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Title: A New Voyage Round the World, in the years 1823, 24, 25, and 26, Vol. 2
Author: Kotzebue, Otto von, 1787-1846
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A New Voyage Round the World, in the years 1823, 24, 25, and 26, Vol. 2" ***

[Illustration: NOMAHANNA,


_London. Published by Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley. 1839._





     IN THE YEARS 1823, 24, 25, AND 26.




     VOL. II.


     Dorset Street, Fleet Street.





  KAMTSCHATKA                                                           1

  NEW-ARCHANGEL                                                        27


  THE SANDWICH ISLANDS                                                151


  THE LADRONES AND PHILIPPINES                                        279

  ST. HELENA                                                          305




  Reception of Captain Kotzebue at the Island of Otdia,
       To face Title of Vol. I.

  Plan of Mattaway Bay and Village                         200

  Chart of the Navigators' Islands                         250

  Chart of the Islands of Radak and Ralik                  288

  Nomahanna, Queen of the Sandwich Islands,
       To face Title of Vol. II.



The wind, which continued favourable to us as far as the Northern
Tropic, was succeeded by a calm that lasted twelve days. The ocean, as
far as the eye could reach, was as smooth as a mirror, and the heat
almost insupportable. Sailors only can fully understand the
disagreeableness of this situation. The activity usual on shipboard gave
place to the most wearisome idleness. Every one was impatient; some of
the men felt assured that we should never have a wind again, and wished
for the most violent storm as a change.

One morning we had the amusement of watching two great sword-fish
sunning themselves on the surface of the water. I sent out a boat, in
the hope that the powerful creatures would, in complaisance, allow us
the sport of harpooning them, but they would not wait; they plunged
again into the depths of the sea, and we had disturbed their enjoyments
in vain.

Our water-machine was several times let down, even to the depth of a
thousand fathoms: on the surface, the temperature was 24°, and at this
depth, only 2° of Reaumur.

On the 22nd of May, the anniversary of our frigate's leaving Stopel, we
got a fresh easterly wind, which carried us forward pretty quickly on
the still smooth surface of the sea.

On the 1st of June, when in latitude 42° and longitude 201°, and
consequently opposite the coast of Japan, we descried a red stripe in
the water, about a mile long and a fathom broad. In passing over it we
drew up a pail-full, and found that its colour was occasioned by an
infinite number of crabs, so small as to be scarcely distinguishable by
the naked eye.

We now began daily to experience increasing inconveniences from the
Northern climate. The sky, hitherto so serene, became gloomy and covered
with storm-clouds, which seldom threatened in vain; we were, besides,
enveloped in almost perpetual mists, bounding our prospect to a few
fathoms. In a short time, the temperature of the air had fallen from 24°
to 3°. So sudden a change is always disagreeable, and often dangerous.
We had to thank the skill and attention of our physician, Dr. Siegwald,
that it did not prove so to us. Such rough weather is not common to the
latitude we were in at that season; but it is peculiar to the Japanese
coast even in summer. Whales and storm-birds showed themselves in great
numbers, reminding us that we were hastening to the North, and were
already far from the luxuriant groves of the South-Sea islands.

The wind continued so favourable, that on the 7th of June we could
already see the high mountains of Kamtschatka in their winter clothing.
Their jagged summits reaching to the heavens, crested with everlasting
snow, which glitters in the sunbeams, while their declivities are begirt
with clouds, give a magnificent aspect to this coast. On the following
day, we reached Awatscha Bay, and in the evening anchored in the harbour
of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The great peninsula of Kamtschatka, stretching to the river Anadir on
the North, and South to the Kurilian Islands, bathed on the east by the
ocean, and on the west by the sea of Ochotsk, is, like many men, better
than its reputation. It is supposed to be the roughest and most desolate
corner of the world, and yet it lies under the same latitude as England
and Scotland, and is equal in size to both. The summer is indeed much
shorter, but it is also much finer; and the vegetation is more luxuriant
than in Great Britain. The winter lasts long, and its discomforts are
increased by the quantity of snow that falls; but in the southern parts
the cold is moderate; and experience has repeatedly refuted the
erroneous opinion, that on account of its long duration, and the
consequent curtailment of the summer season, corn cannot be
efficaciously cultivated here.

Although the snow lies in some of the valleys till the end of May,
because the high, over-shadowing mountains intercept the warm sunbeams,
yet garden-plants prosper. Potatoes generally yield a triple crop, and
would perfectly supply the want of bread, if the inhabitants cultivated
them more diligently: but the easier mode of providing fish in
super-abundance as winter food, has induced them to neglect the labour
of raising potatoes, although they have known years when the fishery has
barely protected them from famine.

The winter, as I have already said, is very unpleasant, from the heavy
snows, which, drifting from the mountains, often bury the houses, so
that the inhabitants are compelled to dig a passage out, while the
cattle walk on its frozen surface over their roofs.

Travelling in this season is very rapid and convenient. The usual mode
is in sledges drawn by six or more dogs. The only danger is from
snow-storms. The traveller, surprised by this sudden visitation, has no
chance for safety except in quietly allowing himself and his dogs to be
buried in the snow, and relieving himself from his covering when the
storm is past. This, however, is not always practicable; should the
storm, or, as it is called here, "purga," overtake him in the ravine of
a mountain, such an immense quantity of snow becomes heaped upon him,
that he has no power to extricate himself from his tomb. These
accidents, however, seldom occur; for the Kamtschatkans have acquired
of necessity great foresight in meteorology, and of course never
undertake a journey when they do not consider themselves sure of the

The principal reason why the climate of Kamtschatka is inferior to that
of other places under the same latitude, is to be found in the
configuration of the country. The mountains of England, for instance,
are of a very moderate height, and broken by extensive plains; here, on
the contrary, intersected only by a few valleys of small extent, a
single chain of mountains, its broken snow-crowned summits reaching to
the clouds, and in many parts far beyond them, stretches the whole
length of the Peninsula, and is based upon its breadth.

The panorama of Kamtschatka is a confused heap of granite blocks of
various heights, thickly piled together, whose pointed, jagged forms
bear testimony to the tremendous war of elements amidst which they must
have burst from the bowels of the earth. The struggle is even now
scarcely ended, as the smoking and burning of volcanoes, and frequent
shocks of earthquake, sufficiently intimate. One of the mountains,
called Kamtschatka Mountain, rivalling in height the loftiest in the
world, often vomits forth streams of lava on the surrounding country.
These mountains with their glaciers, and volcanoes emitting columns of
fire and smoke from amidst fields of ice, afford a picturesque contrast
with the beautiful green of the valleys. The most singular and
indescribably-splendid effect is produced by the crystal rocks on the
western coast, when illuminated by the sun; their whole refulgent
surface reflecting his rays in every various tint of the most brilliant
colours, resembles the diamond mountains of fairy-land, while the
neighbouring rocks of quartz shine like masses of solid gold.

Kamtschatka is a most interesting country to the professor of the
natural sciences. Great mineral treasures will certainly be one day
discovered here; the number and diversity of its stones is striking even
to the most uninitiated. It abounds in hot and salutary springs. To the
botanist it offers great varieties of plants, little if at all known;
and the zoologist would find here, amongst the animal tribes deserving
his attention, besides several kinds of bears, wolves and foxes, the
celebrated sable whose skin is sold for so great a price, and the native
wild sheep, which inhabits the tops of the highest mountains. It attains
the size of a large goat; the head resembles that of an ordinary sheep,
but is furnished with strong, crooked horns: the skin and form of the
body are like the reindeer, and it feeds chiefly on moss. It is fleet
and active, achieving, like the chamois, prodigious springs among the
rocks and precipices, and is, consequently, with difficulty killed or
taken. In preparing for these leaps, its eye measures the distance with
surprising accuracy; the animal then contracts its legs, and darts
forward head-foremost to the destined spot, where it alights upon its
feet, nor is it ever known to miss, although the point may be so small
as to admit its four feet only by their being closely pressed together.
The manner in which it balances itself after such leaps is also
admirable: our ballet-dancers would consider it a model of a perfect _à
plomb_. The monster of the antediluvian world, the mammoth, must have
been an inhabitant of this country, since many of its bones have been
found here.

The forests of Kamtschatka are not enlivened by singing-birds; indeed
land-birds are all scarce; but there are infinite numbers of waterfowl
of many species. Immense flocks of them are to be seen upon the lakes,
rivers, morasses, and even the sea itself, in the vicinity of the shore.
Fish is abundant, especially in the months of June and July. A single
draught of the net provided us with as many as the whole crew could
consume in several days. A sort of salmon, ling, and herrings, are
preferred for winter stock; the latter, dried in the air, supply food
for the dogs.

Kamtschatka was discovered in the year 1696, by a Cossack of Yakutsh, by
name Luca Semenoff, who, on a report being spread of the existence of
this country, set out with sixteen companions to make a journey hither.
In the following years, similar expeditions were repeated in greater
force, till Kamtschatka was subjected and made tributary to the Russian
crown. The conquest of this country cost many Russian lives; and from
the ferocity of the conquerors, and the difficulty of maintaining
discipline amongst troops so scattered, ended in nearly exterminating
the Kamtschatkans. Although subsequent regulations restrained the
disorders of the wild Cossacks, the population is still very thin; but
under a wise and careful government it will certainly increase.

The name of Kamtschatka, pronounced Kantschatka, conferred by the
Russians, was adopted from the native appellation of the great river
flowing through the country. This river derived its name, according to
tradition, from Kontschat, a warrior of former times, who had a
stronghold on its banks. It is strange that the Kamtschatkans had no
designation either for themselves or their country. They called
themselves simply men, as considering themselves either the only
inhabitants of the earth, or so far surpassing all others, as to be
alone worthy of this title. On the southern side of the peninsula, the
aborigines are believed to have been distinguished by the name of
Itelmen; but the signification of this word remains uncertain.

The Kamtschatkans acknowledged an Almighty Creator of the world, whom
they called Kutka. They supposed that he inhabited the heavens; but had
at one time dwelt in human form in Kamtschatka, and was the original
parent of their race. Even here the tradition of a universal deluge
prevails, and a spot is still shown, on the top of a mountain where
Kutka landed from a boat, in order to replenish the world with men. The
proverbial phrase current in Kamtschatka, to express a period long past,
is, "that was in Kutka's days."

Before the expeditions of the Russians to Kamtschatka, the inhabitants
were acquainted only with the neighbouring Koriacks and Tchuktchi.

They had also acquired some knowledge of Japan, from a Japanese ship
wrecked on their coast. They acknowledged no chief, but lived in perfect
independence, which they considered as their highest good.

Besides the supreme God Kutka, they had a host of inferior deities,
installed by their imaginations in the forests, the mountains, and the
floods. They adored them when their wishes were fulfilled, and insulted
them when their affairs went amiss; like the lower class of Italians,
who, when any disaster befalls them, take off their cap, enumerate into
it as many saints' names as they can call to mind, and then trample it
under foot. Two wooden household deities, Aschuschok and Hontai, were
held in particular estimation. The former, in the figure of a man,
officiated in scaring away the forest spirits from the house; for which
service he was remunerated in food, his head being daily anointed with
fish-soup. Hontai was half man, half fish, and on every anniversary of
the purification from sin, a new one was introduced and placed beside
his predecessors, so that the accumulated number of Hontais showed how
many years the inhabitants had occupied their house.

The Kamtschatkans believed in their own immortality, and in that of the
brute creation; but they expected in a future state to depend upon their
labour for subsistence, as in the present life; they only hoped that the
toil would be lightened, and its reward more abundant, that they might
never suffer hunger. This idea of itself sufficiently proves, that the
fisheries sometimes fail in their produce.

The several races of Kamtschatkans frequently waged war with each other;
caused either by the forcible abduction of the women, or a deficiency
in hospitality on their occasional interchange of visits, which was
considered an insult to the guest, demanding a bloody revenge.

Their wars were seldom carried on openly; they preferred stratagem and
artifice; and the conquerors practised the greatest cruelties on the
conquered. If a party was so beleaguered as to lose all hope of
effectual resistance, or of securing their safety by flight, knowing
that no mercy would await a surrender, their warlike spirit did not
desert them; they first murdered their women and children, and then
rushed furiously on the enemy, to sell their lives as dearly as
possible. Their weapons were lances, and bows and poisoned arrows.

To treat a guest with the utmost politeness, and leave no cause for
hostility, the host was expected to heat his subterranean dwelling till
it became almost insupportable: both parties then cast off all their
attire, an enormous quantity of food was placed before the guest, and
the fire was continually fed. When the visitor declared that he could no
longer eat, or endure the heat of the place, all that courtesy required
had been done, and the host expected a present in return for his

At such entertainments the moucho-more, a deleterious species of
mushroom, was usually introduced, as a mode of intoxication. Taken in
small quantities, it is said to excite an agreeable hilarity of spirits;
but if immoderately used, it will produce insanity of several days'
duration. Animated by these enjoyments, the host and guests found mutual
amusement in the exercise of their peculiar talent of mimicking men and

The children when grown up showed little affection for their parents,
neglected them in old age, and did not even consider it a violation of
filial duty to kill them when they became burdensome. They also murdered
their defective or weakly children, to spare them the misery of a
languishing existence. They did not bury their dead, but dragged the
corpse into the open air, by a thong tied about the neck, and left it a
prey to dogs; under the belief, that those devoured by these animals,
would in another world be drawn by the best dogs.

The mode of solemnizing marriages among the Kamtschatkans was tedious,
and, on the part of the bridegroom, attended with many difficulties. A
man who wished to marry a girl went to the house of her parents, and
without farther declaration took his share in the domestic labours. He
thus became the servant of the family, and was obliged to obey all their
behests, till he succeeded in winning the favour of the girl and her
parents. This might continue for years, and even in the end he was
liable to be dismissed, without any compensation for his trouble. If,
however, the maiden was pleased, and the parents were satisfied with
him, they gave him permission to catch his beloved; from this moment the
girl took all possible pains to avoid being alone with him, defended
herself with a fishing-net and numerous girdles, all which were to be
cut through with a stone knife, while all the family were upon the watch
to rescue her at the first outcry: the unfortunate lover had probably no
sooner laid hands upon his bride than he was seized by her relations,
beaten, and dragged away by his hair; yet was he compelled to conquer
and overpower her resistance, or to continue in unrewarded servitude.
When, however, the catching was accomplished, the fair one herself
proclaimed the victory, and the marriage was celebrated.

The present Kamtschatkans are an extremely good-natured, hospitable,
timid people; in colour and features nearly resembling the Chinese and
Japanese. They all profess the Christian religion; but secretly retain
many of their heathen customs, particularly that of killing their
deformed children.

The town, or rather village, adjoining the harbour of St. Peter and St.
Paul, where the present Governor of Kamtschatka, Captain Stanizky,
resides, though the principal place in the peninsula, contains but few
convenient houses. The rest, about fifty in number, are mere huts,
irregularly scattered up the side of a mountain. The inhabitants of this
place, which bears the same name as the harbour, are all Russians,
officers of the crown, sailors, disbanded soldiers, and some
insignificant traders.

The Kamtschatkans live inland in little villages on the banks of the
rivers, but seldom on the sea-coast.

From Krusenstern's representation, Kamtschatka appears very little
altered in five-and-twenty years. The only advance made in that period,
consists in the cultivation of potatoes by the inhabitants of St. Peter
and St. Paul, and the entire water-carriage of various goods and
necessaries of life, which were formerly needlessly enhanced in price by
being brought overland, through Siberia to Ochotsk.

The northern part of the peninsula and the adjoining country, even to
the icy sea, is inhabited by the Tschuktschi, a warlike nomad tribe,
removing with celerity from place to place by means of their reindeer.
They were not so easily conquered as the Kamtschatkans, and for
five-and-thirty years incessantly annoyed the Russians, to whom they now
only pay a small tribute in skins. Our cannon at length forced a peace
upon them, which had not been long concluded, before there was reason to
apprehend a breach of its conditions on their part, and an ambassador
was sent to their Tajon, or chief, to discover their intentions. The
chief drew a long knife from a sheath at his side, presented it to the
ambassador, making him observe that it had a broken point, and addressed
him as follows: "When my father died he gave me this knife, saying, 'My
son, I received this broken knife from my uncle, whom I succeeded in the
dignity of Tajon, and I promised him never to sharpen it against the
Russians, because we never prosper in our combats with them; I therefore
enjoin thee also to enter into no strife with them till this knife shall
of itself renew its point.' You see that the knife is still edgeless,
and my father's last will is sacred to me."

According to an accurate census taken of the population of Kamtschatka
in the year 1822, it amounts, with the exception of the Tschuktschi, who
cannot be computed, to two thousand four hundred and fifty-seven persons
of the male, and one thousand nine hundred and forty-one of the female
sex. Of these, the native Kamtschatkans were only one thousand four
hundred and twenty-eight males, and one thousand three hundred and
thirty females; the rest were Koriaks and Russians. They possessed
ninety-one horses, seven hundred and eighteen head of cattle, three
thousand eight hundred and forty-one dogs, and twelve thousand reindeer,
the latter belonging exclusively to the Koriaks.

Unimportant as was the place where we now landed, a change is always
agreeable after a long voyage; and the kind and hospitable reception we
met with from the commander as well as the inhabitants, contributed
greatly to our enjoyments.

We were gratified with a bear-hunt, which produced much sport, and gave
us the satisfaction of killing a large and powerful bear. This animal is
very numerous here, and is consequently easily met with by a
hunting-party. The usually timid Kamtschatkan attacks them with the
greatest courage. Often armed only with a lance and a knife, he
endeavours to provoke the bear to the combat; and when it rises on its
hind legs for defence or attack, the hunter rushes forward, and, resting
one end of the lance on the ground, plunges the other into its breast,
finally dispatching it with his knife. Sometimes, however, he fails in
the attempt, and pays for his temerity with his life.

The following anecdote evinces the hardihood of the bears. Fish, which
forms their chief nourishment, and which they procure for themselves
from the rivers, was last year excessively scarce. A great famine
consequently existed among them, and instead of retiring to their dens,
they wandered about the whole winter through, even in the streets of St.
Peter and St. Paul. One of them finding the outer gate of a house open,
entered, and the gate accidentally closed after him. The woman of the
house had just placed a large tea-machine,[1] full of boiling water, in
the court, the bear smelt to it and burned his nose; provoked at the
pain, he vented all his fury upon the kettle, folded his fore-paws round
it, pressed it with his whole strength against his breast to crush it,
and burnt himself, of course, still more and more. The horrible growl
which rage and pain forced from him, brought all the inhabitants of the
house and neighbourhood to the spot, and poor bruin was soon dispatched
by shots from the windows. He has, however, immortalized his memory, and
become a proverb amongst the town's people, for when any one injures
himself by his own violence, they call him "the bear with the

On the 14th of July, M. Preuss observed an eclipse of the sun, from
which he determined the geographical longitude of St. Peter and St. Paul
to be 201° 10' 31". On the same day Dr. Siegwald and Messrs. Lenz and
Hoffman happily achieved the Herculean task of climbing the Owatscha
Mountain, which lies near the harbour. Its height, according to
barometrical measurement, is seven thousand two hundred feet. An
intermittent smoke arose from its crater, and a cap let down a few feet
within it was drawn up burnt. The gentlemen brought back with them some
pieces of crystallized sulphur, as evidence of their having really
pursued their examination quite into the mouth of the crater.

After having delivered all the articles which we had taken in for
Kamtschatka, we left the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul on the
morning of the 20th of July, and with favouring breezes sailed for the
Russian settlement of New Archangel, on the north-west coast of America.

At sunset the majestic mountains of Kamtschatka appeared for the last
time within our horizon, and at a vast distance. This despised and
desolate country may perhaps one day become a Russian Mexico. The only
treasure of which we robbed it was, a swallow's nest! I mention it,
because it long supplied the whole ship's company with amusement.

In the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul, there is sufficient depth of
water close to the shore to admit of landing by means of a plank only.
This proximity led a pair of swallows to mistake our frigate for a
building upon terra-firma, and to the infinite delight of the sailors,
who regarded it as a lucky omen, they deliberately built themselves a
nest close to my cabin. Undisturbed by the noise in the ship, the loving
pair hatched their brood in safety, fed their young ones with the
tenderest care, and cheered them with joyous songs. But when on a
sudden they saw their peaceful dwelling removing from the land, they
seemed astonished, and hovered anxiously about the ship, yet still
fetched food for their young from the shore, till the distance became
too great.

The struggle between the instincts of self-preservation and parental
love then became perceptible. They flew round the vessel, then vanished
for awhile, then suddenly returned to their hungry family, and
stretching their open beaks towards them, seemed to lament that no food
was to be found. This alternate disappearing and returning continued
some time, and terminated in the parents returning no more; the sailors
then took on themselves the care of the deserted orphans. They removed
them from the nest where the parents warmth was necessary, to another
lined with cotton, and fixed in a warm place, and fed them with flies,
which seemed to please their palates very well. The system at first
appeared to have perfectly succeeded, and we were in hopes of carrying
them safely to America; when, in spite of the most careful attention,
they fell sick, and on the eighth day, to the general sorrow, not one
of our nurslings remained alive.

They however afforded an additional proof how kindly the common people
of Russia are interested in all that is helpless.



The swallows brought us no good fortune. The very day after we left
Kamtschatka, one of our best sailors fell from the mast-head into the
scuttle, and immediately expired. He had climbed thither in safety in
the most violent storms, and executed the most difficult tasks with
ease; now, in fine weather, on a tranquil sea, he met this fate.

These accidents happen most frequently to the best and cleverest
sailors: they confide too much in their own ability, and consider too
little the risks they run. It is impossible to warn them sufficiently.

This fatal accident produced a general melancholy among us, which the
cloudy, wet, cold weather we soon encountered perpetually increased,
till we reached the coast of America. Fortunately, we had all the time a
strong west wind; by its help we passed the southern coasts of the
Aleutian Islands, and on the 7th of August already approached the
American coast. On this day the sun once more smiled on us; the sky
afterwards continued clear, and the air became milder and pleasanter as
we neared the land.

From our noon observation we were in latitude 55° 36', and longitude
140° 56'. In this region, some navigators have imagined they observed a
regular current to the north; but our experience does not confirm the
remark. A current carried us from twenty to thirty miles in twenty-four
hours, setting sometimes north, and sometimes south, according to the
impulse of the wind; close to shore only the current is regularly to the
north. The inhabitants concurred in this observation.

We now steered direct for the bay called by the English Norfolk Sound,
and by the Russians Sitka Bay, and the island at its back, which the
natives call Sitchachan, whence the Russian Sitka. This island, called
by the Russians New Archangel, is at present the principal settlement of
the Russian-American company.

On the morning of the 9th of August, we were, according to my
calculation, near land; but a thick fog concealed us from every object
so much as fifty fathoms distant. At length the mid-day sun burst forth,
and rapidly dispelling the curtain of cloud and fog, surprised us with a
view of the American coast. We were standing right for the mouth of the
above-mentioned bay, at a small distance from the Edgecumbe promontory;
a table-land so elevated, that in clear weather it serves for a safe
landmark at a distance of fifty miles.

We were all day prevented by a calm from making the bay, and were
obliged to content ourselves with admiring the wild high rocky coast,
with its fir forests. Though now in a much higher latitude than in
Kamtschatka, we yet saw no snow, even on the summits of the highest
mountains; a proof of the superior mildness of the climate on the
American, compared with the Asiatic coast.

The next day we took advantage of a light wind blowing towards the bay;
but so gloomy was the weather, that we could scarcely see land, and not
one of our crew had ever been in the bay before. It stretches from the
entrance to New Archangel twenty-five miles in length, and is full of
small islands and shallows; a pilot was not to be thought of; but we
happily overcame all our difficulties. We tacked through all the
intricacies of this navigation amidst heavy rain and a thick gloom, till
we dropped the anchor within musket-shot of the fortress.

We here found the frigate Kreissac, under the command of Captain
Lasaref, sent here by Government for the protection of trade, and whom
we were destined to succeed.

The appearance of a vessel of our native country, in so distant and
desolate a corner of the earth, naturally produced much joy amongst our
people. I immediately paid a visit to Captain Lasaref, and then to the
Governor of the Colony, Captain Murawief, an old acquaintance, whom I
had not seen for many years. At so great a distance from home,
friendships are quickly formed between compatriots, even if previously
unknown to each other,--how much then must their interest increase, when
long ago cemented in the native land! My intercourse with this
gentleman, equally distinguished for his noble character and cultivated
mind, conduced much to the comfort of a tedious residence in this

To my enquiry, whether my vessel must now remain stationary at the
colony, he replied, that until the first of March of the following year
(1825), my time was at my own disposal, but that after that period my
presence could not be dispensed with. I therefore proceeded to visit
California and the Sandwich Islands, and returned to New Archangel on
the 23rd of February 1825.

The nearer we drew to the land the milder the weather became, and we
were astonished, in so northern a country, to see the mountains at this
season of the year entirely free from snow to a considerable height.
Throughout this winter, however, which had been particularly mild, the
snow in many of the vallies had never lain above a few hours together.
Here, under fifty-seven degrees north latitude, the climate is much
milder than in European countries similarly situated; as again the
north-east coast of Asia is much colder than countries of an equal
latitude in Europe.

On the morning of the 24th, after passing a stormy night on this
dangerous coast, we happily succeeded in reaching the harbour, and
anchoring before the fortress, just before another and most violent
tempest set in.

We were received with great rejoicing; and on the following day placed
the frigate in such a position, and at such a distance from the
fortress, as was most convenient to accomplish the purpose of our
mission. To explain this, we must take a short review of the Russian
settlement here, and of the affairs of the original inhabitants.

From the highest antiquity to the present day, examples are not wanting
of men trusting themselves in small and frail vessels to the perils of
the ocean, and performing astonishing voyages, without any of those aids
which the improvements in science and mechanical art place within our
reach. The children of the Sun in Peru, and the founders of the regular
political constitution which existed in Mexico before its invasion by
the Spaniards, probably floated in little canoes over the trackless
surface of the ocean, as the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands do to
this day.

The voyages of the Phoenicians and Romans are sufficiently known; as
are those of the Norman heroes who discovered Greenland, Iceland, and
even North America.

In vessels just as defective, destitute of the instruments requisite for
observing their course, and of any fixed notion concerning the
conformation or extent of the earth, often even without a compass,
ignorant Russian adventurers have embarked from Ochotsk, and rounding
Kamtschatka, have discovered the Aleutian Islands, and attained to the
north-west coast of America. Year after year, in more numerous parties,
they repeated these expeditions, tempted by the beautiful furs which
were procured in the newly-discovered countries. Many of their vessels
were lost,--many of those who ventured in them were attacked and
murdered by savages; yet still new adventurers were found yearly
encountering all these risks, for the sake of the profitable traffic in
these furs, especially that of the sea-otter. By degrees they formed
themselves into commercial societies, which obtained a firmer footing on
the Aleutian Islands, and even on the northern parts of the western
coast of America, carried on a regular trade to Siberia, but lived in a
state of continual violence and dissensions.

Superior to the natives by the possession of fire-arms, they became
overbearing, treated the timid Aleutians in the most cruel manner, and
would perhaps have quite exterminated them, had not the Emperor Paul
interposed. By his order, in 1797, a Russian-American mercantile company
was established, which was to supersede the trading societies hitherto
existing, and possess the exclusive privilege of carrying on trade and
founding settlements in these regions. The directors, in whose hands was
vested the administration of the affairs and appointment of the governor
of these settlements, were to reside in Petersburg, under the control of
the government, to which they were responsible.

At first the sea-otters were plentiful, even on the coast of
Kamtschatka; but the unlimited pursuit of them diminished their numbers
so rapidly, that the Company was obliged to extend their search for them
over the Aleutian Islands, and even to the island of Kodiack, lying on
the American coast, where they had fixed their chief settlement.

From thence the chase was continued to the bay of Tschugatsk and Cook's
river. The poor otters were severe sufferers, for the beauty of the skin
nature had bestowed on them. They were pursued in every possible
direction, and such numbers annually killed, that at length they became
scarce, even in these quarters, having already almost wholly disappeared
from Kamtschatka and the Aleutian Islands.

The Company therefore resolved to extend their settlements farther
south; and thus, in the year 1804, arose the colony on the island of
Sitka, whose natives call themselves after their island, but are styled
by the Russians Kalushes.

The island is only separated from the mainland by a narrow inlet of the
sea. It extends over three degrees and a half of latitude; and, in fact,
consists of three islands, as I ascertained by personal examination in
boats. The channels, however, which separate them are so narrow, that
the three might easily pass for one. The coast of Sitka Bay is
intersected by many deep creeks, and the neighbouring waters thickly
sprinkled with little rocky islands overgrown with wood, which are a
protection against storms, and present a strong wall of defence against
the waves.

The harbour of New Archangel is equally well defended by nature, and
needs no assistance from art.

A bold enterprising man of the name of Baronof, long superintended the
Company's establishments. Peculiarly adapted by nature for the task of
contending with a wild people, he seemed to find a pleasure in the
occupation. Although the conquest of the Sitkaens, or Kalushes, was not
so easily achieved as that of the more timid Aleutians and Kodiacks, he
finally accomplished it. A warlike, courageous, and cruel race, provided
with fire-arms by the ships of the North American United States, in
exchange for otters' skins, maintained an obstinate struggle against the
invaders. But Baronof at length obtained a decisive superiority over
them. What he could not obtain by presents, he took by force, and, in
spite of all opposition, succeeded in founding the settlement on this
island. He built some dwelling-houses, made an entrenchment, and having,
in his own opinion, appeased the Kalushes by profuse presents, confided
the new conquest to a small number of Russians and Aleutians. For a
short time matters went on prosperously, when suddenly, the garrison
left by Baronof, believing itself in perfect safety, was attacked one
night by great numbers of Kalushes, who entered the entrenchments
without opposition, and murdered all they met there with circumstances
of atrocious cruelty. A few Aleutians only, who happened to be out in
their little baidars,[2] escaped by standing out to sea, and brought to
Kodiack the news of the annihilation of the settlement at Sitka.

This occurrence took place in the year 1804, when the present Admiral
Krusenstern made his voyage round the world, and his second ship, the
Neva, was bound for this colony. Baronof immediately seized so excellent
an opportunity for revenging himself on the Kalushes. He armed three
vessels, and sailed in company with the Neva to Sitka. When the Kalushes
heard that the warrior Nonok, as they called Baronof, had returned,
terror prevented their attempting to oppose his landing; and they
retired in great haste to their fortification, consisting of a great
quadrangle closely set round with thick, high beams, broken only by one
very small and strong door. The pallisadoes were furnished with
loop-holes, for the firing of muskets and falconets, with which the
besieged were amply supplied. This wooden fortress, enclosing about
three hundred fighting men with their families, held out several days;
but no sooner had the heavy guns of the Russians effected a breach, than
the besieged, finding their position no longer tenable, surrendered at
discretion, and delivered over the sons of their chiefs as hostages for
their submission.

Though peace was now established, and they were allowed to retire
unmolested, yet, mistrusting the Russians, they stole away secretly in a
dark night, having first murdered all who, whether from age or infancy,
might be burdensome to them in their flight. Morning discovered the
cruelty perpetrated by these barbarians, who, in their fears, judged the
Russians by themselves. From this time Baronof remained nominally in
possession of the island, and actually of a hill upon it forming a
natural fortification, and formerly inhabited by a chief of the Kalushes
called Katelan.

The savages thirsted for revenge; and, notwithstanding the treaties
concluded with them, unceasingly sought to gratify it by secret arts and
ambushes; so that the Russians, unless well armed, and in considerable
numbers, could not venture beyond the shelter of their fortress without
the most imminent danger of being murdered.

Baronof re-founded the settlement, and having strengthened by scientific
defences the high hill, which falls on every side in abrupt precipices,
has rendered it perfectly safe from every attack. The necessary
dwelling-houses were soon erected; and this place, under the name of New
Archangel, became the capital of the Russian possessions in America,
stretching from 52° of latitude to the Icy Sea, and including also two
settlements lying farther south, of which I shall hereafter have
occasion to speak.

Baronof himself resided from this time in New Archangel, and the chase
of the sea-otters proved very advantageous to the Company; but so scarce
are these animals now become, even here, that the numbers caught only
suffice to cover the expenses of maintaining a force sufficient for
protection against the savages. For this reason, the Company have
contemplated the necessity of entirely abandoning the settlement at New
Archangel, and making Kodiack once more their capital. It were,
however, a pity this plan should be adopted, as it would afford
facilities to other nations, by settling in these regions, to disturb
the trade of the Company. But the Company may possibly be compelled to
give up New Archangel, by their resources not permitting them to retain
it, unless they should receive some assistance from Government.

The climate of Sitka is not so severe as might have been expected from
its latitude. In the middle of winter the cold is not excessive, and
never lasts long. Agriculture notwithstanding does not appear to be
successful here. There is not perhaps a spot in the world where so much
rain falls; a dry day is a perfect rarity, and this would itself account
for the failure of corn; the nature of the ground is however equally
inimical to it.

There are no plains of any extent; the small valleys being every where
surrounded by high steep rocks of granite, and consequently overshadowed
the greater part of the day. Some vegetables, such as cabbages, turnips,
and potatoes, prosper very well: the latter are raised even by the
Kalushes, who have learned from the Russians the manner of cultivating
them, and consider them as a great delicacy. Upon the continent of
America, the climate, under the same latitude, is said to be
incomparably better than on this island, although the cold is rather
more severe. Great plains are there to be met with, where wheat could
probably be successfully cultivated.

The forests of Sitka, consisting principally of fir and beech, are lofty
and thick. Some of their trees are a hundred and sixty feet in height,
and from six to seven feet in diameter. From these noble trunks the
Kalushes form their large canoes, which sometimes carry from twenty-five
to thirty men. They are laboriously and skilfully constructed; but the
credit their builders may claim for this one branch of industry is
nearly all that belongs to a barbarous and worthless race of men.

Wild and unfruitful as this country appears, the soil is rich, so that
its indigenous plants, of which there are no great variety, attain a
very large growth. Several kinds of berries, particularly raspberries
and black currants, of an enormous size but watery taste, are met with
in considerable quantities.

The sea, near the coast and in the bays, abounds in fish and in
mammalia. Whales, sea-hogs, seals, sea-lions, &c. are very numerous; but
of the fish, which chiefly afford subsistence both to the natives and
the Russians, the best are herrings, salmon, and cod, of which there is
a superfluity. There is no great variety of birds native to this coast;
but the beautiful white-headed eagle, and several sorts of pretty
humming-birds, migrate from warmer climates to build their nests in
Sitka. It is extraordinary that these tender little creatures, always
inhabiting hot countries, should venture thus far northwards.

Among the quadrupeds frequenting the forests is the black bear, whose
skin fetches so high a price in Russia, and a species of wild sheep
known to us only by the descriptions of the Kalushes, and in which our
natural histories are still deficient. It differs greatly from that of
Kamtschatka: its wool rivals silk in the delicacy and softness of its
texture. The most remarkable animal, however, is the sea-otter, that
which has allured merchants hither from distant countries, and which, if
such intercourse should improve the morals and intellects of the
natives, may be considered as their benefactor. This animal inhabits
only the north-west coast of America, between the latitudes of 30° and
60°, in smaller numbers the Aleutian islands, and formerly the coast of
Kamtschatka and the Kurile islands. Its skin makes the finest fur in the
world, and is as highly prized by the Chinese as by the Europeans. Its
value advances yearly, with the increasing scarceness of the animal; it
will soon entirely disappear, and exist only in description to decorate
our zoological works.

Attempts have been made to identify the sea and river otter, because
there is a considerable resemblance in their form; but the skin of the
former is without comparison finer than the latter, which inhabits only
lakes and rivers, where the sea-otter is never found.

They are often seen on the surface of the water, many miles from land,
lying asleep on their backs, with their young, of which only two are
produced at a birth, lying over them sucking. The young cannot swim
till they are some months old; but the mother, when she goes out to sea
in search of food, carries them on her back and brings them back to her
hole in the rocks, when she has satisfied her hunger. If seen by the
hunter during these excursions, she is a certain prey, for she never
forsakes her offspring however they embarrass her swimming, but, in
common with the male, defends them courageously against every attack.

The lungs of these animals are so constructed that they cannot subsist
for more than a few minutes under water, but are necessitated to
re-ascend to the surface for breath. These opportunities are seized by
the hunters, who would seldom succeed, if the otter could remain long
under water, where it swims with great rapidity and skill. Even with the
above advantage, the chase is very toilsome, and sometimes dangerous. It
is carried on in the following manner.

The hunters row in the little Aleutian baidars round the coast, and for
some miles out to sea, provided with bows, arrows, and short javelins.
As soon as they see an otter they throw their javelins, or shoot their
arrows. The animal is seldom struck; it immediately dives, and as it
swims very rapidly, the skill of the hunter is displayed in giving the
baidar the same direction as that taken by the animal. As soon as the
otter re-appears on the water, it is again fired at, when it dives
again; and the pursuit is continued in the same way till the creature
becomes so weary that it is easily struck.

They tear out with their teeth the arrows which wound them; and often,
especially if their young are with them, boldly fall upon the canoes and
attack their persecutors with teeth and claws; these conflicts however
uniformly end in the defeat and death of the otter. The more baidars are
in company, the safer is the hunt, but with experienced hunters two are
enough. They often encounter great perils by venturing out too far to
sea, and being overtaken by storms.

I now proceed, though with some reluctance, to the description of the
natives, the Kalushes. They are, as I have already said, the most
worthless people on the face of the earth, and disgusting to such a
degree that I must beg fastidious readers to pass over a few pages. The
truth of my narrative makes it necessary for me to submit to the
revolting task of showing to what point of degradation human nature may

The Sitka Islanders, as well as their neighbours on the continent, are
large and strongly built, but have their limbs so ill-proportioned, that
they all appear deformed. Their black, straight hair hangs dishevelled
over their broad faces, their cheek-bones stand out, their noses are
wide and flat, their mouths large, their lips thick, their eyes small,
black, and fiery, and their teeth strikingly white.

Their natural colour is not very dark; but they appear much more so than
is natural to them, from the custom of smearing themselves daily over
the face and body with ochre and a sort of black earth. Immediately
after the birth, the head of the child is compressed, to give it what
they consider a fine form, in which the eyebrows are drawn up, and the
nostrils stretched asunder. In common with many other nations, they tear
the beard out by the roots as soon as it appears. This is the business
of the women. Their usual clothing consists of a little apron; but the
rich wear blankets, purchased from the Russians, or from the American
ships, and tied by two corners round the neck, so that they hang down
and cover the back. Some of them wear bear-skins in a similar manner.
The most opulent possess some European garments, which they wear on
great occasions, and which would have an absurd effect were they not so
disgusting as to extinguish all inclination to laugh. They never cover
the head but in heavy rain, and then protect it by round caps of grass,
so ingeniously and closely plaited as to exclude every drop of water.

Whatever the degree of heat or cold, they never vary their costume; and
I believe there is not a people in the world so hardened against the
weather. In the winter, during a cold of 10° of Reaumur, the Kalushes
walk about naked, and jump into the water as the best method of warming
themselves. At night they lie without any covering, under the open sky,
near a great fire, so near indeed as to be sometimes covered by the hot
ashes. The women whom I have seen were either dressed in linen shifts
reaching to their feet, or in plaited mats.

The custom common to both sexes, of painting their faces in broad,
black, white, and red stripes crossed in all directions, gives them a
peculiarly wild and savage appearance. Although this painting is quite
arbitrary, and subject to no exact rules, the different races
distinguish each other by it. To give the face a yet more insane cast,
their long, hanging, tangled hair is mixed with the feathers of the
white eagle. When powdered and painted in this way, the repulsiveness of
the Kalush women, by nature excessively ugly, may be imagined; but they
have a method of still farther disfiguring themselves. As soon as they
are nearly marriageable, an incision is made in the under-lip, and a
bone passed through it, which is exchanged from time to time for a
thicker one, that the opening may be continually widened. At length a
sort of double button, of an oval form, called a kaluga, which, among
the people of rank, is often four inches long, and three broad, is
forced in so as to make the under lip stand forward thus much in a
horizontal direction, and leave the lower teeth quite bare. The outer
rim of the lip surrounding the wooden button becomes by the violent
stretching as thin as a packthread, and of a dark blue colour.

In running, the lip flaps up and down so as to knock sometimes against
the chin and sometimes against the nose. Upon the continent, the kaluga
is worn still larger; and the female who can cover her whole face with
her under-lip passes for the most perfect beauty. Men and women pierce
the gristle of the nose, and stick quills, iron rings, and all kinds of
ornaments, through it. In their ears, which are also pierced in many
places, they wear strings of bones, muscle-shells, and beads.

It would be difficult to convey an adequate idea of the hideousness of
these people when their costume is thus complete; but the lips of the
women, held out like a trough, and always filled with saliva stained
with tobacco-juice, of which they are immoderately fond, is the most
abominably revolting part of the spectacle.

The Kalushes have no fixed residence, but hover round the coast in their
large canoes, which they call the women's, carrying all their property
with them. When they fix upon any spot for their temporary
establishment, they build a hut with great celerity, having all the
materials at hand. They drive a number of stakes into the ground in a
quadrangular form, fill the interstices with thin planks, and roof in
the whole with the bark of trees. With such a dwelling they are
satisfied; in the severest winter the family sit in a circle, carrying
on their several employments round a fire in the centre. The interior
displays as much filthiness as if the inhabitants belonged to the
dirtiest class of the brute creation. The smoke; the stench of bad fish,
and blubber; the repulsive figures of the women, disgustingly occupied
in seeking for vermin on the heads or skins of the men, and actually
_eating them_ when found; the great utensil for the service of the whole
family, which is also the only vessel capable of containing water to
wash with; all this soon drives the most inquisitive European out of so
detestable a den.

Their food, sufficiently disgusting in itself, is rendered still more so
by their manner of eating. It consists almost exclusively of fish, of
which the whale is the chief favourite, and its blubber an especial
dainty. This is sometimes cooked upon red-hot stones, but more commonly
eaten raw. The skins of the sea-otters form their principal wealth, and
are a substitute for money; these they barter with the ships which trade
with them, to the prejudice of the Russian Company, for muskets, powder,
and lead. No Kalush is without one musket at least, of which he
perfectly understands the use. The richer a Kalush is, the more powerful
he becomes; he has a multitude of wives who bring him a numerous family,
and he purchases male and female slaves who must labour and fish for
him, and strengthen his force when engaged in warfare. These slaves are
prisoners of war, and their descendants; the master's power over them is
unlimited, and he even puts them to death without scruple. When the
master dies, two of his slaves are murdered on his grave, that he may
not want attendance in the other world; these are chosen long before the
event occurs, but meet the destiny that awaits them, very
philosophically. The continual wars which the different races carry on
against each other, with a ferocious cruelty uncommon even among
savages, may account for the scanty population of this district; the
fire-arms with which, to their own misfortune, they have been furnished
by the American ships, have contributed to render their combats more
bloody, and consequently to cause renewed and increased irritation. Bows
and arrows were formerly their only weapons; now, besides their muskets,
they have daggers, and knives half a yard long; they never attack their
enemies openly, but fall suddenly upon them in moments of the utmost
fancied security. The hope of booty, or of taking a prisoner, is a
sufficient motive for one of these treacherous attacks, in which they
practise the greatest barbarities; hence the Kalushes, even in time of
peace, are always on their guard. They establish their temporary abodes
on spots in some measure fortified by nature, and commanding an
extensive view on all sides. During the night, the watch is confided to
women, who, assembled round a fire outside the hut, amuse themselves by
recounting the warlike deeds of their husbands and sons.

Domestic occupations, even the most laborious, are also left to females;
the men employing themselves only in hunting, and building their canoes.
The slaves are required to assist the women, who often treat them in a
most merciless manner. The females take an active part in the wars; they
not only stimulate the valour of the men, but even support them in the

Besides the desire of booty, the most frequent occasion of warfare is
revenge. One murder can only be atoned by another; but it is indifferent
whether the murderer or one of his relations fall,--the custom merely
requires a man for a man; should the murdered person be a female, a
female is required in return. A case which would appear inconceivable
has actually occurred,--that one of these most disgusting creatures has
occasioned a struggle similar to that of Troy for the fair Helen, and an
advantageous peace has been obtained by the cession of one of these
monsters. The Kalush, who would probably look coldly on our most lovely
females, finds his filthy countrywomen, with their lip-troughs, so
charming, that they often awaken in him the most vehement passion. In
proof of this, I remember an occurrence which took place during our
residence in Sitka, among a horde of Kalushes who had encamped in the
vicinity of the fortress. A girl had four lovers, whose jealousy
produced the most violent quarrels: after fighting a long time without
any result, they determined to end the strife by murdering the object of
their love, and the resolution was immediately executed with their
lances. The whole horde assembled round the funeral pile, and chanted a
song, a part of which was interpreted by one of our countrymen, who had
been long resident here. "Thou wast too beautiful--thou couldst not
live--men looked on thee, and madness fired their hearts!"

Savage as this action was, another exceeded it in ferocity. A father,
irritated by the cries of his child, an infant in the cradle, snatched
it up, and threw it into a vessel full of boiling whale-oil. These
examples are sufficient to characterise this hateful people, who appear
to be in every respect the very refuse of human nature.

Their weddings are celebrated merely by a feast given to the relatives
of the bride. The dead are burned, and their ashes preserved in small
wooden boxes, in buildings appropriated to that purpose. They have a
confused notion of immortality, and this is the only trace of religion
which appears amongst them. They have neither priests, idols, nor any
description of worship, but they place great faith in witchcraft; and
the sorcerers, who are also their physicians, are held in high
estimation, though more feared than loved. These sorcerers profess to
heal the sick by conjurations of the Wicked Spirit; they are, however,
acquainted with the medicinal properties of many herbs, but carefully
conceal their knowledge as a profitable mystery.

We often received visits on board from chiefs of the Kalushes, generally
with their whole family and attendants, who came to examine the ship,
receive presents, and eat their fill, expressing their gratitude for
these civilities by attempting to entertain us with their horrid
national dance. Before coming on board, they usually rowed several times
round the ship, howling a song to the following effect: "We come to you
as friends, and have really no evil intention. Our fathers lived in
strife with you, but let peace be between us. Receive us with
hospitality, and expect the same from us." This song was accompanied by
a sort of tambourine, which did not improve its harmony. They would not
climb the ship's side till we had several times repeated our invitation,
as it is not their custom to accept the first offer of hospitality,
probably from a feeling of distrust. On these visits, the Kalushes were
more than usually particular in the decoration of their persons. Their
faces were so thickly smeared with stripes of red, black, and white
paint, that their natural colour could not be known. Their bodies were
painted with black stripes, and their hair covered with a quantity of
white down and feathers, which were scattered around with every motion
of their heads. Ermine-skins are also frequently fastened into the hair.
A wolf or bear-skin, or a blanket, tied round the neck, covers their
bodies, and they use an eagle's wing or tail as a fan. Their feet are
always bare.

When on such occasions they had seen all they wished of the ship, except
the cabins, (for these I would not suffer them to enter, on account of
the abominable stench left behind by the rancid oil and blubber, which
they used as perfumes,) they assembled upon deck to dance. The women did
not dance, but assisted as musicians. Their song, accompanied by the
dull music of the tambourine, consisted of a few hollow and unconnected
tones, sent forth at intervals to keep time with the stamping of their
feet. The men made the most extraordinary motions with their arms and
bodies, varying them by high leaps into the air, while showers of
feathers fell from their heads. Every dancer retained his own place, but
turning continually round and round, gave the spectators an opportunity
of admiring him on all sides. One only stood a little apart; he was
particularly decorated with ermine-skins and feathers, and beat time for
the dancing with a staff ornamented with the teeth of the sea-otter. He
appeared to be the director of all the movements.

At every pause we offered tobacco-leaves to the dancers and musical
ladies: both sexes eagerly seized the favourite refreshment, and crammed
their mouths with it, then recommencing the music and dancing with
renewed alacrity. When at length downright exhaustion put an end to the
spectacle, the Kalushes were entertained with a favourite mess of rice
boiled with treacle. They lay down round the wooden dishes, and helped
themselves greedily with their dirty hands. During the meal, the women
were much inconvenienced by their lip-troughs; the weight of the rice
made them hang over the whole chin, and the mouth could not contain all
that was intended for it.

During one of these repasts, the Kalushes were much terrified by a young
bear which we had brought from Kamtschatka: breaking loose from his
chain, he sprang over their heads, and seizing on the wooden vessel that
contained the rice, carried it off in triumph. At parting we always gave
them a dram of brandy, which they are very fond of, and can drink in
considerable quantities without injury.

That no vice may be wanting to complete their characters, the Kalushes
are great gamblers. Their common game is played with little wooden
sticks painted of various colours, and called by several names, such as,
crab, whale, duck, &c., which are mingled promiscuously together, and
placed in heaps covered with moss; the players being then required to
tell in which heap the crab, the whale, &c. lies. They lose at this game
all their possessions, and even their wives and children, who then
become the property of the winner.

During the whole of our residence at Sitka, we maintained peace with the
Kalushes, which may be entirely attributed to the moderation and
intrepidity of our sailors.

Opposite our frigate, on the shore, the ship's cooper had settled under
a tent, almost all our casks being in want of repair; and I allowed him
three armed sailors as assistants and protectors against the Kalushes.

One day ten of these savages armed with long knives came into the tent;
having sat for some time contemplating the work, they became very
troublesome, and, on being forbidden to pass the bounds previously
prescribed, drew their knives and attacked the cooper, who would have
been severely wounded had he not by good fortune parried a dangerous
thrust. The three sailors now sprang forward with their loaded muskets;
but as they had received the strictest injunctions not to shed blood,
except in the most extreme necessity, they contented themselves with
standing before the Kalushes and keeping them off with their bayonets.
The savages at first continued to threaten the sailors, but on finding
they were not to be intimidated, thought proper to retire to the forest.
Had a skirmish really ensued, the consequences might have been serious.
The Kalushes would all have united against us, and by rushing upon us
from their hiding-places, whenever we left the protection of the ship or
the fortress, might have done us much mischief. For this reason, Captain
Murawieff, the governor of the settlement, had always exerted himself to
the utmost to prevent any disputes. By his judicious regulations, he had
acquired great influence over the natives, and had effected considerable
improvement in their behaviour. In every respect, indeed, the
administration of this excellent man has been such as to promote the
true welfare of the colonies; and if the plans laid down by him for the
future be adhered to, the trade of the Company will be materially
benefited, and new sources of profit opened to them.

I have already mentioned that no people in the world surpass the
citizens of the United States in the boldness, activity, and
perseverance of their mercantile speculations. This observation was
confirmed by an instance we met with here.

On the 16th of April 1825, a two-masted ship ran into this harbour from
Boston. It had performed the voyage by Cape Horn in a hundred and
sixty-six days, without having put into any intermediate port. Captain
Blanchard, proprietor both of the ship, and of the whole cargo, had,
upon the strength of a mere report, expended his whole capital upon
certain articles of which he had heard that New Archangel was in need;
and now, at the close of his immense voyage, found with dismay that not
only was the colony well provided for the present, but that a ship was
also daily expected from St. Petersburg laden with every thing it could
desire. As, however, his offers were very reasonable, the ship and cargo
were subsequently purchased of him for twenty-one thousand skins of
sea-cats, (not otters) with the stipulation on his part, that he, his
crew, and his skins, should be transported to the Sandwich Islands,
whence he hoped to procure a passage for Canton, and there to dispose
of his merchandise to advantage. These skins are usually sold in China
for two Spanish dollars each.

On the arrival of Captain Blanchard's ship in port, the whole crew, he
himself not excepted, were in a state of intoxication; and it appeared
to be mere good luck that they had escaped the dangers of so many rocks
and shallows; but the North Americans are such clever sailors, that even
when drunk they are capable of managing a ship. It is also probable,
that these had lived more soberly during the voyage, and had been
tempted by the joy of completing it, to extraordinary indulgence. On my
visit to the ship, I could not help remarking the great economy of all
its arrangements: no such thing, for instance, as a looking-glass was to
be seen, except the one kept for measuring the angle of the sextant, and
that, small as it was, assisted the whole crew in the operation of

On the 30th of July, the ship Helena, belonging to the Company, arrived
in New Archangel from Petersburg, bringing an ample provision of
necessaries for the colony. To us this ship was particularly welcome,
as the bearer of permission to leave our station and return to Russia.
We immediately set to work to get our vessel in sailing order; and the
11th of August was the long wished-for day, when, favoured by a fresh
north wind, we bade adieu to New Archangel, where we had passed five
months and a-half surrounded by a people calculated only to inspire
aversion, and without relief to the wearisomeness of our mode of life,
except in the society of Captain Murawieff and the few Russian
inhabitants of the fortress.

I determined to return to Kronstadt by the Chinese Sea and the Cape of
Good Hope. But having no intention of following Captain Blanchard's
example, in wearing out my crew by a voyage of unreasonable length
without any relaxation, I appointed Manilla, in the Philippine island of
Luçon, for their resting-place, after having made another attempt to
find the Ralik chain of islands.

The medium of the astronomical observations made during these five
months, gave, as the geographical longitude of New Archangel, 135° 33'
18", and the latitude as 57° 2' 57"; the declination of the needle as
27° 30' east. According to this, the promontory of Mount Edgecumbe is in
the longitude 136° 1' 49"; consequently about 20' more westerly than
appears on Vancouver's map.

We found a similar difference between our observation of St. Francisco
and his; I therefore believe that his whole survey of the north-west
coast of America represents it more easterly than it really is. Our
longitudes have the greater claim to confidence, as they were the
results of repeated observations on land, while his were merely taken on
shipboard _en passant_.

The medium of our observations at New Archangel upon the difference in
high tides at the new and full moon, gave thirty minutes for the time,
and sixteen feet for the greatest difference in the height of the





I have already mentioned, in the foregoing chapter, that I was allowed
to pass the winter of 1824 in California and the Sandwich Islands.
Captain Lasaref also, whom I relieved on the station, proposed to run
into St. Francisco on the coast of California, on his return, in order
there to lay in fresh provisions for his passage round Cape Horn. He
first awaited, however, the arrival of the post from St. Petersburg,
which passes between these distant points of our far-spreading monarchy
only once in the year, arriving in the spring at Ochotsk by the way of
Siberia, and reaching New Archangel in the autumn by sea.

It was on the 10th of September 1824, that after having made the
necessary preparations for our subsequent residence in New Archangel,
and having properly equipped the ship, we again put to sea, and a brisk
north wind soon carried us in a southerly direction towards the fertile
peninsula of California. Our voyage was safe, and varied by no
remarkable occurrence, except that under forty degrees of latitude we
were indulged with the spectacle of a most extraordinary struggle
between two opposing winds.

After a few days' pretty fresh breezes from the south, clouds suddenly
appeared in the north, and, by the motion of the water, we perceived
that an equally strong wind was rising in that direction. The waves from
the opposite regions foamed and raged against each other like hostile
forces; but between them lay a path some fathoms broad, and stretching
from east to west to an immeasurable length, which appeared perfectly
neutral ground, and enjoyed all the repose of the most profound peace,
not a single breath troubling the glassy smoothness of its surface.
After a time, victory declared for Boreas, and he drove the smooth
strip towards our vessel, which had hitherto been sailing in the
territory of the south wind. We presently entered the calm region; and
while we had not a puff to swell our sails, the wind raged with
undiminished fury on both sides. This strange spectacle lasted for about
a quarter of an hour; when the north wind, which had been continually
advancing, reached us, and carried us quickly forward towards the point
of our destination.

On the 25th of September we found ourselves, by observations, in the
neighbourhood of the promontory called by the Spaniards "the King," not
far from the bay of St. Francisco; but a thick fog, which at this season
always reigns over the coast of California, veiled the wished-for land
till the 27th. At ten o'clock in the morning of this day, at a distance
of only three miles, we doubled his rocky majesty, a high bold hill
terminating towards the sea in a steep wall of black rock, and having
nothing at all regal in its appearance,--and perceived in his
neighbourhood a very strong surf, occasioned by two contrary and
violent currents raging, with the vain fury of insurrection, against the
tranquillity of his immoveable throne.

The channel leading into the beautiful basin of St. Francisco is only
half gun-shot wide, and commanded by a fortress situated on its left
bank, on a high rock, named after St. Joachim. We could distinguish the
republican flag, the waving signal, that even this most northern colony
of Spain no longer acknowledges the authority of the mother country; we
also remarked a few cavalry and a crowd of people who were watching our
swiftly sailing vessel with the most eager attention. As we drew nearer,
a sentinel grasped with both hands a long speaking trumpet, and enquired
our nation and from whence we came. This sharp interrogatory, the sight
of the cannon pointed upon our track, and the military, few indeed, but
ready for battle, might have induced an opinion that the fortress had
power to refuse entrance even to a ship of war, had we not been
acquainted with the true state of affairs. St. Joachim, on his rocky
throne, is truly a very peaceable and well-disposed saint; no one of
his cannon is in condition to fire a single shot, and his troops are
cautious of venturing into actual conflict: he fights with words only. I
would not therefore refuse to his fortress the courtesy of a salute, but
was much astonished at not finding my guns returned. An ambassador from
shore soon solved the mystery, by coming to beg so much powder as would
serve to answer my civility with becoming respect.

As soon as we had dropped anchor, the whole of the military left the
fortress without a garrison, to mingle with the assemblage of curious
gazers on the shore, where the apparition of our ship seemed to excite
as much astonishment as in the South Sea Islands. I now sent Lieutenant
Pfeifer ashore, to notify our arrival in due form to the commandant, and
to request his assistance in furnishing our vessel with fresh
provisions. The commandant himself, Don Martinez Ignatio, lieutenant of
cavalry, had been summoned to the capital Monterey, to attend Congress,
and was absent; his deputy, the second lieutenant, Don Joseph Sanchez,
received my envoy with much cordiality, and referred in a very
flattering manner to my former visit to this port, in the ship Rurik.
Don Sanchez was at that time a brave subaltern; but had since, under
republican colours, risen in the service. He promised to lend us every
assistance in his power, and proved his friendly intentions by an
immediate present of fruits, vegetables, and fresh meats.

As our accounts of California are few and defective, a rapid glance at
the history and constitution of this unknown but beautiful country,
richly endowed by Nature with all that an industrious population could
require to furnish the comforts and enjoyments of life, but hitherto
sadly neglected under Spanish mis-government, will probably not be
unwelcome to the readers who have accompanied me thus far: I will
therefore, on its behalf, defer, for a short space, the account of our
residence here.

The narrow peninsula on the north-west coast of America, beginning at
St. Diego's Point, under thirty-two degrees of latitude, and ending with
the promontory of St. Lucas, under twenty-two degrees, was first
exclusively called California; but the Spaniards extended this
appellation to their more recent discoveries on this coast towards the
north; since which, the peninsula has been named Old, and the more
northern coast to the Bay of St. Francisco, in thirty-seven degrees
latitude, New California; from thence begins the so-called New Albion.

Mexico did not suffice to the ambition of its restless conqueror Cortez.
To extend still farther the dominion of Spain, he directed the building
of large vessels on the western coast of Mexico; and thus, in the year
1534, was California first seen by Spanish navigators, and in 1537
visited by Francisco de Ulloa. When information of the new discoveries
reached the Spanish government, they resolved, contrary to their
proceedings in the cases of Mexico and Peru, to gain peaceable
possession of the new country by converting the inhabitants to the
Christian religion, and declared that this pious object was all they had
in view.

Only a small military force was, in fact, dispatched with a body of
Jesuits, who established a settlement and began the trade of conversion.
Disinterested as this rather expensive expedition appeared, its secret
motive might probably be found in the fear that any other nation should
establish itself in the neighbourhood of Mexico and the Spanish

The Jesuits came and made converts. These were followed by the
Dominicans, who still have settlements, called here missions, in Old
California; and subsequently by the Franciscans, who have established
themselves in the New. They all convert away at a great rate,--we shall
soon find how.

The first missions were seated on the coast of Old California, for the
convenience of communication by sea with Mexico, and because the country
was favourable to agriculture. The military who accompanied the monks,
selected for their residence a situation from whence they could overlook
several missions, and be always ready for their defence. These military
posts are here called Presidios.

As it was not possible to make the savage natives comprehend the
doctrines of Christianity, their inculcation was out of the question;
and all that these religionists thought necessary to be done with this
simple, timid race, scarcely superior to the animals by whom they were
surrounded, was to introduce the Catholic worship, or, more properly,
the dominion of the monks, by force of arms. The missions multiplied
rapidly. In New California, where we now were, the first of these, that
of St. Diego, was established in 1769; now there are twenty-one in this
country. Twenty-five thousand baptized Indians belong at present to
these missions, and a military force of five hundred dragoons is found
sufficient to keep them in obedience, to prevent their escape, or, if
they should elude the vigilance of their guards, to bring them from the
midst of their numerous tribes, improving the favourable opportunity of
making new converts by the power of the sword.

The fate of these so called Christian Indians is not preferable even to
that of negro slaves. Abandoned to the despotism of tyrannical monks,
Heaven itself offers no refuge from their sufferings; for their
spiritual masters stand as porters at the gate, and refuse entrance to
whom they please. These unfortunate beings pass their lives in prayer,
and in toiling for the monks, without possessing any property of their
own. Thrice a day they are driven to church, to hear a mass in the Latin
language; the rest of their time is employed in labouring in the fields
and gardens with coarse, clumsy implements, and in the evening they are
locked up in over-crowded barracks, which, unboarded, and without
windows or beds, rather resemble cows' stalls than habitations for men.
A coarse woollen shirt which they make themselves, and then receive as a
present from the missionaries, constitutes their only clothing. Such is
the happiness which the Catholic religion has brought to the
uncultivated Indian; and this is the Paradise which he must not presume
to undervalue by attempting a return to freedom in the society of his
unconverted countrymen, under penalty of imprisonment in fetters.

The large tract of arable land which these pious shepherds of souls have
appropriated to themselves, and which is cultivated by their flocks, is
for the most part sown with wheat and pulse. The harvest is laid up in
store; and what is not necessary for immediate consumption is shipped
for Mexico, and there either exchanged for articles required by the
missions, or sold for hard piastres to fill the coffers of the monks.

In this way were the missionaries, and the military who depended upon
them, living quietly enough in California, when the other Spanish
colonies threw off their allegiance to the mother country. The
insurrection having spread as far as Mexico, they were invited by the
new governments, under advantageous conditions, to make common cause
with them, but they remained true to their King; nor was their fidelity
shaken by the total neglect of the Spaniards, who for many years
appeared to have forgotten their very existence, and had not even
troubled themselves to make the ordinary remittances for the pay of the
military, or the support of the monks. Still their loyalty remained
unshaken; they implicitly obeyed even that command of the King which
closed their ports against all foreign vessels; and as the republicans
were considered as foreigners, and no ships arrived from Spain, the
missions, as well as the Presidios, soon began to suffer the greatest
scarcity of many necessaries which the country did not produce. The
soldiery, even to the commander himself, were in rags, without pay, and
deriving a mendicant subsistence from the monks. The want which pressed
most heavily on the latter was that of the implements of agriculture and
other labour; having, with true Spanish indolence, forborne any attempt
to manufacture them in the country. The very source of all their
acquisitions was thus threatened with extinction; yet still they adhered
to their King, with a fidelity truly honourable had it been more
disinterested:--but what could they expect from a change of government,
except the limitations of their hitherto unbounded power?

In the discontent of the soldiers, however, smouldered a spark,
dangerous to the power of the monks, which was suddenly blown into a
flame by a circumstance that occurred a few years before our arrival.

The only pleasure for which the baptized Indians had ever been indebted
to the monks was the possession of such baubles as our sailors use in
traffic with the South Sea islanders. These things of course could no
longer be obtained, and their loss was regarded by the new Christians as
a heavy misfortune. Their despair at length broke out into insurrection:
they burst their prisons, and attacked the dwellings of the monks, but
retired before the fire of musketry. The military, with very little loss
on their side, defeated great numbers of the natives, and brought them
again into their previous subjection.

A new light dawned on the minds of the dragoons. What would have become
of the monks without their valiant support? Elated by victory, and
disregarding all the protestations of the ghostly fathers, whose
feebleness and helplessness were now apparent, they declared themselves
the first class in the country, and independent of Spain, which for so
many years had abandoned them to their fate.

Similar causes produced similar effects in Old California, and each
country now forms a separate republic.

Spain might with ease have retained these fertile provinces under
allegiance. Had their fidelity received the smallest encouragement, it
would probably never have been shaken; and California would have proved
a most convenient support for the claims of the mother country on the
revolutionized colonies, especially on Mexico, formerly the fertile
source of Spanish wealth. The Philippines have not rebelled, and these
rich islands could have afforded all the assistance the missions
required. The neglect of California by Spain would almost seem to have
been appointed by Providence, that the prosperity of the new States
might suffer no interruption.

One immediate result of the independence of this colony is the opening
of her ports to all nations, and the consequent impetus given to
commerce. The North American States have been the first to make use of
the privilege.

The exports of California now consist of corn, ox-hides, tallow, and the
costly skins of the sea-otter. Some speculators have attempted a trade
with China, but hitherto without success. A richly laden ship was
entrusted to a North American captain for this purpose, who disposed of
the cargo in China; but found it more convenient to retain both the
money and ship for his own use, than to return to the owners.

The government of New California was on our present visit administered
by Don Louis Arguello, the same young man with whom I became acquainted
on my voyage in the Rurik, when he was commandant of the Presidio of St.
Francisco. He resided at this time in Monterey, and employed himself in
devising systems of government which should bring the heterogeneous
ingredients of the new republic, dragoons, monks, and Indians, into
order and unity.

May the destiny of the latter be ameliorated by the change! No
Constitution has yet been established here; and Arguello's power, or
perhaps ability, was inadequate to introducing that which he had
proposed. Many changes are still necessary in the Californias before
they can become the happy and flourishing countries for which Nature
intended them.

On the morning after our arrival, I visited old Sanchez in the Presidio.
He received me with unfeigned cordiality, and related to me many things
which had taken place since my visit in the Rurik eight years ago. Don
Louis, he said, had become a great man, and he himself a lieutenant,
which here imports a considerable rank. Nevertheless, he disapproved of
all the proceedings, and felt assured that no good could accrue from
them. He would rather, he said, be a petty Spanish subject, than a
republican officer of state.

The Presidio was in the same state in which I found it eight years
before; and, except the republican flag, no trace of the important
changes which had taken place was perceptible. Every thing was going on
in the old, easy, careless way.

Sanchez at once promised to provide the ship daily with fresh meat, but
advised me to send a boat to the mission of Santa Clara for a supply of
vegetables, which were there to be had in superfluity. The Presidio had,
with a negligence which would be inconceivable in any other country,
omitted to cultivate even sufficient for their own consumption.

As I had not visited the mission of Santa Clara during my first visit to
California, I now determined to proceed thither on the following day, in
the long-boat. Sanchez provided a good pilot, and sent a courier
overland to announce my arrival at the mission.

The bay of St. Francisco is full ninety miles in circuit: it is divided
by islands into two pretty equally sized basins, a northern and a
southern. On the banks of the southern, which takes an easterly
direction, lie the three missions, St. Francisco, Santa Clara, and St.
José. Of the northern half of the bay I will speak hereafter.

On the morning of the 28th of September, the Barcasse was ready, and
equipped with every thing necessary for our little voyage. Favoured both
by wind and tide, we sailed eastward past many charming islands and
promontories, to the mission of Santa Clara, which lay at a distance of
five-and-twenty miles, in a straight line from the ship. The country
presented on all sides a picture of beauty and fertility: the shores are
of a moderate elevation, and covered with a brilliant verdure; the
hills, towards the interior, swell gently into an amphitheatre, and the
background is formed by high thick woods. Groves of oaks are scattered
upon the slopes, separated by lovely meadows, and forming more graceful
and picturesque groups than I have ever seen as the produce of art. With
very little trouble, the most luxuriant harvests might be reaped from
this soil; but a happy and industrious population has not yet been
established here, to profit from the prodigality of Nature. The
death-like stillness of these beautiful fields is broken only by the
wild animals which inhabit them; and as far as the eye can reach, it
perceives no trace of human existence; not even a canoe is to be seen
upon the surrounding waters, which are navigable for large vessels, and
boast many excellent harbours;--the large white pelican with the bag
under his bill, is the only gainer by the abundance of fish they
produce. During the centuries of Spanish supremacy in California, even
the exertion of procuring a net has been deemed too great. How
abundantly and happily might thousands of families subsist here! and how
advantageously might the emigrants to Brazil have preferred this spot
for colonization! There, they have to struggle with many difficulties,
are often oppressed by the government, and always suffer under a
scorching sun. Here, they would have found the climate of the South of
Germany, and a luxuriant soil, that would have yielded an ample
recompense for the slightest pains bestowed upon it.

After a few hours' sail, we came to a deep creek opening to the right,
and on its shores we perceived the mission of St. Francisco rising among
wooded hills. The tide by this time had ebbed, the wind had died away,
and we proceeded slowly by the aid of oars: this induced us, after
rowing about fifteen miles, to land, at noon, on a pleasant little
island. We made a blazing fire; and as every sailor understands
something of cookery, a dinner was soon dressed, which eaten in the open
air in beautiful weather, under the shade of spreading oaks, appeared

While the sailors were reposing, we examined the island. Its northern
shore was tolerably high, and rose almost perpendicularly from the sea.
Its soil, as that of all the country about the bay of St. Francisco,
consists, under the upper mould, of a variegated slate; probably the
foot of man had never before trodden it. But a short time since, no
boat was to be found in the neighbourhood, and now each mission
possesses only one large barge in which the reverend Fathers pass up and
down the rivers that discharge themselves into the northern half of the
bay, to seek among the Indians who are occasionally seen on their banks,
for proselytes to recruit the ranks of their laborious subjects. The
only canoes of the Indians are made of plaited reeds, in which they sit
up to their hips in water. That no one has yet attempted to build even
the simplest canoe in a country which produces a super-abundance of the
finest wood for the purpose, is a striking proof of the indolence of the
Spaniards, and the stupidity of the Indians.

Our island was surrounded by wild ducks and other sea-fowl; the
white-headed eagle hovered too over the oaks, and seemed to be pursuing
a very small species of hare, and a pretty partridge, of which there are
great numbers.

We enjoyed for a few hours the recreation of the land, so welcome to
sailors, and then continued our voyage with a favourable wind.

The sun was near the horizon when we approached the eastern shore of
the bay. Here the water is no longer of sufficient depth to admit large
vessels, and the face of the country assumes a different character. The
mountains retire to a greater distance; extensive plains slope from the
hills towards the water's edge, where they become mere swamps,
intersected however by a variety of natural channels, by means of which,
boats may run some distance inland. It was already growing dark as we
entered these channels, where, even during daylight, the assistance of a
good pilot is requisite to thread the intricacies of a navigation among
thick reeds that grow to such a height in the marshes on both sides, as
to exclude from view every object but the sky. Our sailors plied their
oars vigorously; the channels became gradually narrower, and the banks
drier; at length we heard human voices behind the reeds, and at midnight
we reached the landing-place. A large fire had been lighted. Two
dragoons and a few half-naked Indians, sent from the mission, were
waiting our arrival, with saddle-horses intended for our use. As the
mission was at the distance of a good hour's ride, the night was dark,
and I was not inclined to trouble the repose of the monks, I determined
to await the dawn of morning. Our small tents were presently pitched,
several fires lighted, and the cooks set to work.

After our tedious row, (for, owing to the zigzag course we had been
compelled to steer, we had passed over a distance of at least forty
miles,) the camping out, in a beautiful night, was quite delightful.
Although it was now the latter end of September, the air was as mild as
with us during the warmest summer nights. Round our little encampment we
heard an incessant barking, as of young dogs, proceeding from a species
of wolf, which abounds throughout California; it is not larger than the
fox; but is so daring and dexterous, that it makes no scruple of
entering human habitations in the night, and rarely fails to appropriate
whatever happens to suit it. This we ourselves experienced; for our
provision of meat had not been sufficiently secured, and we found
nothing in the morning but a gnawed and empty bag.

The rising sun announced the approach of a fine day, and gave us a view
of the extensive plains which formed the surrounding country. The
missionaries cultivated wheat upon them, which had been already
harvested, and large flocks of cattle, horses, and sheep, were seen
pasturing among the stubble. The mission of Santa Clara possesses
fourteen thousand head of cattle, one thousand horses, and ten thousand
sheep. The greater part of these animals being left to roam undisturbed
about the woods, they multiply with amazing rapidity.

I now ordered the horses to be saddled, and we set off for the mission,
the buildings and woods of which bounded the view over these prodigious
corn-fields. Our way lay through the stubble, amongst flocks of wild
geese, ducks, and snipes, so tame that we might have killed great
numbers with our sticks. These are all birds of passage, spending the
winter here, and the summer farther north. We fired a few shots among
the geese, and brought down about a dozen: they differ but little in
size from our domestic goose, and some of them are quite white. A ride
of an hour and a half brought us to Santa Clara, where the monks
received us in the most friendly manner, and exerted themselves most
hospitably, to make our visit agreeable.

The mission, which was founded in the year 1777, is situated beside a
stream of the most pure and delicious water, in a large and extremely
fertile plain. The buildings of Santa Clara, overshadowed by thick
groves of oaks, and surrounded by gardens which, though carelessly
cultivated, produce an abundance of vegetables, the finest grapes, and
fruits of all kinds, are in the same style as at all the other missions.
They consist of a large stone church, a spacious dwelling-house for the
monks, a large magazine for the preservation of corn, and the
Rancherios, or barracks, for the Indians, of which mention has already
been made. These are divided into long rows of houses, or rather stalls,
where each family is allowed a space scarcely large enough to enable
them to lie down to repose. We were struck by the appearance of a large
quadrangular building, which having no windows on the outside, and only
one carefully secured door, resembled a prison for state-criminals. It
proved to be the residence appropriated by the monks, the severe
guardians of chastity, to the young unmarried Indian women, whom they
keep under their particular superintendence, making their time useful to
the community by spinning, weaving, and similar occupations. These
dungeons are opened two or three times a-day, but only to allow the
prisoners to pass to and from the church. I have occasionally seen the
poor girls rushing out eagerly to breathe the fresh air, and driven
immediately into the church like a flock of sheep, by an old ragged
Spaniard armed with a stick. After mass, they are in the same manner
hurried back to their prisons. Yet, notwithstanding all the care of the
ghostly fathers, the feet of some of these uninviting fair ones were
cumbered with bars of iron, the penal consequence, as I was informed, of
detected transgression. Only on their marriage are these cloistered
virgins allowed to issue from their confinement and associate with their
own people in the barracks.

Three times a-day a bell summons the Indians to their meals, which are
prepared in large kettles, and served out in portions to each family.
They are seldom allowed meat; their ordinary, and not very wholesome
food, consisting of wheaten flour, maize, peas and beans, mixed
together, and boiled to a thick soup.

The mission of Santa Clara contains fifteen hundred male Indians, of
whom about one-half are married. All these men are governed by three
monks, and guarded by four soldiers and a subaltern officer. Since this
force is found sufficient, it follows either that the Indians of the
mission are happier than their free countrymen, or that, no way superior
to the domestic animals, they are chained by their instincts to the
place where their food is provided. The first supposition can hardly be
well founded. Hard labour every day, Sundays only excepted, when labour
is superseded by prayer; corporal chastisement, imprisonment, and
fetters on the slightest demonstration of disobedience; unwholesome
nourishment, miserable lodging, deprivation of all property, and of all
the enjoyments of life:--these are not boons which diffuse content. Many
indeed of these unfortunate victims prove, by their attempts to escape,
that their submission is involuntary; but the soldiers, as I have before
observed, generally hunt them from their place of refuge, and bring them
back to undergo the severe punishment their transgression has incurred.
To the most stupid apathy, then, must the patience of these Indians be
ascribed; and in this, their distinguishing characteristic, they exceed
every race of men I have ever known, not excepting the degraded natives
of Terra del Fuego, or Van Diemen's Land.

The Christian religion, or what the monks are pleased to call by that
name, has given no beneficial spur to their minds. How indeed could it
act upon their confined understandings, when their teachers were almost
wholly deficient in the necessary means of communicating knowledge,--an
acquaintance with their language? I have since had opportunities of
observing the free Indians, who appear less stupid, and in many respects
more civilized, than the proselytes of the _gente rationale_, as the
Spaniards here call themselves; and I am convinced that the system of
instruction and discipline adopted by the monks, has certainly tended
to degrade even these step-children of Nature. If to raise them to the
rank of intellectual beings had been really the object in view, rather
than making them the mock professors of a religion they are incapable of
understanding, they should have been taught the arts of agriculture and
architecture, and the method of breeding cattle; they should have been
made proprietors of the land they cultivated, and should have freely
enjoyed its produce. Had this been done, _los barbaros_ might soon have
stood on a level with the _gente rationale_.

There are in California many different races of Indians, whose languages
vary so much from each other, as sometimes to have scarcely any
resemblance; in the single mission of Santa Clara more than twenty
languages are spoken. These races are all alike ugly, stupid, dirty, and
disgusting: they are of a middle size, weak, and of a blackish colour;
they have flat faces, thick lips, broad negro-noses, scarcely any
foreheads, and black, coarse, straight hair. The powers of their mind
lie yet profoundly dormant; and La Pérouse does not perhaps exaggerate
when he affirms, that if any one among them can be made to comprehend
that twice two make four, he may pass, in comparison with his
countrymen, for a Descartes or a Newton. To most of them, this important
arithmetical proposition would certainly be perfectly incomprehensible.

In their wild state, all these Indians lead a wandering life. It is only
recently that they have begun to build huts of underwood, which they
burn whenever they remove from the spot. The chase is their sole
occupation and means of subsistence. Hence their skill in shooting with
arrows has cost many Spanish lives. They lie in wait at night, in the
forests and mountains, watching for game.

Agriculture, as I have before observed, is the copious source of revenue
to the monks, and they farm on an extensive scale. The yearly crop of
wheat at Santa Clara alone, produces three thousand fanegos, about six
hundred and twenty English quarters, or three thousand four hundred
Berlin bushels; and from the extraordinary fertility of the soil, the
harvest, on an average, is forty-fold, notwithstanding the roughness of
their mode of cultivation. The field is first broken up with a very
clumsy plough, then sown, and a second ploughing completes the work.
Under the hard clods of earth thus left undisturbed, a great part of the
seed perishes of course. How unexampled would be the harvest, if
assisted by the capital and industry of an European farmer!

The monks themselves confess that they are not good agriculturists; but
they are content with their harvests. Their carelessness is however
unpardonable, in having never yet erected a mill. There is not one in
all California; and the poor Indians are obliged to grind their corn by
manual labour between two large, flat stones.

From the mission we took half an hour's walk to a _Pueblo_. This word
signifies, in California, a village, inhabited by married invalids,
disbanded soldiers from the Presidio, and their progeny. This Pueblo
lies in a beautiful spot. The houses are pleasant, built of stone, and
stand in the midst of orchards, and hedges of vines bearing luxuriant
clusters of the richest grapes. The inhabitants came out to meet us,
and with much courteousness, blended with the ceremonious politeness of
the Spaniards, invited us to enter their simple but cleanly dwellings.
All their countenances bespoke health and contentment, and they have
good cause to rejoice in their lot. Unburthened by taxes of any kind,
and in possession of as much land as they choose to cultivate, they live
free from care on the rich produce of their fields and herds.

The population of these Pueblos is every year on the increase; while, on
the contrary, the numbers of the Indians dependent on the missions are
continually decreasing. The mortality amongst the latter is so great,
that the establishments could not continue, if their spiritual
conductors did not constantly procure fresh recruits from amongst the
free Indians, to fill the thinning ranks of their labourers.

In Old California, many of the missions have gone to decay on account of
the total extermination of the savages. The north still affords an
abundant supply to New California; but if the missionaries do not
economize the lives of their men more than they have hitherto done, this
source also will in time be exhausted. Meanwhile the Pueblos will
continue to multiply, and will become the origins of a new and improved

After passing three days with the monks of Santa Clara, who at least
possess the virtue of hospitality, we set out on our return with a
provision of fruit and vegetables, purchased for very fair prices. They
were carried to the place of embarkation on heavy and very badly
constructed cars drawn by oxen: the wheels were made of thick planks
nailed together, without any regard to mechanical science either in
their form or poizing; and the machine slowly advanced with a difficult
jolting motion very prejudicial to our fine melons, peaches, grapes, and
figs, and to the magnificent apples, which have no equals in Europe. On
reaching our Barcasse, we found all in readiness to receive ourselves
and cargo. The sailors had been much disturbed in the night by the

The ebb-tide favoured our navigation, and soon brought us within sight
of an arm of the sea, stretching eastward, at the extremity of which the
mission of St. José was built in the year 1797, on a very fertile spot.
It is already one of the richest in California, and a Pueblo has arisen
in its neighbourhood; the only Pueblo on the Bay of St. Francisco,
except that near Santa Clara. Between St. José and Santa Clara a road
has lately been made which may be traversed on horseback in about two

Soon after our return to the ship, a monk was observed riding along the
shore in company with a dragoon, and making signs with his large hat,
that he wished to come on board. We sent the boat for him, and a little,
thin, lively, and loquacious Spaniard introduced himself as the Padre
Thomas of the mission of St. Francisco, and offered, for a good
remuneration, to furnish us daily with fresh provisions, besides two
bottles of milk. He boasted not a little of being the only man in the
whole Bay of St. Francisco who had succeeded, after overcoming many
difficulties and obstacles, in obtaining milk from cows, of which he had
a numerous herd. As the Presidio could not supply our wants, and the
mission of Santa Clara lay too far off, we were very willing to accede
to Padre Thomas's wish; and he left us with an invitation to visit him
the following noon.

Accordingly, several of my officers and myself rode the next day to the
mission of St. Francisco, which I have described in the account of my
former voyage, and which has remained pretty much in the same state ever
since. The jovial Father Thomas was now the only monk in the mission,
and, consequently, at its head; he entertained us in a very friendly
manner, and with considerable expense.

The repast consisted of a great number of dishes, strongly seasoned with
garlic and pepper, and plenty of very tolerable wine of the Padre's own
vintage; it was animated by music, partly the performance of some little
naked Indian boys, upon bad fiddles, and partly of the venerable father
himself on a barrel organ which stood near him. The fruits for the
dessert were procured from the mission of Santa Clara, as the mists from
the sea prevent their ripening at St. Francisco.

Some guns from the Presidio, fired with the powder that remained after
returning our salute, one morning announced the arrival of Don Ignatio
Martinez, the commandant, who, after the breaking up of the congress at
Monterey, had returned to his post. With him came also the commandant of
the Presidio St. Diego, Don José Maria Estudillo, whom I had before
known. They visited me, accompanied by Sanchez, dined with me on board,
and were so well entertained, that they did not take leave of us till
late at night.

Indispensable business now summoned me to the establishment of the
Russian-American Company called Ross, which lies about eighty miles
north of St. Francisco. I had for some time been desirous of performing
the journey by land, but the difficulties had appeared insurmountable.
Without the assistance of the commandant, it certainly could not have
been accomplished; I was therefore glad to avail myself of his friendly
disposition towards me to make the attempt. We required a number of
horses and a military escort; the latter to serve us at once as guides,
and as a protection against the savages. Both these requests were
immediately granted; and Don Estudillo himself offered to command our

My companions on this journey were Dr. Eschscholz, Mr. Hoffman, two of
my officers, two sailors, Don Estudillo, and four dragoons, making
altogether a party of twelve. On the evening previous to the day for our
departure, Estudillo came to the ship with his four dragoons, the latter
well armed, and accoutred in a panoply of leather. He himself, in the
old Spanish costume, with a heavy sword, still heavier spurs, a dagger
and pistols in his belt, and a staff in his hand, was a good
personification of an adventurer of the olden time. He assured us that
we could not be too cautious, since we should pass through a part of the
country inhabited by "_los Indianos bravos_:" we therefore also made a
plentiful provision of arms, and were ready, as soon as the first beams
of morning glimmered on the tops of the mountains, to set forward in our
barcasse for the mission of St. Gabriel, lying on the northern shore of
the bay, whence our land journey was to commence.

The weather was beautiful, the wind perfectly still, and the air
enchantingly mild. An Indian named Marco, whom Estudillo had brought
with him, served us as pilot; for the Spaniards here, incapable, either
through indolence or ignorance, of discharging that office, always
employ an experienced Indian at the helm.

Don Estudillo, although advanced in life, was a very cheerful companion,
and one of the most enlightened Spaniards I have met with in California.
He piqued himself a little on his literary acquirements, and mentioned
having read three books besides Don Quixote and Gil Blas, whilst, as he
assured me in confidence, the rest of his countrymen here had hardly
ever seen any other book than the Bible. Marco had grown grey in the
mission: on account of his usefulness, he had been in many respects
better treated than most of the Indians: he spoke Spanish with tolerable
fluency; and when Estudillo endeavoured to exercise his wit upon him,
often embarrassed him not a little by his repartees. This Marco affords
a proof that, under favourable circumstances, the minds even of the
Indians of California are susceptible of improvement; but these
examples are rare in the missions.

Don Estudillo spoke with much freedom of the affairs of California,
where he had resided thirty years: like most of his comrades, he was no
friend to the clergy. He accused them of consulting only their own
interest, and of employing their proselytes as a means of laying up
wealth for themselves, with which, when acquired, they return to Spain.
He described to us their method of conversion. The monks, he said, send
dragoons into the mountains to catch the free heathens, that they may
convert them into Christian slaves. For this species of chase, the
huntsman is provided with a strong leathern noose fastened to his
saddle, long enough to throw to a great distance, and acquires such
dexterity in the practice as seldom to miss his aim. As soon as he
perceives a troop of Indians, he throws his noose over one of them
before he has time to defend himself, then setting spurs to his horse,
rides back to the mission with his prisoner, and is fortunate if he
bring him there alive. I can myself bear witness to the skill and
boldness of the dragoons, in the management of their horses, and in the
use of the noose, with which two or three of them in conjunction will
catch even bears and wild bulls; a single man is sufficient to capture
an Indian.

Estudillo declared that no Indian ever presents himself voluntarily at
the missions, but that they are all either hunted in the manner above
described, or tricked out of their liberty by some artifice of the
monks. For this purpose, some few in every mission are extremely well
treated, as for instance our pilot Marco. These are from time to time
sent into distant parts of the country to exert their eloquence on their
countrymen, and entice them to the missions. Once there, they are
immediately baptized, and they then become for ever the property of the

To my observation, that affairs would now probably assume a different
aspect, as the arbitrary dominion of the clergy, and the dependence of
the military upon them were equally terminated, Estudillo replied, that
California might certainly become a powerful state,--that she was
abundantly provided by nature with all that was requisite to her
political aggrandizement, but that she needed a man of ability in her
councils. "Don Louis Arguello," said he, "is not the man to
re-invigorate our radically disordered finances, to introduce a
wholesome subordination, without which no government can flourish, and
to establish a constitution upon which our future tranquillity and
improvement may be founded. Our soldiers are all of one mind; whoever
pays them the arrears due from the Spanish government is their master;
he purchases them, and to him they belong. Induced by a knowledge of
this disposition, Mexico has entered into negotiations with us; and the
question whether California shall exist as an independent state, or
place herself under the protection of another power, has been
particularly discussed at the late congress at Monterey, and is still

I confess I could not help speculating upon the benefit this country
would derive from becoming a province of our powerful empire, and how
useful it would prove to Russia. An inexhaustible granary for
Kamtschatka, Ochotsk, and all the settlements of the American Company;
these regions, so often afflicted with a scarcity of corn, would derive
new life from a close connection with California.

The sun rose in full magnificence from behind the mountain, at the
moment when, emerging from between the islands which divide the northern
from the southern half of the bay, an extensive mirror of water opened
upon our view. The mission of St. Gabriel, the first stage of our
journey, formed a distinguished object in the background of the
prospect, sloping up the sides of the hills, the intervening flat land
lying so low that it was not yet within our horizon. We had also a
distant view towards the north-west of another newly founded mission,
that of St. Francisco Salona, the only one situated on the northern
shore of the bay except St. Gabriel.

The country at this side of the bay, chiefly characterised by gently
swelling hills, the park-like grouping of the trees, and the lively
verdure of the meadows, is as agreeable to the eye as that of the
southern coast. The water is pure and wholesome, which that at the
Presidio is not; we therefore laid in our ship's store here.

The whole Bay of St. Francisco, in which thousands of ships might lie at
anchor, is formed by nature for an excellent harbour; but the little
creeks about the north-west coast, now lying to our left, and which I
have since frequently visited, are especially advantageous for repairs,
being so deep that the largest vessels can lie conveniently close to the
land; and an abundance of the finest wood for ship-building, even for
the tallest masts, is found in the immediate neighbourhood. The whole of
the northern part of the bay, which does not properly belong to
California, but is assigned by geographers to New Albion, has hitherto
remained unvisited by voyagers, and little known even to the Spaniards
residing in the country. Two large navigable rivers, which I afterwards
surveyed, empty themselves into it, one from the north, the other from
the east. The land is extremely fruitful, and the climate is perhaps the
finest and most healthy in the world. It has hitherto been the fate of
these regions, like that of modest merit or humble virtue, to remain
unnoticed; but posterity will do them justice; towns and cities will
hereafter flourish where all is now desert; the waters, over which
scarcely a solitary boat is yet seen to glide, will reflect the flags
of all nations; and a happy, prosperous people receiving with
thankfulness what prodigal Nature bestows for their use, will disperse
her treasures over every part of the world.

A fresh and favourable wind brought us, without much delay from the
opposing ebb-tide, to the northern shore. We left the common embouchure
of its two principal rivers, distinguished by the steepness of their
banks to the right, and rowing up the narrow channel which has formed
itself through the marsh land, reached our landing-place just as the
sun's disk touched the blue summits of the mountains in the west.

We were still distant a good nautical mile from the mission of St.
Gabriel, which peeped from amongst the foliage of its ancient oaks. Many
horses belonging to the mission were grazing on a beautiful meadow by
the water-side, in perfect harmony with a herd of small deer, which are
very numerous in this country. Our dragoons, who had no inclination for
a long walk, took their _lassos_ in hand, and soon caught us as many
horses as we wanted. We had brought our saddles with us, and a
delightful gallop across the plain carried us to St. Gabriel, where we
were received in a very hospitable manner by the only monk in residence.

The locality of this mission, founded in 1816, is still better chosen
than that of the celebrated Santa Clara. A mountain shelters it from the
injurious north-wind; but the same mountain serves also as a
hiding-place and bulwark for the _Indianos bravos_, who have already
once succeeded in burning the buildings of the mission, and still keep
the monks continually on the watch against similar depredations. In
fact, St. Gabriel has quite the appearance of an outpost for the defence
of the other missions.

The garrison, _six men_ strong, is always ready for service on the
slightest alarm. Having been driven from my bed at night by the vermin,
I saw two sentinels, fully armed, keeping guard towards the mountain,
each of them beside a large fire; every two minutes they rang a bell
which was hung between two pillars, and were regularly answered by the
howling of the little wolf I have before spoken of, as often lurking in
the vicinity of the missions. That there is not much to fear from other
enemies, is sufficiently proved by the small number of soldiers kept,
and the total neglect of all regular means of defence. The courage of
these _bravos_ seems indeed principally to consist in unwillingness to
be caught, in flying with all speed to their hiding-places when pursued,
and in setting fire to any property of the missions when they can find
an opportunity of doing so unobserved. We saw here several of these
heroes working patiently enough with irons on their feet, and in no way
distinguishable in manners or appearance from their brethren of St.
Francisco or Santa Clara.

With the first rays of the sun we mounted our horses, and having passed
the valley of St. Gabriel, and the hill which bounds it, our guide led
us in a north-westerly direction further into the interior. The fine,
light, and fertile soil we rode upon was thickly covered with rich
herbage, and the luxuriant trees stood in groups as picturesque as if
they had been disposed by the hand of taste. We met with numerous herds
of small stags, so fearless, that they suffered us to ride fairly into
the midst of them, but then indeed darted away with the swiftness of an
arrow. We sometimes also, but less frequently, saw another species of
stag, as large as a horse, with branching antlers; these generally graze
on hills, from whence they can see round them on all sides, and appear
much more cautious than the small ones. The Indians, however, have their
contrivances to take them. They fasten a pair of the stag's antlers on
their heads, and cover their bodies with his skin; then crawling on
all-fours among the high grass, they imitate the movements of the
creature while grazing; the herd, mistaking them for their fellows,
suffer them to approach without suspicion, and are not aware of the
treachery till the arrows of the disguised foes have thinned their

Towards noon the heat became so oppressive, that we were obliged to halt
on the summit of a hill: we reposed under the shade of some thick and
spreading oaks, while our horses grazed and our meal was preparing.
During our rest, we caught a glimpse of a troop of Indians skulking
behind some bushes at a distance; our dragoons immediately seized their
arms, but the savages disappeared without attempting to approach us. In
a few hours we proceeded on our journey, through a country, which
presenting no remarkable object to direct our course, excited my
astonishment at the local memory of our guide, who had traversed it but
once before. Two great shaggy white wolves, hunting a herd of small
deer, fled in terror on our appearance, and we had the gratification of
saving the pretty animals for this time. In several places we saw little
cylindrically-shaped huts of underwood, which appeared to have been
recently quitted by Indians, and sometimes we even found the still
glimmering embers of a fire; it is therefore probable that the savages
were often close to us when we were not aware of it; but they always
took care to conceal themselves from the much dreaded dragoons and their

In the evening we reached a little mountain brook, which, after winding
through a ravine, falls into the sea at Port Romanzow, or Bodega. It was
already dark, and though but ten miles distance from Ross, we were
obliged to pass the chill and foggy night not very agreeably on this
spot. In the morning we forded the shallow stream, and as we proceeded,
found in the bold, wild features of the scene a striking difference from
the smiling valleys through which we had travelled on the preceding day.
The nearer we drew to the coast, the more abrupt became the precipices
and the higher the rocks, which were overgrown with larch even to their
peaked summits.

We wound round the bases of some hills, and having with much fatigue
climbed other very steep ascents, reached towards noon a considerable
height, which rewarded us with a magnificent prospect. Amongst the
remarkable objects before us, the ocean stretched to the west, with the
harbour of Romanzow, which unfortunately will only afford admission to
small vessels; the Russian settlement here, can therefore never be as
prosperous as it might have been, had circumstances permitted its
establishment on the bay of St. Francisco. To the east, extending far
inland, lay a valley, called by the Indians the Valley of the White Men.
There is a tradition among them, that a ship was once wrecked on this
coast; that the white men chose this valley for their residence, and
lived there in great harmony with the Indians. What afterwards became of
them is not recorded. On the north-east was a high mountain thickly
covered with fir trees, from amongst which rose dark columns of smoke,
giving evidence of Indian habitations. Our soldiers said that it was the
abode of a chief and his tribe, whose valour had won the respect of the
Spaniards; that they were of a distinct class from the common race of
Indians; had fixed their dwellings on this mountain on account of its
supposed inaccessibility; were distinguished for their courage, and
preferred death to the dominion of the Missionaries, into whose power no
one of them has ever yet been entrapped. Is it not possible that they
may owe their superiority to having mingled their race with that of the
shipwrecked whites?

Our road now lay sometimes across hills and meadows, and sometimes along
the sands so near the ocean that we were sprinkled by its spray. We
passed Port Romanzow, and soon after forded the bed of another shallow
river to which the Russians have given the name of Slavianka. Farther
inland it is said to be deeper, and even navigable for ships; its banks
are extremely fertile, but peopled by numerous warlike hordes. It flows
hither from the north-east; and the Russians have proceeded up it a
distance of a hundred wersts, or about sixty-seven English miles.

The region we now passed through was of a very romantic though wild
character; and the luxuriant growth of the grass proved that the soil
was rich. From the summit of a high hill, we at length, to our great
joy, perceived beneath us the fortress of Ross, to which we descended by
a tolerably convenient road. We spurred our tired horses, and excited no
small astonishment as we passed through the gate at a gallop. M. Von
Schmidt, the governor of the establishment, received us in the kindest
manner, fired some guns to greet our arrival on Russian-American ground,
and conducted us into his commodious and orderly mansion, built in the
European fashion with thick beams.

The settlement of Ross, situated on the sea-shore, in latitude 38° 33',
and on an insignificant stream, was founded in the year 1812, with the
free consent of the natives, who were very useful in furnishing
materials for the buildings and even in their erection.

The intention in forming this settlement was to pursue the chase of the
sea-otter on the coast of California, where the animal was then
numerous, as it had become extremely scarce in the more northern
establishments. The Spaniards who did not hunt them, willingly took a
small compensation for their acquiescence in the views of the Russians;
and the sea-otter, though at present scarce even here, is more
frequently caught along the Californian coast, southward from Ross, than
in any other quarter. The fortress is a quadrangle, palisaded with tall,
thick beams, and defended by two towers which mount fifteen cannons. The
garrison consisted, on my arrival, of a hundred and thirty men, of whom
a small number only were Russians, the rest Aleutians.

The Spaniards lived at first on the best terms with the new settlers,
and provided them with oxen, cows, horses, and sheep; but when in
process of time they began to remark that, notwithstanding the
inferiority of soil and climate, the Russian establishment became more
flourishing than theirs, envy, and apprehension of future danger, took
possession of their minds: they then required that the settlement should
be abandoned,--asserted that their rights of dominion extended northward
quite to the Icy Sea, and threatened to support their claims by force of

The founder and then commander of the fortress of Ross, a man of
penetration, and one not easily frightened, gave a very decided answer.
He had, he said, at the command of his superiors, settled in this
region, which had not previously been in the possession of any other
power, and over which, consequently, none had a right but the natives;
that these latter had freely consented to his occupation of the land,
and therefore that he would yield to no such unfounded pretension as
that now advanced by the Spaniards, but should be always ready to resist
force by force.

Perceiving that the Russians would not comply with their absurd
requisitions, and considering that they were likely to be worsted in an
appeal to arms, the Spaniards quietly gave up all further thought of
hostilities, and entered again into friendly communications with our
people; since which the greatest unity has subsisted between the two
nations. The Spaniards often find Ross very serviceable to them. For
instance, there is no such thing as a smith in all California;
consequently the making and repairing of all manner of iron implements
here is a great accommodation to them, and affords lucrative employment
to the Russians. The dragoons who accompanied us, had brought a number
of old gunlocks to be repaired.

In order that the Russians might not extend their dominion to the
northern shore of the Bay of St. Francisco, the Spaniards immediately
founded the missions of St. Gabriel and St. Francisco Salona. It is a
great pity that we were not beforehand with them. The advantages of
possessing this beautiful bay are incalculable, especially as we have no
harbour but the bad one of Bodega or Port Romanzow.

The inhabitants of Ross live in the greatest concord with the Indians,
who repair, in considerable numbers, to the fortress, and work as
day-labourers, for wages. At night they usually remain outside the
palisades. They willingly give their daughters in marriage to Russians
and Aleutians; and from these unions ties of relationship have arisen
which strengthen the good understanding between them. The inhabitants of
Ross have often penetrated singly far into the interior, when engaged in
the pursuit of deer or other game, and have passed whole nights among
different Indian tribes, without ever having experienced any
inconvenience. This the Spaniards dare not venture upon. The more
striking the contrast between the two nations in their treatment of the
savages, the more ardently must every friend to humanity rejoice on
entering the Russian territory.

The Greek Church does not make converts by force. Free from fanaticism,
she preaches only toleration and love. She does not even admit of
persuasion, but trusts wholly to conviction for proselytes, who, when
once they enter her communion, will always find her a loving mother. How
different has been the conduct both of Catholic priests and Protestant

The climate at Ross is mild. Reaumur's thermometer seldom falls to the
freezing point; yet gardens cannot flourish, on account of the frequent
fogs. Some wersts farther inland, beyond the injurious influence of the
fog, plants of the warmest climates prosper surprisingly. Cucumbers of
fifty pounds' weight, gourds of sixty-five, and other fruits in
proportion, are produced in them. Potatoes yield a hundred or two
hundred fold, and, as they will produce two crops in a year, are an
effectual security against famine. The fortress is surrounded by wheat
and barley fields, which, on account of the fogs, are less productive
than those of Santa Clara, but which still supply sufficient corn for
the inhabitants of Ross. The Aleutians find their abode here so
agreeable, that although very unwilling to leave their islands, they are
seldom inclined to return to them.

The Spaniards should take a lesson in husbandry from M. Von Schmidt, who
has brought it to an admirable degree of perfection. Implements, equal
to the best we have in Europe, are made here under his direction. Our
Spanish companions were struck with admiration at what he had done; but
what astonished them most, was the effect of a windmill; they had never
before seen a machine so ingenious, and so well adapted to its purpose.

Ross is blest with an abundance of the finest wood for building. The sea
provides it with the most delicious fish, the land with an inexhaustible
quantity of the best kinds of game; and, notwithstanding the want of a
good harbour, the northern settlements might easily find in this a
plentiful magazine for the supply of all their wants. Two ships had
already run in here from Stapel.

The Indians of Ross are so much like those of the missions, that they
may well be supposed to belong to the same race, however different their
language. They appear indeed by no means so stupid, and are much more
cheerful and contented than at the missions, where a deep melancholy
always clouds their faces, and their eyes are constantly fixed upon the
ground; but this difference is only the natural result of the different
treatment they experience. They have no permanent residence, but wander
about naked, and, when not employed by the Russians as day-labourers,
follow no occupation but the chase. They are not difficult in the choice
of their food, but consume the most disgusting things, not excepting all
kinds of worms and insects, with good appetite, only avoiding poisonous
snakes. For the winter they lay up a provision of acorns and wild rye:
the latter grows here very abundantly. When it is ripe, they burn the
straw away from it, and thus roast the corn, which is then raked
together, mixed with acorns, and eaten without any farther preparation.
The Indians here have invented several games of chance: they are
passionately fond of gaming, and often play away every thing they
possess. Should the blessing of civilization ever be extended to the
rude inhabitants of these regions, the merit will be due to the Russian
settlements, certainly not to the Spanish missions.

After a stay of two days, we took leave of the estimable M. Von Schmidt,
and returned by the same way that we came, without meeting with any
remarkable occurrence. Professor Eschscholtz remained at Ross, in order
to prosecute some botanical researches, intending to rejoin us by means
of an Aleutian baidar, several of which were shortly to proceed to St.
Francisco in search of otters. This promised chase was a gratifying
circumstance to me, as I had it in contemplation to examine several of
the rivers that fall into the Bay of St. Francisco, for which purpose
the small Aleutian vessels would probably prove extremely serviceable.
The north-west wind is prevalent here during summer, and rain is unknown
in that season: it was now, however, the latter end of October, and
southerly gales began to blow, accompanied by frequent showers; we had
therefore to wait some time for the baidars and Professor Eschscholtz.
Meanwhile, to our great surprise, a boat with six oars, one day, entered
the bay from the open sea, and lay to beside our ship. It belonged to an
English whaler, which had been tacking about for some days, and was
prevented by the contrary wind from getting into the bay. The greater
part of his crew being sick of the scurvy, the captain at length
resolved on sending his boat ashore, in hopes of being able to get some
fresh provisions for his patients. I immediately furnished the boat with
an ample supply both of fresh meat and vegetables, and having completed
its little cargo, it proceeded again to sea forthwith. The next day the
whaler succeeded in getting into the bay, and came to anchor close
alongside. It was evident, from their manner of working the vessel, that
she had but few hands on board capable of labour. The captain, who
shortly afterwards visited me, was himself suffering severely, and his
mates were all confined to their beds; seven months the vessel had been
at sea off the Japanese coast, holding no communication with the shore;
and this without having succeeded in the capture of a single whale,
though numbers of them had been seen on the coast. The scurvy with which
the crew was afflicted, was mainly attributable to unwholesome food,
selected on a principle of unpardonable economy, and to the want of
cleanliness; a vice not usual among the English, but which, during so
long an absence from land, is scarcely to be avoided; not the slightest
symptom of this fearful malady, formerly so fatal to seamen, manifested
itself on board my vessel throughout the whole course of our tedious

The captain informed me that a number of whalers frequented the Japanese
coast, and often obtained rich cargoes in a short period: the principal
disadvantages with which they had to contend were violent storms, and a
strict prohibition against landing. The Japanese, as is well known,
refuse to have any foreign intercourse except with the Chinese and
Dutch, and treat all other nations as if they carried contagion with
them; hoping thus to preserve their ancient manners unchanged. During my
first voyage with Admiral Krusenstern, I spent seven months in Japan,
and may venture to assert, that whoever has an opportunity of becoming
acquainted with the people, cannot but respect them for the high degree
of intellectual development to which they have attained, through their
own efforts, unassisted by foreign influence. Their total isolation is
probably owing to the timid policy of a despotic government, anxious to
prevent the introduction of ideas that might possibly exercise a
hostile influence upon the existing institutions.

A whaler that had exceeded his appointed stay on the coast, had
completely exhausted his stock of water and provisions. In this
distress, although fully aware of the severe prohibition, the captain
resolved to pay a visit to the Emperor in his capital, and accordingly,
without ceremony, sailed into the Bay of Jeddo, where he cast anchor
within gun-shot of the city. The hubbub among the inhabitants, who had
never seen an European vessel before, may be imagined. The shore
immediately swarmed with soldiers, and armed boats surrounded the ship.
From these martial preparations, the crew apprehended that it was
intended to make them pay for their temerity with their lives; but their
fears proved unfounded. As soon as the Japanese had taken the necessary
precautions to prevent the vessel either from leaving the spot where she
had first anchored, or from sending a boat on shore, a handsome barge
came alongside, from which two Bonjoses, dressed in silk, and each armed
with two sabres, stepped on board: they were accompanied by an
interpreter who spoke a little broken Dutch. They saluted the captain
politely, inquiring the object of his visit, and whether he was not
aware that the coast of Japan was not accessible under pain of death?
The captain acknowledged himself aware of the prohibition, but stated
that the emergency of the case had left him no choice: the Bonjoses
thereupon searched the vessel, and having satisfied themselves that she
was really destitute of provisions and water, they took leave of the
captain with the same civility they had shown him on their arrival. A
multitude of boats with persons of both sexes now issued from the city,
to feast their eyes upon the novel spectacle, but they were not allowed
to approach within the circle marked by the watch-boats. The same day,
the interpreter returned, bringing water and every species of
provisions, sufficient for several weeks, declaring that the Emperor
furnished every thing gratuitously, as the government would deem it a
disgrace to accept payment from those whom distress had driven to their
shore; but as the captain's necessities were now provided for, he was
ordered immediately to put to sea, and to inform his countrymen, that
except in cases of the most urgent necessity, they were not permitted to
approach the Japanese coast under pain of death; nor was it at all just
to carry on a fishery on their coast, without the permission of the
Emperor. The interpreter had brought a number of people with him, who
assisted in shipping the provisions and water: the captain was then
immediately obliged to weigh anchor, and the Japanese boats towed the
vessel out to sea, after she had been scarcely twelve hours in the bay.
On taking leave, the captain wished to make a present to the
interpreter, but he hastened out of the vessel in alarm, declaring that
his acceptance of the smallest trifle would cost him his head. Europeans
are not so scrupulous.

Soon after this, another whaler, knowing nothing about the affair in
Jeddo, sent a boat ashore, a hundred miles farther south, to a little
village on the coast, to try and purchase some fresh provisions. The
sailors, on landing, were immediately seized and imprisoned, and their
boat placed under arrest. The ship, having waited a long time in vain
for the return of her boat, was at length driven by a violent storm to
a distance from the coast. The prisoners were well treated; their prison
was commodious, and their food excellent. In fourteen days, sentence was
pronounced on them, probably at Jeddo, and proved less mild than might
have been expected in Japan:--they were ordered to be replaced in their
boat, and immediately sent to sea without any provisions, let the
weather be what it might. After wandering on the trackless ocean for
eight-and-forty hours, they had the good fortune to meet with a whaler,
which took them in. These examples may serve as a warning to all
navigators who may be desirous of effecting a landing in Japan.

The Californian winter being now fairly set in, we had much rain and
frequent storms. On the 9th of October the south-west wind blew with the
violence of the West-Indian tornado, rooted up the strongest trees, tore
off the roofs of the houses, and occasioned great devastation in the
cultivated lands. One of our thickest cables broke; and if the second
had given way, we would have been driven on the rocky shore of the
channel which unites the bay with the sea, where a powerful current
struggling with the tempest produced a frightful surf. Fortunately, the
extreme violence of the storm lasted only a few hours, but in that short
time it caused a destructive inundation: the water spread so rapidly
over the low lands, that our people had scarcely time to secure the
tent, with the astronomical apparatus. On comparing the time of day at
St. Petersburg and St. Francisco, by means of the difference of
longitude, it appears that the tremendous inundation at the former city
took place not only on the same day, but even began in the same hour as
that in California. Several hundred miles westward, on the Sandwich
Islands, the wind raged with similar fury at the same time, as it did
also still farther off, upon the Philippine Islands, where it was
accompanied by an earthquake. So violent was the storm in the Bay of
Manilla, (usually so safe a harbour,) that a French corvette, at anchor
there, under the command of Captain Bougainville, a son of the
celebrated navigator, was entirely dismasted, as we afterwards heard,
on the Sandwich Islands, and at Manilla itself. This hurricane,
therefore, raged at the same time over the greatest part of the northern
hemisphere; the causes which produced it may possibly have originated
beyond our atmosphere.

Finding that our anchorage would not be secure during the winter, if we
should be exposed to storms of this kind, we took advantage of the fine
weather on the following day, to sail some miles farther eastward, into
a little bay surrounded by a romantic landscape, where Vancouver
formerly lay, and which is perfectly safe at all seasons: the Spaniards
have named this bay _Herba buena_, after a sweet-smelling herb which
grows on its shores.

The arrival of Dr. Eschscholtz and the baidars from Ross was still
delayed, and I really began to fear that some misfortune had befallen
them in the tempest: my joy therefore was extreme, when at last, on the
12th of October, the baidars, twenty in number, entered the harbour
undamaged, and we received our friend again safe and well. The little
flotilla had indeed left Ross before the commencement of the hurricane,
but had fortunately escaped any injury from it, by taking refuge at a
place called _Cap de los Reges_, till its fury was expended; but the
voyagers had been obliged to bivouack on the naked rock, without shelter
from the weather, and with very scanty provisions. Dr. Eschscholtz,
however, not in the slightest degree disheartened by the difficulties he
had undergone, was quite ready to join the voyage I had meditated for
the examination of the adjacent rivers.

All our preparations were now completed; we again took on board our
pilot Marco, and a soldier from the Presidio, who offered to accompany
us. On the 18th of November the weather was favourable, and we set out
with a barcasse and a shallop, both well manned and provided with every
necessary, in company with the Aleutian flotilla. At first we took the
same course I have before described, towards the mission of St. Gabriel;
cutting through the waters of the southern basin, and working our way
between the islands into the northern portion of the bay; then adopting
an easterly course, so that St. Gabriel remained at a considerable
distance to the left in the north-east. We reached towards noon, at a
distance of thirty miles from our ship, the common mouth of the two
before-mentioned rivers, which here fall into the bay.

The breadth of this embouchure is a mile and a half, and the banks on
both sides are high, steep, and little wooded. It is crossed by a
shallow, not above two or three feet deep; but on its east side the
channel will admit ships of a middling size fully laden. The current was
so strong against us, that it was with much exertion our rowers
accomplished crossing the shallow. We landed on the left bank in order
to determine the geographical position of the mouth, and found the
latitude 38° 2' 4", and the longitude 122° 4'. After finishing this
task, I ascended the highest hillock on the shore, which consisted of
strata of slate and quartz, to admire the beauty of the prospect. On the
south lay the enviable and important Bay of St. Francisco with its many
islands and creeks; to the north flowed the broad beautiful river formed
by the junction of the two, sometimes winding between high, steep
rocks, sometimes gliding among smiling meadows, where numerous herds of
deer were grazing. In every direction the landscape was charming and
luxuriant. Our Aleutians here straggled about in their little baidars,
and pursued the game with which land and water were stocked: they had
never seen it in such plenty; and being passionately fond of the chase,
they fired away without ceasing, and even brought down some of the game
with a javelin. The Aleutians are as much at home in their little
leathern canoes, as our Cossacks on horseback. They follow their prey
with the greatest rapidity in all directions, and it seldom escapes
them. White and grey pelicans about twice the size of our geese were
here in great numbers. An Aleutian followed a flock of these birds, and
killed one of them with his javelin; the rest of the flock took this so
ill, that they attacked the murderer and beat him severely with their
wings, before other baidars could come to his assistance. The frequent
appearance of the pelican on this river, proves that it abounds in
fish; a remark that our pilot Marco confirmed; and we ourselves saw many
large fish leap to the surface of the water.

When the sailors had rested some hours, we continued our voyage up the
stream; but it was ebb-tide, and both currents united allowed us to make
but little progress. We landed therefore at six o'clock, after working
only a few miles, and pitched our tents for the night in a pretty
meadow. The river flowing as before, from the north, was here a mile
broad, and deep enough for the largest ships.

On the following morning we broke up our camp at break of day, and,
favoured by wind and tide, sailed swiftly forward in a direction almost
due north. The aspect of the river now frequently changed: its breadth
varied from one to two and three miles. We often came into large reaches
many miles in circumference, and surrounded by magnificent scenery. We
sailed past pretty hilly islands adorned with lofty spreading trees, and
every where found a sufficient depth of water to admit the largest
ships. The steep banks sometimes opened to delightful plains, where the
deer were grazing under the shadow of luxuriant oaks. The voyage was in
fact, even at this time of year, a most agreeable excursion.

When we had proceeded eighteen miles from our night camp, and
twenty-three from the river's mouth, we reached the confluence of the
two streams. One flows from the east, and the other from the north. The
Spaniards call the first Pescadores; farther inland it receives two
other rivers, which, according to our pilot, are equally broad and deep
as itself: the missionaries have given them the names of St. Joachim,
and Jesus Maria. Some way up these rivers, whose banks are said to have
been uncommonly fertile and thickly peopled, the pious fathers have
journeyed to convert the Indians and procure labourers for the missions.
Now that a part of the natives have yielded to conversion, and others
have fled farther into the interior to escape it, no human being is to
be found in the tract of land which we were surveying; no trace remains
of a numerous race called Korekines, by whom it was once inhabited.
Since the river Pescadores was already known, I chose the other, which
flows from the north, and is called Sacramento. Towards noon, after we
had ascended it some miles, a violent contrary wind forced us ashore;
latitude 38° 22'.

The wind increasing every moment in strength, we were obliged to give up
for this day all thoughts of making farther progress; and resolving to
pass the night here, pitched our tents in a pleasant meadow on the west
side of the river. I then climbed a hill, to enjoy a more extensive
prospect; and observed that the country to the west swelled into hills
of a moderate height, besprinkled with trees growing singly. In the east
and south-east the horizon was bounded by icy mountains, the Sierra
Nevada, part of the immense chain which divides America from north to
south: they appeared to be covered more than half-way down with ice and
snow. The distance of these mountains from my present station could not
be less than forty miles. Between them and the river the country is low,
flat, thickly wooded, and crossed by an infinite number of streams,
which divide the whole of it into islands. We had not yet met a single
Indian; but the columns of smoke which rose from this abundantly
irrigated tract of land, showed that they had taken refuge where the
dragoons and their lassos could not follow to convert them.

It seems certain that the river Pescadores, as well as those of St.
Joachim and Jesus Maria, which fall into it, take their rise in the icy
mountains, since they flow from the east, and pass through the low
lands, where they receive a multitude of smaller streams. On the
contrary, the river Sacramento flowing from the north, from quite
another region, has its source, according to the Indians of the mission,
in a great lake. I myself conjecture, that the Slavianka, which falls
into the sea near Ross, is an arm of it.

The many rivers flowing through this fruitful country will be of the
greatest use to future settlers. The low ground is exactly adapted to
the cultivation of rice; and the higher, from the extraordinary strength
of the soil, would yield the finest wheat-harvests. The vine might be
cultivated here to great advantage. All along the banks of the river
grapes grow wild, in as much profusion as the rankest weeds: the
clusters were large; and the grapes, though small, very sweet, and
agreeably flavoured. We often ate them in considerable quantities, and
sustained no inconvenience from them. The Indians also eat them very

The chase furnished us with ample and profitable amusement. An abundance
of deer, large and small, are to be met with all over the country, and
geese, ducks, and cranes, on the banks of the rivers. There was such a
superfluity of game, that even those among us who had never been
sportsmen before, when once they took the gun in their hands, became as
eager as the rest. The sailors chased the deer very successfully.

When it grew dark, we kindled a large fire, that our hunters, some of
whom had lost their way, might recover the camp. In the night we were
much disturbed by bears, which pursued the deer quite close to our
tents; and by the clear moonlight we plainly saw a stag spring into the
river to escape the bear; the latter, however, jumped after him, and
both swam down the stream till they were out of sight.

At sunrise, as the wind had fallen a little, we continued our voyage.
On the shore we met with a small rattlesnake, which might have been a
dangerous neighbour. It was, however, his destiny to become our prize,
and enrich the collection of Dr. Eschscholtz. The river now took a
north-westerly direction. Its breadth was from two hundred and fifty to
three hundred fathoms, independently of numerous branches on the east
side, flowing between various small islands. The country on the west
bank was of a moderate height; that on the east was low. The power of
the current impeded our progress, though our rowers exerted all their
strength. As the sun advanced towards the meridian, the north wind also
rose again; so that with our utmost efforts we could advance but little,
and at noon we were obliged to lay-to again, having proceeded only ten
miles the whole day. The latitude on the western shore, where we now
landed, was 38° 27', and the longitude 122° 10'.

Here we had reached what proved the termination of our little voyage.
The unfavourable state of the weather would not allow of our making any
farther progress; and our pilot assured us that at this season the
quantity of rain that falls, so much swells the river and strengthens
the currents, as to make it impossible to contend with the continually
increasing force of the stream. We were therefore compelled to abandon
the farther prosecution of these inquiries to some future traveller,
whose fate shall lead him hither in summer time, when these obstacles do
not exist.

The neighbourhood of our landing-place seemed to have been recently the
abode of some Indians. We found a stake driven into the earth, to which
a bunch of feathers was attached for a weather-cock; in several places
fire had been kindled, as some burning embers still attested. There were
also two Indian canoes made of reeds. The pilot gave me the names of two
tribes who had formerly dwelt in this region, and probably still
wandered in its vicinity--the Tschupukanes, and Hulpunes. We could now
see the smoke of their fires rising from the marshy islands, the higher
parts of which they inhabit.

The majestic chain of mountains of the Sierra Nevada looked most
beautiful from this spot. The whole eastern horizon was bounded by these
masses of ice, and before them the low land lay spread out like a
verdant sea. From the Bay of St. Francisco, the Sierra Nevada are
nowhere visible; but they first come in sight after having passed the
point where the Pescadores and the Sacramento unite.

The day was again passed in sport, and we shot many stags, the meat of
which proved extremely good. During the night we were again disturbed by
the little wolves so common here: they stole some pieces of our venison.
Early the next morning we prepared for our return, and soon quitted
these lovely and fertile plains, where many thousand families might live
in plenty and comfort, but which now, from their utter loneliness, leave
a mournful impression on the mind, increased by the reflection that the
native Indians have been nearly exterminated. During our return voyage,
we were very diligent in taking soundings, and found the water in the
middle of the river always as much as from fifteen to seventeen and
twenty fathoms; but at its mouth not more than four or five fathoms

On the 23rd of November we again reached our vessel, laden with venison
for the whole crew. Captain Lasaref had arrived during our absence with
his frigate; having struggled with storms almost the whole way from New
Archangel to St. Francisco. With the intention of sending letters home
by him, I had waited for his arrival to leave California. Our vessel was
therefore now immediately prepared for sailing, our camp on shore broken
up, and all the instruments brought on board. During the last night our
people passed on land, they killed a polecat which had slunk into the
tent. This animal, of the size and form of an ordinary cat, has so
abominable a smell, that its vicinity is insupportable. Dogs, when they
sometimes attack and bite these creatures, cannot relieve themselves
from the stench, but continue to rub their noses so violently against
the ground as they run, that they leave a stream of blood on their
track. Polecats may be considered in the brute creation what the
Kalushes are among men.

On the morning of the 25th of November, as soon as the tide ebbed, we
towed out of the Bay of St. Francisco with a north-west wind, which here
regularly brings fine weather. The sea was still so much agitated by the
recent south-west storms, that it rolled large billows into the channel
which unites it with the bay. Our vessel being dashed against these
breakers by the force of the current from the channel, would no longer
obey the helm, and we narrowly escaped being cast against a rock. I
would therefore recommend others of my profession only to sail out of
this bay when the water in the channel is tranquil, which usually
happens after the wind has blown for several days from the north-west.

According to repeated observations, we found the latitude of the
Presidio of St. Francisco to be 37° 48' 33", and the longitude 122° 22'
30". The declination of the needle was 16° east.

The medium of our observations in the bay gave us the time for high
water, at the new and full moon, 11 hours and 20 minutes.

The greatest difference in the height of the water was seven feet. The
rivers which fall into the bay have a great influence on the times of
ebb and flow, so that the ebb lasts eight hours, and the flood only



On losing sight of the Californian coast, we steered southwards, to take
advantage as soon as possible of the trade-wind, proposing by its means
to sail direct for the Sandwich Islands. A strong and lasting
north-wester favoured our intention, and on the 3rd of December we
crossed the tropic of Cancer in the latitude 133° 58', gained the
trade-wind, and began our run westward, supposing ourselves secure from
storms in this tropical region; we were, however, mistaken: already on
the 5th a high wind from the south-east compelled us to take in all
sail; on the 6th it shifted to the west, and on the 7th to the north. We
experienced from this quarter some violent gusts, after which the
heavens cleared, the storm abated, and towards evening on the 8th, we
regained the ordinary trade-wind. I mention these storms, only because
they are almost unexampled at so great a distance from land, between the
tropics, and especially as coming from the west; but it appears that
this year was quite out of the ordinary course, and produced a number of
strange phenomena of which we heard complaints wherever we went.

The weather, after treating us so ill, again became friendly, and the
remainder of our voyage proceeded swiftly and favourably under the
magnificent tropical sky: agreeable it was sure to be; for the peculiar
charm of a sail between the tropics is appreciated by all seamen. An old
English captain, with whom I became acquainted during this voyage,
assured me that he could imagine no greater luxury for the remainder of
his life, than to possess a good quick-sailing ship, to keep a good
table, and to sail between the tropics, without ever making land. I
cannot, I confess, altogether participate in this true seaman-like
taste: on my voyages, the mere sight of land has always been my great
source of pleasure. The conduct of a vessel through distant seas, and
through its conflicts with the variable element, is not indeed an
uninteresting occupation; but the object which has always chiefly
attracted my inclinations, is an intimate knowledge of various countries
and their inhabitants; and I have always considered the time spent at
sea, as a necessary hardship submitted to with this reward in view.
Perhaps I was not born for a sailor: an accident, by no means calculated
upon in my previous education, made me such in my fifteenth year.

We sailed in the night past O Wahi, the principal of the Sandwich group,
with its celebrated giant mountain Mou-na-roa. At break of day on the
13th, we saw in the west the elevated island of Muwe, and continued our
course along the northern shore of this and its neighbour Morotai, to
Wahu, where we intended to land. The landscape of a tropical country is
always pleasing, even when, as here, high lava hills, and masses of
sometimes naked rocks piled like towers upon each other, form the
principal features of the coast, at first inspiring the navigator with
doubts of its fertility. But how agreeably is he surprised, on reaching
the southern shores of these islands, to meet with the most smiling
scenery, and most luxuriant vegetation. In the middle of the channel,
between the islands Muwe and Morotai, lie two small uninhabited islands,
which, strange to say, are not marked on Vancouver's map. We took some
pains to ascertain their exact situation.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, the high yellow rock which forms the
eastern point of the island of Wahu, became plainly visible above our
horizon. We could not reach the secure harbour of Hanaruro, which lies
on the southern side of this promontory, before nightfall, and therefore
thought it advisable to lay-to between the islands Wahu and Morotai. In
the morning, after doubling the conical mountain called the Diamond
Mountain, we suddenly came in sight of the harbour, containing a number
of ships decorated with the flags of various nations.

I must here make a few remarks for the benefit of such navigators as are
not well acquainted with these waters. Whoever wishes to sail in
between the islands of Wahu and Morotai, must remember, that throughout
the year a strong current always sets here towards the north-west; and
that the eastern point of Wahu should be doubled within the distance of
three miles from the coast; as farther out to sea, calms are very
prevalent here, whilst in the neighbourhood of the land, a fresh breeze
regularly sets, in the morning, from the land, and from noon till
evening from the sea.

Behind its harbour, safely sheltered by the coral reefs, lies the town
of Hanaruro, consisting of irregular rows of dwellings scattered over an
open plain. Here and there among the huts are seen houses built of stone
in the European fashion. The former lie modestly concealed, under the
cooling shade of palm-trees; the latter stand boldly forward, braving
the burning sunbeams and dazzling the eye by their overpowering
whiteness. Close to the shore the fortress rears its strong turreted
walls in a quadrangular form, planted with cannon, and bearing the
striped national flag of the Sandwich Islands. The country above the
town rises in an amphitheatre, planted with tarro-root, sugar-cane, and
banana, and the view to landward is bounded by precipitous mountains
invading the clouds, and thickly overgrown with fine trees. In this
beautiful panorama we see at once that the island of Wahu deserves the
appellation it has acquired,--of the garden of the Sandwich Islands.

As we approached the harbour, I made the usual signal for a pilot, and
we soon after saw a boat of European construction making towards us; it
was rowed by two naked _Kanachas_, as the lower class of people are here
called, the pilot sitting at the rudder in an European dress. When he
came on board, I recognised him for the Englishman, Alexander Adams, who
on my former voyage in the Rurik had commanded the ship Kahumanna,
belonging to King Tameamea; he was now chief pilot. The wind did not
immediately allow us to run into the harbour, but in a few hours it
became favourable, and our skilful pilot guided us safely through the
intricacies of its narrow entrance. Our ship was the largest that had
ever passed through this channel, which would be impracticable for
first-rate vessels.

Some of the ships we found in the harbour were English and American
whalers, which had put in here for provisions; others were on trading
voyages to the north-west coast of America for skins, or returning
thence with their cargoes. Some were from Canton, laden with Chinese
produce, which finds a good market in the Sandwich Islands; and one was
a French ship from Bordeaux, which having carried a cargo of iron wares
to Chili, Peru, and Mexico, had brought the remains of it here. All the
captains visited me in the hope of hearing news from Europe; but many of
them had left it later than we had, and accommodated us with their
London newspapers.

If we consider that scarcely fifty years have elapsed since these
islands were first introduced by Captain Cook to the knowledge of the
European public, and that the inhabitants were then completely what we
call savages, that is, that they were wholly destitute of any conception
of the arts, sciences, or habits of civilized life, we shall find with
surprise that the harbour of Hanaruro already bears a character almost
entirely European, reminding us only by the somewhat scanty clothing of
the natives, of the briefness of their acquaintance with our customs.

My readers, I think, will take some interest in a short account of this
people, whose rapid progress in civilization would perhaps by this time
have placed them on a level with Europeans, if unfavourable
circumstances had not thrown obstacles in the way of their improvement,
which it will require another such governor as Tameamea to overcome.

The eleven islands named by Cook after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich,
but for which the natives have no common appellation, lie between the
nineteenth and twenty-second degrees of north latitude. They are all
high and volcanic. O Wahi, the most easterly, and by much the largest,
is eighty-seven miles long and seventy-five broad: it has three
mountains, which may well bear a comparison with the highest in the
world. The climate of these islands is particularly beautiful and
healthy. Their population is estimated by Captain King at four hundred
thousand; whose colour, form, language, and manners, testify their
relationship with the other islanders of this great ocean, though they
have very little knowledge of them. Their earliest history consists of
traditions of truths interwoven with fables, which ascend to the first
peopling of the islands, and are not yet embodied in the relation of any
voyage. I have collected them carefully from the accounts of the most
distinguished and intelligent man in Hanaruro, my friend Karemaku, a
Spaniard named Marini, who had long resided here, assisting as

According to a belief not long ago universally prevalent, the mighty
spirit Etua-Rono reigned over these islands before they were inhabited
by men. Ardently desirous of seeing his country peopled, he was
melancholy, and shed torrents of tears on the mountain Mou-na-roa,
because he had no offspring; and his loving wife, the beautiful goddess
Opuna, was not in a situation to console him. At length Fate heard his
prayers. On the south-east point of the island of O Wahi two boats were
stranded, having on board some families, who brought with them hogs,
fowls, dogs, and several edible roots. To the present day are the first
footsteps of man on this land to be seen. Rono was at that time absent,
catching fish on the northern islands for his wife. The fire-god, his
subject, unpropitious to man, taking advantage of this circumstance,
made an effort to repulse the new-comers. He approached them with
terrible gestures, and asked whence they came. They answered--"We come
from a country which abounds in hogs, dogs, cocoa-nuts, and bread-fruit.
We were overtaken by a violent storm when on a voyage to visit some
neighbours; and the moon changed five times before we reached this
land." They then begged permission to remain, which the fire-god cruelly
refused, and continued inexorable, although they offered to sacrifice a
hog to him.

Rono, however, observing that a strange smell proceeded from O Wahi,
suddenly returned, and was greatly surprised at the sight of the men.
Encouraged by his friendly deportment, they made their petition to him,
relating the harsh treatment they had endured from the fire-god. Rono,
enraged at this intelligence, threw the fire-god into the crater Kairuo,
on the side of the mountain Mou-na-roa, where he still chafes in vain.
The men now lived tranquilly on O Wahi, increased in numbers, and
sought, by great sacrifices, to prove their love and thankfulness to
their protector, Etua-Rono. To his honour were established the solemn
yearly games called Makahiti, in which whoever obtained the victory in
running, wrestling, and warlike evolutions, was crowned with a verdant
wreath and presided as king over the ensuing feast.

The other islands were gradually peopled from O Wahi; the number of the
gods also increased; but they all remained subject to Etua-Rono.

Mankind had enjoyed a long period of peace and content under the
beneficent protection of Rono, when their happiness was suddenly
disturbed by a distressing occurrence. The goddess Opuna, the beautiful
consort of Rono, degraded herself by a clandestine connexion with a man
of O Wahi. Her husband, furious on the discovery of his wrongs,
precipitated her from the top of a high rock, and dashed her to pieces;
but had scarcely committed this act of violence when, in an agony of
repentance, he ran wildly about the islands, bestowing blows and kicks
on every one he met. The people, astonished at this frantic behaviour of
the god, enquired the reason of it; on which, with the bitterest
expression of grief, he exclaimed, "I have murdered her who was dearest
to me!" He bore the remains of Opuna into the Marai on the Bay of
Karekakua, and there remained a long time sunk in the deepest grief. At
length he determined to quit the islands, where every thing reminded him
of the happiness he had enjoyed with his beloved wife. The people were
overwhelmed with sorrow by the communication of his intention; and he
endeavoured to console them with the promise that he would one day
return on a floating island, furnished with all that man could desire,
and make his favourite people happy. He then embarked in a vessel of
peculiar construction, and set sail for a distant country.

With Rono's departure terminated the Golden Age of this island. Wars
and tumults arose; the gods still increased in number; but their
influence was no longer so friendly to man as when they were under the
superintendence of the revered Rono. Now also commenced many evil
customs, such as human sacrifices, which had been unknown in the good
old time: cannibalism, however, does not appear ever to have disgraced
them. A long period elapsed, of which no record remains; and the story
is resumed at the landing of five white men in Karekakua Bay, near to
the Marai, where the body of the goddess Opuna reposed. The inhabitants
supposed them to be superior beings, and offered no opposition when they
proceeded to take possession of the Marai, on which holy place they were
not only exempted from persecution, but also by the offerings daily
placed there before the images of the gods, from any danger of suffering
a scarcity of food. Here, then, they lived very comfortably; and from
their having, immediately on their arrival, taken up their abode in the
Marai, the people, who were all acquainted with the story of Opuna,
concluded they were sent thither by Rono, to watch over the grave of
his beloved consort. To this opinion they were indebted for a veneration
greater than that entertained for the gods themselves. The priests alone
had the privilege of providing for their wants, which they did with the
utmost care: the people were not even allowed to approach the
neighbourhood of the Marai.

The white men, however, soon found their time hang heavy in this entire
seclusion, and formed a more intimate connexion with the priests, whom
they assisted in the holy rites and ceremonies, and at length even made
their appearance among the people: the latter then discovered them to be
mortals like themselves, differing only in colour, but still retained a
high respect for their superior knowledge and good deportment. Maidens
of the highest rank were given to them for wives; and each of them was
installed governor of an island. "The descendants of these strangers,"
said Karemaku, "may still be distinguished by their whiter colour."
Here, as at Tahaiti, the Yeris differ from the lower classes in their
superior size, and some also by a greater degree of fairness.

The helmets and short mantles which Cook and King have described as
worn by this people, were introduced by these white strangers. At first,
the kings only appeared in this costume; but in Cook's time it was
common also among the Yeris. Now that European fashions have quite
banished those of the original inhabitants, it is only preserved and
shown to strangers as a relic of the past. The helmet, of wood covered
with small red and yellow feathers, and adorned with a plume, perfectly
resembles those of the chivalrous knights of yore; and the short mantle,
also most ingeniously made with feathers to supply the want of woven
stuff, forms a complete representation of the mantles worn by those
ancient heroes: hence it is sufficiently evident that the white men who
landed on O Wahi were Europeans; and that we are therefore more nearly
connected with, at least, a part of the inhabitants of the Sandwich
Islands, than with the other South Sea islanders.

With the arrival of the white men begins the chronology of O Wahi, from
the first white king to Tameamea, making seven successive reigns.
During this period, but long before Cook's time, two vessels are said to
have been wrecked on the north-east side of O Wahi. Tradition is not
unanimous in the account of what became of the crews. According to some,
they were lost in the wreck, but others say they were murdered by the
natives. My informant, Karemaku, mentioned only one ship, which was seen
at a distance; and although the iron anchors found at O Wahi and at Muwe
prove that they must have been there, he could give no account of them.
It is very probable that the Spaniards, who often made a mystery of
their discoveries in the South Seas, already knew of the existence of
these islands before their discovery by Cook.

Their authentic history begins with this event, in 1778, when, as has
already been mentioned, Cook bestowed on them the name of the First Lord
of the Admiralty at that period. They were not then, as now, united
under one King; but each island had its particular sovereign, called
Yeri-Rahi, who possessed full power over the lives of his subjects, and
to whom the proprietors of land paid tribute. The name of the monarch
of O Wahi, on Cook's arrival, was Teraiopu, or, as he writes it,

Captain King, the companion of Cook, gives the following description of
the Sandwich Islanders:--

"They are in general of the middle size,[3] and well-proportioned. Their
movements are graceful, they run swiftly, and are able to carry great
weights. The men, however, are inferior to the Friendly Islanders, in
strength and activity; and the women are not so delicately formed as
those of Tahaiti: their colour is also a little browner, and they are
not so handsome, but the features of both sexes are open and agreeable;
the females especially have beautiful eyes and teeth, and a sweet
expression of countenance. Their hair is dark-brown, not so smooth as
that of the American Indians, nor so woolly as that of the negroes of
Africa, but between the two.

"Here, as on the other South Sea Islands, the Yeris are advantageously
distinguished in form from the lower classes, and are seldom disfigured
by the swellings and ulcers frequent among the latter, which we ascribed
to the great use of salt in their preparations of meat and fish; the
former, however, are much injured by immoderate indulgence in the Ava
drink. Those who suffered most from it had their whole bodies covered
with a white eruption: their eyes were red and inflamed, they trembled
much, and could scarcely hold up their heads. This beverage does not
shorten the lives of all who use it too freely, as Teraiopu, Kau, and
several other chiefs addicted to it, were old men; but it brings on
premature and diseased old age. Fortunately, this luxury is the
exclusive privilege of the chiefs. The son of Teraiopu, a boy of twelve
years old, often boasted of having obtained the right of drinking Ava,
and showed with much complacency a spot on his loins where the eruption
was already visible.

"Notwithstanding the great and irreparable loss which the sudden
violence of these Sandwich Islanders has occasioned us," (in the death
of Cook,) "I must in justice declare, that they are usually gentle and
kind, and by no means so changeable and volatile as the Tahaitians, nor
so reserved and melancholy as the Friendly Islanders: they live on the
best possible terms with each other, and in peace and kindness in their
families. We have often admired the care and tenderness with which the
women treated their children, while the men assisted them in their
domestic occupations with a readiness and good-will which did them great

"If however we should pronounce on the degree of civilization to which
they have attained by the estimation the female sex enjoys among them,
they would rank but low in the scale. The women are not only forbidden
to eat with the men, but the best kinds of food are denied them. They
are not allowed to eat pork, turtle, or several kinds of fish and
bananas; and we were informed that a poor girl had been severely beaten
for having tasted of these prohibited viands on board our ship. The
females seemed indeed almost to live in a state of separation from
their lords; and although we never perceived that they were ill treated,
it is certain they are held in little respect.

"We were always received when we came ashore with the greatest
friendliness and hospitality. As soon as we landed, the inhabitants vied
with each other in bringing us presents, preparing food for us, and
showing us every mark of kindness. The old people were much pleased when
they obtained permission to touch us; and they showed much modesty and
humility in the comparisons they made between us and themselves.

"In mental capacity, the Sandwich Islanders do not appear at all
inferior to any other people. Their progress in agriculture, and their
skill in handicrafts, is fully proportionate to their means and
situation. The earnest attention which they paid to the work of our
smiths, and the various means they devised, even before our departure,
to give any required form to the iron they obtained from us, convinced
us at once of their industry and ingenuity.

"Our unfortunate friend Kancena, (he was shot by one of the Englishmen
whom he had always treated with the greatest friendship) had a great
desire for knowledge, an admirable natural understanding and a vivacity
of mind seldom met with amongst uncultivated nations. He made
innumerable inquiries concerning our manners and customs, our King, our
form of government, the population and produce of our country, and the
manner in which our ships and houses were built. He wished to know if we
waged wars, with whom, and for what cause, what God we worshipped, and
many other things; which showed an extensive range of thought."

This testimony of Captain King to the good disposition of the Sandwich
Islanders becomes the more worthy of credit, when we consider that the
English always treated them with great severity, and that Captain Cook
only fell a sacrifice to his own error. King has also defended them from
the imputation of being cannibals, of which Anderson and several of
Cook's companions had accused them.

The propensity to theft was as common among the lower classes here, as
on the other South Sea islands; and this it was which occasioned the
thoughtless severity of Cook, who was always judge in his own cause,
and suffered himself to be hurried into unjustifiable acts of violence.
Had he been a philanthropist, as well as a great navigator, he would not
have lost his life at O Wahi.

The custom of tattooing existed also among the Sandwich Islanders; their
faces were frequently marked with lines crossing each other at right
angles, and some even had their tongues tattooed; pretty drawings were
frequently seen on the hands and arms of the women. The ordinary dress
of both sexes was nothing more than a piece of stuff folded round their
bodies. The females adorned themselves besides with necklaces of
muscle-shells, or little red shining beans, and with bracelets of
various ornamental materials; they sometimes wore collars of beautiful
feathers ingeniously blended together; their hair was also decorated
with feathers and with garlands of flowers.

The Sandwich Islanders lived in villages or little hamlets of from one
to two hundred dwellings, standing irregularly, pretty near each other,
and communicating by a winding path. Some of them were surrounded by
gardens, enclosed with hedges. The food of the lower classes consisted
chiefly of fish, yams, sweet potatoes, tarro-root, bananas, sugar-canes,
and bread-fruit. Those of higher rank also indulged in pork, and the
flesh of dogs, prepared in the same manner as on the Society Islands.
The tame poultry of Europe was also found here, but it was scarce, and
not very much prized. These people were particularly clean, and their
cookery was preferred by Englishmen to that of their own country.

The Yeris were chiefly employed in the building of vessels and the
manufacture of mats; the females prepared a stuff of the paper kind,
which was so pressed and coloured as to resemble our calico; and fishing
or agriculture was the chief business of the servants. These
occupations, however, left leisure for various pastimes, particularly
dancing, which the young people of both sexes delighted in. Drums of
several sorts were their only musical instruments, but their songs were
very pleasing. They often played at a game much resembling our draughts;
it is played with black and white stones on a piece of board, and from
the great number of pieces, seems to require much attention. In another
game, a stone was hidden under a large piece of stuff, and the player
was to point out the precise spot in which it lay. Running races, in
which the girls took part, and apparently dangerous exercises in
swimming amidst the surf, were also among their amusements. In wrestling
and boxing, they did not display so much strength and skill as the
Friendly Islanders. The children often handled their balls with great
dexterity, throwing several at once into the air and catching them

Their vessels were very well built; the largest, a double one, seventy
feet long, twelve broad, and three and a half deep, belonged to
Teraiopu. The most remarkable of their utensils were the vessels
appropriated to drinking Ava; they were usually eight or ten inches in
diameter, perfectly round and very well polished, and were supported by
three or four little images of men in various attitudes, sometimes
bearing the vessel on their heads, sometimes on their shoulders, or on
their hands raised above their heads. These figures were very well
executed, the proportions correctly preserved, and even the proper
action of the muscles well defined.

Among the arts in which the Sandwich Islanders excelled, was that of
preparing salt: the English obtained from them a large quantity of the
best kind. Their arms consisted of clubs, lances, and daggers, made of
hard wood. War was of frequent occurrence amongst the inhabitants of the
several islands; the battles were often very bloody, and usually at sea,
the vessels grappling. The Yeris, when they went to battle, wore the
decorated helmets already described, and the mantles covered with black,
red, and yellow feathers: those of the Yerirahis, or kings, were of
yellow only. Images of the god of war, cut in wood; dreadful caricatures
of the human figure in a threatening posture, the mouth open and armed
with dogs' teeth, were always carried before the kings into battle; and
the chief aim of the enemy was to capture them, as this achievement
usually put an end to the war. A part of the prisoners were sacrificed
to the gods; but as the shedding of blood in this rite was forbidden,
they were strangled, and laid down before the images of the gods in the
Marai, with their faces turned to the earth.

The burial of the dead was a very sacred ceremony, and accompanied with
many forms. The corpse was laid in a pit till the flesh decayed, the
bones were then cleaned, and a part of them distributed among the
relations and friends to be preserved as relics, part laid in
consecrated ground. Dying persons sometimes desired that their bones
should be thrown into the crater of the volcano at O Wahi, which was
inhabited by the revered god Pelai. It has already been mentioned, that
the women were prohibited from eating many kinds of food; they were also
forbidden, under pain of death, to enter a house where the men were
eating, and they were entirely secluded from the Marais; with these
exceptions, they enjoyed great freedom, and even had a voice in the
deliberations concerning war and peace.

The religious regulation of the Tabu, or interdict, existed here as well
as on many other of the South Sea islands. A person declared under a
Tabu was inviolable; a piece of land under a Tabu must not be trodden
by any one; nor must a species of animal so declared, be injured or shot
until the Tabu was again taken off. Thus Tameamea declared the diamond
mountain under the Tabu, because an Englishman, finding there a piece of
quartz-crystal, considered it to be diamond; and the King, finding these
were of great value, supposed he possessed in the mountain an
inexhaustible treasure, till he discovered his mistake, and the Tabu was
taken off.

The vessels first seen by the Sandwich Islanders must have been very
small, for when Cook's appeared, they took her for a swimming island,
and believed that Etua-Rono, for whom they always retained the most
profound veneration, had at length fulfilled his promise and returned to
them. The joy was universal; and it was determined to receive the
beneficent god, so long absent, who was to restore the Golden Age upon
the island, with all possible honours. Neither Cook nor his companion
seemed to have had any notion that they were saluted with divine
honours; but they considered the ceremonies enacted by the rejoicing
people as marks of distinction commonly bestowed on persons of
importance. His being called by them "O Rono," (the Rono) did not
enlighten him on the subject, as he was unacquainted with the tradition;
but he contented himself with the conjecture, that the appellation was a
title of honour, signifying chief or priest. Had the conduct of Cook
made it possible for the islanders to retain their beneficial error, the
good understanding between them and the English would never have been
interrupted; but he himself was the first to convince them that he could
not be their divine benefactor.

Some of the populace conceived themselves entitled to appropriate a
portion of the presents which Rono, according to his promise, had
brought them--a licence which was immediately punished by Cook with
great severity: the offenders taken in the fact were whipped; those who
fled were fired upon; and several persons, some of whom were innocent,
lost their lives. Rono could not be so cruel and unjust; and _Tute_, as
they called Cook, immediately sunk in their estimation to the rank of
ordinary mortals. He was henceforth feared as a mighty chief, but
venerated no longer. This change of sentiment was very evident when he
returned hither from his voyage northward. The islanders met the ship as
before, with hogs and fruits; but they set a price upon them, instead of
presenting them, as formerly, in the character of offerings, and
accepting the returns made them as gratuitous gifts. Finding that they
obtained what appeared to them an exorbitant price for their provisions,
they supposed the strangers to come from a land of scarcity for the mere
purpose of satisfying their appetites; and the common people wholly
ceasing to regard them with reverence, became bolder in their
depredations. The King, the Priests, and many of the principal Yeris,
still however continued firm in their attachment to the English. A Yeri,
named Parea, gave a striking proof of this kindly disposition, which
Captain King has thus related:--Some Kanackas, having stolen certain
articles, were pursued with muskets; and though every thing was
recovered, an English officer thought himself justified in taking
possession of a canoe lying on the shore belonging to Parea, who, being
perfectly innocent of the theft, reclaimed his property. The officer
refused to surrender it; and in the subsequent contest, Parea received
so violent a blow on the head with an oar, that he fell senseless to the
ground. In the mean time the islanders had assembled, and, irritated at
this undeserved outrage on a chief, began to throw stones at the
English, who were obliged to swim to a neighbouring rock for safety. The
victorious people, thus left in possession of the field of battle, fell
upon the English boat, which they would have destroyed but for the
interposition of Parea, who had now recovered his senses. He dispersed
the crowd, made a signal to the English that they might return, restored
their boat, and sent them back in it to their ship. Parea afterwards
followed them, taking with him a midshipman's hat, and some other
trifles which were missing; expressed his sorrow for the dispute that
had arisen, and inquired whether O Rono desired his death, or whether he
might come again to the ship.--(It appeared from this that he still
looked upon Cook as the deity, or at least affected this belief to
propitiate the English.)--He was assured that he had nothing to fear,
and would always be welcome; he then touched the nose of the officers,
in sign of amity and reconciliation, and returned to land.

Since Parea had hindered his countrymen from wreaking their vengeance on
one boat, they indemnified themselves by stealing another, and in the
night cut through the rope which fastened it to the ship. Cook, enraged
at this occurrence, determined to bring the King himself on board his
ship, and detain him there as a hostage till the boat should be
restored; a measure which on another island he had already successfully
adopted on a similar occasion. He therefore went ashore with a party of
soldiers well armed, having given orders that none of the boats
belonging to the natives should be suffered to leave the bay, as it was
his determination, in case gentler measures should prove ineffectual, to
destroy them all. All the boats of both ships, well manned and armed,
were therefore so placed as to enforce obedience to this command.

Cook was received, according to King's account, with the greatest
respect: the people prostrated themselves before him. He proceeded
direct to the old King, and invited him on board his ship. The King
immediately consented; but some of the Yeris endeavoured to dissuade
him; and the more earnestly Cook pressed his going, the more strenuously
they endeavoured to prevent it. Cook, at length, seized the King by the
arm, and would have carried him off by force; which in the highest
degree irritated the assembled multitudes. At this moment a Yeri, who in
crossing the bay from the opposite side had been fired upon by the
English boats, rushed with blood streaming from his wound into the
presence of the King, and cried aloud to him to remain where he was, or
he would certainly receive similar treatment; this incident wound up the
rage of the people to its utmost pitch, and the conflict commenced, in
which Cook lost his life.

Karemaku, who, when a young man, had witnessed these circumstances,
related them to me; and the accounts of Cook's companions upon the whole
agree with his. Some isolated facts are differently stated by them; but
I was assured by all the natives of Wahu, that Karemaku had strictly
adhered to the truth. Even if we give entire credit to the English
narrative, we shall find that they were the aggressors,--that the
islanders acted only on the defensive, and that Cook's fate, however
lamentable, was not entirely undeserved.

John Reinhold Forster, in his preface to a journal of a voyage of
discovery to the South Sea, in the years 1776 to 1780, gives an extract
from a letter written to him by an Englishman in a responsible
situation, in which he says of Cook--"The Captain's character is not the
same now as formerly: his head seems to have been turned." Forster gives
the same account concerning the change in Cook, when he says--

"Cook, on his first voyage, had with him Messrs. Banks and Solander,
both lovers of art and science. On the second, I and my son were his
companions, enjoying daily and familiar intercourse with him. In our
presence, respect for his own character restrained him; our mode of
thinking, our principles and manners influenced his, and prevented his
treating the poor harmless South Sea Islanders with cruelty. The only
instance of undue severity we ever witnessed in his behaviour, was when
on account of some petty theft he once allowed his cannon to be fired
upon the fugitive offenders; fortunately, however, no one was injured by
this rash act. But having in his last voyage no other witnesses of his
actions, than such as were entirely under his command, he forgot what he
owed to his own great name, and was guilty in many instances of extreme
cruelty. I am therefore convinced, that if Messrs. Banks and Solander,
Dr. Spaarmann, or I and my son, had been with him on the last voyage,
his life would not have been lost in the manner it was."

The first ships which visited the Sandwich Islands after Cook's death
were those of Meeres, Dickson, and Coke, in the years 1786-9. They
traded in skins between China and the North-west Coast of America, and
found these islands very convenient to touch at. They were well
received; and some of the islanders made the voyage to America with
them. Tianna, one of the first Yeris of O Wahi, went with Meeres to
China. These voyages, and the continual intercourse with Europeans,
which their increasing trade in fur produced, necessarily enlarged the
ideas of these children of Nature; and as they were not under the
dominion of that folly which, in common with the Greenlanders, possesses
some of the most civilized nations in Europe, of considering themselves
the first people upon earth, they soon acquired our manners, and derived
all the advantage that could be expected from the opportunities of
improvement thus afforded them. Vancouver found, in 1792, that many
remarkable changes had taken place on these islands since Cook's time.

King Teraiopu did not long survive that eminent navigator. His son
Kawarao succeeded to the government of the greater part of the island of
O Wahi; the rest fell to his relation Tameamea. Kawarao was a tyrant,
and governed with unexampled cruelty. At certain periods of the moon, he
declared himself holy, or under a Tabu: the priests alone had then the
privilege of seeing him so long as the sun was above the horizon; and an
immediate death of the severest torture was the melancholy lot of any
individual not belonging to this sacred order, who by whatever accident
should cast but a momentary glance upon the voluntarily secluded
monarch. To this cruelty of disposition, Kawarao united an unbounded
ambition, which prompted him to make war on his kinsman Tameamea. This
young and powerful chief early distinguished himself, and soon became
celebrated throughout these islands for superiority of intellect and
skill in arms. Kawarao, although he had greatly the advantage in
numbers, could never obtain a victory; fire-arms were not then in use
here, and success long vibrated between the contending rivals. Both
parties at length determined to put the final issue of the war to the
test of a single combat, stipulating that the conqueror should acquire
the sovereignty of the whole island. The two kings armed; their
respective priests carried the images of their gods to the field, and
the fight commenced. Kawarao trusted to his skill in throwing the
javelin; but Tameamea could defend himself from several antagonists at
once, and scarcely ever missed his aim. After some fruitless efforts of
both combatants, Tameamea's spear pierced the side of his bloodthirsty
enemy, who fell dead on the field.

This duel, by which Tameamea became King of O Wahi and of Muwe, which
had also belonged to Kawarao, took place in the year 1781. To establish
his dominion on a firmer basis, Tameamea married the daughter of the
vanquished monarch, and acquired the love of his subjects by his wise
and moderate government. Himself endowed with uncommon powers of mind,
he entrusted the important offices of state only to such as were capable
of discharging them efficiently. He made a very fortunate choice in
Karemaku, who, while quite a young man, entered into all the enlightened
and comprehensive views of his master, forwarded them with ability and
energy, and continued his faithful servant till the death of Tameamea.
The English called him the Pitt of the Sandwich Islands.

Several Europeans now established themselves at O Wahi; among whom Davis
and John Young have been the most useful to the rising nation. Under
their direction, houses and ships have been constructed in the European
fashion; the island has been enriched with many useful plants; and their
advice has been successfully followed in the affairs of government.

With the appearance of Vancouver, arose the fortunate star of these
islands. Among the innumerable benefits he conferred upon them, they are
indebted to him for the possession of sheep and cattle. Tameamea
declared these animals under a Tabu for ten years, which allowed time
for so large an increase, that they now run wild in the forests. Had
Vancouver enjoyed Cook's advantages, the islanders might still have
believed him their Rono.

Tameamea, during Vancouver's visit, swayed the sceptre only over the
islands of O Wahi and Muwe, and was engaged in wars with his neighbour
kings, whom he fought with the assistance of cannon purchased from
European ships. He commanded in every battle, both by sea and land; and
Karemaku, as first in authority under him, was his constant companion.
The O Wahians, however, could not have well understood the use of their
cannons and other fire-arms, as, after Vancouver's departure, the war
was maintained for ten years. O Tuai, the most north-westerly island,
even then held out, though the others had submitted. In the year 1817,
Tameamea conquered this also, after many unsuccessful attempts, and
thus became the supreme governor of the whole Archipelago.

From this time all his efforts were directed to the education of his
people, and the improvement of their trade. Salt and sandal-wood were
the chief articles of exportation. The latter, though bought at rather a
high price by the North-American ships, which almost exclusively
monopolized this trade, sold for a large profit at Canton.

I have been told, that the Americans have purchased sandal-wood here to
the amount of three hundred thousand Spanish dollars a-year. Tameamea
bartered this wood for some large American merchant-ships, manned them,
and other ships built in the Sandwich Islands, partly with his own
subjects, and partly with Europeans, and traded on his own account. He
had even found means to create a small fleet of ships of war; and his
warehouses, built of stone, were filled with European and American
merchandise. He possessed a considerable treasure in silver money and
utensils; his fortresses were planted with cannon of a large calibre,
and he maintained a force of fifteen thousand men, all armed with
muskets, in the use of which they had been carefully exercised. He took
much pains, assisted by the Spaniard Marini, to introduce the
cotton-tree, which answered very well, and yielded fine cotton; and
endeavoured to improve the native flax, already much superior to that of
New Zealand, and to profit by it as an article of commerce. Nothing
which promised advantage to his country escaped his penetrating mind; he
exerted, in short, every faculty of his mind to place the Sandwich
Islands in a state of progressive assimilation to the most prosperous
nations. Vessels of every nation were as secure from injustice or insult
in his ports, as in those of Europe, if not more so. As soon as a
strange ship arrived, criers were employed to give notice that the new
comers were friends, and must be hospitably received, and that any
incivility shown them would be severely punished.

When Tameamea first sent a ship to Canton with sandal-wood, he was
obliged to pay a considerable duty for anchorage; whereupon he argued,
that what was exacted from himself, he might with a safe conscience
demand from others; and every ship is now required to pay forty Spanish
dollars for anchorage in the outer, and eighty in the inner harbour of

Wahu is the most fertile of all the islands, and the only one enjoying a
secure harbour; it therefore naturally advances the most rapidly in
civilization. Several European and American traders have settled in
Hanaruro; shops have been opened, and houses built in the European
style, of wood and stone; some of the former were made in America, and
brought here to be put together. The exertions of Marini introduced here
many European vegetables, the vine and other fruits, which are all in a
flourishing state. He collected and tamed a herd of cows. Goats, sheep,
and poultry of all kinds are common. The frequent voyages which the
Sandwich islanders now made, partly in Tameamea's vessels, partly
foreign ones, on board which they served as sailors, gradually
familiarised them with the manners of more civilized nations. They
adopted our costume, but after the Tahaitian fashion; considering a
complete suit as an unnecessary luxury. Even Tameamea himself, for his
usual attire, wore only a shirt, trowsers, and red waistcoat, without a
coat; he possessed, however, many richly embroidered uniforms, but kept
them for grand occasions.

These islanders had made great progress in the English language: many of
them could speak it very tolerably. Tameamea understood, but did not
speak it. If any of my readers should wish for a farther acquaintance
with the character of this distinguished sovereign, I must refer them to
Vancouver, and to my former voyage; but for the benefit of those who may
not be disposed to take this trouble, I cannot forbear repeating from
the latter some of his remarks to myself. He presented me with a collar
most ingeniously worked with coloured feathers, which he had sometimes
worn in war, and on solemn occasions, saying, "I have heard that your
monarch is a great warrior, and I love him, because I am a warrior
myself; bear to him this collar, which I send as a token of my regard."
Once as he embraced an image in his Marai, he said, "These are our Gods
whom I adore; whether in so doing I am right or wrong, I know not, but I
follow the religion of my country, which cannot be a bad one, since it
commands me to be just in all my actions."

On the 8th of May, in the year 1819, Tameamea terminated his meritorious
career, to the great sorrow as well of the foreign settlers as of his
native subjects. His remains were disposed of according to the rites of
the religion he professed. After they had remained some time in the
Marai, the bones were cleaned, and divided among his relatives and the
most distinguished of his attendants. According to the custom of this
country, two persons had long before been destined for interment with
him at his death; but by his express desire this ceremony was dispensed

His eldest son and legitimate successor, Lio Lio, or, as the English
call it, _Rio Rio_,--for there is some difficulty in distinguishing
between the L and the R of the Sandwich Islanders,--now assumed the
government, under the name of Tameamea the Second. Unhappily, the
father's talents were not hereditary; and the son's passion for liquor
incapacitated him for ruling with the same splendid reputation an infant
state, which, having already received so strong an impulse towards
civilization, required a skilful guide to preserve it from degeneracy
and error.

The chiefs of some of the islands, and especially of O Tuai, had, even
in Tameamea's lifetime, founded a hope of future independence, on the
weakness of his successor, and immediately upon his death proceeded to
attempt the accomplishment of their desires. But Karemaku, the faithful
friend and counsellor of the deceased King, to whom the whole nation
looked up with affection, and whose penetration easily discerned the
evil consequences that would ensue from a political disunion of the
islands, devoted to the son all the zeal and patriotism with which he
had served the father. By the influence of his eloquence, and the force
of his arms, he quelled the insurrection, and re-established peace and
order; but to enthrone the new monarch in the hearts of his people
exceeded his ability; and their disaffection proved that the germ of
future disorders was not wholly extinct. The King chose Wahu for his
residence, because this island was in the best state for defence; and
giving himself up entirely to dissipation, sunk lower and lower in the
estimation of his subjects. Karemaku was the good genius who watched
over the welfare of the country, while its monarch was wasting his hours
and his health in orgies, at which he was frequently known to empty a
bottle of rum at a draught. It was not to be supposed that a king
addicted to such habits should conceive any projects of utility or
advantage for his people; he wished, however, to distinguish himself by
some effort in their favour, or at least to relieve them from the
trammels of superstition. He was a freethinker in a bad sense. He hated
the religion of his country, because it laid some restraints upon his
inclinations, and he determined to overthrow it; not for the purpose of
introducing a better, a task to which his feeble mind was unequal, but
for that of at once relieving himself and his subjects from ceremonies
which he considered useless, because he undervalued the precepts of
morality interwoven with them, and for the sake of which his father had
always conscientiously observed them.

In the fifth month of his reign, he proceeded in a violent and brutal
manner, notwithstanding all the remonstrances of Karemaku, to the
execution of his design. Having previously arranged his plans with some
chiefs, the companions of his excesses, he invited the principal
inhabitants of the islands to a sumptuous banquet. After the wine and
rum had produced their wonted effects, females were introduced, and
compelled to partake of the feast. These poor creatures, having no
suspicion of the King's intentions, shrunk with terror from a
profanation punishable with death. But their resistance was unavailing:
they were not only constrained to sit down to the repast in company with
the men, but even to eat pork; and thus, to the great astonishment of
such guests as were not in the secret, to violate, at the royal command,
a double Tabu. A murmur arose; but the greater part of the company were
under the influence of liquor, and the King now openly proclaimed his
intentions. His auditors inquired in alarm what crime the Gods had
committed, that they should be thus unceremoniously dismissed; and
besought him not to occasion his own destruction and that of the
country, by provoking their indignation. The King started from his seat,
and exclaimed with violent gestures, "You see we have already violated
the strongest Tabus, and yet the Gods inflict no punishment, because
they have no power; neither have they power to do us good. Our faith was
erroneous and worthless. Come, let us destroy the Marais, and from
henceforth acknowledge no religion!" The immediate dependents of the
King rose to second him: the inhabitants of Hanaruro had been depraved
by their intercourse with foreign sailors, and a tumultuous crowd, who
held nothing sacred, soon followed the revellers. Arrived at the royal
Marai, some of them, terrified by the aspect of their idols, would have
receded; but when the King himself, and his friends and followers, began
to maltreat them, and no divine vengeance followed, the courage of the
multitude revived, and the Marais were soon utterly destroyed. This
outrage to what the people at large most venerated, introduced a scene
of confusion and violence, and would indeed have entailed destruction
both on the King and the country, had not Karemaku again stood forward
in their defence. Several Yeris who, disapproving the sentiments of the
King, had retired privately from the banquet, joined the priests in
exciting the people to defend their gods by force of arms. An army was
raised, and, animated by the presence of the war-god, commenced
hostilities against his sacrilegious opponents. When the news of the
destruction of the Marais reached the other islands, insurrections also
broke out in each of them. Karemaku had condemned the sacrilege, and
abstained from any part in it; but as it could not now be prevented, and
he foresaw the mischievous consequences of civil commotions, he
assembled an army, and, victorious wherever he appeared, succeeded in
restoring tranquillity. On the large island O Wahi, however, he
encountered a formidable resistance; but at length, after several bloody
contests, he captured the war-god: the insurgents, who had also lost
their leaders in the last battle, believing themselves quite abandoned
by the gods, now dispersed, and Karemaku, on the restoration of
tranquillity, returned to Wahu.

It is a remarkable fact, that a people who regarded their faith and
their priests with so much reverence, as I had myself witnessed
previously to this occurrence, should in so short a period, acquiescing
in the decree which denounced their creed as error, and consigned their
sanctuaries to demolition, contentedly submit to the total deprivation
of all external signs of religion. Karemaku had judgment enough to
perceive that this state of things would not endure, and that a religion
of some kind was indispensable to the people; he therefore resolved to
set his countrymen a good example, and yielding to an inclination he had
long entertained, to declare himself publicly a convert to Christianity.
In the same year, 1819, Captain Freycinet, on his voyage round the
world, landed at Hanaruro, and a clergyman accompanying him, Karemaku
and his brother Boki received the sacrament of baptism according to the
forms of the Catholic Church.

At this time, a society of missionaries was formed in the United States
of America, for the purpose of introducing Christianity into the
Sandwich Islands. Of the extinction of the ancient faith, which must of
course facilitate their undertaking, they had as yet received no
information. Six families of these missionaries arrived at Wahu in
1820, bringing with them two young Sandwich Islanders, who had been
previously prepared in their schools. The King, hearing of their
intention, would not allow them to land, but commanded them immediately
to depart from his shores. Here, again, Karemaku interposed, and
endeavoured to convince the King that the Christian religion would be
one of the greatest benefits he could confer on his subjects. The King
then assembled the most distinguished Yeris, and after fourteen days'
deliberation, decreed that a piece of land should be granted to the
missionaries, with permission to build a church, and to preach their
doctrines, under the condition that they should immediately leave the
island if the experiment should be found to have a prejudicial influence
on the people. The missionaries agreed to the terms, took up their
residence on Wahu, and from thence extended settlements over the other
islands. Their first efforts were successfully directed to the
conversion of the King, his family, and the most distinguished Yeris.
When these personages had openly professed the new faith, the
Missionaries considered themselves firmly established, and proceeded
with more confidence to the full execution of their plan. They quickly
acquired the language of the islands, which from the largest of them
they called the O Wahi language, printed the first book in it, (a
collection of Hymns,) in the year 1822, and instructed the natives, who
proved apt scholars, in reading and writing. These missionaries were
Protestants; but the Catholic Karemaku, having no notion of the points
of doctrine in dispute between the Churches, joined without hesitation
in communion with them; and the Christian religion spreading rapidly
among the Sandwich Islanders, without any of the constraint or
persecution which had disgraced it at O Tahaiti, promised the happiest

Notwithstanding, however, all the efforts of Karemaku, the people were
not yet entirely pacified. The former faith had still many secret
adherents, and the King was unable to acquire either the esteem or
affection of his subjects. Insurrections were continually dreaded; and
Rio Rio, not feeling sufficiently secure even in his entrenchments at
Wahu, determined, by the advice of some Europeans, to make a voyage to
England, in the hope that these discontents would subside during his
absence. He confided the administration of the government to the
faithful Karemaku, and Kahumanna, the favourite wife of his father, and
in the year 1824 sailed for England in a North American ship,
accompanied by his consort, Karemaku's brother Boki, and some other
persons of rank; taking with him twenty-five thousand Spanish piastres
from the treasure amassed by his father.

Soon after the King's departure, a regular rebellion broke out in the
island of O Tuai. Its former ruler, Tamari, was dead, and his son, a
young man who had been brought up in the United States of America, and
had unfortunately fallen into bad company, was desirous to recover for
himself the independent dominion of the island. Karemaku and Kahumanna
immediately hastened thither with an army, and on our arrival at
Hanaruro we found the war still raging at O Tuai, though it was supposed
to be near its close. The government of Wahu was entrusted, during the
absence of the Regents, to another wife of Tameamea, named Nomahanna,
conjointly with a Yeri called Chinau.

On the morning after our arrival, I rowed ashore with some of my
officers, to pay my respects to the Queen Nomahanna, and on landing was
met by the Spaniard Marini, who accompanied us to her Majesty as
interpreter. On the way I was recognised by several old friends, with
whom I had become acquainted on my former visit. They saluted me with a
friendly "_Aroha_." I cannot say there was much room for compliment on
any visible improvement in their costume; for they still wore with much
self-complacency some ill-assorted portions of European attire.

The residence of Nomahanna lay near the fortress on the sea-shore: it
was a pretty little wooden house of two stories, built in the European
style, with handsome large windows, and a balcony very neatly painted.
We were received on the stairs by Chinau, the governor of Wahu, in a
curious dishabille. He could hardly walk from the confinement his feet
suffered in a pair of fisherman's shoes, and his red cloth waistcoat
would not submit to be buttoned, because it had never been intended for
so colossal a frame. He welcomed me with repeated "_Arohas_," and led me
up to the second floor, where all the arrangements had a pleasing and
even elegant appearance. The stairs were occupied from the bottom to the
door of the Queen's apartments, by children, adults, and even old
people, of both sexes, who, under her Majesty's own superintendence,
were reading from spelling-books, and writing on slates--a spectacle
very honourable to her philanthropy. The Governor himself had a
spelling-book in one hand, and in the other a very ornamental little
instrument made of bone, which he used for pointing to the letters. Some
of the old people appeared to have joined the assembly rather for
example's sake, than from a desire to learn, as they were studying, with
an affectation of extreme diligence, books held upside down.

The spectacle of these scholars and their whimsical and scanty attire,
nearly upset the gravity with which I had prepared for my presentation
to the Queen. The doors were, however, thrown open and I entered, Chinau
introducing me as the captain of the newly-arrived Russian frigate. The
apartment was furnished in the European fashion, with chairs, tables,
and looking-glasses. In one corner stood an immensely large bed with
silk curtains; the floor was covered with fine mats, and on these, in
the middle of the room, lay Nomahanna, extended on her stomach, her head
turned towards the door, and her arms supported on a silk pillow. Two
young girls lightly dressed, sat cross-legged by the side of the Queen,
flapping away the flies with bunches of feathers. Nomahanna, who
appeared at the utmost not more than forty years old, was exactly six
feet two inches high, and rather more than two ells in circumference.
She wore an old-fashioned European dress of blue silk; her coal-black
hair was neatly plaited, at the top of a head as round as a ball; her
flat nose and thick projecting lips were certainly not very handsome,
yet was her countenance on the whole prepossessing and agreeable. On
seeing me, she laid down the psalm-book in which she had been reading,
and having, with the help of her attendants, changed her lying for a
sitting posture, she held out her hand to me in a very friendly manner,
with many "_Arohas!_" and invited me to take a seat on a chair by her
side. Her memory was better than my own; she recognised me as the
Russian officer who had visited the deceased monarch Tameamea, on the
island of O Wahi. On that occasion I had been presented to the Queens;
but since that time Nomahanna had so much increased in size, that I did
not know her again. She was aware how highly I esteemed her departed
consort; my appearance brought him vividly to her remembrance, and she
could not restrain her tears, in speaking of his death. "The people,"
said she, "have lost in him a protector and a father. What will now be
the fate of these islands, the God of the Christians only knows." She
now informed me with much self-gratulation that she was a Christian, and
attended the prayer-meeting several times every day. Desirous to know
how far she had been instructed in the religion she professed, I
inquired through Marini the grounds of her conversion. She replied that
she could not exactly describe them, but that the missionary Bengham,
who understood reading and writing perfectly well, had assured her that
the Christian faith was the best; and that, seeing how far the Europeans
and Americans, who were all Christians, surpassed her compatriots in
knowledge, she concluded that their belief must be the most reasonable.
"If, however," she added, "it should be found unsuited to our people, we
will reject it, and adopt another."

Hence it appears that the christianity of the missionaries is not
regarded with the reverence which, in its purity, it is calculated to
inspire in the most uncultivated minds. In conclusion, Nomahanna
triumphantly informed me, that the women might now eat as much pork as
they pleased, instead of being, as formerly, limited to dog's flesh. At
this observation, an intrusive idea suddenly changed her tone and the
expression of her features. With a deep sigh, she exclaimed--"What would
Tameamea say if he could behold the changes which have taken place here?
No more Gods--no more Marais: all are destroyed! It was not so in his
time:--we shall never have such another king!" Then, while the tears
trickled down her cheeks, she bared her right arm, and showed me,
tattooed on it in the O Wahi language--"Our good King Tameamea died on
the 8th of May 1819." This sign of mourning for the beloved monarch,
which cannot be laid aside like our pieces of crape, but accompanies the
mourner to the grave, is very frequent on the Sandwich Islands, and
testifies the esteem in which his memory is held: but it is a still more
striking proof of the universal grief for his loss, that on the
anniversary of his death, all his subjects struck out one of their front
teeth; and the whole nation have in consequence acquired a sort of
whistle in speaking. Chinau had even had the above words tattooed on his
tongue, of which he gave me ocular demonstration; nor was he singular in
this mode of testifying his attachment. It is surprising that an
operation so painful, and which occasions a considerable swelling,
should not be attended with worse consequences.

Nomahanna spoke with enthusiasm on the subject of writing. Formerly, she
said, she could only converse with persons who were present; now, let
them be ever so far distant, she could whisper her thoughts softly to
them alone. She promised to write me a letter, in order, she said, that
I might prove to every one in Russia that Nomahanna was able to write.

Our conversation was interrupted by the rattling of wheels, and the
sound of many voices. I looked from the window, and saw a little cart to
which a number of active young men had harnessed themselves with the
greatest complacency. I inquired of Marini what this meant, and was
informed that the Queen was about to drive to church: an attendant soon
after entered, and announced that the equipage was ready. Nomahanna
graciously proposed my accompanying her; and rather than risk her
displeasure by a refusal, I accepted the invitation with many thanks,
though I foresaw that I should thus be drawn in as a party to a very
absurd spectacle.

The Queen now put on a white calico hat decorated with Chinese flowers,
took a large Chinese fan in her hand, and, having completed her toilette
by drawing on a pair of clumsy sailor's boots, we set out. In descending
the stairs, she made a sign that the school was over for the present; an
announcement that seemed very agreeable to the scholars, to the old
ones especially. At the door below, a crowd had assembled, attracted by
curiosity to see me and their Queen drive out together. The young men in
harness shouted for joy, and patiently waited the signal for the race.
Some delay, however, occurred in taking our seats with suitable dignity.
The carriage was very small, and my companion very large, so that I was
fain to be content with a seat upon the edge, with a very good chance of
losing my balance, had not her Majesty, to obviate the danger, encircled
my waist with her stout and powerful arm, and thus secured me on my
seat; our position, and the contrast presented by our figures, had no
doubt a sufficiently comical effect. When we were at length comfortably
settled, the Governor Chinau came forth, and with no other addition than
a round hat to the costume already described, mounted a meagre unsaddled
steed, and off we all went at full gallop, the Queen taking infinite
pains to avoid losing me by the way. The people came streaming from all
sides, shouting "_Aroha maita!_"--our team continually increasing, while
a crowd behind contended for the honour of helping to push us forward.
In this style we drove the whole length of Hanaruro, and in about a
quarter of an hour reached the church, which lies on an ugly flat, and
exactly resembles that at O Tahaiti both in external and internal

The congregation was very small. Nomahanna and an old lady were the only
individuals of their sex; and Chinau, myself, and a few others, the only
males present. Even the people who had drawn us did not enter the
church; from which I infer, that the influence of the missionaries is by
no means so considerable as at O Tahaiti; and certainly the converts are
not yet driven with a stick into the house of prayer: nor would it be
easy to fasten on the minds of the people the fetters so patiently
endured on the Society Islands, where the labours of the missionaries
are seldom interrupted by the intervention of strangers. The Sandwich
Islanders are engaged in constant intercourse with foreign sailors,
mostly of licentious characters, who indeed profess the Christian
religion; but brought hither by the desire of gain, or the necessity of
laying in provisions for their ships, are generally wholly occupied in
driving crafty bargains, and certainly are no way instrumental in
inspiring the islanders with ideas of religion or morality, but on the
contrary, set them examples which have a direct tendency to deprave
their minds. Such among these crews as have been guilty of offences on
board ship, frequently run away and settle on the islands. This was
severely prohibited in Tameamea's time, but is now permitted, from
Christian charity. Such characters as these, reckless of every thing
sacred, do not hesitate to make a jest of the missionaries, whose
extraordinary plans and regulations offer many weak points to the shafts
of ridicule.

When Mr. Bengham had concluded a discourse in the O Wahi language, which
might possibly have been highly edifying, but that it was addressed to
little else than empty benches,--for I did not understand him, and the
minds of the few other persons present were evidently occupied with very
different matters,--we returned to the palace in the same style that we
had left it. I then took my leave, having received a promise of being
amply supplied with provisions: the Queen also, at my request, ordered
a small house near her own to be prepared for our astronomical
observations, and our astronomer, M. Preus, took possession of it on the
following day.

Our arrival had created a great sensation on the island. A foreign ship
of war is an uncommon spectacle here--one from Russia more especially,
as the attempt of the insane Dr. Scheffer, in 1816, to raise the island
of O Tuai against Tameamea, in the hope of annexing it to the empire of
Russia, had naturally introduced a fear of similar projects, although
the absurd design was entirely discountenanced by the Emperor Alexander.
The English also, even in their writings, have contributed to spread the
ridiculous idea, that Russia entertained views against the independence
of the Sandwich Islands; and that Rio Rio's voyage was only undertaken
for the purpose of imploring the assistance of England against our
government. From the air of protection which England has for some time
past assumed towards these islands, it is probable that she herself
secretly harbours such a design, and only waits a favourable opportunity
for its execution; although the English always profess to acknowledge
the sovereignty of the native monarch, and the King of England, in
writing to Tameamea, calls him, "Your Majesty."

I am, however, far from desiring to maintain this opinion as founded on
any sufficient grounds. The alarm of the islanders, on the present
occasion, had been in great measure excited by a paragraph in a Mexican
newspaper, recently imported, which contained a new version of the
English fiction. The mistrust, however, did not long subsist. My
assurances of friendship, and the particularly good behaviour of the
whole crew, by which they were advantageously distinguished from those
of the other ships lying here, soon attracted towards us the confidence
and esteem of the natives and their governors. During the whole of my
stay on the island, I had not the slightest cause to be dissatisfied
with the conduct of my men, notwithstanding the temptations to which
they were exposed, from the example of other sailors. All that could be
spared from the ship were, every Sunday, allowed to go ashore; this
being generally known in Hanaruro, a crowd of Wahuaners were always in
waiting to welcome the arrival of our boat. The friendly intercourse
which at all times subsisted between our people and the islanders was
truly gratifying.

I observed with regret, in my daily visits to Hanaruro, that the
Wahuaners had lost the simplicity and innocence of character which
formerly distinguished them. The profligate habits of the settlers of
all nations among them, and of the numerous foreign sailors with whom
they constantly associate, have most prejudicially affected their
morals. Fraud, theft, and burglary, never heard of in Tameamea's time,
are now frequent. Murder implies a degree of wickedness to which they
have not yet attained; but a circumstance that occurred shortly before
our arrival, may perhaps become an example even for this worst of
crimes. The crew of an English whaler, in which much drinking had been
permitted, mutinied, and the Captain received a blow on the head, which,
though it did not destroy life, produced insanity; nor could all the
efforts of our physician wholly restore his reason. He had indeed lucid
intervals, during which he became reconciled to his crew, and at length
sailed for England; but I have reason to believe the vessel never
reached its destination.

One very unpleasant consequence has attended progressive civilization in
Hanaruro:--painted signs, that the means of intoxication might be
purchased within, hang from many of the houses: their keepers are
runaway sailors, who, to increase their own profit, naturally have
recourse to every means that may tempt the people to excess; and these
liquor-shops accordingly enjoy a constant overflow of visitors. Others
are fitted up in a superior style, for the exclusive accommodation of
Yeris and ships' officers, admission being refused to Kanackas and
sailors. Carousing is here also the order of the day, but billiards and
whist form part of the entertainments; the latter game especially is a
great favourite with the Wahuaners, who play it well. Whist parties may
be seen every where seated on the ground, in the streets or in open
fields, among whom large sums of money and valuable goods are at stake.
The players are always surrounded by spectators, who pronounce their
opinions very volubly at the close of every game. The parties themselves
are extremely animated, and the affair seldom terminates without a
quarrel. Many other games are also in favour; and through the prevalence
of a custom which cannot be observed without regret, this once
industrious and flourishing people are rapidly acquiring confirmed
habits of idleness and dissipation. A great part of the well cultivated
tarro-fields, which formerly surrounded Hanaruro, now lie waste. On the
great market-place, horse and foot races are proceeding all day long,
and give occasion to extensive gambling. The Wahuaners have as great a
passion for horse-racing, as the Malays for cock-fighting, and without
hesitation venture their whole stock of wealth on a race. The purchase
of a horse is, indeed, the great object of their ambition; and little
attention having hitherto been directed to the breeding of these
animals, they are imported from California, at an expense of from two to
three, or even five hundred piastres; so that many a Wahuaner is obliged
to hoard his whole earnings for years together, to raise the means of
indulging in this luxury. In these races the horse is not saddled, and a
string supplies the place of a bit; the rider is usually quite naked,
but very skilful in the management even of the wildest horse; but, as
the treatment is injudicious, they are soon worn out.

Large sums are also staked at the _ship-games_, as they are called, in
which the islanders display their seaman-like tastes. The players are
usually clever ship-builders. They build pretty little vessels, in
conformity with the rules of art, and, by their good management of the
keel, make them good sailers; they rig them completely, and decorate
them with flags and streamers. Then assembling on the banks of some
large pond, the owners spread the sails, make the helm fast, and launch
the little fleet. The ship which is best built and rigged, first gains
the opposite shore, and wins the prize. The spectators take great
interest in the game, and a loud shout announces the victory. The
children also, in imitation of their fathers, make little ships, and
have sailing-matches on the smaller pieces of water.

From the partiality of the Sandwich Islanders for a sea-life, and from
their geographical situation, it is probable that, in time, they will
become powerful at sea. Tameamea left to his successor above a dozen
good ships, all manned with natives. They obtain excellent nautical
educations on board the United States' vessels trading between America
and Canton; and the Americans, who are equal to the English as seamen,
bear witness to the abilities of the islanders.

Luxury has made great advances in Wahu. Even among the lowest class of
the people, some article of European clothing is universal. The females
especially set their hearts upon the most fashionable mode of dress:
whatever the Queen wears is their model, which they imitate to the
utmost of their power. The men are importuned to gratify this feminine
vanity; and if their means will not enable them to do so fairly, they
will often have recourse to fraud. The love of foreign wares, and
especially of such as serve for dress and ornament, is by far the most
fertile source of crime. The shopkeepers are emulous to make their
assortment of goods as attractive as possible, and sometimes allow
their customers credit, in which case they never fail to charge double,
though their profits are at all times enormous. I have myself seen young
girls paying two Spanish dollars for a string of common glass-beads
which would scarcely reach round the throat. The tradespeople practise
every species of deception with impunity, for the laws are not yet
sufficiently civilized to meet offences of this description; which
therefore inflict a double injury on their dupe, by robbing him of his
property, and affording him an example of successful fraud, which he
will generally at least endeavour to imitate. On Sunday, the inhabitants
of Wahu make their appearance at church in full dress to be admired; and
if the spectacle on these occasions is not so thoroughly laughable as at
O Tahaiti, it is certainly sufficiently comic.

The domestic utensils, formerly in use here, have entirely disappeared
even from the poorest huts; and Chinese porcelain has superseded the
manufactures from the gourd or the cocoa-nut.

Fourteen days after our arrival, I received a message from Karemaku, who
was still at O Tuai. He assured me that he was rejoiced at my coming,
stated that he had sent orders to Chinau to supply my ship with the best
provisions, and added, that having happily concluded the expedition, he
should soon return to Hanaruro.

Meanwhile, we had no cause to complain of our situation: every thing was
to be had for money; and Nomahanna overwhelmed us with presents of fat
hogs and the finest fish, putting all the fishermen into requisition to
provide abundantly for our table. We had all reason to be grateful for
her attention and kindness, and are all therefore ready to maintain that
she is not only the cleverest and the most learned, but also the best
woman in Wahu, as indeed she is considered both by the natives and
settlers. But I can also bear testimony to another qualification, of
equal importance in her estimation--she has certainly the greatest
appetite that ever came under my observation. I usually visited her in
the morning, and was in the habit of finding her extended at full length
upon the floor, employed in inditing her letter to me, which appeared to
occasion her many a head-ache. Once, however, I called exactly at
dinner-time, and was shown into the eating-room. She was lying on fine
mats before a large looking-glass, stretched as usual on her prodigious
stomach: a number of Chinese porcelain dishes, containing food of
various kinds, were ranged in a semicircle before her, and the
attendants were busily employed in handing first one and then another to
her Majesty. She helped herself with her fingers from each in its turn,
and ate most voraciously, whilst two boys flapped away the flies with
large bunches of feathers. My appearance did not at all disturb her: she
greeted me with her mouth full, and graciously nodded her desire that I
should take my seat in a chair by her side, when I witnessed, I think,
the most extraordinary meal upon record. How much had passed the royal
mouth before my entrance, I will not undertake to affirm; but it took in
enough in my presence to have satisfied six men! Great as was my
admiration at the quantity of food thus consumed, the scene which
followed was calculated to increase it. Her appetite appearing satisfied
at length, the Queen drew her breath with difficulty two or three times,
then exclaimed, "I have eaten famously!" These were the first words her
important business had allowed her time to utter. By the assistance of
her attendants, she then turned upon her back, and made a sign with her
hand to a tall, strong fellow, who seemed well practised in his office;
he immediately sprang upon her body, and kneaded her as unmercifully
with his knees and fists as if she had been a trough of bread. This was
done to favour digestion; and her Majesty, after groaning a little at
this ungentle treatment, and taking a short time to recover herself,
ordered her royal person to be again turned on the stomach, and
recommenced her meal. This account, whatever appearance of exaggeration
it may bear, is literally true, as all my officers, and the other
gentlemen who accompanied me, will witness.

M. Preuss, who lived in the neighbourhood of the lady, frequently
witnessed similar meals, and maintains that Nomahanna and her fat hog
were the greatest curiosities in Wahu. The latter is in particular
favour with the Queen, who feeds him almost to death: he is black, and
of extraordinary size and fatness: two Kanackas are appointed to attend
him, and he can hardly move without their assistance.

Nomahanna is vain of her tremendous appetite. She considers most people
too thin, and recommends inaction as an accelerator of her admired
_embonpoint_--so various are the notions of beauty. On the Sandwich
Islands, a female figure a fathom long, and of immeasurable
circumference, is charming; whilst the European lady laces tightly, and
sometimes drinks vinegar, in order to touch our hearts by her slender
and delicate symmetry.

One of our officers obtained the Queen's permission to take her
portrait. The limner's art is still almost a novelty here; and many
persons of rank solicited permission to witness the operation. With the
greatest attention, they watched every stroke of the outline, and loudly
expressed their admiration as each feature appeared upon the paper. The
nose was no sooner traced, than they exclaimed--"Now Nomahanna can
smell!" When the eyes were finished--"Now she can see!" They expressed
especial satisfaction at the sight of the mouth, because it would enable
her to eat; and they seemed to have some apprehension that she might
suffer from hunger. At this point, Nomahanna became so much interested,
that she requested to see the picture also: she thought the mouth much
too small, and begged that it might be enlarged. The portrait, however,
when finished, did not please her; and she remarked rather peevishly--"I
am surely much handsomer than that!"

On the 17th of January, Karemaku arrived with a squadron of two and
three-masted ships, and many soldiers, before the harbour of Hanaruro,
after having terminated the war at O Tuai quite to his satisfaction. The
fleet being unable to enter the harbour, on account of a contrary wind,
was obliged to cast anchor outside. I immediately sent off an officer
with my shallop, to convey to the King's deputy my congratulations on
his arrival; he and his young wife (his wife, of whom I spoke in my
former voyage, was since dead,) returned in the shallop, and came on
board my ship. I fired a salute as he approached, which pleased him
much, as he said this compliment from a Russian ship of war would tend
to remove from the minds of his countrymen their injurious suspicions
of the intentions of Russia.

Karemaku seemed sincerely glad to see me again, and, after a most
cordial embrace, presented his young and pretty wife to me. He minutely
examined all parts of the ship, expressed his approbation of much that
was new to him, and at length exclaimed--"How wide a difference there
still is between this ship and ours!--would that they could be made to
resemble it! O, Tameamea, thou wast taken from us too soon!" In my
cabin, he spoke of the death of his royal friend in terms which Marini
declared it impossible to translate, as no other language would express
such depth of thought united with such ardent feeling. I rather
apprehend that Marini, who is not a man of much education, was not
competent to give effect to powerful emotion in any language: but the
missionaries also declare that there is considerable difficulty in
translating from the O Wahi language, which is particularly adapted to

Karemaku touched also on the change that had taken place in the religion
of the country.--"Our present belief," said he, "is preferable to that
which it has supplanted; but the inhabitants of the mountains cannot
understand its superiority; and strong measures are necessary to prevent
their relapsing into idolatry. The King should not have so suddenly
annihilated all that they held sacred. As a first consequence, he has
been obliged to seek for safety in a foreign country. How all will end,
I cannot foresee; but I look forward with fear. The people are attached
to me, and I have influence over them; but my health declines, and the
Government, which I have scarcely been able to keep together, will
probably not survive me. Blood will be spilt, and anarchy will prevail.
Already the island of O Tuai has revolted, even during my life." These
fears are not without foundation: they are shared by the natives and the
foreign settlers; and many of the Yeris seem persuaded that the monarchy
will be dismembered on Karemaku's death. Some have already fixed upon
the districts they mean to appropriate, and do not even take any pains
to conceal their intentions. Yet has the aged and infirm Karemaku
hitherto maintained order among these turbulent spirits, permitting no
one to disturb the general tranquillity with impunity.

During my former visit here, the painter Choris, who made the voyage
with me, and was afterwards murdered in Mexico, took an excellent
likeness of Tameamea. I now presented to the venerable Karemaku a
copper-plate engraving from this picture. The joy with which he received
it was really affecting; he gazed on the picture with delight, and
kissed it several times, while the tears rolled down his cheeks. On
taking leave, he begged that he might have the medical assistance from
our physician, as he had been long indisposed. He pressed my hand,
saying, "I too am a Christian, and can read and write." That a warrior,
and a statesman, should pride himself on such advantages as these above
all others, proves the estimation in which they are held. The Sandwich
Islanders know that these are the ties which connect them with civilized

Karemaku and his wife were, notwithstanding the extreme heat, dressed
entirely in the European fashion. He wore a dark surtout, and black
waistcoat, and pantaloons, both of very fine cloth. He was still in
mourning for his beloved Tameamea, and his hat was bound with crape. The
lady's dress was of black silk. A crowd of people of both sexes
assembled to welcome the Regent. His foot had scarcely touched the
shore, when they all began to rub each other's noses, and at a given
signal, to weep aloud. This is the established etiquette in welcoming a
great chief. Some of the old women of rank surrounded Karemaku, under
Chinau's direction, and rubbing each other's noses, sang in a plaintive
tone a song to the following effect:

"Where hast thou stayed so long, beloved ruler? We have wept for thee
every day. Heaven be praised that thou art here again! Dost thou feel
how the earth rejoices under thy footsteps? Dost thou hear how the pigs
which scent thee, joyfully grunt their welcome? Dost thou smell the
roasted fish that waits thy eating? Come, we will cherish thee, that
thou mayest take comfort among us." It must be confessed, that if the O
Wahi language be peculiarly adapted for poetry, this composition does
not do it justice. Karemaku laughed at this reception, and allowed
himself to be conducted in grand procession to Nomahanna, who had not
condescended to meet him. The excitement lasted the whole day. Nothing
was spoken of but Karemaku's heroism, and the rebel son of Tamaris, whom
he had brought with him a prisoner. This young man is called Prince
George; he is about five-and-twenty, and not of a prepossessing
appearance. He dresses like a European; but although educated in the
United States of America, he scarcely equals a common sailor in moral
attainments, and is remarkable only for his vices. Karemaku never loses
sight of him. Two Yeris are appointed for his keepers; and he knows that
he should be strangled if he attempted to escape.

Kahumanna still remained in O Tuai, to maintain the newly-restored
tranquillity. This female, who had already distinguished herself in
Vancouver's time, unites a clear understanding with a masculine spirit,
and seems to have been born for dominion.

Karemaku's arrival proved extremely useful to us. We had made the
disagreeable discovery that a great part of the copper with which the
ship was bottomed had become loose, and the hull thereby liable to
injury from worms. To repair this damage in the ordinary way, the
laborious task of unlading and keel-hauling must have been undertaken;
but our noble friend, on hearing of our difficulties, put us upon an
easier method of managing the business. He sent me three very clever
divers, who worked under the water, and fastened new plates of copper on
the hull, two of them provided with hammers to drive in the nails, while
the third held the materials. We found that these men could remain at
work forty-eight seconds at a time. When they emerged, their eyes were
always red and starting; the effect of the violent strain upon the optic
nerve which the use of the sight under water produces. We had some
skilful divers among our own sailors, who, although they could not have
attempted this work, were able to inspect what was done by the
Wahuaners, and to report that it was properly executed.

Some days after Karemaku's arrival, came an ambassador from Nomahanna,
with instructions to demand an audience of me. I received him in the
cabin. His only clothing, except a pocket of plaited reeds that hung
round his neck, was a shirt, and a very broad-brimmed straw hat. The
fellow looked important and mysterious, as if he had a mighty secret to
impart; but converse with each other we could not, for he understood
only his mother-tongue, of which I was entirely ignorant; he therefore
informed me by signs that his pocket contained something for me, and
drew from it a packet. One by one, a multitude of envelopes of the paper
manufactory of the country were removed, till at length a letter came to
light, which he handed to me with the words, "Aroha Nomahanna!" a
salutation from Nomahanna. He then explained to me, in pantomime, that
it was the Queen's intention to visit me to-day, and that she requested
I would send my boat to fetch her. After saying a great deal about "Pala
pala," he left me, and I summoned Marini, who gave me the following
translation of the letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I salute thee, Russian! I love thee with my whole heart, and more than
myself. I feel, therefore, on seeing thee again in my country, a joy
which our poor language is unequal to express. Thou wilt find all here
much changed. While Tameamea lived, the country flourished; but since
his death, all has gone to ruin. The young King is in London. Karemaku
and Kahumanna are absent; and Chinau, who fills their place, has too
little power over the people to receive thee as becomes thy rank. He
cannot procure for thee as many hogs and sweet potatoes, and as much
tarro as thou hast need of. How sincerely do I regret that my great
possessions lie upon the Island of Muwe, so far away across the sea!
Were they nearer, thou shouldst daily be surrounded by hogs. As soon as
Karemaku and Kahumanna return, all thy wants shall be provided for. The
King's brother comes with them; but he is yet only an inexperienced boy,
and does not know how to distinguish good from evil.

"I beg thee to embrace thine Emperor in my name. Tell him, that I would
willingly do so myself, but for the wide sea that lies between us. Do
not forget to carry my salutations to thy whole nation. Since I am a
Christian, and that thou art also such, thou wilt excuse my indifferent
writing. Hunger compels me to close my letter. I wish that thou also
mayst eat thy hog's head with appetite and pleasure.

          I am,
  With royal constancy
      And endless love, thine,


       *       *       *       *       *

This curious epistle is very neatly written in a firm hand. The letters
are large, well-formed, and very intelligible. The superscription bears
only the words with which the letter begins--"Aroha Rukkini!" The
composition had taken her many weeks to complete; she made some progress
in it every day; but what was once inserted she never altered; the same
clean page that had been transmitted to me, being the identical one on
which the letter was commenced.

It was soon known in Hanaruro that the Queen had written to me; and as
all she did was imitated, I was presently in a fair way for being
honoured with many similar letters. All my intended correspondents,
however, would require at least as much time to express their thoughts
on paper, as Nomahanna had taken; I must therefore have waited for their
favours much longer than would have been convenient.

According to Nomahanna's request, I sent off an officer with the shallop
to fetch her: some hours, however, elapsed before she came, her
Majesty's toilette having, said my officer, occupied all this time. When
at length it was completed, she desired him to give her his arm and
conduct her to the shallop. This is another imitation of European

For a lady of the Sandwich Islands, Nomahanna was this day very
elegantly attired. A peach-coloured dress of good silk, trimmed at the
bottom with black lace, covered her Majesty's immense figure, which a
very broad many-coloured sash, with a large bow in the front, divided
exactly into two halves. She had a collar round her neck of native
manufacture, made of beautiful red and yellow feathers; and on her head
a very fine Leghorn hat, ornamented with artificial flowers from Canton,
and trimmed round the edge with a pendant flounce of black lace; her
chin lying modestly hidden behind a whole bed of flowers that bloomed
on her mountain bosom. In somewhat striking contrast to all this finery
were the clumsily accoutred feet, and stout, ill-shaped, brown,
unstockinged legs, which the shortness of her Majesty's petticoats,
proportioned originally to the stature of a European belle, displayed to
a rather unsightly extent.

As yet, the shoemaker's craft does not flourish in the Sandwich Islands;
so that all the shoes and boots worn there are imported from Europe and
America. But as neither of these Continents can produce such a pair of
feet as those of Queen Nomahanna, the attempt to force them into any
ready-made shoes would be hopeless; and her Majesty is therefore
obliged, if she would not go bare-foot, which she does not consider
altogether decorous, to content herself with a pair of men's galloshes.
Such trifles as these were, however, beneath her notice, and she
contemplated her dress with infinite complacency, as a pattern of
princely magnificence. In these splendid habiliments, with a parasol in
her hand, slowly and with difficulty, she climbed the ship's stairs, on
which, with some of my officers, I was in waiting to receive her; on
the highest step she endeavoured already to give us a proof of her
acquaintance with our customs, by making a courtesy, which was intended
to accord with the most approved rules of the art of dancing, though the
feet, not perfectly tutored in their parts, performed in rather a comic
style. In attempting this feat, she lost her balance, and would have
fallen into the water, if a couple of strong sailors had not caught her
illustrious person in their arms.

She was much delighted with all that she saw on board, especially with
my cabin, where the sofa paid dearly for the honour of her
approbation,--she sat upon it, and broke it down. The portrait of the
Emperor Alexander attracted her particular attention; she sat down
opposite to it upon the floor, where she could cause no farther
destruction, and said, after gazing upon it for some minutes with much
interest, "Maitai, Yeri nue Rukkini!" (the great Governor of the
Russians is beautiful!) She told me, that she knew a great deal about
Russia. A Sandwich Islander, named Lauri, who, in 1819, had made the
voyage thither, in the Russian ship Kamtschatka, with Captain Golowin,
and had afterwards returned to his own country, had told her many things
concerning Petersburg and the Emperor. She said she would have liked to
make the voyage herself, but that Lauri's fearful description of the
cold had terrified her. He had told her, that it was necessary to
envelope the body entirely in fur, and that even this would not obviate
all danger of losing the nose and ears; that the cold changed the water
into a solid substance, resembling glass in appearance, but of so much
strength that it was used for a high road, people passing over it in
huge chests drawn by horses, without breaking it; that the houses were
as high as mountains, and so large, that he had walked three days in one
of them without coming to the end of it. It was evident that Lauri had
stretched a little; but Nomahanna had no notion of incredulity. She
approved of our inventions for warming the inside of our houses, and
thought, that if she were at Petersburg, she would not go out at all
during the cold weather, but would drive her carriage about the house.
She inquired how it could possibly be so warm at one season of the
year, and so cold at another. I endeavoured to accommodate my answer to
her powers of comprehension, and she seemed satisfied.

"Lauri was in the right," she observed; "there are very clever people in
Russia." Her acknowledgment of my abilities, however, proved rather
inconvenient, for she now overwhelmed me with a host of questions, some
of them very absurd, and which to have answered with methodical
precision, would have required much time and consideration. For
instance, she desired me to tell her how much wood must be burnt, every
year, to warm all the countries of the earth? Whether rain enough might
not fall, at some time or other, to extinguish all the fires? And
whether, by means of such a rain, Wahu might not become as cold as
Russia? I endeavoured to cut the matter as short as possible; and, in
order to divert her thoughts to other subjects, set wine before her; she
liked it very much, and I therefore presented her with a bottle; but her
thirst for knowledge was not thus to be quenched, and during a visit of
two hours, she asked such incessant questions, that I was not a little
relieved when, at length, she proposed to depart. In taking leave, she
observed, "If I have wine, I must have glasses, or how can I drink it?"
So saying, she took the bottle that had been given her, in one hand,
and, with the other, seizing without ceremony the glasses that stood on
the table, she went upon deck. There she made a profound courtesy to all
present, and again took her seat in the shallop. Thus ended this
condescending visit, with the royal appropriation of my wine glasses.
Nomahanna had, however, been so liberal to us, that she had a right to
suppose she would be welcome to them.

The illness of Karemaku had very much increased since his arrival in
Wahu; he had every symptom of dropsy. Our physician, however, succeeded,
in a great measure, in restoring him to health, and when I paid him a
congratulatory visit, I found him very grateful for the benefit he had
received, full of spirits, and very facetious. I adopted his tone, and
jestingly told him, that we would certainly complete his cure, even if
we should be obliged to rip open his stomach, take out the bowels,
clean them, and replace them. Karemaku laughed, and said he would submit
to the operation, if it was necessary to his perfect recovery. Some old
women, however, who were present, took the matter in sober seriousness,
and spread among the people a report of the dreadful treatment their
beloved Karemaku was threatened with; a terrible disturbance in Hanaruro
was the consequence. The people believed I intended to kill him, and
were excessively irritated against me. Karemaku himself sent me this
intelligence through Marini; adding a request, that I would not come
ashore again till he had overcome this foolish idea, which was
accomplished in a few days. The feeling manifested on this occasion was
certainly honourable both to the governor and the governed.

An epidemic disease prevailed this year throughout the Sandwich Islands.
It produced a great mortality, death generally following the attack
within a few days. In Hanaruro I saw many corpses daily carried to their
burial; but nowhere is recovery from serious illness so improbable as
here. As soon as the patient is obliged to take to his bed, he is
immediately surrounded by his nearest relations, especially of the
female sex, who, weeping, and singing mournful songs in a most
lamentable tone, propose to themselves, by this means, to effect his
recovery, or at least to procure him some relief from his sufferings.
The worse he grows, the larger the assembly, and the louder the noise
becomes; even his friends and acquaintances come flocking in: when there
is no more room within the house, they congregate round the door, and
continue mourning, crying, and howling, inside and outside, till the
sufferer expires. This perpetual disturbance, the constant remembrance
of death it occasions, and the infection of the air from the number of
breaths in the crowded apartment, naturally produce a very prejudicial
effect, and no doubt many die rather in consequence of these proofs of
sympathy than of their disease.

Kahumanna, having concluded her business in O Tuai, arrived at length in
Hanaruro with the King's brother, a handsome boy of thirteen. I paid her
a visit, and was very graciously received. She is considerably older
than Nomahanna; but, though large and corpulent enough, not by much such
a prodigy of size. Her countenance bears traces of former beauty; she
dresses entirely like a European, and has a more intimate knowledge of
our customs and manners than Nomahanna. Her house, built partly of wood
and partly of stone, is larger than the one I have described as the
habitation of the other Queen; like that, it has two stories and a
balcony, and it is similarly furnished. Near it is the abode of the
missionary Bengham. Kahumanna, as well as Nomahanna, has the date of
Tameamea's death marked upon her arm; otherwise they are not tattooed,
which indeed few are, and those only the most aged people.

Kahumanna honoured me several times with visits on board, and
condescended to write me a letter, which, Marini assured me, contained
nothing but expressions so inflated and pompous that he could not
understand, and therefore could not translate them.

The appointed time for our return to New Archangel now approached. Our
vessel had been fully prepared for encountering the violent and
continued storms of the North, and I waited the return of our
mineralogist, M. Hoffman, who had gone to O Wahi, for the purpose of
climbing the mountain Mou-na-roa, in which however he did not succeed.
By command of Queen Nomahanna, assistance had indeed been afforded him;
but the two Kanackas, who accompanied him as guides, refused to proceed
farther than seven thousand feet above the level of the sea, or about
half-way up the mountain; a height to which the most courageous O Wahian
will scarcely venture, from fear partly of the spirits which haunt the
summit of the mountain, partly of the cold, which is almost too severe
for an inhabitant of the tropics to endure. At this point the Kanackas
threw themselves flat upon the earth, nor would they stir another step,
although certain of punishment for their refusal. In vain M. Hoffman
tried to shake their resolution, first by offering them large presents,
and then by threatening them with a loaded pistol; they were immoveable,
and he was forced to return. His expedition, however, was not altogether
fruitless: besides his mineralogical observations, he discovered an
extraordinary cave, running at an acute angle several hundred feet deep
into the mountain, where he found a sheet of water, which stretched as
far as the light of the torches permitted the light to reach through the
fearful darkness. It would have been interesting to have traversed this
subterranean sea in a boat. It is most remarkable, that the water of
this lake is salt, and that the alternate ebb and flow of the tide is as
perceptible here as on the coast. M. Hoffman will probably publish other
particulars respecting this natural curiosity.

On the 31st of January 1825, we left the harbour of Hanaruro, having the
pleasure to be accompanied by our friend Karemaku, who, by the help of
our physicians, felt himself well enough to venture thus far. He brought
with him several double canoes, which, as there was no wind, towed the
ship quite out of the harbour, and far enough to sea to obviate any
danger from the reefs; Karemaku then took leave of us with the most
cordial expressions of friendship, wishing us a prosperous voyage and a
speedy return. On a signal from him, the fortress fired five guns, which
salute we immediately returned. Karemaku waved his hat from his boat,
and continuing his "Arohas" so long as we were within hearing, was rowed
back to the harbour. A fresh wind at this moment springing up, we lost
sight of the beautiful island where we had passed our time so agreeably,
and prepared, with far less prospect of satisfaction, to encounter the
wintry storms of the North. I chose the channel between the islands of
Wahu and O Tuai, as the most convenient outlet into the open ocean, for
ships going northward from Hanaruro. We passed through it on the
following day, and sailed direct for New Archangel.

The reader will willingly spare me any particular description of this
troublesome voyage: I must only mention that, on the 14th of February,
in latitude 35° and 155° longitude, we sailed over a point where,
according to the assertion of some whale-fishers in Wahu, an island
lies; but though the horizon was perfectly clear, we could discover no
sign of land. Our voyage proved safer and more expeditious than is usual
at this season.

Our astronomical observations on the Sandwich Islands gave the
following results:--

  Latitude of Hanaruro                       21° 17' 57"

  Longitude                                 158° 00' 30"

  Longitude of the Eastern point of the
  island Muwe                               156° 13' 10"

  Longitude of the Western point            156° 48' 11"

  Latitude of one of the small islands
  East of Maratai, which are not
  given in Vancouver's map                   21° 13' 30"

  Longitude                                 156° 49' 12".

The account of our residence at New Archangel is contained in the tenth

On our return voyage to Wahu, we had constantly fine weather, though but
little wind, so that it was not till the 29th of August we found
ourselves in latitude 34°, where we first, in a clear star-light night,
saw the comet which was then visible in the neighbourhood of Aldebaran;
it had a tail four degrees and a half long. On the 4th of September we
sailed over a point, occupied in Arrowsmith's chart by the island
Laxara, without perceiving the smallest trace of it; the existence
therefore of this island, which is said to have been early discovered by
the Spanish navigators, remains doubtful.

When we reached the tropic, a brisk trade-wind carried us quickly to
the Sandwich Islands, and on the 12th of September we already saw the
Mou-na-roa quite clearly, at a distance of a hundred and twenty-four
miles, rising high above the horizon. On the following morning, we again
dropped anchor before the harbour of Hanaruro, after a sail of
thirty-five days from New Archangel.

As I only intended to take in a supply of fresh provisions and water,
and then continue my voyage without farther delay, I considered it
unnecessary to run into the harbour, and remained in the roads, although
the south-wind to which they are exposed is sometimes dangerous to ships
riding there. This wind, however, blows only at certain seasons, and is
always announced by an over-clouded sky, long enough to afford time for
taking shelter or standing out to sea.

On the morning after our arrival, a remarkable phenomenon occurred, of
which we were witnesses throughout its duration. While the heavens were
quite clear, a thick, black cloud formed itself over the island, resting
its lower verge on the summits of the mountains, the densest portion of
the cloud hanging over the little town of Hanaruro. The wind was
perfectly calm, till on a sudden a violent gust blew from the
north-east, and at the same time a crashing noise proceeded from the
cloud, as if many ships were firing their guns; the resemblance was so
perfect, that we might have supposed we heard alternately the individual
shots of the opposing broadsides. The concussion lasted some minutes;
and when it ceased, two stones shot from the cloud into the street of
Hanaruro, and from the violence of the fall broke into several pieces.
The inhabitants collected the still warm fragments, and judging by
these, the stones must have weighed full fifteen pounds each. They were
grey inside, and were externally surrounded by a black burnt crust. On a
chemical analysis, they appeared to resemble the meteoric stones which
have fallen in many countries.

In the short period of our absence, some important events had taken
place. My readers will remember that the King and Queen of the Sandwich
Islands arrived safely in London, and were there treated with
particular attention by the English Court; and that they both died in
that country, having previously expressed their desire to be buried in
their native land. This wish was fulfilled by the English Government.
The bodies, having been embalmed, were laid in magnificent coffins
decorated with gold, and Lord Byron was appointed to carry them and the
royal suite, back to Wahu. When he arrived there, and the news of the
deaths of the King and Queen transpired, it produced a great but varying
sensation. Some of the people lamented the loss, but the greater number
rejoiced to be relieved of a ruler in whom they had no confidence; our
friend Karemaku seemed much grieved, possibly from old attachment to the
royal family, or from patriotism, as he had hoped that the King's visit
to England would have been very advantageous to him, and no one was at
the moment qualified to assume the reins of government as his successor.

On the 11th of May, both coffins were carried in solemn procession to
the church, the fortress and the English frigate firing their guns. The
people cried and howled, as custom requires on these occasions, but all
the while greatly admiring the magnificence of the coffins; some
remarked that it must be a pleasure to die in England, where people were
laid in such beautiful boxes. The following inscriptions in the English
language were on the coffin-lids:

"Tameamea II., King of the Sandwich Islands, died in London on the 24th
of July 1824, in the 28th year of his age. Respected be the memory of
our beloved King Jolani."

(The King was sometimes known by this appellation.)

"Tamehamelu, Queen of the Sandwich Islands, died in London, on the 8th
of July 1824, in the 22nd year of her age."

The funeral procession was arranged in the following order: Twelve
Yeris, in the national costume, with beautiful coloured feather mantles
and helmets, walked first; they were followed by a band of musicians
playing the dead-march, and a company of soldiers from the frigate
Blond. Then came the chaplain of the frigate, and with him the
missionaries, immediately followed by the coffins in hearses, each drawn
by forty Yeris. Directly behind the coffins came the heir to the
throne, the brother of the King, a boy about thirteen, dressed in
European uniform. Lord Byron, his officers, and the royal family,
followed, the procession being closed by the people, who, attracted by
the novelty of the spectacle, assembled in great multitudes. All wore
crape as a sign of mourning, or, if they could not procure this, Tapa.
In the church, which was entirely hung with black, the chaplain of the
English frigate read the funeral-service, and the procession afterwards
repaired, in the order above described, to a small stone chapel, where
the coffins were deposited, and where they still remain.

Soon after the funeral, the new King was proclaimed by the title of
Tameamea the Third, at the command of Karemaku, who retained the regency
during the minority, in conjunction with the Queen Kahumanna. The
regents were thus nominally the same; but Karemaku was too ill to take
an active share in the government, and the missionary Bengham found
means to obtain such an acendency over the imperious Kahumanna, and,
through her, over the nation, that in the course of only seven months an
entire change had taken place:--we might have imagined ourselves in a
different country. Bengham had undertaken the education of the young
monarch, and was keeping him under the strictest _surveillance_. He
meddles in all the affairs of government, and makes Kahumanna, and even
sometimes Karemaku, the instrument of his will; pays particular
attention to commercial concerns, in which he appears to take great
interest; and seems to have quite forgotten his original situation and
the object of his residence in the islands, finding the avocations of a
ruler more to his taste than those of a preacher. This would be
excusable, if his talents were of a nature to contribute to the
instruction and happiness of the people; if he understood the art of
polishing the rough diamond, to which the uncorrupted Sandwich Islander
may aptly be compared, so as to bring out its intrinsic value, and to
increase its external splendour. But the fact is widely different; and
one cannot see without deep regret the spiritual and temporal weal of a
well-disposed people committed to the guidance of an unenlightened
enthusiast, whose ill-directed and ill-arranged designs are inimical to
their true and permanent interests.

Mr. Stewart, also a missionary, but more recently settled here than
Bengham, is a judicious and well-informed man, and would remedy many of
the evils incident to the present state of affairs; but Bengham, who has
usurped the absolute control of the spiritual administration, will have
every thing accommodated to his whims. Stewart therefore, finding
himself unable to follow the course prescribed by his active zeal and
strong understanding, for the benefit of the islanders, proposes to
leave the country.

That Bengham's private views may not be too easily penetrated, religion
is made the cloak of all his designs, and the greatest activity and
strictness prevail in its propagation, and in the maintenance of church
discipline. The inhabitants of every house or hut in Hanaruro are
compelled by authority to an almost endless routine of prayers; and even
the often dishonest intentions of the foreign settlers must be concealed
under the veil of devotion. The streets, formerly so full of life and
animation, are now deserted; games of all kinds, even the most
innocent, are sternly prohibited; singing is a punishable offence; and
the consummate profligacy of attempting to dance would certainly find no
mercy. On Sundays, no cooking is permitted, nor must even a fire be
kindled: nothing, in short, must be done; the whole day is devoted to
prayer, with how much real piety may be easily imagined. Some of the
royal attendants, on their return from London, at first opposed these
regulations, and maintained that the English, though good Christians,
submit to no such restraint. Kahumanna, however, infatuated by her
counsellor, will hear of no opposition; and as her power extends to life
and death, those who would willingly resist are compelled to bend under
the iron sceptre of this arbitrary old woman.

A short time before our return, a command had issued, that all persons
who had attained the age of eight years should be brought to Hanaruro,
to be taught reading and writing. The poor country people, though much
discontented, did not venture to disobey, but patiently abandoning their
labour in the fields, flocked to Hanaruro, where we saw many families
bivouacking in the streets, in little huts hastily put together, with
the spelling-books in their hands. Such as could already read were made
to learn passages from the Bible by heart. Every street in Hanaruro has
more than one school-house: they are long huts, built of reeds, without
any division. In each of these, about a hundred scholars, of both sexes,
are instructed by a single native teacher, who, standing on a raised
platform, names aloud every single letter, which is repeated in a scream
by the whole assembly. These establishments, it may be supposed, are
easily recognised afar off; no other sounds are heard in the streets;
and the human figure is seldom to be seen amidst this melancholy
stillness, except when the scholars, conducted by their teachers, repair
to the church. Every sort of gaiety is forbidden.

Lord Byron had brought with him from England a variety of magic
lanterns, puppet-shows, and such like toys, and was making preparations
to exhibit them in public, for the entertainment of the people, when an
order arrived from Bengham to prevent the representation, because it did
not become God-fearing Christians to take pleasure in such vain
amusements. The nobleman, not wishing to dispute the point, gave up his
good-natured intentions.

That a people naturally so lively, should readily submit to such gloomy
restrictions at the command of their rulers, proves how easily a wise
government might introduce among them the blessings of rational
civilization. Well might Karemaku exclaim, "Tameamea, thou hast died too
soon!" Had this monarch doubled the usual age of man, and accorded his
protection to such a reformer as Stewart, the Sandwich Islanders might
by this time have acquired the respect of all other nations, instead of
retrograding in the arts of civilization, and assuming under compulsion
the hypocritical appearance of an affected devotion.

In taking a walk with an American merchant established here, I met a
naked old man with a book in his hand, whom my companion addressed, and
knowing him for a determined opponent of the new system, expressed his
surprise at his occupation, and enquired how long he had been studying
his alphabet. With a roguish laugh which seemed intended to conceal a
more bitter feeling, first looking round to make sure that he should
not be overheard, he replied, "Don't think that I am learning to read. I
have only bought the book to look into it, that Kahumanna may think I am
following the general example; she would not otherwise suffer me to
approach her, and what would then become of a poor, miserable, old man
like me? What is the use of the odious B A, Ba? Will it make our yams
and potatoes grow? No such thing; our country people are obliged to
neglect their fields for it, and scarcely half the land is tilled. What
will be the consequence? There will be a famine by and by, and "Pala,
Pala" will not fill a hungry man."

It is doubtless praiseworthy in a government to provide for the
instruction of the people, but to force it upon them by such
unreasonable measures as those adopted by Kahumanna and her counsellor
must have a prejudicial effect: so far the old man was right.

A striking instance of the severity with which the Queen sometimes
prosecutes her purpose, fell under our observation. An old man of
seventy, who rented a piece of land belonging to her, many miles
distant from Hanaruro, had always paid his taxes with regularity, and
hoping that the distance, and his advanced age, might dispense with his
attendance at the church and the school, acted accordingly; but for this
neglect, Kahumanna drove him from his home. He sought her presence,
implored her compassion for his destitute condition, and represented the
impossibility of learning to read at his age. But in vain! The Queen
replied with an angry gesture, "If you will not learn to read, you may
go and drown yourself."

To such tyranny as this, has Bengham urged the Queen, and perhaps
already esteems himself absolute sovereign of these islands. But he
reckons without his host. He pulls the cord so tightly, that the bow
must break; and I forewarn him, that his authority will, one day,
suddenly vanish: already the cloud is gathering; much discontent exists.
The injudicious summons of country people to Hanaruro has enhanced the
price of provisions, partly on account of the increased consumption,
partly because so much time spent in study and prayer leaves but little
for the labours of agriculture. Thus will the approaching pressure of
want be added to the slavery of the mind, and probably urge the
islanders to burst their fetters. I have myself heard many of the Yeris
express their displeasure, and the country people, who consider
Bengham's religion as the source of all their sufferings, one night set
fire to the church: the damage sustained was trifling, and the flames
were soon extinguished; but the incendiaries were not discovered.

Karemaku is suffering under a confirmed dropsy. Lord Byron's surgeon
tapped him; but, by the time we arrived, the increase of his disorder
required a repetition of the operation; it was performed with great
success by our surgeon. But it is impossible he can survive long, and
his death will be the signal of a general insurrection, which Bengham's
folly will certainly have accelerated.

Our second visit to Hanaruro was as disagreeable as the first had been
pleasant: even our best friend, Nomahanna, was quite altered, and
received us with coldness and taciturnity, we therefore laid in our
stock of provisions and fresh water as quickly as possible, and
rejoiced in being at liberty to take leave of a country from whence one
wrong-headed man has banished cheerfulness and content.

Several whalers were lying in the harbour, and among them the Englishman
we had met with in St. Francisco, and who had then been so unsuccessful.
Fortune had since been more propitious to him, and he was now returning
from the coast of Japan with a rich cargo of spermaceti valued at
twenty-five thousand pounds sterling: he had touched here to take in
provisions for his voyage homewards.

I learnt from another captain the particulars of an accident that had
happened to one of his companions, which shows the dangers whale-fishers
are exposed to, and is a singular example of a providential escape.

A North American, Captain Smith, sailed in the year 1820 in a
three-masted ship, the Albatross, for the South Sea, in pursuit of the
spermaceti whale. When nearly under the Line, west of Washington's
Island, they perceived a whale of an extraordinary size. The boats were
all immediately lowered, and, to make the capture more sure, they were
manned with the whole crew: the cook's mate alone remained at the helm,
and the ship lay-to. The monster, as it peaceably floated on the surface
of the water, was eagerly followed, and harpooned. On feeling the stroke
of the weapon, it lashed its powerful tail with fury, and the boat
nearest it was obliged to dart with all speed out of the way, to avoid
instant destruction. The whale then turned its vengeance on the ship,
swam several times round her with prodigious noise, and then struck her
so violently on the bows, that the cook's mate could compare the effect
of the blow only to the shock of an earthquake. The fish disappeared,
but the tremendous leak the ship had sprung sank her in five minutes
with all that she contained. Her solitary guardian was with difficulty

The crew were now left in four open boats, several weeks' voyage from
the nearest land, and with no provision but the little biscuit they
happened to have with them. After a long discussion upon the best course
to pursue, they separated: two of the boats steered for the Washington
or Marquesas Isles; and the other two, with the Captain in one of them,
towards the south, for the island of Juan Fernandez. The former have
not since been heard of; but the latter were, a fortnight afterwards,
picked up by a vessel, when the captain and four only of his men were
found alive: the other ten had died of hunger, and their corpses had
afforded nourishment to the survivors.

On the 19th of September, when the first rays of the sun were gilding
the romantic mountains of Wahu, we spread our sails, and bade adieu to
the Sandwich Islands, heartily wishing them what they so greatly
want--another Tameamea, not in name only, but in spirit and in deed.



On leaving the Sandwich Isles, we steered southward, it being my
intention to sail by a track not hitherto pursued by navigators who have
left us records of their voyages, to the Radack chain of islands. At
Hanaruro, several captains had mentioned to me an island situated in 17°
32' latitude, and 163° 52' longitude. On the 23rd of September we
crossed this point, and saw indeed birds of a description that rarely
fly to any great distance from land; but the reported island itself we
were unable to descry even from the mast-head, although the atmosphere
was perfectly clear:--so little is the intelligence of masters of
trading-vessels to be relied on.

On the 26th, we were, by observation, in 14° 32' latitude, and 169° 38'
longitude. During the whole of the day, large flights of such sea-birds
were seen as indicate the neighbourhood of land, and even some
land-birds; so that no doubt remained of our having sailed at no great
distance from an island hitherto unknown, the discovery of which is
reserved for some future voyager. During the whole of this course, we
had frequent signs of the vicinity of land, but never to the same extent
as on this day.

A captain, who had frequently made the voyage from the Sandwich Isles to
Canton, asserts his having discovered a shoal in 14° 42' latitude, and
170° 30' longitude. I can neither confirm nor confute this assertion;
and my only motive for repeating it here is, that vessels passing near
that point may be put upon their guard.

On the 5th of October we reached the Udirik group, the most northern of
the islands belonging to the Radack chain. We sailed past its southern
point, at a distance of only three miles, for the purpose of rectifying
our longitude, that, in case of discovering the Ralik chain, we might be
enabled to ascertain the exact difference between that and Radack. We
therefore continued our course due west, in the direction of the
Pescadore Islands, to obtain ocular demonstration that these and the
Udirik group are not one and the same; an opinion which is still
entertained by some persons, on the ground that the discoverers of the
former have mistaken their longitude.

We continued our course due west throughout the day, with very fine
weather, and having a man constantly upon the look-out from the
mast-head. During the night we had the benefit of the full moon; we then
carried but little sail; but at break of day we again set all our

At noon, the watch called from the tops that land was right ahead of us.
It soon came in sight, and proved to be a group of low, thickly-wooded
coral islands, forming, as usual, a circle round a basin. At one o'clock
in the afternoon we reached within three miles of them, and had, from
the mast-head, a clear view of their whole extent. While occupied in
surveying them, we doubled their most southern point, at a distance of
only half a mile from the reefs, and perceived that their greatest
length is from east to west, in which direction they take in a space of
ten miles. The aspect of these green islands is pleasing to the eye,
and, according to appearance, they would amply supply the necessities of
a population not superabundant; but though we sailed very near them, and
used our telescopes, we could discover no trace of human habitation.

According to accurate astronomical observations, the middle of this
group lies under 11° 19' 21" latitude, and 192° 25' 3" longitude. In
comparing the situation of the Pescadores, as given by Captain Wallis,
their discoverer, with this observation, it is scarcely possible to
believe in the identity of the groups. I have, however, left them the
name of Pescadores, because the two observations nearly correspond.
After having sailed round the whole group, we came, at four o'clock in
the afternoon, so close to their north-western point, that every
movement on land might have been distinctly seen with the naked eye; yet
even here there was nothing to indicate the presence of man, though
Wallis communicated with the inhabitants, if, indeed, these islands be
really the Pescadores. If so, these people must have become extinct long
ago, as no monument of their former existence is now visible. When we
had completed our survey, we again proceeded westward, and, within half
an hour, the watch again announced land in sight. The evening was now so
far advanced, that we determined to lay-to, in order to avoid the danger
of too near an approach to the coral reefs during the night, and
deferred our survey till the following morning. At break of day we saw
the islands which we have called the Pescadores, lying six miles to the
eastward; whilst those which had risen on our horizon the preceding
evening had wholly disappeared. We had diverged from them in the night;
but, with a brisk trade-wind, we regained the sight of them in an hour.
At eight o'clock in the morning we came within three miles of the
nearest island, and running parallel with the land, began our
examination. It was another group of coral islands connected by reefs
round a basin. Here also vegetation was luxuriant, and the cocoa-trees
rose to a towering height, but not a trace of man could be discerned;
and we therefore concluded they were uninhabited, as we were near enough
to distinguish any object with the naked eye. Favoured by a fresh
breeze, we sailed westward along the islands, till nightfall, without
reaching the end of this long group. During the night we had much
difficulty in keeping our position, owing to a tolerably smart gale,
which, in these unknown waters, would have been attended by no
inconsiderable danger, but that the land lay to windward of us; and were
therefore well pleased in the morning to find that the different
landmarks by which we had been guided overnight, were still visible, so
that we were enabled to pursue our observations without interruption.

The greatest length of this group, which I named, after our second
lieutenant, Rimski-Korsakoff, is from east-north-east to
west-south-west, in which direction it is, fifty-four miles long. Its
greatest breadth is ten miles. As we were sailing along the islands to
windward of us, we could plainly distinguish from the mast-head those
which lay at the other side of the basin.

After having terminated our observations, we pursued a southerly
course, in hopes of discovering more land, and sailed at a great rate
during the whole of the day, without seeing any thing. At night we
lay-to; but the following morning, the 9th of October, we had scarcely
spread our sails, before the man at the mast-head discovered some low
islands to the north, which we had already past, and which now lay to
windward of us. I immediately changed our course, and endeavoured to
approach them by dint of tacking, but a strong easterly current, which
increased as we drew nearer to the land, almost baffled our efforts. We
succeeded with much difficulty in getting within eleven miles and a half
of the western extremity of the group, distinguished by a small round
hill, which at noon lay due east, our latitude by observation being 11°
30' 32", and our longitude 194° 34'. From this point we could see the
group, stretching to the verge of the horizon, in a south-easterly and
north-easterly direction. We again attempted to approach them nearer;
but not succeeding, we were obliged to continue our course to the
westward, contenting ourselves with determining the position of the
western extremity, 11° 40' 11" latitude, and 194° 37' 35" longitude,
from which point they must stretch considerably to the east. These, like
other coral islands, probably lie round a basin: of population we could
see no trace, though there was every appearance of their being
habitable. I named them, after our worthy Doctor and Professor,
Eschscholtz, who was now making the second voyage with me.

It is unnecessary to add any thing here respecting the situations of
these three groups of isles, which have been laid down, with the
greatest possible accuracy, in the chart accompanying this volume; one
thing only I beg to observe, that they bear not the slightest
resemblance to the Pescadores described by Wallis. He did not possess
the facilities for ascertaining the longitude, which have been invented
since his time. His Pescadores may be situated elsewhere; but even if
one of these groups should be the Pescadores, we may justly claim the
discovery of the other two. This discovery is of some value, inasmuch as
these groups are no doubt the northern extremity of the Ralik chain;
and their position and distance from Radak being now ascertained, there
will hereafter be little difficulty in discovering the remaining groups
of the chain.

From the Eschscholtz Isles we steered for the Bronus Isles, it being my
wish to try the accuracy of their geographical position, and to
ascertain whether the interval between the two groups was wholly free of
islands. On the 11th of October, at noon, being in latitude 11° 21' 39",
and longitude 196° 35', the Bronus Isles were descried from the
mast-head, at a distance of twenty miles. We approached within a mile
and a half of the southern extremity of the group, from which point we
were able to survey the whole, which we found, like other coral groups,
to consist of a circle of islands connected by a reef. The Bronus Isles,
however, appeared of more ancient formation than any we had yet seen;
the land was somewhat more elevated, and the trees were larger and
stronger. Here also we saw no appearance of inhabitants.

A calm which suddenly set in exposed us to the danger of being driven by
a powerful current upon the reef; but when we were already very near
the breakers, the direction of the current varied, running southward
parallel with the coast. By this means we were enabled to double the
southern extremity of the group, and a gentle breeze soon after
springing up, conveyed us to a safe distance from the land. According to
our observation, this southern extremity lies in latitude 11° 20' 50",
and longitude 197° 28' 30". It was my intention to have noted the
position of the whole group, for which purpose I endeavoured during the
night to keep the ship in its vicinity; but at daybreak the current had
carried us so far to leeward, that land could scarcely be perceived from
the mast-head. As it was utterly impossible to make any way against the
united force of the current and trade-wind, I was obliged to abandon my
design, upon which we steered for the Ladrones, or Mariana Isles, where
I intended to take in fresh provisions.

It is a striking phenomenon, and one not easily accounted for, that in
11° north latitude, from the Radak chain to the Bronus Isles, there
should be a current of a mile and a half per hour.





Having, in my former voyage, given a detailed account of these islands,
I need not here add much concerning them. A fresh breeze, and fine
weather, made our voyage agreeable and rapid. On the morning of the 25th
of October, we saw the island Sarpani, which belongs to the Ladrones,
lying before us at the distance of twenty-five miles, and soon after
distinguished the principal island, Guaham, whither we were bound. The
longitude of the eastern point of Sarpani was found to be 214° 38'.

The aspect of the eastern point of Guaham, which is exposed to a
constant trade-wind, does not suggest an idea of the fertility of the
island; but the traveller is agreeably surprised at the sight of its
western coast, where Nature has been most prodigal; and cannot but
remember with sorrow the extermination of the natives by the Spaniards,
on their taking possession of the islands and forcibly introducing the
Catholic religion.

It is remarkable that the soil of Guaham, under the first stratum of
earth, consists of coral blocks not yet quite dissolved; from which it
may be conjectured, that a former group of low coral islands, as well as
the basin which they enclosed, were forced upwards by the power of
subterranean fire; and in this manner the island of Guaham has been
formed. This hypothesis is confirmed by Mr. Hoffman's discovery of a
crater on the island, with a fire still burning in its abyss.

The fortress, standing on what is called the Devil's Point, intended for
the defence of the town of Agadna, was so peacefully disposed, that not
one of its cannons was fit for use. I saw, to my great astonishment, in
the harbour Caldera de Apra, ships bearing the English and North
American flags. The Spaniards do not usually permit the entrance of
foreign vessels; but I was informed by the captains of these, that the
whalers who pursue their occupations on the coast of Japan, now
frequently choose Guaham for refitting and victualling their ships. I
also heard, with much pleasure, that they exclusively use our Admiral
Krusenstern's chart of the Japanese coast; and they assured me, that
objects even of minor importance are laid down in it with the greatest
accuracy. How much cause have seamen for thankfulness to one who has
provided them with such a chart! their lives frequently depend on the
correctness of these guides; and an erroneous one may be worse than none
at all.

As I only intended stopping here a few days, and the harbour is by no
means safe, I determined not to enter it, but sent an officer to the
Governor, with a list of fresh provisions which I requested his
assistance in procuring. On the following morning, I rowed with some of
my officers ashore, and we were received by the Governor, Don Gango
Errero, who had already taken measures for supplying our wants, with
great civility, though not without some degree of Spanish stateliness.

His government here confirms an observation repeatedly made, that a few
years of a bad administration are sufficient to undo all that a good one
may have effected by a long series of exertions. Eight years ago, when
Medenilla was governor, the most perfect content, and prosperity to a
certain extent, existed in Guaham; and now, by the fault of one man,
every thing bears a totally different aspect. So much depends on the
choice of the person to whom power is delegated, at such a distance from
the seat of sovereignty as that the complaints of the oppressed can
seldom reach it. Errero is even accused of the murder of some English
and American sailors; and, on this occasion, Spanish justice has not
been in vain appealed to by their comrades; for, as I afterwards
learned, the order for Errero's arrest was already made out at the
moment when, in perfect self-confidence and enjoyment, he was
entertaining me with lively songs, accompanied by himself on the guitar;
and Medenilla has been again appointed to the command, that he may
endeavour to repair the evils Errero had occasioned.

Of my earlier acquaintances, I now met only the estimable Don Louis de
Torres, the friend of the Carolinas, who communicated to M. De Chamisso
many interesting particulars respecting these amiable islanders. After
our departure in the Rurik, he had again made a voyage to the Carolinas,
and had persuaded several families to come and settle at Guaham. The
yearly visits of these islanders to Guaham are still regularly
continued; and at the time of our stay, one of their little flotillas
was in the harbour. Being clever seamen, they are much employed by the
Spaniards, who are very ignorant in this respect, in their voyages to
the other Marian Islands, with which, unassisted by their friends of
Carolina, these would hold but little communication. We had an
opportunity of seeing two of their canoes come in from Sarpani, when the
sea ran high, and the wind was very strong, and greatly admired the
skill with which they were managed.

The revolt of the Spanish colonies has not extended itself to these
islands. The inhabitants of Guaham have maintained their loyalty,
notwithstanding the tyranny of their governor, and unseduced by an
example recently given them. A Spanish ship of the line and a frigate,
with fugitive loyalists from Peru, lately touched here; they were bound
for Manilla; but the crews of both ships mutinied, put the officers and
passengers ashore, and returned to Peru to make common cause with the

After remaining four days before Agadna, we took in our provisions, for
which ten times the price was demanded that we had paid here eight years
ago, and left Guaham on the 22nd of October, directing our course for
the Bashi Islands, as I intended to pass through their straits into the
Chinese Sea, and then sail direct to Manilla. On the 1st of November,
our noon observation gave 20° 15' latitude, and 236° 42' longitude, so
that we were already in the neighbourhood of the Bashi and Babuyan
Islands. We continued to sail so briskly till sunset, that we could not
be then far from land; but black clouds had gathered over it, concealing
it from our view, and presaging stormy weather; we did not venture
therefore to advance during the night, but tacked with sails reefed,
waiting the break of day. At midnight we had some violent squalls from
the north with a ruffled sea, but not amounting to a storm. The rising
sun discovered to us the three high Richmond rocks, rising in the middle
of the strait, between the Bashi and Babuyan Islands. Soon after the
island of Bantan appeared, with heavy clouds still lingering behind its
cliffs. The weather was, however, at present fine, the wind blowing
strongly from the north; we therefore set as much sail as the gale would
permit us to carry, and pursued our course through the strait formed by
the Richmond rocks, and the southern Bashi Islands. In clearing these
straits, we had reason to apprehend serious damage to our rigging, or
even the loss of a mast. A heavy squall from the north-east put the sea
in great commotion. The billows chafed and roared as they broke over
each other, and were met in the narrow channel by a current, driving
from the Chinese Sea into the ocean. This furious encounter of the
contending waves produced the appearance of breakers, through which we
were compelled to work our dangerous way; the ship, sometimes tossed to
their utmost summit, then, without the power of resistance, suddenly
precipitated into the yawning gulf between them, wore, however, through
all her trials, and gave me cause for exultation in the strength of her
masts, and the goodness of her tackling. We passed two hours in this
anxious and critical condition, but at length emerged into the Chinese
Sea; where the comparative peacefulness of the waves allowed us to
repose after our fatigues, and even afforded us an opportunity of
ascertaining our longitudes.

  We found the longitude of the most
  easterly of the Richmond rocks                  237° 50'  2"
                   most westerly                  237° 52'  0"
               the eastern point
  of the Island of Bantan                         237° 55' 32"
               the western point
  of Babuyan                                      238°  0' 56"
               the western point
  of the Bashi Island                             238°  4' 47"
    latitude of the eastern point                  20° 15' 47".

All these longitudes are determined according to our chronometers, which
were tried immediately after our arrival in Manilla. They differ from
those on Horsbourg's new chart by three minutes and a half, ours being
so much more westerly.

With a favourable wind we now sailed southwards, in sight of the
western coast of Luçon, till we reached the promontory of Bajador, where
we were detained some days by calms, therefore did not come in sight of
Manilla bay till the 7th of November. Here the wind was violent and
contrary; but as it blew from the land, could not materially swell the
waves: we were therefore enabled, by tacking, to advance considerably
forward; and at length contrived to run into the bay, by the southern
entrance, between its shores and the island of Corregidor. A Spanish
brig, which was tacking at the same time, lost both her top-masts in a
sudden gust.

On the morning of the 8th of November we anchored before the town of
Manilla. I immediately waited on Don Mariano Ricofort, the Governor of
the Philippines. He gave me a friendly reception, and granted the
permission I requested, to sail to Cavite, a hamlet lying on the bay,
within a few miles of the town, and possessing the advantage of a
convenient dock. Our ship being greatly in want of repair, we removed
thither on the following day, and immediately commenced our labours.

We spent our time very pleasantly in this lovely tropical country. How
richly has Nature endowed it, and how little is her bounty appreciated
by the Spaniards! The whole world does not offer a more advantageous
station for commerce than the town of Manilla, situated as it is in the
neighbourhood of the richest countries of Asia, and almost midway
between Europe and America. Spanish jealousy had formerly closed her
port; but since the revolt of the American colonies, it has been opened
to all nations, and the Philippines are consequently rising rapidly to
importance. As yet, their export trade has been chiefly confined to
sugar and indigo for Europe, and the costly Indian bird's-nest, and
_Trepangs_, for China. The latter is a kind of sea-snail without a
shell, which not only here, but on the Ladrones, Carolinas, and Pelew
Islands, even as far as New Holland, is as eagerly sought after as the
sea-otter on the north-west coast of America. The luxurious Chinese
consider them a powerful restorative of strength, and purchase them as
such at an exorbitant price. But what an inexhaustible store of
commercial articles might not these islands export! Coffee of the best
quality, cocoa, and two sorts of cotton, the one remarkably fine, the
produce of a shrub, the other of a tree, all grow wild here, and with
very little cultivation might be made to yield a prodigious increase of
wealth. These productions of Nature are, however, so much neglected,
that at present no regular trade is carried on in them. A great
abundance of the finest sago trees, and whole woods of cinnamon, grow
wild and unnoticed in Luçon. Nutmegs, cloves, and all the produce of the
Moluccas, are also indigenous on these islands, and industry only (a
commodity which, unfortunately, does not flourish here,) is wanting to
make them a copious source of revenue. Pearls, amber, and cochineal,
abound in the Philippines; and the bosom of the earth contains gold,
silver, and other metals. For centuries past, have the Spaniards
suffered all these treasures to lie neglected, and are even now sending
out gold to maintain their establishments.

The regular troops here, as well as the militia, are natives. The
officers are Spaniards, though many of them are born here, and all, at
least with few exceptions, are extremely ignorant. It is said that the
soldiers are brave, especially when blessed, and encouraged by the
priests. As far, however, as I have had an opportunity of observing the
military force, I cannot think it would ever make a stand against an
European army. Not only are the troops badly armed, but even the
officers, who are in fact distinguished from the privates only by their
uniforms, have no idea of discipline; any sort of precision in their
manoeuvres is out of the question; and to find a sentinel comfortably
asleep with his musket on his shoulder, is by no means an uncommon

I was told that Luçon contained eight thousand regular troops, and that
by summoning the militia, twenty thousand could be assembled.

The field of honour where the heroes of Luçon distinguish themselves is
on the southern Philippine Islands, which are not yet subdued; they are
inhabited by Mahommedan Indians, who are constantly at war with the
Spaniards, and who, ranging as pirates over all the coasts inhabited by
Christians, spread terror and desolation wherever they appear. From time
to time some well manned gun-boats are sent in pursuit of these
robbers; which expend plenty of ammunition with very little effect.

It is said that six thousand Chinese inhabit the suburbs of Manilla, to
which they are restricted. The greater part of them are clever and
industrious mechanics; the rest are merchants, and some of them very
rich: they are the Jews of Luçon, but even more given to cheating and
all kinds of meanness than are the Israelites, and with fewer, or rather
with no exceptions. They enjoy no privileges above the lowest of the
people, but are despised, oppressed, and often unjustly treated. Their
covetousness induces them to submit to all this; and as they are
entirely divested of any feeling of honour, a small profit will console
them for a great insult. The yearly tax paid by every Chinese for
liberty to breathe the air in Manilla, is six piastres; and if he wishes
to carry on any sort of trade, five more; while the native Indian pays
no more than five reals.

The Philippines also did not follow the example of the American
colonies; for some disturbances among the Indians here, were not
directed against the government, and an insurrection soon after
attempted proved unsuccessful. The former were occasioned by a few
innocent botanists wandering through the island in search of plants; and
an epidemic disease breaking out among the Indians about the same time,
of which many died, a report suddenly spread among them, that the
foreign collectors of plants had poisoned the springs in order to
exterminate them. Enraged at this idea, they assembled in great numbers,
murdered several strangers, and even plundered and destroyed the houses
of some of the old settlers in the town of Manilla. It has been supposed
that the Spaniards themselves really excited these riots, that they
might fish in the troubled waters.

The late governor, Fulgeros, is accused of not having adopted measures
sufficiently active for repressing the insurrection. This judicious and
amiable man, who was perhaps too mild a governor for so rude a people,
was murdered in his bed a year after by a native, of Spanish blood, an
officer in one of the regiments here, who followed up this crime by
heading a mutiny of the troops. The insurgents assembled in the
market-place, but were soon dispersed by a regiment which remained
faithful, and in a few hours peace was re-established, and has not since
been disturbed. The present governor, Ricofort, was sent out to succeed
the unfortunate Fulgeros.

The King, affected by the loyalty displayed by the town of Manilla, at a
time when the other colonies had thrown off their allegiance, presented
it with a portrait of himself, in token of his especial favour. The
picture was brought out by the new governor, and received with a degree
of veneration which satisfactorily evinced the high value set by the
faithful colony on the royal present. It was first deposited in a house
in the suburb belonging to the Crown, and then made its entry into the
town in grand procession, and was carried to the station of honour
appointed for it in the castle. This important ceremony took place
during our residence here, on the 6th of December; and three days
previously, the King in effigy had held a court in the suburb. The house
was splendidly illuminated: in front of it stood a piquet of
well-dressed soldiers; sentinels were placed at all the doors; the
apartments were filled with attendants, pages, and officers of every
rank in gala uniforms; and the etiquette of the Spanish court was as
much as possible adhered to throughout the proceedings. Persons whose
rank entitled them to the honour of a presentation to the King, were
conducted into the audience-chamber, which was splendidly adorned with
hangings of Chinese silk: here the picture, concealed by a silk curtain,
was placed on a platform raised a few steps from the floor, under a
canopy of silk overhanging two gilded pillars. The colonel on duty
acting as Lord Chamberlain, conducted the person to be presented before
the picture, and raised the curtain. The King then appeared in a mantle
lined with ermine, and with a crown upon his head; the honoured
individual made a low bow; the King looked in gracious silence upon him;
the curtain was again lowered, and the audience closed.

On the 6th of December, the immense multitudes that had assembled from
the different provinces, to celebrate the solemn entry of the portrait
into the capital of the islands, were in motion at daybreak. The lower
classes were seen in all kinds of singular costumes, some of them most
laughable caricatures, and some even wearing masks. Rockets and Chinese
fireworks saluted the rising sun, producing of course, by daylight, no
other effects than noise, smoke, and confusion, while elegant equipages
rolled along the streets, scarcely able to make their way through the
crowd. At nine o'clock, a royal salute thundered from the cannon of the
fortress; and at twelve the procession began to move, displaying a
rather ludicrous mixture of Spanish and Asiatic taste. I saw it from the
windows of a house on its route, which commanded a very extensive view
of the line of march. The cortège was led by the Chinese. First came a
body of twenty-four musicians, some striking with sticks upon large
round plates of copper, producing an effect not unlike the jingling of
bells, and others performing most execrably upon instruments resembling
clarionets. The sound of the copper plates was too confused to allow us
to distinguish either time or tune--points of no great consequence
perhaps; the choir, at least, did not trouble much about them. The
musicians were followed by a troop of Chinese bearing silken banners,
upon which were represented their idols, and dragons of all sorts and
sizes, surrounded by hieroglyphical devices. Next followed, in a kind of
litter richly ornamented, a young Chinese girl with a pair of scales in
her hand, and intended, as I was told, to represent Justice, a virtue
for which her country-people, in these parts, have not much cause to
applaud themselves. Another set of musicians surrounded the goddess,
making din enough with their copper plates to drown every complaint that
might endeavour to reach her ear. Then came the rest of the Chinese, in
different bands, with the symbols of their respective trades represented
upon banners. Four Bacchantes, somewhat advanced in age, and in an
attire more loose than was consistent with modesty, followed next: from
their long, black, dishevelled hair, they might have been taken for
Furies; and it was only their crowns of vine-leaves, and the goblets in
their hands, that enabled us to guess what they were intended to
represent. Bacchus, very much resembling a Harlequin, followed with his
tambourine; and after him, a body of very immodest dancers: these, as
the procession moved but slowly, halting frequently, had abundant
opportunities of displaying their shameless talent, for the benefit of
the shouting rabble. Why the procession should be disgraced by such an
exhibition, it was not easy to conceive; but there were many other
inconceivable matters connected with it. A troop of Indians followed, in
motley and grotesque attire, intended to represent savages: they were
armed with spears and shields, and kept up a continual skirmish as they
marched. Next in procession was a battalion of infantry, composed of
boys armed with wooden muskets and pasteboard cartridge-boxes, and
followed by a squadron of hussars, also boys, with drawn sabres of wood,
not riding, but carrying pasteboard horses: each of these had a hole cut
in its saddle, through which the hussar thrust his feet, relieving the
charger from any actual necessity of making use of his own--though, to
show its high blood and mettlesome quality, each emulated his fellow in
prancing, rearing, and kicking with front and hind-legs, to the no small
danger of discomfiting the parade order of the squadron. To this
redoubtable army succeeded a party of giants two fathoms high, dressed
in the very extremity of fashion, the upper part of their bodies being
represented in pasteboard, accompanied by ladies elegantly attired, and
of nearly equal dimensions, and by some very small dwarfs: the business
of this whole group was to entertain the populace with pantomimic
gestures, and comic dances. Next came all sorts of animals, lions,
bears, oxen, &c. of a size sufficiently gigantic to conceal a man in
each leg. Then, with grave and dignified deportment, marched Don Quixote
and his faithful Sancho. To the question, what the honourable Knight of
the Rueful Countenance was doing there, somebody replied that he
represented the inhabitants of Manilla, who were just then mistaking a
windmill for a giant. The hero of Cervantes was followed by a body of
military, seemingly marching under his command; and after them came two
hundred young girls from the different provinces of the Philippine
Islands, richly and tastefully attired in their various local costumes.
Fifty of these young graces drew the triumphal car, richly gilt, and
hung with scarlet velvet, which contained the picture of Ferdinand. Not
content with the mantle the painter had given him, they had hung round
him a real mantle of purple velvet embroidered with gold. By his side,
and seated on a globe, was a tall female form dressed in white, with an
open book in one hand, and in the other a wand, pointing towards the
portrait. This figure was to represent the Muse of History:--may she one
day cast a glance of friendly retrospection on the prototype of her
pictured companion! A body of cavalry followed the car, and the
carriages of the most distinguished inhabitants of the place closed the
procession. Several Chinese triumphal arches crossed the streets,
through which the retinue passed; they were temporary erections of wood,
occupying the whole breadth of the street, and were decorated in the
gayest and most showy manner by the Chinese, who, on this occasion,
seemed to have spared no expense in order to flatter the vanity of the

When the royal effigy entered the town, it was received by the Governor
and the whole clergy of Manilla, and the young girls were superseded by
the townspeople, who had now the honour to draw the car amidst the
incessant cry of "_Viva el Rey Fernando!_" The cannon thundered from the
ramparts; the military bands played airs of triumph; and the troops,
which were ranged in two files from the gate of the town to the church,
presented arms, and joined their "Vivas" to those of the populace. The
procession halted at the church; and the picture being carried in, the
bishop performed the service; after which, the King was replaced on his
car, and conducted to the residence of the Governor, where, at length,
he was installed in peace.

Three days longer the rejoicings continued: bells were rung, guns were
fired, and each evening the town and suburbs were magnificently
illuminated: many houses exhibiting allegorical transparencies which
occupied their whole front. But the illumination of the Chinese
triumphal arches in the suburbs surpassed all the show: the dragons
which ornamented them spat fire; flames of various colours played around
them; and large fire-balls discharged from them emulated the moon in
the heavens, till, from their increasing height, they seemed to
disappear among the stars. Each of these edifices was of three stories,
surrounded by galleries, on which, during the day, the Chinese performed
various feats for the amusement of the people: there were conjurors,
rope-dancers, magic lanterns, and even dramatic representations, the
multitude eagerly flocking to the sight, and expressing their
satisfaction in loud huzzas! I saw a tragedy performed on one of these
galleries, in which a fat Mandarin, exhibiting a comic variety of
grimaces and strange capers which would have done credit to Punchinello,
submitted to strangulation at the command of his sovereign. At night,
the people went about the streets masked, and letting off sky-rockets
and Chinese fireworks. In several parts of the town, various kinds of
spectacles were exhibited for the popular amusement: the air resounded
with music, and public balls were gratuitously given.

This unexampled rejoicing for the reception of a testimonial of royal
approbation, seems sufficiently to prove the loyalty of the Philippines,
and the little probability of their revolting, especially if the
mother-country does not show herself wholly a stepmother to her dutiful

On the 10th of January our frigate was ready to sail, and we left
Manilla, the whole crew being in perfect health.



A fresh north-east monsoon expedited our voyage, and we cut the equator
on the 21st of January, in the longitude 253° 38'; then passing between
the islands of Sumatra and Java, we reached the ocean, after having
safely traversed the Chinese Sea from its northern to its southern
boundary, and directed our course towards the Cape of Good Hope, where
we intended staying to refresh. When we had reached to longitude 256°,
12° south latitude, the east wind, contrary to all rules at this season,
changed for a westerly one, and blew a strong gale; the sky was covered
with black clouds, and the rain fell in torrents. At midnight, while the
storm was still raging, and the darkness complete, we witnessed the
phenomenon known by the name of Castor and Pollux, and which originates
in the electricity of the atmosphere; these were two bright balls of the
size which the planet Venus appears to us, and of the same clear light;
we saw them at two distinct periods, which followed quickly upon each
other in the same place, that is, some inches below the extreme point of
our main-yard, and at about half a foot distance asunder. Their
appearance lasted some minutes, and made a great impression on the crew,
who did not understand its cause. I must confess, that in the utter
darkness, amidst the howling of the storm and the roaring of the water,
there was something awful in the sight.

Our passage was rendered tedious by contrary winds. On the 22nd of
February, we crossed the meridian of the Isle of France, three hundred
and forty miles off the island, in very stormy weather, and heard
afterwards at St. Helena, that a hurricane raged at this time near the
Isle of France, causing great damage to many vessels, and to some of
them the loss of their masts. We should have probably shared in this
danger had we been a hundred miles nearer the coast. I must here
recommend every navigator, if possible, to keep clear of the two isles
of France and Bourbon, from the middle of January till the middle of
March, as, during that season, violent hurricanes continually rage
there, which are very destructive even on shore.

On the following day we passed the large frigate Bombay, belonging to
the English East India Company, having on board, as passengers, the
Governor of Batavia, Baron vander Kapellen, and his lady, with whom we
afterwards had the pleasure of forming an acquaintance in St. Helena. On
the 15th of March we doubled the Cape of Good Hope. It had been my
intention to anchor in Table Bay, but a storm from the north-west came
just in time to remind us how dangerous the bay is at this season, and
we prosecuted our voyage to St. Helena. On the 25th of the same month,
having traversed 360 degrees of longitude from east to west, we had lost
a day, and were therefore compelled to change our Friday into a

On the 29th we anchored at St. Helena, before the little town of St.
James, the whole crew being cheerful and healthy; but our spirits were
soon damped by the news of the death of the Emperor Alexander, which we
now received. I must here not omit to express my most cordial thanks to
the Governor of St. Helena, for his very kind reception of myself and
companions, and for his constant endeavours to make our stay on the
island agreeable; he gave dinners and balls for our entertainment, and
was always ready to comply with our wishes; hence he granted us what it
is usually difficult to obtain--permission to visit the celebrated
estate of Longwood, where Napoleon closed his splendid career, in
powerless and desolate loneliness. We rode thither one fine morning, on
horseback. The little town of St. James lies in a ravine between two
high, steep, barren lava-rocks; its pleasant situation and cheerful
aspect presenting a striking contrast with the gloom of its immediate
environs. By a serpentine road cut through the rock, we climbed an
ascent, by nature inaccessible; this path, in some parts not three
fathoms in breadth, is bounded on one side by the perpendicular rock,
and on the other overlooks an abrupt precipice, from which however it is
defended by a strong stone balustrade, so that however fearful in
appearance, its only real danger lies in an accident which sometimes
happens, that large fragments detach themselves from the superincumbent
rock, and roll down the precipice, carrying before them every thing that
might obstruct their passage to the bottom.

Having with some difficulty reached the highest ground on the island, we
found the tropical heat changed into a refreshing coolness, and enjoyed
an extensive prospect over the island, which presented a totally
different aspect from that under which it is viewed by passing vessels.
The sailor sees only high, black, jagged, and desolate rocks, rising
perpendicularly from the sea, and every where washed by a tremendous
surf, prohibiting all attempts to land except at the single point of St.
James: his eye vainly seeks round the adamant wall, the relief of one
sprig of green; not a trace of vegetation appears, and Nature herself
seems to have destined the spot for a gloomy and infrangible prison.
From these heights, on the contrary, the picturesque and smiling
landscape of the interior forms the most striking contrast to its
external sternness, and suggests the idea of a gifted mind, compelled by
painful experience to shroud its charms under a forbidding veil of
coldness and reserve.

This remark only, however, applies to the western part of the island,
which is protected from the trade-wind. The higher eastern part, where
Napoleon lived, is as dead and barren as its rocky boundary. The
trade-wind to which this district is constantly exposed, brings a
perpetual fog, and drives the clouds in congregated heaps to the summits
of the mountain, where they frequently burst in sudden and violent
showers, often producing inundations, and rendering the air damp and
unwholesome for the greater part of the year. The ground is for this
reason incapable of cultivation; and a species of gum-tree, the only one
to be seen in the neighbourhood of Longwood, by its stunted growth of
hardly six feet, and its universal bend in one direction, proves how
destructive is the effect of the trade-wind to all vegetable life. The
nearer we approached the boundaries of the circle within which alone
the renowned prisoner was permitted to move, the less pleasant became
the country and the more raw the climate, till about a German mile from
the town we found ourselves on the barren spot I have already described.
Here a narrow path leads down an abrupt descent into a small valley, or
basin, surrounded by hills, sheltered from the wind, and offering in its
verdant foliage and cheerful vegetation, a refreshing and agreeable
retreat. "There rest the remains of Napoleon," said the guide given us
by the governor. We dismounted, and proceeded to the grave on foot. An
old invalid who watches it, and lives in a lonely hut in its vicinity,
now came towards us, and conducted us to a flat, tasteless grave-stone
surrounded by an iron railing, and shaded by fine willows, planted
probably by the last dependents of the unfortunate prisoner. It is a
melancholy thing to tread this simple grave of him who once shook all
Europe with his name, and here at last closed his too eventful life on a
lonely rock in a distant ocean. The stone bears no inscription, but all
who behold it may imagine one. Posterity alone can pronounce a correct
judgment on the man who so powerfully influenced the destinies of
nations. Honesty may perhaps have been the only quality wanting to have
made him the greatest man of his age.

The invalid filled a common earthen jug with clear delicious water from
a neighbouring spring, and handed it to us with the remark, that
Napoleon, in his walks hither, was accustomed to refresh himself with
cold water from the same vessel. This little valley being the only spot
where he could breathe a wholesome air, and enjoy the country, he often
visited it, and once expressed a wish that he might be buried there.
Little as his wishes were usually attended to, this was fulfilled.

After spending some time in contemplating this remarkable memorial of
the vicissitudes of fortune, we inscribed our names in a book kept for
the purpose, and again mounting our horses, rode to what had formerly
been the abode of the deceased; where, deprived of all power, the
deposed Emperor to the last permitted the voluntary companions of his
exile to address him by the titles of "Sire," and "Your Majesty." On
quitting the garden scenery of the pretty little valley, the country
resumed its dreary and sterile character. A ride of about a German mile
through this inhospitable region, uncheered either by the fragrance of
flowers or the melody of birds, brought us within sight of an
inconsiderable level, or table land, perfectly barren, crowning the
summit of one of the highest hillocks into which this huge rock is
divided. In the centre of the plain, and enveloped in so thick a fog
that it was scarcely perceptible, stood a small unpretending mansion.
"That," said our guide, "is Longwood, late the residence of Napoleon."
We soon reached the house, expecting to find it as left at the death of
its illustrious occupant; with how much interest should we not have
visited it, if nothing had been changed or removed! But the English
authorities had not taken our gratification into their consideration.
The house is divided into two distinct portions; the smaller half, or
Napoleon's sleeping apartment, has been converted into a stable, and the
larger into a warehouse for sheep-skins, fat, and other produce of the

We had been informed that Napoleon had laid out a little garden near
his dwelling, in which he often worked, assisted by Madame Bertrand;
and, after many fruitless attempts, had been at length rewarded by the
blossoming of a few hardy flowers, and the successful plantation of some
young oaks; that one of the latter was set by the hand of Napoleon
himself, another by that of Madame Bertrand.

As we could see nothing resembling a garden, I enquired of our guide
where it lay; he pointed, with a sarcastic smile, to a spot which had
been routed up by hogs, saying, "Here Napoleon was as successful in
rearing flowers as he had once been in founding empires, and both have
equally vanished." Some oaks are still standing beside a broken hedge,
but whether planted by Napoleon or not, no one can tell. We were also
shown a pretty house, which had been built for Napoleon by the King's
command, but which was not complete till a very short time before his
death. Though much better and more convenient than the one he inhabited,
he never could be induced to remove to it; perhaps already conscious of
the approach of death, he felt no farther concern for the
accommodations of life.

Strongly contrasted with the gloom and sterility of Longwood, is the
summer residence of the Governor of St. Helena, lying on Sandy Bay, on
the western shore of the island, and about half a German mile from the
town. In this beautiful and healthful climate, every tropical plant
flourishes in the greatest luxuriance. We were hospitably received at
Plantation-house, a handsome, spacious, and convenient building,
surrounded by an extensive park. In this delightful spot nature and art
have combined at once to charm and to surprise; yet while breathing its
pure and fragrant air, would our thoughts unconsciously revert with
sympathy to the melancholy fate of the exile of Longwood.

The environs of Sandy Bay would be a perfect little Switzerland, but
that the glaciers are wanting to complete the resemblance. Scattered
amongst the enormous masses of rock which lie confusedly heaped upon
each other, a frightful wilderness and most smilingly picturesque
landscape alternately present their contrasted images to the eye. Such
are the traits which the hand of Nature has impressed upon the scenery
in this fortunate portion of the island; while that of man, busily
engaged in adding to her charms, and in correcting her ruggedness,
throws an appearance of life, comfort, and civilization over the
picture. Convenient roads wind up the steep ascents, and frequent
openings in the cliff, present vistas of fruitful fields, tastefully
built mansions surrounded by parks and plantations, and snug farm-houses
embosomed in their pretty gardens. Every thing bespeaks industry and
comfort. The inhabitants are all well-dressed, healthy, and contented.

Of their hospitality we had the most agreeable evidences. Invited with
friendly cordiality into their houses, we were entertained with the best
they had, and with the kindest expressions of pleasure in welcoming the
first Russians who had ever visited their country.

We were invited to dinner by one of the richest land proprietors of the
island, who, although considerably more than seventy years old, still
retained the animation and vigour of youth. This intelligent and
well-educated man had never, till his sixty-ninth year, left his
beautiful home, except for an occasional and short visit to the town.
Through the medium of books, and conversation with the strangers
visiting St. Helena, he was well versed in the customs and localities of
Europe, and felt the highest respect for the perfection to which the
arts and sciences of civilized life had been carried in that quarter of
the world, but without experiencing any desire to see it; suddenly,
however, at this advanced period of his life, curiosity got the better
of his love of ease; his wish to become personally and more accurately
acquainted with the much-praised institutions, and the wonderful capital
of England, was no longer to be repressed, and he determined to
undertake the voyage. On landing in London, he was, as he expressed
himself, astonished and dazzled by the extent and magnificence of the
city. The throng in the streets, which he compared to ant-hills, far
exceeded the ideas he had formed; he visited the manufactories, and
observed with wonder the perfection of their machinery; the theatres
enchanted him, and the succession of new sights and impressions
produced an effect resembling a perpetual intoxication. After a time,
however, he experienced the fatigue incident to an extreme tension of
mind, and began to sigh for the calm retirement of Sandy Bay, to which
he took the first opportunity of returning, never to leave it more.

We passed nine very agreeable days at St. Helena, and shall always
retain the liveliest remembrance of the kindness shown us by its amiable
inhabitants. My crew, though healthy, had in some degree suffered from
the effects of a nearly three years' voyage, and I was anxious during
our stay here to strengthen them by a regimen of fresh provisions,
(which, however, are very dear upon the island,) particularly as we had
again to cross the line, and that in a region often considered

On the 7th of April we sailed from St. Helena, and cut the equator on
the 16th in the longitude 22° 37'. Here, delayed by calms, and oppressed
by the heat and damps, notwithstanding all my precautions, a nervous
fever broke out among the men; and, after having escaped so many
dangers, we began to apprehend a melancholy conclusion to our voyage.

This misfortune had probably been communicated to us by contagion. The
homeward-bound ships of the English East India Company, which almost all
touch at St. Helena, having nothing in view but a quick passage, and the
profit resulting from it, do not generally, as I have myself had
opportunities of observing, pay that proper attention to cleanliness and
wholesome diet which is absolutely necessary to health. During our
residence at St. Helena, several of these ships were lying in the roads
with sick on board. It is true that, according to a standing order, no
vessel is allowed anchorage there till a surgeon has examined into the
state of health of her crew; but the captains find means to evade the
investigation, and thus are the healthy liable to become infected by
association with the diseased.

Half our crew lay sick, and our skilful and active surgeon was
unfortunately of the number. A favouring gale, however, sprang up, which
carried us into a cooler and drier climate, our invalids quickly
recovered, and we escaped with the loss of one sailor only. By the 12th
of March, when we passed the Azore Islands, the crew was again in
perfect health. On the 3rd of June we reached Portsmouth, where we
stopped some days. On the 29th we touched at Copenhagen, and on the 10th
of July joyfully dropped our anchor in the roads of Cronstadt, from
whence we had sailed nearly three years before.

If my readers have by this time become sufficiently acquainted with me
to interest themselves in my affairs, they will not learn with
indifference, that my most gracious Sovereign the Emperor has honoured
me by the most condescending testimonials of his satisfaction, and that
after our long separation, I had the gratification of finding my wife
and children well and happy.








It may easily be conceived, that in a sea-voyage a naturalist has fewer
opportunities of enriching his collection, than when travelling by land;
particularly if the vessel is obliged to pass hastily from one place to
another, with a view to her arriving at her destination within a limited
period. During our three years' voyage, little more than the third of
our time was spent on shore. It is true, that curious animals are
occasionally found in the open sea, and that a day may be pleasantly
passed in examining them; but it is also true, that certain parts of the
ocean appear, near the surface, to be almost wholly untenanted; and
accordingly a passage of eleven weeks produced only ten species of
animals: these, however, being met with only at sea, are still but
partially known to the naturalist, and were the more interesting to me,
as, during the preceding voyage, I had become acquainted with many
remarkable productions of the ocean. My best plan will be, to arrange in
a chronological order all the zoological observations which offered in
the course of this voyage. The first, then, was the result of a contrary
wind, by which we were detained much longer than we intended in the
Baltic, and thus enabled to use our deep fishing-nets upon the great
banks: these brought to light a considerable number of marine animals.
Upon the branches of the _spongia dichotoma_, some of which were twelve
inches in length, sat swarms of _Ophiura fragilis_, _Asterias rubens_,
_Inachus araneus_, _I. Phalangium_, _I. Scorpio_, _Galathea strigosa_,
and _Caprella scolopendroides Lam._ We obtained, at the same time, large
pieces of _Labularia digitata_, _Sertularia abietina_, upon which
nothing of the animal kind was to be seen, but attached to which was
frequently found _Flustra dentata_; also _Pagurus Bernhardus_, _Fusus
antiquus_, _Rostellaria pes pelecani_, _Cardium echinatum_, _Ascidia
Prunum_, _Balanus sulcatus_, _Echinus saxatilis_, and _Spatangus
flavescens_. Two different species of _Actiniæ_, seated on stones, were
brought up, which were not to be found either in _Pennant's British
Zoology_, or in the _Fauna danica_.

During a calm, by which we were detained two days on the Portuguese
coast, _Janthina fragilis_ and _exigua_, _Rhizophysa filiformis_, and
another species, were brought up. Many specimens of the _Janthina
exigua_ were found, the bladder-like mass of which was stretched out to
a great length, and bent into the form of a hook at the end. On the
outer side was observed a fleshy streak, bordered by a close row of
small paunches: these paunches, which were externally open, contained a
great quantity of brown atoms, apparently spawn, and evidently in
motion. With respect to the _Rhizophysæ_, it has been discovered that
they are of the same genus as the _Physsophora_, the hard part being
torn away in the act of catching them; upon this occasion also, several
of these separated parts, still in motion, and bearing some resemblance
to salpas, were brought up, and accurately examined.

Off the Cape de Verd Islands, in addition to the _Exocoetus volitans_,
which abounds there, various specimens of the much larger _Exocoetus
exsiliens_ of Cuvier alighted on board our vessel. The latter species is
distinguished by the long black fins of the belly, and by its remarkably
large eyes, differing greatly from the species described by Gmelin under
the same denomination.

The calms near the Equator afford an abundant harvest to the zoologist,
the tranquil water presenting an immense variety of marine animals to
his view, and allowing him to take them with little trouble in a net.
The open woollen stuff used for flags offers the most convenient
material for making these nets, as it allows the water to run through
very quickly, and does not stick together. A short, wide bag should be
made of this stuff, which may be stretched upon the hoop of a cask, and
the whole fastened to a long, light pole. From the height on which we
stand above the water, it is impossible to perceive the smaller animals;
the best way therefore to catch these is, to hold the net half in the
water, as if to skim off the bubbles of foam from the surface; then,
after a few minutes, if the net is drawn out, and the interior rinsed in
a glass of fresh sea-water, one may frequently have the pleasure of
seeing little animals of strange forms swimming in the glass. In the
course of ten days, I obtained, in this way, thirty-one different
species of animals, among which was a small _Diodon_, eight small
crustacea of forms almost wholly unknown; a sea-bug (_Halobates
micans_); three species of Pteropodes, closely allied to the _Cliodora_;
a small and remarkable Hyaloea; two new _Janthinæ_; _Firola hyalina_,
_Pyrosoma atlanticum_, _Salpa coerulescens_, and another unknown;
_Porpita glandifera_, and a new species of globular form; a _Velella_;
two new species of Acalephes, of the same family as the _Diphyes_; and
further _Pelagia panopyra_, and two other very small species. When the
sea was a little agitated on the Brazilian coast, we frequently saw the
large sea-bladder floating on the surface; here we also caught with our
net a new species of small _Hyaloea_, and of the fin-footed _Steira_,
which approaches the nearest to the _Limacina_.

Brazil has lately been visited by eminent naturalists, who have spent
years in the country, and have travelled through it in every direction;
we are therefore bound to suppress the few detached observations we were
able to make during the short space of four weeks.

Captain Von Kotzebue having frequently sent his people to fish in the
Bay of Boto Fogo, we enriched our collection by thirty-two kinds of
fish, the greater part of which were very similar to those already
described as tenants of the Atlantic, but still differing from them in
some respects.

How abundant the insects of Brazil are is generally known, particularly
in the warm and moist lands along the coast, in the vicinity of Rio
Janeiro. Few of them crawl on the ground; the greater part of them live
on the leaves and fruits, or under the bark of trees, in flowers, and in
the spongy excrescences of the trees. Among the coleoptera, the
_Stachylinus_ is a rarity: the white-winged _Cicindela nivea_ of Kirby
is to be found in great abundance on the sand of the beach, which is of
the same colour as itself; the _Cic. nodicornis_ and _angusticollis
Dej._ on the other hand, frequent the paths in the forests. _Cosnania_,
which supplies the place of our _Elaphrus_, is found among the grass by
the side of brooks. The little animals of the _Plochionus_ and
_Coptodera_ species climb, by means of their indented claws, along the
moss on the trunks of the trees: their numbers, in these extensive
forests, must be immense. Of the _Cantharis_, the number is small; the
strongest of which is the _Cantharis flavipes_ F. the descriptions of
which vary, so that it may still be doubted whether we have a correct
account of it. To show the proportion of the numerous subdivisions which
we observed in the different genera, it will be sufficient to give the
numbers of those which we were able to collect during the short period
of our stay:--these were, _Elater_, 37; _Lampyris_, 17; _Ateuchus_, 14
(including the _Deltachilum_ and _Eurysternus_); _Passalus_, 13;
_Anoplognathidæ_, 14; _Helops_, (including _Stenochia_ and _Statira_)
17; _Curculionidæ_, 108; _Cerambycidæ_, 101; _Cassida_, 24; _Haltica_,
26; _Doryphora_, 12; _Colaspis_, 15; and _Erotylus_, 12. The _Phanæus_,
according to MacLeay, distinguished by the total absence of claws from
the feet, is peculiar to the warmer parts of America: _Onthophagus_ is
not met with along the shore, but is found in the interior. Such large
_Copris_ as are seen in the old world, (_Isidis_, _Hamadrias_,
_Bucephalus_,) have not been discovered here: their place is supplied by
the large _Phanæi_, _Faunus_, _bellicosus_, _lancifer_, &c. A
golden-green _Copris_ is a great rarity. _Onitis_ seems to be quite
wanting in America: all the specimens, in this part of the world, that
have been placed in that class, belong partly to the _Phanæus_, and
partly to the _Eurysternus_ Dalm. a remarkable species of the genus

The _Ateuchi_ are not less numerous in South America than in Africa;
and here is found what may be looked upon as the intermediate link
between _Copris_ and _Onitis_. No part of the world is so rich in
_Rutelides_ as trophical America; and according to the narrow limits
within which Mac Leay confines this family, it would seem to be
exclusively restricted to this continent. The greater part have not the
head divided from the head-shield by a line, and the breast is
lengthened in front into a spine: this extensive division is peculiar to
America. In the second division, the head-shield of which is bounded by
a strongly marked line, those which are provided with a breast-bone are
American. South America possesses also the intermediate genus between
the _Rutelides_ and _Scarabæi_, in the genus _Cyclocephala_,
_Anoplognathidæ_ were hitherto known to us from New Holland, Asia, South
Africa, and South America, and are characterised by the drooping form of
the upper-lip, falling lowest in the middle, and by the inequality of
their claws; the under-lip, at the same time, has either a projection in
the centre, or consists of two parts lapping over one another. In the
same way that the _Anoplognathidæ_ of New Holland have the appearance of
_Rutelides_ proper, are the South American _Anoplognathidæ_
distinguished by their resemblance to _Melolonthidæ_: those of Brazil
have no breast-bone, and at least one claw to each foot is cloven, which
distinguishes them from those of Asia. _Chelonarium_ and _Atractocerus_
fly about in the evening, and are attracted by a light. The Brazilian
jumping beetles differ, almost all of them, in their form, from those of
Europe. Among the _Heteromerides_, in the neighbourhood of Rio Janeiro,
owing to the dampness of the soil, no unwinged beetle is to be met with;
a few varieties of the species _Scotinus_ have been found upon the Organ
mountains only.

Owing to the excessive roughness of the weather, our passage from Rio
Janeiro to the Bay of Conception afforded us but few opportunities to
add to our collections. A snipe blown out to sea from the Rio de la
Plata, a specimen of _Diomedea Albatros_ at Terra del Fuego, a large
_Salpa_, and a _Lepas_, were all we were able to obtain. The Bay of
Conception presents a rich field to the ornithologist. A kind of parrot,
with a long tail, and naked round the eyes, flies about in swarms; and a
smaller kind from the interior, is to be found tame in the houses; our
guns frequently brought down two small kinds of doves. Of _Ambulatores_
we met some, of the genera _Cassicus_, _Motacilla_, _Muscicapa_,
_Pyrgita_, _Saxicola_, _Cotile_; of birds of prey, _Percnopterus Jota
Mol._, and two buzzards; of _Grallatores_, two kinds of _Hæmatopus_,
both with white legs, the one with a black body, as _H. niger_ is
described by Quoy and Gaimard, the other more similar to the European; a
_Vanellus_ with spurs to the wings, _Numenius_, _Scolopax_,
_Phalaropus_, _Ardea Nycticorax_; and lastly a small bird with
remarkably short legs, digitated, and with a short thick bill,
frequenting the sea-shore, and feeding on seeds of _Rumex_ and
_Polygonum_, and constituting a new species, which may be called
_Thinocorus_. Of aquatic birds, there were two kinds of _Sterna_ and
_Larus_; many thousands of _Rynchops nigra_, which were so numerous as
to appear like clouds when they rose into the air; a _Procellaria_ of
the variety _Nectris_; two kinds of _Podiceps_, and an _Aptenodytes_ of
the variety _Spheniscus_. The upper part of the latter was of a lead
colour, and the lower part white, with a line of dullish grey running
from the bill to the belly, and forming a boundary between the two
colours; the bill and legs quite black. The animal was alive when
brought to us. When resting, it lay upon its belly and stretched out its
head. In the water it appeared unable to maintain itself afloat except
by incessant paddling, the whole of the body being meanwhile under

Of amphibia, only five kinds can be distinctly named; a brown _Coluber_,
two small lizards of the family of _Scincoidea_, a small _Rana_, with a
spot like an eye on the belly, and a small _Bufo_. Of fishes, the most
remarkable was a _Torpedo_, with the back of a reddish brown, and
smooth; and a _Callorhynchus antarcticus_: the latter may very well
remain in the class of _Chimæra_. Of crustaceæ, we collected three
_Canceres_, a _Portunus_, a _Porcellana_, a _Sphæroma_, and a _Ligia_.

The dry land along the coast is extremely poor in insects. The number of
beetles collected in 1816, together with those taken on the present
occasion, amounted only to sixty seven, but they are altogether peculiar
to the country. The most remarkable are a _Carabus_ of the beautiful
colours of the _hispanus_, but with narrow striped cases to the wings,
and a large _Prionus_: the joints of the feet, in this latter, are short
and cylindrical, constituting a distinction from the whole family of the
_Cerambycinæ_; in every other respect it is unquestionably a _Prionus_,
and may be called _Pr. Mercurius_, on account of two wing-shaped
appendages, attached to the neck-corselet. Sixteen Carabicides were
found belonging to the _Calosoma_, _Pæcilus_, _Harpalus_, _Trechus_,
_Dromius_, and _Peryphus_. We were surprised at finding so few
dung-beetles. We met with only two large ones, namely, the _Megathopa
villosa_ of _Esch_. Entomography, forming a species of the _Ateuchus_,
and a _Copris torulosa_, described in the same work; this, however, is
owing to the very little moisture in the atmosphere, which dries the
dung almost immediately. It is curious, that all the seventeen kinds of
_Copris_ of South America known to us, have but seven stripes upon each
wing-case; whereas those of the Old World have eight: the larger kinds,
_Hamadrias_, _Bucephalus_, and _Isidis_,[4] alone agree with the South
American in the number of stripes. Of the Americans, the _C. Hesperus
Oliv._ is the only one with a border to the seventh stripe, and the _C.
Actæon Klug_ of Mexico is the only one that has eight stripes.

Various kinds of beetles in Chili seek a shelter from the rays of the
sun in the dry cow-dung: almost all the Heteromerides with wings grown
together, the greater part of the beetles armed with trunks, and several
Carabides, were found there. The ten kinds of Heteromerides, with
distorted wings, found here, belong to five new classes: the other
Heteromerides consist of a _Helops_ and a black _Lytta_ with red thighs.
Of beetles furnished with a proboscis, we met with four kinds of
_Listroderes_, two remarkable _Cryptorhynchi_, and a few others of the
shape of a _Rhigus_. Lastly are to be noticed, a _Lucanus_ of the form
of the _femoratus_, a large _Stenopterus_, and a large black _Psoa_. We
found very few other species of insects, but several kinds of
_Pompilus_, one two inches long, and a curious _Castnia_, were the most

Of marine animals there remain to be noticed--a small _Octopus_, a
_Loligo_, two _Chiton_, _Patella_, _Crepidula_, _Pilcopsis_,
_Fissurella_, _Calyptræa_; of _Concholepas_, only empty shells; a large
_Mytilus_, a small _Modiola_, _Turritella_, _Turbo_, _Balanus_; and a
Holothuria of the variety _Psolus_.

In the vast sea between the coast of Chili and the Low Islands or the
dangerous Archipelago, very few animals appear to live near the surface,
at least we saw none; a quantity of flying-fish were seen, resembling
the _Exocoetus volitans_, but having the rays of the breast-fins
parted towards the end. During the short space of ten days that we
stayed at O Tahaiti, the inhabitants, who for a trifling remuneration
brought us all sorts of marine animals, enabled us to make acquaintance
with all the natural productions of this much praised country. Birds are
scarce in the lowlands along the coast. The little blue _Psittacus
Taitianus_ frequents the top of the cocoa-palm; the _Ardea sacra_ walks
along the coral reefs; but it is seldom that a tropical bird is seen on
the wing. A _Gecko_ of the species _Hemidactylus_ lives about old
houses; a small lizard of the family of _Scincoidea_, with a
copper-coloured body and a blue tail, and a striped _Ablepharus_, are
met with frequently among the rocks. Of fishes, the variety is great,
many of them of splendid colours, particularly the small ones, which
feed upon the coral, and seek shelter among its branches. The same place
of refuge is chosen by numbers of variegated crabs, more particularly
the _Grapsus_, _Portunus_, and _Galathea_. Three kinds of _Canceres_
already known were brought us, the _maculatus_, _corallinus_, and
_floridus_; the two former move but little, and their shells are as
hard as stones. A small _Gelasimus_ burrows under the ground, and makes
himself a subterranean passage from the water to the dry land. The
female has very small claws, but the male has always one very large pink
claw, which is sometimes the right and sometimes the left.

A large brownish _Gecarcinus_ lives entirely on the land, in holes of
his own making; his gills accordingly are not open combs, but consist of
rows of bags closely pressed together, and somewhat resembling bladders.
_Hippa adactyla_ F. is very frequent here, and keeps itself concealed
under the sands on the sea-shore. It was from these that Fabricius, who
has given a wrong description of their legs, formed his species _Hippa_;
Latreille mentions them by the name of _Remipes testudinarius_. Six
kinds of _Pagurus_. Of Crustacea already described, _Palæmon
longimanus_, _Alphæus marmoratus_, and _Squilla chiragra_; the legs of
the last are red, and formed like a club; it uses them as weapons of
offence or defence, and inflicts wounds in striking them out by a
mechanism peculiar to itself. The number of insects collected on the low
land was very small; among them the _Staphylinus erytrocephalus_, also a
native of New Holland; an _Aphodius_, scarcely to be distinguished from
the _limbatus Wiedem._ of the Cape of Good Hope; an _Elater_ of the
species _Monocrepis_; of _Oedemera_, three varieties of the species
_Dytilus_, to which belong the _Dryops livida_ and _lineata_ F.; two
small varieties of _Apate_; _Anthribus_, _Cossonnus_, _Lamia_, _Sphinx
pungens_, and a large _Phasma_.

No place could be more convenient for the observation of the Mollusca
and Radiata than Cape Venus. At a few hundred paces from the shore is a
coral reef, which at low water is completely dry. In the shoal water,
between the reef and the shore, is found the greatest variety of the
more brittle kinds of coral, and among their sometimes thick bushes,
mollusca and echinodermes lie concealed. The rapid movements of a small
_Strombus_, which, when taken, beat about it with its shell, formed like
a thin plate of horn, and armed with sharp teeth, were very curious. On
breaking the stone which is formed by fragments of coral, a _Sternaspis_
was found burrowing in the interior. Seven classes of Holothuria were
examined; three belonged to the species of _Holothuria_, called by
Lamarck _Fistularia_, but which name had already been given by Linnæus
to the tobacco-pipe fish; the fourth was a species newly discovered, and
to which we appropriated the name of _Odontopyga_, because the fundament
is armed with five calcareous teeth; the belly is furnished with small
tubes, and the back covered with bumps. Two more belong to the species
_Thyone_; and the seventh kind of Holothuria ought, properly speaking,
to form a class apart, not having tubular feet, but adhering, by means
of their sharp skin, to extraneous objects, on which account they might
be called _Sinapta_; their feelers are fringed and they live concealed
among stones. We found five small kinds of sea-leeches; and among three
kinds of star-fish, the _Asterias Echinites_, the large radii of which
easily inflict a severe wound; another had the form of the _Asterias
Luna_, was eight inches in diameter, without radii, and had more the
appearance of a round loaf of bread somewhat flattened. Of corals, the
variety was very great, as may be judged from the circumstance of our
having collected twenty-four kinds within so short a space of time.
_Fungia_ is quite at home here; for, independently of _F.
agariciformis_, _scutaria_, and _limacina_, a long kind was also found,
having, like the two former, only one central cavity; they are found in
shallow water among other corals. Of tabular corals already known, there
remain to be mentioned, _Pavonia boletiformis_, _Madrepora prolifera
abrotanoides_, _corymbosa_, _plantaginea_, and _pocillifera_.

The inhabitants of the Navigator Isles brought us the little _Psittacus
australis_, _Columba australis_, and another very prettily marked dove,
having green plumage, ornamented with a dark violet line across the
breast, and the feet and head of a reddish purple. It climbed about the
sides and roof of its cage, did not leave its perch when it wanted to
drink, but stooped down so low as merely to hang by its legs; it would
not eat seed, but lived principally on fruit, particularly bananas, all
which closely agreed with the habits of parrots.

During our passage to the equator, _Sterna solida_ and _Dysporus Sula_
alighted frequently on our vessel, and allowed themselves to be taken.
The latter, when old, has a blue beak and red feet; when young, a red
bill and flesh-coloured legs. The exterior nostrils are entirely
wanting; but in every part are air-cells between the skin and the

Besides these animals, six varieties of _Pteropodes_ were caught; also a
_Glaucus_, differing from that of the Atlantic _Janthina penicephala
Per._, a _Planaria_, _Salpa vivipara Per._, a _Pyrosoma_, resembling
that of the Atlantic, and a _Lepas_, attached to the shell of the
_Janthina_. Our collection of Acalephi was extremely rich; of fourteen
kinds taken, only one, _Physalia Lamartinieri_, was known to us.

Our eight days' stay at the coral island Otdia, afforded us an
opportunity to observe or collect about one hundred different kinds of
marine animals. It has already been mentioned elsewhere, that the only
kind of mammalia found upon this island is a middling-sized cat, which
feeds on the fruit of the pandanus tree, and makes its nest in the dead
branches, which it easily hollows out. Several lizards have also been
found in these islands, such as the striped _Ablepharus_ of O Tahaiti,
and a small _Gecko_; a large coal-black lizard was several times seen,
but always escaped among the dry pandanus leaves. The fishes are
remarkable for the singularity of their form, and the beauty of their
colours; those brought to us by the inhabitants belonged to the
_Holocentrus_, _Scarus_, _Mullus_, _Chætodon_, _Heniochus_,
_Amphacanthus_, _Theutis_, and _Fistularia_.

Of Crustacea we saw twenty different kinds; among them a _Gonoplax_ of
the middling size, and as white as the coral-sand, among which it lives,
on the shore. The _Hippopus_ found here differs from the _maculatus_
already known by the much greater elevation of its shell. The large
_Tridachna_ is the _Tr. squamosa Lam._ It is very unusual to meet with
an animal belonging to the family of Lepades in tubular holes made in
the coral rocks, as is the case with the _Lithonaetta N._ Among the
twenty kinds of tabular coral here observed, there was not one of those
collected at O Tahaiti; there were three new _Distichoporæ_,
_Seriatipora_, six kinds of _Madrepora_, two _Porites_, four _Astrea_,
_Pocillopora cærulea_, and another kind, forming broad, yellow, leafy
masses, the slime of which stings like a nettle; _Cariophyllæa
glabrescens Cham._, and _Tubipora_, with red animalculæ.

A calm of several days, between eighteen and twenty degrees of north
latitude, during our passage to Kamtschatka, afforded opportunities for
the observation of several remarkable animals. A small animal of
Lamarck's family of Heteropodes, with two rows of separate fins,
received the name _Tomopteris_. Secondly, a _Salpa_, of the class which
lives apart and has fine long fibres projecting from the hinder part of
the body. Thirdly, a small animal, nearly allied to the _Diphyes_, the
soft part of the body, which contains the tube for receiving
nourishment, having no air-bladder. Fourthly, a small _Beroe_, having
the power of drawing in its fins. Fifthly, a very small _Porpita_. The
sixth animal was a very remarkable crab, the triangular shell on the
back, only two lines in length, provided with a spike from eight to ten
lines long, (_Lonchophorus anceps_,) projecting both before and behind.
Professor Germar has given to a species of beetle the name
_Lonchophorus_, but the same had already been described by Mac Leay,
under the name of _Phanæus_. Seventhly, an animal belonging to the class
_Arthrodiæ_, (_Arthronema N._) the exterior consisting of stiff tubes,
in the interior of which is afterwards found a skin, which eventually
divides into separate parts. Eighthly, a _Clio_, about a line in length,
with a projection from the globular part of the body. Ninthly, a second
variety of _Appendicularia_, described by my friend and companion, on
board the Rurik, A. von Chamisso, in the tenth volume of the _N. Acta
Acad. Leop. Car._, which proved to be a species of Mollusca belonging to
the Heteropodes of Lamarck. Tenthly, a _Pelagia_, scarcely, if at all,
to be distinguished from the _Panopyra Per._ Lastly, a new kind of
_Cestum_, _C. Najadis N._

In the thirty-fourth degree of latitude, renewed calms again enabled us
to add to our collection, firstly, a new species of Physsophorides
(_Agalma N._); secondly, a new _Diphyes_; thirdly, a new _Pelagia_, with
a yellow skin on the belly, attached to which was a small Cirrhipede of
the class _Cineras_; fourthly, a Medusa, with broad belly-bags, and four
strong fins; fifthly, a Medusa of the same species, with five and six
fins; sixthly, a very small Entomostracea of a flat form, and
distinguished by its blue glossy colour, similar to that of the _Hoplia
farinosa_; seventhly, a _Loligo_, probably _cardioptera Per._,
remarkable on account of the largeness of its eyes; eighthly, a second
species of _Phyllirhoe_, placed by Lamarck among the Heteropodes, to
which class it does not, however, belong. The species found in the South
Sea has no eyes, and plain feelers; on which account it was formerly
considered by us as forming a distinct class, and called _Eurydice_.
But, although the _Phyllirhoe_ is found to vary so remarkably in its
formation, owing to the want of feet, still I consider it as nearly
allied to the _Eolidia_. Ninthly, a new _Glaucus_, of a remarkably slim
body, with short fins, and of a blackish-blue colour. Tenthly, a
_Eucharis N._ In addition to these, no less than eight Crustacea were
taken in the net. In the vicinity of Kamtschatka, the vessel sailed
daily through red masses floating on the surface; on drawing up some of
the water, the pail was found full of red _Calanus_, a line and a half
long, with rough feelers of the same length as the body.

In Kamtschatka we found the Bay of Awatscha poor in Mollusca and
radiated animals, owing probably to the inconsiderable ebb and flood.
The objects most frequently met with, were an ugly little _Turbo_, the
empty shell of which was tenanted by a black _Pagurus_ and a _Balanus_.
A large _Cyanea_ differs from the European _C. ciliata_, in the form of
the stomach. Another Medusa, constituting a new kind of _Sthenonia N._,
was observed; its digestive organs resemble those of the Aurelia; and
about the edge, eight bunches of very long fibres project, provided,
like those of the Physaliæ, with two rows of suckers.

The environs of St. Peter and St. Paul, lying under fifty-three degrees
of north latitude, possess an insect Fauna, such as is in Europe only
found in sixty and seventy degrees of latitude; as for instance, in
Lapland and Finland. A great number of species are exactly similar in
both regions; others of the Kamtschatkan insects have been met with
nowhere else, except in Siberia, and a small number is quite peculiar to
the former country. All have not yet been subjected to a diligent
examination, and only the following can be with certainty mentioned.

Firstly, in the North of Europe also, are found: _Pteroloma Forstroemii
Gyllh._, _Nebria arctica Dej._ (_hyperborea Schoenh._), _Blethisa
multipunctata_, _Pelophila borealis_, _Elaphrus lapponicus_ and
_riparius_, _Notiophilus aquaticus_, _Loricera pilicornis_, _Poecilus
lepidus_, _Dyticus circumcinctus_, _Staphylinus maxillosus_, _Buprestis
appendiculata_, _Elater holosericeus_, _Ptilinus pectinicornis_,
_Necrophorus mortuorum_; _Silpha thoracica_, _lapponica_, _opaca_, and
_atrata_; _Strongylus colon_, _Byrrhus albo-punctatus_, _dorsalis_,
_varius_ and _aeneus_; _Hydrophilus scarabæoides_ and _melanocephalus_;
_Cercyon aquaticum_, _Hister carbonarius_, _Psammodius sabuleti_,
_Trichus fasciatus_, _Oedemera virescens_, _Apoderus Coryli_, _Leptura
trifasciata_, _atra_ and _sanguinosa_, _Lema brunnea_, _Cassida
rubiginosa_, _Chrysomela staphylæa_, _lapponica_, _ænea_, _viminalis_,
_armoracea_ and _vitellinæ_; _Eumolpus obscurus_, _Cryptocephalus
variegatus_, _Coccinella_ 7 _punctata_, 13 _punctata_, _mutabilis_, and
16 _guttata_. Secondly, such as have been hitherto found only in
Siberia, though their number is but small: _Cantharis annulata Fisch._,
_Dermestes domesticus Gebl._, _Aphodius ursinus N._, and _A. maurus
Gebl._, and _Leptura sibirica_.

Among the beetles which have as yet been met with nowhere else, and are
therefore considered peculiar to the country, may be named: a
_Cicindela_, between _hybrida_ and _maritima_; a _Carabus_ of the form
of the _cancellatus Illig._, with black feelers and legs; _C. Clerkii
N._, and another, green, with gold border, of the form of the
_catenulatus_, caught near the line of perpetual snow on the volcano
Awatscha: _C. Hoffmanni N._, _Nebria nitidula_, which is the same as the
_Carabus nitidulus Fabr._, as appears by that preserved in Banks's
Museum, hitherto the only specimen in Europe; great numbers of these are
found in the valleys: a second black sort was caught on the volcano.
Further, a small bright yellow _Pteroloma_, an _Elaphrus_, _Bembidia_
six kinds, _Agonum_ four kinds, an _Omaseus_, an _Amara_, _Elater
scabricollis Esch. Entomogr._; an _Elater_, like _undulatus_ P., three
kinds, which like _Bructeri_, live among stones; a wingless kind which
is found buried in the sea-sand, and a perfectly black _Campylus_.

Besides these, a beetle forming a peculiar species between _Atopa_ and
_Cyphon_; _Cantharis cembricola Esch._, and one resembling the
_testacea_; a _Hylecoetus_, scarcely differing from _dermestoides_;
_Catops_; a _Heterocerus_, broad and covered with whitish scales; an
_Elophorus_; two _Phaleriæ_ with a black ground; two kinds of
_Stenotrachelis_, both larger than the European, which has hitherto
borne the name of _Dryops ænea_; and in fact, the beetle in Banks's
Museum, so called by Fabricius, is either the same, or a species very
nearly resembling it, and it may therefore be conjectured that some
mistake has accidentally occurred in the designation of its native
country in that Museum. There still remain to be mentioned a Chrysomela,
like the _pyritosa_, and a _Coccinella_ with five very large spots upon
both wing-covers, found on the line of perpetual snow on the volcano. It
is also probable that the valley of the Kamtschatka river, although
lying farther north than the environs of the Awatscha, yet possesses a
richer in sect Fauna, as the climate there is much milder, and adapted
to agriculture.

From Kamtschatka our course lay mostly eastward. At first the sea was
strongly luminous every night; but when in the midst of this immense
ocean, it one night happened, that while the ship was as usual
surrounded by brilliant waves, a dark precipice seemed to open before
it. On reaching this part of the water, it appeared that all the
luminous matters, such as Zoophytes and Mollusca with their spawn, were
entirely wanting, and from this point to the American coast the sea
remained dark.

We remarked generally of this great ocean, that on the Asiatic coast,
even at a considerable distance from land, (as much as thirty degrees
west from Japan,) the water is always muddy; it is made so, partly by
the great numbers of small Crustacea, Zoophytes, and Mollusca, partly by
the impurities of the whales and dolphins, which latter especially, as
well as many other kinds of fish, are very numerous here from the
abundance of food to be found. On the contrary, the sea in the
neighbourhood of the north-west coast of America is clear and
transparent, and nothing is found in it except here and there a single

In the principal settlement of the Russian-American Trading Company on
the island of Sitcha, in Norfolk Sound, we had better opportunities of
becoming acquainted with natural productions than elsewhere, as, during
our stay there, in the year 1825, from March to the middle of August, we
had an almost uninterrupted continuation of fine weather: we were in
this respect peculiarly favoured, as in most years this island does not
enjoy above one fine day to fourteen cloudy or wet ones. We ourselves
experienced this sort of weather in 1824, when we passed the latter part
of August and the beginning of September there.

Of the Fauna of this island, about two hundred and sixty species came
under our notice: from its immediate vicinity to the continent, it is
not wonderful that several large _mammalia_ are to be found. Among these
is the _Ursus Americanus_, of the black race; a fox; a stag, which
perhaps does not differ from the _Cervus virginianus_, and the common
beaver, which feeds on the large leaves of a _Pothos_, said by the
inhabitants to be injurious to man. Besides these are observed a small
_Vespertilio_ with short ears, a _Mustela_, and a _Phoca_.

Of birds we remarked: the _Aquila leucocephala_, _Astur_, _Corvus
Corone_ and _Stelleri_, and some varieties of the species _Turdus_,
_Sylvia_, _Troglodytes_, _Parus_, _Alcedo_, _Picus_, _Ardea_,
_Hæmatopus_, _Scolopax_, _Charadrius_, _Anas_, and _Colymbus_.
_Trochilus rufus_ is not only often found here, but also under sixty
degrees of latitude. A small shoal of _Procellaria furcata_ was once
driven into the Bay by stormy weather. Of Amphibia, only a small kind of
toad is met with. There is no great variety in the kinds of fish, but
the individuals are numerous, especially a well-flavoured sort of
salmon, and herrings; a _Pleuronectes_ several feet long, and a reddish
yellow _Perca_ two feet long and very thick, are extremely abundant.

The number of accurately examined _Annulides_ amounts to sixteen, among
which are found some of very fine and unknown forms. Most of them belong
to the well-known species _Cirrhatulus_, _Arenicola_, _Aceronereis_,
_Nereis_, _Aphrodita_, _Serpula_, _Amphitrite_. A _Nereis_ was found
swimming on the surface of the water in the middle of the bay, which
measured two feet in length, and one inch in thickness; the appendages
at its sides resemble round leaves. An _Aphrodita_ several inches long,
and very narrow, was not rare. An animal resembling the Amphitrite kind
is found enveloped in a transparent mass like jelly.

Of Mollusca we observed, a _Limacina_; two _Eolidiæ_, some of which have
very beautiful colours; a _Laniogerus_; a _Polycera_; four kinds of
_Doris_; a _Scyllæa_; an animal which deserves the name of _Planaria_,
it was three inches long, two broad, and only half a line thick; on the
upper surface, half an inch from the edge, are two projecting eyes; and
in the same part, on the surface beneath, the mouth may be perceived; in
the middle of this under surface is another aperture, from which the
animal, when in a tranquil state, frequently strecthes out four small
folds of skin; this creature, like the _Planariæ_, crawls very nimbly.
Besides these, a small _Onichidium_, and a new kind of shelled snail.

In the mossy woods live a large, yellowish, black-spotted _Limax_, and
two Helices of middling size. In the bay itself are found a few of the
gilled snails with spiral shells; and a considerable number on the
outward coast, which is washed by the ocean. Here are several species of
the genera _Murex_, _Fusus_, _Buccinum_, _Mitra_, _Trochus_, and
_Turbo_. Further, there are found here a large _Fissurella_, and six
species of a genus which, from its simple, unwound shell, would be
immediately taken for a _Patella_; the creature, however, closely
resembles the _Fissurella_, with the difference that only one gill is
visible in the fissure over the neck. It is remarkable, that on the
whole north-west coast of America down to California, no _Patella_, only
animals of the genus _Acmæa_, were to be met with. Of the _Chiton_
genus, six species were observed; in one, the side skin covers the edges
of the shell so far as to leave only a narrow strip of it visible down
the back; in others, the shell is entirely concealed under the external
skin. It is worthy of remark, that these latter, as well as one
similarly formed, found in California, attain the considerable length of
eight inches. A third kind, to be reckoned among this subdivision,
Pallas obtained from the Kurile Islands, and has described it as _Chiton

Among the Acephala are to be named a large _Cardium_, also found on the
Californian coast; _Modiolus_, two species; _Mytilus_; _Mya_, two
species; and _Teredo palmulatus_: the latter, which is brought here by
the ships, is very mischievous in the harbour, and attains to the length
of two feet. In this species are comprehended three _Ascidiæ_, of
different forms; one _Anomia_, one _Terebratula_ attached to a _Fusus_,
two _Lepas_, and a _Balanus_. Six _Holothuria_, belonging to three
different species, were observed: a large _Thalassema_ gave us a
long-wished for opportunity of observing, that this species belongs to
the Holothuria, and not to the Annulides. Eight species of star-fish are
found here, partly on the rocks, and partly at the bottom of the sea:
among them, four are furnished with five _radii_, and the rest with six,
ten, eleven, and eighteen: the latter sort, which is the largest, lives
at the bottom of the sea, and the number of its _radii_ varies from
eighteen to twenty-one. Only one _Ophiura_ was seen. Several kinds of
very large _Actinia_ inhabit the rocks: all that we examined belonged to
the species which is externally provided with rows of teats. A _Velella_
also was caught in the open bay: this is the first which has been
observed in so high a latitude.

Of _Zoophytes_, some presented themselves of the genera _Antipathes_,
_Millepora_; _Cellaria_, _Flustra_ two species, _Melobesia_, _Retepora_,
_Acamarchis_, _Lafoea_, _Aglaophenia_, _Dynamena_ fives species,
_Clytia_ four species, and _Folliculina_, two species. The _Antipathes_
consists of a simple stem resembling wood, which grows to the length of
ten feet: it grows at a great depth in the open bay, and is often
accidentally drawn up in fishing.

Although of all insects of this island the beetle is the most numerous,
yet during the whole spring and summer, in almost daily excursions,
with constant fine weather, only one hundred and six kinds were found.
On the whole, it may be observed, that none among them belong to any of
the species which have been hitherto considered as peculiar to America;
yet there are some of them which form entirely distinct classes, and
must therefore be natives of the north-west coast of America. The result
of close examination was, that none of those found here are to be met
with either in the north of Asia or in Europe, and only seven species
are to be found even in Unalashka.

The Fauna is adapted to the climate and the soil; _Nebria_, _Patrobus_
and other Carabides, find a cool abode among the stones on the banks of
the ice-cold brooks which fall from the snowy summits of the mountains;
in the fir-woods, live several kinds of _Xylophagi_ and some
_Cerambycides_; the old mossy trunks of fallen trees afford
hiding-places for several kinds of Carabides, as two _Cychrus_,
_Leistus_, _Platysma_; and for _Nitidula_, _Scaphidium_, _Agyrtes_, and
_Boros_. On the skirts of the woods, shrubs and tall plants nourish some
insects belonging to various families; as two _Homalisus_, _Omalium_,
and _Anthophagus_, _Anaspis_, _Cantharis_, and _Silis_; besides _Elater_
of eight kinds, and a ninth living under stones.

The small standing waters, formed by single cavities, are proportionably
rich in water-beetles, among which is found a _Dyticus_ of the form of
the _sulcatus_, seven _Colymbetes_, _Hydroporus_ two species, and a
_Gyrinus_. The Carabides are: _Cychrus angusticollis_ and _marginatus_,
_Nebria metallica_ and three new species, _Leistus_, _Poecilus_ two,
_Patrobus_, _Omaseus adstrictus_, _Platysma_ two, _Loricera_ plainly
distinguished from the _pilicornis_, _Amara_, _Trechus_ three,
_Bembidium_ two, and _Leja_ three species. Thirteen species of
_Brachelytra_ have been found; of carrion-beetles, a _Necrophorus_, a
_Silpha_, quite of the figure of the _subterranea_, and a _Catops_. Of
Pentamerides are still to be mentioned the _Scydmaenus_, _Cryptophagus_,
_Byrrhus_, _Cercyon_, _Psammodius_, and _Aphodius_. The number of
Heteromerides amounts only to four; namely, one _Boros_ of the arched
form of the _elongatus_, a small _Phaleria_, a pale yellow _Anaspis_,
and a small black, flat beetle with overgrown wing-cases of a new form,
which must be reckoned among the family of the Blapides. Of beetles with
probosces only six were found, of Xylophagi seven, of the species
_Hylurgus_ two, _Bostrichus_ three, one _Rhyzophagus_, and a larger
quite red _Cucujus_. The three stag-beetles were a _Sphondylis_, a
_Lamia_ with excrescences upon the sharply pointed cases of its wings,
and a beetle of the flat form of a _Callidium_. Of the large class of
Chrysomelides, only five varieties were to be met with; namely, two
sorts of _Donacia_, a beetle of the form of a _Lema_, and two varieties,
of the form of Eumolpes. Lastly, three Trimerides were discovered,
namely, two _Latridii_ and a _Pselaphus_.

Our stay in the Bay of St. Francisco, in California, during the months
of October and November, was unfavourable to the observations of a
naturalist. A perfect drought prevails during those months; vegetation
appears completely dead; and all birds of passage abandon the country.
The landscape along the coast is alternately formed of naked hills, of a
rocky or clayey soil, and low sandy levels, covered with stunted bushes.
Further inland, the soil is more fertile, but still deficient in wood.
The background every where presents lofty mountains; we visited only
those to the north, at the foot of which the Russian settlement Ross is
situated. Here a fine forest of lofty pines, mingled with oak and horse
chesnut-trees, charms the eye. Of the mammalia of this hitherto
unexplored country, only a few can be cited. The light grey American
bear, with a small head, abounds in unfrequented districts, but brown
bears are also occasionally killed. We nearly ascertained the existence
of two sorts of polecats, and succeeded in getting a skin of one; its
fur is brown below, and black above: from the forehead a white stripe
runs to the middle of the back, and then divides into two, which extend
to the extremity of the tail. The feet of the animal show that it treads
upon its entire sole, and lives in holes like a badger. The second sort
is said to have three white stripes: our sailors caught one, but it got
away again. The mole here is larger than in Europe; the upper part of
the body is of a greyish brown, the lower part an ash grey; the legs are
covered with a white fur, and the taper tail is one-fifth of the length
of the body. A shrew-mouse also was caught. Two or three kinds of large
cats are said to have been seen; a _mustela_, something of the nature of
the _Lutreola_, was shot near the Rio Sacramento. The sea-otter still
abounds here, but its hair is brownish, and not black. The _Cervus
Wapiti_ is found in great numbers in hilly districts; and there are deer
in all unfrequented places. The back and sides of the latter are of a
reddish brown in summer, in winter of a blackish brown; the belly,
breast, and inside of the legs are white; the mouth, forehead, and the
exterior of the ears are black. The antlers (of the male) divide into a
fork, with round smooth branches. The animal grows to the height of two
feet and a half. Near the Rio Sacramento, and in the vicinity of the
Russian settlement, we saw herds of animals of the shape of goats, with
long hair hanging from their legs, and short straight horns; we were
unfortunately unable to obtain a specimen; we saw the animal only
through a telescope, and judged it to be the _Capra Columbiana_, or
_Rupicapra Americana Blainville_, so often spoken of. Lastly, we have to
mention a small kind of hare, not so large as a rabbit, found in great
abundance among the bushes, and a dormouse seen in the southern plains.

In consequence of the lateness of the season, most of the birds that
breed here had already left the neighbourhood; we therefore saw only
such birds as pass the winter here, and also a number of aquatic birds
that were daily arriving from the north. Of the former we met with five
kinds of _Icterus_; one quite black, except the shoulders, which were
red; these were extremely numerous, and sleep, like the _Icterus
phoenicius_, among rushes. The _Sturnus ludovicianus_ and _Picus
auratus_ of the United States, are also found in California; the
_Percnopterus californicus_, _Corvus mexicanus_, and _Perdix
californica_, are already known. A large grey crane, probably from the
north, remained here: upon the whole, the number of birds observed,
amounted to forty.

A few Amphibia were found concealed under stones; namely, a large
_Tachydromus_, a _Tropydurus_, a _Crotalus_, a _Coluber_, and four
_Salamandrides_: among the latter was one with the body covered with
warts, and a narrow compressed tail, the glands of the ear wholly
wanting; the others had long narrow bodies of about the thickness of a
common earth-worm, with short legs, standing far apart, and toes
scarcely perceptible to the naked eye.

Nearly two hundred kinds of beetles were collected: with the exception
of the _Lampyris corrusca Fabr._, which, according to Banks, is found on
the Columbia river, all are as yet undescribed. Upon the dry ground,
under stones, many Heteromerides, with distorted wing-cases, were
found, and among them six new species. A large _Cychrus_ was also found,
and a species closely resembling the _Manticora_, together with many
other Carabides, of which we collected, in all, fifty different species.

It was at the Sandwich Isles that the greatest number of fishes and
Crustacea were collected: of the former the greatest variety, and the
most remarkable, were kept in the fish preserves of the royal family. Of
other classes of animals, but few are to be met with. Among the dense
woods that cover the backs of the mountains, there must be a number of
land-birds, but we met only _Melithreptus vestiarius_, and two sorts of
the _Dicæum_; in the fields laid under water were the _Gallinula
chloropus_ and a _Fulica_. Of corals there is but little variety; these
islands being situated nearly in the highest latitude in which coral is
ever found. In the vicinity of the harbour are two sorts of _Astræa_,
two _Porites_, a _Pavonia_, and a _Hornera_. The number of insects is
small, as is indeed the case with all land animals; it is therefore
creditable to our industry, that we are able to muster twenty sorts of
beetles. A small _Platynus_ is the only Carabide; in the water, two
_Colymbetes_ and a _Hydrophilus_ were found. The only _Elater_ belongs
to a species (_Agrypnus N._) in which we reckon various specimens found
only in the Old World, such as _Elater tomentosus_, _fuscipes_,
_senegalensis_, &c.; beetles which have two deep furrows in the lower
part of the neck-shield, to receive the feelers, and which go in search
of their food at night. They resemble many of the European springing
beetles covered with scales, and included by Megerle under the name
Lepidotus; such are _fasciatus_, _murinus_, _varius_. Two Aphodii were
found; one, of the size of the _Psammodius porcatus_, but very flat,
lives under the bark of a decayed tree, the wood of which has become
soft. Another has the almost prickly shoulders of the _Aphodius
stercorator_ and _asper_; of these we form the species _Stenocnemis_,
and include therein four new varieties found in Brazil and Luçon. It may
be here observed, that _Psammodius sabuleti_ and _cylindricus N._, must
be classed with _Ægialia_, which, on account of the horny nature of
their jaws, and the projection of the upper lip, enter into the same
class with _Trox_; the remaining kinds of _Psammodius_, however, do not
at all agree with the character given them by Gyllenhal, and ought in
their turn to be classed with _Aphodius_. Among the remaining beetles,
all of which dwell under the bark of trees, a _Parandra_ was the

During our two months' stay in the Bay of Manilla, we could only become
acquainted with a small part of the natural productions, in which the
large island of Luçon appears extremely rich, because it is difficult to
procure them without travelling far into the interior; but the country
round Manilla and Cavite being cultivated to the distance of several
days' journey, the woods of the mountains alone remain in a state of
nature. There dwell the gigantic snakes and crocodiles, of which every
one has some tale to relate. A small _Cercopithecus_ is found in great
abundance; but we were not able to meet with a good drawing, or even a
tolerable description of it. Skins of _Galeopithecus_ were brought us;
and we were assured that the animal allowed itself to be tamed, and
would sit like a monkey, and take its food with the fore-feet. Two kinds
of flying dogs, one of them apparently a _Pteropus edulis_, were shot
and eaten in the neighbourhood. Two other animals, of the bat kind,
belonged to the classes _Hypexodon_ and _Nycticejus_. A _Chelone_, three
feet long, was brought us, remarkable for seven shields on the middle of
its back. _Terrapene tricarinata_ is abundant. We obtained also a
_Basilicus_, a large _Tupinambis_, and two _Geckos_, which do not as yet
appear to have been described. _Achrochordus fasciatus_ lives in the
sea, and is frequently brought up in the nets of the fishermen; on land,
it is unable to move from the spot on which it is placed.

In November and December, the months we passed at Manilla, all the
insects had concealed themselves; and it was only by the assistance of
several active Malays, who were all day long hunting them, that we were
able to collect upwards of two hundred beetles. Upon the whole, the
beetle Fauna agrees with that of Java, of which island many have already
been made known. A _Tricondyla_ we had ourselves the pleasure of
catching on the trunk of a tree: the inhabitants did not bring them to
us, as they suppose them to be large ants, and are apprehensive of being
stung by them. We obtained three sorts of _Catascopus_, nineteen aquatic
_Scarabæus_, six _Hydrophilus_, five _Buprestis_, five _Melolontha_,
four _Anomala_. _Scarabæus Gideon_ is found in great abundance in the
thick bushes, where it climbs up the branches by means of its long legs
and large claws. Of _Oryctes nasicornis_, a Malay one day brought us no
less than sixty, taken out of some decayed wood. A green _Cetonia_, of
the size and form of the _chinensis_, of a coppery brightness, is rare.
Three small Lucanides, of those called by Mac Leay _Nigidius_ and
_Figulus_, are found in the wood of living trees.

Of wingless Heteromerides, we found only one _Tagenia_, and that under
the dry bark of a tree. For Pimeliades the soil is unfavourable, there
not being, as far as we could learn, in the country round Manilla,
either stones, or low, broad-leafed plants, under which these animals
can find shelter from the burning rays of the sun: they are found only
under dry bark, and about the root of the _Opatrum_, _Uloma_, and
similar plants. The Helopides, on the other hand, must be looked for on
the dry branches in the tops of trees, but we obtained only six
varieties. Of the twenty-six stag-beetles collected here, it is
necessary to observe, that they are all essentially different from those
found in South America.

Our passage through the Chinese Sea was rapid; and as we had constantly
stormy weather in the Indian Ocean, we had no opportunities of observing
marine animals. In the vicinity of the Cape, we caught some Salpæ,
Physaliæ, and Velellæ; but in the Northern Atlantic, after reaching the
region of the _Sargassum natans_, daily opportunities for interesting
observations presented themselves. From the point at which the floating
sea-weed was first noticed, (eighteen degrees north latitude, and about
thirty degrees of longitude west of Greenwich,) to the coast of England,
forty-three kinds of animals were observed, not noticed on our outward
voyage. We were able to make a very exact examination of the whole
system of the _Beroe punctata_. Three new varieties of Medusa were
discovered, and an animal (_Rataria N._) between _Velella_ and
_Porpita_: it has the flat form of the latter, but is provided with a
sail, which it can draw in at will. We also caught the animal which Le
Sueur has called _Stephanomia uvæformis_. Lastly, we had the good
fortune to procure a specimen of an animal which appears to form a link
between the _Salpa_ and _Pyrosoma_. This species (called _Anchinia_)
consists of a number of animalculæ of the Salpa form, which, by means of
a stalk, are attached to a common body, all of them being turned to the
same side.

In the course of less than three years, 2400 kinds of animals were
either examined, or only collected, consisting of the following


  Mammalia       28
  Birds         165
  Amphibia       33
  Fishes         90
  Annulides      40
  Crustacea     127
  Insects      1400
  Arachnides     28
  Cephalopodes   20
  Gasteropodes  162
  Acephali       45
  Tunicati       28
  Cirrhipedes    21
  Echinodermates 60
  Acalephi       63
  Zoophytes      90


  Dorpat, 7th January, 1828.


  Dorset Street, Fleet Street.


[1] A kind of urn in use throughout all Russia, called a Samowar, or
self-boiler. It generally stands in the middle of the tea-table, and is
furnished with a large kettle for water, and a space filled with fire to
keep it boiling.

[2] The baidars, or canoes of the Aleutians, are generally twelve feet
long and twenty inches deep, the same breadth in the middle, and pointed
at each end. The smaller are suited only for one man, the larger for two
or three. The skeleton and the keel are made of very thin deal planks,
fastened together with the sinews of the whale, and covered with the
skin of the sea-horse cleared of the hair. It has a kind of deck made of
this skin, but leaving an aperture for each person the canoe is intended
to carry. These sit in the bottom with their legs stretched out, and
their bodies rising through the apertures, which are but just large
enough to allow them to move and row conveniently. The space between
their bodies and the deck being so well fitted with bladders, that no
drop of water can enter.

These baidars are moved very rapidly by oars, and the Aleutians put to
sea with them in all weathers.

[3] This applies only to the lower classes; the Yeris are nearly all as
large as at Tahaiti.

[4] This kind was known to Fabricius, for _Copris Midas_ is a variety of
the male, and _Gigas_ is the female. The former has erroneously been
deemed a native of America.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A New Voyage Round the World, in the years 1823, 24, 25, and 26, Vol. 2" ***

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