In the evening of the 14th, a small brig, the Nautilus, arrived from the island of Otaheite, in very great distress. This little vessel had been unfortunate in losing her passage to the NW coast of America, and had been at Kamschatka, the Sandwich Islands, and Otaheite. Being exceedingly infirm and worn out, the master found it impossible to effect the repairs which his vessel wanted at either of those places, and had touched at Otaheite for such refreshment as the crew required, determining to endeavour in their very leaky condition to reach this port, where they hoped to receive such assistance as might enable them to get to India.
On their arrival at Otaheite, they found that the missionaries, who had been sent thither from England for the purpose of propagating the Christian religion, were not on so comfortable a footing with the natives as could have been wished, being in a manner shut up within their little fortress. The natives had made use of threats, and had signified an intention of taking off their women (several of the missionaries having been accompanied by their wives and families). The arrival at Otaheite of this little vessel in some degree relieved them from the anxiety under which they had for some time laboured, and they determined to quit the island in her, if it should be practicable. Her commander, Mr. Bishop, showed them every attention which the shattered state of the brig would admit; embarked men, women, and children, to the number of 19; and, though with infinite difficulty, brought them in safety to this port, the vessel being so extremely leaky, that it required the labour of the whole company to keep her above water. She was not able to bring them all away, six or seven remaining upon the island, whose fate was certainly very precarious. Those who had arrived were treated by the colonists with every attention, and every possible relief administered to their distresses.
The deceptions and impositions which were daily in practice among the labouring part of the colony, to the great injury of the concerns of government, rendered it highly expedient that the governor, who had those concerns to attend to, should be assisted by trusty and active persons in every situation where public works might be carrying on. Having made some discoveries of this nature in the department of the sawyers, he issued a public order, specifying the hours which should be employed in every branch of public labour. This had by no means been the first attempt to check the impositions of these people; but it was found, that the private concerns of those who should superintend the various public works occupied so much of their time, that their duty was either wholly neglected or carelessly performed. This created such a relaxation of discipline, that a repetition of orders and regulations were from time to time published, to keep the labouring people constantly in mind that they were the servants of the crown, and remind those who were appointed to look after them, that they had neglected that duty which should ever have been their first and principal consideration.