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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter VI


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Chapter VI

On the 18th of June, 1767, Captain Samuel Wallis, on a voyage of discovery round the world in H. M. Ship "Dolphin," first saw the island of Tahiti, or, as he called it, Otaheite. The story was told in Hawkesworth’s Collection of Voyages, and has been told over and over again, for the world never tired of reading it; but I, who have lived in Tahiti all my life and know the tale by heart, shall not repeat it, except so far as it concerns me and my family; and it does so, closely, in the part which at the time most delighted Europe. I must start by saying that all our exact knowledge of dates in the history of the island begins with June 24, 1767 when Wallis warped his ship into the bay of Matavai, in the district of Haapape, the most northerly point of the island, where two years afterwards Captain Cook selected his station for observing the transit of Venus and gave to the projecting spit of land the name of Point Venus, which it still bears. The same day occurred the well-known battle, which was renewed June 26, and which ended in the defeat of the natives and sudden friendship for their new European acquaintances; yet even after the partial opening of relations, Wallis remained a whole fortnight in Matavai Bay, but no chief came near him, and the common people were not allowed to approach the ship or the boats in any considerable number, until at length, on Saturday, July 11, a woman came on board whose appearance gave to

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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 47, 2004
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