Bibliography Collection of English References to Pacific Topics
This bibliography represents a collaborative effort to compile a list of works published from 1774 to 1797 that contains references to people, places, interactions, events, and objects relevant to Pacific voyages during this time period. Excerpts have been provided from each of these works to illustrate the impact the Pacific voyages of the eighteenth century had on the English-speaking world.
This pie graph helps to summarize our counts of the kinds of cultural interactions our team marked in the passages we excerpted for the bibliography. Most of the cultural interactions, as marked by the collaborators, appeared to register peaceful experiences between Pacific and English-speaking peoples (27% of interactions). However, 21% of these interactions are also marked as points of conflict. The graph and the following bibliography help to demonstrate how Atlantic media was processing early contact experiences in the Pacific: what topics they foregrounded for interest and cultural entertainment.
Sorted by Date of First Publication
Sketches of the history of man: In four volumes.
printed for James Williams.
In ECCO TCP. vol. I. Sketch 1 ("DIVERSITY of MEN and of LANGUAGES"), pp. 20-21 and 24-25. Pp. 20-21: on Commodore Byron's and on Cook's voyages: Mentions of Banks and Solander leaving Otaheite to find Society Islands, Islands of Oahena. See p. 24: Otaheite mentioned in opposition to other more violent cultures, and compared with the ancient Caledonians: Intelligent resistance to Wallis, ease of making peace--more impressive than most, apparently.
vol. I. Sketch 2 ("Progress of Men with respect to FOOD and POPULATION"), p. 58. "The island of Otaheite is healthy, the people tall and well made; and by temperance, vegetables and fish being their chief nourishment, they live to a good old age, with scarce any ailment. There is no such thing known among them as rotten teeth: the very smell of wine or spirits is disagreeable; and they never deal in tobacco nor spiceries."
vol. I. Sketch 6 ("Progress of the FEMALE SEX"), pp. 194-196. On free love in Otaheite: They are good people, but "seem to have as little notion of modesty as of chastity. More on "polygamy" on p. 196.
vol. II. Book I. Continued: Sketch 7 ("Progress of Manners"), pp. 6-7. Otaheite mentioned in a syncretic description of bodily cleaning "in several nations that have made little progress in the arts of life." Otaheitian cleanliness in both sexes is mentioned after Caribbean islanders and before historic descriptions of the ancient Gauls.
vol. II. Sketch 1 ("Progress of Men in Society"), p. 156. On the practices of stealing and piracy , Otaheitians mentioned after the Scottish Highlanders and the rebellion of 1745! Idea: that theft isn't committed among their own, but against outsiders. "Bougainville observes, that the inhabitants of Otaheite, named by the English, King-George's island, made no difficulty of stealing from his people ; and yet never steal among themselves, having neither locks nor bars in their houses ."
vol. II: Sketch 1 ("Progress of Men in Society"), p. 167. Attempt to address a philosophical question about whether people are naturally sociable or antisocial and brutally violent. " In a nascent society, where men hunt and fish in common, where there is plenty of game, and where the sense of property is faint, mutual affection prevails, because there is no cause of discord; and dissocial passions find sufficient vent against neighbouring tribes . Such is the condition of the North-American savages, who continue hunters and fishers to this day; and such is the condition of all brute animals that live in society, as mentioned above. The island Otaheite is divided into many small cantons, having each a chief of its own. These cantons never make war on each other, tho' they are frequently at war with the inhabitants of neighbouring islands . The inhabitants of the new Philippine islands , if Father Gobien be credited, are better fitted for society than any other known nation. Sweetness of temper, and love to do good, form their character. They never commit acts of violence: war they have no notion of; and it is a proverb among them, That a man never puts a man to death. Plato places the seat of justice and of happiness among the first men; and among them existed the golden age, if it ever did exist. But when a nation, becoming populous, begins with rearing flocks and herds, proceeds to appropriate land, and is not satisfied without matters of luxury over and above; selfishness and pride gain ground, and become ruling and unruly passions. Causes of discord multiply, vent is given to avarice and resentment; and among a people not yet perfectly submissive to government, dissocial passions rage, and threaten a total dissolution of society: nothing indeed suspends the impending blow ,..."
vol. IV, Part II: Sketch 3 ("Principles and Progress of THEOLOGY"), Chapter 2, p. 152:. Syncretism in action here: Otaheite's spiritual beliefs are sketched here by way of comparison with several other island or "savage" cultures with (according to this author) tendencies toward monotheism. Passage: " The North-American savages have all of them a notion of a supreme Deity, creator and governor of the world, and of inferior deities, some good, some ill. These are supposed to have bodies, and to live much as men do, but without being subjected to any distress. The same creed prevails among the negroes of Benin and Congo, among the people of New Zeland, among the inhabitants of Java, of Madagascar, of the Molucca islands, and of the Caribbee islands. The Chingulese, a tribe in the island of Ceylon, acknowledge one God creator of the universe, with subordinate deities who act as his deputies: agriculture is the peculiar province of one, navigation of another. The creed of the Tonquinese is nearly the same. The inhabitants of Otaheite, termed King George's island, believe in one supreme Deity; and in inferior deities without end, who preside over particular parts of the creation. They pay no adoration to the supreme Deity, thinking him too far elevated above his creatures to concern himself with what they do. They believe the stars to be children of the sun and moon, and an eclipse to be the time of copulation ."
The maid of the oaks: a new dramatic entertainment. As it is performed at the
Theatre-Royal, in Drury-Lane
printed for T. Becket.
Play. Mentions Otahetie in one line which refers to a young man and the possibility of traveling to south seas at some future point. Passage: "Dupely. No, no; I am a true friend, and prepar'd for all your whimsies, amorous and poetical. Your summons found me the day after my arrival, and I took soft immediately- next to my eagerness to see you, was that of being in time for the Fete Champerte- Novelty and pleasure are the beings I pursue-They have led me to half the world over already, and for ought I know they may sometime or other carry me to the Otaheite."
Henry the Second: or, the fall of Rosamond: a tragedy; as it is performed at
the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden
printed for John Bell.
In ECCO TCP. Hull is the author of the play, but G. Colman wrote the Epilogue in the voice of Oberea of Otaheite. She's being scornful of the representation of women in the play just performed.
Great and Fair Ladies!
Lords gallant and mighty!
Behold a Female- Fresh from Otaheite.
Stretch to the Southern Ocean your Idea,
And View, In me, the Princess Oberea.
Full three long Hours I've sat, with smother'd Rage,
To hear the Nonsense of your tragick Stage,
To see a Queen majestically swagger,
A Bowl in this Hand, and in this a Dagger;
To stab or poison (cruel Inclination!)
A Maid, who gave a Husband Consolation
An epistle (moral and philosophical) from an officer at Otaheite. To Lady
Gr*s**n*r. With notes, critical and historical. By the author of The rape of
33 pages MDCCLXXIV. .Literature and Language.
Poem, Notes. Notes within the poem which speak about the Timorodee dance, which the author believes will soon be as popular as other 'suggestive' dances growing in popularity in England. Passage: “See his advertisement in the Moring Post, Sur l’ Art de Transplanter les Puceleges, Francois, Italiens, ou Espangnols.—If We reason from analogy, Otaeheite would soon rival France and Spain in this commodity; as the Timorodee dance , is more joyous, expressive and animating than either the Fandango, or the Cotillion. ---Lady Wortley Montague, (who was reckoned no indifferent judge of such things) describes the sympathetic effect of a similar dance, in a very pretty manner. "The dance, says her Ladyship, was very different from what I had seen before; nothing could be more artful, or more proper to raise certain ideas. The tunes so soft; the motions so languishing, accompanied with pauses and dying eyes! Half falling back, and then recovering themselves in so artful a manner, that I am very positive, the coldest and most rigid of prude upon earth, could not have looked upon them without thinking of something not to be spoken of”.
An apology for Mrs. Eugania Stanhope, editor of the Earl of Chesterfield's
letters to Philip Stanhope, Esq. addressed to that Lady. By an Amateur ...
The terms arreoy" and "otaheite" are used in normal context in these letters. Omiah is mentioned as well. Passage: "Most fotunately for this purpose is lately arrived in England Omiah, a native of that Island. With him I humbly propose that you may be joined in office, to conduct and direct the pleasures of the new Arreoy; and that the instituiton of this society should be celebrated by tattowing, and other rites similar to those used in Otaheite, of whih an execellent description is given by the late ingenious Dr.Hawkesworth"(p.85-86).
Beauties of nature and art displayed, in a tour through the world; ...
Illustrated and embellished with copper plates.
vol. 11, 12, 15.
The text refers to Otaheite multiple times as well as talking about how the Otaheitians made their weapons from the wood of the Etoa tree. It gives descriptions of the types of weapons they made from the wood. Passage: "Mr. Sergeant Hofkins, a gentleman of considerable fortune in Herefordshire, having invited King James the first, while he was on a progress that way, to his house, elegantly entertained his Majesty; and as an instance of the longevity of the inhabitants of Herefordshire, procured ten old men and women, whose ages put together amounted to more than one thousand years, to dance the morrice before the king" (p. 104)..
The true merits of a late treatise, printed in America, intitled, Common sense:
clearly pointed out. Addressed to the inhabitants of America. By a late member
of the Continental Congress, a native of a republican state.
printed for W. Nicoll.
In ECCO TCP. Essay attacking Thomas Paine's Common Sense. See pp. 23-24. : that England made it possible for Protestants to live in religious freedom in the New World, and if Paine (et. al.) don't like it, they can go to "Otaheite, and the Islands in the North West" as a "Sanctuary for him and his Friends."
An essay on the immateriality and immortality of the soul, and Its Instinctive
Sense of Good and Evil; In Opposition to the Opinions advanced in The Essays
introductory to Dr. Priestley's Abridgment of Dr. Hartley's Observations on
Man. To which are added, Strictures on Dr. Hartley's Theory; Thoughts on the
Origin of Evil; and Proof of the contradictory Opinions of Dr. Priestley and
his Author. With an Appendix, In Answer to Dr. Priestley's Disquisitions on
matter and spirit. By the author of The Letters in Proof of a particular, as
well as a general Providence, Which were addressed to Dr. Hawkesworth (on his
Publication of the Voyages round the World) under the Signature of a
Letters, Philospohy. Letters in which someone speaks of Omiah and his return to Otahetie. Involving complications which may arise from Omiah's travels around the globe and his new found knowledge of the world at large. Passage: "It is my pleasure to think of Omiah’s return to Otaheite. I now chuse to think of Lord Pigot’s dangerous situation in India. Now what possible relation- of association of circumstances can be discovered, which made me fly from the view of the King of Prussia’s campaigns, the Duchess of Kingston’s change to Countess of Bristol?- Or from her Ladyship’s change to the bloody fields of America? Or from the contention inAmerica, to the return of Omiah, or from the return of Omiah to the confinement, and danger, of Lord Pigot?
Learning at a loss, or the amours of Mr. Pedant and Miss Hartley. A novel. In
two volumes. Vol. II
printed for the author, and sold by H. Gardner; and J. Bew.
In ECCO TCP. Epistolary comical novel. See pp. 10-12, describing a bachelor's study as a place full of interesting stuff: Passage: "His Chimney was decorated with Jockey Whips perpendicularly suspended from their Thongs, and every other Part of the Walls seemed loaded with an astonishing Variety of Curbs, Snaffles, Cavessons and Martingals, with five thousand other Instruments of Equestrian Utility, full as curious and entertaining to me, as the Weapons of New Zealand or Otaheite, or the old Bandoleers and Shot Pouches in the Armoury in the Tower." (pp. 11-12).
Mimosa: or, The sensitive plant; A poem. Dedicated to Mr. Banks, and addressed
to Kitt Frederick, Dutchess of Queensberry, Elect.
In ECCO. This publication is a poem about the Mimosa plant, discovered on Otaheite. In the dedication to this poem, author James Perry speaks to Mr. Banks, imploring him to spread the word about this plant and its many significant properties. Passage: "The world will determine with what justice I dedicate the SENSITIVE PLANT, to a Gentleman so deeply skilled in the science of Botany ; and whose desire of acquiring knowledge has led him to climates, most happily adapted to the nourishment and the cultivation of that wonderful lusus naturæ. The plains of Otaeite, (known as they are to us by the luxurious descriptions we have recieved from you, and your compatriots;) rear this plant to an amazing height... and Queen Oberea, as well as her enamoured subjects, feel the most sensible delight in handling, exercising, and proving its virtues."
The injured islanders, or the influence of art upon the happiness of nature: a
poetical epistle from Oberea of Otaheite to Captain Wallis. By the ...
Poem, Preface. Looks at how Oberea treated Captain Wellis as well as difficulty which Oberea had with her ruling after his visit. Passage: "And a similar Revolution , a little before this, had stripped Oberea of that Wealth and Power which so eminently distinguished her at Captain Walls’ arrival; she was then the Queen of O’Taheite, and treated him with peculiar Generosity and Regard: A Remembrance of their mutual Affection- a Sense of her subsequent Misfortunes- and a patriotic Feeling ."
Love and madness. A story too true. In a series of letters between parties,
whose names would perhaps be mentioned, were they less known, or less
printed for G. Kearsly.
Novel. An epistolary novel which speaks of Omiah's return to Otahetie and speculation on regards to difficulty he may find at this return. Also speaking of possible feeling of the writer for Omiah. Passage: "Come then to-marrow—and surely Omiah will not murder love! Yet I thought the other day he caught our eyes conversing. Eyes speak a language all can understand.—But, is a child of nature to nip in the bud that favorite passion which his mother Nature planted, and still tends?—What will Oberea and her coterie say to this, Omiah, when you return from making the tour of the globe? They’ll black-ball you depend on it."
The Flower-piece, a collection of modern poems.
This collection of poems contains one as an epistle from Queen Oberea to Joseph Banks (Tupia referred to as her "prime minister" and Otaheite as island). Passage: (p.172)..
There first at eve thy opening sails I spy'd,
And eager glow'd to cleave the briny tide.
My faithful senate in wife debate,
And weigh'd the dubious interests of the state.
Though some with branding'd lance for war declare,
With all frantic signs of wild despair;
Yet I more soft to gentle peace inclin'd,
And sooth'd the terrors of Tupia's mind.
Send them, I cry'd, twice twleve delicious dogs,
And give them cocoas, women, bread, and hogs
Sentimental excursions to Windsor: and other places, with notes critical,
illustrative, and explanatory
printed for J. Walker.
In ECCO TCP. See "A Meditation", pp. 16-20. : on the "Timiradi dance" of Otaheite, saying this dance was apparently practiced by the virtuous yet not modest Lacedaemonians, with a footnote citing "Forster, who attended Captain Cooke on his second voyage." Reflection on whether or not chastity is necessary--"I concluded with a modern voyager (citing Forster)...that modesty and chastity, which have long been supposed to be inherent in the human mind, are local ideas, unknown in the state of nature, and modified according to the various degrees of civilization."
The Dean and the 'Squire: A Political Eclogue. Humbly dedicated to Soame Jenyns, Esq.
printed for J. Debrett, successor to Mr. Almon.
In ECCO TCP. See lines 210 - 230. References to "Zealand-New," "Otaheite," and "Queen Oberea" with the idea of criminals going into exile to the Pacific, and questioning the kinds of freedom they would find, "taxed" by Queen Oberea's supposed sexual appetite. Continues by discussing such a life as comparable to Adam and Eve :
But a cool hundred Eves and Adams;
I think they would, or soon, or late, by quasi compact found a state.
The history of women, from the earliest antiquity, to the present time; giving
some account of almost every interesting particular concerning ...
. Ed. Unknown
London : printed for W. Strahan, and T. Cadell, in the
Cultural Note, Philosophy. This publication goes into some level of detail about Tahitian women. Culural notes in regard to life before and after marriage as well as actions during such times. Passage: " Strolling female dancers, who live by that profession, are not, however, peculiar to the East Indies; they have of late been met with in Otaheite, and several other places; but besides their strolling dancers in Otaheite, they have a dance called Timoradee , which the young girl’s preform, whenever eight or ten of them can be got together; it consists in every motion, gesture, and tone of voice that is truly lascivious; and being brought up to it form their childhood, in every motion, and in every gesture, they keep time with an exactness scarcely excelled by the most expect stage-dancers of Europe . this diversion is allowed to the virgin, it is prohibited to the wife; who, from the moment of marriage must abstain from it forever."
A letter to the people of Scotland, on the alarming attempt to infringe the
Articles of the Union, and introduce a most pernicious innovation, by
diminishing the number of the lords of session
printed for Charles Dilly.
Letter, Politics. A letter presented to the people of Scotland in regards to the Lords of Session getting a raise. Speaks in regards to children in situations of starvation and murder in Egypt, China and Otaheite. Passage:" Suppose it should be thought right to increase the salaries of the Lords of Session; is there no way of doing it but making two-thirds of them devour the rest, like Pharaoh’s lean and fat kine? Is the state so poor, that we must adopt a measure similar to the barbarous permission in China and Otaheite, to murder their children, left they should not have food enough?"
Thoughts on the importance of the manners of the great to general society
printed for T. Cadell.
In ECCO TCP. See pp. 35-36. Mention of hypocritical people willing to support missions to Tahiti , but sacrilegiously enjoying Sunday haircuts : "I am persuaded that there are multitudes of well-meaning people who would gladly contribute to a mission of Christianity to Japan or Otaheite , to whom it never occurred, that the hair-dresser, whom they are every Sunday detaining from church, has a soul to be saved; that the law of the land co-operates with the law of God , to forbid their employing him; and that they have no right, either legal or moral, to this portion of his time. "
The Beauties of magazines, reviews, and other periodical publications.
This publication references admirable actions of Tupia as well as Otaheite Passage: "In the private relations of Life, Captain Cook was entitled to high commendation. He was excellent as a husband and a father, and sincere and sheady in his friendships; and to this it may be added, that he proffessed that general sobrierty and virtue of character, which will always be found to constitute the best security and ornament of every other moral qualification" (p.32)..
The farce of the Modern antiques, or the merry mourners. In two acts. As
performed at the Theatre-Royal, Smoke-Alley
printed for the Booksellers.
In ECCO TCP.
In Act I of this farce, a character named Mr. Cockletop imagines himself as a number of historic figures, including Dr. Solander, in a brief soliloquy on his desire for his wife's niece: "Only that my brain is for ever running on my wife's charming niece Belinda; (oh! how I do love her: I love every thing old, but girls, and guineas;) I should certainly be second a Sir Hans Sloane— I'd be a Solander, and a Monmouth Geoffry."
Later in Act I, a huckster named Frank presents Mr. Cockletop with a hamper full of supposedly rare (fake) items for sale, and sells Cockletop his own hat with a piece cut out of it as a "cap of liberty." On the items list of materials for sale Cockletop reads of a "cloth of Otaheite," which Frank presents him as a piece cut from Cockletop's own coat:
"Cock. Great! this is indeed, what the Romans call'd the Pi-leus, or Cap of Liberty: puts it on his had and reads; " half a yard of cloth from Otahiete, being a part of the mantle of Queen Oberea , presented by her to Captain Cook ."
Frank. Zounds, I was in such a hurry to get to work, that I've forgot half my tools.
Cock. Where's the cloth from Otahiete ?
Frank. I dare say it's here, (feels the coat he has on) no, mustn't hurt poor Joey. Eh! (cuts of the skirt of Cockletop's coat while he's admiring the things) belike that's it,— (gives it.)
Cock. What wonderful soft texture; we've no such cloath in England, this must have been the fleece of a very fine sheep.
Frank. Aye, taken from the back of an old stupid ram.
Cock. Speak of what you understand you clown, much talk may betray little knowledge. Cut your coat according to your cloath.
Frank. Yes, Sir, I cut your coat according to your cloth. I must fix him in his opinion now, with a little finesse, (aside.) Measter do expect fifty pounds for this balderdash .
Cock. Here's the money.
The poetical works of William Preston, Esq. in two volumes. ...
In ECCO. Another poem, this time from "a lady of quality in England" to Omiah. Passage:
If yet thy land preserves Opano's name,
And Oberea pines with am'rous flame ;
If yet, untouch'd, the sacred bread-tree grows,
Which saw their transports , and retains their vows ;
If joys remember'd rapture can impart,
And London lives within Omiah's heart;
Dear shall this greeting from thy Britain prove,
And dear these wishes of eternal love .
The botanic garden. Part II. Containing the loves of the plants. A poem. With
Poem. Mentions Otahetie and a flower found there called a Mimosa. Passage:
As round his shine the gaudy circles bow,
And seal with muttering lips the faithless vow,
Licentious Hymen joins their mingled hands,
And loosey twines the meretricious bands-
Thus where pleased Venus, in the southern main ,
Sends all her smiles on Otaheite’s plain,
Wide o’er the isle her silken net she draws,
And the Loves laugh at all, but Natures Laws.
Bell's classical arrangement of fugitive poetry. Vol. XVI.
printed by John Bell, British Library, Strand, Bookseller to
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, MDCCXCIV.
"Omiah" and "Otaheite" used in orginal context. The publication contains poems about Omiah and Tahiti, some taking on the perspective of Omiah. Passage: (p. 116).
My Lord applauds OMIAH's skill,
Erects a kingdom at his will,
Then gives the king this nice toy;
Resigns an Isle, and Boston town,
Joins Otaheite to the crown,
And makes OMIAH VICEROY!