A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

[Footnote 6:  Britain once tried a settlement at Falkland islands, and had nearly gone to war with Spain on the occasion; and there can be no doubt that Spain could never have submitted to the settlement of Juan Fernandez by any other power.  There is now a fort and small garrison kept in that island.—­E]


Continuation of the Voyage from Juan Fernandez till the Shipwreck of the African Galley.

On leaving Juan Fernandez, Roggewein proposed to visit that part of the southern lands which was reported to have been discovered by Davis in 1680.[1] As the Dutch author of this voyage is rather dark on this subject, I shall here insert Mr Wafer’s account of this discovery, as it is very short.  Wafer was a man of sense and knowledge, who sailed along with Davis when this discovery was made.

[Footnote 1:  We have omitted a long, inconclusive, and uninteresting discussion about the climate and productions of the proposed discovery, the Terra Australis, which still remains incognito, or rather has been clearly shewn to have no existence.—­E.]

“We steered from the Gallapagos island S. by E. 1/2 E. until we came into the lat. of 27 deg. 20’ S. when we fell in with a low sandy island, and heard a great roaring noise right a-head of the ship, like that of the sea beating on the shore.  It being some hours before day, and fearing to fall foul of the shore, the ship put about, and plied off and on till next morning, and then stood in for the land, which proved to be a small flat island, not surrounded by any rocks.  To the westwards, about twelve leagues by estimation, we saw a range of high land which we took to be islands, as there were several partitions in the prospect, and this land seemed to extend fourteen or sixteen leagues.  There came great flocks of fowls from that direction; and I and more of the men would have made this land and gone on shore there, but the captain would not consent.  The small island bears 500 leagues from Copaipo almost due W. and from the Gallapagos 600 leagues."[2]

[Footnote 2:  There can be no doubt that the small low flat island was Easter island, in lat. 27 deg. 20’ S. long. 110 deg. 10’ W. Its distance from Copaipo, almost due W. is almost exactly 40 deg. or 800 marine leagues.  The range of high land seen to the westwards, could be nothing but a fog bank, so that Roggewein set out from Juan Fernandez in search of a nonentity.—­E.]

In prosecuting his voyage to the westwards, the first land seen by Roggewein was the lesser island of Juan Fernandez, otherwise called Massa-fuero, about ninety-five English miles direct west.  This appeared lower and less fertile from a distance, but they had not an opportunity of landing.  Having the benefit of a S.E. trade-wind, they soon arrived in lat. 28 deg.  S. and the longitude of 251 deg.  E. where they expected to have fallen in with the land seen by Davis, but no such land was to be found.  Continuing their voyage to the westwards, and attended by a vast quantity of birds, they arrived on the coast of a small island about sixteen leagues in extent, which they fell in with on the 14th April, 1722, being Easter-day, and called it therefore Pascha, or Easter Island.

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