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The sea, the ship and the sailor. Tales of adventure from log books and original narratives. With an… Barnard, Charles H.; Nicol, John, 1755-1825; Knights, John B.; Mariner, William, 1791-1853; Bartlett, John 1925

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Array    The University of British Columbia Library
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(J -5 The Sea, the Ship
and the Sailor
With an Introduction by
Construction Corps, United States Navy,
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Marine Research Society
salem, massachusetts
1925 Publication Number Seven
of THE
Marine Research Society
Copyright, 1925, by
The Marine Research Society
Printed in the United States
The Southworth Press
Portland, Maine PREFACE
THERE needs no Apology in Behalf of Books of
this Nature; they have, at all times, been favourably received, and never rejected, but upon
plain and undeniable Conviction of Insincerity. They
agreeably amuse, and usefully instruct; and are consequently relished by Readers of every sort. They are
pleasing to those, who, at every turn, would be surprised with extraordinary Events, unexpected Acci-
■ dents, and miraculous Deliverances; and acceptable to
those, who, moving in a loftier Sphere, are desirous of
converting all they know to Public Use; and these, regardless of what the former most admire, are particularly solicitous after Descriptions and Accounts of
Persons, Places and Things.
So wrote John Cockburn, in 1735, after returning
from his wanderings in Spanish America; and it is safe
to say that the spirit of adventurous exploration is as
keen today as it ever was although little of the earth's
surface is now unknown to curious mankind.
Two of the following narratives are here printed for
the first time from journals recently discovered and
now in the possession of the Peabody Museum, Salem,
and Mr. Lawrence W. Jenkins, its Acting Director.
John Bartlett, the sailor from Boston, in his voyage to
the then, almost unknown Northwest Coast of North
America, passed through many unusual experiences.
He bartered with Indians along the Alaskan coast;
narrowly escaped capture in the Pacific islands where
iii IV
Captain Cook was killed twelve years before; spent
considerable time in Chinese waters; killed sea lions
in the desolate Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Indian Ocean; chased whales in the Mozambique Channel in company with Dunkirk whalers; and at last disappeared from sight while a "pressed" sailor in the
British Navy. Captain Knights, of the Salem brig Spy,
who wrote the other journal, was one of those master-
mariners who sailed from that port a century ago in
small vessels and bartered for beche-le-mer and tortoise shell with the savage islanders of the Pacific. His
observations on native life in New Zealand and in the
Fijis have unusual interest.
A scarce volume among American voyages is the
"Narrative of the Sufferings and Adventures of Captain Charles H. Barnard in a Voyage Round the World
during the years 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815 and 1816,"
New York, 1829. Captain Barnard's vessel was seized
in the Falkland Islands by a shipwrecked crew of English seamen and he was soon after abandoned on an
uninhabited island where he lived for nearly two years.
Later, he tried Robinson Crusoe life on the island of
Masafuera, off the Chilian coast, from which he was
eventually rescued and brought home by way of China
and the Cape of Good Hope. This volume may be
found in the Library of Congress and two or three other
libraries. The larger part of the Barnard narrative is
here reprinted through the courtesy of Mr. Frank
Wood, Curator of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, New Bedford.
The adventures of John Nicol have been taken from
a little-known volume published in 1822 in Edinburgh. PREFACE V
Nicol fought off the New England coast during the
Revolution and was in the frigate Surprise when she
captured the Jason commanded by Capt. John Man-
ley of Marblehead. He afterwards sailed with Captain
Portlock to the Sandwich Islands and the Northwest
Coast of America. His account of experiences while
steward of a ship carrying female convicts to New
South Wales, is most entertaining.
William Mariner's account of his experiences while
a captive in the Tonga Islands, in many respects may
be compared with Herman Melville's classic story of
life in Typee. It should be better known and is included as a fitting complement.
In the preparation of this volume a cordial spirit of
cooperation has been shown by the officers of the Pea-
body Museum, Salem; the officials of the Harvard College Library; Mr. A. G. Macpherson of Tigh-na-Mara,
Alverstoke, Hants; Mr. Charles C. Willoughby, Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge; and Mr. Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress.
Especial thanks are due to Judge F. W. Howay of
New Westminster, British Columbia, for his valuable
annotations on Bartlett's "Journal"; and last, and also
first, an expression of high appreciation belongs to
Captain Elliot Snow, Construction Corps, United
States Navy, for supplying a fitting Introduction to
the following pages and also for his courteous helpfulness on several occasions.  CONTENTS
Introduction  by Capt.  Elliot  Snow,  Construction Corps, United States Navy    .    .  xiii
I. A Narrative of the Adventures of Capt.
Charles H. Barnard of New York,
during a Voyage Round the World
(1812-1816), with an Account of his
Abandonment and Solitary Life for
Two Years on one of the Falkland
Islands 1
II. The Adventures of John Nicol, Mariner, during Thirty Years at Sea    .    . 105
III. A Journal of a Voyage in the Brig "Spy,"
of Salem (i832-i834),JohnB.Knights,
Master 168
IV. The Remarkable Transactions which
took place at the Tonga Islands, in
the South Pacific Ocean, during the
Captivity of William Mariner, one of
the Survivors of the "Port au Prince,"
Privateer, which was Destroyed by
the Natives 208
V. A Narrative of Events in the Life of
John Bartlett of Boston, Massachusetts, in the Years 1790-1793, during
Voyages to Canton, the Northwest
Coast of North America, and Elsewhere   2°7
Crossing the Line Frontispiece
From a colored lithograph in the Macpherson Collection.
The Wreck of the "Isabella"        6
From an engraving in Barnard's Narrative of Sufferings and Adventures, New York, 1829.
Map of a Part of the Falkland Islands    .    .
From the original survey made in 1815 by Capt* Charles
H. Barnard.
The Return of Captain Barnard's Companions      46
From an engraving in Barnard's Narrative of Sufferings and Adventures, New York, 1829.
Arrival of the ship "Millwood" at Massa-
From an engraving in Barnard's Narrative of Sufferings and Adventures, New York, 1829.
View of the Island of St. Helena    .    .    .
From a mezzotint by Edward Orme in the Macpherson
View of St. George, Grenada, W. 1 114
From a mezzotint by W. Daniel in the Macpherson
View of Karakakooa Bay, Owyhee   .    .    .    .    122
From the engraving by W. Byrne, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784.
A'Man of Prince William's Sound   ....    128
From the engraving by J. Basire, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784.
ix x illustrations
The Entrance of Port Jackson and Part of
the Town of Sydney, New South Wales    .    140
From an engraving in the Macpherson Collection, after
a drawing by Major Taylor, 48th Regiment, made in
Whampoa, China J32
From an engraving by E. Duncan, in the Macpherson
Collection, after a painting by W. J. Huggins, showing the view from Dane's Island looking towards
View of Lisbon from the Tagus * 148
From an engraving in the Macpherson Collection, after
a drawing made in 1792 by Noel.
View of Valette, Malta 164
From an engraving made in 1818, now in the Macpherson Collection.
The Schooner "Spy," of Salem, Mass.     .    .    168
From a copy of a watercolor in the possession of Stephen W. Phillips.
A Maori Village in New Zealand    ....    176
From a photograph in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge, Mass.
A New Zealand Girl 192
From a photograph in the Peabody Museum, Salem,
William Mariner in Tonga Island Costume    208
From the engraving by Abel Bowen published in 1820.
A Fiatooka or Morai, Tonga Islands    .    .    .    226
From an engraving by W. Ellis, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784.
View at Anamooka, Tonga Islands   ....    234
From an engraving by W. Byrne, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784. illustrations xi
Boxing Match at Hapaee, Tonga Islands    .    244
From an engraving by I. Taylor, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784.
Tonga Island Girls ,    266
From a photograph in the Peabody Museum of Arch-
selogy and Ethnology, Cambridge, Mass.
A Tonga Island House 276
From a photograph in the Peabody Museum of Arch-
selogy and Ethnology, Cambridge, Mass.
Map of the Northwest Coast of North
America 287
From a Dutch map after the Vancouver survey, now in
the Harvard College Library.
Prospect of Batavia, Java 290
From an engraving made in 1652 and now in the Macpherson Collection.
View of Habitations in Nootka Sound .    .    .    296
From an engraving by S. Smith, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784.
Interior of a House in Nootka Sound   .    .    ,    302
From an engraving by W. Sharp, in Cook's Voyages,
London, 1784.
The Snow "Gustavus" 306
From the drawing in Bartlett's Journal, now in the possession of Lawrence W. Jenkins.
House and Totem Pole of the Haida Indians    306
From the drawing in Bartlett's Journal, now in the
possession of Lawrence W. Jenkins.   Supposed to be
the earliest known representation of a totem pole.
IIawaiian Island Girls 312
From a photograph in the Peabody Museum, Salem,
Macao, China 318
From a Chinese painting in the Peabody Museum, Salem, Mass. Xll
View of Port Louis, Isle of France   ....    322
From an engraving in the Macpherson Collection.
View of Christmas Harbor, Kerguelen Land    328
From an engraving by Newton in Cook's  Voyages,
London, 1784.
Hottentots Devouring the Entrails of a
Bullock       334
From an engraving in Drake's Collection of Voyages,
London, 1770, in the Library of Congress. Tsr
\HAT the Monarchs of Great Britain have a peculiar and sovereign Authority upon the Ocean,
is a Right so ancient and undeniable, that it
never was publickly disputed, but by Hugo Grotius, in
his Mare Liberum, published in the year 1636, in Favour of the Dutch Fishery upon our Coasts; which
Book was fully controverted by Mr. Seldon's Mare
Clauswn, wherein he proves this Sovereignty from the
Laws of GOD and of Nature, besides an uninterrupted
Fruition of it for so many Ages past, as that its beginning cannot be traced out."
So wrote William Mountaine in the Preface to his
"Seaman's Vade-Mecum," published in London in
1778; and this doctrine, in its application, doubtless
was very acceptable so far as the subjects of the King
of Great Britain were concerned; but when his colonies in America took exception to over-seas government and revolted, at the close of their successful
revolution, the new States, in perfecting their future
relations with European countries, found themselves
facing commercial isolation. The Navigation System
of Great Britain automatically excluded American
ships from trading in English ports and also with the
English islands in the West Indies, where for a century
and a half they had carried on a lucrative exchange of
commodities. The French government granted only
limited privileges of trade in the French West Indies;
and Spain closed many of her ports to American ves-
xiii XIV
sels. The Dutch and Danish ports were open, however,
and were the salvation of many an American merchant. It was a trying time for Yankee shipping and
for the large number of seamen who had been released
from service in the naval vessels and the many privateers.
Ship-owners had to find occupation for their ships
and their seamen and having been deprived of their
old triangular voyage to the West Indies and Europe,
these enterprising merchants and sea captains turned
to China and the Baltic and this trade grew rapidly.
Much illicit trade existed, of course, and the losses by
seizure were considerable, but the profits were large
and warranted taking chances.
A few years later the European war became worldwide and notwithstanding the great losses by seizure,
first by one combatant and then by another, Yankee
ships and Yankee sailors prospered. English blockades
and French decrees were alike evaded by the enterprising American ship-owners and their resourceful sea
captains and maritime commerce grew marvelously.
The adaptability of the American master-mariner
here emphasized has never been justly placed in doubt.
When deprived of a known commercial advantage he
has faced about, times without number, and by daring ventures into untried seas, has brought success out
of seeming failure.
In this school of experience there was developed a
type of trustworthy yet adventurous manhood that
displayed with pride "The Stars and Stripes" in all
parts of the world,—in the waters of the great Northwest; among the islands of the mid-Pacific; in the far INTRODUCTION
distant, uncharted and little-known waters of Polynesia and Malaysia; along the coast of China, into the
"Spice Islands" and India, to the extremes of South
America and Africa.
It was from this type of men that our Nation has
drawn heavily, then and since, during every war. The
merchant marine has ever been a school of our Navy in
its larger meaning. This was largely so at the outset
and from it have sprung some of its renowned officers
and many gallant seamen.
In recent years Capt. John H. Sears, the Brewster
shipmaster, while writing of the men of the clipper ship
era, remarked "There are no young sea captains today
hailing from New England, of the same type as told of
in this book. Not because the breed is dead, but because the occasion for them in that line of the world's
work has passed. They are not gone, however, for they
have become captains of other industries in keeping
with the time. The records of such real men ought to
Many passages in the true tales preserved in the following pages, will disclose to the thoughtful reader, the
real sources of our early maritime strength. These are
none other than the bold, fearless, resourceful, fair-
dealing sea captains and their well-disciplined crews.
More than once, too, the reader will have opportunity
to note the humane consideration of these shipmasters
for the men beholden to them and also their frankly
acknowledged dependence on Our Maker who rules
the land and the sea.
The foremost American writer on the clipper ship
era, which followed close on the heels of the epoch XVI
dealt with in the following narratives, closes his account with substantially these words:—
"The commercial greatness of the United States
rests upon the splendid qualities shown by her sailing
ships and their captains. After all, the only real and
rational sovereignty of the seas that exists or ever has
existed, is maintained by the merchant marine whose
ships and seamen contribute not only to the welfare
and happiness of mankind, but also to the nation under
whose flag they sailed."
These words are as true for the periods which preceded as for the times about which they were written.
The dangers fearlessly faced and the difficulties met
and successfully overcome by our early New England
mariners, cannot be visualized and certainly not appreciated, without the reading of accounts like those
to be found in this book. Then, and only then, will the
merit of the performances of these old-time shipmasters and the sterling worth of their characters be realized. The perils of the sea still exist and ever will —
Nature has not changed her ways — but these are now
better understood and man has changed his methods
of facing them. Much of the glamour of the sea, its romance and particularly the incentive to adventure, has
gone forever; cogent is the reason, therefore, for permanently recording these exploits. In the absence of
real dangers, imaginary ones will always supply their
place. It is well, therefore, for us to learn from and
then to lean upon the experiences of our forebears on
the sea as elsewhere.
Apart from this, by reading the following narratives
one can learn much of the history and the wavs of INTRODUCTION
primitive man and easily perceive the benefits science
has derived from the life-work of those who "go down
to the sea in ships." Naval architecture, for instance,
benefitted from the "Singapore fast boats" brought
from the "Spice Islands." It is said that these craft,
long and fine of underwater body, furnished the basis
of the lines for the clipper ships of the following era.
The broad stretches of the Atlantic and Pacific "instead of being the two best defenders of the United
States are in reality ocean thoroughfares on which hostile forces may be moved more cheaply, secretly and
swiftly than on land." This fact is too little understood by the lay public at large. There are but two bars
to our ocean highways on either side — our Navy and
our Merchant Marine. These are complementary and
have ever been so with any nation that aspires to real
greatness. The ships and their masters and sailors of
the navy and of commerce in the early days of our existence as a nation were fitting forebears of those that
followed in the fifties and sixties; these in turn were
worthy of their offspring of today. These, let it be
hoped, will pass on their heritage with no lessened vigor to their successors of the future. Living tales of the
sea, told by real sailors sailing real ships, make wholesome food for the imagination and cannot help but
stimulate youth and old age alike, in the right direction.
"The right direction! Where does it lie?" No better
answer can be given to this question than to quote the
closing words of an Introduction recently written by
Rear Admiral William Ledyard Rogers, United States
Navy, Retired:— xvm
"Our country to be truly prosperous and safe must
create an adequate merchant fleet and preserve a strong
The purpose of this book will be well served if it interests its readers and more so if they "perceive that
the complete mariner is both seaman and warrior."
The names of Capt. Charles H. Barnard of the brig
Nanina; Capt. John B. Knights of the Salem brig Spy ;
John Bartlett of Boston, who sailed in the Massachusetts; John Nicol of Scotland and William Mariner of
the Port au Prince; and all others like them who,
though laying no claims to skill as authors, have written so well for posterity, "ought to live." Through this
volume it will be so, at least in the memory of its readers. May their recurring thoughts of these events lead
them to visualize the future of this Nation as locked up
in the sea, the ship and its mariners.
Elliot Snow,
Captain, Construction Corps, U. S. Navy. THE SEA, THE SHIP AND
THE brig Nanina, of one hundred and thirty-
two tons burthen, Charles H. Barnard, master,
sailed from New York the 6th of April, 1812, on
a sealing voyage to the Falkland Islands. She was
owned by John B. Murray & Son of New York and was
completely fitted and also carried the frame of a shallop of twenty tons intended for use among the Islands.
Captain Barnard proposed to spend the first season in
procuring as many seal skins as possible and then to
complete her lading with sea elephant oil and send her
back to New York while he remained at the Falklands,
with the shallop and a small crew, engaged in sealing,
until the return of the brig or some other vessel to be
sent out by the owners. On its arrival he intended to
sail round the Horn and after visiting the usual resorts
of the fur seals in the Pacific to proceed to Canton, dispose of the cargo there, and then return home.
With Captain Barnard sailed his father, Valentine
Barnard (who was to command the brig on the return
voyage to New York), Edmund Fanning, Bazilla
Pease, Henry Ingham, mate, John Wines, carpenter,
Havens Tenant, Jacob Green, a negro, who had sailed 2 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
on whaling voyages out of New Bedford, Harry Gilchrist, Andrew Lott, Thomas Hunter, William Seaman, steward, and John Spear, cook.
As the Nanina lay at her wharf ready for sea, news
came that Congress had passed a Bill laying an embargo on all vessels in the harbors and waters of the
United States and Captain Barnard promptly cast off
lines and sailed down the harbor to Sandy Hook where
the missing members of the crew came on board and on
the 12th of April, a course was set for the Cape de
Verd Islands to procure salt and fill up the water casks.
Bonavista was reached in thirty-five days and after re-
stowing the hold and taking in a large supply of hogs,
goats, fowls and vegetables, the brig proceeded on her
voyage to the Falklands. While crossing the equator,
at longitude i8°, old father Neptune came saucily
aboard and was received with the usual formalities.
He was complimented with several bottles of the best
from the novices who were glad at so small a sacrifice
to escape the foam of his lather box and also save themselves a ducking.
Heavy gales from the south to west prevented making the Islands until September 7th, when the brig
came to anchor in Hooker's Harbor, New Island, in
four fathoms of water, and the yards and topmasts
were at once sent down and the next day the company
was employed in getting ashore the frame of the shallop. When launched she was called the Young Nanina.
As soon as fitted out, Captain Barnard went in her with
ten men to the Jason Islands, about thirty miles distant, where he left nine men with sealing apparatus
and stores sufficient for a stav of six weeks. CAPTAIN BARNARD S NARRATIVE 3
The shallop returned to New Island on January 3d,
1813, and Captain Barnard found that during his absence the ship Hope, of New York, Obed Chase, master, had come into the harbor bringing news of the declaration of war between the United States and Great
Britain. This was bad news, for the Falklands, at that
time, were frequently visited by English whalers to replenish their water casks and these vessels were generally commissioned as letters of marque. The men on
the Jasons were at once recalled, leaving in stack the
seal skins that they had collected, and the brig was re-
rigged and taken into a less frequented harbor in the
southern part of the English Maloon, one of the larger
of the Falklands. This harbor was protected by several small islands and was surrounded by lofty hills.
Here the brig was stripped for a year's stay as the prospects were good for obtaining a valuable cargo.
The shallop was then sent to the Jasons to bring
away the skins that had been stacked there and meanwhile Captain Barnard went about in the ship's boat,
with a few men, in search of seals on the nearby islands.
Time was also passed in shooting geese and ducks
which were found in great abundance and sometimes
could be killed with clubs. There were also many wild
hogs easily taken by the dog, so the supply of food was
ample and good. In this manner the winter passed.
One morning early in April, the shallop was at anchor in Fox Bay, on the southeast side of the English
Maloon, when the crew saw heavy columns of smoke
rising to the eastward in the direction of the Anacan
Islands. "We were at that time employed in examining
the shores of the islands in the bay, in our pursuit of 4 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
seal, of which we took several," relates Captain Barnard in his narrative. "As the columns of smoke continued to ascend in the same direction, I began to conjecture a variety of causes. Might they not proceed
from hordes of the enemy, who might possibly use them
as a decoy to secure us in their power? Did they arise
from daring adventurers like ourselves, who were either
preparing their food, or trying out the oil which they
had collected? But such a supposition was improbable, as it is very rare that vessels touch at the Anacans.
Occasionally the crew of a boat or a shallop belonging
to a sealing vessel may land for a few hours in quest of
seals; but never, except in case of shipwreck or contrary winds, are they known to remain in places so desolate. The fires, then, were possibly lighted by some
unfortunate shipwrecked mariners, as signals of distress, who, without food and clothing, might be dragging out the last remains of life without a pitying hand
to administer relief. I held a consultation with some of
the party on the subject, and we determined immediately to go to the Anacans.
"These islands, which are three in number, viz.,
Eagle, George, and Barren, lie at the south-eastern entrance of Falkland Sound, and are separated from the
south-western part of the Spanish Maloon by Jason
Strait, which is from two to three miles wide.   Easle
Island, the principal of them, is about ten miles long,
and from two to three in breadth. George and Barren
are from five to six miles long, and from one to two in
width. They present nothing but darkness and desolation to the eye; their sole vegetable productions are a
species of coarse, long grass, and scattered patches of captain Barnard's narrative 5
tushook, which every where abounds upon all the islands on this coast. They are surrounded by numerous
reefs and keys, which oppose a perpetual barrier to the
approach of vessels; and woe to the unhappy mariner
whom contending winds dash against this inhospitable
region! for here he will find deliverance from the waves
to be only a prelude to a more lingering and awful
"We now made sail from Fox Bay, with a fine breeze
from N. W., and anchored the same day at Jack's Harbor, at the north-east end of Eagle Island, and despatched the crew in quest of seal. Strong gales, with
heavy rain, from N. W. were now experienced, and several times we thought we heard the report of guns; but
we could not be positive, as the sound might be occasioned by the breaking of the sea against the rocks from
the opposite side of the island. It might be distant
thunder, the last echoes of which were dying upon the
waters. That they were signal guns of distress we had
not the remotest doubt; and in this we were confirmed
by the return of some of our party from the south, who
had also listened to the report of guns; and this established the probability of the belief in question.
"We got under weigh, with a light breeze from W. S.
W., and worked down towards the south-west part of
the island, for a small harbor, called Shallop's Cove,
where we intended leaving the shallop until we had
searched the whole island for seal; in the mean time,
the boat, with the sealing crew, was strictly examining
the shores for the same purpose. At one, P. M., we
hailed the discovery-boat, to come alongside, and at
the same time perceived a flag-staff on the weather, or 6 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
opposite side of the island, which had the appearance of
a ship's topgallantmast. I was now convinced that the
smoke we had seen proceeded from fires made on this
island by the crew or survivors from some wrecked vessel ; and, to strengthen this conviction, Mr. Fanning
informed me that, in coursing the shore, he had found
a new moccasin, and also a seal, which had been lately
killed and partly skinned.
"While we were at dinner, Tenant Havens, who was
at the helm, saw a man on a high part of the island,
coming towards us. We immediately repaired on deck;
and, in a few moments, eight or ten persons were observed on the beach, and as many more were rapidly
coming from the direction of the flag-staff towards the
same place; among the latter party, to our great surprise, we noticed a female, whose exertions and fleet-
ness were not surpassed by many of her male companions. Surveying the men, I saw with pleasure one
or two who wore the uniform of British marines. As
this immediately banished all apprehensions of their
being Spaniards, I began to devise the most effectual
means of aiding those unfortunates, whom I now conjectured to have belonged to some British man-of-war,
which had been cast away on this desolate island. Although they were enemies to my country, I apprehended no danger or loss from relieving them from their
perilous situation, as I felt assured that, by rendering
them this assistance, I should bind them to me by the
strongest ties of gratitude. To cheer those who had assembled on the beach with a prospect of relief, we
hoisted American colors, which they no sooner saw
than they manifested every symptom of the most ex- z
o mmzmmmtm captain Barnard's narrative 7
travagant joy: they clasped their hands, they embraced, and apparently congratulated each other with
as much ardor as though their deliverance were already
effected. We stood close in shore, hailed, and eagerly
inquired to what ship or nation they belonged. They
replied that their ship was the Isabella, of London,
which was wrecked on the island, on her passage from
Port Jackson, New South Wales, to London. Our boat
was instantly sent to bring some of them on board, and
returned with seven or eight men and a sergeant of
marines. The people on shore were so anxious to get
into the boat, that the crew was compelled immediately
to shove off, to prevent her from sinking; and so eager
were some of them to get on board, that they followed
the boat a distance through the water.
"Those who came on board informed us that they
were wrecked on this place on the night of the 9th February, 1813, and that their situation had been very distressing. About a mile along the shore, I saw a number
of persons standing together, with an English union
jack flying over their heads; and, on inquiry, I was informed that the captain was among them. The boat
was despatched for him; and he came off, accompanied
by General Holt (formerly of the Irish patriots), and
Captain Durie, of the seventy-third regiment, who gave
me a more detailed account of their deplorable situation ; that, as winter was approaching, in that inhospitable climate, their only shelter was temporary huts,
formed of pieces of wreck and sails; that they found no
other means of subsistence, but what few provisions
they had saved from the ship; that they were almost
denied the consolation of hope, for no other prospect 8 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
presented itself than a painful, lingering death, as the
termination of their sufferings.
"Yet, although they felt so acutely the horrors of
their own situation, after being rescued from the jaws
of this most dreadful of all deaths, they could traitorously deprive me of my vessel, and abandon me, as will
appear in the sequel, to the same horrors, and thus
prove how corrupt and abandoned human nature is,
when the slave of its own passions. But my painful recollections have carried me from my subject.
"The captain, whose name was George Higton, further informed us, that, after his disaster, he repaired
and fitted out the long-boat in the best manner their
circumstances admitted, and had despatched her, about
three months previously, in charge of Captain Brooks,
a passenger, and George Davis, mate of the late ship,
who were accompanied by Lieutenant London, and
three seamen, an American, an Englishman, and a
Spaniard; that there were yet on the island forty-seven
persons, men, women, and children; that the boat was
supplied with stores for three months, at a rate established by a committee soon after the ship was wrecked,
viz., two pounds of bread and two pounds of salt provisions a man per week; and, in the event of their not
attaining relief, it was left discretionary with Captain
Brooks, either to return to the wreck, or attempt a passage to South America; but, as no accounts had been
received of the boat since her departure, they had been
compelled to abandon all expectation from that source.
"I was informed that the ship was only of one hundred and eighty tons and of course her boat was small.
While conversing on board we continued tacking along captain Barnard's narrative 9
shore but the wind was directly ahead and we didn't
reach the anchorage until' nine in the evening. We then
went ashore to their encampment and the evening was
spent in listening to accounts of the events previous
and subsequent to their shipwreck. At the invitation
of General Holt we lodged in one of his huts.
"During that evening.I heard strange accounts of
what had taken place at the time of the wreck and
details, stranger still, of the lives of some of the shipwrecked. The night on which the ship struck was dark
and gloomy, with no land in sight. She struck on the
outer part of the reef and beat over without receiving
any material injury, so that, if any discipline has been
preserved, they could have anchored the ship and saved
her. As it was, the ship slowly drifted across a channel
more than a mile wide, with six fathoms of water, and
at length drove upon a smooth, table rock at high water. The next morning she was lying nearly dry having
sustained little or no injury. For six days the weather
remained fine and there was a good opportunity to have
hove her off; but unfortunately Captain Higton was
so weak and irresolute in mind and also so attached to
the pleasures of Bacchus, that nothing was done and
on the seventh day after the ship had gone ashore, a
gale came up and bilged her and then all hopes of release were at an end.
"Mary Ann Spencer, although one of the frail sisterhood, but now the selected companion of Mrs. Durie,
informed me that a man named Mattinson, an ex-convict from Botany Bay, who had secreted himself on
board until the vessel got to sea, after the ship struck,
at the head of an intoxicated gang went about between IO
decks going through the rooms of the affrighted passengers, calling on them to hand out their bottles of
liquor. When he came to her he seized her glass and
dashed it on the deck, exclaiming, 'We shall have no
more use for glasses, for this is the last time, either on
sea or shore, that we shall ever drink.'
"Among the portraits furnished by Captain Durie
and his wife, a passenger named Sir Henry B. Hays,
Knight, claims a prominent position. He, too, was an
ex-convict who had been pardoned after spending fourteen years of his life at Botany Bay. I was informed
that the ancestor of this personage was a brewer in
Dublin. The son had rendered political services for
which he had been knighted and anxious to support
his new dignity he decided to marry and fixed his attention on a young and lovely Quakeress who was a
rich heiress. She was insensible, however, to his striking qualities and betrayed no desire to become Lady
Hays and at last forbade him her presence.
"Hays soon discovered that the fair Quakeress was
accustomed to visit relatives living a distance from her
home and on these journeys her carriage must pass
along a high road infrequently travelled. He then hired
a lonely cottage, in from this road, and determined to
terrify her into a pretended marriage. He persuaded
a boon companion to impersonate a clergyman and
learning of her next intended journey that way, with
two or three subordinate ruffians, he concealed himself
by the road over which she must pass. After patiently
waiting, the carriage containing the object of his desires arrived at the place, when the horses were stopped,
the driver was pulled off the box and bound, and one captain Barnard's narrative
of the confederates took the reins. Sir Henry then entered the carriage and seated himself beside the terrified girl. Before she had recovered from her alarm,
Hays pleaded her charms and his ardent love which
liad instigated him to this rashness, and told her of his
■determination to make her his wife that very night.
Finding that tears and remonstrances were of no avail,
she cried loudly for assistance, whereupon Hays ruthlessly gagged her and in that state carried, her into the
cottage. He then told her that a clergyman was waiting to perform the marriage ceremony and notwithstanding her tears and pathetic entreaties to the pretended clergyman that he spare her and save her from
the fate that threatened, the ceremony was gone through
with, some of the subordinates standing as witnesses.
"After the imposter had pronounced them to be man
and wife the agents retired leaving Hays alone with his
trembling victim. He imagined that after he had succeeded in ruining her the unfortunate girl would feel
herself so humbled that, regardless of all but the preservation of her honor, she would consent to a regular
marriage. Accordingly Hays seized her in his arms,
when she, perceiving his intentions, renewed her cries
and nerved by terror and despair, her resistance was so
obstinate that the ruffian was unable to gag her and so
smother her shrieks which, after a time, fortunately
reached the ears of a gentleman who chanced to be
passing. Alarmed, he forced his way in and surprised
the Knight in his attempt to ruin the girl.
"Hays was apprehended, tried, convicted, and sentenced to be hanged; but when under the gallows, with
the rope round his neck, on account of former services,
mm 12
he was reprieved and his punishment commuted to
transportation to Botany Bay for life. These events
took place in 1800. At the time Captain Bligh was
Governor at Port Jackson, Hays rendered such important services when the officers and men revolted,
that Governor Bligh exerted his influence successfully
with the Prince Regent and Hays was granted a pardon.
"The next morning we made a general survey of the
huts and the small vessel they were building. The huts
were erected on a high bluff, about a cable's length
from the wreck. There were twelve or fourteen of these
miserable shelters placed in the form of a square. The
largest hut was the store house and contained what
was left of the provisions, wine, etc., that had been
saved from the ship. The sides of these shelters were
built up with dry tushook or sods from the bog; the
rafters were small spars or pieces of the wreck and these
were covered with sails or skins of seals.
"While viewing the vessel they were building, I fell
in with Captain Higton, who invited me to his hut
where I saw his chere amie, who appeared perfectly at
her ease. In a few minutes he told me that he suspected
breakfast was waiting for me at Captain Dune's. After so delicate an intimation to weigh anchor, I of
course retired.
"That morning was devoted to a discussion of how
these unfortunate people might best be rescued from
their horrible situation and finally it was agreed that
the Nanina should be refitted and the entire party
taken on board and carried to Buenos Ay res. Articles
were drawn up but previous to signing I thought it ad- captain Barnard's narrative
vis able to inform them of the state of war existing between Great Britain and the United States, of which
I was convinced they knew nothing. The disclosure
did not appear to make any alterations in the minds of
the crew or the passengers, except that Sir Henry
Brown Hays endeavored to prevail on the others to
compel us to take them directly to England.
"The shallop was now cleared of seal skins, which
were left on the island, and we took on board Captain
Durie and his family and Mary Ann Spencer, the attendant on Mrs. Durie, a woman in the meridian of
life, of abandoned habits, and mistress to Lieutenant
London, who had gone in the long-boat with Captain
Brooks. We also took on board a drummer and his
wife, eleven of the wrecked sailors and four of my seamen, for the purpose of rigging the brig and bringing
her round.
"On the 9th of April we weighed anchor and put out
into Falkland Sound, the wind blowing hard from the
N. N. W. which continued for several days and at last
compelled us to come to an anchorage. It was not until the 29th that the brig was reached. All hands were
now employed in taking out our oil and in rigging and
fitting out the vessel. The shallop was dispatched to
the wreck and on the 19th of May we beat out of the
harbor and worked along the shore of the Great Maloon, at last coming to anchor near New Island. At
this season of the year severe gales may be expected and
such was our lot. The cold was severe and there were
frequent storms of hail and snow so that we were
obliged to remain at anchor. It was one continuous
gale from the 22d until the 3d of June. 14
"Being in want of fresh provisions, on the ioth, for
the supply of the passengers and crew, I proceeded to
Beaver, one of the adjacent islands, with four men,
who had volunteered their services, viz., Jacob Green,
one of my crew, and an American citizen, and Samuel
Ansel, Joseph Albrook, and James Louder, British subjects, late of the Isabella. Having procured a sufficient
number of wild hogs to load the boat, we departed, and
about 10 o'clock, arrived at New Island Harbor, when
we discovered, to our inexpressible surprise, that the
vessel was gone! But where? We instantly landed,
hauled up the boat, and awaited the approach of daylight in the most impatient and tormenting anxiety,
but still cherishing a hope that we might discover a
letter, which would inform us of the reason. But in
vain did we search; for, although they might have deposited one in a bottle, and buried, or suspended it in
some conspicuous place, yet, after a long and fruitless
search, we were reluctantly compelled to abandon all
expectation of finding any communication from the
vessel. We were so confused and irritated, that we
could hardly persuade.ourselves that we had been thus
barbarously deserted, until we were constrained, by
the certainty of the fact, to turn our thoughts to ourselves, and to devise means for prolonging our existence.
"To be reduced to this deplorable and almost hopeless state of wretchedness, by the treachery and ingratitude of those for whose relief I had long been laboring,
and who, by our unremitted exertions, were raised from
the lowest depths of despair to a prospect of restoration to all the endearments of country and home, was -■^ySirgeJ
|4fc surveyed iy
Map of a Part of the Falkland Islands
From the original survey made in 1815 by Capt. Charles H. Barnard  CAPTAIN BARNARD S NARRATIVE
dreadful in the extreme; and what was my return ? To
be betrayed and abandoned; and at the very time when
I was actually engaged in providing subsistence for
them, to cowardly avail themselves of my absence in
procuring additions to their comfort, and plunge me
into a situation at which humanity revolts, without
scarcely any garments but those on our backs, — and
those considerably worn,—to withstand, without shelter, the severity of a winter on this barren island, without stores or bread, or any thing that would answer as
a substitute, and under the apprehension that the island would not afford game sufficient for us to exist
upon. Wild hogs and game there were; but for the
former we depended only on our faithful dog; and of
the latter we had no prospect, as our ammunition was
"While reflecting on these circumstances, it occurred
to me that possibly the brig had gone into Beaver Island Harbor to take us off; and she could have entered
it without being perceived by us, as we were engaged
in hunting on the opposite side of it. The longer I meditated, the more improbable it appeared that the crew
and passengers could have so entirely divested themselves of every spark of humanity, as to leave us exposed to all the horrors and sufferings we must necessarily endure in this inhospitable climate. The weather being moderate, we went to the lee side of Beaver Island, whereas yesterday we were on the weather side;
and, cheered by the hope that we should find the brig
there, we entered the harbor, preferring to be considered, and even treated, as prisoners of war, and deprived of all our property, to being abandoned here; l6 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
for, in that case, I would have nothing to cheer me, but
every thing to fill me with the most gloomy forebodings. But, on our arrival at Beaver Island Harbor, we
were fated to endure, alas! the almost insupportable
anguish of neither finding the brig, nor discovering
any trace that she had been in the harbor. Thus our
last gleam of hope died away, like most of those favorite pursuits on which we place our hearts. Yet we
trusted that Heaven had not abandoned us, poor, forlorn wretches, thus cruelly abandoned of men. We
concluded, notwithstanding the dangers we must encounter, — and which, under any other circumstances,
we should have deemed insurmountable in an open
boat, on account of the sudden changes in the weather,
and the great tide-rips which we must unavoidably
pass, — that we would attempt to effect a passage to
Eagle Island, where the wreck was, distant about
eighty miles.
"The dread of remaining on these desolate islands,
and a new but faint hope that possibly the pirates might
have stopped there to take on board the brig what they
could of the wreck and cargo, and have left a written
communication, and some necessaries, for us, inspired
us with courage to face the dangers of the attempt. We
therefore lightened the boat by throwing over four
hogs, in order to make the passage in her with more
safety; and retained four, which, in addition to the
provisions we could procure at places where we might
stop, on account of bad weather, etc., would supply us
during the passage, which we commenced at noon, taking our course by the safest routes. After rowing the
greatest part of the night, we landed on Island Har- captain Barnard's narrative
bor, the east side of Swan Island, completely fatigued
by our exertions at the oar. Having been unavoidably
compelled to fast all the time of our passage to this
place, our sufferings were great; and we were necessitated to pass the remainder of the night on the open
beach. The weather was so excessively cold as to freeze
that part of the beach which had been covered with the
tide, to a considerable depth. Our clothes were wet;
and the men frequently exclaimed that they must perish: this harrowed up my already-agitated feelings,
since they looked to me for relief, although suffering
equally with themselves. What a blessed thing it is,
that captains and commanders are often supported,
sometimes with almost superhuman fortitude, to
soothe down the murmurs and complaints, and unite
the jarring tempers and interests, of the men who are
placed under them! It is a fortunate circumstance
when an individual thus situated feels himself thus sustained, and still more fortunate when those whom he
directs are willing to listen to and obey his instructions.
"The next morning, after considerable difficulty, we
succeeded in kindling a fire, and cooking some of the
pork for breakfast; which was the first food we had
taken for the last twenty-four hours. After our meal,
we launched the boat, and proceeded on our passage.
The wind being ahead and fresh, the sail was consequently of no use: we rowed down for Barnard's Island against a heavy head sea, which frequently broke
over the boat's bows; but, having a favorable tide, we
soon got under the lee of Barnard's Island, being distant twelve miles. We avoided going round Cape Or-
ford, from its being an inaccessible, iron-bound shore, 18 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
almost the whole distance from the commencement of
the cape to Port Stephens, extending ten or twelve
miles, and lying open to the prevailing winds, which
throw in'a heavy sea, and at all times dangerous tide-
rips ; and there was no place within the whole space
where we could land with safety, or haul the boat up so
as to prevent her from being injured, if not dashed into
pieces; forming altogether the most perilous cape in
this part of the world.
"We might have avoided the dangers of Cape Or-
ford, by hauling our boat over a neck of land, about
two miles across, which would bring us into Port
Stephens, without any dangerous places to pass, except
Cape Meredith, where the distance from one landing
to the other was but short, and the tide-rips not so
great. Having effected this, we thought that, by waiting for a favorable day to pass the sound, we could
prosecute the remainder of the passage to the wreck,
liable only to sudden gales, frequently occurring at this
inclement season of the year. We therefore proceeded
directly towards the mouth of McCockling's Lagoon,
which is headed near the Bay of Port Stephens, but
separated by a strip of land about two miles wide,
across which we intended to carry or drag the boat;
but, the wind blowing fresh and ahead, we could not
reach it, but put into a small bay about one mile this
side of the lagoon; the sun being down, we hauled up
the boat, and turned her over for a shelter. The night
was very cold, with a light fall of snow.
"This bay, or cove, is formed at the mouth of a valley, which lies between the mountains, with a gentle
ascent of about a mile, and then gently tapers off with captain Barnard's narrative
a gradual descent, nearly the same distance. There we
discovered that it was entered by water, which, we had
no doubt, was the head of a lagoon that communicated
with Port Stephens: we therefore decided to carry the
boat across from thence, instead of proceeding to
McCockling's Lagoon, as the distance from the two
waters appeared to be less than at the latter place; and
the saving of time and labor was very important to us:
We therefore carried the oars, masts, sail, and other
articles, across, which occupied us till night, which we
passed in the same manner as the last. In the morning, we undertook the task—and a severe one it was—
to get the boat to the water on the other side, and succeeded, after much fatigue and difficulty. We attempted to carry her, but were too much exhausted by our
many privations to accomplish so much; about sunset,
she was floating in her proper element.
"We proceeded down the lagoon; and, if our conjecture of its communicating with Port Stephens were
correct, there could, notwithstanding the darkness of
the night and the falling snow, be no danger in proceeding down the bay. After running about three or
four miles from the entrance of it, we were much surprised at finding ourselves in an open sea. The wind
blowing fresh and fair, we kept before it to make a
landing, as we had seen land in the direction we were
steering, previous to its becoming so hazy and dark;
but, to my astonishment, I found that we had run
more than twice the distance of the breadth of Port
Stephens Bay, yet made no land; and the sea rose so as
to break into the boat at times, which greatly alarmed
us all. I began to fear and suspect that, in taking the 20
boat across, we had mistaken the course, and that we
were now running out to sea; and as, unfortunately,
we had no compass, we could not ascertain the course
we were steering, nor those we had steered in following
the windings of the lagoon. All was conjecture. We
were soon agreeably surprised to find breakers to the
leeward. Our next care, on approaching the shore,
which was lined with low, flat rocks that were bare at
low water, was to effect a landing without staving the
boat; which, after much difficulty, we accomplished.
It being low water, we were forced to haul the boat a
considerable distance to reach high-water mark, which,
at full tides, was against a clay bank intermixed with
sand, fifteen or twenty feet perpendicular. On account
of the darkness of the night, we could not find a safer
situation. We removed the snow, which had fallen to
the depth of six or eight inches, and turned up the boat,
with her gunwale against the bank, for shelter. The
four men, not being provided with a change of dry
clothes or stockings, suffered severely from the cold, as
their clothing was worn threadbare, merely covering
their nakedness, but affording very little warmth, or
yielding much protection from the severity of the
weather. As soon as the boat was turned up, the poor
fellows crept under it. As it afforded but a slight
shelter from the wind and snow, they took their only
blanket, and wrapped their naked feet in it, weeping
"If the authors of our extreme suffering could have
beheld them for only a moment, it might, perhaps, have
touched even their flinty hearts with pity; although
they must have known the consequences that would en- CAPTAIN BARNARD S NARRATIVE
sue from their inhuman desertion. The dog lay down
amongst them, alternately licking their feet and legs,
appearing sensible of their distress, and desirous of relieving it. After changing my stockings, I made a hole
with my knife in that part of the bank against which
the boat rested, built a fire under it, by breaking up a
few pieces of drift-wood which we had brought with us,
suspended the pot by a string from the gunwale, and
boiled some pork for our supper and breakfast; for we
supposed it now to be near daylight. While satisfying
the cravings of hunger with the half-boiled pork, we
were dreadfully alarmed by hearing the tide rapidly
approaching; as, in that case, we should be obliged to
turn up the boat, and remain in her till daylight, and at
the same time be exposed to the fury of the surf, which
might dash the boat against the bank, and stave her to
pieces; but these apprehensions were soon quieted, by
observing that it was neap-tide, and would not reach
"On June the 17th, strong gales from the south, and
severe cold, were endured. At daybreak, we crawled
out from under the boat, and looked round, to ascertain, if possible, on what land we were; but all appeared strange, and our suspicions that we had, in our
haste, hauled the boat to the wrong place, were confirmed ; and, taking our departure in the dusk of the
evening, without a compass to take the bearings of
Port Stephens, and the courses we had steered, I was
completely at a loss to tell where or on what island we
landed. I set to work, and broke up the remainder of
the wood for the purpose of cooking our breakfast of
pork. As I knew that we should soon be in great want 22
of wood and water, and as the preparing of this meal
would consume the whole of both articles, I sent Jacob
Greeri and Samuel Ansel along shore in search of a
supply of both; but they returned, almost frozen, without having been so fortunate as to procure either. We
were now almost in a state of despair; but, as I knew
that despairing would not relieve us, after eating of the
parboiled pork, and melting some snow in the cooking-
pot for drink, I took Joseph Albrook with me, and went
along shore, in the other direction, for wood and water.
Having travelled about a mile, we came to a frozen
pond, and, on breaking the ice, we found the water both
fresh and good; we filled our boat-keg, and left it on
the beach, and continued to proceed along shore in
hopes to find some driftwood, when we fortunately fell
in with four sea-elephants. We immediately killed the
smallest with our clubs, cut off the blubber, and carried it to the boat for fuel. By this successful attempt
in procuring water, which we had almost despaired of,
and the means of continuing our fire, and knowing
that without these two indispensable articles we could
not long have existed, our spirits and hopes were renewed.
"Strong gales kept us close as possible under the
boat, over a small blubber fire, the smoke of which
turned the skin of our faces pretty much of a color. On
the 20th the gale subsided and we launched our boat
and rowed along the shore following this course for several days . The food supply by that time was beginning
to be serious. Three wild fowls had been killed with
stones and seven rooks or carron crows were killed
while they were feeding on the putrid carcass of a sea- captain Barnard's narrative
elephant which must have been dead for some time.
On the 23d we fortunately came upon a young elephant which we killed and this supplied us with food
for some time. When we launched the boat and left
this place of famine, I gave it the name of 'Pinch-gut
"Slowly we made our way along the coast. When
the sea-elephant meat gave out, for lack of something
better, we fed upon the roots of the tushook grass but
these occasioned vomiting and dizziness, particularly
with Lunder and Green who were reduced to the greatest extremity. Fortunately we came upon a seal and
not long after killed three geese and two foxes. The
flesh of the latter was so strong that nothing but extreme hunger could force it down.
"The weather having moderated, and appearing settled, on the 25 th July we launched the boat, and proceeded for, and landed on, that part of Swan Island
nearest to, and in full view of, the harbor of New Island, as it was our intention to pass the remainder of
the winter there, it being a good place to procure hogs,
and only about one mile from the place which we had
chosen for our camp was a small seal-rookery. This
rookery was formed among a great number of loose
rocks, that had fallen from the adjacent cliffs. The tops
of these high cliffs project far beyond the base, having
the terrifying appearance of being on the point of falling, and crushing into atoms any of us who might be
passing beneath, or any where within the range of the
rocky fragments. Among these broken masses, the
seals, on being disturbed, seek for safety, and disappear
in the caverns below; one of us then crawled in after 24
them, and, when near enough to reach them with a
boat-hook, dragged them from their concealment, and
they were immediately despatched by a blow on the
head, and skinned; this was performed as expeditiously as possible, from the threatening appearance of the
overhanging cliffs.
"The men's clothing, which was in a very indifferent
state when they left the brig, was now so far worn out,
that it was falling from their backs; and, as food and
clothing were indispensable to the preservation of our
lives, we so arranged as to have two departments for
procuring these, in full activity at the same time. A
strict lookout was to be likewise kept up for any boat or
vessel that might be approaching or passing New Island Harbor. Indeed, no kind of craft could enter
without our immediate notice, it being only seven miles
distant, and open to our full view; for, though often
deceived by Hope, she yet flattered us, by representing
that perhaps the shallop would return to the harbor to
search for us. Our duties and employments were therefore so ordered, that one should cook, and at the same
time keep watch, as the harbor, its entrance, and all its
parts, were fully exposed to his view from the place
where he had his fire. Two, with the dog, were to procure provisions; and the other two to procure fur-seals,
to make clothing of their skins.
"The wild hogs had become very scarce and shy on
this part of the island, the most of them resorting to the
other end; and, consequently, to obtain food, we were
obliged to follow them to their haunts, and had to
travel seven or eight miles through the wintry storms
and frosts. After killing our game, we returned to the captain Barnard's narrative
camp, carrying it on our backs; having to pass over
hills, across valleys, floundering through high snowbanks, wading deep creeks or runs of water; and neither our feet nor legs were a single moment dry. On
these hunting excursions, what did we not endure?
These hogs, in size, appearance, and habits, resemble
the common or domestic hogs of the United States;
the old boars are large, and generally fierce, sometimes
inflicting severe wounds on our dog; they are very thin,
and run fast; their flesh is sweet, but lean, not having
an ounce of fat on their carcass, and has more the flavor of veal than of common pork. It is a very light diet,
easy of digestion, which leaves a vacancy in the stomach that gives rise to unpleasant feelings, which it requires another meal to remove.
"When obliged to bring hogs from the other end of
the island, we made them light enough for a single man
to carry, by taking out all the entrails except the liver,
cutting off the head, and leaving the whole of these behind. We tied the fore and hinder legs together, put
our head between them, and by this management the
hog laid firmly on the shoulders, and we then commenced our march for the camp. Such were the arduous and severe duties of the swine-hunter. The other
two were in close attendance on the rookery, and more
than fifty seals were obtained.
"We daily exchanged duties, so that each man performed his full share of all the labors. The seal-skins
were prepared by us, in our best manner, for clothing;
first, by drying, and then rubbing them until they were
limber; they were then made up into full suits, consisting of jacket, trousers, vest, and cap; to sew them, 26 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
we were fortunate enough to have sail-needles and a
ball of twine; and when that was expended, we took a
cloth out of our mainsail, which was new, light duck,
ravelled it, and thus procured a good substitute for
twine. When the suits were completed and worn, the
men found them so comfortable, in comparison with
their old ones, that I was induced, after a while, to try
a suit myself; although I had other clothes sufficient
to make necessary changes, having always been accustomed, in every excursion in the boat, to carry with me
a requisite supply.
"The seals we particularly valued, not only on account of their skins, but also for their blubber, which
we used as fuel: when destitute of it, we had recourse
to the dry tushook-grass, which having little substance,
we could not keep up a fire with it that would more
than parboil our pork, which caused it to be very unpalatable. During our stay at this place, which we
called 'Rat Camp,' we were intolerably plundered and
annoyed by the almost incredible number of rats with
which it was infested. To prevent their ruinous and extensive depredations on our provisions, when we were
so rich as to have much on hand, we were compelled to
adopt several plans to prevent their piracies; but, in
general, their sagacity in committing their felonies was
greater than ours in preventing them. At length we
made trial of raising a pair of shears, by lashing three
oars together, and, with the boat's painter, hoisting the
provisions as high as the shears would permit; we then
greased the oars with seal's blubber, and this prevented
the rats from mounting to the top of the shears, descending the rope, and nearly destroying in the course of captain Barnard's narrative
the night a whole hog or whatever part was suspended.
"One day, while performing our customary tour in
pursuit of necessaries, we fell in with a very large, old
sea-lion, asleep, at a distance from the shore. We were
desirous to kill him, to have his blubber for fuel, and
his skin for moccasins; but we were without our lance,
which, owing to the great difficulty in landing and getting our things into the boat, we had unfortunately left
behind at Hook Camp. We thought it impossible to
kill him without the lance; yet, as his skin and blubber
would be so valuable to us, and his being asleep so far
from the shore seemed almost to promise success to my
attack, after lashing a skinning-knife firmly to the end
of my club, I directed the men to provide themselves
with as many stones as they could carry in their caps
and pockets. We then reconnoitred him. My plan of
attack was, to stab him under one of his fore-flippers,
being the nearest to his heart; and, if the knife were
only long enough to reach it, we might succeed in killing him. The moment I made the assault, the others
were to throw stones at his eyes, and blind him, so that
he should not be able to see his way to the water; and
this would afford me an opportunity to repeat the stabs.
Accordingly, I very cautiously approached him; and,
when I was sufficiently near him, being still asleep, I
gave him a deep stab under one of his fore-flippers;
but the knife was not long enough to reach the seat of
life; and, on receiving the wound, he furiously sprang
up, and dashed about, bit and rooted up the tushooks
from pain and madness, and attempted to fight his way
to the water; but the stones were so effectually thrown
against his eyes, that he could neither see the water, 28 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
nor in what direction we were. I repeated the thrusts,
until, having fallen from loss of blood, we despatched
him, and took off his skin and blubber.
"The killing of an old sea-lion without a lance, may
appear almost incredible to those who have seen or attacked one of the largest size, and witnessed his desperate and determined manner of defence and attack.
A blow on the head has little or no effect, even if a man
has a fair opportunity to inflict it, which very seldom
occurs, unless accompanied with great danger. The
sea- resembles the land-lion in the head, shoulders, and
breast; there is a difference in the mouth, their jawbones being larger, and their teeth nearly double the
size; their neck and breast are covered with a mane,
about four or five inches in length; their skin is very
thick, particularly on the neck and shoulders. I have
measured skins that were, on these parts, an inch thick.
They have heavy and clumsy bodies, which generally
weigh from 500 to 700 lbs.
"Having now resigned all hope of being sought for by
either the shallop or brig, we decided to return to New
Island, as whaling ships sometimes put in there for water. We therefore left Beaver, and crossed over to New
Island. Having hauled up the boat, and made the usual
preparations, I told the men that it was about the season when the albatross began to lay her eggs, and that
they had better go up to the rookery, and see if the
birds had commenced; they accordingly went, and
found five or six eggs. Having lost the run or account
of time, I concluded, from the circumstance of finding
eggs, that it was now about the 10th of October; and,
as the albatross begins laying in the first week of that CAPTAIN BARNARD S NARRATIVE
month, I consequently began to reckon from this period as the 10th.
"The weather continuing pleasant, each man was
provided with a seal-skin bag, and repaired to the rookery to collect eggs from the nests of the albatrosses;
and, as they never leave their eggs from the time they
begin to cover them until they are hatched, they soon
become unfit to eat. Every one obtained and carried to
the boat two loads of these fresh eggs, which afforded
us a noble feast. This bird never leaves her young until they are half-grown; for the rooks are always upon
the alert, watching for an opportunity to dive down on
the nest, break the eggs, or kill and devour the young.
The albatross is almost as large again as a goose, and
their eggs are of a proportionate size; their wings, when
•extended, measure, from tip to tip, thirteen or fourteen feet; their bills are large and strong; they bite
severely, and desperately wound the hands of those
who disturb their nests.
"I proposed to some of the men to go down to Sea-
Lion Point, at the south end, for a hair seal-skin, to
make moccasins of, as they were more lasting than
those made of the fur seal-skin. Green and Louder
said it was their turn to go for vines; Albrook, that it
was his cook day; and Ansel, that he wanted to mend
his trousers. I went under the boat, and, having sharpened my knife, took my club, and called the dog, but he
did not come. I inquired where he was; Louder replied, that he supposed the dog had followed Green
and Albrook, who had gone for vines. As they had
taken an opposite direction to that which I intended,
I resolved to wait for their return. Ansel then sprung
PS 30
up from where he was sitting, and said, 'Captain Barnard, I will go with you.' I replied, 'If you will go, we
ought to have the dog, to hunt the seals in the tus-
hooks.' 'Or, if there is any there,' said he, T will hunt
them up.' I agreed to his proposal, and set off. We
passed round the mountain which makes the southwest part of Hooker's Harbor, and then descended, engaged in conversation, to cross the valley. This valley
is full of tushooks, which are higher than a man's head,
and through which, as we walked, we continued our
conversation, although we could not discern each other.
After I had got out of the valley, upon the plain, I stood
still, waited for and expected every moment to see Sam
make his appearance from the tushooks; but, as he did
not come, I called, and, after waiting several minutes,
I called again, as loud as I could, but no answer was returned. A suspicion now darted through my mind,
that he had returned to the boat, and that they were all
acting upon some preconcerted plan. Their first declining to accompany me, the absence of my dog,
the clandestine disappearance of Ansel, — all added
strength to the suspicion that some improper scheme
was in agitation, the knowledge of which had been
withheld from me.
"I returned through the tushooks, and proceeded
with expedition towards our camp. Having gone about
a mile, and being half way round the mountain, I perceived the boat running out of the harbor, before the
wind. To attract their notice, I put my hat on the club,
and waved to them; but they took no notice of it. I
then hastened to the place where we had been living, to
ascertain if they had left my clothes, and some other captain Barnard's narrative
articles, which would be trifles in any other situation,
but of great importance to me now, but more particularly if they had left fire and my dog. But I cannot describe my sensations when, on arriving in sight of the
camp, I neither observed the dog nor any smoke. I endeavored to kindle a fire from the ashes of the vines,
which had been used as fuel for cooking; but, on opening them, to my great dismay, I did not discover a
spark of fire; yet, notwithstanding this disheartening
obstacle, I placed on them some dry straw, which, after
emitting a light smoke, kindled at last into a blaze.
Thus I surmounted one of the most serious difficulties
in which their inhuman desertion had involved me.
"Examining whether they had deprived me of all my
little stock, I found that, in addition to the irreparable
loss of my dog, they had taken my bag, containing an
old jacket and trousers, a blanket, and rug, the remains
of an old shirt, part of which I had torn off and burnt
into tinder, and a powder-horn to preserve it dry for
use, in case of losing our fire. They had also deprived
me of my fowling-piece, and three or four charges of
powder, which I had carefully preserved as a last resource to procure fire, when all other means should
fail; also my fur seal-skins, which I had laid by for the
purpose of making clothes; a great coat, two sail-
needles, and all my tinder. By thus depriving me of
every necessary article, it appeared evident that they
expected I could not survive long, if destitute of every
thing, and that they wished my existence at an end.
"I gazed at the boat, whose sail was yet in sight, and
said, 'Go, then, for you are all bad fellows;' although I
never suspected Green, Albrook, or Louder, of plan- 32 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
ning the desertion, but I considered the hardened villain Ansel as the author of it, who had instigated the
others to carry it into execution. I now found that I
must depend altogether upon my own resources and
exertions to procure food, clothing, and shelter. If they
had only left my dog, I could provide for myself as well
as when we were together; therefore I did not so much
regret their departure and knavery as might be supposed, as their barbarous hearts, if they had continued
here, might have united against me, and used me much
worse than robbing and deserting me. The first thing
to which I attended, was the preservation of my fire,
which, if lost, I could not regain. I had torn off one of
my shirt sleeves, burnt it to tinder, and, after enclosing
it in a stocking tied in a bag, had placed it in the dry
tushooks; but, on looking for it, I discovered that they
had taken my last flint. On leaving the vessel, I took
with me a small bag, in which were flints, needles, palm,
and twine; all of these, except the bag,—for which
they had no use, having seal-skin ones of their own, —
they had stolen. To preserve my fire, I used a piece of
tushook, which is a light and chaffy substance, being
equally composed of straw and turf, and retaining fire
several hours after it is kindled. This was of great
service to me during the night, and in my absence to
the rookery for eggs, or to the hills for vines. The fear
of losing my fire caused me more uneasiness than any
thing else, as my tinder, from the want of a flint, was
useless. I made a tushook house; placed the very few
articles they had left me in it; prepared several dry tushook bogs for replenishing the fire; laid myself down in
the tushook hovel, and prayed to God to direct and in- captain Barnard's narrative
spire me with fortitude to submit with patience to this
doubly afflictive trial.
"During the pleasant weather;, I commenced making a more comfortable shelter. This I completed tolerably well. Here I was to pass the night, and to be
sheltered from the cold rain storms, which are very
prevalent in those islands throughout the year. December, January, and February, being the summer
months, are the only ones that may be considered
pleasant; but even these summer months are not
warmer or more serene than October and November
are in the climate of New York. I recollected that I
had seen, at some distance down the beach, about low-
water mark, the remains of an old tin pot, without a
bottom, which we had formerly used in the boat as a
bailer, but, having become unserviceable, it had been
thrown away. At low water, I searched for and found
it. I turned up the sides and end, and converted it into
a pan, to cook my eggs. I wished to erect a signal pole,
and, for that purpose, I chose a small tree that we had
brought to this island for the purpose of making clubs,
which had become scarce among us, having been broken over the heads of the old bears and hair-seals. This
small sapling, including the root, was about twelve feet
long, and about the thickness of a man's arm. I lashed
a strip of board, as a topmast, to the end of it, to which
I affixed several strips of seal-skins, as signals. I then
dug a hole on the top of a small rise of ground that was
near my hut, and erected the pole, and on it cut my
name and date. The first thing that I did, every morning, was to cut a notch in the pole, as a record of days;
and, as I had lost Sunday, I appointed one, by calling
the day on which I was left on this barren island, Friday. October the 14th, being my Sunday, I did no
work, except cooking my eggs, and walking on the
small hillock where I had erected my signal and register pole. To denote Sunday, I cut a longer mark than
for the other days of the week.
"After completing my arrangements about the fire,
and other concerns, I went to the rookery, and brought
to my hut, during the day, four loads of eggs; and it
was my intention to collect and bring home the same
quantity every day, as long as the eggs continued good.
After bringing them to my hut, I arranged them, in
small parcels, on their ends, in the tushook, covered
them well with tushook straw, and over that a thick
layer of bogs of the same material. This was done to
prevent the rooks from sucking the eggs, of which they
are very fond. When employed in securing eggs, there
were always twenty or thirty rooks flying over my head,
while others were sitting on the ground, and watching
my movements; and, the instant that I left the place,
they would commence digging with their bills and talons for the eggs, which sometimes they would get, notwithstanding all my precautions. This would anger
me, and I have sometimes employed myself the whole
day in throwing stones at them, to prevent them from
their attempts. They were so bold as to fly at my head,
and with such force as to strike off my cap, and cause a
severe headache.
"Until the 20th, I was employed in procuring eggs,
which were my only food, and going every other day for
a back-load of vines, for fuel. Having now procured a
large stock of eggs, and secured them, I desisted from captain Barnard's narrative
going to the rookery, as all the eggs were becoming
"While on the hills gathering vines, I came to a spot
where they appeared to be very plentiful for some distance round. I threw down my club and the seal-skin
string that tied them, and began to throw them down
by the club and string, and gathered them in my arms;
when enough was obtained for a load, I bound them
into a bundle, by means of the string, and looked for
the club, to pass it through the string, and carry the
bundle like a wallet. How surprised was I to find that
it had disappeared from the place where it laid! I
searched all round, and, not finding it, I began to think
that the island, or at least this part of it, was the residence of some invisible beings, and that I was not the
only proprietor. But, however mysterious I might consider the loss of my club, it did not much alarm me, as
I was not inclined to superstition; so I took my bundle
on my back, and returned home, kindled a fire, cooked
some eggs for supper, and turned in.
"As I was meditating on the severity of my lot, cut
off from all intercourse with my fellow-men, and
doomed, perhaps, never again to see a human being, my
thoughts, at one time, wandered to the unaccountable
manner in which I had lost my club; at another, to my
country, family, and friends; but my train of reflection
was suddenly interrupted by a loud and near noise, resembling that of a cat when irritated, or in great pain.
I was startled; but, soon recovering from my surprise,
I thought that now I should discover a clew to a knowledge of the unseen beings who had appropriated my
club.   Going out from my shelter (for it was hardly 36 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
commodious enough to be distinguished by the name
of hut) and looking round to discover whence the
strange noise proceeded, I saw an owl standing on the
tushook that formed one part of my shelter; he was of
a large size, and had a most frightful look. I advanced
towards him with my club; but he was so intent on
hooting that he took no notice of my approach. I gave
him a severe blow with the club, which he immediately
seized, and held in his talons, until I crushed his head
with a stone. I then returned to bed, and, notwithstanding the alarm, slept soundly the remainder of the
"The day being very fine, on the 22d of October I
was employed in doing a number of light jobs about my
habitation; cut out of dry seal-skins a suit of clothing,
and dressed them by rubbing them with a soft stone, of
coarse grit, and afterwards rubbing them by hand, in
the same way as clothes are washed, until they became
as pliable as washed leather.
"The spring being advanced, and the weather more
pleasant, the small birds singing, and flying, in great
numbers, from one tushook to another, the music of
their notes and airy gambols forcibly recalled to mind
similar days and scenes, which, in childhood, I had enjoyed in my own country. But, delightful as are such
associations to the mind in the possession of every comfort, they by no means feed the imagination of such
unfortunates as myself. There is too much painful
reality to keep alive the attention upon its own cares
and reflections; and, if they ever occur at all, it is only
to increase the wretchedness of the sufferer, by con- captain Barnard's narrative
trasting with his own miseries the blessings possessed
by others.
"In the afternoon, I went to Fairy Hill, and to the
same place from which unseen hands had conveyed
away my club, for more vines. I hoped that the other
club had been returned, by this time, to the place from
which it had been taken, unless I had, while deeplv en-
gaged in thought, — which was almost always the
case, — mislaid it myself. The one I now had was
smaller, and had been lost in the tushooks by one of
the brig's crew, and I had lately found it. On arriving at the mysterious spot, I laid down the club
and string, much in the same manner as I did before,
and went about gathering vines, frequently looking
round to see if any thing was in sight that could carry
away the club; but nothing then appeared. Having
strolled round to the distance of about five or six rods,
I returned with an armful of vines, and, behold, the
club was gone! I searched in every direction, as far as
a few minutes would permit, without seeing it. With
the string and the few vines I had gathered, I made the
best of my way from this place, which I now began to
believe was the residence of some evil genius, who thus
punished me for invading his retreat. Descending the
hill, my attention was caught by a great number of
rooks, some flying high in the air, others lower, when,
to my great surprise, I discovered that one of them had
my club in his claws; his talons grasped the larger end,
and hooked under the iron ring, that is always put
round seal-clubs to prevent them from brooming, or
splitting against the rocks. The mystery was now
cleared up, and the thoughts of having supernatural
beings for neighbors, who, in the course of time, might
condescend to become familiar, and 'disclose secrets
of the invisible world,' were at an end; and an act
which I deemed worthy of a spirit or enchanter, was
the work of a villainous bird. I must admit that I felt
rather chagrined at the inferiority of the real to my
imaginary agent. It is strange that we are more prone
to account for singular events from supernatural than
mere physical causes; the reason may be, that the mind
is fond of having sufficient food to keep alive the imagination, and, perhaps, find sensible demonstrations
and arguments for the truth of an after life. But my
most important concern now was, to regain the club:
I gathered some stones, and pelted the thief heartily,
until he was compelled to drop it.
"October the 25th, 1813, being the day of my nativity, and that on which I completed my 3 2d year,
gave rise to many melancholy reflections. Memory recalled the table, covered with plenty, at which I used to
sit, surrounded by my family and friends, but more
particularly so on the last anniversary. But what a
contrast! from substantial and delicate fare, with social mirth, and good wishes crowning the board, to my
being now alone, destitute even of a crumb of bread, or
smiling friends, to cheer and animate me; but memory
became too painful, and, to divert my thoughts, if possible, into another channel, I repaired to the shore. In
walking along, I tried several stones on my steel, and
fortunately found one that produced fire enough to
communicate with the tinder; this was a valuable acquisition, as the continual dread of losing my fire was,
in a great degree, removed.   I now began building a CAPTAIN BARNARD S NARRATIVE
stone wall around the cooking-place, which was an
arduous undertaking, as the stones were to be brought
from a considerable distance.
"I made a discovery that promised to be of the greatest utility to me while I remained here. The north side
of the harbor is formed by a high hill, which is covered,
about half way up, with tushooks; those which formerly grew there had been burnt, and the fire had penetrated the bog or moor, into which it had made large
and deep holes. I observed that the sides of some of
these hills had caved in, and was of the substance of
turf; but it had a greater resemblance to the peat which
I had seen in Wales. I gathered some, and found, on
trial, that it made a hot fire. Having made this gratifying experiment, I returned, and filled a large seal-skin
bag, which I brought home; and, when broken into
pieces about the size of a man's fist, I found that it took
fire quicker, and threw off almost as much heat as coal.
I could hardly believe in my good fortune, or realize
the fact that it was in my power to have a good fire,
until I had cooked some eggs. 'Now,' said I, 'there is
no danger of my perishing next winter, from the want
of fuel to make good fires to warm me, and cook whatever food it shall please Providence to provide me with.'
"I now determined to work steadily at building a
stone house, with a fireplace, and endeavor to get a
sufficient number of seal-skins to cover the roof. This
I thought might be accomplished in the course of a
summer, and I should be prepared to meet the severity
of the next winter, with more comfort and security
than the last.
"I began to feel so very solitary, and time moved so 40 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
slowly on leaden wings, that, bad as they were, I wished
for the return of the men. Company, even were it that
of a savage, like Crusoe's Friday, or that of my poor,
faithful dog, would have been a great comfort to me,
as it would sometimes amuse my attention, and prevent my thoughts from dwelling so continually on my
forlorn situation and distant home. In this solitary
state, agitated by hopes and fears, wishes and anticipations, I continued performing my customary daily
"On the 3d of December, when the Macaroni penguins had collected in the rookery, and stowed themselves as closely as they could between the albatrosses,
where thousands repair, every year, to deposit their
eggs, I found that they were laying them in great abundance ; I therefore commenced gathering and carrying
them to the hut, where I placed them on their ends,
and, at the expiration of six days, turned them, which
was done to prevent the yolk from settling through the
white and spoiling the egg. It was a curious and interesting sight, to observe those sea-birds landing on a
flat, shelving rock, at the mouth of a gulley leading to
the rookery, upon which, being on the weather side of
the island, the sea breaks with tremendous violence.
The penguins come from the sea in such immense
flocks, as almost to cover the surface of the water to a
considerable extent; but, on drawing near to this rock,
their only landing-place, they discover their mortal
and rapacious enemies the sea-lions, swimming outside
of the surf, and awaiting their arrival, to seize and devour them. When a small flock of penguins discover
the lions, they sheer off, and wait for the arrival of captain Barnard's narrative
other and larger flocks, when, — as the few must be
sacrificed for the preservation of the many,—they rush
swiftly towards the rock, spring out of the water, and,
making directly for the landing, meet the lions, where
many lose their lives by falling into their mouths. I
have often seen the lions swimming with their heads
above water, and with their rapacious jaws distended,
among those poor, defenceless little birds, dealing destruction, and enclosing within a living tomb all that
were within the deadly circle; for the penguins, in the
crowd and confusion, are forced into the jaws of their
destroyers. As soon as the surviving birds have passed
this formidable line of enemies, they enter the surf,
which throws them, by thousands, on the shore so violently, that many are wounded and disabled, which fall
a prey to the rooks, who are ready to take advantage of
their disaster; these land enemies follow them as far as
the rookery, seizing upon the wounded, or any that fall
off from themainbody. Thesepenguins are the smallest
of this species of birds, being only about twenty inches
in height; their legs being placed near the extremity of
the body, they stand and walk erect; their heads are
ornamented with a topknot, composed of long red and
vellow feathers; they have white bellies and black
backs; their feathers are short, thick, and placed close
together, like those of the loon, common on the coast of
North America.
"There was a strong gale from the S. S. W., accompanied by showers of hail, on the 8th of December.
The tide was remarkably low, far beyond common low-
water mark. I walked out to almost where the brig
had lain at anchor, but nothing but the sky and ocean 42 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
met my inquisitive view. I was now employed at the
walls of the house, which were about nine feet by seven, and more than three feet thick. While at work, I
was surprised at hearing a loud crack, like that of the
breaking of a board; I looked towards my signal and
register pole, and saw that it was broken, with nothing
in sight that could have done it. This, to me, was really
unaccountable. I went to examine it, when I found beside it a large shag, lying dead, which had been flying
down the valley, to go a-fishing in the harbor, as many
of them do every morning. They fly with great rapidity, and cause a whistling in the air, like a cannon-ball
passing near at hand. This one, in his flight, came with
such force against the top-mast, which I had lashed to
the head of the pole, as to carry it away, and cause his
immediate death.
"On the 14th of December, I discovered a smoke rising from Beaver Island, which I knew was occasioned
by some persons setting fire to the tushooks, that being
the method here of making signals of distress, or when
various parties are sealing on different islands, and
wish to communicate, or convey information to one
another. For instance, two gangs may be out sealing,
only one of which has a boat; when the one has procured all the skins, they wish the boat or shallop to
come and take them and their fare off; for a signal to
that effect, they set fire to the tushooks.
"I will endeavor to describe the tushook: The bog on
its outside is soft and rotten and something resembling
decayed wood; on cutting or breaking into it, the inside is found to be firm, and not unlike Irish turf.
These bogs are of various sizes, from the dimensions captain Barnard's narrative
of a barrel to those of a tun-butt, and from three to four
feet in height; they generally stand about three feet
apart, leaving a space through which a man or a seal
can pass without difficulty. The seals generally resort
to them on coming in from the sea, where they pass
several days at a time, in sleep and repose. On the top
of the bog grows a long, coarse grass, bearing a resemblance to the flag-grass of the United States, but
not quite so long or large, and standing about as tall as
full-grown rye. In the spring, the grass shoots up from
the centre of the bog, and grows rapidly during the
short summer; but, on the approach of winter, it dies,
forming a great quantity of dry straw, and falls around
the bog. This, decaying, becomes, in my opinion, incorporated with the bog, and gradually adds to its size.
I presume that the soil was originally wet or springy;
that the tushook grass was its first growth or production, and that, annually growing and decaying for
many ages, the bog was gradually formed from this
decayed substance, which covers these savannas or
prairies. If fire is kindled there, it will continue burning several days; and when it communicates to the
bogs, or penetrates below the surface of the soil, which
it most commonly does, it will burn several months,
and make deep chasms or pits in the ground.
"I went to the top of the hill, which afforded a more
-distinct view, and there I could positively decide
whether it was really smoke rising from Beaver Island,
or only vapors from the sea. I had frequently been deceived by clouds passing over the tops of the hills,
which, at times, had a very strong resemblance to heavy
bodies of smoke rolling up f rOm signal fires, and agitat- 44
ed me with hope and fear the greater part of a day.
"On arriving at the summit of the hill, I was satisfied, beyond all doubt, that I saw large columns of
smoke ascending from Beaver Island, and that it was,
most probably, a signal made to me by my runaway
companions; or, perhaps, the shallop was there; which
hope, notwithstanding the length of time since I was
abandoned, I still cherished.
"After remaining a considerable time on the hill, —
the wind blowing strongly from the westward, which
was directly against their coming to this island, whoever they might prove to be, — I descended, to wait,
with all the calmness I could command, for the coming of the next day, when I hoped that the wind would
change, and that I should have the happiness of seeing
them coming over to my island. But I could not so restrain my feelings as to patiently await the result; the
excitement was too great. I made a large turf fire, and
walked the beach the greater part of the night, as all
inclination for sleep was now banished.
"The weather being favorable on the following day,
I watched with the greatest anxiety for the appearance
of a boat or shallop, as I felt assured that it was the
crew of the one or the other that was on Beaver Island.
After a light breakfast, I made a large fire, the sight of
which I knew would astonish them, and then went to
my observatory on the hill, and concluded to remain
there until I saw them crossing, which I conjectured
would be in a short time. After continuing there sev-
eral hours, and seeing nothing more than the large columns of smoke, which still continued rising, I fell
asleep, worn out and exhausted by watching, until I captain Barnard's narrative
was awakened by the rooks attempting to take the
moccasins from my feet. I turned an anxious eye towards Beaver Island, but saw nothing to confirm my
hopes. I returned down the hill, dispirited and heartsick, and, having taken some food, I continued on the
lookout until every object was shrouded in darkness.
Being now compelled to relinquish the expectation of
seeing them this night, I retired to my bed of straw in a
painful state of conjecture and uncertainty; and this
day completed the ninth week that I had been left
alone. The succeeding day was extremely propitious
to cross from Beaver to this island. I was on the lookout the whole day, but nothing appeared afloat.
"Words cannot express my deep-toned anxiety. Day
after day elapsed, and yet there was no arrival. They
might have landed on the other end of the island; for,
while engaged in cooking eggs, I heard a noise like the
snapping of a gun; but, on looking round, I discovered
nothing to excite my fears. In a short time, the noise
was repeated, and again it sounded like the snapping of
a gun. As Ansel and company had taken my fowling-
piece, and a few charges of powder and slugs, and as it
sometimes missed fire, I suspected that they were concealed in the tushooks that grew near, and were aiming
the gun at me. I immediately started, and examined
the tushooks very closely, but did not discover any indications of any one having lately been there. I finished cooking, and was eating my dinner, when the
sound again startled me. I looked up, and observed,
after a little investigation, that some shell spoons I had
made, which were hanging near the wall, on a pin, were
driven against it by the wind, which caused the noise. 46
"This was the invisible enemy who, I fancied, was
plotting against my life; but I felt as much relief as
though I had been preserved from the greatest impending evil. Thus, in the absence of real, imaginary dangers will always supply their place; and miserable indeed would that situation be, where there is no moral
stimulus to awaken the mental powers, and make us
feel our dependence on the great Being who made us.
"To banish or confirm my suspicions of the landing
of the boat, and the secretion of the crew upon the island, I searched the shore narrowly at the south end,
but returned home about the middle of the afternoon,
without discovering the least sign of a living creature.
"While cooking some eggs, to my astonishment, I
perceived the boat coming round a point of rocks,
about half a mile distant; the men landed on the beach,
at the mouth of the harbor, and in a few moments reentered the boat, and shoved off. I attentively watched
their manoeuvres, and was prepared to meet them either
as friends or enemies: they lay on their oars, in the
middle of the harbor, apparently consulting what
course they should pursue. After a few moments, they
pulled in towards me, until within about twenty yards,
and then ceased rowing, but did not speak. It was my
boat, indeed, and my treacherous companions. The
dog had recognized me, and wanted to jump out and
swim to the shore, but was prevented by Ansel. Perceiving this, and imagining that they did not intend to
land, I spoke, and asked them why they did not come
on shore. James Louder replied, 'We wish to land, but
are fearful that we have so offended you, that you do
not want us to rejoin you. We have put a hog ashore
m eg
for you on the point, with some old newspapers that I
picked up at the wreck, as I had often heard you wish
that you had some books or papers to read.'   I answered, 'Let my dog come ashore, and you may go
where you please with the boat; but, if you do not land
him and my gun, you may depend upon it that, if ever
a ship arrives, you will be made to repent of your late
infamous conduct.' Louder and Albrook said, 'We
wish to land and live with you again, and we hope that
you will forgive us.' I told them to come ashore, and
that I would not reflect on them on account of their
late proceedings. This declaration pleased them, and
they immediately began to pull in, when Ansel, who
had remained silent, ordered them to stop, and let him
speak, also.   'I hope,' said he, 'you will forgive me,
captain, as well as the others.' It struck me that Ansel would not feel himself at ease, conscious as he was
that I must consider him the instigator of the robbery
and desertion, unless, in addition to the general treaty
of peace, I made a particular one with him. I observed,
'You are four, and, if it is not your choice to land, let
my dog come, and you may go to any other place; I
can get my living alone as well as with company; and
last winter I instructed you how to get yours, and prevented you all from perishing. If you desire to remain
here, I am agreed, but do not wish to control you, neither'shall I refer to what is past, unless you commence
the subject.'   They now cheerfully landed and shook
hands with me. I told them I was glad that they had
got safely back, as I was afraid that they were lost.
They informed me that they had been to the wreck, but
that every useful article had been carried away or de- 48 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
stroyed. I had left two chests and one trunk, with
clothes and books, on board the brig, and these I hoped
had been landed, and left in one of the huts for me; for
I did not suppose, even after their worse than piracy,
that it was possible for them to commit the barbarous,
and, to them, valueless robbery of these; but it appears they delighted to deprive me of what would not
benefit them, but the want of which would increase my
sufferings beyond description. Doubtless they coveted
our deaths before the arrival of a vessel, that their unparalleled cruelty and inhumanity should not be pointed out as objects of scorn to the world.
"The truants, on their first landing, discovered my
fire, and were much surprised and pleased, and inquired if I had found coal. I told them that the fears
I had suffered from the dread of losing my fire, had led
to the discovery of turf. I showed them the stock of
eggs, and the potato vines that were just creeping from
the ground. These sights, I presume, gave them more
satisfaction than any they had seen since their departure. They had brought in the boat some trifling articles, that would be useful to us: there were a few pieces
of canvas, which we raveled into thread; some old
junk, which we converted into nettles about the size of
common twine, and which, with the canvas thread,
were intended for mending and making clothes; and
some pieces of rags for tinder; — so that their runaway
trip had its advantages; for, if they had not gone, I
probably should not have discovered the invaluable
turf; and solitude had suggested some improvements
in clothing and shelter, and had taught me that I could
depend upon myself to procure food, without the as- captain Barnard's narrative
sistance of man or dog. By their failure, I was saved
the disappointment of going to the wreck, which I was
previously very anxious to do, in the hope of acquiring
information of the crew, and secure some necessary
articles; but, as every thing of value was gone or destroyed, I should have only lost that time in pursuit of
that which could have been more advantageously employed on the island. They were now all convinced,
particularly Louder, Albrook, and Green, of the propriety of having a superior who could direct their
labors, and on whose judgment they could rely in unexpected difficulties and dangers.
"This being the time of year that the fur-seals have
their young, we concluded to get as many of their skins
as possible, and sew them together, and make blankets.
We went to North Island, distant about four miles
from our residence, and one from the north end of the
island; it is inaccessible, except at one place, where the
rocks had fallen from the cliffs. To these fallen rocks
the seals resort, and in the hollows and cavities bring
forth their young. Here Louder and Ansel volunteered
to be left two days, and kill as many seals as they could.
They were landed at considerable risk, as the sea was
violently breaking against the shore. We left them a
keg of water and proceeded for the north end of New
Island; but, before reaching it, we observed a heavy
swell, and the weather assuming a stormy appearance, I told the two that were with me, that we had
better go back and take off the others, as I was fearful
that, in case of a gale from the westward, there would
be such a heavy rage of the sea as to dash them to
pieces against the cliffs, which it was impossible for 50 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
them to climb. We returned, and took them and five
seals they had killed, in the boat, and made towards
our place of residence.
"On the morning of December 23 d, Ansel, Albrook
and Green went in search of fur seals and Louder remained with me as it was his cook day. It was then
that I learned from him that Sam Ansel had instigated
the men to run away with the boat and that he was a
bad man with an ungovernable temper, who would
hesitate at nothing to accomplish his ends. After hearing Louder's story I resolved to bring the affair to an
issue the next morning and after breakfast told Ansel
that the time was arrived when I meant to have a full
understanding with him and all hands. Sam appeared
amazed and looking towards Green said 'Green, the
villainous rascal has sold us.' Louder was beside me
and I at once told Green and Albrook if they were dis-
posed to join Sam, to go and stand by his side, but if
not, to come over on mine. They at once advanced to
my side and I never saw them move more quickly.
"As soon as Ansel saw the issue of the affair, all his
courage left him and he ran about wringing his hands
and crying 'What shall I do? What shall I do? They
are all against me!' I was rather at a loss what arrangement to make respecting him and for the time
accepted his promises of better behavior for thef uture;
but later I discussed the situation with the others and
found them all afraid of his savage temper so it was
agreed that he should be taken to one of the adjoining
islands and left there. It was agreed that I should propose a trip to Swan Island for hogs and while there
Ansel should be sent down the shore for driftwood and
miiiiiii'iiiiiiiiimn—m»     « captain Barnard's narrative
when some distance away the rest should shove off
and leave him. I cautioned them not to hurt him and
as it turned out everything happened just as it had
been planned. The men returned about eight o'clock
that evening and reported that Sam had come running back when he saw them pulling away and acted
as if he was frantic and took his knife and threatened
to kill himself. They told him not to do that but to
wait the arrival of a vessel when they would come over
and take him away; that they were sorry for him, but
his conduct had left them no choice, and they were
compelled to leave him.
"We now began to pass our time more agreeably and
a few days later the three men proposed to me to go to
the wreck, where they could pick up a number of small,
serviceable articles, such as some pieces of plank,
boards, old nails, and pieces of rope for oakum, to
mend our boat, which was very much out of repair. I
allowed them to depart immediately, and to take all the
hogs, which we supposed would afford a sufficient supply for the cruise, but leave the dog, as he could catch a
pig for me, if I should be necessitated. I particularly
charged them to get all the nails they could, and some
of the pieces of the sails, if not too rotten, that had been
used as coverings for the huts, and make a strict search
for any carpenters' tools that might have been thrown
away or lost.
"Accompanied by my best wishes, the boat departed
with a fine and pleasant breeze and was soon out of
sight. I was now a Robinson Crusoe again; but began
to be more reconciled to my hard fate, and determined,
with the divine aid, if it should be my destiny to con- 52 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
tinue here the remainder of my days, that I would in
no case despair, but that, cheered by the recollection of
having endeavored to perform the duties of my station,
I would, with the calm surface of the ocean of eternity
in view, say, 'God's will be done.' To this resolution I
was enabled to adhere; and, when reduced almost to
the last extremity by hunger and cold, I never despaired, but made greater exertions to persevere. Nothing, however severely it opposed my plans or comfort,
could completely sink my spirits; which only occurred
when I thought of my native country, my wife, and
three helpless children, who were, perhaps, suffering
from my absence or grieving for me as lost and numbered with the dead.
"The next morning, I took the dog, and went in
quest of a pig, as my provisions were expended, which
were only part of a hog (that the men insisted upon
leaving, as I wished them to take all the stock in the
boat) and on which the dog and myself had subsisted
till now. After passing some tushooks, the dog was
very anxious to get loose from the string by which I
held him. I stopped, and, looking round, — for I was
certain, from his impatience, that there were hogs near
me, — I discovered, about fifty yards ahead, a sow, and
seven or eight pigs, feeding on the long grass. The dog
made for the sow; but she made her escape in*the tushooks, which were so high and thick, that he could not
hunt there. I chased one of the pigs, which was about
half grown, and succeeded in capturing it in the chase,
before it could gain the tushooks. I knocked it down,
and was in the act of sticking it, when a large boar
came out and rushed immediately at me; but, not be- captain Barnard's narrative
ing prepared to receive him, I gave him only a slight
blow on the nose, which merely checked his force. He
then made a pass at my legs, which I avoided. I caught
hold of his ear with one hand, and, beating him over
the head with my club, called to the dog, which immediately came and seized the boar by the other ear;
but he still persisted in attacking me. The contest had
continued some time, when, in making a blow at the
head of the boar, it unfortunately fell upon the head of
the dog, which instantly let go his hold and staggered
to some distance. I now thought that, if the battle
were continued, I should eventually be overpowered.
I therefore prepared to retreat from the enraged beast;
which was accomplished by springing on the top of a
high tushook bog. From this I renewed the engagement, being better able to defend myself and repel his
violent attempts to force his way upon me. There was-
a fair chance of using my club with advantage, by taking it in both hands and vigorously plying it, so that
my assailant found that, by continuing the contest, he
should acquire nothing more than a full allowance of
hard blows: he slowly retreated along the tushooks,
frequently stopping and looking back, his eyeballs glaring with fury and his teeth gnashing and foaming with
rage. I remained on my station till the boar was out of
sight, when I went to the dog, which had remained in
one place, about thirty yards off, and hastily examined
him, fearful that I had either struck out his only eye, or
fractured his skull; but was glad to find that my fears
were unfounded. After coaxing, and trying to make
him understand that I did not mean to hurt him, he
followed me to the pig I had killed.   I took it on my 54 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
back, and returned homeward, resolved not to go again
alone hunting hogs.
"Having reached my hut, I examined the dog more
particularly; but, although the blow was severe, yet I
could not perceive that he had sustained any serious
injury; at which I was very happy, for his loss would
have been irretrievable to us and the most serious misfortune which could befall us here. This invaluable
animal—which, I am sure, ranks among the first of
his species, and which my companions frequently declared never had his equal—was, by this time, almost
covered with scars, which he had received in his numerous conflicts with the old boars. These old fellows had
immense tusks, projecting several inches from their
jaws, with which they repeatedly ripped the dog's skin
and flesh in a shocking manner; but he was regardless
of wounds and never left his game until we arrived to
his assistance. When we were drawing up around the
two, the dog and his antagonist would be found looking directly in each other's eyes; and, as we cautiously
closed in with raised clubs, the boar would take his eyes
off from the dog's and bolt at us with the greatest fury,
but never succeeded in injuring any of us; for, the moment that we drew the attention of the boar, the dog
would spring on him, and the fight would ]ast ten or
fifteen minutes. Sometimes the dog's hold would be
broken and he would be thrown to a considerable distance; but he always succeeded in seizing the boar
again before he hurt any of us, and we all, at the same
time, endeavored to give him a heavy blow on the small
of the back, that being the place where it produced the
greatest effect.   In one of these encounters our brave
iiiiiiiij.iiiiiiuiiiiiiwilllllilllllinu^y^p^-^ captain Barnard's narrative
dog lost an eye; in another, he received a blow that almost converted him into the neuter gender; but he
never flinched, except at the time he lost his eye. The
tusk of the boar penetrated so far into his head and so
bewildered him, that he could not distinguish us from
the boar; he was thus compelled to give up the contest,
and the boar made good his retreat. No one can judge
how serviceable he was to us; and we were the more
sensible of it when he was wounded, for then we had
but a very scanty subsistence, which consisted of fowl,
which we luckily killed by throwing our clubs at them;
but in this we did not often succeed. We would then
go, at low water, to the rocky beach, and turn over the
loose, flat stones, in whose beds we sometimes found a
small fish about the size of an anchovy; and, after several hours, we could only procure enough just to support nature. But so great was our attachment to the
dog, that we would not permit him to hunt and catch
a hog for us, unless absolutely necessary, until his
wounds were healed. To prevent, as far as possible, his
engaging any of the old boars, we made a check-string
of seal-skin, of about three fathoms in length, which we
fastened round his neck. This hindered him, when he
took the scent, from starting and leaving us so far behind, as to be severely wounded, or killed, before we
could arrive to his assistance.
"About noon of the 26th of January, 1814, to my
surprise, I discovered the boat standing directly into
the harbor with a fair wind. As I thought they could
not possibly have gone to the wreck, it now occurred
to me that they had not been farther than to Swan Island, with Sam, and that he had regained some of his 56
former influence, and had persuaded them to take him
off and that he was now in the boat. I waited, with no
little uneasiness, for the boat to approach sufficiently
near to enable me to count, when I ascertained there
were only three. As my conjectures were very rapid, I
presumed that, although the weather had been remarkably fine since they left me, something had alarmed or
discouraged them from proceeding to the wreck, and
they had returned without accomplishing the purposes
of the cruise. But all my suspicions were erroneous.
On landing, they all ran to me; I held out both hands
to receive them, and they appeared almost as much
affected as if a ship had arrived to our relief. Although
they had been absent such a short time, yet they returned with a boat-load of such articles as they could
find, which they thought would be of any use.
"We now concluded to go to Sea-Dog Island for fur
seal-skins, on which there is but a small landing, which
is very difficult, even in fair weather. It lies about two
miles from Cape Orford, and about thirty from New
Island. We took in Ansel's proportion of the sealskins, which had been taken while he was with us, and
every article that belonged to him; intending to stop at
the place where he had been left, and leave him his
property, and see what situation he was in, and render
him every assistance in our power, excepting taking
him off, which was decidedly objected to by all hands,
considering that his motives for revenge were now
more powerful than ever.
"Previously to our departure, I wrote on a piece of
paper, that had been brought from the wreck, as follows :—'To the captain of any ship that may providen- captain Barnard's narrative
tially stop at this island. We beg leave to state to you,
that there are five men of us, — two citizens of the
United States, and three subjects of Great Britain,—
who were left hereon; since which time we have been in
a most deplorable and suffering condition, destitute of
every necessary of life except what these barren islands
afford. We are now gone to Dog Island to procure
skins for clothing, to prevent, as far as possible, a renewal of our dreadful sufferings last winter, from the
excessive cold, and frequent tremendous storms. If
this falls into the hands of any one disposed to assist
suffering humanity, we implore him to remain with his
ship a few days, till our return, if possible, and take us
from these desolate regions; but, if circumstances positively forbid his awaiting our return, we solicit, as the
next greatest favor, to leave us some supplies of food
and clothing; for we have long been strangers to these
necessary articles, commonly used by man in a civilized state. We also request that information may be
given to the American or British consul, at the first
port where the ship may arrive; or, if an opportunity
offers to write, to inform them of our dreadful situation ; from which we entertain but faint hopes of being
relieved, unless they should send a vessel for us.
(Signed) Charles H. Barnard.
James Louder.
Joseph Albrook.
Jacob Green.'
"This paper I put on a horn, and hung it up at the
door of the hut, so that, if any persons should land, it
could not fail to meet their view. 58
"I told the men that, as it was not probable that any
vessel would arrive this season, and as winter was approaching, it was advisable for us to go to work and
finish our house. This was cheerfully assented to; we
worked with so much cheerfulness and so faithfully,
that in three days we completed the walls; which were
from three to four feet thick, and five feet in height.
But we had the most difficult part yet to accomplish,
which was to make the roof, as we had not been able to
procure drift-wood enough for the rafters; but we luckily substituted the ribs of a whale, which we found on
the beach. After the top was prepared in the best manner which our scanty means permitted for thatching,
we pulled the longest tushook straw we could find, and
secured it with old rope-yarns, brought from the wreck,
and succeeded in making a thatch resembling that with
which farmers cover their barns.
"We completed the house; and, as our pork was ex-
pended, we concluded to go to Beaver Island, and
endeavor to get a boat-load. As Ansel (whom, on a
solemn promise of better conduct, we had taken from
Swan Island) did not wish to accompany us, I directed
him, while we were absent, to raise a bank of earth
around the house, against the walls, of the same height,
and let it slope off from the top, to the thickness of six
or eight feet at the bottom, and then,,with grass sods,
cover the whole bank.
"We arrived at Beaver Island on the 21st, about
noon, when the dog soon started a very large old boar,
in the tushooks, that fought like a tiger, and, before we
could enter fairly into the battle, they both fell into a
large burnt pit, which we called a peat-hole. There the captain Barnard's narrative
boar, having a great advantage, cut the dog severely.
On our approaching the side of the pit, the boar leaped
out, made a rush at us, and then ran away, which we
were very glad of, as these old boars when attacked,
seldom leave us but continue to fight, even though we
avoid them, until they are killed. We got the dog out
and found that he had received two severe cuts on the
hinder parts, about six inches long and almost through
to the bone, the divided flesh hanging down two or
three inches from the wound. We took him to the boat,
dressed and bound up his wounds. In consequence of
this accident, it was pinching times with us; for our
whole dependence was in killing a fowl with our clubs,
and turning over the stones, at low water, for small
fishes, when we sometimes found a little muscle or
two; but these were very uncertain and verv scanty re-
sources. We continued to live in this meagre manner
four days, keeping the dog confined, that, by remaining quiet, his wounds might heal the sooner.
"The dog having been kept quiet, his wounds were
almost healed, and as our want of food was very pressing, I thought I could venture him against a small hog.
After securing him with a string, we followed him: he
soon took the scent, when he pulled so powerfully that
the man who held the string was at times compelled to
run. This was indeed a gratifying sight to us, as we
were fearful that, by being so often wounded he would
at length become shy and refuse to hunt. We soon
came in sight of four or five hogs, feeding on the grass.
We approached them as near as we could without being
discovered and loosed the dog. From his long fast, and
the recollection of his recent wounds, he was perfectly
■' 6o
savage and appeared as if he wished, if possible, to tear
them in pieces; he seized two, one of which proved to
be fat, and made up for our long fast.
"The next morning we went towards New Island
and arrived there about noon. We found Ansel well
and that he had been very laborious. I was much
pleased at his industry, considering it as a proof of his
desire to obey my wishes and conciliate our good opinion. Our house was now completed to the extent of our
materials; the roof proved to be perfectly tight and the
chimney carried off the smoke well. Every man was
now employed at his own private concerns, in dressing
and sewing together pup-skins for blankets, making
nettle-stuff to use in lieu of thread, &c. In one of my
rambles near the place where we had built our shallop,
I picked up an old adze, with the eye broken off. By
heating it, I bent the upper part down, which formed
an eye. I then supplied it with a handle and it answered in some respects the purposes of a hatchet and
proved of great service to us.
"We had completed dressing and making up all our
pup-skins into clothes and blankets. Our pork being
all consumed, we all left this island (trusting to the letter on the horn to inform any person or persons who
might come here while we were absent, of our situation
and wishes) for Beaver Island, where we hunted two
days. From Beaver, we went to Tea Island, in pursuit of fur-seals. Knowing of a large rookery there, we
landed about sunset and the next morning we went to
the place. The tide being out, we passed close along the
water's edge until we were directly under the whole
body of seals, which were lying in a deep gully between
msm captain Barnard's narrative
two high cliffs. I calculated that the number of seals
was about three hundred, including small and great.
Our approach awakened them, and they commenced
their retreat towards the sea, which they invariably do
when attacked. We felled the first one that approached
us; but the whole body of them getting in motion, they
came down upon us with such force that we could do
little more than take care of ourselves. A large wig, or
male seal, came down upon me, with a number of small
ones, and, as I could not defend myself against them all
at once, the old wig gave me a bite on the right knee,
but luckily without inflicting any more injury than
leaving the impression of his teeth in my leg and tearing off the lower part of the trousers. By reason of the
rapidity with which they descended the gully, we only
killed twenty-three large seals and thirty pups. We
then skinned the pups and took the skins to the boat.
"We took a walk down to the south part of the island, distant about three miles from the boat, and observed that some of the high tushooks were much beaten down by the seals. We found, from the state of the
ground, that the tushooks, which grew at some former
period, had been burnt, and that the fire had penetrated the earth, in some places, to the depth of thirty or
forty feet; the openings of the pits were from six to
eight feet square, and greatly widened under ground.
In many of these pits, we saw hair-seals and sea-lions,
which had accidentally fallen in, some of which were
dead and others dying. It was a distressing sight to behold the agonies of the poor animals that yet retained
some remains of life, or had lately fallen in. We would
have released them from their tortures by death, but
m 62
we could not get down to them. We were obliged to
walk here with great caution, for the tushook-grass had
grown round those holes so thickly that they could not
be perceived until the grass was pulled away. Our attention was now arrested by the loud and incessant
barking of the dog, at a short distance; we went to the
place; he was barking at an old lioness, who was lying
motionless in the mud and water at the bottom of the
pit, and her pup, who was moaning most lamentably
over its dying mother. I was shocked by the agonies of
these poor creatures; but more so when the poor little
pup looked up to us, with tears streaming from its eyes,
and seemingly imploring our assistance, and then renewing its efforts to aid the mother up to give it suck.
We left this place, which, like the bridge in Mirza's vision, was full of deadly pitfalls, and returned to the
boat. After dinner we took the boat's rope and went
back to the tushooks; we made Louder fast to it and
lowered him into the pit where the dying lioness and
her young one were. He despatched the two suffering
animals, which we then drew up, and set fire to the tushooks to prevent any more living creatures from being
buried in them for the future.
"We dressed all the fur-skins and made them up into clothes and blankets; but we yet required more pup-
skins, which we wanted to sew together and make bed-
sacks, since we could now easily fill them with feathers,
as the lowland geese had shed their quills and could
not fly. I knew of only one place more to which the
fur-seals resorted to bring forth their pups; this was on
the windward side, and near to the south end of the island, where the cliffs were perpendicular and more
WjuuiuiaTJiWWiHWi'    ' mmu captain Barnard's narrative
than two hundred feet high. From their once arched
and overhanging heads, large masses of rock had fallen,
which were, by the descent, dashed into millions of
fragments varying in magnitude from the size of a
man's hand to a huge hill. Among these fragments the
seals retired in great numbers.
"I informed the men of this place, where, if we
could contrive any plan to get at the seals, we could
provide ourselves with as many pup-skins as we should
require; but we could not haul up the boat on the
rocks, for there a landing could not be made, even in
fine weather, without great danger as a heavy sea sets
continually in and breaks against the rocks. Were a
landing effected and any accident to happen to the
boat, which it would be impossible, perhaps, to avoid,
we must abandon all hopes of safety. Climbing the
cliffs, or retreating along shore, was out of the question.
The only way to get at the seals there, would be by fastening one of us to a line of sufficient length and lowering him down from the top of the cliffs; and thus one
or two of the others could successively follow, by the
same method. But another difficulty arose, which was,
to procure a rope of sufficient length and strength for
that purpose. I suggested that if we had our lance from
Hook Camp, we could kill old sea-lions, cut their skins
circularly into one entire piece and by knotting several of them together, make a line long enough to reach
from the top of the cliffs to the bottom. I therefore proposed going for the lance; but they seemed rather fearful to attempt hauling the boat over the land, and
unwilling to go so far from Beaver or Swan Island, on
either of which our dog could procure us provisions.
wmT 64
I found that our past sufferings were fresh in their recollection and also our danger of perishing last winter
at the haul-over place, in our abortive attempt to reach
the wreck.
"I observed to them that the season, and of course
the weather, was exactly opposite to what it was then,
as we had now summer and long days and a great
plenty of birds which we could kill with our clubs;
that the lance would be of great use to us as long as we
remained on these islands as we should also want lions'
skins for moccasins; that if we did not go for it now,
while the boat was in tolerable condition, we could not
when she should become out of repair. With these considerations they all agreed to go for it.
"The weather being fine and the sea smooth, on the
12th, we launched the boat and went round to the
windward side of the island, abreast of the seal rookery, to land Ansel and Louder, if it could be done with
safety. The rocks were covered with seals, and the sea
was dashing against them with great violence; we
waited for a smooth time, and then pulled in; Ansel
and Louder jumped out on a rock, on which we threw
them a piece of pork and instantly made off, as we saw
a heavy sea coming in; but we could not avoid its fury,
for it struck the boat, drove her against the rocks and
was near dashing her into atoms. By great exertions,
and the aid of Heaven, we escaped instant destruction.
If the boat had been dashed in pieces, the fate of those
on the rocks would have been dreadful, as they must
have perished at the feet of those perpendicular cliffs.
We rowed back to our residence fully determined not
to venture there again in the boat. We now collected captain Barnard's narrative 65
all our rope of hemp and skin, which, with the boat's
painter, knotted together, made about fifty-five fathoms ; and this we thought would reach from the top to
the base of the cliffs.
"We arrived with our rope at the place, drove one of
our strongest clubs into the ground, about thirty yards
from the edge of the precipice, made the rope fast to it,
and I directed Green and Albrook to sit down and hold
on, to prevent it from starting. I then took the rope to
the cliff, and, on looking down, discovered the two men
almost directly under me. I threw down a stone, which
caused them to look up, and at length they saw me. I
called to them, and they to me; but the distance, combined with the roaring of the surf, and the bellowing
of the seals, prevented our hearing or understanding
one another. I threw down the rope, which reached to
about thirty feet from the bottom; Louder climbed up
to it, and in a few minutes I perceived him ascending
by the rope, hand over hand, with his feet against the
rocks, where, in some places, he could get a foot hold,
and rest himself, and at length he arrived safely at the
top. He related their success in catching seals; that he
did not find much difficulty in coming up, and was
willing to go down again, if one of us would accompany
him. Green and Albrook refused to pass beyond the
stake. Louder went down, and, when about half way,
stopped to rest on a rock which projected from the side
of the cliff. I directed him to remain there, and to order Sam to fasten four or five skins, which he could
haul up with ease to his resting-place, and from thence
I would draw them to the top of the cliff; and, when
we had drawn them all up, that he should return to me, 66
and assist in carrying the skins to the stake. All this
was effected, and Green and Albrook were directed to
carry the skins to the house, wash and peg them out,
and, the next day, after they had completed that work,
to return here and draw up more skins. We accordingly went down, and skinned the seals they had killed.
At night, we laid down on the rocks, as close to the
cliffs as possible, to guard against the incursions of the
sea, which we should not have been able to do, if a gale
of wind had risen from the west, which would have
produced a heavy, raging sea.
"On the 14th, about noon, while skinning the seals,
our attention was arrested by stones falling on the
shore from the cliffs. Concluding that they were
thrown down by Green and Albrook, I told Louder to
go up and see, as they would not probably come in sight;
he went up, and found them there, and we therefore
decided to get all the skins up, and leave this dangerous place. We succeeded in drawing them all up in the
course of the afternoon, and, at night, arrived with our
back-loads at the house, extremely fatigued. We
cooked the last of our pork for supper, and crawled under the boat, to procure that rest and sleep of which we
stood so much in need.
"While employed in pegging out the skins, two men,
with the dog, went to the north end of the island in
search of hogs, and succeeded in getting a very fine,
large boar, which furnished the best meat we had eaten
on the island. We were employed in dressing the small
skins, and making them up into bed-sacks and blankets, and hunting occasionally at Beaver Island.
"When the boat departed for Beaver Island, on the captain Barnard's narrative
customary errand, Louder and myself remained at
home. We were now much more comfortable than we
had been at any time since we were abandoned; our
house was warm and tight, and we had plenty of peat
to burn. We brought the peat from different places, in
hog-skin bags, two full ones of which were sufficient to
keep up a good fire all the day and evening. The winter
had now completely set in, and the cold snow and rain
storms made it difficult to pick up enough for us to
subsist upon while the boat was gone after hogs. Most
of the birds had left the island, and geese and rooks
were all that remained. I told Louder that we would
twist some rope-yarns into a cord about the size of a
cod-line, make a slip-knot in one end, lay it on the
beach, and lead the other end into the door of the
house; and, when the geese lit on the beach, which several flocks did every day to drink from a run of fresh
water that emptied on the beach, that we would catch
them by means of the noose. We toiled hard every day
to procure something to eat; sometimes we were tolerably successful; at others, our luck was very indifferent. The evenings were passed by the fire, either in
making lines for the snare, or twisting thread out of
rope-yarns to make clothes.
"Having completed the snare, we took the slip-knot,
which was made of finer line than the other part, and
laid it open on the beach, having first greased it. In a
few moments, a flock, consisting of the old goose and
gander, and five young ones of the last year's brood,
alighted on the beach; but, as they did not go toward
the snare, I sent Louder round to a distance to drive
them carefully toward it; this he did so well that I 68 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
soon had the satisfaction of catching the gander by the
legs, and drawing him up to the house, with the others
following him almost to the door. I locked his wings,
and let him run, and continued working the snare until
we had taken six. The other had become shy, and,
while trying for him, the boat appeared in sight. We
conveyed the six geese into the house, and went down
to meet those that were in the boat, as she was now
close to the beach. On their landing, we were much
surprised to see them look very melancholy, and not a
single hog in the boat. On inquiring the cause of their
appearing so dispirited, and being without game, they
replied that they had not caught a hog since they had
left home, and were nearly starved, as the most of their
food had been the few little fishes that they could gath-
er from under the stones along shore; that, on their
first landing on Beaver Island, they discovered a hog
near the beach; that the dog gave chase, and that they
both ran into the tushooks. Some of the men followed
them, and the others ran round to discern which way
the hog and dog would go when they came out; the hog
soon passed them on the other side; but, after waiting
a short time for the appearance of the dog, as they supposed he had lost the scent, but would soon recover it,
they all entered the patch, searching and calling for
him; but he was neither heard nor seen. As it was near
night, they went to the boat, and hauled her up for
shelter, knowing that, if the dog was alive, he would
certainly come there. But Green could not bear the
idea of abandoning the search for the faithful animal
as long as he could see, as he was fearful that he was
either killed, or that his other eye was put out. While CAPTAIN BARNARD S NARRATIVE
he stood on the top of a high bog, looking and calling
for the dog, he thought he heard him whine; he listened
attentively, and heard him again, apparently close to
his feet. Pulling away the straw, he discovered a hole
not larger than a hogshead top, but the pit below was
large and deep. There was the poor dog, with his fore
feet against the side, and the lower part of his body
buried in the mud and water; but he could not get him
out, which could only be done by lowering a man with
the boat's painter, making the dog fast to it, and then
drawing them both up. His comrades were down at
the boat, out of sight and hearing, and he dared not
leave the place, for fear that he could not find it again;
he therefore determined, if his comrades did not return,
to remain by the dog all night, and talk to and try to
encourage him. However, Green's companions returned to search for him; one of them ran back, and
brought the rope, made it fast to Albrook, lowered him,
and he brought up the dog. I told them not to be discouraged, but to come up and see what we had got in
the house; they were surprised to find that we had so
many live geese, which were a pleasing sight to hungry
"On the 1 st of November, 1814, we departed on an
excursion to Swan Island, to hunt for hogs. After remaining here several days, while eating breakfast, I
told Albrook that he and I would go to the top of the
hills, and gather some balsam. On the tops of the high
hills there are large, green bunches, growing in the form
of a bee-hive, and varying from the size of a common
hive to that of a hogshead; from these the warmth of
the sun draws out a resinous gum, which is the best ap- 70
plication to a bite or cut that I ever used anywhere.
"We had not proceeded far, before we heard Louder
cry out, as he would have done if suddenly and severely hurt. I supposed that Louder was bitten by an old
boar. We called to the dog, which was a short distance
ahead, and ran as fast as we could. The dog, hearing
Louder crying and screaming, passed us like an arrow.
When we came to Louder, he was lying on the ground,
rolling and crying, and the dog jumping round and
over him as if he wished to know how he was hurt. Albrook, who was a little in advance of me, turned round,
looked suddenly pale, and was near falling; but, clasping my hand, he began to cry. The first thought that
struck me was, that they were both mad or crazy, and
that it was occasioned by our diet. All that Albrook
was enabled to say was, 'Two ships! two ships!' I had
not looked towards New Island since we had turned
back, for my attention was fixed on Louder, who was
still on the ground. I now looked, and saw indeed two
ships, far off in the offing, apparently standing in for
New Island. Louder, recovering himself, came to me,
crying, and, taking my other hand, repeated, 'Two
ships!' They both held me, and continued shedding
tears, till I felt one trickling down my own cheek. I
rallied myself, and said, 'Come, come, boys, do not let
this glad sight overjoy you, for fear they may pass without stopping at New Island. We must go and watch
them, and see where they anchor;' as I was almost certain they would anchor at some of these islands, from
the direction we saw them in, as they had already
passed the Jasons. In about three hours, we had the
satisfaction of seeing them haul their wind round captain Barnard's narrative
North Island, and stand well over towards us, close on
a wind, and then tack and stand in for New Island
Harbor, out of our sight.
"About the middle of the afternoon, the tide being
down, and the sea not breaking so violently against the
shore, we got the boat down, took in the hogs, but left
the wood and skins. I took out of my bag the only
apology we all had for a shirt, from which I had torn
the sleeves and tail to make tinder. On putting on this
remnant, I observed, that, on this joyful occasion, I
could afford to wear a shirt. We pulled up along shore,
towards Quaker Harbor, in order to be so far to windward, that, in the morning, we could be able to lay
across; but we run the boat so fast, that we were
abreast of the windward part of Lock's Island an hour
before sunset. We now made sail, to try if the boat
would lay over, and found that she headed up for New
Island; we kept the oars in operation, and by the assistance of the sail, reached the north end about dusk.
"Before arriving at the ships, as I was certain that
they were English, I inquired of the two young men,
when the captain should make the usual inquiries, of
what country they were, what would be their answer.
They replied, 'We shall say that we are Americans, and
are determined never to say to the contrary.' This was
the reply that I anticipated, as I had frequently heard
them declare that they should always consider and call
themselves Americans. They had learned from Green,
the names of many of the streets in New York, and
other local information, to be prepared to answer in
case of being examined by a British man-of-war. I observed that, if the captain inquired of me, I should say 72 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
that they belonged to the English ship that was wrecked
on these islands, and would say nothing more concerning them. We were now rapidly nearing the ships, and,
at about six o'clock in the evening, we were on board of
the whale ship Indispensable, of London, William
Buckle, master; the other vessel was the Asp, John
Kenny, master, who (William Dunkin, the mate, told
me) was in the cabin with Captain Buckle. Mr. Dun-
kin requested me to go below, in the cabin; but I declined until I was invited by the captain. The mate informed me that war still continued between Great
Britain and the United States. Captains Buckle and
Kenny soon came on deck to see me, and I presume
they expected to behold a man whose outward appearance was something like their own. But, if they did,
they were disappointed; for they saw before them a
being who, from the inhumanity of their countrymen,
had more the appearance of a savage of the forest, than
a native of an enlightened and Christian country.
"The whole of my dress, with the exception of the
piece of old checked shirt, was composed of skins, and
my face was almost entirely covered with a beard eight
inches in length. I was reviewed with more attention
and astonishment than any of my fellow-sufferers,
whose beards, being very light and thin, their faces
were not so fully and richly ornamented as mine, and
of course did not furnish so perfect a Crusonian representation. The captain invited me down into the cabin,
and offered me some refreshments; but I declined, having no inclination for food, for all my feelings and
thoughts were engrossed by this sudden and unexpected change in our situation. A few hours ago, we were captain Barnard's narrative
banished, and debarred from all intercourse with the
rest of mankind, and experienced the want of almost
every necessary comfort; and now to be again restored,
as it were, to the world, — though in a partial degree,
I admit, but which I considered only as preparatory to
my restoration to my country, family, and home,—was
inexpressibly delightful.
"In the course of the conversation, Captain Buckle
informed me that when he was on the coast of Peru,
last voyage, one of our frigates was there and had captured all the English whalers, except his ship and one
more. I asked him what American frigate had been
round Cape Horn and captured the whalers and he
said the Essex, and added very indifferently, 'but one
of our frigates went round and captured her.' He then
abruptly remarked that one of their frigates had taken
the Chesapeake. With wounded feelings I asked 'What
frigate?' He said, 'If you will look at that paper which
is rolled up behind the glass, it will inform you.' I
opened it and found that it was a large print representing the action between the Shannon and the Chesapeake in which the latter was depicted as being much
larger than the Shannon, and suffering severely in every respect, while the Shannon was represented as trim
as though she had just come fresh out of port.
"Captain Kenny broke the silence by observing that
the Essex fought under great disadvantages; her main-
topmast having been previously carried away; that
their own frigate was assisted by a sloop-of-war; and
that Captain Porter had behaved remarkably well and
defended his ship bravely. But, continued he, 'Some
of your frigates have taken some of ours in a crack, be- 74
fore they had time to look round them.' At this acknowledgment I felt highly elated but forbore inquiring about particulars.
"The next morning Captain Buckle fitted me out
with a suit of clothing and after breakfast we went
ashore with a number of men hunting hogs and geese.
Several were employed in bringing down eggs from my
stock and loading the boat. Men from the Indispensable brought peat from Green Island, as Captain
Buckle preferred it for cabin use to coal, making almost as hot a fire and being much cleaner. A stock of
water was also taken on board.
"On the 29th of November we got under way, with
a stiff breeze from the N. W., and four days later at 10
A. M. saw Cape St. John's, the southeastern part of
Staten Island. The ships bound round Cape Horn
double it as close as possible.
"The day after Christmas we discovered a school of
spermaceti whales and succeeded in killing two, getting
them alongside, cutting their blubber up before night
and setting the try-works in operation. The next morning we came upon another large school of whales and
both ships gave chase, the wind blowing fresh with
much sea. We succeeded in getting a very large one,
calculated to be good for seventy barrels of oil, but the
wind increasing, bringing in a heavy sea, we lost half of
it before we could cut it up. We saw several columns
of smoke rising from the island of St. Mary's and supposing them to be smugglers' signals we put away before the wind.
"As Captain Buckle intended to cruise for several
months without going into port, when in latitude 160,
nwHH(ttimT,win.tiiiiimi^^]gf^f^- - captain Barnard's narrative
with the Cordilleras in sight from the deck, I determined to make the passage to shore in my boat, which
had been brought along on deck, notwithstanding
warnings that the Spaniards were a cruel people who
might either murder or imprison me. Captain Buckle
at last consenting and Louder and Albrook wishing to
go with me, I took a copy of a chart of the coast and
was provided with a compass, keg of water, some pieces
of pork, a bag of bread and several bottles of porter.
Captain Buckle also furnished me with letters to the
Captain of the port of Callao and to Mr. Samuel Cozus,
an American merchant at Lima, at the same time giving me $2.20, which was half of the money he had on
board, and told me to choose from the slop-room as
much clothing as I needed.
"When the boat was put overboard we were about
forty-five miles from land and the next morning found
us close in shore near steep cliffs. At the time the number of whales spouting and playing about us was so
great that we were afraid, in their gambols, they would
come in contact witht the boat and destroy us. We
rowed along shore to the northward and towards night
came to a rocky island, about two miles from the main
land, where we hauled the boat up and spent the night.
The next morning we heard fur seal calling their pups
and after killing two and roasting them we ate heartily
and then launched the boat and shaped a course up the
coast before a fresh southerly breeze, which continued
for several days and at length brought us to Callao,
where we found an English ship, called the Wildman,
landing two large steam engines to be employed in
drawing the water out of the gold and silver mines at 76
Cosco. As part of the crew had deserted, Louder and
Albrook decided to ship on board of her. Here I hired
a house for which I was to pay five dollars per month
rent. It was of the height and breadth of the door,
about nine feet in length and the yard was only large
enough to admit of a fireplace. After purchasing the
most necessary articles of housekeeping, with a fishing
line and hooks, I lived here for some weeks, but unfortunately not alone, for the place swarmed with fleas in
such immense numbers that when I rose each morning
from my bed on the floor, I was so covered with them
that I appeared almost as though clothed in black.
"One morning I took my usual walk down to the
harbor and discovered to my great joy that the English
whale ship Indispensable had come in during the previous night and before long I had the satisfaction of taking my friend Captain Buckle by the hand. He was
glad to see me and learning that my situation was very
uncomfortable he at once offered me his ship as my
home, which I gratefully accepted. That afternoon I
got my clothes, gave away my furniture and left the
fleas to eat the bugs, or the bugs the fleas, and went to
the key where the Indispensable's boat was lying and
soon was on board again. I found that they had been
very fortunate in taking whales during the past three
months and had filled up thirteen hundred barrels
with oil, which two-thirds loaded the ship.
"We sailed from Callao on the 16th of May, 1815,
in company with the English whale ships Nimrod,
Captain Day, Cyrus, Captain Davy, and Eliza, Captain Walker, on a cruise off the Lobs Islands and Cape
Francisco, near the Equator, and continued cruising captain Barnard's narrative
there until the middle of June, and then ran over to the
Gallipagoes Islands where boats were dispatched from
each ship to the shore to procure terrapin and at night
they returned loaded. While here I left the Indispensable and went on board the Eliza, as the season for
whalers in that quarter was now over and Captains
Walker and Buckle planned to part company and later
make for the coast of Chili, as the whales were to be
found there during the summer months.
"On the 20th of August, 1815, we made the Island of
Massafuero. As I felt myself rather uncomfortable,
from being so long confined on ship-board, and not
having any active employment, to which I had been
previously accustomed, I requested Captain Walker
to land me on this island, where I judged that a large
quantity of fur seal-skins could be procured; and, after
the completion of his cargo, at his return I would again
go on board, as he always touched here to procure supplies of wood and water. Captain Walker warmly remonstrated against my plan; but, finding that I was
really desirous of carrying it into execution, he consented, and gave directions to make up a stock for me,
consisting of a bag of bread, one of seed potatoes; several pieces of beef and pork; four terrapin; tea, sugar,
chocolate; twelve bottles of rum; a pot for cooking, tin
pot and spoon; a hatchet, shovel, fishing-lines and
hooks; clubs, knives, steel, and lance; musket, powder, and shot; two duck frocks and trousers, a red cap,
and a dog. I was thus fully equipped to recommence
a Crusonian life, but under much more favorable circumstances than those in which I commenced and terminated my former one. 78
"There was on board a youth of about seventeen,
born in the United States, who had been left on this
coast by some of the whalers, and was taken on board,
at his own request, by Captain Walker, at Lima, who,
hearing of my intentions, came aft, and desired to accompany me. Captain Walker consented, and furnished him with clothes. Now my character was complete; I had obtained a Friday without encountering
the least danger. At 4 P. M., being contiguous to a
good landing, I was put on shore, with my suite, consisting of Friday and the dog, with all the stores, and
took possession of the island, in my assumed title, as
governor for the time being. The ship made sail and
continued on her cruise; and now we gazed on her, not
without wishful eyes, uncertain of the perils and sufferings we might encounter.
"We began to search about us at a short distance
from the landing-place. The walls of several old huts
were standing, which had been erected by former sealers, for their accommodation, during the time they remained on the island. We placed all our stores within
one of these roofless huts, kindled a fire, prepared and
took our supper, and lay down to sleep, with no other
covering than the heavens. We slept but little, our repose being frequently interrupted by the attempts of
several animals to possess themselves of part of our
provisions; but they were constantly foiled in their attempts by the watchfulness of our dog, who kept a
bright lookout for these villainous intruders, and
sprang at them as soon as they appeared at the door;
but they were too nimble, and avoided him. I could
not, owing to the darkness of the night, discover what
 nmm>   ~ captain Barnard's narrative
kind of animals they were, neither were there any
tracks discernible in the morning that would enable us
to decide to what species our nocturnal visitors belonged. They appeared, as well as they could be distinguished in the dark, to be about the size of a fox,
with large, flaming eyes, that made a frightful appearance. As I had never heard of this island being
infested by wild beasts, I conjectured that they were
amphibious animals, most probably sea-foxes, that repaired to the shore at night to sleep, or for other puiv
poses, and had been attracted to the hut by the smell of
our provisions. Considering it injurious to our health
to be exposed to the night air and heavy dews while
sleeping, all my thoughts were at present centered on
procuring a roof for the hut; but I soon found that
thinking would not effect any thing towards that object ; for we neither possessed, nor could we procure in
the vicinity, a single article that would answer the purpose. There were, indeed, several collections of old,
dry branches, the trunks of trees; but we could not apply them to the purpose, for they would not make a
roof water or wind tight.
"I explored the surrounding rocks and precipices for
a situation that would afford us more suitable lodgings
than the ruined hut. In searching, I discovered, on the
side of the adjacent cliff, a cave that would make a tolerable bed-room. Here we removed our bedding, and
slept that night, and found that we had greatly gained
in point of comfort. This cave was ten or fifteen feet
above the level of the water, and fifty or sixty feet from
the huts, and formed what is generally termed, by
voyagers in these seas, a gulch; that is, a wide rent, or So
chasm, extending in the rocks through the whole depth,
from top to bottom; it was from one hundred and fifty
to two hundred feet wide at its mouth, and gradually
contracted as it extended some distance, perhaps a mile
and a half, through the rocks, with a moderate ascent
to its head, which was at the base of a high and inaccessible cliff. The mouth extended to the sea, and formed
the landing-place, which was a small, rocky beach,
bounded on each side by a projecting head. This beach
had a gentle ascent for about two hundred yards, when
it was level for a short space, where the huts had been
erected; and here, again, the rise commenced. The
sides of the gulch were stupendous cliffs, whose dark
summits seemed almost to reach the clouds; they were
covered with a tolerably deep soil, which produced a
variety of shrubs and trees of different appearances
and magnitudes. During the winter months,—June,
July, and August, — this gulch is the channel by which
the accumulated water, occasioned by the heavy rains
that fall on the mountains during that season, is discharged into the ocean. Then this mountain torrent
carries along with it branches and trunks of trees,
earth, and rocks, which are either left upon the level,
or thrown up in large piles, in consequence of a tree or
its branches coming in contact with a rock, by which
its progress is arrested. During the summer months,
no rain falls, and the channel is dry, and covered, in
many places, with trees and various fragments, forced,
by the violence of the waters, from the sides of the
mountains and cliffs.
"I proceeded to look for a suitable piece of ground
on which to plant potatoes. Having found one which I captain Barnard's narrative
considered to be adapted to the purpose, I commenced
preparing it, and, in two days, all the potatoes were in
the ground. There were many goats on the mountains
and precipitous cliffs; and, being desirous of ascertaining if they were well-flavored, I took my gun, and,
attended by my man Friday and my dog Tiger, set out,
and searched along shore to the westward for some
gulch, or chasm, by which the resort of these animals
could be found; for there was no possibility of gaining
the tops of the cliffs in the vicinity of the huts. After
travelling about two miles, we came to a level piece of
land, of an oblong form, about three quarters of a mile
long, and one quarter wide, running under the cliffs,
and called, by sealers, the North west Plains. Here
we discovered a number of goats, feeding. I stationed
Friday at the entrance of the plain, to prevent the
escape of the goats that way, while I proceeded to prevent their retreat at the opposite end. I had no apprehension that they would be able to make their escape
before I had made some fair shots at them; for the
rocks in the rear appeared to be almost as straight as
an artificial wall. On our closing upon them, they
made no motion towards either end, but fell back to
the cliffs, which, to my surprise, they began to ascend,
leaping from one small ledge and chasm to another.
In this manner they continued to ascend until the last
' one gained the top, when they all bounded swiftly out
of sight, without my having been able to get a single
shot at them. I found, on reaching the westerly end of
this plain, that it was abruptly terminated by a high,
steep rock, which projected out into the sea, and effectually prevented any further advance along shore in 82
that direction. Several sealing huts had been erected
here, which were falling into ruins, although two of
them, from appearances, had been recently occupied,
and one of them contained several seamen's chests, in
which were some fishing-lines.
"We now returned to our camp, where we arrived at
night, both hungry and fatigued, and without having
been so lucky as to make any addition to our stock of
provisions. The next morning, I thought it absolutely
necessary that we should, with as little delay as possible, ascertain if there were any sources that we could
depend upon for a supply of food, when the stock we
had brought from the ship should be exhausted. I
therefore went to the seaside, and threw out a line;
but, there being a strong wind, and a considerable
swell, my line was so quickly driven ashore as not to
afford an opportunity to a fish, if any were there, to
take the hook. In clearing the line from the rocks, I
drew up an eel, about five feet long, and of a proportionable thickness, sprinkled with faint red spots on
a dark ground, resembling the speckled coats of adders
which I had seen on Long Island. This appearance was
not very prepossessing, nor calculated to stimulate the
appetite of a person unaccustomed to the sight; he
was very vicious, making several attempts to bite me;
but, after he was dead, as I was rather doubtful of his
genus, I examined him, and from his general formation, and fhe presence of gills and fins, I was convinced
of his being an eel; I did not, however, think I could
eat of him with much relish; but Friday, not regarding
appearances, said he would try him, and he was taken
to our roofless kitchen, and cooked. Friday fed hearti- captain Barnard's narrative
ly; I tasted of it, and, though not delicately flavored,
it was palatable, and might have furnished a good, substantial meal.
"This night, I thought I had discovered the kind of
quadruped that interrupted us the last night. No sooner had we retired to our cave to sleep, than a number
of animals, attracted probably by the smell of the eel,
assembled before the door of the hut. From their motions and discordant notes, I was certain they were
cats. I set the dog at them, when they took to flight.
The next morning, I selected, from the piles of broken
wood formed by the torrent before described, three logs
suitable for the construction of a catamaran, to go
a-fishing on, at a short distance from the shore, just
without the breakers. The wood was light and dry,
which was an advantage. While engaged among the
logs, I disturbed a large cat, perfectly resembling the
common or domestic one; she was apparently in good
case, and immediately exerted all her speed to gain the
cliff. I conjectured that cats had been left here by
those who had erected the huts, the ruins of which were
still remaining. I carried the logs to the sea-side, and
commenced constructing the catamaran, by placing
the longest piece in the middle, and the two shorter at
the sides. I banded it with the small ropes which I had
found in the hut on the plains, and shaped the ends of
the outer pieces for the bow. Having launched it, I
equipped Friday with the shovel for a paddle, a line
and bag, and shoved her off, ordering him to go no
farther than a few yards from the shore, and, while
fishing, to keep his feet and legs out of the water, for
fear of the sharks. Soon after taking his station, he be- 84
gan to catch fine large fish, and very fast; his success,
and the calmness of the water, induced me to throw
out my line from the rocks, when I also caught a number, in a short time.
"Friday, notwithstanding my repeated cautions,
continuing to fish, with his feet and legs suspended in
the sea. I directed him to come on shore, as we had fish
enough; but so eager was he to continue his sport, that
he remained engaged in it much longer than I desired.
This, together with his exposing himself to the attacks
of sharks, vexed me; and, as I found that, in still
weather, a sufficient supply of fish could be procured
by throwing a line from the rocks, when he reached the
shore, I cut the bands of the catamaran, and let it go
adrift; upon which- Friday dryly observed, 'Alpha and
Omega, the beginning and the end! the catamaran is
begun, completed, and destroyed, in one day.' Having
now, to my great satisfaction, realized a source upon
which we could rely for a supply of good and nutritious
food, which, though not various, was fully adequate to
our comfortable subsistence, I felt much more at ease.
While engaged in cleaning the fish on some flat rocks,
a short distance below high-water mark, large eels, like
the one I caught, would protrude their heads and necks
to a considerable distance from the water, to seize
upon the entrails of the fish; they were so voracious
and intent upon their object, that they projected their
heads so far over the rocks as to present a fair mark to
the knife, which I applied with so much effect, that
several were beheaded. There, when the weather was
such as to prevent us from fishing from the rocks, by
placing bait on the stones, we could easily and quickly captain Barnard's narrative
procure food sufficient for the day. We had, for several successive days, prepared our meals of fish only, as
the small quantity of pork remaining was" held in reserve for cooking our finny fare. The terrapin were
secured in one of the huts, that, in case a long succession of inclement weather, or other causes, should prevent us from seeking for supplies from the ocean or on
the land, we might have a fresh stock in reserve.
"Being ardently desirous to embellish our hut with
one of the bearded gentry, living or dead, I one day
took my gun, and accompanied by Friday and Tiger,
again sallied forth in pursuit of goats. We rambled
along shore to the eastward in search of a split or gulch,
by which we might ascend to the tops of the mountains.
If I could effect this, I felt almost assured that I should
be able to shoot one or more of them. Now we clambered over heaps of loose stones, lying directly under
the heads of the frowning cliffs, from which, in all
probability, they had been detached; then, for a short
distance, we walked or slid over the glassy rocks; for
the whole shore was diversified by these, lying singly,
or thrown into misshapen heaps. Having waded along
this tiresome and harassing road for about two miles,
we arrived at a gulch, or valley, which bore a striking
resemblance to the valley in St. Helena, in which
Jamestown is situated; and that which I occupied corresponded in appearance, course, and distance, with
Lemon Valley. Indeed, I had often been struck with
the marked resemblance of the cliffs, when viewed from
the shore, to those of St. Helena, not only in generals,
but also in particulars, with the single exception that
the summits of the mountains of St. Helena are not so 86
well wooded as those on the island of Massafuero.
"We entered the gulch, and commenced the difficult
and dangerous task of ascending it; but, by perseverance, we succeeded, and safely gained the summit. It
was a small plain which, it was very evident, had once
been entirely covered with trees, as the few now standing were scorched, and the trunks of some of them partially consumed. From these marks, and there being
no underwood, it was conclusive that fire had once
raged here, kindled either by accident or design. This
beautiful little plain was now covered with a rich
growth of young and tender grass, on which a large
flock of goats were feeding: I approached them with
great caution, and succeeded in getting within gunshot undiscovered, when I fired at and killed a fine
she-goat. Thus having effected the primary object of
my ascent, I had leisure to view and contemplate, from
this elevated region, the prospect it afforded. The surrounding ocean, with its roaring billows, appeared to
be at an immense distance, and in a state of soothing
tranquility; its rolling waves appeared like silver dots
on its surface; and its roaring surge could not be heard
so high.
"We now descended the rocky mountain with the
goat, which was a dangerous performance, as by one
misstep we might lose our footing, when we should be
precipitated on the rocks below, and be inevitably
dashed to pieces; we therefore groped along with all
possible caution, and succeeded in winding our way to
the bottom without accident. Now that the most difficult part was performed, I gave the goat to Friday to
carry; but I soon found that he was not equal to the captain Barnard's narrative
labor of carrying it along this rough and rocky shore.
I retook it; it was near night, and both of us were excessively exhausted with hunger and fatigue. When we
got home, we were fully resolved not to ascend any of
the precipitous mountains again in pursuit of goats,
however grateful their flesh might be to our taste and
appetites. We dressed our game, and prepared a part
of it for supper; it was excellent, and our abstinence
since morning, together with our exercise in the mountain air, had excited a keen appetite, which we allayed
by making a hearty supper. We then retired to our
cave to sleep. This cave was about seven feet across;
the dog slept at the mouth, as the advance guard, I
was in the centre, and Friday in the rear. The dog,
several times through the night, ran down, barking, to
the hut, to drive away the cats, which were attempting
to partake of our game.
"At some former period, cabbages had been introduced into the island, and, running up to seed, were
carried by the winds to different and distant parts of it,
and were very plentiful until the goats acquired a relish
for them. None were now to be found, except in some
small crevice or ledge, too narrow for one of these
mountaineers to plant his feet. Having observed some
sprouts growing in such situations, I sent Friday with
the boat-hook, to pull them down, which he did, and
procured a considerable quantity, which, cooked with
some goat's meat, furnished a delicious repast.
"The days passed so uniformly alike, that nothing
occurred to excite particular attention. When the
weather was favorable, we attended to the fishing, and
to cleaning out and watching the growth of the potato 88
vines, which were in a flourishing state. I had observed, for a long time, that the goats frequently descended from the cliffs on the western side of the gulch,
and proceeded leisurely down, directing their course
to any little ridge or level, where a small patch of grass
or cabbages grew. When they arrived at the gulch,
they would cross it, spread themselves on the other
side, and slowly ascend it, seeking for a few blades of
grass, which, perhaps, they preferred to what grew on
the levels at the top; or prompted by their fondness for
roving among rocks and precipices, inaccessible to all
other animals but those of their own species. I made
several attempts to shoot them during the time of their
descending and climbing up the gulch; but, before I
could get within the proper distance, they invariably
took the alarm, bounded up the cliffs, and were immediately out of sight. As they generally crossed the
gulch at one place> I resolved, as soon as they were
again discernible on the cliffs, I would conceal myself
near their crossing-place, and patiently await their arrival.
"One day, observing them apparently inclined to descend, I placed myself in ambush, and, at length, had
the satisfaction to observe a fine buck within shot. I
fired, and wounded him; he sprung for, and ascended
the rocks to some distance, and entered a cavern which
I could ascend to. I reloaded my piece, and, on looking into the cave, I perceived that he was severely
wounded; and, after securing myself in such a manner
that, if he made a rush, he could not throw me off the
rocks, I fired, and he fell. The report of the gun and its
echo in the cavern were deafening, and almost terrific. o
2  captain Barnard's narrative
The buck was large and fat, and afforded good meat.
"While Friday and myself were engaged, the next
day, <in skinning the goat, we were surprised and
alarmed by a ship coming round the southeast head,
which terminates that side of the gulch. She was almost within hail before she was directly opposite to the
landing. Our view of the ocean was so contracted by
the proximity of the two projecting heads, that no more
of its surface was visible than if viewed through an
artificial vista. On seeing her, we ran for some large
rocks, where we could conceal ourselves, and kept ourselves in a stooping posture, to prevent those on board
from seeing us until we had reached the rocks. While
engaged in concerting our plans, the ship's boat suddenly came round the head, rowing close in shore in
quest of a landing place, and soon I heard a clear voice
say, 'There is a smoke,' for the speaker was looking at
that which rose from our fire in the hut. My joy was
great and we at once stood up and went down to the
landing place and helped them in hauling up their
boat. Their ship was the Millwood, Samuel G. Bailey,
commander, from New York, bound to the Sandwich
Islands and Canton. Imagine the contradictory and
tumultuous state of my feelings, for Captain Bailey
was an old and familiar acquaintance and now I should
learn the situation of my kindred and friends.
"The men having filled the breakers, we entered the
boat and rowed to the ship. When I reached the deck,
Captain Bailey at first didn't recognize me, but soon
he said, 'Barnard, whom did you marry?' And when I
informed him he exclaimed in astonishment, 'We
thought you were long since numbered with the dead,' THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
and then hastily added, 'just before sailing I saw your
wife and children, and I am happy to say they were enjoying good health.' Captain Bailey at once urged me
to leave the island and proceed with him on his voyage
round the world, an invitation which I gladly accepted
for although it was the longest route, it probably was
the surest, as some unforseen accident might happen
to the Eliza which would prevent Captain Walker returning for me. Later in the day, the boat went ashore
for more water. I went too and after gathering up my
small possessions, I wrote with chalk on an old box,
which I placed in a conspicuous situation, informing
Captain Walker, if he should come, of the arrival of the
American ship Millwood, of my embarking in her, of
the peace, etc. Some years after I saw the then mate of
the Eliza in New York and he told me they had stopped
for me and read my information with much satisfaction.
'We bore away N., with an intention to sight the
islands of Felix and Ambrose, and, on the 9th, saw
them at daylight, bearing N. N. W., the distance being
estimated at three leagues. These rocks stretch from
the northwest to southeast about five leagues. The
easternmost is a large, high, round rock, skirted with
smaller ones: we ran between them, and found the
passage good. There were fine winds and pleasant
weather until the 27th, when we made the Gallipagoes
Islands, bearing N. N. W. distant about seven leagues.
Some of the crew exhibiting symptoms of the scurvy,
Captain Bailey observed to me, that, as he now had a
pilot on board, he would go in and get some terrapin,
which would afford his crew a fresh diet, of a kind they captain Barnard's narrative
all admired, and which he expected would be beneficial
to those that had a scorbutic taint. At 5 P. M., came
to, nuCharles's Island harbor, with the small bower, in
eight fathoms water, and moored ship.
"At 4 P. M. of the 28th of October, we accompanied
Mr. Cole and ten men, in the pinnace, to the Black
Beach, about three miles distant, to procure terrapin;
we arrived there at daylight, and proceeded to the
spring, about two miles from the landing. We found a
great many terrapin there; they were generally too
large for a man to carry, and it was only by culling
them that one could be obtained to convey down to the
shore. While the men were gone to the boat, Mr. Cole
and myself searched among the surrounding rocks and
brambles for more terrapin, and, by selecting the smallest, had procured one for each man, on his return from
the beach.
"This spring of fresh water—the only one of living
water on the island—is resorted to by the terrapin from
the most distant parts of it, instinct only being their
pilot. They remain round the spring several days, occasionally drinking, until they have filled their five internal reservoirs, when, having their twelve months'
stock on board, they return to their burrows. While we
were here, there was a continual stir among them;
those that had obtained their stock were marching off,
and others arriving to procure theirs. There was one
remarkable for his size, as it was supposed he weighed
six hundred pounds. Mr. Cole was desirous to get this
mammoth on board, but to carry him to the pinnace
was considered almost impracticable. I therefore instructed one of the boys how to manage and drive him, 92 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
and calculated he would be able to reach the landing-
place by sunset; but he was one quarter of a mile distant from it when we came up; for his rogue of a driver,
when he thought he was not observed, would get on his
back, but the terrapin, not being well broken, would
not proceed far without stopping. We turned him over,
and lashed him to a tree, to prevent his getting away,
intending to terminate his land travels in the morning.
On getting down to the beach, we found we had thirty-
four fine terrapin there. On trial, we perceived the boat
could not carry them all at once; and, accordingly, five
of them were left, four men remaining at the spring.
We started for the ship, but the boat was so deep, and
rowed so heavily, that we made slow headway, and it
was 10 o'clock before we got alongside. Captain Bailey
had felt some uneasiness on our account; but we soon
eased'his anxiety, and his appetite for terrapin.
"On the 29th, we got out the long-boat before daylight, and, when it was light, Mr. Cole and six men left
for the Black Beach, to procure as many terrapin as
they could. Captain Bailey and myself each wrote a
letter, to be deposited in the post-office, being the name
assigned to a particular place, where voyagers deposit
letters. Having enclosed them in a bottle, the first ship
that arrives bound home takes them. We went on shore
in the harbor, deposited them, caught six hair-seals,
four terrapin, a green turtle, and a number of fine fish.
At 6 P. M., the long-boat not appearing, I went in the
pinnace, with a crew, to assist in getting her down, met
and took her in tow, and got alongside about 8. Mr.
Cole had forty-five terrapin in the boat, including the
patriarch. Having now more than seventy on board, captain Barnard's narrative
Captain Bailey considered that number sufficient,
hoisted in the long-boat, and got the ship ready to get
under way in the morning.
"Strong breezes commencing from the southeast, on
the 30th, at daylight, we began to unmoor the ship; at
9 A. M., got under way, and stood to the southwest to
clear Albemarle Island, all sail set to advantage. Fine
breezes prevailed the following day, with hazy weather:
at 10 A. M., we passed the south cape of Albemarle,
and shaped our course for the Sandwich Islands.
"On the 5th of December we passed the south part
•of the island of Owyhee, one of the Sandwich Islands,
and two days later we stood into Carakooa Bay. A
number of canoes filled with natives came off and circled about the ship, the occupants sporting and amusing themselves. Frequently a canoe would upset, but
this, instead of lessening, rather increased the mirth.
In one of the canoes was a native, seated on a platform,
who appeared to be a personage of consequence. His
two attendants at last rowed the canoe under the larboard quarter and the man suddenly spoke in plain
English, asking, 'Don't you want a pilot?' Captain
Bailey replied that he did, and much surprised to hear
a native use English, inquired his name. 'My name,'
said he, 'is Tom Knox.' 'Will you come on board, Mr.
Knox, if you please,' said the Captain, and just as the
carpenter placed the side ladder in position, Mr. Knox
sprang into the mizzen chains and from there on the
•deck, coolly observing, 'I can get on board without a
ladder.' He then piloted her safely to the anchorage in
twelve fathoms of water.
"The deck was soon crowded with natives who con- 94 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
tinued on board the remainder of the day. Mr. Billy
Pitt, the King's prime minister, accompanied by several chiefs, honored us with a visit. That evening a
native by the name of Poar, a small chief, but a practiced thief, had the address to steal, and carry away
undiscovered, my bedding, clothes, and a number of
other articles. He entered by way of one of the cabin
"At half past nine, the next morning, we got under
weigh and stood out of the bay bound for Kirowah
Roads, where we were to meet his majesty King Tama-
ammaah, who proved to be a venerable-looking Indian, who would enter into no agreement to supply us
with sandal wood until he had consulted with old John
Young, his adviser. On the i ith of December, he came
on board accompanied by a great many natives of both
sexes, who came to trade. John Young is the oldest
white settler on the island and a bargain was soon concluded with him, as the King's representative, whereby
we were to load sandal wood at the rate of $8.50 per
picquel. The schooner Columbia, Captain Jennings,
with Messrs. Bethuel and McDougal, partners in the
Northwest Company, and Mr. Clanding, a clerk in the
Company's service, was anchored near us and the next
day the brig Pedlar, Captain Northrup, arrived from
the Northwest coast, having on board a Doctor Shaf-
ford, a passenger, who was in the employ of the Russian
government as a mineralogist and botanist.
"On the 15th we sailed for the island of Woahoo,
having on board between fifty and sixty natives, who
were going to collect the King's taxes. We also had on
board, Mr. Marshall, late second officer of the Lark,
LIL"""n"""TllllllllillHlfi|i;iii ""'' captain Barnard's narrative
of New York, which had been upset, some months previously, to the windward of these islands and drifted
ashore qn the island of Tourow. He was to serve as a
linguist. On the second day after sailing we arrived
at Woahoo and landed our unwelcome visitors who began collecting the exactions, consisting of rolls of tapa
(a kind of cloth made of the fine inner bark of a tree)
and bunches of dried fish handsomely covered with
small mats. When all was collected, the ship was
nearly full betwixt decks. On the 27th, the ship Enter-
prize, Captain Everett, direct from New York, arrived,
bound on a trading voyage to the Northwest Coast.
"Having accomplished the business that brought us
there we sailed for Owyhee and after landing our passengers and tribute we weighed and ran down on the
15th to Toai Bay, distant about thirty-five miles,
where we were to load sandal wood. John Young was
on board, to pilot the ship, and anchored her in an
open road, one mile from shore, opposite a high rocky
cliff. Here we remained for ten or twelve days, until
we had taken on board all the sandal wood to be obtained, and then sailed for Woahoo where we took on
board more wood but of a much inferior quality. While
here, Young told me that twenty-five years before he
had entered as a boatswain on board an American ship
commanded by a Captain Medcalf, bound for a trading
voyage to the Northwest Coast, and while at Caracooa
Bay, his ship had sailed, leaving him on shore. After
living among the natives for a time, King Tamaamma-
ah had taken him into his service, since when he had
prospered. He had married a native woman and one
of his sons, a good seaman, had just returned from the 96 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
United States where he had fought on board an armed
vessel during the late war.
"On the 16th of February, 1816, we sailed for Canton,
and reached Whampoa on April 3d after an uneventful
voyage. Here we found the ship Trumbull, Captain
Aborn, from Rhode Island, and the schooner Columbia, Jennings, belonging to the Columbia River Company. Captain Bailey having been offered a freight
for his ship to Holland, the American Consul, Mr. Wilcox, suggested that I take passage on the Trumbull,
which was about to sail direct for the United States
and this I was soon able to arrange.
'The Trumbull having completed her cargo on
April 7th she proceeded down the river as far as the
first bar and came to for the night. I found on board
several officers and seamen who had been either
wrecked or captured and most of them had been in the
country for some time. This was the first opportunity
that offered to take passage for the United States.
Among them were Mr. Shute, midshipman, of the U.
S. Navy, and Messrs. Whitman and Lush of Boston.
In the course of the night, a boat filled with Chinese,
succeeded in getting under the stern without being perceived, and attempted to force open the dead lights
with an intent to enter the cabin and plunder. The
captain, officers and passengers, living on deck in the
coach-house, did not hear the noise, but the efforts of
the robbers at last alarmed the watch and they rowed
off leaving a large chisel stuck in the joint of a dead
light. The next morning the tide favoring, we proceeded down the river and at 4 P. M. left the Boca Tigris,
with a fine breeze from the eastward. At ten, the ship captain Barnard's narrative
General Scott, from New York for Canton was spoken.
"On the 18th of June, we descried the land on the
coast of Natal, in Africa, bearing N. W., being distant
about six leagues. This coast appears moderately high,
with square, black heads. The 29th commenced with
strong gales from N. N. E. At 3 P. M., the wind shifted
suddenly into the N. E., with violent squalls, causing
us to close-reef and take in the fore and mizzen topsails. As 6 A. M., we set them, and at 8 the wind was
less furious; but suddenly the weather became hazy
and dusky, and we could not discern any thing a mile
from the ship. The atmosphere had a strange, threatening, and gloomy appearance, seeming as though we
were enveloped in a thick cloud.
"About 9 the next morning, the weather was appalling. A sudden and tremendous squall, like an unexpected peal of thunder, from the southwest, struck our
vessel, which, by powerful exertions, we kept before the
wind; but, in spite of all our skill, the close-reefed
maintopsail was rent in pieces, but the reefed foresail
was saved. Our ship scudded four hours under bare
poles, when she broached to, and fell on her beam ends.
The violence of the gale was now dangerous and terrifying. Our ship was lying with her lower yards in the
water, and we looked every moment for the hurricane
to sweep us forever from the society of the living. The
mizzenmast was cut away and the wreck cleared.
"Meridian. The tremendous gales and appalling seas
yet menacing destruction to our storm-worn bark, all
hands, except those whose fears had paralyzed their
energies, were employed in using all possible means
for the preservation of the ship, and the lives of those 98 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
on board. At 4 P. M., we got the foreyard down, and
jibboom in. About evening, as the ship was lying to,
with the wind and sea a-beam, it was deemed conduci-
ble to our safety to get her before the wind, which we
did, and scudded her under bare poles, the sea making
a perfect breach over her decks, and in their fury dashing away the bulwarks. Some of the stanchions were
driven in board on the starboard side, by the virulence
of the sea when it struck her, and outward by the great
pressure of water on her decks when she righted.
"The next morning, July the 30th, the violence of the
wind began to abate, our ship having been violently
strained and leaked badly. On examining our trunks in
the coach-house, we found them filled with water, as
was every thing else in this exposed place. On the 31st,
swayed up the foreyard, and began to repair damages
as well as our scanty means would admit. On examining my trunks more minutely, I had the vexation to
find all my clothes, and the few articles that I had received as presents from my friends at Canton, ruined
by the salt water. The following day, we cut away the
rags of the maintopsail, and bent and set another. The
carpenter we employed in calking the water-ways, and
nailing battens over them. We lashed a spare topmast
to the stump of the mizzen, for a jury-mast, rigged it,
and set the spanker, and broke out the after hold for
water. All which had been upon deck was lost in the
gale; one of the seven casks had let out all the water,
and, the state of the others being uncertain, we were
constrained to go on allowance.
"On the 7th, the weather was squally with small
rain and about the middle of the morning we saw a ship
—ggmiTlllinimiHIIlTHmmimiTiTimiinim,,,,,       , „   ^^j,,,,, captain Barnard's narrative
astern coming up rapidly. At 2 P. M., she was alongside and proved to be the Herald, of Salem, from Calcutta. She was 105 days out and had sustained some
damage to her sails and rigging in the recent gale. The
captain informed us that after the gale, they had observed wreckage — beds and pillows, floating on the
sea. On the 10th of July, we saw another sail astern
which at 1 P. M., came up with us and proved to be
the brig Pedlar, Captain Hunt, one hundred and forty
days out from Canton. He informed us of the loss of
the ship Fingal, Captain Vibbets, in the Straits of Gas-
par, and also that the ship Bengal, of Philadelphia, was
thrown on her beam ends by a violent squall in the
Straits of Sunda. She had put into the Isle of France
badly damaged.
"Captain Hunt seeing that our ship had the appearance of being in distress, kindly offered to keep company until we made St. Helena and in the event of our
missing the Island to supply us with water to the extent, of his means. The breeze freshening we carried
steering sails on both sides, but they were frequently
down as the halyards and tacks being rotten and worn
out, parted continually. The Pedlar kept astern under her topsails only. Our ship was then leaking at the
rate of eighteen inches per hour.
At 1 P. M., on the 22d, Captain Aborn and I went
on board the Pedlar, where I had the pleasure to find
my old friends Captains Northrop, Hunt, and Mr.
Halsey, well and hearty; we passed some time with
them very agreeably. At 5 P. M., after leaving our letters and good wishes for their safe and speedy arrival
at New York, we returned to the Trumbull, as there IOO
was no doubt of our seeing St. Helena next day. Three
ships were in sight on the 23 d, and at 2 P. M. our
wishes were gratified by seeing the island of St. Helena
from the deck, distant about ten leagues.
"At 4 P. M., we saw a vessel under the land; supposed her to be a lookout vessel; laid off, and after
waiting for daylight, was boarded, at 7 A. M., by his
Britannic majesty's brig Julia, one of the vessels stationed here to cruise round the island, and in its vicinity, to warn off all vessel's, except those who were in
actual distress. From our appearance, they did not
hesitate to admit that our claim to be considered one
of the excepted was well founded.
"The lieutenant inquired into the nature and extent
of our wants, which were stated to him: they were all
comprised in one article, viz., water, though strict veracity would not have been violated, had a number of
others been included. The officer noted the quantity of
water (six tons) required, and returned to the brig. In
a short time, the boat came back with a sealed letter,
accompanied by orders for us to stand in towards the
anchorage, nearly but not quite abreast of the fort, and
there to lay to until the admiral's boat should board
us, when we were to deliver the letter to the boarding
officer. We filled away, and stood in according to instructions, and then laid by for two or three hours, the
fleet being in sight. At length we were boarded by a
boat from the Newcastle, bearing the flag of Rear-
Admiral Malcolm: the letter was delivered to the lieutenant. After reading it, he ordered flags to be brought
from the boat on board of us, and signals to be made
to the Newcastle, and repeated by her to the admiral,
lUuuiiiirnrrrnnii.LiLiiiii|||llt|lnprmr1T||||H|W|j|,[|,   captain Barnard's narrative
who was at his residence on shore, the purport of which
was to give notice of the arrival of an American ship in
distress for water. This lieutenant also made a minute
of the quantity required, and returned, leaving a midshipman on board to prevent any communication with
the shore, and ordered us to remain where we were
until further directions.
"As we were lying to in an unsheltered situation,
and exposed to a heavy swell, after waiting a considerable time for further orders, we concluded to run past
the fort, and get more under the lee of the land, to be
protected from the wind and sea; as we had observed a
country ship, from Bengal, under jury-masts, which
had experienced the late tremendous gale off the Cape,
being dismasted by the lightning, pass the fort, and
anchor close in under the island; for we did not apprehend that such a procedure on our part could possibly
excite the suspicion that our crippled, dull-sailing ship
could, in the face of formidable batteries, and a strong
fleet, liberate, or attempt the liberation of Napoleon.
If we may be allowed to judge from the events that followed our movements towards the fort, such was the
case; for, on our nearing it, a shot was fired ahead of
us from the half-moon battery, which caused us to
wear ship and stand on the other tack; after keeping
off some time, fearing we should fall to leeward, we
wore, and again stood towards the fort, which saluted
us with another shot, that struck the water just ahead
of us: on this, we again wore, and observed the admiral's boat coming to us. When alongside, the lieutenant told us to stand in; we then told him the reception the battery had already given us; he said that he THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
would pull in and speak to them. When we saw that
he was near the battery, we made sail, and sbon met
two men-of-war launches with water, who came alongside, and conveyed the water immediately into the
ship's casks. We were then ordered to make sail, and
proceed on our voyage without delay.
"Nothing remarkable occurred in crossing the Atlantic until the 23 d October, when, at meridian, we
sounded, and got ground in thirty-nine fathoms' water,
mud, and dark sand. The clouds breaking away ahead,
we were favored by the appearance of the haze off land,
and, at 3 P. M., by the sight of Martha's Vineyard; at
4, we sounded, and got ground, of fine black, red, and
white sand; at 5, Noman's Land bore N. W. by W.,
distant about three leagues. At 7, we saw the light on
Gay Head, bearing N. W. by W., a bright revolving
light, alternately dim; at 9, we tacked ship to the southward, being about one mile from No Man's Land; at
10, the wind came out from N. W. in a heavy squall,
split fore-topsail and spanker; at daylight, the Vineyard appeared, bearing N. by E.; at 8 A. M., the ship
wore, and stood N. N. E., with the wind blowing strong
at N. W.; at meridian, found we had lost seven or eight
miles during the night, and unbent foretopsail and
spanker to repair. When within three miles of the
Vineyard, a pilot-boat came off; but, as the pilot and
captain could not agree respecting the pilotage, I took
passage in the pilot-boat, and at about 7 arrived at the
Vineyard, where I had once more the unspeakable happiness of finding myself on my native land.
"Who can describe the feelings of the weather-beaten
sailor, and especially one who has endured as much as captain Barnard's narrative
myself when he catches, upon the distant ocean, a view
of the lighthouse and outstretched land, which are his
heralds to the haven into which he is shortly entering ?
The thought of New York, with its lovely islands and
indented bay; with its variegated stores, filled with
plenty and laughing joy; with its sister rivers, pouring
upon its sides the treasures and harvests of the country far and wide; with its numerous spires and towering edifices, overlooking thousands of freemen too happy to know their happiness,—was an astonishing contrast to my return to New Island when abandoned by
all the crew. I scarcely had patience for the boat to
reach the shore. Imagination must fill up the vacancy:
suffice it to say, that I found my wife and children in
good health, who mingled in the joy that transported
my own heart. After an absence of four years and seven months, I had returned without a shilling in my
pocket; but, notwithstanding my penury, my joy was
far beyond the power of words.
"The next day after my arrival, I waited upon the
owners of the Nanina, who expressed their happiness
on my safe arrival, after so long and painful an absence. An interesting conversation followed, in the
course of which they observed, that they had a fine brig
unemployed, and tendered me the command; but,
wishing to remain some time in the bosom of my family, I declined the offer.
"My father informed me that after I had left the
vessel to go to the island to procure fresh provisions, as
has been before stated, as soon as I was out of sight,
the Englishmen rose, took possession of the brig, and
commenced getting the topmasts up, and bending the io4
sails, which they completed before night. The next
morning they got under weigh. My father used the
most earnest entreaties for them not to go away, and
leave me and the boat's crew to perish on those barren
islands, in the depth of a dreadfully-severe winter,
without food, raiment, or shelter; but to all these supplications the cold-hearted British officers turned a
deaf ear, and an impenetrable heart; and the British
ministry afterwards sanctioned this unparalleled act of
baseness, and rewarded the perpetrators by declaring
the brig Nanina, after her arrival in London, to be a
HAVING reached the age of sixty-seven years,
when I can no longer sail upon discovery, and
weak and stiff, can only send my prayers with
the tight ship and her merry hearts, at the earnest solicitation of friends I have here set down some account
of my life at sea. Twice I circumnavigated the globe;
three times I was in China; twice in Egypt; and more
than once sailed along the whole land-board of America, from Nootka Sound to Cape Horn and twice I
doubled it.
I was born in the small village of Currie, about six
miles from Edinburgh, in the year 1755. The first wish
I ever formed was to wander, and many a search I gave
my parents in gratifying my youthful passion.
My father, a cooper, was a man of talent and information, and made it his study to give his children a
good education; but my unsteady propensities did not
allow me to make the most of the schooling I got. I
had read Robinson Crusoe many times over, and longed
to be at sea. Every moment I could spare was spent in
the boats or about the shore.
When I was about fourteen years of age, my father
was engaged to go to London. Even now, I recollect
the transports my young mind felt, when he informed
me that I was to accompany him. I counted the hours
and minutes to the moment we sailed on board the
Glasgow packet. It was in the month of December we
sailed, and the weather was very bad; all the passen- io6
gers were seasick; I never was. This was in the year
1769, when the dreadful loss was sustained on the
coast of Yorkshire—above thirty sail of merchantmen
were wrecked. We were taken in the same gale, but
rode it out. Next morning, we could hardly proceed
for wreck; and the whole beach was covered. The
country people were collecting and driving away the
dead bodies in wagons.
My father embraced this opportunity to prejudice
me against being a sailor; he was a kind but strict parent, and we dared not disobey him. The storm had
made no impression upon my mind sufficient to alter
my determination; my youthful mind could not separate the life of a sailor from dangers and storms, and
I looked upon them as an interesting part of the adventures I panted after. I enjoyed the voyage much,
was anxious to learn every thing, and was a great favorite with the captain and crew.
After my arrival in London, as I was going on an errand, in passing near the Tower, I saw a dead monkey
floating in the river. I had not seen above two or three
in my life; I thought it of great value; I stripped at
once, and swam in for it. An English boy, who
wished it likewise, but who either would or could not
swim, seized it when I landed, saying he would fight
me for it. We were much of a size; had he been larger
than myself, I was not of a temper to be easily wronged;
so I gave him battle. A crowd gathered, and formed
a ring; stranger as I was, I got fair play. After a severe contest, I came off victor. The English boy shook
hands, and said, "Scotchman, you have won it." I had
fought naked as I came out of the water; so I put on ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
my clothes, and carried off the prize in triumph; came
home, and got a beating from my father for fighting,
and staying my errand; but the monkey's skin repaid
me for all vexations.
I remained in London scarcely twelve months, when
my father sent me to Scotland to learn my trade. I
chose the profession of a cooper, to please my father;
but my heart was never with the business. While I was
hooping barrels, my mind was at sea, and my imagination in foreign climes.
After my apprenticeship had expired, I entered the
navy, and sailed for America in the Proteus, 20 gun
ship, with ordnance stores, and one hundred men, to
man the floating batteries upon Lake Champlain. After convoying the fleet to Quebec, and another from St.
John's, Newfoundland, to the West Indies and back, I
remained on shore in the Canadas for eighteen months,
when I was ordered by Admiral Montague on board
the Surprise, 28 gun frigate, commanded by Captain
Reeves. Her cooper had been killed, a few days before,
in a severe action with an American vessel. We kept
cruising about, taking numbers of the American privateers. After a severe action, we took the Jason, of Boston, commanded by the famous Captain Manly, who
had been commodore in the American service, had
been taken prisoner, and broke his parole. When Captain Reeves hailed, and ordered him to strike, he returned for answer, "Fire away! I have as many guns as
you." He had heavier metal, but fewer men, than the
Surprise. He fought us for a long time. I was serving
powder as busy as I could, the shot and splinters flying
in all directions, when I heard the men call from one THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
of the guns, "Halloo, Bungs, where are you?" I looked
to their gun, and saw the two horns of my anvil across
its mouth; the next moment it was through the Jason's
side. The rogues thus disposed of my anvil, which I
had been using just before the action commenced, and
had placed in a secure place, as I thought, out of their
reach. "Bungs forever!" they shouted, when they saw
the dreadful hole it had made in the Jason's side.
Bungs was the name they always gave the cooper.
When Captain Manly came on board the Surprise, to
deliver his sword to Captain Reeves, the half of the
rim of his hat was shot off. Our captain returned his
sword to him again, saying, "You have had a narrow
escape, Manly." — "I wish to God it had been my
head," he replied.
When we boarded the Jason, we found thirty-one
cavalry, who had served under General Burgoyne, acting now as marines on board the Jason. During the
remainder of the American war, our duty was the same,
taking convoy and capturing American privateers. We
crossed the Atlantic several times. I became quite
weary of the monotonous convoy duty, and, having
seen all I could see, I often sighed for the verdant
banks of the Forth. At length, my wishes were gratified by the return of peace. We were paid off in March,
1783. When Captain Reeves came ashore, he completely loaded the long-boat with flags he had taken
from the enemy. When one of the officers inquired
what he would do with them, he said, laughing, "I will
hang one upon every tree in my father's garden."
I no sooner had the money that was due me in my
hat, than I set off for London direct, and, after a few ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER IO9
days of enjoyment, put my bedding and chest on board
a vessel bound for Leith: every halfpenny I had saved
was in it but nine guineas, which I kept upon my person to provide for squalls. The trader fell down the
river, but, there being no wind, and the tide failing, the
captain told us we might sleep in London, only to be
sure to be on board before eight o'clock in the morning.
I embraced the opportunity, and lost my passage.
As all my savings were in my chest, and a number
of passengers on board whom I did not like, I immedi-
cately took the diligence to Newcastle. There were no
mails running direct for Edinburgh every day, as now;
it was the month of March, yet there was a great deal
of snow on the ground; the weather was severe, but
not so cold as at St. John's. When the diligence set off,
there were four passengers — two ladies, another sailor,
and myself. Our lady companions, for the first few
stages, were proud and distant, scarcely taking any
notice of us. I was restrained by their manner; my
companion was quite at home, chatting to them, unmindful of their monosyllabic answers. He had a good
voice, and sung snatches of sea-songs, and was unceasing in his endeavors to please. By degrees their
reserve wore off, and the conversation became general.
I now learned they were sisters, who had been on a
visit to a relation in London, and were now returning
to their father, who was a wealthy farmer. Before it
grew dark, we were all as intimate as if we had sailed
for years in the same ship. The oldest, who appeared
to be about twenty, attached herself to me, and listened
to my accounts of the different places I had been in,
with great interest. The youngest was as much inter- THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
ested by the conversation of my volatile companion.
I felt a something uncommon arise in my breast as
we sat side by side; I could think of nothing but my
pretty companion; my attentions were not disagreeable to her, and I began to think of settling, and how
happy I might be with such a wife. After a number of
efforts, I summoned resolution to take her hand in
mine; I pressed it gently; she drew it faintly back. I
sighed; she laid her hand upon my arm, and, in a
whisper, inquired if I was unwell. I was upon the point
of telling her what I felt, and my wishes, when the diligence stopped at the inn. I wished we had been sailing
in the middle of the Atlantic; for a covered cart drove
up, and a stout, hearty old man welcomed them by
their names, bestowing a hearty kiss upon each. I felt
quite disappointed. He was their father. My pretty
Mary did not seem to be so rejoiced at her father's kind
salutation as might have been expected.
My companion, who was an Englishman, told me he
would proceed no farther, but endeavor to win the hand
of his pretty partner. I told him my present situation,
that my chest and all I had was on board the Leith
trader, and no direction upon it; on this account, I
was forced to proceed as fast as possible, or I would
have remained and shared his fortunes with all my
heart. I took leave of them with a heavy heart, resolving to return. I could perceive Mary turn pale, as I
bade her farewell, while her sister looked joy itself
when Williams told them he was to proceed no farther.
Before the coach set off, I made him promise to write
me an account of his success, and that I would return
as soon as I had secured my chest and seen my father. ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
He promised to do this faithfully. I whispered Mary a
promise to see her soon, and pressed her hand as we
parted; she returned the pressure. I did not feel without hope. When the farmer drove off, Williams accompanying them, I only wished myself in his place.
When the coach reached Newcastle, I soon procured
another conveyance to Edinburgh, and was at Leith
before the vessel. When she arrived, I went on board,
and found all safe. I then went to Borrowstownness,
but found my father had been dead for some time.
This was a great disappointment and grief to me. I
wished I had been at home to have received his last
blessing and advice; but there was no help. He died
full of years; and that I may be as well prepared when
I shall be called hence, is my earnest wish. After visiting his grave, and spending a few days with my friends,
I became uneasy at not hearing from Williams. I
waited for three weeks; then, losing all patience, I set
off myself to see how the land lay. I took leave of home
once more, with a good deal of money in my pocket, as
I had been almost a miser at home, keeping all for the
marriage, should I succeed.
The spring was now advancing apace, when I took
my passage in a Newcastle trader, and arrived safe at
the inn where I had last parted from Mary. It was
night when I arrived, and, being weary, soon went to
bed. I was up betimes in the morning; when I met
Williams, he was looking very dull. I shook hands,
and asked, "What cheer?" He shook his head, and
said, "Why, Jack, we are on the wrong tack, and, I fear,
will never make port. I had no good news to send, so it
was of no use to write. I was at the farmer's last night; THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
he swears, if ever I come near his house again, he will
have me before the justice as an idle vagrant. My fair
jilt is not much concerned, and I can scarce get a sight
of her; she seems to shun me." I felt a dullness come
over me at this information, and asked him what he
meant to do. "Why, set sail this day; go to my mother,
give her what I can spare, and then to sea again. My
store is getting low here. But what do you intend to
do, Jack?" "Truth, Williams, I scarce know. I will
make one trip to the farm; and if Mary is not as kind
as I hope to find her, I will be off too."
Soon after breakfast, I set off for the farmer's, with
an anxious heart. On my arrival, I met Mary in the
yard. She seemed fluttered at sight of me; but, summoning up courage as I approached, she made a distant bow, and coldly asked me how I did. I now saw
there was no hope, and had not recovered myself, when
her father came out, and, in a rough manner, demanded what I wanted, and who I was. This in a moment
brought me to myself; and, raising my head, which
had been bent towards the ground, I looked at him.
Mary shrunk from my gaze; but the old man came
close up to me, and again demanded what I wanted.
"It is of no consequence," I answered; then, looking at
Mary, "I believe I am an unwelcome visitor — it is
what I did not expect—so I will not obtrude myself
upon you any longer." I then walked off, as indifferent, to appearance, as I could make myself; but was
tempted to look over my shoulder more than once. I
saw Mary in tears, and her father in earnest conversation with her.
I made up my mind to remain at the inn the rest of ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
that day and all night, in hopes of receiving an appointment to meet Mary. I was loath to think I was indifferent to her; and, the feeling of being slighted is so
bitter, I could have quarrelled with myself and all the
world. I sat with Williams at the window all day; no
message came; in the morning we bade adieu to the
fair jilts, with heavy hearts—Williams for his mother's, and I for London.
After working a few weeks in London, at my own
business, my wandering propensities came as strong
upon me as ever, and I resolved to embrace the first
opportunity to gratify it — no matter whither, only let
me wander. I had been many times on the different
wharves, looking for a vessel; but, the seamen were so
plenty, there was great difficulty in getting a berth.
I met, by accident, Captain Bond, who hailed me,
and inquired if I wished a berth. He had been captain
of a transport in the American war. I had favored him
at St. John's. I answered him, "It was what I was
looking after." "Then, if you will come and be cooper
of the Leviathan, Greenland ship, — I am captain,—
you may go to 'Squire Mellish, and say I recommend
you for cooper." I thanked him for his good-will, went,
and was engaged, and on board at work next day.
We sailed in a short time for the coast of Greenland,
and touched at Lerwick, where we took on board what
men we wanted. In the first of the season, we were very
unsuccessful, having very stormy weather. I at one
time thought our doom was fixed; it blew a dreadful
gale, and we were for ten days completely fast in the
ice. As far as we could see, all was ice, and the ship
was so pressed by it, every one thought we must either ii4
be crushed to pieces, or forced out upon the top of the
ice, there ever to remain. At length, the wind changed,
and the weather moderated; and, where nothing could
be seen but ice, in a short time after, all, as far as the
eye could reach, was open sea. What were our feelings
at this change, it were vain to attempt a description of;
it was a reprieve from death. The horrors of our situation were far worse than any storm I ever was in. In a
storm, upon a lee shore, there, even in all its horrors,
there is exertion to keep the mind up, and a hope to
weather it. Locked up in ice, all exertion is useless;
the power you have to contend with is far too tremendous and unyielding; it, like a powerful magician,
binds you in its icy circle, and there you must behold,
in all its horrors, your approaching fate, without the
power of exertion, while the crashing of the ice, and
the less loud, but more alarming cracking of the vessel, serve all to increase the horrors of this dreadful
When the weather moderated, we were very successful, and filled our ship with four fish. I did not like the
whale fishing; there is no sight for the eye of the inquisitive, after the first glance, and no variety to charm
the mind. Desolation reigns around — nothing but
snow, or bare rocks and ice. The cold is so intense, and
the weather often so thick, I felt so cheerless, that I resolved to bid adieu to the coast of Greenland forever,
and seek to gratify my curiosity in more genial climes.
We arrived safe in the river, and proceeded up to our
situation; but how strange are the freaks of fate! In
the very port of London, as we were hurrying to our
station, the tide was ebbing fast, when the ship missed o
stays, and yawed round, came right upon the Isle of
Dogs, broke her back, and filled with water. There was
none of us hurt, and we lost nothing, as she was insured.
I was one of those placed upon her to estimate the loss
sustained amongst the casks, and was kept constantly
on board for a long time.
My next voyage was on board the Cotton Planter,
commanded by Captain Young, bound for the Island
of Granada, W. I. Under Captain Young, I was very
happy. We sailed in the month of October, and arrived
safe at St. George's, Granada.
I worked a great deal on shore, and had a number of
blacks under me. They are a thoughtless, merry race;
in vain their cruel situation and sufferings act upon
their buoyant minds. They have snatches of joy that
their pale and sickly oppressors never know. On the
evenings of Saturday and Sunday, the sound of the
benji and rattle, intermixed with song, alone is heard.
I have lain upon deck, of an evening, faint and exhausted from the heat of the day, to enjoy the cool
breeze of the evening; and their wild music and song,
the shout of mirth, and dancing, resounded along the
beach, and from the valleys. There the negroes bounded in all the spirit of health and happiness.
Captain Young did not keep his crew upon allowance; we had "cut and come again" always. I often
took a piece of lean beef and a few biscuits with me
when I went to the plantation, as a present to the
blacks. This the poor creatures would divide among
themselves, to a single fibre. There were two or three
slaves upon the estate, who, having once run away,
had iron collars round their necks, with long hooks, THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
that projected from them to catch the bushes, should
they run away again; these they wore night and day.
There was a black slave, a cooper, with a wooden leg,
who had run away more than once; he was now chained
to the block at which he wrought.
They are much given to talking and story-telling;
the Scripture characters of the Old Testament are quite
familiar to them; they talk with astonishment of Samson, Goliah, David, &c. I have seen them hold up their
hands in astonishment at the strength of the white
Buccaras. I have laughed at their personifications.
Hurricane — they cannot conceive what it is. There
are planters of the name of Kane on the island. "Hurricane," they will say, "he a strong white Buccara, he
come from London."
There was a black upon the estate, who had been on
the Island of St. Kitt's when Rodney defeated the
French fleet. He had seen the action, and was never
tired of speaking of it, nor his auditors of listening. He
always concluded with this remark—"The French
'tand 'tiff, but the English 'tand far 'tiffer. De all de
same as game cock; de die on de 'pot."
They are apt to steal, but are so very credulous, they
are easily detected. Captain Young gave a black butcher, by the name of Coffee, a hog to kill. When the captain went to see it, Coffee said,—
'This very fine hog, massa, but I never see a hog like
him in all my life; he have no liver, no light."
'That is strange, Coffee," said Captain Young, "let
me see in the book." He took a memorandum-book
out of his pocket, turned over a few leaves, and looked
"I see, — Coffee go to hell bottom, — hog have liver
and lights." Coffee shook like an aspen leaf, and said,—
"O massa, Coffee no go to hell bottom, — hog have
liver and lights." He restored them and, trembling,
awaited his punishment. Captain Young only laughed,
and made him a present of them.
I one time went with Captain Young to a planter's,
where he was to dine that I might accompany him back
to the ship in the evening, as he was weakly. Upon our
arrival, I was handed over to a black, who was butler
and house-steward. He had been in England, and, as
he said, seen London and King George. He was by this
become a greater man than by his situation, among the
other slaves; and was as vain in showing the little he
knew, as if he had been bred at college; and was perpetually astonishing the other slaves, whom he looked
down upon with the depth of his knowledge, and his accounts of London and King George. No professor could
have delivered his opinions and observations with more
pomp and dogmatism. One of the blacks inquired of
me what kind of people the Welsh were. To enjoy the
sport, as one of the crew, William Jones, a Welshman,
was in company with me at the time, I referred him to
the black oracle, who, after considering a moment or
two, replied, with a smile of satisfaction upon his sooty
features, "The English have ships, the Irish have ships,
and the Scotch have ships, but Welshmen have no
ships; they are like the negro man; they live in the
bush." The Welshman started to his feet, and would
have knocked him down, had I not prevented. He
poured out a volley of oaths upon him; he heard him
with indifference, and his assertion was not the least Il8 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
shaken, in the opinion of his hearers, by the Welshman's violence. It, like many others of equal truth,
was quoted and received as gospel. It was long a byword in the ship — "Welshman live in the bush like
negro man."
We brought to England, as passenger from the island, a planter, who was very rich, and had a number
of slaves. He had been a common seaman on board of
a man-of-war, had deserted, and lived on shore concealed until his ship sailed. He afterwards married a
free black woman, who kept a punch house, who died
and left him above three thousand pounds. With this
he had bought a plantation and slaves, and was making money fast. He brought as much fresh provisions
and preserves on board as would have served ten men
out and out, and was very kind to the men, in giving
them liquor and fresh provisions.
Upon our arrival in London, I learned that my old
officer, Lieutenant Portlock, now captain, was going
out in the King George, as commander, in company
with the Queen Charlotte, Captain Dixon, upon a voyage of discovery and trade round the world. This was
the very cruise I had long wished for; at once I made
myself clean, and waited upon Captain Portlock. He
was happy to see me, as I was an excellent brewer of
spruce beer, and the very man he wished, but knew not
where to have sent for me. I was at once engaged, on
the most liberal terms, as cooper, and went away rejoicing in my good fortune. We had a charter from the
South Sea Company, and one from the India House,
as it was to be a trading voyage for furs, as well as discovery. This was in the year 1785. ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
With a joyful heart I entered on this voyage. The
first land we made was Santa Cruz, in the Island of
Teneriffe, where we staid ten days, getting fruit and
provisions; then made the Island of St. Jago, — it belongs to the Portuguese, — where we watered, and took
in fresh provisions. While here, we caught a number
of fish called bass, very like salmon, which we ate fresh.
The island is badly cultivated, but abounds in cattle.
We exchanged old clothes for sheep, or any thing the
men wanted. The Portuguese here are great rogues. I
bought two fat sheep from one of them. The bargain
was made, and I was going to lead away my purchase,
when he gave a whistle, and my sheep scampered off to
the fields. The fellow laughed at my surprise. I had a
great mind to give him a beating for his trick, and take
my clothes from him; but we had strict orders not to
quarrel with the people upon any account. At length,
he made a sign that I might have them again by giving
a few more articles. I had no alternative but to lose
what I had given, or submit to his roguery. I gave a
sign I would; he gave another whistle, and the sheep
returned to his side. I secured them before I gave the
second price. With all their roguery, they are very
careless of their money, more so than any people I ever
saw. In walking through the town, I have seen kegs
full of dollars, without heads, standing in the houses,
and the door open, without a person in the house to
look after them.
Having watered, we run for the Falkland Islands.
When we arrived, we found two American vessels, the
Anchor and Hope, busy whaling. We hoisted our colors and the Americans took us for Spaniards, and set 120
off in all haste. When we landed, we found a great
number of geese ready plucked, and a large fire burning ; so we set to work, and roasted as many as served
us all, and enjoyed them much.
Next morning, the Americans came near in their
boats, and found out their mistake. Captain Portlock
thanked them for their treat. We then had a busy time
killing geese. There are two kinds, the water and upland. The water ones are very pretty, speckled, like a
partridge. The penguins were so plenty, we were forced
to knock them out of our way as we walked along the
beach. The pelicans are plenty, and build their nests
of clay; they are near each other, like a honey-comb.
I was astonished how each bird knew its own nest.
They appear to hatch in the same nest, until they are
forced to change, by the accumulation of dung. They
are so tame, I have stood close by when they arrived
with their pouch distended with fish, and fed their
young, without being in the least disturbed. We killed
a number of hogs. Our doctor broke his double-barrelled gun in despatching one, and sold it afterwards,
in China, for £42. What was of more value to us was,
a great many iron hoops, and bees-wax, the remains of
some wreck. We picked up some of the wax, but took
every inch of the hoops; they were more valuable than
gold to us, for trading with the natives.
When off Cape Horn, we perceived an object floating
at a small distance from the ship. Not one of us could
make out what it was. All our boats being fast, two
men went down into the water, and swam to it, and
made it fast in the slings. When it came on board, it
was a cask, but so overgrown with weeds and barnacles, ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER 121
the bung-hole could not be discovered. I was set to
work to cut into it. To our agreeable surprise, it was
full of excellent port wine. All the crew got a little of
it, and Captain Portlock gave us brandy in place of the
We next made Staten's Land; the weather was fine,
but very cold. We stood away for latitude 23°, where
we cruised about for some time in quest of islands laid
down in our charts. We could find none, but turtle in
great abundance. They were a welcome supply, but
we soon tired of them, cook them as we would, in every
variety. Not finding the islands, we bore away for
the Sandwich Islands. The first land we made was
Owhyee, the island where Captain Cook was killed.
The King George and Queen Charlotte were the first
ships which had touched there since that melancholy
event. The natives came on board in crowds, and were
happy to see us; they recognized Portlock and others,
who had been on the island before, along with Cook.
Our decks were soon crowded with hogs, bread-fruit,
yams, and potatoes. Our deck soon resembled shambles ; our butcher had fourteen assistants. I was as busy
and fatigued as I could be, cutting iron hoops into
lengths of eight and nine inches, which the carpenter
ground sharp. These were our most valuable commodity, in the eyes of the natives. I was stationed down in
the hold of the vessel, and the ladders were removed to
prevent the natives from coming down to the treasury.
The king of Owhyee looked to my occupation with a
wistful eye; he thought me the happieset man on
board, to be among such vast heaps of treasure. Captain Portlock called to me to place the ladder, and al- 122 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
low the king to come down, and give him a good long
piece. When the king descended, he held up his hands,
and looked astonishment personified. When I gave
him the piece of hoop of twenty inches long, he retired
a little from below the hatch into the shade, undid his
girdle, bent the iron to his body, and, adjusting his belt
in the greatest haste, concealed it. I suppose he thought
I had stolen it. I could not but laugh to see the king
concealing what he took to be stolen goods.
We were much in want of oil for our lamps. The
sharks abounding, we baited a hook with a piece of salt
pork, and caught the largest I ever saw in any sea; itwas
a female, nineteen feet long; it took all hands to hoist
her on board; her weight made the vessel heel. When
she was cut up, we took forty-eight young ones out of
her belly, eighteen inches long; we saw them go into
her mouth after she was hooked. The hook was fixed
to a chain attached to our main-brace, or we never
could have kept her. It was evening when she snapped
the bait; we hauled the head just above the surface,
the swell washing over it. We let her remain thus all
night, and she was quite dead in the morning. There
were in her stomach four hogs, four full-grown turtle,
besides the young ones. Her liver, the only part we
wanted, filled a tierce.
Almost every man on board took a native woman for
a wife while the vessel remained, the men thinking it
an honor or for their gain, as they got many presents of
iron, beads, or buttons. The women came on board at
night, and went on shore in the morning. In the evening, they would call for their husbands by name.
They often brought their friends to see their husbands, ^^^^^^^^^^^p^^^^^^^7 7^;
pq   O
who were well pleased, as they were never allowed to
go away empty. The fattest woman I ever saw in
my life our gunner chose for a wife. We were forced to
hoist her on board; her thighs were as thick as my
waist; no hammock in the ship would hold her; many
jokes Vere cracked upon the pair.
We had a merry, facetious fellow on board, called
Dickson. He sung pretty well. He squinted, and the
natives mimicked him. Abenoue, king of Atooi, could
cock his eye like Dickson better than any of his sub-
jects. Abenoue called him Billicany, from his often
singing "Rule Britannia." Abenoue learned the air,
and the words, as near as he could pronounce them. It
was an amusing thing to hear the king and Dickson
sing. Abenoue loved him better than any man in the
ship, and always embraced him every time they met on
shore, or in the ship, and began to sing, "Tule Billicany, Billicany tule," &c.
We had the chief on board who killed Captain Cook,
for more than three weeks. He was in bad health, and
had a smelling-bottle, with a few drops in it, which he
used to smell at; we filled it for him. There were a
good many bayonets in possession of the natives, which
they had obtained at the murder of Cook.
We left Owhyee, and stood down to Atooi, where we
watered, and had a feast from Abenoue, the king. We
took our allowance of brandy on shore, and spent a
most delightful afternoon, the natives doing all in their
power to amuse us; the girls danced, the men made a
sham fight, throwing their spears; the women, standing behind, handed the spears to the men, the same as
in battle, thus keeping up a continued shower of spears. 124 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
No words can convey an adequate idea of their dexterity and agility. They thought we were bad with the
rheumatism, our movements were so slow compared
with their own. The women would sometimes lay us
down, and chafe and rub us, making moan, and saying, "0 rume! O rume!" They wrestled, but the stoutest man in our ship could not stand a single throw with
the least chance of success.
As the summer now advanced apace, we stood over
to Cook's River, on the Northwest Coast of America,
where we arrived in 1786, eleven months after we left
At the entrance of Cook's River is an immense volcanic mountain, which was in action at the time, and
continued burning all the time we lay there, pouring
down its side a torrent of lava as broad as the Thames.
At night, the sight was grand, but fearful. The natives
here had their spears headed with copper; but, having
no one on board who could speak their language, we
had no means of learning where they obtained the copper. While we lay here, it was the heat of summer; yet
the ice never melted, and the snow was lying very deep
on the heights. What a contrast from the delightful
islands we had so lately left!
Our long boat, decked and schooner-rigged, proceeded up the river, in hopes of finding an outlet, or inland
sea. After proceeding with great difficulty and perseverance, until all hopes of success vanished, they returned. We then bore to the southward, to Prince
William's Sound, to pursue our trade with the Indians.
They are quite different from the Sandwich Islanders ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
in appearance and habits; they are not cruel, but great
I was employed on shore brewing spruce all day, and
slept on board at night. One night, the Indians, after
starting the beer, carried off all the casks; they were
iron-hooped. All our search was vain; no traces of
them were to be discovered. To quarrel with the Indians would have defeated the object of our voyage. At
length, they were discovered by accident, in the most
unlikely place, in the following manner: One of our
boats had been, on a trading excursion, detained so
long, we became alarmed for its safety. Captain Port-
lock sent some of our men, armed, to the top of a high
hill, to look out for the boat. To the surprise of the
men, they found the staves and ends of the barrels, and
some large stones they had used in breaking them to
pieces. How great must their labor have been in rolling
up the barrels, and then in dashing them to pieces! yet
I have no doubt they thought themselves richly rewarded in obtaining the iron hoops. The men brought
back a stave or two with the ship's name branded on
them, to evidence the truth of their discovery. We then
moved the brewing-place to the other side of the island,
within sight of the ship. I was much annoyed by the
natives for some time, while working; they would handle the hoops, and every now and then a piece would
vanish. There was only a quarter-master and boy with
me. While the natives swarmed around, I felt rather
uncomfortable. They became more and more bold.
The captain, seeing, from the deck, my disagreeable
situation, hailed me to set Neptune, our great Newfoundland dog, upon them, saying they would fear him 126
more than fifty men. I obeyed with alacrity, and
hounded Neptune, who enjoyed the sport as much as
I, to see the great fellows run, screaming like girls, in
all directions. I was soon left to pursue my labor unmolested ; and, whenever they grew troublesome, Neptune, without orders, put them to running and screaming. When one approached, if Neptune was near, he
would stretch out his arms, and cry, "Lally, Neptune;"
that is, friend, in their language.
One Sabbath day, all the ship's company, except the
captain, two boys, and the cook, were on shore, amusing themselves. During our absence, an immense number of the natives came alongside, and took complete
possession of the vessel, and helped themselves to whatever took their fancy. The captain, boys, and cook,
barricadoed themselves in the cabin, and loaded all the
muskets and pistols within their reach. Their situation
was one of great danger. The surgeon and myself were
the first that arrived upon the beach; the captain hailed
us from the cabin window, and let us know his disagreeable situation, telling us to force the Indians to
put us on board. We having our muskets, they complied at once. Thus, by adding strength to the captain,
we gained new assurance; and the others, doing as we
did, were all put on board as they came to the beach.
The Indians offered no violence to the ship; and, when
the crew were nearly all on board, they began to leave
the vessel, shipping off their booty. Captain Portlock
ordered us to take no notice of the transaction in way
of hurting the Indians, but to purchase back the articles they had taken away that were of use to us; but
they had only taken what pieces of iron they found ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
loose about the ship. After having hid the things they
had stolen, they began to trade, as if nothing had happened ; and we bought back what few bolts they had
taken. They had plundered the smith's tent in the same
manner, although they looked upon him as a greater
man than the captain. He was a smart young fellow,
and kept the Indians in great awe and wonder. They
thought the coals were made into powder. I have seen
them steal small pieces, and bruise them, then come
back. When he saw this, he would spit upon the anvil
while working the hot iron, and give a blow upon it;
they would run away in fear and astonishment when
they heard the crack.
One or other of our boats, often both, were absent for
some time upon trading voyages. In one of these trips,
our boat was nearly cut off, and would, in all probability, had it not been for the presence of mind of an
American, one of the crew, Joseph Laurence. I never
was more alarmed for my safety, in the whole voyage.
We were rowing through a lagoon, to get a near cut to
the ship; the tide was ebbing fast; the boat took the
ground, and, before we could do any thing to get her
off, the whole bay was dry. The natives surrounded the
boat in great numbers, and looked very mischievous.
We knew not what to do. In this dilemma, Laurence,
who knew their ways, took a small keg of molasses, and
went to the beach; at the same time, he sat down by it,
and began to sing and lick, inviting them to follow his
example. They licked, and listened to him for a good
while, and even joined him in singing; but the molasses wore down, and they were weary of his songs.
We looked about in great anxiety, and discovered a 128
small height that commanded the boat. To this we ran,
but dared not to fire, even while they were plundering
the boat; they could have killed us all with spears and
stones, had we even shot one hundred of them, and
wasted all our ammunition. We stood like bears at the
stake, expecting them every moment to commence the
attack, resolved to sell our lives as dear as we could. At
length, the wished return of tide came, and we got to
the boat, and she floated soon after. Then we cared not
one penny for them. We began to trade, and bought
back the articles they had stolen. Even our compass
we were forced to buy back. We set sail for the King
George, resolved to be more circumspect in future, and
happy we had escaped so well.
The party who had taken possession of the vessel on
the Sabbath day, the next time they came back, had
their faces blacked, and their heads powdered with the
down of birds. They had done this as a disguise, which
showed they had a consciousness of right and wrong.
Thinking we knew them not, as we took no notice of
them, they were as merry and funny as any of the rest.
While the boats were absent on a trading voyage, the
canoe was sent to haul the seine for salmon. There
were fourteen men and boys in it. About half-way between the vessel and the shore, she filled with water;
those who could swim made for the beach; the boys,
and those who could not, clung to the canoe. Captain
Portlock saw from the deck the danger they were in,
and requested the boatswain, who was an excellent
swimmer, to go to their assistance; he refused. The
sail-maker and myself leaped into the water. I had a
line fixed round my waist, as I swam first, which he   ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
supported at a short distance behind, to ease its weight.
When I came up to the canoe, they were nearly spent.
I fixed the line to the canoe, and we made a signal to
the ship, when those on board drew her to the vessel,
John Butler and I attending to assist and encourage
them. There was a son of Sir John Dick's, and a son of
Captain Gore's, among the boys. Captain Portlock
never could bear the boatswain afterwards. Before
this, he was a great favorite.
While in Prince William's Sound, the boat went on
an excursion to Snug Corner Cove, at the top of the
sound. She discovered the Nootka, Captain Meares,
in a most distressing situation from the scurvy. There
were only the captain and two men free from disease.
Two-and-twenty Lascars had died through the course
of the winter; they had caused their own distress, by
their inordinate use of spirits on Christmas eve. They
could not bury their own dead; they were only dragged
a short distance from the ship, and left upon the ice.
They had muskets fixed upon the capstan, and man-
ropes that went down to the cabin, that, when any of
the natives attempted to come on board, they might fire
them off to scare them. They had a large Newfoundland dog, whose name was Towser, who alone kept the
ship clear of the Indians. He lay day and night upon
the ice before the cabin-window, and would not allow
the Indians to go into the ship. When the natives came
to barter, they would cry, "Lally, Towser," and make
him a present of a skin, before they began to trade with
Captain Meares, who lowered from the window his
barter, and in the same way received their furs. The
Beaver,theNootka's consort,had been cut off in the be- 130
ginning of the winter, and none of her people were ever
heard of. We gave him every assistance in our power,
in spruce and molasses, and two of our crew to assist in
working the vessel, Dickson and George Willis, who
stopped at Canton until we arrived; then, wishing him
well, took our leave of him. Captain Portlock could
have made a fair prize of him, as he had no charter,
and was trading in our limits; but he was satisfied with
his bond not to trade on our coast; but the bond was
forfeit as soon as we sailed, and he was in China before
We now stood for Nootka Sound, but encountered a
dreadful gale, and were blown off the coast, and suffered much in our sails and rigging, which caused us to
stand for the Sandwich Islands to refit, which gave us
great joy. The American coast is a hostile region, compared with the Sandwich Islands. The American Indians are very jealous; and if any of our men were
found with their women, using the least freedom, they
would take his life, if it was in their power; but their
women are far from being objects of desire, they are so
much disfigured by slitting their lips, and placing large
pieces of wood in them, shaped like a saucer. I have
seen them place berries upon it, and shake them into
their mouth, as a horse would corn out of a mouth-bag,
or lick them in with their tongue. The men have a
bone, eight inches long, polished, and stuck through the
gristle of their nose; we called it their spritsail-yard.
We had suffered a good deal of hardship on this coast,
and bade it adieu with joy.
Soon as we arrived at Owhyee, our old acquaintance
flocked on board to welcome us, each with a present. ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
Then such a touching of noses and shaking of hands
took place! "Honi, honi," — that is, touch nose,—and
"How are you ?" were the only words to be heard. Our
deck was one continued scene of joy.
Having refitted, and taken in provisions, we again
set sail fbr Cook's River, Prince William's and Nootka
Sound, to obtain more fur-skins. We were pretty successful. While on shore in Prince William's Sound,
brewing spruce beer, I and the quarter master made an
excursion up the river, and discovered a large space
covered with snakeroot, which is of great value in
China. My comrade, who had been in China, informed
me of its value. It is the sweetest smelling plant I ever
was near, when it is growing. We set to work, and dug
up as much as we chose, and dried it, letting no one
know, for lessening the value of what we got. It was
got safe on board the day before we sailed, and we sold
it well at Wampoa.
We parted company from the Queen Charlotte. She
had been absent for a long time, when a party of Indians came to the King George, having in their possession a pair of buckles that belonged to one of the people
on board our consort; we became alarmed for her,
thinking she had been cut off. We immediately set sail
for Nootka Sound, leaving a large quantity of salmon,
half dried. After waiting in Nootka Sound, our place of
rendezvous, for some time, and she not appearing, we
immediately set sail for Owhyee, but got no word of
our consort until we came to Atooi, when we perceived
Abenoue in his single canoe, making her scud through
the water, crying, "Tattoo for Potipoti," as he jumped
upon deck with a letter from Captain Dixon, which re- 132
moved our fears, and informed us he had discovered an
island, and got a very great number of skins, and had
sailed for China. We watered, and laid in our provisions as quick as we could, to follow her.
After taking on board as much provisions as we
could stow, we sailed for China. At the Ladrones, or
Mariana Islands, a number of pilots came on board.
The captain agreed with one. The bargain was made
in the following manner: He showed the captain the
number of dollars he wished by the number of cass —
a small brass coin—the captain taking from the number what he thought too much, the pilot adding when he
thought it too little. He was to pilot the King George
to the Island of Macao. From thence we sailed up the
Bocca Tigris to Wampoa, where we sold our cargo of
skins. We were engaged to take home a cargo of tea
for the East India Company.
I was as happy as any person ever was to see any
thing. I scarcely believed I was so fortunate as really
to be in China. As we sailed up the river, I would cast
my eyes from side to side: the thoughts and ideas I had
pictured to my mind of it were not lessened in brilliancy, rather increased: the immense number of buildings, that extended as far as the eye could reach; their
fantastic shapes and gaudy colors; their trees and
flowers, so like their paintings, and the myriads of
floating vessels; and, above all, the fanciful dresses and
gaudy colors of their clothes, — all serve to fix the mind
of a stranger, upon his first arrival.
Soon as we cast anchor, the vessel was surrounded
with sampans; every one had some request to make.
Tartar girls requested our clothes to wash, barbers to -^
§    c °
/■"\    '£   bo
2   <->.£
shave the crews, others with fowls to sell — indeed, every necessary we could want. The first we made bargain with was a barber, Tommy Linn. He agreed to
shave the crew, for the six months we were to be there,
for half a dollar from each man, and he would shave every morning, if we chose, on board the ship, coming off
in his sampan. The Tartar girls washed our clothes for
the broken meat, or what rice we left at mess. They
came every day in their sampans, and took away the
men's shirts, bringing them back the next, and never
mixed the clothes. They all spoke less or more English, and would jaw with the crew as fast as any women
of their rank in England.
I was on shore for a good while at Wampoa, making
candles, for our voyage home. I had a number of Chinese under me. My greatest difficulty was to prevent
them from stealing the wax. They are greater and more
dexterous thieves than the Indians; a bambooing for
theft, I really believe, confers no disgrace upon them.
They will allow no stranger to enter the city of Canton.
I was different times at the gate, but all my ingenuity
could not enable me to cross the bar, although I was
eight days in the suburbs.
The Chinese, I really believe, eat any thing there is
life in. Neptune was constantly on shore with me at
the tent; every night he caught less or more rats. He
never ate them, but laid them down, when dead, at the
tent door. In the morning, the Chinese gave vegetables
for them, and were as well pleased as I was at the exchange.
After the candles were made, I removed to Banks
Hall, to repair the cooper work, and screen sand and 134 THE SEA> THE SHIP AND THE SAIL0R
dry it, to pack the tea-boxes for our voyage home. One
day, a boy was meddling rather freely with the articles
belonging to me. Neptune bit him. I was extremely
sorry for it, and, after beating him, dressed the boy's
hurt, which was not severe. I gave the boy a few cass
who went away quite pleased. In a short time after, I
saw him coming back, and his father leading him. I
looked for squalls; but the father only asked a few
hairs out from under Neptune's fore leg, close to the
body; he would take them from no other part, and
stuck them all over the wound. He went away content. I had often heard, when a person had been tipsy
the evening before, people tell him to take a hair of the
dog that bit him, but never saw it in the literal sense
A short time before we sailed, all the crew got two
months' pay advance, for private trade, and purchased
what articles they chose. The dollars are all stamped
by the captain, as the Chinese are such cheats, they will
dexterously return you a bad dollar, and assert, if not
marked, it was the one you gave.
With all their roguery, they are not ungrateful. One
day, two Chinese boys were playing in our boat; one of
them fell overboard. The current was strong, and the
boy was carried down with rapidity. I leaped into the
river, and saved him with great difficulty, as the current bore us both along until my strength was almost
spent. By an effort I got into the smooth water, and
soon had the pleasure of delivering him to his father,
who stood upon the beach wringing his hands. I wished
to go on board, but the Chinese would have me to his
house, where I was most kindly received, and got my ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
dinner in great style. I like their manner of setting out
the table at dinner. All that is to be eaten is placed
upon the table at once, and all the liquors at the same
time. You have all before you, and you may make
your choice. I dined in different houses, and the same
fashion was used in them all. The Chinese never
thought he could show me kindness enough.
Having completed our cargo, we set sail for St. Helena, where we made a present to the governor of a number of empty bottles; he, in return, gave us a present of
potatoes, — a valuable gift to us. While here, I and a
number of the crew were nearly poisoned by eating al-
bicores and bonettos. We split and hung them in the
rigging to dry; the moon's rays have the effect of making them poisonous. My face turned red and swelled;
but the others were far worse; their heads were swelled
twice their ordinary size; but we all recovered. In a
few days, we set sail for England, where I arrived without any remarkable occurrence, after an absence of
three years, having, in that time, circumnavigated the
globe. We came into the River Thames in the month
of September, 1788.
I now returned to Scotland with a sensation of joy
only to be felt by those who have been absent for some
time. Every remembrance was rendered more dear,
every scene was increased in beauty. A piece of oaten
cake tasted far sweeter in my mouth than the luxuries
of Eastern climes. I was for a time reconciled to remain; the love of country overcame my wandering
habits. I had some thought of settling for life, as I had
saved a good deal of my pay. In the middle of these
musings, and before I had made up my mind, a letter I36 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
I received from Captain Portlock upset all my future
plans, and rekindled my wandering propensities with
as great vigor as ever.
The letter requested me to come to London without
delay, as there were two ships lying in the river, bound
for New South Wales, the Guardian and Lady Julian,
in either of which I might have a berth. The Guardian
was loaded with stores and necessaries for the settlement. There was a vine-dresser, and a person to superintend the cultivation of hemp, on board. She
sailed long before us. The Lady Julian was to take out
female convicts.
I would have chosen the Guardian, only she was a
man-of-war; and, as I meant to settle in Scotland upon
our return, I could not have left her when I chose. My
only object was to see the country, not to remain at
sea; I therefore chose the Lady Julian, as she was a
transport, although I did not, by any means, like her
cargo; yet, to see the country, I was resolved to submit
to a great deal.
We lay six months in the river, before we sailed, during which time, all the jails in England were emptied
to complete the cargo of the Lady Julian. When we
sailed, there were on board 245 female convicts. There
were not a great many very bad characters; the greater number were for petty crimes, and a great proportion for only being disorderly, that is, street-walkers;
the colony, at the time, being in great want of women.
One, a Scottish girl, broke her heart, and died, in the
river; she was buried at Dartford. Four were pardoned
on account of his majesty's recovery. The poor young
Scottish girl I have never yet got out of my mind; she ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER I37
was young and beautiful, even in the convict dress, but
pale as death, and her eyes red with weeping. She never
spoke to any of the other women, or came on deck. She
was constantly seen sitting in the same corner from
morning to night; even the time of meals roused her
not. My. heart bled for her; she was a countrywoman
in misfortune. I offered her consolation, but her hopes
and heart had sunk. When I spoke, she heeded me not,
or only answered with sighs and tears; if I spoke of
Scotland, she would wring her hands, and sob, until I
thought her heart would burst. I endeavored to get her
sad story from her lips, but she was silent as the grave
to which she hastened. I lent her my Bible to comfort
her, but she read it not; she laid it on her lap, after
kissing it, and only bedewed it with her tears. At
length, she sunk into the grave, of no disease but a
broken heart.
I went every day to the town to buy fresh provisions
and other necessaries for them. As their friends were
allowed to come on board to see them, they brought
money, and numbers had it of their own; particularly
a Mrs. Barnsley, a noted sharper and shoplifter. She
herself told me her family, for one hundred years back,
had been swindlers and highwaymen. She had a brother, a highwayman, who often came to see her, as well
dressed and genteel in his appearance as any gentleman. She petitioned the government agent and captain to be allowed to wear her own clothes in the river,
and not the convict dress. This could on no account be
allowed; but they told her she might wear what she
chose when once they were at sea. The agent, Lieutenant Edgar, had been with Captain Cook, was a 138
kind, humane man, and very good to them. He had it
in his power to throw all their clothes overboard when
he gave them the convict dress; but he gave them to me
to stow in the after-hold, saying they would be of use
to the poor creatures when they arrived at Port Jack
Those from the country came all on board in irons;
and I was paid half a crown a head by the country
jailers, in many cases, for striking them off upon my
anvil, as they were not locked, but riveted. One day, I
had the painful task to inform the father and mother
of one of the convicts, that their daughter, Sarah Dorset, was on board; they were decent-looking people,
and had come to London to inquire after her. When I
met them, they were at Newgate; the jailer referred
them to me. With tears in her eyes, the mother implored me to tell her if such a one was on board. I told
them there was one of that name; the father's heart
seemed too full to allow him to speak, but the mother,
with streaming eyes, blessed God that they had found
their poor, lost child, undone as she was. I called a
coach, drove to the river, and had them put on board.
The father, with a trembling step, mounted the ship's
side; but we were forced to lift the mother on board. I
took them down to my berth, and went for Sarah Dorset; when I brought her, the father said, in a choking
voice, "My lost child!" and turned his back, covering
his face with his hands; the mother, sobbing, threw her
hands around her. Poor Sarah fainted, and fell at their
feet. I knew not what to do. At length, she recovered,
and, in the most heart-rending accents, implored their
pardon. She was young and pretty, and had not been ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
two years from her father's house at this present time;
so short had been her course of folly and sin. She had
not been protected by the villain that ruined her above
six weeks; then she was forced by want upon the
streets, and taken up as a disorderly girl; then sent on
board to"be transported. This was her short but eventful history. One of our men, William Power, went out
to the colony when her time was expired, brought her
home, and married her.
Mrs. Nelly Kerwin, a female of daring habits, banished for life for forging seamen's powers of attorney,
and personating their relations, when on our passage
down the river, wrote to London for cash, to some of
her friends. She got a letter, informing her it was waiting for her at Dartmouth. We were in Colson Bay
when she got this letter. With great address she persuaded the agent that there was an express for him and
money belonging to her lying at Dartmouth. A man
was sent, who brought on board Nell's money, but no
express for the agent. When she got it, she laughed in
his face, and told him he was in her debt for a lesson.
He was very angry, as the captain often told him Kerwin was too many for him.
We had on board a girl, pretty well behaved, who was
called, by her acquaintance, a daughter of Pitt's. She
herself never contradicted it. She bore a most striking
likeness to him in every feature, and could scarce be
known from him as to looks. We left her at Port Jack
When we were fairly out at sea, every man on board
took a wife from among the convicts, they nothing
loath. The girl with whom I lived — for I was as bad 140
in this point as the others—was named Sarah White-
lam. She was a native of Lincoln, a girl of a modest,
reserved turn, as kind and true a creature as ever lived.
I courted her for a week and upwards, and would have
married her upon the spot, had there been a clergyman
on board. She had been banished for a mantle she
had borrowed from an acquaintance. Her friend prosecuted her for stealing it, and she was transported for
seven years. I had fixed my fancy upon her from the
moment I knocked the rivet out of her irons upon my
anvil, and as firmly resolved to bring her back to England, when her time was out, my lawful wife, as ever I
did intend any thing in my life. She bore me a son in
our voyage out. What is become of her, whether she is
dead or alive, I know not. That I do not is no fault of
mine, as my narrative will show. But to proceed. We
soon found that we had a troublesome cargo, yet not
dangerous or very mischievous, — as I may say, more
noise than danger.
When any of them—such as Nance Ferrel, who was
ever making disturbance — became very troublesome,
we confined them down in the hold, and put on the
hatch. This, we were soon convinced, had no effect, as
they became, in turns, outrageous, on purpose to be
confined. Our agent and the captain wondered at the
change in their behavior. I, as steward, found it out
by accident. As I was overhauling the stores in the
hold, I came upon a hogshead of bottled porter, with a
hole in the side of it, and, in place of full, there was
nothing but empty, bottles in it. Another was begun,
and more than a box of candles had been carried off.
I immediately told the captain, who now found out 5 Pi
o _
•> 00
i> ■+
X  U
the cause of the late insubordination and desire of confinement. We were forced to change the manner of
punishing them. I was desired by the agent, Lieutenant Edgar, who was an old lieutenant of Cook's, to
take a flour barrel, and cut a hole in the top for their
head, and one on each side for their arms. This we
called a wooden jacket. Next morning, Nance Farrel,
as usual, came to the door of the cabin, and began to
abuse the agent and captain. They desired her to go
away between decks, and be quiet. She became worse
in her abuse, wishing to be confined, and sent to the
hold; but, to her mortification, the jacket was produced, and two men brought her upon deck, and put it
on. She laughed, and capered about for a while, and
made light of it. One of her comrades lighted a pipe
and gave it to her. She walked about, strutting and
smoking the tobacco, and making the others laugh at
the droll figure she made; she walked a minuet, her
head moving from side to side, like a turtle. The agent
was resolved she should be heartily tired, and feel, in
all its force, the disagreeableness of her present situation. She could only walk or stand; to sit, or lie down,
was out of her power. She began to get weary, and
begged to be released. The agent would not, until she
asked his pardon, and promised amendment in future.
This she did, in humble terms, before evening, but, in
a few days, was as bad as ever; there was no taming
her by gentle means. We were forced to tie her up,
like a man, and give her one dozen, with the cat-o'-
nine-tails, and assure her of a clawing every offence;
this alone reduced her to any kind of order.
The first place we stopped at was Santa Cruz, in the 142
Island of Teneriffe, for water. As we used a great
quantity, the agent, at the captain's request, had laid
in tea and sugar in place of beef or pork allowed by
government. We boiled a large kettle of water, that
served the whole convicts and crew, every night and
morning. We allowed them water for washing their
clothes, any quantity they chose, while in port. Many
times they would use four and five boat-loads in one
We then stood for Rio Janeiro, where we lay eight
weeks, taking in coffee and sugar, our old stock being
now reduced very low.
In crossing the line, we had the best sport I ever witnessed upon the same occasion. We had caught a porpoise the day before the ceremony, which we skinned
to make a dress for Neptune, with the tail stuffed.
When he came on deck, he looked the best representation of a merman I ever saw painted, with a large swab
upon his head for a wig. Not a man in the ship could
have known him. One of the convicts fainted, she was
so much alarmed at his appearance, and had a miscarriage after. From Rio Janeiro we sailed for the
Cape of Good Hope, where we took on board seventy-
three ewes and a ram, for the settlement.
At length, we sailed for Port Jackson. We made
one of the convicts shepherdess, who was so fortunate
in her charge of the flock as not to lose one. While we
lay at the Cape, we had a narrow escape from destruction by fire. The carpenter allowed the pitch pot to
boil over upon the deck, and the flames rose in an
alarming manner. The shrieks of the women were
dreadful, and the confusion they made running about ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
drove every one stupid. I ran to my berth, seized a
pair of blankets to keep it down until the others
drowned it with water. Captain Aitken made me a
handsome present for my exertions.
At length, almost to our sorrow, we made the land
upon the 3d of June, 1790, just one year, all but one
day, from our leaving the river. We landed all our
convicts safe. My charge, as steward, did not expire
for six weeks after our arrival, as the captain, by agreement, was bound to victual them during that time.
The days flew on eagles' wings; for we dreaded the
hour of separation, which at length arrived. It was not
without the aid of the military we were brought on
They have an herb in the colony they call sweet tea.
It is infused and drank like the China tea. I liked it
much; it requires no sugar, and is both a bitter and a
sweet. There was an old female convict, her hair quite
gray with age, her face shriveled, who was suckling a
child she had borne in the colony. Every one went to
see her, and I among the rest. It was a strange sight;
her hair was quite white. Her fecundity was ascribed
to the sweet tea. I brought away with me two bags of
it, as presents to my friends; but two of our men became very ill of the scurvy, and I allowed them the use
of it, which soon cured them, but reduced my store.
When we came to China, I showed it to my Chinese
friends, and they bought it with avidity, and importuned me for it, and a quantity of the seed I had likewise preserved. I let them have the seed, and only
brought a small quantity of the herb to England.
Upon our arrival at Wampoa, I renewed my ac- 144
quaintance with my Chinese friends, and was as happy as I could be, with the thoughts of Sarah's situation
upon my mind; but this was the dullest voyage I ever
made. We touched at St. Helena on our way to England. When we arrived, I was paid off, and immediately made every inquiry for a ship for New Holland;
but there was none, nor any likely to be soon.
There was a vessel called the Amelia, Captain
Shiels, fitting out as a South Sea whaler. She belonged
to 'Squire Enderborough, Paul's Wharf, London. I
got myself engaged as cooper of her. The whole crew
were on shares. I, as cooper, had a larger share than
a seaman; but this was not my present aim, neither
did I think of gain. I had all my money secured about
my person, sewed into my clothes, ready for a start,
and with it to pay the passage of Sarah and my son to
In two months after my leaving the Lady Julian, I
was again at sea, in hopes of reaching Port Jackson by
some means or other. In our first offset, we were
stranded upon the Red Sand, near the Nore. While we
lay in distress, the Deal men came out, and wished to
make a wreck of us, by cutting away our masts. I, with
alacrity, aided the captain, and stood guard, with a
brace of pistols, and threatened to blow out the brains
of the first man of them that offered to set his foot upon
our deck. The weather, fortunately, was moderate.
We, having no long boat, carried out our anchor between two boats, into deep water; and, as the tide
flowed, we got her off. To my great disappointment,
we were forced to put back into dock to have her examined, by removing the copper sheathing.   All the ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER I45
crew left her, except myself, as the engagement was
broken by our return to dock, and the men would not
continue in her, as they thought no good would come
of the voyage; her stranding was an omen of her bad
There was no ship in the river for New South Wales;
and the Indiamen would not sail until about the month
of March; the Amelia would still be the first vessel. I
had no inducement, therefore, to leave her. We were
soon again ready for sea, and set sail with an entire
new crew. The first land we made was the Island of
Bona Vista, which belongs to the Portuguese, where
we took in live stock, and salt to salt down our sealskins, then stood for St. Jago and took in more live
stock; from thence to the Falkland Islands for geese
and swine. We next made Staten Land, and passed the
Straits of Magellan and Straits le Mair, but did not go
through either of them. We doubled the Cape, then
stood down to our fishing-ground, which was between
latitude i8° and the line. We had nothing to do but
commence, as we had been busy all the voyage, preparing and fitting our tackle.
Our boilers were fitted up before we left England, as,
in the South Seas, the spermaceti is all boiled upon the
deck. The boiler is built up with fire brick, and a space
left between the lower tier and the deck, about nine
inches high, quite water-tight. When once the fire is
kindled, — which is never after allowed to go out until
the ship is fully fished, — the space between the bricks
and the deck is kept full of water. There are two plugholes, one on each side; so that, when the water heats,
and would melt the pitch, upon whatever tack the ship 146
may be, the plug is drawn from the under side, and the
space immediately filled with cold water from the higher side. Great attention is required to watch the boilers. We do not require to carry out fuel to boil our oil,
as the refuse of the oil is used ever after the first fire is
kindled. The ashes of the fire is better than any soap.
Let our clothes be ever so black and greasy, as they
must be from our employment, one shovel full of ashes
in a tub of water, will make them as clean as when we
bought them.
I pursued my labors with all the ardor of a seaman.
After taking a sufficient quantity of spermaceti, we
stood as far down as latitude 30, to the Island of Lopes,
where we killed thirty thousand seals. We had a busy
time chasing and killing them. When we had a sufficient number, we began to kill sea-lions, to get their
skins for the ship's use. One of their skins was a sufficient load for two men. We used to stand in a gap of
the rocks in the morning, and knock them down with
our clubs as they approached the sea, then stab them
with our long knives.
George Parker, our mate, made a blow at one, and
missed him; he made a snap at George, and sent his
tusk right through his arm, a little above the wrist, and
walked away at his leisure with him into the sea, Parker
roaring like a bull, from the pain and terror. Robert
Wyld, perceiving his danger, rushed into the water to
rescue him, and was up to the arm-pits before he succeeded in despatching the unwieldly monster. He then
dragged them both on shore, where, with difficulty, the
tusk was drawn from between the bones, it was so firmly jammed. ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER I47
After visiting Payta and Lima, on the western coast
of South America, we returned into the Atlantic, and
put into Rio Janeiro for refreshments.
The governor's linguist came on board the Amelia,
and requested, as a personal favor, that Captain Shiels
would allow four of his men to go on board the commodore, to assist in the voyage home, as it would be a winter's passage. I immediately volunteered. I hoped by
this means to reach England sooner, and obtain more
money for Sarah, as I would receive a full share of the
Amelia in England, the same as if I had continued in
her. Had I known the delays, the fatigue and vexations, I was to endure from these execrably superstitious Portuguese sailors, I never would have left the
Amelia for any reward the commodore could have given me; and he was very kind to us. He knew our value,
and his whole reliance was upon us. We were to work
the ship, and fight the ship, should an enemy lay us
alongside. He had been forty years trading between
Lisbon and Rio Janeiro, and, in all that time, never
had made a winter's voyage. The Portuguese are the
worst sailors in the world, in rough or cold weather,
and we had plenty of both; but, worse than all, we had
a black fellow of a priest on board, to whom the crew
paid more attention than to the captain. He was forever ringing his bell for mass, and sprinkling holy water
upon the men. Whenever it blew harder than ordinary,
they were sure to run to the quarter-deck, to the black
priest. We were almost foundered, at one time, by this
unseamanlike conduct. The whole crew ran to the
quarter-deck, kneeling down, resigned to their fate, the
priest sprinkling holy water most profusely upon them, 148
while we four Englishmen were left to steer the vessel
and hand the sails. It required two of the four to steer,
so that there were only two to hand the sails. The consequence was, she broached to. William Mercer and I
ran and cut the fore-gears, and allowed the yard to
swing; at the same time, the captain, mate, and boatswain, hauled in the fore-brace, and she righted in a
moment. Had her commons not been very high, she
must have filled while she lay upon her beam ends. The
sea was all over her deck, round the hatch; but so soon
as she righted, and we were going to make sail, the Portuguese left their priest, and lent us a hand.
We were wrought almost to death, and never could
have made out the voyage had we not been well fed,
and the captain given us plenty of liquor. The black
priest rung his bell at his stated time, whatever we were
doing; and the Portuguese would run to their berths
for their crosses. Often, the main tack was left half
hauled aboard, at the sound of his bell, and the vessel
left to drift to leeward until prayers were over. As two
men could do nothing to the sail, when the wind was
fresh, after prayers they would return, and begin bawling and hauling, calling upon their saints, as if they
would come to assist. We were thus almost driven to
distraction by them, and could scarce keep off our
hands from boxing their ears. Many a hearty curse
they and their saints got. Then they would run to the
captain or priest, and make complaint that the Englishmen had cursed St. Antonio, or some other of their
saints. I often wondered the captain did not confine
the priest to his cabin in foul weather, as he was sure to
be busiest then. When they complained, the captain   ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
took our part, and overawed the Portuguese, or I really
believe they would have thrown us overboard.
At length, after a tedious voyage of three months, I
got out of this vile crew. When we reached the Tagus,
the Portuguese began to quarrel, and knock us about.
We stood our ground the best way we could, until the
captain got five of them sent on shore under a guard of
soldiers. We remained at the captain's house until we
got our wages. The owners gave us a doubloon a-piece,
over and above our agreement, for saving the ship, as
the captain did us every justice to the owners at the
time, saying, "If the English were as careful of their
souls as they are of their bodies, they would be the best
people in the world."
We assisted at a religious ceremony before we came
away, at the special request of our kind friend, the
captain. The foresail, that was set when she broached
to, was given, as an offering, to the church, as the black
priest told them it was through it they were saved.
Although the worst sailor in the ship knew it was the
sail that would have sunk us, they dared not contradict
the priest. The whole ship's crew carried it through the
streets of Lisbon upon handkerchiefs to the church,
where it was placed upon the altar with much mummery. We came away and left them; but the owners of
the vessel bought back the sail again, after the priests
had blessed it to their minds, as the church had more
use for money than foresails.
With a joyful heart, I set sail for London, to look out
for an Indiaman, that I might get to Bombay, and inquire for Sarah; for she was still the idol of all my
affections. At this time, I was all anxiety to reach Eng- 15°
land. I often hoped she had reached her father's house,
and was there pining at my absence. I used, for days,
to flatter myself with these dreams.
When we arrived at Gravesend, a man-of-war's boat
came on board to press any Englishman there might be
on board. William and I did not choose to trust to our
protections, now that we were in the river. So we
stowed ourselves away among some bags of cotton,
where we were almost smothered, but could hear every
word that was said. The captain told the lieutenant he
had no more hands than he saw, and they were all Portuguese. The lieutenant was not very particular, and
left the brig without making much search. When the
boat left the vessel, we crept from our hiding-hole; and,
not long after, a custom-house officer came on board.
When we cast anchor, as I had a suit of long clothes in
my chest, that I had provided, should I have been so
fortunate as to have found Sarah at Port Jackson, to
dash away with her a bit on shore, I put them on immediately, and gave the custom-house officer half a
guinea for the loan of his cocked hat and powdered wig;
the long gilt-headed cane was included in the bargain.
I got a waterman to put me on shore. I am confident
my own father, had he been alive, could not have
known me, with my cane in my hand, cocked hat, and
bushy wig. I inquired of the waterman the way to the
inn where the coach set out from, for London; I, at the
same time, knew as well as he. I passed for a passenger. At the inn, I called for a pint of wine, pens and
ink, and was busy writing any nonsense that came in
my head, until the coach set off. All these precautions
were necessary. Had the waterman suspected me to be ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
a sailor, he would have informed the press gang in one
minute. The waiters at the inn would have done the
same. By these precautions, I arrived safe in London,
but did not go down to Wapping until next day, where
I took up my old lodgings, still in my disguise. My
landlord went on board, and brought on shore my bedding and chest. I left them under his charge while I
went to Lincoln, to Sarah's parents, where I made every inquiry; but they knew not so much of her as I did
myself. The last information they had obtained was
from the letter I had put in the post-office for them, before I sailed in the Amelia. I immediately returned to
London, where, to my disappointment, I found there
was not a berth to be got in any of the Indiamen who
were for Bombay direct. They were all full. I then, as
my next best, went to be engaged as cooper on board
the Nottingham, for China direct, depending on Providence, if we were ever to meet again. To find some
way to effect my purpose, my landlord took me to be
impressed. He got the six guineas allowed the bringer,
which he returned to me. He was from Inverness, —
as honest a man as ever lived. I had always boarded in
his house when in London. A curious scene happened
at my entry. There were a few more impressed on the
same day, one an old tar. When asked by Captain
Rogers, in his examination, how they hauled the main
tack aboard, he replied, "I can't tell, your honor, but I
can show." He clapped his foot into Captain Roger's
pocket, at the same instant leaped on his shoulders,
tore his coat to the skirts, saying, "Thus we haul it
aboard." Captain Barefoot, of the Nottingham, and
the other captains, laughed heartily, as well as Rogers, 152
who said, rather peevishly, "You might have shown
without tearing my coat." "How could I, your honor?"
was the reply.
I thus again set off as cooper of the Nottingham, in
1793. Nothing worthy of notice happened. I did not
get any intelligence from Sarah, nor did I ever hear
from her again. As I have gone over the same voyage
before, I will not detain the reader; but one circumstance, that I witnessed off the Cape of Good Hope, I
cannot avoid mentioning, as a dreadful example of
what man will dare, and the perils he will encounter,
to free himself from a situation he dislikes. A man-of-
war had been washing her gratings, when the India
fleet hove in sight. They are washed by being lowered
overboard, and allowed to float astern. Four or five
men had slipped down upon them, cut them adrift, and
were thus voluntarily committed to the vast Atlantic,
without a bit of biscuit, or a drop of water, or any
means of guiding the gratings they were floating upon,
in the hope of being picked up by some vessel. They
held out their arms to us, and supplicated, in the wildest manner, to be taken on board. The captain would
not. The Nottingham was a fast-sailing ship, and the
first in the fleet. He said, "I will not; some of the stern
ships will pick them up." While he spoke, these unfortunate and desponding fellow-creatures lessened to our
view, while their cries rung in our ears. I hope some of
the stern ships picked them up. Few things I have seen
are more strongly impressed upon my memory, than
the despairing looks and frantic gestures of these victims in quest of liberty. Next morning, the frigate they
had left came alongside of us, and inquired if we had ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
seen them. The captain gave an indirect answer to
their inquiries, as well he might.
• On my return home from China, nothing uncommon
happened, until we reached the Downs. I had allowed
my beard to grow long, and myself to be very dirty, to
be as unlikely as possible, when the man-of-war boats
came on board to press the crew. As we expected, they
came. I was in the hold, sorting among the water-
casks, and escaped. They took every hand that would
answer. I rejoiced in my escape, but my joy was of
short duration. One of the men they had taken had a
sore leg; the boat brought him back, and I had the bad
luck to be taken, and he was left. Thus were all my
schemes blown into the air. I found myself in a situation I could not leave, a bondage that had been imposed upon me against my will, and no hopes of relief
until the end of the war—not that I disliked it, but I
had now become weary of wandering, for a time, and
longed to see Scotland again. My heart always pointed
to my native land. Remonstrance and complaint were
equally vain.
I therefore made up my mind to it, and was as happy
as a man in blasted prospects can be. I was taken on
board the Venerable, Admiral Duncan. She was the
flag-ship, and commanded by Captain Hope, now Admiral Hope. The Venerable's boats had made a clean
ship of the Nottingham. &he was forced to be brought
up the river by ticket-porters and old Greenwich men.
Next morning, sixty of us, who had belonged to the
Nottingham, were turned over to the Edgar, 74, Captain Sir Charles Henry Knowles. This was on the nth
June, 1794. I was stationed in the gunner's crew. 154
We shortly after sailed on a cruise in the North Seas,
and encountered a dreadful gale on the 17th October.
I never was in such danger in all my life. The Edgar
was only newly put in commission, and her rigging was
new, and not properly seasoned. We in a few hours
carried away our bowsprit and foremast in this dreadful night; then our mizzen and maintopmast. With
great difficulty we cut them clear. Soon after, our
mainmast loosened in the step, and we every moment
expected it to go through the bottom. Then no exertion could have saved us from destruction. The carpenter, by good fortune, got it secured. We lost all our
anchors and cables in our attempts to bring her to, save
one. At length, it moderated a little, when we rigged
jury masts, and made for the Humber, where we
brought to with our only remaining anchor, when the
Inflexible, Captain Savage, hove in sight, and took us
in tow. When in this situation, the coasters, as they
passed, called to the Inflexible, "What prize have you
got in tow?" A fresh gale sprung up, and the Inflexible
was forced to cast us off. The weather moderated again,
and we proceeded up the Swain the best way we could,
into Blackstakes, Chatham. My berth, during the
storm, as one of the gunner's crew, was in charge of the
powder on deck we used in firing our guns of distress.
The ship rolled so much, we were often upon our beam-
ends, and rolled a number of our guns overboard. We
were forced to start all our beer and water, to lighten
the ship; but we rode it out, contrary to our expectation, and were shortly after turned over, captain and
all, to the Goliah, 74 guns, and sailed to join Sir John
Jervis in the blockade of Toulon. We boarded a Span- ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
ish ship, and found on board thirty Austrian prisoners.
They every man entered with us as marines.
We next sailed for St. Forensa Bay, in the Island of
Corsica, to water, but found the French in possession
of the watering-place, and could get none. I belonged
to the launch, and had charge of the powder and match.
I was constantly on shore, when any service was to be
done in destroying stores, spiking guns, blowing up
batteries, and enjoyed it much. We carried off all the
brass guns, and those metal ones that were near the
edge of the rocks we threw into the sea. This was excellent sport to us; but we were forced to leave it, and
sail to Gibraltar for water and provisions, but could
obtain no supplies, and sailed for Lisbon, where we got
plenty, having been on short allowance for some time
While we lay at Lisbon, we got private intelligence,
overland, that the Spanish fleet was at sea. We, with
all despatch, set sail in pursuit of them. We were so
fortunate as to come in sight of them by break of day,
on the 14th of February, off Cape St. Vincent. They
consisted of twenty-five sail, mostly three-deckers. We
were only eighteen; but we were English, and we gave
them their Valentines in style. Soon as we came in
sight, a bustle commenced not to be conceived or described. To do it justice, while every man was as busy
as he could be, the greatest order prevailed. A serious
cast was to be perceived on every face, but not a shade
of doubt or fear. We rejoiced in a general action; not
that we loved fighting, but we all wished to be free to
return to our homes, and follow our own pursuits. We
knew there was no other way of obtaining this than by 156
defeating the enemy. "The hotter war, the sooner
peace," was a saying with us. When every thing was
cleared, the ports open, the matches lighted, and guns
run out, then we gave them three such cheers as are
only to be heard in a British man-of-war. This intimidates the enemy more than a broadside, as they have
often declared to me. It shows them all is right, and
the men, in the true spirit, baying to be at them. During the action, my situation was not one of danger, but
most wounding to my feelings, and trying to my patience. I was stationed in the after-magazine, serving
powder from the screen, and could see nothing; but I
could feel every shot that struck the Goliah; and the
cries and groans of the wounded were most distressing,
as there was only the thickness of the blankets of the
screen between me and them. Busy as I was, the time
hung upon me with a dreary weight. Not a soul spoke
to me but the master-at-arms, as he went his rounds to
inquire if all was safe. No sick person ever longed
more for his physician than I for the voice of the master-at-arms. The surgeon's mate, at the commencement of the action, spoke a little; but his hands were
soon too full of his own affairs. Those who were carrying, ran like wild creatures, and scarce opened their
lips. I would far rather have been on the decks, amid
the bustle, for there the time flew on eagle's wings. The
Goliah was sore beset; for some time, she had two
three-deckers upon her. The men stood to their guns
as cool as if they had been exercising. The admiral
ordered the Britannia to our assistance. Iron-sides,
with her forty-twos, soon made them sheer off. Towards the close of the action, the men were very weary. ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
One lad put his head out of the porthole, saying, "Damn
them, are they not going to strike yet?" For us to
strike was out of the question.
At length, the roar of the guns ceased, and I came
on deck to see the effects of a great sea engagement;
but such a scene of blood and desolation I want words
to express. I had been in a great number of actions
with single ships, in the Proteus and Surprise, during
the seven years I was in them. This was my first action
in a fleet; and I had only a small share in it. We had
destroyed a great number, and secured four three-
deckers. One they had the impiety to call the Holy
Ghost, we wished much to get; but they towed her off.
Thefleetwasin such a shattered situation, we lay
twenty-four hours in sight of them, repairing our rigging. It is after the action the disagreeable part commences ; the crews are wrought to the utmost of their
strength; for days they have no remission of their toil,
repairing the rigging, and other parts injured in the action ; their spirits are broke by fatigue; they have no
leisure to talk of the battle; and when the usual round
of duty returns, we do not choose to revert to a disagreeable subject. Who can speak of what he did,
where all did their utmost? One of my messmates had
the heel of his shoe shot off; the skin was not broken,
yet his leg swelled, and became black. He was lame for
a long time. On our return to Lisbon, we lost one of
the fleet, the Bombay Castle. She was stranded, and
completely lost. All her crew were saved. We were in
great danger in,the Goliah; Captain Sir C. H. Knowles
was tried for not lending assistance, when he needed it
himself. The court-martial honorably acquitted him. THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
Collis, our first lieutenant, told us not to cheer when
he came on board; but we loved our captain too well to
be restrained. We had agreed upon a signal with the
coxswain, if he was, as he ought to be, honorably acquitted. The signal was given, and in vain Collis forbade. We manned the yards, and gave three hearty
cheers. Not a man on board but would have bled for
Sir C. H. Knowles. To our regret, we lost him to our
ship at this very time. He was as good a captain as I
ever sailed with. He was made admiral, and went home
in the Britannia.
Captain Foley took command of the Goliah, and we
joined the blockade of Cadiz, where we remained, sending our boat to assist at the bombardments, and covering them until Admiral Nelson came out again, and
picked out thirteen seventy-fours from the fleet; the
Goliah was one. She was the fastest sailing ship in the
fleet. We did not stay to water, but got a supply from
the ships that were to remain, and away we set, under
a press of sail, not knowing where. We came to an anchor in the Straits of Messina. There was an American
man-of-war at anchor; Captain Foley ordered him to
unmoor, that the Goliah might get her station, as it was
a good one, near the shore; but Jonathan would not
budge, but made answer, "I will let you know I belong
to the United States of America, and will not give way
to any nation under the sun, but in a good cause." So
we came to an anchor where we could. We remained
here but a short time, when we got intelligence that the
French fleet were up the Straits. We then made sail for
Egyp^ but missed them, and came back to Syracuse,
and watered in twenty-four hours. I was up all night ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER I59
filling water. The day after we left Syracuse, we fell in
with a French brig, who had just left the fleet. Admiral Nelson took her in tow, and she conducted us to
where they lay at anchor in Aboukir Bay.
We had our anchors out at our stern port with a
spring upon them, and the cable carried along the ship's
side, so that the anchors were at our bows, as if there
was no change in the arrangement. This was to prevent the ships from swinging round, as every ship was
to be brought to by her stern. We ran in between the
French fleet and the shore, to prevent any communication between the enemy and the shore. Soon as they
were in sight, a signal was made from the admiral's
ship for every vessel, as she came up, to make the best
of her way, firing upon the French ships as she passed,
and "every man to take his bird," as we, joking, called
it. The Goliah led the van. There was a French frigate
right in our way. Captain Foley cried, "Sink that
brute; what does he there?" In a moment, she went to
the bottom, and her crew were seen running into her
rigging. The sun was just setting as we went into the
bay, and a red and fiery sun it was. I would, had I had
my choice, been on the deck; there I should have seen
what was passing, and the time would not have hung
so heavy; but every man does his duty with spirit,
whether his station be in the slaughter-house or the
I saw as little of this action as I did of the one on the
14th February, off Cape St. Vincent. My station was
in the powder magazine, with the gunner. As we entered the bay, we stripped to our trousers, opened our
ports, cleared, and, every ship we passed, gave them a i6o
broadside and three cheers. Any information we got
was from the boys and women who carried the powder.
The women behaved as well as the men, and got a present for their bravery from the Grand Seignior. When
the French admiral's ship blew up, the Goliah got such
a shake, we thought the after-part of her had blown up,
until the boys told us what it was. They brought us,
every now and then, the cheering news of another
French ship having struck, and we answered the cheers
on deck with heartfelt joy. In the heat of the action, a
shot come right into the magazine, but did no harm, as
the carpenters plugged it up, and stopped the water
that was rushing in. I was much indebted to the gunner's wife, who gave her husband and me a drink of
wine every now and then, which lessened our fatigue
much. There were some of the women wounded; and
one woman, belonging to Leith, died of her wounds,
and was buried on a small island in the bay. One woman bore a son in the heat of the action; she belonged to
Edinburgh. When we ceased firing, I went on deck to
view the state of the fleets, and an awful sight it was.
The whole bay was covered with dead bodies, mangled,
wounded, and scorched, not a bit of clothes on them except their trousers. There were a number of French,
belonging to the French admiral's ship, the L'Orient,
who had swam to the Goliah, and were cowering under
her forecastle. Poor fellows! they were brought on
board, and Captain Foley ordered them down to the
steward's room, to get provisions and clothing. One
thing I observed in these Frenchmen, quite different
from any thing I had ever before observed. In the
American war, when we took a French ship,—the ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
Duke de Chartres,—the prisoners were as merry as if
they had taken us, only saying, "Fortune de guerre,—
you take me to-day, I take you to-morrow." Those we
now had on board were thankful for our kindness, but
were sullen, and as downcast as if each had lost a ship
of his own. The only incidents I heard of are two. One
lad, who was stationed by a salt-box, on which he sat
to give out cartridges and keep the lid close, — it is a
trying berth, — when asked for a cartridge, he gave
none, yet he sat upright; his eyes were open. One of
the men gave him a push; he fell all his length on the
deck. There was not a blemish on his body, vet he was
quite dead, and was thrown overboard. The other, a
lad who had the match in his hand to fire his gun. In
the act of applying it, a shot took off his arm; it hung
by a small piece of skin. The match fell to the deck.
He looked to his arm, and, seeing what had happened,
seized the match in his left hand, and fired off the gun,
before he went to the cockpit to have it dressed. They
were in our mess, or I might never have heard of it.
Two of the mess were killed, and I knew not of it until
the day after. Thus terminated the glorious first of
August, the busiest night in my life.
Soon after the action, the whole fleet set sail with the
prizes, and left the Goliah as guard-ship. We remained
here until we were relieved by the Tigre, 74, when we
sailed for Naples, to refit. After refitting, we sailed for
Malta, to join in the blockade, where we remained eight
months, without any occurrence worthy of notice. At
length, the Goliah became so leaky, we were forced to
leave our station and sail for Gibraltar, where after
watering, we sailed for England. We got some marines 162
from the Rock, to reenforce the Goliah's complement,
— one of them a tall, stout Englishman, who had been
cock of the Rock. He was very overbearing. There are
often quarrels at the ship's fires, when the men are
boiling their kettles. We had a stout little fellow of an
Irishman, who had been long in the Goliah; the marine pushed his kettle aside. Paddy demanded why he
did so. "Because I choose to do it." "I won't allow
you while the life is in me," was the reply. "Do you
wish to fight?" said the Englishman. "Yes, and I do,"
said Paddy; "I will take the Gibraltar rust out of you,
or you shall beat the life out of my body before we are
done." A fight was made up in a minute; and they
went well forward on the deck, to be out of sight of the
officers. To it they went, and fought it out, we forming
a ring, and screening them from observation. Paddy
was as good as his word; for he took the rust off the marine so well, he was forced to give in; and we were all
happy to see the lobster-back's pride taken out of him.
On our arrival, she was put out of commission, and the
crew turned over to the Royal William, the guard-ship,
and had two or three days' liberty on shore, by the admiral's order.
I was next draughted on board the Ramillies, and
sailed for Bel'leisle, but remained only a short time in
her, when I was turned over to the Ajax, Captain Alexander F. Cochrane, upon preferment. We sailed for
Ferrol, and attempted to cut out some vessels, but did
not succeed; then stood for Algiers to water, having a
fleet of transports with troops on board under convoy.
The troops were commanded by Sir Ralph Abercrom-
bie. Having watered, we sailed with the army to Ma- ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
marice Bay, and the troops were encamped upon a fine
piece of ground, with a rivulet running through the
centre. The French had just left the place, having first
done all the mischief in their power. While we lay here,
an engineer, named William Balcarras, went, in a frigate to reconnoitre the French works. He landed, and,
having attained his object, was coming off in his boat,
when he was followed by another from the shore, and
shot dead before he reached the frigate. We left Ma-
marice Bay, and sailed to Rhodes, where we took in
forage for the cavalry. We then sailed for Alexandria,
and landed the troops.
I belonged to one of the boats. Captain A. F. Cochrane was beach master, and had the ordering of the
troops in the landing. We began to leave the ships
about twelve o'clock, and reached the shore about sunrise in the morning. We rowed very slow, with our
oars muffled. It was a pleasant night; the water was
very still; and all was silent as death. No one spoke;
but each cast an anxious look to the shore, then at each
other, impatient to land. Each boat carried about one
hundred men, and did not draw nine inches of water.
The French cavalry were ready to receive us; but we
soon forced them back, and landed eight thousand men
the first morning. We had good sport at landing the
troops, as the Frenchmen made a stout resistance. We
brought back the wounded men to the ships.
For some time, we supplied the troops on shore with
provisions and water. After the advance of the troops
into the country, I was with the seamen on shore, assisting at the siege of Alexandria, and working like a
laborer in cutting off the branch of the Nile that sup- 164
plied the city with water. One of the Ajax's boats, at
Sir Ralph Abercrombie's request, carried him, after
receiving his wound, on board the hospital ship.
Of all the countries I was ever in, in all my wanderings, I could not remain in Egypt, the air is so dry, and
I felt so disagreeable. It is, on the whole, sandy and
barren; yet what I saw of it that was cultivated is very
agreeable. For some days before the town surrendered,
I had been so bad with the flux, I was forced to go on
board. After the town surrendered, and the operations of the army ceased, we sailed for Malta. At this
time, I was blind with the ophthalmia, and continued
thus for six weeks. My sufferings were most acute. I
could not lie down for a moment, for the scalding water, that continually flowed from my eyes, filled them,
and put me to exquisite torture. I sat constantly on
my chest, with a vessel of cold water, bathing them. If
I slept, I awoke in an agony of pain. All the time, the
flux was most severe upon me, and the surgeon would
not dry it up, as it, he said, relieved my eyes. When we
came to Malta, a French surgeon cured me by touching the balls of my eyes with tincture of opium; but the
pain of the application was very severe. Thank God,
however, I soon after recovered my health and spirits.
From Malta, we sailed to Gibraltar, where we watered,
then sailed for England, where, to my joy, I found that
peace was concluded. We were all paid off shortly after
our arrival. I was ship's corporal when I was discharged.
I was once more my own master, and felt so happy, I
was like one bewildered. Did those on shore only experience half the sensations of a sailor at perfect lib-   ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
erty, after being seven years on board ship without a
will of his own, they would not blame his eccentricities,
but wonder he was not more foolish. After a few days,
my cooler reason began to resume its power, and I began to think what should be my after pursuits. It was
now seven years since I had been pressed from the
Nottingham. In that time, the thoughts of Sarah had
faded into a distant, pleasing dream. The violent desire I at one time felt to repossess her was now softened
into a curiosity to know what had become of her.
I could not settle to work, but wandered up and
down. At length I fell in with a cousin of my own. We
had been playfellows, and a friendly intimacy had continued until I went to sea. I fixed my affections on her,
and we were married. I gave her my solemn promise
never again to go to sea, during her life. I then thought
sincerely of settling, and following my trade. I bought
a house in the Castle Hill, and furnished it well; then
laid in a stock of wood and tools. I had as much work
as I could do for a soapwork at the Queen's Ferry. For
one year, my prospects were as good as I could have
wished, and I was as happy as ever I had been in my
life. But, in a few months after, the war broke out
again, and the press-gang came in quest of me. I could
no longer remain in Edinburgh and avoid them. My
wife was like a distracted woman, and gave me no rest
until I sold off my stock in trade and the greater part
of my furniture, and retired to the country. Even, until I got this accomplished, I dared not to sleep in my
own house, as I had more than one call from the gang.
For eleven years I lived at Cousland. Year followed
year, but still no views of peace. I grew old apace, and 166
the work became too heavy for me. I was now fifty-
eight years of age, and they would not have taken me,
had I wished to enter the service. I therefore removed
to Edinburgh, and again began to work for myself. My
first employers had failed in business long before. The
times were completely changed; I could not get constant employment for myself. I therefore wrought for
any of the other masters who were throng ; but the
cooper business is so very poor, I have been oftener out
of employment than at work. Few of them keep journeymen. They, like myself, did all their work with
their own hands.
I never had any children by my cousin during the
seventeen years we lived together. Margaret, during
all that time, never gave me a bad word, or made any
strife by her temper; but all have their faults. I will
not complain; but more money going out than I by my
industry could bring in, has now reduced me to want in
my old age.
At her death, which happened four years ago, I was
forced to sell all my property, except a small room,
in which I live, and a cellar where I do any little work
I am so fortunate as to obtain. This I did to pay the
expenses of her funeral, and a number of debts that
had been contracted unknown to me. As my poverty
will not allow me to pay for a seat in a church, I go in
the evenings to the Little Church; but my house is in
the Tolbooth parish.
I eke out my subsistence in the best manner I can.
Coffee, made from the raspings of bread, (which I obtain from the bakers,) twice a day, is my chief diet.
A few potatoes, or any thing I can obtain with a few ADVENTURES OF JOHN NICOL, MARINER
pence, constitute my dinner. My only luxury is tobacco, which I have used these forty-five years. To
beg I never will submit. Could I have obtained a small
pension for my past services, I should then have
reached my utmost earthly wish, and the approach of
utter helplessness would not haunt me, as it at present
does, in my solitary home. Should I be forced to sell it,
all I could obtain could not keep me and pay for lodgings for one year; then I must go to the poor's house,
which God, in his mercy, forbid. I can look to my
death-bed with resignation; but to the poor's house I
cannot look with composure.
I have been a wanderer, and the child of chance, all
my days; and now only look for the time when I shall
enter my last ship, and be anchored with a green turf
upon my breast; and I care not how soon the command
OF SALEM (1832-1834), JOHN B. KNIGHTS,
N THE 8th of August, 1832, I sailed from
Salem in the brig Spy* myself master, bound
on a trading voyage among the islands in the
Pacific Ocean. We experienced very fine weather until
passing the Cape Verde Islands when the trade wind,
which is usually baffling at this season of the year, left
us with S. W. and S. S. W. winds and heavy squalls of
thunder, lightning and rain.
On the 8th of September, in the act of reducing sail,
to receive a squall which had made its appearance in
the N. W., the brig took some rolls which carried away
both fore and maintopmasts, started the bowsprit and
rendered us a complete wreck. To add to the horror of
the scene, the armorer, Israel W. Roundy of Beverly,
fell overboard from the top and not being a swimmer
sunk immediately. The scene in the meantime baffles
description; the vessel rolling gunwale and gunwale;
the vivid flashes of lightning in contrast with the succeeding darkness rendering it doubly terrible (it being
8.30 P. M.) ; and the broken spars, thrashing across
and athwart the deck, rendering it impossible for us,
for a time, to pass forward of the main mast. In a short
time, as the wind came on and I was enabled to keep
the vessel before it, we succeeded in cutting away the
*The brig Spy, 98 tons, was built at Medford, Mass., in 1823, and at first
was schooner-rigged. At the time of this voyage she was owned by Stephen C.
Phillips.   JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY    OF SALEM 169
rigging and getting the spars and sails down. At midnight the decks were cleared and the two following days
were employed in getting up jury masts for I determined to steer for St. Salvadore. The vessel did not
leak and after a most disagreeable and miserable
chance we arrived safe at St. Salvadore on the 28th of
October. Here I remained, suffering great inconvenience from the slowness of the carpenters and want of
the necessary supplies, until the 29th of- November
when I again set sail for the Pacific.
My crew, which came from Salem, was composed
chiefly of landsmen, the greater part of whom, with two
seamen who had probably got tired of the vessel, deserted me at St. Salvadore and obliged me to ship another set, principally Portuguese, and two Englishmen
who had deserted from the Brazilian service. In fact,
I had no choice but was obliged to put up with such as
came along. The vessel behaved but little better; her
masts, however, being reduced and better stayed, there
was little danger of their again going although she labored and strained tremendously. I had a speedy and
pleasant passage to the longitude of the Cape of Good
Hope; but then experienced several tremendous gales
attended with a mountain sea and found I had a vessel
but ill suited to contend with either; twice, all my bulwarks were carried away by the sea.
On the 23d of January, 1833, in the evening, I made
the Island of St. Paul; it being pleasant and moderate
and ran close to it and lay by with the intention of going into the basin, on the morrow, for the purpose of
fishing, as great quantities of the finest fish are said to
be caught there in a short time. When morning, how- 170
ever, arrived, the wind had shifted and increased to a
gale, which obliged me to give up the intention and
proceed on my course. I had a boisterous and gloomy
passage to Van Diemans Land and arrived at the Bay
of Islands, New Zealand, on the 25th of March, 1833,
and found several English whaling ships, in the harbor.
The anchor was scarce down, before my decks were
filled with natives of both sexes. I had been told by a
whaling captain, whom I spoke coming in, that I must
allow the natives on board at first or they would be of-
rfended and bring me no supplies. The place I anchored at was the second village from the entrance of
the Bay, on the larboard hand, called Couradica. Seeing the shipping I hauled in and came to anchor among
them. The natives brought on board abundance of
fish, squashes and potatoes, all of which I readily obtained for a little tobacco, of which they are excessively
fond. At dark I was obliged to drive the females out of
the vessel.
The next day I set about making enquiries respecting the place and how I had best proceed. I had much
to do about my vessel, beside watering, &c. and there
being so many vessels here, the watering place was continually in requisition. The noisy conduct of these
whaling crews also was setting a wretched example
to mine, who thus far had behaved pretty well; at
least, they were in a proper state of subordination.
Added to this, — rum'that curse to the sailors,—was
plenty on the beach, in the hands of some white men
who got along then by supplying sailors when on shore.
Taking all this into consideration, I was not a little
pleased to hear there was another settlement, about JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM
five miles up the river, where I might lie more quiet
and be less annoyed by the natives and be also equally
Having obtained the necessary knowledge of the
handy for watering.
ground, at noon we got under way with a fair wind and
ran up and let go the anchor about two miles below the
village, called the Par. Immediately after I was much
gratified to see a ship standing up, for me, under the
flag of my country and went to meet her in my boat.
She proved to be the Loan, Capt. Jason Luce, of Edgar-
town. He had discovered that I was an American and
steered to join me. During the afternoon the chiefs of
the place, Chiva Chiva and Poo Murry, came on board
of us and seemed very glad to find us in their territories.
Both spoke English and they conducted themselves
with the utmost propriety. We got abundance of fine
peaches, potatoes, pumpkins and cabbages, for which
we exchanged tobacco. Pigs were scarce, owing to the
number of vessels which had lately been there and were
now in the place.
On the next morning I manned my boat and proceeded, unarmed, to pay a visit to the chiefs at the village. On landing I was shown to the cabin of Chiva
Chiva, by a white sailor who was residing among them.
The chief appeared much gratified on seeing me; invited me in; said his wife was sick and he wished me to
give her some medicine to cure her. The place they
lived in was a shed covered with moss, some fifteen feet
square, of only one room with no floor, but with planks
to walk on when the ground was wet. On each side
were tiers of berths for sleeping, similar to those we
had on board ship. The room contained a chest, sev- 172 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
eral muskets in fine order and large parcels of potatoes,
peaches, &c. in baskets, thrown about in the utmost
confusion. In one of the berths lay the sick wife, a
young and interesting female apparently about twenty-
three years old, with the complexion of a Spanish brunette. She told me in English, her head was sick and I
promised if her husband would go on board with me, to
give him something that might make her better. He
agreed to come off soon and after looking round the
village a short time, I returned on board much gratified with my excursion. The chief soon followed and I
gave him a few See's Pills and instructed him how they
were to be administered. He said he would take one
himself, to try them, which he did and soon after left
me and went on board Captain Luce.
The following day, the wife being better, they came
to visit me together, bringing as a present, two large
hogs and a quantity of vegetables and peaches. The
chief said, "Your name is now my name and my name
yours," and we must be great friends; and during my
stay of three weeks, I had not the least cause to complain of his breach of profession. I never visited them
armed; neither did this chief or his brother show the
least timidity of visiting me alone; on the contrary,
several times, when either of them had been a distance,
from home and night overtook them, they came alongside and begged to be allowed to stop till morning.
Though naturally brave, these people are very superstitious and very timid in the night.
My friend Captain Luce, had some difficulties, owing to his being obliged to allow half his men to be at
liberty in port at all times. They, at times, got into JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM 173
trouble with the tribes in the lower part of the bay, the
principal causes being insults offered to the women in
their drunken, brutal scrapes. This, of course, would
bring on a fight and the sailors generally came off with
the worst of it. After one of these encounters, on a
Sunday, I happened to be dining on board the Loan,
when two of the seamen were brought on board badly
wounded. The natives followed and were clamorous
in demanding payment for their outrages, but on giving them a hearing they went away perfectly satisfied
when they were assured that the fellows were sufficiently punished. The natives would have been perfectly justified, in my opinion, had they killed the pair
of scoundrels. One, I was told, was saved by the interference of a girl he had previously formed an intimacy
These natives, it is said, do not like to kill a white,
from a superstitious dread, instilled into them by the
missionaries, from a circumstance which took place
some years since and which was related to me by one
of that class.
An English vessel had come from New Holland to
this island, to procure flax and the captain took on
board a chief's son, at one of the neighbouring settlements, to go round the islands with him. The captain
flogged the boy repeatedly. After some time, finding
he could not succeed in obtaining a cargo of flax, he
concluded to take on board spars. At this time he was
apparently on good terms with the native and consulted with him as to the best place to go for the purpose of
obtaining a supply. He strongly recommended the settlement where his father was chief, assuring the cap- 174 THE SEA> THE SHIP ANE> THE SAIL0R
tain there was plenty of fine timber to be easily procured there and also that he would interest his father
to assist him. The captain, suspecting no evil intention, went in and on arrival found abundance of trees,
as was stated, and immediately agreed with the chief
for sufficient to load his vessel, proceeding forthwith to
cut it down and raft it off. In this labourious part of
the undertaking, he was necessarily obliged to employ
large numbers of the natives, and at times to have a
large part of his crew on shore. At one of these periods,
the captain with the carpenter and part of the crew,
being at work on shore, the natives (instigated by the
chief's son) attacked the party and massacred the
whole. They then dressed themselves in the clothes of
those they had killed and pulled for the ship, this being
the signal and the officer of the deck having no suspicion that all was not right, those who were on board
rose and overpowered and killed the rest and on the
arrival of the boat they slipped the cables and ran the
vessel on to the beach.
It now remained to share the spoil among the tribe
who had assembled in great multitudes, on the beach,
for that purpose. They at length got to the powder,
which they were dealing by handfuls, with lighted pipes
in their mouths, when a spark was dropped, which blew
the ship into the air and sent seven-eighths of the tribe
into eternity. The missionaries, of course, took care,
as this singular account spread among the natives, to
represent it as a judgement, immediately from God,
for their wickedness and a signal instance of his awful
So far, well, — if such delusion can serve to render JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM
them more humane; and far, very far, be it from me to
question the power of the Almighty. Still I think no
one can read this tale without perceiving immediately
that the loss of the ship and lives was entirely owing to
the cruelty and folly of the captain. There are far too
many, even in these enlightened days, who "think the
name of savage and pagan" is a sufficient excuse for
every injury and insult they can offer. In my honest
opinion, if the English missionaries at the. Bay of Islands, would set more of an example of humility and
self-denial, both in their manner of living and in their
intercourse with the natives, it would tend much more
toward civilizing the inhabitants, than their pompous
prayers, their formal lessons, and fanciful stories about
the horrors and torments of a future state.
The weather, being fine, I got along fast with my
work until the last week of our stay. My people had
behaved well and I indulged a hope that I should have
no trouble with them. I had seen plenty on board the
whaling ships and felt a great degree of pride that
among so large a crew as mine, with the worst example
possible before them, all things should continue so uniform. But as is the common lot of humanity I was
here doomed to meet with disappointment. A Frenchman, I had as armourer, ran away from me and I
shipped an English blacksmith in his stead who proved
a great villain. This fellow instilled into my men's
heads that they were not allowed the same privileges
as the English sailors in port and in fact put them up to
the asking of favours which they themselves were well
aware would not be granted. The blacksmith then refused to go the voyage, I not having as yet let him THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
enter himself on my articles. I put him out of the vessel immediately and was sorry to find, the next day,
that the two English sailors had deserted and joined
him, as previously they had been obedient and peaceable. I therefore left on the 20th of April, 1833, for the
Fegee Islands, with two men short.
A description of the manners, customs and appearance of the New Zealanders, may be deemed superfluous from me as much has been before written by
other voyagers; still, perhaps, something amusing, possibly instructing, may have been observed by me which
might have been passed unheeded by others. At any
rate, "my friends," for whose gratification alone I have
sketched these remarks, will, I doubt not, consider
them of more value than those of a far more finished
but unknown writer. Should they accidentallv fall into
other hands, criticism will be wasted on remarks taken
from a record of daily occurrences; penned amid perplexity and care; in places when life and property
were only protected by untiring watchfulness and constant preparation; and by one whose least ambition is
that of being an author.
The men of New Zealand are of a light olive complexion with uniform and regular features, tall and
straight in figure and manly in their movements. They
disfigure their faces wretchedly by tattooing them,
those of the chiefs being so marked as to leave less than
a third of the skin natural. The women are much light-
I o
er in color, some of them being as clear as many dark
complexioned English women, and the blush of modesty is far less a stranger on their faces, than on those of
many of the Europeans who reside among them. The 2
>  g
2 2
women are not tattooed except a single line round the
lips, perhaps merely to remind them where to find the
mouth. Some of them are quite handsome when
dressed neatly in the European style, which many of
them do. In fact, I have seen children of European
fathers and native mothers, who were certainly as interesting and beautiful children as I have ever beheld.
The affection which the mother's entertain for these
children is worthy of remark. It is absolutely impossible to get them to consent to part with them either by
entreaties, rewards or promises to return them. Thev
would sooner die. I happened to be present when an
English captain was using every persuasion to obtain
a boy to carry home and educate,—promising the most
sacredly if he lived he should return. All, however, was
unavailing and so fearful was the poor creature that
her child would be taken from her, that she put him
immediately into the charge of her chief for protection.
They have a singular custom when they lose a friend
by death, of cutting and scratching their bodies with
shells until the body is buried, which is done with much
solemnity. After the body has laid in the grave six
moons, they dig it up again and have another great lamentation over it. This last is called the raising of the
bones, at which all the tribe assemble. After the
mourning is over there is a grand feast and as night
comes on they take care to sleep in company for fear
the dead should come back among them. The burial
grounds are tabooed; that is, they are not to be entered
by any one except at a burial or disinterment. These
taboos are sacredly inviolable and I very much doubt
if they are ever known to be broken by a native.   For 178
instance; a chief dies and the survivor thinks proper
to cause the river to be tabooed. No native will then
think of catching a fish or digging a clam in it. So, also,
a married woman or a betrothed maid are tabooed and
these contracts are as sacred as in any country on
earth and according to my impressions more so. In
fact, these people are as happy as it is possible for human beings to be.
Their government seems like those of old, under the
Patriachs, the chief being considered as the father of
the tribe, seemingly beloved and valued by all. Punishments are very rare, the greatest is depriving the delinquent of his or her property. I never discovered an
instance of any of a tribe quarrelling with each other
and what is more remarkable, I do not believe slander
is ever practised among them. Their generosity is proverbial. If a stranger happens among them at meal
time, they will not eat themselves till he has sufficiently
eaten, or at least, until they are satisfied he has the
food by him.
In war with other tribes, when they take prisoners,
they make cookies or slaves of them, but they are treated as well in all respects as they treat each other. I saw
no difference except in name. They were as happy and
contented as the rest of the tribe. If any of the enemy
are killed in battle, they are probably eaten. Wars are,
however, very seldom carried on now in the vicinity of
the Bay of Islands, and the chiefs are ashamed to confess they have eaten human flesh. If they have ever
done so, it is far from home and I have particularly observed that it is very disagreeable to them to have any
allusion made to the practice when they are in com- JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY" OF SALEM I79
pany with their wives and women who shrink with
horror at the bare mention of the outrageous custom.
At the South island, the most desolating wars are continually waging and such is the horrid ferocity of the
combatants, that I was told they would pluck out their
enemies' eyes while living and eat them.
Muskets are now used altogether as war instruments
by the natives on the North island and they are now as
good judges, and keep them in as good order, as the
Europeans. They are good marksmen and some of the
chiefs more than ordinarily so.
The country, particularly the North island, is extremely fertile; the climate mild and healthy and the
scenery about the Bay and up the rivers, indescribably
beautiful. I know of no spot on earth that presents
such beautiful, romantic and at times magnificent
scenery, as a sail up this Bay and the Kidde Kidde
river, excepting only our own lordly Hudson. The forests abound with wild fowl, such as pigeons, robins and
partridges, and the seaside, with wild ducks, geese and
beach birds. In the villages are abundance of hogs,
some fowls and geese, the latter have been given them,
and they are taken great care of. The river and bay
furnish any quantity of the finest fish and the flats
abound in oysters and round clams. Of the latter, the
natives seem to almost subsist and they are indeed
fine. Such is the astonishing quantity of these clams,
or, as the natives call them, pipies, that a long boat
might be filled with them on any part of the beach in a
half hour. In truth, Nature here scatters her blessings
with an unsparing hand. The natives raise large quantities of Indian corn, potatoes, squashes, &c. much of i8o
which they exchange, as well as hogs, to the shipping
and the missionaries for tobacco, blankets and muskets, calicoes and prints. They are now getting fond
of clothing for their wives and children. They manufacture very beautiful mats and this is the only article
of note, I know of their making.
It is now necessary that I should give some account
of the whites who reside there and I presume it useless
to say that they are all English, as Port Jackson is so
near. They should be divided into two distinct classes.
Among the first, may be placed the missionaries and
the adventurers from New Holland, called settlers.
The latter have traded with the natives for a piece of
land, part of which they cultivate and they also keep
shops for supplying the shipping and trading with the
natives for pork, flax, &c. They likewise have sheds for
blacksmiths and carpenters to work in, when they can
fall in with those trademen, who are often found among
the renegadoes who escape from Port Jackson and get
over here. These settlers it is impossible to place in
too low a light. I have had occasion to see all those who
reside there and they are decidedly the greatest sharpers and descend to the meanest and lowest subterfuges
of any men I have ever before fallen in with. There is
not a spark of honourable or manly principal to be
found among them and consequently they cannot be
trusted for a moment. In general they are punctual in
their attendance at Church and may be considered appendages to the Mission as some of them go about on
Sundays catechising the native children. The missionaries, having a bank at Sydney, frequently furnish
them the means of making very considerable purchases JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM
from vessels, that are sometimes obliged to sell their
oil to pay for repairing and putting in order. And woe
betide the captain, who allows his respect to the outward forms of religion, to lull him into a belief that all
are morally honest who pay the strictest attention to
them. If closely observed there is one part of their
conversation which leads, even a stranger to suspect
them. On inquiring of them the reputation of another,
who is not at the time present, you will hear very nearly
his true character. I have observed repeatedly, that
the principle topic of their conversation consists in declaiming about the dishonesty of those who are absent.
Instead of living in harmony and friendship and uniting together for common protection, they set an opposite example and the natives wonder that white men are
so unkind to each other.
The other class are far less to be feared because thev
act in character and seem, what they in reality are,
"bare-faced villains." These consist of run-away sailors and convicts who have escaped from Botany Bay
and who reside under the protection of some chief and
sell rum to the crews when they come on shore; and
to give this beverage more stimulus, they infuse into
it a goodly portion of tobacco and when their victims
get well crazed, they persuade them to desert from
their vessel and assist them to get their effects privately
on shore. Having thus far succeeded, they keep them
until they have eaten and drank what they consider
the value of their clothes and then they get them
shipped, if possible, on board some other vessel in want
of men, probably, still more in their debt, which the
new captain is frequently obliged to pay before they 182 THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
can come on board. The English whaling ships that
frequent this port, make the state of things much worse
than they would other ways be, for their men are on
shares and discipline is loose in comparison with our
merchant vessels. Their captains have frequently told
me that the length, hardship and dangers of the voyage,
oblige them to grant many indulgences to be able to
get along at all.
The Mission here is Episcopalian and Methodist.
The latter is located some distance up the river and the
former makes quite a village, of white, handsome
houses located between Couradica and the Par. They
have no connection with the shipping, alleging that it
is the only obstacle in the way of their doing good.
That the conduct on board of some and even the greater part of the shipping is far, very far, from moral, I
certainly know; but at the same time, I also know, that
some captains, try as hard to have good order on board
their vessels, as do the missionaries to place them in
their worst possible light. That these spiritual guides
are aiming, at temporal power over the natives, there is
no doubt; as, also, that it is their interest to place their
exertions and its fruit, in its best light to the world
which is furnishing them, from the hard earnings of
industry, the means of lolling in princely luxury and
comparative idleness.
On the 20th April, 1833, being ready, I set sail for
the Fegee Islands and experienced continual head
winds until the 4th of May, when the wind came round
to N. E. and continued principally from that quarter
the greater part of the passage although I was all the
time in the space where the S. E. trade wind is ex- JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY    OF SALEM
pected to blow, constant and fresh. On the 6th of May,
I made Sunday island and ran near, seeing no reef off
it, and lowering the boat pulled in for the shore, but
on getting near found the surf too furious to risk landing and so was obliged to go on board again. I saw no
appearance of any inhabitants, and did not make
soundings until within three boats-length, of the shore.
The shore was as steep as a church.
On the 14th, was called by the officer of the watch at
day break and told that land was in sight. It proved to
be two small, beautiful islands, placed on no chart or
book. We sailed as near them as prudence allowed, as
they were encircled by coral reefs. There was no smoke
or appearance of inhabitants.
On the 18th May, saw the island of Mythogue, one
of the Fegee group, and soon after, Toa Toa, Maria,
and others, of the group. On the next day several canoes came off from Maria, from which I obtained a
little shell and abundance of bananas, yams, a goat,
&c. for all which I paid a few beads and scissors. They
made me understand that the island was Maria and
were very anxious to get me to go on shore with them.
For that kind of trap I was, however, too old. These
people have in one or two instances, enticed captains
on shore and then obliged the mates to redeem them by
large presents. As this is not an island for trading, I
merely lay by till morning and then proceeded to
Goora, the largest of the islands, about sixty-five miles
from Maria.
I continued among these islands until the 26th June,
during which time I was employed in trading for and
going in quest of shell. I had much anxiety and trou- 184
ble from various causes. In the first place, the early
misfortunes of my voyage would alone have prevented
my meeting with the bark Peru, Capt. Eagleston, with
whom my voyage was calculated to connect. That vessel had long since left the islands in a leaky condition
from having been on shore and narrowly escaping shipwreck. From her, my calculations were to obtain not
only much information, but extra hands and an interpreter. Now, I was deficient in both; nor had I a single person on board who had the slightest knowledge
of a chart. I also found the journal of a previous voyage and the accompanying chart of this group, fatally
erroneous and so was obliged to depend entirely on
running with a look-out aloft, without a person who
knew the land, as I made it, although the man I had
as mate had been cast away the voyage previous and
resided here ten or twelve months. My feelings, amid
all these disappointments can be better judged by a
seaman than described by me. On any doubt or perplexity I had none who could answer to a remark
other than by a shrug or a grin.
At anchor, under the lee of an island called Over-
low, near to Bow, the residence of the King, I was
boarded, by a parcel of white men who resided on the
island and who had deserted from the different vessels which had been there. They were partly Americans and one was a Salem fellow, by the name of
Magoun. From these men I received information of
the Peru, as above stated. They told me there was a
revolution going on among the islands; that the natives had driven the King from Bow and placed another in his stead; that part of the islands had de- JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY" OF SALEM
clared in favour of one, the other part for the other;
that owing to this cause it would be impossible to procure a cargo of fish, as the natives at the places where
it was to be procured, were under such continual apprehension that they would not be persuaded to fish
for me; they said that part of them would go and assist a larger vessel, if there was a chance of succeeding, but my vessel was too small for them to risk themselves in. All this I did not believe, notwithstanding
my mate was sanguine in his encomium on the integrity of a greater part of these fellows.
During the time I lay near Bow, picking up what
shell I could find, I fell in with a Frenchman, at an
island called Beaver, who had been left some time
since by a French brig, to trade there. He had a lot of
beach de mer cured which he wished to dispose of in
exchange for trade, as he said he could not store it
safely. This I obtained. It was brought on board in
double canoes and invariably the fellows took care to
come alongside in the night. Whatever were their intentions they always found me prepared. I took it in
over the stern; had the two forward gunades pointed
aft with three hundred bullets in each, matches lighted and everything ready in case an assault should be
made. Having it all on board on the 21st of June, and
satisfied I could get no more shell as I have taken a
chief as hostage, I sent one of my officers, twice, to
Bow, With presents to the headmen and they returned
without being able even to see any, I got under way
and went to the white men's town to get wood and
water. My second officer, after behaving in a most
outrageous manner, left me and joined these white i86
men and I firmly believe the unprincipled young man
thought, as my anxieties and cares were so great, that
I should be compelled to bear with any insults and
that now was the time to push them. In this supposition he found he was mistaken.
At this place my vessel came within a hair's breadth
of being cut off, by my own inattention, I am compelled to admit. I had heard much talk and, as I considered, nonsense from some of the whites respecting
conversations they pretended to have overheard
among the natives about attacking my vessel. This I
considered was done to try my feelings and render me
as uncomfortable as possible. One David Whippey,
from Nantucket, who appeared to be the principal
man among them, was the only one I had the least
confidence in. He it was, at this time, who saved the
vessel and ourselves from destruction.
The plot was laid in the following manner: — I had
agreed with the chief of the place to pay a keg of powder, he to fill my water casks, bring them alongside
and furnish me with a sufficient quantity of wood.
Part of the water and all the wood was on board and the
remaining casks were on shore filling, when one night,
a large double canoe full of men came from the neighbourhood. The fellows went to the chief and proposed their taking part of the water in their canoe,
while the chief's canoe was alongside and helping
hoist in, when, on a signal, their chief, who was to
have some shell on board to sell, was to seize me and
the rest, who were forward, were then to rush upon
the mate and people and close the business with clubs
hid in their tappey or belt of cloth, wound round their JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM 187
bodies. The substance of this story, the chief told
David Whippey in the morning and as the large canoe
was hauling up to the stern while the other was discharging, David, came over the side from a small canoe he had himself paddled off. He seemed much
agitated, caught up two cold balls from their places
and called to me to have all hands armed which was
immediately done. At sight of these preparations part
of the natives jumped overboard and all went into
their canoes. We then secured the water casks, which
were towing alongside, and drove the canoes away.
The only reasons I can give for the men nor myself not
being armed, was partly the assurances that Whippey
had given me of the peaceable disposition of his chiefs
and tribe and partly the men's being at hard work
and in great haste to get the water on board. I felt
mortified that I should have departed for a moment
from my usual preparation of defence.
The next day was calm and I was ready for sea.
The following day the wind was ahead and at i P. M.
David came on board again and told me the natives
were mortified that they had been so easily frustrated
in their purpose and had determined to attack me
that coming night and had got lines in readiness to
draw the brig on shore. All things being ready and
not wishing to run farther risk with only twelve on
board, I hove up the anchor and stood through the
weather passage of the reef and at 5 P. M found myself among a parcel of sunken rocks. While going eight
knots through the water we rubbed broadside lightly
upon one not two feet under water. I was in this perilous situation about ten minutes but got clear and i88
into deep water. The two following days we had hard
gales from the eastward and were obliged to carry a
heavy press of sail to keep off the reefs. On the third
night having cleared the Group and pitching bows
under at every sea, drowning my hogs and half drowning ourselves, I brought the vessel under easy sail and
concluded to run back to New Zealand, restow and
put my fish in order, which had been taken on board,
but not properly, to remain a length of time. Besides, I
feared the weather might have damped it. Thus ended my excursion among these Islands.
The natives of the Fegee islands are probably the
most uncivilized of any of the inhabitants of the islands in the Pacific which have been visited by Europeans. They are complete cannibals and cruel in the
last extreme to one another. In personal appearance
they are far from being equal to the New Zealander
for they are much darker; in size very tall, few being
below five feet ten inches, and their general appearance, at first sight, gives one a disgust which is not
easily got over. The hair, on the heads of the chiefs,
is wadded or frilled, eight or ten inches above the top
of the head and is, of course, full of vermin as no
comb can go through it. They have two long wooden
needles, stuck over each ear, with which they dig into
the hair when its inhabitants get too outrageous. In
this case, too, they frequently dip their heads into hot
ashes and water, the remains of which they allow to
remain on their faces as an ornament. At first sight
I took these marks for tattooing, like the New Zea-
landers. They do not mark their bodies otherways,
than by cutting off a finger or toe when a relation dies. JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY" OF SALEM
Few, even of the children, have all these members perfect and when the King dies, one of his wives is killed
to go to wait upon him in the other world. Both sexes
go naked with the exception of a piece of tapper, or
cloth, round their middle which scarcely answers the
purpose decency requires.
Their canoes, some of which are very large, are dug
out of long trees. Double canoes, as they are called,
are two of these lashed together, with a staging built
up in the middle, of eight or ten feet high, on which
the chiefs sit. These stagings sometimes are so high
as to look over the rail of the largest vessels. I have
had a canoe near me, which was two-thirds as long as
my brig. When there is no wind for their sails these
canoes are skulled by means of paddles placed between
the two. They very much resemble a horse ferry boat.
The ceremony of courtship among them is singular.
When a young man takes a fancy to a girl, he kills all
the pigs he can muster, for a feast to which he invites
the relatives of the girl. When it is over, he sends the
remains of the banquet to them and if this is accepted
it amounts to an engagement. The girl's friends then
give a similar entertainment and the marriage is thus
completed, no other ceremony being necessary. The
girl goes home with her husband but the next day she
is obliged to go back to her parents and deliver up the
mat she has hitherto worn and receive another which
distinguishes her as a woman to whose society she is
now admitted. Before that she was considered a child
and treated as such.
The females at this group, are in no condition better than slaves and, in fact, not so well used by their 190
husbands as are the slaves by their masters, for they
are obliged to perform all the labourious and menial
offices, while the brutish husband lounges in utter
idleness from day to day.
Many of their customs are connected with others of
too disgusting a nature to be mentioned. The men
are cruel and base in the extreme, but not by any
means sagacious, as they will, not unfrequently, inform others of mischiefs they are at the time meditating. They are treacherous as the Devil himself, but
at the same time great cowards. Their bodily strength
is immense; still they fear to trust it in combat with
the White Man. They appear to have no idea of a
Supreme Being, as I understand from a white man
who has resided long among them.
With respect to there being a doubt of their cannibalism, as I have heard such expressed, I can answer
for the fact that they eat even the bodies of their own
tribe, who offend them, and two men corroborated a
story of being eye-witnesses to a chief's killing one of
his wives, who had contradicted him, and ordering her
to be cooked. They will all tell you, by signs, how
much they prefer it to the flesh of turtle or hogs.
In fine, I saw many things to disgust, without a
single one to admire, in the character of a Fegee man,
and to a friend who had a fancy which led him to wish
to go on a Fegee voyage, and asked my advice, I would
say to him — "That if he had a desire to view human
nature in its most disgusting colours, pass a considerable portion of his own life in intense anxiety, subsist entirely on oily pork and yams, without a shadow JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM
of pleasure to cheer his dull hours; Go, my friend,
go a Fegee voyage."
On the night of the 15th of July, I again arrived at
the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, and cast anchor
some distance outside of Couradica, it being very
dark. I found the weather very cold and having been
in sight of the Capes two days, the wind blowing directly out, just as evening came on I had a fair wind
and feeling well enough acquainted, I ran in without
being able to see at all. I feared being caught out in
the equinoxial gale and judging by the distance run
by the watch, that I was within a short distance of
Tarpecker point which makes out from Couradica, I
let go the anchor in three fathoms. In the morning I
found myself exactly where I calculated and got under
way and ran for my former anchorage. Two days after, experienced a tremendous gale from the eastward
and parted my bower cable with three anchors ahead.
The gale lasted forty hours. To judge of its fury,—
I had every yard and mast down on deck, notwithstanding which she drifted, the spray flew over her
like rain and when the gale abated, I could toss a biscuit on the rocks to leeward. The missionary cutter
drove high and dry ashore and the tide was so driven
in as to carry away the settler's fences. Hove up the
two anchors and towed out into a safer berth. I tried
repeatedly but could not recover my lost anchor as it
had settled in the mud.
It was now cold and wet and this weather detained
me putting my rigging in order and restowing the fish
until the 18th of August. During this time I saw much
less of the natives than on my former visit, but was 192
treated by them with the same respect and kindness,
although I was, the best part of the time, the only vessel in the Bay. The weather being so cold the natives
kept much in their huts and the place, wore a gloomy
appearance when compared to my former visit. Now,
when they had hogs to sell, they would take no other
article than blankets in exchange, consequently I
could do nothing in that line. I parted with the only
one I had for two hogs, in fact, I suffered from cold
and want of some necessaries. My stock of sugar, coffee, tea and flour, were all expended, the fish we found
so plenty before, would not bite now and the natives
said it was too cold to set their nets, tho' I promised
them tobacco to bring me some. All the fish food we
got were clams, but for the want of butter to cook
them, they tasted insipid and they would get cold in
the shell e'er we could eat them. I exhausted my description of this place when here last and now I was
too cold and hungry to enlarge upon it. I will only
add, that I saw no reasons to alter opinions before expressed, relative to the missionaries, the British settlers or the natives.
From information here received, I again set sail
for the Caroline Group. I had a favourable chance
and in seven days made the westermost island of the
Fegee Group, called Beta Lib or Big Land. Three
days after, being August the 28th, I made the island
of Rotumah and concluded to stop for yams and other
refreshments so at 12 the next day, came to anchor in
sixteen fathoms in the roads. Here I found an Englishman who had been a second mate of a whaler and
left here sick and producing recommendations from   JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY   OF SALEM
Captain Eagleston and others, as interpreter.   I em-'
ployed him as such.
Rotumah, consists of three small, high islands, instead of one, as laid on the chart, and can be seen sixty
or seventy miles distance. It is laid down forty miles
too far east, on the charts and books. Immediately on
my arrival I had abundance of canoes alongside with
various kinds of fruits, vegetables and shells; all of
which I obtained easily for beads, scissors and coarse
cottons,—the latter of which they are extremely fond
of. They are a harmless, good natured people and one
need not have the least anxiety when among them.
But there are at least twenty convicts among them
who are dangerous fellows. I was aware of this, as I
knew Captain Eagleston had landed an English sailor
here the voyage previous, by his request, and paid him
and these rascals murdered him the first night for his
money which was tied round him, in gold. Besides, I
had been frequently cautioned by several English captains, if I stopped here, to admit none of them on board.
I had never allowed any sailor from shore to come on
board at New Zealand and here I gave my mate strict
orders to the same effect. Several were alongside the
first day but were ordered off. The next day twelve or
fourteen were alongside in the different canoes with
the natives and in spite of the mate, two came on board.
I soon drove them over the bow with a few cuts with a
ropes-end,.as they knew my previous orders and were
The next day I was under the necessity of going on
shore to purchase a lot of yams, and on landing on the
beach I was met and surrounded by nine of these vaga- 194 THE SEA> THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
bonds, part of them entirely naked. They saluted me
with "You threatened to flay me if / came on board,
your ship." I answered that I did and would either or
any of them who did so contrary to my orders. They
told me then, with much insolence, "We were on equal
terms and to do it then!' Being armed with loaded pistols and a dirk, which they had not seen, I drew a
pistol, cocked it and then assured them solemnly, if a
hand was raised or an impediment put in my way of
proceeding, I would silence at least a pair of them and
then proceeded through the gang without seeming to
take farther notice and finished my business. When I
got back to the boat with the yams, these fellows were
still about but not game enough to run the risque of
attacking me. I must confess I did not feel very easy,
while on shore, and I well knew that the least signs of
dread or moving from the purposes of my visit would,
in all probability, be the finishing of me. Consequently
I was not a little happy on getting once more safe on
I was very much pleased with the manners and conduct of these natives. They shew no disposition to take
the least trifle from the decks. On the following Sun-
day, I went on shore at one of the islands called Ware,
about three miles from my anchorage and two from the
large island, — Rotumah, — with Mr. Emery (who resided there), to try to obtain some goats, and my jaunt
there deserves particular mention. I went in Emery's
canoe, having two natives with us. Emery had told me
the landing was bad which was the reason of my not
taking my own boat. When we got there it was bad
indeed and required all the nerve I had to get through. JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "SPY" OF SALEM I95
The rocks were perpendicular and the sea rose and fell
fifteen to eighteen feet. A native stood on the summit
with a rope, which he hove for me to take and by its
help, when the canoe was on the top of the sea, I made
a spring and landed safe. On looking back, the canoe
with Emery in it, was fifteen feet and upwards below
me. He came the next time in the same manner.
I found the island difficult of access, after being safe
on shore, the rocks being rugged and steep. I here saw
the greatest natural curiosity it has ever before been
my fortune to witness. It was, a fountain situated in a
solid rock about one hundred feet long and from five to
ten feet wide and four to twelve feet deep, kept constantly filled with pure, crystal water by a brook running from the summit above. About eight feet from
one side of this fountain was the edge of the precipice;
perpendicular, with the dark of the ocean below. Over
this tremendous fall, which I have no doubt was over
two thousand feet, ran the overplus water. It really
made one dizzy to look over. In fact, I recoiled back
with a feeling not unmixed with horror. I know noth-
ing which has so great a tendency to bring one's mind
so thoroughly to a sense of his own comparative nothingness, as the view of some stupendous work of nature.
Into this lovely bathing tub we went and swam upwards of an hour and I never recollect of having enjoyed a greater refreshment. After walking farther we
arrived at the house of Emery where we got dinner consisting of roast fowls, fried bananas and bread fruit.
The house was very good; in fact, good enough for the
climate. It was built by putting up four posts and
cross-pieces; then poles fastened to these instead of 196
joists; then the whole was covered with palm leaf, perfectly impervious to water. The sides were opened,
when necessary, to let the wind pass through. He had
it quite well and neatly furnished and it reminded me
of the cabin of Robinson Crusoe, in his best estate; but
superior, to poor Crusoe, as he had friendly natives, a
wife and a pretty good quantity of books. I afterward
learned from an English captain, whom I spoke off Ascension, that Emery, whom he knew well, was a worthy
and respectable man and the reason of his living at
this island, was his having a wicked and abandoned
woman for a wife in England, from whom, on his last
return there, he had tried to get divorced but did not
succeed. After dinner, the goats had ranged away and
could not be got, so we spent a greater part of the afternoon ranging about this beautiful place where Nature
seems to have spread her table in the choicest abundance for the supply of those simple children of hers
and left them only the trouble to devour it.
I particularly noticed, what to me indicated a refined and somewhat of a poetic feeling even in a simple
native and this was the care, evidently bestowed upon
their burial ground, — a space of perhaps half an acre,
which was walled in with large rocks about five feet
above the ground. This space was then filled with fine
sand brought from the sea shore of one of the other islands, which must have been a great labour. In this
space the bodies are deposited and a head and foot
stone, even, placed at each grave, to designate where
each body was buried to prevent them from digging
again in the same place.
These people, to my mind, approach by nature near- JOURNAL OF THE BRIG "spy" OF SALEM I97
er to civilization than the New Zealander: Planting
and cultivating their grounds as carefully and regularly as our farmers at home and as a whole they present
an appearance of industry which is very pleasing.
Their hospitality is worthy of much remark. I also
have found that the uncultivated savage, generally,
possesses little or even none of that principle we term
meanness. This certainly (granting the statement to
be true) corroborates the notion that mankind, are not
naturally selfish beings, but made so by the cravings
which are caused by the artificial wants of cultivated
During oUr walks about the island, when we happened to fall in with a house, which were in some places
far apart, I always observed some one would come out
and offer us refreshments. At one of these times I was
alone and saw an aged female making a mat in front of
her cottage. She came up to me, as soon as she saw me,
and offered the water of a green cocoa nut. As I was
very thirsty at the time and the weather very warm, I
received it gratefully and sat by her to rest myself and
see her work. On going away I gave her some tobacco
for which she appeared quite overjoyed. Some hour or
two afterward, while at dinner at Emery's, an old man
brought a large bunch of bananas to the door, as much
as he could well carry and told Emery that it was for
the White Chief who had passed his house some time
since and given his wife some tobacco. I, of course,
gave the poor old fellow a present.
We ascended, during the afternoon, the highest
mountain, to enjoy the freshness of the trade wind.
The ascent was not so very difficult, as I could lay hold 198
of roots and bushes to draw myself along. The descent,
however, was to me both difficult and dangerous. We
had met, on the summit, two natives who were amusing themselves by throwing stones into the ocean below and these kind-hearted fellows, seeing me descend
slowly and with difficulty, in comparison to my companion, came to me and one wished to take me on his
back. I accepted his assistance so far as to place an
arm on his shoulder; the other, went directly in front
to pick out the best tract and prevent my falling. To
prove all this was not done for the sake of reward, let
me say that they were off before I knew of it after we
were down and Emery found some difficulty in finding
them to reward them as they deserved.
When evening came, the wind, which had been
blown fresh all day, had raised such a surf on the landing place as to render it dangerous to launch the canoe
and consequently I was obliged to content myself on
shore in the best manner circumstances would admit.
After tea, I joined the natives on the green where they
had collected, male and female, in a ring, singing the
songs of their country and keeping the most perfect
time by the clapping of hands. Their music was wild,
but to me far from unpleasant. About ten o'clock the
party broke up and I retired to bed in Emery's cottage.
Early in the morning we got two natives and went
to the landing. The surf was breaking much higher
than when we landed but I had determined, if Emery
would risk it, to go on board if possible. We took our
seats in the canoe and the natives pushed it to the edge
of the precipice and when the sea was at the highest,
pushed off and sprung in and I have no hesitation in JOURNAL OF THE BRIG    SPY" OF SALEM
stating that in five seconds we were twenty feet below
and safe, with only a trifle of water in the bottom. At
seven o'clock I was once more on board the Spy.
I continued peaceably to trade with this interesting
people until the 4th of September when I made sail
and continued our route toward the Caroline Islands.
On the 27th of September, in lat. 1.05 S., long. 169.35
East, I saw a small island which was not on any chart.
Bowditch, however, lays Gardner's Isle near here,
which this must be. From this time until the 9th of
November, I was drifting about with W. N. W. and N.
W. winds and squalls from the same quarter and never
less than a two mile hour current setting me dead to
the eastward. In truth, there were times when it appeared that there was small prospect of ever getting to
the N. W. I was set 6" dead off and found myself
among the Ralick chain of islands which, by the way,
are placed wretchedly out of the way in both books and
charts, being seventy miles further to the northward
than placed.
On the 27th of November, I made a large high island, which I presumed to be Ascension, though sixty-
five miles to the westward of its situation on the chart.
I had sailed over that and saw no other appearance of
land than some birds and floating cocoanut trees. The
current setting strong to the eastward I steered west
and at length saw land. I continued standing off and
on for several days without being able to find any opening in the reefs (with which the island was surroun-
ed) to obtain an anchorage for the vessel. The natives
came off, when the weather admitted (I had frequent THE SEA, THE SHIP AND THE SAILOR
and very heavy squalls) and some of them brought
considerable quantities of shell.
On the 20th day, a canoe came off with an Irishman
in her, who said he could show me a fine harbour. After
assuring him that his life should be the immediate for-
feit if he led me into any trap, I followed his directions
and found an opening in the reef of ^ to ^2 mile wide,
and ran in and anchored in three fathoms in as secure a
place as possibly could be. I should think that 150
canoes came to meet me as I rounded the point but I
suffered none to come on board. As they were so numerous I fired four guns and being the first vessel, so
far, in I named the port New Salem. Got up my boarding nettings and stationed a sentry on each side the
deck and another in the foretop and then commenced
trading with the natives who had a great abundance
of vegetables, fowls, &c. with a considerable quantity
of shell.
The white man told me that a Botany Bay ship left
the coast only ten days before, after obtaining upwards
of seven hundred pounds of shell and in consequence I
should find it much scarcer than usual. Very soon,
however, a lot of whites came off with a qu