The World at War



1767June 21 Captain Samuel Wallis of HMS Dolphin becomes the first European to set foot on Tahiti which he claims for George III of Great Britain and renames King George Island.
1768April 6 Louis de Bougainville arrives in Tahiti with the Boudeuse and Etoile and takes possession of the island which he rechristens Nouvelle Cythère in the name of Louis XIV of France.
1769April 13 Captain James Cook visits Tahiti aboard HMS Endeavour whose company of scientists make a failed attempt to measure the transit of Venus across the sun. Cook's expedition also explores Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea.
1772November 19 The Spanish frigate Aquila under Captain Boenechea arrives in Tahiti. The Spaniards attempt to establish a colony but abandon their effort when Boenechea dies is 1775.
1788October 26 HMS Bounty under Captain William Bligh arrives in Tahiti to collect breadfruit trees for trans-plantation to the West Indies where it is hoped they will provide a cheap source of food for slaves.
1789April 14 HMS Bounty departs Tahiti.
April 28 Half the crew and a handful officers led by Fletcher Christian mutiny and seize control of HMS Bounty. Captain Bligh and 18 loyalists are set adrift in an open 23 foot cutter. Bligh's company survives a 41 day 5,800 kilometer voyage to Timor.
June 6 HMS Bounty returns to Tahiti where the mutineers quarrel amongst themselves over whether to remain or seek safer refuge from British justice.
September 21 Fletcher Christian, eight fellow mutineers, six Tahitian men and twelve Tahitian women board HMS Bounty and sail southeast. They flee to Tubuai in the Australs before finally settling on Pitcairn Island.
1791March HMS Pandora under Captain Edward Edwards arrives in Tahiti in search of the Bounty mutineers. Sixteen of the fugitives who remained on the island and settled with Tahitian wives are taken into custody and returned to England where three of them are executed.
During the Year Vairaa toa Tu (Pomare I) becomes Arii rahi (paramount chief) of Tahiti and establishes the Pomare dynasty.
1797March 5 HMS Duff under Captain James Wilson arrives in Tahiti carrying the first representatives of the London Missionary Society.
During the Year Pomare I of Tahiti and extends his authority to the Leeward Islands.
1803September 3 King Pomare I dies at age 58. Tribal warfare erupts. King Pomare II and the missionaries flee to Moorea.
1812King Pomare II becomes the first Tahitian convert to Christianity.
The London Missionary Society returns to Tahiti.
1813November 19 Captain David Porter of the USS Essex raises the American flag and takes formal possession of Nukahiva in the Marquesas for the United States.
1814Captain Porter departs Nukahiva leaving 3 officers and 20 men behind to guard 3 three captured British ships and prisoners of war. The Americans are subsequently overpowered in a native revolt led by an Englishman named Wilson. Most are killed and the few who manage to escape are taken prisoner by the British in Hawaii.
1815King Pomare II reestablishes his authority over Tahiti.
The populations of Tahiti and Moorea convert to Christianity.
1817The London Missionary Society establishes Tahiti's first printing press.
1818Reverend William Crook of the London Missionary Society establishes a base on Papeete lagoon which forms the nucleus for future capital.
1819Coffee, sugar and cotton cultivation begins on Tahiti under the aegis of the missionaries.
1820King Pomare II establishes his capital at Papeete.
1821December 7 King Pomare II having lapsed into heathen practices dies of alcoholism at age 45.
1827January 11 King Pomare III dies at age 8. The throne passes to his half sister Aimata who reigns as Queen Pomare IV.
1828The Mamaia, a native born sect whose leader claims to be Jesus Christ and promises his followers a sensual paradise, causes consternation to the missionaries.
1836French Roman Catholic priests from Mangereva in the Gambier Islands attempt to establish a mission in Tahiti but are expelled by Queen Pomare on the advise of George Pritchard, the British consul and a London missionary.
1838August The French frigate Venus under Admiral Abel du Petit Thouars anchors in Papeete harbor. The French demand payment of a $2,000 indemnity for the forced expulsion of Catholic missionaries. Queen Pomare meets the French demand under threat of bombardment.
1839The French frigate Artémise under Captain La Place anchors in Papeete harbor. The Captain threatens to shell the town unless Queen Pomare agrees to allow Frenchmen to freely visit Tahiti and engage in missionary activity. Pomare agrees to the French demands after the British Government refuses to intervene despite the pleas of its consul George Pritchard, a former London Missionary Society cleric.
1842May 1 The chiefs of the Marquesas sign a treaty with Admiral Abel du Petit Thouars ceding sovereignty over the archipelago to France.
June Herman Melville jumps ship at Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas and spends four months with the natives in the Taipi Valley. 
October Melville escapes from indulgent captivity by the Taipi and sails to Tahiti aboard the Australian whaler Lucy Ann. Melville joins the Lucy Ann's crew in a mutiny and is jailed in Papeete's Calabooza Beretani for six weeks.
November Upon his release, Melville visits the village of Temae on Moorea where he talks the chief into allowing the local women to dance the lory lory an erotic dance forbidden by the missionaries.
During the Year Admiral du Petit Thouars returns to Tahiti alleging further infringement of French rights and demanding satisfaction. The native chiefs grant the French a protectorate over the island. Queen who was absent at the time makes an unsuccessful attempt to repudiate the protectorate.
1843Admiral du Petit Thouars returns to Tahiti with three ships, declares Queen Pomare's throne vacant and takes possession of her territory for France. King Louis Philippe repudiates the annexation and recalls du Petit Thouars but France maintains the protectorate.
1844January 16 France annexes Mangereva in the Gambier Islands.
March Tahitians in the Punaauia, Faaa and Teva I Uta districts rebell against French rule.
Queen Pomare IV flees to Raiatea.
April 17 French forces defeat larger but poorly armed Tahitian force in the Battle of Mahaena. The fighting ends with 102 Tahitians and 15 French dead. The Tahitians retreat to the bush and wage guerilla warfare until 1846
During the Year British consul George Pritchard is arrested by the French and deported from the Society Islands. Pritchard is eventually paid an indemnity of 100,000 francs by the French Government.
1845Herman Melville completes his first book, Typee, an account of his four months among the natives in the Marquesas. The manuscript is rejected by Harper Brothers as too fantastic to be true. 
Chief Paralta is installed as Regent of Tahiti by the French.
1846February 26 The first edition of Typee is published by John Murray in London under the title Narrative of a Four Months' Residence among the Natives of a Valley of the Marquesas Islands.
May French victory in the Battle of Punaruu ends the Tahitian rebellion.
During the Year Polynesians repulse a French troop landing at Maeva on Huahine.
1847March 30 The first edition of Omoo, A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas by Herman Melville is published in London by John Murray.
During the Year Queen Pomare IV returns from Raiatea to Tahiti and is restored to the throne after accepting the French protectorate.
1860Peruvian slave traders begin a three year series of raids on the Marquesas.
1863Marquesan slaves returning to the islands from Peru introduce smallpox to the islands contributing to rapid depopulation in the archipelago.
1865British businessman William Stewart establishes a large cotton plantation at Atimaono on Tahiti and is permitted to import 1,000 laborers from China.
1872Julien Viaud, a young naval officer and future member of the Academié Française, visits Tahiti for several weeks. Viaud executes several sketches and watercolors during his sojourn and acquires a nickname in the court of Queen Pomare, Loti.
1873The Atimaono cotton plantation declares bankruptcy. The Chinese labor force turns to market gardening and street pedaling.
1875October 27 American consul Dorence Atwater marries Ari'ino'ore Moetia Salmon, sister of Queen Marau. Atwater first gained prominence by secretly recording the names of 12,367 Union fellow prisoners who died of mistreatment in the Confederate prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, Georgia during the American Civil War.
1877September 24 Queen Pomare IV dies at age 64 and is succeeded by her son Ariane who reigns as King Pomare V.
1880June 29 King Pomare V cedes his sovereign rights over Tahiti to France. 
During the Year Julien Viaud achieves literary success with his novel Le Mariage de Loti (The Marriage of Loti) an account of his friendship with Queen Pomare and romance with a Rarahu, a young girl from Bora Bora. Viaud adopts the pen name Pierre Loti. The book is considered a fairly accurate in its descriptions of late 19th century Tahiti despite the author's virulent anti-Chinese bias.
1881March 6 France annexes Rapa in the Austral Islands.
During the Year France annexes the Gambier Islands to preempt German colonization.
1884A fire destroys most of Papeete. An ordinance is adopted prohibiting the use of flammable building materials shortly thereafter.
A representative General Council is established for Tahiti and Moorea.
1887Botanist Edouard Raoul arrives in Tahiti with a cargo of 1500 plant species and establishes an experimental farm that supplies local farmers with over 150 varieties of fruit trees within a decade.
1888March 15 France annexes Raiatea, Huahine and Tahaa in the Leeward Islands.
March 19 France annexes Bora Bora in the Leeward Islands.
During the Year Robert Louis Stevenson spends several months visiting the Marquesas, the Tuamotus and Tahiti. Stevenson's conversations with Donat Rimareau, the French Resident on Fakareva atoll, provide the inspiration for his book The Isle of Voices.
1891June 8 Paul Gauguin arrives in Papeete after a 69 day voyage from Bordeaux. The aspiring artist plans to stay in Tahiti long enough to paint enough works to stage an exhibition which will establish his reputation in Europe.
September 12 Former King Pomare V, last King of Tahiti from 1877 to 1880, dies at age 50.
1893Gauguin returns to France with 66 paintings and 12 wooden sculptures executed during his sojourn in Tahiti. The exhibition ends in failure.
The General Council of Tahiti and Moorea is dissolved for alcoholism and debauchery.
1895Gauguin returns to Tahiti.
1897The Battle of Avera Valley ends resistance to French rule on Raiatea. Teraupoo, leader of the native rebels is deported to New Caledonia. The Queen of Raiatea and 136 of her followers are exiled to Eiao in the Marquesas.
1898January Gaugin completes his masterpiece, D'ou venons nous? Que sommes nous? Ou allons nous? (Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?). He makes a failed suicide attempt shortly thereafter.
1900France annexes the Austral Islands.
1901Gauguin leaves Tahiti for Hiva Oa in the Marquesas where he builds his Maison du Jouir (House of Pleasure).
1903May 8 Artist Paul Gauguin dies at age 54 in la Maison du Jouir, his home at Atuona on Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands.

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