The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1
Events in Feejee During the First Six Months of the Year 1855
Events in Feejee During the First Six Months of the Year 1855.
Re-Occupation of Rewa as a Mission-Station.
This has been a remarkable year in Feejee; in which we have had unusual excitement by frequent and extraordinary occurrences. At our last District-Meeting Mr. Moore was appointed to resume the occupation of Rewa as a Mission-Station, it having gained strength and many other advantages in the war with Bau, so as to offer safety to us; and was indeed in such a settled and prosperous state as to demand our return, in order that we might have free access to many other parts of Feejee.
Violent Intentions of Rewa Towards Bau.
In October, 1854, many Bau towns revolted, and joined Rewa. The King of Rewa triumphed; and was flushed with the prospect of speedily gaining his heart's desires,—of destroying Bau, and page 5 of killing and eating the Vunivalu (Tui Viti, better known as Thakombau).* He was afraid that he could not restrain his immense army, when he should come to Bau, from doing injury to the Mission-premises there, and therefore sent, desiring Mr. Waterhouse to remove; which request was, of course, disregarded.
* For a most interesting account of this great Chief or King of Feejee, and of his profession of Christianity on the 30th of April, 1854, sec the Weale an Missionary Report for 1855.
Danger of Civil Commotion in Bau.
The Vunivalu was not only hard pushed by ammunition being short,—places revolting, and rumours of an op-position-party being in Bau,—but he was dispirited and severely afflicted; brought on, in a great measure, by the things which had befallen him. I felt much for him. I feared that danger was at hand; mainly, I thought, through Koli i Visa Wangga, head Chief of the Bau fishermen, who was holding intercourse with Mara, the rebel Bau Chief who had joined the King of Rewa. As Koli had made me acquainted with the fair side of his movements, I clung to him, hoping to exert some influence if he really designed evil. We were often together, as Mr. Watsford and I were wont to be, with Thakombau, when we interceded for the lives of the women, whom he strangled in spite of all our entreaties. But the King was now greatly altered; had seen and felt his obstinacy and wickedness; and hoped that the Lord, in whom he trusted, might regard him in his low estate, undertake for, and rescue, him. We prayed to God continually for his safety. It was indeed a most critical time. I thought his safety might be in flight, and advised him to run away for a season; but he refused, saying, "I cannot do that. If evil comes, I must die. But I think the Lord will deliver me. I am lotu. If I do anything, (to my enemies, to conciliate them,) it will be disregarded. There is one thing that may be useful, which I desire: Do you keep close intercourse with Koli." This I particularly attended to; while Mr. Waterhouse was mindful to make special and unceasing efforts with another dangerous party in Bau, over whom he had gained the necessary influence. Yet it became probable that Bau would be divided: the fishermen (Lasakauans) were about to put up a fence for civil war. Previous to which, Koli came over to Vewa on the 23d of October. I had been to see Mr. Water-house at Bau, who felt the dangerous position of the Vunivalu, which would undoubtedly also endanger the Mission-premises, and perhaps the lives of our friends. Mara had given property to Koli, and promises. The King of Rewa had promised him one hundred canoes, many of which were building. Weighty reasons were promptly needed to keep him from taking the bait. After showing him the gross sin, in this enlightened age, of taking life, which could not be stayed, if once commenced, until many had been killed; and the danger to himself, as it would end by the club being brought on his own head; I gave him twelve dozen hatchets and ten wedge axes, earnestly intreating him to resist every inward and outward temptation to shed blood. This was a bird in the hand—a heavy one; whereas many of the canoes promised were yet living in the forest, and his personal danger was a consideration. The desires and plans of the enemy were for the present frustrated, by being postponed.
Kind Interposition of Captain Dunn, of the "Dragon."
On the 1st of November, 1854, through the judicious and kind exertions of Captain Dunn, who has been very desirous to prevent evil and promote good in Feejee, we got Mara on board the "Dragon," where he and the Vunivalu had a long and interesting interview. Mara's opposition was softened, His own party was cramped for the time.
Revolt of Towns to the Westward.
But there arose a fresh, powerful, and extensive movement against Bau to the westward. Naloto, Verata, Naivuru-vuru, Kumi, Nalatha, Nasong-go, Na- page 6 vesikalen, Nukuona, Rasea, Nandaro, Natomboning-gio, Nanamu, and other towns, joined Rewa. The two Dravuni towns alone were left, at the point opposite the west end of Vewa. Then was manifest the end of Divine Providence in the ferocious attack made on me at Motureke; for Dravuni was at that time more against Vewa and Bau than many of the places that now revolted. But, after the people from Dravuni had rescued me at Motureke, knowing the critical state of those places, I collected a considerable quantity of Feejeean property, and took the people of Vewa with me to present it to the Dravuni people, as an expression of obligation and gratitude to them for their kindness to me. This placed us on terms of friendship and intercourse with Dravuni; so that the party which now revolted was surprised to find that Dravuni was faithful to Bau and Vewa, and disposed to take a firm stand against the aggressors who had progressed with amazing rapidity, burning five or six towns, and killing fifty or sixty persons, (whose bodies were not allowed burial,) in a few days. At Dravuni, therefore, a good fence was got up, and embankments made; and there, at a tolerable distance from us, all the armies of the aliens were defied. They were kept at bay, and much annoyed with this unexpected impediment. This place has been nobly defended by the Vewa people, at the request of the Vunivalu, without the loss of one of our number. An old established Christian and Local Preacher of Mr. Hunt's time, a Chief of the place, Micah Roli, has acted a most decided and consistent part in the whole affair.
Christian Conduct of Tui Viti, and Death of the King of Rewa.
The Vunivalu went on well in his lotu. The bodies of enemies who were killed and brought to him, he returned to their friends for burial; and spared the lives of some who were taken alive, and returned them in safety to their own towns. He refrained from aggression, and desired and sought peace. He twice sent messages to the King of Rewa, telling him that Heathenism depopulated places, and destroyed Chiefs; as a proof of which many Rewans were missing, and he was the only Chief of rank remaining in Rewa. He said he had become Christian, lamented his past bad conduct, and no longer desired to act as he had done hitherto; that religion was true and useful; and he begged that the King of Rewa would become Christian, and consent to the establishment of peace. This advice and request the Rewa Chief indignantly rejected, as he did also the exhortations of his Missionary, saying he would burn Bau in a very short time, and kill and eat the Chief; that it was a very favourable opportunity for ending the ten years' fight with high honour to himself; that he was confident of being able to avenge himself, and therefore firmly and contemptuously refused all offers for peace. More than this: he defied the Lord Jehovah's power to screen the doomed one from the clubs and stomachs of his warriors. However much he had suffered from man, he was evidently now on a dangerous course, He built two new temples, presented offerings to his gods, and ordered the lotu-drum not to be beaten, or Divine service celebrated at the usual place, lest his gods should be offended. Though kind, to Mr. Moore in many things, he would not yield to instruction and advice; but was determined to go on with the war, make special efforts to gain additional help from his gods in which he trusted, and rely upon the numbers who had become his adherents. Neglecting the constant exhortations of his indefatigable Missionary, and the kind and earnest entreaties of his humbled rival, he was now put into the school of affliction; but he continued to harden his heart, and he was cut off by dysentery on the 26th of January.
Some Rewa towns at once wished to turn to Bau; but the Vunivalu objected, as he would not, by a partial arrangement, be the cause of continued warfare. He felt that he had done wrong in the long and destructive war with Rewa; and he resolved to use every means to bring about peace. He sent a message to that effect, and the Rewa page 7 Chiefs consented. Things were going on well generally; yet many disliked peace, and were against the Missionaries who actively promoted it. Moreover, so dark and evil were the minds of the people, that many believed that Mr. Moore had given medicine which caused the death of the Chief. It was greatly feared that the Mission-premises would be burnt, and perhaps some of the Mission family killed, as had been threatened. However, danger and opposition appeared to subside; and it was hoped that peace would, in spite of opposing influences, be established, and that the Mission-premises, Missionary, and his family, would be safe. On the 7th of February, I returned from Rewa. On the following day the offering for peace from Rewa arrived at Bau, and the drums beat merrily next day. We hoisted our flags at Bau and Vewa. It was a day of exultation! At our family-worship we heartily praised the Lord for this lessening of Feejee's evils. But, alas! shortly after our praises had been offered, while our hearts were yet warm, a messenger from Bau arrived with painful intelligence, which he abruptly delivered: "Mr. Moore is at Bau. Mrs. Moore without a bonnet or shoes. The children in their night-clothes. The Mission-house and every thing is burnt at Rewa." What a proof that determined enemies to the peace and Christianity were active and daring! and how necessary our most strenuous exertions! How thankful were we that no life was lost!
Destruction of the Mission-House at Rewa by Fire.
At midnight (on the 9th of February) Mr. Moore was awakened by the crackling of bamboos in the adjoining house, which had been set on fire. He got Mrs. Moore and the two children out in their night-clothes, and urged them on with rapidity to a small house outside; though Mrs. Moore was anxious to remain on the spot to try to save something. Consternation and fear prevailed. The source of the evil deed was not known, and people stood aloof. As soon as the people mustered, and when there was no small stir, Mr. Moore urged them to take what things they could get, and carry them home. This was as effective as Mr. Leigh's fish-books; it occupied their attention and efforts; and was, I believe, instrumentally, the salvation of Mr. and Mrs. Moore: for it is now reported that those who fired the premises have ever since wondered how their design of murdering all on the premises was frustrated. A club was up to kill Mrs. Moore, but a Rewa man prevented. I now see how providential was my hurried and unexpected return the day before; for had I been there, and made any attempt to save the property, I doubt not but we should all have perished. The fire consumed most of the goods, whether belonging to the family or to the Mission. Much of what the natives took, they have as yet taken care of, or otherwise disposed of. Some empty boxes which could not be concealed, and other articles, have been returned, through the exertions of the Rewa Chiefs.
The Missionary Returns to Rewa.
Mrs. Moore and the children remained at Bau ten weeks. Mr. Moore returned at once to Rewa, and prosecuted his labours. His presence there was absolutely needed. He has borne his loss remarkably well, and has persevered with astonishing zeal, in the midst of difficulties. His spirit, sacrifice, and labours, excite our warmest admiration, and have been crowned with distinguished success. When he had got a small hut built, Mrs. Moore and the children accompanied him to the scene of their sufferings and losses, and to the field of their toil. He has now got up a good-sized native house. We have supplied, from the various Stations, a few necessary articles of barter, and some household utensils; for each has been willing to contribute something in books and clothing; but their personal loss is very heavy. I trust that the friends of Missions and Mission, aries in the colonies, and in England too, will be ready to show their sympathy in some tangible form. Mr. and Mrs. Moore have had much to endure in body and mind, by night and day, without having also to suffer the loss of almost every thing; this ought not to be allowed. A Missionary and his wife in Feejee, page 8 and especially in such a place as Rewa, by far the most difficult Station in Feejee, ought not to be permitted to bear this burden; and I am persuaded the case will be fully met by our friends with a re-supply. They have two children, for whose support and education they have to provide. That is an additional reason why their loss should be made good.
Hopes and Fears.
It was well that, during the last hours of the Rewa Chief, he was not able to speak; so that he could not give the usual dying advice for revenge, which is considered so binding. This preventive to peace, therefore, was out of the way.
However, shortly after his death, Mara, who had been absent, returned. He was mortified at not having been waited for and consulted about peace; and, during his absence, he had formed an intimacy with the daughter of the late King of Bau, his reputed sister, whom he knew he could not marry if he made peace with Bau. All his desires and professions for peace were now laid aside, and he went about in every direction to stir up the remains of evil, to prevent peace between Rewa and Bau if possible, and to be himself the head of more active warfare with Bau than that which the late King of Rewa had carried on. He said they would now fight in earnest.
The burning of the Mission-premises, and the return of Mr. Moore to Rewa, however, led many to desire peace and lotu, as they believed that they must lose their Missionary if Rewa again engaged in war. This proved a great stimulus to those who were peaceably disposed; and, indeed, in a great measure confirmed the steps that had already been taken. But yet Mara had many adherents in the dominions of Rewa; * he retained all the Bau towns that had revolted; and he, being closely united with all Ovalau and the Whites there, was a formidable opponent. Besides this, he made further attempts to get the Bau fishermen to join him.
* It is a remarkable fact, that the presence of the Romish Priests in Rewa, of whom the once-famous Father Mathew, of Ireland, is one, appears to have had no influence on either the Heathen or Christian party.
Arrival of King George from Tonga.
While things were in this state, King George, of the Friendly Islands, arrived at Bau, on the 24th of March, with thirty-nine canoes, to pay a friendly visit to the Vunivalu, and to take away the large canoe, "The Ra Marama," which was given to him when he passed through Feejee with Mr. Young. Rumours had been spread at Ovalau that King George intended to attack Ovalau, because of its revolt from Bau, and to avenge the murder of Elijah. It appeared that Mara had ordered the people on Ovalau, in the event of the Tongans going to that island, to attack them before they disembarked; as, if they once effected a landing, it would be a lost case. Previous to King George's arrival at Bau, a messenger met him from Bau, requesting him to remain over the Sabbath at Motureke, in order that full preparations might be made at Bau for a stately reception.
Murderous Attack on a Tonga Canoe at Ovalau.
Having been requested by the French Governor of Tahiti to pay kind attentions to the French Priests on the occasion of his visit to Feejee, and being intrusted with letters from the Priests in the Friendly Islands to those in Feejee, King George availed himself of the opportunity afforded by his stay at Motureke, to comply with the request of the Governor of Tahiti, and to effect an early delivery of the letters, by sending the smallest of his canoes, with twenty persons on board, to the French Priests at Ovalau. At the same time he sent a bundle of Tonga kava and a whale's tooth to the King of Levuka, as a token of his friendly feeling, expressing his pleasure in hearing that the King of Levuka had become Christian. It appears that Tui Levuka, Mr. Binner, and the white colonists, having heard of the arrival in Feejee of the Tongans, had held a consultation with reference to the rumours of hostility which were prevalent; and the King of Levuka had, with the full approval of the page 9 white colonises, resolved that, should King George send one or two of his canoes to Ovalau, it was manifest that nothing hostile could be intended; and, in that case, they should land and be received with every respect, and be entertained in the best possible manner. When the canoe neared the town of Totongo, where the Priests reside, they took in sail, sculled towards the shore, and were about to anchor. A great number of natives had collected on the beach, with some Whites and half-castes. By the orders of the head Chief of the Mountaineers, a Levuka man fired on the Tongans, none of whom had landed. Two half-castes and a man from Ngau, who is living with Tui Levuka, also fired. At this instant Tui Levuka arrived on the spot, having ran with great haste, after calling upon Mr. Binner, to request him and our Tongan Teacher to pull off to the canoe to prevent its nearing the shore at Totongo. He rushed into the water, and drove the natives away; otherwise, it is probable that there would have been much more firing. The owner of the canoe, Tawaki, was mortally wounded. He was a Chief of rank, brother to Benjamin Latuselu, Native Assistant Missionary. He was also owner of a large canoe in the Tongan fleet. Another man was also slightly wounded in his hand. The Tongans sculled from the shore, when Mr. Binner and Paula reached them. They took Paula on board the canoe, and required him to go with them. They gave the letters for the Priests to Mr. Binner, made sail, stood out to sea in order to avoid Mara's canoe, which was near an entrance on the reef, and then stood in to their own party at Motureke. Poor Tawaki died of the wounds he received. This unexpected calamity hastened the departure of King George's fleet for Bau on the following morning, that there they might bury their dead.
Kambah, the Head Quarters of the Rebels, and the Chief Mara.
It appeared, from King George's sending a most peaceful and friendly message to an island opposed to Bau, that he did not intend to intermeddle in the wars of Feejee, but to do what he could, as mediator, to induce the contending parties to end their destructive contentions. But this attack, occasioned by his being on a visit to Bau, would evidently involve the Tongans in the war. Three towns, within three to five miles of Bau, to which they were subject, had been annoying the Chief of Bau for some months by making attacks on his towns, and coming out within gunshot in menacing attitudes on several occasions. Kambah also occupied a prominent position about six miles distant. This town had been in entire dependence on Bau. Yet there the Bauans who had rebelled assembled, with Mara at their head. He was considered the real cause of the firing on the Tonga canoe at Ovalau: he was also known to have presented whales' teeth at the windward islands to induce them to join him against the Tongans resident in Feejee.
Mara Refuses Offers of Peace.
Seeing that the only probability of averting the calamity of the Tongans coming into the conflict was to get Mara to sue for peace, I desired King George to send a messenger to him, which he was ready to do. Mara made some remarks about the death of the Chief, expressed himself ashamed to see King George, refused to come to him to settle his differences with Bau, which George had desired, undertaking to become mediator, and desired George not to meddle with Feejeean strife. It appeared to me not unlikely that a thousand lives would be sacrificed before the end of the conflict, should the Tongans once become fairly involved. I therefore desired George to try again, by sending a Tonga messenger to Mara. This he objected to, saying that when he sent a small canoe on a most peaceful errand, the purpose of which could not be mistaken, one of their number, a Chief, had been shot; and that, he had reason to believe, mainly through Mara, who was the main spring of the evil still raging in Feejee. It was evident that war would soon commence, unless Mara would submit; and knowing, as I did, the custom of the Tongans to fight for the parties they were visiting, when war was waging, page 10 even though no high Chief was at the head of the visiting party, I went to the Chief of the Bau fishermen, and desired him to try to persuade Mara to come to terms of peace, by representing that he would otherwise involve the Tongans, himself and others, indeed the principal parts of Feejee, in a most fearful and destructive war: that, if the Tongans once attacked Kambah, they would unquestionably take it, even at the sacrifice of a thousand persons, and by years of siege, if necessary; and that he knew King George to be a man of resolute purpose, who would carry through what he commenced, if his life was spared. This message and request was intrusted to a principal man among the fishermen. Mara absolutely refused to yield; and boasted strongly of the utter impossibility of Kambah being taken by Tongans. He asked if they were stones. He pointed at a Chief from each of two populous and renowned-for-fighting districts,—Buretu and Nakelo,—as the representatives of a great number of the best Feejeean fighting men which he had in the town. He said he also had twenty from each of several towns; that they had laid in great store of provisions; and he avowed that no Tongan should be able to stand on any ground about Kambah. "If," said he, "they build a fence on the adjoining island, there they will be able to remain; but to come to Kambah will be certain death." It became clear that the collision could not be prevented.
Prayer and Preparation for War.
I proposed to King George that a meeting should be held for prayer, previous to going to war. At six in the morning on the 2d of April, an immense number attended. The large strangers' house was full, and many were outside. I desired the King to conduct the meeting. About sixteen persons engaged in prayer. It was a time long to be remembered. They earnestly and powerfully interceded with the Lord to guide them aright, to prevent them from doing evil, to aid them in that which would be for his glory and the benefit of Feejee; they pleaded for forgiveness of past offences, and for blessings and salvation on Tonga and Feejee. I afterwards waited on the King, and requested that he would prevent the destruction of life as far as possible. That, he said, he intended to do. He regretted the necessity for war, but considered it to be a duty to resent the conduct of the Feejeeans, and especially of Mara; and he believed that, were the case passed over, Tongans of small number would not hereafter be safe in Feejee. Previous to determining on war, he had ordered the Chiefs of the three groups of the Friendly Islands to assemble separately, and consider the case. They were all of one mind on the subject. He said that he intended to fence Kambah in, and, having subdued them by starvation, would, without killing any, bring them to the Vunivalu, who might act as he deemed right towards his own rebellious subjects. He considered that his arrival at this time was opportune, and that the Lord might use him to deliver the oppressed; and he hoped that the distractions of Feejee might speedily subside, and a better state of affairs be permanently established. Before I left him I spoke with the Queen, and found that she was preparing to accompany her husband. I begged she would remain behind, with women, children, and the aged, in which the King joined me; but all was of no avail. After begging that he would not expose his person in the forefront of the battle, I left Bau for Rewa.
Descent upon Kambah.
On the 3d of April the whole fleet passed Kambah, on their way to Kiuva where the Vunivalu had ordered his Feejeean army to join them. There they remained till the 7th, when the united forces proceeded to Kambah. It is probable that there were upwards of a thousand Feejeeans, and about two thousand Tongans. The Feejeeans went inland to attack a long fence which was made across a neck of land at some distance from the town. King George and his party, with the Vunivalu, went with their canoes to effect a landing to the north of Kambah within the long fence, opposite to the small town of Koroi page 11 Thumu. Their landing was announced to us by a terrible volley of musketry, which we heard at Vewa, a distance of about ten miles. Knowing the King's purpose to invest the town, and the strength of the well-provisioned party in the town, we expected a long siege. In a short time, however, we were aroused by shouts stating that the smaller town was in flames. We passed over the island to see, and found that Kambah also was burning.
Destruction of Kambah.
In landing, the Tongans had met with strong opposition; one of their number was shot before they reached the beach, and fell into the sea. A landing having been effected, King George and others went to cut down trees for their fences. While he was thus employed, some Tongans were shot and clubbed, and their bodies were dragged into the town to be cooked and eaten. Without waiting for orders from the King, the Tongans at once stormed the town, taking and burning it. The Kambans and their friends, who were protecting the long fence against the inland Feejeean army, seeing that their small town was taken, ran to Kambah. The united forces now proceeded towards the town of Kambah: already the bodies of six Tongans (one a Chief) had been laid before the Heathen temples of the town, as offerings to their gods, and the Priests of all had promised that the Tongans should be destroyed, so that there should not be any left to take their canoes back to Tonga. The death-drum beat loud inside the town, the Kambans rejoicing over the bodies of the Tongans, and keeping up a brisk fire on the approaching army. The Tongans rushed on, passing by their killed and wounded, and speedily made a breach in the fence, and forced their way inside the town. Mara, and upwards of a hundred of his valiant men, of whom he had boasted so much, had made their escape: they ran over the sharp shells on the reef, and swam across to the three towns which adhered to them. When Mara saw our Teacher there, he said, "Ay, Aquila, your spirit is still in you, because you have not seen them. The man is a fool who fights with Tongans. I fired on them twenty or thirty times; but all we could do was of no avail. They rushed on impetuously. They are gods, and not men."
But little resistance was offered after the town was entered. Many were captured,—by the Vavauans especially, and some by those from Tonga and Haabai,—but their lives were spared. The Feejeean army killed a great number of women and children, as well as men; and would have done greater evil, had not one of their number been killed in mistake by a Tongan; after which they were shy, and retired. The lotu people in the town were assembled together, with their Teacher and a rebel Chief of Bau, and were spared. It was feared that one lotu man and his wife were killed: they had been concealed among reeds: but when the burning approached them, they thought they should be discovered, and perish, and knelt down together for prayer. The fire stopped, and they were not seen. There they remained till night, when they escaped to a town up the river. About one hundred and eighty of the enemy were killed by the Tongans and Feejeeans. Fourteen Tongans were killed, and about the same number wounded. Two hundred prisoners were taken, and were delivered up to the Vunivalu. All of them were spared; though some, when tried on the following Monday, were proved to have acted in a way that rendered them worthy of death; especially Keroi Ravulo, a rebel Chief of Bau. Many desired his death; but the Vunivalu decided that even his life should be spared. The others were returned alive to the towns to which they belonged. The Kambans are to remain in Bau till taken to their own town, which is to be rebuilt soon.
Flight of the Rebel Chief Mara.
At Thautata, the nearest town of the enemy, the rebels had nightly been calling out, while the Tongans were at Bau, expressing their impatience for the attack on Kambah, saying that the fire-wood which they had chopped for cooking the Tongans was decayed. When Kambah was attacked, the Thautata flag was page 12 up; but when the smoke ascended, it was lowered, and the people became anxious for their own safety. The two men principally concerned in the revolt of Thautata and its two smaller towns were killed at Kambah; while others made their escape with Mara. At night the whole of the inhabitants of Thautata, (except one, who was found and killed, and whose body Mr. Waterhouse got from some natives that were dragging it away to eat,) Vatoa, and Waithoka left their towns, and escaped up the river to Buretu.
Mara delayed not at Vatoa, but went to Buretu and Nakelo, and begged their continued adherence to him, which they promised. Mara was anxious to get to his friends and adherents, the Whites in Ovalau; and not being very easy at Buretu or Nakelo, when he could not get a conveyance to Ovalau, he passed on inland, through towns of his party, till he reached the coast to the west of Vewa. At Kumi he begged a canoe, promising to return on the following day, and got clear to Ovalau with a few of his followers.
Submission of the King of Nakelo.
Messengers were sent from Bau to inform the King of Nakelo that his son, who had been captured, and ten others from Nakelo, were alive, and that they should all be set at liberty. The Buretu and Nakelo districts were advised and encouraged to submit. They were glad promptly to avail themselves of the opportunity. The King of Nakelo, together with a Bau ambassador from Buretu, came to Bau, begging for peace, He rejoiced much to find his son and people spared, and given up to him. He and they lotued while at Bau. The Kambah tragedy subdued the rebellious at Rewa, and decided the wavering; and all in those parts were desirous of being reconciled to Bau. Offerings for peace were brought to Bau from several towns and districts to the southward. Ail were accepted, and the drums beat merrily at Bau, sounding most melodiously to us who had been so long accustomed to hear frequently the drums of death and revolt from those quarters that had now submitted.
Kumi Taken and Destroyed.
Kumi had taken an active part in opposition to Bau, and had furnished Mara with the means of escape, which was an additional offence. Proposals for peace were rejected, and submission to Bau was refused. It was a mean but populous town, with which many other towns were joined in rebellion. Mara's boasting and promises in those parts, when on his way to Ovalau, had been listened to, and his request for their adherence to him in continued warfare complied with. They commenced putting up extra fences, and making further embankments. Two towns in the neighbourhood, where we had a few lotu people, settled their differences with Bau through Vewa, and returned to their allegiance; but Kumi, though entreated to do so, obstinately refused.
The Vunivalu requested King George to subdue this place also, so that all the towns to the westward might be disposed to peace. Fearing that there might be a further destruction of human life, I went to Bau on the evening of the 12th. I stated to King George that the loss of life was great at Kambah; and that, though Kumi was most rebellious and impudent, I hoped he would not allow a slaughter similar to that at Kambah, which I thought he might obviate, and yet accomplish every desirable object. He regretted the loss of so many lives at Kambah, which he had tried to avoid; and said he would take care to prevent such an event at Kumi. I also begged that he would not allow the burning of the two towns in its vicinity, Naivuruvuru and Verata, which had submitted, though reluctantly. He said they should not he molested.
On the 13th of April, one hundred and forty-three canoes passed Vewa for Kumi. They anchored at some distance from the town. The Vunivalu sent a messenger, requiring them to submit, to vacate their town speedily, and allow it to be burnt; promising that their lives should be spared. They accordingly fled to a town inland, and the Tongans entered Kumi and burnt it. On the following day the fleet returned to Bau; and offerings of peace and forgiveness were speedily page 13 received from the districts of Vungalei and Nathovu, from the towns of Nanamu, Nalathi, Kumi, and many other towns in various directions.
The Vunivalu and Bauans were now delivered from the serious difficulty of providing food for the daily consumption of their visitors. All resources were now open: cooked and raw food was now supplied in abundance. The turbulence of past months and years subsided. What a mighty change! The people are now lotuing by thousands, that which has hindered being removed. The Vunivalu bears his newly-acquired position and relief in a most becoming and Christian way, and continues with unabated zeal to urge all to become Christians, so that the peace may be permanent, being established on the best and surest foundation, and that Feejee may be saved from its abominations and degradation, and raised, by the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which is now likely to have free course and be glorified.
As an expression of gratitude to King George, for the timely and abundant help rendered in the distracted state of his dominions, the Vunivalu gave him his schooner of eighty-six tons, the "Thakombau." Every possible attention is paid to King George and his suite. Masts and yards for all his canoes were ordered through Rewa from all the forests of those parts; and sail-mats in great abundance are ready at the large island of Kandavu.
King George Visits Rewa and Kandavu.
On the 11th of May King George and all his party, accompanied by the Vunivalu in his own canoe, left Bau for Rewa and Kandavu. At Mr. Moore's request, I went to Rewa with them. I went on George's new large canoe, perhaps the largest in the world, which had been presented to him by the Vunivalu. There were about one hundred and forty persons on board. We went up the river. King George superintended all the movements, and worked himself at every thing, keeping all actively in motion. He is certainly an extraordinary man. At Buretu we stayed a short time for food, which waited our arrival. The Vunivalu went on shore to the Chief's house. The Chiefs again presented whales' teeth, begging that past offences might be forgiven; and were well received. The Vunivalu had for years been much aggrieved for having been shot at when on a peaceable visit to this place. I had the satisfaction to see him shake hands with the two principal men. He desired them all to become Christians, and asked me to address them. We returned on board, and proceeded up the river until we came opposite Nakelo, where we anchored for the night. The King himself provided me a comfortable place for the night on the canoe; and he gave out a verse and prayed. Early the following morning I visited the town of Nakelo. Some food was brought to the canoes, and an immense heap, which had been piled ready for us at a distance from the river up which we passed, was fetched by parties from each canoe. The canal through which we passed, cut by a former King of Rewa, was shallow; but at high water, the tide making the whole length of the river, it was sufficiently deep for the largest canoes. In times of war this canal is closed by a fence made of large trees. The King of Nakelo came on board the Vunivalu's canoe, and went with us to Rewa. On our way they took on board the various canoes a pile of many thousands of stinks of sugarcane, which had been brought by the people of Tokatoka to the river side; also several cooked pigs, and other food. Forty large canoes, with long streamers from the mast-head, being propelled up the river, was a rare sight. This river, with its various branches, will answer well, when this extensive and fertile district shall be properly cultivated, for the conveyance of produce to vessels from the colonies. War being ended, and Christianity established, I doubt not but the industry of these natives will be encouraged to supply pigs, yams, timber, tobacco, coffee, cotton, cocoa-nut oil, and other articles, for the colonial markets. Hitherto there have been but short seasons of peace between Nakelo and Tokatoka. We had Chiefs from both districts on page 14 board the Vunivalu's canoe, they being again on friendly terms, and very comfortable together.
We spent the Sabbath at Rewa. The Tongans held their services in the two large houses which they occupied; and we assembled in the open air with the Vunivalu and the Rewa people, on a spot sacred in the past days of Heathenism. The sight was most gratifying,—the change is immensely great. We were in the vicinity of the oven used for cooking the Bauans. Instead of hating, fighting, and devouring each other, as they have been for the last ten years, they are now worshipping the true and living and life-giving God together. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. I and Mr. Moore called at the large house occupied by King George, to see the Queen, but could not see either of them. Class-meetings were being held in various parts of the house; and one company I observed outside, assembled on a small hill for the same purpose.
On the Monday very large quantities of cooked food were brought from the towns subject to Rewa. From one district the row of cooked taro was thirty-three yards long, and two feet square. It was held in by a lining of sail-mats, which were supported by posts, entirely covered with small sinnet. King George gave to Mr. Moore and me, as our portion, a live turtle, the best cooked pig, a large basket of taro, and one of yams. At King George's request, Chiefs who had been connected with the war now ended, were assembled from every part; both those who had joined with Rewa, and those who had supported Bau; to whom the decree of peace was delivered for them sacredly to keep. The punishment for any transgression was thus announced: Any town offending by taking any steps towards war will be considered the enemy of all, and will be liable to chastisement by the combined powers of Bau and Rewa.
King George had stated to me at Bau his intention of making inquiry about the destruction of the Mission-premises at Rewa. I approved of his doing so, but desired him to wait awhile. I now waited on him, early one morning, and gave him particulars about the fire and retention of property. I told him that we were thankful for his volunteering to see into the affair, as his influence would be far greater than that of any ship of war. In the evening he met the Rewa Chiefs on the subject. They wished to ward off inquiry, but promised to collect what they could of property which had been taken away on the night of the fire, and retained. The case is to be inquired into on the return of the fleet from Kandavu, when it is also arranged that persons from all the towns round about are to assemble on the Sabbath, and some from each place are publicly to renounce Heathenism. But it appears the people are not disposed to wait; for two hundred and fifty have already followed their Chiefs and become Christian in the Nakelo district, and Chiefs of other towns have already begun to worship God. The fact is, the people generally are tired of war, and of presenting offerings to that which has obviously been of no manner of use, but a burden and cause of evil to them; and they are desirous of adopting the religion of which they have long heard, talked, and thought, and which they believe to be true and useful.
On the 15th the fleet sailed early for Kandavu, and I returned home, regretting that I could not accompany them without neglecting the printing, and risking being absent on the arrival of the "Wesley." In my way, I called again at Buretu, and there saw the most splendid temple that I have met with. It was finished three days before Kambah was taken. The gods of Buretu are much trusted in; credence is generally given to the oracle there. They are reputed as having always screened Buretu from every attack. A Chief of the place said to me, "The lotu is true; or Kambah would not have been taken." At Nakelo, also, I found a new temple. There, too, I met with a Chief from another town, who said that all their gods and Priests were liars, for they had all promised that Kambah should be secure, and the Tongans killed. The people say, "We thought and felt that Kambah would be destroyed, and that we should be killed; but the gods and Priests pledged our safety and victory." page 15 Having heard all that the Heathen Priests had promised, Mara went to our Teacher at Kamhah, and asked him what party would prevail. The Teacher shrewdly replied, "The party that is right with God." "Aye," said Mara, "that is our party, for we have not done anything against Christianity; whereas, the Tongans are wrong by fighting in Feejee:" and he went and encouraged the people, by stating that the Teacher had said they would be successful. It is evident that the most important results depended upon the success or failure of the Tongans at Kambah.
Many Labourers Needed.
The work of Christianizing Feejee is now properly commenced; and the greatest efforts are now demanded, to secure help from every quarter, The Vunivalu is very desirous that Feejee should become Christian. He says that, if the work is not now attended to, evil will spring up, and that nothing can possibly save Feejee from its revolting crimes, cruelties, wars, and degradation but the Gospel, taught and enforced by messengers sent forth.
The great difficulty now, is want of native help. The demand is so great and sudden, that we are completely in a fix. When Bau became Christian, we wrote to the Friendly Islands, desiring thirty Local Preachers; and to Lakemba for the same number. From the former we have received four, and from the latter seven; but what are they among so many islands, districts, and towns that are all now crying out for help? places where there is not any person who knows how to pray or teach anything in religion. It is most distressing to receive earnest applications for Teachers, without being able to supply even one. At the large and populous island of Kandavu, persons have lolued at twenty-one towns. When lately visited, the number was upwards of seven hundred; and it is probable that soon there will be several thousands professedly Christian, on that island of nearly one hundred towns; and to it Mr. Moore can supply only four persons for the work. At Ban we applied to King George for a canoe to take letters to Lakemba, again pressing our urgent demands for much help. The case of taking our letters was easily met, as one of his canoes was shortly to sail to Lakemba, in order to be employed by Tui Nayau in conveying property to Lakemba from his outer islands. At Rewa, I again called upon King George, and told him that calls for immediate help were perplexingly numerous and urgent, and that, if men were granted from Lakemba, I feared there would be no conveyance for them. He promptly decided, though the property to be collected by the canoe was for himself, and said, "Of what importance can attention to Tui Nayau's commands be, when compared with the obtaining of Teachers when they are so much needed? The canoe shall return direct with Teachers." He had already shown that his heart is in the work of God, when I met the Local Preachers and Class-Leaders, about eighty in number, who are now with him from the Friendly Islands. On that occasion I had urged them to vigilant attention to their own souls, and to those who are under their care, and laid before them the case of Feejee. He then spoke out plainly, saying, that only a want of love to souls kept them back, as there were numbers of Local Preachers in Tonga whose services were not required there. He was also very kind in bringing many things from Vewa to Rewa to meet Mr. Moore's present wants.
Our work will suffer much by the delay in getting labourers, and also from our being compelled to employ many persons who are not prepared for the work, and, indeed, would not he employed if we could otherwise help ourselves. And after our friends in Tonga shall have so far sympathized with Feejee, as to send a considerable supply of labourers, which I expect they will do, and when Lakemba shall have given till they are made poor themselves, by forwarding many to these destitute and populous parts,—even then the number will not be at all adequate.
The places being partly supplied with men,—most of whom will thus be prevented from being brought under necessary training,—will greatly lessen page 16 the number of suitable persons obtainable for instruction. Yet special efforts must be made for qualifying as many as possible of our native agents for this great work. The converted natives who can read, and who give evidence of being called by God to the work of preaching and teaching, absolutely require much pains-taking labour with them, in order to make them at all efficient agents, to be depended upon. They never had, nor can have, opportunities and advantages which are enjoyed by the lowest in our own country; and if very much is not done for them, it is impossible for them creditably to preach, teach, or manage any part of our work. Their knowledge is very limited; and they are deprived of comments and other useful books to qualify and guide them aright. In order to raise and advance them to a state of efficiency, they should be placed with a Missionary whose heart, mind, and time are given to this special and most important work; and no other branch of our work would ultimately produce equally valuable results. The demands of Feejee are so very great, and it is so certain that the carrying on of the work must mainly depend upon labourers raised up from among themselves, that it is a paramount duty to labour hard to prepare those instruments which God puts into our hands for the proper discharge of the duties that shall devolve upon them. While each Missionary is doing something in this respect, amidst various and oppressive engagements, for those to whom he intrusts the sacred work, it is clear that one Missionary, at least, ought to be specially devoted to this employment, in order that some of the Native Teachers may become valuable auxiliaries, who will be qualified to stimulate and benefit others also.
Now that Feejee is open to our labours, and invites them, more Missionaries ought immediately to be supplied. Before they can learn the language, and get fully into the work, it is not unlikely that some now employed will find their health fail, or have other reasons for occasional absence. And unless the number of Missionaries be increased, the work of instructing, preaching, voyagirig, training native agents, exploring and evangelizing all Feejee, and exercising a pastoral care over the churches, cannot possibly be done. We have, through God's blessing, brought Feejee to its present state; and we are bound to meet the craving demands which we have created. Let Feejee, then, have what it so urgently needs. Without squeezing out the widow's mite, and getting from such persons all that they possess, if some were to relieve their coffers and their consciences, by giving somewhat liberally of their abundance, the case would be fully and easily met as it regards the money difficulty; and men who are called to the work, and desirous to come forth to endure some hardships and fatigue for the salvation of Feejeeans, will not be wanting. The work in Feejee is so manifestly of the Lord, that I am persuaded it will be carried on and effected; so that cannibal and much-debased Feejee shall yet become a praise in the earth: and I trust that the carrying on of this Mission will be an honour to the Southern Conference, and a proof to the world that it was right to intrust these Missions to their care, zeal, and benevolence. The case of Feejee commends itself to every feeling heart and thinking mind; and no considerate person who knows its urgent needs, and the most probable good that will result from an increased number of labourers, can feel comfortable if he withholds what he can easily supply to accomplish the work.
Pacification of Ovalau.
June 15th—Captain Dunn, of the "Dragon," has again shown his strong desire for general peace; and has persuaded Tui Levuku, Mara, and the Whites of Ovalau to settle their differences with Bau. He has to-day brought them from Ovalau to Bau in the "Dragon;" but the Chiefs have not yet returned from Kandavu, and Captain Dunn cannot wait. However, I now trust that peace will be established with them without further delay.?