Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

what could have been the object of Messrs. Godeffroy in purchasing such a vast tract of land as Samoa. I have enjoyed peculiar facilities for knowing their exact intentions. Very much of their land is so elevated as to possess a mild temperature well suited to the European constitution. It consists of fertile plateaux, anciently inhabited and cultivated. Their idea was to subdivide it among German emigrants, to whom they would lease it in small lots with the option of purchase, Godeffroy was to provide means of transport and all necessaries to begin with. It was proposed for them to cultivate corn, coffee, tobacco, cinchona, and other produce which had been scientifically and successfully experimented upon, while the low lands in the vicinity of the sea-beach were to be devoted to the growth of cocoa, palms, sugar-cane, rice, jute, etc., by the labour of Chinese, who were intended to be brought over in families and established as tenants on a small scale, so as to do away entirely with the idea of servitude. The FrancoGerman war prevented the realisation of this scheme at the time intended. The results, there can be no doubt, would have been very great and certainly beneficial to Messrs. Godeffroy, the white settlers, and the influence of the German Empire. It is to be hoped that the idea, which they have been compelled to abandon, may be acted on by our own countrymen at no distant date.

The Government of the then North German Confederation regarded the matter with paternal interest, and several personal interviews and a voluminous correspondence passed between the senior partner of the house of Godeffroy and Herr (now Prince) von Bismarck, who had been great friends in youth, and who did not hesitate to lend his aid towards this new field for German advancement. The matter had not been long under discussion, when the approval of the Prussian authorities took a practical shape. Plans, prepared upon the ground by a surveyor of the locality intended for a settlement, were laid before the Government of Berlin ; a programme of the course of colonisation to be adopted was drawn up; extraordinary powers were given to the German Consul at Samoa ; grants of arms of precision from the Royal arsenals were made for the protection of the settlement, and the Hertha (the first, it is said, of the continental ironclads of Europe to pass through the Suez Canal) received orders to proceed from China to Samoa, to settle all disputes between the Germans and the chiefs of that group, and by a judicious display of power to prepare the way for the first detachment of military settlers who were to leave Hamburg as soon as her commander should have submitted his report.

At the same time the Messrs. Godeffroy had completed arrangements with their representative in Valparaiso to ship to Samoa a number of mules and their Chilian drivers, for the purpose of opening a regular communication between the north and south coasts of Upolu, over the great central dividing range. Orders were also given to the manager at Cochin to despatch several Chinese families who had resided for many years at that place in the employment of the Hamburg house, in order to systematically commence

upon the Samoan lands the cultivation of rice and other Oriental products.

This was a grand vision, but it soon faded. The Hertha was countermanded in the Indian Sea, France having declared war against Germany. Hamburg was ruinously blockaded by the French fleet. Messrs. Godeffroy, with all their business knowledge and amateur statesmanship, severely felt the effects of the war and the blockade from which not even the patronage of the man of blood and iron could extricate them. By giving his powerful support to the beautifully conceived plan of a South Sea Island Company with an Imperial guarantee, Bismarck did · his utmost for the firm, but by a majority of sixteen the Berlin Reichstag refused to set Humpty Dumpty up again,

[blocks in formation]

One of the most respected of the inhabitants of Apia is Mrs. Hayes, the widow of the notorious ‘Bully' Hayes, perhaps the last of the pirates of the Pacific. No sketch of Coral Lands would approach completeness if it did not give some account of this man's exploits, as for more than twenty years he was the terror of all honest men in that wide region. His first appearance at the islands of Hawaii was in 1858, when he and his first officer were put ashore from the ship Orestes. He was at that time accompanied by his wife. In all his travels he used to be accompanied by a female companion of some kind or other, whom he picked up and dropped as the fancy took him. He left Honolulu in the early part of 1859 for San Francisco, and some two months afterwards he appeared at Kahului, on Maui, in command of a brig, bound to New Caledonia, and while negotiating for a load of cattle, he was taken in charge by the late Mr. Treadway, then sheriff of Maui, for violating the revenue laws in entering a closed port. The captain was highly indignant with his first officer for telling him that it was not necessary to enter at the Lahaina Custom House, and treated the sheriff with distinguished consideration, invited him to dinner, and requested him to pilot the vessel to Lahaina. Mr. Treadway blandly consented ; the brig was got under way, but when clear of the land, the captain, dropping his suavity, informed him that his destination was New Caledonia, and that he could have a passage there for a consideration, or he could go ashore in his boat which was alongside. The sheriff had no alternative; and he was compelled to leave, and witness his late prisoner triumphantly shaping his course for the setting sun.

The next mail from the coast brought the necessary papers to the United States Consul, authorising him to arrest Captain Hayes and seize the brig. It

appears that he had landed in San Francisco with a capital of fifty dollars, which he had borrowed when in Honolulu of the Rev. Dr. Damon. With this money for a basis of credit he bought the brig, fitted her for sea, shipped a crew, and set sail, paying for nothing but his water. This vessel was sunk off Wallace's Island, where part of the crew landed by means of a raft, while Hayes with his passengers made their way in the boat to the Navigators' Islands.

He then disappeared for some time, but finally was heard of at Batavia in a barque chartered for Europe with a load of coffee. The Dutch East India Company, however, becoming acquainted with some of his past history, was glad to pay him the charter money and get the coffee ashore again.

His next voyage was from Hong Kong to Melbourne,

« ForrigeFortsæt »