Nicholas Senn.

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the belt of feathers. He was more jealous of his
son than of Amo or his son Teriirere. His son,
Tu, was born about 1743. Related by birth with
two of the m.ost influential families, he strength-
ened, his native ties by marrying Tetuanui-rea-i-
tc-rai, of the adjoining independent chief dom
of Tefauai Ahurai, who was not only a niece of
Purea, but quite as ambitious and energetic as
Purea herself. The English, who could not
conceive that the Tahitians should be able to
exist without some pretense of royalty, gave Tu
the rank and title of king, notwithstanding that
he was only one, and at that not the most influ-
ential of several Arii rahi. To the great dissatis-
faction of the other chiefs, Tu received the lion's
share of presents from Captain Cook. At this
action, the Ahurai and Attahura people were
enraged, and Cook was quite unable to under-
stand that they had reason to complain. To
them. Cook's partiality for Tu must have seemed
a delibeiate insult. When Cook returned on his
third voyage, in 1777, several Tahitian tribes
were in a state of war with Moorea, in which Tu
took no active part. Cook then deliberately


intervened in the support of the plan he had
adopted of elevating Tu at the expense of the
other chiefs. In his estimation, Tu was king by
divine right, and any attack on his authority was
treason in the first place, and an attack on British
influence in the next. British influence and
British threats made a radical change in the
government of Tahiti, in opposition to the ex-
pressed wish of the great majority of the people.
England wanted to control the political affairs
of the island for commercial gain, and to extend
her sovereignty in the South Seas, which only
confimis that

All government — indeed, every human benefit and
enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is
founded on compromise and barter. Burke.

After Cook's departure, nearly eleven years
elapsed before another European ship called at
Tahiti, and, during this time, Pomare paid dearly
for the distinctions forced upon him by the for-
eigners. When Lieutenant Bligh arrived in the
Bounty, in 1788, Tu told him that after five
years from the time of Cook's last departure,
the people of the island Moorea (Eirrieo) joined
with those of Attahura and made an attack
on his district,, and many of his subjects were
killed, while he had himself fled, with the sur-
vivors, to the mt)untains. All the houses and prop-
erty had been destroyed or carried away by the
enemy. Bligh landed at Matavai in the Bounty

Son of the last King of Tahiti, Pomare V.


October 26, 1788. He came for a supply of bread-
fruit, which was to be introduced and domesti-
cated in the various tropical colonies of Great
Britain, and indirectly to advance the interests
and power of Tu, who had nearly lost his influ-
ence over the natives. His position was so des-
perate that he begged the lieutenant to take him
and his wife, Tetua, to England. He had a son,
at this time six years old, who became the first
Christian king of Tahiti. Before leaving the
island, April 3, 1789, Bligh did what he could
to strengthen Tu's position, and supplied him
with firearms. For this act he gave the following
explanation :

He (Tu) had frequently expressed a wish that I
would leave some firearms and ammunition with him,
as he expected to be attacked after the ship sailed, and
perhaps chiefly on account of our partiality to him. I
therefore thought it but reasonable to accede to his
request. I was the more readily prevailed on, as he said
his intentions were to act only on the defensive. This,
indeed, seems most suited to his disposition, which is
neither active nor enterprising. When I proposed to
leave with him a pair of pistols, which they prefer to
muskets, they told me that his wife, Tetua, would fight
with one and Oedidee with the other. Tetua has learned
to load and fire a musket with great dexterity, and
Oedidee is an excellent marksman. It is not common
for women in this country to go to war, but Tetua is a
very resolute v/oman, of a large make, and has great
bodily strength.

History shows that Tetua was not the only
fighting woman in Tahiti, as at different times.


in tribal wars, it was not uncommon for women
to take an active part, and in more than one
instance the leading part.

On great occasions it is almost always women who
have given the strongest proofs of virtue and devotion ;
the reason is, that with men, good and bad qualities
are in general the result of calculation, whilst in
women they are impulses, springing from the heart.

Count Montholon.

Lieutenant Bligh left the island April 4th.
As he was passing the Friendly, or Tonga group,
April 28th, the larger part of his officers and men
mutinied and set him and some eighteen others
adrift in the ship's launch. The mutineers then
put the ship about and returned to Tahiti, where
they arrived at Matavai Bay, June 6, 1789. There
they took in all the live-stock they could obtain,
and twenty-four Tahitians, and sailed again June
16th for Tubuai, but appeared once more, Sep-
tember 22nd, and landed sixteen of the mutineers,
who were tired of their adventures. The rest
sailed suddenly the next night, and vanished
from the sight of men for twenty years. The
sixteen mutineers who remained scattered more
or less over the island, but made Pare their
headquarters and Tu their patron. Here they set
to work, November 12, 1789, to build a thirty-
foot schooner, with which to make their escape.
The effect of the example of these ruffians and
criminals on the morals of the simple, receptive


Tahitians can be readily imagined. These men,
who had enjoyed the confidence of their com-
mander and the advantages and pleasures of a
trip to foreign strange countries, proved un-
grateful, and "the earth produces nothing worse
than an ungrateful man" (Ansonius). The
schooner was launched August 5, 1790. The war
which immediately followed, and which reestab-
lished Tu in his power for the time, deserves to
be called the War of the Mutineers of the Bounty.
When Tu died, thirteen years later, the mis-
sionaries in their Journal recorded many details
about his life and character, and among other
things, they said:

He was born in the district of Oparre, where his
corpse now is, and was by birth chief of that district,
and none other. The notice of the English navigators
laid the foundation for his future aggrandizement;
and the runaway seamen that from time to time quitted
their vessels to sojourn in the island (especially that
of His Majesty's ship Bounty's crew, which resided
here) were the instruments for gaining to Pomarre a
greater extent of dominion and power than any other
man had before in Otaheite.

It is very evident that the first Pomare was
a man without firmness and that what influence
he exercised was due to the energies and ambition
of his wife and to foreign support. When Lieu-
tenant Bligh reached home and reported the
mutiny, the British government sent the frigate
Pandora in search of the Bounty and the deserted


crew. The Pandora never found the Bounty,
which long since had been burned by the muti-
neers at Pitcairn Island ; but she did find such of
the mutineers as had returned to Tahiti, and who
were actively engaged in establishing Tu as a
Tahitian despot, when the Pandora, in March,
1791, appeared in Matavai Bay. The mutineers,
it seems, unable to keep at sea in the rickety
schooner, landed at Papara, March 26 th, and took
refuge in the mountains. Captain Edwards, of
the Pandora, immediately sent two boats, with
a number of men, to Papara. Through the
friendly office of the chiefs and natives, the
mutineers were finally captured, one by one,
until only six remained out, and these were at
last found near the seashore, where they were
captured after many fruitless attempts. The
Pandora sailed from Tahiti with her prisoners in
May, 1791, and in December following, Vancouver
arrived in the sloop of war Discovery, on a search
for a northwest passage to the Orient, stopping
for suppHes at Tahiti, December 28th.

Vancouver, Vvho had been with Cook in 1777,
inquired for his old friends. He learned that the
young king had taken the name of Otoo, and his
old friend that of Pomare, having given up his
name with his sovereign jurisdiction, though he
still seemed to retain his authority as regent.
This is the first record of the name Pomare, by
which the family has since been known. After


the birth of the young Tu, about 1782, the first
of his children who was allowed to live, the
father seems to have taken the name of Tuiah,
or Tarino, which he bore in 1788. He took the
name of Pomare (night cough) from his younger
son, Terii nava horoo, a young child in 1791, who
coughed at night. With the assistance of Eng-
lish guns, Pomare waged active war on neighbor-
ing chiefs, and the chief of Papara was the last
one to succumb. By successive vigorous strokes,
he finally gained control of the entire group of
islands, including Borabora.


It is better that men should be governed by priest-
craft than violence. Lord Macauley.

The early missionaries of Tahiti played an
important role in the island poHtics. They did
not limit their work to the conversion of the
heathen islanders, but took an active part in polit-
ical affairs, and many of their doings in that
direction were not in accord with the teachings of
the gospel. The first missionaries sent to Tahiti
from England reached the island in the Duff,
March, 1797. They received information of the
island politics from two Swedish sailors, Andrew
Lind, of the ship Matilda, which had been
wrecked in the South Sea in 1792, and Peter
Haggerstein, who deserted from the Daedalus
in February, 1793. Both of these men were
adventurers of the type that has infested the
South Seas for more than a century. They
became well-known characters in the history of
the island, sometimes assisting the mission-
aries, and sometimes annoying them. In July,
1797, Peter accompanied one of the missionaries
as a guide and interpreter, on a circuit round the
island, to make a sort of census, as a starting-
point for the missionary work. They began with
Papenoo, July 11th, and as they walked, Peter
boasted of his exploits. His stories were so much
in conflict with facts that they rather misled



than aided the missionaries in search of island
affairs. Temarii, the chief of Papara, had vis-
ited the missionaries at Matavai. The mission-
aries gave the following account of him :

May 7, 1797, visited by the chief priest from Papara,
Temarre. He was dressed in a wrapper of Otaheitian
cloth, and over it an officer's coat doubled around
him. At his first approach he appeared timid, and
was invited in. He was just about seated when the
cuckoo clock struck and filled him with astonishment
and terror. Old Pyetea had brought the bird some
breadfruit, observing it must be starved if we never
fed it. At breakfast we invited Temarii to our repast,
but he first held out his hand with a bit of plantain
and looked very solemn, which, one of the natives said,
was an offering to Eatooa (Tahitian divinity) and we
must receive it. When we had taken it out of his hand
and laid it under the table, he sat down and made a
hearty breakfast. Brother Cover read the translated
address to all these respected guests, the natives listen-
ing with attention, and particularly the priest, who
seemed to drink in every word, but appeared dis-
pleased when urged to cast away their false gods, and
on hearing the names of Jehovah and Jesus he would
turn and whisper. Two days afterwards, Temarii came
again to the mission house and this time with the young
Otoo, Pomare H., and his first wife Tetuanui.

Here again is the account of the visit by the
missionaries :

May 9th, Temarre accompanied the king and queen
and staid to dine with us. He is, we find, of the royal
race and son of the famed Oberea. He is the first chief
of the island after Pomarre, by whom he has been
subdued, and now lives in friendship with him and has
adopted his son. He is also high in esteem as a priest.


In July of the same year the missionaries
visited Temarii a^ Papara on their way around
the island. They found the chief under the influ-
ence of Kava, but were feasted the next day on
Temarii's feast pig. Not only was Temarii the
most powerful chief of the island, but Pomare
had become, by his son's accession, a chief of
the second order. He depended greatly on the
favor of his son, the young Tu, who was, in 1797,
supposed to be at least fifteen and perhaps seven-
teen years of age, and who had been adopted
by Temarii, his cousin, who was about ten years
older than he. Adoption was rather stronger in
the South Seas than the tie of natural parentage.
Between his natural father, Pomare, and his
adopted father, Temarii, the young Tu preferred
the latter, and sooner or later every one knew
that Temarii would help Tu to emancipate him-
self and drive Pomare from the island.

The Duif sailed for England August 14, 1797,
leaving the missionaries to the mercies of rival
factions, and they soon ascertained that Pomare
and Tu were on anything but friendly terms.
The missionaries had faith in Pomare, who chose
one of them by the name of Cover as a brother.
Temarii chose another by the name of Main.
These two missionaries went to Papara August
15th, at the suggestion of the influential native
priest, Manne Manne, to remonstrate against
a human sacrifice which was to be made at the


Marae Tooarai. On account of a murder
recently committed, the missionaries found the
chief and people greatly excited, and fled as
quickly as possible.

In the month of March the missionaries found
themselves in a critical condition when the ship
Nautilus appeared and two of her crew deserted.
The deserters went to Pare and were sheltered
there. The captain of the Nautilus at once set
to work to recover them. Four of the mission-
aries proceeded to Pare to see Tu, Pomare and
Temarii and informed them that a refusal to
return the men would be regarded as exhibiting
an evil intention against the missionaries. They
found Tu and Temarii at Pare, but went to get
Pomare to join them, when they were suddenly
attacked and stripped by some thirty natives, who
took their clothes and treated them rather
roughly, but at last released them. They went to
Pomare's house and were kindly received.
Pomare returned with them to Tu, and insisted
on the punishment of the offenders and the deliv-
ery of the deserters. Two were executed, and
the district of Pare took up arms to avenge them.
Tu joined his father and suppressed the riot, so
that the missionaries* clothes post the natives
fifteen lives before order was restored. This in-
cident made the missionaries very unpopular and
they had to depend more than ever on Pomare
for protection.


On August 24th, two whaling vessels, the
Cornwall and Sally, of London, anchored in
Matavai Bay, and most of the principal chiefs
went on board. On the 30th, while the mission-
aries were at dinner, Pomare came in great haste,
and told them that a man had been blown up
with gunpowder at the Council house in Pare,
and requested them to hasten to the place and
render assistance. When they arrived they found
that the injured man was Temarii. Here is the
account of the afifair by the missionaries :

At our arrival we were led to the bed of Temaree
called also Orepiah, and beheld such a spectacle as we
had never before seen. Brother Broomhall began
immediately to apply what he had prepared with a
camel's-hair brush over most parts of the body. He
was apparently more passive under the operation than
we could conceive a man in his situation would be
capable of. The night drawing on, we took leave of him
by saying we would return next morning with a fresh
preparation. On the following morning we were
struck with much surprise at the appearance of the
patient He was literally daubed with something like a
thick white paste. Upon inquiry we found it to be the
scrapings of yams. Both the chief and his wife seemed
highly offended at Brother Broomhall's application the
preceding evening, and they would not permit him to
do anything more^for him, as he had felt so much pain
from what he had applied. It was said that there was
a curse put into the medicine by our God.

It must be remembered that the Tahitian
chiefs were also priests and not infrequently
acted as physicians. The dissatisfaction of


Temarii with the treatment of his case by the
missionaries had therefore to be considered as a
most unfortunate affair. Under these conditions
the missionaries were apprehensive of increas-
ing hostiHties. The suspicion on part of the
superstitious natives that the missionaries had
been sent by Pomare to curse Temarii and cause
his death was not only a natural but a reasonable
one to the chief as well as his subjects. Pomare
was quite capable of such conduct and as far
as the natives knew, the missionaries were
Pomare's friends and supporters. The accident
which gave rise to this unfortunate occurrence
was due to the English gunpowder and it was
fortunate that the missionaries had nothing to
do with furnishing it. The explosion occurred
while Temarii was testing the quality of powder
which he obtained from the whalers Cornzvall
and Sally.

A pistol was loaded and unthinkingly fired in the
midst of a number of people, over the whole quantity
(five pounds) of powder received. A spark of fire
dropped from the pistol upon the powder that lay on
the ground, and in a moment it blew up. The natives
did not feel themselves hurt at first, but when the
smoke was somewhat dispersed, observing their skin
fouled with powder, they began to rub their arms, and
found the skin peeling off under their fingers. Terrified
at this, they instantly ran to a river near at hand and
plunged themselves in.

Temarii lingered in great suffering till Sep-
tember 8th, but the missionaries did not dare to


visit him again for fear of violence on the part of
the indignant natives. The whole body of chiefs
was present and looked on in consternation while
Temarii died. The chief's remains were carried,
in the usual state, round the island to all his
districts and duly mourned; and in the regular
course prescribed by the island ceremonial, his
head was secretly hidden in the cave at Papara.
These demonstrations served to spread the news
of the calamity, for which the missionaries
received the exclusive blame. The political com-
plications which followed induced Pomare to
seek safety in flight to the Paumotu Islands,
leaving his wife to face the storm. The chief ess
was not idle after her husband's cowardly flight.
On the 29th of November she compromised with
Tu by ceding to him the authority he wanted, and
obtained from him a pledge assuring her safety.
This guaranty was the life of the high priest, old
Manne Manne, Tu's best friend. He was
murdered by Tetuanui's people on his way from
Matavai to Pare. The chiefess was in the mis-
sionaries' house when this news arrived. She
had a icartridge-box around her waist and a
musket near at hand. She shook hands in a
friendly manner with the Swede, saying unto
him, "It is all over," meaning the war, and im-
mediately returned to her home. Pomare gained
nothing by these dissensions, for he had nothing
to gain, but had to sacrifice a part of his posses-


sions. The only winner in this tragic game was
the worst and most bloodthirsty of all, Tu, the
first Christian king. It must be remarked that
this king was the creation of the English, and
that he was used as a tool in the hands of the mis-
sionaries. The Europeans came, and not only
upset all the moral ideas of the natives, but also
their whole political system. Before European
influence made itself felt in Tahiti, whenever a
chief became intolerably arrogant or dangerous,
the other chiefs united to overthrow him. All
the wars that are remembered in island traditions
were caused by the overweening pride, violence
or abnormal ambition of the great chiefs of dis-
tricts, and always ended in correcting existing
evils and in restoring the balance of power.

The English came just at the time when one
of these revolutions was in progress. The whole
island had united to punish the chiefess of Papara
for outrageous disregard of the island courtesies
which took the place of international law between
great chiefs. Purea had taken away the symbol
of sovereignty she had assumed for her son, and
had given it for safe-keeping to the chief of
Paea. The natives and chiefs had recognized
the chief of Pare, Arue, as entitled to wear the
Maro-ura, which Purea had denied him by insult-
ing his wife. Then the chief of Paea had tried
to imitate Purea and assert supreme authority,
only to be in his turn defeated and killed.


Probably Tu would never have attempted a
similar course if the English had not insisted on
recognizing and treating him as king of the
whole island. He was one of the weakest of the
chiefs and enjoyed little if any reputation as a
military power. The other chiefs would have
easily kept him in his proper place if the English
had not constantly supported him and restored
him to power when he was vanquished. English
interference and the assistance of the mission-
aries prolonged his ambition and caused the con-
stant revolutions which gave no chance for the
people to recover from the losses. Pomare v/as
a shrewd politician and with the assistance of
English guns finally gained control over the
whole island, crushing tribal rule, the safeguard
of the people under his despotic rule. All
visitors to the island became aware how desper-
ately the unfortunate people struggled against
the English policy of creating and supporting a
tyranny. The brutality and violence of Tu made
him equally hated by his own people of Pare
and by the Teva districts. Of these facts the
missionaries had full knowledge, as is evident
from their numerous correspondents, neverthe-
less, they assisted him in carrying out his plans
to gain control over the entire island. They
supplied him freely with firearms and ammuni-
tion. To preserve peace the missionaries did
some very curious things which suggest, as they


hinted, that they were glad to see the natives
fighting together, as is evident from one of their
daily records:

August 20, 1800.— We hear great preparations are
making, whether for war or peace is to be determined
in a short time, by some heathenish divination. If it
should prove for war, those who are eager for blood
seem determined to glut themselves, we rejoice that the
Lord of Hosts is the God of the heathen as well as the
Captain of the Armies of Israel ; and while the pot-
sherds of the earth are dashing themselves to pieces one
against the other, they are fulfilling his determinate
counsels and foreknowledge.

In the month of June Pomare instituted a
wholesale massacre to subject the entire island
to his rule, and by brutal force gained the object
of his ambition. In 1808 the political situation
was such that the missionaries found it necessary
for their safety to leave the island, and fled with
Pomare, November 12th, to the island of Moorea.
Pomare's cruelties and atrocities practiced upon
the natives during his tyrannical rule are well
described in a pen-picture drawn by Moerenhout :

After having massacred all whom they had surprised
(in Attahura), after having burned the houses, they
went on to Papara, where Tati, who is still living (1837),
was chief; but fortunately a man who had escaped from
the carnage of Punaauia came to warn the inhabitants
of Papara, so that they had time, not to unite in
defense, but to fly. Nevertheless, in that infernal night
and the day following a great number of persons per-
ished, especially old men, women and children; and
among the victims were the widow and children of


Aripaia (Ariifaataia) Amo's son, who, surprised the next
evening near Taiarahu, were pitilessly massacred with
all their attendants. Tati and some of his warriors suc-

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