The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1
Kumi Taken and Destroyed
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.