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Colonial Cases

Wallis Island

Monmouthshire Merlin, 20 April 1833
 Accounts from the Sandwich Islands to the latter part of October, state that George Merini, and fifteen Sandwich Islanders, had been massacred at Wallis Island.  It appears they had gained some authority over the natives, and began to use some degree of tyranny, when the natives rose upon them and put them to death.  Kahahumena, the Queen-Regent of the Sandwich Islands, had died of the bowel complaint.  She died a christian, and had been succeeded at regent by Kiunau. When the English cutter William Little of Liverpool, was cruising off the coast of California, the crew, which consisted of six Sandwich Islands, rose upon the Captain (Carter,) and threw him overboard.  They then stood before the wind, not knowing where they were, and fell in with Fanning's Island, where, resolving to land, they took all the money on board, with a few moveables, into a small boat, and drove a hole through the cutter's bottom, with a crow bar and then landed.  From Fanning's Island they got to Oahou, where one of them turned King's evidence.  The two principals (Bowling and Kahinian) were taken up by the island authorities, and, on examination, confessed the fact and particulars.  They were tried before Kuakini (John Adams), condemned, and hung on the 12th June.  
  This was the first case of piracy and murder ever known to be committed by Sandwich islanders.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School