“The horrid feasting on human flesh which followed would be too shocking for description. The second mate begged his life at the time of the general massacre; they spared him for a fortnight, and then killed and eat him. I think if the captain had received Tippahee with a little more civility, that he would have informed him of his danger, and saved the ship; but that from being treated in the manner I have mentioned, he entered into the plot along with the others.
“I assure you it has been a most unpleasant thing for me to write about, and I could only have been induced to do it from a sense of duty, and a desire to give you all the information in my power, which I suppose may be of some use.
“I am, Sir,
“Your obedient humble servant,
Considering Mr. Berry’s limited acquaintance with these islanders, and the horror of the scene before him, his is a good and an impartial account; but facts which have been obtained subsequently have exonerated the natives to a certain extent. By repeated conversations I have held with several chiefs who were engaged in this dreadful affair, and from information I procured at Sydney, I have no doubt but that the Captain himself was the most in fault.
[Illustration: Whangaroa, Scene of the “Boyd” Massacre.]
He was commissioned by the Government of New South Wales to land a native chief named Philip at New Zealand, whom he subjected to a cruel and impolitic punishment. This man, smarting from his stripes, and burning with a desire to revenge his dishonourable treatment, excited all his friends to the commission of that bloody massacre.
The first settlement at Kororareka.
The tragic fate of the Boyd’s crew is now fast sinking into oblivion; and, like the islanders of Hawaii, after the murder of Cook, they seem to wish to obliterate the remembrance of their disgraceful conduct by a kind and friendly intercourse with our nation. The severe chastisement which they have always received from us after a treacherous action, has proved to them how little they gain by so debasing a line of conduct; and as they are most anxious to possess many of our productions, they seem to have come to a resolution to abandon their former system; which, if they may not be sensible of the injustice of, they see is destructive to their own interests; and now every chief is as solicitous for the safety of a European vessel as he would have been formerly for its destruction.