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

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 by Robert Kerr (writer)

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CHAP.  III.  Transactions at Otaheite, and the Society Islands; and prosecution of the Voyage to the Coast of North America, 1


I. An Eclipse of the Moon observed.  The Island Toobouai discovered.  Its Situation, Extent, and Appearance.  Intercourse with its Inhabitants.  Their Persons, Dresses, and Canoes described.  Arrival at Oheitepeha Bay, at Otaheite.  Omai’s Reception and imprudent Conduct.  Account of Spanish Ships twice visiting the Island.  Interview with the Chief of this District.  The Olla, or God, of Bolabola.  A mad Prophet.  Arrival in Matavai Bay, 1
II.  Interview with Otoo, King of the Island, Imprudent Conduct of Omai.  Employments on Shore.  European Animals landed.  Particulars about a Native who had visited Lima.  About Oedidee.  A Revolt in Eimeo.  War with that Island determined upon, in a Council of Chiefs.  A human Sacrifice on that Account.  A particular Relation of the Ceremonies at the great Morai, where the Sacrifice was offered.  Other barbarous Customs of this People, 16
III.  Conference with Towha.  Heevas described.  Omai and Oedidee give Dinners.  Fireworks exhibited.  A remarkable Present of Cloth.  Manner of preserving the Body of a dead Chief.  Another human Sacrifice.  Riding on Horseback.  Otoo’s Attention to supply Provisions, and prevent Thefts.  Animals given to him.  Etary, and the Deputies of a Chief, have Audiences.  A mock Fight of two War Canoes.  Naval Strength of these Islands.  Manner of conducting a War, 35
IV.  The Day of Sailing fixed.  Peace made with Eimeo.  Debates about it, and Otoo’s Conduct blamed.  A Solemnity at the Morai on the Occasion, described by Mr King.  Observations upon it.  Instance of Otoo’s Art.  Omai’s War-Canoe, and Remarks upon his Behaviour.  Otoo’s Present, and Message to the King of Great Britain.  Reflections on our Manner of Traffic, and on the good Treatment we met with at Otaheite.  Account of the Expedition of the Spaniards.  Their Fictions to depreciate the English.  Wishes expressed that no Settlement may be made.  Omai’s Jealousy of another Traveller, 48
V. Arrival at Eimeo.  Two Harbours there, and an Account of them.  Visit from Maheine, Chief of the Island.  His Person described.  A Goat stolen, and sent back with the Thief.  Another Goat stolen, and secreted.  Measures taken on the Occasion.  Expedition cross the Island.  Houses and Canoes burnt.  The Goat delivered up, and Peace restored.  Some Account of the Island, &c. 62
VI.  Arrival at Huaheine.  Council of the Chiefs.  Omai’s Offerings, and Speech to the Chiefs.  His Establishment in this Island agreed to.  A House built, and Garden planted for him.  Singularity of his Situation.  Measures taken to insure his Safety.  Damage done by Cock-roaches on board the Ships.  A Thief detected and punished.  Fireworks exhibited. 

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Animals left with Omai.  His Family.  Weapons.  Inscription on his House.  His Behaviour on the Ships leaving the Island.  Summary View of his Conduct and Character.  Account of the two New Zealand Youths, 71
VII.  Arrival at Ulietea.  Astronomical Observations.  A Marine deserts, and is delivered up.  Intelligence from Omai.  Instructions to Captain Clerke.  Another Desertion of a Midshipman and a Seaman.  Three of the chief Persons of the Island confined on that Account.  A Design to seize Captains Cook and Clerke discovered.  The two Deserters brought back, and the Prisoners released.  The Ships sail.  Refreshments received at Ulietea.  Present and former State of that Island.  Account of its dethroned King, and of the late Regent of Huaheine, 87
VIII.  Arrival at Bolabola.  Interview with Opoony.  Reasons for purchasing Monsieur de Bougainville’s Anchor.  Departure from the Society Islands.  Particulars about Bolabola.  History of the Conquest of Otaha and Ulietea.  High Reputation of the Bolabola Men.  Animals left there and at Ulietea.  Plentiful Supply of Provisions, and Manner of salting Pork on Board.  Various Reflections relative to Otaheite and the Society Islands.  Astronomical and Nautical Observations made there, 99

    IX.  Accounts of Otaheite still imperfect.  The prevailing
    Winds.  Beauty of the Country.  Cultivation.  Natural
    Curiosities.  The Persons of the Natives.  Diseases.  General
    Character.  Love of Pleasure.  Language.  Surgery and Physic. 
    Articles of Food.  Effects of drinking Ava.  Times and Manner of
    Eating.  Connexions with the Females.  Circumcision.  System of
    Religion.  Notions about the Soul and a future Life.  Various
    Superstitions.  Traditions about the Creation.  An historical
    Legend.  Honours paid to the King.  Distinction of Ranks. 
    Punishment of Crimes.  Peculiarities of the neighbouring
    Islands.  Names of their Gods.  Names of Islands they visit. 
    Extent of their Navigation, 10

X. Progress of the Voyage, after leaving the Society Islands.  Christmas Island discovered, and Station of the Ships there.  Boats sent ashore.  Great Success in catching Turtle.  An Eclipse of the Sun observed.  Distress of two Seamen who had lost their Way.  Inscription left in a Bottle.  Account of the Island.  Its Soil.  Trees and Plants.  Birds.  Its Size.  Form.  Situation.  Anchoring Ground, 139
XI.  Some Islands discovered.  Account of the Natives of Atooi, who came off to the Ships, and their Behaviour on going on Board.  One of them killed.  Precautions used to prevent Intercourse with the Females.  A Watering-place found.  Reception upon landing.  Excursion into the Country.  A Morai visited and described.  Graves of the Chiefs, and of the human Sacrifices, there buried.  Another Island, called Oneeheow, visited.  Ceremonies performed

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by the Natives, who go off to the Ships.  Reasons for believing that they are Cannibals.  A Party sent ashore, who remain two Nights.  Account of what passed on landing.  The Ships leave the Islands, and proceed to the North, 148
XII.  The Situation of the Islands now discovered.  Their Names.  Called the Sandwich Islands.  Atooi described.  The Soil.  Climate.  Vegetable Productions.  Birds.  Fish.  Domestic Animals.  Persons of the Inhabitants.  Their Disposition.  Dress.  Ornaments.  Habitations.  Food.  Cookery.  Amusements.  Manufactures.  Working-tools.  Knowledge of Iron accounted for.  Canoes.  Agriculture.  Account of one of their Chiefs.  Weapons.  Customs agreeing with those of Tongataboo and Otaheite.  Their Language the same.  Extent of this Nation throughout the Pacific Ocean.  Reflections on the useful Situation of the Sandwich Islands, 172
XIII.  Observations made at the Sandwich Islands, on the Longitude, Variation of the Compass and Tides.  Prosecution of the Voyage.  Remarks on the Mildness of the Weather, as far as the Latitude 44 deg.  North.  Paucity of Sea Birds, in the Northern Hemisphere.  Small Sea Animals described.  Arrival on the Coast of America.  Appearance of the Country.  Unfavourable Winds and boisterous Weather.  Remarks on Martin de Aguilar’s River, and Juan de Fuca’s pretended Strait.  An Inlet discovered, where the Ship’s anchor.  Behaviour of the Natives, 195

Chap.  IV.  Transactions, amongst the Natives of North America; Discoveries along that Coast and the Eastern Extremity of Asia, Northward to Icy Cape; and return Southward to the Sandwich Islands, 207


I. The Ships enter the Sound, and moor in a Harbour.  Intercourse with the Natives.  Articles brought to barter.  Thefts committed.  The Observatories erected, and Carpenters set to work.  Jealousy of the Inhabitants of the Sound to prevent other Tribes having Intercourse with the Ships.  Stormy and rainy Weather.  Progress round the Sound.  Behaviour of the Natives at their Villages.  Their Manner of drying Fish, &c.  Remarkable Visit from Strangers, and introductory Ceremonies.  A second Visit to one of the Villages.  Leave to cut Grass, purchased.  The Ships sail.  Presents given and received at parting, 207
II.  The Name of the Sound, and Directions for Sailing into it.  Account of the adjacent Country.  Weather.  Climate.  Trees.  Other Vegetable Productions.  Quadrupeds, whose Skins were brought for Sale.  Sea Animals.  Description of a Sea-Otter.  Birds.  Water Fowl.  Fish.  Shell-fish, &c.  Reptiles.  Insects.  Stones, &c.  Persons of the Inhabitants.  Their Colour.  Common Dress and Ornaments.  Occasional Dresses, and monstrous Decorations of wooden Masks.  Their general Dispositions.  Songs.  Musical Instruments.  Their Eagerness to possess Iron and other Metals, 221
III.  Manner of Building the Houses

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in Nootka Sound.  Inside of them described.  Furniture and Utensils.  Wooden Images.  Employments of the Men.  Of the Women.  Food, Animal and Vegetable.  Manner of preparing it.  Weapons.  Manufactures and Mechanic Arts.  Carving and Painting.  Canoes.  Implements for Fishing and Hunting.  Iron Tools.  Manner of procuring that Metal.  Remarks on their Language, and a Specimen of it.  Astronomical and Nautical Observations made in Nootka Sound, 239
IV.  A Storm, after sailing from Nootka Sound.  Resolution springs a Leak.  Pretended Strait of Admiral de Fonte passed unexamined.  Progress along the Coast of America.  Behring’s Bay.  Kaye’s Island.  Account of it.  The Ships come to an Anchor.  Visited by the Natives.  Their Behaviour.  Fondness for Beads and Iron.  Attempt to plunder the Discovery.  Resolution’s Leak stopped; Progress up the Sound.  Messrs Gore and Roberts sent to examine its Extent.  Reasons against a Passage to the North through it.  The Ships proceed down it to the open Sea 260
V. The Inlet called Prince William’s Sound.  Its Extent.  Persons of the Inhabitants described.  Their Dress.  Incision of the Under-lip.  Various other Ornaments.  Their Boats.  Weapons.  Fishing and hunting Instruments.  Utensils.  Tools.  Uses Iron is applied to.  Food.  Language, and a Specimen of it.  Animals.  Birds.  Fish.  Iron and Beads, whence received, 279
VI.  Progress along the Coast.  Cape Elizabeth.  Cape St Hermogenes.  Accounts of Beering’s Voyage very defective.  Point Banks.  Cape Douglas.  Cape Bede.  Mount St Augustin.  Hopes of finding a Passage up an Inlet.  The Ships proceed up it.  Indubitable Marks of its being a River.  Named Cook’s River.  The Ships return down it.  Various Visits from the Natives.  Lieutenant King lands, and takes Possession of the Country.  His Report.  The Resolution runs aground on a Shoal.  Reflections on the Discovery of Cook’s River.  The considerable Tides in it accounted for, 291
VII.  Discoveries after leaving Cook’s River.  Island of St Hermogenes.  Cape Whitsunday.  Cape Greville.  Cape Barnabas.  Two-headed Point.  Trinity Island.  Beering’s Foggy Island.  A beautiful Bird described.  Kodiak and the Schumagin Islands.  A Russian Letter brought on Board by a Native.  Conjectures about it.  Rock Point.  Halibut Island.  A Volcano Mountain.  Providential Escape.  Arrival of the Ships at Oonalaschka.  Intercourse with the Natives there.  Another Russian Letter.  Samganoodha Harbour described, 306
VIII.  Progress Northward, after leaving Oonalashka.  The Islands Oonella and Acootan.  Ooneemak.  Shallowness of the Water along the Coast.  Bristol Bay.  Round Island.  Calm Point.  Cape Newenham.  Lieutenant Williamson lands, and his Report.  Bristol Bay, and its Extent.  The Ships obliged to return on account of Shoals.  Natives come off to the Ships.  Death of Mr Anderson; his Character;

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and Island named after him.  Point Rodney.  Sledge Island, and Remarks on landing there.  King’s Island.  Cape Prince of Wales, the Western Extreme of America.  Course Westward.  Anchor in a Bay on the Coast of Asia, 323
IX.  Behaviour of the Natives, the Tschutski, on seeing the Ships.  Interview with some of them.  Their Weapons.  Persons.  Ornaments Clothing.  Winter and Summer Habitations.  The Ships cross the Strait, to the Coast of America.  Progress Northward.  Cape Mulgrave.  Appearance of Fields of Ice.  Situation of Icy Cape, the Sea blocked up with Ice.  Sea-horses killed, and used as Provisions.  These Animals described.  Dimensions of one of them.  Cape Lisburne.  Fruitless Attempt to get through the Ice at a Distance from the Coast.  Observations on the Formation of this Ice.  Arrival on the Coast of Asia.  Cape North.  The Prosecution of the Voyage deferred to the ensuing Year, 338
X. Return from Cape North, along the Coast of Asia.  Views of the Country.  Burney’s Island.  Cape Serdze Kamen, the Northern Limit of Beering’s Voyage.  Pass the East Cape of Asia.  Description and Situation of it.  Observations on Muller.  The Tschutski.  Bay of Saint Laurence.  Two other Bays, and Habitations of the Natives.  Beering’s Cape Tschukotskoi.  Beering’s Position of this Coast accurate.  Island of Saint Laurence.  Pass to the American Coast.  Cape Derby.  Bald Head.  Cape Denbigh, on a Peninsula.  Besborough Island.  Wood and Water procured.  Visits from the Natives.  Their Persons and Habitations.  Produce of the Country.  Marks that the Peninsula had formerly been surrounded by the Sea.  Lieutenant King’s Report.  Norton Sound.  Lunar Observations there.  Staehlin’s Map proved to be erroneous.  Plan of future Operations, 353
XI.  Discoveries after leaving Norton Sound.  Stuart’s Island.  Cape Stephens.  Point Shallow-Water.  Shoals on the American Coast.  Clerke’s Island.  Gore’s Island.  Pinnacle Island.  Arrival at Oonalashka.  Intercourse with the Natives and Russian Traders.  Charts of the Russian Discoveries, communicated by Mr Ismyloff.  Their Errors pointed out.  Situation of the Islands visited by the Russians.  Account of their Settlement at Oonalashka.  Of the Natives of the Island.  Their Persons.  Dress.  Ornaments.  Food.  Houses and domestic Utensils.  Manufactures.  Manner of producing Fire.  Canoes.  Fishing and Hunting Implements.  Fishes, and Sea Animals.  Sea and Water Fowls, and Land Birds.  Land Animals and Vegetables.  Manner of burying the Dead.  Resemblance of the Natives on this Side of America to the Greenlanders and Esquimaux.  Tides.  Observations for determining the Longitude of Oonalashka. 369
XII.  Departure from Oonalashka, and future Views.  The Island Amoghta.  Situation of a remarkable Rock.  Strait between Oonalashka and Oonella repassed.  Progress to the South.  Melancholy Accident on board the Discovery.  Mowee, one of the Sandwich

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Islands, discovered.  Intercourse with the Natives.  Visit from Terreeoboo.  Another Island, called Owhyhee, discovered.  The Ships ply to Windward to get round it.  An Eclipse of the Moon observed.  The Crew refuse to drink Sugar-cane Beer.  Cordage deficient in Strength.  Commendation of the Natives of Owhyhee.  The Resolution gets to Windward of the Island.  Her Progress down the South-East Coast.  Views of the Country, and Visits from the Natives.  The Discovery joins.  Slow Progress Westward.  Karakakooa Bay examined by Mr Bligh.  Vast Concourse of the Natives.  The Ships anchor in the Bay, 402

Chap.  V. Captain King’s Journal of the Transactions on Returning to the Sandwich Islands, 421


I. Description of Karakakooa Bay.  Vast Concourse of the Natives.  Power of the Chiefs over the Inferior People.  Visit from Koah, a Priest and Warrior.  The Morai at Kakooa described.  Ceremonies at the Landing of Captain Cook.  Observatories erected.  Powerful Operation of the Taboo.  Method of Salting Pork in Tropical Climates.  Society of Priests discovered.  Their Hospitality and Munificence.  Reception of Captain Cook.  Artifice of Koah.  Arrival of Terreeoboo, King of the Island.  Returned by Captain Cook, 421
II.  Farther Account of Transactions with the Natives.  Their Hospitality.  Propensity to Theft.  Description of a Boxing Match.  Death of one of our Seamen.  Behaviour of the Priests at his Funeral.  The Wood Work and Images on the Morai purchased.  The Natives inquisitive about our Departure.  Their Opinion about the Design of our Voyage.  Magnificent Presents of Terreeoboo to Captain Cook.  The Ships leave the Island.  The Resolution damaged in a Gale, and obliged to return, 434
III.  Suspicious Behaviour of the Natives, on our Return to Karakakooa Bay.  Theft on Board the Discovery, and its Consequences.  The Pinnace attacked, and the Crew obliged to quit her.  Captain Cook’s Observations on the Occasion.  Attempt at the Observatory.  The Cutter of the Discovery stolen.  Measures taken by Captain Cook for its Recovery.  Goes on Shore to invite the King on Board.  The King being stopped by his Wife and the Chiefs, a Contest arises.  News arrives of one of the Chiefs being killed by one of our People.  Ferment on this Occasion.  One of the Chiefs threatens Captain Cook, and is shot by him.  General Attack by the Natives.  Death of Captain Cook.  Account of the Captain’s Services, and a Sketch of his Character, 446
IV.  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

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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, 460
V. Departure from Karakakooa in Search of a Harbour on the South-East Side of Mowee.  Driven to Leeward by the Easterly Winds and Current.  Pass the Island of Tahoorowha.  Description of the South-West Side of Mowee.  Run along the Coasts of Ranai and Morotoi to Woahoo.  Description of the North-East Coast of Woahoo.  Unsuccessful Attempt to Water.  Passage to Atooi.  Anchor in Wymoa Bay.  Dangerous Situation of the Watering Party on Shore.  Civil Dissensions in the Islands.  Visit from the contending Chiefs.  Anchor off Oneeheow.  Final Departure from the Sandwich Islands, 492


General history,




Voyages and travels.

* * * * *


* * * * *


Transactions at Otaheite, and the society islands; and prosecution of the voyage to the coast of north America.


An Eclipse of the Moon observed.—­The Island Toobouai discovered.—­Its Situation, Extent, and Appearance.—­Intercourse with its Inhabitants.—­Their Persons, Dresses, and Canoes described.—­Arrival at Oheitepeha Bay, at Otaheite.—­Omai’s Reception and imprudent Conduct.—­Account of Spanish Ships twice visiting the Island.—­Interview with the Chief of this District.—­The Olla, or God, of Bolabola.—­A mad Prophet.—­Arrival in Matavai Bay.

Having, as before related,[1] taken our final leave of the Friendly Islands, I now resume my narrative of the voyage.  In the evening of the 17th of July, at eight o’clock, the body of Eaoo bore N.E. by N., distant three or four leagues.  The wind was now at E., and blew a fresh gale.  With it I stood to the S., till half an hour past six o’clock the next morning, when a sudden squall, from the same direction, took our ship aback; and, before the sails could be trimmed on the other tack, the main-sail and the top-gallant sails were much torn.

[Footnote 1:  See the conclusion of Sect.  IX.  Chap.  II.]

The wind kept between the S.W. and S.E., on the 19th and 20th, afterward, it veered to the E., N.E., and N. The night between the 20th and 21st, an eclipse of the moon was observed as follows, being then in the latitude of 22 deg. 57-1/2’ S.: 

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Apparent time, A.M. 

Beginning, by Mr King, at   0  32  50 |
Mr Bligh, at  0  33  25  >  Mean long. 186 deg. 57-1/2’. 
Myself, at    0  33  35 |
End, by Mr King at          1  44  56 |    Mean long. 186 deg. 28-1/2’. 
Mr Bligh at         1  44   6  >   Time keep. 186 deg. 58-1/2’. 
Myself, at          1  44  56 |

The latitude and longitude are those of the ship, at 8^h 56^m a.m., being the time when the sun’s altitude was taken for finding the apparent time.  At the beginning of the eclipse, the moon was in the zenith, so that it was found most convenient to make use of the sextants, and to make the observations by the reflected image, which was brought down to a convenient altitude.  The same was done at the end, except by Mr King, who observed with a night telescope.  Although the greatest difference between our several observations is no more than fifty seconds, it, nevertheless, appeared to me that two observers might differ more than double that time, in both the beginning and end.  And, though the times are noted to seconds, no such accuracy was pretended to.  The odd seconds set down above, arose by reducing the time, as given by the watch, to apparent time.

I continued to stretch to the E.S.E., with the wind at N.E. and N., without meeting with any thing worthy of note, till seven o’clock in the evening of the 29th, when we had a sudden and very heavy squall of wind from the N. At this time we were under single reefed topsails, courses, and stay-sails.  Two of the latter were blown to pieces, and it was with difficulty that we saved the other sails.  After this squall, we observed several lights moving about on board the Discovery, by which we concluded, that something had given way; and, the next morning, we saw that her main-top-mast had been lost.  Both wind and weather continued very unsettled till noon, this day, when the latter cleared up, and the former settled in the N.W. quarter.  At this time, we were in the latitude of 28 deg. 6’ S., and our longitude was 198 deg. 23’ E. Here we saw some pintado birds, being the first since we left the land.

On the 31st, at noon, Captain Clerke made a signal to speak with me.  By the return of the boat which I sent on board his ship, he informed me, that the head of the main-mast had been just discovered to be sprung, in such a manner as to render the rigging of another top-mast very dangerous; and that, therefore, he must rig something lighter in its place.  He also informed me, that he had lost his main-top-gallant-yard, and that he neither had another, nor a spar to make one, on board.  The Resolution’s sprit-sail top-sail yard which I sent him, supplied this want.  The next day, he got up a jury top-mast, on which he set a mizen-top-sail, and this enabled him to keep way with the Resolution.

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The wind was fixed in the western board, that is, from the N., round by the W. to S., and I steered E.N.E. and N.E., without meeting with anything remarkable, till eleven o’clock in the morning of the 8th of August, when land was seen, bearing N.N.E., nine or ten leagues distant.  At first, it appeared in detached hills, like so many separate islands; but, as we drew nearer, we found that they were all connected, and belonged to one and the same island.  I steered directly for it, with a fine gale at S.E. by S.; and at half-past six o’clock in the afternoon, it extended from N. by E., to N.N.E. 3/4 E., distant three or four leagues.

The night was spent standing off and on; and at day-break the next morning, I steered for the N.W., or lee-side of the island; and as we stood round its S. or S.W. part, we saw it every where guarded by a reef of coral rock, extending, in some places, a full mile from the land, and a high surf breaking upon it.  Some thought that they saw land to the southward of this island; but, as that was to the windward, it was left undetermined.  As we drew near, we saw people on different parts of the coast, walking, or running along the shore, and in a little time after we had reached the lee-side of the island, we saw them launch two canoes, into which above a dozen men got, and paddled toward us.

I now shortened sail, as well to give these canoes time to come up with us, as to sound for anchorage.  At the distance of about half a mile from the reef, we found from forty to thirty-five fathoms water, over a bottom of fine sand.  Nearer in, the bottom was strewed with coral rocks.  The canoes having advanced to about the distance of a pistol-shot from the ship, there stopped.  Omai was employed, as he usually had been on such occasions, to use all his eloquence to prevail upon the men in them to come nearer; but no entreaties could induce them to trust themselves within our reach.  They kept eagerly pointing to the shore with their paddles, and calling to us to go thither; and several of their countrymen who stood upon the beach held up something white, which we considered also as an invitation to land.  We could very well have done this, as there was good anchorage without the reef, and a break or opening in it, from whence the canoes had come out, which had no surf upon it, and where, if there was not water for the ships, there was more than sufficient for the boats.  But I did not think proper to risk losing the advantage of a fair wind, for the sake of examining an island that appeared to be of little consequence.  We stood in no need of refreshments, if I had been sure of meeting with them there; and having already been so unexpectedly delayed in my progress to the Society Islands, I was desirous of avoiding every possibility of farther retardment.  For this reason, after making several unsuccessful attempts to induce these people to come alongside, I made sail to the N., and left them, but not without getting from them, during their vicinity to our ship, the name of their island, which they called Toobouai.

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It is situated in the latitude of 23 deg. 25’ S., and in 210 37’ E. longitude.  Its greatest extent, in any direction, exclusive of the reef, is not above five or six miles.  On the N.W. side, the reef appears in detached pieces, between which the sea seems to break upon the shore.  Small as the island is, there are hills in it of a considerable elevation.  At the foot of the hills, is a narrow border of flat land, running quite round it, edged with a white sand beach.  The hills are covered with grass, or some other herbage, except a few steep rocky cliffs at one part, with patches of trees interspersed to their summits.  But the plantations are more numerous in some of the vallies, and the flat border is quite covered with high, strong trees, whose different kinds we could not discern, except some cocoa-palms, and a few of the etoa.  According to the information of the men in the canoes, their island is stocked with hogs and fowls, and produces the several fruits and roots that are found at the other islands in this part of the Pacific Ocean.

We had an opportunity, from the conversation we had with those who came off to us, of satisfying ourselves, that the inhabitants of Toobouai speak the Otaheite language, a circumstance that indubitably proves them to be of the same nation.  Those of them whom we saw in the canoes were a stout copper-coloured people, with straight black hair, which some of them wore tied in a bunch on the crown of the head, and others flowing about the shoulders.  Their faces were somewhat round and full, but the features, upon the whole, rather flat, and their countenances seemed to express some degree of natural ferocity.  They had no covering but a piece of narrow stuff wrapped about the waist, and made to pass between the thighs, to cover the adjoining parts; but some of those whom we saw upon the beach, where about a hundred persons had assembled, were entirely clothed with a kind of white garment.  We could observe, that some of our visitors in the canoes wore pearl shells hang about the neck as an ornament.  One of them kept blowing a large conch-shell, to which a reed near two feet long was fixed; at first, with a continued tone of the same kind, but he afterward converted it into a kind of musical instrument, perpetually repeating two or three notes, with the same strength.  What the blowing the conch portended, I cannot say, but I never found it the messenger of peace.

Their canoes appeared to be about thirty feet long, and two feet above the surface of the water, as they floated.  The fore part projected a little, and had a notch cut across, as if intended to represent the mouth of some animal.  The after part rose, with a gentle curve, to the height of two or three feet, turning gradually smaller, and, as well as the upper part of the sides, was carved all over.  The rest of the sides, which were perpendicular, were curiously incrustated with flat white shells, disposed nearly in concentric semicircles, with the curve upward. 

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One of the canoes carried seven, and the other eight men, and they were managed with small paddles, whose blades were nearly round.  Each of them had a pretty long outrigger; and they sometimes paddled, with the two opposite sides together so close, that they seemed to be one boat with two outriggers, the rowers turning their faces occasionally to the stern, and pulling that way, without paddling the canoes round.  When they saw us determined to leave them, they stood up in their canoes, and repeated something very loudly in concert, but we could not tell whether this was meant as a mark of their friendship or enmity.  It is certain, however, that they had no weapons with them, nor could we perceive with our glasses that those on shore had any.[2]

[Footnote 2:  This is the island on which Fletcher Christian, chief mutineer of the Bounty, attempted to form a settlement in 1789, as we shall have occasion to notice when treating of another voyage.—­E.]

After leaving this island, from the discovery of which future navigators may possibly derive some advantage, I steered to the N. with a fresh gale at E. by S., and, at day-break in the morning of the 12th, we saw the island of Maitea.  Soon after, Otaheite made its appearance; and at noon, it extended from S.W. by W. to W.N.W.; the point of Oheitepeha bay bearing W., about four leagues distant.  I steered for this bay, intending to anchor there, in order to draw what refreshments I could from the S.E. part of the island, before I went down to Matavai, from the neighbourhood of which station I expected my principal supply.  We had a fresh gale easterly, till two o’clock in the afternoon, when, being about a league from the bay, the wind suddenly died away, and was succeeded by baffling light airs from every direction, and calms by turns.  This lasted about two hours.  Then we had sudden squalls, with rain, from the E. These carried us before the bay, where we got a breeze from the land, and attempted in vain to work in to gain the anchoring-place.  So that at last about nine o’clock, we were obliged to stand out, and to spend the night at sea.

When we first drew near the island, several canoes came off to the ship, each conducted by two or three men; but, as they were common fellows, Omai took no particular notice of them, nor they of him.  They did not even seem to perceive that he was one of their countrymen, although they conversed with him for some time.  At length, a chief whom I had known before, named Ootee, and Omai’s brother-in-law, who chanced to be now at this corner of the island, and three or four more persons, all of whom knew Omai before he embarked with Captain Furneaux, came on board.  Yet there was nothing either tender or striking in their meeting.  On the contrary, there seemed to be a perfect indifference on both sides, till Omai, having taken his brother down into the cabin, opened the drawer where he kept his red feathers, and gave him a few.  This being presently known

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amongst the rest of the natives upon deck, the face of affairs was entirely turned, and Ootee, who would hardly speak to Omai before, now begged that they might be tayos (friends), and exchange names.  Omai accepted of the honour, and confirmed it with a present of red feathers, and Ootee, by way of return, sent ashore for a hog.  But it was evident to every one of us, that it was not the man, but his property, they were in love with.  Had he not shewn to them his treasure of red feathers, which is the commodity in greatest estimation at the island, I question much whether they would have bestowed even a cocoa-nut upon him.  Such was Omai’s first reception amongst his countrymen.  I own, I never expected it would be otherwise; but still I was in hopes that the valuable cargo of presents with which the liberality of his friends in England had loaded him, would be the means of raising him into consequence, and of making him respected, and even courted by the first persons throughout the extent of the Society Islands.  This could not but have happened, had he conducted himself with any degree of prudence; but, instead of it, I am sorry to say that he paid too little regard to the repeated advice of those who wished him well, and suffered himself to be duped by every designing knave.  From the natives who came off to us, in the course of this day, we learnt that two ships had twice been in Oheitepeha Bay, since my last visit to this island in 1774, and that they had left animals there such as we had on board.  But, on farther enquiry, we found they were only hogs, dogs, goats, one bull, and the male of some other animal, which, from the imperfect description now given us, we could not find out.  They told us that these ships had come from a place called Reema, by which we guessed that Lima, the capital of Peru, was meant, and that these late visitors were Spaniards.  We were informed that the first time they came, they built a house, and left four men behind them, viz. two priests, a boy or servant, and a fourth person called Mateema, who was much spoken of at this time, carrying away with them, when they sailed, four of the natives; that, in about ten months, the same two ships returned, bringing back two of the islanders, the other two having died at Lima, and that, after a short stay, they took away their own people; but that the house which they had built was left standing.

The important news of red feathers being on board our ships, having been conveyed on shore by Omai’s friends, day had no sooner begun to break, next morning, than we were surrounded by a multitude of canoes, crowded with people, bringing hogs and fruits to market.  At first, a quantity of feathers, not greater than what might be got from a tom-tit, would purchase a hog of forty or fifty pounds weight.  But, as almost every body in the ships was possessed of some of this precious article of trade, it fell in its value above five hundred per cent. before night.  However, even then, the balance was much in our favour, and red feathers continued to preserve their superiority over every other commodity.  Some of the natives would not part with a hog, unless they received an axe in exchange; but nails and beads, and other trinkets, which, during our former voyages, had so great a run at this island, were now so much despised, that few would deign so much as to look at them.

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There being but little wind all the morning, it was nine o’clock before we could get to an anchor in the bay, where we moored with the two bowers.  Soon after we had anchored, Omai’s sister came on board to see him.  I was happy to observe, that, much to the honour of them both, their meeting was marked with expressions of the tenderest affection, easier to be conceived than to be described.

This moving scene having closed, and the ship being properly moored, Omai and I went ashore.  My first object was to pay a visit to a man whom my friend represented as a very extraordinary personage indeed, for he said that he was the god of Bolabola.  We found him seated under one of those small awnings which they usually carry in their larger canoes.  He was an elderly man, and had lost the use of his limbs, so that he was carried from place to place upon a hand-barrow.  Some called him Olla, or Orra, which is the name of the god of Bolabola, but his own proper name was Etary.  From Omai’s account of this person, I expected to have seen some religious adoration paid to him.  But, excepting some young plantain trees that lay before him, and upon the awning under which he sat, I could observe nothing by which he might be distinguished from their other chiefs.  Omai presented to him a tuft of red feathers, tied to the end of a small stick; but, after a little conversation on indifferent matters with this Bolabola man, his attention was drawn to an old woman, the sister of his mother.  She was already at his feet, and had bedewed them plentifully with tears of joy.

I left him with the old lady, in the midst of a number of people who had gathered round him, and went to take a view of the house said to be built by the strangers who had lately been here.  I found it standing at a small distance from the beach.  The wooden materials of which it was composed seemed to have been brought hither, ready prepared, to be set up occasionally; for all the planks were numbered.  It was divided into two small rooms; and in the inner one were a bedstead, a table, a bench, some old hats, and other trifles, of which the natives seemed to be very careful, as also of the house itself, which had suffered no hurt from the weather, a shed having been built over it.  There were scuttles all around, which served as air holes; and, perhaps, they were also meant to fire from with muskets, if ever this should have been found necessary.  At a little distance from the front stood a wooden cross, on the transverse part of which was cut the following inscription: 

  Christus vincit.

And on the perpendicular part (which confirmed our conjecture that the two ships were Spanish),

  Carolus iii. imperat. 1774.

On the other side of the post I preserved the memory of the prior visits of the English, by inscribing,

  Georgius Tertius Rex,
  1769, 1773, 1774, & 1777.

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The natives pointed out to us, near the foot of the cross, the grave of the commodore of the two ships, who had died here while they lay in the bay the first time.  His name, as they pronounced it, was Oreede.  Whatever the intentions of the Spaniards in visiting this island might be, they seemed to have taken great pains to ingratiate themselves with the inhabitants, who, upon every occasion, mentioned them with the strongest expressions of esteem, and veneration.

I met with no chief of any considerable note on this occasion, excepting the extraordinary personage above described.  Waheiadooa, the sovereign of Tiaraboo (as this part of the island is called), was now absent; and I afterward found that he was not the same person, though of the same name with the chief whom I had seen here during my last voyage; but his brother, a boy of about ten years of age, who had succeeded upon the death of the elder Waheiadooa, about twenty months before our arrival.  We also learned that the celebrated Oberea was dead; but that Otoo and all our other friends were living.

When I returned from viewing the house and cross erected by the Spaniards, I found Omai holding forth to a large company; and it was with some difficulty that he could be got away to accompany me on board, where I had an important affair to settle.

As I knew that Otaheite, and the neighbouring islands, could furnish us with a plentiful supply of cocoa-nuts, the liquor of which is an excellent succedaneum for any artificial beverage, I was desirous of prevailing upon my people to consent to be abridged, during our stay here, of their stated allowance of spirits to mix with water.  But as this stoppage of a favourite article, without assigning some reason, might have occasioned a general murmur, I thought it most prudent to assemble the ship’s company, and to make known to them the intent of the voyage, and the extent of our future operations.  To induce them to undertake which with cheerfulness and perseverance, I took notice of the rewards offered by parliament to such of his majesty’s subjects as shall first discover a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in any direction whatever, in the northern hemisphere; and also to such as shall first penetrate beyond the 39th degree of northern latitude.  I made no doubt, I told them, that I should find them willing to co-operate with me in attempting, as far as might be possible, to become entitled to one or both these rewards; but that, to give us the best chance of succeeding, it would be necessary to observe the utmost economy in the expenditure of our stores and provisions, particularly the latter, as there was no probability of getting a supply any where, after leaving these islands.  I strengthened my argument by reminding them that our voyage must last at least a year longer than had been originally supposed, by our having already lost the opportunity of getting to the north this summer. 

Page 15

I begged them to consider the various obstructions and difficulties we might still meet with, and the aggravated hardships they would labour under, if it should be found necessary to put them to short allowance of any species of provisions, in a cold climate.  For these very substantial reasons, I submitted to them whether it would not be better to be prudent in time, and rather than to run the risk of having no spirits left, when such a cordial would be most wanted, to consent to be without their grog now, when we had so excellent a liquor as that of cocoa-nuts to substitute in its place; but that, after all, I left the determination entirely to their own choice.

I had the satisfaction to find that this proposal did not remain a single moment under consideration; being unanimously approved of immediately, without any objection.  I ordered Captain Clerk to make the same proposal to his people, which they also agreed to.  Accordingly we stopped serving grog, except on Saturday nights, when the companies of both ships had full allowance of it, that they might drink the healths of their female friends in England, lest these, amongst the pretty girls of Otaheite, should be wholly forgotten.[3]

[Footnote 3:  If it is to be judged of by its effects, certainly the most suitable test of excellence, we must allow that in this particular instance, Captain Cook displayed true eloquence.  The merit, indeed, is not inconsiderable, of inducing so great a sacrifice as his crew now made; and, on the other hand, due commendation ought to be allowed to their docility.  This incident altogether is exceedingly striking, and might, one should think, be very advantageously studied by all who are in authority over vulgar minds.—­E.]

The next day, we began some necessary operations; to inspect the provisions that were in the main and fore-hold; to get the casks of beef and pork, and the coals out of the ground tier, and to put some ballast in their place.  The caulkers were set to work to caulk the ship, which she stood in great need of, having at times made much water on our passage from the Friendly Islands.  I also put on shore the bull, cows, horses, and sheep, and appointed two men to look after them while grazing; for I did not intend to leave any of them at this part of the island.

During the two following days, it hardly ever ceased raining.  The natives, nevertheless, came to us from every quarter, the news of our arrival having rapidly spread.  Waheiadooa, though at a distance, had been informed of it; and, in the afternoon of the 16th, a chief, named Etorea, under whose tutorage he was, brought me two hogs as a present from him, and acquainted me that he himself would be with us the day after.  And so it proved; for I received a message from him the next morning, notifying his arrival, and desiring I would go ashore to meet him.  Accordingly, Omai and I prepared to pay him a formal visit.  On this occasion, Omai, assisted by some of his friends, dressed himself, not after the English fashion, nor that of Otaheite, nor that of Tongataboo, nor in the dress of any country upon earth, but in a strange medley of all that he was possessed of.

Page 16

Thus equipped, on our landing, we first visited Etary, who, carried on a hand-barrow, attended us to a large house, where he was set down, and we seated ourselves on each side of him.  I caused a piece of Tongataboo cloth to be spread out before us, on which I laid the presents I intended to make.  Presently the young chief came, attended by his mother, and several principal men, who all seated themselves at the other end of the cloth, facing us.  Then a man, who sat by me, made a speech, consisting of short and separate sentences, part of which was dictated by those about him.  He was answered by one from the opposite side, near the chief.  Etary spoke next, then Omai, and both of them were answered from the same quarter.  These orations were entirely about my arrival, and connexions with them.  The person who spoke last told me, among other things, that the men of Reema, that is, the Spaniards, had desired them not to suffer me to come into Oheitepeha Bay, if I should return any more to the island, for that it belonged to them; but that they were so far from paying any regard to this request, that he was authorised now to make a formal surrender of the province of Tiaraboo to me, and of every thing in it; which marks very plainly that these people are no strangers to the policy of accommodating themselves to present circumstances.  At length, the young chief was directed by his attendants to come and embrace me, and, by way of confirming this treaty of friendship, we exchanged names.  The ceremony being closed, he and his friends accompanied me on board to dinner.

Omai had prepared a maro, composed of red and yellow feathers, which he intended for Otoo, the king of the whole island; and, considering where we were, it was a present of very great value.  I said all that I could to persuade him not to produce it now, wishing him to keep it on board till an opportunity should offer of presenting it to Otoo with his own hands.  But he had too good an opinion of the honesty and fidelity of his countrymen to take my advice.  Nothing would serve him but to carry it ashore on this occasion, and to give it to Waheiadooa, to be by him forwarded to Otoo, in order to its being added to the royal maro.  He thought by this management that he should oblige both chiefs; whereas he highly disobliged the one, whose favour was of the most consequence to him, without gaining any reward from the other.  What I had foreseen happened, for Waheiadooa kept the maro for himself, and only sent to Otoo a very small piece of feathers, not the twentieth part of what belonged to the magnificent present.

On the 19th, this young chief made me a present of ten or a dozen hogs, a quantity of fruit, and some cloth.  In the evening, we played off some fire-works, which both astonished and entertained the numerous spectators.

Page 17

This day, some of our gentlemen in their walks found what they were pleased to call a Roman Catholic chapel.  Indeed, from their account, this was not to be doubted, for they described the altar, and every other constituent part of such a place of worship.  However, as they mentioned, at the same time, that two men who had the care of it, would not suffer them to go in, I thought that they might be mistaken, and had the curiosity to pay a visit to it myself.  The supposed chapel proved to be a toopapaoo, in which the remains of the late Waheiadooa lay, as it were, in state.  It was in a pretty large house, which was inclosed with a low pallisade.  The toopapaoo was uncommonly neat, and resembled one of those little houses or awnings belonging to their large canoes.  Perhaps it had originally been employed for that purpose.  It was covered and hung round with cloth and mats of different colours, so as to have a pretty effect.  There was one piece of scarlet broad-cloth, four or five yards in length, conspicuous among the other ornaments, which, no doubt, had been a present from the Spaniards.  This cloth, and a few tassels of feathers, which our gentlemen supposed to be silk, suggested to them the idea of a chapel, for, whatever else was wanting to create a resemblance, their imagination supplied; and, if they had not previously known that there had been Spaniards lately here, they could not possibly have made the mistake.  Small offerings of fruit and roots seemed to be daily made at this shrine, as some pieces were quite fresh.  These were deposited upon a whatta, or altar, which stood without the pallisades; and within these we were not permitted to enter.  Two men constantly attended night and day, not only to watch over the place, but also to dress and undress the toopapaoo.  For when I first went to survey it, the cloth and its appendages were all rolled up; but, at my request, the two attendants hung it out in order, first dressing themselves in clean white robes.  They told me that the chief had been dead twenty months.

Having taken in a fresh supply of water, and finished all our other necessary operations, on the 22d, I brought off the cattle and sheep which had been put on shore here to graze, and made ready for sea.

In the morning of the 23d, while the ships were unmooring, Omai and I landed to take leave of the young chief.  While we were with him, one of those enthusiastic persons whom they call Eatooas, from a persuasion that they are possessed with the spirit of the divinity, came and stood before us.  He had all the appearance of a man not in his right senses; and his only dress was a large quantity of plantain leaves, wrapped round his waist.  He spoke in a low squeaking voice, so as hardly to be understood, at least not by me.  But Omai said that he comprehended him perfectly, and that he was advising Waheiadooa not to go with me to Matavai; an expedition which I had never heard

Page 18

that he intended, nor had I ever made such a proposal to him.  The Eatooa also foretold that the ships would not get to Matavai that day.  But in this he was mistaken; though appearances now rather favoured his prediction, there not being a breath of wind in any direction.  While he was prophesying, there fell a very heavy shower of rain, which made every one run for shelter but himself, who seemed not to regard it.  He remained squeaking by us about half an hour, and then retired.  No one paid any attention to what he uttered, though some laughed at him.  I asked the chief what he was, whether an Earee, or a Toutou? and the answer I received was, that he was taata eno; that is, a bad man.  And yet, notwithstanding this, and the little notice any of the natives seemed to take of the mad prophet, superstition has so far got the better of their reason, that they firmly believe such persons to be possessed with the spirit of the Eatooa.  Omai seemed to be very well instructed about them.  He said that, during the fits that come upon them, they know nobody, not even their most intimate acquaintances; and that, if any one of them happens to be a man of property, he will very often give away every moveable he is possessed of, if his friends do not put them out of his reach; and, when he recovers, will enquire what had become of those very things which he had but just before distributed, not seeming to have the least remembrance of what he had done while the fit was upon him.[4]

[Footnote 4:  What is the origin of that singular notion which is found amongst the lower orders in most countries, that divine inspiration is often consequent on temporary or continued derangement?  Surely it cannot be derived from any correct opinions respecting the Author of truth and knowledge.  We must ascribe it, then, to ignorance, and some feeling of dread as to his power; or rather perhaps, we ought to consider it as the hasty offspring of surprise, on the occasional display of reason, even in a common degree, where the faculties are understood to be disordered.  Still it is singular, that the observers should have recourse for explanation to so injurious and so improbable a supposition, as that of supernatural agency.  What has often, been said of sol-lunar and astral influence on the human mind, the opinion of which is pretty widely spread over the world, may be interpreted so as perfectly to agree with the theoretical solution of the question now proposed, the heavenly bodies being amongst the first and the most generally established objects of religious apprehension and worship.  It is curious enough, that what may be called the converse of the proposition, viz. that derangement follows or is accompanied with inspiration, whether religious or common, should almost as extensively have formed a part of the popular creed.  The reason of this notion again, is not altogether the same as that of the former; it has its origin probably in the observation,

Page 19

that enthusiasm with respect to any one subject, which, in the present case, is to be regarded as the appearance or expression of inspiration, usually unfits a person for the requisite attention to any other.  The language of mankind accordingly quite falls in with this observation, and nothing is more general than to speak of a man being mad, who exhibits a more than ordinary ardour in the pursuit of some isolated object.  Still, however, there seems a tacit acknowledgement amongst mankind, that the human mind can profitably attend to only one thing at a time, and that all excellence in any pursuit is the result of restricted unintermitting application:  And hence it is, that enthusiasm, though perhaps admitted to be allied to one of the highest evils with which our nature can be visited, is nevertheless imagined to be an indication of superior strength of intellect.  The weakest minds, on the contrary, are the most apprehensive of ridicule, and in consequence are most cautious, by a seeming indifference as to objects, to avoid the dangerous imputation of a decided partiality.  Such persons, however, forming undoubtedly the greater portion of every society, console themselves and one another under the consciousness of debility, by the sense of their safety, and by the fashionable custom of dealing out wise reflections on those more enterprising minds, whose eccentricities or ardour, provoke their admiration.—­E.]

As soon as I got on board, a light breeze springing up at east, we got under sail, and steered for Matavai Bay, where the Resolution anchored the same evening.  But the Discovery did not get in till the next morning; so that half of the man’s prophecy was fulfilled.


Interview with Otoo, King of the Island.—­Imprudent Conduct of Omai.—­Employments on Shore.—­European Animals landed.—­Particulars about a Native who had visited Lima.—­About Oedidee—­A Revolt in Eimeo.—­War with that Island determined upon, in a Council of Chiefs.—­A human Sacrifice on that Account.—­A particular Relation of the Ceremonies at the great Morai, where the Sacrifice was offered.—­Other barbarous Customs of this People.

About nine o’clock in the morning, Otoo, the king of the whole island, attended by a great number of canoes full of people, came from Oparre, his place of residence and having landed on Matavai Point, sent a message on board, expressing his desire to see me there.  Accordingly I landed, accompanied by Omai, and some of the officers.  We found a prodigious number of people assembled on this occasion, and in the midst of them was the king, attended by his father, his two brothers, and three sisters.  I went up first and saluted him, being followed by Omai, who kneeled and embraced his legs.  He had prepared himself for this ceremony, by dressing himself in his very best suit of clothes, and behaved with a great deal of respect and modesty.  Nevertheless, very little notice was taken of him.  Perhaps envy had some share in producing this cold reception.  He made the chief a present of a large piece of red feathers, and about two or three yards of gold cloth; and I gave him a suit of fine linen, a gold-laced hat, some tools, and, what was of more value than all the other articles, a quantity of red feathers, and one of the bonnets in use at the Friendly Islands.

Page 20

After the hurry of this visit was over, the king and the whole royal family accompanied me on board, followed by several canoes, laden with all kinds of provisions, in quantity sufficient to have served the companies of both ships for a week.  Each of the family owned, or pretended to own, a part; so that I had a present from every one of them, and every one of them had a separate present in return from me, which was the great object in view.  Soon after, the king’s mother, who had not been present at the first interview, came on board, bringing with her a quantity of provisions and cloth, which she divided between me and Omai.  For, although he was but little noticed at first by his countrymen, they no sooner gained the knowledge of his riches, than they began to court his friendship.  I encouraged this as much as I could, for it was my wish to fix him with Otoo.  As I intended to leave all my European animals at this island, I thought he would be able to give some instruction about the management of them, and about their use.  Besides, I knew and saw, that the farther he was from his native island, he would be the better respected.  But, unfortunately, poor Omai rejected my advice, and conducted himself in so imprudent a manner, that he soon lost the friendship of Otoo, and of every other person of note in Otaheite.  He associated with none but vagabonds and strangers, whose sole views were to plunder him.  And, if I had not interfered, they would not have left him a single article worth the carrying from the island.  This necessarily drew upon him the ill-will of the principal chiefs, who found that they could not procure, from any one in the ships, such valuable presents as Omai bestowed on the lowest of the people, his companions.

As soon as we had dined, a party of us accompanied Otoo to Oparre, taking with us the poultry, with which we were to stock the island.  They consisted of a peacock and hen (which Lord Besborough was so kind as to send me for this purpose, a few days before I left London); a turkey-cock and hen; one gander, and three geese; a drake and four ducks.  All these I left at Oparre, in the possession of Otoo; and the geese and ducks began to breed before we sailed.  We found there a gander, which the natives told us, was the same that Captain Wallis had given to Oberea ten years before; several goats, and the Spanish bull, whom they kept tied to a tree near Otoo’s house.  I never saw a finer animal of his kind.  He was now the property of Etary, and had been brought from Oheitepeha to this place, in order to be shipped for Bolabola.  But it passes my comprehension, how they can contrive to carry him in one of their canoes.  If we had not arrived, it would have been of little consequence who had the property of him, as, without a cow, he could be of no use; and none had been left with him.  Though the natives told us, that there were cows on board the Spanish ships, and that they took them away with them, I cannot believe this, and should rather suppose, that they had died in the passage from Lima.  The next day, I sent the three cows, that I had on board, to this bull; and the bull, which I had brought, the horse and mare, and sheep, I put ashore at Matavai.

Page 21

Having thus disposed of these passengers, I found my self lightened of a very heavy burthen.  The trouble and vexation that attended the bringing this living cargo thus far, is hardly to be conceived.  But the satisfaction that I felt, in having been so fortunate as to fulfil his majesty’s humane design, in sending such valuable animals, to supply the wants of two worthy nations, sufficiently recompensed me for the many anxious hours I had passed, before this subordinate object of my voyage could be carried into execution.

As I intended to make some stay here, we set up the two observatories on Matavai Point.  Adjoining to them, two tents were pitched for the reception of a guard, and of such people as it might be necessary to leave on shore, in different departments.  At this station, I entrusted the command to Mr King, who, at the same time, attended the observations, for ascertaining the going of the time-keeper, and other purposes.  During our stay, various necessary operations employed the crews of both ships.  The Discovery’s main-mast was carried ashore, and made as good as ever.  Our sails and water-casks were repaired, the ships were caulked, and the rigging all overhauled.  We also inspected all the bread that we had on board in casks; and had the satisfaction to find that but little of it was damaged.

On the 26th, I had a piece of ground cleared for a garden, and planted it with several articles, very few of which, I believe, the natives, will ever look after.  Some melons, potatoes, and two pine-apple plants, were in a fair way of succeeding before we left the place.  I had brought from the Friendly Islands several shaddock trees.  These I also planted here; and they can hardly fail of success, unless their growth should be checked by the same premature curiosity, which destroyed a vine planted by the Spaniards at Oheitepeha.  A number of the natives got together to taste the first fruit it bore; but, as the grapes were still sour, they considered it as little better than poison, and it was unanimously determined to tread it under foot.  In that state, Omai found it by chance, and was overjoyed at the discovery.  For he had a full confidence, that, if he had but grapes, he could easily make wine.  Accordingly, he had several slips cut off from the tree, to carry away with him; and we pruned and put in order the remains of it.  Probably, grown wise by Omai’s instructions, they may now suffer the fruit to grow to perfection, and not pass so hasty a sentence upon it again.

We had not been eight and forty hours at anchor in Matavai Bay, before we were visited by all our old friends, whose names are recorded in the account of my last voyage.  Not one of them came empty-handed; so that we had more provisions than we knew what to do with.  What was still more, we were under no apprehensions of exhausting the island, which presented to our eyes every mark of the most exuberant plenty, in every article of refreshment.

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Soon after our arrival here, one of the natives, whom the Spaniards had carried with them to Lima, paid us a visit; but, in his external appearance, he was not distinguishable from the rest of his countrymen.  However, he had not forgot some Spanish words which he had acquired, though he pronounced them badly.  Amongst them, the most frequent were, si Sennor; and, when a stranger was introduced to him, he did not fail to rise up and accost him, as well as he could.

We also found here the young man whom we called Oedidee, but whose real name is Heete-heete.  I had carried him from Ulietea in 1773, and brought him back in 1774; after he had visited the Friendly Islands, New Zealand, Easter Island, and the Marqueses, and been on board my ship, in that extensive navigation, about seven months.  He was, at least, as tenacious of his good breeding, as the man who had been at Lima; and yes, Sir, or if you please, Sir, were as frequently repeated by him, as si Sennor was by the other.  Heete-heete, who is a native of Bolabola, had arrived in Otaheite about three months before, with no other intention, that we could learn, than to gratify his curiosity, or, perhaps, some other favourite passion; which are very often the only objects of the pursuit of other travelling gentlemen.  It was evident, however, that he preferred the modes, and even garb, of his countrymen, to ours.  For, though I gave him some clothes, which our Admiralty Board had been pleased to send for his use (to which I added a chest of tools, and a few other articles, as a present from myself), he declined wearing them, after a few days.  This instance, and that of the person who had been at Lima, may be urged as a proof of the strong propensity natural to man, of returning to habits acquired at an early age, and only interrupted by accident.  And, perhaps, it may be concluded, that even Omai, who had imbibed almost the whole English manners, will, in a very short time after our leaving him, like Oedidee, and the visiter of Lima, return to his own native garments.[5]

[Footnote 5:  Captain Cook’s remark has often been exemplified in other instances.  The tendency to revert to barbarism is so strong, as to need to be continually checked by the despotism of refined manners, and all the healthful emulations of civilized societies.  Perhaps the rather harsh observation of Dr Johnson, that there is always a great deal of scoundrelism in a low man, is more strictly applicable to the cases of savages in general, than to even the meanest member of any cultivated community.  But in the case of a superiorly endowed individual situate amongst a mass of ruder beings, to all of whom he is attached by the strongest ties of affection and early acquaintance, another powerfully deranging cause is at work in addition to the natural tendency to degenerate, viz. the necessity of accommodating himself to established customs and opinions.  The former agent alone, we know, has often degraded Europeans.  Is it to be thought wonderful then, that, where both principles operate, a man of Omai’s character should speedily relinquish foreign acquirements, and retrograde into his original barbarity?—­E.]

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In the morning of the 27th, a man came from Oheitepeha, and told us, that two Spanish ships had anchored in that bay the night before; and, in confirmation of this intelligence, he produced a piece of coarse blue cloth, which, he said, he got out of one of the ships, and which, indeed, to appearance, was almost quite new.  He added, that Mateema was in one of the ships, and that they were to come down to Matavai in a day or two.  Some other circumstances which he mentioned, with the foregoing ones, gave the story so much the air of truth, that I dispatched Lieutenant Williamson in a boat, to look into Oheitepeha bay; and, in the mean time, I put the ships into a proper posture of defence.  For, though England and Spain were in peace when I left Europe, for aught I knew, a different scene might, by this time, have opened.  However, on farther enquiry, we had reason to think that the fellow who brought the intelligence had imposed upon us; and this was put beyond all doubt, when Mr Williamson returned next day, who made his report to me, that he had been at Oheitepeha, and found that no ships were there now, and that none had been there since we left it.  The people of this part of the island where we now were, indeed, told us, from the beginning, that it was a fiction invented by those of Tiaraboo.  But what view they could have, we were at a loss to conceive, unless they supposed that the report would have some effect in making us quit the island, and, by that means, deprive the people of Otaheite-nooe of the advantages they might reap from our ships continuing there; the inhabitants of the two parts of the island being inveterate enemies to each other.

From the time of our arrival at Matavai, the weather had been very unsettled, with more or less rain every day, till the 29th; before which we were not able to get equal altitudes of the sun for ascertaining the going of the time-keeper.  The same cause also retarded the caulking and other necessary repairs of the ships.

In the evening of this day, the natives made a precipitate retreat, both from on board the ships, and from our station on shore.  For what reason, we could not, at first, learn; though, in general, we guessed it arose from their knowing that some theft had been committed, and apprehending punishment on that account.  At length, I understood what had happened.  One of the surgeon’s mates had been in the country to purchase curiosities, and had taken with him four hatchets for that purpose.  Having employed one of the natives to carry them for him, the fellow took an opportunity to run off with so valuable a prize.  This was the cause of the sudden flight, in which Otoo himself, and his whole family, had joined; and it was with difficulty that I stopped them, after following them two or three miles.  As I had resolved to take no measures for the recovery of the hatchets, in order to put my people upon their guard against such negligence for the future, I found no difficulty in bringing the natives back, and in restoring every thing to its usual tranquillity.

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Hitherto, the attention of Otoo and his people had been confined to us; but, next morning, a new scene of business opened, by the arrival of some messengers from Eimeo, or (as it is much oftener called by the natives) Morea,[6] with intelligence, that the people in that island were in arms; and that Otoo’s partizans there had been worsted, and obliged to retreat to the mountains.  The quarrel between the two islands, which commenced in 1774, as mentioned in the account of my last voyage, had, it seems, partly subsisted ever since.  The formidable armament which I saw at that time, and described, had sailed soon after I then left Otaheite; but the malcontents of Eimeo had made so stout a resistance, that the fleet had returned without effecting much; and now another expedition was necessary.

[Footnote 6:  Morea, according to Dr Forster, is a district in Eimeo.  See his Observations, p. 217.]

On the arrival of these messengers, all the chiefs, who happened to be at Matavai, assembled at Otoo’s house, where I actually was at the time, and had the honour to be admitted into their council.  One of the messengers opened the business of the assembly, in a speech of considerable length.  But I understood little of it, besides its general purport, which was to explain the situation of affairs in Eimeo; and to excite the assembled chiefs of Otaheite to arm on the occasion.  This opinion was combated by others who were against commencing hostilities; and the debate was carried on with great order, no more than one man speaking at a time.  At last, they became very noisy, and I expected that our meeting would have ended like a Polish diet.  But the contending great men cooled as fast as they grew warm, and order was soon restored.  At length, the party for war prevailed; and it was determined, that a strong force should be sent to assist their friends in Eimeo.  But this resolution was far from being unanimous.  Otoo, during the whole debate, remained silent; except that, now and then, he addressed a word or two to the speakers.  Those of the council, who were for prosecuting the war, applied to me for my assistance; and all of them wanted to know what part I would take.  Omai was sent for to be my interpreter; but, as he could not be found, I was obliged to speak for myself, and told them, as well as I could, that as I was not thoroughly acquainted with the dispute, and as the people of Eimeo had never offended me, I could not think myself at liberty to engage in hostilities against them.  With this declaration they either were, or seemed, satisfied.  The assembly then broke up; but, before I left them, Otoo desired me to come to him in the afternoon, and to bring Omai with me.

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Accordingly, a party of us waited upon him at the appointed time; and we were conducted by him to his father, in whose presence the dispute with Eimeo was again talked over.  Being very desirous of devising some method to bring about an accommodation, I sounded the old chief on that head.  But we found him deaf to any such proposal, and fully determined to prosecute the war.  He repeated the solicitations which I had already resisted, about giving them my assistance.  On our enquiring into the cause of the war, we were told, that, some years ago, a brother of Waheiadooa, of Tiaraboo, was sent to Eimeo, at the request of Maheine, a popular chief of that island, to be their king; but that he had not been there a week before Maheine, having caused him to be killed, set up for himself, in opposition to Tierataboonooe, his sister’s son, who became the lawful heir; or else had been pitched upon, by the people of Otaheite, to succeed to the government on the death of the other.

Towha, who was a relation of Otoo, and chief of the district of Tettaha, a man of much weight in the island, and who had been commander-in-chief of the armament fitted out against Eimeo in 1774, happened not to be at Matavai at this time; and, consequently, was not present at any of these consultations.  It, however, appeared that he was no stranger to what was transacted; and that he entered with more spirit into the affair than any other chief.  For, early in the morning of the 1st of September, a messenger arrived from him to acquaint Otoo that he had killed a man to be sacrificed to the Eatooa, to implore the assistance of the god against Eimeo.  This act of worship was to be performed at the great Morai at Attahooroo; and Otoo’s presence, it seems, was absolutely necessary on that solemn occasion.

That the offering of human sacrifices is part of the religious institutions of this island, had been mentioned by Mons. de Bougainville, on the authority of the native whom he carried with him to France.  During my last visit to Otaheite, and while I had opportunities of conversing with Omai on the subject, I had satisfied myself that there was too much reason to admit that such a practice, however inconsistent with the general humanity of the people, was here adopted.  But as this was one of those extraordinary facts, about which many are apt to retain doubts, unless the relater himself has had ocular proof to confirm what he had heard from others, I thought this a good opportunity of obtaining the highest evidence of its certainty, by being present myself at the solemnity; and, accordingly, proposed to Otoo that I might be allowed to accompany him.  To this he readily consented; and we immediately set out in my boat, with my old friend Potatou, Mr Anderson, and Mr Webber; Omai following in a canoe.

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In our way we landed upon a little island, which lies off Tettaha, where we found Towha and his retinue.  After some little conversation between the two chiefs, on the subject of the war, Towha addressed himself to me, asking my assistance.  When I excused myself, he seemed angry, thinking it strange, that I, who had always declared myself to be the friend of their island, would not now go and fight against its enemies.  Before we parted, he gave to Otoo two or three red feathers, tied up in a tuft, and a lean half-starved dog was put into a canoe that was to accompany us.  We then embarked again, taking on board a priest who was to assist at the solemnity.

As soon as we landed at Attahooroo, which was about two o’clock in the afternoon, Otoo expressed his desire that the seamen might be ordered to remain in the boat; and that Mr Anderson, Mr Webber, and myself, might take off our hats as soon as we should come to the morai, to which we immediately proceeded, attended by a great many men and some boys, but not one woman.  We found four priests, and their attendants, or assistants, waiting for us.  The dead body, or sacrifice, was in a small canoe that lay on the beach, and partly in the wash of the sea, fronting the morai.  Two of the priests, with some of their attendants, were sitting by the canoe, the others at the morai.  Our company stopped about twenty or thirty paces from the priests.  Here Otoo placed himself; we, and a few others, standing by him, while the bulk of the people remained at a greater distance.

The ceremonies now began.  One of the priest’s attendants brought a young plantain-tree, and laid it down before Otoo.  Another approached with a small tuft of red feathers, twisted on some fibres of the cocoa-nut husk, with which he touched one of the king’s feet, and then retired with it to his companions.  One of the priests, seated at the morai, facing those who were upon the beach, now began a long prayer, and at certain times, sent down young plantain-trees, which were laid upon the sacrifice.  During this prayer, a man, who stood by the officiating priest, held in his hands two bundles, seemingly of cloth.  In one of them, as we afterward found, was the royal maro; and the other, if I may be allowed the expression, was the ark of the Eatooa.  As soon as the prayer was ended, the priests at the morai, with their attendants, went and sat down by those upon the beach, carrying with them the two bundles.  Here they renewed their prayers; during which the plantain-trees were taken, one by one, at different times, from off the sacrifice, which was partly wrapped up in cocoa leaves and small branches.  It was now taken out of the canoe, and laid upon the beach, with the feet to the sea.  The priests placed themselves around it, some sitting and others standing, and one or more of them repeated sentences for about ten minutes.  The dead body was now uncovered, by removing the leaves and branches,

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and laid in a parallel direction with the sea-shore.  One of the priests then standing at the feet of it, pronounced a long prayer, in which he was at times joined by the others, each holding in his hand a tuft of red feathers.  In the course of this prayer, some hair was pulled off the head of the sacrifice, and the left eye taken out, both which were presented to Otoo, wrapped up in a green leaf.  He did not however touch it, but gave to the man who presented it, the tuft of feathers which he had received from Towha.  This, with the hair and eye, was carried back to the priests.  Soon after, Otoo sent to them another piece of feathers, which he had given me in the morning to keep in my pocket.  During some part of this last ceremony, a kingfisher making a noise in the trees, Otoo turned to me, saying, “That is the Eatooa” and seemed to look upon it to be a good omen.

The body was then carried a little way, with its head towards the morai, and laid under a tree, near which were fixed three broad thin pieces of wood, differently but rudely carved.  The bundles of cloth were laid on a part of the morai, and the tufts of red feathers were placed at the feet of the sacrifice, round which the priests took their stations, and we were now allowed to go as near as we pleased.  He who seemed to be the chief priest sat at a small distance, and spoke for a quarter of an hour, but with different tones and gestures, so that he seemed often to expostulate with the dead person, to whom he constantly addressed himself; and sometimes asked several questions, seemingly with respect to the propriety of his having been killed.  At other times, he made several demands, as if the deceased either now had power himself, or interest with the divinity, to engage him to comply with such requests.  Amongst which, we understood, he asked him to deliver Eimeo, Maheine its chief, the hogs, women, and other things of the island, into their hands; which was, indeed, the express intention of the sacrifice.  He then chanted a prayer, which lasted near half an hour, in a whining, melancholy tone, accompanied by two other priests; and in which Potatou and some others joined.  In the course of this prayer, some more hair was plucked by a priest from the head of the corpse, and put upon one of the bundles.  After this, the chief priest prayed alone, holding in his hand the feathers which came from Towha.  When he had finished, he gave them to another, who prayed in like manner.  Then all the tufts of feathers were laid upon the bundles of cloth, which closed the ceremony at this place.

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The corpse was then carried up to the most conspicuous part of the morai, with the feathers, the two bundles of cloth, and the drums; the last of which beat slowly.  The feathers and bundles were laid against the pile of stones, and the corpse at the foot of them.  The priests having again seated themselves round it, renewed their prayers, while some of their attendants dug a hole about two feet deep, into which they threw the unhappy victim, and covered it over with earth and stones.  While they were putting him into the grave, a boy squeaked aloud, and Omai said to me, that it was the Eatooa.  During this time, a fire having been made, the dog before-mentioned, was produced, and killed, by twisting his neck and suffocating him.  The hair was singed off, and the entrails taken out, and thrown into the fire, where they were left to consume.  But the heart, liver, and kidneys were only roasted, by being laid on hot stones for a few minutes; and the body of the dog, after being besmeared with the blood, which had been collected into a cocoa-nut shell, and dried over the fire, was, with the liver, &c. carried and laid down before the priests, who sat praying round the grave.  They continued their ejaculations over the dog for some time, while two men, at intervals, beat on two drums very loud; and a boy screamed, as before, in a loud, shrill voice, three different times.  This, as we were told, was to invite the Eatooa to feast on the banquet that they had prepared for him.  As soon as the priests had ended their prayers, the carcass of the dog, with what belonged to it, were laid on a whatta, or scaffold, about six feet high, that stood close by, on which lay the remains of two other dogs, and of two pigs, which had lately been sacrificed, and, at this time, emitted an intolerable stench.  This kept us at a greater distance, than would otherwise have been required of us.  For after the victim was removed from the sea-side toward the morai, we were allowed to approach as near as we pleased.  Indeed, after that, neither seriousness nor attention were much observed by the spectators.  When the dog was put upon the whatta, the priests and attendants gave a kind of shout, which closed the ceremonies for the present.  The day being now also closed, we were conducted to a house belonging to Potatou, where we were entertained, and lodged for the night.  We had been told that the religious rites were to be renewed in the morning; and I would not leave the place, while any thing remained to be seen.

Being unwilling to lose any part of the solemnity, some of us repaired to the scene of action pretty early, but found nothing going forward.  However, soon after a pig was sacrificed, and laid upon the same whatta with the others.  About eight o’clock, Otoo took us again to the morai, where the priests, and a great number of men, were by this time assembled.  The two bundles occupied the place in which we had seen them deposited the preceding evening; the two drums stood in the front of the morai, but somewhat nearer it than before, and the priests were beyond them.  Otoo placed himself between the two drums, and desired me to stand by him.

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The ceremony began, as usual, with bringing a young plantain-tree, and laying it down at the king’s feet.  After this a prayer was repeated by the priests, who held in their hands several tufts of red feathers, and also a plume of ostrich feathers, which I had given to Otoo on my first arrival, and had been consecrated to this use.  When the priests had made an end of the prayer, they changed their station, placing themselves between us and the morai; and one of them, the same person who had acted the principal part the day before, began another prayer, which lasted about half an hour.  During the continuance of this, the tufts of feathers were, one by one, carried and laid upon the ark of the Eatooa.

Some little time after, four pigs were produced, one of which was immediately killed, and the others were taken to a sty hard by, probably reserved for some future occasion of sacrifice.  One of the bundles was now untied; and it was found, as I have before observed, to contain the maro, with which these people invest their kings, and which seems to answer, in some degree, to the European ensigns of royalty, it was carefully taken out of the cloth, in which, it had been wrapped up, and spread at full length upon the ground before the priests.  It is a girdle, about five yards long; and fifteen inches broad; and, from its name, seems to be put on in the same manner as is the common maro, or piece of cloth, used by these people to wrap round the waist.  It was ornamented with red and yellow feathers, but mostly with the latter, taken from a dove found upon the island.  The one end was bordered with eight pieces, each about the size and shape of a horse-shoe, having their edges fringed with black feathers.  The other end was forked, and the points were of different lengths.  The feathers were in square compartments, ranged in two rows, and otherwise so disposed, as to produce a pleasing effect.  They had been first pasted or fixed upon some of their own country cloth, and then sewed to the upper end of the pendant which Captain Wallis had displayed, and left flying ashore, the first time that he landed at Matavai.  This was what they told us; and we had no reason to doubt it, as we could easily trace the remains of an English pendant.  About six or eight inches square of the maro was unornamented, there being no feathers upon that space, except a few that had been sent by Waheiadooa, as already mentioned.  The priests made a long prayer, relative to this part of the ceremony; and, if I mistook not, they called it the prayer of the maro.  When it was finished, the badge of royalty was carefully folded up, put into the cloth, and deposited again upon the morai.

The other bundle, which I have distinguished by the name of the ark, was next opened at one end.  But we were not allowed to go near enough to examine its mysterious contents.  The information we received was, that the Eatooa, to whom they had been sacrificing, and whose name is Ooro, was concealed in it, or rather what is supposed to represent him.  This sacred repository is made of the twisted fibres of the husk of the cocoa-nut, shaped somewhat like a large fig, or sugar-loaf, that is, roundish, with one end much thicker than the other.  We had very often got small ones from different people, but never knew their use before.

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By this time, the pig that had been killed, was cleaned, and the entrails taken out.  These happened to have a considerable share of those convulsive motions, which often appear, in different parts, after an animal is killed; and this was considered by the spectators as a very favourable omen to the expedition on account of which the sacrifices had been offered.  After being exposed for some time, that those who chose might examine their appearances, the entrails were carried to the priests, and laid down before them.  While one of their number prayed, another inspected the entrails more narrowly, and kept turning them gently with a stick.  When they had been sufficiently examined, they were thrown into the fire, and left to consume.  The sacrificed pig and its liver, &c. were now put upon the whatta, where the dog had been deposited the day before; and then all the feathers, except the ostrich plume, were enclosed with the Eatooa in the ark, and the solemnity finally closed.

Four double canoes lay upon the beach, before the place of sacrifice, all the morning.  On the fore part of each of these was fixed a small platform, covered with palm-leaves, tied in mysterious knots; and this also is called a morai.  Some cocoa-nuts, plantains, pieces of bread-fruit, fish, and other things, lay upon each of these naval morais.  We were told that they belonged to the Eatooa, and that they were to attend the fleet designed to go against Eimeo.

The unhappy victim, offered to the object of their worship upon this occasion, seemed to be a middle-aged man; and, as we were told, was a toutou, that is, one of the lowest class of the people.  But, after all my enquiries, I could not learn that he had been pitched upon on account of any particular crime committed by him meriting death.  It is certain, however, that they generally make choice of such guilty persons for their sacrifices, or else of common, low fellows who stroll about, from place to place, and from island to island, without having any fixed abode, or any visible way of getting an honest livelihood; of which description of men, enough are to be met with at these islands.  Having had an opportunity of examining the appearance of the body of the poor sufferer now offered up, I could observe, that it was bloody about the head and face, and a good deal bruised upon the right temple, which marked the manner of his being killed.  And we were told, that he had been privately knocked on the head with a stone.

Those who are devoted to suffer, in order to perform this bloody act of worship, are never apprised of their fate, till the blow is given that puts an end to their existence.  Whenever any one of the great chiefs thinks a human sacrifice necessary, on any particular emergency, he pitches upon the victim.  Some of his trusty servants are then sent, who fall upon him suddenly, and put him to death with a club, or by stoning him.  The king is next acquainted with

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it, whose presence, at the solemn rites that follow, is, as I was told, absolutely necessary; and indeed on the present occasion, we could observe, that Otoo bore a principal part.  The solemnity itself is called Poore Eree, or chief’s prayer; and the victim, who is offered up, Taata-taboo, or consecrated man.  This is the only instance where we have heard the word taboo used at this island, where it seems to have the same mysterious signification as at Tonga, though it is there applied to all cases where things are not to be touched.  But at Otaheite, the word raa serves the same purpose, and is full as extensive in its meaning.

The morai, (which undoubtedly is a place of worship, sacrifice, and burial, at the same time,) where the sacrifice was now offered, is that where the supreme chief of the whole island is always buried, and is appropriated to his family, and some of the principal people.  It differs little from the common ones, except in extent.  Its principal part is a large oblong pile of stones, lying loosely upon each; other, about twelve or fourteen feet high; contracted toward the top, with a square area on each side, loosely paved with pebble stones, under which the bones of the chiefs are buried.  At a little distance from the end nearest the sea is the place where the sacrifices are offered, which, for a considerable extent, is also loosely paved.  There is here a very large scaffold, or whatta, on which the offerings of fruits and other vegetables are laid.  But the animals are deposited on a smaller one, already mentioned, and the human sacrifices are buried under different parts of the pavement.  There are several other reliques which ignorant superstition had scattered about this place; such as small stones, raised in different parts of the pavement, some with bits of cloth tied round them, others covered with it; and upon the side of the large pile, which fronts the area, are placed a great many pieces of carved wood, which are supposed to be sometimes the residence of their divinities, and consequently held sacred.  But one place more particular than the rest, is a heap of stones at one end of the large whatta, before which the sacrifice was offered, with a kind of platform at one side.  On this are laid the sculls of all the human sacrifices, which are taken up after they have been several months under ground.  Just above them are placed a great number of the pieces of wood; and it was also here, where the maro, and the other bundle supposed to contain the god Ooro (and which I call the ark), were laid during the ceremony, a circumstance which denotes its agreement with the altar of other nations.

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It is much to be regretted, that a practice so horrid in its own nature, and so destructive of that inviolable right of self-preservation which every one is born with, should be found still existing; and (such is the power of superstition to counteract the first principles of humanity!) existing amongst a people, in many other respects, emerged from the brutal manners of savage life.  What is still worse, it is probable that these bloody rites of worship are prevalent throughout all the wide-extended islands of the Pacific Ocean.  The similarity of customs and language, which our late voyages have enabled us to trace, between the most distant of these islands, makes it not unlikely that some of the more important articles of their religious institutions should agree.  And indeed we had the most authentic information, that human sacrifices continue to be offered at the Friendly Islands.  When I described the Natche at Tongataboo, I mentioned that on the approaching sequel of that festival, we had been told that ten men were to be sacrificed.  This may give us an idea of the extent of this religious massacre in that island.  And though we should suppose that never more than one person is sacrificed on any single occasion at Otaheite, it is more than probable that these occasions happen so frequently, as to make a shocking waste of the human race, for I counted no less than forty-nine sculls of former victims, lying before the morai, where we saw one more added to the number.  And as none of those sculls had as yet suffered any considerable change from the weather, it may hence be inferred, that no great length of time had elapsed, since, at least, this considerable number of unhappy wretches had been offered upon this altar of blood.

The custom, though no consideration can make it cease to be abominable, might be thought less detrimental in some respects, if it served to impress any awe for the divinity or reverence for religion upon the minds of the multitude.  But this is so far from being the case, that though a great number of people had assembled at the morai on this occasion, they did not seem to shew any proper reverence for what was doing or saying during the celebration of the rites.  And Omai happening to arrive, after they had begun, many of the spectators flocked round him, and were engaged the remainder of the time in making him relate some of his adventures, which they listened to with great attention, regardless of the solemn offices performing by their priests.  Indeed, the priests themselves, except the one who chiefly repeated the prayers, either from their being familiarized to such objects, or from want of confidence in the efficacy of their institutions, observed very little of that solemnity which is necessary to give to religious performances their due weight.  Their dress was only an ordinary one, they conversed together without scruple, and the only attempt made by them to preserve any appearance of decency, was by exerting their authority

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to prevent the people from coming upon the very spot where the ceremonies were performed, and to suffer us as strangers to advance a little forward.  They were, however, very candid in their answers to any questions that were put to them concerning the institution.  And particularly on being asked what the intention of it was, they said that it was an old custom, and was agreeable to their god, who delighted in, or in other words, came and fed upon the sacrifices; in consequence of which, he complied with their petitions.  Upon its being objected that he could not feed on these, as he was neither seen to do it, nor were the bodies of the animals quickly consumed, and that as to the human victim, they prevented his feeding on him by burying him.  But to all this they answered, that he came in the night, but invisibly, and fed only on the soul, or immaterial part, which, according to their doctrine, remains about the place of sacrifice, until the body of the victim be entirely wasted by putrefaction.

It were much to be wished, that this deluded people may learn to entertain the same horror of murdering their fellow-creatures, in order to furnish such an invisible banquet to their god, as they now have of feeding corporeally on human flesh themselves.  And yet we have great reason to believe, that there was a time when they were cannibals.  We were told (and indeed partly saw it) that it is a necessary ceremony when a poor wretch is sacrificed, for the priest to take out the left eye.  This he presents to the king, holding it to his mouth, which he desires him to open; but instead of putting it in, immediately withdraws it.  This they call “eating the man,” or “food for the chief;” and perhaps we may observe here some traces of former times, when the dead body was really feasted upon.

But not to insist upon this, it is certain, that human sacrifices are not the only barbarous custom we find still prevailing amongst this benevolent humane people.  For besides cutting out the jaw-bones of their enemies slain in battle, which they carry about as trophies, they, in some measure, offer their bodies as a sacrifice to the Eatooa.  Soon after a battle, in which they have been victors, they collect all the dead that have fallen into their hands and bring them to the morai, where, with a great deal of ceremony, they dig a hole, and bury them all in it, as so many offerings to the gods; but their sculls are never after taken up.

Their own great chiefs that fall in battle are treated in a different manner.  We were informed, that their late king Tootaha, Tubourai-tamaide, and another chief, who fell with them in the battle fought with those of Tiaraboo, were brought to this morai at Attahooroo.  There their bowels were cut out by the priests before the great altar, and the bodies afterward buried in three different places, which were pointed out to us, in the great pile of stones that compose the most conspicuous part of this morai

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And their common men who also fell in this battle, were all buried in one hole at the foot of the pile.  This, Omai, who was present, told me, was done the day after the battle, with much pomp and ceremony, and in the midst of a great concourse of people, as a thanksgiving-offering to the Eatooa, for the victory they had obtained; while the vanquished had taken refuge in the mountains.  There they remained a week or ten days, till the fury of the victors was over, and a treaty set on foot, by which it was agreed, that Otoo should be declared king of the whole island, and the solemnity of investing him with the maro was performed at the same morai with great pomp, in the presence of all the principal men of the country.[7]

[Footnote 7:  We must trespass a little on the reader’s patience as was formerly threatened.  But on so curious, and indeed so exceedingly important a subject as human sacrifices, it is allowable to claim the serious attention of every intelligent being.  Who can withhold anxiety from an enquiry into the reality of the fact, as a fundamental part of religion in every nation at some period of its history—­or dare to affect indifference as to the origin and meaning of so portentous and horrible a rite?  It will be our study to be as brief as possible in conveying the information respecting both, which every man ought to possess, who values correct opinions respecting the moral condition of our nature.  First, then, as to the universality of the practice.  This is of course to be ascertained from testimony.  And perhaps on no subject in the history of mankind, is there a more decided agreement in the assertions of different witnesses.  We shall run over the various nations of the earth, of whom we have any thing like satisfactory evidence.  Here we avail ourselves of the labours of several authors, as Dr Jenkin, De Paauw, Mr Bryant, Mr Parkhurst, Dr Magee, and others.  We commence with the Egyptians, of whom alone, we believe, any doubt as to their being implicated in the practice has been entertained.  Thus Dr Forster, in his Observations on Cook’s Second Voyage, excepts them from his remark that all the ancient nations sacrificed men, saying that where-ever it is affirmed in old writers that these people were addicted to it, we are to understand them as alluding to the Arabian shepherds, who at one time subdued Egypt.  Such was the opinion of the writer of this note, but more attentive enquiry has induced him, in this instance, to disregard the distinction.  Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch, quoted by Dr Magee, mention their sacrificing red-haired men at the tomb of Osiris; and from other sources, it appears that they had a custom of sacrificing a virgin to the river Nile, by flinging her into its stream.  The Phoenicians, Canaanites, Moabites, Ammonites, and other neighbouring people, were in the habit of sacrificing their children to their idols, especially Moloch, on certain, calamities, and for various reasons.  See on this head some

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of the commentators on Scripture, as Ainsworth on Levit. 18th, and still more particularly, consult Selecta Sacra Braunii, a work formerly referred to.  The Ethiopians, according to the Romance of Heliodorus, admitted to be good authority as to manners, &c. sacrificed their children to the sun and moon.  The Scythians, as related in the curious description given of them by Herodotus, in Melpom. 62, particularly honoured the god Mars, by sacrificing to him every hundredth captive.  This they did, he says, by cutting their throats, &c.  The same author informs us of the Persians, that they had a custom of burying persons alive, generally young ones it would seem, in honour of the river Strymon, considered by them as a deity.  Polym. 114.  In this he is confirmed by Plutarch.  Other writers, also, charge the Persians with using human sacrifices, as is shewn by Dr Magee.  The same may be said of the Chinese and Indians, according to works mentioned by that gentleman.  The case of the latter people has been made notorious by Dr Buchanan.  With respect to the Grecian states in general, we have the most indubitable evidence of the prevalence of supplicating their gods by human sacrifices, when going against their enemies, as we see done by the Otaheitans, and on other occasions.  The Roman history, in its early state especially, abounds in like examples, as every reader will be prepared to prove.  The practice was shockingly prevalent amongst the Carthaginians and other inhabitants of Africa.  The writer above quoted, specifies the works which mention it, and has enumerated the authorities for asserting the same of a great many other ancient people, as the Getae, Leucadians, Goths, Gauls, Heruli, Britons, Germans; besides the Arabians, Cretans, Cyprians, Rhodians, Phocians, and the inhabitants of Chios, Lesbos, Tenedos, and Pella.  The northern nations, without exception, are chargeable with the same enormity.  Of this, satisfactory evidence has been adduced by Dr Magee from various authors, as Mr Thorkelin in his Essay on the Slave Trade, Mallet, in his work on Northern Antiquities, &c.  And it is well known that the evil existed amongst the Mexicans, Peruvians, and other people of America, in a degree surpassing its magnitude in any other country.  The perusal of the present narrative, and of other accounts of voyages, will evince the continuance of the practice throughout more recent people.  On the whole then, we assert, that the fact of the universality of human sacrifice amongst the various nations of the world is perfectly well authenticated.  Let us next say a word or two respecting its origin and meaning.  Here we shall find it necessary to consider the origin and meaning of sacrifice in general, as it is self-evident that the notion of sacrifice is previous to the selection of the subjects for it, that of human beings differing only in degree of worth or excellence from those of any other kind.  What then could induce mankind universally to imagine, that sacrifices of animals

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could be agreeable to those beings whom they judged superior to themselves, and the proper objects of religious adoration?  Reason gives no sanction to the practice; on the contrary, most positively condemns it, as unnecessary, unjust, cruel, and therefore more likely to incur displeasure than to obtain favour.  Besides, it must always have been expensive, and very often dangerous, so that we must entirely discard the notion of a sense of interest having given occasion to it, unless we can prove, that some valuable consequence was to result from it.  This however cannot be done without first shewing its acceptableness to the Being whose regard is thereby solicited.  There remain, perhaps, only two other motives which we can conceive to have given origin to the custom, viz. some instinctive principle of our nature by which we are led to it, independent of either reason or a sense of interest, as in the case of our appetites, and a positive injunction or command to that effect by some being who has the requisite authority over our conduct.  The author so often alluded to, Dr Magee, who has so profoundly considered this subject in his work on Atonement, &c. rejects the former supposition, affirming that we have no natural instinct to gratify, in spilling the blood of an innocent creature; and, as he has also set aside the other two notions, of course, he adopts the latter as sufficient for the solution of the question.  The writer concurs in this opinion, but at the same time, he thinks it of the utmost importance to observe, that as the original injunction or command was assuredly subsequent to the sense of moral delinquency, and was directed in the view of a relief to the conscience of man, so the continuance of the practice, according to any perversion of the primitive and consequently proper institution, is always connected with, and in fact implies, the existence of a feeling of personal demerit and danger.  In other words, he conceives there is a suitableness betwixt the operation of man’s conscience and that effectual remedy for its uneasiness to which the original institution of animal sacrifices pointed.  But it does not follow from this, that man’s conscience or reason, or any thing else within him, could ever have made the discovery of the remedy.  A sense of his need of it, would undoubtedly set him on various efforts to relieve himself, but this, it is probable, would be as blind a principle as the appetite of hunger, and as much would require aid from an external power.  Among the devices to which it might have recourse, very possibly, the notion of giving up a darling object, ought to be included; so it would appear, thought a king of Moab, spoken of by Micah the prophet, chap. 6th, “Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,” &c.  But even admitting this, we still see the primary difficulty remaining, viz. what reason is there for imagining that the gift in any shape, and more especially when slaughtered, will be accepted? 

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We are driven then to contemplate the revelation of the divine will as the only adequate explanation; and this, it is evident, we must consider as having been handed down by a corrupt process of tradition, among the various nations of the earth.  It would be easy to urge arguments in behalf of this opinion.  But already the matter has gone beyond common bounds, and the writer dare not hazard another remark.  All he shall do then, is to commend this interesting topic to the reader’s attention, and to request, that due allowances be made for the omission of certain qualifications which are requisite for some of the remarks now made, but which the limits of the note could not allow to be inserted.—­E.]


Conference with Towha.—­Heevas described.—­Omai and Oedidee give Dinners.—­Fireworks exhibited.—­A remarkable Present of Cloth.—­Manner of preserving the Body of a dead Chief.—­Another human Sacrifice.—­Riding on Horseback.—­Otoo’s Attention to supply Provisions, and prevent Thefts.—­Animals given to him.—­Etary, and the Deputies of a Chief, have Audiences.—­A mock Fight of two War Canoes.—­Naval Strength of these Islands.—­Manner of conducting a War.

The close of the very singular scene exhibited at the morai, which I have faithfully described in the last chapter, leaving us no other business in Attahooroo, we embarked about noon, in order to return to Matavai; and, in our way, visited Towha, who had remained on the little island where we met him the day before.  Some conversation passed between Otoo and him, on the present posture of public affairs; and then the latter solicited me once more to join them in their war against Eimeo.  By my positive refusal I entirely lost the good graces of this chief.

Before we parted, he asked us if the solemnity at which we had been present answered our expectations; what opinion we had of its efficacy; and whether we performed such acts of worship in our own country?  During the celebration of the horrid ceremony, we had preserved a profound silence; but as soon as it was closed, had made no scruple in expressing our sentiments very freely about it to Otoo, and those who attended him; of course, therefore, I did not conceal my detestation of it in this conversation with Towha.  Besides the cruelty of the bloody custom, I strongly urged the unreasonableness of it; telling the chief, that such a sacrifice, far from making the Eatooa propitious to their nation, as they ignorantly believed, would be the means of drawing down his vengeance; and that, from this very circumstance, I took upon me to judge, that their intended expedition against Maheine would be unsuccessful.  This was venturing pretty far upon conjecture; but still, I thought, that there was little danger of being mistaken.  For I found, that there were three parties in the island, with regard to this war; one extremely violent for it; another perfectly indifferent about the matter;

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and the third openly declaring themselves friends to Maheine and his cause.  Under these circumstances, of disunion distracting their councils, it was not likely that such a plan of military operations would be settled as could insure even a probability of success.  In conveying our sentiments to Towha, on the subject of the late sacrifice, Omai was made use of as our interpreter; and he entered into our arguments with so much spirit, that the chief seemed to be in great wrath; especially when he was told, that if he had put a man to death in England, as he had done here, his rank would not have protected him from being hanged for it.  Upon this, he exclaimed, maeno! maeno! [vile! vile!] and would not hear another word.  During this debate, many of the natives were present, chiefly the attendants and servants of Towha himself; and when Omai began to explain the punishment that would be inflicted in England, upon the greatest man, if he killed the meanest servant, they seemed to listen with great attention; and were probably of a different opinion from that of their master on this subject.

After leaving Towha, we proceeded to Oparre, where Otoo pressed us to spend the night.  We landed in the evening; and, on our road to his house, had an opportunity of observing in what manner these people amuse themselves in their private heevas.  About an hundred of them were found sitting in a house; and in the midst of them were two women, with an old man behind each of them beating very gently upon a drum; and the women at intervals singing in a softer manner than I ever heard at their other diversions.  The assembly listened with great attention; and were seemingly almost absorbed in the pleasure the music gave them; for few took any notice of us, and the performers never once stopped.  It was almost dark before we reached Otoo’s house, where we were entertained with one of their public heevas, or plays, in which his three sisters appeared as the principal characters.  This was what they call a heeva raae, which is of such a nature, that nobody is to enter the house or area where it is exhibited.  When the royal sisters are the performers, this is always the case.  Their dress, on this occasion, was truly picturesque and elegant; and they acquitted themselves, in their parts, in a very distinguished manner; though some comic interludes, performed by four men seemed to yield greater pleasure to the audience, which was numerous.  The next morning we proceeded to Matavai, leaving Otoo at Oparre; but his mother, sisters, and several other women attended me on board, and Otoo himself followed soon after.

While Otoo and I were absent from the ships, they had been but sparingly supplied with fruit, and had few visitors.  After our return, we again overflowed with provisions and with company.

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On the 4th, a party of us dined ashore with Omai, who gave excellent fare, consisting of fish, fowls, pork, and puddings.  After dinner, I attended Otoo, who had been one of the party, back to his house, where I found all his servants very busy getting a quantity of provisions ready for me.  Amongst other articles, there was a large hog, which they killed in my presence.  The entrails were divided into eleven portions, in such a manner that each of them contained a bit of every thing.  These portions were distributed to the servants, and some dressed theirs in the same oven with the hog, while others carried off, undressed, what had come to their share.  There was also a large pudding, the whole process in making which, I saw.  It was composed of bread-fruit, ripe plantains, taro, and palm or pandanus nuts, each rasped, scraped, or beat up fine, and baked by itself.  A quantity of juice, expressed from cocoa-nut kernels, was put into a large tray or wooden vessel.  The other articles, hot from the oven, were deposited in this vessel; and a few hot stones were also put in to make the contents simmer.  Three or four men made use of sticks to stir the several ingredients, till they were incorporated one with another, and the juice of the cocoa-nut was turned to oil; so that the whole mass, at last, became of the consistency of a hasty-pudding.  Some of these puddings are excellent; and few that we make in England equal them.  I seldom or never dined without one when I could get it, which was not always the case.  Otoo’s hog being baked, and the pudding, which I have described, being made, they, together with two living hogs, and a quantity of bread-fruit and cocoa-nuts, were put into a canoe, and sent on board my ship, followed by myself, and all the royal family.

The following evening, a young ram, of the Cape breed, that had been lambed, and with great care brought up on board the ship, was killed by a dog.  Incidents are of more or less consequence, as connected with situation.  In our present situation, desirous as I was to propagate this useful race amongst these islands, the loss of the ram was a serious misfortune; as it was the only one I had of that breed; and I had only one of the English breed left.

In the evening of the 7th, we played off some fireworks before a great concourse of people.  Some were highly entertained with the exhibition; but by far the greater number of spectators were terribly frightened; insomuch, that it was with difficulty we could prevail upon them to keep together to see the end of the shew.  A table-rocket was the last.  It flew off the table, and dispersed the whole crowd in a moment; even the most resolute among them fled with precipitation.

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The next day, a party of us dined with our former ship-mate, Oedidee, on fish and pork.  The hog weighed about thirty pounds; and it may be worth mentioning, that it was alive, dressed, and brought upon the table within the hour.  We had but just dined, when Otoo came and asked me if my belly was full.  On my answering in the affirmative, he said, “Then, come along with me.”  I accordingly went with him to his father’s, where I found some people employed in dressing two girls with a prodigious quantity of fine cloth, after a very singular fashion:  The one end of each piece of cloth, of which there were a good many, was held up over the heads of the girls, while the remainder was wrapped round their bodies, under the arm-pits; then the upper ends were let fall, and hung down in folds to the ground, over the other, so as to bear some resemblance to a circular hoop-petticoat.  Afterward, round the outside of all, were wrapped several pieces of differently-coloured cloth, which considerably increased the size; so that it was not less than five or six yards in circuit, and the weight of this singular attire was as much as the poor girls could support.  To each were hang two taames, or breast-plates, by way of enriching the whole, and giving it a picturesque appearance.  Thus equipped, they were conducted on board the ship, together with several hogs, and a quantity of fruit, which, with the cloth, was a present to me from Otoo’s father.  Persons of either sex, dressed in this manner, are called atee; but, I believe, it is never practised, except when large presents of cloth are to be made.  At least, I never saw it practised upon any other occasion; nor, indeed, had I ever such a present before; but both Captain Clerke and I had cloth given to us afterward, thus wrapped round the bearers.  The next day, I had a present of five hogs and some fruit from Otoo; and one hog and some fruit from each of his sisters.  Nor were other provisions wanting.  For two or three days, great quantities of mackerel had been caught by the natives, within the reef, in seines; some of which they brought to the ships and tents and sold.

Otoo was not more attentive to supply our wants, by a succession of presents, than he was to contribute to our amusement, by a succession of diversions.  A party of us having gone down to Oparre on the 10th, he treated us with what may be called a play.  His three sisters were the actresses; and the dresses that they appeared in were new and elegant; that is, more so than we had usually met with at any of these islands.  But the principal object I had in view, this day, in going to Oparre, was to take a view of an embalmed corpse, which some of our gentlemen had happened to meet with at that place, near the residence of Otoo.  On enquiry, I found it to be the remains of Tee, a chief well known to me when I was at this island during my last voyage.  It was lying in a toopapaoo, more elegantly constructed than

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their common ones, and in all respects similar to that lately seen by us at Oheitepeha, in which the remains of Waheiadooa are deposited, embalmed in the same manner.  When we arrived at the place, the body was under cover, and wrapped up in cloth within the toopapaoo; but, at my desire, the man who had the care of it, brought it out, and laid it upon a kind of bier, in such a manner, that we had as full a view of it as we could wish; but we were not allowed to go within the pales that enclosed the toopapaoo.  After he had thus exhibited the corpse, he hung the place with mats and cloth, so disposed as to produce a very pretty effect.  We found the body not only entire in every part; but, what surprised us much more, was, that putrefaction seemed scarcely to be begun, as there was not the least disagreeable smell proceeding from it; though the climate is one of the hottest, and Tee had been dead above four months.  The only remarkable alteration that had happened, was a shrinking of the muscular parts and eyes; but the hair and nails were in their original state, and still adhered firmly; and the several joints were quite pliable, or in that kind of relaxed state which happens to persons who faint suddenly.  Such were Mr Anderson’s remarks to me, who also told me, that on his enquiring into the method of effecting this preservation of their dead bodies, he had been informed, that, soon after their death, they are disembowlled, by drawing the intestines, and other viscera, out at the anus; and the whole cavity is then filled or stuffed with cloth, introduced through the same part; that when any moisture appeared on the skin, it was carefully dried up, and the bodies afterward rubbed all over with a large quantity of perfumed cocoa-nut oil; which, being frequently repeated, preserved them a great many months; but that, at last, they gradually moulder away.  This was the information Mr Anderson received; for my own part, I could not learn any more about their mode of operation than what Omai told me, who said, that they made use of the juice of a plant which grows amongst the mountains, of cocoa-nut oil, and of frequent washing with sea-water.  I was also told, that the bodies of all their great men, who die a natural death, are preserved in this manner; and that they expose them to public view for a very considerable time after.  At first, they are laid out every day, when it does not rain; afterward, the intervals become greater and greater; and, at last, they are seldom to be seen.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The method of embalming, above described, is very different from that practised among the Egyptians and other ancient people.  For an account of the latter, the reader may turn to Beloe’s Herodotus, vol. i. where observations are collected from several authors.—­E.]

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In the evening we returned from Oparre, where we left Otoo, and all the royal family; and I saw none of them till the 12th; when all, but the chief himself, paid me a visit.  He, as they told me, was gone to Attahooroo, to assist, this day, at another human sacrifice, which the chief of Tiaraboo had sent thither to be offered up at the morai.  This second instance, within the course of a few days, was too melancholy a proof how numerous the victims of this bloody superstition are amongst this humane people.  I would have been present at this sacrifice too, had I known of it in time; for now it was too late.  From the very same cause, I missed being present at a public transaction, which had passed at Oparre the preceding day, when Otoo, with all the solemnities observed on such occasions, restored to the friends and followers of the late king Tootaha, the lands and possessions which had been withheld from them, ever since his death.  Probably, the new sacrifice was the concluding ceremony of what may be called the reversal of attainder.

The following evening, Otoo returned from exercising this most disagreeable of all his duties as sovereign; and the next day, being now honoured with his company, Captain Clerke and I, mounted on horseback, took a ride round the plain of Matavai, to the very great surprise of a great train of people who attended on the occasion, gazing upon us with as much astonishment as if we had been centaurs.  Omai, indeed, had once or twice before this, attempted to get on horseback; but he had as often been thrown off, before he could contrive to seat himself; so that this was the first time they had seen any body ride a horse.  What Captain Clerke and I began, was, after this, repeated every day, while we staid, by one or another of our people.  And yet the curiosity of the natives continued still unabated.  They were exceedingly delighted with these animals, after they had seen the use that was made of them; and, as far as I could judge, they conveyed to them a better idea of the greatness of other nations, than all the other novelties put together that their European visitors had carried amongst them.  Both the horse and mare were in good case, and looked extremely well.

The next day, Etary, or Olla, the god of Bolabola, who had, for several days past, been in the neighbourhood of Matavai, removed to Oparre, attended by several sailing canoes.  We were told that Otoo did not approve of his being so near our station, where his people could more easily invade our property.  I must do Otoo the justice to say, that he took every method prudence could suggest to prevent thefts and robberies; and it was more owing to his regulations, than to our own circumspection, that so few were committed.  He had taken care to erect a little house or two, on the other side of the river, behind our post; and two others, close to our tents, on the bank between the river and the sea.  In all these places some

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of his own people constantly kept watch; and his father generally resided on Matavai point; so that we were, in a manner, surrounded by them.  Thus stationed, they not only guarded us in the night from thieves, but could observe every thing that passed in the day; and were ready to collect contributions from such girls as had private connections with our people; which was generally done every morning.  So that the measures adopted by him to secure our safety, at the same time served the more essential purpose of enlarging his own profits.

Otoo informing me that his presence was necessary at Oparre, where he was to give audience to the great personage from Bolabola; and asking me to accompany him, I readily consented, in hopes of meeting with something worth our notice.  Accordingly I went with him, in the morning of the 16th, attended by Mr Anderson.  Nothing, however, occurred on this occasion that was either interesting or curious.  We saw Etary and his followers present some coarse cloth and hogs to Otoo; and each article was delivered with some ceremony, and a set speech.  After this, they, and some other chiefs, held a consultation about the expedition to Eimeo.  Etary, at first, seemed to disapprove of it; but, at last, his objections were over-ruled.  Indeed, it appeared next day, that it was too late to deliberate about this measure; and that Towha, Potatou, and another chief, had already gone upon the expedition with the fleet of Attahooroo.  For a messenger arrived in the evening, with intelligence that they had reached Eimeo, and that there had been some skirmishes, without much loss or advantage on either side.

In the morning of the 18th, Mr Anderson, myself, and Omai, went again with Otoo to Oparre, and took with us the sheep which I intended to leave upon the island, consisting of an English ram and ewe, and three Cape ewes, all of which I gave to Otoo.  As all the three cows had taken the bull, I thought I might venture to divide them, and carry some to Ulieta.  With this view, I had them brought before us; and proposed to Etary, that if he would leave his bull with Otoo, he should have mine, and one of the three cows; adding, that I would carry them for him to Ulieta; for I was afraid to remove the Spanish bull, lest some accident should happen to him, as he was a bulky, spirited beast.  To this proposal of mine, Etary, at first, made some objections; but, at last, agreed to it; partly through the persuasion of Omai.  However, just as the cattle were putting into the boat, one of Etary’s followers valiantly opposed any exchange whatever being made.  Finding this, and suspecting that Etary had only consented to the proposed arrangement, for the present moment, to please me; and that, after I was gone, he might take away his bull, and then Otoo would not have one, I thought it best to drop the idea of an exchange, as it could not be made with the mutual consent of both parties; and finally determined to leave them all with Otoo, strictly enjoining him never to suffer them to be removed from Oparre, not even the Spanish bull, nor any of the sheep, till he should get a stock of young ones; which he might then dispose of to his friends, and send to the neighbouring islands.

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This being settled, we left Etary and his party to ruminate upon their folly, and attended Otoo to another place hard by, where we found the servants of a chief, whose name I forgot to ask, waiting with a hog, a pig, and a dog, as a present from their master to the sovereign.  These were delivered with the usual ceremonies, and with an harangue in form, in which the speaker, in his master’s name, enquired after the health of Otoo, and of all the principal people about him.  This compliment was echoed back in the name of Otoo, by one of his ministers; and then the dispute with Eimeo was discussed, with many arguments for and against it.  The deputies of this chief were for prosecuting the war with vigour, and advised Otoo to offer a human sacrifice.  On the other hand, a chief, who was in constant attendance on Otoo’s person, opposed it, seemingly with great strength of argument.  This confirmed me in the opinion, that Otoo himself never entered heartily into the spirit of this war.  He now received repeated messages from Towha, strongly soliciting him to hasten to his assistance.  We were told, that his fleet was, in a manner, surrounded by that of Maheine; but that neither the one nor the other durst hazard an engagement.

After dining with Otoo, we returned to Matavai, leaving him at Oparre.  This day, and also the 19th, we were very sparingly supplied with fruit.  Otoo hearing of this, he and his brother, who had attached himself to Captain Clerke, came from Oparre, between nine and ten o’clock in the evening, with a large supply for both ships.  This marked his humane attention more strongly than any thing he had hitherto done for us.  The next day, all the royal family came with presents; so that our wants were not only relieved, but we had more provisions than we could consume.

Having got all our water on board, the ships being caulked, the rigging overhauled, and everything put in order, I began to think of leaving the island, that I might have sufficient time to spare for visiting the others in this neighbourhood.  With this view, we removed from the shore our observatories and instruments, and bent the sails.  Early the next morning, Otoo came on board to acquaint me, that all the war canoes of Matavai, and of three other districts adjoining, were going to Oparre to join those belonging to that part of the island; and that there would be a general review there.  Soon after, the squadron of Matavai was all in motion; and, after parading awhile about the bay, assembled ashore, near the middle of it.  I now went in my boat to take a view of them.

Of those with stages, on which they fight, or what they call their war-canoes, there were about sixty, with near as many more of a smaller size.  I was ready to have attended them to Oparre; but, soon after, a resolution was taken by the chiefs, that they should not move till the next day.  I looked upon this to be a fortunate delay, as it afforded me a good opportunity to get some insight into their manner

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of fighting.  With this view, I expressed my wish to Otoo, that he would order some of them to go through the necessary manoeuvres.  Two were accordingly ordered out into the bay; in one of which, Otoo, Mr King, and myself, embarked; and Omai went on board the other.  When we had got sufficient sea-room, we faced, and advanced upon each other, and retreated by turns, as quick as our rowers could paddle.  During this, the warriors on the stages flourished their weapons, and played a hundred antic tricks, which could answer no other end, in my judgment, than to work up their passions, and prepare them for fighting.  Otoo stood by the side of our stage, and gave the necessary orders, when to advance, and when to retreat.  In this, great judgment and a quick eye, combined together seemed requisite, to seize every advantage that might offer, and to avoid giving any advantage to the adversary.  At last, after advancing and retreating to and from each other, at least a dozen of times, the two canoes closed, head to head, or stage to stage; and, after a short conflict, the troops on our stage were supposed to be all killed, and we were boarded by Omai and his associates.  At that very instant, Otoo, and all our paddlers leaped over-board, as if reduced to the necessity of endeavouring to save their lives by swimming.

If Omai’s information is to be depended upon, their naval engagements are not always conducted in this manner.  He told me, that they sometimes begin with lashing the two vessels together, head to head, and then fight till all the warriors are killed, on one side or the other.  But this close combat, I apprehend, is never practised, but when they are determined to conquer or die.  Indeed, one or the other must happen; for all agree that they never give quarter, unless it be to reserve their prisoners for a more cruel death the next day.

The power and strength of these islands lie entirely in their navies.  I never heard of a general engagement on land; and all their decisive battles are fought on the water.  If the time and place of conflict are fixed upon by both parties, the preceding day and night are spent in diversions and feasting.  Toward morning, they launch the canoes, put every thing in order, and, with the day, begin the battle; the fate of which generally decides the dispute.  The vanquished save themselves by a precipitate flight; and such as reach the shore, fly with their friends to the mountains; for the victors, while their fury lasts, spare neither the aged, nor women, nor children.  The next day, they assemble at the morai, to return thanks to the Eatooa for the victory, and to offer up the slain as sacrifices, and the prisoners also, if they have any.  After this a treaty is set on foot; and the conquerors, for the most part, obtain their own terms; by which, particular districts of land, and sometimes whole islands, change their owners.  Omai told us, that he was once taken a prisoner by the men of Bolabola, and carried to that island, where he and some others would have been put to death the next day, if they had not found means to escape in the night.

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As soon as this mock-fight was over, Omai put on his suit of armour, mounted a stage in one of the canoes, and was paddled all along the shore of the bay; so that every one had a full view of him.  His coat of mail did not draw the attention of his countrymen so much as might have been expected.  Some of them, indeed, had seen a part of it before; and there were others, again, who had taken such a dislike to Omai, from his imprudent conduct at this place, that they would hardly look at any thing, however singular, that was exhibited by him.


The Day of Sailing fixed.—­Peace made with Eimeo.—­Debates about it, and Otoo’s Conduct blamed.—­A Solemnity at the Morai on the Occasion, described by Mr King.—­Observations upon it.—­Instance of Otoo’s Art.—­Omai’s War-Canoe, and Remarks upon his Behaviour.—­Otoo’s Present, and Message to the King of Great Britain.—­Reflections on our Manner of Traffic, and on the good Treatment we met with at Otaheite.—­Account of the Expedition of the Spaniards.—­Their Fictions to depreciate the English.—­Wishes expressed that no Settlement may be made.—­Omai’s Jealousy of another Traveller.

Early in the morning of the 22d, Otoo and his father came on board, to know when I proposed sailing.  For, having been informed that there was a good harbour at Eimeo, I had told them that I should visit that island on my way to Huaheine; and they were desirous of taking a passage with me, and of their fleet sailing, at the time, to reinforce Towha.  As I was ready to take my departure, I left it to them to name the day; and the Wednesday following was fixed upon, when I was to take on board Otoo, his father, mother, and, in short, the whole family.  These points being settled, I proposed setting out immediately for Oparre, where all the fleet, fitted out for the expedition, was to assemble this day, and to be reviewed.

I had but just time to get into my boat, when news was brought, that Towha had concluded a treaty with Maheine, and had returned with his fleet to Attahooroo.  This unexpected event made all further proceedings, in the military way, quite unnecessary; and the war-canoes, instead of rendezvousing at Oparre, were ordered home to their respective districts.  This alteration, however, did not hinder me from following Otoo to Oparre, accompanied by Mr King and Omai.  Soon after our arrival, and while dinner was preparing, a messenger arrived from Eimeo, and related the conditions of the peace, or rather of the truce, it being only for a limited time.  The terms were disadvantageous to Otaheite; and much blame was thrown upon Otoo, whose delay, in sending reinforcements, had obliged Towha to submit to a disgraceful accommodation.  It was even currently reported, that Towha, resenting his not being supported, had declared, that, as soon as I should leave the island, he would join his forces to those of Tiaraboo, and attack Otoo at Matavai,

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or Oparre.  This called upon me to declare, in the most public manner, that I was determined to espouse the interest of my friend against any such combination; and that whoever presumed to attack him, should feel the weight of my heavy displeasure, when I returned again to their island.  My declaration, probably, had the desired effect; and, if Towha had any such hostile intention at first, we soon heard no more of the report.  Whappai, Otoo’s father, highly disapproved of the peace, and blamed Towha very much for concluding it.  This sensible old man wisely judged, that my going down with them to Eimeo must have been of singular service to their cause, though I should take no other part whatever in the quarrel.  And it was upon this that he built all his arguments, and maintained, that Otoo had acted properly by waiting for me; though this had prevented his giving assistance to Towha so soon as he expected.

Our debates at Oparre, on this subject, were hardly ended, before a messenger arrived from Towha, desiring Otoo’s attendance, the next day, at the morai in Attahooroo, to give thanks to the gods for the peace he had concluded; at least, such was Omai’s account to me of the object of this solemnity.  I was asked to go; but being much out of order, was obliged to decline it.  Desirous, however, of knowing what ceremonies might be observed on so memorable an occasion, I sent Mr King and Omai, and returned on board my ship, attended by Otoo’s mother, his three sisters, and eight more women.  At first, I thought that this numerous train of females came into my boat with no other view than to get a passage to Matavai.  But when we arrived at the ship, they told me, they intended passing the night on board, for the express purpose of undertaking the cure of the disorder I complained of; which was a pain of the rheumatic kind, extending from the hip to the foot.  I accepted the friendly offer, had a bed spread for them upon the cabin floor, and submitted myself to their directions.  I was desired to lay myself down amongst them.  Then, as many of them as could get round me, began to squeeze me with both hands, from head to foot, but more particularly on the parts where the pain was lodged, till they made my bones crack, and my flesh became a perfect mummy.  In short, after undergoing this discipline about a quarter of an hour, I was glad to get away from them.  However, the operation gave me immediate relief, which encouraged me to submit to another rubbing-down before I went to bed; and it was so effectual, that I found myself pretty easy all the night after.  My female physicians repeated their prescription the next morning, before they went ashore, and again, in the evening, when they returned on board; after which, I found the pains entirely removed; and the cure being perfected, they took their leave of me the following morning.  This they call romee; an operation which, in my opinion, far exceeds the flesh brush, or any thing of the kind that we make use of externally.  It is universally practised amongst these islanders; being sometimes performed by the men, but more generally by the women.  If, at any time, one appears languid and tired, and sits down by any of them, they immediately begin to practise the romee upon his legs; and I have always found it to have an exceedingly good effect.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  See Captain Wallis’s account of the same operation performed on himself, and his first lieutenant, in this Collection, vol. xii. p. 197.]

In the morning of the 25th, Otoo, Mr King, and Omai, returned from Attahooroo; and Mr King gave me the following account of what he had seen: 

“Soon after you left me, a second messenger came from Towha to Otoo, with a plantain-tree.  It was sun-set when we embarked in a canoe and left Oparre.  About nine o’clock we landed at Tettaha, at that extremity which joins to Attahooroo.  Before we landed, the people called to us from the shore; probably, to tell us that Towha was there.  The meeting of Otoo and this chief, I expected, would afford some incident worthy of observation.  Otoo, and his attendants, went and seated themselves on the beach, close to the canoe in which Towha was.  He was then asleep; but his servants having awakened him, and mentioning Otoo’s name, immediately a plantain-tree and a dog were laid at Otoo’s feet; and many of Towha’s people came and talked with him, as I conceived, about their expedition to Eimeo.  After I had, for some time, remained seated close to Otoo, Towha neither stirring from his canoe, nor holding any conversation with us, I went to him.  He asked me if Toote was angry with him.  I answered, No:  that he was his taio; and that he had ordered me to go to Attahooroo to tell him so.  Omai now had a long conversation with this chief; but I could gather no information of any kind from him.  On my returning to Otoo, he seemed desirous that I should go to eat, and then to sleep.  Accordingly, Omai and I left him.  On questioning Omai, he said, the reason of Towha’s not stirring from his canoe, was his being lame; but that, presently, Otoo and he would converse together in private.  This seemed true; for in a little time, those we left with Otoo came to us; and, about ten minutes after, Otoo himself arrived, and we all went to sleep in his canoe.

“The next morning, the ava was in great plenty.  One man drank so much that he lost his senses.  I should have supposed him to be in a fit, from the convulsions that agitated him.  Two men held him, and kept plucking off his hair by the roots.  I left this spectacle to see another that was more affecting.  This was the meeting of Towha and his wife, and a young girl, whom I understood to be his daughter.  After the ceremony of cutting their heads, and discharging a tolerable quantity of blood and tears, they washed, embraced the chief, and seemed unconcerned.  But the young girl’s sufferings were not yet come to an end.  Terridiri[2] arrived; and she went, with great composure, to repeat the same ceremonies to him, which she had just performed on meeting her father.  Towha had brought a large war-canoe from Eimeo.  I enquired if he had killed the people belonging to her; and was told, that there was no man in her when she was captured.

[Footnote 2:  Terridiri was Oberea’s son.  See an account of the royal family of Otaheite, in this Collection, vol. xii. p. 482.]

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“We left Tettaha about ten or eleven o’clock, and landed close to the morai of Attahooroo a little after noon.  There lay three canoes hauled upon the beach, opposite the morai, with three hogs exposed in each:  their sheds, or awnings, had something under them which I could not discern.  We expected the solemnity to be performed the same afternoon; but as neither Towha nor Potatou had joined us, nothing was done.

“A chief from Eimeo came with a small pig, and a plantain-tree, and placed them at Otoo’s feet.  They talked some time together; and the Eimeo chief often repeating the words, Warry, warry, ‘false,’ I supposed that Otoo was relating to him what he had heard, and that the other denied it.

“The next day (Wednesday) Towha and Potatou, with about eight large canoes, arrived, and landed near the morai.  Many plantain-trees were brought, on the part of different chiefs to Otoo.  Towha did not stir from his canoe.  The ceremony began by the principal priest bringing out the maro wrapped up, and a bundle shaped like a large sugar-loaf.  These were placed at the head of what I understood to be a grave.  Then three priests came, and sat down opposite, that is, at the other end of the grave; bringing with them a plantain-tree, the branch of some other tree, and the sheath of the flower of the cocoa-nut tree.

“The priests, with these things in their hands, separately repeated sentences; and, at intervals, two, and sometime all three, sung a melancholy ditty, little attended to by the people.  This praying and singing continued for an hour.  Then, after a short prayer, the principal priest uncovered the maro; and Otoo rose up, and wrapped it about him, holding, at the same time, in his hand, a cap or bonnet, composed of the red feathers of the tail of the tropic bird, mixed with other feathers of a dark colour.  He stood in the middle space, facing the three priests, who continued their prayers for about ten minutes; when a man, starting from the crowd, said something which ended with the word heiva! and the crowd echoed back to him, three times, Earee! This, as I had been told before, was the principal part of the solemnity.

“The company now moved to the opposite side of the great pile of stones, where is, what they call, the king’s morai, which is not unlike a large grave.  Here the same ceremony was performed over again, and ended in three cheers.  The maro was now wrapped up, and increased in its splendour by the addition of a small piece of red feathers, which one of the priests gave Otoo when he had it on, and which he stuck into it.

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“From this place, the people went to a large hut, close by the morai, where they seated themselves in much greater order than is usual among them.  A man of Tiaraboo then made an oration, which lasted about ten minutes.  He was followed by an Attahooroo man; afterward Potatou spoke with much greater fluency and grace than any of them; for, in general, they spoke in short broken sentences, with a motion of the hand that was rather awkward.  Tooteo, Otoo’s orator, spoke next; and, after him, a man from Eimeo.  Two or three more speeches were made; but not much attended to.  Omai told me, that the speeches declared, that they should not fight, but all be friends.  As many of the speakers expressed themselves with warmth, possibly there were some recriminations and protestations of their good intentions.  In the midst of their speaking, a man of Attahooroo got up, with a sling fastened to his waist, and a large stone placed upon his shoulder.  After parading near a quarter of an hour, in the open space, repeating something in a singing tone, he threw the stone down.  This stone, and a plantain-tree that lay at Otoo’s feet, were, after the speeches ended, carried to the morai:  and one of the priests, and Otoo with him, said something upon the occasion.

“On our return to Oparre, the sea-breeze having set in, we were obliged to land; and had a pleasant walk through almost the whole extent of Tettaha to Oparre.  A tree, with two bundles of dried leaves suspended upon it, marked the boundary of the two districts.  The man who had performed the ceremony of the stone and sling came with us.  With him, Otoo’s father had a long conversation.  He seemed very angry.  I understood, he was enraged at the part Towha had taken in the Eimeo business.”

From what I can judge of this solemnity, as thus described by Mr King, it had not been wholly a thanksgiving, as Omai told us, but rather a confirmation of the treaty, or perhaps both.  The grave, which Mr King speaks of, seems to be the very spot where the celebration of the rites began, when the human sacrifice, at which I was present, was offered, and before which the victim was laid, after being removed from the sea side.  It is at this part of the morai also that they first invest their kings with the maro.  Omai, who had been present when Otoo was made king, described to me the whole ceremony, when we were here; and I find it to be almost the same as this that Mr King has now described, though we understood it to be upon a very different occasion.  The plantain-tree, so often mentioned, is always the first thing introduced, not only in all their religious ceremonies, but in all their debates, whether of a public or private nature.  It is also used on other occasions; perhaps many more than we know of.  While Towha was at Eimeo, one or more messengers came from him to Otoo every day.  The messenger always came with a young plantain-tree in his hand, which he laid down at Otoo’s feet, before he spoke a word; then seated himself before him, and related what he was charged with.  I have seen two men in such high dispute that I expected they would proceed to blows; yet, on one laying a plantain-tree before the other, they have both become cool, and carried on the argument without farther animosity.  In short, it is, upon all occasions, the olive-branch of these people.

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The war with Eimeo, and the solemn rites which were the consequence of it, being thus finally closed, all our friends paid us a visit on the 26th; and, as they knew that we were upon the point of sailing, brought with them more hogs than we could take off their hands.  For, having no salt left, to preserve any, we wanted no more than for present use.

The next day, I accompanied Otoo to Oparre; and, before I left it, I looked at the cattle and poultry, which I had consigned to my friend’s care at that place.  Every thing was in a promising way, and properly attended to.  Two of the geese, and two of the ducks were sitting; but the pea and turkey hens had not begun to lay.  I got from Otoo four goats; two of which I intended to leave at Ulietea, where none had as yet been introduced; and the other two I proposed to reserve for the use of any other islands I might meet with in my passage to the north.

A circumstance which I shall now mention of Otoo will shew that these people are capable of much address and art to gain their purposes.  Amongst other things which, at different times, I had given to this chief, was a spying-glass.  After having it in his possession two or three days, tired of its novelty, and probably finding it of no use to him, he carried it privately to Captain Clerke, and told him that, as he had been his very good friend, he had got a present for him which he knew would be agreeable.  “But,” says Otoo, “you must not let Toote know it, because he wants it, and I would not let him have it.”  He then put the glass into Captain Clerke’s hands; at the same time assuring him that he came honestly by it.  Captain Clerke, at first, declined accepting it; but Otoo insisted upon it, and left it with him.  Some days after, he put Captain Clerke in mind of the glass, who, though he did not want it, was yet desirous of obliging Otoo; and, thinking that a few axes would be of more use at this island, produced four to give him in return.  Otoo no sooner saw this, than he said, “Toote offered me five for it.”  “Well,” says Captain Clerke, “if that be the case, your friendship for me shall not make you a loser, and you shall have six axes.”  These he accepted; but desired again, that I might not be told what he had done.

Our friend Omai got one good thing, at this island, for the many good things he gave away.  This was a very fine double-sailing canoe, completely equipped, and fit for the sea.  Some time before, I had made up for him a suit of English colours; but he thought these too valuable to be used at this time; and patched up a parcel of colours, such as flags and pendants, to the number of ten or a dozen, which he spread on different parts of his vessel, all at the same time; and drew together as many people to look at her, as a man of war would, dressed, in an European port.  These streamers of Omai were a mixture of English, French, Spanish, and Dutch, which were all the European colours that he had seen.  When I was last at this island, I gave to Otoo an English jack and pendant, and to Towha a pendant, which I now found they had preserved with the greatest care.

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Omai had also provided himself with a good stock of cloth and cocoa-nut oil, which are not only in greater plenty, but much better at Otaheite, than at any of the Society Islands, insomuch that they are articles of trade.  Omai would not have behaved so inconsistently, and so much unlike himself, as he did in many instances, but for his sister and brother-in-law, who, together with a few more of their acquaintance, engrossed him entirely to themselves, with no other view than to strip him of every thing he had got.  And they would, undoubtedly, have succeeded in their scheme, if I had not put a stop to it in time, by taking the most useful articles of his property into my possession.  But even this would not have saved Omai from ruin, if I had suffered these relations of his to have gone with, or to have followed us to, his intended place of settlement, Huaheine.  This they had intended; but I disappointed their farther views of plunder, by forbidding them to shew themselves in that island, while I remained in the neighbourhood; and they knew me too well not to comply.

On the 28th, Otoo came on board, and informed me that be had got a canoe, which he desired I would take with me, and carry home, as a present from him to the Earee rahie no Pretane; it being the only thing, he said, that he could send worth his majesty’s acceptance.  I was not a little pleased with Otoo, for this mark of his gratitude.  It was a thought entirely his own, not one of us having given him the least hint about it; and it shewed, that he fully understood to whom he was indebted for the most valuable presents that he had received.  At first, I thought that this canoe had been a model of one of their vessels of war; but I soon found that it was a small evaa, about sixteen feet long.  It was double, and seemed to have been built for the purpose; and was decorated with all those pieces of carved work which they usually fix upon their canoes.  As it was too large for me to take on board, I could only thank him for his good intention; but it would have pleased him much better if his present could have been accepted.

We were detained here some days longer than I expected, by light breezes from the west, and calms by turns; so that we could not get out of the bay.  During this time, the ships were crowded with our friends, and surrounded by a multitude of canoes; for not one would leave the place till we were gone.  At length, at three o’clock in the afternoon of the 29th, the wind came at east, and we weighed anchor.

As soon as the ships were under sail, at the request of Otoo, and to gratify the curiosity of his people, I fired seven guns, loaded with shot; after which, all our friends, except him, and two or three more, left us with such marks of affection and grief, as sufficiently shewed how much they regretted our departure.  Otoo being desirous of seeing the ship sail, I made a stretch out to sea, and then in again; when be also bid us farewell, and went ashore in his canoe.

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The frequent visits we had lately paid to this island, seem to have created a full persuasion, that the intercourse will not be discontinued.  It was strictly enjoined to me by Otoo, to request, in his name, the Earee rahie no Pretane to send him, by the next ships, red feathers, and the birds that produce them; axes; half a dozen muskets, with powder and shot; and by no means to forget horses.

I have occasionally mentioned my receiving considerable presents from Otoo, and the rest of the family, without specifying what returns I made.  It is customary for these people, when they make a present, to let us know what they expect in return; and we find it necessary to gratify them; so that, what we get by way of present, comes dearer than what we get by barter.  But, as we were sometimes pressed by occasional scarcity, we could have recourse to our friends for a present, or supply, when we could not get our wants relieved by any other method; and, therefore, upon the whole, this way of traffic was full as advantageous to us as to the natives.  For the most part, I paid for each separate article as I received it, except in my intercourse with Otoo.  His presents generally came so fast upon me, that no account was kept between us.  Whatever he asked for, that I could spare, he had whenever he asked for it; and I always found him moderate in his demands.

If I could have prevailed upon Omai to fix himself at Otaheite, I should not have left it so soon as I did.  For there was not a probability of our being better or cheaper supplied with refreshments at any other place than we continued to be here, even at the time of our leaving it.  Besides, such a cordial friendship and confidence subsisted between us and the inhabitants, as could hardly be expected any where else; and it was a little extraordinary, that this friendly intercourse had never once been suspended by any untoward accident; nor had there been a theft committed that deserves to be mentioned.  Not that I believe their morals, in this respect, to be much mended, but am rather of opinion that their regularity of conduct was owing to the fear the chiefs were under, of interrupting a traffic which they might consider as the means of securing to themselves a more considerable share of our commodities, than could have been got by plunder or pilfering.  Indeed, this point I settled at the first interview with their chiefs, after my arrival.  For, observing the great plenty that was in the island, and the eagerness of the natives to possess our various articles of trade, I resolved to make the most of these two favourable circumstances, and explained myself, in the most decisive terms, that I would not suffer them to rob us, as they had done upon many former occasions.  In this, Omai was of great use, as I instructed him to point out to them the good consequences of their honest conduct, and the fatal mischiefs they must expect to suffer by deviating from it.

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It is not always in the power of the chiefs to prevent robberies; they are frequently robbed themselves, and complain of it as a great evil.  Otoo left the most valuable things he had from me in my possession, till the day before we sailed; and the reason he gave for it was, that they were no where so safe.  Since the bringing in of new riches, the inducements to pilfering must have increased.  The chiefs, sensible of this, are now extremely desirous of chests.  They seemed to set much value upon a few that the Spaniards had left amongst them; and they were continually asking us for some.  I had one made for Otoo, the dimensions of which, according to his own directions, were eight feet in length, five in breadth, and about three in depth.  Locks and bolts were not a sufficient security; but it must be large enough for two people to sleep upon, by way of guarding it in the night.

It will appear a little extraordinary that we, who had a smattering of their language, and Omai, besides, for an interpreter, could never get any clear account of the time when the Spaniards arrived, how long they stayed, and when they departed.  The more we enquired into this matter, the more we were convinced of the inability of most of these people to remember, or note the time, when past events happened; especially if it exceeded ten or twenty months.  It however appeared, by the date of the inscription upon the cross, and by the information we received from the most intelligent of the natives, that two ships arrived at Oheitepeha in 1774, soon after I left Matavai, which was in May, the same year.  They brought with them the house and live-stock before mentioned.  Some said that, after landing these things, and some men, they sailed in quest of me, and returned in about ten days.  But I have some doubt of the truth of this, as they were never seen either at Huaheine, or at Ulietea.  The live-stock they left here consisted of one bull, some goats, hogs, and dogs, and the male of some other animal, which we afterward found to be a ram, and, at this time, was at Bolabola, whither the bull was also to have been transported.

The hogs are of a large kind; have already greatly improved the breed originally found by us upon the island; and, at the time of our late arrival, were very numerous.  Goats are also in tolerable plenty, there being hardly a chief of any note who has not got some.  As to the dogs that the Spaniards put ashore, which are of two or three sorts, I think they would have done the island a great deal more service if they had hanged them all, instead of leaving them upon it.  It was to one of them that my young ram fell a victim.

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When these ships left the island, four Spaniards remained behind.  Two were priests, one a servant, and the fourth made himself very popular among the natives, who distinguish him by the name of Mateema.  He seems to have been a person who had studied their language; or, at least, to have spoken it so as to be understood; and to have taken uncommon pains to impress the minds of the islanders with the most exalted ideas of the greatness of the Spanish nation, and to make them think meanly of the English.  He even went so far as to assure them, that we no longer existed as an independent nation; that Pretane was only a small island, which they, the Spaniards, had entirely destroyed; and, for me, that they had met with me at sea, and, with a few shot, had sent my ship, and every soul in her, to the bottom; so that my visiting Otaheite, at this time, was, of course, very unexpected.  All this, and many other improbable falsehoods, did this Spaniard make these people believe.  If Spain had no other views, in this expedition, but to depreciate the English, they had better have kept their ships at home; for my returning again to Otaheite was considered as a complete confutation of all that Mateema had said.

With what design the priests stayed, we can only guess.  If it was to convert the natives to the catholic faith, they have not succeeded in any one instance.  But it does not appear that they ever attempted it; for, if the natives are to be believed, they never conversed with them, either on this, or on any other subject.  The priests resided constantly in the house at Oheitepeha; but Mateema roved about, visiting most parts of the island.  At length, after he and his companions had stayed ten months, two ships came to Oheitepeha, took them on board, and sailed again in five days.  This hasty departure shews that, whatever design the Spaniards might have had upon this island, they had now laid it aside.  And yet, as I was informed by Otoo, and many others, before they went away, they would have the natives believe that they still meant to return, and to bring with them houses, all kinds of animals, and men and women who were to settle, live, and die on the island.  Otoo, when he told me this, added, that if the Spaniards should return, he would not let them come to Matavai Fort, which, he said, was ours.  It was easy to see that the idea pleased him; little thinking that the completion of it would, at once, deprive him of his kingdom, and the people of their liberties.  This shews with what facility a settlement might be made at Otaheite, which, grateful as I am for repeated good offices, I hope will never happen.  Our occasional visits may, in some respects, have benefitted its inhabitants; but a permanent establishment amongst them, conducted as most European establishments amongst Indian nations have unfortunately been, would, I fear, give them just cause to lament that our ships had ever found them out.  Indeed, it is very unlikely that any measure of this kind should ever be seriously thought of, as it can neither serve the purposes of public ambition, nor of private avarice; and, without such inducements, I may pronounce that it will never be undertaken.[3]

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[Footnote 3:  We may have occasion hereafter to make mention of several subsequent visits to this island, on the part of our countrymen.  It is evident, that Captain Cook was far from being well pleased with the consequences which had already resulted to its inhabitants from their intercourse with Europeans.  Unfortunately, it is impracticable to give a more agreeable picture of the condition of the island as influenced by future visits.  Cook’s solicitude, in behalf of these people, is extremely commendable, and it is to this we must ascribe his opinion of the impolicy of attempting settlements amongst them.  Is it wonderful, that to a man of his humanity and discernment, any other effect should seem likely to proceed from the undertaking, than what would augment his concern that ever Otaheite felt the necessity of being obliged to his countrymen?  One motive alone, perhaps, not contemplated by him in reasoning on the purposes which might induce to such an attempt, gave some promise of compensating for former evils, without being likely to entail others, which would still leave the balance of good and bad consequences a subject of regret.  We allude to the intentions of the missionaries, who projected a settlement on the island in 1796, &c.  But the friends of humanity have not hitherto had cause to rejoice at the amount of the new benefits conferred.  The advocates for such labours, indeed, require to arm themselves with patience, unless they can satisfy themselves with the conviction of having willed a good work.  Besides, even they ought to anticipate the certainty, that, were their intentions realized, intruders of very different principles, and with very different motives, would speedily mar the fruits of their benevolence.  Such reflections, it may be said, are discouraging.  What opinion, then, ought we to entertain of the wisdom of labours, which had been undertaken without a full view of obvious causes threatening their ultimate failure?  It would little alleviate the mortification of disappointment, to exclaim, as is often done on such occasions, “Who could have thought it?” But the most enlightened judges of such undertakings, will not only advert to the probable occurrence of such mischief, but also be well aware of the existence of other untoward circumstances, extremely well calculated to render any fears of subsequent deterioration altogether superfluous!—­E.]

I have already mentioned the visit that I had from one of the two natives of this island, who had been carried by the Spaniards to Lima.  I never saw him afterward, which I rather wondered at, as I had received him with uncommon civility.  I believe, however, that Omai had kept him at a distance from me, by some rough usage; jealous that there should be another traveller upon the island who might vie with himself.  Our touching at Teneriffe was a fortunate circumstance for Omai; as he prided himself in having visited a place belonging to Spain as well

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as this man.  I did not meet with the other, who had returned from Lima; but Captain Clerke, who had seen him, spoke of him as a low fellow, and as a little out of his senses.  His own countrymen, I found, agreed in the same account of him.  In short, these two adventurers seemed to be held in no esteem.  They had not, indeed, been so fortunate as to return home with such valuable acquisitions of property as we had bestowed upon Omai; and, with the advantages he reaped from his voyage to England, it must be his own fault if he should sink into the same state of insignificance.


Arrival at Eimeo.—­Two Harbours there, and an Account of them.—­Visit from Maheine, Chief of the Island.—­His Person described.—­A Goat stolen, and sent back with the Thief.—­Another Goat stolen, and secreted.—­Measures taken on the Occasion.—­Expedition cross the Island.—­Houses and Canoes burnt.—­The Goat delivered up, and Peace restored.  Some Account of the Island, &c.

As I did not give up my design of touching at Eimeo, at day-break, in the morning of the 30th, after leaving Otaheite, I stood for the north end of the island; the harbour which I wished to examine being at that part of it.  Omai, in his canoe, having arrived there long before us, had taken some necessary measures to shew us the place.  However, we were not without pilots, having several men of Otaheite on board, and not a few women.  Not caring to trust entirely to these guides, I sent two boats to examine the harbour; and, on their making the signal for safe anchorage, we stood in with the ships, and anchored close up to the head of the inlet, in ten fathoms water, over a bottom of soft mud, and moored with a hawser fast to the shore.

This harbour, which is called Taloo, is situated upon the north side of the island, in the district of Oboonohoo, or Poonohoo.  It runs in south, or south by east, between the hills, above two miles.  For security and goodness of its bottom, it is not inferior to any harbour that I have met with at any of the islands in this ocean; and it has this advantage over most of them, that a ship can sail in and out, with the reigning trade wind; so that the access and recess are equally easy.  There are several rivulets that fall into it.  The one, at the head, is so considerable as to admit boats to go a quarter of a mile up, where we found the water perfectly fresh.  Its banks are covered with the pooroo tree, as it is called by the natives, which makes good firing, and which they set no value upon; so that wood and water are to be got here with great facility.

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On the same side of the island, and about two miles to the eastward, is the harbour of Parowroah, much larger within than that of Taloo; but the entrance, or opening in the reef (for the whole island is surrounded by a reef of coral rock) is considerably narrower, and lies to leeward of the harbour.  These two defects are so striking, that the harbour of Taloo must always have a decided preference, It is a little extraordinary, that I should have been three times at Otaheite before, and have once sent a boat to Eimeo, and yet not know till now that there was a harbour in it.  On the contrary, I always understood there was not.  Whereas, there are not only the two above mentioned, but one or two more on the south side of the island.  But these last are not so considerable as the two we have just described.

We had no sooner anchored, than the ships were crowded with the inhabitants, whom curiosity alone brought on board; for they had nothing with them for the purposes of barter.  But, the next morning, this deficiency was supplied; several canoes then arriving from more distant parts, which brought with them abundance of bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, and a few hogs.  These they exchanged for hatchets, nails, and beads; for red feathers were not so much sought after here as at Otaheite.  The ship being a good deal pestered with rats, I hauled her within thirty yards of the shore, as near as the depth of water would allow, and made a path for them to get to the land, by fastening hawsers to the trees.  It is said, that this experiment has sometimes succeeded; but, I believe, we got clear of very few, if any, of the numerous tribe that haunted us.[1]

[Footnote 1:  A French traveller in Greece, it is believed Sonnini, makes mention of such an artifice having been used with success by a vessel that put into one of the islands he visited; but in this case the transference was made, not into the island, but into another vessel, containing apples, of which rats are known to be exceedingly fond.  A hawser was secretly fastened to the latter, so as to form a communication betwixt the two vessels.  On the following morning, it is said, not a rat was found in the one which originally contained them, the whole having gone over during the night to the other.  So much for the efficacy of the stratagem.  The reader will be at no loss to decide as to the morality of having recourse to it.  Mr Bingley relates another method of getting rid of these vermin, which seems to be abundantly serviceable, and which certainly has honesty in its favour.  The Valiant man of war, on its return from the Havannah, was so shockingly infested with them, that they destroyed a hundred weight of biscuit daily.  The ship was smoked between decks in order to suffocate them, which had the desired effect.  In proof of this, he says, that six hampers were for some time filled every day with the dead animals.—­E.]

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In the morning of the 2d, Maheine, the chief of the island, paid me a visit.  He approached the ship with great caution, and it required some persuasion to get him on board.  Probably, he was under some apprehensions of mischief from us, as friends of the Otaheitans; these people not being able to comprehend how we can be friends with any one, without adopting, at the same time, his cause against his enemies.  Maheine was accompanied by his wife, who, as I was informed, is sister to Oamo, of Otaheite, of whose death we had an account while we were at this island.  I made presents to both of them of such things as they seemed to set the highest value upon; and, after a stay of about half-an-hour, they went away.  Not long after, they returned with a large hog, which they meant as a return to my present; but I made them another present to the full value of it.  After this they paid a visit to Captain Clerke.

This chief who, with a few followers, has made himself, in a manner, independent of Otaheite, is between forty and fifty years old.  He is bald-headed, which is rather an uncommon appearance in these islands at that age.  He wore a kind of turban, and seemed ashamed to shew his head.  But whether they themselves considered this deficiency of hair as a mark of disgrace, or whether they entertained a notion of our considering it as such, I cannot say.  We judged that the latter supposition was the truth, from this circumstance, that they had seen us shave the head of one of their people whom we had caught stealing.  They therefore concluded, that this was the punishment usually inflicted by us upon all thieves; and one or two of our gentlemen, whose heads were not overburthened with hair, we could observe, lay under violent suspicions of being tetos.

In the evening, Omai and I mounted on horseback, and took a ride along the shore to the eastward.  Our train was not very numerous, as Omai had forbid the natives to follow us; and many complied; the fear of giving offence getting the better of their curiosity.  Towha had stationed his fleet in this harbour; and though the war lasted but a few days, the marks of its devastation were every where to be seen.  The trees were stripped of their fruit; and all the houses in the neighbourhood had been pulled down or burnt.

Having employed two or three days in getting up all our spirit casks to tar their heads, which we found necessary, to save them from the efforts of a small insect to destroy them, we hauled the ship off into the stream, on the 6th, n the morning, intending to put to sea the next day; but an accident happened that prevented it, and gave me a good deal of trouble.  We had sent our goats ashore, in the day-time, to graze, with two men to look after them; notwithstanding which precaution, the natives had contrived to steal one of them this evening.  The loss of this goat would have been of little consequence, if it had not interfered with my views of stocking other islands

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with these animals; but this being the case, it became necessary to recover it, if possible.  The next morning, we got intelligence that it had been carried to Maheine, the chief, who was at this time at Parowroah harbour.  Two old men offered to conduct any of my people, whom I might think proper to send to him, to bring back the goat.  Accordingly, I dispatched them in a boat, charged with a threatening message to Maheine, if the goat was not immediately given up to me, and also the thief.

It was only the day before that this chief had requested me to give him two goats.  But, as I could not spare them, unless at the expense of other lands that might never have another opportunity to get any, and had besides heard that there were already two upon this island, I did not gratify him.  However, to shew my inclination to assist his views in this respect, I desired Tidooa, an Otaheite chief, who was present, to beg Otoo, in my name, to send two of these animals to Maheine; and, by way of insuring a compliance with this request, I sent to Otoo, by this chief a large piece of red feathers, equal to the value of the two goats that I required.  I expected that this arrangement would have been satisfactory to Maheine and all the other chiefs of the island; but the event shewed that I was mistaken.

Not thinking that any one would dare to steal a second, at the very time I was taking measures to recover the first, the goats were put ashore again this morning; and, in the evening, a boat was sent to bring them on board.  As our people were getting them into the boat, one was carried off undiscovered.  It being immediately missed, I made no doubt of recovering it without much trouble, as there had not been time to carry it to any considerable distance.  Ten or twelve of the natives set out soon after, different ways, to bring it back, or to look for it; for not one of them would own that it was stolen, but all tried to persuade us that it had strayed into the woods; and indeed I thought so myself.  I was convinced to the contrary, however, when I found that not one of those who went in pursuit of it returned; so that their only view was to amuse me till their prize was beyond my reach; and night coming on, put a stop to all farther search.  About this time the boat returned with the other goat, bringing also one of the men who had stolen it; the first instance of the kind that I had met with amongst these islands.

The next morning, I found that most of the inhabitants in the neighbourhood had moved off; carrying with them a corpse which lay on a toopapaoo, opposite the ship; and that Maheine himself had retired to the most distant part of the island.  It seemed now no longer doubtful, that a plan had been laid to steal what I had refused to give; and that, though they had restored one, they were resolved to keep the other, which was a she-goat, and big with kid.  I was equally fixed in my resolution that they should

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not keep it.  I therefore applied to the two old men who had been instrumental in getting back the first.  They told me that this had been carried to Watea, a district on the south side of the island, by Hamoa, the chief of that place; but that if I would send any body for it, it would be delivered up.  They offered to conduct some of my people cross the island; but, on my learning from them that a boat might go and return the same day, I sent one, with two petty officers, Mr Roberts and Mr Shuttleworth; one to remain with the boat, in case she could not get to the place, while the other should go with the guides, and one or two of our people.

Late in the evening the boat returned; and the officers informed me, that, after proceeding as far in the boat as rocks and shoals would permit, Mr Shuttleworth, with two marines, and one of the guides, landed and travelled to Watea, to the house of Hamoa, where the people of the place amused them for some time, by telling that the goat would soon be brought, and pretended they had sent for it.  It however never came; and the approach of night obliged Mr Shuttleworth to return to the boat without it.

I was now very sorry that I had proceeded so far, as I could not retreat with any tolerable credit, and without giving encouragement to the people of the other islands we had yet to visit, to rob us with impunity.  I asked Omai and the two old men what methods I should next take; and they, without hesitation, advised me to go with a party of men into the country, and shoot every soul I should meet with.  This bloody counsel I could not follow; but I resolved to march a party of men cross the island; and at day-break the next morning, set out with thirty-five of my people, accompanied by one of the old men, by Omai, and three or four of his attendants.  At the same time I ordered Lieutenant Williamson, with three armed boats, round the western part of the island, to meet us.

I had no sooner landed with my party, than the few natives, who still remained in the neighbourhood, fled before us.  The first man that we met with upon our march run some risk of his life; for Omai, the moment he saw him, asked me if he should shoot him; so fully was he persuaded that I was going to carry his advice into execution.  I immediately ordered both him and our guide to make it known that I did not intend to hurt, much less to kill, a single native.  These glad tidings flew before us like lightning, and stopped the flight of the inhabitants; so that no one quitted his house, or employment, afterward.

As we began to ascend the ridge of hills over which lay our road, we got intelligence that the goat had been carried that way before us; and, as we understood, could not as yet have passed the hills; so that we marched up in great silence, in hopes of surprising the party who were bearing off the prize.  But when we had got to the uppermost plantation on the side of the ridge, the people there told us, that

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what we were in search of had indeed been kept there the first night, but had been carried the next morning to Watea, by Hamoa.  We then crossed the ridge without making any further enquiry, till we came within sight of Watea, where some people shewed us Hamoa’s house, and told us that the goat was there; so that I made no doubt of getting it immediately upon my arrival.  But when I reached the house, to my very great surprise, the few people we met with denied that they had ever seen it, or knew any thing about it; even Hamoa himself came, and made the same declaration.

On our first coming to the place, I observed several men running to and fro in the woods, with clubs and bundles of darts in their hands; and Omai, who followed them, had some, stones thrown at him; so that it seemed as if they had intended to oppose any step I should take by force; but on seeing my party was too strong, had dropped the design.  I was confirmed in this notion, by observing that all their houses were empty.  After getting a few of the people of the place together, I desired Omai to expostulate with them on the absurdity of the conduct they were pursuing; and to tell them, that, from the testimony of many on whom I could depend, I was well assured that the goat was in their possession; and, therefore, insisted upon its being delivered up, otherwise I would burn their houses and canoes.  But, notwithstanding all that I or Omai could say, they continued to deny their having any knowledge of it.  The consequence was, that I set fire to six or eight houses, which were presently consumed, with two or three war-canoes that lay contiguous to them.  This done, I marched off to join the boats, which were about seven or eight miles from us; and, in our way, we burnt six more war-canoes, without any one attempting to oppose us; on the contrary, many assisted, though probably more out of fear than good-will.  In one place, Omai, who had advanced a little before, came back with information, that a great many men were getting together to attack us.  We made ready to receive them; but, instead of enemies, we found petitioners, with plantain-trees in their hands, which they laid down at my feet, and begged that I would spare a canoe that lay close by, which I readily complied with.

At length, about four in the afternoon, we got to the boats that were waiting at Wharrarade, the district belonging to Tiarataboonoue; but this chief, as well as all the principal people of the place, had fled to the hills; though I touched not a single thing that was their property, as they were the friends of Otoo.  After resting ourselves here about an hour, we set out for the ships, where we arrived about eight o’clock in the evening.  At that time no account of the goat had been received; so that the operations of this day had not produced the desired effect.

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Early next morning, I dispatched one of Omai’s men to Maheine, with this peremptory message, that, if he persisted in his refusal, I would not leave him a single canoe upon the island, and that he might expect a continuation of hostilities as long as the stolen animal remained in his possession.  And, that the messenger might see that I was in earnest, before he left me, I sent the carpenter to break up three or four canoes that lay ashore at the head of the harbour.  The plank was carried on board, as materials for building a house for Omai, at the place where he intended to settle.  I afterward went, properly accompanied, to the next harbour, where we broke up three or four more canoes, and burnt an equal number; and then returned on board about seven in the evening.  On my arrival, I found that the goat had been brought back, about half an hour before; and, on enquiry, it appeared that it had come from the very place where I had been told, the day before, by the inhabitants, that they knew nothing of it.  But, in consequence of the message I sent to the chief in the morning, it was judged prudent to trifle with me no longer.

Thus ended this troublesome, and rather unfortunate business; which could not be more regretted on the part of the natives than it was on mine.  And it grieved me to reflect, that, after refusing the pressing solicitations of my friends at Otaheite to favour their invasion of this island, I should so soon find myself reduced to the necessity of engaging in hostilities against its inhabitants, which, perhaps, did them more mischief than they had suffered from Towha’s expedition.[2]

[Footnote 2:  It is impossible not to think that Cook carried his resentment farther than the necessity of the case required; at least we may say, that the necessity, besides being in a great degree of his own creating, did not warrant such extensive aggression.  His confessing his regret and concern must be allowed to prove this, and at the same time to indicate the tenderness of his moral feelings.  It is one of the wisest precepts of practical wisdom, not to commit one’s self farther in threatenings, or vindictive resolutions, than it will be quite safe and convenient to carry into effect.—­E.]

The next morning our intercourse with the natives was renewed; and several canoes brought to the ships bread-fruit and cocoa-nuts to barter; from whence it was natural for me to draw this conclusion, that they were conscious it was their own fault if I had treated them with severity; and that the cause of my displeasure being removed, they had a full confidence that no further mischief would ensue.

About nine o’clock, we weighed with a breeze down the harbour; but it proved so faint and variable, that it was noon before we got out to sea, when I steered for Huaheine, attended by Omai in his canoe.  He did not depend entirely upon his own judgment, but had got on board a pilot.  I observed that they shaped as direct a course for the island as I could do.

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At Eimeo, we abundantly supplied the ships with firewood.  We had not taken in any at Otaheite, where the procuring this article would have been very inconvenient; there not being a tree at Matavai but what is useful to the inhabitants.  We also got here good store of refreshments, both in hogs and vegetables; that is, bread-fruit and cocoa-nuts; little else being in season.  I do not know that there is any difference between the produce of this island and of Otaheite; but there is a very striking difference in their women that I can by no means account for.  Those of Eimeo are of low stature, have a dark hue, and, in general, forbidding features.  If we met with a fine woman among them, we were sure, upon enquiry, to find that she had come from some other island.

The general appearance of Eimeo is very different from that Otaheite.  The latter rising in one steep hilly body, has little low land, except some deep valleys; and the flat border that surrounds the greatest part of it toward the sea.  Eimeo, on the contrary, has hills running in different directions, which are very steep and rugged, leaving, in the interspaces, very large valleys, and gently-rising grounds about their sides.  These hills, though of a rocky disposition, are, in general, covered, almost to their tops, with trees; but the lower parts, on the sides, frequently only with fern.  At the bottom of the harbour, where we lay, the ground rises gently to the foot of the hills, which run across nearly in the middle of the island; but its flat border, on each side, at a very small distance from the sea, becomes quite steep.  This gives it a romantic cast, which renders it a prospect superior to any thing we saw at Otaheite.  The soil, about the low grounds, is a yellowish and pretty stiff mould; but, upon the lower hills, it is blacker and more loose; and the stone that composes the hills, is, when broken, of a blueish colour, but not very compact texture, with some particles of glimmer interspersed.  These particles seem worthy of observation.  Perhaps the reader will think differently of my judgment, when I add, that, near the station of our ships, were two large stones, or rather rocks, concerning which the natives have some superstitious notions.  They consider them as eatooas, or divinities; saying, that they are brother and sister, and that they came by some supernatural means from Ulieta.


Arrival at Huaheine.—­Council of the Chiefs.—­Omai’s Offerings, and Speech to the Chiefs.—­His Establishment in this Island agreed to.—­A House built, and Garden planted for him.—­Singularity of his Situation.—­Measures taken to insure his Safety.—­Damage done by Cock-roaches on board the Ships.—­A Thief detected and punished.—­Fire-works exhibited.—­Animals left with Omai.—­His Family.—­Weapons.—­Inscription on his House.—­His Behaviour on the Ships leaving the Island.—­Summary View of his Conduct and Character.—­Account of the two New Zealand Youths.

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Having left Eimeo with a gentle breeze and fine weather, at day-break, the next morning we saw Huaheine, extending from S.W. by W. 1/2 W., to W. by N. At noon, we anchored at the north entrance of Owharre harbour, which is on the west side of the island.  The whole afternoon was spent in warping the ships into a proper birth and mooring.  Omai entered the harbour just before us, in his canoe, but did not land.  Nor did he take much notice of any of his countrymen, though many crowded to see him; but far more of them came off to the ships, insomuch that we could hardly work on account of their numbers.  Our passengers presently acquainted them with what we had done at Eimeo, and multiplied the number of houses and canoes that we had destroyed, by ten at least.  I was not sorry for this exaggerated account, as I saw that it made a great impression upon all who heard it; so that I had hopes it would induce the inhabitants of this island to behave better to us than they had done during my former visits.

While I was at Otaheite, I had learned that my old friend Oree was no longer the chief of Huaheine; and that, at this time, he resided at Ulietea.  Indeed, he never had been more than regent during the minority of Taireetareea, the present earee rahie; but he did not give up the regency till he was forced.  His two sons, Opoony and Towha, were the first who paid me a visit, coming on board before the ship was well in the harbour, and bringing a present with them.

Our arrival brought all the principal people of the island to our ships, on the next morning, being the 13th.  This was just what I wished, as it was high time to think of settling Omai; and the presence of these chiefs, I guessed, would enable me to do it in the most satisfactory manner.  He now seemed to have an inclination to establish himself at Ulietea; and if he and I could have agreed about the mode of bringing that plan to bear, I should have had no objection to adopt it.  His father had been dispossessed by the men of Bolabola, when they conquered Ulietea, of some land in that island; and I made no doubt of being able to get it restored to the son in an amicable manner.  For that purpose it was necessary that he should be upon good terms with those who now were masters of the island; but he was too great a patriot to listen to any such thing; and was vain enough to suppose that I would reinstate him in his forfeited lands by force.  This made it impossible to fix him at Ulietea, and pointed out to me Huaheine as the proper place.  I, therefore, resolved to avail myself of the presence of the chief men of the island, and to make this proposal to them.

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After the hurry of the morning was over, we got ready to pay a formal visit to Taireetareea, meaning then to introduce this business.  Omai dressed himself very properly on the occasion, and prepared a handsome present for the chief himself, and another for his eatooa.  Indeed, after he had got clear of the gang that surrounded him at Otaheite, he behaved with such prudence as to gain respect.  Our landing drew most of our visitors from the ships; and they, as well as those that were on shore, assembled in a large house.  The concourse of people, on this occasion, was very great; and, amongst them, there appeared to be a greater proportion of personable men and women than we had ever seen in one assembly, at any of these new islands.  Not only the bulk of the people seemed, in general, much stouter and fairer than those of Otaheite, but there was also a much greater number of men who appeared to be of consequence, in proportion to the extent of the island, most of whom had exactly the corpulent appearance of the chiefs of Wateeoo.  We waited some time for Taireetareea, as I would do nothing till the earee rahie came; but, when he appeared, I found that his presence might have been dispensed with, as he was not above eight or ten years of age.  Omai, who stood at a little distance from this circle of great men, began with making his offering to the gods, consisting of red feathers, cloth, &c.  Then followed another offering, which was to be given to the gods by the chief; and after that, several other small pieces and tufts of red feathers were presented.  Each article was laid before one of the company, who, I understood, was a priest, and was delivered with a set speech or prayer, spoken by one of Omai’s friends, who sat by him, but mostly dictated by himself.  In these prayers, he did not forget his friends in England, nor those who had brought him safe back.  The earee rahie no Pretane, Lord Sandwich, Toote, Tatee,[1] were mentioned in every one of them.  When Omai’s offerings and prayers were finished, the priest took each article, in the same order in which it had been laid before him, and after repeating a prayer, sent it to the morai, which, as Omai told us, was at a great distance, otherwise the offerings would have been made there.

[Footnote 1:  Cook and Clerke.]

These religious ceremonies having been performed, Omai sat down by me, and we entered upon business, by giving the young chief my present, and receiving his in return; and, all things considered, they were liberal enough on both sides.  Some arrangements were next agreed upon, as to the manner of carrying on the intercourse betwixt us; and I pointed out the mischievous consequences that would attend their robbing us, as they had done during my former visits.  Omai’s establishment was then proposed to the assembled chiefs.

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He acquainted them, “that he had been carried by us into our country, where he was well received by the great king and his earees, and treated with every mark of regard and affection while he staid amongst us; that he had been brought back again, enriched, by our liberality, with a variety of articles which would prove very useful to his countrymen; and that, besides the two horses which were to remain with him, several other new and valuable animals had been left at Otaheite, which would soon multiply, and furnish a sufficient number for the use of all the islands in the neighbourhood.  He then signified to them that it was my earnest request, in return for all my friendly offices, that they would give him a piece of land to build a house upon, and to raise provisions for himself and servants; adding, that if this could not be obtained for him in Huaheine, either by gift or by purchase, I was determined to carry him to Ulietea, and fix him there.”

Perhaps I have here made a better speech for my friend than he actually delivered; but these were the topics I dictated to him.  I observed that what he concluded with, about carrying him to Ulietea, seemed to meet with the approbation of all the chiefs; and I instantly saw the reason.  Omai had, as I have already mentioned, vainly flattered himself that I meant to use force in restoring him to his father’s lands in Ulietea, and he had talked idly, and without any authority from me, on this subject, to some of the present assembly, who dreamed of nothing less than a hostile invasion of Ulietea, and of being assisted by me to drive the Bolabola men out of that island.  It was of consequence, therefore, that I should undeceive them; and, in order to this, I signified, in the most peremptory manner, that I neither would assist them in such an enterprise, nor suffer it to be put in execution, while I was in their seas; and that, if Omai fixed himself in Ulietea, he must be introduced as a friend, and not forced upon the Bolabola men as their conqueror.

This declaration gave a new turn to the sentiments of the council.  One of the chiefs immediately expressed himself to this effect:  “That the whole island of Huaheine, and every thing in it, were mine; and that, therefore, I might give what portion of it I pleased to my friend.”  Omai, who, like the rest of his countrymen, seldom sees things beyond the present moment, was greatly pleased to hear this, thinking, no doubt, that I should be very liberal, and give him enough.  But to offer what it would have been improper to accept, I considered as offering nothing at all, and, therefore, I now desired that they would not only assign the particular spot, but also the exact quantity of land which they would allot for the settlement.  Upon this, some chiefs who had already left the assembly, were sent for; and, after a short consultation among themselves, my request was granted by general consent, and the ground immediately pitched upon, adjoining to the house where our meeting was held.  The extent, along the shore of the harbour, was about two hundred yards; and its depth, to the foot of the hill, somewhat more; but a proportional part of the hill was included in the grant.

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This business being settled to the satisfaction of all parties, I set up a tent ashore, established a post, and erected the observatories.  The carpenters of both ships were also set to work to build a small house for Omai, in which he might secure the European commodities that were his property.  At the same time, some hands were employed in making a garden for his use, planting shaddocks, vines, pine-apples, melons, and the seeds of several other vegetable articles; all of which I had the satisfaction of observing to be in a flourishing state before I left the island.

Omai now began seriously to attend to his own affairs, and repented heartily of his ill-judged prodigality while at Otaheite.  He found at Huaheine, a brother, a sister, and a brother-in-law; the sister being married.  But these did not plunder him, as he had lately been by his other relations.  I was sorry, however, to discover that, though they were too honest to do him any injury, they were of too little consequence in the island to do him any positive good.  They had neither authority nor influence to protect his person, or his property; and, in that helpless situation, I had reason to apprehend that he run great risk of being stripped of every thing he had got from us, as soon as he should cease to have us within his reach, to enforce the good behaviour of his countrymen, by an immediate appeal to our irresistible power.

A man who is richer than his neighbours is sure to be envied, by numbers who wish to see him brought down to their own level.  But in countries where civilization, law, and religion impose their restraints, the rich have a reasonable ground of security.  And besides there being, in all such communities, a diffusion of property, no single individual need fear, that the efforts of all the poorer sort can ever be united to injure him, exclusively of others who are equally the objects of envy.  It was very different with Omai.  He was to live amongst those who are strangers, in a great measure, to any other principle of action besides the immediate impulse of their natural feelings.  But, what was his principal danger, he was to be placed in the very singular situation of being the only rich man in the community to which he was to belong.  And having, by a fortunate connection with us, got into his possession an accumulated quantity of a species of treasure which none of his countrymen could create by any art or industry of their own; while all coveted a share of this envied wealth, it was natural to apprehend that all would be ready to join in attempting to strip its sole proprietor.

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To prevent this, if possible, I advised him to make a proper distribution of some of his moveables to two or three of the principal chiefs, who, being thus gratified themselves, might be induced to take him under their patronage, and protect him from the injuries of others.  He promised to follow my advice; and I heard, with satisfaction, before I sailed, that this very prudent step had been taken.  Not trusting, however, entirely to the operations of gratitude, I had recourse to the more forcible motive of intimidation.  With this view, I took every opportunity of notifying to the inhabitants, that it was my intention to return to their island again, after being absent the usual time; and that, if I did not find Omai in the same state of security in which I was now to leave him, all those whom, I should then discover to have been his enemies, might expect to feel the weight of my resentment.  This threatening declaration; will, probably, have no inconsiderable effect; for our successive visits of late years have taught these people to believe that our ships are to return at certain periods; and while they continue to be impressed with such a notion, which I thought it a fair stratagem to confirm, Omai has some prospect of being permitted to thrive upon his new plantation.

While we lay in this harbour, we carried ashore the bread remaining in the bread-room, to clear it of vermin.  The number of cock-roaches that infested the ship, at this time, is incredible.  The damage they did us was very considerable; and every method devised by us to destroy them proved ineffectual.  These animals which, at first, were a nuisance, like all other insects, had now become a real pest, and so destructive, that few things were free from, their ravages.  If food of any kind was exposed, only for a few minutes, it was covered with them, and they soon pierced it full of holes, resembling a honey-comb.  They were particularly destructive to birds which had been stuffed and preserved as curiosities, and what was worse, were uncommonly fond of ink, so that the writing on the labels fastened to different articles were quite eaten out; and the only thing that preserved books from them was the closeness of the binding, which prevented these devourers getting between the leaves.  According to Mr Anderson’s observations, they were of two sorts, the blatta orientalis and germanica.  The first of these had been carried home in the ship from her former voyage, where they withstood the severity of the hard winter in 1776, though she was in dock all the time.  The others had only made their appearance since our leaving New Zealand, but had increased so fast, that they now not only did all the mischief mentioned above, but had even got amongst the rigging, so that when a sail was loosened, thousands of them fell upon the decks.  The orientates, though in infinite numbers, scarcely came out but in the night, when they made every thing in the cabins seem as if in motion, from the particular noise in crawling about.  And, besides their disagreeable appearance, they did great mischief to our bread, which was so bespattered with their excrement, that it would have been badly relished by delicate feeders.

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The intercourse of trade and friendly offices was carried on between us and the natives, without being disturbed by any one accident, till the evening of the 22d, when a man found means to get into Mr Bayly’s observatory, and to carry off a sextant unobserved.  As soon as I was made acquainted with the theft, I went ashore, and got Omai to apply to the chiefs to procure restitution.  He did so; but they took no steps toward it, being more attentive to a heeva that was then acting, till I ordered the performers of the exhibition to desist.  They were now convinced that I was in earnest, and began to make some enquiry after the thief, who was sitting in the midst of them, quite unconcerned, insomuch that I was in great doubt of his being the guilty person, especially as he denied it.  Omai, however, assuring me that he was the man, I sent him on board the ship, and there confined him.  This raised a general ferment amongst the assembled natives; and the whole body fled in spite of all my endeavours to stop them.  Having employed Omai to examine the prisoner, with some difficulty he was brought to confess where he had hid the sextant; but, as it was now dark, we could not find it till day-light the next morning, when it was brought back unhurt.  After this, the natives recovered from their fright, and began to gather about us as usual.  And, as to the thief, he appearing to be a hardened scoundrel, I punished him more severely than I had ever done any one culprit before.  Besides having his head and beard shaved, I ordered both his ears to be cut off and then dismissed him.[2]

[Footnote 2:  We cannot suffer this action to be passed over, without expressing indignation at the cruelty and injustice that marked it.  Not even the fair reputation of Cook for meekness and humanity ought to deter any one from affixing the proper term to such conduct.  He had no right to award so severe a treatment, even though he had authority to take cognizance of the man’s former and general character, which, however, it is impossible, on any satisfactory principle, to demonstrate.  It was both the duty and the interest of Captain Cook to conform to the established maxims and decisions of the people whom he visited, which, whatever their own practice had been, would have proved amply severe, as we have already had occasion to observe; but no superiority of power on his part, could warrant the introduction of unrecognized, and to these islanders it is probable, quite unheard-of modes of punishment.  A suspicion, some persons may think a very unfair one, lurks in the mind of the writer, that the captain had rather forgotten himself during this voyage, and that presuming, in some degree, on his established fame and consequence, be exercised a greater latitude of power than his original caution and sense of responsibility would have permitted him to hazard, at an earlier period of his career.  Such undoubtedly is human nature, and it can by no means be interpreted as an

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unjust aspersion, that Cook was not exempted from its common infirmities.  Captain King, as we shall afterwards find, makes a remark on his acquired confidence with respect to the savages, in the latter part of his professional life, which, though in the most delicate manner imaginable, seems very readily to fall in with the suspicion now stated.  As might have been expected, the over severe, and, at all events, imprudently managed punishment, failed to operate beneficially on the poor wretch that was subjected to it Perhaps it will be discovered to hold universally, that wherever the appearance of revenge characterizes an act of retributive justice, a feeling of the same principle hardens the breast of the culprit, besides influencing the speculative judgments of those who witness it But it were foolish to expect, that either one or other will avow the existence of so dangerous a motive.  The only excuse that offers itself in. behalf of Captain Cook’s conduct on this occasion, is stated in what he immediately mentions of the anarchy existing in this island.  But even that is only a palliation in part, and does not reach to the full amount of the case.  Let the reader judge.—­E.]

This, however, did not deter him from giving us farther trouble; for, in the night between the 24th and 25th, a general alarm was spread, occasioned, as was said, by one of our goats being stolen by this very man.  On examination, we found that all was safe in that quarter.  Probably, the goats were so well guarded, that he could not put his design in execution.  But his hostilities had succeeded against another object, and it appeared that he had destroyed and carried off several vines and cabbage-plants in Omai’s grounds; add he publicly threatened to kill him, and to burn his house as soon as we should leave the island.  To prevent the fellow’s doing me and Omai any more mischief, I had him seized, and confined again on board the ship, with a view of carrying him off the island; and it seemed to give general satisfaction to the chiefs, that I meant thus to dispose of him.  He was from Bolabola; but there were too many of the natives here ready to assist him in any of his designs, whenever he should think of executing them.  I had always met with more troublesome people in Huaheine than in any other of the neighbouring islands; and it was only fear, and the want of opportunities, that induced them to behave better now.  Anarchy, seemed to prevail amongst them.  Their nominal sovereign the earee rahie, as I have before observed, was but a child; and I did not find that there was any one man, or set of men who managed the government for him; so that, whenever any misunderstanding happened between us, I never knew, with sufficient precision, where to make application, in order to bring about an accommodation, or to procure redress.  The young chiefs mother would, indeed, sometimes exert herself, but I did not perceive that she had greater authority than many others.

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Omai’s house being nearly finished, many of his moveables were carried ashore on the 26th.  Amongst a variety of other useless articles was a box of toys, which, when exposed to public view, seemed greatly to please the gazing multitude.  But, as to his pots, kettles, dishes, plates, drinking-mugs, glasses, and the whole train of our domestic accommodations, hardly any one of his countrymen would so much as look at them.  Omai himself now began to think that they were of no manner of use to him; that a baked hog was more savoury food than a boiled one, that a plantain-leaf made as good a dish or plate as pewter, and that a cocoa-nut shell was as convenient a goblet as a blackjack.  And, therefore, he very wisely disposed of as many of these articles of English furniture for the kitchen and pantry, as he could find purchasers for, amongst the people of the ships; receiving from them in return, hatchets and other iron tools, which had a more intrinsic value in this part of the world, and added more to his distinguishing superiority over those with whom he was to pass the remainder of his days.

In the long list of the presents bestowed upon him in England, fire-works had not been forgot.  Some of these we exhibited in the evening of the 28th, before a great concourse of people, who beheld them with a mixture of pleasure and fear.  What remained, after the evening’s entertainment, were put in order, and left with Omai, agreeably to their original destination.  Perhaps we need not lament it as a serious misfortune, that the far greater share of this part of his cargo, had been already expended in exhibitions at other islands, or rendered useless by being kept so long.

Between midnight and four in the morning of the 30th, the Bolabola man, whom I had in confinement, found means to make his escape out’ of the ship.  He carried with him the shackle of the bilbo-bolt that was about his leg, which was taken from him, as soon as he got on shore, by one of the chiefs, and given to Omai, who came on board very early in the morning, to acquaint me that his mortal enemy was again let loose upon him.  Upon enquiry, it appeared that not only the sentry placed over the prisoner, but the whole watch upon the quarter-deck where he was confined, had laid themselves down to sleep.  He seized the opportunity to take the key of the irons out of the binnacle-drawer, where he had seen it put, and set himself at liberty.  This escape convinced me that my people had been very remiss in their night duty, which made it necessary to punish those who were now in fault, and to establish some new regulations to prevent the like negligence for the future.  I was not a little pleased to hear, afterward, that the fellow who escaped had transported himself to Ulietea; in this, seconding my views of putting him a second time in irons.[3]

[Footnote 3:  Might not so spirited a fellow as this, by proper treatment, have been made a most useful agent?  How many talents are often lost to society, because governments are more necessitated, or at least more accustomed, to punish transgressions, than willing to be at the pains of rewarding ability and fostering genius!  And yet the latter process, it might not be difficult to prove, would be much less expensive than the former.—­E.]

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As soon as Omai was settled in his new habitation, I began to think of leaving the island; and got every thing off from the shore, this evening, except the horse and mare, and a goat big with kid, which were left in the possession of our friend, with whom we were now finally to part.  I also gave him a boar and two sows of the English breed; and he had got a sow or two of his own.  The horse covered the mare while we were at Otaheite; so that I consider the introduction of a breed of horses into these islands as likely to have succeeded, by this valuable present.

The history of Omai will, perhaps, interest a very numerous class of readers more than any other occurrence of a voyage, the objects of which do not, in general, promise much entertainment.  Every circumstance, therefore, which may serve to convey a satisfactory account of the exact situation in which he was left, will be thought worth preserving; and the following particulars are added, to complete the view of his domestic establishment.  He had picked up at Otaheite four or five toutous; the two New Zealand youths remained with him; and his brother, and some others, joined him at Huaheine; so that his family consisted already of eight or ten persons, if that can be called a family to which not a single female as yet belonged, nor I doubt was likely to belong, unless its master became less volatile.  At present, Omai did not seem at all disposed to take unto himself a wife.

The house which we erected for him was twenty-four feet by eighteen, and ten feet high.  It was composed of boards, the spoils of our military operations at Eimeo; and, in building it, as few nails as possible were used, that there might be no inducement, from the love of iron, to pull it down.  It was settled, that, immediately after our departure, he should begin to build a large house after the fashion of his country, one end of which was to be brought over that which we had erected, so as to enclose it entirely for greater security.  In this work, some of the chiefs promised to assist him; and, if the intended building should cover the ground which he marked out, it will be as large as most upon the island.

His European weapons consisted of a musket, bayonet, and cartouch-box, a fowling-piece, two pair of pistols, and two or three swords or cutlasses.  The possession of these made him quite happy, which was my only view in giving him such presents.  For I was always of opinion that he would have been happier without fire-arms, and other European weapons, than with them, as such implements of war, in the hands of one, whose prudent use of them I had some grounds for mistrusting, would rather increase his dangers than establish his superiority.  After he had got on shore every thing that belonged to him, and was settled in his house, he had most of the officers of both ships, two or three times, to dinner; and his table was always well supplied with the very best provisions that the island produced.

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Before I sailed, I had the following inscription cut upon the outside of his house:—­

  Georgius Tertius, Rex, 2 Novembris, 1777.
  Naves { Resolution, Jac.  Cook, Pr.
        _{ Discovery, Car.  Clerke, Pr._

On the 2d of November, at four in the afternoon, I took the advantage of a breeze which then sprung up at E., and sailed out of the harbour.  Most of our friends remained on board till the ships were under sail; when, to gratify their curiosity, I ordered five guns to be fired.  They then all took their leave, except Omai, who remained till we were at sea.  We had come to sail by a hawser fastened to the shore.  In casting the ship, it parted, being cut by the rocks, and the outer end was left behind, as those who cast it off did not perceive that it was broken, so that it became necessary to send a boat to bring it on board.  In this boat, Omai went ashore, after taking a very affectionate farewell of all the officers.  He sustained himself with a manly resolution till he came to me.  Then his utmost efforts to conceal his tears failed; and Mr King, who went in the boat, told me, that he wept all the time in going ashore.

It was no small satisfaction to reflect, that we had brought him safe back to the very spot from which he was taken.  And yet, such is the strange nature of human affairs, that it is probable we left him in a less desirable situation than he was in before his connection with us.  I do not by this mean, that because he has tasted the sweets of civilized life, he must become more miserable from being obliged to abandon all thoughts of continuing them.  I confine myself to this single disagreeable circumstance, that the advantages he received from us have placed him in a more hazardous situation, with respect to his personal safety.  Omai, from being much caressed in England, lost sight of his original condition; and never considered in what manner his acquisitions, either of knowledge or of riches, would be estimated by his countrymen at his return, which were the only things he could have to recommend him to them now, more than before, and on which he could build either his future greatness or happiness.  He seemed even to have mistaken their genius in this respect, and, in some measure, to have forgotten their customs, otherwise he must have known the extreme difficulty there would be in getting himself admitted as a person of rank, where there is, perhaps, no instance of a man’s being raised from an inferior station by the greatest merit.  Rank seems to be the very foundation of all distinction here, and, of its attendant, power; and so pertinaciously, or rather blindly adhered to, that, unless a person has some degree of it, he will certainly be despised and hated, if he assumes the appearance of exercising any authority.  This was really the case, in some measure, with Omai, though his countrymen were pretty cautious of expressing their sentiments while we remained amongst them. 

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Had he made a proper use of the presents he brought with him from England, this, with the knowledge he had acquired by travelling so far, might have enabled him to form the most useful connections.  But we have given too many instances, in the course of our narrative, of his childish inattention to this obvious means of advancing his interest.  His schemes seemed to be of a higher though ridiculous nature, indeed I might say meaner; for revenge, rather than a desire of becoming great, appeared to actuate him from the beginning.  This, however, maybe excused, if we consider that it is common to his countrymen.  His father was, doubtless, a man of considerable property in Ulietea, when that island was conquered by those of Bolabola, and, with many others, sought refuge in Huaheine, where he died, and left Omai, with some other children; who, by that means, became totally dependent.  In this situation he was taken up by Captain Furneaux, and carried to England.  Whether he really expected, from his treatment there, that any assistance would be given him against the enemies of his father and his country, or whether he imagined that his own personal courage and superiority of knowledge would be sufficient to dispossess the conquerors of Ulietea, is uncertain; but, from the beginning of the voyage, this was his constant theme.  He would not listen to our remonstrances on so wild a determination, but flew into a passion if more moderate and reasonable counsels were proposed for his advantage.  Nay, so infatuated and attached to his favourite scheme was he, that he affected to believe these people would certainly quit the conquered island, as soon as they should hear of his arrival in Otaheite.  As we advanced, however, on our voyage, he became more sensible of his error; and, by the time we reached the Friendly Islands, had even such apprehensions of his reception at home, that, as I have mentioned in my journal, he would fain have staid behind at Tongataboo, under Feenou’s protection.  At these islands, he squandered away much of his European treasure very unnecessarily; and he was equally imprudent, as I also took notice of above, at Tiaraboo, where he could have no view of making friends, as he had not any intention of remaining there.  At Matavai, he continued the same inconsiderate behaviour, till I absolutely put a stop to his profusion; and he formed such improper connections there, that Otoo, who was at first much disposed to countenance him, afterward openly expressed his dislike of him, on account of his conduct.  It was not, however, too late to recover his favour; and he might have settled, to great advantage, in Otaheite, as he had formerly lived several years there, and was now a good deal noticed by Towha, whose valuable present, of a very large double canoe, we have seen above.  The objection to admitting him to some rank would have also been much lessened, if he had fixed at Otaheite; as a native will always find it more difficult to accomplish such a change of state

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amongst his countrymen, than a stranger who naturally claims respect.  But Omai remained undetermined to the last, and would not, I believe, have adopted my plan of settlement in Huaheine, if I had not so explicitly refused to employ force in restoring him to his father’s possessions.  Whether the remains of his European wealth, which after all his improvident waste, was still considerable, will be more prudently administered by him, or whether the steps I took, as already explained, to insure him protection in Huaheine, shall have proved effectual, must be left to the decision of future navigators of this ocean, with whom it cannot but be a principal object of curiosity to trace the future fortunes of our traveller.  At present, I can only conjecture that his greatest danger will arise from the very impolitic declarations of his antipathy to the inhabitants of Bolabola.  For these people, from a principle of jealousy, will, no doubt, endeavour to render him obnoxious to those of Huaheine; as they are at peace with that island at present, and may easily effect their designs, many of them living there.  This is a circumstance, which, of all others, he might the most easily have avoided.  For they were not only free from any aversion to him, but the person mentioned before, whom we found at Tiaraboo as an ambassador, priest, or god, absolutely offered to reinstate him in the property that was formerly his father’s.  But he refused this peremptorily; and, to the very last, continued determined to take the first opportunity that offered of satisfying his revenge in battle.  To this, I guess, he was not a little spurred by the coat of mail he brought from England; clothed in which, and in possession of some fire-arms, he fancied that he should be invincible.

Whatever faults belonged to Omai’s character, they were more than overbalanced by his great good-nature and docile disposition.  During the whole time he was with me, I very seldom had reason to be seriously displeased with his general conduct.  His grateful heart always retained the highest sense of the favours he had received in England, nor will he ever forget those who honoured him with their protection and friendship, during his stay there.  He had a tolerable share of understanding, but wanted application and perseverance to exert it; so that his knowledge of things was very general, and, in many instances, imperfect.  He was not a man of much observation.  There were many useful arts, as well as elegant amusements, amongst the people of the Friendly Islands, which he might have conveyed to his own, where they probably would have been readily adopted, as being so much in their own way.  But I never found that he used the least endeavour to make himself master of any one.  This kind of indifference is indeed the characteristic foible of his nation.  Europeans have visited them at times for these ten years past, yet we could not discover the slightest trace of any attempt to profit by this intercourse, nor have they hitherto

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copied after us in any one thing.  We are not, therefore, to expert that Omai will be able to introduce many of our arts and customs amongst them, or much improve those to which they have been long habituated.  I am confident, however, that he will endeavour to bring to perfection the various fruits and vegetables we planted, which will be no small acquisition.  But the greatest benefit these islands are likely to receive from Omai’s travels, will be in the animals that have been left upon them, which, probably, they never would have got, had he not come to England.  When these multiply, of which I think there is little doubt, Otaheite and the Society Islands will equal, if not exceed, any place in the known word, for provisions.

Omai’s return, and the substantial proofs he brought back with him of our liberality, encouraged many to offer themselves as volunteers to attend me to Pretane.  I took every opportunity of expressing my determination to reject all such applications.  But, notwithstanding this, Omai, who was very ambitious of remaining the only great traveller, being afraid lest I might be prevailed upon to put others in a situation of rivalling him, frequently put me in mind that Lord Sandwich had told him no others of his countrymen were to come to England.

If there had been the most distant probability of any ship being again sent to New Zealand, I would have brought the two youths of that country home with me, as both of them were very desirous of continuing with us.  Tiarooa, the eldest, was an exceedingly well-diposed young man, with strong natural sense, and capable of receiving any instruction.  He seemed to be fully sensible of the inferiority of his own country to these islands, and resigned himself, though perhaps with reluctance, to end his days in ease and plenty in Huaheine.  But the other was so strongly attached to us, that he was taken out of the ship, and carried ashore by force.  He was a witty, smart boy; and, on that account, much noticed on board.[4]

[Footnote 4:  Some particulars respecting the subsequent history of Omai and the two New Zealanders, are related in the account of Captain Bligh’s voyage in 1788.  We ought not to anticipate matter which properly belongs to another period and subject.  It seems right, however, in the present instance, to set the reader’s expectations at rest, though the doing so be somewhat afflictive to his feelings.  Omai died a natural death about thirty months after Captain Cook’s departure, but not till he had the satisfaction of experiencing the importance of the arms and ammunition he was master of, in a successful engagement which his countrymen had with the people of Ulietea and Bolabola.  Peace soon followed, but it does not seem that his exertions on this occasion procured him any additional possessions or elevation of rank.  From the good character, however, which his countrymen gave of him, it appeared that he had conducted himself with such general propriety as gained their applause.  The New Zealanders did not long survive him, but scarcely any satisfactory information of their history could be obtained.—­E.]

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Arrival at Ulietea.—­Astronomical Observations.—­A Marine deserts, and is delivered up.—­Intelligence from Omai.—­Instructions to Captain Clerke.—­Another Desertion of a Midshipman and a Seaman.—­Three of the chief Persons of the Island confined on that Account.—­A Design to seize Captains Cook and Clerke, discovered.—­The two Deserters brought back, and the Prisoners released.—­The Ships sail.—­Refreshments received at Ulietea.—­Present and former State of that Island.—­Account of its dethroned King, and of the late Regent of Huaheine.

The boat which carried Omai ashore, never to join us again, having returned to the ship, with the remainder of the hawser, we hoisted her in, and immediately stood over for Ulietea, where I intended to touch next.  At ten o’clock at night, we brought-to, till four the next morning, when we made sail round the south end of the island, for the harbour of Ohamaneno.  We met with calms and light airs of wind, from different directions, by turns; so that, at noon, we were still a league from the entrance of the harbour.  While we were thus detained, my old friend Oreo, chief of the island, with his son and Pootoe, his son-in-law, came off to visit us.

Being resolved to push for the harbour, I ordered all the boats to be hoisted out, and sent them a-head to tow, being assisted by a slight breeze from the southward.  This breeze failed too soon, and being succeeded by one from the E., which blew right out of the harbour, we were obliged to come to an anchor at its entrance at two o’clock, and to warp in, which employed us till night set in.  As soon as we were within the harbour, the ships were surrounded with canoes filled with people, who brought hogs and fruit to barter with us for our commodities, so that wherever we went we found plenty.

Next morning, being the 4th, I moored the ship head and stern close to the north shore, at the head of the harbour; hauled up the cables on deck, and opened one of the ballast-ports.  From this a slight stage was made to the land, being at the distance of about twenty feet, with a view to get clear of some of the rats that continued to infest us.  The Discovery moored alongside the south shore for the same purpose.  While this work was going forward, I returned Oreo’s visit.  The present I made him on the occasion, consisted of a linen gown, a shirt, a red-feathered cap from Tongataboo, and other things of less value.  I then brought him and some of his friends on board to dinner.

On the 6th, we set up the observatories, and got the necessary instruments on shore.  The two following days we observed the sun’s azimuths, both on board and ashore, with all the compasses, in order to find the variation; and in the night of the latter, observed an occultation of Sigma Capricorni, by the moon’s dark limb.  Mr Bayly and I agreed in fixing the time of its happening, at six

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minutes and fifty-four seconds and a half past ten o’clock.  Mr King made it half a second sooner.  Mr Bayly observed with the achromatic telescope belonging to the board of longitude; Mr King, with the reflector belonging also to the board; and I made use of my own reflector of eighteen inches.  There was also an immersion of Pi Capricorni behind the moon’s dark limb, some time before, but it was observed by Mr Bayly alone.  I attempted to trace it with a small achromatic, but found its magnifying power not sufficient.

Nothing worthy of note happened till the night between the 12th and 13th, when John Harrison, a marine, who was sentinel at the observatory, deserted, carrying with him his musket and accoutrements.  Having in the morning got intelligence which way he had moved off, a party was sent after him; but they returned in the evening, after an ineffectual enquiry and search.  The next day I applied to the chief to interest himself in this matter.  He promised to send a party of his men after him, and gave me hopes that he should be brought back the same day.  But this did not happen; and I had reason to suspect that no steps had been taken by him.  We had at this time a great number of the natives about the ships, and some thefts were committed; the consequence of which being dreaded by them, very few visitors came near us the next morning.  The chief himself joined in the alarm, and he and his whole family fled.  I thought this a good opportunity to oblige them to deliver up the deserter; and having got intelligence that he was at a place called Hamoa, on the other side of the island, I went thither with two armed boats, accompanied by one of the natives; and, in our way, we found the chief, who also embarked with me.  I landed about a mile and a half from the place, with a few people, and marched briskly up to it, lest the sight of the boat should give the alarm, and allow the man time to escape to the mountains.  But this precaution was unnecessary, for the natives there had got information of my coming, and were prepared to deliver him up.

I found Harrison, with the musket lying before him, sitting between two women, who, the moment that I entered the house, rose up to plead in his behalf.  As it was highly proper to discourage such proceedings, I frowned upon them, and bid them begone.  Upon this they burst into tears, and walked off.  Paha, the chief of the district, now came with a plantain tree, and a sucking pig, which he would have presented to me as a peace-offering.  I rejected it, and ordered him out of my sight; and having embarked with the deserter on board the first boat that arrived, returned to the ships.  After this, harmony was again restored.  The fellow had nothing to say in his defence, but that the natives had enticed him away; and this might in part be true, as it was certain that Paha, and also the two women above-mentioned, had been at the ship the day before he deserted.  As it appeared that he remained upon his post till within a few minutes of the time when he was to have been relieved, the punishment that I inflicted upon him was not very severe.

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Though we had separated from Omai, we were still near enough to have intelligence of his proceedings; and I had desired to hear from him.  Accordingly, about a fortnight after our arrival at Ulietea, he sent two of his people in a canoe, who brought me the satisfactory intelligence that he remained undisturbed by the people of the island, and that every thing went well with him, except that his goat had died in kidding.  He accompanied this intelligence with a request, that I would send him another goat and two axes.  Being happy to have this additional opportunity of serving him, the messengers were sent back to Huaheine on the 18th, with the axes and two kids, male and female, which were spared for him out of the Discovery.

The next day I delivered to Captain Clerke instructions how to proceed in case of being separated from me, after leaving these islands; and it may not be improper to give them a place here.

By Captain James Cook, Commander of his Majesty’s Sloop the Resolution.

“Whereas the passage from the Society Islands to the northern coast of America, is of considerable length, both in distance and in time, and as a part of it must be performed in the very depth of winter, when gales of wind and bad weather must be expected, and may possibly occasion a separation, you are to take all imaginable care to prevent this.  But if, notwithstanding all our endeavours to keep company, you should be separated from me, you are first to look for me where you last saw me.  Not seeing me in five days, you are to proceed (as directed by the instructions of their lordships, a copy of which you have already received) for the coast of New Albion; endeavouring to fall in with it in the latitude of 45 deg..

“In that latitude, and at a convenient distance from the land, you are to cruize for me ten days.  Not seeing me in that time, you are to put into the first convenient port in or to the north of that latitude, to recruit your wood and water, and to procure refreshments.

“During your stay in port, you are constantly to keep a good look-out for me.  It will be necessary, therefore, to make choice of a station, situated as near the sea-coast as is possible, the better to enable you to see me when I shall appear in the offing.

“If I do not join you before the 1st of next April, you are to put to sea, and proceed northward to the latitude 56 deg.; in which latitude, and at a convenient distance from the coast, never exceeding fifteen leagues, you are to cruize for me till the 10th of May.

“Not seeing me in that time, you are to proceed northward, and endeavour to find a passage into the Atlantic Ocean, through Hudson’s or Baffin’s Bays, as directed by the above-mentioned instructions.

“But if you should fail in finding a passage through either of the said bays, or by any other way, as the season of the year may render it unsafe for you to remain in high latitudes, you are to repair to the harbour of St Peter and St Paul, in Kamtschatka, in order to refresh your people, and to pass the winter.

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“But, nevertheless, if you find that you cannot procure the necessary refreshments at the said port, you are at liberty to go where you shall judge most proper; taking care, before you depart, to leave with the governor an account of your intended destination, to be delivered to me upon my arrival; and in the spring of the ensuing year, 1779, you are to repair back to the above-mentioned port, endeavouring to be there by the 10th of May, or sooner.

“If, on your arrival, you receive no orders from, or account of me, so as to justify your pursuing any other measures than what are pointed out in the before-mentioned instructions, your future proceedings are to be governed by them.

“You are also to comply with such parts of said instructions as have not been executed, and are not contrary to these orders.  And in case of your inability, by sickness or otherwise, to carry these, and the instructions of their lordships into execution, you are to be careful to leave them with the next officer in command, who is hereby required to execute them in the best manner he can.

“Given under my hand, on board the Resolution, at Ulietea, the 18th day of November 1777.

“J.  COOK.

    “To Captain Charles Clerke, Commander of his Majesty’s Sloop
    the Discovery,”

While we lay moored to the shore we heeled and scrubbed both sides of the bottoms of the ships.  At the same time we fixed some tin-plates under the binds, first taking off the old sheathing, and putting in a piece unfilled, over which the plates were nailed.  These plates I had from the ingenious Mr Pelham, secretary to the commissioners for victualling his majesty’s navy, with a view of trying whether tin would answer the same end as copper on the bottoms of ships.

On the 24th, in the morning, I was informed that a midshipman and a seaman, both belonging to the Discovery, were missing.  Soon after we learnt from the natives, that they went away in a canoe the preceding evening, and were, at this time, at the other end of the island.  As the midshipman was known to have expressed a desire to remain at these islands, it seemed pretty certain that he and his companion had gone off with this intention; and Captain Clerke set out in quest of them with two armed boats and a party of marines.  His expedition proved fruitless, for he returned in the evening, without having got any certain intelligence where they were.  From the conduct of the natives, Captain Clerke seemed to think that they intended to conceal the deserters; and, with that view, had amused him with false information the whole day, and directed him to search for them in places where they were not to be found.  The Captain judged right; for the next morning we were told that our runaways were at Otaha.  As these two were not the only persons in the ships who wished to end their days at these favourite islands, in order to put a stop to any further desertion, it was necessary to get them back at all events; and, that the natives might be convinced that I was in earnest, I resolved to go after them myself; having observed, from repeated instances, that they seldom offered to deceive me with false information.

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Accordingly, I set out the next morning with two armed boats, being accompanied by the chief himself.  I proceeded as he directed, without stopping any where, till we came to the middle of the east side of Otaha.  There we put ashore, and Oreo dispatched a man before us, with orders to seize the deserters, and keep them till we should arrive with the boats.  But when we got to the place where we expected to find them, we were told that they had quitted this island, and gone over to Bolabola the day before.  I did not think proper to follow them thither, but returned to the ships, fully determined, however, to have recourse to a measure which, I guessed, would oblige the natives to bring them back.

In the night, Mr Bayly, Mr King, and myself, observed an immersion of Jupiter’s third satellite.  It happened, by the observation of

Mr Bayly, at 2^h 37^m 54^s }
Mr King,  at 2   37   24   } in the morning. 
Myself,   at 2   37   44   }

Mr Bayly and Mr King observed with Dolland’s three-and-a-half inch achromatic telescope, and with the greatest magnifying power.  I observed with a two-feet Gregorian reflector, made by Bird.

Soon after day-break, the chief, his son, daughter, and son-in-law, came on board the Resolution.  The three last I resolved to detain till the two deserters should be brought back.  With this view, Captain Clerke invited them to go on board his ship; and, as soon as they arrived there, confined them in his cabin.  The chief was with me when the news reached him.  He immediately acquainted me with it, supposing that this step had been taken without my knowledge, and, consequently, without my approbation.  I instantly undeceived him; and then he began to have apprehensions as to his own situation, and his looks expressed the utmost perturbation of mind.  But I soon made him easy as to this; by telling him, that he was at liberty to leave the ship whenever he pleased, and to take such measures as he should judge best calculated to get our two men back; that, if he succeeded, his friends on board the Discovery should be delivered up, if not, that I was determined to carry them away with me.  I added, that his own conduct, as well as that of many of his men, in not only assisting these two men to escape, but in being, even at this very time, assiduous in enticing others to follow them, would justify any step I could take to put a stop to such proceedings.

This explanation of the motives upon which I acted, and which we found means to make Oreo and his people, who were present, fully comprehend, seemed to recover them, in a great measure, from that general consternation into which they were at first thrown.  But, if relieved from apprehensions about their own safety, they continued under the deepest concern for those who were prisoners.  Many of them went under the Discovery’s stern in canoes, to bewail their captivity, which they did with long and loud exclamations. Poedooa! for so the chief’s daughter was called, resounded from every quarter; and the women seemed to vie with each other in mourning her fate with more significant expressions of their grief than tears and cries, for there were many bloody heads upon the occasion.

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Oreo himself did not give way to unavailing lamentations, but instantly began his exertions to recover our deserters, by dispatching a canoe to Bolabola, with a message to Opoony, the sovereign of that island, acquainting him with what had happened, and requesting him to seize the two fugitives, and send them back.  The messenger, who was no less a man than the father of Pootoe, Oreo’s son-in-law, before he set out came to receive my commands.  I strictly enjoined him not to return without the deserters, and to tell Opoony, from me, that, if they had left Bolabola, he must send canoes to bring them back, for I suspected that they would not long remain in one place.

The consequence, however, of the prisoners was so great, that the natives did not think proper to trust to the return of our people for their release; or, at least, their impatience was so great, that it hurried them to meditate an attempt which might have involved them in still greater distress, had it not been fortunately prevented.  Between five and six o’clock in the evening, I observed that all their canoes in and about the harbour began to move off, as if some sudden panic had seized them.  I was ashore, abreast of the ship at the time, and enquired in vain to find out the cause, till our people called to as from the Discovery, and told us, that a party of the natives had seized Captain Clerke and Mr Gore, who had walked out a little way from the ships.  Struck with the boldness of this plan of retaliation, which seemed to counteract me so effectually in my own way, there was no time to deliberate.  I instantly ordered the people to arm; and in less than five minutes, a strong party, under the command of Mr King, was sent to rescue our two gentlemen.  At the same time, two armed boats, and a party under Mr Williamson, went after the flying canoes, to cut off their retreat to the shore.  These several detachments were hardly out of sight, before an account arrived that we had been misinformed, upon which I sent and called them all in.

It was evident, however, from several corroborating circumstances, that the design of seizing Captain Clerke had really been in agitation amongst the natives.  Nay, they made no secret in speaking of it the next day.  But their first and great plan of operations was to have laid hold of me.  It was my custom, every evening, to bathe in the fresh water.  Very often I went alone, and always without arms.  Expecting me to go as usual this evening, they had determined to seize me, and Captain Clerke too, if he had accompanied me.  But I had, after confining Oreo’s family, thought it prudent to avoid putting myself in their power; and had cautioned Captain Clerke and the officers not to go far from the ships.  In the course of the afternoon the chief asked me three several times, if I would not go to the bathing-place; and when he found, at last, that I could not be prevailed upon, he went off with the rest of his people, in spite of all that I could do or say to stop him. 

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But as I had no suspicion, at this time, of their design, I imagined that some sudden fright had seized them, which would, as usual, soon be over.  Finding themselves disappointed as to me, they fixed on those who were more in their power.  It was fortunate for all parties that they did not succeed, and not less fortunate that no mischief was done on the occasion; for not a musket was fired, except two or three to stop the canoes.  To that firing, perhaps, Messrs Clerke and Gore owed their safety;[1] for, at that very instant, a party of the natives, armed with clubs, were advancing toward them, and, on hearing the report of the muskets, they dispersed.

[Footnote 1:  Perhaps they owed their safety principally to Captain Clerke’s walking with a pistol in his hand, which he once fired.  This circumstance is omitted both in Captain Cook’s and Mr Andersen’s journal, but it is here mentioned on the authority of Captain King.—­D.]

This conspiracy, as it may be called, was first discovered by a girl, whom one of the officers had brought from Huaheine.  She, overhearing some of the Ulieteans say, that they would seize Captain Clerke and Mr Gore, ran to acquaint the first of our people that she met with.  Those who were charged with the execution of the design threatened to kill her as soon as we should leave the island, for disappointing them.  Being aware of this, we contrived that her friends should come, some days after, and take her out of the ship, to convey her to a place of safety, where she might lie concealed till they should have an opportunity of sending her back to Huaheine.

On the 27th, our observatories were taken down, and every thing we had ashore carried on board; the moorings of the ships were cast off, and we transported them a little way down the harbour, where they came to an anchor again.  Toward the afternoon the natives began to shake off their fears, gathering round and on board the ships as usual, and the awkward transactions of the day before seemed to be forgotten on both sides.

The following night the wind blew in hard squalls from S. to E. attended with heavy showers of rain.  In one of the squalls, the cable by which the Resolution was riding, parted just without the hawse.  We had another anchor ready to let go, so that the ship was presently brought up again.  In the afternoon the wind became moderate, and we hooked the end of the best small bower-cable, and got it again into the hawse.

Oreo, the chief, being uneasy, as well as myself, that no account had been received from Bolabola, set out this evening for that island, and desired me to follow him the next day with the ships.  This was my intention, but the wind would not admit of our getting to sea.  But the same wind which kept us in the harbour, brought Oreo back from Bolabola, with the two deserters.  They had reached Otaha the same night they deserted; but, finding it impossible to get to any of the islands to the eastward (which

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was their intention) for want of wind, they had proceeded to Bolabola, and from thence to the small island Toobaee, where they were taken by the father of Pootoe, in consequence of the first message sent to Opoony.  As soon as they were on board, the three prisoners were released.  Thus ended an affair which had given me much trouble and vexation.  Nor would I have exerted myself so resolutely on the occasion, but for the reasons before mentioned, and to save the son of a brother officer from being lost to his country.

The wind continued constantly between the N. and W. and confined us in the harbour till eight o’clock in the morning of the 7th of December, when we took the advantage of a light breeze which then sprung up at N.E., and, with the assistance of all the boats, got out to sea, with the Discovery in company.

During the last week we had been visited by people from all parts of the island, who furnished us with a large stock of hogs and green plantains.  So that the time we lay wind-bound in the harbour was not entirely lost; green plantains being an excellent substitute for bread, as they will keep good a fortnight or three weeks.  Besides this supply of provisions, we also completed our wood and water.

The inhabitants of Ulietea seemed, in general, smaller and blacker than those of the other neighbouring islands, and appeared also less orderly, which, perhaps, may be considered as the consequence of their having become subject to the natives of Bolabola.  Oreo, their chief, is only a sort of deputy of the sovereign of that island; and the conquest seems to have lessened the number of subordinate chiefs resident among them; so that they are less immediately under the inspection of those whose interest it is to enforce due obedience to authority.  Ulietea, though now reduced to this humiliating state, was formerly, as we were told, the most eminent of this cluster of islands, and, probably, the first seat of government; for, they say, that the present royal family of Otaheite is descended from that which reigned here before the late revolution.  Ooroo, the dethroned monarch of Ulietea, was still alive when we were at Huaheine, where he resides, a royal wanderer, furnishing, in his person, an instance of the instability of power; but, what is more remarkable, of the respect paid by these people to particular families, and to the customs which have once conferred sovereignty; for they suffer Ooroo to preserve all the ensigns which they appropriate to majesty, though he has lost his dominions.

We saw a similar instance of this while we were at Ulietea.  One of the occasional visitors I now had was my old friend Oree, the late chief of Huaheine.  He still preserved his consequence; came always at the head of a numerous body of attendants, and was always provided with such presents as were very acceptable.  This chief looked much better now than I had ever seen him during either of my former voyages.  I could account for his improving in health as he grew older, only from his drinking less copiously of ava in his present station as a private gentleman, than he had been accustomed to do when he was regent.[2]

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[Footnote 2:  Captain Cook had seen Oree in 1769, when he commanded the Endeavour; also twice during his second voyage in 1772.—­D.]


Arrival at Bolabola.—­Interview with Opoony.—­Reasons for purchasing Monsieur de Bougainville’s Anchor.—­Departure from the Society Islands.—­Particulars about Bolabola.—­History of the Conquest of Otaha and Ulieta.—­High Reputation of the Bolabola Men.—­Animals left there and at Ulietea.—­Plentiful Supply of Provisions, and Manner of salting Pork on Board.—­Various Reflections relative to Otaheite and the Society Islands.—­Astronomical and Nautical Observations made there.

As soon as we had got clear of the harbour, we took our leave of Ulietea, and steered for Bolabola.  The chief, if not sole object I had in view by visiting that island was, to procure from its monarch, Opoony, one of the anchors which Monsieur de Bougainville had lost at Otaheite.  This having afterwards been taken up by the natives there, had, as they informed me, been sent by them as a present to that chief.  My desire to get possession of it did not arise, from our being in want of anchors; but having expended all the hatchets, and other iron tools which we had brought from England, in purchasing refreshments, we were now reduced to the necessity of creating a fresh assortment of trading articles, by fabricating them out of the spare iron we had on board; and in such conversions, and in the occasional uses of the ships, great part of that had been already expended.  I thought that M. de Bougainville’s anchor would supply our want of this useful material; and I made no doubt that I should be able to tempt Opoony to part with it.

Oreo, and six or eight men more from Ulietea, took a passage with us to Bolabola.  Indeed most of the natives in general, except the chief himself, would have gladly taken a passage with us to England.  At sunset, being the length of the south point of Bolabola, we shortened sail, and spent the night making short boards.  At day-break, on the 8th, we made sail for the harbour, which is on the west side of the island.  The wind was scant, so that we had to ply up, and it was nine o’clock before we got near enough to send away a boat to sound the entrance, for I had thoughts of running the ships in, and anchoring for a day or two.

When the boat returned, the master, who was in her, reported, that though at the entrance of the harbour the bottom was rocky, there was good ground within, and the depth of water twenty-seven and twenty-five fathoms; and that there was room to turn the ships in, the channel being one-third of a mile broad.  In consequence of this report, we attempted to work the ships in.  But the tide, as well as the wind, being against us, after making two or three trips, I found that it could not be done till the tide should turn in our favour.  Upon this I gave up the design of carrying the ships into the harbour; and having ordered the boats to be got ready, I embarked in one of them, accompanied by Oreo and his companions, and was rowed in for the island.

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We landed where the natives directed us, and soon after I was introduced to Opoony, in the midst of a great concourse of people.  Having no time to lose, as soon as the necessary formality of compliments was over, I asked the chief to give me the anchor, and produced the present I had prepared for him, consisting of a linen night-gown, a shirt, some gauze handkerchiefs, a looking-glass, some beads and other toys, and six axes.  At the sight of these last there was a general outcry.  I could only guess the cause, by Opoony’s absolutely refusing to receive my present till I should get the anchor.  He ordered three men to go and deliver it to me; and, as I understood, I was to send by them what I thought proper in return.  With these messengers we set out in our boat for an island, lying at the north side of the entrance into the harbour, where the anchor had been deposited.  I found it to be neither so large nor so perfect as I expected.  It had originally weighed seven hundred pounds, according to the mark that was upon it; but the ring, with part of the shank and two palms, were now wanting.  I was no longer at a loss to guess the reason of Opoony’s refusing my present.  He doubtless thought that it so much exceeded the value of the anchor in its present state, that I should be displeased when I saw it.  Be this as it may, I took the anchor as I found it, and sent him every article of the present that I at first intended.  Having thus completed my negociation, I returned on board, and having hoisted in the boats, made sail from the island to the north.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Here again is a trait of genuine nobility, sufficient, we have no doubt, to reinstate our commander in the good graces of every reader.  On the other hand, there is something so truly honest on the part of Opoony and his people in declining the acceptance of the present, till Cook had seen the article he was bargaining for, that we cannot help giving them high credit for moral attainments.  How forcibly does such a conduct prove the existence of a sense of the law, which says, “Do to others, as you would that others should do to you.”  It is curious, that some authors have maintained, that no such law is recognised among mankind till they are made acquainted with divine revelation.  But these persons have confounded together two things, which are quite distinct,—­a sense of the obligation of such a law, and a disposition and power to obey it.  The former may exist, and indeed more generally does exist, without the latter.  But we see, by the present example, that both may operate, where, according to this opinion, no such thing as either could be found.  Here, however, we would not take it upon us to affirm any thing in respect of the motives which influenced the obedience.  In so far as our fellow-creatures alone are concerned, it is barely and simply our actions which ought to be considered.  It is the prerogative of a higher tribunal to judge of the heart and the principles it contains.—­E.]

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While the boats were hoisting in, some of the natives came off in three or four canoes to see the ships, as they said.  They brought with them a few cocoa-nuts and one pig, which was the only one we got at the island.  I make no doubt, however, that if we had staid till the next day, we should have been plentifully supplied with provisions; and I think the natives would feel themselves disappointed when they found that we were gone.  But as we had already a very good stock, both of hogs and of fruit on board, and very little of any thing left to purchase more, I could have no inducement to defer any longer the prosecution of our voyage.

The harbour of Bolabola, called Oteavanooa, situated on the west side of the island, is one of the most capacious that I ever met with; and though we did not enter it, it was a satisfaction to me that I had an opportunity of employing my people to ascertain its being a very proper place for the reception of ships.

The high double-peaked mountain, which is in the middle of the island, appeared to be barren on the east side; but on the west side, has trees or bushes on its most craggy parts.  The lower grounds, all round toward the sea, are covered with cocoa-palms and bread-fruit trees, like the other islands of this ocean; and the many little islets that surrounded it on the inside of the reef, add both to the amount of its vegetable productions and to the number of its inhabitants.

But still, when we consider its very small extent, being not more than eight leagues in compass, it is rather remarkable that its people should have attempted, or have been able to atchieve the conquest of Ulietea and Otaha, the former of which islands is, of itself, at least double its size.  In each of my three voyages, we had heard much of the war that produced this great revolution.  The result of our enquiries, as to the circumstances attending it, may amuse the reader; and I give it as a specimen of the history of our friends, in this part of the world, as related to us by themselves.[2]

[Footnote 2:  For this, as for many other particulars about these people, we are indebted to Mr Anderson.—­D.]

Ulietea, and Otaha which adjoins it, lived long in friendship, or, as the natives express it, were considered as two brothers, inseparable by any interested views.  They also admitted the island of Huaheine as their friend, though not so intimate.  Otaha, however, like a traitor, leagued with Bolabola, and they resolved jointly to attack Ulietea; whose people called in their friends of Huaheine to assist them against these two powers.  The men of Bolabola were encouraged by a priestess, or rather prophetess, who foretold that they should be successful; and, as a proof of the certainty of her prediction, she desired, that a man might be sent to the sea, at a particular place, where, from a great depth, a stone would ascend.  He went, accordingly, in a canoe to the place mentioned;

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and was going to dive to see where this stone lay, when, behold, it started up to the surface spontaneously into his hand!  The people were astonished at the sight:  The stone was deposited as sacred in the house of the Eatooa; and is still preserved at Bolabola, as a proof of this woman’s influence with the divinity.  Their spirits being thus elevated with the hopes of victory, the canoes of Bolabola set out to engage those of Ulietea and Huaheine, which being strongly fastened together with ropes, the encounter lasted long, and would probably, notwithstanding the prediction and the miracle, have ended in the overthrow of the Bolabola fleet, if that of Otaha had not, in the critical moment, arrived.  This turned the fortune of the day, and their enemies were defeated with great slaughter.  The men of Bolabola, prosecuting their victory, invaded Huaheine two days after, which they knew must be weakly defended, as most of its warriors were absent.  Accordingly, they made themselves masters of that island.  But many of its fugitives having got to Otaheite, there told their lamentable story; which so grieved those of their countrymen, and of Ulietea, whom, they met with in that island, that they obtained some assistance from them.  They were equipped with only ten fighting canoes; but, though their force was so inconsiderable, they conducted the expedition with so much prudence, that they landed at Huaheine at night, when dark, and, falling upon the Bolabola men by surprise, killed many of them, forcing the rest to fly.  So that, by this means, they got possession of their island again, which now remains independent, under the government of its own chiefs.  Immediately after the defeat of the united fleets of Ulietea and Huaheine, a proposal was made to the Bolabola men by their allies of Otaha, to be admitted to an equal share of the conquests.  The refusal of this broke the alliance; and in the course of the war, Otaha itself, as well as Ulietea, was conquered; and both now remain subject to Bolabola; the chiefs who govern them being only deputies of Opoony, the sovereign of that island.  In the reduction of the two islands, five battles were fought at different places, in which great numbers were slain on both sides.

Such was the account we received.  I have more than once remarked, how very imperfectly these people recollect the exact dates of past events.  And with regard to this war, though it happened not many years ago, we could only guess at the time of its commencement and its conclusion, from collateral circumstances, furnished by our own observation, as the natives could not satisfy our enquiries with any precision.  The final conquest of Ulietea, which closed the war, we know had been made before I was there in the Endeavour, in 1769; but we may infer, that peace had not been very long restored, as we could then see marks of recent hostilities having been committed upon that island.  Some additional light may be thrown upon

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this enquiry, by attending to the age of Teereetareea, the present chief of Huaheine.  His looks shewed that he was not above ten or twelve years old; and we were informed that his father had been killed in one of the battles.  As to the time when the war began, we had no better rule for judging than this, that the young people of about twenty years of age, of whom we made enquiries, could scarcely remember the first battles; and I have already mentioned, that Omai’s countrymen, whom we found at Wateoo, knew nothing of this war; so that its commencement was subsequent to their voyage.

Ever since the conquest of Ulietea and Otaha, the Bolabola men have been considered by their neighbours as invincible; and such is the extent of their fame, that even at Otaheite, which is almost out of their reach, if they are not dreaded, they are, at least, respected for their valour.  It is said that they never fly in battle, and that they always beat an equal number of the other islanders.  But, besides these advantages, their neighbours seem to ascribe a great deal to the superiority of their god, who, they believed, detained us at Ulietea by contrary winds, as being unwilling that we should visit an island under his special protection.

How high the Bolabola men are now in estimation at Otaheite, may be inferred from Monsieur de Bougainville’s anchor having been conveyed to them.  To the same cause we must ascribe the intention of transporting to their island the Spanish bull.  And they had already got possession of a third European curiosity, the male of another animal, brought to Otaheite by the Spaniards.  We had been, much puzzled, by the imperfect description of the natives, to guess what this could be; but Captain Clerke’s deserters, when brought back from Bolabola, told me, that the animal had been there shewn to them, and that it was a ram.  It seldom happens but that some good arises out of evil, and if our two men had not deserted, I should not have known this.  In consequence of their information, at the same time that I landed to meet Opoony, I carried ashore a ewe, which we had brought from the Cape of Good Hope; and I hope that by this present I have laid the foundation for a breed of sheep at Bolabola.  I also left at Ulietea, under the care of Oreo, an English boar and sow, and two goats.  So that not only Otaheite, but all the neighbouring islands, will, in a few years, have their race of hogs considerably improved; and, probably, be stocked with all the valuable animals which have been transported hither by their European visitors.

When once this comes to pass, no part of the world will equal these islands in variety and abundance of refreshments for navigators.  Indeed, even in their present state, I know no place that excels them.  After repeated trials in the course of several voyages we find, when they are not disturbed by intestine broils, but live in amity with one another, which has been the case for some years past, that their productions are in the greatest plenty; and, particularly, the most valuable of all the articles, their hogs.

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If we had had a larger assortment of goods, and a sufficient quantity of salt on board, I make no doubt that we might have salted as much pork as would have served both ships near twelve months.  But our visiting the Friendly Islands, and our long stay at Otaheite and the neigbourhood, quite exhausted our trading commodities, particularly our axes, with which alone, hogs, in general, were to be purchased.  And we had hardly salt enough to cure fifteen puncheons of meat; of these, five were added to our stock of provisions at the Friendly Islands, and the other ten at Otaheite.  Captain Clerke also salted a proportionable quantity for his ship.

The process was the same that had been adopted by me in my last voyage; and it may be worth while to describe it again.  The hogs were killed in the evening; as soon as they were cleaned, they were cut up, the bone taken out, and the meat salted when it was hot.  It was then laid in such a position as to permit the juices to drain from it, till the next morning, when it was again salted, packed into a cask, and covered with pickle.  Here it remained for four or five days, or a week; after which it was taken out and examined, piece by piece, and if there was any found to be in the least tainted, as sometimes happened, it was separated from the rest, which was repacked into another cask, headed up, and filled with good pickle.  In about eight or ten days time it underwent a second examination; but this seemed unnecessary, as the whole was generally found to be perfectly cured.  A mixture of bay and of white salt answers the best, but either of them will do alone.  Great care should be taken that none of the large blood vessels remain in the meat; nor must too great a quantity be packed together, at the first salting, lest the pieces in the middle should heat, and, by that means, prevent the salt from penetrating them.  This once happened to us, when we killed a larger quantity than usual.  Rainy sultry weather is unfavourable for salting meat in tropical climates.

Perhaps the frequent visits Europeans have lately made to these islanders, may be one great inducement to their keeping up a large stock of hogs, as they have had experience enough to know, that, whenever we come, they may be sure of getting from us what they esteem a valuable consideration for them.  At Otaheite they expect the return of the Spaniards every day, and they will look for the English two or three years hence, not only there, but at the other islands.  It is to no purpose to tell them that you will not return; they think you must, though not one of them knows, or will give himself the trouble to enquire, the reason of your coming.

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I own I cannot avoid expressing it as my real opinion, that it would have been far better for these poor people, never to have known our superiority in the accommodations and arts that make life comfortable, than, after once knowing it, to be again left and abandoned to their original incapacity of improvement.  Indeed, they cannot be restored to that happy mediocrity in which they lived before we discovered them, if the intercourse between us should be discontinued.  It seems to me that it has become in a manner incumbent on the Europeans to visit them once in three or four years, in order to supply them with those conveniences which we have introduced among them, and have given them a predilection for.  The want of such occasional supplies will probably be felt very heavily by them, when it may be too late to go back to their old less perfect contrivances, which they now despise, and have discontinued since the introduction of ours.  For by the time that the iron tools, of which they are now possessed, are worn out, they will have almost lost the knowledge of their own.  A stone-hatchet is, at present, as rare a thing amongst them, as an iron one was eight years ago; and a chisel of bone or stone is not to be seen.  Spike-nails have supplied the place of these last, and they are weak enough to fancy that they have got an inexhaustible store of them; for these were not now at all sought after.  Sometimes, however, nails much smaller than a spike would still be taken in exchange for fruit.  Knives happened, at present, to be in great esteem at Ulietea, and axes and hatchets remained unrivalled by any other of our commodities at all the islands.  With respect to articles of mere ornament, these people are as changeable as any of the polished nations of Europe; so that what pleases their fancy, while a fashion is in vogue, may be rejected, when another whim has supplanted it.  But our iron tools are so strikingly useful, that they will, we may confidently pronounce, continue to prize them highly; and be completely miserable, if, neither possessing the materials, nor trained up to the art of fabricating them, they should cease to receive supplies of what may now be considered as having become necessary to their comfortable existence.[3]

[Footnote 3:  Captain Cook’s reasoning here is irresistibly convincing; yet it is very remarkable that no practical benefit resulted from it, in favour of the people whose cause he pleads.  One can scarcely account, far less apologize, for the extraordinary fact, that nearly eleven years, from the date of this voyage, had elapsed, before any British vessel touched at Otaheite, and that even then the visit was an accidental one.  Soon afterwards, however, Lieutenant Bligh was ordered to visit it, for the purpose, not of conferring benefits on it, but of procuring the bread-fruit tree, for our West India possessions.  Of the changes which had happened in that interval, it would be improper to make any mention in this place.  The reader nevertheless may be informed, that much of the evil, which Captain Cook had foreseen, really occurred.  The want of iron tools especially was most severely felt.—­E.]

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Otaheite, though not comprehended in the number of what we have called the Society Islands, being inhabited by the same race of men, agreeing in the same leading features of character and manners, it was fortunate, that we happened to discover this principal island before the others; as the friendly and hospitable reception we there met with, of course, led us to make it the principal place of resort, in our successive visits to this part of the Pacific Ocean.  By the frequency of this intercourse, we have had better opportunities of knowing something about it and its inhabitants, than about the other similar but less considerable islands in its vicinity.  Of these, however, we have seen enough to satisfy us, that all that we observed and have related of Otaheite, may, with trifling variations, be applied to them.

Too much seems to have been already known and published in our former relations, about some of the modes of life that made Otaheite so agreeable an abode to many on board our ships; and, if I could now add any finishing strokes to a picture, the outlines of which have been already drawn with sufficient accuracy, I should still have hesitated to make this journal the place for exhibiting a view of licentious manners, which could only serve to disgust those for whose information I write.  There are, however, many parts of the domestic, political, and religious institutions of these people, which, after all our visits to them, are but imperfectly understood.  The foregoing narrative of the incidents that happened during our stay, will probably be thought to throw some additional light; and, for farther satisfaction, I refer to Mr Anderson’s remarks.

Amidst our various subordinate employments, while at these islands, the great objects of our duty were always attended to.  No opportunity was lost of making astronomical and nautical observations; from which the following table was drawn up: 

Place.  Latitude.  Longitude.  Variation of Dip of the
South.  East. the Compass.  Needle. 
Matavai Point,
Otaheite, 17 deg. 24-1/4’ 210 deg. 22’ 28” 5 deg. 34’ East 29 deg. 12’

Owharre Harbour 16 deg. 42-3/4’ 208 deg. 52’ 24” 5 deg. 13-1/2” East 28 deg. 28’

Ohamaneno Harbour 16 deg. 45-1/2’ 208 deg. 25’ 22” 6 deg. 19’ East 29 deg. 5’

[Transcriber’s Note:  It is possible that the compass variation at Owharre Harbour should read 5 deg. 13-1/2’ not 5 deg. 13-1/2” (minutes not seconds)]

The longitude of the three several places is deduced from the mean of 145 sets of observations made on shore; some at one place, and some at another; and carried on to each of the stations by the time-keeper.  As the situation of these places was very accurately settled, during my former voyages, the above observations were now made chiefly with a view of determining how far a number of lunar observations might be depended

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upon, and how near they would agree with those made upon the same spot in 1769, which fixed Matavai Point to be in 210 deg. 27’ 30”.  The difference, it appears, is only of 5’ 2”; and, perhaps, no other method could have produced a more perfect agreement.  Without pretending to say which of the two computations is the nearest the truth, the longitude of 210 deg. 22’ 28”, or, which is the same thing, 208 deg. 25’ 22”, will be the longitude we shall reckon from with the time-keeper, allowing it to be losing, on mean time, 1,"69 each day, as found by the mean of all the observations made at these islands for that purpose.

On our arrival at Otaheite, the error of the time-keeper in longitude was,

  by {Greenwich rate, 1 deg. 18’ 58”
      {Tongataboo rate, 0 deg. 16’ 40”

Some observations were also made on the tide; particularly at Otaheite and Ulietea, with a view of ascertaining its greatest rise at the first place.  When we were there, in my second voyage, Mr Wales thought he had discovered that it rose higher than I had observed it to do, when I first visited Otaheite, in 1769.  But the observations we now made proved that it did not; that is, that it never rose higher than twelve or fourteen inches at most.  And it was observed to be high-water nearly at noon, as well at the quadratures, as at the full and change of the moon.

To verify this, the following observations were made at Ulietea: 

Day of       Water at a stand       Mean Time    Perpendicular
the                                    of          rise
Month.          from      to        High Water.    Inches.
November 6.   11h 15m to 12h 20m     11h 48m       5,5
7.   11  40      1  00      12  20        5,2
8.   11  35     12  50      12  12        5,0
9.   11  40      1  16      12  28        5,5
10.   11  25      1  10      12  18        6,5
11.   12  00      1  40      12  20        5,0
12.   11  00      1  05      12  02        5,7
13.    9  30     11  40      10  35        8,0
14.   11  10     12  50      12  00        8,0
15.    9  20     11  30      10  25        9,2
16.   10  00     12  00      11  00        9,0
17.   10  45     12  15      11  30        8,5
18.   10  25     12  10      11  18        9,0
19.   11  00      1  00      12  00        8,0
20.   11  30      2  00      12  45        7,0
21.   11  00      1  00      12  00        8,0
22.   11  30      1  07      12  18        8,0
23.   12  00      1  30      12  45        6,5
24.   11  30      1  40      12  35        5,5
25.   11  40      1  50      12  45        4,7
26.   11  00      1  30      12  15        5,2

Having now finished all that occurs to me, with regard to these islands, which make so conspicuous a figure in the list of our discoveries, the reader will permit me to suspend the prosecution of my journal, while he peruses the following section, for which I am indebted to Mr Anderson.


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Accounts of Otaheite still imperfect.—­The prevailing Winds.—­Beauty of the Country.—­Cultivation.—­Natural Curiosities.—­The Persons of the Natives.—­Diseases.—­General Character.—­Love of Pleasure.—­Language.—­Surgery and Physic.—­Articles of Food.—­Effects of drinking Ava.—­Times and Manner of Eating.—­Connexions with the Females.—­Circumcision.—­System of Religion.—­Notions about the Soul and a future Life.—­Various Superstitions.—­Traditions about the Creation.—­An historical Legend.—­Honours paid to the King.—­Distinction of Ranks.—­Punishment of Crimes.—­Peculiarities of the neighbouring Islands.—­Names of their Gods.—­Names of Islands they visit.—­Extent of their Navigation.

To what has been said of Otaheite, in the accounts of the successive voyages of Captain Wallis, Mons. de Bougainville, and Captain Cook, it would, at first sight, seem superfluous to add any thing, as it might be supposed, that little could be now produced but a repetition of what has been told before.  I am, however, far from being of that opinion; and will venture to affirm, though a very accurate description of the country, and of the most obvious customs of its inhabitants, has been already given, especially by Captain Cook, that much still remains untouched; that, in some instances, mistakes have been made, which later and repeated observation has been able to rectify; and that, even now, we are strangers to many of the most important institutions that prevail amongst these people.  The truth is, our visits, though frequent, have been but transient; many of us had no inclination to make enquiries; more of us were unable to direct our enquiries properly; and we all laboured, though not to the same degree, under the disadvantages attending an imperfect knowledge of the language of those, from whom alone we could receive any information.  The Spaniards had it more in their power to surmount this bar to instruction; some of them having resided at Otaheite much longer than any other European visitors.  As, with their superior advantages, they could not but have had an opportunity of obtaining the fullest information on most subjects relating to this island, their account of it would, probably, convey more authentic and accurate intelligence, than, with our best endeavours, any of us could possibly obtain.  But, as I look upon it to be very uncertain, if not very unlikely, that we shall ever have any communication from that quarter, I have here put together what additional intelligence, about Otaheite, and its neighbouring islands, I was able to procure, either from, Omai, while on board the ship, or by conversing with the other natives, while we remained among them.

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The wind, for the greatest part of the year, blows from between E.S.E., and E.N.E.  This is the true trade-wind, or what the natives call Maaraee; and it sometimes blows with considerable force.  When this is the case, the weather is often cloudy, with showers of rain; but, when the wind is more moderate, it is clear, settled, and serene.  If the wind should veer farther to the southward, and become S.E., or S.S.E., it then blows more gently, with a smooth sea, and is called Maooui.  In those months, when the sun is nearly vertical, that is, in December and January, the winds and weather are both very variable; but it frequently blows from W.N.W., or N.W.  This wind is what they call Toerou; and is generally attended by dark, cloudy weather, and frequently by rain, it sometimes blows strong, though generally moderate; but seldom lasts longer than five or six days without interruption; and is the only wind in which the people of the islands to leeward come to this in their canoes.  If it happens to be still more northerly, it blows with less strength, and has the different appellation of Era-potaia; which they feign to be the wife of the Toerou; who, according to their mythology, is a male.

The wind from S.W., and W.S.W., is still more frequent than the former; and, though it is, in general, gentle, and interrupted by calms, or breezes from the eastward, yet it sometimes blows in brisk squalls.  The weather attending it is commonly dark; cloudy, and rainy, with a close, hot air; and often accompanied by a great deal of lightning and thunder.  It is called Etoa, and often succeeds the Toerou; as does also the Farooa, which is still more southerly; and, from its violence, blows down houses and trees, especially the cocoa-palms, from their loftiness; but it is only of a short duration.

The natives seem not to have a very accurate knowledge of these changes, and yet pretend to have drawn some general conclusions from their effects; for they say, when the sea has a hollow sound, and dashes slowly on the shore, or rather on the reef without, that it portends good weather, but, if it has a sharp sound, and the waves succeed each other fast, that the reverse will happen.

Perhaps there is scarcely a spot in the universe that affords a more luxuriant prospect than the S.E. part of Otaheite.  The hills are high and steep; and, in many places, craggy.  But they are covered to the very summits with trees and shrubs, in such a manner, that the spectator can scarcely help thinking, that the very rocks possess the property of producing and supporting their verdant clothing.  The flat land which bounds those hills toward the sea, and the interjacent valleys also, teem with various productions that grow with the most exuberant vigour, and at once fill the mind of the beholder with the idea, that no place upon earth can out-do this, in the strength and beauty of vegetation.  Nature has been no less liberal

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in distributing rivulets, which are found in every valley; and as they approach the sea, often divide into two or three branches, fertilizing the flat lands through which they run.  The habitations of the natives are scattered without order upon these flats; and many of them appearing toward the shore, presented a delightful scene, viewed from our ships; especially as the sea within the reef, which bounds the coast, is perfectly still, and affords a safe navigation at all times for the inhabitants, who are often seen paddling in their canoes indolently along in passing from place to place, or in going to fish.  On viewing these charming scenes, I have often regretted my inability to transmit to those who have had no opportunity of seeing them, such a description as might, in some measure, convey an impression similar to what must be felt by every one who has been fortunate enough to be upon the spot.

It is doubtless the natural fertility of the country, combined with the mildness and serenity of the climate, that renders the natives so careless in their cultivation, that, in many places, though, overflowing with the richest productions, the smallest traces of it cannot be observed.  The cloth-plant, which is raised by seeds brought from the mountains, and the ava, or intoxicating pepper, which they defend from the sun when very young, by covering them with leaves of the bread-fruit tree, are almost the only things to which they seem to pay any attention, and these they keep very clean.

I have enquired very carefully into their manner of cultivating the bread-fruit tree, but was always answered that they never planted it.  This, indeed, must be evident to every one who will examine the places where the young trees come up.  It will be always observed that they spring from the roots of the old ones, which ran along near the surface of the ground; so that the bread-fruit trees may be reckoned those that would naturally cover the plains, even supposing that the island was not inhabited, in the same manner that the white-barked trees, found at Van Diemen’s Land, constitute the forests there.  And from this we may observe, that the inhabitant of Otaheite, instead of being obliged to plant his bread, will rather be under a necessity of preventing its progress; which, I suppose, is sometimes done, to give room for trees of another sort, to afford him some variety in his food.

The chief of these are the cocoa-nut and plantain; the first of which can give no trouble, after it has raised itself a foot or two above the ground; but the plantain requires a little more care; for, after it is planted, it shoots up, and, in about three months, begins to bear fruit; during which time it gives young shoots, which supply a succession of fruit.  For the old stocks are cut down as the fruit is taken off.

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The products of the island, however, are not so remarkable for their variety, as great abundance; and curiosities of any kind are not numerous.  Amongst these we may reckon a pond or lake of fresh water at the top of one of the highest mountains, to go to and return from which takes three or four days; it is remarkable for its depth, and has eels of an enormous size in it, which are sometimes caught by the natives, who go upon this water, in little floats of two or three wild plantain trees fastened together.  This is esteemed one of the greatest natural curiosities of the country; insomuch, that travellers, who come from the other islands, are commonly asked, amongst the first things, by their friends, at their return, if they have seen it?  There is also a sort of water, of which there is only one small pond upon the island, as far distant as the lake, and, to appearance, very good, with a yellow sediment at the bottom; but it has a bad taste, and proves fatal to those who drink any quantity, or makes them break out in blotches if they bathe in it.

Nothing could make a stronger impression, at first sight, on our arrival here, than the remarkable contrast between the robust make and dark colour of the people of Tongataboo, and a sort of delicacy and whiteness which distinguish the inhabitants of Otaheite.  It was even some time before that difference could preponderate in favour of the Otaheiteans; and then only, perhaps, because we became accustomed to them, the marks which had recommended the others began to be forgotten.  Their women, however, struck us as superior in every respect, and as possessing all those delicate characteristics which distinguish them from, the other sex in many countries.  The beard, which the men here wear long, and the hair, which is not cut so short as is the fashion at Tongataboo, made also a great difference; and we could not help thinking that on every occasion they shewed a greater degree of timidity and fickleness.  The muscular appearance, so common amongst the Friendly Islanders, and which seems a consequence of their being accustomed to much action, is lost here, where the superior fertility of their country enables the inhabitants to lead a more indolent life; and its place is supplied by a plumpness and smoothness of the skin, which, though perhaps more consonant with our ideas of beauty, is no real advantage, as it seems attended with a kind of languor in all their motions, not observable in the others.  This observation is fully verified in their boxing and wrestling, which may be called little better than the feeble efforts of children, if compared to the vigour with which these exercises are performed at the Friendly Islands.

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Personal endowments being in great esteem amongst them, they have recourse to several methods of improving them, according to their notions of beauty.  In particular, it is a practice, especially among the Erreoes, or unmarried men of some consequence, to undergo a kind of physical operation to render them fair.  This is done by remaining a month or two in the house; during which time they wear a great quantity of clothes, eat nothing but bread-fruit, to which they ascribe a remarkable property in whitening them.  They also speak, as if their corpulence and colour, at other times, depended upon their food; as they are obliged, from the change of seasons, to use different sorts at different times.

Their common diet is made up of, at least, nine-tenths of vegetable food, and, I believe, more particularly the mahee, or fermented bread-fruit, which enters almost every meal, has a remarkable effect upon them, preventing a costive habit, and producing a very sensible coolness about them, which could not be perceived in us who fed on animal food.  And it is, perhaps, owing to this temperate course of life that they have so few diseases among them.

They only reckon five or six, which might be called chronic, or national disorders; amongst which are the dropsy and the fefai, or indolent swellings before mentioned as frequent at Tongataboo.  But this was before the arrival of the Europeans; for we have added to this short catalogue, a disease which abundantly supplies the place of all the others; and is now almost universal.  For this they seem to have no effectual remedy.  The priests, indeed, sometimes give them a medley of simples; but they own that it never cures them.  And yet they allow that in a few cases, nature, without the assistance of a physician, exterminates the poison of this fatal disease, and a perfect recovery is produced.  They say, that if a man is infected with it, he will often communicate it to others in the same house, by feeding out of the same utensils or handling them; and that, in this case, they frequently die, while he recovers; though we see no reason why this should happen.

Their behaviour on all occasions seems to indicate a great openness and generosity of disposition.  Omai, indeed, who, as their countryman, should be supposed rather willing to conceal any of their defects, has often said that they are sometimes cruel in punishing their enemies.  According to his representation, they torment them very deliberately; at one time tearing out small pieces of flesh from different parts; at another taking out the eyes; then cutting off the nose; and, lastly, killing them by opening the belly.  But this only happens on particular occasions.  If cheerfulness argues a conscious innocence, one would suppose that their life is seldom sullied by crimes.  This, however, I rather impute to their feelings, which, though lively, seem in no case permanent; for I never saw them, in any misfortune, labour under the appearance of anxiety after the critical moment was past.  Neither does care ever seem to wrinkle their brow.  On the contrary, even the approach of death does not appear to alter their usual vivacity.  I have seen them when brought to the brink of the grave by disease, and when preparing to go to battle; but in neither case ever observed their countenances overclouded with melancholy or serious reflection.

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Such a disposition leads them to direct all their aims only to what can give them pleasure and ease.  Their amusements all tend to excite and continue their amorous passions; and their songs, of which they are immoderately fond, answer the same purpose.  But as a constant succession of sensual enjoyments must cloy, we found, that they frequently varied them to more refined subjects, and had much pleasure in chaunting their triumphs in war, and their occupations in peace; their travels to other islands, and adventures there; and the peculiar beauties, and superior advantages of their own island over the rest, or of different parts of it over other less favourite districts.  This marks, that they receive great delight from music; and though they rather expressed a dislike to our complicated compositions, yet were they always delighted with the more melodious sounds produced singly on our instruments, as approaching nearer to the simplicity of their own.

Neither are they strangers to the soothing effects produced by particular sorts of motion, which, in some cases, seem to allay any perturbation of mind, with as much success as music.  Of this, I met with a remarkable instance.  For on walking one day about Matavai Point, where our tents were erected, I saw a man paddling in a small canoe, so quickly, and looking about with such eagerness, on each side, as to command all my attention.  At first, I imagined that he had stolen something from one of the ships, and was pursued; but, on waiting patiently, saw him repeat his amusement.  He went out from the shore, till he was near the place where the swell begins to take its rise; and, watching its first motion very attentively, paddled before it, with great quickness, till he found that it overtook him, and had acquired sufficient force to carry his canoe before it, without passing underneath.  He then sat motionless, and was carried along, at the same swift rate as the wave, till it landed him upon the beach.  Then he started out, emptied his canoe, and went in search of another swell.  I could not help concluding, that this man felt the most supreme pleasure, while he was driven on, so fast and so smoothly, by the sea; especially as, though the tents and ships were so near, he did not seem, in the least, to envy, or even to take any notice of, the crowds of his countrymen collected to view them as objects which were rare and curious.  During my stay, two or three of the natives came up, who seemed to share his felicity, and always called out, when there was an appearance of a favourable swell, as he sometimes missed it, by his back being turned, and looking about for it.  By them I understood, that this exercise, which is called ehorooe, was frequent amongst them; and they have probably more amusements of this sort, which afford them at least as much pleasure as skaiting, which is the only one of ours, with whose effects I could compare it.

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The language of Otaheite, though doubtless radically the same with that of New Zealand and the Friendly Islands, is destitute of that guttural pronunciation, and of some consonants, with which those latter dialects abound.  The specimens we have already given are sufficient to mark wherein the variation chiefly consists, and to shew, that, like the manners of the inhabitants, it has become soft and soothing.  During the former voyage, I had collected a copious vocabulary, which enabled me the better to compare this dialect with that of the other islands; and, during this voyage, I took every opportunity of improving my acquaintance with it, by conversing with Omai, before we arrived, and by my daily intercourse with the natives, while we now remained there.[1] It abounds with beautiful and figurative expressions, which, were it perfectly known, would, I have no doubt, put it upon a level with many of the languages that are most in esteem for their warm and bold images.  For instance, the Otaheiteans express their notions of death very emphatically, by saying, “That the soul goes into darkness; or rather into night.”  And, if you seem to entertain any doubt, in asking the question, “if such a person is their mother?” they immediately reply, with surprise, “Yes, the mother that bore me.”  They have one expression, that corresponds exactly with the phraseology of the scriptures, where we read of the “yearning of the bowels.”  They use it on all occasions, when the passions give them uneasiness; as they constantly refer pain from grief, anxious desire, and other affections, to the bowels, as its seat; where they likewise suppose all operations of the mind are performed.  Their language admits of that inverted arrangement of words, which so much distinguishes the Latin and Greek from most of our modern European tongues, whose imperfections require a more orderly construction, to prevent ambiguities.  It is so copious, that for the bread-fruit alone, in its different states, they have above twenty names; as many for the taro root; and about ten for the cocoa-nut.  Add to this, that, besides the common dialect, they often expostulate, in a kind of stanza or recitative, which is answered in the same manner.

[Footnote 1:  See this Vocabulary at the end of Captain Cook’s second voyage.  Many corrections and additions to it were now made by this indefatigable enquirer; but the specimens of the language of Otaheite, already in the hands of the public, seem sufficient for every useful purpose.—­D.]

Their arts are few and simple; yet, if we may credit them, they perform cures in surgery, which our extensive knowledge in that branch has not, as yet, enabled us to imitate.  In simple fractures, they bind them up with splints; but if part of the substance of the bone be lost, they insert a piece of wood, between the fractured ends, made hollow like the deficient part.  In five or six days, the rapaoo, or surgeon, inspects the wound, and finds the wood

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partly covered with growing flesh.  In as many more days, it is generally entirely covered; after which, when the patient has acquired some strength, he bathes in the water, and recovers.  We know that wounds will heal over leaden bullets; and, sometimes, though rarely, over other extraneous bodies.  But what makes me entertain some doubt of the truth of so extraordinary skill, as in the above instance, is, that in other cases which fell under my own observation, they are far from being so dexterous.  I have seen the stump of an arm, which was taken off, after being shattered by a fall from a tree, that bore no marks of skilful operation, though some allowance be made for their defective instruments.  And I met with a man going about with a dislocated shoulder, some months after the accident, from their being ignorant of a method to reduce it; though this be considered as one of the simplest operations of our surgery.  They know that fractures or luxations of the spine are mortal, but not fractures of the skull; and they likewise know, from experience, in what parts of the body wounds prove fatal.  They have sometimes pointed out those inflicted by spears, which, if made in the direction they mentioned, would certainly have been pronounced deadly by us, and yet these people have recovered.

Their physical knowledge seems more confined; and that, probably because their diseases are fewer than their accidents.  The priests, however, administer the juices of herbs in some cases; and women who are troubled with after-pains, or other disorders after child-bearing, use a remedy which one would think needless in a hot country.  They first heat stones, as when they bake their food; then they lay a thick cloth over them, upon which is put a quantity of a small plant of the mustard kind; and these are covered with another cloth.  Upon this they seat themselves and sweat plentifully, to obtain a cure.  The men have practised the same method for the venereal lues, but find it ineffectual.  They have no emetic medicines.

Notwithstanding the extreme fertility of the island, a famine frequently happens, in which it is said many perish.  Whether this be owing to the failure of some seasons, to over-population, which must sometimes almost necessarily happen, or to wars, I have not been able to determine; though the truth of the fact may fairly be inferred, from the great economy that they observe with respect to their food, even when there is plenty.  In times of scarcity, after their bread-fruit and yams are consumed, they have recourse to various roots, which grow without cultivation upon the mountains.  The patarra, which is found in vast quantities, is what they use first.  It is not unlike a very large potatoe or yam, and good when in its growing state; but when old, is full of hard stringy fibres.  They then eat two other roots, one not unlike taro; and lastly, the eohee.  This is of two sorts; one of them possessing deleterious qualities, which obliges them to slice and macerate it in water a night before they bake and eat it.  In this respect, it resembles the cassava root of the West Indies; but it forms a very insipid moist paste, in the manner they dress it.  However, I have seen them eat it at times when no such scarcity reigned.  Both this and the patarra are creeping plants:  the last with ternate leaves.

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Of animal food a very small portion falls at any time to the share of the lower class of people, and then it is either fish, sea-eggs, or other marine productions; for they seldom or ever eat pork.  The Eree de hoi[2] alone is able to furnish pork every day; and inferior chiefs, according to their riches, once a week, fortnight, or month.  Sometimes they are not even allowed that; for, when the island is impoverished by war or other causes, the chief prohibits his subjects to kill any hogs; and this prohibition, we were told, is in force sometimes for several months, or even for a year or two.  During that restraint the hogs multiply so fast, that there are instances of their changing their domestic state, and turning wild.  When it is thought proper to take off the prohibition, all the chiefs assemble at the king’s place of abode, and each brings with him a present of hogs.  The king then orders some of them to be killed, on which they feast; and, after that, every one returns home with liberty to kill what he pleases for his own use.  Such a prohibition was actually in force on our last arrival here; at least in all those districts of the island that are immediately under the direction of Otoo.  And, lest it should have prevented our going to Matavai after leaving Oheitepeha, he sent a message to assure us, that it should be taken off as soon as the ships arrived there.  With respect to us we found it so; but we made such a consumption of them, that, I have no doubt, it would be laid on again as soon as we sailed.  A similar prohibition is also sometimes extended to fowls.

[Footnote 2:  Mr Anderson, invariably in his manuscript, writes Eree de hoi.  According to Captain Cook’s mode, it is Eree rahie.  This is one of the numerous instances that perpetually occur, of our people’s representing the same word differently.—­D.]

It is also amongst the better sort that the ava is chiefly used.  But this beverage is prepared somewhat differently, from that which we saw so much of at the Friendly Islands.  For they pour a very small quantity of water upon the root here, and sometimes roast or bake and bruise the stalks, without chewing it previously to its infusion.  They also use the leaves of the plant here, which are bruised, and water poured upon them, as upon the root.  Large companies do not assemble to drink it in that sociable way which is practised at Tongataboo.  But its pernicious effects are more obvious here; perhaps owing to the manner of preparing it, as we often saw instances of its intoxicating, or rather stupifying powers.  Some of us, who had been at these islands before, were surprised to find many people, who, when we saw them last, were remarkable for their size and corpulency, now almost reduced to skeletons; and, upon enquiring into the cause of this alteration, it was universally allowed to be the use of the ava.  The skins of these people were rough, dry, and covered

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with scales, which, they say, every now and then fall off, and their skin is, as it were, renewed.  As an excuse for a practice so destructive, they allege, that it is adopted to prevent their growing too fat; but it evidently enervates them, and, in all probability, shortens their days.  As its effects had not been so visible during our former visits, it is not unlikely that this article of luxury had never been so much abused as at this time.  If it continues to be so fashionable, it bids fair to destroy great numbers.

The times of eating at Otaheite are very frequent.  Their first meal, or (as it may rather be called) their last, as they go to sleep after it, is about two o’clock in the morning; and the next is at eight.  At eleven, they dine; and again, as Omai expressed it, at two, and at five; and sup at eight.  In this article of domestic life, they have adopted some customs which are exceedingly whimsical.  The women, for instance, have not only the mortification of being obliged to eat by themselves, and in a different part of the house from the men, but, by a strange kind of policy, are excluded from a share of most of the better sorts of food.  They dare not taste turtle, nor fish of the tunny kind, which is much esteemed; nor some particular sorts of the best plantains; and it is very seldom that even those of the first rank are suffered to eat pork.  The children of each sex also eat apart; and the women generally serve up their own victuals; for they would certainly starve before any grown man would do them such an office.  In this, as well as in some other customs relative to their eating, there is a mysterious conduct which we could never thoroughly comprehend.  When we enquired into the reasons of it, we could get no other answer, but that it is right and necessary that it should be so.

In other customs respecting the females, there seems to be no such obscurity; especially as to their connexions with the men.  If a young man and woman, from mutual choice, cohabit, the man gives the father of the girl such things as are necessary in common life; as hogs, cloth, or canoes, in proportion to the time they are together; and, if he thinks that he has not been sufficiently paid for his daughter, he makes no scruple of forcing her to leave her friend, and to cohabit with another person who may be more liberal.  The man, on his part, is always at liberty to make a new choice; but, should his consort become pregnant, he may kill the child; and, after that, either continue his connexion with the mother, or leave her.  But if he should adopt the child, and suffer it to live, the parties are then considered as in the married state, and they commonly live together ever after.  However, it is thought no crime in the man to join a more youthful partner to his first wife, and to live with both.  The custom of changing their connexions is, however, much more general than this last; and it is a thing so common, that they speak

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of it with great indifference.  The Erreoes are only those of the better sort, who, from their fickleness, and their possessing the means of purchasing a succession of fresh connexions, are constantly roaming about; and, from having no particular attachment, seldom adopt the more settled method mentioned above.  And so agreeable is this licentious plan of life to their disposition, that the most beautiful of both sexes thus commonly spend their youthful days, habituated to the practice of enormities which would disgrace the most savage tribes; but are peculiarly shocking amongst a people whose general character, in other respects, has evident traces of the prevalence of humane and tender feelings.[3] When an Erreoe woman is delivered of a child, a piece of cloth, dipped in water, is applied to the mouth and nose, which suffocates it.

[Footnote 3:  That the Caroline Islands are inhabited by the same tribe or nation, whom Captain Cook found, it such immense distances, spread throughout the South Pacific Ocean, has been satisfactorily established in some preceding notes The situation of the Ladrones, or Marianne Islands, still farther north than the Carolines, but at no great distance from them, is favourable, at first sight, to the conjecture, that the same race also peopled that cluster; and, on looking into Father Le Gobien’s history of them, this conjecture appears to be actually confirmed by direct evidence.  One of the greatest singularities of the Otaheite manners, is the existence of the society of young men called Erreoes, of whom some account is given in the preceding paragraph.  Now we learn from Father Le Gobien, that such a society exists also amongst the inhabitants of the Ladrones.  His words are:  Les Urritoes sont parmi eux les jeuns gens qui vivent avec des maitresses, sans vouloir s’engager dans les liens du mariage.  That there should be young men in the Ladrones, as well as in Otaheite, who live with mistresses, without being inclined to enter into the married state, would not, indeed, furnish the shadow of any peculiar resemblance between them.  But that the young men in the Ladrones, and in Otaheite, whose manners are thus licentious, should be considered as a distinct confraternity, called by a particular name; and that this name should be the same in both places:  this singular coincidence of custom, confirmed by that of language, seems to furnish an irrefragable proof of the inhabitants of both places being the same nation.  We know, that it is the general property of the Otaheite dialect, to soften the pronunciation of its words.  And, it is observable, that, by the omission of one single letter (the consonant t), our Arreoys (as spelled in Hawkesworth’s collection), or Erreoes (according to Mr Anderson’s orthography), and the Urritoes of the Ladrones, are brought to such a similitude of sound (the only rule of comparing two unwritten languages), that we may pronounce them to be the same word, without exposing ourselves to the sneers of supercilious criticism.

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One or two more such proofs, drawn from similarity of language, in very significant words, may be assigned.  Le Gobien tells us, that the people of the Ladrones worship their dead, whom they call Anitis.  Here, again, by dropping the consonant n, we have a word that bears a strong resemblance to that which so often occurs in Captain Cook’s voyages, when speaking of the divinities of his islands, whom he calls Eatooas.  And it may be matter of curiosity to remark, that what is called an Aniti, at the Ladrones, is, as we learn from Cantova (Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, tom. xv. p. 309, 310.) at the Caroline Islands, where dead chiefs are also worshipped, called a Tahutup; and that, by softening or sinking the strong sounding letters, at the beginning and at the end of this latter word, the Ahutu of the Carolines, the Aiti of the Ladrones, and the Eatooa of the South Pacific Islands, assume such a similarity in pronunciation (for we can have no other guide), as strongly marks one common original.  Once more; we learn from Le Gobien, that the Marianne people call their chiefs Chamorris, or Chamoris.  And by softening the aspirate Ch into T, and the harshness of r into l (of which the vocabularies of the different islands give us repeated instances), we have the Tamole of the Caroline Islands, and the Tamolao, or Tamaha, of the Friendly ones.

If these specimens of affinity of language should be thought too scanty, some very remarkable instances of similarity of customs and institutions will go far to remove every doubt. 1.  A division into three classes, of nobles, of middle rank, and the common people, or servants, was found, by Captain Cook, to prevail, both at the Friendly and the Society Islands.  Father Le Gobien expressly tells us, that the same distinction prevails at the Ladrones:  Il y a trois etats, parmi les insulaires, la noblesse, le moyen, et le menu. 2.  Numberless instances occur in Captain Cook’s voyage to prove the great subjection under which the people of his islands are to their chiefs.  We learn from Le Gobien, that it is so also at the Ladrones:  La noblesse est d’un fierte incroyable, et tien le peuple dans un abaisement qu’on ne pourroit imaginer en Europe, &c. 3.  The diversions of the natives at Wateeo, the Friendly, and the Society Islands, have been copiously described by Captain Cook.  How similar are those which Le Gobien mentions in the following words, as prevailing at the Ladrones!—­Ils se divertissent a danser, courir, sautir, lutter, pour s’exercer, et eprouver leur forces.  Ils prennent grand plaisir a raconter les avantures de leurs ancetres, et a reciter des vers de leurs poetes. 4.  The principal share sustained by the women, in the entertainments at Captain Cook’s islands, appears sufficiently from a variety of instances in this work; and we cannot read what Le Gobien says of

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the practice at the Ladrones, without tracing the strongest resemblance—­Dans leurs assemblees elles se mettent doux ou trieze femmes en rond, debout, sans se remuer.  Dans cette attitude elles chantent les vers fabuleux de leurs poetes avec un agrement, et une justesse qui plairoit en Europe.  L’accord de leur voix est admirable, et ne cede en rien a la musique concertee.  Elles ont dans les mains de petits coquilles, dont elles se servent avec beaucoup de precision.  Elles soutiennent leur voix, et animent leur chants avec une action si vive, et des gestes si expressives, qu’elles charment ceux qui les voient, et qui les entendent. 5.  We read in Captain Cook’s first voyage, that at Otaheite garlands of the fruit of the palm-tree and cocoa-leaves, with other things particularly consecrated to funeral solemnities, are deposited about the places where they lay their dead; and that provisions and water are also left at a little distance.  How conformable to this is the practice at the Ladrones, as described by Le Gobien!—­Ils font quelques repas autour du tombeau; car on en eleve toujours un sur le lieu ou le corps est enterre, ou dans le voisinage; on le charge de fleurs, de branches de palmiers, de coquillages, et de tout ce qu’ils ont de plus precieux. 6.  It is the custom at Otaheite not to bury the skulls of the chiefs with the rest of the bones, but to put them into boxes made for that purpose.  Here again, we find the same strange custom prevailing at the Ladrones; for Le Gobien expressly tells us, qui’ls gardent les cranes, en leur maisons, that they put these skulls into little baskets (petites corbeilles); and that these dead chiefs are the Anitis, to whom their priests address their invocations. 7.  The people at Otaheite, as we learn from Captain Cook, in his account of Tee’s embalmed corpse, make use of cocoa-nut oil, and other ingredients, in rubbing the dead bodies.  The people of the Ladrones, Father Le Gobien tells us, sometimes do the same—­D’autres frottent les morts d’huile odoriferante. 8.  The inhabitants of Otaheite believe the immortality of the soul; and that there are two situations after death, somewhat analogous to our heaven and hell; but they do not suppose, that their actions here in the least influence their future state.  And in the account given in this Voyage of the religious opinions entertained at the Friendly Islands, we find there exactly the same doctrine.  It is very observable, how conformable to this is the belief of the inhabitants of the Ladrones—­Ils sont persuades (says Le Gobien) de l’immortalite de l’ame.  Ils reconnoissent meme un Paradis et un Enfer, dont ils se forment des idees assez bizarres.  Ce n’est point, selon eux, la vertu ni le crime, qui conduit dans ces lieux la; les bonnes ou les mauvaises actions n’y servent de rien. 9.  One more very singular instance of agreement shall close this long list.  In Captain Cook’s account of the New Zealanders, we find that, according to them, the soul of the man who is killed, and whose flesh is devoured, is doomed to a perpetual fire; while the souls of all who die a natural death, ascend to the habitations of the gods.  And, from Le Gobien, we learn that this very notion is adopted by his islanders—­Si on a le malkeur de mourir de mort violente, on a l’enfer pour leur portage.

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Surely such a concurrence of very characteristic conformities cannot be the result of mere accident; and, when combined with the specimens of affinity of language mentioned at the beginning of this note, it should seem that we are fully warranted, from premises thus unexceptionable, to draw a certain conclusion, that the inhabitants of the various islands discovered or visited by Captain Cook in the South Pacific Ocean, and those whom the Spaniards found settled upon the Ladrones or Mariannes, in the northern hemisphere, carried the same language, customs, and opinions from one common centre, from which they had emigrated; and that, therefore, they may be considered as scattered members of the same nation.

See Pere Le Gobien’s Histoire des Iles Mariannes, Book ii. or the summary of it in Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes, T. ii. p. 492-512, from which the materials for this note have been extracted.—­D.]

As in such a life, their women must contribute a very large share of its happiness, it is rather surprising, besides the humiliating restraints they are laid under with regard to food, to find them often treated with a degree of harshness, or rather brutality, which one would scarcely suppose a man would bestow on an object for whom he had the least affection.  Nothing, however, is more common, than to see the men beat them without mercy; and, unless this treatment is the effect of jealousy, which both sexes, at least, pretend to be sometimes infected with, it will be difficult to account for it.  It will be less difficult to admit this as the motive, as I have seen several instances where the women have preferred personal beauty to interest; though, I must own, that even in these cases, they seem scarcely susceptible of those delicate sentiments that are the result of mutual affection; and, I believe, that there is less Platonic love in Otaheite than in any other country.

Cutting, or inciding the foreskin, should be mentioned here as a practice adopted amongst them from a notion of cleanliness; and they have a reproachful epithet in their language for those who do not observe that custom.  When there are five or six lads pretty well grown up in a neighbourhood, the father of one of them goes to a Tahoua, or man of knowledge, and lets him know.  He goes with the lads to the top of the hills, attended by a servant, and seating one of them properly, introduces a piece of wood underneath the foreskin, and desires him to look aside at something he pretends is coming; having thus engaged the young man’s attention to another object, he cuts through the skin upon the wood with a shark’s tooth, generally at one stroke.  He then separates, or rather turns back the divided parts; and having put on a bandage, proceeds to perform the same operation on the other lads.  At the end of five days they bathe, and the bandages being taken off, the matter is cleaned away.  At the end of five days more

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they bathe again, and are well; but a thickness of the prepuce, where it was cut, remaining, they go again to the mountains with the Tahoua and servant; and a fire being prepared, and some stones heated, the Tahoua puts the prepuce between two of them, and squeezes it gently, which removes the thickness.  They then return home, having their heads, and other parts of their bodies, adorned with odoriferous flowers; and the Tahoua is rewarded for his services by their fathers, in proportion to their several abilities, with presents of hogs and cloth; and if they be poor, their relations are liberal on the occasion.

Their religious system is extensive, and, in many instances, singular; but few of the common people have a perfect knowledge of it; that being confined chiefly to their priests, who are pretty numerous.  They do not seem to pay respect to one god, as possessing pre-eminence; but believe in a plurality of divinities, who are all very powerful; and in this case, as different parts of the island, and the other islands in the neighbourhood, have different ones, the inhabitants of each, no doubt, think that they have chosen the most eminent, or, at least, one who is invested with power sufficient to protect them, and to supply all their wants.  If he should not answer their expectations, they think it no impiety to change; as has very lately happened in Tiarabooa, where, in the room of the two divinities formerly honoured there, Oraa,[4] god of Bolabola, had been adopted, I should suppose, because he is the protector of a people who have been victorious in war; and as, since they have made this change, they have been very successful themselves against the inhabitants of Otaheite-nooe, they impute it entirely to Oraa, who, as they literally say, fights their battles.

[Footnote 4:  We have another instance of the same word being differently pronounced by our people.  Captain Cook, as appears above, speaks of Olla as the Bolabola god.—­D.]

Their assiduity in serving their gods is remarkably conspicuous.  Not only the whattas, or offering-places of the morais, are commonly loaded with fruits and animals, but there are few houses where you do not meet with a small place of the same sort near them.  Many of them are so rigidly scrupulous, that they will not begin a meal without first laying aside a morsel for the Eatooa; and we had an opportunity, during this voyage, of seeing their superstitious zeal carried to a most pernicious height, in the instance of human sacrifices; the occasions of offering which, I doubt, are too frequent.  Perhaps they have recourse to them when misfortunes occur; for they asked, if one of our men, who happened to be confined, when we were detained by a contrary wind, was taboo?  Their prayers are also very frequent, which they chaunt, much after the manner of their songs in their festive entertainments.  And the women, as in other cases,

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are also obliged to shew their inferiority in religious observances; for it is required of them, that they should partly uncover themselves as they pass the morais, or take a considerable circuit to avoid them.  Though they have no notion that their god must always be conferring benefits, without sometimes forgetting them, or suffering evil to befall them, they seem to regard this less than the attempts of some more inauspicious being to hurt them.  They tell us, that Etee is an evil spirit, who sometimes does them mischief; and to whom, as well as to their god, they make offerings.  But the mischiefs they apprehend from any superior invisible beings, are confined to things merely temporal.

They believe the soul to be both immaterial and immortal.  They say that it keeps fluttering about the lips during the pangs of death; and that then it ascends and mixes with, or, as they express it, is eaten by the deity.  In this state it remains for some time; after which it departs to a certain place, destined for the reception of the souls of men where it exists in eternal night; or, as they sometimes say, in twilight or dawn.  They have no idea of any permanent punishment after death, for crimes that they have committed on earth; for the souls of good and of bad men are eat indiscriminately by God.  But they certainly consider this coalition with the deity as a kind of purification necessary to be undergone before they enter a state of bliss.  For, according to their doctrine, if a man refrain from all connexion with women some months before death, he passes immediately into his eternal mansion, without such a previous union; as if already, by this abstinence, he were pure enough to be exempted from the general lot.

They are, however, far from entertaining those sublime conceptions of happiness, which our religion, and indeed reason, gives us room to expect hereafter.  The only great privilege they seem to think they shall acquire by death is immortality; for they speak of spirits being, in some measure, not totally divested of those passions which actuated them when combined with material vehicles.  Thus, if souls, who were formerly enemies, should meet, they have many conflicts; though, it should seem, to no purpose, as they are accounted invulnerable in this invisible state.  There is a similar reasoning with regard to the meeting of man and wife.  If the husband dies first, the soul of the wife is known to him on its arrival in the land of spirits.  They resume their former acquaintance, in a spacious house, called tourooa, where the souls of the deceased assemble to recreate themselves with the gods.  She then retires with him, to his separate habitation, where they remain for ever, and have an offspring; which, however, is entirely spiritual, as they are neither married, nor are their embraces supposed to be the same as with corporeal beings.

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Some of their notions about the deity are extravagantly absurd:  They believe that he is subject to the power of those very spirits to whom he has given existence; and that, in their turn, they frequently eat or devour him, though he possess the power of re-creating himself.  They doubtless use this mode of expression, as they seem incapable of conversing about immaterial things, without constantly referring to material objects to convey their meaning.  And in this manner they continue the account, by saying, that, in the tourooa, the deity enquires if they intend, or not, to destroy him?  And that he is not able to alter their determination.  This is known to the inhabitants on earth, as well as to the spirits; for when the moon is in its wane, it is said that they are then devouring their Eatooa; and that as it increases he is renewing himself.  And to this accident, not only the inferior, but the most eminent gods are liable.  They also believe, that there are other places for the reception of souls at death.  Thus, those who are drowned in the sea remain there; where they think that there is a fine country, houses, and every thing that can make them happy.  But, what is more singular, they maintain, that not only all other animals, but trees, fruit, and even stones, have souls, which at death, or upon being consumed or broken, ascend to the divinity, with whom they first mix, and afterwards pass into the mansion allotted to each.

They imagine that their punctual performance of religious offices procures for them every temporal blessing.  And as they believe that the animating and powerful influence of the divine spirit is every where diffused, it is no wonder that they join to this many superstitious opinions about its operations.  Accordingly, they believe that sudden deaths, and all other accidents, are effected by the immediate action of some divinity.  If a man only stumble against a stone and hurt his toe, they impute it to an Eatooa; so that they may be literally said, agreeably to their system, to tread enchanted ground.  They are startled in the night on approaching a toopapaoo, where the dead are exposed, in the same manner that many of our ignorant and superstitious people are with the apprehensions of ghosts, and at the sight of a church-yard; and they have an equal confidence in dreams, which they suppose to be communications either from their god, or from the spirits of their departed friends, enabling those favoured with them to foretell future events; but this kind of knowledge is confined to particular people.  Omai pretended to have his gift.  He told us, that the soul of his father had intimated to him in a dream, on the 26th of July 1776, that he should go on shore at some place within three days; but he was unfortunate in this first attempt to persuade us that he was a prophet; for it was the 1st of August before we got into Teneriffe.  Amongst them, however, the dreamers possess a reputation little

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inferior to that of their inspired priests and priestesses, whose predictions they implicitly believe, and are determined by them in all undertakings of consequence.  The priestess who persuaded Opoony to invade Ulietea, is much respected by him; and he never goes to war without consulting her.  They also, in some degree, maintain our old doctrine of planetary influence; at least, they are sometimes regulated in their public counsels by certain appearances of the moon; particularly when lying horizontally, or much inclined on the convex part, on its first appearance after the change, they are encouraged to engage in war with confidence of success.

They have traditions concerning the creation, which, as might be expected, are complex and clouded with obscurity.  They say, that a goddess, having a lump or mass of earth suspended in a cord, gave it a swing, and scattered about pieces of land, thus constituting Otaheite and the neighbouring islands, which were all peopled by a man and woman, originally fixed at Otaheite.  This, however, only respects their own immediate creation; for they have notions of an universal one before this; and of lands, of which they have now no other knowledge than what is mentioned in the tradition.  Their most remote account reaches to Tatooma and Tapuppa, male and female stones or rocks, who support the congeries of land and water, or our globe underneath.  These produced Totorro, who was killed, and divided into land; and after him Otaia and Oroo were begotten, who were afterward married, and produced, first, land, and then a race of gods.  Otaia is killed, and Oroo marries a god, her son, called Teorrhaha, whom she orders to create more land, the animals, and all sorts of food found upon the earth; as also the sky, which is supported by men called Teeferei.  The spots observed in the moon, are supposed to be groves of a sort of trees which once grew in Otaheite, and being destroyed by some accident, their seeds were carried up thither by doves, where they now flourish.

They have also many legends, both religious and historical; one of which latter, relative to the practice of eating human flesh, I shall give the substance of, as a specimen of their method.  A long time since there lived in Otaheite two men, called Taheeai, the only name they yet have for cannibals; none knew from whence they came, or in what manner they arrived at the island.  Their habitation was in the mountains, from whence they used to issue, and kill many of the natives, whom they afterward devoured, and by that means prevented the progress of population.  Two brothers, determined to rid their country of such a formidable enemy, used a stratagem for their destruction, with success.  These still lived farther upward than the Taheeai, and in such a situation that they could speak with them without greatly hazarding their own safety; they invited them to accept of an entertainment that should be provided for them, to which these readily consented. 

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The brothers then taking some stones, heated them in a fire, and thrusting them into pieces of mahee, desired one of the Taheeai to open his mouth; on which one of these pieces was dropped in, and some water poured down, which made a boiling or hissing noise, in quenching the stone, and killed him.  They entreated the other to do the same; but he declined it, representing the consequences of his companion’s eating.  However, they assured him that the food was excellent, and its effects only temporary; for that the other would soon recover.  His credulity was such that be swallowed the bait, and shared the fate of the first.  The natives then cut them in pieces, which they buried; and conferred the government of the island on the brothers, as a reward for delivering them from such monsters.  Their residence was in the district called Whapaeenoo; and to this day there remains a bread-fruit tree, once the property of the Taheeais.  They had also a woman, who lived with them, and had two teeth of a prodigious size.  After they were killed, she lived at the island Otaha; and when dead, was ranked amongst their deities.  She did not eat human flesh, as the men; but, from the size of her teeth, the natives still call any animal that has a fierce appearance, or is represented with large tusks, Taheeai.

Every one must allow that this story is just as natural as that of Hercules destroying the hydra, or the more modern one of Jack the giant-killer.  But I do not find that there is any moral couched under it, any more than under most old fables of the same kind, which have been received as truths only during the prevalence of the same ignorance that marked the character of the ages in which they were invented.  It, however, has not been improperly introduced, as serving to express the horror and detestation entertained here against those who feed upon human flesh.  And yet, from some circumstances, I have been led to think that the natives of these isles were formerly cannibals.  Upon asking Omai, he denied it stoutly; yet mentioned a fact, within his own knowledge, which almost confirms such an opinion.  When the people of Bolabola, one time, defeated those of Huaheine, a great number of his kinsmen were slain.  But one of his relations had, afterward, an opportunity of revenging himself, when the Bolabola men were worsted in their turn, and cutting a piece out of the thigh of one of his enemies, he broiled, and eat it.  I have also frequently considered the offering of the person’s eye, who is sacrificed, to the chief, as a vestige of a custom which once really existed to a greater extent, and is still commemorated by this emblematical ceremony.

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The being invested with the maro, and the presiding at human sacrifices, seem to be the peculiar characteristics of the sovereign.  To these, perhaps, may be added the blowing a conch-shell, which produces a very loud sound.  On hearing it, all his subjects are obliged to bring food of every sort to his royal residence, in proportion to their abilities.  On some other occasions, they carry their veneration for his very name to an extravagant and very destructive pitch.  For if, on his accession to the maro, any words in their language be found to have a resemblance to it in sound, they are changed for others; and if any man be bold enough not to comply, and continue to use those words, not only he, but all his relations, are immediately put to death.  The same severity is exercised toward those who shall presume to apply this sacred name to any animal.  And, agreeably to this custom of his countrymen, Omai used to express his indignation, that the English should give the names of prince or princess to their favourite horses or dogs.  But while death is the punishment for making free with the name of their sovereign, if abuse be only levelled at his government, the offender escapes with the forfeiture of lands and houses.

The king never enters the house of any of his subjects, but has, in every district where he visits, houses belonging to himself.  And if, at any time, he should be obliged by accident to deviate from this rule, the house thus honoured with his presence, and every part of its furniture, is burnt.  His subjects not only uncover to him, when present, down to the waist; but if he be at any particular place, a pole, having a piece of cloth tied to it, is set up somewhere near, to which they pay the same honours.  His brothers are also entitled to the first part of the ceremony; but the women only uncover to the females of the royal family.  In short, they seem even superstitious in their respect to him, and esteem his person little less than sacred.  And it is, perhaps, to these circumstances, that he owes the quiet possession of his dominions.  For even the people of Tiaraboo allow him the same honours as his right; though, at the same time, they look upon their own chief as more powerful; and say, that he would succeed to the government of the whole island, should the present reigning family become extinct.  This is the more likely, as Waheiadooa not only possesses Tiaraboo, but many districts of Opooreanoo.  His territories, therefore, are almost equal in extent to those of Otoo; and he has, besides, the advantage of a more populous and fertile part of the island.  His subjects, also, have given proofs of their superiority, by frequent victories over those of Otaheite-nooe, whom they affect to speak of as contemptible warriors, easily to be worsted, if at any time their chief should wish to put it to the test.

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The ranks of people, besides the Eree de hoi and his family, are the Erees, or powerful chiefs; the Manahoone, or vassals; and the Teou, or Toutou, servants, or rather slaves.  The men of each of these, according to the regular institution, form their connexions with women of their respective ranks; but if with any inferior one, which frequently happens, and a child be born, it is preserved, and has the rank of the father, unless he happens to be an Eree, in which case it is killed.  If a woman of condition should choose an inferior person to officiate as a husband, the children he has by her are killed.  And if a Teou be caught in an intrigue with a woman of the blood-royal, he is put to death.  The son of the Eree de hoi succeeds his father in title and honours as soon as he is born; but if he should have no children, the brother assumes the government at his death.  In other families, possessions always descend to the eldest son; but he is obliged to maintain his brothers and sisters, who are allowed houses on his estates.

The boundaries of the several districts, into which Otaheite is divided, are, generally, either rivulets, or low hills, which, in many places, jut out into the sea.  But the subdivisions into particular property, are marked by large stones, which have remained from one generation to another.  The removal of any of these gives rise to quarrels, which are decided by arms; each party bringing his friends into the field.  But if any one complain to the Eree de hoi, he terminates the difference amicably.  This is an offence, however, not common; and long custom seems to secure property here as effectually as the most severe laws do in other countries.  In conformity also to ancient practice established amongst them, crimes of a less general nature are left to be punished by the sufferer, without referring them to a superior.  In this case, they seem to think that the injured person will judge as equitably as those who are totally unconcerned; and as long custom has allotted certain punishments for crimes of different sorts, he is allowed to inflict them, without being amenable to any other person.  Thus, if any one be caught stealing, which is commonly done in the night, the proprietor of the goods may put the thief instantly to death; and if any one should enquire of him after the deceased, it is sufficient to acquit him, if he only informs them of the provocation he had to kill him.  But so severe a punishment is seldom inflicted, unless the articles that are stolen be reckoned very valuable; such as breast-plates and plaited hair.  If only cloth, or even hogs, be stolen, and the thief escape, upon his being afterward discovered, if he promise to return the same number of pieces of cloth, or of hogs, no farther punishment is inflicted.  Sometimes, after keeping out of the way for a few days, he is forgiven, or, at most, gets a slight beating.  If a person kill another

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in a quarrel, the friends of the deceased assemble, and engage the survivor and his adherents.  If they conquer, they take possession of the house, lands, and goods of the other party; but if conquered, the reverse takes place.  If a Manahoone kill the Toutou, or slave of a chief, the latter sends people to take possession of the lands and house of the former, who flies either to some other part of the island, or to some of the neighbouring islands.  After some months he returns, and finding his stock of hogs much increased, he offers a large present of these, with some red feathers, and other valuable articles, to the Toutou’s master, who generally accepts the compensation, and permits him to repossess his house and lands.  This practice is the height of venality and injustice; and the slayer of the slave seems to be under no farther necessity of absconding, than to impose upon the lower class of people, who are the sufferers.  For it does not appear that the chief has the least power to punish this Manahoone; but the whole management marks a collusion between him and his superior, to gratify the revenge of the former, and the avarice of the latter.  Indeed, we need not wonder that the killing of a man should be considered as so venial an offence, amongst a people who do not consider it as any crime at all to murder their own children.  When talking to them, about such instances of unnatural cruelty, and asking, whether the chiefs or principal people were not angry, and did not punish them?  I was told, that the chief neither could nor would interfere in such cases; and that every one had a right to do with his own child what he pleased.

Though the productions, the people, and the customs and manners of all the islands in the neighbourhood, may, in general, be reckoned the same as at Otaheite, there are a few differences which should be mentioned, as this may lead to an enquiry about more material ones hereafter, if such there be, of which we are now ignorant.

With regard to the little island Mataia, or Osnaburgh Island, which lies twenty leagues east of Otaheite, and belongs to a chief of that place, who gets from thence a kind of tribute, a different dialect from that of Otaheite is there spoken.  The men of Mataia also wear their hair very long; and when they fight, cover their arms with a substance which is beset with sharks’ teeth, and their bodies with a sort of shagreen, being skin of fishes.  At the same time they are ornamented with polished pearl-shells, which make a prodigious glittering in the sun; and they have a very large one, that covers them before, like a shield or breast plate.

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The language of Otaheite has many words, and even phrases, quite unlike those of the islands to the westward of it, which all agree; and this island is remarkable for producing great quantities of that delicious fruit we call apples, which are found in none of the others, except Eimeo.  It has also the advantage of producing an odoriferous wood, called eahoi, which is highly valued at the other isles, where there is none; nor even in the south-east peninsula, or Tiaraboo, though joining it.  Huaheine and Eimeo, again, are remarkable for producing greater quantities of yams than the other islands.  And at Mourooa there is a particular bird, found upon the hills, much esteemed for its white feathers; at which place there is also said to be some of the apples, though it be the most remote of the Society Islands from Otaheite and Eimeo, where they are produced.

Though the religion of all the islands be the same, each of them has its particular, or tutelar god; whose names, according to the best information I could receive, are set down in the following list: 

Gods of the Isles,

Huaheine, Tanne.
Ulietea, Oore.
Otaha, Tanne.
Bolabola, Oraa.
Mourooa, Otoo, ee weiahoo.
Toobaee, Tamouee.
Tabooymanoo, or Saunders’s \
Island, which } Taroa.
is subject to Huaheine,/
Eimeo, Oroo hadoo.

Otaheite-nooe,} Ooroo.
Otaheite, {
Tiaraboo, } {_Opoonooa_ and whom they have
{_Whatooteeree_, { lately changed
for Oraa, god
of Bolabola.

Mataia or Osnaburgh Tooboo, toobooai, Ry maraiva.

The Low Isles, Eastward Tammaree.

Besides the cluster of high islands from Mataia to Mourooa inclusive, the people of Otaheite are acquainted with a low uninhabited island, which they name Mopeeha, and seems to be Howe’s Island, laid down to the westward of Mourooa in our late charts of this ocean.  To this the inhabitants of the most leeward islands sometimes go.  There are also several low islands, to the north-eastward of Otaheite, which they have sometimes visited, but not constantly; and are said to be only at the distance of two days’ sail, with a fair wind.  They were thus named to me: 

  Oanaa, called Oannah, in Dalrymple’s letter to Hawkesworth
  Otavaoo, where are large pearls.

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The inhabitants of these isles come more frequently to Otaheite and the other neighbouring high islands, from whose natives they differ in being of a darker colour, with a fiercer aspect, and differently punctured.  I was informed, that at Mataeeva, and others of them, it is a custom for the men to give their daughters to strangers who arrive amongst them; but the pairs must be five nights lying near each other, without presuming to proceed farther.  On the sixth evening, the father of the young woman, treats his guest with food, and informs his daughter, that she must, that night, receive him as her husband.  The stranger, however, must not offer to express the least dislike, though the bed-fellow allotted to him should be ever so disagreeable; for this is considered as an unpardonable affront, and is punished with death.  Forty men of Bolabola, who, incited by curiosity, had roamed as far as Mataeeva in a canoe, were treated in this manner; one of them having incautiously mentioned his dislike of the woman who fell to his lot, in the hearing of a boy, who informed her father.  In consequence of this the Mateevans fell upon them; but these warlike people killed three times their own number; though with the loss of all their party, except five.  These hid themselves in the woods, and took an opportunity, when the others were burying their dead, to enter some houses, where, having provided themselves with victuals and water, they carried them on board a canoe, in which they made their escape; and, after passing Mataia, at which they would not touch, at last arrived safe at Eimeo.  The Bolabolans, however, were sensible enough that their travellers had been to blame; for a canoe from Mateeva, arriving some time after at Bolabola, so far were they from retaliating upon them for the death of their countrymen, that they acknowledged they had deserved their fate, and treated their visitors kindly.

These low isles are, doubtless, the farthest navigation which those of Otaheite and the Society Islands perform at present.  It seems to be a groundless supposition, made by Mons. de Bougainville, that they made voyages of the prodigious extent[5] he mentions; for I found, that it is reckoned a sort of a prodigy, that a canoe, once driven by a storm from Otaheite, should have fallen in with Mopeeha, or Howe’s Island, though so near, and directly to leeward.  The knowledge they have of other distant islands is, no doubt, traditional; and has been communicated to them by the natives of those islands, driven accidentally upon their coasts, who, besides giving them the names, could easily inform them of the direction in which the places lie from whence they came, and of the number of days they had been upon the sea.  In this manner, it may be supposed, that the natives of Wateeoo have increased their catalogue by the addition of Otaheite and its neighbouring isles, from the people we met with there, and also of the other islands these had heard of.  We may thus account for that extensive knowledge attributed by the gentlemen of the Endeavour to Tupia in such matters.  And, with all due deference to his veracity, I presume that it was, by the same means of information, that he was able to direct the ship to Oheteroa, without having ever been there himself, as he pretended; which, on many accounts, is very improbable.[6]

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[Footnote 5:  See Bougainville’s Voyage autour du Monde, p. 228, where we are told that these people sometimes navigate at the distance of more than three hundred leagues.—­D.]

[Footnote 6:  Though much of Mr Anderson’s account of Otaheite, &c. be very similar to what has been given in the preceding relations, yet it must be allowed to possess too great merit to warrant omission or alteration.  He has been fortunate, certainly, in delineating the manners and opinions of the people; and perhaps, on the whole, his information bears more decisive marks of care and intimate acquaintance than any other we possess on the subject.  This, it may be said, is no very high merit; because, having the benefit of pretty extensive labours, he had only to compare a picture with its original, as presented to his notice, and was under no necessity of dividing his attention among a multiplicity of unconnected objects.  Still this remark is not just, unless it be shewn that he has merely affirmed the likeness or unlikeness he observed betwixt them, and specified the peculiarities of resemblance or dissimilarity.  In place of doing so, however, he has executed another picture.  But such analogical reasoning is more fanciful than judicious; and even were it correctly applicable to the case, it is evident, that no one would be entitled to decide as to the respective merits of the productions, who was not familiar with the objects which they represented.  Now, the fact is, that Mr Anderson had no opportunity of availing himself of what others had done before, unless we except the avowedly imperfect delineations in Hawkesworth’s Narrative, from which we can scarcely believe he could derive material assistance.  The reader will understand this at once, by considering, that neither Cook’s account of his second voyage, nor the productions of Mr Forster, had been published before the commencement of this expedition.  It may, however, be imagined, that Cook himself would communicate to Mr Anderson such particulars of his former journal as were likely to aid him in his present researches.  Even this supposition is exceedingly unnecessary; because, it appears from the Memoir of Cook, in the Biog.  Brit. that that officer rather received assistance from Mr Anderson during the former navigation; and we shall afterwards see reason to consider him as possessed of abilities, and a talent for observation, which rendered him very independent of others.  His description, therefore, is to be judged an original one, and as such is entitled to the highest distinction.  It may indeed be somewhat chargeable with the exaggerations of a warm fancy, especially as to what is said of the religious notions of these islanders, which perhaps assume more of system and regularity through the medium of Mr A.’s report, than it is altogether likely would be found to exist in their popular creeds.  This is easily understood, without any aspersion on his veracity.  For, as it will be allowed that

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he possessed greater compass of mind, and was more in the habit of exercising thought than the people whose opinions he described, so it may thence be readily inferred, that, what to them was confused and unconnected, as is commonly the case with the superstitions of the illiterate in all countries, his philosophical genius, working on obvious and remote analogies, wrought into order, and stamped with the semblance, at least, of theoretical consistency.  We had at one time purposed to offer a few remarks on certain parts of his description, but, on second thoughts, it occurred, that, on the whole, the subject had received a very ample share of attention in the course of these voyages.—­E.]


Progress of the Voyage, after leaving the Society Islands.—­Christmas Island discovered, and Station of the Ships there.—­Boats sent ashore.—­Great Success in catching Turtle.—­An Eclipse of the Sun observed.—­Distress of two Seamen who had lost their Way.—­Inscription left in a Bottle.—­Account of the Island.—­Its Soil.—­Trees and Plants.—­Birds.—­Its Size.—­Form.—­Situation.—­Anchoring Ground.

After leaving Bolabola, I steered to the northward, close-hauled, with the wind between N.E. and E., hardly ever having it to the southward of E., till after we had crossed the Line, and had got into N. latitudes.  So that our course, made good, was always to the W. of N., and sometimes no better than N.W.

Though seventeen months had now elapsed since our departure from England, during which, we had not, upon the whole, been unprofitably employed, I was sensible, that with regard to the principal object of my instructions, our voyage was, at this time, only beginning; and, therefore, my attention to every circumstance that might contribute toward our safety and our ultimate success, was now to be called forth anew.  With this view I had examined into the state of our provisions at the last islands; and, as soon as I had left them, and got beyond the extent of my former discoveries, I ordered a survey to be taken of all the boatswain’s and carpenter’s stores that were in the ships, that I might be fully informed of the quantity, state, and condition of every article; and, by that means, know how to use them to the greatest advantage.

Before I sailed from the Society Islands, I lost no opportunity of enquiring of the inhabitants, if there were any islands in a N. or N.W. direction from them; but I did not find that they knew of any.  Nor did we meet with any thing that indicated the vicinity of land, till we came to about the latitude of 8 deg.  S., where we began to see birds, such as boobies, tropic, and men-of-war birds, tern, and some other sorts.  At this time our longitude was 205 deg.  E. Mendana, in his first voyage in 1568,[1] discovered an island which he named Isla de Jesus, in latitude 6 deg. 45’ S., and 1450 leagues from Callao, which is 200 deg.  E. longitude from Greenwich.  We crossed this latitude near a hundred leagues to the eastward of this longitude, and saw there many of the above-mentioned birds, which are seldom known to go very far from land.

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[Footnote 1:  See Dalrymple’s Collection, vol. i. p. 45.]

In the night, between the 22d and 23d, we crossed the Line in the longitude of 203 deg. 15’ E. Here the variation of the compass was 6 deg. 30’ E. nearly.

On the 24th, about half an hour after day-break, land was discovered bearing N.E. by E. 1/2 E. Upon a nearer approach, it was found to be one of those low islands so common in this ocean, that is, a narrow bank of land inclosing the sea within.  A few cocoa-nut trees were seen in two or three places; but, in general, the land had a very barren appearance.  At noon, it extended from N.E. by E. to S. by E. 1/2 E., about four miles distant.  The wind was at E.S.E., so that we were under a necessity of making a few boards, to get up to the lee or west side, where we found from forty to twenty and fourteen fathoms water, over a bottom of fine sand, the least depth about half a mile from, the breakers, and the greatest about one mile.  The meeting with soundings determined me to anchor, with a view to try to get some turtles, for the island seemed to be a likely place to meet with them, and to be without inhabitants.  Accordingly we dropped anchor in thirty fathoms; and then a boat was dispatched to examine whether it was practicable to land, of which I had some doubt, as the sea broke in a dreadful surf all along the shore.  When the boat returned, the officer, whom I had entrusted with this examination, reported to me that he could see no place where a boat could land, but that there was great abundance of fish in the shoal water, without the breakers.

At day-break, the next morning, I sent two boats, one from each ship, to search more accurately for a landing-place; and, at the same time, two others to fish at a grappling near the shore.  These last returned about eight o’clock, with upward of two hundred weight of fish.  Encouraged by this success, they were dispatched again after breakfast; and I then went in another boat, to take a view of the coast and attempt landing, but this I found to be wholly impracticable.  Toward noon, the two boats, sent on the same search, returned.  The master, who was in that belonging to the Resolution, reported to me, that about a league and a half to the N., was a break in the land, and a channel into the lagoon, consequently, that there was a fit place for landing; and that he had found the same soundings off this entrance, as we had where we now lay.  In consequence of this report the ships weighed anchor, and, after two or three trips, came to again in twenty fathoms water, over a bottom of fine dark sand, before a small island that lies at the entrance of the lagoon, and on each side of which there is a channel leading into it, but only fit for boats.  The water in the lagoon itself is all very shallow.

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On the 26th, in the morning, I ordered Captain Clerke to send a boat, with an officer, to the S.E. part of the lagoon, to look for turtles; and Mr King and I went each in a boat to the N.E. part.  I intended to have gone to the most easterly extremity, but the wind blew too fresh to allow it, and obliged us to land more to leeward, on a sandy flat, where we caught one turtle, the only one that we saw in the lagoon.  We walked, or rather waded, through the water to an island, where finding nothing but a few birds, I left it, and proceeded to the land that bounds the sea to the N.W., leaving Mr King to observe the sun’s meridian altitude.  I found this land to be even more barren than the island I had been upon; but walking over to the sea-coast, I saw five turtles close to the shore.  One of these we caught, and the rest made their escape.  Not seeing any more I returned on board, as did Mr King soon after, without having seen one turtle.  We, however, did not despair of getting a supply; for some of Captain Clerke’s officers, who had been ashore on the land to the southward of the channel leading into the lagoon, had been more fortunate, and caught several there.

In the morning of the 27th, the pinnace and cutter, under the command of Mr King, were sent to the S.E. part of the island, within the lagoon, and the small cutter to the northward, where I had been the day before, both parties being ordered upon the same service, to catch turtles.  Captain Clerke having had some of his people on shore all night, they had been so fortunate as to turn between forty and fifty on the sand, which were brought on board with all expedition this day.  And, in the afternoon, the party I had sent northward returned with six.  They were sent back again, and remained there till we left the island, having in general pretty good success.

On the 28th, I landed in company with Mr Bayly, on the island which lies between the two channels into the lagoon, to prepare the telescopes for observing the approaching eclipse of the sun, which was one great inducement to my anchoring here.  About noon, Mr King returned with one boat and eight turtles, leaving seven behind to be brought by the other boat, whose people were employed in catching more; and, in the evening, the same boat was sent with water and provisions for them.  Mr Williamson now went to superintend this duty in the room of Mr King, who remained on board to attend the observation of the eclipse.

The next day, Mr Williamson dispatched the two boats back to the ship, laden with turtles.  At the same time, he sent me a message, desiring that the boats might be ordered round by sea, as he had found a landing-place on the S.E. side of the island, where most of the turtles were caught; so that by sending the boats thither, the trouble would be saved of carrying them over the land to the inside of the lagoon, as had been hitherto done.  The boats were accordingly dispatched to the place which he pointed out.

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On the morning of the 30th, the day when the eclipse was to happen, Mr King, Mr Bayly, and myself, went ashore on the small island above-mentioned, to attend the observation.  The sky was over-cast till past nine o’clock, when the clouds about the sun dispersed long enough to take its altitude, to rectify the time by the watch we made use of.  After this, it was again obscured, till about thirty minutes past nine, and then we found that the eclipse was begun.  We now fixed the micrometers to the telescopes, and observed or measured the uneclipsed part of the sun’s disk.  At these observations I continued about three-quarters of an hour before the end, when I left off, being, in fact, unable to continue them longer, on account of the great heat of the sun, increased by the reflection from the sand.

The sun was clouded at times; but it was clear when the eclipse ended, the time of which was observed as follows: 

Mr Bayly        0  26   3
By    Mr King    at   0  26   1   Apparent Time p.m. 
Myself          0  25  37

Mr Bayly and I observed with the large achromatic telescopes, and Mr King with a reflector.  As Mr Bayly’s telescope and mine were of the same magnifying power, I ought not to have differed so much from him as I did.  Perhaps, it was, in part, if not wholly owing to a protuberance in the moon, which escaped my notice, but was seen by both the other gentlemen.

In the afternoon, the boats and turtling party, at the S.E. part of the island, all returned on board, except a seaman belonging to the Discovery, who had been missing two days.  There were two of them at first who had lost their way, but disagreeing about the most probable track to bring them back to their companions, they had separated, and one of them joined the party, after having been absent twenty-four hours, and been in great distress.  Not a drop of fresh water could be had, for there is none upon the whole island; nor was there a single cocoa-nut tree on that part of it.  In order to allay his thirst, be had recourse to the singular expedient of killing turtles, and drinking their blood.  His mode of refreshing himself, when weary, of which he said he felt the good effects, was equally whimsical.  He undressed himself, and lay down for some time in the shallow water upon the beach.[2]

[Footnote 2:  The practice is deserving of a better epithet.  It is highly judicious, and may often be adopted with the best effects.  The use of the cold bath in cases of fever is not materially different; and it is most certain, that washing the body with either cold or warm water, is one of the best methods of relieving the sense of weariness consequent on fatiguing exercise.  Some caution is undoubtedly required in using it; but on the whole, there is much less danger in the application than is commonly imagined.  The natural indications are chiefly to be regarded.  Thus it is not likely that a person already cooled down below the natural standard, so as to feel positively

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cold or chilly, will run the risk of greater reduction of temperature by immersion in cold water; and on the other hand, when most warm, in which state such reduction is safest, there is the greatest inclination to have recourse to it.  It is advisable to employ friction with cloths in most cases, but more especially where perspiration has been brought on, in which state, cold bathing, unless preceded by that process in such a degree as to excite a sense of heat on the surface, is improper, for a reason above assigned, perspiration always occasioning a reduction of temperature.  This subject is an important one, but could not be discussed here; there seemed, however, some good end likely to be answered by at least directing attention to it.—­E.]

It was a matter of surprise to every one, how these two men could contrive to lose themselves.  The land over which they had to travel, from the sea-coast to the lagoon, where the boats lay, was not more than three miles across, nor was there any thing to obstruct their view, for the country was a flat, with a few shrubs scattered upon it, and from many parts of it, the masts of the ships could easily be seen.  But this was a rule of direction they never once thought of; nor did they recollect in what quarter of the island the ships had anchored, and they were as much at a loss how to get back to them, or to the party they had straggled from, as if they had but just dropped from the clouds.  Considering how strange a set of beings the generality of seamen are, when on shore, instead of being surprised that these two men should thus lose their way, it is rather to be wondered at, that no more of the party were missing.  Indeed, one of those who landed with me was in a similar situation; but he had sagacity enough to know that the ships were to leeward, and got on board almost as soon as it was discovered that he had been left behind.

As soon as Captain Clerke knew that one of the stragglers was still in this awkward situation, he sent a party in search of him; but neither the man nor the party having come back, the next morning I ordered two boats into the lagoon, to go different ways, in prosecution of the search.  Not long after, Captain Clerke’s party returned with their lost companion; and my boats having now no object left, I called them back by signal.  This poor fellow must have suffered far greater distress than the other straggler, not only as having been lost a longer time, but as we found that he was too squeamish to drink turtle’s blood.

Having some cocoa-nuts and yams on board, in a state of vegetation, I ordered them to be planted on the little island where we had observed the eclipse, and some melon-seeds were sown in another place.  I also left, on the little island, a bottle containing this inscription: 

Georgius, Tertius, Rex, 31 Decembris, 1777.
Naves {Resolution, Jac.  Cook, Pr.
_{Discovery, Car.  Clerke, Pr._

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On the 1st of January, 1778, I sent boats to bring on board all our parties from the land, and the turtles they had caught.  Before this was completed it was late in the afternoon, so that I did not think proper to sail till next morning.  We got at this island, to both ships, about three hundred turtles, weighing, one with another, about ninety or a hundred pounds.  They were all of the green kind, and perhaps as good as any in the world.  We also caught, with hook and line, as much fish as we could consume during our stay.  They consisted principally of cavallies of different sizes, large and small snappers, and a few of two sorts of rock-fish, one with numerous spots of blue, and the other with whitish streaks scattered about.

The soil of this island, in some places, is light and black, evidently composed of decayed vegetables, the dung of birds, and sand.  There are other places again, where nothing but marine productions, such as broken coral stones and shells are to be seen.  These are deposited in long narrow ridges, lying in a parallel direction with the sea-coast, not unlike a ploughed field, and must have been thrown up by the waves, though, at this time, they do not reach within a mile of some of these places.  This seems to furnish an incontestible proof that the island has been produced by accessions from the sea, and is in a state of increase; for not only the broken pieces of coral, but many of the shells, are too heavy and large to have been brought by any birds, from the beach, to the places where they now lie.  Not a drop of fresh water was any where found, though frequently dug for.  We met with several ponds of salt water, which had no visible communication with the sea, and must, therefore, in all probability, be filled by the water filtrating through the sand in high tides.  One of the lost men found some salt on the S.E. part of the island.  But though this was an article of which we were in want, a man who could lose himself, as he did, and not know whether he was travelling east, west, north, or south, was not to be depended upon as a fit guide to conduct us to the place.

There were not the smallest traces of any human being having ever been here before us; and, indeed, should any one be so unfortunate as to be accidentally driven upon the island, or left there, it is hard to say, that he could be able to prolong existence.  There is, indeed, abundance of birds and fish, but no visible means of allaying thirst, nor any vegetable that could supply the place of bread, or correct the bad effects of an animal diet, which, in all probability, would soon prove fatal alone.  On the few cocoa-trees upon the island, the number of which did not exceed thirty, very little fruit was found; and, in general, what was found, was either not fully grown, or had the juice salt, or brackish.  So that a ship touching here, must expect nothing but fish and turtles, and of these an abundant supply may be depended upon.

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On some parts of the land were a few low trees.  Mr Anderson gave me an account also of two small shrubs, and, of two or three small plants, all which we had seen on Palmerston’s Island and Otakootaia.  There was also a species of sida or Indian mallow, a sort of purslain, and another small plant, that seemed, from its leaves, a mesembryanthemum, with two species of grass.  But each of these vegetable productions was in so small a quantity, and grew with so much languor, that one is almost surprised that the species do not become extinct.

Under the low trees above-mentioned, sat infinite numbers of a new species of tern, or egg-bird.  These are black above and white below, with a white arch on the forehead, and are rather larger than the common noddy.  Most of them had lately hatched their young, which lay under old ones upon the bare ground.  The rest had eggs, of which they only lay one, larger than that of a pigeon, bluish and speckled with black.  There were also a good many common boobies, a sort that are almost like a gannet, and a sooty or chocolate-coloured one, with a white belly.  To this list we must add men-of-war birds, tropic-birds, curlews, sand-pipers, a small land-bird like a hedge-sparrow, land-crabs, small lizards, and rats.

As we kept our Christmas here, I called this discovery Christmas Island.  I judge it to be about fifteen or twenty leagues in circumference.  It seemed to be of a semicircular form, or like the moon in the last quarter, the two horns being the N. and S. points, which bear from each other nearly N. by E., and S. by W., four or five leagues distant.  This west side, or the little isle at the entrance into the lagoon, upon which we observed the eclipse, lies in the latitude of 1 deg. 59’ N., and in the longitude of 202 deg. 30’ E., determined by a considerable number of lunar observations, which differed only 7’ from the time-keeper, it being so much less.  The variation of the compass was 6 deg. 22-1/2’ E., and the dip of the north end of the needle 11 deg. 54’.

Christmas Island, like most others in this ocean, is bounded by a reef of coral-rocks, which extends but a little way from the shore.  Farther out than this reef, on the west side, is a bank of fine sand, extending a mile into the sea.  On this bank is good anchorage, in any depth between eighteen and thirty fathoms.  In less than the first-mentioned depth, the reef would be too near; and, in more than the last, the edge of the bank would not be at a sufficient distance.  During the time we lay here, the wind blew constantly a fresh gale at E., or E. by S., except one or two days.  We had, always, a great swell from the northward, which broke upon the reef in a prodigious surf.  We had found this swell before we came to the island, and it continued for some days after we left it.


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Some Islands discovered.—­Account of the Natives of Atooi, who came off to the Ships, and their Behaviour on going on board.—­One of them killed.—­Precautions used to prevent Intercourse with the Females.—­A Watering-place found.—­Reception upon landing.—­Excursion into the Country.—­A Morai visited and described.—­Graves of the Chiefs, and of the human Sacrifices, there buried.—­Another Island, called Oneeheow, visited.—­Ceremonies performed by the Natives, who go off to the Ships.—­Reasons for believing that they are Cannibals.—­A Party sent ashore, who remain two Nights.—­Account of what passed on landing.—­The Ships leave, the Islands, and proceed to the North.

On the 2d of January, at day-break, we weighed anchor, and resumed our course to the N., having fine weather, and a gentle breeze at E., and E.S.E., till we got into the latitude of 7 deg. 45’ N., and the longitude of 205 deg.  E., where we had one calm day.  This was succeeded by a N.E. by E., and E.N.E. wind.  At first it blew faint, but freshened as we advanced to the N. We continued to see birds every day of the sorts last mentioned, sometimes in greater numbers than others, and between the latitude of 10 deg. and 11 deg., we saw several turtles.  All these are looked upon as signs of the vicinity of land.  However, we discovered none till day-break, in the morning of the 18th, when an island made its appearance, bearing N.E. by E.; and soon after, we saw more land bearing N., and entirely detached from the former.  Both had the appearance of being high land.  At noon, the first bore N.E. by E. 1/2 E., by estimation about eight or nine leagues distant; and an elevated hill, near the east end of the other, bore N. 1/2 W. Our latitude, at this time, was 21 deg. 12’ N., and longitude 200 deg. 41’ E. We had now light airs and calms by turns, so that, at sunset, we were not less than nine or ten leagues from the nearest land.

On the 19th, at sun-rise, the island first seen, bore E., several leagues distant.  This being directly to windward, which prevented our getting near it, I stood for the other, which we could reach; and, not long after, discovered a third island in the direction of W.N.W., as far distant as land could be seen.  We had now a fine breeze at E. by N., and I steered for the east end of the second island, which, at noon, extended from N. 1/2 E. to W.N.W. 1/4 W., the nearest part being about two leagues distant.  At this time, we were in some doubt whether or no the land before us was inhabited; but this doubt was soon cleared up, by seeing some canoes coming off from the shore toward the ships.  I immediately brought-to, to give them time to join us.  They had from three to six men each; and, on their approach, we were agreeably surprised to find that they spoke the language of Otaheite, and of the other islands we had lately visited.  It required but very little address to get them to come along-side; but no entreaties could prevail upon

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any of them to come on board.  I tied some brass medals to a rope, and gave them to those in one of the canoes, who, in return, tied some small mackerel to the rope as an equivalent.  This was repeated; and some small nails, or bits of iron, which they valued more than any other article, were given them.  For these they exchanged more fish and a sweet potatoe, a sure sign that they had some notion of bartering, or, at least, of returning one present for another.  They had nothing else in their canoes, except some large gourd shells, and a kind of fishing-net; but one of them offered for sale the piece of stuff that he wore round his waist, after the manner of the other islands.  These people were of a brown colour; and, though of the common size, were stoutly made.  There was little difference in the casts of their colour, but a considerable variation in their features, some of their visages not being very unlike those of Europeans.  The hair of most of them was cropt pretty short, others had it flowing loose, and, with a few, it was tied in a bunch on the crown of the head.  In all it seemed to be naturally black; but most of them had stained it, as is the practice of the Friendly Islanders, with some stuff which gave it a brown or burnt colour.  In general they wore their beards.  They had no ornaments about their persons, nor did we observe that their ears were perforated; but some were punctured on the hands, or near the groin, though in a small degree; and the bits of cloth which they wore, were curiously-stained with red, black, and white colours.  They seemed very mild, and had no arms of any kind, if we except some small stones, which they had evidently brought for their own defence, and these they threw overboard when they found that they were not wanted.

Seeing no signs of an anchoring-place at this eastern extreme of the island, I bore away to leeward, and ranged along the S.E. side, at the distance of half a league from the shore.  As soon as we made sail the canoes left us; but others came off as we proceeded along the coast, bringing with them roasting-pigs, and some very fine potatoes, which they had exchanged, as the others had done, for whatever was offered to them.  Several small pigs were purchased for a sixpenny nail, so that we again found ourselves in a land of plenty, and just at the time when the turtle, which we had so fortunately procured at Christmas Island, were nearly expended.  We passed several villages, some seated near the sea, and others farther up the country.  The inhabitants of all of them crowded to the shore, and collected themselves on the elevated places to view the ships.  The land upon this side of the island rises in a gentle slope, from the sea to the foot of the mountains, which occupy the centre of the country, except at one place near the east end, where they rise directly from the sea, and seemed to be formed of nothing but stone, or rocks lying in horizontal strata.  We saw no wood but what was up in the interior part of the island, except a few trees about the villages, near which, also, we could observe several plantations of plantains and sugar-canes, and spots that seemed cultivated for roots.

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We continued to sound, without striking ground with a line of fifty fathoms, till we came abreast of a low point, which is about the middle of the east side of the island, or rather nearer the N.W. end.  Here we met with twelve and fourteen fathoms over a rocky bottom.  Being past this point, from which the coast trended more northerly, we had twenty, then sixteen, twelve, and, at last, five fathoms over a sandy bottom.  The last soundings were about a mile from the shore.  Night now put a stop to any farther researches, and we spent it standing off and on.  The next morning we stood in for the land, and were met by several canoes filled with people, some of whom took courage and ventured on board.

In the course of my several voyages I never before met with the natives of any place so much astonished, as these people were upon entering a ship.  Their eyes were continually flying from object to object; the wildness of their looks and gestures fully expressing their entire ignorance about every thing they saw, and strongly marking to us, that, till now, they had never been visited by Europeans, nor been acquainted with any of our commodities, except iron; which, however, it was plain, they had only heard of, or had known it in some small quantity, brought to them at some distant period.  They seemed only to understand that it was a substance much better adapted to the purposes of cutting or of boring of holes, than any thing their own country produced.  They asked for it by the name of hamaite, probably referring to some instrument, in the making of which iron could be usefully employed; for they applied that name to the blade of a knife, though we could be certain that they had no idea of that particular instrument, nor could they at all handle it properly.  For the same reason they frequently called iron by the name of toe, which, in their language, signifies a hatchet, or rather a kind of adze.  On asking them what iron was, they immediately answered, “We do not know; you know what it is, and we only understand it as toe, or hamaite.”  When we shewed them some beads, they asked first, “What they were;” and then “whether they should eat them.”  But on their being told that they were to be hung in their ears, they returned them as useless.  They were equally indifferent as to a looking-glass, which was offered them, and returned it for the same reason; but sufficiently expressed their desire for hamaite and toe, which they wished might be very large.  Plates of earthen-ware, china-cups, and other such things, were so new to them, that they asked if they were made of wood, but wished to have some, that they might carry them to be looked at on shore.  They were, in some respects, naturally well-bred; or, at least, fearful of giving offence, asking whether they should sit down, whether they should spit upon the deck, and the like.  Some of them repeated a long prayer before they came on board; and others afterward sung

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and made motions with their hands, such as we had been accustomed to see in the dances of the islands we had lately visited.  There was another circumstance in which they also perfectly resembled those other islanders.  At first, on their entering the ship, they endeavoured to steal every thing they came near, or rather to take it openly, as what we either should not resent, or not hinder.  We soon convinced them of their mistake; and if they, after some time, became less active in appropriating to themselves whatever they took a fancy to, it was because they found that we kept a watchful eye over them.

At nine o’clock, being pretty near the shore, I sent three armed boats, under the command of Lieutenant Williamson, to look for a landing-place, and for fresh water.  I ordered him, that if he should find it necessary to land in search of the latter, not to suffer more than one man to go with him out of the boats.  Just as they were putting off from the ship, one of the natives having stole the butcher’s cleaver, leaped overboard, got into his canoe, and hastened to the shore, the boats pursuing him in vain.

The order not to permit the crews of the boats to go on shore was issued, that I might do every thing in my power to prevent the importation of a fatal disease into this island, which I knew some of our men now laboured under, and which, unfortunately, had been already communicated by us to other islands in these seas.  With the same view I ordered all female visitors to be excluded from the ships.  Many of them had come off in the canoes.  Their size, colour, and features did not differ much from those of the men; and though their countenances were remarkably open and agreeable, there were few traces of delicacy to be seen, either in their faces, or other proportions.  The only difference in their dress was their having a piece of cloth about the body, reaching from near the middle to half-way down the thighs, instead of the maro worn by the other sex.  They would as readily have favoured us with their company on board as the men; but I wished to prevent all connection, which might, too probably, convey an irreparable injury to themselves, and, through their means, to the whole nation.  Another necessary precaution was taken, by strictly enjoining, that no person known to be capable of propagating the infection, should be sent upon duty out of the ships.

Whether these regulations, dictated by humanity, had the desired effect or no, time only can discover.  I had been equally attentive to the same object, when I first visited the Friendly Islands, yet I afterwards found, with real concern, that I had not succeeded.  And I am much afraid that this will always be the case in such voyages as ours, whenever it is necessary to have a number of people on shore.  The opportunities and inducements to an intercourse between the sexes are then too numerous to be guarded against; and, however confident we may be of the health of our men, we are

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often undeceived too late.  It is even a matter of doubt with me, if it be always in the power of the most skilful of the faculty to pronounce, with any certainty, whether a person who has been under their care, in certain stages of this malady, is so effectually cured, as to leave no possibility of his being still capable of communicating the taint.  I think I could mention some instances which justify my presuming to hazard this opinion.  It is likewise well known, that amongst a number of men, there are, generally, to be found some so bashful as to endeavour to conceal their labouring under any symptoms of this disorder.  And there are others again, so profligate, as not to care to whom they communicate it.  Of this last we had an instance at Tongataboo, in the gunner of the Discovery, who had been stationed on shore to manage the trade for that ship.  After he knew that he had contracted this disease, he continued to have connections with different women, who were supposed not to have already contracted it.  His companions expostulated with him without effect, till Captain Clerke, hearing of this dangerous irregularity of conduct, ordered him on board.[1]

[Footnote 1:  One can scarcely help smiling at the mode Dr Kippis uses to express his abhorrence of this man’s conduct.  It may be seen in his account of this voyage, given in the Biog.  Brit.  “If I knew the rascal’s name,” says he, “I would hang it up, as far as lies in my power, to everlasting infamy!” Undoubtedly it richly deserved such treatment, but there was no necessity for the doctor exhibiting such keenness for the office of executioner.—­E.]

While the boats were occupied in examining the coast, we stood on and off with the ships, waiting for their return.  About noon, Mr Williamson came back, and reported that he had seen a large pond behind a beach near one of the villages, which the natives told him contained fresh water, and that there was anchoring-ground before it.  He also reported that he had attempted to land in another place, but was prevented by the natives, who, coming down to the boats in great numbers, attempted to take away the oars, musquets, and, in short, every thing that they could lay hold of, and pressed so thick upon him, that he was obliged to fire, by which one man was killed.  But this unhappy circumstance I did not know till after we had left the island, so that all my measures were directed as if nothing of the kind had happened.  Mr Williamson told me, that after the man fell, his countrymen took him up, carried him off, and then retired from the boat; but still they made signals for our people to land, which he declined.  It did not appear to Mr Williamson, that the natives had any design to kill, or even to hurt, any of his party; but they seemed excited by mere curiosity, to get from them what they had, being, at the same time, ready to give in return, any thing of their own.

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After the boats were on board, I dispatched one of them to lie in the best anchoring-ground; and as soon as she had got to this station, I bore down with the ships, and anchored in twenty-five fathoms water, the bottom a fine grey sand.  The east point of the road, which was the low point before-mentioned, bore S. 51 deg.  E., the west point N. 65 deg.  W., and the village, behind which the water was said to be, N.E. by E., distant one mile.  But, little more than a quarter of a mile from us, there were breakers, which I did not see till after the Resolution was placed.  The Discovery anchored to the eastward of us, and farther from the land.  The ships being thus stationed, between three and four o’clock, I went ashore with three armed boats, and twelve marines, to examine the water, and to try the disposition of the inhabitants, several hundreds of whom were assembled on a sandy beach before the village; behind it was a narrow valley, the bottom of which was occupied by the piece of water.

The very instant I leaped on shore, the collected body of the natives all fell flat upon their faces, and remained in that very humble posture, till, by expressive signs, I prevailed upon them to rise.  They then brought a great many small pigs, which they presented to me, with plantain trees, using much the same ceremonies that we had seen practised on such occasions, at the Society and other islands; and a long prayer being spoken by a single person, in which others of the assembly sometimes joined.  I expressed my acceptance of their proffered friendship, by giving them, in return, such presents as I had brought with me from the ship for that purpose.  When this introductory business was finished, I stationed a guard upon the beach, and got some of the natives to conduct me to the water, which proved to be very good, and in a proper situation for our purpose.  It was so considerable, that it may be called a lake; and it extended farther up the country than we could see.  Having satisfied myself about this very essential point, and about the peaceable disposition of the natives, I returned on board, and then gave orders that every thing should be in readiness for landing and filling our water-casks in the morning, when I went ashore with the people employed in that service, having a party of marines with us for a guard, who were stationed on the beach.

As soon as we landed, a trade was set on foot for hogs and potatoes, which the people of the island gave us in exchange for nails and pieces of iron, formed into something like chisels.  We met with no obstruction in watering; on the contrary, the natives assisted our men in rolling the casks to and from the pool, and readily performed whatever we required.  Every thing thus going on to my satisfaction, and considering my presence on the spot as unnecessary, I left the command to Mr Williamson, who had landed with me, and made an excursion into the country, up the valley, accompanied by Mr Anderson and Mr Webber;

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the former of whom was as well qualified to describe with the pen, as the latter was to represent with his pencil, every thing we might meet with worthy of observation.  A numerous train of natives followed us; and one of them, whom I had distinguished for his activity in keeping the rest in order, I made choice of as our guide.  This man, from time to time, proclaimed our approach; and every one whom we met, fell prostrate upon the ground, and remained in that position till we had passed.  This, as I afterward understood, is the mode of paying their respect to their own great chiefs.  As we ranged down the coast from the east, in the ships, we had observed at every village one or more elevated white objects, like pyramids or other obelisks; and one of these, which I guessed to be at least fifty feet high, was very conspicuous from the ship’s anchoring station, and seemed to be at no great distance up this valley.  To have a nearer inspection of it, was the principal object of my walk.  Our guide perfectly understood that we wished to be conducted to it.  But it happened to be so placed, that we could not get at it, being separated from us by the pool of water.  However, there being another of the same kind within our reach, about half a mile off, upon our side of the valley, we set out to visit that.  The moment we got to it, we saw that it stood in a burying-ground, or morai, the resemblance of which, in many respects to those we were so well acquainted with at other islands in this ocean, and particularly Otaheite, could not but strike us; and we also soon found, that the several parts that compose it, were called by the same names.  It was an oblong space, of considerable extent, surrounded by a wall of stone, about four feet high.  The space inclosed was loosely paved with smaller stones; and at one end of it, stood what I call the pyramid, but, in the language of the island, is named henananoo, which appeared evidently to be an exact model of the larger one, observed by us from the ships.  It was about four feet square at the base, and about twenty feet high.  The four sides were composed of small poles interwoven with twigs and branches, thus forming an indifferent wicker-work, hollow or open within, from bottom to top.  It seemed to be rather in a ruinous state; but there were sufficient remaining marks to shew that it had originally been covered with a thin light grey cloth, which these people, it would seem, consecrate to religions purposes, as we could see a good deal of it hanging in different parts of the morai, and some of it had been forced upon me when I first landed.  On each side of the pyramid were long pieces of wicker-work, called hereanee, in the same ruinous condition, with two slender poles, inclining to each other, at one corner, where some plantains were laid upon a board, fixed at the height of five or six feet.  This they called herairemy; and informed us, that the fruit was an offering to their god, which makes

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it agree exactly with the whatta of Otaheite.  Before the henananoo were a few pieces of wood, carved into something like human figures, which, with a stone near two feet high, covered with pieces of cloth, called hoho, and consecrated to Tongarooa, who is the god of these people, still more and more reminded us of what we used to meet with in the morais of the islands we had lately left.  Adjoining to these, on the outside of the morai, was a small shed, no bigger than a dog-kennel, which they called hareepahoo; and before it was a grave, where, as we were told, the remains of a woman lay.

On the farther side of the area of the morai, stood a house or shed, about forty feet long, ten broad in the middle, each end being narrower, and about ten feet high.  This, which, though much longer, was lower than their common dwelling places, we were informed, was called hemanaa.  The entrance into it was at the middle of the side, which was in the morai.  On the farther side of this house, opposite the entrance, stood two wooden images, cut out of one piece, with pedestals, in all about three feet high, neither very indifferently designed or executed.  These were said to be Eatooa no Veheina, or representations of goddesses.  On the head of one of them was a carved helmet, not unlike those worn, by the ancient warriors; and on that of the other, a cylindrical cap, resembling the head-dress at Otaheite, called tomou; and both of them had pieces of cloth tied about the loins, and hanging a considerable way down.  At the side of each, was also a piece of carved wood, with bits of the cloth hung on them, in the same manner; and between, or before, the pedestals, lay a quantity of fern, in a heap.  It was obvious, that this had been deposited there, piece by piece, and at different times; for there was of it, in all states, from what was quite decayed, to what was still fresh and green.

In the middle of the house, and before the two images, was an oblong space, inclosed by a low edging of stone, and covered with shreds of the cloth so often mentioned.  This, on enquiry, we found was the grave of seven chiefs, whose names were enumerated, and the place was called Heneene.  We had met already with so many striking instances of resemblance, between the burying-place we were now visiting, and those of the islands we had lately come from in the South Pacific, that we had little doubt in our minds, that the resemblance existed also, in the ceremonies practised here, and particularly in the horrid one of offering human sacrifices.  Our suspicions were too soon confirmed by direct evidence.  For, on coming out of the house, just on one side of the entrance, we saw a small square place, and another still less, near it; and on asking what these were, our guide immediately informed us, that in the one was buried a man who had been sacrificed; a Taa-ta (Tanata

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or Tangata, in this country) taboo (tafoo, as here pronounced); and in the other, a hog, which had also been made an offering to the divinity.  At a little distance from these, near the middle of the morai, were three more of these square inclosed places, with two pieces of carved wood at each, and upon them a heap of fern.  These, we were told, were the graves of three chiefs; and before them was an oblong, inclosed space, to which our conductor also gave the name of Tangata taboo; telling us, so explicitly, that we could not mistake his meaning, that three human sacrifices had been buried there; that is, one at the funeral of each chief.  It was with most sincere concern, that I could trace, on such undoubted evidence, the prevalence of these bloody rites, throughout this immense ocean, amongst people disjoined by such a distance, and even ignorant of each other’s existence, though so strongly marked as originally of the same nation.  It was no small addition to this concern, to reflect, that every appearance led us to believe, that the barbarous practice was very general here.  The island seemed to abound with such places of sacrifice as this which we were now visiting, and which appeared to be one of the most inconsiderable of them, being far less conspicuous than several others which we had seen, as we sailed along the coast, and particularly than that on the opposite side of the water, in this valley, the white henananoo, or pyramid, of which, we were now almost sure, derived its colour only from pieces of the consecrated cloth laid over it.  In several parts, within the inclosure of this burying-ground, were planted trees of the cordia sebestina some of the morinda citrifolia, and several plants of the etee, or jeejee, of Tongataboo, with the leaves of which the hemanaa was thatched; and, as I observed, that this plant was not made use of in thatching their dwelling-houses, probably it is reserved entirely for religious purposes.

Our road to and from the morai, which I have described, lay through the plantations.  The greatest part of the ground was quite flat, with ditches full of water intersecting different parts, and roads that seemed artificially raised to some height.  The interspaces were, in general, planted with taro, which grows here with great strength, as the fields are sunk below the common level, so as to contain the water necessary to nourish the roots.  This water probably comes from the same source, which supplies the large pool from which we filled our casks.  On the drier spaces were several spots, where the cloth-mulberry was planted, in regular rows; also growing vigorously, and kept very clean.  The cocoa-trees were not in so thriving a state, and were all low, but the plantain-trees made a better appearance, though they were not large.  In general, the trees round this village, and which were seen at many of those which we passed before we anchored, are the cordia sebestina, but of a more diminutive size than the product of the southern isles.  The greatest part of the village stands near the beach, and consists of above sixty houses there; but, perhaps, about forty more stand scattered about, farther up the country, toward the burying-place.

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After we had examined, very carefully, every thing that was to be seen about the morai, and Mr Webber had taken drawings of it, and of the adjoining country, we returned by a different route.  I found a great crowd assembled at the beach, and a brisk trade for pigs, fowls, and roots, going on there, with the greatest good order, though I did not observe any particular person, who took the lead amongst the rest of his countrymen.  At noon, I went on board to dinner, and then sent Mr King to command the party ashore.  He was to have gone upon that service in the morning, but was then detained in the ship, to make lunar observations.  In the afternoon I landed again, accompanied by Captain Clerke, with a view to make another excursion up the country.  But, before this could be put in execution, the day was too far spent, so that I laid aside my intention for the present, and it so happened that I had not another opportunity.  At sun-set, I brought every body on board, having procured, in the course of the day, nine tons of water; and, by exchanges, chiefly for nails and pieces of iron, about seventy or eighty pigs, a few fowls, a quantity of potatoes, and a few plantains and taro roots.  These people merited our best commendations, in this commercial intercourse, never once attempting to cheat us, either ashore or alongside the ships.  Some of them, indeed, as already mentioned, at first betrayed a thievish disposition, or rather they thought, that they had a right to every thing they could lay their hands upon; but they soon laid aside a conduct, which, we convinced them, they could not persevere in with impunity.

Amongst the articles which they brought to barter this day, we could not help taking notice of a particular sort of cloak and cap, which, even in countries where dress is more particularly attended to, might be reckoned elegant.  The first are nearly of the size and shape of the short cloaks worn by the women in England, and by the men in Spain reaching to the middle of the back, and tied loosely before.  The ground of them is a net-work, upon which the most beautiful red and yellow feathers are so closely fixed, that the surface might be compared to the thickest and richest velvet, which they resemble, both as to the feel, and the glossy appearance.  The manner of varying the mixture is very different, some having triangular spaces of red and yellow, alternately, others a kind of crescent; and some, that were entirely red, had a broad yellow border, which made them appear, at some distance, exactly like a scarlet cloak edged with gold lace.  The brilliant colours of the feathers, in those that happened to be new, added not a little to their fine appearance, and we found that they were in high estimation with their owners, for they would not, at first, part with one of them for any thing that we offered, asking no less a price than a musket.  However, some were afterward purchased for very large nails.  Such of them as were of the best sort, were scarce; and it should seem, that they are only used on the occasion of some particular ceremony, or diversion; for the people who had them, always made some gesticulations, which we had seen used before by those who sung.

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The cap is made almost exactly like a helmet, with the middle part, or crest, sometimes of a hand’s breadth; and it sits very close upon the head, having notches to admit the ears.  It is a frame of twigs and osiers, covered with a net work, into which are wrought feathers, in the same manner as upon the cloaks, though rather closer, and less diversified, the greater part being red, with some black yellow, or green stripes on the sides, following the curve direction of the crest.  These, probably, complete the dress, with the cloaks, for the natives sometimes appeared in both together.

We were at a loss to guess from whence they could get such a quantity of these beautiful feathers, but were soon informed as to one sort, for they afterward brought great numbers of skins of small red birds for sale, which were often tied up in bunches of twenty or more, or had a small wooden skewer run through their nostrils.  At the first, those that were bought, consisted only of the skin from behind the wings forward, but we afterwards got many with the hind part, including the tail and feet.  The first, however, struck us at once with the origin of the fable formerly adopted, of the birds of paradise wanting legs, and sufficiently explained that circumstance.  Probably the people of the islands east of the Moluccas, from whence the skins of the birds of paradise are brought, cut off their feet, for the very reason assigned by the people of Atooi, for the like practice, which was, that they thereby can preserve them with greater ease, without losing any part which they reckon valuable.  The red-bird of our island was judged by Mr Anderson to be a species of merops, about the size of a sparrow, of a beautiful scarlet colour, with a black tail and wings, and an arched bill, twice the length of the head, which, with the feet, was also of a reddish colour.  The contents of the heads were taken out, as in the birds of paradise; but it did not appear that they used any other method to preserve them, than by simple drying, for the skins, though moist, had neither a taste nor smell that could give room to suspect the use of antiputrescent substances.[2]

[Footnote 2:  It is matter of real curiosity to observe, how very extensively the predilection for red feathers is spread throughout all the islands of the Pacific Ocean; and the additional circumstance, mentioned in this paragraph, will, probably, be looked upon by those who amuse themselves in tracing the wonderful migrations of the same family, or tribe, as a confirmation of that hypothesis, (built indeed on other instances of resemblance,) which considers New Guinea, and its neighbouring East India islands, from whence the Dutch bring their birds of Paradise, as originally peopled by the same race, which Captain Cook found at every island from New Zealand to this new group, to which Atooi belongs.

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What Mr Sonnerat tells us, about the bird of Paradise, agrees perfectly with the account here given of the preserved red-birds.  Speaking of the Papous, he proceeds thus:  “Ils nous presenterent plusieurs especes d’oiseaux, aussi elegants par leur forme, que brillants par l’eclat de leur couleurs.  La depouille des oiseaux sert a la parure des Chefs, qui la portent attachee a leurs bonnets en forme d’aigrettes. Mais en preparant les peaux, ils coupent les pieds.  Les Hollandois, qui trafiquent sur ces cotes, y achetent de ces peaux ainsi preparees, les transportent en Perse, a Surate, dans les Indes, ou ils les vendent fort chere aux habitans riches, qui en font des aigrettes pour leurs turbans, et pour le casque des guerriers, et qui en parent leur chevaux.  C’est de la qu’est venue l’opinion, qu’une de ces especes d’oiseaux (l’oiseau de pardis) n’a point de pattes.  Les Hollandois ont accredite ces fables, qui, en jettant du merveilleux sur l’objet dont ils traffiquoient, etoient propres a le rendre plus precieux, et a en rechausser la valeur.”—­Voyage a la Nouvelle Guinee, p. 154.—­D.]

In the night, and all the morning, on the 22d, it rained almost continually.  The wind was at S.E., S.S.E., and S., which brought in a short, chopping sea; and as there were breakers little more than two cables length from the stern of our ship, her situation was none of the safest.  The surf broke so high against the shore, that we could not land in our boats; but the day was not wholly lost, for the natives ventured in their canoes, to bring off to the ships hogs and roots, which they bartered as before.  One of our visitors, on this occasion, who offered some fish-hooks to sale, was observed to have a very small parcel, tied to the string of one of them, which he separated with great care, and reserved for himself, when he parted with the hook.  Being asked what it was, he pointed to his belly, and spoke something of its being dead, at the same time saying, it was bad, as if he did not wish to answer any more questions about it.  On seeing him so anxious to conceal the contents of this parcel, he was requested to open it, which he did with great reluctance and some difficulty, as it was wrapped up in many folds of cloth.  We found that it contained a thin bit of flesh, about two inches long, which, to appearance, had been dried, but was now wet with salt water.  It struck us, that it might be human flesh, and that these people might, perhaps, eat their enemies, as we knew that this was the practice of some of the natives of the South Sea islands.  The question being put to the person who produced it, he answered, that the flesh was part of a man.  Another of his countrymen, who stood by him, was then asked, whether it was their custom to eat those killed in battle? and he immediately answered in the affirmative.

There were some intervals of fair weather in the afternoon, and the wind then inclined to the E. and N.E. but, in the evening, it veered back again to S.S.E., and the rain also returned, and continued all night.  Very luckily, it was not attended with much wind.  We had, however, prepared for the worst, by dropping the small bower-anchor, and striking our top-gallant-yards.

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At seven o’clock the next morning, a breeze of wind springing up at N.E., I took up the anchors, with a view of removing the ship farther out.  The moment that the last anchor was up, the wind veered to the E., which made it necessary to set all the sail we could, in order to clear the shore; so that, before we had tolerable sea-room, we were driven some distance to leeward.  We made a stretch off, with a view to regain the road; but having very little wind, and a strong current against us, I found that this was not to be effected.  I therefore dispatched Messrs King and Williamson ashore, with three boats, for water, and to trade for refreshments.  At the same time, I sent an order to Captain Clerke to put to sea after me, if he should see that I could not recover the road.  Being in hopes of finding one, or perhaps a harbour, at the west end of the island, I was the less anxious about getting back to my former station.  But as I had sent the boats thither, we kept to windward as much as possible, notwithstanding which, at noon, we were three leagues to leeward.  As we drew near the west end of the island, we found the coast to round gradually to the N.E., without forming a creek, or cove, to shelter a vessel from the force of the swell, which rolled in from the N., and broke upon the shore in a prodigious surf, so that all hopes of finding a harbour here vanished.

Several canoes came off in the morning, and followed us as we stood out to sea, bartering their roots and other articles.  Being very averse to believe these people to be cannibals, notwithstanding the suspicious circumstance which had happened the day before, we took occasion now to make some more enquiries about this.  A small wooden instrument, beset with sharks teeth, had been purchased; and from its resemblance to the saw or knife used by the New Zealanders, to dissect the bodies of their enemies, it was suspected to have the same use here.  One of the natives being asked about this, immediately gave the name of the instrument, and told us, that it was used to cut out the fleshy part of the belly, when any person was killed.  This explained and confirmed the circumstance above-mentioned, of the person pointing to his belly.  The man, however, from whom we now had this information, being asked, if his countrymen eat the part thus cut out? denied it strongly, but, upon the question being repeated, shewed some degree of fear, and swam to his canoe.  Just before he reached it, he made signs, as he had done before, expressive of the use of the instrument.  And an old man, who sat foremost in the canoe, being then asked whether they eat the flesh? answered in the affirmative, and laughed, seemingly at the simplicity of such a question.  He affirmed the fact, on being asked again; and also said, it was excellent food, or, as he expressed it, “savoury eating."[3]

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[Footnote 3:  Of this there can be no doubt, if the assertions of those who have tried it be entitled to credit.  When the reluctance, then, to use it is once overcome, there is no reason to think it would ever be abandoned, if it could be safely and conveniently procured.  We have instances of this on record.  Some persons necessitated, let us allow, to have recourse to it, have continued the practice, where the doing so required the repeated commission of murder.  We formerly alluded to instances of this kind, and we see in the case of the people before us, that hunger is not the only motive for so abominable a repast.  Admitting even that it were the original one, we should expect the practice to be relinquished whenever other food was to be had in sufficient quantity.  But this we know by many proofs is not the case; and perhaps, indeed, it will be found, that this odium is fully as prevalent in savage countries, where nature has been bountiful, as in those where a more stinted hand has inflicted poverty on the inhabitants.  The causes, then, and the remedies of this most shocking enormity, are to be looked for in other circumstances than the scarcity or the profusion of food.  Here we may be allowed to join in opinion with Dr Robertson.  “Human flesh was never used as common food in any country, and the various relations concerning people who reckoned it among the stated means of subsistence, flow from the credulity and mistakes of travellers.  The rancour of revenge first prompted men to this barbarous action.”  In addition to his opinion and that of the authors quoted by him, in his History of America, lib. 4, the reader may advantageously consult Dr Forster’s Observations.  If the sentiments maintained by these writers be correct, we may expect to find cannibalism in almost every country where the spirit of revenge is not curbed by principle, or directed by the authority of a well-organized government.  Here the evidence of these voyages and of others which we could mention, must be allowed considerable importance.  There is the strongest reason, indeed, to believe that the inhabitants of all the South Sea islands are now chargeable with this inhumanity, or are but recently recovered from its dominion.  We might easily enlarge on this subject, but what has been said, it is probable, is sufficient to direct the attention of the reader, which is all we could find, room to do in the narrow compass of a note.  But it is probable, that to most persons, the observations of a late navigator, Captain Krusenstern, will be admitted as decisive of the question of fact, without further enquiry.  They may have another effect too, viz. to destroy that delusion which many persons labour under as to the innocence and amiableness of mankind in a state of nature.  “Notwithstanding,” says he, “the favourable account in Captain Cook’s voyages of the Friendly, the Society, and the Sandwich islands, and the enthusiasm with which Forster undertakes their

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defence against all those who should make use of any harsh expression with regard to them, I cannot refrain from declaring the inhabitants of all the islands of this ocean to be savages, but as ranking generally, perhaps with a very trifling exception, with those men who are still one degree below the brute creation.  In a word, they are all cannibals:  We need only recollect the islanders who have already been proved to belong to this class;—­for instance, the New Zealanders, the cruel inhabitants of Fidji, the Navigateur, the Mendoza, Washington, the Tolomon, and Sandwich islands, the islands of Louisiade and New Caledonia.  The good name which the inhabitants of the Friendly islands had acquired has suffered very much by the affair of Captain Bligh, and the visit of D’Entrecasteaux, and it may now be maintained, with some degree of certainty, that they have in this respect the same taste as their neighbours in the Fidji islands, and the Isles des Navigateurs.”  He has more to the same effect, and is particular in shewing how even the Society islanders, whom he admits to be the most humane and civilized of all the natives of this region, are notwithstanding deformed with horrid crimes, from which the passage to cannibalism is very easy, supposing even that certain suspicious circumstances do not warrant the opinion that they are but recently emerged from it.  And as to the people of New Caledonia, again, of whom Cook spoke so highly, he alludes to the more recent information of D’Entrecasteaux, as giving indisputable proof of their being addicted to the same abominable enormity.—­E.]

At seven o’clock in the evening, the boats returned, with two tons of water, a few hogs, a quantity of plantains, and some roots.  Mr King informed me, that a great number of the inhabitants were at the watering or landing place.  He supposed that they had come from all parts of the island.  They had brought with them a great many fine fat hogs to barter, but my people had not commodities with them equal to the purchase.  This, however, was no great loss, for we had already got as many on board as we could well manage for immediate use, and, wanting the materials, we could not have salted them.  Mr King also told me, that a great deal of rain had fallen ashore, whereas, out at sea, we had only a few showers; and that the surf had run so high, that it was with great difficulty our men landed, and got back into the boats.

We had light airs and calms, by turns, with showers of rain, all night, and at day-break, in the morning of the 24th, we found that the currents had carried the ship to the N.W. and N., so that the west end of the island, upon which we had been, called Atooi by the natives, bore E., one league distant; another island, called Oreehoua, W. by S., and the high land of a third island, called Oneeheow, from S.W. by W. to W.S.W.  Soon after, a breeze sprung up at N.; and, as I expected that this would bring the Discovery to sea, I steered for Oneeheow, in order to take a

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nearer view of it, and to anchor there, if I should find a convenient place.  I continued to steer for it, till past eleven o’clock, at which time we were about two leagues from it.  But not seeing the Discovery, and being doubtful whether they could see us, I was fearful lest some ill consequence might attend our separating so far.  I therefore gave up the design of visiting Oneeheow for the present, and stood back to Atooi, with an intent to anchor again in the road, to complete our water.  At two o’clock in the afternoon, the northerly wind died away, and was succeeded by variable light airs and calms, that continued till eleven at night, with which we stretched to the S.E., till day-break in the morning of the 25th, when we tacked and stood in for Atooi road, which bore about N. from us; and, soon after, we were joined by the Discovery.

We fetched in with the land about two leagues to leeward of the road, which, though so near, we never could recover, for what we gained at one time, we lost at another; so that, by the morning of the 29th, the currents had carried us westward, within three leagues of Oneeheow.  Being tired with plying so unsuccessfully, I gave up all thoughts of getting back to Atooi, and came to the resolution of trying, whether we could not procure what we wanted at the other island, which was within our reach.  With this view, I sent the master in a boat, to sound the coast, to look out for a landing-place, and, if he should find one, to examine if fresh water could be conveniently got in its neighbourhood.  To give him time to execute his commission, we followed, under an easy sail, with the ships.  As soon as we were abreast, or to the westward of the south point of Oneeheow, we found thirty, twenty-five, and twenty fathoms water, over a bottom of coral sand, a mile from the shore.

At ten o’clock the master returned, and reported that he had landed in one place, but could find no fresh water; and that there was anchorage all along the coast.  Seeing a village a little farther to leeward, and some of the islanders, who had come off to the ships, informing us, that fresh water might be got there, I ran down, and came to an anchor before it, in twenty-six fathoms water, about three quarters of a mile from the shore.  The S.E. point of the island bore S. 65 deg.  E., three miles distant; the other extreme of the island bore N. by E., about two or three miles distant; a peaked hill, inland, N.E. 1/4 E.; and another island, called Tahoora, which was discovered the preceding evening, bore S. 61 deg.  W., distant seven leagues.

Six or seven canoes had come off to us, before we anchored, bringing some small pigs and potatoes, and a good many yams and mats.  The people in them resembled those of Atooi, and seemed to be equally well acquainted with the use of iron, which they asked for also by the names of hamaite and toe, parting readily with all their commodities for pieces of this precious metal.  Several more canoes soon

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reached the ships, after they had anchored; but the natives in these seemed to have no other object, than to pay us a formal visit.  Many of them came readily on board, crouching down upon the deck, and not quitting that humble posture, till they were desired to get up.  They had brought several females with them, who remained alongside in the canoes, behaving with far less modesty than their countrywomen of Atooi; and, at times, all joining in a song, not remarkable for its melody, though performed in very exact concert, by beating time upon their breasts with their hands.  The men who had come on board did not stay long; and before they departed, some of them requested our permission to lay down, on the deck, locks of their hair.

These visitors furnished us with an opportunity of agitating again, this day, the curious enquiry, whether they were cannibals; and the subject did not take its rise from any questions of ours, but from a circumstance that seemed to remove all ambiguity.  One of the islanders, who wanted to get in at the gun-room port, was refused, and at the same time asked, whether, if he should come in, we would kill and eat him? accompanying this question with signs so expressive, that there could be no doubt about his meaning.  This gave a proper opening to retort the question as to this practice; and a person behind the other, in the canoe, who paid great attention to what was passing, immediately answered, that if we were killed on shore, they would certainly eat us.  He spoke with so little emotion, that it appeared plainly to be his meaning, that they would not destroy us for that purpose, but that their eating us would be the consequence of our being at enmity with them.  I have availed myself of Mr Anderson’s collections for the decision of this matter, and am sorry to say, that I cannot see the least reason to hesitate in pronouncing it to be certain, that the horrid banquet of human flesh is as much relished here, amidst plenty, as it is in New Zealand.

In the afternoon, I sent Lieutenant Gore, with three armed boats, to look for the most convenient landing-place; and, when on shore, to search for fresh water.  In the evening he returned, having landed at the village above-mentioned, and acquainted me that he had been conducted to a well half a mile up the country; but, by his account, the quantity of water it contained was too inconsiderable for our purpose, and the road leading to it exceedingly bad.

On the 30th, I sent Mr Gore ashore again, with a guard of marines, and a party to trade with the natives for refreshments.  I intended to have followed soon after, and went from the ship with that design.  But the surf had increased so much by this time, that I was fearful, if I got ashore, I should not be able to get off again.  This really happened to our people who had landed with Mr Gore, the communication between them and the ships, by our own boats, being stopped.  In the evening, they made a signal for

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the boats, which were sent accordingly; and, not long after, they returned with a few yams and some salt.  A tolerable quantity of both had been procured in the course of the day; but the surf was so great, that the greatest part of both these articles had been lost in conveying them to the boats.  The officer and twenty men, deterred by the danger of coming off, were left ashore all night; and, by this unfortunate circumstance, the very thing happened, which, as I have already mentioned, I wished so heartily to prevent, and vainly imagined I had effectually guarded against.  The violence of the surf, which our own boats could not act against, did not hinder the natives from coming off to the ships in their canoes.  They brought refreshments with them, which were purchased in exchange for nails, and pieces of iron-hoops; and I distributed a good many pieces of ribbon, and some buttons, as bracelets, amongst the women in the canoes.  One of the men had the figure of a lizard punctured upon his breast, and upon those of others were the figures of men badly imitated.  These visitors informed us, that there was no chief, or Hairee, of this island; but that it was subject to Teneooneoo, a chief of Atooi; which island, they said, was not governed by a single chief, but that there were many to whom they paid the honour of moe, or prostration; and, amongst others, they named, Otaeaio and Terarotoa.  Among other things, which these people now brought off, was a small drum, almost like those of Otaheite.

About ten or eleven o’clock at night, the wind veered to the S., and the sky seemed to forebode a storm.  With such appearances, thinking that we were rather too near the shore, I ordered the anchors to be taken up, and having carried the ships into forty-two fathoms, came to again in that safer station.  The precaution, however, proved to be unnecessary; for the wind, soon after, veered to N.E., from which quarter it blew a fresh gale, with squalls, attended with very heavy showers of rain.

This weather continued all the next day; and the sea ran so high, that we had no manner of communication with our party on shore; and even the natives themselves durst not venture out to the ships in their canoes.  In the evening, I sent the master in a boat up to the S.E. head, or point of the island, to try if he could land under it.  He returned with a favourable report; but it was too late, now, to send for our party till the next morning; and thus they had another night to improve their intercourse with the natives.

Encouraged by the master’s report, I sent a boat to the S.E. point, as soon as day-light returned, with an order to Mr Gore, that, if he could not embark his people from the spot where they now were, to march them up to the point.  As the boat could not get to the beach, one of the crew swam ashore, and carried the order.  On the return of the boat, I went myself with the pinnace and launch up to the point,

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to bring the party on board; taking with me a ram-goat and two ewes, a boar and sow-pig of the English breed, and the seeds of melons, pumpkins, and onions, being very desirous of benefiting these poor people, by furnishing them with some additional articles of food.  I landed with the greatest ease, under the west side of the point, and found my party already there, with some of the natives in company.  To one of them, whom Mr Gore had observed assuming some command over the rest, I gave the goats, pigs, and seeds.  I should have left these well-intended presents at Atooi, had we not been so unexpectedly driven from it.

While the people were engaged in filling four water-casks, from a small stream occasioned by the late rain, I walked a little way up the country, attended by the man above-mentioned, and followed by two others carrying the two pigs.  As soon as we got upon a rising ground, I stopped to look round me, and observed a woman, on the opposite side of the valley where I landed, calling to her countrymen who attended me.  Upon this, the chief began to mutter something which I supposed was a prayer; and the two men, who carried the pigs, continued to walk round me all the time, making, at least, a dozen circuits before the other had finished his oration.  This ceremony being performed; we proceeded, and presently met people coming from all parts, who, on being called to by my attendants, threw themselves prostrate on their faces, till I was out of sight.  The ground, through which I passed, was in a state of nature, very stony, and the soil seemed poor.  It was, however, covered with shrubs and plants, some of which perfumed the air, with a more delicious fragrancy than I had met with at any other of the islands visited by us in this ocean.  Our people, who had been obliged to remain so long on shore, gave me the same account of those parts of the island which they had traversed.  They met with several salt ponds, some of which had a little water remaining, but others had none; and the salt that was left in them was so thin, that no great quantity could have been procured.  There was no appearance of any running stream; and though they found some small wells, in which the fresh water was tolerably good, it seemed scarce.  The habitations of the natives were thinly scattered about; and it was supposed, that there could not be more than five hundred people upon the island, as the greatest part were seen at the marketing-place of our party, and few found about the houses by those who walked up the country.  They had an opportunity of observing the method of living amongst the natives, and it appeared to be decent and cleanly.  They did not, however, see any instance of the men and women eating together; and the latter seemed generally associated in companies by themselves.  It was found, that they burnt here the oily nuts of the dooe dooe for lights in the night, as at Otaheite; and that they baked their hogs in ovens, but, contrary to the practice of the

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Society and Friendly Islands, split the carcases through their whole length.  They met with a positive proof of the existence of the taboo (or, as they pronounce it, the tafoo), for one woman fed another who was under that interdiction.  They also observed some other mysterious ceremonies; one of which was performed by a woman, who took a small pig, and threw it into the surf, till it was drowned, and then tied up a bundle of wood, which she also disposed of in the same manner.  The same woman, at another time, beat with a stick upon a man’s shoulders, who sat down for that purpose.  A particular veneration seemed to be paid here to owls, which they have very tame; and it was observed to be a pretty general practice amongst them, to pull out one of their teeth;[4] for which odd custom, when asked the reason, the only answer that could be got was, that it was teeha, which was also the reason assigned for another of their practices, the giving a lock of their hair.

[Footnote 4:  It is very remarkable, that, in this custom, which one would think is so unnatural, as not to be adopted by two different tribes, originally unconnected, the people of this island, and Dampier’s natives on the west side of New Holland, at such an immense distance, should be found to agree.—­D.]

After the water-casks had been filled and conveyed into the boat, and we had purchased from the natives a few roots, a little salt, and some salted fish, I returned on board with all the people, intending to visit the island the next day.  But, about seven o’clock in the evening, the anchor of the Resolution started, and she drove off the bank.  As we had a whole cable out, it was some time before the anchor was at the bows; and then we had the launch to hoist up alongside, before we could make sail.  By this unlucky accident, we found ourselves, at day-break next morning, three leagues to the leeward of our last station; and, foreseeing that it would require more time to recover it than I chose to spend, I made the signal for the Discovery to weigh and join us.  This was done about noon, and we immediately stood away to the northward, in prosecution of our voyage.  Thus, after spending more time about these islands than was necessary to have answered all our purposes, we were obliged to leave them before we had completed our water, and got from them such a quantity of refreshments as their inhabitants were both able and willing to have supplied us with.  But, as it was, our ship procured from them provisions, sufficient for three weeks at least; and Captain Clerke, more fortunate than us, got, of their vegetable productions, a supply that lasted his people upward of two months.  The observations I was enabled to make, combined with those of Mr Anderson, who was a very useful assistant on all such occasions, will furnish materials for the next section.


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The Situation of the Islands now discovered.—­Their Names.—­Called the Sandwich Islands.—­Atooi described.—­The Soil.—­Climate.—­Vegetable Productions.—­Birds.—­Fish.—­Domestic Animals.—­Persons of the Inhabitants.—­Their Disposition.—­Dress.—­Ornaments.—&
shy;Habitations.—­Food.—­Cookery.—­ Amusements.—­Manufactures.—­Working-tools.—­Knowledge of Iron accounted for.—­Canoes.—­Agriculture.—­Account of one of their Chiefs.—­Weapons.—­Customs agreeing with those of Tongataboo and Otaheite.—­Their Language the same.—­Extent of this Nation throughout the Pacific Ocean.—­Reflections on the useful Situation of the Sandwich Islands.

It is worthy of observation, that the islands in the Pacific Ocean, which our late voyages have added to the geography of the globe, have been generally found lying in groups or clusters; the single intermediate islands, as yet discovered, being few in proportion to the others; though, probably, there are many more of them still unknown, which serve as steps between the several clusters.  Of what number this newly-discovered Archipelago consists, must be left for future investigation.  We saw five of them, whose names, as given to us by the natives, are Woahoo, Atooi, Oneeheow, Orrehoua, and Tahoora.  The last is a small elevated island, lying four or five leagues from the S.E. point of Oneeheow, in the direction of S., 69 deg.  W. We were told, that it abounds with birds, which are its only inhabitants.  We also got some information of the existence of a low uninhabited island in the neighbourhood, whose name is Tammata pappa.  Besides these six, which we can distinguish by their names, it appeared, that the inhabitants of those with whom we had intercourse, were acquainted with some other islands both to the eastward and westward.  I named the whole group the Sandwich Islands, in honour of the Earl of Sandwich.  Those that I saw, are situated between the latitude of 21 deg. 30’, and 22 deg. 15’ N., and between the longitude of 199 deg. 20’, and 201 deg. 30’ E.

Of Woahoo, the most easterly of these islands, seen by us, which lies in the latitude of 21 deg. 36’, we could get no other intelligence, but that it is high land, and is inhabited.

We had opportunities of knowing some particulars about Oneeheow, which have been mentioned already.  It lies seven leagues to the westward of our anchoring-place at Atooi; and is not above fifteen leagues in circuit.  Its chief vegetable produce is yams, if we may judge from what was brought to us by the natives.  They have salt, which they call patai, and is produced in salt ponds.  With it they cure both fish and pork; and some salt fish, which we got from them, kept very well, and were found to be very good.  This island is mostly low land, except the part facing Atooi, which rises directly from the sea to a good height; as does also the S.E. point of it, which terminates in a round hill.  It was on the west side of this point where our ships anchored.

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Of Oreehoua we know nothing more than that it is a small elevated island, lying close to the north side of Oneeheow.

Atooi, which is the largest, being the principal scene of our operations, I shall now proceed to lay before my readers what information I was able to collect about it, either from actual observation, while on shore, or from conversation with its inhabitants, who were perpetually on board the ships while we lay at anchor; and who, in general, could be tolerably well understood, by those of us who had acquired an acquaintance with the dialects of the South Pacific Islands.  It is, however, to be regretted, that we should have been obliged, so soon, to leave a place, which, as far as our opportunities of knowing reached, seemed to be highly worthy of a more accurate examination.

Atooi, from what we saw of it, is, at least, ten leagues in length from east to west; from whence its circuit may nearly be guessed, though it appears to be much broader at the east than at the west point, if we may judge from the double range of hills which appeared there.  The road, or anchoring-place, which we occupied, is on the south-west side of the island, about six miles from the west end, before a village which has the name of Wymoa.  As far as we sounded, we found, that the bank has a fine grey sand at the bottom, and is free from rocks; except a little to the eastward of the village, where there spits out a shoal, on which are some rocks and breakers; but they are not far from the shore.  This road would be entirely sheltered from the trade-wind, if the height of the land, over which it blows, did not alter its direction, and make it follow that of the coast; so that it blows at N.E., on one side of the island, and at E.S.E., or S.E., on the other, falling obliquely upon the shore.  Thus the road, though situated on the lee side of the island, is a little exposed to the trade-wind; but, notwithstanding this defect, is far from being a bad station, and much superior to those which necessity obliges ships daily to use, in regions where the winds are both more variable and more boisterous; as at Teneriffe, Madeira, the Azores, and elsewhere.  The landing too is more easy than at most of those places; and, unless in very bad weather, always practicable.  The water to be got in the neighbourhood is excellent, and easy to be conveyed to the boats.  But no wood can be cut at any distance, convenient enough to bring it from, unless the natives could be prevailed upon to part with the few etooa trees (for so they call the cordia sebestina,) that grow about their villages, or a sort called dooe dooe, that grow farther up the country.

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The land, as to its general appearance, does not, in the least, resemble any of the islands we have hitherto visited within the tropic, on the south side of the equator; if we except its hills near the centre, which are high, but slope gently to the sea, or lower lands.  Though it be destitute of the delightful borders of Otaheite, and of the luxuriant plains of Tongataboo, covered with trees, which at once afford a friendly shelter from the scorching sun, and an enchanting prospect to the eye, and food for the natives, which may be truly said to drop from the trees into their mouths, without the laborious task of rearing; though, I say, Atooi be destitute of these advantages, its possessing a greater quantity of gently-rising land, renders it, in some measure, superior to the above favourite islands, as being more capable of improvement.

The height of the land within, the quantity of clouds which we saw, during the whole time we staid, hanging over it, and frequently on the other parts, seems to put it beyond all doubt, that there is a sufficient supply of water; and that there are some running streams which we did not see, especially in the deep valleys, at the entrance of which the villages commonly stand.  From the wooded part to the sea, the ground is covered with an excellent sort of grass, about two feet high, which grows sometimes in tufts, and, though not very thick at the place where we were, seemed capable of being converted into plentiful crops of fine hay.  But not even a shrub grows naturally on this extensive space.

In the break, or narrow valley, through which we had our road to the morai, the soil is of a brownish black colour, somewhat loose; but as we advanced upon the high ground, it changed to a reddish brown, more stiff and clayey, though, at this time, brittle from its dryness.  It is most probably the same all over the cultivated parts; for, what adhered to most of the potatoes, bought by us, which, no doubt, came from very different spots, was of this sort.  Its quality, however, may be better understood from its products, than from its appearance.  For the vale, or moist ground, produces taro, of a much larger size than any we had ever seen; and the higher ground furnishes sweet potatoes, that often weigh ten, and sometimes twelve or fourteen pounds; very few being under two or three.

The temperature of the climate may be easily guessed from the situation of the island.  Were we to judge of it from our experience, it might be said to be very variable; for, according to the generally received opinion, it was now the season of the year, when the weather is supposed to be most settled, the sun being at his greatest annual distance.  The heat was at this time very moderate; and few of those inconveniences, which many tropical countries are subject to, either from heat or moisture, seem to be experienced here, as the habitations of the natives are quite close; and they salt both fish and pork, which keep well, contrary to what has usually been observed to be the case, when this operation is attempted in hot countries.  Neither did we find any dews of consequence, which may, in some measure, be accounted for, by the lower part of the country being destitute of trees.

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The rock that forms the sides of the Valley, and which seems to be the same with that seen by us at different parts of the coast, is a greyish black, ponderous stone; but honey-combed, with some very minute shining particles, and some spots of a rusty colour interspersed.  The last gives it often a reddish cast, when at a distance.  It is of an immense depth, but seems divided into strata, though nothing is interposed.  For the large pieces always broke off to a determinate thickness, without appearing to have adhered to those below them.  Other stones are probably much more various, than in the southern islands.  For, during our short stay, besides the lapis lydius, which seems common all over the South Sea, we found a species of cream-coloured whetstone, sometimes variegated with blacker or whiter veins, as marble; or in pieces, as brecciae; and common writing slate, as well as a coarser sort; but we saw none of them in their natural state; and the natives brought some pieces of a coarse whitish pumice-stone.  We got also a brown sort of haematites, which, from being strongly attracted by the magnet, discovered the quantity of metal that it contained, and seems to belong to the second species of Cronstedt, though Linnaeus has placed it amongst his intractabilia.  But its variety could not be discovered; for what we saw of it, as well as the slates and whetstones, was cut artificially.

Besides the vegetable articles bought by us as refreshments, amongst which were, at least, five or six varieties of plantains, the island produces bread-fruit; though it seems to be scarce, as we saw only one tree, which was large, and had some fruit upon it.  There are also a few cocoa-palms; yams, as we were told, for we saw none; the kappe of the Friendly Islands, or Virginian arum; the etooa tree, and sweet-smelling gardenia, or cape jasmine.  We saw several trees of the dooe dooe, so useful at Otaheite, as bearing the oily nuts, which are stuck upon a kind of skewer, and burnt as candles.  Our people saw them used, in the same manner, at Oneeheow.  We were not on shore at Atooi but in the day-time, and then we saw the natives wearing these nuts, hung on strings, round the neck.  There is a species of sida, or Indian mallow, somewhat altered, by the climate, from what we saw at Christmas Island; the morinda citrifolia, which is called none; a species of convolvulus; the ava, or intoxicating pepper; and great numbers of gourds.  These last grow to a very large size, and are of a vast variety of shapes, which probably is effected by art.  Upon the dry sand, about the village, grew a plant, that we had never seen in these seas, of the size of a common thistle, and prickly, like that; but bearing a fine flower, almost resembling a white poppy.  This, with another small one, were the only uncommon plants, which our short excursion gave us an opportunity of observing.

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The scarlet birds, already described, which were brought for sale, were never met with alive; but we saw a single small one, about the size of a canary-bird, of a deep crimson colour; a large owl; two large brown hawks, or kites; and a wild duck.  The natives mentioned the names of several other birds; amongst which we knew the otoo, or blueish heron; and the torata, a sort of whimbrel, which are known by the same names at Otaheite; and it is probable, that there are a great many sorts, judging by the quantity of fine yellow, green, and very small, velvet-like, black feathers used upon the cloaks, and other ornaments worn by the inhabitants.

Fish and other marine productions were, to appearance, not various; as, besides the small mackarel, we only saw common mullets; a sort of a dead white, or chalky colour; a small brownish rock-fish, spotted with blue; a turtle, which was penned up in a pond; and three or four sorts of fish salted.  The few shell-fish that we saw, were chiefly converted into ornaments, though they neither had beauty nor novelty to recommend them.

The hogs, dogs, and fowls, which were the only tame or domestic animals that we found here, were all of the same kind that we met with at the South Pacific Islands.  There were also small lizards, and some rats, resembling those seen at every island at which we had, as yet, touched.

The inhabitants are of a middling stature, firmly made, with some exceptions, neither remarkable for a beautiful shape, nor for striking features, which rather express an openness and good-nature, than a keen intelligent disposition.  Their visage, especially amongst the women, is sometimes round; but others have it long; nor can we say that they are distinguished as a nation, by any general cast of countenance.  Their colour is nearly of a nut-brown; and. it may be difficult to make a nearer comparison, if we take in all the different hues of that colour; but some individuals are darker.  The women have been already mentioned as being little more delicate than the men in their formation; and I may say, that, with a very few exceptions, they have little claim to those peculiarities that distinguish the sex in other countries.  There is, indeed, a more remarkable equality in the size, colour, and figure of both sexes, than in most places I have visited.  However, upon the whole, they are far from being ugly, and appear to have few natural deformities of any kind.  Their skin is not very soft, nor shining; perhaps for want of oiling, which is practised at the southern islands; but their eyes and teeth are, in general, very tolerable.  The hair, for the greatest part is straight, though in some frizzling; and though its natural colour be commonly black, it is stained, as at the Friendly and other islands.  We saw but few instances of corpulence; and these oftener amongst the women than the men; but it was chiefly amongst the latter that personal defects were observed, though, if any of them can claim a share of beauty, it was most conspicuous amongst the young men.

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They are vigorous, active, and most expert swimmers; leaving their canoes upon the most trifling occasion, diving under them, and swimming to others, though at a great distance.  It was very common to see women with infants at the breast, when the surf was so high, that they could not land in the canoes, leap overboard, and, without endangering their little ones, swim to the shore, through a sea that looked dreadful.

They seem to be blest with a frank cheerful disposition; and were I to draw any comparisons, should say, that they are equally free from the fickle levity which distinguishes the natives of Otaheite, and the sedate east observable amongst many of those of Tongataboo.  They seem to live very sociably in their intercourse with one another; and, except the propensity to thieving, which seems innate in most of the people we have visited in this ocean, they were exceedingly friendly to us.  And it does their sensibility no little credit, without flattering ourselves, that when they saw the various articles of our European manufacture, they could not help expressing their surprise, by a mixture of joy and concern, that seemed to apply the case as a lesson of humility to themselves; and, on all occasions, they appeared deeply impressed with a consciousness of their own inferiority; a behaviour which equally exempts their national character from the preposterous pride of the more polished Japanese, and of the ruder Greenlander.  It was a pleasure to observe with how much affection the women managed their infants, and how readily the men lent their assistance to such a tender office; thus sufficiently distinguishing themselves from those savages, who esteem a wife and child as things rather necessary, than desirable or worthy of their notice.

From the numbers which we saw collected at every village, as we sailed past, it may be supposed, that the inhabitants of this island are pretty numerous.  Any computation, that we make, can be only conjectural.  But, that some notion may be formed, which shall not greatly err on either side, I would suppose, that, including the straggling houses, there might be, upon the whole island, sixty such, villages, as that before which we anchored; and that, allowing five persons to each house, there would be, in every village, five hundred; or thirty thousand upon the island.  This number is certainly not exaggerated; for we had sometimes three thousand persons at least upon the beach; when it could not be supposed that above a tenth part of the inhabitants were present.

The common dress both of the women and of the men has been already described.  The first have often much larger pieces of cloth wrapped round them, reaching from just below the breasts to the hams or lower; and several were seen with pieces thrown loosely about the shoulders, which covered the greatest part of the body; but the children when very young are quite naked.  They wear nothing upon the head; but the

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hair in both sexes is cut in different forms; and the general fashion, especially among the women, is to have it long before and short behind.  The men often had it cut or shaved on each side, in such a manner, that the remaining part, in some measure, resembles the crest of their caps or helmets formerly described.  Both sexes, however, seem very careless about their hair, and have nothing like combs to dress it with.  Instances of wearing it in a singular manner were sometimes met with among the men, who twist it into a number of separate parcels, like the tails of a wig, each about the thickness of a finger; though the greatest part of these, which are so long that they reach far down the back, we observed were artificially fixed upon the head over their own hair.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The print of Horn Island, which we meet with in Mr Dalrymple’s account of Le Maire and Schouten’s voyage, represents some of the natives of that island with such long tails hanging from their heads as are here described.  See Dalrymple’s Voyages to the South Pacific, vol. ii. p. 58.—­D]

It is remarkable, that, contrary to the general practice of the islands we had hitherto discovered in the Pacific Ocean, the people of the Sandwich Islands have not their ears perforated; nor have they the least idea of wearing ornaments in them.  Both sexes, nevertheless, adorn themselves with necklaces made of bunches of small black cord, like our hat-string, often above a hundred-fold; exactly like those of Wateeoo; only that instead of the two little balls on the middle before, they fix a small bit of wood, stone, or shell, about two inches long, with a broad hook turning forward at its lower part well polished.  They have likewise necklaces of many strings of very small shells, or of the dried flowers of the Indian mallow.  And sometimes a small human image of bone, about three inches long, neatly polished, is hung round the neck.  The women also wear bracelets of a single shell, pieces of black wood, with bits of ivory interspersed and well polished, fixed by a string drawn very closely through them; or others of hogs’ teeth laid parallel to each other, with the concave part outward, and the points cut off, fastened together as the former; some of which made only of large boars’ tusks are very elegant.  The men sometimes wear plumes of the tropic-bird’s feathers stuck in their heads; or those of cocks, fastened round neat polished sticks two feet long, commonly decorated at the lower part with oora; and for the same purpose, the skin of a white dog’s tail is sewed over a stick with its tuft at the end.  They also frequently wear on the head a kind of ornament of a finger’s thickness or more, covered with red and yellow feathers curiously varied and tied behind; and on the arm, above the elbow, a kind of broad shell-work, grounded upon net-work.

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The men are frequently punctured, though not in any particular part, as the Otaheiteans and those of Tongataboo.  Sometimes there are a few marks upon their hands or arms, and near the groin; but frequently we could observe none at all; though a few individuals had more of this sort of ornament, than we had usually seen at other places, and ingeniously executed in a great variety of lines and figures on the arms and fore-part of the body; on which latter, some of them had the figure of the taame, or breast-plate of Otaheite, though we did not meet with the thing itself amongst them.  Contrary to the custom of the Society and Friendly Islands, they do not slit or cut off part of the prepuce; but have it universally drawn over the glans, and tied with a string as practised by some of the natives of New Zealand.

Though they seem to have adopted the mode of living in villages, there is no appearance of defence or fortification near any of them; and the houses are scattered about without any order, either with respect to their distances from each other, or their position in any particular direction.  Neither is there any proportion as to their size; some being large and commodious, from forty to fifty feet long, and twenty or thirty broad, while others of them are mere hovels.  Their figure is not unlike oblong corn or hay-stacks; or, perhaps, a better idea may be conceived of them, if we suppose the roof of a barn placed on the ground, in such a manner as to form a high, acute ridge, with two very low sides hardly discernible at a distance.  The gable at each end corresponding to the sides, makes these habitations perfectly close all round; and they are well thatched with long grass, which is laid on slender poles disposed with some regularity.  The entrance is made indifferently in the end or side, and is an oblong hole, so low, that one must rather creep than walk in; and is often shut up by a board of planks fastened together, which serves as a door, but having no hinges, must be removed occasionally.  No light enters the house but by this opening; and though such close habitations may afford a comfortable retreat in bad weather, they seem but ill adapted to the warmth of the climate.  They are, however, kept remarkably clean; and their floors are covered with a large quantity of dried grass, over which they spread mats to sit and sleep upon.  At one end stands a kind of bench about three feet high, on which their household utensils are placed.  The catalogue is not long.  It consists of gourd-shells, which they convert into vessels that serve as bottles to hold water, and as baskets to contain their victuals, and other things with covers of the same; and of a few wooden bowls and trenchers of different sizes.  Judging from what we saw growing, and from what was brought to market, there can be no doubt, that the greatest part of their vegetable food consists of sweet potatoes, taro, and plantains; and that

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bread-fruit and yams are rather to be esteemed rarities.  Of animal food they can be in no want; as they have abundance of hogs, which run without restraint about the houses; and if they eat dogs, which is not improbable, their stock of these seemed to be very considerable.  The great number of fishing-hooks found amongst them, shewed that they derive no inconsiderable supply of animal food from the sea.  But it should seem, from their practice of salting fish, that the openness of their coast often interrupts the business of catching them; as it may be naturally supposed, that no set of people would ever think of preserving quantities of food artificially, if they could depend upon a daily regular supply of it in its fresh state.  This sort of reasoning, however, will not account for their custom of salting their pork, as well as their fish, which are preserved in gourd-shells.  The salt, of which they use a great quantity for this purpose, is of a red colour, not very coarse, and seems to be much the same with what our stragglers found at Christmas Island.  It has its colour doubtless from a mixture of the mud at the bottom of the part where it is formed; for some of it that had adhered in lumps, was of a sufficient whiteness and purity.

They bake their vegetable food with heated stones, as at the southern islands; and from the vast quantity, which we saw dressed at one time, we suspected that the whole village, or, at least, a considerable number of people joined in the use of a common oven.  We did not see them dress any animal food at this island; but Mr Gore’s party, as already mentioned, had an opportunity of satisfying themselves, that it was dressed at Oneeheow in the same sort of ovens, which leaves no doubt of this being also the practice in Atooi; especially as we met with no utensil there that could be applied to the purpose of stewing or boiling.  The only artificial dish we met with was a taro pudding, which, though a disagreeable mess from its sourness, was greedily devoured by the natives.  They eat off a kind of wooden plates or trenchers; and the women, as far as we could judge from one instance, if restrained from feeding at the same dish with the men, as at Otaheite, are at least permitted to eat in the same place near them.

Their amusements seem pretty various; for during our short stay, several were discovered.  The dances at which they used the feathered-cloaks and caps were not seen; but from the motions which they made with their hands on other occasions, when they sung, we could form some judgment that they are, in some degree at least, similar to those we had met with at the southern islands, though not executed so skilfully.  Neither had they amongst them either flutes or reeds, and the only two musical instruments which we observed were of an exceedingly rude kind.  One of them does not produce a melody exceeding that of a child’s rattle.  It consists of what may be called a conic cap inverted, but scarcely hollowed at the base above

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a foot high, made of a coarse sedge-like plant, the upper part of which, and the edges, are ornamented with beautiful red feathers, and to the point, or lower part, is fixed a gourd-shell larger than the fist.  Into this is put something to rattle, which is done by holding the instrument by the small part, and shaking or rather moving it from place to place briskly, either to different sides or backward and forward just before the face, striking the breast with the other hand at the same time.  The other musical instrument (if either of them deserve that name) was a hollow vessel of wood, like a platter, combined with the use of two sticks, on which one of our gentlemen saw a man performing.  He held one of the sticks, about two feet long, as we do a fiddle with one hand, and struck it with the other, which was smaller, and resembled a drum-stick, in a quicker or slower measure; at the same time beating with his foot upon the hollow vessel that lay inverted upon the ground, and thus producing a tune that was by no means disagreeable.  This music was accompanied by the vocal performance of some women, whose song had a pleasing and tender effect.

We observed great numbers of small polished rods, about four or five feet long, somewhat thicker than the rammer of a musket, with a tuft of long white dog’s hair fixed on the small end.  These are probably used in their diversions.  We saw a person take one of them in his hand, and holding it up, give a smart stroke, till he brought it into an horizontal position, striking with the foot on the same side upon the ground, and with his other hand beating his breast at the same time.  They play at bowls with pieces of whetstone mentioned before, of about a pound weight, shaped somewhat like a small cheese, but rounded at the sides and edges, which are very nicely polished; and they have other bowls of the same sort, made of a heavy reddish, brown clay, neatly glazed over with a composition of the same colour, or of a coarse dark-grey slate.  They also use, in the manner that we throw quoits, small flat rounded pieces of the writing slate of the diameter of the bowls, but scarcely a quarter of an inch thick, also well polished.  From these circumstances, one would be induced to think that their games are rather trials of skill than of strength.

In every thing manufactured by these people, there appears to be an uncommon degree of neatness and ingenuity.  Their cloth, which is the principal manufacture, is made from the morus papyrifera; and doubtless in the same manner as at Otaheite and Tongataboo; for we bought some of the grooved sticks with which it is beaten.  Its texture, however, though thicker, is rather inferior to that of the cloth of either of the other places; but in colouring or staining it, the people of Atooi display a superiority of taste, by the endless variation of figures which they execute.  One would suppose, on seeing a number of their pieces, that they had borrowed their patterns from some mercer’s

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shop, in which the most elegant productions of China and Europe are collected; besides some original patterns of their own.  Their colours, indeed, except the red, are not very bright; but the regularity of the figures and stripes is truly surprising; for, as far as we know, they have nothing like stamps or prints, to make the impressions.  In what manner they produce their colours, we had not opportunities of learning; but, besides the party coloured sorts, they have some pieces of plain white cloth, and others of a single colour, particularly dark-brown and light-blue.  In general, the pieces which they brought to us were about two feet broad, and four or five yards long, being the form and quantity that they use for their common dress or maro; and even these we sometimes found were composed of pieces sewed together; an art which we did not find to the southward, but is strongly, though not very neatly, performed here.  There is also a particular sort that is thin, much resembling oil-cloth; and which is actually either oiled or soaked in some kind of varnish, and seems to resist the action of water pretty well.

They fabricate a great many white mats, which are strong, with many red stripes, rhombuses, and other figures, interwoven on one side; and often pretty large.  These probably make a part of their dress occasionally; for they put them on their backs when they offered them to sale.  But they make others coarser, plain and strong, which they spread over their floors to sleep upon.

They stain their gourd-shells prettily with undulated lines, triangles, and other figures of a black colour; instances of which we saw practised at New Zealand.  And they seem to possess the art of varnishing; for some of these stained gourd-shells are covered with a kind of lacker; and, on other occasions, they use a strong size, or gluey substance, to fasten their things together.  Their wooden dishes and, bowls, out of which they drink their ova, are of the etooa-tree, or cordia, as neat as if made in our turning-lathe, and perhaps better polished.  And amongst their articles of handicraft, may be reckoned small square fans of mat or wicker-work, with handles tapering from them of the same, or of wood; which are neatly wrought with small cords of hair, and fibres of the cocoa-nut coir intermixed.  The great variety of fishing-hooks are ingeniously made; some of bone, others of wood pointed with bone, and many of pearl shell.  Of the last, some are like a sort that we saw at Tongataboo; and others simply curved, as the common sort at Otaheite, as well as the wooden ones.  The bones are mostly small, and composed of two pieces; and all the different sorts have a barb, either on the inside, like ours, or on the outside, opposite the same part; but others have both, the outer one being farthest from the point.  Of this last sort, one was procured nine inches long, of a single piece of bone, which doubtless belonged to

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some large fish.  The elegant form and polish of this could not certainly be outdone by any European artist, even if he should add all his knowledge in design to the number and convenience of his tools.  They polish their stones by constant friction, with pumice-stone in water; and such of their working instruments, or tools, as I saw, resembled those of the Southern Islands.  Their hatchets, or rather adzes, were exactly of the same pattern, and either made of the same sort of blackish stone, or of a clay-coloured one.  They have also little instruments, made of a single shark’s tooth, some of which are fixed to the fore-part of a dog’s jawbone, and others to a thin wooden handle of the same shape; and at the other end there is a bit of string fastened through a small perforation.  These serve as knives occasionally, and are perhaps used in carving.

The only iron tools, or rather bits of iron, seen amongst them, and which they had before our arrival, were a piece of iron hoop, about two inches long, fitted into a wooden handle;[2] and another edge-tool, which our people guessed to be made of the point of a broad-sword.  Their having the actual possession of these, and their so generally knowing the use of this metal, inclined some on board to think that we had not been the first European visitors of these islands.  But it seems to me, that the very great surprise expressed by them on seeing our ships, and their total ignorance of the use of fire-arms, cannot be reconciled with such a notion.  There are many ways by which such people may get pieces of iron, or acquire the knowledge of the existence of such a metal, without having ever had an immediate connection with nations that use it.  It can hardly be doubted, that it was unknown to all the inhabitants of this sea, before Magalhaens led the way into it; for no discoverer, immediately after his voyage, ever found any of this metal in their possession; though, in the course of our late voyages, it has been observed, that the use of it was known at several islands, to which no former European ships had ever, as far as we know, found their way.  At all the places where Mendana touched in his two voyages, it must have been seen and left; and this would extend the knowledge of it, no doubt, to all the various islands with which those whom he had visited had any immediate intercourse.  It might even be carried farther; and where specimens of this favourite article could not be procured, descriptions might, in some measure, serve to make it known when afterward seen.  The next voyage to the southward of the Line, in which any intercourse was had with the natives of this ocean, was that of Quiros, who landed at Sagittaria, the Island of Handsome People, and at Tierra del Espiritu Santo; at all which places, and at those with whom they had any communication, it must of consequence have been made known.  To him succeeded, in this navigation, Le Maire and Schouten, whose connections with the natives commenced

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much farther to the eastward, and ended at Cocos and Horn Islands.  It was not surprising, that when I visited Tongataboo, in 1773, I should find a bit of iron there, as we knew that Tasman had visited it before me; but let us suppose, that he had never discovered the Friendly Islands, our finding iron, amongst them would have occasioned much speculation; though we have mentioned before the method by which they had gained a renewal of their knowledge of this metal, which confirms my hypothesis.  For Neeootaboo taboo, or Boscawen’s Island, where Captain Wallis’s ships left it, and from whence Poulaho received it, lies some degrees to the north-west of Tongataboo.  It is well known, that Roggewein lost one of his ships on the Pernicious Islands; which, from their situation, are probably not unknown to, though not frequently visited by, the inhabitants of Otaheite and the Society Islands.  It is equally certain, that these last people had a knowledge of iron, and purchased it with the greatest avidity, when Captain Wallis discovered Otaheite; and this knowledge could only have been acquired through the medium of those neighbouring islands where it had been originally left.  Indeed, they acknowledge that this was actually the case; and they have told us since, that they held it in such estimation before Captain Wallis’s arrival, that a chief of Otaheite, who had got two nails into his possession, received no small emolument, by letting out the use of these to his neighbours for the purpose of boring holes, when their own methods failed, or were thought too tedious.[3] The men of the Society Islands whom we found at Wateeoo, had been driven thither, long after the knowledge and use of iron had thus been introduced amongst their countrymen; and though probably they had no specimen of it with them, they would naturally, and with ease, communicate at that island their knowledge of this valuable material by description.  From the people of Wateeoo, again, those of Hervey’s Island might derive that desire to possess some of it, of which we had proofs during our short intercourse with them.

[Footnote 2:  Captain King, we are told, purchased this, and had it in his possession at the time of publishing this account.—­E.]

[Footnote 3:  A similar instance of profitable revenue, drawn from the use of nails by the chiefs of the Caroline Islands, is mentioned by Father Cantova:  “Si, par hazard, un vaisseau etranger laisse dans leurs Isles quelques vieux morceaux de fer, ils appartiennent de droit aux Tamoles, qui en font faire des outils, le mieux qu’il est possible.  Ces outils sent un fond le Tamole tire un revenu considerable, car il les donne a louage, et ce louage se paye assez chere.”—­P. 314.]

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The consideration of these facts sufficiently explains, how the knowledge of iron has been conveyed throughout this ocean to islands which never have had an immediate intercourse with Europeans; and it may easily be conceived, that wherever the history of it only has been reported, or a very small quantity of it has been left, the greater eagerness will be shewn by the natives to get copious supplies of it.  The application of these particulars to the instance now under consideration, is obvious.  The people of Atooi and Oneeheow, without having ever been visited by Europeans before us, might have received it from intermediate islands lying between them and the Ladrones, which have been frequented by the Spaniards almost ever since the date of Magalhaens’s voyage.  Or if the distant western situation of the Ladrones should render this solution less probable, is there not the extensive continent of America to windward, where the Spaniards have been settled for more than two hundred years; during which long period of time, shipwrecks must have frequently happened on its coasts?  It cannot be thought at all extraordinary, that part of such wrecks containing iron, should, by the easterly trade wind, be, from time to time, cast upon islands scattered about this vast ocean.  The distance of Atooi from America is no argument against this supposition.  But even if it were, it would not destroy it.  This ocean is traversed every year by Spanish ships; and it is obvious, that, besides the accident of losing a mast and its appendages, casks with iron hoops, and many other things containing iron, may be thrown or may fall overboard during so long a passage, and thus find their way to land.  But these are not mere conjectures and possibilities; for one of my people actually did see some wood in one of the houses at Wymoa, which he judged to be fir.  It was worm-eaten, and the natives gave him to understand, that it had been driven ashore by the waves of the sea; and we had their own express testimony, that they had got the inconsiderable specimens of iron, found amongst them, from some place to the eastward.

From this digression (if it can be called so) I return to the observations made during our stay at Atooi; and some account must now be given of their canoes.  These, in general, are about twenty-four feet long, and have the bottom, for the most part, formed of a single piece or log of wood, hollowed out to the thickness of an inch, or an inch and a half, and brought to a point at each end.  The sides consist of three boards, each about an inch thick, and neatly fitted and lashed to the bottom part.  The extremities, both at head and stern, are a little raised, and both are made sharp, somewhat like a wedge; but they flatten more abruptly; so that the two sideboards join each other side by side, for more than a foot.  As they are not more than fifteen or eighteen inches broad, those that go single (for they sometimes join them as at the other islands) have outriggers, which are shaped and fitted with more judgment than any I had before seen.  They are rowed by paddles, such as we had generally met with; and some of them have a light triangular sail, like those of the Friendly Islands, extending to a mast and boom.  The ropes used for their boats, and the smaller cords for their fishing-tackle, are strong and well made.

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What we saw of their agriculture, furnished sufficient proofs that they are not novices in that art.  The vale ground has already been mentioned as one continued plantation of taro, and a few other things, which have all the appearance of being well attended to.  The potatoe fields, and spots of sugar-cane, or plantains on the higher grounds, are planted with the same regularity; and always in some determinate figure, generally as a square or oblong; but neither these, nor the others, are enclosed with any kind of fence, unless we reckon the ditches in the low grounds such, which, it is more probable, are intended to convey water to the taro.  The great quantity and goodness of these articles may also, perhaps, be as much attributed to skilful culture as to natural fertility of soil, which seems better adapted to them than to bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees; the few which we saw of these latter not being in a thriving state, which will sufficiently account for the preference given to the culture of the other articles, though more labour be required to produce them.  But, notwithstanding this skill in agriculture, the general appearance of the island shewed, that it was capable of much more extensive improvement, and of maintaining, at least, three times the number of the inhabitants that are at present upon it; for the far greater part of it, that now lies quite waste, seemed to be as good a soil as those parts of it that are in cultivation.  We must therefore conclude, that these people, from some cause, which we were not long enough amongst them to be able to trace, do not increase in that proportion, which would make it necessary to avail themselves of the extent of their island, toward raising a greater quantity of its vegetable productions for their subsistence.

Though I did not see a chief of any note, there were however several, as the natives informed us, who reside upon Atooi, and to whom they prostrate themselves as a mark of submission; which seems equivalent to the moe, moea, paid to the chiefs of the Friendly Islands, and is called here hamoea, or moe.  Whether they were at first afraid to shew themselves, or happened to be absent, I cannot say; but, after I had left the island, one of these great men made his appearance, and paid a visit to Captain Clerke, on board the Discovery.  He came off in a double canoe; and, like the king of the Friendly Islands, paid no regard to the small canoes that happened to lie in his way, but ran against, or over them, without endeavouring in the least to avoid them.  And it was not possible for these poor people to avoid him, for they could not manage their canoes; it being a necessary mark of their submission that they should lie down till he had passed.  His attendants helped him into the ship, and placed him on the gangway.  Their care of him did not cease then; for they stood round him, holding each other by the hands; nor would they suffer any one to come near him but Captain Clerke

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himself.  He was a young man, clothed from head to foot, and accompanied by a young woman, supposed to be his wife.  His name was said to be Tamahano.  Captain Clerke made him some suitable presents; and received from him, in return, a large bowl, supported by two figures of men, the carving of which, both as to the design and execution, shewed some degree of skill.  This bowl, as our people were told, used to be filled with the kava or ava, (as it is called at Otaheite), which liquor they prepare and drink here as at the other islands in this ocean.  Captain Clerke could not prevail upon this great man to go below, nor to move from the place where his attendants had first fixed him.  After staying some time in the ship, he was carried again into his canoe, and returned to the island, receiving the same honours from all the natives as when he came on board.  The next day several messages were sent to Captain Clerke, inviting him to return the visit ashore, and acquainting him that the chief had prepared a large present on that occasion.  But, being anxious to get to sea, and join the Resolution, the Captain did not think it advisable to accept of the invitation.

The very short and imperfect intercourse which we had with the natives, put it out of our power to form any accurate judgment of the mode of government established amongst them; but, from the general resemblance of customs, and particularly from what we observed of the honours paid to their chiefs, it seems reasonable to believe, that it is of the same nature with that which prevails throughout all the islands we had hitherto visited; and probably their wars amongst themselves are equally frequent.  This, indeed, might be inferred from the number of weapons which we found them possessed of, and from, the excellent order these were kept in.  But we had direct proof of the fact from their own confession; and, as we understood, these wars are between the different districts of their own island, as well as between it and their neighbours of Oneeheow and Orrehoua, we need scarcely assign any other cause besides this to account for the appearance already mentioned, of their population bearing no proportion to the extent of their ground capable of cultivation.

Besides their spears or lances, made of a fine chesnut-coloured wood, beautifully polished, some of which are barbed at one end, and flattened to a point at the other, they have a sort of weapon which we had never seen before, and not mentioned by any navigator, as used by the natives of the South Sea.  It is somewhat like a dagger, in general about a foot and a half long, sharpened at one or both ends, and secured to the hand by a string.  Its use is to stab in close fight; and it seems well adapted to the purpose.  Some of these may be called double daggers, having a handle in the middle, with which they are better enabled to strike different ways.  They have also bows and arrows; but, both from their apparent scarcity

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and their slender make, it may almost be presumed that they never use them in battle.  The knife or saw, formerly mentioned, with which they dissect the dead bodies, may also be ranked amongst their weapons, as they both strike and cut with it when closely engaged.  It is a small flat wooden instrument, of an oblong shape, about a foot long, rounded at the corners, with a handle almost like one sort of the patoos of New Zealand; but its edges are entirely surrounded with sharks’ teeth, strongly fixed to it, and pointing outward; having commonly a hole in the handle, through which passes a long string, which is wrapped several times round the wrist.  We also suspected that they use slings on some occasions; for we got some pieces of the haematites, or blood-stone, artificially made of an oval shape, divided longitudinally, with a narrow groove in the middle of the convex part.  To this the person, who had one of them, applied a cord of no great thickness, but would not part with it, though he had no objection to part with the stone, which must prove fatal, when thrown with any force, as it weighed a pound.  We likewise saw some oval pieces of whetstone, well polished, but somewhat pointed toward each end, nearly resembling in shape some stones which we had seen at New Caledonia in 1774, and used there in their slings.

What we could learn of their religions institutions, and the manner of disposing of their dead, which may properly be considered as closely connected, has been already mentioned.  And as nothing more strongly points out the affinity between the manners of these people and of the Friendly and Society Islands, I must just mention some other circumstances to place this in a strong point of view, and at the same time to shew how a few of the infinite modifications, of which a few leading principles are capable, may distinguish any particular nation.  The people of Tongataboo inter their dead in a very decent manner, and they also inter their human sacrifices; but they do not offer, or expose any other animal, or even vegetable, to their gods, as far as we know.  Those of Otaheite do not inter their dead, but expose them to waste by time and putrefaction, though the bones are afterward buried; and as this is the case, it is very remarkable that they should inter the entire bodies of their human sacrifices.  They also offer other animals and vegetables to their gods; but are by no means attentive to the state of the sacred places where those solemn rites are performed; most of their morais being in a ruinous condition, and bearing evident marks of neglect.  The people of Atooi, again, inter both their common dead and human sacrifices, as at Tongataboo; but they resemble those of Otaheite in the slovenly state of their religious places, and in offering vegetables and animals to their gods.

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The taboo also prevails in Atooi in its full extent, and seemingly with much more rigour than even at Tongataboo.  For the people here always asked, with great eagerness and signs of fear to offend, whether any particular thing, which they desired to see, or we were unwilling to shew, was taboo, or, as they pronounced the word, tafoo?  The maia, ruae, or forbidden articles at the Society Islands, though doubtless the same thing, did not seem to be so strictly observed by them, except with respect to the dead, about whom we thought them more superstitious than any of the others were.  But these are circumstances with which we are not as yet sufficiently acquainted to be decisive about; and I shall only just observe, to shew the similitude in other matters connected with religion, that the priests, or tahounas, here, are as numerous as at the other islands; if we may judge, from our being able, during our short stay, to distinguish several saying their poore or prayer.

But whatever resemblance we might discover, in the general manners of the people of Atooi to those of Otaheite, these, of course, were less striking than the coincidence of language, indeed, the languages of both places may be said to be almost, word for word, the same.  It is true, that we sometimes remarked particular words to be pronounced exactly as we had found at New Zealand and the Friendly Islands; but, though all the four dialects are indisputably the same, these people, in general, have neither the strong guttural pronunciation of the former, nor a less degree of it, which also distinguishes the latter; and they have not only adopted the soft mode of the Otaheitans, in avoiding harsh sounds, but the whole idiom of their language; using not only the same affixes and suffixes to their words, but the same measure and cadence in their songs; though, in a manner, somewhat less agreeable.  There seems, indeed, at first hearing, some disagreement to the ear of a stranger; but it ought to be considered, that the people of Otaheite, from their frequent connections with the English, had learnt it, in some measure, to adapt themselves to our scanty knowledge of their language, by using not only the most common, but even corrupted expressions, in conversation with us; whereas, when they conversed among themselves, and used the several parts necessary to propriety of speech, they were scarcely at all understood by those amongst us, who had made the greatest proficiency in their vocabulary.  A catalogue of words was collected at Atooi by Mr Anderson, who lost no opportunity of making our voyage useful to those who amuse themselves in tracing the migrations of the various tribes or families that have peopled the globe, by the most convincing of all arguments, that drawn from affinity of language.

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How shall we account for this nation’s having spread itself, in so many detached islands, so widely disjoined from each other, in every quarter of the Pacific Ocean!  We find it, from New Zealand, in the south, as far as the Sandwich Islands to the north!  And, in another direction, from Easter Island to the Hebrides! that is, over an extent of sixty degrees of latitude, or twelve hundred leagues, north and south! and eighty-three degrees of longitude, or sixteen hundred and sixty leagues east and west!  How much farther, in either direction, its colonies reach is not known; but what we know already, in consequence of this and our former voyage, warrants us in pronouncing it to be, though perhaps not the most numerous, certainly, by far, the most extensive nation upon the earth.[4]

[Footnote 4:  See more about the great extent of the colonies of this nation in the Introductory Preface.]

Had the Sandwich Islands been discovered at an early period by the Spaniards, there is little doubt that they would have taken advantage of so excellent a situation, and have made use of Atooi, or some other of the islands, as a refreshing place to the ships that sail annually from Acapulco for Manilla.  They lie almost midway between the first place and Guam, one of the Ladrones, which is at present their only port in traversing this vast ocean; and it would not have been a week’s sail out of their common route to have touched at them; which could have been done without running the least hazard of losing the passage, as they are sufficiently within the verge of the easterly trade-wind.  An acquaintance with the Sandwich Islands would have been equally favourable to our Buccaneers, who used sometimes to pass from the coast of America to the Ladrones, with a stock of food and water scarcely sufficient to preserve life.  Here they might always have found plenty, and have been within a month’s sure sail of the very part of California, which the Manilla ship is obliged to make, or else have returned to the coast of America, thoroughly refitted, after an absence of two months.  How happy would Lord Anson have been, and what hardships would he have avoided, if he had known that there was a group of islands half way between America and Tinian, where all his wants could have been effectually supplied; and in describing which, the elegant historian of that voyage would have presented his reader with a more agreeable picture than I have been able to draw in this chapter![5]

[Footnote 5:  We defer considering the curious subject of the identity and origin of the people that inhabit the South Sea, till other relations shall have put the reader in possession of the facts requisite for the discussion.  Of the Sandwich Islands, we shall hereafter probably have mere complete information than is now given.—­E.]


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Observations made at the Sandwich Islands, on the Longitude, Variation of the Compass and Tides.—­Prosecution of the Voyage.—­Remarks on the Mildness of the Weather, as far as the Latitude 44 deg.  North.—­Paucity of Sea Birds, in the Northern Hemisphere.—­Small Sea Animals described.—­Arrival on the Coast of America.—­Appearance of the Country.—­Unfavourable Winds and boisterous Weather.—­Remarks on Martin de Aguilar’s River, and Juan de Fuca’s pretended Strait.—­An Inlet discovered, where the Ships anchor.—­Behaviour of the Natives.

After the Discovery had joined us, we stood away to the northward, close hauled, with a gentle gale from the east; and nothing occurring, in this situation, worthy of a place in my narrative, the reader will permit me to insert here the nautical observations which I had opportunities of making relative to the islands we had left; and which we had been fortunate enough to add to the geography of this part of the Pacific Ocean.

The longitude of the Sandwich Islands was determined by seventy-two sets of lunar observations; some of which were made while we were at anchor in the road of Wymoa; others before we arrived, and after we left it, and reduced to it by the watch or time-keeper.  By the mean result of these observations, the longitude of the road is

200 deg. 13’  0” East. 
Time-keeper / Greenwich rate,             200 deg.  0’  0”
\ Ulietea rate,               200 deg. 21’  0”
The latitude of the road, by the   \
mean of two meridian observations }      21 deg. 56’ 15” North.
of the sun                       /

The observations for the variation of the compass did not agree very well among themselves.  It is true, they were not all made exactly in the same spot.  The different situations, however, could make very little difference.  But the whole will be seen, by casting an eye on the following table.

Time.  Latitude.  Longitude.  Compass.  East Mean
variation.  Variation. 
Jan. 18th.  A.M. 21 deg. 12’ 200 deg. 41’ Gregory’s 10 deg. 10’ 10"\
Knight’s 9 deg. 20’ 5” } 90 deg. 51’ 38”
Martin’s 10 deg. 4’ 40"/

19th.  P.M. 21 deg. 51’ 200 deg. 20’ Knight’s 10 deg. 2’ 10"\ 10 deg. 37’ 10”
Gregory’s 11 deg. 12’ 30"/

28th.  A.M. 21 deg. 22’ 199 deg. 56’ Gregory’s 9 deg. 1’ 20"\
Knight’s 9 deg. 1’ 25” } 9 deg. 26’ 57”
Martin’s 10 deg. 18’ 5"/

28th.  P.M. 21 deg. 36’ 199 deg. 50’ Gregory’s 11 deg. 21’ 15"\
Knight’s 10 deg. 40’ 0” } 11 deg. 12’ 50”
Martin’s 11 deg. 37’ 50"/

Means of the}  21 deg. 29’   200 deg. 12’                          10 deg. 17’ 11”
above     }

On January 18. 21 deg. 12’ 200 deg. 41’ the north end of
the needle dipped 42 deg. 1’ 7”.

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The tides at the Sandwich Islands are so inconsiderable, that, with the great surf which broke against the shore, it was hardly possible to tell, at any time, whether we had high or low water, or whether it ebbed or flowed.  On the south side of Atooi, we generally found a current setting to the westward, or north-westward.  But when we were at anchor off Oneeheow, the current set nearly north-west and south-east, six hours one way and six the other, and so strong as to make the ships tend, though the wind blew fresh.  This was certainly a regular tide; and, as far as I could judge, the flood came from the north-west.

I now return to the progress of our voyage.  On the 7th, being in the latitude of 29 deg.  N. and in the longitude of 200 deg.  E. the wind veered to S.E.  This enabled us to steer N.E. and E.; which course we continued, till the 12th, when the wind had veered round by the S. and W. to N.E. and E.N.E.  I then tacked and stood to the northward, our latitude being 30 deg.  N. and our longitude 206 deg. 15’ E. Notwithstanding our advanced latitude, and its being the winter season, we had only begun, for a few days past, to feel a sensation of cold in the mornings and evenings.  This is a sign of the equal and lasting influence of the sun’s heat, at all seasons, to 30 deg. on each side the line.  The disproportion is known to become very great after that.  This must be attributed almost entirely to the direction of the rays of the sun, independent of the bare distance, which is by no means equal to the effect.

On the 19th, being now in the latitude of 37 deg.  N. and in the longitude of 206 deg.  E. the wind veered to S.E.; and I was enabled again to steer to the E. inclining to the N. We had, on the 25th, reached the latitude of 42 deg. 30’, and the longitude of 219 deg.; and then we began to meet with the rock-weed, mentioned by the writer of Lord Anson’s voyage, under the name of sea-leek, which the Manilla ships generally fall in with.  Now and then a piece of wood also appeared.  But if we had not known that the continent of North America was not far distant, we might, from the few signs of the vicinity of land hitherto met with, have concluded, that there was none within some thousand leagues of us.  We had hardly seen a bird, or any other oceanic animal, since we left Sandwich Islands.

On the 1st of March, our latitude being now 44 deg. 49’ N., and our longitude 228 deg.  E. we had one calm day.  This was succeeded by a wind from the N. with which I stood to the E. close hauled, in order to make the land.  According to the charts, it ought not to have been far from us.  It was remarkable, that we should still carry with us such moderate and mild weather so far to the northward, and so near the coast of an extensive continent, at this time of the year.  The present season either must be uncommon for its mildness, or we can assign no reason why Sir Francis Drake should have met with such severe cold, about this latitude, in the month

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of June.  Viscaino, indeed, who was near the same place in the depth of winter, says little of the cold, and speaks of a ridge of snowy mountains somewhere on the coast, as a thing rather remarkable.[1] Our seeing so few birds, in comparison of what we met with in the same latitudes to the south of the Line, is another singular circumstance, which must either proceed from a scarcity of the different sorts, or from a deficiency of places to rest upon.  From hence, we may conclude, that, beyond 40 deg. in the southern hemisphere, the species are much more numerous, and the isles where they inhabit also more plentifully scattered about, than any where between the coast of California and Japan, in or near that latitude.

[Footnote 1:  See Torquemada’s Narrative of Viscaino’s Expedition in 1602 and 1603, in the second volume of Vanegas’s History of California, English translation, from p. 229 to p. 308.—­D.]

During a calm, on the morning of the 2d, some parts of the sea seemed covered with a kind of slime, and some small sea-animals were swimming about.  The most conspicuous of which were of the gelatinous or medusa kind, almost globular; and another sort smaller, that had a white or shining appearance, and were very numerous.  Some of these last were taken up, and put into a glass cup with some salt water, in which they appeared like small scales or bits of silver, when at rest, in a prone situation.  When they began to swim about, which they did, with equal ease, upon their backs, sides, or belly, they emitted the brightest colours of the most precious gems, according to their position with respect to the light.  Sometimes they appeared quite pellucid, at other times assuming various tints of blue, from a pale sapphirine to a deep violet colour; which were frequently mixed with a ruby or opaline redness; and glowed with a strength sufficient to illuminate the vessel and water.  These colours appeared most vivid when the glass was held to a strong light; and mostly vanished on the subsiding of the animals to the bottom, when they had a brownish cast.  But, with candle light, the colour was, chiefly, a beautiful pale green, tinged with a burnished gloss; and, in the dark, it had a faint appearance of glowing fire.  They proved to be a new species of oniscus, and, from their properties, were, by Mr Anderson, (to whom we owe this account of them), called oniscus fulgens; being probably an animal which has a share in producing some sorts of that lucid appearance, often observed near ships at sea in the night.  On the same day two large birds settled on the water, near the ship.  One of these was the procellaria maxima (the quebrantahuessos), and the other, which was little more than half the size, seemed to be of the albatross kind.  The upper part of the wings, and tip of the tail, were black, with the rest white; the bill yellowish; upon the whole not unlike the sea-gull, though larger.

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On the 6th at noon, being in the latitude of 44 deg. 10’ N., and the longitude of 234-1/2 deg.  E., we saw two seals and several whales; and at day-break the next morning, the long-looked-for coast of New Albion[2] was seen, extending from N.E. to S.E., distant ten or twelve leagues.  At noon our latitude was 44 deg. 33’ N., and our longitude 235 deg. 20’ E.; and the land extended from N.E. 1/2 N. to S.E. by S. about eight leagues distant.  In this situation we had seventy-three fathoms water, over a muddy bottom, and about a league farther off found ninety fathoms.  The land appeared to be of a moderate height, diversified with hills and valleys, and almost every where covered with wood.  There was, however, no very striking object on any part of it, except one hill, whose elevated summit was flat.  This bore E. from us at noon.  At the northern extreme the land formed a point, which I called Cape Foulweather, from the very bad weather that we soon after met with.  I judge it to lie in the latitude of 44 deg. 55’ N., and in the longitude of 235 deg. 54’ E.

[Footnote 2:  This part of the west side of North America was so named by Sir Francis Drake.—­D.]

We had variable light airs and calms till eight o’clock in the evening, when a breeze sprung up at S.W.  With it I stood to the N.W., under an easy sail, waiting for day-light, to range along the coast.  But at four, next morning, the wind shifted to N.W., and blew in squalls, with rain.  Our course was N.E. till near ten o’clock, when, finding that I could make no progress on this tack, and seeing nothing like a harbour, I tacked, and stood off S.W.  At this time Cape Foulweather bore N.E. by N. about eight leagues distant.  Toward noon the wind veered more to the westward, and the weather became fair and clear; so that we were enabled to make lunar observations.  Having reduced all those that we had made since the 19th of last month to the present ones, by the time-keeper, amounting in the whole to seventy-two sets, their mean result determined the longitude to be 235 deg. 15’ 26” E., which was 14’ 11” less than what the time-keeper gave.  This longitude is made use of for settling that of the coast; and I have not a doubt of its being within a very few miles of the truth.

Our difficulties now began to increase.  In the evening the wind came to the N.W., blowing in squalls, with hail and sleet; and the weather being thick and hazy, I stood out to sea till near noon the next day, when I tacked, and stood in again for the land, which made its appearance at two in the afternoon, bearing E.N.E.  The wind and weather continued the same; but, in the evening, the former veered more to the W. and the latter grew worse, which made it necessary to tack and stand off till four the next morning, when I ventured to stand in again.

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At four in the afternoon we saw the island, which, at six, extended from N.E. 1/2 E. to S.E. by S. about eight leagues distant.  In this situation we tacked, and sounded; but a line of a hundred and sixty fathoms did not reach the ground.  I stood off till midnight, then stood in again; and at half-past six we were within three leagues of the land, which extended from N. by E. 1/2 E. to S. 1/2 E.; each extreme about seven leagues distant.  Seeing no signs of a harbour, and the weather being still unsettled, I tacked, and stretched off S.W. having then fifty-five fathoms water, over a muddy bottom.

That part of the land which we were so near when we tacked, is of a moderate height, though in some places it rises higher within.  It was diversified with a great many rising grounds and small hills; many of which were entirely covered with tall, straight trees; and others, which were lower, and grew in spots like coppices; but the interspaces, and sides of many of the rising grounds, were clear.  The whole, though it might make an agreeable summer prospect, had now an uncomfortable appearance; as the bare grounds towards the coast were all covered with snow, which seemed to be of a considerable depth between the little hills and rising grounds; and in several places, toward the sea, might easily have been mistaken, at a distance, for white cliffs.  The snow on the rising grounds was thinner spread; and farther inland, there was no appearance of any; from whence we might, perhaps, conclude, that what we saw toward the sea, had fallen during the night; which was colder than any we had experienced since our arrival on the coast; and we had sometimes a kind of sleet.  The coast seemed every where almost straight, without any opening or inlet; and it appeared to terminate in a kind of white sandy beach; though some on board thought that appearance was owing to the snow.  Each extreme of the land that was now before us, seemed to shoot out into a point.  The northern one was the same which we had first seen on the 7th; and on that account I called it Cape Perpetua.  It lies in the latitude of 44 deg. 6’ N., and in the longitude of 235 deg. 57’E.  The southern extreme before us, I named Cape Gregory.[3] Its latitude is 43 deg. 30’, and its longitude 235 deg. 57’ E. It is a remarkable point; the land of it rising almost directly from the sea to a tolerable height, while that on each side of it is low.

[Footnote 3:  In our calendar, the 7th of March is distinguished by the name of Perpetua M, and the 12th by that of Gregory B.—­D.]

I continued standing off till one in the afternoon.  Then I tacked, and stood in, hoping to have the wind off from the land in the night.  But in this I was mistaken; for at five o’clock it began to run to the west and south-west, which, obliged me once more to stand out to sea.  At this time, Cape Perpetua bore N.E. by N.; and the farthest land we could see to the south of Cape Gregory bore S.

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by E., perhaps ten or twelve leagues distant.  If I am right in this estimation, its latitude will be 43 deg. 10’, and its longitude 235 deg. 55’ E., which is nearly the situation of Cape Blanco, discovered or seen by Martin d’Aguilar, on the 19th of January, 1603.  It is worth observing, that in the very latitude where we now were, geographers have been pleased to place a large entrance or strait, the discovery of which they take upon them to ascribe to the same navigator; whereas nothing more is mentioned in the account of his voyage, than his having seen, in this situation, a large river, which he would have entered, but was prevented by the currents.[4]

[Footnote 4:  See the History of California, Eng. trans. vol. ii. p. 292.—­D.]

The wind, as I have observed, had veered to S.W. in the evening; but it was very unsettled, and blew in squalls, with snow showers.  In one of these, at midnight, it shifted at once to W.N.W. and soon increased to a very hard gale, with heavy squalls, attended with sleet or snow.  There was no choice now; and we were obliged to stretch to the southward, in order to get clear of the coast.  This was done under courses and two close-reefed top-sails; being rather more sail than the ships could safely bear; but it was necessary to carry it to avoid the more pressing danger of being forced on shore.  This gale continued till eight o’clock in the morning of the 18th; when it abated, and I stood in again for the land.  We had been forced a considerable way backward; for at the time of our tacking, we were in the latitude of 42 deg. 45’, and in the longitude of 233 deg. 30’.

The wind continued at W. and N.W.; storms, moderate weather, and calms, succeeding each other by turns, till the morning of the 21st; when, after a few hours calm, a breeze sprung up at S.W.  This bringing with it fair weather, I steered north-easterly, in order to fall in with the land, beyond that part of it where we had already so unprofitable been tossed about for the last fortnight.  In the evening, the wind veered to the westward; and at eight o’clock the next morning, we saw the land, extending from N.E. to E. nine leagues distant.  At this time we were in the latitude of 47 deg. 5’ N. and in the longitude of 235 deg. 10’ E.

I continued to stand to the north, with a fine breeze at W. and W.N.W. till near seven o’clock in the evening, when I tacked to wait for day-light.  At this time we were in forty-eight fathoms water, and about four leagues from the land, which extended from N. to S.E. 1/2 E. and a small round hill, which had the appearance of being an island, bore N. 3/4 E., distant six or seven leagues, as I guessed; it appears to be of a tolerable height, and was but just to be seen from the deck.  Between this island or rock, and the northern extreme of the land, there appeared to be a small opening, which flattered us with the hopes of finding an harbour.  These hopes lessened as we drew nearer; and at last we had some

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reason to think that the opening was closed by low land.  On this account I called the point of land to the north of it Cape Flattery.  It lies in the latitude of 48 deg. 15’ N., and in the longitude of 235 deg. 3’ E. There is a round hill of a moderate height over it; and all the land upon this part of the coast is of a moderate and pretty equal height, well covered with wood, and had a very pleasant and fertile appearance.  It is in this very latitude where we now were, that geographers have placed the pretended strait of Juan de Fuca.  But we saw nothing like it; nor is there the least probability that ever any such thing existed.[5]

[Footnote 5:  See Michael Locke’s apocryphal account of Juan de Fuca and his pretended strait, in Purchas, vol. iii. p. 849-852, and many later Collections.—­D.]

I stood off to the southward till midnight, when I tacked, and steered to the N.W. with a gentle breeze at S.W. intending to stand in for the land as soon as day-light should appear.  But, by that time, we were reduced to two courses and close-reefed top-sails, having a very hard gale, with rain, right on shore; so that, instead of running in for the land, I was glad to get an offing, or to keep that which we had already got.  The south-west wind was, however, but of short continuance; for in the evening it veered again to the west.  Thus had we perpetually strong west and north-west winds to encounter.  Sometimes, in an evening, the wind would become moderate, and veer to the southward; but this was always a sure prelude to a storm, which blew the hardest at S.S.E. and was attended with rain and sleet.  It seldom lasted above four or six hours, before it was succeeded by another gale from the N.W. which, generally, brought with it fair weather.  It was, by the means of these southerly blasts, that we were enabled to get to the north-west at all.

At length, at nine o’clock in the morning of the 29th, as we were standing to the N.E. we again saw the land, which, at noon, extended from N.W. by W. to E.S.E. the nearest part about six leagues distant.  Our latitude was now 49 deg. 29’ N. and our longitude 232 deg. 29’ E. The appearance of the country differed much from that of the parts which we had before seen; being full of high mountains, whose summits were covered with snow.  But the valleys between them, and the grounds on the sea coast, high as well as low, were covered to a considerable breadth with high, straight trees, that formed a beautiful prospect as of one vast forest.  The south-east extreme of the land formed a low point off which are many breakers, occasioned by sunken rocks.  On this account it was called Point Breakers.  It lies in the latitude of 49 deg. 15’ N., and in the longitude of 233 deg. 20’ E., and the other extreme in about the latitude of 50 deg., and the longitude of 232 deg..  I named this last Woody Point.  It projects pretty much out to the S.W. and is high land.  Between these two points the shore forms a large bay, which I called Hope Bay; hoping, from the appearance of the land, to find in it a good harbour.  The event proved that we were not mistaken.

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As we drew nearer the coast, we perceived the appearance of two inlets; one in the N.W., and the other in the N.E. corner of the bay.  As I could not fetch the former, I bore up for the latter; and passed some breakers, or sunken rocks, that lay a league or more from the shore.  We had nineteen and twenty fathoms water half a league without them; but as soon as we had passed them, the depth increased to thirty, forty, and fifty fathoms, with a sandy bottom; and farther in we found no ground with the greatest length of line.  Notwithstanding appearances, we were not yet sure that there were any inlets; but as we were in a deep bay, I had resolved to anchor, with a view to endeavour to get some water, of which, by this time, we were in great want.  At length, as we advanced, the existence of the inlet was no longer doubtful.  At five o’clock we reached the west point of it, where we were becalmed for some time.  While in this situation, I ordered all the boats to be hoisted out to tow the ships in.  But this was hardly done, before a fresh breeze sprung up again at N.W. with which we were enabled to stretch up into an arm of the inlet, that was observed by us to run into the N.E.  There we were again becalmed, and obliged to anchor in eighty-five fathoms water, and so near the shore as to reach it with a hawser.  The wind failed the Discovery before she got within the arm, where she anchored, and found only seventy fathoms.

We no sooner drew near the inlet than we found the coast to be inhabited; and at the place where we were first becalmed, three canoes came off to the ship.  In one of these were two men, in another six, and in the third ten.  Having come pretty near us, a person in one of the two last stood up, and made a long harangue, inviting us to land, as we guessed, by his gestures.  At the same time he kept strewing handfuls of feathers towards us;[6] and some of his companions threw handfuls of a red dust or powder in the same manner.  The person who played the orator, wore the skin of some animal, and held in each hand something which rattled as he kept shaking it.  After tiring himself with his repeated exhortations, of which we did not understand a word, he was quiet; and then others took it, by turns, to say something, though they acted their part neither so long, nor with so much vehemence, as the other.  We observed, that two or three had their hair quite strewed over with small white feathers; and others had large ones stuck into different parts of the head.  After the tumultuous noise had ceased, they lay at a little distance from the ship, and conversed with each other in a very easy manner; nor did they seem to shew the least surprise or distrust.  Some of them, now and then, got up, and said something after the manner of their first harangues; and one sung a very agreeable air, with a degree of softness and melody which we could not have expected; the word haela being often repeated as the burden of the song.  The

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breeze which soon after sprung up, bringing us nearer to the shore, the canoes began to come off in greater numbers; and we had at one time thirty-two of them near the ship, carrying from three to seven or eight persons each, both men and women.  Several of these stood up in their canoes, haranguing and making gestures, after the manner of our first visitors.  One canoe was remarkable for a singular head, which had a bird’s eye and bill, of an enormous size, painted on it; and a person, who was in it, who seemed to be a chief, was no less remarkable for his uncommon appearance; having many feathers hanging from his head, and being painted in an extraordinary manner.[7] He held in his hand a carved bird of wood, as large as a pigeon, with which he rattled as the person first mentioned had done; and was no less vociferous in his harangue, which was attended with some expressive gestures.

[Footnote 6:  The natives of this coast, twelve degrees farther south, also brought feathers as presents to Sir Francis Drake on his arrival.—­See an account of his voyage in Campbell’s edit. of Harris, vol. i. p. 18—­D.  And in this collection, vol. x.—­E.]

[Footnote 7:  Viscaino met with natives on the coast of California, while he was in the harbour of San Diego, who were painted or besmeared with black and white, and had their heads loaded with feathers.—­History of California, vol. ii. p. 272.—­D.]

Though our visitors behaved very peaceably, and could not be suspected of any hostile intention, we could not prevail upon any of them to come on board.  They shewed great readiness, however, to part with any thing they had, and took from us whatever we offered them in exchange, but were more desirous of iron than of any other of our articles of commerce; appearing to be perfectly acquainted with the use of that metal.  Many of the canoes followed us to our anchoring-place; and a group, of about ten or a dozen of them, remained alongside the Resolution most part of the night.

These circumstances gave us a reasonable ground of hope, that we should find this a comfortable station to supply all our wants, and to make us forget the hardships and delays experienced during a constant succession of adverse winds and boisterous weather, almost ever since our arrival upon the coast of America.




The Ships enter the Sound, and moor in a Harbour.—­Intercourse with the Natives.—­Articles brought to barter.—­Thefts committed.—­The Observatories erected, and Carpenters set to work.—­Jealousy of the Inhabitants of the Sound to prevent other Tribes having Intercourse with the Ships.—­Stormy and rainy Weather.—­Progress round the Sound.—­Behaviour of the Natives at their Villages.—­Their Manner of drying fish, &c.—­Remarkable Visit from Strangers, and introductory Ceremonies.—­A second Visit to one of the Villages.—­Leave to cut Grass, purchased.—­The Ships sail.—­Presents given and received at parting.

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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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been upon the fire.  We had but too much reason to suspect, from this circumstance, that the horrid practice of feeding on their enemies is as prevalent here, as we had found it to be at New Zealand and other South Sea Islands.  For the various articles which they brought, they took in exchange knives, chisels, pieces of iron and tin, nails, looking-glasses, buttons, or any kind of metal.  Glass-beads they were not fond of, and cloth of every sort they rejected.

We employed the next day in hauling our ships into the cove, where they were moored head and stern, fastening our hawsers to the trees on shore.  On heaving up the anchor of the Resolution, we found, notwithstanding the great depth of water in which it was let go, that there were rocks at the bottom.  These had done some considerable damage to the cable; and the hawsers that were carried out to warp the ship into the cove also got foul of rocks, from which it appeared that the whole bottom was strewed with them.  The ship being again very leaky in her upper works, I ordered the carpenters to go to work to caulk her, and to repair such other defects as, on examination, we might discover.

The fame of our arrival brought a great concourse of the natives to our ships in the course of this day.  We counted above a hundred canoes at one time, which might be supposed to contain, at an average, five persons each; for few of them had less than three on board; great numbers had seven, eight, or nine, and one was manned with no less than seventeen.  Amongst these visitors, many now favoured us with their company for the first time, which we could guess, from their approaching the ships with their orations and other ceremonies.  If they had any distrust or fear of us at first, they now appeared to have laid it aside; for they came on board the ships, and mixed with our people with the greatest freedom.  We soon discovered, by this nearer intercourse, that they were as light-fingered as any of our friends in the islands we had visited in the course of the voyage.  And they were far more dangerous thieves; for, possessing sharp iron-instruments, they could cut a hook from a tackle, or any other piece of iron from a rope, the instant that our backs were turned.  A large hook, weighing between twenty and thirty pounds, several smaller ones, and other articles of iron, were lost in this manner.  And, as to our boats, they stripped them of every bit of iron that was worth carrying away, though we had always men left in them as a guard.  They were dexterous enough in effecting their purposes; for one fellow would contrive to amuse the boat-keeper, at one end of a boat, while another was pulling out the iron-work at the other.  If we missed a thing immediately after it had been stolen, we found little difficulty in detecting the thief, as they were ready enough to impeach one another.  But the guilty person generally relinquished his prize with reluctance, and sometimes we found it necessary to have recourse to force.

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The ships being securely moored, we began our other necessary business the next day.  The observatories were carried ashore, and placed upon an elevated rock on one side of the cove, close to the Resolution.  A party of men, with an officer, was sent to cut wood, and to clear a place for the conveniency of watering.  Others were employed to brew spruce-beer, as pine-trees abounded here.  The forge was also set up, to make the iron-work wanting for the repairs of the fore-mast.  For, besides one of the bibs being defective, the larboard trestle-tree and one of the cross-trees were sprung.

A considerable number of the natives visited us daily; and every now and then we saw new faces.  On their first coming, they generally went through a singular mode of introducing themselves.  They would paddle, with all their strength, quite round both ships, a chief, or other principal person in the canoe, standing up with a spear, or some other weapon, in his hand, and speaking, or rather hollowing, all the time.  Sometimes the orator of the canoe would have his face covered with a mask, representing either a human visage, or that of some animal; and, instead of a weapon, would hold a rattle in his hand, as before described.  After making this circuit round the ships, they would come alongside, and begin to trade without further ceremony.  Very often, indeed, they would first give us a song, in which all in the canoe joined, with a very pleasing harmony.

During these visits, they gave us no other trouble than to guard against their thievish tricks.  But, in the morning of the 4th, we had a serious alarm.  Our party on shore, who were employed in cutting wood, and filling water, observed, that the natives all around them were arming themselves in the best manner they could; those, who were not possessed of proper weapons, preparing sticks, and collecting stones.  On hearing this, I thought it prudent to arm also; but, being determined to act upon the defensive, I ordered all our workmen to retreat to the rock, upon which we had placed our observatories, leaving the natives in quiet possession of the ground where they had assembled, which was within a stone’s throw of the Resolution’s stern.  Our fears were ill-grounded; these hostile preparations were not directed against us, but against a body of their own countrymen, who were coming to fight them; and our friends of the Sound, on observing our apprehensions, used their best endeavours to convince us that this was the case.  We could see that they had people looking out on each point of the cove, and canoes frequently passed between them and the main body assembled near the ships.  At length, the adverse party, in about a dozen large canoes, appeared off the S. point of the cove, where they stopped, and lay drawn up in a line of battle, a negotiation having commenced.  Some people in canoes, in conducting the treaty, passed between the two parties, and there was some speaking on both sides.  At length, the

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difference, whatever it was, seemed to be compromised; but the strangers were not allowed to come alongside the ships, nor to have any trade or intercourse with us.  Probably we were the cause of the quarrel; the strangers, perhaps, being desirous to share in the advantages of a trade with us, and our first friends, the inhabitants of the Sound, being determined to engross us entirely to themselves.  We had proofs of this on several other occasions, nay, it appeared, that even those who lived in the Sound were not united in the same cause; for the weaker were frequently obliged to give way to the stronger party, and plundered of every thing, without attempting to make the least resistance.

We resumed our work in the afternoon, and the next day rigged the fore-mast; the head of which being rather too small for the cap, the carpenter went to work, to fix a piece on one side, to fill up the vacant space.  In cutting into the mast-head for this purpose, and examining the state of it, both cheeks were found to be so rotten, that there was no possibility of repairing them, and it became necessary to get the mast out, and to fix new ones upon it.  It was evident, that one of the cheeks had been defective at the first, and that the unsound part had been cut out, and a piece put in, which had not only weakened the mast-head, but had, in a great measure, been the occasion of rotting every other part of both cheeks.  Thus, when we were almost ready to put to sea, we had all our work to do over again; and, what was still more provoking, an additional repair was to be undertaken, which would require some time to be completed.  But, as there was no remedy, we immediately set about it.  It was fortunate for the voyage, that these defects were discovered, when we were in a place, where the materials requisite were to be procured.  For, amongst the drift-wood, in the cove where the ships lay, were some small seasoned trees very fit for our purpose.  One of these was pitched upon, and the carpenters began, without loss of time, to make out of it two new cheeks.

In the morning of the 7th, we got the fore-mast out, and hauled it ashore, and the carpenters of the ships were set to work upon it.  Some parts of the lower standing rigging having been found to be very much decayed, as we had time now to put them in order, while the carpenters were repairing the fore-mast, I ordered a new set of main-rigging to be fitted, and a more perfect set of fore-rigging to be selected out of the best parts of the old.

From the time of our putting into the Sound till now, the weather had been exceedingly fine, without either wind or rain.  That comfort, at the very moment when the continuance of it would have been of most service, was withdrawn.  In the morning of the 8th, the wind freshened at S.E., attended with thick hazy weather and rain.  In the afternoon the wind increased; and, toward the evening, it blew very hard indeed.  It came, in excessively heavy squalls,

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from over the high land on the opposite shore, right into the cove, and, though the ships were very well moored, put them in some danger.  These tempestuous blasts succeeded each other pretty quick, but they were of short duration, and in the intervals between them we had a perfect calm.  According to the old proverb, Misfortunes seldom come single; the mizen was now the only mast on board the Resolution that remained rigged, with its top-mast up.  The former was so defective, that it could not support the latter during the violence of the squalls, but gave way at the head under the rigging.  About eight o’clock the gale abated; but the rain continued with very little intermission for several days; and, that the carpenters might be enabled to proceed in their labours, while it prevailed, a tent was erected over the fore-mast, where they could work with some degree of convenience.

The bad weather which now came on, did not, however, hinder the natives from visiting us daily; and, in such circumstances, their visits were very advantageous to us.  For they frequently brought us a tolerable supply of fish, when we could not catch any ourselves with hook and line; and there was not a proper place near us where we could draw a net.  The fish which they brought us were either sardines, or what resembled them much; a small kind of bream; and sometimes small cod.

On the 11th, notwithstanding the rainy weather, the main-rigging was fixed and got over head; and our employment, the day after, was to take down the mizen-mast, the head of which proved to be so rotten, that it dropped off while in the slings.  In the evening we were visited by a tribe of natives whom we had never seen before, and who, in general, were better-looking people than most of our old friends, some of whom attended them.  I prevailed upon these visitors to go down into the cabin for the first time, and observed, that there was not a single object that fixed the attention of most of them for a moment; their countenances marking, that they looked upon all our novelties with the utmost indifference.  This, however, was not without exception; for a few of the company shewed a certain degree of curiosity.

In the afternoon of the next day, I went into the woods with a party of our men, and cut down a tree for a mizen-mast.  On the day following, it was brought to the place where the carpenters were employed upon the fore-mast.  In the evening the wind, which had been, for some time, westerly, veered to S.E., and increased to a very hard gale, with rain, which continued till eight o’clock the next morning, when it abated, and veered again to the W.

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The fore-mast being by this time finished, we hauled it alongside; but the bad weather prevented our getting it in till the afternoon; and we set about rigging it with the greatest expedition, while the carpenters were going on with the mizen-mast on shore.  They had made very considerable progress in it on the 16th, when they discovered that the stick upon which they were at work was sprung, or wounded, owing, as supposed, to some accident in cutting it down.  So that all their labour was thrown away, and it became necessary to get another tree out of the woods, which employed all hands above half a day.  During these various operations, several of the natives, who were about the ships, looked on with an expressive silent surprise, which we did not expect; from their general indifference and inattention.

On the 18th, a party of strangers, in six or eight canoes, came into the cove, where they remained, looking at us, for some time, and then retired, without coming alongside either ship.  We supposed, that our old friends, who were more numerous at this time about us, than these new visitors, would not permit them to have any intercourse with us.  It was evident, upon this and several other occasions, that the inhabitants of the adjoining parts of the Sound engrossed us entirely to themselves; or if, at any time, they did not hinder strangers from trading with us, they contrived to manage the trade for them in such a manner, that the price of their commodities was always kept up; while the value of ours was lessening every day.  We also found, that many of the principal natives, who lived near us, carried on a trade with more distant tribes, in the articles they had procured from us.  For we observed that they would frequently disappear for four or five days at a time, and then return with fresh cargoes of skins and curiosities, which our people were so passionately fond of, that they always came to a good market.  But we received most benefit from such of the natives as visited us daily.  These, after disposing of all their little trifles, turned their attention to fishing; and we never failed to partake of what they caught.  We also got from these people a considerable quantity of very good animal oil, which they had reserved in bladders.  In this traffic some would attempt to cheat us, by mixing water with the oil; and, once or twice, they had the address to carry their imposition so far, as to fill their bladders with mere water, without a single drop of oil.  It was always better to bear with these tricks, than to make them the foundation of a quarrel; for our articles of traffic consisted, for the most part, of mere trifles; and yet we were put to our shifts to find a constant supply even of these.  Beads, and such other toys, of which I had still some left, were in little estimation.  Nothing would go down with our visitors but metal; and brass had, by this time, supplanted iron, being so eagerly sought after, that before we left this place, hardly a bit of it was left in the ships, except what belonged to our necessary instruments.  Whole suits of clothes were stripped of every button; bureaus of their furniture; and copper-kettles, tin-cannisters, candle-sticks, and the like, all went to wreck; so that our American friends here got a greater medley and variety of things from us, than any other nation whom we had visited in the course of the voyage.

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After a fortnight’s bad weather, the 19th proving a fair day, we availed ourselves of it, to get up the top-masts and yards, and to fix up the rigging.  And, having now finished most of our heavy work, I set out the next morning to take a view of the Sound.  I first went to the W. point, where I found a large village, and, before it, a very snug harbour, in which was from nine to four fathoms water, over a bottom of fine sand.  The people of this village, who were numerous, and to most of whom I was well known, received me very courteously; every one pressing me to go into his house, or rather his apartment; for several families live under the same roof.  I did not decline the invitations, and my hospitable friends, whom I visited, spread a mat for me to sit down upon, and shewed me every other mark of civility.  In most of the houses were women at work, making dresses of the plant or bark before mentioned, which they executed exactly in the same manner that the New Zealanders manufacture their cloth.  Others were occupied in opening sardines.  I had seen a large quantity of them brought on shore from canoes, and divided by measure amongst several people, who carried them up to their houses, where the operation of curing them by smoke-drying is performed.  They hang them on small rods, at first, about a foot from the fire; afterward they remove them higher and higher, to make room for others, till the rods, on which the fish hang, reach the top of the house.  When they are completely dried, they are taken down and packed close in bales, which they cover with mats.  Thus they are kept till wanted; and they are not a disagreeable article of food.  Cod, and other large fish, are also cured in the same manner by them; though they sometimes dry these in the open air, without fire.

From this village I proceeded up the west side of the Sound.  For about three miles, I found the shore covered with small islands, which are so situated as to form several convenient harbours, having various depths of water, from thirty to seven fathoms, with a good bottom.  Two leagues within the Sound, on this west side, there runs in an arm in the direction of N.N.W.; and two miles farther, is another nearly in the same direction, with a pretty large island before it.  I had no time to examine either of these arms; but have reason to believe, that they do not extend far inland, as the water was no more than brackish at their entrances.  A mile above the second arm, I found the remains of a village.  The logs or framings of the houses were standing; but the boards that had composed their sides and roofs did not exist.  Before this village were some large fishing wears; but I saw nobody attending them.  These wears were composed of pieces of wicker-work made of small rods, some closer than others, according to the size of the fish intended to be caught in them.  These pieces of wicker-work (some of whose superficies are, at least, twenty feet by twelve), are fixed up edgewise in shallow water, by strong poles or pickets, that stand firm in the ground.  Behind this ruined village is a plain of a few acres extent, covered with the largest pine-trees that I ever saw.  This was more remarkable, as the elevated ground, on most other parts of this west side of the Sound, was rather naked.

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From this place, I crossed over to the other, or east side of the Sound, passing an arm of it that runs in N.N.E., to appearance not far.  I now found, what I had before conjectured, that the land, under which the ships lay, was an island; and that there were many smaller ones lying scattered in the Sound on the west side of it.  Opposite the north end of our large island, upon the main land, I observed a village, and there I landed.  The inhabitants of it were not so polite as those of the other I had just visited.  But this cold reception seemed, in a great measure, if not entirely, owing to one surly chief, who would not let me enter their houses, following me wherever I went; and several times, by expressive signs, marking his impatience that I should be gone.  I attempted in vain to sooth him by presents, but though he did not refuse them, they did not alter his behaviour.  Some of the young women, better pleased with us than was their inhospitable chief, dressed themselves expeditiously in their best apparel, and, assembling in a body, welcomed us to their village, by joining in a song, which was far from harsh or disagreeable.

The day being now far spent, I proceeded for the ships, round the north end of the large island; meeting, in my way, with several canoes laden with sardines, which had been just caught, somewhere in the east corner of the Sound.  When I got on board, I was informed, that, while I was absent, the ships had been visited by some strangers, in two or three large canoes, who, by signs, made our people understand that they had come from the S.E., beyond the bay.  They brought several skins, garments, and other articles, which they bartered.  But what was most singular, two silver table-spoons were purchased from them, which, from their peculiar shape, we supposed to be of Spanish manufacture.  One of these strangers wore them round his neck, by way of ornament.  These visitors also appeared to be more plentifully supplied with iron than the inhabitants of the Sound.

The mizen-mast being finished, it was got in, and rigged, on the 21st; and the carpenters were set to work to make a new fore-top-mast, to replace the one that had been carried away some time before.

Next morning, about eight o’clock, we were visited by a number of strangers, in twelve or fourteen canoes.  They came into the cove from the southward, and as soon as they had turned the point of it, they stopped, and lay drawn up in a body above half an hour, about two or three hundred yards from the ships.  At first, we thought, that they were afraid to come nearer; but we were mistaken in this, and they were only preparing an introductory ceremony.  On advancing toward the ships, they all stood up in their canoes, and began to sing.  Some of their songs, in which the whole body joined, were in a slow, and others in quicker time; and they accompanied their notes with the most regular motions of their hands; or beating in concert, with their paddles, on the sides of the

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canoes, and making other very expressive gestures.  At the end of each song, they remained silent a few seconds, and then began again, sometimes pronouncing the word hooee! forcibly, as a chorus.  After entertaining us with this specimen of their music, which we listened to with admiration, for above half an hour, they came alongside the ships, and bartered what they had to dispose of.  Some of our old friends of the Sound were now found to be amongst them, and they took the whole management of the traffic between us and the strangers, much to the advantage of the latter.

Our attendance on these visitors being finished, Captain Clerke and I went, in the forenoon, with two boats, to the village at the west point of the Sound.  When I was there before, I had observed, that plenty of grass grew near it; and it was necessary to lay in a quantity of this, as food for the few goats and sheep which were still left on board.  The inhabitants received us with the same demonstrations of friendship which I had experienced before; and the moment we landed, I ordered some of my people to begin their operation of cutting.  I had not the least imagination, that the natives could make any objection to our furnishing ourselves with what seemed to be of no use to them, but was necessary for us.  However, I was mistaken; for, the moment that our men began to cut, some of the inhabitants interposed, and would not permit them to proceed, saying they must “makook,” that is, must first buy it.  I was now in one of the houses; but as soon as I heard of this, I went to the field, where I found about a dozen of the natives, each of whom laid claim to some part of the grass that grew in this place.  I bargained with them for it, and having completed the purchase, thought that we were now at liberty to cut wherever we pleased.  But here, again, it appeared, that I was under a mistake; for the liberal manner in which I had paid the first pretended proprietors, brought fresh demands upon me from others; so that there did not seem to be a single blade of grass, that had not a separate owner, and so many of them were to be satisfied, that I very soon emptied my pockets.  When they found that I really had nothing more to give, their importunities ceased, and we were permitted to cut where-ever we pleased, and as much as we chose to carry away.

Here I must observe, that I have no where, in my several voyages, met with any uncivilized nation, or tribe, who had such strict notions of their having a right to the exclusive property of every thing that their country produces, as the inhabitants of this Sound.  At first, they wanted our people to pay for the wood and water that they carried on board; and had I been upon the spot, when these demands were made, I should certainly have complied with them.  Our workmen, in my absence, thought differently, for they took but little notice of such claims; and the natives, when they found that we were determined to pay nothing, at last ceased to apply.  But they made a merit of necessity, and frequently afterward took occasion to remind us, that they had given us wood and water out of friendship.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Similar to the behaviour of the natives of Nootka, on this occasion, was that of another tribe of Indians, farther north, in latitude 57 deg. 18’, to the Spaniards, who had preceded Captain Cook only three years, in a voyage to explore the coast of America, northward of California.  See the journal of that voyage, writ by the second pilot of the fleet, and published by the Honourable Mr Daines Barrington, to whom the literary world owes so many obligations.—­Miscellanies, p. 505, 506.—­D.]

During the time I was at this village, Mr Webber, who had attended me thither, made drawings of every thing that was curious, both within and without doors.  I had also an opportunity of inspecting more narrowly, the construction of the houses, household furniture, and utensils, and the striking peculiarities of the customs and modes of living of the inhabitants.  These shall be described in another place, in the best manner I can, calling in to my assistance the observations of Mr Anderson.  When we had completed all our operations at this village, the natives and we parted very good friends, and we got back to the ships in the afternoon.

The three following days were employed in getting ready to put to sea; the sails were bent, the observatories and instruments, brewing vessels, and other things, were moved from the shore; some small spars, for different uses, and pieces of timber, which might be occasionally sawn into boards, were prepared and put on board; and both ships were cleared, and put into a sailing condition.

Every thing being now ready, in the morning of the 26th, I intended to have put to sea; but both wind and tide being against us, was obliged to wait till noon, when the S.W. wind was succeeded by a calm, and the tide turning in our favour, we cast off the moorings, and with our boats towed the ships out of the cove.  After this, we had variable light airs and calms, till four in the afternoon, when a breeze sprung up northerly, with very thick, hazy weather.  The mercury in the barometer fell unusually low, and we had every other fore-runner of an approaching storm, which we had reason to expect would be from the southward.  This made me hesitate a little, as night was at hand, whether I should venture to sail, or wait till the next morning.  But my anxious impatience to proceed upon the voyage, and the fear of losing this opportunity of getting out of the Sound, making a greater impression on my mind, than any apprehension of immediate danger, I determined to put to sea at all events.

Our friends, the natives, attended us, till we were almost out of the Sound; some on board the ships, and others in their canoes.  One of their chiefs, who had, some time before, attached himself to me, was amongst the last who left us.  Having, before he went, bestowed upon him a small present, I received in return a beaver-skin, of much greater value.  This called upon me to make some addition to my present,

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which pleased him so much, that he insisted upon my acceptance of the beaver-skin cloak which he then wore; and of which I knew he was particularly fond.  Struck with this instance of generosity, and desirous that he should be no sufferer by his friendship to me, I presented to him a new broad sword, with a brass hilt, the possession of which made him completely happy.  He, and also many others of his countrymen, importuned us much to pay them another visit; and, by way of encouragement, promised to lay in a good stock of skins.  I made no doubt, that whoever comes after me to this place, will find the natives prepared accordingly, with no inconsiderable supply of an article of trade, which, they could observe, we were eager to possess; and which we found could be purchased to great advantage.[2]

[Footnote 2:  Captain King, as we shall afterwards find, proposes a plan for the establishment of a fur-trade with this coast of America.  To this he was incited by the experience of the value of these articles in the Chinese market.  In fact, a settlement for the purpose of carrying on this trade was commenced in 1786, by an association of British merchants resident in India.  It was soon afterwards seized on by the Spaniards who pretended a prior right.  But they, as we have already mentioned, vol. xv. p. 157, abandoned all claim to this Sound in 1790; and in 1795, it was formally taken possession of, in name of his Britannic Majesty.—­E.]

Such particulars about the country, and its inhabitants, as came to our knowledge during our short stay, and have not been mentioned in the course of the narrative, will furnish materials for the two following sections.


The Name of the Sound, and Directions for Sailing into it.—­Account of the adjacent Country.—­Weather.—­Climate.—­Trees.—­Other Vegetable Productions.—­Quadrupeds, whose Skins were brought for Sale.—­Sea Animals.—­Description of a Sea Otter.—­Birds.—­Water Fowl.—­Fish.—­Shell-fish, &c.—­Reptiles.—­Insects.—­Stones, &c.—­Persons of the Inhabitants.—­Their Colour.—­Common Dress and Ornaments.—­Occasional Dresses, and monstrous Decorations of wooden Masks.—­Their general Dispositions.—­Songs.—­Musical Instruments.—­Their Eagerness to possess Iron and other Metals.

On my arrival in this inlet, I had honoured it with the name of King George’s Sound; but I afterward found, that it is called Nootka by the natives.  The entrance is situated in the east corner of Hope Bay, in the latitude of 49 deg. 33’ N., and in the longitude of 233 deg. 12’ E. The east coast of that bay, all the way from Breaker’s Point to the entrance of the Sound, is covered by a chain of sunken rocks, that seemed to extend some distance from the shore; and, near the Sound, are some islands and rocks above water.

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We enter this Sound between two rocky points, that lie E.S.E., and W.N.W. from each other, distant between three and four miles.  Within these points the Sound widens considerably, and extends in, to the northward, four leagues at least, exclusive of the several branches toward its bottom, the termination of which we had not an opportunity to ascertain.  But, from the circumstance of finding that the water freshened where our boats crossed their entrance, it is probable that they had almost reached its utmost limits.  And this probability is increased by the hills that bounded it toward the land, being covered with thick snow, when those toward the sea, or where we lay, had not a speck remaining on them, though, in general, they were much higher.  In the middle of the Sound are a number of islands of various sizes.  The depth of water in the middle of the Sound, and even close home to some parts of its shore, is from forty-seven to ninety fathoms, and perhaps more.  The harbours, and anchoring-places within its circuit, are numerous; but we had no time to survey them.  The cove in which our ships lay is on the east side of the Sound, and on the east side of the largest of the islands.  It is covered from the sea, but has little else to recommend it, being exposed to the S.E. winds, which we found to blow with great violence; and the devastation they make sometimes was apparent in many places.

The land bordering upon the sea-coast is of a middling height and level; but within the Sound, it rises almost every-where into steep hills, which agree in their general formation, ending in round or blunted tops, with some sharp, though not very prominent, ridges on their sides.  Some of these hills may be reckoned high, while others of them are of a very moderate height; but even the highest are entirely covered to their tops with the thickest woods; as well as every flat part toward the sea.  There are sometimes spots upon the sides of some of the hills which are bare; but they are few, in comparison of the whole, though they sufficiently point out the general rocky disposition of these hills.  Properly speaking, they have no soil upon them, except a kind of compost, produced from rotten mosses and trees, of the depth of two feet or more.  Their foundations are, therefore, to be considered as nothing more than stupendous rocks, of a whitish or grey cast, where they have been exposed to the weather; but, when broken, they appeared to be of a blueish grey colour, like that universal sort which were found at Kerguelen’s Land.  The rocky shores are a continued mass of this; and the little coves, in the Sound, have beaches composed of fragments of it, with a few other pebbles.  All these coves are furnished with a great quantity of fallen wood lying in them, which is carried in by the tide; and with rills of fresh water, sufficient for the use of a ship, which seem to be supplied entirely from the rains, and fogs that hover about the tops of the hills.  For few springs can be expected in so rocky a country, and the fresh water found farther up the Sound, most probably arose from the melting of the snow; there being no room to suspect, that any large river falls into the Sound, either from strangers coming down it, or from any other circumstance.  The water of these rills is perfectly clear, and dissolves soap easily.

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The weather, during our stay, corresponded pretty nearly with that which we had experienced off the coast.  That is, when the wind was any where between N. and W., the weather was fine and clear; but if to the southward of W., hazy with rain.  The climate, as far as we had any experience of it, is infinitely milder than that on the east coast of America, under the same parallel of latitude.  The mercury in the thermometer never, even in the night, fell lower than 42 deg., and very often, in the day, it rose to 60 deg..  No such thing as frost was perceived in any of the low ground; on the contrary, vegetation had made a considerable progress, for I met with grass that was already above a foot long.

The trees which chiefly compose the woods, are the Canadian pine, white cypress, cypressus thyoides, the wild pine, with two or three other sorts of pine less common.  The two first make up almost two-thirds of the whole; and, at a distance, might be mistaken for the same tree, as they both run up into pointed spire-like tops, but they are easily distinguished on coming nearer from their colour, the cypress being of a much paler green, or shade, than the other.  The trees, in general, grow with great vigour, and are all of a large size.

There is but little variety of other vegetable productions, though, doubtless, several had not yet sprung up at the early season when we visited the place, and many more might be hid from the narrow sphere of our researches.  About the rocks, and verge of the woods, we found strawberry-plants, some raspberry, currant, and gooseberry bushes, which were all in a most flourishing state, with a few small black alder-trees.  There are, likewise, a species of sow-thistle, goose-grass, some crow’s-foot, which has a very fine crimson flower, and two sorts of anthericum, one with a large orange flower, and the other with a blue one.  We also found, in these situations, some wild rose-bushes, which were just budding, a great quantity of young leeks, with, triangular leaves, a small sort of grass, and some water-cresses, which grow about the sides of the rills, besides great abundance of andromeda.  Within the woods, besides two sorts of underwood shrubs unknown to us, are mosses and ferns.  Of the first of which, are seven or eight different sorts, of the last, not above three or four, and the species of both, are mostly such as are common to Europe and America.

As the season of the year was unfavourable to our gaining much knowledge of the vegetable productions of this country, so our own situation while there, put it out of our power to learn much about its animals.  For as the want of water made it necessary that we should enter the Sound at first, unforeseen accidents which happened afterward, though they lengthened our stay, were rather unfavourable to our obtaining any knowledge of this kind.  The emergency of the case required, that every person should be constantly

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employed in the necessary business of the ships, which was the capital object, as the season was advancing very fast, and the success of the voyage depended upon their diligence and alacrity in expediting the various tasks assigned to them.  Hence it happened, that excursions of every kind, either on the land, or by water, were never attempted.  And as we lay in a cove on an island, no other animals were ever seen alive in the woods there, than two or three racoons, martins, and squirrels.  Besides these, some of our people who, one day, landed on the continent, near the S.E. side of the entrance of the sound, observed the prints of a bear’s feet near the shore.  The account, therefore, that we can give of the quadrupeds, is taken from the skins which the natives brought to sell; and these were often so mutilated with respect to the distinguishing parts, such as the paws, tails, and heads, that it was impossible even to guess at the animals to whom they belonged, though others were so perfect, or at least so well known, that they left no room to doubt about them.

Of these the most common were bears, deer, foxes, and wolves.  The bear-skins were in great numbers, few of them very large, but, in general, of a shining black colour.  The deer-skins were scarcer, and they seem to belong to that sort called the fallow-deer by the historians of Carolina, though Mr Pennant thinks it quite a different species from, ours, and distinguishes it by the name of Virginian deer.[1] The foxes are in great plenty, and of several varieties, some of their skins being quite yellow, with a black tip to the tail, others of a deep or reddish yellow, intermixed with black, and a third sort of a whitish grey or ash-colour, also intermixed with black.  Our people used to apply the name of fox or wolf indiscriminately, when the skins were so mutilated as to leave room for a doubt.  But we got, at last, an entire wolf’s skin with the head on, and it was grey.  Besides the common sort of martin, the pine-martin is also here, and another, whose skin is of a lighter brown colour than either, with coarser hair, but is not so common, and is, perhaps, only a mere variety arising from age, or some other accidental circumstance.  The ermine is also found at this place, but is rare and small, nor is the hair remarkably fine, though the animal appeared to be perfectly white, except an inch or more at the tip of the tail.  The racoons and squirrels are of the common sort; but the latter is rather smaller than ours, and has a deeper rusty colour running along the back.

[Footnote 1:  See Virginian deer.  Pennant’s Hist.  Quad. vol. i.  No. 46, and Arctic Zool.  No.6.]

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We were clear as to the existence of all the animals already mentioned, but there are two others besides, which we could not distinguish with sufficient certainty.  Of the first of these we saw none of the skins, but what were dressed or tanned like leather.  The natives wear them on some occasions; and from the size as well as the thickness, they were generally concluded to belong to the elk, or mouse-deer, though some of them perhaps might belong to the buffalo.  The other animal, which seems by no means rare, was guessed to be a species of the wild cat or lynx.  The length of the skins, without the head, which none of them had, was about two feet two inches.  They are covered with a very fine wool or fur, of a very light-brown or whitish yellow colour, intermixed with long hairs, which on the back, where they are shortest, are blackish; on the sides, where they are longer, of a silver white; and on the belly, where they are longest, of the colour of the wool, but the whitish, or silver hairs, are often so predominant, that the whole animal acquires a cast of that kind.  The tail is only three inches long, and has a black tip.  The whole skin being, by the natives, called wanshee, that, most probably, is their name for this animal.  Hogs, dogs, and goats, have not as yet found their way to this place.  Nor do the natives seem to have any knowledge of our brown rats, to which, when they saw them on board the ships, they applied the name they give to squirrels.  And though they called our goats eineetla, this, most probably, is their name for a young deer or fawn.

The sea-animals seen off the coast, were whales, porpoises, and seals.  The last of these seem only of the common sort, judging from the skins which we saw here, their colour being either silvery, yellowish, plain, or spotted with black.  The porpoise is the phocena.  I have chosen to refer to this class the sea-otter, as living mostly in the water.  It might have been sufficient to have mentioned, that this animal abounds here, as it is fully described in different books, taken from the accounts of the Russian adventurers in their expeditions eastward from Kamtschatka, if there had not been a small difference in one that we saw.  We, for some time, entertained doubts, whether the many skins which the natives brought, really belonged to this animal, as our only reason for being of that opinion, was founded on the size, colour, and fineness of the fur, till a short while before our departure, when a whole one, that had been just killed, was purchased from some strangers who came to barter; and of this Mr Webber made a drawing.  It was rather young, weighing only twenty-five pounds, of a shining or glossy black colour, but many of the hairs being tipt with white, gave it a greyish cast at first sight.  The face, throat, and breast were of a yellowish white, or very light-brown colour, which, in many of the skins, extended the whole length of the belly.  It had six cutting teeth in each

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jaw, two of those of the lower jaw being very minute, and placed without, at the base of the two middle ones.  In these circumstances, it seems to disagree with those found by the Russians, and also in not having the outer toes of the hind feet skirted with a membrane.  There seemed also a greater variety in the colour of the skins, than is mentioned by the describers of the Russian sea-otters.  These changes of colour certainly take place at different gradations of life.  The very young ones had brown hair, which was coarse, with very little fur underneath; but those of the size of the entire animal, which came into our possession, and just described, had a considerable quantity of that substance, and both in that colour and state the sea-otters seem to remain, till they have attained their full growth.  After that, they lose the black colour, and assume a deep brown or sooty colour, but have then a greater quantity of very fine fur, and scarcely any long hairs.  Others, which we suspected to be still older, were of a chesnut-brown; and a few skins were seen that had even acquired a perfectly yellow colour.  The fur of these animals, as mentioned in the Russian accounts, is certainly softer and finer than that of any others we know of; and, therefore, the discovey of this part of the continent of North America, where so valuable an article of commerce may be met with, cannot be a matter of indifference.[2]

[Footnote 2:  Mr Coxe, on the authority of Mr Pallas, informs us, that the old and middle-aged sea-otters’ skins are sold at Kiachta, by the Russians to the Chinese, from 80 to 180 rubles a skin, that is, from 16l. to 20l. each.—­See Coxe’s Russian Discoveries, p. 13.—­D.]

Birds, in general, are not only rare as to the different species, but very scarce as to numbers; and these few are so shy, that, in all probability, they are continually harassed by the natives, perhaps to eat them as food, certainly to get possession of their feathers, which they use as ornaments.  Those which frequent the woods, are crows and ravens, not at all different from our English ones, a blueish jay or magpie, common wrens, which are the only singing bird that we heard, the Canadian or migrating thrush, and a considerable number of brown eagles, with white heads and tails, which, though they seem principally to frequent the coast, come into the Sound in bad weather, and sometimes perch upon the trees.  Amongst some other birds, of which the natives either brought fragments, or dried skins, we could distinguish a small species of hawk, a heron, and the alcyon, or large-crested American king-fisher.  There are also some, which, I believe, are not mentioned, or at least vary, very considerably, from the accounts given of them by any writers who have treated professedly on this part of natural history.  The two first of these are species of wood-peckers.  One less than a thrush, of a black colour above, with white spots on the wings, a crimson head, neck, and breast, and

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a yellowish olive-coloured belly, from which last circumstance it might, perhaps, not improperly be called the yellow-bellied wood-pecker.  The other is a larger, and much more elegant bird, of a dusky brown colour, on the upper part, richly waved with black, except about the head, the belly of a reddish cast, with round black spots, a black spot on the breast, and the under-side of the wings and tail of a plain scarlet colour, though blackish above, with a crimson streak running from the angle of the mouth, a little down the neck on each side.  The third and fourth, are a small bird of the finch kind, about the size of a linnet, of a dark dusky colour, whitish below, with a black head and neck, and white bill; and a sand-piper, of the size of a small pigeon, of a dusky brown colour, and white below, except the throat and breast, with a broad white band across the wings.  There are also humming-birds, which yet seem to differ from the numerous sorts of this delicate animal already known, unless they be a mere variety of the trochilus colubris of Linnaeus.  These, perhaps, inhabit more to the southward, and spread northward as the season advances; because we saw none at first, though, near the time of our departure, the natives brought them to the ships in great numbers.

The birds which frequent the waters and the shores, are not more numerous than the others.  The quebrantahuessos, gulls, and shags, were seen off the coast, and the two last also frequent the Sound.  They are of the common sorts, the shags being our cormorant or water-crow.  We saw two sorts of wild-ducks; one black, with a white head, which were in considerable flocks, the other white, with a red bill, but of a larger size; and the greater lumme, or diver, found in our northern countries.  There were also seen, once or twice, some swans flying across the Sound to the northward, but we knew nothing of their haunts.  On the shores, besides the sand-piper, described above, we found another, about the size of a lark, which bears a great affinity to the burre, and a plover differing very little from our common sea-lark.

Fish are more plentiful in quantity than birds, though the variety is not very great; and yet, from several circumstances, it is probable, that even the variety is considerably increased at certain seasons.  The principal sorts, which we found in great numbers, are the common herring, but scarcely exceeding seven inches in length; a smaller sort, which is the same with the anchovy, or sardine, though rather larger; a white, or silver-coloured bream, and another of a gold-brown colour, with many narrow longitudinal blue stripes.  The herrings and sardines, doubtless, come in large shoals, and only at stated seasons, as is common with that sort of fish.  The bream of both sorts, may be reckoned the next to these in quantity; and the full-grown ones weighed, at least, a pound.  The other fish, which are all scarce, are a small brown kind of sculpin, such as is

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found on the coast of Norway, another of a brownish red cast, frost-fish, a large one, somewhat resembling the bull-head, with a tough skin, destitute of scales; and now and then, toward the time of our leaving the Sound, the natives brought a small brownish cod, spotted with white, and a red fish of the same size, which some of our people said they had seen in the strait of Magalhaens, besides another differing little from the hake.  There are also considerable numbers of those fish called the chimaerae, or little sea-wolves, by some, which is akin to, and about the size of, the pezegallo, or elephant-fish.  Sharks, likewise, sometimes frequent the Sound, for the natives have some of their teeth in their possession; and we saw some pieces of ray, or scate, which seemed to have been pretty large.  The other marine animals that ought to be mentioned here, are a small cruciated medusa, or blubber, star-fish, which differ somewhat from the common ones, two small sorts of crabs, and two others which the natives brought, one of them of a thick, tough, gelatinous consistence, and the other a sort of membranaceous tube or pipe, both which are probably taken from the rocks.  And we, also, purchased from them once a very large cuttle-fish.

There is abundance of large muscles about the rocks, many sea-ears, and we often saw shells of pretty large plain chamae.  The smaller sorts are some trochi of two species, a curious murex, rugged wilks, and a snail, all which are, probably, peculiar to this place, at least I do not recollect to have seen them in any country near the same latitude in either hemisphere.  There are, besides these, some small plain cockles, limpets; and some strangers, who come into the Sound, wore necklaces of a small blueish volute or panamae.  Many of the muscles are a span in length, and some having pretty large pearls, which, however, are both badly shaped and coloured.  We may conclude, that there is red coral in the Sound, or somewhere upon the coast, some thick pieces, or branches, having been seen in the canoes of the natives.

The only animals of the reptile kind observed here, and found in the woods, were brown snakes two feet long, with whitish stripes on the back and sides, which are harmless, as we often saw the natives carry them alive in their hands; and brownish water-lizards, with a tail exactly like that of an eel, which frequented the small standing pools about the rocks.

The insect tribe seem to be more numerous.  For though the season, which is peculiarly fitted to their appearing abroad, was only beginning, we saw four or five different sorts of butterflies, none of which were uncommon, a good many humble-bees, some of our common gooseberry moths, two or three sorts of flies, a few beetles, and some musquitoes, which, probably, may be more numerous and troublesome in a country so full of wood, during the summer, though at this time they did little mischief.

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As to the mineral substances in this country, though we found both iron and copper here, there is little reason to believe that either of them belong to the place.  Neither were the ores of any metal seen, if we except a coarse, red, earthy, or ochry substance, used by the natives in painting themselves, which probably may contain a little iron, with a white and a black pigment used for the same purpose.  But we did not procure specimens of them, and therefore cannot positively determine what are their component parts.

Besides the stone or rock that constitutes the mountains and shores, which sometimes contains pieces of very coarse quartz, we found amongst the natives, things made of a hard black granite, though not remarkably compact or fine grained, a greyish whetstone, the common oil-stone of our carpenters, in coarser and finer pieces, and some black bits which are little inferior to the hone-stone.  The natives also use the transparent leafy glimmer, or Muscovy glass, a brown leafy or martial sort, and they sometimes brought to us pieces of rock-crystal, tolerably transparent.  The two first are, probably, found near the spot, as they seemed to be in considerable quantities; but the latter seems to be brought from a greater distance, or is very scarce; for our visitors always parted with it reluctantly.  Some of the pieces were octangular, and had the appearance of being formed into that shape by art.

The persons of the natives are, in general, under the common stature; but not slender in proportion, being commonly pretty full or plump, though not muscular.  Neither doth the soft fleshiness seem ever to swell into corpulence; and many of the older people are rather spare or lean.  The visage of most of them is round and full, and sometimes also broad, with high prominent cheeks; and, above these, the face is frequently much depressed, or seems fallen in quite across between the temples; the nose also flattening at its base, with pretty wide nostrils, and a rounded point.  The forehead rather low, the eyes small, black, and rather languishing than sparkling; the mouth round, with large round thickish lips, the teeth tolerably equal and well set, but not remarkably white.  They have either no beards at all, which was most commonly the case, or a small thin one upon the point of the chin, which does not arise from any natural defect of hair on that part, but from plucking it out more or less; for some of them, particularly the old men, have not only considerable beards all over the chin, but whiskers or mustachios, both on the upper lip, and running from thence toward the lower jaw obliquely downward.[3] Their eye-brows are also scanty, and always narrow; but the hair of the head is in great abundance, very coarse and strong, and, without a single exception, black, straight, and dank, or hanging down over the shoulders.  The neck is short, the arms and body have no particular mark of beauty or elegance in their formation, but are rather clumsy; and the limbs in all are very small in proportion to the other parts, and crooked or ill-made, with large feet badly shaped, and projecting ancles.  Their last defect seems in a great measure to arise from their sitting so much on their hams or knees, both in their canoes and houses.

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[Footnote 3:  One of the most curious singularities observable in the natural history of the human species, is the supposed defect in the habit and temperature of the bodies of the American Indians, exemplified in their having no beards, while they are furnished with a profusion of hair on their heads.  M. de Paw, the ingenious author of Recherches sur les Americains, Dr Robertson, in his History of America, and, in general, the writers for whose authority we ought to have the highest deference, adopt this as an indisputable matter of fact.  May we not be permitted to request those who espouse their sentiments, to reconsider the question, when we can produce Captain Cook’s evidence on the opposite side, at least so far as relates to the American tribe, whom he had intercourse with at Nootka?  Nor is Captain Cook singular in his report.  What he saw on the sea coast, Captain Carver also met with amongst the American Indians far up in the country.  His words are as follow:—­“From minute enquiries, and a curious inspection, I am able to declare (however respectable I may hold the authority of these historians in other points), that their assertions are erroneous, and proceeding from a want of a thorough knowledge of the customs of the Indians.  After the age of puberty, their bodies, in their natural state, are covered in the same manner as those of the Europeans.  The men, indeed, esteem a beard very unbecoming, and take great pains to get rid of it, nor is there any ever to be perceived on their faces, except when they grow old, and become inattentive to appearances.—­The Naudowesses, and the remote nations, pluck them out with bent pieces of hard wood, formed into a kind of nippers, whilst those who have communication with Europeans, procure from them wire, which they twist into a screw or worm; applying this to the part, they press the rings together, and with a sudden twitch, draw out all the hairs that are inclosed in them.”—­Carver’s Travels, p. 224, 225.  The remark made by Mr Marsden, who also quotes Carver, is worth attending to, that the visor or mask of Montezuma’s armour, preserved at Brussels, has remarkably large whiskers; and that those Americans could not have imitated this ornament, unless nature had presented them with the model.  From Captain Cook’s observation on the west coast of North America, combined with Carver’s in the inland parts of that continent, and confirmed by the Mexican vizor as above, there seems abundant reason to agree with Mr Marsden, who thus modestly expresses himself:  “Were it not for the numerous and very respectable authorities, from which we are assured that the natives of America are naturally beardless, I should think that the common opinion on that subject had been hastily adopted; and that their appearing thus at a mature age, was only the consequence of an early practice, similar to that observed among the Sumatrans.  Even now, I must confess, that it would remove some small degree of doubt from my mind, could it be ascertained that no such custom prevails.”—­Marsden’s History of Sumatra, p. 39, 40.—­D.]

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Their colour we could never positively determine, as their bodies were incrusted with paint and dirt; though, in particular cases, when these were well rubbed off, the whiteness of the skin appeared almost to equal that of Europeans; though rather of that pale effete cast which distinguishes those of our southern nations.  Their children, whose skins had never been stained with paint, also equalled ours in whiteness.  During their youth, some of them have no disagreeable look, if compared to the generality of the people, but this seems to be entirely owing to the particular animation attending that period of life; for, after attaining a certain age, there is hardly any distinction.  Upon the whole, a very remarkable sameness seems to characterize the countenances of the whole nation; a dull phlegmatic want of expression, with very little variation, being strongly marked in all of them.

The women are nearly of the same size, colour, and form with the men, from whom it is not easy to distinguish them, as they possess no natural delicacies sufficient to render their persons agreeable; and hardly any one was seen, even amongst those who were in the prime of life, who had the least pretensions to be called handsome.

Their common dress is a flaxen garment, or mantle, ornamented on the upper edge by a narrow strip of fur, and, at the lower edge, by fringes or tassels.  It passes under the left arm, and is tied over the right shoulder, by a string before and one behind, near its middle, by which means both arms are left free, and it hangs evenly, covering the left side, but leaving the right open, except from the loose part of the edges falling upon it, unless when the mantle is fastened by a girdle (of coarse matting or woollen) round the waist, which is often done.  Over this, which reaches below the knees, is worn a small cloak of the same substance, likewise fringed at the lower part.  In shape this resembles a round dish-cover, being quite close, except in the middle, where there is a hole just large enough to admit the head, and then, resting upon the shoulders, it covers the arms to the elbows, and the body as far as the waist.  Their head is covered with a cap, of the figure of a truncated cone, or like a flower-pot, made of fine matting, having the top frequently ornamented with a round or pointed knob, or bunch of leather tassels, and there is a string that passes under the chin, to prevent its blowing off.

Besides the above dress, which is common to both sexes, the men frequently throw over their other garments the skin of a bear, wolf, or sea-otter, with the hair outward, and tie it as a cloak near the upper part, wearing it sometimes before and sometimes behind.  In rainy weather, they throw a coarse mat about their shoulders.  They have also woollen garments, which, however, are little in use.  The hair is commonly worn hanging down loose; but some, when they have no cap, tie it in a bunch on the crown of the head. 

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Their dress, upon the whole, is convenient, and would, by no means be inelegant, were it kept clean.  But as they rub their bodies constantly over with a red paint, of a clayey or coarse ochry substance, mixed with oil, their garments, by this means, contract a rancid offensive smell, and a greasy nastiness; so that they make a very wretched dirty appearance, and what is still worse, their heads and their garments swarm with vermin, which, so depraved is their taste for cleanliness, we used to see them pick off with great composure and eat.

Though their bodies are always covered with red paint, their faces are often stained with a black, a brighter red, or a white colour, by way of ornament.  The last of these gives them a ghastly, disgusting aspect.  They also strew the brown martial mica upon the paint, which makes it glitter.  The ears of many of them are perforated in the lobe, where they make a pretty large hole, and two others higher up on the outer edge.  In these holes they hang bits of bone, quills fixed upon a leathern thong, small shells, bunches of woollen tassels, or pieces of thin copper, which our beads could never supplant.  The septum of the nose, in many, is also perforated, through which they draw a piece of soft cord; and others wear, at the same place, small thin pieces of iron, brass, or copper, shaped almost like a horse-shoe, the narrow opening of which receives the septum, so as that the two points may gently pinch it, and the ornament thus hangs over the upper lip.  The rings of our brass buttons, which they eagerly purchased, were appropriated to this use.  About their wrists they wore bracelets or bunches of white bugle beads, made of a conic shelly substance, bunches of thongs, with tassels, or a broad black shining horny substance, of one piece.  And about their ancles they also frequently wear many folds of leathern thongs, or the sinews of animals twisted to a considerable thickness.

Thus far of their ordinary dress and ornaments; but they have some that seem to be used only on extraordinary occasions, either when they exhibit themselves as strangers, in visits of ceremony, or when they go to war.  Amongst the first may be considered the skins of animals, such as wolves or bears, tied on in the usual manner, but ornamented at the edges with broad borders of fur, or of the woollen stuff manufactured by them, ingeniously wrought with various figures.  These are worn either separately, or over their own common garments.  On such occasions, the most common head-dress is a quantity of withe, or half-beaten bark, wrapped about the head, which, at the same time, has various large feathers, particularly those of eagles, stuck in it, or is entirely covered, or we may say, powdered with small white feathers.  The face, at the same time, is variously painted, having its upper and lower parts of different colours, the strokes appearing like fresh gashes, or it is besmeared with a kind of tallow, mixed with paint, which is

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afterward formed into a great variety of regular figures, and appears like carved work.  Sometimes, again, the hair is separated into small parcels, which are tied at intervals of about two inches, to the end, with thread, and others tie it together behind, after our manner, and stick branches of the cypressus thyoides in it.  Thus dressed, they have a truly savage and incongruous appearance, but this is much heightened when they assume, what may be called, their monstrous decorations.  These consist of an endless variety of carved wood masks or vizors, applied on the face, or to the upper part of the head or forehead.  Some of these resemble human faces, furnished with hair, beards, and eye-brows; others, the heads of birds, particularly of eagles and quebrantahuessos, and many, the heads of land and sea-animals, such as wolves, deer, and porpoises, and others.  But, in general, these representations much exceed the natural size, and they are painted, and often strewed with pieces of the foliaceous mica, which makes them glitter, and, serves to augment their enormous deformity.  They even exceed this sometimes, and fix on the same part of the head large pieces of carved work, resembling the prow of a canoe, painted in the same manner, and projecting to a considerable distance.  So fond are they of these disguises, that I have seen one of them put his head into a tin kettle he had got from us, for want of another sort of mask.  Whether they use these extravagant masquerade ornaments on any particular religious occasion, or diversion, or whether they be put on to intimidate their enemies when they go to battle, by their monstrous appearance, or as decoys when they go to hunt animals, is uncertain.  But it may be concluded, that, if travellers or voyagers, in an ignorant and credulous age, when many unnatural or marvellous things were supposed to exist, had seen a number of people decorated in this manner, without being able to approach so near as to be undeceived, they would readily have believed, and, in their relations, would have attempted to make others believe, that there existed a race of beings, partaking of the nature of man and beast, more especially, when, besides the heads of animals on the human shoulders, they might have seen the whole bodies of their men-monsters covered with quadrupeds’ skins.[4]

[Footnote 4:  The reflection in the text may furnish the admirers of Herodotus, in particular, with an excellent apology for some of his wonderful tales of this sort.—­D.]

The only dress amongst the people of Nootka, observed by us, that seems peculiarly adapted to war, is a thick leathern mantle doubled, which, from its size, appears to be the skin of an elk or buffalo, tanned.  This they fasten on, in the common manner, and it is so contrived, that it may reach up, and cover the breast quite to the throat, falling, at the same time, almost to the heels.  It is, sometimes, ingeniously painted in different compartments; and is not only

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sufficiently strong to resist arrows, but, as they informed us by signs, even spears cannot pierce it, so that it may be considered as their coat of mail, or most complete defensive armour.  Upon the same occasion, they sometimes wear a kind of leathern cloak, covered with rows of dried hoofs of deer, disposed horizontally, appended by leathern thongs, covered with quills, which, when they move, make a round rattling noise, almost equal to that of many small bells.  It seems doubtful, however, whether this part of their garb be intended to strike terror in war, or is only to be considered as belonging to their eccentric ornaments on ceremonious occasions.  For we saw one of their musical entertainments, conducted by a man dressed in this sort of cloak, with his mask on, and shaking his rattle.

Though these people cannot be viewed without a kind of horror, when equipped in such extravagant dresses, yet, when divested of them, and beheld in their common habit and actions, they have not the least appearance of ferocity in their countenances; and seem, on the contrary, as observed already, to be of a quiet, phlegmatic, and inactive disposition, destitute, in some measure, of that degree of animation and vivacity that would render them agreeable as social beings.  If they are not reserved, they are far from being loquacious; but their gravity is, perhaps, rather a consequence of the disposition just mentioned, than of any conviction of its propriety, or the effect of any particular mode of education.  For, even in the greatest paroxysms of their rage, they seem unable to express it sufficiently; either with warmth of language, or significancy of gestures.

Their orations, which are made either when engaged in any altercation or dispute, or to explain their sentiments publicly on other occasions, seem little more than short sentences, or rather single words, forcibly repeated, and constantly in one tone and degree of strength, accompanied only with a single gesture, which they use at every sentence, jerking their whole body a little forward, by bending the knees, their arms hanging down by their sides at the same time.

Though there is but too much reason, from their bringing to sale human skulls and bones, to infer that they treat their enemies with a degree of brutal cruelty, this circumstance rather marks a general agreement of character with that of almost every tribe of uncivilized man, in every age, and in every part of the globe, than that they are to be reproached with any charge of peculiar inhumanity.  We had no reason to judge unfavourably of their disposition in this respect.  They seem to be a docile, courteous, good-natured people; but, notwithstanding the predominant phlegm of their tempers, quick in resenting what they look upon as an injury, and, like most other passionate people, as soon forgetting it.  I never found that these fits of passion went farther than the parties immediately concerned, the spectators not troubling

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themselves about the quarrel, whether it was with any of us, or amongst their own body, and preserving as much indifference as if they had not known any thing about it.  I have often seen one of them rave and scold, without any of his countrymen paying the least attention to his agitation; and when none of us could trace the cause, or the object of his displeasure.  In such cases they never discover the least symptom of timidity, but seem determined, at all events, to punish the insult.  For, even with respect to us, they never appeared to be under the least apprehension of our superiority; but when any difference happened, were just as ready to avenge the wrong, as amongst themselves.

Their other passions, especially their curiosity, appear in some measure to lie dormant.  For few expressed any desire to see or examine things wholly unknown to them; and which, to those truly possessed of that passion, would have appeared astonishing.  They were always contented to procure the articles they knew and wanted, regarding every thing else with great indifference; nor did our persons, apparel, and manners, so differ from their own, or even the extraordinary size and construction of our ships, seem to excite admiration, or even engage attention.

One cause of this may be their indolence, which seems considerable.  But, on the other hand, they are certainly not wholly unsusceptible of the tender passions; if we may judge from their being so fond of music, which is mostly of the grave or serious, but truly pathetic sort.  They keep the exactest concert in their songs, which are often sung by great numbers together, as those already mentioned, with which they used to entertain us in their canoes.  These are generally slow and solemn; but the music is not of that confined sort found amongst many rude nations, for the variations are very numerous and expressive, and the cadence or melody powerfully soothing.  Besides their full concerts, sonnets of the same grave cast were frequently sung by single performers, who keep time by striking the hand against the thigh.  However, the music was sometimes varied, from its predominant solemnity of air; and there were instances of stanzas being sung in a more gay and lively strain, and even with a degree of humour.

The only instruments of music (if such they may be called) which I saw amongst them, were a rattle, and a small whistle, about an inch long, incapable of any variation, from having but one hole.  They use the rattle when they sing; but upon what occasions they use the whistle I know not, unless it be when they dress themselves like particular animals, and endeavour to imitate their howl or cry.  I once saw one of them dressed in a wolf’s skin, with the head over his own, and imitating that animal by making a squeaking noise with one of these whistles, which he had in his mouth.  The rattles are, for the most part, made in the shape of a bird, with a few pebbles in the belly; and the tail is the handle.  They have others, however, that bear rather more resemblance to a child’s rattle.

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In trafficking with us, some of them would betray a knavish disposition, and carry off our goods without making any return.  But, in general, it was otherwise; and we had abundant reason to commend the fairness of their conduct.  However, their eagerness to possess iron and brass, and, indeed, any kind of metal, was so great, that few of them could resist the temptation to steal it, whenever an opportunity offered.  The inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, as appears from a variety of instances in the course of this voyage, rather than be idle, would steal any thing that they could lay their hands upon, without ever considering, whether it could be of use to them or no.  The novelty of the object, with them, was a sufficient motive for their endeavouring, by any indirect means, to get possession of it; which marked that, in such cases, they were rather actuated by a childish curiosity, than by a dishonest disposition, regardless of the modes of supplying real wants.  The inhabitants of Nootka, who invaded our property, cannot have such apology made for them.  They were thieves in the strictest sense of the word; for they pilfered nothing from us, but what they knew could be converted to the purposes of private utility, and had a real value according to their estimation of things.  And it was lucky for us, that nothing was thought valuable by them, but the single articles of our metals.  Linen, and such like things, were perfectly secure from their depredations, and we could safely leave them hanging out ashore all night, without watching.  The same principle which prompted our Nootka friends to pilfer from us, it was natural to suppose, would produce a similar conduct in their intercourse with each other.  And, accordingly, we had abundant reason to believe, that stealing is much practised amongst them, and that it chiefly gives rise to their quarrels, of which we saw more than one instance.


Manner of Building the Homes in Nootka Sound.—­Inside of them described.—­Furniture and Utensils.—­Wooden Images.—­Employments of the Men.—­Of the Women.—­Food, Animal and Vegetable.—­Manner of preparing it.—­Weapons.—­Manufactures and Mechanic Arts.—­Carving and Painting.—­Canoes.—­Implements for Fishing and Hunting.—­Iron Tools.—­Manner of procuring that Metal.—­Remarks on their Language, and a Specimen of it.—­Astronomical and Nautical Observations made in Nootka Sound.

The two towns or villages, mentioned in the course of my journal, seem to be the only inhabited part of the Sound.  The number of inhabitants in both might be pretty exactly computed from the canoes that were about the ships the second day after our arrival.  They amounted to about a hundred; which, at a very moderate allowance, must, upon an average, have held five persons each.  But as there were scarcely any women, very old men, children, or youths amongst them at that time, I think it will rather be rating the number of the inhabitants of the two towns too low, if we suppose they could be less than four times the number of our visitors, that is, two thousand in the whole.

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The village at the entrance of the Sound stands on the side of a rising ground, which has a pretty steep ascent from the beach to the verge of the wood, in which space it is situated.

The houses are disposed in three ranges or rows, rising gradually behind each other, the largest being that in front, and the others less, besides a few straggling, or single ones, at each end.  These ranges are interrupted or disjoined at irregular distances, by narrow paths, or lanes, that pass upward; but those which run in the direction of the houses, between the rows, are much broader.  Though there be some appearance of regularity in this disposition, there is none in the single houses, for each of the divisions, made by the paths, may be considered either as one house, or as many, there being no regular or complete separation, either without or within, to distinguish them by.  They are built of very long and broad planks[1], resting upon the edges of each other, fastened or tied by withes of pine bark here and there, and have only slender posts, or rather poles, at considerable distances on the outside, to which they also are tied, but within are some larger poles placed aslant.  The height of the sides and ends of these habitations, is seven or eight feet; but the back part is a little higher, by which means, the planks that compose the roof slant forward, and are laid on loose, so as to be moved about, either to be put close to exclude the rain, or, in fair weather, to be separated, to let in the light and carry out the smoke.  They are, however, upon the whole, miserable dwellings, and constructed with little care or ingenuity.  For, though the side-planks be made to fit pretty closely in some places, in others they are quite open, and there are no regular doors into them, the only way of entrance being either by a hole, where the unequal length of the planks has accidentally left an opening, or, in some cases, the planks are made to pass a little beyond each other, or overlap, about two feet asunder, and the entrance is in this space.  There are also holes, or windows, in the sides of the houses to look out at; but without any regularity of shape or disposition; and these have bits of mat hung before them, to prevent the rain getting in.

[Footnote 1:  The habitations of the natives, more to the north upon this coast, where Behring’s people landed in 1741, seem to resemble those of Nootka.  Muller describes them thus:  “Ces cabanes etoient de bois revetu de planches bien unies, et meme enchainees en quelques endroits.”—­Muller, Decouvertes, p. 255.—­D.]

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On the inside, one may frequently see from one end to the other of these ranges of building without interruption.  For though, in general, there be the rudiments, or rather vestiges, of separations on each side, for the accommodation of different families, they are such as do not intercept the sight; and often consist of no more than pieces of plank, running from the side toward the middle of the house; so that, if they were complete, the whole might be compared to a long stable, with a double range of stalls, and a broad passage in the middle.  Close to the sides, in each of these parts, is a little bench of boards, raised five or six inches higher than the rest of the floor, and covered with mats on which the family sit and sleep.  These benches are commonly seven or eight feet long, and four or five broad.  In the middle of the floor, between them, is the fire-place, which has neither hearth nor chimney.  In one house, which was in the end of a middle range, almost quite separated from the rest by a high close partition, and the most regular, as to design, of any that I saw, there were four of these benches, each of which held a single family, at a corner, but without any separation by boards, and the middle part of the house appeared common to them all.

Their furniture consists chiefly of a great number of chests and boxes of all sizes, which are generally piled upon each other, close to the sides or ends of the house, and contain their spare garments, skins, masks, and other things which they set a value upon.  Some of these are double, or one covers the other as a lid, others have a lid fastened with thongs, and some of the very large ones have a square hole, or scuttle, cut in the upper part, by which the things are put in and taken out.  They are often painted black, studded with the teeth of different animals, or carved with a kind of freeze-work, and figures of birds or animals, as decorations.  Their other domestic utensils are mostly square and oblong pails or buckets to hold water and other things, round wooden cups and bowls, and small shallow wooden troughs, about two feet long, out of which they eat their food, and baskets of twigs, bags of matting, &c.  Their fishing implements, and other things also, lie or hang up in different parts of the house, but without the least order, so that the whole is a complete scene of confusion; and the only places that do not partake of this confusion are the sleeping-benches, that have nothing on them but the mats, which are also cleaner, or of a finer sort, than those they commonly have to sit on in their boats.

The nastiness and stench of their houses are, however, at least equal to the confusion.  For as they dry their fish within doors, they also gut them there, which, with their bones and fragments, thrown down at meals, and the addition of other sorts of filth, lie every where in heaps, and are, I believe, never carried away till it becomes troublesome, from their size, to walk over them.  In a word, their houses are as filthy as hog-sties; every thing in and about them stinking of fish, train-oil, and smoke.

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But, amidst all the filth and confusion that are found in the houses, many of them are decorated with images.  These are nothing more than the trunks of very large trees, four or five feet high, set up singly, or by pairs, at the upper end of the apartment, with the front carved into a human face; the arms and hands cut out upon the sides, and variously painted; so that the whole is a truly monstrous figure.  The general name of these images is Klumma; and the names of two particular ones, which stood abreast of each other, three or four feet asunder, in one of the houses, were Natchkoa and Matseeta.  Mr Webber’s view of the inside of a Nootka house, in which these images are represented, conveys a more perfect idea of them than any description.  A mat, by way of curtain, for the most part, hung before them, which the natives were not willing, at all times, to remove; and when they did unveil them, they seemed to speak of them in a very mysterious manner.  It should seem, that they are at times accustomed to make offerings to them; if we can draw this inference from their desiring us, as we interpreted their signs, to give something to these images, when they drew aside the mats that covered them.[2] It was natural, from these circumstances, for us to think, that they were representatives of their gods, or symbols of some religious or superstitious object:  and yet we had proofs of the little real estimation they were in; for, with a small quantity of iron or brass, I could have purchased all the gods (if their images were such) in the place.  I did not see one that was not offered to me; and I actually got two or three of the very smallest sort.

[Footnote 2:  It should seem, that Mr Webber was obliged to repeat his offerings pretty frequently before he could be permitted to finish his drawing of these images.  The following account is in his own words:  “After having made a general view of their habitations, I sought for an inside, which might furnish me with sufficient matter to convey a perfect idea of the mode in which these people live.  Such was soon found.  While I was employed, a man approached me with a large knife in his hand, seemingly displeased, when he observed that my eyes were fixed on two representations of human figures, which were placed at one end of the apartment, carved on planks, of a gigantic proportion, and painted after their custom.  However, I took as little notice of him as possible, and proceeded; to prevent which, he soon provided himself with a mat, and placed it in such a manner as to hinder my having any longer a sight of them.  Being pretty certain that I could have no future opportunity to finish my drawing, and the object being too interesting to be omitted, I considered that a little bribery might probably have some effect.  Accordingly, I made an offer of a button from my coat, which, being of metal, I thought they would be pleased with.  This, instantly, produced the desired effect.  For the mat was removed, and I was left at liberty to proceed as before.  Scarcely had I seated myself, and made a beginning, when he returned, and renewed his former practice, continuing it till I had parted with every single button; and when he saw that he had completely stripped me, I met with no farther obstruction.”—­D.]

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The chief employment of the men seems to be that of fishing, and killing land or sea animals for the sustenance of their families; for we saw few of them doing any thing in the houses; whereas the women were occupied in manufacturing their flaxen or woollen garments, and in preparing the sardines for drying; which they also carry up from the beach in twig-baskets, after the men have brought them in their canoes.  The women are also sent in the small canoes to gather muscles, and other shell-fish, and perhaps on some other occasions; for they manage these with as much dexterity as the men; who, when in the canoes with them, seem to pay little attention to their sex, by offering to relieve them from the labour of the paddle; nor indeed do they treat them with any particular respect or tenderness in other situations.  The young men appeared to be the most indolent or idle set in this community; for they were either sitting about, in scattered companies, to bask themselves in the sun, or lay wallowing in the sand upon the beach, like a number of hogs, for the same purpose, without any covering.  But this disregard of decency was confined to the men.  The women were always properly clothed, and behaved with the utmost propriety; justly deserving all commendation for a bashfulness and modesty becoming their sex; but more meritorious in them, as the men seem to have no sense of shame.  It is impossible, however, that we should have been able to observe the exact mode of their domestic life and employments, from a single visit (as the first was quite transitory) of a few hours.  For it may be easily supposed, that, on such an occasion, most of the labour of all the inhabitants of the village would cease upon our arrival, and an interruption be given even to the usual manner of appearing in their houses, during their more remiss or sociable hours, when left to themselves.  We were much better enabled to form some judgment of their disposition, and, in some measure, even of their method of living, from the frequent visits so many of them paid us at our ships in their canoes; in which, it would seem, they spend a great deal of time, at least in the summer season.  For we observed, that they not only eat and sleep frequently in them, but strip off their clothes and lay themselves along to bask in the sun, in the same manner as we had seen practised at their village.  Their canoes of the larger sort are, indeed, sufficiently spacious for that purpose, and perfectly dry; so that, under shelter of a skin, they are, except in rainy weather, much more comfortable habitations than their houses.

Though their food, strictly speaking, may be said to consist of every thing animal or vegetable that they can procure, the quantity of the latter bears an exceeding small proportion to that of the former.  Their greatest reliance seems to be upon the sea, as affording fish, muscles, and smaller shell-fish, and sea-animals.  Of the first, the principal are herrings and sardines; the two species of bream, formerly

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mentioned, and small cod.  But the herrings and sardines are not only eaten fresh, in their season, but likewise serve as stores, which, after being dried and smoked, are preserved, by being sewed up in mats, so as to form large bales, three or four feet square.  It seems that the herrings also supply them with another grand resource for food; which is a vast quantity of roe, very curiously prepared.  It is strewed upon, or as it were incrustated about small branches of the Canadian pine.  They also prepare it upon a long narrow sea-grass, which grows plentifully upon the rocks, under water.  This caviare, if it may be so called, is kept in baskets or bags of mat, and used occasionally, being first dipped in water.  It may be considered as the winter bread of these people, and has no disagreeable taste.  They also eat the roe of some other fish, which, from the size of its grains, must be very large; but it has a rancid taste and smell.  It does not appear that they prepare any other fish in this manner, to preserve them for any length of time.  For though they split and dry a few of the bream and chimaerae, which are pretty plentiful, they do not smoke them as the herrings and sardines.

The next article, on which they seem to depend for a large proportion of their food, is the large muscle; great abundance of which are found in the Sound.  These are roasted in their shells, then stuck upon long wooden-skewers, and taken off occasionally as wanted; being eat without any other preparation, though they often dip them in oil as a sauce.  The other marine productions, such as the smaller shell-fish, though they contribute to increase the general stock, are by no means to be looked upon as a standing or material article of their food, when compared to those just mentioned.

Of the sea-animals, the most common that we saw in use amongst them as food is the porpoise; the fat or rind of which, as well as the flesh, they cut in large pieces, and having dried them, as they do the herrings, eat them without any farther preparation.  They also prepare a sort of broth from this animal, in its fresh state, in a singular manner, putting pieces of it in a square wooden vessel or bucket, with water, and then throwing heated stones into it.  This operation they repeat till they think the contents are sufficiently stewed or seethed.  They put in the fresh, and take out the other stones, with a cleft stick, which serves as tongs; the vessel being always placed near the fire for that purpose.  This is a pretty common dish amongst them, and, from its appearance, seems to be strong, nourishing food.  The oil which they procure from these and other sea-animals, is also used by them in great quantities; both supping it alone, with a large scoop or spoon made of horn, or mixing it with other food, as sauce.

It may also be presumed, that they feed upon other sea-animals, such as seals, sea-otters, and whales; not only from the skins of the two first being frequent amongst them, but from the great number of implements of all sorts intended to destroy these different animals; which clearly points out their dependence upon them; though perhaps they do not catch them in great plenty, at all seasons; which seemed to be the case while we lay there, as no great number of fresh skins, or pieces of the flesh, were seen.

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The same might, perhaps, be said of the land-animals, which, though doubtless the natives sometimes kill them, appeared to be scarce at this time; as we did not see a single piece of the flesh belonging to any of them; and though their skins be in tolerable plenty, it is probable that many of these are procured by traffic from other tribes.  Upon the whole, it seems plain, from a variety of circumstances, that these people procure almost all their animal food from the sea, if we except a few birds, of which the gulls or sea-fowl, which they shoot with their arrows, are the most material.

As the Canadian pine-branches and sea-grass, on which the fish roe is strewed, may be considered as their only winter vegetables; so, as the spring advances, they make use of several others as they come in season.  The most common of these, which we observed, were two sorts of liliaceous roots, one simply tunicated, the other granulated upon its surface, called mahkatte and koohquoppa, which have a mild sweetish taste, and are mucilaginous, and eaten raw.  The next, which they have in great quantities, is a root called aheita, resembling, in taste, our liquorice; and another fern root, whose leaves were not yet disclosed.  They also eat, raw, another small, sweetish, insipid root, about the thickness of sarsaparilla; but we were ignorant of the plant to which it belongs; and also of another root, which is very large and palmated, which we saw them dig tip near the Village, and afterward eat it.  It is also probable, that, as the season advances, they have many others, which we did not see.  For, though there be no appearance of cultivation amongst them, there are great quantities of alder, gooseberry, and currant bushes, whose fruits they may eat in their natural state, as we have seen them eat the leaves of the last, and of the lilies, just as they were plucked from the plant.  It must, however, be observed, that one of the conditions which they seem to require, in all food, is, that it should be of the bland, or less acrid kind; for they would not eat the leek or garlic, though they brought vast quantities to sell, when they understood we were fond of it.  Indeed, they seemed to have no relish for any of our food; and when offered spirituous liquors, they rejected them as something unnatural and disgusting to the palate.

Though they sometimes eat small marine animals in their fresh state, raw, it is their common practice to roast or broil their food; for they are quite ignorant of our method of boiling; unless we allow that of preparing their porpoise broth is such; and indeed their vessels being all of wood, they are quite insufficient for this purpose.

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Their manner of eating is exactly consonant to the nastiness of their houses and persons; for the troughs and platters, in which they put their food, appear never to have been washed from the time they were first made, and the dirty remains of a former meal are only sweeped away by the succeeding one.  They also tear every thing solid, or tough, to pieces, with their hands and teeth; for, though they make use of their knives to cut off the larger portions, they have not, as yet, thought of reducing these to smaller pieces and mouthfuls by the same means, though obviously more convenient and cleanly.  But they seem to have no idea of cleanliness; for they eat the roots which they dig from the ground, without so much as shaking off the soil that adheres to them.

We are uncertain if they have any set time for meals; for we have seen them eat at all hours in their canoes.  And yet, from seeing several messes of the porpoise broth preparing toward noon, when we visited the village, I should suspect that they make a principal meal about that time.

Their weapons are bows and arrows, slings, spears, short truncheons of bone, somewhat like the patoo patoo of New Zealand, and a small pick-axe, not unlike the common American tomahawk.  The spear has generally a long point, made of bone.  Some of the arrows are pointed with iron; but most commonly their points were of indented bone.  The tomahawk is a stone, six or eight inches long, pointed at one end, and the other end fixed into a handle of wood.  This handle resembles the head and neck of the human figure; and the stone is fixed in the mouth, so as to represent an enormously large tongue.  To make the resemblance still stronger, human hair is also fixed to it.  This weapon they call taaweesh, or tsuskeeah.  They have another stone weapon called seeaik, nine inches or a foot long, with a square point.

From the number of stone weapons and others, we might almost conclude, that it is their custom to engage in close fight; and we had too convincing proofs that their wars are both frequent and bloody, from the vast number of human sculls which they brought to sell.

Their manufactures and mechanic arts are far more extensive and ingenious, whether we regard the design or the execution, than could have been expected from the natural disposition of the people, and the little progress that civilization has made amongst them in other respects.  The flaxen and woollen garments, with which they cover themselves, must necessarily engage their first care; and are the most material of those that can be racked under the head of manufactures.  The former of these are made of the bark of a pine-tree, beat into a hempen state.  It is not spun, but, after being properly prepared, is spread upon a stick, which is fastened across to two others that stand upright.  It is disposed in such a manner, that the manufacturer, who sits on her hams at this simple

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machine, knots it across with small plaited threads, at the distance of half an inch from each other.  Though, by this method, it be not so close or firm as cloth that is woven, the bunches between the knots make it sufficiently impervious to the air, by filling the interstices; and it has the additional advantage of being softer and more pliable.  The woollen garments, though probably manufactured in the same manner, have the strongest resemblance to woven cloth.  But the various figures, which are very artificially inserted in them, destroy the supposition of their being wrought in a loom; it being extremely unlikely that these people should be so dexterous as to be able to finish such a complex work, unless immediately by their hands.  They are of different degrees of fineness; some resembling our coarsest rugs or blankets; and others almost equal to our finest sorts, or even softer, and certainly warmer.  The wool, of which they are made, seems to be taken from different animals, as the fox and brown lynx; the last of which is by far the finest sort, and, in its natural state, differs little from the colour of our coarser wools; but the hair, with which the animal is also covered, being intermixed, its appearance, when wrought, is somewhat different.  The ornamental parts or figures in these garments, which are disposed with great taste, are commonly of a different colour, being dyed, chiefly either of a deep brown or of a yellow; the last of which, when it is new, equals the best in our carpets as to brightness.

To their taste or design in working figures upon their garments, corresponds their fondness for carving in every thing they make of wood.  Nothing is without a kind of freeze-work, or the figure of some animal upon it; but the most general representation is that of the human face, which is often cut out upon birds, and the other monstrous figures mentioned before; and even upon their stone and their bone weapons.  The general design of all these things is perfectly sufficient to convey a knowledge of the object they are intended to represent; but the carving is not executed with the nicety that a dexterous artist would bestow even upon an indifferent design.  The same, however, cannot be said of many of the human masks and heads; where they shew themselves to be ingenious sculptors.  They not only preserve, with great exactness, the general character of their own faces, but finish the more minute parts with a degree of accuracy in proportion, and neatness in execution.  The strong propensity of this people to works of this sort, is remarkable, in a vast variety of particulars.  Small whole human figures; representations of birds, fish, and land and sea-animals; models of their household utensils and of their canoes, were found amongst them in great abundance.

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The imitative arts being nearly allied, no wonder that, to their skill in working figures in their garments, and carving them in wood, they should add that of drawing them in colours.  We have sometimes seen the whole process of their whale-fishery painted on the caps they wear.  This, though rudely executed, serves, at least, to shew, that, though there be no appearance of the knowledge of letters amongst them, they have some notion of a method of commemorating and representing actions in a lasting way, independently of what may be recorded in their songs and traditions.  They have also other figures painted on some of their things; but it is doubtful if they ought to be considered as symbols, that have certain established significations, or only the mere creation of fancy and caprice.

Their canoes are of a simple structure; but, to appearance, well calculated for every useful purpose.  Even the largest, which carry twenty people or more, are formed of one tree.  Many of them are forty feet long, seven broad, and about three deep.  From the middle, toward each end, they become gradually narrower, the after-part, or stern, ending abruptly or perpendicularly, with a small knob on the top; but the fore-part is lengthened out, stretching forward and upward, ending in a notched point or prow, considerably higher than the sides of the canoe, which run nearly in a straight line.  For the most part they are without any ornament; but some have a little carving, and are decorated by setting seals’ teeth on the surface, like studs, as is their practice on their masks and weapons.  A few have, likewise, a kind of additional head or prow, like a large cut-water, which is painted with the figure of some animal.  They have no seats, nor any other supporters, on the inside, than several round sticks, little thicker than a cane, placed across, at mid depth.  They are very light, and their breadth and flatness enable them to swim firmly, without an out-rigger, which none of them have; a remarkable distinction between the navigation of all the American nations and that of the southern parts of the East Indies, and the islands in the Pacific Ocean.  Their paddles are small and light; the shape, in some measure, resembling that of a large leaf, pointed at the bottom, broadest in the middle, and gradually losing itself in the shaft, the whole being about five feet long.  They have acquired great dexterity in managing these paddles, by constant use; for sails are no part of their art of navigation.

Their implements for fishing and hunting, which are both ingeniously contrived, and well made, are nets, hooks and lines, harpoons, gigs, and an instrument like an oar.  This last is about twenty feet long, four or five inches broad, and about half an inch thick.  Each edge, for about two-thirds of its length, (the other third being its handle,) is set with sharp bone-teeth, about two inches long.  Herrings and sardines, and such other small fish as come in shoals, are attacked

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with this instrument; which is struck into the shoal, and the fish are caught either upon or between the teeth.  Their hooks are made of bone and wood, and rather inartificially; but the harpoon, with which they strike the whales and lesser sea-animals, shew a great reach of contrivance.  It is composed of a piece of bone, cut into two barbs, in which is fixed the oval blade of a large muscle-shell, in which is the point of the instrument.  To this is fastened about two or three fathoms of rope; and to throw this harpoon, they use a shaft of about twelve or fifteen feet long, to which the line or rope is made fast; and to one end of which the harpoon is fixed, so as to separate from the shaft, and leave it floating upon the water as a buoy, when the animal darts away with the harpoon.

We can say nothing as to the manner of their catching or killing land-animals, unless we may suppose that they shoot the smaller sorts with their arrows, and engage bears, or wolves and foxes, with their spears.  They have, indeed, several nets, which are probably applied to that purpose;[3] as they frequently threw them over their heads, to shew their use, when they brought them to us for sale.  They also, sometimes, decoy animals, by covering themselves with a skin, and running about upon all-fours, which they do very nimbly, as appeared from the specimens of their skill, which they exhibited to us, making a kind of noise, or neighing, at the same time; and on these occasions, the masks or carved heads, as well as the real dried heads of the different animals, are put on.

[Footnote 3:  One of the methods of catching sea-otters, when ashore at Kamptschatka, is with nets.—­See Coxe’s Russian Discoveries, p. 13.—­D.]

As to the materials, of which they make their various articles, it is to be observed, that every thing of the rope kind is formed either from thongs of skins and sinews of animals, or from the same flaxen substance of which their mantles are manufactured.  The sinews often appeared to be of such a length, that it might be presumed they could be of no other animal than the whale.  And the same may be said of the bones of which they made their weapons already mentioned; such as their bark-beating instruments, the points of their spears, and the barbs of their harpoons.

Their great dexterity in works of wood, may, in some measure, be ascribed to the assistance they receive from iron tools.  For, as far as we know, they use no other; at least we saw only one chisel of bone.  And though originally their tools must have been of different materials, it is not improbable that many of their improvements have been made since they acquired a knowledge of that metal, which now is universally used in their various wooden works.  The chisel and the knife are the only forms, as far as we saw, that iron assumes amongst them.  The chisel is a long flat piece, filled into a handle of wood.  A stone serves for a mallet, and a piece of fish-skin

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for a polisher.  I have seen some of these chisels that were eight or ten inches long, and three or four inches broad, but, in general, they were smaller.  The knives are of various sizes; some very large; and their blades are crooked, somewhat like our pruning-knife, but the edge is on the back or convex part.  Most of them that we saw were about the breadth and thickness of an iron-hoop, and their singular form marks that they are not of European make.  Probably they are imitations of their own original instruments, used for the same purposes.  They sharpen these iron tools upon a coarse slate whetstone, and likewise keep the whole instrument constantly bright.

Iron, which they call seekemaile, (which name they also give to tin and all white metals,) being familiar to these people, it was very natural for us to speculate about the mode of its being conveyed to them.  Upon our arrival in the Sound, they immediately discovered a knowledge of traffic, and an inclination for it; and we were convinced afterward, that they had not received this knowledge from a cursory interview with any strangers, but, from their method, it seemed to be an established practice, of which they were fond, and in which they were also well skilled.  With whom they carry on this traffic, may, perhaps, admit of some doubt.  For though we found amongst them things doubtless of European manufacture, or at least derived, from some civilized nation, such as iron and brass, it by no means appears that they receive them immediately from these nations.  For we never observed the least sign of their having seen ships like ours before, nor of their having traded with such people.  Many circumstances serve to prove this almost beyond a doubt.  They were earnest in their enquiries, by signs, on our arrival, if we meant to settle amongst them, and if we came as friends; signifying, at the same time, that they gave the wood and water freely, from friendship.  This not only proves, that they considered the place as entirely their property, without fearing any superiority; but the enquiry would have been an unnatural one, on a supposition that any ships had been here before; had trafficked, and supplied themselves with wood and water; and had then departed; for, in that case, they might reasonably expect we would do the same.  They, indeed, expressed no marks of surprise at seeing our ships.  But this, as I observed before, may be imputed to their natural indolence of temper, and want of curiosity.  Nor were they even startled at the report of a musquet; till one day, upon their endeavouring to make us sensible, that their arrows and spears could not penetrate the hide-dresses, one of our gentlemen shot a musquet-ball through one of them, folded six times.  At this they were so much staggered, that they plainly discovered their ignorance of the effect of fire-arms.  This was very often confirmed afterward, when we used them at their village and other places to shoot birds, the manner of which plainly confounded them; and our explanations of the use of shot and ball were received with the most significant marks of their having no previous ideas on this matter.

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Some account of a Spanish voyage to this coast, in 1774, or 1775, had reached England before I sailed; but the foregoing circumstances sufficiently prove that these ships had not been at Nootka.[4] Besides this, it was evident, that iron was too common here; was in too many hands; and the uses of it were too well known, for them to have had the first knowledge of it so very lately; or indeed at any earlier period, by an accidental supply from a ship.  Doubtless, from the general use they make of this metal, it maybe supposed to come from some constant source, by way of traffic, and that not of a very late date; for they are as dexterous in using their tools as the longest practice can make them.  The most probable way, therefore, by which we can suppose that they get their iron, is by trading for it with other Indian tribes, who either have immediate communication with European settlements upon that continent, or receive it, perhaps, through several intermediate nations.  The same might be said of the brass and copper found amongst them.

[Footnote 4:  We now know that Captain Cook’s conjecture was well founded.  It appears, from the Journal of this Voyage, already referred to, that the Spaniards had intercourse with the natives of this coast only in three places, in latitude 41 deg. 7’; in latitude 47 deg. 21’; and in latitude 57 deg. 18’.  So that they were not within two degrees of Nootka; and it is most probable that the people there never heard of these Spanish ships.—­D.]

Whether these things be introduced by way of Hudson’s Bay and Canada, from the Indians, who deal with our traders, and so successively across from one tribe to the other; or whether they be brought from the north-western parts of Mexico in the same manner, perhaps cannot be easily determined.  But it should seem, that not only the rude materials, but some articles in their manfactured state, find their way hither.  The brass ornaments for noses, in particular, are so neatly made, that I am doubtful whether the Indians are capable of fabricating them.  The materials, certainly, are European; as no American tribes have been found, who knew the method of making brass; though copper has been commonly met with, and, from its softness, might be fashioned into any shape, and also polished.  If our traders to Hudson’s Bay and Canada do not use such articles in their traffic with the natives, they must have been introduced at Nootka from the quarter of Mexico, from whence, no doubt, the two silver table-spoons, met with here, were originally derived.  It is most probable, however, that the Spaniards are not such eager traders, nor have formed such extensive connections with the tribes north of Mexico, as to supply them with quantities of iron, from which they can spare so much to the people here.[5]

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[Footnote 5:  Though the two silver table-spoons, found at Nootka Sound, most probably came from the Spaniards in the south, there seems to be sufficient grounds for believing that the regular supply of iron comes from a different quarter.  It is remarkable, that the Spaniards, in 1775, found at Puerto de la Trinidad, in latitude 41 deg.7’, arrows pointed with copper or iron, which they understood were procured from the north.  Mr Daines Barrington, in a note at this part of the Spanish journal, p. 20, says “I should conceive, that the copper and iron here mentioned, must have originally been bartered at our forts in Hudson’s Bay.”—­D.]

Of the political and religious institutions established amongst them, it cannot be supposed that we should learn much.  This we could observe, that there are such men as chiefs, who are distinguished by the name or title of Acweek, and to whom the others are, in some measure, subordinate.  But I should guess, the authority of each of these great men extends no farther than the family to which he belongs, and who own him as their head.  These Acweeks were not always elderly men; from which I concluded that this title came to them by inheritance.

I saw nothing that could give the least insight into their notions of religion, besides the figures before mentioned, called by them Klumma.  Most probably these were idols; but as they frequently mentioned the word acweek, when they spoke of them, we may, perhaps, be authorised to suppose, that they are the images of some of their ancestors, whom they venerate as divinities.  But all this is mere conjecture; for we saw no act of religious homage paid to them; nor could we gain any information, as we had learned little more of their language than to ask the names of things, without being able to hold any conversation with the natives, that might instruct us as to their institutions or traditions.

In drawing up the preceding account of the people of this Sound, I have occasionally blended Mr Anderson’s observations with my own; but I owe every thing to him. that relates to their language; and the following remarks are in his own words.

“Their language is by no means harsh or disagreeable, farther than proceeds from their using the k and h with more force, or pronouncing them with less softness than we do; and, upon the whole, it abounds rather with what we may call labial and dental, than with guttural sounds.  The simple sounds, which we have not heard them use, and which, consequently, may be reckoned rare, or wanting in their language, are those represented by the letters b, d, f, g, r, and v.  But, on the other hand, they have one, which is very frequent, and not used by us.  It is formed, in a particular manner, by clashing the tongue partly against the roof of the mouth with considerable force, and may be compared to a very coarse or harsh method of lisping.  It is difficult to represent this sound by any composition of our letters, unless somehow from lszthl.  This is one of their most usual terminations, though we sometimes found it in the beginning of words.  The next most general termination is composed of tl; and many words end with z and ss.  A specimen or two of each of these is here put down: 

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Opulszthl, The sun. Onulszthl, The moon. Kahsheetl, Dead. Teeshcheetl, To throw a stone. Kooomitz, A human scull. Quahmiss, Fish roe.

“They seem to take so great a latitude in their mode of speaking, that I have sometimes observed four or five different terminations of the same word.  This is a circumstance very puzzling at first to a stranger, and marks a great imperfection in their language.

“As to the composition of it, we can say very little; having been scarcely able to distinguish the several parts of speech.  It can only be inferred, from their method of speaking, which is very slow and distinct, that it has few prepositions or conjunctions; and, as far as we could discover, is destitute of even a single interjection, to express admiration or surprise.  From its having few conjunctions, it may be conceived, that these being thought unnecessary, as being understood, each single word with them will also express a great deal, or comprehend several simple ideas; which seems to be the case.  But, for the same reason, the language will be defective in other respects; not having words to distinguish or express differences which really exist, and hence not sufficiently copious.  This was observed to be the case in many instances, particularly with respect to the names of animals.  The relation or affinity it may bear to other languages, either on this or on the Asiatic continent, I have not been able sufficiently to trace for want of proper specimens to compare it with, except those of the Esquimaux and Indians about Hudson’s Bay; to neither of which it bears the least resemblance.  On the other hand, from the few Mexican words I have been able to procure, there is the most obvious agreement, in the very frequent terminations of the words in l, tl, or z, throughout the language."[6]

[Footnote 6:  May we not, in confirmation of Mr Anderson’s remark, observe, that Opulszthl, the Nootka name of the Sun; and Vitziputzli, the name of the Mexican Divinity, have no very distant affinity in sound?—­D.]

The large vocabulary of the Nootka language, collected by Mr Anderson, shall be reserved for another place,[7] as its insertion here would too much interrupt our narration.  At present I only select their numerals, for the satisfaction of such of our readers as love to compare those of different nations in different parts of the world: 

Tsawack, One. Akkla, Two. Katsitsa, Three. Mo, or Moo, Four. Sochah, Five. Nofpo, Six. Atstepoo, Seven. Atlaquolthl, Eight. Tsawaquulthl, Nine. Haeeoo, Ten.

[Footnote 7:  It will be found at the end of the voyage.]

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Were I to affix a name to the people of Nootka, as a distinct nation, I would call them Wakashians; from the word wakash, which was very frequently in their mouths.  It seemed to express applause, approbation, and friendship.  For when they appeared to be satisfied, or well pleased with any thing they saw, or any incident that happened, they would, with one voice, call out, wakash! wakash! I shall take my leave of them, with remarking, that, differing so essentially, as they certainly do, in their persons, their customs, and language, from the inhabitants of the islands in the Pacific Ocean, we cannot suppose their respective progenitors to have been united in the same tribe, or to have had any intimate connection, when they emigrated from their original settlements, into the places where we now find their descendants.

My account of the transactions in Nootka Sound would be imperfect, without adding the astronomical and nautical observations made by us, while the ships were in that station.


The latitude of the \ Sun 49 deg. 36’ 1”, 15"’
observatory, by } Stars / South 49 36 8, 36
/ \ North 49 36 10, 30
The mean of these means 49 36 6, 47 north.


| Twenty sets   \
|  taken on the  |  233 deg.  26’  18”, 7"’
|  21st and 23d  |
|  of March.    /
The longitude, by      /  Ninety-three  \
lunar observations.  \   taken at the  }  233   18    6,  6
|  observatory  /
| Twenty-four   \
|  taken on the  |  233    7   16,  7
|  1st, 2d, and  |
|  3d of May.   /
The mean of these means                     233   17   14,  0 East.
But by reducing each set, taken     |
before we arrived in the Sound,    |
and after we left it, by the time-  \      233 deg.  17’  30”, 5"’
keeper, and adding them up          /
with those made on the spot,       |
the mean of the 137 sets, will be  |

Longitude by the / Greenwich rate 235 deg. 46’ 51”, 0"’
time-keeper \ Ulietea rate 333 59 24, 0

From the results of the last fifteen days observations of equal altitudes of the sun, the daily rate of the time-keeper was losing, on mean time, 7”; and on the 16th of April, she was too slow for mean time by 16^h 0^m 58",45.  There was found an irregularity in her rate greater than at any time before.  It was thought proper to reject the first five days, as the rate in them differed so much from that of the fifteen following; and even in these, each day differed from another more than usual.

Variation of the Compass.

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A.M.\ Observatory           15 deg. 57’ 48-1/2” \
April 4.{      }                   {                    } 15 deg. 49’ 25” East.
\PM  / Mean of four Needles\  15  41   2      /
5. A.M.\  On board the ship      9 deg. 50  49      \
{      }                    {                    } 19  44  47-1/2
6. \P.M./  Mean of four Needles\  19  38  46      /

The variation found on board the ship ought to be taken for the true one; not only as it agreed with what we observed at sea, but because it was found that there was something ashore that had a considerable effect upon the compasses; in some places more than others.  At one spot, on the west point of the Sound, the needle was attracted 113/4 points from its proper direction.

Inclination of the Dipping Needle.

April 5th. Marked \End North \ 71 deg. 26’ 22-12"\
On board with { } } } 71 deg. 40’ 22-1/2”
balanced needle. \Unmarked and dipping 71 54 22-1/2 /

The Same needle    Marked   \End North   \ 72   3  45    \
at the       {           }            }               }  70   0   0
observatory.      \Unmarked and dipping / 71  56  15    /
Marked   \End North   \ 71  58  20    \
18th ditto       {           }            }               }  72   7  15
\Unmarked and dipping / 72  16  10    /
5th.  Spare needle  Marked   \End North   \ 72  32  30    \
at the         {           }            }               }  72  49  15
observatory        \Unmarked and dipping / 73   6   0    /
Marked   \End North   \ 72  55   0    \
18th ditto      {           }            }               }  73  11  45
\Unmarked and dipping / 73  28  30    /
22d.  Spare         Marked   \End North   \ 73  28  38    \
needle on        {           }            }               }  73  11   0
board             \Unmarked and dipping / 72  53  30    /

Hence the mean dip, with both needles, on shore, was 72 32 3-1/4

On board 72 25 45-1/4

This is as near as can be expected; and shews, that whatever it was that affected the compasses, whether on board or ashore, it had no effect upon the dipping needles.


It is high water on the days of the new and full moon at 12^h 20^m.  The perpendicular rise and fall, eight feet nine inches; which is to be understood of the day-tides, and those which happen two or three days after the full and new moon.  The night-tides, at this time, rise near two feet higher.  This was very conspicuous during the spring-tide of the full moon, which happened soon after our arrival; and it was obvious, that it would be the same in those of the new moon, though we did not remain here long enough to see the whole of its effect.

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Some circumstances, that occurred daily, relating to this, deserve particular notice.  In the cove, where we got wood and water, was a great deal of drift wood thrown ashore; a part of which we had to remove to come at the water.  It often happened, that large pieces of trees, which we had removed in the day out of the reach of the then high water, were found, the next morning, floated again in our way; and all our spouts, for conveying down the water, thrown out of their places, which were immoveable during the day-tides.  We also found, that wood, which we had split up for fuel, and had deposited beyond the reach of the day-tide, floated away during the night.  Some of these circumstances happened every night or morning, for three or four days in the height of the spring-tides; during which time we were obliged to attend every morning-tide, to remove the large logs out of the way of watering.

I cannot say whether the flood-tide falls into the Sound from the north-west, south-west, or south-east.  I think it does not come from the last quarter; but this is only conjecture, founded upon the following observations:  The south-east gales, which we had in the Sound, were so far from increasing the rise of the tide, that they rather diminished it; which would hardly have happened, if the flood and wind had been in the same direction.


A Storm, after sailing from Nootka Sound.—­Resolution springs a Leak.—­Pretended Strait of Admiral de Fonte passed unexamined.—­Progress along the Coast of America.—­Behring’s Bay.—­Kaye’s Island.—­Account of it.—­The Ships come to an Anchor.—­Visited by the Natives.—­Their Behaviour.—­Fondness for Beads and Iron.—­Attempt to plunder the Discovery.—­Resolution’s Leak stopped.—­Progress up the Sound.—­Messrs Gore and Roberts sent to examine its Extent.—­Reasons against a Passage to the North through it.—­The Ships proceed down it to the open Sea.

Having put to sea on the evening of the 26th, as before related, with strong signs of an approaching storm, these signs did not deceive us.  We were hardly out of the Sound, before the wind, in an instant, shifted from north-east to south-east by east, and increased to a strong gale, with squalls and rain, and so dark a sky, that we could not see the length of the ship.  Being apprehensive, from the experience I had since our arrival on this coast, of the wind veering more to the south, which would put us in danger of a lee-shore, we got the tacks on board, and stretched off to the south-west, under all the sail that the ships could bear.  Fortunately, the wind veered no farther southerly than south-east; so that at day-light the next morning we were quite clear of the coast.

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The Discovery being at some distance a-stern, I brought-to till she came up, and then bore away, steering north-west; in which direction I supposed the coast to lie.  The wind was at south-east, blew very hard, and in squalls, with thick hazy weather.  At half-past one in the afternoon, it blew a perfect hurricane; so that I judged it highly dangerous to run any longer before it, and therefore brought the ships to, with their heads to the southward, under the foresails and mizen-stay-sails.  At this time the Resolution sprung a leak, which, at first, alarmed us not a little.  It was found to be under the starboard buttock; where, from the bread-room, we could both hear and see the water rush in; and, as we then thought, two feet under water.  But in this we were happily mistaken; for it was afterward found to be even with the water-line, if not above it, when the ship was upright.  It was no sooner discovered, than the fish-room was found to be full of water, and the casks in it afloat; but this was, in a great measure, owing to the water not finding its way to the pumps through the coals that lay in the bottom of the room.  For, after the water was baled out, which employed us till midnight, and had found its way directly from the leak to the pumps, it appeared that one pump kept it under, which gave us no small satisfaction.  In the evening, the wind veered to the south, and its fury, in some degree, ceased.  On this we set the main-sail, and two topsails close-reefed, and stretched to the westward.  But at eleven o’clock the gale again increased, and obliged us to take in the topsails, till five o’clock the next morning, when the storm began to abate, so that we could bear to set them again.

The weather now began to clear up, and being able to see several leagues round us, I steered more to the northward.  At noon, the latitude, by observation, was 50 deg. 1’; longitude 229 deg. 26’.[1] I now steered N.W. by N., with a fresh gale at S.S.E. and fair weather.  But at nine in the evening, it began again to blow hard, and in squalls, with rain.  With such weather, and the wind between S.S.E. and S.W.  I continued the same course till the 30th, at four in the morning, when I steered N. by W. in order to make the land.  I regretted very much indeed that I could not do it sooner; for this obvious reason, that we were now passing the place where geographers[2] have placed the pretended strait of Admiral de Fonte.  For my own part, I give no credit to such vague and improbable stories, that carry their own confutation along with them.  Nevertheless, I was very desirous of keeping the American coast aboard, in order to clear up this point beyond dispute.  But it would have been highly imprudent in me to have engaged with the land in weather so exceedingly tempestuous, or to have lost the advantage of a fair wind by waiting for better weather.  This same day, at noon, we were in the latitude of 53 deg. 22’, and in the longitude of 225 deg. 14’.

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[Footnote 1:  As in the remaining part of this chapter, the latitude and longitude are very frequently set down, the former being invariably North, and the latter East, the constant repetition of the two words, North and East, has been omitted, to avoid unnecessary precision.]

[Footnote 2:  See de Lisle’s Generale des Decouvertes de l’Amiral de Fonte, &c.  Paris, 1752; and many other maps.]

The next morning, being the 1st of May, seeing nothing of the land, I steered north-easterly, with a fresh breeze at S.S.E. and S., with squalls, and showers of rain and hail.  Our latitude at noon 54 deg. 43’, and our longitude 224 deg. 44’.  At seven in the evening, being in the latitude of 55 deg. 20’, we got sight of the land, extending from N.N.E. to E., or E. by S. about twelve or fourteen leagues distant.  An hour after, I steered N. by W.; and at four the next morning, the coast was seen from N. by W. to S.E. the nearest part about six leagues distant.[3]

[Footnote 3:  This must be very near that part of the American coast where Tscherikow anchored in 1741, for Muller places its latitude in 56 deg..  Had this Russian navigator been so fortunate as to proceed a little farther northward along the coast, he would have found, as we now learn from Captain Cook, bays, and harbours, and islands, where his ship might have been sheltered, and his people protected in landing.  For the particulars of the misfortunes he met with here, two boats’ crews, which he sent ashore, having never returned, probably cut off by the natives, see Muller’s Decouvertes de Russes, p. 248, 254.  The Spaniards, in 1775, found two good harbours on this part of the coast; that called Guadalupe, in latitude 57 deg. 11’, and the other, De los Remedios, in latitude 57 deg. 18’.—­D.]

At this time the northern point of an inlet, or what appeared to be one, bore E. by S. It lies in the latitude of 56 deg.; and from it to the northward, the coast seemed to be much broken, forming bays or harbours every two or three leagues, or else appearances much deceived us.  At six o’clock, drawing nearer the land, I steered N.W. by N., this being the direction of the coast; having a fresh gale at S.E. with some showers of hail, snow, and sleet.  Between eleven and twelve o’clock, we passed a group of small islands, lying under the main land, in the latitude of 56 deg. 48’; and off, or rather to the northward of the south point of a large bay.  An arm of this bay, in the northern part of it, seemed to extend in toward the north, behind a round elevated mountain that lies between it and the sea.  This mountain I called Mount Edgcumbe; and the point of land that shoots out from it Cape Edgcumbe.  The latter lies in the latitude of 57 deg. 3’, and in the longitude of 224 deg. 7’; and at noon it bore north 20 deg.  W. six leagues distant.

The land, except in some places close to the sea, is all of a considerable height, and hilly; but Mount Edgcumbe far out-tops all the other hills.  It was wholly covered with snow; as were also all the other elevated hills; but the lower ones, and the flatter spots, bordering upon the sea, were free from it, and covered with wood.

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As we advanced to the north, we found the coast from Cape Edgcumbe to trend north and north-easterly for six or seven leagues, and there form a large bay.  In the entrance of that bay are some islands; for which reason I named it the Bay of Islands.  It lies in the latitude of 57 deg. 20’;[4] and seemed to branch into several arms, one of which turned to the south, and may probably communicate with the bay on the east side of Cape Edgcumbe, and make the land of the Cape an island.  At eight o’clock in the evening, the Cape bore S.E. 1/2 S.; the Bay of Islands N. 53 deg.  E.; and another inlet, before which are also some islands, bore N. 52 deg.  E. five leagues distant.  I continued to steer N.N.W. 1/2 W. and N.W. by W. as the coast trended, with a fine gale at N.E. and clear weather.

[Footnote 4:  It should seem, that, in this very bay, the Spaniards, in 1775, found their port which they call De los Remedios.  The latitude is exactly the same; and their journal mentions its being protected by a long ridge of high islands.  See Miscellanies, by the Honourable Daines Barrington, p. 503, 504.—­D.]

At half-an-hour past four in the morning, on the 3d, Mount Edgcumbe bore S. 54 deg.  E.; a large inlet, N. 50 deg.  E., distant six leagues; and the most advanced point of the land, to the N.W. lying under a very high-peaked mountain, which obtained the name of Mount Fairweather, bore N. 32 deg.  W. The inlet was named Cross Sound, as being first seen on that day, so marked in our calendar.  It appeared to branch in several arms, the largest of which turned to the northward.  The S.E. point of this Sound is a high promontory, which obtained the name of Cross Cape.  It lies in the latitude of 57 deg. 57’, and its longitude is 223 deg. 21’.  At noon it bore S.E.; and the point under the peaked mountain, which was called Cape Fairweather, N. by W. 1/4 W., distant thirteen leagues.  Our latitude at this time was 58 deg. 17’, and our longitude 222 deg. 14’; and we were distant from the shore three or four leagues.  In this situation we found the variation of the compass to be from 24 deg. 11’ to 26 deg. 11’ E.

Here the N.E. wind left us, and was succeeded by light breezes from the N.W. which lasted for several days.  I stood to the S.W. and W.S.W. till eight o’clock the next morning, when we tacked, and stood toward the shore.  At noon, the latitude was 58 deg. 22’, and the longitude 220 deg. 45’.  Mount Fairweather, the peaked mountain over the Cape of the same name, bore N. 63 deg.  E.; the shore under it twelve leagues distant.  This mountain, which lies in the latitude of 58 deg. 52’, and in the longitude of 222 deg., and five leagues inland, is the highest of a chain, or rather a ridge of mountains, that rise at the N.W. entrance of Cross Sound, and extend to the N.W. in a parallel direction with the coast.  These mountains were wholly covered with snow, from the highest summit down to the sea-coast; some few

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places excepted, where we could perceive trees rising, as it were, out of the sea; and which, therefore, we supposed, grew on low land, or on islands bordering upon the shore of the continent.[5] At five in the afternoon, our latitude being then 58 deg. 53’, and our longitude 220 deg. 52’, the summit of an elevated mountain appeared above the horizon, bearing N., 26 deg.  W., and, as was afterwards found, forty leagues distant.  We supposed it to be Beering’s Mount St Elias; and it stands by that name in our chart.

[Footnote 5:  According to Muller, Beering fell in with the coast of North America in latitude 58 deg. 28’, and he describes its aspect thus:  “L’aspect du pays etoit affrayaut par ses hautes montagnes couvertes de niege.” The chain or ridge of mountains covered with snow, mentioned here by Captain Cook, in the same latitude, exactly agrees with what Beering met with.  See Muller’s Voyages et Decouvertes de Russes, p. 248-254.—­D.]

This day we saw several whales, seals, and porpoises; many gulls, and several flocks of birds, which had a black ring about the head; the tip of the tail, and the upper part of the wings, with a black band; and the rest bluish above and white below.  We also saw a brownish duck, with a black or deep-blue head and neck, sitting upon the water.

Having but light winds, with some calms, we advanced slowly; so that on the 6th at noon we were only in the latitude of 59 deg. 8’, and in the longitude of 220 deg. 19’.  Mount Fairweather bore S. 63 deg.  E. and Mount Elias N. 30 deg.  W.; the nearest land about eight leagues distant.  In the direction of N. 47 deg.  E. from this station, there was the appearance of a bay, and an island off the S. point of it that was covered with wood.  It is here where I suppose Commodore Beering to have anchored.  The latitude, which is 59 deg. 18’, corresponds pretty well with the map of his voyage,[6] and the longitude is 221 deg.  E. Behind the bay, (which I shall distinguish by the name of Beering’s Bay, in honour of its discoverer,) or rather to the south of it, the chain of mountains before mentioned is interrupted by a plain of a few leagues extent; beyond which the sight was unlimited; so that there is either a level country or water behind it.  In the afternoon, having a few hours calm, I took this opportunity to sound, and found seventy fathoms water, over a muddy bottom.  The calm was succeeded by a light breeze from the N., with which we stood to the westward; and at noon the next day, we were in the latitude of 59 deg. 27’, and the longitude of 219 deg. 7’.  In this situation, Mount Fairweather bore S. 70 deg.  E.; Mount St Elias N. 1/2 W.; the westernmost land in sight N. 52 deg.  W.; and our distance from the shore four or five leagues; the depth of water being eighty-two fathoms over a muddy bottom.  From this station we could see a bay (circular to appearance) under the high land, with low wood-land on each side of it.

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[Footnote 6:  Probably Captain Cook means Muller’s map, prefixed to his History of the Russian Discoveries.—­D.]

We now found the coast to trend very much to the west, inclining hardly any thing to the north; and as we had the wind mostly from the westward, and but little of it, our progress was slow.  On the 9th at noon, the latitude was 59 deg. 30’, and the longitude 217 deg..  In this situation the nearest land was nine leagues distant; and Mount St Elias bore N., 30 deg.  E, nineteen leagues distant.  This mountain lies twelve leagues inland in the latitude of 60 deg. 27’, and in the longitude of 219 deg..  It belongs to a ridge of exceedingly high mountains, that may be reckoned a continuation of the former, as they are only divided from them by the plain above mentioned.  They extend as far to the west as the longitude of 217 deg.; where, although they do not end, they lose much of their height, and become more broken and divided.

At noon on the 10th, our latitude was 59 deg. 51’, and our longitude 215 deg. 56’, being no more than three leagues from, the coast of the continent, which extended from E. 1/2 N., to N.W. 1/2 W., as far as the eye could reach.  To the westward of this last direction was an island that extended from N., 52 deg.  W., to S., 85 deg.  W., distant six leagues.  A point shoots out from the main toward the N.E. end of the island, bearing, at this time, N., 30 deg.  W., five or six leagues distant.  This point I named Cape Suckling.  The point of the cape is low; but within it, is a tolerably high hill, which is disjoined from the mountains by low land; so that, at a distance, the cape looks like an island.  On the north side of Cape Suckling is a bay that appeared to be of some extent, and to be covered from most winds.  To this bay I had some thoughts of going, to stop our leak, as all our endeavours to do it at sea had proved ineffectual.  With this view, I steered for the cape; but as we had only variable light breezes, we approached it slowly.  However, before night, we were near enough to see some low land spitting out from the cape to the north-west, so as to cover the east part of the bay from the south wind.  We also saw some small islands in the bay, and elevated rocks between the cape and the north-east end of the island.  But still there appeared to be a passage on both sides of these rocks; and I continued steering for them all night, having from forty-three to twenty-seven fathoms water over a muddy bottom.

At four o’clock next morning, the wind, which had been mostly at N.E., shifted to N. This being against us, I gave up the design of going within the island, or into the bay, as neither could be done without loss of time.  I therefore bore up for the west end of the island.  The wind blew faint, and at ten o’clock it fell calm.  Being not far from the island, I went in a boat, and landed upon it, with a view of seeing what lay on the other side; but finding it farther to the hills than I expected,

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and the way being steep and woody, I was obliged to drop the design.  At the foot of a tree, on a little eminence not far from the shore, I left a bottle with a paper in it, on which were inscribed the names of the ships, and the date of our discovery.  And along with it, I inclosed two silver two-penny pieces of his majesty’s coin, of the date 1772.  These, with many others, were furnished me by the Reverend Dr Kaye;[7] and, as a mark of my esteem and regard for that gentleman, I named the island, after him, Kaye’s Island.  It is eleven or twelve leagues in length, in the direction of N.E. and S.W.; but its breadth is not above a league, or a league and a half, in any part of it.  The S.W. point, which lies in the latitude of 59 deg. 49’, and the longitude of 216 deg. 58’, is very remarkable, being a naked rock, elevated considerably above the land within it.  There is also an elevated rock lying off it, which, from some points of view, appears like a ruined castle.  Toward the sea, the island terminates in a kind of bare-sloping cliffs, with a beach, only a few paces across to their foot, of large pebble stones, intermixed in some places with a brownish clayey sand, which the sea seems to deposit after rolling in, having been washed down from the higher parts, by the rivulets or torrents.  The cliffs are composed of a bluish stone or rock, in a soft or mouldering state, except in a few places.  There are parts of the shore interrupted by small vallies and gullies.  In each of these, a rivulet or torrent rushes down with considerable impetuosity; though it may be supposed that they are only furnished from the snow, and last no longer than till it is all melted.  These vallies are filled with pine-trees, which grow down close to the entrance, but only to about half way up the higher or middle part of the island.  The woody part also begins, every-where, immediately above the cliffs, and is continued to the same height with the former; so that the island is covered, as it were, with a broad girdle of wood, spread upon its side, included between the top of the cliffy shore; and the higher parts in the centre.  The trees, however, are far from being of an uncommon growth; few appearing to be larger than one might grasp round with his arms, and about forty or fifty feet high; so that the only purpose they could answer for shipping, would be to make top-gallant masts, and other small things.  How far we may judge of the size of the trees which grow on the neighbouring continent, it may be difficult to determine.  But it was observed, that none larger than those we saw growing, lay upon the beach amongst the drift-wood.  The pine-trees seemed all of one sort; and there was neither the Canadian pine, nor cypress, to be seen.  But there were a few which appeared to be the alder, that were but small, and had not yet shot forth their leaves.  Upon the edges of the cliffs, and on some sloping ground, the surface was covered with a kind of turf, about

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half a foot thick, which seemed composed of the common moss; and the top, or upper part of the island, had almost the same appearance as to colour; but whatever covered it seemed to be thicker.  I found amongst the trees some currant and hawberry bushes; a small yellow-flowered violet; and the leaves of some other plants not yet in flower, particularly one which Mr Anderson supposed to be the heracleum of Linnaeus, the sweet herb, which Steller, who attended Beering, imagined the Americans here dress for food, in the same manner as the natives of Kamtschatka.

[Footnote 7:  Then sub-almoner and chaplain to his majesty, afterwards Dean of Lincoln.—­D.]

We saw, flying about the wood, a crow; two or three of the white-headed eagles mentioned at Nootka; and another sort full as large, which appeared also of the same colour, or blacker, and had only a white breast.[8] In the passage from the ship to the shore, we saw a great many fowls sitting upon the water, or flying about in flocks or pairs; the chief of which were a few quebrantaheuses, divers, ducks, or large peterels, gulls, shags, and burres.  The divers were of two sorts; one very large, of a black colour, with a white breast and belly; the other smaller, and with a longer and more pointed bill, which seemed to be the common guillemot.  The ducks were also of two sorts; one brownish, with a black or deep blue head and neck, and is perhaps the stone-duck described by Steller.  The others fly in larger flocks, but are smaller than these, and are of a dirty black colour.  The gulls were of the common sort, and those which fly in flocks.  The shags were large and black, with a white spot behind the wings as they flew; but probably only the larger water cormorant.  There was also a single bird seen flying about, to appearance of the gull kind, of a snowy white colour, with black along part of the upper side of its wings.  I owe all these remarks to Mr Anderson.  At the place where we landed, a fox came from the verge of the wood, and eyed us with very little emotion, walking leisurely without any signs of fear.  He was of a reddish-yellow colour, like some of the skins we bought at Nootka, but not of a large size.  We also saw two or three little seals off shore; but no other animals or birds, nor the least signs of inhabitants having ever been upon the island.

[Footnote 8:  This species is in the Leverian Museum, and described by Mr Latham, in his Synopsis of Birds, vol. i. p. 33, No. 72, under the name of the White-bellied Eagle.]

I returned on board at half past two in the afternoon; and, with a light breeze easterly, steered for the S.W. point of the island, which we got round by eight o’clock, and then stood for the westernmost land now in sight, which, at this time, bore N.W. 1/2 N. On the N.W. side of the N.E. end of Kaye’s Island, lies another island, stretching S.E. and N.W. about three leagues, to within the same distance of the N.W. boundary of the bay above mentioned, which is distinguished by the name of Comptroller’s Bay.

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Next morning, at four o’clock, Kaye’s Island was still in sight, bearing E. 1/4 S. At this time, we were about four or five leagues from the main; and the most western part in sight bore N.W. 1/2 N. We had now a fresh gale at E.S.E., and as we advanced to the N.W., we raised land more and more westerly, and, at last, to the southward of W.; so that, at noon, when the latitude was 61 deg. 11”, and the longitude 213 deg. 28’, the most advanced land bore from us S.W. by W. 1/2 W. At the same time, the E. point of a large inlet bore W.N.W., three leagues distant.

From Comptroller’s Bay to this point, which I named Cape Hinchingbroke, the direction of the coast is nearly E. and W. Beyond this, it seemed to incline to the southward; a direction so contrary to the modern charts founded upon the late Russian discoveries, that we had reason to expect that, by the inlet before us, we should find a passage to the N.; and that the land to the W. and S.W. was nothing but a group of islands.  Add to this, that the wind was now at S.E., and we were threatened with a fog and a storm; and I wanted to get into some place to stop the leak, before we encountered another gale.  These reasons induced me to steer for the inlet, which we had no sooner reached, than the weather became so foggy, that we could not see a mile before us, and it became necessary to secure the ships in some place, to wait for a clearer sky.  With this view, I hauled close under Cape Hinchingbroke, and anchored before a small cove, a little within the cape, in eight fathoms water, a clayey bottom, and about a quarter of a mile from the shore.

The boats were then hoisted out, some to sound, and others to fish.  The seine was drawn in the cove; but without success, for it was torn.  At some short intervals, the fog cleared away, and gave us a sight of the lands around us.  The cape bore S. by W. 1/2 W., one league distant; the W. point of the inlet S.W. by W., distant five leagues; and the land on that side extended as far as W. by N. Between this point and N.W. by W., we could see no land; and what was in the last direction seemed to be at a great distance.  The westernmost point we had in sight on the N. shore, bore N.N.W. 1/2 W., two leagues distant.  Between this point, and the shore under which we were at anchor, is a bay about three leagues deep; on the S.E. side of which there are two or three coves, such as that before which we had anchored, and in the middle some rocky islands.

To these islands Mr Gore was sent in a boat, in hopes of shooting some eatable birds.  But he had hardly got to them, before about twenty natives made their appearance in two large canoes; on which he thought proper to return to the ships, and they followed him.  They would not venture alongside, but kept at some distance, hollowing aloud, and alternately clasping and extending their arms; and, in a short time, began a kind of song exactly after the manner of those at

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Nootka.  Their heads were also powdered with feathers.  One man held out a white garment, which we interpreted as a sign of friendship; and another stood up in the canoe, quite naked, for almost a quarter of an hour, with his arms stretched out like a cross, and motionless.  The canoes were not constructed of wood, as at King George’s or Nootka Sound.  The frame only, being slender laths, was of that substance; the outside consisting of the skins of seals, or of such like animals.  Though we returned all their signs of friendship, and, by every expressive gesture, tried to encourage them to come alongside, we could not prevail.  Some of our people repeated several of the common words of the Nootka language, such as seekemaile, and mahook; but they did not seem to understand them.  After receiving some presents, which were thrown to them, they retired toward that part of the shore from whence they came; giving us to understand by signs, that they would visit us again the next morning.  Two of them, however, each in a small canoe, waited upon us in the night; probably with a design to pilfer something, thinking we should be all asleep; for they retired as soon as they found themselves discovered.

During the night, the wind was at S.S.E., blowing hard and in squalls, with rain, and very thick weather.  At ten o’clock next morning, the wind became more moderate, and the weather being somewhat clearer, we got under sail, in order to look out for some snug place, where we might search for, and stop the leak; our present station being too much exposed for this purpose.  At first I proposed to have gone up the bay, before which we had anchored; but the clearness of the weather tempted me to steer to the northward, farther up the great inlet, as being all in our way.  As soon as we had passed the N.W. point of the bay above mentioned, we found the coast on that side to turn short to the eastward.  I did not follow it, but continued our course to the north, for a point of land which we saw in that direction.

The natives who visited us the preceding evening, came off again in the morning, in five or six canoes; but not till we were under sail; and although they followed us for some time, they could not get up with us.  Before two in the afternoon, the bad weather returned again, with so thick a haze, that we could see no other land besides the point just mentioned, which we reached at half past four, and found it to be a small island, lying about two miles from the adjacent coast, being a point of land, on the east side of which we discovered a fine bay, or rather harbour.  To this we plied up, under reefed topsails and courses.  The wind blew strong at S.E., and in excessively hard squalls, with rain.  At intervals, we could see land in every direction; but in general the weather was so foggy, that we could see none but the shores of the bay into which we were plying.  In passing the island, the depth of water was twenty-six fathoms,

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with a muddy bottom.  Soon after, the depth increased to sixty and seventy fathoms, a rocky bottom; but in the entrance of the bay, the depth was from thirty to six fathoms; the last very near the shore.  At length, at eight o’clock, the violence of the squalls obliged us to anchor in thirteen fathoms, before we had got so far into the bay as I intended; but we thought ourselves fortunate that we had already sufficiently secured ourselves at this hour; for the night was exceedingly stormy.

The weather, bad as it was, did not hinder three of the natives from paying us a visit.  They came off in two canoes; two men in one, and one in the other, being the number each could carry.  For they were built and constructed in the same manner with those of the Esquimaux; only in the one were two holes for two men to sit in, and in the other but one.  Each of these men had a stick, about three feet long, with the large feathers or wing of birds tied to it.  These they frequently held up to us, with a view, as we guessed, to express their pacific disposition.[9]

[Footnote 9:  Exactly corresponding to this, was the manner of receiving Beering’s people, at the Schumagin Islands, on this coast, in 1741.  Muller’s words are—­“On sait ce que c’est que le Calumet, que les Americans septentrionaux presentent en signe de paix.  Ceux-ci en tenoient de pareils en main.  C’etoient des batons avec ailes de faucon attachees au bout”—­Decouvertes, p. 268.—­D.]

The treatment these men met with, induced many more to visit us, between one and two the next morning, in both great and small canoes.  Some ventured on board the ship; but not till some of our people had stepped into their boats.  Amongst those who came on board, was a good-looking middle-aged man, whom we afterward found to be the chief.  He was cloathed in a dress made of the sea-otter’s skin; and had on his head such a cap as is worn by the people of King George’s Sound, ornamented with sky-blue glass beads, about the size of a large pea.  He seemed to set a much higher value upon these, than upon our white glass beads.  Any sort of beads, however, appeared to be in high estimation with these people; and they readily gave whatever they had in exchange for them, even their fine sea-otter skins.  But here I must observe, that they set no more value upon these than upon other skins, which was also the case at King George’s Sound, till our people set a higher price upon them; and even after that, the natives of both places would sooner part with a dress made of these, than with one made of the skins of wild-cats or of martins.

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These people were also desirous of iron; but they wanted pieces eight or ten inches long at least, and of the breadth of three or four fingers.  For they absolutely rejected small pieces.  Consequently, they got but little from us; iron having, by this time, become rather a scarce article.  The points of some of their spears or lances were of that metal; others were of copper, and a few of bone; of which the points of their darts, arrows, &c. were composed.  I could not prevail open the chief to trust himself below the upper deck; nor did he and his companions remain long on board.  But while we had their company, it was necessary to watch them narrowly, as they soon betrayed a thievish disposition.  At length, after being about three at four hours alongside the Resolution, they all left her, and went to the Discovery; none having been there before, except one man, who, at this time, came from her, and immediately returned thither in company with the rest.  When I observed this, I thought this man had met with something there, which he knew would please his countrymen better than what they met with at our ship.  But in this I was mistaken, as will soon appear.

As soon as they were gone, I sent a boat to sound the head of the bay.  For, as the wind was moderate, I had thoughts of laying the ship ashore, if a convenient place could be found where I might begin our operations to stop the leak.  It was not long before all the Americans left the Discovery, and instead of returning to us, made their way toward our boat employed as above.  The officer in her seeing, this, returned to the ship, and was followed by all the canoes.  The boat’s crew had no sooner come on board, leaving in her two of their number by way of a guard, than some of the Americans stepped into her.  Some presented their spears before the two men; others cast loose the rope which fastened her to the ship; and the rest attempted to tow her away.  But the instant they saw us preparing to oppose them, they let her go, stepped out of her into their canoes, and made signs to us to lay down our arms, having the appearance of being as perfectly unconcerned as if they had done nothing amiss.  This, though rather a more daring attempt, was hardly equal to what they had meditated on board the Discovery.  The man who came and carried all his countrymen from the Resolution to the other ship had first been on board of her, where, after looking down all the hatchways, and seeing nobody but the officer of the watch, and one or two more, he no doubt thought they might plunder her with ease, especially as she lay at some distance from us.  It was unquestionably with this view, that they all repaired to her.  Several of them, without any ceremony, went on board; drew their knives; made signs to the officer and people on deck to keep off; and began to look about them for plunder.  The first thing they met with was the rudder of one of the boats, which they threw over-board to those of their party

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who had remained in the canoes.  Before they had time to find another object that pleased their fancy, the crew were alarmed, and began to come upon deck armed with cutlasses.  On seeing this, the whole company of plunderers sneaked off into their canoes, with as much deliberation and indifference as they had given up the boat; and they were observed describing to those who had not been on board, how much longer the knives of the ship’s crew were than their own.  It was at this time, that my boat was on the sounding duty, which they must have seen; for they proceeded directly for her, after their disappointment at the Discovery.  I have not the least doubt, that their visiting us so very early in the morning was with a view to plunder; on a supposition, that they should find every body asleep.

May we not, from these circumstances, reasonably infer, that these people are unacquainted with fire-arms?  For, certainly, if they had known any thing of their effect, they never would have dared to attempt taking a boat from under ship’s guns, in the face of above a hundred men; for most of my people were looking at them, at the very instant they made the attempt.  However, after all these tricks, we had the good fortune to leave them as ignorant, in this respect, as we found them.  For they neither heard nor saw a musquet fired, unless at birds.

Just as we were going to weigh the anchor, to proceed farther up the bay, it began to blow and to rain as hard as before; so that we were obliged to veer away the cable again, and lay fast.  Toward the evening, finding that the gale did not moderate, and that it might be some time before an opportunity offered to get higher up, I came to a resolution to heel the ship where we were; and, with this view, moored her with a kedge-anchor and hawser.  In heaving the anchor out of the boat, one of the seamen, either through ignorance or carelessness, or both, was carried over-board by the buoy-rope, and followed the anchor to the bottom.  It is remarkable, that, in this very critical situation, he had presence of mind to disengage himself, and come up to the surface of the water, where he was taken up, with one of his legs fractured in a dangerous manner.

Early the next morning, we gave the ship a good heel to port, in order to come at, and stop the leak.  On ripping off the sheathing, it was found to be in the seams, which were very open, both in and under the wale, and, in several places, not a bit of oakum in them.  While the carpenters were making good these defects, we filled all our empty water-casks, at a stream hard by the ship.  The wind was now moderate, but the weather was thick and hazy, with rain.

The natives, who left us the preceding day, when the bad weather came on, paid us another visit this morning.  Those who came first, were in small canoes; others, afterward, arrived in large boats; in one of which were twenty women, and one man, besides children.

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In the evening of the 16th, the weather cleared up, and we then found ourselves surrounded on every side by land.  Our station was on the east side of the Sound, in a place, which in the chart is distinguished by the name of Snug Corner Bay.  And a very snug place it is.  I went, accompanied by some of the officers, to view the head of it, and we found that it was sheltered from all winds, with a depth of water from even to three fathoms over a muddy bottom.  The land, near the shore, is low, part clear, and part wooded.  The clear ground was covered, two or three feet thick, with snow; but very little lay in the woods.  The very summits of the neighbouring hills were covered with wood; but those farther inland seemed to be naked rocks, buried in snow.

The leak being stopped, and the sheathing made good over it, at four o’clock in the morning of the 17th, we weighed, and steered to the north-westward, with a light breeze at E.N.E.; thinking, if there should be any passage to the north through this inlet, that it must be in that direction.  Soon after we were under sail, the natives, in both great and small canoes, paid us another visit, which gave us an additional opportunity of forming a more perfect idea of their persons, dress, and other particulars, which shall be afterward described.  Our visitors seemed to have no other business, but to gratify their curiosity; for they entered into no sort of traffic with us.  After we had got over to the N.W. point of the arm in which we had anchored, we found that the flood-tide came into the inlet through the same channel by which we had entered.  Although this circumstance did not make wholly against a passage, it was, however, nothing in its favour.  After passing the point above mentioned, we met with a good deal of foul ground, and many sunken rocks, even out in the middle of the channel, which is here five or six leagues wide.  At this time the wind failed us, and was succeeded by calms and light airs from every direction; so that we had some trouble to extricate ourselves from the threatening danger.  At length, about one o’clock, with the assistance of our boats, we got to an anchor, under the eastern shore, in thirteen fathoms water, and about four leagues to the north of our last station.  In the morning, the weather had been very hazy; but it afterward cleared up, so as to give us a distinct view of all the land round us, particularly to the northward, where it seemed to close.  This left us but little hopes of finding a passage that way, or, indeed, in any other direction, without putting out again to sea.

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To enable me to form a better judgment, I dispatched Mr Gore, with two armed boats, to examine the northern arm; and the master, with two other boats, to examine another arm that seemed to take an easterly direction.  Late in the evening they both returned.  The master reported, that the arm he had been sent to, communicated with that from which we had last come; and that one side of it was only formed by a group of islands.  Mr Gore informed me, that he had seen the entrance of an arm, which, he was of opinion, extended a long way to the N.E.; and that, probably by it, a passage might be found.  On the other hand, Mr Roberts, one of the mates, whom I had sent with Mr Gore to sketch out the parts they had examined, was of opinion, that they saw the head of this arm.  The disagreement of these two opinions, and the circumstance already mentioned of the flood-tide entering the Sound from the south, rendered the existence of a passage this way very doubtful.  And, as the wind in the morning had become favourable for getting out to sea, I resolved to spend no more time in searching for a passage in a place that promised so little success.  Besides this, I considered, that, if the land on the west should prove to be islands, agreeably to the late Russian Discoveries,[10] we could not fail of getting far enough to the north, and that in good time, provided we did not lose the season in searching places, where a passage was not only doubtful, but improbable.  We were now upward of five hundred and twenty leagues to the westward of any part of Baffin’s, or of Hudson’s Bay.  And whatever passage there may be, it must be, or, at least, part of it, must lie to the north of latitude 72 deg..[11] Who could expect to find a passage or strait of such extent?

[Footnote 10:  Captain Cook seems to take his ideas of these from Mr Staehlin’s map, prefixed to the account of the Northern Archipelago, published by Dr Maty.  London, 1774.—­D.]

[Footnote 11:  On what evidence Captain Cook formed his judgment as to this, is mentioned in the Introduction.—­D.]

Having thus taken my resolution, next morning at three o’clock, we weighed, and with a gentle breeze at north, proceeded to the southward down the inlet, and met with the same broken ground, as on the preceding day.  However, we soon extricated ourselves from it, and afterward never struck ground with a line of forty fathoms.  Another passage into this inlet was now discovered to the S.W. of that by which we came in, which enabled us to shorten our way out to sea.  It is separated from the other by an island, extending eighteen leagues in the direction of N.E. and S.W.; to which I gave the name of Montagu Island.

In this S.W. channel are several islands.  Those that lie in the entrance, next the open sea, are high and rocky.  But those within are low ones; and being entirely free from snow, and covered with wood and verdure, on this account they were called Green Islands.

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At two in the afternoon, the wind veered to the S.W., and S.W. by S., which reduced us to the necessity of plying.  I first stretched over to within two miles of the eastern, shore, and tacked in fifty-three fathoms water.  In standing back to Montagu Island, we discovered a ledge of rocks, some above, and others under water, lying three miles to the north of the northern point of Green Islands.  Afterward, some others were seen in the middle of the channel farther out than the islands.  These rocks made unsafe plying in the night (though not very dark); and, for that reason, we spent it standing off and on, under Montagu Island; for the depth of water was too great to come to an anchor.

At day-break, the next morning, the wind came more favourable, and we steered for the channel between Montagu Island and the Green Islands, which is between two and three leagues broad, and from thirty-four to seventeen fathoms deep.  We had but little wind all the day, and, at eight o’clock in the evening, it was a dead calm, when we anchored in twenty-one fathoms water, over a muddy bottom, about two miles from the shore of Montagu’s Island.  The calm continued till ten o’clock the next morning, when, it was succeeded by a small breeze from the north, with which we weighed; and, by six o’clock in the evening, we were again in the open sea, and found the coast trending west by south, as far as the eye could reach.


The Inlet called Prince William’s Sound.—­Its Extent.—­Persons of the Inhabitants described.—­Their Dress.—­Incision of the Under-lip.—­Various other Ornaments.—­Their Boats.—­Weapons, fishing, and hunting Instruments.—­Utensils.—­Tools.—­Uses Iron is applied to.—­Food.—­Language, and a Specimen of it.—­Animals.—­Birds.—­Fish.—­Iron and Beads, whence received.

To the inlet, which we had now left, I gave the name of Prince William’s Sound.  To judge of this Sound from what we saw of it, it occupies, at least, a degree and a half of latitude, and two of longitude, exclusive of the arms or branches, the extent of which is not known.

The natives, who came to make us several visits while we were in the Sound, were generally not above the common height, though many of them were under it.  They were square, or strongly-chested, and the most disproportioned part of their body seemed to be their heads, which were very large, with thick, short necks, and large, broad or spreading faces, which, upon the whole, were flat.  Their eyes, though not small, scarcely bore a proportion to the size of their faces; and their noses had full, round points, hooked, or turned up at the tip.  Their teeth were broad, white, equal in size, and evenly set.  Their hair was black, thick, straight, and strong, and their beards, in general, thin, or wanting; but the hairs about the lips of those who have them, were stiff or bristly, and frequently of a brown colour.  And several of the elderly men had even large and thick, but straight beards.

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Though, in general, they agree in the make of their persons, and largeness of their heads, there is a considerable variety in their features; but very few can be said to be of the handsome sort, though their countenance commonly indicates a considerable share of vivacity, good-nature, and frankness.  And yet some of them had an air of sullenness and reserve.  Some of the women have agreeable faces; and many are easily distinguishable from the men by their features, which are more delicate; but this should be understood chiefly of the youngest sort, or middle-aged.  The complexion of some of the women, and of the children, is white; but without any mixture of red.  And some of the men, who were seen naked, had rather a brownish or swarthy cast, which could scarcely be the effect of any stain; for they do not paint their bodies.

Their common dress (for men, women, and children are cloathed alike), is a kind of close frock, or rather robe; reaching generally to the ancles, though sometimes only to the knees.  At the upper part is a hole just sufficient to admit the head, with sleeves that reach to the wrist.  These frocks are made of the skins of different animals; the most common of which are those of the sea-otter, grey fox, racoon, and pine-martin, with many of seal-skins, and, in general, they are worn with the hairy side outward.  Some also have these frocks made of the skins of fowls, with only the down remaining on them, which they glue on other substances.  And we saw one or two woollen garments like those of Nootka.  At the seams, where the different skins are sewed together, they are commonly ornamented with tassels or fringes of narrow thongs, cut out of the same skins.  A few have a kind of cape, or collar, and some a hood; but the other is the most common form, and seems to be their whole dress in good weather.  When it rains, they put over this another frock, ingeniously made from the intestines of whales, or some other large animal, prepared so skilfully, as almost to resemble our gold-beater’s leaf.  It is made to draw tight round the neck; its sleeves reach as low as the wrist, round which they are tied with a string; and its skirts, when they are in their canoes, are drawn over the rim of the hole in which they sit, so that no water can enter.  At the same time, it keeps the men entirely dry upward.  For no water can penetrate through it, any more than through a bladder.  It must be kept continually moist or wet, otherwise it is apt to crack or break.  This, as well as the common frock made of the skins, bears a great resemblance to the dress of the Greenlanders, as described by Crantz.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Crantz’s History of Greenland, vol. i. p. 136-138.  The reader will find in Crantz many very striking instances, in which the Greenlanders, and Americans of Prince William’s Sound, resemble each other, besides those mentioned in this Section by Captain Cook.  The dress of the people of Prince William’s Sound, as described by Captain Cook, also agrees with that of the inhabitants of Schumagin’s Islands, discovered by Beering in 1741.  Muller’s words are, “Leur habillement etoit de boyaux de baleines pour le haut du corps, et de peaux de chiens-marins pour le bas.”—­Decouvertes des Russes, p. 274.]

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In general, they do not cover their legs or feet; but a few have a kind of skin-stockings, which reach half-way up the thigh; and scarcely any of them are without mittens for the hands, made of the skins of bears’ paws.  Those who wear any thing on their heads, resembled, in this respect, our friends at Nootka, having high truncated conic caps, made of straw, and sometimes of wood, resembling a seal’s head well painted.

The men commonly wear the hair cropt round the neck and forehead; but the women allow it to grow long, and most of them tie a small lock of it on the crown, or a few club it behind, after our manner.  Both sexes have the ears perforated with several holes, about the outer and lower part of the edge, in which they hang little bunches of beads, made of the same tubulous shelly substance used for this purpose by those of Nootka.  The septum of the nose is also perforated, through which they frequently thrust the quill-feathers of small birds, or little bending ornaments, made of the above shelly substance, strung on a stiff string or cord, three or four inches long, which give them a truly grotesque appearance.  But the most uncommon and unsightly ornamental fashion, adopted by some of both sexes, is their having the under-lip slit, or cut, quite through, in the direction of the mouth, a little below the swelling part.  This incision, which is made even in the sucking children, is often above two inches long, and either by its natural retraction, when the wound is fresh, or by the repetition of some artificial management, assumes the true shape of lips, and becomes so large as to admit the tongue through.  This happened to be the case, when the first person having this incision was seen by one of the seamen, who called out, that the man had two mouths, and, indeed, it does not look unlike it.  In this artificial mouth they stick a flat narrow ornament, made chiefly out of a solid shell or bone, cut into little narrow pieces, like small teeth, almost down to the base or thickest part, which has a small projecting bit at each end that supports it when put into the divided lip, the cut part then appearing outward.  Others have the lower lip only perforated into separate holes, and then the ornament consists of as many distinct shelly studs, whose points are pushed through these holes, and their heads appear within the lip, as another row of teeth immediately under their own.

These are their native ornaments.  But we found many beads of European manufacture among them, chiefly of a pale-blue colour, which they hang in their ears, about their caps, or join to their lip-ornaments, which have a small hole drilled in each point to which they are fastened, and others to them, till they hang sometimes as low as the point of the chin.  But, in this last case, they cannot remove them so easily; for, as to their own lip-ornaments, they can take them out with their tongue, or suck them in, at pleasure.  They also wear bracelets of the shelly-beads, or others of a cylindrical shape, made of a substance like amber, with such also as are used in their ears and noses.  And so fond are they, in general, of ornament, that they stick any thing in their perforated lip; one man appearing with two of our iron nails projecting from it like prongs; and another endeavouring to put a large brass button into it.

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The men frequently paint their faces of a bright red, and of a black colour, and sometimes of a blue, or leaden colour, but not in any regular figure; and the women, in some measure, endeavoured to imitate them, by puncturing or staining the chin with black, that comes to a point in each cheek; a practice very similar to which is in fashion amongst the females of Greenland, as we learn from Crantz.  Their bodies are not painted, which may be owing to the scarcity of proper materials; for all the colours which they brought to sell in bladders, were in very small quantities.  Upon the whole, I have no where seen savages who take more pains than these people do, to ornament, or rather to disfigure, their persons.

Their boats or canoes are of two sorts, the one being large and open, and the other small and covered.  I mentioned already, that in one of the large boats were twenty women, and one man, besides children.  I attentively examined and compared the construction of this, with Crantz’s description of what he calls the great, or women’s boat in Greenland, and found that they were built in the same manner, parts like parts, with no other difference than in the form of the head and stern; particularly of the first, which bears some resemblance to the head of a whale.  The framing is of slender pieces of wood, over which the skins of seals, or of other larger sea-animals, are stretched, to compose the outside.  It appeared also, that the small canoes of these people are made nearly of the same form, and of the same materials with those used by the Greenlanders and Esquimaux; at least the difference is not material.  Some of these, as I have before observed, carry two men.  They are broader in proportion to their length, than those of the Esquimaux, and the head or fore-part curves somewhat like the head of a violin.

The weapons, and instruments for fishing and hunting, are the very same that are made use of by the Esquimaux and Greenlanders; and it is unnecessary to be particular in my account of them, as they are all very accurately described by Crantz.  I did not see a single one with these people that he has not mentioned, nor has he mentioned, one that they have not.  For defensive armour they have a kind of jacket, or coat of mail, made of thin laths, bound together with sinews, which makes it quite flexible, though so close as not to admit an arrow or dart.  It only covers the trunk of the body, and may not be improperly compared to a woman’s stays.

As none of these people lived in the bay where we anchored, or where any of us landed, we saw none of their habitations, and I had not time to look after them.  Of their domestic utensils, they brought in their boats some round and oval shallow dishes of wood, and others of a cylindrical shape much deeper.  The sides were made of one piece, bent round, like our chip-boxes, though thick, neatly fastened with thongs, and the bottoms fixed in with small wooden pegs.  Others were smaller, and of a more elegant

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shape, somewhat resembling a large oval butterboat, without a handle, but more shallow, made from a piece of wood, or horny substance.  These last were sometimes neatly carved.  They had many little square bags, made of the same gut with their outer frocks, neatly ornamented with very minute red feathers interwoven with it, in which were contained some very fine sinews, and bundles of small cord, made from them, most ingeniously plaited.  They also brought many chequered baskets, so closely wrought as to hold water; some wooden models of their canoes; a good many little images, four or five inches long, either of wood, or stuffed, which were covered with a bit of fur, and ornamented with pieces of small quill feathers, in imitation of their shelly beads, with hair fixed on their heads.  Whether these might be mere toys for children, or held in veneration, as representing their deceased friends, and applied to some superstitious purpose, we could not determine.  But they have many instruments made of two or three hoops, or concentric pieces of wood, with a cross-bar fixed in the middle, to hold them by.  To these are fixed a great number of dried barnacle-shells, with threads, which serve as a rattle, and make a loud noise; when they shake them.  This contrivance seems to be a substitute for the rattling-bird at Nootka; and perhaps both of them are employed on the same occasions.[2]

[Footnote 2:  The rattling-ball found by Steller, who attended Beering in 1741, at no great distance from this Sound, seems to be for a similar use.  See Muller, p, 256.—­D.]

With what tools they make their wooden utensils, frames of boats, and other things, is uncertain; as the only one seen amongst them was a kind of stone-adze, made almost after the manner of those of Otaheite, and the other islands of the South Sea.  They have a great many iron knives; some of which are straight, others a little curved, and some very small ones, fixed in pretty long handles, with the blades bent upward, like some of our shoe-makers’ instruments.  But they have still knives of another sort, which are sometimes near two feet long, shaped almost like a dagger, with a ridge in the middle.  These they wear in sheaths of skins, hung by a thong round the neck, under their robe, and they are, probably, only used as weapons; the other knives being apparently applied to other purposes.  Every thing they have, however, is as well and ingeniously made, as if they were furnished with the most complete tool-chest; and their sewing, plaiting of sinews, and small work on their little bags, may be put in competition with the most delicate manufactures found in any part of the known world.  In short, considering the otherwise uncivilized or rude slate in which these people are, their northern situation, amidst a country perpetually covered with snow, and the wretched materials they have to work with, it appears, that their invention and dexterity, in all manual works, are at least equal to that of any other nation.

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The food which we saw them eat, was dried fish, and the flesh of some animal, either broiled or roasted.  Some of the latter that was bought, seemed to be bear’s flesh, but with a fishy taste.  They also eat the larger sort of fern root, mentioned at Nootka, either baked, or dressed in some other way; and some of our people saw them eat freely of a substance which they supposed to be the inner part of the pine-bark.  Their drink is most probably water; for in their boats they brought snow in the wooden vessels, which they swallowed by mouthfuls.  Perhaps it could be carried with less trouble in these open vessels, than water itself.  Their method of eating seems decent and cleanly; for they always took care to separate any dirt that might adhere to their victuals.  And though they sometimes did eat the raw fat of some sea-animal, they cut it carefully into mouthfuls, with their small knives.  The same might be said of their persons, which, to appearance, were always clean and decent, without grease or dirt; and the wooden vessels, in which their victuals are probably put, were kept in excellent order, as well as their boats, which were neat, and free from lumber.

Their language seems difficult to be understood at first; not from any indistinctness or confusion in their words and sounds, but from the various significations they have.  For they appeared to use the very same word, frequently, on very different occasions; though doubtless this might, if our intercourse had been of longer duration, have been found to be a mistake on our side.  The only words I could obtain, and for them I am indebted to Mr Anderson,[3] were those that follow; the first of which was also used at Nootka, in the same sense; though we could not trace an affinity between the two dialects in any other instance.

[Footnote 3:  We are also indebted to him for many remarks in this Section, interwoven with those of Captain Cook, as throwing considerable light on many parts of his journal.—­D.]

Akashou,                  What’s the name of that?
Namuk,                    An ornament for the ear.
Lukluk,                   A brown shaggy skin, perhaps a bear’s.
Aa,                       Yes.
Natooneshuk,              The skin of a sea-otter.
Keeta,                    Give me something.
Naema,                    Give me something in exchange, or barter.

                         / Of, or belonging to me.—­Will
  Ooonaka, { you barter for this that belongs
                         \ to me?

Ahleu,                    A spear.
Weena, or Veena,        Stranger—­calling to one.
Keelashuk,                Guts of which they make jackets.
Tawuk,                    Keep it.

                         / A piece of white bear’s skin, or
  Amilhtoo, { perhaps the hair that covered
                         \ it.

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  Whaehai, Shall I keep it? do you give it me?
  Yaut, I’ll go; or shall I go?
  Chilke, One.
  Taiha, Two.
  Tokke, Three.
  Chukelo,[4] Four?
  Koeheene, Five?
  Takulai, Six?
  Keichilho, Seven?
  Klu, or Kliew, Eight?

[Footnote 4:  With regard to these numerals, Mr Anderson observes, that the words corresponding to ours, are not certain after passing three; and therefore he marks those, about whose position he is doubtful, with a point of interrogation.—­D.]

As to the animals of this part of the continent, the same must be understood as of those at Nootka; that is, that the knowledge we have of them is entirely taken from the skins which the natives brought to sell.  These were chiefly of seals; a few foxes; the whitish cat, or lynx; common and pine-martins; small ermines; bears; racoons; and sea-otters.  Of these, the most common were the martin, racoon, and sea-otter skins, which composed the ordinary dress of the natives; but the skins of the first, which in general were of a much lighter brown than those at Nootka, were far superior to them in fineness; whereas the last, which, as well as the martins, were far more plentiful than at Nootka, seemed greatly inferior in the fineness and thickness of their fur, though they greatly exceeded them in size, and were almost all of the glossy black sort, which is doubtless the colour most esteemed in those skins.  Bear and seal skins were also pretty common, and the last were in general white, very beautifully spotted with black, or sometimes simply white; and many of the bears here were of a brown, or sooty colour.

Besides these animals, which were all seen at Nootka, there are some others in this place which we did not find there; such as the white bear, of whose skins the natives brought several pieces, and some entire skins of cubs, from which their size could not be determined.  We also found the wolverene, or quickhatch, which had very bright colours; a larger sort of ermine than the common one, which is the same as at Nootka, varied with a brown colour, and with scarcely any black on its tail.  The natives also brought the skin of the head of some very large animal; but it could not be positively determined what it was; though, from the colour and shagginess of the hair, and its unlikeness to any land animal, we judged it might probably be that of the large male ursine seal, or sea-bear.  But one of the most beautiful skins, and which seems peculiar to this place, as we never saw it before, is that of a small animal about ten inches long, of a brown or rusty colour on the back, with a great number of obscure whitish specks, and the sides of a blueish ash colour, also with a few of these specks. 

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The tail is not above a third of the length, of its body, and is covered with hair of a whitish colour at the edges.  It is no doubt the same with those called spotted field mice, by Mr Staehlin,[5] in his short account of the New Northern Archipelago.  But whether they be really of the mouse kind, or a squirrel, we could not tell, for want of perfect skins; though Mr Anderson was inclined to think that it is the same animal described under the name of the Casan marmot, by Mr Pennant.  The number of skins we found here, points out the great plenty of these several animals just mentioned; but it is remarkable, that we neither saw the skins of the mouse nor of the common deer.

[Footnote 5:  In his account of Kodjak, p. 32 and 34.]

Of the birds mentioned at Nootka, we found here only the white-headed eagle, the shag, the alcyon, or great kingfisher, which had very fine bright colours, and the humming-bird, which came frequently and flew about the ship, while at anchor, though it can scarcely live here in the winter, which must be very severe.  The water-fowls were geese, a small sort of duck, almost like that mentioned at Kerguelen’s Land; another sort which none of us knew; and some of the black seapyes, with red bills, which we found at Van Diemen’s Land and New Zealand.  Some of the people who went on shore, killed a grouse, a snipe, and some plover.  But though, upon the whole, the water-fowls were pretty numerous, especially the ducks and geese, which frequent the shores, they were so shy, that it was scarcely possible to get within shot; so that we obtained a very small supply of them as refreshment.  The duck mentioned above is as large as the common wild-duck, of a deep black colour, with a short pointed tail, and red feet.  The bill is white, tinged with red toward the point, and has a large black spot, almost square, near its base, on each side, where it is also enlarged or distended.  And on the forehead is a large triangular while spot, with one still larger on the back part of the neck.  The female has much duller colours, and none of the ornaments of the bill, except the two black spots, which are obscure.

There is likewise a species of diver here, which seems peculiar to the place.  It is about the size of a partridge, has a short, black, compressed bill, with the head and upper part of the neck of a brown black, the rest of a deep brown, obscurely waved with black, except the under-part, which is entirely of a blackish cast, very minutely varied with white; the other (perhaps the female) is blacker above, and whiter below.  A small land bird, of the finch kind, about the size of a yellow-hammer, was also found; but was suspected to be one of those which change their colour with the season, and with their migrations.  At this time, it was of a dusky brown colour, with a reddish tail, and the supposed male had a large yellow spot on the crown of the head, with some varied black on the upper part of the neck; but the last was on the breast of the female.

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The only fish we got were some torsk and halibut, which were chiefly brought by the natives to sell; and we caught a few sculpins about the ship, with some purplish star-fish, that had seventeen or eighteen rays.  The rocks were observed to be almost destitute of shell-fish; and the only other animal of this tribe seen, was a red crab, covered with spines of a very large size.

The metals we saw were copper and iron; both which, particularly the latter, were in such plenty, as to constitute the points of most of the arrows and lances.  The ores, with which they painted themselves, were a red, brittle, unctuous ochre, or iron-ore, not much unlike cinnabar in colour; a bright blue pigment, which we did not procure; and black-lead.  Each of these seems to be very scarce, as they brought very small quantities of the first and last, and seemed to keep them with great care.

Few vegetables of any kind were seen; and the trees which chiefly grew here, were the Canadian and spruce-pine, and some of them tolerably large.

The beads and iron found amongst these people, left no room to doubt, that they must have received them from some civilized nation.  We were pretty certain, from circumstances already mentioned, that we were the first Europeans with whom they had ever communicated directly; and it remains only to be decided, from what quarter they had got our manufactures by intermediate conveyance.  And there cannot be the least doubt of their having received these articles, through the intervention of the more inland tribes, from Hudson’s Bay, or the settlements on the Canadian lakes; unless it can be supposed, (which, however, is less likely,) that the Russian traders, from Kamtschatka, have already extended their traffic thus far; or at least that the natives of their most easterly fox islands communicate along the coast with those of Prince William’s Sound.[6]

[Footnote 6:  There is a circumstance mentioned by Muller, in his account of Beering’s voyage to the coast of America in 1741, which seems to decide this question.  His people found iron at the Schumagin Islands, as may be fairly presumed from the following quotation:  “Un seul homme avoit un couteau pendu a sa ceinture, qui parut fort singulier a nos gens par sa figure.  Il etoit long de huit pouces, et fort epais, et large a l’endroit ou devoit etre la pointe.  On ne pent savoir quel etoit l’usage de cet outil.” Decouvertes des Russes, p. 274.

If there was iron amongst the natives on this part of the American coast, prior to the discovery of it by the Russians, and before there was any traffic with them carried on from Kamtschatka, what reason can there be to make the least doubt of the people of Prince William’s Sound, as well as those of Schumagin’s Islands, having got this metal from the only probable source, the European settlements on the north-east coast of this continent?—­D.]

As to the copper, these people seem to procure it themselves, or at most it passes through few hands to them; for they used to express its being in a sufficient quantity amongst them, when they offered any to barter, by pointing to their weapons; as if to say, that having so much of this metal of their own, they wanted no more.

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It is, however, remarkable, if the inhabitants of this Sound be supplied with European articles, by way of the intermediate traffic to the east coast, that they should, in return, never have given to the more inland Indians any of their sea-otter skins, which would certainly have been seen, some time or other, about Hudson’s Bay.  But, as far as I know, that is not the case; and the only method of accounting for this, must be by taking into consideration the very great distance, which, though it might not prevent European goods coming so far, as being so uncommon, might prevent the skins, which are a common article, from passing through more than two or three different tribes, who might use them for their own cloathing, and send others, which they esteemed less valuable, as being of their own animals, eastward, till they reach the traders from Europe.


Progress along the Coast.—­Cape Elizabeth.—­Cape St Hermogenes.—­Accounts of Beering’s Voyage very defective.—­Point Banks—­Cape Douglas.—­Cape Bede.—­Mount St Augustin.—­Hopes of finding a Passage up an Inlet.—­The Ships proceed up it.—­Indubitable Marks of its being a River.—­Named Cook’s River.—­The Ships return down it.—­Various Visits from the Natives.—­Lieutenant King lands, and takes Possession of the Country.—­His Report.—­The Resolution runs aground on a Shoal.—­Reflections on the Discovery of Cook’s River.—­The considerable Tides in it accounted for.

After leaving Prince William’s Sound, I steered to the S.W., with a gentle breeze at N.N.E.; which, at four o’clock, the next morning, was succeeded by a calm, and soon after, the calm was succeeded by a breeze from S.W.  This freshening, and veering to N.W., we still continued to stretch to the S.W., and passed a lofty promontory, situated in the latitude of 59 deg. 10’, and the longitude of 207 deg. 45’.  As the discovery of it was connected with the Princess Elizabeth’s birth-day, I named it Cape Elizabeth.  Beyond it we could see no land; so that, at first, we were in hopes that it was the western extremity of the continent; but not long after, we saw our mistake, for fresh land appeared in sight, bearing W.S.W.

The wind, by this time, had increased to a very strong gale, and forced us to a good distance from the coast.  In the afternoon of the 22d, the gale abated, and we stood to the northward for Cape Elizabeth, which at noon, the next day, bore W., ten leagues distant.  At the same time, a new land was seen, bearing S. 77 deg.  W., which was supposed to connect Cape Elizabeth with the land we had seen to the westward.

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The wind continued at W., and I stood to the southward till noon the next day, when we were within three leagues of the coast which we had discovered on the 23d.  It here formed a point that bore W.N.W.  At the same time more land was seen extending to the southward, as far as S.S.W., the whole being twelve or fifteen leagues distant.  On it was seen a ridge of mountains covered with snow, extending to the N.W., behind the first land, which we judged to be an island, from the very inconsiderable quantity of snow that lay upon it.  This point of land is situated in the latitude of 58 deg. 15’, and in the longitude of 207 deg. 42’; and by what I can gather from the account of Beering’s voyage, and the chart that accompanies it in the English edition,[1] I conclude, that it must be what he called Cape St Hermogenes.  But the account of that voyage is so very much abridged, and the chart so extremely inaccurate, that it is hardly possible, either by the one or by the other, or by comparing both together, to find out any one place which that navigator either saw or touched at.  Were I to form a judgment of Beering’s proceedings on this coast, I should suppose that he fell in with the continent near Mount Fairweather.  But I am by no means certain, that the bay to which I have given his name, is the place where he anchored.  Nor do I know, that what I called Mount St Elias, is the same conspicuous mountain to which he gave that name.  And as to his Cape St Elias, I am entirely at a loss to pronounce where it lies.[2]

[Footnote 1:  Captain Cook means Muller’s, of which a translation had been published in London some time before be sailed.—­D.]

[Footnote 2:  Mr Coxe, who has been at considerable pains in endeavouring to reconcile the accounts of Muller and Steller, and in comparing them with the journals of Cook and Vancouver, is induced to conjecture that Beering first discovered the continent of America in the neighbourhood of Kaye’s Island, and not where Captain Cook assigns.  This is a very probable opinion, as might easily be shewn, but not without anticipating matter that belongs to another voyage.  It is enough just now to hint at the circumstance, lest the remarks of Cook, always well entitled to respect, should be too much confided in by the reader.  No man’s judgment is to be disparaged, because of an error committed, where so little information has been given for its guidance.—­E.]

On the N.E. side of Cape St Hermogenes, the coast turned toward the N.W., and appeared to be wholly unconnected with the land seen by us the preceding day.  In the chart above mentioned, there is here a space, where Beering is supposed to have seen no land.  This also favoured the later account published by Mr Staehlin, who makes Cape St Hermogenes, and all the land that Beering discovered to the S.W. of it, to be a cluster of islands; placing St Hermogenes amongst those which are destitute of wood.  What we now saw seemed to confirm this, and every circumstance inspired us with hopes of finding here a passage northward, without being obliged to proceed any farther to the S.W.

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We were detained off the Cape, by variable light airs and calms, till two o’clock the next morning, when a breeze springing up at N.E. we steered N.N.W. along the coast; and soon found the land of Cape St Hermogenes to be an island, about six leagues in circuit, separated from the adjacent coast by a channel only one league broad.  A league and a half to the north of this island, lie some rocks above water; on the N.E. side of which we had from thirty to twenty fathoms.

At noon, the island of St Hermogenes bore S. 1/2 E. eight leagues distant; and the land to the N.W. of it extended from S. 1/2 W. to near W. In this last direction it ended in a low point, now five leagues distant, which was called Point Banks.  The latitude of the ship, at this time, was 58 deg. 41’, and its longitude 207 deg. 44’.  In this situation, the land, which was supposed to connect Cape Elizabeth with this S.W. land, was in sight, bearing N.W. 1/2 N. I steered directly for it; and, on a nearer approach, found it to be a group of high islands and rocks, entirely unconnected with any other land.  They obtained the name of Barren Isles, from their very naked appearance.  Their situation is in the latitude of 59 deg., and in a line with Cape Elizabeth and Point Banks; three leagues distant from the former, and five from the latter.

I intended going through one of the channels that divide these islands; but meeting with a strong current setting against us, I bore up, and went to the leeward of them all.  Toward the evening, the weather, which had been hazy all day, cleared up, and we got sight of a very lofty promontory, whose elevated summit, forming two exceedingly high mountains, was seen above the clouds.  This promontory I named Cape Douglas, in honour of my very good friend, Dr Douglas, canon of Windsor.[3] It is situated in the latitude of 58 deg. 56’, and in the longitude of 206 deg. 10’; ten leagues to the westward of Barren Isles, and twelve from Point Banks, in the direction of N.W. by W. 1/2 W.

[Footnote 3:  The reader of course is aware, that this gentleman, afterwards successively Bishop of Carlisle and Salisbury, is the person to whom we are indebted for the original edition of this voyage, as we have elsewhere mentioned.—­E.]

Between this point and Cape Douglas, the coast seemed to form a large and deep bay; which, from some smoke that had been seen on Point Banks, obtained the name of Smokey Bay.

At day-break, the next morning, being the 26th, having got to the northward of the Barren Isles, we discovered more land, extending from Cape Douglas to the north.  It formed a chain of mountains of vast height; one of which, far more conspicuous than the rest, was named Mount St Augustin.  The discovery of this land did not discourage us, as it was supposed to be wholly unconnected with the land of Cape Elizabeth.  For, in a N.N.E. direction, the sight was unlimited by every thing but the horizon.  We also thought that there was a passage to the N.W., between, Cape Douglas and Mount St Augustin.  In short, it was imagined, that the land on our larboard, to the N. of Cape Douglas, was composed of a group of islands, disjoined by so many channels, any one of which we might make use of according as the wind should serve.

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With these flattering ideas, having a fresh-gale at N.N.E., we stood to the N.W. till eight o’clock, when we clearly saw, that what we had taken for islands were summits of mountains, every where connected by lower land, which the haziness of the horizon had prevented us from seeing at a greater distance.  This land was every where covered with snow, from the tops of the hills down to the very sea-beach; and had every other appearance of being part of a great continent.  I was now fully persuaded that I should find no passage by this inlet; and my persevering in the search of it here, was more to satisfy other people than to confirm my own opinion.

At this time Mount St Augustin bore N., 40 W., three or four leagues distant.  This mountain is of a conical figure, and of very considerable height; but it remains undetermined whether it be an island or part of the continent.  Finding that nothing could be done to the W., we tacked, and stood over to Cape Elizabeth, under which we fetched at half-past five in the afternoon.  On the N. side of Cape Elizabeth, between it and a lofty promontory, named Cape Bede,[4] is a bay, in the bottom of which there appeared to be two snug harbours.  We stood well into this bay, where we might have anchored in twenty-three fathoms water; but as I had no such view, we tacked and stood to the westward, with the wind at N. a very strong gale, attended by rain, and thick hazy weather.

[Footnote 4:  In naming this and Mount St Augustin, Captain Cook was directed by our Calendar.—­D.]

The next morning the gale abated; but the same weather continued till three o’clock in the afternoon, when it cleared up.  Cape Douglas bore S.W. by W.; Mount St Augustin W. 1/2 S.; and Cape Bede S., 15 deg.  E., five leagues distant.  In this situation, the depth of water was forty fathoms, over a rocky bottom.  From Cape Bede, the coast trended N.E. by E. with a chain of mountains inland, extending in the same direction.  The land on the coast was woody; and there seemed to be no deficiency of harbours.  But, what was not much in our favour, we discovered low land in the middle of the inlet, extending from N.N.E. to N.E. by E. 1/2 E. However, as this was supposed to be an island, it did not discourage us.  About this time we got a light breeze southerly, and I steered to the westward of this low land; nothing appeared to obstruct us in that direction.  Our soundings during the night were from thirty to twenty-five fathoms.

On the 28th, in the morning, having but very little wind, and observing the ship to drive to the southward, in order to stop her, I dropped a kedge-anchor, with an eight-inch hawser bent to it.  But, in bringing the ship up, the hawser parted near the inner end; and we lost both it and the anchor.  For although we brought the ship up with one of the bowers, and spent most of the day in sweeping for them, it was to no effect.  By an observation, we found our station to be in the latitude of 59 deg. 51’;

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the low land above mentioned extended from N.E. to S., 75 deg.  E., the nearest part two leagues distant.  The land on the western shore was about seven leagues distant, and extended from S. 35 deg.  W., to N. 7 deg.  E.; so that the extent of the inlet was now reduced to three points and a half of the compass; that is, from N. 1/2 E. to N.E.  Between these two points no land was to be seen.  Here was a strong tide setting to the southward out of the inlet.  It was the ebb, and ran between three and four knots in an hour; and it was low water at ten o’clock.  A good deal of sea-weed, and some drift-wood, were carried out with the tide.  The water, too, had become thick like that in rivers; but we were encouraged to proceed, by finding it as salt at low water as the ocean.  The strength of the flood-tide was three knots, and the stream ran up till four in the afternoon.

As it continued calm all day, I did not move till eight o’clock in the evening; when, with a light breeze at E., we weighed, and stood to the N., up the inlet.  We had not been long under sail, before the wind veered to the N., increasing to a fresh gale, and blowing in squalls, with rain.  This did not, however, hinder us from plying up as long as the flood continued; which was till near five o’clock the next morning.  We had soundings from thirty-five to twenty-four fathoms.  In this last depth we anchored about two leagues from the eastern shore, in the latitude of 60 deg. 8’; some low land, that we judged to be an island, lying under the western shore, extended from N. 1/2 W. to N.W. by N., distant three or four leagues.

The weather had how become fair and tolerably clear, so that we could see any land that might lie within our horizon; and in a N.N.E. direction, no land, nor any thing to obstruct our progress, was visible.  But on each side was a ridge of mountains, rising one behind another, without the least separation.  I judged it to be low water, by the shore, about ten o’clock; but the ebb ran down till near noon.  The strength of it was four knots and a half; and it fell, upon a perpendicular, ten feet three inches, that is; while we lay at anchor; so that there is reason to believe that this was not the greatest fall.  On the eastern shore we now saw two columns of smoke; a sure sign that there were inhabitants.

At one in the afternoon we weighed, and plied up under double-reefed top-sails and courses, having a very strong gale at N.N.E. nearly right down the inlet.  We stretched over to the western shore, and fetched within two leagues of the south end of the low land, or island before mentioned, under which I intended to have taken shelter till the gale should cease.  But falling suddenly into twelve fathoms water, from upward of forty, and seeing the appearance of a shoal ahead, spitting out from the low land, I tacked, and stretched back to the eastward, and anchored under that shore in nineteen fathoms water, over a bottom of small pebble stones.

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Between one and two in the morning of the 30th, we weighed again with the first of the flood, the gale having, by this time quite abated, but still continuing contrary; so that we plied up till near seven o’clock, when the tide being done, we anchored in nineteen fathoms, under the same shore as before.  The N.W. part of it, forming a bluff point, bore N., 20 deg.  E., two leagues distant; a point on the other shore opposite to it, and nearly of the same height, bore N., 36 deg.  W.; our latitude, by observation, 60 deg. 37’.

About noon, two canoes, with a man in each, came off to the ship from near the place where we had seen the smoke the preceding day.  They laboured very hard in paddling across the strong tide, and hesitated a little before they would come quite close; but upon signs being made to them, they approached.  One of them talked a great deal to no purpose; for we did not understand a word he said.  He kept pointing to the shore, which we interpreted to be an invitation to go thither.  They accepted a few trifles from me, which I conveyed to them from the quarter-gallery.  These men, in every respect, resembled the people we had met with in Prince William’s Sound, as to their persons and dress.  Their canoes were also of the same construction.  One of our visitors had his face painted jet black, and seemed to have no beard; but the other, who was more elderly, had no paint, and a considerable beard, with a visage much like the common sort of the Prince William’s people.  There was also smoke seen upon the flat western shore this day, from whence we may infer that these lower spots and islands are the only inhabited places.

When the flood made we weighed, and then the canoes left us.  I stood over to the western shore, with a fresh gale at N.N.E., and fetched under the point above-mentioned.  This, with the other on the opposite shore, contracted the channel to the breadth of four leagues.  Through this channel ran a prodigious tide.  It looked frightful to us, who could not tell whether the agitation of the water was occasioned by the stream, or by the breaking of the waves against rocks or sands.  As we met with no shoal, it was concluded to be the former; but, in the end, we found ourselves mistaken.  I now kept the western shore aboard, it appearing to be the safest.  Near the shore we had a depth of thirteen fathoms; and two or three miles off, forty and upwards.  At eight in the evening, we anchored under a point of land which bore N.E., three leagues distant, in fifteen fathoms water.  Here we lay during the ebb, which ran near five knots in the hour.

Until we got thus far, the water had retained the same degree of saltness at low as at high water; and at both periods was as salt as that in the ocean.  But now the marks of a river displayed themselves.  The water taken up this ebb, when at the lowest, was found to be very considerably fresher than any we had hitherto tasted; insomuch that I was convinced that we were in a large river, and not in a strait, communicating with the northern seas.  But as we had proceeded thus far, I was desirous of having stronger proofs; and therefore weighed with the next flood in the morning of the 31st, and plied higher up, or rather drove up with the tide; for we had but little wind.

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About eight o’clock, we were visited by several of the natives, in one large and several small canoes.  The latter carried only one person each; and some had a paddle, with a blade at each end, after the manner of the Esquimaux.  In the large canoes, were men, women, and children.  Before they reached the ship, they displayed a leathern frock, upon a long pole, as a sign, as we understood it, of their peaceable intentions.  This frock they conveyed into the ship, in return for some trifles which I gave them.  I could observe no difference between the persons, dress, ornaments, and boats of these people, and those of Prince William’s Sound, except that the small canoes were rather of a less size, and carried only one man.  We procured from them some of their fur dresses, made of the skins of sea-otters, martins, hares, and other animals; a few of their darts, and a small supply of salmon and halibut.  In exchange for these they took old clothes, beads, and pieces of iron.  We found that they were in possession of large iron knives, and of sky-blue glass beads, such as we had found amongst the natives of Prince William’s Sound.  These latter they seemed to value much, and consequently those which we now gave them.  But their inclination led them especially to ask for large pieces of iron; which metal, if I was not much mistaken, they called by the name of goone; though, like their neighbours in Prince William’s Sound, they seemed to have many significations to one word.  They evidently spoke the same language; as the words keeta, naema, oonaka, and a few others of the most common we heard in that Sound, were also frequently used by this new tribe.  After spending about two hours between the one ship and the other, they all retired to the western shore.

At nine o’clock, we came to an anchor, in sixteen fathoms water, about two leagues from the west shore, and found the ebb already begun.  At its greatest strength, it ran only three knots in the hour, and fell, upon a perpendicular, after we had anchored, twenty-one feet.  The weather was misty, with drizzling rain, and clear, by turns.  At the clear intervals, we saw an opening between the mountains on the eastern shore, bearing east from the station of the ships, with low land, which we supposed to be islands lying between us and the main land.  Low land was also seen to the northward, that seemed to extend from the foot of the mountains on the one side to those on the other; and at low water we perceived large shoals stretching out from this low land, some of which were at no great distance from us.  From these appearances we were in some doubt whether the inlet did not take an easterly direction through the above opening; or whether that opening was only a branch of it, and the main channel continued its northern direction through the low land now in sight.  The continuation and direction of the chain of mountains on each side of it, strongly indicated the probability of the latter supposition.

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To determine this point, and to examine the shoals, I dispatched two boats under the command of the master, and as soon as the flood-tide made, followed with the ships; but as it was a dead calm, and the tide strong, I anchored, after driving about ten miles in an east direction.  At the lowest of the preceding ebb, the water at the surface, and for near a foot below it, was found to be perfectly fresh; retaining, however, a considerable degree of saltness at a greater depth.  Besides this, we had now many other, and but too evident proofs of being in a great river; such as low shores; very thick and muddy water; large trees, and all manner of dirt and rubbish, floating up and down with the tide.  In the afternoon, the natives, in several canoes, paid us another visit; and trafficked with our people for some time, without ever giving us reason to accuse them of any act of dishonesty.

At two o’clock next morning, being the 1st of June, the master returned, and reported, that he found the inlet, or rather river, contracted to the breadth of one league, by low land on each side, through which it took a northerly direction.  He proceeded three leagues through this narrow part, which he found navigable for the largest ships, being from twenty to seventeen fathoms deep.  The least water, at a proper distance from the shore and shoals, was ten fathoms; and this was before he entered the narrow part.  While the ebb or stream run down, the water was perfectly fresh; but after the flood made it became brackish; and toward high water, very much so, even as high up as he went.  He landed upon an island, which lies between this branch and the eastern one; and upon it saw some currant bushes, with the fruit already set; and some other fruit-trees and bushes, unknown to him.  The soil appeared to be clay, mixed with sand.  About three leagues beyond the extent of his search, or to the northward of it, he observed there was another separation in the eastern chain of mountains, through which he supposed the river took a N.E. direction; but it seemed rather more probable that this was only another branch, and that the main channel kept its northern direction, between the two ridges or chains of mountains before mentioned.  He found that these two ridges, as they extended to the north, inclined more and more to each other, but never appeared to close; nor was any elevated land seen between them, only low land, part woody, and part clear.

All hopes of finding a passage were now given up.  But as the ebb was almost spent, and we could not return against the flood, I thought I might as well take the advantage of the latter to get a nearer view of the eastern branch; and by that means finally to determine, whether the low land on the east side of the river was an island, as we had supposed, or not.  With this purpose in view, we weighed with the first breeze of the flood, and having a faint breeze at N.E. stood over for the eastern shore, with boats ahead,

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sounding.  Our depth was from twelve to five fathoms; the bottom a hard gravel, though the water was exceedingly muddy.  At eight o’clock a fresh breeze sprung up at east, blowing in an opposite direction to our course; so that I despaired of reaching the entrance of the river, to which we were plying up, before high water.  But thinking, that what the ships could not do might be done by boats, I dispatched two, under the command of Lieutenant King, to examine the tides, and to make such other observations as might give us some insight into the nature of the river.

At ten o’clock, finding the ebb began, I anchored in nine fathoms water, over a gravelly bottom.  Observing the tide to be too strong for the boats to make head against it, I made a signal for them to return on board, before they had got half way to the entrance of the river they were sent to examine, which bore from us S. 80 deg.  E., three leagues distant.  The principal information gained by this tide’s work, was the determining that all the low land, which we had supposed to be an island or islands, was one continued tract, from the banks of the great river to the foot of the mountains, to which it joined; and that it terminated at the south entrance of this eastern branch, which I shall distinguish by the name of River Turnagain.  On the north side of this river, the low land again begins, and stretches out from the foot of the mountains down to the banks of the great river; so that, before the river Turnagain, it forms a large bay, on the south side of which we were now at anchor, and where we had from twelve to five fathoms, from half-flood to high water.

After we had entered the bay, the flood set strong into the river Turnagain, and ebb came out with still greater force; the water falling, while we lay at anchor, twenty feet upon a perpendicular.  These circumstances convinced me, that no passage was to be expected by this side-river anymore than by the main branch.  However, as the water, during the ebb, though very considerably fresher, had still a strong degree of saltness, it is but reasonable to suppose, that both these branches are navigable by ships much farther than we examined them; and that by means of this river, and its several branches, a very extensive inland communication lies open.  We had traced it as high as the latitude of 61 deg. 30’, and the longitude of 210 deg.; which is seventy leagues or more from its entrance, without seeing the least appearance of its source.

If the discovery of this great river,[5] which promises to vie with the most considerable ones already known to be capable of extensive inland navigation, should prove of use either to the present or to any future age, the time we spent in it ought to be the less regretted.  But to us, who had a much greater object in view, the delay thus occasioned was an essential loss.  The season was advancing apace.  We knew not how far we might have to proceed to the south; and we were

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now convinced, that the continent of North America extended farther to the west, than from the modern most reputable charts we had reason to expect.  This made the existence of a passage into Baffin’s or Hudson’s Bay less probable, or at least shewed it to be of greater extent.  It was a satisfaction to me, however, to reflect, that, if I had not examined this very considerable inlet, it would have been assumed, by speculative fabricators of geography, as a fact, that it communicated with the sea to the north, or with Baffin’s or Hudson’s Bay to the east; and been marked, perhaps, on future maps of the world, with greater precision, and more certain signs of reality, than the invisible, because imaginary, Straits of de Fuca and de Fonte.

[Footnote 5:  Captain Cook having here left a blank which he had not filled up with any particular name, Lord Sandwich directed, with the greatest propriety, that it should be called Cook’s River.—­D.

Some readers may require to be informed, that, for reasons mentioned in the account of his voyage, Captain Vancouver has called it Cook’s Inlet.—­E.]

In the afternoon, I sent Mr King again, with two armed boats, with orders to land on the north-eastern point of the low land, on the south-east side of the river; there to display the flag; to take possession of the country and river in his majesty’s name; and to bury in the ground a bottle, containing some pieces of English coin of the year 1772, and a paper, on which was inscribed the names of our ships, and the date of our discovery.  In the mean time, the ships were got under sail, in order to proceed down the river.  The wind still blew fresh, easterly; but a calm ensued, not long after we were under way; and the flood-tide meeting us off the point where Mr King landed, (and which thence got the name of Point Possession,) we were obliged to drop anchor in six fathoms water, with the point bearing S., two miles distant.

When Mr King returned, he informed me, that as he approached the shore, about twenty of the natives made their appearance, with their arms extended; probably to express thus their peaceable disposition, and to shew that they were without weapons.  On Mr King’s, and the gentlemen with him, landing, with musquets in their hands, they seemed alarmed, and made signs, expressive of their request to lay them down.  This was accordingly done; and then they suffered the gentlemen to walk up to them, and appeared to be cheerful and sociable.  They had with them a few pieces of fresh salmon, and several dogs.  Mr Law, surgeon of the Discovery, who was one of the party, having bought one of the latter, took it down toward the boat, and shot it dead, in their sight.  This seemed to surprise them exceedingly; and as if they did not think themselves safe in such company, they walked away; but it was soon after discovered, that their spears, and other weapons, were hid in the bushes close behind them.  Mr King also informed me, that the ground was swampy, and the soil poor, light, and black.  It produced a few trees and shrubs; such as pines, alders, birch, and willows; rose and currant bushes; and a little grass; but they saw not a single plant in flower.

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We weighed anchor as soon as it was high water, and, with a faint breeze, southerly, stood over to the west shore, where the return of the flood obliged us to anchor early next morning.  Soon after, several large, and some small canoes, with natives, came off, who bartered their skins; after which they sold their garments, till many of them were quite naked.  Amongst others, they brought a number of white hare or rabbit skins; and very beautiful reddish ones of foxes; but there were only two or three skins of otters.  They also sold us some pieces of salmon and halibut.  They preferred iron to every thing else offered to them in exchange.  The lip ornaments did not seem so frequent amongst them as at Prince William’s Sound; but they had more of those which pass through the nose, and in general these were also much longer.  They had, however, a greater quantity of a kind of white and red embroidered work on some parts of their garments, and on other things, such as their quivers and knife-cases.

At half-past ten, we weighed with the first of the ebb, and having a gentle breeze at south, plied down the river; in the doing of which, by the inattention and neglect of the man at the lead, the Resolution struck, and stuck fast on a bank, that lies nearly in the middle of the river, and about two miles above the two projecting bluff points before mentioned.  This bank was, no doubt, the occasion of that very strong rippling, or agitation of the stream, which we had observed when turning up the river.  There was not less than twelve feet depth of water about the ship, at the lowest of the ebb, but other parts of the bank were dry.  As soon as the ship came aground, I made a signal for the Discovery to anchor.  She, as I afterward understood, had been near ashore on the west side of the bank.  As the flood-tide came in, the ship floated off, soon after five o’clock in the afternoon, without receiving the least damage, or giving us any trouble; and, after standing over to the west shore into deep water, we anchored to wait for the ebb, as the wind was still contrary.

We weighed again with the ebb, at ten o’clock at night; and, between four and five next morning, when the tide was finished, once more cast anchor, about two miles below the bluff point, on the west shore, in nineteen fathoms water.  A good many of the natives came off when we were in this station, and attended upon us all the morning.  Their company was very acceptable; for they brought with them a large quantity of very fine salmon, which they exchanged for such trifles as we had to give them.  Most of it was split ready for drying; and several hundred weight of it was procured for the two ships.

In the afternoon, the mountains, for the first time since our entering the river, were clear of clouds; and we discovered a volcano in one of those on the west side.  It is in the latitude of 60 deg. 23’; and it is the first high mountain to the north of Mount St Augustin.  The volcano is on that side of it that is next the river, and not far from the summit.  It did not now make any striking appearance, emitting only a white smoke, but no fire.

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The wind remaining southerly, we continued to tide it down the river; and on the 5th, in the morning, coming to the place where we had lost our kedge-anchor, made an attempt to recover it, but without success.  Before we left this place, six canoes came off from the east shore; some conducted by one, and others by two men.  They remained at a little distance from the ships, viewing them with a kind of silent surprise, at least half an hour, without exchanging a single word with us, or with one another.  At length they took courage, and came alongside; began to barter with our people; and did not leave us till they had parted with every thing they brought with them, consisting of a few skins and some salmon.  And here it may not be improper to remark, that all the people we had met with, in this river, seemed, by every striking instance of resemblance, to be of the same nation with those who inhabit Prince William’s Sound, but differing essentially from those of Nootka, or King George’s Sound, both in their persons and language.  The language of these is rather more guttural; but, like the others, they speak strongly and distinct, in words which seem sentences.

I have before observed, that they are in possession of iron; that is, they have the points of their spears and knives of this metal; and some of the former are also made of copper.  Their spears are like our spontoons; and their knives, which they keep in sheaths, are of a considerable length.  These, with a few glass beads, are the only things we saw amongst them that were not of their own manufacture.  I have already offered my conjectures from whence they derive their foreign articles; and shall only add here, that if it were probable that they found their way to them from such of their neighbours with whom the Russians may have established a trade, I will be bold to say, the Russians themselves have never been amongst them; for if that had been the case, we should hardly have found them clothed in such valuable skins as those of the sea-otter.

There is not the least doubt, that a very beneficial fur-trade might be carried on with the inhabitants of this vast coast.  But unless a northern passage should be found practicable, it seems rather too remote for Great Britain to receive any emolument from it.  It must, however, be observed, that the most valuable, or rather the only valuable skins I saw on this west side of America, were those of the sea-otter.  All their other skins seemed to be of an inferior quality; particularly those of their foxes and martins.  It must also be observed, that most of the skins which we purchased were made up into garments.  However, some of these were in good condition; but others were old and ragged enough; and all of them very lousy.  But as these poor people make no other use of skins but for clothing themselves, it cannot be supposed that they are at the trouble of dressing more of them than are necessary for this purpose.  And, perhaps,

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this is the chief use for which they kill the animals; for the sea and the rivers seem to supply them with their principal articles of food.  It would, probably, be much otherwise, were they once habituated to a constant trade with foreigners.  This intercourse would increase their wants, by introducing them to an acquaintance with new luxuries; and, in order to be enabled to purchase these, they would be more assiduous in procuring skins, which they would soon discover to be the commodity most sought for; and a plentiful supply of which, I make no doubt, would be had in the country.

It will appear, from what has been said occasionally of the tide, that it is considerable in this river, and contributes very much to facilitate the navigation of it.  It is high-water in the stream, on the days of the new and full moon, between two and three o’clock; and the tide rises, upon a perpendicular, between three and four fathoms.  The reason of the tide’s being greater here than at other parts of this coast, is easily accounted for.  The mouth of the river being situated in a corner of the coast, the flood that comes from the ocean is forced into it by both shores, and by that means swells the tide to a great height.

The variation of the compass was 25 deg. 40’ E.


Discoveries after leaving Cook’s River.—­Island of St Hermogenes.—­Cape Whitsunday.—­Cape Greville.—­Cape Barnabas.—­Two-headed Point.—­Trinity Island.—­Beering’s Foggy Island.—­A beautiful Bird described.—­Kodiak and the Schumagin Islands.—­A Russian Letter brought on Board by a Native.—­Conjectures about it.—­Rock Point.—­Halibut Island.—­A Volcano Mountain.—­Providential Escape.—­Arrival of the Ships at Oonalaschka.—­Intercourse with the Natives there.—­Another Russian Letter.—­Samganoodha Harbour described.

As soon as the ebb tide made in our favour, we weighed, and, with a light breeze, between W.S.W., and S.S.W., plied down the river, till the flood obliged us to anchor again.  At length, about one o’clock next morning, a fresh breeze sprung up at W., with which we got under sail, and, at eight, passed the Barren Islands, and stretched away for Cape St Hermogenes.  At noon, this cape bore S.S.E., eight leagues distant; and the passage between the island of that name, and the main land, bore S. For this passage I steered, intending to go through it.  But soon after the wind failed us, and we had baffling light airs from the eastward, so that I gave up my design of carrying the ships between the island and the main.

At this time we saw several columns of smoke on the coast of the continent, to the northward of the passage; and, most probably, they were meant as signals to attract us thither.  Here the land forms a bay, or perhaps a harbour, off the N.W. point of which lies a low, rocky island.  There are also some other islands of the same appearance, scattered along the coast, between this place and Point Banks.

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At eight in the evening, the island of St Hermogenes extended from S. 1/2 E. to S.S.E. 1/4 E., and the rocks that lie on the N. side of it bore S.E., three miles distant.  In this situation, we had forty fathoms water over a bottom of sand and shells.  Soon after, on putting over hooks and lines, we caught several halibut.

At midnight, being past the rocks, we bore up to the southward, and, at noon, St Hermogenes bore N., four leagues distant.  At this time, the southernmost point of the main land, within or to the westward of St Hermogenes, lay N. 1/2 W., distant five leagues.  This promontory, which is situated in the latitude of 58 deg. 15’, and in the longitude of 207 deg. 24’, was named, after the day, Cape Whitsunday.  A large bay, which lies to the W. of it, obtained the name of Whitsuntide Bay.  The land on the E. side of this bay, of which Cape Whitsunday is the most southern point, and Point Banks the northern one, is, in all respects, like the island of St Hermogenes, seemingly destitute of wood, and partly free from snow.  It was supposed to be covered with a mossy substance, that gave it a brownish cast.  There were some reasons to think it was an island.  If this be so, the last-mentioned bay is only the strait or passage that separates it from the main land.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Such seems to be the opinion of Arrowsmith, as indicated by his map of America, 1804.  That map, however, is far from being minute or satisfactory as to this part of the voyage.  The chart of the Russian and English discoveries, which Mr Coxe has inserted in his work so often alluded to, is perhaps a better guide.  But indeed both are faulty.  The reader need not be informed that the geography of this region is still very imperfect.—­E.]

Between one and two in the afternoon, the wind, which had been at N.E., shifted at once to the southward.  It was unsettled till six, when it fixed at S., which was the very direction of our course, so that we were obliged to ply up the coast.  The weather was gloomy, and the air dry, but cold.  We stood to the eastward till midnight, then tacked, and stood in for the land; and, between seven and eight in the morning of the 8th, we were within four miles of it, and not more than half a league from some sunken rocks, which bore W.S.W.  In this situation we tacked in thirty-five fathoms water, the island of St Hermogenes bearing N. 20 deg.  E., and the southernmost land in sight, S.

In standing in for this coast, we crossed the mouth of Whitsuntide Bay, and saw land all round the bottom of it, so that either the land is connected, or else the points lock in, one behind another.  I am more inclined to think, that the former is the case, and that the land, east of the bay, is a part of the continent.  Some small islands lie on the west of the bay.  The sea-coast to the southward of it is rather low, with projecting rocky points, between which are small bays or inlets.  There was no

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wood, and but little snow upon the coast; but the mountains, which lie at some distance inland, were wholly covered with the latter.  We stood off till noon, then tacked, and stood in for the land.  The latitude, at this time, was 57 deg. 52-1/2’; Cape St Hermogenes bore N. 30 deg.  W., eight leagues distant, and the southernmost part of the coast in sight; the same that was seen before, bore S.W., ten leagues distant.  The land here forms a point, which was named Cape Greville.  It lies in the latitude of 57 deg. 33’, and in the longitude of 207 deg. 15’, and is distant fifteen leagues from Cape St Hermogenes, in the direction of S. 17 deg.  W.

The three following days we had almost constant misty weather, with drizzling rain, so that we seldom had a sight of the coast.  The wind was S.E. by S., and S.S.E., a gentle breeze, and the air raw and cold.  With this wind and weather, we continued to ply up the coast, making boards of six or eight leagues each.  The depth of water was from thirty to fifty-five fathoms, over a coarse, black sandy bottom.

The fog clearing up, with the change of the wind to S.W., in the evening of the 12th, we had a sight of the land bearing W., twelve leagues distant.  We stood in for it early next morning.  At noon we were not above three miles from it; an elevated point, which obtained the name of Cape Barnabas, lying in the latitude of 57 deg. 13’, bore N.N.  E. 1/2 E., ten miles distant, and the coast extended from N. 42 deg.  E., to W.S.W.  The N.E. extreme was lost in a haze, but the point to the S.W., whose elevated summit terminated in two round hills, on that account was called Two-headed Point.  This part of the coast, in which are several small bays, is composed of high hills and deep valleys, and in some places we could see the tops of other hills, beyond those that form the coast, which was but little encumbered with snow, but had a very barren appearance.  Not a tree or bush was to be seen upon it; and, in general, it had a brownish hue, probably the effect of a mossy covering.

I continued to ply to the S.W. by W., as the coast trended, and, at six in the evening, being midway between Cape Barnabas and Two-headed Point, and two leagues from the shore, the depth of water was sixty-two fathoms.  From this station, a low point of land made its appearance beyond Two-headed Point, bearing S. 69 deg.  W., and, without it, other land that had the appearance of an island, bore S. 59 deg.  W.

At noon, on the 13th, being in latitude 56 deg. 49’, Cape St Barnabas bore N. 52 deg.  E., Two-headed Point, N. 14 deg.  W., seven or eight miles distant, and the coast of the continent extended as far as S. 72 1/2 W., and the land seen the preceding evening, and supposed to be an island, now appeared like two islands.  From whatever quarter Two-headed Point was viewed, it had the appearance of being an island, or else it is a peninsula, on each side of which the shore forms a bay.  The wind still continued westerly, a gentle breeze, the weather rather dull and cloudy, and the air sharp and dry.

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We were well up with the southernmost land next morning, and found it to be an island, which was named Trinity Island.  Its greatest extent is six leagues in the direction of E. and W. Each end is elevated naked land, and in the middle it is low, so that, at a distance, from some points of view, it assumes the appearance of two islands.  It lies in the latitude of 56 deg. 36’, and in the longitude of 205 deg., and between two and three leagues from the continent, which space is interspersed with small islands and rocks, but there seemed to be good passage enough, and also safe anchorage.  At first we were inclined to think, that this was Beering’s Foggy Island,[2] but its situation so near the main does not suit his chart.

[Footnote 2:  Tumannoi-ostrow, c’est-a-dire, L’isle Nebuleuse.—­Muller, p. 261.]

At eight in the evening, we stood in for the land, till we were within a league of the above-mentioned small islands.  The westernmost part of the continent now in sight, being a low point facing Trinity Island, and which we called Cape Trinity, now bore W.N.W.  In this situation, having tacked in fifty-four fathoms water, over a bottom of black sand, we stood over for the island, intending to work up between it and the main.  The land to the westward of Two-headed Point, is not so mountainous as it is to the N.E. of it, nor does so much snow lie upon it.  There are, however, a good many hills considerably elevated, but they are disjoined by large tracts of flat land that appeared to be perfectly destitute of wood, and very barren.

As we were standing over toward the island, we met two men in a small canoe, paddling from it to the main.  Far from approaching us, they seemed rather to avoid it.  The wind now began to incline to the S., and we had reason to expect, that it would soon be at the S.E.  Experience having taught us, that a south-easterly wind was here generally, if not always, accompanied by a thick fog, I was afraid to venture through between the island and the continent, lest the passage should not be accomplished before night, or before the thick weather came on, when we should be obliged to anchor, and by that means lose the advantage of a fair wind.  These reasons induced me to stretch out to sea, and we passed two or three rocky islets that lie near the east end of Trinity Island.  At four in the afternoon, having weathered the island, we tacked, and steered west-southerly, with a fresh gale at S.S.E., which, before midnight, veered to the S.E., and was, as usual, attended with misty, drizzling, rainy weather.

By the course we steered all night, I was in hopes of falling in with the continent in the morning.  And, doubtless, we should have seen it, had the weather been in the least clear, but the fog prevented.  Seeing no land at noon, and the gale increasing, with a thick fog and rain, I steered W.N.W., under such sail as we could easily haul the wind with, being fully sensible of the danger of running before a strong gale in a thick fog, in the vicinity of an unknown coast.  It was, however, necessary to run some risk when the wind favoured us; for clear weather, we had found, was generally accompanied with winds from the west.

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Between two and three in the afternoon, land was seen through the fog, bearing N.W., not more than three or four miles distant.  Upon this, we immediately hauled up south, close to the wind.  Soon after, the two courses were split, so that we had others to bring to the yards, and several others of our sails received considerable damage.  At nine, the gale abated, the weather cleared up, and we lost sight of the coast again, extending from W. by S. to N.W., about four or five leagues distant.  On sounding, we found a hundred fathoms water, over a muddy bottom.  Soon after, the fog returned, and we saw no more of the land all night.

At four next morning, the fog being now dispersed, we found ourselves in a manner surrounded by land; the continent, or what was supposed to be the continent, extending from W.S.W. to N.E. by N., and some elevated land bearing S.E. 1/2 S., by estimation eight or nine leagues distant.  The N.E. extreme of the main was the same point of land that we had fallen in with during the fog, and we named it Foggy Cape.  It lies in latitude 56 deg. 31’.  At this time, having had but little wind all night, a breeze sprung up at N.W.  With this we stood to the southward, to make the land, seen in that direction, plainer.

At nine o’clock, we found it to be an island of about nine leagues in compass, lying in the latitude of 56 deg. 10’, and in the longitude of 202 deg. 46’; and it is distinguished in our chart by the name of Foggy Island, having reason to believe, from its situation, that it is the same which had that name given to it by Beering.  At the same time, three or four islands, lying before a bay, formed by the coast of the main land; bore N. by W.; a point, with three or four pinnacle rocks upon it, which was called Pinnacle Point, bore N.W. by W.; and a cluster of small islets, or rocks, lying about nine leagues from the coast, S.S.E.

At noon, when our latitude was 56 deg. 9’, and our longitude 201 deg. 45’, these rocks bore S. 58’ E., ten miles distant; Pinnacle Point, N.N.W., distant seven leagues; the nearest part of the main land N.W. by W., six leagues distant; and the most advanced land to the S.W., which had the appearance of being an island, bore W., a little southerly.  In the afternoon, we had little or no wind, so that our progress was inconsiderable.  At eight in the evening, the coast extended from S.W. to N.N.E., the nearest part about eight leagues distant.

On the 17th, the wind was between W. and N.W., a gentle breeze, and sometimes almost calm.  The weather was clear, and the air sharp and dry.  At noon, the continent extended from S.W. to N. by E., the nearest part seven leagues distant.  A large group of islands lying about the same distance from the continent, extended from S. 26 deg.  W. to S. 52 deg.  W.

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It was calm great part of the 18th, and the weather was clear and pleasant.  We availed ourselves of this, by making observations for the longitude and variation.  The latter was found to be 21 deg. 27’ E. There can be no doubt that there is a continuation of the continent between Trinity Island and Foggy Cape, which the thick weather prevented us from seeing.  For some distance to the S.W., of that cape, this country is more broken or rugged than any part we had yet seen, both with respect to the hills themselves, and to the coast, which seemed full of creeks, or small inlets, none of which appeared to be of any great depth.  Perhaps, upon a closer examination, some of the projecting points between these inlets will be found to be islands.  Every part had a very barren aspect, and was covered with snow, from the summits of the highest hills, down to a very small distance from the sea coast.

Having occasion to send a boat on board the Discovery, one of the people in her shot a very beautiful bird of the hawk kind.  It is somewhat less than a duck, and of a black colour, except the fore-part of the head, which is white, and from above and behind each eye arises an elegant yellowish-white crest, revolved backward as a ram’s horn.  The bill and feet are red.  It is, perhaps, the alca monochroa of Steller, mentioned in the history of Kamtschatka.[3] I think the first of these birds was seen by us a little to the southward of Cape St Hermogenes.  From that time, we generally saw some of them every day, and sometimes in large flocks.  Besides these, we daily saw most of the other sea-birds, that are commonly found in other northern oceans, such as gulls, shags, puffins, sheerwaters, and sometimes ducks, geese, and swans.  And seldom a day passed without seeing seals, whales, and ether large fish.

[Footnote 3:  P. 158.  Eng.  Trans.—­The Tufted Aek.—­Pennant’s Arct.  Zool. ii.  N deg.. 432.]

In the afternoon, we got a light breeze of wind southerly, which enabled us to steer W., for the channel that appeared between the islands and the continent; and, at day-break next morning, we were at no great distance from it, and found several other islands, within those already seen by us, of various extent both in height and circuit.  But between these last islands, and those before seen, there seemed to be a clear channel, for which I steered, being afraid to keep the coast of the continent aboard, lest we should mistake some point of it for an island, and, by that means, be drawn into some inlet, and lose the advantage of the fair wind, which at this time blew.

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I therefore kept along the southernmost chain of islands, and at noon we were in the latitude of 55 deg. 18’, and in the narrowest part of the channel, formed by them and those which lie along the continent, where it is about a league and a half, or two leagues over.  The largest island in this group was now on our left, and is distinguished by the name of Kodiak,[4] according to the information we afterwards received.  I left the rest of them without names.  I believe them to be the same that Beering calls Schumagin’s Islands,[5] or those which he called by that name, to be a part of them, for this group is pretty extensive.  We saw islands as far to the southward as an island could be seen.  They commence in the longitude of 200 deg. 15’ E., and extend a degree and a half, or two degrees, to the westward.  I cannot be particular, as we could not distinguish all the islands from the coast of the continent.  Most of these islands are of a good height, very barren and rugged, abounding with rocks and steep cliffs, and exhibiting other romantic appearances.  There are several snug bays and coves about them, streams of fresh water run from their elevated parts, some drift-wood was floating around, but not a tree or bush was to be seen growing on the land.  A good deal of snow still lay on many of them, and the parts of the continent, which shewed themselves between the innermost islands, were quite covered with it.[6]

[Footnote 4:  See an account of Kodiac, in Staehlin’s New Northern Archipelago, p. 30-39.]

[Footnote 5:  See Muller’s Decouvertes des Russes, p. 262-277.]

[Footnote 6:  Coxe’s work maybe advantageously consulted for information respecting the islands now mentioned.  But few persons, it is presumed, feel so interested about them, as to desire any addition to the text.  Besides, though a connected account of this archipelago might be either amusing or necessary, it is obvious that detached notices would have little value to commend them to attention.—­E.]

At four in the afternoon, we had passed all the islands that lay to the southward of us; the southernmost, at this time, bearing S. 5 deg.  E., and the westernmost point of land now in sight, S. 82 deg.  W. For this point we steered, and passed between it and two or three elevated rocks that lie about a league to the east of it.

Some time after we had got through this channel, in which we found forty fathoms water, the Discovery, now about two miles astern, fired three guns, and brought-to, and made a signal to speak with us.  This alarmed me not a little; and, as no apparent danger had been remarked in the passage through the channel, it was apprehended that some accident, such as springing a leak, must have happened.  A boat was immediately sent to her, and in a short time returned with Captain Clerke.  I now learned from him, that some natives, in three or four canoes, who had been following the ship for some time, at length got

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under his stern.  One of them then made many signs, taking off his cap, and bowing, after the manner of Europeans.  A rope being handed down from the ship, to this he fastened a small thin wooden case or box, and having delivered this safe, and spoken something, and made some more signs, the canoes dropped astern, and left the Discovery.  No one on board her had any suspicion that the box contained any thing, till after the departure of the canoes, when it was accidentally opened, and a piece of paper was found, folded up carefully, upon which something was written in the Russian language, as was supposed.  The date 1778 was prefixed to it, and, in the body of the written note, there was a reference to the year 1776.  Not learned enough to decypher the alphabet of the writer, his numerals marked sufficiently that others had preceded us in visiting this dreary part of the globe, who were united to us by other ties besides those of our common nature; and the hopes of soon meeting with some of the Russian traders could not but give a sensible satisfaction to those who had, for such a length of time, been conversant with the savages of the Pacific Ocean, and of the continent of North America.

Captain Clerke was, at first, of opinion, that some Russians had been shipwrecked here, and that these unfortunate persons, seeing our ships pass, had taken this method to inform us of their situation.  Impressed with humane sentiments, on such an occasion, he was desirous of our stopping till they might have time to join us.  But no such idea occurred to me.  It seemed obvious, that if this had been the case, it would have been the first step taken by such shipwrecked persons, in order to secure to themselves, and to their companions, the relief they could not but be solicitous about, to send some of their body off to the ships in the canoes.  For this reason, I rather thought that the paper contained a note of information, left by some Russian trader, who had lately been amongst these islands, to be delivered to the next of their countrymen who should arrive; and that the natives, seeing our ships pass, and supposing us to be Russians, had resolved to bring off the note, thinking it might induce us to stop.  Fully convinced of this, I did not stay to enquire any farther into the matter, but made sail, and stood away to the westward, along the coast; perhaps I should say along the islands, for we could not pronounce, with certainty, whether the nearest land, within us, was continent or islands.  If not the latter, the coast here forms some tolerably large and deep bays.

We continued to run all night with a gentle breeze at N.E., and, at two o’clock next morning, some breakers were seen within us, at the distance of about two miles.  Two hours after, others were seen a-head, and on our larboard bow, and between us and the land, they were innumerable.  We did but just clear them, by holding a south course.  These breakers were occasioned by rocks, some of which were above

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water.  They extend seven leagues from the land, and are very dangerous, especially in thick weather, to which this coast seems much subject.  At noon, we had just got on their outside, and, by observation, we were in the latitude of 54 deg. 44’, and in the longitude of 198 deg..  The nearest land, being an elevated bluff point, which was called Rock Point, bore N., seven or eight leagues distant; the westernmost part of the main, or what was supposed to be the main, bore N. 80 deg.  W.; and a round hill, without, which was found to be an island, and was called Halibut-Head, bore S. 64 deg.  W., thirteen leagues distant.

On the 21st at noon, having made but little progress, on account of faint winds and calms, Halibut-Head, which lies in the latitude of 54 deg. 27’, and in the longitude of 197 deg., bore N. 24 deg.  W., and the island on which it is, and called Halibut Island, extended from N. by E. to N.W. by W., two leagues distant.  This island is seven or eight leagues in circuit, and, except the head, the land of it is low and very barren.  There are several small islands near it, all of the same appearance, but there seemed to be a passage between them and the main, two or three leagues broad.[7]

[Footnote 7:  So Arrowsmith’s map has it.  The chart in Coxe’s work, 4th edition, does not mention Halibut Island.—­E.]

The rocks and breakers, before mentioned, forced us so far from the continent, that we had but a distant view of the coast between Rock Point and Halibut Island.  Over this and the adjoining islands we could see the main land covered with snow, but particularly some hills, whose elevated tops were seen, towering above the clouds, to a most stupendous height.  The most south-westerly of these hills was discovered to have a volcano, which continually threw up vast columns of black smoke.  It stands not far from the coast, and in the latitude of 54 deg. 48’, and in the longitude of 195 deg. 45’.  It is also remarkable from its figure, which is a complete cone, and the volcano is at the very summit.  We seldom saw this (or indeed any other of these mountains) wholly clear of clouds.  At times, both base and summit would be clear, when a narrow cloud, sometimes two or three, one above another, would embrace the middle like a girdle, which, with the column of smoke, rising perpendicular to a great height out of its top, and spreading before the wind into a tail of vast length, made a very picturesque appearance.  It may be worth remarking, that the wind, at the height to which the smoke of this volcano reached, moved sometimes in a direction contrary to what it did at sea, even when it blew a fresh gale.

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In the afternoon, having three hours calm, our people caught upwards of a hundred halibuts, some of which weighed a hundred pounds, and none less than twenty pounds.  This was a very seasonable refreshment to us.  In the height of our fishing, which was in thirty-five fathoms water, and three or four miles from the shore, a small canoe, conducted by one man, came to us from the large island.  On approaching the ship, be took off his cap, and bowed, as the other had done, who visited the Discovery the preceding day.  It was evident that the Russians must have a communication and traffic with these people, not only from their acquired politeness, but from the note before mentioned.  But we had now a fresh proof of it; for our present visitor wore a pair of green cloth breeches, and a jacket of black cloth or stuff, under the gut-shirt or frock of his own country.  He had nothing to barter, except a grey fox skin, and some fishing implements or harpoons, the heads of the shafts of which, for the length of a foot or more, were neatly made of bone, as thick as a walking cane, and carved.  He had with him a bladder full of something, which we supposed to be oil, for he opened it, took a mouthful, and then fastened it again.

His canoe was of the same make with those we had seen before, but rather smaller.  He used a double bladed-paddle, as did also those who had visited the Discovery.  In his size and features, he exactly resembled those we saw in Prince William’s Sound, and in the Great River, but he was quite free from paint of any kind, and had the perforation of his lips made in an oblique direction, without any ornament in it.  He did not seem to understand any of the words commonly used by our visitors in the Sound, when repeated to him.  But, perhaps, our faulty pronunciation, rather than his ignorance of the dialect, may be inferred from this.

The weather was cloudy and hazy, with now and then sunshine, till the afternoon of the 22d, when the wind came round to the S.E., and, as usual, brought thick rainy weather.  Before the fog came on, no part of the main land was in sight, except the volcano, and another mountain close by it.  I continued to steer W. till seven in the evening, when, being apprehensive of falling in with the land in thick weather, we hauled the wind to the southward, till two o’clock next morning, and then bore away W. We made but little progress, having the wind variable, and but little of it, till at last it fixed in the western board, and at five in the afternoon, having a gleam of sunshine, we saw land bearing N. 59 deg.  W., appearing in hillocks like islands.

At six in the morning of the 24th, we got a sight of the continent, and at nine it was seen extending from N.E. by E. to S.W. by W. 1/2 W., the nearest part about four leagues distant.  The land to the S.W. proved to be islands, the same that had been seen the preceding evening.  But the other was a continuation of the continent, without any islands to obstruct our view of it.  In the evening, being about four leagues from the shore, in forty-two fathoms water, having little or no wind, we had recourse to our hooks and lines, but only two or three small cod were caught.

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The next morning we got a breeze easterly, and what was uncommon with this wind, clear weather, so that we not only saw the volcano, but other mountains, both to the east and west of it, and all the coast of the main land under them, much plainer than at any time before.  It extended from N.E. by N. to N.W. 1/2 W., where it seemed to terminate.  Between this point and the islands without it, there appeared a large opening, for which I steered, till we raised land beyond it.  This land, although we did not perceive that it joined the continent, made a passage through the opening very doubtful.  It also made it doubtful, whether the land which we saw to the S.W., was insular or continental, and, if the latter, it was obvious that the opening would be a deep bay or inlet, from which, if once we entered it with an easterly wind, it would not be so easy to get out.  Not caring, therefore, to trust too much to appearances, I steered to the southward.  Having thus got without all the land in sight, I then steered west, in which direction the islands lay, for such we found this land to be.

By eight o’clock we had passed three of them, all of a good height.  More of them were now seen to the westward, the south-westernmost part of them bearing W.N.W.  The weather, in the afternoon, became gloomy, and at length turned to a mist, and the wind blew fresh at E. I therefore, at ten at night, hauled the wind to the southward till day-break, when we resumed our course to the W.

Day-light availed us little, for the weather was so thick, that we could not see a hundred yards before us; but as the wind was now moderate, I ventured to run.  At half-past four, we were alarmed at hearing the sound of breakers on our larboard bow.  On heaving the lead, we found twenty-eight fathoms water, and the next cast, twenty-five.  I immediately brought the ship to, with her head to the northward, and anchored in this last depth, over a bottom of coarse sand, calling to the Discovery, she being close by us, to anchor also.

A few hours after, the fog having cleared away a little, it appeared that we had escaped very imminent danger.  We found ourselves three quarters of a mile from the N.E. side of an island, which extended from S. by W. 1/2 W. to N. by E. 1/2 E., each extreme about a league distant.  Two elevated rocks, the one bearing S. by E., and the other E. by S., were about half a league each from us, and about the same distance from each other.  There were several breakers about them, and yet Providence had, in the dark, conducted the ships through, between these rocks, which I should not have ventured in a clear day, and to such an anchoring-place, that I could not have chosen a better.

Finding ourselves so near land, I sent a boat to examine what it produced.  In the afternoon she returned, and the officer, who commanded her, reported, that it produced some tolerable good grass, and several other small plants, one of which was like purslain, and eat very well, either in soups or as a sallad.  There was no appearance of shrubs or trees, but on the beach were a few pieces of drift wood.  It was judged to be low water between ten and eleven o’clock, and we found, where we lay at anchor, that the flood-tide came from the E. or S.E.

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In the night, the wind blew fresh at S., but was more moderate toward the morning, and the fog partly dispersed.  Having weighed at seven o’clock, we steered to the northward, between the island under which we had anchored, and another small one near it.  The channel is not above a mile broad; and before we were through it, the wind failed, and we were obliged to anchor in thirty-four fathoms water.  We had now land in every direction.  That to the S., extended to the S.W., in a ridge of mountains, but our sight could not determine whether it composed one or more islands.  We afterward found it to be only one island, and known by the name of Oonalashka.  Between it, and the land to the N., which had the appearance of being a group of islands, there seemed to be a channel, in the direction of N.W. by N. On a point, which bore W. from the ship, three quarters of a mile distant, were several natives and their habitations.  To this place we saw them tow in two whales, which we supposed they had just killed.  A few of them, now and then, came off to the ships, and bartered a few trifling things with our people, but never remained above a quarter of an hour at a time.  On the contrary, they rather seemed shy, and yet we could judge that they were no strangers to vessels, in some degree, like ours.  They behaved with a degree of politeness uncommon to savage tribes.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, having a light breeze at N.E., and the tide of flood in our favour, we weighed, and steered for the channel above-mentioned, in hopes, after we were through, of finding the land trend away to the northward, or, at least, a passage out to sea to the W. For we supposed ourselves, as it really happened, to be amongst islands, and not in an inlet of the continent.  We had not been long under sail, before the wind veered to the N., which obliged us to ply.  The soundings were from forty to twenty-seven fathoms, over a bottom of sand and mud.  In the evening, the ebb making against us, we anchored about three leagues from our last station, with the passage bearing N.W.

At day-break the next morning, we weighed, with a light breeze at S., which carried us up to the passage, when it was succeeded by variable light airs from all directions.  But as there run a rapid tide in our favour, the Resolution got through before the ebb made.  The Discovery was not so fortunate.  She was carried back, got into the race, and had some trouble to get clear of it.  As soon as we were through, the land on one side was found to trend W. and S.W., and that on the other side to trend N. This gave us great reason to hope, that the continent had here taken a new direction, which was much in our favour.  Being in want of water, and perceiving that we run some risk of driving about in a rapid tide, without wind to govern the ship, I stood for a harbour, lying on the S. side of the passage, but we were very soon driven past it, and, to prevent being forced back through the passage, came to an anchor in twenty-eight fathoms water, pretty near the southern shore, out of the reach of the strong tide.  And yet, even here, we found it to run full five knots and a half in the hour.

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While we lay here, several of the natives came off to us, each in a canoe, and bartered a few fishing implements for tobacco.  One of them, a young man, overset his canoe, while along-side of one of our boats.  Our people caught hold of him, but the canoe went adrift, and, being picked up by another, was carried ashore.  The youth, by this accident, was obliged to come into the ship; and he went down into my cabin, upon the first invitation, without expressing the least reluctance or uneasiness.  His dress was an upper garment, like a shirt, made of the large gut of some sea-animal, probably the whale, and an under garment of the same shape, made of the skins of birds, dressed with the feathers on, and neatly sewed together, the feathered side being wore next his skin.  It was mended or patched with pieces of silk-stuff, and his cap was ornamented with two or three sorts of glass beads.  His own clothes being wet, I gave him others, in which he dressed himself with as much ease as I could have done.  From his behaviour, and that of some others, we were convinced that these people were no strangers to Europeans, and to some of their customs.  But there was something in our ships that greatly excited their curiosity; for such as could not come off in canoes, assembled on the neighbouring hills to look at them.[8]

[Footnote 8:  Of Oonalashka, Unalashka, or Aghunalaska, for it is known by these three names, Mr Coxe has presented several interesting enough notices.  The Russians were no strangers to it previous to this voyage.—­E.]

At low water, having weighed and towed the ship into the harbour, we anchored there in nine fathoms water, over a bottom of sand and mud.  The Discovery got in soon after.  A launch was now sent for water, and a boat to draw the seine, but we caught only four trout, and a few other small fish.

Soon after we anchored, a native of the island brought on board such another note as had been given to Captain Clerke.  He presented it to me, but it was written in the Russian language, which, as already observed, none of us could read.  As it could be of no use to me, and might be of consequence to others, I returned it to the bearer, and dismissed him with a few presents, for which he expressed his thanks, by making several low bows as he retired.

In walking, next day, along the shore, I met with a group of natives of both sexes, seated on the grass, at a repast, consisting of raw fish, which they seemed to eat with as much relish as we should a turbot, served up with the richest sauce.  By the evening, we had completed our water, and made such observations as the time and weather would permit.  I have taken notice of the rapidity of the tide without the harbour, but it was inconsiderable within.  It was low water at noon, and high water at half-past six in the evening, and the water rose, upon a perpendicular, three feet four inches, but there were marks of its sometimes rising a foot higher.

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Thick fogs, and a contrary-wind, detained us till the 2d of July, which afforded an opportunity of acquiring some knowledge of the country and of its inhabitants.  The result of our observations will be mentioned in another place.  At present I shall only describe the harbour.

It is called, by the natives, Samganoodha, and is situated on the north side of Oonalashka, in the latitude of 58 deg. 55’, in the longitude of 193 deg. 30’; and in the strait, or passage, that separates this island from those that lie to the north of it, and whose position before the harbour shelters it from the winds that blow from that quarter.  It runs in S. by W., about four miles, and is about a mile broad at the entrance, narrowing toward the head, where its breadth is not above a quarter of a mile, and where ships can lie land-locked, in seven, six, and four fathoms water.  Great plenty of good water may be easily got, but not a single stick of wood of any size.


Progress Northward, after leaving Oonalashka.—­The Islands Oonella and Acootan.—­Ooneemak.—­Shallowness of the Water along the Coast—­Bristol Bay.—­Round Island.—­Calm Point.—­Cape Newenham.—­Lieutenant Williamson lands, and his Report.—­Bristol Bay, and its Extent.—­The Ships obliged to return on account of Shoals.—­Natives come off to the Ships.—­Death of Mr Anderson; his Character; and Island named after him.—­Point Rodney.—­Sledge Island, and Remarks on Landing there.—­King’s Island.—­Cape Prince of Wales, the Western Extreme of America.  Course Westward.—­Anchor in a Bay on the Coast of Asia.

Having put to sea with a light breeze, at S.S.E., we steered to the N., meeting with nothing to obstruct us in this course.  For, as I observed before, the island of Oonalashka on the one side, trended S.W., and on the other, no land was to be seen in a direction more northerly than N.E., the whole of which laud was a continuation of the same group of islands which we had fallen in with on the 25th of June.  That which lies before Samganoodha, and forms the N.E. side of the passage through which we came, is called Oonella, and is about seven leagues in circumference.  Another island to the N.E. of it, is called Acootan, which is considerably larger than Oonella, and hath in it some very high mountains which were covered with snow.  It appeared, that we might have gone very safely between, these two islands and the continent, the S.W. point of which opened off the N.E. point of Acootan, in the direction of N. 60 deg.  E.; and which proved to be the same point of land we had seen when we quitted the coast of the continent, on the 25th of June, to go without the islands.  It is called by the people of these parts Ooneemak, and lies in the latitude of 54 deg. 30’, and in the longitude of 192 deg. 30’.  Over the cape, which of itself is high land, is a round elevated mountain, at this time entirely covered with snow.

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At six in the evening, this mountain bore E. 2 deg.  N., and at eight we had no land in sight.  Concluding, therefore, that the coast of the continent had now taken a north-easterly direction, I ventured to steer the same course till one o’clock the next morning, when the watch on deck thought they saw land a-head.  Upon this we wore, and stood to the S.W. for two hours, and then resumed our course to the E.N.E.

At six o’clock, land was seen a-head, bearing S.E., about five leagues distant.  As we advanced, we raised more and more land, all connected, and seemingly in the direction of our course.  At noon, it extended from S.S.W. to E., the nearest part five or six leagues distant; Our latitude at this time was 55 deg. 21’, and our longitude 195 deg. 18’.  This coast is on the N.W. side of the volcano mountain, so that we must have seen it, if the weather had been tolerably clear.

At six in the evening, after having run eight leagues upon an E. by N. course from noon, we sounded, and found forty-eight fathoms, over a bottom of black sand.  Being at this time four leagues from the land, the eastern part in sight bore E.S.E., and appeared as a high round hummock, seemingly detached from the main.

Having continued to steer E.N.E. all night, at eight in the morning of the 4th, the coast was seen from S.S.W. to E. by S.; and at times we could see high land, covered with snow behind it.  Soon after it fell calm, and being in thirty fathoms water, we put over hooks and lines, and caught a good number of cod-fish.  At noon, having now a breeze from the east, and the weather being clear, we found ourselves six leagues from the land, which extended from S. by W. to E. by S. The hummock, seen the preceding evening, bore S.W. by S. ten leagues distant.  Our latitude was now 55 deg. 50’, and our longitude 197 deg. 3’.  A great hollow swell, from W.S.W., assured us that there was no main land near in that direction.  I stood to the N. till six in the afternoon, when the wind having veered to S.E., enabled us to steer E.N.E.  The coast lay in this direction, and at noon, the next day, was about four leagues distant.

On the 6th and 7th, the wind being northerly, we made but little progress.  At eight in the evening of the latter, we were in nineteen fathoms water, and about three or four leagues from the coast, which, on the 8th, extended from S.S.W. to E. by N., and was all low land, with a ridge of mountains behind it, covered with snow.  It is probable, that this low coast extends, some distance, to the S.W.; and that such places as we sometimes, took for inlets or bays, are only valleys between the mountains.

On the morning of the 9th, with a breeze at N.W., we steered E. by N., to get nearer the coast.  At noon, we were in the latitude of 57 deg. 49’, and in the longitude of 201 deg. 33’, and about two leagues from the land, which extended from S. by E. to E.N.E.; being all a low coast, with points shooting out in some places, which, from the deck, appeared like islands; but, from the mast-head, low land was seen to connect them.  In this situation, the depth of water was fifteen fathoms, the bottom a fine black sand.

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As we had advanced to the N.E., we had found the depth of water gradually decreasing, and the coast trending more and more northerly.  But the ridge of mountains behind it continued to lie in the same direction as those more westerly; so that the extent of the low land, between the foot of the mountains and the sea-coast, insensibly increased.  Both high and low grounds were perfectly destitute of wood; but seemed to be covered with a green turf, except the mountains, which were covered with snow.  Continuing to steer along the coast, with a gentle breeze, westerly, the water gradually shoaled from fifteen to ten fathoms, though we were at the distance of eight or ten miles from the shore.  At eight in the evening, an elevated mountain, which had been in sight for some time, bore S.E. by E., twenty-one leagues distant.  Some other mountains, belonging to the same chain, and much farther distant, bore E. 3 deg.  N. The coast extended as far as N.E. 1/2 N., where it seemed to terminate in a point, beyond which we hoped and expected, that it would take a more easterly direction.  But, soon after, we discovered low land, extending from behind this point, as far as N.W. by W., where it was lost in the horizon; and behind it was high land, that appeared in detached hills.

Thus the fine prospect we had of getting to the north vanished in a moment.  I stood on till nine o’clock, for so long it was light, and then the point above mentioned bore N.E. 1/2 E., about three miles distant.  Behind this point is a river, the entrance of which seemed to be a mile broad; but I can say nothing as to its depth.  The water appeared to be discoloured, as upon shoals, but a calm would have given it the same aspect.  It seemed to have a winding direction, through the great flat that lies between the chain of mountains to the S.E., and the hills to the N.W.  It must abound with salmon, as we saw many leaping in the sea before the entrance; and some were found in the maws of cod which we had caught.  The entrance of this river, distinguished by the name of Bristol River, lies in the latitude of 58 deg. 27’, and in the longitude of 201 deg. 55’.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Mr Arrowsmith lays down this river, but without naming it.  Mr Coxe does neither.  Both of them specify Bristol Bay.  Mr A.’s delineation of the coast of the peninsular projection, corresponds extremely well with Captain Cook’s description.—­E.]

Having spent the night in making short boards, at day-break on the morning of the 10th, we made sail to the W.S.W., with a gentle breeze at N.E.  At eleven o’clock, we thought the coast to the N.W. terminated in a point, bearing N.W. by W.; and as we had now deepened the water from nine to fourteen fathoms, I steered for the point, ordering the Discovery to keep ahead.  But before she had run a mile, she made a signal for shoal water.  At that instant we had the depth of seven fathoms; and before we could get the ship’s head the other way, had less than five; but the Discovery had less than four.

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We stood back to the N.E. three or four miles; but finding there was a strong tide or current setting to the W.S.W., that is toward the shoal, we anchored in ten fathoms, over a bottom of fine sand.  Two hours after we had anchored, the water had fallen two feet and upward; which proved, that it was the tide of ebb that came from, the river above mentioned.  We also examined some of the water which we had taken up, and found that it was not half so salt as common sea-water.  This furnished another proof that we were before a large river.

At four in the afternoon, the wind shifting to S.W., we weighed, and stood to the southward, with boats ahead, sounding; and passed over the south end of the shoal in six fathoms water.  We then got into thirteen and fifteen; in which last depth we anchored, at half-past eight; some part of the chain of mountains, on the S.E. shore, in sight, bearing S.E. 1/2 S., and the westernmost land, on the other shore, N.W.  We had, in the course of the day, seen high land, bearing N. 60 deg.  W., by estimation twelve leagues distant.

Having weighed next morning, at two o’clock, with a light breeze at S.W. by W., we plied to windward till nine; when, judging the flood-tide to be now made against us, we came to an anchor in twenty-four fathoms.  We lay here till one, when the fog, which had prevailed this morning, dispersing, and the tide making in our favour, we weighed, and plied to the S.W. in the evening, the wind was very variable, and we had some thunder.  We had heard none before since our arrival upon the coast; and this was at a great distance.

The wind having settled again in the S.W. quarter, in the morning of the 12th, we stood to the N.W., and at ten saw the continent.  At noon, it extended from N.E. by N., to N.W. 1/4 W.; and an elevated hill bore N.N.W., ten leagues distant.  This proved to be an island, which, from its figure, obtained the name of Round Island.  It lies in the latitude of 58 deg. 37’, and in the longitude of 200 deg. 6’, and seven miles from the continent.  In the evening, at nine, having stood to the northward to within three leagues of the shore, we tacked in fourteen fathoms water; the extremes of the coast bearing E.S.E. 1/2 E. and W. The wind veering to the N.W. enabled us to make a good stretch along shore till two o’clock in the morning, when we got all at once into six fathoms water, being at this time two leagues from the shore.  After edging off a little, our depth gradually increased, and at noon we had twenty fathoms, when the latitude was 53 deg. 13’, and the longitude 199 deg..  Round Island bore N., 5 deg.  E.; and the west extreme of the coast N., 16 deg.  W., seven leagues distant.  It is an elevated point, which obtained the name of Calm Point, from our having calm weather when off it.  To the N.W. of Round Island are two or three hillocks that appeared like islands; and it is possible they may be such; for we had but a distant view of the coast in this place.[2]

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[Footnote 2:  Both Round Island and Calm Point are named by Coxe; Arrowsmith marks them, but has omitted the names.—­E.]

During the 14th and 15th our progress was slow, having little wind, and sometimes so thick a fog, that we could not see the length of the ship.  The soundings were from fourteen to twenty-six fathoms; and we had tolerable success in fishing, catching cod, and now and then a few flat fish.  At five in the morning of the 16th, the fog having cleared up, we found ourselves nearer the land than we expected.  Calm Point bore N., 72 deg.  E., and a point eight leagues from it, in the direction of W., bore N., 30 deg.  E., three miles distant.  Between these two points, the coast forms a bay, in some parts of which the land was hardly visible from the mast-head.  There is also a bay on the N.W. side of this last point, between it and an elevated promontory, which at this time bore N., 36 deg.  W. sixteen miles distant.  At nine, I sent Lieutenant Williamson to this promontory, with orders to land, and see what direction the coast took beyond it, and what the country produced; for from the ships it had but a barren appearance.  We found here the flood-tide setting strongly to the N.W. along the coast.  At noon it was high water, and we anchored in twenty-four fathoms, four leagues distant from the shore.  At five in the afternoon, the tide making in our favour, we weighed, and drove with it, for there was no wind.

Soon after, Mr Williamson returned; and reported, that he had landed on the point, and having climbed the highest hill, found, that the farthest part of the coast in sight bore nearly north.  He took possession of the country in his majesty’s name; and left on the hill a bottle, in which was inscribed, on a piece of paper, the names of the ships, and the date of the discovery.  The promontory, to which he gave the name of Cape Newenham, is a rocky point, of tolerable height, situated in the latitude of 58 deg. 42’, and in the longitude of 197 deg. 36’.  Over, or within it, are two elevated hills, rising one behind the other.  The innermost, or easternmost, is the highest.  The country, as far as Mr Williamson could see, produces neither tree nor shrub.  The hills are naked; but on the lower grounds grew grass and other plants, very few of which were in flower.  He saw no other animal but a doe and a fawn; and a dead sea-horse or cow upon the beach.  Of these animals we had lately seen a great many.

As the coast takes a northerly direction from Cape Newenham, that Cape fixes the northern limit of the great bay and gulf lying before the river Bristol, which, in honour of the Admiral, Earl of Bristol, was named Bristol Bay. Cape Ooneemak is the south limit of this bay; and is distant eighty-two leagues from Cape Newenham, in the direction of S.S.W.[3]

[Footnote 3:  Cape Newenham is mentioned by Arrowsmith, but not by Coxe; both have Shoal Ness, soon to be spoken of.—­E.]

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About eight in the evening, a light breeze springing up, which fixed at S.S.E., we steered N.W. and N.N.W., round Cape Newenham, which, at noon next day, bore S. by E., distant four leagues.  At this time the most advanced land to the northward bore N., 30 deg.  E.; our depth of water was seventeen fathoms, and the nearest shore 3-1/2 leagues distant.  We had but little wind all the afternoon; so that, at ten at night, we had only made three leagues upon a north course.

We steered N. by W. till eight the next morning, when, our depth of water decreasing suddenly to five and seven fathoms, we brought-to, till a boat from each ship was sent ahead to sound, and then steered N.E. after them; and at noon we had deepened the water to seventeen fathoms.  At this time, Cape Newenham bore S., 9 deg.  E., distant eleven or twelve leagues; the N.E. extreme of the land in sight N., 66 deg.  E.; and the nearest shore about four or five leagues distant.  Our latitude, by observation, was 59 deg. 16’.

Between this latitude and Cape Newenham, the coast is composed of hills and low land, and appeared to form several bays.  A little before one o’clock, the boats ahead made the signal for meeting with shoal water.  It seems they had only two fathoms; and at the same time the ships were in six fathoms.  By hauling a little more to the northward, we continued in much the same depth till between five and six o’clock, when the boats meeting with less and less water, I made the signal to the Discovery, she being then ahead, to anchor, which we did soon after.  In bringing our ship up, the cable parted at the clinch, which obliged us to come-to with the other anchor.  We rode in six fathoms water, a sandy bottom, and about four or five leagues from the main land; Cape Newenham bearing S., seventeen leagues distant.  The farthest hills we could see to the north, bore N.E. by E.; but there was low land stretching out from the high land as far as N. by E. Without this was a shoal of sand and stones, that was dry at half ebb.

I had sent the two masters, each in a boat, to sound between this shoal and the coast.  On their return, they reported, that there was a channel, in which they found six and seven fathoms water; but that it was narrow and intricate.  At low water, we made an attempt to get a hawser round the lost anchor, but did not succeed then.  However, being determined not to leave it behind me, as long as there was a probability of recovering it, I persevered in my endeavours, and at last succeeded in the evening of the 20th.

While we were thus employed, I ordered Captain Clerke to send his master in a boat to look for a passage in the S.W. quarter.  He did so; but no channel was to be found in that direction; nor did there appear to be any way to get clear of these shoals, but to return by the track which had brought us in.  For although, by following the channel we were in, we might probably have got farther down the coast; and though, possibly, this channel might have led us at last to the north, clear of the shoals, still the attempt would have been attended with vast risk; and if we should not have succeeded, there would have been a considerable loss of time that could ill be spared.  These reasons induced me to return by the way in which we came; and so get without the shoals.

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A number of lunar observations, made by Mr King and myself on this and the four preceding days, and all reduced to the ship’s present station, gave the longitude

                               197 deg. 45’ 48”
  By the time-keeper it was 197 26 48
  Our latitude was 59 37 30
  Variation by the \ A.M. 23 deg. 34’ 3” \
    mean of three } P.M. 22 19 40 / mean 22 deg. 56’ 51” E.
    compasses, /

The northernmost part of the coast that we could see from this station, I judged to lie in the latitude of 60 deg..  It seemed to form a low point, which obtained the name of Shoal-Ness.

The tide of flood sets to the north, and the ebb to the south.  It rises and falls, upon a perpendicular, five or six feet; and I reckon it to be high-water on the full and change days at eight o’clock.

Having weighed at three in the morning on the 21st, with a light breeze at N.N.W., we steered back to the southward, having three boats ahead to direct us.  But, notwithstanding this precaution, we found more difficulty in returning than we had in advancing; and at last were obliged to anchor, to avoid running upon a shoal, which had only a depth of five feet.  While we lay here, twenty-seven men of the country, each in a canoe, came off to the ships, which they approached with great caution, hollowing and opening their arms as they advanced.  This, we understood, was to express their pacific intentions.  At length, some approached near enough to receive a few trifles that were thrown to them.  This encouraged the rest to venture alongside; and a traffic presently commenced between them and our people; who got dresses of skins, bows, arrows, darts, wooden vessels, &c.; our visitors taking in exchange for these whatever was offered them.  They seemed to be the same sort of people that we had of late met with all along this coast; wore the same kind of ornaments in their lips and noses; but were far more dirty, and not so well clothed.  They appeared to be wholly unacquainted with people like us; they knew not the use of tobacco; nor was any foreign article seen in their possession, unless a knife may be looked upon as such.  This, indeed, was only a piece of common iron fitted in a wooden handle, so as to answer the purpose of a knife.  They, however, knew the value and use of this instrument so well, that it seemed to be the only article they wished for.  Most of them had their hair shaved or cut short off, leaving only a few locks behind, or on one side.  For a covering for the head they wore a hood of skins, and a bonnet which appeared to be of wool.  One part of their dress, which we got from them, was a kind of girdle, very neatly made of skin, with trappings depending from it, and passing between the legs, so as to conceal the adjoining parts.  By the use of such a girdle, it should seem that they sometimes go naked, even in this high latitude; for they would hardly wear it under their other clothing.

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The canoes were made of skins, like all the others we had lately seen; only with this difference, that these were broader, and the hole in which the man sits was wider than in any I had before met with.  Our boats returning from sounding seemed to alarm them, so that they all left us sooner than probably they would otherwise have done.

It was the 22d in the evening before we got clear of these shoals, and then I durst not venture to steer to the westward in the night, but spent it off Cape Newenham; and at day-break, next morning, steered to the N.W., ordering the Discovery to lead.  Before we had run two leagues, our depth of water decreased to six fathoms.  Fearing, if we continued this course, that we should find less and less water, I hauled to the southward; the wind being at east, a fresh breeze.  This course brought us gradually. into eighteen fathoms, and having that depth, I ventured to steer a little westerly; and afterward west, when we at last found twenty-six fathoms water.

On the 24th at noon, we were, by observation in the latitude of 58 deg. 7’, and in the longitude of 194 deg. 22’.  Three leagues to the westward of this station we had twenty-eight fathoms water, and then steered W.N.W., the water gradually deepening to thirty-four fathoms.  I would have steered more northerly, but the wind having veered in that direction, I could not.

The 25th, in the evening, having a very thick fog, and but little wind, we dropped anchor in thirty fathoms water.  Our latitude was now 58 deg. 29’, and our longitude 191 deg. 37’.  At six, the next morning, the weather clearing up a little, we weighed, and, with a small breeze at east, steered north, our soundings being from twenty-eight to twenty-five fathoms.  After running nine leagues upon this course, the wind returned back to the north, which obliged us to steer more westerly.

The weather continued for the most part foggy till toward noon on the 28th, when we had a few hours clear sunshine; during which we made several lunar observations.  The mean result of them, reduced to noon, when the latitude was 59 deg. 55’, gave 190 deg. 6’ longitude; and the time-keeper gave 189 deg. 59’.  The variation of the compass was 18 deg. 40’ E. Continuing our westerly course, the water having now deepened to thirty-six fathoms, at four o’clock next morning we discovered land, bearing N.W. by W., six leagues distant.  We stood toward it till half-past ten, when we tacked in twenty-four fathoms water, being at this time a league from the land, which bore N.N.W.  It was the S.E. extremity, and formed a perpendicular cliff of considerable height; on which account it was called Point Upright, and lies in the latitude of 60 deg. 17’, and in the longitude of 187 deg. 30’.  More land was seen to the westward of the point; and, at a clear interval, we saw another elevated portion of land in the direction of W. by S.; and this seemed to be entirely separated from the other.  Here we met with an incredible number of birds, all of the awk kind before described.

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We had baffling light winds all the afternoon, so that we made but little progress; and the weather was not clear enough to enable us to determine the extent of the land before us.  We supposed it to be one of the many islands laid down by Mr Staehlin, in his map of the New Northern Archipelago; and we expected every moment to see more of them.[4]

[Footnote 4:  The opinion here given, we shall find, is afterwards corrected; and the land in question proved to be a discovery unknown to the Russians.—­E.]

At four in the afternoon of the 30th, Point Upright bore N.W. by N., six leagues distant.  About this time, a light breeze springing up at N.N.W., we stood to the N.E. till four o’clock next morning, when the wind veering to the eastward, we tacked, and stood to the N.W.  Soon after the wind came to S.E.; and we steered N.E. by N.; which course we continued, with soundings from thirty-five to twenty fathoms, till next day at noon.  At this time we were in the latitude of 60 deg. 58’, and in the longitude of 191 deg..  The wind now veering to N.E., I first made a stretch of ten leagues to the N.W.; and then, seeing no land in that direction, I stood back to the eastward about fifteen leagues, and met with nothing but pieces of drift-wood.  The soundings were from twenty-two to nineteen fathoms.

Variable, light winds, with showers of rain, prevailed all the 2d; but fixing in the S.E. quarter in the morning of the 3d, we resumed our course to the northward.  At noon, we were, by observation, in the latitude of 62 deg. 34’, our longitude was 192 deg., and our depth of water sixteen fathoms.

Mr Anderson, my surgeon, who had been lingering under a consumption for more than twelve months, expired between three and four this afternoon.  He was a sensible young man, an agreeable companion, well skilled in his own profession, and had acquired considerable knowledge in other branches of science.  The reader of this Journal will have observed how useful an assistant I had found him in the course of the voyage; and had it pleased God to have spared his life, the public, I make no doubt, might have received from him such communications, on various parts of the natural history of the several places we visited, as would have abundantly shewn that he was not unworthy of this commendation.[5] Soon after he had breathed his last, land was seen to the westward, twelve leagues distant.  It was supposed to be an island; and, to perpetuate the memory of the deceased, for whom I had a very great regard, I named it Anderson’s Island.  The next day, I removed Mr Law, the surgeon of the Discovery, into the Resolution, and appointed Mr Samuel, the surgeon’s first mate of the Resolution, to be surgeon of the Discovery.

[Footnote 5:  Mr Anderson’s Journal seems to have been discontinued for about two months before his death; the last date in his MSS. being of the 3d of June.—­D.

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The Biographia Britannica informs us, that Mr Anderson left his papers to Sir Joseph Banks; but that the Admiralty took possession of the larger part of them, and, for what reason is not mentioned, retained them.  Such parts, however, it is said, as related solely to natural history, were delivered by Captain King to the Baronet, who bears testimony “to the excellence of Mr A.’s character, the utility of his observations, and to the great probability, that, if he had survived, he would have given to the world something which would have done him credit.”  Much of this commendatory opinion might be inferred from what has been published of Mr A.’s labours, which constitute no inconsiderable portion, either in bulk or value, of Captain Cook’s communications.—­E.]

On the 4th, at three in the afternoon, land was seen, extending from N.N.E. to N.W.  We stood on toward it till four o’clock, when, being four or five miles from it, we tacked; and, soon after, the wind falling, we anchored in thirteen fathoms water, over a sandy bottom; being about two leagues from the land, and, by our reckoning, in the latitude of 64 deg. 27’, and in the longitude of 194 deg. 18’.  At intervals, we could see the coast extending from E. to N.W., and a pretty high island, bearing W. by N. three leagues distant.

The land before us, which we supposed to be the continent of America, appeared low next the sea; but, inland, it swelled into hills, which rise, one behind another, to a considerable height.  It had a greenish hue, but seemed destitute of wood, and free from snow.  While we lay at anchor, we found that the flood-tide came from the east, and set to the west, till between ten and eleven o’clock.  From that time till two the next morning, the stream set to the eastward, and the water fell three feet.  The flood ran both stronger and longer than the ebb; from which I concluded, that, besides the ebb, there was a westerly current.

At ten in the morning of the 5th, with the wind at S.W., we ran down, and anchored between the island and the continent, in seven fathoms water.  Soon after I landed upon the island, accompanied by Mr King and some others of the officers.  I hoped to have had from it a view of the coast and sea to the westward; but the fog was so thick in that direction, that the prospect was not more extensive than from the ship.  The coast of the continent seemed to take a turn to the northward, at a low point, named Point Rodney, which bore from the island N.W. 1/2 W., three or four leagues distant; but the high land, which took a more northerly direction, was seen a great way farther.

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This island, which was named Sledge Island, and lies in the latitude of 64 deg. 30’, and in the longitude of 193 deg. 57’, is about four leagues in circuit.  The surface of the ground is composed chiefly of large loose stones, that are, in many places, covered with moss and other vegetables, of which there were above twenty or thirty different sorts, and most of them in flower.  But I saw neither shrub nor tree, either upon this island or on the continent.  On a small low spot, near the beach where we landed, was a good deal of wild purslain, pease, long-wort, &c.; some of which we took on board for the pot.  We saw one fox, a few plovers, and some other small birds; and we met with some decayed huts that were partly built below ground.  People had lately been on the island; and it is pretty clear, that they frequently visit it for some purpose or other, as there was a beaten path from the one end to the other.  We found, a little way from the shore where we landed, a sledge, which occasioned this name being given to the island, it seemed to be such a one as the Russians in Kamtschatka make use of to convey goods from place to place over the ice or snow.  It was ten feet long, twenty inches broad, and had a kind of rail-work on each side, and was shod with bone.  The construction of it was admirable, and all the parts neatly put together; some with wooden pins, but mostly with thongs or lashings of whalebone, which made me think it was entirely the workmanship of the natives.

At three o’clock the next morning we weighed, and proceeded to the north-westward, with a light southerly breeze.  We had an opportunity to observe the sun’s meridian altitude for the latitude; and to get altitudes, both in the forenoon and afternoon, to obtain the longitude by the time-keeper.  As we had but little wind, and variable withal, we advanced but slowly; and at eight in the evening, finding the ships settle fast toward the land into shoal water, I anchored in seven fathoms, about two leagues from the coast.  Sledge Island bore S., 51 deg.  E., ten leagues distant, and was seen over the south point of the main land.

Soon after we had anchored, the weather, which had been misty, clearing up, we saw high land extending from N., 40 deg.  E., to N., 30 deg.  W., apparently disjoined from the coast, under which we were at anchor, which seemed to trend away N.E.  At the same time, an island was seen bearing N., 81 deg.  W., eight or nine leagues distant.  It appeared to have no great extent, and was named King’s Island.  We rode here till eight o’clock next morning, when we weighed, and stood to the N.W.  The weather clearing up toward the evening, we got sight of the N.W. land, extending from N. by W. to N.W. by N., distant about three leagues.  We spent the night making short boards, the weather being misty and rainy, with little wind; and, between four and five of the morning of the 8th, we had again a sight of the N.W. land; and soon after, on account of a

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calm, and a current driving us toward the shore, we found it necessary to anchor in twelve fathoms water, about two miles from the coast.  Over the western extreme is an elevated peaked hill, situated in latitude 65 deg. 36’, and in longitude 192 deg. 18’.  A breeze at N.E. springing up at eight o’clock, we weighed, and stood to the S.E., in hopes of finding a passage between the coast on which we had anchored on the 6th in the evening, and this N.W. land.  But we soon got into seven fathoms water, and discovered low land connecting the two coasts, and the high land behind it.

Being now satisfied that the whole was a continued coast, I tacked, and stood away for its N.W. part, and came to an anchor under it in seventeen fathoms water.  The weather at this time was very thick with rain; but at four next morning it cleared up, so that we could see the land about us.  A high steep rock or island bore W. by S.; another island to the N. of it; and much larger, bore W. by N.; the peaked hill above mentioned S.E. by E.; and the point under it, S., 32 deg.  E. Under this hill lies some low land, stretching out towards the N.W., the extreme point of which bore N.E. by E., about three miles distant.  Over and beyond it some high land was seen, supposed to be a continuation of the continent.

This point of land, which I named Cape Prince of Wales, is the more remarkable, by being the western extremity of all America hitherto known.  It is situated in the latitude of 65 deg. 45’, and in the longitude of 191 deg. 45’.  The observations by which both were determined, though made in sight of it, were liable to some small error, on account of the haziness of the weather.  We thought we saw some people upon the coast; and probably we were not mistaken, as some elevations, like stages, and others like huts, were seen at the same place.  We saw the same things on the continent within Sledge Island, and on some other parts of the coast.

It was calm till eight o’clock in the morning, when a faint breeze at north springing up, we weighed.  But we had scarcely got our sails set, when it began to blow and rain very hard, with misty weather.  The wind and current being in contrary directions, raised such a sea that it frequently broke into the ship.  We had a few minutes sunshine at noon; and from the observation then obtained, we fixed the above-mentioned latitude.

Having plied to windward till two in the afternoon, with little effect, I bore up for the island we had seen to the westward, proposing to come to an anchor under it till the gale should cease.  But on getting to this land, we found it composed of two small islands, each not above three or four leagues in circuit, and consequently they could afford us little shelter.  Instead of anchoring, therefore, we continued to stretch to the westward; and at eight o’clock, land was seen in that direction, extending from N.N.W. to W. by S., the nearest part six leagues distant.  I stood on till ten, and then made a board to the eastward, in order to spend the night.

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At day-break in the morning of the 10th, we resumed our course to the west for the land we had seen the preceding evening.  At eleven minutes after seven, when the longitude, by the time-keeper, was 189 deg. 24’, it extended from S. 72 deg.  W. to N. 41 deg.  E. Between the S.W. extreme, and a point which bore W., two leagues distant, the shore forms a large bay, in which we anchored at ten o’clock in the forenoon, about two miles from the north shore, in ten fathoms water, over a gravelly bottom.  The south part of the bay bore S. 58 deg.  W., the north point N. 43 deg.  E., the bottom of the bay N. 60 deg.  W., two or three leagues distant, and. the two islands we had passed the preceding day, N. 72 deg.  E., distant fourteen leagues.


Behaviour of the Natives, the Tschutski, on seeing the Ships.—­Interview with some of them.—­Their Weapons.—­Persons.—­Ornaments.—­Clothing.—­Winter and Summer Habitations.—­The Ships cross the Strait, to the Coast of America.—­Progress Northward.—­Cape Mulgrave.—­Appearance of Fields of Ice.—­Situation of Icy Cape.—­The Sea blocked up with Ice.—­Sea-horses killed, and used as Provisions.—­These Animals described.—­Dimensions of one of them.—­Cape Lisburne.—­Fruitless Attempt to get through the Ice at a Distance from the Coast.—­Observations on the Formation of thin Ice.—­Arrival on the Coast of Asia.—­Cape North.—­The Prosecution of the Voyage deferred to the ensuing Year.

As we were standing into this bay, we perceived on the north shore a village, and some people, whom the sight of the ships seemed to have thrown into confusion or fear.  We could plainly see persons running up the country with burdens upon their backs.  At these habitations I proposed to land; and accordingly went with three armed boats, accompanied by some of the officers.  About thirty or forty men, each armed with a spontoon, a bow, and arrows, stood drawn up on a rising ground close by the village.  As we drew near, three of them came down toward the shore, and were so polite as to take off their caps, and to make us low bows.  We returned the civility; but this did not inspire them with sufficient confidence to wait for our landing, for the moment we put the boats ashore, they retired.  I followed them alone, without any thing in my hand; and by signs and gestures prevailed on them to stop, and to receive some trifling presents.  In return for these they gave me two fox-skins, and a couple of sea-horse teeth.  I cannot say whether they or I made the first present; for it appeared to me that they had brought down with them these things for this very purpose, and that they would have given them to me, even though I had made no return.

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They seemed very fearful and cautious, expressing their desire by signs, that no more of our people should be permitted to come up.  On my laying my hand on the shoulder of one of them, he started back several paces.  In proportion as I advanced, they retreated backward, always in the attitude of being ready to make use of their spears, while those on the rising ground stood ready to support them with their arrows.  Insensibly, myself and two or three of my companions, got in amongst them.  A few beads distributed to those about us, soon created a kind of confidence, so that they were not alarmed when a few more of our people joined us, and, by degrees, a sort of traffic between us commenced.  In exchange for knives, beads, tobacco, and other articles, they gave us some of their clothing, and a few arrows.  But nothing that we had to offer could induce them to part with a spear or a bow.  These they held in constant readiness, never once quitting them, except at one time, when four or five persons laid theirs down, while they gave us a song and a dance.  And even then, they placed them in such a manner, that they could lay hold of them in an instant, and, for their security, they desired us to sit down.

The arrows were pointed either with bone or stone, but very few of them had barbs, and some had a round blunt point.  What use these may be applied to I cannot say, unless it be to kill small animals, without damaging the skin.  The bows were such as we had seen on the American coast, and like those that were used by the Esquimaux.  The spears, or spontoons, were of iron or steel; and of European or Asiatic workmanship, in which no little pains had been taken to ornament them with carving, and inlayings of brass, and of a white metal.  Those who stood ready with bows and arrows in their hands, had the spear slung over their right shoulder by a leathern strap.  A leathern quiver, slung over their left shoulder, contained arrows; and some of these quivers were extremely beautiful, being made of red leather, on which was very neat embroidery, and other ornaments.

Several other things, and in particular their clothing, shewed that they were possessed of a degree of ingenuity, far surpassing what one could expect to find amongst so northern a people.  All the Americans we had seen since our arrival on that coast, were rather low of stature, with round chubby faces, and high cheek-bones.  The people we now were amongst, far from resembling them, had long visages, and were stout and well-made.  In short, they appeared to be a quite different nation.  We saw neither women nor children of either sex, nor any aged, except one man, who was bald-headed, and he was the only one who carried no arms.  The others seemed to be picked men, and rather under than above the middle age.  The old man had a black mark across his face, which I did not see in any others.  All of them had their ears bored, and some had glass beads hanging to them.  These were the only fixed ornaments we saw about them, for they wear none to the lips.  This is another thing in which they differ from the Americans we had lately seen.

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Their clothing consisted of a cap, a frock, a pair of breeches, a pair of boots, and a pair of gloves, all made of leather, or of the skins of deer, dogs, seals, &c. and extremely well dressed, some with the hair or fur on, but others without it.  The caps were made to fit the head very close; and besides these caps, which most of them wore, we got from them some hoods, made of skins of dogs, that were large enough to cover both head and shoulders.  Their hair seemed to be black; but their heads were either shaved, or the hair cut close off, and none of them wore any beard.  Of the few articles which they got from us, knives and tobacco were what they valued most.

We found the village composed both of their summer and their winter habitations.  The latter are exactly like a vault, the floor of which is sunk a little below the surface of the earth.  One of them which I examined was of an oval form, about twenty feet long, and twelve or more high.  The framing was composed of wood and the ribs of whales, disposed in a judicious manner, and bound together with smaller materials of the same sort.  Over this framing is laid a covering of strong coarse grass, and that again is covered with earth, so that, on the outside, the house looks like a little hillock, supported by a wall of stone, three or four feet high, which is built round the two sides and one end.  At the other end, the earth is raised sloping, to walk up to the entrance, which is by a hole in the top of the roof over that end.  The floor was boarded, and under it a kind of cellar, in which I saw nothing but water.  And at the end of each house was a vaulted room, which I took to be a store-room.  These store-rooms communicated with the house, by a dark passage, and with the open air, by a hole in the roof, which was even with the ground one walked upon; but they cannot be said to be wholly under ground, for one end reached to the edge of the hill, along which they were made, and which was built up with stone.  Over it stood a kind of sentry-box, or tower, composed of the large bones of large fish.

The summer huts were pretty large and circular, being brought to a point at the top.  The framing was of slight poles and bones, covered with the skins of sea-animals.  I examined the inside of one.  There was a fire-place just within the door, where lay a few wooden vessels, all very dirty.  Their bed-places were close to the side, and took up about half the circuit.  Some privacy seemed to be observed; for there were several partitions made with skins.  The bed and bedding were of deer-skins, and most of them were dry and clean.

About the habitations were erected several stages, ten or twelve feet high, such as we had observed on some parts of the American coast.  They were wholly composed of bones, and seemed intended for drying their fish and skins, which were thus placed beyond the reach of their dogs, of which they had a great many.  These dogs are of the fox kind, rather large, and of different colours, with long soft hair like wool.  They are, probably, used in drawing their sledges in winter.  For sledges they have, as I saw a good many laid up in one of the winter huts.  It is also not improbable, that dogs may constitute a part of their food.  Several lay dead that had been killed that morning.

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The canoes of these people are of the same sort with those of the Northern Americans, some, both of the large and of the small ones, being seen lying in a creek under the village.

By the large fish-bones, and of other sea-animals, it appeared that the sea supplied them with the greatest part of their subsistence.  The country appeared to be exceedingly barren, yielding neither tree nor shrub, that we could see.  At some distance westward, we observed a ridge of mountains covered with snow that had lately fallen.

At first, we supposed this land to be a part of the island of Alaschka, laid down in Mr Staehlin’s map before-mentioned.  But from the figure of the coast, the situation of the opposite shore of America, and from the longitude, we soon began to think that it was, more probably, the country of the Tschutski, or the eastern extremity of Asia, explored by Beering in 1728.  But to have admitted this, without farther examination, I must have pronounced Mr Staehlin’s map, and his account of the new northern archipelago, to be either exceedingly erroneous, even in latitude, or else to be a mere fiction; a judgment which I had no right to pass upon a publication so respectably vouched, without producing the clearest proofs.[1]

[Footnote 1:  If the account of Beering’s voyage had been accurately given, Captain Cook need not have hesitated about the situation or nature of the place he now visited.  Captain Billings afterwards anchored in the same bay on his voyage to complete the discoveries of Cook, as related in Mr Coxe’s work.  Still, however, our acquaintance with this part of Asia is very imperfect.  Captain Cook, it may be proper to remark here, had the merit of ascertaining the vicinity of the two continents, which had been but vaguely conjectured before his time.—­E.]

After a stay of between two and three hours with these people, we returned to our ships, and soon after, the wind veering to the south, we weighed anchor, stood out of the bay, and steered to the N.E., between the coast and the two islands.  The next day, at noon, the former extended from S. 80 deg.  W. to N. 84 deg.  W., the latter bore S. 40 deg.  W., and the peaked mountain, over Cape Prince of Wales, bore S. 36 deg.  E., with land extending from it as far as S. 75 deg.  E. The latitude of the ship was 66 deg. 5-1/4’, the longitude 191 deg. 19’, our depth of water twenty-eight fathoms, and our position nearly in the middle of the channel between the two coasts, each being seven leagues distant.

From this station we steered east, in order to get nearer the American coast.  In this course the water shoaled gradually, and there being little wind, and all our endeavours to increase our depth tailing, I was obliged at last to drop anchor in six fathoms, the only remedy we had left to prevent the ships driving into less.  The nearest part of the western land bore W., twelve leagues distant, the peaked hill over Cape Prince of Wales, S. 16 deg.  W., and the northernmost part of the American continent in sight, E.S.E., the nearest part about four leagues distant.  After we had anchored, I sent a boat to sound, and the water was found to shoal gradually toward the land.  While we lay at anchor, which was from six to nine in the evening, we found little or no current, nor could we perceive that the water either rose or fell.

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A breeze of wind springing up at N., we weighed, and stood to the westward, which course soon brought us into deep water, and, during the 12th, we plied to the N., both coasts being in sight, but we kept nearest to that of America.

At four in the afternoon of the 13th, a breeze springing up at S., I steered N.E. by N., till four o’clock next morning, when, seeing no land, we directed our course E. by N., and between nine and ten, land, supposed to be a continuation of the continent, appeared.  It extended from E. by S. to E. by N., and soon after we saw more land, bearing N. by E. Coming pretty suddenly into thirteen fathoms water, at two in the afternoon, we made a trip off till four, when we stood in again for the land, which was seen soon after, extending from N. to S.E., the nearest part three or four leagues distant.  The coast here forms a point, named Point Mulgrave, which lies in the latitude of 67 deg. 45’, and in the longitude of 194 deg. 51’.  The land appeared very low next the sea; but, a little back, it rises into hills of a moderate height.  The whole was free from snow, and, to appearance, destitute of wood.  I now tacked, and bore away N.W. by W., but soon after, thick weather with rain coming on, and the wind increasing, I hauled more to the west.

Next morning, at two o’clock, the wind veered to S.W. by S.; and blew a strong gale, which abated at noon; and the sun shining out, we found ourselves, by observation, in the latitude of 68 deg. 18’.  I now steered N.E., till six o’clock the next morning, when I steered two points more easterly.  In this run, we met with several sea-horses and flights of birds, some like sand-larks, and others no bigger than hedge-sparrows.  Some shags were also seen, so that we judged ourselves to be not far from land.  But as we had a thick fog, we could not expect to see any; and, as the wind blew strong, it was not prudent to continue a course which was most likely to bring us to it.  From the noon of this day, to six o’clock in the morning of the following, I steered E. by N., which course brought us into sixteen fathoms water.  I now steered N.E. by E., thinking, by this course, to deepen our water.  But, in the space of six leagues, it shoaled to eleven fathoms, which made me think it proper to haul close to the wind that now blew at west.  Toward noon, both sun and moon were seen clearly at intervals, and we got some flying observations for the longitude, which, reduced to noon, when the latitude was 70 deg. 33’, gave 197 deg. 41’.  The time-keeper, for the same time, gave 198 deg., and the variation was 35 deg. 1’ 22” E. We had, afterward, reason to believe, that the observed longitude was within a very few miles of the truth.

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Some time before noon, we perceived a brightness in the northern horizon, like that reflected from ice, commonly called the blink.  It was little noticed, from a supposition that it was improbable we should meet with ice so soon.  And yet the sharpness of the air, and gloominess of the weather, for two or three days past, seemed to indicate some sudden change.  About an hour after, the sight of a large field of ice, left us no longer in doubt about the cause of the brightness of the horizon.  At half-past two, we tacked, close to the edge of the ice, in twenty-two fathoms water, being then in the latitude of 70 deg. 41’, not being able to stand on any farther.  For the ice was quite impenetrable, and extended from W. by N. to E. by N. as far as the eye could reach.  Here were abundance of sea-horses, some in the water, but far more upon the ice.  I had thoughts of hoisting out the boats to kill some, but the wind freshening, I gave up the design, and continued to ply to the southward, or rather to the westward, for the wind came from that quarter.

We gained nothing; for, on the 18th at noon, our latitude was 70 deg. 44’, and we were near five leagues farther to the eastward.  We were, at this time, close to the edge of the ice, which was as compact as a wall, and seemed to be ten or twelve feet high at least.  But, farther north, it appeared much higher.  Its surface was extremely rugged; and here and there, we saw upon it pools of water.

We now stood to the southward; and, after running six leagues, shoaled the water to seven fathoms, but it soon deepened to nine fathoms.  At this time, the weather, which had been hazy, clearing up a little, we saw land extending from S. to S.E. by E., about three or four miles distant.  The eastern extreme forms a point, which was much encumbered with ice, for which reason it obtained the name of Icy Cape.  Its latitude is 70 deg. 29’, and its longitude 198 deg. 20’.  The other extreme of the land was lost in the horizon, so that there can be no doubt of its being a continuation of the American continent.  The Discovery being about a mile astern, and to leeward, found less water than we did, and tacking on that account, I was obliged to tack also, to prevent separation.

Our situation was now more and more critical.  We were in shoal water, upon a lee-shore, and the main body of the ice to windward, driving down upon us.  It was evident, that if we remained much longer between it and the land, it would force us ashore, unless it should happen to take the ground before us.  It seemed nearly to join the land to leeward; and the only direction that was open, was to the S.W.  After making a short board to the northward, I made the signal for the Discovery to tack, and tacked myself at the same time.  The wind proved rather favourable, so that we lay up S.W. and S.W. by W.

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At eight in the morning of the 19th, the wind veering back to W., I tacked to the northward, and, at noon, the latitude was 70 deg. 6’, and the longitude 195 deg. 42’.  In this situation, we had a good deal of drift-ice about us; and the main ice was about two leagues to the N. At half-past one, we got in with the edge of it.  It was not so compact as that which we had seen to the northward; but it was too close, and in too large pieces, to attempt forcing the ships through it.  On the ice lay a prodigious number of sea-horses; and, as we were in want of fresh provisions, the boats from each ship were sent to get some.

By seven o’clock in the evening, we had received, on board the Resolution, nine of these animals, which, till now, we had supposed to be sea-cows; so that we were not a little disappointed, especially some of the seamen, who, for the novelty of the thing, had been feasting their eyes for some days past.  Nor would they have been disappointed now, nor have known the difference, if we had not happened to have one or two on board, who had been in Greenland, and declared what animals these were, and that no one ever eat of them.  But, notwithstanding this, we lived upon them as long as they lasted; and there were few on board who did not prefer them to our salt meat.

The fat; at first, is as sweet as marrow; but in a few days it grows rancid, unless it be salted, in which state it will keep much longer.  The lean flesh is coarse, black, and has rather a strong taste; and the heart is nearly as well tasted as that of a bullock.  The fat, when melted, yields a good deal of oil, which burns very well in lamps; and their hides, which are very thick, were very useful about our rigging.  The teeth or tusks of most of them were, at this time, very small; even some of the largest and oldest of these animals had them not exceeding six inches in length.  From this we concluded, that they had lately shed their old teeth.

They lie, in herds of many hundreds, upon the ice, huddling one over the other like swine, and roar or bray very loud, so that, in the night or in foggy weather, they gave us notice of the vicinity of the ice before we could see it.  We never found the whole herd asleep, some being always upon the watch.  These, on the approach of the boat, would wake those next to them, and the alarm being thus gradually communicated, the whole herd would be awake presently.  But they were seldom in a hurry to get away, till after they had once been fired at.  Then they would tumble one over the other, into the sea, in the utmost confusion.  And if we did not, at the first discharge, kill those we fired at, we generally lost them, though mortally wounded.  They did not appear to us to be that dangerous animal some authors have described, not even when attacked.  They are rather more so to appearance than in reality.  Vast numbers of them would follow, and come close up to the boats.  But the flash of a musket in the pan, or even the bare pointing of one at them, would send them down in an instant.  The female will defend the young one to the very last, and at the expense of her own life, whether in the water, or upon the ice.  Nor will the young one quit the dam, though she be dead; so that, if you kill one, you are sure of the other.  The dam, when in the water, holds the young one between her fore-fins.

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Mr Pennant, in his Synopsis Quadr. p. 835,[2] has given a very good description of this animal under the name of Arctic Walrus, but I have no where seen a good drawing of one.  Why they should be called sea-horses is hard to say, unless the word be a corruption of the Russian name Morse, for they have not the least resemblance of a horse.  This is, without doubt, the same animal that is found in the Gulf of St Laurence, and there called Sea-cow.  It is certainly more like a cow than a horse; but this likeness consists in nothing but the snout.  In short, it is an animal like a seal, but incomparably larger.  The dimensions and weight of one, which was none of the largest, were as follows:—­

Feet.  Inches.

Length from the snout to the tail 9 4 Length of the neck, from the snout to the shoulder-bone 2 6 Height of the shoulder 5 0
Length of the fins           { Fore          2     4
{ Hind          2     6
Breadth of the fins          { Fore          1     2-1/2
{ Hind          2     0
Snout                        { Breadth       0     5-1/2
{ Depth         1     3
Circumference of the neck close to the ears  2     7
Circumference of the body at the shoulder    7     10
Circumference near the hind fins             5     6
From the snout to the eyes                   0     7
Weight of the carcase, without
the head, skin, or entrails            854
Head                                    41-1/2
Skin                                   205

[Footnote 2:  Mr Pennant, since Captain Cook wrote this, has described this animal in a work which he calls Arctic Zoology.  We refer the reader to N deg. 72. of that work.—­D.]

I could not find out what these animals feed upon.  There was nothing in the maws of those we killed.

It is worth observing, that for some days before this date, we had frequently seen flocks of ducks flying to the southward.  They were of two sorts, the one much larger than the other, the largest were of a brown colour; and, of the small sort, either the duck or drake was black and white, and the other brown.  Some said they saw geese also.  Does not this indicate that there must be land to the north, where these birds find shelter, in the proper season, to breed, and from whence they were now returning to a warmer climate?

By the time that we had got our sea-horses on board, we were, in a manner, surrounded with the ice, and had no way left to clear it, but by standing to the southward, which was done till three o’clock next morning, with a gentle breeze westerly, and for the most part, thick, foggy weather.  The soundings were from twelve to fifteen fathoms.  We then tacked, and stood to the north till ten o’clock, when the wind veering to the northward, we directed our course to the S.W. and W. At two in the afternoon, we fell in with the main ice, along the edge of which we kept, being partly directed by the roaring of the sea-horses, for we had a very thick fog.  Thus we continued sailing till near midnight, when we got in amongst the loose ice, and heard the surge of the sea upon the main ice.

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The fog being very thick, and the wind easterly, I now hauled to the southward; and, at ten o’clock the next morning, the fog clearing away, we saw the continent of America, extending from S. by E. to E. by S., and at noon, from S.W. 1/2 S. to E., the nearest part five leagues distant.  At this time we were in the latitude of 69 deg. 32’, and in the longitude of 195 deg. 48’; and as the main ice was at no great distance from us, it is evident that it now covered a part of the sea, which, but a few days before, had been clear, and that it extended farther to the S., than where we first fell in with it.  It must not be understood, that I supposed any part of this ice which we had seen to be fixed; on the contrary, I am well assured, that the whole was a moveable mass.

Having but little wind in the afternoon, I sent the master in a boat, to try if there was any current, but he found none.  I continued to steer in for the American land, until eight o’clock, in order to get a nearer view of it, and to look for a harbour; but seeing nothing like one, I stood again to the N., with a light breeze westerly.  At this time, the coast, extended from S.W. to E., the nearest part four or five leagues distant.  The southern extreme seemed to form a point, which was named Cape Lisburne.  It lies in the latitude of 69 deg. 5’, and in the longitude of 194 deg. 42’, and appeared to be pretty high land, even down to the sea.  But there may be low land under it, which we might not see, being not less than ten leagues distant from it.  Every where else, as we advanced northward, we had found a low coast, from which the land rises to a middle height.  The coast now before us was without snow, except in one or two places, and had a greenish hue.  But we could not perceive any wood upon it.

On the 22d, the wind was southerly, and the weather mostly foggy, with some intervals of sunshine.  At eight in the evening it fell calm, which continued till midnight, when we heard the surge of the sea against the ice, and had several loose pieces about us.  A light breeze now sprung up at N.E., and as the fog was very thick, I steered to the southward to clear the ice.  At eight o’clock next morning, the fog dispersed, and I hauled to the westward.  For, finding that I could not get to the north near the coast, on account of the ice, I resolved to try what could be done at a distance from it; and as the wind seemed to be settled at north, I thought it a good opportunity.

As we advanced to the west, the water deepened gradually to twenty-eight fathoms, which was the most we had.  With the northerly wind the air was raw, sharp, and cold, and we had fogs, sunshine, showers of snow and sleet, by turns.  At ten in the morning of the 26th, we fell in with the ice.  At noon, it extended from N.W. to E. by N., and appeared to be thick and compact.  At this time, we were, by observation, in the latitude 69 deg. 36’, and in the longitude of 184 deg.; so that it now appeared we had no better prospect of getting to the north here, than nearer the shore.

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I continued to stand to the westward, till five in the afternoon, when we were in a manner embayed by the ice, which appeared high, and very close in the N.W. and N.E. quarters, with a great deal of loose ice about the edge of the main field.  At this time we had baffling light winds, but it soon fixed at S., and increased to a fresh gale, with showers of rain.  We got the tack aboard, and stretched to the eastward, this being the only direction in which the sea was clear of ice.

At four in the morning of the 27th, we tacked and stood to the W., and, at seven in the evening, we were close in with the edge of the ice, which lay E.N.E., and W.S.W., as far each way as the eye could reach.  Having but little wind, I went with the boats to examine the state of the ice.  I found it consisting of loose pieces, of various extent, and so close together, that I could hardly enter the outer edge with a boat; and it was as impossible for the ships to enter it, as if it had been so many rocks.  I took particular notice, that it was all pure transparent ice, except the upper surface, which was a little porous.  It appeared to be entirely composed of frozen snow, and to have been all formed at sea.  For setting aside the improbability, or rather impossibility, of such huge masses floating out of rivers, in which there is hardly water for a boat, none of the productions of the land were found incorporated, or fixed in it, which must have unavoidably been the case, had it been formed in rivers, either great or small.  The pieces of ice that formed the outer edge of the field, were from forty or fifty yards in extent, to four or five; and I judged, that the larger pieces reached thirty feet, or more, under the surface of the water.  It also appeared to me very improbable, that this ice could have been the production of the preceding winter alone.  I should suppose it rather to have been the production of a great many winters.  Nor was it less improbable, according to my judgment, that the little that remained of the summer could destroy the tenth part of what now subsisted of this mass, for the sun had already exerted upon it the full influence of his rays.  Indeed I am of opinion, that the sun contributes very little toward reducing these great masses.  For although that luminary is a considerable while above the horizon, it seldom shines out for more than a few hours at a time, and often is not seen for several days in succession.  It is the wind, or rather the waves raised by the wind, that brings down the bulk of these enormous masses, by grinding one piece against another, and by undermining and washing away those parts that lie exposed to the surge of the sea.  This was evident, from our observing, that the upper surface of many pieces had been partly washed away, while the base or under part remained firm for several fathoms round that which appeared above water, exactly like a shoal round an elevated rock.  We measured the depth of water upon one, and found it to be fifteen feet,

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so that the ships might have sailed over it.  If I had not measured this depth, I would not have believed that there was a sufficient weight of ice above the surface to have sunk the other so much below it.  Thus it may happen, that more ice is destroyed in one stormy season, than is formed in several winters, and an endless accumulation is prevented.  But that there is always a remaining store, every one who has been upon the spot will conclude, and none but closet-studying philosophers will dispute.[3]

[Footnote 3:  These observations of Captain Cook, in addition to some remarks which were formerly given on the subject, seem conclusive against the supposition of such large masses of ice being the product of rivers, as has not unfrequently been maintained.  They may, however, have proceeded from land in another way, being occasioned by the consolidation of snow into such masses as were of sufficient weight to separate from the declivities where they had been formed.  This undoubtedly may sometimes happen; but the explanation of their origin formerly offered, seems much more entitled to consideration, as a generally operating cause.  The last remark which Captain Cook makes, appears to have been levelled at some would-be-wise heads, who had hazarded reflections about the possibility of some time or other finding an open sea in high latitudes.  But, however illiberally stated, it is in all probability just, though for a reason unknown to Cook.  The chemical reader will perceive we allude to the circumstance of the absorption of heat that takes places during the liquefaction of ice, in consequence of which the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere is reduced so much, as to prevent any more of the ice being dissolved.  A contrary operation, as is now well known, takes place during the congelation of water, and heat is evolved.  Thus then the cold of winter is moderated.  And so, on the whole, the temperature is kept more uniform, than, without such adjustment, would be the case.—­E.]

A thick fog, which came on while I was thus employed with the boats, hastened me aboard, rather sooner than I could have wished, with one sea-horse to each ship.  We had killed more, but could not wait to bring them with us.  The number of these animals, on all the ice that we had seen, is almost incredible.  We spent the night standing off and on amongst the drift ice; and at nine o’clock the next morning, the fog having partly dispersed, boats from each ship were sent for sea-horses.  For, by this time, our people began to relish them, and those we had procured before were all consumed.  At noon, our latitude was 69 deg. 17’, our longitude 183 deg., the variation by the morning azimuths, 25 deg. 56’ E., and the depth of water twenty-five fathoms.  At two o’clock, having got on board as much marine beef as was thought necessary, and the wind freshening at S.S.E., we took on board the boats, and stretched to the S.W.  But not being able to weather the ice upon this tack, or to go through it, we made a board to the east, till eight o’clock, then resumed our course to the S.W., and before midnight were obliged to tack again, on account of the ice.  Soon after, the wind shifted to the N.W., blowing a stiff gale, and we stretched to the S.W., close hauled.

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In the morning of the 29th, we saw the main ice to the northward, and not long after, land bearing S.W. by W. Presently after this, more land shewed itself, bearing W. It shewed itself in two hills like islands, but afterward the whole appeared connected.  As we approached the land, the depth of water decreased very fast; so that at noon, when we tacked, we had only eight fathoms, being three miles from the coast, which extended from S., 30 deg.  E., to N., 60 deg.  W. This last extreme terminated in a bluff point, being one of the hills above mentioned.

The weather at this time was very hazy, with drizzling rain; but soon after it cleared, especially to the southward, westward, and northward.  This enabled us to have a pretty good view of the coast, which, in every respect, is like the opposite one of America; that is, low land next the sea, with elevated land farther back.  It was perfectly destitute of wood, and even snow; but was, probably, covered with a mossy substance, that gave it a brownish cast.  In the low ground, lying between the high land and the sea, was a lake, extending to the S.E., farther than we could see.  As we stood off, the westernmost of the two hills before mentioned came open off the bluff point, in the direction of N.W.  It had the appearance of being an island; but it might be joined to the other by low land, though we did not see it.  And if so, there is a two-fold point, with a bay between them.  This point, which is steep and rocky, was named Cape North.  Its situation is nearly in the latitude of 68 deg. 56’, and in the longitude of 180 deg. 51’.  The coast beyond it must take a very westerly direction; for we could see no land to the northward of it, though the horizon was there pretty clear.  Being desirous of seeing more of the coast to the westward, we tacked again at two o’clock in the afternoon, thinking we could weather Cape North.  But finding we could not, the wind freshening, a thick fog coming on, with much snow, and being fearful of the ice coming down upon us, I gave up the design I had formed of plying to the westward, and stood off shore again.

The season was now so far advanced, and the time when the frost is expected to set in so near at hand, that I did not think it consistent with prudence, to make any farther attempts to find a passage into the Atlantic this year, in any direction, so little was the prospect of succeeding.  My attention was now directed toward finding out some place where we might supply ourselves with wood and water; and the object uppermost in my thoughts was, how I should spend the winter, so as to make some improvements in geography and navigation, and, at the same time, be in a condition to return to the north, in farther search of a passage, the ensuing summer.


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Return from Cape North, along the Coast of Asia.—­Views of the Country.—­Burner’s Island.—­Cape Serdze Kamen, the Northern Limit of Beering’s Voyage.—­Pass the East Cape of Asia.—­Description and Situation of it.—­Observations on Muller.—­The Tschutski.—­Bay of Saint Laurence.—­Two other Bays, and Habitations of the Natives.—­Beering’s Cape Tschukotskoi.—­Beering’s Position of this Coast accurate.—­Island of Saint Laurence.—­Pass to the American Coast.—­Cape Darby.—­Bald Head.—­Cape Denbigh, on a Peninsula.—­Besborough Island.—­Wood and Water procured.—­Visits from the Natives.—­Their Persons and Habitations.—­Produce of the Country.—­Marks that the Peninsula had formerly been surrounded by the Sea.—­Lieutenant King’s Report.—­Norton Sound.—­Lunar Observations there.—­Staehlin’s Map proved to be erroneous,—­Plan of future Operations.

After having stood off till we got into eighteen fathoms water, I bore up to the eastward, along the coast, which, by this time; it was pretty certain, could only be the continent of Asia.  As the wind blew fresh, with a very heavy fall of snow, and a thick mist, it was necessary to proceed with great caution.  I therefore brought-to for a few hours in the night.

At day-break, on the 30th, we made sail, and steered such a course as I thought would bring us in with the land, being in a great measure guided by the lead.  For the weather was as thick as ever, and it snowed incessantly.  At ten, we got sight of the coast, bearing S.W., four miles distant; and presently after, having shoaled the water to seven fathoms, we hauled off.  At this time, a very low point, or spit, bore S.S.W., two or three miles distant; to the E. of which there appeared to be a narrow channel, leading into some water that we saw over the point.  Probably the lake before mentioned communicates here with the sea.

At noon, the mist dispersing for a short interval, we had a tolerably good view of the coast, which extended from S.E. to N.W. by W. Some parts appeared higher than others; but in general it was very low, with high land farther up the country.  The whole was now covered with snow, which had lately fallen quite down to the sea.  I continued to range along the coast at two leagues distance, till ten at night, when we hauled off; but we resumed our course next morning, soon after day-break, when we got sight of the coast again, extending from W. to S.E. by S. At eight, the eastern part bore S., and proved to be an island, which at noon bore S.W. 1/2 S., four or five miles distant.  It is about four or five miles in circuit, of a middling height, with a steep, rocky coast, situated about three leagues from the main, in the latitude of 67 deg. 45’, and distinguished in the chart by the name of Burney’s Island.

The inland country hereabout is full of hills, some of which are of a considerable height.  The land was covered with snow, except a few spots upon the sea-coast, which still continued low, but less so than farther westward.  For the two preceding days, the mean height of the mercury in the thermometer had been very little above the freezing point, and often below it; so that the water in the vessels upon the deck was frequently covered with a sheet of ice.

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I continued to steer S.S.E., nearly in the direction of the coast, till five in the afternoon, when land was seen bearing S., 50 deg.  E., which we presently found to be a continuation of the coast, and hauled up for it.  Being abreast of the eastern land at ten at night, and in doubts of weathering it, we tacked, and made a board to the westward, till past one the next morning, when we stood again to the east, and found that it was as much as we could do to keep our distance from the coast, the wind being exceedingly unsettled, varying continually from N. to N.E.  At half an hour past eight, the eastern extreme above mentioned bore S. by E., six or seven miles distant.  At the same time, a head-land appeared in sight, bearing E. by S., 1/2 S.; and, soon after, we could trace the whole coast lying between them, and a small island at some distance from it.

The coast seemed to form several rocky points, connected by a low shore, without the least appearance of a harbour.  At some distance from the sea, the low land appeared to swell into a number of hills.  The highest of these were covered with snow, and, in other respects, the whole country seemed naked.  At seven in the evening, two points of land, at some distance beyond the eastern head, opened off it, in the direction of S., 37 deg.  E. I was now well assured, of what I had believed before, that this was the country of the Tschutski, or the N.E. coast of Asia; and that thus far Beering proceeded in 1728; that is, to this head, which Muller says is called Serdze Kamen, on account of a rock upon it, shaped like a heart.  But I conceive, that Mr Muller’s knowledge of the geography of these parts is very imperfect.  There are many elevated rocks upon this cape, and possibly some one or other of them may have the shape or a heart.  It is a pretty lofty promontory, with a steep rocky cliff facing the sea, and lies in the latitude of 67 deg. 3’, and in the longitude of 188 deg. 11’.  To the eastward of it, the coast is high and bold; but to the westward it is low, and trends N.N.W., and N.W. by W., which is nearly its direction all the way to Cape North.  The soundings are every where the same at the same distance from the shore, which is also the case on the opposite shore of America.  The greatest depth we found in ranging along it was twenty-three fathoms.  And, in the night, or in foggy weather, the soundings are no bad guide in sailing along either of these shores.

At eight o’clock in the morning of the 2d, the most advanced land to the S.E., bore S., 25 deg.  E., and from this point of view had the appearance of being an island.  But the thick snow showers, which succeeded one another pretty, fast, and settled upon the land, hid great part of the coast at this time from our sight.  Soon after, the sun, whose face we had not seen for near five days, broke out at the intervals between the showers, and, in some measure, freed the coast from the fog, so that we had a sight of it, and found the whole to be connected. 

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The wind still continued at north, the air was cold, and the mercury in the thermometer never rose above 35 deg., and was sometimes as low as 30 deg..  At noon the observed latitude was 66 deg. 37’, Cape Serdze Kamen bore N., 52 deg.  W., thirteen leagues distant; the southernmost point of land in sight S., 41 deg.  E., the nearest part of the coast two leagues distant, and our depth of water twenty-two fathoms.

We had now fair weather and sunshine, and as we ranged along the coast, at the distance of four miles, we saw several of the inhabitants, and some of their habitations, which looked like little hillocks of earth.  In the evening we passed the Eastern Cape, or the point above mentioned, from which the coast changes its direction, and trends S.W.  It is the same point of land which we had passed on the 11th of August.  They who believed implicitly in Mr Staehlin’s map, then thought it the east point of his island Alaschka; but we had, by this time, satisfied ourselves, that it is no other than the eastern promontory of Asia, and probably the proper Tschukotskoi Noss, though the promontory, to which Beering gave that name, is farther to the S.W.

Though Mr Muller, in his map of the Russian Discoveries, places the Tschukotskoi Noss nearly in 75 deg. of latitude, and extends it somewhat to the eastward of this cape, it appears to me, that he had no good authority for so doing.  Indeed, his own accounts, or rather Deshneff’s,[1] of the distance between the Noss, and the river Anadir, cannot be reconciled with this very northerly position.  But as I hope to visit these parts again, I shall leave the discussion of this point till then.  In the mean time, I must conclude, as Beering did before me, that this is the most eastern point of Asia.  It is a peninsula of considerable height, joined to the continent by a very low, and, to appearance, narrow neck of land.  It shews a steep rocky clift next the sea, and off the very point are some rocks like spires.  It is situated in the latitude of 66 deg. 6’, and in the longitude of 190 deg. 22’, and is distant from Cape Prince of Wales, on the American coast, thirteen leagues, in the direction of N., 53 deg.  W. The land about this promontory is composed of hills and vallies.  The former terminate at the sea in steep rocky points, and the latter in low shores.  The hills seemed to be naked rocks; but the vallies had a greenish hue, but destitute of tree or shrub.[2]

[Footnote 1:  Avec le vent le plus favorable, on peut aller par mer de cette pointe (des Tschukotschis), jusqu’ a l’Anadir en trois fois 24 heures; et par terre le chemin ne peut guere etre plus long.—­Muller, p. 13.—­D.]

[Footnote 2:  Deshnef’s voyage in 1648, is considered the only one previous to this of Cook, in which the north-eastern extremity of Asia was doubled.  Some account of it is given in Coxe’s work.  Others have pretended to this achievement, but there is not evidence to warrant belief of the fact.  Beering, indeed, in 1728, got as far north as 67 deg. 18’; but as he immediately returned, and made no progress on the Asiatic coast, he is not entitled to this merit, although the extent of his discovery, as to the separation of the two continents, has procured him the honour of giving a name to the Strait which divides them.—­E.]

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After passing the cape, I steered S.W. 1/2 W., for the northern point of St Laurence Bay, in which we had anchored on the 10th of last month.  We reached it by eight o’clock next morning, and saw some of the inhabitants at the place where I had seen them before, as well as several others on the opposite side of the bay.  None of them, however, attempted to come off to us, which seemed a little extraordinary, as the weather was favourable enough; and those whom we had lately visited had no reason, that I know of, to dislike our company.  These people must be the Tschutski; a nation that, at the time Mr Muller wrote, the Russians had not been able to conquer.  And, from the whole of their conduct with us, it appears that they have not, as yet, brought them under subjection; though it is obvious that they must have a trade with the Russians, either directly, or by means of some neighbouring nation, as we cannot otherwise account for their being in possession of the spontoons, in particular, of which we took notice.

This bay of St Laurence[3] is, at least, five leagues broad at the entrance, and four leagues deep, narrowing towards the bottom, where it appeared to be tolerably well sheltered from the sea-winds, provided there be a sufficient depth of water for ships.  I did not wait to examine it, although I was very desirous of finding an harbour in those parts, to which I might resort next spring.  But I wanted one where wood might be got, and I knew that none was to be found here.  From the south point of this bay, which lies in the latitude of 65 deg. 30’, the coast trends W. by S., for about nine leagues, and there forms a deep bay, or river, or else the land there is so low that we could not see it.

[Footnote 3:  Captain Cook gives it this name, having anchored in it on St Laurence’s day, August 10.  It is remarkable, that Beering sailed past this very place on the 10th of August 1728; on which account, the neighbouring island was named by him after the same Saint.—­D.

But Dr Douglas seems to err in this observation.  At least, according to Mr Coxe’s account, it would appear, that it was the island of St Laurence, which we shall immediately find Captain Cook afterwards fell in with, and not the bay so named, which Beering passed on the 10th August.  This, however, is a trivial correction, if even the imperfect relation we possess of Beering’s progress could prove it to be one.—­E.]

At one in the afternoon, in the direction of our course, we saw what was first taken for a rock; but it proved to be a dead whale, which some natives of the Asiatic coast had killed, and were towing ashore.  They seemed to conceal themselves behind the fish to avoid being seen by us.  This was unnecessary, for we pursued our course, without taking any notice of them.

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At day-break on the 4th, I hauled to the N.W., in order to get a nearer view of the inlet seen the preceding day; but the wind, soon after, veering to that direction, I gave up the design; and steered to the southward along the coast, past two bays, each about two leagues deep.  The northernmost lies before a hill, which is remarkable by being rounder than any other upon the coast.  And there is an island lying before the other.  It may be doubted, whether there be a sufficient depth for ships in either of these bays, as we always met with shoal water, when we edged in for the shore.  The country here is exceedingly hilly and naked.  In several places on the low ground, next the sea, were the dwellings of the natives; and near all of them were erected stages of bones, such as before described.  These may be seen at a great distance, on account of their whiteness.

At noon the latitude was 64 deg. 31’, and the longitude 188 deg. 45’; the southernmost point of the main in sight bore S., 48 deg.  W., and the nearest shore about three or four leagues distant.  By this time, the wind had veered again to the N., and blew a gentle breeze.  The weather was clear, and the air cold.  I did not follow the direction of the coast, as I found that it look a westerly direction toward the Gulf of Anadir, into which I had no inducement to go, but steered to the southward, in order to get a sight of the island of St Laurence, discovered by Beering, which accordingly shewed itself, and at eight o’clock in the evening, it bore S., 20 deg.  E., by estimation, eleven leagues distant.  At the same time, the southernmost point of the main land bore S., 83 deg.  W., distant twelve leagues.  I take this to be the point which Beering calls the east point of Suchotski, or Cape Tschukotskoi; a name which he gave it, and with propriety, because it was from this part of the coast that the natives came off to him, who called themselves of the nation of Tschutski.  I make its latitude to be 64 deg. 13’, and its longitude 186 deg. 36’.

In justice to the memory of Beering, I must say, that he has delineated the coast very well, and fixed the latitude and longitude of the points better than could be expected from the methods he had to go by.  This judgment is not formed from Mr Muller’s account of the voyage, or the chart prefixed to his book; but from Dr Campbell’s account of it in his edition of Harris’s collection, and a map thereto annexed, which is both more circumstantial and accurate than that of Mr Muller.

The more I was convinced of my being now upon the coast of Asia, the more I was at a loss to reconcile Mr Staehlin’s map of the New Northern Archipelago with my observations; and I had no way to account for the great difference, but by supposing, that I had mistaken some part of what he calls the island of Alaschka for the American continent, and had missed the channel that separates them.  Admitting even this, there would still have been a considerable difference.  It was with me a matter of some consequence, to clear up this point the present season, that I might have but one object in view the next.  And, as these northern isles are represented by him as abounding with wood, I was in hopes, if I should find them, of getting a supply of that article, which we now began to be in great want of on board.

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With these views, I steered over for the American coast; and, at five in the afternoon the next day, saw land bearing S. 1/4 E., which we took to be Anderson’s Island, or some other land near it, and therefore did not wait to examine it.  On the 6th, at four in the morning, we got sight of the American coast near Sledge Island; and at six, the same evening, this island bore N., 6 deg.  E., ten leagues distant; and the easternmost land in sight N., 49 deg.  E. If any part of what I had supposed to be American coast could possibly be the island of Alaschka, it was that now before us; and in that case, I must have missed the channel between it and the main, by steering to the west, instead of the east, after we first fell in with it.  I was not, therefore, at a loss where to go, in order to clear up these doubts.

At eight in the evening of the 7th, we had got close in with the land, Sledge Island bearing N. 85 deg.  W., eight or nine leagues distant; and the eastern part of the coast N. 70 deg.  E., with high land in the direction of E. by N., seemingly at a great distance beyond the point.  At this time we saw a light ashore, and two canoes, filled with people, coming off toward us.  I brought-to, that they might have time to come up.  But it was to no purpose; for, resisting all the signs of friendship we could exhibit, they kept at the distance of a quarter of a mile; so that we left them, and pursued our course along the coast.

At one in the morning of the 8th, finding the water shoal pretty fast, we dropped anchor in ten fathoms, where we lay until day-light, and then resumed our course along the coast, which we found to trend E., and E. 1/2 S. At seven in the evening, we were abreast of a point, lying in the latitude of 64 deg. 21’, and in the longitude of 197 deg., beyond which the coast takes a more northerly direction.  At eight, this point, which obtained the name of Cape Darby, bore S. 62 deg.  W.; the northernmost land in sight, N. 32 deg.  E., and the nearest shore three miles distant.  In this situation we anchored in thirteen fathoms water, over a muddy bottom.

Next morning, at day-break, we weighed, and sailed along the coast.  Two islands, as we supposed them to be, were at that time seen, the one bearing S. 70 deg.  E., and the other E. Soon after, we found ourselves upon a coast covered with wood; an agreeable sight, to which of late we had not been accustomed.  As we advanced to the north, we raised land in the direction of N.E. 1/2 N., which proved to be a continuation of the coast we were upon.  We also saw high land over the islands, seemingly at a good distance beyond them.  This was thought to be the continent, and the other land the island of Alaschka.  But it was already doubtful, whether we should find a passage between them; for the water shoaled insensibly as we advanced further to the north.  In this situation, two boats were sent to sound before the ships, and I ordered the Discovery to lead, keeping

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nearly in the mid-channel, between the coast on our larboard, and the northernmost island on our starboard.  Thus we proceeded till three in the afternoon, when, having passed the island, we had not more than three fathoms and a half of water, and the Resolution, at one time, brought the mud up from the bottom.  More water was not to be found in any part of the channel, for, with the ships and boats, we had tried it from side to side.

I therefore thought it high time to return, especially as the wind was in such a quarter that we must ply back.  But what I dreaded most was the wind increasing, and raising the sea into waves, so as to put the ships in danger of striking.  At this time, a head-land on the west shore, which is distinguished by the name of Bald Head, bore N. by W., one league distant.  The coast beyond it extended as far as N.E. by N., where it seemed to end in a point, behind which the coast of the high land, seen over the islands, stretched itself, and some thought they could trace where it joined.  On the west side of Bald Head, the shore forms a bay, in the bottom of which is a low beach, where we saw a number of huts or habitations of the natives.

Having continued to ply back all night, by day-break the next morning we had got into six fathoms water.  At nine o’clock, being about a league from the west shore, I took two boats, and landed, attended by Mr King, to seek wood and water.  We landed where the coast projects out into a bluff head, composed of perpendicular strata of a rock of a dark-blue colour, mixed with quartz and glimmer.  There joins to the beach a narrow border of land, now covered with long grass, and where we met with some angelica.  Beyond this, the ground rises abruptly.  At the top of this elevation, we found a heath, abounding with a variety of berries; and further on, the country was level, and thinly covered with small spruce-trees, and birch and willows no bigger than broom-stuff.  We observed tracks of deer and foxes on the beach; on which also lay a great quantity of drift-wood, and there was no want of fresh water.  I returned on board, with an intention to bring the ships to an anchor here; but the wind then veering to N.E., which blew rather on this shore, I stretched over to the opposite one, in the expectation of finding wood there also, and anchored at eight o’clock in the evening, under the south end of the northernmost island, so we then supposed it to be; but, next morning, we found it to be a peninsula, united to the continent by a low neck of land, on each side of which the coast forms a bay.  We plied into the southernmost, and about noon anchored in five fathoms water, over a bottom of mud; the point of the peninsula, which obtained the name of Cape Denbigh, bearing N. 68 deg.  W., three miles distant.

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Several people were seen upon the peninsula, and one man came off in a small canoe.  I gave him a knife, and a few beads, with which he seemed well pleased.  Having made signs to him to bring us something to eat, he immediately left us, and paddled toward the shore.  But meeting another man coming off, who happened to have two dried salmon, he got them from him; and on returning to the ship, would give them to nobody but me.  Some of our people thought that he asked for me under the name of Capitane; but in this they were probably mistaken.  He knew who had given him the knife and beads, but I do not see how he could know that I was the captain.  Others of the natives soon after came off, and exchanged a few dry fish, for such trifles as they could get, or we had to give them.  They were most desirous of knives, and they had no dislike to tobacco.

After dinner, Lieutenant Gore was sent to the peninsula, to see if wood and water were there to be got, or rather water; for the whole beach round the bay seemed to be covered with drift-wood.  At the same time, a boat was sent from each ship, to sound round the bay; and, at three in the afternoon, the wind freshening at N.E., we weighed, in order to work farther in.  But it was soon found to be impossible, on account of the shoals, which extended quite round the bay, to the distance of two or three miles from the shore, as the officers, who had been sent to sound, reported.  We, therefore, kept standing off and on with the ships, waiting for Mr Gore, who returned about eight o’clock, with the launch laden with wood.

He reported, that there was but little fresh water; and that wood was difficult to be got at, by reason of the boats grounding at some distance from the beach.  This being the case, I stood back to the other shore; and, at eight o’clock the next morning, sent all the boats, and a party of men with an officer, to get wood from the place where I had landed two days before.  We continued for a while to stand on and off with the ships; but, at length, came to an anchor in one-fourth less than five fathoms, half a league from the coast, the south point of which bore S. 26 deg.  W.; and Bald Head, N. 60 deg.  E., nine leagues distant.  Cape Denbigh bore S. 72 deg.  E., twenty-six miles distant; and the island under the east shore, to the southward of Cape Denbigh, named Besborough Island, S. 52 deg.  E., fifteen leagues distant.

As this was a very open road, and consequently not a safe station, I resolved not to wait to complete water, as that would require some time; but only to supply the ships with wood, and then to go in search of a more convenient place for the other article.  We took off the drift-wood that lay upon the beach; and as the wind blew along shore, the boats could sail both ways, which enabled us to make great dispatch.

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In the afternoon, I went ashore, and walked a little into the country, which, where there was no wood, was covered with heath and other plants, some of which produce berries in abundance.  All the berries were ripe, the hurtle-berries too much so, and hardly a single plant was in flower.  The underwood, such as birch, willows, and alders, rendered it very troublesome walking amongst the trees, which were all spruce, and none of them above six or eight inches in diameter.  But we found some lying upon the beach more than twice this size.  All the drift-wood in these northern parts was fir.  I saw not a stick of any other sort.

Next day, a family of the natives came near to the place where we were taking off wood.  I know not how many there were at first; but I saw only the husband, the wife, and their child; and a fourth person who bore the human shape, and that was all; for he was the most deformed cripple I had ever seen or heard of.  The other man was almost blind; and neither he nor his wife were such good-looking people as we had sometimes seen amongst the natives of this coast.  The under-lips of both were bored; and they had in their possession some such glass-beads as I had met with before amongst their neighbours.  But iron was their beloved article.  For four knives, which we had made out of an old iron hoop, I got from them near four hundred pounds weight of fish, which they had caught on this or the preceding day.  Some were trout, and the rest were, in size and taste, somewhat between a mullet and a herring.  I gave the child, who was a girl, a few beads; on which the mother burst into tears, then the father, then the cripple, and at last, to complete the concert, the girl herself.  But this music continued not long.[4] Before night, we had got the ships, amply supplied with wood; and had carried on board about twelve tons of water to each.

[Footnote 4:  Captain King has communicated the following account of an interview with the same family:  “On the 12th, while I attended the wooding party, a canoe, full of natives, approached us; and, beckoning them to land, an elderly man and woman came on shore.  I gave the woman a small knife, making her understand, that I would give, her a much larger one for some fish.  She made signs to me to follow her.  I had proceeded with them about a mile, when the man, in crossing a stony beach, fell down, and cut his foot very much.  This made me stop; upon which the woman pointed to the man’s eyes, which, I observed, were covered with a thick, white film.  He afterward kept close to his wife, who apprised him of the obstacles in his way.  The woman had a little child on her back, covered with the hood of her jacket; and which I took for a bundle till I heard it cry.  At about two miles distant we came to their open skin boat, which was turned on its side, the convex part towards the wind, and served for their house.  I was now made to perform a singular operation on the man’s eyes.  First,

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I was directed to hold my breath; afterwards, to breathe on the diseased eyes; and, next, to spit on them.  The woman then took both my hands, and pressing them to his stomach, held them there for some time, while she related some calamitous history of her family; pointing sometimes to her husband, sometimes to a frightful cripple belonging to the family, and sometimes to her child.  I purchased all the fish they had, consisting of very fine salmon, salmon-trout, and mullet; which were delivered most faithfully to the man I sent for them.  The man was about five feet two inches high, and well made; his colour of a light copper; his hair black and short, and with little beard.  He had two holes in his under-lip, but no ornaments in them.  The woman was short and squat, with a plump round face; wore a deer-skin jacket, with a large hood, and had on wide boots.  The teeth of both were black, and seemed as if they had been filed down level with the gums.  The woman was punctured from the lip to the chin.”—­D.]

On the 14th, a party of men were sent on shore to cut brooms, which we were in want of, and the branches of spruce trees for brewing beer.  Toward noon, every body was taken on board; for the wind freshening, had raised such a surf on the beach, that the boats could not continue to land without great difficulty.  Some doubts being still entertained, whether the coast we were now upon belonged to an island or the American continent; and the shallowness of the water putting it out of our power to determine this with our ships, I sent Lieutenant King, with two boats under his command, to make such searches as might leave no room for a variety of opinions on the subject.[5] Next day, the ships removed over to the bay, which is on the S.E. side of Cape Denbigh, where we anchored in the afternoon.  Soon after, a few of the natives came off in their small canoes, and bartered some dried salmon for such trifles as our people had to give them.

[Footnote 5:  Captain King has been so good as to communicate his instructions on this occasion, and the particulars of the fatigue he underwent, in carrying them into execution: 

“You are to proceed to the northward as far as the extreme point we saw on Wednesday last, or a little further, if you think it necessary; land there, and endeavour, from the heights, to discover whether the land you are then upon, supposed to be the island of Alaschka, is really an island, or joins to the land on the east, supposed to be the continent of America.  If the former, you are to satisfy yourself with the depth of water in the channel between them, and which way the flood-tide comes.  But if you find the two lands connected, lose no time in sounding; but make the best of your way back to the ship, which you will find at anchor near the point of land we anchored under on Friday last.  If you perceive any likelihood of a change of weather for the worse, you are, in that case, to return to the ship, although you have not performed the service you are sent upon; and, at any rate, you are not to remain longer upon it than four or five days; but the sooner it is done the better.  If any unforeseen or unavoidable accident should force the ships off the coast, so that they cannot return at a reasonable time, the rendezvous is at the harbour of Samganoodha; that is, the place where we last completed our water.

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To Lieutenant King.”

“Our cutter being hoisted out, and the signal made for the Discovery’s, at eight o’clock at night on the 14th, we set out.  It was a little unlucky that the boats’ crews had been much fatigued during the whole day in bringing things from the shore.  They pulled stoutly, without rest or intermission, toward the land, till one o’clock in the morning of the 15th.  I wanted much to have gone close to it, to have had the advantage of the wind, which had, very regularly in the evening, blown from the land, and in the day-time down the Sound, from the N.N.E., and was contrary to our course; but the men were at this time too much fatigued to press them farther.  We, therefore, set our sails, and stood across the bay, which the coast forms to the west of Baldhead, and steered for it.  But, as I expected, by three o’clock, the wind headed us; and, as it was in vain to endeavour to fetch Baldhead with our sails, we again took to the oars.  The Discovery’s boat, (being a heavy king’s-built cutter, while ours was one from Deal,) had, in the night-time, detained us very much, and now we soon pulled out of sight of her; nor would I wait, being in great hopes to reach the extreme point that was in sight time enough to ascend the heights before dark, as the weather was at this time remarkably clear and fine, and we could see to a great distance.  By two o’clock we had got within two miles of Baldhead, under the lee of the high land, and in smooth water; but, at the moment our object was nearly attained, all the men but two were so overcome with fatigue and sleep, that my utmost endeavours to make them put on were ineffectual.  They at length dropped their oars, quite exhausted, and fell asleep in the bottom of the boat.  Indeed, considering that they had set out fatigued, and had now been sixteen hours out of the eighteen since they left the ship, pulling in a poppling sea, it was no wonder that their strength and spirits should be worn out for want of sleep and refreshments.  The two gentlemen who were with me and myself, were now obliged to lay hold of the oars; and, by a little after three, we landed between the Baldhead and a projecting point to the eastward.”—­D.]

At day-break, on the 16th, nine men, each in his canoe, paid us a visit.  They approached the ship with some caution; and evidently came with no other view than to gratify their curiosity.  They drew up abreast of each other, under our stern, and gave us a song; while one of their number beat upon a kind of drum, and another made a thousand antic motions with his hands and body.  There was, however, nothing savage either in the song or in the gestures that accompanied it.  None of us could perceive any difference between these people, either as to their size or features, and those whom we had met with on every other part of the coast, King George’s Sound excepted.  Their clothing, which consisted principally of deer-skins, was made after the same fashion; and they observed the custom of boring their under-lips, and fixing ornaments to them.

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The dwellings of these people were seated close to the beach.  They consist simply of a sloping roof, without any side-walls, composed of logs, and covered with grass and earth.  The floor is also laid with logs; the entrance is at one end; the fire-place just within it, and a small hole is made near the door to let out the smoke.

After breakfast, a party of men were sent to the peninsula for brooms and spruce.  At the same time, half the remainder of the people in each ship had leave to go and pick berries.  These returned on board at noon, when the other half went on the same errand.  The berries to be got here were wild currant-berries, hurtle-berries, partridge-berries, and heath-berries.  I also went ashore myself, and walked over part of the peninsula.  In several places there was very good grass; and I hardly saw a spot on which some vegetable was not growing.  The low land which connects this peninsula with the continent is full of narrow creeks; and abounds with ponds of water, some of which were already frozen over.  There were a great many geese and bustards; but so shy, that it was not possible to get within musket-shot of them.  We also met with some snipes, and on the high ground were partridges of two sorts.  Where there was any wood, musquitoes were in plenty.  Some of the officers, who travelled farther than I did, met with a few of the natives of both sexes, who treated them with civility.

It appeared to me, that this peninsula must have been an island in remote times; for there were marks of the sea having flowed over the isthmus.  And even now, it appeared to be kept out by a bank of sand, stones, and wood, thrown up by the waves.  By this bank, it was evident, that the land was here encroaching upon the sea, and it was easy to trace its gradual formation.

About seven, in the evening, Mr King returned from his expedition; and reported, that he proceeded with the boats about three or four leagues farther than the ships had been able to go; that he then landed on the west side; that, from the heights, he could see the two coasts join, and the inlet to terminate in a small river or creek, before which were banks of sand or mud; and every where shoal water.  The land, too, was low and swampy for some distance to the northward; then it swelled into hills; and the complete junction of those, on each side of the inlet, was easily traced.

From the elevated spot on which Mr King surveyed the Sound, he could distinguish many extensive valleys, with rivers running through them, well wooded, and bounded by hills of a gentle ascent and moderate height.  One of these rivers to the N.W. appeared to be considerable; and from its direction, he was inclined to think, that it emptied itself into the sea at the head of the bay.  Some of his people, who penetrated beyond this into the country, found the trees larger the farther they advanced.[6]

[Footnote 6:  Here Mr Arrowsmith’s map is to be preferred, as accurately following the description Captain King has given.  Several names are omitted by Mr Coxe, and his delineation of the coast is rather unsatisfactory.—­E.]

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In honour of Sir Fletcher Norton,[7] Speaker of the House of Commons, and Mr King’s nearest relation, I named this inlet Norton Sound.  It extends to the northward as far as the latitude of 64 deg. 55’.  The bay, in which we were now at anchor, lies on the S.E. side of it; and is called by the natives Chacktoole.  It is but an indifferent station, being exposed to the south and south-west winds.  Nor is there a harbour in all this Sound.  But we were so fortunate as to have the wind from the N. and N.E. all the time, with remarkable fine weather.  This gave us an opportunity to make no less than seventy-seven sets of lunar observations between the 6th and 7th inclusive.  The mean result of these made the longitude of the anchoring-place, on the west side of the Sound, to be

197 deg. 13’
Latitude                          64  31
Variation of the compass          25  45 east. 
Dip of the needle                 76  25

[Footnote 7:  Afterwards Lord Grantley.]

Of the tides, it was observed, that the night-flood rose about two or three feet, and that the day-flood was hardly perceivable.

Having now fully satisfied myself, that Mr Staehlin’s map must be erroneous; and having restored the American continent to that space which he had occupied with his imaginary island of Alaschka, it was high time to think of leaving these northern regions, add to retire to some place during the winter, where I might procure refreshments for my people, and a small supply of provisions.  Petropaulowska, or the harbour of St Peter and St Paul, in Kamtschatka, did not appear likely to furnish either the one or the other for so large a number of men.  I had, besides, other reasons for not repairing thither at this time.  The first, and on which all the others depended, was the great dislike I had to lie inactive for six or seven months; which would have been the necessary consequence of wintering in any of these northern parts.  No place was so conveniently within our reach, where we could expect to have our wants relieved, as the Sandwich Islands.  To them, therefore, I determined to proceed.  But, before this could be carried into execution, a supply of water was necessary.  With this view I resolved to search the American coast for a harbour, by proceeding along it to the southward, and thus endeavour to connect the survey of this part of it with that lying immediately to the north of Cape Newenham.  If I failed in finding a harbour there my plan was then to proceed to Samganoodha, which was fixed upon as our place of rendezvous, in case of separation.


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Discoveries after leaving Norton Sound.—­Stuart’s Island.—­Cape Stephens.—­Point Shallow-Water.—­Shoals on the American Coast.—­Clerke’s Island.—­Gore’s Island.—­Pinnacle Island.—­Arrival at Oonalashka.—­Intercourse with the Natives and Russian Traders.—­Charts of the Russian Discoveries, communicated by Mr Ismyloff.—­Their Errors pointed out.—­Situation of the Islands visited by the Russians.—­Account of their Settlement at Oonalashka.—­Of the Natives of the Island.—­Their Persons.—­Dress.—­Ornaments.—­Food.—­Houses and domestic Utensils.—­Manufactures.—­Manner of producing Fire.—­Canoes.—­Fishing and Hunting Implements.—­Fishes, and Sea Animals.—­Sea and Water Fowls, and Land Birds.—­Land Animals and Vegetables.—­Manner of burying the Dead.—­Resemblance of the Natives on this Side of America to the Greenlanders and Esquimaux.—­Tides.—­Observations for determining the Longitude of Oonalashka.

Having weighed, on the 17th in the morning, with a light breeze at east, we steered to the southward, and attempted to pass within Besborough Island; but though it lies six or seven miles from the continent, were prevented by meeting with shoal water.  As we had but little wind all the day, it was dark before we passed the island; and the night was spent under an easy sail.

We resumed our course, at day-break on the 18th, along the coast.  At noon, we had no more than five fathoms water.  At this time the latitude was 63 deg. 37’.  Besborough, Island now bore N., 42 deg.  E.; the southernmost land in sight, which proved also to be an island, S., 66 deg.  W.; the passage between it and the main S., 40 deg.  W.; and the nearest land about two miles distant.  I continued to steer for this passage, until the boats, which were ahead, made the signal for having no more than three fathoms water.  On this we hauled without the island; and made the signal for the Resolution’s boat to keep between the ships and the shore.

This island, which obtained the name of Stuart’s Island, lies in the latitude of 63 deg. 35’, and seventeen leagues from.  Cape Denbigh, in the direction of S., 27 deg.  W. It is six or seven leagues in circuit.  Some parts of it are of a middling height; but, in general, it is low; with some rocks lying off the western part.  The coast of the continent is, for the most part, low land; but we saw high land up the country.  It forms a point, opposite the island, which was named Cape Stephens, and lies in latitude 63 deg. 33’, and in longitude 197 deg. 41’.  Some drift wood was seen upon the shores, both of the island and of the continent; but not a tree was perceived growing upon either.  One might anchor, upon occasion, between the N.E. side of this island and the continent, in a depth of five fathoms, sheltered from westerly, southerly, and easterly winds.  But this station would be wholly exposed to the northerly winds, the land, in that direction, being at too great distance to afford any security.  Before we reached Stuart’s Island, we passed two small islands, lying between us and the main; and as we ranged along the coast, several people appeared upon the shore, and, by signs, seemed to invite us to approach them.

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As soon as we were without the island, we steered S. by W., for the southernmost point of the continent in sight, till eight o’clock in the evening, when, having shoaled the water from six fathoms to less than four, I tacked, and stood to the northward, into five fathoms, and then spent the night plying off and on.  At the time we tacked, the southernmost point of land, the same which is mentioned above, and was named Point Shallow-Water, bore S. 1/2 E., seven leagues distant.

We resumed our course to the southward at day-break next morning, but shoal water obliged us to haul more to the westward.  At length, we got so far advanced upon the bank, that we could not hold a N.N.W. course, meeting sometimes with only four fathoms.  The wind blowing fresh at E.N.E. it was high time to look for deep water, and to quit a coast, upon which we could no longer navigate with any degree of safety.  I therefore hauled the wind to the northward, and gradually deepened the water to eight fathoms.  At the same time we hauled the wind, we were at least twelve leagues, from the continent, and nine to the westward of Stuart’s Island.  No land was seen to the southward of Point Shallow-Water, which I judge to lie in the latitude of 63 deg..  So that, between this latitude and Shoal Ness, in latitude 60 deg., the coast is entirely unexplored.  Probably, it is accessible only to boats, or very small vessels; or at least, if there be channels for large vessels, it would require some time to find them; and I am of opinion, that they must be looked for near the coast.  From the mast-head, the sea within us appeared to be chequered with shoals; the water was very much discoloured and muddy, and considerably fresher than at any of the places where we had lately anchored.  From this I inferred, that a considerable river runs into the sea in this unknown part.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Mr Arrowsmith has filled up the coast betwixt the two points now mentioned, and supplied it also with rivers, according to the conjecture of Captain Cook.  But it is obvious, that this is not sufficient authority; and therefore, unless better be given, Mr Coxe seems to have done more correctly, in indicating the space by a dotted line, the usual mark of an unexplored region.—­E.]

As soon as we got into eight fathoms water, I steered to the westward, and afterward more southerly, for the land discovered on the 5th, which, at noon the next day, bore S.W. by W., ten or eleven leagues distant.  At this time we had a fresh gale at north, with showers of hail and snow at intervals, and a pretty high sea; so that we got clear of the shoals but just in time.  As I now found that the land before us lay too far to the westward to be Anderson’s Island, I named it Clerke’s Island.  It lies in the latitude of 63 deg. 15’, and in the longitude of 190 deg. 30’.  It seemed to be a pretty large island, in which are four or more hills, all connected by low ground; so that, at a distance, it looks like a group of islands.  Near its east part lies a small island, remarkable by having upon it three elevated rocks.  Not only the greater island, but this small spot, was inhabited.[2]

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[Footnote 2:  It is somewhat singular, that neither Arrowsmith nor Coxe mentions Anderson’s Island.  The former, on additional authority, has marked but one island in the position specified, under the name of Eivoogiena, or Clerke’s Island.—­E.]

We got up to the northern point of Clerke’s Island about six o’clock, and having ranged along its coast till dark, brought-to during the night.  At day-break, next morning, we stood in again for the coast, and continued to range along it in search of a harbour till noon; when, seeing no likelihood of succeeding, I left it, and steered S.S.W. for the land which we had discovered on the 29th of July, having a fresh gale at north, with showers of sleet and snow.  I remarked, that as soon as we opened the channel which separates the two continents, cloudy weather, with snow showers, immediately commenced; whereas, all the time we were in Norton Sound, we had, with the same wind, clear weather.  Might not this be occasioned by the mountains to the north of that place attracting the vapours, and hindering them to proceed any farther?

At day-break, in the morning of the 23d, the land above mentioned appeared in sight, bearing S.W., six or seven leagues distant.  From this point of view it resembled a group of islands; but it proved to be but one, of thirty miles in extent, in the direction of N.W. and S.E.; the S.E. end being Cape Upright, already taken notice of.  The island is but narrow; especially at the low necks of land that connect the hills.  I afterward found, that it was wholly unknown to the Russians; and therefore, considering it as a discovery of our own, I named it Gore’s Island.  It appeared to be barren, and without inhabitants; at least we saw none.  Nor did we see so many birds about it as when we first discovered it.  But we saw some sea-otters; an animal which we had not met with to the northward of this latitude.[3] Four leagues from Cape Upright, in the direction of S., 72 deg.  W., lies a small island, whose elevated summit terminates in several pinnacled rocks.  On this account it was named Pinnacle Island.  At two in the afternoon, after passing Cape Upright, I steered S.E. by S., for Samganoodha, with a gentle breeze at N.N.W., being resolved to spend no more time in searching for a harbour amongst islands, which I now began to suspect had no existence; at least not in the latitude and longitude where modern map-makers have thought proper to place them.  In the evening of the 24th, the wind veered to S.W. and S., and increased to a fresh gale.

[Footnote 3:  Mr Arrowsmith, as in the case of the island mentioned in the last note, has given the native name to this island, viz.  Matwi, retaining also, however, the name of Gore.—­E.]

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We continued to stretch to the eastward, till eight o’clock in the morning of the 25th, when, in the latitude of 191 deg. 10’, we tacked and stood to the west; and soon after, the gale increasing, we were reduced to two courses, and close-reefed main top-sails.  Not long after, the Resolution sprung a leak, under the starboard buttock, which filled the spirit-room with water before it was discovered; and it was so considerable as to keep one pump constantly employed.  We durst not put the ship upon the other tack for fear of getting upon the shoals that lie to the N.W. of Cape Newenham; but continued standing to the west till six in the evening of the 26th, when we wore and stood to the eastward, and then the leak no longer troubled us.  This proved that it was above the water line, which was no small satisfaction.  The gale was now over, but the wind remained at S. and S.W. for some days longer.

At length, on the 2d of October, at day-break, we saw the island of Oonalashka, bearing S.E.  But as this was to us a new point of view, and the land was obscured by a thick haze, we were not sure of our situation till noon, when the observed latitude determined it.  As all harbours were alike to me, provided they were equally safe and convenient, I hauled into a bay, that lies ten miles to the westward of Samganoodha, known by the name of Egoochshac; but we found very deep water; so that we were glad to get out again.  The natives, many of whom lived here, visited us at different times, bringing with them dried salmon and other fish, which they exchanged with the seamen for tobacco.  But, a few days before, every ounce of tobacco that was in the ship had been distributed among them; and the quantity was not half sufficient to answer their demands.  Notwithstanding this, so improvident a creature is an English sailor, that they were as profuse in making their bargains, as if we had now arrived at a port in Virginia; by which means, in less than eight and forty hours, the value of this article of barter was lowered above a thousand per cent.

At one o’clock in the afternoon of the 3d, we anchored in Samganoodha harbour; and the next morning the carpenters of both ships were set to work to rip off the sheathing of and under the wale, on the starboard side abaft.  Many of the seams were found quite open; so that it was no wonder that so much water had found its way into the ship.  While we lay here, we cleared the fish and spirit rooms, and the after-hold; disposing things in such a manner, that in case we should happen to have any more leaks of the same nature, the water might find its way to the pumps.  And besides this work, and completing our water, we cleared the fore-hold to the very bottom, and took in a quantity of ballast.

The vegetables which we had met with when we were here before, were now mostly in a state of decay; so that we were but little benefited by the great quantities of berries every where found ashore.  In order to avail ourselves as much as possible of this useful refreshment, one third of the people, by turns, had leave to go and pick them.  Considerable quantities of them were also procured from the natives.  If there were any seeds of the scurvy, in either ship, these berries, and the use of spruce beer, which they had to drink every other day, effectually eradicated them.

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We also got plenty of fish; at first mostly salmon, both fresh and dried, which the natives brought us.  Some of the fresh salmon was in high perfection; but there was one sort, which we called hook-nosed, from the figure of its head, that was but indifferent.  We drew the seine several times, at the head of the bay; and caught a good many salmon-trout, and once a halibut that weighed two hundred and fifty-four pounds.  The fishery failing, we had recourse to hooks and lines.  A boat was sent out every morning, and seldom returned without eight or ten halibut; which was more than sufficient to serve all our people.  The halibut was excellent, and there were few who did not prefer them to salmon.  Thus we not only procured a supply of fish for present consumption, but had some to carry with us to sea.  This enabled us to make a considerable saving of our provisions, which was an object of no small importance.

On the 8th, I received, by the hands of an Oonalashka man, named Derramoushk, a very singular present, considering the place.  It was a rye loaf, or rather a pye made in, the form of a loaf, for it inclosed some salmon, highly seasoned with pepper.  This man had the like present for Captain Clerke, and a note for each of us, written in a character which none of us could read.  It was natural to suppose, that this present was from some Russians now in our neighbourhood; and therefore we sent, by the same hand, to these our unknown friends, a few bottles of rum, wine, and porter; which we thought would be as acceptable as anything we had besides; and we soon knew that in this we had not been mistaken.  I also sent, along with Derramoushk, Corporal Lediard, of the marines, an intelligent man, with orders, that if he met with any Russians, he should endeavour to make them understand that we were English, the friends and allies of their nation.[4]

[Footnote 4:  We must be allowed to notice some particulars in the history of this remarkable enough man, well known, it is probable, to most readers, who have been interested in the operations of the African Association, but, perhaps, not immediately recognised in the humble situation of a corporal of marines.  Some years after this voyage, viz. in 1786, Lediard, by birth an American, resolved on a pedestrian excursion across his native continent; for which purpose, he, first of all, fixed on travelling to Siberia, whence he expected to be able to obtain a passage to its north-west coast.  Sir Joseph Banks, and other gentlemen, favouring his project, subscribed a sum of money, not much exceeding fifty pounds, to enable him to put it into execution.  He proceeded to Hamburgh; from thence to Copenhagen; and, as the gulf of Bothnia was not frozen over, actually walked round its shores by the way of Tornea, till he arrived at Petersburgh, in the beginning of March 1787.  Here he remained till May, when he obtained permission to go with a convoy of military stores, intended for Captain Billings, formerly his ship-mate

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in Cook’s voyage, and now waiting for it to commence his own examination of the American coast, &c.  With this convoy, Lediard, in the month of August, reached Irkutsk, in Siberia, at which place, after having gone to Yakutsk, where he met with Billings, he purposed to remain a part of the winter, till an opportunity occurred of going to Ochotsk, from which his passage to America seemed very practicable.  So far, then, he had to congratulate himself on his success.  But his enterprise was speedily interrupted, and all his hopes frustrated, by an order from the empress; in consequence of which he was arrested, and, under the guard of an officer and two soldiers, hurried off in a sledge for Moscow, without being suffered to carry with him either his clothes, his money, or his papers.  The reason of this extraordinary conduct has not been explained in the communication made by Sir Joseph Banks to the Biographia Britannica, from which we have collected these particulars.  We are told, however, that the disappointed adventurer was successively conveyed from Moscow to Moialoff, in White Russia, and Tolochin, in Poland; at which last place, he was informed, that the empress had directed he should never enter her dominions again without her express permission.  During the whole of his route, since he had been made a prisoner, he suffered extreme hardship from ill health, fatigue, and mortification.  At last he reached Konigsberg; and, to use his own words, in a letter to his patron, after “a miserable journey, in a miserable country, in a miserable season, in miserable health, and with a miserable purse,” arrived in England.  The ardour of his mind, however, was still entire; and he appeared as ready as ever to engage in any service, however perilous, which promised to gratify his own curiosity, and was recommended by men whose judgment he respected.  Accordingly, almost immediately on his return, it was proposed to him to undertake the first speculative excursion which the society alluded to projected.  On this occasion it was, as is noticed by the ingenious Mr Forster, in his valuable Essay on Decision of Character, that he surprised the official person, who put the Question to him, “When he would be ready for his African journey?” by instantly answering, “To-morrow!” It may be doubted, if his acquirements were altogether equally well suited to this undertaking, as his undaunted spirit and enterprising disposition.  These, indeed, promised interest; and no one could hesitate to believe, that he would zealously employ every faculty he possessed in accomplishing the objects committed to him.  It was appointed him to traverse the continent of Africa from east to west, in the latitude of the river Niger.  But this he never accomplished; as, on his arrival at Cairo, he was seized with a bilious disorder, which terminated in his death.  So much, it seemed but justice to record in this place, of the person now employed by Captain Cook.—­E.]

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On the 10th, Lediard returned with three Russian seamen, or furriers, who, with some others, resided at Egoochshac, where they had a dwelling-house, some store-houses, and a sloop of about thirty tons burthen.  One of these men was either master or mate of this vessel, another of them wrote a very good hand and understood figures, and they were all three well-behaved intelligent men, and very ready to give me all the information I could desire.  But for want of an interpreter, we had some difficulty to understand each other.  They appeared to have a thorough knowledge of the attempts that had been made by their countrymen to navigate the Frozen Ocean, and of the discoveries which had been made from Kamtschatka, by Beering, Tscherikoff, and Spanberg.  But they seemed to know no more of Lieutenant Syndo, or Synd, than his name.[5] Nor had they the least idea what part of the world Mr Staehlin’s map referred to, when it was laid before them.  When I pointed out Kamtschatka, and some other known places, upon that map, they asked, whether I had seen the islands there laid down; and on my answering in the negative, one of them put his finger upon a part of this map, where a number of islands are represented, and said, that he had cruized there for land, but never could find any.  I then laid before them my own chart, and found that they were strangers to every part of the American coast, except what lies opposite this island.  One of these men said, that he had been with Beering in his American voyage, but must then have been very young, for he had not now, at the distance of thirty-seven years, the appearance of being aged.  Never was there greater respect paid to the memory of any distinguished person, than by these men to that of Beering.[6] The trade in which they are engaged is very beneficial; and its being undertaken and extended to the eastward of Kamtschatka, was the immediate consequence of the second voyage of that able navigator, whose misfortunes proved to be the source of much private advantage to individuals, and of public utility to the Russian nation.  And yet, if his distresses had not accidentally carried him to die in the island which bears his name, and from whence the miserable remnant of his ship’s crew brought back sufficient specimens of its valuable furs, probably the Russians never would have undertaken any future voyages, which could lead them to make discoveries in this sea, toward the coast of America.  Indeed, after his time, government seems to have paid less attention to this; and we owe what discoveries have been since made, principally to the enterprising spirit of private traders, encouraged, however, by the superintending care of the court of Petersburg.  The three Russians having remained with me all night, visited Captain Clerke next morning, and then left us, very well satisfied with the reception they had met with, promising to return in a few days, and to bring with them a chart of the islands lying between Oonalashka and Kamtschatka.

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[Footnote 5:  See the little that is known of Synd’s voyage, accompanied with a chart, in Mr Coxe’s Russian Discoveries, p. 300.—­D.]

[Footnote 6:  This may be considered as a very decisive testimony to the truth of the character given of him in Mr Coxe’s publication.  We are indebted to the same work for ample evidence in proof of the following remarks of Captain Cook—­E.]

On the 14th, in the evening, while Mr Webber and I were at a village at a small distance from Samganoodha, a Russian landed there, who, I found, was the principal person amongst his countrymen in this and the neighbouring islands.  His name was Erasim Gregorioff Sin Ismyloff.  He arrived in a canoe carrying three persons, attended by twenty or thirty other canoes, each conducted by one man.  I took notice, that the first thing they did after landing, was to make a small tent for Ismyloff, of materials which they brought with them, and then they made others for themselves, of their canoes and paddles, which they covered with grass; so that the people of the village were at no trouble to find them lodging.  Ismyloff having invited us into his tent, set before us some dried salmon and berries, which, I was satisfied, was the best cheer he had.  He appeared to be a sensible intelligent man; and I felt no small mortification in not being able to converse with him, unless by signs, assisted by figures and other characters, which however were a very great help.  I desired to see him on board the next day; and accordingly he came, with all his attendants.  Indeed, he had moved into our neighbourhood, for the express purpose of waiting upon us.

I was in hopes to have had by him, the chart which his three countrymen had promised, but I was disappointed.  However, he assured me I should have it; and he kept his word.  I found that he was very well acquainted with the geography of these parts, and with all the discoveries that had been made in them by the Russians.  On seeing the modern maps, he at once pointed out their errors.  He told me, he had accompanied Lieutenant Syndo, or Synd as he called him, in his expedition to the north; and, according to his account, they did not proceed farther than the Tschukotskoi Noss, or rather than the bay of St Laurence, for he pointed on our chart to the very place where I landed.  From thence, he said, they went to an island in latitude 63 deg., upon which they did not land, nor could he tell me its name.  But I should guess it to be the same to which I gave the name of Clerke’s Island.  To what place Synd went after that, or in what manner he spent the two years, during which, as Ismyloff said, his researches lasted, he either could not or would not inform us.  Perhaps he did not comprehend our enquiries about this; and yet, in almost every other thing, we could make him understand us.  This created a suspicion, that he had not really been in that expedition, notwithstanding his assertion.

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Both Ismyloff and the others affirmed, that they knew nothing of the continent of America to the northward; and that neither Lieutenant Synd, nor any other Russian, had ever seen it.  They call it by the same name which Mr Staehlin gives to his great island, that is Alaschka.  Stachtan Nitada, as it is called in the modern maps, is a name quite unknown to these people, natives of the islands as well as Russians; but both, of them know it by the name of America.  From what we could gather from Ismyloff and his countrymen, the Russians have made several attempts to get a footing upon that part of this continent that lies contiguous to Oonalashka and the adjoining islands, but have always been repulsed by the natives, whom they describe as a very treacherous people.  They mentioned two or three captains, or chief men, who had been murdered by them; and some of the Russians shewed us wounds which, they said, they had received there.

Some other information which we got from Ismyloff is worth recording, whether true or false.  He told us, that in the year 1773, an expedition had been made into the Frozen Sea in sledges, over the ice, to three large islands that lie opposite the mouth of the river Kovyma.  We were in some doubt, whether he did not mean the same expedition of which Muller gives an account; and yet he wrote down the year, and marked the islands on the chart.[7] But a voyage which he himself had performed, engaged our attention more than any other.  He said, that on the 12th of May, 1771, he sailed from Bolscheretzk, in a Russian vessel, to one of the Kuril islands, named Mareekan, in the latitude of 47 deg., where there is a harbour, and a Russian settlement.  From this island, he proceeded to Japan, where be seems to have made but a short stay.  For when the Japanese came to know that he and his companions were Christians, they made signs for them to be gone; but did not, so far as we could understand him, offer any insult or force.  From Japan, he got to Canton, and from thence to France, in a French ship.  From France, he travelled to Petersburgh, and was afterward sent out again to Kamtschatka.  What became of the vessel in which he first embarked, we could not learn, nor what was the principal object of the voyage.  His not being able to speak one word of French, made this story a little suspicious.  He did not even know the name of any one of the most common things that must have been in use every day, while he was on board the ship, and in France.  And yet he seemed clear as to the times of his arriving at the different places, and of his leaving them, which he put down in writing.[8]

[Footnote 7:  The latest expedition of this kind, taken notice of by Mr Muller, was in 1724.  But in justice to Mr Ismyloff, it may be proper to mention, which is done on the authority of a MS. communicated by Mr Pennant, and the substance of which has been published by Mr Coxe, that, so late as 1768, the Governor of Siberia sent three young officers over the ice in sledges to the islands opposite the mouth of the Kovyma.  There seems no reason for not supposing, that a subsequent expedition of this sort might also be undertaken in 1773.  Mr Coxe, p. 324, places the expedition on sledges in 1764, but Mr Pennant’s MS. may be depended upon.—­D.]

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[Footnote 8:  There is nothing at all unlikely in the voyage now spoken of.  According to Captain Krusenstern, whose information is in all probability quite unexceptionable, the Kuril islands and Jesso have been often visited by Russian merchants since 1741, when Spanberg and Walton reached the coast of Japan; though without any positive advantage, he says, accruing either to science or commerce from their visits.—­E.]

The next morning, he would fain have made me a present of a sea-otter skin, which, he said, was worth eighty rubles at Kamtschatka.  However, I thought proper to decline it; but I accepted of some dried fish, and several baskets of the lily, or saranne root, which is described at large in the History of Kamtschatka.[9] In the afternoon, Mr Ismyloff, after dining with Captain Clerke, left us with all his retinue, promising to return in a few days.  Accordingly, on the 19th, he made us another visit, and brought with him the charts before-mentioned, which he allowed me to copy, and the contents of which furnish matter for the following observations:—­

There were two of them, both manuscripts, and bearing every mark of authenticity.  The first comprehended the Penschinskian Sea, the coast of Tartary, as low as the latitude of 41 deg., the Kuril islands, and the peninsula of Kamtschatka.  Since this map had been made, Wawseelee Irkecchoff, captain of the fleet, explored, in 1758, the coast of Tartary, from Okotsk, and the river Amur, to Japan, or 41 deg. of latitude.  Mr Ismyloff also informed us, that great part of the sea-coast of the peninsula of Kamtschatka had been corrected by himself, and described the instrument he made use of, which must have been a theodolite.  He also informed us, that there were only two harbours fit for shipping, on all the east coast of Kamtschatka, viz. the bay of Awatska, and the river Olutora, in the bottom of the gulf of the same name, that there was not a single harbour upon its west coast, and that Yamsk was the only one on all the west side of the Penschinskian Sea, except Okotsk, till we come to the river Amur.  The Kuril islands afford only one harbour, and that is on the N.E. side of Mareekan, in the latitude of 47-1/2 deg., where, as I have before observed, the Russians have a settlement.

[Footnote 9:  English translation, p. 83, 84.]

The second chart was to me the most interesting; for it comprehended all the discoveries made by the Russians to the eastward of Kamtschatka, toward America, which, if we exclude the voyage of Beering and Tscherikoff, will amount to little or nothing.  The part of the American coast, with which the latter fell in, is marked in this chart, between the latitude of 58 deg. and 58-1/2 deg., and 75 deg. of longitude from Okotsk, or, 218-1/2 deg. from Greenwich; and the place where the former anchored, in 59-1/2 deg. of latitude, and 63-1/2 deg. of longitude from Okotsk, or 207 deg.

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from Greenwich.  To say nothing of the longitude, which may be erroneous from many causes, the latitude of the coast, discovered by these two navigators, especially the part of it discovered by Tscherikoff, differs considerably from the account published by Mr Muller, and his chart.  Indeed, whether Muller’s chart, or this now produced by Mr Ismyloff, be most erroneous in this respect, it may be hard to determine, though it is not now a point worth discussing.  But the islands that lie dispersed between 52 deg. and 55 deg. of latitude, in the space between Kamtschatka and America, deserve some notice.  According to Mr Ismyloff’s account, neither the number nor the situation of these islands is well ascertained.  He struck out about one-third of them, assuring me they had no existence, and he altered the situation of others considerably, which, he said, was necessary, from his own observations.  And there was no reason to doubt about this.  As these islands lie all nearly under the same parallel, different navigators, being misled by their different reckonings, might easily mistake one island, or group of islands, for another, and fancy they had made a new discovery, when they had only found old ones in a different position from that assigned to them by their former visitors.

The islands of St Macarius, St Stephen, St Theodore, St Abraham, Seduction Island, and some others, which are to be found in Mr Muller’s chart, had no place in this now produced to us; nay, both Mr Ismyloff, and the others, assured me, that they had been several times sought for in vain.  And yet it is difficult to believe how Mr Muller, from whom subsequent map-makers have adopted them, could place them in this chart without some authority.  Relying, however, on the testimony of these people, whom I thought competent witnesses, I have left them out of my chart, and made such corrections amongst the other islands as I was told was necessary.  I found there was wanting another correction; for the difference of longitude, between the Bay of Awatska, and the harbour of Samganoodha, according to astronomical observations, made at these two places, is greater by five degrees and a half, than it is by the chart.  This error I have supposed to be infused throughout the whole, though it may not be so in reality.  There was also an error in the latitude of some places, but this hardly exceeded a quarter of a degree.

I shall now give some account of the islands, beginning with those that lie nearest to Kamtschatka, and reckoning the longitude from the harbour of Petropaulowska, in the Bay of Awatska.  The first is Beering’s Island, in 55 deg. of latitude, and 6 deg. of longitude.  Ten leagues from the south end of this, in the direction of E. by S., or E.S.E., lies Meidenoi Ostroff, or the Copper Island.  The next island is Atakou, laid down in 52 deg. 45’ of latitude, and in 15 deg. or 16 deg. of longitude.  This island is about eighteen leagues in extent, in the direction of E. and W., and seems to be the same land which Beering fell in with, and named Mount St John.  But there are no islands about it, except two inconsiderable ones, lying three or four leagues from the east end, in the direction of E.N.E.

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We next come to a group, consisting of six or more islands, two of which, Atghka and Amluk are tolerably large, and in each of them is a good harbour.  The middle of this group lies in the latitude of 52 deg. 30’, and 28 deg. of longitude from Awatska, and its extent, E. and W., is four degrees.  These are the isles that Mr Ismyloff said were to be removed four degrees to the E., which was done.  And in the situation they have in my chart, was a group, consisting of ten small islands, which, I was told, were wholly to be struck out, and also two islands lying between them and the group to which Oonalashka belongs.  In the place of these two, an island called Amoghta (which in the chart was situated in the latitude of 51 deg. 45’, and 4 deg. of longitude to the W.) was brought.

Nothing more need be said to shew how erroneous the situation of many of these islands may be, and for which I am in nowise accountable.  But the position of the largest group, of which Oonalashka is one of the principal islands, and the only one in which there is a harbour, is not liable to any such errors.  Most of these islands were seen by us, and consequently their latitude and longitude were pretty exactly determined, particularly the harbour of Samganoodha in Oonalashka, which must be looked upon as a fixed point.  This group of islands maybe said to extend as far as Halibut Isles, which are forty leagues from Oonalashka toward the E.N.E.  Within these isles, a passage was marked in Ismyloff’s chart, communicating with Bristol Bay, which converts about fifteen leagues of the coast, that I had supposed to belong to the continent, into an island, distinguished by the name of Ooneemak.  This passage might easily escape us, as we were informed, that it is very narrow, shallow, and only to be navigated through with boats, or very small vessels.[10]

[Footnote 10:  This passage is marked on all the modern maps, no doubt on the somewhat scanty authority here given.  With respect to most of the islands now alluded to, the opinion entertained of their utter insignificance, will account for and perhaps justify the sparing solicitude we have used to ascertain their number and position.  Some less suspicious data than are to be met with in the accounts of early Russian voyages, would be requisite, to induce much attention to a subject of even greater importance.—­E.]

It appeared by the chart, as well as by the testimony of Ismyloff and the other Russians, that this is as far as their countrymen have made any discoveries, or have extended themselves, since Beering’s time.  They all said, that no Russians had settled themselves so far to the east as the place where the natives gave the note to Captain Clerke, which Mr Ismyloff, to whom I delivered it, on perusing it, said, had been written at Oomanak.  It was, however, from him that we got the name of Kodiak, the largest of Schumagin’s Islands; for it had no name upon the chart produced by him.[11] The names

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of all the other islands were taken from it, and we wrote them down as pronounced by him.  He said, they were all such as the natives themselves called their islands by; but, if so, some of the names seem to have been strangely altered.  It is worth observing, that no names were put to the islands which Ismyloff told us were to be struck out of the chart, and I considered this as some confirmation that they have no existence.

[Footnote 11:  A Russian ship had been at Kodiak in 1776, as appears from a MS. obligingly communicated by Mr Pennant.—­D.]

I have already observed, that the American continent is here called by the Russians, as well as by the islanders, Alaschka; which name, though it properly belong only to the country adjoining to Oonemak, is used by them when speaking of the American continent in general, which they know perfectly well to be a great land.

This is all the information I got from these people, relating to the geography of this part of the world; and I have reason to believe that this was all the information they were able to give.  For they assured me, over and over again, that they knew of no other islands, besides those which were laid down upon this chart; and that no Russian had ever seen any part of the continent of America to the northward, except that which lies opposite the country of the Tschutskis.

If Mr Staehlin was not grossly imposed upon, what could induce him to publish a map so singularly erroneous, and in which many of these islands are jumbled together in regular confusion, without the least regard to truth; and yet he is pleased to call it a very accurate little map.[12] Indeed, it is a map to which the most illiterate of his illiterate sea-faring countrymen would have been ashamed to set his name.

[Footnote 12:  Staehlin’s New Northern Archipelago, p. 15.]

Mr Ismyloff remained with us till the 21st, in the evening, when he took his final leave.  To his care I intrusted a letter to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, in which was inclosed a chart of all the northern coasts I had visited.  He said there would be an opportunity of sending it to Kamtschatka, or Okotsk, the ensuing spring, and that it would be at Petersburg the following winter.  He gave me a letter to Major Behm, governor of Kamtschatka, who resides at Bolscheretsk, and another to the commanding officer, at Petropaulowska.  Mr Ismyloff seemed to have abilities that might entitle him to a higher station in life, than that in which we found him.  He was tolerably well versed in astronomy, and in the most useful branches of the mathematics.  I made him a present of an Hadley’s octant; and though, probably, it was the first he had ever seen, he made himself acquainted, in a very short time, with most of the uses to which that instrument can be applied.

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In the morning of the 22d, we made an attempt to get to sea, with the wind at S.E., which miscarried.  The following afternoon, we were visited by one Jacob Ivanovitch Soposnicoff, a Russian, who commanded a boat, or small vessel, at Oomanak.  This man had a great share of modesty, and would drink no strong liquor, of which the rest of his countrymen, whom we had met with here, were immoderately fond.  He seemed to know more accurately what supplies could be got at the harbour of Petropaulowska, and the price of the different articles, than Mr Ismyloff.  But, by all accounts, every thing we should want at that place was very scarce, and bore a high price.  Flour, for instance, was from three to five roubles the pood,[13] and deer from three to five roubles each.  This man told us that he was to be at Petropaulowska in May next, and, as I understood, was to have the charge of my letter.  He seemed to be exceedingly desirous of having some token from me to carry to Major Behm, and to gratify him, I sent a small spying-glass.

[Footnote 13:  36 lb.]

After we became acquainted with these Russians, some of our gentlemen, at different times, visited their settlement on the island, where they always met with a hearty welcome.  This settlement consisted of a dwelling-house and two store-houses.  And, besides the Russians, there was a number of the Kamtschadales, and of the natives, as servants, or slaves, to the former.  Some others of the natives, who seemed independent of the Russians, lived at the same place.  Such of them as belonged to the Russians were all males, and they are taken, or perhaps purchased, from their parents when young.  There was, at this time, about twenty of these, who could be looked upon in no other light than, as children.  They all live in the same house; the Russians at the upper end, the Kamtschadales in the middle, and the natives at the lower end, where is fixed a large boiler for preparing their food, which consists chiefly of what the sea produces, with the addition of wild roots and berries.  There is little difference between the first and last table, besides what is produced by cookery, in which the Russians have the art to make indifferent things palatable.  I have eat whale’s flesh of their dressing, which I thought very good; and they made a kind of pan-pudding of salmon roe, beaten up fine, and fried, that is no bad succedaneum for bread.  They may, now and then, taste real bread, or have a dish in which flour is an ingredient; but this can only be an occasional luxury.  If we except the juice of berries which they sip at their meals, they have no other liquor besides pure water; and it seems to be very happy for them that they have nothing stronger.

As the island supplies them with food, so it does, in a great measure, with clothing.  This consists chiefly of skins, and is, perhaps, the best they could have.  The upper garment is made like our waggoner’s frock, and reaches as low as the knee.  Besides this, they wear a waistcoat or two, a pair of breeches, a fur cap, and a pair of boots, the soles and upper leathers of which are of Russian leather, but the legs are made of some kind of strong gut.  Their two chiefs, Ismyoff and Ivanovitch, wore each a calico frock, and they, as well as some others, had shirts, which were of silk.  These, perhaps, were the only part of their dress not made amongst themselves.

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There are Russians settled upon all the principal islands between Oonalashka and Kamtschatka, for the sole purpose of collecting furs.  Their great object is the sea-beaver or otter.  I never heard them enquire after any other animal; though those, whose skins are of inferior value, are also made part of their cargoes.  I never thought to ask how long they have had a settlement upon Oonalashka, and the neighbouring isles; but to judge from the great subjection the natives are under, this cannot be of a very late date.[14] All these furriers are relieved, from time to time, by others.  Those we met with arrived here from Okotsk, in 1776, and are to return in 1781; so that their stay at the island will be four years at least.[15]

[Footnote 14:  The Russians began to frequent Oonalashka in 1762.  See Coxe’s Russian Discoveries, ch. viii. p. 80.—­D.]

[Footnote 15:  Captain Cook says nothing of the condition of these furriers, and probably indeed knew nothing of it.  According to Krusenstern, who cannot be supposed to seek for occasion to censure his countrymen, it is wretched in the extreme.  He himself admits that his transcript, though softened down from his original notes made at the time, will nevertheless expose him to the anger of a number of persons for whom, in other respects, he entertains the highest regard.  But one may question if any of the accounts that have been given of the African slave-trade produce greater horror than this modified description occasions.  The reader must not imagine that the physical difficulties of the climate constitute the misery of these deluded beings.  These are certainly very formidable, and of themselves present a sufficient barrier to the enjoyment of any thing bearing the shape of comfort.  But evils of another sort, arising from avarice and the abuse of power, are so galling, as would induce a man “to fly from even the most beautiful and the best-gifted country,” if his residence in it subjected him to their tyranny.  The agents of the Russian-American Company, as the reader will instantly divine, are chargeable with the enormous barbarity and injustice to which these remarks apply; and the fearless seaman does not scruple to expose them to public indignation, in consequence.  We shall communicate a few particulars, referring those who desire more information on the subject to the work itself.  The persons who engage in the Company’s service, we are informed, are vagabonds and adventurers,—­but not criminals, be it remembered,—­to whom the fabulous reports of the state of affluence to be easily attained, which are industriously circulated, operate as an incentive to sail to America in the condition of Promiischleniks, a word originally signifying any who carry on a trade, but here, a