Australia's Pacific Neighbours by Elizabeth Onslow

By Elizabeth Onslow

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There were no further arrivals until 1768, when French explorer Antoine de Bougainville visited. Six years later Britain's Lieutenant James Cook charted the region, naming the group of islands New Hebrides after islands off the coast of Scotland. Christian missionaries first arrived in 1848. Lieutenant James Cook arrives in 1774 Vanuatu’s Parliament House in Port Vila The condominium much-prized sandalwood The was discovered on the island of Erromango in 1825, setting off a mini-rush of European immigrants.

Believed eaten by cannibals in the Islanders were able to travel to 1800s. The islands are located New Caledonia to work. Wallis between Tuvalu, Fiji, Tonga and and Futuna became a full French Samoa in the south Pacific. colony in 1917, controlled from The first Europeans arrived with New Caledonia. Dutch explorers Jakob Le Maire During World War II the and William Schouten in 1616. Wallis island of Uvea was British explorer Samuel Wallis garrisoned by more than 6000 visited in 1767. Whaling ships Allied troops.

Whaling ships seldom landed because of difficulty with anchorages. Christianity arrived in the Ellice Islands by accident when a missionary from the Cook Islands was shipwrecked on Nukulaelae in 1861. Four years later the London Missionary Society sent a European clergyman to the islands. Around this time European traders were also becoming established. In the 1860s slave traders kidnapped large numbers of islanders to work in Peru’s phosphate mines. The islands were also a favourite place for forcibly recruiting labourers for the Queensland sugar cane fields.

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