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Historical account of discoveries and travels in North America ; including the United States, Canada,… Murray, Hugh, 1779-1846 1829

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Array     CHARLES K. PINMEY*  5
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
DISCOVERIES AND  TRAVELS
NORTH AMERICA.  HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
DISCOVERIES AND TRAVELS
NORTH AMERICA
THE UNITED STATES,  CANADA,   THE SHORES OF  THE
POLAR SEA, AND THE VOYAGES IN SEARCH OF
A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE ;
OBSERVATIONS ON EMIGRATION.
BY HUGH MURRAY, ESQ., F.R. S.E.,
Author of Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Africa, Asia, &c.
SUugtrateto 6g a JWaji o£ ^ovtïj tUmtvitK.
VOL. II.
LONDON :
PUBLISHED BY
LONGMAN, REES, ORME, BROWN, & GREEN ; AND
OLIVER & BOYD, EDINBURGH.
1829-  CONTENTS OF VOLUME II
BOOK II.
VOYAGES FOB THE DISCOVERY OF A NOKTH-WEST PASSAGE TO
INDIA.
CHAP. I.—Early English Voyages.
Rise of a Spirit of Discovery in England, 4 Sebastian Cabot
Grand Pilot, 4.—Expedition of Sir Hugh Willoughby, 5	
. Sir Martin Frobisher, 7-—First Voyage, 8.-—Second Voyage,
11.—Third Voyage,. 20.—John Davis, 26—First Voyage, 27.
—Second Voyage, 29.—Third Voyage, 34—Maldonàdo, 36	
Weymouth, 40.—Knight,   42 His  Death,   44.—Hudson's
Early Voyages, 45.—Fourth Voyage and tragical End, 52.—
Sir Thomas Button, 55.
CHAP. II Expeditions along the North-West Coast of
Amebic a.
Expeditions by the Spaniards from Mexico, 64.—Cortes, ib.—
His Letters to Charles V., 65.—Hurtado, 66.—Mendoza, 67.—
Cortes's own Expedition, 68.—Ulloa, ib.—Report of the Seven Cities, 69.—Coronado, 73.—Alarchon, 75.—City of Qui-
• vira, 78.—Cabrillo, 79—Viscaino, 80 Juan de Fuca, 87.—
De Fonte, 89.—Russian Expedition under Behrfng and Tchi-
rikofF, 93—Cook and Clerke, 100.—Meares, 102.—Inhabitants,
&c. of Nootka Sound, 115.-—Vancouver, 119.—Kotzebue, 122.
a ?**T*TÏ*^
VI
CONTENTS.
CHAP. III.—Discoveries made in and from Hudson's Bay.
Voyage of Fox, 126.—Of James, 129.—Settlement of Hudson's
Bay, 130.—The Hudson's Bay Company, 132?.-—Voyage by
Knight, 133—By Middleton, 135.—By Moor and Smith, 140.
—Hearne's Journey to the Northern Ocean, 144.—Macken?
zie's Journeys to the North and the West, 155.
CHAP. IV.—Recent North-West Voyages.
Plans for Expeditions of Discovery, 160.—Captain Ross sent
out, 161.—His Voyage round Baffin's Bay, 162.—Lancaster
Sound, 165.—Captain Parry's First Voyage, 168.—Discovery,
of Barrow's Strait, 172.—Melville Island, 173.—Wintering,
175.—Proceedings next Summer, 179.—Return to England,
180.—Second Voyage, 181.—-Passage through the Welcome,
185— Winter Island, 190.—The Esquimaux, 195—The Northern Ocean, 216 Strait of the Fury and Hecla, 217.—Second
Wintering, ib.—Return, 218.—TtSrd Voyage, 220.—Loss of
the Fury, &26.—Return, 227.
CHAP. V.—Arctic Land-Expeditions.
Plan of penetrating by Land to the Arctic Sea, 228.—Captain
Franklin and Dr Richardson, 229.—They reach the Arctic
Sea, 235.—Voyage along its Coast, 236.—Disastrous Rétiifti,.
239.—Second Expedition, 250.—Arrival at the Mouth of the
Mackenzie River, 254.—Voyage of Captain Franklin, 256.—
Of Dr Richardson, 262.—Return, 264.—Captain Lyon's unsuccessful Attempt to penetrate across Repulse Bay, 265. CONTENTS.
vu
BOOK III.
RECENT TRAVELS AND PRESENT STATE OF NORTH AMERICA.
CHAP. I.—Physical Geography of the United States.
Great Extent of Territory, 270.—Continuity of its Features,
271 Five Divisions, «o.—Their Aspect and Structure, ib.—
Plain on the Atlantic Coast, 272.—The Alleghany Mountains,
275—The Western Territory, 280—The Rocky Mountains,
294—The Coast of the Pacific, 295.—Climate, 296—Minerals,
301.—Animal Creation, 3©4.^<Quadrupeds, ib.—Birds, 314.—
Reptiles, 315.—Fishes, 317 Vegetable Prodactions, 318.
CHAP. II Political Sysïeem of the United States.
America a Federal Republic, 321.—Principles on which it was
formed, 322.—Congress, 323—The President, 326.—Salaries,
327.—Revenue, 328—Military Force, 330.—Navy, 331 —
Judicial Department,*333.—Negro Slavery, <336.—Indian Connexions, 340.—General Estimate, 342.
CHAP. Ifï.:—Moral and Social State.
General Views, 345.—Religion, no National Church, 346.—Advantages and Disadvantages, 347-—Sects, 349.—Methodists,
351—Camp Meetings, 352—Numbers of Clergy, 355.—
Learning, Diffusion of Knowledge, 358.—Universities, 358.
—Printing, Newspapers, 360-1.—Language, 365.—National
Character, 369—Varieties, ib.—Spirit of Independence, 374.
—Fighting, 376—Duelling, 377—Curiosity, 380.—Hospitality, 383—Inns, 386.—Enterprise and Indolence, 388—Peculiarities of the New-Englanders, 392.—Virginians, 393	
Backwoodsmen, 394.—Cities, 396.—Washington, ib.—New York, 401.—Philadelphia,  405.—Boston, 407.—Charleston,
409 Baltimore, 415.—Pittsburgh, 416.—Cincinnati, 418—
New Orleans, &c. 427-
CHAP. IV.—View of Industry and Commerce in the
United States.
Peculiar Situation of America, 430.—Its great Capacities, 432.
—National Lands, ib.—Their Extent, 433.—Mode of Sale, ib.
—American Agriculture, 435.—Price of Lands, 436.— Products, Maize, Wheat, Tobacco, Rice, and Cotton, 438.—
Domestic  Animals,   441.—Manufactures,  443.—Commerce,
445 Detailed Exports and Imports in 1810, 447.—Exports
and Imports in 1826, 450.—Estimates by the Convention of
Harrisburg, 453.—American Tariff ib.
CHAP. V.—Present State of Canada and other
Countries of British America.
General View of British America, 455.—Canada, 456.—Great
Chain of Lakes, 457.—Geological Structure, 459.—Climate,
461.—Animals and Vegetables, 464.—Minerals, 465.—F alls of
Niagara, ib.—Rapids,.471-—Lower-St Lawrence, 473.—Social
State, the Habitans, 475.—Upper Canada, 483.—Emigrants,
484.—Cities, Quebec, Montreal, &c. 495.—Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick, 499.—Newfoundland, 500.
CHAP. VI.—On Emigration to America.
Motives to Emigration, 503.—-Principle of Population,' 504.—
Greek Colonies, 506.—Roman Colonies, 507.—Emigrations of
•Barbarous Nations, 508.—Early Colonization of the East and
West Indies, 509.—Different Character of the present Emigration, 511.—Motives to emigrate from England, 512.—
Scotland, 513.—Ireland, 514.—The Voyage" outwards,'518.
—Choice between United States and British America, 520	 CONTENTS. IX
Journey into the Interior, 524.—Selection of Lands, 525.—
Emigration considered in respect to the different Classes of
Society in a National View, 527.—Aids afforded by Government, 532.—Canada Company, 539.—Recent Intelligence received by Captain Hall, Mr M'Taggart, and Mr Read, 541.
Supplementary Information.—American Canals, 543.—Canada, 544.—Inland Navigation, ib.
APPENDIX.
LIST OF IMPORTANT WORKS RELATING TO AMERICA.  HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
OP
DISCOVERIES AND TRAVELS
NORTH AMERICA. F! BOOK IL
VOYAGES FOR THE DISCOVERY OF A NORTHWEST PASSAGE TO INDIA.
The preceding Book has exhibited the progress of
American discovery and settlement as it took place in
all the temperate climates, and in those regions which
the emigrants from Europe were destined to cover
with great and flourishing nations. But there was
carried on, at the same time, beyond the boundaries,
as it were, of the habitable world, amid the realms
of perpetual ice and snow, a succession of -grand
enterprises, which, though they.failed of their immediate object, presented an extraordinary series of
adventure, and included grand displays of naval skill
and prowess. These voyages, therefore, interspersed
with a few land-expeditions to the same quarter,
will furnish an ample and interesting subject for this
Second Book.
VOL. II. A EARLY ENGLISH VOSGES.
Rise of a Spirit of Discovery in England.—'Sebastian Cabot
Grand Pilot.—Expedition of Sir Hugh Wilhughby.—Sir Mar-
■ tin Frobisher—First Voyage—Second Voyage—Third Voyage.—John Davis—First Voyage — Second Voyage — Third
Voyage.—Maldonado. — Weymouth. — Knight—His Death.—
Hudson's early Voyages—Fourth Voyage and tragical End.-—
Sir Thomas Button.
After all the splendid scenes which the New
World had exhibited, and the fountains of wealth
which it had opened, the first object with which
Columbus had left the shores of Spain to cross the
unknown Atlantic continued ever to glitter foremost
in the eyes of Europeans. Another and a shorter
passage to the golden regions of the East was, if not
the primary, always the ultimate object of those who
spread westward the sail of discovery. So long as
the idea of an island-group attached to the regions
of the newly-discovered world, a passage among these
islands might be naturally expected. The illusion was
cherished by the delusive ideas, then prevalent, re- EARLY ENGLISH VOYAGES.
spécting the magnitude and relative position of the
different parts of the earth.    In some of the early
delineations America and Asia are found  actually
conjoined through their whole mass ; and while on
one side are Mexico and Brazil, on the other are India
and the Cattigara of Pliny.     The   eager   activity,
however, of the great maritime explorers had long
before the lapse of half a century  dispelled these
early hopes.    Vesputius, Ojeda, Grijalva, had searched all round the Gulf of Mexico, and found it every
where enclosed by vast lands ; while to the southward
an unbroken mass of continent was found indefinitely
extending.    In the north, again, the long ranges of
coast surveyed, vainly as to this object, by Cabot,
Cortereal, Verazzani, and Cartier, chilled the hope of
finding, within any temperate latitude, this grand
commercial route.     The European mind, however,
continued still fixed on this long-cherished aim with
deep and romantic ardour, which seemed to strengthen in proportion to the obstacles which rose against it.
At length the spirit of adventure advanced to a daring height.    A race of bold mariners were found, who
dreaded not to face all the inclemencies of the polar
sky, in climes that lie beneath the sway of perpetual
winter.    Perhaps at best this could never be any
thing but a grand and daring chimera.     That the
merchant should find a safe and commodious passage,
during the short arctic summer, along  coasts just
loosened from ice, of which mighty mountains still
floated around him, could only, perhaps, have been,
formed in that lofty and excited state of mind which
prompts to distant adventure.    But man's high exer- EARLY ENGLISH VOYAGES.
tions afford a reward to themselves in the energies
which they create, and the spirit which they diffuse.
No sphere of exertion has made a grander display of
the prowess and daring of British seamen, for it is
with pride we reflect that this career has been almost
exclusively theirs. Britain began, carried on, and
has now very nearly completed the delineation of these
vast unknown boundaries of the habitable earth.
It was under the short but patriotic and popular
reign of Edward VI. that the maritime spirit of
Britain, which before had emitted only transient
sparks, burst into a steady and ample blaze. The
northern passage to India was the object which called
forth the royal patronage and the national enthusiasm. It was not by America, however, but by
the north-east of Asia, that the passage was first
sought. A company, said to consist of " grave citizens of London, and men of great wisdom," was
formed, under the title of " Merchants Adventurers,
for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and
places unknown." Five thousand pounds were subscribed, and three vessels constructed, in the most
careful manner, and with even new precautions,
among which was that of covering the keel with thin
sheets of lead. Sebastian Cabot, recalled to England,
and created Grand Pilot of the kingdom, drew up
instructions for the conduct of the expedition. The
command was given to Sir Hugh Willoughby, whose
birth, known prowess, and even his noble and
commanding figure, threw a new lustre on the undertaking. They sailed down the Thames on the
10th May, 1553,  and  as they passed  Greenwich, EARLY ENGLISH VOYAGES. 5
where the court then resided, attracted the notice not
only of the first nobility, but of the whole body of the
people, who lined the shore, and even the roofs of
the houses. Guns were fired, handkerchiefs waved,
and the air rung with shouts of acclamation. The
thought of the mighty and unknown seas into which
they were to plunge served only, in this moment of
exultation, to give an inspiring grandeur to the enterprise. Few probably of those who hailed them as
they floated down in this pompous array, suspected
that they were victims adorned for the sacrifice, and
that so speedy and so dark a fate awaited this brilliant armament.
Sir Hugh Willoughby sailed round the coast of
Norway, endeavouring to rendezvous his little fleet
at the port of Wardhuys, in Finmark. He was attacked, however, with " flawes of wind and terrible
whirlwinds," and sought in vain to reach the land,
which he found | lay not as the globe made mention."
Thus bewildered, on this dark and stormy sea, and
encompassed with danger in every form, he continued
yet to press towards his destination. In a few days
he descried land, but of a dreary and desolate aspect,
either Spitzbergen, or, as some think, more probably
Nova Zembla. In either case it could present only
one aspect ; rocks rising over rocks, with the clouds
wrapt around their icy pinnacles ; while no sound
could be wafted over the waves, but the crash of its
falling ice and the hungry roar of its monsters. Willoughby, reluctant to renounce the brilliant hopes with
which he had departed, continued to struggle onward ;
but, instead  of obtaining any view of the golden 6 EARLY ENGLISH VOYAGES.
shores of India and Cathay, he found himself plunging deeper and deeper into the regions of perpetual
winter. As his ships began to suffer severely, he
deemed it necessary to turn back, and seek for a harbour in which they might winter in safety. After
beating about for some time on these unknown and
desolate shores, they at length found one at the
mouth of the river of Arzina, on the eastern coast of
Lapland. It was now only September, but it was here
the depth of winter,—intense frost, and tempests of
snow driving through the air; while the sun, appearing
only for a short period at mid-day, on the edge of the
horizon, announced the speedy closing in of the polar
night. They were now in the situation described by
the poet :
Miserable they
Who here, entangled in the gathering ice,
Take their last look of the descending sun,
While full of fate, and fierce with tenfold frost,
The long, long night, incumbent o'er their heads,
Falls horrible.
The journal proceeds no farther, and a veil hangs
over the varied forms of famine and death which
beset them in their-last extremity. Some Russian
fishermen, who were sailing this way in the following
year, found the ships, with all their gallant crews
lifeless. By a will found on board, it appeared that
Sir Hugh still survived in January, but probably then
felt his end approaching.
Chancellor, who commanded one of the vessels of
this expedition, was more fortunate. Being separated
from the rest, he kept close along the coast, and ar-
nv-rt-aw.'Miy
sw«K8»8P^a««aS4 FRoBISHER.
rived in the White Sea. An intercourse was opened
with Russia, and the merchant-adventurers were henceforth known under the title of Muscovy merchants.
But the ardour of the nation for a north-east passage
was severely chilled ; and one inefficient- expedition
sent many years after by the Muscovy merchants,
under Pet and Jackman, formed the termination of
their efforts in that direction. The Dutch East India
Company sent three expeditions, one of which wintered in Nova Zembla, enduring the most severe hardships, but all without any result.
When the" enterprise of the nation, after being
paralyzed under the gloomy reign of Mary, had been
fully rekindled, all eyes were turned to the west.
The first English mariner who adventured in search
of a north-western passage was Captain, afterwards
Sir Martin Frobisher. Forster and others give
Queen Elizabeth the merit of fitting him out ; but,
by the narrative of Best, it is very clear that that
princess acted here with all her usual economy. It
was in Frobisher's own mind that the idea arose of
achieving that which appeared to him " the only great
thing that was yet left undone in the world." Having
no adequate means, however, to " set forward" the
undertaking, he spent fifteen years in conference with
his friends, and in soliciting aid from the merchants ;
but, finding that nothing would make them move but
" sure, certaine, and present gaines," he repaired to
court, " where all good causes have their chief maintenance," and there laid open to " many great estates
and learned men" the projects which he had formed.
Here he found a more favourable hearing.  Supported 8
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
by a patriotic nobleman, Ambrose Dudley, Earl of
Warwick, he collected, by slow degrees, the means
of equipping two barks of twenty-five tons, and a
pinnace of ten tons, and with this slender armament
prepared to brave the tempests of the northern deep.
The queen, if she did not contribute her money, gave
at least her full countenance and favour to the undertaking.
Frobisher set sail on the 8th June from Deptford,
and, on passing the court (at Greenwich,) fired a salute,
and " made the best show we could. Her majestie
beholding the same, commended it, and bade us farewell, with shaking her hand to us out at the window."
Mr Secretary Woolly (Walsingham) also came on
board, gave strict charges to the crew to obey their
commander, and wished them happy success. On the
26th, they passed Foula, the most remote of the
Shetland islands, and found themselves launched in
the abysses of the northern deep. Steering a course
west by north, on the 11th July they had sight of the
land of Friesland, bearingwest north-west, " rising like,
pinnacles of steeples, and all covered with snow." This
name of Friesland, which Frobisher here copies from
Zero, is applied by him to the southern extremity of
Greenland. After several vain attempts to land, he
steered out into the open sea, in order to avoid the
dangers with which the coast was beset. On the 21st
they had sight of a great drift of ice, seeming a firm
land ; and again on the 6th of a land of ice. On the
morning of the 28th a thick fog having cleared up, they
saw before them an extended coast, which they concluded to be that ofLabrador.  They sailed about for se-
■'tassas. FROBISHER.
veral days, unable to approach on account of the continuous icy barriers. On the 1st August they saw a
large ice-island, and approached within two cables'
length of it ; but next day % that great island of ice
fell the one part from another, making a noise as if a
great clift had fallen into the sea." After sailing for
several days, they came to an island, where the captain rowed on shore, with a boat and eight men, to
ascertain if there were any inhabitants. They soon saw
seven boats, the crews of which at first showed a good
deal of shyness ; but the captain, by holding up white
cloths, and making presents of toys, at length induced
the whole party to come on board, " being nineteen persons, and they spake, but we understood them not. They
be like unto Tartars, with long blacke haire, broad
faces, and flat noses, and tawnie in colour." Men and
women were clothed in seals' skins, and the boats
made of the same materials, " with a keele of wood
within the skin." Frobisher sailed next day to the
east side of the island, which was found also well-
peopled, and, by means of a bell and a knife, enticed
one of the people on board ; but, not wishing to keep
him, ordered five of his men to land him at the
extremity of a rock. The wilfulness of the sailors
was such, that they carried him to the main body of
his countrymen, when they were themselves taken,
and never allowed to return. Frobisher does not
seem to have ventured on any very mighty exertions
for the recovery of these lost members of his crew.
He, however, approached the shore, fired guns, and
sounded trumpets ; but no result following, he plied
out of the bay, calling it the Five Men's Sound.   Next 10
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
day he approached the spot, and saw fourteen boats,
but without being able to penetrate in any degree the
fearful mystery in which the fate of his countrymen
was involved. However, by ringing a bell, the
English attracted one of the natives, and, in giving
him the bell, they took him and carried him to
England. His resistance was vigorous ; but Frobisher seized and " plucked him with maine force, boate
and all, out of the sea. Whereupon, when he found
himself in captivity, for very choler and disdain, he
bit his tongue in twaine within his mouth, notwithstanding he died not thereof." This " strange infidèle,
whose like was never seen," lived till they came to
England, when he died, it is said, of a cold !
The season being now advanced, without any appearance of reaching the South Sea, or the shores of
India, Frobisher judged it expedient to direct his
sails homewards. He again passed Friesland ; but
could not approach, " on account of the monstrous ice
which lay upon it." After sailing along the coast of
Iceland, and by the Orkneys, he arrived in London
on the 2d of October.
It had been a primary object with Frobisher's
crews to bring home something which might serve as a
specimen of the hitherto unknown region discovered by
them. | Some brought floweres, some greene grasse ;"
and one of the sailors having found a large mass
of stone, black as a coal, with a metallic glitter,
Frobisher, in the absence of any thing better, took it
on board. When he came home, all his acquaintances
urged him for something out of Meta Incognita, as
the newly-discovered country had been called ; upon FROBISHER. 11
which he broke the large stone in pieces, and made a
distribution of it among his friends. It chanced that a
gentlewoman, to whom a portion had been thus gifted,
let it fall into the fire ; where, after having burned
for some time, being taken out, " it glittered like a
bright marqueset of gold" (pyrites aureus). Being
carried to certain gold-finers of London, they declared
" that it held gold, and promised great matters thereof,"
if it should be found in any abundance.
The discovery of this gold became now the foremost object, and facilitated wonderfully the equipment
of a new expedition : the queen herself came forward with one of her " tall ships," the Ayde, of two
hundred tons burden, and Frobisher, from other
quarters, succeeded in equipping the Michael and the
Gabriel, of about thirty tons each. He then waited
upon the queen, who was at Lord Warwick's seat in
Essex, and, having kissed her hand, took leave, " with
her gracious countenance and comfortable words."
Frobisher set sail from Blackwall on the 25th
May, 1577, and " with a merrie wind," on the 7th
June arrived at the Orkneys. This seems to have been
almost an unknown land ; and when the English first
appeared, the natives fled from their " poor cottages
with shreikes and alarms," but were soon, " by gentle
persuasions, reclaimed." Their mode of living was
very rude, their food being oaten cakes and ewe-
milk. " The goodman, wife, children, and other of the
family, eate and sleepe on the one side of the house,
and their cattle on the other, very beastly and rudely
in respect of civilitie." Having now proceeded into
the great northern sea, they had, however, the con- 12
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
solation of enjoying perpetual day, by which they had
constantly, if so disposed, " the fruition of their bookes,
a thing of no small moment to such as wander in unknown seas, when both the winds and raging surges
do pass their common course." They were surprised
with the large quantity of drift-wood, sufficient to
supply Iceland with fuel, and consisting chiefly of fir-
trees, which were judged to be " by the fury of great
floods rooted up." As they came within " the making
of Friesland," they began to see great islands of ice,
of about half a mile in compass, and rising thirty or
forty fathoms above the sea. | Here, instead of odoriferous and fragrant smells of sweet gums, and pleasant notes of sweet birds, which other countries, in
more temperate zones, do yield, we tasted the most
boisterous Boreal blasts, mixed with snow and hail,
in the months of June and July. All along this coast
ice lieth like a continual bulwark." They coasted
along this land four days, without seeing any sign of
habitation; yet little birds, which seemed to have
bewildered themselves amid the thick fogs, came
flying into the ships ; whence they surmised that
I the interior was more tolerable than the outward
shore made signification." Mr Settle was much surprised to observe, that this ice was altogether of fresh
water, and inferred that it must have been formed
entirely upon land, " that the open sea freezeth not,
and that there is no Mare Glaciale or frozen sea."
The expedition now sailed across to the coast of
Labrador, and came to the large opening into Hudson's
Bay, called Frobisher's Straits, and afterwards Lum-
ley's Inlet, which they concluded to be the entrance FROBISHER.
13
into the sea of Sur, and that the shore on one side
was America, and on the other Asia. They found
these straits, however, " shut up with a long
mure of ice, which was a great cause of discomfort ;"
but Frobisher, who was provided for the purpose with
two small pinnaces, left the barks to lie off and on in
the open sea, and threaded his way through the narrow inlets between the ice and the land. His survey
of the coast was satisfactory, and he found a considerable store of that black stone, once despised, but now
become the primary object of search. Having reached
a hill, they erected on the top a column, calling it
Mount Warwick. On their return a number of the
natives hailed them from the top of the hill " with
cries like the lowing of bulls." Frobisher answered
with similar sounds, and with that of trumpets ; at
which they seemed greatly to rejoice, skipping, dancing,
and laughing for joy. They exchanged, but in a very
cautious manner, their commodities for pins, points,
and other trifles. They invited the English up into
the country, and the English them into the ships ;
but " neither part admitted or trusted the other's
courtesie." Yet the natives followed to the boats,
and seemed to part with regret. Frobisher, with his
master, then followed, and, having found two of them
apart, seized and began to drag them along, hoping,
| by toys, appareil, and all arguments of courtesie,"
to conciliate them and their tribe. The ground, however, being uneven and covered with ice, their feet
slipped, and they lost hold of their prizes, who instantly ran, and, having caught hold of their bows
and arrows, which were hid behind a rock, com- 14
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
menced a furious attack, when Frobisher and the
master instantly took to their heels, and ran full
speed to the boats. This precipitate flight of these
great captains, before two miserable Esquimaux, does
not savour altogether of that lofty heroism which we
should be inclined to ascribe to them. Frobisher
reached the boats with an arrow sticking in his leg.
The crew, thinking there must have been a numerous
body of pursuers to inspire such terror, called to arms,
and ran to the rescue ; but as soon as the enemy heard
a shot fired, they ran off full speed ; however, Nicholas Conger, a servant of my Lord Warwick, and a
good wrestler, overtook one of them, threw him on
the ground, and dragged him into the boats.
While these things were passing on shore, the
ships without had to abide a cruel tempest among
the thickest of the islands of ice, which were " so
monstrous, that even the least of a thousand had
been of force sufficient to have shivered our barks into
small portions." Some, in fact, " scraped" them ; and
the range of open sea was so limited, while the gale
was so violent, that, to avoid striking, they were
obliged to tack fourteen times in four hours ; however,
i God being their best steersman," and Charles Jack-
man and Andrew Dyer, master's mates, being very
expert mariners, while Providence furnished "clear
nights without darkness," they escaped these dangers,
which appeared to them more terrible in the recollection than at the moment, when every hand was called
upon to haul ropes, and look out for what Was à-head
of the ship.
After the vessels had been detained some time at FROBISHER.
15
the mouth of the straits, the west winds at length
dispersed the ice, and opened a large entrance. When
they were fairly enclosed between the opposite lands,
Frobisher, with about seventy of his men, made a
formal landing on the southern shore, supposed to be
America, with ensigns displayed, and marched to the
top of several hills, the ascent of which was rendered
difficult by their steepness and the ice. Here special
care was taken that " they should all with one voice,
kneeling on their knees, thank God for their safe
arrival in this country, beseeching his Divine Majesty
to preserve the queene, and bring them back in safety
to their native country." They discovered no sign of
people or habitation, and being fatigued by these " unwieldy ways," were glad to regain the boats. Some
spirited adventurers proposed to march thirty miles
inland, and see what they could find ; but Frobisher
did not think his time allowed of such an enterprise.
He, therefore, landed on the northern coast, supposed
to be Asia, and directed all his efforts to the discovery
of a store of the black stone, esteemed so precious. He
discovered accordingly a very rich deposit, and took on
board twenty tons of it ; but here so violent a commotion took place among the ice-islands, that they narrowly escaped being squeezed to pieces, and were obliged to
throw out the greater part of this precious store. As
they sailed along the shore they found the bones of
a man, and tauntingly asked their captive, whether
his countrymen had not killed and eaten him, and
picked the flesh from the bones ; but he indignantly,
by signs, repelled the charge, and intimated, that the
man had been devoured by wolves or other savage 16
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
beasts. This personage also taught them the use of
various objects, which they found on the shore, as
sledges, kettles of fish-skin, and knives of bone. As
they inquired the use of a bridle of singular construction, he caught hold of one of their dogs, | and hampered him handsomely therein, as we do our horses,
and, with a whip in his hand, he taught the dog to
draw in a sled, as we do horses in a coach."
The expedition had now reached thirty leagues from
the mouth of the straits, to a small island which,
with the sound enclosed by it, they named after " that
right honourable and virtuous lady, Anne Countess
of Warwick." Here they beheld, to their great marvel, some of the | poore caves" which serve the natives
for their winter-dwellings, and of which their description nearly resembles that lately given by Captain
Parry. " They are made two fadome under ground,
like to an oven, being joined fast one to another,
having holes like to a foxe or coney herry, to keepe
and come together. They are seated commonly in
the foote of a hill, to shield them better from the cold
winds, having their door and entrance ever open towards the south. They build with whalebones for
lack of timber, which, bending one over another, are
handsomely composted in the top together, and are
covered with seales' skins. They have only one room,
having one half of the floor raised with broad, stones
a foot higher than the other, whereon strawing moss,
they make their nests to sleep in." In some of the
tents on this shore, from which the natives fled on
their approach, they discovered many strange things,
dead carcasses and flesh of they knew not what ani- FROBISHER.
17
mais ; bat the objects which struck them with wonder
and horror were an English doublet pierced with
many holes, three shoes for contrary feet, a shirt, and
a girdle,—apparel which too evidently belonged to
their five countrymen lost the preceding year. A
chase was instantly commenced, though said to have
been rather in the hope of recovering than of revenging them. Charles Jackman, with a large party, was
sent inland to take the natives on one side, while the
captain, with his boats, was ready on the coast to
receive them. Jackman sought for some time in
vain; but at length, in a deep valley by the seaside, he discovered some tents, the dwellers of which,
to the number of sixteen or eighteen, hurried on
board their boats, and pushed out to sea. The
English fired their pieces, which served as a signal
to their countrymen in the boats, who rowed rapidly to the spot, and began the attack. The unfortunate Esquimaux, enclosed on all sides, ran ashore
on a point of land, where, being closely pursued, they
defended themselves in the most desperate manner.
They took up the arrows shot by the English, and
even plucked them out of their bodies, returned them,
" and maintained their cause until both weapons and
life fayled them." Some, severely wounded, refused
the offered and promised mercy, and cast themselves
headlong from the rocks into the sea. The English succeeded in taking only two women and a child. One of
the ladies was of an ugliness so singular and appalling
as to make the sailors not only conclude' with certainty
that she was a witch, but even suspect her to be the
great enemy of mankind in disguise.    It was deter*
VOL. II. B 18
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
mined to ascertain this point by an examination of the
structure of the lower extremities : " she had her
buskins pulled off to see if she were cloven-footed."
That grand distinctive character being found wanting,
the sailors were content with dismissing her, in order
that their eyes might no longer be wounded with the
view of her visage. The other young woman being mistaken for a man, had been shot at, and the child whom
she carried wounded. They undertook to heal the
wound ; -but the woman with her tongue licked off all
the salves applied to it, till, by continual licking, she
had effected a cure. The introduction of this new
captive to the man formerly taken produced a scene
"more worth beholding than can well be expressed.
At first they held a deep silence, as through grief and
disdain ; the woman even turned away and began to
sing ; at length the man broke up the silence first,
and with stern and stayed countenance began to tell
a long solemn tale, whereunto she being grown into
more familiar acquaintance by speech, the one would
hardly have lived without the comfort of the other."
During the whole voyage she killed and dressed the
dogs, and did all household offices for him ; yet they
did not live as man and wife, and observed the strictest decorum in all their proceedings. The man was
closely examined, whether the five Englishmen had
been killed and eaten by his countrymen ; but this fact
he positively denied. He was shown a picture of his
countryman carried to England the preceding year,
"when he was upon the sudden much amazed thereat,
and beholding advisedly the same with silence a good
while, at length began to question with him as with FROBISHER.
19
his companion; and, finding him dumb, seemed to
suspect him as one disdainful, and would have grown
into choler, until at last, by feeling and handling, he
found the deceit ; and then, with great noise and
cries, ceased not wondering, thinking that we could
make men live or die at our pleasure."
Frobisher at length came into speech with the natives at the point where he had lost his men, whom
they promised to bring back in three days. In
three days accordingly there appeared, on the top of
a hill, three men with a white flag formed of bladders ;
but the English in advancing descried great numbers well-armed lying hidden behind the rocks. Signs
were made, that they must approach unarmed and
under less dubious guise ; but they only set up new
enticements, among Which was " a trim bait of raw
meate." They even brought a lame man, and laid him
down as an easy prey. The English were not so deceived, but discharged a gun at the cripple, who was
instantly cured, and ran off full speed. The natives then
appeared a hundred strong, and let fly their arrows, but
without reaching the English, Who, however, were now
fain to retire, giving up all hopes of recovering their
lost comrades. The only object was to regain their
home, which they reached at different points, the Ayde
at Padstow, the Gabriel at Bristol, and the Michael
at Yarmouth.
Although nothing of importance had been effected
in this voyage, the country continued still full of hope,
both as to the " matter of the gold," and the passage
to Catay. Frobisher was specially commended by
the queen, who also gave such gratifying commendations to the other officers, that they " have since 20
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
Hi
spared neither labour, limme, nor life, to bring this
matter to a prosperous ende." Special commissioners
were appointed, "men of great judgment, art, and
skill, to look thoroughly into the matter." They reported that both the ice and the passage to Catay
were matters of importance, and that they would be
much advanced by a colony of chosen soldiers and
discreet men sent to Meta Incognita, (the somewhat fantastic name now given, but which has not
adhered to the newly-discovered coast). That they
might spend the winter in safety and comfort, a
strong fort or house of timber, " cunningly devised
by a notable learned man," was framed and put on
board the vessel. To this " great adventure and
notable exploit many well-minded and forward-going
gentlemen" readily presented themselves as volunteers. The whole number of colonists amounted
to a hundred, of whom forty were mariners, thirty
miners, and thirty soldiers. The entire expedition
was on a much grander scale than before, consisting
of fifteen sail of good ships, of which twelve were to
return laden with the imaginary gold, and the other
three to remain with the colony. The queen, besides
gifts and promises, bestowed on Frobisher a chain of
gold, and the other fourteen captains kissed her hand
before their departure.
This voyage, set forth with such pomp and on so
great_ a scale, was the most unfortunate of all the
three. When they reached the Queen's Foreland at
the mouth of the straits, they found them " frozen
over from one side to the other, as it were with
many walls, mountains, and bulwarks of ice, which
choked up the passage, and denied us entrance."  This
^SS^eSE i
FROBISHER.
21
appeared to be owing to the south and south-easterly
winds, which had both brought them earlier to this
quarter, and driven in the numerous icebergs upon
the straits ; the navigation through which was rendered truly dangerous by the continual motion of
those huge bodies, two of which would often allow
one ship to pass, and then close in upon the one behind. Two vessels, the Judith and the Michael, were
separated from the rest, and not heard of for a long
time after. The Dennis, a vessel of a hundred tons,
on board of which there was a portion of the house,
received such a blow that it sunk instantly, though
the crew, having given the alarm by firing, were
saved by the other ships. All the vessels were forced
" to stemme and strike great rocks of ice, and as it
were make way through mighty mountains." Their
situation soon became much more serious. After they
had passed through a great quantity of ice, having
much behind and more before, a sudden and dreadful
tempest blew in from the ocean, " bringing all the ice
a sea-boorde of us upon our backs, and rendering it
impossible to recover sea-roome." Thus environed
with danger, " sundry men with sundry devises
sought the best way to save themselves." Some
moored upon a great iceberg, " and rode under the
lee thereof ; others, finding themselves shut in and
compassed amongst an infinite number of great countries and islands of ice, were fain to submit themselves
and their ships to the mercy of the unmerciful ice,
and hung over the sides of the vessels pieces of cables,
masts, planks, and such like, to defend them from
the outrageous sway and strokes of the said ice." 22
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
Thé narrator, however, considers as conducing to the
everlasting renown of our nation, the manner in which
" the painful mariners and poor miners" met the brunt
of these great and extreme dangers. The gallant
fleet and miserable men, during the whole night
and part of next day, continued struggling without
hope of escape. Four, who were outside of the rest,
contrived, amid continual danger of being squeezed
to pieces, to work out into the open sea. Here,
| devoutly kneeling about their main-mast, they gave
unto God humble thanks for themselves, and highly
besought him for their friends' deliverance." In
fact, " it pleased God with his eyes of mercy to
look down from heaven;" and next day they were
favoured with a west south-west wind, which soon
dispersed the ice, gave them ample sea-room, and the
comfort of again joining company.
The crews now busied themselves in setting up the
masts, mending the sails, and stopping the leaks
of their shattered vessels. No sooner was this effected, than the indefatigable Frobisher again " cast
about towards the inward," and they had sight of
land, but so involved in dark mists and the thick
snow which fell in this northern midsummer, that
doubts arose whether it Was or was not the north
foreland, or entrance into Frobisher's Straits. They
pushed on, however, and some even imagined they
saw Mount Warwick ; but this would have placed
them quite out of their reckoning. At length
Christopher Hall, chief pilot, stood up, and declared,
in hearing of the whole fleet, that he had never seen
this coast before.    Frobisher, it is suspected, soon FROBISHER.
23
began himself to perceive that this was not | the old
strait ;" however he dissembled and pushed on,' curious apparently to see whither it would lead. He
found it a more fruitful coast, more verdant, and
stocked with a greater variety of birds and fowls, than
that before visited. The people were more numerous,
had large boats capable of holding twenty persons,
and carried on trade in a very friendly manner. At
length it was necessary to come out of this mistaken
strait ; but in their return they were so involved in
dark fogs and currents, and beset by a labyrinth of
rocks and islands, as to place it beyond the expectation of man that they should ever extricate themselves.
However, | God lent us ever at the very pinch one
prosperous breath of winde or other ;" and even at a
time when all hope seemed over, and every man was
recommending himself to death, " the mighty Maker
of heaven did deliver us ;" and they again reached
the open sea. Here, in the end of July, they were
overtaken by so violent a storm of snow, that " he
who had five or six shifts of apparel had scarce one
dry threade to his back ;" while the sun, occasionally
breaking forth, " produced such a breath of heate as
if we were enclosed in some bath-stone or hothouse ;" and these violent changes had a very injurious effect on their health. However, amid every
obstacle, Frobisher pushed on in search of his old
station, and where he saw the ice never so httle open
| he gat in at one gappe and out at another," till, with
incredible pain and peril, he recovered his long-wished-
for port. Captain Fenton of the Judith, however,
became entangled for twenty days among ice, and 24
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
never was one day or hour without being beset
with continual danger and fear of death. At
length they became " cunning and wise to seek
strange remedies for strange dangers." They used to
fasten the vessel to a firm and broad mass of ice,
" and binding her nose fast thereunto, would fill all
their sails, when the wind forced forward the ship,
the ship the ice, and one ice another, till at length
they got sea-room, still amid sundry mountains and
Alps of ice." The narrator asks his countrymen what
they would think of men leaping and shooting on the
surface of the sea, and rivers of fresh water running
through the ocean a hundred miles from land ; yet
all this was fulfilled on these mighty mountains and
fields of ice.
The vessels being now assembled in port, it was
brought into deliberation, whether they could now
attempt to form their winter-settlement. Of the
house which they had brought out there remained
only two sides, the east and the west, the remainder
having either gone down as above stated, or been suspended in fragments by the sides of the ships to defend them against the ice, and thereby broken. There
were not provisions also for a hundred men ; but
Captain Fenton boldly undertook to remain with
sixty. Hereupon the carpenters and masons were
called upon to say in what time they could put together a house on this smaller scale ; but they could
not undertake it in less than eight or nine weeks, while
the expedition had only twenty-six days to remain.
Frobisher now consulted whether they should not
attempt to distinguish this voyage, from which so FROBISHER.
25
much was expected at home, by some farther discovery. The captains declared their readiness to undertake whatever their chief might devise ; yet this
appeared to them a thing very hard and almost impossible. They urged the dark mists and falling
snows ; the leakage of the drink, which reduced many
of the crews to nothing but water ; and the danger of
a contrary wind shutting them in, when they must
all perish. To proceed, therefore, was found " a
thing very impossible, and that rather consultation
was to be had of returning home." This was accordingly resolved upon, and the vessels, though separated
by a violent storm, all arrived in safety, some at one
port and some at another. The Busse of Bridge-
water, in being obliged to proceed northward through
a channel in which it was involved, found itself in the
great north sea (Baffin's Bay), which appeared to it
with reason to afford the most favourable prospect of
any of penetrating into the Mal der Sur. The only
large lading of the golden stone was found by Captain
Best of the Anne Frances, while separated from the
rest of the fleet, on a small island, where he found as
much as " might reasonably suffice all the gold-gluttons in the world ;" for which reason he named it
" Best's Blessing."
This third expedition of Frobisher was not followed
up by any other,—a failure for which no cause is recorded. It may be presumed, that the dreadful tale
of disaster which was brought home damped for a
time the zeal of the nation. Of the black stone, which
had inspired hopes so brilliant, and given the chief
impulse to the fitting out of this large expedition, no 26
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
1
further mention is made ; nor has it been noticed by
any more recent navigator. A more careful analysis
doubtless dispelled the empty visions with which it
had filled the minds of the English public.
The spirit of discovery did not long slumber. In
1585, 1 certain honourable personages and worshipful merchants," both of London and of the west, determined to put down their adventures for another
attempt at a north-west passage. Mr William Sanderson, merchant of London, " besides his feravaile,
which was not small, became the chief adventurer with
his purse ;" and he recommended Mr John Davis as
a fit person to be the conductor of this hard enterprise.
Davis was furnished with two vessels, the Sunshine
and the Moonshine ; but neither of these two great
planets was of very ample dimensions, the Sun holding only 23 and the Moon 19 men. On the 7th of
June they set sail from Dartmouth, and for six weeks
remarked nothing but the vast number of fishes,
among which were " great store of whales." On the
19th July they heard " a great whistling and bruffling
of a tyde," after which they came into a very calm
sea. " Here we heard a mighty great roaring of the
sea, as if it had been the "breach of some shore ";" yet
when the Moonshine sounded, it could not find ground
in three hundred fathoms. Its boat was immediately
sent, with strict injunctions to fire a musket at every
glass of sand, so as to insure the ship of its safety. The
crew soon found themselves encircled by islands of ice ;
on mounting which they discovered that all the roaring
which they heard arose from " the rowlihg of this ice."
Next day the mists dispersing, showed them the land, DAVIS.
27
which was " the most deformed, rocky, and mountainous land that ever we saw. It appeared in form
of a sugar-loaf, standing to our sight above the clouds ;
for that it did show over the fogge like a white list
in the sky, the tops altogether covered with snow,
the shore beset with ice, making such irksome noise,
that our captain called it the Land of Desolation."
They observed, however, the phenomenon of driftwood floating along the coast ; among which was one
tree fifty feet long, having the root stilladhering to it.
On the 25th July, Davis left this dreary land, and
directed his course north-west, " hoping in God's
mercy to find our desired passage." In four days he
came in sight of new land, still to the eastward, in 64°
15' (a continuation of West Greenland). He found it
to contain many fair sounds and great inlets, insomuch that he judged it to consist of a great number
of contiguous islands. The English landed, and,
having seen some traces of inhabitants, mounted a
rock, where they were descried by the natives, who
raised a lamentable noise, with great outcries ; " we
hearing them, thought it had been the howling of
wolves." Hereupon the English uttered loud sounds,
at once inviting the savages and advertising their
countrymen on board of their situation. Several
of the .company made haste to the spot well-armed,
and with a band of musicians ; thus alike prepared,
" either by force to rescue us, or with courtesy to
allure the people." As this last was the primary object, the minstrels began to play, and the seamen to
dance, with signs of friendship. This induced ten
canoes to approach, and the people spoke " very hoi- 28
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
low through the throat," but in words not intelligible.
At length one of them lifted his hand to the sun, and
forcibly struck his breast, repeating this gesture many
times ; and " when John Ellis of the Moonshine, appointed by policy to gain their friendship, had several
times done the same after their order," their confidence
was gained. Next day thirty-seven canoes appeared,
and they were soon on the most intimate footing with
the English, to whom they readily parted with their
canoes, even the clothes from their backs, composed
of seals'-skins and birds'-skins, with the feathers on
their buskins of fine wool, their hose-gloves of leather,
well-dressed and compacted together. " They appeared very tractable people, void of craft and double-
dealing, and easy to be brought to any civility and
good order." On seeing the value set by the English
on furs, they offered, in less than a month, to procure
an ample supply; but Davis, finding a favourable
gale, set sail from this friendly shore. He steered
directly across the sea or broad strait which bears
his name, and came in view of the coast of Cumberland Island. He named different parts of it Mount
-Raleigh, Exeter Sound, and Cape Walsingham ;
while the most southern point was called the Cape
of God's Mercy. They had several encounters with
the white bear ; and a large band of dogs approached
in peaceful guise; but the English, thinking they
came to prey upon them, fired and killed two.
Various circumstances encouraged Davis to hope for
a passage ; the numerous sounds and inlets, the currents which came through them, the ebb and flow
coming apparently from various quarters. The season, DAVIS.
29
however, was now so late, that he was obliged to
return to England.
The accounts brought by Davis appeared on the
whole so favourable, that the adventurers hesitated
not to send him out next year with a larger equipment. To the Sunshine and the Moonshine were now
added the Mermaid of 120 tons and a small pinnace.
Nothing remarkable occurred till they came to thé
former coast, where their old friends soon recognised
them, and " hung about the boat with such comfortable joy as would require a long discourse to be uttered."
Davis, on seeing their friendly disposition, landed and
displayed twenty knives ; upon which they leapt out of
their canoes, and embraced him and his company with
many signs of hearty welcome. He presented to each
of them a knife, refusing any return. A familiar
intercourse thus commenced, and sometimes a hundred canoes would crowd round the English, bringing
various species of skins, fishes, and birds. Several
excursions were made into the interior of the country,
and some extensive plains discovered, like the moors
of England. The natives accompanied them in these
excursions, and gave them all the aid they could in
mounting and descending the rocks. Davis caused
trials to be made at leaping and wrestling. The
English decidedly overleaped them ; but when it
came to wrestling, they showed themselves strong and
skilful, and cast some that were accounted good
wrestlers. These people are described as " of good
stature, well in body proportioned, with small slender
hands and feet, small visages, and small eyes, wide
mouthes, the most part unbearded, great lips, and 30
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
close-toothed." Some bad qualities, however, began
gradually to transpire. They made great use of
witchcraft and incantation, | though with Httle effect,
thanks be to God." Their chief experiment of this
nature was by taking a round stick, thrusting it into
a hole in a board, then forcibly agitating it, " in the
fashion of a turner with a piece of leather," with
which the magician produced a fire, into which, with
many words and strange gestures, he put divers
things ; he then endeavoured to induce Davis to go
into the smoke ; but Davis caused one of his sailors
to put out the fire, and throw it into the sea, " to
show his contempt of their sorcery." By and by,
moreover, they were found to be " marvellous thievish, beginning, through our lenitie, to show their
vile nature ;" they cut the cables, cut the Moonlight's
boat from her stern, the cloth where it lay to dry, and
seized every article of iron they could ; whereat the
master and crew being sorely grieved, called upon
Davis " to dissolve this new friendship." Davis
agreed accordingly to fire first a caliver, and then a
falcon, "which did sore amaze them, and they fled ;"
yet in ten hours they came back, and " we again fell
into a great league." All their intimacy was now
renewed; "but, seeing iron, they could in nowise
forbear stealing ;" yet the good-natured captain only
laughed, and bid his men look carefully after their
own goods, " supposing it to be very hard, in so
short time, to make them know their evils." Davis
now attempted to penetrate and take a view of the
land ; but " the mountains were so many and so
mighty, that his purpose prevailed not."    He then DAVIS.
3J
attempted  to  ascend  a large river, which proved,
however, to be only a creek, and the land, not as supposed, an unbroken continent, but " huge, waste, and
desert isles, with mighty sounds and inlets passing
between sea and sea."    He was also astonished by
the view of a water-spout,—an object new to him, and
described as " a mighty whirlwind taking up the
water in very great quantity, furiously mounting it
into the air."   On his arrival at the ships, the people
opened a fearful budget of the sins of the Esquimaux,
all which they ascribed to his "lenitie and friendly
using."    They had stolen an anchor, cut a cable, cut
away boats, and " now, since your departure, with
slings they spare us not, with stones of half a pounde
weight ; and will you still endure these things ?"
Davis bid them be content, and all should be well.
Instead of any rigorous measure, he called the natives
on board, presented them with bracelets, and used
them with much courtesy ; but the sun was no sooner
down, than " they began to practise their devilish
nature,  and with slings threw stones very fiercely
into  the Moonlight."     Human patience, even  the
most enduring, has its bounds.     " I changed my
courtesie and grew to hatred."    Several shots were
discharged upon the Esquimaux ; but they rowed off
so quickly that it was to little purpose.    However,
next day, when five approached in their usual manner, beating their breasts, and crying, Yliaont, one,
deemed the chief ringleader of mischief, was allured
on board, and, the wind becoming favourable, he was
carried off along with the ships. He at first made many
doleful signals to his brethren in the boats, but after- NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
wards became a pleasant companion, and was very
joyful at receiving a suit of good English frieze.
On the 17th July they fell in with a large mass of
apparent land, with bays and capes, and like " high
cliffe land ;" but, on sending their pinnace, learned,
with horror and amazement, that it was entirely ice,—
a thing so incredible that he omits to speak any further thereof. He coasted, however, for several days
along this formidable mass of ice, which proved a
fixed bar to his progress. The men's strength began
to sink, and, in a discreet and orderly, but very
solemn manner, they represented that success was
now hopeless, that he ought to regard his own life
and theirs, and not, through any over-boldness, " leave
their widows and fatherless children to give him
bitter curses." Davis took the matter into serious
consideration, and was much inclined " to regard
their estates ;" but considered " the excellency of the
business, and that it would grow to his great disgrace," if, through him, discredit should be thrown
upon it while there remained a hope of success. He,
therefore, sought counsel from God, by whom he was
inspired with a design, which he hoped should be
■ to the contentation of every Christian minde." He
left behind the Mermaid, his largest vessel, as not
being sufficiently " convenient and nimble," and, in
the Moonlight alone, with the boldest part of his
crew, determined to push forward in search of the
desired passage. He steered to the south-east, and
came to a land which, however, appeared to be nothing but islands ; but these supposed islands were
probably only the coasts bordering on the numerous DAVIS. 33
sounds and inlets leading into Hudson's Bay. He
did not enter them, but pushed southwards till he
came to a continuous mass of continent, which was
Labrador. It was found covered with extensive
forests of pine and birch, the sea replenished with
cod, and the air filled with numberless seafowl. The
inhabitants showed a ferocious spirit, which does not
agree with their general character. Five Englishmen
having gone ashore, were assailed with a cloud of
arrows, by which two were killed and two severely
wounded. They had offered neither speech nor parley,
but presently " executed their cursed fury." Forster,
however, suspects, that these people must have been
actuated by the recollection of some wrongs received
from other Europeans. The sorrows of Davis were increased by tempest, which blew with such fury as
threatened to drive the vessels on shore " among these
cursed cannibals, for their prey." Being happily delivered, however, and favoured with a west north-wèst wind,
he lost no time in making his way back to England.
Davis, in à letter to Mr William Sanderson, admits
that the enterprise had not yet proved profitable to
the adventurers ; but he now urges, that, having had
much experience of the north-west part of the world,
he had satisfied himself that the passage must either
be in one of four places or else not at all. That enterprising and substantial person joined in setting
forth Davis a third time, with a smaller equipment
of two barks and a pinnace. Soon after their departure, they had an alarm in the dark, that the pinnace
had run away ; but it proved only that the tiller of her
helm was broken.   This pinnace, which had been much
VOL. II. c 34
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
IS1 lit
boasted of by the owners, was found to move through
the sea like a cart drawn by oxen. However, it was
reported that she would brook the sea, and they
trusted that a hard beginning would make a good
ending.
On the 14th June they came in sight of the high
mountains of Greenland. The natives came, crying,
in the usual manner, Yliaont, and offering skins.
They soon, however, manifested their old thievish
propensities. Davis had brought out the materials
of a pinnace, which he now began putting together.
The natives contrived to carry off two of the largest
planks, solely with a view to the nails and other particles of iron inserted into them. Davis caused them
to be fired at, aiming at then* legs ; but, making the
planks a bulwark, they retained their legs entire, with
which they carried off their bodies to a neighbouring
island, where they left the planks, having first plucked
all the iron out of them. This trouble was soon
driven out of then* minds by a more serious one. John
Churchyard, the pilot, gave notice that the good ship
in which they must all venture their lives had received three hundred strokes as she lay in the harbour. This gave rise to much disquietude, and even
doubt whether it was possible to proceed ; but Davis,
to whom the matter was referred, determined " rather
to end his life with credit, than to return with infamy
and disgrace ; and they all purposed to live and die
together." They sailed then onwards to the north,
touching at several points, and treating in a friendly
maimer with the natives. At length they reached
the latitude of 72°, the highest which had been yet DAVIS.
35
attained by any navigator. Yet the sea was still
perfectly open to the north and the west. They then
left the coast and sailed due west, in which direction
they continued for forty leagues without any sight
of land. Davis seemed now on the point of discovering his hoped-for passage, or at least of solving the
grand problem, whether it existed ? But his career
was suddenly arrested by " a mighty bank of ice."
He endeavoured at first to " double it round to the
northward :" but the wind in that direction was
opposite, and he was obliged to coast it southwards,
which he continued to do for successive days, vainly
hoping to find a point'at which it could be rounded,
and its western side reached. He determined, therefore, " to lye off for some days, hoping that the ice
continually beating upon the mass, and the sun with
the extreme force of heat always shining upon it,
would make quick despatch." When he returned to
the coast, through some error of reckoning he found
himself on Cumberland Island, near the point which
he had formerly named Mount Raleigh. The season
being now advanced, he confined all his efforts to the
discovery of an open sea to the south. He passed
Frobisher's Straits, to which he gave the name of
Burnley's Inlet, and afterwards a broad gulf, the
same subsequently entered by Hudson, but without
attempting to penetrate either of these openings.; and
finding himself on the coast of Labrador, and the season for advanced, he sailed for England.
Davis on his arrival immediately wrote to his constant friend, Mr Sanderson, boasting, that he had
brought the passage to a much more promising point 36
NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
iii I'
!'■!
than at any preceding period. In 72° he had
found an open sea, and forty leagues between land
and land. Men's minds, however, had taken a turn
unfavourable to all farther search. They said,
I Davis hath been three times employed ; why hath
he not discovered the passage ?" The death of Secretary Walsingham, the steady promoter of maritime
discovery i was a severe check on every such project ;
and the grand event of the Spanish armada, which
took place in the following year, turned all men's
views in another direction. Mr Sanderson, however,
continuing his steady friendship, caused a chart of
Davis's discoveries to be engraved at considerable expense by Molyneux, which is said to be still preserved in the library of the Middle Temple.
This last voyage of Davis was almost immediately
followed by a reported one by Laurent Ferrer Maldo-
nado, a Spanish navigator. Maldonado was well
known in that age as an eminent and enterprising
mariner, and deeply skilled in all the sciences connected with the maritime art. Yet all these merits
have not deterred modern inquirers from ranking
this narrative with undisputed and scandalous forgeries. Its first aspect is, no doubt, somewhat equivocal.    Maldonado describes himself as having: first
passed through the whole of the strait of Labrador,
or Davis's Strait, till he reached the latitude of 75°.
He then navigated to the south-west till he came to
the Strait of Anian, which separated America from
Asia. After passing through this strait, he came to
the wide expanse of the South Sea, with the two opposite coasts of America and Asia diverging widely MALDONADO. 37
from each other. He followed the coast of America
till he came to lat. 55°, when he pushed across to
that of Asia, which appeared rugged and mountainous.
He then retraced his steps, following a north-east
and northerly course, till he again arrived at the Strait
of Anian..
Such is the outline of Maldonado's narrative, which,
as implying that he really discovered the north-west
passage, and found his way through the Atlantic into
the Pacific, is doubtless to be at once rejected. But
the question is, whether the incredible portions of the
narrative are facts, or whether they are not rather suppositions founded upon facts, which, taken in themselves, are possible and credible ? The first part of his
voyage is through the Strait of Labrador as he calls it,
under which he evidently comprehends both Davis's
Strait and Baffin's Bay, and in which he reached the
latitude of 75°, which latitude he certainly might
reach, if, as the narrative states, he arrived at its
northern extremity. He then sailed south-west till
he came to a strait in lat. 60°, which may be supposed to be Hudson's Strait. This was certainly a
very circuitous route from Spain, although he reckons
the whole as direct distance from that country ; but
he was beating about in an unknown sea, and along
shores the form and direction of which had never
been delineated. He then passes through the Strait
of Anian, as he imagines ; but the real fact is neither
more nor less than that he passed through a strait ;
and he then concludes that the coast on one side
must be America, and on the other Asia. This
is  a  mere inference, and nothing more than   Fro-.
S NORTH-WEST VOYAGES.
H'if
Ii
bisher had formerly made with regard to the strait
bearing his name, and discovered by him many years
before. Then Maldonado entered the South Sea,
Sailed a considerable space, first along the western
coast of America, and then along the eastern coast of
Asia. He labours as it were to shake his own credit
by a pompous enumeration of positions on each of
these shores, from which he pronounces himself to
have been at no great distance : Cape Mendocino,
Quivira, Cathay, Cambalu, and the country of the
Great Khan. But all this, if narrowly looked into,
amounts to nothing more than pre