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Report of S Rooke to His Excellency

Report of S. Rooke. Commander and Deputy Commissioner

WPHC4 IV 99 1886

HMS [Mirauda] at [unintelligible] Island 27th May 1886


I have the honour to report to your Excellency that at Fakaofo, King Kava (successor to the King who was shot two years ago) complained to me of the conduct of a white trader named José Pereira, a Portuguese Half Caste, (British Subject) and made a  statement to me which was interpreted by P. Paulsen in the presence of the Chiefs and the Protestant Native Missionary, the original of which I enclose.

2 – He afterwards stated to me that José Pereira threatened to Shoot anyone who ventured on this Island without his permission.

I asked the Chiefs (through the interpreter) if this was true, they all nodded acquiescence and replied “io” (Yes).

3 – The King then said that he wished that the Governor of Fiji would take Pereira away altogether, as he incited some of his people, the Roman Catholics, to disobey his Rules and Orders, and to rebel against him. I sent and invited the Roman Catholic Teacher to attend the [unintelligible] but he did not appear at all.

4 – I much regret that José Pereira was absent at Samoa on a visit, and therefore was unable to hear the charges made against him.

It appears that Pereira heads the Roman Catholic faction (the minority) against the King and the remainder of his subjects, which action is fatal for the peace of the Island and its little community.

5 – At Nukunonu and Atafu there is but one religion, Roman Catholic at the former, Protestant at the latter and the inhabitants are apparently quite contented and happy.

I have the honour to be
Your Excellency’s
Most obedient Servant
Commander and Deputy Commissioner

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