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Title: Journal of a Voyage from Okkak, on the Coast of Labrador, to Ungava Bay, Westward of Cape Chudleigh - Undertaken to Explore the Coast, and Visit the Esquimaux in That Unknown Region
Author: Kohlmeister, Benjamin, 1785?-1874, Kmoch, George
Language: English
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UNDERTAKEN to Explore the Coast, and Visit the ESQUIMAUX in that
Unknown Region



Missionaries of the Church of the Unitas Fratrum or United Brethren

Printed by W. M'Dowall, Pemberton Row, Gough Square, Fleet Street,
for the Brethren's Society for the Furtherance of the
Gospel Among the Heathen.
And Sold By J. Le Febvre, 2, Chapel-Place, Nevils-Court, Fetter-Lane;
L. B. Seeley, 169, Fleet-Street; Hazard And Binns, Bath;
and T. Bulgin, and T. Lambe, Bristol



&c. &c.


INTRODUCTION                                                   3


  Outfit. Opinions of the Esquimaux respecting the Voyage.
  Description of the Company. Departure from Okkak. Arrival
  at Nungorome.                                                6


  Departure from Nungorome Cove. Account of Solomon.
  Drift-ice. Cape Mugford. Waterfalls from the Kaumayok
  Mountains. Fruitless attempt to get out of the Ikkerasak,
  or Straits.                                                 10


  Quit the Ikkerasak. Account of the Kaumayok Mountains, and
  of Kangertluksoak. Public Worship on Sunday. Saeglek and
  its Inhabitants described. The Missionaries visit the
  Esquimaux at Kikkertarsoak.                                 14


  Departure from Saeglek. Fruitless attempt to reach
  Nachvak. Retreat into Nullatartok Inlet. Slate Bay.
  Detention on account of the Ice. Arrive at Nachvak.         20


  Reception at Nachvak. Description of the bay. The
  Esquimaux manner of spearing salmon and trout. Christian
  deportment of the Okkak and Hopedale Esquimaux. Jonas's
  address to the Heathen. Love of music general among these
  Indians. Departure from Nachvak. Danger in doubling the
  North Cape. Arrival at Sangmiyok bay.                       27


  Pass Cape Nennoktok. Visit the Esquimaux families at
  Kummaktorvik and Amitok. Description of an Esquimaux
  travelling bed. Mountains seen at Ungava. Netsek seal
  described. Greenland houses. Danger of being shipwrecked
  near Kakkeviak.                                             33


  Arrival at Oppernavik. Account of Uttakiyok. His
  perseverance in waiting for the arrival of the
  Missionaries. Islands and bays between Kakkeviak and
  Killinek. Danger in the ice at Ammitok. Want of fuel
  supplied by robbing old graves.                             39


  Departure from Oppernavik. Pass the Ikkerasak of Killinek.
  Whirlpools. The coast takes a southerly direction. Meeting
  with Esquimaux from the Ungava country, who had never seen
  an European. Anchor at Omanek. High tides. Drift-wood.
  Double Cape Uibvaksoak. Distant view of Akpatok.            44


  Chain of black mountains. The Dragon's dwelling. Changes
  occasioned by rise and fall of the tides, and dangers
  attending them. Uttakiyok's superstitious customs.
  Singular effect of the tide in the bay of Ittimnekoktok.
  Arrive at Kangertlualuksoak bay and river. Its situation.
  Transactions there.                                         50


  Further transactions in Kangertlualuksoak Bay. The
  Esquimaux women frightened by reports of Indians. Ceremony
  of taking possession of this new-explored country, as
  belonging to the King of England, and of naming the river
  George river. Leave the bay and proceed to Arvarvik.
  Whales caught by the Esquimaux in the shallows. Storm at
  Kernertut.                                                  56


  Doubts expressed by Jonathan and the other Esquimaux on
  the expediency of continuing the voyage. Consultations.
  Resolve to proceed. Thunder-storm at Pitsiolak. Account of
  Indians. Esquimaux cookery and hunting feasts. Arrival in
  the river Koksoak.                                          62


  Sail up the river Koksoak. Transactions in that region.
  Dangerous eddy. Meet Esquimaux. Address to them. Their joy
  and eagerness to have Missionaries, resident among them.
  Find a suitable situation for a settlement. Description of
  the country.                                                70


  Return to Okkak.                                            77


For these many years past, a considerable number of Esquimaux have been
in the annual practice of visiting the three missionary establishments
of the United Brethren on the coast of Labrador, OKKAK, NAIN, and
HOPEDALE, chiefly with a view to barter, or to see those of their
friends and acquaintance, who had become obedient to the gospel, and
lived together in Christian fellowship, enjoying the instruction of the

These people came mostly from the north, and some of them from a great
distance. They reported, that the body of the Esquimaux nation lived
near and beyond Cape Chudleigh, which they call Killinek, and having
conceived much friendship for the Missionaries, never failed to request,
that some of them would come to their country, and even urged the
formation of a new settlement, considerably to the north of Okkak.

To these repeated and earnest applications the Missionaries were the
more disposed to listen, as it had been discovered, not many years after
the establishment of the Mission in 1771, that that part of the coast on
which, by the encouragement of the British government, the first
settlement was made, was very thinly inhabited, and that the aim of the
Mission, to convert the Esquimaux to Christianity, would be better
obtained, if access could be had to the main body of the Indians, from
which the roving inhabitants appeared to be mere stragglers.
Circumstances, however, prevented more extensive plans from being put in
execution; and the Missionaries, having gained the confidence and esteem
of the Esquimaux in their neighbourhood, remained stationary on that
coast, and, by degrees, formed three settlements, OKKAK, to the north,
and HOPEDALE, to the south of NAIN, their first place of residence.

In consequence of the abovementioned invitation, it became a subject of
serious consideration, by what means a more correct idea of the extent
and dwelling-places of the Esquimaux nation might be obtained, and a
general wish was expressed, that one or more of the Missionaries would
undertake the perilous task of visiting such places as were reported by
the Esquimaux themselves to contain more inhabitants than the southern
coast, but remained unknown to European navigators.

The Synodal Committee, appointed for the management of the Missions of
the United Brethren, having given their consent to the measure, and
agreed with Brother Kohlmeister, by occasion of a visit paid by him to
his relations and friends in Germany, as to the mode of putting it into
execution, he returned to Labrador in 1810, and prepared to undertake
the voyage early in the spring of 1811.

For several years a correspondence had taken place between the
Missionaries in Labrador and the Brethren's Society for the Furtherance
of the Gospel, established in London, relating to the manner in which
the voyage should be performed. Opinions were various on the subject;
but it was at length determined, that a steady intelligent Christian
Esquimaux, possessing a shallop, with two masts, and of sufficient
dimensions, should be appointed to accompany one or two Missionaries,
for a liberal recompence; and that the travellers should spend the
winter at Okkak, to be ready to proceed on the voyage, without loss of
time, as soon as the state of the ice would permit of it. Brother
Kohlmeister proposed, in this view, the Esquimaux Jonathan, of Hopedale,
and the brig employed to convey the annual supply of necessaries to the
three settlements, was ordered to proceed first to Hopedale, partly with
a view to this negociation. She arrived safe with Brother Kohlmeister at
this place, on the 22d July, 1810. On the same day, he proposed to
Jonathan the intended expedition, laid before him the whole plan, with
all its difficulties and advantages, and found him immediately willing
to undertake the voyage, and to forward its object by every means in his

This was no small sacrifice on the part of Jonathan. An Esquimaux is
naturally attached to the place of his birth; and, though he spends the
summer, and indeed great part of the year, necessarily, and from
inclination, in roving from one place to another in quest of food; yet
in winter he settles, if possible, upon his native spot, where he is
esteemed and beloved. This was eminently the case with Jonathan. He was
a man of superior understanding and skill, possessed of uncommon
presence of mind in difficulties and dangers, and at Hopedale considered
as the principal person, or chief of his nation. But he was now ready to
forsake all, and to go and reside at OKKAK, among strangers, having no
authority or pre-eminence, and to undertake a voyage of unknown length
and peril, from whence he could not be sure of a safe or speedy return,
before the ice might set in, and confine him upon an unknown shore,
during the whole of a second winter. There was, however, one
consideration which outweighed every other in his mind, and made him,
according to his own declaration, forget all difficulties and dangers.
He hoped that the proposed voyage to visit his countrymen in the north
would, in time, be a means of their becoming acquainted with the gospel
of Christ, and partakers of the same blessings which he now enjoyed.
This made him willing to accept of the call without any hesitation. Nor
did he ever, during the whole voyage, forsake that generous principle,
by which he was at first influenced, but his cheerful, firm, and
faithful conduct proved, under all circumstances, most honourable to the
character of a true convert to Christianity.

Brother KOHLMEISTER being, after seventeen years residence in Labrador,
complete master of the Esquimaux language, and deservedly beloved and
respected both by Christians and heathens, and possessing an invincible
zeal to promote their temporal and spiritual welfare, was a man
eminently qualified to undertake the commission, and to conciliate the
affections of unknown heathen. He had also previously made himself
acquainted with the use of the quadrant, and with other branches of
science, useful on such an occasion.

Brother KMOCH, his companion, joined to other essential qualifications,
great cheerfulness and intrepidity.

All the parties having met at Okkak, in the autumn of 1810, the winter
was partly spent in preparations for the intended expedition, and
Jonathan's boat put into the best possible state of repair.


  _Outfit. Opinions of the Esquimaux respecting the Voyage.
  Description of the Company. Departure from Okkak. Arrival at

June 16, 1811.--The ice began to loosen in the bay of OKKAK, and to
drive out to sea. On the 17th, the bay was quite cleared of it; but on
the 18th, it returned, and seemed to preclude all possibility of setting
out so soon as we intended. On the 19th, however, it left us entirely.

20th. We were employed in hauling the boat to the edge of the water, and
being floated by the tide, she came to anchor at six, P.M. She had been
purchased by Jonathan, at Chateau-bay, and was about 45 feet long,
twelve broad, and five deep, with two masts. We had furnished her with a
complete deck, and divided her into three parts. The centre was our own
cabin, into which all our baggage was stowed: the two other divisions
were occupied by the Esquimaux. A small boat, brought from Lewis, was
taken in tow.

21st. We began to ship our provision and baggage: viz. six cwt. of
ship's biscuit, sixteen bushels of pease, one cwt. of salt pork and best
beef, (of which but a small portion was consumed, as we were generally
well supplied with fresh provisions, procured by shooting), a firkin of
butter, half cwt. of captain's biscuit, one cwt. of flour, two small
barrels of gunpowder, one cwt. of large and small shot, half cwt. of
tobacco, two eighteen-gallon barrels of ale, a few bottles of brandy,
eighteen pounds of coffee, which was all consumed, coffee and biscuits
being our usual repast; a case containing knives, wire, nails, &c. for
barter, if necessary; kettles and other utensils. Besides that every man
had his fowling-piece, we had four muskets in reserve. After bringing
all on board, we had just room enough to sleep in our cabin.

22d, was spent in conferring with our brethren, on various subjects
relating to the voyage.

23d. All the Esquimaux met at the chapel, and in the most affectionate
manner, and with many tears, bid us and our company farewell. They were
the more affected with grief on this occasion, as the greatest part of
our own Esquimaux thought the voyage impracticable, and expected that we
should all perish in doubling Cape Chudleigh, (Killinek) on account of
the violence of the currents, setting round between the cape, and the
many rocks and islands which stretch from it towards the north. Reports
had likewise been circulated of the hostile disposition of the Esquimaux
in the Ungava bay; and it was boldly asserted, that if we even got there
alive, we should never return. An old conjuror, (Angekok), _Atsugarsuk_,
had been particularly active in spreading these reports. We cannot deny
but that they occasioned some apprehension in our own minds, but being
fully determined to venture in the name of God, and trusting in His
protection, we were thankful that they failed to produce the intended
effect on Jonathan, our guide, and on the other Esquimaux, who were to
go with us, and who all remained firm.

When Jonathan was told that the Ungava Esquimaux would kill him, he
generally answered: "Well, we will try, and shall know better when we
get there:" and once, conversing with us on the subject, expressed
himself thus: "When I hear people talking about the danger of being
killed, I think: Jesus went to death out of love to us, what great
matter would it be, if we were to be put to death in His service, should
that be His good pleasure concerning us."

24th. Having commended ourselves in prayer to the grace and protecting
care of God our Saviour, and to the kind remembrance of our dear fellow
missionaries, we set sail at two P.M.

Our company consisted of four Esquimaux families: 1. _Jonathan_, and his
wife _Sybilla_, both between fifty and sixty years old. He was esteemed
one of the most skilful commanders on the whole coast of Labrador, and
for many years has shown himself both able and willing to serve the
missionaries in a variety of ways. The boat was his own property, and we
considered him as the captain of the expedition. 2. _Jonas_, Jonathan's
son, and his wife _Agnes_, about thirty years of age, both intelligent,
clever Esquimaux; they had their five children with them; _Sophia_,
twelve years old, _Susanna_, _Jonathan_, _Thamar_, and _Sybilla_, the
youngest but half a year old. 3. _Paul_, and his wife _Mary_, very
agreeable, sensible people, about twenty years of age. Paul is
Jonathan's cousin, and a man of a very warm temper. In activity and
skill, he was next to Jonathan. 4. _David_, and his mother _Rachel_, the
first a hopeful young man of about twenty, and the latter a good-natured
old woman, who had the care of our clothes and linen, and kept them
clean and in good order. Besides these four families, we took with us a
boy, _Okkiksuk_, an orphan, about sixteen, whom Jonathan had adopted,
and who promised to reward the kindness of his guardian by his good
behaviour. He was always ready to render us every service in his power.

We were attended on the voyage by a skin-boat (or woman's boat) in which
were _Thukkekina_ and his wife, and their adopted child _Mammak_, a boy
twelve years old. Their age is about forty. The skin-boat was intended
as a refuge, in case of any accident happening to our own boat, and was
useful in landing, as we never brought the large boat close in shore.
The first four families belong to Hopedale, Thukkekina and his wife to
Okkak. They considered it as a great favour conferred on them to be
permitted to accompany us. _Jonas_ and his family occupied the
after-part, and the rest the fore-part of the boat. The wind was
moderate, and due west. We lost sight of our habitations in about half
an hour, behind the N.E. point of the island Okkak, called Sungolik.

At three, passed Cape Uivak, a cape on the continent, forming a
moderately high headland, and the nearest place to Okkak, where
Esquimaux spend the winter. Two or three winter-houses were standing.

The wind failing, we cast off the skin-boat, which rowed merrily a-head.
Before us, between the islands to the east and the continent, we saw
much drift-ice, and it required attention to avoid the large shoals, the
wind coming round to the N.W. We cast anchor at NUNGOROME, a cove about
ten English miles from Okkak, where we found several of our Esquimaux,
who had here their summer-station. Several had come from Naujasiorvik
and other places, on purpose to meet us, and once more to express their
affection and best wishes for our safe voyage and return. Late in the
evening, we met on a green spot, where Brother Kohlmeister delivered a
short discourse and prayer, after which we retired to sleep on board the


  _Departure from Nungorome Cove. Account of Solomon. Drift-ice.
  Cape Mugford. Waterfalls from the Kaumayok Mountains. Fruitless
  attempt to get out of the Ikkerasak, or Straits._

Nungorome is a cove on the south side of the Island Pacharvik. Between
this island the main land is a narrow strait, so shallow that no whales
can pass. The Esquimaux stretch their nets across, to catch seals,
seeking shelter in it when the wind sets in from the open sea. They can
only be taken in the night, and the greater part of those which frequent
this coast are of the _Kairolik_ kind, a middle-sized animal, and of the
_Ugsuk_, the largest species of the seal tribe, weighing sometimes from
five to six cwt.

The Esquimaux belonging to our congregation, who were at present
stationed here, in tents, were _Moses_, _Samuel_, _Thomas_, _Isaac_,
_Bammiuk_, and their families. _Solomon_, who has left our communion,
was also here. He had formerly been a communicant member of Okkak
congregation, but could not resist the temptation of going to the north
to feast with the heathen Esquimaux, whenever they had caught a live, or
found a dead whale. On such occasions he was seduced to commit many
irregularities and sins, but always returned to us with a show of great
contrition and repentance. After many relapses, he was informed, that
this would do no longer, but that if he went again to these heathenish
feasts, he would be excluded. He is a sensible, well-disposed man, and
perceived the justice of the sentence; but his love of that species of
amusement overcame all his good resolutions. He not only went again, but
took also another wife; a step which, of course, excluded him from our
fellowship. Yet he is very desirous that his children may receive a
Christian education, and remain faithful to the precepts of the gospel.

25th. Brother Kmoch rose at half past one in the morning, and suffering
the rest to sleep on, got breakfast ready; he then fired his piece, by
which Brother Kohlmeister and all the Esquimaux, young and old, were
suddenly roused from their slumbers. Not one, however, regretted the
unexpected interruption to their pleasant dreams, on beholding the sea
quite free from ice, with a fine morning and fair wind; but after
yawning, stretching, and shaking themselves as usual, the Esquimaux with
great good humour got ready, and we set sail at half past three. Passed
Pacharvik Island at four. Bammiuk and Solomon accompanied us as far as
the North Ikkerasak (the Esquimaux name for a strait) between Cape
Mugford Island, in 58° N. latitude, and the mountains of Kaumayok. Their
being in company retarded our progress, but in the sequel proved no

About nine, we entered the straits, and perceiving at a distance much
drift-ice a-head, cast anchor, and Brother Kmoch and Jonas landed on
Cape Mugford Island. An Esquimaux, called _Niakungetok_, accompanied
them to the top of an eminence, from whence the outer opening of the
Ikkerasak was seen. They perceived the ice driving into it from the sea
in such quantities as to threaten to close it up. Cape Mugford is an
high island, extending far into the ocean, and the northern land-mark in
steering for Okkak, _Kiglapeit_ promontory bearing south, and the
Saddle-island appearing right before the entrance of the bay. On their
return to the boat, the wind veered to the north, and we steered for a
dwelling-place of the Esquimaux, about twenty miles from Okkak, called
_Ukkuararsuk_. To our great joy the ice began now to drive out again to
sea, and we resolved to go with it. A gentle S.W. wind brought us to the
place, where we had before anchored, but we were now beset with large
fields of ice, among which we tacked, till we had nearly cleared the
straits, when the great quantity of surrounding ice, pressing upon us,
prevented our making further attempts, and we, were compelled to work
our way back with oars and boat-hooks.

On Cape Mugford island we now discovered more Esquimaux, who by signs
directed our course towards a convenient harbour, near their dwellings,
which we reached in safety.

The Esquimaux pitched their tents on shore, but we slept on board.

The situation of this place is remarkably beautiful. The strait is about
an English mile broad, and four or five in length. Both shores are lined
with precipitous rocks, which in many places rise to a tremendous
height, particularly on the Kaumayok side, from whence several
waterfalls rush into the sea, with a roar, which quite fills the air.
The singular appearance of these cataracts is greatly increased when
illuminated by the rising sun, the spray, exhibiting the most beautiful
prismatic colours. Below them huge masses of ice are formed, which seem
to lean against the sides of the rocks, and to be continually increasing
during the winter, but when melted by the power of a summer's sun, and
disengaged by their weight, are carried off by the tides, and help to
form floating ice-mountains. The coast lies S.W. by N.E.

26th. Being detained here by the state of the ice, and the weather fine
and warm, Brother Kmoch and Ogiksuk rowed across the straits to the
nearest great cataract, and were able, notwithstanding the steepness of
the ascent, to get pretty close to it. It falls fifty or sixty feet
perpendicular, and the noise is terrible. The spray ascending from it,
like the steam of a huge cauldron, wetted the travellers completely.
They amused themselves some time by rolling large stones into the fall,
which by its force were carried along towards the sea, down the sloping
torrent below. Our people meanwhile caught three seals, and made a
hearty meal, of which we also partook, hunger, on this occasion,
overcoming our dislike to seal's flesh. A sallad of scurvy-grass was
made for supper.

27th. We left this harbour about four A.M. with a favourable wind at
West, but as it soon died away, we took to our oars, and reached the
north point of Kaumayok, at the northern extremity of the strait. By an
observation taken by Brother Kohlmeister, this point is situated in 57°
59' N. latitude. Though calm, there was a great swell from the sea, and
the rolling of the boat affected our brave captain not a little, to the
diversion of the other Esquimaux. About two P.M. the wind shifted to the
N.W. By tacking we got to Kupperlik, about the middle of Kaumayok, but
having the skin-boat in tow, could not weather the point, and were at
length obliged to return to our former anchorage in the strait.

28th. The wind being North we could not proceed. We therefore ascended
the mountain of Cape Mugford. It is a barren rock, though here and there
a solitary plant or a tuft of moss clings to its steep sides, and is
difficult of access. The numerous waterfalls on the Kaumayok, which
still rose above us, were full in view, and we now discovered several
small lakes which supply them. Some of them fall from a great height
perpendicularly into the sea.

We could here discern the island of Okkak, to the S.W. to the East, the
boundless ocean, and to the N.E. three high, barren, and steep islands,
called Nennoktuts by the Esquimaux, (White mountains.)


  _Quit the Ikkerasak. Account of the Kaumayok Mountains, and of
  Kangertluksoak. Public Worship on Sunday. Saeglek and its
  Inhabitants described. The Missionaries visit the Esquimaux at

June 29th.--We rose soon after two o'clock, and rowed out of the
Ikkerasak, with a fair wind. The sea was perfectly calm and smooth.
Brother Kmoch rowed in the small boat along the foot of the mountains of
Kaumayok, sometimes going on shore, while the large boat was making but
little way, keeping out at some distance, to avoid the rocks. The
outline of this chain of mountains exhibits the most fanciful figures.
At various points, the rocks descend abruptly into the sea, presenting
horrid precipices. The strand is covered with a black sand. At the
height of about fifty feet from the sea, the rocks have veins of red,
yellow, and green stone, running horizontally and parallel; and
sometimes in an undulated form. Above these, they present the appearance
of a magnificent colonade, or rather of buttresses, supporting a gothic
building, varying in height and thickness, and here and there
intersected by wide and deep chasms and glens, running far inland
between the mountains. Loose stones above, have in some places the
appearance of statues, and the superior region exhibits all kind of
grotesque shapes. It is by far the most singular and picturesque chain
of mountains on this coast. To the highest part of it we gave the name
of St. Pauls, as it is not unlike that cathedral when viewed at a
distance, with its dome and two towers.

Before we left the Kaumayok, Brother Kohlmeister landed, and found the
beach covered with blocks of stone, in colour white and grey, like
statuary marble, but very hard. We now steered for _Kangertluksoak_, a
winter-station of the Esquimaux, where several of our people had pitched
their tents.

At noon, we were off an island, called _Eingosiarsuk_, (the Little Cup),
opposite the _Ittiplek_, (a flat piece of ground joining two headlands)
over which the northern Esquimaux pass in sledges to Okkak, round
Kaumayok. Farther towards the N.W. lies _Tuppertalik_, a high ridge of
mountains, which, from its appearance, we called the Table mountain,
having nearly the shape of the mountain so called at the Cape of Good

To the north lies _Nellekartok_, the outermost island on leaving the
Ikkerasak, and the first of the _Kangertluksoak_ islands. Behind
_Tuppertalik_, a bay opens called _Nappartok_ (a wood), a
winter-habitation, with a little wood higher up the country, about eight
or ten hours drive from Okkak. A good harbour for large vessels is said
to be here, called _Umiakovitannak_, (Broad boat-harbour). Before the
entrance to _Nappartok_, lies an island, _Naujartsit_ (the Little
Sea-gull island). Seven or eight miles, north of Nappertok, a long flat
point runs out, terminated by a small island. On approaching towards
Kangertluksoak, a long island runs parallel with the coast called
_Illuektulik_, (a burial-place), between which and the main land is a
strait, affording good shelter for boats. Into this Jonathan intended to
run, but the wind being favourable, we kept on our course, and passed
two islands, _Kingmiktok_, (Dog island), and farther north,
_Kikkertarsoak_ a great island which defends the entrance into the
harbour of _Kangertluksoak_, from the sea. At ten P.M. we came to an
anchor in the harbour, and were received by our Esquimaux, of whom
several families were stationed here, as well as by the other
inhabitants, with demonstrations of great joy. Both the heathen who kept
on the right side of the great bay, and our own Christian Esquimaux, on
the left, fired numberless shots to welcome us. Several boats were here
from _Kittinek_ and _Nachvak_ bound to Okkak.

_Kangertluksoak_ lies about sixty miles north of Okkak, is an agreeable
place, and has a good strand, and safe anchorage.

30th. Being Sunday, the Missionaries went on shore, and visited all the
Christian families, by whom they were received with the most lively
expressions of affection and gratitude. Many strangers from the opposite
coast had joined them, and they all seated themselves in a large circle
on the grass.

_Nikupsuk's_ wife, Louisa, who had long ago forsaken the believers, was
here, and said, with much apparent contrition, that she was unworthy to
be numbered with them. She then seated herself at a little distance from
the rest.

The number of the congregation, including our boat's company, amounted
to about fifty. Brother Kohlmeister first addressed them, by greeting
them from their brethren at Okkak, and expressing our joy at finding
them well in health, and our hopes, that they were all walking worthy of
their Christian profession, as a good example to their heathen
neighbours. Then the Litany was read, and a spirit of true devotion
pervaded the whole assembly.

Our very hearts rejoiced in this place, which had but lately been a den
of murderers, dedicated, as it were, by the angekoks, or sorcerers, to
the service of the devil, to hear the cheerful voices of converted
heathen, most melodiously sounding forth the praises of God, and giving
glory to the name of Jesus their Redeemer. Peace, and cheerful
countenances dwelt in the tents of the believing Esquimaux.

Our people had caught a large white-fish, and pressed us much to be
their guests, which we should have accepted of with pleasure, but we
thought it prudent to avail ourselves of the favourable wind and
weather, to proceed. Instead, therefore, of dining with them, we
presented to each tent a quart of pease, which is considered by the
Esquimaux as a great luxury, and was received with unbounded

About noon we set sail, with a brisk wind at S.E. for _Saeglek_. The
coast presents here, moderately high, barren mountains, without bays or
islands. The wind becoming more violent, the rope, by which we kept the
skin-boat in tow, suddenly snapt, and set her adrift. She was frequently
hid from our view by the height of the waves, but we were in no
apprehension about her, as these kind of boats are much safer in a high
sea, than a European one.

At seven P.M. we arrived at _Saeglek_, and were saluted by the firing of
muskets and bonfires on the hills. The Esquimaux have their dwellings on
a small flat island, between two of larger size, but the strand is bad,
and full of sharp shingles. There are about five or six winter-houses at
Saeglek, containing each about two or three families.

July 1st. Early, two Esquimaux men, _Joas_ and _Uiverunna_, came in
their kayaks to pay us a visit. They, with their families, inhabited
some tents we had seen yesterday. Brother Kohlmeister spoke seriously to
them on the necessity of conversion, especially to Joas, who had
Christian parents, and as a child, was baptized at Okkak. He reminded
him of his having been devoted to Jesus from his birth; that he
therefore ought not to belong to the unbelievers, but to Him who had
created and redeemed him; and that the greatest of all the sins he now
committed, was his persisting in his determination not to return. He
seemed to listen with some humility to the loving and earnest reproof
and exhortations of the Missionary, but at last excused himself by
laying the blame upon his mother, who kept him back, adding, that he
still intended to be converted.

Our people had meanwhile made a fire, and put the pot on to boil pease;
but the wind changing, Jonathan determined immediately to proceed. The
pease had just begun to swell, and as the two Esquimaux had presented us
with some fresh meat, they had been asked to partake of our meal; but
finding themselves thus disappointed, they fell to, and having greedily
devoured a quantity of the half-boiled pease, and filled their gloves
with the rest, they took leave, and set sail about 11, A.M.

Hearing from some Esquimaux who made towards us in their kayaks, that
the Saeglek people were all on the north side of the island of
Kikkertarsoak, we proceeded thither, and having doubled the point, saw
seven tents full of people. Two of them contained families from
Killinek. But the violence of the wind was such, that we could not stay
in this unsheltered place with safety. We therefore worked our way, with
the help of the Esquimaux, round another point, into a roadstead, rather
more sheltered than the former, though open to the sea. A little tobacco
is the reward expected and given for such assistance.

The beach is composed of numberless black pebbles, polished by the sea,
and each about the size of an hen's egg.

Brother Kohlmeister immediately landed, and visited the Esquimaux in
their tents. Many heathen were at this place, to whom he preached the
gospel, and invited them to believe in Jesus, as the Saviour of men, who
would deliver them from the love, power, and curse of sin, having shed
His blood, and died on the cross, to redeem their souls. He was heard
with great attention. A venerable old man, with hair as white as wool,
particularly attracted our notice. He called Brother Kohlmeister by
name, took hold of both his hands, and begged him to sit down by him.
Brother Kohlmeister inquired, whether he knew him. The old man replied:
"Thou art Benjamin, often have I heard thy name at Okkak. I therefore
rejoice to see thee." He seemed quite at a loss, what way to express his
affection; and at length delivered a strap of seals'-leather to Mr.
Kohlmeister, with these words: "I am poor, and have nothing else to give
thee, yet I wish to give thee some token of my love." Brother
Kohlmeister accepted of his present, and inwardly cried to the Lord, to
show mercy to this poor ignorant heathen. "You are old," said he, "and
have not much more time to live in this world, will you not turn to that
Jesus, who has died for your sins also? It is not His desire that you
should perish, and be lost in everlasting darkness, but that you should
live with Him in the place of light and immortal bliss." The old man
replied: "What shall I do? thy words are very pleasant, and I would fain
hear much more of Jesus. I do not wish to be lost in the place of
darkness." Brother Kohlmeister answered, that if he sincerely wished to
be saved, and was troubled on account of his sinful life he should
believe in, and call on the name of Jesus, who would certainly hear and
reveal Himself unto him. Many people were present in the tent, who
behaved with great decency, and whom Brother Kohlmeister earnestly
addressed on the necessity of conversion. He wished to prolong the
conversation especially with the old man, who promised, that he would
never forget the words spoken to him, but it was growing late, and we
returned to our cabin. The poor old man having sore legs, some medicine
was left for him.

The passage from Kangertluksoak to Saeglek is about twenty English
miles. Saeglek is a considerable promontory, open to the south.


  _Departure from Saeglek. Fruitless attempt to reach Nachvak.
  Retreat into Nullatartok Inlet. Slate Bay. Detention on account
  of the Ice. Arrive at Nachvak._

July 2d.--At one A.M. we set sail, steering for _Nachvak_, a distance of
about thirty miles. Here a chain of mountains runs north and south,
nearly parallel with the coast. The coast itself is of moderate height,
but very steep, and not being defended by any island, the approach to it
as a lee-shore, is very dangerous. It runs generally in a pretty strait
line about forty miles, when a wide bay opens, in which lies, towards
the north, an island called _Karngalersiorvik_, where there is said to
be a good harbour for boats. The rocks, of which the mountains are
composed, are of a white grey colour, streaked almost perpendicularly
with veins of black stone, about two feet broad. The intermediate strata
may be about eight times as broad. We had hoped to reach Nachvak in the
morning, by continuing our course through the following night, though
the wind was weak and variable, but in the evening we got into
drift-ice: yet as the shoals were not close together, we worked our way
through them; and stood on with the little wind we had at S.E.

3d. At dawn of day, and being still four miles distant from Nachvak, we
perceived both in the open sea, and all along the shore, that our
passage was completely occupied with floating ice, which drove towards
us, and forced us back. We then endeavoured to find shelter in a bay
bounded by high mountains, but found none, the wind driving the ice
after us into it, and soon filling it. Jonathan frequently cried out
with a plaintive voice: "Alas, alas, we shall soon be without a boat!"
We now hastened to the opposite shore to find some cove or inlet, but
getting more and more entangled among the ice, were at last obliged,
some to land, and haul the boat with ropes round the points, and others
with boat-hooks and spars, to keep her off the rocks. Two or three times
she stuck fast on sunken rocks, but by God's mercy always got off again
without damage. At length we discovered three narrow inlets, the
middlemost forming a bay, being the estuary of a river, which runs
W.S.W. about eight or ten miles up the country, and is called
Nullatartok. Into this we pushed, when shortly after our entrance, the
ice entirely filled up the passage, and we were compelled to retreat to
the uppermost part, choosing the shallowest possible spot to anchor in.
The bay itself is about two miles in breadth, and only in the middle
deep enough to admit the larger fields of drift ice to float into it.
The strand is broad, and slopes off gently. It is covered with large
tables of slate. The mountains on each side are high, and seem to
consist of ferruginous slate, the lamina or plates of which are of such
immense size, that they might serve for entire walls. Towards the sea,
there exudes from these rocks, a yellowish white substance, which has a
strong sulphureous smell. It was so powerful, that if a drop fell on a
piece of tinned iron, it removed the tin in a few minutes.

The vallies in the neighbourhood were green and full of flowers.

Not far from the spot where we had pitched our tents, (which rested upon
a carpet of _potentilla aurea_, in full bloom, bringing to our minds the
European meadows, full of butter-cups), the river, which is of
considerable breadth, falls into the bay. It abounds with fine
salmon-trout. Farther to the westward, two other rivers flow into it,
one of which is much broader than the other, and has a large cataract at
some distance from its mouth. The upper parts of the mountains are
covered partly with moss, and partly with low brush-wood, birch, and
alder, and many berry-bearing shrubs and plants, but no high trees. We
found here both arnica and colts-foot in great plenty. Brother
Kohlmeister gathered and dried a quantity of each, as they are used in
medical cases, and the former cannot be procured from England.

The slate is extremely shivery, and is found in slabs, either lying or
standing upright from four to eight feet square, most easily splitting
into thin plates. Ascending the mountain, they are soon dislodged, by
the tread of a man's foot, and glide down towards the beach with a
rattling, tinkling noise. At low water, we noticed a bed of stone
resembling cast iron, of a reddish hue, and polished by the friction of
the water. After supping on salmon-trout, caught in the first-mentioned
river, we retired to rest; but had some fears even here for the safety
of our boat, the ice pushing in towards us, and our people being
employed day and night in warding off the large shoals with their

4th. The weather being fair, Brother Kmoch ascended to the top of the
highest part of the mountain near us, from whence he could see nothing
but drift-ice, powerfully in motion towards the bay. Four of our
Esquimaux went up the country to hunt reindeer; saw eight head and two
fawns; but got none.

Perceiving that our abode in this place might be of some duration, we
for the first time pitched our tents on shore. Our morning and evening
devotion was attended by the whole party; and on Sundays we read the
Litany, and conducted the service in the usual way, which proved to us
and our Esquimaux of great comfort and encouragement in all
difficulties. We were detained here, by the ice, from the 3d to the
15th, and our faith and patience were frequently put to the trial.
Meanwhile we found much pleasure in walking up the declivities of the
hills, and into the fine green and flowery vallies around us.

5th. We went up the western extremity of the bay, but found nothing
worth notice. Here the rocks appeared to be of a species of freestone.

6th. In the evening we met in Jonathan's tent. Brother Kohlmeister
addressed the company, and reminded them, that to-day the holy communion
would be celebrated in our congregations, which we could not do in this
place, under present circumstances. Then kneeling down, he offered up a
fervent prayer, entreating the Lord not to forget us in this wilderness,
but to give us to feel His all-reviving presence, and to feed our hungry
and thirsty souls, out of the fulness of His grace. A comfortable sense
of His love and peace filled all our hearts on this occasion.

In the evening, Paul began to read out of the Harmony of the four
Evangelists, which we shall continue as often as circumstances will
admit of it. Jonathan and Jonas generally conduct the daily morning and
evening worship.

7th. We were so hard pressed by the ice driving towards us, that we were
obliged in part to unload the boat, to be able to bring it into a safer
situation in shallow water; and took our turns, three relieving three,
to watch and guard off the larger shoals with boat-hooks, by day and
night. We were glad to have reached a place, sheltered on all sides from
the wind.

8th. Our people went out to look for reindeer, and no prospect of our
proceeding to sea appearing, they resolved to stay out all night.

9th. Jonas returned and reported, that they had seen reindeer, but were
not able to shoot any. Paul and Thukkekina went to-day to the western
mountains, and staid over night.

10th. Brother Kmoch went to the westward to look for birds. He saw a
large flight of sea-fowl, but they were extremely shy, and would not
permit him to get near them. From the hills around us, we perceived that
the entrance into the bay was completely blocked up with ice; and
towards the sea, nothing but one continued field of ice appeared. We
sighed and prayed to the Lord to help us in this time of need. Jonas
went out in his kayak, and shot an _ugsuk_, not far from our tent.
Towards evening, we saw a fire made by our reindeer-hunters, at the
western extremity of the bay, and they fired their pieces to give us
notice, that they had got some game, and that we should fetch it with
the small boat.

Okkiksuk therefore went, and found them completely overcome with
fatigue, having dragged their game, across the mountains for a
considerable distance. The Esquimaux are indeed able to carry burdens up
and down hill, under which most Europeans would sink, but when they kill
a deer far inland, it is hard-earned food, by the trouble of carrying it
home. Paul had shot two reindeer, of which we received a portion.
Brother Kohlmeister had been on the other side of the bay, and returned
with a large parcel of plants and flowers, the examination of which
afforded him much amusement.

The Esquimaux now boiled a large kettle full of seal's flesh, of which
we were invited to partake. This we did, and thought it a very palatable
mess, particularly as we had tasted no fresh meat since we had left the
North Ikkerasak. The prejudice of the Europeans against seal's flesh,
consists mostly in imagination. The dirty kettle in which the Esquimaux
boil it, is indeed not calculated to excite an appetite, but the meat,
when eaten fresh, tastes much like beef; when cold, it acquires an oily
taste; nor durst a person, not accustomed to it from his childhood, make
a practice of eating it, as it is of a very heating nature, and would
soon bring on serious disorders. It generally prevents sleep, if eaten
at supper.

12th. The wind became West, and cleared the bay of the ice. Brother
Kmoch and Jonathan went to the opposite shore and found winter-houses,
one of which had been inhabited last winter; two others were in ruins.
They climbed the highest eminence towards Nachvak, but saw nothing but
drift-ice, covering the sea, with but few spots of open water, to the

13th. It blew hard from the West. David and Okkiksuk crossed the bay to
explore the state of the ice from the hills. In the evening they
returned with intelligence, that the sea was cleared of ice to the
northward. David had caught a netsek, (a small species of seal), and we
had taken a good draught of trout in the net before our tent.

14th. Jonathan roused us at four in the morning, the wind being in our
favour, and we immediately made preparations to depart. After breakfast,
as we were praying the Litany, a sudden storm arose. We were assembled
in Jonathan's tent, and the stones and pegs, with which it had been
fastened down to the ground, being already removed, the tent-skins were
soon blown about our heads by the violence of the wind, and we were now
obliged patiently to wait till the storm abated. In the midst of our
deliberations, accompanied with expressions of our disappointment,
Thukkekina gravely observed, that we might very likely get away this
summer, and need not be dismayed. Towards evening, it fell calm, and the
musquitoes teazed us unmercifully. We supped on fresh salmon, filled our
tents with smoke, to keep off our winged tormentors, shut ourselves in,
and forgot our grievances and Thukkekina's consolations in sound sleep.

15th. In the morning at three o'clock, we took a final leave of
Nullatartok bay, and got under way with a favourable, though rather
boisterous wind at S.W. having been detained here for twelve days by the
ice. After about an hour's sail, we were near the entrance of the inlet,
when a sudden gust from the mountains carried away our after-top-mast,
with sail and tackle. It fell with great noise on the deck, and into the
sea. By God's mercy no one was hurt, and we were more particularly
thankful, that of the five children on board, none were just then on

It once happened, that the main-yard fell down, and but narrowly missed
striking two children, who with a third were sitting and playing
together. They must inevitably have lost their lives, had it fallen upon
them. We praised God for their preservation during the whole voyage. By
the above-mentioned disaster, we were obliged to run into a small cove,
where we repaired the mast with all speed, and proceeded with a gentle
wind towards Nachvak. A calm ensued, and as there is no anchorage
between Nullatartok and Nachvak, we rowed all night, and felt the
advantage of the great length of days, at this season of the year.

16th. The view we had of the magnificent mountains of Nachvak,
especially about sun-rise, afforded us and our Esquimaux great
gratification. Their south-east extremity much resembles Saddle island
near Okkak, being high, steep, and of singular shape. These mountains in
general are not unlike those of Kaumayok for picturesque outline. In one
place, tremendous precipices form a vast amphitheatre, surmounted by a
ledge of green sod, which seemed to be the resort of an immense number
of sea-gulls and other fowls, never interrupted by the intrusion of man.
They flew with loud screams backwards and forwards over our heads, as if
to warn off such unwelcome visitors. In another place, a narrow chasm
opens into the mountain, widening into a lagoon, the surrounding rocks
resembling the ruins of a large Gothic building, with the green ocean
for its pavement, and the sky for its dome. The weather being fine, and
the sun cheering us with his bright rays, after a cold and sleepless
night, we seemed to acquire new vigour, by the contemplation of the
grand features of nature around us. We now perceived some Esquimaux with
a woman's boat, in a small bay, preparing to steer for Nachvak. They
fired their pieces, and called to us to join them, as they had
discovered a stranded whale. Going on shore to survey the remains of
this huge animal, we found it by no means a pleasant sight. It lay upon
the rocks, occupying a space about thirty feet in diameter, but was much
shattered, and in a decaying state. Our people, however, cut off a
quantity of blubber from its lips. The greater part of the blubber of
this fish was lost, as the Esquimaux had no means of conveying it to

The Esquimaux stationed here showed great willingness to assist us; and
as our party was much fatigued with rowing all night, they towed us into
Nachvak, where we arrived about 2 P.M. Old Kayaluk and a young man,
Parnguna, and his wife, were here. The latter called on Brother
Kohlmeister, and thanked him for having saved her life. He had forgotten
that he had once given her medicine at Okkak in a dangerous illness, but
her gratitude was still unbounded.


  _Reception at Nachvak. Description of the bay. The Esquimaux
  manner of spearing salmon and trout. Christian deportment of
  the Okkak and Hopedale Esquimaux. Jonas's address to the
  Heathen. Love of music general among these Indians. Departure
  from Nachvak. Danger in doubling the North Cape. Arrival at
  Sangmiyok bay._

July 16th.--After two or three hours sleep in our cabin, we went on
shore. The Esquimaux, who had here a temporary station, about fifty in
number, received us with every mark of attention. Loud shouts of joy
resounded from all quarters, and muskets were fired in every direction.
They could scarcely wait with patience for our landing, and when we
pitched our tent, were all eager to assist; thus we were soon at home
among them. Seven tents were standing on the strand, and we found the
people here differing much in their manners from the people at Saeglek.
Their behaviour was modest and rather bashful, nor were we assailed by
beggars and importunate intruders, as at the latter place, where beggary
seemed quite the fashion, and proved very troublesome to us. But we had
no instance of stealing. Thieves are considered by the Esquimaux in
general with abhorrence, and with a thief no one is willing to trade. We
have discovered, however, that that propensity is not altogether wanting
in the northern Esquimaux, who, now and then, if they think that they
can do it without detection, will make a little free with their
neighbour's property.

The Esquimaux not only gave us a most hearty welcome, but attended our
morning and evening prayers with great silence and apparent devotion.
Indeed, to our great surprise, they behaved altogether with uncommon
decorum and regularity during our stay.

17th. Being detained with drift-ice at the mouth of the bay, we pitched
our tent on shore. We examined the bay more minutely. It extends to the
West to a considerable depth, and is not protected by any islands,
except a few rocks, at some distance in the sea. The surrounding
mountains are very high, steep, and barren, and verdure is found only in
the vallies. Here the _arnica montana_, which the Missionaries have
found of great use among the Esquimaux, grows in great abundance.
Salmon-trout are caught in every creek and inlet.

Like the salmon, they remain in the rivers and fresh-water lakes during
the winter, and return to the sea in spring. The Esquimaux about Okkak
and Saeglek, catch them in winter under the ice by spearing. For this
purpose, they make two holes in the ice, about eight inches in diameter,
and six feet asunder, in a direction from north to south. The northern
hole they screen from the sun, by a bank of snow about four feet in
height, raised in a semicircle round its southern edge, and form another
similar bank on the north-side of the southern hole, sloped in such a
manner as to reflect the rays of the sun into it. The Esquimaux then
lies down, with his face close to the northern aperture, beneath which
the water is strongly illuminated by the sunbeams entering at the
southern. In his left hand he holds a red string, with which he plays in
the water, to allure the fish, and in his right a spear, ready to strike
them as they approach. In this manner they soon take as many as they

The salmon-trout on this coast are from twelve to eighteen inches long,
and in August and September so fat, that the Esquimaux collect from them
a sufficient quantity of oil for their lamps. The immense abundance of
these fish on all parts of the coast, would almost at any time save the
Esquimaux from starving with hunger; but as seals furnish them both with
food and clothing, it is of most consequence to them to attend to this
branch of supply. At Hopedale and Nain, however, salmon-trout are caught
only in the summer.

We were much pleased with the behaviour of our own Esquimaux, during
their stay at Nachvak. In every respect they conducted themselves, in
word and deed, as true Christian people. Their conversation with their
heathen countrymen, was free and unreserved, and "to the use of
edifying." Jonathan and Jonas in particular, gave us great satisfaction.

The people having assembled in Jonathan's tent, those who had no room in
it, standing without and listening with great order and stillness,
Brother Kohlmeister addressed them, explaining the aim of our voyage;
that we were going, out of love to their nation, to the northern
Esquimaux, and to those of Ungava bay, to make known to them the love of
God our Saviour; and, by the gospel, to point out to them the way to
obtain life everlasting. We knew that they were heathen, who, being
ignorant of the way to God, were in bondage to the devil, and would be
lost for ever, unless God had mercy upon them and sent them his word, to
lead them to Jesus Christ their only Saviour, who shed His blood, and
died on the cross to redeem their souls.

They received the discourses and exhortations of the Missionary with
reverential attention, but those of their own countrymen, with still
greater eagerness, and we hope not without benefit. Jonas once addressed
them thus; "We were but lately as ignorant as you are now: we were long
unable to understand the comfortable words of the gospel: we had neither
ears to hear, nor hearts to receive them, till Jesus, by his power,
opened our hearts and ears. Now we know what Jesus has done for us, and
how great the happiness of those souls is, who come unto Him, love Him
as their Saviour, and know, that they shall not be lost, when this life
is past. Without this we live in constant fear of death. You will enjoy
the same happiness, if you turn to and believe in Jesus. We are not
surprised that you do not yet understand us. We were once like you, but
now thank Jesus our Redeemer, with tears of joy, that He has revealed
Himself unto us," Thus, with cheerful countenances and great energy, did
these Christian Esquimaux praise and glorify the name of Christ our
Saviour, and declare, what he had done for their souls, exhorting the
heathen likewise to believe.

The above address seemed to make a deep impression on the minds of all
present. One of their leaders, or captains, exclaimed with great
eagerness, in presence of them all: "I am determined to be converted to
Jesus." His name is _Onalik_. He afterwards called upon Brother
Kohlmeister, and inquired, whether it was the same, to which of the
three settlements he removed, as it was his firm determination to become
a true believer. Brother Kohlmeister answered: "That it was indifferent
where he lived, if he were only converted and became a child of God, and
an heir of life eternal." Another, named _Tullugaksoak_, made the same
declaration, and added: "That he would no longer live among the

Though the very fickle disposition of the heathen Esquimaux, might cause
some doubts to arise in our minds, as to their putting these good
resolutions into practice, yet we hope, that the seed of the word of
God, sown in this place, may not have altogether fallen upon barren

In the evening, our people met in Jonathan's tent, and sang hymns.
Almost all the inhabitants were present. They afterwards spent a long
time in pleasant and edifying conversation. It may here be observed,
that the Esquimaux delight in singing and music. As to national songs,
they have nothing deserving of that name; and the various collectors of
these precious morsels in our day, would find their labour lost in
endeavouring to harmonize the incantations of their sorcerers and
witches, which more resemble the howlings of wolves and growlings of
bears, than any thing human. But though the hymn and psalm-tunes of the
Brethren's Church are mostly of antient construction, and, though rich
in harmony, have no airy melodies to make them easily understood by
unmusical ears, yet the Esquimaux soon learn to sing them correctly; and
the voices of the women are remarkably sweet and well-tuned. Brother
Kohlmeister having given one of the children a toy-flute, Paul took it,
and immediately picked out the proper stops in playing several
psalm-tunes upon it, as well as the imperfect state of the instrument
would admit. Brother Kmoch having taken a violin with him, the same
Esquimaux likewise took it up, and it was not long before he found out
the manner of producing the different notes.

18th. At 8 A.M. Brother Kohlmeister having delivered a
farewell-discourse to the Esquimaux, (during which they were much
affected), we took leave of these goodnatured people, and set sail with
a fair and strong West-wind, but met with much drift-ice at the entrance
of the bay. It made less way than our boat, and the wind becoming more
violent, we found ourselves in an unpleasant situation. After tacking
all day, and a great part of the night, the ice preventing our
proceeding, and the wind, our returning to our former station, we were
obliged to make for the Eastern point of the bay, where we at length
succeeded in gaining a small cove, and cast anchor.

Our situation was singular; the rocks rose in a semicircle around us,
towering perpendicularly to an amazing height, like an immense wall.

After a few hours stay, two Nachvak Esquimaux joined us, and prevailed
on Jonathan to return to the tents, but we had scarcely reached the
centre of the bay, before the violence of the wind drove us out to sea,
and we were compelled to push for the northern promontory, from which
all the ice had now retreated. Under the mountains we found shelter from
the wind, which had by this time risen to a storm. It was late, and as
it appeared dangerous to remain here, we rowed towards the point, but
there beheld, with terror, the raging of the sea and dashing of the
waves against the rocks, the spray flying like clouds into the air, and
returned into smooth water, where, however, we were long in finding a
place to anchor in. The night was spent quietly under shelter of the
high rocks. They form the base of mountains higher than the _Kiglapeyd_,
rise perpendicularly, in some places impending, with fragments,
apparently loose, hanging over their edge, and forming all kinds of
grotesque figures.

19th. At sun-rise we still saw and heard the storm which threatened us
with destruction, if we ventured to double the cape.

At nine the wind abated, and we set sail, got safe round the point, and
glided, with a gentle wind, into a broad, shallow bay, called Sangmiyok,
full both of hidden and visible rocks, in which we cast anchor about
five P.M. While Brother Kmoch superintended the concerns of the kitchen,
Brother Kohlmeister and Jonathan went on shore, and to the highest
mountain on the promontory. From the top of this mountain they could
plainly discern the four principal headlands between Cape Mugford and
Cape Chudleigh. The former situated in latitude 58° N. the latter in
61°. Between these are four promontories, in a line from S.E. to N.W.
The first is _Uivak_, at the entrance into Saeglek Bay, outside of which
a small island lies, in form of a pyramid or sugar-loaf. Next follow the
two forming Nachvak Bay, another _Uivak_ to the south of _Nennoktok_,
upon which we stood. The fourth is _Kakkeviak_, not far from Killinek,
or Cape Chudleigh, in form of a tent, called in the charts _Blackhead_.
_Nennoktok_ is called _False Blackhead_.


  _Pass Cape Nennoktok. Visit the Esquimaux families at
  Kummaktorvik and Amitok. Description of an Esquimaux travelling
  bed. Mountains seen at Ungava. Netsek seal described. Greenland
  houses. Danger of being shipwrecked near Kakkeviak._

July 20th.--We proceeded with little or no wind, and taking to our oars,
doubled the great Cape of Nennoktok. Here a strong swell from the sea
met us, and tossed our boat violently about, and, having no wind, it
drove us nearer to the shore than was perfectly safe. We remained about
an hour in this unpleasant situation, when a breeze sprung up, which
carried us out to the open sea among islands. It now began to rain very
hard, and the wind rose. While Brother Kmoch was assisting the people on
deck, Brother Kohlmeister had enough to do below, to keep peace among
the furniture of our cabin, and sometimes found himself defeated in his
attempts, pots and pans, and boxes, and every thing that was not a
fixture, tumbling upon him. Several of our people were in the skin-boat,
and the fury of the wind and sea would not permit them to come to our
assistance. The weather also became so thick and foggy between the
islands, that we were unable to see to any distance. Jonathan was
therefore glad to have been yesterday on shore, when from the mountain
he discovered the situation of the promontory, the coast, and the
islands before us, and now contrived to steer in the proper direction.
We soon found ourselves in smoother water, and among islands, where a
vast number of seals and birds made their appearance. At six in the
evening we reached _Kummaktorvik_, and came to an anchor.

Having landed, Brother Kmoch shot a hare, close to the beach. These
creatures are white in winter, and grey in summer, and in winter so
numerous, that though, when roasted, they are excellent food, we were
almost tired of them last year at Okkak.

The rain continuing during the whole of the night and forenoon of the
21st, we found it necessary by sufficient rest to strengthen ourselves
for future watchfulness.

An Esquimaux travelling bed consists of a large bag of reindeer-skin,
with the hair turned inward, covered with seal-skin, the hair turned
outward. It is furnished with a broad flap to cover the mouth, and a
strap to fasten down the flap. This bag comprehends the whole apparatus
and furniture of an Esquimaux bed-room. Having undressed, the traveller
creeps into it, and a kind neighbour having shut him up close by
fastening the strap, he leaves him to sleep on till morning, when he
helps him out again. In summer the flap is dispensed with. The
invention, however, is of European origin, and a luxury introduced by
the Missionaries; for an Esquimaux lies down in his clothes, without
further preparation.

In the morning we landed, and had the usual Sunday's service with our
people on shore; after which Brother Kohlmeister visited the Esquimaux
in their tents, and had some religious conversation with them, to which
they seemed to pay attention. Afterwards Kuttaktok, John, Nukkapiak, and
Kajulik, with their wives, came to see us on board. They are the winter
inhabitants of this bay. John was baptized in infancy at Okkak, but
afterwards left the settlement, and not only associates with the heathen
Esquimaux, but has even been guilty of murder. All of them, however,
come occasionally to Okkak. They had two tents about four miles from our
landing place.

22d. The contrary wind forbidding our departure, Brother Kohlmeister,
accompanied by Jonathan, Jonas, and Thukkekina, walked across the
country to the N.W. bay, to return their visit. When they saw them
coming at a distance, they fired their pieces, to direct them to the
tents, and came joyfully to meet the Missionary and his party. Nothing
could exceed the cordiality with which they received them. A kettle was
immediately put on the fire to cook salmon-trout, and all were invited
to partake, which was the more readily accepted, as the length of the
walk had created an appetite, the keenness of which overcame all
squeamishness. To do these good people justice, their kettle was rather
cleaner than usual, the dogs having licked it well, and the fish were
fresh and well dressed. To honour the Missionary, a box was placed for
him to sit upon, and the fish were served up to each upon a flat stone
instead of a plate. After dinner, Brother Kohlmeister, in acknowledgment
for their civility, gave to each of the women two needles, and a small
portion of tobacco to each man, with which they were highly delighted.

All of them being seated, a very lively and unreserved conversation took
place concerning the only way of salvation, through Jesus Christ, and
the necessity of conversion. With John and his mother Mary, Brother
Kohlmeister spoke very seriously, and represented to them the danger of
their state, as apostates from the faith; but they seem blinded by
Satan, and determined to persist in their heathenish life. The Esquimaux
now offered to convey the party across the bay in their skin-boat, which
was accepted. Almost all of them accompanied the boat, and met with a
very friendly reception from our boat's company. In the evening, after
some hymns had been sung by our people, Jonas addressed them and the
heathen Esquimaux in a short, nervous discourse, on the blessedness of
being reconciled unto God.

Kummaktorvik bay runs N.E. and S.W. and is defended by some islands from
the sea. It is about four or five miles long, and surrounded by high
mountains, with some pleasant plains at their foot, covered with
verdure. It's distance from Nachvak is about twelve miles. This chain of
mountains, as will be hereafter mentioned, may be seen from
Kangertlualuksoak, in Ungava Bay, which is a collateral proof, that the
neck of land, terminated to the N. by Cape Chudleigh, is of no great
width. Both the Nain and Okkak Esquimaux frequently penetrate far enough
inland to find the rivers taking a westerly direction, consequently
towards the Ungava country. They even now and then have reached the
woods skirting the estuaries of George and South rivers.

23d. We set sail at sun-rise, but the wind being too high to suffer us
to proceed with safety, we again anchored in a commodious harbour in
_Amitok_ island. Our people were here busily employed in repairing the
damaged rigging and sails. Towards evening Jonas caught a seal, to the
great gratification of our party. It was dressed immediately, and we
joined them in their repast with a good appetite.

The _Netsek_ is the only species of seal which remains during the winter
under the ice. They form in it large caverns, in which they bring forth
their young, two at a time, in March. More than one cavern belongs to
one seal, that he may, if disturbed in the first, take shelter in the
second. No other kind of seal is caught in winter by the Esquimaux.

24th. Brother Kmoch rose at two, and went on shore to examine the island
more minutely. The morning was beautiful, and the sun rose with great
splendour. _Amitok_ lies N.W. from Kummaktorvik, is of an oblong shape,
and stretches out pretty far towards the sea. The hills are of moderate
height, the land is in many places flat, but in general destitute of
grass. On the other side are some ruins of Greenland houses.

The Esquimaux have a tradition, that the Greenlanders came originally
from Canada, and settled on the outermost islands of this coast, but
never penetrated into the country, before they were driven eastward to
Greenland. This report gains some credit, from the state in which the
abovementioned ruins are found. They consist in remains of walls and
graves, with a low stone enclosure round the tomb, covered with a slab
of the same material. They have been discovered on islands near Nain,
and though sparingly, all along the whole eastern coast, but we saw none
in Ungava bay. The rocks on Amitok contain large masses of a crumbly,
semi-transparent garnet, of a reddish hue. (From some specimens sent
out, it rather appears to be a rose red quartz, or beryllite).

As it appeared as if we should be detained here, Brother Kmoch had made
a fire, and was leisurely cooking a savoury mess of birds for breakfast,
when Jonathan returned from the hills, with intelligence that the wind
was abating in violence, and he therefore would proceed. The tent was
struck, and all hurried on board: yet we had long to combat both an
unfavourable wind and a strong current, which compelled us to double the
East point of the island, and seek shelter among some small islands,
steering for _Niakungu_ point. From hence we got the first sight of
_Tikkerarsuk_, (the Esquimaux name for a low point stretching from the
continent into the sea), of the island _Aulatzevik_, and the high
promontory of _Kakkeviak_. The whole country to the west of _Niakungu_
is called _Serliarutsit_. It fell calm as we doubled the point, and we
took to our oars, and came to an anchor in an open bay, south of

25th. At 6 P.M. we got under weigh with a fine S.E. wind, and made for
the island of _Aulatzevik_, which is about the same size as an island of
the same name, near Kiglapeyd. The passage between the island and the
main is too shallow for an European boat like ours. The wind rising we
sailed towards Kakkeviak at a great rate. To the right lay a chain of
small islands called by the Esquimaux Pikkiulits, (the habitation of
young eider-ducks). Having nearly doubled _Kakkeviak_ cape, we perceived
two tents on shore, which occasioned loud rejoicings on board. They
belonged to _Kumiganna_ of _Saeglek_, with his party, who being bound to
Killinek, had promised to accompany us thither. The wind was very high,
and the Cape encircled with numerous visible and invisible rocks, but
there was a clear passage to the shore, keeping outside of the breakers.
But whether from the violence of the wind, or from the eagerness with
which our trusty captain wished soon to join his countrymen, he steered
right through the midst of them, when suddenly the boat struck with
great violence upon a sunken rock. The shock was so great, that all on
board were thrown down, and every thing tumbled about. Poor Agnes,
Jonas's wife, got a severe wound in her head. We immediately took in all
our sails, and after hard labour, succeeded in pushing the boat off the
rock. On examination we found that all was safe, and thanked God, with
hearts filled with humble acknowledgments of His mercy, for preserving
us from danger and death. The boat had struck in such a manner, that the
keel, which was new and strong, being constructed of one solid piece of
timber, sustained the whole shock. Had she taken the rock with her
bottom, she would most likely have bilged, or upset, and it is a great
question, whether our lives, but particularly the lives of the little
children, could have been saved, the sea running very high. The
skin-boat was thrown right over the rocks on shore, by the violence of
the surf.

Kumiganna soon came off in his kayak, and advised us to steer for the
land right before us, where he thought we should find _Uttakiyok_; nor
was there any safe anchorage in this place. We therefore took a young
Esquimaux on board as pilot, and steered between the main land and the
islands, for _Oppernavik_, twenty English miles off. Having left the
skin-boat to follow us, we cut swiftly through the water, and soon
reached the place of our destination.


  _Arrival at Oppernavik. Account of Uttakiyok. His perseverance
  in waiting for the arrival of the Missionaries. Islands and
  bays between Kakkeviak and Killinek. Danger in the ice at
  Ammitok. Want of fuel supplied by robbing old graves._

When we arrived at Oppernavik, we found _Uttakiyok_, with his two wives
and youngest brother, waiting to receive us. He and his family are from
the Ungava bay, and had been upon the watch in this place during the
whole spring. They welcomed us with shouts of joy, and firing of their
pieces, and we had indeed the greatest reason to thank God, that he had
sent us this man, to conduct us on our way to an unknown country, and
through unfrequented seas.

For this service Uttakiyok was eminently qualified, and without such a
steady, faithful guide, we should have been wandering in the most
painful and dangerous uncertainty in the desert regions to the West of
Cape Chudleigh, where, on a coast of 100 miles in length, we did not
meet with a single inhabitant. He was so anxiously intent upon meeting
us, that he had erected signals on all the heights surrounding his tent,
to prevent our missing him. Among his countrymen he is much respected,
on account of his superior sense, and skill in all Esquimaux arts, and
possesses great influence among them.

_Uttakiyok_ was one of the two Esquimaux, from whom, in the year 1800,
we received the first distinct information respecting the Ungava country
and its inhabitants, by which the desire, excited both at home and here
in Labrador, to visit the northern Esquimaux, was greatly strengthened,
and led to a resolution, if possible, to take early steps to accomplish
this object, (See page 3).

Two years ago, he had been on a trading voyage to Okkak, from Killinek,
where he then dwelt, and intended to return, in the summer following, to
Ungava, his native country, but an illness, which befel his son,
detained him. This intelligence was received at Okkak during last
winter, when we sent him word, that as we purposed paying his countrymen
a visit, we wished him to wait for us, that he might conduct us through
the straits of Killinek. But having heard nothing further concerning
him, we remained in uncertainty respecting his intentions. We were the
more thankful to God, who had disposed the heart of this man cheerfully
to accept of the commission, and wait to be our guide, an office which
he performed with a degree of faithfulness and disinterested kindness,
which claims our admiration and gratitude.

While we were here waiting for a favourable opportunity to pass the
straits, which were yet filled with ice, he behaved in the kindest
manner to us and our Esquimaux. Though a heathen, he regularly attended
our morning and evening worship, and declared to Jonathan, that he also
intended to be converted to Jesus, and if we would form a settlement in
his country, would come and live with us, and was sure, that many of his
countrymen would do the same.

Around his tent, a considerable extent of rock was covered with seal's
flesh, and in the hollows were pools of oil. Ten bags of blubber were
standing ready for sale; and with a view to shew him our good-will,
Brother Kohlmeister bartered with him for three of them, which were hid
under the stones, to take them with us, if practicable, on our return.

26th. We put up our three tents; Uttakiyok's people had three more. Wind
N.W. We were now near the entrance into the Ikkerasak, (or straits),
which separate the island of Killinek and two or three other large
islands from the continent. They stretch to the N. to the distance of
about 12 or 15 English miles, the outer one forming Cape Chudleigh. To
the N.W. of the cape lie some other small islands, called by the
Esquimaux _Tutsaets_, and N.N.E. of these, the great island
_Resolution_, called _Igloarsuk_, on which, as we were informed, many
Esquimaux reside. The Tutsaets were discernible from this place, but not
the latter, which however, as the Esquimaux say, may be seen from the
Tutsaets. We guessed at its situation, from the clouds hanging over it
in the North quarter. The weather was, as might be expected on the
northern coast of America, foggy, rainy, and cold, and our small stove,
which we brought into the tent, was of great use to us during our stay
in this place.

27th. Rain and wind violent, and prevented our proceeding. We caught
some _Pitsiolaks_, (awks), and a brace of young puffins, which, with the
addition of some salt meat, made excellent broth.

28th. The weather was fair, but the wind still blowing hard at N.W.
Brother Kmoch went to Uttakiyok's tent, and sitting down with him at the
point of Oppernavik, and looking down the coast as far as Kakkeviak, got
him to name all the bays, points, and islands, from Kakkeviak to
Oppernavik, of which he made minutes. The distance between the two
points or headlands may be guessed at, by the time of sailing with a
strong leading wind, namely three hours and a half. Coming up from
Kakkeviak, to the E. lie three islands, _Kikkertorsoak_, _Imilialuk_,
rather less in view, and _Nessetservik_. Having passed these, there
follows a chain of small, naked islands, not very high, stretching
towards Killinek. To the W. near Kakkeviak lies _Uglek_; then a bay,
_Nulluk_, and farther to the left another bay, _Tellek_, (right arm).
The country along these bays is called _Attanarsuk_. Now follow the bay
_Ikkorliarsuk_, the lower point of _Tikkerarsuk_, the bay _Annivagtok_,
and _Kakkeviak_, a high promontory, (not to be confounded with the other
Kakkeviak, where we struck on the rock. This promontory is only about
four miles from Oppernavik to the S.E.). Then follow two small bays,
_Anniovariktok_ and _Sangmiyok_, then the promontory _Ukkuliakartok_,
(meaning a headland between two bays), and the bay _Tunnusuksoak_. Next,
the last point on the continent, forming the south entrance to the
Ikkerasak. The abovementioned chain of barren islands is called by the
Esquimaux _Naviarutsit_, and besides them some low rocks, _Nuvurutsit_.
The island of Killinek is about nine miles long, and five broad, high,
and forming the north side of the straits. Another Ikkerasak, (or
strait), divides it from an island called Kikkertorsoak, (a common name
for an island), of considerable height, but not so long as _Killinek_:
one, or perhaps more islands follow, narrowing E. and W. and forming
Cape Chudleigh.

To-day there was much ice both in the strait and at sea. We went to the
nearest island, where Brother Kohlmeister took an observation, and found
our situation to be 60° 16'.

30th. It blew a hard gale from the N.E., rained hard, and as the ice now
began to enter our harbour, we were busily engaged in keeping it off the

31st. Imagining to-day that the straits would be free from ice, we
resolved to attempt to pass them, and set sail. But it soon became
evident, that there was still plenty of ice in the neighbourhood, and
the wind setting to the N.E. with fogs, we were obliged to return.
Suspecting also that the easterly wind would again drive the ice into
our former harbour at Oppernavik, we ran into a short pass, between that
and a small island called Ammitok, where we anchored under shelter of
the island. The sequel proved, that we had for once acted with sound
judgment and foresight, for our former anchoring-ground was soon filled
with ice; and during the night large flakes entered even into our
present place of refuge.

_August_ 1st. At day break we found ourselves completely surrounded by
floating ice, a strong N.W. wind driving the large shoals from the W.
side of the little pass in which we lay, with much force towards us,
insomuch that our boat was in the greatest danger of being crushed to
pieces by them. We were all day long hard at work with poles,
boat-hooks, and hatchets, to ward off the larger shoals, but when the
tide fell, they hung upon our cables and anchors, of which we had three
out, closing in also on all sides of the boat, so that we were every
moment in fearful expectation of her being carried away, and our anchors
lost, which would have reduced us to the most distressing situation.
Indeed we all cried to the Lord to help us in this dangerous situation,
and not to suffer us to perish here, but by His almighty aid, to save us
and our boat. With great and unremitting exertions we had laboured all
day, from the morning early, till seven in the evening, when the Lord
heard our prayers, and sent relief. We now succeeded in working the boat
out of the ice, the rising of the tide having opened a passage through
it, just as we were almost exhausted with fatigue. It also became quite
calm, and we felt as if we had passed from death to life.

Having anchored again on the opposite side of the little pass or strait,
we gave thanks to God, for the deliverance we had experienced through
His mercy, in which our Esquimaux, young and old, most fervently joined.

During our stay at Oppernavik, our whole stock of fire-wood was
expended, and we were obliged to purchase of our companions, what they
had to spare. We likewise robbed some old Esquimaux graves of the wooden
utensils, which it is the superstitious practice of the heathen to lay
beside the corpses of their owners, with old tent-poles, &c. and thus
obtained fuel sufficient for our cookery.

Wood will not decay by mere exposure to the air in Labrador, but wastes
away gradually; and after forty or more years, the wood found at the
graves is still fit for use.


  _Departure from Oppernavik. Pass the Ikkerasak of Killinek.
  Whirlpools. The coast takes a southerly direction. Meeting with
  Esquimaux from the Ungava country, who had never seen an
  European. Anchor at Omanek. High tides. Drift-wood. Double Cape
  Uibvaksoak. Distant view of Akpatok._

August 2d.--Having made all needful preparations for the voyage, a
gentle but favourable wind, and occasional rowing, brought us, about
nine in the morning, to the entrance of the much dreaded Ikkerasak. The
weather was pleasant and warm, not a flake of ice was to be seen, and
all our fear and anxiety had subsided. Our minds were attuned to praise
and thanksgiving for the providential preservation we had experienced
yesterday. We performed our morning devotions on deck, and all joined in
a joyful hallelujah to God our Saviour, which was sweetly repeated by
echoes among the mountains and precipices on either side. The
scripture-text appointed in the Church of the United Brethren for this
day being read, it seemed as if addressed particularly to us, separated
as we felt ourselves, in these lonely regions, from the rest of the
inhabitants of the earth: "_See now that I, even I, am He, and there is
no God with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal._" Deut.
32, 39. We rejoiced, that we were in the hands of a gracious and
merciful God and Father, who would not forsake us, but deal with us
according to his wonted mercy and favour.

The Ikkerasak, (or strait), is about ten miles in length; the land on
each side high and rocky, and in some places precipitous, but there
appeared no rocks in the strait itself. The water is deep and clear. Its
mouth is wide, and soon after entering, a bay opens to the left, which
by an inlet only just wide enough to admit a boat, communicates with a
lagoon of considerable magnitude, in which lies an island on its western
bank. Beyond this bay, the passage narrows and consequently the stream,
always setting from N. to S. grows more rapid. Here the mountains on
both sides rise to a great height. Having proceeded for two miles in a
narrow channel, the strait opens again, but afterwards contracts to
about 1000 yards across; immediately beyond which, the left coast turns
to the south. As the tide ebbs regularly with the current from N. to S.
along the whole coast of Labrador, the current through the strait is
most violent during its fall, and less, when resisted by its influx on

We were taught to expect much danger in passing certain eddies or
whirlpools in the narrow parts of the straits, and were therefore
continually upon the look-out for them. When we passed the first narrow
channel, at 12 P.M. it being low water, no whirlpool was perceptible.
Having sailed on for little more than half an hour, with wind and tide
in our favour, we reached the second. Here, indeed, we discovered a
whirlpool, but of no great magnitude at this state of the tide. Near the
north-shore the water was, indeed, whirled round in the manner of a
boiling cauldron of ten or twelve feet diameter, with considerable noise
and much foam; but we passed without the smallest inconvenience, within
thirty or forty feet of the outer circle. Our skin-boat, however, which
we had in tow, with a man in it, was seized by the vortex, and received
a rapid twist; but as the towing-rope did not break, she was immediately
rescued from danger by the swiftness of our course, and the affair
afforded us more diversion than anxiety. The motion of the water in
these eddies is so great, that they never freeze in the severest winter.
The ice being drawn towards them with great force, the largest shoals
are carried under water, and thrown up again, broken into numerous
fragments. The Ikkerasak is at that season utterly impassable for boats.
The Killinek people inhabit an island to the right, after leaving the

When we quitted the Ikkerasak, and entered the ocean on the western side
of Cape Chudleigh, it seemed as if we were transported to a new world.
Hitherto the coast to our left had always taken a northerly direction.
It now turned to the S.S.W. and is low, with gently sloping hills, the
sea being full of small islands, abounding in sea-fowl.

To the N. and N.W. we saw the open sea in Hudson's Straits, which,
compared to the turbulent Atlantic, seemed calm and peaceful. We sailed
briskly amidst the islands, and overtook the inhabitants of Saeglek,
whom we had seen at Kakkeviak, where they had got the start of us. The
wind being favourable, we did not hail them, but kept on our course. We
now saw with pleasure the Ungava country to the South before us, but had
first to pass the low point of _Uivarsuk_, the bay of _Arvavik_, in
which the people from Saeglek had their summer stations, and the
mountain _Omanek_, of moderate height, and surrounded by many small
islets, called by the Esquimaux _Erngavinget_, (bowels). We now
discovered three skin-boats full of people standing towards us from the
shore. They were inhabitants of Ungava, and welcomed our approach with
loud shouts of joy and firing their pieces, which was answered by our
party. They followed us to Omanek, a round island rising like a loaf
among the rest, where they pitched their tents on shore.

Some of them had formerly dwelt in different places north of Okkak, and
were known to the Missionaries in former times, the rest were perfect
strangers. They declared their intention of coming over to the North of
Okkak, to remain some time in that country, for the sake of trade. It
has been mentioned, that some of the Ungava people have come to Okkak,
and carry on a trade between their countrymen and that place. They are a
kind of middle men, bring fox and bear-skins, and exchange them for
European goods. These they carry back, and sell at a very advanced price
in the Ungava country. They spend two years on such a trading voyage.

Brother Kohlmeister visited the people in their tents. They were about
fifty in number, men, women, and children. He informed them, that
nothing could induce the Missionaries to come into this country, but
love to the poor heathen, and an ardent desire to make them acquainted
with their Creator and Redeemer, that through Him they might attain to
happiness in time and eternity. Some seemed to listen with great
attention, but the greater part understood nothing of what was said.
This, of course, did not surprise us, as most of them were quite
ignorant heathen, who had never before seen an European. They, however,
raised a shout of joy, when we informed them, that we would come and
visit them in their own country. Many were not satisfied with viewing
us on every side with marks of great astonishment, but came close up to
us, and pawed us all over. At taking leave we presented them with a few
trifles, which excited among them the greatest pleasure and

We recommend these heathen to the mercy of God, and pray, that the day
may soon dawn, when the light of the saving gospel of Jesus may shine
into their hearts.

3d. Several of them came on board, once more to see us, and, in their
way, to express their regard and gratitude. They also got some useful
articles from our people, in exchange for their goods. We now set sail,
passed a point called _Oglarvik_, and the bay _Takpangayok_, and arrived
at _Tuktusiovik_, (a place where reindeer are seen), where we cast
anchor for the night. Already at Omanek we had discovered a great
difference between the rise and fall of the tides there and about
Killinek. In the latter place it rose to four fathoms, but here still
higher. The country looked pleasant, with many berry-bearing plants and
bushes. There was, likewise, plenty of drift-wood all along the coast;
not the large Greenland timber, but small trees and roots, evidently
carried out of the great rivers of the Ungava by the ice. We had, of
course, fire-wood enough, without robbing the graves of their
superstitious furniture. Our Esquimaux pitched their tent on shore, and
we supped with them on a mess of seal's flesh and eider-ducks. The
musquitoes were extremely troublesome during our repast, after which we
retired to sleep on board the boat.

4th. Wind fair. We passed numerous low rocks; a point, by name unknown
to Uttakiyok; the bay _Ikpigitok_, two miles broad, and the cape called
_Uibvaksoak_, the northern boundary of the great bay or gulf of
_Abloriak_. This cape is surrounded by many bare and sunken rocks, which
caused us to stand out pretty far to the westward. While we were off the
point, we descried, at a very great distance to the N.W. a large island,
called by the Esquimaux _Akpatok_. They say, that it encloses the whole
bay or gulf towards the sea, and consists of high land: also, that it is
connected with the western continent at low water by an isthmus. The
north coast of this island appears to be the line laid down in maps and
charts as the coast of America, to the south of Hudson's Straits. But
the district of Ungava is separated from the island by a large inland
bay, extending southward to the 58° N.L. North of Akpatok, the Esquimaux
speak of islands well peopled by their countrymen, who have never seen

Having safely doubled the point or cape of _Uibvaksoak_, we came to an
anchor near a small island to the south, where we spent the night.

5th. Calm weather, and proceeded gently. About 9 A.M. the wind turned
against us, and we ran into a small bay, about five miles from our
former anchoring-place. Here we found the _Andromeda tetragona_ growing
in tolerable quantity, on the banks of a lagoon of fresh water. The face
of the country was unpleasant, with many steep rocks. On a precipice
behind our tent we perceived nests of birds of prey. The naked rocks had
singular shapes, and presented to the imagination the ruins of a
destroyed town. In the vallies we saw many small lagoons, but little
grass, and the excrements of geese. It was about full moon, and the tide
rising here five or six fathom, occasioned the most strange alterations
in the prospect towards the sea, which, being smooth and clear of rocks
at high water, exhibited, after its fall, an archipelago of rugged
islands and black flats.


  _Chain of black mountains. The Dragon's dwelling. Changes
  occasioned by rise and fall of the tides, and dangers attending
  them. Uttakiyok's superstitious customs. Singular effect of the
  tide in the bay of Ittimnekoktok. Arrive at Kangertlualuksoak
  bay and river. Its situation. Transactions there._

August 6th.--We crossed the bay _Abloriak_, which is large and wide,
with many small islands and rocks towards the sea, and high black
mountains inland, called _Torngaets_. Uttakiyok, who was always very
eager to make us attentive to every object and its name, shewed us here
a wide and deep cavern, in shape like the gable end of an house,
situated at the top of a precipice, in a black mountain, of a very
horrid and dark appearance. This, he informed us, was the dwelling place
of Torngak, the evil spirit. The scenery was, indeed, extremely wild and
terrible, and the beforementioned prospect of the rocks and islands at
low water gave to the whole country a most singularly gloomy character.
Nor is this change, occasioned by the tide in the state of the sea,
merely in appearance terrific, it is so in reality: for we never durst
cast anchor in less than eight or nine fathoms water, lest at ebb-tide
we should find ourselves aground, or even high and dry.

The cavern just spoken of, connected with the chain of black mountains
in which it is situated, we called the Dragon's dwelling, but had no
time to examine the place, though it did not appear inaccessible.
Whether Uttakiyok would have ventured to accompany us into it, is
another question, for he was, with all his good sense, strongly attached
to the superstitious notions and ceremonies of his countrymen. Thus, on
passing dangerous places he always hung the claw of a raven to his
breast, and carried the blown paunch of a seal upon a tent-pole fixed to
one side of his boat. The latter is a common practice among the northern
Esquimaux, and probably considered by them all as a very efficient

We passed _Sioralik_, and many small and flat rocky islands: the bay
_Issorkitok_, (a grassy place), a nameless headland; and the larger bay
_Nappartolik_, (a woody country). The wood is said to commence at the
interior point of this bay, and to continue throughout the whole of the
Ungava country, which, as we afterwards discovered, extends to a
considerable distance to the southward. Then follows _Tunnuyalik_, a
point, or perhaps an island, on which lies a huge white stone, twenty or
thirty feet high, by which it is distinguished from other similar
headlands. A chain of low, flat islands, runs out into the sea to a
considerable distance, and appearing at a distance as continued land,
they are mistaken for a cape. Farther on is the bay _Ittimnekoktok_,
where it grew dark before we found a suitable anchorage. The wind was
high, and some of our company went on shore in the skin-boat, in order
to pitch their tent, and spend the night.

7th. On rising, to our great surprise, we found ourselves left by the
tide in a shallow pool of water, surrounded by rocky hills; nor could we
at all discover the situation of our skin-boat, till after the water had
begun to rise, and raised us above the banks of our watery dungeon,
when, with great astonishment, not having been able to find it on the
surface of the sea, and accidentally directing our eyes upwards, we saw
it perched upon the top of a considerable eminence, and apparently on
shore. We then landed, and ascending a rising ground, beheld with some
terror, the wonderful changes occasioned by the tides. Our course was
visible to the extent of two or three English miles, but the sea had
left it, and we were obliged to remain in this dismal place, till about
noon, before the water had risen sufficiently to carry us out. We now
began to entertain fears, lest we might not always be able to find
proper harbours, so as to avoid being left high and dry at low water;
for having anchored in nine fathoms last night, we were left in one and
a half this morning. Uttakiyok and Thukkekina were with us on shore. The
eminence on which we stood was overgrown with vaccinia and other plants,
and we saw among them marks of its being visited by hares. Near the
summit was a spot, covered with red sand, which stained one's fingers,
and among it were fragments of a substance resembling cast iron. We
seemed here to stand on a peninsula connected by an isthmus with another
island, or with the continent; but probably at high water it may be a
separate island.

As soon as the tide would permit, we set out, and proceeded towards a
cape called _Kattaktok_, surrounded by small islands. Between the cape
and our anchoring place, we passed, on the left, the following objects;
_Keglo_, a broad deep bay; _Katarusialik_, a headland, probably of the
continent; _Ukkasiksalik_, (meaning a place where soap stone is found),
a peninsula; and to the right of the latter place, an island,
_Kikkertarsoak_, which lies at the entrance of the _Great Bay_, or
estuary of the great river _Kangertlualuksoak_. We sailed with a strong,
but favourable wind, with some rain, between the peninsula and the
island; and not trusting to the depth of the water at ebb-tide, sent two
kayaks forward to sound. They soon brought us into a good harbour, where
we cast anchor about half past five P.M.

_Kangertlualuksoak_ river was the spot to which we had principally
directed our views. It lies about 140 miles S.S.W. of Cape Chudleigh. By
an observation at its mouth its latitude appeared to be 58° 57'. But we
had no means of finding the longitude. At its entrance the bay runs
rather S.S.E. for about ten or twelve English miles, then turns due S.E.
for six or eight more, and after that S.W. At the second turn towards
the S.E. there is the greatest quantity of wood, chiefly Larch, but of
moderate size. We particularly noticed a fine slope facing the south,
which appeared the most pleasant part of the bay, to which a vessel
might approach and anchor with convenience, there being from 24 to 30
fathoms water. We also imagined that the entrance from the sea would be
free from obstructions, as no islands are seen in that direction.
Uttakiyok likewise declared, that there was no bar or sunken rocks near
the mouth of the bay.

We found no inhabitants on our arrival, but on the 13th, a whole company
of people from Killinek joined us.

Our transactions in the bay of _Kangertlualuksoak_, from the 7th, are
here noticed more in detail.

_August_ 8th. We landed, and went in search of our people, who had spent
the night in tents on shore. Okkiksuk accompanied us to the top of a
hill, overlooking the bay _Ittimnekoktok_, where we had anchored the day
before. We saw it quite dry, and full of large fragments of rock.
Turning towards the land, we discovered some wood at a distance. The
weather being calm and warm, the musquitoes were excessively
troublesome. The vallies here are overgrown with verdure, and the hills
pretty well clothed with moss, and berry-bearing plants; but we could
not continue our walk, on account of the musquitoes, which persecuted us
unmercifully, and drove us back to our tents. All our men were out, two
on that side on which we had landed, and the others having crossed the
bay in their kayaks, were employed in hunting reindeer. Jonathan only
remained at home. In the afternoon he accompanied us in the small boat,
to a hill, situated to the South of our station, at about two miles
distant, where we landed, and went up the country, but found nothing
much worth notice. We observed, that round the headland near us, the
water was very rough, with eddies and whirlpools, occasioned by the
rising of the high tides. On returning to our little boat, we found it
aground. We therefore gathered some drift-wood, of which there was
plenty, and made a good fire, at which we sat down and regaled ourselves
with some biscuit and beer. Having pushed the boat into the water, we
set out, but owing to the violence of the current had hard work to get
to the great boat, and did not arrive till dark. Jonas saluted us from
on board, by firing off his piece in token of success, and we found that
he had got two, and his companion three reindeer, and a small black
bear. The carcases were left at the tents, where part was cooked, and a
mess brought to us on board, which proved an agreeable repast after our
fatigue. Jonas and his family spent the night on board, the rest of the
Esquimaux in their tents on shore.

9th. Jonas having found a good harbour on the other side of the bay, and
the current being here very strong, we sailed across and anchored there.
The strand was even, and full of smooth rocks, above high water mark.
The bottom of the bay is mud, and a slimy substance, covering all the
stones and pebbles, left by the tide, makes walking very troublesome.

The land is not high, but pleasant, covered with moss, with many small
ponds, and marks of being frequented by reindeer.

10th. We went farther up the bay in the skin-boat, with Jonathan,
Uttakiyok, Thukkekina, Paul, David, and Okkiksuk. At a short distance
from the place where we had landed yesterday, we came to a fine green
terrace, overgrown with low shrubs and bushes, which delighted us much.
From hence, a woody valley, extending to the left, seemed to invite us
to take that course into the country, but we would not waste our time by
examining it. On sailing farther up the bay, and turning round the
abovementioned terrace, we came to a small inlet, dry at low water, on
the left shore. Its banks were pleasantly covered with low bushes,
interspersed with higher trees, and the place seemed to us very suitable
for a settlement. From hence we perceived, at a short distance, on the
opposite coast, a cape or headland, over which the tops of trees made
their appearance. We sailed towards it, and found behind it a tract
covered with low wood, chiefly larch and pine: on landing we saw the
tracks of rein-deer, which had just left the spot. Jonathan, in an
instant, ran like a young man for his gun, and with it into the wood. We
followed him for two or three miles, but saw nothing but the track of
the deer. The country inland seems in general level, with some low
hills, and many ponds; without wood, but overgrown with rein-deer moss.
No success attended our huntsman, and in the evening we met again in the
boat. Brother Kmoch had kept up with Jonathan, and saw, among the
bushes, the same kind of large partridge, or American wild pheasant,
which is found about Okkak, but seems only to live in woods. It was a
hen, with a covey of young birds, one of which which he caught,
examined, and let go again, nor would he take or shoot the hen, out of
compassion to the young brood.

Brother Kohlmeister had meanwhile gone farther up the bay, and thought
he had discovered the entrance of the river, but no fresh water
appearing, we must still have been a great way off its influx into the

We now lighted a fire, boiled coffee, and cooked a dish of reindeer
venison. The weather was warm, and the night fine and clear, but frosty.
Having brought our travelling-beds with us on shore, (see page 34), we
crept into them, and spent the night at the fire-side, the Esquimaux
lying down anywhere about us. In the morning, the whole country was
covered with hoar-frost, and the straw we had lain upon was frozen fast
to the ground.


  _Further transactions in Kangertlualuksoak Bay. The Esquimaux
  women frightened by reports of Indians. Ceremony of taking
  possession of this new-explored country, as belonging to the
  King of England, and of naming the river George river. Leave
  the bay and proceed to Arvarvik. Whales caught by the Esquimaux
  in the shallows. Storm at Kernertut._

August 11th.--We rose by break of day, and after breakfast, sailed
across the bay, and landed at the second small inlet, with an intention
of penetrating into the country, but the returning warmth of the weather
by day, and the myriads of musquitoes we had to contend with, rendered
us unable to execute our purpose.

The Missionaries and Jonathan ascended a hill, from which a great tract
of country might be overlooked. It was full of wood, as far as the eye
could reach. Near the inlet some places seemed boggy, or covered with
grass. From hence a valley stretched into the country, with a small lake
in it, about two or three miles distant. Berries were every where in
abundance. The summits of the hills had no wood upon them, but much

On our return, being about a mile from our landing-place, we saw our
skin-boat in the middle of the bay, and fired a gun as a signal for it
to come to us. The Esquimaux had five rein-deer in the boat, which
Uttakiyok had perceived on the opposite bank. He had followed them in
his kayak, driven them into the water, and killed them there. When hard
pressed, reindeer soon take to the water, and swim so well, that a
four-oared boat can scarcely come up with them, but an Esquimaux, in his
kayak will overtake them. They therefore, if possible, drive them into
the water, being then sure of their game.

After dining on part of the venison, we returned to the great boat. On
the passage, we thought we perceived at a considerable distance a black
bear, and Uttakiyok, elated with his recent success, hoped to gain new
laurels. He entered his kayak and proceeded as cautiously as possible
along the shore, towards the spot, landed, climbed the hill, so as not
to be observed, but when he had got just within gun-shot, perceived,
that his bear was a black stone. This adventure furnished the company
with merriment for the remainder of the voyage to the boat, which we
reached about six P.M.

When we got on board the boat, we found that all the women had taken
refuge in it, thinking that they had seen Indians onshore. The men
therefore immediately landed, to take care of the forsaken tents. This
was no doubt a false alarm, for we never discovered any traces of them
during our stay. To the south of Hopedale the Indians and Esquimaux
sometimes meet, but as the Hopedale Esquimaux seek to cultivate their
friendship, quarrels and bloodshed seldom occur. In Ungava, however,
though they often exchange tokens of friendship, they are apt to give
way to their national jealousies; and provocations being aggravated,
their meetings now and then terminate in murder. The Esquimaux are much
afraid of the Indians, who are a more nimble and active race.

12th. Having finished reconnoitring the neighbourhood, and gathered all
the information concerning it, which our means would permit, and
likewise fixed upon the green slope or terrace above described, as the
most suitable place for a settlement, on account of the abundance of
wood in its neighbourhood, we made preparations to proceed. Uttakiyok,
who had spent more than one winter in the Ungava country, assured us,
that there was here an ample supply of provisions, both in summer and
winter, which Jonathan also credited, from his own observation. The
former likewise expressed himself convinced, that if we would form a
settlement here, many Esquimaux would come to us from all parts. We
ourselves were satisfied that Europeans might find the means of
existence in this place, as it was accessible for ships, and had wood
and water in plenty. As for Esquimaux, there appeared no want of those
things upon which they live, the sea abounding with whitefish, seals,
sea fowl, &c. and the land with reindeer, hares, bears, and other
animals. The people from Killinek declared their intention of removing
hither, if we would come and dwell among them, and are even now in the
habit of visiting this place every summer. Our own company even
expressed a wish to spend the winter here.

This being the day before our departure, we erected, on two opposite
hills, at the entrance of the bay, high marks of stones, and on the
declivity of a hill to the right, a board, into which we had cut an
inscription, thus--

[Illustration: In front,
Georgius III. Rex.
Unitatis Fratrum.]

[Illustration: At the back.
Benjamin Kohlmeister,
George Kmoch,
Aug. 7, 1811.
The day of our arrival.]

We raised and fixed this tablet with some solemnity, in presence of
Uttakiyok and his family, as representatives of the people of Ungava,
and of our own company, and hoisted the British flag alongside of it,
while another was displayed at the same time in the boat. We explained
the cause of this ceremony to all present, to the following effect--

"That we, on this day, raised this sign, in the name of our king, George
III. the great monarch of all these territories, in testimony of our
having explored it, and made choice of it, in case we or our Brethren
should think proper to settle here. To which we called upon all present
to bear witness." We then proclaimed the name of the Kangertlualuksoak
to be henceforth _George River_, upon which every man fired his piece
three times, the vollies being answered from the boat.

The texts of scripture appointed for this day were then read, and we
remarked how encouraging they were, as relating to the purpose, for
which we visited these unknown regions:

_From the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same, my name
shall be great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts!_ Mal. 11, 1.

_At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and
things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue shall
confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!_
Philippians, 2, 10, 11.

After the ceremony was over, we distributed some pease, bread, and beer
among the Esquimaux, which enabled them to make a splendid feast, and the
day was spent in the most agreeable manner.

13th. We set sail, about six A.M. with a gentle breeze, which however
soon fell away entirely, and obliged us to take to our oars. Near the
mouth of the bay, we met several kayaks, coming towards us. They were
Esquimaux from Killinek, who expressed regret at not having sooner heard
of our being here; some came on board, and traded with our people. We
presented them with a little tobacco, for which they were very thankful.

In order to get well out of the bay, we first steered North, and then
passed to the S.W. between a peninsula _Nauyat_, lying to the left of
the entrance, and seven small islands and rocks on the right, towards
the island of _Arvarvik_, about six or seven miles distant, where we
were obliged to cast anchor in an exposed situation, the wind having
become contrary. There was a strong swell during the night, which
violently agitated our boat.

_Arvarvik_ is about five miles in circumference. It is covered with the
bones of whales, which the Esquimaux catch here in their kayaks. The
coast is surrounded by a great number of small low islands, with deep
pools between them. Into these the whales stray at high water, and at
the ebbing of the tide, are prevented finding their way back again. The
Esquimaux then pursue and kill them with harpoons. In the island are
ponds of fresh water, and some low hills, overgrown with moss. A great
number of sea-fowl, and also reindeer, are found upon it.

On the shore we found great quantities of a red jasper, or iron-stone,
the same which occurs throughout the coast, from _Killinek_ to South
river, not as a stratum, but in lumps, and generally below high water

The Esquimaux who landed on the continent reported, that about two miles
inland, there was much low wood.

14th. We left our unpleasant anchorage, and returned to a place where
the skin-boat had lain during the night, as it was sheltered from the
South wind, which had risen considerably.

15th. Our people went out to hunt reindeer, and returned in the evening
with two. The wind shifted to the west, and blew with violence. We spent
again an uneasy night.

16th. Brother Kmoch went on shore and returned with a parcel of stones
for examination. We now began to feel some anxiety on account of the
great loss of time we were suffering here by contrary winds.

17th. About eight o'clock we set sail, the wind having come round to the
S.E. with a cloudy sky. We passed several nameless islands, at the
distance of about a mile from the shore. In the afternoon, it began to
rain hard, and after having sailed about twelve miles, we cast anchor
near a long point of land, called _Kernertut_, by which we were
sheltered from the wind, which had again turned to the South-west. The
sky however was clear, and the beginning of the night pleasant, with
beautiful appearances of the Aurora Borealis. Most of our people, and
with them Uttakiyok, had gone in the skin-boat higher up the bay, but it
was too shallow to admit of our following them. Only Jonas and his
children, and the two boys Okkiksuk and Mammak, were left with us on

During the night the wind veered round to the N.E. and blew a gale,
which increased in violence till day-break.

18th. The sea now rose to a tremendous height, such as we had never
before experienced, and by the change of wind, we were exposed to the
whole of its fury. The rain fell in torrents. We lay at three anchors,
and the boat was tossed about terribly, the sea frequently breaking
quite over her, insomuch that we expected every moment to be swallowed
up in the abyss. With much difficulty we succeeded in lowering our
after-mast. Jonathan and the rest of our company on shore, were obliged
to be passive spectators of the dreadful scene, waiting the event in
silent anguish. They quitted their tents, and came forward to some
eminences near the beach, where, by lifting up their hands, and other
gestures, they expressed terror, bordering on despair. Frequently the
boat was hid from their view by the waves, which ran mountains high.
They expected every moment that we should break loose from our anchors,
and the boat be driven on the rocks. The length of our cables was here
of the greatest advantage to us. About noon, the rope by which the small
boat was fastened, broke. She was immediately carried up the bay, and
thrown, by the violence of the surf, on the top of a rock, where she
stuck fast, keel upwards. It was impossible to render us any assistance,
till the tide turned, when the raging of the sea, and the wind, began to
abate. As soon as it was practicable, Jonathan and the other men came to
us in the skin-boat. He seemed quite overcome with joy, and, not able to
utter a word, held out his hand, and shed tears of gratitude that he met
us again alive, for he had given us up for lost.

We now endeavoured to bring the great boat closer to the shore, landed,
pitched our tent, and gave thanks to God for the merciful deliverance we
had just experienced. Indeed all our people most fervently joined in
praise to Him for the preservation of our lives. A warm dinner was soon
prepared, by which we were much refreshed.

As soon as the tide had ebbed sufficiently for it, our people went to
the rock, on which the small boat lay, and got her into the water. To
our great surprize we found, that she had received no material injury.


  _Doubts expressed by Jonathan and the other Esquimaux on the
  expediency of continuing the voyage. Consultations. Resolve to
  proceed. Thunder-storm at Pitsiolak. Account of Indians.
  Esquimaux cookery and hunting feasts. Arrival in the river

Jonathan and Jonas now became more and more anxious about our situation.
They represented to us, that, if we attempted to proceed farther, we
might probably be compelled to remain here the whole winter, as the
stormy season was fast approaching. They added, that to _them_, it would
be of little consequence, but that they were concerned on _our_ account.

Though we had not said any thing as yet that might tend to shake the
confidence of our party, yet we felt no small degree of perplexity
concerning present appearances. During the six days since we left
George's River, we had made little more than fourteen or fifteen miles,
and were at least, as far as we could judge, seventy or eighty from the
river _Koksoak_, which we had fixed upon as the final object of the
voyage, being the outermost western boundary of the Ungava country.
Insurmountable difficulties seemed now to present themselves, owing
partly to contrary winds and cold weather, and partly to loss of time,
for we had been already two months on the voyage, and had not yet
obtained our aim: so that our return might be unseasonably late, if we
proceeded. We could not possibly make up our minds to spend the winter
here, as we had not a sufficient supply of provisions, and knew what
distress it would occasion to our Brethren at Okkak.

We felt quite at a loss what to do in this dilemma, and our path seemed
enveloped in obscurity. We remembered, that "_to the upright there
ariseth a light in the darkness_," (Ps. 112, 4): that is, to them who
fear and trust in the Lord, and sincerely desire to know and do His
will, He will reveal it. In His name we had entered upon this voyage,
the only ultimate object of which was, the conversion of a benighted,
neglected nation, in one of the remotest corners of the earth. We were,
therefore, sure that He would not forsake us, nor leave us in
uncertainty as to His will concerning us, but that He, "_whose eyes run
to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the
behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him_," (2 Chron. 16, 9.)
was, even in this desolate region, present with us, and would hear and
answer our prayers. Many comfortable texts of scripture occurred to our
minds on this occasion, filling us with an extraordinary degree of faith
and confidence in Him, particularly such as, "_He will be very gracious
unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer
thee_," Isa. 30, 19. Also, Dan. 10, 19; Jer. 16, 21; Isa. 43, 2, &c. The
mercies, also, which we had already experienced, excited within us a
sense of the deepest gratitude and most firm trust; and we therefore
told our people, that we indeed participated in their concern, would
take the subject into serious consideration, and acquaint them with our
determination on the morrow.

19th. In the morning we met in our tent, where we were safe from the
intrusion of the Esquimaux, to confer together upon this most important
subject. We weighed all the circumstances connected with it, maturely
and impartially, as in the presence of God, and, not being able to come
to any decision, where reasons for and against the question seemed to
hold such an even balance, we determined to commit our case to Him, who
has promised, that "_if two of His people shall agree on earth, as
touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them_,"
(Matth. 18, 19.) and, kneeling down, entreated Him to hear our prayers
and supplications in this our distressed and embarrassing situation, and
to make known to us His will concerning our future proceedings, whether
we should persevere in fulfilling the whole aim of our voyage, or,
prevented by circumstances, give up a part, and return home from this

The peace of God which filled our hearts on this memorable occasion, and
the strong conviction wrought in us both, that we should persevere, in
His name, to fulfil the whole of our commission, relying without fear on
His help and preservation, no words can describe; but those who believe
in the fulfilment of the gracious promises of Jesus, given to His poor
followers and disciples, will understand us, when we declare, that we
were assured, that it was the will of God our Saviour, that we should
not now return and leave our work unfinished, but proceed to the end of
our proposed voyage. Each of us communicated to his brother the
conviction of his heart, all fears and doubts vanished, and we were
filled anew with courage and willingness to act in obedience to it, in
the strength of the Lord. O that all men knew the comfort and happiness
of a mind devoted unto, and firmly trusting in God in all things!

When we made known our determination to Jonathan and his son Jonas, and
told them, that we had maturely considered the subject committed by them
to us, and that, in answer to our prayers, the Lord had convinced us,
that, not having obtained the aim of our voyage, we should proceed,
Jonas, at first, seemed not quite satisfied, but our excellent captain,
Jonathan, without hesitation replied: "Yes, that is also my conviction!
We will go whither Jesus directs us. He will bring us safe to our
journey's end, and safe home again." We were, indeed, glad and thankful
that the Lord had inclined the heart of this man, who but yesterday
seemed to be quite dispirited, to take this resolution, for much
depended upon him, and the rest followed him without difficulty. Indeed
they all submitted to our determination with a willing mind, and their
expressions of resignation affected us much.

During the day, the men had been out a-hunting, when Uttakiyok killed
three reindeer, which occasioned great rejoicing, and helped to make our
people forget the frightful scenes of yesterday. The country is full of
black looking rocks, between which reindeer-moss and berries grow in
plenty. The shore exhibited still many marks of the violence of the

20th. We proceeded with a favourable wind at N.E. Our course lay S.W.
across a broad bay, then, after doubling a point, across another bay of
about the same breadth, to an island _Allukpaluk_, which we passed on
the right, and on the left, another island, _Nipkotok_. At a
considerable distance a-head lay the islands _Pitsiolak_, opposite a
headland of the continent called _Tuktutok_.

The sky had been from the morning cloudy, the wind became unfavourable
and violent, and about noon heavy rain came on. Not being well able to
proceed, on account of the violence of the wind, we cast anchor on the
west side of _Pitsiolak_, about 2 P.M. but perceiving a thunderstorm
rising from the western horizon, with very black clouds, threatening to
drive us on shore if we remained at this anchorage, we weighed as
quickly as possible, and endeavoured to get to the other side of the

Meanwhile a most tremendous storm of thunder, lightning, and rain
overtook us. The claps of thunder followed the flashes without interval,
and the lightning seemed to strike into the water close to our boat,
while the wind carried the spray into the air like smoke. Providentially
we had doubled the northern point before the worst came on, and got to
an anchor under shelter of the land. The storm passed by swiftly, it
grew calm, the sun broke out, and the weather became uncommonly fine
with us, though at a distance we saw the black clouds, and heard the
hollow murmuring of the thunder for a long time.

We now expected to have a comfortable night's rest, but it grew
intensely cold, and again began to blow violently from the west. The
strong current and heavy swell brought us into some danger, and the poor
people, who were obliged to remain on deck all night, suffered much from
cold and wet. When the tide was full, about midnight, the island we had
seen to the west nearly vanished, the greater part being covered with

21st. In the morning we again saw the skin-boat lying upon a pretty high
rock, and a tent pitched close to it. The weather was calm, but the wind
contrary. Our Esquimaux made good use of this respite to refresh
themselves after the fatigues of the night with a hearty meal and a
sound nap.

In the afternoon we landed. The island Pitsiolak, which forms two at
high water, is low and flat, overgrown with Empetrum and Rubus
Chamoemorus, (_Akpik_-berries). Quantities of driftwood float about the
shores. The jasper occurred here again. This island may be about four or
five miles long, and, at low water, is connected with other islands to
the north. By the help of our glasses we could perceive woods on the
continent, and the Esquimaux thought they discovered the smoke of Indian
fires. They are much afraid of meeting these people. Bloody encounters
occasionally occur between them. The Indians come from the interior, and
from Hudson's Bay, and are frequently seen near the two principal
rivers, George river and South river, towards which we were going; but
we met with none. Brother Kohlmeister rather wished for it, as some of
them are said to understand English, and he was desirous of endeavouring
to bring them to a more peaceable disposition towards the Esquimaux, by
friendly conversation.

22d. We found the skin-boat a great hindrance to us. Without being
obliged to take that in tow, we might have kept at a greater distance
from the shore, which would have enabled us to get on more rapidly, and
with greater safety. On shore we found a great quantity of cubical
pyrites in a grey matrix. The Esquimaux are attentive to this mineral,
and have before now brought it to Okkak.

23d. We proceeded at 6 A.M. and steered for the island of _Saeglorsoak_.
The islands called _Nocharutsit_ lay on our left. They are a group of
numerous small islands, many of which are overflowed at high water,
extending W. and E. towards the entrance of South river. Between these
islands and Akpatok, the sea is said to be clear of rocks, and the water
of sufficient depth for any ship entering from Hudson's Straits, and
bound to the Koksoak, or South river; but no ship durst, in our opinion,
venture to approach the coast of Ungava within twenty or thirty miles.

In the afternoon, the tide turning against us, and the wind
unfavourable, we were obliged to come to an anchor among the islands. We
had left the skin-boat behind, with Thukkekina, Uttakiyok's brother
Annoray, and one of his wives, to whom he had given his baggage in
charge. The Esquimaux wives are very punctilious, the first always
maintains the highest dignity, regulates the housekeeping, distributes
the provisions, and directs everything, as mistress of the family.

Jonas went out in his kayak, and shot a seal. We saw many, and fired at
them, but got none. Whitefish were likewise seen at a distance.
Uttakiyok and David were out in their kayaks, and joined us in the
evening loaded with geese.

On the turn of the tide we proceeded, and at ten P.M. cast anchor among
the Nocharutsits, under a pretty high island, about three or four miles
in circumference. All our people remained on board during the night,
which was calm and pleasant.

24th. David roused us about five o'clock, by firing at a seal, which he
killed. The women went on shore to cook it with some geese. When they
returned, we all breakfasted on the contents of their pot.

The Esquimaux want no books of cookery to manage their kitchen affairs.
The meat is boiled with the blood in it, and the addition of some water.
When it is sufficiently done, that is, according the Ungava custom, when
half warm, the women take it out of the pot, and serve it up on a piece
of stone, if on shore, and on a piece of board, if at sea. Then the
person, who has caught the seal or game, proclaims with great
vociferation, that the _men_ may come and sit down to eat. Such exertion
of voice, however, seems hardly necessary, as the Esquimaux are very
acute at hearing, when they are invited to dinner. When the men have
done, the women sit down, having taken good care, beforehand, that their
share is secured. The Esquimaux customs never permit men and women to
sit down together at a meal.

It sometimes happens among the heathen Esquimaux, that several having
had good success, one huntsman's feast is hardly over, before another
proclaims the invitation to his banquet. This is never suffered to pass
unnoticed, while the power of cramming down another morsel remains. Thus
they will continue eating, till they are scarcely able to breathe, and
then lie down to sleep off the effects of their gluttony. Indeed their
excessive voraciousness on such occasions produces, especially after
long fasting, all the symptoms of drunkenness. They forget, under its
sensual influence, all moderation, and abandon themselves to the most
disgusting abominations.

In the afternoon we steered W. by N. (wind N.E.), for the cape of
_Kernerauyak_, at the east side of the entrance of the river _Koksoak_,
(Sand river). Before we arrived at the cape, we left some islands to the
South, the largest of which is again called _Kikkertarsoak.
Saeglorsoak_, is a large flat island, about eight or ten miles long, and
its neighbourhood very dangerous, on account of many sunken rocks. The
continent hereabouts is well wooded, and Indians are said to be
frequently seen in the interior. The mouth of the Koksoak is seven or
eight English miles broad: its shores steep, but the rocks in general
low, and covered with moss. The Esquimaux say, that in the middle there
is water enough for any large ship, though the tides prevent any near
approach to the land. At sunset we came to an anchor at the mouth of the


  _Sail up the river Koksoak. Transactions in that region.
  Dangerous eddy. Meet Esquimaux. Address to them. Their joy and
  eagerness to have Missionaries, resident among them. Find a
  suitable situation for a settlement. Description of the

August 25th.--This was the joyful day on which at last we saw our hopes
realized, and the principal aim of our journey obtained. The sun rose
beautifully, and announced a delightful day. We were obliged to wait
till seven A.M. for the turn of the tide, before we could proceed up the
river. The estuary of the _Koksoak_ lies, according to an observation
taken, in 58° 36' N. latitude, nearly the same as Okkak. To the west the
country is called by the Esquimaux _Assokak_, the coast turning again
W.N.W. This river, therefore, seems to be at the most southern point of
the coast, George's river entering the sea at 58° 52', consequently more

The Koksoak appeared to us to be about as broad as the Thames at
Gravesend, or the Elbe near Hamburg, and the whole river, with its
various windings, much resembles the Thames for twenty-four miles
upwards. Its depth is sufficient for a ship thus far. Its general
direction is from the South. We reckoned it to be about 600 or 700 miles
from Okkak, and Killinek or Cape Chudleigh half way.

Having proceeded five or six miles up the river, we came to a small
island, which we left on our right.

We saw several sacks of blubber, a sledge, and some other, articles
lying on the beach, and Jonathan and Brother Kmoch went in the small
boat to discover the proprietors, but found nobody there, to guard the

A little farther on is a point of land running out into nearly the
middle of the stream. The current sets very rapidly round it, so as to
form a dangerous eddy. Our boat was seized, and twice turned quite
round; the small boat was whirled about several times, as she pushed
through it. The women on board our boat, on seeing this, set up a loud
scream; but Jonathan only laughed at their fears, and we afterwards saw
kayaks passing the eddy in perfect safety.

Having doubled the point, we perceived several kayaks approaching. The
people in them shouted aloud for joy, exclaiming, _Innuit, Innuit_! Men,
Men! Some guns were also fired in the boat, which were soon answered by
some fowling-pieces from the shore.

We now saw three tents pitched on the bank, and hoisted our colours,
when we were incessantly hailed by the inhabitants. There was a general
cry of _Kuvè, Kuvè, Kablunaet, Kablunaet!_ Europeans, Europeans! from
the men in the kayaks, who, by all manner of gesticulations, expressed
their pleasure, brandishing their pautiks, (oars), and shouting
continually as they rowed alongside the boat. The women on shore
answered with loud acclamations.

About one P.M. we cast anchor close to their habitations. Fourteen
families were here, among whom were some from a distant district, called
_Eivektok_. These had pitched their tents farther up the river.
_Arnauyak_ was with them, a man, with whom Brother Kohlmeister had
become acquainted some years ago, exceedingly regretted, that he had but
a few days ago left the place, to hunt reindeer on George's river. The
children expressed their joy by running to and fro on the strand, like
wild creatures.

At first, the people in the tents appeared rather shy, but after
accepting of some trifling presents, they became quite communicative,
and gave us some of their toys in exchange; then walking round us,
surveyed us narrowly, as if we were a new species of animals. Most of
them had never before seen an European. Uttakiyok's brother had joined
them, and already informed them of our arrival, without which they would
probably have been yet more alarmed at seeing strangers, and hearing the
report of fire-arms.

They now invited all our people to dine with them, and having heard that
Brother Kohlmeister would like to taste the flesh of a whitefish, a
kettle was immediately placed on the fire, and a large piece put in to
boil. Brother Kmoch meanwhile cooked a savoury soup of birds, and
reindeer-flesh, more fit for an European stomach. While dinner was
preparing, Brother Kohlmeister took a walk up the bank of the river, and
across some hills. As the families belonging to _Eivektok_ had their
summer dwelling in that neighbourhood, the Esquimaux, on perceiving that
he had walked in that direction, and fearing that the Eivektok people,
seeing him alone, might mistake him for an Indian, and shoot at him,
dispatched two men to bring him back. They missed him, and he returned
before them. He found our people very pleasantly conversing with the
heathen concerning the aim of our journey, and the way of salvation.
Even Uttakiyok was thus engaged, explaining, as well as he could, the
cause of our living in Labrador: he exclaimed, "let us, my friends, all
be converted to Jesus." He was heard with peculiar attention, being
considered as a captain among them. In the evening we sang hymns in
Jonathan's tent. The people all came and listened with much seriousness.

26th. To-day the Eivektok families came in a skin-boat down the river, to
see us. They were full of astonishment, but soon took courage, and
handled us, to discover whether we were made of the same materials with
themselves. An old man, _Netsiak_, addressed Brother Kohlmeister: "Are
you Benjamin? I have never seen you with my eyes, but at Eivektok have
heard your name often mentioned." He seemed to be a sensible man, and a
captain among his tribe.

We could not help remarking the difference between these Esquimaux and
their countrymen living on the same coasts with our settlements. The
former are very poor, and miserably equipped, whereas the latter, by
their intercourse with us and other Europeans, have acquired many
conveniences, and are, by barter, well provided with what they want.

27th. We proceeded farther up the river, accompanied by most of the men,
and some women, in their skin-boat, and arrived at a bay, which, by the
winding of the stream, appears like a lake, surrounded on all sides with
gently rising grounds, well planted with wood of moderate size, chiefly
larch. Behind the wood are some low hills. We named this place _Unity's
Bay_. There is here a very good place for a Missionary settlement. A
fine slope extends for about half an English mile, bounded on each
extremity by a hill, on each of which we erected high signals. The land
is even and dry. Juniper, currants, and other berries, grow here in
abundance, and rivulets run out of the wood at a distance of a few
hundred paces from each other. The slope faces the S.S.E. and we named
it _Pilgerruh_, (Pilgrim's rest). Brother Kohlmeister made drawings of
the situation.

From our first arrival we had improved every opportunity of making the
Esquimaux acquainted with the chief aim of our visit to this country,
and addressed them both singly and in companies. Nor were Jonathan and
Jonas remiss in conversing with them about the concerns of their
immortal souls, declaring to them the love of God our Saviour towards
them. We once met with Sybilla, Jonathan's wife, seated with a company
of women, under the shadow of a skin-boat, set on edge, exhorting them,
with great simplicity and fervour, to hear and believe the gospel.

28th. Brother Kmoch landed with Jonathan, and spent some hours in
examining the banks of the river. On ascending the first eminence, the
view of the interior is in general flat, with a few low hills, and ponds
in some places, full of wild geese. The timber in the woods hereabouts
is not large: we found none fit for masts. The largest trees were not
more than eight inches in diameter, and fifteen or twenty feet high.
They are chiefly larch and pines. In some places we found them burnt or
withered, and were informed by the Esquimaux, that it was the effect of
the Indian's fires. Indeed we saw several places where the Indians had
put up huts, and left sufficient vestiges of their abode. Berries grow
everywhere, and between the river and the wood, the plain is chiefly
covered with willows, high grass growing between them, but these and the
various shrubs are so low, that a man can easily look over them. In all
directions we saw the tracks of reindeer, and there is every appearance
of its being a place much frequented by these animals. Deeper in the
wood, we found great quantities of sorrel and other European plants. The
woods appeared very thick, and extended as far as the eye could reach,
often coming down to the edge of the river. The Esquimaux say, that
higher up, large timber is found. On our return to the skin-boat we
found ourselves pretty much fatigued, and ready to partake of a supper,
cooked by the Esquimaux, consisting of ship's biscuit, dried fish, and
raw whitefish blubber. The Esquimaux prevailed upon Brother Kmoch to
taste the latter, and he reported, that having once overcome his
aversion to it, its taste was sweet, like the kernel of a nut, but
heated his stomach like a hot posset.

29th. Changeable and rainy weather prevented us from going out much.

30th. Our people, and with them the strange Esquimaux, met for public
worship. Brother Kohlmeister once more explained to them our intention
in coming thus far to visit them. He addressed them to the following
effect: "That already, many years ago, many excellent people in the
country beyond the great ocean, had thought of them with much love, and
felt desirous that the inhabitants of the Ungava country also might hear
the comfortable word of God, and be instructed in it: for they had heard
that the Esquimaux here were heathen, who, through ignorance, served the
Torngak, or evil spirit, and were led by him into the commission of all
manner of sin, that they might hereafter be lost, and go to the place of
eternal darkness and misery. Out of love, therefore," continued the
missionary, "they have sent us to you, and out of love we have come to
you, to tell you how you may be saved, and become happy, peaceful
children of God, being delivered from the fear of death, which is now
upon you all, and have the prospect of everlasting joy and peace
hereafter, even by receiving the gospel, and turning to Jesus, who is
the only Creator and Saviour of all men. He died for _your_ sins, for
_our_ sins, and for the sins of all mankind, as our surety, suffering
the punishment we deserved, that _you_, by receiving Him, and believing
on Him, might be saved, and not go to the place of eternal darkness and
pain, but to the place of bliss and eternal rest. You cannot yet
understand these comfortable words of the gospel, but if it is your
sincere wish to know the truth of them, Jesus will open your ears and
hearts, to hear and understand them. These my companions were as
ignorant as you, but they now thank God, that they know Jesus as their
Saviour, and are assured that through His death they shall inherit
everlasting life."

During this address all were silent and very attentive. Some exclaimed:
"O we desire to hear more about it!" Old Netsiak, from Eivektok, said:
"I am indeed old, but if you come to live here, I will certainly remove
hither also; and live with you and be converted."

When we put the question to them, whether they were willing, that we
should come and dwell with them, and instruct them, they all answered
with a loud and cheerful voice. "_Kaititse tok, Kaititse tok!_ O do come
soon, and live with us, we will all gladly be converted, and live with
you." Jonathan and Jonas also bore ample testimony to the truth of what
we had spoken, and their words seemed to make a deep impression on all
their countrymen. Uttakiyok was above others eager to express his wish
that we might soon make a settlement in the Ungava country. Five of the
fourteen families who mean to reside here next winter, are from

Farther inland, the river Koksoak widens considerably, but consequently
grows more shallow. The country is pleasant, with wood, grassy plains,
and gentle hills.

31st. Having finished all our observations here, we dropped down the
stream to the place, where we had discovered the first tents.

In descending, as well as ascending the river, we saw a great number of
whitefish, and many seals. Reindeer are numerous on both shores, both in
summer and winter. All the Esquimaux declared, that this was the best
provision-place in the whole country, and they consequently flock to it
from all parts every summer, frequently protracting their stay during
the winter. The greater number of those we found here, purposed spending
next winter in this neighbourhood. The Esquimaux are prevented from
making this place their constant residence by their fear of the
land-Indians, which cause them to quit it sooner than they otherwise
would wish to do.

We spared no pains to collect all the information we possibly could
obtain, on every subject relating to this situation, both as to itself,
and in reference to the possibility of approaching it with a ship, as
likewise respecting the inhabitants of the Ungava country in general. It
appeared evident, that the place above described is the most eligible
for forming a missionary-settlement.

We found it unnecessary to proceed to the Westward, by the account given
us by our worthy conductor Uttakiyok, whose information hitherto we had
always found correct, and confidently to be relied on.

He reported: 1. That farther West no wood is to be found on the coast.

2. That besides the two rivers Kangertlualuksoak and Koksoak, they knew
of no place where a ship might with safety approach the land.

3. That at this time we should probably find no inhabitants, as they had
all gone into the interior to hunt reindeer.

We therefore now considered the business committed to us to be
accomplished, and determined to return to Okkak, thankful to God our
Saviour for the many proofs of His favour, and protection, experienced
in the execution of our commission.


_Return to Okkak._

September 1st.--At ten A.M. we fell down the river with the ebb-tide,
and about noon anchored near its mouth. The Esquimaux showed great
attachment to us, and could hardly resolve to take a final leave. They
called after us, "Come soon again, we shall always be wishing for you."
Several of them, and among them our friend Uttakiyok, followed us in
their kayaks to the mouth of the river.

We erected here, on the promontory Kernerauyak, a board with an
inscription similar to that put up at George river, but with the day of
our departure inserted, viz. Sept. 1st, instead of the day of our
arrival, Aug. 7th. The same solemnities took place as on the former
occasion. Our faithful pilot Uttakiyok, who had rendered us such
important and essential services, now took leave of us, as he intends to
spend the winter in this neighbourhood. He repeated his assurance, that
if we settled here, he would be the first to join us, and to turn with
his whole heart to God. Not willing to be any longer incumbered with the
skin-boat, we added it to other useful articles given to Uttakiyok, as a
reward for his faithful attention to us. He was very highly gratified,
and thankful for this species of remuneration.

2d. Left the Koksoak, called by us, _South river_, and steered to the N.
of _Kernerauyak_ and _Kikkertorsoak_. In the evening we cast anchor in
an open road, among the _Nachorutsit_ islands, with fine weather.

3d. Set sail at sun-rise, wind and tide in our favour, and proceeded
rapidly. About noon, however, a fog came on, which obliged us to come to
an anchor at _Pitsiolak_. When it cleared up, we proceeded, steering
between _Allukpalak_ and _Nipkotok_, and cast anchor in the open sea,
near _Kernertut_, where, on our first arrival, we encountered such a
tremendous storm. The night proved quite calm and fair.

4th. A gentle breeze brought us pleasantly as far as the island
_Nauyet_, at the mouth of the _Kangertlualuksoak_, where we cast anchor,
having performed the same voyage in three days, which took us twelve on
our former passage. The distance may be about 100 English miles.

5th. Landed, and erected a species of landmark, on the highest point of
_Nauyet_, as a ship entering the river must keep near this island, the
shore on the other side being very foul. Contrary winds now obliged us
to enter the bay, and cast anchor in the same place where we had lain on
the 9th of August.

6th. Storm and rain prevented our proceeding. The Esquimaux went on
shore, and pitched their tent. Of late they generally spent the night on
board the boat.

7th. Wind at W. but a heavy swell from the sea prevented our sailing.
Our men went out to hunt, and Paul returned in the evening with a deer.

8th. Snow had fallen during the night, and the whole country had the
appearance of the middle of winter. We dropped down with the ebb-tide,
but were obliged to anchor again near the entrance of the bay. When the
tide turned we proceeded, and, leaving _Kikkertorsoak_ to the right,
made for cape _Kattaktok_, where we spent the night at anchor among some
low islands. The night was clear, and a comet appeared N. by W.

9th. Wind favourable and strong. We set sail at sun-rise, and steered
for _Uibvaksoak_, and so rapidly did our boat make way through the
waves, that we arrived there already at four in the afternoon, passing
swiftly by the Dragon's dwelling, (_Torngets_). A thunder-storm was
approaching. The wind, which felt quite warm, was in our rear, and
violent gusts assailed us now and then, which made us shorten sail; yet
the boat seemed to fly from island to island. We were unable to find a
safe anchorage till 8 P.M. when it was already dark. We had sailed, in
fourteen hours, about 100 English miles, and were all completely wet
with the spray of the sea and frequent showers. Our Esquimaux were
obliged, in this condition, to lie down either on deck or on shore.

10th. Reached _Omanek_, about 40 or 50 miles sail.

11th. Wind contrary, with much rain. We were confined to our narrow
cabin, and shut in all day, with a lamp burning.

12th. Clear weather: set sail at noon. In the afternoon we were saluted
by some shots from _Killinek_ Esquimaux, who were halting not far from
the Ikkerasak, or straits, at the entrance of which we cast anchor about
7 P.M.

13th. Though we wished to have some conversation with the _Killinek_
people, as they cannot often come to Okkak, yet we thought it adviseable
to lose no time, and, with the ebb-tide, passed through the _Ikkerasak_
in perfect safety. When, about 1 P.M. the tide turned, we ran into a
cove on the south side, and at 5 P.M. anchored in the lagoon above
described, (See page 43), the entrance to which will only admit a boat.

14th. Reached _Oppernavik_, where we first met Uttakiyok.

15th. Set sail with a gentle breeze, which permitted us to have our
Sunday's service on deck. The wind, however, soon turning against us, we
were compelled to return to our former anchorage.

16th and 17th. We were unpleasantly detained by wind and rain, and on
the latter day much snow fell.

18th. Reached _Kikkertarsoak_ about 1 P.M. Our men went out in their
kayaks, and returned in the evening with three seals. The night was
fair, with beautiful appearances of the Aurora Borealis.

19th. The morning was calm: some indications of approaching storm made
us anxious to proceed. We set out early; but a fog coming on, we came
again to an anchor off a barren island. After staying here two hours,
hoping for a favourable change, Jonathan proposed to proceed, and
steered S.W. not knowing rightly where we were. On this occasion, we
could not help admiring the composure of the Esquimaux. But having last
night made a hearty meal of the provisions they had acquired, they
seemed to take things easy, and thought it would all be right in the
end. So it turned out; for by and by we saw the continent, and kept
along shore, till we got to the promontory _Kakkeviak_, where, on our
passage, we had nearly suffered shipwreck. (See page 38). Here we cast
anchor in a wide shallow bay, and spent a quiet night.

20th. The fog had dispersed, and the wind was favourable, though
shifting from W. to N.W.N. and N.E. At 7 P.M. we reached _Kumaktorvik_
and found good anchorage close to the Esquimaux winter-houses; but we
were disappointed by finding them empty, the people being probably out
on the reindeer-hunt. There were four houses standing, apparently not
old, and the traces of eight others, situated on a low point of land,
well covered with grass, and surrounded by high mountains.

21st. Wind N.W. set sail by break of day; reached _Nennoktok_ about
noon, and steered across _Sangmiyok_ bay, for the northern promontory in
_Nachvak_ bay. Sangmiyok bay is full of breakers, and the sea running
pretty high, they appeared very distinctly. The wind dying away in the
afternoon, we got no farther than the steep rocks under which we had
spent the night of July the 18th, where we came to an anchor. A heavy
swell from the sea, and violent gusts of wind assailing us in all
directions from the mountains gave us much uneasiness; but, by the
protecting care of God, we suffered no harm.

22d. It blew hard from the N.W. and prevented our running into Nachvak
bay. Our situation being highly dangerous, and the wind favouring our
proceeding, we determined to pass by Nachvak. But having sailed across
the bay, our captain found it impossible to proceed, and thought proper
to come to an anchor. The truth was, that he had left some articles here
in a cove, which he wished to secure. We therefore went on shore, and
found many fragments of the bones of whales, whence we inferred that
whales are sometimes cast on shore in this place.

23d. A heavy storm came on from the N.W. To-day we caught the first
cod-fish, which proved a very acceptable change of diet for us and our

24th. The morning was calm. Wind E. left the cove and steered for
Nachvak, and came, _accidentally_, to the very place where Jonathan's
goods were deposited. Not perceiving any Esquimaux on shore, Jonathan
and Thukkekina went up the bay in their kayaks in search of them.
Meanwhile _we_ landed, and on the declivity of a hill found a great
quantity of green soapstone. In the evening Jonathan and Thukkekina
returned with ten other Equimaux, who rejoiced to see us again.

25th. Brother Kohlmeister was engaged all day with the Esquimaux.
Brother Kmoch went up the mountain, and brought some fine specimens of

26th. Wind strong at N.W. we set sail; but the wind failing, we could
not reach _Saeglek_, as proposed, but spent the night in the open sea.
It passed, however, without any unpleasant occurrences.

27th. The want of wind prevented our getting to-day as far as the
Saeglek islands. Having passed through a very narrow Ikkerasak, with
hardly sufficient depth of water for so large a boat, we cast anchor
near our former station at _Kikkertarsoak_.

28th. Wind cold and changeable, and towards evening stormy.

29th. Set sail about 6 A.M. with a strong wind at W. and in the evening
had reached _Kangertluksoak_ islands.

30th. It blew hard, with snow, and we were obliged to spend the day shut
up in our small cabin by lamp-light. The land was covered with snow. We
were detained here very unpleasantly for three days, by the violence of
the wind and weather.

_October_ 3d. We steered for the promontory of _Kaumayok_; but the wind
dying away, and at length turning to the South, we could not gain any
safe harbour, and were obliged to tack about all night in the open sea.
The weather, however, was mild, and we had the advantage of moon-light.

4th. At 7 A.M. we succeeded in passing the Northern Ikkerasak near cape
_Mugford_ with the tide, and the wind becoming fair, soon brought us
among the Okkak islands. About noon we doubled cape _Uivak_, and
perceived Esquimaux on shore, who ran up the hills, shouted for joy, and
gave us by signs to understand, that the ship (the brig Jemima, sent
annually with provisions to the settlements) was still at Okkak.

We cannot describe the inexpressible pleasure and gratitude to God our
Saviour which we felt, when we again beheld the neighbourhood of Okkak,
after an absence of fifteen weeks. As soon as the captain descried our
boat approaching, he hoisted his colours, and fired some guns to give
notice of our arrival. As we were obliged to tack, to gain the entrance
to the harbour, he came to meet us in the ship's boat, and about one
o'clock we landed. The Missionaries and the Esquimaux met us with tears
of joy and thankfulness, when we all joined in praise to God, who had so
wonderfully kept His protecting hand over us during this perilous
voyage, and granted us to return home in safety.

Our voyage lasted from the 24th of June to the 4th of October, and we
calculated it to be a distance of from 1200 to 1300 miles.



[Illustration: _The Northern Extremity of_ LABRADOR with UNGAVA BAY
Explored by the MISSIONARIES _of the Unitas Fratrum_ in 1811.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Journal of a Voyage from Okkak, on the Coast of Labrador, to Ungava Bay, Westward of Cape Chudleigh - Undertaken to Explore the Coast, and Visit the Esquimaux in That Unknown Region" ***

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