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Zimmermann's account of the third voyage of Captain Cook. 1776-1780 Zimmermann, Heinrich, of Wiesloch, active 18th century 1926

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Translated by
of the Library Staff, "
under <iin'<-tion of
I .i In" a rial).
With a few Explanatory Notes.
Published by the Alexander Tuinbull Library, under the authority
of the Hon. the Minister of Internal Affairs.
km? ■
His Excellency
Baron of the Empire, Electoral Highness of the Pfalz, etc., etc..
Chamberlain, Cabinet and Conference Minister, Court Judge.
Chief Director of the Salt Commission, also of the Electoral Yachts,
Superintendent and Honorary President of the Electoral
Academy of Science,
and Knight of the Electoral Order of the Lion.
this book is respectfully dedicated
Wissloch, in the Palatinate.
C. F. Schwan, Publisher-in-Ordinary to the Electorate
I HAVE long been endeavouring to decide whether I should be doing
a wrong in making public the observations made by me during our
voyage. Then it occurred to me that it was the duty of the crew to
give up their-papers : that Great Britain, having been at great expense
in fitting out and keeping up this exploring expedition, alone had the
right to publish the observations of her navigators ; that we had been
paid for our services, and that we were therefore bound to yield up to
England any notes which we might have kept during our voyage.
To all these scruples I have a few remarks to make, and I wish to
set forth the reasons which have nevertheless moved me to write down
my personal observations.
Is it likely that this incomplete record, which comes from the pen
of a simple sailor, will ever be compared with the properly accredited
narratives to be published in England ? And can it prejudice them' in
any way ? Is it not more likely that it is I who will have cause to
fear that my book will be unsaleable, will be ignored and neglected,
because the world is awaiting the more complete, the more correct
narratives written by those who were able to see more than I ?
Therefore  I alone will suffer.
Would the publication of my book be likely to forestall in any way
those accredited accounts to be published at some future date in
England ? To this I can reply with the assurance that much that is
new, much that I have not touched upon, and of which I have not
even thought, will be presented in those narratives, that they will be
much more important, and that the information given therein will still
be fresh.
And is it not perhaps something new, something which may not be
expected of England, when a plain sailor describes these events to the
public in his own way? "VVill it not perhaps be an entirely different
mode of expression which he will choose ? And can his path cross
that of more experienced observers ?
Besides, I was under no contract to sell my memory, and, if I have
retained memories of all that I have seen, why should I not have the
right to tell my story in my own way, to relate it to others, or to
write it down and have it printed ?    It is impossible for a traveller to
forget what he has seen, and never to speak of it or to write about it.
It was these convictions, confirmed by the advice of friends, which
decided me to publish this book.
I think, therefore, that I shall be exonerated from all blame by
right-thinking people and by the English themselves, whose friendship I
should be unwilling to forfeit.
Further, I should like to say a few words regarding possible mistakes
which may have occurred in this narrative in the spelling of new and
little-known names. My education has not been such that I am in a
position to recognize mistakes, or to seek for information in books, and
thus there will certainly be errors. If the matter to be dealt with
were not of such importance as to merit attention, then I should
not have the right to send this my book out into the world with so
little preparation. May it therefore be. received with indulgence by all
right-thinking people ;  and to such I commend it.
I COMMENCED my wanderings in the year 1770, and, being unable to
obtain work in my profession of belt-maker, partly because at that
time I had little knowledge of foreign languages and partly on
account of the lack of artisans, I was forced to take to other means of
earning my livelihood, so that at one time I was employed at Geneva by
a brazier, and also by a gilder; at another time at Lyons by a bell-
founder ; and again by a sword-cutler at Paris ; and in a sugar-refinery in
The natural courage of a native of the Palatinate determined me to
adopt a seafaring life, and as in the year 1776 two war-sloops, the old
" Resolution " and " Discovery," were being sent out by Great Britain
on an exploring expedition, on 11th March of the same year I signed on
on the latter ship as a common sailor.
The I Resolution " had 112 men and sixteen guns, and the " Discovery "
72 men and twelve guns on board : the former was commanded by the
famous circumnavigator Captain James Cook as Commodore, and the
latter by Captain Charles Clerke.
On 12th May of the aforesaid year—1776—both ships put to sea from
the port of Deptford, and after we had laid in the requisite supplies of
ammunition at Woolwich and of provisions at Plymouth the " Resolution "
sailed on 12th July, her immediate goal being the Cape of Good Hope.
The " Discovery" was prevented from leaving at this time, but she
followed the A Resolution " on 1st August.
The principal object of the voyage was the discovery of a passage
between the two continents of America and Asia on the north-western or
north-eastern side, and for this a prize of £10,000 had been offered, or a
further sum of £5,000 if we reached the 5th degree from the Pole. The
well-known Tahitian O-mai was also to be returned to his home.
At the outset of the voyage I resolved to write down all the discoveries
and events of the voyage, so far as my limited ability would permit; but
fearing—as indeed proved to be the case—that we sailors would be obliged
either to give up, or to destroy, all papers dealing with public matters,
I took the precaution to provide myself with a little notebook, and write
down briefly, and in the German language, all the principal events which
took place. It is from this notebook, which I was fortunately able to
preserve, and from my memory, that I have drawn the materials for this
my description of Cook's fourth [third] and last voyage round the world.
From Plymouth our course was set towards the promontory of the Cape
of Good Hope, almost directly south, and past the Canary Islands, off the
kingdom of Morocco, in Africa, and we bore towards the south-east without
setting foot upon a single island.
On 23rd September, whilst we were under way, a marine corporal of
the name of Herrison* fell overboard through clumsiness; a boat with five
men was lowered to rescue him, but on account of the approach of night
and the strong wind which had arisen they were unable to save him ; the
violence of the wind was such that we very nearly lost the five rescuers.
We arrived safely at the Cape of Good Hope on 10th November, about
eleven days later than Captain Cook. After mending our sails and tackle,
and taking aboard further supplies of provisions, so that with the stores
we had shipped in England we were provided with rations for a full
twenty-two months, and after adding a pair of peacocks, two stallions and
two mares, two bulls and two cows, to the large flock of goats and sheep
which we had taken aboard in England, both ships left the Cape on 1st
We made our course towards the cape of a mainland said to have been
discovered by France some years earlier, and on 11th December we found,
at about the 42nd degree south latitude, two small islands, which lay
opposite each other, the one towards the south and the other towards the
north.f We passed between these two islands, and on the 24th of the same
month, being incidentally in the 49th degree south latitude and about the
70th degree east longitude (Greenwich reckoning), we arrived at a land of
considerable size. J
Here we cast anchor, on a rocky bottom, and that same night an arm
of the "Discovery's " bower anchor broke off. As the ship began to drift,
we at once let down another anchor; fortunately this held, and at daybreak the next morning—that is to say, on the 25th—we found that a
great rock with a projecting point was standing right out of the. sea
scarcely 20 ft. astern, and that we were in, imminent danger of shipwreck.
In order to extricate ourselves from this dangerous position we sailed
with extreme difficulty round the coast against the wind and found a
comfortable harbour where both ships came safely and quietly to anchor.
On the 26th, under a heap of stones piled up by human hands, we found
a battered bottle containing a letter written in French. Commodore Cook
kept the contents of the letter secret, and sailed round from the south to.
the east of the land ; he discovered in this way that it was only a middle-
sized island, and he expressed the opinion that the French, who had
regarded it as a south mainland, and had named it Cap de la Circoncision,
had been in error.§
The island is rocky, desolate, and unfruitful, and has neither trees
nor shrubs—nor, indeed, plants of any kind :   it is mountainous and has
* No doubt, Harrison.
f Islands discovered by Marion du Fresne, and Crozet, in January, 1772. The
French discoverers did not name them, nor those of a group of four close by, so Cook
named the two islands Prince Edward's Islands, after His Majesty's fourth son, and the
other four Marion and Crozet's Islands.
{ The land was Kerguelen's Land, and they arrived there on 25th December.
§ Cook was in doubt as to who had left the record in the bottle, knowing no more
than the fact that Europeans had been there before him. He knew that Kerguelen
had been in these parts, but was not "aware of the extent of his discoveries, part only
of which he had learned. The record was left by Kerguelen during his second visit to
the island, 17th December, 1773. Cook's confusion is shown by the entry in his journal,
where he says, " I supposed it to be left by Monsieur de Boisguehenheu, who went on
shore in a boat, on the 13th of February, 1772, the same day that Monsieur de Kerguelen
discovered this land." He did not know of the second visit the following year. The
harbour in which they lay they called Christmas Harbour, as they celebrated that day
many fresh-water streams. Here we found a large number of penguins ;
so thick, indeed, were they that we were scarcely able to land, and had to
drive them away before doing so. We also killed great numbers of seals
and sea-lions, the fat of which we melted down and used for our lamps.
On this island—and, indeed, everywhere in this region—it was very cold,
in spite of the fact that it was summer-time; the thermometer rose only
to 31° Fahrenheit, which is conclusive proof that the cold in the Southern
Hemisphere is much greater than in the Northern.
After a stay of four days at this place, we set sail again on the 27th,
with a strong but favourable wind, setting our course north-east.
On 26th January, 1777, we arrived at the southernmost part of New
Holland, the so-called Van Diemen's Land,* and cast anchor in a convenient
harbour at about 42J degrees south latitude and 150 east longitude.
As there were several good springs here and a plentiful supply of wood,
preparations were made to provision the ships with both.
Very soon seven of the native inhabitants appeared on the shore and
began to play with the bungs which were lying on the water-barrels ; then
they turned the barrels over and rolled them to and fro, without, however,
disturbing us in our work in the least.
From the bush where we were collecting our supplies we could hear
the laughter and the cries of joy; we ran in alarm to the boats, in which
we had left our guns, and the sub-lieutenant, Mr. Hume, a Scotchman,
fired off a gun over the heads of the natives. The latter, who had shown
no fear when we came out of the bush, and who quietly continued their
games, upon hearing the shot, set up a pitiful cry, struck their heads with
the palms of their hands, and hurried away into the forest.
Captain Cook was very angry at this careless act, because, in spite of
every effort, he had been unable, on his former voyages, to get into friendly
terms with the natives on the whole of the coast of New Holland, nor had
he observed any inhabitants on this coast of Van Diemen's Land with
which we are now concerned.
The same day, Cook, with some of the men, went a good distance
inland, and was fortunate enough to bring about nine of the natives back
with him. He made them presents of mirrors, white shirts, bead necklaces, and some medals of His Majesty King George III of Great
Britain, and this produced such a good effect that the following day forty-
nine native men and women came to us of their own accord. Some of
these also received presents, but, like their companions of the previous
day, could not be persuaded to come aboard our ships.
The skins of these people are of a very dark brown colour ; they have
short woolly hair, and, as Captain Cook informed us, resemble very closely
the inhabitants of the coast of New Holland. They go about quite naked,
neither men nor women wearing so much as a loin-cloth. The women
carry their babies slung on their backs in a skin, and take them with them
wherever they go. They have a fine dialect, but none of us, not even
O-mai, could understand a word of their language. They are not very
well built, and amongst them we noticed a much-crippled and hunchbacked
man, who, besides this deformity, marked himself out from his companions
by having fiery red woolly hair. This man, however, judging from the
respectful bearing cf the other natives towards him, seemed to be one of
* " The so-called Van Diemen's Land."    Cook took this to be a peninsula, m
is why Zimmermann calls it the southernmost part of New Holland (Australia).
their chiefs. None of the natives appeared to carry weapons of any kind,
and we therefore concluded that they were good, inoffensive people :
Captain Cook repeatedly remarked upon the difference between these people
and the unsociable and wild inhabitants of the coast of New Holland.
So far as we were able to discover in the short time we were there,
their food consisted of mussels, oysters, and various kinds of fish, as well
as of roots of all descriptions. There were no traces either of agriculture
or of fruit-trees ; and we came upon no huts ; when we gave them bread
they took it, but immediately threw it away.
On the approach of the cold winter months of June, July, and August
these people would appear, like the Tartar, to change their place of abode,
and move farther north. This conjecture seems to be rendered the more
conclusive by the fact that Captain Cook had never before met with any
of the inhabitants along this coast. I was unable to discover anything
regarding their religion and customs, as we left these shores for New
Zealand on the fourth day.
On 4th February, during a storm, one of the marines fell overboard
and was drowned.    We were unable to save him.
On the 12th we arrived in New Zealand, of which country Captain Cook
had previously drawn a complete map of the parts discovered by him, the
land being divided into two parts, separated by a strait. We cast anchor
in Queen Charlotte Sound, in the strait now known as Cook Strait.
Here Captain Cook made inquiries as to how, on his previous voyage,
nine men of the crew of Captain Fourneaux, who had become separated
from him during a storm, had been killed by the New-Zealanders. The
latter quite unreservedly told Captain Cook—who, like O-mai, understood
their language—how this had happened, and that the men killed had
afterwards been cooked and eaten. The murder was committed because one
of the sailors had stolen something from the hut of some of the inhabitants,
and when the latter demanded it back again one of them was struck.* We
found the spot where the attack and murder had taken place, and where
many bones were to be seen. The native, by the name of Pedro, who had
struck down the first man and who had been the one chiefly concerned in
the matter, was often on board our ships. This Pedro was of exceptional
stature and strength, and at the same time very agile. Presumably he
had received his name from some of the Spanish or other nationalities
who had previously visited these shores.f Captain Cook took every
precaution while we were among these dangerous cannibals, but nevertheless we were surprised one night in the two tents which we had erected on
shore by about twenty-five or thirty natives; but when they perceived
that we were on the watch, and saw us seize our weapons, they took to
flight, taking with them no further plunder than an iron spoon for boiling
The island is not very populous, and that which Captain Cook suspected was confirmed by two boys of about twelve and nine years whom
he had taken with him on our departure on 23rd February; these boys
informed him that there were almost constant feuds between the families,
and those who were slain were cooked and eaten.
* The account of this affair differs in Cook, where the New-Zealanders are said to
have been the thieves.   On their being beaten they resented it, and the quarrel ensued.
t The name was given by Cook's people during an earlier visit. His proper name
is given by Cook as Matahouah.
Both boys were frequently on our ships, and they became so accustomed
to us that they willingly went with us when we left.    Captain Cook took
" them ashore the day before we left, but they would not stay, and preferred
to go with us.
It is unnecessary to give any description of New Zealand, as detailed
descriptions have already been given in Cook's previous accounts of his
We took our course north-eastwards towards the Society or Tahitian
Islands, but on account of an adverse trade-wind which sprang up in about
the 26th degree south latitude we were obliged to change our course and
strike towards the west.
On 29th March, in about the 21st degree south latitude and 200th degree
east longitude, we discovered an unknown island; what was the name
given it by Captain Cook I did not learn.* On the shores we saw a large
crowd of tall, handsome people, all armed with wooden spears and cross-
bo ws.f Two of them came out towards us quite confidently in a boat,
and Captain Cook made every endeavour, by displaying before them various
presents, to persuade them to come closer, but in vain. Captain Clerke then
tried to cut them off on the land side, and to manoeuvre so that their boat
lay between our two ships, but this they observed and made all haste
towards the land. J
Captain Cook then sent three boats with crews and presents off shore-
wards, and we tried in every way to make friends with them, but they held
themselves on the defensive and would deign to notice neither us nor the
There was no convenient place here to cast anchor, and as,' on account
of the reefs and coral rocks which surrounded the coast, it would have been
extremely dangerous to attempt to land with the boats, we were forced to
continue our voyage without having set foot on the island.
On 31st March, in about the same degree south latitude and in the
198th degree east longitude, we discovered another unknown island, of
which I was also unable to learn the name.§ There was no entrance at all
to the shore; we tacked to and fro, but again could find no convenient
place to cast anchor, and, as at the previous island, we were unable to land
in consequence of the reefs and rocks which surrounded the island close to
the shores, so here, as before, we were obliged to abandon the attempt to
get ashore.
A great crowd of the native inhabitants collected immediately we
appeared off the coast; they seemed to be making friendly signs to us,
and. two of them came off to us in a canoe. After refusing for some time,
they took the presents which we offered them and finally came on board our
ships. They gave us clearly to understand that we might come ashore
and visit them, and that they would treat us in a friendly manner. O-mai,
who. understood their language fairly well, and Lieutenants Gore and
Burney, wished to make an attempt to land ; crews of picked men were
selected for three boats, but, as before, we found this undertaking too
* Cook writes : " We enquired the name of the island, which they called Mangy a
or Mangeea ;  and sometimes added to it Nooe, nai, naiwa    .    .    ."
t Zimmermann nearly always speaks of the ordinary bow as the crossbow ; there
were no crossbows in the Pacific.
I Two natives, one of them called Mourooa, came on board Cook's ship.
§ Wateeoo is the name given in Cook.    It is one of the Hervey Islands.
Some of the natives, obsessing that we hesitated to trust our boats to
the surf and the swell, came out to us in their canoes and offered to take
us aboard and set us on shore. We had already noticed that these people ■
waited on the reefs and rocks with their canoes for the swell, and passed
over in safety ; in this respect they were better seamen than we were.
The two aforementioned officers and O-mai decided to accept their offer,
more especially as they saw that a very large crowd of people had collected
on the shore all holding green branches in their hands, and therefore quite
evidently desiring our friendship.
Between 2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon they reached the beach safely
with their native conductors, and on their arrival some of the men, in their
jubilation, took the boat on to their shoulders, and carried it ashore with
its human cargo.
Whilst we sailors awaited the two officers and O-mai behind a reef
with the boats, some of the natives swam out to us and brought coconuts,
plantains, bananas, and shaddocks* (a kind of fruit, which, except for its
size, closely resembles the sweet orange).
Towards 6 o'clock in the evening—after we had been considerably
disturbed and rendered uneasy by their lengthy absence—our two officers
and O-mai returned in one of the canoes of the islanders, to the accompaniment of the cries of joy of the inhabitants They informed us that the
islanders were an extremely sociable and friendly people, and they specially
praised the very agreeable freedom of the women, at whose door it is probable
that the blame for their lengthy absence on the island might be laid.
Strange to say, O-mai found five of his countrymen on this island, who,
as they told him, had been driven ashore in their miserable boats during a
storm, the Tahitian Islands being distant 1,150 miles.f
Circumstances seemed to point to the fact that it was entirely due to
the presence of these countrymen of O-mai, who had already had cause to
know and trust us, that we met with such a friendly reception here.
The island itself is somewhat low-lying, but is rich in fruit-trees, and
from a distance resembles a most beautiful fruit-garden : it is probably
about forty-five miles in circumference.
The complexion of the inhabitants is of about the same shade as that
of the Tahitians, and they wear loin-cloths artistically made of plaited grass ;
beyond this, they are devoid of clothing.
On 3rd April, in about the 19th degree south latitude and 197 east
longitude, we came upon yet another previously undiscovered island, of
which I am again unable to give the name. J This island, too, is low-lying,
and has many fruit-bearing trees ; it is inconsiderable in size. We could
find here no convenient harbour in which to cast anchor, but nevertheless
we got ashore with our boats. There were on the island neither human
beings nor fresh-water springs, but we came upon the remains of ruined
canoes and huts, indicating that it had once been inhabited.
On the 7th April, at the aforementioned south latitude, and at approximately 1.96 degrees east longitude, we again discovered a small island.§
* Shaddocks are probably intended by the German word Schedyx used by
"j" Zimmermann gives the distance as 230 German miles, which would be equivalent
to 1,150 English miles.    Cook gives it as 200 leagues.
t Wenooa-ettee [Maori Whenua-iti], or Otakoataia, is the name given by Cook,
the island lying 3 or 4 leagues from Wateeoo.    It is another of the Hervey Group.
§ Hervey's Island, discovered by Cook on his previous voyage, the native name
being Terouggemou Atooa.
Many of the islanders came out to us in their boats, -but they were aii
armed with wooden spears and crossbows ■; they would accept no presents,
appeared to be very savage, and gave us to understand by signs that if we
approached the island they would kill us. There was no convenient landing-
place and therefore Captain Cook took little pains to secure the friendship
of the natives, and we continued on our way.
On 14th April we landed on Palmerston Island, which is uninhabited,
and which was discovered by Cook during his previous voyage. It lies in
the 18th degree south latitude and the 195th degree east longitude. Here
we chopped down many coconut-trees, and made use of the fruit; these
were a boon to us, as since the 6th of the month, on both ships, our usual
rations had been reduced by one-third, and half a measure (one pint) of
water per man had been served out daily.
After a three-days sojourn here we left under sail on the 17th, and
on the 24th we passed, in about the 20th degree south latitude and the
191st degree east longitude, the island discovered by Cook on a previous
voyage (1774), and called by him Savage Island, on account of the
unfriendly nature of the inhabitants. On the 28th we reached the island
of Rotterdam, or Anamoka.
On this island, discovered some time before and already well known,
we were received very courteously by one of the chiefs, Finau by name,
a well-built, handsome man of middle age, and of considerable natural wit.
Captain Cook made him a present of a string of beads and an axe, and
Finau then gave orders that we should be supplied with provisions ; whereupon the natives brought us an abundance of pigs, fowls, plantains, pisangs,
coconuts, yams, and the so-called breadfruit.
Captain Cook in return presented them with nails, knives, mirrors,
scissors, and glass beads, and forbade the crew, in trading, to give more
than he himself had given ; he also ordered that until the ships were
sufficiently provisioned no further barter should be carried on with the
natives. He brought Finau aboard our ships, and entertained him with
music on the French horn, the fife, and the drum : the chief listened
attentively, and ~ apparently with pleasure, but did not behave like the
rest of the natives, who struck their hands over their heads with
O-mai, whose native tongue had much in common with that of these
people, was able to be of use as interpreter.
Captain Cook inquired of Finau whether there were other islands in that
latitude which might be unknown to us, and Finau showed him the position
of several, reckoning by the afternoon stin. When we left on the 8th May
with our course set in the direction of the islands, Finau went ahead in his
own boat, and without the assistance of the magnetic needle, and without
even having his face towards the island, he not only showed us the way
—to the great astonishment of our captain—but he also indicated the
depth of the water by extending his arms, and we were able to follow him
in our large ships, with the greatest confidence.
On the same evening, in about the 22nd degree south latitude and the
186th east longitude, we came upon the largest of these islands. Here we
found another chief, of the name of Fetesi, a tall old man of exceptional
corpulence, who, together with the rest of the inhabitants, received us
courteously. Captain Cook styled this land Friendly Island ; the three
neighbouring islands had already been named Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and
Middleburg. We did not visit the other islands indicated to us by Finau,
as they were, so he told us, very small.
Inset 1—Cook's Third Voyage.
 ,. On the 10th we. held a display of fireworks on the newly-discovered
island. Finau expressed a desire to throw a rocket, and, permission being
given him, he lighted it, and flung it up into the air with as much vigour
and;with as good an aim as any European. On the 11th Captain Cook
sent out the marines from the two ships, numbering about thirty-two men,
with music, and with flags flying, and these showed, by manoeuvres, how
war was carried on in Europe ; we also fired some shots from our small
firearms among the trees to show the effects of powder. This performance
much amazed the natives, and Finau asked many questions as to the
meaning of it all.
The following day Finau called out all the warriors on the island, and in
return gave an exhibition of their mode of carrying on warfare. The men
were divided into two parties : each warrior wore a garment ingeniously
plaited from the bark of trees, which reached from the hips to the knees,
and was secured by a girdle of plaited grass dyed red. Their weapons
consisted of a hard piece of wood formed at the end in a sharp square, and
with a rounded handle; these were about 2 J-ft. long and carved with
great art. For this performance, however, weapons were prepared of soft,
green wood, in order to avoid injuries. Upon Finau giving, the order for
the fight to begin the warriors came forward one by one and called out
an opponent from the ranks of the enemy.    We
exceedingly surprised
to see how cleverly, and with what art, each man attacked his opponent,
and how the latter, with dexterous bends and twists of his body, parried
the opposing weapon. The vanquished had to retire, leaving his weapon
behind him, and was not permitted to return to his party, and the victors
set up cries of joy, of which the refrain seemed as nearly as possible to be
ho-a-ma-to-to; it was very harmonious and pleasing to listen to.
Upon Finau's orders .the warriors then gave us an exhibition of a
description of hand-to-hand encounter. Each man bound the fingers of
both hands firmly together with cords made of plaited and dyed grass, leaving both thumbs free, and an opponent was then challenged. The thumbs
were set on each others hips and driven into the aforementioned girdle,
and the successful combatant drove his adversary with such, force and
speed to the ground that the weaker was unable to offer any resistance.
Some of the strongest members of our crew tried a fall with some of the
native warriors, but the skill of the latter was such that we Europeans
were quite unable to throw them.
Having laid in a store of supplies at this island of the same kind as
those secured on the island of Rotterdam, we sailed on 25th May. This land
is low-lying, and has a fair number of fresh-water springs, but the water
is not always good ; the springs are, besides, a long way from the coast.
The island is scarcely two and a half miles in breadth, but is from twenty
to twenty-four in length.* It is very fruitful; sweet potatoes and yams
are cultivated, and fruit-bearing trees are frequently planted in regular
On the 28th we landed on the north-eastern side of the island of
Amsterdam, or Tongatabu, in the so-called Maria Bay, where we were
well sheltered on the one side by a coral reef, and on the other by some
small islands.
* Zimmermann here uses " deutsche Stunden" (German hours) as measures„ of
length. In this respect a German hour is equivalent to a distance of 2£ miles—a
distance that can be walked in an hour.
The entering of this harbour was a difficult and dangerous task;
indeed, it had previously been regarded by navigators as an impossibility;
-but because the so-called Tasman's Roadstead, on the northrwestern side
of the island, is so unsafe Captain Cook in spite of all dangers dauntlessly
determined to accomplish this entry. Taking advantage of the ebb and
flow, which here has a range of 8 ft., we crossed over the coral reef. Three
boats preceded us, and the lead was kept going constantly. The depth
of the water varied considerably; sometimes it was scarcely 12 ft., and we
had to be vigilant to avoid the shoals, and also careful to follow the boat
which indicated to us the deep water. Three times the " Resolution "
struck rocks, but happily without suffering any injury.
Three days after our arrival at the island of Rotterdam, Fetesi and
Finau met us according to appointment. Captain Cook presented Fetesi
with a bull, a cow, three goats, and a pair of ducks, and Finau with a stallion
and a mare. We taught Finau to ride, and his efforts to acquire this art
were exceedingly droll to watch. His delight over this gift was such that he
could speak of nothing but his two horses. Both chiefs then exerted themselves to make us presents in return, and these consisted of two pyramids
of yams in a square about 4 ft. wide and 20 ft. high, artistically piled up,
with a roast pig at the summit of each, and a large number of living pigs
below, with their legs tied together.
In order to present us with these gifts, Finau fetched us from the ships.
On our arrival we found the people divided into three large groups, and
each group arranged in a circle. The bodies and heads of some of the
people were decorated with garlands. They danced and leapt; sometimes each group sang separately, sometimes they sang all together. This
song was, like the previously described war-song, very harmonious ; the
words I can no longer remember.
On this island we met another chief, a tall, spare man of middle age,
who was no less courteous and friendly towards us than Finau and Fetesi ;
his native name has escaped my memory. Since during the ceremonies
just described the performers were separated into three groups, I presumed
that each chief has his special group.
Fetesi and Finaii were exceedingly desirous of obtaining information
as to our religion, customs, and form of government, and Captain Cook
exerted himself, so far as his knowledge of the language permitted, to
satisfy them in this respect. He further expressed a desire to be shown
how the islanders carried out their worship, and Fetesi gave him to understand that in three days' time he might visit him on the other side of the
island, where he had his own house. This invitation was accepted, and
when on the appointed day we reached the place indicated we found that
these heathens had prepared a great idolatrous festival and that Fetesi
was the high priest.
The sanctuary was a square temple built entirely of wood, 40 ft. in
length and 30 ft. in breadth, the walls being about 20 ft. high and padded
with leaves and grass ; the beams were decorated in a thousand forms
with architectural designs of bands of many-coloured grasses, and the roof
was covered with coconut-leaves.
My observations of the exterior and interior of the temple were made
before the commencement of the ceremonies ; but as to the ceremonies
themselves, I can give no account of them, as before they began we were
obliged to withdraw to some distance, and could only look on from afar.
Captain Cook and OTinai were alone permitted to enter the temple ;   even
the heathen worshippers themselves were excluded. Finau and the other
chiefs of the island, having met together at a spot some distance away,
marched two by two in a regular procession to the temple, each pair
carrying on a pole a sacrifice, which consisted of pigs, fruit, and fish.
These were laid down before the temple, the chiefs fell on their faces,
prayed after their manner and in their own language, retiring again to
the previous meeting-place in procession in the same order as before, but
leaving the offerings where laid down. The sacrifice remained on the spot
as long as we were on the island.
When Captain Cook and O-mai came out of the temple and joined us
again the Captain told us that all they had seen had been exceedingly
interesting ; he did not, however, inform us what took place, except that
Fetesi had requested that both he and O-mai should, like himself, remove
all their clothing, and wear nothing but a loin-cloth. O-mai, he said, being
a heathen, at once complied with this request, but he himself had refused,
and Fetesi finally agreed that he should leave only his hat behind, but
should unfasten his queue and let his hair hang loose.
During our stay on this island of Amsterdam we laid in a good stock
of firewood, and on one of the smaller islands where we landed we were
able to secure a good supply of fresh water. On the 12th July we left,
again under sail.
We were unable to take the previous dangerous way back, as the ships
were now more heavily laden with provisions, and their draught therefore
increased ; but Captain Cook had discovered in the meantime, having
sent a boat out for this purpose, a secure passage between the main island
and the smaller islands towards the south-west, which passage was 40 ft.
wide and 7 fathoms deep at the entrance to the harbour, but which widened
considerably a little farther ahead ; this should be of great value to other
navigators. Through this strait we made a safe passage to the island of
Middleburg, which we reached on 15th July.*
We remained here for only three days—that is to say, until the 17th.
The inhabitants resembled those of the other Friendly Islands. The island
itself is not flat like the others, but is nevertheless very fruitful.
On the last day of our stay Captain Cook's servant went inland with
some of the native women to whom he had taken a fancy, but meeting
on the way with some native men he was stripped of his clothing and had
to return to the ship quite naked. Captain Cook took no action against
the participators in this event; on the contrary, he scolded his servant
for his lack of caution. The latter had to suffer, too, the banter of the
entire crew.
Throughout the Friendly Islands we remarked the peculiar circumstance that the entire population, both male and female, had the little
finger of the right hand cut off at seven or eight years of age ; as I could
find no reason for this, I concluded that it was a religious custom. On
these islands, too, the warriors were marked out from the rest of the people
by having the hair on the left side of the head dyed yellow, while that on
the right side was left the natural colour : even Finau and the other chief of
the island of Amsterdam already mentioned wore their hair in this way.
I presume that the island of Middleburg also has its special chief—on
account of the shortness of our stay I did not discover him—and that
Fetesi is  the  head chief and also  the  high  priest   for the entire  group.
* The dates here differ considerably from those in Cook's journal.
Evidently the other chiefs have- a share in the government, and also in the
control of the warriors ; the gift of the two horses to Finau was therefore
most suitable.
It is a remarkable fact that these heathens punish adultery with death.
We came upon an example of this in Tongatabu, or Amsterdam, where an
adulterer was killed by the chiefs, or ehris,* with their wooden war-clubs.
Throughout the whole voyage we found not a single man who could
equal Finau for inborn intelligence, for decision, greatness of soul, and
goodness of character. These characteristics he showed on every occasion,
and in particular he gave evidence of his ability in everything to do with
matters of warfare and in all physical exercises. On one occasion he
sprang from our ship, which was running under full sail, into the sea, and
after turning over and over in the water, to our great astonishment,' he
swung himself into his boat.
On leaving Middleburg we set our course—a favourable westerly trade-
wind having sprung up—towards the Society Islands, and on 29th July,
whilst under way, the head of the mainmast of the " Discovery " was sprung
between 7 and 8 o'clock in the evening, during an exceptionally violent
storm, and most of the sails were torn. The mainmast itself was split, and
therefore we were in a position of great danger, but we took the best means
at our disposal of repairing the damage: we bound the mainmast with
rope, fixed a jury topmast at the head, and set a sail upon it : in this way
we were able to continue our voyage.f On 12th August we reached the
peninsula of O-tahiti Beehr,J and cast anchor in the harbour of Aitexiha.§
Here O-mai, who was known to all the inhabitants, was well received,
and all listened with interest and amazement to his story of what he had
done in England, and of the presents he had received. Young, and old too,
greeted Captain Cook with every sign of joy, crying, Ehri no te tuti Mai tai,
which means " The chief Captain Cook is good."
On going ashore we found a house built of oak, erected by the Spaniards
two years before when they visited the Tahiti Islands for the first time ;
also a wooden cross, on which was carved the name of the King of Spain,
and that of the Spanish captain who was buried there. In the interior
of the house we found a barrel of Spanish writings,|| and a Spanish garment.
Captain Cook had the cross pulled up, and, as a sign that England had,
through Captain Wallis, discovered this island before the Spaniards, he
caused the name of the Bang of England to be carved on the reverse side,
together with the date of discovery—namely, 1767 ; the cross was then
restored to its place.
On 16th August we reached the other peninsula of O-tahiti,^} anchored
in Matavai Bay, and erected our tents on Venus Point, where Captain Cook,
* Zimmermann often speaks of a chief by the Polynesian word rendered ehri. This
does not look very much like the Maori ariki, but is the same word; the Hawaiians
drop the " k," its place being taken by a catch in the breath—ari'i—which is not far
removed from ehri. Many of these seemingly arbitrary spellings are very useful, as
they are phonetic, and often give a good idea of the sound of the word as heard by the
one who writes it. -1.1
f Zimmermann here speaks of the maintopmast as the one injured, but later on
says it was the mainmast, and this agrees with Cook.
J The spelling of this is Oheitepeha Bay in Cook.
§ This name does not occur in Cook's narrative of this date. The anchorage was
in Matavai Bay, immediately west of a small peninsula on the north coast of Tahiti.
|| Cook does not mention this important fact of Spanish writings (? manuscripts,
or papers) being found amongst the other Spanish relics.
If § the other peninsula . . ." Tahiti consists of two fairly equal bodies of land
connected with a narrow isthmus.
Green, and Solander had taken the observations of the transit of Venus
in 1769.
Our commander was well received here by the king, whose name was
O-tou. The king was astonished at the presence of O-mai, and at the rich
gifts he had brought with him from England.
O-mai presented the king with various ironware articles, and received
in return a double canoe and a crew of sixteen men. This new possession
of a well-made boat and a crew with which he could sail comfortably from
one island to another turned O-mai's head, and he became not a little vain.
Amongst other gifts presented to O-tou was a silk dressing-gown and
a pair of slippers. These articles were easy to put on and therefore suitable
for a Tahitian, who knows little of clothing. The captain showed him how
to put them on, and after O-tou had expressed his joy at this new acquisition he suddenly left us, and when he believed himself sufficiently far away
to be no longer seen he took off the -dressing-gown, and, carrying it under
his arm, and with the slippers in his hand, he hurried away and exhibited
them to his family. Later, Captain Cook caused an oak chest, with lock,
to be made, in which O-tou might safely lock up the presents he had
O-titi, a young chief, who had accompanied Captain Cook on one of his
previous voyages into the South Seas, and his sister, a very beautiful young
woman, likewise received many fine gifts from our commander; the girl
was given, amongst other things, the silk train of a gown, and O-titi a silk
dressing-gown. The young chief understood better than the king how to
use these things.
In spite of the fact that he had been only a short time with Cook on the
previous voyage, O-titi's broken English was as good as that of O-mai,
who had spent two years in England ; it would most certainly have
improved considerably if he had been able to come with us to Europe, for
this young man, besides his fine physique, possessed many natural gifts.
Whilst we were occupied ashore in repairing the mainmast of the
" Discovery," which, as before mentioned, was damaged on the voyage,
some of the inhabitants, who had been out to sea, fishing, brought us word
that they had seen two large Spanish ships.* Judging from these people's
description, this seemed highly probable, and we thought the ships were
most likely war-frigates. Fearing an attack, as the Spanish resent the
presence of the English in the South Seas, we prepared for a conflict, and,
as the " Discovery's " mast was not yet ready, we laid her on spring
cables, so that, as there was no sail, we could turn her at will. The
reported ships, however, were never sighted, and I am unable to say
whether the natives had spoken the truth or no.
On 18th August we gave a display of fireworks in honour of King O-tou,
and on the 20th the inhabitants gave us an exhibition of naval warfare.f
King O-tou was in command of one party, and O-mai of the other.
The latter put on the iron armour he had brought with him from England,
and took his great sabre in his hand. The combat was begun by the two
canoes containing the commanders, and the rest of the canoes then attacked
one another. The combatants showed us how they flung their wooden
spears at each other ;   these were  actually thrown, but, as it was mock
* There is much discrepancy in the dates of this part between Cook and Zimmermann. Cook learned that the reported ships had never been there, and that the whole
story was a fabrication.
f In Cook the fireworks display was on the 7th September, and the naval engagement on the 21st; he does not mention the overturning of the boat of Otou.
warfare, only into the water: In real warfare stones also are flung.
They made fearful gestures at each other, which, however, were of sueh-a
comical nature that the whole performance rather resembled a play than
a battle. O-mai allowed the opposing party to use him as a mark for their
spears, but, on account of the armour, nothing could harm him, and this
excited great astonishment among the islanders.
Captain Cook was in King O-tou's boat, which was overturned during
:the fight; the great concern of the islanders was to pull the Captain out
of the water and get him ashore.
After the naval battle was at an end, O-mai showed himself to the
inhabitants on horseback in his armour, and again their astonishment was
The Spaniards, on their first visit to this island, had left behind them a
bull and a cow; the cow, however, died soon afterwards, so Captain Cook
left another with them for breeding purposes.
On 30th August we arrived at the island of Morea, of the Tahiti Group,
which had not previously been touched at by either Cook or Wallis, nor,
so far as we knew, by any one else, and cast anchor in a very beautiful
and comfortable harbour.
On this island we found a greater abundance of firewood than at
any other of the Tahiti Islands, and we collected a large stock. We also
noticed that there was plenty of grass, so we took all our animals ashore
to pasture, but the inhabitants promptly stole one of our goats.
Captain Cook at once went ashore and inquired for the king. The
islanders pretended not to understand, and when Cook asked about the
goat they replied in the same way, made sport of him, and hurried away
into the bush.
The Captain being, as is well known, very quick-tempered, he became
very angry at this, and for two days in succession he ordered the marines
ashore and caused them to burn and destroy the native huts ; on the coast
the sailors were ordered to carry on the same destruction, and to break in
pieces and scatter all the native canoes they came upon. The injury which
the inhabitants suffered in this way could hardly have been made good in
a hundred years. These people had the most splendid canoes of their kind,
often very large, and made with great care. I cannot, therefore, help
disapproving to some extent of the Captain's action. We. were somewhat
surprised, too, to notice that O-mai himself and three of his boat's crew
took part in this destruction, and conducted themselves with even more
violence than the Europeans. Soon after we returned to the ships on the
second day from our work of destruction the stolen goat was returned by
the Tahitians and we found it pasturing with the rest of our animals.
On 12th October we reached the island of Huaheine, one of the Tahitian
Group, and the fatherland of O-mai. He was the first to sight the island,
and as a sign that he had done so he hoisted an English flag, presented him
by Captain Cook, on his own boat, with which he was leading the way, and
fired off a gun, which we answered from the ships.
The inhabitants of the island had gathered together on our landing,
having had word from the other islands of the arrival of their countryman ;
they received him with great friendliness and with much rejoicing. The
king at once made O-mai a gift of the whole of the land round the harbour
where we were anchored, about two and a half miles in extent,* and planted
* " A German mile " again :    Cook, however, says the. land given was 200 yards
along the beach, and a little more in to the foot of the hill.
throughout with fruit-trees ;   O-mai gave the king return presents of saws,
axes, and suchlike things.
Captain Cook had a house built for O-mai of wood, of which we had an
abundance from the canoes destroyed in Morea, and a garden laid out
round it and planted with European plants.
Whilst we were at Huaheine, Captain .Cook, Lieutenant King, and the
astronomer Bailey made various astronomical observations, during which
Lieutenant King's quadrant, which he had just laid down on the grass,
was stolen. Some of the chief men of the island (ehris) were present at the
time, and it was concluded that one of these was the thief. O-mai with his
crew set to work to find him, when the supposition was proved correct,
and the thief with the quadrant was caught by O-mai. Captain Cook had
a watch set on the ehri on the deck, and the following day his back was
flogged until the skin came away in strips. He muttered angrily all the
time, but neither asked for mercy nor uttered a cry. At last Captain Cook
ordered that he should be unbound, but that he should continue to be flogged
until he sprang overboard. He then left the ship, muttering continually.
That same night he raided O-mai's newly-laid-out garden, tore up the vines
which we had brought from the Cape of Good Hope, and scattered the
other plants in every direction.
O-mai with his men at once went in search of him again and brought
him back to the ship, and Captain Cook, seeing that the flogging had not
proved a sufficient deterrent, made one of the sailors cut off both his
ears and then chase him overboard. He swam off ashore a-s before, but
this time in a chastened mood. The uprooted vines were replanted in
O-mai's garden.
Captain Cook left with O-mai a stallion and a mare, four sheep, a pair
of ducks, and a pair of peacocks ; he also left the two boys whom he had
brought from New Zealand to act as O-mai's servants. A magazine was
then built under his house, and here was stored a good supply of gunpowder
and shot, and O-mai was taught how to keep the powder and preserve it
from fire.
O-mai, however, was not quite satisfied with his house, and said that
His Majesty the King of England had promised him a house of two storeys,
and that this was only a one-storied house such as was used in England to
house swine. But Cook only laughed and told him he deserved nothing
On our leaving the island on 2nc
parting, and declared that he wouh
English ship which touched there.
On the 3rd we cast anchor before the island of Ulietea. The king, whose
name was O-Rea [Oreo], and who was an old and trusted friend of Captain
Cook, at once came out to the ships, bringing with him in his canoe presents
of fruit and pigs. We salted these pigs as we had done with those procured
on the other islands of the Tahitian Group, and laid in a good supply of
fresh water and all kinds of fruits.
Just as we were on the point of leaving this island, two of our men—
namely, the midshipman Moith and the assistant gunner Thomas Shaw—
deserted. Both men had become enamoured of some of the women, and
thought to become kings on one or other of .the islands.
Captain Cook invited King O-Rea, his son, and his daughter Poyadua,
with her husband, to visit him on board, and they came willingly. He then
held the last three in arrest as hostages, and informed the king that they
November,  O-mai wept bitterly at
return to  England with the first
would not be released until he found and sent to us our two missing men.
Although it was an exceedingly difficult matter to trace them, the affair
having been kept very secret, and only one of the islanders having knowledge of their whereabouts, the king at once gave orders for the search to
be made, and the men were finally run to earth on an uninhabited island.
They were seized in their sleep, bo.und hand and foot, and on the fifth day
after their desertion were brought aboard again. The spot where they were
discovered was at least forty miles distant from the ship, and if Captain
Cook had not taken such prompt and determined measures we should never
have seen these two men again.
The universal mourning which reigned throughout the whole island
whilst the native royal family were held on our ships is indescribable : the
grief of the women especially was most touching; they came daily in great
numbers and swam round the ship, weeping and lamenting most bitterly ;
they even tore their flesh with sharks' teeth, so that often the sea all around
the ship was dyed with blood. The rejoicing, too, was just as great when
the hostages were set at liberty.
For the first two days of their arrest the royal family was quite inconsolable, but after they had received the assurance that they would not,
as they feared, be forced to remain with us, and be carried away when we
left, but that their freedom would be restored to them as soon as the two
runaways were given up, and as everything possible was done to please
and amuse them, they ceased to grieve. They ate with pleasure the food
which their people brought them in superabundance, and the king's son-in-
law even asked permission, one night on which I was on guard over him
and his wife, to be permitted to carry out his marital duties ; upon receiving
my permission, he proceeded to do so under my very eyes. When the time
came for their release, Captain Cook gave the hostages many valuable
presents, and they soon forgot what had happened to them.
The midshipman was degraded for a time from his officer's rank and
had to do common duty, and the punishment of the assistant gunner
consisted in twenty-four blows with the lash-on his bare back.
On 7th December we left under sail, and the next day we arrived at
the Island of Bolebola. We took only three boats ashore, and Captain Cook
secured from the inhabitants a kedge-anchor weighing 6 cwt., which the.
Spaniards* had lost there, but which had been salvaged from eight or nine
fathoms of water ;  for this he gave six axes in return.
The inhabitants of this island have their bodies much more tattooed
than the rest of the Tahitians ; they are also very quarrelsome fellows,
and are therefore very much feared on the other islands.
This was the last island of the Tahiti Group which we visited : we left
again the same day, our course being set northwards, as the main obj ective
was now the discovery of a passage between America and Asia.
On 24th December, under the Line, in about li degrees north latitude
and 210 east longitude, we discovered a middle-sized uninhabited island.f
In order to reckon the length of this and the two following islands (because
I could no longer remember them clearly), I made use of the route taken
by us towards the east coast of America in degree 44, from O-tahiti, which
lies in 17 degrees 29 minutes south latitude, and 208 degrees longitude
reckoning by the Greenwich meridian.
* One of the anchors lost by Bougainville. '      .
f Christmas Island, an atoll, " fifteen or twenty leagues in circumference.      It is
difficult to follow Zimmermann in the next sentence.
Inset 2—Cook's Third Voyage,
We went ashore in three boats to look for water. The island is low-
lying, and has a white sandy soil; there are no trees, but it is covered with
bushes. We found there, however, an abundance of large and beautiful
birds, which are quite tame, and also turtles and fish.
The three boats went off in different directions, but no fresh water was
found. We in our boat, which contained seven other sailors besides myself
and two officers, came upon an opening which led to the shore. We followed
this for twelve miles, and then landed, and at nightfall, when the turtles
commonly come ashore, we caught large numbers of them. Most of these
turtles weighed as much as 2 cwt. We collected them and turned them over
on their backs so that they should not escape, and early the next morning
we returned to the ships with a good load and reported our lucky catch.
Having been supplied with rations and fresh water, we were ordered to return
and procure another load of turtles the following night.   .
Just previpus to our arrival at the ship all the other boats had been sent
on a fishing expedition, and we were told that if we should fall in with
any of them we should take them with us and bring back the turtles
which we had already caught and left on the island. We met two of these
boats on the way, and took them with us according to orders, but, as they
had already consumed all their provisions, we had to share ours with them,
and were thus ourselves left without, being especially short of fresh water.
We therefore decided—-being, indeed, compelled thereto by necessity—that
the other two boats should return to the ships immediately, without waiting
for the night's catch. The boats left with their load, and we were to
follow immediately, as our booty was not yet all on board, but two of our
men—Bartholomew Lohmann, of Cassel, and an Englishman of the name
of Stritcher,* who were to bring the last of the turtles to the boat (we
had to drag them overland from a place an hour's walk distant), missed
their way, and, instead of coming on to us, went farther and farther inland.
We waited for them a long time in vain, in the terrible heat of that
climate, which is almost unendurable unless one can drink every quarter
of an hour, but we did not wish to leave without them. At last our thirst
became so intolerable that we began to dig for water, which we found at a.
depth of about 5 ft. or 6 ft., but unfortunately it was even more salt than
the sea-water, and therefore undrinkable. Finally we caught some birds,
cut their throats, and sucked their warm blood ; this, however, only
satisfied our thirst for a short time, and we were then in a worse plight
than before. Some of the men drank sea-water, and this made matters
still worse, for they at once became ill. Dark night came on ; we made
fires at various places, and fired off our guns, but we neither saw nor heard,
anything of our missing comrades. At last we were in such a state, from
thirst and exhaustion, that we could hardly go any distance from the
shore, but sank down upon the sand. At night, when it became somewhat cooler, our two officers set off over the island to see whether they
could find any trace of the other boats and obtain a little fresh water
from them; we other five men, however, remained where we were. At
daybreak we held a consultation as to what was to be done, and we decided
that it was better to return to the ships than to die there of thirst;
accordingly, weak as we were, we got into the boat. When about halfway to the ships, we observed from afar two men who had' tied their
handkerchiefs on to a stick and were using them as flags to wave us signals.
* These names do not occur in Cook.
We rowed up to them, and when we were a little, distance off we recognized
them as our officers. They could hardly speak for thirst and exhaustion.
We took them aboard and continued on our way.
At last we saw a boat at the shore, and on approaching it we found
some of our own men who had not long before left the ship : they gave,
us bread, and brandy and water, and our strength returned. On reaching
the ships we at once reported to Captain Cook the loss of our two men ;
immediately all the boats of the two ships were ordered out with their
crews and a supply of provisions, and sent off to search the island.
Towards the evening of the same day one of the missing men was
found, but he could give no news of his companion ; the following day
the second man was also found. The first man, so he told us, had kept
himself alive by cutting open turtles and drinking their blood ;■ he had
also found some birds' eggs, which he had sucked. The other man had
drunk his own urine, but when found he was more dead than alive.
This island, which we named the Sandy Island,* we left on 2nd January,
1778, taking with us such a supply of live turtles that we ate nothing else
for four or five weeks : we kept them alive by washing out their eyes-every
Immediately after we left Sandy Island,- our supply of fresh water
becoming very reduced, we were obliged to distil sea-water. On our
ship, the smaller of the two, 24 measures (quarts) were distilled daily, but
in spite of the great heat only half a measure of water was served out
daily per man.
By good fortune we discovered, on 20th January, in about 22 degrees
north latitude and 225 east longitude, a somewhat hilly island, and were
encouraged to think that we might find fresh water here. Many of the
inhabitants came off to us in their canoes ; they were the finest of all the
native peoples we had met with. We tried to tempt them to the ships
with friendly signs and by exhibiting various presents ; these latter they
at first refused, and from their evident astonishment at our ships we
perceived that they had never seen ships before. One of them at length
ventured to come close to the ships, and he was presented with a piece of
red cloth ; whereupon his companions took courage and approached likewise, and'they too received presents. On being shown the live pigs which
we had on board, and which we had brought with us from Tahiti, they
immediately cried Booa, and from this and from the rest of their speech
it was evident that the language in use here was not unlike that of- the
Tahitians. They pointed to the island and made signs to indicate to us
that they too had pigs, and they understood at once when we indicated
that we would be glad to be supplied with some of these animals. Thereupon some of them returned to the island and brought a number of pigs,
which they presented to us without asking anything in return. They had
now become more trusting, and even ventured to come aboard the ships :
we learned that the name of the island was Nihau,f and that there was
fresh water close by.
Captain Cook now ordered out three boats to search for this fresh
water, and while preparations were in progress one of the natives stole a
kitchen knife from the kitchen of the " Resolution," sprang overboard,
and hurried ashore in  his  canoe.    We followed him in the   boats which
* Turtle Island: see map.
f Cook says Atooi ;   Nihau  is the small island (spelt Oneeheow by Cook) a little
to the south-west of Atooi.    These were the Sandwich Islands.
had just been lowered, but, as he ventured into the raging surf, we were
unable to catch him. We fired a few shots after him, but fortunately did
not hit him, and Iris fellow-countrymen hurrying the thief with his booty
away to a place of safety, we did not obtain our stolen property.
By Captain Cook's orders, the three boats, under the command of
Lieutenant Williamson, an Irishman, then went ashore to look for water,
and a suitable landing-place was found. While we were still a short distance
from the shore the inhabitants gathered there to the number of about fifty,
ran into the sea, lifted up Lieutenant Williamson's boat, together with its
whole crew, and were about to carry it ashore on their backs. The men in
the boats could not at first understand whether this was an act of friendship
or of enmity, and they struck at the fingers of the islanders with the oars;
but as the islanders refused to desist from their doubtful attentions, and
one of them attempted to snatch Lieutenant: Williamson's gun out of his
hand, the Lieutenant shot the man down on the spot. The rest of the
natives at once dropped the boat into the water, picked up the wounded
man, and with great lamentations carried him away into the bush.
We now returned to the ship and informed Captain Cook of what had
occurred. The captain reprimanded Lieutenant Williamson severely for
his action, and the following day went himself with the same three boats
and to the same spot on the shore.
A much larger crowd of inhabitants was now gathered here than on the
day before. Captain Cook gave orders that no one was to leave the boats,
and he gave his gun to a sailor and went ashore alone, armed only with -a
hunting-knife. As soon as he set foot on shore all the people fell on their
faces : Cook looked round him and laughed heartily; then he lifted up
some of the eldest, and those who appeared from their clothing to be the
aristocrats of the land, embraced them, and gave them presents. The rest
of the people remained on their faces, but four of them went away and
brought the king, each of them holding a handful of sugar-cane over his
head as a parasol.
The king approached quite close to Captain Cook and bowed low before
him. Cook gave him a necklace of glass beads, himself hanging it round his
neck; he also presented him with a mirror. Only when Captain Cook had
gone farther inland to look for water did the kneeling people rise to their
feet. While he was absent the inhabitants brought us quantities of pigs
and fruit, which they presented to us, and with which our boats were soon
full. On the return of Captain Cook we went back to the ships and brought
them close to the place where he had located a small fresh-water stream,
and, the anchor being dropped, preparations were made for laying in a
supply of water. Another party went ashore and traded with the natives,
receiving provisions, but particularly pigs, yams, coconuts, and plantains,
which were plentiful on this island, in exchange for nails, mirrors, bead
necklaces, and knives.
The women here, besides being beautiful, were very obliging, outdoing
in both these respects the women in any of the other islands in the South
Seas. Captain Cook had, however, forbidden us to have any dealings with
them on pain of a heavy punishment; indeed, the whole crew had to
submit to an examination, and any men who were, found to be diseased
were refused permission to go ashore.
■ Captain Cook was of opinion that there were other islands in this neighbourhood, but as the time had come for us to turn northwards, in pursuance
of the main object of our voyage, we could not at this time visit those
islands/nor occupy, ourselves with other discoveries, but postponed this
until our return. We did, however, touch at one small island which lay
somewhat to the west, and abcut eight miles from Nihau, as the inhabitants
gave us to understand that there were many yams there. By barter with
the islanders we obtained great quantities of these roots, which were the
largest we had ever seen, most of them weighing from 15 lb. to 20 lb.
Captain Cook called this island Yams Island.* He presented the king with
a pair of goats.
On 2nd February we continued without interruption our voyage towards
the north-western coast of America, and began to approach our destination.
On 7th March we sighted land| in the 44th degree north latitude, but were
driven away from it by a violent storm and, as this continued to rage for
some time, we only succeeded in reaching it again on the 28th. The
following day, at about the 48th degree north latitude, we ran into a beautiful
and commodious harbour, which Captain Cook named St. George Sound,
and we sailed along the coast of the north-western part of America from the
aforesaid 48th degree to the 72nd degree. The American coast-fine from
the 48th degree towards the Pole is given quite incorrectly on the Focantian
maps. This coast-line runs now in an easterly direction, now westerly, and
east again ; in the 56th degree we came upon a cape of considerable size.
We anchored in the meantime at various places, and as far as the 65th
degree we found inhabitants on this coast. They all resembled the Tahitians
closely in the colour of body and face, but were not so tall, and were dreadful
in appearance, because, they painted their faces all over with horizontal and
perpendicular stripes of black, yellow, and red.
Their language had nothing in common with that of the islanders.
They were entirely clothed, their clothing consisting of the skins of beavers,
sables, and seals. Some of them wore garments made of plaited bark (bast),
and had on their heads high-pointed caps made of the bark of trees.
They were eager to exchange their wares with us. These consisted
mainly of furs ; and they q,uarrelled with each other over the question of
trading with us. The stronger among them took from the weaker by force
not only their goods for exchange, but also those things which they had
already received from us.
In trading they frequently used the words makuk, tschibocks, and
tschikimli: makuk means "to buy"; tschibocks, "good"; and the word
tschikimli was used to indicate that they wished for a large nail in
Their dwellings, which arc nothing but miserable huts, are made of
wood, are entirely closed in, and are thatched with grass to keep out the
rain. Their main" articles of diet consist of fish, and game, with all species
of which this land is richly provided. We also noticed that they used dried
human flesh, which they appeared to eat with relish; some of this they
offered to us to taste. We obtained from them by exchange some dried
human hands, which we took with us to England.
As weapons they use crossbows, which are made very strong, and bound
round most  artfully with strings  made  of  whales'  dried  entrails.     The
* Yams Island does not occur in Cook. The island said by Cook to lie 4 or 5 leagues
from the south-east point of Oneeheow, towards the south-west, was called Tahoora :
Cook says that they were told it abounded with birds. He says that the principal
product of Oneeheow seemed to be yams.
f New Albion was the land sighted—a part of the coast of North America, so called
by Sir Francis Drake.
arrows are made of fine bone ; at the tip is a pointed and polished agate
or slate, set in firmly and artistically, and the arrows- are very sharp and
travel with great speed. These people are expert in- the use of these bows ;
in fact, they seem to be an exceedingly warlike-and courageous people;
from what we were able to learn they, carry on' continual warfare with
each" other, those who are slain being also eaten.
Those natives who live in proximity io the Spanish possessions, which,
as is commonly known, reached at that time only as far as the 42nd degree
of latitude, have their arrows tipped with iron and copper; presumably
they obtain these metals from the Spaniards. The canoes, too, of this
district are beautiful, and made after European models ; many are of
considerable size. Farther up the coast, however, in degrees 58 and 59,
we found quite a different type of canoe. These are made entirely of skins,
stretched over a framework of thin wooden laths, which is altogether
covered except for a small opening in the middle large enough to admit
a man. Before getting into the boat the man draws on a shirt made of
the bladder of a whale : round the opening in the boat another piece of
whale's bladder is secured, and this the man binds round his body. In
this way, even if he is overturned while at sea, he can come to no harm
so long as he retains his paddle, for by means of it he can swing himself
on to his other side, and bring himself once more into an Upright position.
In the two aforementioned degrees—viz., 58 and 59—the inhabitants
distinguish themselves from the other peoples, for we noticed that they
cut a second mouth in the lower lip, setting into it artificial teeth taken
from the mouths of dead men. Curious indeed these people looked, with
their two muzzles, more especially when the tongue was protruded ; and
they added to the frightfulness of their appearance by wearing a thin
piece of bone of about 5 in. or 6 in. long drawn through the cartilage at
the end of the nose.
I was unable to learn anything regarding the religion or the manners
and customs of the people on the American* coast, because we remained
only a short time at each place, but they were the rudest and most
uncivilized of all the native peoples we met with on our voyage. Even
their language was rough, all their conversation being carried on in loud,
discordant tones.
On one occasion they came out to our ships in two parties and in about
forty or fifty canoes, with which they surrounded the ships, encircling
them three times. We feared an attack, and loaded up our guns, but
instead of attacking they began to sing a very fine song, beating time with
their paddles. The exactness with which they kept the beat, and the charm
of the song, excited the admiration of every one on board, in spite of the
roughness of their voices. With each party there was one man clad like
a harlequin, in clothes of many colours ; these and the masks which they
put over their faces were frequently changed, and they performed all
sorts of droll antics.
All these American peoples are exceedingly expert fishermen ; they
are even able to catch whales. Their harpoons are made of bone ; these,
like their arrows, are tipped with a sharpened and polished stone : in the
middle of the harpoon is a joint, and when the harpoon has been thrown
at the whale it cannot be pulled out again because of the joint. The
whale is pursued and pierced with harpoons until it bleeds to death.
The coast of this land is covered with many varieties of beautiful and
extremely loftv trees.    We saw, too, several active volcanoes and various
good harbours and bays, and in somewhere about the 59th degree we
discovered a large inlet. This we entered, and found that it branched off
in two directions—the one towards the south-west, and the other towards
the east. We followed the-- first, but reaching the end after two days'
sail we turned back, and entered the other arm- at a latitude of about
260 degrees. We sailed eastward for six hundred miles,* and were all in
great hopes that we had discovered a strait dividing America into two
parts, and that we should be able to sail through it, thus being in a
position to claim the £20,000 reward. At a distance of about three
hundred miles from Hudson's Bay we came upon the mouth of a river
of a size unequalled in the whole of Europe.f This river had several large
branches, and as the water was fresh and sweet, and we concluded that
there was here no through passage, Captain Cook determined to turn
back. This was accordingly done. The proposal was made to Captain
Cook that the ships should lie at anchor, and that a search should be made
with the small boat with the purpose of discovering whether a- passage
really existed. Lieutenant Gore, indeed, urged him to have the small
sloop, which we had brought with us in sections, put together, to allow
him twenty men, and provisions for three months, and give him permission
to go and investigate this passage ; the Lieutenant was convinced that he
would be in England in three months. Captain Cook would not consent to
this- proposal, probably because he did not wish to be left short of men,
and also because he had made his plans with the intention of penetrating
that summer as far as possible towards the North Pole; but he desired
in the meanwhile to ascertain with certainty whether a passage was not
to be found here. Captain Cook had indeed good cause for refusing to
sanction this undertaking, for otherwise the favourable months would
have passed, and he would not -have been able to attempt to enter polar
waters that year. He had, too, evidently resolved to return the following
summer and explore this river : this was prevented by his unforeseen
On our way back we found that the land up to the 56th degree north
latitude trended north-east and south-west. From this degree we followed
the coast-line northwards again, and when we had reached degree 60, or
thereabouts, we once more found an inlet on the south side : this was on
12th June. We entered this, and after two days' sail we again arrived
at the mouth of a river. Captain Cook turned back without exploring
. to the end of the inlet, expressing his opinion that there was no passage
at this place, but that the river which we had discovered in degree 59
emptied itself here, this indicating that the promontory of land, the cape
before mentioned, was an island.J
On coming out of this inlet Captain Cook changed his course, making
his way towards the Asiatic coast. On 19th June, whilst we were under
way, two individuals clad in sealskins came quickly towards us in a canoe
from one of the neighbouring islands, and approached the " Discovery/'
We threw them ropes, which they seized and held, took off their caps three
times to us, and because neither they nor we could understand each other's
language they pointed to our anchor-and gave us to understand that we
should drop anchor and  come with them to the land.    Seeing that we
* Cook's distance is " seventy leagues or more."
t Cook did not name this river, and Lord Sandwich (after whom Cook named the
Sandwich Islands) directed that it should be called Cook's River.
± Named Trinity Island.
would not agree to this, they gave us a small square box, and left us.
The box was opened, and inside, was a small piece of paper, on which were
five lines of writing in Greek letters. No one could read this writing, but,
as the dates 1776 and 1778 were underneath, it seemed probable that
Russians had been shipwrecked on the island.
Captain Clerke signalled to Captain Cook, who was some distance ahead,
and went himself on board, but Captain Cook would not stop, or take 'any
steps to investigate the matter. As we could scarcely believe that he had
not understood the writing, we were all very displeased to think that he
would not put himself to any trouble to help those who were probably in
On 24th June, only a few days after this event, it being a foggy night,
we ran unexpectedly and unsuspectingly on to the island of Unalaska. On
the " Resolution " they suddenly became aware of heavy suif, and deduced
from this the neighbourhood of great cliffs and rocks. Lieutenant Gore,
whose watch it was, and who was on deck, at once had the lead thrown,
and finding only 12 fathoms of water he gave orders to cast anchor,
and called through the speaking-trumpet to the officer on watch on
the " Discovery " to do the same. Daylight revealed the fact that the
" Resolution " was lying scarcely twenty paces from a very high rock
which rose straight up on the shore, and the way behind us was so
thickly strewn with crags that we marvelled we had come through them
without coming to grief.
Seeing how near we had been to shipwreck, the crews of both ships
gave expression to their indignation at the lack of feeling shown by Captain
Cook in refusing to go to the assistance of those individuals who had'quite
evidently sent a request for help through the two men who brought the
box. It was this circumstance, so we believed, which had brought this
imminent danger upon us.
This spot, where we had so nearly suffered shipwreck, was named
Providence Bay, and the following day we sailed round the island and
cast anchor in a beautiful harbour which Captain Cook called Reeshaven.'j"
Here we filled our casks with good fresh water. We observed some of the
inhabitants, but did not stop, continuing on our way towards the Asiatic
On 9th August we landed on the Asiatic coast in degree 65 north latitude. The inhabitants of this coast resemble. very closely those of the
American coast, but their complexion, is a somewhat darker brown.
They collected on the shore in large numbers, armed with bows and
arrows. In spite of the fact that they were armed, Captain Cook went
ashore alone, and gained their friendship by making them presents. Their
food consists of fish, but especially of seal, the skin of which animal they
are exceedingly expert in tanning. Our Commodore gave the promontory
of this land the name of Cookstown.
We sailed northwards along this Asiatic coast as far as the 66th degree,
and at this point reached a strait which separates Asia from America.
From the middle of this strait we could see, in clear weather, both
continents, which lie at a distance of about one hundred miles apart.
From here we returned to Cookstown, and our course was then set
directly for the American coast, up which we.sailed from the 65th degree.
* Cook explains his reasons for not stopping.
t Providence Bay and Reeshaven are names not mentioned in Cook as given by
him—though he refers to Providence.
On 15th August we reached the 71st degree, on the American coast,
and here we first sighted-polar ice ; in the 72nd degree we were entirely
surrounded and enclosed by the ice. We succeeded in freeing the ships,
and as the ice prevented us from getting any farther in this direction, and
it was evident that we should not find the desired passage on this side, we
returned to degree. 71, and from there made our course with difficulty along
the ice to the Asiatic coast, intending to make a further attempt from there.
In this, however, we succeeded no better than we had done on the American
side, and as Captain Cook conjectured that these two continents were
connected at the Pole, his conjecture being strengthened by the fact that
the strait at degree 71 was only about ninety miles in breadth, and that the
greatest depth we eould reach here was 22 fathoms, he gave up all hope
of discovering a passage in this region, and in order to ascertain whether
such a passage was not to be found down the Asiatic coast we ran back along
this coast as far as the 60th degree. The search here was, however, equally
unsuccessful, and as at the time when we first crossed over from the American
coast, at about degree 60, no examination of that coast-line had been made
between degrees 60 and 65, nor yet on our return there, Captain Cook crossed
once more at degree 60, and made a close eilgtaination of the American coast
up to degree 65—once more, however, without result. At degree 61 we
came upon an island which we concluded was the island discovered and
described by the Russians, and named by them Lasko. It having been
reported, apparently from this same island, that there was a north-west
passage here, Captain Cook sent out Lieutenant King with two boats, provisioned for eight days, to make a search. The party returned, however,
after sailing up the coast, with the report that neither was there a northwest passage there, nor was the land an island, but was connected with the
rest of the land, and therefore a peninsula.
We quitted the coast of America on 15th September, and it might
be remarked here that both the American and Asiatic coasts from the
60th degree northwards are bare and unfruitful; the American coast from
this degree on is quite low-lying, and the Asiatic coast from the 65th degree
onwards also flat and low-lying.
On 4th October" we arrived once more at the island of Unalaska, and
cast anchor in Reeshaven. As time permitted us to make a lengthy stay
here, we exerted ourselves to make friends with the inhabitants, and as
they on their side were well disposed towards us they frequently came to
visit us on our ships. They were a well-behaved and orderly people. One
of them one day produced a little crucifix from his breast and kissed it.
Some days later some of them come aboard, bringing with them freshly
baked bread made of flour. From these facts we conjectured that Europeans
had once been, and possibly still were, on the island. Upon making inquiry
of the islanders, they they gave us to understand by signs that there were
Europeans on the other side of the island. The corporal of marines on
the " Resolution " thereupon went with two of the inhabitants across the
island, where he found thirty Russians ; three of these he brought back with
him to the ship, and from them we learned that they had been sent out
from Russia to trade with the islanders, and that they were relieved every
three years.
The islanders' articles of trade consisted chiefly of furs; the island itself
is under the Russian Crown. The three Russians were treated with,
kindness, and Captain Cook left a letter with them when we left the
island on 25th October.
Our commander had intended circumnavigating this island, but a storm
of extreme violence arose, which raged for three days and nights. If
Captain Cook had set' bis course for Nihau we should have had a favourable
wind, but as it was we were obliged to tack to and fro along the coast.
On the third night every one was called on deck, the chief boatswain and
I, with four other men, secured the main tack. Just at that moment a
violent gust of wind caught us, and the block [?] through which -the rope
ran was torn out and we were struck from behind by the force of the rope
and thrown into the air to a height of several feet.* I came down again
on the other side of the ship ; had I" been thrown one foot farther I should
certainly have gone overboard. One of the sailors, a man of the name of
Mekentasch [? Mcintosh], was thrown against the mast and killed.
Our course was now set in the direction of the region where we had
previously discovered the island of Nihau and the so-called Yamspsland,
the intention being to search for the other islands which, as it was
suspected, were in the neighbourhood. While we-had been lying at the
island of Unalaska we had made our preparations for trade with these
islands, Captain Cook having had the broken 18 cwt. bower anchor—which,
as I have already related, we had with us on the " Discovery "—melted
down, and tools, nails, and knives made of it, things which were in great
demand among the natives.
On 26th November, in degree 22 north latitude and somewhat farther
east than Nihau and Yams Island, we came upon a whole chain of islands
lying close together; besides the two above mentioned, there were about
fifteen islands, some large and others small, but all very thickly populated.
We examined them all in a six weeks' cruise. No convenient harbour
being available, we could not land, but carried on a daily trade with the
natives, they coming off to us in their canoes, and bringing with them
plentiful supplies of foodstuffs. The name of the last and largest island
was O-waihi; and, finding a suitable harbour here, we cast anchor on
6th January, 1779, taking the opportunity of repairing our ships and tackle.
We remained until 4th February.
Captain Cook named this group of islands, after Lord Sandwich, the
Sandwich Islands.
The language of these islanders, like those at Nihau, resembles very
much that of the Tahitians : their physique, too, is much the same, as also
the features and the red-brown of the skin. But their stature—and, in
fact, their whole appearance—is finer, and they are more friendly in intercourse, as well as cleverer and more civilized.
The women wear their hair cut off short both at the front and the back
of the head, just as is the custom with children in England. The men
shave themselves with two mussel-shells held against each other.
Both sexes have their bodies tattooed with a dark-brown dye in the
same way as the Tahitians, and their clothing usually consists merely of
a loin-cloth made from the bark of trees ; these, however, are painted in
so artistic a manner with various patterns that one might believe them
to be made of chintzf or cotton.
* This passage is not clear. The incident is mentioned by Cook, but not in any
detail. The part torn out is called " die Walzen," and it is not clear to what this
refers. The height to which he was thrown is given as " 1£ Stockwerk,"—one and a half
storeys. It may be an exaggeration, as when we say " as high as a house," or " kite-
high," or " sky-high " ; but he does not often use slang, so the expression has been
translated as above.
1' The word used is Oids, which appears to be a phonetic form of Silz (chintz).
The women wear chaplets on their heads," and necklaces round their
necks made of alternate rows of variously-coloured small feathers, and this
decoration suits them extremely well.
The dwellings are completely-closed-in huts, provided with an. ordinary
door, and various openings to admit the light. The huts are made by
stretching a number of very finely made ropes and weaving between them
grass and the leaf-blades of trees ; this is done so cleverly and the weaving
is so close that it cannot be penetrated by the heaviest rain. There are
no separate rooms or divisions.
The beds are simply mats woven of dyed grasses, but these mats do not
equal those of the Tahitians in art, beauty, or strength. I never observed
any articles of household use in their houses except bowls and plates finely
shaped of wood as if turned. As the only tools which they use are made
of hard stone, one can but marvel at the skill exhibited in preparing these
The vessels of the Sandwich-Islanders are canoes ingeniously put
together, and painted for the most part on the outside with two different
colours ; below they are mostly coloured a yellow-brown, and black on
the upper rondure. The colours used do not lose their brightness by
contact with the water. In their build their canoes resembles those of
the Tahitians, but they never equal them in siz3.-
Spears of about 5 ft. or 6 ft. long, and slings, form the weapons of these
people. The former are made of a hard dark-brown wood, and have the
appearance of being varnished. Just below the tip are cut several barbs
turned backwards, so that when the spear penetrates the flesh it is with
difficulty that it is withdrawn. The slings are made of loosely-plaited
cords. Another weapon is a kind of wooden dagger, slender as a sword
and about 2 ft. long, and double-edged like an ordinary dagger. The
Sandwich-Islanders are clever and practised in the use of their weapons.
When engaged in battle with each other they hold before them the aforementioned sleeping-mats as shields.
I interested myself as far as possible in- discovering the objects of their
worship. The king of each island is at the same time its high priest, and
he fixes a certain d§y on which they celebrate—or, as they say in their
language, matauen—and worship their gods. How often this takes place,
and whether more than once in the year, I am unable to say. This
ceremonial day is held in great reverence by the islanders, and no trade
is carried on at such times ; one might offer what enticing exchange one
would, not one of the islanders could be persuaded to trade or exchange
Their gods are numerous, and are named after their kings and chiefs.
Their idols are half-length figures of wickerwork plaited of a thin and
supple kind of withe, and having a head, throat, hose, mouth, and ears ;
the eyes are of mother-of-pearl shell, and pigs' teeth are inserted into the
From the breast to over the head the figure is entirely covered with
small red feathers in such quantities that the framework is not visible.
These idols, and all the parts of them, are of enormous size. Some of
these gods have hair set in on the back of the head, and some have caps
plaited in the same way and decorated with feathers of yellow and other
colours ;   these last have the appearance of Roman helmets.
j   Several of these idols were brought to us for exchange ;   some of them
we. secured and brought back with us to England.
The inhabitants of the island of O-waihi raised Captain Cook to the
dignity of a god, and set up an idol in his honour which they called after
him " O-runa no te tuti," " O-runa " meaning god, and i tuti " Cook.
This idol was made exactly like the others, but was adorned with white
feathers instead of red, presumably because Captain Cook, being a European, had a white complexion.
On this island of O-waihi I witnessed one of these heathen ceremonies.
The king left his house, wrapped in a red mantle which reached to his feet,
and accompanied by many of the chiefs, also wearing cloaks, some of which
were as long as that of the king, and some rather shorter, while others only
covered the shoulders. Some of the chiefs walked in advance of the king,
carrying the images of certain of the gods, each man wearing a cap such as
those with which the images were provided. The procession crossed the
harbour in vessels to the place at which Captain Cook's tent had been
erected, and Cook was clad in one of the aforementioned cloaks, a, cap being
put upon his head.
Whilst the procession was passing with the images of the gods the
rank and file of the people fell upon their faces ; none, were permitted to
follow the procession.
What was the nature of the worship which was carried on on the other
side of the island, what ceremonies were performed, and what sacrifices
were offered, I cannot say, as my duties did not permit me to attend.
This surprising fact may nevertheless safely be deduced—namely, that the
islanders, like all other heathen peoples, recognize and revere a god. Rarely
did one see either the king or the chiefs at any other time wearing their red
cloaks or the caps, a circumstance which seems to show that they were
used chiefly in these religious ceremonies.
These red cloaks are made with great art. The inside of the cloak consists of a mat of plaited grass, and the outside is covered over thickly
with small red feathers, which are mixed with even rows of black, yellow,
and green feathers, the colours standing out well from each other.
These garments were universally acknowledged to be the most beautiful
and artistic rarities which had been met with among the native peoples
visited. A number of them were procured through exchange by the members of our crews, and brought by them to Europe. The birds from which
the feathers are obtained are to be found in large numbers on the island,
and are easily caught in snares.
The burial-places of these islanders were built up with stones, under
which, as we were informed—though we saw no dead bodies—the dead were
burjed. A number of poles were to be observed in these burial-grounds,
on the top of some of which hung dried fruits ; so far as we were able to
discover, each family raised a pole in honour of its deceased members.
The whole of the islands in this group are lofty and mountainous ; they
are particularly fruitful and well-watered. There is an active volcano on
the island of O-waihi, and we observed several which seemed to be extinct.
The fruits which grow here are yams, several species of banana, breadfruit,
sweet potatoes, and coconuts, besides an abundance of luxuriant sugar-cane,
and various other products of which I do not know the names. Of four-
footed animals there were pigs and dogs, and with these, and fowls, the islands
are much more abundantly supplied than the Tahiti Islands. On our two
ships sufficient pork was salted down to keep us supplied for thirteen months.
The salt for these operations was provided us by the islanders ; it was the
only salt we had seen used by the inhabitants of any of the islands we had
visited, and it was excellent in quality and whiteness. Without this we
should have been unable to preserve such large quantities of pork. The
Sandwich-Islanders know how to use salt, and preserve supplies of fish, which
they keep on hand.   I suspect that there are salt mountains on the islands.
After leaving O-waihi, as already stated, on 4th February, Captain Cook
wished to make a thorough examination of the remaining islands and learn
the native names, some of which were not yet known to us ; but whilst we
were on our way we met with a heavy storm, during which the foremast
of the I Resolution " was strained and sprung, and we were compelled to
return to the harbour of O-waihi.
On reaching O-waihi again we found the people very much changed;
indeed, before our departure we had observed a good deal of dissatisfaction
among them, and that they held us in considerably less respect than when
we first arrived at their shores. The reasons for both the dissatisfaction and
the disrespect might perhaps be attributed, firstly, to the action of Captain
Cook in removing from their burial-place all the poles erected there, although
this had been done with the permission of their king, who had received six
axes in exchange. The poles were to be chopped up for firewood, as this
was more convenient than to go and fetch it from the mountains. Then,
secondly, Captain Cook had the body of the old quartermaster, William
Wattmann [? Whatman], interred in the native burial-ground, thus showing
the islanders how a European burial was conducted.
The removal of the poles had caused a good deal of indignation amongst
the people, although it was not given expression, on account of their king
having given his sanction to the action ; nevertheless, it was easy to read
their feelings from their faces : the death of our quartermaster destroyed
their previous belief in our immortality, and, this belief being lost, their
reverence for us was gone.
During the time that the foremast of the " Resolution " was being
renewed on shore the islanders committed various thefts. Now, we had been
expressly forbidden to shoot at them, but in spite of these orders blank
cartridges had been fired several times when thefts were committed. The
islanders soon perceived that these blank cartridges did no damage, and
they therefore became more daring, impudent, and thievish.
On 13th February one of them on board our ship had the audacity to
purloin a large pair of ship's tongs, with which he sprang overboard.
I, with four other men, set off after the thief in a boat, but he was picked
up by one of his  companions in a  canoe,  and before  we  could overhaul
them they had reached the shore.    Upon landing
pursued him and
caught him up, but we were surrounded and seized by a large number
of the islanders, who banded themselves together, and in the meanwhile
the thief escaped with his booty. As we offered resistance to the islanders,
a fight eventuated, which might have ended in the death of all, or at least
some of us, if Captain Cook, who happened to be on shore, had not come
up at that moment.
During the night between 13th and 14th February a boat was cut from
its moorings alongside the " Discovery" and taken away. It was the
best boat we had, and when I, being one of the deck watch, perceived at
daybreak what had happened, and reported it to Captain Cook, he at once
sent out six boats, well manned with men with muskets and side-arms.
Four of the boats were ordered to barricade the harbour, and not to alloW
any of the canoes of the natives to pass out. With two of the boats
he himself went ashore, landed with Lieutenant Philipps, of the Marines,
and about twelve men, and gave Naval Lieutenant Williamson orders
to remain in the boats with the rest of" the men, who numbered about
It was Captain Cook's intention to arrest the king, bring 'him aboard
the ship, and keep him as a hostage—as had been done previously on the
island of Ulibra—until the boat should be returned. He might have
succeeded in his purpose if he had left the armed men behind, and had
inveigled the king aboard with kindness and friendship ; but, unfortunately,
he was too angry to do this, and this it was which brought about his most
regrettable death.
During the time Captain Cook was walking arm-in-arm with the king
from the house to the beach the crew of the four boats which were
barricading the harbour had fired several times on the canoes of the islanders
which had put out from the shore, and presumably some of these people
had been wounded.
The natives, of whom a large crowd had gathered together upon our
arrival, and who knew that they were in the wrong, advised the king not
to go with us, and the king, in consequence, refused to do so. An old
woman spread out a cloth between the king and Captain Cook, and told
the Captain that he was not to bring the king across it. He tried to force
the king to go with him, but the natives pelted him with small stones.
He who formerly was regarded by these people as a god became very
angry at this, opened fire with his double-barrelled musket, which was
loaded with shot, upon those around him, seized the king once more by the
hand and dragged him across the outspread cloth.
One of the natives who stood directly behind Captain Cook struck him
with an iron dagger—some of which Captain Cook had had made after
the pattern of the islanders' wooden daggers, and which he had presented
to them—first in the right shoulder, and then from the front, through the
left side, into the heart.
Captain Cook fell to the ground dead, and those of the crew who were
on shore opened fire upon the natives. The latter then attacked them,
killing four of our men and wounding three.
Lieutenant Williamson, in charge of the two nearest boats in the
harbour, looked on during these events without attempting to give any
assistance. The crew wished to make at once for the shore to open fire
on the natives, and to go to the assistance of their comrades in distress.
They also desired to avenge the death of their commander. Lieutenant
Williamson refused, however, and threatened to shoot any man who should
discharge his weapon. This refusal was remarkable. I do not know
whether it was timidity on the part of the lieutenant, or whether he really
did not wish to give the assistance it was his duty to give. I can hardly
believe it was timidity, because immediately after our arrival at the
island of Nihau Williamson had the courage to shoot one of the natives,
being angry with him for his lack of respect.
The duty, however, in which Lieutenant Williamson had failed, or, as
it appeared, was unwilling to carry out, was performed by Lieutenant
Gore; for scarcely had he observed what was taking place, watching
through his telescope from his position on the " Resolution," which was
lying nearest to the landing-place, than he gave orders to open fire with
the guns upon the people on the shore, and this prevented the islanders
following after those of our men who had sprung into the sea and were
swimming towards the boats. Had it not been for this timely act these
men would also undoubtedly have lost their lives.
Lieutenant Philipps, who had himself been wounded in the side by a
wooden dagger, forgetting his own pain and all danger, jumped overboard
and saved a marine who was wounded in the eye and about to sink. This
act was indeed an expression of true humanity and noble feeling.
The crews were enraged at the death of their commander, and were
anxious to avenge themselves upon the islanders.
Lieutenant Gore proposed to Captain Clerke to move the two ships
closer to the shore and blow to pieces and destroy the nearest village,
. where the king had his residence. Captain Clerke would not agree to this,
but gave orders for the foremast of the " Resolution," which was lying
on the shore, to be brought to the ship in order that repairs might be completed on deck. The natives attempted to prevent the carrying-out of
this task, and threw their spears at us, and tried to strike us with missiles
from their slings. We took possession of their burial-ground, or morai,
however, which was situated on built-up ground, and this served us'as a
fortress. We shot down several of the natives, and succeeded in accomplishing our purpose.
In about an hour and a half we had the mast aboard the ship, about
ninety men having been sent ashore for this work. Captain Clerke wished—
I do not know for what reason—now that the main object had been carried
out, that we should not revenge ourselves upon the natives, but thought
that by making friendly advances we might once more gain their confidence
and thus get from them the body of Cook. The crew were convinced that
Captain Clerke would not succeed in either of these intentions, for we all
believed that the Hawaiians had carried Cook's body up the mountain.
Several large fires were burning on this same mountain the whole night
through, and there was an unceasing sound of rejoicing among the natives.
Early the next morning, 15th February, Captain Clerke sent Lieutenant
King and Midshipman Wennkover ashore with five strongly-armed boats
and a white flag. Lieutenant King was commissioned to endeavour to
make friends with the Hawaiians, and to obtain from them the body of
Captain Cook. The five boats stopped at a short distance from land, and
the two officers, who both had a very fair knowledge of the language of
the ismnders, addressed their request to those who were on the beach.
They in their turn Held up a piece of white cloth as' a sign of peace, but
they mocked at us, and said, " O-runa no te tuti Heri te moi a popo Here
mai,* meaning "The god Cook is not dead, but sleeps in the bush, and-in
the morning he will return."
Lieutenant King sent a boat back to report to Captain Clerke, and to
ask whether we should fire upon them. The return orders were that we
should not fire, but that we were to return to the ships.
Early the next morning, 16th February, we made another like attempt,
but the islanders mocked us still more, and some of them even danced
about before us, clad in some of Captain Cook's clothes. As we had again
received orders to do the islanders no harm, we once more returned to the
ships. Scarcely had we reached them when one of the chiefs followed us
boldly in his canoe, cocked Captain Cook's hat over one ear before our very
eyes, and then took it off and swung it round his head.
* Nothing can be made of this, with safety. It is a Hawaiian sentence heard by a
European and written down as nearly as he could remember the sound he thought he
heard, and his translation is what he thought the words meant. The word tuti is, of
course, "Cook," and the latter part of the sentence, tuti Heri te moi a popo Here mai,
might be equivalent to the colloquial Maori haere hi te moe, apopo haere mai—" [Cook]
has gone to sleep ; to-morrow he will come."
Captain Clerke, becoming very angry at this, ordered that the
" Resolution" should be taken closer in shore, and some shots were
fired from the guns into the town where the king lived.
The inhabitants thereupon ran in thousands up the mountain, and got
out of the way of the guns.
On the 17th we made our way to the other side of the harbour to get
a supply of fresh water from the spring close to the native town situated
there. But the inhabitants, in spite of the treatment meted out to their
neighbours on the previous day, concealed themselves behind their houses
and behind the rocks, and threw spears at us and pelted us with stones, so
that we were obliged to return to the ship without carrying out our mission.
At our request, and because we were urgently in need of water, Captain
Clerke, who was always afraid that our shore party would be cut off by
the natives, who considerably outnumbered us, at last, though unwillingly,
gave his consent to our setting fire to the town and shooting down any of
the inhabitants who should oppose us. We at once again went ashore, set
fire to the houses, and shot every person who came in our way. Where
a number of the inhabitants had gathered together, the " Discovery,"
which had been brought close in, opened fire upon them with her guns.
In a short time not a single native was to be seen, and we were able to fill
our water-casks at our leisure.
We took prisoner an old man and woman, who, on account of age and
fright, were prevented from escaping from us, and brought them to the ship,
but Captain Clerke set them at liberty again, and out of gratitude the old
man every night brought us over in his canoe supplies of fruit and pigs
so long as we remained in the harbour. We learned later that between
two and three hundred of the inhabitants had been killed, and among these
were thirty chiefs.
On the 18th February, as we were again at work watering, about thirty
chiefs approached us with green branches in their hands. We beckoned
them to stand back, and we pointed our rifles at them. They sank down
behind the rocks and remained still. Captain Clerke, who was looking on
from the ship, on seeing this, sent Lieutenant King ashore, and Lieutenant
King at once induced three of the natives to come down and speak with him.
They said that they desired to make peace. Lieutenant King took them
back to the ship, and Captain Clerke promised them that hostilities should
cease if they would bring back the body of Captain Cook. This they
promised, and the following day the same three men brought a piece of
the head, some gnawed bones, and Captain Cook's right hand. This
last we recognized by the wound on the thumb which he' had received
while hunting at the time when he was engaged in charting the coast of
Newfoundland. The men gave us to understand that these fragments
were their share of the body. Captain Clerke made them presents, and
promised them more if they would bring him other parts of Captain
Cook's body, and the next day they returned with some mutilated limbs
and Captain Cook's double-barrelled gun, the barrel of which was beaten
flat. These things they told us they had collected from amongst their
It was now quite evident that it was impossible to get the whole body
of Captain Cook, or even further fragments, as the remainder had probably
been consumed.* Therefore, on 21st February, we consigned the mutilated
remains of our commander to the sea, with the usual ceremonies.
* Cannibalism was not a usual custom in Hawaii, but dismembered bodies were,
kept as " relics," as in more civilized countries.
I regard it as a duty to Captain Cook, who was one of the greatest men
of our time, to give here as full and complete a description of him as possible.
Captain Cook was a tall, handsome, - strong, but somewhat spare man.
His hair was dark brown, his expression somewhat stern, and his shoulders
bent. He began life as a common sailor, but worked his way up until he
became one of the most famous navigators. He was exceedingly strict,
and so hasty tempered that the least contradiction on the part of an
officer or sailor made him very angry. He Was inexorable regarding the
ships' regulations and the punishments connected with them—so much so,
indeed, that if, when we were amongst the natives, anything was stolen
from us by them the man on watch at the time was severely punished for
his neglect.
Probably no sea-officer has ever had such an extensive command over
the officers serving under him as Captain Cook. No officer ever presumed to contradict him. When at table with his officers he frequently
sat without saying a word. He was, in fact, very reserved. In small
matters the common sailors were more severely disciplined than the officers,
but at times he was exceedingly affable to the crew.
On occasion he made very fine speeches, and I remember how, when
we went to Nihau for the first time, he warned us in a most kindly way
not to infect the innocent islanders with a certain disease from which we
ourselves suffered.
He never mentioned religion, and would have no priests on his ships;
and, although he seldom celebrated the Sabbath, he was a just and upright
man in all his dealings^    He never swore, not even when in a rage.
He was scrupulously clean, and the example which he set in this direction
had to be followed by every man on board. It was a regulation that every
member of the crew should put on clean clothes every Sunday.
Moderation was one of his chief virtues. Throughout the entire voyage
no one ever saw him drunk. It was never permitted to the sailors to save
up their brandy for several days and then get drunk, and if it happened
at any time that a man was too drunk to carry out his duties he was
severely punished.
He ate very sparingly—much more so than any other sea officer. His
food consisted mainly of pickled cabbage, with a piece of salt meat, and a
few peas.    He rarely had more than two, or at most three, dishes.
On Saturdays he was usually more affable than at other times, and
on that day he frequently drank an extra glass of punch, pledging a toast
to all beautiful women.
Never, however, was there a breath of suspicion in regard to his dealings
with women. While we were at O-tahiti and O-waihi, where all the men
allowed themselves to be led astray by the attraction of the native women,
he alone remained clean and uncontaminated. In all other enjoyments
he loved equality, and on special occasions food and drink were served
out to officers and men in equal portions.
Fearlessness was his most outstanding characteristic. On the unknown
coast of America the ships ran on foggy nights under full sail, and the
Captain slept peacefully the while. But, on the other hand, when no one
else had a suspicion of danger he often came up on deck and changed the
course of the ship because land was near. This was so pronounced that
every one believed he had some secret source of foreknowing and avoiding
danger. At least I can say with certainty that such occasions were
frequent when he alone was sensible of the existence of land ; and he
was always right.
I do not believe that England ever had a braver sea-officer than Cook.
In times of the greatest danger he was the bravest, the cheeriest, and the
most resolute; and at such times his chief concern was to keep calmness
and order on the ship. In this he was so successful that for the most part
all eyes were fixed upon him.
He had an instinctive knowledge of how to deal with native peoples ;
and his pleasure in intercourse with them was self-evident. He loved
the natives, understood the language of many of them, and had the art
of pleasing and charming them. It was on this account that he was so
much respected by the islanders, and at times worshipped. It was because
of this that he became so enraged when they ceased to honour him or
when they ridiculed him. His anger at such times was terrible, but he
never punished with death. He had a special faculty for making himself
understood by the natives through gestures; and although this faculty had
been developed by constant use, nevertheless it was inborn. Added to
this, he did all he could to give them pleasure, and to win their friendship
by making them presents, informing them on interesting subjects, and
entertaining them with exhibitions of European customs of peace and war.
One of his regulations which was particularly praiseworthy was the
organization of the ship's police, especially in respect to the health of the
crew. Being of the opinion that idleness is the greatest enemy to health,
he was at pains to provide the men with constant employment, and When
there was nothing particular to be done he had something pulled down
and fixed up again, or sea-manoeuvres were carried out, so that the crews
were kept occupied. All jobs had to be done before they were actually
needed, and each branch of the ship's trades had to keep a- good supply of
tools on hand. It is to this continual occupation, combined with moderate
living, that I ascribe the fact that the health of the crews was excellent
throughout. Every week the whole ship was thoroughly washed, and
fumigated with powder, and daily, unless the weather was stormy, the
hammocks had to be brought up on deck; they were only taken below
at sunset. Captain Cook continually warned us against the excessive
eating of meat, and was always willing to provide us with flour for the
preparation of other dishes instead of meat. Three times a week pickled
cabbage formed part of our rations ; of this the English became very fond
after we Germans had taught them how to prepare it. Twice a week we
had soup made from meat stock, to which peas were added.
Whenever we landed on an island a party was at once sent out to
gather green stuff, and this was cooked in our soup ; if, however, there
was no vegetation on the island, then the nets were thrown out so that
we might have a fresh supplyr of fish, and the amount of meat in our rations
be reduced. But if it were possible to buy fresh food, this was his first
care. Owing to these wise precautions, not a single member of the crew
ever suffered from scrofula.
On the American coast and in New Zealand we made beer by cutting
off the tips of various trees, cooking them in water, and then to every
40 gallons of this water adding a quart of a liquor made of malt, and 5 lb.
or 6 lb. of sugar. This made a very pleasant and healthy drink, which we
took instead of brandy, and although many of the men accused Captain
Cook of self-seeking in his economy, in that by the use of this beer he saved
the supplies of brandy, nevertheless I consider that the home-made beer was
one of the factors which made for the preserving of the health of the men.
Whenever any member of the crew took ill one of his companions was
told off as his sick-nurse, and Captain Cook kept himself well informed as
to the sick man's progress ; he sent a doctor to attend to him, and in every
way took upon himself the duties of a father. If fresh food was available,
it was set aside for the patient, and every day he was given some of the
aforementioned meat-stock soup, and also wine and tea, which Captain
Cook kept by him for this special purpose. We had with us excellent
doctors and surgeons ; as a proof of their skill, I may mention that they
cured a broken arm and a broken leg in eight weeks, and that the two
men who were the sufferers—Woodfield and Wacker—were completely
restored :   this was a remarkable feat for a surgeon at sea.
The universal consternation caused by the death of our Commodore
is the highest praise which could possibly have been given him. Every one
on the ships was silent and depressed ; We all felt that we had lost a
father, and it will readily be seen from this narrative that after Cook's
death the spirit of discovery, the decision, and the indomitable courage,
were gone.
On the day on which we consigned the mutilated fragments of his body
to the sea the sad memories which were present in the minds of all brought
tears to every eye. I might add that, had fate willed that it should be one
of the other officers who was to lose his life in this way, Captain Cook
would have shown how .the death of a bravo European should be avenged.   -
In spite of the dissension with the islanders, the women continued to
visit us nightly on the ships, staying until the morning; only they did not
come in such numbers as before, for previously many of them had had to
swim back to land without having found a bedfellow.
The regulation which had been made when we first visited the island
of Nihau forbidding us to have any intercourse with the native women had
certainly not been altered, but as the medical examination had shown that
the diseases in question had already been rife in the islands before our
arrival no further attempt was made to carry out the regulation.
On 22nd February we took our departure from O-waihi, the announcement having been made to the crews that Captain Clerke was to take
charge of the " Resolution " as commodore, and Lieutenant Gore to be
commander of the " Discovery."
Captain Clerke at-first intended carrying out Cook's plan of making
a thorough examination of the rest of the neighbouring islands, and went
so far as to land on one of these; but because the inhabitants collected in
great crowds, and he did not trust them, he left the island, and our course
was set for Nihau and Yams Island, where we were known. We stayed at
these two islands from 28th February to 14th March, laying in a supply
of provisions of various kinds. The inhabitants related to us that a war
had arisen between the two islands over the pair of goats which Captain
Cook had presented to the king of Yams Island, and that the king of Nihau
had been killed and the goats torn in pieces.
From these islands Clerke set his course for the coast of Asia, partly
because he wished to make another endeavour to find the north-west
passage, and partly because he thought that the weather might this year
fee more favourable for the approach to the Pole.
On 27th April we sighted land on the Asiatic side in 50 degrees north
latitude; this land was covered with snow, and the cold in that region was
On 1st May we reached Kamtschatka, and cast anchor in the harbour
of St. Peter and St. Paul, only half of which was frozen over. Lieutenant
King with ten men crossed over the ice in a thick fog, and at the end of half
an hour's walk they had the good fortune to come upon a fortress held by
a Russian watch. As these Russians understood no English, and were
entirely taken by surprise at this unexpected visit, Lieutenant King "made
signs of friendship, and learned from them that they had sent a messenger
in a sledge drawn by dogs to report to Governor Boehm the arrival of
strange ships. This worthy man at once sent two of his servants—one a
Prussian by birth, and the other a Russian born of German parents—
together with a Russian trader, off to our ships. These men brought us a
letter in German, in which the Governor expressed his pleasure at our
arrival, and promised to assist us in any way which lay in his power.
It is impossible to describe the pleasure which we Germans who were
members of the ship's crew and these German visitors felt at meeting with
fellow-countrymen; and when I recognized one of the men as a German
his joy, who had not met a single fellow-countryman for seventeen years,
was, like my own, inexpressible.
Captain Gore^ and Mr. Webber, the artist, who was on our ship and who
had a very good knowledge of the German language, set off in sleighs to
visit the Governor, who lived at Balgaja Recka, and nine days later they
reported to Captain Clerke that the Governor was coming to visit him
on his ship. He came, and on his arrival was greeted with a salute of
twenty-one guns; he dined the first day on the " Resolution," and the
second on the " Discovery," and was given three cheers, departing to the
accompaniment of a further salvo of twenty-one guns.
Governor Boehm gave us every possible assistance; amongst other
things, he sent us twenty-two fat cattle from his own herds, a most acceptable gift. Indeed, we owe much to this man, who treated us with great
kindness, and helped us in every way possible. We sold to some merchants
sent by the Governor a number of sable and beaver furs which we had
secured on the north coast of America in exchange for various trifling
At the end of May we left this place and continued our way northwards
along the Asiatic coast. Before leaving, however, a written report of
Captain Cook's death was entrusted to Governor Boehm, who had just
been recalled to St. Petersburg, and who would therefore reach Europe
before us; this he very kindly promised to forward to England. Some
presents of objects of natural history were also sent for His Majesty the
Russian Emperor.
In the middle of July we reached the 71st degree of north latitude,
where we found quantities of ice, it being even thicker than on our first
visit. Here, as in the previous year, both on this coast and that of
America, we killed large numbers of walruses and some seals and boiled down
their fat for oil. We zigzagged to and fro, and wherever we found an inlet
we entered; but it was impossible to approach any nearer to the North
Pole than the 71st degree, for on 1st August the " Discovery " was surrounded
and held fast by the ice for twelve hours. The " Resolution " succeeded in
freeing herself, and, a south-westerly wind fortunately springing up, the ice
packs were broken and dispersed, and we were able to follow her. The
" Discovery " was, however, a good deal damaged by the ice, and we were
obliged to work the pumps day and night, until, in the middle of September,
we ran into the harbour of Kamtschatka.
Captain Clerke died of consumption three days before we reached land,
and we buried him on the spot to which, as was stated by the priest, the
church was later to be removed.
The crews were now informed that Lieutenant Gore was to take the
position of commodore and Lieutenant King to be commander of the
" Discovery."
By the orders of Governor Boehm, who had already left for Europe,
we were provided at Kamtschatka with an adequate supply of tackle and
sailcloth, of which we had run short during our lengthy voyage. The
new Governor also presented us with seventeen fat oxen.
When the repairs were commenced on parts of the " Discovery"
damaged by the ice it was found that a plank on the lower part of the
bows, of about 5 ft. long and 2 ft. in breadth, had been driven in in such
a way that the carpenter was able to push it right in with his fist: by the
providence of God we had travelled in safety over the many long miles
which separated us from the place at which the damage had been done.
Just as we were about to leave Kamtschatka, being, however, prevented
from doing so by contrary winds, three volcanoes, which were about
twenty-two miles distant, became active—more than usually so, as we
were informed by the inhabitants. Stones of about the size and shape
of beans were showered down like hail on to the ships' decks, so that no
one could remain there. The sky was overcast, and through the dark
.clouds the lightning played. The eruption lasted, ten hours, and as the
wind had then changed we left this place.
In the middle of October we commenced our return journey to Europe,
and set our course, according to written instructions left behind by
Captain Clerke, towards the East Indies and the Cape of Good Hope. We
ran past the south coast of Japan, and endeavoured to get into touch with
Japanese who came off to us in their canoes, and to make friends with
them, but when they remarked this they returned to land. We then
made for China ; but whilst on the way Lieutenant Gore wished to search
for the sunken Treters Island, in order to ascertain whether it had been
correctly charted by the Spanish. Between 12 and 1 o'clock one night
we came on this island during a heavy storm, both ships narrowly escaping
shipwreck. With some difficulty we drew away to a safe distance, and
the next morning, when the storm had abated, we returned, when it was
discovered that the island had been charted by the Spaniards 3 degrees
latitude  out  of position.
We now fetched Macao, and here the first piece of news we received
was that Britain was engaged in a naval war with France. We were
informed that France was guaranteeing us against molestation. This
we very much doubted, and exchanged an anchor for six guns with a
Portuguese captain at Macao. We also made a bulwark of old tackle
round our ships, and prepared ourselves to give battle. In the meanwhile,
two small royal Spanish merchantmen from Manila appeared before Macao,
heavily laden with specie. These ships held off outside the harbour for
four days, presumably because they had learned of our presence, but finally
they came in during the night, withdrew behind the guns of Macao, and
landed their whole cargo of specie, which was reported to amount to seven
millions of Spanish dollars. This behaviour surprised us; we could not
at that time imagine what it meant, or what the reason could be.
The Chinese refused to provide us with fresh food. Another Portuguese
captain who was settled there, and who was by birth an Irishman, had
himself supplied daily with three times the amount of provision that he
required, and the surplus he passed on to us. In consideration of these
circumstances, Lieutenant King found it necessary to take a passage on
 taw I
a Portuguese merchantman which was about to leave for Canton, in order
to force the Mandarins to supply him with the necessary provisions.
On the course of our homeward journey we passed through the Straits
of Sunda, but before arriving there we spoke two Dutch East Indiamen
off Batavia, who gave us the further news that Spain was also involved
in the war, and that it was certainly not they, but the French, who had
guaranteed our safety. This news made it clear to us why the two'
Spanish ships had behaved so strangely at Macao.
We provisioned at the Cape of Good Hope, and in order to avoid
all hostilities we took our course homewards by Scotland, and on 22nd
August of last year we arrived at the Orkney Islands. Meeting with
contrary winds, we did not make the port of Deptford until the end of
September, and thus ended our long and difficult voyage of four years and
a half.
On the " Resolution," including Captain Clerke, who was in charge as
commodore, only six men died a natural death during the voyage, and
not a single man on the " Discovery." In addition to Captain Cook, five
of the crew of the " Resolution" were killed at O-waihi, and on the
" Discovery," as has already been stated, two were drowned, and one
killed by being flung against the mast in a storm. Our entire losses,
therefore, amounted to fourteen men, and throughout the entire voyage
there had been no outbreak of infectious diseases on the ships.
ANOTHER and longer account of the voyage, with preface by J. R.
Forster, was published in German at Berlin in 1781, some time
after Zimmermann's book, and three years before the official
An English edition, from the same manuscript, appeared in the same
year in London. It was. published as "By an Officer," and was so well
received that a second edition appeared in the same year, " notwithstanding
the endeavours of a few interested men to discredit it." These English
editions are in the Alexander Turnbull Library, but they, of course, lack
the preface by Forster that appears in the German edition, which also is
in the library.
The remarks by Forster supply additional particulars about Cook and
his relations with the scientific men, and adduce some additional reasons
for his unfortunate death.
He spells the name of the artist of the voyage " Weber " ; it should
be "Webber." John Webber was born in London about 1750, his
father, Abraham Weber, having settled there at the age of twenty-four,
anglicizing his name to " Webber " and marrying an English wife. It was
evidently pronounced " Webber," for Zimmermann spells it " Wepper."
J. Reinhold Forster and his son George were the naturalists during
Cook's second voyage ; and because the father would not confine his
narrative strictly to scientific matters, nor allow his journal to be absorbed
in Cook's, as that of Banks was, the sum which had been allotted to him
for illustrations (£2,000 or more) was withheld, and Forster had to publish
at his own expense. His two volumes appeared in 1777, in English, but
without illustrations.
The following remarks are from the preface by Forster above referred
" The preliminary account of the great voyage of over four years
which has just been brought to a successful issue by the British captains
Cook, Clerke, Gore, and King is so interesting that it would not be right
to keep the German people waiting for the full narrative of the voyage,
which is to be published in detail, under the supervision of the British
Government, from the original manuscripts of the several captains ; more
especially so as I learned lately through letters from England that it will
be impossible to produce the hoped-for detailed narrative for another
year and a half, because over eighty copper plates to illustrate the work
are being made by the best engravers, from drawings by Mr. Weber, who
was one of the members of the expedition. Mr. Weber is the son of a
German artist who died in England a few years ago, and he has no small
reputation as an artist.
" The author of this account of the voyage seems to have accompanied
the expedition on the ' Discovery,' except that on the death of Captain
Clerke he was transferred to the 'Resolution.' It should be easy in
England to discover who   he was, although he does not give   his name.
I did, indeed, write to England in order to obtain this information, but
have received no reply from my friends to my inquiry ; this is probably
due to the uncertainty and tardiness of the mails during a naval war.
I hazard the conjecture, however, that the author was one of the assistant
surgeons, on the ' Discovery,' because the chief surgeon of the ' Resolution,'
Mr. Anderson, had died a short time before, and it is therefore probable
that in giving preferments to the other surgeons one of those from the
' Discovery ' would be transferred to the ' Resolution.'
" The character of the author and his information are not always the
same. It cannot be denied that at times he gives evidence of possessing
nobility of character and sympathy, but at other times one feels disposed
to accuse him of being an unprincipled man. For instance, he added
considerably to the size of his book by inserting long passages from the
accounts of the voyage written by Captain Cook and by my son. He
would appear not to be well acquainted with the languages of the South-
Sea-Islanders, in spite of his long stay at the islands and his constant
intercourse with the natives	
" An Englishman, occupying a high position, wrote to me on 26th
August last as follows : ' Captain Cook's Voyage will not be printed till
the plates are engraved, which will require, I suppose, a year and a half
still. The Captain's character is not the same as formerly : his head
seems to have been turned.' This is an Englishman's judgment of a great
seaman, and this opinion seems to me to be confirmed by the writer of
this book in many parts of his narrative. I will here just remark that
Lord Sandwich's arbitrary manner of acting, together with the preference
shown to his special favourites, was quite sufficient to turn people's heads,
to borrow the expression used by my friend in his letter. It was through
his friendship with Lord Sandwich that Sir Hugh Pallisser's head was
turned ; and Lord Sandwich turned the heads of many other people in
Greenwich Hospital, in the East India Company, and in other places,
Finally, he even turned the head of good Captain Cook.
" When Mr. King, who was a man of refined mind, and a scientist by
profession, received orders in the year 1776 to sail with Captain Cook as
Astronomer and Second Lieutenant, he visited the Captain, and told him
he considered himself fortunate to be making this important voyage with
so great a navigator, but at the same time he expressed his regret that
there were no scientists accompanying the expedition, as had been the
case with the former expeditions. Cook, whose head had been turned
by Lord Sandwich, said, ' Curse the scientists, and all science into the
bargain.' This discourteous reply so shocked Mr. King that he repeated
it to me the next day, and his respect for the man under whose command
he was to sail was considerably diminished until I took the opportunity
of setting things right by describing Cook's character and pointing out
that it was in reality not so bad as it appeared, but that he was a cross-
grained fellow who sometimes showed a mean disposition and was carried
away by a hasty temper ; and to this was added the overbeariug attitude
which was the result of having his head turned by Lord Sandwich. To
the last-named characteristic is due the unnecessary cruelties which were
practised under Cook's leadership during the last voyage in the South
Seas, and which were the cause of his death. On his first voyage Cook
was accompanied by Banks and Solander, who were the representatives
of science and art (eniollil mores nee esse feros) ; and on the second
voyage I and my son accompanied him and were his daily companions
at table and elsewhere. He therefore of necessity acquired through our
presence a greater respect and reverence for his own character and good
name. Our mode of thought, our principles, and our habits had their
effect upon him in the course of time through having them constantly
before his notice, and these restrained him from practising cruelties upon
the harmless South-Sea-Islanders ; there is also not a single case when
he of his own judgment as commander was hard and cruel towards the
islanders, except on one occasion, when, on account of a petty theft, he
caused the guns to open fire upon a fugitive chief and his boat; fortunately,
no harm was done. But as he had no witnesses with him on this voyage
who were not immediately under his command, all being either his
subordinates or persons who were - not possessed of sufficient education
or reputation to inspire respect — not even excepting the astronomer,
Mr. Bailey, and the botanist, Mr. Nelson—it was no wonder that he forgot
himself and the respect due to himself, and yielded more and more to the
results of Lord Sandwich's influence, thereby committing some exceedingly
cruel and inhuman, acts. I am quite convinced that if Banks and
Solander or I and my son had accompanied Captain Cook on this voyage
he would not have met his end as he did.
" I take this opportunity of remarking that, beyond the scanty news
of this last voyage of Cook to be found in Chief Ecclesiastical Councillor
Busching's* Weekly News for 1780, and in the London Magazine for the
months of July and December, 1780, and the information given by my
son, Professor Forster, of Cassel, in the Goettingen Magazine, from accounts
obtained by him from two Germans who accompanied the expedition as
sailors, nothing further has appeared except the book, ' A Voyage round
the World with Captain Cook,' by Heinrich Zimmermann, of Wissloch,
in the Palatinate, printed at Mannheim in 1780 [1781]. The author of
this book was one of the sailors with whom my son spoke ; in his book of
110 pages he gives a very good description of the voyage ; the friend
who helped him in writing it should not, however, have allowed him to call
it a voyage round the world, as it was in reality not such "
Lest any tincture of Forster's resentment should appear in the remarks
above, it is as well to quote his eulogy of Cook:—f
" Thus fell this truly glorious and justly-admired navigator.—If we
consider his extreme abilities, both natural and acquired, the firmness
and constancy of his mind, his truly paternal care for the crew
entrusted to him, the amiable manner with which he knew how to gain
the friendship of all the savage and uncultivated nations., and even his
conduct towards his friends and acquaintances, we must acknowledge him
to have been one of the greatest men of his age, and that reason justifies
the tear which friendship pays to .his memory. He was not free from
•faults, but these were more than counterbalanced by his superior qualities ;
and it is very unfortunate that on this last voyage he should have had no
friend with him, who by bis wisdom and prudence might have withheld
and prevented him from giving vent to his passions, which in fact became
so detrimental to himself as to occasion his destruction."
* Ober-Consistorial-Rat Busching.
11 History of the Voyages and Discoveries made in the North," p. 404.
from the German of John Reinhold Forster.    London, 1786.
             NOTE.—This map is a copy of the one
in (he volume published in London
in 1781.
fhewing; the TRACKS
of the Ships employed in
Cvii>:T Cook's
laft Voyage to the
Pacific Ocean;
in the Years,
20 2)30 2&0 2|50 26b


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