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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 12.

On the 8th, about two o’clock in the afternoon, we saw land to the northward, and about sun-set came abreast of it, at about the distance of two leagues.  It appeared to be a double range of low woody islands joined together by reefs, so as to form one island, in the form of an ellipsis or oval, with a lake in the middle of it.  The small islands and reefs that circumscribe the lake have the appearance of a chain, and we therefore gave it the name of Chain Island.  Its length seemed to be about five leagues, in the direction of N.W. and S.E. and its breadth about five miles.  The trees upon it appeared to be large, and we saw smoke rising in different parts of it from among them, a certain sign that it was inhabited.  The middle of it lies in latitude 17 deg. 23’ S. and longitude 145 deg. 54’ W. and is distant from Bird Island forty-five leagues, in the direction of W. by N. The variation here was, by several azimuths, found to be 4 deg. 54’ E.

[Illustration:  THE ISLAND OF OTAHEITE]

On the 10th, having had a tempestuous night, with thunder and rain, the weather was hazy till about nine o’clock in the morning, when it cleared up, and we saw the island to which Captain Wallis, who first discovered it, gave the name of Osnaburgh Island, called by the natives Maitea, bearing N.W. by W. distant about five leagues.  It is a high round island, not above a league in circuit; in some parts it is covered with trees, and in others a naked rock.  In this direction it looked like a high-crowned hat; but when it bears north, the top of it has more the appearance of the roof of a house.  We made its latitude to be 17 deg. 48’ S. its longitude 148 deg. 10’ W. and its distance from Chain Island 44 leagues, in the direction of W. by S.[85]

[Footnote 85:  The islands mentioned in this section, with some others since discovered, constitute what has been called Dangerous Archipelago.  This is the name which Bougainville gave to this cluster.—­E]

SECTION VIII.

The Arrival of the Endeavour at Otaheite, called by Captain Wallis, King George the Third’s Island.  Rules established for Traffic with the Natives, and an Account of several Incidents which happened in a Visit to Tootahah and Toubourai Tamaida, two Chiefs.[86]

[Footnote 86:  It would have been easy to have contributed largely to the information respecting Otaheite, contained in this section and several of the succeeding ones; but, on the whole, it did not seem eligible to anticipate the events and incidents which fall to be elsewhere related.  Notes are therefore very sparingly given, and only for specific purposes.  Some modifications also, and some omissions of the text, have been made, in order to correspond with what has been already narrated, or what will be afterwards given in a better manner.—­E.]

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