part of the peace settlement. 52 It was possible for a military leader of talent, such as Teriirii, to fight against and then for the French, without social ostracism after the war.

By 1847, most of the land-holding families were busy securing their rights by building houses on plots and plantations vacated during the war. - 20 The Queen found herself increasingly confronted by a combination of Tahitian officials and judges who took their cue from the new governor, Lavaud. They were given control of police and the assembly which became an instrument for passing laws requiring the Queen's signature. The Toohitu, as a court of appeal in Tahitian land cases, made a number of decisions against her in 1847. Alexander Salmon, as royal confidant and adviser, was dismissed by Lavaud for interfering in these cases. 53 The gradual process of reducing her position to that of a figurehead had begun.

In wider perspective, the Tahitian rebellion provides an example of rapid mobilisation by a frightened and frustrated Polynesian community which used local terrain to good advantage. We know little of the internal organisation of the war camps; but there is evidence of periodic councils, leadership and discipline exercised over four to five thousand “insurgents”. Communications with the rest of the island and the Leeward groups do not seem to have presented much difficulty. 54 The best weapon from the Tahitian point of view, after the mistaken tactics at Mahaena, was seen to be the threat posed to the port which required the presence of French forces in a long and costly campaign. Intelligence about French difficulties and movements was easy to obtain. Indeed, it was not till Bruat was able to restrict access to the coast late in 1846 that the population of the camps began to suffer from disease and shortage of salt and provisions. They do not seem to have been short of arms or ammunition, though evidence of smuggling and sales by British firms such as Lucett and Collie is inconclusive.

Although the Tahitian leadership was divided along lines influenced by their earlier adaptation to European contact, the scale of French recruitment of native levies was not large compared with later campaigns in New Caledonia or British recruitment of tribal allies in New Zealand. It is clear, however, that the bulk of Tahitians were not fighting by 1846 for the “monarchy”, and that the Queen was defending a privileged status, rather than the territorial integrity of her “kingdom”. Surrender by Pomare implied a compromise both with the French and with the chiefs and judges of the “French party” who consolidated their position as functionaries of the Tahitian government. The courts and assemblies remained intact during the conflict and were carefully recognised by Bruat, in order to revise the missionary-Tahitian codes and keep land cases under Tahitian jurisdiction. The institutions which lost most authority were the royal executive and the churches which were deprived of annual contributions. Pomare's private militia was not restored; Teriitaria, Queen of Huahine, lost both titles and rights to lands on the main island. The hau fetii remained socially important, but politically defunct. On the other hand, Tahitians had been spared a large influx of settlers. Bruat was no less anxious than the chiefs to avoid the troubles of a large settler colony—if only because the bulk of such settlers would have been British or - 21 American. Land transfers, at least till the 1860s, were restricted as rigorously as in the days of Pritchard. It was left, in the main, to Tahitians to take advantage of the expanded and inflated local market for foodstuffs, exportable cash crops and high-priced labour. At all levels, there began a new kind of collaboration, politically circumscribed, but not without avenues for social and economic advancement. 55


Appeal of the Natives of Tahiti to the Governments of Great Britain and America

Tahiti, 12 January, 1846 56

To the great kingdoms of the world, such as Britain and America, and all the kingdoms connected with them. May the blessings of our Lord Jesus, the true the true King of Peace, our Saviour, who saves us, rest upon you.

We have something to communicate to you concerning the great trials which have overspread our islands, and the evils which have overtaken us in those trials.

We think this is our crime, the crime which brought these trials upon us: the law prohibiting spirits passed in the reign of our Queen; 57 but it has been broken by the people of your two kingdoms and by the French, and by the Tahitians also.

The second charge is the desciples of the Pope, 58 who it is said were ill-treated on Tahiti; but that crime has been atoned for—a sum of money was paid for it. We think these crimes have occasioned all the evils with which we have been overtaken. We know, however, that these were not the occasion of the death of any, but the treaty lately entered into. The Governors knew nothing of that treaty, nor Pomare, the Queen of Tahiti, nor yet the good people of her kingdom. They know nothing of that secret treaty entered into by those very - 22 vile men. 59 It was that which occasioned the death of sixty-eight Tahitians and two children.

The following is an account of the progress of these evils from the beginning.

Doubloon [Mr Cotton, master of the American whaler] 60 and the carpenter chopped a man called Mereanu, belonging to the Spanish ship, which had a cargo of horses on board. The above was the crime which occasioned the conversation between Paraita, and Paete, and Hitoti and Moerenhout, that very fountain of evil, who said restitution will be sought for the crime of murder committed by Doubloon and the carpenter, for they were Americans. Mr Blockley [Blackler] the American Consul protected them in their crimes, which made him partaker of their guilt. The criminals were guilty according to the laws of Tahiti, but when the officers of justice would have seized the criminals, the Consul protected these guilty persons, and drew his sword, and wounded the officers of justice, so that they were obliged to snatch the sword from him. The Consul was very outrageous, on which account he was roughly treated and struck, on account of which rough treatment and blow the Consul took down his flag. The men who guided the Government of Tahiti were greatly afraid, and sought for some means of safety for the Tahitian Government; but they sought wrong, for the governors and the landed proprietors, and our Queen Pomare, knew nothing of their treaty, and what they thought would be well proved very ill, for men have been killed, and blood shed through their unjust treaty.

It was at that time that Moerenhout said to Paraita and Paete, and Hitoti, “Write a letter to France, and the French will protect you!” Behold! all you great kingdoms, that Pomare had nothing to do with their treaty, neither had the governors anything to do with their letter writing. If Pomare had taken the pen and written that letter, it would have been valid. Neither Pomare nor her governors would have found fault with such treaty.

Soon afterwards Paraita, Tati, Hitoti, and Utami, wrote their names on the letter, and Moerenhout sent it to France. Our Queen Pomare knew nothing about it. 61 She was at Raiatea at the time with some of her people and her soldiers. They alone formed the treaty, not Pomare and her governors and her people of Tahiti; therefore they say it is a vile treaty, and unknown by them.

When Dupetit-Thouars came and hoisted the Protectorate flag he did not send for the governors or for the landed proprietors, or for the Queen, only for her name. The four only completed the treaty, therefore Pomare and those who follow with her cannot agree to it. 62

And when those chiefs whose names had been written came to Papeete, they held a meeting; but the Queen knew nothing about their meeting, neither did the governors or landed proprietors know. The chiefs stole secretly and in the night to their meeting for deliberations, that neither the Queen nor the people of Tahiti might know.

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And when Tati went on board Dupetit-Thouars' ship, he (the Admiral) demanded the little island called Motu uta. He demanded also the large island Tahiti; and if not that he said, “Give me the name of Pomare; and if that is refused I will open fire upon this land at 8 a.m., and will destroy every man, woman, and child.”

Look well at this, friends! Does it look like a treaty! Where will you find such a treaty? Begin by murdering the people, and then hoist the Protectorate flag! and after the Protectorate flag was hoisted the land-plundering flag, and actually seized the country [sic] and murdered the people; and after murdering the people without mercy, they re-hoisted the flag which their own hands had taken down. From the above we know that no just treaty was intended, but to seize the country.

After coming on shore another meeting was held, to consider what Dupetit-Thouars had said to them on board his ship. Only themselves attended their meeting. The governors were not allowed to attend; but those fountains of evil, Tati, Hitoti, and Paraita, who have occasioned the death of Tahitians by their vile treaty. Five of the best chiefs were not allowed to attend their meeting. It is true Tati and his associates are Tahitians, but those who have witnessed these things think that all has been done clandestinely.

On the following day 63 the landed proprietors of Pare and Arue, and all the people came; and Ohio on behalf of the landed proprietors asked Tati and his associates, “Is our public meeting over?” But Tati would not tell what had taken place at their meeting, but conversed about things quite foreign, that the things arranged at their meeting on board the ship might be lost sight of. Just as they were conversing, Tairapa and Mr Simpson arrived from Moorea. 64 They went directly to M. Moerenhout's house, and did not communicate anything to the landed proprietors; wherefore we think the surrendering of our land has all been done clandestinely.

Some time afterwards Dupetit-Thouars came again, and brought the Governor when the flag of Pomare was taken down, and the French flag hoisted. 65 It was then that they put in irons the people of the land they wished to protect. They confined Mare, and Riapa and Mamoe, and Heva and Hova and Fameaa, and Tria [Paia], and numbers more were confined, and some died with their irons on. 66 They had not committed any crime for which they were confined. Is this to protect—to kill? We thought it was to save. Another might destroy, but this support and save. This is most strange protection, to kill! by which we know it is no Protectorate Government.

See! our protectors murder us, and have transported some to Maatea; and Pomare also, who he wished to protect, is banished to another land. Who does this protect? We thought it was to protect Pomare and the word of Tahiti. The Protectorate Government in different parts of the world, do they kill? Enough of Protectorates. May the French be removed far from us. Let them not protect us, for they protect us with a burning hand.

Afterwards the French sent three ships—a two-masted vessel, the steamer, and a ship of war. The steamer landed at Papeari, They saw the Tahitians, and fired at them, and were near killing a man then. The ship of war cast anchor at Taravao. They saw a little canoe and a man in it bringing food, and they fired on him, but did not injure it much. Look well at these crimes, you great nations - 24 of the world, lest you charge the Tahitians with firing at the French. It was not so, but the French are the guilty persons. They hunted the Tahitians, who were flying to a hiding-place for fear of being put in irons. 67

After the above the Tahitian women went to a place called Afaahite to reside there with their husbands, and the French came to seize their wives, which occasioned a disturbance between the French and the Tahitians. The French returned to Taravao to get their muskets, and came again to kill the Tahitians. This was the beginning of this evil war on Tahiti. Look well at the evil. It was our Protector who was guilty, and not the Tahitians.

On the second attack the steamer came to Mahaena, and fired on shore, but did no injury.

On the third attack the steamer came, and a ship of war and a two-masted vessel; this was a severe battle, and many were killed, both Tahitians and Frenchmen; the dead bodies of the Frenchmen floated on shore in sacks and were washed on the sand from which it is certain that a multitude of French perished at Mahaena. Sixty-eight Tahitians were killed in that battle, and two in the battle at Taravao; it is supposed that the French lost fifty at Taravao.

We afterwards fled to a valley called Haapaeanoo as a place of safety for our poor wives and children. The Tahitians wandered as far as Haapape looking for food to eat for themselves and families. The French were again angry, and came to fight the Tahitians, at the time they were fighting the Teoropeans, 68 on the Sabbath day; three Tahitians were killed; it is said the French lost near fifty, and near fifty more it is thought in their fight with the Teoropaans. Dear friends of the great kingdoms, do not by any means think that we were the guilty persons in occasioning this evil; it was the French, the protectors of the Tahitians and of Pomare with whom she formed a treaty, wherefore we think it is no real treaty, but a deceitful one.

Dupetit-Thouars also demanded a man called Moia, charged with a crime, one of Pomare's domestics. 69 This was the charge against him. Two dogs were fighting, and two French gentlemen from on board some of the ships were there. Moia took away the dog belonging to the Queen of Tahiti, and the French gentlemen were angry, and struck the Tahitian and Moia also struck them; they were slightly bruised, and run [sic] to get their muskets to shoot Moia. Look at this crime, a crime about dogs. It is a great shame for a man to stop and gaze at a dog-fight. You French are outdone by little Tahitian children, that have not reached maturity; but you are very powerful, and very wise in all the arts of war. Alas! yours is surely one of the greatest crimes; for Dupetit-Thouars said, If you do not give up Moia, I will fire upon you at 8 a.m. Pomare was greatly distressed and terrified, for she knew not the treaty they had entered into; she signed her name with the utmost reluctance, and with ignorance of the agreement.

When Captain Thompson came, the Queen called a public meeting because a great man from Britain had come. 70 She assembled the governors and the chiefs, and her good missionaries, and examined the men who it was said had given away the land, and they accused one another, and looked at M. Moerenhout, which was a sure sign that M. Moerenhout was the cause of the island being surrendered, and the name of Pomare signed to the secret treaty. It was then clearly - 25 discovered that a stranger was at the bottom of the arrangement. It was then also that Pomare instituted the inquiry of all Tahiti assembled, Who are you for? And the governors, and the landed proprietors, and the missionaries, answered, We are for you even until death. And behold! Tahitians have died in following Pomare. She then proposed a second question, Who shall we all follow? And the whole of Tahiti answered, while they held up their hands, We will follow Britain, even until death. See! Britain, how Tahiti has suffered by following thee. Look well at this treaty. Is this a treaty which one formed to occasion the death of others. Do not think, dear friends, that we have done wrong; it is M. Moerenhout and the French that have done wrong, we have not done wrong.

From the time that the governors of Tahiti and their Queen were deprived of their authority by the treaty, until the breaking out of the war, the Tahitians have had no agreement with them; they have used great deceit, for the French in framing and printing new laws, have omitted Pomare's name altogether, from which we know surely, that it is no Protectorate Government, but a reign of deceit.

This is what we regard, the command of our Queen's father, when he said never forsake Britain; follow Britain only, even until death. Dear Britain, we are following you, let us not follow a strange country, but you according to the command of the forefathers of our Queen.

Behold! how deceitful and unfounded are all the words of that man Dupetit-Thouars, and the ill-treatment Tahiti has received from France, in destroying houses, and plundering property, and a number of evils of the same description.

Behold! you great Governments, the coming of the Popish priests to Tahiti in the year 1836; and Dupetit-Thouars coming in 1838; and his second coming in 1842, when he occasioned a small degree of trouble; but when he came in 1843, he terrified greatly our poor Queen. Look well, ye great kingdoms, it was in the years above mentioned that he brought about all these distressing evils.

The above is our statement to you. We think we have not done wrong. If we have done wrong in your estimation, forgive it, and pray to God for us. If we have not done wrong God will deliver us, and make you his hands. We cease not to pray to God that he may deliver us; he hath delivered us in days that are past, and permitted us to see these days. The French are about to renew their wonted attacks upon us.

From the Governors, and the landed proprietors, and all the people on this land, men, women, and children, the aged and infirm men, and the aged and infirm women, all unite in this humble petition to you, Britain and America.

The Governors, in the name of their Queen, Pomare, Queen of Tahiti, etc.

Translation of the note that accompanies the above letter

Dear Mr Barff

Papenoo, 13 January, 1846

May the blessing of the true God and of Jesus Christ our Saviour rest upon you!

We have forwarded to you a letter which we wish sent to Britain. We wish you to translate it into the English language, and send it to the Admiral, and the Admiral can send it to Britain and to all other lands.

Dear Mr Barff, use your best efforts that this letter may reach Britain, and we shall rejoice. Communicate this letter to the captain of the steamer, that he also may know its contents.

This is all we have to say.

For the Governors,
Araiteva [Fare'au]
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  • Abbreviations: ANSOM—Archives Nationales, Section Outre-Mer
  • FO—Foreign Office, France
  • LMS—London Missionary Society
  • Admiralty Papers, Public Record Office, I, Nos. 5550-5561.
  • ARCHIVES NATIONALES, SECTION OUTRE-MER, SÉRIE OCÉANIE (formerly Archives des Colonies), for correspondence and despatches on Tahiti.
  • Arrêtés du Gouverneur des Établissements Français de l'Océanie Commissaire du Roi près la Reine des Iles de la Société. Tome I, Années 1843, 1844 et 1845. Papeete, 1846.
  • BALDWIN, J. R., 1938. “England and the French Seizure of the Society Islands.” The Journal of Modern History, x:212-31.
  • BASTIDE, L., 1933. “L'Expédition de Tahiti.” Revue d'Histoire des Colonies Françaises, 3:157-80.
  • DAUVERGNE, R., 1959. “Les débuts du Papeete Français 1843-1863 Étude topo—graphique d'aprés des documents inédits.” Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 15:113-45.
  • DAVIDSON, J. W., 1967. Samoa mo Samoa. The Emergence of the Independent State of Western Samoa. Melbourne, Oxford University Press.
  • FAIVRE, Jean-Paul, 1953. L'Expansion Française dans le Pacifique de 1800 à 1842. Paris.
  • FOREIGN OFFICE (FRANCE) 58/20-7, Public Record Office.
  • GUIART, J., 1968. “Le cadre social traditionel et la rebellion de 1878 dans le pays de la Foa, Nouvelle-Calédonie.” Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 24:97-119.
  • ILIFFE, John, 1965. The German Administration in Tanganyika, 1906-1911:The Governorship of Freiherr von Rechenberg. Ph.D. thesis, Cambridge.
  • JORE, Léonce, 1944. Un Belge au service de la France dans l'Océan Pacifique. Notice historique et biographique concernant J. A. Moerenhout. Paris, Maisonneuve.
  • —— 1939. “George Pritchard, l'adversaire de la France à Tahiti, 1793-1883.” Revue d'Histoire des Colonies Francaises, 3:
  • —— 1959. L'Océan Pacifique au temps de la Restauration et de la Monarchie de Juillet, 1815-1848. 2 vols. Paris, Maisonneuve.
  • JURIEN DE LA GRAVIERE, E., 1882. Le Protectorai Français à Taiti. Paris.
  • LUCETT, Edward, 1851. Rovings in the Pacific from 1837 to 1849; with a Glance at California. 2 vols. London, Longmans.
  • Martin Papers, British Museum Add. 41472, vol. cxxvii.
  • MITCHELL LIBRARY. Remark Book of Captain A. S. Hammond, H.M.S. Salamander, 1843-1847. Tahiti British Consulate Papers, vol. 8.
  • MORRELL, W. P., 1960. Britain in the Pacific Islands. Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  • MULLOT, 1932. “Bataille de Taravao: Journal d'un soldat d'Infanterie de marine.” Bulletin de la Société des Études Océaniennes, 5 (4):130-9.
  • Oceanie Francaise (Papeete), 1845-7.
  • O'REILLY, Patrick and Raoul TEISSIER (eds.), 1962. Tahitiens. Répertoire bio-bibliographique de la Polynésie Française. Paris, Société des Océanistes
  • Parliamentary Papers, 1843. “Correspondence Relative to the Proceedings of the French at Tahiti, 1825-1843,” vol. lxi: 473.
  • RANGER, T. O., 1967. Revolt in Southern Rhodesia. Evanston, Northwestern University Press.
  • —— 1969. “African Reactions to the Imposition of Colonial Rule in East and Central Africa,” in L. H. Gann and Peter Duignan (eds.), Colonialism in
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  • Africa 1870-1960, vol. I, The History and Politics of Colonialism 1870-1914. Cambridge University Press.
  • Revue coloniale, 1st series, Paris, 1844-1847.
  • ROBINSON, Ronald E. and John Gallagher, 1962. “The Partition of Africa,” in The New Cambridge Modern History, vol. xi, Material Progress and Worldwide Problems, 1870-1898. Cambridge University Press.
  • ROTBERG, Robert R. and Ali A. MAZRUI (eds.) 1970. Protest and Power in Black Africa. Oxford University Press.
  • SALMON, Ernest, 1964. Alexandre Salmon 1820-1866 et sa femme Ariitaimai 1821-1897 Deux figures de Tahiti à l'époque du Protectorat. Paris, Société des Océanistes.
1   See especially Rotberg and Mazrui 1970: i-xxiv. I am grateful for comments on an earlier paper dealing more extensively with resistance and adaptation in Pacific Island societies discussed in the London University Institute of Commonwealth Studies Seminar of March 1972 on “Colonial Rule and Local Response in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries”.
2   Ranger 1967: 353.
3   J. E. Gorst, “General Report on the State of the Upper Waikato, June 1862,” cited in Davidson 1967: 142.
4   Robinson and Gallagher 1962:617, 640.
5   Ranger 1969:Chap. 9.
6   Baldwin 1938:212-31; Jore 1939; Jore 1959 (II):181-354; Morrell 1960:86-7.
7   See Bastide 1933; Mullot 1932; Jurien de la Graviere 1882.
8   For the general background to French contacts with Tahiti before 1842, see Faivre 1953: 424-40, 477-90.
9   Cf. Jore: 1944: 119 (where this “assembly” is supposed to have voted for acceptance of a protectorate—“à l'unanimité”).
10   I.e. Du Petit-Thouars' “Déclaration” of September 8, 1842. The missionary dates are a day ahead of official French and British dates for these events. See, too, Parliamentary Papers 1843: 8-12, for the main texts of the documents.
11   L.M.S. South Seas 15/2, Howe and Simpson, September 27, 1842; F.O. 58/20 “Extracts from Letters received” encl. in Gipps to Stanley, November 5, 1842.
12   Tairapa, son of an arii of Afareaitu, Moorea and one of the Toohitu: Cottez 1955:438; O'Reilly and Teissier 1962:441. Alexander Simpson had been a L.M.S. missionary, mostly on Moorea, since 1827; he was dismissed from the Society in 1850.
13   F.O. 58/20, Pomare to Thomas, January 22, 1843, encl. in Barrow to Canning, July 5, 1843.
14   F.O. 58/20, Pomare to Victoria (January 1843), encl. in Barrow to Canning, July 5, 1843.
15   F.O. 58/20, Tati and Utami, “Declaration”, February 14, 1843 and March 4, 1843, encl. in Barrow to Canning, August 25, 1844.
16   F.O. 58/20, “Declaration of Tearamaa”, March 4, 1843. “Proclamation au Nom de Sa Majesté la Reine Pomare”, Parliamentary Papers 1843:14-18.
17   Respective naval forces in the Pacific were about even in 1844. The French could muster 11 warships of 360 guns, including three frigates; the British squadron also had three frigates, but was rated at only 264 guns.
18   Admiralty Papers I/5550, Pomare to Tucker, January 7, 1844. Her attitude was encouraged by Tucker who advised her not to commit herself verbally “with any of those chiefs or foreigners who have so fatally conspired against your Majesty's independence”. Capt. Tucker also refused to salute the Protectorate flag and left the Basilisk under Lieut. Hunt with orders “to afford the ex-Queen Pomare any assistance in the way of advice.”:encl. in Tucker to Thomas, February 28, 1844. Tucker left for Hawaii on the Dublin on January 17.
19   L.M.S. South Seas 17, Platt, January 9, 1844; Archives Nationales, Section Outer—Mer (A.N.S.O.M.), A 16 bis 2, Bruat, January 16, 1844.
20   Admiralty Papers I/5550, Pomare to iatoai, January 10, 1844; Pomare to “chiefs and people” n.d., encl. in Hunt to Thomas, February 1, 1844; A.N.S.O.M., A 24/5, Bruat, March 13, 1844.
21   Admiralty Papers I/5550, Hunt to Thomas, February 1, 1844.
22   Arrêté No. 7, January 15, 1844; and Nos. 8, 18, and 33 of the same year: Arrêtés du Gouverneur des Etablissements Français de l'Océanie Comissaire du Roi près la Reine des Iles de la Société' Tome I. Années 1843, 1844 et 1845. Papeete, 1846; Arrêté No. 35 of October 21, 1844 “Portant expropriation pour cause d'utilité publique”, took over most of the central waterfront. Arrêté No. 61 of Octobet 13, 1845 (signed by Paraita) laid down for the first time the formalities of land transfer in a mixture of the Tahitian Code of 1842 and French regulations on sale and lease. See, too, Dauvergne 1959: 113-45, and the valuable plans by Raimbault (1844) and de la Vaissière (1844).
23   Arrêté No. 64, October 22, 1845 “Portant concession par l'État des immeubles domaniaux situés dans la vallée Sainte-Amélie”.
24   A.N.S.O.M., A 24/5, Bruat, March 24, 1844. There is some confusion in different accounts about the exact number. Bruat named Mare (Queen's Orator and judge), Mamoe, an iatoai of Pare, Paea and Uavea, court officers.
25   Proclamation, February 17, 1844, encl. in Bruat, March 24, 1844.
26   Admiralty Papers I/5550, Hunt to Thomas, February 25, 1844.
27   Mullot 1932: 130-1; Dauvergne 1959: 131 and notes.
28   Mullot 1932: 31-3. Tahitian losses in these early skirmishes were reported as 15: Admiralty I/5550, Thomas to Admiralty (private), May 31, 1844.
29   Mullot 1932: 133-6; Bruat April 22, 1844, in Revue Coloniale, October 1844, p. 119.
30   F.O. 58/26, Miller to Addington, August 28, 1844.
31   But the missionary Darling seems to have visited the camp fairly regularly. L.M.S. South Seas 18, Darling, January 30, 1845.
32   F.O. 58/38, Miller to Pomare, December 22, 1844 encl. in Miller to F.O., January 3, 1845 (private).
33   Océanie Française, January 12, 1845.
34   There is a short notice on him in O'Reilly and Teissier 1962:443.
35   A.N.S.O.M. A 24/5, Bruat to Bonard, January 17, 1846.
36   Admiralty Papers I/5561, Miller to F.O., January 25, 1846; and Charles Barff to Hamond, February 11, 1846.
37   A.N.S.O.M. A 24/5, Bruat to Minister of Marine, January 23, 1846. The Huahine forces lost two men killed, a woman and a child and four European allies.
38   Salmon 1964: Chap. 12.
39   There is a good unpublished account of Papeete at this period with a sympathetic portrait of Bruat's difficulties by Cap. Martin, H.M.S. Grampus, in his MS. Journal, British Museum Add. 41472, Martin Papers vol. cxxvii
40   Minutes of the assembly at Punaauia, December 22, 1846, Revue Coloniale, xii, May 1847; Minutes of the public meeting, December 24, 1846, ibid, annex 3.
41   She listed Pomare's titles, when speaking to Ariipaea (Vairaatoa), and called Paraita “Temahuetea” [sic (Temaihuatea)], his family name in Pare district.
42   Martin Papers, vol. cxxvii, Journal, October 29, 1846, f. 70.
43   Ibid, f. 70.
44   Iliffe 1965:76.
45   Guiart 1968:113-4.
46   Some of the deterioration in race relations and the harsh conditions suffered by French troops may be documented from Bastide 1933:157-80 and the fairly anti-French account in Lucett 1851:passim.
47   L.M.S. South Seas 10/6, Orsmond, October 5, 1836. The general account of the 1830s is based on missionary records—especially South Seas 8/2, Platt, August 1, 1831, and the valuable (anonymous) “A few remarks on the late unhappy differences between Pomare and the Governors of Tahiti”, April 4, 1831 (by Darling?) in South Seas 8/1.
48   L.M.S. South Seas 16, Howe and Simpson, February 8, 1843 (account of a general meeting of chiefs, consuls and population with Sir Thomas Thompson, February 1843.
49   Martin Papers, vol. cxxvii, Journal, October 26, 1846.
50   F.O. 58/38, Rodgerson to Hamond, November 29, 1845.
51   Martin Papers, vol. cxxxvii, Journal, f. 72.
52   A.N.S.O.M. A 52/9, Bruat, “Mémoire adressé au capitaine de vaisseau Lavaud”, May 1849 (where there is a full account of the position of chiefs during and after the war).
53   A.N.S.O.M. A 52, Lavaud to Minister of Marine, January 12, 1848; December 2, 1847; encl. Pomare to Toohitu, November 10, 1847.
54   There is a good deal of correspondence in British sources between consuls, naval officers and the rebel leaders, much of it seeking advice about British intentions.
55   The missionaries noted the change in 1847: L.M.S. South Seas 20, Johnston, May 11, 1847; Simpson, July 24, 1847; Howe, October 15, 1847.
56   Admiralty Papers I/5561, encl. in Hamond to Seymour, February 11, 1846. The document was sent by Seymour to the Admiralty from Valparaiso, November 20, 1846, and was forwarded to the Foreign Office, February 11, 1847. Capt. Hamond was at Papeete on the Salamander in January 1846. The “Appeal” was probably translated by the missionary Charles Barff, rather than his son, John (used occasionally as translator by the French). Barff, the elder, was at Papeete from Raiatea, at the time of Hamond's visit, in order to take letters to Teriitaria, Queen of Huahine. He was temporarily forbidden to leave by Bruat. Hamond also received a number of other despatches from the chiefs (“Governors”) at Papenoo: December 15, December 26, December 28, 1845 giving, some details of the insurrection, the administration of the war camp and seeking confirmation concerning fighting on Huahine. See also Mitchell Library, A 2056 “Remark Book of Captain A. S. Hamond, H.M.S. Salamander, 1843-1847.” The authorship of the “Appeal” is not easy to establish: the original signatures do not feature on the Admiralty and F.O. copies. The covering note was probably written by Fare'au (or Farehau) who, as “Arai Teva” (Envoy of the Teva) conducted other correspondence with Hamond, January 23, January 26, 1846, about the war. From internal evidence, it would seem to be a collective statement of a considered historical viewpoint, within the Papenoo camp.
57   To curb the traffic in spirits, “Temperance Societies” were formed by the chiefs, 1833-4, at each of the mission stations. Sales were prohibited and the mutoi were instructed to seize stocks held by Europeans, May 16, 1834. A similar law was adopted on Huahine in 1835.
58   The well-known expulsion of Caret and Laval took place in 1836; an indemnity of 2,000 Spanish dollars was paid to Du Petit-Thouars in 1838.
59   I.e. the protectorate request prepared by Moerenhout and signed first by Tati, Utami, Paraita and Hitoti, September 8.
60   Added to the F.O. copy. This case in 1841 concerned the trial of a Spanish officer, Monte, and Capt. Cotton for assault, before a jury of three Tahitians and three Europeans. Consuls Moerenhout and Blackler represented the defendants: only Monte was found guilty. Tahiti British Consulate Papers, Mitchell Library, vol. 8, Wilson to Pritchard, May 27, 1841. Waterfront riots during the visit of this “Spanish ship” gave rise to the first request for French assistance, arranged by Moerenhout and signed by Paraita, Tati, Hitoti and Paete in August 1841. F.O. 58/16, Admiralty to F.O., May 6, 1842. Pomare was at Raiatea.
61   The authors here confuse the first “treaty” with the protectorate request of September 1842.
62   But Pomare did add her signature, under duress, on the 9th.
63   I.e. on September 9, 1842.
64   With Pomare's signature on the protectorate request.
65   On November 6, 1843.
66   Which may account for the confusion about the number of Tahitians seized. Some of these names are not identifiable in other sources.
67   This would refer to the chase for the proscribed chiefs in February 1844, when they crossed the isthmus from Papeari to the eastern districts.
68   A reference to the Tahitian attack from Punaauia on Faaa in June 1844. Exaggeration of enemy losses was common to both sides.
69   A reference to the legendary “dog-fight” in which the trader Mauruc was involved and which served as one of the pretexts for Du Petit-Thouars' demands.
70   The meeting with Capt. Sir Thomas Thompson, H.M.S. Talbot, was held February 8, 1843.