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Title: The Three Voyages of Captain Cook Round the World. Vol. VI. Being the Second of the Third Voyage
Author: Cook, James
Language: English
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                           Transcriber’s Note

When italics were used in the original book, the corresponding text has
been surrounded by _underscores_. Superscripted characters are preceded
by ^.

Some corrections have been made to the printed text. These are listed in
a second transcriber’s note at the end of the text.

[Illustration: _Canoe of the Sandwich Islands, the rowers masked._]





                           CAPTAIN JAMES COOK

                            ROUND THE WORLD.


                           In Seven Volumes.

                      _WITH MAP AND OTHER PLATES._

                                VOL. VI.



                              PRINTED FOR




                          _THE SIXTH VOLUME_.

                             THIRD VOYAGE.

                                BOOK III.

  Transactions at Otaheite, and the Society Islands; and Prosecution of
                the Voyage to the Coast of North America.

                                CHAP. I.

 An Eclipse of the Moon observed.—The Island Toobouai             Page 3
 discovered.—Its Situation, Extent, and Appearance.—
 Intercourse with its Inhabitants.—Their Persons, Dresses,
 and Canoes, described.—Arrival in Oheitepeha Bay at
 Otaheite.—Omai’s Reception, and imprudent Conduct.—Account
 of Spanish Ships twice visiting the Island.—Interview with
 the Chief of this District.—The Olla, or God, of Bolabola.—A
 mad Prophet, Arrival in Matavai Bay

                                CHAP. II.

 Interview with Otoo, King of the Island.—Imprudent Conduct           21
 of Omai.—Employments on Shore.—European Animals landed.—
 Particulars about a Native who had visited Lima.—About
 Oedidee.—A Revolt in Eimeo.—War with that Island determined
 upon, in a Council of Chiefs.—A human Sacrifice on that
 Account.—A particular Relation of the Ceremonies at the
 great Morai, where the Sacrifice was offered.—Other
 barbarous Customs of this people

                               CHAP. III.

 Conference with Towha.—Heevas described.—Omai and Oedidee            44
 give Dinners.—Fireworks exhibited.—A remarkable Present of
 Cloth.—Manner of preserving the Body of a dead Chief.—
 Another human Sacrifice.—Riding on Horseback.—Otoo’s
 Attention to supply Provisions, and prevent Thefts.—Animals
 given to him.—Etary and the Deputies of a Chief have
 Audiences.—A Mock-fight of two War Canoes.—Naval Strength of
 these Islands.—Manner of Conducting a War

                                CHAP. IV.

 The Day of sailing fixed.—Peace made with Eimeo.—Debates             58
 about it, and Otoo’s Conduct blamed.—A Solemnity at the
 Morai on the Occasion, described by Mr. King.—Observations
 upon it.—Instance of Otoo’s Art.—Omai’s War Canoe, and
 Remarks upon his Behaviour.—Otoo’s Present, and Message to
 the King of Great Britain.—Reflections on our Manner of
 Traffic, and on the good Treatment we met with at Otaheite.—
 Account of the Expedition of the Spaniards.—Their Fictions
 to depreciate the English.—Wishes expressed that no
 Settlement may be made.—Omai’s jealousy of another Traveller

                                CHAP. V.

 Arrival at Eimeo.—Two Harbours there, and an Account of              74
 them.—Visit from Maheine, Chief of the Island.—His Person
 described.—A Goat stolen, and sent back with the Thief.—
 Another Goat stolen, and secreted.—Measures taken on the
 Occasion.—Expedition cross the Island.—Houses and Canoes
 burnt.—The Goat delivered up, and Peace restored.—Some
 Account of the Island, &c.

                                CHAP. VI.

 Arrival at Huaheine.—Council of the Chiefs.—Omai’s                   85
 Offerings, and Speech to the Chiefs.—His Establishment in
 this Island agreed to.—A House built, and Garden planted for
 him.—Singularity of his Situation.—Measures taken to insure
 his Safety.—Damage done by Cock-roaches, on board the
 Ships.—A Thief detected and punished.—Fireworks exhibited.—
 Animals left with Omai.—His Family.—Weapons.—Inscriptions on
 his House.—His Behaviour on the Ships leaving the Island.—
 Summary View of his Conduct and Character.—Account of the
 two New Zealand Youths

                               CHAP. VII.

 Arrival at Ulietea.—Astronomical Observations.—A Marine             104
 deserts, and is delivered up.—Intelligence from Omai.—
 Instructions to Captain Clerke.—Another Desertion of a
 Midshipman and a Seaman.—Three of the Chief Persons of the
 Island confined on that Account.—A Design to seize Captains
 Cook and Clerke, discovered.—The two Deserters brought back,
 and the Prisoners released.—The Ships sail.—Refreshments
 received at Ulietea.—Present and former State of that
 Island.—Account of its dethroned King, and of the late
 Regent of Huaheine

                               CHAP. VIII.

 Arrival at Bolabola.—Interview with Opoony.—Reasons for             118
 purchasing Monsieur Bougainville’s Anchor.—Departure from
 the Society Islands.—Particulars about Bolabola.—History of
 the Conquest of Otaha and Ulietea.—High Reputation of the
 Bolabola Men.—Animals left there, and at Ulietea.—Plentiful
 Supply of Provisions, and Manner of salting Pork on board.—
 Various Reflections relative to Otaheite, and the Society
 Islands.—Astronomical and Nautical Observations made there

                                CHAP. IX.

 Accounts of Otaheite still imperfect.—The prevailing Winds.—        131
 Beauty of the Country.—Cultivation.—Natural Curiosities.—The
 Persons of the Natives.—Diseases.—General Character.—Love of
 Pleasure.—Language.—Surgery and Physic.—Articles of Food.—
 Effects of drinking Ava.—Times and Manner of Eating.—
 Connections with the Females.—Circumcision.—System of
 Religion.—Notions about the Soul and a future Life.—Various
 Superstitions.—Traditions about the Creation.—An Historical
 Legend.—Honours paid to the King.—Distinction of Ranks.—
 Punishment of Crimes.—Peculiarities of the neighbouring
 Islands.—Names of their Gods.—Names of Islands they visit.—
 Extent of their Navigation

                                CHAP. X.

 Progress of the Voyage, after leaving the Society Islands.—         166
 Christmas Island discovered, and Station of the Ships
 there.—Boats sent ashore.—Great Success in catching Turtle.—
 An Eclipse of the Sun observed.—Distress of two Seamen who
 had lost their Way.—Inscription left in a Bottle.—Account of
 the Island.—Its Soil.—Trees and Plants.—Birds.—Its Size.—

                                CHAP. XI.

 Some Islands discovered.—Account of the Natives of Atooi,           176
 who come off to the Ships, and their Behaviour on going on
 board.—One of them killed.—Precautions used to prevent
 Intercourse with the Females.—A Watering-place found.—
 Reception upon landing.—Excursion into the Country.—A Morai
 visited and described.—Graves of the Chiefs, and of the
 human Sacrifices there buried.—Another Island, called
 Oneehow, visited.—Ceremonies performed by the Natives, who
 go off to the Ships.—Reasons for believing that they are
 Cannibals.—A Party sent ashore, who remain two Nights.—
 Account of what passed on landing.—The Ships leave the
 Islands, and proceed to the North

                               CHAP. XII.

 The Situation of the Islands now discovered.—Their Names.—          204
 Called the Sandwich Islands.—Atooi described.—The Soil.—
 Climate.—Vegetable Productions.—Birds.—Fish.—Domestic
 Animals.—Persons of the Inhabitants.—Their Disposition.—
 Manufactures.—Working-tools.—Knowledge of Iron accounted
 for.—Canoes.—Agriculture.—Account of one of their Chiefs.—
 Weapons.—Customs agreeing with those of Tongataboo, and
 Otaheite.—Their Language the same.—Extent of this Nation
 throughout the Pacific Ocean.—Reflections on the useful
 Situation of the Sandwich Islands

                               CHAP. XIII.

 Observations made at the Sandwich Islands, on the Longitude,        233
 Variation of the Compass and Tides.—Prosecution of the
 Voyage.—Remarks on the Mildness of the Weather, as far as
 the Latitude 44° North.—Paucity of Sea Birds, in the
 Northern Hemisphere.—Small Sea Animals described.—Arrival on
 the Coast of America.—Appearance of the Country.—
 Unfavourable Winds, and boisterous Weather.—Remarks on
 Martin d’Aguillar’s River, and Juan de Fuca’s pretended
 Strait.—An Inlet discovered, where the Ships anchor.—
 Behaviour of the Natives

                                BOOK IV.

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

                                 CHAP I.

 The Ships enter the Sound, and moor in a Harbour.—                  247
 Intercourse with the Natives.—Articles brought to barter.—
 Thefts committed.—The Observatories erected, and Carpenters
 set to work.—Jealousy of the Inhabitants of the Sound to
 prevent other Tribes having Intercourse with the Ships.—
 Stormy and rainy Weather.—Progress round the Sound.—
 Behaviour of the Natives at their Villages.—Their Manner of
 drying Fish, &c.—Remarkable Visit from Strangers, and
 introductory Ceremonies.—A second Visit to one of the
 Villages.—Leave to cut Grass, purchased.—The Ships sail.—
 Presents given and received at parting

                                CHAP. II.

 The Name of the Sound, and Directions for sailing into it.—         264
 Account of the adjacent Country.—Weather.—Climate.—Trees.—
 Other vegetable Productions.—Quadrupeds, whose Skins were
 brought for Sale.—Sea Animals.—Description of a Sea Otter.—
 Birds.—Water Fowl.—Fish.—Shell-fish, &c.—Reptiles.—Insects.—
 Stones, &c.—Persons of the Inhabitants.—Their Colour.—Common
 Dress and Ornaments.—Occasional Dresses and monstrous
 Decorations of Wooden Masks.—Their general Dispositions.—
 Songs.—Musical Instruments.—Their Eagerness to possess Iron
 and other Metals

                               CHAP. III.

 Manner of building the Houses in Nootka Sound.—Inside of            287
 them described.—Furniture and Utensils.—Wooden Images.—
 Employments of the Men.—Of the Women.—Food, Animal and
 Vegetable.—Manner of preparing it.—Weapons.—Manufactures and
 Mechanic Arts.—Carving and Painting.—Canoes.—Implements for
 Fishing and Hunting.—Iron Tools.—Manner of procuring that
 Metal.—Remarks on their Language, and a Specimen of it.—
 Astronomical and Nautical Observations made in Nootka Sound

                                CHAP. IV.

 A Storm after sailing from Nootka Sound.—Resolution springs         313
 a Leak.—Pretended Strait of Admiral de Fonte passed
 unexamined.—Progress along the Coast of America.—Beering’s
 Bay.—Kaye’s Island.—Account of it.—The Ships come to
 Anchor.—Visited by the Natives.—Their Behaviour.—Fondness
 for Beads and Iron.—Attempt to plunder the Discovery.—
 Resolution’s Leak stopped.—Progress up the Sound.—Messrs.
 Gore and Roberts sent to examine its Extent.—Reasons against
 a Passage to the North through it.—The Ships proceed down
 it, to the open Sea

                                CHAP. V.

 The Inlet called Prince William’s Sound.—Its Extent.—Persons        336
 of the Inhabitants described.—Their Dress.—Incision of their
 under Lip.—Various other Ornaments.—Their Boats.—Weapons,
 fishing and hunting Instruments.—Utensils.—Tools.—Uses Iron
 is applied to.—Food.—Language, and a Specimen of it.—
 Animals.—Birds.—Fish.—Iron and Beads, whence received

                                CHAP. VI.

 Progress along the Coast.—Cape Elizabeth.—Cape St.                  351
 Hermogenes.—Accounts of Beering’s Voyage very defective.—
 Point Banks.—Cape Douglas.—Cape Bede.—Mount St. Augustin.—
 Hopes of finding a Passage up an Inlet.—The Ships proceed up
 it.—Indubitable Marks of its being a River.—Named Cook’s
 River.—The Ships return down it.—Various Visits from the
 Natives.—Lieutenant King lands, and takes possession of the
 Country.—His Report.—The Resolution runs aground on a
 Shoal.—Reflections on the Discovery of Cook’s River.—The
 considerable Tides in it accounted for

                               CHAP. VII.

 Discoveries after leaving Cook’s River.—Island of St.               370
 Hermogenes.—Cape Whitsunday.—Cape Greville.—Cape Barnabas.—
 Two-headed Point.—Trinity Island.—Beering’s Foggy Island.—A
 beautiful Bird described.—Kodiak, and the Schumagin
 Islands.—A Russian Letter brought on board by a Native.—
 Conjectures about it.—Rock Point.—Halibut Island.—A Volcano
 Mountain.—Providential Escape.—Arrival of the Ships at
 Oonalaschka.—Intercourse with the Natives there.—Another
 Russian Letter.—Samganoodha Harbour described

                               CHAP. VIII.

 Progress northward, after leaving Oonalashka.—The Islands           390
 Oonella and Acootan.—Ooneemak.—Shallowness of the Water
 along the Coast.—Bristol Bay.—Round Island.—Calm Point.—Cape
 Newenham.—Lieutenant Williamson lands, and his Report.—
 Bristol Bay, and its extent.—The Ships obliged to return, on
 account of Shoals.—Natives come off to the Ships.—Death of
 Mr. Anderson; his Character; and Island named after him.—
 Point Rodney.—Sledge Island, and Remarks on landing there.—
 King’s Island.—Cape Prince of Wales, the western Extreme of
 America.—Course westward.—Anchor in a Bay on the Coast of

                                CHAP. IX.

 Behaviour of the Natives, the Tschutski, on seeing the              409
 Ships.—Interview with some of them.—Their Weapons.—Persons.—
 Ornaments.—Clothing.—Winter and Summer Habitations.—The
 Ships cross the Strait to the Coast of America.—Progress
 northward.—Cape Mulgrave.—Appearance of Fields of Ice.—
 Situation of Icy Cape.—The Sea blocked up with Ice.—
 Sea-horses killed, and used as Provisions.—These Animals
 described.—Dimensions of one of them.—Cape Lisburne.—
 Fruitless Attempts to get through the Ice, at a Distance
 from the Coast.—Observations on the Formation of this Ice.—
 Arrival on the Coast of Asia.—Cape North.—The Prosecution of
 the Voyage deferred to the ensuing Year

                                CHAP. X.

 Return from Cape North, along the Coast of Asia.—Views of           427
 the Country.—Burney’s Island.—Cape Serdze Kamen, the
 northern Limit of Beering’s Voyage.—Pass the East Cape of
 Asia.—Description and Situation of it.—Observations on
 Muller.—The Tschutski.—Bay of St. Laurence.—Two other Bays,
 and Habitations of the Natives.—Beering’s Cape
 Tschukotskoi.—Beering’s Position of this Coast accurate.—
 Island of Saint Laurence.—Pass to the American Coast.—Cape
 Darby.—Bald Head.—Cape Denbigh, on a Peninsula.—Besborough
 Island.—Wood and Water procured.—Visits from the Natives.—
 Their Persons and Habitations.—Produce of the Country.—Marks
 that the Peninsula had formerly been surrounded by the Sea.—
 Lieutenant King’s Report.—Norton Sound.—Lunar Observations
 there.—Stæhlin’s Map proved to be erroneous.—Plan of future

                                CHAP. XI.

 Discoveries after leaving Norton Sound.—Stuart’s Island.—           447
 Cape Stephens.—Point Shallow-water.—Shoals on the American
 Coast.—Clerke’s Island.—Gore’s Island.—Pinnacle Island.—
 Arrival at Oonalashka.—Intercourse with the Natives and
 Russian Traders.—Charts of the Russian Discoveries,
 communicated by Mr. Ismyloff.—Their Errors pointed out.—
 Situation of the Islands visited by the Russians.—Account of
 their Settlement at Oonalashka.—Of the Natives of the
 Island.—Their Persons.—Dress.—Ornaments.—Food.—Houses, and
 domestic Utensils.—Manufactures.—Manner of producing Fire.—
 Canoes.—Fishing and hunting Implements.—Fishes, and Sea
 Animals.—Sea and Water Fowls, and Land Birds.—Land Animals
 and Vegetables.—Manner of burying their Dead.—Resemblance of
 the Natives on this Side of America to the Greenlanders and
 Esquimaux.—Tides.—Observations for determining the Longitude
 of Oonalashka

                               CHAP. XII.

 Departure from Oonalashka, and future Views.—The Island             481
 Amoghta.—Situation of a remarkable Rock.—The Strait between
 Oonalashka and Oonella repassed.—Progress to the South.—
 Melancholy Accident on board the Discovery.—Mowee, one of
 the Sandwich Islands discovered.—Intercourse with the
 Natives.—Visit from Terreeoboo.—Another Island, called
 Owhyhee, discovered.—The Ships ply to windward to get round
 it.—An Eclipse of the Moon observed.—The Crew refuse to
 drink Sugar-cane Beer.—Cordage deficient in Strength.—
 Commendation of the Natives of Owhyhee.—The Resolution gets
 to windward of the Island.—Her Progress down the South-east
 Coast.—Views of the Country, and Visits from the Natives.—
 The Discovery joins.—Slow Progress westward.—Karakakooa Bay
 examined by Mr. Bligh.—Vast Concourse of the Natives.—The
 Ships anchor in the Bay



                                 TO THE

                             PACIFIC OCEAN,

                              TO DETERMINE
                    OF A NORTHERN PASSAGE TO EUROPE.


                    CAPTAINS COOK, CLERKE, AND GORE,


             IN THE YEARS 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, AND 1780.


                                VOL. II.

                        WRITTEN BY CAPTAIN COOK.




                           THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

                               BOOK III.


                                CHAP. I.


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

The wind kept between the south-west, and south-east, on the 19th and
20th; afterward it veered to the east, north-east, and north. The night
between the 20th and 21st, an eclipse of the moon was observed as
follows; being then in the latitude of 22° 57-1/2ʹ south:

                               Apparent time, A. M.
                                 H.   M.    S.
 Beginning, by Mr. King, at      0    32    50} Mean long.
               Mr. Bligh, at     0    33    25} 186° 57-1/2ʹ.
               Myself, at        0    33    35}

       End, by Mr. King, at      1    44    56}  Mean long.
               Mr. Bligh, at     1    44     6}  186° 28-1/2ʹ.
               Myself, at        1    44    56}  Time keep.
                                                 186° 58-1/2ʹ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is situated in the latitude of 22° 15ʹ south; and in 210° 37ʹ east
longitude. Its greatest extent, in any direction, exclusive of the reef,
is not above five or six miles. On the north-west side, the reef appears
in detached pieces, between which, the sea seems to break in upon the
shore. Small as the island is, there are hills in it of a considerable
elevation. At the foot of the hills, is a narrow border of flat land,
running quite round it, edged with a white sand beach. The hills are
covered with grass, or some other herbage, except a few steep, rocky
cliffs at one part, with patches of trees interspersed to their summits.
But the plantations are more numerous in some of the valleys; and the
flat border is quite covered with high, strong trees, whose different
kinds we could not discern, except some cocoa-palms, and a few of the
_etoa_. According to the information of the men in the canoes, their
island is stocked with hogs and fowls; and produces the several fruits
and roots that are found at the other islands in this part of the
Pacific Ocean.

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

Their canoes appeared to be about thirty feet long, and two feet above
the surface of the water as they floated. The forepart projected a
little, and had a notch cut across, as if intended to represent the
mouth of some animal. The afterpart rose with a gentle curve to the
height of two or three feet, turning gradually smaller, and, as well as
the upper part of the sides, was carved all over. The rest of the sides,
which were perpendicular, were curiously incrusted with flat, white
shells, disposed nearly in concentric semicircles, with the curve
upward. One of the canoes carried seven, and the other eight, men; and
they were managed with small paddles, whose blades were nearly round.
Each of them had a pretty long outrigger; and they sometimes paddled
with the two opposite sides together so close, that they seemed to be
one boat with two outriggers; the rowers turning their faces
occasionally to the stern, and pulling that way, without paddling the
canoes round. When they saw us determined to leave them, they stood up
in their canoes, and repeated something very loudly in concert; but we
could not tell whether this was meant as a mark of their friendship or
enmity. It is certain, however, that they had no weapons with them; nor
could we perceive, with our glasses, that those on shore had any.

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

When we first drew near the island, several canoes came off to the ship,
each conducted by two or three men; but as they were common fellows,
Omai took no particular notice of them, nor they of him. They did not
even seem to perceive that he was one of their countrymen, although they
conversed with him for some time. At length, a chief whom I had known
before, named Ootee, and Omai’s brother-in-law, who chanced to be now at
this corner of the island, and three or four more persons, all of whom
knew Omai before he embarked with Captain Furneaux, came on board. Yet
there was nothing either tender or striking in their meeting. On the
contrary, there seemed to be a perfect indifference on both sides, till
Omai, having taken his brother down into the cabin, opened the drawer
where he kept his red feathers, and gave him a few. This being presently
known amongst the rest of the natives upon deck, the face of affairs was
entirely turned, and Ootee, who would hardly speak to Omai before, now
begged that they might be _tayos_[2], and exchange names. Omai accepted
of the honour, and confirmed it with a present of red feathers; and
Ootee, by way of return, sent ashore for a hog. But it was evident to
every one of us, that it was not the man, but his property they were in
love with. Had he not shown them his treasure of red feathers, which is
the commodity in greatest estimation at the island, I question much
whether they would have bestowed even a cocoa-nut upon him. Such was
Omai’s first reception among his countrymen. I own, I never expected it
would be otherwise; but still, I was in hopes that the valuable cargo of
presents with which the liberality of his friends in England had loaded
him, would be the means of raising him into consequence, and of making
him respected, and even courted by the first persons throughout the
extent of the Society Islands. This could not but have happened, had he
conducted himself with any degree of prudence; but instead of it, I am
sorry to say, that he paid too little regard to the repeated advice of
those who wished him well, and suffered himself to be duped by every
designing knave.

From the natives who came off to us in the course of this day, we learnt
that two ships had twice been in Oheitepeha Bay since my last visit to
this island in 1774, and that they had left animals there, such as we
had on board. But, on farther inquiry, we found they were only hogs,
dogs, goats, one bull, and the male of some other animal, which, from
the imperfect description now given us, we could not find out. They told
us that these ships had come from a place called Reema; by which we
guessed that Lima, the capital of Peru, was meant, and that these late
visitors were Spaniards. We were informed, that the first time they
came, they built a house and left four men behind them, _viz._ two
priests, a boy or servant, and a fourth person called Mateema, who was
much spoken of at this time; carrying away with them, when they sailed,
four of the natives; that in about ten months, the same two ships
returned, bringing back two of the islanders, the other two having died
at Lima; and that, after a short stay, they took away their own people;
but that the house which they had built was left standing.

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

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

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

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

                           _Christus vincit._

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

                    _Carolus_ III. _imperat. 1774_.

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

                         _Georgius tertius Rex,
                              Annis 1767,
                       1769, 1773, 1774, & 1777._

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

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

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

As I knew that Otaheite and the neighbouring islands could furnish us
with a plentiful supply of cocoa-nuts, the liquor of which is an
excellent _succedaneum_ for any artificial beverage, I was desirous of
prevailing upon my people to consent to be abridged, during our stay
here, of their stated allowance of spirits to mix with water. But as
this stoppage of a favourite article, without assigning some reason,
might have occasioned a general murmur, I thought it most prudent to
assemble the ship’s company, and to make known to them the intent of the
voyage, and the extent of our future operations. To induce them to
undertake which with cheerfulness and perseverance, I took notice of the
rewards offered by Parliament to such of his Majesty’s subjects, as
shall first discover a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans, in any direction whatever, in the northern hemisphere: and also
to such as shall first penetrate beyond the 89th degree of northern
latitude. I made no doubt, I told them, that I should find them willing
to co-operate with me in attempting, as far as might be possible, to
become entitled to one or both these rewards; but that, to give us the
best chance of succeeding, it would be necessary to observe the utmost
economy in the expenditure of our stores and provisions, particularly
the latter, as there was no probability of getting a supply any where
after leaving these islands. I strengthened my argument, by reminding
them, that our voyage must last at least a year longer than had been
originally supposed, by our having already lost the opportunity of
getting to the North this summer. I begged them to consider the various
obstructions and difficulties we might still meet with, and the
aggravated hardships they would labour under, if it should be found
necessary to put them to short allowance of any species of provisions in
a cold climate. For these very substantial reasons, I submitted to them,
whether it would not be better to be prudent in time, and rather than to
run the risk of having no spirits left, when such a cordial would be
most wanted, to consent to be without their grog now, when we had so
excellent a liquor as that of cocoa-nuts to substitute in its place; but
that, after all, I left the determination entirely to their own choice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the morning of the 23d, while the ships were unmooring, Omai and I
landed, to take leave of the young chief. While we were with him, one of
those enthusiastic persons, whom they call _Eatooas_, from a persuasion
that they are possessed with the spirit of the Divinity, came and stood
before us. He had all the appearance of a man not in his right senses;
and his only dress was a large quantity of plantain leaves, wrapped
round his waist. He spoke in a low, squeaking voice, so as hardly to be
understood; at least, not by me. But Omai said, that he comprehended him
perfectly, and that he was advising Waheiadooa not to go with me to
Matavai; an expedition which I had never heard he intended, nor had I
ever made such a proposal to him. The _Eatooa_ also foretold, that the
ships would not get to Matavai that day. But in this he was mistaken;
though appearances now rather favoured his prediction, there not being a
breath of wind in any direction. While he was prophesying, there fell a
very heavy shower of rain, which made every one run for shelter but
himself, who seemed not to regard it. He remained squeaking by us about
half an hour, and then retired. No one paid any attention to what he
uttered; though some laughed at him. I asked the Chief, what he was,
whether an _Earee_, or _Towtow_? and the answer I received was, that he
was _taato eno_; that is, a bad man. And yet, notwithstanding this, and
the little notice any of the natives seemed to take of the mad prophet,
superstition has so far got the better of their reason, that they firmly
believe such persons to be possessed with the spirit of the _Eatooa_.
Omai seemed to be very well instructed about them. He said, that, during
the fits that came upon them, they knew nobody, not even their most
intimate acquaintances; and that, if any one of them happens to be a man
of property, he will very often give away every moveable he is possessed
of, if his friends do not put them out of his reach; and, when he
recovers, will inquire what had become of those very things, which he
had, but just before, distributed; not seeming to have the least
remembrance of what he had done while the fit was upon him.

As soon as I got on board, a light breeze springing up at east, we got
under sail, and steered for Matavai Bay[3]; where the Resolution
anchored the same evening. But the Discovery did not get in till the
next morning; so that half of the man’s prophecy was fulfilled.

                               CHAP. II.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hitherto, the attention of Otoo and his people had been confined to us;
but, next morning, a new scene of business opened, by the arrival of
some messengers from Eimeo, or (as it is much oftener called by the
natives) Morea[4], with intelligence that the people in that island were
in arms; and that Otoo’s partizans there had been worsted, and obliged
to retreat to the mountains. The quarrel between the two islands, which
commenced in 1774, as mentioned in the account of my last voyage, had,
it seems, partly subsisted ever since. The formidable armament which I
saw, at that time, and described[5], had sailed soon after I then left
Otaheite; but the malcontents of Eimeo had made so stout a resistance,
that the fleet had returned without effecting much; and now another
expedition was necessary.

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: _A Morai, or Burying Place, at Otaheite._]

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

The ceremonies now began. One of the priest’s attendants brought a young
plantain tree, and laid it down before Otoo. Another approached with a
small tuft of red feathers, twisted on some fibres of the
cocoa-nut-husk, with which he touched one of the king’s feet, and then
retired with it to his companions. One of the priests, seated at the
_morai_, facing those who were upon the beach, now began a long prayer;
and, at certain times, sent down young plantain-trees, which were laid
upon the sacrifice. During this prayer, a man, who stood by the
officiating priest, held in his hands two bundles, seemingly of cloth.
In one of them, as we afterwards found, was the royal _maro_; and the
other, if I may be allowed the expression, was the ark of the _Eatooa_.
As soon as the prayer was ended, the priests at the _morai_, with their
attendants, went and sat down by those upon the beach, carrying with
them the two bundles. Here they renewed their prayers; during which the
plantain-trees were taken, one by one, at different times, from off the
sacrifice; which was partly wrapped up in cocoa leaves and small
branches. It was now taken out of the canoe, and laid upon the beach,
with the feet to the sea. The priests placed themselves around it, some
sitting and others standing; and one or more of them, repeated sentences
for about ten minutes. The dead body was now uncovered, by removing the
leaves and branches, and laid in a parallel direction with the seashore.
One of the priests then, standing at the feet of it, pronounced a long
prayer, in which he was, at times, joined by the others; each holding in
his hand a tuft of red feathers. In the course of this prayer, some hair
was pulled off the head of the sacrifice, and the left eye taken out;
both of which were presented to Otoo, wrapped up in a green leaf. He did
not, however, touch it; but gave to the man who presented it the tuft of
feathers which he had received from Towha. This, with the hair and eye,
was carried back to the priests. Soon after, Otoo sent to them another
piece of feathers, which he had given me in the morning to keep in my
pocket. During some part of this last ceremony, a king-fisher making a
noise in the trees, Otoo turned to me, saying, “That is the _Eatooa_;”
and seemed to look upon it to be a good omen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those who are devoted to suffer, in order to perform this bloody act of
worship, are never apprized of their fate till the blow is given that
puts an end to their existence. Whenever any one of the great chiefs
thinks a human sacrifice necessary on any particular emergency, he
pitches upon the victim. Some of his trusty servants are then sent, who
fall upon him suddenly, and put him to death with a club or by stoning
him. The king is next acquainted with it, whose presence at the solemn
rites that follow is, as I was told, absolutely necessary; and, indeed,
on the present occasion, we could observe that Otoo bore a principal
part. The solemnity itself is called _Poore Eree_, or chief’s prayer;
and the victim who is offered up _Taata-taboo_, or consecrated man. This
is the only instance where we have heard the word _taboo_ used at this
island, where it seems to have the same mysterious signification as at
Tonga, though it is there applied to all cases where things are not to
be touched. But at Otaheite, the word _raa_ serves the same purpose, and
is full as extensive in its meaning.

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

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

The custom, though no consideration can make it cease to be abominable,
might be thought less detrimental, in some respects, if it served to
impress any awe for the divinity or reverence for religion, upon the
minds of the multitude. But this is so far from being the case, that
though a great number of people had assembled at the _morai_ on this
occasion, they did not seem to show any proper reverence for what was
doing or saying during the celebration of the rites. And Omai happening
to arrive after they had begun, many of the spectators flocked round
him, and were engaged the remainder of the time in making him relate
some of his adventures, which they listened to with great attention,
regardless of the solemn offices performing by their priests. Indeed,
the priests themselves, except the one who chiefly repeated the prayers,
either from their being familiarized to such objects, or from want of
confidence in the efficacy of their institutions, observed very little
of that solemnity, which is necessary to give to religious performances
their due weight. Their dress was only an ordinary one; they conversed
together without scruple; and the only attempt made by them to preserve
any appearance of decency, was by exerting their authority to prevent
the people from coming upon the very spot where the ceremonies were
performed, and to suffer us, as strangers, to advance a little forward.
They were, however, very candid in their answers to any questions that
were put to them concerning the institution. And particularly, on being
asked what the intention of it was? they said that it was an old custom,
and was agreeable to their god, who delighted in, or, in other words,
came and fed upon the sacrifices; in consequence of which, he complied
with their petitions. Upon its being objected that he could not feed on
these, as he was neither seen to do it, nor were the bodies of the
animals quickly consumed; and that, as to the human victim, they
prevented his feeding on him, by burying him. But to all this they
answered, that he came in the night, but invisibly, and fed only on the
soul or immaterial part, which, according to their doctrine, remains
about the place of sacrifice, until the body of the victim be entirely
wasted by putrefaction.

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

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

Their own great chiefs, that fall in battle, are treated in a different
manner. We were informed, that their late king Tootaha,
Tubourai-tamaide, and another chief, who fell with them in the battle,
fought with those of Tiaraboo, and were brought to this _morai_, at
Attahooroo. There their bowels were cut out by the priests, before the
great altar, and the bodies afterwards buried in three different places,
which were pointed out to us, in the great pile of stones, that compose
the most conspicuous part of this _morai_. And their common men, who
also fell in this battle, were all buried in one hole, at the foot of
the pile. This, Omai, who was present, told me was done the day after
the battle, with much pomp and ceremony, and in the midst of a great
concourse of people, as a thanksgiving-offering to the _Eatooa_, for the
victory they had obtained; while the vanquished had taken refuge in the
mountains. There they remained a week, or ten days, till the fury of the
victors was over, and a treaty set on foot, by which it was agreed, that
Otoo should be declared king of the whole island; and the solemnity of
investing him with the _maro_, was performed at the same _morai_, with
great pomp, in the presence of all the principal men of the country.

                               CHAP. III.


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

Before we parted, he asked us, if the solemnity, at which we had been
present, answered our expectations; what opinion we had of its efficacy;
and whether we performed such acts of worship in our own country? During
the celebration of the horrid ceremony, we had preserved a profound
silence; but, as soon as it was closed, had made no scruple in
expressing our sentiments very freely about it, to Otoo, and those who
attended him; of course, therefore, I did not conceal my detestation of
it, in this conversation with Towha. Besides the cruelty of the bloody
custom, I strongly urged the unreasonableness of it; telling the chief,
that such a sacrifice, far from making the _Eatooa_ propitious to their
nation, as they ignorantly believed, would be the means of drawing down
his vengeance; and that, from this very circumstance, I took upon me to
judge, that their intended expedition against Maheine would be
unsuccessful. This was venturing pretty far upon conjecture; but still,
I thought, that there was little danger of being mistaken. For I found,
that there were three parties in the island, with regard to this war;
one extremely violent for it, another perfectly indifferent about the
matter; and the third openly declaring themselves friends to Maheine,
and his cause. Under these circumstances of disunion distracting their
councils, it was not likely that such a plan of military operations
would be settled, as could insure even a probability of success. In
conveying our sentiments to Towha, on the subject of the late sacrifice,
Omai was made use of as our interpreter; and he entered into our
arguments with so much spirit, that the chief seemed to be in great
wrath; especially when he was told, that if he had put a man to death in
England, as he had done here, his rank would not have protected him from
being hanged for it. Upon this, he exclaimed, _Maeno! maeno!_ [vile!
vile!] and would not hear another word. During this debate, many of the
natives were present, chiefly the attendants and servants of Towha
himself; and when Omai began to explain the punishment that would be
inflicted in England upon the greatest man, if he killed the meanest
servant, they seemed to listen with great attention; and were, probably,
of a different opinion from that of their master, on this subject.

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

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

On the 14th, a party of us dined ashore with Omai, who gave excellent
fare, consisting of fish, fowls, pork, and puddings. After dinner, I
attended Otoo, who had been one of the party, back to his house, where I
found all his servants very busy, getting a quantity of provisions ready
for me. Amongst other articles, there was a large hog, which they killed
in my presence. The entrails were divided into eleven portions, in such
a manner that each of them contained a bit of every thing. These
portions were distributed to the servants, and some dressed theirs in
the same oven with the hog, while others carried off, undressed, what
had come to their share. There was also a large pudding, the whole
process in making which I saw. It was composed of bread-fruit, ripe
plantains, taro, and palm or pandanus nuts, each rasped, scraped, or
beat up fine, and baked by itself. A quantity of juice, expressed from
cocoa-nut kernels, was put into a large tray, or wooden vessel. The
other articles, hot from the oven, were deposited in this vessel; and a
few hot stones were also put in, to make the contents simmer. Three or
four men made use of sticks to stir the several ingredients, till they
were incorporated one with another, and the juice of the cocoa-nut was
turned to oil; so that the whole mass, at last, became of the
consistency of a hasty-pudding. Some of these puddings are excellent;
and few that we make in England equal them. I seldom, or never dined
without one, when I could get it; which was not always the case. Otoo’s
hog being baked, and the pudding, which I have described, being made,
they, together with two living hogs, and a quantity of bread-fruit and
cocoa-nuts were put into a canoe, and sent on board my ship, followed by
myself, and all the royal family.

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

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

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

Otoo was not more attentive to supply our wants, by a succession of
presents, than he was to contribute to our amusement, by a succession of
diversions. A party of us having gone down to Oparre, on the 10th, he
treated us with what may be called a play. His three sisters were the
actresses; and the dresses they appeared in were new and elegant; that
is, more so than we had usually met with at any of these islands. But
the principal object I had in view, this day, in going to Oparre, was to
take a view of an embalmed corpse, which some of our gentlemen had
happened to meet with at that place, near the residence of Otoo. On
enquiry, I found it to be the remains of Tee, a chief well known to me,
when I was at this island, during my last voyage. It was lying in a
_toopapaoo_, more elegantly constructed than their common ones, and in
all respects similar to that lately seen by us at Oheitepeha, in which
the remains of Waheadooa are deposited, embalmed in the same manner.
When we arrived at the place, the body was under cover, and wrapped up
in cloth, within the _toopapaoo_; but, at my desire, the man who had the
care of it brought it out, and laid it upon a kind of bier, in such a
manner, that we had as full a view of it as we could wish; but we were
not allowed to go within the pales that inclosed the _toopapaoo_. After
he had thus exhibited the corpse, he hung the place with mats and cloth,
so disposed as to produce a very pretty effect. We found the body not
only entire in every part; but, what surprized us much more, was, that
putrefaction seemed scarcely to be begun, as there was not the least
disagreeable smell proceeding from it, though the climate is one of the
hottest, and Tee had been dead above four months. The only remarkable
alteration that had happened, was a shrinking of the muscular parts of
the eyes; but the hair and nails were in their original state, and still
adhered firmly; and the several joints were quite pliable, or in that
kind of relaxed state which happens to persons who faint suddenly. Such
were Mr. Anderson’s remarks to me, who also told me, that, on his
enquiring into the method of effecting this preservation of their dead
bodies, he had been informed that soon after their death, they are
disembowelled, by drawing the intestines, and other _viscera_, out at
the _anus_; and the whole cavity is then filled or stuffed with cloth,
introduced through the same part; that when any moisture appeared on the
skin, it was carefully dried up, and the bodies afterward rubbed all
over with a large quantity of perfumed cocoa-nut oil; which, being
frequently repeated, preserved them a great many months; but that, at
last, they gradually moulder away. This was the information Mr. Anderson
received; for my own part, I could not learn any more about their mode
of operation than what Omai told me, who said, that they made use of the
juice of a plant which grows amongst the mountains; of cocoa-nut oil;
and of frequent washing with sea-water. I was also told that the bodies
of all their great men, who died a natural death, are preserved in this
manner; and that they expose them to public view for a considerable time
after. At first, they are laid out every day, when it does not rain;
afterward, the intervals become greater and greater; and, at last, they
are seldom to be seen.

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

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

The next day, Etary, or Olla, the god of Bolabola, who had, for several
days past, been in the neighbourhood of Matavai, removed to Oparre,
attended by several sailing canoes. We were told, that Otoo did not
approve of his being so near our station, where his people could more
easily invade our property. I must do Otoo the justice to say, that he
took every method prudence could suggest to prevent thefts and
robberies; and it was more owing to his regulations than to our
circumspection that so few were committed. He had taken care to erect a
little house or two on the other side of the river, behind our post, and
two others close to our tents, on the bank between the river and the
sea. In all these places some of his own people constantly kept watch;
and his father generally resided on Matavai point; so that we were, in a
manner, surrounded by them. Thus stationed, they not only guarded us in
the night from thieves, but could observe every thing that passed in the
day; and were ready to collect contributions from such girls as had
private connections with our people, which was generally done every
morning. So that the measures adopted by him to secure our safety, at
the same time served the more essential purpose of enlarging his own

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

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

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

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

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

Of those with stages on which they fight, or what they call their
war-canoes, there were about sixty, with near as many more of a smaller
size. I was ready to have attended them to Oparre; but, soon after, a
resolution was taken by the chiefs, that they should not move till the
next day. I looked upon this to be a fortunate delay, as it afforded me
a good opportunity to get some insight into their manner of fighting.
With this view, I expressed my wish to Otoo that he would order some of
them to go through the necessary manœuvres. Two were, accordingly,
ordered out into the bay, in one of which Otoo, Mr. King, and myself
embarked, and Omai went on board the other. When we had got sufficient
sea-room, we faced and advanced upon each other, and retreated by turns,
as quick as our rowers could paddle. During this, the warriors on the
stages flourished their weapons, and played a hundred antic tricks,
which could answer no other end, in my judgment, than to work up their
passions, and prepare them for fighting. Otoo stood by the side of our
stage, and gave the necessary orders when to advance and when to
retreat. In this, great judgment and a quick eye combined together
seemed requisite, to seize every advantage that might offer, and to
avoid giving any advantage to the adversary. At last, after advancing
and retreating from each other at least a dozen times, the two canoes
closed head to head, or stage to stage; and, after a short conflict, the
troops on our stage were supposed to be all killed, and we were boarded
by Omai and his associates. At that very instant, Otoo and all our
paddlers leaped overboard, as if reduced to the necessity of
endeavouring to save their lives by swimming.

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

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

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

                               CHAP. IV.


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

I had but just time to get into my boat, when news was brought, that
Towha had concluded a treaty with Maheine, and had returned with his
fleet to Attahooroo. This unexpected event made all further proceedings
in the military way quite unnecessary, and the war-canoes, instead of
rendezvousing at Oparre, were ordered home to their respective
districts. This alteration, however, did not hinder me from following
Otoo to Oparre, accompanied by Mr. King and Omai. Soon after our
arrival, and while dinner was preparing, a messenger arrived from Eimeo,
and related the conditions of the peace, or rather of the truce, it
being only for a limited time. The terms were disadvantageous to
Otaheite; and much blame was thrown upon Otoo, whose delay in sending
reinforcements had obliged Towha to submit to a disgraceful
accommodation. It was even currently reported, that Towha, resenting his
not being supported, had declared, that as soon as I could leave the
island he would join his forces to those of Tiaraboo, and attack Otoo at
Matavai or Oparre. This called upon me to declare, in the most public
manner, that I was determined to espouse the interest of my friend
against any such combination; and that whoever presumed to attack him,
should feel the weight of my heavy displeasure, when I returned again to
their island. My declaration probably had the desired effect; and if
Towha had any such hostile intention at first, we soon heard no more of
the report. Whappai, Otoo’s father, highly disapproved of the peace, and
blamed Towha very much for concluding it. This sensible old man wisely
judged, that my going down with them to Eimeo must have been of singular
service to their cause, though I should take no other part whatever in
the quarrel. And it was upon this that he built his arguments, and
maintained that Otoo had acted properly by waiting for me, though this
had prevented his giving assistance to Towha so soon as he expected.

Our debates at Oparre, on this subject, were hardly ended, before a
messenger arrived from Towha, desiring Otoo’s attendance the next day at
the _morai_ in Attahooroo, to give thanks to the gods for the peace he
had concluded; at least such was Omai’s account to me of the object of
this solemnity. I was asked to go; but being much out of order was
obliged to decline it. Desirous, however, of knowing what ceremonies
might be observed on so memorable an occasion, I sent Mr. King and Omai,
and returned on board my ship, attended by Otoo’s mother, his three
sisters, and eight more women. At first I thought that this numerous
train of females came into my boat with no other view than to get a
passage to Matavai. But when we arrived at the ship, they told me, they
intended passing the night on board, for the express purpose of
undertaking the cure of the disorder I complained of; which was a pain
of the rheumatic kind, extending from the hip to the foot. I accepted
the friendly offer, had a bed spread for them upon the cabin floor, and
submitted myself to their directions. I was desired to lay myself down
amongst them. Then, as many of them as could get round me, began to
squeeze me with both hands, from head to foot, but more particularly on
the parts where the pain was lodged, till they made my bones crack, and
my flesh became a perfect mummy. In short, after undergoing this
discipline about a quarter of an hour, I was glad to get away from them.
However, the operation gave me immediate relief, which encouraged me to
submit to another rubbing-down before I went to bed; and it was so
effectual, that I found myself pretty easy all the night after. My
female physicians repeated their prescription the next morning, before
they went ashore, and again, in the evening, when they returned on
board; after which, I found the pains entirely removed; and the cure
being perfected, they took their leave of me the following morning. This
they call _romee_; an operation which, in my opinion, far exceeds the
flesh-brush, or any thing of the kind that we make use of externally. It
is universally practised amongst these islanders; being sometimes
performed by the men, but more generally by the women. If, at any time,
one appears languid and tired, and sits down by any one of them, they
immediately begin to practise the _romee_ upon his legs; and I have
always found it to have an exceeding good effect.[6]

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

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

“The next morning, the _ava_ was in great plenty. One man drank so much
that he lost his senses. I should have supposed him to be in a fit, from
the convulsions that agitated him. Two men held him, and kept plucking
off his hair by the roots. I left this spectacle to see another more
affecting. This was the meeting of Towha and his wife, and a young girl,
whom I understood to be his daughter. After the ceremony of cutting
their heads, and discharging a tolerable quantity of blood and tears,
they washed, embraced the chief, and seemed unconcerned. But the young
girl’s sufferings were not yet come to an end. Terridiri[7] arrived; and
she went, with great composure, to repeat the same ceremonies to him,
which he had just performed on meeting her father. Towha had brought a
large war-canoe from Eimeo. I enquired if he had killed the people
belonging to her; and was told, that there was no man in her when she
was captured.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have already mentioned the visit that I had from one of the two
natives of this island, who had been carried by the Spaniards to Lima. I
never saw him afterward; which I rather wondered at, as I had received
him with uncommon civility. I believe, however, that Omai had kept him
at a distance from me, by some rough usage; jealous that there should be
another traveller upon the island who might vie with himself. Our
touching at Teneriffe was a fortunate circumstance for Omai; as he
prided himself in having visited a place belonging to Spain, as well as
this man. I did not meet with the other, who had returned from Lima; but
Captain Clerke, who had seen him, spoke of him as a low fellow, and as a
little out of his senses. His own countrymen, I found, agreed in the
same account of him. In short, these two adventurers seemed to be held
in no esteem. They had not, indeed, been so fortunate as to return home
with such valuable acquisitions of property as we had bestowed upon
Omai; and with the advantages he reaped from his voyage to England, it
must be his own fault if he should sink into the same state of

                                CHAP. V.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Having employed two or three days in getting up all our spirit-casks to
tar their heads, which we found necessary to save them from the efforts
of a small insect to destroy them, we hauled the ship off into the
stream on the 6th, in the morning, intending to put to sea the next day;
but an accident happened that prevented it, and gave me a good deal of
trouble. We had sent our goats ashore in the day time to graze, with two
men to look after them; notwithstanding which precaution, the natives
had contrived to steal one of them this evening. The loss of this goat
would have been of little consequence, if it had not interfered with my
views of stocking other islands with these animals; but this being the
case, it became necessary to recover it, if possible. The next morning
we got intelligence, that it had been carried to Maheine, the chief, who
was at this time at Parowroah harbour. Two old men offered to conduct
any of my people whom I might think proper to send to him, to bring back
the goat. Accordingly, I dispatched them in a boat, charged with a
threatening message to Maheine, if the goat was not immediately given up
to me, and also the thief.

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

Not thinking that any one would dare to steal a second, at the very time
I was taking measures to recover the first, the goats were put ashore
again this morning; and in the evening a boat was sent to bring them on
board. As our people were getting them into the boat, one was carried
off undiscovered. It being immediately missed, I made no doubt of
recovering it without much trouble, as there had not been time to carry
it to any considerable distance. Ten or twelve of the natives set out
soon after, different ways, to bring it back or to look for it; for not
one of them would own that it was stolen, but all tried to persuade us
that it had strayed into the woods; and, indeed, I thought so myself. I
was convinced to the contrary, however, when I found that none of those
who went in pursuit of it returned; so that their only view was to amuse
me, till their prize was beyond my reach; and, night coming on, put a
stop to all further search. About this time the boat returned with the
other goat, bringing also one of the men who had stolen it; the first
instance of the kind that I had met with amongst these islands.

The next morning, I found that most of the inhabitants in the
neighbourhood had moved off, carrying with them a corpse which lay on a
_toopapaoo_ opposite the ship; and that Maheine himself had retired to
the most distant part of the island. It seemed now no longer doubtful,
that a plan had been laid to steal what I had refused to give; and that,
though they had restored one, they were resolved to keep the other;
which was a she-goat and big with kid. I was equally fixed in my
resolution that they should not keep it. I therefore applied to the two
old men who had been instrumental in getting back the first. They told
me, that this had been carried to Watea, a district on the south side of
the island, by Hamoa, the chief of that place; but that, if I would send
any body for it, it would be delivered up. They offered to conduct some
of my people cross the island; but on my learning from them that a boat
might go and return the same day, I sent one, with two petty officers,
Mr. Roberts and Mr. Shuttleworth; one to remain with the boat, in case
she could not get to the place, while the other should go with the
guides, and one or two of our people.

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

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

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

As we began to ascend the ridge of hills over which lay our road, we got
intelligence that the goat had been carried that way before us; and, as
we understood, could not as yet have passed the hills; so that we
marched up in great silence, in hopes of surprizing the party who were
bearing off the prize. But when we had got to the uppermost plantation
on side of the ridge, the people there told us, that what we were in
search of had, indeed, been kept there the first night, but had been
carried the next morning to Watea by Hamoa. We then crossed the ridge
without making any further enquiry, till we came within sight of Watea,
where some people showed us Hamoa’s house, and told us that the goat was
there, so that I made no doubt of getting it immediately upon my
arrival. But when I reached the house, to my very great surprize, the
few people we met with denied that they had ever seen it, or knew any
thing about it; even Hamoa himself came and made the same declaration.

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

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

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

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

The next morning our intercourse with the natives was renewed; and
several canoes brought to the ships bread-fruit and cocoa-nuts to
barter; from whence it was natural for me to draw this conclusion, that
they were conscious it was their own fault, if I had treated them with
severity; and that the cause of my displeasure being removed, they had a
full confidence that no further mischief would ensue. About nine o’clock
we weighed, with a breeze down the harbour; but it proved so faint and
variable, that it was noon before we got out to sea, when I steered for
Huaheine, attended by Omai in his canoe. He did not depend entirely upon
his own judgment, but had got on board a pilot. I observed, that they
shaped as direct a course for the island as I could do.

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

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

[Illustration: _View of Huaheine._]

                               CHAP. VI.


Having left Eimeo, with a gentle breeze and fine weather, at day-break
the next morning we saw Huaheine, extending from south-west by west,
half west, to west by north. At noon we anchored at the north entrance
of Owharre harbour[8], which is on the west side of the island. The
whole afternoon was spent in warping the ships into a proper birth, and
mooring. Omai entered the harbour just before us, in his canoe, but did
not land. Nor did he take much notice of any of his countrymen, though
many crowded to see him; but far more of them came off to the ships,
insomuch that we could hardly work on account of their numbers. Our
passengers presently acquainted them with what we had done at Eimeo, and
multiplied the number of houses and canoes that we had destroyed, by ten
at least. I was not sorry for this exaggerated account; as I saw that it
made a great impression upon all who heard it; so that I had hopes it
would induce the inhabitants of this island to behave better to us than
they had done during my former visits.

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

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

After the hurry of the morning was over, we got ready to pay a formal
visit to Taireetareea, meaning then to introduce his business. Omai
dressed himself very properly on the occasion; and prepared a handsome
present for the chief himself, and another for his _Eatooa_. Indeed,
after he had got clear of the gang that surrounded him at Otaheite, he
behaved with such prudence as to gain respect. Our landing drew most of
our visitors from the ships; and they, as well as those that were on
shore, assembled in a large house. The concourse of people, on this
occasion, was very great; and amongst them, there appeared to be a
greater proportion of personal men and women than we had ever seen in
one assembly at any of these new islands. Not only the bulk of the
people seemed in general much stouter and fairer than those of Otaheite,
but there was also a much greater number of men who appeared to be of
consequence, in proportion to the extent of the island; most of whom had
exactly the corpulent appearance of the chiefs of Wateeo. We waited some
time for Taireetareea, as I would do nothing till the _Earee rahie_
came; but when he appeared, I found that his presence might have been
dispensed with, as he was not above eight or ten years of age. Omai, who
stood at a little distance from this circle of great men, began with
making his offering to the gods, consisting of red feathers, cloth, &c.
Then followed another offering, which was to be given to the gods by the
chief; and, after that, several other small pieces and tufts of red
feathers were presented. Each article was laid before one of the
company, who, I understood, was a priest, and was delivered with a set
speech or prayer, spoken by one of Omai’s friends, who sat by him, but
mostly dictated by himself. In these prayers, he did not forget his
friends in England, nor those who had brought him safe back. The _Earee
rahie no Pretane_, Lord Sandwich, _Toote_, _Tatee_[9], were mentioned in
every one of them. When Omai’s offerings and prayers were finished, the
priest took each article, in the same order in which it had been laid
before him, and after repeating a prayer, sent it to the _morai_; which,
as Omai told us, was at a great distance, otherwise the offerings would
have been made there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 _Georgius Tertius, Rex, 2 Novembris, 1777._
 _Naves_ } _Resolution, Jac. Cook, Pr._
         } _Discovery, Car. Clerke, Pr._

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

It was no small satisfaction to reflect, that we had brought him safe
back to the very spot from which he was taken. And yet, such is the
strange nature of human affairs, that it is probable we left him in a
less desirable situation, than he was in before his connexion with us. I
do not by this mean, that, because he has tasted the sweets of civilised
life, he must become more miserable from being obliged to abandon all
thoughts of continuing them. I confine myself to this single
disagreeable circumstance, that the advantages he received from us, have
placed him in a more hazardous situation, with respect to his personal
safety. Omai, from being much caressed in England, lost sight of his
original condition; and never considered in what manner his
acquisitions, either of knowledge or of riches, would be estimated by
his countrymen at his return; which were the only things he could have
to recommend him to them now, more than before, and on which he could
build either his future greatness or happiness. He seemed even to have
mistaken their genius in this respect; and, in some measure, to have
forgotten their customs; otherwise he must have known the extreme
difficulty there would be in getting himself admitted as a person of
rank, where there is, perhaps, no instance of a man’s being raised from
an inferior station by the greatest merit. Rank seems to be the very
foundation of all distinction here, and, of its attendant, power; and so
pertinaciously, or rather blindly adhered to, that, unless a person has
some degree of it, he will certainly be despised and hated, if he
assumes the appearance of exercising any authority. This was really the
case, in some measure, with Omai; though his countrymen were pretty
cautious of expressing their sentiments while we remained among them.
Had he made a proper use of the presents he brought with him from
England, this, with the knowledge he had acquired by travelling so far,
might have enabled him to form the most useful connections; but we have
given too many instances, in the course of our narrative, of his
childish inattention to this obvious means of advancing his interest.
His schemes seemed to be of a higher, though ridiculous nature; indeed,
I might say, meaner; for revenge, rather than a desire of becoming
great, appeared to actuate him from the beginning. This, however, may be
excused, if we consider that it is common to his countrymen. His father
was, doubtless, a man of considerable property in Ulietea, when that
island was conquered by those of Bolabola, and, with many others, sought
refuge in Huaheine, where he died, and left Omai with some other
children, who by that means became totally dependent. In this situation
he was taken up by Captain Furneaux, and carried to England. Whether he
really expected, from his treatment there, that any assistance would be
given him against the enemies of his father and his country, or whether
he imagined that his own personal courage and superiority of knowledge
would be sufficient to dispossess the conquerors of Ulietea, is
uncertain; but, from the beginning of the voyage, this was his constant
theme. He would not listen to our remonstrances on so wild a
determination, but flew into a passion, if more moderate and reasonable
counsels were proposed for his advantage. Nay, so infatuated and
attached to his favourite scheme was he, that he affected to believe
these people would certainly quit the conquered island, as soon as they
should hear of his arrival at Otaheite. As we advanced, however, on our
voyage, he became more sensible of his error; and, by the time we
reached the Friendly Islands, had even such apprehensions of his
reception at home, that, as I have mentioned in my journal, he would
fain have staid behind at Tongataboo, under Feenou’s protection. At
these islands he squandered away much of his European treasure very
unnecessarily; and he was equally imprudent, as I also took notice of
above, at Tiaraboo, where he could have no view of making friends, as he
had not any intention of remaining there. At Matavai, he continued the
same inconsiderate behaviour, till I absolutely put a stop to his
profusion; and he formed such improper connections there, that Otoo, who
was at first much disposed to countenance him, afterward openly
expressed his dislike of him, on account of his conduct. It was not,
however, too late to recover his favour; and he might have settled to
great advantage in Otaheite, as he had formerly lived several years
there, and was now a good deal noticed by Towha, whose valuable present
of a very large double canoe we have seen above. The objection to
admitting him to some rank would have also been much lessened, if he had
fixed at Otaheite; as a native will always find it more difficult to
accomplish such a change of state amongst his countrymen, than a
stranger, who naturally claims respect. But Omai remained undetermined
to the last, and would not, I believe, have adopted my plan of
settlement in Huaheine, if I had not so explicitly refused to employ
force in restoring him to his father’s possessions. Whether the remains
of his European wealth, which, after all his improvident waste, was
still considerable, will be more prudently administered by him, or
whether the steps I took, as already explained, to insure him protection
in Huaheine, shall have proved effectual, must be left to the decision
of future navigators of this ocean, with whom it cannot but be a
principal object of curiosity to trace the future fortunes of our
traveller. At present, I can only conjecture, that his greatest danger
will arise from the very impolitic declarations of his antipathy to the
inhabitants of Bolabola; for these people, from a principle of jealousy,
will, no doubt, endeavour to render him obnoxious to those of Huaheine;
as they are at peace with that island at present, and may easily effect
their designs, many of them living there. This is a circumstance which,
of all others, he might the most easily have avoided; for they were not
only free from any aversion to him, but the person mentioned before,
whom we found at Tiaraboo as an ambassador, priest, or god, absolutely
offered to reinstate him in the property that was formerly his father’s.
But he refused this peremptorily; and, to the very last, continued
determined to take the first opportunity that offered of satisfying his
revenge in battle. To this, I guess, he is not a little spurred by the
coat of mail he brought from England; clothed in which, and in
possession of some fire-arms, he fancies that he shall be invincible.

Whatever faults belonged to Omai’s character, they were more than
overbalanced by his great good nature and docile disposition. During the
whole time he was with me, I very seldom had reason to be seriously
displeased with his general conduct. His grateful heart always retained
the highest sense of the favours he had received in England; nor will he
ever forget those who honoured him with their protection and friendship,
during his stay there. He had a tolerable share of understanding, but
wanted application and perseverance to exert it; so that his knowledge
of things was very general, and, in many instances, imperfect. He was
not a man of much observation. There were many useful arts, as well as
elegant amusements, amongst the people of the Friendly Islands, which he
might have conveyed to his own, where they probably would have been
readily adopted, as being so much in their own way. But I never found
that he used the least endeavour to make himself master of any one. This
kind of indifference is, indeed, the characteristic foible of his
nation. Europeans have visited them, at times, for these ten years past;
yet we could not discover the slightest trace of any attempt to profit
by this intercourse; nor have they hitherto copied after us in any one
thing. We are not, therefore, to expect that Omai will be able to
introduce many of our arts and customs among them, or much improve those
to which they have been long habituated. I am confident, however, that
he will endeavour to bring to perfection the various fruits and
vegetables we planted, which will be no small acquisition. But the
greatest benefit these islands are likely to receive from Omai’s
travels, will be in the animals that have been left upon them, which,
probably, they never would have got, had he not come to England. When
these multiply, of which I think there is little doubt, Otaheite and the
Society Islands will equal, if not exceed, any place in the known world
for provisions.

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

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

                               CHAP. VII.


The boat which carried Omai ashore never to join us again, having
returned to the ship with the remainder of the hawser, we hoisted her
in, and immediately stood over for Ulietea, where I intended to touch
next. At ten o’clock at night, we brought to till four the next morning,
when we made sail round the south end of the island for the harbour of
Ohamaneno.[10] We met with calms and light airs of wind from different
directions, by turns, so that at noon we were still a league from the
entrance of the harbour. While we were thus detained, my old friend
Oreo, chief of the island, with his son, and Pootoe, his son-in-law,
came off to visit us.

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

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

On the 6th, we set up the observatories, and got the necessary
instruments on shore. The two following days, we observed the sun’s
azimuths, both on board and ashore, with all the compasses, in order to
find the variation; and in the night of the latter, we observed an
occultation of ς _Capricorni_, by the moon’s dark limb. Mr. Bayly and I
agreed in fixing the time of its happening at six minutes and fifty-four
seconds and a half past ten o’clock. Mr. King made it half a second
sooner. Mr. Bayly observed with the achromatic telescope belonging to
the Board of Longitude; Mr. King, with the reflector belonging to the
board; and I made use of my own reflector, of eighteen inches. There was
also an immersion of π _Capricorni_ behind the moon’s dark limb, some
time before; but it was observed by Mr. Bayly alone. I attempted to
trace it, with a small achromatic; but found its magnifying power not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                               J. COOK.”

“_To Captain Charles Clerke, Commander of
  his Majesty’s Sloop the Discovery._”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was evident, however, from several corroborating circumstances, that
the design of seizing Captain Clerke had really been in agitation
amongst the natives. Nay, they made no secret in speaking of it the next
day. But their first and great plan of operations was to have laid hold
of me. It was my custom every evening to bathe in the fresh water. Very
often I went alone, and always without arms. Expecting me to go as usual
this evening, they had determined to seize me, and Captain Clerke too,
if he had accompanied me. But I had, after confining Oreo’s family,
thought it prudent to avoid putting myself in their power; and had
cautioned Captain Clerke and the officers not to go far from the ships.
In the course of the afternoon, the chief asked me, three several times,
if I would not go to the bathing-place; and when he found, at last, that
I could not be prevailed upon, he went off with the rest of his people,
in spite of all I could do or say to stop him. But as I had no suspicion
at this time of their design, I imagined that some sudden fright had
seized them, which would, as usual, soon be over. Finding themselves
disappointed as to me, they fixed on those who were more in their power.
It was fortunate for all parties, that they did not succeed; and not
less fortunate that no mischief was done on the occasion; for not a
musket was fired, except two or three to stop the canoes. To that
firing, perhaps, Messrs. Clerke and Gore owed their safety[11]; for at
that very instant, a party of the natives armed with clubs were
advancing toward them; and on hearing the report of the muskets, they

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

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

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

Oreo, the chief, being uneasy as well as myself, that no account had
been received from Bolabola, set out this evening for that island, and
desired me to follow down the next day with the ships. This was my
intention; but the wind which kept us in the harbour, brought Oreo back
from Bolabola with the two deserters. They had reached Otaha the same
night they deserted; but finding it impossible to get to any of the
islands to the eastward (which was their intention), for want of wind,
they had proceeded to Bolabola, and from thence to the small island
Toobaee, where they were taken by the father of Pootoe, in consequence
of the first message sent to Opoony. As soon as they were on board, the
three prisoners were released. Thus ended an affair which had given me
much trouble and vexation. Nor would I have exerted myself so resolutely
on the occasion, but for the reason before-mentioned, and to save the
son of a brother officer from being lost to his country.

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

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

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

We saw a similar instance of this while we were at Ulietea. One of the
occasional visitors I now had, was my old friend Oree, the late chief of
Huaheine. He still preserved his consequence; came always at the head of
a numerous body of attendants; and was always provided with such
presents as were very acceptable. This chief looked much better now than
I had ever seen him during either of my former voyages.[12] I could
account for his improving in health as he grew older, only from his
drinking less copiously of the _ava_ in his present station as a private
gentleman, than he had been accustomed to do when he was regent.

                              CHAP. VIII.


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

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

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

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

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

The harbour of Bolabola, called Oteavanooa, situated on the west side of
the island, is one of the most capacious that I ever met with; and
though we did not enter it, it was a satisfaction to me, that I had an
opportunity of employing my people to ascertain its being a proper place
for the reception of ships.[13]

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

But still, when we consider its very small extent, being not more than
eight leagues in compass, it is rather remarkable, that its people
should have attempted, or have been able to achieve the conquest of
Ulietea and Otaha, the former of which islands is, of itself, at least
double its size. In each of my three voyages, we had heard much of the
war that produced this great revolution. The result of our inquiries, as
to the circumstances attending it, may amuse the reader; and I give it
as a specimen of the history of our friends in this part of the world,
as related to us[14] by themselves.

Ulietea and Otaha, which adjoins it, lived long in friendship, or, as
the natives express it, were considered as two brothers, inseparable by
any interested views. They also admitted the island of Huaheine as their
friend, though not so intimate. Otaha, however, like a traitor, leagued
with Bolabola, and they resolved jointly to attack Ulietea; whose people
called in their friends of Huaheine, to assist them against these two
powers. The men of Bolabola were encouraged by a priestess, or rather
prophetess, who foretold, that they should be successful; and as a proof
of the certainty of her prediction, she desired, that a man might be
sent to the sea, at a particular place, where, from a great depth, a
stone would ascend. He went, accordingly, in a canoe to the place
mentioned; and was going to dive to see where this stone lay, when,
behold, it started up to the surface spontaneously into his hand! The
people were astonished at the sight; the stone was deposited as sacred
in the house of the _Eatooa_; and is still preserved at Bolabola, as a
proof of this woman’s influence with the divinity. Their spirits being
thus elevated with the hopes of victory, the canoes of Bolabola set out
to engage those of Ulietea and Huaheine, which being strongly fastened
together with ropes, the encounter lasted long, and would probably,
notwithstanding the prediction and the miracle, have ended in the
overthrow of the Bolabola fleet, if that of Otaha had not, in the
critical moment, arrived. This turned the fortune of the day, and their
enemies were defeated with great slaughter. The men of Bolabola,
prosecuting their victory, invaded Huaheine two days after, which they
knew must be weakly defended, as most of its warriors were absent.
Accordingly, they made themselves masters of that island. But many of
its fugitives having got to Otaheite, there told their lamentable story;
which so grieved those of their countrymen, and of Ulietea, whom they
met with in that island, that they obtained some assistance from them.
They were equipped with only ten fighting canoes; but, though their
force was so inconsiderable, they conducted the expedition with so much
prudence, that they landed at Huaheine at night, when dark, and falling
upon the Bolabola men by surprise killed many of them, forcing the rest
to fly. So that, by this means, they got possession of their island
again, which now remains independent, under the government of its own
chiefs. Immediately after the defeat of the united fleets of Ulietea and
Huaheine, a proposal was made to the Bolabola men by their allies of
Otaha, to be admitted to an equal share of the conquests. The refusal of
this broke the alliance; and in the course of the war, Otaha itself, as
well as Ulietea, was conquered; and both now remain subject to Bolabola;
the chiefs who govern them being only deputies of Opoony, the sovereign
of that island. In the reduction of the two islands, five battles were
fought, at different places, in which great numbers were slain on both

Such was the account we received. I have more than once remarked, how
very imperfectly these people recollect the exact dates of past events.
And with regard to this war, though it happened not many years ago, we
could only guess at the time of its commencement and its conclusion,
from collateral circumstances, furnished by our own observation, as the
natives could not satisfy our inquiries with any precision. The final
conquest of Ulietea, which closed the war, we know, had been made before
I was there in the Endeavour, in 1769; but we may infer, that peace had
not been very long restored, as we could see marks of recent
hostilities[15] having been committed upon that island. Some additional
light may be thrown upon this inquiry, by attending to the age of
Teereetareea, the present chief of Huaheine. His looks showed, that he
was not above ten or twelve years old; and we were informed, that his
father had been killed at one of the battles. As to the time when the
war began, we had no better rule for judging, than this, that the young
people of about twenty years of age, of whom we made inquiries, could
scarcely remember the first battles; and I have already mentioned, that
Omai’s countrymen, whom we found at Wateeoo, knew nothing of this war;
so that its commencement was subsequent to their voyage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Place.           Latitude.    Longitude.   Variation of Dip of the
                      South.       East.        the Compass. Needle.

 Matavai Point,       17° 29-1/4ʹ  210° 22ʹ 28ʺ 5° 34ʹ East  29° 12ʹ

 Owharree Harbour,    16  42-3/4   208  52  24  5  13-1/2    28  28
 Huaheine                                       East

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

The longitude of the three several places is deduced from the mean of
145 sets of observations made on shore; some at one place, and some at
another; and carried on to each of the stations by the time-keeper. As
the situation of these places was very accurately settled during my
former voyages, the above observations were now made chiefly with a view
of determining how far a number of lunar observations might be depended
upon, and how near they would agree with those made upon the same spot
in 1769, which fixed Matavai Point to be 201° 27ʹ 30ʺ. The difference,
it appears, is only of 5ʹ 2ʺ; and, perhaps, no other method could have
produced a more perfect agreement. Without pretending to say which of
the two computations is the nearest the truth, the longitude of 210° 22ʹ
28ʺ, or, which is the same thing, 208° 25ʹ 22ʺ, will be the longitude we
shall reckon from with the time-keeper, allowing it to be losing, on
mean time, 1.ʺ69 each day, as found by the mean of all the observations
made at these islands for that purpose.

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

 by { Greenwich rate,  1° 18ʹ 58ʺ
    { Tongataboo rate, 0° 16ʹ 40ʺ

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

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

    Day of                      Mean time   Perpendicular
     the      Water at stand,       of          rise.
    Month. from         to      High Water.    Inches.

 No. 6.  11^h 15^m  12^h 20^m     11^h 48^m     5, 5
     7.  11   40     1   00       12   20       5, 2
     8.  11   35    12   50       12   12       5, 0
     9.  11   40     1   16       12   28       5, 5
    10.  11   25     1   10       12   18       6, 5
    11.  12   00     1   40       12   20       5, 0
    12.  11   00     1   05       12   02       5, 7
    13.   9   30    11   40       10   35       8, 0
    14.  11   10    12   50       12   00       8, 0
    15.   9   20    11   30       10   25       9, 2
    16.  10   00    12   00       11   00       9, 0
    17.  10   45    12   15       10   30       8, 5
    18.  10   25    12   10       11   18       9, 0
    19.  11   00     1   00       12   00       8, 0
    20.  11   30     2   00       12   45       7, 0
    21.  11   00     1   00       12   00       8, 0
    22.  11   30     1   07       12   18       8, 0
    23.  12   00     1   30       12   45       6, 5
    24.  11   30     1   40       12   35       5, 5
    25.  11   40     1   50       12   45       4, 7
    26.  11   00     1   30       12   15       5, 2

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

                               CHAP. IX.


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

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

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

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

Perhaps there is scarcely a spot in the universe that affords a more
luxuriant prospect than the south-east part of Otaheite. The hills are
high and steep; and, in many places, craggy. But they are covered to the
very summits with trees and shrubs, in such a manner, that the spectator
can scarcely help thinking that the very rocks possess the property of
producing and supporting their verdant clothing. The flat land which
bounds those hills toward the sea, and the interjacent valleys, also
teem with various productions that grow with the most exuberant vigour;
and at once fill the mind of the beholder with the idea that no place
upon earth can outdo this in the strength and beauty of vegetation.
Nature has been no less liberal in distributing rivulets, which are
found in every valley; and as they approach the sea, often divide into
two or three branches, fertilizing the flat lands through which they
run. The habitations of the natives are scattered, without order, upon
the flats; and many of them appearing toward the shore, presented a
delightful scene, viewed from our ships; especially as the sea, within
the reef, which bounds the coast, is perfectly still, and affords a safe
navigation at all times for the inhabitants, who are often seen paddling
in their canoes indolently along, in passing from place to place, or in
going to fish. On viewing these charming scenes, I have often regretted
my inability to transmit to those who have had no opportunity of seeing
them, such a description as might, in some measure, convey an impression
similar to what must be felt by every one who has been fortunate enough
to be upon the spot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The language of Otaheite, though doubtless radically the same with that
of New Zealand and the Friendly Islands, is destitute of that guttural
pronunciation, and of some consonants, with which those latter dialects
abound. The specimens we have already given, are sufficient to mark
wherein the variation chiefly consists, and to show that, like the
manners of the inhabitants, it has become soft and soothing. During the
former voyage, I had collected a copious vocabulary, which enabled me
the better to compare this dialect with that of the other islands; and,
during this voyage, I took every opportunity of improving my
acquaintance with it, by conversing with Omai before we arrived, and by
my daily intercourse with the natives while we now remained there.[16]
It abounds with beautiful and figurative expressions, which, were it
perfectly known, would, I have no doubt, put it upon a level with many
of the languages that are most in esteem for their warmth and bold
images. For instance, the Otaheitans express their notions of death very
emphatically, by saying, “That the soul goes into darkness; or rather
into night.” And, if you seem to entertain any doubt, in asking the
question, “if such a person is their mother,” they immediately reply
with surprize, “Yes; the mother that bore me.” They have one expression
that corresponds exactly with the phraseology of the scriptures, where
we read of the “yearning of the bowels.” They use it on all occasions,
when the passions give them uneasiness; as they constantly refer pain
from grief, anxious desire, and other affections, to the bowels, as its
seat; where they likewise suppose all operations of the mind are
performed. Their language admits of that inverted arrangement of words
which so much distinguishes the Latin and Greek from most of our modern
European tongues, whose imperfections require a more orderly
construction, to prevent ambiguities. It is so copious, that for the
bread-fruit alone, in its different states, they have above twenty
names; as many for the _taro_ root; and about ten for the cocoa-nut. Add
to this, that, besides the common dialect, they often expostulate, in a
kind of stanza or recitative, which is answered in the same manner.

Their arts are few and simple; yet, if we may credit them, they perform
cures in surgery which our extensive knowledge in that branch has not,
as yet, enabled us to imitate. In simple fractures, they bind them up
with splints; but if part of the substance of the bone be lost, they
insert a piece of wood between the fractured ends, made hollow like the
deficient part. In five or six days, the _rapaoo_, or surgeon, inspects
the wound, and finds the wood partly covered with the growing flesh. In
as many more days, it is generally entirely covered; after which, when
the patient has acquired some strength, he bathes in the water, and
recovers. We know that wounds will heal over leaden bullets; and
sometimes, though rarely, over other extraneous bodies. But what makes
me entertain some doubt of the truth of so extraordinary skill, as in
the above instance, is, that in other cases which fell under my own
observation, they are far from being so dexterous. I have seen the stump
of an arm, which was taken off after being shattered by a fall from a
tree, that bore no marks of skilful operation, though some allowance be
made for their defective instruments. And I met with a man going about
with a dislocated shoulder, some months after the accident, from their
being ignorant of a method to reduce it; though this be considered as
one of the simplest operations of our surgery. They know that fractures
or luxations of the spine are mortal, but not fractures of the skull;
and they likewise know, from experience, in what parts of the body
wounds prove fatal. They have sometimes pointed out those inflicted by
spears, which, if made in the direction they mentioned, would certainly
have been pronounced deadly by us; and yet these people have recovered.

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

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

Of animal food, a very small portion falls, at any time, to the share of
the lower class of people; and then it is either fish, sea eggs, or
other marine productions; for they seldom or ever eat pork. The _Eree de
hoi_[17] alone is able to furnish pork every day; and inferior chiefs,
according to their riches, once a week, fortnight, or month. Sometimes
they are not even allowed that; for, when the island is impoverished by
war, or other causes, the chief prohibits his subjects to kill any hogs;
and this prohibition, we were told, is in force sometimes for several
months, or even for a year or two. During that restraint, the hogs
multiply so fast, that there are instances of their changing their
domestic state, and turning wild. When it is thought proper to take off
the prohibition, all the chiefs assemble at the king’s place of abode;
and each brings with him a present of hogs. The king then orders some of
them to be killed, on which they feast; and, after that, every one
returns home with liberty to kill what he pleases for his own use. Such
a prohibition was actually in force, on our arrival here; at least, in
all those districts of the island that are immediately under the
direction of Otoo. And, lest it should have prevented our going to
Matavai after leaving Oheitepeha, he sent a message to assure us, that
it should be taken off as soon as the ships arrived there. With respect
to us, we found it so; but we made such a consumption of them, that, I
have no doubt, it would be laid on again as soon as we sailed. A similar
prohibition is also, sometimes extended to fowls.

It is also amongst the better sort that the _ava_ is chiefly used. But
this beverage is prepared somewhat differently from that which we saw so
much of at the Friendly Islands. For they pour a very small quantity of
water upon the root here; and sometimes roast or bake, and bruise the
stalks, without chewing it previously to its infusion. They also use the
leaves of the plant here, which are bruised, and water poured upon them,
as upon the root. Large companies do not assemble to drink it, in that
sociable way which is practised at Tongataboo. But its pernicious
effects are more obvious here; perhaps owing to the manner of preparing
it; as we often saw instances of its intoxicating, or rather stupifying
powers. Some of us, who had been at these islands before, were surprised
to find many people, who, when we saw them last, were remarkable for
their size and corpulency, now almost reduced to skeletons; and, upon
inquiring into the cause of this alteration, it was universally allowed
to be the use of the _ava_. The skins of these people were rough, dry,
and covered with scales; which, they say, every now and then fall off,
and their skin is, as it were, renewed. As an excuse for a practice so
destructive, they allege that it is adopted to prevent their growing too
fat; but it evidently enervates them; and in all probability shortens
their days. As its effects had not been so visible during our former
visits, it is not unlikely that this article of luxury had never been so
much abused as at this time. If it continues to be so fashionable, it
bids fair to destroy great numbers.

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

In other customs respecting the females, there seems to be no such
obscurity; especially as to their connections with the men. If a young
man and woman, from mutual choice, cohabit, the man gives the father of
the girl such things as are necessary in common life; as hogs, cloth, or
canoes, in proportion to the time they are together; and if he thinks
that he has not been sufficiently paid for his daughter, he makes no
scruple of forcing her to leave her friend, and to cohabit with another
person, who may be more liberal. The man, on his part, is always at
liberty to make a new choice; but, should his consort become pregnant,
he may kill the child; and, after that, either continue his connection
with the mother, or leave her. But if he should adopt the child, and
suffer it to live, the parties are then considered as in the married
state, and they commonly live together ever after. However, it is
thought no crime in the man to join a more youthful partner to his first
wife, and to live with both. The custom of changing their connections
is, however, much more general than this last; and it is a thing so
common, that they speak of it with great indifference. The _Erreoes_ are
only those of the better sort, who, from their fickleness, and their
possessing the means of purchasing a succession of fresh connections,
are constantly roaming about; and, from having no particular attachment,
seldom adopt the more settled method mentioned above. And so agreeable
is this licentious plan of life to their disposition, that the most
beautiful of both sexes thus commonly spend their youthful days,
habituated to the practice of enormities which would disgrace the most
savage tribes; but are peculiarly shocking amongst a people whose
general character, in other respects, has evident traces of the
prevalence of humane and tender feelings.[18] When an _Erreoe_ woman is
delivered of a child, a piece of cloth, dipped in water, is applied to
the mouth and nose, which suffocates it.

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

Cutting or inciding the fore-skin should be mentioned here as a practice
adopted amongst them, from a notion of cleanliness; and they have a
reproachful epithet in their language for those who do not observe that
custom. When there are five or six lads, pretty well grown up in a
neighbourhood, the father of one of them goes to a _Tahoua_, or man of
knowledge, and lets him know. He goes with the lads to the top of the
hills, attended by a servant; and seating one of them properly,
introduces a piece of wood underneath the foreskin, and desires him to
look aside at something he pretends is coming. Having thus engaged the
young man’s attention to another object, he cuts through the skin upon
the wood with a shark’s tooth, generally at one stroke. He then
separates, or rather turns back the divided parts; and, having put on a
bandage, proceeds to perform the same operation on the other lads. At
the end of five days they bathe, and the bandages being taken off, the
matter is cleaned away. At the end of five days more, they bathe again,
and are well; but a thickness of the prepuce where it was cut,
remaining, they go again to the mountains with the _Tahoua_ and servant;
and a fire being prepared, and some stones heated, the _Tahoua_ puts the
prepuce between two of them, and squeezes it gently, which removes the
thickness. They return home, having their heads and other parts of their
bodies adorned with odoriferous flowers; and the _Tahoua_ is rewarded
for his services by their fathers, in proportion to their several
abilities, with presents of hogs and cloth; and if they be poor, their
relations are liberal on the occasion.

Their religious system is extensive, and, in many instances, singular;
but few of the common people have a perfect knowledge of it; that being
confined chiefly to their priests, who are pretty numerous. They do not
seem to pay any respect to one God, as possessing pre-eminence, but
believe in a plurality of divinities, who are all very powerful; and in
this case, as different parts of the island, and the other islands in
the neighbourhood, have different ones, the inhabitants of each, no
doubt, think that they have chosen the most eminent, or, at least, one
who is invested with power sufficient to protect them, and to supply all
their wants. If he should not answer their expectations, they think it
no impiety to change; as has very lately happened in Tiaraboo, where, in
the room of the two divinities formerly honoured there, Oraa[19], god of
Bolabola, has been adopted, I should suppose, because he is the
protector of a people who have been victorious in war; and as, since
they have made this change, they have been very successful themselves
against the inhabitants of _Otaheite-nooe_, they impute it entirely to
_Oraa_, who, as they literally say, fights their battles.

Their assiduity in serving their gods is remarkably conspicuous. Not
only the _whattas_, or offering places of the _morais_, are commonly
loaded with fruit and animals, but there are few houses where you do not
meet with a small place of the same sort near them. Many of them are so
rigidly scrupulous, that they will not begin a meal without first laying
aside a morsel for the _Eatooa_; and we had an opportunity, during this
voyage, of seeing their superstitious zeal carried to a most pernicious
height in the instance of human sacrifices; the occasions of offering
which, I doubt, are too frequent. Perhaps they have recourse to them
when misfortunes occur; for they asked, if one of our men, who happened
to be confined when we were detained by a contrary wind, was _taboo_?
Their prayers are also very frequent, which they chant, much after the
manner of the songs in their festive entertainments. And the women, as
in other cases, are also obliged to show their inferiority in religious
observances; for it is required of them, that they should partly uncover
themselves, as they pass the _morais_; or take a considerable circuit to
avoid them. Though they have no notion, that their god must always be
conferring benefits without sometimes forgetting them, or suffering evil
to befall them, they seem to regard this less than the attempts of some
more inauspicious being to hurt them. They tell us, that _Etee_ is an
evil spirit, who sometimes does them mischief; and to whom, as well as
to their god, they make offerings. But the mischiefs they apprehend from
any superior invincible beings, are confined to things merely temporal.

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

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

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

They imagine that their punctual performance of religious offices
procures for them every temporal blessing. And as they believe, that the
animating and powerful influence of the divine spirit is every where
diffused, it is no wonder that they join to this many superstitious
opinions about its operations. Accordingly, they believe that sudden
deaths, and all other accidents, are effected by the immediate action of
some divinity. If a man only stumble against a stone, and hurt his toe,
they impute it to an _Eatooa_; so that they may be literally said,
agreeable to their system, to tread enchanted ground. They are startled,
in the night, on approaching a _toopapaoo_, where the dead are exposed,
in the same manner that many of our ignorant and superstitious people
are with the apprehensions of ghosts, and at the sight of a church-yard;
and they have an equal confidence in dreams, which they suppose to be
communications either from their god, or from the spirits of their
departed friends, enabling those favoured with them to foretel future
events; but this kind of knowledge is confined to particular people.
Omai pretended to have this gift. He told us, that the soul of his
father had intimated to him in a dream, on the 26th of July, 1776, that
he should go on shore, at some place, within three days; but he was
unfortunate in this first attempt to persuade us that he was a prophet;
for it was the 1st of August before we got into Teneriffe. Amongst them,
however, the dreamers possess a reputation little inferior to that of
their inspired priests and priestesses, whose predictions they
implicitly believe, and are determined by them in all undertakings of
consequence. The priestess who persuaded Opoony to invade Ulietea, is
much respected by him; and he never goes to war without consulting her.
They also, in some degree, maintain our old doctrine of planetary
influence; at least, they are sometimes regulated, in their public
counsels, by certain appearances of the moon; particularly when lying
horizontally, or much inclined on the convex part, on its first
appearance after the change, they are encouraged to engage in war, with
confidence of success.

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

They have also many legends, both religious and historical; one of which
latter, relative to the practice of eating human flesh, I shall give the
substance of, as a specimen of their method. A long time since, there
lived in Otaheite two men called _Taheeai_; the only name they yet have
for cannibals. None knew from whence they came, or in what manner they
arrived at the island. Their habitation was in the mountains, from
whence they used to issue, and kill many of the natives, whom they
afterwards devoured, and by that means prevented the progress of
population. Two brothers, determined to rid their country of such a
formidable enemy, used a stratagem for their destruction with success.
These still lived farther upward than the _Taheeai_, and in such a
situation, that they could speak with them without greatly hazarding
their own safety. They invited them to accept of an entertainment that
should be provided for them, to which these readily consented. The
brothers then taking some stones, heated them in a fire, and thrusting
them into pieces of _mahee_, desired one of the _Taheeai_ to open his
mouth. On which, one of these pieces was dropped in, and some water
poured down, which made a boiling or hissing noise in quenching the
stone, and killed him. They intreated the other to do the same; but he
declined it, representing the consequences of his companion’s eating.
However, they assured him that the food was excellent, and its effects
only temporary; for that the other would soon recover. His credulity was
such, that he swallowed the bait, and shared the fate of the first. The
natives then cut them in pieces, which they buried; and conferred the
government of the island on the brothers, as a reward for delivering
them from such monsters. Their residence was in the district called
Whapaeenoo; and, to this day, there remains a bread-fruit tree, once the
property of the _Taheeais_. They had also a woman, who lived with them,
and had two teeth of a prodigious size. After they were killed, she
lived at the island Otaha, and, when dead, was ranked amongst their
deities. She did not eat human flesh, as the men; but, from the size of
her teeth, the natives still call any animal that has a fierce
appearance, or is represented with large tusks, _Taheeai_.

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

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

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

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

The boundaries of the several districts into which Otaheite is divided,
are, generally, either rivulets, or low hills, which, in many places,
jut out into the sea. But the subdivisions into particular property are
marked by large stones, which have remained from one generation to
another. The removal of any of these gives rise to quarrels, which are
decided by arms; each party bringing his friends into the field. But if
any one complain to the _Eree de hoi_, he terminates the difference
amicably. This is an offence, however, not common; and long custom seems
to secure property here as effectually as the most severe laws do in
other countries. In conformity also to ancient practice established
amongst them, crimes of a less general nature are left to be punished by
the sufferer, without referring them to a superior. In this case, they
seem to think that the injured person will judge as equitably as those
who are totally unconcerned; and as long custom has allotted certain
punishments for crimes of different sorts, he is allowed to inflict
them, without being amenable to any other person. Thus, if any one be
caught stealing, which is commonly done in the night, the proprietor of
the goods may put the thief instantly to death; and if any one should
enquire of him after the deceased, it is sufficient to acquit him, if he
only inform them of the provocation he had to kill him. But so severe a
punishment is seldom inflicted, unless the articles that are stolen be
reckoned very valuable; such as breast-plates and plaited hair. If only
cloth, or even hogs be stolen, and the thief escape, upon his being
afterward discovered, if he promise to return the same number of pieces
of cloth, or of hogs, no farther punishment is inflicted. Sometimes,
after keeping out of the way for a few days, he is forgiven, or, at
most, gets a slight beating. If a person kill another in a quarrel, the
friends of the deceased assemble, and engage the survivor and his
adherents. If they conquer, they take possession of the house, lands,
and goods of the other party; but if conquered, the reverse takes place.
If a _Manahoone_ kill the _Toutou_, or slave of a chief, the latter
sends people to take possession of the lands and house of the former,
who flies either to some other part of the island, or to some of the
neighbouring islands. After some months he returns, and finding his
stock of hogs much increased, he offers a large present of those, with
some red feathers, and other valuable articles, to the _Toutou_’s
master, who generally accepts the compensation, and permits him to
repossess his house and lands. This practice is the height of venality
and injustice; and the slayer of the slave seems to be under no farther
necessity of absconding, than to impose upon the lower class of people
who are the sufferers. For it does not appear, that the chief has the
least power to punish this _Manahoone_; but the whole management marks a
collusion between him and his superior, to gratify the revenge of the
former, and the avarice of the latter. Indeed, we need not wonder that
the killing of a man should be considered as so venial an offence,
amongst a people who do not consider it as any crime at all, to murder
their own children. When talking to them about such instances of
unnatural cruelty, and asking, whether the chiefs, or principal people
were not angry, and did not punish them? I was told, that the chief
neither could nor would interfere in such cases; and that every one had
a right to do with his own child what he pleased.

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

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

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

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

                          _Gods of the Isles._

 Huaheine,                   _Tanne._
 Ulietea,                    _Oroo._
 Otaha,                      _Tanne._
 Bolabola,                   _Oraa._
 Mourooa,                    _Otoo, ee weiahoo._
 Toobaee,                     _Tamouee_.
 Tabooymanoo, or            }
   Saunders’s Island,       } _Taroa_.
   which is subject         }
   to Huaheine,             }
 Eimeo,                       _Oroo hadoo_.
           {Otaheite        } _Ooroo_.
           {  nooe,         }
 Otaheite, {                                 {  whom they have
           {Tiaraboo        { _Opoonoa_, and {  lately changed
                            { _Whatooteeree_ {  for Oraa, god
                                             {  of Bolabola.

 Mataia, or Osnaburgh       } _Tooboo, toobooai, Ry maraiva_.
   Island,                  }
 The low isles, Eastward,   } _Tammaree_.

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

 Oanaa, called Oanna in Dalrymple’s Letter to Hawkesworth.
 Otavaoo, where are large pearls.

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

These low isles are, doubtless, the farthest navigation, which those of
Otaheite and the Society Islands perform at present. It seems to be a
groundless supposition, made by Mons. de Bougainville, that they made
voyages of the prodigious extent[20] he mentions; for I found, that it
is reckoned a sort of prodigy, that a canoe once driven by a storm from
Otaheite, should have fallen in with Mopeeha, or Howe’s Island, though
so near, and directly to leeward. The knowledge they have of other
distant islands is no doubt traditional, and has been communicated to
them by the natives of those islands, driven accidentally upon their
coasts, who besides giving them the names, could easily inform them of
the direction in which the places lie from whence they came, and of the
number of days they had been upon the sea. In this manner, it may be
supposed, that the natives of Wateeoo have increased their catalogue by
the addition of Otaheite and its neighbouring isles, from the people we
met with there, and also of the other islands these had heard of. We may
thus account for that extensive knowledge attributed by the gentlemen of
the Endeavour[21] to Tupia in such matters. And with all due deference
to his veracity, I presume that it was by the same means of information,
that he was able to direct the ship to Oheteroa, without having ever
been there himself, as he pretended; which, on many accounts, is very

                                CHAP. X.


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

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

Before I sailed from the Society Islands, I lost no opportunity of
inquiring of the inhabitants, if there were any islands in a N. or a
N. W. direction from them; but I did not find that they knew of any. Nor
did we meet with any thing that indicated the vicinity of land, till we
came to about the latitude of 8° S., where we began to see birds, such
as boobies, tropic, and men-of-war birds, tern, and some other sorts. At
this time, our longitude was 205° E. Mendana, in his first voyage in
1568[22], discovered an island which he named Isla de Jesus, in latitude
6° 45ʹ S., and 1450 leagues from Callao, which is 200° E. longitude from
Greenwich. We crossed this latitude nearly a hundred leagues to the
eastward of this longitude, and saw there many of the above-mentioned
birds; which are seldom known to go very far from land.

In the night, between the 22d and 23d, we crossed the line in the
longitude of 203° 15ʹ E. Here the variation of the compass was 6° 30ʹ E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                      H. M. S.
    { Mr. Bayly}    { 0 26  3 } Apparent Time
 By { Mr. King } at { 0 26  1 } P. M.
    { Myself   }    { 0 25 37 }

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

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

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

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

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

 _Georgius Tertius, Rex, 31 Decembris, 1777._
 _Naves_      { _Resolution, Jac. Cook, Pr._
              { _Discovery, Car. Clerke, Pr._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                               CHAP. XI.


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

On the 19th, at sunrise, the island first seen, bore east several
leagues distant. This being directly to windward, which prevented our
getting near it, I stood for the other, which we could reach; and not
long after discovered a third island in the direction of west
north-west, as far distant as land could be seen. We had now a fine
breeze at east by north; and I steered for the east end of the second
island; which at noon extended from north, half east, to west
north-west, a quarter west, the nearest part being about two leagues
distant. At this time, we were in some doubt whether or no the land
before us was inhabited; but this doubt was soon cleared up, by seeing
some canoes coming off from the shore, toward the ships. I immediately
brought-to, to give them time to join us. They had from three to six men
each; and, on their approach, we were agreeably surprised to find, that
they spoke the language of Otaheite, and of the other islands we had
lately visited. It required but very little address, to get them to come
alongside; but no intreaties could prevail upon any of them to come on
board. I tied some brass medals to a rope, and gave them to those in one
of the canoes, who, in return, tied some small mackerel to the rope as
an equivalent. This was repeated; and some small nails, or bits of iron,
which they valued more than any other article, were given them. For
these they exchanged more fish, and a sweet potatoe; a sure sign that
they had some notion of bartering; or, at least, of returning one
present for another. They had nothing else in their canoes, except some
large gourd shells, and a kind of fishing-net; but one of them offered
for sale the piece of stuff that he wore round his waist, after the
manner of the other islands. These people were of a brown colour; and,
though of the common size, were stoutly made. There was little
difference in the cast of their colour, but a considerable variation in
their features; some of their visages not being very unlike those of
Europeans. The hair of most of them was cropt pretty short; others had
it flowing loose; and, with a few, it was tied in a bunch on the crown
of the head. In all, it seemed to be naturally black; but most of them
had stained it, as is the practice of the Friendly Islanders, with some
stuff which gave it a brown or burnt colour. In general they wore their
beards. They had no ornaments about their persons, nor did we observe
that their ears were perforated; but some were punctured on the hands,
or near the groin, though in a small degree; and the bits of cloth which
they wore, were curiously stained with red, black, and white colours.
They seemed very mild; and had no arms of any kind, if we except some
small stones, which they had evidently brought for their own defence;
and these they threw overboard, when they found that they were not

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

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

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

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

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

Whether these regulations, dictated by humanity, had the desired effect,
or no, time only can discover. I had been equally attentive to the same
object, when I first visited the Friendly Islands; yet I afterward
found, with real concern, that I had not succeeded. And I am much
afraid, that this will always be the case, in such voyages as ours,
whenever it is necessary to have a number of people on shore. The
opportunities and inducements to an intercourse between the sexes are
then too numerous to be guarded against; and however confident we may be
of the health of our men, we are often undeceived too late. It is even a
matter of doubt with me, if it be always in the power of the most
skilful of the faculty to pronounce, with any certainty, whether a
person who has been under their care, in certain stages of this malady,
is so effectually cured, as to leave no possibility of his being still
capable of communicating the taint. I think I could mention some
instances which justify my presuming to hazard this opinion. It is
likewise well known, that, amongst a number of men, there are generally
to be found some so bashful as to endeavour to conceal their labouring
under any symptoms of this disorder. And there are others, again, so
profligate, as not to care to whom they communicate it. Of this last, we
had an instance at Tongataboo, in the gunner of the Discovery, who had
been stationed on shore to manage the trade for that ship. After he knew
that he had contracted this disease, he continued to have connections
with different women, who were supposed not to have already contracted
it. His companions expostulated with him without effect, till Captain
Clerke, hearing of this dangerous irregularity of conduct, ordered him
on board.

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

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

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

[Illustration: _A Morai in Atooi._]

As soon as we landed, a trade was set on foot for hogs and potatoes,
which the people of the island gave us in exchange for nails and pieces
of iron, formed into something like chisels. We met with no obstruction
in watering; on the contrary, the natives assisted our men in rolling
the casks to and from the pool; and readily performed whatever we
required. Every thing thus going on to my satisfaction, and considering
my presence on the spot as unnecessary, I left the command to Mr.
Williamson, who had landed with me, and made an excursion into the
country, up the valley, accompanied by Mr. Anderson and Mr. Webber; the
former of whom was as well qualified to describe with the pen, as the
latter was to represent with his pencil, every thing we might meet with
worthy of observation. A numerous train of natives followed us; and one
of them, whom I had distinguished for his activity in keeping the rest
in order, I made choice of as our guide. This man, from time to time,
proclaimed our approach; and every one whom we met fell prostrate upon
the ground, and remained in that position till we had passed. This, as I
afterward understood, is the mode of paying their respect to their own
great chiefs. As we ranged down the coast from the east, in the ships,
we had observed at every village one or more elevated white objects,
like pyramids or rather obelisks; and one of these, which I guessed to
be at least fifty feet high, was very conspicuous from the ship’s
anchoring station, and seemed to be at no great distance up this valley.
To have a nearer inspection of it, was the principal object of my walk.
Our guide perfectly understood that we wished to be conducted to it. But
it happened to be so placed that we could not get at it, being separated
from us by the pool of water. However, there being another of the same
kind within our reach, about half a mile off, upon our side of the
valley, we set out to visit that. The moment we got to it, we saw that
it stood in a burying-ground, or _morai_; the resemblance of which, in
many respects, to those we were so well acquainted with at other islands
in this ocean, and particularly Otaheite, could not but strike us; and
we also soon found that the several parts that compose it, were called
by the same names. It was an oblong space, of considerable extent,
surrounded by a wall of stone, about four feet high. The space inclosed
was loosely paved with smaller stones; and at one end of it stood what I
call the pyramid, but, in the language of the island, is named
_henananoo_; which appeared evidently to be an exact model of the larger
one, observed by us from the ships. It was about four feet square at the
base, and about twenty feet high. The four sides were composed of small
poles interwoven with twigs and branches, thus forming an indifferent
wicker-work, hollow or open within, from bottom to top. It seemed to be
rather in a ruinous state; but there were sufficient remaining marks to
show that it had originally been covered with a thin, light, grey cloth;
which these people, it should seem, consecrate to religious purposes; as
we could see a good deal of it hanging in different parts of the
_morai_; and some of it had been forced upon me when I first landed. On
each side of the pyramid were long pieces of wicker-work, called
_hereanee_, in the same ruinous condition; with two slender poles,
inclining to each other, at one corner, where some plantains were laid
upon a board, fixed at the height of five or six feet. This they called
_herairemy_; and informed us that the fruit was an offering to their
god, which makes it agree exactly with the _whatta_ of Otaheite. Before
the _henananoo_ were a few pieces of wood, carved into something like
human figures, which, with a stone near two feet high, covered with
pieces of cloth called _hoho_, and consecrated to _Tongarooa_, who is
the god of these people, still more and more reminded us of what we used
to meet with in the _morais_ of the islands we had lately left.[23]
Adjoining to these, on the outside of the _morai_, was a small shed, no
bigger than a dog-kennel, which they called _hareepahoo_; and before it
was a grave, where, as we were told, the remains of a woman lay.

On the farther side of the area of the _morai_, stood a house or shed
about forty feet long, ten broad in the middle, each end being narrower,
and about ten feet high. This, which though much longer, was lower than
their common dwelling-places, we were informed, was called _hemanaa_.
The entrance into it was at the middle of the side, which was in the
_morai_. On the farther side of this house, opposite the entrance, stood
two wooden images cut out of one piece, with pedestals, in all about
three feet high; neither very indifferently designed nor executed. These
were said to be _Eatooa no Veheina_, or representations of goddesses. On
the head of one of them was a carved helmet, not unlike those worn by
the ancient warriors; and on that of the other, a cylindrical cap,
resembling the head-dress at Otaheite, called _tomou_; and both of them
had pieces of cloth tied about the loins, and hanging a considerable way
down. At the side of each was also a piece of carved wood with bits of
the cloth hung on them in the same manner; and between or before the
pedestals lay a quantity of fern in a heap. It was obvious that this had
been deposited there piece by piece, and at different times; for there
was of it, in all states, from what was quite decayed to what was still
fresh and green.

In the middle of the house, and before the two images, was an oblong
space, inclosed by a low edging of stone, and covered with shreds of the
cloth so often mentioned. This, on enquiry, we found was the grave of
seven chiefs, whose names were enumerated, and the place was called
_Heneene_. We had met already with so many striking instances of
resemblance between the burying-place we were now visiting and those of
islands we had lately come from in the South Pacific, that we had little
doubt in our minds that the resemblance existed also in the ceremonies
practised here, and particularly in the horrid one of offering human
sacrifices. Our suspicions were too soon confirmed, by direct evidence.
For, on coming out of the house, just on one side of the entrance, we
saw a small square place, and another still less near it; and on asking
what these were? our guide immediately informed us, that in the one was
buried a man who had been sacrificed; a _Taata_ (_Tanata_ or _Tangata_,
in this country) _taboo_ (_tafoo_, as here pronounced); and in the other
a hog, which had also been made an offering to the divinity. At a little
distance from these, near the middle of the _morai_, were three more of
these square inclosed places, with two pieces of carved wood at each,
and upon them a heap of fern. These, we were told, were the graves of
three chiefs; and before them was an oblong inclosed space, to which our
conductor also gave the name of _Tangata-taboo_; telling us, so
explicitly, that we could not mistake his meaning, that three human
sacrifices had been buried there; that is, one at the funeral of each
chief. It was with most sincere concern, that I could trace on such
undoubted evidence, the prevalence of these bloody rites throughout this
immense ocean, amongst people disjoined by such a distance, and even
ignorant of each other’s existence, though so strongly marked as
originally of the same nation. It was no small addition to this concern
to reflect that every appearance led us to believe that the barbarous
practice was very general here. The island seemed to abound with such
places of sacrifice as this which we were now visiting, and which
appeared to be one of the most inconsiderable of them; being far less
conspicuous than several others which we had seen as we sailed along the
coast, and particularly than that on the opposite side of the water in
this valley; the white _henananoo_, or pyramid, of which we were now
almost sure, derived its colour only from pieces of the consecrated
cloth laid over it. In several parts within the inclosure of this
burying-ground, were planted trees of the _cordia sebestina_, some of
the _morinda citrifolia_, and several plants of the _etee_, or _jejee_
of Tongataboo, with the leaves of which the _hemanaa_ was thatched; and
as I observed that this plant was not made use of in thatching their
dwelling-houses, probably it is reserved entirely for religious

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

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

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

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

We were at a loss to guess from whence they could get such a quantity of
these beautiful feathers; but were soon informed as to one sort; for
they afterward brought great numbers of skins of small red birds for
sale, which were often tied up in bunches of twenty or more, or had a
small wooden skewer run through their nostrils. At the first, those that
were bought consisted only of the skin from behind the wings forward;
but we afterward got many with the hind part, including the tail and
feet. The first, however, struck us at once with the origin of the fable
formerly adopted, of the birds of paradise wanting legs, and
sufficiently explained that circumstance. Probably the people of the
islands east of the Moluccas, from whence the skins of the birds of
paradise are brought, cut off their feet for the very reason assigned by
the people of Atooi for the like practice, which was, that they hereby
can preserve them with greater ease, without losing any part which they
reckon valuable. The red-bird of our island was judged by Mr. Anderson
to be a species of _merops_, about the size of a sparrow, of a beautiful
scarlet colour, with a black tail and wings, and an arched bill twice
the length of the head, which, with the feet, was also of a reddish
colour. The contents of the heads were taken out, as in the birds of
paradise; but it did not appear that they used any other method to
preserve them than by simple drying, for the skins, though moist, had
neither a taste nor smell that could give room to suspect the use of
anti-putrescent substances.[24]

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

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

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

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

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

We had light airs and calms, by turns, with showers of rain, all night;
and at day-break, in the morning of the 24th, we found, that the
currents had carried the ship to the north-west and north; so that the
west end of the island, upon which we had been, called Atooi by the
natives, bore east, one league distant; another island, called Oreehoua,
west by south; and the high land of a third island, called Oneeheow,
from south-west by west, to west south-west. Soon after, a breeze sprung
up at north; and, as I expected that this would bring the Discovery to
sea, I steered for Oneeheow, in order to take a nearer view of it, and
to anchor there, if I should find a convenient place. I continued to
steer for it, till past eleven o’clock, at which time we were about two
leagues from it. But not seeing the Discovery, and being doubtful
whether they could see us, I was fearful lest some ill consequence might
attend our separating so far, I therefore gave up the design of visiting
Oneeheow for the present, and stood back to Atooi, with an intent to
anchor again in the road, to complete our water. At two o’clock in the
afternoon, the northerly wind died away, and was succeeded by variable
light airs and calms, that continued till eleven at night, with which we
stretched to the south-east, till day-break in the morning of the 25th,
when we tacked and stood in for Atooi road, which bore about north from
us; and, soon after, we were joined by the Discovery.

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

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

Six or seven canoes had come off to us, before we anchored, bringing
some small pigs and potatoes, and a good many yams and mats. The people
in them resembled those of Atooi; and seemed to be equally well
acquainted with the use of iron, which they asked for also by the names
of _hamaite_ and _toe_; parting readily with all their commodities for
pieces of this precious metal. Several more canoes soon reached the
ships, after they had anchored; but the natives in these seemed to have
no other object, than to pay us a formal visit. Many of them came
readily on board, crouching down upon the deck, and not quitting that
humble posture till they were desired to get up. They had brought
several females with them, who remained alongside in the canoes,
behaving with far less modesty than their countrywomen of Atooi; and, at
times, all joining in a song, not remarkable for its melody, though
performed in very exact concert, by beating time upon their breasts with
their hands. The men who had come on board did not stay long; and before
they departed, some of them requested our permission to lay down, on the
deck, locks of their hair.

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

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

On the 30th I sent Mr. Gore ashore again, with a guard of marines, and a
party to trade with the natives for refreshments. I intended to have
followed soon after, and went from the ship with that design. But the
surf had increased so much, by this time, that I was fearful, if I got
ashore, I should not be able to get off again. This really happened to
our people who had landed with Mr. Gore, the communication between them
and the ships, by our own boats, being soon stopped. In the evening they
made a signal for the boats, which were sent accordingly; and, not long
after, they returned with a few yams and some salt. A tolerable quantity
of both had been procured in the course of the day; but the surf was so
great, that the greatest part of both these articles had been lost in
conveying them to the boats. The officer and twenty men, deterred by the
danger of coming off, were left ashore all night; and by this
unfortunate circumstance, the very thing happened, which, as I have
already mentioned, I wished so heartily to prevent, and vainly imagined
I had effectually guarded against. The violence of the surf, which our
own boats could not act against, did not hinder the natives from coming
off to the ships in their canoes. They brought refreshments with them,
which were purchased in exchange for nails, and pieces of iron hoops;
and I distributed a good many pieces of ribbon, and some buttons, as
bracelets, amongst the women in the canoes. One of the men had the
figure of a lizard punctured upon his breast, and upon those of others
were the figures of men badly imitated. These visitors informed us, that
there was no chief, or _Hairee_, of this island; but that it was subject
to Teneooneoo, a chief of Atooi; which island, they said, was not
governed by a single chief, but that there were many to whom they paid
the honour of _moe_, or prostration; and among others, they named
Otaeaio and Terarotoa. Amongst other things which these people now
brought off; was a small drum, almost like those of Otaheite.

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

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

Encouraged by the master’s report, I sent a boat to the south-east
point, as soon as day-light returned, with an order to Mr. Gore, that if
he could not embark his people from the spot where they now were, to
march them up to the point. As the boat could not get to the beach, one
of the crew swam ashore, and carried the order. On the return of the
boat, I went myself with the pinnace and launch up to the point, to
bring the party on board; taking with me a ram-goat and two ewes, a boar
and sow pig of the English breed; and the seeds of melons, pumpkins, and
onions; being very desirous of benefiting these poor people, by
furnishing them with some additional articles of food. I landed with the
greatest ease, under the west side of the point, and found my party
already there, with some of the natives in company. To one of them, whom
Mr. Gore had observed assuming some command over the rest, I gave the
goats, pigs, and seeds. I should have left these well intended presents
at Atooi, had we not been so unexpectedly driven from it.

While the people were engaged in filling four water-casks, from a small
stream occasioned by the late rain, I walked a little way up the
country, attended by the man above-mentioned, and followed by two others
carrying the two pigs. As soon as we got upon a rising ground, I stopped
to look round me; and observed a woman, on the other side of the valley,
where I landed, calling to her countryman who attended me. Upon this,
the chief began to mutter something which I supposed was a prayer; and
the two men, who carried the pigs, continued to walk round me all the
time, making, at least, a dozen circuits before the other had finished
his oraison. This ceremony being performed, we proceeded; and,
presently, met people coming from all parts, who, on being called to by
the attendants, threw themselves prostrate on their faces, till I was
out of sight. The ground, through which I passed, was in a state of
nature, very stony, and the soil seemed poor. It was, however, covered
with shrubs and plants, some of which perfumed the air; with a more
delicious fragrancy, than I had met at any other of the islands visited
by us in this ocean. Our people, who had been obliged to remain so long
on shore, gave me the same account of those parts of the island which
they had traversed. They met with several salt ponds, some of which had
a little water remaining, but others had none; and the salt that was
left in them was so thin, that no great quantity could have been
procured. There was no appearance of any running stream; and though they
found some small wells, in which the fresh water was tolerably good, it
seemed scarce. The habitations of the natives were thinly scattered
about; and, it was supposed, that there could not be more than five
hundred people upon the island, as the greatest part were seen at the
marketing-place of our party, and few found about the houses by those
who walked up the country. They had an opportunity of observing the
method of living amongst the natives, and it appeared to be decent and
cleanly. They did not, however, see any instance of the men and women
eating together; and the latter seemed generally associated in companies
by themselves. It was found, that they burnt here the oily nuts of the
_doee dooe_ for lights in the night, as at Otaheite; and that they baked
their hogs in ovens; but, contrary to the practice of the Society and
Friendly Islands, split their carcases through their whole length. They
met with a positive proof of the existence of the _taboo_ (or as they
pronounce it, the _tafoo_), for one woman fed another who was under that
interdiction. They also observed some other mysterious ceremonies; one
of which was performed by a woman, who took a small pig, and threw it
into the surf, till it was drowned, and then tied up a bundle of wood,
which she also disposed of in the same manner. The same woman, at
another time, beat with a stick upon a man’s shoulders, who sat down for
that purpose. A particular veneration seemed to be paid here to owls,
which they have very tame; and it was observed to be a pretty general
practice amongst them, to pull out one of their [25]teeth; for which old
custom, when asked the reason, the only answer that could be got was,
that it was _teeha_, which was also the reason assigned for another of
their practices, the giving a lock of their hair.

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

                               CHAP. XII.


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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: _Inland View in Atooi._]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The common dress, both of the women and of the men, has been already
described. The first have often much larger pieces of cloth wrapped
round them, reaching from just below the breasts to the hams, or lower;
and several were seen with pieces thrown loosely about the shoulders,
which covered the greatest part of the body; but the children, when very
young, are quite naked. They wear nothing upon the head; but the hair,
in both sexes, is cut in different forms; and the general fashion,
especially among the women, is to have it long before and short behind.
The men often had it cut, or shaved, on each side, in such a manner that
the remaining part, in some measure, resembles the crest of their caps
or helmets, formerly described. Both sexes, however, seem very careless
about their hair, and have nothing like combs to dress it with.
Instances of wearing it, in a singular manner, were sometimes met with
among the men, who twist it into a number of separate parcels, like the
tails of a wig, each about the thickness of a finger; though the
greatest part of these, which are so long that they reach far down the
back, we observed, were artificially fixed upon the head, over their own

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

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

Though they seem to have adopted the mode of living in villages, there
is no appearance of defence, or fortification, near any of them; and the
houses are scattered about, without any order, either with respect to
their distances from each other, or their position in any particular
direction. Neither is there any proportion as to their size; some being
large and commodious, from forty to fifty feet long, and twenty or
thirty broad, while others of them are mere hovels. Their figure is not
unlike oblong corn, or hay-stacks; or, perhaps, a better idea may be
conceived of them, if we suppose the roof of a barn placed on the
ground, in such a manner, as to form a high, acute ridge, with two very
low sides, hardly discernible at a distance. The gable, at each end
corresponding to the sides, makes these habitations perfectly close all
round; and they are well thatched with long grass, which is laid on
slender poles, disposed with some regularity. The entrance is made
indifferently, in the end or side, and is an oblong hole, so low, that
one must rather creep than walk in; and is often shut up by a board of
planks, fastened together, which serves as a door, but having no hinges,
must be removed occasionally. No light enters the house, but by this
opening; and though such close habitations may afford a comfortable
retreat in bad weather, they seem but ill-adapted to the warmth of the
climate. They are, however, kept remarkably clean; and their floors are
covered with a large quantity of dried grass, over which they spread
mats to sit and sleep upon. At one end stands a kind of bench, about
three feet high, on which their household utensils are placed. The
catalogue is not long. It consists of gourd-shells, which they convert
into vessels that serve as bottles to hold water, and as baskets to
contain their victuals, and other things, with covers of the same; and
of a few wooden bowls and trenchers, of different sizes. Judging from
what we saw growing, and from what was brought to market, there can be
no doubt that the greatest part of their vegetable food consists of
sweet potatoes, _taro_, and plantains; and that bread-fruit and yams are
rather to be esteemed rarities. Of animal food, they can be in no want;
as they have abundance of hogs, which run, without restraint, about the
houses; and if they eat dogs, which is not improbable, their stock of
these seem to be very considerable. The great number of fishing-hooks
found among them, showed, that they derive no inconsiderable supply of
animal food from the sea. But it should seem, from their practice of
salting fish, that the openness of their coast often interrupts the
business of catching them; as it may be naturally supposed, that no set
of people would ever think of preserving quantities of food
artificially, if they could depend upon a daily, regular supply of it,
in its fresh state. This sort of reasoning, however, will not account
for their custom of salting their pork, as well as their fish, which are
preserved in gourd-shells. The salt, of which they use a great quantity
for this purpose, is of a red colour, not very coarse, and seems to be
much the same with what our stragglers found at Christmas Island. It has
its colour, doubtless, from a mixture of the mud, at the bottom of the
part where it is formed, for some of it that had adhered in lumps, was
of a sufficient whiteness and purity.

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

Their amusements seem pretty various; for, during our stay, several were
discovered. The dances, at which they use the feathered cloaks and caps,
were not seen; but from the motions which they made with their hands, on
other occasions, when they sung, we could form some judgment that they
are, in some degree at least, similar to those we had met with at the
southern Islands, though not executed so skilfully. Neither had they
amongst them either flutes or reeds; and the only two musical
instruments which we observed, were of an exceeding rude kind. One of
them does not produce a melody exceeding that of a child’s rattle. It
consists of what may be called a conic cap inverted, but scarcely
hollowed at the base above a foot high, made of a coarse sedge-like
plant; the upper part of which, and the edges, are ornamented with
beautiful red feathers; and to the point, or lower part, is fixed a
gourd-shell, larger than the fist. Into this is put something to rattle;
which is done by holding the instrument by the small part, and shaking,
or rather moving it, from place to place briskly, either to different
sides, or backward and forward, just before the face, striking the
breast with the other hand at the same time. The other musical
instrument, (if either of them deserve that name) was a hollow vessel of
wood, like a platter, combined with the use of two sticks, on which one
of our gentlemen saw a man performing. He held one of the sticks, about
two feet long, as we do a fiddle, with one hand, and struck it with the
other, which was smaller, and resembled a drum-stick, in a quicker or
slower measure; at the same time beating with his foot upon the hollow
vessel, that lay inverted upon the ground, and thus producing a tune
that was by no means disagreeable. This music was accompanied by the
vocal performance of some women, whose song had a pleasing and tender

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

In every thing manufactured by these people, there appears to be an
uncommon degree of neatness and ingenuity. Their cloth, which is the
principal manufacture, is made from the _morus papyrifera_; and,
doubtless, in the same manner as at Otaheite and Tongataboo; for we
bought some of the grooved sticks, with which it is beaten. Its texture,
however, though thicker, is rather inferior to that of the cloth of
either of the other places; but in colouring, or staining it, the people
of Atooi display a superiority of taste, by the endless variation of
figures which they execute. One would suppose, on seeing a number of
their pieces, that they had borrowed their patterns from some mercer’s
shop, in which the most elegant productions of China and Europe are
collected; besides some original patterns of their own. Their colours,
indeed, except the red, are not very bright; but the regularity of the
figures and stripes is truly surprising; for, as far as we knew, they
have nothing like stamps or prints, to make the impressions. In what
manner they produce their colours, we had not opportunities of learning;
but besides the party-coloured sorts, they have some pieces of plain
white cloth, and others of a single colour, particularly dark brown and
light blue. In general, the pieces which they brought to us, were about
two feet broad, and four or five feet long, being the form and quantity
that they use for their common dress, or _maro_; and even these we
sometimes found were composed of pieces sewed together; an art which we
did not find to the southward, but is strongly, though not very neatly
performed here. There is also a particular sort that is thin, much
resembling oil-cloth; and which is actually either oiled or soaked in
some kind of varnish, and seems to resist the action of water pretty

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

They stain their gourd-shells prettily with undulated lines, triangles,
and other figures of a black colour; instances of which we saw practised
at New Zealand. And they seem to possess the art of varnishing; for some
of these stained gourd-shells are covered with a kind of lacker; and, on
other occasions, they use a strong size, or gluey substance, to fasten
their things together. Their wooden dishes and bowls, out of which they
drink their ava, are of the _etooa_-tree, or _cordia_, as neat, as if
made in our turning-lathe, and perhaps better polished. And amongst
their articles of handicraft, may be reckoned small square fans of mat
or wicker-work, with handles tapering from them of the same or of wood,
which are neatly wrought with small cords of hair, and fibres of the
cocoa-nut core intermixed. The great variety of fishing-hooks are
ingeniously made, some of bone, others of wood pointed with bone, and
many of pearl shell. Of the last, some are like a sort that we saw at
Tongataboo, and others simply curved, as the common sort at Otaheite, as
well as the wooden ones. The bones are mostly small and composed of two
pieces; and all the different sorts have a barb, either on the inside
like ours, or on the outside opposite the same part; but others have
both, the outer one being farthest from the point. Of this last sort,
one was procured nine inches long, of a single piece of bone, which,
doubtless, belonged to some large fish. The elegant form and polish of
this could not, certainly, be outdone by any European artist, even if he
should add all his knowledge in design, to the number and convenience of
his tools. They polish their stones by constant friction, with
pumice-stone in water; and such of their working instruments or tools as
I saw, resembled those of the southern islands. Their hatchets, or
rather adzes, were exactly of the same pattern, and either made of the
same sort of blackish stone, or of a clay-coloured one. They have also
little instruments made of a single shark’s tooth, some of which are
fixed to the fore-part of a dog’s jaw-bone, and others to a thin wooden
handle of the same shape, and at the other end there is a bit of string
fastened through a small perforation. These serve as knives
occasionally, and are, perhaps, used in carving.

The only iron tools, or rather bits of iron, seen amongst them, and
which they had before our arrival, were a piece of iron hoop about two
inches long, fitted into a wooden handle[27], and another edge tool,
which our people guessed to be made of the point of a broad-sword. Their
having the actual possession of these, and their so generally knowing
the use of this metal, inclined some on board to think, that we had not
been the first European visitors of these islands. But, it seems to me,
that the very great surprise expressed by them on seeing our ships, and
their total ignorance of the use of fire-arms, cannot be reconciled with
such a notion. There are many ways by which such people may get pieces
of iron, or acquire the knowledge of the existence of such a metal,
without ever having had an immediate connection with nations that use
it. It can hardly be doubted that it was unknown to all the inhabitants
of this sea, before Magellan led the way into it; for no discoverer,
immediately after his voyage, ever found any of this metal in their
possession; though, in the course of our late voyages it has been
observed, that the use of it was known at several islands, to which no
former European ships had ever, as far as we know, found their way. At
all the places where Mendana touched in his two voyages, it must have
been seen and left, and this would extend the knowledge of it, no doubt,
to all the various islands with which those whom he had visited had any
immediate intercourse. It might even be carried farther; and where
specimens of this article could not be procured, descriptions might, in
some measure, serve to make it known when afterward seen. The next
voyage to the southward of the line in which any intercourse was had
with the natives of this ocean, was that of Quiros, who landed at
Sagittaria, the Island of Handsome People, and at Tierra del Espiritu
Santo; at all which places, and at those with whom they had any
communication, it must of consequence have been made known. To him
succeeded, in this navigation, Le Maire and Schouten, whose connections
with the natives commenced much farther to the eastward, and ended at
Cocos and Horn Islands. It was not surprising that, when I visited
Tongataboo in 1773, I should find a bit of iron there, as we knew that
Tasman had visited it before me; but let us suppose, that he had never
discovered the Friendly Islands, our finding iron amongst them would
have occasioned much speculation; though we have mentioned before[28],
the method by which they had gained a renewal of their knowledge of this
metal, which confirms my hypothesis. For Neeootaboo taboo, or Boscawen’s
Island, where Captain Wallis’s ships left it, and from whence Paulaho
received it, lies some degrees to the N. W. of Tongataboo. It is well
known that Roggewein lost one of his ships on the Pernicious Islands,
which, from their situation, are probably not unknown to, though not
frequently visited by, the inhabitants of Otaheite and the Society
Islands. It is equally certain, that these last people had a knowledge
of iron, and purchased it with the greatest avidity when Captain Wallis
discovered Otaheite; and this knowledge could only have been acquired
through the mediation of those neighbouring Islands where it had been
originally left. Indeed, they acknowledge that this was actually the
case, and they have told us since, that they held it in such estimation
before Captain Wallis’s arrival, that a chief of Otaheite who had got
two nails into his possession, received no small emolument by letting
out the use of these to his neighbours for the purpose of boring holes,
when their own methods failed or were thought too tedious.[29] The men
of the Society Islands whom we found at Wateeoo had been driven thither
long after the knowledge and use of iron had been introduced amongst
their countrymen; and though, probably they had no specimen of it with
them, they would naturally and with ease communicate at that island
their knowledge of this valuable material by description. From the
people of Wateeoo again, those of Hervey’s Island might derive that
desire to possess some of it, of which we had proofs during our short
intercourse with them.

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

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

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

Though I did not see a chief of any note, there were, however, several,
as the natives informed us, who reside upon Atooi, and to whom they
prostrate themselves as a mark of submission, which seems equivalent to
the _moe_, _moea_, paid to the chiefs of the Friendly Islands, and is
called here _hamoea_ or _moe_. Whether they were at first afraid to show
themselves, or happened to be absent, I cannot say; but after I had left
the island, one of these great men made his appearance, and paid a visit
to Captain Clerke on board the Discovery. He came off in a double canoe,
and, like the king of the Friendly Islands, paid no regard to the small
canoes that happened to lie in his way, but ran against or over them,
without endeavouring in the least to avoid them. And it was not possible
for these poor people to avoid him, for they could not manage their
canoes, it being a necessary mark of their submission, that they should
lie down till he had passed. His attendants helped him into the ship,
and placed him on the gang-way. Their care of him did not cease then,
for they stood round him holding each other by the hands; nor would they
suffer any one to come near him but Captain Clerke himself. He was a
young man, clothed from head to foot, and accompanied by a young woman
supposed to be his wife. His name was said to be Tamahano. Captain
Clerke made him some suitable presents, and received from him in return,
a large bowl supported by two figures of men, the carving of which, both
as to the design and execution, showed some degree of skill. This bowl,
as our people were told, used to be filled with the _kava_, or _ava_ (as
it is called at Otaheite), which liquor they prepare and drink here, as
at the other islands in this ocean. Captain Clerke could not prevail
upon this great man to go below, nor to move from the place where his
attendants had first fixed him. After staying some time in his ship, he
was carried again into his canoe, and returned to the island, receiving
the same honours from all the natives, as when he came on board. The
next day several messages were sent to Captain Clerke, inviting him to
return the visit ashore, and acquainting him that the chief had prepared
a large present on that occasion. But being anxious to get to sea and
join the Resolution, the Captain did not think it advisable to accept of
the invitation.

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

Besides their spears or lances, made of a fine chesnut-coloured wood,
beautifully polished, some of which are barbed at one end, and flattened
to a point at the other, they have a sort of weapon which we had never
seen before, and not mentioned by any navigator, as used by the natives
of the South Sea. It is somewhat like a dagger, in general about a foot
and a half long, sharpened at one or both ends, and secured to the hand
by a string. Its use is to stab at close fight, and it seems well
adapted to the purpose. Some of these may be called double daggers,
having a handle in the middle, with which they are better enabled to
strike different ways. They have also bows and arrows; but, both from
their apparent scarcity and their slender make, it may almost be
presumed that they never use them in battle. The knife or saw formerly
mentioned, with which they dissect the dead bodies, may also be ranked
amongst their weapons, as they both strike and cut with it when closely
engaged. It is a small flat wooden instrument of an oblong shape, about
a foot long, rounded at the corners with a handle, almost like one sort
of the _patoos_ of New Zealand; but its edges are entirely surrounded
with sharks’ teeth strongly fixed to it and pointing outward, having
commonly a hole in the handle through which passes a long string which
is wrapped several times round the wrist. We also suspected that they
use slings on some occasions, for we got some pieces of the _hæmatites_,
or blood-stone, artificially made of an oval shape, divided
longitudinally, with a narrow groove in the middle of the convex part.
To this the person who had one of them applied a cord of no great
thickness, but would not part with it, though he had no objection to
part with the stone, which must prove fatal when thrown with any force,
as it weighed a pound. We likewise saw some oval pieces of whetstone
well polished, but somewhat pointed toward each end, nearly resembling
in shape some stones which we had seen at New Caledonia in 1774, and
used there in their slings.

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

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

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

How shall we account for this nation’s having spread itself in so many
detached islands, so widely disjoined from each other, in every quarter
of the Pacific Ocean! We find it from New Zealand in the south, as far
as the Sandwich Islands to the north! And in another direction, from
Easter Island to the Hebrides! That is, over an extent of sixty degrees
of latitude or twelve hundred leagues north and south! And eighty-three
degrees of longitude, or sixteen hundred and sixty leagues east and
west! How much farther in either direction its colonies reach is not
known; but what we know already, in consequence of this and our former
voyage, warrants our pronouncing it to be, though perhaps not the most
numerous, certainly, by far, the most extensive nation upon earth.[30]

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

                              CHAP. XIII.


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

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

                                    200° 13ʹ 0ʺ E.
 Time-keeper { Greenwich rate,      202   0  0
             { Ulietea rate,        200  21  0

 The latitude of the road, by the  }
 mean of two meridian observations } 21  56  15 N.
 of the sun                        }

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

                                                     East         Mean
   Time.      Latitude.    Longitude.  Compass.    Variation.    Variation.

 Jan.                                { Gregory’s  10° 10ʹ 10ʺ }
 18th. A. M.   21° 12ʹ      200° 41ʹ  { Knight’s    9  20   5  }   9° 51ʹ 38ʺ
                                     { Martin’s   10   4  40  }

 19th. P. M.   21  51       200  20  { Knight’s   10   2  10  }  10  37  20
                                     { Gregory’s  11  12  30  }

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

                                     { Gregory’s  11  21  15  }
 28th. P. M.   21  36       199  50  { Knight’s   10  40   0  }  11  12  50
                                     { Martin’s   11  37  50  }

 Means of }    21  29       200  12 }      -           -         10  17  11
 the above}                         }
 On Jan. 18th. 21  12       200  41 the north end of
                       the needle dipped 42° 1ʹ 7ʺ.

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

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

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

On the 1st of March, our latitude being now 44° 49ʹ N., and our
longitude 228° E., we had one calm day. This was succeeded by a wind
from the north, with which I stood to the east close hauled, in order to
make the land. According to the charts, it ought not to have been far
from us. It was remarkable that we should still be attended with such
moderate and mild weather, so far to the northward, and so near the
coast of an extensive continent, at this time of the year. The present
season either must be uncommon for its mildness, or we can assign no
reason why Sir Francis Drake should have met with such severe cold,
about this latitude, in the month of June.[31] Viscaino, indeed, who was
near the same place in the depth of winter, says little of the cold, and
speaks of a ridge of snowy mountains, somewhere on the coast, as a thing
rather remarkable.[32] Our seeing so few birds, in comparison of what we
met with in the same latitudes to the south of the line, is another
singular circumstance which must either proceed from a scarcity of the
different sorts, or from a deficiency of places to rest upon. From hence
we may conclude, that beyond 40° in the southern hemisphere, the species
are much more numerous and the isles where they inhabit also more
plentifully scattered about, than any where between the coast of
California and Japan, in or near that latitude.

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

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

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

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

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

That part of the land, which we were so near when we tacked, is of a
moderate height, though, in some places, it rises higher within. It was
diversified with a great many rising grounds and small hills; many of
which were entirely covered with tall straight trees; and others, which
were lower, and grew in spots like coppices; but the interspaces and
sides of many of the rising grounds, were clear. The whole, though it
might make an agreeable summer prospect, had now an uncomfortable
appearance, as the bare grounds toward the coast were all covered with
snow, which seemed to be of a considerable depth between the little
hills and rising grounds; and, in several places toward the sea, might
easily have been mistaken, at a distance, for white cliffs. The snow on
the rising grounds was thinner spread; and farther inland, there was no
appearance of any; from whence we might, perhaps, conclude that what we
saw toward the sea had fallen during the night, which was colder than
any we had experienced since our arrival on the coast; and we had
sometimes a kind of sleet. The coast seemed every where almost straight,
without any opening or inlet; and it appeared to terminate in a kind of
white sandy beach; though some on board thought that appearance was
owing to the snow. Each extreme of the land that was now before us,
seemed to shoot out into a point. The northern one was the same which we
had first seen on the 7th; and on that account I called it _Cape
Perpetua_. It lies in the latitude of 44° 6ʹ N., and in the longitude of
235° 52ʹ E. The southern extreme before us, I named _Cape Gregory_.[34]
Its latitude is 43° 30ʹ, and its longitude 235° 57ʹ E. It is a
remarkable point; the land of it rising almost directly from the sea to
a tolerable height, while that on each side of it is low.

I continued standing off till one in the afternoon. Then I tacked, and
stood in, hoping to have the wind off from the land in the night. But in
this I was mistaken; for at five o’clock it began to veer to the west
and south west; which obliged me, once more, to stand out to sea. At
this time, Cape Perpetua bore north-east by north; and the farthest land
we could see to the south of Cape Gregory, bore south by east, perhaps
ten or twelve leagues distant. If I am right in this estimation, its
latitude will be 43° 10ʹ, and its longitude 235° 55ʹ east, which is
nearly the situation of Cape Blanco, discovered or seen by Martin
d’Agular, on the 19th of January, 1603. It is worth observing, that, in
the very latitude where we now were, geographers have been pleased to
place a large entrance or strait, the discovery of which they take upon
them to ascribe to the same navigator; whereas nothing more is mentioned
in the account of his voyage, than his having seen, in this situation, a
large river, which he would have entered, but was prevented by the

The wind, as I have observed, had veered to the south-west in the
evening; but it was very unsettled, and blew in squalls with snow
showers. In one of these, at midnight, it shifted at once to west
north-west, and soon increased to a very hard gale, with heavy squalls,
attended with sleet or snow. There was no choice now; and we were
obliged to stretch to the southward, in order to get clear of the coast.
This was done under courses, and two close-reefed topsails; being rather
more sail than the ships could safely bear; but it was necessary to
carry it to avoid the more pressing danger of being forced on shore.
This gale continued till eight o’clock in the morning of the 13th; when
it abated, and I stood in again for the land. We had been forced a
considerable way backward; for at the time of our tacking, we were in
the latitude of 42° 45ʹ, and in the longitude of 233° 30ʹ.

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

I continued to stand to the north with a fine breeze at west, and west
north-west, till near seven o’clock in the evening, when I tacked to
wait for day-light. At this time we were in forty-eight fathoms’ water,
and about four leagues from the land, which extended from north to south
east half east, and a small round hill, which had the appearance of
being an island, bore north three quarters east, distant six or seven
leagues, as I guessed; it appears to be of a tolerable height, and was
but just to be seen from the deck. Between this island or rock, and the
northern extreme of the land, there appeared to be a small opening,
which flattered us with the hopes of finding an harbour. These hopes
lessened as we drew nearer; and, at last, we had some reason to think,
that the opening was closed by low land. On this account I called the
point of land to the north of it _Cape Flattery_. It lies in the
latitude of 48° 15ʹ north, and in the longitude of 235° 3ʹ east. There
is a round hill of a moderate height over it; and all the land upon this
part of the coast is of a moderate and pretty equal height, well covered
with wood, and had a very pleasant and fertile appearance. It is in this
very latitude where we now were, that geographers have placed the
pretended strait of Juan de Fuca. We saw nothing like it; nor is there
the least probability that ever any such thing existed.[36]

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

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

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

We no sooner drew near the inlet, than we found the coast to be
inhabited; and at the place where we were first becalmed, three canoes
came off to the ship. In one of these were two men, in another six, and
in the third ten. Having come pretty near us, a person in one of the two
last stood up, and made a long harangue, inviting us to land, as we
guessed by his gestures. At the same time, he kept strewing handfuls of
feathers towards us[37]; and some of his companions threw handfuls of
red dust or powder in the same manner. The person who played the orator,
wore the skin of some animal, and held in each hand something which
rattled as he kept shaking it. After tiring himself with his repeated
exhortations, of which we did not understand a word, he was quiet; and
then others took it, by turns, to say something, though they acted their
part neither so long, nor with so much vehemence as the other. We
observed that two or three had their hair quite strewed over with small
white feathers, and others had large ones stuck into different parts of
the head. After the tumultuous noise had ceased, they lay at a little
distance from the ship, and conversed with each other in a very easy
manner; nor did they seem to show the least surprise or distrust. Some
of them, now and then got up, and said something after the manner of
their first harangues; and one sung a very agreeable air, with a degree
of softness and melody which we could not have expected; the word
_haela_, being often repeated as the burden of the song. The breeze
which soon after sprung up, bringing us nearer to the shore, the canoes
began to come off in greater numbers; and we had, at one time,
thirty-two of them near the ship, carrying from three to seven or eight
persons each, both men and women. Several of these stood up in their
canoes haranguing, and making gestures after the manner of our first
visitors. One canoe was remarkable for a singular head, which had a
bird’s eye and bill, of an enormous size, painted on it; and a person
who was in it, who seemed to be a chief, was no less remarkable for his
uncommon appearance; having many feathers hanging from his head, and
being painted in an extraordinary manner.[38] He held in his hand a
carved bird of wood, as large as a pigeon, with which he rattled as the
person first-mentioned had done; and was no less vociferous in his
harangue, which was attended with some expressive gestures.

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

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

                                BOOK IV.


                                CHAP. I.


The ships having happily found so excellent shelter in an inlet, the
coasts of which appeared to be inhabited by a race of people, whose
inoffensive behaviour promised a friendly intercourse, the next morning,
after coming to anchor, I lost no time in endeavouring to find a
commodious harbour, where we might station ourselves during our
continuance in the sound. Accordingly, I sent three armed boats, under
the command of Mr. King, upon this service; and soon after I went
myself, in a small boat, on the same search. I had very little trouble
in finding what we wanted. On the north-west of the arm we were now in,
and not far from the ships, I met with a convenient snug cove well
suited to our purpose. Mr. King was equally successful; for he returned
about noon, with an account of a still better harbour, which he had seen
and examined, lying on the north-west side of the land. But as it would
have required more time to carry the ships thither than to the cove,
where I had been, which was immediately within our reach; this reason
operated to determine my choice in favour of the latter situation. But
being apprehensive that we should not be able to transport our ships to
it, and to moor them properly, before night came on, I thought it best
to remain where we were till next morning; and, that no time might be
lost, I employed the remainder of the day to some useful purposes,
ordering the sails to be unbent, the topmasts to be struck, and the
foremast of the Resolution to be unrigged, in order to fix a new bib,
one of the old ones being decayed.

A great many canoes, filled with the natives, were about the ships all
day; and a trade commenced betwixt us and them, which was carried on
with the strictest honesty on both sides. The articles which they
offered to sale were skins of various animals, such as bears, wolves,
foxes, deer, racoons, polecats, martins; and, in particular, of the sea
otters, which are found at the islands east of Kamtschatka. Besides the
skins in their native shape, they also brought garments made of them,
and another sort of clothing made of the bark of a tree, or some plant
like hemp; weapons, such as bows, arrows, and spears; fish-hooks, and
instruments of various kinds; wooden vizors of many different monstrous
figures; a sort of woollen stuff, or blanketing; bags filled with red
ochre; pieces of carved work; beads; and several other little ornaments
of thin brass and iron, shaped like a horse-shoe, which they hang at
their noses; and several chissels, or pieces of iron, fixed to handles.
From their possessing which metals, we could infer that they had either
been visited before by some civilized nation, or had connections with
tribes on their continent, who had communication with them. But the most
extraordinary of all the articles which they brought to the ships for
sale were human skulls, and hands not yet quite stripped of the flesh,
which they made our people plainly understand they had eaten; and,
indeed, some of them had evident marks that they had been upon the fire.
We had but too much reason to suspect, from this circumstance, that the
horrid practice of feeding on their enemies is as prevalent here as we
had found it to be at New Zealand and other South Sea islands. For the
various articles which they brought, they took in exchange knives,
chissels, pieces of iron and tin, nails, looking-glasses, buttons, or
any kind of metal. Glass beads they were not fond of; and cloth of every
sort they rejected.

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

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

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

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

During these visits they gave us no other trouble than to guard against
their thievish tricks. But, in the morning of the 4th, we had a serious
alarm. Our party on shore, who were employed in cutting wood and filling
water, observed that the natives all around them were arming themselves
in the best manner they could; those who were not possessed of proper
weapons, preparing sticks and collecting stones. On hearing this, I
thought it prudent to arm also; but being determined to act upon the
defensive, I ordered all our workmen to retreat to the rock, upon which
we had placed our observatories; leaving the natives in quiet possession
of the ground where they had assembled, which was within a stone’s throw
of the Resolution’s stern. Our fears were ill-grounded: these hostile
preparations were not directed against us, but against a body of their
own countrymen, who were coming to fight them; and our friends of the
Sound, on observing our apprehensions, used their best endeavours to
convince us that this was the case. We could see that they had people
looking out, on each point of the cove, and canoes frequently passed
between them and the main body assembled near the ships. At length the
adverse party, in about a dozen large canoes, appeared off the south
point of the cove, where they stopped, and lay drawn up in line of
battle, a negociation having commenced. Some people in canoes, in
conducting the treaty, passed between the two parties, and there was
some speaking on both sides. At length, the difference, whatever it was,
seemed to be compromised; but the strangers were not allowed to come
along-side the ships, nor to have any trade or intercourse with us.
Probably we were the cause of the quarrel; the strangers, perhaps, being
desirous to share in the advantages of a trade with us; and our first
friends, the inhabitants of the Sound, being determined to engross us
entirely to themselves. We had proofs of this on several other
occasions; nay, it appeared that even those who lived in the Sound were
not united in the same cause; for the weaker were frequently obliged to
give way to the stronger party, and plundered of every thing, without
attempting to make the least resistance.

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

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

From the time of our putting into the Sound till now, the weather had
been exceedingly fine, without either wind or rain. That comfort, at the
very moment when the continuance of it would have been of most service,
was withdrawn. In the morning of the 8th, the wind freshened at
south-east, attended with thick hazy weather and rain. In the afternoon
the wind increased; and toward the evening it blew very hard indeed. It
came, in excessively heavy squalls, from over the high land on the
opposite shore, right into the cove; and, though the ships were very
well moored, put them in some danger. These tempestuous blasts succeeded
each other pretty quick; but they were of short duration; and in the
intervals between them we had a perfect calm. According to the old
proverb, “misfortunes seldom come single;” the mizen was now the only
mast on board the Resolution that remained rigged, with its top-mast up.
The former was so defective that it could not support the latter during
the violence of the squalls, but gave way at the head under the rigging.
About eight o’clock the gale abated; but the rain continued with very
little intermission for several days; and, that the carpenters might be
enabled to proceed in their labours, while it prevailed, a tent was
erected over the foremast, where they could work with some degree of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next morning, about eight o’clock, we were visited by a number of
strangers in twelve or fourteen canoes. They came into the cove from the
southward; and as soon as they had turned the point of it, they stopped,
and lay drawn up in a body above half an hour, about two or three
hundred yards from the ships. At first we thought that they were afraid
to come nearer; but we were mistaken in this, and they were only
preparing an introductory ceremony. On advancing toward the ships, they
all stood up in their canoes, and began to sing. Some of their songs, in
which the whole body joined, were in a slow, and others in quicker time;
and they accompanied their notes with the most regular motions of their
hands; or beating in concert, with their paddles, on the sides of the
canoes; and making other very expressive gestures. At the end of each
song they remained silent a few seconds, and then began again, sometimes
pronouncing the word _hooee!_ forcibly, as a chorus. After entertaining
us with this specimen of their music, which we listened to with
admiration, for above half an hour, they came alongside the ships and
bartered what they had to dispose of. Some of our old friends of the
Sound were now found to be amongst them; and they took the whole
management of the traffic between us and the strangers, much to the
advantage of the latter.

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

Here I must observe, that I have no where in my several voyages met with
any uncivilized nation or tribe, who had such strict notions of their
having a right to the exclusive property of every thing that their
country produces, as the inhabitants of this sound. At first they wanted
our people to pay for the wood and water that they carried on board, and
had I been upon the spot when these demands were made, I should
certainly have complied with them. Our workmen, in my absence, thought
differently, for they took but little notice of such claims, and the
natives, when they found that we were determined to pay nothing, at last
ceased to apply. But they made a merit of necessity, and frequently
afterward took occasion to remind us, that they had given us wood and
water out of friendship.[39]

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

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

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

Our friends, the natives, attended us till we were almost out of the
sound, some on board the ships, and others in their canoes. One of their
chiefs who had some time before attached himself to me, was amongst the
last who left us. Having, before he went, bestowed upon him a small
present, I received in return a beaver skin of much greater value. This
called upon me to make some addition to my present, which pleased him so
much, that he insisted upon my acceptance of the beaver skin cloak which
he then wore, and of which I knew he was particularly fond. Struck with
this instance of generosity, and desirous that he should be no sufferer
by his friendship to me, I presented to him a new broad-sword with a
brass hilt, the possession of which made him completely happy. He, and
also many others of his countrymen, importuned us much to pay them
another visit, and, by way of encouragement, promised to lay in a good
stock of skins. I make no doubt, that whoever comes after me to this
place, will find the natives prepared accordingly, with no
inconsiderably supply of an article of trade, which they could observe
we were eager to possess, and which we found could be purchased to great

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

                               CHAP. II.


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

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

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

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

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

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

As the season of the year was unfavourable to our gaining much knowledge
of the vegetable productions of this country, so our own situation while
there, put it out of our power to learn much about its animals; for as
the want of water made it necessary that we should enter the Sound at
first, the unforeseen accidents which happened afterward, though they
lengthened our stay, were rather unfavourable to our obtaining any
knowledge of this kind. The emergency of the case required that every
person should be constantly employed in the necessary business of the
ships, which was the capital object, as the season was advancing very
fast, and the success of the voyage depended upon their diligence and
alacrity in expediting the various tasks assigned to them. Hence it
happened that excursions of every kind, either on the land or by water,
were never attempted. And as we lay in a cove on an island, no other
animals were ever seen alive in the woods there, than two or three
racoons, martins, and squirrels. Besides these, some of our people who,
one day, landed on the continent near the south-east side of the
entrance of the Sound, observed the prints of a bear’s feet near the
shore. The account, therefore, that we can give of the quadrupeds is
taken from the skins which the natives brought to sell; and these were
often so mutilated, with respect to the distinguishing parts, such as
the paws, tails, and heads, that it was impossible even to guess at the
animals to whom they belonged; though others were so perfect, or, at
least, so well known, that they left no room to doubt about them.

Of these the most common were bears, deer, foxes, and wolves. The
bear-skins were in great numbers; few of them very large; but, in
general, of a shining black colour. The deer-skins were scarcer, and
they seem to belong to that sort called the fallow-deer by the
historians of Carolina; though Mr. Pennant thinks it quite a different
species from ours, and distinguishes it by the name of Virginian
deer.[40] The foxes are in great plenty, and of several varieties; some
of their skins being quite yellow, with a black tip to the tail; others
of a deep or reddish yellow, intermixed with black; and a third, sort of
a whitish grey or ash-colour, also intermixed with black. Our people
used to apply the name of fox or wolf indiscriminately, when the skins
were so mutilated as to leave room for a doubt. But we got, at last, an
entire wolf’s skin with the head on; and it was grey. Besides the common
sort of martin, the pine-martin is also here; and another, whose skin is
of a lighter brown colour than either, with coarser hair; but is not so
common, and is, perhaps, only a mere variety arising from age, or some
other accidental circumstance. The ermine is also found at this place,
but is rare and small; nor is the hair remarkably fine, though the
animal appeared to be perfectly white, and squirrels are of the common
sort; but the latter is rather smaller than ours, and has a deeper rusty
colour running along the back.

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

The sea animals seen off the coast were whales, porpoises, and seals.
The last of these seem only of the common sort, judging from the skins
which we saw here; their colour being either silvery, yellowish, plain,
or spotted with black. The porpoise is the _phocena_. I have chosen to
refer to this class the sea-otter, as living mostly in the water. It
might have been sufficient to have mentioned that this animal abounds
here, as it is fully described in different books, taken from the
accounts of the Russian adventurers in their expeditions eastward from
Kamtschatka, if there had not been a small difference in one that we
saw. We for some time entertained doubts, whether the many skins which
the natives brought, really belonged to this animal; as our only reason
for being of that opinion was founded on the size, colour, and fineness
of the fur; till a short while before our departure, when a whole one
that had been just killed, was purchased from some strangers who came to
barter; and of this Mr. Webber made a drawing. It was rather young,
weighing only twenty-five pounds, of a shining or glossy black colour;
but many of the hairs being tipt with white, gave it a greyish cast at
first sight. The face, throat and breast, were of a yellowish white, or
very light brown colour, which, in many of the skins, extended the whole
length of the belly. It had six cutting-teeth in each jaw; two of those
of the lower jaw being very minute, and placed without, at the base of
the two middle ones. In these circumstances it seems to disagree with
those found by the Russians; and also in not having the outer toes of
the hind feet skirted with a membrane. There seemed also a greater
variety in the colour of the skins than is mentioned by the describers
of the Russian sea-otters. These changes of colour certainly take place
at the different gradations of life. The very young ones had brown hair,
which was coarse, with very little fur underneath; but those of the size
of the entire animal, which came into our possession, and just
described, had a considerable quantity of that substance; and both in
that colour and state the sea-otters seem to remain till they have
attained their full growth. After that they lose their black colour, and
assume a deep brown or sooty colour; but have then a greater quantity of
very fine fur, and scarcely any long hairs. Others, which we suspected
to be still older, were of a chesnut brown; and a few skins were seen
that had even acquired a perfectly yellow colour. The fur of these
animals, as mentioned in the Russian accounts, is certainly softer and
finer than that of any others we know of; and therefore the discovery of
this part of the continent of North America, where so valuable an
article of commerce may be met with, cannot be a matter of

Birds, in general, are not only rare as to the different species, but
very scarce as to numbers; and these few are so shy, that, in all
probability, they are continually harassed by the natives; perhaps to
eat them as food, certainly to get possession of their feathers, which
they use as ornaments. Those which frequent the woods, are crows and
ravens, not at all different from our English ones; a blueish jay or
magpie; common wrens, which are the only singing bird that we hear; the
Canadian, or migrating thrush; and a considerable number of brown
eagles, with white heads and tails; which, though they seem principally
to frequent the coast, come into the Sound in bad weather, and sometimes
perch upon the trees. Amongst some other birds, of which the natives
either brought fragments or dried skins, we could distinguish a small
species of hawk, a heron, and the _alcyon_ or large-crested American
king-fisher. There are also some which I believe are not mentioned, or
at least vary very considerably, from the accounts given of them by any
writers who have treated professedly on this part of natural history.
The first two of these are _species_ of wood-peckers. One less than a
thrush, of a black colour above, with white spots on the wings, a
crimson head, neck and breast, and a yellowish olive-coloured belly;
from which last circumstance it might, perhaps, not improperly be called
the yellow-bellied wood-pecker. The other is a larger, and much more
elegant bird, of a dusky brown colour, on the upper part, richly waved
with black, except about the head; the belly of a reddish cast, with
round black spots; a black spot on the breast; and the under-side of the
wings and tail of a plain scarlet colour, though blackish above; with a
crimson streak running from the angle of the mouth, a little down the
neck on each side. The third and fourth are a small bird of the finch
kind, about the size of a linnet, of a dark dusky colour, whitish below,
with a black head and neck, and white bill; and a sand-piper, of the
size of a small pigeon, of a dusky brown colour, and white below, except
the throat and breast, with a broad white band across the wings. There
are also humming-birds, which yet seem to differ from the numerous sorts
of this delicate animal already known, unless they be a mere variety of
the _trochilus colubris_ of Linnæus. These perhaps inhabit more to the
southward, and spread northward as the season advances; because we saw
none at first, though near the time of our departure the natives brought
them to the ships in great numbers.

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

Fish are more plentiful in quantity than birds, though the variety is
not very great; and yet, from several circumstances, it is probable that
even the variety is considerably increased at certain seasons. The
principal sorts, which we found in great numbers, are the common
herring, but scarcely exceeding seven inches in length, a smaller sort,
which is the same with the anchovy or sardine, though rather larger; a
white or silver coloured bream, and another of a gold-brown colour, with
many narrow longitudinal blue stripes. The herrings and sardines,
doubtless, come in large shoals and only at stated seasons, as is common
with that sort of fish. The bream of both sorts may be reckoned the next
to these in quantity, and the full grown ones weighed at least a pound.
The other fish, which are all scarce, are a small brown kind of
_sculpin_, such as is found on the coast of Norway, another of a
brownish red cast; frost-fish, a large one, somewhat resembling the
bull-head, with a tough skin, destitute of scales; and now and then,
toward the time of our leaving the sound, the natives brought a small
brownish cod spotted with white, and a red fish of the same size, which
some of our people said they had seen in the Straits of Magellan,
besides another differing little from the hake. There are also
considerable numbers of those fish called the _chimæræ_, or little
sea-wolves by some, which is akin to and about the size of the
_pezegallo_, or elephant-fish. Sharks likewise sometimes frequent the
sound, for the natives have some of their teeth in their possession; and
we saw some pieces of ray, or skate, which seemed to have been pretty
large. The other marine animals that ought to be mentioned here, are a
small cruciated _medusa_, or blubber; star-fish, which differ somewhat
from the common ones; two small sorts of crabs; and two others which the
natives brought; one of them of a thick, tough, gelatinous consistence,
and the other a sort of membranaceous tube or pipe, both which are
probably taken from the rocks. And we also purchased from them once, a
very large cuttle-fish.

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

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

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

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

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

The persons of the natives are in general under the common stature, but
not slender in proportion, being commonly pretty full or plump, though
not muscular. Neither doth the soft fleshiness seem ever to swell into
corpulence, and many of the older people are rather spare or lean. The
visage of most of them is round and full, and sometimes, also, broad,
with large prominent cheeks; and above these, the face is frequently
much depressed, or seems fallen in quite across between the temples, the
nose also flattening at its base, with pretty wide nostrils, and a
rounded point. The forehead rather low, the eyes small, black, and
rather languishing than sparkling, the mouth round with large round
thickish lips, the teeth tolerably equal and well set, but not
remarkably white. They have either no beards at all, which was most
commonly the case, or a small thin one upon the point of the chin, which
does not arise from any natural defect of hair on that part, but from
plucking it out more or less; for some of them, and particularly the old
men, have not only considerable beards all over the chin, but whiskers
or mustachios, both on the upper lip, and running from thence toward the
lower jaw obliquely downward.[42] Their eye-brows are also scanty and
always narrow, but the hair of the head is in great abundance, very
coarse and strong, and without a single exception, black, straight, and
lank, or hanging down over the shoulders; the neck is short; the arms
and body have no particular mark of beauty or elegance in their
formation, but are rather clumsy; and the limbs in all are very small in
proportion to the other parts, and crooked or ill made, with large feet
badly shaped and projecting ankles. This last defect seems, in a great
measure, to arise from their sitting so much on their hams or knees,
both in their canoes and houses.

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

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

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

Besides the above dress, which is common to both sexes, the men
frequently throw over their other garments the skin of a bear, wolf, or
sea-otter, with the hair outward, and tie it as a cloak near the upper
part, wearing it sometimes before and sometimes behind. In rainy weather
they throw a coarse mat about their shoulders. They have also woollen
garments, which, however, are little in use. The hair is commonly worn
hanging down loose; but some, when they have no cap, tie it in a bunch
on the crown of the head. Their dress, upon the whole, is convenient,
and would by no means be inelegant, were it kept clean. But as they rub
their bodies constantly over with a red paint, of a clayey or coarse
ochry substance, mixed with oil, their garments, by this means, contract
a rancid offensive smell, and a greasy nastiness, so that they make a
very wretched dirty appearance; and what is still worse, their heads and
their garments swarm with vermin, which, so depraved is their taste for
cleanliness, we used to see them pick off with great composure and eat.

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

Thus far of their ordinary dress and ornaments; but they have some that
seem to be used only on extraordinary occasions; either when they
exhibit themselves as strangers, in visits of ceremony, or when they go
to war. Amongst the first may be considered the skins of animals, such
as wolves or bears, tied on in the usual manner, but ornamented at the
edges with broad borders of fur, or of the woollen stuff manufactured by
them, ingeniously wrought with various figures. These are worn either
separately, or over their other common garments. On such occasions, the
most common head-dress is a quantity of withe, or half-beaten bark,
wrapped about the head; which, at the same time, has various large
feathers, particularly those of eagles, stuck in it, or is entirely
covered, or, we may say, powdered with small white feathers. The face,
at the same time, is variously painted, having its upper and lower parts
of different colours, the strokes appearing like fresh gashes; or it is
besmeared with a kind of tallow, mixed with paint, which is afterward
formed into a great variety of regular figures, and appears like carved
work. Sometimes, again, the hair is separated into small parcels, which
are tied at intervals of about two inches, to the end, with thread; and
others tie it together, behind, after our manner, and stick branches of
the _cupressus thyoides_ in it. Thus dressed, they have a truly savage
and incongruous appearance; but this is much heightened, when they
assume what may be called their monstrous decorations. These consist of
an endless variety of carved wooden masks or vizors, applied on the
face, or to the upper part of the head or forehead. Some of these
resemble human faces, furnished with hair, beards, and eye-brows;
others, the heads of birds, particularly of eagles and quebrantahuessos;
and many, the heads of land and sea animals, such as wolves, deer, and
porpoises, and others. But, in general, these representations much
exceed the natural size; and they are painted, and often strewed with
pieces of the foliaceous _mica_, which makes them glitter, and serves to
augment their enormous deformity. They even exceed this sometimes, and
fix on the same part of the head large pieces of carved work, resembling
the prow of a canoe, painted in the same manner, and projecting to a
considerable distance. So fond are they of these disguises, that I have
seen one of them put his head into a tin kettle he had got from us, for
want of another sort of mask. Whether they use these extravagant
masquerade ornaments on any particular religious occasion, or diversion,
or whether they be put on to intimidate their enemies when they go to
battle, by their monstrous appearance; or as decoys when they go to hunt
animals, is uncertain. But it may be concluded, that, if travellers or
voyagers, in an ignorant and credulous age, when many unnatural or
marvellous things were supposed to exist, had seen a number of people
decorated in this manner, without being able to approach so near as to
be undeceived, they would readily have believed, and in their relations
would have attempted to make others believe, that there existed a race
of beings, partaking of the nature of man and beast; more especially,
when, besides the heads of animals on the human shoulders, they might
have seen the whole bodies of their men-monsters covered with
quadrupeds’ skins.[43]

The only dress amongst the people of Nootka, observed by us, that seems
peculiarly adapted to war, is a thick leathern mantle doubled, which,
from its size, appears to be the skin of an elk, or buffalo tanned. This
they fasten on in the common manner; and it is so contrived, that it may
reach up, and cover the breast quite to the throat, falling, at the same
time, almost to the heels. It is sometimes ingeniously painted in
different compartments; and is not only sufficiently strong to resist
arrows, but as they informed us by signs, even spears cannot pierce it;
so that it may be considered as their coat of mail, or most complete
defensive armour. Upon the same occasion, they sometimes wear a kind of
leathern cloak, covered with rows of dried hoofs of deer, disposed
horizontally, appended by leathern thongs, covered with quills; which,
when they move, make a loud rattling noise, almost equal to that of many
small bells. It seems doubtful, however, whether this part of their garb
be intended to strike terror in war, or only is to be considered as
belonging to their eccentric ornaments on ceremonious occasions; for we
saw one of their musical entertainments, conducted by a man dressed in
this sort of cloak, with his mask on, and shaking his rattle.

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

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

Though there be too much reason, from their bringing to sale human
skulls and bones, to infer that they treat their enemies with a degree
of brutal cruelty, this circumstance rather marks a general agreement of
character with that of almost every tribe of uncivilized man, in every
age, and in every part of the globe, than that they are to be reproached
with any charge of peculiar inhumanity. We had no reason to judge
unfavourably of their disposition in this respect. They seem to be a
docile, courteous, good-natured people; but notwithstanding the
predominant phlegm of their tempers, quick in resenting what they look
upon as an injury; and, like most other passionate people, as soon
forgetting it. I never found that these fits of passion went farther
than the parties immediately concerned; the spectators not troubling
themselves about the quarrel, whether it was with any of us, or amongst
their own body; and preserving as much indifference as if they had not
known any thing about it. I have often seen one of them rave and scold,
without any of his countrymen paying the least attention to his
agitation; and when none of us could trace the cause, or the object of
his displeasure. In such cases they never discover the least symptom of
timidity, but seem determined, at all events, to punish the insult. For,
even with respect to us, they never appeared to be under the least
apprehension of our superiority; but when any difference happened, were
just as ready to avenge the wrong, as amongst themselves.

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

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

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

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

                               CHAP. III.


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

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

The houses are disposed in three ranges or rows, rising gradually behind
each other, the largest being that in front and the others less; besides
a few straggling or single ones at each end. These ranges are
interrupted or disjoined at irregular distances by narrow paths or lanes
that pass upward; but those which run in the direction of the houses
between the rows are much broader. Though there be some appearance of
regularity in this disposition, there is none in the single houses; for
each of the divisions made by the paths may be considered either as one
house or as many, there being no regular or complete separation, either
without or within, to distinguish them by. They are built of very long
and broad planks[44], resting upon the edges of each other, fastened or
tied by withes of pine-bark here and there, and have only slender posts,
or rather poles, at considerable distances on the outside, to which they
are also tied; but within are some larger poles placed aslant. The
height of the sides and ends of these habitations is seven or eight
feet, but the back part is a little higher, by which means the planks
that compose the roof, slant forward, and are laid on loose, so as to be
moved about, either to be put close to exclude the rain, or in fair
weather to be separated, to let in the light, and carry out the smoke.
They are, however, upon the whole, miserable dwellings, and constructed
with little care or ingenuity. For though the side-planks be made to fit
pretty closely in some places, in others they are quite open, and there
are no regular doors into them, the only way of entrance being either by
a hole where the unequal length of the planks has accidentally left an
opening, or, in some cases, planks are made to pass a little beyond each
other, or overlap, about two feet asunder, and the entrance is in this
space. There are also holes or windows in the sides of the houses to
look out at; but without any regularity of shape or disposition, and
these have bits of mat hung before them to prevent the rain getting in.

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

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

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

But, amidst all the filth and confusion that are found in the houses,
many of them are decorated with images. These are nothing more than the
trunks of very large trees four or five feet high, set up singly or by
pairs at the upper end of the apartment, with the front carved into a
human face, the arms and hands cut out upon the sides and variously
painted; so that the whole is a truly monstrous figure. The general name
of these images is _Klumma_, and the names of two particular ones which
stood abreast of each other, three or four feet asunder in one of the
houses, were _Natchkoa_ and _Matseeta_. Mr. Webber’s view of the inside
of a Nootka house in which these images are represented, will convey a
more perfect idea of them than any description. A mat, by way of
curtain, for the most part hung before them, which the natives were not
willing at all times to remove; and when they did unveil them, they
seemed to speak of them in a very mysterious manner. It should seem that
they are at times accustomed to make offerings to them, if we can draw
this inference from their desiring us, as we interpreted their signs, to
give something to these images when they drew aside the mats that
covered them.[45] It was natural, from these circumstances, for us to
think that they were representatives of their gods, or symbols of some
religious or superstitious object; and yet we had proofs of the little
real estimation they were in, for with a small quantity of iron or
brass, I could have purchased all the gods (if their images were such)
in the place. I did not see one that was not offered to me; and I
actually got two or three of the very smallest sort.

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

Though their food, strictly speaking, may be said to consist of every
thing animal or vegetable that they can procure, the quantity of the
latter bears an exceedingly small proportion to that of the former.
Their greatest reliance seems to be upon the sea, as affording fish,
muscles, and smaller shell-fish and sea-animals. Of the first, the
principal are herrings and sardines, the two species of bream formerly
mentioned, and small cod; but the herrings and sardines are not only
eaten fresh in their season, but likewise serve as stores, which after
being dried and smoked, are preserved by being sewed up in mats, so as
to form large bales three or four feet square. It seems that the
herrings also supply them with another grand resource for food, which is
a vast quantity of roe very curiously prepared: it is strewed upon, or
as it were, incrustated about small branches of the Canadian pine; they
also prepare it upon a long narrow sea-grass, which grows plentifully
upon the rocks under water. This _caviare_, if it may be so called, is
kept in baskets or bags of mat, and used occasionally, being first
dipped in water. It may be considered as the winter bread of these
people, and has no disagreeable taste. They also eat the roe of some
other fish, which, from the size of its grains, must be very large, but
it has a rancid taste and smell. It does not appear that they prepare
any other fish in this manner, to preserve them for any length of time.
For though they split and dry a few of the bream and _chimæræ_, which
are pretty plentiful; they do not smoke them as the herrings and

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

Of the sea-animals, the most common that we saw in use amongst them, as
food, is the porpoise; the fat or rind of which, as well as the flesh,
they cut in large pieces, and, having dried them, as they do the
herrings, eat them without any farther preparation. They also prepare a
sort of broth from this animal in its fresh state, in a singular manner,
putting pieces of it in a square wooden vessel or bucket, with water,
and then throwing heated stones into it. This operation they repeat till
they think the contents are sufficiently stewed or seethed. They put in
the fresh, and take out the other stones, with a cleft stick, which
serves as tongs; the vessel being always placed near the fire for that
purpose.[46] This is a pretty common dish amongst them; and, from its
appearance, seems to be strong, nourishing food. The oil which they
procure from these and other sea-animals, is also used by them in great
quantities; both supping it alone, with a large scoop or spoon, made of
horn, or mixing it with other food, as sauce.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their manufactures and mechanic arts are far more extensive and
ingenious, whether we regard the design or the execution, than could
have been expected from the natural disposition of the people, and the
little progress that civilization has made amongst them in other
respects. The flaxen and woollen garments, with which they cover
themselves, must necessarily engage their first care, and are the most
material of those that can be ranked under the head of manufactures. The
former of these are made of the bark of a pine-tree, beat into a hempen
state. It is not spun, but, after being properly prepared, is spread
upon a stick, which is fastened across to two others that stand upright.
It is disposed in such a manner that the manufacturer, who sits on her
hams at this simple machine, knots it across with small plaited threads,
at the distance of half an inch from each other. Though, by this method,
it be not so close or firm as cloth that is woven, the bunches between
the knots make it sufficiently impervious to the air, by filling the
interstices, and it has the additional advantage of being softer and
more pliable. The woollen garments, though probably manufactured in the
same manner, have the strongest resemblance to woven cloth. But the
various figures which are very artificially inserted in them, destroy
the supposition of their being wrought in the loom; it being extremely
unlikely that these people should be so dexterous as to be able to
finish such a complex work, unless immediately by their hands. They are
of different degrees of fineness; some resembling our coarsest rugs or
blankets, and others almost equal to our finest sorts, or even softer,
and certainly warmer. The wool of which they are made, seems to be taken
from animals, as the fox and brown _lynx_; the last of which is by far
the finest sort, and, in its natural state, differs little from the
colour of our coarser wools; but the hair, with which the animal is also
covered, being intermixed, its appearance, when wrought, is somewhat
different. The ornamental parts or figures in these garments, which are
disposed with great taste, are commonly of a different colour, being
dyed, chiefly, either of a deep brown, or of a yellow; the last of
which, when it is new, equals the best in our carpets, as to brightness.

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

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

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

Their implements for fishing and hunting, which are both ingeniously
contrived and well made, are nets, hooks, and lines, harpoons, gigs, and
an instrument like an oar. This last is about twenty feet long, four or
five inches broad, and about half an inch thick. Each edge, for about
two-thirds of its length (the other third being its handle), is set with
sharp bone-teeth, about two inches long. Herrings and sardines and such
other small fish as come in shoals, are attacked with this instrument;
which is struck into the shoal, and the fish are caught either upon or
between the teeth. Their hooks are made of bone and wood, and rather
inartificially; but the harpoon, with which they strike the whales and
lesser sea animals, shews a great reach of contrivance. It is composed
of a piece of bone, cut into two barbs, in which is fixed the oval blade
of a large muscle shell, in which is the point of the instrument. To
this are fastened about two or three fathoms of rope; and to throw this
harpoon, they use a shaft of about twelve or fifteen feet long, to which
the line or rope is made fast; and to one end of which the harpoon is
fixed, so as to separate from the shaft, and leave it floating upon the
water as a buoy, when the animal darts away with the harpoon.

We can say nothing as to the manner of their catching or killing land
animals, unless we may suppose that they shoot the smaller sorts with
their arrows, and engage bears, or wolves and foxes, with their spears.
They have, indeed, several nets, which are probably applied to that
purpose[47]; as they frequently throw them over their heads, to shew
their use, when they brought them to us for sale. They also, sometimes
decoy animals, by covering themselves with a skin, and running about
upon all fours, which they do very nimbly, as appeared from the
specimens of their skill, which they exhibited to us, making a kind of
noise or neighing at the same time; and, on these occasions, the masks,
or carved heads, as well as the real dried heads, of the different
animals, are put on.

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

Their great dexterity in works of wood may, in some measure, be ascribed
to the assistance they receive from iron tools; for, as far as we know,
they use no other; at least, we saw only one chisel of bone. And though
originally, their tools must have been of different materials, it is not
improbable that many of their improvements have been made since they
acquired a knowledge of that metal, which is now universally used in
their various wooden works. The chisel and the knife are the only forms,
as far as we saw, that iron assumes amongst them. The chisel is a long
flat piece, fitted into a handle of wood. A stone serves for a mallet,
and a piece of fish-skin for a polisher. I have seen some of these
chisels that were eight or ten inches long, and three or four inches
broad; but in general, they were smaller. The knives are of various
sizes; some very large, and their blades are crooked, somewhat like our
pruning-knife; but the edge is on the back or convex part. Most of them
that we saw, were about the breadth and thickness of an iron hoop; and
their singular form marks that they are not of European make. Probably,
they are imitations of their own original instruments, used for the same
purposes. They sharpen these iron tools upon a coarse slate whetstone;
and likewise keep the whole instrument constantly bright.

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

Some accounts of a Spanish voyage to this coast, in 1774, or 1775, had
reached England before I sailed; but the foregoing circumstances
sufficiently prove, that these ships had not been at Nootka.[48] Besides
this, it was evident that iron was too common here; was in too many
hands; and the uses of it were too well known, for them to have had the
first knowledge of it so very lately; or, indeed, at any earlier period,
by an accidental supply from a ship. Doubtless, from the general use
they make of this metal, it may be supposed to come from some constant
source, by way of traffic, and that not of a very late date; for they
are as dexterous in using their tools as the longest practice can make
them. The most probable way, therefore, by which we can suppose that
they get their iron, is by trading for it with other Indian tribes, who
either have immediate communication with European settlements upon that
continent, or receive it, perhaps, through several intermediate nations.
The same might be said of the brass and copper found amongst them.

Whether these things be introduced by way of Hudson’s Bay and Canada,
from the Indians, who deal with our traders, and so successively across
from one tribe to the other; or whether they be brought from the
north-western parts of Mexico, in the same manner; perhaps cannot be
easily determined. But it should seem, that not only the rude materials,
but some articles in their manufactured state, find their way hither.
The brass ornaments for noses, in particular, are so neatly made, that I
am doubtful whether the Indians are capable of fabricating them. The
materials certainly are European; as no American tribes have been found,
who knew the method of making brass; though copper has been commonly met
with, and, from its softness, might be fashioned into any shape, and
also polished. If our traders to Hudson’s Bay and Canada, do not use
such articles in their traffic with the natives, they must have been
introduced at Nootka from the quarter of Mexico, from whence, no doubt,
the two silver table-spoons, met with here, were originally derived. It
is most probable, however, that the Spaniards are not such eager
traders, nor have formed such extensive connections with the tribes
north of Mexico, as to supply them with quantities of iron, from which
they can spare so much to the people here.[49]

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

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

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

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

               _Opulszthl_,         The sun.
               _Onulszthl_,         The moon.
               _Kahsheetl_,         Dead.
               _Teeshcheetl_,       To throw a stone.
               _Kooomitz_,          A human skull.
               _Quahmiss_,          Fish roe.

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

“As to the composition of it, we can say very little; having been
scarcely able to distinguish the several parts of speech. It can only be
inferred, from their method of speaking, which is very slow and
distinct, that it has few prepositions or conjunctions; and, as far as
we could discover, is destitute of even a single interjection, to
express admiration or surprise. From its having few conjunctions, it may
be conceived, that these being thought unnecessary, as being understood,
each single word, with them, will also express a great deal, to
comprehend several simple ideas; which seems to be the case. But, for
the same reason, the language will be defective in other respects; not
having words to distinguish or express differences which really exist,
and hence not sufficiently copious. This was observed to be the case in
many instances, particularly with respect to the names of animals. The
relation or affinity it may bear to other languages, either on this or
on the Asiatic continent, I have not been able sufficiently to trace,
for want of proper specimens to compare it with, except those of the
Esquimaux and Indians about Hudson’s Bay; to neither of which it bears
the least resemblance. On the other hand, from the few Mexican words I
have been able to procure, there is the most obvious agreement, in the
very frequent terminations of the words in _l_, _tl_, or _z_, throughout
the language.”[50]

The large vocabulary of the Nootka language, collected by Mr. Anderson,
shall be reserved for another place[51], as its insertion here would too
much interrupt our narration. At present, I only select their numerals,
for the satisfaction of such of our readers as love to compare those of
different nations, in different parts of the world:

               _Tsawack_,           One.
               _Akkla_,             Two.
               _Katsitsa_,          Three.
               _Mo_, or _moo_,      Four.
               _Sochah_,            Five.
               _Nofpo_,             Six.
               _Atslepoo_,          Seven.
               _Atlaquolthl_,       Eight.
               _Tsawaquulthl_,      Nine.
               _Haeeoo_,            Ten.

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

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


                                { Sun            49° 36ʹ  1ʺ,15ʺʹ
 The latitude of the observatory{       { South  49  36   8,  36
   by                           { Stars { North  49  36  10,  30
                   The mean of these means  -    49  36   6,  47 north.


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

 Longitude by the { Greenwich rate                 235° 46ʹ 51ʺ, 0ʺʹ
   time-keeper    { Ulietea rate                   233  59  24,   0

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

                      _Variation of the Compass._

 April { A. M. } Observatory,      { 15° 57ʹ 48-1/2ʺ  } 15° 49ʹ 25ʺ east.
  4th  { P. M. } Mean of 4 needles { 15  41   2       }

  5th. { A. M. } On board the ship,{ 19  50  49       } 19 44 57-1/2
 17th. { P. M. } Mean of 4 needles { 19  38  46       }

The variation found on board the ship ought to be taken for the true
one, not only as it agreed with what we observed at sea; but because it
was found that there was something ashore that had a considerable effect
upon the compasses; in some places more than others. At one spot, on the
west point of the sound, the needle was attracted 11-3/4 points from its
proper direction.

                  _Inclination of the dipping Needle._

  5th. On board with        { Marked   } End North   { 71° 26ʹ 22-1/2ʺ  } 71° 40ʹ 22-1/2ʺ
         balanced needle    { Unmarked } and dipping { 71  54  22-1/2   }

       The same needle      { Marked   } End North   { 72 3 45          } 70   0   0
         at the observatory { Unmarked } and dipping { 71 56 15         }

 18th. Ditto                { Marked   } End North   { 71 58 20         } 72   7  15
                            { Unmarked } and dipping { 72 16 10         }

  5th. Spare needle at      { Marked   } End North   { 72 32 30         } 72  49  15
         the observatory    { Unmarked } and dipping { 73 6 0           }

 18th. Ditto                { Marked   } End North   { 72 55 0          } 73  11  45
                            { Unmarked } and dipping { 73 28 30         }

 22d.  Spare needle on      { Marked   } End North   { 73 28 38         } 73  11   0
         board              { Unmarked } and dipping { 72 53 30         }

       Hence the mean dip, with both needles, on shore, was               72  32   3-3/4
       On board                                                           72  25  41-1/4

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


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

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

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

                               CHAP. IV.


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

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

The weather now began to clear up; and being able to see several leagues
round us, I steered more to the northward. At noon, the latitude, by
observation, was 50° 1ʹ; longitude 229° 26ʹ.[52] I now steered N. W. by
N., with a fresh gale at S. S. E., and fair weather. But at nine in the
evening it began again to blow hard and in squalls with rain. With such
weather, and the wind between S. S. E. and S. W., I continued the same
course till the 30th, at four in the morning, when I steered N. by W.,
in order to make the land. I regretted very much indeed that I could not
do it sooner, for this obvious reason, that we were now passing the
place where geographers[53] have placed the pretended strait of Admiral
de Fonte. For my own part, I give no credit to such vague and improbable
stories, that carry their own confutation along with them. Nevertheless,
I was very desirous of keeping the American coast aboard, in order to
clear up this point beyond dispute. But it would have been highly
imprudent in me to have engaged with the land in weather so exceedingly
tempestuous, or to have lost the advantage of a fair wind by waiting for
better weather. The same day at noon we were in the latitude of 53° 22ʹ,
and in the longitude of 225° 14ʹ.

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

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

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

As we advanced to the north, we found the coast from Cape Edgecumbe to
trend to north and north easterly for six or seven leagues, and there
form a large bay. In the entrance of that bay are some islands; for
which reason I named it the _Bay of Islands_. It lies in the latitude of
57° 20ʹ[55]; and seemed to branch into several arms, one of which turned
to the south, and may probably communicate with the bay on the east side
of Cape Edgecumbe, and make the land of that cape an island. At eight
o’clock in the evening, the cape bore south-east half south; the Bay of
Islands N. 53° E.; and another inlet, before which are also some
islands, bore N. 52° E., five leagues distant. I continued to steer
N. N. W., half W., and N. W. by W., as the coast trended, with a fine
gale at N. E., and clear weather.

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

Here the north-east wind left us, and was succeeded by light breezes
from the north-west, which lasted for several days. I stood to the
south-west, and west-south-west, till eight o’clock the next morning,
when we tacked and stood toward the shore. At noon the latitude was 58°
22ʹ, and the longitude 220° 45ʹ. Mount Fair Weather, the peaked mountain
over the cape of the same name, bore N., 63° E.; the shore under it
twelve leagues distant. This mountain, which lies in the latitude of 58°
52ʹ, and in the longitude of 222°, and five leagues inland, is the
highest of a chain, or rather a ridge of mountains, that rise at the
north-west entrance of Cross Sound, and extend to the north-west in a
parallel direction with the coast. These mountains were wholly covered
with snow, from the highest summit down to the sea-coast, some few
places excepted, where we could perceive trees rising, as it were, out
of the sea; and which, therefore, we supposed grew on low land, or on
islands bordering upon the shore of the continent[56]. At five in the
afternoon, our latitude being then 58° 53ʹ, and our longitude 220° 52ʹ;
the summit of an elevated mountain appeared above the horizon, being N.
26° W.; and, as was afterward found, forty leagues distant. We supposed
it to be Beering’s Mount St. Elias; and it stands by that name in our

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

Having but light winds, with some calms, we advanced slowly; so that, on
the 6th at noon, we were only in the latitude of 59° 8ʹ, and in the
longitude of 220° 19ʹ. Mount Fair Weather bore S., 63° E., and Mount
Elias N., 30° W.; the nearest land about eight leagues distant. In the
direction of north, 47° E. from this station, there was the appearance
of a bay, and an island off the south point of it, that was covered with
wood. It is here where I suppose Commodore Beering to have anchored. The
latitude, which is 59° 18ʹ, corresponds pretty well with the map of his
voyage[57], and the longitude is 221° E. Behind the bay (which I shall
distinguish by the name of _Beering’s Bay_, in honour of its
discoverer), or rather to the south of it, the chain of mountains before
mentioned is interrupted by a plain of a few leagues extent; beyond
which the sight was unlimited; so that there is either a level country
or water behind it. In the afternoon, having a few hours’ calm, I took
this opportunity to sound, and found twenty fathoms’ water over a muddy
bottom. The calm was succeeded by a light breeze from the north, with
which we stood to the westward; and at noon the next day we were in the
latitude of 59° 27ʹ, and the longitude of 219° 7ʹ. In this situation,
Mount Fair Weather bore S., 70ʹ E.; Mount St. Elias N. half W.; the
westernmost land in sight, N., 52° W.; and our distance from the shore
four or five leagues; the depth of water being eighty-two fathoms over a
muddy bottom. From this station we could see a bay (circular to
appearance) under the high land, with low wood-land on each side of it.

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

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

At four o’clock next morning, the wind, which had been mostly at
north-east, shifted to north. This being against us, I gave up the
design of going within the island, or into the bay, as neither could be
done without loss of time. I therefore bore up for the west end of the
island. The wind blew faint; and at ten o’clock it fell calm. Being not
far from the island, I went in a boat, and landed upon it, with a view
of seeing what lay on the other side; but finding it farther to the
hills than I expected, and the way being steep and woody, I was obliged
to drop the design. At the foot of a tree, on a little eminence not far
from the shore, I left a bottle, with a paper in it, on which were
inscribed the names of the ships, and the date of our discovery. And
along with it I inclosed two silver twopenny pieces of his Majesty’s
coin, of the date 1772. These, with many others, were furnished me by
the Reverend Dr. Kaye[58]; and, as a mark of my esteem and regard for
that gentleman, I named the island, after him, _Kaye’s Island_. It is
eleven or twelve leagues in length, in the direction of north-east and
south-west; but its breadth is not above a league, or a league and a
half, in any part of it. The south-west point, which lies in the
latitude of 59° 49ʹ, and the longitude of 216° 58ʹ, is very remarkable,
being a naked rock, elevated considerably above the land within it.
There is also an elevated rock lying off it, which, from some points of
view, appears like a ruined castle. Toward the sea the island terminates
in a kind of bare sloping cliffs, with a beach, only a few paces across
to their foot, of large pebble stones, intermixed in some places with a
brownish clayey sand, which the sea seems to deposit after rolling in,
having been washed down from the higher parts, by the rivulets or
torrents. The cliffs are composed of a bluish stone or rock, in a soft
or mouldering state, except in a few places. There are parts of the
shore interrupted by small valleys and gullies. In each of these a
rivulet or torrent rushes down with considerable impetuosity; though it
may be supposed that they are only furnished from the snow, and last no
longer than till it is all melted. These valleys are filled with
pine-trees, which grow down close to the entrance, but only to about
half way up the higher or middle part of the island. The woody part also
begins every where immediately above the cliffs, and is continued to the
same height with the former; so that the island is covered, as it were,
with a broad girdle of wood, spread upon its side, included between the
top of the cliffy shore, and the higher parts in the centre. The trees
however are far from being of an uncommon growth; few appearing to be
larger than one might grasp round with his arms, and about forty or
fifty feet high; so that the only purpose they could answer for shipping
would be to make top-gallant-masts, and other small things. How far we
may judge of the size of the trees which grow on the neighbouring
continent, it may be difficult to determine. But it was observed that
none larger than those we saw growing, lay upon the beach amongst the
drift wood. The pine-trees seemed all of one sort; and there was neither
the Canadian pine nor cypress to be seen. But there were a few which
appeared to be the alder, that were but small, and had not yet shot
forth their leaves. Upon the edges of the cliffs, and on some sloping
ground, the surface was covered with a kind of turf, about half a foot
thick; which seemed composed of the common moss; and the top, or upper
part, of the island had almost the same appearance as to colour; but
whatever covered it seemed to be thicker. I found amongst the trees some
currant and hawberry bushes; a small yellow-flowered violet; and the
leaves of some other plants not yet in flower, particularly one which
Mr. Anderson supposed to be the _heracleum_ of Linnæus, the sweet herb,
which Steller, who attended Beering, imagined the Americans here dress
for food, in the same manner as the natives of Kamtschatka.[59]

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

I returned on board at half past two in the afternoon; and, with a light
breeze easterly, steered for the south-west of the island, which we got
round by eight o’clock, and then stood for the westernmost land now in
sight, which, at this time, bore north-west half north. On the
north-west side of the north-east end of Kaye’s Island, lies another
island, stretching south-east and north-west about three leagues, to
within the same distance of the north-west boundary of the bay above
mentioned, which is distinguished by the name of _Comptroller’s Bay_.

Next morning, at four o’clock, Kaye’s Island was still in sight, bearing
east a quarter south. At this time, we were about four or five leagues
from the main; and the most western part in sight bore north-west half
north. We had now a fresh gale at east-south-east; and as we advanced to
the north-west, we raised land more and more westerly; and, at last, to
the southward of west; so that at noon, when the latitude was 61° 11ʹ,
and the longitude 213° 28ʹ, the most advanced land bore from us
south-west by west half west. At the same time, the east point of a
large inlet bore west-north-west, three leagues distant.

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

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

To these islands Mr. Gore was sent in a boat, in hopes of shooting some
eatable birds. But he had hardly got to them, before about twenty
natives made their appearance in two large canoes; on which he thought
proper to return to the ships, and they followed him. They would not
venture along-side, but kept at some distance, holloing aloud, and
alternately clasping and extending their arms; and, in a short time,
began a kind of song exactly after the manner of those at Nootka. Their
heads were also powdered with feathers. One man held out a white
garment, which we interpreted as a sign of friendship; and another stood
up in the canoe, quite naked, for almost a quarter of an hour, with his
arms stretched out like a cross, and motionless. The canoes were not
constructed of wood, as at King George’s or Nootka Sound. The frame
only, being slender laths, was of that substance; the outside consisting
of the skins of seals, or of such-like animals. Though we returned all
their signs of friendship, and, by every expressive gesture, tried to
encourage them to come along-side, we could not prevail. Some of our
people repeated several of the common words of the Nootka language, such
as _seekemaile_, and _mahook_; but they did not seem to understand them.
After receiving some presents, which were thrown to them, they retired
toward that part of the shore from whence they came; giving us to
understand by signs, that they would visit us again the next morning.
Two of them, however, each in a small canoe, waited upon us in the
night; probably with a design to pilfer something, thinking we should be
all asleep; for they retired as soon as they found themselves

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

The natives who visited us the preceding evening, came off again in the
morning, in five or six canoes; but not till we were under sail; and
although they followed us for some time, they could not get up with us.
Before two in the afternoon, the bad weather returned again, with so
thick a haze, that we could see no other land besides the point just
mentioned, which we reached at half past four, and found it to be a
small island, lying about two miles from the adjacent coast, being a
point of land, on the east side of which we discovered a fine bay, or
rather harbour. To this we plied up, under reefed topsails and courses.
The wind blew strong at south-east, and in excessively hard squalls,
with rain. At intervals, we could see land in every direction; but, in
general, the weather was so foggy, that we could see none but the shores
of the bay into which we were plying. In passing the island, the depth
of water was twenty-six fathoms, with a muddy bottom. Soon after the
depth increased to sixty and seventy fathoms, a rocky bottom; but in the
entrance of the bay, the depth was from thirty to six fathoms; the last
very near the shore. At length, at eight o’clock, the violence of the
squalls obliged us to anchor in thirteen fathoms, before we had got so
far into the bay as I intended; but we thought ourselves fortunate that
we had already sufficiently secured ourselves at this hour; for the
night was exceedingly stormy.

The weather, bad as it was, did not hinder three of the natives from
paying us a visit. They came off in two canoes; two men in one, and one
in the other; being the number each could carry. For they were built and
constructed in the same manner with those of the Esquimaux; only in the
one were two holes for two men to sit in; and in the other but one. Each
of these men had a stick, about three feet long, with the large feathers
or wing of birds tied to it. These they frequently held up to us; with a
view, as we guessed, to express their pacific disposition.[60]

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

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

As soon as they were gone, I sent a boat to sound the head of the bay.
For, as the wind was moderate, I had thoughts of laying the ship ashore,
if a convenient place could be found where I might begin our operations
to stop the leak. It was not long before all the Americans left the
Discovery, and instead of returning to us, made their way toward our
boat employed as above. The officer in her seeing this, returned to the
ship, and was followed by all the canoes. The boat’s crew had no sooner
come on board, leaving in her two of their number by way of a guard,
than some of the Americans stepped into her. Some presented their spears
before the two men; others cast loose the rope which fastened her to the
ship; and the rest attempted to tow her away. But the instant they saw
us preparing to oppose them, they let her go, stepped out of her into
canoes, and made signs to us to lay down our arms, having the appearance
of being as perfectly unconcerned as if they had done nothing amiss.
This, though rather a more daring attempt, was hardly equal to what they
had meditated on board the Discovery. The man who came and carried all
his countrymen from the Resolution to the other ship, had first been on
board of her; where, after looking down all the hatchways, and seeing
nobody but the officer of the watch, and one or two more, he, no doubt,
thought they might plunder her with ease; especially as she lay at some
distance from us. It was unquestionably with this view that they all
repaired to her. Several of them, without any ceremony, went on board;
drew their knives; made signs to the officer and people on deck to keep
off; and began to look about them for plunder. The first thing they met
with was the rudder of one of the boats, which they threw over-board to
those of their party who had remained in the canoes. Before they had
time to find another object that pleased their fancy, the crew were
alarmed, and began to come upon deck armed with cutlasses. On seeing
this, the whole company of plunderers sneaked off into their canoes,
with as much deliberation and indifference as they had given up the
boat; and they were observed describing to those who had not been on
board, how much longer the knives of the ship’s crew were than their
own. It was at this time, that my boat was on the sounding duty; which
they must have seen; for they proceeded directly for her, after their
disappointment at the Discovery. I have not the least doubt, that their
visiting us so very early in the morning, was with a view to plunder; on
a supposition, that they should find every body asleep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

To enable me to form a better judgment, I dispatched Mr. Gore, with two
armed boats, to examine the northern arm; and the master, with two other
boats, to examine another arm that seemed to take an easterly direction.
Late in the evening they both returned. The master reported that the arm
he had been sent to communicated with that from which he had last come;
and that one side of it was only formed by a group of islands. Mr. Gore
informed me that he had seen the entrance of an arm, which, he was of
opinion, extended a long way to the north-east; and that probably by it
a passage might be found. On the other hand, Mr. Roberts, one of the
mates, whom I had sent with Mr. Gore to sketch out the parts they had
examined, was of opinion that they saw the head of this arm. The
disagreement of these two opinions, and the circumstance already
mentioned of the flood-tide entering the sound from the south, rendered
the existence of a passage this way very doubtful. And, as the wind in
the morning had become favourable for getting out to sea, I resolved to
spend no more time in searching for a passage in a place that promised
so little success. Besides this, I considered that if the land on the
west should prove to be islands, agreeably to the late Russian
discoveries[61], we could not fail of getting far enough to the north,
and that in good time; provided we did not lose the season in searching
places where a passage was not only doubtful, but improbable. We were
now upward of five hundred and twenty leagues to the westward of any
part of Baffin’s, or of Hudson’s Bay. And whatever passage there may be,
it must be, or at least part of it must lie to the north of latitude
72°.[62] Who could expect to find a passage or strait of such extent?

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

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

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

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

                                CHAP. V.


To the inlet, which we had now left, I gave the name of _Prince
William’s Sound_. To judge of this sound, from what we saw of it, it
occupies, at least, a degree and a half of latitude, and two of
longitude, exclusive of the arms or branches, the extent of which is not
known. The direction which they seemed to take, as also the situation
and magnitude of the several islands in and about it, will be best seen
in the sketch, which is delineated with as much accuracy as the short
time and other circumstances would allow.

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

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

Their common dress (for men, women, and children are clothed alike) is a
kind of close frock, or rather robe; reaching generally to the ankles,
though sometimes only to the knees. At the upper part is a hole just
sufficient to admit the head, with sleeves that reach to the wrist.
These frocks are made of the skins of different animals; the most common
of which are those of the sea-otter, grey fox, racoon, and pine martin;
with many of seal skins; and, in general, they are worn with the hairy
side outward. Some also have these frocks made of the skins of fowls,
with only the down remaining on them, which they glue on other
substances. And we saw one or two woollen garments like those of Nootka.
At the seams, where the different skins are sewed together, they are
commonly ornamented with tassels or fringes of narrow thongs, cut out of
the same skins. A few have a kind of cape, or collar, and some a hood;
but the other is the most common form, and seems to be their whole dress
in good weather. When it rains, they put over this another frock,
ingeniously made from the intestines of whales, or some other large
animal, prepared so skilfully as almost to resemble our gold-beaters’
leaf. It is made to draw tight round the neck; its sleeves reach as low
as the wrist, round which they are tied with a string; and its skirts,
when they are in their canoes, are drawn over the rim of the hole in
which they sit, so that no water can enter. At the same time, it keeps
the men entirely dry upward. For no water can penetrate through it, any
more than through a bladder. It must be kept continually moist or wet;
otherwise it is apt to crack or break. This, as well as the common frock
made of the skins, bears a great resemblance to the dress of the
Greenlanders, as described by Crantz.[63]

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

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

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

The men frequently paint their faces of a bright red, and of a black
colour, and sometimes of a blue or leaden colour; but not in any regular
figure; and the women, in some measure, endeavoured to imitate them, by
puncturing or staining the chin with black, that comes to a point in
each cheek; a practice very similar to which is in fashion amongst the
females of Greenland, as we learn from Crantz.[64] Their bodies are not
painted, which may be owing to the scarcity of proper materials, for all
the colours which they brought to sell in bladders were in very small
quantities. Upon the whole, I have no where seen savages who take more
pains than these people do to ornament, or rather to disfigure their

Their boats or canoes are of two sorts, the one being large and open,
and the other small and covered. I mentioned already, that in one of the
large boats were twenty women and one man, besides children. I
attentively examined and compared the construction of this with Crantz’s
description of what he calls the great, or women’s boat, in Greenland,
and found that they were built in the same manner, parts like parts,
with no other difference than in the form of the head and stern,
particularly of the first, which bears some resemblance to the head of a
whale. The framing is of slender pieces of wood, over which the skins of
seals, or of other larger sea-animals, are stretched to compose the
outside. It appeared also, that the small canoes of these people are
made nearly of the same form, and of the same materials, with those used
by the Greenlanders[65] and Esquimaux, at least the difference is not
material. Some of these, as I have before observed, carry two men; they
are broader in proportion to their length than those of the Esquimaux,
and the head or fore-part curves somewhat like the head of a violin.

The weapons and instruments for fishing and hunting are the very same
that are made use of by the Esquimaux and Greenlanders, and it is
unnecessary to be particular in my account of them, as they are all very
accurately described by Crantz.[66] I did not see a single one with
these people that he has not mentioned, nor has he mentioned one that
they have not. For defensive armour, they have a kind of jacket or coat
of mail made of thin laths bound together with sinews, which makes it
quite flexible, though so close as not to admit an arrow or dart. It
only covers the trunk of the body, and may not be improperly compared to
a woman’s stays.

As none of these people lived in the bay where we anchored, or where any
of us landed, we saw none of their habitations, and I had not time to
look after them. Of their domestic utensils, they brought in their boats
some round and oval shallow dishes of wood; and others of a cylindrical
shape much deeper. The sides were made of one piece, bent round like
chip-boxes, though thick, neatly fastened with thongs, and the bottoms
fixed in with small wooden pegs. Others were smaller and of a more
elegant shape, somewhat resembling a large oval butter-boat without a
handle, but more shallow, made from a piece of wood or horny substance.
These last were sometimes neatly carved. They had many little square
bags, made of the same gut with their outer frocks, neatly ornamented
with very minute red feathers interwoven with it, in which were
contained some very fine sinews and bundles of small cord made from
them, most ingeniously platted. They also brought many chequered baskets
so closely wrought as to hold water, some wooden models of their canoes,
a good many little images four or five inches long, either of wood or
stuffed, which were covered with a bit of fur, and ornamented with
pieces of small quill feathers, in imitation of their shelly beads, with
hair fixed on their heads. Whether these might be mere toys for
children, or held in veneration as representing their deceased friends,
and applied to some superstitious purpose, we could not determine. But
they have many instruments made of two or three hoops, or concentric
pieces of wood, with a cross-bar fixed in the middle, to hold them by.
To these are fixed a great number of dried barnacle-shells, with
threads, which serve as a rattle, and make a loud noise when they shake
them. This contrivance seems to be a substitute for the rattling-bird at
Nootka, and perhaps both of them are employed on the same occasions.[67]

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

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

Their language seems difficult to be understood at first, not from any
indistinctness or confusion in their words and sounds, but from the
various significations they have. For they appeared to use the very same
word frequently on very different occasions, though doubtless this
might, if our intercourse had been of longer duration, have been found
to be a mistake on our side. The only words I could obtain, and for them
I am indebted to Mr. Anderson[68], were those that follow, the first of
which was also used at Nootka in the same sense, though we could not
trace an affinity between the two dialects in any other instance.

 Akashou,        _What’s the name of that?_

 Namuk,          _An ornament for the ear._

 Lukluk,         _A brown shaggy skin, perhaps a bear’s._

 Aa,             _Yes._

 Natooneshuk,    _The skin of a sea-otter._

 Keeta,          _Give me something._

 Naema,          _Give me something in exchange_, or _barter_.

 Ooonaka,        _Of_, or _belonging to me_.—_Will you barter for this
                 that belongs to me?_


 Ahleu,          _A spear._

 Weena, _or_     _Stranger—calling to one._

 Keelashuk,      _Guts of which they make jackets._

 Tawuk,          _Keep it._

 Amilhtoo,       _A piece of white bear’s skin_, or _perhaps the hair
                 that covered it_.

 Whaehai,        _Shall I keep it? do you give it me?_

 Yaut,           _I’ll go_; or _shall I go_?

 Chilke,         _One._

 Taiha,          _Two._

 Tokke,          _Three._


 Chukelo[69],    _Four?_

 Koeheene,       _Five?_

 Takulai,        _Six?_

 Keichilho,      _Seven?_

 Klu, _or_       _Eight?_

As to the animals of this part of the continent, the same must be
understood as of those at Nootka, that is, that the knowledge we have of
them is entirely taken from the skins which the natives brought to sell.
These were chiefly of seals, a few foxes, the whitish cat, or _lynx_,
common and pine martins, small ermins, bears, racoons, and sea-otters.
Of these, the most common were the martin, racoon, and sea-otter-skins,
which composed the ordinary dress of the natives; but the skins of the
first, which in general were of a much lighter brown than those of
Nootka, were far superior to them in fineness; whereas the last, which,
as well as the martins, were far more plentiful than at Nootka, seemed
greatly inferior in the fineness and thickness of their fur, though they
greatly exceeded them in size, and were almost all of the glossy black
sort, which is doubtless the colour most esteemed in those skins. Bear
and seal skins were also pretty common; and the last were in general
white, very beautifully spotted with black, or sometimes simply white,
and many of the bears here were of a brown or sooty colour.

Besides these animals, which were all seen at Nootka, there are some
others in this place which we did not find there, such as the white
bear, of whose skins the natives brought several pieces, and some entire
skins of cubs, from which their size could not be determined. We also
found the wolverene, or quickhatch, which had very bright colours; a
larger sort of ermine than the common one, which is the same as at
Nootka, varied with a brown colour, and with scarcely any black on its
tail. The natives also brought the skin of the head of some very large
animal, but it could not be positively determined what it was, though,
from the colour and shagginess of the hair, and its unlikeness to any
land animal, we judged it might probably be that of the large male
ursine seal or sea-bear. But one of the most beautiful skins, and which
seems peculiar to this place as we never saw it before, is that of a
small animal about ten inches long, of a brown or rusty colour on the
back, with a great number of obscure whitish specks, and the sides of a
blueish ash-colour, also with a few of these specks. The tail is not
above a third of the length of its body, and is covered with a hair of a
whitish colour at the edges. It is no doubt the same with those called
spotted field-mice by Mr. Stæhlin[70], in his short account of the New
Northern Archipelago; but whether they be really of the mouse kind or a
squirrel, we could not tell, for want of perfect skins, though Mr.
Anderson was inclined to think that it is the same animal described
under the name of the _Casan_ marmot, by Mr. Pennant. The number of
skins we found here, points out the great plenty of these several
animals just mentioned; but it is remarkable, that we neither saw the
skins of the moose nor of the common deer.

Of the birds mentioned at Nootka, we found here only the white-headed
eagle; the shag; the _alcyon_, or great king-fisher, which had very
bright colours; and the humming-bird, which came frequently and flew
about the ship, while at anchor; though it can scarcely live here in the
winter, which must be very severe. The water-fowl were geese; a small
sort of duck, almost like that mentioned at Kerguelen’s Land; another
sort which none of us knew; and some of the black sea-pyes, with red
bills, which we found at Van Diemen’s Land, and New Zealand. Some of the
people who went on shore, killed a grouse, a snipe, and some plover. But
though, upon the whole, the water-fowl were pretty numerous, especially
the ducks and geese, which frequent the shores, they were so shy, that
it was scarcely possible to get within shot; so that we obtained a very
small supply of them as refreshment. The duck mentioned above, is as
large as the common wild-duck, of a deep black colour, with a short
pointed tail, and red feet. The bill is white, tinged with red toward
the point, and has a large black spot, almost square, near its base, on
each side, where it is also enlarged or distended: and on the forehead
is a large triangular white spot; with one still larger on the back part
of the neck. The female has much duller colours, and none of the
ornaments of the bill, except the two black spots, which are obscure.

There is likewise a species of diver here, which seems peculiar to the
place. It is about the size of a partridge; has a short, black,
compressed bill; with the head and upper part of the neck of a brown
black; the rest of a deep brown, obscurely waved with black, except the
under part, which is entirely of a blackish cast, very minutely varied
with white; the other (perhaps the female) is blacker above, and whiter
below. A small land-bird, of the finch kind, about the size of a
yellow-hammer, was also found; but was suspected to be one of those
which change their colour with the season, and with their migrations. At
this time, it was of a dusky brown colour, with a reddish tail; and the
supposed male had a large yellow spot on the crown of the head, with
some varied black on the upper part of the neck; but the last was on the
breast of the female.

The only fish we got, were some torsk and halibut, which were chiefly
brought by the natives to sell; and we caught a few sculpins about the
ship; with some purplish star-fish, that had seventeen or eighteen rays.
The rocks were observed to be almost destitute of shell-fish; and the
only other animal of this tribe seen, was a red crab, covered with
spines of a very large size.

The metals we saw were copper and iron; both which, particularly the
latter, were in such plenty, as to constitute the points of most of the
arrows and lances. The ores, with which they painted themselves, were a
red, brittle, unctuous ochre, or iron ore, not much unlike cinnabar in
colour; a bright blue pigment, which we did not procure; and black lead.
Each of these seems to be very scarce, as they brought very small
quantities of the first and last, and seemed to keep them with great

Few vegetables of any kind were seen; and the trees which chiefly grew
here, were the Canadian and spruce pine, and some of them tolerably

The beads and iron found amongst these people, left no room to doubt,
that they must have received them from some civilized nation. We were
pretty certain, from circumstances already mentioned, that we were the
first Europeans with whom they had ever communicated directly; and it
remains only to be decided, from what quarter they had got our
manufactures, by intermediate conveyance. And there cannot be the least
doubt of their having received these articles through the intervention
of the more inland tribes, from Hudson’s Bay, or the settlements on the
Canadian lakes; unless it can be supposed (which however is less likely)
that the Russian traders from Kamtschatka, have already extended their
traffic thus far; or at least that the natives of their most easterly
Fox Islands communicate along the coast with those of Prince William’s

As to the copper, these people seem to procure it themselves, or at most
it passes through few hands to them; for they used to express its being
in a sufficient quantity amongst them, when they offered any to barter,
by pointing to their weapons; as if to say, that having so much of this
metal of their own, they wanted no more.

It is, however, remarkable, if the inhabitants of this Sound be supplied
with European articles, by way of the intermediate traffic to the east
coast, that they should, in return, never have given to the more inland
Indians any of their sea-otter skins; which would certainly have been
seen, some time or other, about Hudson’s Bay. But, as far as I know,
that is not the case; and the only method of accounting for this, must
be by taking into consideration the very great distance; which, though
it might not prevent European goods coming so far, as being so uncommon,
might prevent the skins, which are a common article, from passing
through more than two or three different tribes, who might use them for
their own clothing, and send others, which they esteemed less valuable,
as being of their own animals, eastward, till they reach the traders
from Europe.

                               CHAP. VI.


After leaving Prince William’s Sound, I steered to the south-west, with
a gentle breeze at north north-east; which, at four o’clock the next
morning, was succeeded by a calm; and soon after, the calm was succeeded
by a breeze from south-west. This freshening, and veering to north-west,
we still continued to stretch to the south-west, and passed a lofty
promontory, situated in the latitude of 59° 10ʹ, and the longitude of
207° 45ʹ. As the discovery of it was connected with the Princess
Elizabeth’s birth-day, I named it _Cape Elizabeth_. Beyond it we could
see no land; so that, at first, we were in hopes that it was the western
extremity of the continent; but not long after, we saw our mistake; for
fresh land appeared in sight, bearing west south-west.

The wind, by this time, had increased to a very strong gale, and forced
us to a good distance from the coast. In the afternoon of the 22d, the
gale abated; and we stood to the northward for Cape Elizabeth; which at
noon, the next day, bore west, ten leagues distant. At the same time, a
new land was seen, bearing south 77° west, which was supposed to connect
Cape Elizabeth with the land we had seen to the westward.

The wind continued at west, and I stood to the southward till noon the
next day, when we were within three leagues of the coast which we had
discovered on the 22d. It here formed a point that bore west north-west.
At the same time, more land was seen extending to the southward, as far
as south south-west; the whole being twelve or fifteen leagues distant.
On it was seen a ridge of mountains covered with snow, extending to the
north-west, behind the first land, which we judged to be an island, from
the very inconsiderable quantity of snow that lay upon it. This point of
land is situated in the latitude of 58° 15ʹ, and in the longitude of
207° 42ʹ; and by what I can gather from the account of Beering’s voyage,
and the chart that accompanies it in the English edition[72], I
conclude, that it must be what he called Cape St. Hermogenes. But the
account of that voyage is so very much abridged, and the chart so
extremely inaccurate, that it is hardly possible, either by the one or
by the other, or by comparing both together, to find out any one place
which that navigator either saw or touched at. Were I to form a judgment
of Beering’s proceedings on this coast, I should suppose, that he fell
in with the continent near Mount Fairweather. But I am by no means
certain, that the bay to which I have given his name, is the place where
he anchored. Nor do I know, that what I called Mount St. Elias, is the
same conspicuous mountain to which he gave that name. And as to his Cape
St. Elias, I am entirely at a loss to pronounce where it lies.

On the north side of Cape St. Hermogenes, the coast turned toward the
north-west, and appeared to be wholly unconnected with the land seen by
us the preceding day. In the chart above mentioned, there is here a
space, where Beering is supposed to have seen no land. This also
favoured the latter account published by Mr. Stæhlin, who makes Cape St.
Hermogenes, and all the land that Beering discovered to the south-west
of it, to be a cluster of islands; placing St. Hermogenes amongst those
which are destitute of wood. What we now saw seemed to confirm this; and
every circumstance inspired us with hopes of finding here a passage
northward, without being obliged to proceed any farther to the

We were detained off the cape by variable light airs and calms, till two
o’clock the next morning, when a breeze springing up at north-east we
steered north-north-west along the coast; and soon found the land of
Cape St. Hermogenes to be an island, about six leagues in circuit,
separated from the adjacent coast by a channel one league broad. A
league and a half to the north of this island lie some rocks, above
water; on the north-east side of which we had from thirty to twenty
fathoms water.

At noon, the island of St. Hermogenes bore south-east, eight leagues
distant; and the land to the north-west of it extended from south 1/2
west to near west. In this last direction it ended in a low point, now
five leagues distant, which was called _Point Banks_. The latitude of
the ship, at this time, was 58° 41ʹ, and its longitude 207° 44ʹ. In this
situation, the land, which was supposed to connect Cape Elizabeth with
this south-west land, was in sight, bearing north-west 1/2 north. I
steered directly for it; and, on a nearer approach, found it to be a
group of high islands and rocks, entirely unconnected with any other
land. They obtained the name of _Barren Isles_ from their very naked
appearance. Their situation is in the latitude of 59°, and in a line
with Cape Elizabeth and Point Banks; three leagues distant from the
former, and five from the latter.

I intended going through one of the channels that divide these islands,
but meeting with a strong current setting against us, I bore up and went
to the leeward of them all. Toward the evening, the weather, which had
been hazy all day, cleared up, and we got sight of a very lofty
promontory, whose elevated summit, forming two exceedingly high
mountains, was seen above the clouds. This promontory I named _Cape
Douglas_, in honour of my very good friend, Dr. Douglas, canon of
Windsor. It is situated in the latitude of 58° 56ʹ, and in the longitude
of 206° 10ʹ, ten leagues to the westward of Barren Isles, and twelve
from Point Banks, in the direction of N. W. by W. 1/2 W.

Between this point and Cape Douglas, the coast seemed to form a large
and deep bay; which, from some smoke that had been seen on Point Banks,
obtained the name of _Smokey Bay_.

At day-break the next morning, being the 26th, having got to the
northward of the Barren Isles, we discovered more land, extending from
Cape Douglas to the north. It formed a chain of mountains of vast
height, one of which, far more conspicuous than the rest, was named
_Mount Saint Augustin_. The discovery of this land did not discourage
us, as it was supposed to be wholly unconnected with the land of Cape
Elizabeth. For, in a N. N. E. direction, the sight was unlimited by
every thing but the horizon. We also thought that there was a passage to
the N. W., between Cape Douglas and Mount St. Augustin. In short, it was
imagined, that the land on our larboard to the N. of Cape Douglas was
composed of a group of islands, disjoined by so many channels, any one
of which we might make use of according as the wind should serve.

With these flattering ideas, having a fresh gale at N. N. E., we stood
to the N. W. till eight o’clock, when we clearly saw that what we had
taken for islands were summits of mountains, every where connected by
lower land, which the haziness of the horizon had prevented us from
seeing at a greater distance. This land was every where covered with
snow, from the tops of the hills down to the very sea-beach, and had
every other appearance of being part of a great continent. I was now
fully persuaded that I should find no passage by this inlet; and my
persevering in the search of it here was more to satisfy other people
than to confirm my own opinion.

At this time, Mount St. Augustin bore N. 40° W., three or four leagues
distant. This mountain is of a conical figure, and of very considerable
height, but it remains undetermined whether it be an island, or part of
the continent. Finding that nothing could be done to the W., we tacked
and stood over to Cape Elizabeth, under which we fetched at half past
five in the afternoon. On the north side of Cape Elizabeth, between it
and a lofty promontory, named _Cape Bede_[73], is a bay, in the bottom
of which there appeared to be two snug harbours. We stood well into this
bay, where we might have anchored in twenty-three fathoms water: but as
I had no such view, we tacked and stood to the westward, with the wind
at N., a very strong gale, attended by rain, and thick hazy weather.

The next morning the gale abated, but the same weather continued till
three o’clock in the afternoon, when it cleared up. Cape Douglas bore
S. W. by W.; Mount St. Augustin W. 1/2 S., and Cape Bede S. 15° E., five
leagues distant. In this situation, the depth of water was forty
fathoms, over a rocky bottom. From Cape Bede, the coast trended N. E. by
E., with a chain of mountains inland, extending in the same direction.
The land on the coast was woody, and there seemed to be no deficiency of
harbours. But what was not much in our favour, we discovered low land in
the middle of the inlet, extending from N. N. E. to N. E. by E. 1/2 E.
However, as this was supposed to be an island, it did not discourage us.
About this time we got a light breeze southerly, and I steered to the
westward of this low land, nothing appearing to obstruct us in that
direction. Our soundings during the night were from thirty to
twenty-five fathoms.

On the 28th in the morning, having but very little wind, and observing
the ship to drive to the southward, in order to stop her I dropped a
kedge-anchor, with an eight-inch hawser bent to it. But, in bringing the
ship up, the hawser parted near the inner end, and we lost both it and
the anchor. For although we brought the ship up with one of the bowers,
and spent most of the day in sweeping for them, it was to no effect. By
an observation, we found our station to be in the latitude of 59° 51ʹ;
the low land above mentioned extended from N. E. to S. 75° E., the
nearest part two leagues distant, and extended from S. 35° W. to N. 7°
E., so that the extent of the inlet was now reduced to three points and
a half of the compass; that is, from N. 1/2 E. to N. E. Between these
two points no land was to be seen. Here was a strong tide setting to the
southward out of the inlet. It was the ebb, and ran between three and
four knots in an hour, and it was low water at ten o’clock. A good deal
of sea-weed and some drift-wood were carried out with the tide. The
water, too, had become thick like that in rivers, but we were encouraged
to proceed by finding it as salt at low water as the ocean. The strength
of the flood-tide was three knots, and the stream ran up till four in

As it continued calm all day, I did not move till eight o’clock in the
evening, when, with a light breeze at E., we weighed and stood to the
N., up the inlet. We had not been long under sail, before the wind
veered to the N., increasing to a fresh gale, and blowing in squalls,
with rain. This did not, however, hinder us from plying up as long as
the flood continued, which was till near five o’clock the next morning.
We had soundings from thirty-five to twenty-four fathoms. In this last
depth we anchored about two leagues from the eastern shore, in the
latitude of 60° 8ʹ; some low land that we judged to be an island, lying
under the western shore, extended from N. 1/2 W. to N. W. by N., distant
three or four leagues.

The weather had now become fair and tolerably clear, so that we could
see any land that might lie within our horizon; and in a N. N. E.
direction, no land, nor any thing to obstruct our progress, was visible.
But on each side was a ridge of mountains, rising one behind another
without the least separation. I judged it to be low water, by the shore,
about ten o’clock; but the ebb ran down till near noon. The strength of
it was four knots and a half, and it fell upon a perpendicular ten feet
three inches, that is, while we lay at anchor; so that there is reason
to believe this was not the greatest fall. On the eastern shore we now
saw two columns of smoke, a sure sign that there were inhabitants.

At one in the afternoon we weighed, and plied up under double-reefed
top-sails and courses, having a very strong gale at N. N. E., nearly
right down the inlet. We stretched over to the western shore, and
fetched within two leagues of the south end of the low land or island
before mentioned, under which I intended to have taken shelter till the
gale should cease. But falling suddenly into twelve fathoms water, from
upward of forty, and seeing the appearance of a shoal ahead spitting out
from the low land, I tacked and stretched back to the eastward; and
anchored under the shore in nineteen fathoms water, over a bottom of
small pebble-stones.

Between one and two in the morning of the 30th, we weighed again with
the first of the flood, the gale having by this time quite abated, but
still continuing contrary, so that we plied up till near seven o’clock,
when the tide being done, we anchored in nineteen fathoms, under the
same shore as before. The N. W. part of it forming a bluff point, bore
N. 20° E., two leagues distant; a point on the other shore opposite to
it, and nearly of the same height, bore N. 36° W., our latitude, by
observation, 60° 37ʹ.

About noon two canoes with a man in each came off to the ship, from near
the place where we had seen the smoke the preceding day. They laboured
very hard in paddling across the strong tide, and hesitated a little
before they would come quite close; but upon signs being made to them,
they approached. One of them talked a great deal to no purpose, for we
did not understand a word he said. He kept pointing to the shore, which
we interpreted to be an invitation to go thither. They accepted a few
trifles from me, which I conveyed to them from the quarter gallery.
These men in every respect resembled the people we had met with in
Prince William’s Sound, as to their persons and dress. Their canoes were
also of the same construction. One of our visitors had his face painted
jet black, and seemed to have no beard; but the other, who was more
elderly, had no paint, and a considerable beard, with a visage much like
the common sort of the Prince William’s people. There was also smoke
seen upon the flat western shore this day, from whence we may infer,
that these lower spots and islands are the only inhabited places.

When the flood made, we weighed, and then the canoes left us. I stood
over to the western shore, with a fresh gale at N. N. E., and fetched
under the point above mentioned. This, with the other on the opposite
shore, contracted the channel to the breadth of four leagues. Through
this channel ran a prodigious tide. It looked frightful to us, who could
not tell whether the agitation of the water was occasioned by the
stream, or by the breaking of the waves against rocks or sands. As we
met with no shoal, it was concluded to be the former; but in the end we
found ourselves mistaken. I now kept the western shore aboard, it
appearing to be the safest. Near the shore we had a depth of thirteen
fathoms; and two or three miles off, forty and upward. At eight in the
evening, we anchored under a point of land which bore N. E., three
leagues distant, in fifteen fathoms water. Here we lay during the ebb,
which ran near five knots in the hour.

Until we got thus far, the water had retained the same degree of
saltness at low as at high water, and at both periods was as salt as
that in the ocean. But now the marks of a river displayed themselves.
The water taken up this ebb, when at the lowest, was found to be very
considerably fresher than any we had hitherto tasted, insomuch that I
was convinced that we were in a large river, and not in a strait,
communicating with the northern seas. But as we had proceeded thus far,
I was desirous of having stronger proofs, and therefore weighed with the
next flood in the morning of the 31st, and plied higher up, or rather
drove up with the tide, for we had but little wind.

About eight o’clock we were visited by several of the natives, in one
large and several small canoes. The latter carried only one person each,
and some had a paddle with a blade at each end, after the manner of the
Esquimaux. In the large canoes were men, women, and children. Before
they reached the ship, they displayed a leathern frock upon a long pole
as a sign, as we understood it, of their peaceable intentions. This
frock they conveyed into the ship, in return for some trifles which I
gave them. I could observe no difference between the persons, dress,
ornaments, and boats of these people, and those of Prince William’s
Sound, except that the small canoes were rather of a less size, and
carried only one man. We procured from them some of their fur dresses,
made of the skins of sea-otters, martins, hares, and other animals, a
few of their darts, and a small supply of salmon and halibut. In
exchange for these they took old clothes, beads, and pieces of iron. We
found that they were in possession of large iron knives, and of sky-blue
glass beads, such as we had found amongst the natives of Prince
William’s Sound. These latter they seemed to value much, and
consequently those which we now gave them. But their inclination led
them, especially, to ask for large pieces of iron, which metal, if I was
not much mistaken, they called by the name of _goone_, though like their
neighbours in Prince William’s Sound, they seemed to have many
significations to one word. They evidently spoke the same language; as
the words _keeta_, _naema_, _oonaka_, and a few others of the most
common we heard in that sound, were also frequently used by this new
tribe. After spending about two hours between the one ship and the
other, they all retired to the western shore.

At nine o’clock we came to an anchor in sixteen fathoms water, about two
leagues from the west shore, and found the ebb already begun. At its
greatest strength it ran only three knots in the hour, and fell upon a
perpendicular, after we had anchored, twenty-one feet. The weather was
misty, with drizzling rain, and clear, by turns. At the clear intervals,
we saw an opening between the mountains on the eastern shore, bearing
east from the station of the ships, with low land, which we suppose to
be islands lying between us and the main land. Low land was also seen to
the northward, that seemed to extend from the foot of the mountains on
the one side to those on the other; and at low water we perceived large
shoals stretching out from this low land, some of which were at no great
distance from us. From these appearances, we were in some doubt whether
the inlet did not take an easterly direction, through the above opening,
or whether that opening was only a branch of it, and the main channel
continued its northern direction through the low land now in sight. The
continuation and direction of the chain of mountains on each side of it
strongly indicated the probability of the latter supposition.

To determine this point, and to examine the shoals, I dispatched two
boats, under the command of the master; and, as soon as the flood-tide
made, followed with the ships; but, as it was a dead calm, and the tide
strong, I anchored, after driving about ten miles in an east direction.
At the lowest of the preceding ebb, the water at the surface, and for
near a foot below it, was found to be perfectly fresh; retaining,
however, a considerable degree of saltness at a greater depth. Besides
this, we had now many other and but too evident proofs of being in a
great river; such as low shores, very thick and muddy water, large
trees, and all manner of dirt and rubbish, floating up and down with the
tide. In the afternoon the natives, in several canoes, paid us another
visit; and trafficked with our people for some time, without ever giving
us reason to accuse them of any act of dishonesty.

At two o’clock next morning, being the 1st of June, the master returned,
and reported that he found the inlet, or rather river, contracted to the
breadth of one league, by low land on each side, through which it took a
northerly direction. He proceeded three leagues through this narrow
part, which he found navigable for the largest ships, being from twenty
to seventeen fathoms deep. The least water, at a proper distance from
the shore and shoals, was ten fathoms; and this was before he entered
the narrow part. While the ebb or stream ran down, the water was
perfectly fresh; but after the flood made, it became brackish; and,
toward high water, very much so, even as high up as he went. He landed
upon an island, which lies between this branch and the eastern one; and
upon it saw some currant bushes, with the fruit already set, and some
other fruit-trees and bushes unknown to him. The soil appeared to be
clay, mixed with sand. About three leagues beyond the extent of his
search, or to the northward of it, he observed there was another
separation in the eastern chain of mountains, through which he supposed
the river took a north-east direction; but it seemed rather more
probable that this was only another branch, and that the main channel
kept its northern direction, between the two ridges or chains of
mountains before mentioned. He found that these two ridges, as they
extended to the north, inclined more and more to each other, but never
appeared to close; nor was any elevated land seen between them, only low
land, part woody, and part clear.

All hopes of finding a passage were now given up. But as the ebb was
almost spent, and we could not return against the flood, I thought I
might as well take the advantage of the latter, to get a nearer view of
the eastern branch; and, by that means, finally to determine whether the
low land on the east side of the river was an island, as we had
supposed, or not. With this purpose in view, we weighed with the first
of the flood, and, having a faint breeze at north-east, stood over for
the eastern shore, with boats ahead, sounding. Our depth was from twelve
to five fathoms; the bottom a hard gravel, though the water was
exceedingly muddy. At eight o’clock a fresh breeze sprung up at east,
blowing in an opposite direction to our course; so that I despaired of
reaching the entrance of the river to which we were plying up, before
high-water. But thinking that what the ships could not do, might be done
with boats, I dispatched two, under the command of Lieutenant King, to
examine the tides, and to make such observations as might give us some
insight into the nature of the river.

At ten o’clock, finding the ebb begun, I anchored in nine fathoms water,
over a gravelly bottom. Observing the tide to be too strong for the
boats to make head against it, I made a signal for them to return on
board, before they had got half way to the entrance of the river they
were sent to examine, which bore from us S., 80° E., three leagues
distant. The principal information gained by this tide’s work, was the
determining that all the low land, which we had supposed to be an island
or islands, was one continued tract, from the banks of the great river
to the foot of the mountains, to which it joined; and that it terminated
at the south entrance of this eastern branch, which I shall distinguish
by the name of _River Turnagain_. On the north side of this river, the
low land again begins, and stretches out from the foot of the mountains
down to the banks of the great river; so that, before the river
Turnagain, it forms a large bay, on the south side of which we were now
at anchor, and where we had from twelve to five fathoms, from half-flood
to high-water.

After we had entered the bay, the flood set strong into the river
Turnagain; the ebb came out with still greater force; the water falling,
while we lay at anchor, twenty feet upon a perpendicular. These
circumstances convinced me, that no passage was to be expected by this
side river, any more than by the main branch. However, as the water
during the ebb, though very considerably fresher, had still a strong
degree of saltness, it is but reasonable to suppose that both these
branches are navigable by ships, much farther than we examined them; and
that by means of this river, and its several branches, a very extensive
inland communication lies open. We had traced it as high as the latitude
of 61° 30ʹ, and the longitude of 201°; which is seventy leagues, or
more, from its entrance, without seeing the least appearance of its

If the discovery of this great river[74], which promises to vie with the
most considerable ones already known to be capable of extensive inland
navigation, should prove of use either to the present or to any future
age, the time we spent in it ought to be the less regretted. But to us,
who had a much greater object in view, the delay thus occasioned was an
essential loss. The season was advancing apace. We knew not how far we
might have to proceed to the south; and we were now convinced that the
continent of North America extended farther to the west than, from the
modern most reputable charts, we had reason to expect. This made the
existence of a passage into Baffin’s or Hudson’s Bays less probable, or,
at least, showed it to be of greater extent. It was a satisfaction to
me, however, to reflect that, if I had not examined this very
considerable inlet, it would have been assumed, by speculative
fabricators of geography, as a fact that it communicated with the sea to
the north, or with Baffin’s or Hudson’s Bay to the east; and been
marked, perhaps, on future maps of the world, with greater precision,
and more certain signs of reality, than the invisible, because
imaginary, Straits of de Fuca, and de Fonte.

In the afternoon I sent Mr. King again, with two armed boats, with
orders to land on the northern point of the low land, on the south-east
side of the river; there to display the flag, and to take possession of
the country and river in his Majesty’s name; and to bury in the ground a
bottle, containing some pieces of English coin, of the year 1772, and a
paper, on which were inscribed the names of our ships, and the date of
our discovery. In the mean time, the ships were got under sail, in order
to proceed down the river. The wind still blew fresh, easterly; but a
calm ensued not long after we were under way; and the flood-tide meeting
us off the point where Mr. King landed (and which thence got the name of
_Point Possession_), we were obliged to drop anchor in six fathoms
water, with the point bearing south, two miles distant.

When Mr. King returned, he informed me, that as he approached the shore
about twenty of the natives made their appearance, with their arms
extended; probably to express thus their peaceable disposition, and to
show that they were without weapons. On Mr. King’s and the gentlemen
with him landing with muskets in their hands, they seemed alarmed, and
made signs expressive of their request to lay them down. This was
accordingly done; and then they suffered the gentlemen to walk up to
them, and appeared to be cheerful and sociable. They had with them a few
pieces of fresh salmon, and several dogs. Mr. Law, surgeon of the
Discovery, who was one of the party, having bought one of the latter,
took it down toward the boat and shot it dead in their sight. This
seemed to surprize them exceedingly; and, as if they did not think
themselves safe in such company, they walked away; but it was soon after
discovered that their spears and other weapons were hid in the bushes
close behind them. Mr. King also informed me that the ground was swampy,
and the soil poor, light, and black. It produced a few trees and shrubs;
such as pines, elders, birch, and willows; rose and currant bushes; and
a little grass; but they saw not a single plant in flower.

We weighed anchor, as soon as it was high water, and, with a faint
breeze southerly, stood over to the west shore, where the return of the
flood obliged us to anchor early next morning. Soon after, several large
and some small canoes with natives came off, who bartered their skins;
after which they sold their garments, till many of them were quite
naked. Amongst others, they brought a number of white hare or rabbit
skins, and very beautiful reddish ones of foxes; but there were only two
or three skins of otters. They also sold us some pieces of salmon and
halibut. They preferred iron to every thing else offered to them in
exchange. The lip-ornaments did not seem so frequent amongst them as at
Prince William’s Sound; but they had more of those which pass through
the nose, and, in general, these were also much longer. They had,
however, a greater quantity of a kind of white and red embroidered work
on some parts of their garments, and on other things, such as their
quivers and knife-cases.

At half past ten we weighed with the first of the ebb, and having a
gentle breeze at south, plied down the river; in doing of which, by the
inattention and neglect of the man at the lead, the Resolution struck,
and stuck fast on the bank, that lies nearly in the middle of the river,
and about two miles above the two projecting bluff points before
mentioned. This bank was, no doubt, the occasion of that very strong
rippling, or agitation of the stream, which we had observed when turning
up the river. There was not less than twelve feet depth of water about
the ship, at the lowest of the ebb; but other parts of the bank were
dry. As soon as the ship came aground, I made a signal for the Discovery
to anchor. She, as I afterward understood, had been near ashore on the
west side of the bank. As the flood-tide came in, the ship floated off,
soon after five o’clock in the afternoon, without receiving the least
damage, or giving us any trouble; and, after standing over to the west
shore, into deep water, we anchored to wait for the ebb, as the wind was
still contrary.

We weighed again with the ebb, at ten o’clock at night; and, between
four and five next morning, when the tide was finished, once more cast
anchor about two miles below the bluff point, on the west shore, in
nineteen fathoms water. A good many of the natives came off, when we
were in this station, and attended upon us all the morning. Their
company was very acceptable; for they brought with them a large quantity
of very fine salmon, which they exchanged for such trifles as we had to
give them. Most of it was split ready for drying; and several hundred
weight of it was procured for the two ships.

In the afternoon, the mountains, for the first time since our entering
the river, were clear of clouds; and we discovered a volcano in one of
those on the west side. It is in the latitude of 60° 23ʹ; and is the
first high mountain to the north of Mount St. Augustin. The volcano is
on that side of it that is next the river, and not far from the summit.
It did not now make any striking appearance, emitting only a white
smoke, but no fire.

The wind remaining southerly, we continued to tide it down the river;
and, on the 5th, in the morning, coming to the place where we had lost
our kedge-anchor, made an attempt to recover it, but without success.
Before we left this place, six canoes came off from the east shore; some
conducted by one, and others by two men. They remained at a little
distance from the ships, viewing them, with a kind of silent surprize,
at least half an hour, without exchanging a single word with us, or with
one another. At length they took courage, and came alongside; began to
barter with our people; and did not leave us till they had parted with
every thing they brought with them, consisting of a few skins and some
salmon. And here it may not be improper to remark, that all the people
we had met with in this river seemed, by every striking instance of
resemblance, to be of the same nation with those who inhabit Prince
William’s Sound, but differing essentially from those of Nootka, or King
George’s Sound, both in their persons and language. The language of
these is rather more guttural; but, like the others, they speak strongly
and distinct, in words which seem sentences.

I have before observed, that they are in possession of iron; that is,
they have the points of their spears and knives of this metal; and some
of the former are also made of copper. Their spears are like our
spontoons; and their knives, which they keep in sheaths, are of a
considerable length. These, with a few glass beads, are the only things
we saw amongst them that were not of their own manufacture. I have
already offered my conjectures from whence they derive their foreign
articles; and shall only add here, that, if it were probable that they
found their way to them from such of their neighbours with whom the
Russians may have established a trade, I will be bold to say, the
Russians themselves have never been amongst them; for, if that had been
the case, we should hardly have found them clothed in such valuable
skins as those of the sea-otter.

There is not the least doubt, that a very beneficial fur-trade might be
carried on with the inhabitants of this vast coast. But unless a
northern passage should be found practicable, it seems rather too remote
for Great Britain to receive any emolument from it. It must, however, be
observed, that the most valuable, or rather the only valuable skins, I
saw on this west side of America, were those of the sea-otter. All their
other skins seemed to be of an inferior quality; particularly those of
their foxes and martins. It must also be observed, that most of the
skins, which we purchased, were made up into garments. However, some of
these were in good condition; but others were old and ragged enough; and
all of them very lousy. But as these poor people make no other use of
skins but for clothing themselves, it cannot be supposed that they are
at the trouble of dressing more of them than are necessary for this
purpose. And, perhaps, this is the chief use for which they kill the
animals; for the sea and the rivers seem to supply them with their
principal articles of food. It would, probably, be much otherwise, were
they once habituated to a constant trade with foreigners. This
intercourse would increase their wants, by introducing them to an
acquaintance with new luxuries; and, in order to be enabled to purchase
these, they would be more assiduous in procuring skins, which they would
soon discover to be the commodity most sought for; and a plentiful
supply of which, I make no doubt, would be had in the country.

It will appear, from what has been said occasionally of the tide, that
it is considerable in this river, and contributes very much to
facilitate the navigation of it. It is high-water in the stream, on the
days of the new and full moon, between two and three o’clock, and the
tide rises, upon a perpendicular, between three and four fathoms. The
reason of the tide’s being greater here, than at other parts of this
coast, is easily accounted for. The mouth of the river being situated in
a corner of the coast, the flood that comes from the ocean is forced
into it by both shores, and by that means swells the tide to a great
height. A view of the chart will illustrate this.

The variation of the compass was 25° 40ʹ E.

                               CHAP. VII.


As soon as the ebb tide made in our favour, we weighed, and, with a
light breeze, between west south-west, and south south-west, plied down
the river, till the flood obliged us to anchor again. At length, about
one o’clock next morning, a fresh breeze sprung up at west, with which
we got under sail, and, at eight, passed the Barren Isles, and stretched
away for Cape St. Hermogenes. At noon this cape bore south south-east,
eight leagues distant; and the passage between the island of that name,
and the main land, bore south. For this passage I steered, intending to
go through it; but soon after the wind failed us, and we had baffling
light airs from the eastward, so that I gave up my design of carrying
the ships between the island and the main.

At this time, we saw several columns of smoke on the coast of the
continent, to the northward of the passage; and, most probably, they
were meant as signals to attract us thither. Here the land forms a bay,
or perhaps a harbour; off the north-west point of which lies a low rocky
island. There are also some other islands of the same appearance,
scattered along the coast, between this place and Point Banks.

At eight in the evening, the island of St. Hermogenes extended from
south half east to south south-east, a quarter east; and the rocks that
lie on the north side of it bore south-east, three miles distant. In
this situation, we had forty fathoms water over a bottom of sand and
shells. Soon after, on putting over hooks and lines, we caught several

At midnight, being past the rocks, we bore up to the southward; and, at
noon, St. Hermogenes bore north, four leagues distant. At this time, the
southernmost point of the main land, within or to the westward of St.
Hermogenes, lay north half west, distant five leagues. This promontory,
which is situated in the latitude of 58° 15ʹ, and in the longitude of
207° 24ʹ was named, after the day, _Cape Whitsunday_. A large bay, which
lies to the west of it, obtained the name of _Whitsuntide Bay_. The land
on the east side of this bay, of which Cape Whitsunday is the southern
point, and Point Banks the northern one, is in all respects like the
island of St. Hermogenes; seemingly destitute of wood, and partly free
from snow. It was supposed to be covered with a mossy substance, that
gave it a brownish cast. There were some reasons to think it was an
island. If this be so, the last mentioned bay is only the straight or
passage that separates it from the main land.

Between one and two in the afternoon, the wind, which had been at
north-east, shifted at once to the southward. It was unsettled till six,
when it fixed at south, which was the very direction of our course; so
that we were obliged to ply up the coast. The weather was gloomy, and
the air dry, but cold. We stood to the eastward till midnight; then
tacked, and stood in for the land; and, between seven and eight in the
morning of the 8th, we were within four miles of it, and not more than
half a league from some sunken rocks, which bore west south-west. In
this situation, we tacked in thirty-five fathoms water, the island of
St. Hermogenes bearing north, 20° E., and the southernmost land in
sight, south.

In standing in for this coast, we crossed the mouth of Whitsuntide Bay,
and saw land all round the bottom of it; so that either the land is
connected, or else the points lock in, one behind another. I am more
inclined to think, that the former is the case; and that the land, east
of the bay, is a part of the continent. Some small islands lie on the
west of the bay. The sea-coast to the southward of it is rather low,
with projecting rocky points, between which are small bays or inlets.
There was no wood, and but little snow upon the coast; but the
mountains, which lie at some distance inland, were wholly covered with
the latter. We stood off till noon; then tacked, and stood in for the
land. The latitude, at this time, was 57° 52-1/2ʹ; Cape St. Hermogenes
bore north, 30° W. eight leagues distant, and the southernmost part of
the coast in sight, the same that was seen before, bore south-west, ten
leagues distant. The land here forms a point, which was named _Cape
Greville_. It lies in the latitude of 57° 33ʹ, and in the longitude of
207° 15ʹ; and is distant fifteen leagues from Cape St. Hermogenes, in
the direction of south, 17° W.

The three following days, we had almost constant misty weather, with
drizzling rain; so that we seldom had a sight of the coast. The wind was
south-east by south, and south south-east, a gentle breeze, and the air
raw and cold. With this wind and weather, we continued to ply up the
coast, making boards of six or eight leagues each. The depth of water
was from thirty to fifty-five fathoms, over a coarse, black sandy

The fog clearing up, with the change of the wind to south-west, in the
evening of the 12th, we had a sight of the land bearing west, twelve
leagues distant. We stood in for it early next morning. At noon we were
not above three miles from it; an elevated point, which obtained the
name of _Cape Barnabas_, lying in the latitude of 57° 13ʹ bore
north-east half east, ten miles distant; and the coast extended from
north, 42° E. to west south-west. The north-east extreme was lost in a
haze; but the point to the south-west, whose elevated summit terminated
in two round hills, on that account was called _Two-headed Point_. This
part of the coast, in which are several small bays, is composed of high
hills and deep valleys; and in some places we could see the tops of
other hills, beyond those that form the coast; which was but little
incumbered with snow, but had a very barren appearance. Not a tree or
bush was to be seen upon it: and, in general, it had a brownish hue,
probably the effect of a mossy covering.

I continued to ply to the south-west by west, as the coast trended; and
at six in the evening, being midway between Cape Barnabas and Two-headed
Point, and two leagues from the shore, the depth of water was sixty-two
fathoms. From this station, a low point of land made its appearance
beyond Two-headed Point, bearing south, 69° W.; and without it other
land, that had the appearance of an island, bore south, 59° W.

At noon, on the 13th, being in latitude 56° 49ʹ, Cape St. Barnabas bore
north, 52° E.; Two-headed Point north, 14° W. seven or eight miles
distant; and the coast of the continent extended as far as south,
72-1/2° W.; and the land seen the preceding evening, and supposed to be
an island, now appeared like two islands. From whatever quarter
Two-headed Point was viewed, it had the appearance of being an island;
or else it is a peninsula, on each side of which the shore forms a bay.
The wind still continued westerly, a gentle breeze, the weather rather
dull and cloudy, and the air sharp and dry.

We were well up with the southernmost land next morning, and found it to
be an island, which was named _Trinity Island_. Its greatest extent is
six leagues in the direction of east and west. Each end is elevated
naked land, and in the middle it is low; so that, at a distance, from
some points of view, it assumes the appearance of two islands. It lies
in the latitude of 56° 36ʹ, and in the longitude of 205°; and between
two and three leagues from the continent; which space is interspersed
with small islands and rocks; but there seemed to be good passage
enough, and also safe anchorage. At first, we were inclined to think,
that this was Beering’s _Foggy Island_[75]; but its situation so near
the main does not suit his chart.

At eight in the evening, we stood in for the land, till we were within a
league of the above-mentioned small islands. The westernmost part of the
continent now in sight, being a low point facing Trinity Island, and
which we called _Cape Trinity_, now bore west north-west. In this
situation, having tacked in fifty-four fathoms water, over a bottom of
black sand, we stood over for the island, intending to work up between
it and the main. The land to the westward of Two-headed Point is not so
mountainous as it is to the north-east of it, nor does the snow lie upon
it. There are, however, a good many hills considerably elevated; but
they are disjoined by large tracts of flat land that appeared to be
perfectly destitute of wood, and very barren.

As we were standing over toward the island, we met two men in a small
canoe, paddling from it to the main. Far from approaching us, they
seemed rather to avoid it. The wind now began to incline to the south;
and we had reason to expect, that it would soon be at south-east.
Experience having taught us, that a south-easterly wind was generally,
if not always, accompanied by a thick fog, I was afraid to venture
through between the island and the continent, lest the passage should
not be accomplished before night, or before the thick weather came on,
when we should be obliged to anchor, and by that means lose the
advantage of a fair wind. These reasons induced me to stretch out to
sea; and we passed two or three rocky islets that lie near the east end
of Trinity Island. At four in the afternoon, having weathered the
island, we tacked, and steered west, southerly, with a fresh gale at
south south-east; which, before midnight, veered to the south-east; and
was, as usual, attended with misty, drizzling, rainy weather.

By the course we steered all night, I was in hopes of falling in with
the continent in the morning. And, doubtless, we should have seen it,
had the weather been in the least clear; but the fog prevented. Seeing
no land at noon, and the gale increasing, with a thick fog and rain, I
steered west north-west, under such sail as we could easily haul the
wind with; being fully sensible of the danger of running before a strong
gale in a thick fog, in the vicinity of an unknown coast. It was,
however, necessary to run some risk when the wind favoured us; for clear
weather, we had found, was generally accompanied with winds from the

Between two and three in the afternoon, land was seen through the fog,
bearing north-west, not more than three or four miles distant. Upon this
we immediately hauled up south, close to the wind. Soon after the two
courses were split, so that we had others to bring to the yards; and
several others of our sails received considerable damage. At nine the
gale abated; the weather cleared up; and we got sight of the coast
again, extending from west by south to north-west, about four or five
leagues distant. On sounding, we found a hundred fathoms water, over a
muddy bottom. Soon after, the fog returned, and we saw no more of the
land all night.

At four next morning, the fog being now dispersed, we found ourselves in
a manner surrounded by land; the continent, or what was supposed to be
the continent, extending from west south-west to north-east by north;
and some elevated land, bearing south-east half south; by estimation
eight or nine leagues distant. The north-east extreme of the main was
the same point of land that we had fallen in with during the fog; and we
named it _Foggy Cape_. It lies in latitude 56° 31ʹ. At this time, having
but little wind all night, a breeze sprung up at north-west. With this
we stood to the southward, to make the land, seen in that direction,

At nine o’clock, we found it to be an island of about nine leagues in
compass; lying in the latitude of 56° 10ʹ, and in the longitude of 220°
45ʹ; and it is distinguished in our chart by the name of _Foggy Island_;
having reason to believe, from its situation, that it is the same which
had that name given to it by Beering. At the same time, three or four
islands, lying before a bay, formed by the coast of the main land, bore
north by west; a point, with three or four pinnacle rocks upon it, which
was called _Pinnacle Point_, bore north-west by west; and a cluster of
small islets, or rocks, lying about nine leagues from the coast south

At noon, when our latitude was 56° 9ʹ, and our longitude 201° 45ʹ, these
rocks bore south, 58° E., ten miles distant; Pinnacle Point, north
north-west, distant seven leagues; the nearest part of the main land
north-west by west, six leagues distant; and the most advanced land to
the south-west, which had the appearance of being an island, bore west,
a little southerly. In the afternoon, we had little or no wind, so that
our progress was inconsiderable. At eight in the evening, the coast
extended from south-west to north north-east; the nearest part about
eight leagues distant.

On the 17th, the wind was between west and north-west, a gentle breeze,
and sometimes almost calm. The weather was clear, and the air sharp and
dry. At noon, the continent extended from south-west to north by east;
the nearest part seven leagues distant. A large group of islands lying
about the same distance from the continent, extended from south 26° W.,
to south 52° W.

It was calm great part of the 18th; and the weather was clear and
pleasant. We availed ourselves of this, by making observations for the
longitude and variation. The latter was found to be 21° 27ʹ E. There can
be no doubt that there is a continuation of the continent between
Trinity Island and Foggy Cape, which the thick weather prevented us from
seeing. For some distance to the south-west of that cape, this country
is more broken or rugged than any part we had yet seen, both with
respect to the hills themselves and to the coast, which seemed full of
creeks, or small inlets, none of which appeared to be of any great
depth. Perhaps, upon a closer examination, some of the projecting points
between these inlets will be found to be islands. Every part had a very
barren aspect; and was covered with snow, from the summits of the
highest hills, down to a very small distance from the sea-coast.

Having occasion to send a boat on board the Discovery, one of the people
in her shot a very beautiful bird of the hawk kind. It is somewhat less
than a duck, and of a black colour, except the fore-part of the head,
which is white; and from above and behind each eye arises an elegant
yellowish-white crest, revolved backward as a ram’s horn. The bill and
feet are red. It is, perhaps, the _alca monochora_ of Steller, mentioned
in the history of Kamtschatka.[76] I think the first of these birds was
seen by us a little to the southward of Cape St. Hermogenes. From that
time we generally saw some of them every day, and sometimes in large
flocks. Besides these, we daily saw most of the other sea-birds that are
commonly found in other northern oceans; such as gulls, shags, puffins,
sheerwaters, and sometimes ducks, geese, and swans. And seldom a day
passed without seeing seals, whales, and other large fish.

In the afternoon, we got a light breeze of wind southerly, which enabled
us to steer west for the channel that appeared between the islands and
the continent; and at day-break next morning, we were at no great
distance from it, and found several other islands within those already
seen by us, of various extent, both in height and circuit. But between
these last islands and those before seen, there seemed to be a clear
channel, for which I steered, being afraid to keep the coast of the
continent aboard, lest we should mistake some point of it for an island,
and by that means be drawn into some inlet, and lose the advantage of
the fair wind which at this time blew.

I therefore kept along the southernmost chain of islands; and at noon we
were in the latitude of 55° 18ʹ, and in the narrowest part of the
channel, formed by them and those which lie along the continent, where
it is about a league and a half or two leagues over. The largest island
in this group was now on our left, and is distinguished by the name of
_Kodiak_[77], according to the information we afterward received. I left
the rest of them without names. I believe them to be the same that
Beering calls Schumagin’s Islands[78]; or those islands which he called
by that name, to be a part of them; for this group is pretty extensive.
We saw islands as far to the southward as an island could be seen. They
commence in the longitude of 200° 15ʹ E., and extend a degree and a
half, or two degrees, to the westward. I cannot be particular; as we
could not distinguish all the islands from the coast of the continent.
Most of these islands are of a good height, very barren and rugged;
abounding with rocks and steep cliffs, and exhibiting other romantic
appearances. There are several snug bays and coves about them; streams
of fresh water run from their elevated parts; some drift-wood was
floating around; but not a tree or bush was to be seen growing on the
land. A good deal of snow still lay on many of them; and the parts of
the continent, which showed themselves between the innermost islands,
were quite covered with it.

At four in the afternoon, we had passed all the islands that lay to the
southward of us; the southernmost, at this time, bearing S. 3° E., and
the westernmost point of land now in sight, S., 82° W. For this point we
steered, and passed between it and two or three elevated rocks that lie
about a league to the east of it.

Some time after we had got through this channel, in which we found forty
fathoms water, the Discovery, now two miles astern, fired three guns,
and brought to, and made the signal to speak with us. This alarmed me
not a little; and as no apparent danger had been remarked in the passage
through the channel, it was apprehended that some accident, such as
springing a leak, must have happened. A boat was immediately sent to
her; and in a short time returned with Captain Clerke. I now learned
from him that some natives, in three or four canoes, who had been
following the ship for some time, at length got under his stern. One of
them then made many signs, taking off his cap, and bowing, after the
manner of Europeans. A rope being handed down from the ship, to this he
fastened a small thin wooden case or box; and having delivered this
safe, and spoken something, and made some signs, the canoes dropped
astern, and left the Discovery. No one on board her had any suspicion
that the box contained any thing till after the departure of the canoes,
when it was accidentally opened, and a piece of paper was found, folded
up carefully, upon which something was written in the Russian language,
as was supposed. The date 1778 was prefixed to it; and, in the body of
the written note there was a reference to the year 1776. Not learned
enough to decypher the alphabet of the writer, his numerals marked
sufficiently that others had preceded us in visiting this dreary part of
the globe, who were united to us by other ties besides those of our
common nature; and the hopes of soon meeting with some of the Russian
traders, could not but give a sensible satisfaction to those who had,
for such a length of time, been conversant with the savages of the
Pacific Ocean, and of the continent of North America.

Captain Clerke was at first of opinion, that some Russians had been
shipwrecked here; and that these unfortunate persons, seeing our ships
pass, had taken this method to inform us of their situation. Impressed
with humane sentiments, on such an occasion, he was desirous of our
stopping till they might have time to join us. But no such idea occurred
to me. It seemed obvious that if this had been the case, it would have
been the first step taken by such shipwrecked persons, in order to
secure to themselves, and to their companions, the relief they could not
but be solicitous about, to send some of their body off to the ships in
the canoes. For this reason, I rather thought that the paper contained a
note of information, left by some Russian trader, who had lately been
amongst these islands, to be delivered to the next of their countrymen
who should arrive; and that the natives, seeing our ships pass, and
supposing us to be Russians, had resolved to bring off the note,
thinking it might induce us to stop. Fully convinced of this, I did not
stay to enquire any farther into the matter; but made sail, and stood
away to the westward, along the coast; perhaps I should say along the
islands; for we could not pronounce, with certainty, whether the nearest
land within us was continent or islands. If not the latter, the coast
here forms some tolerably large and deep bays.

We continued to run all night with a gentle breeze at north-east; and at
two o’clock next morning, some breakers were seen within us, at the
distance of two miles. Two hours after others were seen ahead; and, on
our larboard bow, and between us and the land, they were innumerable. We
did but just clear them by holding a south course. These breakers were
occasioned by rocks; some of which were above water. They extend several
leagues from the land; and are very dangerous, especially in thick
weather, to which this coast seems much subject. At noon we had just got
on their outside; and, by observation, we were in the latitude of 54°
44ʹ, and in the longitude of 198°. The nearest land, being an elevated
bluff point, which was called _Rock Point_, bore north, seven or eight
leagues distant; the westernmost part of the main, or what was supposed
to be the main, bore N. 80° W.; and a round hill, without which was
found to be an island, and was called _Halibut-head_, bore S. 65° W.,
thirteen leagues distant.

On the 21st at noon, having made but little progress, on account of
faint winds and calms, Halibut-head, which lies in the latitude of 54°
27ʹ, and in the longitude of 197°, bore N. 24° W.; and the island on
which it is, and called _Halibut Island_, extended from N. by E., to
N. W. by W. two leagues distant. This island is seven or eight leagues
in circuit; and, except the head, the land of it is low and very barren.
There are several small islands near it, all of the same appearance; but
there seemed to be a passage between them and the main, two or three
leagues broad.

The rocks and breakers before mentioned, forced us so far from the
continent, that we had but a distant view of the coast between Rock
Point and Halibut Island. Over this and the adjoining islands, we could
see the main land covered with snow; but particularly some hills, whose
elevated tops were seen towering above the clouds to a most stupendous
height. The most south-westerly of these hills was discovered to have a
_volcano_, which continually threw up vast columns of black smoke. It
stands not far from the coast; and in the latitude of 54° 48ʹ, and the
longitude of 195° 45ʹ. It is also remarkable from its figure, which is a
complete cone; and the _volcano_ is at the very summit. We seldom saw
this (or indeed any other of these mountains) wholly clear of clouds. At
times both base and summit would be clear; when a narrow cloud,
sometimes two or three, one above another, would embrace the middle,
like a girdle; which, with the column of smoke, rising perpendicular to
a great height out of its top, and spreading before the wind into a tail
of vast length, made a very picturesque appearance. It may be worth
remarking that the wind, at the height to which the smoke of this
_volcano_ reached, moved sometimes in a direction contrary to what it
did at sea, even when it blew a fresh gale.

In the afternoon, having three hours calm, our people caught upward of a
hundred halibuts, some of which weighed a hundred pounds, and none less
than twenty pounds. This was a very seasonable refreshment to us. In the
height of our fishing, which was in thirty-five fathoms water, and three
or four miles from the shore, a small canoe, conducted by one man, came
to us from the large island. On approaching the ship, he took off his
cap, and bowed, as the other had done who visited the Discovery the
preceding day. It was evident that the Russians must have a
communication and traffic with these people, not only from their
acquired politeness, but from the note above-mentioned. But we had now a
fresh proof of it, for our present visitor wore a pair of green cloth
breeches, and a jacket of black cloth, or stuff, under the gut-shirt, or
frock, of his own country. He had nothing to barter, except a grey fox
skin, and some fishing implements or harpoons, the heads of the shafts
of which, for the length of a foot or more, were neatly made of bone, as
thick as a walking cane, and carved. He had with him a bladder full of
something, which we supposed to be oil, for he opened it, took a
mouthful, and then fastened it again.

His canoe was of the same make with those we had seen before, but rather
smaller. He used the double-bladed paddle, as did also those who had
visited the Discovery. In his size and features, he exactly resembled
those we saw in Prince William’s Sound, and in the Great River; but he
was quite free from paint of any kind, and had the perforation of his
lip made in an oblique direction, without any ornament in it. He did not
seem to understand any of the words commonly used by our visitors in the
sound, when repeated to him. But perhaps our faulty pronunciation,
rather than his ignorance of the dialect, may be inferred from this.

The weather was cloudy and hazy, with now and then sunshine, till the
afternoon of the 22d, when the wind came round to the S. E., and, as
usual, brought thick rainy weather. Before the fog came on, no part of
the main land was in sight, except the _volcano_, and another mountain
close by it. I continued to steer W. till seven in the evening, when,
being apprehensive of falling in with the land in thick weather, we
hauled the wind to the southward, till two o’clock next morning, and
then bore away again W. We made but little progress, having the wind
variable and but little of it, till at last it fixed in the western
board, and at five in the afternoon, having a gleam of sunshine, we saw
land bearing N. 59° W., appearing in hillocks like islands.

At six in the morning of the 24th, we got a sight of the continent, and
at nine it was seen extending from N. E. by E. to S. W. by W., 1/2 W.,
the nearest part about four leagues distant. The land to the S. W.
proved to be islands, the same that had been seen the preceding evening;
but the other was a continuation of the continent, without any islands
to obstruct our view of it. In the evening, being about four leagues
from the shore, in forty-two fathoms water, having little or no wind, we
had recourse to our hooks and lines, but only two or three small cod
were caught.

The next morning, we got a breeze easterly, and, what was uncommon with
this wind, clear weather, so that we not only saw the volcano, but other
mountains both to the E. and W. of it, and all the coast of the main
land under them, much plainer than at any time before. It extended from
N. E. by N., to N. W. 1/2 W., where it seemed to terminate. Between this
point and the islands without it, there appeared a large opening, for
which I steered, till we raised land beyond it. This land, although we
did not perceive that it joined the continent, made a passage through
the opening very doubtful. It also made it doubtful whether the land
which we saw to the S. W. was insular or continental; and, if the
latter, it was obvious that the opening would be a deep bay or inlet,
from which, if once we entered it with an easterly wind, it would not be
so easy to get out. Not caring, therefore, to trust too much to
appearances, I steered to the southward. Having thus got without all the
land in sight, I then steered W., in which direction the islands lay,
for such we found this land to be.

By eight o’clock we had passed three of them, all of a good height. More
of them were now seen to the westward, the south-westernmost part of
them bearing W. N. W. The weather in the afternoon became gloomy, and at
length turned to a mist, and the wind blew fresh at E. I therefore, at
ten at night, hauled the wind to the southward till day-break, when we
resumed our course to the W.

Daylight availed us little, for the weather was so thick that we could
not see a hundred yards before us; but as the wind was now moderate, I
ventured to run. At half past four, we were alarmed at hearing the sound
of breakers on our larboard bow. On heaving the lead, we found
twenty-eight fathoms water, and the next cast, twenty-five. I
immediately brought the ship to with her head to the northward, and
anchored in this last depth, over a bottom of coarse sand, calling the
Discovery, she being close to us, to anchor also.

A few hours after, the fog having cleared away a little, it appeared
that we had escaped very imminent danger. We found ourselves three
quarters of a mile from the N. E. side of an island, which extended from
S. by W. 1/2 W. to N. by E. 1/2 E., each extreme about a league distant.
Two elevated rocks, the one bearing S. by E., and the other E. by S.,
were about half a league each from us, and about the same distance from
each other. There were several breakers about them, and yet Providence
had, in the dark, conducted the ships through between these rocks, which
I should not have ventured in a clear day, and to such an
anchoring-place, that I could not have chosen a better.

Finding ourselves so near land, I sent a boat to examine what it
produced. In the afternoon she returned, and the officer who commanded
her reported, that it produced some tolerably good grass and several
other small plants, one of which was like purslain, and ate very well,
either in soups or as a salad. There was no appearance of shrubs or
trees, but on the beach were a few pieces of drift-wood. It was judged
to be low water between ten and eleven o’clock; and we found, where we
lay at anchor, that the flood-tide came from the E. or S. E.

In the night, the wind blew fresh at S., but was more moderate toward
the morning, and the fog partly dispersed. Having weighed at seven
o’clock, we steered to the northward, between the island under which we
had anchored, and another small one near it. The channel is not above a
mile broad; and before we were through it, the wind failed, and we were
obliged to anchor in thirty-four fathoms water. We had now land in every
direction; that to the S. extended to the S. W., in a ridge of
mountains, but our sight could not determine whether it composed one or
more islands. We afterward found it to be only one island, and known by
the name of _Oonalashka_. Between it and the land to the N., which had
the appearance of being a group of islands, there seemed to be a channel
in the direction of N. W. by N. On a point which bore W. from the ship,
three quarters of a mile distant, were several natives and their
habitations. To this place we saw them tow in two whales, which we
supposed they had just killed. A few of them now and then came off to
the ships, and bartered a few trifling things with our people; but never
remained above a quarter of an hour at a time. On the contrary, they
rather seemed shy, and yet we could judge that they were no strangers to
vessels, in some degree, like ours. They behaved with a degree of
politeness uncommon to savage tribes.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, having a light breeze at N. E., and the
tide of flood in our favour, we weighed and steered for the channel
above mentioned, in hopes, after we were through, of finding the land
trend away to the northward, or, at least, a passage out to sea to the
W. For we supposed ourselves, as it really happened, to be amongst
islands, and not in an inlet of the continent. We had not been long
under sail before the wind veered to the N., which obliged us to ply.
The soundings were from forty to twenty-seven fathoms, over a bottom of
sand and mud. In the evening, the ebb making against us, we anchored
about three leagues from our last station, with the passage bearing
N. W.

At daybreak the next morning, we weighed with a light breeze at S.,
which carried us up the passage, when it was succeeded by variable light
airs from all directions; but as there ran a rapid tide in our favour,
the Resolution got through before the ebb made. The Discovery was not so
fortunate: she was carried back, got into the race, and had some trouble
to get clear of it. As soon as we were through, the land on one side was
found to trend W. and S. W., and that on the other side to trend N. This
gave us great reason to hope that the continent had there taken a new
direction, which was much in our favour. Being in want of water, and
perceiving that we ran some risk of driving about in a rapid tide,
without wind to govern the ship, I stood for a harbour lying on the
south side of the passage; but we were very soon driven past it; and to
prevent being forced back through the passage, came to an anchor in
twenty-eight fathoms water, pretty near the southern shore, out of the
reach of the strong tide; and yet, even here, we found it run full five
knots and a half in the hour.

While we lay here, several of the natives came off to us, each in a
canoe, and bartered a few fishing implements for tobacco. One of them, a
young man, overset his canoe, while along-side one of our boats. Our
people caught hold of him; but the canoe went adrift, and being picked
up by another, was carried ashore. The youth, by this accident, was
obliged to come into the ship, and he went down into my cabin upon the
first invitation, without expressing the least reluctance or uneasiness.
His dress was an upper garment like a shirt, made of the large gut of
some sea-animal, probably the whale, and an under garment of the same
shape, made of the skins of birds dressed with the feathers on, and
neatly sewed together, the feathered side being worn next his skin. It
was mended or patched with pieces of silk-stuff, and his cap was
ornamented with two or three sorts of glass beads. His own clothes being
wet, I gave him others, in which he dressed himself with as much ease as
I could have done. From his behaviour, and that of some others, we were
convinced that these people were no strangers to Europeans, and to some
of their customs. But there was something in our ships that greatly
excited their curiosity; for such as could not come off in canoes,
assembled on the neighbouring hills to look at them.

At low water, having weighed and towed the ship into the harbour, we
anchored there in nine fathoms water, over a bottom of sand and mud; the
Discovery got in soon after. A launch was now sent for water, and a boat
to draw the seine, but we caught only four trout and a few other small

Soon after we anchored, a native of the island brought on board such
another note as had been given to Captain Clerke. He presented it to me,
but it was written in the Russian language, which, as already observed,
none of us could read. As it could be of no use to me, and might be of
consequence to others, I returned it to the bearer, and dismissed him
with a few presents, for which he expressed his thanks, by making
several low bows as he retired.

In walking next day along the shore, I met with a group of natives of
both sexes, seated on the grass at a repast consisting of raw fish,
which they seemed to eat with as much relish as we should a turbot,
served up with the richest sauce. By the evening we had completed our
water, and made such observations as the time and weather would permit.
I have taken notice of the rapidity of the tide without the harbour, but
it was inconsiderable within. It was low water at noon; and high water
at half past six in the evening; and the water rose, upon a
perpendicular, three feet four inches; but there were marks of its
sometimes rising a foot higher.

Thick fogs and a contrary wind detained us till the 2d of July, which
afforded an opportunity of acquiring some knowledge of the country and
of its inhabitants. The result of our observations will be mentioned in
another place. At present, I shall only describe the harbour.

It is called by the natives _Samganoodha_, and is situated on the north
side of Oonalashka, in the latitude of 53° 55ʹ, in the longitude of 193°
30ʹ; and in the strait or passage that separates this island from those
that lie to the north of it, and whose position before the harbour
shelters it from the winds that blow from that quarter. It runs in S. by
W., about four miles, and is about a mile broad at the entrance,
narrowing toward the head, where its breadth is not above a quarter of a
mile, and where ships can lie land-locked, in seven, six, and four
fathoms water. Great plenty of good water may be easily got, but not a
single stick of wood of any size.

                              CHAP. VIII.


Having put to sea with a light breeze, at south south-east, we steered
to the north, meeting with nothing to obstruct us in this course; for,
as I observed before, the Island of Oonalashka, on the one side, tended
south-west, and on the other, no land was to be seen in a direction more
northerly than north-east; the whole of which land was a continuation of
the same group of islands which we had fallen in with on the 25th of
June. That which lies before Samganoodha, and forms the north-east side
of the passage through which we came, is called _Oonella_, and is about
seven leagues in circumference. Another island, to the north-east of it,
is called _Acootan_, which is considerably larger than Oonella, and hath
in it some very high mountains, which were covered with snow. It
appeared, that we might have gone very safely between these two islands
and the continent, the south-west point of which opened off the
north-east point of Acootan, in the direction of north, 60° east; and
which proved to be the same point of land we had seen when we quitted
the coast of the continent, on the 25th of June, to go without the
islands. It is called by the people of these parts _Oonemak_, and lies
in the latitude of 54° 30ʹ, and in the longitude of 192° 30ʹ. Over the
cape, which, of itself, is high land, is a round elevated mountain, at
this time entirely covered with snow.

At six in the evening, this mountain bore east 2° north, and at eight we
had no land in sight. Concluding, therefore, that the coast of the
continent had now taken a north-easterly direction, I ventured to steer
the same course, till one o’clock next morning, when the watch on deck
thought they saw land ahead. Upon this we wore, and stood to the
south-west for two hours, and then resumed our course to the

At six o’clock land was seen ahead, bearing south-east, about five
leagues distant. As we advanced, we raised more and more land, all
connected, and seemingly in the direction of our course. At noon, it
extended from south-south-west to east; the nearest part five or six
leagues distant. Our latitude at this time was 55° 21ʹ, and our
longitude 195° 18ʹ. This coast is on the north-west side of the
_volcano_ mountain; so that we must have seen it, if the weather had
been tolerably clear.

At six in the evening, after having run eight leagues upon an east by
north course from noon, we sounded, and found forty-eight fathoms over a
bottom of black sand. Being at this time four leagues from the land, the
eastern part in sight bore east-south-east, and appeared as a high round
hummock, seemingly detached from the main.

Having continued to steer east-north-east all night, at eight in the
morning of the 4th the coast was seen from south-south-west, and east by
south, and at times we could see high land, covered with snow, behind
it. Soon after, it fell calm, and being in thirty fathoms water, we put
over hooks and lines, and caught a good number of fine cod-fish. At
noon, having now a breeze from the east, and the weather being clear, we
found ourselves six leagues from the land, which extended from south by
west to east by south. The hummock, seen the preceding evening, bore
south-west by south, ten leagues distant. Our latitude was now 55° 50ʹ,
and our longitude 197° 3ʹ. A great hollow swell from west-south-west
assured us that there was no main land near, in that direction. I stood
to the north till six in the afternoon, when the wind having veered to
the south-east enabled us to steer east-north-east. The coast lay in
this direction, and at noon the next day was about four leagues distant.

On the 6th and 7th, the wind being northerly, we made but little
progress. At eight in the evening of the latter, we were in nineteen
fathoms water, and about three or four leagues from the coast, which on
the 8th extended from south-south-west to east by north, and was all low
land, with a ridge of mountains behind it, covered with snow. It is
probable, that this low coast extends some distance to the south-west;
and that such places as we sometimes took for inlets or bays are only
vallies between the mountains.

On the morning of the 9th, with a breeze at north-west, we steered east
by north, to get nearer the coast. At noon, we were in the latitude of
57° 49ʹ, and in the longitude of 201° 33ʹ, and about two leagues from
the land, which extended from south by east to east-north-east; being
all a low coast, with points shooting out in some places, which, from
the deck, appeared like islands; but from the mast-head, low land was
seen to connect them. In this situation, the depth of water was fifteen
fathoms, the bottom a fine black sand.

As we had advanced to the north-east, we had found the depth of water
gradually decreasing, and the coast trending more and more northerly.
But the ridge of mountains behind it continued to lie in the same
direction as those more westerly; so that the extent of the low land
between the foot of the mountains and the sea-coast insensibly
increased. Both high and low-grounds were perfectly destitute of wood,
but seemed to be covered with green turf, except the mountains, which
were covered with snow. Continuing to steer along the coast with a
gentle breeze westerly, the water gradually shoaled from fifteen to ten
fathoms, though we were at the distance of eight or ten miles from the
shore. At eight in the evening, an elevated mountain, which had been in
sight for some time, bore south-east by east, twenty-one leagues
distant. Some other mountains, belonging to the same chain, and much
farther distant, bore east 3° north. The coast extended as far as
north-east half north, where it seemed to terminate in a point, beyond
which we hoped and expected that it would take a more easterly
direction. But soon after, we discovered low land extending from behind
this point, as far as north-west by west, where it was lost in the
horizon; and behind it was high land, that appeared in detached hills.

Thus the fine prospect we had of getting to the north, vanished in a
moment. I stood on till nine o’clock, for so long it was light, and then
the point above mentioned bore north-east half east, about three miles
distant. Behind this point is a river, the entrance of which seemed to
be a mile broad; but I can say nothing as to its depth. The water
appeared discoloured, as upon shoals, but a calm would have given it the
same aspect. It seemed to have a winding direction, through the great
flat that lies between the chain of mountains to the south-east and the
hills to the north-west. It must abound with salmon, as we saw many
leaping in the sea before the entrance; and some were found in the maws
of cod which we had caught. The entrance of this river, distinguished by
the name of _Bristol River_, lies in the latitude of 58° 27ʹ, and in the
longitude of 201° 55ʹ.

Having spent the night in making short boards, at daybreak, on the
morning of the 10th, we made sail to the west-south-west, with a gentle
breeze at north-east. At eleven o’clock we thought the coast to the
north-west terminated in a point, bearing north-west by west; and as we
had now deepened the water from nine to fourteen fathoms, I steered for
the point, ordering the Discovery to keep ahead. But before she had run
a mile, she made a signal for shoal water. At that instant, we had the
depth of seven fathoms; and before we could get the ship’s head the
other way had less than five; but the Discovery had less than four.

We stood back to the north-east, three or four miles; but finding there
was a strong tide or current setting to the west-south-west, that is,
toward the shoal, we anchored in ten fathoms, over a bottom of fine
sand. Two hours after we had anchored, the water had fallen two feet and
upward, which proved that it was the tide of ebb that came from the
river above mentioned. We also examined some of the water which we had
taken up, and found that it was not half so salt as common sea water.
This furnished another proof that we were before a large river.

At four in the afternoon, the wind shifting to south-west, we weighed
and stood to the southward, with boats ahead sounding, and passed over
the south end of the shoal, in six fathoms water. We then got into
thirteen and fifteen; in which last depth we anchored at half past
eight; some part of the chain of mountains, on the south-east shore, in
sight, bearing south-east half south; and the westernmost land on the
other shore north-west. We had, in the course of the day, seen high
land, bearing north 60° west, by estimation twelve leagues distant.

Having weighed next morning, at two o’clock, with a light breeze at
south-west by west, we plied to windward till nine; when, judging the
flood-tide to be now made against us, we came to an anchor in
twenty-four fathoms. We lay here till one, when the fog, which had
prevailed this morning, dispersing, and the tide making in our favour,
we weighed and plied to the south-west. In the evening, the wind was
very variable, and we had some thunder. We had heard none before, since
our arrival upon the coast; and this was at a great distance.

The wind having settled again in the south-west quarter, in the morning
of the 12th, we stood to the north-west, and at ten saw the continent.
At noon, it extended from north-east by north, to north-north-west, a
quarter west; and an elevated hill bore north-north-west, ten leagues
distant. This proved to be an island, which from its figure obtained the
name of _Round Island_. It lies in the latitude of 58° 37ʹ, and in the
longitude of 200° 6ʹ, and seven miles from the continent. In the
evening, at nine, having stood to the northward to within three leagues
of the shore, we tacked in fourteen fathoms water, the extremities of
the coast bearing east-south-east half east, and west. The wind veering
to the north-west enabled us to make a good stretch along shore, till
two o’clock in the morning, when we got all at once into six fathoms
water, being at this time two leagues from the shore. After edging off a
little, our depth gradually increased, and at noon we had twenty
fathoms, when the latitude was 58° 13ʹ, and the longitude 199°. Round
Island bore north, 5° east; and the west extreme of the coast north, 16°
west, seven leagues distant. It is an elevated point, which obtained the
name of _Calm Point_, from our having calm weather when off it. To the
north-west of Round Island are two or three hillocks, that appeared like
islands; and it is possible they may be such; for we had but a distant
view of the coast in this place.

During the 14th and 15th, our progress was slow, having little wind, and
sometimes so thick a fog, that we could not see the length of the ship.
The soundings were from fourteen to twenty-six fathoms; and we had
tolerable success in fishing, catching cod, and now and then a few flat
fish. At five in the morning of the 16th, the fog having cleared up, we
found ourselves nearer the land than we expected. Calm Point bore north,
72° east, and a point eight leagues from it, in the direction of west,
bore north, 3° east, three miles distant. Between these two points, the
coast forms a bay, in some parts of which the land was hardly visible
from the mast-head. There is also a bay on the north-west side of this
last point, between it and an elevated promontory, which, at this time,
bore north, 36° west, sixteen miles distant. At nine, I sent Lieutenant
Williamson to this promontory, with orders to land, and see what
direction the coast took beyond it, and what the country produced, for
from the ships it had but a barren appearance. We found here the
flood-tide setting strongly to the north-west along the coast. At noon
it was high-water, and we anchored in twenty-four fathoms, four leagues
distant from the shore. At five in the afternoon, the tide making in our
favour, we weighed, and drove with it; for there was no wind.

Soon after, Mr. Williamson returned, and reported that he had landed on
the point, and having climbed the highest hill, found that the farthest
part of the coast in sight bore nearly north. He took possession of the
country in his Majesty’s name, and left on the hill a bottle, in which
were inscribed, on a piece of paper, the names of the ships, and the
date of the discovery. The promontory, to which he gave the name of
_Cape Newenham_, is a rocky point, of tolerable height, situated in the
latitude of 58° 42ʹ, and in the longitude of 197° 36ʹ. Over, or within
it, are two elevated hills, rising one behind the other. The innermost,
or easternmost, is the highest. The country, as far as Mr. Williamson
could see, produces neither tree nor shrub; the hills are naked; but on
the lower grounds grew grass and other plants, very few of which were in
flower. He saw no other animal but a doe and her fawn, and a dead
sea-horse, or cow, upon the beach. Of these animals we had lately seen a
great many.

As the coast takes a northerly direction from Cape Newenham, that cape
fixes the northern limit of the great bay and gulf, lying before the
river Bristol, which, in honour of the admiral Earl of Bristol, was
named _Bristol Bay_. Cape _Ooneemak_ is the south limit of this bay, and
is distant eighty-two leagues from Cape Newenham, in the direction of

About eight in the evening, a light breeze springing up, which fixed at
S. S. E., we steered N. W., and N. N. W., round Cape Newenham, which at
noon next day bore S. by E., distant four leagues. At this time the most
advanced land to the northward bore N., 30° E.; our depth of water was
seventeen fathoms; and the nearest shore 3-1/2 leagues distant. We had
but little wind all the afternoon; so that, at ten at night, we had only
made three leagues upon a north course.

We steered N. by W. till eight the next morning, when, our depth of
water decreasing suddenly to five and seven fathoms, we brought to, till
a boat from each ship was sent ahead to sound, and then steered
north-east after them; and at noon we had deepened the water to
seventeen fathoms. At this time Cape Newenham bore S. 9° E., distant
eleven or twelve leagues, the north-east extreme of the land in sight N.
66° E., and the nearest shore about four or five leagues distant. Our
latitude, by observation, was 59° 16ʹ.

Between this latitude and Cape Newenham the coast is composed of hills
and low land, and appeared to form several bays. A little before one
o’clock the boats ahead made the signal for meeting with shoal water. It
seems they had only two fathoms, and at the same time the ships were in
six fathoms. By hauling a little more to the northward, we continued in
much the same depth till between five and six o’clock, when the boats
meeting with less and less water, I made the signal to the Discovery,
she being then ahead, to anchor, which we did soon after. In bringing
our ship up, the cable parted at the clinch, which obliged us to come to
with the other anchor. We rode in six fathoms water, a sandy bottom, and
about four or five leagues from the main land; Cape Newenham bearing
south, seventeen leagues distant. The farthest hills we could see to the
north, bore N. E. by E.; but there was low land stretching out from the
high land, as far as north by east. Without this was a shoal of sand and
stones, that was dry at half ebb.

I had sent the two masters, each in a boat, to sound between this shoal
and the coast. On their return, they reported that there was a channel
in which they found six and seven fathoms water; but that it was narrow
and intricate. At low water we made an attempt to get a hawser round the
lost anchor, but did not succeed then. However, being determined not to
leave it behind me, as long as there was a probability of recovering it,
I persevered in my endeavours, and at last succeeded in the evening of
the 20th.

While we were thus employed, I ordered Captain Clerke to send his master
in a boat to look for a passage in the south-west quarter. He did so;
but no channel was to be found in that direction; nor did there appear
to be any way to get clear of these shoals, but to return by the track
which had brought us in. For, although by following the channel we were
in, we might probably have got farther down the coast, and though
possibly this channel might have led us at last to the north, clear of
the shoals, still the attempt would have been attended with vast risk;
and if we should not have succeeded, there would have been a
considerable loss of time that could ill be spared. These reasons
induced me to return by the way in which we came, and so get without the

  A number of lunar observations made by Mr.
 King and myself, on this and the four preceding days,
 and all reduced to the ship’s present station, gave
 the longitude               197° 45ʹ 48ʺ

 By the time-keeper it was   197  26  48

 Our latitude was             59  37  30

 Variation by the}                  } mean 22°
   mean of three } A. M. 23° 34ʹ 3ʺ }   56ʹ 51ʺ
   compasses,    } P. M. 22  19 40  }   east.

The northernmost part of the coast that we could see from this station I
judged to lie in the latitude of 60°. It seemed to form a low point,
which obtained the name of _Shoal Ness_.

The tide of flood sets to the north, and the ebb to the south. It rises
and falls, upon a perpendicular, five or six feet; and I reckon it to be
high water, on the full and change days, at eight o’clock.

Having weighed at three in the morning on the 21st, with a light breeze
at N. N. W., we steered back to the southward, having three boats ahead
to direct us. But, notwithstanding this precaution, we found more
difficulty in returning than we had in advancing; and at last were
obliged to anchor, to avoid running upon a shoal, which had only a depth
of five feet. While we lay here, twenty-seven men of the country, each
in a canoe, came off to the ships, which they approached with great
caution; hollowing and opening their arms as they advanced. This we
understood was to express their pacific intentions. At length some
approached near enough to receive a few trifles that were thrown to
them: this encouraged the rest to venture along-side; and a traffic
presently commenced between them and our people, who got dresses of
skins, bows, arrows, darts, wooden vessels, &c.; our visitors taking in
exchange for these whatever was offered them. They seemed to be the same
sort of people that we had of late met with all along this coast; wore
the same kind of ornaments in their lips and noses; but were far more
dirty, and not so well clothed. They appeared to be wholly unacquainted
with people like us: they knew not the use of tobacco; nor was any
foreign article seen in their possession, unless a knife may be looked
upon as such. This, indeed, was only a piece of common iron fitted in a
wooden handle, so as to answer the purpose of a knife. They, however,
knew the value and use of this instrument so well, that it seemed to be
the only article they wished for. Most of them had their hair shaved, or
cut short off, leaving only a few locks behind, or on one side. For a
covering for the head they wore a hood of skins, and a bonnet which
appeared to be of wood. One part of their dress, which we got from them,
was a kind of girdle, very neatly made of skin, with trappings depending
from it, and passing between the legs, so as to conceal the adjoining
parts. By the use of such a girdle, it should seem that they sometimes
go naked, even in this high latitude; for they hardly wear it under
their other clothing.

The canoes were made of skins, like all the others we had lately seen;
only with this difference, that these were broader, and the hole in
which the man sits was wider than in any I had before met with. Our
boats returning from sounding seemed to alarm them; so that they all
left us sooner than probably they would otherwise have done.

It was the 22d, in the evening, before we got clear of these shoals, and
then I durst not venture to steer to the westward in the night, but
spent it off Cape Newenham, and at day-break next morning steered to the
north-west, ordering the Discovery to lead. Before we had run two
leagues, our depth of water decreased to six fathoms. Fearing, if we
continued this course, that we should find less and less water, I hauled
to the southward, the wind being at east, a fresh breeze. This course
brought us gradually into eighteen fathoms; and having that depth I
ventured to steer a little westerly, and afterward west, when we at last
found twenty-six fathoms water.

On the 24th at noon we were, by observation, in the latitude of 58° 7ʹ,
and in the longitude of 194° 22ʹ. Three leagues to the westward of this
station we had twenty-eight fathoms water, and then steered west
north-west, the water gradually deepening to thirty-four fathoms. I
would have steered more northerly, but the wind having veered in that
direction, I could not.

The 25th in the evening, having a very thick fog, and but little wind,
we dropped anchor in thirty fathoms water. Our latitude was now 58° 29ʹ,
and our longitude 191-1/2° 37ʹ. At six the next morning the weather
clearing up a little, we weighed, and, with a small breeze at east,
steered north; our soundings being from twenty-eight to twenty-five
fathoms. After running nine leagues upon this course, the wind returned
back to the north, which obliged us to steer more westerly.

The weather continued, for the most part, foggy, till toward noon on the
28th, when we had a few hours clear sun-shine; during which we made
several lunar observations. The mean result of them, reduced to noon,
when the latitude was 59° 55ʹ, gave 190° 6ʹ longitude; and the
time-keeper gave 189° 59ʹ. The variation of the compass was 18° 40ʹ
east. Continuing our westerly course, the water having now deepened to
thirty-six fathoms, at four o’clock next morning we discovered land,
bearing north-west by west, six leagues distant. We stood toward it till
half past ten, when we tacked in twenty-four fathoms water; being at
this time a league from the land, which bore north north-west. It was
the south-east extremity, and formed a perpendicular cliff of
considerable height; on which account it was called _Point Upright_, and
lies in the latitude of 60° 17ʹ, and in the longitude of 187° 30ʹ. More
land was seen to the westward of the point; and, at a clear interval, we
saw another elevated portion of land in the direction of west by south;
and this seemed to be entirely separated from the other. Here we met
with an incredible number of birds, all as the hawk kind before

We had baffling light winds all the afternoon, so that we made but
little progress; and the weather was not clear enough to enable us to
determine the extent of the land before us. We supposed it to be one of
the many islands laid down by Mr. Stæhlin in his map of the New Northern
Archipelago; and we expected every moment to see more of them.

At four in the afternoon of the 30th, Point Upright bore north-west by
north, six leagues distant. About this time a light breeze springing up
at north north-west, we stood to the north-east till four o’clock next
morning, when the wind veering to the eastward, we tacked and steered to
the north-west. Soon after the wind came to the south-east, and we
steered north-east by north; which course we continued, with soundings
from thirty-five to twenty fathoms, till next day at noon. At this time
we were in the latitude of 60° 58ʹ, and in the longitude of 191°. The
wind now veering to north-east, I first made a stretch of ten leagues to
the north-west; and then, seeing no land in that direction, I stood back
to the eastward about fifteen leagues, and met with nothing but pieces
of drift-wood. The soundings were from twenty-two to nineteen fathoms.

Variable light winds, with showers of rain, prevailed all the 2d; but
fixing in the south-east quarter, in the morning of the 3d, we resumed
our course to the northward. At noon we were, by observation, in the
latitude of 62° 34ʹ, our longitude was 192°; and our depth of water
sixteen fathoms.

Mr. Anderson, my surgeon, who had been lingering under a consumption for
more than twelve months, expired between three and four this afternoon.
He was a sensible young man, an agreeable companion, well skilled in his
own profession; and had acquired considerable knowledge of other
branches of science. The reader of this Journal will have observed how
useful an assistant I had found him in the course of the voyage; and had
it pleased God to have spared his life, the public, I make no doubt,
might have received from him such communications, on various parts of
the natural history of the several places we visited, as would have
abundantly shown that he was not unworthy of this commendation.[79] Soon
after he had breathed his last, land was seen to the westward, twelve
leagues distant. It was supposed to be an island; and, to perpetuate the
memory of the deceased, for whom I had a very great regard, I named it
_Anderson’s Island_. The next day, I removed Mr. Law, the surgeon of the
Discovery, into the Resolution, and appointed Mr. Samuel, the surgeon’s
first mate of the Resolution, to be surgeon of the Discovery.

On the 4th, at three in the afternoon, land was seen, extending from
north north-east to north-west. We stood on toward it till four o’clock,
when, being four or five miles from it, we tacked; and soon after, the
wind falling, we anchored in thirteen fathoms water, over a sandy
bottom; being about two leagues from the land, and, by our reckoning, in
the latitude of 64° 27ʹ, and in the longitude of 194° 18ʹ. At intervals,
we could see the coast extending from east to north-west, and a pretty
high island, bearing west by north, three leagues distant.

The land before us, which we supposed to be the continent of America,
appeared low next the sea; but, inland, it swelled into hills, which
rise, one behind another, to a considerable height. It had a greenish
hue, but seemed destitute of wood, and free from snow. While we lay at
anchor, we found that the flood-tide came from the east, and set to the
west, till between ten and eleven o’clock. From that time, till two the
next morning, the stream set to the eastward, and the water fell three
feet. The flood ran both stronger and longer than the ebb; from which I
concluded, that, besides the tide, there was a westerly current.

At ten in the morning of the 5th, with the wind at south-west, we ran
down and anchored, between the island and the continent, in seven
fathoms water. Soon after, I landed upon the island, and, accompanied by
Mr. King, and some others of the officers, I hoped to have had from it a
view of the coast and sea to the westward; but the fog was so thick in
that direction, that the prospect was not more extensive than from the
ship. The coast of the continent seemed to take a turn to the northward,
at a low point named _Point Rodney_, which bore from the island
north-west half west, three or four leagues distant; but the high land,
which took a more northerly direction, was seen a great way farther.

This island, which was named _Sledge Island_, and lies in the latitude
of 64° 30ʹ, and in the longitude of 193° 57ʹ, is about four leagues in
circuit. The surface of the ground is composed chiefly of large loose
stones, that are, in many places, covered with moss and other
vegetables, of which there were above twenty or thirty different sorts,
and most of them in flower. But I saw neither shrub nor tree, either
upon the island, or on the continent. On a small low spot, near the
beach where we landed, was a good deal of wild purslain, pease,
long-wort, &c.; some of which we took on board for the pot. We saw one
fox; a few plovers, and some other small birds; and we met with some
decayed huts that were partly built below ground. People had lately been
on the island; and it is pretty clear, that they frequently visit it for
some purpose or other. We found, a little way from the shore where we
landed, a sledge, which occasioned this name being given to the island.
It seemed to be such a one as the Russians in Kamtschatka make use of to
convey goods from place to place, over the ice or snow. It was ten feet
long, twenty inches broad; and had a kind of rail-work on each side, and
was shod with bone. The construction of it was admirable, and all the
parts neatly put together; some with wooden-pins, but mostly with thongs
or lashings of whale-bone, which made me think it was entirely the
workmanship of the natives.

At three o’clock the next morning, we weighed, and proceeded to the
north-westward, with a light southerly breeze. We had an opportunity to
observe the sun’s meridian altitude for the latitude; and to get
altitude, both in the forenoon and afternoon, to obtain the longitude by
the time-keeper. As we had but little wind, and variable withal, we
advanced but slowly; and, at eight in the evening, finding the ships
settle fast toward the land into shoal water, I anchored in seven
fathoms, about two leagues from the coast. Sledge Island bore south, 51°
east, ten leagues distant; and was seen over the south point of the main

Soon after we had anchored, the weather, which had been misty, clearing
up, we saw high land extending from north, 40° east, to north, 30° west,
apparently disjoined from the coast, under which we were at anchor, and
seemed to trend away north-east. At the same time, an island was seen
bearing north 81° west, eight or nine leagues distant. It appeared to
have no great extent, and was named _King’s Island_. We rode here till
eight o’clock next morning, when we weighed, and stood to the
north-west. The weather clearing up toward the evening, we got sight of
the north-west land, extending from north by west, to north-west by
north, distant about three leagues. We spent the night making short
boards, the weather being misty and rainy, with little wind; and between
four and five in the morning of the 8th, we had again a sight of the
north-west land; and, soon after, on account of a calm, and a current
driving us toward the shore, we found it necessary to anchor in twelve
fathoms water, about two miles from the coast. Over the western extreme
is an elevated peaked hill, situated in latitude 65° 36ʹ, and in
longitude 192° 18ʹ. A breeze at north-east springing up at eight
o’clock, we weighed, and stood to the south-east, in hopes of finding a
passage between the coast on which we had anchored on the 6th in the
evening, and this north-west land; but we soon got into seven fathoms
water, and discovered low land connecting the two coasts, and the high
land behind it.

Being now satisfied that the whole was a continued coast, I tacked, and
stood away for its north-west part, and came to an anchor under it in
seventeen fathoms water. The weather, at this time, was very thick with
rain; but, at four next morning, it cleared up, so that we could see the
land about us. A high steep rock or island bore west by south; another
island to the north of it, and much larger, bore west by north; the
peaked hill above mentioned, south east by east; and the point under it,
south, 32° east. Under this hill lies some low land, stretching out
toward the north-west, the extreme point of which, bore north-east by
east, about three miles distant. Over, and beyond it, some high land was
seen, supposed to be a continuation of the continent.

This point of land, which I named _Cape Prince of Wales_, is the more
remarkable, by being the western extremity of all America hitherto
known. It is situated in the latitude of 65° 46ʹ, and in the longitude
of 191° 45ʹ. The observations by which both were determined, though made
in sight of it, were liable to some small error, on account of the
haziness of the weather. We thought we saw some people upon the coast;
and probably we were not mistaken, as some elevations, like stages, and
others, like huts, were seen at the same place. We saw the same things
on the continent within Sledge Island, and on some other parts of the

It was calm till eight o’clock in the morning, when a faint breeze at
north springing up, we weighed; but we had scarcely got our sails set,
when it began to blow and rain very hard, with misty weather. The wind
and current, being in contrary directions, raised such a sea, that it
frequently broke into the ship. We had a few minutes’ sunshine at noon;
and from the observation then obtained, we fixed the above-mentioned

Having plied to windward till two in the afternoon, with little effect,
I bore up for the island we had seen to the westward, proposing to come
to an anchor under it till the gale should cease. But on getting to this
land, we found it composed of two small islands, each not above three or
four leagues in circuit; and consequently they could afford us little
shelter. Instead of anchoring, therefore, we continued to stretch to the
westward; and at eight o’clock, land was seen in that direction,
extending from north north-west, to west by south, the nearest part six
leagues distant. I stood on till ten, and then made a board to the
eastward, in order to spend the night.

At day-break in the morning of the 10th, we resumed our course to the
west for the land we had seen the preceding evening. At eleven minutes
after seven, when the longitude, by the time-keeper, was 189° 24ʹ, it
extended from south, 72° west to north, 41° east. Between the south-west
extreme, and a point which bore west, two leagues distant, the shore
forms a large bay, in which we anchored at ten o’clock in the forenoon,
about two miles from the north shore, in ten fathoms water, over a
gravelly bottom. The south point of the bay bore south, 58° west; the
north point north, 43° east; the bottom of the bay north, 60° west, two
or three leagues distant; and the two islands we had passed the
preceding day, north, 72° east, distant fourteen leagues.

                               CHAP. IX.


As we were standing into this bay, we perceived on the north shore a
village, and some people, whom the sight of the ships seemed to have
thrown into confusion, or fear. We could plainly see persons running up
the country with burdens upon their backs. At these habitations, I
proposed to land; and accordingly went with three armed boats,
accompanied by some of the officers. About thirty or forty men, each
armed with a spontoon, a bow, and arrows, stood drawn up on a rising
ground close by the village. As we drew near, three of them came down
toward the shore, and were so polite as to take off their caps, and to
make us low bows. We returned the civility; but this did not inspire
them with sufficient confidence to wait for our landing; for the moment
we put the boats ashore, they retired. I followed them alone, without
any thing in my hand; and by signs and gestures prevailed on them to
stop, and receive some trifling presents. In return for these, they gave
me two fox skins, and a couple of sea-horse teeth. I cannot say whether
they or I made the first present; for it appeared to me, that they had
brought down with them these things for this very purpose; and that they
would have given them to me, even though I had made no return.

They seemed very fearful and cautious; expressing their desire by signs,
that no more of our people should be permitted to come up. On my laying
my hand on the shoulder of one of them, he started back several paces.
In proportion as I advanced, they retreated backward; always in the
attitude of being ready to make use of their spears; while those on the
rising ground stood ready to support them with their arrows. Insensibly,
myself, and two or three of my companions, got in amongst them. A few
beads distributed to those about us, soon created a kind of confidence;
so that they were not alarmed when a few more of our people joined us;
and, by degrees, a sort of traffic between us commenced. In exchange for
knives, beads, tobacco, and other articles, they gave us some of their
clothing, and a few arrows. But nothing that we had to offer could
induce them to part with a spear, or a bow. These they held in constant
readiness, never once quitting them, except at one time, when four or
five persons laid theirs down, while they gave us a song and a dance.
And even then, they placed them in such a manner, that they could lay
hold of them in an instant; and for their security, they desired us to
sit down.

The arrows were pointed either with bone or stone, but very few of them
had barbs; and some had a round blunt point. What use these may be
applied to I cannot say; unless it be to kill small animals, without
damaging the skin. The bows were such as we had seen on the American
coast, and like those used by the Esquimaux. The spears, or spontoons,
were of iron or steel, and of European or Asiatic workmanship; in which
no little pains had been taken to ornament them with carving, and
inlayings of brass and of a white metal. Those who stood ready with bows
and arrows in their hands, had a spear slung over their shoulder by a
leathern strap. A leathern quiver, slung over their left shoulder,
contained arrows; and some of these quivers were extremely beautiful;
being made of red leather, on which was very neat embroidery, and other

Several other things, and in particular their clothing, shewed that they
were possessed of a degree of ingenuity, far surpassing what one could
expect to find amongst so northern a people. All the Americans we had
seen since our arrival on that coast, were rather low of stature, with
round chubby faces, and high cheek-bones. The people we now were
amongst, far from resembling them, had long visages, and were stout and
well made. In short, they appeared to be a quite different nation. We
saw neither women nor children of either sex; nor any aged, except one
man, who was bald-headed; and he was the only one who carried no arms.
The others seemed to be picked men, and rather under than above the
middle age. The old man had a black mark across his face, which I did
not see in any others. All of them had their ears bored; and some had
glass beads hanging to them. These were the only fixed ornaments we saw
about them; for they wear none to their lips. This is another thing in
which they differ from the Americans we had lately seen.

Their clothing consisted of a cap, a frock, a pair of breeches, a pair
of boots, and a pair of gloves, all made of leather, or of the skins of
deer, dogs, seals, &c., and extremely well dressed; some with the hair
or fur on; but others without it. The caps were made to fit the head
very close; and besides these caps, which most of them wore, we got from
them some hoods, made of the skins of dogs, that were large enough to
cover both head and shoulders. Their hair seemed to be black; but their
heads were either shaved, or the hair cut close off; and none of them
wore any beard. Of the few articles which they got from us, knives and
tobacco were what they valued most.

We found the village composed both of their summer and their winter
habitations. The latter are exactly like a vault, the floor of which is
sunk a little below the surface of the earth. One of them which I
examined, was of an oval form, about twenty feet long, and twelve or
more high. The framing was composed of wood, and the ribs of whales,
disposed in a judicious manner, and bound together with smaller
materials of the same sort. Over this framing is laid a covering of
strong coarse grass; and that again is covered with earth; so that, on
the outside, the house looks like a little hillock, supported by a wall
of stone, three or four feet high, which is built round the two sides,
and one end. At the other end the earth is raised sloping, to walk up to
the entrance, which is by a hole in the top of the roof over that end.
The floor was boarded, and under it a kind of cellar, in which I saw
nothing but water. And at the end of each house was a vaulted room,
which I took to be a store-room. These store-rooms communicated with the
house by a dark passage; and with the open air, by a hole in the roof,
which was even with the ground one walked upon; but they cannot be said
to be wholly underground; for one end reached to the edge of the hill,
along which they were made, and which was built up with stone. Over it
stood a kind of sentry-box, or tower, composed of the large bones of
large fish.

The summer huts were pretty large and circular, being brought to a point
at the top. The framing was of slight poles and bones, covered with the
skins of sea-animals. I examined the inside of one. There was a
fire-place just within the door, where lay a few wooden vessels, all
very dirty. Their bed-places were close to the side, and took up about
half the circuit. Some privacy seemed to be observed; for there were
several partitions made with skins. The bed and bedding were of
deer-skins; and most of them were dry and clean.

About the habitations were erected several stages, ten or twelve feet
high; such as we had observed on some parts of the American coast. They
were wholly composed of bones; and seemed intended for drying their fish
and skins, which were thus placed beyond the reach of their dogs, of
which they had a great many. These dogs are of the fox kind, rather
large, and of different colours, with long soft hair like wool. They
are, probably, used in drawing their sledges in winter. For sledges they
have, as I saw a good many laid up in one of the winter huts. It is also
not improbable that dogs may constitute a part of their food. Several
lay dead that had been killed that morning.

The canoes of these people are of the same sort with those of the
northern Americans; some, both of the large and of the small ones, being
seen lying in a creek under the village.

By the large fish-bones, and of their sea-animals, it appeared that the
sea supplied them with the greatest part of their subsistence. The
country appeared to be exceedingly barren; yielding neither tree nor
shrub, that we could see. At some distance westward, we observed a ridge
of mountains covered with snow that had lately fallen.

At first we supposed this land to be a part of the island of Alaschka,
laid down in Mr. Stæhlin’s map, before mentioned. But from the figure of
the coast, the situation of the opposite shore of America, and from the
longitude, we soon began to think that it was, more probably, the
country of the Tschutski, or the eastern extremity of Asia, explored by
Beering in 1728. But to have admitted this, without farther examination,
I must have pronounced Mr. Stæhlin’s map, and his account of the new
Northern Archipelago, to be either exceeding erroneous, even in
latitude, or else to be a mere fiction; a judgment which I had no right
to pass upon a publication so respectably vouched, without producing the
clearest proofs.

After a stay of between two and three hours with these people, we
returned to our ships; and soon after, the wind veering to the south, we
weighed anchor, stood out of the bay, and steered to the north-east,
between the coast and the two islands. The next day, at noon, the former
extended from S. 80° W., to N. 84° W.; the latter bore 43° W.; and the
peaked mountain, over Cape Prince of Wales, bore S. 36° E.; with land
extending from it as far as S. 75° E. The latitude of the ship was 66°
5-1/4ʹ; the longitude 191° 19ʹ; our depth of water twenty-eight fathoms;
and our position nearly in the middle of the channel between the two
coasts, each being seven leagues distant.

From this station we steered east, in order to get nearer the American
coast. In this course the water shoaled gradually, and there being
little wind, and all our endeavours to increase our depth failing, I was
obliged at last to drop anchor in six fathoms; the only remedy we had
left to prevent the ships driving into less. The nearest part of the
western land bore W., twelve leagues distant; the peaked hill over Cape
Prince of Wales, S. 16° W.; and the northernmost part of the American
continent in sight E. S. E., the nearest part about four leagues
distant. After we had anchored, I sent a boat to sound, and the water
was found to shoal gradually toward the land. While we lay at anchor,
which was from six to nine in the evening, we found little or no
current; nor could we perceive that the water either rose or fell.

A breeze of wind springing up north, we weighed and stood to the
westward, which course soon brought us into deep water; and, during the
12th, we plied to the north, both coasts being in sight; but we kept
nearest to that of America.

At four in the afternoon of the 13th, a breeze springing up at south, I
steered N. E. by N., till four o’clock next morning, when, seeing no
land, we directed our course E. by N.; and between nine and ten, land,
supposed to be a continuation of the continent, appeared. It extended
from east by south to east by north; and, soon after, we saw more land,
bearing N. by E. Coming pretty suddenly into thirteen fathoms water, at
two in the afternoon we made a trip off till four, when we stood in
again for the land; which was seen, soon after, extending from north to
south-east; the nearest part three or four leagues distant. The coast
here forms a point, named _Point Mulgrave_, which lies in the latitude
of 67° 45ʹ; and in the longitude of 194° 51ʹ. The land appeared very low
next the sea; but, a little back, it rises into hills of a moderate
height. The whole was free from snow; and to appearance destitute of
wood. I now tacked, and bore away N. W. by W.; but soon after, thick
weather with rain coming on, and the wind increasing, I hauled more to
the west.

Next morning, at two o’clock, the wind veered to S. W. by S., and blew a
strong gale, which abated at noon; and the sun shining out, we found
ourselves, by observation, in the latitude of 68° 18ʹ. I now steered
N. E. till six o’clock the next morning, when I steered two points more
easterly. In this run we met with several sea-horses, and flights of
birds; some like land-larks, and others seen no bigger than
hedge-sparrows. Some shags were also seen; so that we judged ourselves
to be not far from the land. But as we had a thick fog, we could not
expect to see any; and as the wind blew strong, it was not prudent to
continue a course which was most likely to bring us to it. From the noon
of this day to six o’clock in the morning of the following, I steered E.
by N.; which course brought us into sixteen fathoms water. I now steered
N. E. by E., thinking by this course to deepen our water. But, in the
space of six leagues, it shoaled to eleven fathoms; which made me think
it proper to haul close to the wind, that now blew at west. Toward noon,
both sun and moon were seen clearly at intervals, and we got some flying
observations for the longitude; which, reduced to noon, when the
latitude was 70° 33ʹ, gave 197° 41ʹ. The time-keeper, for the same time,
gave 198°; and the variation was 35° 1ʹ 22ʺ E. We had afterward reason
to believe that the observed longitude was within a very few miles of
the truth.

Some time before noon we perceived a brightness in the northern horizon,
like that reflected from ice, commonly called the blink. It was little
noticed, from a supposition that it was improbable we should meet with
ice so soon. And yet the sharpness of the air, and gloominess of the
weather, for two or three days past, seemed to indicate some sudden
change. About an hour after, the sight of a large field of ice left us
no longer in doubt about the cause of the brightness of the horizon. At
half past two, we tacked, close to the edge of the ice, in twenty-two
fathoms water, being then in the latitude of 70° 41ʹ; not being able to
stand on any farther. For the ice was quite impenetrable, and extended
from west by south to east by north, as far as the eye could reach. Here
were abundance of sea-horses; some in the water, but far more upon the
ice. I had the thoughts of hoisting out the boats to kill some; but the
wind freshening, I gave up the design, and continued to ply to the
southward, or rather to the westward; for the wind came from that

We gained nothing; for on the 18th at noon our latitude was 70° 44ʹ; and
we were near five leagues farther to the eastward. We were, at this
time, close to the edge of the ice, which was as compact as a wall, and
seemed to be ten or twelve feet high at least. But farther north, it
appeared much higher. Its surface was extremely rugged, and here and
there we saw upon it pools of water.

We now stood to the southward, and, after running six leagues, shoaled
the water to seven fathoms; but it soon deepened to nine fathoms. At
this time the weather, which had been hazy, clearing up a little, we saw
land extending from south to south-east by east, about three or four
miles distant. The eastern extreme forms a point, which was much
encumbered with ice; for which reason it obtained the name of _Icy
Cape_. Its latitude is 79° 29ʹ, and its longitude 198° 20ʹ. The other
extreme of the land was lost in the horizon; so that there can be no
doubt of its being a continuation of the American continent. The
Discovery being about a mile astern, and to leeward, found less water
than we did, and tacking on that account, I was obliged to tack also, to
prevent separation.

Our situation was now more and more critical. We were in shoal water,
upon a lee shore; and the main body of the ice to windward, driving down
upon us. It was evident that if we remained much longer between it and
the land, it would force us ashore, unless it should happen to take the
ground before us. It seemed nearly to join the land to leeward; and the
only direction that was open was to the south-west. After making a short
board to the northward, I made the signal for the Discovery to tack, and
tacked myself at the same time. The wind proved rather favourable, so
that we lay up south-west, and south-west by west.

At eight in the morning of the 19th, the wind veering back to west, I
tacked to the northward; and at noon the latitude was 70° 6ʹ, and the
longitude 196° 42ʹ. In this situation we had a good deal of drift-ice
about us; and the main ice was about two leagues to the north. At half
past one we got in with the edge of it. It was not so compact as that
which we had seen to the northward; but it was too close, and in too
large pieces, to attempt forcing the ships through it. On the ice lay a
prodigious number of sea-horses; and as we were in want of fresh
provisions, the boats from each ship were sent to get some.

By seven o’clock in the evening, we had received on board the Resolution
nine of these animals, which, till now, we had supposed to be sea-cows,
so that we were not a little disappointed, especially some of the
seamen, who, for the novelty of the thing, had been feasting their eyes
for some days past. Nor would they have been disappointed now, nor have
known the difference, if we had not happened to have one or two on
board, who had been in Greenland, and declared what animals these were,
and that no one ever ate of them. But notwithstanding this, we lived
upon them as long as they lasted; and there were few on board who did
not prefer them to our salt meat.

The fat at first is as sweet as marrow; but in a few days it grows
rancid, unless it be salted, in which state it will keep much longer.
The lean flesh is coarse, black, and has rather a strong taste, and the
heart is nearly as well tasted as that of a bullock. The fat when melted
yields a good deal of oil, which burns very well in lamps, and their
hides, which are very thick, were very useful about our rigging. The
teeth, or tusks, of most of them were at this time very small, even some
of the largest and oldest of these animals had them not exceeding six
inches in length. From this we concluded that they had lately shed their
old teeth.

They lie in herds of many hundreds upon the ice, huddling one over the
other like swine, and roar or bray very loud; so that in the night, or
in foggy weather, they gave us notice of the vicinity of the ice, before
we could see it. We never found the whole herd asleep, some being always
upon the watch. These, on the approach of the boat, would wake those
next to them, and the alarm being thus gradually communicated, the whole
herd would be awake presently. But they were seldom in a hurry to get
away, till after they had been once fired at. Then they would tumble one
over the other into the sea, in the utmost confusion. And if we did not,
at the first discharge, kill those we fired at, we generally lost them,
though mortally wounded. They did not appear to us to be that dangerous
animal some authors have described, not even when attacked. They are
rather more so to appearance than in reality. Vast numbers of them would
follow, and come close up to the boats; but the flash of a musket in the
pan, or even the bare pointing of one at them, would send them down in
an instant. The female will defend the young one to the very last, and
at the expence of her own life, whether in the water or upon the ice.
Nor will the young one quit the dam, though she be dead, so that, if you
kill one, you are sure of the other. The dam, when in the water, holds
the young one between her fore-fins.

Mr. Pennant, in his _Synopsis Quadr._, p. 335[80], has given a very good
description of this animal, under the name of _Arctic Walrus_; but I
have no where seen a good drawing of one. Why they should be called
sea-horses, is hard to say, unless the word be a corruption of the
Russian name, _Morse_; for they have not the least resemblance of a
horse. This is, without doubt, the same animal that is found in the
Gulph of St. Lawrence, and there called sea-cow. It is certainly more
like a cow than a horse, but this likeness consists in nothing but the
snout. In short, it is an animal like a seal, but incomparably larger.
The dimensions and weight of one which was none of the largest, were as

                                           Feet. Inches.

 Length from the snout to the tail            9  4
 Length of the neck, from the snout to }      2  6
   the shoulder-bone                   }
 Height of the shoulder                       5  0
 Length of the fins  { Fore                   2  4
                     { Hind                   2  6
 Breadth of the fins { Fore                   1  2-1/2
                     { Hind                   2  0
 Snout { Breadth                              0  5-1/2
       { Depth                                1  3
 Circumference of the neck close to the ears  2  7
 Circumference of the body at the shoulder    7  10
 Circumference near the hind fins             5  6
 From the snout to the eyes                   0  7
 Weight of the carcase, without }  854 lb.
   the head, skin, or entrails  }
 Head                               41-1/2
 Skin                              205

I could not find out what these animals feed upon. There was nothing in
the maws of those we killed.

It is worth observing, that, for some days before this date, we had
frequently seen flocks of ducks flying to the southward. They were of
two sorts, the one much larger than the other. The largest were of a
brown colour; and, of the small sort, either the duck or drake was black
and white, and the other brown. Some said they saw geese also. Does not
this indicate that there must be land to the north, where these birds
find shelter, in the proper season, to breed, and from whence they were
now returning to a warmer climate?

By the time we had got our sea-horses on board, we were, in a manner,
surrounded with the ice; and had no way left to clear it, but by
standing to the southward, which was done till three o’clock next
morning, with a gentle breeze westerly, and, for the most part, thick,
foggy, weather. The soundings were from twelve to fifteen fathoms. We
then tacked and stood to the N. till ten o’clock, when the wind veering
to the northward, we directed our course to the W. S. W. and W. At two
in the afternoon, we fell in with the main ice, along the edge of which
we kept, being partly directed by the roaring of the sea-horses; for we
had a very thick fog. Thus we continued sailing till near midnight, when
we got in amongst the loose ice, and heard the surge of the sea upon the
main ice.

The fog being very thick, and the wind easterly, I now hauled to the
southward; and at ten o’clock the next morning, the fog clearing away,
we saw the continent of America, extending from S. by E. to E. by S.;
and at noon, from S. W. 1/2 S. to E., the nearest part five leagues
distant. At this time we were in the latitude of 69° 32ʹ, and in the
longitude of 195° 48ʹ; and as the main ice was at no great distance from
us, it is evident, that it now covered a part of the sea, which, but a
few days before, had been clear; and that it extended farther to the S.
than where we first fell in with it. It must not be understood that I
supposed any part of this ice which we had seen to be fixed; on the
contrary, I am well assured that the whole was a moveable mass.

Having but little wind, in the afternoon I sent the master in a boat to
try if there was any current; but he found none. I continued to steer in
for the American land, until eight o’clock, in order to get a nearer
view of it, and to look for a harbour, but seeing nothing like one, I
stood again to the N., with a light breeze westerly. At this time the
coast extended from S. W. to E., the nearest part four or five leagues
distant. The southern extreme seemed to form a point, which was named
_Cape Lisburne_. It lies in the latitude of 69° 5ʹ, and in the longitude
of 194° 42ʹ, and appeared to be pretty high land, even down to the sea.
But there may be low land under it, which we might not see, being not
less than ten leagues from it. Every where else, as we advanced
northward, we had found a low coast, from which the land rises to a
middle height. The coast now before us was without snow, except in one
or two places, and had a greenish hue. But we could not perceive any
wood upon it.

On the 22d, the wind was southerly, and the weather mostly foggy, with
some intervals of sunshine. At eight in the evening it fell calm, which
continued till midnight, when we heard the surge of the sea against the
ice, and had several loose pieces about us. A light breeze now sprung up
at N. E., and as the fog was very thick, I steered to the southward, to
clear the ice. At eight o’clock next morning, the fog dispersed, and I
hauled to the westward. For finding that I could not get to the N. near
the coast, on account of the ice, I resolved to try what could be done
at a distance from it; and as the wind seemed to be settled at N., I
thought it a good opportunity.

As we advanced to the W., the water deepened gradually to twenty-eight
fathoms, which was the most we had. With the northerly wind the air was
raw, sharp, and cold; and we had fogs, sunshine, showers of snow and
sleet, by turns. At ten in the morning of the 26th, we fell in with the
ice. At noon it extended from N. W. to E. by N., and appeared to be
thick and compact. At this time, we were, by observation, in the
latitude of 69° 36ʹ, and in the longitude of 184°, so that it now
appeared we had no better prospect of getting to the N. here, than
nearer the shore.

I continued to stand to the westward, till five in the afternoon, when
we were in a manner embayed by the ice, which appeared high and very
close in the N. W. and N. E. quarters, with a great deal of loose ice
about the edge of the main field. At this time we had baffling light
winds, but it soon fixed at S., and increased to a fresh gale, with
showers of rain. We got the tack aboard, and stretched to the eastward;
this being the only direction in which the sea was clear of ice.

At four in the morning of the 27th, we tacked and stood to the W., and
at seven in the evening we were close in with the edge of the ice, which
lay E. N. E. and W. S. W., as far each way as the eye could reach.
Having but little wind, I went with the boats to examine the state of
the ice. I found it consisting of loose pieces of various extent, and so
close together, that I could hardly enter the outer edge with a boat;
and it was as impossible for the ships to enter it, as if it had been so
many rocks. I took particular notice that it was all pure transparent
ice, except the upper surface, which was a little porous. It appeared to
be entirely composed of frozen snow, and to have been all formed at sea.
For setting aside the improbability, or rather impossibility, of such
huge masses floating out of rivers, in which there is hardly water for a
boat, none of the productions of the land were found incorporated or
fixed in it; which must have unavoidably been the case, had it been
formed in rivers, either great or small. The pieces of ice that formed
the outer edge of the field, were from forty to fifty yards in extent to
four or five; and I judged that the larger pieces reached thirty feet or
more under the surface of the water. It also appeared to me very
improbable, that this ice could have been the production of the
preceding winter alone; I should suppose it rather to have been the
production of a great many winters. Nor was it less improbable,
according to my judgment, that the little that remained of the summer
could destroy the tenth part of what now subsisted of this mass, for the
sun had already exerted upon it the full influence of his rays. Indeed,
I am of opinion that the sun contributes very little toward reducing
these great masses. For although that luminary is a considerable while
above the horizon, it seldom shines out for more than a few hours at a
time, and is not seen for several days in succession. It is the wind, or
rather the waves raised by the wind, that bring down the bulk of these
enormous masses, by grinding one piece against another, and by
undermining and washing away those parts that lie exposed to the surge
of the sea. This was evident, from our observing that the upper surface
of many pieces had been partly washed away, while the base or under part
remained firm for several fathoms round that which appeared above water,
exactly like a shoal round an elevated rock. We measured the depth of
water upon one, and found it to be fifteen feet, so that the ships might
have sailed over it. If I had not measured this depth, I should not have
believed that there was a sufficient weight of ice above the surface, to
have sunk the other so much below it. Thus it may happen, that more ice
is destroyed in one stormy season than is formed in several winters, and
an endless accumulation is prevented. But that there is always a
remaining store, every one who has been upon the spot will conclude, and
none but closet-studying philosophers will dispute.

A thick fog, which came on while I was thus employed with the boats,
hastened me aboard rather sooner than I could have wished, with one
sea-horse to each ship. We had killed more, but could not wait to bring
them with us. The number of these animals on all the ice that we had
seen is almost incredible. We spent the night standing off and on,
amongst the drift ice; and at nine o’clock the next morning, the fog
having partly dispersed, boats from each ship were sent for sea-horses.
For, by this time, our people began to relish them, and those we had
procured before were all consumed. At noon, our latitude was 69° 17ʹ,
our longitude 183°; the variation, by the morning azimuths, 25° 56ʹ E.;
and the depth of water twenty-five fathoms. At two o’clock, having got
on board as much marine beef as was thought necessary, and the wind
freshening at S. S. E., we took on board the boats, and stretched to the
S. W.; but not being able to weather the ice upon this tack, or to go
through it, we made a board to the E., till eight o’clock, then resumed
our course to the S. W., and before midnight were obliged to tack again,
on account of the ice. Soon after, the wind shifted to the N. W.,
blowing a stiff gale, and we stretched to the S. W., close hauled.

In the morning of the 29th, we saw the main ice to the northward, and
not long after, land bearing south-west by west. Presently after this,
more land showed itself, bearing west. It showed itself in two hills
like islands, but afterward the whole appeared connected. As we
approached the land, the depth of water decreased very fast; so that at
noon, when we tacked, we had only eight fathoms; being three miles from
the coast, which extended from south, 30° east, to north, 60° west. This
last extreme terminated in a bluff point, being one of the hills above

The weather at this time was very hazy, with drizzling rain; but soon
after, it cleared; especially to the southward, westward, and northward.
This enabled us to have a pretty good view of the coast; which, in every
respect, is like the opposite one of America; that is, low land next the
sea, with elevated land farther back. It was perfectly destitute of
wood, and even snow; but was, probably, covered with a mossy substance,
that gave it a brownish cast. In the low ground lying between the high
land and the sea, was a lake, extending to the south-east, farther than
we could see. As we stood off, the westernmost of the two hills before
mentioned came open off the bluff point, in the direction of north-west.
It had the appearance of being an island; but it might be joined to the
other by low land, though we did not see it. And if so, there is a
two-fold point, with a bay between them. This point, which is steep and
rocky, was named _Cape North_. Its situation is nearly in the latitude
of 68° 56ʹ, and in the longitude of 180° 51ʹ. The coast beyond it must
take a very westerly direction; for we could see no land to the
northward of it, though the horizon was there pretty clear. Being
desirous of seeing more of the coast to the westward, we tacked again,
at two o’clock in the afternoon, thinking we could weather Cape North.
But finding we could not, the wind freshening, a thick fog coming on,
with much snow, and being fearful of the ice coming down upon us, I gave
up the design I had formed of plying to the westward, and stood offshore

The season was now so far advanced, and the time when the frost is
expected to set in so near at hand, that I did not think it consistent
with prudence, to make any farther attempts to find a passage into the
Atlantic this year, in any direction; so little was the prospect of
succeeding. My attention was now directed toward finding out some place
where we might supply ourselves with wood and water; and the object
uppermost in my thoughts was, how I should spend the winter, so as to
make some improvements in geography and navigation, and, at the same
time, be in a condition to return to the north, in farther search of a
passage, the ensuing summer.

                                CHAP. X.


After having stood off till we got into eighteen fathoms’ water, I bore
up to the eastward, along the coast, which, by this time, it was pretty
certain, could only be the continent of Asia. As the wind blew fresh,
with a very heavy fall of snow, and a thick mist, it was necessary to
proceed with great caution. I therefore brought to for a few hours in
the night.

At day-break, on the 30th, we made sail, and steered such a course as I
thought would bring us in with the land; being in a great measure guided
by the lead; for the weather was as thick as ever, and it snowed
incessantly. At ten, we got sight of the coast, bearing south-west, four
miles distant; and presently after, having shoaled the water to seven
fathoms, we hauled off. At this time, a very low point, or spit, bore
south south-west, four miles distant; to the east of which there
appeared to be a narrow channel, leading into some water that we saw
over the point. Probably, the lake before mentioned communicates here
with the sea.

At noon, the mist dispersing for a short interval, we had a tolerably
good view of the coast, which extended from south-east to north-west by
west. Some parts appeared higher than others; but in general it was very
low, with high land farther up the country. The whole was now covered
with snow, which had lately fallen, quite down to the sea. I continued
to range along the coast, at two leagues’ distance, till ten at night,
when we hauled off; but we resumed our course next morning, soon after
day-break, when we got sight of the coast again, extending from west to
south-east by south. At eight, the eastern part bore south, and proved
to be an island; which at noon bore south-west half south, four or fives
miles distant. It is about four or five miles in circuit, of a middling
height, with a steep, rocky coast, situated about three leagues from the
main, in the latitude of 67° 45ʹ, and distinguished in the chart by the
name of _Burney’s Island_.

The inland country hereabout is full of hills; some of which are of a
considerable height. The land was covered with snow, except a few spots
upon the sea-coast, which still continued low, but less so than farther
westward. For the two preceding days, the main height of the mercury in
the thermometer had been very little above the freezing point, and often
below it; so that the water in the vessels upon the deck was frequently
covered with a sheet of ice.

I continued to steer south south-east, nearly in the direction of the
coast, till five in the afternoon, when land was seen bearing south, 50°
east, which we presently found to be a continuation of the coast, and
hauled up for it. Being abreast of the eastern land, at ten at night,
and in doubts of weathering it, we tacked and made a board to the
westward, till past one the next morning, when we stood again to the
east, and found that it was as much as we could do to keep our distance
from the coast, the wind being exceedingly unsettled, varying
continually from north to north-east. At half an hour past eight, the
eastern extreme above mentioned bore south by east, six or seven miles
distant. At the same time, a head-land appeared in sight, bearing east
by south, half south; and, soon after, we could trace the whole coast
lying between them, and a small island at some distance from it.

The coast seemed to form several rocky points, connected by a low shore,
without the least appearance of a harbour. At some distance from the
sea, the low land appeared to swell into a number of hills. The highest
of these were covered with snow; and, in other respects, the whole
country seemed naked. At seven in the evening, two points of land, at
some distance beyond the eastern head, opened off it in the direction of
south, 37° east. I was now well assured of what I had believed before,
that this was the country of the Tschutski, or the north-east coast of
Asia; and that thus far Beering proceeded in 1728; that is, to this head
which Muller says is called _Serdze Kamen_, on account of a rock upon
it, shaped like a heart. But I conceive, that Mr. Muller’s knowledge of
the geography of these parts is very imperfect. There are many elevated
rocks upon this cape, and possibly some one or other of them may have
the shape of a heart. It is a pretty lofty promontory, with a steep
rocky cliff facing the sea; and lies in the latitude of 67° 3ʹ, and in
the longitude of 188° 11ʹ. To the eastward of it, the coast is high, and
bold; but to the westward it is low, and trends north north-west, and
north-west by west; which is nearly its direction all the way to Cape
North. The soundings are every where the same at the same distance from
the shore, which is also the case on the opposite shore of America. The
greatest depth we found in ranging along it was twenty-three fathoms.
And, in the night, or in foggy weather, the soundings are no bad guide
in sailing along either of these shores.

At eight o’clock in the morning of the 2d, the most advanced land to the
south-east, bore south, 25° east; and from this point of view had the
appearance of being an island. But the thick snow-showers, which
succeeded one another pretty fast, and settled upon the land, hid great
part of the coast at this time from our sight. Soon after, the sun,
whose face we had not seen for near five days, broke out at the
intervals between the showers; and, in some measure, freed the coast
from the fog, so that we had a sight of it, and found the whole to be
connected. The wind still continued at north, the air was cold, and the
mercury in the thermometer never rose above 35°, and was sometimes as
low as 30°. At noon, the observed latitude was 66° 37ʹ. Cape Serdze
Kamen bore north, 52° west, thirteen leagues distant; the southernmost
point of land in sight south, 41° east; the nearest part of the coast
two leagues distant, and our depth of water twenty-two fathoms.

We had now fair weather and sunshine; and as we ranged along the coast,
at the distance of four miles, we saw several of the inhabitants, and
some of their habitations, which looked like little hillocks of earth.
In the evening we passed the _Eastern Cape_, or the point above
mentioned; from which the coast changes its direction, and trends
south-west. It is the same point of land which we had passed on the 11th
of August. They who believed implicitly in Mr. Stæhlin’s map, then
thought it the east point of his island Alaschka; but we had by this
time satisfied ourselves, that it is no other than the eastern
promontory of Asia; and probably the proper _Tschukotskoi Noss_, though
the promontory, to which Beering gave that name, is farther to the

Though Mr. Muller, in his map of the Russian Discoveries, places the
Tschukotskoi Noss nearly in 75° of latitude, and extends it somewhat to
the eastward of this cape, it appears to me, that he had no good
authority for so doing. Indeed his own accounts, or rather
Deshneff’s[81], of the distance between the Noss and the river Anadir
cannot be reconciled with this very northerly position. But as I hope to
visit these parts again, I shall leave the discussion of this point till
then. In the mean time, I must conclude, as Beering did before me, that
this is the most eastern point of Asia. It is a peninsula of
considerable height, joined to the continent by a very low, and, to
appearance, narrow neck of land. It shows a steep rocky cliff next the
sea; and off the very point are some rocks like spires. It is situated
in the latitude of 66° 6ʹ, and in the longitude of 190° 22ʹ; and is
distant from Cape Prince of Wales, on the American coast, thirteen
leagues, in the direction of north, 53° west. The land about this
promontory is composed of hills and valleys. The former terminate at the
sea in steep rocky points, and the latter in low shores. The hills
seemed to be naked rocks; but the valleys had a greenish hue, but
destitute of tree or shrub.

After passing the cape, I steered south-west half west, for the northern
point of St. Lawrence Bay, in which we had anchored on the 10th of last
month. We reached it by eight o’clock next morning, and saw some of the
inhabitants at the place where I had seen them before, as well as
several others on the opposite side of the bay. None of them, however,
attempted to come off to us; which seemed a little extraordinary, as the
weather was favourable enough; and those whom we had lately visited had
no reason that I know of to dislike our company. These people must be
the Tschutski; a nation that, at the time Mr. Muller wrote, the Russians
had not been able to conquer. And, from the whole of their conduct with
us, it appears that they have not, as yet, brought them under
subjection; though it is obvious that they must have a trade with the
Russians, either directly, or by means of some neighbouring nation; as
we cannot otherwise account for their being in possession of the
spontoons, in particular, of which we took notice.

This Bay of _St. Laurence_[82] is, at least, five leagues broad at the
entrance, and four leagues deep, narrowing toward the bottom, where it
appeared to be tolerably well sheltered from the sea-winds, provided
there be sufficient depth of water for ships. I did not wait to examine
it, although I was very desirous of finding an harbour in those parts,
to which I might resort next spring. But I wanted one where wood might
be got, and I knew that none was to be found here. From the south point
of this bay, which lies in the latitude of 65° 30ʹ, the coast trends
west by south, for about nine leagues, and there forms a deep bay, or
river; or else the land there is so low that we could not see it.

At one in the afternoon, in the direction of our course, we saw what was
first taken for a rock; but it proved to be a dead whale, which some
natives of the Asiatic coast had killed, and were towing ashore. They
seemed to conceal themselves behind the fish, to avoid being seen by us.
This was unnecessary; for we pursued our course without taking any
notice of them.

At day-break on the 4th, I hauled to the north-west, in order to get a
nearer view of the inlet seen the preceding day; but the wind soon after
veering to that direction, I gave up the design; and, steering to the
southward along the coast, passed two bays, each about two leagues deep.
The northernmost lies before a hill, which is remarkable by being
rounder than any other upon the coast. And there is an island lying
before the other. It may be doubted, whether there be a sufficient depth
for ships in either of these bays, as we always met with shoal water,
when we edged in for the shore. The country here is exceedingly hilly
and naked. In several places on the low ground, next the sea, were the
dwellings of the natives; and near all of them were erected stages of
bones, such as before described. These may be seen at a great distance,
on account of their whiteness.

At noon the latitude was 64° 38ʹ, and the longitude 188° 15ʹ; the
southernmost point of the main in sight bore south 48° W.; and the
nearest shore about three or four leagues distant. By this time, the
wind had veered again to the north, and blew a gentle breeze. The
weather was clear, and the air cold. I did not follow the direction of
the coast, as I found that it took a westerly direction toward the Gulf
of Anadir, into which I had no inducement to go, but steered to the
southward, in order to get a sight of the Island of St. Laurence,
discovered by Beering; which accordingly showed itself, and at eight
o’clock in the evening, it bore south 20° E.; by estimation, eleven
leagues distant. At the same time, the southernmost point of the main
land bore south 83° W., distant twelve leagues. I take this point to be
the point which Beering calls the east point of Suchotski, or _Cape
Tschukotskoi_; a name which he gave it, and with propriety, because it
was from this part of the coast that the natives came off to him, who
called themselves of the nation of the Tschutski. I make its latitude to
be 64° 13ʹ, and its longitude 186° 36ʹ.

In justice to the memory of Beering, I must say, that he has delineated
the coast very well, and fixed the latitude and longitude of the points
better than could be expected from the methods he had to go by. This
judgment is not formed from Mr. Muller’s account of the voyage, or the
chart prefixed to his book; but from Dr. Campbell’s account of it in his
edition of Harris’s Collection[83], and a map thereto annexed, which is
both more circumstantial and accurate than that of Mr. Muller.

The more I was convinced of my being now upon the coast of Asia, the
more I was at a loss to reconcile Mr. Stæhlin’s map of the New Northern
Archipelago with my observations; and I had no way to account for the
great difference, but by supposing, that I had mistaken some part of
what he calls the Island of Alaschka for the American continent, and had
missed the channel that separates them. Admitting even this, there would
still have been a considerable difference. It was with me a matter of
some consequence to clear up this point the present season, that I might
have but one object in view the next. And, as these northern isles are
represented by him as abounding with wood, I was in hopes, if I should
find them, of getting a supply of that article, which we now began to be
in great want of on board.

With these views, I steered over for the American coast; and, at five in
the afternoon, the next day, saw land bearing three quarters east, which
we took to be Anderson’s Island, or some other land near it, and
therefore did not wait to examine it. On the 6th, at four in the
morning, we got sight of the American coast near Sledge Island; and at
six the same evening, this island bore north, 6° E.; ten leagues
distant; and the easternmost land in sight N. 49° E. If any part of what
I had supposed to be American coast could possibly be the island of
Alaschka, it was that now before us; and in that case, I must have
missed the channel between it and the main, by steering to the west,
instead of the east, after we first fell in with it. I was not,
therefore, at a loss where to go, in order to clear up these doubts.

At eight in the evening of the 7th, we had got close in with the land,
Sledge Island bearing N. 85° W., eight or nine leagues distant; and the
eastern part of the coast N. 70° E., with high land in the direction of
east by north, seemingly at a great distance beyond the point. At this
time we saw a light ashore; and two canoes, filled with people, coming
off toward us. I brought to, that they might have time to come up. But
it was to no purpose; for, resisting all the signs of friendship we
could exhibit, they kept at the distance of a quarter of a mile; so that
we left them, and pursued our course along the coast.

At one in the morning of the 8th, finding the water shoal pretty fast,
we dropped anchor in ten fathoms, where we lay until day-light, and then
resumed our course along the coast, which we found to trend east, and
east half south. At seven in the evening, we were abreast of a point,
lying in the latitude of 64° 21ʹ, and in the longitude of 197°; beyond
which the coast takes a more northerly direction. At eight, this point,
which obtained the name of _Cape Darby_, bore S. 62° W.; the
northernmost land in sight, N. 32° E.; and the nearest shore three miles
distant. In this situation, we anchored in thirteen fathoms’ water, over
a muddy bottom.

Next morning, at day-break, we weighed and sailed along the coast. Two
islands, as we supposed them to be, were at this time seen; the one
bearing S. 70° E., and the other E. Soon after, we found ourselves upon
a coast covered with wood; an agreeable sight, to which, of late, we had
not been accustomed. As we advanced to the north, we raised land in the
direction of north-east half north; which proved to be a continuation of
the coast we were upon. We also saw high land over the islands,
seemingly at a good distance beyond them. This was thought to be the
continent, and the other land the island of Alaschka. But it was already
doubtful, whether we should find a passage between them, for the water
shoaled insensibly as we advanced farther to the north. In this
situation, two boats were sent to sound before the ships; and I ordered
the Discovery to lead, keeping nearly in the mid-channel, between the
coast on our larboard, and the northernmost island on our starboard.
Thus we proceeded till three in the afternoon; when, having passed the
island, we had not more than three fathoms and an half of water; and the
Resolution, at one time, brought the mud up from the bottom. More water
was not to be found in any part of the channel; for, with the ships and
boats, we had tried it from side to side.

I therefore thought it high time to return; especially as the wind was
in such a quarter, that we must ply back. But what I dreaded most was
the wind increasing, and raising the sea into waves, so as to put the
ships in danger of striking. At this time, a head-land on the west
shore, which is distinguished by the name of _Bald Head_, bore north by
west, one league distant. The coast beyond it extended as far north-east
by north, where it seemed to end in a point; behind which the coast of
the high land, seen over the islands, stretched itself; and some thought
they could trace where it joined. On the west side of Bald Head, the
shore forms a bay, in the bottom of which is a low beach, where we saw a
number of huts or habitations of the natives.

Having continued to ply back all night, by day-break the next morning we
had got into six fathoms’ water. At nine o’clock, being about a league
from the west shore, I took two boats, and landed, attended by Mr. King,
to seek wood and water. We landed where the coast projects out into a
bluff head, composed of perpendicular _strata_ of a rock of a dark blue
colour, mixed with quartz and glimmer. There joins to the beach a narrow
border of land, now covered with long grass, and where we met with some
_angelica_. Beyond this, the ground rises abruptly. At the top of this
elevation, we found a heath, abounding with a variety of berries; and
further on, the country was level, and thinly covered with small spruce
trees; and birch and willows no bigger than broom stuff. We observed
tracks of deer and foxes on the beach; on which also lay a great
quantity of drift-wood; and there was no want of fresh water. I returned
on board, with an intention to bring the ships to an anchor here; but
the wind then veering to north-east, which blew rather on this shore, I
stretched over to the opposite one, in the expectation of finding wood
there also, and anchored at eight o’clock in the evening, under the
south end of the northernmost island; so we then supposed it to be; but,
next morning, we found it to be a peninsula, united to the continent by
a low neck of land, on each side of which the coast forms a bay. We
plied into the southernmost, and about noon anchored in five fathoms’
water, over a bottom of mud; the point of the peninsula, which obtained
the name of _Cape Denbigh_, bearing N. 68° W., three miles distant.

Several people were seen upon the peninsula; and one man came off in a
small canoe. I gave him a knife and a few beads, with which he seemed
well pleased. Having made signs to him to bring us something to eat, he
immediately left us, and paddled toward the shore. But meeting another
man coming off, who happened to have two dried salmon, he got them from
him; and on returning to the ship, would give them to nobody but me.
Some of our people thought that he asked for me under the name of
_Capitane_; but in this they were probably mistaken. He knew who had
given him the knife and beads, but I do not see how he could know that I
was the captain. Others of the natives, soon after, came off, and
exchanged a few dry fish for such trifles as they could get, or we had
to give them. They were most desirous of knives; and they had no dislike
to tobacco.

After dinner, Lieutenant Gore was sent to the peninsula, to see if wood
and water were there to be got; or rather water, for the whole beach
round the bay seemed to be covered with drift-wood. At the same time a
boat was sent from each ship, to sound round the bay; and at three in
the afternoon, the wind freshening at north-east, we weighed, in order
to work farther in. But it was soon found to be impossible, on account
of the shoals, which extended quite round the bay, to the distance of
two or three miles from the shore; as the officers who had been sent to
sound reported. We therefore kept standing off and on with the ships,
waiting for Mr. Gore, who returned about eight o’clock, with the launch
laden with wood.

He reported that there was but little fresh water, and that wood was
difficult to be got at, by reason of the boats grounding at some
distance from the beach. This being the case, I stood back to the other
shore; and at eight o’clock the next morning, sent all the boats, and a
party of men, with an officer, to get wood from the place where I had
landed two days before. We continued, for a while, to stand on and off
with the ships; but at length came to an anchor in one-fourth less than
five fathoms, half a league from the coast, the south point of which
bore south, 26° W.; and Bald Head north, 60° E., nine leagues distant.
Cape Denbigh bore south, 72° E., twenty-six miles distant; and the
island under the east shore, to the southward of Cape Denbigh, named
_Besborough Island_, south 52° E., fifteen leagues distant.

As this was a very open road, and consequently not a safe station, I
resolved not to wait to complete water, as that would require some time,
but only to supply the ships with wood, and then to go in search of a
more convenient place for the other article. We took off the drift-wood
that lay upon the beach; and as the wind blew along shore, the boats
could sail both ways, which enabled us to make great dispatch.

In the afternoon I went ashore, and walked a little into the country;
which, where there was no wood, was covered with heath and other plants,
some of which produce berries in abundance. All the berries were ripe;
the hurtle-berries too much so; and hardly a single plant was in flower.
The underwood, such as birch, willows, and alders, rendered it very
troublesome walking among the trees, which were all spruce, and none of
them above six or eight inches in diameter. But we found some lying upon
the beach, more than twice this size. All the drift-wood in these
northern parts was fir. I saw not a stick of any other sort.

Next day a family of the natives came near to the place where we were
taking off wood. I know not how many there were at first; but I saw only
the husband, the wife, and their child; and a fourth person, who bore
the human shape, and that was all, for he was the most deformed cripple
I had ever seen or heard of. The other man was almost blind; and neither
he nor his wife were such good-looking people as we had sometimes seen
amongst the natives of this coast. The under-lips of both were bored;
and they had in their possession some such glass beads as I had met with
before amongst their neighbours. But iron was their beloved article; for
four knives, which we had made out of an old iron hoop, I got from them
near four hundred pounds’ weight of fish, which they had caught on this
or the preceding day. Some were trout, and the rest were, in size and
taste, somewhat between a mullet and a herring. I gave the child, who
was a girl, a few beads; on which the mother burst into tears, then the
father, then the cripple, and at last, to complete the concert, the girl
herself. But this music continued not long.[84] Before night we had got
the ships amply supplied with wood, and had carried on board about
twelve tons of water to each.

On the 14th, a party of men were sent on shore to cut brooms, which we
were in want of, and the branches of spruce trees for brewing beer.
Toward noon every body was taken on board; for the wind freshening, had
raised such a surf on the beach, that the boats could not continue to
land without great difficulty. Some doubts being still entertained
whether the coast we were now upon belonged to an island, or the
American continent; and the shallowness of the water putting it out of
our power to determine this with our ships, I sent Lieutenant King, with
two boats under his command, to make such searches as might leave no
room for a variety of opinions on the subject[85]. Next day the ships
removed over to the bay, which is on the south-east side of Cape
Denbigh, where we anchored in the afternoon. Soon after, a few of the
natives came off in their small canoes, and bartered some dried salmon
for such trifles as our people had to give them.

At day-break, on the 16th, nine men, each in his canoe, paid us a visit.
They approached the ship with some caution; and evidently came with no
other view than to gratify their curiosity. They drew up abreast of each
other, under our stern, and gave us a song; while one of their number
beat upon a kind of drum, and another made a thousand antic motions with
his hands and body. There was, however, nothing savage, either in the
song or in the gestures, that accompanied it. None of us could perceive
any difference between these people, either as to their size or
features, and those whom we had met with on every other part of the
coast, King George’s Sound excepted. Their clothing, which consisted
principally of deer skins, was made after the same fashion; and they
observed the custom of boring their under lips, and fixing ornaments to

The dwellings of these people were seated close to the beach. They
consist simply of a sloping roof, without any side-walls, composed of
logs, and covered with grass and earth. The floor is also laid with
logs; the entrance is at one end; the fire-place just within it; and a
small hole is made near the door to let out the smoke.

After breakfast a party of men were sent to the peninsula for brooms and
spruce. At the same time half the remainder of the people in each ship
had leave to go and pick berries. These returned on board at noon, when
the other half went on the same errand. The berries to be got here were
wild currant-berries, hurtle-berries, partridge-berries, and
heath-berries. I also went ashore myself, and walked over part of the
peninsula. In several places there was very good grass; and I hardly saw
a spot on which some vegetable was not growing. The low land which
connects this peninsula with the continent, is full of narrow creeks,
and abounds with ponds of water, some of which were already frozen over.
There were a great many geese and bustards, but so shy that it was not
possible to get within musket-shot of them. We also met with some
snipes; and on the high ground were partridges of two sorts. Where there
was any wood, musquitoes were in plenty. Some of the officers, who
travelled farther than I did, met with a few of the natives of both
sexes, who treated them with civility.

It appeared to me that this peninsula must have been an island in remote
times; for there were marks of the sea having flowed over the isthmus.
And, even now, it appeared to be kept out by a bank of sand, stones, and
wood, thrown up by the waves. By this bank it was evident that the land
was here encroaching upon the sea, and it was easy to trace its gradual

About seven in the evening, Mr. King returned from his expedition, and
reported that he proceeded with the boats about three or four leagues
farther than the ships had been able to go; that he then landed on the
west side; that, from the heights, he could see the two coasts join, and
the inlet to terminate in a small river or creek, before which were
banks of sand or mud, and every where shoal water. The land too was low
and swampy for some distance to the northward; then it swelled into
hills, and the complete junction of those on each side of the inlet was
easily traced.

From the elevated spot on which Mr. King surveyed the sound, he could
distinguish many extensive valleys, with rivers running through them,
well wooded, and bounded by hills of a gentle ascent and moderate
height. One of these rivers to the north-west appeared to be
considerable; and, from its direction, he was inclined to think that it
emptied itself into the sea at the head of the bay. Some of his people,
who penetrated beyond this into the country, found the trees larger, the
farther they advanced.

In honour of Sir Fletcher Norton[86], Speaker of the House of Commons,
and Mr. King’s near relation, I named this inlet _Norton’s Sound_. It
extends to the northward as far as latitude of 64° 55ʹ. The bay, in
which we were now at anchor, lies on the south-east side of it, and is
called by the natives _Chacktoole_. It is but an indifferent station,
being exposed to the south and south-west winds. Nor is there a harbour
in all this sound. But we were so fortunate as to have the wind from the
north and north-east all the time, with remarkable fine weather. This
gave us an opportunity to make no less than seventy-seven sets of lunar
observations, between the 6th and 17th inclusive. The mean result of
these made the longitude of the anchoring-place, on the west side of the
sound, to be

                                      197°  13ʹ

                 Latitude             64    31

                 Variation of the     25    45 east.

                 Dip of the needle    76    25

Of the tides it was observed, that the night-flood rose about two or
three feet, and that the day-flood was hardly perceivable.

Having now fully satisfied myself that Mr. Stæhlin’s map must be
erroneous; and, having restored the American continent to that space
which he had occupied with his imaginary island of Alaschka, it was high
time to think of leaving these northern regions, and to retire to some
place during the winter, where I might procure refreshments for my
people, and a small supply of provisions. Petropaulowska, or the harbour
of St. Peter and St. Paul, in Kamtschatka, did not appear likely to
furnish either the one or the other, for so large a number of men. I
had, besides, other reasons for not repairing thither at this time. The
first, and on which all the others depended, was the great dislike I had
to lie inactive for six or seven months; which would have been the
necessary consequence of wintering in any of these northern parts. No
place was so conveniently within our reach, where we could expect to
have our wants supplied, as the Sandwich Islands. To them, therefore, I
determined to proceed. But before this could be carried into execution,
a supply of water was necessary. With this view, I resolved to search
the American coast for a harbour, by proceeding along it to the
southward, and thus endeavour to connect the survey of this part of it,
with that lying immediately to the north of Cape Newenham. If I failed
in finding a harbour there, my plan was then to proceed to Samganoodha,
which was fixed upon as our place of rendezvous, in case of separation.

                               CHAP. XI.


Having weighed, on the 17th, in the morning, with a light breeze at
east, we steered to the southward, and attempted to pass within
Besborough Island; but though it lies six or seven miles from the
continent, were prevented by meeting with shoal water. As we had but
little wind all the day, it was dark before we passed the island; and
the night was spent under an easy sail.

We resumed our course, at day-break on the 18th, along the coast. At
noon we had no more than five fathoms’ water. At this time the latitude
was 63° 37ʹ. Besborough Island now bore N. 42° E.; the southernmost land
in sight, which proved also to be an island, S. 66° W.; the passage
between it and the main S. 40° W.; and the nearest land about two miles
distant. I continued to steer for this passage, until the boats, which
were ahead, made the signal for having no more than three fathoms’
water. On this we hauled without the island; and made the signal for the
Resolution’s boat to keep between the ships and the shore.

This island, which obtained the name of _Stuart’s Island_, lies in the
latitude of 63° 35ʹ, and seventeen leagues from Cape Denbigh, in the
direction of S., 27° W. It is six or seven leagues in circuit. Some
parts of it are of a middling height, but in general it is low, with
some rocks lying off the western part. The coast of the continent is,
for the most part, low land; but we saw high land up the country. It
forms a point opposite the island, which was named Cape _Stephens_, and
lies in latitude 63° 33ʹ, and in longitude 197° 41ʹ. Some drift-wood was
seen upon the shores, both of the island and of the continent; but not a
tree was perceived growing upon either. One might anchor, upon occasion,
between the N. E. side of this island and the continent, in the depth of
five fathoms, sheltered from westerly, southerly, and easterly winds.
But this station would be wholly exposed to the northerly winds, the
land, in that direction, being at too great a distance to afford any
security. Before we reached Stuart’s Island, we passed two small
islands, lying between us and the main; and as we ranged along the
coast, several people appeared upon the shore, and, by signs, seemed to
invite us to approach them.

As soon as we were without the island, we steered S. by W., for the
southernmost point of the continent in sight, till eight o’clock in the
evening, when, having shoaled the water from six fathoms to less than
four, I tacked, and stood to the northward, into five fathoms, and then
spent the night lying off and on. At the time we tacked, the
southernmost point of land, the same which is mentioned above, and was
named _Point Shallow Water_, bore S. 1/2 E., seven leagues distant.

We resumed our course to the southward at day-break next morning; but
shoal water obliged us to haul more to the westward. At length we got so
far advanced upon the bank that we could not hold a N. N. W. course,
meeting sometimes with only four fathoms. The wind blowing fresh at
E. N. E., it was high time to look for deep water, and to quit a coast
upon which we could no longer navigate with any degree of safety. I
therefore hauled the wind to the northward, and gradually deepened the
water to eight fathoms. At the time we hauled the wind, we were at least
twelve leagues from the continent, and nine to the westward of Stuart’s
Island. No land was seen to the southward of Point Shallow-Water, which
I judge to lie in the latitude of 63°. So that between this latitude and
Shoal Ness, in latitude 60°, the coast is entirely unexplored. Probably
it is accessible only to boats or very small vessels; or, at least, if
there be channels for larger vessels, it would require some time to find
them; and I am of opinion that they must be looked for near the coast.
From the mast head, the sea within us appeared to be chequered with
shoals; the water was very much discoloured and muddy, and considerably
fresher than at any of the places where we had lately anchored. From
this I inferred that a considerable river runs into the sea in this
unknown part.

As soon as we got into eight fathoms’ water, I steered to the westward,
and afterward more southerly, for the land discovered on the 5th, which,
at noon the next day, bore S. W. by W., ten or eleven leagues distant.
At this time we had a fresh gale at N., with showers of hail and snow at
intervals, and a pretty high sea, so that we got clear of the shoals but
just in time. As I now found that the land before us lay too far to the
westward to be Anderson’s Island, I named it _Clerke’s Island_. It lies
in the latitude of 63° 15ʹ, and in the longitude of 190° 30ʹ. It seemed
to be a pretty large island, in which are four or more hills, all
connected by low ground; so that at a distance it looks like a group of
islands. Near its east part lies a small island, remarkable by having
upon it three elevated rocks. Not only the greater island, but this
small spot was inhabited.

We got up to the northern point of Clerke’s Island about six o’clock,
and having ranged along its coast till dark, brought to during the
night. At day-break, next morning, we stood in again for the coast, and
continued to range along it, in search of a harbour, till noon; when,
seeing no likelihood of succeeding, I left it, and steered S. S. W., for
the land which we had discovered on the 29th of July, having a fresh
gale at N., with showers of sleet and snow. I remarked that as soon as
we opened the channel which separates the two continents, cloudy
weather, with snow showers, immediately commenced, whereas all the time
that we were in Norton Sound, we had, with the same wind, clear weather.
Might not this be occasioned by the mountains to the north of that place
attracting the vapours, and hindering them to proceed any further?

At day-break in the morning of the 23d, the land above mentioned
appeared in sight, bearing S. W., six or seven leagues distant. From
this point of view, it resembled a group of islands, but it proved to be
but one, of thirty miles in extent, in the direction of N. W. and S. E.;
the S. E. end being Cape Upright, already taken notice of. The island is
but narrow, especially at the low necks of land that connect the hills.
I afterward found that it was wholly unknown to the Russians; and
therefore considering it as a discovery of our own, I named it _Gore’s
Island_. It appeared to be barren, and without inhabitants; at least we
saw none; nor did we see so many birds about it as when we first
discovered it. But we saw some sea-otters, an animal which we had not
met with to the north of this latitude. Four leagues from Cape Upright,
in the direction of S., 72° W., lies a small island, whose elevated
summit terminates in several pinnacle rocks. On this account it was
named _Pinnacle Island_. At two in the afternoon, after passing Cape
Upright, I steered S. E. by S., for Samganoodha, with a gentle breeze at
N. N. W., being resolved to spend no more time in searching for a
harbour amongst islands, which I now began to suspect had no existence;
at least not in the latitude and longitude where modern map-makers have
thought proper to place them. In the evening of the 24th, the wind
veered to S. W. and S., and increased to a fresh gale.

We continued to stretch to the eastward till eight o’clock in the
morning of the 25th, when, in the latitude of 58° 32ʹ, and in the
longitude of 191° 10ʹ, we tacked and stood to the west; and soon after,
the gale increasing, we were reduced to two courses, and close-reefed
main top-sails. Not long after, the Resolution sprung a leak, under the
starboard buttock, which filled the spirit-room with water, before it
was discovered; and it was so considerable as to keep one pump
constantly employed. We durst not put the ship upon the other tack, for
fear of getting upon the shoals that lie to the north-west of Cape
Newenham; but continued standing to the west till six in the evening of
the 26th, when we wore and stood to the eastward, and then the leak no
longer troubled us. This proved that it was above the water line, which
was no small satisfaction. The gale was now over; but the wind remained
at S. and S. W. for some days longer.

At length, on the 2d of October, at day-break, we saw the island of
Oonalashka, bearing S. E. But as this was to us a new point of view, and
the land was obscured by a thick haze, we were not sure of our situation
till noon, when the observed latitude determined it. As all the harbours
were alike to me, provided they were equally safe and convenient, I
hauled into a bay that lies ten miles to the westward of Samganoodha,
known by the name of _Egoochshac_; but we found very deep water; so that
we were glad to get out again. The natives, many of whom lived here,
visited us at different times, bringing with them dried salmon and other
fish, which they exchanged with the seamen for tobacco. But a few days
before, every ounce of tobacco that was in the ship had been distributed
among them; and the quantity was not half sufficient to answer their
demands. Notwithstanding this, so improvident a creature is an English
sailor, that they were as profuse in making their bargains as if we had
now arrived at a port in Virginia; by which means, in less than
eight-and-forty hours, the value of this article of barter was lowered
above a thousand _per cent_.

At one o’clock in the afternoon of the 3d, we anchored in Samganoodha
Harbour; and the next morning the carpenters of both ships were set to
work to rip off the sheathing of and under the wale, on the starboard
side abaft. Many of the seams were found quite open, so that it was no
wonder that so much water had found its way into the ship. While we lay
here, we cleared the fish and spirit rooms, and the after-hold;
disposing things in such a manner that, in case we should happen to have
any more leaks of the same nature, the water might find its way to the
pumps. And besides this work, and completing our water, we cleared the
fore-hold to the very bottom, and took in a quantity of ballast.

The vegetables which we had met with, when we were here before, were now
mostly in a state of decay; so that we were but little benefited by the
great quantities of berries every where found ashore. In order to avail
ourselves as much as possible of this useful refreshment, one third of
the people, by turns, had leave to go and pick them. Considerable
quantities of them were also procured from the natives. If there were
any seeds of the scurvy in either ship, these berries, and the use of
spruce beer, which they had to drink every other day, effectually
eradicated them.

We also got plenty of fish, at first mostly salmon, both fresh and
dried, which the natives brought us. Some of the fresh salmon was in
high perfection, but there was one sort, which we called hook-nosed,
from the figure of its head, that was but indifferent. We drew the seine
several times, at the head of the bay, and caught a good many salmon
trout, and once a halibut that weighed two hundred and fifty-four
pounds. The fishery failing, we had recourse to hooks and lines. A boat
was sent out every morning, and seldom returned without eight or ten
halibut, which was more than sufficient to serve all our people; the
halibut were excellent, and there were few who did not prefer them to
salmon. Thus we not only procured a supply of fish for present
consumption, but had some to carry with us to sea. This enabled us to
make considerable saving of our provisions, which was an object of no
small importance.

On the 8th, I received by the hands of an Oonalashka man, named
Derramoushk, a very singular present, considering the place. It was a
rye loaf, or rather a pye made in the form of a loaf, for it inclosed
some salmon, highly seasoned with pepper. This man had the like present
for Captain Clerke, and a note for each of us, written in a character
which none of us could read. It was natural to suppose that this present
was from some Russians now in our neighbourhood, and therefore we sent,
by the same hand, to these, our unknown friends, a few bottles of rum,
wine, and porter, which we thought would be as acceptable as any thing
we had beside; and we soon knew that in this we had not been mistaken. I
also sent along with Derramoushk, Corporal Lediard of the marines, an
intelligent man, in order to gain some farther information, with orders,
that if he met with any Russians, he should endeavour to make them
understand that we were English, the friends and allies of their nation.

On the 10th, Lediard returned with three Russian seamen, or furriers,
who, with some others, resided at Egoochshac, where they had a
dwelling-house, some store-houses, and a sloop of about thirty tons
burthen. One of these men was either master or mate of this vessel,
another of them wrote a very good hand and understood figures, and they
were all three well behaved, intelligent men, and very ready to give me
all the information I could desire; but for want of an interpreter, we
had some difficulty to understand each other. They appeared to have a
thorough knowledge of the attempts that had been made by their
countrymen to navigate the Frozen Ocean, and of the discoveries which
had been made from Kamtschatka, by Beering, Tscherikoff, and
Spangenberg; but they seemed to know no more of Lieutenant Syndo[87], or
Synd, than his name. Nor had they the least idea what part of the world
Mr. Stæhlin’s map referred to, when it was laid before them. When I
pointed out Kamtschatka, and some other known places upon that map, they
asked whether I had seen the islands there laid down, and on my
answering in the negative, one of them put his finger upon a part of
this map where a number of islands was represented, and said, that he
had cruised there for land, but never could find any. I then laid before
them my own chart, and found that they were strangers to every part of
the American coast, except what lies opposite this island. One of these
men said, that he had been with Beering, in his American voyage, but
must then have been very young, for he had not now, at the distance of
thirty-seven years, the appearance of being aged. Never was there
greater respect paid to the memory of any distinguished person, than by
these men to that of Beering. The trade in which they are engaged is
very beneficial, and its being undertaken and extended to the eastward
of Kamtschatka, was the immediate consequence of the second voyage of
that able navigator, whose misfortunes proved to be the source of much
private advantage to individuals, and of public utility to the Russian
nation. And yet, if his distresses had not accidentally carried him to
die in the island which bears his name, and from whence the miserable
remnant of his ship’s crew brought back sufficient specimens of its
valuable furs, probably the Russians never would have undertaken any
future voyages which could lead them to make discoveries in this sea,
toward the coast of America. Indeed, after his time, government seems to
have paid less attention to this, and we owe what discoveries have been
since made, principally to the enterprising spirit of private traders,
encouraged, however, by the superintending care of the court of
Petersburg. The three Russians having remained with me all night,
visited Captain Clerke next morning, and then left us, very well
satisfied with the reception they had met with, promising to return in a
few days, and to bring with them a chart of the islands lying between
Oonalashka and Kamtschatka.

On the 15th, in the evening, while Mr. Webber and I were at a village at
a small distance from Samganoodha, a Russian landed there, who, I found,
was the principal person amongst his countrymen in this and the
neighbouring islands. His name was Erasim Gregorioff Sin Ismyloff. He
arrived in a canoe carrying three persons, attended by twenty or thirty
other canoes, each conducted by one man. I took notice, that the first
thing they did after landing, was to make a small tent for Ismyloff, of
materials which they brought with them; and then they made others for
themselves of their canoes and paddles, which they covered with grass,
so that the people of the village were at no trouble to find them
lodging. Ismyloff having invited us into his tent, set before us some
dried salmon and berries, which, I was satisfied, was the best cheer he
had. He appeared to be a sensible intelligent man, and I felt no small
mortification in not being able to converse with him, unless by signs,
assisted by figures, and other characters, which however were a very
great help. I desired to see him on board the next day, and accordingly
he came, with all his attendants. Indeed, he had moved into our
neighbourhood for the express purpose of waiting upon us.

I was in hopes to have had by him the chart which his three countrymen
had promised; but I was disappointed. However, he assured me I should
have it; and he kept his word. I found that he was very well acquainted
with the geography of these parts, and with all the discoveries that had
been made in them by the Russians. On seeing the modern maps, he at once
pointed out their errors. He told me he had accompanied Lieutenant
Syndo, or Synd as he called him, in his expedition to the north; and,
according to his account, they did not proceed farther than the
Tschukotskoi Nos, or rather than the bay of St. Laurence, for he pointed
on our chart to the very place where I landed. From thence, he said,
they went to an island in latitude 63°, upon which they did not land,
nor could he tell me its name. But I should guess it to be the same to
which I gave the name of Clerke’s Island. To what place Synd went after
that, or in what manner he spent the two years, during which, as
Ismyloff said, his researches lasted, he either could not or would not
inform us. Perhaps he did not comprehend our enquiries about this, and
yet, in almost every other thing, we could make him understand us. This
created a suspicion that he had not really been in that expedition,
notwithstanding his assertion.

Both Ismyloff and the others affirmed, that they knew nothing of the
continent of America to the northward; and that neither Lieutenant Synd,
nor any other Russian had ever seen it of late. They call it by the same
name which Mr. Stæhlin gives to his great island, that is Alaschka.
Stachtan Nitada, as it is called in the modern maps, is a name quite
unknown to these people, natives of the islands as well as Russians; but
both of them know it by the name of America. From what we could gather
from Ismyloff and his countrymen, the Russians have made several
attempts to get a footing upon that part of this continent that lies
contiguous to Oonalashka and the adjoining islands, but have always been
repulsed by the natives, whom they describe as a very treacherous
people. They mentioned two or three captains, or chief men, who had been
murdered by them; and some of the Russians shewed us wounds which they
said they had received there.

Some other information, which we got from Ismyloff, is worth recording,
whether true or false. He told us, that in the year 1773, an expedition
had been made into the Frozen Sea in sledges, over the ice, to three
large islands that lie opposite the mouth of the river Kovyma. We were
in some doubt whether he did not mean the same expedition of which
Muller gives an account[88], and yet he wrote down the year, and marked
the islands on the chart. But a voyage which he himself had performed,
engaged our attention more than any other. He said, that on the 12th of
May, 1771, he sailed from Bolscheretzk, in a Russian vessel, to one of
the Kuril islands, named Mareekan, in the latitude of 47°, where there
is a harbour and a Russian settlement. From this island he proceeded to
Japan, where he seems to have made but a short stay. For when the
Japanese came to know that he and his companions were Christians, they
made signs for them to be gone, but did not, so far as we could
understand him, offer any insult or force. From Japan he got to Canton,
and from thence to France, in a French ship. From France, he travelled
to Petersburg; and was afterward sent out again to Kamtschatka. What
became of the vessel in which he first embarked, we could not learn, nor
what was the principal object of the voyage. His not being able to speak
one word of French, made this story a little suspicious. He did not even
know the name of any one of the most common things that must have been
in use every day, while he was on board the ship and in France. And yet
he seemed clear as to the times of his arriving at the different places,
and of his leaving them, which he put down in writing.

The next morning he would fain have made me a present of a sea-otter
skin, which he said was worth eighty roubles at Kamtschatka. However, I
thought proper to decline it; but I accepted of some dried fish, and
several baskets of the lily or _saranne_ root, which is described at
large in the History of Kamtschatka.[89] In the afternoon, Mr. Ismyloff,
after dining with Captain Clerke, left us with all his retinue,
promising to return in a few days. Accordingly, on the 19th, he made us
another visit, and brought with him the charts before mentioned, which
he allowed me to copy; and the contents of which furnish matter for the
following observations.

There were two of them, both manuscripts, and bearing every mark of
authenticity. The first comprehended the _Penshinskian Sea_; the coast
of Tartary, as low as the latitude of 41°; the Kuril Islands; and the
peninsula of Kamtschatka. Since this map had been made, Wawseelee
Irkechoff, Captain of the fleet, explored, in 1758, the coast of Tartary
from Okotsk, and the river Amur, to Japan, or 41° of latitude. Mr.
Ismyloff also informed us, that great part of the sea-coast of the
peninsula of Kamtschatka had been corrected by himself; and described
the instrument he made use of, which must have been a _theodolite_. He
also informed us, that there were only two harbours fit for shipping on
all the east coast of Kamtschatka, _viz._ the bay of _Awatska_ and the
river _Olutora_, in the bottom of the gulf of the same name; that there
was not a single harbour upon its west coast; and that _Yamsk_ was the
only one on all the west side of the Penshinskian Sea, except Okotsk,
till we come to the river Amur. The Kurile islands afford only one
harbour; and that is on the north-east side of Mareekan, in the latitude
of 47-1/2°; where, as I have before observed, the Russians have a

The second chart was to me the most interesting, for it comprehended all
the discoveries made by the Russians to the eastward of Kamtschatka,
toward America, which, if we exclude the voyage of Beering and
Tscherikoff, will amount to little or nothing. The part of the American
coast with which the latter fell in is marked in this chart, between the
latitude of 58° and 58-1/2°, and 75° of longitude from Okotsk, or
218-1/2° from Greenwich; and the place where the former anchored in
59-1/2° of latitude, and 63-1/2° of longitude from Okotsk, or 207° from
Greenwich. To say nothing of the longitude, which may be erroneous from
many causes, the latitude of the coast discovered by these two
navigators, especially the part of it discovered by Tscherikoff, differs
considerably from the account published by Mr. Muller, and his chart.
Indeed, whether Muller’s chart, or this now produced by Mr. Ismyloff, be
most erroneous in this respect, it may be hard to determine, though it
is not now a point worth discussing. But the islands that lie dispersed
between 52° and 55° of latitude, in the space between Kamtschatka and
America, deserve some notice. According to Mr. Ismyloff’s account,
neither the number nor the situation of these islands is well
ascertained. He struck out about one-third of them, assuring me they had
no existence; and he altered the situation of others considerably,
which, he said, was necessary, from his own observations. And there was
no reason to doubt about this. As these islands lie all nearly under the
same parallel, different navigators, being misled by their different
reckonings, might easily mistake one island, or group of islands, for
another; and fancy they had made a new discovery, when they had only
found old ones in a different position from that assigned to them by
their former visitors.

The islands of St. Macarius, St. Stephen, St. Theodore, St. Abraham,
Seduction Island, and some others, which are to be found in Mr. Muller’s
chart, had no place in this now produced to us; nay, both Mr. Ismyloff,
and the others assured me, that they had been several times sought for
in vain. And yet it is difficult to believe, how Mr. Muller, from whom
subsequent map-makers have adopted them, could place them in his chart
without some authority. Relying, however, on the testimony of these
people, whom I thought competent witnesses, I have left them out of my
chart; and made such corrections amongst the other islands as I was told
was necessary. I found there was wanting another correction; for the
difference of longitude, between the Bay of Awatska, and the harbour of
Samganoodha, according to astronomical observations, made at these two
places, is greater by five degrees and a half, than it is by the chart.
This error I have supposed to be infused throughout the whole, though it
may not be so in reality. There was also an error in the latitude of
some places; but this hardly exceeded a quarter of a degree.

I shall now give some account of the islands; beginning with those that
lie nearest to Kamtschatka, and reckoning the longitude from the harbour
of Petropaulowska, in the Bay of Awatska. The first is _Beering’s
Island_, in 55° of latitude, and 6° of longitude. Ten leagues from the
south end of this, in the direction of east by south, or east
south-east, lies _Maidenoi Ostroff_, or the Copper Island. The next
island is _Atakou_, laid down in 52° 45ʹ of latitude, and in 15° or 16°
of longitude. This island is about eighteen leagues in extent, in the
direction of east and west; and seems to be the same land which Beering
fell in with, and named _Mount St. John_. But there are no islands about
it, except two inconsiderable ones, lying three or four leagues from the
east end, in the direction of east north-east.

We next come to a group, consisting of six or more islands; two of
which, _Atghka_ and _Amluk_ are tolerably large; and in each of them is
a good harbour. The middle of this group lies in the latitude of 52°
30ʹ, and 28° of longitude from Awatska; and its extent, east and west,
is four degrees. These are the isles that Mr. Ismyloff said were to be
removed four degrees to the east, which is here done. And in the
situation they have in my chart, was a group, consisting of ten small
islands, which, I was told, were wholly to be struck out; and also two
islands lying between them and the group to which Oonalashka belongs. In
the place of these two, an island called Amoghta (which in the chart was
situated in the latitude of 51° 45ʹ, and 4° of longitude to the west)
was brought.

Nothing more need be said to show how erroneous the situation of many of
these islands may be; and for which I am in nowise accountable. But the
position of the largest group, of which Oonalashka is one of the
principal islands, and the only one in which there is a harbour, is not
liable to any such errors. Most of these islands were seen by us; and
consequently their latitude and longitude were pretty exactly
determined; particularly the harbour of Samganoodha in Oonalashka, which
must be looked upon as a fixed point. This group of islands may be said
to extend as far as Halibut Isles, which are forty leagues from
Oonalashka toward the east north-east. Within these isles, a passage was
marked in Ismyloff’s chart, communicating with Bristol Bay; which
converts about fifteen leagues of the coast, that I had supposed to
belong to the continent, into an island, distinguished by the name of
_Ooneemak_. This passage might easily escape us, as we were informed
that it is very narrow, shallow, and only to be navigated through with
boats, or very small vessels.

It appeared by the chart, as well as by the testimony of Ismyloff and
the other Russians, that this is as far as their countrymen have made
any discoveries, or have extended themselves, since Beering’s time. They
all said, that no Russians had settled themselves so far to the east as
the place where the natives gave the note to Captain Clerke; which Mr.
Ismyloff, to whom I delivered it, on perusing it, said, had been written
at Oomanak. It was, however, from him that we got the name of
_Kodiak_[90], the largest of Schumagin’s Islands; for it had no name
upon the chart produced by him. The names of all the other islands were
taken from it, and we wrote them down as pronounced by him. He said,
they were all such as the natives themselves called their islands by;
but if so, some of the names seem to have been strangely altered. It is
worth observing, that no names were put to the islands which Ismyloff
told us were to be struck out of the chart; and I considered this as
some confirmation that they have not existence.

I have already observed, that the American continent is here called, by
the Russians, as well as by the islanders, Alaschka; which name, though
it properly belong only to the country adjoining to Ooneemak, is used by
them when speaking of the American continent in general, which they know
perfectly well to be a great land.

This is all the information I got from these people, relating to the
geography of this part of the world; and I have reason to believe that
this was all the information they were able to give. For they assured
me, over and over again, that they knew of no other islands, besides
those which were laid down upon this chart; and that no Russian had ever
seen any part of the continent of America to the northward, except that
which lies opposite the country of the Tschutskis.

If Mr. Stæhlin was not grossly imposed upon, what could induce him to
publish a map, so singularly erroneous; and in which many of these
islands are jumbled together in regular confusion, without the least
regard to truth? And yet, he is pleased to call it _a very accurate
map_[91]. Indeed, it is a map to which the most illiterate of his
illiterate sea-faring countrymen would have been ashamed to have set his

Mr. Ismyloff remained with us till the 21st, in the evening, when he
took his final leave. To his care I entrusted a letter to the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty; in which was enclosed a chart of all the
northern coasts I had visited. He said there would be an opportunity of
sending it to Kamtschatka, or Okotsk, the ensuing spring; and that it
would be at Petersburgh the following winter. He gave me a letter to
Major Behm, Governor of Kamtschatka, who resides at Bolscheretsk; and
another to the commanding officer at Petropaulowska. Mr. Ismyloff seemed
to have abilities that might entitle him to a higher station in life,
than that in which we found him. He was tolerably well versed in
astronomy, and in the most useful branches of the mathematics. I made
him a present of an Hadley’s octant; and though, probably, it was the
first he had ever seen, he made himself acquainted, in a very short
time, with most of the uses to which that instrument can be applied.

In the morning of the 22d, we made an attempt to get to sea, with the
wind at south-east, which miscarried. The following afternoon, we were
visited by one Jacob Ivanovitch Soposnicoff, a Russian, who commanded a
boat, or small vessel, at Oomanak. This man had a great share of
modesty; and would drink no strong liquor, of which the rest of his
countrymen, whom we had met with here, were immoderately fond. He seemed
to know more accurately what supplies could be got at the harbour of
Petropaulowska, and the price of the different articles, than Mr.
Ismyloff. But, by all accounts, every thing we should want at that place
was very scarce, and bore a high price. Flour, for instance, was from
three to five roubles the pood[92]; and deer, from three to five roubles
each. This man told us that he was to be at Petropaulowska in May next;
and, as I understood, was to have the charge of my letter. He seemed to
be exceedingly desirous of having some token from me to carry to Major
Behm; and, to gratify him, I sent a small spying-glass.

After we became acquainted with these Russians, some of our gentlemen,
at different times, visited their settlement on the island; where they
always met with a hearty welcome. This settlement consisted of a
dwelling-house, and two store-houses. And, besides the Russians, there
was a number of the Kamtschadales, and of the natives, as servants, or
slaves, to the former. Some others of the natives, who seemed
independent of the Russians, lived at the same place. Such of them as
belonged to the Russians were all males; and they are taken, or,
perhaps, purchased from their parents when young. There were, at this
time, about twenty of these, who could be looked upon in no other light
than as children. They all live in the same house; the Russians at the
upper end, the Kamtschadales in the middle; and the natives at the lower
end; where is fixed a large boiler for preparing their food, which
consists chiefly of what the sea produces, with the addition of wild
roots and berries. There is little difference between the first and last
table, besides what is produced by cookery, in which the Russians have
the art to make indifferent things palatable. I have eat whale’s flesh
of their dressing, which I thought very good; and they made a kind of
pan-pudding of salmon roe, beaten up fine, and fried, that is no bad
_succedaneum_ for bread. They may, now and then, taste real bread, or
have a dish in which flour is an ingredient; but this can only be an
occasional luxury. If we except the juice of berries, which they sip at
their meals, they have no other liquor besides pure water; and it seems
to be very happy for them that they have nothing stronger.

As the island supplies them with food, so it does, in a great measure,
with clothing. This consists chiefly of skins, and is, perhaps, the best
they could have. The upper garment is made like our waggoner’s frock,
and reaches as low as the knee. Besides this, they wear a waistcoat or
two, a pair of breeches; a fur cap; and a pair of boots, the soles and
upper leathers of which are of Russian leather; but the legs are made of
some kind of strong gut. Their two chiefs, Ismyloff and Ivanovitch, wore
each a calico frock; and they, as well as some others, had shirts, which
were of silk. These, perhaps, were the only part of their dress not made
amongst themselves.

There are Russians settled upon all the principal islands between
Oonalashka and Kamtschatka, for the sole purpose of collecting furs.
Their great object is the sea beaver or otter. I never heard them
inquire after any other animal; though those, whose skins are of
inferior value, are also made part of their cargoes. I never thought to
ask how long they have had a settlement upon Oonalashka, and the
neighbouring isles; but, to judge from the great subjection the natives
are under, this cannot be of a very late date.[93] All these furriers
are relieved, from time to time, by others. Those we met with arrived
here from Okotsk, in 1776, and are to return in 1781; so that their stay
at the island will be four years at least.

It is now time to give some account of the native inhabitants. To all
appearance, they are the most peaceable, inoffensive people, I ever met
with. And, as to honesty, they might serve as a pattern to the most
civilized nation upon earth. But from what I saw of their neighbours,
with whom the Russians have no connection, I doubt whether this was
their original disposition; and rather think that it has been the
consequence of their present state of subjection. Indeed, if some of our
gentlemen did not misunderstand the Russians, they had been obliged to
make some severe examples[94], before they could bring the islanders
into any order. If there were severities inflicted at first, the best
apology for them is, that they have produced the happiest consequences;
and, at present, the greatest harmony subsists between the two nations.
The natives have their own chiefs in each island, and seem to enjoy
liberty and property unmolested. But whether or no they are tributaries
to the Russians, we could never find out. There was some reason to think
that they are.

[Illustration: _Natives of Oonalashka and their Habitations._]

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

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

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

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

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

As these people use no paint, they are not so dirty in their persons as
the savages who thus besmear themselves; but they are full as lousy and
filthy in their houses. Their method of building is as follows: They dig
in the ground an oblong square pit, the length of which seldom exceeds
fifty feet, and the breadth twenty; but in general the dimensions are
smaller. Over this excavation, they form the roof of wood which the sea
throws ashore. This roof is covered first with grass, and then with
earth; so that the outward appearance is like a dunghill. In the middle
of the roof, toward each end, is left a square opening, by which the
light is admitted; one of these openings being for this purpose only,
and the other being also used to go in and out by, with the help of a
ladder, or rather a post, with steps cut in it.[95] In some houses there
is another entrance below; but this is not common. Round the sides and
ends of the huts, the families (for several are lodged together) have
their separate apartments, where they sleep, and sit at work; not upon
benches, but in a kind of a concave trench, which is dug all round the
inside of the house, and covered with mats; so that this part is kept
tolerably decent. But the middle of the house, which is common to all
the families, is far otherwise. For, although it be covered with dry
grass, it is a receptacle for dirt of every kind, and the place for the
urine trough; the stench of which is not mended by raw hides, or leather
being almost continually steeped in it. Behind and over the trench are
placed the few effects they are possessed of; such as their clothing,
mats, and skins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think I may venture to assert, that sea and water-fowls are neither in
such numbers, nor in such variety, as with us in the northern parts of
the Atlantic Ocean. There are some, however, here that I do not remember
to have seen any where else; particularly the _alca monochroa_ of
Steller, before mentioned; and a black and white duck, which I conceive
to be different from the stone-duck described by Krasheninikoff.[96] All
the other birds seen by us are mentioned by this author, except some
that we met with near the ice; and most, if not all of these, are
described by Martin in his voyage to Greenland. It is a little
extraordinary that penguins, which are common in many parts of the
world, should not be found in this sea. Albatrosses too are so very
scarce, that I cannot help thinking that this is not their proper

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

As our excursions and observations were confined wholly to the
sea-coast, it is not to be expected that we could know much of the
animals or vegetables of the country. Except musquitoes, there are few
other insects, or reptiles, that I saw, but lizards. There are no deer
upon Oonalashka, nor upon any other of the islands. Nor have they any
domestic animals, not even dogs. Foxes and weasels were the only
quadrupeds we saw; but they told us that they had hares also, and the
_marmottas_ mentioned by Krasheninikoff[97]. Hence it is evident that
the sea and rivers supply the greatest share of food to the inhabitants.
They are also obliged to the sea for all the wood made use of for
building, and other necessary purposes; for not a stick grows upon any
of the islands, nor upon the adjacent coast of the continent.

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

There are a great variety of plants at Oonalashka; and most of them were
in flower the latter end of June. Several of them are such as we find in
Europe, and in other parts of America, particularly in Newfoundland; and
others of them, which are also met with in Kamtschatka, are eat by the
natives both there and here. Of these Krasheninikoff has given us
descriptions. The principal one is the _saranne_, or lily root; which is
about the size of a root of garlick, round, made up of a number of small
cloves, and grains like groats. When boiled, it is somewhat like saloop;
the taste is not disagreeable, and we found means to make some good
dishes with it. It does not seem to be in great plenty, for we got none
but what Ismyloff gave us.

We must reckon amongst the food of the natives some other wild roots;
the stalk of a plant resembling _angelica_, and berries of several
different sorts; such as bramble-berries, cran-berries, hurtle-berries,
heath-berries, a small red berry, which, in Newfoundland, is called
partridge-berry; and another brown berry, unknown to us. This has
somewhat of the taste of a sloe, but is unlike it in every other
respect. It is very astringent, if eaten in any quantity. Brandy might
be distilled from it. Captain Clerke attempted to preserve some; but
they fermented, and became as strong as if they had been steeped in

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

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

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

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

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

I have frequently had occasion to mention, from the time of our arrival
in Prince William’s Sound, how remarkably the natives on this north-west
side of America, resemble the Greenlanders and Esquimaux, in various
particulars of person, dress, weapons, canoes, and the like. However, I
was much less struck with this than with the affinity which we found
subsisting between the dialects of the Greenlanders and Esquimaux, and
those of Norton’s Sound and Oonalashka. This will appear from a table of
corresponding words, which I put together, and will be inserted in the
course of this work.[98] It must be observed, however, with regard to
the words which we collected on this side of America, that too much
stress is not to be laid upon their being accurately represented; for,
after Mr. Anderson’s death, we had few who took much pains about such
matters, and I have frequently found, that the same words written down
by two or more persons, from the mouth of the same native, on being
compared together, differed not a little. But still, enough is certain,
to warrant this judgment, that there is great reason to believe that all
these nations are of the same extraction; and if so, there can be little
doubt of there being a northern communication of some sort, by sea,
between this west side of America and the east side, through Baffin’s
Bay; which communication, however, may be effectually shut up against
ships, by ice and other impediments. Such, at least, was my opinion at
this time.

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

The tide is no where considerable but in the great river.[99]

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

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

 The latitude, by the mean of several observed              } 53° 5ʹ 0ʺ
   meridian altitudes of the sun                            }
                { By the mean of twenty sets of lunar       }
                {   observations, with the sun east of the  } 193 47 45
 The longitude  {   moon                                    }
                { By the mean of fourteen sets, with the    } 193 11 45
                { sun and stars west of the moon            }
               The mean of these                              193 29 45
               The longitude assumed                          193 30  0

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

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

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

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

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

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

 On the 12th of Oct. } A. M. 20° 17ʹ 2ʺ  }
   the variation     }                   }
                     }                   }  Mean 19° 59ʹ 15ʺ E.
 By the mean of      } P. M. 19 41 27    }
  three compasses    }                   }

 Dip of the { Unmarked end } Dipping   { 68° 45ʹ } Face { 69° 30ʹ
   needle   { Marked end   } face east { 69 55   } West { 69 17

 Mean of the dip of the north end of the needle 69° 23ʹ 30ʺ.

                               CHAP. XII.


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

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

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

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

On the 29th, at half past six in the morning, we saw land extending from
E. by S. to S. by W., supposed to be the island Amoghta. At eight,
finding that we could not weather the island, as the wind had now veered
to the westward, I gave over plying, and bore away for Oonalashka, with
a view of going to the northward and eastward of that island, not daring
to attempt a passage to the S. E. of it, in so hard a gale of wind. At
the time we bore away, the land extended from E. by S. 1/2 S. to
S. S. W., four leagues distant. The longitude by the time-keeper was
191° 17ʹ, and the latitude 53° 38ʹ. This will give a very different
situation to this island from that assigned to it upon the Russian map.
But it must be remembered, that this is one of the islands which Mr.
Ismyloff said was wrong placed. Indeed it is a doubt if this be
Amoghta[100]; for after Ismyloff had made the correction, no land
appeared upon the map in this latitude; but as I have observed before,
we must not look for accuracy in this chart.

At eleven o’clock, as we were steering to the N. E., we discovered an
elevated rock, like a tower, bearing N. N. E. 1/2 E., four leagues
distant. It lies in the latitude of 53° 57ʹ, and in the longitude of
191° 2ʹ, and hath no place in the Russian map.[101] We must have passed
very near it in the night. We could judge of its steepness from this
circumstance, that the sea, which now ran very high, broke no where but
against it. At three in the afternoon, after getting a sight of
Oonalashka, we shortened sail, and hauled the wind, not having time to
get through the passage before night. At day-break the next morning, we
bore away under courses, and close-reefed top-sails, having a very hard
gale at W. N. W., with heavy squalls, attended with snow. At noon, we
were in the middle of the strait, between Oonalashka and Oonella, the
harbour of Samganoodha bearing S. S. E., one league distant. At three in
the afternoon, being through the strait and clear of the isles, Cape
Providence bearing W. S. W., two or three leagues distant, we steered to
the southward, under double-reefed top-sails and courses, with the wind
at W. N. W., a strong gale, and fair weather.

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

The 6th, in the evening, being in the latitude of 42° 12ʹ, and in the
longitude of 201° 26ʹ, the variation was 17° 15ʹ E. The next morning,
our latitude being 41° 20ʹ, and our longitude 202°, a shag, or
cormorant, flew several times round the ship. As these birds are seldom,
if ever, known to fly far out of sight of land, I judged that some was
not far distant. However, we could see none. In the afternoon, there
being but little wind, Captain Clerke came on board, and informed me of
a melancholy accident that happened on board his ship, the second night
after we left Samganoodha. The main tack gave way, killed one man, and
wounded the boatswain and two or three more. In addition to this
misfortune, I now learned, that on the evening of the 3d, his sails and
rigging received considerable damage; and that the guns which he fired
were the signal to bring to.

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

On the 12th at noon, being then in the latitude of 38° 14ʹ, and in the
longitude of 206° 17ʹ, the wind returned back to the northward; and, on
the 15th, in the latitude of 33° 30ʹ, it veered to the east. At this
time, we saw a tropic bird, and a dolphin; the first that we had
observed during the passage. On the 17th, the wind veered to the
southward, where it continued till the afternoon of the 9th, when a
squall of wind and rain brought it at once round by the west to the
north. This was in the latitude of 32° 26ʹ, and in the longitude of 207°

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

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

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

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

At noon, the coast extended from S. 81° E. to N. 56° W.; a low flat,
like an isthmus, bore S. 42° W.; the nearest shore three or four miles
distant; the latitude was 20° 59ʹ; and the longitude 203° 50ʹ. Seeing
some canoes coming off to us, I brought to.

As soon as they got alongside, many of the people who conducted them,
came into the ship, without the least hesitation. We found them to be of
the same nation with the inhabitants of the islands more to leeward,
which we had already visited; and, if we did not mistake them, they knew
of our having been there. Indeed, it rather appeared too evident; for
these people had got amongst them the venereal distemper; and, as yet, I
knew of no other way of its reaching them, but by an intercourse with
their neighbours since our leaving them.

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

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

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

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

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

 6^h 3ʹ 25ʺ beginning of the      } Longitude { 204° 40ʹ 45ʺ
       eclipse                    }           {
 8^h 27ʹ 25ʺ end of the eclipse   }           { 204° 25ʹ 15ʺ
     Mean                                       204° 35ʹ  0ʺ

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

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

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

 Myself with { _Arietis_ 204° 22ʹ  7ʺ  } mean 204° 21ʹ 5ʺ
             { _Pollux_  204° 20ʹ  4ʺ  }
 Mr. King    { _Arietis_ 204° 27ʹ 45ʺ  } mean 104° 18ʹ 29ʺ
   with      { _Pollux_  204°  9ʹ 12ʺ  }
 Mean of the two means                       204° 19ʹ 47ʺ
 The time-keeper, at 4^h 30ʹ, to which }
   time all the lunar observations are }     204°  4ʹ 45ʺ
   reduced                             }

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

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

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

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

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

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

It seems to be a very prevalent opinion amongst naval officers of all
ranks, that the king’s stores are better than any others, and that no
ships are so well fitted out as those of the navy. Undoubtedly they are
in the right, as to the quantity, but, I fear, not as to the quality of
the stores. This, indeed, is seldom tried; for things are generally
condemned, or converted to some other use, by such time as they are
half-worn out. It is only on such voyages as ours, that we have an
opportunity of making the trial; as our situation makes it necessary to
wear every thing to the very utmost.[102]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before day-break, the atmosphere was again loaded with heavy clouds; and
the new year was ushered in with very hard rain, which continued, at
intervals, till past ten o’clock. The wind was southerly; a light
breeze, with some calms. When the rain ceased the sky cleared, and the
breeze freshened. Being at this time about five miles from the land,
several canoes arrived with fruit and roots; and, at last, some hogs
were brought off. We lay to, trading with them till three o’clock in the
afternoon; when, having a tolerable supply, we made sail, with a view of
proceeding to the N. W. or lee-side of the island, to look for the
Discovery. It was necessary, however, the wind being at S., to stretch
first to the eastward, till midnight, when the wind came more
favourable, and we went upon the other tack. For several days past, both
wind and weather had been exceedingly unsettled; and there fell a great
deal of rain.

The three following days were spent in running down the south-east side
of the island. For during the nights we stood off and on; and part of
each day was employed in lying to, in order to furnish an opportunity to
the natives of trading with us. They sometimes came on board, while we
were five leagues from the shore. But whether from a fear of losing
their goods in the sea, or from the uncertainty of a market, they never
brought much with them. The principal article procured was salt, which
was extremely good.

On the 5th in the morning, we passed the south point of the island,
which lies in the latitude of 18° 54ʹ; and beyond it we found the coast
to trend N. 60° W. On this point stands a pretty large village, the
inhabitants of which thronged off to the ship with hogs and women. It
was not possible to keep the latter from coming on board; and no women I
ever met with were less reserved. Indeed it appeared to me that they
visited us with no other view than to make a surrender of their persons.
As I had now got a quantity of salt, I purchased no hogs but such as
were fit for salting; refusing all that were under size. However we
could seldom get any above fifty or sixty pounds’ weight. It was happy
for us that we still had some vegetables on board; for we now received
few such productions. Indeed this part of the country, from its
appearance, did not seem capable of affording them. Marks of its having
been laid waste by the explosion of a _volcano_, every where presented
themselves; and though we had as yet seen nothing like one upon the
island, the devastation that it had made, in this neighbourhood, was
visible to the naked eye.

This part of the coast is sheltered from the reigning winds; but we
could find no bottom to anchor upon; a line of an hundred and sixty
fathoms not reaching it, within the distance of half a mile from the
shore. The islanders having all left us toward the evening, we ran a few
miles down the coast; and then spent the night standing off and on.

The next morning the natives visited us again, bringing with them the
same articles of commerce as before. Being now near the shore, I sent
Mr. Bligh, the master, in a boat, to sound the coast, with orders to
land, and to look for fresh water. Upon his return, he reported that, at
two cables lengths from the shore, he had found no soundings with a line
of one hundred and sixty fathoms; that, when he landed, he found no
stream or spring, but only rain-water, deposited in holes upon the
rocks; and even that was brackish, from the spray of the sea; and that
the surface of the country was entirely composed of slags and ashes,
with a few plants here and there interspersed. Between ten and eleven we
saw with pleasure the Discovery coming round the south point of the
island; and, at one in the afternoon, she joined us. Captain Clerke then
coming on board, informed me that he had cruised four or five days where
we were separated, and then plied round the east side of the island; but
that, meeting with unfavourable winds, he had been carried to some
distance from the coast. He had one of the islanders on board all this
time, who had remained there from choice, and had refused to quit the
ship, though opportunities had offered.

Having spent the night standing off and on, we stood in again the next
morning, and when we were about a league from the shore, many of the
natives visited us. At noon the observed latitude was 19° 1ʹ, and the
longitude, by the time-keeper, was 203° 26ʹ; the island extending from
S. 74° E., to N. 13° W.; the nearest part two leagues distant.

At day-break, on the 8th, we found that the currents, during the night,
which we spent in plying, had carried us back considerably to windward,
so that we were now off the south-west point of the island. There we
brought to, in order to give the natives an opportunity of trading with
us. At noon our observed latitude was 19° 1ʹ, and our longitude, by the
time-keeper, was 203° 13ʹ; the south-west point of the island bearing N.
30° E.; two miles distant.

We spent the night as usual, standing off and on. It happened that four
men and ten women who had come on board the preceding day, still
remained with us. As I did not like the company of the latter, I stood
in shore toward noon, principally with a view to get them out of the
ship; and some canoes coming off, I took that opportunity of sending
away our guests.

We had light airs from N. W. and S. W., and calms, till eleven in the
morning of the 10th, when the wind freshened at W. N. W., which, with a
strong current setting to the S. E., so much retarded us, that in the
evening, between seven and eight o’clock, the south point of the island
bore N., 10-1/2° W., four leagues distant. The south snowy hill now bore
N. 1-1/2° E.

At four in the morning of the 11th, the wind having fixed at W., I stood
in for the land, in order to get some refreshments. As we drew near the
shore, the natives began to come off. We lay to, or stood on and off,
trading with them all the day; but got a very scanty supply at last.
Many canoes visited us, whose people had not a single thing to barter;
which convinced us that this part of the island must be very poor, and
that we had already got all that they could spare. We spent the 12th
plying off and on, with a fresh gale at west. A mile from the shore, and
to the north-east of the south point of the island, having tried
soundings, we found ground at fifty-five fathoms depth; the bottom a
fine sand. At five in the evening we stood to the S. W., with the wind
at W. N. W.; and soon after midnight we had a calm.

At eight o’clock next morning, having got a small breeze at S. S. E., we
steered to the N. N. W., in for the land. Soon after a few canoes came
alongside with some hogs, but without any vegetables, which articles we
most wanted. We had now made some progress; for, at noon, the south
point of the island bore S. 86-1/2° E.; the S. W. point N. 13° W,; the
nearest shore two leagues distant; latitude, by observation, 18° 56ʹ,
and our longitude, by the time-keeper, 203° 40ʹ. We had got the length
of the south-west point of the island in the evening; but the wind now
veering to the westward and northward, during the night we lost all that
we had gained. Next morning, being still off the south-west point of the
island, some canoes came off; but they brought nothing that we were in
want of. We had now neither fruit nor roots, and were under a necessity
of making use of some of our sea-provisions. At length some canoes from
the northward brought us a small supply of hogs and roots.

We had variable light airs, next to a calm, the following day, till five
in the afternoon, when a small breeze at E. N. E. springing up, we were
at last enabled to steer along shore to the northward. The weather being
fine, we had plenty of company this day, and abundance of every thing.
Many of our visitors remained with us on board all night, and we towed
their canoes astern.

At day-break on the 16th, seeing the appearance of a bay, I sent Mr.
Bligh, with a boat from each ship, to examine it, being at this time
three leagues off. Canoes now began to arrive from all parts; so that
before ten o’clock there were not fewer than a thousand about the two
ships, most of them crowded with people, and well laden with hogs and
other productions of the island. We had the most satisfying proof of
their friendly intentions; for we did not see a single person who had
with him a weapon of any sort. Trade and curiosity alone had brought
them off. Among such numbers as we had, at times, on board, it is no
wonder that some should betray a thievish disposition. One of our
visitors took out of the ship a boat’s rudder. He was discovered; but
too late to recover it. I thought this a good opportunity to show these
people the use of fire-arms; and two or three muskets, and as many
four-pounders, were fired over the canoe, which carried off the rudder.
As it was not intended that any of the shot should take effect, the
surrounding multitude of natives seemed rather more surprized than

In the evening Mr. Bligh returned, and reported that he had found a bay
in which was good anchorage, and fresh water, in a situation tolerably
easy to be come at. Into this bay I resolved to carry the ships, there
to refit, and supply ourselves with every refreshment that the place
could afford. As night approached, the greater part of our visitors
retired to the shore; but numbers of them requested our permission to
sleep on board. Curiosity was not the only motive, at least with some;
for the next morning several things were missing, which determined me
not to entertain so many another night.

At eleven o’clock in the forenoon we anchored in the bay (which is
called by the natives _Karakakooa_), in thirteen fathoms’ water, over a
sandy bottom, and about a quarter of a mile from the north-east shore.
In this situation, the south point of the bay bore south by west, and
the north point west half north. We moored with the stream-anchor and
cable to the northward, unbent the sails, and struck the yards and
top-masts. The ships continued to be much crowded with natives, and were
surrounded by a multitude of canoes. I had no where, in the course of my
voyages, seen so numerous a body of people assembled at one place. For
besides those who had come off to us in canoes, all the shore of the bay
was covered with spectators, and many hundreds were swimming round the
ships like shoals of fish. We could not but be struck with the
singularity of this scene; and perhaps there were few on board who now
lamented our having failed in our endeavours to find a northern passage
homeward, last summer. To this disappointment we owed our having it in
our power to revisit the _Sandwich Islands_, and to enrich our voyage
with a discovery which, though the last, seemed, in many respects, to be
the most important that had hitherto been made by Europeans throughout
the extent of the Pacific Ocean.

[ [Illustration of hand] _Here Captain Cook’s journal ends. The
remaining transactions of the voyage are related by Captain King, in the
last volume._]

                        END OF THE SIXTH VOLUME.


                    Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode,


Footnote 1:

  See the conclusion of chap. ix. book ii.

Footnote 2:


Footnote 3:

  See a plan of this bay, in Hawkesworth’s Collection, vol. ii. p. 248.

Footnote 4:

  Morea, according to Dr. Forster, is a district in Eimeo. See his
  _Observations_, p. 217.

Footnote 5:

  See Cook’s Voyage, vol. iii. chap. 13.

Footnote 6:

  See Captain Wallis’s account of the same operation performed on
  himself, and his first lieutenant, in _Hawkesworth’s Collection_, vol.
  i. p. 463. Lond. edit.

Footnote 7:

  Terridiri is Oberea’s son. See an account of the royal family of
  Otaheite in _Hawkesworth’s Collection_, vol. ii. p. 154.

Footnote 8:

  See a plan of this harbour in Hawkesworth’s Collection, vol. ii. p.

Footnote 9:

  Cook and Clerke.

Footnote 10:

  See a plan of this harbour, in Hawkesworth’s Collection, vol. ii. p.

Footnote 11:

  Perhaps they owed their safety principally to Captain Clerke’s walking
  with a pistol in his hand, which he once fired. This circumstance is
  omitted both in Captain Cook’s and in Mr. Anderson’s journal; but is
  here mentioned on the authority of Captain King.

Footnote 12:

  Captain Cook had seen Oree in 1769, when he commanded the Endeavour;
  also twice during his second voyage in 1772.

Footnote 13:

  See a chart of the island Bolabola in _Hawkesworth’s Collection_, vol.
  ii. p. 249. Though we have no particular drawing of the harbour, its
  situation is there distinctly represented.

Footnote 14:

  For this, as for many other particulars about these people, we are
  indebted to Mr. Anderson.

Footnote 15:

  These are taken notice of in _Hawkesworth’s Collection_, vol. ii. p.
  256, &c.

Footnote 16:

  See this vocabulary, at the end of the second volume of Captain Cook’s
  second voyage. Many corrections and additions to it were now made by
  this indefatigable inquirer; but the specimens of the language of
  Otaheite, already in the hands of the public, seem sufficient for
  every useful purpose.

Footnote 17:

  Mr. Anderson invariably, in his manuscript, writes _Eree de hoi_.
  According to Captain Cook’s mode, it is _Eree rahie_. This is one of
  the numerous instances that perpetually occur, of our people’s
  representing the same word differently.

Footnote 18:

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

  One or two more such proofs, drawn from similarity of language, in
  very significant words, may be assigned. Le Gobien tells us, that the
  people of the Ladrones worship their dead, whom they call _Anitis_.
  Here, again, by dropping the consonant _n_, we have a word that bears
  a strong resemblance to that which so often occurs in Captain Cook’s
  Voyages, when speaking of the divinities of his islands, whom he calls
  _Eatooas_. And it may be matter of curiosity to remark, that what is
  called an _Aniti_, at the Ladrones, is, as we learn from Cantova
  [_Lettres Edifiantes & Curieuses_, tom. xv. p. 309, 310.], at the
  Caroline Islands, where dead chiefs are also worshipped, called a
  _Tahutup_; and that, by softening or sinking the strong sounding
  letters, at the beginning and at the end of this latter word, the
  _Ahutu_ of the Carolines, the _Aiti_ of the Ladrones, and the _Eatooa_
  of the South Pacific Islands, assume such a similarity in
  pronunciation (for we can have no other guide), as strongly marks one
  common original. Once more; we learn from Le Gobien, that the Marianne
  people call their chiefs _Chamorris_, or _Chamoris_. And, by softening
  the aspirate _Ch_ into _T_, and the harshness of _r_ into _l_ (of
  which the vocabularies of the different islands give us repeated
  instances), we have the _Tamole_ of the Caroline Islands, and the
  _Tamolao_, or _Tamaha_, of the Friendly ones.

  If these specimens of affinity of language should be thought too
  scanty, some very remarkable instances of similarity of customs and
  institutions will go far to remove every doubt. 1. A division into
  three classes, of nobles, a middle rank, and the common people, or
  servants, was found, by Captain Cook, to prevail both at the Friendly
  and the Society Islands. Father Le Gobien expressly tells us, that the
  same distinction prevails at the Ladrones: _Il y a trois états, parmi
  les insulaires, la noblesse, le moyen, & le menu._ 2. Numberless
  instances occur in Captain Cook’s voyage to prove the great subjection
  under which the people of his islands are to their chiefs. We learn
  from Le Gobien, that it is so also at the Ladrones. _La noblesse est
  d’un fierté incroyable, & tient le peuple dans un abaisement qu’on ne
  pourroit imaginer en Europe, &c._ 3. The diversions of the natives at
  Wateeoo, the Friendly, and the Society Islands, have been copiously
  described by Captain Cook. How similar are those which Le Gobien
  mentions in the following words, as prevailing at the Ladrones? _Ils
  se divertissent à danser, courir, sautir, lutter, pour s’exercer, &
  éprouver leurs forces. Ils prennent grand plaisir à raconter les
  avantures de leurs ancêtres, & à reciter des vers de leurs poëtes._ 4.
  The principal share sustained by the women in the entertainments at
  Captain Cook’s islands, appears sufficiently from a variety of
  instances in this work; and we cannot read what Le Gobien says of the
  practice at the Ladrones, without tracing the strongest resemblance.—
  _Dans leurs assemblées elles se mettent douze ou treize femmes en
  rond, débout, sans se remuer. Dans cette attitude elles chantent les
  vers fabuleux de leurs poëtes avec un agrêment, & une justesse qui
  plairoit en Europe. L’accord de leur voix est admirable, & ne cede en
  rien à la musique concertée. Elles ont dans les mains de petits
  coquilles, dont elles se servent avec beaucoup de precision. Elles
  soutiennent leur voix, & animent leur chants, avec une action si vive,
  & des gestes si expressives, qu’elles charment ceux qui les voient, &
  qui les entendent._ 5. We read, in Hawkesworth’s account of Captain
  Cook’s first voyage, vol. ii. p. 235. that garlands of the fruit of
  the palm-tree and cocoa-leaves, with other things particularly
  consecrated to funeral solemnities, are deposited about the places
  where they lay their dead; and that provisions and water are also left
  at a little distance. How conformable to this is the practice at the
  Ladrones, as described by Le Gobien! _Ils font quelques repas autour
  du tombeau; car on en éleve toujours un sur le lieu où le corps est
  enterré, ou dans le voisinage; on le charge de fleurs, de branches de
  palmiers, de coquillages, & de tout ce qu’ils ont de plus precieux._
  6. It is the custom at Otaheite [See Hawkesworth, vol. ii. p. 236.]
  not to bury the sculls of the chiefs with the rest of the bones, but
  to put them into boxes made for that purpose. Here again, we find the
  same strange custom prevailing at the Ladrones; for Le Gobien
  expressly tells us, _qu’ils gardent les cranes en leur maisons_, that
  they put these sculls into little baskets (_petites corbeilles_); and
  that these dead chiefs are the _Anitis_ to whom their priests address
  their invocations. 7. The people of Otaheite, as we learn from Captain
  Cook, in his account of Tee’s embalmed corpse, make use of cocoa-nut
  oil, and other ingredients, in rubbing the dead bodies. The people of
  the Ladrones, Father Le Gobien tells us, sometimes do the same.—
  _D’autres frottent les morts d’huile odoriferante._ 8. The inhabitants
  of Otaheite [See Hawkesworth, vol. ii. p. 239, 240.] believe the
  immortality of the soul; and that there are two situations after
  death, somewhat analogous to our heaven and hell; but they do not
  suppose, that their actions here in the least influence their future
  state. And in the account given in this voyage [Vol. i. p. 403.] of
  the religious opinions entertained at the Friendly Islands, we find
  there exactly the same doctrine. It is very observable, how
  conformable to this is the belief of the inhabitants of the Ladrones.—
  _Ils sont persuadés_ (says Le Gobien) _de l’immortalité de l’âme. Ils
  reconnoissent même un Paradis & un Enfer, dont ils se forment des
  idées assez bizarres. Ce n’est point, selon eux, la vertu ni le crime,
  qui conduit dans ces lieux là; les bonnes ou les mauvaises actions n’y
  servent de rien._ 9. One more very singular instance of agreement
  shall close this long list. In Captain Cook’s account of the New
  Zealanders [Vol. i. p. 138.], we find, that, according to them, the
  soul of the man that is killed, and whose flesh is devoured, is doomed
  to a perpetual fire; while the souls of all who die a natural death
  ascend to the habitations of the Gods. And from Le Gobien, we learn,
  that this very notion is adopted by his islanders.—_Si on a le malheur
  de mourir de mort violente, on a l’enfer pour leur partage._

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

  See Pere le Gobien’s _Histoire des Isles Mariannes_, book ii. or the
  summary of it in _Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes_, t.
  ii. p. 492—512, from which the materials for this note have been

Footnote 19:

  We have here another instance of the same word being differently
  pronounced by the people. Captain Cook, as appears above, speaks of
  _Olla_, as the Bolabola god.

Footnote 20:

  See _Bougainville’s Voyage autour du Monde_, p. 228., where we are
  told that these people sometimes navigate at the distance of more than
  three hundred leagues.

Footnote 21:

  Hawkesworth’s Collection, vol. ii. p. 278.

Footnote 22:

  See Dalrymple’s Collection, vol. i. b. 45.

Footnote 23:

  See the description of the _morai_, in Otaheite, where the human
  sacrifice was offered, at which Captain Cook was present.

Footnote 24:

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

  What Mr. Sonnerat tells us about the bird of paradise, agrees
  perfectly with the account here given of the preserved red-birds.
  Speaking of the _Papous_, he proceeds thus: “Ils nous presenterent
  plusieurs especes d’oiseaux, aussi élégants par leur forme, que
  brillants par le éclat de leur couleurs. La dépouille des oiseaux,
  sert à la parure des Chefs, qui la portent attachée à leurs bonnets en
  forme d’aigrettes. _Mais en préparant les peaux, ils coupent les
  pieds._ Les Hollandois, qui trafiquent sur ces cotes, y achetent de
  ces peaux ainsi préparées, les transportent en Perse, à Surate, dans
  les Indes, où ils les vendent fort chère aux habitans riches, qui en
  font des aigrettes pour leurs turbans, et pour le casque des
  guerriers, et qui en parent leur chevaux. C’est de là qu’est venue
  l’opinion, qu’une de ces especes d’oiseaux (l’oiseau de paradis) _n’a
  point de pattes_. Les Hollandois out accrédité ces fables, qui, en
  jetant du merveilleux sur l’objet dont ils traffiquoient, étoient
  propres à le rendre plus précieux, et à en rechausser lavaleur.”—
  _Voyage à la Nouvelle Guinée_, p. 154.

Footnote 25:

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

Footnote 26:

  The print of Horn Island, which we meet with in Mr. Dalrymple’s
  account of Le Maire and Schouten’s voyages, represents some of the
  natives of that island with such long tails, hanging from their heads
  as are here described. See _Dalrymple’s Voyages to the South Pacific_,
  vol. ii. p. 58.

Footnote 27:

  Captain King purchased this, and has it now in his possession.

Footnote 28:

  See Vol. V. chap. x.

Footnote 29:

  A similar instance of profitable revenue, drawn from the use of nails
  by the chiefs of the Caroline Islands, is mentioned by father Cantova:
  “Si, par hazard, un vaisseau étranger laisse dans leurs isles quelques
  vieux morceaux de fer, ils appartiennent de droit aux Tamoles, qui en
  font faire des outils, le mieux qu’il est possible. Ces outils sont un
  fond dont le Tamole tire un revenu considérable, car il les donne à
  louage, et ce louage se paye assez cher,” p. 314.

Footnote 30:

  See more about the great extent of the colonies of this nation, in the
  Introductory Preface.

Footnote 31:

  See the account of Sir Francis’s voyage, in Campbell’s edition of
  Harris, vol. i. p. 18, and other collections.

Footnote 32:

  See Torquemada’s Narrative of Viscaino’s Expedition, in 1602 and 1603,
  in the second volume of Vanegas’s History of California, English
  translation, from p. 229, to p. 308.

Footnote 33:

  This part of the west side of North America was so named by Sir
  Francis Drake.

Footnote 34:

  In our calendar, the 7th of March is distinguished by the name of
  Perpetua M. and the 12th by that of Gregory B.

Footnote 35:

  See the History of California. Eng. Trans. vol. ii. p. 292.

Footnote 36:

  See Michael Locke’s apocryphal account of Juan de Fuca, and his
  pretended strait, in Purchas, vol. iii. p. 849-852., and many later

Footnote 37:

  The natives of this coast, twelve degrees farther south, also brought
  feathers as presents to Sir Francis Drake on his arrival. See an
  account of his voyage in _Campbell’s edit. of Harris_, vol. i. p. 18.

Footnote 38:

  Viscaino met with natives on the coast of California, while he was in
  the harbour of San Diego, _who were painted or besmeared with black
  and white, and had their heads loaded with feathers_. _History of
  California_, vol. ii. p. 272.

Footnote 39:

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

Footnote 40:

  See _Virginian deer_: Pennant’s Hist. Quad. vol. i. N^o. 46; and
  Arctic Zool. N^o. 6.

Footnote 41:

  Mr. Coxe, on the authority of Mr. Pallas, informs us that the old and
  middle-aged sea-otter skins are sold at Kiachta, by the Russians to
  the Chinese, from 80 to 100 rubles a skin; that is, from 16l. to 20l.
  each. See _Coxe’s Russian Discoveries_, p. 13.

Footnote 42:

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

Footnote 43:

  The reflection in the text may furnish the admirers of Herodotus, in
  particular, with an excellent apology for some of his wonderful tales
  of this sort.

Footnote 44:

  The habitations of the natives, more to the north upon this coast,
  where Behring’s people landed in 1741, seem to resemble those of
  Nootka. Muller describes them thus: “Ces cabanes étoient de bois
  revetu de planches bien unies, et même enchainées en quelques
  endroits.” Muller, _Decouvertes_, p. 255.

Footnote 45:

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

Footnote 46:

  This operation is represented by Mr. Webber, in his drawing of the
  inside of a Nootka house.

Footnote 47:

  One of the methods of catching the sea-otter, when ashore, in
  Kamtschatka, is with nets. See _Cox’s Russian Discoveries_, p. 13.
  4to. Edition.

Footnote 48:

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

Footnote 49:

  Though the two silver table-spoons, found at Nootka Sound, most
  probably came from the Spaniards in the south, there seem to be
  sufficient grounds for believing, that the regular supply of iron
  comes from a different quarter. It is remarkable, that the Spaniards,
  in 1775, found at _Puerto de la Trinidad_, in latitude 41° 7ʹ, _arrows
  pointed with copper or iron, which they understood were procured from
  the north_. Mr. Daines Barrington, in a note at this part of the
  Spanish Journal, p. 20. says, “I should conceive that the copper and
  iron, here mentioned, must have originally been bartered at our forts
  in Hudson’s bay.”

Footnote 50:

  May we not, in confirmation of Mr. Anderson’s remark, observe, that
  _Opulszthl_, the Nootka name of the sun; and _Vitziputzli_, the name
  of the Mexican divinity, have no very distant affinity in sound?

Footnote 51:

  It will be found at the end of the last volume.

Footnote 52:

  As in the remaining part of this volume, the latitude and longitude
  are very frequently set down; the former being invariably _north_ and
  the latter _east_, the constant repetition of the two words _north_
  and _east_, has been omitted, to avoid unnecessary precision.

Footnote 53:

  See De Lisle’s _Carte Générale des Découvertes de l’Amiral de Fonte_,
  &c. Paris, 1752; and many other maps.

Footnote 54:

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

Footnote 55:

  It should seem that in this very bay, the Spaniards, in 1775, found
  their port which they call _De los Remedios_. The latitude is exactly
  the same; and their journal mentions its _being protected by a long
  ridge of high islands_. See _Miscellanies by the Honourable Daines
  Barrington_, p. 503, 504.

Footnote 56:

  According to Muller, Beering fell in with the coast of North America
  in latitude 58° 28ʹ; and he describes its aspect thus: “_L’aspect du
  pays étoit affrayant par ses hautes montagnes couvertes de neige._”
  The chain, or ridge of mountains, covered with snow, mentioned here by
  Captain Cook, in the same latitude, exactly agrees with what Beering
  met with. See Muller’s _Voyages et Découvertes des Russes_, p.

Footnote 57:

  Probably Captain Cook means Muller’s map, prefixed to his History of
  the Russian Discoveries.

Footnote 58:

  Then Sub-almoner, and Chaplain to his Majesty, afterwards Dean of

Footnote 59:

  See Muller, p. 256.

Footnote 60:

  Exactly corresponding to this, was the manner of receiving Beering’s
  people, at the Schumagin Islands, on this coast, in 1741. Muller’s
  words are—“On sait ce que c’est que le _calumet_, que les Américains
  septentrionaux présentent en signe de paix. Ceux-ci en tenoient de
  pareils en main. C’étoient des bâtons avec _ailes de faucon_ attachés
  au boul.” _Découvertes_, p. 268.

Footnote 61:

  Captain Cook seems to take his ideas of these from Mr. Stæhlin’s map,
  prefixed to the account of the Northern Archipelago; published by Dr.
  Maty, London, 1774.

Footnote 62:

  On what evidence Captain Cook formed his judgment as to this, is
  mentioned in the Introduction.

Footnote 63:

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

Footnote 64:

  Vol. i. p. 138.

Footnote 65:

  See Crantz, vol. i. p. 150.

Footnote 66:

  Vol. i. p. 146. He has also given a representation of them on a plate
  there inserted.

Footnote 67:

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

Footnote 68:

  We are also indebted to him for many remarks in this chapter,
  interwoven with those of Captain Cook, as throwing considerable light
  on many parts of his journal.

Footnote 69:

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

Footnote 70:

  In his Account of Kodjak, p. 32, 34.

Footnote 71:

  There is a circumstance mentioned by Muller, in his account of
  Beering’s voyage to the coast of America in 1741, which seems to
  decide this question. His people found iron at the Schumagin Islands,
  as may be fairly presumed from the following quotation. “Un seul homme
  avoit un couteau pendu à sa ceinture, qui parut fort singulier à nos
  gens par sa figure. Il étoit long de huit pouces, et fort épais, et
  large à l’endroit où devoit être la pointe. On ne peut savoir quel
  étoit l’usage de cet outil.” _Découvertes des Russes_, p. 274.

  If there was iron amongst the natives on this part of the American
  coast, prior to the discovery of it by the Russians, and before there
  was any traffic with them carried on from Kamtschatka, what reason can
  there be to make the least doubt of the people of Prince William’s
  Sound, as well as those of Schumagin’s Islands, having got this metal
  from the only probable source, the European settlements on the
  north-east coast of this continent?

Footnote 72:

  Captain Cook means Muller’s; of which a translation had been published
  in London, some time before he sailed.

Footnote 73:

  In naming this and Mount St. Augustin, Captain Cook was directed by
  our Calendar.

Footnote 74:

  Captain Cook having here left a blank which he had not filled up with
  any particular name, Lord Sandwich directed, with the greatest
  propriety, that it should be called _Cook’s River_.

Footnote 75:

  _Tamannoi-ostrow_, c’est-à-dire, _L’isle Nebuleuse_. Muller, p. 261.

Footnote 76:

  P. 153. Eng. Trans.

Footnote 77:

  See an account of Kodiak, in Stæhlin’s New Northern Archipelago, p.
  30. 39.

Footnote 78:

  See Muller’s _Decouvertes des Russes_, p. 262. 277.

Footnote 79:

  Mr. Anderson’s Journal seems to have been discontinued for about two
  months before his death; the last date in his M. S. being of the third
  of June.

Footnote 80:

  Mr. Pennant, since Captain Cook wrote this, has described this animal
  in a new work, which he calls _Arctic Zoology_, now ready for
  publication. We have been favoured with his obliging communications on
  this, and other particulars; and, therefore, refer the reader to the
  _Arctic Zoology_, N^o. 72.

Footnote 81:

  Avec le vent le plus favorable, on peut aller par mer de cette pointe
  (des Tschuktschis) jusqu’à l’Anadir en trois fois 24 heures; & par
  terre le chemin ne peut guère être plus long. Muller, p. 13.

Footnote 82:

  Captain Cook gives it this name, having anchored in it on St.
  Laurence’s day, August 10. It is remarkable, that Beering sailed past
  this very place on the 10th of August, 1728; on which account, the
  neighbouring island was named by him after the same Saint.

Footnote 83:

  Vol. ii. p. 1016, &c.

Footnote 84:

  Captain King has communicated the following account of his interview
  with the same family. “On the 12th, while I attended the wooding
  party, a canoe full of natives approached us; and, beckoning them to
  land, an elderly man and woman came on shore. I gave this woman a
  small knife, making her understand that I would give her a much larger
  one for some fish. She made signs to me to follow her. I had proceeded
  with them about a mile, when the man, in crossing a stony beach, fell
  down, and cut his foot very much. This made me stop; upon which the
  woman pointed to the man’s eyes, which I observed were covered with a
  thick, white film. He afterward kept close to his wife, who apprized
  him of the obstacles in his way. The woman had a little child on her
  back, covered with the hood of her jacket; and which I took for a
  bundle, till I heard it cry. At about two miles’ distance we came to
  their open skin-boat, which was turned on its side, the convex part
  toward the wind, and served for their house. I was now made to perform
  a singular operation on the man’s eyes. First, I was directed to hold
  my breath; afterward, to breathe on the diseased eyes; and next, to
  spit on them. The woman then took both my hands, and pressing them to
  his stomach, held them there for some time, while she related some
  calamitous history of her family, pointing sometimes to her husband,
  sometimes to a frightful cripple belonging to the family, and
  sometimes to her child. I purchased all the fish they had, consisting
  of a very fine salmon, salmon-trout, and mullet; which were delivered
  most faithfully to the man I sent for them. The man was about five
  feet two inches high, and well made; his colour of a light copper; his
  hair black and short, and with little beard. He had two holes in his
  under lip, but no ornaments in them. The woman was short and squat,
  with a plump round face; wore a deer-skin jacket, with a large hood;
  and had on wide boots. The teeth of both were black, and seemed as if
  they had been filed down level with the gums. The woman was punctured
  from the lip to the chin.”

Footnote 85:

  Captain King has been so good as to communicate his instructions on
  this occasion, and the particulars of the fatigue he underwent in
  carrying them into execution:

  “You are to proceed to the northward as far as the extreme point we
  saw on Wednesday last, or a little further, if you think it necessary;
  land there, and endeavour, from the heights, to discover whether the
  land you are then upon, supposed to be the island of Alaschka, is
  really an island, or joins to the land on the east, supposed to be the
  continent of America. If the former, you are to satisfy yourself with
  the depth of water in the channel between them, and which way the
  flood-tide comes. But if you find the two lands connected, lose no
  time in sounding; but make the best of your way back to the ship,
  which you will find at anchor near the point of land we anchored under
  on Friday last. If you perceive any likelihood of a change of weather
  for the worse, you are, in that case, to return to the ship, although
  you have not performed the service you are sent upon. And, at any
  rate, you are not to remain longer upon it than four or five days; but
  the sooner it is done the better. If any unforeseen or unavoidable
  accident should force the ships off the coast, so that they cannot
  return at a reasonable time, the rendezvous is at the harbour of
  Samganoodha; that is, the place where we last completed our water.

  “_To Lieutenant King._”

                                                           “JAMES COOK.”

  “Our cutter being hoisted out, and the signal made for the
  Discovery’s, at eight at night, on the 14th, we set out. It was a
  little unlucky that the boats’ crews had been much fatigued during the
  whole day in bringing things from the shore. They pulled stoutly,
  without rest or intermission, toward the land, till one o’clock in the
  morning of the 15th. I wanted much to have got close to it, to have
  had the advantage of the wind, which had very regularly, in the
  evening, blown from the land, and in the day-time down the sound, from
  the N. N. E., and was contrary to our course; but the men were, at
  this time, too much fatigued to press them farther. We therefore set
  our sails, and stood across the bay, which the coast forms to the west
  of Bald Head, and steered for it. But, as I expected, by three
  o’clock, the wind headed us; and, as it was in vain to endeavour to
  fetch Bald Head with our sails, we again took to the oars. The
  Discovery’s boat (being a heavy king’s-built cutter, while ours was
  one from Deal) had, in the night-time, detained us very much, and now
  we soon pulled out of sight of her; nor would I wait, being in great
  hopes to reach the extreme point that was in sight, time enough to
  ascend the heights before dark, as the weather was at this time
  remarkably clear and fine; and we could see to a great distance. By
  two o’clock we had got within two miles of Bald Head, under the lee of
  the high land, and in smooth water; but at the moment our object was
  nearly attained, all the men, but two, were so overcome with fatigue
  and sleep, that my utmost endeavours to make them put on were
  ineffectual. They, at length, dropped their oars, quite exhausted, and
  fell asleep in the bottom of the boat. Indeed, considering that they
  had set out fatigued, and had now been sixteen hours out of the
  eighteen since they left the ship, pulling in a poppling sea, it was
  no wonder that their strength and spirits should be worn out for want
  of sleep and refreshments. The two gentlemen who were with me, and
  myself, were now obliged to lay hold of the oars, and by a little
  after three, we landed between the Bald Head and a projecting point to
  the eastward.”

Footnote 86:

  Afterwards Lord Grantley.

Footnote 87:

  See the little that is known of Synd’s voyage, accompanied with a
  chart, in Mr. Coxe’s Russian Discoveries, p. 300.

Footnote 88:

  The latest expedition of this kind, taken notice of by Muller, was in
  1724. But in justice to Mr. Ismyloff, it may be proper to mention,
  which is done on the authority of a MS., communicated by Mr. Pennant,
  and the substance of which has been published by Mr. Coxe, that, so
  late as 1768, the Governor of Siberia sent three young officers over
  the ice in sledges, to the islands opposite the mouth of the Kovyma.
  There seems no reason for not supposing, that a subsequent expedition
  of this sort might also be undertaken in 1773. Mr. Coxe, p. 324,
  places the expedition on sledges in 1764; but Mr. Pennant’s MS. may be
  depended upon.

Footnote 89:

  English translation, p. 83, 84.

Footnote 90:

  A Russian ship had been at Kodiack, in 1776; as appears from a MS.
  obligingly communicated by Mr. Pennant.

Footnote 91:

  Stæhlin’s New Northern Archipelago, p. 15.

Footnote 92:


Footnote 93:

  The Russians began to frequent Oonalashka in 1762. See _Coxe’s Russian
  Discoveries_, ch. viii. p. 80.

Footnote 94:

  See the particulars of hostilities between the Russians and natives,
  in Coxe, as cited above.

Footnote 95:

  Mr. Coxe’s description of the habitations of the natives of
  Oonalashka, and the other Fox Islands, in general, agrees with Captain
  Cook’s. See _Russian Discoveries_, p. 149. See also _Histoire des
  différents Peuples soumis à la Domination des Russes_, par M.
  Levesque, tom. i. p. 40, 41.

Footnote 96:

  History of Kamtschatka. Eng. Trans. p. 160.

Footnote 97:

  History of Kamtschatka, p. 99.

Footnote 98:

  It will be found, amongst other vocabularies, at the end of the
  seventh volume.

Footnote 99:

  Cook’s River.

Footnote 100:

  On the chart of Krenitzen’s and Levasheff’s voyage, in 1768 and 1769,
  which we find in Mr. Coxe’s book, p. 251., an island call Amuckta, is
  laid down, not very far from the place assigned to Amoghta by Captain

Footnote 101:

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

Footnote 102:

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

                           Transcriber’s Note

This book uses inconsistent spelling and hyphenation, which were
retained in the ebook version. Some corrections have been made to the
text, including normalizing punctuation. Further corrections are noted

 p. 4: veered to to the east -> veered to the east
 p. 6: parts of the the coast -> parts of the coast
 p. 7: and and having already -> and having already
 p. 9: morning of of the 12th -> morning of the 12th
 p. 14: and and the extent -> and the extent
 p. 14: he sovereign of Tiaraboo -> the sovereign of Tiaraboo
 p. 22: a party of us acompanied -> a party of us accompanied
 p. 46: and and several other women -> and several other women
 p. 52: and some otheir chiefs -> and some other chiefs
 p. 62: a small pig, and a plaintain-tree -> a small pig, and a
 p. 63: the principal priest uncoverd -> the principal priest uncovered
 p. 76: apprehensions of mishief from us -> apprehensions of mischief
    from us
 p. 87: waited some some time -> waited some time
 p. 96: He had picked up at Otatheite -> He had picked up at Otaheite
 p. 97: to enclose it intirely -> to enclose it entirely
 p. 110: till we sould arrive -> till we should arrive
 p. 111: My. Bayly -> Mr. Bayly
 p. 113: a great plan of opertions -> a great plan of operations
 p. 121: of of its inhabitants -> of its inhabitants
 p. 128: The foregoing narative -> The foregoing narrative
 Footnote 18: Captain Cook’s first vogage -> Captain Cook’s first voyage
 p. 139 I met with with -> I met with
 p. 148: large share of its happines -> large share of its happiness
 p. 160: of a less geneneral nature -> of a less general nature
 p. 169: which lies betwen the two channels -> which lies between the two
 p. 177: I immediatey brought-to -> I immediately brought-to
 p. 211: appear to to have -> appear to have
 p. 215: or there position -> or their position
 p. 215: wich is laid on slender poles -> which is laid on slender poles
 p. 217: though a disagreable mess -> though a disagreeable mess
 p. 222: should find a a bit of iron -> should find a bit of iron
 p, 222: of those neigbouring Islands -> of those neighbouring Islands
 p. 229: expose any other anima -> expose any other animal
 p. 233: After the discovery had joined us -> After the Discovery had
    joined us
 p. 265: the ills that bounded it -> the hills that bounded it
 p. 310: was loosing on mean time -> was losing on mean time
 p. 328: stepped into into their boats -> stepped into their boats
 p. 357: down the the inlet -> down the inlet
 p. 358: in every repect -> in every respect
 p. 373: Two-headed headed Point -> Two-headed Point
 p. 385: In the afternooon -> In the afternoon
 p. 386: extended to to the S. W. -> extended to the S. W.
 p. 387: near the the southern shore -> near the southern shore
 p. 396: for their was no wind -> for there was no wind
 p. 398: it was was narrow -> it was narrow
 p. 399: we seered back to the southward -> we steered back to the
 p. 402: Mr. Stæehlin ->  Mr. Stæhlin
 p. 406: both were detrmined -> both were determined
 p. 434: the chart prefixed to his cook -> the chart prefixed to his book
 p. 440: cut this foot very much -> cut his foot very much
 p. 449: So that beteen this latitude -> so that between this latitude
 p. 453: and once a a halibut -> and once a halibut
 p. 459: had been had been corrected -> had been corrected
 p. 459: in the bottom of the the gulf -> in the bottom of the gulf
 p. 500: plying off and and on -> plying off and on

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