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The captive of Nootka. Or the adventures of John R. Jewett Jewitt, John Rodgers, 1783-1821 1841

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This series of entertaining and useful Books is designed for Children.'
They will be elegantly printed, and handsomely illustrated by Engravings. They will consist either of Biographical Tales and Adventures,
of an authentic character ? or lively and amusing descriptions and illustrations of the Arts of Life. They will be by different writers, but the
selection of the works, and the general superintendence of their publication, will be committed to the Author of Peter Parley's Tales. The
following are among the works which will belong to the series. {
2. THE STORY OF JOHN R. JEWETT, the Captive of Nootka
Sound. |
3. THE SHIP, or entertaining descriptions of the Structure and Use
of a Ship, with Stories of Sea Adventures, and a History of the art of
Navigation. j
4. THE STORY OF LA PEROUSE, and an account of the voyages made to discover his fate. j
5. THE FARM, or a new account of rural scenes, with the toils,
pleasures, and pursuits of Farming.   By J. Taylor. •
6. STORY OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK, who inhabited a solitary island, alone, for several years.
7. THE MINE, an entertaining account of Mines and Minerals.
8. THE GARDEN, or the art of laying out and cultivating it.
s£jjT These works are prepared with the view of rendering them attractive to children, and amusing to all classes of youthful readers ; at
the same time they are calculated to impart knowledge of a useful kind.
THE PARENT'S PRESENT, edited by the author of Peter Parley's Tales.
fjf- This work is very neatly printed, and is designed as a Christmas
or New Year's present, for parents to their children.
PETER PARLEY'S PICTURE BOOK, with 38 beautiful Engravings.
PETER PARLEY'S SPELLING BOOK, with 175 Engravings.
1841. Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1835, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of New York.
1  S^^rj-
King and Baird, Printers,
No. 9, George street,
Nativity of Jewett—his father's views—John goes to school—
his master—his studies—he gives up Latin—is taken from
school—is intended for a surgeon—does not like the profession—concludes to be a blacksmith—his father removes to
Hull—he shows a taste for the sea — resolves to be a
sailor.      --------        page 13
John ships as armorer—the ship's cargo—Mr. Jewett's advice—
John sails—is seasick—gets well—goes to work—arrival and
stay at St. Catharine's—sails again fbr Cape Horn—passes it
—music—porpoises. -     WJPJ     -        -     ^f?     23
■ ■'■ f
Description of a shoal of porpoises—albatrosses seen—arrival
at Nootka Sound—the natives came on board—the Indian
king described—intercourse with the savages—their visits—
Maquina breaks the gun—Captain Salter offends him—his
dignified deportment when angry.  ||pf| 34
The natives induce some of the seamen to go on shore—they
massacre the crew—John's life spared—the ship is run into
the cove, and stranded—the savages welcome their king's
return to the village;      - ilffi 46
John goes to the king's house—sees the women—gets acquainted with the young prince, Sat-sat-sok-sis—his supper
—how he passes the night—he learns that one of the men is
alive in the ship—finds it is Thompson—obtains permission
for him to live.       m$k   #&&  ^^  BkSfsm - 55 CONTENTS.
The savagesyrobthe ship of her contents, &c.—John secures
the papers—two ships are seen—other tribes of natives come
to Nootka—their reception—their supper, and a dance by
Sat-sat—Maquina makes presents to his guests—their manner
of receiving them—visitors continue to come and go. 67
The ship is burnt—many articles lost by the fire—some valuable things saved—Maquina discovers a tierce of "rum among
his spoils—invites company—holds a carousal—all get intoxicated—John empties the rum-cask upon the ground—anecdote of a merchant—John begins to work at his trade—he
assists Thompson in getting food.      -        -     ||ijj     M      78
John's remarks about cooking—Maquina throws away the kettle of salt—John's head gets better—Thompson's history—
he strikes Sat-sat—an affray, in which he is likely to be
slain—John pleads till the king consents to" his life being
spared—strawberries appear—John begins his journal.      89
mJB' I
John's conduct towards the natives—Thompson's—his second
insult to a Tyee—description of Nootka—its buildings-^—
Dexter's images.
How they made boards at Nootka—their furniture—their
manner of eating—their feasts—how they made cloth—their
dress.    - |||||     - 109
Description of the Nootkans—their habit of painting ornaments—manner of fishing for Ife-maw—continuation of remarks on their personal decorations, &c.—nose jewels.    120
Of the religion—the government—certain offices—the disposition of the natives—their oratory—their diseases, cures, &c.
fe^fethe climate. -        -        -     ,. -«     -        -        -        130 CONTENTS.
Population of Nootka—making ofcanoes—pursuit of sea-otters
—description of one—the Indian's fish-hook and fishing—
Maquina's household—instruments of music. -        -        138
Different tribes of natives—some of their customs—dressing
for a visit—manner of making a bargain—lodging of the
visiters—their arms.       ------       146
Place of retirement for worship—its scenery—the Sabbath—a
ship seen—a thunder storm—hard fare—arts of other natives
—a young girl tries to win John—the Nootkans remove to
winter quarters—the placg^^w      -        -        -        -        155
The scene of departure—conveyance of their infants—an anec-
doll^of St. John's Indians—passage to Tashees—arrival and
business there—manner of taking roe fish, &c.—how they
were cured and cooked—John's condition.      -       -        165 ■MMMtjittfi
John forbidden to write—a new dress made for the king—he
accounts for having killed the crew—the yama—taking the
bear—singular ceremony—an annual thanksgiving.    -     175
Conclusion of the thanksgiving—Christmas kept by the captives—removal to Cooptee—visit to the Aitizzarts—feast at
Cooptee—false stories of ships—return to Nootka—death of
a boy—insanity||f a chief      -     H^jj|     -        -        -        187
Maquina goes a whaling—bringing inutile whale—death and
burial service of the crazy chief—the king's jester—a mutiny
feared—a conspiracy—r^hompson kills an Indian.      -     198
John is ordered to make arms—the king declares his intention
to go to war—expedition to Ay charts—attack and slaughter
of the inhabitants—return to Tashees—John is told he must
marry—going to select a wife—making choice of one.     210
Marriage ceremony—return to Tashees—John goes to housekeeping—is told he must change his dress-—religious observance—revenge of a husband towards his wife—removal to
Cooptee—taking wild geese—return to Nootka—John is sick
iiiFa slave ^ies* | " ,-.' ^H     ^^
John continues sick—he is divorced from his wife—she goes
to her father—John recovers—an eclipse of the moon—a
vessel arrives—consultation about the captives- a letter
written to be carried by Maquina to the vessel. 228
Maquina questions John—He takes the letter—is detained in
irons on board the brig—rage and grief of the natives—
Thompson is sent to the vessel—John is also carried out—
his arrival at the brig—account of the brig—how she came
there—demand of the things belonging to the Boston.     238 Xll
The things belonging to the Boston brought out—^Maquina
takes his leave of John—death of a young Chief—return of
the vessel to Nootka, from the northward—Maquina visits
her with skins—voyage to China—John hears from home
by an Englishman—-comes to Boston—finds a letter from his
mother—concluding remarks. -     ^       -        -        250
John R.. Jewitt was born in Boston, England,
on the 21st of May, 1783. His father was an
industrious and respectable blacksmith, who, while
he was shaping and moulding the iron on the anvil,
did not forget that he had the minds of his children
to shape and prepare for still more important purposes.
He knew that the iron, when it had fulfilled the
end for which he was fitting it, must rust and crum-
Nativity of Jewitt—his father's views—John goes to school—
his master—his studies—he gives up Latin—is taken from
school—is intended for a surgeon—does not like the profession—concludes to be a blacksmith—his father removes to
Hull—he shows a taste for the sea—resolves to be a sailor.
mm—rmRr^ 14
ble away. But he felt that the immortal minds of
his offspring, however, they might be suffered to
rust here, must carry the effects of neglect into
His wife died when his children were very young,
and the important part of bending the twig in a
right direction, so as to make it grow to a goodly
tree, devolved on his parental care, alone.
As a good and wise father, he sought to make
@arly moral and religious impressions, while the
blinds of his little charge -were y#lng and tender;
and knowing that theory, to be of any use, must
be wedded to practice, he made his own example
an illustration of his teaching.
With his tKtt^blacksmith motto, \ strike while
the iron is hot,' he felt that the most important bent
of the never-dying soul, for its happiness here, as
well as hereafter, must be made in an early state,
while it was soft and warm, and that, in doing this,
there was no time to be lost.
His eldest son he intended for his own profession ; but our her^f John, not being of so robust a CAPTIV^*OF  NOOTKA. 15
constitution as his brother, to enable him to stand
before the furnace, and wield the hammer, Was destined to the less laborious, though not less trying
and painful office of a surgeon.
John was, therefore, at the age of twelve years,
sent from home, for .the advantage of better schooling than could be obtained in his native town, and
placed under the care of a Mr. Moses, at Donning-
tonMabout twenty miles from his own place of
residence. iH
Whether Mr. Moses was, or was not, a lineal
descendant of#the Jewish lawgiver, whose name
he bore, I am not able to say.
But he was a very good lawgiver in his own
dominions, and preserved excellent order in the
academy over which he was set as head, to I teach
the young idea how to shoot.'
He taught John R. Jewitt's ideas to shoot into
arithmetic^Rurveying, navigation, English gramma^* &c.; but into Latin, John did not mucfelike
to have his master direct them. 16
He had a natural impediment in his speech, that
troubled and embarrassed him in scanning Latin;
and concluding that his tongue was never made for
the purpose, he gave it up, altogether, when he had
obtained his father's consent to his so doing.
It is most probable, however, that John had in
his mind, a greater impediment to leaiping the
dead language, than any in his articulation. He
did not love the Latin; but he could amuse his
friends, -whole evenings together, ,||y singing to
them, and this he often did, having a fine, pleasant
voice, and a great taste for music.
Two years passed off very pleasantly with him,
at Donnington; for he loved his master, Moses;
and the master was attached to his pupil;—his
father came often to see him—he had many friends,
school-fellows, and relatives there; and, in short,
he has since declared the two years he spent at this
school, to be the happiest period of his life.
At length, the time arrived, when his father,
thinking it proper for him to begin his apprentice-
<mmmmm*mm CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
ship, and the study of the profession he was to pursue, tlok him from school, with the view of putting
him under the tuition of an eminent surgeon, fron,
whom, he had reason to believe, that his youngest
son would acquire as much sfilRit the lancet and
the prolfe, as his elder one would, from himself, at
the bellows and the forge.
But, as a proof of what I have just said about
WSmy impressions and inclinations being the stron*
gest and most lasting, John's mind revolted >t the
undertaking of a surgical profession, and his feelings all bore him, like a mighty 'cErrent^owards
his father's anvil.
He had, from his infancy, been fond of going
into the shop and amusmgWlimself, among tho
"workmen, by imitating, as far as he was able, their
millions; and he longed to accomplish such work
as he saw them do.
^jPhis  taste and disposition now returned upon
him with such force, that he became unhappy at
'#ie thought of not pursuing hfijrfather's business,
2 B
teas*" 18
and he said so much, and evinced such an aversion
to any other line of He, that he finally succeeded
in gaining permission to go to the work of a blacksmith, in his father's shop.
But, it will hereafter appear, that, had he yielded implicitly to the first wish and design of his
good parent, antMxrought his own will and inclination into subjection to his, who knew better than
he did, -what was best for him, he would have escaped the danger and sufferings, to which, makil^|
choice of a profession for himself, paved the way.
His father had now married again, and his stepmother was an excellent -woman, -which, added to
the other charms of the paternal establishment,
made his life very happy.
About a year after his removal from school, his
father removed to Hull, which being one of the
best ports in England, and a place of much trade,
offered great advantages to one of his business.
At Hull, Mr. Jewitt had a great deal to do about
the iron-work o^the shipping, which not only led IVE  OF   NOOTKA.
him often to the vessels, where John liked exceed-
ly well to accompany him, but, also, brought many
seamen to his shop and his house.
Among hjg customers at Hull, were many of the
Americans, who frequented the port, and whose
conversation and characters pleased Mr. Jewitt so
much, that he often sought and cultivated an acquaintance with them, which his business alone
would not have demanded.
John loved to listen to the stories of the sailors;
and their merry-making accounts of the adventures
they had met with, kindled in his young mind a
sjjrong desire to go to sea, and see iibe world too.
He read j Cook's Voyages,' and many other
voyages, till at last, he began to feel, that, to circumnavigate th0 globe, were a thing far easier for
him, than to stay on it, and not do this; and his
thoughts whirled round it, much faster than the
earth whirls upon her axi#; while he came, in his
own mind, to the conckision, that, it was for this
very   purpose,   that  his good master Moses   had 20
been turning his attention to the study of navigation.
He had, like many other boys, -who get on tiptoe
to see the world, a thousand gay dreams of other
nations and other realms; and happy had it been
for him, as it would be for them, had all ended in
But John R. Jewitt proved, as hu&dreds of others
have done, that, sailing from port to port, by the
help of a book, on one's pillow, or snugly lodged
in the window recess, or the rocking-chair, is a
very different affair, from climbing the shrouds in
' the tempest—or when the ifacles jingle at his ears,
from the frozen rigging.
Well, John had lived four years with his father,
at Hull, when, in the summer of 1802, the American jlfaip JBoston, of Boston, Massachusetts, arrived.
Her owners, Messrs. F. & T. Amory, had destined her to take in, at Hull, a cargo of such goods
as should be suitable for a trade with the Indians,
on the North-west coast of America, to which place
she was to proceed, to exchange her cargo for one
of furs and skins; then she was to depart for
China, for another traffic, and thence for home.
At Hull, the ship needed repairs of so extensive
a kind, as to detain her long enough for Mr. Jewitt
and his family to become well acquainted with
Captain Salter, her commander, her officers, and
Captain Salter and the mates used to passf many
evenings at Mr. Jewitt's house; and John, who
never lacked ears, -when such visitors were present,
took it upon himself to do much to entertain them,
and greatly won their favor.
Captain Salter asked him one day, in a jocose
manner, if he would like to go to sea with him.
The question was, to our young hero's imagination, like the spark that falls from the flint into the
tinder-box, and he began to think that the time had
really come when he was to see the world. Captain Salter saw that John was serious, and he began
to be serious himself, and spoke to Mr. Jewitt on
the subject. Mian
He really felt a deep interest in the young man,
and tai& MdF Jewitt what &fine opportunity it
w45uld be for his son, to msdiS.fp*' voyage to China,
and then to return with hinvfo the United States,
where he might do, probably, better for himself,
than? he could by remaining in England, &c. &e.;
till it was finally agreed that John should ship as
armorer, on board the Boston, and thus take his
first voyage.
MMl W'Jr
Tohn skips as armorer—the ship's cargo—Mr. Jewitt's advice—
John satis—ts seasick—gets well-—goes to ioork—arrival and
stay at St. Catharine's—sails again for Cape Horn—passes
John was a very ingenious youth and he was
well skilled in his profession. He understood the
business he undertook as armorer, perfectly, and no
one could outdo him in giving polish and edge to
the steel blade, or make a smoother gun-barrel.
Hillocks snapped well; and he fancied that all
his plans would go off as readily and successfully
as his muskets. He thought the one now on foot,
was to hit the mark exactly; and that he had not
been so long aiming in vain, at seeing other parts
of the world.
It was agreed that he should have for his wages,
thirty dollars a month; and his father put into the
ssewaassBi 24
hands of Captain Salter, a certain sum of money,
which, added to what should be due for his service,
was to belaid out in furs, at the North-west coast,
and these exchanged, -when the ship should arrive
at China, for such goods as would torn to profit
when she returned to America.
Such was the plan laid for John to begin the
world for himself. But, as many a tree will put
forth fair leaves and blossoms, and yet yield no
||uit, so it turned out with the promises of John's
making his fortipte at a jump.
You have all, my young readers, heard the anecdote of the poultry-girl, who, with her basket of
eggs on her head, had her brain filled with the profit
she should make on them, when they should become
so many chickens; and anticipatmg^|tte pleasure
she should take in wearing the green gown, that
was to be bought, when these chickens should be
full grown and carried to market, gave her head a
toss and her basket a fall.
You remember how all her hopes were then dashed
with the contents of the broken egg-shells, on the
pavement;   which  gives  rise fpD  the  proverb   of
j counting the chickens before they are hatched.'
Thus it proved with John. His hopes were soon
He set out, however, with fair prospects, with
good advice, and in good company. Everything
that could conduce to his convenience and comfort,
was prepared by has excellent father; who had an
iron forge erected for him, on the deck of the ship,
and a vice-bench put in one corner of the steerage,
so that, in bad -weather, he might work below.
The ship's cargo consigned of English cloths,:
Dutch blankets, looking-glasses, beads, knive^
razors, &c., with sugar, molasses, twenty hogsheads of rum, a great quantity of ammunition,
pistols, cutlasses, and three thousand muskets and
All was now ready for sea ; and when John had
taken leave of all hm other friends, his father went
with him to the vessel, where, a moment before she
sailed, he took him aside, an#gave him, with deep
emotion, the following excellent advic^ which it
ecs i   ii wag I
may be well for many a youth, not so old as John,
to bear in mind, for he was* now about nineteen.
4 We now, my son, are going to part, and He
only, to whom all things are known, knows if we
are ever to meet again in this world. But, in whatever part of the world your lot may be cast, bear
it ever in mind, that on your own conduct alone,
depends your success in life and your peace in
1 Be honest, industrious, frugal, and temperate.
Let the Bible be your guide; and rely on its Author
as your first and best friend. Then, whatever may
befall you, you will have for your support in every
fejipl, the consoling thought, that your dependence
is on one who can bring good out of evil, and who
never deserts those who put their trust in him.
c In short, my son, make it your determination to
lead an honest and a Christian life ; and remember
that when your place is found empty at our table,
it -wall not be so in our hearts; and that our first
wish will be to hear from you.
jAnd now may the blessiiig of Him, who " holds
the winds in his fists," and the "ocean in the hollow
of his hand," be upon you !' p
It was on the 3d of September, 1802, that, in
company with several other American vessels,
bound to different ports, the Boston sailed from the
Downs, -with a serene, blue sky above, a peaceful
sea below, and her -white sails swelled with a fresh
and favorable breeze.
As the vessel went on her watery way, and the
billows gave her alternately a heave and a plunge,
the head of our young hero, who had never been
iglt of sight of the land before, began to turn and
to swim, till he was fully convinced that the world
must be as round as a bullet, but without the leaden
propensity to lie still where it was placed.
He was visited with a sudden loss of appetite—
his cheeks and his lips grew pale as the canvass
about him; and his stomach sympathized in the
motion of the waves. He was, for several of the
first days, prostrated in the full enjoyment of the
unenviable and unpitied condition, into which seasickness brings its subject. SHIP BOSTON SAILS FROM THE DOWNS.
But in a few days, John recovered from this
malady—his appetite returned—his color returned
—his head became steady, and he stood up on his
feet again, like a man.
As he did this, he looked behind, but saw nothing of the shores of old England; he looked before,
but the sky and the sea were all that met his eye;
so he turned for occupation to his forge.
With good health and spirits, he went to work,
and employed himself in fair weather, making
knives, daggers, and small hatchets for the Indian
trade. When it stormed, he went below, and busied himself in filing and polishing them.
He liked, however, to lend a hand now and then,
when the men were managing the rigging, so as to
get a little initiated into the business of a sailor.
And he loved, when his day's work was done, to
look round on the mighty scene of the heavens and
the deep, tillihis mind was lost in contemplating
the greatness and the power of their Creator and
John  found  great  comfort   in   reflecting   that, £3
captive o:
though he was far from the house of his earthly
parent,   the  home  of  his  heavenly   Father  waj|
everywhere &ffnd that his eye would keep watch
through the darkest night, and his hand be at the
helm, amid the most threatening seas.
A pleasant sail of twenty-nine days brought the
ship to the Island of St. Catharine, on the coast of
Brazil, where Captain Salter intended to stop, to
replenish his stock of wood and water, and obtaiig^
fresh provisions.
The island belonged to the Portuguese, and on
entering the port, the ship -was saluted by guns
from the fort, which compliment she returned, and
passed in.
The next day, she was honored with a visit from
his. excellency, the governor of the island, and his
suite, and her crew treated by them with much respect and politeness.
At this island, the Boston remained four days ;
and the men found it a very good stopping-
place, for a purpose like theirs, as it abounds with
springs of sweet, clear water, and with fine oranges,
plantains, bananas, &c.
They took in such supplies as to render it unnecessary for them to stop at any of the Sandwich
Islands, and put to sea.
On the twenty-fifth of December, they passed
Cape Horn, which they had made thirty-six days
before, but had been repeatedly driven back by adverse winds; the weather- being extremely tempestuous while they were doubling, or passing round
the cape.
When they had gained this point, all seemed
smooth again. The weather was fine ; and taking
advantage of the monsoon, or trade-wind, they
went on with the greatest ease, having, for the
space of a fortnight, hardly to make a tack, or reef
a top-sail.
Captain Salter was an old experienced India
ship-master, who knew how to keep good order
among his men, without their /feeing constantly at
-work; and when their situation did not require this,
he loved to see them enjoy themselves, as they now 32
had an opportunity of doing, till Johnjfeegan to
think a saljpr's life was a pretty easy and merry
There -was a fine musical band on board, «|£nd
duikig the serene, pleasant evenings they had while
making their way on the Southern ocean, Captain
Salter used to order them to play for the entertainment of the crew.
This was a treat he -was very fond of giving
them on Saturday nights, as a sort of a welcome to
the coming Sabbath.
Music at such an hour, and in such a scene, must
have sounded delightfully, -while the waters gurgled round the prow of the ship, and the ocean's
hoarse voice sang bass, in the distance.
Now and then a whale or a flying-fish would let
itself be seen above the surface of the water; but
whether it was to listen to the music, or not, it has
not yet been ascertained—Ate reader will be able
to judge of the probability of this.
They  saw, also,   frequent  shoals of porpoises,
coming towards the slip; the purpose or business
of which, I believe was not then, nor ever has been
clearly understood; but of their appearance I will
speak in the next chapter.
3 34
Description of a shoal of porpoises—albatrosses seen—arrival at Nootka Sound—the natives came on board—the
Indian king described—intercourse with the savages—
their visits—Maquana breaks the gun—Captain Salter
offends him—his dignified deportment when angry.
A shoal of porpoises was to John R. Jewitt a
very novel and interesting sight. They looked at
a distance like a multitude of small black waves,
rolling one over the other, in great confusion and
very quick motion.
As they came gamboling along towards the vessel in this way, all on board was in a bustle. Every hand was^busy to get the harpoons ready to
strike; and those who were the most skilful, took
the most favorable stands, to make the deadly
thrust, as the unsuspecting porpoises sported beside
the ship.
The porpoise, or sea-hog, when struck and drawn
on board by the harpoon, utters most piteous cries,
resembling those of an infant, till it dies. It was
very shocking to John, to hear these sounds of distress? when the first victim was taken.
The sailors afterwards told him that, if one of
these animals received a wound, without being
taken, all the others in the troop, attracted by his
blood, would leave the vessel and chase him till
they should overtake him, and then tear him to
pieces and devour him.
Our young mariner found the flesh of the porpoise a very palatable dish, after being so long as
he had been, without any thing fresh; and when
cut into steaks and broiled, he thought its taste resembled that of beef done in the same way.
He saw on his passage, a great number of albatrosses, one of which Captain Salter shot, and
measuring his extended wings, from one extremity
to the other, found that they measured fifteen feet.
The albatross is a large bird of the goose tribe,
whose feathers are brown and white.
Pursuing a northward course, after passingftCape mmmmmm
3§ CAiSlV^  OF  SfOOTKA.
Horn, the sshjpf arrived, on the 12th of March, 180S,
at Woody Point, in Nuotka Sound, on the Northwest coast of America.
Captain Salter made up the sound towards Nootka, a few miles north of the Indian town, on the
land bordering the sound, in order to get supplies
of wood and water, before he proceeded up the coast
for trade.
He wished to avoid being seers, so as to escape
molestation from the Indians of the village, which
was situated on Friendly Cove.
When some of the men, who took the boat and
went out to sound for a good anchoring place, returned, they said they had found one, near a small
island, which was well protected from the sea, and
had plenty of wood and water; and which lay about
half a mile from the coast.
Accordingly, the ship drew up to this place, and
was anchored; though not without being observed
by the natives.
The next morning an Indian canoe was seen
from the ship, gliding along  towards  it, manned
with a number of savages, who paddled their way up
to the Boston, and came on board.
It was the king of the place, with his savage
retinue; and an odd king, indeed, did he seem to
John R. Jewitt, who knew what splendor and pomp
surrounded his own king in England.
The name of the monarch of Nootka was
Maquina; whose Indian majesty, as he stood up in
all his dignity, on the deck of the ship, might thus fe
His person, about six feet in height, was straight
and well formed; his face of the copper complexion, with good features and expression, but marked
with what is not common among these people, a
fine Roman nose. But his face, arms, and legs
were, on this occasion, so disguised by painff^as
almost to prevent their natural color from being
seen. '^J
Over each eyebrow was drawn a heavy black
line, like a crescent, and his hair, long and black,
was drawn up and tied in a bunch on the top of his
head;"lt was oiled so as to shine, ancf then, strew* CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
ed over with  a fine   white down, which  gave it
the appearance of being half covered with snow
flakes. '
His dress was a cloak of black sea-otter skin,
which reached to his knees; and was fastened about
the waist with a girdle of the cloth of the country,
painted with various colors, and in a diversity of
This cloth is made of the bark of a tree, and
somewhat resembles straw-matting.
Maquina's attendants had their dresses made of
it. The cloak, or mantle which they wore, was a
square of this material, large enough to reach to the
knee, and with places cut in the top for the arms to
pass through.
The belt, being a strip of the same cloth, was
about four inches wide, and whimsically figured.
Maquina had frequently visited the American
and English vessels that came for trade on the
coast; and if they did not take his furs, or if he
had none to offer, the masters always treated him
well, and generally gave him some little present^*
\mmi -  -—  '" " -^— M^S
which proved a sufficient inducement for him to visit
the next vessel that came.
In this way he had learnt to understand a great
many English words and expressions; and as it
afterward^ proved, he knew much more than CarM
tain Salter dreamed of, till he found it out at the cost
of his life.
He took the copper-colored monarch into bis cabin, gave him a glass of drink, and fed him with
biscuit and molasses, a treat that pleased him
Both the king and his people seemed much gratified wkh the manner and the hospitality of the
ship's crew; and after leaving them the first day,
they returned the next, bringing with them more
of the natives, and a good supply of fine fresh salmon, for which they took some trifling articles by
^iay of pay.
It was not the intention of Captain Salter to
make his purchases at this place, as there were not
many furs to be obtained ; but he wanted to get his
stock of wood and water, so as not to be obliged to
.■~x^^...k..^~*-~: ,.,» —      -   ■ i !>4 -*m"IJI CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA. 41
expose his men for these necessaries when they
should be farther north, and among,; what he considered, more barbarous tribes than the savages of
Whil^ the hands were   employed  iis^Jaying  in
these provisions, John, the armorer, busied himself
in Repairing muskets, making tomahawks, knives,.
&c. and in doing such iron work as was needed on
the ship^
Meantime, Maquina and his people kept up their
visits, while Captain Salter, in order to prove that
^bey had no hostile purposes, insisted that each
should throw off his dress before he came on board,
to satisfy him by showing that they had no arms
On the fifteenth, Maquina, attended by several
of his, chiefs, came on board. He was arrayed in
his royal attire of otter-skin, and had his head
newly powdered with whitg| down; his face was;
painted with more than ordinary care, and almost
coveretl^with the ingredients he had used in beautifying it. m
His chiefs were clad in the cloth of their country, of its original color, which is pale yellow.
Their girdles were simftar to that of the king, only
not so wide.
Around the bottoms of their cloaks were painted
borders, representing, in various colors, the heads of
men and beasts, birds, ancNishcs.
The dress of the common people was like that
of the chiefs, only the cloth was coarser, and they
were not allowed to paint with more than one color,
this being red.
Captain Salter invited them to dine with him, and
his invitation was accepted. It was a great source
of amusement to John, to see his copper-colored
eminence, the king, and all the savage nobles, seat
themselves and eat their dinner.
Their manner of sitting was similar to that' of
the Chinese. They crossed their legs and sat upon
them; while they made their meal on ship-bread
dipped in molasses, which was the only thing they
would eat. They manifested a great averslbn to
every thing that tasted in the least of salt. CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
They appeared to enjoy their entertainment, and
retired very pleasantly; the few following days,
they kept up their trade; bringing the fresh salmon, and seemed satisfied with what they received
in return for what was a great luxury to the seamen
after living on salt provisions, as they had done, for
some time.
About the nineteenth of the month, Maquina
came on board the ship, and^ltined again. He
talked a great deal with Captain Salter,^and toff
him there wjre a great many wild ducks and geese
near Friendly Cove.
Captain Salter gave him, upon this information,
a fin^pidouble-barreled fowlffeg-pieee, with which he
seemed greatly delighted, and went away.
The next day he^feame again on board, bringing
with him nine pair of wild ducks, as% present to the
iHft^also bought his new gun that he had received the day before, with one of the locks broken,
which he showed to Captain Salter, telling him it
was peshale, (bad.) msm
Captain Salter at this remark, which he thought
a token of his gift being undervalued, and feeling
irritated at seeing it so ill used too, showed signs
of anger, and not knowing the extent of Maquina's
understanding of the English, called him a liar,
and told John to see how that fellow had ruined the
beautiful fowling-piece. * See,' said he, ' if you can
mend it.'
The scene that now appeared on the deck, when
described, speaks a loud moral. Captain Salter was
in anger, and showed i% little dreaming of the bitter
consequences that were to follow*
Maquina had understood him, and was in anger
too; but he was ^ilent and dignified—his emotions
only appeared in the flashes of his keen black eye,
and by his hand being rubbed hard upon his throat,
and pressed on his bosom.
This, he afterwards told John, was to keep down
his heart, that kept rising up in his throat, and
nearly choked him.
The offended Indian monarch uttered§pt a word,
but   soon  retired with  his  men, with a haughty CAPTIVE  OF NOOTKA. 45
air; and probably feeling his breast burning with
stiflec||drage, and that unquenchable fire of^jfevenge,
whicrggin the bosom of a savage is one of its most
dearly loved principles, and never goes out but with
his vital spark.
I 46'
The natives induce some of the seamen to go on shore—they
massacre the crew—John's life spared—the ship is run
into the cove, and stranded—the savages welcome their
king's return to the villag^^
On the twenty-second, many of the natives came
out in the morning, as usual, to the ship, with their
salmon, where they were*joined, a few hours after,
by Maquina, with many of his chiefs and others.
The king seemed in uncommonly good humor.
He had over his face a hideous wooden mask, representing the head of some Wrld beast. In his hand
he held a whistle, which he blew to a kind of tune to
regulate the motions of his petiple, as they jumped,
sang, and capered about on the deck, to the great
amusement of the crew.
Maquina asked CaptainNSalter when he was going
to sail.   fi To-morrow,' was the reply.
'You love salmon—plenty in Friendly Cove—
why ^ot go catch some ?' said he. The idea of
having some caught to carry away, struck Captain
Salter very pleasantly, and he concluded^after din-
ner, to send out some men to fish.
The steward was already onshore, at the watef"-
ing-place, washing the Captain's clothes, when nine
men, with the mate at their head, took the boats
and the seine, and went in quest of salmon.
The .Ming and his men had remained on board ;
and John had gone to work, cleaning muskets, at
his vice-bench, in the steerage. When he had been
below about an hour, he heard the seamen hoisting
in the long boat.
In a few minutes after, he heard the sound of
scuffling and great confusion on deck; and attempting to go up to see what was doing, he was
seized, just as his head rose above board, by the
hair, which one of the natives caught hold of; but
the ribbon with which it was tied, slipping off in
the hand of the Indian, let him fall back into the
steerage. 48
Before he fell, however, lie received a blow on
{&e forehead by an axe in the hand of another
savage, which left a deep wound; and he ha^time
ifi^itee that the whole deck was one appalling scene
of human slaughter.
rtRie blow and the fall stunned him; and he probably lay some length, of time senselesijBfor when
he came to himself, he was covered with his own
blood, and weak from its loss.
He felt as if arousing from some hideous dream
—the hatch had been closed, and he wasffh darkness and gore—while the horrid yells and shouts
of triumph sent from the savages over his head,
convinced him that they had possession of the ship,
and that they had done a great work of death,
while not a single voice of one of the seamen was
heard amid the wild sounds of barbarous exultation.
When the noise of singing, shouting, and yelling
had a little subsided, Maquina ordered the hatch to
be opened, and called, j John, come up.'
John attempted to obey, but found himself almost
mtSm **
unable to move, and the eye over which the gash
had been cut, was so swolfen as to be nearly closed ; while the other was half blinded by the blood
that had flowed and fastened upon it.
Maquina seeing his condition, ordered his people,
not to injure him, but told them to hej| him up
and -wash and dress his wound^fsaying, that he
knew how to make and mend their guns, and
would be of great use to them, if preserved alive
and unhurt.
This, John afterwards found, had been the cause
of Maquina's ordering the hatch to be closed, during the dreadful scene that had taken place, so that
he might not be numbered among the victims to
the revenge of the Indians, as he intended his life
should turn to their account, by keeping him a prisoner, to make arms, &c., for the tribe.
But, when Jewitt first came on deck, before his
wound was attended to, the little sight that was
left him, showed the blood of his murdered brethren,   flowing over  the boards*and  the naked 50
savages gathering round him in a circle, with their
knives and daggers up, ready to strike.
They all united their clamorous voices, to have
him despatched, so that there might be none left to
tell the tale, whenever anther vessel should come
on their bordersfi
But the king would not consent to h# death, trM
he had fi%t examined and questioned him respecting what he would dff if spared.
In this trying moment, John felt, as he has since
said, the value of having his Maker for a friend
and of having given up his life and all his interests
into his Almighty care.
Maquina, wishing by his broken expressions, to
make John understand that if he did not consent
to his terms, he would be put to death, said to him,
1 John—I speak—you no say no—you say no,
daggers come !' He then askeoMf he would be his
slave for life; iMae would fight in his battles,
make daggers and knives, and mend muskets for
him; and many other similar questions* lo all of CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
which, John was careful to answer in such a way
as to turn aside the dreaded wrath, and obtain leave
■,■ > ,
to live.
When^he had consented to all these proposals,
Maquina told him he must now kiss his hands and
feet, in token of perfect submission to him, as his
future master and sovereign. ft
When John requested to have a tobacco leaf, of
which there was plenty on board, bound on his
wound, having long known its healing qualities,
Maquina gave directions to have it brought, and
taking^the silk cravat from the neck of his patient,
bound on the leaf -with it, and fastened it round his
head. Wll
The a&k-was very cold, and John was without
his coat, -which, together withes bodily suffering,
and the awful spectacle before him, made him
tremble like a poplar leaf. |H
Maquina saw this, and going below, brought up
the Captain's great coat, and a bottle ^f rum, and
throwing the coat over his shoulders, and putting 52
the bottle to his mouth, he told him to drink, and
he would not shiver so.
When John had followed thj^prescription, and
-was able to walk, the kingglled him to the quarterdeck, where he beheld a sight that cmUed with
horror, the bl^pd that was left in his veins.
The trunkless heads of his unfortunate comrades, to the number of twenty-five, lay with their
ghastly faces up, in a row before him; and not
a sign of life appeared^n board the ship, except
in the persons of these dreadful executioners, and
his own aching bosom.
One of the savages brought a. head and. asked
whose it was. John* told him it was the Captain's.
Then* another and another was shown, in the same
way, tihfjlie horrid inspection of the "whole number
was gone through with, though some of the faces
were so disfigured, as to make it impossible for the
terrified survivor to tell to whom it hao^elonged.
The first cause of this dreadful sacrifice to revenge—the  insult   which   Maquina  felt  he   had
received from the Captain, has already appeared to
the reade^r though the haught^red monarch dip
not see fit to explain imto Jewitt, till long after it
tfttk place. i
The whole matter by which he justified himself
in the merciless act, will be made known by some
of the subsequent pages.
The slaughter, it seems, began while some of the
seamen were busy in hoisting in the long-boat,
when the savages on board, taking advantage of
their situation, seized^hem and cut their throats
with their own jack-knives.
Captain Salter was thrown overboard in the
affray, but taken up and beheaded by the Indians
in the canoes.
When the fatal work was over with those at the
ship, the natives broke open the rum chest and
magazine; and providing themselves with the
deadly engines, went on shore in quest of the men
that were there. When they had taken their lives,|
they severed their heads from their bodies, which CAPTIVE  OF NOOTKA.
were all cast into the sea, and brought the appalling trophies to place them with those on board.
When John got able to stand, Maquina told him
he must get the ship round to Friendly Cove. To
do this, he cut the cables, and directed some of the
savages to go aloft and loose the sails.
Had it not been for the melancholy circumstances
that surrounded our disconsolate young friend,
he would have been much amused by the awkwardness of the Indians, at this new -work of
handling the rigging of a vessel'
However, as the wind -was exactly fair for the
purpose, they succeeded in running her into the
cove, and got her ashore on a sand beach, about
eisrht o'clock in the evening.
The king was welcomed home to the village, by
every mark of savage hilarity at his return, and
joy at his success, wiiich could be shown by men,
women, and children.
Some ran to meet him, singing, leaping, and
shouting; while others made an almost insupporta- CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
ble din, to a head in such a state as John's must
have been, by drumming with sticks on the sides
and roofs of their houses, which were illuminated
with blazing pine torches, stuck in the cracks, in
hongs of their king's return.
A sad, sad night was this to John, who, no
doubt^vhiln he now took his good father's advice,
and resigned himself to the will of God, wished he
had also taken it, and followed a better counsellor
than his own romajntie desire to see thi world, before it was too late to be profited by it.
mtt 56
pggHAPTER   V.
John goes to the king's house—sees the women—gets acquainted
toith the young prince, Sat-sat-sok-sis—his supper—how he
passes the night—he learns that one of the men is alive in the
ship—finds it is Thompson—obtains permission for him to
Maqihna's house, of which more will be said
hereafter, was very large, and filled with people.
The king had no less than nine wives; one of
which was the mother of the young prince, the future heir to hm honors.
This woman was very beautiful, and seemed to
be a sort of queen over the others. She was the
favorite of the king, and her son was his darling
The feoy was about eleven years old. His name
was JSat-sat-sok^s ; but, this being rather an unwieldy word to manage, and as it may often occur in CAPTIVE   OF  NOOTKA.
our narrative, we will abbreviate it, and in future
call the prince Sat-sat.
John was conducted by Maquina to his house.
T^he women came round the prisoner, and patting
him softly on the head and shoulders, seemed to
feel much pity for him in his sufferings, and mani-
fested a great desire to do something to relieve the
anguish of his wound.
Maquina called for something to eat, and his
women brought him some dried clams and train-
oil. He seated John beside him, and telling him to
eat a good deal of oil, because it would make him
fat and strong, began in earnest to show that his
theory and practice agreed; at least, so far as gormandizing was concerned.
But, poor John! little would he have relished
this disgusting repasfehad there been no sorrow at
his heart, as there was, swelling it almost to
Little, too, in his present^tate of feeling, could he
have enjoyed the most sumptuous board that good
old England ever offered him.    But he made the
best of his condition, knowing that to murmur
would be in vain; and to show dissatisfaction
might yet co^him his life.
During the time of sugjper, he hear^fc the savages
importuning their king to have him put to death;
urging as a reason, that he might prevent other
t vessels  from  coming  to  trade with them, by informing, in some way, of what they had done.
But Maquina persisted in refusing to do this;
saying that he had promised John his life, and he
-would not break his word. He again reminded
them of the use he might be to them, by -working
at their arms, &c.
John had, also, to listen to their terrible boasting
of what they had each done, in the murder of his
companions; while, with horrid mimicry, they went
through some of the most dreadful acts of the
Sat-sat, the royal boy, attracted by curiosity, at
the novel appeaipnce of a white person, and in the
dress that looked very odd to the little savage, came
up to John to examine him.
'"^■^itiii'     i' T~ CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA. 59
John thought he might win the favor of the
father, by securing that of the child; so he coaxed
Sat-sat to come near, and caressed him till he got
him willing to sit upon his knee.
^le then cut the bright metal buttons from the
coat he had on, and having run them on a string
fastened them round the neck of the cMd. »
This greatly delighted his young majesty, who
run off jingling his buttons, and showing them to
the company with as much pride as a civilized lady
would take in a necklace of pearls or diamonds.
And why should they not be as precious to him,
as those more Gostly gems to their possessor? No-
bodypilts true, had delved in the mine very deeply, or plunged into the ocean to obtain them.
Yet they were personal decorations, bright and
pleasing t#the eye, and they satisfied in him, the
future monarch, that vain love for external show
and ornament, which seems alike implanted in the
bosom of the civilized and the savage, as well as
Mhe more expensive brilliants do those who, too
often  think  more  about  them,   than they do of Mi
obtaining  the   I pearl  of   great price,5  which our
Savior recommends as the best of all treasures.
The thought of taking this method with Safeat,
to win him, was a fortunate one for John. His buttons completely succeeded in purchasing the heart
of the young prince, for their giver.
From th^lt moment, Sat-sat attached himself to
his new friend, acting out his human nature -without reserve, upon the principle of those of whom
Sat-sat had never heard, but who of old showed
their self-interest, by seeking the £ loaves and
When the hour came for those in the Indian
2?alace to go to rest, the company stretched themselves on the ground; and John was made to lie
down between Maquina and his son.
This, the king, who was much pleased with the
attention he had showrjfpa Sat-sat, told him, was to
prevent the Indians, who seemed bent on taking his
life, from coming to kill him in his sleep.
^P-ut the  unfortunate  youth,   in his sadly  new
pad. strange condition, felt*iittle inclination to sleep,
notwithstanding hi# being literally in the #osom of
the ro^al family.
About saiaidnight, he heard one of the natives
come and tell Maquina that there was a white mala
a#ve in the ship; and that he had been knocked
down by him, in attempting to go on board.
When the Indian had retired, Maquina told John
of this information, and said the white man must
be slain in the morning.
#iohn tried to dissuade him from his purpose; but
he silenced his entreaties, and told him to lie down
and go to sleep.
As Jewitt lay revolving the^uestion in his mind,
who milkman might be, and by -what means he
could prevail on the king to lethi-Efl live, he thought
it was most probably Thompson, the sail-maker
of the ship, as he had not recognised his head
among those of ^e slain; and he^remteibered his
having been below, at work on tfe^ sails, when the
attack was nai|de>
Thompson was a man about forty years of age;
but as he had always lived a sea-faring life, from 62
his boyhood, he looked much older. So John
thought, that if it should prove to be he, whdfevas
alive, he would make Maquina think it was his
father, and see if, on this account, he could not win
mercy for him.
He fell into a doze towards morning; but at the
rising of the sun, Maquina waked him, telling him
he was going to the ship to kill the man, and that
he must get up and go .with him.
He obeyed in silence, and taking Sat-sat by the
hand, led him out, following the father to the
Here all the men of the tribe were assembled,
waiting the approach of their king. When he
came nigh, they gathered round him, listening with
deep attention, while he informed them that there
was a white man in the ship; and asked their
general opinion whether he had better let him li ve,
or have hh^put to death.
The natives expressed their united wishes that
he might be kept alive, upon which John ventured
to put in his plea.
He pointed to the boy, whom he still held by the
hand, and asked Maquina if he loved his son; and
being answered in the affirmative, he then asked
Ifce child if he loved his father, j Yes,' was the
reply.    \ So do I love mine,' said he.
He threw himself now on his knees, at the feet
of the king, entreating him to spare the life of
his father, if it should prove to be he, who was in
the vessel.
The heart of the savage was touched, at this
pathetic appeal—he told John to rise and go on
board the ship to tell the man to come out; and
promised that if it was his father, he might live.
John went into the ship, and found to his greal
joy, that it was indeed Thompson, who was there
alive and unhurt.
He was below when the massacre commenced,
and finding that he had been unobserved by the
natives, he hid himself inAhe hold, till allVas
over. JSW
When the#i|ian came on board for plunder, in
the  night, thinking he  was  in quest  of him. he -'■■
deternifeM to sell his life as dearly as possible, so
he made a-thrust at the savage and knocked him
down; but he recovered himself in a moment, and
springing up, ran off to tell the king.
John told Thompson, in as few words as possible, the plan he had laid to save his life, and the
new relationship of father that he must assume—
reminding him hew careful he Must b#ilot to let
the secret that he was iidt hi# father, be discovered
by the sagacious Indians.
He then led him forth to Maquina, presenting
Mm as his father, a%d promising to do every thing
in his power to serve the natives, if they#would
spare his life.
But he assured them that, if they put his father
to death, they would lose his services, however
useful they might be in the way of his art of arms-
making, &c, for he would certainly kill himself, as
he could not bear this loss and live.
This was a powerful argument; and when Maquina recognised Thompson, and knew him to be
the sail-maker, he thepght his life, too, would be
5 F mm
of service to them, in his employment, as he could
make sails for their canoes; and reminding his people of this, at the same time, telling them that, by
destroying him, they should lose the services of
both; for he took John to be in earnest in his intention to kill himself, if Thompson -was killed.
Thus, self-interest effected what humanity could
not have don%iwith these barbarians; and it -was
agreed that the sail-maker's life should be spared.
Maquina then took both his prisoners to his
house, and ordered something to be brought for
them to eat^ji and John had the pleasure of seeing
another entertainment of clams and train-oil set
before him m&
mm 67
The savages rob the ship of her contents, Sfc.-r^John secures the
papers—two ships are seen—ether tribes of natives come to
Nootka—their reception—their supper, and a dance by Sat-sat
—Maquina makes presents to his guests—their manner of receiving them—visi£®r& continue to come and go.
The twQ^following da^p, the savages busied
themselves in taking away the cargo of the ship,
her sails, rigging, an^ what ever pleased their fancies, or promised to be in any way useful to them.
^They even cut away her spars and masts, and
turned her to a complete wreck.
The greatest part of the cargo, and all the most
valuable articles, were carried to the king's house.
As John and his new father were obliged to as-
sistjp. this work of depredation, they thought it a
good opportunity to secure the ship's papers, &c.,
not knowing what way might offer for them to be
of use; and as the natives set no value on such 68 CAPTIVE  OF NOOTKA.
things, they met with little difficulty in taking them
into their own possession.
John's chest had been broken open and plundered, but he still had the key; so he put into it the
papers, -with the Captain's -writing-desk, a blank
account-book that he found, and which he thought
might serve him, as he knew not how long he
should remain in captivity, for to keep some little
accounts of what he might meet with.
In the desk were some writing materials, -which
he hoped to be allowed to use: and he also found
a Bible and Prayer Book, from which he expiated
great consolation.
These articles, with a few small t<#ls, he found
no difficulty in securing in his chest, in which he
also put a Journal that had been kept by the mate,
and some drawings owned by him, whicWhe reserved for his friends, in case of there ever being
an opportunity to convey them to the places of
tlleir abode."
On the twenty-sixth, two ships hove in sight;
and, while their appearance filled the bosoms of
sa^fes* CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
the captives with hope and joy, at least, for a short
time, it threw the natives into great consternation,
for they thought they were coming to punish them
for the work of destruction they had been doing.
They had immediate recourse to their newly-
acquired arms and ammunition, and kept up a
brisk firing, till the ships, not disposed to be peppered with hot shot, returned a few rounds, that
did no harmj|and stood out to sea again; thus
drowning the hopes of poor John and his fellow-
captive, in the wide-spread ocean, over whose
surface they cut their watery way, till out of sight.
These ships, as was afterwards ascertained,
were the Mary, and the Juno, of Boston,. Massachusetts.
When the ships were out of sight, Maquina began to express great regret that he had let his people fire at them, as he feared that others, hearing
of this hostile treatment, would be prevented from
coming to trade with them.
Not many days after the capture of the ship, the maWmmmmmmmmWmWmmWma&mali,'m\<m fritl^'if1"
news having spread round among the differen.
tribes of natives on^fthe coast, brought them in
hosts to Nootka.
There came canoes filled with savages, of at
least twenty tribes, from the north and south, -who
hastened to pay Maquina a visit of gratulation
for his success, and expecting, at the same time, to
better themselves by the presents it is the custom
of these people to bestow on their guests on such
an jccasion.
Among these visitors, many belonged to the tribes
of the north, that -were tributary to the Nootka.
But those who were the best dressed, and sailed
in the most neat^-finished canoes, belonged to
the Wickanninish, a-large and powerful tribe of
the south.
These had come the distance of two hundred
miles, which, with sails Ho their canoes, and a
good breeze, they performed in twenty-four hours.
An odd and ludicrous scene -was presented on
the beach as the canoes of the visitors approached CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
it; for, Maquina, proud of his new acquisition, set
out to welcome his guests in what he thought real
EuropeaM*gentility of style.
And a motley group did the natives of Nootka
form as they assembled on the beach, clad in their
new and ill-gotten gear, which had been taken from
the ship.
Some had on kutsacks, or cloaks, made of broadcloths of blu% red, and yellow; with stockings
drawn over their heads, while, about their necks
were hung powder-horns, shot-bags, and cartouch
boxes; and many had eight or ten muskets apiece
on their shoulders, and half a dozen daggers fastened in one girdle.
Many articles of clothing they did not know
how to wear, and they put them on in a manner
to make most grotesque figures of themselves.
Equipped in this -way, they all squatted upon
the beach, holding their muskets perpendicularly,
with the butts resting on thf£ sand, waiting orders
III fire the salute.
The cannon had been taken from the ship to the
beach, and laid upom^o sticks of timber; and at
. these, Thompson was stationed; while Maquina
had taken a stick and a trumpet, and gone up on
the roof of his house, -where he set up such a
drumming on the roof, with his stick, it was
enough to stun any but a savage head.
When the canoes drew up to the shore, he spoke
through his trumpet, telling his subjects to fire.
At theMWord of command,jjthey obeyed, but
fearfully and awkwardly, keeping in their squat
position, and pressing the butt of the gun, as before,
hard up§p the ground.
At the same moment, Thompson fired the cannon, upon which the natives threw themselves
back, and tumbled and rolled about as if they had
been shot.
Then they sprang up, and ran and danced about
upon the beach, singing a song of triumph, and
boasting of their exploits; while the strange, -wild
sounds of their voices wey§ accompanied by such
savage gesticulations as were sometimes laughable,
and sometimes fjiarhtful.
■a mm
When this ceremony was over, the king came
down from lais perch, to meet his guests, and invite
them in, to partake of the royal entertainment that
had been prepared for them in his house.
This was a large quantity of whale blubber,
smoked herring-spawn, and dried fish with train-
oil, that were sefpbefore the company in large trays,
placed upon the ground, the floor of the red monarch's palace.
When the feas%was over, and the trays remove^
preparations were made for the dance, which was
to close the entertainment.
Three of the principal chiefs, clad in otter-skin
mantles, a dress which they only assumed on great
occasions, and having their heads newly powdered
with "white down, came forward into the room,
bearing each a bag of white down, similar to that
upon their heads, and began to scatter it round, so
as to represent a fall of snow.   |
This, I think a pretty idea, and quite a delicate
one too, as it was strewing the way, with this soft
G Wm
and beautiful material, for the young prince to step
Itlb a thought of a more refined nature than that
which, a short time before, had occasioned the blubber and the sperm to be placed in trays upon the
same spot.
Behind these chiefs, who came paving the way
in so gentle and soft a manner, folio-wed Sat-sat,
with a long piece of yellow cloth, wrapped loosely
about him; and tricked out with small bells, a cap,
and a mask in the form of a wolf's head.
Behind him came the king himself, in a robe of
sea-otter skin, and having in his mouth a small
whistle, while in his hand he held a rattle, which
he shook to keep time to a wild, fantastic time that
he played upon his whistle.
When they had passed, with great gravity and
order,   round  the   apartment,   each   was   seated,
except Sat-sat, who immediately commenced hif*
This^dance he performed chiefly by taking a jig CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA. 75
squat positionlj%nd thus, springing up as far as he
had power to go; and incessantly turning round
upon his heels in a very small circle, and with great
swiftness in his motion.
The dance, with only a few intervals for him to
take breath, Sat-sat kept UfNSi* two hours, to the
doleful music which the chiefs made, by drumming
with shorfAicks, on pieces of plank, the under side
of which had been scooped out into a hoU&w, so as
fpsound the louder, and the more like a hollow instrument.
During the dance, Maquina and his chiefs continued singing; and the women uttered their
plaudits at every extraordinary jump of the young
performer, crying out, at tli top of their voices,
1 Wocash | Wocash! Tyee /' (good ! very good !
When the dance was ended, Maquina began to
deal out gifts #o the strange^, in the name of his
son Sat-sat.
These presents consisted oj^pices of cloth, about Efl
two yards long, that had been taken from the ship,
muskets, powder, shot, &c.
Maquina*, on this occasion, gave away four hundred yards of cloth, one hundred muskets, as many
looking-glasses, and twenty casks of powder, besides many other articles.
The manner in which these people received the
gifts, was very odd, and such as seemed very uncivil and ungracious.
When the king held out the gift, the receiver
snatched it from him rudely, and "with as stern a
look as could be put on, saying at the samet;time,
1 Wocash, TyeeP
John thought by their looks, that all -were dissatisfied with their presents ; but he afterwards learnt
that this sterflu expression was considered among
the savages a mark of respect; and it was viewed
as a great indignity to have it omitted on the reception of a thing bestowed; especially, if the
giver was a person in authority.
After  the  presents  were   distributed,   Maqiitna
%    - >4 .	 CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
insisted on all the strangers, but the chiefs, going
on board their canoes to sleep, to prevent their pillaging during the night; and he set John and
Thompson, armed with cutlasses and pistols, to
watch them. The chiefs were accommodated with
a place in the houses.
The natives of the different tribes along the
coast continued to come in this way, to Nootka, for
several days, bringing with them such sorts of provisions as would be acceptable, and receiving in
return, presents from Maquina; after which, they
went directly back to their homes. *&"mm.
■ .
The ship is burnt—many articles lost by the fire—some valuable
things saved—Maquina discovers a tierce of rum among his
spoils—invites company—holds a carousal—all get intoxicated
—John empties the rum-cask upon the ground—anecdote of a
merchant—John begins to work at his trade—he assists
Thompson in getting food.
On the morning of the eighteenth, John and his
companion in bondage witnessed a spectacle which
was to them a sad sight, -while it shone brightly
before them.
As they arose, early in the morning, and went
out, on looking towards the ship, they saw her
wrapped in flames. She had taken fire by
means of some sparks that some of the natives
who -went on board in the night, for plunder, had
let fall into the hold, among the light combustibles,
which soon to>ke out into a blaze, and entirely
completed the destruction of the only trace of a CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
civilized country, except the articles carried on
shore, which appeared to their sight.
Besides, there were a great many provisions still
on board, which they had hoped to take out for
their own use and comfort, as the natives would
not touch a thing that had any flavor of salt, and
there were many other articles that would have
been left to their enjoyment, as they were as offensive to the savage taste, as the whale blubber and
train-oil were to theirs.
But it was a splendid, though melancholy sight
to them, to see the Boston, as she lay upon the
edge of the great waters, that spread themselves
out so far on one side, and the border of a savage
land, that stretched off on the other, beyond the
power of their imaginations to follow. It was, I
say, a melancholy sight to see her thus standing
between these two elements, for a third, and more
terrible one to devour her.
As the flames towered high above the water, they
waved emd sported on the surrounding air, as the THE SHIP BOSTON IN FLAMES. CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA. M
flumes 6¥ a group of soldiers are tossed and played
with by 1-he winds that pass.
The captives breathed out^their farewell to the
unfortunate ship as she became a mass of living
coals, and then crumbled to pieces before their
The natives, too, seemed very sorry for the loss, f§
as there were many things still about her, which
they had intended to save. Sjl
John lost his anvil and bellows, which had not
been removed to the beach; though nearly all the
other things with which he worked, were saved.
Among the things that had been carried on shore,
he was glad to find a nautical almanac, which one
of the natives gave him; and a case of port wine,
and a box of chocolate, both of which, as thU
Indians did not like their taste, fell to the disposal
of John and Thompson. W
^^Phe almanac, John expected, would be of great
use to him in determining on points of time; and
the natives, in their turn, were highly delighted,
whenftxamining their booty, about two days after
.       6 ' ■ -   ft :
wt     .     ;   :'.'       £-'£' ' I   3 82 CAPTIVE OF   NOOTKA.
the burning of the ship, they found among a variety of things, a cask of rum, and a case of gin.
Sinc^their intercourse with the whites, who first
introduced ardent spirits among the American Indians, they have become very fond of the * firewater,,' as they used to call rum, when they first
began to use it.
It was nearly night when Maquina discovered
that he had such a prize in his possession, and
much elated with the anticipated enjoyment of his
intoxicating draught, he invited all the men to a
feast at his house, or, to use a more fashionable
term, to an evening party ^ to enjoy with him the
The native Indians of Virginia, -when they obtained a bag of gunpowder from some of the early
settlers, never having seen any. thing of the kind
before, but finding it a thing of great power, as
well a%pretty and curious in its effects, put it aside,
to plant with their corn, as they said they wanted
to become acquainted with c that kind of seed.'
But   Maquina   knew  better   than  to  pour  his CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA. S3
treasure into the ground, to see if it would produce
little rivulets or fountains o$||hat kind of water;
so when the company had assembled and partaken
of the feast and the beverage, they soon grew so
intoxicated and wild, that John and Thompson
fled to the woods for safety, and the women made
their escape to other houses for the night.
The men only were engaged in this drinking
frolic, the women of Nootka being perfectly temperate, and never using anything but water, by way
of drink.
About midnight, when the wild shouts and
frightful sounds of the savage mirthf|had died
away, thff captives, feeling desirous of knowing
what was going on at the palace, returned to look
into the state of affairs in and about the premises.
The Indians, after their carousal, overcome by
the effects of the strong draughts they had taken,
were all stretched out on the ground, in profound
sleep, or stupefaction, such as followfjiexcessive
It had now been an easy thing for the captives 84 CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
f#destroy their lives, or bind them down, had there
been any vessel to whie^tNJiey might flee for refuge.
BiH to kill the poor untutdred savages, was a thing
that was not to be thoughtiif; and to make any other attempt upon them, would have been Useless, as
there was no possible way of escape by water, and
to go back into the -woods would only be exposing
themselves to the hostili^es of other natives; so they
thought the best thing they could do, would be to
prevent the danger of another fire-water jubilee.
John -went to the rum-cask, and, finding it had
still enough in it to make its effects dreaded, he
took a small gimblet, and feored in the under side
of the cask, a hole large enough to let the spirit
take its own way and its own time to sink into the
earth, before morning.
He had the satisfaction to find, that in a few
hours, the soil had drunk up, what the children of
the soil had left; and that there remained no more
an opportunity for the natives to have another frolic
of this sort.
AncL^e now saw that the burning ^{ the ship,
which he had before regretted so much^ was a wise
direction of Providence; as there was on board a
large quan^ty ojf i rum, which, had it been secured
by the natives, would have been a source of great
trouble to him and Thompson, if it did not cause
their death.
John's act in the temperance cause reminds me of
an anecdote, which, as I was knowing to the facts
at the time, I will digress from our story, to relate.
In the summer of 1832, a merchant of Newbury-
port, Massachusetts, having long been convinced of
the evil of furnishing tlj^ seamen who went out in
his vessels, with a supply of spirituous liquor, for
their voyage, began to consider seriously on the
easiest and best way to dispose of a couple of
hogsheads of rum that had been a great while in
his store.
To sell it to others, he felt, would not be destroying the evy, but only passing it off on his
neighbors—he had too much conscience for th^s.^
.mman&B**f— MMP
Tifenp the rum to some other port, would only
be removing from his sight the bad consequences
whMi he felt certain would follow the use of it.
So hll called a truckman, and directed him to
take the hogsheads of rUm on his trucks, and carry
them to thiP head of the wharf. He then bored a
hole in the head of each, and let them empty their
contents into the Merrimac river.
Had he soldilie rum, it would have.brought him
much money; but in this act, he gave a proof that/
a man of sound princi^epWill be ready to mafiT
a personal sacrifice of worldly gain, to the cause
'm£general good; and that he will not countenance
or assist others in doing -what he would deem it
wrong for himself to do.
We will now resume our story. John had so far
recovered from the hurt on his head, and the shock
he had sustained in the loss of his friends, as to be
able to begin to work a little.
He found a large flat stone, which he converted
into an anvil; and heating the metal on which he 1
worked, in a common fire, for a furnace, he commenced his business, much to the satisfaction of the
king and his wives.
For the women he made bracelets and other ornaments of copper and steel, which pleased them
highly; and for the men, he mended their arms,
&c., which won for him their favor, also; and they
began to think they had a valuable prize in their
young captive.
The neighboring tribes of Indians still kept flocking to Nootka, with their stores of provisions, to
exchange for a share of the spoils of the ship; and
John was allowed to make, on his own hook, some
small ornamental articles which he sold to them,
for either victuals for himself and Thompson, or
pieces of European cloth, and wearing apparel,
which they had just received from his master.
I speak of John's procuring food in this wa%
because it is the habit of the Nootka Indians to
make the most of to-day, and let to-morrow take
care of itself; and they would often destroy, at one
of their feasts, what would have kept them com-
if £b
fortable for several days,|fhough they afterwards
had to take a very short allowance, in consequence
of their careless waste.
John generally fared as well as his master's
family; but Thompson, who couldCnot bring his
spirit into subjection to his new lords, being of an
irritable temper, often manifesteil a state of feeling
towards the Jndians, that made, him no favorite
with them, and greatly displeased them. gjk
He would frequently have had to go hungry,
had not bis adopted son procured food for him,
either by selling his work, or by begging for him
of others, who did not belong to the king's famjly.
John was so highly esteemed in the village, that
when he did not find enough of such disgusting
fare as he had to live on, at home, he could gQ Junto
any hut where he saw a smoke, (tbe sign that they
were cooking,) and get something, which was
readily given him for himself and h|% friend; thus
getting hunger satisfied with what did not do much
towards delighting the taste. 89
John's remarks about cooking—Maquina throws away the kettle
of salt—John's- head gets better—Thompson's history—he
strikes Sat-sat—an affray, in which he is likely %$ be slain—
John pleads till the king consentsHo his life being spared—
strawberries appear—John begins his journal.
It would have been a cause of great pleasure to
the captives, could they have had permission to
cook their salmon, halibut, and other food in their
own way, -which they might easily have done with
the pot and other cooking utensils, that had been
saved jfcom the ship, had not Maquina forbidden it.
He and all the rest of the tribe were so proud
and§$enacious of' their own manner of cooking^that
whenever John procured a fish, he was obliged to
give it up to the wornen, and let them make what
sort of a mess they pleased with it, and it generally
came out a pretty unpalatable dish.
H fit
Once, when the prisoners went away by themselves, into a retired place, in order to boil down
some sea-water, to make salt fq|*|heir food, Maquina, discovering -what they were about, was so offended, that he spilt their brine, and threw the
kettle into the sea.
This act was not because. Maquina -wished to
treat John unkindly—on the contrary, he seemed
disposed to show him much kmdisSss, in his barbarous -way; but he was so proud, he could not bear
anything like innovation, or like dissatisfaction with
their mode of living.
Onc^as a great favor, he permitted John to cook
a salmon; and he and his favorite wife condescended to taste of it; but they did not like it, and turned to that whi&h was done according to their own
The wound on John's head was now getting
well facts'* The tobacco having been brought on
shore, allowed him a fresfe? leaf every day, which
,l^.s the oily thing applied to the cut, besides the
water with whieii it was washed, and some loaf- CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
sugar that the king gave htei once, m take %ut the
proud flesh that had formed.
Sat-sat's mother would often point to John's forehead, and giving a piteous look, express a wish to
have it well; while Maquina seemed also to feel
much compassion for him, and spared him what
labor he could, asking frequently if his head pained
But Thompson, who could not help showing by
his rude manner and unbending spirit, that he could
not well brook his^captivrty and subjection to his
red masters, was not much in favor with any of
the natives.
To account a little for the rough outside and
the stubborn spirit of Thompson, it may be well to
say a few -words about his origin and We.
He was born in Philadelphia; but he ran away
iitoi his friends when a very small boy, and entered as cabin-boy in a ship bound to London.
When he arrived at London, not knowing irnat to
do with himself, which is often, I suspect, the case m
with boys as disobedient and wayward as he, he
went and engaged himself as an apprentice to a
He was afterwards impressed on board an English man-of-war, and remained about twenty-seven
years 4jn the service of the British navy.
During this time, he had encountered many perils, and engaged in some hot battles. r^He was a
strong, muscular man, and an expert boxer. He
had been so familiar with danger, it had lost its
dread to him; and whenever his temper was raised,
he was wholly regardless of his own life.
This daring spirit he could not, or would not,
overcome; and it came very near proving fatal to
him, in his new situation.
The Indians, it seems, had taken the lamps from
the ship, and placed them in the king's room, instead of the pine torches with which it was before
lighted; and it fell to Thompson's lot to fill and
light them.
One evening, when John was at the house of
one of the chiefs^tabout some work he was doing
for him, word was brought him, that Maquina was
going to kill Thompson.
He dropped his work, and running to see ^what
was the matter, he found Maquina holding a loaded musket, while he foamed at the mouth with
rage, at Thompson, who stood before him with his
bosom bare, telling him to fire.
He stepped between them, and addressing the
king in the most soothing words and tones, entreated him to spare his father, and at length prevailed on him to let him take the musket, and to sit
When the incensed monarch grew a little cool,
John learned the cause of the offence.
Thompson was about filling the lamps, when a
throng of Indian boys, eager to see how it was
done, gathered round him, pulling his clothes and
annoying him in various ways, till they made him
spill the oil.
Upon this, he flew into a passion, and gave the
L 94
first boy that he coul^lay his hand on, a blow hi
theJfeee thaj knocked him down.
This happened to be Sat-sat, and the act of striking him the savages regarded as the highest indignity, as the persons of the royal family are held
sacred; and the sensation produced among them,
at seeing their little prince's majesty thus profaned, cannot be conceived of by one who did not
witness it.
When Maquina saw his son's face covered with
blood, he had resolved at once on taking the fife
of the offender; and with this intent he had seized
the musket, -which, had not John arrived at that
moment, would have laid Thompson breathless
before him.
It was a long time before Maquina "could be appeased; and for a great while after this affray, he
would say, now and then, ' John, you die—Thomp-
Ijph kill.'
But the king was not all who was to be pacified
—the whole tribe felt themselves ill-treated in the CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
person of their young prince. They held a council, and^it was resolved upon, that, Thompson
should be put to death in the most cruel manner.
But John assuring the king that, if he delivered
his father over to be tormented and slain by his
people, he would certainly not survive him, but
would destroy his own life; thus prevailed on him
to forbid their injuring him, in the least, which, he
took good care to inform John, was on his account,
not on his father's.
Sat-sat also assured him of this, afterwards; f||j
he said, if that blow had come on him from any
one of the natives, it would have caused him who
gave it, to be put to death at once.
Yet, strange as it may seem, the difficulty thus
brought on Thompson, by giving way to anger, did
not teach him much prudence.
He detested the Indians, and he  did not try to_
conceal   his  feelings towards  them.     This often
brought him into a squabble with  some  one of
them, and gave great anxiety to his felloe-captive.
He used to say sometimes that he abhorred the
b*jp'« iMi—wase— m
natives so much, he would rather die, than live a
sl&?ife among them, afte% being theWbrave Soldier
that h#Tiad been, and fighting the French and the
Spaniards as he had done.
This irritable disposition of Thompson's kept
John in constant fear, lest he should, by some violence or insulting act, forfeit his life, and cause him
to be left to bear the horrors of his bondage alone.
It was now about the middle of May. The climate was so mild, and the season so fine, that the
strawberries, with which the coast abounded, were
fully ripe.
It -was a great luxury to the captives to gather
these, and eat them fresh from the spot where they
grew; but the natives -would not use them without
a dressing of the nauseous train-oil.
About this time, Thompson, who could not write
himself, importuned John, frequently, to begin his
journal; and told him, as he had no ink, he would
cut his own finger and let him have blood from it
to write with, whenever he wished to set anything
But John was spared the painful acceptance of so
strange an offer; as he found a kind of wild berry,
the juice of |which, being boiled with powdered
charcoal, and filtered through a cloth, made very
good infegf, HH
He prepared a bottle or two of this, and gathering up some of the raven and ^gerow-quills, that
were scattered^ about the shore, he furnished himself with a clam-shell for an inkstand, and thus
provided, he began his regular diary, about the first
of Juneau     7 I 98
John's conduct towards the natives—Thompson's—his secona
insult to a Tyee—description of Nootka—its buildings—Dex*
ter's images.
John had, from the first of his hjpdage, resolved
on using a mild, conciliatory deportment towards
the natives: and to set about learning their language as fast as possible, so as to understand them,
and express himself in the safest terms, as this he
considered the surest way to "win their favor, and
lessen the pains of captivity.
But it was far otherwise with Thompson. He
insisted that he did not want to know the language
of so detestable a race, and declared that he would
not defile his mouth with their lingo.
It -was not long after his thrust at Sat-sat, that
he got himself and his friend into a similar affair CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA. 99
of danger by striking the son of a chiefi for calling
him a white slave.
The jfndian lad was eighteen years old; an age,
which, by the custom of the tribe, endowed him
with the honors and the dignity of a Tyee, (chief.)
But John, making use of all his address, succeeded a second time in extricating the white offender from the entanglement iulo which his own
folly and rashness had brought him, and which
made all the tribe clamorous for his death.
It seemed to be Thompson's determination not to
leam wisdom by experience, but rather to \ eat of
the fruit of his&wn ways, and be filled with his
own devices.' m~ R
It may now be well, as we may not find a more
convenient stopping-place in our narrative, to pause
here a little TS?h#e, and suspend the thread of the
story, to-give a short description of the place with
which it is connected, and an account of the customs of the people who inhabited it.
The village of Nootka was situated in between 100
forty-nine and fifty degrees of north latitude, at the
bottom of Friendly Cove, on the north-west side.
The houses, or huts, of which it consisted when
John was a prisoner there, were about twenty in
g||Hnberjjptfid stood upon -^he slope of a small hill
-that rose gradually up from the border of the
Friendly Cove, formed between the line of coast
on the one side, and a point of land that extends
three leagues into the sound, on the other, is between a quarter and a half of a mile wide, and
from a half to three quarters of a mile long. It is
a small harbor, and affords a good anchorage for
ships coming close tnjhe shore.
The eastern and western shores of this harbor
are abrupt and rugged, with trees growing close to
the water's edge; but at the bottom of the cove, to
the north-west,, there is a fine sandy beach, the
same on which I have described the natives as
sitting with their guns up, to hail their visitors
with a salute.
From the village there stretches ofl^o the north
and north-east, a strip of plain, the soil of which
is soft and rich; but it soon terminates at the sea-
coast, that is lined with reefs of rocks that make it,
impossible for vessels to approach the shore. The
coast in the neighborhood of N^tka is rather low,
and not much diversified with hills and dales. It
abounds with fine clear streams of sweet water,
and the soil is good, and overspread with noble
forests of pine, spruce, beech, and other trees.
A few years previous to the time of our story,
the Spaniards, thinking the hill where the village
of Nootka stood, would afford them a fine situation
for a garrison, took possest^on of it, driving the
Indians back several miles into the woods, and
demolishing their houses.
But when the Spanish garrison was expelled by
the English, the Indians returned with great joy to
their favorite spot, and rebuilt their town.
When John was there, the   foundation of the^
Spanish   governor's house  was  still  visible,  and
there were several kinds of European plants, such 102
as peas, turnips, and onions, that had scattered
themselves about in the soil and -were growing,
though in a stinted manner, without cultivation.
The houses at Nootka, which I have already
said, were about twenty in number, were of various sizes, according to the rank of the Tyees -who
lived in them, as each house contained several
families, over whom the chief who occupied it with
them, was considered the rightful lord.
Each family held their little allotment in the
house, separate from the other parts; and each
house was large enough to accommodate a great
many people—none being too small for two families.
These buildings, of which Maquina's was the
largest, stood nearly in a direct line, thus forming
by one range, the mile village on the haft's side^
The manner in wnlch the Nootkans built, was
as follows: and it does not seem quite so difficult
as getting the materials ready for use, which must in
their way, and with their means, have been a very
laborious process.
When a building was to^De erected, and the preparations, were made, the first step was to set two
l'arg& posts so far into the ground as to make them
sure to stand, and at such a distance from each
other, as to comprise the length of the house^-the
top of each post being hollowed out, so as to let the
end of a spar fit in and remain secure.
An immensely large and long spar was then laid
upon them to form the ridgepole of the house; but
if the length of the house required it, two additional posts were set up, so as to admit of the ridgepole
being formed of two spars, which was not un-
frequently the case, as the houses .were some of
them very long.
The king's house was one hundred feet long, and
the single spate that passed from end to end of it,
measured eight feet four inches in circumference.
The corner posts were to be set up next, marking the width of the house; but #ey were shorter
than those on which the ipdgepole rested, so as to
have another spar placed on each side of the first, 104
and a little lower, to give a slant to the roof of the
The spars^that -were to come under the eaves of
the bu#din^-were made flat on the upper side, with
a little rising edge left on the outer part, to prevent
the planks, of -which the covering 'of the house was
to be made, from sliding off.
When these side spars -were laid on the posts^me
bunders proceeded to laying on the roof, ^feie
planksyof which this was formed, were heavy, wif&
a broad feather-edge so as to lap; an Jiplaced one
end on the ridgepole, the other on the side beam,
closely lapped along, till one coat of the roof was
Another coat of planks was laid on so as to jut
over the eaves, or, beyond the ends of the first laying, in a way to exclude the rain entirely.
These were only fastened on by large rocks that
were laid upon tHerngbut they were often so insecure as to oblige the men {* go out and situpon th#
roofs of their houses, in a violent storm, «& keep
them from being blown away. CAPTIVE   Of  NOOTKA.
It seems to be reversing the common order of
things, to be sure, for a man to have to shelter, or
protect his house, instead of receiving protection
from it in a storm; but so it was with these poor,
uncivilized, untutored savages, who knew no b^£
ter way of fastening their buildings together.
A missionary among the Sandwich Islands, informs us that some of the natives set so high a
value on common nails, that when they have obtained a few from some vessel, they have been
known to plant ^em, in order to have a tree come
up and bear nails, not knowing how else they eould
be produced.
But the Nootkans had no nails to spring up from
their grounds, and if^pn any other way, they had
been furnished with enough for their buildings, it is
doubtful whether they would have condescended
to use them, so proud and tenacious were they of
their own -way in everything.
To form the side of the house, a doubI# row of
stancheons was s0 up, as high as the eaves, the
distance of each pair from the other, about as long 106
as the planks to be used, and the stakes of each
couple, just far enough apart to admit the width of
the plank.
The planks were then sli*Men hi between them,
resting one upon the edge of the other, till theflside
of the building -was sealed up.
There was but one entrance to the house, and
this commonly at the end; though that of Maquina's house was in the middle of the side.
They had no chimneys, or fire-places, but a few
stones put together to build the fire on, and a board
in the roof above it, so fixed as to be shoved aside,
-whenever they made a fire, and -wanted to let the
smoke out.
Through the middle of the building, there runs
along from end to end, a passage about eight fee*
wide, on each side of -which lived numerous fami4
lies, without any partition to mark their limit^
but all having their separate fire-places-^furtjf
ture, &c.
The earth formed the only ^|bor of these odd
habitations, and the only bed of their occupants, ca:
except a piece of bark matting which they spread'
down, and upon which they laid themselves to rest,
with only their clothing thrown over them for a co
The ridgepole of the king's house was painted
in alternate red and black rings, and the tops of
the posts were rudely carved and painted so as to
represent the heads of men of an enormous size.
This was done by way of embellishment to the
palace, and to distinguish the royal abode from
that of a subject.
A taste and a whim similar to that of the Indian
monarch, seems to have actuated the late noted
Timothy, (alias Lord,) Dexter, who, some thirty
years ago, or thereabouts, caused to be placed over
the arched door-way, and in the front yard of his
spacious house in Newburyport, Massachusetts,
numerous carved and painted images, clothed in
military, or other professional attire, that stood up
as large as life, on double rows of high pillars, each
labeled with a name, smeh as j Washington? i Hancock? l Adams? &c. 108
A few of these images remain to this day, th#
ridiculous and weather-beaten monuments of the
folly of him whose mortal form has crumbled, long
before them, into dust.
mmmmm 109
How they made boards at N&otka—their furniture—their manner of eating—their feasts—how they made cloth—their dress.
The manner in which the Nootkans prepared
their planks for building, was by splitting them out
from large pine logs, -which they did with hard
wooden wedges, and then reducing them to a proper
thickness by working on them with their chisels.
This was a labor that required much time and
patience, and the Indians must have obtained, not
only their food, but also their dwellings, by f the
sweat of the brow.'
Their houses were, none of them, more than ten
feet high, at the ridgepole, but, broad and long as
they were, they must have cost many a haissfc day's
work, with their boards procured by so slow and
toilsome a process.
John found that the furniture of one of these astSBeasSsSa
houses consisted neither in pieces of porcelain, alabaster, marble, polished mahogany, or gilt-work;
and that the royal establishment did not differ from
the others in its household gear.
All that these people seemed to want was just
enough for use ; and for this, veryiittle sufficed.
They had boxes in which to keep their clothes,
furs, and other articles which they wished to preserve
most carefully, formed^Df pin^and very smooth^
with covers to shut closely over and fastened on by
flexile twigs, instead of hinges and locks.
Sometimes these boxes were ornamented with,
rows of small -white^shells, that were brought up
from the sea in so cmj&us a way, that I shall hereafter describe it.
With baskets for their dried fish, and other pa**
poses, and bags of the bark matting, of which Ibey
also had a patch to sleep upon, the Indians had
tubs of an oblong square, and of various*? stees>
from six feet by four, down to a very small measure.
These tubs they used, too, for keeping their soft CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
provisions, for cooking, and many other Ipses.
They were formed by the chisel from square
Their dishes were only large trays, formed in a
similar manner, and about three feet long, one
wide, and eight inches deep.
Around one of these trays, filled with whatever
their meal happened to consist of, whether of stewed salmon, whale-blubber, herring-spawn, or something else 3|ts inviting, from four to six persons
generally seated themselves, on the ground, with
their legs classed and bent under them, to partake
of the repast.
They used nothing but their hands in eating,
Bailess the dish chanced to be a soup, or swimming
with oil f§in which case, each resorted to a clamshell as a vehicle to convey to his mouth, the aliment that might otherwise have slipped through
his fingers.
Their food consisted chiefly of fish of varjbus
kinds, clams, muscles, and a variety of wild berries, all of which, even to the delicate strawberrl^ 112
and raspberries, had to take a dressing of train-oil,
before they were eaten.
One way which the Nootkans had to cook a fish
was this: They put into the largest tub, water
enough to make their broth, and heating stones
very hot, put them into the water till it boiled, ^g
Then they cut off the head, tail, and fins of a
salmon, and la|d the fish in the water which -was
kept boiling by the stones from the fire, ^11 the
whole become thickened by the decomposed salmon ; and then it was taken out to be eaten, in, a
sort of unseasoned soup. This was with them a
favorite mess.
Another mode of their cooking was by steam.
This was done by building a large fire, upon which
a layer of stones was placed, which becoming well
heated through, were overspread -with green leaves
and pine boughs. Upon these the fish, muscles,
clams, &c., -were put and covered closely -with a
mat, to confine the steam, till the cooking was
In this way, the prisoners found the clams and CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
muscles were well done and tasted very good> and
the salmon was better than that done after the
other fashion.
They seldom cooked their food at Nootka in any
other than these two ways, though they sometimes
roasted herring and sprats, by spitting them on a
stick which they stuck into the ground, and .built a
fire round it. The roe of salmon Hhey supported
over the fire between the ends of two split pieces
of pine, till it was roasted.
At their meals, the king and chiefs had separate
trays, from which no one except the queen, or principal wife of the chief, was allowed to eat.
But whenever the king or one of the chiefs wished to confer a great mark of favor on one of the
people, he would call him to him and give him
some choice morsel from his tray.
The slaves, of which there were many, in the
village that had been captured from other tribes, in
time of war, fared as well as  their masters, eating
at the same time, and of the same food, but only
feeding from separate trays.
8 K 114
Whenever a feast, or a party, was given by a
king or a chief, a master of ceremonies was chosen,
who conducted the whole -with great decorum and
He received the guests as they entered the1 house,
and pointed out to each his place with^auch exactness and perfect order, as rardl*and standing -were
wHctly attended to on such occasions, and no one
was allowed to take a seat without f#gard to these.
This etiquette, as -well as many other usages of
these people concerning their dress and sintertain-
ments, one might almost view as a prophetical burlesque upon theftfefined ways of civilized life at a
more modern date.
Invitations to these feasts were often given to all
the people of the village; and in making prepara-
t jpns for it, a great quantity of food was cooked up
to waste. Excessive eating was a condition to be
complied with at one of these parties.
He who gormandized the most was considered
as enjoying the entertainment most highly, while-
the host felt that the height, pf his felicity depended CAPTIVE OF  NOOTKA,
on the height of the heaps of stewed fish, herring-
spawn, blubber, clams, &c., that he should set before his guests.
It was the custom, -when one of these entertainments -was over, for each one of the company to
$$&vey to his own house, all the food that remained
in his tray, after hH^had eaten what he could. The
king and the chiefs gave the contents of their trays
to their slaves, to be carried feme for them; but the
others tookf^ach his portion of the remains of the
feast, ^td managed to get home with it as well as
he could.
John and his companion made pretty awkward
work at first, in this kind of business; and they
felt very oddly carrying home, at arms-length, the
boiled fish and other food that they had received
where theftvisited.
But they soon became ai&ustomed to it, and
were very glad of what they could get in this way.
The manner in which these Indians prepared the
bark of trees, of which they made^ their cloth,
mats, baskets, die., was to soak it first, a fortnight, 116
and then beat it between a block fixed for the purpose, and an instrument of bone, or hard wood, till
all the brittle, crumbly part was separated from the
fine fibrous parts, and left it soft and^exible, in
fine, long threads, quite even and delicate.
These threads they parceled out, rolling each
bunch under the hand till it became closely combined in a little cord, and when a sufficient number
of these cords were made, they were laid close together, and a thread strong enough to hold them
fast to each other, inter-woven among them, somewhat in the way that our rush and cane window-
shades are made.
This web formed the cloth of -which thejgommon
people at Nootka made their dresses, and many
other articles.
If they wished to have their cloth variegated,
they stained the threads with the juice of berries,
or something else, before they -were woven.
Some of the dresses were painted with red ochre,
the better to keep outvie rain.
One garment generally constituted the dress, and CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
this was a sort of cloak or mantle, which they called kutsack-iQfae form I have before described.
The   bottoms   of^some   of these   dresses  were
painted,  and some ornamented with a border of
sea-otter skin, or a kind of gray cloth made of the
hair of some animal which was obtained from the
f^ibes farther at the south.
In the winter, they wore an additional garn#§ht,
when they went out. This was a sort of hood,
with a place so formed as to admit the head; and
large enough to come down behind over the shoulders ; and before, over the breast. It was tftmmed
all round with a border of fur.
The chiefs had kutsacks of sea-otter skin; but
these were only worn on great occasions. They
had also cloaks of the skin ill' a large animal, which
was brought to them by the Wickanninish tribe.
This skin was so^ressed as to be left in its perfect form, but with all the hair taken off in a way
that showed the skin white and soft as deer-skin,
but twice as thick.
When the skin was dressed, they painted it with 118
figures of various kinds, representing human heads,
moons, fishes, canoe^ and many other devices.
They called the name of this skin Metamelth.
It was apparently from an animal of the moose
The Indians prized it, or a dress of it, very highly,
and considered it too precious to be put on, except
when they -wanted to make the greatest display; it
was, therefore, considered as the war-dress of a
king or chief:
Strips of this skin weJlrcut and painted for girdles, borders for their cloaks, and bracelets for their
wrists and ankles.
The dress of the females differed very little from
that of the men. The chief dissimilarity between
them was, that the kutsack of the female was so
long as to reach the feet, and fastened close under
the chin; -while that of the men -was tied loosely
on one shoulder, and reached only below the knee.
When they went out on any excursion, particularly when whaling -was the object, they wore a
sort of cap, made of their cloth, in the form of a CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
sugar-loaf, with the point taken off, so as to make
the top flat.
A strip of the metamelth skin, ornamented with
rows of small white shells, was attached to it as a
The caps of the common people were painted
red; but those of the chiefs were diversified with
various colors. The one worn by the king, the
crown imperial, was larger than the others, and on
the top, had an ornament in form of an urn, to
finish it off.
In the front was painted a canoe, with i harpooner, in the prow, aiming, and ready to strike at
a whale. The other parts of the cap were laid in
plaits of alternate black and w^te. They called
this cap, Seeya-pocks. mmmtimmwmmimwmm^
Description of the Nootkans—their habit of painting ornaments—
manner of fishing for Ife-maw—continuation of remarks on
their personal decorations Sfc.—nose jewels.
The personal appearance'of the Indians of Nootka was found by our young hero more agreeable to
the eye than that of any other tribes that he saw.
They were well formed, straight, robust and
strong. The greatest defect^ba their proportions,
was in their legs and feet, and this seemed rather the
work of habit than of nature ; as it arose probably
from their mode oiisitting upon the feet, with the
legs bent under them, which gave them a heavy,
clumsy look.
When not disguised by paint, their faces, of a
coppery hue, and an oval form, were fine and intelligent.
Their eyes, bright and black, were rather smai;— CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA
the nose neither fiat nor too prominent;—their lips
thin and the teeth very sound and white. Their
hair was long, black and coarse. Their beards
were all plucked out by the roots, bearing no sign
of one, but making the faces smooth, among all the
men but the king, who had let his grow uncut,
upon the upper lip, in a mustachio, as a mark of
royal dignity and distinction.
The stature of the men was generally about five
feet, anditeom six to eight inches in height. But
one man of dwarfish growth, being the only instance of the kind that John saw, was thirty years
old, and only three feet, three inches high. He
was, however, well proportioned, and in good health.
The -women were much lighter in their complexions than the men; many of?#iem not being darker
than the women in some parts of the South of Europe. They were ver^modest in ^eir deportment,
and many of them quite beautiful. Their hair
was much finer than that of the men, and they
took great pride in it.
Maquina's favorite wife, the mother of Sat-sat, 122
was a Wickannindsh princess, and a woman whom
John thought, would have been called handsome in
any country. She was tall and majestic in her
figure, of quite a j^ht complexion; her features were
finely formed, and her eyes soft and languishing.
The women were much neater in their habits
and about their persons than the men; and one
way in which their dress differs, -which I forgot to
mention before, is, that the former had sleeves to
their kutsacks, that -were large and loose, and
reached to the elbows.
The men were very fond of painting their faces
andiimbs, and they -would often spend much time
in performing this favorite business of the toilette.
And, after great patience hi layjng on the* paint, in
such- colors and figures as they had chosen, if the
face|#ius coated did not happen to suit its posses?
sor, he would wasl|g|$ all clean, and begin luft, daub-
The women used very little paint, only drawing
a black, curved hue over each eyebrow, and a
bright red streak from each corner of the mouth, CAPTIVE   OF  NOOTKA.
towards the ear; but they were very fond of ornaments, such as ear rings, finger rings, necklace^
bracelets, nose jewels, &c.
Many of these ornaments wer4 made of brass
and copper; but the wives of the king and chiefs
had their nose jewels and neckl#ses of a small
-white shell, that formed a kind of bead, and when
strung in rows, it looked very beautiful.
This shell which they called Ife-maw, they valued
very highly. It was about as large ro^d as a
goose quill; and three inches long; of a cylindi|ji|fe
form, a little curved, and tapering gradually to a
point at the ends, which were broken off by the natives, so as to admit of its being run on a string.
It was of a polished smoothness and white as snow,
and formed a very handsome ornament.
The ife-maw formed a sort of money among the
natives; and!five fathoms of it, strung oijtthreads
of bark, was the price of a slave, which they held
as very valuable property.
It was brought to Nootka pMncipallyply other
iibes, as very little of it could be found there; but
mmm 124
it was taken in great abundance, though with much
labor and difficulty, from among the reefs of rocks
on the coast about^fety miles beyond.
The ife-maw fisher went to his -work in the following way: A number o# sharp pine pegs being fastened in the end of a piece of plank, so as to form
a set of teeth, unfastened on the plank, a stone or
some other weighty matter, so as to carry it down
in the water. Then he fastened the plank to one
end of a pole, to the other end of which he tied a
line of such a length that he could let it down, or
take it up at wilL
Provided with this odd sort of a machine the
Indian went out in bis canoe, skimming round the
reefs whesfe he thought the shells grew.
He let down his plank, as if sounding, till it touched the bottom, and then lifting it and letting it fall
several times, would at length, bring it up with the
shells fastened on the ends of the pegs.
But the ife-maw fisher earned his treasures by
much toil, for he would often work a great while
to bring up a few shells, as there would frequent-
ly come up, not more than two or three at a
In additiip to painting their faces, sometimes,
one half red, and the oth|§r black, and sometimes
all over in small checks, the men of Nootka had
another -way of dressing them, that was certainly
very showy, to|£ay the least; but the privilege of
doing this was not allowed to any but the chiefs.
Afte^preading the face all over with bear's oil,
they strewed it with a fine, black, shining powder,
t|k it quite covered it, and sticking to the oil, sparkled in the sun, and glittered like silver.
When people are insincere, or unequal in their
spirits, or behavior, we often hear it figuratively
said of them, that they have two faces. But these
whimsical Indians had, literally, many faces, or
rather, many dresses for the face, and they changed
them, as capriciously as a fashionable belle will
change her ball-dress.
This shining powder, which the Nootkans valued very highly, they called pelpelth^ It was
brought to them in bags, by one of the tribes at the
1 126
North, who gathered it among the rocks, and sold
it at a high price.
From this tribe which bear the name of Newche-
mass, they obtained also their finest paints.^
Though the natives employe^ so much paint
about their persons, as it was put on "with oil, their
habit of going into the sea water every day, to
bathe, dM not injure it much, if any; and whenever they wanted to remove the paint^they would
go to a place where there was fresh -water, and
scrub themselves with sand and rushes.
When going to a fes#val, or on any great occasion, the Indians spent much time, not only in preparing their faces, but also in dressing the head,
which was done in the following way:
The hair, being liberally oiled, was drawn up,
smooth and carefully, on the top of the head, and
fastened in a tuft, with a large green branch of
spruce or pine, with all the leaves on, confined in if^
and touched with turpentine or gum, so as to make
the white down with which it was to be powdered,
Then, the head and branch were carefully ornamented by a semi-covering of the said white down,
which was obtained from the eagles tfiit inhabited
the coast in great numbers.
This must have been a fanciful, and somewhat
tasteful head-dress; if not as costly as a whole bird
of Paradise, -worn by a fashionable lady, it was certainly not a more odd or strange imagination for
head gear; and if a beautilal, fair face had been
beneath it, it might have had quite an effect.
The white down of the eagle, and the fresh* green
branch- from the forest, seemed to be quite tastefully
chosen, and they might have set well above the
prelfy face of a whh#lady, who in giving up her
bird, with its sweeping trail, tdi perch upon the
head of the Indian, above his painted or shining,
plaistered face, -would have made no bad exchange,
and put things more in keeping.
Or, if a lady would even set out the tree#iS8N16
her head, and then let the bird light upon it, it
would seem more like nature; and nature appears
to be the object when one carries an entire fowl 128
about upon the uppermost part of the person, however much art may be employed in placing and
displaying the beautiful specimen of the workmanship of its Maker.    ^
The men as well as the women of Nootka, wore
bracelets of painted leather and copper, and nose
jewels of various materials, and formed in divers
shapes ; such as hearts, diamonds, &c.
The chiefs, beside the brass and copper ornaments for the nose, had also a bright bluish-colored shell, of a twisted, conical form, and about
half an inch long, which they wore suspended by a
wire, or a thread, that went through the gristle of
the nose, in a hole that, made in infancy for the
purpose, was kept open by means of a wooden pin,
and enlarged till it became of the size of the pipe
stem, in diameter.
The common people, who could not afford to
wear a more expensive ornament, had, many of
them, smooth sticks of wood, polished for the purpose, which, passing through the perforated place,
came out on each side, several inches beyond the
Thompson used to call the wearers of these
strange ornaments, I Sprit-sail-yard fellows;' and
as he saw one of them coming towards him, with
an air of importance which seemed to him proportionate to the length of the stick, he would hold up
his hand so that the stick should come violently
against it in passing, to the no small discomfort of
its wearer's nose. This, he said, he did, l in order
to brace them up a little to the breeze.'
Of the religion—the government—certain offices—the disposition of the natives—their oratory—their diseases^ curest Sfc.—
the climate.
Before our narrative is resumed, it may be well
to say something concerning the religion, government, &c. of the people whom it concerns.
John found that the Nootka Indians had a belief
in a Supreme Being, whom they called Quahootze ;
and -who, they said, was one great Tyee, the greatest of all kings.
They said he nved in the sky;—that he gave
them all their fish, and could -withhold it or take it
from them when he pleased.
They usually went alone into a retired place in
the woods, or into the water, to -worship, and offer
up their prayers. Whenever they bathed, they
addressed a prayer, in a few -words, to God, entreating him to preserve their health and to bless their
labors while fishing, to give theiS^ success in whaUr
ing, "war, and other enterprises. .
Whenever they -were going to war, or a whaling,
their prayers always seemed to be offered with
more fervor and energy, than at any other time.
When they went intoJ#ie -woods for devotional
purposes, they often retired to the distance of a
mile or two; and this secrecy, .T3hn sometimes suspected, arose from their wc^ii to address God on
ffecount of some fiamily or private quarrel, in such
a way, or with such requests, as they wanted to
keep from all human ears.
He once found a woman in the forest, two miles
from the village, kneeling, with her eyes closed
and her-faee turned upward, towards heaven, uttering in a lamentable tone, a prayer, in which she repeated with great fervor, Wocash Ah- Welth ? (good
Lord.) He came close to her, but she seemed wrapped in her devotions, and insensible to every thing
around her.
The women frequently retired in this way; and
wher#%hey returned to tlsikvillage, their silence and 132
melancholy looks told on what their minds had
been employed.
When the Nootkans were going§fe> war with
pother tribe, they passed much time in the water,
where they scrubbed themselves from head to foot,
with bushes and briers till they were covered with
blood, while all the time they repeated a prayer,
that may be translated thus:
' Great God ! let me live—not be sick—find the
enemy—not fear hin#—find him asleep, and Mil a
3§teat many many of him.'
Independent of this scratching ceremony," which
was done by -way of hardening them for war, the
idea of their going into the sea to worship God,
had a good deal of beauty and sublimity in it. It
was certainly a noble temple that they chose, in
this, as well as in the forest, which was also a
grand sanctuary wj£h many firm pillars, beautiful
curtains, and filled with the sounds of music from
the voices of the birds and the sweeping of the
winds. p?j
The parents of twin children, the natives consid- CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA. 133
Ml . .   -&->-*t-~* ^ -■ » ■^*-'-—«»*—»
ered as being lavored with some peculiar notice
and with special communication from Quahootze,
and their persons were held as too sacred to mingle
with others at their festivals, orpto do any labor
for two years.
During this time, they lived secluded lives, being
provided with foodphy the others; and wearing no
ornaments, they kept away fronilall amusements,
and became recluse in everything.
The father wore around his head a red fillet as a
sign of solemnity, an#always appeared serious and
thoughtful. He became a^kind of priest, and went
daily to the mountain with a chief's rattle in his
hand, to pray Quahootze to bring fish into their
waters, and to sing and make music to him with
the rattle.
He never went out, except on such an errand as
this, and to sing and perform religious rites and
ceremonies over the sick.
The government of the Nootka Indians Was
vested inlia hereditary king, and descended to his
tstm 134
eldest male heir.    But in case of his dying without
a son, it went to his brother.
The king had no legal right over the property of
his  subjects,  nor did it appear that he expected
them to contribute to his support any more tharfrffe
that of each other.
But he was the head of their councils, and their
leader in war, in the management of -which, his
power was absolute.
The right of holding slaves was shared between
him and the chiefs, but the subject did not possess
this privilege. The slaves were people taken in
war, from other tribes, and considered jfee king's
property, which he divided, according to his own
judgment among the chiefs, and with due regard
to their rank and merits.
At the age of seventeen, the eldest son of a chief
was considered a chief himself; and whenever a
father, who was a chief, made a present, it was
always done in the name of feis eldest son.
The   chiefs   frequently  purchased   their  wives CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
when they were not more than eight or nine years
old, to prevent their, being engaged to others; but
they remained with their parents till sixteen, or
Among^hemselves, the Nootkans seemed $>acific-
and inoffensive, and .manifested naturall^^good
tempers. Quarrels seldom occurred between any
of them.
But if they happened to get a little offended, they
had a way of seeming terribly enraged, which appeared to be rather a matter of fashion than of
ypiis they did by kicking, spitting, foaming at
the mouth, and stamping with great fury.
An exhibition of this sort was made more by
custom, and for effect, than for any feelings of
malignity|g>and tiiQgpsame show of conduct was
carried on in their assem^Mag^:-for public speeches,
where, |ge who raved and stampeffcrwith the most
violence, and Went through the greatestdvar|g;y of
contortions, was considered the greatest €a*ator.
The  people of Nootka were very healthy, and
i 136
seldom had any disease among them, but the cholic,
-which they commonly cured by rubbing the bowels
of the parent, till the pain was allayed.
They cured the rheumatism by scarifying the
part affected; and their only remedy for a "wound
was, to wash it in salt water, and bind it up with
a piece of bark, or cloth.
They were very skilful in the management of
dislocated or fractured limbs, and when they were
set and properly dressed, they took great care to
have them supported by Mocks, in a right position,
and they had generally perfect success in performing the cure.
In cases of sickness, -while those who performed
the office of physician and nurse, were busy in
their respective ways, the holy man, or conjuror,
-was employed in going through cerlban strange
gestures, repeating his words of wisdom, singing
and blowing, to blow off the evil spirit. If it was
a^ase of cholic, the patient, after going through the
rubUpg, was wrapped in a bear skin, to produce
perspiration. CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
With such treatment the sick generally recovered, .andiifc death among them, -where the population
was about fifteen hundred, was a thing of rare
occurrence. The natives commonly lived to be
very oW$
The climate at Nootka, and the neighboring region, -was found by ou$fe adventurers, to be very
mild. The spring, summer and autumn were uncommonly delightful; and the winter, which did
not set in till the last of December, was short, and
not at all severe. Witter seldom froze to a depth o£z
more than three inches, and the snow, in its greatest fall, was not more than four inches deep.
But what didnot^Mfrin snow, did m rain; for it
frequently rained during the?winter months, fivf|©r
?ix days in succession.
■■#Sk-     '. 138
Population of Nootka—making of canoes—pursuit of &ea-otters
—description of one—the Indian's fish-hook and fishing—
Maquina's household-—instruments of music.
I have stated that > the inhabitants of Nootka
were about fifteen hundred, and the buildings were
about twenty in number.
But, besides the Nootka tribe, there was a
small tribe whom they had conquered and ^nade
subject to them, and who inhabited a cluster
of small houses, that stood near the other twenty
of the village.
This tribe was called Klahars. They lived
by themselves, but had no chiefs of their own,
being wholly under Maquina's government.
I dare say, my young reader, that you are
now  growing impatient to have  me resume the
thread of my story, and that you thinkfl have
made&gt very long digression from it.
And so I feave, but it has enabled you to
understand the better, what sort of a place John
was in, what kind of people he was among, and
how many odd ways and whpis he had to
conform to, in his new condition, where he had
literally f new lords and new laws.'
Hou can now imagine just^iow one of the
Indians looked when dressed for an excursion, or
decked out for a feast.
You nowijfwant to be told how they made their
canoes; for they were things of so much importance that we shall often make mention of thensjif
The first step towards this work, was to fell a
tree, by working round it with till chisel, which,
was a very slow and laborious business, especially
when they wanted a canoe of the largest kind,
for they made them of all size's, from that which
would contain only one man, up t^ltene that would
\fhe largest f|ere the %ar canoes.    Retook three
Indians about a day, to fell a tree, which being
done, they took of the trunk, the length they
-wanted, and then dug it out -with their chisels
inside, and fashioned it to their minds on the out-
They then put light com^istibles round, and
in it, and made a blaze, which toot#off all the
loose splinters, and left it quite black. The next
step was to rub it hard all over, with a piece of
matting, till it became quite smooth and polished.
The inside waStthen painted red, with red ochre,
andltthe figure of a bird, such as a duck or sonS^
other "water-fowl formed of separate pieces of
wood and painted, and then divided and fastened
on,^ae head part on the prow, and the tail, on the
stern of the canoe.
The war-canoes were painted on the outsicfe^
with white chalkjltin figures representing men's
heads, moons, eagles, whales, &e.
The others were ornamented with double rows^of
while shells, that formed a kind of bead-work all
round themj and had a very pretty effect as they CAPTIVE   OF  NOOTKA. 141 |||
were skimming along over the surface of the waters, looking like things half bird, half fish. :^f
The Indians used the paddle with great dexterity, and gliding swiftly oger the waves, kept
time to its stroke by some wild musical strains.
They always had a song for every jifgjcasion, which
varied}^ according to the nature of the business oi|r
the excursion.
John used frequently to go out with them in
these light skimmers of the sea; and we will now
|ipaagine him with a company of natives dressed
astlhey have been described, and topped off with
their sugar-loaf caps, going out in pursuit of the
This animal was to John apvery beautiful sight
as it sported round the canoes, and would dive
suddenly under water, and come out some where at
a distance, asaM playing at bo-peep. |g|
He found the length of the otter to be about
six feet from the head to the tip of the tail.||It was
of a beaufitful glossy black all ogpr except a white
stripe on the top of the head, and a little^tip of it  ||i
■M Ill   •llfMlBWl'hMl
on the end of the tail, which tapered off to a point;
but it was thick and bushy near the body.
As the otter swam along, -with its head entirely above water, having between its ^Miarp, upright
ears a tuft of long hair that stood erect, and made
its head look as if it had three short horns, John
thought he had never seen a more beautiful^pbject.
The skin^f this creature was considered very
valuable by the natives. The young sea-otters
were so exceedingly small, that when John first
saw them he was puzzled to make out what they
could be.
A troop of them came swimming beside or
round the old one, and were not larger than rats,
and our hero, after some time, discovered it to
be ^mother jmih her family of baby ottersji|pb«a|^
followed her through "tibafewaves as the chickens follow the hen over the field.
The fish-hook used by the natives when John
went among them, was formed by a sharp-bearded
piece of bone inserted in a piece of w$od, and
bound in by a string of whale-sinew; but when OF NOOTKAl
they found how much faster they could take the
fish with the iron hooks that he made, they were,
for once, willffitg to give up their own old way, and
use the new-fashioned hook.
In fishing for salmon, they baited the hook with a
sprat, and fastening the line to the end of the paddle with which they sped their canoe, let it down,
and kept it in motion as if aliveflunder the water,
till the salmon snapped at it and was caught by
the hook.
In taking the whale %iey were very dexterous.
To ykilfnhim, they struck at him with a kind of
javelin or harpoon of their own invention, and made
of wood, bone, shell, and whale sinew.
The whale was considered by them as the royal
mark, and no person, however near he 'might be,
was permitted to strike at him, till the king's harpoon had first drawn blood. It was held-%s a
sacrilegious deed for a common person to strike the
king's fish before his majesty and the Ale^s%ad
killed him.
I do not know exactly how large a number of 144
people comprised the family in which our *friends
John and Thompson had%to live; ^it the slaves
alone, of Maquina's household, -were about fifty,
including male and female, some of which were
purchased from other tribes, and some were taken
in war.
I have alluded to the music of the Nootkans,
but not particularly. Their tunes were soft and
plaintive, and ver^harmonious.
When they sang, their voices were accompanied
by some rude kind of instrument. Their drum, I
think, I have described. The noise it made was
similar to that of thejjpnipty cask when the head is
drummed on, and veg|. loud.
The rattle and pipe, or whistle, were the king's
instruments, and only used by him and the chiefs,
or some honorable personage.
The rattle was formed of a piece of seal-skin, in
the shape of a fish, and painted red. The inside
contained small pebbles enough to make the music,
and it had a handle by which it was held and
I sufepect it was as noisy a fish as ever#iad%
being, and that it was longer in motion than any
other t fish out of water.' §1*
The whistle was made of a short piece of the
leg-bone of a deer; and sent forth a sprightly,
shrill sound. Thus, a part of the animal's leg kept
going^when the rest of him had long been, as the
chemist would say, * decomposed;' and, like the
farmer's boy that the poet describes, it f whistled as
it went, for want of thought'
The Nootkans were, on the whole, a queer set of
people; and they might truly be said to have
\ sought out many inventions,' though some of
these were nut the wisest in the world.
Another sort of instrument that they used, was a
sort of castanet, formed of cockle-shells, tied together and shaken to a tune which the musician sung.
This, I think, was quite a pretty fancy; and I
suspect it originated in the head of some poetical
10 N 146
Different tribes of natives—some of their customs—dressing for
a visit—manner of making a bargain—lodging of the visit*
ers—their arms.
So many different tribes of natives came to visit
those of Nootka, that our captives had an opportunity of observing a great variety of manners and
looks, some of which were disgusting, some terrific,
and others very amusing.
The Wicka?i?iiMsh was the tribe to which IT-ya-
&7ikla-no, the mother of Sat-sat, and Maquina's
favorite Arcomah, or queen, belonged. She -was
the daughter of their king.
They lived at the north, about two hundred
miles from Nootka, and had among them, from ^x
to seven hundred warriors. In their persons, they
were robust, and in their spirit, very courageous.
They had broad faces, but heads that, from their,
manner of pressing and binding them when young,
rose high, somewhat in the sugar-loaf form. They
often visited Nootka, and a close friendship subsisted between the two nations.
The Kla-iz-zarts belonged about three hundred miles to the south, and were a numerous
and powerful tribe, having nearly a thousand warriors.
They were more neatly dressed, were more
pleasing and mild in^their manners, and appeared
more civilized than any other tribe. They were
sprightly, and affable, and much celebrated for
their singing and dancing.
Their canoes were more finely finished and
ornamented, and all their workmanship manifested
greater skill than appeared in any other tribe.
Their complexions were fairer than those of
Nootka, their noses not so prominent, and their
eyes smaller. Their heads were flattened on the
top, as if pressed by a weight; and their stature
was rather shorter than that of the Nootkans.
They had   one  practice not  followed  by Uny CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
other tribe; it was that of plucking out,-not only
their beards, but their eyebrows aim, so as not to
leave a sign of it remaining.
They manifested more tast© and sfall, Utan any
others, in decorating and painting their persons,
and some of them would have a dozen holes in
their ears, through which they passed little strings
of beads about twp inches long, and of various
These people were great whalers, and very expert in taking the sea-otter, the metamelth, and the
beaver. Of the hair of the latter, and that of the
tiger-cat, they manufactured a handsome kind of
gray cloth.
The HJskqtiates were a tribe about as large as
the Wickanninish, and -were tributary Ijb Maquina.
The Aitizzarts were, a smaller tribe, who were
also tributary to Nootka, and greatly resembled its
inhabitants in their appearance and practices.
They lived about forty miles up the sound.
Farther to the nortjiward were the Cayuquets, a
more numerous tribe than the Nootkans, by whom CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
they were considered such bad warriors, and so deficient in courage, that they said they had little
hearts, like those of birds.
John saw a great many tribes of which I shall
not make particular mention; but of all that he
saw, the most ugly and frightful looking, were the
Newchemass, who lived at a great distance inland.
Their complexions were darker, their hair coarser,
and their stature shorter than those of any others ;
and they were extremely squalid about their persons.
Their beards grew long like a Jew's : their dress
was a kutsack of wolf skin, with tails hanging
from top to bottom of the garment. Sometimes,
they wore a mantle of cloth. Their hair was left
to hang down loose behind; but that on the other
parts of the head was brought round the forehead
like a fillet, and confined by a strip of cloth, ornamented with rows of shells.
Their weapons were the Cheetoolth, or war club, 150 CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA,
formed of whale bone, daggers, and bows and arrows, and a bone or copper spear.
The merchandise they brought to trade withj
was the shining black mineral which I have
spoken of by the name of pelpelth, which sparkled
on the Indian faces; some wolf skins, dried salmon,
tfee roe of fish, red paint, clams, and a^coarse
As they had to come a great distance, and a part
of it by land, they used to make longer visits at
Nootka, than any"* father tribe, in order to recover
from their fatigue. On these occasions, they
joined in the amusements and taught their own
songs, &c. to the Nootkians.
The things wf*||h other tribes brought for sale,
or for presents, were principally train-oil, whale or
seal blubber, fish of various kinds, clams, muscles,
a kind of fruit called ^yama, that was pressed and
dried, cl$th, otter skins and slaves.
They also brought the Ife-maw, wild ducks, and
& very pleasant kind of root, called Quanoose.
This root seemed to take the place of the potato. CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
It was pear-shaped, and about as large a$ a small
onjfen. It was brought in baskets, all ready cooked
by steam, and fit for eating, and was sweet, mealy,
and pleasant to the taste.
But the depraved taste of the natives would not
be satisfied, even with this delicious root, without
the dressing of train-oil to make it go down well.
Many of these things were offered to Maquina
as tributary gifts in token of his superiority; but
the cunning ones who brought them usually took
good care to get full their worth, and sometimes
more, in presents from the king and his people.
When a company of visitors came, there was always a great feast made for them, and tub after
tub was filled with blubber, roe, salmon, &c. of
which all the men, women and children of the village were invited to partake.
As they had no intoxicating liquors, and knew
no way of making any, their intemperance on these
occasions was shown by inordinate eating^Hheir
drink being only water.
The visitors, when they got within a fewlrniles 152 CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
of the village, used to stop under the lee of some
high rock, and attend to the toilette. Here they
dressed themselves for the party, in all their best
attire, and put on their best1|jaces, by painting,
oiling, p^vdering, &c.
They did as many others do, -when going to a
party; they put on all their ornaments, took great
pains to dress their heads, and to make a dazzling
appearance; an attempt not always confined to
those only, who are going to the king's festival.
On arriving at the shore, they were met by the
4pgLg> who firs^^vited them to eat; when they
brought him such goods as they supposed he wish-
fed to receive. After this, other natives were allowed to purchase, the strangers taking good care
to keep their merchandise under guard in their
canoes, till sold, to avoid their being stolen by the
light-fingers among the natives, whA considered
pilfering no sin if it was not discovered.
\ But when some particular purchase was the object of the new comer, he would keejyhis canoe a CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA,
little off from the shore, and send forward an ambassador, tricked out in his best, and with his
head touched off with the white $©wn, to stand
in the^prow and display his goods, making known
the purpose of their owner and the price that he
was willing to give in sucB articles as were shown,
for the purchase he wished to make.
If the bargain was agreed on, the exchange was
made at once.
On visits either of friendship or trade, none of
the strangers, except the kings and chiefs, were
allowed to sleep on shore; and they lodged at the
king's house. The Others passed the night in their
canoes. This was partly for the preservation of
their own goods from the inhabitants, and partly
an arrangement of theirs, to prevent danger to
themselves and their property from their crafty and
thievish visitor^
These people were always armed; the commoners, with a dagger, slung at the neck, and
hanging behind by a strip of metamelth, and sometimes with a bow and arrows; but the latter had
■MM*! mS f*HWl*       ■-*■
almost grown out of use, in consequence of the
introduction of fire arnui among them.
The chiefs, in addition to the dagger, wore the
eheetoolth, or war club, of which I have spoken.
This weapon, made of the bone of a whale, with
a blade eighteen inches long, three broad, and very
heavy, was a powerful thing in the hand of a strong
man. The blade -was thick in the middle, but thin-
ned off to an edge on each side, and expanded in
width towards the end, to increase the force of
It was covered with figures, such as, the sun,
moon, men's heads, and other devices of curious
inventions"; and the hilt wrought in the form of a
human head, was faneh%lly inlaidkwith shells, and
had a strip of metamelth fastened to itj $gy which to
sling it over the shoulder.
They had, also, a sort of spear, headed with copper, or the bone of the sting-ray, which was a
weapon of great destruction when wielded by one
of a firm hand and bold spirit. 155
Place of retirement for worship—its scenery—the Sabbath-
ship seen—a thunder storm—hard fare—arts of other native's
*P^a young girl tries to win John—the Nootkans remove to
*Mnnter quarters—the place.
During all this exhibition of new faces, new
modes, and new things, John and his companion
fared better than they could have expected at the
beginning ofltieir sorrows.
But day after day did their longing %yes stretch
out their sight in vain over the great waters, to
catch a glimpse #^ome sail that might give them
a gleaming hope of deliverance.
About a mile from the village there was a beautiful fresh-water pond, of a quarter o# a mile in
breadth, and surrounded by a forest of evergreen
trees.    The pond was smooth and clear as cryftal,
and th# fores%free of all annoyance from underwood or ^ramble.
It was filled with the music of a thousand birds,
and beautiful with their gay and diversified plumage. The bright little humming-birds came to it,
as a favorite resort; and "they were seen hovering
round the low flowers, or pending from the green
boughs, like jewels kept in motion by some power
of the airy element.
This pond was seldom visited by the native!,
except for the purpose o#taking off a coat of paint.
It furnished, therefore, a calm and delightful retreat
to our captives, who used to retire to it every Sunday, and after bathing freely in its waters, and
exchanging their garments for the clean ones that
they had before washed in it, and left on its margin
to dry, they spent the rest of the day in devotion to
Him, whom it wal their chief consolation to find
was the God of the wilderness, as well as of the
garden and the city.
They took their Bibl#and Prayer Book with
-theai, and, seated under a noble, ifenbrageoufe pdfti^' CAPTIVE   OF  NOOTKA. 157
John read aloudj|while Thompson listened, and the
feathered multitude performed the part of choir, in
singing praises to their Maker.
This scene of worship and supplication, in such
a solitude, presents a sublime and beautiful picture
to the imagination. The speaker and his single
auditor just made up one of the numbers to whom
our Savior has promised his presence and his blessing, when they meet together in his name.   ,
And here in this lonely wild, trodden only by the
feet of the savage, and the beast of the forest were
these unfortunate men thrown, to learn, in the
bosom of nature, the value of the Bible and the
consolations of the Christian religion.
John felt the parting advice of his good father
written on his heart; and the promises of Him,
who used to go himself into the forest, and on the
mountains, to pray, were kept in his bosom, whispering peace to his soul, amid all the horrors of
captivity, and the hopelessness of theputward cir-
cumstances^hat surrounded him.
God, who declares that the hearts of kings are in JEWETT AND THOMPSON KEEPING THE SABBATH. CAPTIVE OF  NOOTKA.
his hands, here showed, that civilized royalty was
not alone comprehended in the declaration. His
power was manifested on the heart of the red
monarch of the wood. ^Maquina, when he learnt
that the purpose for which his prisoners retired on
fitje Sabbath was to worship their God, felt too great
a reverence for the object to have their devotions
interrupted, oliipforbid them the privilege of going
by themselves, for the purpose of communing with
the great Being whom they adored.
Some time in July, %ope Suddenly flashed into
the heart of John and his new father, from a distant
sail^p^t appeared for a few minute^ but it passed
on without coming near the land, and all was
gloom again, as it respected the prospect of seeing a
Christian face.
A few days after this, there came up a violent
thunder storm. The people of the village all fled
from their own houses, and hurried le that of their
king, where, instead of going within for shelter,
they got on the roof of the house, seating them-
I Kta
selves as thick as they could, and have room to
The king commenced drumming and singing, and
looking up to the sky, anql all the people joined in,
making a most tremendous noise with their sticks
on the boards, and their loud vociferations, while
they entreated Quahootze not to kill them.
This religious ceremony, expressive of fear and
supplication, was kept up till the storm had subsided.
Things went on in rather- a monotonous manner,
till towards the decline of siunmer, when the khig
and his me% going out for whaling on the coast,
left the prisoners at home, for fear that they might
escape to some other tribe on the*||oast, if permitted to go with^them.
Meantime, as the women seldom cooked much
-when the king and the men were gone, the prisoners often found themselves brought to a scanty fare,
and felt the cravings of hunger.
Sometimes they were fortunate enough to procure
a good piece of salmon, which they would boil in
salt water, with a few nettles for greens, and some
scattering turnips and onions, which they gleaned
from the remains of the Spanish garden, and with
these, in secret, make up quite a comfortable meal.
They often heard from the tribes of the north and
south, who came to Nootka, stories of vessels that
were seen coming t#land, along their coast, and
were advised to go withltthem, with the promise
that they would protect and see them safe on board
one that might carry them to their country.
But these accounts they found were all false, and
only a lure held out by these crafty savages, to get
them out of Maquina's hands into their own, for
slaves. Yet, preferringglto remain with present
evils, to going where their- situation might be rendered worse, they turned a deaf ear to these persuasions, iifi
Among other inducements offered to John, to
make his es§ape from Nootka, a young lady of the
forest took it into her head to fall greatly in love
with him; and thi^young lady was a princess too,
belonging to a powerful tribe.
1 u r "■ o  ■■ Wmm
^ie was a daughter of the Wickanninish king,
and younger iister of Maquina's queen. She was
a beautiful Indian gSl^fuite fair, and of fine ^features ; but she had received an injury in one of her
%yes, that had impaired the sight. This, Maquina
told John, would forever prevent her being married ; as a defect of this kind was an insuperable
objection to a female, in the view of an Indian -who
-was choosing a wife.
But the young one-eyed beauty thought she
would outwit the fastidious beaux of her own color,
by securing to herself a white companion.
She therefore flattered and coaxed John to go
with hjer to her father's people, telling him he -would
there have better food and clothing, and kinder
treatment; and that if he wished it, they would
put him into a vessel and let him go home.
She asked him about his friends, m his own country ; and if he had not a mother and sister who
Would mourn for hini till he retorted.
But, as John had no idea of ingrafting himself
as a branch into the re^al family of the wood, he CAPTIViE  OF  NOOTKA.
decidedly declined all the splendor of such an alliance, and rejec^lft the offer with the firmness of a
true philosopher; and the Wickanninish fair was
left to bemoan * ellifcappointed hopes. The name
of this princess was Yuqua.
Early in September, the Nootkans made preparations to depart from this, their summer residence,
ISlplant themselves for the autumn and winter on
a^less expose#and more agreeable spot, according
to their usual custom; their village being located
where the winds were cold, and brought the storms
from the sea ini|{>on them.
The places to which they resorted at these seasons, were Tashees and Cooptee. The latter place
was about thirty miles up the sound, and lay in a
deep bay; but it was very difficult of access by
canoes, on account of the reefs of dangerous rock
that lay in the way.
Tashees was noWar liom it, and situated in a
small hollow at the foot of a mountain, on the south
This place afforded a beautiful view of romantic
scenery, that was very pleasant to the eye; and
the noise of theVivulets and cascades, that rippled
and sparkled on the sides of the mountains, addressed the ear with a native and inimitable music.
The spot on which the town stood, with its
houses in a sttsing like &iese of Nootka, was level,
the soil good; and a noble river, about twenty rods
vide, rolled by it.
The buildings here were not so large as those aj;
Yootka, and the people had to accommodate each
other as well as they could by stowing closely together. One great object in the choice of this spot,
was the facility it afforded the natives for procuring
their winter provisions.
A lofty range of high hills ran along on each
side of Tashees, covered with bea^ful forest trees,
and extending inland to a great distance.
J !
The scene of departure,—conveyance of their infants—an anecdote of St. John's Indians—passage to Tashees—arrival and
business there—manner of taking roe fish, <SfC.—how they were
' && ... ' -
cured and cooked—John's condition.
The time of preparation for leaving Nootka presented a busy, bustling scene, and one that would
have greatly amused the captives, had they beheld
it for the first time, under happier circumstances
than now attended them.
If it was not, literally, plucking up stakes, it
was plucking off boards; for, even the coverings of
their houses were stripped away, to load the canoes,
and be carried with them, to lay on the roofs and
inclose the sides of the habitations they were going
to occupy.
Thus, they removed and changed the-outside of
their buildings as   they did  their own  garments,
mm MM—i i air-    i ¥-t I in m
to suit their convenience, leaving only the posts
standing in the place they were about to desert till
they returned to it hi another season.
Boxes, baskets, tubs, men, women and pappooses
were all huddled together into the canoes and the
long-boat of the ship, which, having been repaired
and furnished with a sail by Thompson, was loaded
as deep as she could swim, and put under the management of the prisoners, the natives finding themselves rather green hands at steering the boat.
Having got all their worldly goods afloat, they
pushed off from shore, turning their backs on the
naked posts of their town, that stood looking like
The infant children, for transportation in a removal of this sort, were laid into little bark cradles, or
hammocks, about six inches deep, and just long
and wide enough to contain them. They were
then laced in, by a string passing through the edges
of their vehicle and slung at the backs of the^
I believe it is a general practice among all our CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA,
Indians, to lace their young infants flat upon their
backs, in a straight position, to a piece of board or
in a cradle of this sort, in order to have their forms
erect, -when they grow up. This is thought to be
the reason whyihe savages are generally so well
shaped and erect.
I once saw, among a company of St. John's Indians, an infant only a few days old, laced down in
this way to a sma|| piece ^f board, as closely as a
little fish, pegged down to dry.
l*Lwent with several friends to visit the encampment, which was in an extensive cleared ground,
about an eighth of a mile from the road. As we left
our carriages by the road-side to enter the field,
we perceived near the wall, a little savage£;about
four years old, who had strayed away from the
wigwamju and was peeping at us through the crevices between the stones.
One of our company smacked his whip suddenly
at him to startle him; at which he was so affrighted, that he took to his little red heels, and went
full speed, and screaming, to the wigwams; and 368
we lost sight of him among the others at the encampment, which we did not reach till some time
after he had got safe home.
The Indians treated us very civilly, as -we went
round from one habitation to another; showing
us their basket-stuff, &c. and letting us sireep, one
at a time, as well as we could, into their huts, that
were made of bark, and resembled a thicket of haycocks, more than anything else, when viewed at a
We were asked if we did not want to see a little
infant that -was in one of these huts, which we had
not entered, and told that we might see it laced to
its board, for six cents apiece.
So we drew near the entrance, throwing in our
toll one at a time, when the mother, after she had
made sure of the fee, would lift the blanket that
was thrown over the child, and give the spectator
one peep, and then let it fall.
The gentleman who had smacked the whip, but
who had entirely forgotten the act, and myself,
happened to be theggwo last. We will now return to our fleet of canoes, and
m      p
IVE   OF   NOOTKA. 169
He threw in a nine-penny piece, saying that was
for*|feoth of us. The mother took the money, and
beckoned to me to come first. Wlifen I had had
my peep, and plfesed out, the gentleman went forward for his.
But the cunning and handsome young mother
shrouded her child in another fold of the blanket,
and throwing her arms over toffiide it, looked up,
and with an arch smile, said, lNo, no,—you scare
my little boy—you no see—no, no P—and with an
expression of playful triumph Ifnd satisfaction, at
having so soon avenged herself for the rudeness
offered to her boy, she hugged her baby tight till
the disappointed spectator went away.
The child was folded in a little blanket, over
which the lacing passed. It is the custom of these
Indian mothers, when they are out in the forests,
to hang their little bark cradles, with their infants
confined in them, on the boughs of trees, for the
birds to sing their lullaby, and the breezes to rock
them to sleep. 170
imagine them, as they went, with all the wealth of
Nootka piled up within their sides; while the loud
songs of the people poured over the wat^s and
rang along the shore amid the rocks and the trees,
as they glided up the sound towards Cooptee, and
then passed it, on the way to Tashees.
On arriving at this place, the first business of
the people was, to ^t about covering the skeletons
of their houses that were found standing to receive
their coat of boards, and to be repeopled by their
former lords and masters.
Their habitations prepared, their next^work
was to provide for themselves the creature comforts
that were to be brought up from under the wa^rs,
in the form of herrj§ag roe, salmon, and other kinds
of fish.
In order to take the roe of the herring, which,
one would suppose, «rould be no easy thing to
effect, they laid a very curious and successful plan.
The-g^out immensg-. quantities of broad pine
branches, and sunk them where the wateripras
about ten feet deep, fastening^ them to the bottom
by means of heavy stones, that kept them down, till
the herring swam up and deposited thenMroe upon
The branches -were then taken up, and the roe
stripped off by the women, who washed it and
cleared it from the pine -Jfeaves, and then dried it
and put up in baskets for future use.
To take salmon and other fish at this place, they
wove a soispof a trap or ware, with flexile twigs;
the form of which was somewhat like a pot, or
Its mouth was made by turning the sharpened
ends of the twigs in, after the manner of a wire
mouse-trap, and sloping^© quite a narrow passage,
so as to let the fish slipUn; and then to cry {if he
could?) like Sterne's starling, j I can't get out!'
The prisoners in these water-cages were obliged
to come out at length, as the proverb would say,
! at the little end of the horn;' for at the end where
the ware tapered off to a point, a place, like a sort
M|$'door, was made so as to be opened for remov-
mm 172
ing the finny dupe, and then closed for the purpose
of entrapping another.
These fish-traps were set immediately below
some rapid, above which the natives went with
their canoes, and drove the fish down, till, fleeing
from one evil, they slipped, unsuspectingly, into
another, and went to sure destruction.
John saw morelfthan seven hundred salmon taken
by this method in the course of fifteen minutes.
Some bass were taken in the same way.
The cod and halibut were cut up into small
pieces, and dried in the sun, for preservation; but
the salmon that was to be cured for winter food,
was split open, the head and back %one were removed, and then it was hung up in the house to
This season was a time of great feastinar and
hilarity among the Indians. They cooked immense quantities of fish, and lived not upon the fat
of the land, but of the waters.
They cooked at Maquina's house, one hundred
salmon at once, in a tub of enormous size, and ate
mm CA"
with the appetite of a people who were not&accus-
tomed to make two bites at a cherry.
Tashees was at this time* a place of great business, and all hands were engaged, either in catch-
ingjpeuring, or cooking fish^tor in conv^mg it to
the mouths of the feasters.
John used frequently to go out with Maquina
after salmon *%ncPthe king wouldflalways allow
him a part, to be considered as his share of the
He used, alio, to shoot wild ducks and teal,
which the women skinned, and boiled them in the
same way that they did their other foelte^
The prisoners found their condition at thisrplace
Ifess comfortable than at Noifka, in some respects,
as the weather began to grow cold, and they were
obliged to be more within doors; and the houses
being smaller, did not accommodate them so well
as those they had befool occupied.
But they did not neglect to go off alone on the
Sabbath to bathe in some stream, and to pass the
rest of the da^n retirement, by its side,   offer- 174
ing up supplications to God for their deliverance,
and thanks for the preservation of their lives, until
the winter came on so cold as to cut them short of
this privilege, by obliging them to Hfeiy near a
shelter and a fire.
^*. *n.
Jtmn forbidden to write—a new dress made for the king—he
accounts for having killed the crew-—the yama—taking the
bear—singular ceremony—an annual thanksgiving.
John had not been long at Tashees, when he
began to feel serious alarm for the fate of his
journal. Maquina, who saw him writing in it
from day t^day, told him that if he saw him engaged at it again, he would certainly destroy it.
John told him he was keeping%ccounts of the
weather; but the sagacious king said h0 knew
better, and that he was speaking bad about him and
his peopte for destroying the crew, so as to inform
his -countrymen against them, if he could meet
witfe-any who came upon the coast. After this,
Jolln had to be very secret about his writings
Helinished about this time, some highly-polish 176
ed daggers, and made a cheetoolth after the king's
directions, that pleased his majesty highly.
Thompson began to grow into the king's favor,
also, for having made a fine sail for his canoe, and
a kutsack for1' him by stitching European vest patterns together till he formed a mantle a fathom
square.   .
This garsient, comprised of various pieces and
figures, and variegated with all the colors of the
rainbow, must certaigdy have exceeded Joseph's
coat, in its ornaments, if not in the many hues it exhibited ; for to finish it off in style, ^Phompsosfeiiad
put on its edge a border of otter-skin, and above
this, six rows of gilt buttons, as thick as they
could be set together.
The arm-holes were bordered in thet^ame -way
and the  king put it on,  and strutted about with
all the pride of a peacock, while the buttons tinkled
as he went, and his people  looked at him as at a
shining idol.
He rewarded Thompson for his skill, and gave
John a piece of Eu#i)ean cloth large  enough to CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
make him a good suit of clothes for the winter, as
a token of gratification for his having finished the
daggers and the cheetoolth so well.
^gNot long after this, he showed John a book in
which were seven names of persons who had belonged to the ship Manchester of Philadelphia,
commanded by Captain Brian. These were Daniel
Smith, Louis Gillon, James Tom, Clark, Ben, John
son, and Jack.
These men, Maquina said, deserted the ship and
came to him; and that six of them ran away after-
ward^pn order to go to the Wickanninish. But
being stepped on the way by another tribe, they
were sent back to him, and putg^o a cruel death.
One of the natives tole^John that the way in
-which these men were killed was this :—Four Indians took a man at a time, and held him down,
while ||,thers crowded stones down, his throat: thus
one after the other was despatched.
Jack, the boy who did not attempt to escape,
was sold to the Wickanninish king; but, according
to the account of Yuqua, the princess, he had to
?WBPW: • 178
work so hard that his health failed p and when he
heard of the murder of his friends, it affected him
so much, that he fell sick and died.
Maquina, finding that John had a great desire to
learn their language, took much pleasure in conversing and in trying to teach him. In one of
his conversations, he fully explained the cause of
his having destroyed the crew of the Boston.
He said he bore no ill-will towards white me^in
general; but that he had been several times so
badly treatedPiby them, that he had resolved on
revenge for the injury they had done him, in repeated instances.
He said the first outrage was^ommitted by a
Captain Tawnington, who had passed the winter
with his vessel at Friendly Cove, and received
kind treatment from the natives.
But when he -was gone for his wife, to the Wickanninish, the captain and his men had entered
their houses in the absence of the men, terrified the
women,   and robbed their boxes  of all that was
valnnK^ i
He said they stole from his store no Mss than
forty fine skins, and made off with theMfcoty.
The next grievance was from a Spanish captain,
who barbarously murdered four of the natives.
The third was very soon after, from a captain
Hanna, of the^ea-Otter, who, because one of the
natives stole a chisel from thelfearpenter, fired up^Si
them, and killed more^tfchan twenty, among whom
were several ^(Fyees.
Maquina said he was himself on board the vessel
at the time, and came near being killed, saving his
life only, by leaping from the quarter-deck, and
swimming a great distance with his head under
He said he had, from that time, determined to
avenge th#blood of his people, when a fair opportunity presented itself; and that, when Captain
Salter insulted him, the feeling of injury and
the desire of revenge were roused in his bosom,
and he resolved to -wait no longer for vengeance on
the race of men who had wronged him and slain
his brethren.
hi liiliiliriiri 180
This tale revealed some sad secrets respecting
the conduct of those who had been at Nootka for
trade, and received kind treatment from the natives ; and it is much to be lamented that civilized
men, and those who took the name of Christians,
should not have acted more according to the rules
of justice and humanity.
One kind of provision which the natives made it
serious business to lay in for the winter, while
at Tashees, was the 'Yama, a kind of fruit that
grew in the woods in great profusion; and which
the women went out in companies to gather, with
guards of men to protect them from wild beasts.
A yama party -would stay several days at a time,
in the forest, making for themselves a covert of
leafy boughs for the night, and busying themselves
during the day in filling their baskets with fruit.
This fruit was a berry, that grew in clusters,
upon bushes about three feet high, -with large,
round and polished leaves. The berry was black,
of an oblong round, and about as large as grape- CAPTIVE OF  NOOTKA.
shot.    Its taste was sweet, with a little flavor of
The women would sometimes bring in a dozen
bushels of these berries at once, and spread them
on blankets: they then laid others over thern, to
press them, and left them to dry till they were fit
to put up in baskets.
Though fish and fruit were the main articles of
food among these people, they sometimes used to
eat the flesh of the bear, deer, and other animals.
But they had an odd superstition that obliged
them, whenever they had eaten of the bear, to abstain from eating fish for two months afterwards;
for they believed that, if they ate fish immediately
after having fed on the bear, the fish would know
it all around, and be so offended as not to come
within their waters or suffer themselves to be taken.
Most of the natives were, therefore, unwilling to
suffer the penalty of indulging the appetite by a
taste of this animal; and when one was taken and
dressed, scarcely a dozen of the tribe could be induced to eat of it. 182
To take the bear, they constructed a trap by the
side of some stream, where his black and shaggy
honor was in the habit of promenading. This trap
was built with post and planks, one of which was
so placed, as to let down a heavy load of stones
that were laid upon it, -when the animal pulled
upon a salmon that -was suspended to it, by way of
bait, within the trap. The head of the beast was,
by this means, either crushed, or so forcibly struck
as to cause his death at once.
A trap, formed in this manner, was covered with
sods, so as to have the appearance of a mound of
Dressing the bear, as the natives called a strange
Ceremony which they went through, soon after
they were established at Tashees, was to John and
his companion a very amusing farce,, the cause of
which was never explained to them.
The  animal  was  taken^dead   frorn^ the  trap
cleansed of all  the blood and  dirt  that hacbyga-
thered on him in his hour of distress, and then carried to the king's house. TAKING THE BEAR.
I 184
captive o:
Here, a chief's cap was put upon his head, his
body powdered all over with white down, which,
contrasted with his black fur, made quite a show.
He was then set, in an upright position, opposite
the king, and a tray of food put before him, when
the Indians urged him, by a variety of words and
gestures, to eat.
But Sir Bruin, not showing much inclination
to accept the invitations, was soon taken away,
kinned, cut up and boiled.
This ceremony -was an occasion of great merrymaking throughout the village. The king made a
great entertainment, and all the people flocked together at the festival, -which was generally concluded with a dance by Sat-sat, performed hi the
way I have already described.
On the morning of December 13th, another
strange ceremony began, by the king's firing a
pistol, apparently, without a moment's warning,
close to the ear of Sat-sat, -who dropped down
instantly, as if shepdead upon thesspot.
Upon this, all the women set up a most terrible
yelling, tearing out their hair by handfuls, and
crying out that the prince "was dead; when the
men rushed in, armed with guns and daggers,
inquiring into the cause of the alarm, followed by
two of the natives covered with -wolf-skins, with
masks representing the wolf's head.
These two came in on all-fours, and taking up
the prince on their back, carried him out, retiring
as they had entered.
Maquina then came to John and Thompson,
-with a supply of provisions, that he said they must
take, and depart with it into the woods, and there
remain six days, assuring them that if they returned before that time had expired, he should have
them killed. $||
The liberty of going out by themselves for a
week would, at a milder season of the year, have
been a matter of rejoicing to them; but as it was,
they, obeyed without delay, and taking their provisions, retired iiito the barest, among the hills and
dells, where they passed the time renting, rambling
about, &c.   during  the day time;   and at night,
mmm 186
they crept under a little covert of boughs woven
and made into a small cabin, where they laid
themselves down on a bed of leaves, and spread
over them the garments that they had taken thither
in a bundle, to keep off the cold night ai^
On the seventh day after their banishment, they
returned to the village, where they foundjjie king,
chiefs, and many of the people of another tribe,
who had been invited by Maquina to come and
keep the week with him, and join in Jhe ceremo
nidr-    ''ftiiiiilfirii
It was afterwards ascertained that this grand
celebration was an annual thanksgiving, held in
honor of Quahojitze, to thank him for the favors
he had bestowed on them during the year that
hadj&elapsed, and to invoke his smile on them for
the one now to^eome. 187
Conclusion of the thanksgiving—Christmas kept by the captives-
removal to Cooptee—visit to the Aitizzarts—feast at Cooptee-
false stories of ships?4*return to Nootka—death of a boy-
insanity of a chief .
What happened at the village while they were
absent, the prisoners never knew; but the celebration did not end till after their return, and then it
terminated with a shocking and distressing show
of deliberate self-torment.
Three men, each with two bayonets run through
their sides, between the ribs, walked up and down
in the room, singing war-songs, and exulting in
their firmness and triumph over pain.
When the 25th of the month came round, bringing with it a sad sense of the contrast between the
way in which it was celebrated in their native
land, and that in which it must be kept by, them, 188
the captives requested to have the day to themselves, and retiring into the woods, they passed it
in reading and other religious exercises, singing the
Hymn of the Nativity, and returning thanks for
the birth of the Savior.
In the evening, wishing to conform to the customs of good old England, as far as circumstances
would permit, they set themselves about getting a
better meal than usual, for their Chrfetmas supper.
They bought some of the best dainties among
the natives, such as, dried clams, &c. and a root
which they called keltsup, which being cooked by
steam, was a very pleasant kind of food; and having made ready their repast, they sat down to make
the best of their condition over it, and partook of it
with truly grateful hearts, that life, health, and
even this homely meal was granted to them in this
inhospitable wild.
Oii the last day A'the month, the tribe removed
to Cooptee, about fifteen miles from Tashees, which,
though not so pleasant as that place, on some accounts, was, from its being nearer to Nootka, beyond CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
which no vessel could come, a more agreeable situation to the prisoners, as they hoped it would allow
them a better opportunity of hearing of people of
their own nation arriving on the coast.
The first business of the natives at Cooptee, was
to cover their houses with t|jpr portable roofs and
The next day, January 1st, 1804, the first fall of
snojp for that winter, came.
About a week afterwards, Maquina took John
in his canoe to visit the king of the Aitizzarts,^§rho,
with his chiefs, had been to keep the thanksgiving
at Tashees, and who had invited Maquina to
come to see him at thipk time, to attend a similar
This king, whose name was Upquesta, had his
town about twenty miles from Cooptee, up the
sound, and in an extensive valley, on the bank of
During the sail to this place, Maquina had told
Johjk not to speak, after their arrival, till he made
a sign to him.
■■wiy ..
1 190
^hen they arrived, the king's messenger, who
was master of the ceremonies, came out to meet
them, dressed in his|fcest, with his head bestrewed
with down, and holding in his hand a cheetoolth,
Ae badge of his office.
He saluted them, and conducted^hem to the
presence of the king, with due gravity, pointing
o#to each, the seat that it belonged to him to
Visitors, on th^jfc occasions, wore their caps, and
took them off as they entered the house. Maqigfna
as he entered, not only doffed his cap, but threw off
some of his outer garments, of which he had put on
several, one over another.
But very few of the people af^this place, who I
should have before remarked, welcomed thfgyisitors
with loud shouts and the firing of guns, had ever
seen a white man, or a European dress ; and John
was to them an object iff no small curiosity.
They flocked about him, feeling of his clothes,
his hands, his head, and face, and patting him on
the arms  and shoulders, as if he  had been some
animal  they had caught, and were glad to find
so tame.
As he obeyed the injunction of silence ail the
time this examination was going on, they even
opened his mouth to see if he had a tongue.
At length, Maquina gave the sign, and John
spoke out, to the great surprise and delight of
the spectators, addressing them?||n their own language. ;*& "      ^0$
They made a great burst of applause at this,
saying that he was a man, like ftiemselves, only
he was white, and looked like a seal, alluding to
his blue jacket and trowsers. They did not like
this dress, and tried to persuade himpto take it off,
and put onft>ne like their own.
The celebration here was similar, as far as John
had had an opportunity of observing it, to the one
held at Tashees.
During the visit, Maquina gave a particular
detail of the manner in which he had obtained
his prisoners, and related all that had happened
concerning the ship and  her crew, stating at the
■em 192
same time, the motives that had prompted him to
the barbarous act.
The religious ceremonies were concluded by
twenty men who entered the house, with arrows
run through their sides and arms, having strings
fastened to them, by which the spectators twitched,
or pulled them back, as the men walked round the
room, singing and boasting of their power to endure
Returning to Cooptee after this visit, the men in
the canoe kept time to the^troke of the paddles,
with their songs; and they reached home about
The time went off, employed in fishing, &c. at
Cooptee, till the beginning of February, when an
annual feast was to be given by Maquina, to which
the whole of the Aitizzarts, and many of another
tribe, were invited.
It -was a scene of great gluttony, and so was
almost ti^ whole of the life at Cooptee ; immense
quantities of provisions being cooked, and destroyed
with I rutal lavishness. CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA. 193
Onfnhe 25th of'Februarv, the tribe returned to
j i
Nootka^which, notwithstanding th^melancholj^
scene it brought to" mind, was a matter of rejoicing
to the unhappy cap&yes, as it gave them the hope
of seeing some vessel  that  might  come  to  their
rfjIlf^T« "'?.^^^
Not long after the return to this place, a story
was told to Maquina, by the Cayuquats, of twenty
ships that were on the coast, coming to destroy him
aSid his people for what they had done with the
Boston and her crewWI
This thre# him into gre^lalarm^l^ii^B the
objects of the false Indians, who had fabricated the
report, was obtained.
Though John assured him that there was j not
the least truth in it, he would not believe him, but
kept a strict eye on him and Thompson, regarding
them with great jealousy, and would not let them
go out of Sis sight, for fear of their going somewhere, to meW their countrymen^feom the vessels,
to inform against him.
Soon after this, a death took place in the family
13 R
WHf 1A\
of the king. A son of his sister, about eleven years
old, and who was considere<^s a Tyee, died in the
night, after having languished a long time in a kind
of consumption or decay.
As soon as the breath left his body, all the men
and women4n the house set up such a yelling and
howling, as waked the prisoners, and obliged them
to leave the house to escape the noise, which -was
kept up till morning.
A great fire was then kindled, and in it Maquina
burnt ten fathoms of cloth, in honor of the dead
child, with whom he afterwards buried ten fathoms
more, p^ght of the Ife-maw shells, and two small
trunks, containing Captain Salter's watch and his
It was Jghe custom of these people, whenever a
chief died, to bury with him %me of their most
valuable articles.
- Tootooshfsthe husband of Maquina's sister, and
the father of the deceased boy, had been on^of the
chief actors in the dreadful tragedy on board the
■ m\
Boston; he had killed two of the men with his
own hand.
This man, Tootoosh, had, a short time previous
to the removal to Tashees, been suddenly attacked,
while in perfect health, by a violent fit of insanity,
during which he raved continually abou^fhe men,
Hall and Wood, whom he had killed, and said
their ghosts were by him all the^time, to torment
He would swallow no food except what he was
forced by his friends, to take int^his mouth; and
whenever he attempted to take any into his hand,
he would withdraw it, saying he should be glad to
eat, but the dead men would not let him.
No instance of insanity had occurred among these
people within the memory of their oldest man; and
the only way in which they could account for
this was, by a superstitious belief, that the ghosts
of the murdered men had been called back by the
prisoners, to torment the murderer.
Maquina, when first made acquainted, by his
sister, with the strange  symptoms of her husband,
** 196
took John and Thompson with him to the house,
and, pointing at each, asked Tootoosh if they tormented him. He said, 'No—John good—Thompson good—Hall and Wood peshak? (bad.)
Maquina placed food before him; but he sain1 Hall
and Wood would not let him eat, and continued in
this state till a short time after the death of his son,
when, after the most droftdfui ravings, he grew
sxhausted and died.
Maquina became convinced that John and Thompson had no agency in causing the delirium, and the
prisoners found that it was viewed by the natives,
as a punishment sent by Quahomze, for the murder
of the men, and to this they thought they owed
their lives: as in several instances, when councils
had been held, respecting putting them to death,
the natives would not consent to it, and many of
them talked about T|tetoosh, in a way that showed
they feared being visited themselves ; and the king
said he was glaMiis hands did not dip in the blood
of the white men.
The   madnes^  of   Tootoosh   was   terrible:   he CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
would rave, kick, bite  and  spit  at all who   ^ame
near him, but the prisoners ; but he would pat John
on  the  shoulder,   and  call  him  good; and  none
could manage him but  Thompson   and he, who .
were, on this account, set over him as attendants.
It was a question with them, whether the insanity was occasioned by the death of a daughter,
about fifteen years old, not long before, or sent immediately from the hand of God to make the
natives tremble at their own crimes, and, fear to
do any thing against their lives, lest their punis'i-
^t should be of the like kind,
u* ir=
<m       i»»—
Maquina goes  a whaling—bringing in the whale—death and
burial service of the crazy chief—the king's jester—a mutiny
feared—a conspiracy—Thompson kiUs an Indian.
Soon after the death of the boy, whose moth^fe
had been obliged to bring him to Maquina's house,
to avoid the violence of his crazy father, the king
Cjswnmenced his whaling excursions; but with so
little success that he returned day after day out of
humor, and once with a broken harpoon, and
nothing to pay for it, or for his toil.
John -went to work and made him a good steel
one, which pleased him highly, and the first time
that he went out with it, he struck, with a death-
thrust, a noble whale; upon which, a signal was
given, and all the canoes were out to help tow
him in.
While the poor dying whale was dragged ashore
the women were on the roofs of the houses, drumming with great violence, and mingling their
shouts of exultation with the cry of, | WoocasUt
woocash, TyeeP and the men in the canoes were
singing a song of triumph, to a slow tune, as the
victim was brought to the land.
When he was cut up to be boiled, John had a
handsome present of blubber, for making so successful a harpoon.
It should have been remarked that, previous to
one of these whaling excursions, the king had a
habit of going alone, to the mountains, to pas^a
day or two in prayer for success in his business;
and when he returned, wearing the red fillet and
the spruce branch on his head, in token of humiliation, his manner was serious and gloomy.
Tootoosh died early in June, and his death occa-.
sioned another scene of mad sorrow, that was louder than his own crazy ravings had been.
The wailing and yelling was kept#ip, for about
three hours; then the corpse was brought out of
the house, and laid on a board before it.    A red fil*
WB> •Hgfggfg
let was bound round the head, and a mantle of sea-
otter skin wrapped about the form.
It was then put into a box or coffin, with several
strings of the Ife-maw about the neck, and all the
most valuable articles possessed by the departed
chief, were laid into the coffin. Among these, were
several fine otter skins.
At night, the time of their burials, ropes were
passed round the coffin, and poles run through
them, by which the coffin was taken up, and borne
by eight men, followed by the widow and family,
with their heads shaved as a sign of mourning, to
the place of interment.
The grave was agpmall cavern in the side of a
hill. Here they deposited the coffin, and closing
up the cavern securely, returned to the house.
The next ceremony was performed by building
a large fire, and burning every thing owned by the
deceased, that had not been buried with him.
These were blankets, pieces of cloth, &c.
^piey  were laid one by one, on the fire, by   n
]|erson appointed by the king, to  the office   wild
1 202
was dressed out in his finest gear, with his head
bestrewed with down, and who, as each article
waiitaid on the fire, would pour on oil to increase
the flame, and while it was burning, make a
speech, or show off some feat of buffoonery, to the
The funeral solemnities, if so we may call them,
were finished by Sat-sat, who performed one of
his best dances on the occasion, in hsmor of his
dead uncle.
The name of the man who had officiated as
priest in making the sacrifice, was Kinneclimmets.
He stood with Maquina in the relation of king's jester, on account of his tricks of mimicry and other
monkey traits, that raised him high in his majesty's
Mfce not only performed the part of buffoon, but
he had also the office of master of ceremonies at all
the feasts, and that of public orator. He harangued
the people, showed all to their places, and amused
them mightily with his antic gestures, his low wit,
and savage merriment. fir
In short, they^ seemed to think that all their
enjoyment of a public occasion depended on the
pranks of this speaking ape. Such a character
was attached to the train of each tribe among the
natives, and the title he bore was that of Climmer-
Nabbee, which must hav#been a very comprehensive word, since it meant so much, enbodied in one
great personage.
One feat thalithis man undertook, for the amuse-
mentW the company, on some feast day, was to
eat to excess. Pi! WS
He first drank three pints of oil, and then engag-
ed to eat four dried salmon, and five quarts of herring roe, mixed in a gallon of train-oil. But he
failed in this; for, before he got through with his
meal, the salmon proved that they were not quite
so securely imprisoned in his stomach as $ley had
been in the waves, and that they could i get out'
by the same mouth by which they had entered.
On one merry-making occasion, when a chief
had brought home his new wife, the jester undertook  to entertain the revellers, by passing three
# i
times through a large fire; but, happening not to be
made of asbestos, he got so severely burnt, as to
come very near dying for his folly.
Maquina was always delighted with any of this
man's extraordinary performances, and sure to re-
-ward him with some present.
The Aenzy and death of Tootoosh caused grea».
alarm among the natives, lest a similar fate should
await them; for John told the king it was, no d^p&bt,
a punishment sent by Quahootze, for the nrujrder of
the men.
This intimation, while they believed it, only
soured them towards the prisoners, and when the
king was out of sight, they "would insult them, by
calling them miserable slaves, asking them where
their Tyee was; when they would answer by their
own gestures, showing that his head was cut off,
and that theirs should be also.
But the^ took good care, at these times, to keep
out of the reach of Thompson's hand, the weight
of which they had sometimes severely felt.
As  the  summer  advanced,  there  was a^great
ml ■
_-   :-'. " " -.   _■-        ;;-r      ~\ " -   , . ■■■■  -_-;- £    \
scarcity of fish in their waters, and they were reduced to a state of great want, so as to be obliged to
go sometimes without food, except what they got
by gleaning for muscles and cockles among the
rocks. |p(
The natives not only showed, on tins account,
great ill-humor towards the prisoners, whom they
suspected of using some conjuration, or some influence   witri*?Quahootze,   but   with   true
inconsistency, they reproached their king with having driven away the fish, by mingling the waters
with the blood of the murdered white men.
But Maquina was usually kind to the captives,
and always gave them a part of -ifee best heUiad to
eat. Sometimes he would make them presents,
and when he feared a mutiny from his people, he
would assure them that if a vessel came within a
hundred miles of the village, he would let them
send letters for their countrymen to come to their
relief, and take them home.
Once he so far feared a general revolt from his
people,  that he would suffer none but John and wv
Thompson to keep guard over his person, nigiii and
day, and they had to^go armed for the purpose.
He had, at this time, discovered a conspiracy between three of his chiefs, one of whom was his
brother, against his life; and he suspected them to
be linked in the plot, to another neighboring tribe.
He, at this time, not only kept his white bodyguard elose to him on all occasion^ but he made
his men fire the cannon every mor&ing, to let the
other tribe know what they would have to meet
if they came upon him.
In these hours of intimacy with the king, and of
his dependence on them, John and Thompson
complained of the insults and unkind treatment
they had of late received from the natives.
Maquina told them, that it should not be so, and
that they must let him know if ever any thing of
the kind was shown them by any of the Nootkans;
but if any of the strangers among them offered to
abuse them, he said they might punish the offender
by immediate  death; telling  therr%%at  the  same
time, that they must take care always to go well
The mutinous spiri^gff the people gradually subsided ; but it was not long before Thompson avai^n^
himself of the liberty the king had given him.
He was at the pond washing clothes for himself
and John, and a blanket for Maquina. Several of
the Wickanninish came by, and seeing him, began
to insult him, and 'to trouble him about his work.
He warned them to desist; but not heeding him,
one Indian, more bold than the rest, stepped on the
blanket that was spread on the grass to dry, and
trampled it under his feet.
Upon this, Thompson drew his cutlass and severed the Indian's head from his body. The others,
affrighted at the deed, took to their heels and went
off in a moment. Thompson then gathered up the
blanket, with the marks of the Indian's feet and
the stains of his blood on it, and the head wrapped
in it, and carried it to the king, telling him the
whole story.
He commended Thompson's chivalry, and gave
■SSnfi^^SS^^SS^EaE E
him a present in token of his approbation; and the
other natives, learning what it was in the power of
the white slave to do, treated him and his companion with more respect and deference ever afterwards.
This deed of Thompson's was a teripble one,
and it -is sad to think that necessity compelled him
to take the life of a fellow-creature. But it was an
act of self-defence, as much as any warfare is :
for though his1 life did not, at that moment, seem
threatened, there was no telling to what a dreadful
death these barbarians might have brought ^im,
had he rgH; made them fear him.
S Mia
John is ordered to make arms—the king declares his intention
to go to war—expedition to Aycharts—attack and slaugKter
of the inhabitants—return to Tashees—John is told he must
marry—going to select a wife—making choice of one.
Some time in July, Maquina told John that he
must set about making daggers for the men, Chee-
toolths for the chiefs, and a weapon for him that
should strike the enemy on the head, whilt, asleep,
and kill him at a blow, for he -was going to war,
he said, with the Aycharts} a tribe about fifty miles
to the south, who had quarrelled with him during
the last summer.
John must have feit very badly on receiving
these commands, and knowing for what immediate
purpose his,work was designed. He was, however,
obliged to obey orders, and following Maquina's
*lirections, he made his weapon \n a different fanner from any of the others ■m$m
It was a kind of dagger, or spike, with a long
iron bjjndle, with a crook at the end wher# the
steel spike went in, and at the other, a large knob,
to resemble a man's head, for the eyes of which,
he fastened in a coup^of black beads, with sealing-
The bend in the handle was to keep it from
being wrenched away; and the weapon, being
altogether a formidable one, and highly polished,
pleased the king mightiljjfeg He^ would not allow
any of the chiefs to have one like it, reserving its
use exclusively for his own royal hand.
When all preparations were made, the natives
manned%bout forty canoes, well armed with their
dreadful instruments of destruction, among which
were a few bows and arrows.
The bows, about four feet long, were drawn by
a siring of whale sinew; the arrows, of a yard hi
length, were pointed with copper, shell, or bone.
•iiFhe expedition, of which John and Thompson
were obliged to make two, set off in the#night, to
come upon ajld slay their sleeping foes.
mm 212
They sailed during the silence of the night, and intent upon their dreadful purpose, about thirty miles
up a broad river, the banks of which were covered
with deep forests, till they came opposite the village
they were about to depopulate; here they landed;
and remained in perfect stillness till the moment
of attack.
The town of Aycharts was situated on a hill,
Which being of difficult access, was a kind of fortress.    The houses were about sixteen in number.
Maquina said he should not makesMlbe attack
till towards^the dawn of morning, that being the
hour when the Indians slept the soundest.
At length, the awful moment arrived. The Indians left their canoes, and, crawling on their hands
and knees, up a winding pass, they entered the
dwellings of their Numbering enemiespwhile John
and Thompson were stationed w^bout, to stop
sucfcas might try to escape.    ||§|
Maquina seized the head of the chief, and as he
saauck the death blow, he^ave a terrible war-whoop,
the signal for all hands to f fall to, and spare not.' Wmm-.
A few ^ef the surprised Avcharts fled into the
forests, and escaped death; the others were all
slain, or taken prisoners, to become slaves ^p Maquina. . im
The hand of Thompson was not slack in this
terrible work. He^slew so many of the unarmed
enemy, that the Nootkans gave him the name of
Checkeil-sunarhar, a chief who in former years
had been a great warrior among them.
But John was very glad it did not fall to his lot
to shed the blood of any. He only took four
captives, whom Maquina, as a peculiar favor, allowed him to call his slavesf&and who were to
work exclusively for him.
All thej^old and infirm Aycharts^^aving been
put to death, Maquina set fire to the town, and
laid every thhig waste; after which, he and his
men took their captives,-and returned to their
canoes to set sail for home, with their trophies of
They were received at the village with great
applause from  the women, who drummed on the
Mi 214
houses, sang and shouted at their bravery ancUson-
quest; and Sat-sat performed one of his graceful
jump-dances in honor of their valor.
Soon after this, Maquina was strongly importuned to dispose of John. The Wickanninish king
sent his messenger, who, in theirs usualjWormal
way, sat rigged for the occasion, in the canoe,
with his head powdered with down, and making a
display of the offerings his monarch would give for
the white slave whom he wanted to make arms for
him. r.
He had sent fourNslaves, two fine canoes, a large
quantity of metamelth and other things of great
value, as the price he was willing to give. But
Maquina rejected these splendid offers; for he prized John higher than all of them.
Towards the close of the summer, VelatiUa, chief
of the Klaizzarts, came on a visit to Nootka; and
he also ur^d the king to sell John to him.
This chief was a fine-look ng Indian, of a complexion almost as light as that of a European. He
was well formed, very neat about his person, and
'seldom wore paint, except on the place where,
according to the custom of his tribe, the eyebrows
had been plucked out.
His aspect was mild, and his manners pleasant;
he usually had a smile on his face, and could speak
English a little. He took great interest in John,
and loved to converse with him in each of their
languages ; asking questions about his country, his
friends and their modes of living.
He said that if he could prevail on Maquina to
sell him, he would procure a passage for him to
return home on board the first vessel he should
discover on the coast.
This promise, J ohm- afterwards had reason to
believe, would have been fulfilled, could Velatilla
have prevailed on Maquina to part with him. Foi
it was to this man's fidelity in delivering a letter in
person to the master of a vessel, that the captives
ultimately owed #ieir deliverance j^and this letter
was the only one of sixteen which John wrote, that
ever was delivered.
When he left Nootka, John made him a present 216
of a liighly-polished cheetoolth, which he received
with much pleasure and many signs of gratitud^
and a promise to deliver the letter at the first vessel.
In September, the tribe returned to Tashees, and
-went over again the same business and mode of
living that has been already described. But
shortly after this removal, John was thunderstruc|||
if I may so speakg by a piece of information thai
was announced to him.
Maquina told him that a council having been held,
it was agreed that he mus^niarry one of the Indian girls; stating as a reason, that, as ther^pvere
no vessels coming to Nootka, he would, no doubt,
have to pass the uest of his life with them, and the
sooner he^onformed to their customs, and had a
family of his own, the more happy and contented
he would be.
This was giving poor John something more
difficult than^train-oil to swallow. He remonstrated vehemently against the step; but all to no
purpose—he must either marry or die.
The only way in which the terms were softened,
vas his having the liberty to choose his squaw
among the fair daughters of another tribe, if none
of those of Nootka pleased his fancy, for a helpmate.
John cast his eye round, while his heart revolted
at the sight of all the candidates for his hand,
among the Nootkans; and he told the king he
must look farther for a wifejp
Accordingly, Maquina took about fifty men, in
two canoes, with John, and a large quantity of
cloth, sea-otter skins, and other articles, to purchase
a bride, and set sail for Aitizzarts.
They reached this place about sunset, while
John felt more like a victim going to the altar for
sacrifice, than like a bridegroom approaching
Hymen's altar. |pj
Their sudden arrival at this hour, and without
any known purpose, caused great alarm at the
village. The-linen seized their weapons, and preparing for war, rushed violently down to the landing-place, making signs of defence, and threatening
destruction on.fee supposed assailants.
B0 218
But WhetiPthe Nootkans had seated themselves
quietly hi their canoes, remaining perfectly still
for half %.n %our, the villagers discovered their
mistake; and the king sent his messenger to bid
them welcome, and to show them to his presence.
Meantime, Kinneclimmets,  the jesler, priest, &c
had made himself ready for the duties of the office*
he was to perform, by grossing and powdering with
The visitors, with their king at their head, formed a procession, and moved with great order to the
house of the Aitizzart monarch.
After being seated with due ceremony, and
partaking of a sumptuous spawny and^lily feast,
Maquina told John to«took round ana see if he
could find a girl that he liked.
His choice  fell  on  one about  seventeen years .
old,   who  sat beside  her   mother,   and   was #ie
daughter of Upquesta, the king.
WW timrnM
Marriage ceremony-—return to Tashees—John goes to house'
keeping—is told he must change his dress—religious observance—revenge of a husband towards his wife-—removal to
Cooptee—taking wild geese—return to Nootka—John is sick
—a slave dies.
■■■£&& :4lfc-' -    ■ ■■•
When John had pointed out his future companion, Maquina made a sign to his men, who rose
and takin^the bridegroom by the hand, led him
forth into the middle of the room.
Two of them were then despatched to the canoes
to bring the articles with which the girl was to be
When the boxes were brought in, the men took
out the articles, one holding up apmusket, another
a parceiafef skins, a third a bundle of cloth, &c.
while the jester, (or priest for the time) Japped up
to Upquesta, telling him that all these belonged to
John, and that he had come to offer them for his
daughter whom he wished to have for a wife. 220
As he said this, the men threw the articles at the
king's feet, with the stern air and look common for
their expression of respect.
As they did this, the men and women of the village, who were all assembled to WiWiess the ceremony, set up a loud cry of, | Kktck-k^-Klack-ko,
Tyee' (thank you, thank you, chief.)
Maquina then addressed the king, setting forth
the good qualities of John, saying that he was as
good a man as themselves; that he had only the
fault of being white, which was more than overbalanced by his wonderful skill in making daggers,
cheetoolths and harpoons.
He said he had so good a temper, that men, women and children at Nootka loved him; and^piat
he would stay with them as long as he live^fti
When Maquina began to make this eloquent harangue, which lasted half an hour, Kinneclimmets
began to skip abqf^|he room, and continued per-
fffming all manner of pranks, till the speeeh was
Upquesta then took up the t(feead of discourse. '"^HlitonlSLJ
ifePTIVf# NOOTKA. 221
He set forth the amiable qualities of his daughter
Eutochee-exqua, her accomplishments, and the love
he bore her, as his only one.
He said, she was toAdear for him to think dl parting with her. But after talking some time^fei this
strain, he finally consented to^the *union, laying
that he hoped they would 'treat his daughter kindly,
and that she would have# good husband.
As his speech finished with his consent, the jester began to call out in his loudest tones of voice,
1 Wacash? and spun round the room on his*heels,
like a top.
After thi%v Upquesta told his men to take the
presents that had been laid at his feet, and carry
them back to 'John; and to^lhese he added a gift
of two young slaves, to help his new son-in-law in
The company was then invited to a wedding
supper at the house of one of the chiefs, during
which the jester amused them with all sorts of
monkey gestures and tricks.
The entertainment ended with a war song from
j 005§SSSsi^^s - ' - -'*"*Iii|**w 222
the men of each tribe, and a show of brandishing
their weapons.
The company then returned to lodge at Upques-
ta's house; and in the morning, John received his
bride at the hand of her father, with a ^charge to
treat her kincfiy, which he promised to do, as the
girl took an affectionate leave of her parents, and
accompanied him, witl|4an air of satisfaction, on
board the canoe.
In addition to his other offices, the priest held
that of king's steersman, and while guiding the
canoe homeward with the lady of the forest -within
it, he regulated the song of passage till they arrived
at the village.
On landing, their success was attended with great
bursts of joy, and Maquina held a feast, afte#the
women had receivediihe bride, and conducted her
to a place in the king's housef* where she -was to Be
kept, according to the custom of their country,
lor the space of ten days in retirement, segjng none
but the women,—not even her husband,—till thia
time had elapsed.
After the ten days had passed, John had an
apartment appointed him between those of the king
and his brother.
His bride appeared, in every way, of an amiable
and yielding disposition; and she was more fair
and comely than anij§female Indian he saw except
Maquina's queen.
Her form was good; her manners -were gentle
and affectionate; her features finely made and regular ; her eyes bright and soft; her teeth small and
white, and her hair very long and fine.
With this princess for a bride, John's household
consisted, beside himself, of Thompson and Sat-sat,
whose attacnment to him still remained so strong,
that he prevailed on his father to let him live with
Thus John went to keeping house, but in quite
a\ different way from what he expected, when he
took his father's blessing and his money, and set
out from Hull to begin the world for himself.
Soon, after his marriage, Maquina gave him
onothei shockfeby telling him, that, as he had mar-
• /
ried on 3 of their women, he had become Wne of
them for life, and he must adopt not only their
habits, but also their dress ; a commaiicL tha#%as
laid both on him and Thompson.
But John plead Thompson off, by urging that he
was an old man, and changing his close garments
for the kutsack, would probably kill him.
For himself, he got leave to wear the dress he had
on, till it was worn out, it being then nearly pas^se.
Sat-sat, who was a very handsome and pleasant
boy, became a great pet with the ne-ifcnarried pair,
and they took much pleasure in decking out his
little red person with beads, shells, jewels and other
.finery, which was very gratifying to Itis parents,
and increased his fondness for his white friend.
When the annual thanksgiving came round
again, John, being now identified with the natives,
was told that he and Thompson, instea^of bein%
sent into the woods, must stay and help them pray
to Quahootze to be good to them.
The ceremonies began as they did the year before; after which the tribe all stripped themselves \
of their ornaments; and binding on the fillet of
humiliation, they repaired to the king's house with
looks of sadness and dejection, ancLbegan to sing
mournful songs, while the king kept time to the
melancholy tunes by beaming on his drum, or hollow plank.
The celebration was concluded by a boy, who
entered the room with six bayonets run through
J^is flesh in different parts. By these he was lifted
and carried round the apartment, without making any visible signs of pain.
When John asked the cause of this scene, Maquina told him that fors|&rly a man used to be sacrificed to Quahootze at the close of one of these ceremonies ; but that his father had abolished the
.practice, and adopted this in its stead.
A great feast followed this religious observance,
in which mirth and gluttony took the place of
fasting and self-abasement.
I Shortly after thaL ~YeaUhlower, the king's brother,
sent word to his neighbor John, that he wanted
Juni to come and file his teeth for him.
15 tmmmimmmmm
226       \ CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
John, suspecting no harm, obeyed the summons,
and performed the office; which being done, and
the teeth well sharpened, Yealthlower told him
that the operation was to enable him to bite off
the nose of a new wife that he h^i lately llought,
and who refused to obey him.
John tried to dissuade him from this barbarous
act; but he said he should certainly do it, if his
wife did not behave better, for if she was not a
good wife to him, she should be nobody's wifeM
Not many hours after, he did as he had threatened, and sent his wife back to her father, with
the loss of her nose as a souvenir of the attachment
of her sharp-toothed husband.
About the middle of December, the tribe went to
Cooptee,- and recommenced their business of spreading boughs and setting wares under the water to
entrap their food.
In addition to their other provisions, they had a
plenty of wild geese brought them here, by the
To take these geese, the Indians wove a sort of CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
net of strong fibrous bark, and going out on the
water in a very dark night, with their canoes stuck
full of blailng torches, they waited till the fowls,
(goose-like,) attracted by the glare, gathered round
it so near as to have the net thrown over them,
and be taken.
One would suppose that none but a goose
would do such a foolish thing as this; yet many a
simpleton is so dazzled by fair and bright appearances, as to rush into as sure destruction as followed these delusive lights.
In Februarv, the Indians went back to Nootka:
and hi March, John . was taken violently ill of the
colic in consequence of not being properly clad;
and while he remained sick, a slave of the king's,
having died of the same complaint, was thrown out
of the house, and after lying some time without
care, he was at length taken up and thrown into
the water, as any dead animal would have been,
to be put out- of the way.
I 228
-  . ■
John continues sick —he is divorced from his wife—she goes
to her father—John recovers—an eclipse of the moon—a
vessel arrives—consultation about the captives—a letter written to be carried by Maquina to the vessel.
The manner in which this poor slave's remains
were treated, had but a saddening effect on John,
who expected soon to share the same fate, as bis
disorder threatened his life ; and he seemed so disheartened, and so disturbed at every effort of his
wife, who, though she did what she could to relieve
him, was but an awkward nurse, that Maquina
suspected he was dissatisfied with her.
He therefore told John that if he did not like his
wife, his command or word could divorce them,
and that he might be unmarried and let his princess
return to her tribe.
So John, glad of the offer  of liberty, told  the CAPTIVE   OF   NUO'IKA.
young princess that, as he should probably die, she
would not have so good care taken of her at Nootka as she would with her father, and advised her
to return and put herself under his protection.
With this advice the young Mrs. Jewitt took
an affectionate leave of her supposed dying husband, telling him she hoped he would soon be better,
and, leaving her two slaves to attend upon him, departed, with a suitable escort, for her father's town.
Though John was heartily glad of being relieved
from his marriage obligations, yet this amiable
young creature had ever been so kind and affectionate towards him, that he could not help feeling
.some sadness on account of her departure; and
Jiad he not viewed her as an insuperable objection to
his ever leaving the place, or had he felt the event
of his escape a hopeless thing, he would not have
been willing to have lost her society.
By degrees he recovered his health, but with a
heart sinking in despondency, as no signs of a
vessel appeared on fee coast, and no way of
release from bondage opened to his view. y
He had written many duplicates of his letter,
imploring any into -whose hands they might fall, to
come to the relief of two unfortunate Christian
men, held in bondage among a savage people, and
represenfeg the state of the deplorable life they
dragged out, far from home and frtjin a civilized
These had been distributed among the various
;fa#>es on the coast, for delivery; but as no vessel
appeared, he supposed they^mus$ have been
deterred from coming to the coast by hearing of
the destruction of thU Boston, which -was a very
large and powerful ship.
One "feing that occurred during the Winter of
which I have been giving an account, I have not
mentioned.    So I will go back and relate it.
On the 15th of January, 1805, John and his
fellow prisoner -were awakened suddenly, in the
night by a great noise and commotion among the
Indians, -who were all up and out on the roofs of
their houses, which they had stuck full of torches,
each in a brif ht blaze, while they were drumming
on pieces of plank, shouting and singing with all
their flight. jeM
„On John's asking the cause of this tumult, they
told him that a great cod-fish had come upon the
moon, and pointing up to her, told him to see how
the fish was trying to swallow her; and that they
were endeavoring to drive him away.
It was soon found that the great fish was only
an eclipse of the moon; but what gave rise to this
odd superstition, the prisoners were never able to
From the time of John|s recovery from his illness,
his life and Thompson's were dragged out, much in
the way that has been described, until the 19th
of July, when they had a sudden and joyful
As John was busily at work, making daggers £$£
the king, the sound of cannon from the water
came in three successive peals, upon his ear; and
the  cry  of I strangers !   strangers!  white men V
as sent from mouth §p mouth, among the natives,
as they rushed into the house, telling him that a
vessel was coming into the harbor.
This was a trying moment for the captives.
The >oy they felt may be imagined, but on the
suppression of every symptom of it, seemed to
depend their whole hope of escape ; for they knew
that if they manifested a strong desire to get away,
the jealousy of the king and chiefs, lest they
should inform against them, would occasion them
to have their, lives taken at once.
They therefore affected great indifference at the
news; and the natives, wonderinsr at it, asked if
they were not glad to see the vessel. They said
they cared very little about it, and kept at
Maquina coming in, and seeing them still employed, asked John if he did not know a vessel
had come. He answered, Yes; but that it was
nothing to him.
k What, John,' said the king, l you no want
go board?' John pretended that he oared very
little about it, as he had become so reconciled  to .   ■
. ' 234
resent mode of living, that he felt very well
satisfied not to give it up for his former customs.
A council was now held respecting the best way
of managing the affair, and of disposing of the
Some of the natives were for having them put
to death, and for making the strangers believe that
another tribe had destroyed the Boston.
Some, more humane, were in favor of the
loiter deception; but they wanted to have John and
Thompson sent back a few miles into the woods,
and kept out of sight, till the vessel should depart.
Others, of better feelings still, were neither for
killing nor hiding them, but wanted to have them
liberated and sent home.
But Maquina was loth to lose them in any way,
yet he had a strange desire to go on board the
vessel, to trade, and asked John if he thought he
could do it with safety.
His people remonstrated against this step, for
knowing what they had been guilty of, they feared
being punished with the loss of their king;   and CAPTIVE   OF   NOOTKA.
recurred to the cruel treatment they had received
from the whites in the instances which Maquina
had related to John.
But John told them that if they had lived as long
among the whites as he had, they would find they
had nothing to fear; and said he was sure they
would not harm the king if they received a request
from him to use Maquina kindly.
^Taquina then said he would go to the vessel
and trade, if John would write a letter and tell
the captain good about him; a proposal to which
John readily acceded, so far as writing the letter
was concerned; but the nature of the contents he
reserved for his own choice, and wrote as follows:
! To Capt.
c Sir—The bearer of this is the Indian king, Maquina, by whose orders the American ship Boston,
of Boston, Mass. was captured, twenty-five of her
crew, the officers included, were inhumanly murder-
ed, and the only surviving two held as slaves
among the tribe. 236 ^jfepTIVE   OF   NOOTE'l
1We, these unfortunate men, are now waiting for
your assistance in our deliverance, and hope you
will keep this man confined, putting in your dead
lights, and having a strict eye to him, so that he
may not escape you. If you will do this, we shall,
in a few hours, be able%) obtain our release.
! John R. Jewitt, Armorer of the Boston,
for himself and John Thompson, Sail-
maker of said ship.7
Such was the letter of recommendation which
the royal messenger had given into his hand to
deliver; and this was the c good' that was "written
about him.
Great as John's deception and his departure
from the truth may seem, at this trying moment,
none can say that circumstances did not fully justify
him in taking these measures, as they were the only
means of effecting the escape, which, not madi,
might leave him%0 a cruel death.
My reader#may suppose that John ran a great
risk in giving these directions; but he knew very CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA,
well that though the natives might threaten him in
the most frightful manner, they would not dare to
hurt him or Thompson, while their king was confined and in the power of the whites; and that
sooner than have him injured, they would give up
five hundred slaves. MM
Maquina questions John—he takes the letter—is detained m irons
on board the brig—rage and grief of the natives—Thompson
is sent to the vessel—John is also carried out—his arrival at the
brig—account of the brig—how she came there—demand of
the things belonging to the Boston.
Never did John undergo such a scrutinizing
look from any other mortal, as Maquina gave him,
when he took the letter, and told him to place his
finger on every word and tell him its true meaning.
He had to forge a definition for every syllable,
and to make it out, that he had told the captain
how kind the \ing had been to him; and asked
him to use him well, and give him as much biscuit and molasses, and rum, as he wanted.
Since his marriage, John had painted his face,
like the others, which helped him now to tell § lie,
vithout fearing his own countenance would contra- ..'
diet his tongue. When he had got to the end of
the letter, with a false interpretation for every sentence, Maquina placed his finger on his name, and
giving a glance that searched him through, said,
! John, you no lie?'
4 Why, Tyee, do you ask me this? have you
ever known me to deceive you ?' said John. [ No,'
was the reply. £ Why then,' said John, \ should you
suspect me now?' Maquina's keen black eye was
all this time rivetted upon his face, and when he
had done speaking, the king ordered his men to get
out the canoe for him to go to the vessel.
His people entreated him not to go, and his wives
fell on their knees at his feet, imploring him to stay
on shore; but he turned from them, and saying,
1 John no lie,' left the house, and stepping into the
canoe, ordered it to be paddled to the vessel.
He delivered the letter, and was immediately
taken and put in irons, after he had been lured
into the cabin to eat biscuit and molasses, while
the men on board were arming themselves and preparing the manacles.' DEPARTURE OF MAQUINA FOR THE VESSEL.
He was in great terror at this reception, but
made no resistance, only asking the captain to let
one of his men come to speak with him.
The captain granted this request, but told him
he was his prisoner till he ordered two men, who,
he knew, were on shore in captivit]^, to be released.
The inhabitants were all waiting on the beach
for the return of the canoe. As they saw it coming without the king, they showed much concern;
and when it neared the land, and they learnt what
had happened, they began to yell, tear out their hair,
and run about in a most wild and terrific manner.
They told John, they knew it was a plot of his ;
and brandishing their weapons over him, said that
they would cut him into pieces as small as their
thumb-nails ; that they would roast him alive, and
head downwards, over a slow.-fire; and many
other -ways did they tell in which he should atone
for his deed, but without alarming him; for he
threwUpen his bear-skin garment, telling them to
strikefpthat he wa#but one among malljr, and they
might easily kill him, if they wished to see their
16 V-
'" M
■ 242
king hung up on \ that pole,' which he called the
yard of the vessel, pointing to it.
These threats were from the common people,
and the men. But Maquin#s wives came round
John, and kneeling before him, begged him not to
let the white people hurt him ; while poor little Sat-
sat kept fast hold of his hand, and crying as if his
heart would break, as he plead for the life of his
father, saying, \ Don't let him be lolled! don't let
him be hurt!'
John pacified them all by assuring them there
was nothing to fear, if they would let him and
Thompson go free; for, that this was a thing of
the captain's own doing, as no doubt, he ha'd heard
of their being kept in bondage, and come to release
This, they believed, though they, at first, cried
out so violently, that John had spoke bad about
Maquina, in the letter; and they now came and
asked what they must do to get their king safe
John told them, the best thing would be to let CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
Thompson be sent on board, with a request to the
captain to treat the king well, till he could come
out towardsiitie vessel in a canoe; and then to
let Maquina get into a boat and be broughtAut,
'where an exchange of prisoners should ta£e place
on the water. ||p
They were willing to let Thompson go; but they,
at first, wanted John to remain on land, till the
men of the brig should bring Maquina, and take
him back.
But John knew better than to trust his life to a
plan like this. He felt it would not be worth much
on shore among the natives, with their king safe
back, after what had now taken place.
He therefore told them, that the captain, who
knew how they had treated the crew of the Boston,
would never consent to their king's coming till
after both their prisoners were safe in the vessel,
unless he got within reach, so that he could s^eak
to him, and tell him to let the king come off.
So when Thompson had got sale away from the
shore and the peopleHie had so long and so hearti-
j# 244
ly detested, John told them if they would now
take him, and paddle him so near that he could
hail the vessel, he would call to have Maquina sent
out in the boat, from which he might step into the
canoe, when he, giving up his seat in it, would
take one in the boat and go to the vessel.
This they consented to; while Sat-sat hung
round John, begging him, since he was going
away himself to leave him, to see that his father
was given safe back to him.
John promised to do this, and, after taking an
affectionate leave of the weeping boy, he hastened
to the canoe that waited for him.
He took his seat so as to face the Indians, who
paddled, and who, as soon as they came within
hail of the brig, dropped their oars, and waited for
the call to be given.
At this, John took out his pistols, and told them
to proceed, or he would shoot them both £ead in a
Unprepared for an act of tins sort, the Indians
were so frightened, that they almost fiUcied them- CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA,
selves shot already, and Seizing their oars, they
literally paddled for their lives, till they got to the
side of the brig.
We can never describe John's emotions; but we
may imagine how his heart leapt for joy within his
bosom, as his feet leapt on board the vessel of a
Christian people.
The vesiel was the brig Lydia, of Boston, Captain Samuel Hil%commander, who had been on the
coast near Klaizzart, aW. received the letter from
the chfefj Ulatilla.
This interesting yoking chief had been faithful to
his promise made to John, to see his letter delivered,
and had gone out some ehstari&e to sea in his canoe,
to give the letter Avith his own hand, into that of
the captain, who on receiving it, proceeded directly
^ Nootka to the relief of the prisoners.
The crew of the Lydia rushed to the side of
the deck as John sprang on board, with such a
crowd of feeling of various kinds, as almost choked
his utterance,  while he  tried  to thank them  for -
their kindness, and their congratulation on his
In this confused state of mind, and overwhelming
flow of feeling, with his strange and savage aspect,
he must have filled the beholders with astonishment. Indeed, Captain Hill afterwards told him
that he never saw any human figure look so wild
as he did when he came to the vessel.
He was dressed in bear-skin; his hair was long
and drawn up on the top of his head, and surmounted by a branch of spruce ; his face was painted in true Indian style.
When he went below to see Maquina, who did
not know that he had any hand in his confinement,
he found him looking sad and dejected.
But his face brightened as he beheld his friend
John's; and John asked leave of the captain to
knock off the irons of the captive king, assuring
him, that as long as he was with Maquina, there
was nothing to fear from him.
Uf| then gave, in presence of Maquina, a full
account of the misfortune of the Boston ; and Cap-
Tmiiiii¥irir-Mn""=Tr 248
tain Bill thought Maquina ought to be put to death.
But John plead in his behalf.
He said that, notwithstanding all the cruelty
that had been shown to the crew, Maquina had
often spared his life, when the cry of the people
was for his blood.
He told Captain Hill that he had not only saved
his life, but been uniformly kind, giving him a
share of the best he had; and that he could never
give his consent to the death of a man who had
done this.
Maquina, who understood the nature of the conversation, kept interrupting it by asking, | What are
they going to do with me ? are they going to kill
me?' &c.
'John,' said he, 'you know that, when you
were alone among five hundred warriors, all your
enemies, I saved your life, when they demanded
it—I was your\ffiend. Now will you not do the
same by me ?'
John told him he would, and that huphad nothing to fear if he would remain quietly till his peo- CAPTIVE  OF   NOOTKA.
pie could bring out the. remaining spoil of the
Boston, which ought to be restored to its right
owners. But this could not be done till the next
morning, it was now so near night.
.   LI qui I      ' 250
The things belonging to tlie Boston brought out—Maquina takes
his leave of John—death of a young Chief—return of the
vessel to Nootka, from the northward—Maquina visits her
with skins—voyage to China—John hears from home by an
Englishman—comes to Boston—finds a letter from his
mother—concluding remarks.
The Indians in waiting for their king, were then
told that as soon as they -would bring out what
belonged to the Boston, they should take him back;
but a strict injunction was laid on them, not to
approach the vessel during the^night, if they did
not wish to be fired upon.
It was John's lot to pass the night with the royal
captive, who would not let him sleep, but kept
rousing him to answer some question about what
was to b#done"with him.
Early in the morning, John hailed the natives, CAPTIVE OF  NOOTKA,
and told them it was the wiEKfef their king that they
should bring out the -Hongs belonging to theliwners
of the Boston.
They accordingly went to work with great expedition. To remove the cannon and anchors,
they lashed two of the largest canoes together, and
covered them with planks, and thus, with their
burden upon them, towed them out.
In about two hours, every thing belonging to the
ship and her cargo, that remained with the natives,
was brought out; and Maquina was told that he
might go home.
Hispeanoe had come for him, bringing, in addition to the other things, all the skins which he had
in possession, about sixty in number, as a present
to the captain for letting him return, and without
hurting him.
Such was Maquina's rapture, on being told he
might go, that he sprang up, and throwing off his
mantle that consisteJfef four fine skins, he gave it
to the captain in token of his gratitude.
Captain Hill gave him, in return, a hat and great
coat, with which he^eemed much pleased; and
told him that he should return to that part of the
coast in November, and he wished him to sa^l all
his skins for him to purchased
John,' said Maquina, turning to him as his interpreter, | you know 1 shall then be at Tashees.
But make a pow, (fire a gun) and I -will come down
to meet you here.'
As he stood at the side of the brig, ready to step
into the canoe, he shook John cordially by the
hand, telling him, he hoped he would come to sge
him again in a big ship, and bring much plenty
blankets, biscuit, molasses and rum for him and
his son, who, he knew, loved him very much.
He added, that he .should never take a letter of
recommendation to any one again, nor trust himself
on board a vessel, unless John were in it.
The tears trickled down his cheeks, as he bade
John farewell, stepped into the canoe, and was paddled off nn
There was much in the character of this Indian
king, which, had it been moulded by civilisation, ■MMMMM
■■■*&mMSL-:      *fc.
■ 254
and purified by Christianity, would have been
noble and delightful, and John had received so
much kindness and protection from him, when he
had none besides to help him, by human agency,
that he could not help feeling a sort of sadness at
his final separation from him.
An accident that happened on board the brig,
greatly damaged the joy of John at his liberation.
A young Nootkan chief, who had had no hand in
killing the crew of the Boston, and who was a fine
fellow, happened to be one to help bring the muskets to the brig^ As they were delivered, Captain
Hill sat in the cabin, and snapped several of their
locks. The young chief was near; when one of
the muskets going off, discharged the contents into
his body.    The gun was loaded with swan shot.
John, on hearing the report of the gun, ran to the
cabin, and found the Indian weltering in his blood
with the captain, greatly shocked at the accider
trying to help him.    John assured him it -was not
intentional, as the captain had no idea of the gun's
being loaded. CAPTIVE  OF NOOTKA.
He said he was well aware of that, and after
having his wounds bound up, he was put into a
canoe and carried on shore. It was afterwards
found that he languished some days, and then died
of his wounds. He had always shown an amiable
disposition, and been a good friend to the captives.
The brig made her excursion northward, and
returned to Nootka in November. Here they followed Maquina's directions, and made the ' pow.J
In a few hours, a canoe was seen. After having
landed the king, it came out to the brig, and John
recognised in it, the voice of Kinneclimmets, who
asked if John was on board, saying that he had
some skins to sell them, if he was.
John went forward and invited him and the
others on board. They accepted, and told the captain {Jiat Maquina had some fine skins ; but that he
was afraid to come to the vessel unless John would
come after him. This John agreed to do, if they
would remain at the vessel.
They consented, and he got into their canoe, and
paddled  ashore.    On  his  landing,  Maquina  was
overjoyed to meet him. But when he asked for
his men, and -was told why they did not come,
' Ah ! John,' said he,^ I see you are afraid to trust
me, yet. But you need nil have feared, for I
should not have hurt you, though I should have
taken good care never to let you go on board a
vessel again.'
He then took his chest of skins, and got into
the canoe which John paddled to the brig. He
sold his skins, and seeming pleased with his visit,
took a second leave of John, asking how many
moons there would be, before he would come back
to see him and Sat-sat, who, he said, wanted very
much to come down with him from Tashees to see
The Lydia was bound to China. After a good
voyage, with pleasant weather, she arrived, ha due
time, at Canton. Here there was an English ship,
whose mate, hearing of two captives that had fteen
released from Nootka, came to inquire about them.
This young man happened to be the son of a
merchant at Hull, and next-door neighbor to John's CAPTIVE  OF  NOOTKA.
father. He had heard of the fate of the Boston,
and, lili^theiiest of John's friends, supposed him
to be long since dead.
Their meeting I will not describe. I will only
say that the young man, whose name was John
Hill, furnished John with comfortable -clothing,
some money, and many other articles that mighc
add t# his comfort on ins passage, and after his
arrival in America.
John gave him a letter to his parents, which arrived safely and speedily; for, when the Lydia arrived at Boston, after a passage of a hundred and
fourteen days from China, which she left in February, 1807, he found a letter in the post-office, m
answer to it. ^&$
The letter was from his mother, informing him
that^ all his friends at home were alive and well.
What else it informed him of, report saith not.
Neither  have  we  any  particular   accounts  of
Thompson, after he gained  his  freedom.    But I
presume,   he  applied   himself   to  the   sail-needle
17 W
3^ *B      \wamtitic 'i nKTuw niiBiiM
again; and that he always took good care to keep
clear of the shores of Nootka.
Our hero,#oha^l. JewitW of whom we are now
about to take our leave, acknowledged much kindness received from the gentlemen who had owned
the lost ship, during his stay in Boston, Massachusetts.
How long he-remained there, we have never
heard, nor where he bent his way from that place.
The last I ever heard of him, gave information
of his being a resident in Middletown, Connecticut,
in the year 1815.
Whether he ever went through a second marriage ceremony, or not, I am not able to say; neither can I tell the line of life which he followed
after his emancipation from slavery.
But I presume that wherever his lot was cast,
an$. whatever that lot might be, he always carried
about with him a grateful heart.
However sincerely he might have regretted his
own waywardness, in preferring to take his own
course in the choice of a profession, to hearing to
the advice of his good father, I think he could
never again have distrusted the overruling hand
of Providence, or despaired of its help in a trying
Experience i&a faithful school-master, though,
often a severe one, in whose hand the rod is sometimes used, even Avhen the pupil may feel penitent
for his faults of will or of judgment. 1
i—  BBS.
^P Jiti
Aa ™
'd  M  


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