A massacre occurred on September 8, 1836 on the US Brigg Charles Daggett visiting Vebea under the command of Captain Batchelor (sic. Bachelor), Chief officer Charles Shipman, to collect Sea Slugs (Beach le Mar). The chief Ro Vendovi was part of the group of natives who took part. The names of those killed were Charles Shipman, 1st Officer, Benjamin Barton, trading master, John Clark, seaman, William Wall, seaman, John Evans, seaman, Eggbert Smith, seaman; a black, name unknown; a boy, name unknown, and two Tahiti men, and five persons wounded – total 10 killed and 5 wounded, out of the crew of 25 persons. As the result of the death of the first officer, Charles Shipman, a full court of inquiry into this event was held. The US Navy included orders to return anyone involved in the event to the United States for questioning. The result was that when the US Exploring Expedition visited Rewa in 1841, Ro Vendovi was captured and taken to the United States to be questioned in the affair. Vendovi survived the trip around the world from Fiji to the Brooklyn, New York Navy Hospital, where he died a few hours after arriving. The samples, plants, and art work collected during the Expedition became the start of the Smithsonian Institution. Vendovi's personal effects, skull, and mandible (ascension #242) are part of the Anthropology Department collection.
Ono is known for its ancient method of fermenting breadfruit, plantains, and dalo underground. The food is stored in a hole in the ground, sometimes for several years, in preparation for future emergencies. Primary industry dominates the economy; a reforestation program, replanting the island with pine seedlings, is in progress.