Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 570 pages of information about Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains.
* It appears, from the accounts of subsequent voyagers, that Tamaahmaah afterwards succeeded in his wish of purchasing a large ship.  In this he sent a cargo of sandal-wood to Canton, having discovered that the foreign merchants trading with him made large profits on this wood, shipped by them from the islands to the Chinese markets.  The ship was manned by natives, but the officers were Englishmen.  She accomplished her voyage, and returned in safety to the islands, with the Hawaiian flag floating gloriously in the breeze.  The king hastened on board, expecting to find his sandal-wood converted into crapes and damasks, and other rich stuffs of China, but found, to his astonishment, by the legerdemain of traffic, his cargo had all disappeared, and, in place of it, remained a bill of charges amounting to three thousand dollars.  It was some time before he could be made to comprehend certain of the most important items of the bill, such as pilotage, anchorage, and custom-house fees; but when he discovered that maritime states in other countries derived large revenues in this manner, to the great cost of the merchant, “Well,” cried he, “then I will have harbor fees also.”  He established them accordingly.  Pilotage a dollar a foot on the draft of each vessel.  Anchorage from sixty to seventy dollars.  In this way he greatly increased the royal revenue, and turned his China speculation to account.


     Departure From the Sandwich Islands.—­Misunderstandings—­
     Miseries of a Suspicious Man.—­Arrival at the Columbia—­
     Dangerous Service.—­Gloomy Apprehensions—­Bars and
     Breakers.—­Perils of the Ship.  Disasters of a Boat’s Crew.—­
     Burial of a Sandwich Islander.

It was on the 28th of February that the Tonquin set sail from the Sandwich Islands.  For two days the wind was contrary, and the vessel was detained in their neighborhood; at length a favorable breeze sprang up, and in a little while the rich groves, green hills, and snowy peaks of those happy islands one after another sank from sight, or melted into the blue distance, and the Tonquin ploughed her course towards the sterner regions of the Pacific.

The misunderstandings between the captain and his passengers still continued; or rather, increased in gravity.  By his altercations and his moody humors, he had cut himself off from all community of thought, or freedom of conversation with them.  He disdained to ask questions as to their proceedings, and could only guess at the meaning of their movements, and in so doing indulged in conjectures and suspicions, which produced the most whimsical self-torment.

Thus, in one of his disputes with them, relative to the goods on board, some of the packages of which they wished to open, to take out articles of clothing for the men or presents for the natives, he was so harsh and peremptory that they lost all patience, and hinted that they were the strongest party, and might reduce him to a very ridiculous dilemma, by taking from him the command.

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Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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