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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 64



America is but slightly interested in the Pacific. There are a few merchants in the Sandwich Group, and a few whalers amongst the islands. The masters and crews of American whalers have done much harm during the past fifty or sixty years. They have been the cause of a great many of the atrocities which have occurred. Wantonly did the ignorant captains murder and wrong the natives, who revenged themselves upon the nest vessel which happened to touch their shores. Luckily a better and morel educated class of merchant seamen now sail over these waters. Numerous acts of cruelty on the part of the islanders must be excused; all accounts prove that they have generally acted from a spirit of revenge. The whites, and especially the American whites, must bear a great part of the blame.

page 73

At the same time, it is only fair to state that there are many whaling captains who treated the natives in a Christianlike manner. Of late years the whaling industry has greatly fallen off. Whether the United States Government will claim any portion of the Navigator Group is an open question. On February 17, 1872, Maunga, Pango chief of Pango, Tutuila, signed a treaty or agreement with Commander Meade, of the United States s.s. Narrgansett, granting the exclusive right to the United States Government of using that harbour as a coaling and naval station for a private line of steamers running between San Francisco and New Zealand, and their own ships of war, and binding himself not to grant a like privilege to any other power. This agreement was made to depend upon its ratification by the United States Government. In the same year the chiefs of Samoa petitioned President Grant for protection. No action has yet been taken by the Senate in either of these matters.