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BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

A short account of a northwest voyage, performed in the years 1796, 1797 & 1798 Johnson, Ebenezer 1798

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OF   A 
1796, 1797 & 1798 

When on the boifterous Waves we ride, 
Let not the thought of Fear intrude. 
JluETMlNKS I hear the reader exdam,^hai thefi
felines wiW^ot be acceptable to the Public.—But
token they have read the following pages, which I now
lay before them, and examined them with the mofi critical eye, they will not Iapprehend bedifappointed.—-The
impartial review taken of three parts of the Globe9
and the; obfervations made on the Voyage, (which being
nearly two years) muft be pleajing to ihofe who are not
acquainted with ^"Fpreign Ccuntry.—This being the
firft Voyage that I have made to'that Country (and
being young in the feafaring bufinefs) I was induced
to keep a daily journal, from my departure, until my
return ; which is contained in the following Epifllt*
*—By the dejire of a few friends, the fubfcriber is i»-
iuced to put it to Prefs for Public examination, in
hopes that it will pleafe fome, and give information to
ethers<—■As fuch he flatters himfelfit will be received^
whkh will amply reward hisfufferings> m ■w
O F •«
.    ■;     .
ti&MjQi ■ &W$i$fi*
J^ILEt£Wtt$ofton*»board the' India Facket, ArJ.
gu^^th^796^^^plea'fant weatlA winds N# !$ Hear-
ing d|ffd£au$fe S. EdS^ptcfaber; on our courfe for
1pg$rt|Horollhe Souj^rh extremity of QputlilAmericaj
^afant   weather,   light .gales of w|njl;vattendedSwith a
littlg | raii^   O&ober nth.—Nothing materi^faappened,.
Notyrhave the M^||7-Trades Frefh.b,G^ber£th.~-Some
jit^flifturbances in the Ship as isNaWral totupppfe there
^ing,nye differed languages onl^ard.%1 beginning to
make a little profiQUBricy^pin Navigation.   Sunday 0£kober
25t^.^lnJ^t/vf. S. fteari^;^Mr cottffe S. E. by S.wedif-
cdve^Jtboi^temarkable clouds call|&the Magalen fclouds»:
fuppofed to take their name from being Jfcovered by Mag«
alert and,aje aftually -ajjout vertical with, the Straits of Mag-
alei^   Tbip,dumber of ""fifefe clouds are threjpjand perhaps;
the greater!: curiofity ever aye beheld. I One of them is m*
black the-ethers white&fPerhapsthe curious reader will QUjk'.'.
ryabouithe truth of this refifoi?. I|undred$'are l^^mfei'
of we hardy Seamen, that Bavebeen eye wimefs of thefbme.
3?o entertain the reader with a further defeription of thefe or.-, i-o -■"-".! %~
clouds.   They re vole round each other in their feveral or"
bits.   Their apj^Eanc^ is;^
by a cIoud^bomzon^^
revolving.    Sunday O&dber 3oth-^^rnitig fair but food
found j|ur horrizon obftu&ed by clouds,  ai melancholyI
fcene to behold;   tjjere came on a gale of wind;   finding
ourfelves in emi nant danger of, being foundered.   As the
gale increafed we foon found our fore^opm aft about our
ears, carried clofe down to the cap.   In replacing the fore
topmaft we unfortunately loft our main tQp gallantmajRo
The reader wilip|natural fuppofe our fituiftion really dilj^f-sa
log, andhadit nbt been for the^eateft exertion we niuMin-
avoidable perifhed. Saturday November 5th—All an entire
calm nothing material to day^|s Sunday November 6th—-
Lt. 45,0. ,58 m. S. veryboifterous^eather^^reaSi^ariety of
birds, foirie furprifing whales feen Iflftliofe latitudes.   No-
verrf|er2oth—By obfervation we fuppofed ourfelves not
fardiftant from Cape Horn.    In the Lt. ^5 S. frequently
feeing feals of an enormous fize,  and every  kind of animal, natural to the South Seasi Thur||ay Decembersd^
and then difcovered Gape Horn bearing N. from us.    We
had a very tedious time of it in geting up with the Cape;
but now have very fine weather for this  latitude.    We
find oipfelves becalmed at this time, but foon have a breeze
of windland continue our courfe to the fouthward.
I)e|e|; «th—In lit. 59, o.|pH$d S. we difcovered an ^^afe
ifriing Modntarfjofice, that we f^ghd to be by Our Quaj|j|
rants  four miles' in heigftt^and 0|>pofedd§> be twentyfollp
?f$f circumference.mAmong the ^tfpiofities in the %fctth
Sea this is confidered one of the greateft.    However *t$g
;c'fedible this may appear kind reader,# yet hiftory Will co&Se
.Jt|m itfeCatching fome AlbetfofTes twenty feet fr$in orf|f
wing to the other.    One very reril^ableSing Jfik.this lalJX
tude, is tlfat-ethe fun i&JQ be feen nineteen hours out of
^entyfbur, and plain day light continually.    Sunday Decern]^ 2,5th-— Noth|ng particular occured.   Weha^enow
fhaped our cotirl^fer the N. W. Coaft of Amerid|which
is N. N. wil -    111111      '  IIP
January tft 1797.—^V obfervation find ourfelves in Lib
«^.ow3om. S. nigh theTrophicLjiriifi We now begin totfeink
4?pr-^)airing ourfelves for the N. W. Indians, where we intend to procure our furs.    Diftrefling is our fituatiofi'On
account of bad provifions, by the liegleft of the owners of
the Ship, confined to three fmall bifcuits per day, and three
j&nts of water.—Ilff;this fituation for three months, with a
fmall allowance of beef. m%
Indulgent reader do not let me tire your patience, with
unneceuary prolixty for the want of good ftile being hr%ad
without it, and but little chance for improvements/Saturday Jaij» . i^th,—We'lSfe5" now croffed the Equator and
find ourfelves m Lt. 6 N. In taking a great many fea Tur-
,\ffoaxe tolerably well furnifhed forpro\rifion. WefufFered a
great deal for the y^it of water*'. Jmt this daylhave had a very
fine fhower of rain, which furnifhed us with a good fupply.
Thcfharks dfce(mj$ifl$g\y plenty in this latitude ; fome of
them are fo ravenous mat while our beef is toing along fidje^
which neceflity requires they take it away net and all,
I have fome occafion to complain'fcf our Captain on the
account of ufage, his committing afTault and battery on a
number of the crew, is fomething I dont fo welli&lifh, but
am not in a fituation to feek my redrefs at prefen^but anx- -
ioufly wait the arrival of^tbe time, in which I will acquiant <jjl|
him that I took umbridgeatlty and {hall with the greateft
jpt^priisiy feek my redrefs.   /^NMmP.   .
Sunday January 21 ft.—Stearing N.SV. byN. by obfervation found ourfelves in Lt. lj N. nothing rpeterial og^
curred.  Saturday February 18th.—We are now in Lt.  49°
•33$» Be^gdi^relTed with a terrible gale ofwind, of courfe
excited fome alarm in us,  for the feas run^ountai^ higfc'
and to appearance fhould have our fhip covered, dafhing
and beating as if fhe would go to pieces every moni&nv
FeeJ-forusl|©ader inJmsjfituation, wjiatmuft the feeflags
within oui.^pceaft be, expecting to go to the bottom every
minute;   but through di$ne afijftance and a little of  our
Own exertions we foon cleared ourfelves of fear ; got our
fails all in, and our yards and maft down on deck.    In this
fituation we remained about forty eight hours, and then the
flonh abated fo that in a fhort time we found ourfelves in
our ufual fituation.    Kind reader, I acknowledge, Jwe had   *#..
great jneafon to thank Neptune the goveiiior of the $eas.///». . /
Tuefday Febfiiary 2.1 ft 1797 .—We this^oi-ning-jad the
goodfortune to <pfcover land,   at 18 Leagues diffence, an#
after mree days fail up into Norfolk  Sound and; come to
anchor, after being at Sea about fix months. Norfolk Soun^
;SLin.Lat. ^^N. Long, not ascertained, but tTOW»&£§1>e
in about |f9 E,
m mm
We foon was incompafl|'d about witbF'canoes with ^
feme 30 Indians in eacftlr !Morfying buJaBoulFa mile from
the more we had traffic enough.
After wooding, and watdrtng, and repairing, we weighed
Our anchor and failed for MearXes Bay,  about 3°to the
Southward; had very good fucc&fs in trade, found furs plenty
neing the firft fhip on the Coaft this fealqn, -tiurchafed ouj£
furs advantageoufly,  after lying at anchor about 20 dayy^p
fet fail for Charlotte's Iflar^ about i° to the Southward ;
after arriving there was vifited by a great number of canoes;
but cdfcitd not trade much on account of theboafterous weatH£.
er; at our arrival at this platie, we let go our anchor; bu«w
on account of the gales that are pj^evalent hefe£was, obliged'
to heave it up, ard make fail feven times iirthe fpadeoi &$^
hours.m We then thought beftto fail for SKfticus flill furth*.
er tp the Southward; the di fiance about 40 miles.
dftfter arriving we came to anchor|dandw*|nd here a large
Village rather a Metropolis ofjfiis Nation/-whef <£ we pur-
chafed three bundred fkins.
Thurfday March 16th.—We have had ^'Sood'foAune
to procure eleven hundered fkins beft prjme* ^^W^rM^
ing fail fr$n this, we fhape our courfe tor Ni&folkpountlvy
p.riefk£r|ying in Norfolk Sound, wOpoke the fnip ^*ftg|y$»i
Cash Bow£»^ffom Boflon, und^way oU&of me Soupchjp
all fends, in goodjterts, excepting one ficK'^ro the fcug£
yey, a diforder whiMlfuffereq'rnucif. from, "xrpu may-W§Hr
conceive with what rapture><weimbracedone ano^^;, th^v5^,
being the1 firft cirriftian people we have feen fin^w^let%
Bofton; the :j)ifpatch being bound to Mearfes Ba^Jjwew
''tjcked ihip,jand went in company with them^pn oujf$rfk
i$[ at the Bay, we founlrlying there, Capt»/Trottef. in?gr
X^jjtf&ftn Providence, likewife the brig Hazzard from Bqf-.
,X§$i «&>p QflPt- Lay, maftff.    We had no particAiai* •fewfe
rfpm t$em, all were weftm We herejrad^ojtra iuwilFlJK
S  j^cm'fing furjf   Weighed anchor and f^rail,i^pfocRQ^
^b'iindj arfiw^gkbere, we got a fupply ^^PpyMM^i^^im
;T^|fteft"purcha|ed a few furs.
j^Th^Ve^der wjffl not coniider me to minUte nX^enPOTanff
foofte^urmfrchafing furs, as they were meoniy wfi^*
°^ f^^^Jf^^'^P^^^11^61 °*  Ikins PUrcH&wdLwaiJtX
a#?npd#rds;;;'p    he ..
Tnffwfrves of the N. W. part of* this' Coti*tij£ $&>gffl£:
much alike in their manners, they fpeak a numSer oxTa*«, JOHNSON'S VOYAGE.
guages ; they are ahardy robuft fet of people, about a middle fizeiprefembfflg our Jhdian very much,-of a tawny
complexion.    ;ljeik|   MM       W$ffi&
A fhort deferipaon Olpthe animals may attraft the attention of the r^e5f®?Lft. The fea animaifthe Elephant about
thecnze of aJarge ox,   w|ien fulPgrown,  utter a ternM&
"Jbe fcwlSind iSfifcXtremely ^rttffiS^is/uch as Gee
Turkeys, inputs, |M|cks, oRvery kind, tltjf Eagle and PM
^ican, the^^the-nl^t^ftla rac^fin thefe  Northern
and upexptoied r^ions. |gg     P^!!!!!^^
r^Mdfea Q^^':that.0^alua|fejtoKMl; emtnant fo£;frc$M!
:«if In^bok^^^^^g^^^M werejf|t||l|
.-ChinaffH*ij^ them for wor •
; %£     m IflKSS      mm
May Sl^'W97-—We kt fail for China {tearing S. S. W.
with a. fine breeze* Wj£
In^^J^^et, June satltigWgy.—We continue on
ourdMlQ^^Or China,  with ahrifk-^ind,   Hearing S. W.
;0' Latpgoj^. two of our men are taken with t|§? fcurvey, a
d||prder y^y common in fuchda^.yoya§p. Illalliii^l
SjEtJfc Ji(j^Vtt^^S^at. flgffi'we loff%u^tnain and fore
top'nlaft, in^yB^^eavy SqUalt'OTwihtff, we'jtowe^r, re-
n^ee$ them ve/^'lopn.
yE<l|y^Iy 24t-r£-^-In Lat.  14 N^E. 144° 3°; feven cf®it i
crew h&ye the fcurvy, very' bad, incjuding^iir cna,ef officer/
We have been becalmed about 18 day's; "nut have now a
breeze of^w^l^^
Jj. P. Ttil^" 30th.—We had the foMune to difeover tb^is
41and Tmnian,dat5 A. M. and got tri with it at tWb¥§jjjM.
We came to anchor and fent our boat on fhore, 'whh tile'
fickN&b the number of feven ; left them and brought of a fine
BuHock, and five hundred oranges, a number of cocoanuts,
and feveral hogs. djThe animals, on this I Hand are entirely
wild, were put "on here by Anfon, a Spaniard, in circuninavw i
igating thetplfland Tinnian, is in Lat. 140 8 N. WfjfLohs.
145 wij^if^ve^al adjacent Iflands.* Agr^sgan, Sipan, &c.
Thurfday Jj^rydf&th.—This day we iet fail for China.
in good fpiritSjbil" 'pa flag e 'in which nothing .material h
pened,    .After being in the-^d Sea a few days,
pa fin; 12
through the thoufand Iflands arrivedjjt Macow. Macow
is fitnated 3t the mouth'of the river Ta,^r yellow Slyer.
We there came to anchor; after fetting fail for Canton we
arrived in Wambo hjfrbour in 48 hours, the diftance being
85 miles, we there Came to anchor after three months paf-
fage from the N. W. Coaft of America.
Wambo harbour, Septembe^^S^oiyp^.—The trade of
Wambo. As to the trade of this Country, it isprendered
fomething difficult on account of their'precarious difpofi-
tions being ever open and ready to accept of every advantage as robbing, pilfering, &c* &.41 " Their "mode of wor-
fhiping is fomething very peciijiar; they burn incenfe
night and morning ; 'continuallylbffering upfacrifi^es to
the Deity, or toufe their Language to Joft.' Tffere are
immenfe numbers that are b$rn and live on the waters until
they die : It is fuppofedilbat there ar^One Million that live
en the waters continually'. It is too well known in this
Country to enter into a long hiftory of thei|ESbinefe or their
manners in general.' ' *o^m^^p ^^
I do not wifh to tire the reader with intrinfic circum-
ffapfces ; but after difpofing of our furs for money, purchaf-
ed ourfelves a Cargo of Teas and a few China Curiofities,
we fet fail for Boflon,  the 12th of November 1797.—■
Some apologies  ar£ neceffartf  in this cafe, bu&whfcn the
reader is become acqu^.inted with the^irciijgm^Efes he will
be kind enough to excufe me for not coir^umg'my joujgp"
fial in a regular manner as I intended.    In the CQriimeri^
ing of the Voyage ; Ithad the misfortune of being fick tr|^'
moft part of the time after I left China unablel^^vfite. 'So
I fhall endeavour to fa'tisfy the reader, as" far as poflible. 0 "
06k>ber 17th.—^oft fight qf land on our paffage for A-
merioa after failing through thelShina Seas and dowrt the
coaft :#fe Africa, through the ftraits of Balaboam by Java-
head for ninety days we arrived at the Cape of Gooahope
the Southern extremity of Africa.* In Lat. 340 goS^Canton lying in 23 N. thereader may eafily eftimated the Dif-
l^tice. The Cape of Goodhope is the garden of Africa. It
being very pleafantly fituated and the moft fpacious Bay in
the world lying before the town. ! This town was taken by
the Dutch, a long time fince frpm the Hottentots, but was
three years fince captured by the Englifh ; and now is in
he hands of them and guarded by as large a fleet for the'
place as any in the known world.   We found caufe to lie j^^j\ri^^^E.
\n this place ten d%«^§& ac^i^L^ ou|ffl|fc > We baa the
^sfprtunetolofe three of our people^^n ourdp^page from
vb£i&a ; ^e^^eni^^d mate^W^nds^re aVariety
of people : Englilh, Dutch, Hottentots, too numerous to
mention. One curiofity is th© Hyi$&t6tssneep, of an eip.
ormous fize ; iheir ^ap-s^ar^ \ |[ajd;to >v eigh --^ jb^T.i have
feen them to weighd ifflp^^The 16wl Kind, the ISIIncirare
Tound here in^lentyptoi£ifbKi^V\^^^^8^er^» an extraordinary fowl. The Cafovaro||plre about the fize of
the Oftrich, n°t unlike them except their wings and bruf-
February 3d.—This morning fet fail for Boftqn, leaving
one of our men flck at $$e Ca^^^^^gfer coming; too, at
the Ifland Afanchiant to get a little,refreshment by fifh and
turkle. *' We fet fail for -jetton. A He&^pti'on may not be
difagreea^le to the indulgent reader.^ in Lat. 8 S. a
continued clift of rocks, aWut 24 miles°lmcirGumference.
Deftitute of inhabitants or any animal except rats, and them
without number of an enormous fize.^Of fowl kind is
found here the man bldwar biropand^^pl in plenty; The
iurkle of this place are very large fome, weighing qoolb.
Itbeing within at5out8uol the EquTnofctiarhne, wel
adapted to them. TheHurtle furnifhed us with the moft
delicious difh being a variety Qt measiiySfcni: For brevity fake, I ftiuft leave tfrcs rfirbjeft. ai^l^tmuelMlketch of
the paffage from China to America.
^February the 24th, 1798.—We weighed our anchor for
the lafttin&e with joyful hearts,lmd fet Sii^r Bofton fleering W.N. W.
I I. P. March |^th, i79^^lBontii|aing%ir paffage to Bof-
ton N. E. trades fleering.W. JS. W. by bbXejrvation find
ourfelves in 230 30 moNorth.s^^tlthe trbflfflfne.
April lft, 1798.—-By obfervation we find ourfelves in
Lat. 300 24 m. upon a piftfiHel With the W. I. Iflan'ds: Nothing particular occurred.
April 7th.—We came in fight of land through miftake.
We got into Marblehead. harbour owing to the^f^yyhjch
was very heavy, we there took a piJofcand direSal our
courfe for Bofton, where we arrived the ioth# after a paffage of 137 days from China; * rfrhs£jj&dSnSS^Si€^h'.'*
■ ^flt-.*--'3<»-.-"-J*,»  ■■■^M
jjKJSach'toil. ^^^J^g^^^M^pS
life 111 J&£ f!^^S^^3&^S
»«y§j.  ^ j*%i*^jtpp?4*- -m-   ■»..*. e owes*
■ e •W"b&ert^fi-x'%jfv i^ild'I;>lid^ot:fcnow ?
Ht   ' - ■ :"r-."bdv 'v ■' ^-^r^T   ~^
When duty called I began to bid adieu.
" v^HdS *I 'N5fep'Mr» fi^ifBM^'''
But jftil to my fefeaat J<^ "&y^ftgl d
BlejftMiKi NjeQtuneJte9et^e3iK.e
•yjwjffife feas riftn i ng raojunta^^rlSS; %
Thoug% treads tfee%fe^5|^i?yK
All-lenfe?ol dangei
But thinknot our cafe is hard,
Our,fails wh^%^rbour iffurl^d2
Then each^ toWJeifoJiw W2M3^
The (feck #e*8|ear
d   .:..;   .-      •, ee
Th&i three times cbeefc
Our am'rous toaft
Her£jvejflyf, moft!  


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