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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 768 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.

[Footnote 5:  I have heard one of the gentlemen who were present say, that the first injury he received was from a dagger, as it is represented in the voyage; but, from the account of many others, who were also eye-witnesses, I am confident, in saying, that he was first struck with a club.  I was afterwards confirmed in this, by Kaireekea, the priest, who particularly mentioned the name of the man who gave him the blow, as well as that of the chief, who afterwards struck him with the dagger.  This is a point not worth disputing about; I mention it, as being solicitous to be accurate in this account, even in circumstances, of themselves, not very material.]

[Footnote 6:  Samwell’s Narrative of the Death of Captain James Cook, p. 2-20.]


Transactions at Owhyhee subsequent to the Death of Captain Cook.—­Gallant Behaviour of the Lieutenant of Marines.—­Dangerous Situation of the Party at the Morai.—­Bravery of one of the Natives.—­Consultation respecting future Measures.—­Demand of the Body of Captain Cook.—­Evasive and insidious Conduct of Koah and the Chiefs.—­Insolent Behaviour of the Natives.—­Promotion of Officers.—­Arrival of two Priests with Part of the Body.—­Extraordinary Behaviour of two Boys.—­Burning of the Village of Kakooa.—­Unfortunate Destruction of the Dwellings of the Priests.—­Recovery of the Bones of Captain Cook.—­Departure from Karakakooa Bay.

It has been already stated, that four of the marines, who attended Captain Cook, were killed by the islanders on the spot.  The rest, with Mr Phillips, their lieutenant, threw themselves into the water, and escaped, under cover of a smart fire from the boats.  On this occasion, a remarkable instance of gallant behaviour, and of affection for his men, was shewn by that officer; for he had scarcely got into the boat, when, seeing one of the marines, who was a bad swimmer, struggling in the water, and in danger of being taken by the enemy, he immediately jumped into the sea to his assistance, though much wounded himself; and, after receiving a blow on the head from a stone, which had nearly sent him to the bottom, be caught the man by the hair, and brought him safe off.

Our people continued for some time to keep up a constant fire from the boats (which, during the whole transaction, were not more than twenty yards from the land,) in order to afford their unfortunate companions, if any of them should still remain alive, an opportunity of escaping.  These efforts, seconded by a few guns that were fired at the same time from the Resolution, having forced the natives at last to retire, a small boat, manned by five of our young midshipmen, pulled toward the shore, where they saw the bodies, without any signs of life, lying on the ground; but judging it dangerous to attempt to bring them off, with so small a force, and their ammunition being nearly expended, they returned to the ships, leaving them in possession of the islanders, together with ten stands of arms.

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