Prof. A. L. Cross Tells Of Beautiful,
Ancient South Sea "Society Islands"
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SCHWARTZ & KALLIS
712 First National Bank Bldg.
(By Robert W. Cooper)
In 1769 while cruising in the south
Pacific, Cook, the explorer discovered
a group of islands which he named
the Society Islands from the fact that
he was sailing for the Royal society.
This group of islands has since come
under French domination, and last
summer. wishing to compare the Brit-
ish and French colonial systems, Prof.
Arthur L. Cross of the history depart-
ment, seized an opportunity to visit
this section of the Pacific, and has
given The Daily an account of his
Most Beautiful Isles
"The Society Islands are reputed
to be the most beautiful of the South
Sea groups," said Professor Cross.
"Tahiti, the largest island lies 12 days
out from San Francisco. It is of vol-
canic origin and surrounded by a
choral reef. It is similar both in
physical characteristics and in popu-
lation to the Hawaiian Islands which
lie to the north. Three mountain
peaks in the interior rise to a height
of 7,000 feet, and are of such a char-
acter that it is almost impossible to
As to the history of the islands,
Professor Cross said that the French
have held theme for more than 75
years. The last native }ruler was king
Pomare. The French took over the
islands after an agreement with the
Sees Fete on Island
While in the islands Professor Cross
saw a fete on the anniversary of the
taking of the Bastille. The fete in-
cluded competitive dancing and sing-
ing and brought people from all over
the islands. He also met a number
of interesting people during his visit.
The American consul, Mr. Withey is
a- graduate of the Michigan Law school,
and his wife a former Ann Arbor
girl. James Norman Hall, the aviator,
and Charles Nordhoff are in the is-
lands collecting material for a numb-
er of articles which they intend to
write. Mr. Nordhoff's article on "The
Fairyland of the Seas" appeared in
Harper's last winter. Professor Crosb
also spent an evening with Captain
Olson, who was Robert Louis Steven-
son's skipper when he visited these
islands. Captain Olson had a number
of reminiscenses of the Stevenson
voyage, which served to recall the
visit of that famous man.
"The Society islands are feeling the
hard times like all the rest of the
world" said Professor Cross. "Of
course the wants of the natives are
simple, since they live largely on fruit
and fish, but the commercial classes
feel the depression. About half the
world's vanila is exported from here,
and copra is an important product.
. Population is 12,000
"The population of the islands is
12,000, mostly native, although there
are some Europeans, especially
French, and a few Americans who are
attracted by the beauty of the sur-
"The only passenger line which
touches the islands is a New Zealand
line which lands a boat at Tahiti once
a month. -
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