Among the wounded were, Ebenezer Baker, seaman, most dangerously, with daggers, he having two stabs in his left thigh, one in his groin, one in his back, one in his breast, and one in his neck; Henry Thompson, seaman, very dangerously, with daggers, having one wound on the right side, one on the left shoulder, another on the left arm, and two or three smaller ones on the same arm, one on the right temple, and another on the left cheek; Ebenezer Williams, seaman, had three wounds in his thigh, with daggers,—two on his back, and one on the right shoulder with a boarding-pike; Luke Bates, seamen, one wound on the right shoulder with a boarding-pike; Joseph Robinson, carpenter, wounded on the left breast; Thomas Edwards, steward, stabbed on the left shoulder; W. Walker had two stabs, with daggers, in his back.
After the deck was cleared of these sanguinary savages, several guns were fired at the village, the sails were loosened, stream-cable cut, and the ship put to sea. The same night they got under weigh, seven large war-canoes hove in sight, with about thirty Indians in each. In this deplorable condition, with only four or five hands on board capable of duty, the Atahualpa shaped her course for New Heita; but the wind chopping round, put about, and stood to the westward.
On the 17th, it was thought time to bury the dead, when, after having sewed them up, and got them ready for interment, prayers were read. They were then buried in Queen Charlotte’s Sound.
It cannot be ascertained with any degree of accuracy, how many of the Indians were killed in this dreadful contest. It is supposed, however, that the number must have exceeded forty; for a large canoe being under the ship’s bow, with about twenty Indians in her, who were cutting a cable, a swivel and several muskets were fired into her, and but one of the Indians reached the shore in safety.
During the conflict with the savages, there were two barrels of powder unheaded, and a loaded pistol prepared and given to a person who stood ready, should they get into the cabin, and secure to themselves the ship, to fire into it, and blow the whole up, preferring to die in that manner rather than fall into the hands of such merciless wretches.
[Illustration: Shipwreck of the Blendenhall.]
In the year 1821, the Blendenhall, free trader, bound from England for Bombay, partly laden with broad-cloths, was proceeding on her voyage with every prospect of a successful issue. While thus pursuing her way through the Atlantic, she was unfortunately driven from her course, by adverse winds and currents, more to the southward and westward than was required, and it became desirable to reach the island of Tristan d’Acunha, in order to ascertain and rectify the reckoning. This island, which is called after the Portuguese admiral who first discovered it, is one of a group of three, the others being the Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands, situated many hundreds of miles from any land, and in a south-westerly direction from the Cape of Good Hope. The shores are rugged and precipitous in the extreme, and form, perhaps, the most dangerous coast upon which any vessel could be driven.