James Cook - A Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour on a voyage round the world, by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander, commencing the 25th of May 1768 - 23 Oct. 1770 - Page 113
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hapned[sic] about 12 Months ago & each of these are again divided into fonalles districts, Whennua's as they call them, over each of the Kingdoms is an Ease dehi or head whom we call a king, & in the Whennua's are Earls or Chiefs, the Kings power seems to be but very little he may be reverenced as a father, but he is neither fear'd nor respected as a Monarch & the same may be said of the other Chiefs, however they have a Preeminence over the rest of the People who pay them a kind of a Voluntary Obedience upon the whole these people seem to enjoy liberty in its fullest extend every man seems to be the sole judge of his own actions & to know no punishment but death & this perhaps is never inflicted but upon a Public Enemy, there are 3 Ranks of Men & Women first the Eares or chiefs second the Manahoona's or Middling sort & lastly the Toutou's which Comprise all the lower Class & are by far the most numerous these seem to live in some sort dependant on the Eares who together with the Manahoona's own most if not all of the lands this is Hereditary in their family's & the moment the Heir is born he succeeds the Father both in title & Estate at least to the name for its most likely that the latter must have the Power during his Son or Daughters Minority~
Upon our arrival at Batavia We were inform'd the two French Ships commanded by the Mons.r Beaugainville, touched at that place in their way home from the South Seas two years ago. We were here told any circumstances of these two Ships all tending to prove that they were the same ships that were at Georges Island which we judged were Spaniards being lead into this mistake by the Spanish [....] &tc. we were among the Natives which is easey accounted for, for we are told that while the Beaugainvile in the Frigate was delivering up that part of Falklands Islands posses'd by the French to the Spaniards the Store ship was trading with the Spaniards in the River plate where it is very probable she disposed of all her European goods & purchased others to trade with the Islands in the S.o Seas. To confirm these last circumstances we were told that when they arrived at Batavia the Frigate had onboard a great quantity of Spanish Dollars.