Salmon, Alexander

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SALMON, ALEXANDER (1822–1866), English traveler. Salmon was the son of a London banker, and while serving in the South Seas on a whaler, met and married Arii Tamai, 20-year-old chieftainess of the Teva clan on the island of Tahiti. He then became chief adviser to the rulers of Tahiti. Salmon, who was considered by the natives to be impartial, managed to persuade them not to resist the French when they established their rule over the island. In the late 1850s he went to Paris to see Napoleon iii with a list of grievances from the natives which had been ignored by the French governor of Tahiti. He was not received and went off to London where, in 1858, he published his letter of complaint, Lettre concernant l'état actuel de Tahiti. His wife's memoirs, edited in part by Henry Adams, appeared in 1901. Their daughter Joanna married Maran Taaroa, the last king of Tahiti, and their son Tati became an intimate friend of Robert Louis Stevenson.


Ramsden, in: Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, 1 (1949), 57–71 (includes bibliography).