The Polynesian Journal of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N. : in comand of H.M.S. Grampus - 50 guns at Hawaii and on station in Tahiti and the Society Islands, August 1846 to August 1847
|Collections||ANU Press Titles (1965-1991)|
|Title:||The Polynesian Journal of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N. : in comand of H.M.S. Grampus - 50 guns at Hawaii and on station in Tahiti and the Society Islands, August 1846 to August 1847|
|Author(s):||Martin, Henry Byam|
|Publisher:||Canberra : Australian National University Press|
Admiral Henry Byam Martin's first command in the British Navy was Captain of the 50-gun frigate, H.M.S. Grampus, in the year 1846. He was ordered to a sail from Plymouth 'round the Horn to Hawaii for further orders. Those orders sent him to Tahiti for a full year, the fatal year in which the French subjugated the Tahitians by bloody force, made the island a "Protectorate" of France but allowed the glamorous Queen Pomare to be the titular ruler until they took it over completely, as a colony, in 1880. This Polynesian portion of Captain Martin's daily Journal has lain unnoticed in the depths of the British Museum until this publication. But it still sparkles with wit and with acute observations of the personalities and events of that critical year in the struggle between the French and English for the conquest of the Pacific and the hopeless struggles of the poor islanders to defend their homelands and their freedom. As such it is a fascinating on-the-scene report from the English view. Hitherto all reports have been from the French or from the missionaries who were either bringing the blessings of French civilization or religious salvation. The Journal will also be of keen in terest to ethnologists interested in the Pacific island culture; especially notable are the many fine water color paintings and monochrome wash drawings that the talented Captain Martin produced and which were also discovered only a short while ago when the contents of his old family house in England were dispersed. Altogether it is a delightful and instructive lost treasure of the Great Ocean.
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