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Catalogued manuscripts

  • AU PMB MS 1082
  • Collectie
  • 1847-19?

Manuscripts catalogued at MS in Father Amerigo Cools' Repertoire des archives de l'archidiocese de Papeete, 1970, including: Pierre-Felix Ribourt (comp.), Dictionnaire Maori-Francais, n.d. [1847-49?]<BR>Abbe<BR>Abbe Tryphon Mama Taira Putairi, <I>E atoga Mangareva mei te ao eteni roa</I>story of Mangareva since the pagan era], n.d., Mangarevian text, Ms. Parts 1-16, 18-21<BR><I>Atoga no Magareva mei te ao eteni kite ao Kiritiano nei</I> [History of Mangareva from pagan to Christian times], n.d. Managrevan text with some pages of French translation by P. Honore Laval<BR><I>Na Takao Turega Mangareva - Dictionnaire Paumotu</I>[French-Tuamotu], 4,800 words<BR>Mgr. Jaussen, <I>Vocabulaire Pomotu-Francais. c. 350 words<BR> Paraua mui</I>[list of words in Tuamotu]<BR>Tuamotu vocabulary [list of Tuamotu words without translation]<BR>Arorai-French vocabulairies, grammars and conversations<BR> P. Latuin Leveque, <I>Catehisme Arorai</I> [Arorai text with French translation]<BR> P. Latuin Leveque, <I>Examen de conscience pour les Arorai</I> [Arorai text]<BR><I>Un petit abrege de la grammaire kanac</I> [in the Hawaiian language]<BR> Fr, Alexandre Andre <I>Cahier a l'usage du f. Alexandre</I> n.d. [1872?]<BR><I>Aritemetika</I>[in Tahitian]<BR><I>Plan de la 'Maris-Stella', Takume</I>

<b>See reel list for further details.</b>

Catholic Archdiocese of Papeete

Journal and other papers

  • AU PMB MS 35
  • Collectie
  • 1822 - 1840

Rev. John Williams (1796-1839) went to Tahiti (French Polynesia) as a missionary in 1816 and was active in the Society, Hervey, Southern Cook and Samoan Islands. In 1839, he moved to Fasitoouta, Upolu, in Samoa and began a station there. On November 20th of that year, he was killed at Erromango, New Hebrides (Vanuatu). Rev. Robert Bourne (1793-1871) went to the Society Islands as a missionary in 1817. In 1822, he began the mission at Tahaa. He left Tahiti in 1827 and retired to England in 1829.

The principal item on the microfilm is a journal describing a voyage made by the Reverends John Williams and Robert Bourne from Raiatea to Aitutaki, Mangaia, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke and Rarotonga, Cook Islands, in July-August 1823, to propagate the Gospel. The journal appears to have been written, or written up, by Bourne. There is a subscription in ink by Williams on the last page. Some passages in the journal are the same or similar to those in William's 'A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands', London, 1837. Other items on the microfilm are:

  • A letter from Williams to his family from Raiatea, dated November 9, 1822.
  • A copy of a letter from Tamatoa, chief of Raiatea, to the President of the United States, dated Raiatea, September 10, 1829.
  • A letter from Williams to A. Birnie, dated Raiatea, February 27, 1830.
  • A letter from Williams to his sister Mary, dated Portsea, June 17, 1836.
  • A letter from Williams to his sister, dated Cape Town, July 14, 1838.
  • Copy of an extract from the minutes of a meeting of the London Missionary Society in Samoa on March 30, 1840, concerning news of the murder of Williams in the New Hebrides and his associate James Harris.

Williams, John

Extracts from the autobiography of William Diapea alias Cannibal Jack

  • AU PMB MS 1432
  • Collectie
  • 1843 - 1847

William Diaper was born in Ardleigh, England on 11 November 1820. His parents died when he was young and in 1937, at the age of 16, he left England for Hobart Town on board the Joshua Carroll, using the alias John Jackson. He spent the remainder of his life as a beachcomber, living in, and travelling around the islands of the Pacific Ocean and neighbouring countries.

Diaper (spelled Diapea in this manuscript), who came to be known as Cannibal Jack, filled 19 copybooks with accounts of his life. This manuscript is books 9, 16 and 17 only; the remaining books were burned after his death. These three books were given to the Rev James Hadfield by Diaper in Mare, Loyalty Islands (New Caledonia) in 1889. They describe his life and travels in Fiji, Fortuna and Tonga, covering the period 1843-1847. The manuscript was not considered appropriate for public consumption until 1928, when it was published by Faber and Gwyer of London, albeit with the omission of one passage from this the original manuscript.

In these pages, Diaper gives his accounts of fights and other close encounters, observations of various cultural practices, trade of beche de mer, tortoiseshell and other commodities, Tongan communities in Fiji, absconded sailors, the volcano at Tonualei, tensions between traditional and Christian beliefs, pig farming and court cases, amongst other stories and observations.

He refers to places such as Ovalau, Monta, New Caledonia, Wallis Island, Manila, China, India, Horne Islands, Fortuna, Vanuau Levu, Cikobia, the Macuaca coast, Neteva Bay, Naviu, Udu Point, Taviuni, Somosomo, Lekeba, Ogea, Wacewace, Vatoa or Turtle Island, Hapai Islands, Komo, Moce, Tonga or the Friendly Islands, Tofua, Kaau islands, Tugua, Lefuka, Vavao, Niafu, Tonualei, Utue, Fonualea and other places.

He mentions plantations managers Mr M (R. Estate) and Mr E (Deumbea Estate), missionary Rev J Hunt, Bonavidogo, Tue Macuaca and his widow, George Rodney Birt, Proctor, Sam the King, King of Lomaloma, Tuecakau, Cakobau, C. Pickering, Dr Lythe, Chief Lua, Vuetasau, Mr and Mrs Calvert, Ratu Finau, Captain Bligh, Ande Litia, missionary Paula, Komo, Mara (half-brother of Cakobau), Uluqalala, Josiah alias Lauji, missionary Mr Webb, King George alias Tupo or Tuekanokopulu, missionary Mr Raborne, Miss Lepone, Master Joele, Mr J. Williams, old Joe, Netane, Utue, Maata, missionary Mr Turner, Old John, American whaler Powel, Robert Stevens, Captain Dillon/Chevalier Dillon and others.

Diaper, William

Letters and journal excerpts of William Nihill

  • AU PMB MS 1406
  • Collectie
  • 1841-1854

This collection consists of three letters written to his family in England on the voyage out to New Zealand, letters written from Waimate, pages from his journal while on the Isle of Mare in the Pacific, and other related items including letters to Nihill’s father on the occasion of his death in 1855.

Nihill's letters contain numerous references to the Bishop (who evidently took a close interest in the young and promising missionary) and give vivid and detailed accounts of day-to-day life in the colony and the progress of the mission, describing the school for natives which Nihill was superintending and his relationship with various Maoris, the development of the printing press which he was running, etc.

The series contains several long journal letters, including a journal of a trip to "Taurange, the Lakes and the Waikato written for dear mama in the hope that it will give her an idea of what travelling in New Zealand is like" covering the period 21 December 1849 to 9 January 1850.

After Nihill was ordained, he was given a cure on the island of Mare in New Caledonia in the Pacific, and his first letter from there on 1 August 1852 contains an interesting account of his first impressions of the island and the work on which he was embarking. Nihill died prematurely on the island of Mare (alias Nengone) in April 1855.

Nihill, William

Le Moniteur de la Nouvelle Caledonie Noumea: Imprimerie du Gouvernement. 1-1394, Oct 1859-June 1886

  • AU PMB DOC 11
  • Collectie
  • 2 Oct 1859-26 Jun 1864

The Moniteur, New Caledonia's first newspaper, was an official weekly. The first 119 issues consisted of two printed pages containing Government decrees and decisions, court judgements, statistics, news of official ceremonies, shipping movements and some general news. From the beginning of 1862, the size of the paper was doubled and was divided into official and non-official sections. The non-official section was open to contributions from readers so long as they did not transgress the limits of an official journal. There was a further liberalisation of the paper's policy six months later. For detailed description see P. O'Reilly Bibliographie ... de la Nouvelle Caledonie (Paris, 1955)

Nos. 1-248, 2 Oct 1859 - 26 June 1864

Le Moniteur de la Nouvelle Caledonie

Miscellaneous papers on Fiji - letters, notes, book draft

  • AU PMB MS 26
  • Collectie
  • 1865 - 1868

Fison (1832-1907) a university-educated man, with a keen interest in anthropology, was born in Suffolk, England. He migrated to Australia in 1856, joined the Methodist Church, and went to Fiji as a Wesleyan missionary in 1864. He remained in Fiji until 1884, when he returned to Australia and became editor of the Spectator, a Melbourne church paper.

Copies of letters, notes on Fiji customs and personalities, sketches of life in Fiji, and an early draft of Fison's book 'Tales of Old Fiji' (London, 1907). The wording of some of the tales, as recorded in these papers, has been much worked over and occasionally differs in its final form from that in the published versions.

Fison, Lorimer


  • AU PMB MS 496
  • Collectie
  • 1870 - 1871

Farquhar, a farmer of Maryborough, Queensland, visited New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands and New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in the schooner 'City of Melbourne' in November 1870 to January 1871 to recruit Pacific Islander labourers for himself and other farmers in Maryborough. He made a second voyage to New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and Banks Islands in the schooner Petrel in September 1871-January 1872 as a government agent under the Polynesian Labourers' Act of 1868.

Description of the two voyages mentioned above.

Farquhar, William Gordon

A Paradise of the Gods. Writings and Drawings of Handley Bathurst Sterndale.

  • AU PMB MS 1442
  • Collectie
  • 1870-1871

‘A Paradise of the Gods. Writings and Drawings of Handley Bathurst Sterndale.’ is an unpublished digital edition edited by J.J. Overell. In 1870, Handley Bathurst Sterndale worked as a surveyor on the island of Upolu, Samoa, for the German trading company Goddefroy & Sohn. In this capacity, he made an expedition across Upolu, making notes and sketches about the journey as he went. In 1871, on Motu Kotawa on the islet of Pukapuka atoll in the Cook Islands, he worked these notes into the manuscript ‘Upolu; or, A Paradise of the Gods’, and worked his sketches into finished drawings. Some accounts are not his first hand observations and others are demonstrably wrong. Sterndale sought to have the manuscript published, but was unsuccessful in finding a publisher before his death in 1878. After his death, it was listed in a catalogue among the publications of Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington of London, but the manuscript never made it to print.

The original notebooks have since been lost, but the surviving manuscript and drawings have been passed down to Sterndale’s descendants. This edition brings together edited excerpts from Sterndale’s original manuscript and is illustrated with his original drawings, which were digitised by photographer Rod Howe. It also includes a detailed introduction by editor J.J. Overell, and contextual chapters on the geology of Upolu, a chronology of Sterndale’s life and detailed appendices, including a complete transcript of the original manuscript.

Subjects covered by Sterndale include beachcombers, Samoan cultural beliefs and practices, civil conflict, diet, agriculture, wildlife, disease - amongst others. In addition to Upolu, Sterndale writes about Levuka in Fiji and Easter Island or Rapa Nui.

Sterndale, Handley Bathurst

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