+ + Transcriber's Notes: The lone Greek word is transliterated and surrounded with +'s The original images were of very poor quality, some punctuation has been inferred. This document was originally published in 1822 and contains archaic spelling, as well as a number of obvious typographical errors which have been corrected. For a complete list of corrected words, please see the end of this document. + +
MORAVIANS IN LABRADOR.
THE MORAVIANS IN LABRADOR.
From Greenland's icy mountains The joyful sound proclaim, Till each remotest nation Has learnt the Saviour's name. Waft, waft, ye winds, his story, And you, ye waters, roll, Till like a sea of glory, It spreads from pole to pole. HEBER.
Edinburgh: Printed by J. Ritchie. Sold by W. Whyte & Co., W. Oliphant, Waugh & Innes, and J. Lindsay & Co., Edinburgh; M. Ogle, and W. Collins, Glasgow; Hamilton, Adams & Co., and J. Nisbet, London. M.DCCC.XXXIII.
The present small volume which, in some measure, owes its origin to the suggestion of that long tried, excellent, and first friend of the Moravians in Scotland, R. Plenderleath, Esq., and being cordially approved of by the Rev P. Latrobe, London, though connected with considerable labour, great part of it having been translated from the German, has been cheerfully executed, and is intended to promote a purpose similar to that of the first edition of the Moravians in Greenland—to aid the subscriptions of some private friends who wish to communicate occasionally with the Missionaries in Labrador, and send them a few articles of comfort which the general funds do not supply. In allusion to this, the following extract from a letter, addressed to a friend in this city, from one of these devoted men, will be pleasant to the friends of the missions—"Dear Sister A ——, You kindly mention that a Society of Christian Ladies was formed in Edinburgh in aid of the missions in Greenland and Labrador, and had sent a gift of clothes, for which I beg you will accept of our united thanks. There are many poor widows and orphans in our Esquimaux congregations who are in the greatest necessity, to whom any little article of clothing will be most welcome. When our dear friends send us any thing of this kind, we always keep it till Christmas, and then divide them, that they may appear clothed on Christmas night. The dividing scene is often very affecting, their sobbing and weeping prevents their expressing their gratitude in words, but one may easily perceive how deeply they feel their kindness."
Introduction. Page vii
CHAPTER I. Hudson's Bay Company first settle among the Esquimaux.—J.C. Erhardt suggests a mission—his letter to the Moravian Bishop.—M. Stach consulted.—London merchants undertake the scheme—engage Erhardt—its fatal conclusion.—Jans Haven employed by the Brethren—encouraged by the British Government, sets out on a voyage of discovery—his providential arrival at Quirpont—first meeting with the Esquimaux—his interesting intercourse—returns to England. His second expedition, accompanied by Drachart and other missionaries—their proceedings.—Drachart's remarkable conversation with the natives—influence of the missionaries in preserving peace—their religious communications with the savages—the curiosity of the latter—their thievish tricks—their kindness to the missionaries—a dreadful storm.—Drachart and Haven entertained by an Angekok—his incantations—their parting addresses to each other—the missionaries return to London. 37
CHAPTER II. Contests between the colonists and savages revive—Murderous skirmish.—Mikak.—Karpik, his conversion and death.—The Moravians receive a grant of land on the coast of Labrador— resolve to renew the mission—voyage to explore the land.— Jans Haven, Drachart, &c., arrive at Labrador—their interview with the natives—meet Mikak and Tuglavina—their kindness.—Segulliak the sorcerer.—Anxiety of the Esquimaux for their remaining among them—ground purchased for a settlement—manner of bargaining with the Esquimaux—sail for Esquimaux bay—the natives troublesome—the Captain's method of checking them.—Conduct of the missionaries—they preach on shore.—Conversation with the Esquimaux.—Search out a place for a settlement—purchase it of the natives—ceremonies used on the occasion—take formal possession. Deputation return to England 73
CHAPTER III. Preparations for establishing a settlement in Labrador.—A love feast.—Missionaries leave London—erect a mission-house at Nain—-regulations for their intercourse with the natives—visited by great numbers—manner of instruction—they retire in winter, are visited by the Brethren in their houses.—Death of Anauke.—An incantation.—Adventures in search of a dead whale.—P.E. Lauritz deputed by the conference—visits the missions—his excursion along the coast.—A sloop of war arrives to examine the settlement—the Captain's report.—Jans Haven's voyage to the north— interesting occurrences.—Lauritz leaves Nain—his concluding address.—The Brethren propose new settlements—disastrous voyage in search of a situation.—Liebisch appointed Superintendant.—An Angekok baptized—his address to the natives.—Jans Haven commences a new station at Okkak—received joyfully by the natives—six Esquimaux baptized—proceedings at Nain.—Missionary accompanies the Esquimaux to a rein-deer-hunt.—Third settlement—Hopedale founded.—Remarkable preservation of the Missionaries. 97
CHAPTER IV. Esquimaux visit the English settlements—pernicious consequences—dreadful accident—famine—unexpected supply of food and skins.—Emigration from Okkak—missionaries' care of the wanderers, who return disappointed.—Terrible tales from the south.—Inquirers separated from the heathen.—Popish priest attempts to seduce the converts.—Brother Rose inspects Hopedale.—Karpik the sorcerer.—Peter's fall.—Visits to the south renewed.—Parting address of the brethren.—Epidemic.— Death of Daniel—of Esther.—Conversion and peaceful end of Tuglavina.—Last days of Mikak.—Indians come to Hopedale.— Rose's remarks on the internal state of the missions.—Instances of the power of grace among the Esquimaux—striking observation of one of the baptized.—Jonathan's letter to the Greenlanders.— Affecting confession of Solomon.—Conduct of a young woman sought in marriage by a heathen.—State of the settlements at the close of the century.—Prospects begin to brighten.—Remarkable phenomenon.—Avocations of the missionaries—their trials— preservation of their vessels—of their settlements—their brotherly love. 154
CHAPTER V. Variable appearances of the mission at Nain and Okkak—more favourable at Hopedale.—Death of Benjamin.—Spirit of love among the converted.—Happy communion and close of the year.—Providential escape of the Resolution.—New epoch in Labrador.—A remarkable awakening commences at Hopedale— meetings—schools.—Letter from a converted Esquimaux to his teacher.—Industry of the awakened.—Declension of religion at Nain and Okkak.—State of the children at Hopedale.— Progress of the adults in knowledge, love, and zeal—instances.— Striking conversion of two young Esquimaux, its effects upon their countrymen.—Awakening spreads to Nain and to Okkak.—Zeal of the converts towards the heathen rouses backsliders.— Behaviour of the awakened in sickness, and the prospect of death.—Remarkable accessions from the heathen.—The son of a sorcerer. 201
CHAPTER VI. Mutual affection of the Christian Esquimaux and Greenlanders—their correspondence—letter from Timothy, a baptized Greenlander.—Delight of the Esquimaux in religious exercises.—Order of the congregations—distressing events, apostasy of Kapik—awful end of Jacob—peaceful end of believers—Judith, Joanna.—Revival among the communicants.—A feast by a Christian brother to the Esquimaux.—Winter arrangements.—Childrens' meetings—schools.—The brethren's settlements contrasted with the heathen.—Progress of religion at the different stations.—Books printed in the Esquimaux language.—Number of the settled Esquimaux.—Epidemic at Nain—its consequences.—General view of the mission. 238
CHAPTER VII. Desire of the heathen to hear the Gospel.—Brethren meditate a new settlement—voyage to explore the country.—Quiet course of the mission—advantages of their church discipline.—Death of Burghardt.—Exertions of the aged survivors.—Schreiber, superintendant, arrives.—Anxiety of the native Christians to attend the ordinances of religion.—Advantages of the Bible as a school-book.—Four missionaries unexpectedly carried to England.—Baptized Esquimaux seduced by traders.—Perilous voyage of the returning missionaries—striking accident.— Schreiber retires from the superintendance—Kohlmeister succeeds—his journeyings to Okkak, to Nain.—Stability of the work of God at Nain—hopeful deaths—conversion and recovery of a young native.—Remarkable preservation of an Esquimaux youth. 269
CHAPTER VIII. Fiftieth anniversary of the missionary vessel's first arrival in Labrador—jubilee of the mission celebrated at Nain.— Summary view of the success of the gospel in Labrador during that period.—Instance of maternal affection.—Esquimaux contribute to the Bible Society.—British sloop of war, Clinker, visits Hopedale.—Captain Martin's testimony to the good effect of the brethren's labours—visits Nain and Okkak—consequences of his favourable report. 304
CHAPTER IX. The Brethren obtain a further grant of land on the east coast of Labrador—projected fourth settlement delayed.—Progress of the three settlements in the interval.—Instances of wonderful preservation—Ephraim—of Conrad, Peter, and Titus.—Report of the Superintendant, Kohlmeister, on the general state of the Mission.—Letter from Brother and Sister Kmoch, to a friend in Edinburgh.—Commencement and progress of Hebron, the fourth station. 318
THE MORAVIANS IN LABRADOR.
The Moravian Mission in Labrador was attempted under circumstances scarcely less discouraging than those under which the brethren were enabled to achieve the moral conquest of Greenland, was attended with incidents still more romantic, and blest with a success equally remarkable. But it possesses a peculiar interest to British readers, having been commenced under the auspices of the British government, and promising a more extensive influence among tribes with whom British intercourse is likely to produce a wider and more intimate connection.
The Peninsula of Labrador extends from the 50th to the 61st deg. N.L. It is somewhat of a triangular form; bounded on the north by Hudson's Straits, and indented by Ungava Bay; on the east by the northern ocean; on the south by Canada and the Gulph of St Lawrence; and on the west by Hudson's and James' Bay, which last coast, by a kind of anomaly in nomenclature, has been called the East Main, from its situation to that great inland sea.
The German geographers do not appear to doubt, what some of our own have called in question, that the discovery and the name of this Peninsula, at least of its eastern shores, were owing to the Portuguese, Gaspar Cortereal, who, in the years 1500 and 1501, in an expedition fitted by the king to discover a western passage to India, reached the coast of Newfoundland about the 50th deg. N.L., and sailed northward to nearly the entrance into Hudson's Bay. This tract of country was originally called after its discoverer, Terra Cortereali, a name since superseded by that of Terra de Labrador—the land capable of cultivation. Davis Straits, here about one hundred miles broad, separates it from Greenland, whose southernmost point, Cape Farewell, lies in the same degree of latitude, [60 N.L.] with Cape Chudleigh, the northernmost extremity of Labrador. The Straits of Bellisle run between it and Newfoundland. The land along the shore is abrupt and precipitous, indented with many little creeks and vallies, surrounded by innumerable islands, and rendered extremely dangerous of access from the multitude of sunken rocks. The interior is mountainous, intersected by marshes, and abounding with streamlets and lakes.
Detached from the Arctic lands, this country ought to partake in some degree of the temperate cold regions, but whether owing to the elevation of its mountains, or the influence of the perpetual fogs that cover the neighbouring seas, it is as frozen a region as those to the west of Hudson's Bay; and though it lies some degrees farther south than Greenland, yet the cold during the long winter is far more severe, the thermometer being frequently 32 deg. below 0 deg. of Fahrenheit. Perhaps the immense quantity of drift ice which accumulates on the eastern shores, and which extends for so many miles out to sea, may have some influence on the temperature of the climate. The summer, on the other hand, during the short time that it lasts, is proportionally warmer, the thermometer rising from 70 deg. to 80 deg. above 0. Vegetation then proceeds with uncommon rapidity; the shrubs and plants expand as if by enchantment; and the country assumes the luxuriance and beauty of a European summer. Forests of pine and larch are scattered over the country, the trees of sufficient size to be used in building, or to be sawn into boards; there are also willows, birch, aspen, and alder, in considerable quantities.
The land animals are the same as those in Greenland. The rein-deer, this beautiful and useful creature, is found in considerable herds, but has not hitherto been domesticated, being only hunted for its flesh, which makes an agreeable variety of food; and its skin, which is an elegant and necessary article of clothing, as the fur is always richer in proportion to the intensity of the cold, against which it forms an excellent defence; they are hunted with dogs, and formerly used to be easily killed with the bow and arrow, but the introduction of fire arms has proved much more destructive. When hard-pressed, they soon take to the water, and swim so well that a four oared boat can scarcely come up with them, but an Esquimaux in his kaiak more readily overtakes them. Hares are tolerably plenty. The Arctic fox also is numerous; their skins are used for the purposes of commerce, and their flesh is esteemed preferable to that of the hare. Black bears are frequently killed, and are relished as food by the Esquimaux. But the most formidable among the tribes of these regions is the Polar bear, whose ferocity and courage render him an object of terror even to the well armed European. The dog is the most useful of the quadrupeds to the Esquimaux; he bears a strong resemblance to the wolf; is in height about the size of the Newfoundland, and is well furnished with a thick hairy coat, peculiarly adapted to the climate. As a hunter, his scent can trace the seal or the rein-deer at a considerable distance, and he does not dread, when in packs, to attack even the white bear itself. His chief value, however, consists in his qualities as a draught animal; for this he is carefully trained from his infancy, and undergoes severe and frequent floggings to break him regularly into the team. He becomes then remarkably submissive, comes at his master's call, and allows himself quietly to be harnessed to the sledge. In fastening them care is taken not to let them go abreast: they are tied by separate thongs, of unequal lengths, to a horizontal bar on the forepart of the sledge; an old knowing one leads the way, running ten to twenty paces a head, directed by the driver's whip, which is often twenty-four feet long, and can only be properly wielded by an experienced Esquimaux; the other dogs follow like a flock of sheep, and if one receives a lash, he bites his neighbour, and the bite goes round. Their strength, and speed, even with an hungry stomach, is astonishing; and to this they are often subjected, especially by the heathen, who treat them with little mercy, and force them to perform hard duty for the small quantity of food they allow them. Their portion upon a journey consists chiefly in offals, old skins, entrails, rotten whale flesh, or fins, or whatever else the Esquimaux himself cannot use; if these run out, or if the master, whose stomach is not of the most delicate contexture, requires his dogs' meat, then the poor creatures must go and seek for themselves, in which case they will swallow almost any thing, so that it is always necessary to secure the harness over night, if the traveller wishes to proceed in the morning. The teams vary from three to nine dogs, and this last number have been known to drag a weight of more than sixteen hundred pounds, a mile in nine minutes.
Like the Greenlanders the inhabitants of Labrador must draw their subsistence and their wealth chiefly from the sea; but in this respect their circumstances are less favourable than the former. Whales are scarce, and the chief species they take is that denominated the white fish, of little value in commerce. In pursuing them they have now adopted the European boat in preference to their own, and those most frequently employed are six oared, rowed by twelve men. The harpooner stands in the bow with his harpoon, or iron spear, which is stuck on a shaft one or two fathoms long, and is provided with a leathern thong of considerable length, to which are attached from five to ten bladders of seal skin. If the whale be struck he immediately dives to the bottom of the sea, where he remains till he is quite exhausted, when he again comes to the surface of the water to breathe; in the meanwhile the boat's crew observe all its motions, and are in readiness with their lances to complete the business, during which, the person who first struck the fish, falls down on his face in the fore part of the boat, and prays that Torngak would strengthen the thongs that they may not break; another of the crew allows his feet to be bound, as a symbol of what he desires, then attempting to walk, falls down and exclaims, "Let him be lame!" and a third, if he observes that the whale is dying, calls out, "Now Torngak is there, and will help us to kill the fish, and we shall eat his flesh, and fare sumptuously, and be happy!" But if the whale appears likely to escape, the first continues lying on his face crying out with vehemence, "Hear yet, and help us!" If the whale get off, some of their conjurors inform them that Torngak was not there, or he did not hear, or he was otherwise employed! Seals are more abundant, and are the chief dependance of the natives, their flesh serving for food, their skins for clothes and covering to their tents and boats, and their blubber for oil or for exchange. Catching the seal was formerly a tedious and laborious process, but now they are generally taken in nets, which the natives have adopted from the Europeans.
Salmon and salmon-trout are caught in every creek and inlet; they remain in the rivers and fresh-water lakes during the winter, and return to the sea in spring. The Esquimaux about Okkak and Saeglak, catch them in winter under the ice by spearing. For this purpose they make two holes in the ice, about eight inches in diameter, and six feet asunder, in a direction from north to south. The northern hole they screen from the sun by a bank of snow about four feet in height, raised in a semi-circle round its southern edge, and form another similar bank on the north side of the southern hole, sloped in such a manner as to reflect the rays of the sun into it. The Esquimaux then lies down, with his face close to the northern aperture, beneath which the water is strongly illuminated by the sunbeams entering at the southern. In his left hand he holds a red string, with which he plays in the water to allure the fish, and in his right, a spear ready to strike them as they approach; and in this manner, they soon take as many as they want. The trout on this coast are from twelve to eighteen inches long, and in August and September so fat, that the Esquimaux collect from them a sufficient quantity of oil for their lamps. The great shoals of herrings, which are the staple of the Greenlanders, do not touch at the shores of Labrador, but they have abundance of cod at many of their fishing stations, which the missionaries have shown them the method, and set them the example, of curing for their winter's supply.
Sea-fowl of the duck and goose species frequent the shores of Labrador, and the islands scattered around it, and afford to the natives, as they do to the rest of the northern tribes, food, warmth, and materials for trade. Of the land birds, the large partridge, [reiper,] or American wild pheasant, is the only one which the missionaries mention as being used by them as an agreeable variety of food, when, other resources failing, they have been confined to salted provisions.
The peninsula is chiefly inhabited on the coast, where the Moravians have now four settlements. The natives style themselves Innuit, i.e. men; and foreigners, Kablunat or inferior beings. Their original national name is Karalit, also denoting superiority, and the term Esquimaux, by which they are now so generally known, was given them by their neighbours the Indians, in whose language it signifies "men's raw meat," and probably imports that the Indians were, or it may be, are cannibals, and devoted their captives for this horrible repast. In lowness of stature, in their flat features, and dark colour, they exactly resemble the Greenlanders. Their language is a dialect of the same tongue, intelligible by both; but from their intercourse with foreigners, and their adopting some foreign customs, and becoming possessed of foreign utensils, a number of strange words have been introduced into each, only the former borrowed Danish or English phrases, while the latter had learned many French words. Their dress is nearly similar, being seal-skin coats and breeches, except the outer garment of the women ends behind in a train that reaches to the ground, and their boats are sufficiently large to carry their children if they are mothers—or provisions, or any other packages, if they are not.
Their winter houses are low, long, ill-constructed huts, inhabited by several families, and abominably filthy; they are dug deep in the earth, but the walls above the surface never exceed three feet in height, the roof is elevated in the middle, and the windows are placed to look to the south: the entry can only admit a person to crawl in; on one side of it is placed the kitchen, and on the other the dog-kennel, but no partition separates the biped from the quadruped inhabitant. If constrained to travel in winter, or to remain at a distance from their usual homes, they build houses of snow, which afford them a tolerably comfortable temporary abode. These habitations are very ingeniously constructed; they first search out a heap of firmly frozen snow, next they trace out a circular figure, of whatever size they think requisite, and then proceed with their long thin knives, to cut out square slabs, about three feet in length, two in breadth, and one in thickness, and gradually contracting as they rise, they form a dome about eight feet high; within, they leave an elevation all round the walls of about twenty inches, which, when covered with skins, serves both for a seat and a sleeping place; a piece of ice serves for a window, and in the evening they close their door with a board of snow; a lamp suspended from the roof gives light and heat to the apartment.
When missions were first commenced among the Greenlanders, they had had but little intercourse with Europeans: it was different when the brethren visited Labrador—the Esquimaux had been long acquainted with Europeans, but of the baser sort, and had lost many of the original features of savage life, without, however, gaining any thing better in their place. Their communication with these wretches, who disgraced the term civilized, corrupted their morals, and did not improve their knowledge, taught them wants, without teaching them how to supply them, except by theft. When the missionaries latterly came in contact with Esquimaux, who were previously unacquainted, or but little acquainted, with white men, they found them comparatively mild and honest. On a voyage of observation, they landed at Nachrack, and they report, "We found," say they, "the people here, differing much in their manners from the people at Saeglak. Their behaviour was modest, and rather bashful, nor were we assailed by beggars and importunate intruders. We had no instance of stealing. Thieves are considered by the Esquimaux in general with abhorrence, and with a thief no one is willing to trade." Latter voyagers have borne similar testimony to their brethren still further north; but their honesty seems to have arisen from the want of temptation; for the same missionaries add: "We have discovered that this propensity is not altogether wanting in the northern Esquimaux, who now and then, if they think they can do it without detection, will make a little free with their neighbour's property." And a further acquaintance with the natives discovered to the northern navigators, that first impressions are not always to be relied upon, for even the fair damsels could slyly secrete pewter plates, spoons and other valuables in the capacious trunks of their hose-boots; but those near the European settlements had improved in wickedness, and got ingrafted on their own vicious propensities new branches of more vigorous and productive mischief. They were in truth in a situation peculiarly adapted to shew the power and the necessity of the gospel for reclaiming the moral wilderness, for in them it had to overcome the worst vices of barbarous and civilized men.
Their religion too appears to have received no more improvement than their morals; from their neighbourhood to nominal Christians their creed remained much the same. They believed that Torngak, under the figure of an old man, dwelt in the waters, and had the rule over whales and seals, and that a female demon, Supperguksoak, under the form of an old woman, resided in the interior, and reigned over the land animals. But the Angekoks had assumed a secular power, which they did not possess in Greenland, and exercised at once the office of priest and a chief, of a sorcerer, a thief, and a murderer. Of this several examples will be found in the subsequent narrative, as well as instances of their ridiculous incantations: the females, in some cases, showed the authority and influence of their husbands. Their notions of futurity were gross and sensual, the highest enjoyment of the soul after death, being made to consist in successful hunting and gluttony; the sorest punishment, in poverty and hunger.
The Esquimaux on the east coast of Labrador, may be divided into two sections: those in the south, who seldom come farther than Kangertuksoak, about twenty miles north of Okkak, which lies 57 deg., 20 m. N.L.; and those of the north, who seldom come farther south than Nachrack 59 deg. —m. Saeglak lies between, and in winter is visited by both in their sledges. Those in the north still retain the original native furniture, wooden bowls, and whale-bone water buckets, large and small lamps and kettles of bastard marble, and are more unvitiated, therefore more to be depended upon than the others. They of the south have obtained European pots and kettles of iron, hatchets, saws, knives and gimlets, woollen cloths, sewing needles, and various other utensils of iron; they are more treacherous, and less to be trusted in their dealings.
So long as Newfoundland remained in possession of the French, the traffic of Europeans with the Esquimaux went little farther than the bartering of fish hooks, knives, or trifling wares, which they had brought with them to the fishing for whale fins. But when that Island fell into the hands of the English, they and the Americans, who promised themselves great advantages from opening a trade with the natives, brought with them a more extensive assortment of goods. The traffic at first was mis-managed. In order to ingratiate themselves with the savages, the traders both took and allowed greater liberties than were calculated to preserve mutual good understanding. The foreigners excited the cupidity of the natives, which, though easily satisfied at the moment, soon became a constant, increasing, and insatiable appetite; and when their whale-fins, furs, or blubber were exhausted, and they could purchase no more of the articles they had learned to prize, they first quarrelled with those friends who would not make them presents of what they wanted, and then proceeded by fraud or force to supply themselves. Having a thorough contempt for the Kablunat, they imagined that they displayed a virtuous and praiseworthy superiority, when they overreached, deceived, and stole from them. The traders who entertained similar notions respecting the Esquimaux, acted in a similar manner, and their intercourse soon became productive of murders and robberies, in which the numbers and cunning of the latter enabled them for a time to be the most successful.
A band of Esquimaux from Avertok, a place not far from where the settlement of Nain at present is, commenced their plundering expeditions upon system, evincing a depraved ingenuity, converted now to better objects. They went regularly to the south with whale fins, which they bought up from their neighbours, and under the pretext of trading with the Europeans, contrived, either by stratagem or open violence, to rob them to an extent far beyond the value of what they pretended to barter; this succeeding for a while, they were joined by others from various quarters, till they were able to equip a fleet of boats amounting to eighteen. In 1763, they so infested the straits of Bellisle, that it was not safe for a fishing vessel to enter them alone. And so successful were these pirates, that they supplied the whole coast, not only with iron utensils and European arms, but likewise with boats, sails, anchors, cords and nets; and boats in particular were in such plenty, that a good one could have been got for a few skins, twelve whale-fins, or two or three dogs. The excesses and cruelties with which these depredations were accompanied, filled the Europeans and colonists with such extraordinary terror, that if but the cry of a bird was heard in the night, every one trembled, and made ready to flee.
The savages preferred stratagem, and to accomplish their purpose did not hesitate to employ the most insidious treachery. When they approached Cape Charles, they never ventured farther, till they reconnoitred during the dark in their kaiaks, and ascertained whether there were any Europeans on the north side of Chateau Bay; if they found none, they advanced in the night, or in foggy weather, to the three islands that lie in the mouth of the bay, whence they, under cloud of night, examined the bay itself. If they found there only a few Europeans, whom they supposed they could easily master, they approached softly so near, that they could stare them in the face, and then raised a most frightful yell, which commonly terrified the Europeans thus taken by surprise, and threw them into such confusion, that they left all, and were glad if they escaped with their lives. If, however, the Europeans did not allow themselves to be frightened by the unexpected cry, but received them in a friendly manner, and made offer to trade, the Esquimaux would agree with seeming cordiality; and having sent off their boats and families, the men returned in their kaiaks bringing a few whale-fins to sell, and entered upon a very amicable-like traffic. This kind of intercourse they would continue for some days, till, having gained the confidence of the strangers and thrown them off their guard, then the most resolute and strongest of the Esquimaux, concealing their long knives in a secret sheath in their left sleeve, would enter upon a bargain for some more fins, and while adjusting it with the greatest show of friendship, each would seize the trader with whom he was dealing, as if he meant to embrace him, and on a given sign by their leader, would plunge his knife into his heart. In this manner the whole were cut off, and their property became the prey of the savages, who, when they had fairly cleaned Chateau Bay, would set sail to renew their depredations in other quarters, and if dark and misty weather favoured, and their force was sufficient, they would even scour the straits of Bellisle, or roam during the night in search of booty through the neighbouring islands. Such was the character of the savages the Moravians were desirous to civilize; how they succeeded, the following pages will show.
THE MORAVIANS IN LABRADOR
Hudson's Bay Company first settle among the Esquimaux.—J.C. Erhardt suggests a mission—his letter to the Moravian Bishop.—M. Stach consulted.—London merchants undertake the scheme—engage Erhardt—its fatal conclusion.—Jans Haven employed by the Brethren, encouraged by the British Government, sets out on a voyage of discovery—his providential arrival at Quirpont—first meeting with the Esquimaux—his interesting intercourse—returns to England.—His second expedition, accompanied by Drachart and other missionaries—their proceedings.—Drachart's remarkable conversation with the natives—influence of the missionaries in preserving peace—their religious communications with the savages—the curiosity of the latter—their thievish tricks—their kindness to the missionaries—a dreadful storm.—Drachart and Haven entertained by an Angekok—his incantations—their parting addresses to each other—the missionaries return to London.
When the original Hudson's Bay Company was formed, 1688, for the purpose of trading in furs with the natives, the instructions they sent to their factors breathed the most liberal and benevolent principles. They directed them to use every means in their power to reclaim the heathen from a state of barbarism, and instil into their minds the pure lessons of Christianity; and at the same time admonished them to trade equitably, and take no advantage of their untutored simplicity. It does not appear that much attention was paid to either of these injunctions, or if there was, the efforts proved as abortive as those they made to discover the western passage. The moral wilderness still remains around their settlements on the East Maine, while those of the brethren on the opposite coast of Labrador bloom and blossom as the rose.
The first thought of attempting to establish a missionary settlement in that quarter among the Esquimaux, originated with a Moravian brother, John Christian Erhardt, a Dutch pilot. He had in early life made several voyages to Davis Straits; but in 1749, when sailing under Captain Grierson in the Irene, the vessel touched at New Hernhut in Greenland, where he saw the congregation that had been gathered from among the heathen in that land; and in conversation with the brethren they told him that they supposed the opposite coast of North America was peopled by tribes having the same customs and speaking the same language as the Greenlanders. This statement made a deep impression on his mind, and during his stay at Hernhaag, 1750, while musing on the state of that people sitting in the darkness of heathenism, and on how the light of the gospel might be communicated to them, a description of the journey undertaken by Henry Ellis, 1746-7, at the desire of the Hudson's Bay Company, to try to discover a north-west passage, accidentally fell into his hands. The account there given of these barbarous regions convinced him that the people were sprung from the same origin with the Greenlanders, and the methods suggested by Ellis for their moral improvement enabled him to bring his own scheme to a bearing.
In a letter, dated 20th May 1750, addressed to Bishop Johannes de Watteville, he laid before him his plan for establishing a mission on that part of the coast between Newfoundland and Hudson's Straits, which had as yet been but rarely visited by Europeans, and offered himself to undertake it. "Whoever," says he in this letter, "has seen our cause in Greenland, and what the Saviour has done to the poor heathen there, surely his heart and his eyes must overflow with tears of joy, if he possess any feeling of interest in the happiness of others: they are indeed sparkling rubies in the golden girdle of our dear Saviour, as the text for the day speaks, Rev 1 13. And I believe the Saviour has in these northern waters many such gems that he will also gather, and set in it to his praise and glory. My heart is much impressed with the thought of carrying the gospel to the before mentioned countries and places." "Now, dear Johannes," he concludes, "thou knowest that I am an old Greenland traveller; I have also an amazing affection for these northern countries, Indians, and other barbarians; and it would be a source of the greatest joy if the Saviour would discover to me that he has chosen me, and would make me fit for this service. It is not for ease or convenience that I so earnestly desire it. I think I can say before the Saviour, if this is of thee thou wilt cause it to prosper, if not, yet it is a good work, and no one will lose any thing by it."
On purpose to further the prosecution of this object, M. Stach, the first Greenland missionary, had been recalled to Europe, and in the year 1752 was sent for to London by Count Zinzendorff, to be consulted with upon the occasion. Application was at the same time made to the Hudson's Bay Company, for permission to preach the gospel to the savages in the neighbourhood of their factories; but this being refused, probably lest it should interfere with their mercantile projects, M. Stach returned to found new settlements near the scenes of his first labours. Meanwhile, three London merchants, but unconnected with the Hudson's Bay Company, Messrs Nisbet, Grace and Bell, fitted out a vessel for the coast of Labrador, to trade in oil and whale fins, and engaged Erhardt, then at Zeist, to act as supercargo, who, on account of his knowledge of the north seas, of the trade, and of the language, they judged well qualified for that office; but they also wished to make some preparation for a missionary settlement, and four brethren, Golkowsky, Kunz, Post, and Krumm, volunteered to remain in the country to learn the language, and endeavour the conversion of the heathen; for this purpose they took with them a wooden house ready to set up, a boat, various articles of furniture, and some kitchen garden-seeds.
Count Zinzendorff, who, from former experience, was opposed to mixing trading transactions with the work of a Christian mission, was not without doubts as to the issue of this undertaking, he did not however attempt to prevent it. The vessel on board of which this small society embarked, named the Hope, reached the south-east coast of Labrador on the 11th July 1752. The whole is precipitous, and skirted with numerous barren rocky islands; among these they had to steer their way under many difficulties, and with the greatest caution, without any proper chart, in misty weather, and with the sounding line constantly in their hands. At length they landed, and proceeded in search of the Esquimaux in order to traffic with them. On the 29th July they made their first appearance in five kaiaks, which they managed with great dexterity, and seemed highly delighted with Erhardt, who, from his knowledge of the Greenlandish, could make himself understood by them. They exchanged some whale fins for knives. July 31 they came to anchor 55 deg. 31 m. N.L. in a beautiful harbour, surrounded by a wooded high land, and bounded by meadow grounds, to which, from respect to the chief owner of the ship, they gave the name of Nisbet's Harbour.
There the brethren, with the assistance of the sailors, brought their house on shore, and erected it on this pleasant spot—for it was summer[A]—which they called Hoffenthal, i.e. Hopevale; they received from the ship all that was necessary for the supply of their present wants, and putting their confidence in the protection of their heavenly Father, they took up their habitation.
Erhardt, in the mean time, carried on a considerable trade with the natives, who seemed very desirous to assemble around him, and showed him particular marks of affection and attachment. Having remained till the 5th of September, and having seen the brethren, to all appearance, comfortably settled in their dwelling, the vessel left to proceed further to the north, for the purpose of completing her cargo, and Drachart, who had engaged to return to Europe, received in charge the brethren's letters for their friends, and bade them farewell.
Ten days after, on the 15th, the missionaries, to their astonishment, perceived the Hope again re-enter Nisbet's Harbour. Upon boarding her, they learned the painful heart-rending news, that Erhardt, the captain, ship's clerk, and four sailors, had left the ship in a boat filled with merchandize, and for one day had conducted a friendly and gainful traffic with the Esquimaux; but being enticed by the savages, had consented to repeat their visit, perhaps proceed farther into the country, or along the coast, and were never seen more. The vessel, with the remains of the crew, had waited in a state of the most anxious distressing expectation two days and three nights, in hopes of their return; but as they never made their appearance, and they had no other boat to send in quest of them, they were constrained to leave the district, under the distressing conviction that the natives, who had been observed lurking behind some of the small islands, had risen on the unsuspecting party, and murdered them for the sake of their property.
This intelligence threw the brethren into the greatest perplexity, as the person on whom the charge of the Hope now devolved pressed them earnestly to give him their boat, and return with him to Europe, because, from the loss of his best seamen, without additional hands, it would be impossible to navigate the ship. Having come thither at the expense of the merchants, the missionaries could not allow them to suffer in their temporal concerns; and although they would willingly have risked their own lives in the cause, they did not see it equally their duty to risk the lives of others, and the property of the merchants, on an unknown coast and a tempestuous ocean, and therefore agreed to comply with the new captain's request. Leaving provisions in the house, from which they departed with sorrowful hearts, in the feeble hope that perhaps some of those missing might yet be alive, and might be able to find their way thither, on the 20th September they bade adieu to the station, reached St John's, Newfoundland, on the 31st, and about the latter end of November arrived in London.
An issue so disastrous to an expedition so well planned, which apparently carried within itself every rational promise of prosperity, was calculated to throw a damp upon any renewal of missionary enterprize in that quarter; and it did so with those who imagined that they themselves could command success, if their projects were judiciously concerted, and the means sufficiently supplied. It had no such effect on that eminent servant of God, Count Zinzendorff. When the mournful accounts of the uncertain fate of Erhardt and his companions reached that nobleman, he was grieved, yet not distressed—perplexed, yet not in despair; for he saw much mercy mingled in the dispensation, and was thankful to God that four brethren had returned safe. Next year the vessel Hope re-visited the coast of Labrador, under the command of Captain Goff. He heard that some dead bodies had been found and buried, and that the missionary station had been burned, but no further particulars were ever learned. In this manner ended the first commercial adventure and first mission to Labrador—enforcing, in a salutary and impressive manner, the fundamental maxim of the brethren, that worldly speculation ought never to be joined with Christian enterprize.
Notwithstanding this failure, the brethren did not relinquish the hope that God would, in some way or other, direct them how to reach these savages, and there were not wanting men who showed a strong desire to carry the gospel among them. In particular, Jans Haven, a carpenter, from the moment he heard that Erhardt had been killed by the Esquimaux, could never get rid of the powerful impulse, and in his retirement constantly employed himself with charts and books relating to the subject, and by every means endeavoured to make himself acquainted with the inhabitants, customs, climate and situation of Labrador.
In the year 1758, Haven received a call to assist the Greenland missionaries in founding the new settlement of Lichtenfels. He then for the first time told Count Zinzendorff, that during six years he had cherished the idea of going to Labrador to make known to the heathen their Creator and Saviour. At first the Count hesitated whether he should allow him to go to Greenland, but upon consideration, he thought it would be better for him to proceed thither; and on taking leave, and giving him his blessing, he said, "Go first to Greenland and learn the language, and the Saviour will do the rest." He accordingly went thither, and was honoured, along with M. Stach, to promote the second settlement in that country.
With all the attachment and love, however, which he soon conceived for the Greenlanders, his predilection for Labrador never abated, while his determination to serve the Lord in those regions was ever present to his mind; and when in 1762 he returned to Germany, he laid his desire before the Conference at Engen, which at that time had the direction of the Brethren's Unity, and offered to undertake personally a voyage of inquiry into these regions. His proposals met with their most cordial approbation, and he took his departure from Hernhut for England in the spring of 1764, with the blessing of the congregation. He travelled on foot through Germany to Holland, and after encountering numberless difficulties—especially in England from his want of a knowledge of the language—he arrived in London. His first intention was to offer himself as a common sailor or ship's carpenter to the Hudson Bay Company, in order to procure a passage; but the brethren advised him rather to try and get to Labrador by the way of Newfoundland.
After many fruitless attempts, he was eventually introduced, through the means of James Hutton, Secretary to the Brethren's Unity in England, to Sir Hugh Palliser, Governor of Newfoundland, and Commodore of the squadron which sailed annually from England. Sir Hugh received him very kindly, and took a lively interest in what appeared to him so praiseworthy an undertaking as the conversion of the heathen; for he rationally concluded that it would also be most advantageous for commerce, if the population of that country were instructed and humanized. He at once promised all his assistance and support, and even offered to carry Jans Haven out on board his own ship. This the missionary declined, but requested letters of recommendation to the government officers at St John's, which were readily granted, and he set sail with the first vessel for that port. Upon his arrival (May 16th) he lodged at the house of a merchant, who treated him with great civility, and supported himself by working at his trade as a carpenter, while he endeavoured to obtain every information possible respecting the scene of his future labours. In the mean time, his disinterested love for the work he had engaged in was put to an eminently trying test. Many persons who heard of his intentions came to see and converse with him; but instead of endeavouring to strengthen his hands in his missionary designs, they made him several advantageous proposals for settling in Newfoundland, where there would have been no doubt of his speedily realizing a fortune. His heart, however, was bent on a nobler object. That he did not under-rate the difficulties he would have to encounter in his arduous work, appears from a letter written about this time; but he knew likewise where his strength lay. "Every one here," says he, "paints the Esquimaux in the most shocking colours; but I think they are men, and the word of the death of Jesus, which has produced such amazing effects on other barbarous nations, cannot fail to have an influence also on them."
Immediately upon his arrival in St John's, Newfoundland, the Governor issued a proclamation, expressive of his approval of the objects of the mission and of his desire to promote them. "As it would," said he, "be of the greatest advantage to the trade of His Majesty's dominions in North America, if a friendly intercourse could be established between the Esquimaux Indians that inhabit the coasts of Labrador, and the inhabitants of the colonies; and all attempts hitherto to accomplish this desirable object having failed—partly, it must be confessed, owing to the foolish, treacherous and cruel manner in which some of our people have treated the natives in their traffic with them on their own coasts—some of them being most deceitfully plundered, and others barbarously murdered; in consequence of which we have been brought into the greatest contempt, as if our only design was to lay a snare to get them extirpated: such flagitious proceedings being directly opposed to His Majesty's benign and humane disposition, it is his Royal will and pleasure that these Indians be henceforth treated with kindness, and encouraged to trade with his Majesty's subjects. In conformity with these sentiments of our gracious Sovereign, we deem it necessary to recommend to every possible assistance the bearer of this, Jans Haven, a member of the Moravian Brethren's Church, who has formed the laudable design of visiting these coasts, and if possible, to communicate the knowledge of religion to the poor ignorant heathen, and also endeavour to remove the prejudices which have prevented them from having a friendly intercourse with us. And further, we, His Majesty's Officers, &c. in Council assembled, having conversed with the said Jans Haven, and being highly satisfied with him, command that no impediment be thrown in the way of this his attempt, but rather that every possible friendship and assistance be given him, in order to promote a happy issue to his most Christian undertaking, as by this a great service will not only be rendered to the inhabitants of these colonies, but to His Majesty's subjects in general. Given under our hand, subscribed and sealed at St John's, 1st July 1764. (Signed) HUGH PALLISER"
Fortified by this proclamation, which secured to the missionary the protection of the British Government, a protection which the Brethren have to this day enjoyed, he embarked on board a ship bound for the north, from which he was transferred to a French shallop engaged in fishing on the shores of Labrador. When they arrived on the coast, Haven for the first time saw the Esquimaux rowing about in their kaiaks, but none were permitted to approach without being fired upon, so great was the dread these savages had inspired. He landed, however, 24th Aug., near Chateau Bay, 52 degrees N.L.; but the inhabitants fled at his approach, at least none made their appearance till he left the shore, when they came in numbers to the beach, which was the subject of much merriment to the sailors, who made both him and his object the frequent subjects of their coarse ridicule—the few who sympathized in his disappointment advised him to return, and refused further assistance in what they considered so hopeless a cause. At the same time he was informed that a murderous project was in contemplation against the natives.
All these things filled his heart with the most pungent sorrow, preyed upon his mind, and wasted his body—and he cried to the Lord for relief and help in this distressing situation. Once, when writing down his heavy mournful cogitations in his journal, the master of the shallop entered his cabin, and seeing him in tears, inquired whether he was going to make a complaint to the owners? "No," replied he, "but I mean to complain of you to God, that he may notice your wicked conduct on the present occasion, for ye have taken his name in vain, and ye have mocked his word!" Struck with this address, the captain entreated his forgiveness, and promised that from henceforth he would do every thing to promote his design, which he faithfully performed, and landed him next day at Quirpont or Quiverant, a harbour in an island, off the north-east extremity of Newfoundland.
Here he landed in a most propitious moment—a number of unprincipled wretches had arrived, and were holding a council to concert a plan for destroying the Esquimaux. Instantly the missionary went to them boldly, showed them the Governor's proclamation, and strongly remonstrated with them; yet it was not without difficulty that he persuaded them to lay aside their diabolical design. To this harbour the natives frequently resorted to trade, or rather more frequently to steal; and here his first interview took place with the Esquimaux, which he records in his diary in the following manner: "September 4 1764 was the joyful day I had so long wished for, when one Esquimaux came into the harbour to see if Captain Galliot was there. While I was preparing to go to him, he had turned, and was departing to return to his countrymen, who lay in the mouth of the harbour, with the intelligence that the Captain had sailed. I called out to him in Greenlandish that he should come to me, that I had words to say to him, and that I was his good friend. He was astonished at my speech, and answered in broken French; but I begged him to speak in his own language, which I understood, and to bring his countrymen, as I wished to speak to them also, on which he went to them and cried with a loud voice, 'Our friend is come!'
"I had hardly put on my Greenland clothes when five of them arrived in their own boats—I went to meet them, and said, 'I have long desired to see you.' They replied, 'Here is an innuit.' I answered, 'I am your countryman and friend.' They rejoined, 'Thou art indeed our countryman!' The joy on both sides was very great, and we continued in conversation for a considerable time, when at last they invited me to accompany them to an island about an hour's row from the shore, where I should find their wives and children, who would give me a cordial welcome. I well knew that in doing this I put myself entirely in their power; but conceiving it to be of essential service to our Saviour's cause that I should venture my life among them, and endeavour to become better acquainted with their nature, I turned simply to Him, and said, 'I will go with them in thy name. If they kill me, my work on earth is done, and I shall live with thee; but if they spare my life, I will firmly believe that it is thy will that they should hear and believe thy gospel.'
"The pilot and a sailor who put me ashore, remained in the boat, and pushed off a little way from the land to see what would become of me. I was immediately surrounded, and every one seemed anxious to show me his family. I gave every boy two fish-hooks, and every woman two or three sewing needles; and after conversing about two hours, left them, with a promise of soon being with them again. In the afternoon I returned with the pilot, who wished to trade with them. I begged them to remain in this place during the night, but not to steal any thing from our people, and showed the danger of doing this. They said the Europeans steal also. I answered, if they do so, let me know, and they shall be punished. I seized every opportunity to say something about the Saviour, to which they listened with great attention. I then invited them to visit me next morning, and took leave.
"Next morning accordingly, eighteen Esquimaux came in their boats. I went out to sea to meet them, and as the French Captain was frightened at the sight of such a crowd, I only allowed six of them to come ashore with me, and directed the others to land somewhere else. I now informed them of Commodore Palliser's proclamation, and of the kind intentions of the British government towards them, assuring them, that in future no one should be allowed to do them the least injury, so long as they themselves behaved properly and peaceably—to all which they listened with great attention; but when I offered them the written declaration, which I had received from the Commodore, they shrunk back terrified, and would not be persuaded to touch it—for they supposed it a living creature, having seen me speak words from it. I then got into a boat and went with them again to their families, who received me as before, with the greatest show of kindness. In the evening, three French and one English boat arrived full of Esquimaux—the men came immediately to see me, and requested I would visit them in their tents. I read to them a letter written by the missionary John Beck, in name of the Greenlanders; and as I spoke to them of the Saviour's death, they appeared struck with terror—probably supposing that they were upbraided with some of their former murders. On which I showed them that he was a great friend to mankind—but they had no understanding of spiritual things.
"To my astonishment I spoke to them with much more ease than I supposed I could have done, and they expressed great affection for me, insisting always upon my being present at all their trading transactions with the sailors, to adjust matters between them; 'for,' said they, 'you are our friend.' When retiring, they entreated me to come again, and bring my brethren with me.
"On the day after, twenty-six men arrived, and requested me once more to pay them a visit before my departure. I begged the Captain to lend me his boat, which he readily did, as he wished to go along with me; the pilot, surgeon, and six sailors, all well armed, accompanied me. The captain had dressed himself in his most gaudy apparel, but of this the Esquimaux took no notice. They asked me if I really intended to come again next year? I said, Yes, if they did not murder me as they had my countrymen some years before—they startled, looked to the ground, and remained silent. I continued, 'I believe you did it through ignorance, but now that I can speak to you, I hope you will never do the like again.' They promised unanimously that no one should ever receive the least injury from them again. I said farther, 'When I come back I shall tell you things of the greatest importance, of the God that created you, and that redeemed you; and if you will but believe on him, then shall we live happy together.' One of them asked if God dwelt in the sun? I replied, 'God made the sun, and them, and me, and all things.' Another asked me, if he believed in this Creator, if he would be more successful in his business? I answered, there was no doubt of it, if he was diligent in his employment; but that the future life was of infinitely greater importance than the present, and it, those who believed on him, trusted in him, and lived according to his will, should enjoy. Some of them begged me to read again the letter that I had read yesterday; and when I wished to take leave, one of the chief persons among them, the Angekok Seguliak, took me into his tent, and embracing and kissing me, said, 'We are timorous now, but when you come back again we shall meet one another without fear, dread, or suspicion.' Another came with his drum and began to dance and sing, repeating often, 'Our friend is come! this makes us glad!' When he concluded, he asked me to answer him. I sung, while my heart was touched, this verse in the Greenlandish language, 'Jehovah, Lord of hosts—the true God—thou art the Creator of all nature—the Preserver of the world—What was ruined thou hast regained by thy blood, and by thy blood must sanctify—consecrated to thee we fall at thy feet.' When I had finished, they said, we are without words to express our admiration. They took their final departure on the 7th, but no sooner had they left the harbour than they began to steal. I offered, if they would give me a boat with four men, to go again and speak seriously to them, but no one would go with me."
Sir H. Palliser was so well satisfied with the missionary's report, that he sent him to Britain in the Lark frigate, to concert measures for carrying his benevolent design into execution. The Board of Trade, who perceived the immense advantages which would arise from a mission among these tribes, in promoting peace with the natives, and the security of the traders, were anxious to see the brethren established in Labrador; and the Directors of the Unity, under their especial patronage, in the year 1765, undertook a second voyage of inquiry upon the coast.
On this expedition Jans Haven was accompanied by Christian Laurentius Drachart, who had been a Danish missionary in Greenland,[B] John Hill and Andrew Schlozer (Schliezer.) The British Admiralty accommodated them with a passage in a public vessel, and they (7th May) sailed from Spithead, in the Lark, Captain Thomson, the same frigate that had brought Jans Haven home. He landed them at Cosque, Newfoundland, where another government vessel, the Niger, received them, and conveyed them to Chateau Bay, at which place they arrived July 17th; but were there obliged to separate, the captain, Sir Thomas Adams, having received instructions to detain some of them, to keep up the friendly intercourse with the Esquimaux. With these directions, they not unwillingly complied, their object being to follow the leadings of Providence, and pursue the line which promised to lead to the greatest good. Haven and Schliezer therefore proceeded forward, and Drachart and Hill remained. The two former embarked in a schooner bound for the north, in order to prosecute their intended exploratory voyages; but after spending from the 25th of July to the 3d of September, and reaching the 56th deg. N.L. on the east coast, Labrador, they returned without having accomplished any thing of importance, not having met with a single native in any place at which they had landed. The other two had an opportunity of speaking with hundreds, whom the trade attracted to their neighbourhood, of which they gave the following account in their journals: "On the 17th August, we heard that Esquimaux were coming, and were about twenty English miles off. We sailed on the 18th, very early, with Sir Thomas, to meet them, and invited them, in the name of the governor, to Pitt's Harbour.[C] After some hours we saw the first kaiak. As they approached, the savages began to call out, in broken French, 'tous camarades oui hu!' which the sailors answered in the same manner. Drachart allowed the first shout to pass over; he then took one of them by the hand and said in Greenlandish, 'Ikinguitigangut,' i.e. 'we are friends;' the native understood, and answered, 'Ikinguitsgenpogui,' 'we are also thy friends.' We then took some of them into the vessel. A man in a white woollen coat, said he got it as a keepsake from Jensingoak, i.e. Jans Haven, and inquired where he was. At their earnest invitation Mr Drachart went with them, and found upwards of three hundred assembled, crying out incessantly, 'We are your friends—be not afraid—we understand your words—where do you come from?' He answered, 'I have words to you;' on which the whole adjourned to a green plain without the camp, and sat down around him. He then told them, 'I come from the Karalit in East Greenland, where at one time I had a wife, children, and servants.' When they heard this, they cried out, 'These Karalit are bad people,' thinking he meant the North Indians; but he said, 'I come not from the north, I came over the great sea from the Karalit in the east, of whom you have heard nothing, for it is very long since they went away from this place. But they have heard of you, and therefore Jensingoak came last year to visit you, to see if you are Karalits, and I now see myself that you are; and I am sent to say, that the Karalits in the east are your friends, that they know the Creator of all things, who is our Saviour, and they wish you also to know him.'
"Greatly perplexed at this discourse, the savages made him repeat it again and again, saying to each other, 'saog?' what does he say? when an old man undertook to interpret. 'He means,' said he, 'Silla,'[D] throwing his hands around his head, and at the same time blowing with his mouth. 'Yes!' repeated Drachart immediately, 'Silla!—the great Creator of the world, is our Saviour.' A young man, somewhat astonished, stepping forward, exclaimed, 'Saviour! what is that? I do not understand what that means.' Another asked, 'Where is he?' Drachart then moving his hand in circles around his head, as the old man had done, said, 'He is every where in Silla, but he became a man, as we are.' 'Are you a teacher?' asked one. 'Yes, I was in the east,' replied the missionary. 'Are you an Angekok?' was the next question. 'It may be,' was the cautious response. On which two aged men, with long beards, coming up to him, said, 'We are Angekoks.' Drachart took them by the hands, and introduced them to Sir Thomas Adams, who, with the sailors, had been standing by during the conversation, and told them, 'This is our captain, who is sent by a greater captain to invite you to visit him to-morrow.' Sir Thomas then hastened back to Pitt's harbour, to give an account of this interview to the Commodore, who had remained there, and we continued our course a few miles farther north in St Louis Bay, where we remained during the night."
Now scarcely a day escaped without the brethren's having some intercourse with the Esquimaux, though this was attended with much difficulty, and many a sleepless night, as, in passing and repassing to their encampment, they often had nothing but the canopy of heaven to cover them from the wind and the rain. Sir H. Palliser employed Mr Drachart as his interpreter in the negociations which followed, for placing the trade with the Esquimaux on such a footing that all violence should from that time cease on both sides, and that mutual confidence might be restored and maintained. He also learned by his means the chief places of their residence, and their actual numbers—important points for regulating his future intercourse with that nation. In these respects, the missionary was unweariedly diligent, and his efforts were so successful, that, during the whole time he and his brethren remained, peace and good will was preserved among all parties.
But at the same time he neglected no opportunity to exhibit the crucified Jesus, and commend him to the heathen as their Saviour. The following excerpts from his diary may serve as a specimen:—When he spake to them of the corruption and depravity of all men, they thought he only meant the Kablunat, or foreigners, not them, they were good Karalit. "Have you ever," said he, "any bad thoughts?" "No." "But when you think we will kill the Kablunat, and take their boats and their goods, are not these bad thoughts?" "Yes." "Would you not then wish to be delivered from your bad thoughts, words, and actions?" "We do not know,"—concluded their catechism.
When the missionary told them that the Greenlanders had been washed from their sins in the blood of Jesus, they were amazed, and said, "they must have been very wicked fellows!" and when he spoke to them of eternal damnation, they supposed it was only the Kablunat that were sent to hell, (because they did wicked things,—as for them they were good Karalit.) Having upon one occasion mentioned God to them, they said, "Thou speakest of Torngarsuk." He then asked them if Torngarsuk created all things; they answered, "We do not know." But an Angekok said immediately, "Torngarsuk ajungilak,"—the great spirit is good and holy; and another added, "Ajuatangilat,"—nothing is impossible to him; and a third subjoined, "Saimavot,"—he is gracious and merciful. They, however, could form no idea of what he said to them of a Saviour and Redeemer; he was obliged to explain that word to them by parables, when they would ask if this mighty Personage would be their good friend, for they could conceive of him in no other way than as a great lord who was to come and deliver them from the Kablunat, and assist them against the northern Kraler. With the fickleness so natural to savages, they would listen attentively to the first instructions, but when it was often repeated, they would say, as both ancient and modern Athenians, "we know all that already, tell us something new," or like the Greenlanders, sometimes profess to believe it, and the next moment declare they neither understood nor cared about it. With those who had patience, and were so disposed, the missionary went over every doctrine about which they spoke in a catechetical way, and endeavoured by short questions, to see if they comprehended it, and tried to allure them to make further inquiry.
During their whole intercourse, the Esquimaux showed themselves very friendly, and were particularly glad when they saw Jans Haven again; some of them recollected many things he had told them the year before, and praised him for keeping his promise of returning, and others boasted of the good they had heard of him from their countrymen. The brethren could go any where among them with the utmost security; but they were under the necessity of submitting to their curiosity, and allowing them to handle every thing they saw, even when they perceived this liberty to be attended with danger; yet even now, such was the influence of their friendly behaviour, that very little damage was incurred. In one tent, they searched Drachart's box, and carried every thing off, taking also his hat along with them. Without uttering any reproachful complaint, the missionary went to some of the older people, and said, "Now I have got no hat to skreen me from the sun." They instantly called to the young men, and desired them to give him back every thing, which they did with the utmost coolness, and only requested a knife as a keepsake.
At another time, when they had secretly emptied his box, no sooner did the chief elders of the tribe perceive the circumstance, than they called every person belonging to the tent to come before them, and desired that what had been taken away should be restored; the thief immediately came forward, and without betraying any consciousness of having done wrong, threw down what he had taken, saying, "Thou needest it thyself!"
Though at a great distance, and scattered over a considerable extent of country, Haven and Drachart were especially anxious to visit them in their own houses: this they seized every opportunity of doing, searching them out, and under every difficulty wandering after them. But they were gratified by the reception they generally met with; for when they informed them that they intended next year to come and live among them, the answer uniformly was—"Come and build a house with us, and live with us; but do not bring Kablunat with you, bring only Innuit—men as we are, and you are; and Jensingoak shall help us to build boats, and to repair them; and Drachart shall teach us to read and write, and we shall live together as friends: then our flints[E] and harpoons shall no more be used against each other, but against the seals and rein deer."
A dreadful storm of wind and rain occurred on the 12th September, which gave rise to some interesting incidents, and appears materially to have furthered the object of the missionaries, by shewing the Esquimaux their fearless intrepidity and unsuspecting confidence, which strongly affected the savages, and greatly increased the affection and respect in which they before held them. The missionaries, when attempting to get on board their vessel, were prevented by the violence of the tempest. Their shallop was driven on shore and grounded on the rocks. In vain they endeavoured, with the assistance of the Esquimaux, to get her off: eight of them waded into the water breast-deep and toiled for upwards of an hour, but could not move her; meanwhile the vessel went away, and they were left alone with the natives. Hill and the ship's surgeon endeavoured to follow the vessel in a small boat, in order to attempt some arrangement; but just as they had reached her, they were dashed by the waves against the ship's side and overset, and narrowly escaped with their lives. Drachart and Haven now betook themselves to the stranded shallop, but they were destitute of provisions, and the rain fell in torrents. The Esquimaux, who perceived their wretched situation, came and represented to them that the boat could not possibly float before the tide returned in the morning, and invited them to lodge for the night in their tent, a proposal with which the poor drenched brethren were glad to comply. Immediately Segulliak, the Angekok, plunged into the water and brought them successively on his back to the shore; he afterwards carried them to his tent, caused his wife to procure them dry garments, and spread a skin on the floor for them to sit and sleep on. The tent was soon crowded with people, who frequently asked them if they were not afraid? "We do not know what you intend," answered they, "but you are our friends, and friends are not afraid of each other." "We are good Karalits," was the universal rejoinder, "and now we see you are not Kablunat, but Innuits, and our friends; for you come to see us without weapons, we will do you no harm." The Esquimaux then gave the brethren fish, water and some bread they had got from the sailors, and in about half an hour prepared for rest, Segulliak kindly covering them with two other skins. The conjurer himself did not, however, appear inclined for repose: falling into an ecstacy he first sung with his wives, then muttered some unintelligible jargon, made strange gestures, blew and foamed at the mouth, twisted his limbs and body together as if convulsed, throwing himself into every possible posture; and at intervals emitting the most frightful shrieks, then again he held his hand on Drachart's face, who was next him, and concluded the first act of his demoniacal pantomime by groaning out, "Now is my Torngak come!" Observing Drachart, who was awake, appear startled when he came near him, as often as he laid his hand on his face he kissed him. He then lay still for a while as if dead—after a little began to moan, and at last raised himself up, and requested that they would kiss him, as that gave him some relief, after which he sat down and began to sing. The brethren told him they would sing something better, and accordingly sung some Greenland hymns—to these the Esquimaux were very attentive, and repeated every word, observing, "We know only a little of what you say."
Wearied and restless, the brethren lay down, but could not sleep; they therefore frequently arose and went out of the tent: but Segulliak, who appeared to view their motions with suspicion, always took care to go out along with them: in the morning, at his desire, they divided among his people glass-beads, fish-hooks, sewing needles, &c as payment for their night's lodging. At parting, Segulliak addressed them, "You may tell your countrymen in the east that you have slept a night with me in safety—you are the first foreigners that ever remained a night in my tent—yet you are not foreigners but men, our friends, with whom all dread is at an end, for we know each other." Drachart being taken ill, it was not till the 21st September that the brethren were able to take their final departure, on which occasion Jans Haven, when bidding the natives farewell, made them promise that they would not forget what Drachart had spoken to them. "We shall now," said he, "see you no more this year; but remember your Creator and Redeemer, and when we come again next year we shall be happy with each other—The Saviour be gracious unto you and bless you, Amen!" On the 30th September the four brethren returned to Newfoundland, and after a friendly interview with the governor, embarked on board the Niger, Nov 5th, for England, being again granted a free passage by government. On the 25th they landed at Plymouth, and reached London on the 3d of the same month.
[Footnote A: The difference of aspect between a spot in summer, for a few weeks, and during winter, is altogether extreme.]
[Footnote B: Vide "Moravians in Greenland."]
[Footnote C: Pitt's Bay and St. Louis Bay are creeks quite in the neighbourhood of Chateau Bay, or York's Harbour.]
[Footnote D: Silla in Greenlandish, signifies sometimes the air, sometimes the understanding, and sometimes the world, or the pneuma, the soul of the world.]
[Footnote E: A poetical expression for pistols and muskets.]
Contests between the Colonists and Savages revive—Murderous skirmish.—Mikak.—Karpik, his conversion and death.—The Moravians receive a grant of land on the coast of Labrador—resolve to renew the mission—voyage to explore the land.—Jans Haven, Drachart, &c., arrive at Labrador—their interview with the natives—meet Mikak and Tuglavina—their kindness.—Segulliak the sorcerer.—Anxiety of the Esquimaux for their remaining among them—ground purchased for a settlement—manner of bargaining with the Esquimaux—sail for Esquimaux bay—the natives troublesome—the Captain's method of checking them—conduct of the missionaries—they preach on shore.—Conversation with the Esquimaux—search out a place for a settlement—purchase it of the natives—ceremonies used on the occasion—take formal possession.—Deputation return to England.
Various impediments prevented any further negociations with the government of Great Britain, in regard to establishing a mission among the Esquimaux, for nearly five years. During this period the English merchants and the natives on the coast of Labrador were anew involved in strife and bloodshed. With the missionaries all confidence had left the country; the colonists had no check, and the savages had no friend. The mercenary views of the traders were ever leading them to cheat and deceive these poor untutored unprotected beings, who in return, deemed retaliation no crime; nor in balancing the amount of guilt would it be easy to settle which of the parties were most deeply implicated; the one who gave trifles, or worse—beads or brandy, for articles of real value; or the other, who secretly pilfered some useless toys or iron implements, for which in fact they had greatly overpaid. Both were rogues in their dealings, only the Europeans had the advantage of superior knowledge, which enabled them to rob with superior dexterity, and to cloak their knavery under the name of barter.
But at this date—1766-9—the Esquimaux, from their intercourse with their civilized neighbours, had learned to estimate the value of European arms and vessels, and they stuck at no method by which they might possess themselves of them, while the murders which the whites committed with impunity, led them on every occasion that offered, eagerly to gratify their cupidity and revenge. They accordingly watched their opportunity; and in 1768, when the Europeans were off their guard, killed three men and stole two boats. A battle was the consequence, when twenty of the savages were left dead on the field, and four women, two boys and three girls were taken prisoners, and brought to Newfoundland. Among the women prisoners were MIKAK; one of the boys was her son; the other, Karpik, about fifteen years of age, had previously lost his mother, and his father fell in the engagement. Their own story forms a remarkable episode in the history of the mission. These three were sent to England, where they were treated with much kindness.
Mikak, who seems to have been a person of very superior understanding, was noticed by many of the nobility, and particularly by the Princess Dowager of Wales, mother to George III; but nothing could overcome her love for her native land, or erase from her mind the deep sense she entertained of the sufferings of her kindred. We are not furnished with the facts of the case, but it appears sufficiently plain, that from all she saw in England, and during the time of her captivity, that she discerned and appreciated the immense superiority of the Europeans over the Esquimaux, and was extremely anxious to return home, and, if possible, carry with her the means of their amelioration. Providentially Jans Haven came to England in 1769 for the purpose of endeavouring to renew the mission, and meeting with Mikak, she immediately recognised him as an old acquaintance, who had formerly lodged in her tent, and expressed the most unbounded joy at meeting with a friend by whom her language was understood. Her first and constant theme was the condition of her countrymen; and she incessantly entreated Haven to return to Labrador and endeavour to do something for their relief. Besides, now that she had a medium of communication, she never ceased to urge her prayer among those distinguished personages, by whom she had been patronized, and her applications had no small influence in paving the way for a renewal of the mission. Soon after she was sent home in a King's ship, and rendered essential service to the brethren who followed.
By the especial direction of Sir Hugh Palliser, Karpik was consigned to the care of Jans Haven for the purpose of being properly educated, that he might afterwards be employed in the important service of introducing Christianity, and the peaceful arts of civilized life, into the savage and inhospitable coasts of Labrador—the Governor being deeply impressed with a sense of the great benefits to be derived from a well conducted mission among the wild tribes in the neighbourhood of the colony, with whom they meant to carry on a safe or a gainful traffic. Naturally ferocious and untractable, Karpik was very averse to restraint; and it was not till after the most unwearied display of disinterested kindness, that Jans succeeded in gaining the affections of this stubborn boy, and persuading him willingly to accompany him to his dwelling.
Here, perhaps, the good man's most trying labours began. Karpik inherited the prejudices of his nation: he had a high opinion of himself, and despised all others; and when told that God the Creator of the world desired to make him happy, received the information as a matter of course, replying to his teacher with a comfortable self-complacency, "That is right, for I am a good karaler!" The filthiness of his skin had superinduced a cutaneous disorder, which, when the care and attention of Haven had got removed, he expressed high delight, but he soon became dissatisfied with the clean plain clothing in which he was dressed; boys of any rank at that time being absurdly decorated with ruffles and lace, and such like trumpery; and as if human folly had wished to caricature its own ridiculous extravagance, some of the children were even introduced into company with cocked hats and swords.
Poor Karpik, it seems, caught the infection, and conceived a violent passion for a hat and coat bedizzened with embroidery; and it is amusing to remark his wayward ingenuity, when insisting upon being gratified. On one occasion Jans had remonstrated with him upon the uselessness of finery, and exhorted him to apply himself to useful learning; and above all, to seek to know the Lord who dwells in heaven—"Poor clothes," retorted he instantly, "will not teach me that! my countrymen, who have poor clothes, die and know nothing of God. The king has fine clothes, and knows God as well as you, and why should not I? give me fine clothes, I can still know God and love him!" Haven told him he had no money to buy him fine clothes—"Then go to the king," said Karpik, "and get money from him." "Well," replied the missionary, "we will go; but if the king asks, what has Karpik learned? can he read, or write, or is he acquainted with the God in heaven? what shall I say? If I am forced to answer, He has learned nothing; the king will say, Take him on board the man of war, let him serve my officers and clean their shoes for seven years, till he has learned something.—You know how these boys are treated." Karpik perceived the force of this simple reasoning, fell on the neck of his instructor, and promised all obedience in future. It was not, however, till some time after, that eternal things began to make a serious impression on his mind.
At length he grew thoughtful, and under the powerful conviction of his wretched state as a sinner, would often exclaim, "Woe is me! I am good for nothing, I am a miserable creature!" Under these uneasy sensations he at first felt exasperated, and he wished he had never heard of a God or of a Bible; but as the truth beamed in upon his soul, he became calm and peaceful, and manifested a strong desire to be further instructed. He was in this interesting state of mind, when Haven, being called away, committed him to the charge of Mr Drachart, who was then residing at the Brethren's settlement in Yorkshire, under whose tutilage he made rapid improvement in knowledge; and evidenced, by the change of his disposition, and his mildness of manner, and simplicity of conduct, that the gospel had taken powerful hold upon his heart; and this he evidenced still more clearly, when early called to grapple with the last enemy.
From the encouraging progress he was making, his friends were fondly anticipating the time when he should go forth as a zealous missionary of the Lord Jesus among his benighted countrymen, but their hopes were suddenly overcast. On September the 22d, he was seized with the small pox, which, in spite of the best medical assistance, speedily proved fatal. He bore his distemper with patience, and some of his last expressions were, "O! Jesus, I come to thee, I have no where else to go. I am a poor sinner, but thou hast died for me! have mercy upon me! I cast myself entirely upon thee." The day before his death he was baptized by Mr Drachart, who, at his own request, made use of the Greenlandish language in administering the rite. On the 4th October 1769, he expired, the first fruits of Christ's vintage among the Esquimaux; and although not employed to spread the savour of his name among his heathen kindred by the living voice, yet he was honoured by his death to encourage the exertions, and strengthen the faith of those soldiers of the Lord who were buckling on their armour for the glorious combat.
Whether the ruinous effects of the state of anarchy, and murderous contests which prevailed whenever the natives and the Europeans came in contact, or whether the various memorials with which they had been for several years annoyed, had most influence, we know not; but the Board of Trade made a representation early in 1769 to the king, (George III.) and on the 3d May, the same year, a Privy Council was summoned to consider of a petition from the Brethren for establishing a mission on the coast of Labrador. The result of their deliberations was, "That His Majesty in Council gave, and authorised the Brethren's Unity, and the Society for the furtherance of the gospel among the heathen, to take one hundred thousand acres of land (belonging to the Esquimaux,) on the coast of Labrador, where, and in whatever place of the same was most convenient for their purpose." And the Governor of Newfoundland was directed to afford the brethren in their settlement every protection, and to furnish them from the royal stores with fifty muskets and the necessary ammunition.
Following up this favourable opening, the Moravian Synod, which was held at Marienborn, resolved to renew the friendly intercourse with the Esquimaux, and to search out a convenient situation for the establishment of a mission. In consequence, Jans Haven, Drachart, and Stephen Jensen, received this in charge; and some other brethren resolved to take a part in it, and go themselves as sailors in a ship which a Society of the Brethren in London had fitted out, and which they resolved should annually visit the coast of Labrador to carry out supplies of the necessaries of life to the missionaries. They first made land at a place called Arnitok, an island about six miles from the spot where Nain now stands; there they found twenty-nine boats full of Esquimaux, but they behaved in a very unruly manner and with great insolence, till the report of the great guns, fired over their heads, frightened them into order; they then showed themselves friendly, and the missionaries, who understood the language, preached the gospel to them. After this the two brethren, Haven and Jensen, traversed the coast unmolested in search of favourable ground for a settlement; but being unable to find such a spot they set sail again, and on the 15th July ran into an harbour upon the most eastern point of the mainland, near Nain, 55 deg. N.L. Here they found many Esquimaux, and the joy on both sides was greatly heightened, when they recognised among them several of their old acquaintances, in particular Segulliak, who said to Jans Haven, "When I first saw your boat I was afraid, but I no sooner heard that little Jans Haven was there than all fear departed, and I am very glad to see you again, for I have a great love to little Jans." He then bound a strap of leather round Drachart's arm, at the same time saying, "We love thee much!" and laying his right hand on Drachart's breast, continued, "This band on thy arm shall from henceforth be a sign that our love shall never cease. I have not forgot what I heard of the Lord in heaven, and I long to hear more." Drachart answered, "You may indeed be assured that I have a great love for you, when I, an old man—he was then in his sixtieth year—have come again to visit you, that you might hear more of your Lord in heaven, your Creator, who became a man and died on the cross for your sins, for mine, and for the sins of the whole world." The Esquimaux replied, "We will hear the word you have for us!" Drachart continued, and spoke of the great love of the Creator of all things, which moved him to come down from heaven to earth, and by his sufferings and death to redeem us from our sins and eternal punishment. When the brethren confirmed to the savages what Mikak had formerly told them, that they intended to settle among them, they rejoiced like little children, and every one of them gave Jans Haven a small present.
As Mikak had told them that her relations, who had gone to the south, anxiously wished to see them, the missionaries sailed on the 19th July back to Byron's Bay, and sent the Esquimaux boats before them. It was not long before a kaiak arrived with the father of Mikak, who instantly coming on board said, "My daughter and her husband are here on the island before you, and they strongly desire to see and speak with you." Indeed, scarcely had they cast anchor in the open creek, when Mikak with her husband Tuglavina, and their son and daughter, came to them. The man had a white woollen coat, but Mikak herself wore a finely ornamented dress, trimmed with gold, and embroidered with gold spangles, which had been presented to her by the Princess Dowager of Wales, when she was in London, and had on her breast a gold medal with a likeness of the king. Her father also wore an officer's coat. Being invited into the cabin to partake of some refreshments, Jans Haven asked her if she would receive the brethren as her own people. "You will see," she replied, "how well we will behave, if you will only come. We will love you as our countrymen, and trade with you justly, and treat you kindly." On account of the tempestuous weather, the whole party, amounting to fourteen, were detained during the whole night on board the vessel. Early next morning they left them, followed by Messrs Haven and Drachart, who, going from tent to tent, preached the gospel to them. Mikak acted in the most friendly manner—assuring her kindred of the brethren's affection for them, and telling them of all the kindness she had experienced in England, where she had lived in a great house, and been most liberally treated. The missionaries being about to take leave, Segulliak came up to Drachart, and renewed his expressions of attachment; the latter replied, "I do not forget that five years ago you assured me of your love; and only a few days since you bound this thong on my arm as a token of your affection, and by this you have declared that you are willing to hear the word of the sufferings and death of Jesus." When the others heard this, they all cried out, "We also are willing to hear." The missionary then mentioned some particulars of the history of the life and sufferings of the Saviour, and asked if they would wish, as the Greenlanders did, to hear something of Jesus everyday? "Yes! yes!" they all replied. "Then," said Drachart, "if that be the case, we will look out for a piece of land in Esquimaux Bay, where we may next year build a house."
Although these good men had received the extensive grant we have mentioned from His Majesty of England of the Esquimaux country, they did not consider that that gave them any right to take possession without the consent of the inhabitants, or without giving them an equivalent, notwithstanding the settlement was intended solely for their advantage, and was to communicate to them what was of infinitely more value than millions of acres in the finest country of the world, instead of a patch of barren ground on the bleak and inhospitable coast of Labrador. When they mentioned that they meant to "buy" the land, the whole crowd, who perfectly understood the term, cried out, "Good! good! pay us, and take as much land as you please!" Drachart said, "It is not enough that you be paid for your high rocky mountain; you may perhaps say in your hearts, when these people come here, we will kill them, and take their boats and all their valuable articles." "No! no!" they exclaimed, "we will never kill any more, or steal any more; we are brethren!" "That gladdens my heart," said Drachart; "but how shall we buy the land? You have no great chief, and every one of you will be lord of his land. We will do this: we will give each of you what will be more useful to you in your fishing than the land you may give us." "Pay us," they repeated, "pay us, and take as much land as you please." Drachart and the other brethren then going from tent to tent, divided among the men, women, and children, all kinds of tools and fishing tackle, which having done, he produced a written agreement to which all their names were attached, and telling them its import, required each to put a mark before his name with his own hand, that it might be a perpetual memorial of their having sold the land. When they had done so, he again shewed each his name with his mark, adding, "In time to come, when yourselves or your children shall learn to read and write, as the Greenlanders have done, they will be able to read these names, and they will remember what they have just now seen and heard." Drachart next informed them, that when they should return to Esquimaux Bay, after the rein-deer hunt, they would see four great stones erected with figures on them, which were called letters, and these would mark out the boundaries of the land which had been bought from them. The Esquimaux, of whom about one hundred were present, then gave the brethren their hands, and solemnly promised to abide by their agreement "as long as the sun shone."
After this sacred transaction the brethren, along with Mikak and her family, returned to the ship, which set sail the same day for Esquimaux Bay. On the dangerous passage, Mikak and her husband were of essential service in directing their course among rocks and islands, and likewise in trading with the Esquimaux they met with on their way, and inducing them to receive the brethren favourably, and attend to their instructions. Notwithstanding, however, the uniform expressions of love with which the savages everywhere hailed them, the missionaries found it necessary always to be upon their guard, and use the utmost circumspection in their intercourse with their new friends, especially on shipboard, where they behaved with a rude intrusion, often extremely troublesome, and not always without showing marks of their natural propensity to thieving; they therefore prohibited more than five from coming on board at one time to trade, and that only during the day; and informed them that if any were found in the ship during the night, they should be treated as thieves; and, to fix the time allowed for trading more exactly, a cannon was fired at six o'clock in the morning, and another at the same time in the evening. Finding that his regulations, however, were not so strictly observed as he could wish, and the natives becoming rather troublesome, Captain Mugford, while lying off the Island Amitok, deemed it necessary to show them that he possessed the power of punishing their misdeeds if he chose to employ it. He fired several shot from his great guns over their heads against a high barren rock at no great distance. When the broken pieces of the rock rolled down threateningly towards them, they raised a mournful howl in their tents, as if they were about to be destroyed; but they afterwards behaved more orderly, and not with the savage wildness they had done before, yet the missionaries were always obliged to act with firmness and decision, in order to prevent all approaches to any transgression that it might have been necessary to punish, or that might have exposed any of the men to danger.
During the voyage, Drachart held a meeting morning and evening, in the cabin, with the young Esquimaux, who seemed to take great pleasure in it, and were highly attentive. Some of their expressions were remarkable. "They wished they had such a desire for the Saviour as a child has for its parents"—"or a man to hunt the rein-deer, and obtain his prey."—"They