Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific
by Gabriel Franchere
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[Transcriber's Note: Because this is a personal narrative, inconsistencies in spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, and italicization have been preserved in cases where it is not clearly an error from the original printing.]


IN THE YEARS 1811, 1812, 1813, AND 1814







Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854,


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Southern District of New York.


In 1846, when the boundary question (that of the Oregon Territory in particular) was at its height, the Hon. THOMAS H. BENTON delivered in the United States Senate a decisive speech, of which the following is an extract:—

"Now for the proof of all I have said. I happen to have in my possession the book of all others, which gives the fullest and most authentic details on all the points I have mentioned—a book written at a time, and under circumstances, when the author (himself a British subject and familiar on the Columbia) had no more idea that the British would lay claim to that river, than Mr. Harmon, the American writer whom I quoted, ever thought of our claiming New Caledonia. It is the work of Mr. FRANCHERE, a gentleman of Montreal, with whom I have the pleasure to be personally acquainted, and one of those employed by Mr. ASTOR in founding his colony. He was at the founding of ASTORIA, at its sale to the Northwest Company, saw the place seized as a British conquest, and continued there after its seizure. He wrote in French: his work has not been done into English, though it well deserves it; and I read from the French text. He gives a brief and true account of the discovery of the Columbia."

I felt justly proud of this notice of my unpretending work, especially that the latter should have contributed, as it did, to the amicable settlement of the then pending difficulties. I have flattered myself ever since, that it belonged to the historical literature of the great country, which by adoption has become mine.

The re-perusal of "Astoria" by WASHINGTON IRVING (1836) inspired me with an additional motive for giving my book in an English dress. Without disparagement to Mr. IRVING'S literary, fame, I may venture to say that I found in his work inaccuracies, misstatements (unintentional of course), and a want of chronological order, which struck forcibly one so familiar with the events themselves. I thought I could show—or rather that my simple narration, of itself, plainly discovered—that some of the young men embarked in that expedition (which founded our Pacific empire), did not merit the ridicule and contempt which Captain THORN attempted to throw upon them, and which perhaps, through the genius of Mr. IRVING, might otherwise remain as a lasting stigma on their characters.

But the consideration which, before all others, prompts me to offer this narrative to the American reading public, is my desire to place before them, therein, a simple and connected account (which at this time ought to be interesting), of the early settlement of the Oregon Territory by one of our adopted citizens, the enterprising merchant JOHN JACOB ASTOR. The importance of a vast territory, which at no distant day may add two more bright stars to our national banner, is a guarantee that my humble effort will be appreciated.

* * * * *


It has been the editor's wish to let Mr. Franchere speak for himself. To preserve in the translation the Defoe-like simplicity of the original narrative of the young French Canadian, has been his chief care. Having read many narratives of travel and adventure in our northwestern wilderness, he may be permitted to say that he has met with none that gives a more vivid and picturesque description of it, or in which the personal adventures of the narrator, and the varying fortunes of a great enterprise, mingle more happily, and one may say, more dramatically, with the itinerary. The clerkly minuteness of the details is not without its charm either, and their fidelity speaks for itself. Take it altogether, it must be regarded as a fragment of our colonial history saved from oblivion; it fills up a vacuity which Mr. IRVING'S classic work does not quite supply; it is, in fact, the only account by an eye-witness and a participator in the enterprise, of the first attempt to form a settlement on the Pacific under the stars and stripes.

The editor has thought it would be interesting to add Mr. Franchere's Preface to the original French edition, which will be found on the next page.

BALTIMORE, February 6, 1854.


When I was writing my journal on the vessel which carried me to the northwest coast of North America, or in the wild regions of this continent, I was far from thinking that it would be placed one day before the public eye. I had no other end in writing, but to procure to my family and my friends a more exact and more connected detail of what I had seen or learned in the course of my travels, than it would have been possible for me to give them in a viva voce narration. Since my return to my native city, my manuscript has passed into various hands and has been read by different persons: several of my friends immediately advised me to print it; but it is only quite lately that I have allowed myself to be persuaded, that without being a learned naturalist, a skilful geographer, or a profound moralist, a traveller may yet interest by the faithful and succinct account of the situations in which he has found himself, the adventures which have happened to him, and the incidents of which he has been a witness; that if a simple ingenuous narrative, stripped of the merit of science and the graces of diction, must needs be less enjoyed by the man of letters or by the savant, it would have, in compensation, the advantage of being at the level of a greater number of readers; in fine, that the desire of affording an entertainment to his countrymen, according to his capacity, and without any mixture of the author's vanity or of pecuniary interest, would be a well-founded title to their indulgence. Whether I have done well or ill in yielding to these suggestions, which I am bound to regard as those of friendship, or of good-will, it belongs to the impartial and disinterested reader, to decide.




Departure from Montreal.—Arrival in New York.—Description of that City.—Names of the Persons engaged in the Expedition.


Departure from New York.—Reflections of the Author.—Navigation, falling in with other Ships, and various Incidents, till the Vessel comes in Sight of the Falkland Isles.


Arrival at the Falkland Isles.—Landing.—Perilous Situation of the Author and some of his Companions.—Portrait of Captain Thorn.—Cape Horn.—Navigation to the Sandwich Islands.


Accident.—View of the Coast.—Attempted Visit of the Natives.—Their Industry.—Bay of Karaka-koua.—Landing on the Island.—John Young, Governor of Owahee.


Bay of Ohetity.—Tamehameha, King of the Island.—His Visit to the Ship.—His Capital.—His Naval Force.—His Authority.—Productions of the Country.—Manners and Customs.—Reflections.


Departure from Wahoo.—Storm.—Arrival at the Mouth of the Columbia.—Reckless Order of the Captain.—Difficulty of the Entrance.—Perilous Situation of the Ship.—Unhappy Fate of a Part of the Crew and People of the Expedition.


Regrets of the Author at the Loss of his Companions.—Obsequies of a Sandwich-Islander.—First Steps in the Formation of the intended Establishment.—New Alarm.—Encampment.


Voyage up the River.—Description of the Country.—Meeting with strange Indians.


Departure of the Tonquin.—Indian Messengers.—Project of an Expedition to the Interior.—Arrival of Mr. Daniel Thompson.—Departure of the Expedition.—Designs upon us by the Natives.—Rumors of the Destruction of the Tonquin.—Scarcity of Provisions.—Narrative of a strange Indian.—Duplicity and Cunning of Comcomly.


Occupation at Astoria.—Return of a Portion of the Men of the Expedition to the Interior.—New Expedition.—Excursion in Search of three Deserters.


Departure of Mr. R. Stuart for the Interior.—Occupations at Astoria.—Arrival of Messrs. Donald M'Kenzie and Robert M'Lellan.—Account of their Journey.—Arrival of Mr. Wilson P. Hunt.


Arrival of the Ship Beaver.—Unexpected Return of Messrs. D. Stuart, B. Stuart, M'Lelland, &c.—Cause of that Return.—Ship discharging.—New Expeditions.—Hostile Attitude of the Natives.—Departure of the Beaver.—Journeys of the Author.—His Occupations at the Establishment.


Uneasiness respecting the "Beaver."—News of the Declaration of War between Great Britain and the United States.—Consequences of that Intelligence.—Different Occurrences.—Arrival of two Canoes of the Northwest Company.—Preparations for abandoning the Country.—Postponement of Departure.—Arrangement-with Mr. J.G. M'Tavish.


Arrival of the Ship "Albatross."—Reasons for the Non-Appearance of the Beaver at Astoria.—Fruitless Attempt of Captain Smith on a Former Occasion.—Astonishment and Regret of Mr. Hunt at the Resolution of the Partners.—His Departure.—Narrative of the Destruction of the Tonquin.—Causes of that Disaster.—Reflections.


Arrival of a Number of Canoes of the Northwest Company.—Sale of the Establishment at Astoria to that Company.—Canadian News.—Arrival of the British Sloop-of-War "Raccoon."—Accident on Board that Vessel.—The Captain takes Formal Possession of Astoria.—Surprise and Discontent of the Officers And Crew.—Departure of the "Raccoon."


Expeditions to the Interior.—Return of Messrs. John Stuart and D. M'Kenzie.—Theft committed by the Natives.—War Party against the Thieves.


Description of Tongue Point.—A Trip to the Willamet.—Arrival of W. Hunt in the Brig Pedlar.—Narrative of the Loss of the Ship Lark.—Preparations for crossing the Continent.


Situation of the Columbia River.—Qualities of its Soil.—Climate, &c.—Vegetable and Animal Productions of the Country.


Manners, Customs, Occupations, &c., of the Natives on the River Columbia.


Manners and Customs of the Natives continued.—Their Wars.—Their Marriages.—Medicine Men.—Funeral Ceremonies.—Religious Notions.—Language.


Departure from Astoria Or Fort George.—Accident.—Passage of the Dalles or Narrows.—Great Columbian Desert.—Aspect of the Country.—Wallawalla and Sha-aptin Rivers.—Rattlesnakes.—Some Details regarding the Natives of the Upper Columbia.


Meeting with the Widow of a Hunter.—Her Narrative.—Reflections of the Author.—Priest's Rapid.—River Okenakan.—Kettle Falls.—Pine Moss.—Scarcity of Food.—Rivers, Lakes, &c.—Accident.—A Rencontre.—First View of the Rocky Mountains.


Course of the Columbian River.—Canoe River.—Foot-march toward the Rocky Mountains.—Passage of the Mountains.


Arrival at the Fort of the Mountains.—Description of this Post.—Some Details in Regard to the Rocky Mountains.—Mountain Sheep, &c.—Continuation of the Journey.—Unhappy Accident.—Reflections.—News from Canada.—Hunter's Lodge.—Pembina and Red Deer Rivers.


Red Deer Lake.—Antoine Dejarlais.—Beaver River.—N. Nadeau.—Moose River.—Bridge Lake.—Saskatchawine River.—Fort Vermilion.—Mr. Hallet.—Trading-Houses.—Beautiful Country.—Reflections.


Fort Montee.—Cumberland House.—Lake Bourbon.—Great Winipeg Rapids.—Lake Winipeg.—Trading-House.—Lake of the Woods.—Rainy Lake House, &c.


Arrival at Fort William.—Description of that Post—News from the River Columbia.


Departure from Fort William.—Navigation on Lake Superior.—Michipicoton Bay.—Meeting a Canoe.—Batchawainon Bay.—Arrival at Saut Ste. Marie.—Occurrences there.—Departure.—Lake Huron.—French River.—Lake Nipissing.—Ottawa River.—Kettle Falls.—Rideau River.—Long-Saut.—Arrival in Montreal.—Conclusion.


Present State of the Countries visited by the Author.—Correction of Mr. Irving's Statements respecting St. Louis.


Mr. Seton's Adventures.—Survivors of the Expedition in 1851.—Author's Protest against some Expressions in Mr. Irving's "Astoria."—Editor's Note.


Since the independence of the United States of America, the merchants of that industrious and enterprising nation have carried on an extremely advantageous commerce on the northwest coast of this continent. In the course of their voyages they have made a great number of discoveries which they have not thought proper to make public; no doubt to avoid competition in a lucrative business.

In 1792, Captain Gray, commanding the ship Columbia of Boston, discovered in latitude 46 deg. 19" north, the entrance of a great bay on the Pacific coast. He sailed into it, and having perceived that it was the outlet or estuary of a large river, by the fresh water which he found at a little distance from the entrance, he continued his course upward some eighteen miles, and dropped anchor on the left bank, at the opening of a deep bay. There he made a map or rough sketch of what he had seen of this river (accompanied by a written description of the soundings, bearings, &c.); and having finished his traffic with the natives (the object of his voyage to these parts), he put out to sea, and soon after fell in with Captain Vancouver, who was cruising by order of the British government, to seek new discoveries. Mr. Gray acquainted him with the one he had just made, and even gave him a copy of the chart he had drawn up. Vancouver, who had just driven off a colony of Spaniards established on the coast, under the command of Senor Quadra (England and Spain being then at war), despatched his first-lieutenant Broughton, who ascended the river in boats some one hundred and twenty or one hundred and fifty miles, took possession of the country in the name of his Britannic majesty, giving the river the name of the Columbia, and to the bay where the American captain stopped, that of Gray's bay. Since that period the country had been seldom visited (till 1811), and chiefly by American ships.

Sir Alexander McKenzie, in his second overland voyage, tried to reach the western ocean by the Columbia river, and thought he had succeeded when he came out six degrees farther north, at the bottom of Puget's sound, by another river.[A] In 1805, the American government sent Captains Lewis and Clark, with about thirty men, including some Kentucky hunters, on an overland journey to the mouth of the Columbia. They ascended the Missouri, crossed the mountains at the source of that river, and following the course of the Columbia, reached the shores of the Pacific, where they were forced to winter. The report which they made of their expedition to the United States government created a lively sensation.[B]

[Footnote A: McKenzie's Travels.]

[Footnote B: Lewis and Clark's Report.]

Mr. John Jacob Astor, a New York merchant, who conducted almost alone the trade in furs south of the great lakes Huron and Superior, and who had acquired by that commerce a prodigious fortune, thought to augment it by forming on the banks of the Columbia an establishment of which the principal or supply factory should be at the mouth of that river. He communicated his views to the agents of the Northwest Company; he was even desirous of forming the proposed establishment in concert with them; but after some negotiations, the inland or wintering partners of that association of fur-traders having rejected the plan, Mr. Astor determined to make the attempt alone. He needed for the success of his enterprise, men long versed in the Indian trade, and he soon found them. Mr. Alexander M'Kay (the same who had accompanied Sir Alexander M'Kenzie in his travels overland), a bold and enterprising man, left the Northwest Company to join him; and soon after, Messrs Duncan M'Dougal and Donald M'Kenzie (also in the service of the company) and Messrs. David Stuart and Robert Stuart, all of Canada, did the same. At length, in the winter of 1810, a Mr. Wilson Price Hunt of St. Louis, on the Mississippi, having also joined them, they determined that the expedition should be set on foot in the following spring.

It was in the course of that winter that one of my friends made me acquainted in confidence with the plan of these gentlemen, under the injunction of strictest secrecy. The desire of seeing strange countries, joined to that of acquiring a fortune, determined me to solicit employment of the new association; on the 20th of May I had an interview with Mr. A. M'Kay, with whom the preliminaries were arranged; and on the 24th of the same month I signed an agreement as an apprenticed clerk for the term of five years.

When the associates had engaged a sufficient number of Canadian boatmen, they equipped a bark canoe under charge of Messrs. Hunt and M'Kenzie, with a Mr. Perrault as clerk, and a crew of fourteen men. These gentlemen were to proceed to Mackinaw, and thence to St. Louis, hiring on the way as many men as they could to man the canoes, in which, from the last-mentioned port, they were to ascend the Missouri to its source, and there diverging from the route followed by Lewis and Clark, reach the mouth of the Columbia to form a junction with another party, who were to go round by way of Cape Horn. In the course of my narrative I shall have occasion to speak of the success of both these expeditions.



Departure from Montreal.—Arrival in New York.—Description of that City.—Names of the Persons engaged in the Expedition.

We remained in Montreal the rest of the spring and a part of the summer. At last, having completed our arrangements for the journey, we received orders to proceed, and on the 26th of July, accompanied by my father and brothers and a few friends, I repaired to the place of embarkation, where was prepared a birch bark canoe, manned by nine Canadians, having Mr. A. M'Kay as commander, and a Mr. A. Fisher as passenger. The sentiments which I experienced at that moment would be as difficult for me to describe as they were painful to support; for the first time in my life I quitted the place of my birth, and was separated from beloved parents and intimate friends, having for my whole consolation the faint hope of seeing them again. We embarked at about five, P.M., and arrived at La Prairie de la Madeleine (on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence), toward eight o'clock.[C] We slept at this village, and the next morning, very early, having secured the canoe on a wagon, we got in motion again, and reached St. John's on the river Richelieu, a little before noon. Here we relaunched our canoe (after having well calked the seams), crossed or rather traversed the length of Lake Champlain, and arrived at Whitehall on the 30th. There we were overtaken by Mr. Ovid de Montigny, and a Mr. P.D. Jeremie, who were to be of the expedition.

[Footnote C: This place is famous in the history of Canada, and more particularly in the thrilling story of the Indian missions.—ED.]

Having again placed our canoe on a wagon, we pursued our journey, and arrived on the 1st of August at Lansingburg, a little village situated on the bank of the river Hudson. Here we got our canoe once more afloat, passed by Troy, and by Albany, everywhere hospitably received, our Canadian boatmen, having their hats decorated with parti-colored ribands and feathers, being taken by the Americans for so many wild Indians, and arrived at New York on the 3d, at eleven o'clock in the evening.

We had landed at the north end of the city, and the next day, being Sunday, we re-embarked, and were obliged to make a course round the city, in order to arrive at our lodgings on Long Island. We sang as we rowed; which, joined to the unusual sight of a birch bark canoe impelled by nine stout Canadians, dark as Indians, and as gayly adorned, attracted a crowd upon the wharves to gaze at us as we glided along. We found on Long Island (in the village of Brooklyn) those young gentlemen engaged in the service of the new company, who had left Canada in advance of our party.

The vessel in which we were to sail not being ready, I should have found myself quite isolated and a stranger in the great city of New York, but for a letter of introduction to Mr. G——, given me on my setting out, by Madame his sister. I had formed the acquaintance of this gentleman during a stay which he had made at Montreal in 1801; but as I was then very young, he would probably have had some difficulty in recognising me without his sister's letter. He introduced me to several of his friends, and I passed in an agreeable manner the five weeks which elapsed between my arrival in New York and the departure of the ship.

I shall not undertake to describe New York; I will only say, that the elegance of the buildings, public and private, the cleanliness of the streets, the shade of the poplars which border them, the public walks, the markets always abundantly provided with all sorts of commodities, the activity of its commerce, then in a flourishing condition, the vast number of ships of all nations which crowded the quays; all, in a word, conspired to make me feel the difference between this great maritime city and my native town, of whose steeples I had never lost sight before, and which was by no means at that time what it is now.

New York was not then, and indeed is not at this time a fortified town; still there were several batteries and military works, the most considerable of which were seen on the Narrows, or channel which forms the principal mouth of the Hudson. The isles called Governor's Island, and Bedloe or Gibbet Island, were also well fortified. On the first, situated to the west of the city and about a mile from it, there were barracks sufficiently capacious for several thousand soldiers, and a Moro, or castle, with three tiers of guns, all bomb-proof. These works have been strengthened during the last war.

The market-places are eight in number; the most considerable is called Fly-Market.

The Park, the Battery, and Vauxhall Garden, are the principal promenades. There were, in 1810, thirty-two churches, two of which were devoted to the catholic worship; and the population was estimated at ninety thousand souls, of whom ten thousand were French. It is thought that this population has since been augmented (1819) by some thirty thousand souls.

During my sojourn at New York, I lodged in Brooklyn, on Long Island. This island is separated from the city by a sound, or narrow arm of the sea. There is here a pretty village, not far from which is a basin, where some gun-boats were hauled up, and a few war vessels were on the stocks. Some barracks had been constructed here, and a guard was maintained.

Before leaving New York, it is well to observe that during our stay in that city, Mr. M'Kay thought it the part of prudence to have an interview with the minister plenipotentiary of his Britannic majesty, Mr. Jackson,[D] to inform him of the object of our voyage, and get his views in regard to the line of conduct we ought to follow in case of war breaking out between the two powers; intimating to him that we were all British subjects, and were about to trade under the American flag. After some moments of reflection Mr. Jackson told him, "that we were going on a very hazardous enterprise; that he saw our object was purely commercial, and that all he could promise us, was, that in case of a war we should be respected as British subjects and traders."

[Footnote D: This gentleman was really charge d'affaires.]

This reply appeared satisfactory, and Mr. M'Kay thought we had nothing to apprehend on that side.

The vessel in which we were to sail was called the Tonquin, of about 300 tons burden, commanded by Captain Thorn (a first-lieutenant of the American navy, on furlough for this purpose), with a crew of twenty-one men. The number of passengers was thirty-three. Here follow the names of both.


{ Messrs. Alexander M'Kay } { " Duncan M'Dougall, } PARTNERS { " David Stuart, } all of Canada. { " Robert Stuart, }

{ James Lewis of New York, { Russel Farnham of Massachusetts, { William W. Matthews of New York, { Alexander Boss, } { Donald M'Gillis, } CLERKS { Ovide de Montigny, } { Francis B. Pillet, } all from Canada. { Donald M'Lennan, } { William Wallace, } { Thomas McKay, } { Gabriel Franchere, }

{ Oliver Roy Lapensee, Joseph Lapierre, { Ignace Lapensee, Joseph Nadeau, BOATMEN, { Basile Lapensee, J. B'te. Belleau, ETC. { Jacques Lafantaisie, Antoine Belleau, { Benjamin Roussel, Louis Brusle, { Michel Laframboise, P.D. Jeremie, { Giles Leclerc, all of Canada.

Johann Koaster, ship-carpenter, a Russian, George Bell, cooper, New York, Job Aitken, rigger and calker, from Scotland, Augustus Roussil, blacksmith, Canada, Guilleaume Perreault, a boy. These last were all mechanics, &c., destined for the establishment.


Jonathan Thorn, captain, New York State. Ebenezer D. Fox, 1st mate, of Boston. John M. Mumford, 2d mate, of Massachusetts. James Thorn, brother of the captain, New York. John Anderson, boatswain, foreigner. Egbert Vanderhuff, tailor, New York. John Weeks, carpenter, " Stephen Weeks, armorer, " John Coles, New York, } John Martin, a Frenchman, } sailmakers.

{ John White, New York. { Adam Fisher, " { Peter Verbel, " SAILORS. { Edward Aymes, " { Robert Hill, Albany, New York. { John Adams, " { Joseph Johnson, Englishman, { Charles Roberts, New York, A colored man as cook, A mulatto steward, And three or four others whose names I have forgotten.


Departure from New York.—Reflections of the Author.—Navigation, falling in with other Ships, and various Incidents, till the Vessel comes in Sight of the Falkland Isles.

All being ready for our departure, we went on board ship, and weighed anchor on the 6th of September, in the morning. The wind soon fell off, and the first day was spent in drifting down to Staten island, where we came to anchor for the night. The next day we weighed anchor again; but there came on another dead calm, and we were forced to cast anchor near the lighthouse at Sandy Hook. On the 8th we weighed anchor for the third time, and by the help of a fresh breeze from the southwest, we succeeded in passing the bar; the pilot quitted us at about eleven o'clock, and soon after we lost sight of the coast.

One must have experienced it one's self, to be able to conceive the melancholy which takes possession of the soul of a man of sensibility, at the instant that he leaves his country and the civilized world, to go to inhabit with strangers in wild and unknown lands. I should in vain endeavor to give my readers an idea, even faintly correct, of the painful sinking of heart that I suddenly felt, and of the sad glance which I involuntarily cast toward a future so much the more frightful to me, as it offered nothing but what was perfectly confused and uncertain. A new scene of life was unfolded before me, but how monotonous, and ill suited to diminish the dejection with which my mind was overwhelmed! For the first time in my life, I found myself under way upon the main sea, with nothing to fix my regards and arrest my attention but the frail machine which bore me between the abyss of waters and the immensity of the skies. I remained for a long time with my eyes fixed in the direction of that land which I no longer saw, and almost despaired of ever seeing again; I made serious reflections on the nature and consequences of the enterprise in which I had so rashly embarked; and I confess that if at that moment the offer had been made to release me from my engagement, I should have accepted the proposal with all my heart. It is true that the hopeless confusion and incumberment of the vessel's deck, the great number of strangers among whom I found myself, the brutal style which the captain and his subalterns used toward our young Canadians; all, in a word, conspired to make me augur a vexatious and disagreeable voyage. The sequel will show that I did not deceive myself in that.

We perceived very soon in the S.W., which was our weather-side, a vessel that bore directly toward us; she made a signal that was understood by our captain; we hove to, and stood on her bow. It turned out to be the American frigate Constitution. We sent our boat on board of her, and sailed in company till toward five o'clock, when, our papers having been sent back to us, we separated.

The wind having increased, the motion of the vessel made us sea-sick, those of us, I mean, who were for the first time at sea. The weather was fine, however; the vessel, which at first sailing was lumbered in such a manner that we could hardly get in or out of our berths, and scarcely work ship, by little and little got into order, so that we soon found ourselves more at ease.

On the 14th we commenced to take flying fish. The 24th, we saw a great quantity of dolphins. We prepared lines and took two of the latter, which we cooked. The flesh of this fish appeared to me excellent.

After leaving New York, till the 4th of October, we headed southeast. On that day we struck the trade winds, and bore S.S.E.; being, according to our observations, in latitude 17 deg. 43" and longitude 22 deg. 39".

On the 5th, in the morning, we came in sight of the Cape-Verd islands, bearing W.N.W., and distant about eight or nine miles, having the coast of Africa to the E.S.E. We should have been very glad to touch at these islands to take in water; but as our vessel was an American bottom, and had on board a number of British subjects, our captain did not think fit to expose himself to meet the English ships-of-war cruising on these coasts, who certainly would not have failed to make a strict search, and to take from us the best part of our crew; which would infallibly have proved disastrous to the object for which we had shipped them.

Speaking of water, I may mention that the rule was to serve it out in rations of a quart a day; but that we were now reduced to a pint and a half. For the rest, our fare consisted of fourteen ounces of hard bread, a pound and a quarter of salt beef or one of pork, per day, and half a pint of souchong tea, with sugar, per man. The pork and beef were served alternately: rice and beans, each once a week; corn-meal pudding with molasses, ditto; on Sundays the steerage passengers were allowed a bottle of Teneriffe wine. All except the four partners, Mr. Lewis, acting as captain's clerk, and Mr. T. M'Kay, were in the steerage; the cabin containing but six berths, besides the captain's and first-mate's state-rooms.

As long as we were near the coast of Africa, we had light and variable winds, and extremely hot weather; on the 8th, we had a dead calm, and saw several sharks round the vessel; we took one which we ate. I found the taste to resemble sturgeon. We experienced on that day an excessive heat, the mercury being at 94 deg. of Fahrenheit. From the 8th to the 11th we had on board a canary bird, which we treated with the greatest care and kindness, but which nevertheless quitted us, probably for a certain death.

The nearer we approached to the equator the more we perceived the heat to increase: on the 16th, in latitude 6 deg., longitude 22 deg. west from Greenwich, the mercury stood at 108 deg.. We discovered on that day a sail bearing down upon us. The next morning she reappeared, and approached within gun-shot. She was a large brig, carrying about twenty guns: we sailed in company all day by a good breeze, all sail spread; but toward evening she dropped astern and altered her course to the S.S.E.

On the 18th, at daybreak, the watch alarmed us by announcing that the same brig which had followed us the day before, was under our lee, a cable's length off, and seemed desirous of knowing who we were, without showing her own colors. Our captain appeared to be in some alarm; and admitting that she was a better sailer than we, he called all the passengers and crew on deck, the drum beat to quarters, and we feigned to make preparations for combat.

It is well to observe that our vessel mounted ten pieces of cannon, and was pierced for twenty; the forward port-holes were adorned with sham guns. Whether it was our formidable appearance or no, at about ten A.M. the stranger again changed her course, and we soon lost sight of her entirely.

Nothing further remarkable occurred to us till the 22d, when we passed the line in longitude 25 deg. 9". According to an ancient custom the crew baptized those of their number who had never before crossed the equator; it was a holyday for them on board. About two o'clock in the afternoon we perceived a sail in the S.S.W. We were not a little alarmed, believing that it was the same brig which we had seen some days before; for it was lying to, as if awaiting our approach. We soon drew near, and to our great joy discovered that she was a Portuguese; we hailed her, and learned that she came from some part of South America, and was bound to Pernambuco, on the coasts of Brazil. Very soon after we began to see what navigators call the Clouds of Magellan: they are three little white spots that one perceives in the sky almost as soon as one passes the equator: they were situated in the S.S.W.

The 1st November, we began to see great numbers of aquatic birds. Toward three o'clock P.M., we discovered a sail on our larboard, but did not approach sufficiently near to speak her. The 3d, we saw two more sails, making to the S.E. We passed the tropic of Capricorn on the 4th, with a fine breeze, and in longitude 33 deg. 27". We lost the trade-winds, and as we advanced south the weather became cold and rainy. The 11th, we had a calm, although the swell was heavy. We saw several turtles, and the captain having sent out the small boat, we captured two of them. During the night of the 11th and 12th, the wind changed to the N.E., and raised a terrible tempest, in which the gale, the rain, the lightning, and thunder, seemed to have sworn our destruction; the sea appeared all a-fire, while our little vessel was the sport of winds and waves. We kept the hatches closed, which did not prevent us from passing very uncomfortable nights while the storm lasted; for the great heats that we had experienced between the tropics, had so opened the seams of the deck that every time the waves passed over, the water rushed down in quantities upon our hammocks. The 14th, the wind shifted to the S.S.W., which compelled us to beat to windward. During the night we were struck by a tremendous sea; the helm was seized beyond control, and the man at the wheel was thrown from one side of the ship to the other, breaking two of his ribs, which confined him to his berth for a week.

In latitude 35 deg. 19", longitude 40 deg., the sea appeared to be covered with marine plants, and the change that we observed in the color of the water, as well as the immense number of gulls and other aquatic birds that we saw, proved to us that we were not far from the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. The wind continued to blow furiously till the 21st, when it subsided a little, and the weather cleared up. On the 25th, being in the 46th degree, and 30 minutes of latitude, we saw a penguin.

We began to feel sensibly the want of water: since passing the tropic of Capricorn the daily allowance had been always diminishing, till we were reduced to three gills a day, a slender modicum considering that we had only salt provisions. We had indeed a still, which we used to render the sea-water drinkable; but we distilled merely what sufficed for the daily use of the kitchen, as to do more would have required a great quantity of wood or coal. As we were not more than one hundred and fifty leagues from the Falkland isles, we determined to put in there and endeavor to replenish our casks, and the captain caused the anchors to be got ready.

We had contrary winds from the 27th of November to the 3d December. On the evening of that day, we heard one of the officers, who was at the mast head, cry "Land! Land!" Nevertheless, the night coming on, and the barren rocks which we had before us being little elevated above the ocean, we hove to.


Arrival at the Falkland Isles.—Landing.—Perilous Situation of the Author and some of his Companions.—Portrait of Captain Thorn.—Cape Horn.—Navigation to the Sandwich Islands.

On the 4th (Dec.) in the morning, I was not the last to mount on deck, to feast my eyes with the sight of land; for it is only those who have been three or four months at sea, who know how to appreciate the pleasure which one then feels even at sight of such barren and bristling rocks as form the Falkland Isles. We drew near these rocks very soon, and entered between two of the islands, where we anchored on a good ground. The first mate being sent ashore to look for water, several of our gentlemen accompanied him. They returned in the evening with the disappointing intelligence that they had not been able to find fresh water. They brought us, to compensate for this, a number of wild geese and two seals.

The weather appearing to threaten, we weighed anchor and put out to sea. The night was tempestuous, and in the morning of the 5th we had lost sight of the first islands. The wind blowing off land, it was necessary to beat up all that day; in the evening we found ourselves sufficiently near the shore, and hove to for the night. The 6th brought us a clear sky, and with a fresh breeze we succeeded in gaining a good anchorage, which we took to be Port Egmont, and where we found good water.

On the 7th, we sent ashore the water casks, as well as the cooper to superintend filling them, and the blacksmiths who were occupied in some repairs required by the ship. For our part, having erected a tent near the springs, we passed the time while they were taking in water, in coursing over the isles: we had a boat for our accommodation, and killed every day a great many wild geese and ducks. These birds differ in plumage from those which are seen in Canada. We also killed a great many seals. These animals ordinarily keep upon the rocks. We also saw several foxes of the species called Virginia fox: they were shy and yet fierce, barking like dogs and then flying precipitately. Penguins are also numerous on the Falkland Isles. These birds have a fine plumage, and resemble the loon: but they do not fly, having only little stumps of wings which they use to help themselves in waddling along. The rocks were covered with them. It being their sitting season we found them on their nests, from which they would not stir. They are not wild or timid: far from flying at our approach, they attacked us with their bill, which is very sharp, and with their short wings. The flesh of the penguin is black and leathery, with a strong fishy taste, and one must be very hungry to make up one's mind to eat it. We got a great quantity of eggs by dislodging them from their nests.

As the French and English had both attempted to form establishments on these rocks, we endeavored to find some vestige of them; the tracks which we met everywhere made us hope to find goats also: but all our researches were vain: all that we discovered was an old fishing cabin, constructed of whale bone, and some seal-skin moccasins; for these rocks offer not a single tree to the view, and are frequented solely by the vessels which pursue the whale fishery in the southern seas. We found, however, two head-boards with inscriptions in English, marking the spot where two men had been interred: as the letters were nearly obliterated, we carved new ones on fresh pieces of board procured from the ship. This pious attention to two dead men nearly proved fatal to a greater number of the living; for all the casks having been filled and sent on board, the captain gave orders to re-embark, and without troubling himself to inquire if this order had been executed or not, caused the anchor to be weighed on the morning of the 11th, while I and some of my companions were engaged in erecting the inscriptions of which I have spoken, others were cutting grass for the hogs, and Messrs M'Dougall and D. Stuart had gone to the south side of the isle to look for game. The roaring of the sea against the rock-bound shore prevented them from hearing the gun, and they did not rejoin us till the vessel was already at sea. We then lost no time, but pushed off, being eight in number, with our little boat, only twenty feet keel. We rowed with all our might, but gained nothing upon the vessel. We were losing sight of the islands at last, and our case seemed desperate. While we paused, and were debating what course to pursue, as we had no compass, we observed the ship tacking and standing toward us. In fine after rowing for three hours and a half, in an excited state of feeling not easily described, we succeeded in regaining the vessel, and were taken on board at about three o'clock P.M.

Having related this trait of malice on the part of our captain, I shall be permitted to make some remarks on his character. Jonathan Thorn was brought up in the naval service of his country, and had distinguished himself in a battle fought between the Americans and the Turks at Tripoli, some years before: he held the rank of first lieutenant. He was a strict disciplinarian, of a quick and passionate temper, accustomed to exact obedience, considering nothing but duty, and giving himself no trouble about the murmurs of his crew, taking counsel of nobody, and following Mr. Astor's instructions to the letter. Such was the man who had been selected to command our ship. His haughty manners, his rough and overbearing disposition, had lost him the affection of most of the crew and of all the passengers: he knew it, and in consequence sought every opportunity to mortify us. It is true that the passengers had some reason to reproach themselves; they were not free from blame; but he had been the aggressor; and nothing could excuse the act of cruelty and barbarity of which he was guilty, in intending to leave us upon those barren rocks of the Falkland isles, where we must inevitably have perished. This lot was reserved for us, but for the bold interference of Mr. B. Stuart, whose uncle was of our party, and who, seeing that the captain, far from waiting for us, coolly continued his course, threatened to blow his brains out unless he hove to and took us on board.

We pursued our course, bearing S.S.W., and on the 14th, in latitude 54 deg. 1', longitude 64 deg. 18', we found bottom at sixty-five fathoms, and saw a sail to the south. On the 15th, in the morning, we discovered before us the high mountains of Terra del fuego, which we continued to see till evening: the weather then thickened, and we lost sight of them. We encountered a furious storm which drove us to the 56th degree and 18' of latitude. On the 18th, we were only fifteen leagues from Cape Horn. A dead calm followed, but the current carried us within sight of the cape, five or six leagues distant. This cape, which forms the southern extremity of the American continent, has always been an object of terror to the navigators who have to pass from one sea to the other; several of whom to avoid doubling it, have exposed themselves to the long and dangerous passage of the straits of Magellan, especially when about entering the Pacific ocean. When we saw ourselves under the stupendous rocks of the cape, we felt no other desire but to get away from them as soon as possible, so little agreeable were those rocks to the view, even in the case of people who had been some months at sea! And by the help of a land breeze we succeeded in gaining an offing. While becalmed here, we measured the velocity of the current setting east, which we found to be about three miles an hour.

The wind soon changed again to the S.S.W., and blew a gale. We had to beat. We passed in sight of the islands of Diego Ramirez, and saw a large schooner under their lee. The distance that we had run from New York, was about 9,165 miles. We had frightful weather till the 24th, when we found ourselves in 58 deg. 16' of south latitude. Although it was the height of summer in that hemisphere, and the days as long as they are at Quebec on the 21st of June (we could read on deck at midnight without artificial light), the cold was nevertheless very great and the air very humid: the mercury for several days was but fourteen degrees above freezing point, by Fahrenheit's thermometer. If such is the temperature in these latitudes at the end of December, corresponding to our June, what must it be in the shortest days of the year, and where can the Patagonians then take refuge, and the inhabitants of the islands so improperly named the Land of Fire!

The wind, which till the 24th had been contrary, hauled round to the south, and we ran westward. The next day being Christmas, we had the satisfaction to learn by our noon-day observation that we had weathered the cape, and were, consequently, now in the Pacific ocean. Up to that date we had but one man attacked with scurvy, a malady to which those who make long voyages are subject, and which is occasioned by the constant use of salt provisions, by the humidity of the vessel, and the inaction.

From the 25th of December till the 1st of January, we were favored with a fair wind and ran eighteen degrees to the north in that short space of time. Though cold yet, the weather was nevertheless very agreeable. On the 17th, in latitude 10 deg. S., and longitude 110 deg. 50' W., we took several bonitas, an excellent fish. We passed the equator on the 23d, in 128 deg. 14' of west longitude. A great many porpoises came round the vessel. On the 25th arose a tempest which lasted till the 28th. The wind then shifted to the E.S.E. and carried us two hundred and twenty-four miles on our course in twenty-four hours. Then we had several days of contrary winds; on the 8th of February it hauled to the S.E., and on the 11th we saw the peak of a mountain covered with snow, which the first mate, who was familiar with these seas, told me was the summit of Mona-Roah, a high mountain on the island of Ohehy, one of those which the circumnavigator Cook named the Sandwich Isles, and where he met his death in 1779. We headed to the land all day, and although we made eight or nine knots an hour, it was not till evening that we were near enough to distinguish the huts of the islanders: which is sufficient to prove the prodigious elevation of Mona Roah above the level of the sea.


Accident.—View of the Coast.—Attempted Visit of the Natives.—Their Industry.—Bay of Karaka-koua.—Landing on the Island.—John Young, Governor of Owahee.

We were ranging along the coast with the aid of a fine breeze, when the boy Perrault, who had mounted the fore-rigging to enjoy the scenery, lost his hold, and being to windward where the shrouds were taut, rebounded from them like a ball some twenty feet from the ship's side into the ocean. We perceived his fall and threw over to him chairs, barrels, benches, hen-coops, in a word everything we could lay hands on; then the captain gave the orders to heave to; in the twinkling of an eye the lashings of one of the quarter-boats were cut apart, the boat lowered and manned: by this time the boy was considerably a-stern. He would have been lost undoubtedly but for a wide pair of canvass overalls full of tar and grease, which operated like a life-preserver. His head, however, was under when he was picked up, and he was brought on board lifeless, about a quarter of an hour after he fell into the sea. We succeeded, notwithstanding, in a short time, in bringing him to, and in a few hours he was able to run upon the deck.

The coast of the island, viewed from the sea, offers the most picturesque coup d'oeil and the loveliest prospect; from the beach to the mountains the land rises amphitheatrically, all along which is a border of lower country covered with cocoa-trees and bananas, through the thick foliage whereof you perceive the huts of the islanders; the valleys which divide the hills that lie beyond appear well cultivated, and the mountains themselves, though extremely high, are covered with wood to their summits, except those few peaks which glitter with perpetual snow.

As we ran along the coast, some canoes left the beach and came alongside, with vegetables and cocoa-nuts; but as we wished to profit by the breeze to gain the anchorage, we did not think fit to stop. We coasted along during a part of the night; but a calm came on which lasted till the morrow. As we were opposite the bay of Karaka-koua, the natives came out again, in greater numbers, bringing us cabbages, yams, taro, bananas, bread-fruit, water-melons, poultry, &c., for which we traded in the way of exchange. Toward evening, by the aid of a sea breeze that rose as day declined, we got inside the harbor where we anchored on a coral bottom in fourteen fathoms water.

The next day the islanders visited the vessel in great numbers all day long, bringing, as on the day before, fruits, vegetables, and some pigs, in exchange for which we gave them glass beads, iron rings, needles, cotton cloth, &c.

Some of our gentlemen went ashore and were astonished to find a native occupied in building a small sloop of about thirty tons: the tools of which he made use consisted of a half worn-out axe, an adze, about two-inch blade, made out of a paring chisel, a saw, and an iron rod which he heated red hot and made it serve the purpose of an auger. It required no little patience and dexterity to achieve anything with such instruments: he was apparently not deficient in these qualities, for his work was tolerably well advanced. Our people took him on board with them, and we supplied him with suitable tools, for which he appeared extremely grateful.

On the 14th, in the morning, while the ship's carpenter was engaged in replacing one of the cat-heads, two composition sheaves fell into the sea; as we had no others on board, the captain proposed to the islanders, who are excellent swimmers, to dive for them, promising a reward; and immediately two offered themselves. They plunged several times, and each time brought up shells as a proof that they had been to the bottom. We had the curiosity to hold our watches while they dove, and were astonished to find that they remained four minutes under the water. That exertion appeared to me, however, to fatigue them a great deal, to such a degree that the blood streamed from their nostrils and ears. At last one of them brought up the sheaves and received the promised recompense, which consisted of four yards of cotton.

Karaka-koua bay where we lay, may be three quarters of a mile deep, and a mile and a half wide at the entrance: the latter is formed by two low points of rock which appear to have run down from the mountains in the form of lava, after a volcanic eruption. On each point is situated a village of moderate size; that is to say, a small group of the low huts of the islanders. The bottom of the bay terminates in a bold escarpment of rock, some four hundred feet high, on the top of which is seen a solitary cocoa-tree.

On the evening of the 14th, I went ashore with some other passengers, and we landed at the group of cabins on the western point, of those which I have described. The inhabitants entertained us with a dance executed by nineteen young women and one man, all singing together, and in pretty good time. An old man showed us the spot where Captain Cook was killed, on the 14th of February, 1779, with the cocoa-nut trees pierced by the balls from the boats which the unfortunate navigator commanded. This old man, whether it were feigned or real sensibility, seemed extremely affected and even shed tears, in showing us these objects. As for me, I could not help finding it a little singular to be thus, by mere chance, upon this spot, on the 14th of February, 1811; that is to say, thirty-two years after, on the anniversary of the catastrophe which has rendered it for ever celebrated. I drew no sinister augury from the coincidence, however, and returned to the ship with my companions as gay as I left it. When I say with my companions, I ought to except the boatswain, John Anderson, who, having had several altercations with the captain on the passage, now deserted the ship, preferring to live with the natives rather than obey any longer so uncourteous a superior. A sailor also deserted; but the islanders brought him back, at the request of the captain. They offered to bring back Anderson, but the captain preferred leaving him behind.

We found no good water near Karaka-koua bay: what the natives brought us in gourds was brackish. We were also in great want of fresh meat, but could not obtain it: the king of these islands having expressly forbidden his subjects to supply any to the vessels which touched there. One of the chiefs sent a canoe to Tohehigh bay, to get from the governor of the island, who resided there, permission to sell us some pigs. The messengers returned the next day, and brought us a letter, in which the governor ordered us to proceed without delay to the isle of Wahoo, where the king lives; assuring us that we should there find good water and everything else we needed.

We got under way on the 16th and with a light wind coasted the island as far as Tohehigh bay. The wind then dropping away entirely, the captain, accompanied by Messrs. M'Kay and M'Dougall, went ashore, to pay a visit to the governor aforesaid. He was not a native, but a Scotchman named John Young, who came hither some years after the death of Captain Cook. This man had married a native woman, and had so gained the friendship and confidence of the king, as to be raised to the rank of chief and after the conquest of Wahoo by King Tamehameha, was made governor of Owhyhee (Hawaii) the most considerable of the Sandwich Islands, both by its extent and population. His excellency explained to our gentlemen the reason why the king had interdicted the trade in hogs to the inhabitants of all the islands: this reason being that his majesty wished to reserve to himself the monopoly of that branch of commerce, for the augmentation of his royal revenue by its exclusive profits. The governor also informed them that no rain had fallen on the south part of Hawaii for three years; which explained why we found so little fresh water: he added that the north part of the island was more fertile than the south, where we were: but that there was no good anchorage: that part of the coast being defended by sunken rocks which form heavy breakers. In fine, the governor dismissed our gentlemen with a present of four fine fat hogs; and we, in return, sent him some tea, coffee, and chocolate, and a keg of Madeira wine.

The night was nearly a perfect calm, and on the 17th we found ourselves abreast of Mona-Wororayea a snow-capped mountain, like Mona-Roah, but which appeared to me less lofty than the latter. A number of islanders came to visit us as before, with some objects of curiosity, and some small fresh fish. The wind rising on the 18th, we soon passed the western extremity of Hawaii, and sailed by Mowhee and Tahooraha, two more islands of this group, and said to be, like the rest, thickly inhabited. The first presents a highly picturesque aspect, being composed of hills rising in the shape of a sugar loaf and completely covered with cocoa-nut and bread-fruit trees.

At last, on the 21st, we approached Wahoo, and came to anchor opposite the bay of Ohetity, outside the bar, at a distance of some two miles from the land.


Bay of Ohetity.—Tamehameha, King of the Islands.—His Visit to the Ship.—His Capital.—His Naval Force.—His Authority.—Productions of the Country.—Manners and Customs.—Reflections.

There is no good anchorage in the bay of Ohetity, inside the bar or coral reef: the holding-ground is bad: so that, in case of a storm, the safety of the ship would have been endangered. Moreover, with a contrary wind, it would have been difficult to get out of the inner harbor; for which reasons, our captain preferred to remain in the road. For the rest, the country surrounding the bay is even more lovely in aspect than that of Karaka-koua; the mountains rise to a less elevation in the back-ground, and the soil has an appearance of greater fertility.

Tamehameha, whom all the Sandwich Isles obeyed when we were there in 1811, was neither the son nor the relative of Tierroboo, who reigned in Owhyhee (Hawaii) in 1779, when Captain Cook and some of his people were massacred. He was, at that date, but a chief of moderate power; but, being skilful, intriguing, and full of ambition, he succeeded in gaining a numerous party, and finally possessed himself of the sovereignty. As soon as he saw himself master of Owhyhee, his native island, he meditated the conquest of the leeward islands, and in a few years he accomplished it. He even passed into Atoudy, the most remote of all, and vanquished the ruler of it, but contented himself with imposing on him an annual tribute. He had fixed his residence at Wahoo, because of all the Sandwich Isles it was the most fertile, the most picturesque—in a word, the most worthy of the residence of the sovereign.

As soon as we arrived, we were visited by a canoe manned by three white men, Davis and Wadsworth, Americans, and Manini, a Spaniard. The last offered to be our interpreter during our stay; which was agreed to. Tamehameha presently sent to us his prime-minister, Kraimoku, to whom the Americans have given the name of Pitt, on account of his skill in the affairs of government. Our captain, accompanied by some of our gentlemen, went ashore immediately, to be presented to Tamehameha. About four o'clock, P.M., we saw them returning, accompanied by a double pirogue conveying the king and his suite. We ran up our colors, and received his majesty with a salute of four guns.

Tamehameha was above the middle height, well made, robust and inclined to corpulency, and had a majestic carriage. He appeared to me from fifty to sixty years old. He was clothed in the European style, and wore a sword. He walked a long time on the deck, asking explanations in regard to those things which he had not seen on other vessels, and which were found on ours. A thing which appeared to surprise him, was to see that we could render the water of the sea fresh, by means of the still attached to our caboose; he could not imagine how that could be done. We invited him into the cabin, and, having regaled him with some glasses of wine, began to talk of business matters: we offered him merchandise in exchange for hogs, but were not able to conclude the bargain that day. His majesty re-embarked in his double pirogue, at about six o'clock in the evening. It was manned by twenty-four men. A great chest, containing firearms, was lashed over the centre of the two canoes forming the pirogue; and it was there that Tamehameha sat, with his prime-minister at his side.

In the morning, on the 22d, we sent our water-casks ashore and filled them with excellent water. At about noon his sable majesty paid us another visit, accompanied by his three wives and his favorite minister. These females were of an extraordinary corpulence, and of unmeasured size. They were dressed in the fashion of the country, having nothing but a piece of tapa, or bark-cloth, about two yards long, passed round the hips and falling to the knees. We resumed the negotiations of the day before, and were more successful. I remarked that when the bargain was concluded, he insisted with great pertinacity that part of the payment should be in Spanish dollars. We asked the reason, and he made answer that he wished to buy a frigate of his brother, King George, meaning the king of England. The bargain concluded, we prayed his majesty and his suite to dine with us; they consented, and toward evening retired, apparently well satisfied with their visit and our reception of them.

In the meantime, the natives surrounded the ship in great numbers, with hundreds of canoes, offering us their goods, in the shape of eatables and the rude manufactures of the island, in exchange for merchandise; but, as they had also brought intoxicating liquors in gourds, some of the crew got drunk; the captain was, consequently, obliged to suspend the trade, and forbade any one to traffic with the islanders, except through the first-mate, who was intrusted with that business.

I landed on the 22d, with Messrs. Pillet and M'Gillis: we passed the night ashore, spending that day and the next morning in rambling over the environs of the bay, followed by a crowd of men, women, and children.

Ohetity, where Tamehameha resides, and which, consequently, may be regarded as the capital of his kingdom, is—or at least was at that time—a moderate-sized city, or rather a large village. Besides the private houses, of which there were perhaps two hundred, constructed of poles planted in the ground and covered over with matting, there were the royal palace, which was not magnificent by any means: a public store, of two stories, one of stone and the other of wood; two morais, or idol temples, and a wharf. At the latter we found an old vessel, the Lady Bird, which some American navigators had given in exchange for a schooner; it was the only large vessel which King Tamehameha possessed; and, besides, was worth nothing. As for schooners he had forty of them, of from twenty to thirty tons burthen: these vessels served to transport the tributes in kind paid by his vassals in the other islands. Before the Europeans arrived among these savages, the latter had no means of communication between one isle and another, but their canoes, and as some of the islands are not in sight of each other, these voyages must have been dangerous. Near the palace I found an Indian from Bombay, occupied in making a twelve inch cable, for the use of the ship which I have described.

Tamehameha kept constantly round his house a guard of twenty-four men. These soldiers wore, by way of uniform, a long blue coat with yellow; and each was armed with a musket. In front of the house, on an open square, were placed fourteen four-pounders, mounted on their carriages.

The king was absolute, and judged in person the differences between his subjects. We had an opportunity of witnessing a proof of it, the day after our landing. A Portuguese having had a quarrel with a native, who was intoxicated, struck him: immediately the friends of the latter, who had been the aggressor after all, gathered in a crowd to beat down the poor foreigner with stones; he fled as fast as he could to the house of the king, followed by a mob of enraged natives, who nevertheless stopped at some distance from the guards, while the Portuguese, all breathless, crouched in a corner. We were on the esplanade in front of the palace royal, and curiosity to see the trial led us into the presence of his majesty, who having caused the quarrel to be explained to him, and heard the witnesses on both sides, condemned the native to work four days in the garden of the Portuguese and to give him a hog. A young Frenchman from Bordeaux, preceptor of the king's sons, whom he taught to read, and who understood the language, acted as interpreter to the Portuguese, and explained to us the sentence. I can not say whether our presence influenced the decision, or whether, under other circumstances, the Portuguese would have been less favorably treated. We were given to understand that Tamehameha was pleased to see whites establish themselves in his dominions, but that he esteemed only people with some useful trade, and despised idlers, and especially drunkards. We saw at Wahoo about thirty of these white inhabitants, for the most part, people of no character, and who had remained on the islands either from indolence, or from drunkenness and licentiousness. Some had taken wives in the country, in which case the king gave them a portion of land to cultivate for themselves. But two of the worst sort had found means to procure a small still, wherewith they manufactured rum and supplied it to the natives.

The first navigators found only four sorts of quadrupeds on the Sandwich islands:—dogs, swine, lizards, and rats. Since then sheep have been carried there, goats, horned cattle, and even horses, and these animals have multiplied.

The chief vegetable productions of these isles are the sugar cane, the bread-fruit tree, the banana, the water-melon, the musk-melon, the taro, the ava, the pandanus, the mulberry, &c. The bread-fruit tree is about the size of a large apple-tree; the fruit resembles an apple and is about twelve or fourteen inches in circumference; the rind is thick and rough like a melon: when cut transversely it is found to be full of sacs, like the inside of an orange; the pulp has the consistence of water-melon, and is cooked before it is eaten. We saw orchards of bread-fruit trees and bananas, and fields of sugar-cane, back of Ohetity.

The taro grows in low situations, and demands a great deal of care. It is not unlike a white turnip,[E] and as it constitutes the principal food of the natives, it is not to be wondered at that they bestow so much attention on its culture. Wherever a spring of pure water is found issuing out of the side of a hill, the gardener marks out on the declivity the size of the field he intends to plant. The ground is levelled and surrounded with a mud or stone wall, not exceeding eighteen inches in height, and having a flood gate above and below. Into this enclosure the water of the spring is conducted, or is suffered to escape from it, according to the dryness of the season. When the root has acquired a sufficient size it is pulled up for immediate use. This esculent is very bad to eat raw, but boiled it is better than the yam. Cut in slices, dried, pounded and reduced to a farina, it forms with bread fruit the principal food of the natives. Sometimes they boil it to the consistence of porridge, which they put into gourds and allow to ferment; it will then keep a long time. They also use to mix with it, fish, which they commonly eat raw with the addition of a little salt, obtained by evaporation.

[Footnote E: Bougainville calls it "Calf-foot root."]

The ava is a plant more injurious than useful to the inhabitants of these isles; since they only make use of it to obtain a dangerous and intoxicating drink, which they also call ava. The mode of preparing this beverage is as follows: they chew the root, and spit out the result into a basin; the juice thus expressed is exposed to the sun to undergo fermentation; after which they decant it into a gourd; it is then fit for use, and they drink it on occasions to intoxication. The too frequent use of this disgusting liquor causes loss of sight, and a sort of leprosy, which can only be cured by abstaining from it, and by bathing frequently in the water of the sea. This leprosy turns their skin white: we saw several of the lepers, who were also blind, or nearly so. The natives are also fond of smoking: the tobacco grows in the islands, but I believe it has been introduced from abroad. The bark of the mulberry furnishes the cloth worn by both sexes; of the leaves of the pandanus they make mats. They have also a kind of wax-nut, about the size of a dried plum of which they make candles by running a stick through several of them. Lighted at one end, they burn like a wax taper, and are the only light they use in their huts at night.

The men are generally well made and tall: they wear for their entire clothing what they call a maro; it is a piece of figured or white tapa, two yards long and a foot wide, which they pass round the loins and between the legs, tying the ends in a knot over the left hip. At first sight I thought they were painted red, but soon perceived that it was the natural color of their skin. The women wear a petticoat of the same stuff as the maro, but wider and longer, without, however, reaching below the knees. They have sufficiently regular features, and but for the color, may pass, generally speaking, for handsome women. Some to heighten their charms, dye their black hair (cut short for the purpose) with quick lime, forming round the head a strip of pure white, which disfigures them monstrously. Others among the young wear a more becoming garland of flowers. For other traits, they are very lascivious, and far from observing a modest reserve, especially toward strangers. In regard to articles of mere ornament, I was told that they were not the same in all the island. I did not see them, either, clothed in their war dresses, or habits of ceremony. But I had an opportunity to see them paint or print their tapa, or bark cloth, an occupation in which they employ a great deal of care and patience. The pigments they use are derived from vegetable juices, prepared with the oil of the cocoa-nut. Their pencils are little reeds or canes of bamboo, at the extremity of which they carve out divers sorts of flowers. First they tinge the cloth they mean to print, yellow, green, or some other color which forms the ground: then they draw upon it perfectly straight lines, without any other guide but the eye; lastly they dip the ends of the bamboo sticks in paint of a different tint from the ground, and apply them between the dark or bright bars thus formed. This cloth resembles a good deal our calicoes and printed cottons; the oils with which it is impregnated renders it impervious to water. It is said that the natives of Atowy excel all the other islanders in the art of painting the tapa.

The Sandwich-islanders live in villages of one or two hundred houses arranged without symmetry, or rather grouped together in complete defiance of it. These houses are constructed (as I have before said) of posts driven in the ground, covered with long dry grass, and walled with matting; the thatched roof gives them a sort of resemblance to our Canadian barns or granges. The length of each house varies according to the number of the family which occupies it: they are not smoky like the wigwams of our Indians, the fireplace being always outside in the open air, where all the cooking is performed. Hence their dwellings are very clean and neat inside.

Their pirogues or canoes are extremely light and neat: those which are single have an outrigger, consisting of two curved pieces of timber lashed across the bows, and touching the water at the distance of five or six feet from the side; another piece, turned up at each extremity, is tied to the end and drags in the water, on which it acts like a skating iron on the ice, and by its weight keeps the canoe in equilibrium: without that contrivance they would infallibly upset. Their paddles are long, with a very broad blade. All these canoes carry a lateen, or sprit-sail, which is made of a mat of grass or leaves, extremely well woven.

I did not remain long enough with these people to acquire very extensive and exact notions of their religion: I know that they recognise a Supreme Being, whom they call Etoway, and a number of inferior divinities. Each village has one or more morais. These morais are enclosures which served for cemeteries; in the middle is a temple, where the priests alone have a right to enter: they contain several idols of wood, rudely sculptured. At the feet of these images are deposited, and left to putrify, the offerings of the people, consisting of dogs, pigs, fowls, vegetables, &c. The respect of these savages for their priests extends almost to adoration; they regard their persons as sacred, and feel the greatest scruple in touching the objects, or going near the places, which they have declared taboo or forbidden. The taboo has often been useful to European navigators, by freeing them from the importunities of the crowd.

In our rambles we met groups playing at different games. That of draughts appeared the most common. The checker-board is very simple, the squares being marked on the ground with a sharp stick: the men are merely shells or pebbles. The game was different from that played in civilized countries, so that we could not understand it.

Although nature has done almost everything for the inhabitants of the Sandwich islands—though they enjoy a perpetual spring, a clear sky, a salubrious climate, and scarcely any labor is required to produce the necessaries of life—they can not be regarded as generally happy: the artisans and producers, whom they call Tootoos, are nearly in the same situation as the Helots among the Lacedemonians, condemned to labor almost incessantly for their lord or Eris, without hope of bettering their condition, and even restricted in the choice of their daily food.[F] How has it happened that among a people yet barbarous, where knowledge is nearly equally distributed, the class which is beyond comparison the most numerous has voluntarily submitted to such a humiliating and oppressive yoke? The Tartars, though infinitely less numerous than the Chinese, have subjected them, because the former were warlike and the latter were not. The same thing has happened, no doubt, at remote periods, in Poland, and other regions of Europe and Asia. If moral causes are joined to physical ones, the superiority of one caste and the inferiority of the other will be still more marked; it is known that the natives of Hispaniola, when they saw the Spaniards arrive on their coast, in vessels of an astonishing size to their apprehensions, and heard them imitate the thunder with their cannon, took them for beings of a superior nature to their own. Supposing that this island had been extremely remote from every other country, and that the Spaniards, after conquering it, had held no further communication with any civilized land, at the end of a century or two the language and the manners would have assimilated, but there would have been two castes, one of lords, enjoying all the advantages, the other of serfs, charged with all the burdens. This theory seems to have been realized anciently in Hindostan; but if we must credit the tradition of the Sandwich-islanders, their country was originally peopled by a man and woman, who came to Owyhee in a canoe. Unless, then, they mean that this man and woman came with their slaves, and that the Eris are descended from the first, and the Tootoos from the last, they ought to attribute to each other the same origin, and consequently regard each other as equals, and even as brothers, according to the manner of thinking that prevails among savages. The cause of the slavery of women among most barbarous tribes is more easily explained: the men have subjected them by the right of the strongest, if ignorance and superstition have not caused them to be previously regarded as beings of an inferior nature, made to be servants and not companions.[G]

[Footnote F: The Tootoos and all the women, the wives of the king and principal chiefs excepted, are eternally condemned to the use of fruits and vegetables; dogs and pigs being exclusively reserved for the table of the Eris.]

[Footnote G: Some Indian tribes think that women have no souls, but die altogether like the brutes; others assign them a different paradise from that of men, which indeed they might have reason to prefer for themselves, unless their relative condition were to be ameliorated in the next world.]


Departure from Wahoo.—Storm.—Arrival at the Mouth of the Columbia.—Reckless Order of the Captain.—Difficulty of the Entrance.—Perilous Situation of the Ship.—Unhappy Fate of a part of the Crew and People of the Expedition.

Having taken on board a hundred head of live hogs, some goats, two sheep, a quantity of poultry, two boat-loads of sugar-cane, to feed the hogs, as many more of yams, taro, and other vegetables, and all our water-casks being snugly stowed, we weighed anchor on the 28th of February, sixteen days after our arrival at Karaka-koua.

We left another man (Edward Aymes) at Wahoo. He belonged to a boat's crew which was sent ashore for a load of sugar canes. By the time the boat was loaded by the natives the ebb of the tide had left her aground, and Aymes asked leave of the coxswain to take a stroll, engaging to be back for the flood. Leave was granted him, but during his absence, the tide haying come in sufficiently to float the boat, James Thorn, the coxswain, did not wait for the young sailor, who was thus left behind. The captain immediately missed the man, and, on being informed that he had strolled away from the boat on leave, flew into a violent passion. Aymes soon made his appearance alongside, having hired some natives to take him on board; on perceiving him, the captain ordered him to stay in the long-boat, then lashed to the side with its load of sugar-cane. The captain then himself got into the boat, and, taking one of the canes, beat the poor fellow most unmercifully with it; after which, not satisfied with this act of brutality, he seized his victim and threw him overboard! Aymes, however, being an excellent swimmer, made for the nearest native canoe, of which there were, as usual, a great number around the ship. The islanders, more humane than our captain, took in the poor fellow, who, in spite of his entreaties to be received on board, could only succeed in getting his clothes, which were thrown into the canoe. At parting, he told Captain Thorn that he knew enough of the laws of his country, to obtain redress, should they ever meet in the territory of the American Union.

While we were getting under sail, Mr. M'Kay pointed out to the captain that there was one water-cask empty, and proposed sending it ashore to be filled, as the great number of live animals we had on board required a large quantity of fresh water. The captain, who feared that some of the men would desert if he sent them ashore, made an observation to that effect in answer to Mr. M'Kay, who then proposed sending me on a canoe which lay alongside, to fill the cask in question: this was agreed to by the captain, and I took the cask accordingly to the nearest spring. Having filled it, not without some difficulty, the islanders seeking to detain me, and I perceiving that they had given me some gourds full of salt water, I was forced also to demand a double pirogue (for the canoe which had brought the empty cask, was found inadequate to carry a full one), the ship being already under full sail and gaining an offing. As the natives would not lend a hand to procure what I wanted, I thought it necessary to have recourse to the king, and in fact did so. For seeing the vessel so far at sea, with what I knew of the captain's disposition, I began to fear that he had formed the plan of leaving me on the island. My fears, nevertheless were ill-founded; the vessel made a tack toward the shore, to my great joy; and a double pirogue was furnished me, through the good offices of our young friend the French schoolmaster, to return on board with my cask.

Our deck was now as much encumbered as when left New York; for we had been obliged to place our live animals at the gangways, and to board over their pens, on which it was necessary to pass, to work ship. Our own numbers were also augmented; for we had taken a dozen islanders for the service of our intended commercial establishment. Their term of engagement was three years, during which we were to feed and clothe them, and at its expiration they were to receive a hundred dollars in merchandise. The captain had shipped another dozen as hands on the coasting voyage. These people, who make very good sailors, were eager to be taken into employment, and we might easily have carried off a much greater number.

We had contrary winds till the 2d of March, when, having doubled the western extremity of the island, we made northing, and lost sight of these smiling and temperate countries, to enter very soon a colder region and less worthy of being inhabited. The winds were variable, and nothing extraordinary happened to us till the 16th, when, being arrived at the latitude of 35 deg. 11' north, and in 138 deg. 16' of west longitude, the wind shifted all of a sudden to the S.S.W., and blew with such violence, that we were forced to strike top-gallant masts and top-sails, and run before the gale with a double reef in our foresail. The rolling of the vessel was greater than in all the gales we had experienced previously. Nevertheless, as we made great headway, and were approaching the continent, the captain by way of precaution, lay to for two nights successively. At last, on the 22d, in the morning, we saw the land. Although we had not been able to take any observations for several days, nevertheless, by the appearance of the coast, we perceived that we were near the mouth of the river Columbia, and were not more than three miles from land. The breakers formed by the bar at the entrance of that river, and which we could distinguish from the ship, left us no room to doubt that we had arrived at last at the end of our voyage.

The wind was blowing in heavy squalls, and the sea ran very high: in spite of that, the captain caused a boat to be lowered, and Mr. Fox (first mate), Basile Lapensee, Ignace Lapensee, Jos. Nadeau, and John Martin, got into her, taking some provisions and firearms, with orders to sound the channel and report themselves on board as soon as possible. The boat was not even supplied with a good sail, or a mast, but one of the partners gave Mr. Fox a pair of bed sheets to serve for the former. Messrs M'Kay and M'Dougall could not help remonstrating with the captain on the imprudence of sending the boat ashore in such weather; but they could not move his obstinacy. The boat's crew pulled away from the ship; alas! we were never to see her again; and we already had a foreboding of her fate. The next day the wind seemed to moderate, and we approached very near the coast. The entrance of the river, which we plainly distinguished with the naked eye, appeared but a confused and agitated sea: the waves, impelled by a wind from the offing, broke upon the bar, and left no perceptible passage. We got no sign of the boat; and toward evening, for our own safety, we hauled off to sea, with all countenances extremely sad, not excepting the captain's, who appeared to me as much afflicted as the rest, and who had reason to be so. During the night, the wind fell, the clouds dispersed, and the sky became serene. On the morning of the 24th, we found that the current had carried us near the coast again, and we dropped anchor in fourteen fathoms water, north of Cape Disappointment. The coup d'oeil is not so smiling by a great deal at this anchorage, as at the Sandwich islands, the coast offering little to the eye but a continuous range of high mountains covered with snow.

Although it was calm, the sea continued to break over the reef with violence, between Cape Disappointment and Point Adams. We sent Mr. Mumford (the second mate) to sound a passage; but having found the breakers too heavy, he returned on board about mid-day. Messrs. M'Kay and D. Stuart offered their services to go ashore, to search for the boat's crew who left on the 22d; but they could not find a place to land. They saw Indians, who made signs to them to pull round the cape, but they deemed it more prudent to return to the vessel. Soon after their return, a gentle breeze sprang up from the westward, we raised anchor, and approached the entrance of the river. Mr. Aikin was then despatched in the pinnace, accompanied by John Coles (sail-maker), Stephen Weeks (armorer), and two Sandwich-islanders; and we followed under easy sail. Another boat had been sent out before this one, but the captain judging that she bore too far south, made her a signal to return. Mr. Aikin not finding less than four fathoms, we followed him and advanced between the breakers, with a favorable wind, so that we passed the boat on our starboard, within pistol-shot. We made signs to her to return on board, but she could not accomplish it; the ebb tide carried her with such rapidity that in a few minutes we had lost sight of her amidst the tremendous breakers that surrounded us. It was near nightfall, the wind began to give way, and the water was so low with the ebb, that we struck six or seven times with violence: the breakers broke over the ship and threatened to submerge her. At last we passed from two and three quarters fathoms of water to seven, where we were obliged to drop anchor, the wind having entirely failed us. We were far, however, from being out of danger, and the darkness came to add to the horror of our situation: our vessel, though at anchor, threatened to be carried away every moment by the tide; the best bower was let go, and it kept two men at the wheel to hold her head in the right direction. However, Providence came to our succor: the flood succeeded to the ebb, and the wind rising out of the offing, we weighed both anchors, in spite of the obscurity of the night, and succeeded in gaining a little bay or cove, formed at the entrance of the river by Cape Disappointment, and called Baker's Bay, where we found a good anchorage. It was about midnight, and all retired to take a little rest: the crew, above all, had great need of it. We were fortunate to be in a place of safety, for the wind rose higher and higher during the rest of the night, and on the morning of the 25th allowed us to see that this ocean is not always pacific.

Some natives visited us this day, bringing with them beaver-skins; but the inquietude caused in our minds by the loss of two boats' crews, for whom we wished to make search, did not permit us to think of traffic. We tried to make the savages comprehend, by signs, that we had sent a boat ashore three days previous, and that we had no news of her; but they seemed not to understand us. The captain, accompanied by some of our gentlemen, landed, and they set themselves to search for our missing people, in the woods, and along the shore N.W. of the cape. After a few hours we saw the captain return with Weeks, one of the crew of the last boat sent out. He was stark naked, and after being clothed, and receiving some nourishment, gave us an account of his almost miraculous escape from the waves on the preceding night, in nearly the following terms:—

"After you had passed our boat;" said he, "the breakers caused by the meeting of the wind roll and ebb-tide, became a great deal heavier than when we entered the river with the flood. The boat, for want of a rudder, became very hard to manage, and we let her drift at the mercy of the tide, till, after having escaped several surges, one struck us midship and capsized us. I lost sight of Mr. Aiken and John Coles: but the two islanders were close by me; I saw them stripping off their clothes, and I followed their example; and seeing the pinnace within my reach, keel upward, I seized it; the two natives came to my assistance; we righted her, and by sudden jerks threw out so much of the water that she would hold a man: one of the natives jumped in, and, bailing with his two hands, succeeded in a short time in emptying her. The other native found the oars, and about dark we were all three embarked. The tide having now carried us outside the breakers, I endeavored to persuade my companions in misfortune to row, but they were so benumbed with cold that they absolutely refused. I well knew that without clothing, and exposed to the rigor of the air, I must keep in constant exercise. Seeing besides that the night was advancing, and having no resource but the little strength left me, I set to work sculling, and pushed off the bar, but so as not to be carried out too far to sea. About midnight, one of my companions died: the other threw himself upon the body of his comrade, and I could not persuade him to abandon it. Daylight appeared at last; and, being near the shore, I headed in for it, and arrived, thank God, safe and sound, through the breakers, on a sandy beach. I helped the islander, who yet gave some signs of life, to get out of the boat, and we both took to the woods; but, seeing that he was not able to follow me, I left him to his bad fortune, and, pursuing a beaten path that I perceived, I found myself, to my great astonishment, in the course of a few hours, near the vessel."

The gentlemen who went ashore with the captain divided themselves into three parties, to search for the native whom Weeks had left at the entrance of the forest; but, after scouring the woods and the point of the cape all day, they came on board in the evening without having found him.


Regrets of the Author at the Loss of his Companions.—Obsequies of a Sandwich Islander.—First steps in the Formation of the intended Establishment.—New Alarm.—Encampment.

The narrative of Weeks informed us of the death of three of our companions, and we could not doubt that the five others had met a similar fate. This loss of eight of our number, in two days, before we had set foot on shore, was a bad augury, and was sensibly felt by all of us. In the course of so long a passage, the habit of seeing each other every day, the participation of the same cares and dangers, and confinement to the same narrow limits, had formed between all the passengers a connection that could not be broken, above all in a manner so sad and so unlooked for, without making us feel a void like that which is experienced in a well-regulated and loving family, when it is suddenly deprived by death, of the presence of one of its cherished members. We had left New York, for the most part strangers to one another; but arrived at the river Columbia we were all friends, and regarded each other almost as brothers. We regretted especially the two brothers Lapensee and Joseph Nadeau: these young men had been in an especial manner recommended by their respectable parents in Canada to the care of Mr. M'Kay; and had acquired by their good conduct the esteem of the captain, of the crew, and of all the passengers. The brothers Lapensee were courageous and willing, never flinching in the hour of danger, and had become as good seamen as any on board. Messrs Fox and Aikin were both highly regarded by all; the loss of Mr. Fox, above all, who was endeared to every one by his gentlemanly behavior and affability, would have been severely regretted at any time, but it was doubly so in the present conjuncture: this gentleman, who had already made a voyage to the Northwest, could have rendered important services to the captain and to the company. The preceding days had been days of apprehension and of uneasiness; this was one of sorrow and mourning.

The following day, the same gentlemen who had volunteered their services to seek for the missing islander, resumed their labors, and very soon after they left us, we perceived a great fire kindled at the verge of the woods, over against the ship. I was sent in a boat and arrived at the fire. It was our gentlemen who had kindled it, to restore animation to the poor islander, whom they had at last found under the rocks, half dead with cold and fatigue, his legs swollen and his feet bleeding. We clothed him, and brought him on board, where, by our care, we succeeded in restoring him to life.

Toward evening, a number of the Sandwich-islanders, provided with the necessary utensils, and offerings consisting of biscuit, lard, and tobacco, went ashore, to pay the last duties to their compatriot, who died in Mr. Aikin's boat, on the night of the 24th. Mr. Pillet and I went with them, and witnessed the obsequies, which took place in the manner following. Arrived at the spot where the body had been hung upon a tree to preserve it from the wolves, the natives dug a grave in the sand; then taking down the body, and stretching it alongside the pit, they placed the biscuit under one of the arms, a piece of pork beneath the other, and the tobacco beneath the chin and the genital parts. Thus provided for the journey to the other world, the body was deposited in the grave and covered with sand and stones. All the countrymen of the dead man then knelt on either side of the grave, in a double row, with their faces to the east, except one of them who officiated as priest; the latter went to the margin of the sea, and having filled his hat with water, sprinkled the two rows of islanders, and recited a sort of prayer, to which the others responded, nearly as we do in the litanies. That prayer ended, they rose and returned to the vessel, looking neither to the right hand nor to the left. As every one of them appeared to me familiar with the part he performed, it is more than probable that they observed, as far as circumstances permitted, the ceremonies practised in their country on like occasions. We all returned on board about sundown.

The next day, the 27th, desirous of clearing the gangways of the live stock; we sent some men on shore to construct a pen, and soon after landed about fifty hogs, committing them to the care of one of the hands. On the 30th, the long boat was manned, armed and provisioned, and the captain, with Messrs. M'Kay and D. Stuart, and some of the clerks, embarked on it, to ascend the river and choose an eligible spot for our trading establishment. Messrs. Boss and Pillet left at the same time, to run down south, and try to obtain intelligence of Mr. Fox and his crew. In the meantime, having reached some of the goods most at hand, we commenced, with the natives who came every day to the vessel, a trade for beaver-skins, and sea-otter stones.

Messrs. Ross and Pillet returned on board on the 1st of April, without having learned anything respecting Mr. Fox and his party. They did not even perceive along the beach any vestiges of the boat. The natives who occupy Point Adams, and who are called Clatsops, received our young gentlemen very amicably and hospitably. The captain and his companions also returned on the 4th, without having decided on a position for the establishment, finding none which appeared to them eligible. It was consequently resolved to explore the south bank, and Messrs. M'Dougal and D. Stuart departed on that expedition the next day, promising to return by the 7th.

The 7th came, and these gentlemen did not return. It rained almost all day. The day after, some natives came on board, and reported that Messrs. M'Dougal and Stuart had capsized the evening before in crossing the bay. This news at first alarmed us; and, if it had been verified, would have given the finishing blow to our discouragement. Still, as the weather was excessively bad, and we did not repose entire faith in the story of the natives—whom, moreover, we might not have perfectly understood—we remained in suspense till the 10th. On the morning of that day, we were preparing to send some of the people in search of our two gentlemen, when we perceived two large canoes, full of Indians, coming toward the vessel: they were of the Chinook village, which was situated at the foot of a bluff on the north side of the river, and were bringing back Messrs. M'Dougal and Stuart. We made known to these gentlemen the report we had heard on the 8th from the natives, and they informed us that it had been in fact well founded; that on the 7th, desirous of reaching the ship agreeably to their promise, they had quitted Chinook point, in spite of the remonstrances of the chief, Comcomly, who sought to detain them by pointing out the danger to which they would expose themselves in crossing the bay in such a heavy sea as it was; that they had scarcely made more than a mile and a half before a huge wave broke over their boat and capsized it; that the Indians, aware of the danger to which they were exposed, had followed them, and that, but for their assistance, Mr. M'Dougal, who could not swim, would inevitably have been drowned; that, after the Chinooks had kindled a large fire and dried their clothes, they had been conducted by them back to their village, where the principal chief had received them with all imaginable hospitality, regaling them with every delicacy his wigwam afforded; that, in fine, if they had got back safe and sound to the vessel, it was to the timely succor and humane cares of the Indians whom we saw before us that they owed it. We liberally rewarded these generous children of the forest, and they returned home well satisfied.

This last survey was also fruitless, as Messrs. M'Dougal and Stuart did not find an advantageous site to build upon. But, as the captain wished to take advantage of the fine season to pursue his traffic with the natives along the N.W. coast, it was resolved to establish ourselves on Point George, situated on the south bank, about fourteen or fifteen miles from our present anchorage. Accordingly, we embarked on the 12th, in the long-boat, to the number of twelve, furnished with tools, and with provisions for a week. We landed at the bottom of a small bay, where we formed a sort of encampment. The spring, usually so tardy in this latitude, was already far advanced; the foliage was budding, and the earth was clothing itself with verdure; the weather was superb, and all nature smiled. We imagined ourselves in the garden of Eden; the wild forests seemed to us delightful groves, and the leaves transformed to brilliant flowers. No doubt, the pleasure of finding ourselves at the end of our voyage, and liberated from the ship, made things appear to us a great deal more beautiful than they really were. Be that as it may, we set ourselves to work with enthusiasm, and cleared, in a few days, a point of land of its under-brush, and of the huge trunks of pine-trees that covered it, which we rolled, half-burnt, down the bank. The vessel came to moor near our encampment, and the trade went on. The natives visited us constantly and in great numbers; some to trade, others to gratify their curiosity, or to purloin some little articles if they found an opportunity. We landed the frame timbers which we had brought, ready cut for the purpose, in the vessel; and by the end of April, with the aid of the ship-carpenters, John Weeks and Johann Koaster, we had laid the keel of a coasting-schooner of about thirty tons.

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