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Papers of Henry Evans and Honor Courtney Maude

J. General Correspondence by Year: 1925-99

  [also ‘Letters Home’ 1929-46] see also Series G and H, and Part III

It has been said that prior to World War II research in the Pacific Islands was in the hands of at the most 50 people. If so the value of this series lies not least in the fact that it includes correspondence with probably all of them, in addition to many Governors, Administrators and Litterateurs such as Michener and James Norman Hall. As a young man, later to be dubbed 'the island monomaniac', I idolized many of these early giants; and still do.

On a more personal note the series should enable anyone in years to come to write a book of the 'Life and Times' genre, since the correspondence covers in detail the life of an administrator in the islands during the last decades of the now defunct colonial empire and, when that was breaking up, with service in charge of the social development of the Pacific Islands for the regional organization which paved the way for the full independence of the former dependent territories. Ana finally with the founding and development of a new branch of historical studies covering the whole of Oceania for the nascent islander elite now beginning to seek symbols for their newly emancipated societies, based on an evaluation of their place in historical evolution.

The correspondence is perhaps more useful than the average archival deposit since it includes personal as well as official letters, the former being in my opinion by far the most valuable as affording a more vivid and credible picture of events and personalities than formal documents can convey. By the same token I have been careful to include letters of a denigrating or depreciating character as well any enconiums I should not wish to be portrayed as a plaster saint. In fact the series commences with a record of my expulsion from the Cambridge University Officers Training Corps.

 [Note: the following descriptions of contents are intended only to alert researchers to the wealth and variety of material in this series, and are by no means comprehensive. It should also be noted that sometimes correspondence has been grouped so that letters of an earlier year may be included in a later file]

1 - Pre 1929 Includes cutting re rifle shooting meetings, papers re service in the Officer's Training Corps and resignation from the Cambridge University Corps; enquiry re appointment to the British North Borneo Civil Service; copies of references/testimonials when applying for a cadetship; and copy of lecture ‘The Hos of Kolhan’ given to the Anthropological Society of Cambridge, March 1929.

2   – 1929 Official letters of appointment as Administrative Officer, Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, and details of duties; includes letters from Arthur Grimble, then Resident Commissioner.

3  -  1930  idem

4 - 1931    Correspondence with Grimble; the Bishop Museum, the University Museum, Otago (H.D. Skinner) and with the Journal of the Polynesian Society re Maude's first publication.

5 - 1932    Correspondence with various museums and libraries in New Zealand, also with the University of Cambridge re enrolment as a research student. Official correspondence including commendations, appointments and transfers.

6 - 1933    Official correspondence, particularly with the Acting Resident Commissioner, C.A. Swinbourne.

7 - 1934   Official correspondence, including despatches on various aspects of Gilbert and Ellice Islands history, culture and traditions. Personal correspondence, especially with colleagues F.G.L. Holland, J.C. Barley (Ocean Island) and P.D ('Paddy') Macdonald. Also relating to research studies as enrolled student at Cambridge. Continuing correspondence with Skinner (Otago University Museum) and commencement of correspondence with others interested in writing Pacific history. Includes Holland's proposal that Maude write a Gilbertese history.

8  - 1935  idem

9 - 1936  Official correspondence, including re control of export of specimens of native culture from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Group. Personal and official correspondence re transfer to Zanzibar and desire to ensure a return to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Letters from A.P. Elkin re possible employment of Maude on his staff at Sydney University, from Auckland Museum thanking Maude for a collection of objects from the G.E.I. Group, and from Rothamsted Experimental Station and Kew Gardens re soil and plant specimens from the Islands.  Letter of welcome from Grimble (then Governor of the Seychelles), and correspondence with G.H. Eastman, missionary in the Gilberts for the London Missionary Society.

10 - 1937    Further official correspondence re Zanzibar appointment. Also correspondence with Bishop Museum, including with the Librarian Miss Margaret Titcomb, and with various stamp collectors.

11 - 1938    Official reports by Honor Maude on Nauru Cooperative Society and H.E. Maude on Water Supply on Gilbert and Ellice Islands and proposing the establishment of a museum and library at Tarawa specialising in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands area; also memo by Holland on Gilbertese orthography. Further correspondence with Barley, Titcomb and with historians, museums, stamp collectors and other administrators (including A.F. Richards, Fiji; and J.W. Jones, Hull Island) and with Carl Schuster re frigate bird designs. Proposal for M.B.E. for Maude.

12 - 1939    Official correspondence re refusal of leave in New Zealand, Maude's health and his application for permission to enlist. Memos on lack of coins and re collection of information to counter American claims to certain islands in the Pacific, and on the Phoenix Islands settlement scheme. Correspondence with Holland and with Barley, including 3 Sept. on the declaration of war with Germany and re replacement of wireless operator Jones on Hull.

13  - 1940    Official correspondence re protection of records of historical importance. Memos on the status of the offspring of polygamous unions, on tobacco for local consumption on the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme' on Pitcairn Island, and on reorganization of native lands work in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. Correspondence with Sir George Tomlinson, Sir H.C. Luke, High Commissioner for the Western Pacific and Governor of Fiji (Suva), Macdonald (Suva, W.P.H.C.), Plunket Woodgate and with Dr Shapiro, Dr Coulter and others re work on the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme since 1937. Further correspondence with stamp collectors and museums.

14 - 1941    Official correspondence with H.H. Vaskess (Sect, to High Commission), Woodgate, J.N. Hall, Macdonald, Luke. Official report on visit to Pitcairn Aug. 1940 - April 1941 and revision of its Constitution and legal code, reorganisation of its local government, and other matters. Appointment as Agent and Consul in Tonga, and a Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific in the Friendly Islands in relation to matrimonial causes. Correspondence with Luke and Armstrong re death of Prince William Tubou-Lahi Tungi and his replacement, and re Tongan defences. Also correspondence with Shirley Baker re her father's Tongan vocabulary and grammar. Copy of diary of visit of inspection of the Solomon Islands 20 April - 14 May 1941 by Luke. Maude's election as a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Correspondence relating to the death of G.B. Gallagher, officer-in-charge of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme, on 27 Sept. 1941.

15 - 1942   Official memoranda on fees for marriages in Pitcairn Island; supplies to Beru and malnutrition; native marriages in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony; closed districts in the Colony, U.S. Intelligence Services at Honolulu; compensation for war damage on Funafuti. Also minute on proposal by Luke to establish a quarterly publication for Fiji and the Western Pacific as a record of experiences, anthropological data and other information of general interest. Official congratulations from Luke on Maude's completion of his mission to Pitcairn Island, and commendation and recommendation by Luke for Maude’s  retention as First Assistant Secretary to the High Commission until the end of the war. Correspondence with colleagues Macdonald, Holland (Tonga), Lieut.-Col. V. Fox-Strangways (Canton Island), Lieut. E.J. Coode (Funafuti Island), Reid Cowell (Fanning Island) and J.K. Brownlees (Nuku'alofa, Tonga). Further correspondence with Skinner, Otago Museum, re collection of adzes, and C.R.H. Taylor, Alexander Turnbull Library and with Holland re Tongan orthography; also personal correspondence with Fred. Christian and G.H. Eastman.

16   - 1943  idem

17  – 1944    Further correspondence with colleagues Coode, Macdonald, Johnson, G.Hill, and Cowell. 'Secret' report on Nassau Island (Northern Cook group) and its suitability for colonisation by Gilbert Islanders. Extensive correspondence relating to Maude's future, including Maude's request in Jan. that he be appointed Resident Commissioner for the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, his appointment as Acting High Commissioner in Grantham's absence in February, and his subsequent appointment as Acting RC while Fox-Strangways was on leave. Correspondence with Vaskess and others relating to memoranda on post-war reorganisation and policy on the Colony, and with colleagues Macdonald, Capt. R.G. Roberts (Funafuti), Holland, Fox-Strangways and Coode on local affairs and procedures. Also with Donald Watson, Seventh Day Adventists Cook Islands Mission, and C. Taylor,  re article on Phoenix Islands colony for J.P.S. Memoranda by Cowell on war compensation, native lands and property and by Maude on siting of Colony headquarters (at Abemama, not Tarawa), and request by Maude for motor-cycle for his work as Acting Resident Commissioner. Correspondence with Margaret Titcomb, Trevor Johnson and Elliot Lloyd.

18  - 1945  idem

19 - 1946  Confidential memo (Jan.) on removal of the Banabans to Rabi Island. Various memoranda re proposed Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony Trade Scheme and the construction of colony headquarters at Abemama, and correspondence with J.B. Protheroe, Manager of the Colony Trade Scheme. Further correspondence with Eastman and Fred. Christian. Increasing volume of correspondence with a range of people interested in the Pacific area.

20  - 1947   Appointment as (permanent) Resident Commissioner following the appointment of Fox-Strangways to Palestine. Memorandum by Donald Kennedy re Banaban settlement. Confidential memo by the Chief Lands Commissioner, Cartland, re proposed purchase of Fanning and Washington Islands, and confidential letter re from Maude to Vaskess, and other related correspondence. Correspondence with colleagues Holland, Fox-Strangways, Cowell and with others in response to their congratulations on Maude's appointment. Letter from Maude to Sir Arthur Grimble, sending copy of Tero and describing the present state of the Colony, and from Sir Alexander Grantham (Western Pacific High Commission, Fiji) on his new appointment to Hong Kong. File includes list of officers then in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.

21  - 1947    idem

22 - 1948    Report to High Commissioner on matters connected with Pitcairn Island. Correspondence with W.G. Alexander, Cooperative Societies Officer, re the cooperative scheme. Correspondence with Sir Brian Freeston, the new W.P. High Commissioner, and Grantham and others re terms of his (Maude's) secondment to the South Pacific Commission and his reasons for accepting the position (disillusionment with changes to policy in the administration of the G. and E.I. Colony, especially regarding the purchase of Fanning and Washington islands.

23 - 1949    Further correspondence with Freeston regarding his (Maude's) hesitation in accepting the position of Deputy Secretary-General of the S.P.C. Letters of congratulation on award of the O.B.E. to Maude, and extensive correspondence with a variety of people re research on Pacific history and culture.

24 - 1950    Correspondence with colleagues in the Gilberts (Cartland, W.W.A. Miller, P.B. Laxton, Andrew Young) and with Macdonald in Leeward Islands. Increasing volume of personal correspondence with commentary on many aspects of the Pacific. Offer of position as Principal of the Australian School of Pacific Administration (Dept. of External Territories).

25 - 1951   Correspondence with John Ryan, Acting Secretary General of the South Pacific commission re joint matters, and with Sir Brian Freeston as Secretary General.

26  - 1952  idem

1952 - 97 Extensive personal correspondence with former colleagues, friends, research students and other scholars, archival institutions and libraries. In this correspondence there is much information on Pacific history and ethnography and about sources for such studies, but few formal reports or official memoranda. Following Maude's appointment as Senior Research Fellow in Pacific History at ANU from 1957 there is some correspondence regarding departmental matters (including staff appointments) and from 1965 correspondence regarding the establishment of the Journal of Pacific History (1966) and of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, and the ANU Pacific History Series, (1968).

1999   Copies/summaries of letters sent on behalf of the Maudes by typist/assistant Sylvia, January-October 1999.

Letters Home, 1929- 46.  30 cm. This collection comprises letters sent by H.E. and (mainly) Honor Maude from the islands to Harry’s parents, and cover both personal/family matters as well as descriptions of their life and activities.  They were kept by Lady Maude and returned to Harry and Honor many years later, and were received in 1998 to assist in the writing of the Maude’s biography.

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