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Title: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16
Author: Kerr, Robert, 1755-1813
Language: English
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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. 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,

    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 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° 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,


    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 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,

    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

    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; 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. Stæhlin'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 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,

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 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







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_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

[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° 57-1/2' S.:

                       Apparent time, A.M.

  Beginning, by Mr King, at   0  32  50 |
                Mr Bligh, at  0  33  25  >  Mean long. 186° 57-1/2'.
                Myself, at    0  33  35 |

  End, by Mr King at          1  44  56 |    Mean long. 186° 28-1/2'.
          Mr Bligh at         1  44   6  >   Time keep. 186° 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° 6' S., and our longitude was
198° 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.

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.

It is situated in the latitude of 23° 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. 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 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.

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,
  Annis_ 1767,
  1769, 1773, 1774, & 1777.

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. 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

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.

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.

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 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, 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

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.

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.

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.

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.]

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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 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_. 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 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 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? 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

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; 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 raä_, 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.

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.

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 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

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 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.

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
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.

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, 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]

[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

"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.]

"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

"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

"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.

"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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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]

[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

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 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.

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

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 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

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 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

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,

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
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.

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.

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._

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.

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

[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.

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.

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.

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

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

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 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

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.

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

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

[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.]

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

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.

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. 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 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 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

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.]


_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

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 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.

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

"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°.

"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°; 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.

"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.


    "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.

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.

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. 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

[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

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

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 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

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

[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

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

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

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; 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 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.

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

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.

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

[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.]

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° 24-1/4'  210° 22' 28"    5° 34' East     29° 12'

  Owharre Harbour   16° 42-3/4'  208° 52' 24"    5° 13-1/2" East 28° 28'

  Ohamaneno Harbour 16° 45-1/2'  208° 25' 22"    6° 19' East     29°  5'

[Transcriber's Note: It is possible that the compass variation at
Owharre Harbour should read 5° 13-1/2' not 5° 13-1/2" (minutes not

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 upon, and how near they would agree with those made upon the
same spot in 1769, which fixed Matavai Point to be in 210° 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° 22' 28", or, which is the same thing,
208° 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

  by  {Greenwich rate,  1° 18' 58"
      {Tongataboo rate, 0° 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.


_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.

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 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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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 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

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.

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 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 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.

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 états, 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 fierté 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 à danser, courir, sautir, lutter, pour s'exercer,
et éprouver leur forces. Ils prennent grand plaisir à raconter les
avantures de leurs ancétres, et à reciter des vers de leurs poëtes._
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
the practice at the Ladrones, without tracing the strongest
resemblance--_Dans leurs assemblées elles se mettent doux ou trieze
femmes en rond, debout, sans se remuer. Dans cette attitude elles
chantent les vers fabuleux de leurs poëtes avec un agrément, et une
justesse qui plairoit en Europe. L'accord de leur voix est admirable,
et ne cede en rien à la musique concertée. 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 enterré, 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 persuadés_ (says Le Gobien) _de
l'immortalité de l'áme. Ils reconnoissent même un Paradis et un Enfer,
dont ils se forment des idées assez bizarres. Ce n'est point, selon
eux, la vertu ni le crime, qui conduit dans ces lieux là; 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._

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

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
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

[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, 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.

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

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 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. 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

[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 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° 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° E. Mendana, in his
first voyage in 1568,[1] discovered an island which he named Isla de
Jesus, in latitude 6° 45' S., and 1450 leagues from Callao, which
is 200° 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.

[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° 15' E. Here the variation of the compass was 6° 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.

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.

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 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

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._

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

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

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° 59' N., and in the longitude of 202° 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° 22-1/2' E., and the dip of the north end of the needle
11° 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.


_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° 45' N., and the longitude
of 205° 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° and 11°, 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° 12' N., and longitude 200° 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 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.

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 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 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.

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° E., the west point N. 65° 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; 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 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

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_ 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.

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

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

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

[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.

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 présenterent
plusieurs especes d'oiseaux, aussi élégants par leur forme, que
brillants par l'éclat de leur couleurs. La dépouille des oiseaux sert
à la parure des Chefs, qui la portent attachée à 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 préparées, les transportent en Perse, à Surate, dans
les Indes, où ils les vendent fort chère 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 là qu'est venue
l'opinion, qu'une de ces especes d'oiseaux (l'oiseau de pardis) _n'a
point de pattes_. Les Hollandois ont accrédité ces fables, qui, en
jettant du merveilleux sur l'objet dont ils traffiquoient,
étoient propres à le rendre plus précieux, et á en rechausser la
valeur."--Voyage à la Nouvelle Guinée, 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.

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]

[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 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 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° 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° 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 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 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,
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 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

[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


_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
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° 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° 30', and
22° 15' N., and between the longitude of 199° 20', and 201° 30' E.

Of Woahoo, the most easterly of these islands, seen by us, which lies
in the latitude of 21° 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.

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.

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

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 _brecciæ_; 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 _hæmatites_, 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 Linnæus 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

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,

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.

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
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.

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
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 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

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 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 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 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 étranger 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 à louage, et ce louage se paye assez
chere."--P. 314.]

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

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 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 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 _hæmatites_,
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.

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_, _ruä_, 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.

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

[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


_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° 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° 13'  0" East.
    Time-keeper / Greenwich rate,             200°  0'  0"
                \ Ulietea rate,               200° 21'  0"
    The latitude of the road, by the   \
      mean of two meridian observations }      21° 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° 12'   200° 41'  Gregory's 10° 10' 10"\
                                       Knight's   9° 20'  5" } 90° 51' 38"
                                       Martin's  10°  4' 40"/

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

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

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

    Means of the}  21° 29'   200° 12'                          10° 17' 11"
      above     }

   On January 18.  21° 12'   200° 41' the north end of
                                      the needle dipped 42° 1' 7".

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

I now return to the progress of our voyage. On the 7th, being in the
latitude of 29° N. and in the longitude of 200° 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° N. and our longitude 206° 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° 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

On the 19th, being now in the latitude of 37° N. and in the longitude
of 206° 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° 30', and the longitude of 219°; 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° 49' N., and our
longitude 228° 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 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° 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

[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.

On the 6th at noon, being in the latitude of 44° 10' N., and the
longitude of 234-1/2° 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° 33' N., and our longitude 235° 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° 55' N., and in the
longitude of 235° 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° 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

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.

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° 6' N., and in the longitude of 235° 57'E. The southern extreme
before us, I named _Cape Gregory_.[3] Its latitude is 43° 30', and its
longitude 235° 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. by E., perhaps ten or
twelve leagues distant. If I am right in this estimation, its latitude
will be 43° 10', and its longitude 235° 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

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

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° 45', and in the longitude of 233° 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° 5' N. and in the
longitude of 235° 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 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° 15' N.,
and in the longitude of 235° 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° 29' N. and our longitude 232° 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°
15' N., and in the longitude of 233° 20' E., and the other extreme
in about the latitude of 50°, and the longitude of 232°. 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.

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

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 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

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 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

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 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, 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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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]

[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° 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, 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

[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° 33' N., and in the longitude of 233° 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.

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.

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°, and
very often, in the day, it rose to 60°. 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

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 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.]

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 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 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 Linnæus. 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

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 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
_chimæræ_, 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

There is abundance of large muscles about the rocks, many sea-ears,
and we often saw shells of pretty large plain _chamæ_. 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 _panamæ_. 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

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.

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

[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.]

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. 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 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 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
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

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

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.

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.

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 étoient de
bois revetu de planches bien unies, et même enchainées en quelques
endroits."--Muller, _Découvertes_, p. 255.--D.]

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.

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.]

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 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 _chimæræ_, 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.

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.

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

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 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

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.

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

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 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.

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 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.

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° 7'; in latitude 47° 21'; and in
latitude 57° 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]

[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°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:

  _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.]

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°  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°  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°  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°  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._

           /A.M.\ Observatory         /  15° 57' 48-1/2" \
  April 4.{      }                   {                    } 15° 49' 25" East.
           \PM  / Mean of four Needles\  15  41   2      /

        5. /A.M.\  On board the ship   /   9° 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° 26' 22-1/2"\
   On board with    {           }            }                } 71° 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.

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.

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° 1'; longitude 229° 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° 22', and in the
longitude of 225° 14'.

[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

[Footnote 2: See de Lisle's _Générale des Découvertes 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° 43',
and our longitude 224° 44'. At seven in the evening, being in the
latitude of 55° 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

[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°. 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 Découvertes 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° 11', and the
other, _De los Remedios_, in latitude 57° 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°; 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° 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° 3', and in
the longitude of 224° 7'; and at noon it bore north 20° W. six leagues

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.

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° 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° E.; and another inlet, before which are also some
islands, bore N. 52° 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° E.; a large inlet, N. 50° 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° 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° 57', and its longitude
is 223° 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° 17', and
our longitude 222° 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° 11' to 26° 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° 22', and the longitude 220°
45'. Mount Fairweather, the peaked mountain over the Cape of the same
name, bore N. 63° E.; the shore under it twelve leagues distant. This
mountain, which lies in the latitude of 58° 52', and in the longitude
of 222°, 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 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° 53', and our longitude 220° 52', the summit of an elevated
mountain appeared above the horizon, bearing N., 26° 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° 28', and he describes its aspect thus:
"_L'aspect du pays étoit 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 Découvertes 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° 8', and in
the longitude of 220° 19'. Mount Fairweather bore S. 63° E. and Mount
Elias N. 30° W.; the nearest land about eight leagues distant. In the
direction of N. 47° 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° 18', corresponds pretty well with the map
of his voyage,[6] and the longitude is 221° 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° 27', and the longitude of 219° 7'. In this
situation, Mount Fairweather bore S. 70° E.; Mount St Elias N. 1/2
W.; the westernmost land in sight N. 52° 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.

[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° 30', and the longitude 217°. In this
situation the nearest land was nine leagues distant; and Mount St
Elias bore N., 30° E, nineteen leagues distant. This mountain lies
twelve leagues inland in the latitude of 60° 27', and in the longitude
of 219°. 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°; 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° 51', and our longitude
215° 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° W., to S., 85° 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° 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, 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° 49',
and the longitude of 216° 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 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 Linnæus, 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_.

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° 11", and the longitude
213° 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

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 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, 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

[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 présentent en signe de paix. Ceux-ci
en tenoient de pareils en main. C'étoient des bâtons avec _ailes de
faucon_ attachées 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.

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 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

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.

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.

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°.[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
Stæhlin'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_.

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

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

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

[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
étoit de boyaux de baleines pour le haut du corps, et de peaux de
chiens-marins pour le bas."--_Découvertes des Russes_, p. 274.]

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.

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 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.

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

[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._

  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. 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
Stæhlin,[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.

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

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 à sa ceinture, qui parut fort
singulier à nos gens par sa figure. Il étoit long de huit pouces, et
fort épais, et large à l'endroit où devoit être la pointe. On ne pent
savoir quel étoit l'usage de cet outil." _Découvertes des Russes_, p.

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.

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° 10', and the longitude of 207° 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° W., which was
supposed to connect Cape Elizabeth with the land we had seen to the

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° 15', and in the longitude of 207°
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

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 Stæhlin, 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

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° 41', and its longitude 207° 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°, 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° 56', and
in the longitude of 206° 10'; ten leagues to the westward of Barren
Isles, and twelve from Point Banks, in the direction of N.W. by W. 1/2

[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.

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° 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° 51'; the low land above mentioned extended from N.E.
to S., 75° E., the nearest part two leagues distant. The land on the
western shore was about seven leagues distant, and extended from S.
35° W., to N. 7° 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° 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.

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° E., two leagues distant; a point on the other
shore opposite to it, and nearly of the same height, bore N., 36° W.;
our latitude, by observation, 60° 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.

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.

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, 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° 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° 30', and the longitude of 210°; 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
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

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

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.

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° 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.

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

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, 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° 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

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° 15', and in the longitude of
207° 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° 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 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° 52-1/2'; Cape St
Hermogenes bore N. 30° 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° 33', and in the
longitude of 207° 15', and is distant fifteen leagues from Cape St
Hermogenes, in the direction of S. 17° 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° 13', bore
N.N. E. 1/2 E., ten miles distant, and the coast extended from N. 42°
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° W., and, without
it, other land that had the appearance of an island, bore S. 59° W.

At noon, on the 13th, being in latitude 56° 49', Cape St Barnabas bore
N. 52° E., Two-headed Point, N. 14° 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.

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° 36', and in the longitude of 205°, 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-à-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

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° 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° 10', and in the longitude of
202° 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° 9', and our longitude 201° 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° W. to
S. 52° W.

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° 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

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°. 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

I therefore kept along the southernmost chain of islands, and at noon
we were in the latitude of 55° 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° 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 Stæhlin's New Northern
Archipelago, p. 30-39.]

[Footnote 5: See Muller's _Découvertes 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°
E., and the westernmost point of land now in sight, S. 82° 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
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
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° 44', and in the longitude
of 198°. 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° W.; and a round hill, without, which was found to be
an island, and was called _Halibut-Head_, bore S. 64° 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°
27', and in the longitude of 197°, bore N. 24° 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° 48', and in the longitude of 195° 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.

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

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° 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.

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

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

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.

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

[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

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.

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

It is called, by the natives, _Samganoodha_, and is situated on the
north side of Oonalashka, in the latitude of 58° 55', in the longitude
of 193° 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° 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° 30', and in the longitude of 192° 30'. Over the cape,
which of itself is high land, is a round elevated mountain, at this
time entirely covered with snow.

At six in the evening, this mountain bore E. 2° 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

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° 21', and our longitude 195° 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° 50', and our longitude 197° 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° 49',
and in the longitude of 201° 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.

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° 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° 27', and in the longitude of 201° 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.

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° 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° 37', and in the longitude of 200° 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° 13', and the
longitude 199°. Round Island bore N., 5° E.; and the west extreme of
the coast N., 16° 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]

[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° E., and a point eight leagues from it, in the direction
of W., bore N., 30° 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° 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° 42', and in the longitude
of 197° 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.]

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° 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° E., distant eleven or
twelve leagues; the N.E. extreme of the land in sight N., 66° E.; and
the nearest shore about four or five leagues distant. Our latitude, by
observation, was 59° 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.

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° 45' 48"
  By the time-keeper it was    197  26  48
  Our latitude was              59  37  30
  Variation by the \  A.M. 23° 34'  3" \
    mean of three   } P.M. 22  19  40  / mean 22° 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°. 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.

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°
7', and in the longitude of 194° 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° 29', and our longitude 191° 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

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° 55', gave 190° 6' longitude; and the
time-keeper gave 189° 59'. The variation of the compass was 18° 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° 17', and in the longitude of 187° 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.

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 Stæhlin, in his map of the New
Northern Archipelago; and we expected every moment to see more of

[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° 58', and
in the longitude of 191°. 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° 34', our longitude was 192°, 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.

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

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° 27', and in the longitude of 194° 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

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.

This island, which was named _Sledge Island_, and lies in the latitude
of 64° 30', and in the longitude of 193° 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°
E., ten leagues distant, and was seen over the south point of the main

Soon after we had anchored, the weather, which had been misty,
clearing up, we saw high land extending from N., 40° E., to N.,
30° 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° 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 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° 36', and in longitude 192° 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° 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° 45', and in the longitude
of 191° 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

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

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° 24', it
extended from S. 72° W. to N. 41° 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° W., the north point N. 43° E.,
the bottom of the bay N. 60° W., two or three leagues distant, and.
the two islands we had passed the preceding day, N. 72° 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.

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.

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.

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 Stæhlin'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 Stæhlin'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

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° W. to N. 84° W., the latter bore S. 40°
W., and the peaked mountain, over Cape Prince of Wales, bore S. 36°
E., with land extending from it as far as S. 75° E. The latitude of
the ship was 66° 5-1/4', the longitude 191° 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° 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

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° 45',
and in the longitude of 194° 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° 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° 33', gave 197° 41'.
The time-keeper, for the same time, gave 198°, and the variation was
35° 1' 22" E. We had, afterward, reason to believe, that the observed
longitude was within a very few miles of the truth.

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° 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° 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° 29', and its longitude 198° 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

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.

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° 6', and
the longitude 195° 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.

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° 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.

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° 32',
and in the longitude of 195° 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° 5',
and in the longitude of 194° 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° 36', and in the longitude of 184°; so
that it now appeared we had no better prospect of getting to the north
here, than nearer the shore.

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

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, 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

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° 17', our longitude 183°, the variation by the morning
azimuths, 25° 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.

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° E., to N., 60° 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° 56', and in the
longitude of 180° 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.


_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.--Stæhlin's Map proved to be erroneous,--Plan of future

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° 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.

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° 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° 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° 3', and in the longitude of 188° 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° 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. The wind still continued at north, the air was cold, and
the mercury in the thermometer never rose above 35°, and was sometimes
as low as 30°. At noon the observed latitude was 66° 37', Cape Serdze
Kamen bore N., 52° W., thirteen leagues distant; the southernmost
point of land in sight S., 41° 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 Stæhlin'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° 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° 6', and in the longitude of 190° 22', and is
distant from Cape Prince of Wales, on the American coast, thirteen
leagues, in the direction of N., 53° 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' à l'Anadir en trois fois
24 heures; et par terre le chemin ne peut guère 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° 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

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°
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

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.

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° 31', and the longitude 188° 45'; the
southernmost point of the main in sight bore S., 48° 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° E., by estimation, eleven
leagues distant. At the same time, the southernmost point of the main
land bore S., 83° 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° 13', and its longitude 186° 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 Stæhlin'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.

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° E., ten leagues
distant; and the easternmost land in sight N., 49° 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° W., eight or nine leagues distant;
and the eastern part of the coast N. 70° 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° 21', and in the longitude of 197°, beyond
which the coast takes a more northerly direction. At eight, this
point, which obtained the name of _Cape Darby_, bore S. 62° W.; the
northernmost land in sight, N. 32° 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° 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 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° W., three miles distant.

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° W.; and Bald Head, N. 60° E.,
nine leagues distant. Cape Denbigh bore S. 72° E., twenty-six miles
distant; and the island under the east shore, to the southward of
Cape Denbigh, named _Besborough Island_, S. 52° E., fifteen leagues

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

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, 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.


"_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.

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.]

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° 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° 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 Stæhlin'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.


_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

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° 37'. Besborough, Island now bore N., 42° E.; the
southernmost land in sight, which proved also to be an island, S., 66°
W.; the passage between it and the main S., 40° 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° 35', and seventeen leagues from. Cape Denbigh, in the
direction of S., 27° 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° 33', and in longitude 197° 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.

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°. So that,
between this latitude and Shoal Ness, in latitude 60°, 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° 15', and in the
longitude of 190° 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]

[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° 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.]

We continued to stretch to the eastward, till eight o'clock in the
morning of the 25th, when, in the latitude of 191° 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

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.

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

[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 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.]

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 Stæhlin'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.

[Footnote 5: See the little that is known of Synd's voyage,
accompanied with a chart, in Mr Coxe's Russian Discoveries, p.

[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°,
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

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 Stæhlin 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°, 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.]

[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

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°, 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°
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°, 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° and 58-1/2°, and 75° of longitude
from Okotsk, or, 218-1/2° from Greenwich; and the place where the
former anchored, in 59-1/2° of latitude, and 63-1/2° of longitude from
Okotsk, or 207° 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° and
55° 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

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° of latitude, and 6° 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° 45' of latitude, and in 15° or 16° 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.

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° 30', and 28° 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° 45', and 4° 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 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

[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 Stæhlin 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: Stæhlin'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.

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

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.

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, as it is the only occupation, restricted
to those who collect furs. Their misery commences with their voyage,
which is generally performed in vessels so exceedingly crowded, that a
large proportion of the passengers are necessitated to sleep upon the
deck, which, in such a climate, it is obvious, must expose them to
almost certain disease and death. This last, indeed, is the most
desirable destiny they can experience, as those who have the
misfortune to survive are subjected to almost incalculable calamities
from the want of proper food and clothing, under the rigours of the
climate, and the still more relentless severity of their task-masters.
From the treatment which the sick receive, we may perhaps, with some
exercise of imagination, infer, what the mode of life must be,
of those whom superior force of constitution preserves in health.
Speaking of a particular case which he had an opportunity of
witnessing, Captain K. says, "We went to visit the sick, and it is
impossible for me to describe the shocking, the disgusting state in
which we found them; nearly all appeared to labour under incurable
scorbutic and venereal sores, although they had been ten months on
shore, and had enjoyed the assistance of the surgeon of St Peter and
St Paul. Even of this they were now about to be deprived, and on the
point of being removed, by a long and tedious navigation, to places
where they must either forego all surgical attendance, or obtain it
from people totally unskilled in the practice. I was curious to learn
on what food the sick were kept, and was shewn two casks of salt meat
destined for them. I requested to see a piece of it; but, on opening
the cask, so disgusting and pestilential a smell took possession
of the hold as compelled me instantly to quit it. Two tons of this
stinking salt meat, and some sacks of mouldy black biscuit, were the
only nourishing provisions on board for twenty invalids, for, to this
number, (out of seventy,) they actually amounted before the Maria (the
vessel they were on board) left St Peter and St Paul (for Kodiak)."
Was not the practice said to have been adopted at Jaffa by an
extraordinary character, to be esteemed for mercifulness in comparison
of this? Train oil and the flesh of the sea-lion, with a mixture of
rye-meal and water, form the choicest provisions of those who are
well, either on board a ship or on shore; these, it must be owned, are
quite suitable to the iron rule of the agent, under whom there can
be neither personal property nor individual security, because he is
subject to no law, and there are no courts of justice in Kodiak, or
any other of the company's possessions. Few of these wretched outcasts
ever again reach Russian ground, very few indeed attain the object
of their wishes (we dare not say hopes) to return to Europe. Disease,
disappointment, innumerable sufferings, continual drunkenness, the
only solace in which, for obvious reasons, they are indulged, bring
them speedily to the end of their unhappy existence, and leave a
vacant stage for the miseries of new victims. Should a remnant have
a more lengthened career, and having, by infinite pain and trouble,
amassed a little property, get back to Ochotsk, thinking to return
home and spend their days in comfort with their relatives, they are
beset by fresh and perhaps still more aggravated vexations. They
cannot leave that place, it seems, till they have closed accounts with
the agents, and, as this is frequently protracted, no doubt with
the most diabolical design, they become idle, spend what they had
acquired, run into debt, (for sufficient credit is allowed them),
and at last are necessitated to revert to their former slavery with
perhaps far less ability than formerly, and with no other expectation
of relief than what is afforded by the certainty of their dissolution.
It is impossible to contemplate this distressing picture a moment
longer. Let us leave it.--E.]

It is now time to give some account of the native inhabitants. To all
appearance, they are the most peaceable, inoffensive people, I ever
met with. And, as to honesty, they might serve as a pattern to the
most civilized nation upon earth. But, from what I saw of their
neighbours, with whom the Russians have no connection, I doubt whether
this was their original disposition, and rather think that it has been
the consequence of their present state of subjection. Indeed, if some
of our gentlemen did not misunderstand the Russians, they had been
obliged to make some severe examples, before they could bring the
islanders into any order. If there were severities inflicted at first,
the best apology for them is, that they have produced the happiest
consequences, and, at present, the greatest harmony subsists between
the two nations. The natives have their own chiefs in each island, and
seem to enjoy liberty and property unmolested. But whether or no they
are tributaries to the Russians, we could never find out. There was
some reason to think that they are.[16]

[Footnote 16: See the particulars of hostilities between the Russians
and the natives, in Coxe, as cited above.--D.

It will readily be inferred from what has already been mentioned of
the conduct of the Russian agents towards their own countrymen, that
the circumstance of the unfortunate islanders, who are also subjected
to their sway, cannot be very eligible. A single quotation from the
work referred to, will answer every purpose we can have in view in
alluding to them in this place. "The chief agent of the American
Company is the boundless despot over an extent of country, which,
comprising the Aleutic islands, stretches from 57 to 61 degrees
of latitude, and from 130 to 190 degrees of east longitude. The
population of the islanders annually decreasing, and the wretched
condition of the Russians living there, sufficiently proves, that,
from their first migration to these islands and to the American
coast, up to the present moment, the Company's possessions have been
entrusted to people, who were, indeed, zealous for its own advantage,
but frequently more so for that of a few subordinate agents." A
Lieutenant Davidoff, he gives us to understand, had collected some
very important notices respecting these possessions of the Company,
and had imparted to him a fragment of them relative to the
situation of the islanders and their conquerors. This however is
not communicated, apparently for a reason mentioned, viz. that this
officer proposed publishing on the subject when he returned to St
Petersburg; and that though unfortunately he lost his life in the
Neva before that took place, his manuscript, which was in the hands of
Admiral Schischkoff, will be printed by the Admiralty. We shall wonder
if it be so, concluding as to its contents from what is already made
known. Though it is possible, indeed, to imagine, that it may be made
use of as a testimony against the bad management and inhuman conduct
of the agents of the Company, in order to justify the interference of
the legislature in their concerns, which certainly appears to be much
wanted. Altogether, it is obvious then, that the statement of matters
which Captain Cook has given in the text, applies to a golden age,
in comparison of what we are assured was lately existing in these
regions. What changes have been wrought by the representations of
Krusenstern we have not heard.--E.]

These people are rather low of stature, but plump and well-shaped,
with rather short necks, swarthy chubby faces, black eyes, small
beards, and long, straight, black hair, which the men wear loose
behind and cut before, but the women tie up in a bunch.

Their dress has been occasionally mentioned. Both sexes wear the same
in fashion, the only difference is in the materials. The women's frock
is made of seal-skin, and that of the men, of the skins of birds, both
reaching below the knee. This is the whole dress of the women. But
over their frock, the men wear another made of gut, which resists
water, and has a hood to it, which draws over the head. Some of them
wear boots, and all of them have a kind of oval snouted cap, made of
wood, with a rim to admit the head. These caps are dyed with green and
other colours; and round the upper part of the rim are stuck the long
bristles of some sea-animal, on which are strung glass-beads, and on
the front is a small image or two made of bone.

They make use of no paint; but the women puncture their faces
slightly; and both men and women bore the under-lip, to which they
fix pieces of bone. But it is as uncommon, at Oonalashka, to see a man
with this ornament, as to see a woman without it. Some fix beads to
the upper-lip, under the nostrils; and all of them hang ornaments in
their ears.

Their food consists of fish, sea-animals, birds, roots, and berries,
and even of sea-weed. They dry large quantities of fish in summer,
which they lay up in small huts for winter use; and probably they
preserve roots and berries for the same time of scarcity. They eat
almost every thing raw. Boiling and broiling were the only methods of
cookery that I saw them make use of; and the first was probably learnt
from the Russians. Some have got little brass-kettles; and those who
have not, make one of a flat stone, with sides of clay, not unlike a
standing pye.

I was once present, when the chief of Oonalashka made his dinner of
the raw head of a large halibut, just caught. Before any was given
to the chief, two of his servants eat the gills, without any other
dressing, besides squeezing out the slime. This done, one of them cut
off the head of the fish, took it to the sea and washed it, then came
with it, and sat down by the chief, first pulling up some grass, upon
a part of which the head was laid, and the rest was strewed before the
chief. He then cut large pieces of the cheeks, and laid these
within the reach of the great man, who swallowed them with as much
satisfaction as we should do raw oysters. When he had done, the
remains of the head were cut in pieces, and given to the attendants,
who tore off the meat with their teeth, and gnawed the bones like so
many dogs.

As these people use no paint, they are not so dirty in their persons
as the savages who thus besmear themselves; but they are full as lousy
and filthy in their houses. Their method of building is as follows:
They dig in the ground an oblong square pit, the length of which
seldom exceeds fifty feet, and the breadth twenty; but in general the
dimensions are smaller. Over this excavation they form the roof of
wood which the sea throws ashore. This roof is covered first with
grass, and then with earth, so that the outward appearance is like a
dunghill. In the middle of the roof, toward each end, is left a square
opening, by which the light is admitted; one of these openings being
for this purpose only, and the other being also used to go in and out
by, with the help of a ladder, or rather a post, with steps cut in
it.[17] In some houses there is another entrance below; but this is
not common. Round the sides and ends of the huts, the families, (for
several are lodged together) have their separate apartments, where
they sleep, and sit at work, not upon benches, but in a kind of
concave trench, which is dug all round the inside of the house, and
covered with mats; so that this part is kept tolerably decent. But
the middle of the house, which is common to all the families, is
far otherwise. For, although it be covered with dry grass, it is a
receptacle for dirt of every kind, and the place for the urine trough;
the stench of which is not mended by raw hides, or leather being
almost continually steeped in it. Behind and over the trench, are
placed the few effects they are possessed of, such as their cloathing,
mats, and skins.

[Footnote 17: Mr Coxe's description of the habitations of the natives
of Oonalashka, and the other Fox Islands, in general, agrees with
Captain Cook's. See _Russian Discoveries_, p. 149. See also _Histoire
des differents Peuples soumis à la Domination des Russes_, par M.
Levesque, tom. i. p. 40, 41.--D.]

Their household furniture consists of bowls, spoons, buckets, piggins
or cans, matted-baskets, and perhaps a Russian kettle or pot. All
these utensils are very neatly made, and well formed; and yet we saw
no other tools among them but the knife and the hatchet, that is,
a small flat piece of iron, made like an adze, by fitting it into a
crooked wooden handle. These were the only instruments we met with
there made of iron. For although the Russians live amongst them, we
found much less of this metal in their possession, than we had met
with in the possession of other tribes on the American continent, who
had never seen, nor perhaps had any intercourse with, the Russians.
Probably a few beads, a little tobacco, and snuff, purchase all they
have to spare. There are few, if any of them, that do not both smoke
and chew tobacco, and take snuff; a luxury that bids fair to keep them
always poor.

They did not seem to wish for more iron, or to want any other
instruments, except sewing-needles, their own being made of bone. With
these they not only sew their canoes, and make their clothes, but
also very curious embroidery. Instead of thread they use the fibres
of sinews, which they split to the thickness which each sort of work
requires. All sewing is performed by the women. They are the tailors,
shoe-makers, and boat-builders, or boat-coverers; for the men, most
probably, construct the frame of wood over which the skins are sewed.
They make mats and baskets of grass, that are both beautiful and
strong. Indeed, there is a neatness and perfection in most of their
work, that shews they neither want ingenuity nor perseverance.

I saw not a fire-place in any one of their houses; they are lighted as
well as heated, by lamps, which are simple, and yet answer the purpose
very well. They are made of a flat stone, hollowed on one side like a
plate, and about the same size, or rather larger. In the hollow part
they put the oil, mixed with a little dry grass, which serves the
purpose of a wick. Both men and women frequently warm their bodies
over one of these lamps, by placing it between their legs, under their
garments, and sitting thus over it for a few minutes.

They produce fire both by collision and by attrition; the former by
striking two stones one against another, on one of which a good deal
of brimstone is first rubbed. The latter method is with two pieces of
wood; one of which is a stick of about eighteen inches in length, and
the other a flat piece. The pointed end of the slick they press upon
the other, whirling it nimbly round as a drill; thus producing fire in
a few minutes. This method is common in many parts of the world. It is
practised by the Kamtschadales, by these people, by the Greenlanders,
by the Brazilians, by the Otaheiteans, by the New Hollanders, and
probably by many other nations. Yet some learned and ingenious men
have founded an argument on this custom to prove, that this and that
nation are of the same extraction. But accidental agreements, in a few
particular instances, will not authorise such a conclusion; nor will
a disagreement, either in manners or customs, between two different
nations, of course, prove that they are of different extraction. I
could support this opinion by many instances besides the one just

[Footnote 18: We formerly hazarded some observations, on this subject,
which may properly claim regard, if the concurrent opinion of Cook
be any commendation. It is rare with him to venture on theoretic
conjectures; but his truly excellent remarks, so indicative of candid
and unbiassed enquiry, may justly serve as the basis of very extensive
reasoning. His professional career, in short, may be considered as
a course of experimental investigations, from which there results a
system of philosophy of no ordinary interest or importance. Can one
help regretting, that he did not live, like Newton, to deduce the
legitimate consequences of his own discoveries? But, alas! how rapidly
are we now approaching to the last suggestions of his sagacious

No such thing as an offensive or even defensive weapon was seen
amongst the natives of Oonalashka. We cannot suppose that the Russians
found them in such a defenceless state; it is more probable that, for
their own security, they have disarmed them. Political reasons too
may have induced the Russians not to allow these islanders to have
any large canoes; for it is difficult to believe they had none such
originally, as we found them amongst all their neighbours. However,
we saw none here but one or two belonging to the Russians. The canoes
made use of by the natives are the smallest we had any where seen
upon the American coast, though built after the same manner, with some
little difference in the construction. The stern of these terminates
a little abruptly; the head is forked, the upper point of the fork
projecting without the under one, which is even with the surface
of the water. Why they should thus construct them is difficult to
conceive; for the fork is apt to catch hold of every thing that comes
in the way; to prevent which, they fix a piece of small stick from
point to point. In other respects, their canoes are built after the
manner of those used by the Greenlanders and Esquimaux; the framing
being of slender laths, and the covering of seal-skins. They are about
twelve feet long, a foot and a half broad in the middle, and twelve or
fourteen inches deep. Upon occasion, they can carry two persons; one
of whom is stretched at full length in the canoe, and the other sits
in the seat, or round hole, which is nearly in the middle. Round this
hole is a rim or hoop of wood, about which is sewed gut-skin, that can
be drawn together, or opened like a purse, with leathern thongs fitted
to the outer edge. The man seats himself in this place, draws the skin
tight round his body over his gut-frock, and brings the ends of the
thongs or purse-string, over the shoulder to keep it in its place.
The sleeves of his frock are tied tight round his wrists, and it being
close round his neck, and the hood drawn over his head, where it is
confined by his cap, water can scarcely penetrate either to his body,
or into the canoe. If any should, however, insinuate itself, the
boatman carries a piece of spunge, with which he dries it up. He uses
the double-bladed paddle, which is held with both hands in the middle,
striking the water with a quick regular motion, first on one side
and then on the other. By this means the canoe is impelled at a
great rate, and in a direction as straight as a line can be drawn. In
sailing from Egoochshak to Samganoodha, two or three canoes kept way
with the ship, though she was going at the rate of seven miles an

Their fishing and hunting implements lie ready upon the canoes, under
straps fixed for the purpose. They are all made, in great perfection,
of wood and bone, and differ very little from those used by the
Greenlanders, as they are described by Crantz. The only difference is
in the point of the missile dart, which, in some we saw here, is
not above an inch long; whereas Crantz says, that those of the
Greenlanders are a foot and a half in length. Indeed, these darts, as
well as some others of their instruments, are so curious, that they
deserve a particular description; but, as many of them were brought
away on board the ships, this can be done at any time, if thought
necessary. These people are very expert in striking fish, both in the
sea, and in rivers. They also make use of hooks and lines, nets and
wears. The hooks are composed of bone, and the lines of sinews.

The fishes which are common to other northern seas, are found here;
such as whales, grampusses, porpoises, swordfish, halibut, cod,
salmon, trout, seals, flat-fish; several other sorts of small fish;
and there may be many more that we had no opportunity of seeing.
Halibut and salmon seem to be in the greatest plenty, and on them the
inhabitants of these isles subsist chiefly; at least, they were the
only sort of fish, except a few cod, which we observed to be laid up
for their winter store. To the north of 60°, the sea is, in a manner,
destitute of small fish of every kind; but then whales are more

Seals and that whole tribe of sea-animals, are not so numerous as
in many other seas. Nor can this be thought strange, since there is
hardly any part of the coast, on either continent, nor any of
the islands lying between them, that is not inhabited, and whose
inhabitants hunt these animals for their food and clothing. Sea-horses
are, indeed, in prodigious numbers about the ice; and the sea-otter
is, I believe, no where found but in this sea. We sometimes saw an
animal, with a head like a seal's, that blew after the manner of
whales. It was larger than a seal, and its colour was white, with some
dark spots. Probably this was the sea-cow, or _manati_.

I think I may venture to assert, that sea and water fowls are neither
in such numbers, nor in such variety, as with us in the northern parts
of the Atlantic Ocean. There are some, however, here, that I do
not remember to have seen any where else; particularly the _alca
monochroa_ of Steller, before mentioned; and a black and white duck,
which I conceive to be different from the stone-duck described by
Krascheninicoff.[19] All the other birds seen by us are mentioned by
this author, except some that we met with near the ice; and most, if
not all, of these, are described by Martin in his voyage to Greenland.
It is a little extraordinary, that penguins, which are common in many
parts of the world, should not be found in this sea. Albatrosses too
are so very scarce, that I cannot help thinking that this is not their
proper climate.

[Footnote 19: History of Kamtschatka. Eng. Trans. p. 160.]

The few land birds that we met with are the same with those in Europe;
but there may be many others which we had no opportunity of knowing. A
very beautiful bird was shot in the woods at Norton Sound, which, I
am told, is sometimes found in England, and known by the name of
Chatterer. Our people met with other small birds there, but in no
great variety and abundance; such as the wood pecker, the bullfinch,
the yellow finch, and a small bird called a tit-mouse.

As our excursions and observations were confined wholly to the
sea-coast, it is not to be expected, that we could know much of the
animals or vegetables of the country. Except musquitoes, there are
few other insects; nor reptiles, that I saw, but lizards. There are no
deer upon Oonalashka, or upon any other of the islands. Nor have they
any domestic animals, not even dogs. Foxes and weasels were the only
quadrupeds we saw; but they told us, that they had hares also, and
the _marmottas_ mentioned by Krascheninicoff.[20] Hence it is evident,
that the sea and rivers supply the greatest share of food to the
inhabitants. They are also obliged to the sea for all the wood made
use of for building, and other necessary purposes; for not a stick
grows upon any of the islands, nor upon the adjacent coast of the

[Footnote 20: History of Kamtschatka, p. 99.]

The learned tell us, that the seeds of plants are, by various means,
conveyed from one part of the world to another, even to islands in the
midst of great oceans, and far remote from any other land. How comes
it to pass, that there are no trees growing on this part of the
continent of America, nor any of the islands lying near it? They are
certainly as well situated for receiving seeds, by all the various
ways I have heard of, as any of those coasts are that abound in wood.
May not nature have denied to some soil the power of raising trees,
without the assistance of art? As to the drift-wood upon the shores of
the islands, I have no doubt that it comes from America. For although
there may be none on the neighbouring coast, enough may grow farther
up the country, which torrents in the spring may break loose, and
bring down to the sea. And not a little may be conveyed from the woody
coasts, though they lie at a greater distance.[21]

[Footnote 21: More extensive observations than what Cook's time
allowed him to make, would be requisite to determine the questions
which he has just now started. Besides, it is fair to remark, that
there is some reason for demurring at one of the premises, with which
he sets out, viz. that the islands, he speaks of, are as well situate
for receiving seeds, as any of the coasts are that abound in wood.
At least, before admitting it, we ought to be assured of the equal
vicinity of sources from which these seeds might be received, the
predominance or occasional alteration of currents fit for their
conveyance, &c. On the other hand, what is conjectured about the
variety of soils, is so obvious, as to need no pointing out. With
respect to the drift-wood, it may be right to state, by way of
corroborating a supposition hazarded by Cook, that there is reason to
believe, that much of the internal parts of North America, and even
the declivities, though not the summits of most of the high ranges of
mountains traversing it, either have been, or are, well covered
with trees. Here, it is worth while to allude to a very singular
circumstance mentioned in the account of Lewis and Clarke's Travels to
the Source of the Missouri, &c. viz. that a great number of the trunks
of trees of the pine genus were found standing erect, and with their
roots fixed, but in a state of decay, in the bottom of the Columbia
river, on the west coast. It is difficult to explain this, but on the
supposition of some considerable change in the course of the river;
and it is sufficiently obvious, that such changes, which we know have
often occurred elsewhere, might soon occasion the removal of trees
from their original situation to any distance. We cannot spare time or
room to carry on the investigation of the subject; but no reader
can be at a loss to estimate the probable results of the fact now
mentioned. To some persons, however, it may be necessary to mention,
that the Missouri itself is a striking instance of both changeability
of course, and a corresponding operation in transporting trees, &c.;
the latter circumstance being apparently both the cause and the effect
of the former. Thus we are informed in the work already referred
to, that at the place where the party embarked on the last-mentioned
river, its current, which was extremely rapid, brought down great
quantities of drift-wood, that its bottom was full of logs of trees,
and that the course of the water was frequently varying from the
effects of sand-bars, &c. of its own formation. For an obvious reason,
it is to be wished, that Cook had mentioned to what species of trees
the drift-wood he found had belonged. How rarely are even intelligent
persons quite aware of the importance of the facts which are presented
to them; and how much has been lost, or which is, in fact, the same
thing, not gained to science, in consequence of the carelessness with
which they have been examined!--E.]

There are a greater variety of plants at Oonalashka, and most of them
were in flower the latter end of June. Several of them are such as
we find in Europe, and in other parts of America, particularly
in Newfoundland; and others of them, which are also met with in
Kamtschatka, are eat by the natives both there and here. Of these,
Krascheninicoff has given us descriptions. The principal one is the
_saranne_, or lily root, which is about the size of a root of garlic,
round, made up of a number of small cloves, and grains like
groats. When boiled, it is somewhat like saloop; the taste is not
disagreeable, and we found means to make some good dishes with it. It
does not seem to be in great plenty; for we got none but what Ismyloff
gave us. We must reckon amongst the food of the natives, some other
wild roots; the stalk of a plant resembling _angelica_, and berries
of several different sorts; such as bramble-berries, cran-berries,
hurtle-berries, heath-berries, a small red berry, which, in
Newfoundland, is called partridge-berry, and another brown berry,
unknown to us. This has somewhat of the taste of a sloe, but is unlike
it in every other respect. It is very astringent, if eaten in any
quantity. Brandy might be distilled from it. Captain Clerke attempted
to preserve some; but they fermented, and became as strong as if they
had been steeped in spirits.

There were a few other plants, which we found serviceable, but are
not made use of by either Russians or natives. Such as wild purslain,
pea-tops, a kind of scurvy-grass, cresses, and some others. All these
we found very palatable, dressed either in soups or in sallads. On the
low ground, and in the vallies, is plenty of grass, which grows very
thick, and to a great length. I am of opinion, that cattle might
subsist at Oonalashka all the year round, without being housed. And
the soil, in many places, seemed capable of producing grain, roots,
and vegetables. But, at present, the Russian traders, and the natives,
seem satisfied with what nature brings forth.

Native sulphur was seen amongst the inhabitants of the island; but I
had no opportunity of learning where they got it. We found also ochre,
a stone that gives a purple colour, and another that gives a very good
green. It may be doubted, whether this last is known. In its natural
state, it is of a greyish green colour, coarse and heavy. It easily
dissolves in oil; but when put into water it entirely loses its
properties. It seemed to be scarce in Oonalashka; but we were told,
that it was in greater plenty on the island Oonemak. As to the
stones about the shore and hills, I saw nothing in them that was

[Footnote 22: Very probably the stone that gave a green colour was
an ore of copper; but the scanty description renders it difficult to
ascertain the species. The other, which is said to have given a purple
colour, may also have contained the same metal.--E.]

The people of Oonalashka bury their dead on the summits of hills, and
raise a little hillock over the grave. In a walk into the country,
one of the natives, who attended me, pointed out several of these
receptacles of the dead. There was one of them, by the side of the
road leading from the harbour to the village, over which was raised a
heap of stones. It was observed, that every one who passed it, added
one to it. I saw in the country several stone-hillocks, that seemed
to have been raised by art. Many of them were apparently of great

What their notions are of the Deity, and of a future state, I know
not. I am equally unacquainted with their diversions; nothing having
been seen that could give us an insight into either.

They are remarkably cheerful and friendly amongst each other, and
always behaved with great civility to us. The Russians told us, that
they never had any connections with their women, because they were not
Christians. Our people were not so scrupulous; and some of them had
reason to repent that the females of Oonalashka encouraged their
addresses without any reserve; for their health suffered by a
distemper that is not unknown here. The natives of this island are
also subject to the cancer, or a complaint like it, which those
whom it attacks are very careful to conceal. They do not seem to
be long-lived. I no where saw a person, man or woman, whom I could
suppose to be sixty years of age; and but very few who appeared to
be above fifty. Probably their hard way of living may be the means of
shortening their days.

I have frequently had occasion to mention, from the time of our
arrival in Prince William's Sound, how remarkably the natives, on this
north-west side of America, resemble the Greenlanders and Esquimaux,
in various particulars of person, dress, weapons, canoes, and the
like. However, I was much less struck with this, than with the
affinity which we found subsisting between the dialects of the
Greenlanders and Esquimaux, and those of Norton's Sound and
Oonalashka. This will appear from a table of corresponding words which
I put together.

It must he observed, however, with regard to the words which we
collected on this side of America, that too much stress is not to be
laid upon their being accurately represented; for, after Mr Anderson's
death, we had few who took much pains about such matters; and I have
frequently found, that the same words written down by two or more
persons, from the mouth of the same native, on being compared
together, differed not a little. But still, enough is certain, to
warrant this judgment, that there is great reason to believe, that
all these nations are of the same extraction; and if so, there can be
little doubt of there being a northern communication of some sort,
by sea, between this west side of America and the east side, through
Baffin's Bay, which communication, however, may be effectually shut
up against ships by ice, and other impediments. Such, at least, was my
opinion at this time.[23]

[Footnote 23: This subject has been alluded to in the Introduction,
and will in all probability receive consideration in the course of
this Collection. It is unnecessary, therefore, to enter upon it in
this place. We shall merely mention a few particulars. The west coast
of Greenland has not been explored beyond 72° latitude. Little or
nothing, that can be relied on, is known concerning the sea of Davis
or Baffin's Bay; the latter, indeed, being generally considered as
imaginary, and having no other evidence for its existence, than the
assertions, of a man conceived unworthy of credit. The whole distance
from the coast of that bay, as commonly laid down, to the point where
Hearne saw the sea, viz. in 69° latitude, being about sixty degrees
of longitude, is totally unknown. The same thing is to be said of
both the space betwixt the last mentioned spot, and that at which
Mackenzie's river is conceived to enter, which is denominated the
Arctic Sea, amounting to upwards of twenty degrees more, and also
of about an equal space betwixt this last position and Icy Cape, the
highest point at which Captain Cook arrived in this voyage. If any
passage do exist, it is certain, that it must be beyond 69° latitude,
as high as which, it has been indubitably proved by the labours of
Cook, Mackenzie, and Hearne, that the continent of America is unbroken
by any navigable passage from sea to sea. Above that latitude, it
is not only possible, but also even probable, that the Arctic Sea,
supposing it to be the same which Mackenzie and Hearne saw, and that
it is equally low down, or nearly so, throughout the other spaces
alluded to, may, in some peculiarly mild seasons, admit the passage
of canoes, if not of larger vessels. The circumstance of a much higher
latitude having been actually navigated in the Atlantic Ocean, might
seem to warrant such an opinion, and would, of course, justify some
renewed attempts in such an enterprise, were it not, that it has been
proved by the present voyage, that the ice extends lower down in the
Pacific Ocean, and that there is no small reason to believe, that
Greenland forms an integral part of the American continent. Still,
however, in every view of the subject, there does appear encouragement
to make some experiments of the nature of Hearne's and Mackenzie's,
particularly towards the east of the track explored by the former; and
it is even extremely probable, that some marine co-operation in the
direction of both Hudson's Bay and Davis' Strait, would facilitate and
secure some discovery of more utility, than a mere improvement of our
maps. But it is improper to disburden imagination on such a subject in
this place.--E.]

I shall now quit these northern regions, with a few particulars
relative to the tides and currents upon the coast, and an account of
the astronomical observations made by us in Samganoodha harbour.

The tide is no where considerable but in the great river.[24]

[Footnote 24: Cook's River.]

The flood comes from the south or south-east, every where following
the direction of the coast to the north-westward. Between Norton
Sound and Cape Prince of Wales, we found a current setting to the
north-west, particularly off the cape and within Sledge Island. But
this current extended only a little way from the coast, nor was it
either consistent or uniform. To the north of Cape Prince of Wales,
we found neither tide nor current, either on the American or on the
Asiatic coast, though several times looked for. This gave rise to an
opinion entertained by some on board our ships, that the two coasts
were connected, either by land or by ice; which opinion received some
strength, by our never having any hollow waves from the north, and by
our seeing ice almost the whole way across.

The following are the results of the several observations made ashore,
during our stay in the harbour of Samganoodha.

  The latitude, by the mean of several observed
   meridian altitudes of the sun,                   53°   5'   0"
                 By the mean of 20 sets    \
                   of lunar observations,   }     193   47   45
                 /  with the sun east of the }
  The longitude {   moon                    /
                 \By the mean of 14 sets,   \
                   with the sun and stars   }     193   11   45
                   west of the moon        /
                 The mean of these                 193   29   45
                 The longitude assumed             193   30    0

  By the mean of equal altitudes of the sun,
   taken on the 12th, 14th, 17th, and 21st,
   the time-keeper was found to be losing
   on mean time 8", 8 each day; and, on
   the last of these days, was too slow for
   mean time 13^h 46^m 43^s, 98. Hence the
   time-keeper must have been too slow on
   the 4th, the day after our arrival, by 13^h
   44^m 26^s, 62; and the longitude, by Greenwich
   rate, will be 13^h 23^m 53^s, 8                 200   58   27

  By King George's (or Nootka) Sound rate,
   12^h 56^m 40^s, 4                               194   10    6

  The 30th of June, the time-keeper, by the
   same rate, gave                                 193   12    0

  The error of the time-keeper, at that time,
   was                                               0   18    0 W.

  At this time, its error was                        0   39   54 E.

  The error of the time-keeper, between our
   leaving Samganoodha, and our return to
   it again, was                                     0   57   54

  On the 12th of October, the variation /A.M. 20° 17'  2"\ Mean 19° 59'
  By the mean of three compasses,       \P.M. 19  41' 27 /  15" East.

  Dip of the needle / Unmarked end \Dipping,   /68° 45'\ Face / 69° 30'
                    \  Marked end  / face East \69  55 / West \ 69  17

  Mean of the dip of the north end of the needle 62° 23' 30".


_Departure from Oonalashka, and future Views,--The Island
Amoghta.--Situation of a remarkable Rock.--The Strait between
Oonalashka and Oonella repassed.--Progress to the South.--Melancholy
Accident on board the Discovery.--Mowee, one of the Sandwich
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._

In the morning of Monday the 26th, we put to sea from Samganoodha
harbour; and, as the wind was southerly, stood away to the westward.

My intention was now to proceed to Sandwich Islands, there to spend
a few of the winter months, in case we should meet with the necessary
refreshments, and then to direct our course to Kamtschatka, so as to
endeavour to be there by the middle of May, the ensuing summer. In
consequence of this resolution, I gave Captain Clerke orders how to
proceed, in case of separation; appointing Sandwich Islands for the
first place of rendezvous, and the harbour of Petropaulowska, in
Kamtschatka, for the second.

Soon after we were out of the harbour, the wind veered to the S.E. and
E.S.E., which, by the evening, carried us as far as the western part
of Oonalashka, where we got the wind at S. With this we stretched to
the westward, till seven o'clock the next morning, when we wore, and
stood to the E. The wind, by this time, had increased in such a manner
as to reduce us to our three courses. It blew in very heavy squalls,
attended with rain, hail, and snow.

At nine o'clock in the morning of the 28th, the island of Oonalashka
bore S.E., four leagues distant. We then wore and stood to the
westward. The strength of the gale was now over, and toward evening
the little wind that blew insensibly veered round to the E., where it
continued but a short time before it got to N.E., and increased to a
very hard gale with rain. I steered first to the southward, and as the
wind inclined to the N. and N.W., I steered more westerly.

On the 29th, at half past six in the morning, we saw land extending
from E. by S. to S. by W., supposed to be the island Amoghta. At
eight, finding that we could not weather the island, as the wind had
now veered, to the westward, I gave over plying, and bore away for
Oonalashka, with a view of going to the northward and eastward of that
island, not daring to attempt a passage to the S.E. of it, in so hard
a gale of wind. At the time we bore away, the land extended from E.
by S. 1/2 S. to S.S.W., four leagues distant. The longitude by the
time-keeper was 191° 17', and the latitude 53° 38'. This will give a
very different situation to this island from that assigned to it upon
the Russian map. But it must be remembered, that this is one of the
islands which Mr Ismyloff said was wrong placed. Indeed, it is a doubt
if this be Amoghta;[1] for after Ismyloff had made the correction, no
land appeared upon the map in this latitude; but, as I have observed
before, we must not look for accuracy in this chart.

[Footnote 1: On the chart of Krenitzen's and Levasheff's voyage in
1768 and 1769, which we find in Mr Coxe's book, p. 251, an island
called Amuckta, is laid down, not very far from the place assigned to
Amoghta by Captain Cook.--D.]

At eleven o'clock, as we were steering to the N.E., we discovered
an elevated rock, like a tower, bearing N.N.E. 1/2 E., four leagues
distant. It lies in the latitude of 53° 57', and in the longitude of
191° 2', and hath no place in the Russian map.[2] We must have passed
very near it in the night. We could judge of its steepness from this
circumstance, that the sea, which now run very high, broke no where
but against it. At three in the afternoon, after getting a sight of
Oonalashka, we shortened sail, and hauled the wind, not having time to
get through the passage before night. At day-break the next morning,
we bore away under courses, and close-reefed top-sails, having a very
hard gale at W.N.W., with heavy squalls, attended with snow. At noon,
we were in the middle of the Strait, between Oonalashka, and Oonella,
the harbour of Samganoodha bearing S.S.E., one league distant. At
three in the afternoon, being through the Strait, and clear of the
isles, Cape Providence bearing W.S.W., two or three leagues distant,
we steered to the southward, under double-reefed top-sails and
courses, with the wind at W.N.W., a strong gale, and fair weather.

[Footnote 2: Though this rock had no place in the Russian map
produced by Ismyloff, it has a place in the chart of Krenitzen's and
Levasheff's voyage above referred to. That chart also agrees with
Captain Cook's, as to the general position of this group of islands.
The singularly indented shores of the island of Oonalashka are
represented in both charts much alike. These circumstances are worth
attending to, as the more modern Russian maps of this Archipelago are
so wonderfully erroneous.--D.]

On Monday, the 2d of November, the wind veered to the southward; and,
before night, blew a violent storm, which obliged us to bring to. The
Discovery fired several guns, which we answered; but without knowing
on what occasion they were fired. At eight o'clock, we lost sight of
her, and did not see her again till eight the next morning. At ten,
she joined us; and, as the height of the gale was now over, and the
wind had veered back to W.N.W., we made sail, and resumed our course
to the southward.

The 6th, in the evening, being in the latitude of 42° 12', and in the
longitude of 201° 26'", the variation was 17° 15' E. The next morning,
our latitude being 41° 20', and our longitude 202°, a shag, or
cormorant, flew several times round the ship. As these birds are
seldom, if ever, known to fly far out of sight of land, I judged
that some was not far distant. However, we could see none. In the
afternoon, there being but little wind, Captain Clerke came on board,
and informed me of a melancholy accident that happened on board his
ship, the second night after we left Samganoodha. The main tack gave
way, killed one man, and wounded the boatswain, and two or three more.
In addition to this misfortune, I now learned, that, on the evening of
the 2d, his sails and rigging received considerable damage; and that
the guns which he fired were the signal to bring to.'

On the 8th, the wind was at N.; a gentle breeze with clear weather. On
the 9th, in the latitude of 39-1/2°, we had eight hours calm. This
was succeeded by the wind from, the S., attended with fair weather.
Availing ourselves of this, as many of our people as could handle a
needle, were set to work to repair the sails; and the carpenters were
employed to put the boats in order.

On the 12th at noon, being then in the latitude of 38° 14', and in the
longitude of 206° 17', the wind returned back to the northward; and,
on the 15th, in the latitude of 33° 30', it veered to the E. At this
time, we saw a tropic-bird, and a dolphin, the first that we had
observed during the passage. On the 17th, the wind veered to the
southward, where it continued till the afternoon of the 19th, when a
squall of wind and rain brought it at once round by the W. to the N.
This was in the latitude of 32° 26', and in the longitude of 207° 30'.

The wind presently increased to a very strong gale, attended with
rain, so as to bring us under double-reefed top-sails. In lowering
down the main top-sail to reef it, the wind tore it quite out of the
foot rope, and it was split in several other parts. This sail had only
been brought to the yard the day before, after having had a repair.
The next morning we got another top-sail to the yard. This gale proved
to be the forerunner of the trade-wind, which, in, latitude 25°,
veered to E. and E.S.E.

I continued to steer to the southward till day-light in the morning
of the 25th, at which time we were in the latitude of 20° 55'. I now
spread the ships, and steered to the W. In the evening we joined,
and at midnight brought-to. At day-break, next morning, land was seen
extending from S.S.E. to W. We made sail, and stood for it. At eight,
it extended from S.E. 1/2 S. to W., the nearest part two leagues
distant. It was supposed that we saw the extent of the land to the
east, but not to the west. We were now satisfied, that the group of
the Sandwich Islands had been only imperfectly discovered; as those
of them which we had visited in our progress northward, all lie to the
leeward of our present station.

In the country was an elevated saddle hill, whose summit appeared
above the clouds. From this hill, the land fell in a gentle slope, and
terminated in a steep rocky coast, against which the sea broke in a
dreadful surf. Finding that we could not weather the island, I bore
up, and ranged along the coast to the westward. It was not long before
we saw people on several parts of the shore, and some houses and
plantations. The country seemed to be both well wooded and watered,
and running streams were seen falling into the sea in various places.

As it was of the last importance to procure a supply of provisions at
these islands; and experience having taught me that I could have no
chance to succeed in this if a free trade with the natives were to be
allowed; that is, if it were left to every man's discretion to
trade for what he pleased, and in the manner he pleased; for this
substantial reason, I now published an order, prohibiting all persons
from trading, except such as should be appointed by me and Captain
Clerke; and even these were enjoined to trade only for provisions and
refreshments. Women were also forbidden to be admitted into the ships,
except under certain restrictions. But the evil I meant to prevent by
this regulation, I soon found, had already got amongst them.

At noon, the coast extended from S., 81° E., to N. 56° W.; a low flat,
like an isthmus, bore S., 42° W.; the nearest shore three or four
miles distant; the latitude was 20° 59', and the longitude 203° 50'.
Seeing some canoes coming off to us, I brought-to. As soon as they got
alongside, many of the people, who conducted them, came into the ship,
without the least hesitation. We found them to be of the same nation
with the inhabitants of the islands more to leeward, which we had
already visited; and, if we did not mistake them, they knew of our
having been there. Indeed, it rather appeared too evident; for these
people had got amongst them, the venereal distemper; and, as yet, I
knew of no other way of its reaching them but by an intercourse with
their neighbours since our leaving them.

We got from our visitors a quantity of cuttle-fish for nails and
pieces of iron. They brought very little fruit and roots; but told us
that they had plenty or them on their island, as also hogs and fowls.
In the evening, the horizon being clear to the westward, we judged
the westernmost land in sight to be an island, separated from that off
which we now were. Having no doubt that the people would return to the
ships next day, with the produce of their country, I kept plying off
all night, and in the morning stood close in shore. At first, only a
few of the natives visited us; but, toward noon, we had the company
of a good many, who brought with them bread-fruit, potatoes, tarro,
or eddy roots, a few plantains, and small pigs; all of which they
exchanged for nails and iron tools. Indeed, we had nothing else to
give them. We continued trading with, them till four o'clock in the
afternoon, when, having disposed of all their cargoes, and not seeming
inclined to fetch more, we made sail, and stood off shore.

While we were lying-to, though the wind blew fresh, I observed that
the ships drifted to the east, consequently there must have been
a current setting in that direction. This encouraged me to ply to
windward, with a view to get round the east end of the island, and so
have the whole lee-side before us. In the afternoon of the 30th, being
off the N.E. end of the island, several canoes came off to the ships.
Most of these belonged to a chief, named Terreeoboo, who came in one
of them. He made me a present of two or three small pigs; and we got,
by barter, from the other people, a little fruit. After a stay
of about two hours they all left us, except six or eight of their
company, who chose to remain on board. A double-sailing canoe came
soon after to attend upon them, which we towed astern all night.
In the evening, we discovered another island to windward, which the
natives call _Owhyhee_. The name of that, off which we had been for
some days, we were also told is _Mowee_.

On the 1st of December, at eight in the morning, Owhyhee extended from
S., 22' E, to S. 12° W.; and Mowee from N. 41° to N. 83° W. Finding
that we could fetch Owhyhee, I stood for it; and our visitors from
Mowee not choosing to accompany us, embarked in their canoe, and went
ashore. At seven in the evening, we were close up with the north side
of Owhyhee; where we spent the night, standing off and on.

In the morning of the 2d, we were surprised to see the summits of the
mountains on Owhyhee covered with snow. They did not appear to be of
any extraordinary height; and yet, in some places, the snow seemed to
be of a considerable depth, and to have lain there some time. As we
drew near the shore, some of the natives came off to us. They were a
little shy at first; but we soon enticed some of them on board; and at
last prevailed upon them to return to the island, and bring off what
we wanted. Soon after they reached the shore, we had company enough;
and few coming empty-handed, we got a tolerable supply of small pigs,
fruit, and roots. We continued trading with them till six in the
evening; when we made sail, and stood off, with a view of plying to
windward round the island.

In the evening of the 4th, we observed an eclipse of the moon. Mr King
made use of a night-telescope, a circular aperture being placed at
the object end, about one-third of the size of the common aperture.
I observed with the telescope of one of Ramsden's sextants; which, I
think, answers this purpose as well as any other. The following times
are the means, as observed by us both:

    6^h 3' 25" beginning of the eclipse   204° 40' 45"
    8  27  25  end of the eclipse         204  25  15
                                  Mean    204  35   0

The _penumbra_ was visible at least ten minutes before the beginning
and after the end of the eclipse. I measured the uneclipsed part of
the moon with one of Ramsden's sextants, several times before, at, and
after the middle of the eclipse; but did not get the middle so near
as might have been effected by this method. Indeed, these observations
were made only as an experiment, without aiming at much nicety. I also
measured mostly one way; whereas I ought to have brought alternately
the reflected and direct images on contrary sides with respect to each
other; reading the numbers off the quadrant, in one case, to the left
of the beginning of the divisions; and, in the other case, to the
right hand of the same. It is evident, that half the sum of these two
numbers must be the true measurement, independent of the error of the
quadrant; and this is the method that I would recommend.

But I am well assured, that it might have been observed much nearer;
and that this method maybe useful when neither the beginning nor end
of an eclipse can be observed, which may often happen.

Immediately after the eclipse was over, we observed the distance of
each limb of the moon from _Pollux_ and _alpha Arietis_; the one being
to the east, and the other to the west. An opportunity to observe,
under all these circumstances, seldom happens; but when it does, it
ought not to be omitted; as, in this case, the local errors to which
these observations are liable, destroy each other; which, in all other
cases, would require the observations of a whole moon. The following
are the results of these observations:

    Myself with  / _a Arietis_ - 204° 22' 07" \ mean 204° 21'  5"
                 \ _Pollux_    - 204  20   4  /

    Mr King with / _a Arietis_ - 204  27  45  \ mean 204  18  29
                 \ _Pollux_    - 204   9  12  /
                                Mean of the two means     204  19  47

   The time-keeper, at 4^h 30', to which time all the \   204  04  45
    lunar observations are reduced                    /

The current which I have mentioned, as setting to the eastward, had
now ceased; for we gained but little by plying. On the 6th, in the
evening, being about five leagues farther up the coast, and near the
shore, we had some traffic with the natives. But, as it had furnished
only a trifling supply, I stood in again next morning, when we had
a considerable number of visitors; and we lay-to, trading with them,
till two in the afternoon. By that time, we had procured pork, fruit,
and roots, sufficient for four or five days. We then made sail, and
continued to ply to windward.

Having procured a quantity of sugar-cane; and having, upon a trial,
made but a few days before, found, that a strong decoction of it
produced a very palatable beer, I ordered some more to be brewed for
our general use. But when the cask was now broached, not one of my
crew-would even so much as taste it. As I had no motive in preparing
this beverage, but to save our spirit for a colder climate, I gave
myself no trouble, either by exerting authority, or by having recourse
to persuasion, to prevail upon them to drink it; knowing that there
was no danger of the scurvy, so long as we could get a plentiful
supply of other vegetables. But, that I might not be disappointed in
my views, I gave orders that no grog should be served in either ship.
I myself, and the officers, continued to make use of the sugar-cane
beer whenever we could get materials for brewing it. A few hops, of
which we had some on board, improved it much. It has the taste of
new malt beer; and I believe no one will doubt of its being very
wholesome. And yet my inconsiderate crew alleged that it was injurious
to their health.

They had no better reason to support a resolution, which they took on
our first arrival in King George's Sound, not to drink the spruce-beer
made there. But, whether from a consideration that it was not the
first time of their being required to use that liquor, or from some
other reason, they did not attempt to carry their purpose into actual
execution; and I had never heard of it till now, when they renewed
their ignorant opposition to my best endeavours to serve them. Every
innovation whatever on board a ship, though ever so much to
the advantage of seamen, is sure to meet with their highest
disapprobation. Both portable soup, and sour krout, were, at first,
condemned as stuff unfit for human beings. Few commanders have
introduced into their ships more novelties, as useful varieties of
food and drink, than I have done. Indeed, few commanders have had the
same opportunities of trying such experiments, or been driven to
the same necessity of trying them. It has, however, been, in a great
measure, owing to various little deviations from established practice,
that I have been able to preserve my people, generally speaking, from
that dreadful distemper, the scurvy, which has, perhaps, destroyed
more of our sailors, in their peaceful voyages, than have fallen by
the enemy in military expeditions.[3]

[Footnote 3: So much for the effect of ignorance and prejudice. One
requires the strong evidence of such a careful observer as Captain
Cook to be convinced of their existence, in such intense degree, among
a set of people, accustomed, from the nature of their profession, to
witness the vast variety of different manners and modes of life in
different countries; though every notion we could form of their habits
and tempers might lead us to infer _a priori_, the obstinacy with
which they would resist any innovation on their established practices.
Probably, however, when left to themselves, they readily enough fall
in with changes; and hence it may often be more judicious to put
temptations in their way, in order to obtain a salutary purpose, than
to recommend or enforce it as conducive to their welfare. It is easy
to understand, on the common principles of human nature, that the
former method will generally prove most efficient; whereas the
latter, because it implies a kind of restraint, will, consequently, be
disliked, and opposed or evaded. Sailors, on the whole, perhaps, bear
the greatest resemblance to children of any of the full-grown species.
It is of some consequence to know how to treat them as such. A little
coaxing and flattery is a very necessary ingredient in any thing
intended for them; and often it may be extremely politic to seem to
refuse, or to be averse to give them what we are at the same time
really anxious they should have. But it is easy to prescribe in such

I kept at some distance from the coast, till the 13th, when I stood
in again, six leagues farther to windward than we had as yet reached;
and, after having some trade with the natives who visited us, returned
to sea. I should have got near the shore again on the 15th, for a
supply of fruit or roots, but the wind happening to be at S.E. by S.,
and S.S.E., I thought this a good time to stretch to the eastward, in
order to get round, or, at least, to get a sight of the S.E. end of
the island. The wind continued at S.E. by S., most part of the 16th.
It was variable between S. and E, on the 17th; and on the 18th, it was
continually veering from one quarter to another; blowing, sometimes,
in hard squalls, and, at other times, calm, with thunder, lightning,
and rain. In the afternoon, we had the wind westerly for a few
hours; but in the evening it shifted to E. by S., and we stood to the
southward, close hauled, under an easy sail, as the Discovery was at
some distance astern. At this time the S.E. point of the island bore
S.W. by S., about five leagues distant; and I made no doubt that I
should be able to weather it. But at one o'clock, next morning, it
fell calm, and we were left to the mercy of a north-easterly swell,
which impelled us fast towards the land; so that, long before
day-break, we saw lights upon the shore, which was not more than a
league distant. The night was dark, with thunder, lightning, and rain.

At three o'clock, the calm was succeeded by a breeze from the S.E. by
E., blowing in squalls, with rain. We stood to the N.E., thinking it
the best tack to clear the coast; but, if it had been day-light,
we should have chosen the other. At day-break, the coast was seen
extending from N. by W., to S.W. by W.; a dreadful surf breaking
upon the shore, which was not more than half a league distant. It was
evident that we had been in the most imminent danger. Nor were we yet
in safety, the wind veering more easterly; so that, for some time, we
did but just keep our distance from the coast. What made our situation
more alarming, was the leach-rope of the main top-sail giving way,
which was the occasion of the sail's being rent in two; and the two
top-gallant sails gave way in the same manner, though not half worn
out. By taking a favourable opportunity, we soon got others to the
yards, and then we left the land astern. The Discovery, by being at
some distance to the north, was never near the land, nor did we see
her till eight o'clock.

On this occasion, I cannot help observing, that I have always found,
that the bolt-ropes to our sails have not been of sufficient strength
or substance. This at different times, has been the source of infinite
trouble and vexation, and of much expence of canvas, ruined by their
giving way. I wish also, that I did not think there is room for
remarking, that the cordage and canvas, and, indeed, all the other
stores made use of in the navy, are not of equal goodness with those,
in general, used in the merchant service.

It seems to be a very prevalent opinion, amongst naval officers of all
ranks, that the king's stores are better than any others, and that no
ships are so well fitted out as those of the navy. Undoubtedly they
are in the right, as to the quantity; but, I fear, not as to the
quality of the stores. This, indeed, is seldom tried; for things are
generally condemned, or converted to some other use, by such time as
they are half worn out. It is only on such voyages as ours, that we
have an opportunity of making the trial, as our situation makes it
necessary to wear every thing to the very utmost.[4]

[Footnote 4: Captain Cook may, in part, be right in his comparison of
some cordage used in the king's service, with what is used in that
of the merchants; especially in time of war, when part of the cordage
wanted in the navy is, from necessity, made by contract. But it is
well known, that there is no better cordage than what is made in the
king's yards. This explanation of the preceding paragraph has been
subjoined, on the authority of a naval officer of distinguished rank,
and great professional ability, who has, at the same time, recommended
it as a necessary precaution, that ships fitted out on voyages of
discovery, should be furnished with no cordage, but what is made in
the king's yards; and, indeed, that every article of their store, of
every kind, should be the best that can be made.--D.]

As soon as day-light appeared, the natives ashore displayed a white
flag, which we conceived to be a signal of peace and friendship. Some
of them ventured out after us; but the wind freshening, and it not
being safe to wait, they were soon left astern.

In the afternoon, after making another attempt to weather the eastern
extreme, which, failed, I gave it up, and run down to the Discovery.
Indeed, it was of no consequence to get round the island; for we had
seen its extent to the S.E., which was the thing I aimed at; and,
according to the information which we had got from the natives, there
is no other island to the windward of this. However, as we were
so near the S.E. end of it, and as the least shift of wind, in our
favour, would serve to carry us round, I did not wholly give up the
idea of weathering it, and therefore continued to ply.

On the 20th, at noon, this S.E. point bore S., three leagues distant;
the snowy hills W.N.W., and we were about four miles from the nearest
shore. In the afternoon, some of the natives came off in their canoes,
bringing with them a few pigs and plantains. The latter were very
acceptable, having had no vegetables for some days; but the supply we
now received was so inconsiderable, being barely sufficient for one
day, that I stood in again the next morning, till within three or four
miles of the land, where we were met by a number of canoes, laden with
provisions. We brought-to, and continued trading with the people
in them, till four in the afternoon, when, having got a pretty good
supply, we made sail, and stretched off to the northward.

I had never met with a behaviour so free from reserve and suspicion,
in my intercourse with any tribes of savages, as we experienced in the
people of this island. It was very common for them to send up into the
ship the several articles they brought off for barter; afterward, they
would come in themselves, and make their bargains on the quarter-deck.
The people of Otaheite, even after our repeated visits, do not care to
put so much confidence in us. I infer from this, that those of Owhyhee
must be more faithful in their dealings with one another, than the
inhabitants of Otaheite are. For, if little faith were observed
amongst themselves, they would not be so ready to trust strangers.
It is also to be observed, to their honour, that they had never
once attempted to cheat us in exchanges, nor to commit a theft. They
understand trading as well as most people; and seemed to comprehend
clearly the reason of our plying upon the coast. For, though they
brought off provisions in great plenty, particularly pigs, yet they
kept up their price; and, rather than dispose of them for less than
they thought they were worth, would take them on shore again.[5]

[Footnote 5: The reader is desired to pay particular attention to the
high testimony borne by Cook to the characters of these islanders. It
is a circumstance too singularly interesting not to give rise to some
painful reflections, that, on apparently good grounds, he should have
entertained the best opinion of those very people, from whom he was
destined shortly afterwards to receive the greatest of injuries.
However that event is to be explained, it seems very fair that his
evidence in their favour obtain full regard, and that they, therefore,
be entitled to any benefits it may be supposed to confer.--E.]

On the 22d, at eight in the morning, we tacked to the southward, with
a fresh breeze at E. by N. At noon, the latitude was 20° 28' 30"; and
the snowy peak bore S.W. 1/2 S. We had a good view of it the preceding
day, and the quantity of snow seemed to have increased, and to extend
lower down the hill. I stood to the S.E. till midnight, then tacked
to the N. till four in the morning, when we returned to the S.E. tack;
and, as the wind was at N.E. by E., we had hopes of weathering the
island. We should have succeeded, if the wind had not died away, and
left us to the mercy of a great swell, which carried us fast toward
the land, which was not two leagues distant. At length, we got our
head off, and some light puffs of wind, which came with showers
of rain, put us out of danger. While we lay, as it were, becalmed,
several of the islanders came off with hogs, fowls, fruit, and roots.
Out of one canoe we got a goose, which was about the size of a Muscovy
duck. Its plumage was dark-grey, and the bill and legs black.

At four in the afternoon, after purchasing every thing that the
natives had brought off, which was full as much as we had occasion
for, we made sail, and stretched to the N., with the wind at E.N.E. At
midnight, we tacked, and stood to the S.E. Upon a supposition that the
Discovery would see us tack, the signal was omitted; but she did not
see us, as we afterwards found, and continued standing to the N.;
for at day-light next morning she was not in sight. At this time the
weather being hazy we could not see far, so that it was possible the
Discovery might be following us; and, being past the N.E. part of the
island, I was tempted to stand on, till, by the wind veering to N.E.,
we could not weather the land upon the other tack. Consequently we
could not stand to the N, to join, or look for, the Discovery. At
noon, we were, by observation, in latitude of 19° 55', and in the
longitude of 205° 3'; the S.E. point of the island bore S. by E. 1/4
E, six leagues distant; the other extreme bore N, 60° W., and we
were two leagues from the nearest shore. At six in the evening, the
southernmost extreme of the island bore S.W., the nearest shore seven
or eight miles distant; so that we had now succeeded in getting
to windward of the island, which we had aimed at with so much

The Discovery, however, was not yet to be seen. But the wind, as we
had it, being very favourable for her to follow us, I concluded, that
it would not be long before she joined us. I therefore kept cruizing
off this S.E. point of the island, which lies in the latitude of
19° 34', and in the longitude of 205° 6', till I was satisfied that
Captain Clerke could not join me here. I now conjectured, that he had
not been able to weather the N.E. part of the island, and had gone to
leeward, in order to meet me that way.

As I generally kept from five to ten leagues from the land, no canoes,
except one, came off to us till the 28th, when we were visited by a
dozen or fourteen. The people who conducted them brought, as usual,
the produce of the island. I was very sorry that they had taken the
trouble to come so far. For we could not trade with them, our
old stock not being, as yet, consumed; and we had found, by late
experience, that the hogs could not be kept alive, nor the roots
preserved from putrefaction, many days. However, I intended not to
leave this part of the island before I got a supply, as it would not
be easy to return to it again, in case it should be found necessary.

We began to be in want on the 30th, and I would have stood in near
the shore, but was prevented by a calm; but a breeze springing up at
midnight from S. and S.W., we were enabled to stand in for the land at
day-break. At ten o'clock in the morning, we were met by the islanders
with fruit and roots; but, in all the canoes, were only three small
pigs. Our not having bought those which had been lately brought
off, may be supposed to be the reason of this very scanty supply. We
brought-to for the purposes of trade; but, soon after, our marketing
was interrupted by a very hard rain, and, besides, we were rather too
far from the shore. Nor durst I go nearer; for I could not depend upon
the wind's remaining where it was for a moment; the swell also being
high, and setting obliquely upon the shore, against which it broke
in a frightful surf. In the evening the weather mended; the night was
clear, and it was spent in making short boards.

Before day-break, the atmosphere was again loaded with heavy clouds,
and the new year was ushered in with very hard rain, which continued,
at intervals, till past ten o'clock. The wind was southerly; a light
breeze with some calms, when the rain ceased and the sky cleared, and
the breeze freshened. Being, at this time, about five miles from the
land, several canoes arrived with fruit and roots, and, at last,
some hogs were brought off. We lay to, trading with, them till three
o'clock in the afternoon, when, having a tolerable supply, we made
sail, with a view of proceeding to the N.W., or lee-side of the
island, to look for the Discovery. It was necessary, however, t