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The trading voyages of Andrew Cheyne, 1841-1844

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: The trading voyages of Andrew Cheyne, 1841-1844
Author(s): Cheyne, Andrew
Date published: 1971
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
This is the record o f one man{u2019}s voyages in the Western Pacific in the 1840s, told by himself. At an early age, Andrew Cheyne came from the Shetland Islands to seek his fortune in the Pacific area, and, being a competent and trustworthy young man, was soon engaged in a series of trading voyages for different ship owners. In the four voyages described he searched for sandalwood, beche-de-mer, and other tropical produce at the Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands and the Solomons in Melanesia, and Ponape, Yap, and Palau in Micronesia. Relations between the islanders and the Europeans, and between Cheyne and rival traders, castaways, and deserters, were by no means always harmonious. Encounters with hostile natives who relished human flesh, and with belligerent white beachcombers, added danger to already hazardous voyages. Cheyne was shocked by the godless and abandoned way of life of the native peoples, but he was an accurate observer, and it would be hard to better his careful account of the places and peoples he encountered and the details of island trade. This is one of the earliest documents on the Western Pacific by a European, a very important source for Pacific historians and anthropologists, and an exciting book for all fascinated by the early adventurers of the Pacific.


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