1777 Middleton Antique Print Niuatoputapu & Tafahi Islands of Tonga - Schouten Le Maire 1616

Cartographer :Charles Theodore Middleton

  • Title : A Perspective View of Cocos and Traitors Islands discovered in the Voyages to the South Seas
  • Size: 14in x 9in (355mm x 230mm)
  • Ref #:  21741
  • Date : 1787
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition

This fine original cooper-plate engraved antique print of the attack on Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire in their ship the Eendracht by the inhabitants of the islands of Tafahi and Niuatoputapu, two islands of the kingdom of Tonga was published in Charles Theodore Middletons 1777 edition of A New and Complete System of Geography..... published by James Cooke London, 1777.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 14in x 9in (355mm x 230mm)
Plate size: - 11in x 7in (280mm x 180mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Niuatoputapu is a high island in the island nation of Tonga, Pacific Ocean, its highest point being at 157 m. Its name means sacred island. Older European names for the island are Traitors island or Keppel island.
Niuatoputapu was put on the European maps by Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire during their famous circumnavigation of the globe in their ship the Eendracht (Unity) in 1616. After successful bartering with the inhabitants of Tafahi, but not finding a suitable anchorage there, they proceeded to its bigger southern neighbour. There their reception was less peaceful. Natives boarded their ship and attacked the Dutch with clubs, until they found out what muskets were and could do. After that an uneasy truce existed, enabling the barter of more coconuts, ubes roots (probably ʻufi (yam)), hogs and water. A \'king\' of the island came along, but not on board. \"He was equally naked with all the rest\", only distinguishable by the respect the islanders paid to him. The next day the Dutch felt that something was in the air, and indeed when the king came along again he suddenly ordered his people into an attack. There were about 700 to 800 of them in 23 double canoes and 45 single canoes. But the Dutch fired their muskets and 3 cannons, and the islanders then quickly made themselves scarce. Schouten and LeMaire continued their westwards trip, leaving Verraders (Traitors) island behind.

Tafahi is a small island in the north of the Tonga archipelago, in fact closer to Savaii (Sāmoa) than the main islands of Tonga.
Tafahi was put on the European maps by Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire during their famous circumnavigation of the globe in 1616. They were it who gave it the name Cocos Eylant because of the abundancy of coconut palms. A multitude of natives in their outrigger canoes came to see their visitors. As the explorers describe in their journal, the natives were peaceful, willing to come on board, leaving barely any space for the Dutch themselves, and they traded large quantities of coconuts and ubes roots (probably ʻufi (yam)) for iron nails and strings of beads. But as the island did not offer a suitable place to anchor, the ship the Eendracht (Unity) proceeded next to Niuatoputapu.
It is speculated by Swiss Walter Hurni and described by the Swiss author Alex Capus, that Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, found the Treasure of Lima around 1890 on this island while living on the nearby island of Upolu and which made him and his family very rich