Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

A narrative of the adventures and sufferings of John R. Jewitt, only survivor of the crew of the ship… Jewitt, John Rodgers, 1783-1821 1815

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0222551.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0222551-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0222551-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0222551-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0222551-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0222551-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0222551-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array        District of Connecticut, es*  Jj|
BE IT REMEMBERED; That on the eigUh
day of March, in the thirty-ninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, John
R. Jewitt, of the said District, hath deposited in this office,
the title of a Book, the right whereof he clams as proprietor, in the words following, to wit,
A narrative of the adventures and sufferings of John R.
Jewitt; only survivor of the crew of the ship Boston,
during a captivity of nearly three years among the savages
of Nootka Sound: With an account of th&mmners, mode
of living, and religious opinions of the natives. EmbeUish-
ed with a plate, representing the ship in possession of the
" Dire scenes-joC horror on a savage shore*
" In which, a witness sad, a part I bore."
In conformity to an act of the Congress of the United
States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of'fyfarninjjgi
% by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the
" authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times
'A therein mentioned."
of the District of Connecticut.
A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,
of the District of Connecticut
.■ Names of the Crew of the Ship Boston, belonging to Boston, in
Massachusetts, owned by Messrs. F. & T.' Jlmory, Merchants
of that place—All of -whom, excepting two, were on the 22nd of
March, 1803, barbarously murdered by the savages of JYbotha,
John Salter,
B. Delouissa,
'William Ingraham,
Edward Thompson,
Adam Siddle,
Philip Brown,.
John Dorthy,
Abraham Waters,
Francis Duffield,
of Boston,
of New-York,
of Blyth (England,)
of Hull,       Do.
of Cambridge (Mass.)
of Situate,        Do.
of Philadelphia,
of Penton, (Eng.)
John Wflaon.(blaekman) of Virginia,
WiUigm Caldwell,
Joseph Miner,
William Robinson,
Thomas Wuspn,
TKnarew Kelly,
Robert Barton,.
James M'Clay,
TFhomas Piaiten,
Thomas Newton,
Charles Bates,
John Hall,
Samuel W°ipcU
Francis Marten,
of Boston,
of Newburyport,
of Leigh, (Scotland.)
of Air, Do.
Do. Do.
ojE'the Isle of Man,
of Dubli^;
of Blakeney,Norfolk, Eng.Do.
of Hull, Do. Do.
of St. James Deeping,Do. Do.
of New-Castle. Do. Do.
of Glasgow, (Scotland)  Jkn
Norwegian, *Doy
Captain.    [!§&;
Portuguese, Do.
JupitefHSenegal, (blackman) Do.
"Jfofai&'Hrompson, "Fniladelj^hia, Sail-Maker,
who escaped-—since dead.
John R. Jewitt, of Hull in England,    Armourer,
the writer of the Journal from whence this Narrative is taken,
and who at present, March 1815, resides in Middletown? in the
state of Connecticut. fz
A list of Words in the Nootkimi Language,
the most in use.
Toop-helth, Cloth.
Cham-mass, Fruit.
Cham-mas-C, Sweet or pleasant
sish, £to the taste.
Moot-sus, Powder.
Chee-pokes, Copper.
Hah-welks, Hungry.
Nee-sim-mer-hise,        Enough.
Chit-ta-Yek,   Knife or dagger.
Klick-er-yek, Rings.
Quish-ar, Smoke.
Mar-met-ta,      Goose or duck.
Pook-shit-tle, To blow.
r» •  u-i. 4.1     ^To kindle
Een-a-qui-shit-tle, |a fil,e
Ar-teese, To bathe,
Ma-mook-su-mah, To go to fish,
Ar-smootish-   ? *
v.    i    ~ c A warrior,
check-up, >
Cha-alt-see klat-tur CGU? off, or
wah,. ego away.
Ma-kook, To sell.
Kah-ah-pah-chilt,   $  Give  me
r '   c something
Oo-nah, How many.
I-ryah-ish, Much.
Kom-me-tak,       I understand^
t        „  ,   .   CIdo not under-
Em-ma-chap, To play.
Kle-whar, To laugh.
Bring it.
up,             Son.
Sun or Moon.
Tar-too se,
Fresh water.
Noot-chee,     Mountain or hill.
Fire or fuel.
Ml oil.
A fish-hook.
v Fish-hooks.
i Noo-poo,
j At-tle-poo,
' At-lah-quelth,
! Saw-wauk-queltb,
, Hy-e-0ftk»
One hundred-
One thousand- NARRATIVE
I WAS born in Boston, a considerable
•borough town in Lincolnshire, in Great-Bri-
tain^prthe 21st of May, 1783. My father,
EdwSKI Jewitt, was by trade a blacksmith,
and efteemed among the first in his line
of business in that place. At the age of
three years I had the misfortune to lose my
mother, a most excellent woman, who died
in childbed, leaving an infant daughter, who,
with myself, and an elder brother by a former marriage of my fatber constituted the
whole of our family. My father, who considered a good education as %he greatest
blessing he could bestow on his children,
was very particular in paying every attention to us in that respect, always exhorting
us to behave well, and endeavouring to impress on our minds the principles of virtue
and morality, and no expense in his power
was spared to have us instructed in whatever might render us useful and respectable
in societyv My brother, who was four
J^ears older   than  myself,  and of a more
'•. i 6
hardy constitution, he destined for his own
trade, but to me he had resolved to give an
education superior to that wrhich is to be
obtained in a common school, it being his
intention that I should adopt one of the
learned professions. Accordingly at the
age of twelve he took me from the school in
which I had been taught the first rudiments
of learning, and placed me under the care of
Mr. Moses, a celebrated teacher of an academy at Donnington, about twenty miles
from B&ston, in order to be instructed ip;
the Latin language, and in some of the higher branches of the Mathematics. I there
made considerable proficiency in writing,
reading, and arithmetic, and obtained a
pretty good knowledge of navigation and of
surveying; but my progress in Latin was
slow, not only owing to the little inclination
I felt for learning that language, but to a natural impediment in my speech, which rendered it extremely difficult for me to pronounce it, so that in a short time, w^ith my
father's consent, I wholly relinquished the
The period of my stay at this place was
the most happy of my life. My preceptor,
Mr. Moses, was not only a learned, but a
virtuous, benevolent, and amiable man, universally beloved by his pupils, who took delight in his instruction, and to whom he allowed every proper amusement, that coifP
sisted with attention to their studies. One of the principal pleasures I enjoyed
was in attending the fair, which is regularly
held twice a year at IJonnington, in the
spring and in the fall ; the second day being wholly devoted to selling horses, a prodigious number of which are brought thither
for that purpose. As the -scholars on these
occasions were always indulged with a holi-
day, 1 cannot express with what eagerness
of youthful expectation I used to anticipate
these fairs, nor what deligjit I felt at the various shows, exhibitions of wild beasts, and
other entertainments that they presented.
I was frequently visited by my father, who
always discovered much iov on seeinsr me,
praisecl me for my acquirement and usu-
allv left me a small sum for mv pocket ex-
Among the scholars at this academy, there
was one named Charles Rice, with whom f
formed a particular intimacy, which continued during the whole of my stay. He was
my class and room mate, and as the town
he came from, Ashby, was more than sixty
miles off, instead of returning home, he used
frequently during the vacation, to go with
me to Boston, where he always met with a
cordial welcome from my father, who received me on these occasions with the greatest
affection, apparently taking much pride in
me. My friend in return used to take me with
him to an uncle of his in Donnington, a very *
wealthy man, who, having n<$*children of&is
own, was very fond of his nephew, and on his
account 1 was always a welcome visitor at the
house. I had a good voice, and an ear for
music, to which I was always passionately
attached, though my father endeavoured to
discourage this propensity, considering it,
(as is too frequently the case) but an introduction to a life of idleness and dissipation,
and having been remarked for my singing
at church* which was regularly attended on
Sundays and Festival days by the scholars,,
Mr. Morthrop, my friend Rice's uncle, used
frequently to request me to sing; he was
always pleased with my exhibitions of this
kind, and it was no doubt one of the means
that secured me so gracious a reception at
his house. A number of other gentlemen
in the place would sometimes send for me
to sing at their houses, and as I was not a
little vain of my vocal powers, I was much
gratified on receiving these invitations, and
accepted them with the greatest pleasure.
Thus passed away the two happiest years
of my life, when my father, thinking that I
had received a sufficient education for the
profession he intended me for, took me
from school at Donnington in order to apprentice me to Doctor Mason, a surgeon
of eminence at Reasby, in the neighbourhood of the celebrated Sir Joseph Banks.
With regret did I part from my school ac- quaintance, particularly my friend Rice and
returned home with my father, on a short
visit to my family, preparatory to my intended appretp^ieeship, The disinclination I
flyer had felt for the profession my fath^f
wished me to pursue, was still further increased on my return. When a child I was
always ft)nd of being in the shop, among the
^.oriujaen, endeavouring to imitate what
I saw them do ; this disposition so far increased after my leaving the academy^that I
could no&Ibear to hear the least mention
made of m$ being apprenticed to a surgeon,
and I ujfed so many entreaties with my father to persuade him to give up this plan
and learn me his own trade, that he at
last consented. More fortunate would it
probably have been for me, had I gratified
the wishes of this affectionate parent, in
adopting the profession he had chosen for
me, than thus induced him to sacrifice them
to mine. However it might have been, I
was at length introduced into the shop, an(J
my naturajifturn of mind corresponding with
the employment, I became in a short time
^ncomn|Qnly expert at the wofk to which I
Jsyas set. 1 now telt rafself well contented,
pleased withray occupation, and treated
wit^ much affectjon by my father and kindness by my ^tep-mother, my father having
once more entered the state of matrimony,
WW ^imdow much  younger than himself
m 10
who had been brought up in a superior manner, and was an amiable and sensible w$t
About a year after I had commenced this
apprenticeship, my father finding that he
could carry on his business to more advanW
tage in Hull, removed thither with his farnft
]y. An event of no little importance to me,
as it in a great measure influenced my future destiny. Hull being one of the best
ports in England, and a place of great trade,
my father had there full employment for
his numerous workmen, particularly in vessel work. This naturally leading me to an
acquaintance with the sailors on board some
of the ships, ,the many remarkable stories
they told me of their voyages and adven-
tures, and of the manners and customs of
the nations they had seen, excited a strong
wish in me to visit foreign countries, which
was encreased by my reading the voyages
of Capt. Cook, and some other celebrated
Thus passed the four years that I lived at
Hull, where my father, was esteemed by alt
who knew him, as a worthy, industrious, and
thriving man. At this period a circumstance occurred which afforded me the opportunity I had for some time wished, of gratifying my inclination of going abroad.
Among our principal customers at Hull,
were the Americans who frequented  that
.!***■'■ ",l™" 11
port, and from whose conversation, my
father as well as myself formed the most favorable opinion of that country, as affording
a% excellent field for the exertions of industry, and a flattering prospect for the establishment of a young man in life. In the
summer of the year 1802, during the peace
between England and France, the ship Boston, belonging to Boston, in Massachusetts,
and commanded by Capt. John Salter, arrived at Hull, whither she came to take on
board a cargo of such goods as were wanted
for the trade, with the Indians on the North-
West coast of America, from whence, after
having taken in a lading of furs and skins, she
was to proceed to China, and from thence
home to America. The ship, having occasion for many repairs and alterations, necessary for so long a voyage, the Captain applied to my father to do the smith work,
which was very considerable. That oentle-
man, who was of a social turn, used often to
call at my father's house, where he passed
manv of his evenings, with his chief and se-
cond mates, Mr. B. Delouisa, and xMr. William Ingraham, the latter a fine young man
of about twenty, of a most amiable temper,
and of such affable manners, as gained him
the love and attachment of our whole crew.
These gentlemen used occasionally to take
me with them to the theatre, an amusement
trhich I was very fond of, and which my fa- 12
ther rather encouraged than objected to, a&
he thought it a good means of preventing
young men who are naturally inclined to
seek for something to amuse them, from
frequenting taverns, ale houses, and places
of bad resort, equally destructive of the
health and morals, whilethe stage frequently
furnishes excellent lessons of morality and
good conduct.
In the evenings that he passed at my fa^
tlier's, Captain Salter, who had for a great
number of years been at sea, and seen almost all parts of the world, used sometimes
to speak of his voyages, and observing me
listen with much attention to his relations,
he one day when I had brought him some
work, said to me in rather a jocose manner^
John, how should you like to go with me?
I answered that it would give me great pleasure, that I had for a long time wished to
visit foreign countries, particularly America, which i had been told so many fine stories of, and that if my father wom.d give hi^
consent and he was willing to take me with
him, I would go. I shall be very glad to do
it, said he if your father can be prevailed <%
to let you go, and as 1 want an expe^
smith for an armourer, the one 1 have ship-
Bed for that purpose not being sufficiently
master of his trade, I have no doubt that
you will answer my turn well, as 1 perceive
you are both active and ingenious, a#d o#t w*
my return to America, I shall probably be able
to do something much better for you in Boston ; I will take the first opportunity of speaking to your father about it, and try to persuade
him to consent. He accordingly the next
evening that he called at our house introduced the subject: my father at first would not
listen to the proposal. That best of parents, though anxious for my advantageous
establishment in life, could not bear to think
of parting with me, but on Capt. Salter's telling him of what benefit it would be to me
to go the voyage with him, and that it was
a? pity to keep a promising and ingenious
young fellow, like myself, confined to a small
shop in England, when if I had tolerable
rica, where wages were
living cheaper, he at length gave up his objections and consented that I should ship on
board the Boston as an armourer, at the rate
of thirty dollars per month; with an agreement that the amount due me, together with a
certain sum of money which my father gave
Capt. Salter for that purpose, should be laid
out by him on the North-West Coast in the
purchase of furs for my account, to be disposed of inChina for such goods as would yield a
profit on the return of the ship; my father being solicitous to give me every advantage in
his power, of well establishing myself in my
trade in Boston or some othenmaritime town
I might do so much better in A ine-
wages  were much higher and 14
of America. Such were the flattering expectations which this good man indulged
respecting me. Alas ! the fatal disaster
that befel us, not only blasted all these
hopes, but involved me in extreme distress
and wretchedness for a long period after.
The ship having undergone a thorough repair and been well coppered, proceeded to
take on board her cargo, which consisted of
English cloths, Dutch blankets, looking
glasses, beads, knives, razors, &c. which
were received from Holland, some sugar
and molasses, about twenty hogsheads of
rum, including stores for the ship, a great
quantity of ammunition, cutlasses, pistols,
and three thousand muskets and fowling
pieces. The ship being loaded and ready
for sea, as I was preparing for my departure,
my father came to me, and taking me aside,
said to me with much emotion, John, I am
now going to part with you, and heaven only knows if we shall ever'again meet. But
in whatever part of the world you are, always bear it in mind, that on your own conduct will depend your success in life. Be
honest, industrious, frugal, and temperate,
and you will not fail, in whatsoever country
it may be your lot to be placed, to gain
yourself friends. Let the Bible be your
guide, and your relianee in any fortune that
may befal you that Almighty Being; who
knows  how to bring forth good from evil, 15
and who never deserts those who put their
trust in him. He repeated his exhortations
to me to lead an honest and a christian life,
and to recollect that 1 had a father, a mother, a brother, and sister, who could not but
feel a strong interest in my welfare, enjoining me to write him by the first opportunity
that should offer to England, from whatever
part of the world I might be in, more particularly on my arrival in Boston. This f
promised to do, but long unhappily was it
before I was able to fulfil this promise. I
then took an affectionate leave of my worthy parent, whose feelings, would hardly
permit him to speak, and bidding an affectionate farewell to my brother, sister, and
step-mother, who expressed the greatest solicitude for my future forkme, went on board
the ship, which proceeded to the Downs to
be ready for the first favourable wind. I
found myself well accommodated on board
as regarded my work, an iron forge havhig
been erected on deck; this my father had
made for the ship on a new plan, for which
he afterwards obtained a patent ; while a
corner of the steerage was appropriated to
my vice bench, so that in bad weather I
could work below.
On the third day of September, 1802, we
sailed from the Downs with a fair wind, in
company with twenty-four sail of American
vessels, most of which were bound home.
%: *r.
I was sea-sicliforM few of the first dayf>
but it was of short continuance, and on my
recovery I found myself in uncommonly fine
health and spirits, and went to work with
alacrity at my forge, in putting in order som3*
of the muskets, and making daggers, knivek
and small hatchets for the Indian tradf,
while in wet and stormy weather 1 was oc-
.cfqpied below in filing and polishing them.
This was my employment, having but little
to do with sailing the vessel, though I used occasionally to lend a hand in assisting the
seamen in taking in and making sail. As I
had never before been out of sight of land,
I cannot describe my sensations, after I had
recovered from the distressing effects of self-
sickness, on viewing the mighty ocean by
which I was surrounded, bounded only19j
the sky, while its waves rising in mountains,
seemed every moment to threaten our ruin.
Manifest as is the hand of Providence in
preserving its creatures from destruction, in
no instance is it more so than on the great
deep; for whether wTe consider in its tumultuary motions the watry deluge that each
moment menaces to overwhelm us, the in?-
mense violence ofiffi. shocks, the little that
interpfoses between us and death, a single
:Wank forming our only security, which,
should it unfortunately be loosened wouM.
plunge us at once into the abyss, our gratitude ought stronglyrto be excited towards 17
that superintending Deity mho in so wonderful a manner sustains our lives amid the
We had a pleasant and favorable passage
«£ twenty-nine days to the Island of St. Cayenne on the coast of Brazils, where the
Captain had determined to stop for a few
days to wood and water. This place belongs to the Portuguese. On entering the
harborwe were saluted bj^the fort which-we
returned. The next day the Governor of the
Island came ©u board of us with his suite;
Captain Salter received him with much respect and invited him to dine with him, winch
he accepted. u|fhe ship remained at St. Catherine's four day$, during which time, we
*iy«ere busil^employed in taking in wood, wa-
,lfr, and fresh provisions. Captain Salter
thinking it best to furnish himself here with
a full supply for tis voyage to the North-
West coast, so as not to be obliged to stop
at the Sandwich Islands. St. Catherine is
a very commodious place for vessels to stop
at that jgre bound round Cape Horn, as it
ggbouuds with springs of fine water, with excellent oranges, plantains, and banana^^
Having completed our stores we pupl^
sea, and on the twenty-fifth of Deceiiflber at
length passed Cape^Horu, which we had
made no less than thirty-six days before, but
were repeatedly forced   back   by contrary
B winds, experiencing very rough and tempestuous weather in doubling-it.
yfeamediately after passing Cape Horn, all
our dangers and difficulties seemed to be at
an end ; the weather became fine and so
little labour was necessary on board the ship
that $$e m&n soon recovered from their fatigue and were in excellent spirits. A fejflr
davs after we felloin with an English South
Sea Whaling Ship, homeward bound, which
wras the only vessel we spoke with on our
voyage. We now took the trade wind or
monsoon, during which we enjoyed the finest weather possible, so that for the. space
of a fortnight we were not obliged to ree\e a
topsail or to make a tacfe^ and so light was
%$& duty and easy the life of thehsailors during this time, that they appeared the happiest of any people in the world.
Captain Salter, who hadabeen for many
years in the East-India trade, was a most
excellent seaman, and piteserved the strictest order and disci^tene on boardii&is ship,
though he was a man of mild temper and
conciliating mannersyand disposed to allow
every indulgence to fcfis men, not inconsistent
with their duty. We had on board a fine
band of lilmfc, with which on Saturday
nights, when tfee weather was pleasant, we
were accustomed %o be regaled, the Captain
ordering them to play for several hours for
the amusement of the crew.    This to me II
Wa#molP^d%fttful, especially during the
serene evenings we experienced in traversing
the Southern Ocean. As for myself, during
the day I was constantly occupied at my
forge, in re-fitting or repairing some of the
iron work of the vessel, but principally in
making tomahawks, daggers, &c. for the
JNorth West coast.
During the first part of our voyage we
saw scarcely any fish, excepting some
•whales, a few* sharks, and flying fish ; but
after weathering Cape Horn we met w?ith
numerous shoals of sea porpoises, several of
••whom we caught, and as we had been for
some time without fresh provisions, I found
it not only a palatable but really a veijy excellent food. To one who has never before
seen them, a shoal of these fish presents a
very striking and singular appearance; be-
^feld at a distance coming towards a vessel
they look not unlike a great number of small
black waves rolling ©*ver one another in a
confusedkmanner mad approaching with
igreatKfmtlness. As soon as a shoal is seen
all is bustle and activity on board the ship,
the grains and thenarpootrs are immediately
gof ready, and thtifee wfeo are best skilled in
throwing them tdfae their stand at the bow
and along the gunwale askiously awaiting
the welcome troop as they come, gamboling
and* blowing around the vessel, in search of
food.   When pfferceji with th4harf^n3gnd
M m
drawn on board, unless the fish is instantly
killed by the stroke, which rarely j^ap pens,
it utters most pitiful cries, greatly resent
bling those of an infant. The flesh cut into
steaks and broiled, is not unlike very coarse
beef, and the harslet in appearance ami taste
is so much like that of a hog, that it would
be no easy matter to distinguish the one
from the other; from this^&ircumstance the
sailors have given the name of the herring
hog to this fish yt wa#told by some of the
crew, that if one of them happens to free
itself from the grains or harpoons, when
struck, all the others, attracted by the
blood, immediately quit the ship and give
chace to the wounded one^and as soon as
they overtake it immediately tear it in pieces.
We also caught a large shark, which had
followed the ship for several days with a
hook which I made l^lthe purpose, aiifl
although the flesh was by no means equal
to that of the herring hog, yet to those destitute as we were of any thing fresh, I found
it eat very well. After pas&$ni§pThe Cape
when tbetsea ha$ become calm we saw great
numbers of Albatrosses, a large brown.fctid
white bird of the goose kind, one of wl&ch
Captain'Salter shot, whose wings measured
from their extremities fifteen fe^fcii One
thing, however, 4 rnttgt not omit mentioning,
■10 ftt struck me in a most singular and ex-
*$**aordmary   manner.    This   was,   that on ^kssing^Qipiyporn in Dege^be^^ich was
mid summer in that clii^ate,|^li^ nights
$fere sought, without any moojgu ^aj^we
found no difficulty what^^^mttvre^ing
small print which we frequency cU^^r^r^
our watches.
Ja^his jpanner, with a fair ^ind and easy
^p^l^^rfrom the 28th of D||£ember, the p||
0pd of our passing Cagp Horn,  we pursued
gur voyage to the N^rthvvardm^|il the 12th
of March, 1803, "when we made Woody Poigfc*
4& Nootka^Sound on the North West Coast
^fAme^ca.    We immediately stood up tj^
^§pund for Noqf|ka,  w|10re Capt. Salter had
ffjeteEfpined to stop,#|u order to supp|Sttp
ship wiijj wood and water before proceeding
up the o^ast||p trade.    But in order to ay^picl
j||m risque ofijmy 'molestation or.jgLterruption
.to„^^i^gn fr^||i the Indians, wj^ethus^m-
ploy ed, fej^proeeed ed with th e sh ip a bo u t,$j@
miles to the North wa^i of th§$illage, wjjj$|i is
^-tuated on Friendly Cove, and se^tout hj£,
l^ief mate with several of the crew in,the bo^t
to find a %ood place for anchoring Jier.-tp-
i^Sfr soundly for some time, they^geturued
fg$?th in%^g^^pn ^hat,|^ey had discovered a
secure place for ancj|ora§e, on the Western
side of an fg»let or small bay akiaboi^i^alf a
^ile frog&the coast, near a stpall isfand which
projected itfro^p||p\^^Ba,a^|d vY^ere^iere^yas
a pl^tycfjpW/Ood and#exce|jent water. '$$%&
^ip 4tGcprd^igly|^came to anchor  in -\:^f
6 2
1% IP:
place, at twelve o'clock at night, *ip twelve
fathom water, muddy bottom, and so near
the shore that to prevent the ship from winding we secured her by a hauser $a the trees.
On the morning of the next day,  the thirteenth, several of the natives came on board
in a canoe from the village of Nootka, with
their king, called Maquina, who appeared
much pleased on seeing us, and with great
seeming cordiality, welcomed Capt. Salter
and his officers to his country.    As I had
never before beheld a savage of any nation,
it may readily be supposed that the novelty
of their appearance, so different from any
people that I had hith^tp seen, excited in
me strong feelings of surprize and curiosity
I was, however, particularly struck with the
looks of their king, who was a man of a dig*
nified aspect, about six feet in height and extremely strait and  well proportioned ; his
features were in general  good and his fadi
wras rendered remarkable by a large Roman
nose, a very uncommon form of feature a-
inong these people ;   his complexion f#as;§f
a dark copper hue, though his face, legs, and
arms were, on this occasion, so covered witiir
red paint, that their natural colour could
scarcely h^lperceived, his eye-brows were
painted black in two broad  stripes like a.
new moon, and his long black hair, which
shone with oil, was fastened in a bunch ojlf
the^jipp of his head and strewed or powdeiit *f3
ed all ovelij with whill dofWff wllfch galje
him a most curious and extraordinary appearance.    He was dressed in a large mantle or clSak of the black sea otter skft, whicn.
reached   to   his   knees,  and    was fastened
around  his middle by a broad belt of th%
i&ffioth of theJtmintry,  wrought, or^painted
f*$ith figures of several colours; this dress was
by no means unbecoming, but on the contra-
^ had ariiair of savage magnificence.    His
lien were  habited in mantles of the sain%
cloth|l which   is   made   Worn   the  bark   of
■&Hree, and has some resemblance to straw
patting,  these are  nearly square and   have
two holes in the upper pa#%rge enough to
admit tJfe arms—they reach a§ low as^flfts
knees and are fastened^ifoiind their bodie|
^mth a belt about four inches broad ^f the
same cloth. #|| rf*f*    ;*f
From his having frequently visited the
English and American ships that traded to
the coast, Maquina had learned the signifi-
^eation of &fiumHer of English words, and in
general could make*lnmself pretty^lrpl understood Hjjtffts in our own language. He
was always the first % go on board such
shipsfas ikme to Nootka, which he was
much pleased* in visiting, everfwhen he Had
no trade to offer, as he almost always recefK
ved some small present, and vf0$n general
extremely well treated^by the eomm^ljiii^
He remained on board of us for some time
' ■< M
M 24
during which the capfainf*$©J^bim into the
cabin and treated him w^fh a glass of r\$m ;
these people being ver^-fondof distilled spirits, and some biscuit and molasses which
they prefer to any kind ojfoofl that we can
offer them.
As^there me seldom many furs to befp^f
chased at this place and it was ni^t fully t^j
season, Qapt. Salter had put in here not S$
much with an expectation of trading as to
procure an ample stock of wood and watfjl
for the supply of the ship on the coast, thinking it more prudent to take it on ||oard at
Nootka. from the generally friendly disposition of the people, than to endanger the sa$||
$$ of his men in sending them on shore for
jjtat purpose among *the more ferocious natives of the north. With^this view|,we im/-
mediately set about getting our water casks
in readiness, and the next and two succeeding day§&part of the crew were sent on-shore
to cut pinsjtimber and assist the carpent^p
in making it into yards and spars for the ship,
while^those on board were employed §*$n refitting, the Krr^pi^g, repairing the sjguls, &«&
when we proceeded to take in our wood and
water as expeditiously as possible, during
«#hich?time I kept myself busily employed in
Repairing the muskets, making kni ves,tomax-
«ts, &c.anddoingpueh iron work as was^wan^
ed for the ship. Meantime moreor iess
of the.natives cacrie osLboardhof vjts clailas, Wnaan&iwith them fresh salmon with wEpch
they supplied us in great plenty receiving
jptfWt&uro some titling articles. Capt. Salter
was always very particular before admitting
thesepeopfce on board t®«ee that they had no
arngs about them, by obliging them indiscriminately to throw off their gaKinent% so that
he felt perfectly secwfe from any attack.—
On the fifteeatU»the king came on board with
several of his chiefe ; he was dressed as before in bis magfiirice*it otter skin robe, has^f,
ing his face highly painted, and his hair tossed off with the white down which looked
jliif^snow ; i$& chiefs* were dressed in mantles of the^iuntry cloth of its natural c@^Dur
l&hicli9is a pale yellow; these were orna-
*aaent#<d with a bro^d border painted or
wrought in figures* of several colours repre-
senting men's heao^f various animals, &c.
4nd scared around i^iem by a belt like that
of the king fron^ which it was distinguished
only by being narrower : the dress of the
•jspawnon people is of the same, fashion and
-differs from that of the chiefs in being of a
coarser texture and paintedifced, of one uniform colour.
Captain Salter invited Maquma and his
iiie%jto dine with him, and it was curious
to see how these people (wfa£n they eat) se^t
4)fcemselves (in their country fashion, upen
our chairsjwith their feet under them crossed like Turks.    They cannot endure#he
1* 26
taste ftf salt, and the only thing they wJfilcf
eat with us was the ship bread which they
were very fond of especially when dipped in
molasses, they had ate a great titling for
tea and coffee when well sweetened. As
iron weaponsand to&ls of almost every kind
are in much request among them, whenever
they came on board they were always very
attentive to me, crowding around me at the
forge, as if to see in*what manner I did my
work, and in this way became quite familiar,
a circumstance, as will be seen in the en$|
of great importance to me. The salmon
which they brought us furnished a most delicious treat to men who for a long time had
lived wholly on salt provisions excepting
such few sea fish as we had the good fortune-
occasionally to take. We indeed feasted
most luxuriously, and flattered ourselves
that we should not want while on the coast
for plenty of fresh provisions, little imagil^i^
the fatejihat awaited us, Ǥtid that this dainty
food was to prove the unfortunate lure to
Our destruction ! On the nineteenth, thfc
king came again on board and was invited
by ihe Oapt&in to dine with him. He had
much conversation with Capt. Salter; aiM
informed Mm that there were plenty of wiM
ducks and geese near Prtendly Cove, on
which the Captain made him a present o#%
double-barreled fowling piece with which fefc
appeared to be^greatly pleased and s©ou a&
ter went on shore. On the 20th we w*ere nearlpready for twit-
departure, having taken in wt*at wood and
wateffwe were in want of.
j$:Thf|rnext day Maquina came on board
pith niue pair..'of wild ducks, as a present,
at the same time he brought with him the
g<un one of the loe^s of which he had broken, telling the ©aptain that it was peshafc,
^bat is bad ; Capt. Salter was very much<of-
feuded at this observation, and considering
J|*as a mark of contempt for his present, he
balled the king ajlar, adding other oppro*
brious terms, and taking the guvi from him
tossed it indignantly into the cabiut^nd call-
ingme to him said,/John, this fellow ha£ bro-
kej$*J;his beautiful fowling piece, see if. you
can mend it: on examining it 1 told hiuKtbat
it could be done.'^As I have already observed, jM^uina knew a number oferEnglish
words, and unfortuuateiy understood but.too
well the meaning of^the reproachful terms;
fhat the Captain addressed-^ him.—He said
not a word in reply, but his countenance
suffici^ltiy expressed the rage he felt, tho'
jaetjexerted himself to suppfess it, and I observed him while the Captain was speaking
ijepeatedly put bfe hand to his throat and
rub it upon his bosom, which he afterwards
told me was to keep dow# hgt heart which
jffes rising intofbis throat End choaking him.
He soon after went on shore with h^men^
evidently much discomposed. §J$ 28
Oti^the mitftiing mf the '£&& the Natives
eameWff to us?as usual with sataibn, and remained on board, when about noorf^Maqi^
na cawe alongside with a considerable number o$?his chiefs and men in their canoes,
who, after%f3in^i through ith%*customary ex^
animation were ad milted into the .ship. |Me
had a w7histle i&fhis hand, and over his fa<f&
a very ugly|tnask of wood representing the
head of soiae w#d beast, appeared to be remarkably goodhaimouredand gay, and whilst
feis peB.ple«sung and capered about the deck,
entertaining us*with a variety»sof antic'ft&t&ks
and gestures, h^blew his whistle to a kind
of tune which seemed to regulate their mo-
lions. As Capt. Salter was walking on the
quarter deck amusing himself with their
dancing, the king came up to Jaitn and eat*
quired when he intended to go to sea?—he
answered, to-morrow.—Maquina then said,
$jj^ou love salmon—much invgFriendly Cove,
>vhy not go then and catch some ?'—The
Captain thought that itiWould be very desir-
abfeto have a good supply of these fish £o&
the vo^a^e, and on consulting with Mr. D&>
louisa itrwas agreed to send part of the creff
on shore after dinner with theMseinein oijd$e#
to procure a quantity—Maquina and his
chiefs staid and dined on board, and after
dkwi#jfthe chief mate wen| nine men
in the jolly b^at a#d yawi'to .fish at Friend-
feCovetjbaving set the steward on shore a4» 2&
©ur watering palace to wash the captain's
clothes. Shortly after the departure of the
boats I went down to my vice bench in the
steerage, where I was employed inMeleaning
muskets. I had not been there more than an
hour when I heard the men hoisting in the
long boat, which, in a few minutes after, was
succeeded by a great bustle ami confusion
on deck. I immediately ran up the steerage stairs, but scarcely was my head above
deck, wfien I was caught by the hair by one
of the savages, and lifted from my feet; for^-
tunately for me, my hair being short, and the
ribbon with which it was tied slipping, I fell
from his hold into the steerage. As I was
falling, he struck at me with an axe, whidft
cut a deep gash in my forehead, and pene-
trateethe skull, but in consequence of his
losing his hold, I luckily escaped the full
force of the blow ; which, otherwise,Hvould
have eleft my head in two. I fell, stunned
arid senseless, upon the floor—how long I
continued in this situation I know not, but
©n recovering my senses the first thing tha#|f
did, was to try to get up; but so weak was
I, from the loss of blood, that I fainted and
ie$fc*<' 1<was however soon recalled to my recollection by three loiilrshoutsor yells from
the savages, which convinced me that they
had got possession of th%ship. It is impossible for me to describe mv feelings at thlt
lemfic sound.—Some faint idea may be*lbr-
. 20
med of them by those who have known what
it is to half waken from a hideous dream and
still think it real. Never, no^never, shall3
lose from my mind, the impression of that
dreadful moment. I expected every instant
to share the wretched fate of my unfortunate
companions, and when I heard the song of
triumph, by which these infernal yells was
succeeded, my blood ran cold in my vejns.
Having at length sufficiently recovered my
senses to look around me after wiping
theblood from my eyes, I saw that the hatch
of the steerage was shut. This was done,
as I afterwards discovered, by order of Maquina, who, on seeing the savage strike at
me with the axe, told him not to hurt me,
for |hat I was the armourer, and would be
useful to them in repairing thjeir arms;|while
at the same time to prevent any of his men
from injuring me, he had the hatch closed.
But to me this circumstance wore a very dif-
ferent appearance, for 1 thought that these
barbarians had only prolonged my life in order to deprive me of it by the most cruel:|or-
tures. I remained in this horrid state of
suspence for a very long time, when at length
the hatch was opened, and Blaquina, calling
me by name, ordered me to come up. I
groped my way up as well as I was able,
being almost blinded with the blood that
flowed from my wound, and so weak as with
difficulty to walk.    The king, on perceiving 30
my situation, ordered one of his men to bring
a pot of water to wash the blood from my
face, which having done, I was able to see
distinctly with one of my eyes, but the other
was so swollen from my wound, that it was
closed. But what a terrific spectacle met
my eyes ; six naked savages, standing in a
circle around me, covered with the blood of
my murdered comrades, with their daggers
uplifted in their hands, prepared to.strike.
I now thought my last moment had come,
and recommended my soul to my Maker.-f-
The king, who, as I have already observed,
knew enough of English to make him
self understood, entered the circle, and
placing himself before me, addressed me
nearly in the following words—" John-
gers come!"
yon no say no- -You say no—dag-
He then asked me if I would
be his slave during my life—If I would fight
for him in his battles—if I would repair his
muskets and make daggers and knives for
■him—with several other questions, to^all of
which IVwas careful to answer, yes*:*$le then
told me that he would spare my life, and ordered me to kiss his hands and feet to show
my submission to him, which I did—In the
mean time his people were very clamorous
to have me put to death, so that there should
be none of us left to tell our story to our
countrymen and prevent them from coming
to trade with them: but the king, in thcr 31
most determined manner opposed their
wishes, and to his favour am I wholly indebted for my being yet among the living. As
|#vas busy at work at the time of the attack,
I was without iny coat, and what with the
coldness of the weather, my feebleness fronH
loss of blood, the pain of my wound and the
extreme agitation and terror that I still feU
I shook like a leaf, which the kin?g observing, went into the cabin and bringing up a
igfeat£jpatthat belonged to the captain, thresf
it over my shoulders, telling me to drink some
rum from a bottle which he handed me at
the same time, giving me to understand that
jj^ would be good for me and keep me from
trembling as I did. I took a draught of it,
after which, taking me by the hand, heiled
me to tl|§ quarter deck, where the most horrid sight presented itsel^lhat ever my eyes wit-
-the heads of our unfortunate Captain
and his crew, to the number of twenty-five,
were all arranged in a line, and Maquina ordering one of his people to briBg*ahead, asked
me whose it was : I answered, the Captain's ;
in like manner the others were shewed me,
■|pcl I told higfi the nan&e.s, excepting a few
that were so horribly mangled that I was not
able to recognize them. I now discovered
mat all our unfortunffte crew had been mas-
fc^erefl, and learned that after ge$$i|gsposses&i
4on of the ship* .the$&]g&§£s had broke open
tW arm chest and magazine, and suppling tt2
^hemsitves with^ammunition #ft^aAs¥jife#t
a pafigr-on shote^to attack Our m&i who had
gone thither to fish, and beiftg joined b%
nuaibers frtem the village, without #ffie%$i:f,
SS^erpoweis^d and murdfered them, and^'tel-
tingoff th&r heads, brought there ort%oard,
aftet? throwing their bodies into the sea. On
looking upon-the deck, I saw it entirel^eo-
vered witoibe bldod of my pfe&r eobirade4
jw4vose throats had been cut with their own
jack-knives, the savages having seiz#d the
opportunity while they were busytin hoist-
lag in the boat to grapple with them and
overpower them by their numbers ; in the
scuffle the capWn was thrown ot&boarM
and dispatched by tfebse in the canoes who
Jaimefiiately cut off his head : What I felt
on this occasion, may be more readily conceived than expressed.
After I had answered his questions, Maquina took my silk handkerchief from my
neck and bound it aroumd my head, placing over the wipund a leaf of tobacco, of
which we had a quantity on board. This
was done at my delate, as I had often found
froih personal experience the benefit of this
application to cuts.
ftMaquana then ordered me^to get the ship
under weigh for Friendly Cove. This 1 dW
by cutting the cables and sending some ©f
Hie natives aloft to loose the sails, which they
performed in a very bungling manner. But
c 2 they 'softtieeded so far in loosing the jib and
top-sails, that, with the advantage of a fair
wind, I succeeded in getting the ship mi®
the Cove, where, by order of the king, Isi?an
her ashore on a sandy beach, at 8 o'clock at
We were received by the inhabitants of
the village, men% women, and children, with
loud shouts of joy, and a Diost&iiarribfe
drumming with sticks upon the roofs and
sides of their houses, in which they had also stuck a great number of lighted pine torches, to welcome their kitig's re#tfrn and
congratulate him on the^access of his enter-
Maquina then took me on shore to his
house which wHSisvery large and filled with
people—where I was received with much
kindness by the women, particularly those
belonging to the king, who had no lestrthan-
nine wives, all of whom came around me expressing much sympathy for my misfortune,
gently stroking and -patting myjfoead in an
encouraging and soothing manner, with
■words expressive of condolence. How
sweet is compassion even from savages ?~-—
Those who have been in a similar situation,
can afone truly appreci&te its value.
In the mean tifije, all the warriors of the
tribe, to the number of five hundred, had assembled at the king's house to rejoice for
thA: success.    They exulted greatly in ha- 34
&mg taken our ship, and each one blasted of
his own particular exploits in killing our
me**, but thev wete in generaf-much dissa-
tisfied with my havii*g*been suffered to live,
and were very urgent wifcM Maquina to deliver me to them to be put to death, which he
obstinately refused to do, telling them that
he^fiad promised me nty life and would not
break his word; and that besides, I kijew
how to repair and to make arms, and should
be of great use to them.
The king then seated me by him and or-
dered bis women to bring him something M>
eat^when they set before him some dried
clams and train oil, of which he ate very
heartily, and encouraged me to follow his
example, telling me to eat much and take a
great deal of oil which would make me
^strong and fat; notf^tfestanding his jpraise
of this new kind of food, I felt no disposition to indulge in it, both the smell and taste
beiag loathsome to me; and had if* been
j©therwjse, such was the pain I endured, the
agitation of my mind, and the gloominess of
my refleetlofes, that I should have felt very
little inclination for eating. Not satisfied
with his first refusal to deliver me up to
them the people again became clamorous
that Maquina should consent to my being
killed, saying that not one of us ought to be
gftfeft aAive to give information to others of our
'.countrymen and pfevent them from coming
»i •m
to trade^pr induce them to revenge the destruction of our ship, and they at length be-
cameio boisterous that he caught up a large
cliifLiu a passion and drove them ajl out of
the house. During this scene a^son of the
king, of abou^ eleven years old, attracted no
doubt by the singularity of my appearance
cauje: up to me : I caressed hin* ; he returned my attentions with much apparent pleasure, anp consideijpig this as a fortunate opportunity to gainLthe good will of the father,
I took the child^n my knee, and cutting the
metalj#buttons (rpui off the coat I had on, I
tied them aroun^ his neck. At this he was
highly delighted, aua\ became so much attached to me^thaf he.would not quit me.
The king appeared much pleased with my
^tentfon to his son, an|l telling me that it
was time to go to sleep directed me to li&i
with his son next to him, as he^as afraid
lesLsome of his people would come Avhi{%
he was asleep and kill me with their daggers. I lay down as he ordered me, but
neitner the state 9$ my mind n$r the pain I
felt would allow me to sleep. About midnight I was greatly alarmed by the approach
of one of the natives, who came to give information to the king that there^was one of
the white men alive, who had knocked him-
down as h&weikon board the ship at night.
This Maquina communicated to me, g4$IPg
me to understand that as soon as the sun 36
Tose he should kill him. I endeavouredl&
persuade him to spare his life, but he bade
tne be silent and go to sleep. I said nothing
more but lay revolving in my mind what
method I could devise to save the life of this
man. What a consolation thought I, what
a happiness would it prove to me in my forlorn state among these heathen, to have a
Christian and one of my own countrymen
for a companion, and how greatly would it
alleviate and lighten the burden of my slavery. As I was thinking of some plan for
his preservation, it all at once came into my
mind that this man was probably the sail
maker of the ship, named Thompson, as I
had not seen his head among those on deck
jftid knew that heHvas below at work upon
the sails not long before the attack. The
more 1 thoughtW it the more probable it appeared to me, and as Thompson was a man
nearly forty years of age, and had an old look,
I conceived it would be easy to make him
pass for my father, and by this means prevail on Maquina to spare his life. Towards
morning I fell into a doze, but'was awakened ititht&be first beams of the shhby the king,
who told me that he was going to kill the
man who was on board the ship, and ordered me to accompany him. I rose and followed %im,-% leading with me the young
p^ncejphis eon.
m 37
On coming to the beach I found all the
men of the tribe assembled. The ldng "addressed them, saying that one of the white
men had been found alive on board the ship,
and requested their opinion as to saving his
life or putting him to death. They were
unanimously for the first : This determination he made known to me. Having arranged my plan, I asked nim, pointing to the
boy whom I still held by the hand, if he loved his son, he answered that he did ; I then
asked the child if he loved his father, and
on his replying in the affirmative, I said
and I I also love mine." I then threw myself on my knees at Maquina's feet and implored him with tears in my eyes to spare my
father's life, if the man on board should prove
to be him, telling him that if he killed my
father it was my wish that he should kill me
too, and that if he did not I would kill my-
self,—and that he would thus lose my services ; whereas, by sparing my father's life he
would preserve mine, which would be of
great advantage to him by my repairing and
making arms for him. Maquina, appeared
moved by my entreaties and promised not
to put the man to death if he should b#tny
father. He then explained to his people
what I had said, and ordered me to go on
board and tell the man to come on shore.
To my unspeakable joy on going0 into the
hold, I found tlat my conjecture was true, 38
Thompson was there, fete had escaped without* any injury, excepting a slight wound
in the nose, given him by one of the savages
with a knife as he attempted to come on deck,
during the scuffle. Finding the savages in*
possession of the ship, as he afterwards informed me, he secreted himself in the hold, hoping
for some chance to make his escape—but
that the Indian who came on board in the
night approaching the place where he was^he
supposed himself discovered, arid being determined to sell his life as dearly as possible, as
soon as he came within his reach, he knocked him down, but the J ndian&i imaged iately
springing up ran off at full speed.—I informed him in a few words that all our men
had been killed ; that the king had preserved
my life, and had consented to spare his on
the supposition that he was my father, an
opinion which he must be careful not to
undeceive them in, as it was his only safety.
After giving him his cue, I went on shore
with him and presented him to Maquina,
who immediately knew him to be the sail-
maker and was much pleased, observing that
he could make sails for his canoe.—He then
took us to his house and ordered something
for us to eat.
On the 24th and 25th the natives were busily employed in taking the cargo out of the
ship, stripping her of her sails and rigging,
cutting away the spars and masts, and in
ill 39
short rendering her as complete a wreck as
possible, the muskets, ammunition, cloth and
all the principal articles taken from her, being deposited in the king's house.
While they were thus occupied, each one
taking what he liked, my companion and
myself being obliged to aid them, 1 thought
it best to secure the accounts and papers of
the ship, in hopes that on some future day I
might have it in my power to restore them to
the owners. With this view I took possession of the Captain's writing desk which contained the most of them together with some
paper and implements for writing. I had
also the good fortune to find a blank account
book, in which I resolved, should it be permitted me, to. write an account of our capture and the most remarkable occurrences that I should meet with during
my stay among these people, fondly indulging the hope that it would not be long before
some vessel would arrive to release us. 1
likewise found in the cabin, a small volume
of sermons, a bible, and a common prayer
book of the Church of England, which furnished me and my comrade great consolation
in the midst of our mournful servitude, and
enabled me, under the favor of divine provi-
jience, to support, with firmness, the miseries of a life which I. might otherwise have
found beyond my strength to endure. As
these people set no value upon things of this kind, I foun# no difficulty in appropriating
them to myself, by putting them in my^hest,
which though it had been broken open and
rifled by the savages, as I still had the key,.1
without much difficulty secured. In this I
also put some small tools belonging to the
ykip, with several other articles, particularly
a journal kept by the second mate, Mr. In-
graham, and a collection of drawings and
views of places taken by him, which I had
the good fortune to preserve, and on my arrival at Boston, I gave them to a connection
of his, the honourable Judge Dawes, who
sent them to his family in New-York.     A
On the 26th, two ships w7ere seen standing in for Friendly Cove. At their first appearance the inhabitants were thrown infe
great confusion, but soon collecting a num-
ber of musquets and blunderbusses, ran to
the shore, from whence they kept up so-brisk
a fire at them, that they were evidently
afraid to approach nearer, and after firing a
few rounds of grape shot which did no harm
to anv one, they wore ship and stood out to
Sea. These ships, as \ afterwards learned,
^ryere the Marv and Juno of Boston.
They were scarcely out of sight when Ma-
quina expressed much regret that be had
permitted his people to fire at them, b^iog
apprehensive that they would give information to others in what manner they had foesgn
'.& -im 41
II »
received, and prevent them from doming fb
trade with hinu
A few days after hearing of the capture of
the ship, there arrived at Nootka a great
number of j canoes filled with savages from
no less than twenty tribes to the North
and South. Among those from the North
were the Ai-tiz-zarts, Schoo-mad-its, Neu-
wit-ties, Savin-nars, Ah-owz-arts, Mo-
wateh-its, Suth-setts, Neu-chad-lits, Mich-
la-its and Cay-u-quets ; the most of whom
were considered as tributary to Nootka.
From the South, the Aytch-arts and Esqui-
ates also tributary, with the Kla-oo-quates,
and the Wickanninish, a large and powerful
tribe about two hundred miles distant.
These last were better clad than most of the
others, and their canoes wrought with much
greater skill; they are furnished with sails
as well as paddles, and with the advantage
of a fair* breeze, are usually but twenty-four
hours on their passage.
Maquina, w?ho was very proud of his
new acquisition, was desirous of welcoming
these visitors in the European manner. He
accordingly ordered his men, as the canoes
approached, to assemble on the beach with
loaded muskets and blunderbusses, placing
Thompson at the cannon which had been
brought from the ship and laid upon two
long sticks of timber in front of the village,
then taking a speaking trumpet in his hand he ascended with me, the roof of his house
and began drumming or beating upon the
boards with a stick most violently. Noth
ing could be more ludicrous than the appearance of this motly groupe of savages collected on the shorey dressed as they were, with
their ill-gotten finery, in the most fantastic
manner, some in women's smocks, taken
from our cargo, others in Kotsacks, (or
cloaks) of blue, red or yellow broad-cloth,
with stockings drawn over their heads, and
their necks hung round with numbers of
powder-ho^ris, shot-bags, and cartouch-boxes, some of them having no less than ten
muskets a piece on their shoulders, and five
f©jrtrsix daggers in their girdles. Diverting
indeed was it to see them all squatted upon
the beach, holding their muskets perpendicularly ,/jwith the butt pressed upon the sand
instead of against their shoulders, and in
this position -awaiting the order to fire. Maquina, at last, called to them with his trumpet to fire, which they did in the most
awkward andl|timid manner, with their
muskets hard pressed upon the ground as
above mentioned. At the same moment
the cannon were fired by Thomson, imedi-
dia|ely on which they threw themselves
back and began to roll and tumble over the
sand as if they had been shot, when sudden*
ly springing up they began a song of triumph
and running backward and forward upok 43
the shore, with the wildest gesticulations,
boasted of their exploits and exhibited as
trophies what they had taken from us. Not-
withstanding the unpleasantness of my situation, and the feelings that this display of
our spoils excited, I could not avoid laughing at the strange appearance of these savages, their awkward movements, and the singular contrast of their dress and arms.
When the ceremony was concluded, Maquina invited the strangers to a feast
at his house, consisting of whale blubber,
smoked herring spawn, and dried fish and
train oil, of which they eat most plentifully.
The feast being over, the trays out of which
they eat, and other things were immediately
removed to make room for the dance which
was to close the entertainment. This was
performed by Maquina's son, the young
prince Sat-sat-sok-sis, whom I have already
spoken of, in the following manner—Three
of the principal chiefs, drest in their otter-
skin mantles, which they wear only on extraordinary occasions and at festivals, having their heads covered over with white down
and their faces highly painted, came forward
into the riiiddle of the room, each furnished
with a bag filled with the white down, which
they scattered around in such a manner as
to represent a fall of snow. These were followed by the young prince, who was dressed
in a long  piece of yellow cloth,  wrapped ■■«
loosely around hinly and decorated with
small bells, with a cap on his head, to which
was fastened a curious mask in imitation of
a wolf's head, while the rear was brought
up by the king himself in his robe of sea-
otter skin, with a small'whistle in his mouth
and a rattle in his hand, with which he kept
time to a sort of tune on his whistle. After
passing very rapidly in this order around the
house/each of them seated himself, except
the prince, who immediately began his dance,
which principally consisted in springing up
into the air in a squat posture, and constantly turning around on his heels with great
swiftness in a verv narrow circle. This
dance, with a few intervals of rest, was continued for about two hours, during which
the chiefs kept up a constant drumming
with sticks of about a foot in length on a
long hollow plank, which was, though a
very noisy, a most doleful kind of music.
This they accompanied with songs, the king
.Jftmself acting as chorister, while the women
applauded each feat of activity in the dancer by repeating the worlds, Wocash! Wocash
T'yee! that is good! very go&) prince. As soon
as the dance was finished Maquina began
to give presents tpl|he strangers in the name
of his so'rl Sat-sat-sok-sis. These were pieces of ^^'op^-^S^t^S^towY of a fa thorn
in length, nvuskWs, 'pW^^^ioi, &c. Whenever he gave them any thing, they had" a pe-
D 2 &5
culiar manner of snatching itifrom him ^rith
a very stern and surly look, .repeating each
time the words, Wocash 'fyee. This I understood to be their custom, and was considered as a compliment which if omitlied
would be supposed as a mark of disregard
for the present. On this occasion Maquina
gave away no less than one hundred muskets, the same number of looking glasses,
four hundred yards of cloth, and twenty
casks of powder, beside other things.
After receiving these presents, the grangers retired on board their canoes, for so numerous were they that Maquina would not
suffer any but the chiefs to sleep in the houses ; and in order to prevent the property
from being pillaged by them, he ordered
Thompson and myself to keep guard, during
the night, armed with cutlasses and pistols.
In this manner tribes of savages from various parts of the coast, continued coming for
several davs, bringing with them, blubber,
oil, herring spawn, dried fish and clams, for
which they received, in return, presents of
cloth, &c. after which they in general immediately returned home. I observed that very few, if any of them, except the chiefs, had
arms, which 1 afterwards learned is the custom with these people whenever they come
upou a friendly visit or to trade, in order to
shew, on their approach, that their intentions
are pacific
=^fc Early on the morning of the 19th the ship
was discovered to be on tire. This was
owing to one of the savages having gone
on board with a fire brand at night for the
purpose of plunder, some sparks from which
fell into the hold, and communicating wilb
some combustibles soon enveloped the
whole in flames. The natives regretted the
loss of the ship the more as a great part of her
cargo still remained on board. To my com-
panion and myself it was a most melancholy
sight, for with her disappeared from our
eyes everv trace of a civilized country : but
the disappointment we experienced was still
more severely felt, for we had calculated on
having the provision to ourselves, which
would have furnished us with a stock for
years, as whatever is cured with salt, together
with most of our other articles of food, are
never eaten by these people. I had luckily
saved all my tools excepting the anvil, and
the bellows which was attached to the forge
and from their weight had not been brought on
shore. We had also the good fortune in looking over what had been taken from the ship to
discover a box of chocolate and a case of
port wine, which as the Indians were not
fond of it proved a great comfort to us for
some tiqiie, and from one of the natives I obtained a nautical almanack, which had belonged to the Captain, and which was of great
use to me in determining the time.
if 47
About two days after, on examining their
booty, the savages found a tierce of rum with
which they were highly delighted, as they
have become very fond of spirituous liquors
since their intercourse with the whites.
This was towards evening, and Maquina
having assembled all the men at his house,
gave a feast, at which they drank so freely
of the rum, that in a short time, they became so extremely wild and frantic that
Thompson and myself, apprehensive for our
safety, thought it prudent to retire privately
into the woods, where we continued till past
midnight. On our return we found the wo-
men gone, who are always very temperate,
drinking nothing but water, having quitted
the house and gone to the other huts to
sleep, so terrified were they at the conduct
of the men, who all lay stretched out on the
floor in a state of complete intoxication.
How easv  in   this situation would it have
been for us to have dispatched or made ourselves masters of our enemies, had there
been any ship near to which we could have
escaped but as we were situated, the attempt
would have been madness. The wish of revenge was however less strongly impressed on
my mind, than what appeared to be so evident
an interposition ofdivine Providence in our favour. How little can man penetrate its designs, and how frequently is that intended
as a blessing which he views as a curse. Thv0 4$
burning of our ship which we had lamented
so much, as depriving us of so many comforts, now appeared to us in a very different
light, for had the savages got possession of
the rum of which there were nearly twenty
puncheons on board, we must inevitably
have fallen a sacrifice to their fury in some
of their moments of intoxication. This
cask fortunately and a case of gin was all
the spirits they obtained from the ship.
To prevent the recurrence of similar
danger I examined the cask, and finding
still a considerable quantity remaining, I
bored a small hole in the bottom with a
gimblet, which before morning to my great
joy completely emptied it.
By this time the wound in my head began
to be much better, so that I could enjoy
some sleep which I had been almost deprived of by the pain, and though I was still feeble from the loss of blood and my sufferings,
I found myself sufficiently well to go to work
at my trade, in making for the king and his
wives bracelets and other small ornaments
of copper or steel, and in repairing the arms,
making use of a large square stone for the
anvil and heating my metal in a common
wood fire. *ffThis was verv gratifving to Ma-
quina and his women particularly, and secured me their good will.
pli the mean time great numbers from the
pther tribes kept continually Hocking to Nppt-
E  1
.'-•■ jS^^M m
ka^Jbringing with lliem- in exchange foryihe
ship's plunder such quantities of provision
that notwithstanding the little success that
Maquina met with in whaling this season,
and their gluttonous waste, always eating to excess when they have it, regardless
of the morrow, seldom did the natives expe^it
ence any want of food during the summer.
As to myself and companion we fared as they
did, never wanting for such provision as they
had, though we were obliged to eat it coofe-
ed in their manner and with train oil as a
sauce, a circumstance not a little unpleasant, both from their uncleanly mode of cooking, and many of the articles of their food
which to an European are very disgusting,
but, as thesayingis, hunger will break through
stone walls, and wefound at times in the5blub-
ber of sea animals and the flesh of the^pg
fish, loathsome as it in general was, a iery
acceptable repast. But much oftener would
poor Thompson, who was no favpd&ite with
them, have suffered from hunger, had it
not been for my furnishing him with provision—This I was enabled to do from>my
work, Maquina allowing me the privijedge,
wh£n not employed for him, to work for
myseHHn making bracelets and other ornaments of copper, fish-hooks^ daggers, ^c.
either to sell to the tribes who visited us, or
for our own chiefs, who on these occasions
besides  supplying me with as  much as I wished to ea%and a sufficienc^for Thomson:,
almost always made me a present of an
European garment taken from the ship or
<some fathoms of cloth, which were made up by
-my comrade, and enabled us to go comfortably clad for some time, or small, bundles
of penknives, rasors, scissors, &c. for one
of whioh we could almost always procure
4rom the natives two or three fresh salmon, cod, or halibut; or dried fish, clams
and herring spawn from the stranger tribes;
£?and had we only been permitted to cook
them after our own way, as we had pots, and
other utensils belonging to the ship, we
should have not had much cause of complaint in this respect, but so tenacious are
these people of their customs, particularly in
the article of food and coqjdng, that the king
always obliged me to give whatever provision I bought to the women to cook—and one
day finding Thompson and myself on the
shore employed in boiling down sea-water
into salt, on being told what it was, he was
very much displeased, and taking the little
I we had procured, threw it into the sea. In
one instance alone, as a particular favour, he
allowed me to boil some salmon in my own
way, when I invited him and his queen to
eat with me; they tasted it, but did not
like it, and made their meal of some of it
that I had cooked in their country fashion.
In May, the weather became uncommon- 51
ly mild andpleasant, and so forward was vegetation that I picked a plenty of strawberries by the middle of the month. Of this
fruit there are great quantities on this coast,
and I found them a most delicious treat.—
My health now had become almost re-established, my wound being so far healed that it
gave me no farther trouble. I had never failed to wash it regularly once a day in sea-
water, and to dress it with a fresh leaf of tobacco, which I obtained from the natives,
who had taken it from the ship, but made
no use of it. This was all the dressingkfi
gave it, except applying to it two or three
times, a little loaf sugar, which Maquina
gave me, in order to remove some proud riesh
which prevented it from closing. My cure
would doubtless li&ve been much soooner effected had I haveoeen in a civilized country,
where I could have had it dressed by
a surgeon and properly attended to. But
alas ! I had no good Samaritan with oil and
wine to bind up my wounds, and fortunate
might I even esteem myself that I was permitted to dress it myself, for the utmost
that I could expect from the natives was
compassion for my misfortunes, which I indeed experienced from the women, particularly the queen, or favorite wife of Maquina,
the mother ofSat-sat-sok-sis, who used frequently to point to my head and manifest
much kindness and solicitude for me. 1 must Malf&rftia We j tffifclcS'ttf aickKrjwledgl that ne*
alw*i^' apjje'arejf desirous of spsfr1hScme anjr
latibur Which he believed might be hurTOl'
to me, frequently enquiring in an affectionate
manner, if m1^ he&lf riamed me*?! As for the
otne¥s? Sdiiie1 or*tfie cfiieifs excepted, they cdf-*
ecr* little wha*if bWaniW 6t* n^WSnq probably
w\m*lclfftayWiffleWgratified1 wftHnYy deat!h.
My" Health beini^ at lengtn re-established
and' rxly wound1 healed, TB8&r>|pfi became
very imporMnate fbr^ me |b be|ra nfy journal, attiH5 asJI had1 iiS^mW, proposed' td cut his
filler to supply i$e vvith^pldod for tne* pur-
pb'sW Whenever I should1 wimt It!1 On the
filrif oTJune L accordiffily conim|}nced a re^J
gular diaVy, but haidJ no occ'asibh to make
use of the expedient suggested by rriy comrade5, having found a much better substitute
in'the exWessed juice of a certain plant,
wdiicfffurm^wednle with a bright green "col-
our amx after making a number of trials 1 at
lengtff succeedecr in o'b'Paming a very tole-
raoWrhK, by boiling the juice of the blackberry vVith a miSture of finely powdered
charcoal' and filtering it through a cloth.
This'^ afterwards preserved in bottles and
fouhffnt afiswer very well, do triVejs it that
" necessity if*£ne mother of invention." As
foFcfutlls I found no difficulty hi procuring
jyte^i^wheli ever I wanted, from the crows
anffravewwith which the beach was almost
always covered,   attracted  by the offal' of
E §§
whales, seals, &c. and which were so tame
that I could easily kill them with stones,
while a large clam shell furnished me with
an ink stand.
The extreme solicitude of Thomps6n that
I should begin my journal, might be considered as singular in a man, who neither knew
how to write or read, a circumstance by the
way, very uncommon in an American,
were we less acquainted with the force of
habit, he having been for many years at sea,
and accustomed to consider the keeping of
a journal as a thing indispensable. This
man was born in Philadelphia, and at eight
years old ran away from his friends and entered as a cabin boy on board a ship bound
to London, on his arrival there finding himself in distress, he engaged as an apprentice
to the captain of a Collier, from whence he
was impressed on board an English man of
war, and continued in the British naval service about twenty-seven years, during which
he was present at the engagement under
Lord Howe with thfe French fleet in June
1794, and when peace was made between
England and France was discharged. He was.
a very strong and powerful man, an expert
boxer, and perfectly fearless, indeed so little was his dread of danger, that when irritated he was wholly regardless of his life.
Of this the following will furnish a sufficient
flroolP Ip1* 54
One evening about the middle of April,
as I was at the house of one of the chiefs,
where I had been employed on some work
for him, word was brought me that Maquin-
na was going to kill Thompson. I immediately hurried home, where I found the king
in the act of presenting a loaded musket at
Thompson, who was standing before him
with hiadbreast bared and calling on him to
fire. I instantly stepped up to Maquina,
who wras foaming with rage, and addressing
him in soothing words, begged him for my
sake not to kill my father, and at length succeeded iu taking the musket from him and
persuading him to sit down. On enquiring
into the cause of his anger, I learned that
while Thompson was lighting the lamps in
the king's room, Maquina having substituted our's for their pine torches, some
of the boys began to teaze him, running
around him and pulling him by the trow-
sers, among the most forward of whom
was the young prince. This caused
Thompson to spill the oil, which threw
him into such a passion, that without caring
what he did, he struck the prince so violent a blow in his face with his fist as to
knock him down. The sensation excited
among the savages by an act, which was
considered as the highest indignity, and a
profanation of the sacred person of majesty
may be easily conceived.    The king was
J! m
immediately af^gintgfl wi^ it, who, on
0)mings^n a^njd seeing bj§s son's face coi?-
erejf with l^lood, seized a mitsket ami
began to load it, det$r.m,^ned to ta^e in-
stant revenge o]H||fo#udgeious offender, and
JJ£|d I arrived a fejsr moments la^er thandf
didipy companion wonld^eertainly havepaif}
.with his life for his ¥&§fc ^d violent com
duct. I fou$ii the utmost (cWJjJeulty in pacifying ]\Jaq(uina, who i@p a long tjme after
could not forgive TJjqmpson, fcnt would repeatedly say, | Jojm, y°M die—Thompson
kill." IJut to appease the king was not aU
that was necessary. In consequence of jlfe
insult offered to their primee, t&e whole fcii&e
jeld a cou|§fil, in wtycjiit wr&s vmanjmoiisJfT
resolved t^at Thonipson should, be put to
death in the most cruel manner. J however interceded so strenuously with Maquina,
$^r his life, tilling him that if my father was
killed, JWas determined not to survive him,
ijkat he refused to deliver him up to the vengeance of his people, saying, that for John's
sake they must consent to let Wm live. The
prince, who, after I had succeeded in cakn-
|Bg bis father, gave me an account of what
fead happened, told me tbatitwas wholly out
of regardtome, as Thompson was my father,
that his life had been spared, for that if any
©ne of the tribe should dare to lift a hand
against him in anger, he would most certainly be put to death* m
Yel even this narrow escape prodii&ed
not much effect on Thompson^ or Imduc-
ed him to restrain the violettcl of his temper. For not many wrecks after, he was
guilty of a similar indiscretion, inJstrik-
ftig the; eldest ^soii of a chief, who was
febout eighteen years old, and according fa
tteir custom was considered as a Tyee, or
chief himself, in consequence of his having
provoked him by calling him a white slave.
This affair caused great commotion *in the
village, and the tribe was v^§§ clamorous
for his death, but^iMaquiua would not consent. I used frequently to remonstrate with
tUm on the imprudence of his conduct and
ffeg him to govern his temper better, telling
him that it was our duty si^fce our lives were
in the power oMiese savages, to do nothing
to exasperate them. But all I could say
on this point availed little, for so bitter
was the hate he felt for them, which he
was no way backward in manifesting
both by his looks and actions, that he deela%
edhe never would submit to theirlnsults, aqfl
that he had muen rather be killed i||$b
fefa^bliged to live among 4'f}jem, adding
piat %e poly ^shed he had a ©(pod vesg
"spl and si^n^^jgns, and he woi^p-etfstrOM
tSk whole of thecursedCrace ; for to a brave
salfto-t Jike|hini, Who hall foughtt^Vj^JicU
ajid Spaniards with glory, it was k pifn^^
menx   wotfse^Hhati death   to   be a
e 2
Ali ?3<5
to such a poor, ignorant, despicable set of
As for myself I thought very differently.
After returning thanks to that merciful Being
whO;had in so wonderful a manner softened the
hearts of tbe savages in my favour, I had determined from the first of my capture to adopt
a conciliating conduct towards them, and
conform myself, as far as was in my power,
to their customs and mode of thinking,
trusting that the same divine goodness that
had rescued me from death, would not always suffer me to languish in captivity
among- these heathen. With this vww jfc
sought to gain their good will by always endeavouring to assume a cheerful countenance,
appearing pleased with their sports and buffoon tricks, making little ornaments for the
wives and children of the chiefs, by which
means I became quite a favourite with them,
and fish hooks, daggers, &c. for themselves.
As a farther recommendation to their favour
and what might eventually prove of the utmost importance to us, 1 resolved to learn
their language, which in the course of a few
months residence I so far succeeded in acquiring as to be able in general to make
myself well understood. I likewise tried
to persuade Thompson to learn it as what,
might prove necessary to him. But he refused, saying, that he hated both them and
their cursed lingo and would have nothing
to do with it. 1
By pursuing^this coi#iliatb;r%^plan, so
far did 1 gain the good will of these savages,
particularly the chiefs, that I scarcely ever
failed experiencing kind treatment from
them, and was received with a smile of welcome at their houses, where I was always
sure of having something* given me to eaf,-
whenever they had it, and many a good
meal have I had from them, when they themselves were short of provisions and suffering for the want of them. And it wa|l a
common practice with me when we had
nothing to eat at home which happened not
unfrequently during my stay among them,
to go around the village, and on noticing a
smoke from any of the houses, which denoted that they were cooking, enter in without
ceremony and ask them for something,
which 1 was never refused. Few nations
indeed, are there so very rude and unfeeling, whom constant mild treatment and an
attention to please, will not mollify and
obtain from some return of kind attention.
This, the treatment 1 received from these
people may exemplify, for not numerous,
even among those, calling themselves civilized, are there instances to be found of
persons depriving themselves ^f food to give
it to a stranger whatever may be h|r merits.
It nsay perhaps be as well in this place to
g|ve a description of Nootjsa, some accounts '■
c^tte tribes who were accustomed to visit
&®m. w
«rs, a«*l the marines an$ customs of th£ people a<§ fat as I hitherto ted an opportunity
of observing thenV.
The village of Nootka, is Situated in between 49 and 3U deg. N. lat. at the bottom
of Friendly Cove^ on the West or North
West side. It consists of -dbftfrt twehtjr
houses or huts, on a small hill which rises
with a gentle ascent fr6m the shore.
•Friendly Cove, which affords gftod and s&
Cure anchorage for ships close in w$k
the shore is a small harbour of not more
than a quarter or half a fhile in lengtti*
and abotit half a mile or three quarters
broad, funned by the line of coast on the
East, and a long point, or head land which
extends as much as three leagues into thU
sound in nearly a Westerly direction. This"
as well as I can judge from what I have
seen Of it, is in general from one to two
miles in breadth, and mostly a rocky and
trnprodtictive soil with but few trees. The
Eastern and Western shores of this harbo$ij
are steep and in many parts rocky the treks
growing quite to the water's edge, but the
bottom to the North and North-West is^gl
She sandy beach of half a hide or more iti
extent. ^from the village to the North atia
North East extends a plain, the soil of which
is very excellent, and iy|th proper cultivation
fiiay be mMde to produce almost any of bra
fii$*o£ean vegetables ; this is but little morS 60
thambalf a mile in breaflfc and is ter^inat-
.ed by the sea coast, which in this place is
lined with rocks and reefs and cannot be ap-
^p^oaehedby ships. The coastm the neighbourhood of Nootka is in general low and
ibnt little broken into hills and vallies. The
«oil is good, well covered with fine forests
iarf pine, spruce, beach and other trees, and
abounds with streams of the finest water,
the general appearance being the same for
many miles around.
The village is situated on the ground occupied by the Spaniards, when they kept a
garrison here; the foundations of the church
and ithe governor's house are yet visible,
jead a ifbw European plants are Still to
he found, wkipn continue to be self-propaga-
^ted. sueh as onions, peas, and turnip^, but
&he two last are q^te sm&li, particularly the
twraips, wilich afforded us nothing but the
tops for eating. Their former village stood
<on the same spot, but the Spaniards finding
it a commodious situation, demolished the
nnuses and forced the inhabitants to retire
five or six miles into the country. Willi
great sorrow, as Maquina told me, did tnej
find themselves compelled to quit their ancient place of residence, but wrrn equal
joy did they repossess themselves of it when
(tie Spanish garrison was expelled by the*
Ml in
The houses as I have observed are above
twenty in number, built nearfy in a line.
These are of different sizes according to the
rank or quality of the Tyee, or chief, who
lives in them, each having one, of which hefe
considered as the lord. They vary not
much in width being usually from thirty-six
to forty feet wide but are of very different
lengths, that of the king which is much the
longest being about one hundred and fifty
feet, while the smallest which contain only
two families do not exceed forty feet in
length, the house of the king is also distinguished from the others by being higher.
Their method of building, is as follows,
they erect in the ground two very large
posts at such a distance apart as is intended for the length of the house. On these,
which are of equal height, and hollowed
Out at the upper end, they lay a large spar
for the ridgepole of the building, or if the
length of the house requires it, two or more,
supporting their ends by similar upright
posts ; these spars are sometimes of an almost incredible size, having myself measured one in Maquina's house which I found to
be one hundred feet long and eight feet four
inches in circumference. At equal distances
from these two posts two others are placed
on each side, to form the width of the building ; these are rather shorter than the first,
and on them are laid in like manner spars, 62
but of a smaller size, having the upper part
hewed flat, with a narrow ridge on the outer
side to support the ends of the planks. The
roof is formed of pine planks with a broad
feather edge, so as to lap well over each
other, which are laid lengthwise from the
$#dge-pole in the centre, to the beams at the
sides, after which the top is covered with
planks of eight feet broad, which form a IMnd
of coving projecting so far over the ends of
the planks, that form the roof, as completely
to exclude the rain. On these they lay
large stones to prevent their being displaced by the wind. The ends of the planks
ijfc'e not secured to the beams on which they
are laid by any fastening, so that in a high
storm I have often known all the men obliged to turnout and go upon the roof to prevent them from being blown off, carrying
large stones and pieces of rock with them
to secure the boards, always stripping themselves naked on these occasions whatever
may be the severity of the weather, to prevent their garments from being wet and
muddied, as these storms are almost always
accompanied with heavy rains. The sides
of their houses are much more open and exposed to the weather, this proceeds from
their not being so easily made close as the
roof, being built with planks of about ten feet
long and four or five wide, which they place
between stancheons or small posts of the
Hi ■=g«f
height of the itoof, o£|tbese tHefw a$e> fotl¥
to each range of boards; twd'at each end!
anft" so near- each other as 1to< leave sfiali^
ehough for admitting;aPpfotifc.    The plaiiks'
orl boards which they niafce useof for bulling
their houses, and for other u$e[$, they^prroetjre^
of different lengths as occasion5 required, by
splitting them out, with hard wood en Wedged
from pine logs, and aferwards dubbing^thfejHtf
down  with their chiz^els^ With fe^<i|ffij|a&
tience,  to the thickness wanted| renderiS^
theih quite smbotKP
There'is but one entrance ; tins' is place®■
usually: at the end; though sometimes in tfefe^
middle asw7as that ofMaquiiia's. Through tie^3
middle^ of the building' from one- end1 to tie*
other, runs a passage of about eight' or#ie
feet broatd; on each sid^ of wn'ich, the]-several   familiej§vthat occupy it, live^eaen ha^
ing  its  particular  fire place, but  witho'xH?1
any kind   of wall or separation   to mark
their respective limits ^the chief^bavjjag his
apartment^the upper end, and the rf|j&$.in
rank opposite on thither side.   TKey ha've
no other ffoorttlan the ground; the fire placeNciF
hearth consists of a number of sto^eiilods^^^
put-together, but they arej^wholly without
a chi|pney, nor is there^any opening1 leflfl
in the roof, but whenever  a fiW is ui#®j
the  {Jlank  immediately   ove&i it is  tlipG©^
aside, bgmean^Jof a pole, to give vent td-S$64
smoke.    Thtf. height ofi the houses i# gen^; m
ral, from the ground to the center of the roof
does not exceed ten feet, that of Maquina's
was not far from fourteen; the spar forming the ridge pole of the latter was painted
in red and black circles alternately by way
#f ornament, and the large posts that supported it had their tops curiously wrought
or carved, so as to represent human heads
of a monstrous size, which were painted in
their manner. These were not, however,
considered as objects of adoration, but merely as ornaments. |jj§
The furniture of these people is very sim-
|tle, and consists only of boxes in which they
put their clothes, furs, and such things as
•#hey hold most valuable; tubs for keeping
Aeirprovisionof sj^awnand blubber in; trays
from which they eat; baskets for their drl-
WH fish and other purposes, and bags made
of bark matting, of which they also make
thera beds, spreading a piece of it upon the
ground when they lie down and using no
other bed covering than their garments.
The boxes are of pine, with a top that shuts
over, and instead of nails or pegs are fastened with flexible twigs, they are extremely
smooth and high polished, and sometimes
ornamented with rows of very small white
shells. The tubs are of a square form, secured in $he like manner, and of various
sizes, some being extremely large, having
seen them that were sisltfeet long by four
m broad and five deep. The Trays are hollowed out with their chizzels frdm a solid
block of wood and the baskets and mats are
made from the bark of trees. From this
they likewise make the cloth for their
garments, in the following manner. A
quantity of this bark is taken and put into
fresh water where it is kept for a fortnight
to give it time to completely soften ; it is
then taken out and beaten upon a plank,
with an instrument made of bone or some
very hard wood, having grooves or hollows
on one side of it, care being taken to keep
the mass constantly moistened with water,
in order to separate with more ease the hard
and woody from the soft and fibrous parts,
which, when completed, they parcel out i^-
to skeins^llike thread. These they lay in
the air to bleach, and afterwards dye them
black or red as suits their fancies, their natural colour being a pale yellow. In order
to form the cloth, the women by whop
the whole of this process is p^formed, take
a certain number of these skeins an^jtwist
them together by rolling them with their
hands upon their knees, into hard rolls whi^h
are afterwards connected by means of a
strong thread made for the purpose.
Their dress usually$onsists of but a sin-
.ggfe garment, which is a loose cloaj^or mantle.(called Katsack)  in onj%fpiei|e3 reaching
nearly to the feet.    This  is tied  loosely 66
over the right or left shoulder so as to leave
the ar^is at full liberty.
Those of the common people are pahfted
§fed with ochre the better to keep out the
rain, but the chiefs wear them of their native colour, which is a pale yellow, ornamenting them with borders of the sea otter
skin, a kind of grey cloth made of the hair of
some animal which they procure from the
tribes to 'the South, or tneir own cloth
wrought or painted with various figures in
red or black, representing me^i's heads, the
sun and moon, fish arid animals, which are
frequently executed with much skill. They
have also a girdle of the same kind for securing this^mantle, or Kutsack, aroundtthera,
which is'in general still more highly orn«^
mented and serves them to % ear their daggers and knives in. In winter however,
they sometimes make use of an additional
garment, which is a kind of hood, with
a hole in it for the purpose of admitting the head, and falls over the breast and
back as low as the ^shoulders; this is
bordered both at top and bottom wMi fur
and is never worn, except when they go out.
*^he garments of the women vary not essentially from those of the men, the mantle hav-
ing holes in it fo#the purpose of admitting
the almis,f%nd being *tied close under the
chin, instead of over the shoulder. The
cb||fs have also mantles of ftie, sea otiet
jXE m
skin, but these are only put on upon extraordinary occasions,^and one that^is made
from the skije of a certain large animal,
which is brought from the South by the
Wickanninish and Kla-iz-zarts. This they
prepare by dressing it in warm water, scrap*
fig off the hair and what flesh adheres to it
carefully with sharp muscle shells, and
spreading it out in the sun to dry, on a wood-
§p frame so as to preserve tffe shape. When
dressed in this manner it becomes perfectly
^fbite and as pliably as the best deer's leather, but almost* as thick again. They
then paint it in different figures with such
paints as they usually employ in dec|8
fating their persons: these figures mostly
represent human hea*|s, canoes employed
in catcl^ng ^piales, &c. This skin is called
Metamelth and is probably got from an ani^
malofthe moose kind, it is highly prized
by these people, is their great war dress,
and only worn when they wish to make the
best possible display of themselves. Strips
or bands of it, painted as above, are also
sometimes used by them for girdles or the
bordering of their cloaks, and also for bracelets and ancle ornaments by some of the i$L
ferior class.
On thefp. head^when they go out upon
any excursion  particularly whaling or fishing, they wear a kind of cap or bonnet in
3$rm not uilike a large'.sugar loaf with th§
§ JL&m
top cmfTmt"' ^w^W^mSm^^^^^me^m
lerials with the% cloth, fJIftHs iit^general frf
a closer texture^and bywaj? of fcs$el has a
mnff strip of the skfflraf tHMS^ameMH^i^
tachea" to it^'cover^rwvith rowsW m$m
wnite shells or beadft ^hose worn b^jtftll
common people are^painted erMfely red, th%
chiefs having theirs of different colours'.
The one worn by the king and vvhich servif!!
Jo designate?him from alP the others, 4§
rohger an^nSfoader at*ihe botfonrfthe tcl^,
instead of being flat, having upon ifMvorna-
ment in the tigme of a small urn. It is also
m a much finer textftre than the others and
plaited or wrought in black and white stripes
WitpT the representation in front of a.tianoe
Mylpursuit of a.whale with the harpooner
standing in the prow^jfppared to stril^S
|This5oiirret is called Seeya-poks.
Their mode of living^fs very simjimfNheir
food consisting alraojt v4iofTf*of fislif §r fish
spa wjT fresh or dried, the blubber of the
whale^ seal, or sea-cow, muscles, clams, and
Krries of various kinds ; all1 of vvtHBi are
eaten with a profusion of train off for sauce,
not excepting even the most delicate fruit,
as strawberries and raspberries. With so
little variety in theiWood, no great can be
ejected, in their Moo kfty. Of this, indeed,
they ma| be said to know butwo methods,
viz.jJjY^boiliiig ana steamingj and even the
latter is not very mq flentfy practised bj
F 2
I ft
thenky Theirifnodeof foilingis as follows.:
mto one of their tubs, they,|>our water sufficient to cook the quantity of provision
wanted.    A number of heated stones are
then  put   in  to  make it  boil,   when  tbttf
salmon  or other fish  are  put in without
any other preparation  than sometimes cu^ic
tfpg off the heads, tails and fins, the boils
ing in the mean time being kept up by thftt
application of the hot stones, after wl^ch ifc4
is left to cook until the wholejis nearly rft*l
dnced to one mass.    It is then taken oujte
and distributed  in the trays.    In a similar
manner they cook their bjpbber and spawn,
smoked or dried fi§h, and in fine, almost er$j
ery thing they eat, nothing going down jftfith
loem like broth.
When they cook their fi^h by steam, which
are usually the head^ tails, and fins of *|fee
salmon, cod and halibut, a larger fire fe kindled, upon which they place a bed of stones,
which, when the wrood is burnt down, becomes perfectly heated. Layefg of gfee&u
leaves or pine boughs, are tfyen placed Upon
the stones, and the fish, clams, &c. being laid^'
upon them, watery poured over them, and
the whole closely covered with mats,,to keep
in the steam. This is much the best mode
of cooking, and clams and muscles done in
this manner, are really excellent. These,
as I have said, may be considered as their
Ipnly kinds of cookery; though Iha^eina '•■■«
vetf fewSpstances^nown th^m dress the roe
or spawn of the Salmon and the ^erring,
when *first takejf, in a different manner ; this
was by roasting them, the former being supported between two split pieces of pine, amf'
the other having a sharp stick run  through,1
it, with one end fixed in the ground ; spratl'I
are also roasted  by  them in  this  way, a
number being spitted on one stfSk; and thjjp *
kind of food, with a little salt," would be
found no contemptible eating even to a JEi*-|
At their meals they seat themselves upon
the ground, with their feet curled up under
them, around their trays, whicn are generally about threg-feet long by one broad,. sx0u
from six to eight inches deep. Tnjfeatijjjj^
tfefey make use of nothing but their fingers,
except for the soup or oil, which they lade
out with f$am shells. Around one of these
trays, from four "to six persons w ill seat
themselves, constantly dipping in their fingers or clam shells, one after the others—
The king and chiefs alone have separate
trajfcs, from which no one is permitted td eat
with them, except the queen, or principal
wife of the chief, and whenever the king or
one of the chiefs wishes to distinguish any
ofrbis people with a special mark of favour
on these occasions, he calls hrki and";giveV
him some of the choice bits from his tray.
The slaves esftat the same time, and of tne
I Mr
same provisions, fareijig in this respeci|f3&
well as their masters, being seated with^tn|j
family and onjy^feeding from separate SjMfU
Whenever a feast^^s given by the kidg^ojr an^
of the chiefs, there is a person who acts as a,
master of ceremonies, and whose business it
is to receive the guests as they enter; fea
house and point out to them their respecjfw
seats, which is regulated withgreat punetij^
iousness as regards raru^ ; the king occu#fo
ing the highest or the seat of honour, WJspni
or brother sittingnext him, and so on with tkji
chiefs according to their quality ; the prj^
vate perso^s^elonging to me same family
being always placed together to prevent anjL
confusion. The jvomen are seldom inviteA
to their feasts, and only at those time^wheik
a general invitation is given to the village.
As wheneVerlfhey cooj^, they always ^a^
culate to have an abundance for all 3|&
guests, a profusion io^ this respect being considered as the highest luxury, much more
is usually set befbse tliem than tb&ftjGan eat-.
That wbic^ is left in the king's tray he sends
to ij^is house for -t|is family, by one of his
slaves, as do the chiefs theirs, while tho^
who eat from the same tray and who general)^
belong to the same family, take it home as
common stock, or each one receives his portion, whicl^J^listributed on the spot. This
i^stojj^ anj^yed kery singu|g^| to my companion and myself, and it was a most awk- 72
ward thing for us at first, to have to lug
home" with us, in our hands or arms, thS
blub&fer or fish that we received at these
times, but we soon became reconciled to i||
and were very glad of fin opportunity pr
rfo it.
In point of personal appearance the peo-
jjSe of Nootka are among the best looking
of any of the tribes that 1 have seen. ThW
men are in general from about five feet sfi£
to five feet eight inches in height; remarkably strait, of a good form, robust, and strong^
with their limbs in general well turned and
proportioned excepting the legs and feet,
which are clumsy and*ill formed, owing
no doubt to their practice of setting on
them, though I haWe seen instances in whi^l?
0iey were very well shaped, this defect is
more particularly apparent in the women,
who are for the most part of the time within
doors, and constantly sitting while employed in their cooking and other occupations*
The only instance of deformity that I saw
fslnong them was a man of dwarfish stature ;
he was thirty years old and but three feet
three inches high, he had however no othef
Hefect than his diminutive size being well
made, and as strong and able to bear far
tigue as what they were in general!.. Their
-complexion, when freed from %e paint and
Si\ with which their skinsvliregenerally covered, is a thrown, somewhatinciinm^to a cop- ,
per cast. The shape of the face is oval ;
the features* are tolerably regular, the lips
being thin and the teeth very white and even : their eyes are black but rather small,
and the nose pretty well formed, being neither flat nor very prominent:' their hair ill
black, long and coarse, but they have no
Ibeard, completely extirpating it, as well aS
the hair from their bodies, Maquina beifrg
the only exception, who suffered his beara
to grow on his upper lip, in the maimer of
mustachios, which was considered as a mart
of dignity. As to the women they are
much whiter, many of them not being darker than those in some of the Southern parts
of Europe. They are in general very well
looking and some quite handsome. Ma-
quina's favorite wife in partictitar, who wall
a Wickinninish princess, would be considered as a beautiful woman in any country.
She was unconimonly well formed, tall, and
of a majestic appearance ; her&kin remarkably fair for one of these people, with considerable colour, her features handsome and
her eyes black, soft,«and languishing ; her
bair was very long, thick, and black, as if
that of the females in general, which is much
softer than that of the men; in thi$:they
take much pridse^ frequently oiling and pl®W
ing it carefully into two broad plaits, tying
Hbe ends wMi a strip of the cloth of th3
country and letting it hang down before on
€$ch side of the face,
^ 74
||.The women keep their garments much
neater and cleaner than the men, and are
extremely, modest in their deportment and
dressy their mantle or Katsack, which is
longer than that of the. men, reaching quite
to their feet, and completely enveloping them,
being tied close under the chin, and bound
with a girdle of the same cloth or of sea ot^
ter'skin around their waists ; it has also
loose sleeves which reach to the elbows,
jjfhough fond of ornamenting their persons
they are by no means so partial to paint as
the men, merely colouring their eye-brows
•|4ack and drawing a bright red stripe from
jgaeh corner of the mouth towards the ear.
Their ornaments consist chiefly of ear ringg|.
necklaces, bracelets, rings for the fingers
and ancles, and small nose jewels, (the latter are however whollv confined to the
wives of the king or chiefs,) these are principally made out of copper or brass, highly
polished and of various forms and sizes ;
iffoe nose jewel is usually a smalllswhife
shell or bead suspended to a fthread. The
wives of the common people frequently
wear for bracelets and. ankle rings, strips of
the country cloth or skin of the Metae*
melth painted in figures^and those of the
>%pg or prmcipaltfihiefi bracelets and necklaces, consisting of a number of strings of
j^e-wmv, atJaatiicle^jnuch prized by them,
and which makes a very handsome appear-
m 75
ance. This lfe-waw9 as they term it, is a
kind of shell of a dazzling whiteness, and as
smooth as ivory, it is of a cylindrical form,
in a slight degree curved, about the size of
a goose quill, hollow, three inches in length
and gradually tapering to a point, which is
broken off by the natives as itfls taken from
the water; this they afterwards string upon
thread's of bark, and sell it by the fathom ;
it forms a kind of circulating medium among
$iese nations, five fathoms being considered
as the price of a slave their most valuable
species of property. It is principally obtained from the Aitizzarts, a people living
about thirty or forty miles to the Northward,
who collect it from the reefs tod sunken
rocks with which their coastabounds, thougk
it is also brought in considerable quantity
from the South. Their mode of taking it
has been thus described to me. To one
end of a- pole is fastened a piece of plank in
which a considerable number of pine pegs
are inserted made sharp at the ends ; above
the plank in order to sink it, a stone
l&fcsome weight is tied, and the other end of
the pole suspended to a long rope ; this is
■fet down perpendicularly by the Jfe-waiv
'fishers in those places where that substance
isfouud which are usually from fifty to gix-
ty ^thorns deep; on finding the bottom
^Iney raise the pole up a few feet and let it
fall, this they repeat a number of times as if 76
soundings when they drawi|up and take off'
the I-iahaiv which is found adhering to the
points. Thi^method of procuring it is very
laboriouf and fatiguing, especially as they
seldom take more than two or three of these
shells at a time, and frequently none.
Though fche women, as I have said, make
but little use of paint, the very reverse is the
case with the men. In decorating their
3|eads and faees they place their principal
pride,, and none of our most fashionable
peaus, when preparing for a grand ball can
»e more particular: For 1 have known Maquina after having been employed for more
than an hour in painting his face, rub the
ivfele ofl| and recommence the operation
anew when it did not entirely please him.
Thi^manner in which they paint.p^niselves
frequently varies, according to the occasion,
but it olfener is trie/ mere dilate of whim.—
The most usual method is to paint the eyebrows black, in form of a half moon, and the
l^ce red in small squares, w||h- the arms and
legs and part of the body red ; sometimes
one halj^pf the face is painted red in squares,
and the other blaekjJL at others, dotted with
J^d spots, or red and black instead of squares,
with a variety of other devices, such as painl*
Mg oi^e, naif of ithe face and body rei$, and
Jhe other black. But a method of painting'
^Sphich they sometimes eoipi&yed, and wfe^h
ar. weab mucPt'jmore^artilsiiiar in, w7as -Ibv PI
laying on the face a quantity of bearV|frease
of about one eighth of an inch thick; this
they raised up into ridges resembling a small
bead in joiner's work, with a stick prepared
for the purpose, and then painted them red,
which gave the face a very singular appea#
ance. On extraordinary occasions, the king
^aid principal chiefs .used to strew over their
faces, after painting, a fine black shining
powder, procured from some mineral, as
Maquina told me it was got from the rocks.
This they call pelpelth, and value it highly^
as, in their opinion, it serves to set off theW
looks to great advantage, glittering, especial
ly in the sun, like silver.—This article is
brought them in bags by the Newehemass, a
j?ery savage nation who live a long way to the
Kforth, from whom they likewise receive a
superior kind of red paint, a species of very
fine and rich ochre, which they hold in much
Notwithstanding this custom of painting
themselves, they make it an invariable pra&$
tice, both in summer and winter, to bathe
once a day, and sometimes oftener ; but as
the paint is put on with oil, it is not much*
discomposed thereby, and whenever they
wish to wash it off, they repair to some pitgesi
of fresh water and scour themselves with
sand or rushes.
In dressing their heads on occasion of
a festival or visit, they are ft&as pa&ticulalf 78
and almos^fas long,, as in paintings The
hair, after being well oiled, is carefully gathered upon th#i. top of the head and secured
by a piece of pine or spruce bough with thi
green leaves upon it. After having it property
fixed in tbis manner, the king and principal
chiefs used to strew all over it the white
down obtained from a species of large brown
eagle, which abounds on this coast, which
they are very particular in arranging so as
not to have a single feather out of place, occasionally wetting the hair to make it adhere.
This, together with the bough, which is sometimes of considerable size, and stuck over
with feathers by means of turpentine, gives
them a very singular and gUttesque appear-;
ance, which they, however,think very becoming, and the first thing they do on learning the
arrival of strangers is to go and decorate
themselves in this manner.
The men also wear bracelets of painted
leather or copper, and large ear-rings of the
latter-^-but the ornament on which they appear to set the^nost value, is the nose-jewel,
if such an appellation may be given to the
wooden stick, which some of them employ
for this purpose.     The   king  and   chiefs,
however, wear them of a different form, bfe*
ing either small pieces of polished copper or
brass, of which I made many for them, J|r
tfee shape of hearts and diamonds, or a twilll
ed conical shell about half an inch in lei
■ tfyi
of a bjiueish coloutr and very bright which
is brought from the South. These are suspended by a small wire or string to the hole,
in the gristle of the nose, which is formed in
infancy, by boreing it with a pin, the hofǤ
being afterwards enlarged by the repeated insertion of wooden pegs of an increased size,
until it becomes about the diameter of a
pipe stem, though some have them of a size
nearLy;suffa$ient to admit the little finger.—I
The common class who opjnfiot readily procure the more expensive Jewels that 1 have
mentioned, substitute for them, usually, a
smooth round stick, some of which are of an
almost incredible length, for I have see^
them projecting not less than eight or nine
inches beyond the face on each side; this
is made fast or secured in its place by little
wedges . on each side of it. These sprit-
sail-yard  fellows,   as  my mess-mate
to   call   them,   when  rigged   out in
manner made quite a strange show, and
it was his delight whenever he saw one of
them coming towards us with an air of consequence proportioned to the length of>Jiis
stick, to pnt up his hand suddenly as he was
passing iim, so as to strike the stick, in order,
as he said, to brace him up sharp to the wind ;
this used to make them very angry, but
nothing was more remote from Thompson's
ideas than the wish to cultivate their favour.
The natives of Nootka appear to have bat 80
little inclinatldw^OT the chafcW,?thot|gh some
of then| were ex^rt marksmen, and used
Sometimes to shoot ducks and geese, but the
seal ancjrthe sea-ottet form the principal objects of their hunipn%, particularly the latter.
Of this animal, so much noted for Hs valua-
We skin, the following d^scripfloifjiiay not
be uninteresting, ihe sea-otter is nearly
nve feet in length, exclusive of the tail, w hich
Is about twelvefinches, and is very thick and
broad where it joins the body, but gradually
tapers to the end, Which is tipped with white.
The colour of the rest is a shining silky
black, with ffie exception of a broad white
stripe on the top of the head. Nothing can
be more beautiful than oneW these animals
when seen swimming, especially when on
tile lookout for any object. At such times it
raises its head quite above the surface, and
the contrast between the shilling black and
the white, together with its sharp ears and a
lonsr tuft of hair rising from the middle of its
forehead, which look like three small'fiorns,
render it quite a novel and att/active objeet.
They are ftt' general vefy tame, and will permit a canoe or boat to approach very near
before they dive. ' i was told, however, that
they are become much more shy since they
have beeta accustomed to shoot them with
muskets, than when they used ouly arrows.
The skin is held in great estimation in China, more especially mat of the tail, the fqr of
a g 2
i M
which is finer and closer set than that on the
body. This is always cut off and sold separately by the natives. The value of a skin is
determined by its size, that being considered
as a prime skin which will reach, in lengtH,
from a man's chin to his feet. The food of
the sea-otter is fish, which he is very dexte-
rous in taking, being an excellent swimme4
with feet webbed like those of a goose.-—
They appear to be wholly confined to the
sea coast, at least to the salt water. They
have usually three or four young at a time,
but I know not how often they breed, nor in
what places they deposit their young, the**
I have frequently seen them swimming
around the mother when no larger than rats;
The flesh is eaten by the natives, cooked in
their usual mode by boiling, and is far preferable to that of the seal, of which they
make much account.
But if not great hunters them are few peo?
pie more expert in fishing. Their lines are
generally made from the sinew of the whale,
3? »■' *
and are extremely strong. For the hook,
fhey usually make use of a strait piece of
bard wood, in the lower part of which is inserted and w;ell secured, with thread or
whale sinew-a bit of bone made very sharp;
at the point and bearded ; but I used to
make for them, hooks from iron, which they
preferred, not only as being less liable to
break, but more certain of securing the fish* €od, halibut, and other sea fish were not only caught by them with hooks, but even sa|?
nion.    To take this latter fish, they practise
the following   method—One  person  seats
ilimselfin a small  canoe,  and   baiting  his
Ibook with a sprat,  which  thev are always
careful to procure as fresh as possible, fastens
bis line to the handle of the paddle ; this, as
he pliesit in the water, keeps the fish in constant motion, so as to give ii ijgie appearance
of life, which the salmon seeing, leaps at it
and  is instantly hooked, and   by a sudden
and dexterous motion o#the paddle, drawn
on board.    I have known some of the natives take no less than eighty oj: ten salmon jjf
a morning in this  mannerWiaiid  have seen
iom twenty to thirty canoes at a time in
Friendly Cove thus employed:   They are
likewise little less skilful in taking the whale.
This they kill with a kind of javelin or liar-
poon,   thus  constructed   and   fitted.    The
barbs are formed of bone which  are sharpened on the outer side and hollowed within
for the purpose of forming a socket for the
%taff; these are then secured firmly together with whale sinew, the point being fitted
so as to receive a piece of muscle shell vvhicS
is ground to a very sharp edge,  and   se*
cure! in its place by means of turpentine.
To this head or prong is fastened a strong
line of whale sinew about nine feet in lengthy
to the end of which is^ed a bark rope froji* M
fifty to sixty fathoms long, having from
twenty to thirty seal skin floats or buoys,
attached to it at certain intervals, in order to check the motion of the whale and
obstruct his diving. In the socket of the
harpoon a staff or pole of about ten feet long,
gradually tapering from the middle to each
end,is placed ; this the harpooner holds in
his hand in order to strike the whale, and immediately detaches it as soon as the fish is
struck. The whale is considered as the kind's
fish, and no other person, when he is present,
is permitted to touch him until the royal
harpoon has firgtdrawn his blood, however
near he may Approach ;, and it would be
considered ahnost as sacrilege for any of the
common peon™? to strike a whale, before he
is killed, particularly if any of the chiefs
should be present. They also kill; the porpoise and sea cow with harpoons, but this
inferior game is not interdicted the lower
With regard to their canoes, some of the
handsomest to be found on the whole coast
are mslde at Nootka, though very fine ones
are brought by the Wickiuninisn and the
Kiaiz-zarts, who have them more highly ornamented. Thev are of all sizes, from such
TO are capable of holding only one person to
their largest war canoes which will carry
forty men, and are extremely light. Of
these, the largest of any that I ever sawj, 84
was one belonging to Maquina, whien I
measured aud found to he forty-two feet six
inches in length at tihe bottom, and fo<rtff^i$
feet from stem to stern. These are made of
pine hollowed out from a tree with their
chizzels solely, which are about three inch-
€s broad and six in length, and set into a
handle of very hard wood. This instrument
was formerly made of flint or some hard
stone ground down to as sharp an edge as
possible, but".since they have learned tMe use
of irom, they have almost all of them of that
metal. Instead of a ui&ljbt for striking this
chizzel, they make use or a smooth round
stone, which they hold in. the palm of the
hand. With this same awk^ljprd instrument
they not only excavate thfir canoes and
trays and smooth their plahf; but cut dov¥#
such trees as they want, eitherfor building,
fuel, or other purposes, a labour which is
mostly done bv their slaves.     (&$
The falliag of trees as practised by them
is a slow and most tedious process, three of
them being generally from two to three days
ta cutting down a large one, yet so attached
were they to their own method, that notwithstanding they saw Thompson frequent^
ly with one of our axes, of which there was
a number saved, fall a tree in less time than
they could have gone round it with their chiz-
zels, still they could not be persuaded ta
make us® ©aPthem. «P* 35
II   IS'
After hollowing out their canoes, which
they do very neatly, they fashion the outside, and slightly burn it for the purpose of
removing any splinters or small points that
might obstruct its passage through the water, after which they rub it over thoroughly
with rushes or coarse mats in order to
smooth it, which not only renders it almost
as smooth as glass, but forms a better seen*'*
rity for it from the weather ; this operation
of burning and rubbing down the bottoms of
their canoes is practised as often as they acquire any considerable degree of roughness
from use. The orFtside, by this means, becomes quite blacjj, and to complete theipfy
work they painjt the inside of a bright red,
with ochre orjjpme other similar substance;
the prows and sterns are almost always ornamented wrai figures ofducks or some other
kind of bird, the former being so fashioned as
to represent the head and the latter the tail,
these are separate pieces from the canOe
and are fastened to it with small flexible
twigs or bark cord. Some of these canoes,;
particularly those employed in whaling,
which will hold about ten men, are ornamented within about two inches below the
gunwale, with two parallel lines on eacjj^
side of very small white shells running fore
and aft, which has a very pretty effect.
Their war canoes^have no ornament of this,
kind bu|T are painted on the outside wit^ ell
%ure"§ in white chalk representing eagles,
whales, human heads, &c. They are very
dexterous in the use ofineir paddles, which
ar#very Neatly wrought, and are five feet
long with a short handle and a blade seven
inclies broad in the middle tapering to a
Jfcarp point. With these they will make a
canoe skim very swiftly on the water with
scarcely any noise, while they keep time to
the s#oke of the paddle with their songs.
With regard to these they have a number
which they sing on various occasions; as
war* whaling, and fishmg, at their marriages
and feasts, and at public festivals or solemnities. The language of the most of these
appears to be very different, in many respects,
#0m that used in their comriton conversation, which leads me to believe either that
the^ have a different mode of expressing
themselves in poetry, or that they borrow
their songs from their neighbours, and what
the more particularly induces me to the latter opinion, is, that whenever any of the
Newchemass, a people from the Northward
and who speak a very different language, arrived, they used to tell me that they expected a new song, and were almost always sure
to have one.
Their tunes are generally soft and plaintive,
f***A8specimen of one of their war songs will be found at the
aid--of thiswork, Sp^       KfffllpT^ r<ns
and though not possessing, great va»ieiy, aie
not deficient in harmony.—Their sinking is
generally accompanied witfart|several fude
kinds of instrumental music; among the
most prominent of which is a kind of drum.
This is nothing more than a long plank hollowed out on the under skle and made quite
thin, which is beat upon by a stick of about
a footdong anoVrenders a sound not unlike
beating on the head of an empty cask, btft
much louder. rfBut the two inu^ favourite
instruments are the rattle and the pipe or
whistle; theseara however only used by the
king, the ebiefs, or some particular persons ;
the former is made of dried sealskin, so as
to represent sftish, and is tilled with a number of small smooth pebbles, it has a sjiort
handle and is painted red. -The whittle is
made of bone, generally the 1% of a deer, it
is short but emitsia very shrill sound. They
have likewise another kind of music, which
they make use of in danleing, in the manner
of castanets, this is pr*Ain#ed by a number
of mnsele or cockle shells tied together and
shaken to &*kind of tune,wfcich is accompanied with the voiceH
:J|k Their slaves, *as I have observed, f<&rm their
most valuable species of property. These
I are of b&th sex#s, being either captives taken by themselves in war, or purchased from
tfae,n§tg.hh0ring tribes, and who reside in the
same house, forming as it were a part jo£ the family, are usually kindly treated, eat
of the same food, and live as welfcas their
masters.    They are compelled however ait
#me$rto labomrseverely, as not only all the
.menial offices are perforilied bycifchem, such
•as bringing water, citing wood and a vaii-
$ety of others, bint they are obliged toimafoe
itbe canoes, to assist in building and repaid
4n§ the houses, to supply their masters with
sfish, and to attend them to war and to fighit
^fer them.    None but the krn^sjand  chiefs
have slaves, the common people  being prevented from holding them either from their
inability to purchase them, or as I am the
gather inclined to think from its being considered   as   the   privilege   of   the   former
alone to have them,  especially as all those
^ade prisoners in war belong either to the
king or the chiefs, who have captured them,
each one holdings stsch as have been taken
ifay himself or his slaves.   * There is probably
however some little distinction in favor of
«$he king,  who is always the commander of
jtbe expedition, as Maquina had nearly fifty,
male and female, in te house, a number constituting about one half of its  inhabitants,
Comprehending those obtained by war and
purchase, whereas none of the other chiefs
had  more than twelve.    The. females are
.employed principally in manufacturing cloth,
in-/cooking, ctaAteetii^ berries, &c. amd with
Jsegard to food and living in general have not 89
a much harder lot than their mistresses,
the principal difference consisting, in these
poor unfortunate creatures being considered
as free to any one, their masters prostituting
them whenever they think proper for the
purpose of gain. In this way many of them
are brought on board the ships and offered
to the crews, from whence an opinion appears to have been formed by some of our
navigators, injurious to the chastity of their
females, than which nothing < more generally untrue, as perhaps in no pait of the
world is that virtue more prfeed.
The houses at Nootka as already stated,
are about twenty, without comprising those
inhabited by the Klahars, a srnaM^tribe that
has been conquered and incorporated inlb
that of Nootka, though they must be considered as in a state of vassalage as they are
not permitted to have any chiefs among
them, and live by themselves in a cluster of
small houses at a little distance from the village. The Nootka tribe whifeh consists of
about five hundred warriors, is not only more
unmerous than almostany of the neighbouring
tribes, but far exceeds them in the strength
and martial spirit of its people ; and in
fact there are but few nations within a hundred miles either to the North or South
but are considered  as  tributary to»^them.
In giving some account of the tribes that
were accustomed  tf visit Nootka, I shall
f T?i 90
commence at the Southward with the Kla-
iz-zarts,  and the Wickinftiiiish, premising
that i» point of personal appearance there
prevails a wonderful diversity between the
various tribes on the coast, with the ex$j§p-
tion of the feet and less, which are badly
shaped in almost all of them from their prap-
tice of sitting on them.    The Kla-iz-zarts
are a numerous and powerful tijibe, living
nearly three hundred   miles t$ the  South,
and are said to consist of more than a thousand warriors.    They appear to be more civilized than any of the others, being better and
more neatly dressed, more mild and affable
in   their   manners,    remarkable   for   their
sprightliness  and vivacity, and celebrated
ior thT§ir singing and dancing.    They exhibit also greater marks of   improvement in
whatever is wrought by them ; their canoes
though not superior to those of Nootka in
point of form and lightness, being more highly ornamented, and their weapons and tools
of evej?y kind have a much higher finish and
display   more  skill   in  the workmanship.
Their cast of countenance is very different
from that of the Nootkians, their faces being-
very broad, with a less prominent nose and
smaller eyes, and the top nf the head flattened as if it had been  pressed   down with a
weight.    Their   complexion is also much
fairer, and their stature shorter, though they
are well  formed and strongly  set*    They w
have a custom which appears to be peculiar to them, as I nevi$r, observed it in any of
the other tribes^which is to pluck out not
only their beards, and the hair from theipr
bodies, but also their eye-brows, so as not to
leave a vestige remaining. They were also
in general more skilful in painting and defeating themselves, and I have seen some
of tfeem with$po less than a dozen holes in
each of their ears to which were suspended
strings of small beads about two inches jp
length. Their language is the same as spo->
ken at Nootka, but their pronunciation is
much more hoarse and guttural. These
people are not only very expert in whaling,
but are great hunters, of the sea otter and
other animals, with which their country is
said to abound, as the Metamelth a large animal of the deer kind, the skingf which I
have already spoken of, another of a light
grey colour, with very fine hair from which
they manufacture a handsome cloth, the
beaver, and a species of large wild cat, or
tyger cat.
The Wickinninish, their neighbours on
the North, are about two hundred miles froip
Nootka. They are a robust strong and
warlike people, but considered by the Noot*
kians as their inferiors in courage. This
tribe is more numerous than that of Nootka, amounting to between six and seven
hundred warriorR.    Though not so civilized m
jfe the Kla-iz-zarts and less sfeilful, in their
^manufactures, like them 1?hey employ themselves in hunting as well as in whaling and
fishing. Their faces are broad biit less so
than the Kla-iz-zarts, with a darker complexion, and a much less open and pleasing
expression of countenance, while their heads
present a very different form, being pressed
in at th#sides and lengthened towards the
top, somewhat in the shape of a sugar loaf.
These people are very frequent visitors at
Nootka, a close friendship subsisting between
the two nations, Maquina's Arcoma/t, or
Queen, Y-ya-tintla-no, being the daughter
of the Wickinninish king. The Kla-oo-
q nates adjoining them on the Noflh are
much?*'less numerous^ their force not ex-
ifieedftjg four hundred fighting men ; they
are also behind them in ine arts of life.
'These are a fierce, bold, and enterprizing
people, %nd there were none tha# visited
Nootka, whom Maquina used to be more on
Wis, guard against, or viewed with so much
suspicion. The Eshquates are about the
same number; these are^eonsidered as tributary to Maquina :4^Fheir coast abounds
with rivers, creeks, and marshes. j?¥o the
North the nearest tribe of any importance
is the Aitizzarts ; these however do not
exceed three hundred warriors. In appearance tliiy greatly resemble the people of
Nootka, to whoo+they are considered as
h 2
m m
tributary, their manners, dress, and style of
living also being^tery similar. They reside
at about forty miles distance up the sound.
A considerable way farther to the northward are the Cayuquets ; these are a much
more nuSnerous tribe than that of Nootka
but thought by the latter to be deficient in
courage and martial spirit, Maquina having frequently told me that their hearts
were little like those of birds.
There are also both at the Northand South
many other intervening trifees, but in general
small in numberand insignificant, all of whom
as well as the above mentioned speak the same
language.    But the Newchemass Who come
from a great way to the Northward, and from
some distance inland, as I was tolfjjby M«$
quina, speak quite a  different language. a&
though  it is well understood  by those of
Nootka.    These   were   the most   savage
looking and ugly men that I ever saw, their
complexion being much darker, their stature
shorter, and their hair coarser, than that of
the other nations, and their dress and*appea**!
ance dirty in an extmnae^   They wear theij$
beards long like Jews, and have a very morose and surly countenance.    Their usual
dress is a Kootsuk made of wolf skin, with
a  number of the taib*   attached  to  it, of
which I have seen no less than ten on  on4t
garment, hanging from the top to the,bottom ;
though they sometimes wear a similar man- M
tie of bark cl#th, of *a mafeh coaler texture
than that of Nootka, the original colour of
which- appears ti& be the saNne, thougjk
from th#M? very gpeat filthiness it was almost,
impossible to discover what it had been.
Thfeir mode of dressing their hair also varies essentially ft*otia that of the other tribe!|
foFtney suffer that on the back of the head to
hang loose, and bind the other over their
foreheads in the manner of a fillet, with %
strip of their country cloth, ornamented with
small white shells. Their Weapdns areltW
Cheetoolth, or war-club, which is made from
whale bone, daggers, bows and arrows, and
a kind of spear pointed with bone or copper.
They brought with tlsem no furs for sale
excepting a few wolf skftSs, then* merchandize consisting principally of the black shining mineral called pelpelth, and the fine red
paint which they carefully kept in close
mat bags, sortie small dried salmon, clams,
8fnd roes of fish, with occasionally a little
coarse matting cloth. They were accustomed to remain a much longer time at
Nod$ka than the other tribes, in order to recover frnm the fatigue of a long journey,
part of which was over land, and on these
occasions taught their songs to our savages.
The trade of most of the other tribes with
Nootka, was principally train oil, seal of
whale's blubber, fish fresh or dried, hearing
or salmon spawn, clams/and muscles, and Iff IV t
the yama, a species of fruit whicn^^ef&elf
and dried, cloth, sea otter skins, and Slaves.
From the Aitizzarts, and the Cayuquets,
particularly the former, the best I-whaw and
in the greatest quantities was obtained.
The E$hquates furnished us with wild
ducks and geesef particularly the Matter.
The Wickinninish ano^Kla-iz-zarts brought
to market many slaves, the best sea otter
skins, great quantities of oil, whale sinew,
and cakes of the yama, highly ornamented
canoes,%me I-whaw, red* ochre and pel-
pelth of an inferior quality to that obtained
from the Newdheinass, but particularly the
so much valued Mclametth, and an excellent
root called by the Kla-iz-zarts Quainwose.
This is the size of a small mfton^^tit rather
longer, being of a tapering form like a pear,
and of a brownish colour. It is cooked by
steam,is always brought in basft%ts ready prepared for eafcftig, &m\ is in truth a very fine
^getable, being sweet, mealy and of a
most agreeable flavour. L*ft was highly es-
teemed by the natives % hocused to eat w
as the^ did every thins: else Witn train off/
From the Kla-iz-zarts was also received,
though in no great qifantity, a cloth
T^anufactured by them from the fur aireadV"
spoken of, which feels like wool and is
of a grey colour.
Many of the articles thus brought, particularly the provisions, were considered as If
presents^ or tributary offerings, but this must
be viewed as little more tlvm a nominal acknowledgment of superiority, asHthey rarely
failed to get the full amount of the value of
their presents. I have known eighteen of
$ie great tubs, in which they keep theif
provisions, filled with spawn brought in
$ps way* On these occasions a great
^ast is always made, to which not only the
strangers, .but the whole village, men, women, and children are generally invited, and
I have seen five of the largest tubs employed at such time, in cooking at the
ling's house. At these feasts they generally indulge in eating to an excess, making
up in this respect for their waut of inebriating liquors, whieh they know no method
of preparing in any form, their only drink
being water. ^
Whenever they came to visit or^trade it
wras their general custom, to stop a few miles
distant under the lee of some bluff or rock,
and rig themselves out in their best manner,
ky paining and dressing their heads. On
l§|eir first coming on shore, they were invited
to eat by the king, when they brought
to him, such articles as he wanted, after
which the rest of the inhabitants were permitted to purchf^e, the -strangers being
careful to keep them in their canoes until sold, under strict guard to prevent
their being jfjolen, the exposition of these 97
peopiftrmr theiving being so great, that ileis
necessary to keep a watchfdiieye upon them.
This was their usual mode of jtraffick, but
whenever they wished to purchase any particular ^bject, as for instance, a certain
slave, or some other thing of which they
were very desirous, the canoe thaltcame for
this purpose would lie off a little distance
from the shore, and a kind of embassador o*
representative of the king or chief by whom
it was sent, dressed in their best manner,
and with his head covered with the white
dow7n, wnuldtrise, and after making known
tie object of his mission in a pompous
speech, hold up specimens of such articles
as he was instructed to offer in payment,
mentioning the number or quantity of each,
when if the bargain was concluded, the exchange was immediately made.
On theiir visits of friendship or traflick,
the chiefs alone used to sleep on shore, this
was generally at the house of the king or
head chief, the others passing the night on
board of their canoes, which was done not
only for the preservation of their property,
but because they were not permitted to re*
main on shore, lest they might excite some
disturbance or commit depredations.
All these people generally go armed, the
common class wearing only a dagger suspended from their neck behind, with a string
of uietamelth, and sometimes thrust in their
i Mimvw.w;^
girdles. The chiefs in addition to the dag^
ger carry the cheetoolth, or war-club suspended in the same manner beneath* their
mantles, this in the hands of a strong man
is a powerful weapon, in the management of
which, sonle of the older chiefs are very dexterous. It is made from the bone of a whale,
and is very heavy. The blade is about
eighteen inches long and three broad,
till it approaches near the point, where
it expands to the breadth of four inches.
In the middle, from whence it slopes off
gradually to an edge on each side, it is from
one to two inches in thickness. This blade
is usually covered with figures of the sun
and moon, a man's head, &c. and the hilt
which is made to represent the head of a
man Or some animal, is curiously set with
small white shells, and has a band of meta-
melth fastened to it in order to sling it over
the shoulder. Some of the tribes have also
a kind of spear headed with copper or the
bone of the sting ray, which is a dangerous
weapon ; this is however not usual, and only
carried by the chiefs. The bow and arrow
are still used by a few, but since tfee introduction of fire arms among them, this weapon has been mostly laid aside.
But to return to our unhappy situation.
Though my comrade and myself fared as
Well, and even better than we could have expected among these people, considering their yiii
iff * r
mistoms and mode offing,, yet our fea*&
lesjkno ship pouid come to oar release, §mL
that we should neve$ more behold a Christian country, were to us a source of constant
pain. Our principal consolation in thi*
glqomy stat% was to go on Sundays, whea^
f|ver the weatfeer would permit, to the bo$&
ders of a fresh water pond, about a mile
from the village, where, after bathing, and
putting on clean clothes, we would seat
ourselves under the shade of a beautiful
pine, while,! read some$hapters in the Bible,
and tljie prayers appointed by our Church fii
the day, ending our Jtevotions wl|h a ferveni
prayer to the Almighty that he would deign
still to watch over and preserve our livefL
rescue us from the hands of the savagesu,
and permit us once more to behold a Christian land. In this manner were the greater
part of our Sundays passed at Nootka ;.jtp-d
I felt grateful to heaven, that amidst ogg
O^her sufferings, we^were at least allowed
the pleasure of offering up o^r devotions;j»i*|
molested, for Maquina, on my explaining tk
him as well as was in tjiy power the reason^
of our thus retiring at ihis time, far from ob*
jecting, readily consented to it. The pond
above mentioned was small, not moijii
than a quarter of a mile |n breadth and at
no great length, the witter being very clear,
though not of great depth, and bordered &
% beautiful forest of pine, fir, elm, and beach.
w 100
jree from bushes and underwood—a most
delightful retreat, which was rendered still
more attractive by a great number of birds
that frequented it, particularly the humming
bird. Thither we used to go to wash our
clothes, and felt secure from any intrusion
from the natives, as they rarely visited it except for the purpose of cleansing themselves
of their paint.
In July we at length thought that the hope
of delivery we had so long anxiously indulged, was on the point of being gratified.
A ship appeared in the offing, but alas, our
fond hopes vanished almost as soon as formed ; for instead of standing in for the shore
she passed to the northward and soon disappeared. I shall not attempt to describe
irar disappointment—my heart sunk within
me, and I felt as though it was my destiny
never more to behold a Christian face. Four
days after there occurred a tremendous
storm of thunder and lightning, during which
the natives manifested great alarm and terror,
the whole tribe, hurrying to Maqiiina's
house, where, instead of keeping within,
they seated themselves on: the roof amid the
severest of the tempest, drumming upon
the boards, and looking up to heaven, while
the king beat the long hollow plank, singing
and, as he afterwards told me, begging
Quahootze, the name they give to God, not
t& kill them, in which he was accompanied Wl
by the whole tribe ; this singing and drumming was continued until the storm abated.
As the summer drew near ifs closejwe
began to suffer from the frequent want of
food, which was principally owing to Maquina and the chiefs being out whaling, in
which he woujd not pern>ifcf Thompson $$$
myself to join, lest we should make om escape to some of the neighbouring tribes*
At these times the women seldom or ever
cook any provision, and we were often huij^
gry, but were sometimes fortunate enough to
procure secretly, a piece o£ salmon, some
other fiish, spawn, or even blubber, which,
by boiling in salt water, with a few onions
and turnips, the remains of the Spanish
garden, or young nettles and oth$r herbs,
Jttrnished us a delicious repast in private.,
In the mean time, we frequently received aer.
counts from the tribes who came to Nootka
both from the nor^a aftd son-lfe,. of there be-
$ig vessels? on the coast* anjd wfs^e advised
by their chiefs to make our escape, who also
promised us their aid, and t© put us on
board. These stories, however, as I afterwards learned, were almost all of them
without any foundation, and merely invented
by these people with a view to get us into
their power, in order to make slaves of us
themselves, or to sell us toothers. But I
was still more strongly solicited to leav.Q
NoQtk&fcy & w'oui%il$ 1?ws was a Wickin- 102
#ifiigli £rflf0es&, a younger sfeter of M#
qnina's wife, Who wl^s there on a visits I
had the good fortune, if it may be so c&fted,
to be^ome^quite a favourite with her.    She
Speared f$i&eh interested for me—-askeH
Mie many cju^stions respecting my country,
#1 ha#& mother and sister at home, and if
Uney wou$d not grieve for my absence.   Her
complexion was Mrer than that of the women in genera1!, and her features more regular, and she wouM have been cfuite hand-
sonlfc had it not been $£* a defect in one of
her eyes, the sight of which had&een injured by some accident, the reason, as Maquina
Hold me, why she had not been married, a
sUtefect of this kind being by these savages
Conlrtered as almost an inoperable objection.    She mged me repeatedly to return
with her, telling me that the YVickinnimsh
were much better than the Nootkians ; that
her   father  would   treat me  more  kindly
than Maquina,  give  tike better  food   and
clothe^ and finally pu$ me on board one of
my own country vessels.    I felt, however,
little disposed to accompany her, considering my situation with Maquina full as eligible as it would be with the Wickinninish, if
not better, notwithstanding all she said to
the contrary.
On the third of September, the whole
tribe quitted Nootka, according to their
tonstot practise, in order to pass the jj§5? I
*ftimn and w^mter at Tashees and Cooptefc,
the latter lying about thirty miles up the
.Sound in a deep bay, the navigation of which
is very dangerous from the great number of
reefs and rocks with which it abounds. On
these occasions every thing is taken with
them, even the planks of their houses, in order to cover their new dwellings. To an
European, such a removal exhibits a scene
quite novel and strange : canoes piled up
with boards and boxes, and filled with men,
women and children of all ranks and sizes,
making the air resound with their cries and
songs. At these times, as well as when
they have occasion to go some distance
from their houses, the infants are usually
suspended across the mothers shoulders, in
a kind of cradle or hammock, formed of
bark, of about six inches in depth, and of the
length of the child, by means of a leather
band inserted through loops on its edges;
this they also keep them in when at home, in
order to preserve them in a strait position,
and prevent any. distortion of the limbs,
most probably a principal cause of these
people being so seldom detormedor crooked.
The long boat of our ship having been repaired and furnished with a sail by Thornp-s
son, Maquina gave us the direction of it^we
being better acquainted with managing it
than his people, and after loading her as
4eep as( sj$e could swim, we proceeded in
w «tr
s^iwi^Mtta^tee n
Nootka With heavy hearts, as we could en-
ferratti no hopes of release Until our^eturh,
"Ifb^lhip's^Ve'r doming to that part of the
ibast. Passing Cooptee, which is" situated
t|h the southerns bank, just witftijithe moufn
0*f a snl^ll river flowing from the%ast in a
narrow valley at the foot of a mountain, we
proceeded about fifteen miles up this#ream
fc Ta^hees, between a ra#ge of lofty hills on
each fide, which extend a great ^distance inland, and are covered with the finest f&resi
trees of tjje win try. Immediately on our
arrival, we aw went to work very diligently
Si covering the houses with the planks we
W&d brought, the frames being ready erected,
these people neveffpretending to remove the
titnber. in a very short time the work was
Ifempleted, and we weie established in our
new residence.
Tashees is pleasantly situated and in a
niost secure positidh||rora the winter storms,
iifa sfhan vale or hollow on the south^shore,
{ft the foolt of a mountain. The spot on
ifeicfr it stands is leye^amd the soil very
fine, the country in its vicinity abounding
with the most fbtnantic views, charmingly
eiversified, and fine streams of water falling
in be^aulifid cascades from the mountains.
The river at this p«pce is about twenty rods
iif wioth, and, in $s deepest part, from nimf
to twelve feet.    This village is the extreme
m 12 w
point of navigation, as immediately beyond,
the river becomes much more shallow, and
is broken into rapids and fails. The houses
here are placed in a line like those at Nootka, but closer together, the situation being
more confined, they are also smaller, in consequence of which, we were much crowded^
and incommoded for room.
The principal object in coming to this
place, is the facility it affords these people
of providing their winter stock of provisions,
which consists principally of salmon, and
the spawn of that fish ; to which may be
added herring and sprats, and herringspawn.
The latter, however, is always procured by
them at Nootka, previous to their quitting
it. At the seasons of spawning, which aria
early in the spring and the last of August,
they collect a great quantity of pine branches, which they place in different parts of the
Cove at the depth of about ten feet, and secure them by means of heavy stones. On
these the herring deposit their spawn in im*
mense quantities; the bushes are then taken
up, the spawn stripped from the branches,
and after being washed and freed from the
pine leaves by the women, is dried and put
up in baskets for use. It is considered as
their greatest delicacy, and eaten both cooked and raw : in the former case, being boiled and eaten with train oil, and in the latter,
mixed up with cold water alone.
dt£*L The salmon are taken at Tashees, principally in pots or wears. Their method of
taking them in wears is thus:—A pot of
twenty feet in length, and from four to five
feet diameter at the mouth, is formed
of a great number of pine splinters which
are strongly secured, an inch and a half
from each other, by means of hoops made
of flexible/ twigs, and placed about eight
inches apart. At the end it tapers almost
to a point, near which is a small wicker
door, for the purpose of taking out the fish.
This pot or wear is placed at the foot of a
fall or rapid, where the water is not very
deep, and the fish driven from above with long
poles, are intercepted and caught in the wear,
from whence they are taken into the canoes.
In this manner I have seen more than seven
hundred salmon caught in the space of fifteen minutes. I have also sometimes known
a few of the striped bass taken in this manner, but rarely.
At such times there is great feasting and
merriment among them. The women and
female slaves being busily employed in
cooking, or in curing the fish for theik winter stock, which is done by cutting off the
heads and tails, splitting them, taking out
the back bone, and hanging them up in their
houses to dry. They also dry the halibut and
/cod, but these instead of curing whole, they
cut up into small pieces for that purpose, ■ til
i*fd e^xpolfe^-the*i3'tfn. Tm* spa^# of the
salttion, whren is a ptftfcip&l arMie of theS
provision, they take out, and without any
|H?her preparation, throw it into their tubs;
where they leave it to stand ahld fermignt, fcfr^
though they frequenily eat it #esh, they e0$£
teem it nittf h more when it has acquired a
iff tog t§#t£, and* one of the greatest favours
IrYey -*can Ctmfer on any person, is to invite*
mtn to eat Qnakamiss, the name r&ey give
fUJis food, though scarcely any tfrmg can be
more repugnant to a European palate, thani
rt is in this state; and w believer rney took it.
#ut of these lai*gfe receptacles, which they*
ifre affrays careful to fill, such was the*
stench vVhich h exhaled, on being niovetfjl
that it was alfrtost impossible for me t&
abide h, even after habit, hart in a great degree dulled tire delicacy of my senses.-^
When boiled if became less offensive, thought
it sttf retained much tff the putrftf smelt
and something of the taste
*^^n> is the immense quantity of these
fish, and they ate taken vrfthsuclV facility,
rnat 1 Have known upwards m twenty-five%
B^ndretr-nrOli^m: inf6f Matpiina's hty#se &fi.:
once, and' at tine of ttie'ir great feasts, have"
j*e£n one hundred or ffiofe coofced1 in one
of their fer£&t tubs.
I used f^ed^eiftfy to go out with m^0t0
tifcbn these febirig parties, and #as alWa"$#
sure to reeeife a handsome pfi&ent of slS^ m
mon, which #1 had thejprivilege of calling
mine ; I also went with him several times in
a canoe, to strike the salmon, which I have
attempted to do myself, but could never
succeed, it requiring a degree of adroitness
that I did not possess. I was also permitted to go out with a gun, and was several
times very successful in shooting wild ducks,
and teal, which are very numerous here,
though rather shy. These they cooked in
their usual manner, by boiling, without any
farther dressing than skinning them. In
many respects, however, our situation was
less pleasant here than at Nootka. We
were more incommoded for room, the houses
not being so spacious, nor so well arranged,
and as it was colde%jwe were compelled to
be much more within doors. We-however,
did not neglect on Sundays, when the weather would admit, to retire into the woods,
and by the side of some stream, after bathing, return our thanks to God for preserving
us, and offer up to him our customar^de-
votions. I was however, very apprehensive,
soon after our arrivak|at this place, that I
should be deprived of the satisfaction of
keeping my "journal, as Maquina one day
observing me wrriting in it, enquired of me
what I was doing, and when I endeavoured
to explain it, by telling him that 1 was
keeping an account of the weather, he
sa||| it was not so, and tfa|at I was speaking II li
biad about Mftl* 8tid*$ei!ing'how he had taksife
Our ship and killed the crew? so as io inform
my cofrntrymeo, and tfeatif lie ever s&*# mn
Writing in it&gain, be would throw it into
3fce fire. I w&*s much rejoiced that he did
no more than threaten, and became very
cautious afterwards not to let him see mfe;
Not long after I finished some daggers fe¥
him, which I policed highly ; tllese pleased him much, and he gave me directions to
make a elieetoohh, in which I succeeded so
far to his satisfaction, that he gave me a^
present of cloth sufficient to make me a
complete suit of raitnelit, besides ofear
things, Thompson, also, who had become
rather more of a favourite than formerly,
since he had made a fine sail for his canoe,
and some garments for him out of European cloth, about this time completed another,
which was thought by the savages a most
snperb dress, This wras a Kootsuk or man-
tle,g3, fathom square, made entirely of European vest patterns of the gayest colours.
These were sewed together, in a manner to
make the best show, and bound with a deep
trimming of the finest otter skin, with
which the arm-holes were also bordered ;
while the bottom was farther embellished
with five or six rows of gilt buttons, placed
as near as possible to each otne1# Nothing
#onkt exceed the pride of Maquina} when* lit
%fi fir^fe put on tbfe ro|?ar robe, decorated
like the coat of Joseph with all the colours
of the rainbow, and glittering with the but?
4fr*'s, which as be strutted about made a
inkling, while he repeatedly exclaimed in a
transport of exultation, KMw sfnsh Kat-
$%tkr^rtt:iek hum attack Nootka, A fine garw
ment—Nootka can't make him.
Maquina, who knew that the chiefs of
the tribes who came to vkit us, bad endeav*
oured to persuade me to escape, frequently
iputioned me not to listen to them, saying
that shoiuld   I  make  the attempt, and lie
were to take me, he should certainly put me
to death.    While here he gave me a  book
in  whiciB I found the names of seven persons belonging to the skip Manchester of
Philadelphia,   Captain   Brian,   viz—Daniel   Smith,   Lewis   Gillon,   James   Tom,
Clark,   Johi^on,   Ben  and; Jack.    These
men, as Maquina informed  me,   ran away
frottt the ship, and  came to him, but that
£?ix of them, soon after went off fh the night,
with an intention to go to thfe Wickinninish,
but were shopped by the Eatkjuiates, and
sent back to him, and that he ordered them
to be put to death ; and a most cruel death
it waSj as I was told by one of the natives,
four men. holding one of them on the ground,
and forcing open his  mouth,  while   they
choaked him by ramming stones down his
tjutoat.    As to Jack the boy, who made no ni
attempt to go off, Maquina afterwards sold
him to the Wickinninish. I was informed
by the princess Yuqua, that he was quite a
small hoy, who cried a great deal, being put
to hard labour beyond his strength by the
- natives, in cutting wood and bringing water,
and that when he heard of the murder of
our crew, it had such an effect on him that
he fell sick and died shortly after. On
learning the melancholy fate of this unfortunate lad, it again awakened in my bosom
those feelings that I had experienced at the
shocking death of my poor comrades.
The king finding that I was desirous of
learning their language, was much delight-
* ed, and took great pleasure in conversing
with me. On one of these occasions, he
explained to me his reasons for cutting off
.our ship, saying that he bore no ill will to my
countrymen, but that he had been several
times treated very ill by them. The first
injury of which he had cause to complain,
was done him by a Captain Tawnington,,
who commanded a schooner which passett|
a winter at Friendly Cove, where he was
well treated by the inhabitants. This man
taking ad vantage of Maquina's absenoe, who
had gone to the Wickinninish to procure
a wife, armed himself and crew, and
entered the house where there were none
but women, whom he threw into the greatest
consternation, and searching the chests, took 112
away j|ll the skins, of which Maquina had
no less than forty of the best; and that
about the same time, four of their chiefs
were barbarously killed by a Captain Martinez, a Spaniard. That soon after Captain
Hanna, of the Sea-Otter, in consequence of
one of the natives having stolen a chizzel
from the carpenter, fired upon their canoes which wrere along side, and killed
upwards of twenty of the natives, of whom
several were 1 yees or chiefs, and that he
himself being on board the vessel, in order
to escape was obliged to leap from the quar-
ter dec|;,  and swim for a long
way under
These injuries had excited! in the breast
of Maquina, an ardent desire of revenge,^
the strongest passion of the savage heart,
and though many years had elapsed sinc%. ;
their commission, still they were not forgotten,
and the want of a favourable opportunity
alone prevented him from sooner avenging
them. Unfortunately for us, the long wished for opportunity at length presented itself
in our ship, which Maquina finding not
guarded with the usual vigilance of the
North West Traders, and feeling his desire
of revenge rekindled by the insult offered
him by captain Salter, formed a plan for attacking, and on his return, called a council of his chiefs, and communicated it
to them, acquainting them with the manner
K 113
- ,„<.:>
11* •.
in which he had been treated. No less o!^f
sirous of avenging this affront offered their
king, than the former injuries, they readily agreed to his proposal, which was to go
on board without arms as usual, but under
different pretexts, in greater numbers, and
wait his signal for the moment of attacking
their unsuspecting victims. The execution
of this scheme, as the reader knows, was
unhappily too successful. And here I cannot but indulge a reflection that has ffe^
quently occurred to me on the manner in
which ourpeople behave towards the natives.
For though they are a theivish race, yet I
have no doubt that many of the melancholy
disasters have principally arisen from
the imprudent conduct of some of' the
.captains and crews of the ships employed
in this tyade, in exasperating them by insulting, plundering, and even killing them
on slight grounds. This, as nothing is more
sacred with a savage than the principle of
revenge, and no people are so impatient
under insult, induces them to wreak their
vengeance upon the first vessel or boat's
crew that offers, making the innocent too
frequently suffer for the wrongs of the guilty, as few of them know to discriminate between persons of the same general appearance, more especially when speakingiihe
same language. And to this cause do {^believe, must principally be ascribed the san- 114
quinary disposition with which these people
are reproached, as Maquina repeatedly told
,me that it was not his wish to hurt a white
man, and that he never should have done it,
though ever so much in his power, had they
not injured him. And were the command-
irs of our ships to treat the savages with
rather more civility than thev sometimes do,
JT am inclined to think they would find their
account in it; not that I should recommend
to them a contidewce in the good faith*and
friendly professions of these people, so asv
in anv degree to remit their vigilance, but
on the contrary, to be strictly on their guard,
and suffer but a very few of them to come
on board the ship, and admit not many of
ifeeir canoes along side at a time ; a precaution that would have been the means of preventing some of the unfortunate events
that have occurred, and if attended to, *fnay
in future, preserve many a valuable lileV
Such a regulation too, from what I know of
their disposition and wants^would produce
mo serious difficulty in trading with the sa-
vages, and they would soon become perfectly reconciled to it.
Among the provisions which the Indians
procure at Tashees, I must not omit mentioning a fruit that is very important, £sS
forming a great article of their food.    This
®&. what is called by them the Yama, a species of berry  that grows in bunches like $ft
currants, upon a bush from two to tffree
feet high, with a large, round and smooth
leaf. This bejry is^ black, and about the
size of a pistol shot, but of rather an oblong shape, and open at the top like the blue
whortle berry. The taste is sweet, but a little acrid, and when first gathered, if eaten in
any gr§at quantity, especially without oil, is
apt to produce cholics. To procure it, large
companies of women go out on the mountains, accompanied by armed men, to
protect them against wild beasts, where
they frequently remain for several days,
kindling a fire at night, and sheltering
themselves under sheds constructed of
boughs. At these parties, they collect
great quantities. I have known Maquina's
queen and her women return, loaded, bringing with them upwards of twelve bushels.
In order to preserve it, it is pressed in the
bunches between two planlfif',' and dried and
put away in baskets for use. It is always
eaten with oil.
Of berries of various kinds, such as straw
berries, raspberries, black berries &c. there
are great Quantities™ the country, of which
ox .
the natives aref very fond, gathering tnem
in their seasons and eating them with oil,
but the yama is the only one that they preserve.
Fish is, however, their great article of food,
as almost all the others, exceptingthe yama, 116
may be considered as accidental. They
nevertheless are far from disrelishing meat,
for instance, venison and bear"s flesh. With
regard to the latter, they have a most singu-
lar custom, which is, that any one who eats
of it is obliged to abstain from eating any
kind of fresh fish whatever, for the term of
two months, as they have a superstitious belief, that should any of their people after
tasting bear's flesh, eat of fresh salmon, cod,
&c. the fish, though at ever so great a distance off, would come to the knowledge
of it, and be so much offended thereat, as
not to allow themselves to be taken by any
of the inhabitants. This I had an opportunity of observing* while at Tashees, a bear
having been killed early in December, of
which not more than ten of the natives
would eat, being prevented by the prohibition annexed to it, which also wras the reason
of my comrade and myself not tasting it,
on being told by Maquina the consequence.
As there is something quite curious in
their management of this animal, when Mfey
have killed one, I shall give a description of
it. After well cleansing the bear from the
dirt and blood, with which it is generally
covered wheu filled, it is brought in and
seated opposite the king in an upright posture, with a chief's bonnet, wrought in
figures on its head, and its fur powdered
over with the white down.    A tray of pro-
K 2 1*7
vision is then set before it, and it is invited W^
words and gestures to eat. This mock ceremony over, the reason of which I could
never learn, the animal is taken and skinned,
and the flesh and entrails boiled up into a
soup, no part, but the paunch being re-
This dressing the bear, as they call it, is
an occasion of great rejoicing throughout
the village, all the inhabitants being invited
to a great feast at the king's house, though
but few of them, in consequence of the
penalty, will venture to eat of the flesh, but
generally content themselves with their favourite dish of herring spawn and water.
The feast on this occasion was closed by a
dance from Sat-sat-sak-sis, in the manner I
have already described, in the course of
which he repeatedly shifted his mask for
another of a different form.
A few days after a second bear was taken,
pie the former by means of a trap. This I
had the curiosity to go and see at the place
where it was caught, which was in the following manner. On the edge of a small
stream of water in*he mountains, which
the salmon ascend, and near the spot where
the bear is accustomed to watch for them,
which is known by its track, a trap or box
about the height of a man's head is built of
posts and planks with a flat top, on which
are laid a number of large %tones or rock& 118
The top and sides are then carefully covered with turf, so as to resemble a little
mound, and wholly to exclude the light, a
narrow entrance of the height of the building only being left, just sufficient to admit
the head and shoulders of the beast. j()n
the inside, to a large plank that covers the
top, is suspended by a strong cord a salmon,
the plank being left loose so that a forcible
pull will bring it down. On coming to its
usual haunt, the bear enters the trap, and in
endeavouring to pull away the fish, brings
down the whole covering with its load of
stones upon its&head, and is almost always
crushed to deatl on the spot, or so wounded as to be unable to escape. They are always careful to examine these traps every
day, in order if a bear be caught, to bring
4M? away, and cook it immediately, for it is
not a little singular,xthat these people will
eat no kind of meat that is in the least tainted, or not perfectly fresh, while, on the
contrary, it is hardly possible for fish to be
in too putrid a state for them, and I have
.(frequently known them when a whale has
been driven ashore, bAig pieces of it home
with them, in a state of offensiveuess insupportable to any thing but a crow, and devour
it with high relish, considering it as preferable to that which is fresh.
On the morning of the 13th of December,
commence*! what || us appeared a most
-#• 119
singular farce. Apparently without any
previous notice, Maquina discharged a pistol close to, his son's ear, who immediately
fell down as if killed, upon which all the
women of the house set up a most lamentable cry, tearing handfuls of hair from their
heads, and exclaiming that the prince was
dead, at the same time a great number of
the inhabitants, rushed into the house armed
with their daggers, muskets, &c. enquiring
the cause of their outcry, these were immediately followed by two others dressed in
wolf skins, with masks over their faces representing the head of thafianimal| the latter
came in on their hands and feet in the manner of a beast, and taking up the prince carried him off upon their backs, retiring in
the same manner they entered. We saw
nothing more of the ceremony, as Maquina
came toi&ts, and giving us a quantity of dried provision, ordered us to quit the house
and not return to the village before the e^
piration of seven days, for that if we appeared within that period, he should kill us.
At any other season of the year such an
order would by us have been considered as
an indulgence, in enabling us to pass our
time in whatever way we wished, and even
now, furnished as we were, with sufficient
provision for that term, it was not very unpleasant to us, more particularly Thompson,
who was always desirous to keep as much im
as possible out of the society and sight of
the natives, whom he detested. i?Waking
with us our provisions, a bundle of clothes,
and our axes, we obeyed the directions of
Maquina, and withdrew into the woods,
where we built ourselves a cabin to shelter
us, with the branches of trees, and keeping
up a good fire, secured ourselves pretty well
from the ,cold. Here we passed the prescribed period of our exile, with more content
than much of the time while with them,
employing the day in readingand praying for
ilur release, or in rambling around and exploring the country, the soil of which we
found to be very good, and the face of it,
beautifully diversified with hills and vallies,
refreshed with the finest streams of water,
and at night enjoyed comfortable repose upon a bed of soft leaves, with our garments
spread over us to protect us from the cold.
At the end of seven days we returned,
and found several of the people of A-i-tiz-zart
'with their king or chieffet Tashees, who had
been invited by Maquina to attend the
close of this jferformance, which I now
learnt was a celebration, held by them annually, in honour of their god,^hom they
call Quahootze, to return him their thanks
for his past, and implore his future favors.
It terminated on the 21st, the day after our
return, with a most extraordinary exhibition.    Three men, each of whom had two g&
bayonets run through his sides, between the
ribs, apparently regardless of the pain,
traversed the room, backwards and forwards, singing war songs, and exulting in
this display of firmness.
On the arrival of the 25th, we could not
but call to mind, that this being Christmas,
was in our country a day of the greatest festivity, when our fellow countrymen assembled in their churches, were celebrating the
goodness of God^ and the praises of the
Saviour. What a reverse did our situation
offer—captives in a savage land, and slaves
to a set of ignorant beings, unacquainted,
with religion or humanity, hardly were we
permitted to offer up our devotions by our-
selves in the woods, while we felt even grateful for this privilege. Thither with the
king's permission, we withdrew, and aftex
reading the service appointed for the day,
sung the hymn of the Nativity, fervently
praying that heaven in its goodness, would
permit us to cel2br#te the next festival of
this kind in some Christian land. On our
return, in order to conform as much as was
in our power to the custom of our country,
'we were desirous of having a better supper
than usual. With this view we bought from
one of the natives, some dried clams and
oil, and a root called Kletsup, which we
cooked by steaming, and found it very pjajf
atable.    This root consists of many fita|L 122
of about six inches long, and of *the size of
a crow quill. It is sweet, of an agreeable
taste, not unlike the Quaiioose, and it is
eateii with oil. The plant that produces it
I have never seen.
On the 31st, all the tribe quitted Tashees
for Cooptee, whither they go to pass the remainder of the winter, and complete their
fishing, taking off every thing with them in
the same manner as at Nootka. We arrived
in a few hours at Coptee, which is about
fifteen miles, and immediately set about
covering the houses, which was soon completed.
This place, which is their great herring
and sprat fishery, stands just within the
mouth of the river, on the same side with
Tashees, in a very narrow valley at the foot
of a high mountaiu. Though nearly as secure as Tashees from the winter storms, it
is by no means so pleasantly situated,
though to us it was a much more agreeable
residence, as it brought us nearer Nootka,
where we were impatient to return, in hopes
of finding some vessel there, or hearing of
the arrival of one near.
The first snoW that fell this season, was
the day after our arrival, on New-Tears; a
day that like Christmas, brought with it,
painful recollections, but at i" 3 same time
led us to indulge the hope of & more fortu-*
nate year than the last. Ptf
Early on the morning of the 7th of Jan-
uary, Maquina took nie with him in his ca-
noe on a visitito Upquesta, chief of the A-i-
tiz-zarts, who had invited him to attend an exhibition at his village, similar to the one
with which he had been entertained at
Tashees. This place is between twenty
and thirty miles distant up the sonnd, and
stands on the banks of a small river about
the, size of that of Cooptee, just within itsj
entrance, in a valley of much greater extent
than that of Tashees ; it consists of fourteen or fifteen houses, built and disposed in
the manner of those at Nootka. The tribe,
which is considered as tributary to Maquina, amounts to about three hundred warriors, and the inhabitants, both men and
women, are among the best looking of any
people on the coast.
On our arrival we were received at the
shore by the inhabitants, a few of whom
were armed with muskets, which they fired,
with loud shouts and exclamations of Wocash, wocash.
We were welcomed by the chiefs messenger, or master of ceremonies, dressed in his
best garments, with his hair powdered with
white down, and holding in Jlis hand the
cheetoolth, the badge of his office. This
man preceded us to the chief's house, where
he introduced and pointed out to us our
respective seats.    On entering, the Adsitors
/«p 124
took off their hats, which they always wear
on similar occasions, and Maquina his outer
robes, of which he has several on whenever
he pays a visit, and seated himself near the
chief. As I was dressed in European
clothes I became quite an object of curiosity to these people, very few of whom had ever
seen a white man. Thev crowded around
me in numbers, taking hold of my clothes,
examining my face, hands and feet, and even
opening my mouth to see if 1 had a tongue,
for notwithstanding I had bv this time be-
come well acquainted with their language, I
preserved the strictest silence, Maquina on
Our first landing having enjoined me not to
speak, until he should direct. Having undergone this examination for some time,
Maquina at length made a sign to me to
speak to them. On hearing me address
them in their own language, they were greatly astonished and delighted, and toid Maquina that they now perceived that I was a
man like themselves, exc epfthat I was white
and looked like a seal, alluding to my blue
jacket and trowsers, which they wanted to
persuade me to take off, as they did not like
their appearance. Maq uina in the mean time
gave an account to the chief, of the scheme
be had formed for surprizing our ship, and
the manner in which he and his people had
parried it into execution, with such particular and horrid detaififcof that transaction 125
as chilled the blood in my veins. Trays of
boiled herring spawn and train oil were
soon after brought in and placed before us,
neither the chief or any of his people eating
at the same time, it being contrary to the
ideas of hospitality entertained by these
nations, to eat any part of the food that is
provided for strangers, always waiting until
their visitors have finished, before they have
their own brought in.
The following day closed their festival
with an exhibition of a similar kind, to
that which had been given at Tashees, but
still more cruel, the different tribes appearing on these occasions to endeavour to surpass each other, in their proofs of fortitude
and endurance of pain. In the morning
twenty men entered the chief's house, with
each an arrow run through the flesh of his
sides, and either arm, with a cord fastened
to the end, which as the performers advanced, singing and boasting, was forcibly
drawn back by a person having hold of
it. After this performance was closed we
returned to Cooptee, which we reached at
midnight, our men keeping time with their
songs to the stroke of their paddles.
The natives now began to take the herring
and sprat in immense quantities, with some
salmon, and there was nothing but feasting
from morning till night. The following is
the method they employ to take the herring. 126
A stick of about seven fet# long* two inches
broad, and half an inch thicfi, is formed from
some hard wood, one side of which is set
w?ith sharp teeth, made from whale bone, at
about half an inch apart. Provided with
this instrument, the fisherman seats himself
in the prow of a canoe, which is paddled
by another, and whenever he comes to a
shoal of herring, which cover the water in
great quantities, he strikes it with both
hands upon them, and at the same moment
turning it up, brings it over the side of the
canoe, into which he lets those that are ta»
ken drop. It is astonishing to see how
many are caught by those who are dexterous
at this kind of fishing, as they seldom fail
when^he shoals are numerous, of taking
as many as ten or twelve at a stroke, and in
a very short time will fill a canoe with them.
Sprats are likewise caught in a similar manner.
About the beginning of February, Maquina gave a great feast, at which were present not only all the inhabitants, but one
hundred persons from A-i-tiz-zart, and a
number from Wickinninish, who had been
invited to attend it. It is customary with
them to give an annual entertainment of this
kind, and it is astonishing to see what a
quantity of provision is expended, or rather
wasted on such an occasion, when they always eat to the greatest excess.    It was at :#
' ■<!■
this feast that I saw upwards of a hundred
salmon cooked in one tub. The whole residence at Cooptee presents an almost uninterrupted succession of feasting and gor-
mondizing, and it would seem as if the
principal object of these people was to consume their whole stock of provision before
leaving it, trusting entirely to their success
in fishing and whaling, for a supply at
On the 25th of February, we quitted
Cooptee, and returned* to Nootka. With
much joy did Thompson and myself again
find ourselves in a place, where notwithstanding the melancholy recollections which
it excited, we hoped before long to see some
vessel arrive to our relief, and for this we
became the more solicitous, as of late we
had become much more apprehensive of
our safety in consequence of information
brought Maquina a few days before we left
CoSptee, by some of the Cayuquets, that
there were twenty ships at the northward
preparing to come against him, with an intent of destroying him and his whole tribe,
for cutting off the Boston. This story
which was wholly without foundation, and
discovered afterwards to have been invented
by these people, for the purpose of disquieting him, threw him into great alarm, and
notwithstanding all I could say to convince
him that it was an  unfounded report, so 128
great wras his jealousy of us, especially after
it had been confirmed to him by some others
of the same nation, that he treated us with
much harshness, and kept a very suspicious
eye upon us. Nothing indeed could be more
unpleasant than our present situation, when
I reflected that our lives were altogether
dependent on the will of a savage, on whose
caprice and suspicions no rational calculation could be made.
Not long after our return, a son of Ma-
quina's sister, a boy of eleven years old,
who had been for some time declining,
died. Immediately on his death, which
was about midnight, all the men and women
in the house, set up loud cries and shrieks,
which awakening Thompson and myself, so
disturbed us that we left the house. This
lamentation was kept up during the remainder of the night. In the morning, a great
fire was kindled, in which Maquina burned
in honour of the deceased, ten fathoms of
cloth, and buried with him ten fathoms
ri^ore, eight of I-whaw, four prime sea otter
skins, and two small trunks, containing our
unfortunate captain's clothes and watch.
This boy was considered as a Tyee or chief,
being the only son pf Tootoosch, one of
their principal chiefs, who had married Ma-
quina's sister, whence arose this ceremony
on his interment; it being an established
custom, with these people, that whenever &
l2 M
VI! \\ 129
ehief dieSjiffeis^ most valuable property w
burned or buried with him ; it is, however*
wholly confined to the chiefs, and appears
to be a mark of honour appropriate to
them. In this instance Maquina furnished
the articles, in order thafcjbis nephew might
have the proper honours rendered him*
Tootoosch his father, was esteemed the first
warrior of the tribe, and was one who had
been particularly active in the destruction of
our ship, having killed two of our poor comrades, who were ashore, whose names were
Hall and Wood. About the time of our
removal to Tashees, while ki the ecyoyment
of the highest health, he was suddenly seised with a fit of delirium, in which he fancied that he saw the ghosts of taose two
men constantly standing by him, and threatening him, so that he would take no food,
except what was forced into hi» mouth. A
short time before tbis, be had lost a daughter of about fifteen years of age, which afflicted him greatly, and whether hisinsanity,
a disorder very uncommon amongst these
savages, no instance of tlie kind having occurred within the memory of the oldest man
amongst them, proceeded from this cause, or
that it was the special interposition of an all
merciful God in our favour, who by this
means thonght proper to induce these barbarians still farther to respect our Fibres, or
that for bidden purposes, the Supreme Dis^ ISO
poser of events, sometimes permits the spirits of the dead to revisit the world, and
haunt the murderer I know not, but his mind
from this period until his death, which took
place but a few weeks after that of his son,
was ineessamtly occupied with the images of
the men whom he had killed. This circumstance made much impression upon the
tribe, particularly the chiefs, whose uniform
opposition to putting us to deaifeh, at the various councils that were held on our account, 1 could not but in part attribute to
Ibis cause, and Maquina used frequently in
speaking of Tootoosch's sickness, to express
much satisfaction that his hands had not
been stained with the blood of any of our
amen. When Maquina was first informed
by bis sister, of the strange conduct of her
Jmsband, he immediately went to his house,
taking us with him; suspecting that his disease had been caused by us, and that tlfie?
ghosts of our countrymen had be#n called
^thither by us, to torment him. We found
Mm raving about Hall and Wood, saying
that they were peshak, that is, bad. Maquina then placed some provision before
him to see if he would eat. On perceiving
it, he put forth hh hand toi take some, but
instantly withdrew it with signs of horror,
paying that Hall and Wood were there, and
would not tet bift^ eat. Maquina theif
pointing to us, asked if it was not John 131
and Thompson who troubled him. Wik, he
replied, that is, no, John klushish—Thompson klushish—John and Thompson are both
good ; then turning to me, and patting me
on the shoulder, he made signs to me to eat.
I tried to persuade him that Hall and Wood
were not there, and that none were near
him but ourselves: he said, I know very
well you do not see them, but I do. At
first Maquina endeavoured to convince him
that he saw uotbing, and to laugh him out
of his belief, but finding that all was to no
purpose, he at length became serious, and
asked me if 1 had ever seen any one affected in this manner, and what was the matter
with him. I gave him to understand, pointing to his head, that his brain was injured,
and that he did not see things as formerly.
Being convinced by Tootoosch's conduct,
that we had no agency in his indisposition,
on our return home, Maquina asked me
what was done in my country in similar ca-,
ses. I told him that such persons were
closely confined, and sometimes tied up and
whipped, in order to make them better.
After pondering for some time, he said ife^t"-
he should be glad to do any thing to relieve
him, and that he should be whipped, and
immediately gave orders to some of his
men, to go to Tootoosch's house, bind him,
and bring him to his, in order to undergo
tbe operation.   Thompson was the person 132
selected to administer this remedy, which
he undertook very readily, and for that purpose provided himself with a good number
of spruce branches, with which he whipped
hira most severely, laying it on with the best
will imaginable, while Tootoosch displayed
the greatest rage, kicking, spitting, and attempting to bite all who came near him.
This was too much for Maquina, who, at
length, unable to endure it longer, ordered
Thompson to desist, and Tootoosch to be
carried back, saying that if there was no
other way of curing him but by whipping,
he must remain mad.
The application of the whip, produced
no beneficial effect on Tootoosch, for he afterwards became still more deranged ; in his fits
of fury sometimes seizing a club, and beating his slaves in a most dreadful manner,
and striking and spitting at all who came
near him, till at length his wife no longer
daring to remain in the house with him,
came with her son to Maquina's.
The whaling season now commenced, and
Maquina was out almost every day in his
dlnoe in pursuit of them, but for a considerable time, with no success, one day breaking the staff of his barpoon, another, after
having been a long time fast to a whale, the
weapon drawing, owing to the breaking of
the shell which formed its point, with several
such like accidents, arising from the imper- n$
fection of the instrument. At these times
he always returned very morose and out of
temper, upbraiding his men with having violated their obligation to continence prepare
tory to whaling. In this state of ill humour
he would give us very little to eat, which
added to the women not cooking when the
men are away, reduced us to very low fare.
In consequence of the repeated oecurrence
of similar accidents, I proposed to Maquina
to make him a harpoon or foreganger of
steel, which would be less liable to fail him.
The idea pleased him, and in a short time
I completed one for him, with which he was
ibuch delighted, and the very next day,
went out to make trial of it. He succeeded with it in taking a whale. Great was
the joy throughout the village as soon as it
was known that the king had secured the
whale, by notice from a person stationed at
the head-land in the offing. All the canoes
were immediately launched, and, furnished
with harpoons and seal skin floats, hastened*
to assist in buoying it up and in towing it in.
The bringing in of this fish exhibited a
scene of universal festivity. As soon as
the canoes appeared at the mouth of the
cove, those on board of tlxem singing a song
of triumph to a slow air, to which they kept
time with their paddles, all who were on
shore, men, women and children, mounted
the roofs of their houses, to eongra&ulate IS4
the king on his success, drumming most furiously on the planks, and exclaiming Wocash—wocash Tyee.
The whale on being drawn on shore, was
immediately cut up, and a great feast of the
blubber given at Maquina's house, to which
all the village were invited, who indemnified
themselves for their lent, by eating as usual
lo" excess. 1 was highly praised for the
goodness of my harpoon, and a quantity of
blubber given me, which I was permitted to
cook as i pleased, this 1 boiled in salt water
w7ith some young nettles and other greens
for Thompson and myself, and in this way
we found it tolerable food.
Their method of procuring the oil, is to
skim it from the water in which the blubber
i§ boiled, and when cool, put it up into
whale bladders for use, and of these I have
seen them so large as, when filled, would require no less than five or six men to carry.
Several of the chiefs, among whom were
Maquina's brothers, who after the king has
caught the first whale, are privileged to take
them also, were very desirous, on discover-
infPthe superiority of my harpoon, that I
should make some for them, but this Maquina would not permit, reserving for himself this improved weapon. He however
gave me directions to make a number more
for himself which I executed, and also made 1S5
him several lances, with w.hich he was greatly pleased.
As these people have some very singular
observances preparatory to whaling, an account of them will, I presume, not prove uninteresting, especially as it may serve to
give a better idea of their manners. A short
time before leaving Tashees, the king makes
a point of passing a day alone on rne mountain, whither he goes very privately early
in the morning, and does not return till
late in the evening. This is done, as I afterwards learned, for the purpose of singing
and praying to his God for success in whal-
At Cooptee the
ing the  ensuing season.
same ceremony is performed, and at Nootka
after the return thither, with still greater solemnity, as for the next two days he appears
very thoughtful and gloomy, scarcely speaking to any one, and observes a most rigid
fast. On these occasions, he has always a
broad red fillet made of bark, bound around
his head, in token of humiliation, with
a large branch of green spruce on the top,
and his great rattle in his hand. In addition to this, for a week before commencing
their whaling, both himself and the crew of
his canoe observe a fast, eating but very little, and going into the water several times in
the course of each day to bathe, singing and
rubbing their bodies, limbs and faces ikAth
Shells and bushes, so that on their return
m 136
I have seen them look as though they had
been severely torn with briers. They are
likewise obliged to abstain from any commerce with their women for the like period,
the latter restriction being considered as
indispensible to their success.
Early in June Tootoosch, the crazy chief,
died. On being acquainted with his death
the whole village, men, women, and children
iset up a loud cry, with every testimony of
the greatest grief, which they continued for
more than three hours. As soon as he was
dead, the body, according to their custom,
Was laid out on a plank, having the head
bound round with a red bark fillet, which is
with them an emblem of mourning and sorrow. After laving some time in this man-
ner, he was wrapped in an otter skin
robe, and three fathoms of I-whaw being
put about his neck, he was placed in a large
coffin or box of about three feet deep, which
was ornamented on the outside with two
rows of the small white shells. In this, the
most valuable articles of his property wrere
placed writh him, among wdiich were no less
man twenty four prime sea-otter skins. .i™t*
night, which is their time for interring the
dead, the coffin was borne bv eight men
with two poles, thrust through ropes passed
jaround it, to the place of burial, accompanied by his wife and family, with their hair
€%t shor% m token of grief, all the inhabi-
%\ Bit!.*
tanfs joining the procession. The place of
burial was a large cavern on the side of a
hill at a little distance from the village, in
which, after depositing the coffin carefully,
all the attendants repaired to Maquina's
house, where a number of articles belonging
to the deceased, consisting of blankets, pieces of cloth, &c. were burned by a person
appointed by Maquina for that purpose,
dressed and painted in the highest style,
with his head covered with white down,
who, as he put in the several pieces, one by
one, poured upon them a quantity of oil to
increase the flame, in the intervals between,
making a speech and playing off a variety
of buffoon tricks, and the whole closed with
a feast, and a dance from Sat-sat-sak-sis,
the king's son.
The man who performed the ceremony of
burning on this occasion, was a very singular
character, named Kinneclimmets. He was
held in high estimation by the king, though
only of the common class, probably from
his talent for mimicry and bu^foonry, and
might be considered as a kind of king's
jester, or rather as combining in his person1
the character of a buffoon with that of master of ceremonies, and public orator to his
majesty, as he was the one who at feasts always regulated the places of the guests, delivered speeches on receiving or returning
visits^ besides amusing the company at all 138
their entertainments, with a variety of monkey
pranks and antic gestures, which appeared to
these savages the height of wit and humour,
but would be considered as extremely low
by the least polfihed people. Almost all
the kings or head chiefs of the principal
tribes, were accompanied by a similar character, who appeared to be attached to their
dignity, and are called in their language,
This man, Kimieclimmets, was particularly
odious to Thompson, who would never join
in the laugh at his tricks, but when he began, would almost always quit the house
with a very surly look, and an exclamation
of, cursed fool! which Maquina, who thought
nothing could equal the cleverness of
his Climmer-habbee, used to remark with
much dissatisfaction, asking me why Thompson never laughed, observing that I must
have had a very ' good tempered woman indeed for my mother, as my father was so
very ill-natured a man. Among those performances that gained him the greatest applause, wras his talent of eating to excess,
for I have known him devour at one meal*
no less than seventy-five large herring, and
at another time when a great feast was given by Maquina, heHundertook, after drinking
three pints of oil by way of whet, to eat
four dried salmon, and five quarts of spawn,
mixed up with a gallon of train oil, and #e- 7
tually succeeded in swallowing the greater
part of this mess, until his stomach became
so overloaded, as to discharge its contents
in the dish. One of his exhibitions, however,
had nearly cost him his life, this was on occasion of Kla-quak-ee-na, one of the chiefs,
having bought him a new wife, in celebration
of which he ran three times through a large
fire, and burned njniself in such a manner,
that he was not able to stir for more than
four weeks. These feats of savage skill,
were much praised by Maquina, who never
failed to make him a present, of cloth, muskets, &c. on sucn occasions.
The death of Tootoosch increased still
mote the disquietude which his delirium had
excited among the savages, and all those
ehiefs who had killed our men became
much alarmed, lest they should be seized
with the same disorder and die like him;
more particularly, as I had told Maquina,
that I believed his insanity was a punishment inflicted on him by Quahootze, for his
cruelty in murdering two innocent men, who
had never injured him.
Our situation had now become unpleasant in the extreme. The summer was so
far advanced, that we nearly despaired of a
ship arriving to our relief, and with that expectation, almost relinquished the hope of
ever having it in our power to quit this
savage land.    We  were treated  too with 140
less indulgence than before, both/Thompson
and myself being obliged, in addition to our
other employments, to perforin the laborious
task of cutting and collecting fuel, which
we had to bring on our shoulders from
nearly three miles distant, as it consisted
wholly of dry trees, all of which near the
village, had been consumed. To add to
this, we suffered much abuse from the common people, who, when Maquina or some
of the chiefs were not present, would insult
us, calling us wretched slaves, asking us
where was our Tyee or captain, making
gestures signifying that his head had been
cut off, and that they would do the like to
us ; though they generally took good care
at such times to keep well out of Thompson's reach, as they had more than once experienced to their cost the strength of his
fist. This conduct was not only provoking
and grating to our feelings in the highest
degree, but it convinced us^of the ill disposition of these savages towards us, and rendered
us fearful lest they might at some time or
other persuade or force Maquina and the
chiefs, to put us to death.
We were also, often brought to great distress for the want of provision, so far as to
be reduced to collect a scanty supply of
muscles and limpets from the rocks, and
sometimes even compelled to part with some
of our most necessary articles of clothings
m i in order to purchase food for our subsistence. This was, however, principally owing to the inhabitants themselves experiencing a g^eat scarcity of provisions this
season ; there having been, in the first place,
but very few salmon caught at Friendly
Cove, a most unusual circumstance, as they
generally abound there in the spring, which
was by the natives attributed to their having
been driven away by the blood of our men,
who had been thrown into the sea, which
with true savage inconsistency, excited their
murmurs against Maquina, who had proposed cutting off our ship. Relying on this
supply, they had in the most inconsiderate
manner squandered away their winter stock
of provisions, so that in a few days after
their return, it was entirely expended. Nor
were the king and chiefs much more fortunate in their whaling, even after I had furnished Maquina with the improved weapon
for that purpose; but four whales having
been taken during the season, which closes
the last of May, including one that had
been struck by Maquina and escaped, and
was afterwards driven on shore about six
miles from Nootka, in almost a state of putridity. These afforded but a short supply, to a population, including all ages
and sexes, of no less than fifteen hundred
persons, and of a character so very improvident, that after feasting most gluttonously
IL 142
whenever a whale was caught, they were sev*
eral times for a week together, reduced to the
necessity of eating but once a day, and of
collecting cockles and muscles from the
rocks for their food. And even after the
cod and halibut fishing commenced in June,
in which they met with tolerable success,
such was the savage caprice of Maquina
that he would often give us but little to eat,
finally ordering us to buy a canoe and[
fishing implements, and go out ourselves and
fish, or we should have nothing. To do
this, we were compelled to part with our
great coats, which were not only important
to us as garments, but of which we made
shir beds, spreading them under us when we
*8iept. From our want of skill, however, in
this new employ, we met with no success,
on discovering which, Maquina ordered us to
remain at home.
Another thing, which to me in particular,
proved an almost constant source of vexation and disgust, and which living among
them had not in the least reconciled me to,
was their extreme filthiness, not only in eating fish, especially the whale, when in a state
of offensive putridity, but while at their
meals of making a practise of taking tBfe
vermin from tBeir heads or clothes, and
eating them, by*turns thrusting their fingers
into their hair, and into the dish, and spread-
ling their garments over the tubs in which the 143
provision was cooking, in order to set in
motion their inhabitants. Fortunately for
Thompson, he regarded this much less than
myself, and when 1 used to point out to him
any instance of their filthiness in this respect, he would laugh and reply, Never
mind John, the more good things the better.
i must how ever do Maquina the justice to
state, that he was much neater both in his
person and eating than were the others, as
was likewise his queen, owing no doubt to
his intercourse with foreigners, which had
given hhn ideas of cleanliness, for I never
saw either of them eat any of these animals,
but on the contrary they appeared not much to
relish this taste in others. Their garments^5
also, were much cleaner, Maquina having
been accustomed to give his away when
they became soiled, till after he discovered
that Thompson and myself kept ours clean
by washing them, when he used to make
Thompson do the same for him.
Yet amidst this state of endurance and
disappointment, in hearing repeatedly of the
arrival of ships at the north and south, most
of which proved to be idle reports, while
expectation was almost wearied out in looking for them, we did not wholly despond, relying on the mercy of the Supreme Being, to
offer up to whom our devotions on the dayir
appointed for his worship, was our chief
consolation and support, though we wer£ 144
sometimes obliged by our task-toasters to
infringe upon the Sabbath, which was to me
a source of much regret.^
We were nevertheless, treated at times, with
; much kindness by Maquina, who would
give us a plenty of the best that he had to
eat, and occasionally, some small present of
cloth for a garment, promising me, that if
any ship should arrive within a hundred
miles of Nootka, he would send a canoe
with a letter from me to the captain, so that
he might come to our release. These flattering promises and marks of attention were
however, at those times, when he thought
himself in personal danger from a mutinous
spirit, which the scarcity of provision had
excited among the natives, who, #ke true
savages, imputed all their public calamities,
of wdiatever kind, to the misconduct of their
chief, or when he was apprehensive of an attack from some of the other tribes who were
irritated with him for cutting off the Boston,
as it had prevented ships from coming to
trade with them, and were constantly al arreting him with idle stories of vessels that were
preparing to come against him, and exterminate both him and his people. At such
times,  he made us  keep  guard over hints
|&oth night and day, armed with cutlasses;
and pistols, being apparently afraid to trust
any^pL his own men.    At one thn^ljl:wa®3
a general revolt of his people that he appre*
I 145
hended—then three of his principal chiefs,
among whom was his elder brother, ha#
conspired to take away his life, and at
length, he fancied that a small party of Kla-
ooqua^es, between whom and the NootkfS
ans, little friendship subsisted, had come to
Nootka, under a pretence of trade, for the
sole purpose of murdering him and his farfi
ily, telling us, probably to sharpen our vigilance, that their intention was to kill us
likewise, and so strongly were his fears excited on this occasion, that he not only or-'
dered us to keep near him armed by day,
whenever he went out, and to patrole at
night before his house while they remained,
but to continue the same guard for three
days after they were gone, and to fire at one
and at four in the morning, one of the great
guns, to let them know, if, as he suspected,
they were lurking in the neighbourhood,
that he was on his guard. While he was
thus favourably disposed towards us, I
took an opportunity to inform him of the'
ill treatment that we frequently received
from his people, and the insults that were
offered us by some of the stranger tribes in
calling us white slaves, and loading us with
other opprobrious terms.- He was much
displeased, and said that his subjects should
not be allowed to treat us ill, and that if any;
of the strangers did it, he wished usto punish  the offenders with deaths at the samfj 146
time directing us for our security, to go
constantly armed. This permission was
soon improved by Thompson to the best advantage ; for a few days after, having gone
to the pond to wash some of our clothes, and
blanket for Maquina, several Wickinniuish
who were then at Nootka, came thither, an^
seeing him washing the clothes, and the
blanket spread upon the grass to dry, they
began according to custem to insult him,
and one of them bolder than the others,
walked over the blanket. Thompson was
highly incensed, and threatened the Indian
with death if he repeated the offence, but
he, in contempt of the threat, trampled upon the blanket, when drawing his cutlass,
■Without farther ceremony, Thompson cut
off his head, on seeing which the others ran
off at full speed ; Thompson then gather.-
ing up the clothes and blanket on which
were the marks of the Indian's dirty feet,
and taking with him the head, returned
and informed the king of what had passed,
who was much pleased, and highly commended his conduct. This had a favourable effect for us, not only on the stranger
tribes, but the inhabitants themselves, who
treated us afterwards with less disrespect.
In the latter part of July, Maquina informed me that he was going to war wifcfe
tne A^£^fla^f a tribe living at about fifty
miles fifthe south, on account of some con- 147
troversy that had arisen the preceding summer, and that I must make a number of
daggers for his men, and cheetoolths for his
chiefs, which having completed, he wished
me to make for his own use a weapon of
quite a different form, in order to dispatch
his enemy by one blow on the head, it being
the calculation of these nations on going to
war, to surprize their adversaries while
asleep. This was a steel dagger, or more
properly a spike, of about six inches long
made very sharp, set at right angles in an
iron handle of fifteen inches long, terminating at the lower end in a crook or turn, so as
to prevent its being wrenched from *3the
hand, and at the upper, in around knob or
head, from whence the spike protruded.
This instrument I polished highly, and the
more to please Maquina, formed on the
back of the knob, the resemblance of a
man's.bead, with the mouth open, substituting for eyes, black beads, which I fastened
in with red sealing wax. This pleased him
much, and was greatly admired by his chiefs,
who wanted me to make similar ones for
them, but Maquina would not suffer it, re-'
serving for himself alone this weapon.
When these people, have finally determined on war, they make it an invariable practise for three or four weeks prior to the expedition, to go into the water five or six
iiines a day, when they wash  and   scrub. 148
themselves from head to foot with bushes
intermixed with briars, so that their bodies
and faces will often be entirely covered with
blood. During this severe exercise, they
are continually exclaiming, " Wocash Qau-
hootze, 7 eechamme ah ivelih, wik-etish tau-
ilth—Kar-sab-matemas—Wik-sish to hauk
malemas—/ ya-ish kah-shiUle-—As-smootish
warich matemas—Which signifies, Good, or
great God, let me live—Not be sick—Find
the enemy—Not fear him—Find him asleep,
and kill a great many of him.
During* the whole of this period, they
have no intercourse with their women, and
for a week, at least, before setting out,
abstain from feasting or any kind of inerri-
ment, appearing thoughtful, gloomy, find
morose, and for the three last days, are almost constantly in the water, both by day
and night, scrubbing and lacerating themselves in a terrible manner. Maquina having informed Thompson and myself that he
should take us with him, was very solicitous
that we should bathe and scrub ourselves in
the same way with them, telling me that it
would harden our skins so that the weapons
of the enemy would not pierce them, but as
we felt no great inclination to amuse ourselves in this manner, we declined it.
The expedition consisted of forty canoes,
carrying from ten to twenty men each.
Thompson and myself armed ourselves with
N 149
cutlasses and pistols,- but the natives, although they had a plenty of European arms#
took with them only their daggers and
cheetoolths, with a few bows and arrows,
•the latter being about a yard in length, and
pointed with copper, muscle shell, or bone;
the bows are four feet and a half long, with
strings made of whale sinew.
To go to Ay-chart, we ascended from
twenty to thirty miles, a river about the
size of that of Tashees, the banks of which
are high and covered with wood. At midnight, we came in sight of the village, which
was situated on the west bank near the
shore, on a steep hill difficult of access,
and well calculated for defence. It consisted of fifteen or sixteen houses, smaller than
those at Nootka, and built in the samest^le,
but compactly placed. B\ Maquina's directions, the attack was deferred until the
first appearance of dawn, as he said that
was the time when men slept the soundest.
,.|il:At length all being ready for the attack,
we landed with the greatest sil^ice, and going around so as to come upon the foe in the
rear, clambered up the hill, and while the
natives, as is their custom, entered the several huts, creeping on all /ours, my comrade
and myself stationed ourselves without,
to intercept those^wdio should j ttempt
to escape, or come to the aid of their
iriends.   I wished if possible, not to stain 150
ttfyshands in the blood of any fellow creature,
and though Thompson would gladly have
put to death all the savages in the country,
he was too brave to think of attacking a
sleeping enemy. Having entered the houses, on the war-whoop being given by Maquina, as he seized the head of the chief, and
gave him the fatal blow, all proceeded to the
work of death. The A-y-charts being thus
surprised, were,unable to make resistance,
and with the exception of a very few, who
were so fortunate as to make their escape^
Were all killed or taken prisoners on condition of becoming slaves to their captors.
I had the good fortune to take four captives,
whom Maquina, as a favor, permitted me to
consider as mine, and occasionally employ
them in fishing for me; as for Thomp*
son, wTho thirsted for revenge, he had no
wish to take any prisoners, but with his cutlass, the only weapon he would employ
against them, succeeded in killing seven
stout fellows, who came to attack him, %n
act which obtained him great credit with
Maquina and the chiefs, who after this, held
him in much higher estimation, and gave
him the appellation of Chehiel-suma-har, it
being the name of a very celebrated warrior
of theh* nation in ancient times, whose exploits were the constant theme of their
praise. 151
After having put to death all the old and
infirm of either sex, as is the barbarous practise of these people, and destroyed the
buildings, we reembarked with our booty in
our canoes, for Nootka, where we were received with great demonstrations of joy by
the women and children, accompanying our
war song with a most furious drumming
on the houses. The next day a great feast
was given by Maquina, in celebration of his
victory, which was terminated as usual with
a dance by Sat-sat-sak-sis.
Repeated applications had been made to
Maquina, by a number of kings or chief*-, to
purchase me, especially after he had shewed
them the harpoon 1 had made for him, which
be took much pride in, but he constantly
refused to part with me on any terms.—
Among these, the king of the Wickinnimsfe
was particularly solicitous to obtain me,
having twice applied to Maquina for that
purpose, once in a very formal manner, by
sending his messenger with four canoes,
who as he approached the shore, decorated
in their highest style, with the white down on
his head, &c. declared that he feme to buy!
jf'ooteyoo/iannis, the name by which I was
known to them, for his master, and that he
had brought for that purpose four youngs
male slaves, two highly ornamented canoes,
such a number of skins of the metameltfap
and of the qaartlack, or sea otter, and so ma- 152
n$ fathoms of cloth and of i-whaw, while as
he mentioned the different articles, they
were pointed out or held up by his attendants, but even this tempting offer had n%in-
fluence on Maquina ; who in the latter part
of the summer, was again very strongly
urged to by Ulatilla, or as he is generally called^JMachee Ulatilla, chief of the
Klaizzarts, who had come to Nootka on a
visit. 'gjjfo
This chief, who could speak tolerable
English, had much more the appearance of
a civilized man, than any of the savages that I
saw. $iHe appeared to be about thirty, was
ratheR^aall in his person, but extremely
well formed, with a skin almost as fair as
that of an European, good features,^fmd a
countenance expressive of candour and ami-
ableness,  and   which  was almost  always
brightened with a smile. He was much
neater both in his dress and person than
any of the other chiefs, seldom wearing
paint, except upon his eye-brows, which after the custom of his country, were plucked
Out, and a few strips of the pelpelth on the
lower part of his face. He always treated
me with much kindness, was fond of conversing with me in English and in his own
language, asking me many questions relative
to my country, its manners, customs, &c.
and appeared to take a strong interest in
my fate, telling me, thatJI he could per-
n2 i
suade Maquina to parfc^with me, he would
put me on board the first ship that came to
his country ; a promise, which from his snb-
sequent conduct, I^iave good reason to
think he would have performed, as nay de*li
liverance, at lengthy from captivity and suffering was, under the favour of divine providence, wholly owing to him, the on% letter
that ever reached an European or American
vessel, out of sixteen that I wrote at different times, and sent to various parts of the
coast, having been delivered l^y him in person. So much pleased was I with this
man's behaviour to me while at Nootka, that
I made for hijgi a Cheetooltb, whioll I burnished highjy, and engraved with figures;
with this he was greatly delighted, I also
would have made for him a harpoon would
Maquina have consented.
With hearts full of dejection and almost
lost to hope, no ship having appeared off
Nootka this season, did my companion and
myself accompany the tribe on their removal
in September, to Tashees, relinquishing in
consequence,- for six months, even the remotest expectation of relief.
Soon after our establishment there, Maquina informed me, that he and his chiefs-
had held council both before and after
quitting Nootka, in which they had determined that I must marry one of their women,
urging as a reason to induce me t^aconsenV 54
tMat as there was now no probability of a
ship coming to Nootka to release me,  that
I must consider myself as destined to pass
the remainder of my life with them,  that
the sooner I conformed to their customs the
betterj and that a wife ami family would render
me more contented and satisfied with their
mode of  living.     I remonstrated  against
this decision, but to no purpose, for he told
me that should I refuse, both  Thompson
and myself would be put to death, telling
me however, that if there were none of the
women  of his tribe that pleased me,  he
would go with  me to some of the other
tribes, where he would purchase for me such
an one as I should select.    Reduced to this
sad extremity, with deathmen the one side,
and matrimony* on  the other,   I   thought
proper to choose what appeared to me the
^teastof the two evils, and consent to be married, on condition, thait as I did not fancy
any of the Nootka women, I should be permitted to make choice of one from some other tribe.
Thistfleing settled, the next morning by
day light Maquina with about fifty men in
two canoes, set out with me for A-i-tiz-zart,
taking with him a quantity of clotb, a number of muskets, sea otter skins, &c. for the
purchase of my bride. With the aid of our
paddles and sails, being favoured with a
fair breeze, we arrived some time before sui* 155
set at the village. Our arrival excited a
general alarm, and the men hastened to the
shore, armed with the weapons of their
country, making many warlike demonstrations, and displaying much zeal and activity.
We in the mean time re^nained quietly seated
in our canoes, where we remained for about
half an hour, wdien the messenger of the
chief, dressed in their best manner, came to
welcome us, and invit@>us on shore to eat.
We followed 4iim in procession to the*j&hief's
house, Maquina at our head, taking care
to leave a sufficient number in the boats to
protect the property^ When we ^came to
the house, we were ushered in with much
ceremony, and our respective seats pointed
out to us, mine being next to Maquina by
his request.
After having been regaled with a feast of
herding spawn and oil, Maquina asked me if
I saw any among the women who were present that I liked, I immediately pointed oi^
to him a young girl of about seventeen, the
daughter of Upquesta,  the chief, who  was
sitting near him by her mother.    On this
Maquina making a sign to his men, arose
and taking me by the hand, walked into the
middle of the room, and sent off two of his
men to bring ike boxes containing the presents from the <tlanoes.    In the mean 4§me
Kinneclimmets, the master of ceremonies,
whom I have already spokeirof, made him- 156
self ready for the part ha was to act, by
powdering his hair with the white down.—
When the chests were brought in, specimens
of the several articles were taken out, and
shewed by our men, one of whomr held up a
musket, another a skin, a third a piece of
cloth, &c. On this, Kinneclimmet$asiepped
forward, and addressing the chief, informed
him that all these belonged to me, mentioning the number of each kind, and that they
were offered him for the purchase of his
daughter Eit-stacfa*ee-exqua, as a wife for
me. As he said this, the men who held up
the various articles, walked up to the chief,
and with a very stern and morose look, the
complimentary one on these occasions,
threw them at his feet. Immediately on
which, all the tribe, both men and women,
who were assembled on this occasion, set
up a cry of Ktack-ko-Tyee, that is, Thanh
ye chief. His men, after this ceremony,
having returned to their places, Maquina
rose, and in a speeeh of more than half an
hour, said much in my praise to the A-i-tiz-
zart chief, telling him that I was as good a
man as "themselves, differing from them only
in being white, that I was besides acquainted with many things of which they were
ignorant; that I knew how to make daggers,
cheetoofcfehs, and harpoons, and was a very
valuable person, whom.he was determined
to keep always with him;   praising me at fm:
the same time for the goodness of ]roy temper, and the manner in which I had com
ducted since I had been with them, observing that all the people of Nootka, and even
the children loved me.
While Maquina was speaking, his master
of ceremonies was cont&uarly skipping
about, making the most extravagant gestures, and exclaiming Wocash. When he
had ceased, the A-i-tiz-zart chief arose amidst
the acclamations of his people, and began
with setting forth the many good qualities
and accomplishments of his daughter; that
heaved her greatly, and as she was his only one, he c^uld not think of parting with
her. He spoke in this manner for some
time, but finally concludedlby consenting to
the proposed union, requesting that she
might be well used and kindly treated by
ber husband. At the close of this speech,
when the chief began to manifest a disposition to consent to our union, Kinneclimmers
again began to call out as loud as he could
bawl, Wocash, cutting a thousand capers
and spinning himself around on his heel like
a top.
*i#Vhen Ilpquesta had finished his speech,
he directed his people to carry back the
presents which Maquina had given him, to
me, together withstwo young male slaves to
assist me in fishing. These, after having
been placed before me, were by Maquina's 158
men taken onboard the canoes. This ceremony being over, we were invited by one of
the principal chiefs to a feast, at his hous^,
of Klussamit, or dried herring, where after
the eating was over, Kinneclimmets amused
the company very highly with his tricks, and
the evening's entertainment was closed by
a new war-song from our men, and one in
return from the A-i-tiz-zarts, accompanied
with expressive gestures, and wielding of
their weapons.
After this, our company returned to lodge
at Upquesta's, except a few who were left
J^jl board the canoes to watch the property.
In the morning 1 received from the chief his
daughter, with an earnest request that I
would use her well, which I promised Sim,
when taking leave of her parents, she accompanied me with apparent satisfaction on
board of the canoe.
The wind being ahead, the natives were
obliged to have recourse to their paddles,
accompanying them with their songs, interspersed with the witticisms and bufloonry of
Kinneclimmets, who, in his capacity of
king's steersman, one of his functions which
I forgot to enumerate, not only guided the
Course of the canoe, but regulated the singing of the boatmen. At about five in the
morning, we reached Tashees, where we
found all the inhabitants collected on the
-shore to receive us.    We were welcomed 159
with loud shouts of joy, and exclamations
of Wocash, and the women taking my bride
under their charge, conducted her to Maquina's house, to be kept with them for ten
days ; it being an universal custom, as Maquina informed me, that no intercourse
should take place between the new married pair during that period. At night Maquina gave a great feast, which was succeeded by a dance, in which all the women
joined, and thus ended the festivities of my
The term of my probation over, Maquina
assigned me as an apartment, the space in
the upper part of his house, between 'him
and his elder brother, whose room was opposite. Here 1 established myself witti my
family, consisting of ijiy self and wife|*Thomp-
son, and the little Sat-sat-sak-sis, who had
always been strongly attached to me, and
now solicited his father to Jet him live with
me, to which he consented. This boy w:as
handsome, extremely w7ell formed, amiable,
and of a pleasant sprightly disposition. I
used to take a pleasure in decorating him
with rings, bracelets, ear jewels, &c. wlrjch
I made for him of copper, and ornamented
and polished them iu?n%y best mielmier. I
was also very careful to keep him free from
vermin of every kind, washing- him and
combing his hair every day JflTbese marks of
aftentiou were not only very pleasing to the >160
child, who delighted in being kept neat and
clean, as well as in being dressed off in his
finery, but was highly gratifying both to
Maquina and his queen, who used to express much satisfaction at my care of him.
In making my domestic establishment, I
determined, as far as possible, to live in a
more comfortable and cleanly manner than
the others. For this purpose, I erected with
planks, a partition of about three feet high,
.between mine and the adjoining rooms, and
made three bedsteads of the same, which
I covered with boards, for mv family to
sleep on, which I found much more comfortable than sleeping on the floor amidst the
Fortunately T found my Indian princess
both amiable and intelligent, for one whose
iljknited sphere of observation must necessarily give rise to.but a few ideas.    She was
extremely ready to agree to any thing that I
proposed relative to our mode of living, was
very attentive in keeping her garments and
person neat and clean, and appeared in every respect, solicitous to  please me.    She
-was, as I have said, about seventeen ;   her
♦person was small, but well formed, as were
her features, her complexion was, without
exception,  fairer than any of the women,
*with considerable colour in her cheeks, her
hair long, black, and much softer than is
usual with  them,   and   her   teeth   small,
O 161
1 Hh
even, and of a dazzling whiteness, while the
expression of her countenance, indicated
sweetness of temper and modesty. She
would, indeed, have been considered as very
pretty in any country, and excepting Maquina's queen, was by far the handsomest
of any of their women.
With a partner possessing so many attractions, many may be apt to conclude, that I
must have found myself happy, at least
s^Smparatively so; but far otherwise was it
with me, a compulsory marraige with the
most beautiful and accomplished person in
the world, can never prove a source of real
happiness, and in my situation, I cotfld not
but view this connection as a chain that was
to bind me down to this savage land, and
prevent my ever again seeing a civilized
country ; especially, when in a few days after, Maquina informed me that there had
been a meeting of his chiefs, in which it had
been determined, that as I had married one
of their women, I must be considered as one
of them, and conform to their customs, and
that in future, neither myself nor Thompson should wear our European clothes, but
dress in Kutsaks like themselves. This order was to me most painful, but I persuaded
Maquina, at length, so far to relax in it as
to permit me to wear those I had at present,
whicKvwere almost worn out, and not to
compel Thompson to change his dress, ob-
mm 162
serving, that as he was an old man, such a
change would cause his death. |
Their religious celebration, which the last
year took place in December, was in this,
commenced on the 15th of November, and
continued for fourteen days. As I was now
considered as one of them, jnstead of being
ordered to the woods, Maquina directed
Thompson and myself to remain, and pray
with them to Quahootze to be good to them,
and thank him for what he had done. It
was opened in much the same manner as
the former. After which, all the men and
women in the village assembled at Maquina's house, in their plainest dresses, and
without any kind of ornaments about them,
having their heads bound around with the
red fillet, a token of dejection and humiliation, and their countenances expressive of
seriousness and melancholy. The performances during the continuance of this celebration, consisted almost wholly in singing
dnumber of songs to mournful airs, the king
regulating the time by beating on his hollow
plank or drum, accompanied by one of his
chiefs, seated near him with the great, rattle.
In the mean time, they eat but seldom, and
then very little, retiring to sleep late, and
rising at the first appearance of dawn, and
even inttrrupting thisshort period of repose,
by getting up at midnight and singing. It
was terminated by an exhibition of a similar 16S
character to the one of the last year, but
still more cruel. A boy of twelve years old,
with six bayonets run into his flesh, one
through each arm and thigh, and through
each side close to tie ribs, was carried
around the room, suspended upon them,
without manifesting any symptoms of pain.
Maquina, on my enquiring the reason of this
display, informed me that it was an ancient
custom of his nation, to sacrifice a man at
the close of this solemnity in honour of
their God, but that his father had abolished
it, and substituted this in its place. The
whole closed on the evening of the 29th,
with a great feast of salmon spawn and oil,
at which the natives as usual, made up for
their late abstinence.
A few days after a circumstance occurred,
which, from its singularity, I cannot forbear
mentioning. I was sent for by my neighbour Yealihloiver, the king's elder brother,
to file his teeth, which operation having
performed, he informed me that a new wife,
whom he had a little time before purchased,
having refused to sleep with him, it was
his intention, provided she persisted in her
refusal, to bite off her nose. I endeavoured
to dissuade him from it, but he was determined, and in fact, ^ performed his savage
threat that very night, saying that since she
would not be his wife, she should not be 164
that of any other, and in the morning, sent
her back to her father. ^
This inhuman act did not, however, proceed from -any innate cruelty of disposition,
or malice, as he wasjar from being of a barbarous temper; but such is the despotism
exercised by these sayages over their women, that he no doubt considered it as a just
punishment for her offence, in being so obr
stinate and perverse; as he afterwards told
me, that in similar cases, the husband had
a right, with them, to disfigure his wife in
this way, or some other, to prevent her ever
marrying again.
About the middle of December, we left
Tashees for Cooptee. As usual at this season, we found the herring in great plenty,
and here t& same scene of riotous feasting
as 1 witnessed the last year, was renewed by
j$fir improvident natives, who, in addition to
their usual fare, had a plentiful supply of
wild geese;, which were brought us in great
quantities by the Esquates. These, as Maquina informed^me,^were caught s$ith nets
made from bark, in the fresh waters of that
country. Those who take them, make
choice for that purpose, of a dark and rainy
night, and with their canoes stuck with
lighted torches, proceed with as little noise
as possible, to the place where the geese are
collected, who, dazzled by the light,isuffer
themselves  to be approached  very   near,
o 2 II,
when the net is thrown over'them, and in
this manner, from fifty to sixty, or even
more, will sometimes be taken at one cast.
On the 15th of January, 1805, about mid*
night, I was thrown into considerablesilarm,
in consequence of an eclipse of the moon,
being awakened from my sleep by a great
outcry of the inhabitants. On going to dis*
cover the cause of this tumult, I fouirll
them all out of their houses, bearing? lighted
torches, singing and beating upon pieces of
plank, and when I asked them the reason
of this proceeding, they pointed to the
moon, and said that a great cod-fish was endeavouring to swallow her, and that they
were driving him away. ?$Fhe origin of this
superstition I could not discover.
Though, in some respects, my situation
was rendered more comfortable since my
marriage, as I lived in a more cleanly manner, and had my food better and more neatly cooked, of which, besides, I had al#ays
a plenty, my slaves generally furnishing me,
and Upquesta never failing to send me an
ample supply by the canoes that came from
A-i-tiz-zart; still, from my feeing obliged at
this season of the year, to change my accuse
tomed clothing, and to dress^ike the natives,
with only a piece of cloth of about two
yards long, thrown loosely around me, my
European clothes having been for some
time entirely worn out, I suffered more than I can express from the cold, especially as 1
wascompelle^ to perform the laborious task
of cutting and bringing the fire wood, which
was rendered still more oppressive to me,,
from fify comrade for a ef&siderable part of
$fee winter, not having it in his pdfwer to lend
me his aid, in consequence of an attack of
the rheumatism in one of his knees, with
\ybich he suffered for mor^ than fouraionths,
two or three weeks of which, he was so ill
as to be unable to leave the house. -This
state of suffering5, with the little hope I now
had of ever escaping^from ffee savages, be-
gan|^render my life irksome to me, still,
however, 1 lost not my confidence in the aid
of the Supreme Being, t# w%om, whenever
the weather and a suspension from the tasks
imposed on me, would permit, I never failed
regularly, on Sundays, to retire to the woodS
to Worship, taking Thompson with me when
fee was able to'go.
On the 20th of February, we returned to
our summer quarters at Nootka, but on my
part, witfe far different sensations than the
last spring, being now almost in despair of
any vessel arriving to release us, or our being permitted to depart if there should.^
Soon after our return,, as preparatory to the
whaling season, Maquina ordered me to
make a good number of harpoons for himself
and his chiefly several of which I had completed with some lances, when on the 16th" ol Fkssd
March, I was taken very ill with a violent
cholic, caused, I presume, from my having
suffered so much from the cold in going
without proper clothing. For a number of
hours I was in great pain, and expected to
die, and on its leaving me, I was so weak as
scarcely to be able to stand, while I had
nothing comforting to take, nor any thing to
drink but cold water. On^the day following, a slave belonging to Maquina died, and
was immediately, as is their custom in such
cases, tossed uncereraoniouslpout of doors,
from whence he was taken Jay some others,
and thrown into the water. The treatment
of this poor creature made a melancholy
impression upon my mind, as I could nia&l
but think, that such probably, would be my
fate should I die among these heathen,
and so far from receiving a decen| burial,
thai I should not even be allowed tbe common privilege of having a little earth thrown
over my remains.
The feebleness in which the violent attack
of my disorder had left me, the dejection I
felt at the almost hopelessness of my situation, and the want of warm clothing and
proper nursing^though my Indian wife, as
far as she knew how, was always ready, and
even solicitous, to do every thing for me
she could, still kept me very much indisposed, which Maquina perceiving, he finally
told me, that if I did not like living wjth my 168
wife, and that was the cause of my being s$
sad, I mighlrpart with her. This proposal
I readily accepted, and the next day Maquina sent her back to her father. 0%parting with me, she discovered mueh emotion,
begging me that I would suffer her to remain tyi I had recovered, as there was no
one who would take so good care of me as
herself. Bujrwhen I told her she must go,
for that I did not think 1 should ever get
well, which in truth I but little expected,
and that her father would take good care of
ber, and treat her much more kindly than
Maquina* she took an affectionate leave,
telling me that she hoped I should soon get
better, and left her two slaves to take ca$e of
Though I rejoiced at her departure, I was
greatly affected with the simple expressions
of her regaid for me, and could not but feel
strongly interested for this poor girl, who in
all her conduct towards me, had discovered
so much mildness, and attention to my
wishes; and had it not been that I considered her as an almost insuperable obstacle to my being permitted to leave the coun-
try, I should no doubt have felt the deprivation of her society a real loss. After her
departure, I requested Maquina, that, as I
had;parted with my wife, he would permit
me to resume my European dress, as, otherwise, from not having been acusfcomed to 169
dress like them, I should certainly die. To
this he consented, and I once more became
comfortably clad.
Change of clothing, but more than all,
the hopes which I no1# began to indulge,
that in the course of the summer I should
be able to escape, in a short tima(igtored
me to health, so far, that I could again
go to work in making harpoons for Maquina, who, probably, fearing that he should
have to part with mef determined to provide
himself with a good stock.
I shall not however, longer detain the
reader with a detail of occurrences that intervened between this period, and that of
my escape, which, from that dull uniformity
that marks the savage life, would be in a
measure, but repetitions, nor dwell upon that
mental torture I endured, from a constant
conflict of hope and fear, when the former,
almost wearied out with repeated disappointment^ offered to our sinking hearts no
prospect of release, but death, to which
we were constantly exposed from the brutal
ignorance and savage disposition of the
common people, who in the various councils
that were held this season to determine
what to do with us, in case of the arrival of
a ship, were almost always for putting us to
death, expecting by that means to conceal
the murder of our crew, and to throw the
blame of it on some other tribe.   These
m 170
barbarous sentiment^, were, however,,uniformly opposed by Maquina and his chiUS;
who would not consent to our being injureft.
But as some of their customs and traits of
national character, w7hich I think deserving
of notice, have not been mentioned, I shall
proceeoLtp give a brief account of them.
TheWfice of king oi|chief, is, with those
people, hereditary, and descends to the eldest son, or in failure of male i§sue, to the
elder brother, who in the regal line, is considered as the second person in the kingdom. At feasts, as I have observed, the
king is always placed in the highest, or seat
of honour, and the chiefs according to their
respective ranks, which appear, in general,
to be determined by their affinity to the royal family, they are also designated by the
embellishments of their mantles, or Kut-
saks. The king, or head Tyee, is their
leader in war, in the management of which
he^is perfectly absolute. He is also presi-
dentjof their councils, which are almost always regulated by his opinions But he has
no kind of pow er over the property of his subjects, nor can he require them to contribute
to his wants, being in this respect, no more
privileged than any other person. He has
in common with his chiefs, the right of holding slaves, whichrJ$ not enjoyed by private
individuals, a regulation probably arising
from their having been originally captives Wi
talsen in battle, the spoils of war being understood as appertaining to the king, who
receives and ^portions them among his
several chiefs and warriors, according to
the\r%0&kk and deserts. In conformity with
this idea, the plunder of the Boston, was all
deposited in Maquina's house, whojUstribu-
ted part of it among his chiefs, according to
their respective ranks or degree of favour
with him, giving to one, three hundred muskets, to another, one hundred at^d fifty,
with other things in i|ke proportion. The
king is, however, obliged to support his dignity by making frequent entertainments, and
whenever he receives a large supply of prV^
vision, he must invite all the men of his
tribe to his*house, to eat it up, otherwise, as
Maquina told me, he would not be considered as conducting like a Tvee, and would be
no more thought of than a common man.
With regard to their religion—They believe in the existence of a Supreme Being,
whom they call Q«ahootze, and who, to use
Maquina's expression, was one great Tyee
in the sky, who gave them their fish, and
could take them from them,-and wasjhe
greatest of all kings. Their ugual place of
worship, appeared to be the water, for whenever they bathed, they^ddreised some words
in form of prayer to the God abov^ in treating
that he would preserve them in health, give
them good success in fishing, &c.   These 172
Mayers were repeated with much more energy, on preparing for whaling or for war, as
I have already mentioned. Some of them
would sSmetimes go several miles to bathe,
in order to do it in secret, the reason for this
I could never learn, though I am induced to
think itwas in consequence of some family
or prJL|p*te quarrel, and that they did not
wish what they said to be heard ; while at
other times, they would repair in the same
secret manner to the woods, to pray. This
was more particularly the case with the women, who might also, have been prompted by a
sentiment of decency, to retire for the purpose of bathing, as they are remarkably
modest. I once found one of our women
more than two miles from the village, on her
knees in the woods, with her eyes shut, and
heir face turned towards heaven, uttering
words in a lamentable tone, among which I
distinctly heard, Wocash Ah-welth, meaning
good Lord, anofHvhich has nearly the same
signification with Quahootze. .Though I
came very near her, she appeared not to notice me, but continued her devotions, and I
have frequently seen the women go alone
into the woods, evidently for the purpose of
addressing themselves to a superior being,
and it was always very perceptible on their
return, when they had been thus employed,
from their silence and melancholy looks. 173
They have no belief, however, in a state
of future exfrle&jGfi, as I discovered~in conversation with^Maquina, at Tootoosch's
death, on my'a4tenipting to convince him,
that he still existed, and that he would again
see him after his death : but he could comprehend nothing of it, and pointings to the
ground, said that there was the encfllf him,
and that he was like that. Nor do they believe in ghosts, notwithstanding the case of
Tootoosch would appear to contradict this
assertion, but that was a remarkable instance,
and such a one as had never been known to
occur before ; yet from the mummeries performed over the sick, it is very apparent that
they believe in the agency of spirits, as they
attribute diseases to some evil one that has
entered the body of the patient. Neither
have they any priests, unless a kind of conjurer may be so considered, who sings and
prays over the sick, to 'drive away the evil
On the birth of twins, they have a most
singular custom, which, I presume, has its
origin in some religious opinion, but what it
is I could never satisfactorily learn. The
father is prohibited for the space of two
years from gating any kind of meat, or fresh
fish, during which time, he does no kind of
labour whatever, being supplied with what
he has occasion for from the tribe. In the
mean time he and his wife, who is also oblig- 174
ed to conform to the same abstinence, with,
their children, live entirely separate from
the others, a small hut being built for their
accommodation, and he *is never invited to
any of the feasts, except such as consist
wholly of dried provision, where he is treated wid^reat respect, and seated among the
chiefs^nough no more himself, than a private individual. Such births are very rare
among them, an instance of the kind how-
ever occurred while I was at Tashees the
last time, but it was the only one known
since the reign of the former king. The
father always appeared very thoughtful and
g[oomy, never associated with the other inhabitants, and was at none of the feasts but
such as were entirely of dried provision,
and of this, he eat not to excess, and constantly retired before the amusements commenced. His dress was very plain, and he
wore around his head the red fillet of bark,
the symbol of mourning and devotion.. It
was his daily practise to repair to the
mountain, with a chiefs rattle in his hand,
to sing and pray, as Maquivia informed me,
for the fish to come into jf§^$ waters. When
not thus employed, he Kept continually at
home, except when sejnt for to sing and perform his ceremonirjS over the sick, being
considered as a s,acred character, and one
much in favour ^ith their gods. WW
These people are remarkably healthful,
and live to a very advanced age, having
quite a youthful appearance for their years.
They have scarcely any disease but the
cholic, their remedy for which, is friction, a
person rubbing the bowels of the sick violently, until the pain has subsided, while
the conjuror, or holy man, is employed, in
the mean time, in making his, gestures, singing, and repeating certain words, and blowing offthe evil spirit, ^|hen the patient is wrap*
ped up in a bear slyn in order to produce
perspiration. Their cure for the rheumatism, or similar pains, which I saw applied
by Maquina, in the case of Thompson, to
whom it gave relief, is by cutting or scarifying
the part affected. In dressing wounds,
they simply wash them with salt water, and
bind them up with a strip of cloth, or
the bark of a tree. They are, however, very
expert and successful in the cure of fractured or dislocated limbs, reducing them very
dexterously, and after binding them up with
bark, supporting them with blocks of wood,
so as to preserve their position. During the
whole time I was among them, but five natural deaths occurred, Tootoosch and his
two children, an infant son of Maquina, and
the slave whom Ihave mentioned, a circumstance not a little remarkable in a population of about fifteen hundred; and as respects child-birth, so light do they make of
K 176
it, that I have seen their women the day after, employed as usual, as if little or nothing
had happened.
The Nootkians in their conduct towards
each other, arevin general pacific and inoffensive, and appear by no means an ill tempered race, for I do not recollect any instance of a violent quarrel between any of
the men, or the men and their wives, while
I was with them, that of Yaelthlower excepted. But when they are in the least offended, they appear to be in the most violent rage, acting like so many maniacs,
foaming at the mouth, kicking and spitting
most furiously ; but thists rather a fashion
%ith them, than a demonstration of malignity, as in their public speeches, they use the
same violence, and he is esteemed the grea#
est orator, who bawls the loudest, stamps,
tosses himself about, foams and spits the
In speaking of their regulations, I have
omitted mentioning, that on attaining the
age of seventeen, the eldest son of a chief,
is considered as a chief himself, and
that whenever the father makes a pre-
fggnt, it is always done in the name of his
eldest son, or if he has none, in that of
his daughter. The fehiefs, frequently purchase theirawives at the age of eight or ten,
to prevent their being engaged by others*
:M p2 177
i;  l
though they do not take them from their
parents until they are sixteen.
With regard to climate, the greater part
of the spring, summer, and autumn, is very
pleasant, the weather being at no time oppressively hot, and the winters uncommonly
mild, for so high a latitude, at least as far as
my experience went, j At Tashees and
Cooptee, where we passed the coldest part
of the season, the winter did not set in till
late in December, nor have I ever known
the ice, even on the fresh water ponds, more
than two or three inches in thickness, or a
snow exceeding four inches in depth, but
what is wanting in snow, is amply made up
in rain, as I have frequently known it during
the winter months, rain almost incessantly
^r five or six days in succession.
It was now past mid-summer, and the
hopes wehad indulged of our release, became
daily more faint, for though we had heard of
no less than seven vessels on the coast, yet
none appeared inclined to venture to Nootka. The destruction of the Boston, the
largest, strongest, and best equipped ship,
with much the most valuable cargo of any
that had ever been fitted out for the North
West trade, had inspired the commanders
of others with a general dread of coming
thither, lest they should share the same fate;
$jad though in the letters I wrote (knplofing
those who should receive them, to come to 178
the relief of two unfortunate Christians
who were suffering among heathen) I stated
the cause of the Boston's capture, and that
there was not the least danger in coming to
Nootka, provided they would follow the directions I laid down, still I felt very little
encouragement, that any of these letters
would come to hand, when on the morning
of the nineteenth of July, a day that will be
ever held by me in grateful remembrance, of
the mercies of God, while I was employed
with Thompson in forging daggers for the
king, rny ears were saluted with the joyful
sound of three cannon, and the cries of the
inhabitants, exclaiming, Weena, weena—
Mamethlee—that is, strangers—white men.
Soon after several of our people, came
running into the house, to inform me that a
vessel under full sail was coming into the
harbour. Though my heart bounded with
joy, I repressed my feelings, and affecting to
pay no attention to what was said, told
Thompson to be on his guard, and not betray
any joy, as our release, and perhaps our lives,
depended on our conducting ourselves so
2§S to induce the natives to suppose we were
not very anxious to leave them. We continued our work as if nothing had happened,
when in a few minutes after, Maquina came
in, and seeing us at work, appeared much
Jprprised, and asked me if I did not know
that a vessel had come.    I answered in a 179
careless manner, that it was nothing to me.
How, John, said he, you no glad go board.
I replied that I cared very little about its as I
had become reconciled to their manner of
living, and had no wish to go away. He
then told me, that he had called a council
of his people respecting us, and that we
must leave off work and be present aft it.
The men having assembled at Maquina's
house, he asked them what was their opin^
ion should be done with Thompson and my>
self now a vessel had arrived, and wheth^F
he had not better go on board himself^ to
make a trade, and procure such articles as
were wanted. Each one of the tribe who
wished, gave his opinion. Some were for
putting us to death, and pretending to
the strangers, that a different nation had
cut off the Boston, while others, less barbarous, s^ere for sending us fifteen or twenty
miles back into the country until the departure of the vessel. These, however, were
the sentiments of the common people, the
chiefs opposing our being put to death, or
injured, .and several of them, among the
most forward of whom were Yaelthlower
and the young chief, Toowinnakinnish, were
for immediately releasing us ; but this, if he
cou)d avoid it, by no means appeared to accord with Maquina's wishes.
Havipgjnentioned Toowinnakinnish, I shall
bne|iy observe, |that he was a young ma|t of 180
about twenty three years old, the only son of
Toopeeshottee, the oldest and most respected chief of the tribe. His son had always
been remarkably kind and friendly to me,
and I had in return frequently made for him
daggers, cheetooiths, and other things, in
my best manner. He was one of the handsomest men among them, very amiable, and
much milder in his manners than any of the
others, as well as neater both in his person
and house, at least his apartment, 1without
even excepting Maquina.
With regard, however, to Maquina's going
on board the vessel, which he discovered a
strong inclination to do, there was but one
opinion, all remonstrating against it, telling
him that the captain would kill him or keep
him a prisoner, in consequence of his having
destroyed our ship. When Maquina had
heard their opinions, he told them that he
was not afraid of being hurt from going on
board the vessel, but that he would, however, as it respected that, be guided by
John, whom he had always found true. He
then turned to me, and asked me if I
thought there would be any danger in his
going on board. I answered, that I was not
surprised at the advice his people had given
him, unacquainted as they were with the
manners of the white men, and judging them
by their own, but if they had been with
them as mucias I had, or even himself, they a-j
would think very different.    That he had
almost always experienced good and civil
treatment from them, nor had beany reason to
fear the*contrary now, as they never attempt*
ed to harm those who did not injure them,
and if he wished to go on board, he might
do it, in my opinion, with security.    After
reflecting a few moments, he said, with much
apparent satisfaction, that if I would write
a letter to the captain, telling him good of
him, that he had treated Thompson and myself kindly since we had been with   him,
and to use him well, he would go.    It may
readily be supposed that I felt much joy at.
this determination, butknow7ingthat the least
incaution might annihilate all my hopes o£
escape,   was   careful   not to   manifest   it,
and to treat his going or staying as a mattery
perfectly indifferent to me.    I tdjd him thijL
if he wished me to write such a letter, I had
no objection, as it was the tr^uth, otherwise I
could not have done it. iy
I then proceeded to write the recommendatory letter, which the reader will naturally imagine was of a somewhat different
tenor from the one he had required; for if
deception is in any case warrantable, it was
certainly so in a situation like ours, wffere
the only chance of regaining that freedom
of which we had been so unjustly deprived!?
depended upon it; and I;trpst that few,
even of the most rigid, will condemn  me
ti \ with ieverity for mafpng use of it, on an
occasion which afforded me the only hope
of ever more beholding a Christian country,
and preserving myself, if not from death, at
least from a life of continued suffering.
The letter which I wrote, was nearly in
the following terms :—
To Captain
of the Brig
Nooika, July 19, 1805.
The bearer of this letter is the Indian king by the name
of Maquina.    He was the instigator of the capture of the
ship Boston, of Boston in .North America, John Salter
captain, and of the murder of twenty five men of her crew,
the two only survivors being now on shore—Wherefore I
hope you will take care to confine him according to his
merits, putting in your dead-lights, and keeping so good a
watch over him, that he cannot escape from you.    By so
doing we shall be able to obtain our release in the course
of a few hours.
JOHN R. JEWITT, Armourer
of the Boston, for himself and
Jt)HN Thompson, Sail maker of said ship.
I have been asked how I dared to write in
this manner, my answer is, that from my long
residence among these people, 1 knew that
I had little to apprehend from their anger on
hearing of their king being confined, while
they knew his life depended upon my re- 1£3
lease, and that they would sooner have given
up five hundred white men, than have had
him injured. This will serve to explain the
little apprehension I felt at their menaces afterwards, for otherwise, sweet as liberty was
to me, I should hardly have ventured on so
hazardous an experiment.
On my giving the letter to Maquina, he
asked me to explain it to him. This I did
line by line, as he pointed them out with his
finger, but in a sense very different from
the real, giving him to understand that I had
written to the captain, that as he had been Mind
to me since I had been taken by him, that
it was my wish that the captain should treat
him accordingly, and give him what rnoila#v
ses, biscuit and rum he wanted. When I
had finished, placing his finger in a significant manner on my name at the bottom, and
eyeing me with a look that seemed to read
my inmost thoughts, he said to me, " John,
you no lie?" Never did I Ithdergo such a
scrutiny, or ever experience greater apprehensions than I felt at that moment, when
my destiny was suspended on the slightest
thread, and the least mark of embarrassment on mine, or suspicion of treachery on
his part, would probably have rendered my
life the sacrifice. Fortunately I was able to
preserve my composure, and my being painted in the Indian manner, which Maquina
had  since my  marriage, re<jairedL*of me, 184
prevented any change in my countenance
from being noticed, and I replied with considerable promptitude, looking at bimr in
my turn, with all the confidence I could
muster, " Why do you ask me such a question* Tyee? have you ever known me to
lie ?" | No." I Then how can you suppose I should tell you a lie now, since I
have never done it." As I was speaking,
he still continued looking at me with the
same piercing eye, but observing nothing to
excite his suspicion, he told me that he believed what I said was true, and that he
would go on board, and gave orders to get
ready his canoe. His chiefs again attempted to dissuade him, using every argument
for that purpose, while his wives crowded
around him, begging him on their knees,
not to trust himself with the white men.
Fortunately for my companion and myself,
so strong was his wish of going on board
the vessel, that he was deaf to their solicitations, and making no other reply to them,
than, " John no lie," left the house, taking
four prime skins with him as a present to
the captain. i|l
Scarcely had the canoe put off, when he
ordered his men to stop, and calling to me,
asked me if I did not want to go on board
with him. Suspecting this as a question
merely intended to ensnare me, I replied
Q 185
that I had no wish to do it, not having any
desire to leave them.
On going on board the brig, Maquina immediately gave his present of skins and my
letter to the captain, who on reading it, ask-
$d him into the cabin, where he gave him
some biscuit and a glass of rum, at the same
time, privately directing his mate to go forward, and return with five or six of the men
armed. When they appeared, the captain
told Maquina that he was his prisoner, and
should continue so, until the two men,
whom he knew to be on shore, were released, at the same time ordering him to be put
in irons, and the windows secured, which was
instantly done, and a couple of men placed as
a guard over him. Maquina was greatly
surprised and terrified at this reception ; he
however, made no attempt to resist, but requested the captain to permit one of his men
to come and see him. One of them was
accordingly called, and Maquina said something to him which the captain did not understand, but supposed to be an order to
release us, when the man returning to the canoe, it was paddled off with the utmost expedition to the shore. As the canoeapproach-
ed, the inhabitants, who had all collected
upon the beach, manifested some uneasiness
at not seeing their king on board, but when
on its arrival, they were told that the captain had made him a prisoner, and that John 186
had spoke bad about him in the letter, they
all both men and women, set up a loud
howl, and ran backwards and forwards upon
the shore like so many lunatics, scratching
their faces, and tearing the hair in handfuls
from their heads.
After they had beat about in this manner
for some time, the men ran to their huts for
their weapons, as if preparing to attack an
invading enemy * while Maquina's^wives
and the rest of the women, came around
me, and throwing themselves on their knees,
begged me with tears to spare his life, and
Sat-sat-sak-sis, who kept constantly with
me, taking me by the hand, wept bitterly,
and joined his entreaties to theirs, that I
would not let the white men kill his father,
I told them not to afflict themselves, that
Maquina's life was in no danger, nor would
the least harm be done to him.
The men were however, extremely exas-
perated with me, more particularly the common people, who came running in the most
furious manner towards me, brandishing
their weapons, and threatening to cut me in
pieces no bigger than their thumb nails,
while others declared they would burn me
alive over a slow fire, suspended by my
heels. All this fury, however, caused me
but little alarm, as I felt convinced they
would not dare to execute their threats while
the kine was on board the brig.    The chiefs 13?
look no part in this violent conduct, but
came to me, and enquired the reason why
Maquina had been thus treated, and if th$
captain intended to kill him. 1 told them
that U they would silence the people, so
that I could be heard, I would explain all
to them. They immediately put a stop to the
noise, when I informed them that the captain,
in confining Maquina, had done it onlg in
order to make them release Thompson and
myself, as he well knew we. were with them,
and if they would do #|at, thejr king would
receive no in|nry, but be wejl treated, otl&|
erwise he would be kept a prisoner. As
many 6f them did not appear to be satisfied
with this, an d began t%repea|^fc|ir murder
ous threats—Kill me, said I to them, if it is
your wishj, throwing open the bear skin
which I wore, here is my breast, I am only
one among so many, and can make no resistance, but unless you wisb to see you?
]$&ag hanging by his nagk to that>i*ole, pointing to the yard-arm of the. brig, and the
sailers firing at him with bulletsssfyou will
not do it. O no, was the general cry, that
must never be ; but what must we do ? $&
told them that thmr besfej>fatn would bjg; to
send Thompson on board, to desire the captain to use Maquina well till I was released^
which would be soon. This they were
perfectly willing tp do, and 1 directed*
Thompson to. go on board.    But he $j>ject" ,188
ed,ffeaying that hetjwould not leave|me alone
with the savages. I toldlhim not to be under any fear for me, for that if I could get
him ofi^T could manage well enough for
myself,!<&nd that I wished him immediately
on getting on board the brig, to see thele&p-
tain anc&fequest him to kee}£Maquimt close
till I was released, as I was in no danger
while he had him safife$
When I saw Thompson off, I asked the
natives what they intended to do with me.
They said I must talk to the captain again,
in another letter, and tell him to le&his boat
<fibme on shore with Maquina, and that I
should be ready ttfjump in# the boat at the
same time Maquina should jump on shore.
I told them that the&aptain, who knew that
they had killed my shipmates, would never
trust his men so near the shore for fear they
could kill them too, as they were so much
more numerous, but tha#if they would select any three of th&r number to go with
me infca*€anoe, when we came within hail$#
would desire the captain to send'ijris boat
with Maquina, to receive me in exchange for
This appealed to please them, and after
some whisp^ing among the chiefs, who
from whattSwords I overheard, concluded
that if the captain should refusellto send
his boatwith Maquina, the three men would
have io difficulty in bringing me back igitb
Q 2 Ill
tkem, ttaey agreed to ray proposal, and s«a
lected three of their stoutest men to convey
me.    Fortunately having been for sometime
accustomed to see me armedy and suspeeM
ing no design on my part, they paid no attention to the pistols that I had about me.
As I was going into the canoe, little Sate*
6&^sak-sis, who could not bea^ to part wifS
me, asked me, with an affecting simplicity,
since I was going away to leave him, ifsihe
white men would not let his father come on
shore, and not kill him. I told Ijam not to
be concerned, for that no one should injur®
his father, when taking an afie^kmate leavs?
of me, and again begging me not to let the
white men hurt his father, he ran to comfort
bis mother, who was at a little distance
with the assurances I had given him.
On entering the canoe, I seated myself in
the prow facing the three men, having determined if ifcwas practicable, from the mj#8
Blent 1 found Maquina wa&?secured, to get
©n board the vessel before he was released,
hoping by that means, to be enabled to obtain the restoration of what property belonging to the Boston, still remained inthe
possession o&the savages, which I thought,
if it could be done, a duty that I owed toe
the owners With feeMngs of joy imposspe
l>le to be described, did 1 quit tbis savage
shore, confident now that nothing couki
thwart my escape, or prevent the execution
&. ma
of the plan I had formed, as the men appointed to convey and guard me, were armed with nothing Wut tmfir paddfes. As we?
came within hail of the brig, they at once
ceased paddling, when presenting my pfe
tols at them, I ordered 'ifehem instantly t$
go on, or I would shoot the whole of th®m.
A proceeding so wholly unexpected, threw
them into great consternation, and resuming*
their paddles, in a few moments, to my inex*
pressible delight, I once mora found myself
along side of a Christian ship, a happiness
which I had almost despaired of ever again
enjoying. All tbeierew crowded to the side
to see me as the canoe came up, and mante
fested much joy at my safety. I immediately leaped on board, where I was welcomed by the Captain, Samuel Hill, of the brig
Lydia of Boston, who congratulated me on
my escape, informing me that he had received my letter off Klaiz-zart, from the chief
Mackee Ula^lla, who came off hiniself if*
his canoe, to deliiser it to him, on which h$
immediately proceeded hither to aid me. I
returned him my thanks in the best manner
I could^or his b&manity, though I hardly
knew whatt^i tsaid, such was the agitated
state of my feelings at that moment, with?
joy for my escape^ thankfulness to the Sip
preme Being wbo &ad so mercifully pre*
lerved me, and gratitude to those whom h6
bad rendered instrumental in my ^telivery, I
tfiat I have no doubt, that what with my
strange dress, being painted withered and
black from head to foot, having a bear skin
wrapped around me, and my Icing hair,
which I was not allowed to cut, fastened dtf*
the-Jtop of my head in a large bunch, with a
sprig of green spruce, I must ha¥e appeared
more like one deranged than a rational cfe^
ture, as captain Hill afterwards told me,
that he never saw any thing in the form of
man, look so wild as FHidwhen I first ctlme
on board.
The c&ptaih then asked me into the cabin, wHere I found Maquina in irons, with a
guard over him. He looked very melancholy, but on seeing me, his countenance brightened up, and he expressed his pleasure with
the welcome of 1 Wocash John ;" when
taking him by the hand, I asked the captain's
permission to take off his irons, assuring him
that as I was with him, there was no danger
of his being irifthe least troublesome. He
accordingly consented, and. I felt a sincere
pleasure in freeing from fetters, a man, who,
though he had caused the deam of my poor
comrades, had nevertheless, always proved
my friend and protector, and whom I had
requested to be thus treated#only with a
view of securing my liberty. Maquina
smiled and appeared much pleased at ws
mark of attention from me. Wheri^had
freed the king from his irons, captain Hill 192
wished to learn the particulars of our cap*
ture, observing that an account of the de*
struction of the ship and her crew had been
received at Boston before he sailed, but that
nothing more was known, except that two
of the men were living, for whose rescue
t^e owners had offered a liberal reward, and
that t$fc had been able to get nothing out of
the old man, whom the sailors had supplied
so plentifully with grog, as to bring him too
much by the head to give any information.
I gave him a correct statement of the
whole*proceedifig, together witfyjhe manner
in  which my life and that of my comrade
bad been preserved.    On hearing my story,
he was greatly irritated against Maquina,
and said he ought to be killed.    I observed
tbat however ill  he  might* have acted in
taking our ship, yet that it might, perhaps,
be w7rong to judge an uninformed savage,
with the same severity as a civilized person,
wbo ha(t$)b&l^i||t of religion and the laws of
society to guide him.    That Maquina's conduct in taking our ship, arose from an insult
that he thought he had received from captain Salter, and from the unjustifiable con->
duct of some masters of vessels, who had
robbed him, and without provocation, killed
a nuruber of bis people.    Besides that, a re*^
gard for the safety of others ought to prevent his being put to death, as I had lived
Jong enough with these people to know tjjat* 193
revenge of an injury, is held sacred by them,
and that they would not fail to retaliate,
should we kill their king, on the first vessel or
boat's crew that should give them an opportunity ; and that, though he might consider executing him as but an act of justice, it would
probably cost the lives of many Americans.
The captain appeared to be convinced
from what 1 said, of the impolicy of taking
Maquina's life, and said that he would leave
it wholly with me whether to spare or kill
him, as he was resolved to incur no censure
in either case. I replied that I most certainly should never take the life of a man who
had preserved mine, had I no other reason,
but as there was some of the Boston's property still remaining on shore, I considered it a
duty that I owed to those who were interested in that ship, to try to save it for them,
and with that view I thought it would be
well to keep him on board till it was given
up. He concurred in this proposal, saying
if there was any of the property left, it most
certainly ought to be got.
During this conversation Maquina was
in great anxiety, as from what English he
knew he perfectly comprehended the subject of our deliberation ; constantly interrupting me to enquire what we had determined to do with him, what the captain said,
if his life would be spared, and if I did not
think that Thompson would kill him.    I 194
pacified him as well as I was able, by telling
him that he had nothing to fear from the
captain, that he would not be hurt, and that
if Thompson wished to kill him, he woul4
not be allowed to do it. He would then remind me that I was indebted to him for my
life, and that I ought to do by7 him, as he
had done by me. I assured him that such
was my intention, and I requested him
to remain quiet, and not alarm himself, as
no harm was intended him. But I found it
extremely difficult to convince him of this,
as it accorded so little with the ideas of revenge entertained by them. I told him
however, that he must restore all the property still in his possession,! belonging to the
Snip. This he was perfectly ready to do,
happy to escape on such terms. But as
it was now past five, and too late for the articles to be collected, and brought off,, I told
him that he must content himself to remain
on board with me that night, and in the
morning he should be set on shore as soon
as the things were delivered. To this he
agreed, on condition that I would remain
with him in the cabin. I then went upon
deck, and the canoe that brought me having
been sent back, I hailed the inhabUauts, and
told them tbat their king had agreed to stay
|SpL board till the next day, when he would return, but that no canoes must attempt jS>
come near the vessel during the night, as
; ?fi% .'    I Wr
-Ihey would beIf^M ujim. They answered,
WoM$, woho—-\€B[ well^very wfell. #then
^turned to Maquina, but so great were his
terrors, that 8% would not allow me to sleep,
constantly disturbing me with his questions,
and repeating, " John, you knowwhen you
wa#alone, and more than five hundred men
were your enemies, I was youffriend, and
prevented them from putting you and
Thompson to death, and now I am in the
power of your friend^Pyou ought to do the
same bv me. I assured him that he woulfl
be detained on board no longer than itjfc
property was released, and that as soon as
it was done, he would be set at liberty.
At day break I hailed the'^wStiVes, **and
fold them that it was Maquina's order that
they should bring off the cannon, and an-
jljiors, and whatever remained with them of
the cargo of the ship. This they set about
doing wittfjthe utmost expedition, transdeW*
.ftjg the cannon and anchors by lashing together two of their largest canoes, Smd
covering them with planks, and in the
course of two hours, they delivered every
thing on board that I could tfecolffict, with
Thompson's and my chest,containing the pjk*
pers of the ship, &c.
When every thing belonging to the sUm
had been restored, Maquina was permilfpj
Jfe) return in bis canoe, which hatf%een sent
for him, with a present of what skin& he had 196
collected, which were about sixty, for the
captain, in acknowledgment of his having
spared his life and allowed him to depart
unhurt. Such was also, the transport he felt
when captain Hill came into the cabin, and
told him that he was at liberty to go, that
he threw off his mantle, which consisted of
four of the very best skins, and gave it
to him, as a mark of his gratitude/ in return for which, the captain presented him
with a new great coat and hat, with which
he appeared much delighted. The captain
then desired me to inform him that he should
return to that part of the coast in November,
and that he wished him to keep what skins
he should get, which he would buy of him.
This Maquina promised, saying to me at the
same time, "John, you know I shall be then
at Tashees, but when you come make pow,
which means, fire a gun to let me know, and I
will come down." When he came to the side
of the brig, he shook me cordially by the hand,
and told me that he hoped I would come to
see him again in a big ship, and bring much
plenty of blankets, biscuit, mollasses and
rum, for him and his son who loved me a
great deal, and that he would keep all the
furs he got for me, observing at the same time,
that he should never more take a letter of
recommendation from any one, or ever trust
himself on board a vessel unless I was there.
Then grasping both my hands, with much
emotion, while the tears trickled down his
R <dheeks, he bade me farewell, and steptjfcto
the canoe, which immediately paddled him
on shore.
Notwithstanding my joy at my deliverance, and the pleasing anticipation I felt of
once more beholding a civilized country, and
again being permitted to offer up my devotions in a Christian church, I could not
avoid experiencing a painful sensation on
parting with this savage chief, who had preserved my life, and in general treated me
with kindness, and considering their ideas
and manners, much better than could have
been expected.
My pleasure was also greatly damped by
an unfortunate accident that occurred to
Toowinnakinnish. That interesting young
chief had come on board in the first canoe
in the mornpg, anxious to see and cfanfoiNi
his king. He was received with much kindness by captain Hill*from the favourable account I gave of him, and incited to remain on
board. As the muskets were delivered, he
was in the cabin with Maquina, where was
also the cap$ain, who on receiving them,
snapped a number in order to try the locks;
unluckily one of them happened to be loaded
with swan shot, and going off, discharged its
contents into the body of poor Toowinnakinnish, who was sitting opposite. On hearing
the report, I instan tl y pan into the cabin, where
I found him weltering in his blood, with the
captain who w>as greatly shocked at the ac-
.**& 198
%ident, endeavouring to assist him. We rais-
ed him up, and did evegy thing in our power
to aid and comfort him, telling him that we
felt much grieved at his misfortune, and that
it was wholl^unintentional, this he told me
he was perfectly satisfied of, and while we
dressed and bound up^his wounds in the
best manner we could, he bore the pain with
great calmness, and bidding me farewell, was
put on board one of the canoes, and taken
on shore, where afterdanguishing a few days,
he expired. To me, his misfortune was a
source of much affliction, as he had no share
in the massacre of our crew, was of a most
amiable charfecter, and had always treated
me with the greatest kindness ami hospitality.
The Brig being un^r weigh, immediately
on Maquina's quitting us, we proceeded to
the northward, constantly keeping the shore
in sight, and touebing at various places for
the purpose of trading.
'Having already exceeded the bounds I
had prescribed myself, I shall not attempt
any accounting our voyage upon the coast,
or a description1 of the various nations we
met with in the course of it, among wbom
were a people of a very singular appearance,
called by the sailors the Woodenrkips. They
nave many skins, and the trade is principally managed by their women* who are not
only expert in making a bargain, but are as
dexterous in the management of their canoes, as the men are elsewhere. Ilfi
After a pefibd of nearly four months from
our leaving No&tka, we m%rned from the
northward to Columbia riyer, for the pur-:
pose of procuring masts, &c. for our brig,
which bad suffered considerably in her spars
d uring a gale of wind.    We proceeded about
ten miles up the river, to a small Indian village, where we heard from the inhabitants,
that captains Clark and Lewis, from the U-
nited States of Amerfim,hadbeen there about
a fortnight before, ontheir journey over-land,
and had left several medals with them, w^ich
they shewed us.    The river at this place, is
of considerable breadth, and both Hides of it
from its entrance, covered with forests of
the very finest pine timber, fir and spruce,
interspersed with Indian settlements.    Here
after providing ourselves witli spars, we sailed for Nootka, where we arrived in the latter
part of November.    The tribe being absent,
the agreed signal was given, by firing a cao*:r
non, and in a Jew hours after a canoe appear*
ed, wjach landed at the village, and putting
ttte king on shore, came off to the brig.—
Inquiry was immediately made by Kinne-
rlimmits, who was one of the three men mi
the canoe, if John was there, as the king had .
somfc1 skins to gsell them if he was. <M then
weal forward and invited them on board,
with which they readily complied, telling
me that Maquina had a number of skins
with him, but that he would not come on
board unless I would go on shore for him*
I 200
This I agreedsto provided they wouWre-
main in the brig in the mean time^ipFo this
they  consented,   and  the   captain   taking
them  into the cabin,  treated  theni& witb
bread and mollasses.    I then went on shore
in the canoe, notwithstanding 4be remon«
strances of Thompson and the captain, who,
though he wanted the skins, advised me by
no means to put myself in Maquina's power;
but! assured him that$! bad no fear as long
as those mengwere on board.    As I landed
Maquina came up and welcomed me with
much joy %on enquiring for the men, I told
him thafc&hey were to remain till my return.
" Ah John," said he, p I see you are afraid
to test me, but if they had come with you,
I should not have hurt you,ihough I should
have taken good care not to let you go on
board of another vessel."    He then took his
chest o£fkins, and stepping into thojcanoe, I
paddled him along-side the brig, where he
was received and treated by Captain Hill
with the greatest cordiality, who bought of
him his%kins.    He left usmuch pteased with
his  reception, enquiring of me how many
moonsdt would be^before I should come back
again to see him and his son; saying, that he
would keep all his furs for me, and that as .
soon as my son, wfeo was t^en about five
months old, was of a suitable aga&to take
fmm his mother, he would send for him, and
take care of him as his own.
As soon as Maquina had quitted us, we 20*
goWnnder w&igh, and stood again to flie
northward. We continued on the coast until fte eleventh of^iugust, 1806, when having complete*fcour trade, we sailed for China,
to the^reat joy of all our crev(^and'parti8Bl
larly so to me. Witil a degree of satisfae-
tion that I can ill express, did I quit a coa&k
##which I was resolved nothing should again,
tempt me to return, and as the tops of the
mountains sunk in the blue waves of ocean,
I seemed to feek my heart lightened ofean
oppressive load.
We had a prosperous passage to China,,
arriving at Macao in December, from whence
.the Brig proceeded to Canton. There I had
the good fortune to meet a townsman and an
old acquaintance, in the materOf an English
East India man, named John Hill, wb&se father a weabiby merchant in Hull, in the Baltic trade, was a^extdoor neighbour to mine.
Shortly after our arrival^ the captain b&ing
on board of the English ship, and men^iow-
ing his having had the good fortune to liberate two men of the Boston's crew from the
savages, and that one of them was named
Jewitt, my former acquaintance immediately came on board the brig to see me.
Words can ill express my feelings on
seeing him. Circumstanced as Ifwas, among
persons who were entire strangers to me,
to meet thus in a foreign land, with one be-
>^veen whom and myself, a considerable intimacy had subsisted, was a pleasure thafcr 202
those alone who have been$n a similar situation can properly estimate. He appeared
on his part, no less happy to see me, whom
he Supposed to be dead, as the account of
our capture had been received in England
some time before his sailing, and all my.
friends supposed me to have been murdered. From this young man, I received every
attention and aid, that a feeling heart, interested imsthe fate of another, could confer.
He supplied me with a new suit of clothes,
and a hat, a small sum of money for my necessary expences, and a number of little articles for sea-stores on my voyage to'Ameri-
ca*|f I also gave him a letter for my father,
in which I mentioned my wonderful preservation, and escape, through the humanity of
captain Hill, with whom I should return to
Boston. This letter he enclosed to his fath-
er;!©y a ship that was just sailing, in consequence of which it was received much earlier
than it otherwise would have been,
IprWeleft China in February,- 1807, and after
a pleasant voyage of one hundred and fourteen days, arrived at Boston. My feelings
on once more finding myself in a Christian
country, among a people speaking the same
language with myself, may be more readily
conceived than expressed. In the Post^j^
fice in that place, f found a letter for me from
my mother, acknowledging the receipt of
mine from China, expressing the great joy
of my family on hearing of my being alive I  203
and well, whom they had for a long time
given up for dead, and requesting me to write
to them on receiving her letter, which I accordingly did. While in Boston, I was
treated with much kindness and hospitality
by the owners of the ship Boston, Messrs.
Francis and Thomas Amory of that place, to
whom I feel myself under great obligations
for their goodness to me, and the assistance
which they so readily afforded a stranger in
Commencing with a chorus repeated at the end of each Imm.
Hah-yee hah yar har, he yar hah.
Hah-yah hee yar har—he yar hah.
Ie yie ee yah har—ee yie hah.
Ie yar ee yar hah—ee yar yah.
Ie yar ee I yar yar hah—Ie yar ee yee yah I
I-ye iha hi-chill at-sish Kla-ha—Ha-ye-hah.
/ Que nok ar parts-arsh waw—Ie yie-yar.
Waw-hoo naks sar hasch—Yar-hah.   I-yar hee I-yar
Waw boo naks ar hasch yak-queets sish ni-ese,
Waw har.   Hie yee ah-hah.
Repeated over and over with gestures and brandishing of
le-yee ma hi-chill, signifies, Ye do not know. It appears to
be a poetical mode of expression, the common one for you do
not know, being, Wik-kxim-atash I from this, it would seem
that they have two languages, one for their songs and another for common use. The general meaning of this first
stanza appears to be, Ye little know ye men of Klahar,
what valliant warriors we are. Poorly can our foes contend
with us, when we come on with our daggers, &c.
The Nootkians have no songs of a historical nature, nor do
they appear to have any tradition respecting their origin.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items