A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 658 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.

The ships having happily found so excellent shelter in an inlet, the coasts of which appeared to be inhabited by a race of people, whose inoffensive behaviour promised a friendly intercourse, the next morning, after coming to anchor, I lost no time in endeavouring to find a commodious harbour where we might station ourselves during our continuance in the Sound.  Accordingly, I sent three armed boats, under the command of Mr King, upon this service; and soon after, I went myself, in a small boat, on the same search.  I had very little trouble in finding what we wanted.  On the N.W. of the arm we were now in, and not far from the ships, I met with a convenient snug cove well suited to our purpose.  Mr King was equally successful; for he returned about noon, with an account of a still better harbour, which he had seen and examined, lying on the N.W. side of the land.  But as it would have required more time to carry the ships thither, than to the cove where I had been, which was immediately within our reach, this reason operated to determine my choice in favour of the latter situation.  But being apprehensive, that we should not be able to transport our ships to it, and to moor them properly, before night came on, I thought it best to remain where we were till next morning; and, that no time might be lost, I employed the remainder of the day to some useful purposes, ordering the sails to be unbent, the top-masts to be struck, and the fore-mast of the Resolution to be unrigged, in order to fix a new bib, one of the old ones being decayed.

A great many canoes, filled with the natives, were about the ships all day, and a trade commenced betwixt us and them, which was carried on with the strictest honesty on both sides.  The articles which they offered to sale were skins of various animals, such as bears, wolves, foxes, deer, rackoons, pole-cats, martins, and, in particular, of the sea-otters, which are found at the islands E. of Kamtschatka.  Besides the skins in their native shape, they also brought garments made of them, and another sort of cloathing made of the bark of a tree, or some plant like hemp; weapons, such as bows, arrows, and spears; fish-hooks, and instruments of various kinds; wooden-vizors of many different monstrous figures; a sort of woollen stuff, or blanketing; bags filled with red ochre; pieces of carved work, beads, and several other little ornaments of thin brass and iron, shaped like a horse-shoe, which they hang at their noses; and several chisels, or pieces of iron, fixed to handles.  From their possessing which metals, we could infer that they had either been visited before by some civilized nation, or had connections with tribes on their continent, who had communication with them.  But the most extraordinary of all the articles which they brought to the ships for sale, were human skulls, and hands not yet quite stripped of the flesh, which they made our people plainly understand they had eaten; and, indeed, some of them had evident marks that they had

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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