Arrival in Brazil, with some Account of that Country.
Coming near the coast of Brazil, their design was to have anchored at the island Grande, but finding they had passed that island, they continued their course till off Porto, in lat. 24 deg. S. where they came to anchor. Some of the ship’s company of the commodore then got into the boat in order to go shore, both for the purpose of procuring wood and water and other refreshments, and in order to bury one of their seamen who had died. Before they could get on shore, they descried a body of Portuguese well armed moving along the coast, who seemed to prevent them from landing, and beckoned the Dutch to keep off, threatening to fire if they attempted to land: But, on shewing them the dead body, they allowed them to land, and even shewed them a place in which to inter their dead companion. Being desirous of procuring some intelligence, the Dutch asked many questions about the country, but could only get for answer, that Porto was an advanced port to St Sebastian, not marked in the charts, and that they were inhabitants of Rio Janeiro, which lay at the distance of eight miles. The Dutch endeavoured to persuade them to go on board the commodore, but they refused, fearing they might be pirates, which frequently used to come upon the coast, and, under pretence of getting fresh water, would land and pillage any of the little towns near the sea.
[Footnote 1: There must be a considerable mistake here in regard to the latitude of Porto, said to be in 21 deg. S. as Rio Janeiro is in lat. 22 deg. 54’ S. and must therefore have been eighty leagues distant. Perhaps the eight miles in the text, as the distance to Rio Janeiro, ought to have been eighty leagues or Dutch miles.—E.]
About six months before the arrival of Roggewein at this place, a pirate had been there, and, while the crew were preparing to make a descent, a French ship of force arrived, which sent her to the bottom with one broadside. She sank in thirteen fathoms, and as she was supposed to have seven millions on board, they had sent for divers from Portugal, in order to attempt recovering a part of her treasure. However, by dint of entreaties and the strongest possible assurance of safety, two of them were prevailed upon to go on board the commodore, where they were very kindly treated, and had clothes given them, by which they were induced to carry the squadron into a safe port, which was most serviceable to men in their condition, almost worn out with fatigues, and in a manner destroyed for want of water.