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Agreements with Native Governments 1893-1916

Agreements with Native Governments 1893-1916

Tuvalu - Tuvalu National Library and Archives, Tuvalu


The Agreements with Local Governments are the only original document that stands as evidence for when each of the islands in Ellice Islands submitted to the British Empire. They were signed by Sir John Bates Thurston, Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, High Commissioner and Consul General for the Western Pacific, on behalf of Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Victoria and approximately 8 Tuvaluan (Ellice Islands) Chiefs with 40 island elders. These documents were signed in all Ellice Islands beginning from Funafuti on the 26th June 1893 and end with Nanomaga on 15th November 1893.

These documents explicitly states the order of the British Empire that Ellice Islands should adhere to. The Agreements enabled the British Empire to combine Ellice Islands with Gilbert Islands into one colony, known as Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. These documents also states that within these agreements Her Britannic Majesty has Power and Jurisdiction over all persons residing, or being within the Ellice Group. Whereas it is expedient to provide a revenue for the purposes of local administration. All trade licences or taxes of any kind payable by foreigners residing, or being within the islands or any part of the Ellice Group, shall be imposed and levied by Her Britannic Majesty’s High Commissioner, and shall be payable to him only, or to such Officer as he may appoint in that behalf.

The selected documents represent a significance colonization process that was done by the British to other fellow Pacific countries like Fiji, Cook Islands, Tokelau and New Zealand to name a few.




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