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A voyage round the world : In the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788. Published conformably to the decree… La Pérouse, Jean-François de Galaup, comte de, 1741-1788 1798

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Array  The University of British Columbia Library
.;.-.,.' cc 2£>9
MM]  A
IN THE YEARS 1785, 1786,1787, AND 1788,
OF THE 22D OF APRIL,   1791,
VOL.    II.
17 98.      a: em^ CONTEN
Defcription of Eafter Ifland — Occurrences the*$—
Manners and Cuftoms of the Inhabitants - page i.
Journey of M. de Langle into the Interior of Eafter
Ifland—New Obfervations upon the Manners and
tbe Arts of ihe Natives,   upon the Sfhaliiy and
Cultivation of the Soil, &c.   - -      page 21 •
Departure from Eafter Ifland-—Aftronomical Obfervations—Arrival at the Sandwich Iflands*—Anr
chorage in the Bay of Keriporepo, in the Ifland of
Mowee—Departure       -      - -    page 29.
Departure from the Sandwich Iflands—Signs of approaching the American Coaft—Difcovery of Mount
Saint-Elias—Difcovery of Monti Bay—The Ships
Boats reconnoitre the Entrance of a great River,
to which we preferve the Name, of Behring's
River "—The reconnoitring of a very deep Bay—The
favourable Report of many of '< the Officers engages
ms to put in there—Rijks* we run in^ entering it '
—The Defcription of this Bay,- to which I give
Vol. II. a ' >■ ■, ^      the IV
' the Name of Port des Francais—Manners and
Cuftoms of the Inhabitants — Our Traffic with
them _ Journal of our Proceedings during our
Stay - page 60.
Continuation of our Stay at Port des Franfais—At
the Moment of our Departure from it we experience a melancholy Accident — Account of that
Event—We refume our firft Anchorage—Departure     >        p        -        -        -        page 9.5-
Defcription of Port des Francis—Its Longitude and
Latitude—Advantages and Inconveniences of this
Port—Its Mineral and Vegetable Productions—
Birds, Fiflesy Shells, Quadrupeds—Manners and
Cuftoms of the Indians—Their Arts, Arms, Drefs,
'and Inclination for Theft—Strong Prefumption thai
ihe Ruffians only communicate indireclly with thefe
People—Their Mufic, Dancing, and Paffion for
Play—Differtation on their Language - page 123.
Departure from Port des Francais—Exploring of the
Coaft of America—Bay of Captain Cook's Iflands —
Port of Los Remedies, and Bucarelli, of the Pilot
i   Maurelle—La Croyere Iflands—Saint Carloslftands
—Defcription of the Co aft^ from Cr ofs-Sound as
far as Cape Heel or—Reconnoitring  of a   great
Gulph or Channel, and the exacl Determination
of its Breadth— Sartine Iflands—Captain Cook's
Woody Point—Verification of our Time-keepers—
Breaker91 Point—Necker Iflands — Arrival at
Monterey       - -      page 156.
Deferiptiw of Monterey Bay—Hiflorical Details re*
fpecling the Two Californias, and their Miffions —
Manners and Cuftoms of the independent Indians,
and of thofe converted—Grains, Fruits, Pulfe, of
every Species—Quadrupeds, $irds, Fifhes, Shells,
&JV.— Military Conftitution of thefe Two Provinces
—Details re/peeling Commerce, &V, - page 194.
CHAPTER   xrr.
Aftronomical Obfervations—Comparifon of the Refults
obtained by the Diftances of the Sun and Moon,
end by our Time-keepers, which have ferved as
the Bafts of- our Chart of the American Coaft—
Juft Motives for thinking that our Labour deferves
the Confidence of Navigators—Vocabulary of the
Language of the different Colonies which are in
the Parts adjacent to Monterey, and Remarks on
their Pronunciation        -        - page 236,
Departure from Monterey—Plan of the Track which
we 'propofed to follow in traverfing the Weftern
a 2 Ocean VI
Ocean as far as China —Vain Refearch of the
"Ifland Noftra Seiiora de la Gorta—Difcovery of
Neeker's Ifland—Meet, during the. Night, with a.
funken Reck, upon which-we were in danger of pe-
rifhing—Defcription of that funken Rock—Determination of its Latitude and Longitude—Vain
Search after the Ifles de la Mir a and des Jtrdins-*-
Wemake the Ifland of Afifumption, one of the Mariannes—Defcription afid true Situation of that Ifland in
Latitude and Longitude — Error of the old Charts
of the Mariannes—We fix the Longitude and Lati-
tds—We anchor in the. Road
~      - Page 247.
tude of th
of Macao
Arrival at Macao—Stay in the RoadofTypa—The
Governor s obliging Reception—Defcription of
Macao Its Government—Its Population—Its
Relations with the Chinefe —Departure from Macao,
I—Landing on the Ifland of Luconia—Uncertainty
of the Pofition of the Banks of Bulinao, Manflloq,
and Marivelle—Defcription of the Village of Mari-
velle, or Mirabelle —We enter into Manilla-Bay
by the South 1
the North—M
ge, after having in vain tried
for turning into Manilla-Bay
without Rifik-
lavage'at Cavite
Arrival at Cavite—Manner in zvhich we were received by ihe Commandant of the Place—M Boutiny>
the Lieutenant of my Ship, is difpatchedto the Governor General at Manilla—The Reception given
this Officer—Details relative to Cavite, and its
Arfenal—Defcription of Manilla, and the Parts
adjacent —Its Population—Difladv ant ages refult-
ing from the Government eftablifhed there-—Penances of which we were Witneffes during Paffion
Week—Duty on Tobacco—-Creation of the new
Company of the Philippines—Reflections upon this
Eftablifhment—Details relative to the Iflands fouth
of the Philippines—Continual War with the Moors1
or Mahometans, of thefe'.'different\ Iflands — Stay
at Manilla'—Military St ate.of the Ifland of Luconia - -   , page 301,
Departure from Cavite—Meet with a Bank in
the Middle of the Channel .of Formofa—Latitude
and Longitude of this Bank—We come to an
Anchor two Leagues from the Shore off Old Fort
Zealand—Get under Way the next Day—Particulars ref peeling the Pefcadore, or Pong-hou Iflands
—Survey of the Ifland Botol Tabaco-xima—We
run along Kumi Ifland, which makes Part of the
Kingdom of Liqueo—The-, Frigates enter into the
Sea of Japan, and run along the Coaft of China—
We fhape our Courfe for Quelpaert Ifland—We
run along the Coaft of Corea, and every Day make
Aftronomical Obfervations—Particulars of §{ueU
paert VJII
faert Ifland,  Corea,  &c.—Difcovery of Dagelet
Ifland, its Latitude and Longitude   -    page 331.
Route towards the North-Wefl Part of Japan-
View of Cape Noto, and of the Ifland Jootft ftma—*
Details ref peeling this Ifland—Latitude and Longitude of this Part of Japan — Meet with feveral
Japanefe and Chinefe Veffels—We return towar m
the Coaft of Tartary, which we make in 42 Degrees of North Latitude—Stay at Baie de Ternai
—Its Productions—Details relative to this Country—-We flail from* it, after a Stay of only three
Days —Anchor in Baie de Suffren
page 360,
We continue our Route to the Northward —Difcovery
cfa Peak to the Eaftward— We perceive that we
~w"ere failing in a Channel—We. dire el our Courfe
towards the Coaft of Segalien Ifland—Anchor at
Baie de Langle—Manners and Cuftoms of the Inhabitants—Their Information determines us to continue our Route to the Northward— We run along
the Coaft of the Ifland—Put into Baie d'Eftaing—
Departure—We find, that the Channel between the
Ifland and the Continent of Tartary is obftrucled
by fome Banks—Arrival at Baie de Caftries, upon
the Coaft of Tartary        ?        -    -    page 386,
Proceedings at Baie de Caftries —Defcription of this
Bay, and of a Tartarian Village—Manners and
Cuftoms of the Inhabitants—Their Refpecl for
Tombs and Property—The extreme Confidence with
which they infpired us—Their Tendernefs for their
Children—Their Union among themfelves—Four
Foreign Canoes come into this Bay—Geographical
Details given us by their Crews—Productions of
Baie de Caftries—Its Shells, Quadrupeds, Birds, \
Stones, Plants  ' page 422.
Departure from Baie de Caftries—Difcovery of the
- Strait which divides Jeffo from Oku-Jeffo —Stay
at Baie deCrillon, upon the Point of the Ifland Tchoka
or Segalien—Account of the Inhabitants, and their
Village—We crqfs the Strait, and examine all the
Lands dijcovered by the Dutch on board the Kaf-
tricum—Staten Ifland—Uries Strait—Company's
Land—Iflands of the Four Brothers—Mareckan
Ifland—We pafs through the Kurile Iflands, and
fhape our Courfe for Kamtfchatka    -    page 446,
Supplement to the preceding Chapters'—New Details
relative to theEaftern Coaft of Tartary—Doubt as
to the pretended Pearl Fifhery fipoken of by the
1 Jefuits H :#0NTENTS.
Jefuits-—Natural Differences between the Iflanders
of thefe Countries and the Inhabitants of Conti~
nents — Poverty of the Country —• Impoffibility of
carrying* on any ufeful Commerce there—Vocabulary of the Inhabitants of Tchoka. or Segalien
Ifland   --.--.-      page 47 2.
Fagd     9, line 28, for Maufokums read Maufoka.
Page   20, Note, line 3 from bot. for des Broffes read de Brffis.
Page   69, line z6, for Six read Ten.
Page 331, line 22, for Z/i<?# read Liqueo.
Page 492, line 6 from bot. for Techicotampe read Tehikotampe^
Page 495, line 12* for Choumau read Cbouman. VOYAGE
ROUND   THE   W%0 R L D,
1785,  1786,   1787, AND   1788.
defcription of Eafter Ifland—Occurrences there^
Manners and Cuftoms of the Inhabitants*
(april   1786.)
GOO K's Bay, in Eafter Ifland, or Ifle de Paque,
is fituated in 27° -ii' fouth latitude, and
iii0 55' 30" weft longitude. It is the only an*
chorage^ fheltered from the eaft and fouth-eaft
winds, that is to be found in thefe latitudes; and
even here a veffel would run great rifk from wefterly winds, but that they never blow from that part
of the horizon without previoufly fhifting from eaft
to north-eaft, to north, and fo in fucceflion to' the
weftj which allows time to get under way $ and
after having flood out a quarter of a league to fea,
there is no caufe for apprehenfion. It is eafy to
know this bay again: after having doubled the
two rocks at the fouth point of the ifland, it will
be neceffary to coaft along a mile from th$ fhore,
*1&im il b ell 0, LA   PEROUSE's   VOYAGE
till a little fandy creek makes its appearance, wfiith
is the moft certain mark. When this creell^bears
eaft by fouth, and the two rocks of which I have
fpoken are fhut in by the point, the anchor may
be let go in twenty fathoms, fandy bottom, a
quarter of a league from the fhore. If you have
more offing, bottom is found only in thirty-five or
forty fathoms, and the depth increafes fo rapidly
that the anchor drags. The landing is eafy enough
at the foot of one of the ftatues of which I fhall
prefentiy fpeak.
At day-break I made every preparation for our
landing. I had reafon to flatter myfelf I fhould
find friends on fhore, fince I had loaded all thofe
with preftnts who had come from thence over
night; but from the accounts of other navigators,
1 was well aware, that thefe Indians are only children of a larger growth, in whofe eyes our different commodities appear fo defirable as to induce
them to put every means in praftio^to get poflefllon
of them. I thought it neceffary, therefore, to re-
ftrain them by fear, and ordered our landing to be
made with a little military parade; accordingly it
was effecled with four boats and twelve armed fol-
diers. M. de Langle and myfelf were followed by
jj^fhe paffengers and officers, except thofe who
Were wanted oa -board to carry on the duty of the
two frigates; fo that we amounted to about feventy
perfons* including our boats crews.
Four ROUND    THE    WORLD. 3
Four or five hundred Indians were waiting fgr
Us on the fhore; they were unarmed, fome of
them cloathed in pieces of white or yellow ftuff^
J3Ut the .greater number naked: many were
tatboed, and had their faces painted red; their
fhouts and countenances were expreffive of joy $
fcndthey came forward to offer us their hands, and
• to cfacilitate. our landing.    $$:
The ifland in this part rifes about twenty feet
from the fea. The hills are feven or eight
hundred toifes inland; and from their bafe
the country flopes with a gentle declivity to*
wards the fea. This fpace is covered with grafs
fit for the feeding of cattle; among which are
large ftones lying loofe upon the ground: they
appeared to me to be the fame as thofe of the Ifle
of France, called there giraumons (pumpkins),;^* ;
caufe the greater number are of the fize of that
fruit:. thefe ftones, which we found fo troublefome
in. walking, are of great ufe, by contributing to
the frefhnefs and moifture of the ground, and
partly fupply the want of the falutary fhade of
the trees which the inhabitants were fo imprudent as to cut iown, in times, no doubt, very remote, by which their country lies fulljf expofe^tif^
the rays of the fun, and is deftit.ute of running
ftreams and Springs. They were ignQrant,;that ia
little iflands furrounded by ,an immenfe ocean, the
feoolnefs-of land covered with trees can alone flop
B 2 and 4 LA   pfROUSE's   VOYAGE
and condenfe the clouds, and thus attract to the
mountains abundant rain to form fprings and rivulets on all fides. Thofe iflands which are deprived
of this advantage are reduced to adreadfal drought,
which by degrees deflroying the fhrubs and plants
renders them almoft uninhabitable. M. de Langle
and myfelf had no doubt, that this people owed
the misfortune of their fituation to the imprudence of their anceftors; and it is probable,
that the other iflands of the South Sea abound in
water, only becaufe they fortunately contain
mountains, on which it has been impoffible to cut
down the woods: thus the liberality of nature to
the inhabitants of thefe latter iflands appears, notwithstanding her feeming parfimony in referving
to herfelf thefe inacceflible places. A long abode
in the Ifle of France, which fo ftrikingly refembles
Eafter Ifland, has convinced me, that trees never
Ihoot again in fuch fituations, unlefs they are fhel-
tered from the fea winds, either by other trees or
an enclofure of walls; and the knowledge of this
fact has difcovered to me the caufe of the devafta-.
tion of Eafter Ifland. The inhabitants have much
lefs reafon to complain of the eruptions of their
volcanoes, long fince extinguifhed, than of their
own imprudence. But as man by habit accufloms
himfelf to almoft any fituation, thefe people appeared lefs miferable to me than to captain Cook
and Mr, Forfter* They arrived here after a long
£i4U ' and ROUND    THE   WORL©, J\
and difagreeable voyages in want of every thing,
and fick of the fcurvy; they found neither water,
wood, nor hogs, a few fowls, bananas, and potatoes are but feeble refources in thefe cireum-
flances. Their narratives bear teftimony to their
fituation. Ours was infinitely better: the crews
enjoyed the moft perfect health; we had taken in
at Chili every thing that was neceffary for many
months, and we only defired of thefe people the
privilege of doing them good: we brought them
goats, fheep, and hogs; we had feeds of orange,
lemon, and cotton trees, of maize, and, in fhort, of
every fpecies of plants, which was.likely to flourifh
in the ifland.
Our firft care after landing was to form an en?
clofure wjth armed foldiej-s ranged in a circle; and
having enjoined the inhabitants to leave this fpace
void, we pitched a tent in it; I then ordered to
be brought on fhore the various prefents that I intended for them, 3s well as the different animals:
but as I had exprefsly forbidden the men to fire,
or even keep at a diftance, by the butt ends of their
firelocks, fuch of the Indians as might be too
troublefome, the foldiers foon found themfelves
expofed to the rapacity of the continually increasing numbers of thefe iflanders. They were at leaft
eight hundred; and in this number there were
certainly a hundred and fifty women. The faces
tf thefe were many of them agreeable; and they
B 3 pffered
assaaassiSi 5 IP perouse's voyage
offered their favours to all thofe who would make
them a prefent." The Indians would engage us to
accept them, by themfelves fettihg the example.
They were dnly feparated from the view of the
fpectators by a fimf>fe: covering of the fluff of the
country,:and while our attention was attracted by
the women, we were robbed of our hats and handkerchiefs. They all appeared to be accomplices
in the robbery; for fcarcely was it accomplifhed,
than like a flock'of birds they all fled at the fame
inftant; but feeing that we did not make ufe0©!
our firelocks, they returned a few minutes after,
recommenced their care fifes, and watched the moment for committing a new depredation : this
proceeding continued the whole morning. As
we were obliged to go away at night, arid had
fo little time to employ in their education, we
determined to amiife ourfelves with the tricks
made ufe of to rob us; and at length, to obviate
every pretence that might lead to dangerous
confequences, I ordered them to reftore to the
foldiers and faiiors the hats which had been taken
away. The Indians were unarmed; three or four
only, out of the whole number, had a kind of
wooden club, which was far from being formidable. Some of them feemed to have a flight authority over the others: I took them for chiefs,
and distributed medals among them, which I
fiung round their necks by a chain; but I foon
found round   the   world? ■ *f
found that thefe were the moft notorious tlreve- •
and although they had the appearance of purfuhig
thofe who took away our handkerchiefs, it was
eafy to perceive that they did fo with the moft decided intention not to overtake them.
Having only eight or ten h^urs to remain upon
the ifland, and wifhing to make the moft of our
time,. I left the | are of the tent and all our efla ets
to Ms, D'Efcures, my firft lieutenant, giving him
charge befides of all the foldiers and failors who
were on fhore.    We then divided ourfelves into
two parties; the firft, under the command of M de
Langle, was to penetrate as far as poffible into the
interim of the ifland, to fow feedb in all fuch places
as might appear favourable to vegetation, to examine the foil, plants, cultivation, population, monuments, and in fhort every thing which might oe
interesting among this very extraordinary people:
thofe who felt themfelves ftrong enough to take a
long journey,accompanied him; among thefe were
Meflieurs Dagelet, de Lamanon, Duche, Dufrefne,
de la Martiniere, father Receveur, the Abbe Monies, and the gardener.    The fecond, of which I
was one, contented' itfelf with vifiting the monuments, terraces, houfes, and plantations within the
diftance of a league round our eftablifhment.   The
drawing of thefe monuments made by Mr. Hodges
was a very imperfect: reprefentation of what we
faw.    Mr. Forfter thinks that they are the woik
B x of UMtfH
I iA  PeR0USE*$   voyagb
of a people much more confiderable than is aft
prefent found here; but his opinion appears to me
by no means well founded. The largeft of the
rude bufts which are upon thefe terraces, and
which we meafured, is only fourteen feet fix inches
in height, feven feet fix inches in breadth acrofs
the fhoulders, three feet in thicknefs round the
belly, fix fett'broad, and five feet thick at the bafe■;
thefe might well be the work of the prefent race of
inhabitants, whofe numbers I believe, without the
fmalleft exaggeration, amount to two thoufand.
The number of women appeared to be nearly that
of the men, and the children feemed to be in the
fame proportion as in other countries; and although
out of about twelve hundred perfons, who on
our arrival collected in the neighbourhood of the
bay, there were at moft three f hundred women, I
have not drawn any other conjecture from it, than
that the people from the extremity of the ifland
had come to fee our fhips, and that the women,
either from greater delicacy, or from being more
employed in the management of their family affairs and children, had remained in their houfes;
confequeritly that we faw only thofe who inhabit
the vicinity of the bay. The narrative of M. de
Langle confirms this opinion; he met in the interior of the ifland a great many women and children: and we all entered into thofe caverns in
which Mr. Forfter and fome officers of captain.
Cook ROUND    THE    WORLRt j$
Cook thought at firft that the women might be
/concealed. Thefe are fubterraneous habitations, of
^the fame form as thofe which I fhall prefently "cle-
fcribe, and in which we found little faggots, fh§
largeft piece of which was not five feet in length,
and did riQt exceed fix inches in diameter. It is
however certain, that the inhabitants hid theis
women when captain Cook vifited them in 1772;
but it is impoffible for me to guefs the reafon of
it, and we are indebted, perhaps, to the generous
manner in which he conducted himfelf towards
thefe people, for the confidence they put in us,
which has enabled us %o form a more accurate
judgment of their population.
All the monuments which are gt this time in
exiftence, and of which M. Duche has given a
very exact drawing, appeared to be very ancient;
they are fituated in morais (or burying places) as
far as we can judge from the great quantity of
bones- which we found hard by. There can be
no doubt that the form of their prefent government may have fo far equalized their condition, that
there no longer exifts among them a chief of fuf-
ficient authority to employ a number of men in
erecting a ftatue to perpetuate his memory. Thefe
coloflfal images are at prefent fuperfeded by fmall
pyramidal heaps of ftones, the topmoft of which is
whitewashed. Thefe fpecies of maufoleums, which
are only the work of an hour for a fingle man,
are I'd la   psrouse's  VOYACf
are piled up upon the fea fhore; and one of th£
natives fhewed us that thefe ftones covered a tomb,
by laying himfelf down at full length on the
ground; afterwards, raifins: his hands towards the
Iky, he appeared evidently defiaous of exp re fling
that they believed in a future flare. .1 was upon
my guard againft this opinion, but having feen this
fign repeated by many, and M. de Langle, who had
penetrated into the interior of the ifland, having '
reported the fame fad, I no longer entertained a
doubt of it, and I believe that all our officers and
paffengers partook in this opinion; we did not
however perceive traces of any worfhip, for I do
not think that any one can take the flatues for
idols, although thefe Indians may have fhewed a
kind of veneration for them. Thefe bufts of cal-
loffal fize, the dimenfions of which 1 have already
given, and which ftrongly prove the fmall progrefs
they have made in fculprure, are formed of a volcanic production known to naturalifts by the name
of Lapillo: this is fo fofc and light a flone, that
fome of captain Cook's officers thought it was
artificial, compofed of a kind of mortar which had
btcn hardened in the air. No more remains, but
to explain how it was poffible to raife, without engines, fo very confiderable a weight; but as it is
certainly a very light volcanic flone, it would be
eafy, with levers five or fix toifes long, and by
flipping ftones underneath, as captain Cook very
well ROUND    THE  WORLD. It
well explains it, to lift a much more confiderable
weight; a hundred men would be fufficient for this
purpofe, for thdeed there would not have been
room for more. Thus the wonder difappearsj
we reftore to nature her flone of Lapillo, which is
hot factitious; and have reafon to think, that if
there are no monuments of modern conftruction
in the ifland, it is becaufe all ranks in it are become
equal, and that a man has but little temptation to
make himfelf king of a people almoft naked, and
who live on potatoes and yams; and on the other
hand, thefe Indians not being able to go to war
from the want of neighbours, have no need of a
I can only hazard conjectures upon the manners
of trfis people, whofe language I did not under-
fland, and whom I faw only during the courfe of
one day; but pofleffing the experience of former
navigators, from an acquaintance with their narratives, I was able to add to them my own obfervations.    Pjr?
• Scarcely a tenth part of the land in this iflartdfs
under cultivation; and I am perfuaded that three
days labour of each Indian is fufficient to procure
their annual fubfiftence. The eafe with which the
neceflaries of life are provided induced me to
t think, that the productions of the earth were in
common. Befides, I am nearly certain the houfes
are common, at leaft to a whole village or dif-
tri£t, mm
I& IA   PEROUSE*S  voyage
trifl.    I ^meafured one of thofe houfes near our
tent*;  it  was three   hundred  and ten  feet  in
length, ten feet broad, and ten fee$ high in the
middle; its form was that of a canoe reverfed:
the only entrances were by two doors, two feet
high, through which it was neceffary to creep on
hands and feet.    This houfe is capable of containing more than two hundred perfons : it is not the
dwelling of any chief, for there is not any furni-*
ture in it, and fo great a fpace would be ufelefs to
him ; it forms a village of itfelf, with two or three
Imall houfes at a little diftance from it.    There is,
probably, in every diftrict a chief, who fuperin-
tends the plantations.   Captain Cook thought that
this chief was the proprietor of it; but if this celebrated navigator found fome difficulty in procuring a considerable quantity of yams and potatoes^
it ought rather to be attributed to the fcarcity of
thefe eatables, than to the neceffity of obtaining aa
almoft general confent to their being fold.
As for the women, I dare not decide whether
they are Common to a whole diftrict, and the children to the. republic: certain it is that no Indiaa
appeared to have the authority of a hufband over
my one of the women, and if they are private
property, it is a kind of which the poffeffors are
very liberal.
* This houfe ^
aeould not uoillbiy
is not then fp
lave feen it.
(bed; fo that captain Cook
I have ROUND    THE   WORLD. ij
I have already mentioned, that fome of the houfes
are fubterraneous; but others are built with reeds,
which proves that there are marfhy places in the
interior of the ifland. The reeds are very fkilfully
arranged, and are a fufficient defence againft the
rain. The building is fupported by pillars of cut
ftone *, eighteen inches thick; in thefe, holes are
bored at equal diftances, through which pafs long
poles, which form an arched frame; the fpace between is filled up with reed thatch.
There can be no doubt, as captain Cook obferves,
of the identity of this people with that of the other
iflands of the South Sea : they have the fame language, and the fame eaft of features: their cloth is
alfo made of the bark of the mulberry tree; but this
is very fcarce, on account of the drought, which has
deftroyed thofe trees. The few remaining are only
three feet high ; and even thefe are obliged to be
furrounded with fences to keep off the wind, for
the trees never exceed the height of the wall by
which they are fheltered.
I have no doubt, that formerly thefe people
enjoyed the fame productions as thofe of the Society Iflands. The fruit trees muft have perifhed
from the drought, as well as the dogs and hogs,
to whom water is abfolutely neceffary. But man,
who in Hudfon's Streights drinks the oil of the
• Thefe arc not freeftone^ but compact lava.
: * whale, 24 la perouses voyage
whale, accuftoms himfelf to every thing, and I
have ken the natives of Eafter Ifland drink the fea
water like the albatroffes at Cape Horn. We
were there in the rainy feafon, and a little brackifh
water was found in fome holes on the fea fhore g
they offered it to us in their calabafhes, but it dif-
gufted even thofe who were moft thirfty. I do
not expect, that the hogs which I have given them
will multiply; but I have great hopes, that the
Iheep and goats, which drink but little, and are
fond of fait, will profper among them.
At one o'clock in the afternoon I returned to
the tent, with the intention of going on board, in
order that M. de Clonard, the next in command,
might, in his turn, come on fhore : I there found
almoft every one without either hat or handkerchief; our forbearance had emboldened the thieves,
and I had fared no better than the reft. An Indian
who had affifted me to get down from a terrace,
after having rendered me this fervice, took away
my hat, and fled at full fpeed, followed as ufual by
the reft. I did not order him to be purfued, not
being willing to have the exclufive right of being
protected from the fun, and obferving that almoft
every perfon was without a hat, I continued to examine the terrace, a monument that has given me the
higheft opinion of the abilities of the earlier inhabitants for building, for the pompous word architecture cannot with propriety be made ufe of here.
5 It-
il- ROUND    THE    WORLD. t$
It appears that they have never had the leaft knowledge of any cemenr, but they cut and divide the
ftones in the moft perfect manner: they were alfo
placed and joined together according to all the
rules of art.
I made u collection of fpecimens of thefe ftones;
they confift of lava of different compa&nefs. The
lighteft, and that which confequently would be
the fooneft decompofed, forms the outer foil in
the interior of the ifland; that which is next the
fea confifts of a lava much more compact, fo as
to make a longer refiftance; but I do not know
afty inftrument or matter hard enough, in the poffeflion of thefe iflandei s, to cut the latter ftones ;
perhaps a longer continuance on the ifland might
have furnifhed me with fome explanations on this
fubject. At two o'clock I returned on board and
M. de Clonard went on fhore. Soon afterwards
two officers of the Aftrolabe arrived, to inform
me that the Indians had juft committed a new
theft, which might be attended with ,more ferious
confequences. Some divers had cut under water
the fmall cable of the Aftrolabe s boat, and had
taken away her grapnel, which had not been difcovered rill the robbers were pretty far advanced
into the interior of the ifland. Ajs this grapnel
was neceffary to us, two officers and feveral jbl-
diers purfued them; but thev were affaiJed by a
ftiower of ftones.   A mufket, loaded with powder,
~«*~r.^~x:+«U m
16 la peROuse's voyage
and fired in the air, had no effect; they were af
length under the neceffity of firing one with fmall
fhot, fome grains of which doubtlefs (truck one of
}fe Indians, for the ftoning ceafed, and our officers were able peaceably to regain our tent; buc
it was impoffible to overtake the robbers, who
muft have been aftonifhed at not having been able
to weary our patience.
They foon returned around our tent, recommenced the offers of their women, and we were
as good friends as at our firft interview. At
length, at fix in tne evening, every thing was re-
embarked, the boats had returned on board, and I
made the fignal to prepare for failing. Before w6
got under way, M. de Langle gave me an account of his journey into the interior of the ifland,
which I fhall relate in the following chapter: he
had fown the feeds in different parts of the roady
and had given the iflanders proofs of the greateft
good will towards them. I will, however, finifti
their portrait by relating, that a fort of chiefs
to whom M. de Langle made a prefent of a he
and fhe goat, received them with one hand, and
robbed him of his handkerchief with the other.
It is certain, that thefe people have not the fame
ideas of theft that we have; with them, probably
no fhame is attached to it; but they very well
knew, that they committed an unjuft action, fince
they immediately took to flight, in order to avoid ROUND    THE   WORLD* lj
the punifhment which they doubtlefs feared, and
which we fhould certainly have inflicted on them
in proportion to the crime, had we made any con-
fiderable flay in the ifland ; for our extreme lenity
might have ended by producing difagreeable con-
fequences. -
No one, after having read the narratives of the
later navigators, can take the Indians of the South
Sea for favages; they have on the contrary made
very great progrefs in civilization, and I think
them as corrupt as the circumftances in which they
are placed will allow them to be. This opinion of
them is not founded upon the different thefts which
they committed^ but upon the manner in which
they effected them. The moft hardened rogues
of Europe are not fuch great hypocrites as thefe
iflanders; all their careffes were feigned; their
countenances never exprefled a fingle fentiment of
truth; and the man of whom it was neceffary to
be moft diftruftful, was the Indian to whom a prefent had that moment been made, and who appeared the moft eager to return for it a thoufand
little fervices.
They brought to us by force young girls of
thirteen or fourteen years of age, in the hope of
receiving pay for them; the repugnance of thofe
young females was a proof, that in this refpect the
cuffbm of the country was violated. Not a fingle
Frenchman made ufe of the barbarous right which
was given him ; and if there were fome moment \
dedicated to nature, the deffre and confent were
mutual, and the women made the firft advances.
I found again in this country all the arts of the
■ ■Safety ifles, but with much fewer-means of exercif-
ing them, for want of the raw materials. Their canoes have alfo ttee iarne form,ibiit theyare tompofed
only of very narrow planks, four or fi*se fees lo<ng,
and at moft can carry but four mqn. I have only
feen three of them in this part of the ifiamd, and I
fhould not be much furprifed, if in a $h<m time,
for want of wood, there fhould not be a fingle one
remaining there. They .have -besfides -karoed m
make fhift without them; and they fwim fo expertly, that in the moft tempeftuous fea they go
two leagues from the ^faore, and in :re6^ffning to
land, often, by way of frolic, choofe thofe places
where the furf breaks with the greateft fury.
The coaft appeared to me not-ta abound much
in fifh, and I believe that the inhabitants live
chiefly on vegetables; their food confifts of ]3ft&-
toes, yams, bananas, fugar canes, and a fmaH fruit
which grows upon the rocks on the fea-fhore, fi-
*nilar to the grapes that .are found in parts adjacent
to the tropic in the Atlantic Ocean; die few
fowls that are found upon the ifland cannot be con-
fidered as a refource. Our navigators did not
meet with any land bird, and even fea fowl are not
very common,
111 Thq, ROUND    THE    WORLD. 19
The fields are cultivated with a great deal of
ikill. They root up tjhe grafs, lay it in heaps-,
burn it, and tfhus fertilise the earth witfets allies.
The banana trees are planted in a ftraight line.
They aHb\cdkivate the garden nightfl^ade, but I
am ignorant what ufe they .make of it; if I
knew bhey had veffels which could ftand fire, I
should tjhink, that, as at Madagafcar or the Ifle of
France, they eat it in the fame manner as they
dofpinage; but they have no other method of
cooking dieir provifion than that of the Society
Ifles, which confifts in digging a hole, and covering
their yams and potatoes wich red hot floaes^arid
emhers, -mixed, with eaqtfis fo that every thing
which they £at is cooked as in an oven.   \
The exactnefs with which they meafured the
fhip fjiowed, that they had not been inattentive
Spectators of our arts; they examined our cables,
anchors, compafs, and wheel, and they returned
the next day with a cord to take the meafure over
again, which made me think, that they had had fome
.difcuffions on fhore upon the fubjeft, and that they
had rftill doubts relative to it. I efteem them far
lefs, becaufe they appeared to me capable of rejection. One reflection will, perhaps, efcape them,
namely, that we employed no violence againft
them; though they were not ignorant of our being armed, fince the mere prefenting a firelock
in fport made them run away: on the contrary,
C i jv0 mmm
20 laperouseYvoyagb
we landed on the ifland only with an intention4 to
do them fervice; we heaped prefents upon theni,
we careffed the children; we fowed in their fields
all kinds of ufeful feeds; prefented them with
hogsi goatsi and fheep, which probably will multiply ; we demanded nothing in return : neverthe-
lefs they threw ftones at us, and robbed us of every
thing which it was poflible for them to take away.
It would, perhaps, have been imprudent in other
circumftances to conduct: ourfelves with fo much
lenity; but I had refolved to go away in the evening; and I flattered myfelf that at day-break, when
they no longer perceived our fhips, they would
attribute our fpeedy departure to the juft difplea-
fure we entertained at their proceedings, and that
this reflection might amend them; though this idea
is a little chimerical, it is of no great confequence
to navigators, as the ifland * offers fcarcely any
refource to fhips that may touch there, befides
being at no great diftance from the Society Ifles.
* Eafter Ifland, difcovered in 1722 by Roggewein, appears,
according to Peroufe, to have experienced a reverfe in its
population, and in the products of its foil: this at leaft might
be inferred from the remarkable difference in the accounts of
thefe two navigators. The reader who may be deiirous to
reconcile them ought to confult Tbe Voyage of Koggewein,
printed at the Hague in 1739, or the extract which the" prefident Des Broffes has given of it in his work, intided,
Htftoire des N&vigMitons aux Tetres Auftraless vol. p page
226, and following,—(Fr., Ed.^ feOUND   THE   WORLD.
Journey of M. de Langle into the Interior of Eafter
Ifland—New Obfervations upon the Manners and
. the Arts of the Natives, upon the Quality and CuU
tivation of the Soil, &V.
(APRIL    I786.)
"|SET out at eight o'clock in the morning, accompanied by Meffrs. Dagelet, de Lamanon,
Dufrefne, Duche, the abbe Monges, father Re-
ceveur, and the gardener j we bent our courfe
from the fhore two leagues to the eaftward, towards
the interior of the ifland; the walk was very painful, acrofs hills covered with volcanic ftones;
but I foon perceived that there were foot paths,
by which we might eafily proceed from houfe
to houfe; we availed ourfelves of thefe, and vifited many plantations of yams and potatoes. The
foil of thefe plantations confifted of a very fertile
vegetable earth, which the gardener judged proper for the cultivation of our feeds: he fowed
cabbages, carrots, beets, maize, and pumpkins;
and we endeavoured to malce the iflanders under-
ftand, that thefe feeds WQuld produce roots and
fruits which they might eat. They perfectly comprehended us, and from that moment pointed
out to us the beft fpots, fignifying to us the
jpjaces in which they were defirous of feeing our new
C 3 productions^ mwm
22 la Grouse's voyage
productions. We added to the leguminous plants,
feeds of the or - ge, lemon*,1 and cotton trees, making
them comprehend, that thefe were trees, and that
what we had before fbwh were plants.
7 We did not meet with any other fmall fhrubs
tfiah the paper mulberry tree*, and the mimofa*.
There were alfo pretty confiderable fields of garden
nightfhade, which thefe people appeared to me to
cultivate in the lands already exhaufted by yams
and potatoes. We continued our route towards
the mountains, which, though of confiderable
height, ,are all eafy of accefs, and covered with
grafs; we perceived no marks of any torrent or
ravine. After having gon? about two leagues
to the eaft, we returned fouthward towards
the fhore which we had coafted the evening
before, . and upon which, by the affiftance of
our telefcopes, we had perceived a great many
monuments : feveral were overthrown; it appealed that thefe people did not employ themfelves in repairing them ; others were ftanding
upright, their bafes half defjjoyed. The largeft
of thofe that I meafured was fixteen feet ten inches
* Morus Papyrifera, abounding in Japan, where they prepare the bark of it to ufe as paper. This bark, being extremely fbrous, ferves the w.Ofnen of Louifiana to make different works with the filk which they draw out of it: the
leaf is good for the nourifhment of iilk-worms. This tree
now grows in France.—(Fr. E<$.)
m ROUND    THE   WORLD. £3
|ft hfjght, including the capital, which was three
feet one inch, and which is of a porous lava, very
light; its breadth over the fhoulders was fix feet
feven inches, and its thicknefs at the bafe two
feet feven inches.
" Having perceived a fmall village, I directed
my courfe towards it; one of the houfes was
three hundred feet in length, and in the form of a
canoe reverfed. f Very near this place we obfervedv
the foundations of feveral others, which no longer
exifted ; they are compofed of ftones of cut lava,
in which are holes about two inches acrofs. This
part of the ifland appeared to us to be in a much
better ftate of cultivation, and more populous,
than the parts adjacent to Cook's Bay. The
monuments and terraces were alfo in greater number. We perceived upon fome of the ftones, of t
which thofe terraces are compofed, fome rude
fculptures of fkeletons ; and we alfo faw there
holes which were flopped up with ftones, by
which we imagined, that they might form a com*-
munication with the caverns containing the bodies
of the dead. An Indian explained to us, by very
€xprefiive figns, that they depofited them there,
and that afterwards,they afcended to heaven. We
found upon the fea-fhore pyramids of ftones,
ranged yery nearly in the fame form as can-
jion balls in a park of artillery, and we perceived
fome hu$am bones in the vicinity of thofe pyra-
C 4 mids, 24 £a perouse's voyagb
mids, and of thofe ftatues, all of which had the
back turned towards the fea. In the morning
we vifited feven different terraces, upon which
there were ftatues, fome upright, others thrown
down, differing from each other only in fize ; the
injuries of time were more or lefs apparent on
them, according to their antiquity. We found
near the farcheft a kind of mannikin of reed, re-
prefenting a human figure, ten feet in height; it
was covered with a white fluff of the country, the
head of a natural fize, but the body (lender, the
limbs in nearly exact proportion; from its neck
hung a net, in the fliape of a bafket, covered with
white fluff, which appeared to be filled with
grafs. By the fide of this bag was the image of
a child, two feet in length, the arms of which
were placed acrofs, and the legs pendent. This
mannikin could not have exifted many years ;
perhaps it was a model of fome ftatues to be
erected in honour of the chiefs of the country.
Near this fame terrace there were two parapets, which formed an enclofure of three hundred and eighty-four feet in length, by three hundred and twenty-four in breadth : we were not
able to afcertain whether it was a refervoir for
water or the beginning of a fortrefs; but it appeared to us, that this work -had never been
finifhed. **■&
, JP Continuing ROUND   THE   WORLD. $$
u Continuing to bend our courfe to the weft, we
met about twenty children, who were walking
lander the care of fome women, and who appeared to go towards the houfes of which I
have already fpoken. <
<c At the fouth end of the ifland we faw the
crater of an old volcano, the fize, depth, and regij-
larity of which excited our admiration; it is in the
fhape of a truncated cone; its fuperior bafe, which
is the largeft, appeared to be more than two
thirds of a league in circumference: the lower bafe
may be eftimated, by fuppofing that the fide of
the cone makes with the axis an angle of about
300. This lower bafe forms a perfect circle ;
the bottom is marfhy, containing large pools of
frefh water, the furface of which ap eared to be
above the level of the fea; the depth of this crater
is at leaft eight hundred ktt.
" Father Receveur, who defcended into it, related to us, that this marfh was furrounded by fome
beautiful plantations of banana and mulberry trees.
It appears, according to our obfervations in failing
along the coaft, that a confiderable portion of it has
rolled down on the fide pext the fea, thus occafion-
ing a great breach in the crater; the height of this
breach is one third of the whole cone, arid its
breadth a tenth of the upper circumference. The
grafs which has fprung up on the fides of the cone,
the fwamps which are at the bottom, and the fertility l6 LA   PEROUSE'S   VOYAGI
tility of the adjacent lands, are proofs that the fub-
terraneous fires have a long time been extinct *#
The only birds which we met with in the ifland
^e faw at the bottom of the crater; thefe were
terns. Night obliged me to return towardf
the fhips. We perceived near a houfe a great
number of children, who ran away at our approach:
it appeared to us probable, that this houfe was the
habitation of all the children of the diftrict. There
Was too little difference in their ages for them all
to belong to the two women who feemed to be
charged with the care of them. There was near
this hdufe a hole in the earth, in which they
cooked yams and potatoes, according to the manner pradlifed in the Society Ifles.
<c On our return to the tent, I prefented to three
of the natives the three different fpecies of animals
which we had deftined for them. &$ra
u Thefe iflanders are hofpitable; they feveral
times prefented us with potatoes and fugar canes $
but they never let an opportunity flip of robbing
pi when they could do it with impunity. Scarcely
a tenth part of the ifland is cultivated; the lands
which are cleared are in the form of a regular oblong, and without any kind of enclofure;
* " There is on the edge of the crater, on the fide towards the fea, a ftatue, almoft entirely deftroyed by time,
which proves that the volcano has been extinct for feveral
the ROUND   THE   WORLD. tyf
the remainder of the ifland, even to the fummit of
the mountains, is covered with a coarfe grafs. It
was the rainy feafon when we were there, and we
found the earth moiftened at leaft a foot deep;
fome holes in the hills contained a little frelh water,
but we.did not.find in any part the leaft appearance of a ftream. The land feemed to be of a good
quality, and there would be a far more abundant
vegetation if it j were watered. We did not obtain from thefe people the knowledge of any
inftrument, which they ufed for the cultivation
of their fields. Probably, after having cleared
them, they dig holes in them with wooden flakes,
and in this manner plant their yams and potatoes.
We very rarely met with a few bufhes of mi-
mofa, whofe largeft branches are only three inches
in diameter. The moft probable conjecture?
that can be formed as to the government of
thefe people are, that they confift only of a fingle
nation, divided into as many diftricts as there are
morais, . becaufe it is tp be obferved, that the villages are built near thofe burying places. The
products of the-earth feem to be common to all
the inhabitants of the fame diftrict; and as the
men, without any regard to delicacy, make offers
of the women to ftrangers, it is natu'ral to fuppofe,
that they do not belong to any man in particular;
and that when the children are weaned, they are delivered over to the management of other women,
who, Hi
who, in every diftrift, are charged with the care of
bringing them up.
€t Twice as many men are met with as women,
and if indeed the latter are not lefs numerous, it is
becaufe they keep more at home than the men.
The ^whole population may be eftimated at two
thoufand people; feveral houfes that we faw building, and a great number of children, ought to in-<
duce a belief that it does not diminifh; there is
however reafon to think, that the population was
more confiderable when the ifland was better
jwooded. If thefe iflanders had induftry enough to
btrild citterns, they would thereby remedy one of
the greateft misfortunes of their fituation, and perhaps they Would prolong their lives. There is not
a fingle man feen in this ifland who appears to be
above the age of fixty-five, if we can form any efti-
mate of the age of people with whom we are fo
little acquainted, and whofe manner of life differs
fo efTentiaUy from our own." HOUND   tHE   WORLD* ££
Departure froni Eafter Ifland—Aftronomical Obfervations—Arrival at the Sandwich Iflands—Anchorage in the Bay of Keriporepo, in tbe Ifland of
(APRIL,   MAY,   J*JNE,   1J%6.)
f\ n taking our departure from Cook's Bay in
Eafter Ifland, on the ioth in the evening, I
ftood to the northward, and coafted along the ifland
a league from the fhore, by moon-light. We did
not lofe fight of it till the next day at two o'clock,
when we were about twenty leagues off. The wind
till the 17th was conftantly at fouth eaft, and eaft
fouth eaft. The weather was extremely clear; it
neither changed nor was overcaft till the wind
ihifted to the eaft north eaft, in which point it
continued from the 17 th to the 20th, when we. began to catch bonetas, which continued to follow
our frigates to the Sandwich Iflands, and furnifhed
almoft every day, during fix weeks, a complete
allowance for the fhips companies. This whole-
fome food preferved us in good health; and after
being ten months at fea, during which we had been
only twenty-five days in port, we had not a fick
perfon on board the two fhips. We traverfed unknown feas; our courfe was very nearly parallel
to that of captain Cook in 3777, when he failed
from the Society Iflands for the north-weft coaft of
America; but we were about eight hundred
leagues more to the eaftward. I flattered myfelf
that in a diftance of near two thoufand leagues, I
fhould make fome difcovery; failors were continually at the maft-head, and I had proraifed a reward to him who fhould firft difcover land. For
the purpofe of overlooking a greater fpace, our
fhips kept abreaft of each other during the day,
leaving between them an interval of three or four
leagues. ^J^
M. Dagelet, in this run, never neglected an opportunity of making lunar obfervations; their
agreement with the time-keepers of M. Berthoud
was fo-exact:, that the difference was never more
than from ten to fifteen minutes of a degree; they
mutually confirmed each other. M. de Langle's
calculations were equally fatisfactory; and we every
day knew the fet of the currents, by the difference between the longitude by account, and the
longitude by obfervation; they carried us one degree to -the fouth weft, at the rate of about three
leagues in twenty-four hours; and afterwards
changed to the eaft, running with the fame rapidity, till in feven degrees north, when they
again took their courfe to the weftward; and on
our arrival at the Sandwich Iflands, our longitude
by   account  differed   nearly five degrees from
that ROUND   THE   WORLD. 3$
that by obfervation, fo that if, like the ancient navigators, we bad had no means of afcertaining the
longitude by obfervation, we fhould have placed
jfche Sandwich iflands   50 more to the eaftward*
It is, without doubt, from the fet of the currents,
formerly fo little obferved, that all the errors in
the Spanifh charts have originated;  for it is remarkable, that of late the greater part of  the
iflands difcovered by Quiros, Mendana, and other
navigators of that nation, have been found again,
but always  placed upon their  charts  too  near
the coaft of America.    I ought alfo to add, that
if the vanity of our pilots had not a littte fufferecl
"from the difference that was daily found between
the longitude by account, and that by obfervation,
it is very probable that we fhould have had an
error of eight or ten degrees on our making the
land, and confequently, that in times lefs enlightened,-we Should have placed the Sandwich Iflands
ten degrees more to the eaftward.
Thefe reflections left much doubt on my mind
#g to the exiftence of the clutter of iflands called
by the SpaniardsLaMefa, Los Majos, LaDifgraciada.
Upon the chart that admiral An fon took on
board the Spanifh galleon, and which the editor
of his voyage has caufed to be engraved, this
clufter is placed precifely in the fame latitude as
the Sandwich Iflands, and 16 or 170 more to the
^eaftward. My daily differences of longitude
1 made %$ LA  PEROUSE*S   VOYAGE
made me think, that thefe iflands were the fame * %
but what completely convinced me, was the name
* I1i the courfe of the years 1786 arid 1787, captain Dixon
anchored three tirges at the Sandwich Iflands; and having ,
the lame doubt as La Peroufe with regard to the identity of
thefe iflands, and thofe called Los Majos, La Me/a, &c. he
made refearches in confequence; his refults were perfectly
ilmilar, as may be feen by the following extracts:
tc The iflands Los Majos, La Mafo, and St. Maria la Gorta,
g laid down, by Mr. Roberts, from 18° 30' to 2-8° north lati-
*< tnde, and from 1350 to 149° well longitude f, and copied
«< by him from a Spanifh manufcript chart, were in vain
«« looked for by us, and, to ufe Maurelle's words, * // may he
"pronounced that no fuch ijlands are to be found'" fo that their
f intention has uniformly been to miflead rather than be of
«* fervice to future navigators." -~J*&4| fl^P
" Our obfervation at noon, on the 8th of May, gave 170 4'
•- north latitude, and 1290 57' well longitude; in this fituation
" we looked for an ifland called by the Spaniards Roco Partida,
** but in vain; however, we flood to the northward under afi
€« eafy fail, and kept a good look out, expecting foon to fall
" in with the group of iflands already mentioned.   ,.
*' From the nth to the 14th we lay to every night, and
" when we made fail in the morning, fpread at the diftance
« of eight or ten miles, Handing wefterly : it being probable
" that though the Spaniards might have been pretty correal
«c in the latitude of thefe iflands, yet they might eafily be
" miftaken feveral degrees in their longitude: but our lati-
« tude on the 15th, at noon, being 200 9' north, and 1400 ir
4 It muft be obferved, that Dixon reckons his longitude from the weft,
whereas Cook, in his third voyage, reckons it the oppofite way; Dixon's
rtfafon without doubt is, that, having ihaped his courfe to the weftward in
doubling Cape Horn, this manner of reckoning wa& more natural and more
convenient to him.
" wefl ROUND   THE   WORLD. 33
fcf Mefa, which fignifies table, given by the Spaniards to the ifland of Owhyhee. I had read in
the defcription of this fame ifland by captain
King, that, after having doubled the eaftern point,
they difcovered a mountain called Mowna-roa,
which was vifible. at a great.' diftance : it is, fays
he, < flattened at the fummit, and forms what
French mariners call plateau. The Englifh ex-
preflion is ftill more fignificant, for captain King
calls it Table-land.
Although, the feafon was very far advanced, .
and I had no time to lofe in order to reach the
American coafts, I determined at all events to
fhape a courfe which might bring my opinion to
die proof j the refult, if I were in error, would
neceflarily be, to meet with a fecond duller of
iflands, forgotten perhaps by the Spaniards for more
* well longitude, which is confiderably to the weftward of
" any ifland laid down by the Spaniards, we concluded, and
** with reaibn, that there muft be fome grofs rniftake in their
*< chart." f$|8ji
S On the 1 ft of November we looked out for St. Maria le
f Gorta, which is laid down in Cook's chart in 270 50' north
" latitude, and in 1490 weft longitude; and the fame after-
* noon, failed directly over it. Indeed we fcarcely expected
1 to meet with any fuch place, as it is copied by Mr. Roberts
« into the above chart from the fame authority which we
<* had already found to be erroneous refpe&ing Los Majo*
* and Roco Partida."
Vol, IL D tbm 54 LA   PEROUSE  S   VOYAGE
than a century, and to determine their fituationy
and their precife diftance from the Sandwich iflands.
Thpfe who know my character cannot fufpect, that
I have been influenced in this refearch by the defire
of taking away from captain Cook the honour of
this difcovery. Full of refpect and admiration,
for the memory of that great man, he will always
appear to me the greateft of navigators; and he
who has determined the exact fituation of thefe
iflands; who has explored their coafts; who has.
made us acquainted with the manners, quftomsy
and religion of the inhabitants 5, and who has paid
with his blood for all the knowledge of which
we are at this time in poiTeflion refpecting thefe
people ; he is, I fay, the true Columbus of this
/country, of the coaft of Alafhka, and of almoft all
the iflands of the South Sea. Chance fometimes
makes difcoveries to the moft ignorant; but it belongs only to great men like him, to leave no more
information to be defired concerning the countries
they have fccn. Mariners, philofophers, natu-
ralifts, each find in their voyages fomething which is
the object: of theijr peculiar ftudy; all men perhaps,
at leaft all navigators, owe a tribute of praife to
his memory: how can I refufe it, at the moment
of reaching thofe iflands, where he fo unfortunately
finifhed his career ? . .
On the 7th of May,  in 8° north latitude, we
.-._  -   a perceived ROUND    THE   WORLD.' 2S
perceived a great many birds of the petrel fpecies, ■
man of war, and tropic birds 3 thefe laft two
fpecies, it is faid, feldom go any great diftance '
from land; we alfo faw a great many turtles pals
alongfide. The Aftrolabe caught two of them,
which they fhared with us, and which we found
very good. The birds and turtles followed us as
far as 14°, and I doubt not but we paffed fome
ifland which was probably uninhabited ; for a
rock in the middle of the fea would rather be a
place of refort for thefe animals than a cultivated
country. We-were now yery near Rocca-Partida
and la Nublada: I fhaped my courfe fo as to
pafs almoft in fight of Rocca-Partida, if its longitude were juftly determined; but I did not wifh
to run paft its latitude, not being able to fpare from
my other fchemes a fingle day to this refearch.
I knew very well, that in this way it was probable I fhould mifs it, and I was not much fur-
prifed at not finding it. When we had crofTed
its latitude the birds difappeared, and till my- arrival at the Sandwich Iflands, a fpace of five hun~.
dred leagues, we never faw more than two or three
in a day.
On the 15th I was in 190 17' north latitude, and
1300 weft longitude, that is to fay, in the fame latitude as the clutter-of iflands laid down iq the Spanifh
charts^ as well as in that of the Sandwich Iflands,
D 2 but
IL' $6 t.A   PER0 USE?S   VOYAGE-
but a hundred leagues more to the eaftward than
the former, and four hundred and fixty to the eaftward of the latter. Thinking to render an important fervice to geography if I could fucceed
in taking away from the charts thefe idle names,
which point out iflands that have no exiftence,
and perpetuate errors which are very prejudicial to
navigation, I was defirous, in order to leave no
doubt, to prolong my track as far as the Sandwich
Iflands ; I even formed the defign of pairing
between the ifland of Owhyhee and that of Mowee,
which the Englifh had not been able to explore;
and I propafed to land at Mowee, to traffic there
with the inhabitants for fome fupplies of frefh
Hock,' and leave it without lofs of time. I
knew, that by partially following my plan, ^nd
only running down 200 leagues on this parallel,
there would ftill be unbelievers, and I wifh'ed that
not the flightefl objection fhould remain.
On the 18th of May I was in ie° north latitude,
and 13 90 weft longitude, precifely upon the
Spanifh ifland Difgraciada, where I met with no
fign of land.
On the 20th I paffed through the middle of the
fuppofed clufter of Los Majos, without perceiving
figns of being near any ifland: I continued to
run to the weftward upon this parallel between 20°
and 210; at length, on the 28th in the morning,
I got ROUND    THE    WORLD* 37
I got fight of the mountains  of the  ifland of
o o
Owhyhee, which were covered with fnow, and foon
afterwards of thofe of Mowee, which are not quite
fo high. I crowded all the fail I could in order to
near the land, but when night came on I was ftill
feven or eight leagues from it. I paflfed the time
till morning in ftanding off and on waiting for
day, in order to run into the channel formed by
thefe two iflands, and to feek for an anchorage to
keward of Mowee, near the ifland of Morokinne.
Our longitude by obfervation correfponded fa
exactly with that of captain Cook, that after having pricked off the fhip's place upon the chart by
our bearings, according to the Englifh method,
we found only io' difference, which we were more
jo the eaftward.
At nine in the morning I faw the point of Mowee
bearing weft 150 north. I perceived alfo an ifland
bearing weft 22° north, which the Englifh had
not been able to get fight of, and is not found in
their chart, which in this part is very defective;
whilft every thing that they have laid down from
their own obfervations is deferving of the warmeft
praife. The appearance of the ifland of Mowee
was delightful, I coafted it along arabout a league
diftance; it projects into the channel in the direction of fouth-weft by weft: we faw cafoades fajU
|ing from the fummits of the moqntains^ and de-
P 3 fcending 33 LA.PEROUSE?S    VOYAGE
fcending to the fea, after having watered the habitations of the natives, which are fo numerous,
that a fpace of three or four leagues may be taken
for a fingle village; but all the houfes are upon
the fea fhore, and thfe mountains feem to occupy
fo much of the ifland, that the habitable part of it
appears to be fcarcely half a league broad. It is neceffary to be a feaman, and reduced, as we were, in
thefe fcorching climates to a bottle of water a day,
to form a juft conception of the fenfations we experienced. The trees which crowned the mountains, the verdure, the banana trees which were
perceived around the habitations, all produced an
inexpreffible charm upon our fenfes; but the fea
broke upon the coaft with great fury, and we were
reduced ,to deflre, and to devour with our eyes,
what it was impoflible for us to attain.
T^he breeze had frefhened, and we ran at the
rate of two leagues an hour; I wifhed before night
to explore this part of the coaft as far as Moro-
Jdnne, near which I flattered myfelf I fhould be
able to find an anchorage fheltered from the trade
winds: this plan, which was dictated by the imperious circumftances in which I was placed, did not to fliorten fail in order to wait for
about a hundred and fifty canoes which were putting off from the fhore; they were laden with
fruits and hogs, which the Indians propofed to ex-
or our pieces of iron.
Almoft kOUND    THE   WORLD. *$§
Almoft all the canoes came aboard of one or other
of the frigates, but we were going fo fail through
die water that they filled alongfide: the Indians were obliged to let go the ropes which we
had thrown them, and leaping into the fea fwarri
alongfide after their-hogs, and taking them in their
"arms, they took their canoes upon their fhoulders*
emptied them of the water, and gaily got in again,
endeavouring by force of paddling to regain the
fituation that they had been obliged to abandon,and
which had.been in an inftant occupied by others,
who alfo met.with the fame accident.' Thus we
faw more than forty canoes fucceflively overfet;
and although the commerce we entered into with
thefe honeit Indians was perfectly agreeable to both
parties, it was impoflible for us to procure more
than fifteen hogs and fome fruits, and we loft the
opportunity of bargaining for more than three hundred others.
Thefe canoes had outriggers: each held from
three to five men; the common fize might be
about twenty-four feet in length, only one foot
in breadth, and very near the fame in depth.
We weighed one of them of thefe dimenfions,
which did not exceed fifty pounds weight. It is
with thefe tickliih veffels that the inhabitants of
thefe. iflands make runs of fixty leagues, traverfe
channels that are twenty leagues wide, like that
between Atooi and Wohaoo, where the fea runs
iS* P 4 very 4.0 LA   PER0USES   VOYAGE      ,
very high; but they are fuch excellent fwimmers,
that they can fcarcely be compared to any thing
but feals and fea lions. ||f§3
In proportion as we advanced, the mountains
feemed to remove towards the interior of the
ifland, which appeared to us in the form of a vaft
amphitheatre of a yellow green; we no longer
perceived any cafcades; the trees were much mor$
fparingly fcattered in the plain, the villages, were
compofed only of ten or twelve cabins very remote from each other. We had every inftant
frefli caufe to regret the country we had left ber
hind us, and we found no fheker till we faw before us a rugged fhore, where torrents of lava had
formerly run, as the cafcades now flow in th§
other part of the ifland.
After having fleered fouth weft by weft, as far
as the fouth-weft point of the ifland of Mowee,
I flood weft and north weft in order to gain the
anchorage where the Aftrolabe had already brought
up, in twentyT-three fathoms, in very hard grey fand,
about a third of a league from fhore. We lay fhel-
tered from the fea breeze by a high bluff, capped
by clouds. We had ftrong fqualls from time
to time, and the wind fhifted every inftant, fo that
we were conftantly dragging our anchors. This
roaditead was fo much the worfe, as we were ex-
pofed in it to currents, which prevented us from
riding head to wind, except in the fqualls, but they
made ROUND   THE   WORLD, 4*
made fo high a fea, that it was fcarcely poflible far
pur fhips boats to live. I fent one of them, however, immediately to found around the fhips; the
officer reported to me,-that the bottom continued
the fame quite to the fhore ; that the depth of
water gradually diminifhed ; and that there was
ftill feven fathoms at two cables length from the
fhore; but when we weighed the anchor, I faw
'that the cable was rendered abfolutely unfervice-
able, and that under a flight covering of fand there
jnuft have been a rocky bottom.
The Indians of the villages in this part of the
ifland were eager to come alongfide in their canoes, bringing, as articles pf commerce, hogs, potatoes, bananas, roots of arum, which the Indians
call tarro, with fluffs, and fome other curiofities
which make part of their drefs. I did not chufe
to allow them to come on board till the frigate
was at anchor, and the fails were furled; I told
them, that I was taboo *, and this word, which I
* A word which, according to their religion, fignifies a
thing they cannot touch, or a confecrated place, into which
they are not permitted to enter. I&sy
Reliance may be placed upon the fignification of the words
in the language of the Sandwich Iflands from the vocabulary
of captain Cook, who made a long flay in thefe iflands, and
who poifeifed advantages which no other navigator has had
to carry on a communication with the iflanders. To thefe
motives may be added, the confidence due to the known ta-
Jents of Anderfon, by whom he was fo ably feconded.
Dixon 4'2 tA   PEROUSE's   VOYAGE
picked up from the Englifh narratives, had all the
fuccefs which ;I expected from it.    M. de Langle,^
Dixon gives a vocabulary of the language of the Sand-
Jwich Iflands, iri which the word taboo fignifies embargo;
..although in his Journal he explains the ceremony of lying
.under taboo in the fame manner as captain Cook.
.The following table,contains words offimilar found, taken
from the two vocabularies, which proves the errors that may
"be made, when to a perfecl ignorance of the language is added
'the uncertainty of the mode of expr'etfnig the pronunciation
of the words, which varies according tpatke; individuals .who.
pronounce them,
Correfpondent   WORD S   from the
; Vocabularies
*      !
Of Cook.
Of Geo. Dixon.
Cocoa nut    -
Eeneeoo -    I
'  Neebu.
The fun   -   -
Mai, raa    -
Gourd    .-   -
Aieeboo   -    -
Tho. .
Woman  -   -
• C Waheine - - 1
3               (
(_ Maheine - - J
Brother   -    -
Tooanna -   -
Cord  -   -   -
Heaho   - \ -
The ROUND    THE    WORLD, 43
who had not taken the fame precaution, had in an
inftant the deck of his fhip quite crouded with a
multitude of thefe Indians; but they were fo docile, and fo fearful of giving offence, that it was
extremely eafy to prevail on them to return to
their canoes. I had no idea of a people at once
fo mild and refpectful. When I permitted them
to come on board my fhip, they did not advance
a fingle flep without our concurrence; they always evinced a fear of difpleafing us ; the greateft
fidelity prevailed in their commerce. They took
a great fancy to our pieces of old iron hoops ; they
were not wanting in addrefs to procure them, by
making good bargains on their own part; they
would never agree to fell a quantity of fluffs, or
feveral hogs in a lump j they very well knew, that
there would be more profit arifing to them by making an agreement to fix a particular price for every
Thefe commercial habits, this knowledge of
iron, which from their own confeflion they did not
acquire from the Englifh, are frefh proofs of the
The vocabulary of Cook, although more perfecl, ftill comes
1 in fupport of my aflertion ; the word which lignifies a woman
is there found in two different places; he has repeated it
without any mark of a doubt, and it is probable he has learned
this flgnification from two individuals whofe pronunciation
was different, for in one place he writes Wabeine and in the
othefr Mabeine*—(Fr. Ed.J
frequent 44 IaA   PEROUSE'S   VOYAGE
frequent communications which thefe people have
formerly had with the Spaniards *.
* It appears certain, that thefe iflands were firft difcovered by Gaetan in 1542. This navigator failed from the
Port of the Nativity, on the weftern coaft of Mexico,-in 20Q
of north latitude : he flood to the weftward, and after having run nine hundred leagues in this direction (without
changing his latitude) he difcovered a group of iflands, inhabited by almoft naked favages. Thefe iflands were fur-
Founded with coral rocks: they contained cocoas, and feveral
jCf-theT fruits*, but neither gold nor filver. He called them the
fzng's Iflands i probably from the day on which he made the
difcovery; and he named one, which he found twenty league?'
fo the weftward, Garden Ifland. It was impoflible for geographers, from this narrative, not to have placed the difcoveries; of Gaetan precifely at the fame point where captain
Cook has.fince again found the Sandwich Iflands;. .but the
Spanifh editor adds, that thefe iflands are fituated between
the 9th and 1 lth degrees of latitude, inftead of fay ing between
tie '19th and 21ft, as all mariners ought to conclude from the
courfe of Gaetan.
Is this omiflion of ten degrees an error of the prefs, ot
«Soes it originate from the policy of the Spanifh court, wirier^
during the laft century, had fo great an intereft in keeping
fecret the fituation of all the iflands of this ocean ?
I am led to believe that it is an error of the prefi, becaufe it was very impolitic to print that Gaetan, failing from
200 of latitude, fhaped his courfe to the weftward; if they
were defirous of deceiving as to the latitude, it was-not very
difficult to have made him fteer another courfe.
> Be this however as it may, if ten degrees be added to the
latitude mentioned by Gaetan, every thing agrees; the fame
diftance from the coaft of Mexico, the fame people, the fame
yegetablf' ROUND   THE    WORLD* 4$
This nation had, during a century, very ftrong
reafons againft making thefe iflands known, becaufe
the weftern feas of America were infefted by pirates, who would have found provisions among
thefe iflanders, and who, on the contrary, from
the difficulty of procuring them, were obliged to
run weftward towards the Indian feas, or to return by Cape Horn into the Atlantic Ocean.
When the navigation of the Spaniards'to the weftward was reduced to a fingle galleon from Manilla,.
I think this extremely rich veflfel was conftrained
by the proprietors to follow a fixed track, which
might leflen their rifle. Thus by degrees this nation has perhaps loft even the "remembrance of
thefe iflands, preserved upon the general chart- of
Cook's third voyage by lieutenant Roberts, with
their ancient fituation at 150 more to the eaftward
than the Sandwich Iflands; but their identity with
thefe laft feems to me to be fo clearly demonftrat-
ed, that I thought it my duty to clear them away
from the furface of the fea.
vegetable productions, a coaft in like manner furrounded
with coral rocks, the fame extent from north to fouth; the
fituation of the Sandwich Iflands being nearly between 19
and 21 degrees, as thofe of Gaetan are between 9 and 11.
This frefb proof, joined to thofe already cited, appears to me
to carry this geographical difcuffion to abfolute certainty.
Befides, 1 can farther affirm, that there exifts no group of
iflands between the 9th -and nth degrees, for it is the
cemmon track of the galleons from Acapulco to Manilla. 46 LA   J?EROUSE*S    VOYAGg
It was fo late before our fails were furled, that
I was under the neceflky of deferring till the
next day the landing which I propofed to make
upon this ifland, where nothing could detain me
but a convenient waterjng place, but we already
perceived, that this part of the coaft was altogether'
deftitute of running water, the declivity of the
mountain having directed all the falls of rain to*
wards the windward fide* Some few days labour
on the fummit of the mountains might perhaps
have proved fufficient to render fo precious a benefit common to the whole ifland; but thefe Indians have not yet arrived at thi$ degree of indufi*
try; in many other refpects, however, they are
very far advanced. The form of their government is well known by the Englifh narratives t
their extreme fubordination is a finking proof, that
there is an acknowledged authority, that graduallyv
extends from the king to the loweft chief, and is
bafed upon the people. My imagination feels
great pleafure in comparing them with the Indians of Eafter Ifland, whofe induftry is at leaft
as far advanced: the monuments of the latter
fhew even more fkill; the fabrication of their fluffs,
as well as the construction of their houfes, is much
better, but their government is fo vicious, that no
one is capable of putting an end to its diforder j
they do not acknowledge any authority, and al-*
though I do not think them abfolutely w&fed* it
is but too common for licentioufnefs to
blefome and even fatal confequences.
a comparifon between thefe two natio
advantages feem to be in favour of tl
Sandwich   Iflands,   though   all   prejud
againft them on account of the death
Cook.    It is more natural for navigator
fo great a man, than coolly and imparti,
amine whether it were not fome impn
his part, that obliged the inhabitants of
to have recourfe to neceffary defence *.
* It is inconteftibly proved, that the Engliih
hoftilities; this is a truth, which it would be in ^
ceal.    I will not adduce any proofs of it, but fuch
tained in the narrative of captain Cook's friend,
who looked upon him as his father, and whom t
believed to be his fon; in fhort, of captain King, v
after a faithful relation of the events which fed t<
<( I was apprehenfive of fome unhappy moment
" this confidence would prevent him from taking
" fary precautions."
The reader will alfo be able to judge for him
comparifon of the following circumftances:
Cook very inconfiderately gave orders to fire w
his labourers were difturbed; though he had befoi
experience of the maffacre of ten men of captain v
fhip's company, a maffacre which was occafioned by the afe
charge of two firelocks upon the Zealanders, who had committed a trifling theft of fome fifh and bread.
Pareea, one of the chiefs, reclaiming his canoe, which had
been feized upon by the fhip's company, was knocked down
by pHt^HftHflfffla&g^
The night was very calm, with the exception
of fome giifts, which lafted lefs than two minutes*
by a violent blow of an oar, with which they ftruck him on
the head; recovered from the ftunriing occafioned by it, ho
had the generofity to forget the violence which had been offered him; he returned a fhort time afterwards* brought back
hat that had been ftolen, and appeared to be afraid thatcap-
i Cook himfelf might kill, or at leaft punifh him.
rsiiyi^ I commiflion of any other crime than that of
\at, two guns had been fired upon two great
ndeavoured to make their efcape.
■   after thefe events, captain Cook walked to
he king was, and received thofe marks of
M had always been accuftomed to pay him;
aroftrated themfelves before him.
no circumftance which could give rife to an
jftile intention on the part of the iflanders, when
jiced acrof? the bay fired again upon fome canoes
avoured to efcape, and unfortunately killed a chief
a rank.
| death drove the iflanders to madnefs.    One of them
.ontented with challenging captain Cook, and threaten-
ig to throw a ftone at him.    Captain Cook difcharged a?
mufket at him, loaded with fmall fhot, which, owing to the
matting with which he was clothed, had no effect: this discharge of the  mufket became  the  fignal of engagement.
Phillips was on the point of being ftabbed.    Cook then fired
a fecond mufket charged with ball, and killed the foremoft of
the iflanders.    The attack immediately became more fefious;
the foldiers and failors made a difcharge of mufketry.    Four
marines were already killed, and three others, with a lieutenant, were wounded, when captain Cook, finding the fituation he was in, approached the water fide; he called out to the
boats ROUND   THE   WORLD. 4(7
At day-break the longboat of the Aftrolabe was
detached with Meflrs. De Vaujuas,- Boutin, and
Bernizet; they had orders to found a very deep
bay which lay to the north weft of us, and in
which I fuppofed there was better anchorage
than where we then were 5 but this new anchorage, though within our reach, was not much
better than that which we occupied. According
to the report of the officers, this part of the ifland
of Mowee not affording either wood or water,
and having only three very bad roads, muft be.
very little frequented.
At eight o'clock in the morning four boats
of the two frigates were ready to fet off, the
. firft two carried twenty armed foldiers, commanded by M. de Pierrevert, one of the lieutenants; M. de Langle, accompanied by all the
paffengers and officers who were not detained by
their duty on board, were in the two others. This alarm to the natives, who
from day-break had been alongfide in their
canoes; thefe Indians continued their traffic; they
boats to ceafe their firing, and to land, that he might embark
Jiis little troop : it was at this inftant, that he was ftabbed in
the back, and fell upon his face into the fea.
It yet remains to be added, that Cook, having determined
to bring the king and his family on board his fhip, either
willingly or by force, and having for that purpofe penetrated
into the country, was very ill prepared for fuch an attempt, by
taking no more than a detachment often men.—(Fr. Ed.)
Vol. II. E did $0 LA    PERO USE'S    VOYAGE
did not follow us on fhore, and they preferved
that appearance of confidence in us, which their
countenances had never ceafed to exprefs. About
a hundred and twenty perfons, men and women,
waited for us on the beach. The foldiers, with their
officers, were firft difembarked; we fixed upon a
fpace which we chofe to referve to ourfelves; the
foldiers fixed their bayonets, and made exadtly
the fame difpofitions, as if in the prefence of an
enemy. Thefe forms made no impreflion on the
inhabitants ; the women teftified to us, by the
molt expreffive geftures, that there was not ap3£
mark of kindnefs which they were not difpofed to
confer upon us; and the men, in the moft refpect-
ful attitude, endeavoured to penetrate into the
motive of our vifit, in order to anticipate our
wants. Two Indians came forward who appeared
so have fome authority over the others; they very
gravely made me a pretty long fpeech, of which
I did not comprehend one word, and each of
them offered to prefent me with a hog, of which
I accepted. In return, I gave them medals,
hatchets, and other pieces of iron, objects to them
of ineftimable value. My liberality had a very
gfeat effect; the women redoubled their careffes,
but they were not very feducing; their features
had no delicacy, and their drefs difcovered to me,
among much the greater number, traces of the
ravages committed by the venereal difeafe. As
4 there ROUND    THE    WORLD. 51
there were no women came to the fhips in thte
canoes, I thought that they attributed to the Europeans thofe evils of which they bore the marks,
but I foon perceived that this remembrance, fuppofing it real, had not left on their minds any kind
of refentment.
Let me be permitted, however, to examine,
whether modern navigators be in fact the true
authors of thefe evils; and whether this crime,
with which they reproach themfelves in their narratives, be not more fancied than real. To give
my conjectures the greater weight, I will fupport
them by the obfervations of M. Rollin, a very
"enlightened man, and furgeon-major of my fhip.
He vifited in this ifland feveral individuals who
were attacked by the venereal difeafe, and remarked fymptoms, the gradual developement of which
would have required twelve or fifteen years in Europe : he alfo faw children of feven or eight years
old labouring under it, who could only have been
infected while yet in their mothers wombs. I may
.farther obferve, that captain Cook, on his firft
arrival at the Sandwich Iflands, touched only at
Atooi and Oneeheow, and that nine months after,
on his return from the north, he found almoft all
the inhabitants of Mowee who came on board his
fhip. were infected with this difeafe. As Mowee
Is fixty leagues to windward of Atooi, the apparent
rapidity of this progrefs feems to throw much
E 2 doubt £2 LA    PEROUSE*S   VOYAGE
doubt on the prevailing hypothefis*. If to thefe
different obfervations be added that which refults
from the ancient communication of the Spaniards
with thefe iflanders, it will doubtlefs appear probable, that they long ago fhared with other nations the misfortunes attached to this fcourge of
I thought this difcuflion due to modern navigators. All Europe, deceived by their own narratives, had for ever reproached them with a crime,
which they thought the chiefs of thefe expeditions
were able to prevent. There is, however, a reproach, from which they cannot efcape, the not
having taken fufficient precautions to avoid the
evil 5 and if it be nearly demonftrated, that this
difeafe is not the effect of their imprudence, it is
not equally fo, that their communication with
thefe people may not have given it a greater
activity, and have rendered its confequences infinitely more terrible f.
* It appeared to captain Cook, that the inhabitants of
Mowee had been informed of his ftay at Atooi and at Onee-
heow. It is not therefore furprifing, that the venereal difeafe had been communicated in the fame time as the news.
Befides, Bougainville is convinced, that the inhabitants of the
iflands of the Pacific Ocean communicate with each other from
very confiderable diftances.-— Voyage round tbe Worldly Bougainville.—( Fr. Ed.)
f It is not to be doubted, that modern navigators may
Ijave to reproach  themfelves  with having communicated,
After having vifited the village, I gave orders
that fix foldiers, commanded by a ferjeant, fhould,
accompany us: I left the others upon the beach,
under the command of M. de Pierrevert; they
were charged with the protection of our fhips
boats, from which not a fingle failor had landed* -
Though the French were the firft who of late
times had landed on the ifland of Mowee, I did
not think it my duty to take poffeflion of it in the
name of the king: the cuftoms of Europeans are
in this refpect: completely ridiculous. Philqfo-?
phers have undoubtedly reafon to figh at feeing
that men, for no other reafon than becaufe they ar«
in poffeflion of cannon and bayonets, reckon as
nothing fixty thoufand of their fellow creatures;
and, without refpect for their moft facred rights,
regarding as an object of conqueft a land^ which
HI inhabitants have watered with their fiweat, and
which during fo many ages has feryed as a tomb
to their anceftors. Thefe people have fortunately
been difcovered at a period, in which religion is no
longer made ufe of as a pretext for violence and
cupidity. Modern navigators, in defcribing the
manners of newly difcovered nations, have no other
even with a knowledge of the caufe, the venereal difeafe in
the South Sea iflands. Captain Cook makes no fecret of it
in his narratives; and what he principally fays of it may be
feen in his Third Voyage.—(Fr. Ed.)
obied 54 LA    PEROUSE's   VOYAGE
object than that of completing the hiftory of man; A
their expeditions will complete our knowledge of
the globe; and the information which they endeavour to fpread has po other end in view, than
that of adding to the happinefs of the iflanders
they vifit, and augmenting the means of their fub-
fiftence. ?
It is in purfuance oj. thefe principles, that they
have already tranfported into their iflands bulls,
cows, goats, fheep, and rams; that they have alfo
planted trees there, fown the feeds of all countries,
and carried to them tools proper to accelerate the
progrefs of induftry. For our parts, we fhall efteem
ourfelves fufficiently recompenfed for the extreme
fatigues of this voyage, if we could, become the
means of deftroying the cu.ftom of human facrifices,
which is faid to be generally fpread over the
South Sea iflands. But notwithstanding the opi-*
nion of Mr. Anderfon and captain Cook, I think,
with captain King, that a people fo good, fo mild,
fo hofpitabje, cannot be cannibals: an atrocious
religion is with difficulty affociated with mild manners ; and fince captain King fays, in his narrative,
that ttiS priefts of Owhyhee were their beft friends3
-I" think I may conclude, that if mildnefs and humanity have already made fome progrefs in this clafs
charged with human facrifices, the reft of the inhabitants muft be ftill lefs ferocious. It evidently ap-
i pears then, that the practice of man-eating no longer
exifls ROUND    THE    WORLD, 55
lOTts among thefe iflanders, though it is but too
probable, that it has not ceafed any great length of
time *.
The foil of this ifland is formed only of decom-
pofed lava, and other volcanic matters: the inhabitants drink only brackifh water drawn from
fhallow wells, and in fuch fmall quanti^r, that one
of them cannot furnifh half a barrel of water a
day. In our walk we met with four little villages
of ten or twelve houfes; they are built and covered with ftraw in the fame manner as thofe of
our pooreft peafants: the roofs have two declivities ; the door, placed at the gable end, is no more
than three feet and a half high, and cannot be entered without flooping ; it is fhut ojPa fimple latch,
which every one can open. The articles of fur-?
niture of thefe iflanders confift of mats, which like
our carpets form a very neat covering upon which
they lie down; they have befides other kitchen
utenfils, fuch as large calabafhes? to which they
give any form they pleafe when they are green |
they varnifh them, and trace upon them in black
* The horror which thefe iflanders fhowcd when ihef
were fufpected of eating man's flefh, that vvhich they teftified
when afked if they had not eaten the body of captain Cook,
in part confirms the opinion of La Peroufe ; Cook, however,
had obtained certain proof of this cuftom among the inhabitants of New Zealand ;%and it cannot be denied, that the
practice of human facrifices, and of eating enemies killed in
battle, is fpread over all the South Sea iflands.—(Fr, Ed.)
E 4 all w
all kinds of fketches; I have alfo feen fome which
were glued to one another, and thus formed very
krge veffels: it appears that this glue is capable of
refitting moifture, and I had a great defire to know
its compofition* The fluffs, of which they have a
yery great quantity, are, like thofe of the other
iflands, made of the paper mulberry tree, but although they are painted with much greater variety*
their fabric feems to me inferior to that of all the
others. At my return I was again harangued, by.
fome women, who waited for me under fome trees;
they made me offers of feveral pieces of fluff,
which I paid for with hatchets and iron nails.
The reader ought not to expect in this work ta
find details of a people fo well made known by the
Englifh narratives; thefe navigators palled four
months in thefe iflands, and our flay there was
little more than a few hours; they had the further
advantage of understanding the language of the
country; it is neceffary, therefore, that we fhould
confine ourfelves to the relation of our own hif«
Our re-embarkation was made at eleven o'clock
in very good order, without confufion, and without our having the fmalleft caufe of complaint
againft any one. We arrived on board at noon,
where M. de Clonard had been vifited by a chief,
■and had purchafed from him a cloak, and a fine
helmet covered over with red feathers; he had alfo
bought ROUNt)   THE   WORLD. 57
bought more than a hundred hogs, bananas, potatoes, tarro, a great many fluffs, mats, a canoe
with an out-rigger, and various other little articles
of feathers and fhells. On our arrival on board,
the two frigates dragged their anchors ; it blew
frefh from the fouth eaft; we were driving down
upon the ifland of Morokinne, which was however far enough diftant to give us time to hoift in
our boats. I made the fignal for weighing, but
before we could purchafe our anchor, I was obliged to make fail, and to drag it till I had paffed
the ifland of Morokinne, to hinder me from driving paft the channel; if at this time it had unfortunately caught anv rock, and the bottom had not
been hard and even enough to let it come home,
I fhould have been obliged to cut the cable.
We did not entirely get our anchor till five
o'clock in the afternoon; it was too late to fhape
my courfe between the ifland of Ranlfi and the weft
part of the ifland of Mowee; it was a new channel which I fhould have wifhed to reconnoitre,
but prudence would not permit me to attempt it
in the night. Till eight o'clock the breezes were
fo light that we could not run more than half a
league. At length the wind fettled at north eaft;
I flood to the weftward, pafling at an equal diftance the north-weft point of the ifland of Tahoo-
rowa, and the fout^-weft point of the ifland of
Ranai.    At day-break I ftretched towards the
fouth- tlsi
58                    LA    PEROUSE'S   VOYAGE
fouth-weft extremity of the ifland of Mo'rotoJ,
"which I coafted at three quarters of a league dif
tance, and like the Englifh, I got into the open fea
by the channel which feparates the ifland of Wo-
haoo from that of Morotoi; this laft ifland did not
appear to me to be inhabited in this part, although,
according to the Englifli account, it is very popu
lous on the other fide.    It is remarkable, that in
thefe iflands the moft healthy and fertile parts, and
of courfe the beft inhabited, are always to wind-
, ward.    Our iflands of Guadaloupe, Martinico, &c.
have fo exact a refemblance to this new clufter,.
that as fajr as navigation is concerned they appear
to me to have a perfect fimilarity.
Meflfrs. Dagelet ancf Bernizet have taken, with
great accuracy, all the bearings of thofe parts of
the iflands of Mowee and Morokinne that we failed
along:   it was impoflible for the Eriglilh,  who
never came nearer to them than the diftance of ten
leagues, to attain any exactriefs. M. Berni&et corn
ftru&ed a chart, and M. Dagelet furnifhed aftro
nomical obfervations, which deferve equal confi
I 1'
dence with thofe of captain Cook.
On the 1 ft of June, at fix o'clock in the even
ing, we had cleared all the iflands; we had not
1 1
employed more than forty-eight hours in examin
1 1
ing them, and at moft fifteen days in clearing up a
point in geography which appeared to me very im-
■ i
pQrtant, fince it expunges from our charts five or fix
ft! •
jL	 R0UN6   THE   WORLD. M
iflands which have no exiftence. The fifhes which
had followed us from the vicinity of Eafter Ifland
as far as the anchorage difappeared. One faflr
worthy enough of attention is, that the fame fhoal
of fifh followed our frigates fifteen hundred
leagues ; feveral bonetas, wounded by our harpoons, retained a mark on their backs which rendered it impoflible to miftake them, and we thus
recollected every day the fame fifh that we had
feen over night. I have no doubt, that had we not
flopped at the Sandwich Iflands, they would ftill
have followed us two or three hundred leagues,
that is to lay, till they came to a temperature they
could not bear. Co
Departure from the Sandwich Iflands—Signs of ap-.
pro aching the American Coaft—Difcovery of Mount
Saint-Elias—Difcovery of Monti Bay—The Ships
, Boats reconnoitre the Entrance of a great River, to '
which we preferve the name of Behring's River
—-The reconnoitring of a very deep Bay—The favourable Report of many of the Officers engages u$
to put in there—Rifks we run in entering it—The
Defcription of this Bay, to which I give the Name
of Port des Frangais—Manners and Cuftoms of the
Inhabitants— Our Traffic with them —journal of
our Proceedings during our Stay.
(JUNE,   JULY,   I786.}
fr"pHE eafterly winds continued till we were in
300 north latitude; I flood to the northward, with fair weather. The frefh flock, that
we had procured during our fhort flay at the
Sandwich Iflands, afforded an agreeable and whole-
fome fubfiftence to the fhips companies of the two
frigates for three weeks; it was impoffible for
us however to preferve our hogs alive, for want of
water and food ;"T was* under the neceflity of following captain Cook's method of faking them,
• but the hogs were fo fmall, that the greater number of them were under twenty pounds weight.
Their  flefh would not bear fait without being
Mmuimu] ROUND    THE   WORLD. 6t
Corroded by it, and its fubftance partly deftroyed,
which made it neceffary to confume it the firft.
On the 6th of June, being in 300 of north latitude, the wind fhifted to fouth eaft; the fky
became whitifh and dull; every thing told us,
that we had gotten out of the trade winds,
and I was very much afraid that we fhould foon
have caufe to regret the lofs of the fine weather,
which had hitherto preferved us in fo good a ftate
of health, and during which we had almoft every
day made lunar obfervations, or at leaft compared
the true hour of the meridian in which we were
with that of our time-keepers*
My apprehenfions of fogs were quickly realized ; they began on the 9th June, in 34^ north
latitude, and we had no clear weather till the
14th of the fame .month, in 410. I at firft
thought thefe feas more foggy than thofe which
feparate Europe from America. I fhould
have been much deceived if I had obftinately
adopted this opinion ; the fogs of Acadia, of Newfoundland, and Hudfon's Bay have, from their
continued thicknefs, an inconteftible right of preeminence ; but the humidity was extreme; the
fog, or rain, £ad penetrated through all the failors
clothing; we had never the fmalleft ray of the fun
to dry them, and I had before been convinced by
melancholy experience, in my voyage to Hudfon's
Bay, that cold wet weather was perhaps the principal
and mm
and moft active caufe of fcurvy. Not one perfon
was yet afflicted with it; but after having 1remained fo long at fea, we might all have a dif-
pofition of body tending to that diforder. I
therefore gave orders to place floves, filled with
belting coals, under the half deck, and between
decks, where the people flept; I djftributed to
every failor and foldier a pair of boots, and restored to them the flannel under-waiftcoats and
breeches which I had kept in referve from the time
©four departure from the feas of Cape Horn.
My furgeon, who fhared with M. de Clon^rd
the care, of all thefe details, propofed alfo, that we
fhould mix their grog* at breakfaft with a flight
infufion of bark, which, without fenfibly affecting
the tafte of this drink, might produce very fa-
lutary effects. I was under the neceflity of ordering this mixture to be made fecretly; without
this precaution the crews would certainly have
refufed to drinjc their grog, but as none of them
perceived it, there was no murmuring on account
.of this new regimen, which might have been productive of great controverfy had it been fubmitted
to general opinion.
Thefe different pre.caut.ians were attended with
,the greateft fuccefs, but they were not the only
ones which occupied our lei.fure in the courfe of
* A liquor compofed of one part brandy and two parts
■ water* much more w-holefome for the crews than raw fpirir.
fo ROUND    THE   WORLD, 6j
fo long a run: my carpenter made, from a plan
of M. de Langle, a corn mill, which proved of the
greateft ufe to us.
The purfers, perfuaded that kiln-dried corn
would keep much better than flour and bifcuit, propofed to us to take on board a great quantity of it;
this we had again increafed at Chili. They had
furnifhed us with mill-ftones 24 inches in diameter,
and four inches and a half thick; it required four
men to put and keep them in motion. We were
at $e fame time allured, that M. de Suffrein had
no other mill to provide for the wants of his
whole fquadron ; there could therefore remain 110
doubt, but that thefe mill-ftones were fully adequate to fo fmall a fhip's company as our's; but
when we attempted to ufe them, the baker found,
that the grain was only broken, and*not ground,
and the whole day's labour of four men, relieved
every half hour, produced no more than twenty-
live pounds weight of this bad flour. As our
corn formed nearly one half of our flore of provifion, we fhould have been in the greateft em-
barraffment,, but for the inventive genius of M. de
Langle, who, aflifted by a failor that had formerly
been a miller's boy, hit upon the fcheme of adapting to our mill-ftones the movement of a windmill : he firft tried fails to be turned by the wind,
with fome fuccefs, but he foon fubftituted a handle inftead of them ; by this new method, flour as
perfect: as that of common mills was obtained, and
w* ■Hi
we were every day able to grind two hundred
weight of corn.
On the '14th the wind changed to weft fouth-
weft. The following obfervations were the refult
of our long experience: The fky became pretty
generally clear when the winds were only fome few
degrees from weft tonorth,and the fun appearedupon
the horizon; from weft to fouth-weft, the weather
was in general accompanied by a little rain; from
fouth-weft to fouth-eaft, and even to eaft, the horizon was foggy* with an extreme humidity, which
penetrated into the cabins and every part of the
fhip. Thus a fimple view of the table of winds,
will always fhew the reader the flate of the weather, and will be of the moft effential fervice to
fuch as fhall fucceed us in this navigation; be-
fides, they who wifh to join to the pleafure of
reading the events of this voyage a fmall ihare of
intereft for perfons who experienced the fatigues
of it, will not perhaps think with indifference of
navigators, who, at the extremity of the earth, and
after having had to contend continually with fogs,
bad weather, and the fcurvy, have run over an
unknown coaft, the theatre of all the geographical
romances *" too lightly adopted by modern geographers f.
* Thefe romances are, the Voyage of Admiral Fuerites*
and the pretended navigations of the Chinefe and Japanefe ou
this coaft,
f The details of the voyage of admiral Fuentes, or De
This part of America, as far as Mount Saint-
Elias in 6o°, was only juft feen by captain Cook,
Fonte, are certainly very extraordinary; but we dare not altogether reject them, when we compare with the chart of his
difcoveries thofe of Cook, la Peroufe, Dixon, and Meares.
It appears, from the difcourfe delivered by Buache at the Academy of Sciences, that Lorencio Ferrer de Maldonado difcovered the north-weliera paffage by entering into a flreight of
Hudfon's Bay, which is the fame that admiral de Fonte met
with in his return from the South Sea_> and which is laid down
upon the charts under the name of Repulfe Bay. The voyage
of Maldonado appears to be authentic; it is dated in the year
1588 : that of admiral de Fonte is in 1640 : and there is at
leaft no proof againft the latter having had a knowledge of
the voyage of Maldonado, and that he made it the bafis of
his romance. The analogy which appears on the comparifon
will always leave fome doubts; and in geography every
doubt ought to be entertained, till it can be clearly removed
by inconteftible proofs.
Neither the difcourfe of Buache, nor the Spanifh voyage
which ferved as the bafis of it, have yet been printed. Thofe
readers who may be defirous to know the difcuflions, to which
the voyage of admiral de Fonte gave rife, will find them
in the following works:
Explication de la carte des nowvelles decowvertes au nord de la
wer du Sud.    Par de Lifle, etc. Paris, 1752.
Confiderations geograpbiques et phyfiques fur les nowvelles decouvertes au nord de la grande mer. appelee 'vulgairement la mer du
Sud.    Par Philippe Buache, etc.    Paris, 1753.
Nowvelles Cartes des decowvertes de Vamiral de Fonts, etc
Par de Lifle. etc.    Paris, 1753.
Lett re d'un officier di la marine russienne a un seigneur d& In
sour, etc. A Berlin.
Vol. II. F &M "■■
with the Exception of the port of Nootka, in which
he flopped; but from Mount Saint Elias as far as
the point of Alafhka, and even to that of the frozen
cape, this celebrated navigator ran down the coaft
with a perfeverance and courage of which all Eu-*
rope is convinced he was capable. Thus the exploring of that part of America comprized between
Mount Saint Elias and Port Monterey was a labour highly conducive to the interefts of commerce and navigation; but it required many years,
and we do not deny, that, having only two or
three months to allot to it on account of the feafon, and ftill more from the vaft plan of our voyage,
we fhall have left a great many details to fucceed-
ing navigators. Several centuries will perhaps glide
away, before all the bays and harbours of this part
of America come to be perfectly known; but the
true direction of the coaft, the determination as to
latitude and longitude of the moft remarkable
points, will infure an utility to our labours, which
no feaman will call in queftion.
We never ceafed to have a fair wind from the
time of our departure from the Sandwich Iflands
Obfervations critiques fur les nowvelles decouvertes de lfamirai
Fuentes, etc.    Par  Robert de Vaugondy, fils,  etc.    Paris,.
Journal biforique, Me moires pour Vbijloire des fciences et des
beaux arts,  Journal   des   Savant, journal economique,  pour
Fannie 1753-—-(Er. Ed.) IP,|#%V'
HH till kOUND    THE   WORLD. 6j
till we landed at Mount Saint Elias. In proportion as we advanced to the northward, and approached America, we faw fea weeds pafs by
of a fpecies abfolutely unknown to us; a head
of the fize of an orange terminated a (talk of
forty or fifty feet long; this fea weed refembled
but much exceeded in fize ihe ftalk of an
Onion which has run up to feed. Whales of
the largeft fpecies, divers* and wild geefe alfo announced to us that we were approaching land;
at length, on the 23d, at four o'clock in the
morning* we deferied it: the fog fuddenly difperf-
ing all at once difcovered to us a long chain of
mountains covered with fnow, which if the weather
had been clear we fhould have been able to have
feen thirty leagues farther off; we diftinguifhed
Behring's Mount Saint Elias, the fummit of which
appeared above the clouds.
The fight of land* which in general gives rife
to the moft agreeable lenfations after a long voyage,
failed in the prefent inftance to produce the fame
effect upon us. Thofe immenfe heaps of fnow, which
covered a barren land without trees, were far from
agreeable to our view; the mountains appeared a
little remote from the fea, which broke againft a
bold and level land, elevated about a hundred and
fifty or two hundred fathoms. This black rock,
which appeared as if calcined by fire, deftitute of
all verdure^ formed a ftriking contraft to the white-
F 2 nefs 62 la  perouse's  "STOYAGIS
nefs of the fnow, which was perceptible through tfi<*
clouds; it ferved as the bafe to a long ridge of
mountains, which appeared to ftretch fifteen leagues
from eaft to weft. At firft we thought ourfelves
very near it; the fummit of the mountains appeared to be juft over our heads, and the fnow eaft
forth a brightnefs calculated to deceive eyes not
accuftomed to it; but in proportion as we advanced,
we perceived in front of the high ground hillocks
covered with trees, which we took for iflands; it
appeared probable, that we might there have found
a fhelter for our fhips, as well as wood and water.
I propofed therefore, by means of the eafterly wind
which blew along fhore, to reconnoitre at a very
little diftance thefe fuppofed iflands: but it chopped
about to the fouthward, and the fky became very
black in that part of the horizon; I therefore
thought it proper to wait for a more favourable
opportunity, and kept clofe to the wind in ordeg.
to avoid a lee fhore. At noon we made an obfervation in 590 21' north latitude, the weft longitude
was by our time-keepers 1430 23'. A thick fog
enveloped the land during the whole of the 25th,
but on the 26th the weather became very fine $
the coaft appeared at 2 in the morning with all its
windings. I ran along it at the diftance of two
leagues;*we founded in feventy fathoms, muddy
bottom; I was very defirous of finding a harbour,
and foon entertained hopes that I had met with it.
I have ROUND   THE   WORLD, 69
I have already fpoken of a table-land, the eleva-
tioriof which was one hundred and fifty or two hundred toifes, ferving as a bafe to immenfe mountains
a few leagues more inland; we foon perceived a low
point, covered with trees, to the eaftward, which
appeared to join this table-land, and to terminate
at a little diftance from a fecond chain of mountains, which was to be feen ftill farther towards the
eaft. We were all nearly unanimous in opinion,
that the table-land was terminated by the low point
covered with trees, that it was an ifland feparated
from the mountains by an arm of the fea, the direction of which, like that of the coaft, might be
.eaft and weft, and that we fhould find in the expected channel a convenient fhelter for our fhips.
I flood towards this point, keeping my lead
going; the leaft depth of water was forty-five
fathoms, muddy ground. At two o'clock in the
afternpon a calm made it neceffary for me to
come to an anchor; the breeze had been very
light during the whole of this day, and had
varied from weft to north ; by obfervation at
noon we were in 590 41' north latitude, and by our
time-keepers in 1430 3' weft longitude; we werfc
three leagues to the fouth weft of the woody point
which I ftill fuppofed to be an ifland. At fix
o'clock in the morning I had difpatched my longboat, commanded by M. de Boutin, for the pur-
I vqfg of reconnoitring this bay or channel. Meffrs.
F 3 de ■*JO LA    PtROUSrS   VOYAGE
de Monti and de Vaujuas went from the Aftrolabe for the fame purpofe, and we brought up,
waiting the return of thefe officers. The water
was very fmooth; the current ran at the rate of
about half a league an hour, to the fouth fouth
weft, whicli completely confirmed me in the opinion, that if this woody point were not that of a
channel, it formed at leaft the mouth of a great
The barometer had fallen very confiderably in
the laft twenty-four hours; the fky was very black;
every thing indicated that foul weather was about
to fucceed the dead calm which had obliged us
to anchor: at length, at nine o'clock in.the evening, our three boats returned, and the three
officers unanimoufly reported, that there was neither river nor channel; that the coaft formed only
a pretty confiderable hollow in the north-eaft in
the fhape of a femicircle ; that the foundings in
this creek were thirty fathoms, muddy ground,
but there was no fhelter from the wind from
fouth fouth weft to eaft fouth eaft, which is the
moft dangerous. The fea broke violently upon
the fhore, which was covered with drift wood.
M. de Monti had with great difficulty landed;
and as he was the commanding officer of this little
divifion of boats, I gave this bay the name of de.
■ Monti Bay. , They added, that the caufe of our
miftake was this, that the woody point joined a ROUND   THE   WORLl. 7t
.part of the coaft which was much lower, without
,a tree on it, which gave it the appearance of a
promontory. Meffrs. de Monti, de Vaujuas,
and Boutin had taken bearings of the different
points of this bay; from their unanimous report,
there was not the flighteftdoub! remaining of th$
fteps we ought to take. I made the fignal for
getting under way, and as the weather threatened
to be very bad, I took advantage of a breeze
from the north-weft to run to the fouth-eaft, and
to gain an. offing*.
* It will appear, without doubt, fomewhat extraordinary,
that I fhould contend againft the report of three officers, in
t order to maintain, that Peroufe, from on board his fhip, had
formed a better judgment of the coaft; it is the part of the
reader to appreciate the proofs of my affertion, and, if he
have any doubts about it, to confuk Dixon's voyage and
1 aftert, that De Monti's Bay is neither more nor lefs than
the anchorage of Dixon on the 23d of May in the year following ; an anchorage fheltered from all winds, by the corner of an ifland which forms a kind of jetty, to which he
gave the name of Port Mulgrave.
ec The fituation Mr. Turner had pitched on for us to an-
*c chor in, was round a low point to the northward, about
^ three miles up the bay."
" Thefe iflands, in common with the refi: of the coaft, are
.*' entirely covered with pines of two or three different fpe-
" cies, intermixed here and there with witch hazle, and vari-
fc pus kinds of brufh-wood."
F 4       - Dixon yi LA   PtROUSES  VOYAGE
The night was calm, but foggy ; the wind was
changing every moment; at length it flood at
eaft, and blew frefh from this point for twenty-
four h©urs.
On the 28th the weather became more moderate; by our obfervation we were in 590 if north
latitude, and in 1420 41' weft longitude, according to our time-pieces; a heavy fog hung upon the
coaft, we could not diftinguifh the points which
~ were vifible on the preceding days; the wind was
ftill at eaft, but the barometer rofe, and every
thing foreboded a favourable change. At five
o'clock in the evening we were only three leagues
from the land, in forty fathoms water, muddy
ground; and the fog having in fome meafure dif-
jperfed, we took bearings, which formed an unin-
Dixon lays down the latitude of Port Mul-
gravein 59°   33'
And its longitude, from the meridjan of
London, at 1400; which makes, from the
meridian of Paris   -------   142*    20'
La Peroufe lays down the latitude of De
Monti's Bay in-T------     59°   43'
And its longitude in-------   1420   40'
If the three officers fent by La Peroufe were not at the
bottom of the bay, it is not very aftonifhing, that they thought
they faw a continuation of the coaft, and that the number
of little iflands, which are at the bottom, had concealed from.
them the paffage, which feparates thefe iflands from the contL
nentv—(Fr* Md.)
terruptecj- ROUND    THE   W 0 R l(|* 73
terrupted feries with tho£ of the preceding days,
and which, together with thofe afterwards taken
with the greateft poflible care, have ferved for the
conftruction of the charts and the atlas. Navigators, and thofe who make geography their particular ftudy, will, perhaps, be very glad to know, that
to give a ftill greater degfee of precifion to the
views and plan of the coafts, M. Dagelet has
been particularly careful to verify and correct the
bearings taken by the azimuth corhpafs, by mea-
furing the reciprocal diftances of the hills, by taking,, with a fextant, their relative angles, and at the
fame time determining the height of the mountains above the level of the fea. This method,
without being perfectly exact, is fufficiently fo to
enable navigators to form'a judgment, by the
height of a coaft, of the diftance they are from its
and it is according to this rule, that this academician has determined the height of Mount Saint
Elias to be nineteen hundred and eighty toifes,
and its fituation eight leagues inland*.
On the ac^th of June by our obfervations we
were in 590 20' north latitude, the longitude by
our time-keepers was 1-42° 2! weft, we had in the
courfe of twenty-four hours made twenty-four
miles eafting.    The fogs and fouth wind conti-
* Cook fays, that Mount Saint Elias lies twelve leagues inland, in 6o° 27' latitude, and 219° of longitude, from the me^
fkUan of Greenwich.    Third Voyage, vol. iii.—f iv\ Ed.)
nued m
74 Qa perouse's voyage
nued the whole day of^the 29th, and the weather
did not clear up till towards noon of the 30th, but
we perceived at intervals the low lands from which
I had never been a greater diftance than four
leagues. According to our place on the chart we
were five or fix leagues to the eaftward of the -bay
to which captain Cook had given the name of
Behring; our foundings were regularly from fixty
to feventy fathoms, muddy bottom. Our latitude
by obfervation was 5 8° 55', and owe time-keepers
gave 1410 48' longitude. With all fail fet 1 flood
in for the land, with a very light breeze from weft
fouth weft; we perceived to the eaftward a bay
which feemed very deep, and which at firft I took
for that of Behring. Approaching within a league
and a half of it, I diftinctly perceived, that the low
lands joined, as in de Monti's bay, higher lands,
and that there was not any bay; but the water was
whitifh and almoft frefti, every appearance indicated, that we were at the mouth of a great river,
fince the colour and faltnefs of the water had
•.changed two leagues from the fhore. I made the
fignal to anchor in thirty fathoms, muddy ground ;
.and I detached the longboat, commanded by M.
de Clonard, my firft lieutenant, accompanied by
Meffrs. Monneron and Bernizet, Langle had
alfo fent two of his boats, under the orders of Meffrs.
Marehainville and Daigremont. Thefe officers
returned a: noon.    They ran along the coaft as
neajr round the  worl©* 75
near as the breakers would permit, and they found
a fand-bank level with the water, at the mouth of
a great river which difcharges itfelf into the fea by
two pretty confiderable channels; but each of thefe
mouths had a bar, like that of the river Bayonne,
upon which the fea broke with fo much force, that
it was impoffible for our boats to come near it.
M. de Clonard during five or fix hours fearched
in vain for an entrance: he faw fmoke, which proved
that the country was inhabited : we perceived from
the fhip a very calm, fea beyond the bank, and a
bafon of feveral leagues in breadth and two leagues
in depth; it is therefore to be prefumed, that, when
the water is fmooth, fhips or at leaft boats may
enter this gulph; but as the current runs very ftrong,
and as the fea breaks almoft inceffantly upon the
bars, the afpect alone of this place muft prevent the approach of navigators. In viewing
this bay I thought it might be that where Behring
landed; it would then be more probable to attribute the lofs of the crew of his boat to the fury of
the fea than to the barbarity of the Indians *« I
preferved to the river the name of Behring's river,
and it appears to me, that the bay of this name has
* There is a double error here: ift, It was captain
Tfcherikcw, and not captain Behring, wTho loft his boats.
2dly, He experienced this misfortune in 56° of latitude, according to the Report of Muller. Voyages and Difcoveries made
no t6
no exiftence, but that captain Cook rather fop*
pofed than perceived it, fmce he paffed ten or
twelve leagues from it *.    On the firft of July at
* Theyplace which Peroufe points out by the name of
Behring's River, is, beyond a doubt, Behring's Bay, defcribed
by Cook. It remains to be known-, whether this change in
the colour and faltnefs of the fea water be fufficient to decide,
that this hollow in the land may be a river, and whether the
caufe .as to the faltnefs may not arife from the enormous quantity of pieces of ice which are continually falling from the top
of the mountains; and as to the colour, from the land-of the
coaft and fhore on which the fea breaks with fo much fury.
After all, river or bay, or perhaps both (for bays being
formed by the advancement of the mountains into the fea, it
is probable that there may be at the bottom a river or a torrent) here is the proof of the identity of the two places.
Cook determines the opening of this*bay to be in 590 18*
north latitude.    La Peroufe was in the weft of this bay, an4
Cook reckoned%imfelf in longitude 22c0 19' eaft of
Greenwich, which makes 1390 41' weft longitude; and
by adding to it 20 20', difference between the meridian of
Greenwich* and that of Paris, it will make Cook's weft longitude 142°  jf from the meridian of Paris.
La Peroufe fixes his longitude at 142° 2', which makes
only the difference of a minute over and above the two
leagues which captain Cook was farther from the coaft.
The opening of the bay bore from Cook north 470 eaft.
La Peroufe, being nearer the coaft by two leagues,' found
that this opening bore north 330 eaft.
Cook was eight leagues from the coaft, and had feyenty
fathoms, water, muddy bottom.
m ROUND   THE    W0RLL. 7J
ftoon, I got under way with a light breeze at fouth-
weft, running along the land at two or three leagues
diftance, At our anchorage we had obferved-in
590 f north latitude, and were in 1410 if weft
longitude, according to our time-keepers; the entrance of the river then bore north 170 eaft,andCapc
Fair Weather eaft 50 fouth. We ran along the
land with a light breeze from the weft, at two or
three leagues diftance, and near enough to cftftin-
guifh men by the aififtance of our perfpective glafles,
had there been any upon the fhore, but we faw
breakers which feemed to render a landing im-
On the 2d at noon I fet Mount Fair Weather,
' bearing north 6° eaft ; our obfervation gave us
58° 36/ of latitude; the longitude by the timekeepers was 1400 31', and our diftance from the
land two leagues. At two o'clock in the afternoon we difcovered a falling in of the coaft a little
to the eaftward of Cape Fair Weather, which
appeared to be a very fine bay.    I flood towards
La Peroufe was five or fix leagues from the coaft, and had
conftantly from fixty to feventy fathoms, muddy ground.
If I had not pufhed my proofs thus far, I would recommend
to the reader himfelf to prick oft Cook's place upon the chart
on the 6th of May 1778, and that of Peroufe 29th June .
1786, and to follow their journals, payings due regard to
the variation of the compafs, according to the determination
of the two voyagers.—'(Fr. Ed.)
it. 7$ LA    PtROU'SES   VOYAGf
it, and at the diftance of a league difpatched frig
jolly boat, commanded by M. de Pierre vert, with
M. Bernizet, to reconnoitre it.    The Aftrolabe
fent two boats for the fame purpofe, commanded
by Meffrs. de Flaffan and Boutervilliers.     We
perceived from the fhip a great reef of rocks,
behind which the fea was very calm.    This reef
appeared to be about three or four hundred toifes
in length, from eaft to weft, and to be terminated,
at about two cables length,  by the point of the
continent, leaving a pretty large opening, fo that
mature feemed to have made, at the extremity of
America,  a harbour like that of Toulon,  only
more vaft in her defigns^ and in  her means ; this
new harbour was three or four leagues deep.    The
report  of Meffrs.  de Flaffari  and Boutervilliers
concerning  it   was extremely   favourable;   they
had gone in and*out of it feveral times, and had
conftantly found feven or eight fathoms of water
in the middle of the paffage, and at the diftance of
twenty  toifes  from  either  fide  there  were five
fathoms ;   they added, that within the bay there
was ten or twelve fathoms, with a good bottom.
From their report I refolved to fhape my courfe
towards the paffage; our boats founded, and had
orders when we fhould come near to the points
to place themfelves one upon each of the extre
mities, -fo that the ft
between them,
it nav<
only to
We foon perceived Indians, who made figns
of friendfhip to us, by waiting, and hanging
up in the air white cloaks and different fkins:
feveral canoes of thefe Indians were fifhing in the
bay, where the water was as fmooth as in a bafon,
whiift the jetty was feen covered with foam by
the breakers, but the water was very fmooth beyond the paffage, which was an additional proof
to us that there wTas a confiderable depth.
At feven o'clock in the evening we were before
it; the wind was light, and the ebb-tide fo ftrong
that it was imp6flib!e to flem it. The Aftrolabe
was driven out by it with great rapidity, and I
was obliged to come to an anchor, in order not to
be drifted away by the current, of the direction of
which I was then ignorant; but as foon as I was certain that it fet towards the offing, I weighed anchor
and rejoined the Aftrolabe, very undecided as to the
conduct I fhould purfue the next day. The very
rapid current, of which our officers had given no
account, had abated the eagemefs I at firft entertained to put into this harbour. I was not
ignorant of the ferious difficulties which always
attend the going in and out of narrow channels
when the tides run very ftrong; and being obliged
to explore the American coafts during the fine
feafon, I thought that a forced flay in a bay, the
departure from which required an union of fortunate
circumftances, might prove very injurious to the
i	 ta t.A   PERO USE'S   V0YAG2
fuccefs of our expedition. I kept however ftand*
ing off and on all night, and at day-break informed M. de Langle of my obfervations, but the
report of his two officers was extremely favourable;
they had founded the paffage and interior of the
bay; they reprefented that the current, which appeared to us fo ftrong, they had feveral times
ftemmed in their boat, fo that M. de Langle
thought that we fhould find it a commodious har-
bour, and his reafons appeared to me to be fo
forcible, that I made no hefitation to adopt them.
This port had never been difcovered by any
other navigator ; it is fituated thirty-three leagues
to the north-weft of that of los Remedios, the
extreme boundary of Spanifh navigators, about two
hundred and twenty-four leagues from Nootka,
and a hundred from Prince William's Sound..
I then thought, that, if the French/Government
had entertained ideas of eftablifhing factories in
this part of the American coaft, no other nation
could pretend to the fmalleft right of oppofing
the project*.    The calmnefs of the  interior of
* Since La Peroufe explored the north-weft ccaft of
America, from Mount Saint Elias as far as Monterey, two
Englifh navigators have made nearly the fame courfe, but
both with views entirely commercial.
Dixon departed from England in September 1785, commanding the Queen Charlotte, accompanied by the King
George, commanded ky captain Portlock; and dropped anchor
at ROUND   THE   WORLD, $2
this bay was very delightful to us, who were
under the abfolute neceflity of making an almoft
entire change in our flowage, for the purpofe of
getting out fix guns that were in the hold, without which it would have been imprudent to navigate the Chinefe feas *, fo frequently infefted
at Owhyhee, one of the Sandwich Iflands, on the 26th May
1786. La Peroufe paffed by Owhyhee the 28th of the fame
month; he anchored at Mowee the next day, and left it the
30th: he made Mount Saint-Elias the 23d of June 1786;
whilft Dixon failed from Owhyhee the 13th of June, and having directed his courfe towards Cook's River, only reached
the north-weft coaft of America on the 8th September *j|£r,.
ran it down from the entrance of La Croix as far as that of
Nootka, without finding an anchorage in any part of it; he
left it the 28th of the fame month to return to the Sandwich
Iflands: it was not till the 23d of May, in the following
year, that he made Mount Saint-Elias, and anchored at Port
Mulgrave. Thus the priority of La Peroufe is clearly verified. a^J
Dixon had, before his departure from London, received
information of the French expedition, but he did not meet
the French, and therefore obtained no knowledge of their
Captain Meares, commander of the fnow Nootka, lefs
Bengal in March 1786; he touched at Oonolafhka in Auguft,
and towards the end of September arrived at the entrance of
Prince William's Harbour, where he wintered : it was only in
1788 and 1789 that he vifited the American coaft. This
voyage is not yet tranflated into French.—(Fr. Ed.)
* We ought to arrive at China in the beginning of
Vol. II. G by fe LA   FEROUSE's  VOYAGE
by pirates. I gave this place the name of Port des
At fix o'clock in the morning we made fail to
jneach the entrance with the laft of the flood. The
Aftrolabe failed before my frigate, and we ftationed,
as on the night before, a boat upon each point.
The wind blew from weft to weft fouth weft, the
entrance lies north and fouth; thus far every thing
feemed to favour us. But at feven o'clock in the
morning, when we were in the channel, the wind
chopped about to the weft north weft, and to north
weft by weft, fo that it was neceffary to throw the
ihip up in the wind, and even to lay all aback; fortunately the flood tide carried our frigates into the
bay, caufing us to range along the rocks from the
eaftern point within half piftol fhot. I came to
an anchor within it, in three fathoms and a halfi
rocky bottom, and half a cable's length from the
fhore i the Aftrolabe did exactly the fame.
During thirty years experience of navigation, I
had never before feen two fhips fo near being loft 5
the circumftance of experiencing fuch an event at
the extremity of the world would have rendered
our misfortune ftill greater, but there was no
longer any danger. Our longboats were quickly
out, we carried out hawfers with kedge anchors
to warp her off, and before the tide had perceptibly fallen we were in fix fathoms water 5 fhe
touched however with her heel once or twice, but ROUND    THE   WORLD. 8 J
lb flightly as not to receive any damage. Our
fituation would not by any means have been fo
embarra fling, had we not been at anchor upon a
rocky bottom, which extended feveral cables
lengths around us; a circumftance altogether contrary to the report of Meffrs. de Flaffan and
Boutervilliers. This was not a time to be making
reflections^ it became neceffary to withdraw ourfelves from this bad anchorage, and the rapidity of
the current was a great obftacle ; its violence obliged -me to let go a bower anchor. I dreaded
every inftant that the cable would be cut, and that
we fhould drive afhore ; our apprehenfion was
ftill increafed, becaufe the wind from the weft
north-weft frefhened very much. The frigate
fwung in fhore with her ftern very near the rocks;
it was impoflible to think of warping off*. I ordered the top-gallant mafts to be ftruck and lowered, and waited the end of this bad weather,
which would not have been dangerous had we
been anchored in better ground.
I quickly fent to found the bay. M. Boutin
reported to me in a fhort time, that he had found
an excellent bed of fand, at four cables length
from our prefent anchorage, that we fhould there
have ten fathoms, but that more a- head in the
bay towards the north he could find no bottom
at fixty fathoms, except at half a cable's length
from the fhore, where,he found thirty fathoms,
G 2 muddy 84 la  perouse's voyage
muddy bottom.    He told me alfo, that the north*
weft wind did not penetrate into the  interior of
the harbour,   but that there   it   was  abfolutely
M. d'Efcures had been at the fame time dispatched to vifit the bottom  of this bay, of which
he gave the moft favourable intelligence ; he had
failed round an ifland near which we might anchor,
in twenty fathoms of water, in muddy ground;
no place could be more convenient for fixing our
obfervatory ; the wood, already cut, was fcattered
upon the fhore, and cafcades of the fineft water fell
from the fummit of the mountains, even  into the
fea.    He had penetrated towards the bottom of
the bay two leagues beyond the ifland.    It was
covered with pieces of ice.    He had perceived
the entrance of two extenfive channels, but eager to
come and give me an account of his million, he had
not explored them.    From this report, we formed
in our imaginations an idea of the poflibility of
perhaps penetrating, by one of thefe channels, even
into the interior of America.    At four o'clock in
the afternoon, the wind having fallen,  we warped
In upon t;he bed of fand difcovered by M. Boutin,
and  the Aftrolabe was able to get under way,
and gain the  anchorage of the ifland; the next
day I joined her, by the help of a light breeze
from the fouth eaft,   and the afiiftance  of  our
During round   the world. #5
During our forced flay at the entrance of the
bay, we had been continually furrounded by the
canoes of the Indians. In exchange for our iron,
they offered us fifh, fkins of otters, and other animals, as well as different little articles of their
drefs; they had, to our great furprife, the appearance of being well accuftomed to traffic, and made
a bargain in favour of themfelves, with as much
ability as the moft experienced purchafers of
Europe. There was none of our articles of commerce for which they expreffed fo ardent a defire
as iron; they accepted alfo fome beads, but it
ferved rather to finifh a bargain than to form the
bafis of an exchange. We prevailed with them in
the end to receive, plates and pewter pots; but
thefe articles had only a tranfient fuccefs, and iron
prevailed over all. This metal was by no means
unknown to them; they had each of them a dagger
of it hung from their neck; the form of this inftrument refembled that of the creefe of the natives of Hindoftan, but they bore not any refem-
blance in the handle, which was no more than a
lengthening of the blade rounded, and without an
edge ; this weapon was inclofed in a cafe of tanned
leather, and it appeared to be the moft valuable
article in their poffeflion. Obferving us to examine thefe daggers with great attention, they made
figns to us, that they never ufed them but againft
•bears, and other beafts. of the forefts. Some of
G 3 them 16
fhem were alfo made of copper, but they did
not appear to prefer them to others* This laft
metal is common enough among them, they more
particularly ufe it for collars, bracelets, and different other ornaments; they alfo tip the points of
their arrows with it.
It was a great queftion among us where thefe
metals came from. The copper might be fup-
pofed to exift native in this part of America, and
the Indians might be able to reduce it into blades
or ingots, but native iron does not, in all likelihood, exift in nature; or at leaft fo rarely, that
very few mineralogifts have ever feen  it*.    It
* Virgin or native iron is rare enough; it has been found,
however, in Sweden, in Germany, at Senegal, in Siberia, and
at the ifland of Elbe : I have found it at Erba-longa, a village two leagues to the northward of Baftia, the capital of
the ifland of Cornea ; it was fpread with great profufion in
the mafs of a rock, fituated on the fea-fhore, and conftantly
under the oclaedral form. The exiftence of native iron is flill
further proved by the famples which exift in the greater part
of the cabinets of natural hiftory, and by the opinion of
Stahl, Linnaeus, MargraiF, &c.
In the fame manner, fince mines of iron exift in America,
'there may alfo be native iron there. I will not however conclude from it, that the iron which Peroufe faw in the poffef-
iion of thefe Indians fprung from that fource ; and I am inclined to think with Cook, that they might have had it from
their cpmmunicaticns ith the Ruffians, who come from
Kamtfchatka, and who have extended their commerce as far
cannot be admitted that thefe people knew the method of reducing the ores of iron to the fete of
metal; befides, we faw on the day of our arrival
polifhed collars, and fome little articles of brafs,
which is well known to be a compofition of copper
and zink*: thus every thing we had feen inducedf
us to think, that the metals we had met with came
from the Ruffians, or the fa&ors for the Hudfon's-
. Bay company, or from the American traders wte
travelled into the interior of America, or eveis
from the Spaniards; but I fhall hereafter make it
appear, that it is moft probable they procured thefe
metals from the Ruffians. We brought away a
great many fpecimens of this iron $   it is as fofe
ss thefe people; or from their connexions with the mterlorcc*-..
kmies, who may Jsave procured it for them in oar fettlemcnts
on the north-eaft coaft of America*—(Fr*Ed.)
* Copper, fufed with pure sank, gives tombac g to obtak* I
brafs, it is neceffary to melt it with calamine*
Calamine undoubtedly contains. sd»k'; but it contains alio
earth, fand, and martial ochre, and frequently galena* That
which contains but little or no zink will ,»ot be proper to
make brafs*
Zinka which is a femi-metal, when not pure, may eontala.
alfo fulphurous and martial pyrites, blende, and a very hard
earthy fubftance.
It may thus be feen* that a very different metal is obtained
by melting copper with pure zink, and by melting it witE«
calamine.—(Fr. Ed.)
G 4
and 88 la perouse's voyage
and as eafy to cut as lead *, and perhaps it is not
impoffible for mineralogifts to point' out the country and the mine which produced it.
The love of gold is not more prevalent in Europe than that of iron in this part of America,
which is a ftrong additional proof of the fcarcity
of this metal: every iflander pofleffes fome of it,
to fay the truth, a fmall quantity; but they are fo
avaricious of it, that they will leave no flone unturned to procure it. On the day of dur arrival
we were vifited by the chief of the principal village.
Before he came on board he feemed to addrefs
a prayer to the fun; he afterwards made us a
long fpeech, which was terminated by fome very
agreeable fongs, that bore a ftrong refemblance
to the plain-fong of our churches; the Indians
of his canoe accompanied him by repeating the
fame air in chorus. After this ceremony, they almoft all of them came on board, and during the
fpace of an hour danced to the found of their own
voices, which was very much in tune. I made the
chief feveral prefents, which rendered him fo
troublefome, that he every day pafled five or fix
hours on board, and I was obliged to renew them
very frequently, or elfe he went away difcontented,
and muttering threats, which however were not
* This quality would denote a virgin or native iron.—
very ROUND    THE   WORLD; 8j
very dangerous. As foon as we had eftablifhed'
ouifelves upon the ifland, almoft all the Indians
of the Bay repaired thither. The report of our
arrival had fpread itfelf to the adjacent parts ; we
faw the arrival of feveral canoes filled with a very
confiderable quantity of otters fkins, which thefe
Indians bartered for hatchets, knives, and bar iron.
They gave us their falmon for pieces of old hoops;
but they foon became more knowing, and we
afterwards could not procure this fifh except for
nails, and other fmall pieces of iron. I believe
there is not any country where the fea otter is
more common than in this part of America, and
I fhould not be much furprifed if a factory, which
would extend its commerce only forty or fifty
leagues along the fea fhore, fhould annually colleft
ten thoufand fkins of this animal. M. Rollin,
furgeon-majerr of my frigate, fkinned, diflected,
and fluffed with his own hands the only otter
which we were able to procure; unfortunately it
was not more than four or five months old, and its
weight not more than eight pounds and a half
The Aftrolabe caught one, which had without
doubt efcaped from the Indians, for it was forely
wounded. It feemed to have attained its full
growth, and Weighed at leaft feventy pounds. M.
de Langle caufed it to be fkinned, in order to fluff
it, but as the order was given at the moment of
our entrance into the Bay, this work was not attended Cp LA   PE ROUSE'S   VOYAGE
tended to, and we could not preferve either the
head or jaw.
The fea otter is an amphibious aimmal,. better
fenown from the beauty-of its fkin, than from the
exact defcription of the animal itfelf. The Indians
of Port des Francais call it fkefter, the Ruffians
give it the name of' colry-marftky. *, and diftinguifh.
the female by the word mafka. Some naturalifts
have fpoken of it under the denomination of fari-
eovieme; but the defcription of the faricovienne by
M. Buffbn in no refpect anfwers to this animal*
which neither refembles the otter of Canada, nor
that of Europe.
On the day of our an
at the fecond an
chorage* we eftabliflied the obfervatory upon
an ifland which was only a mufket fhot from the
fhip; here we formed a fettlement for the time
of our flay in this port > we pitched tents for our
failmakers and fmiths, and we here depoftted the
cafks from our hold, which we entirely fet up
again. As all the Indian villages were on the
continent, we flattered ourfelves with being in a
ftate of fecurity upon our ifland, but we were foon
convinced of the contrary. We had already experienced that the Indians are great thieves, but
we did notfuppofe them to be poffeffed of an acti-
* According to Coxe, bobry-morfky, or fea beaver;, the
female matka; and the young ones, under five months old*
medviedky, &c.—(Fr. Ed.)
vity HOUND   THE   WORLD. 9I
vity and obftinacy capable of carrying into execution the longeft and moft difficult projects ; we
were foon taught to know them better. They
palled every night in watching the moft favourable opportunity to rob us, but we kept a good
guard on board our fhips, and they feldom deceived our vigilance. I had befides eftablifhed
the Spartan law ; the perfon robbed was pu-
nifhed, and if -we did not applaud the robber, we
at leaft reclaimed nothing, in order to avoid
every quarrel, that might be attended with melancholy confequences. I do not diffemble, that
this extreme lenity rendered them infolent; I had
however endeavoured to convince them of the
fuperiority of our arms; a cannon, with ball, had
been difcharged in their prefence, for the purpofe
of letting them fee that they could be reached at a
diftance, and a mufket, loaded with ball, had, in
the prefence of a great number of thefe Indians,
penetrated through feveral doubles of a cuir,afs
which they had fold to us, after having made us
underftand, by figns, that it was impenetrable to arrows and daggers; befides, our moft expert markf-
men killed the birds flying over their heads. I am
very certain they never thought of infpiring lis
with fentiments of fear, but I have been convinced by their conduct, they imagined our patience to be inexhauflible : they foon compelled
me to take away the- fettlement I had made upon
th* m*i\
the ifland; they difembarked there in the night
from the fide of the coaft ; they traverfed a very
thick wood, which was totally impervious to the
day, and gliding upon their bellies like adders,
almoft without itirring a leaf, they contrived, in
fpite of our fentinels, to carry off fome of our
effects ; in a word, they had the addrefs to introduce themfelves into the tent v^here Meffrs. de
Laurilton and Darbaud, who were the guard of
the obfervatory, flept; they took away a mufket,
ornamented with filver, as well as the clothes of
the two officers, who, by way of precaution, had
placed them under their bolder; they were un-
perceived by a guard of twelve foldiers, and they
never once awakened the two officers. This laft theft
would have given us but little difquiet, but for the
lofs of the original memorandum book, in which
was written all our aftronomical obfervations fince
we had arrived in Port des Francais.
Thefe obftructions did not prevent our boats• ,
from taking in wood and water; all our officers
were without intermiffion employed at the head
of different working parties, which we were under
the neceffity of fending on fhore; their appearance and good difcipline kept the Indians in awe;
Whilft we made the moft fpeedy preparations
for our departure, Meffrs. de Monneron and Berni-
zet furveyed the bay in a boat well armed. I had
it not in my power to order any of the officers to
accompany ROUND    THE   WORLD. 93
accompany them, becaufe they were all employed,
but I had refolved that thefe laft, before their departure, fhould verify the bearings of all the points,
and lay down all the foundings. We then—pro-
pofed to dedicate twenty-four hours to the hunting
of bears, whofe tracks we had perceived in the
mountains, an,d immediately afterwards to take our
departure, the advanced feafon not allowing us a
longer flay.
We had already vifited the bottom of the bay,
which is perhaps the moft extraordinary i place in
the world. To form a conception of it, let us/
fuppofe a bafon of water of a depth in the middle
that could not be fathomed, bordered by peaked
mountains, of an exceffive height, covered with
fnow, without a blade of grafs upon this immenfe collection of rocks condemned by nature
to perpetual-, fieri!ity. I never faw a breath of air
ruffle the furface of this water; it is never troubled
but by the fall of enormous pieces of ice which,
continually detach themfelves from five different
glaciers, and which in falling make a noife that
refounds far in the mountains. The air is in this
place fo very calm, and the filence fo profound, that
the mere voice of a man may be heard half a
league off, as well as the noife of fome fea birds
which lay their eggs in the cavities of thefe jocks.
It was at the extremity of this bay, that we were
in hopes of finding channels, by which we might
penetrate 94 LA   PEROUSES   VOYAGE
penetrate into the interior of America. We imagined, that it might terminate in a great river, the
courfe of which might lie between two mountains,
and that this river might take its fource in the
great lakes to the northward. >of Canada. Such
was our fuppofition, and here follows the refult of
it: We departed with the two longboats of the
Bouffole and Aftrolabe. Meffrs. de Monti, de
Marchainville, de Boutervilliers, and father Rece-
veur, accompanied M. de Langle; with me went
Meffrs. Dagelet, Boutin, Saint C£ran, Duche, and
Prevoft. We entered the weft channel; prudence
required us not to keep too clofe to the fhore, for
fear of the fall of ftones and ice. At length we
arrived, after having proceeded only a league and
a half, at a narrow gulph, terminated by two immenfe glaciers; we were under the neceflity of
pufhing away the pieces of ice with which the fea
was covered, in order to penetrate into this hollow : the water was fo- deep, that at half a cable's
length from the land, I did not find bottom with a
hundred and twenty fathoms. Meffrs. de Langle,
de Monti, and Dagelet, as .well as feveral other
officers, had a defire to climb up the glacier; with
inexpreflible fatigue they attained the diftance of
about two leagues ; after being obliged, at great
rifk, to leap over clefts of very great depth, they
were not able to defcry any thing but a continuation of glaciers and fnow, which feemed to have ;
no ROUND    THE   WORLD. 95
no termination but at the fummit of Mount Fair
During this cruife my boat remained upon the
(hore; a piece of ice, that fell into the water at
more than four hundred toifes diftance, occafioned
along the fea fhore fo confiderable an undulation,
that fhe was overfet, and thrown a good way upon
the edge of the glacier; this accident was foon
repaired, and we all returned on board, having
in a few hours completed our voyage into the
interior of America. I had difpatched Meffrs.
Monneron and Bernizet to vifit the eaftern channel, which, like the other, was terminated by two
Continuation of our Stay at Port des Franfais—At the
Moment of our Departure from it we experience #
melancholy Accident-—Account of that Event-—
We refume our firft Anchorage—Departure.
(JULY    I786.)
rip h e. day after this excurfion the chief came
on board, better attended and much more
dieffed than common; after a great many fongs
and dances, he made a propofal to fell me the
ifland on which we had placed our obfervatory,
referving, c€>6 LA   PE ROUSE*S   VOYAGE
referving, no doubt, to himfelf and the other Indians
the right of robbing us. It was fome what more
than doubtful whether this chief had a property in
any land, the government of thefe people is fuch,
that the country might belong to the whole fociety:
however, as a great many Indians were witneffes to
this bargain, I had an undoubted right to conclude
that they gave their fanction to it, and I accepted
the chief's offer; convinced at the fame time that
the contract for this purchafe might .be fet afide
by many tribunals, if the nation fhould ever con-
teft it with us; for we had no proof that the chief
was the real proprietor, and the witneffes his re-
prefentatives. Be that as it may, I gave him feveral ells of red cloth, hatchets, knives, bar-iron,
and nails; I alfo made prefcnts to all his fuite.
The bargain being thus concluded, I fent to take
poffeflion of the ifland with the cuftomary formalities. I ordered them to bury a bottle at the foot
of a rock, which contained an infcription adapted
to this taking poffeflion, and I laid near it one of
the bronze medals which had been ftruck in France
before our departure.
The principal work, however, which had been
the peculiar object of our flopping here, was fi-
nifhed ; our guns were mounted, our flowage completed, and we had taken in as great a quantity of
wood and water as at our departure from Chili.
No port in the univerfe could furnifh more conveniences ROUND    THE   WORLD. t)j
leniencies for expediting this labour, which is frequently fo difficult in other countries. Cafcades,
as I have already mentioned, falling from the top
of the mountains, poured the cleareft water into
the cafks as they lay in the longboat • drift wood
in great abundance is fcattered along the fhore. of
a fmooth fea. The furvey of Meffrs. de Monne-
ron and Bemizet was finifhed, as well as the mea-
furement of a bafe taken by M. Blondela, which
had enabled M* de Langle, M. Dagelet, and a
great number of other officers, to meafure trigono-
metrically the height of the mountains. We had
only to regret the lofs of the memorandum book
of obfervations by. M. Dagelet, and "this misfor-
I tune was nearly done away by the different notes
which  had   been  found again;,  in   a word, we
tors, in having arrived at fo great a diftance from
Europe without having a fingle perfon fick, or one
-man of the two fhips companies afflided with the
But a misfortune of the moft lamentable kind,
which no human prudence could forefee, at this
period awaited us. It is with the moft lively
grief that 1 am about to trace the ftory of a dif-
after, which was. a thoufand times more cruel
than difeafe, and all the other events incident to
long voyages. I yield to-'the imperious duty I
.have-;impofed on myfelf of writing this 'narrative:;
, ,Vol. II. H and li
98 ^ La  perouse's voyage
and I am not afhamed or afraid to make known,
that my forrows fince this event have been a hun^
dred times accompanied by my tears; that time has
riot had power to affuage my grief; every inftant,
every object recals to my mind the lofs we fuftained,
in circumitances where we thought we had fo little
caufe to dread fuch an event,
I have already mentioned, that the foundings
were to be laid down in the draught of Meffrs.
de Monneron and Bernizet by the fea officers; in
eonfequence* the pinnace of the Aftrolabe, under
the orders of M. de Marchainville, was ordered
j for the next day, and I prepared that belonging
to my fhip, as well as the barge, the command of which I gave to M. Boutin. M.
d'Efcures, my firft lieutenant, chevalier of St.
Lewis, commanded the pinnace of the Bouffole,
and was the commanding officer of this little expedition. As his zeal had fometimes appeared
to me to be rather too warm, I thought it my
duty to give him his inftructions in writing. The
details I made of the prudence which I expected
from him, appeared to him fo minute, that he
afked me if I thought he was a child, adding, that
he had commanded fhips before that time. I amicably explained to him the motive for my orders;
I told him, that M. de Langle and I had founded
the paffage of the bay two days before, and that I
perceived that  the  commanding officer in  the
fecond ROUND    THE   WORLD. 99
fecond boat had, palled too near the point, upon
which he had even touched; I added, that young
officers, during a fiege^ deemed it a" feather in
their cap to rnount the parapet of the trenches,
and that the fame fpirit made them when in boats
brave the dangers of rocks and breakers, but
that this unreflecting boldnefs mightHte attended
with the moft melancholy confequences in a voyage like ours, where thefe kind of dangers were
every moment prefenting themfelves before us.
After this converfation I gave him the following
inftructions, which I read to M. Boutin ; they
will explain^ better than any other expofition, the
million of M. d'Efcures, and the precautions
which I tooki
Inftruclions given in writing to M. d'Efcures., by
M. de la Peroufe.
" Previous to making known to M. d'Efcures
the object of his million, I apprize him* that he is
cxprefsly forbidden to expofe the boats to any
danger* and to approach the paffage if the fea
break there*. He is to fet off at fix o'clock in
the morning, with two other boats, commanded
by Meffrs. de Marchainville and .Boutin,, and
found the bay from the paffage as far as the little
creek which is to the weft of the two paps. He
is to lay down the foundings upon the draught
which I have put into his hands, or he is to fketch
Fh \ one ioo LA pe rouse's voyage
one from which they may be taken. Even if there?
is no broken water in this channel, but only a
fwell, as this work is not very preffing, he is to
poftpone founding till another day, and he will
conftantly keep in view that all things of this kind
which are done with difficulty, are always done ill.
It feems probable, that tha moft convenient
moment for approaching the channel will be at
flack water, about half paft eight o'clock ; if cir-
cumftances are then favourable, he will endeavour
to meafure the breadth of it with a log line, and he
is to place the three boats in a parallel line, founding acrofs it, or from eaft to weft. He is afterwards
to found from north to fouth; but there is little
likelihood of his being able to take thefe latter
foundings during the fame tide, becaufe the current
will have acquired too great ftrength.
cc In waiting for flack water, or fuppofing the fea
Should be rough, M. d'Efcures will take the foundlings of the interior of the bay, particularly the
creek which is behind the paps; where I think it
is likely there may be a very good anchorage;
he is alfo to endeavour to lay down upon the
draught the extent of the two bottoms of rock
and fand, in order that the good gr6und may be
well and eafily known. I think, that, when the
channel from the fouth of the ifland is open from
the point of the paps, there is a certainty of a
good fandy bottom. M. d'Efcures is to afcertain
* whether ROUND    THE   WORLD. 101
whether my opinion be well founded; but I again
repeat, that I entreat him not to deviate from the
pioft confummate prudence."
After thefe inftructions could 1 be fuppofed to
have any thing to fear ? They were given to a
man of thirty-three years of age, who had before
commanded men of war: What a combination of
motives for fecurity !
Our boats fet off as I had ordered at fix o'clock
in the morning; it was as much a party of plea-
fure as of utility and inftruction; they might hunt
and breakfaft under the trees. I joined with M.
d'Efcures, M. Pierrevert and M. de Montarnal,
the only relation that I had in the fea fervice, and
to whom I was attached with as tender an affec-.
tion as if he had been my own fon. No young
officer had ever given rife to more promifing
hopes, and M. de Pierrevert had already acquired
what I fhortly expected from the other.
Seven of the beft foldiers of the detachment
formed the armament of this longboat, in which
the head pilot of my fhip embarked to take
foundings. M. Boutin had for fecond in his fmall
boat M. Mouton, lieutenant of the frigate. I
knew that the boat of the Aftrolabe was commanded by M. de Marchainville; but I was not
inforfned whether there were any other officers on
board? nfcp
H j At 102
At ten o'clock in the morning I faw our jollf
boat coming back. In fome furprife, becaufe I
did not expect her fo foon, I afked M. Boutin, before he came on board the frigate, if any thing new
had occurred; the firft thing which ftruck me as
a caufe of fear was an attack from the Indians : the
qountenance of M. Boutin was by no means calculated to remove my doubts; in his face was painted
the moft lively forrow. He foon informed me of
the dreadful wreck he had juft witneffed, and from
which he had himfelf efcaped only by the firmnefs
of his difpofition, which had difcovered to him all
the refources that remained in fuch extremity of
danger. Drawn away by following his commander
into the middle of the breakers, which fet into the
channel, whilft the tide ran out of it at the rate of
three or four leagues an hour, he imagined he could
lay his boat's flern to the fea, and driving in this
manner it would prevent her from filling, fo that
fhe might neverthelefs be drifted out to fea by the
tide. He foon faw breakers ahead of his boat,
and found himfelf in the main fea. More taken up
with the fafety of his comrades than writh his own,
he rowed along the edge of the breakers, in hopes
of faving fome of them ; he even puflied into
them again, but was repelled by the tide; at length
hegot upon the fhoulders of M. Mouton, in order
to fee to a greater diftance: vain hope ! all alas
had been fwallowed up, and M. Boutin returned
3 *?
warn ROUND    THE   WORLD. IO3
at the time of flack water. The fea having become very calm, this officer entertained fome
hopes for the pinnace (bifcayenne) of the Aftrolabe.
He had only feen ours perifh. M. de Marchain-
ville was at the time a full quarter of a league
from the place of danger, that is to fay, in water
as perfectly calm as the beft enclofed port; but
this young officer, impelled by a generofity which
undoubtedly was imprudent, fince in thefe circurn-
ftances all affiftance was impoflibie, having too
high a courage, and too elevated a foul to make
thefe reflections when his friends were in fo im-*
minent a danger, flew to their affiftance, threw
himfelf into the breakers, and perifhed like his
commanding officer, a victim to his generofity
and formal difobedience of orders.
M. de Langle foon came on board my fhip,
equally oppreffed with grief as myfelf, and with
tears in his eyes, informed me, that the misfortune
was ftill infinitely greater than I imagined. Since
our departure from France he had made it an
invariable rule never to fend the two brothers*
on the fame expedition, and he had yielded in this
fingle inftance to the defire which they had ex-
preffed, to walk and hunt together, for it was
almoft under this point of view that both of us
had confidered this excurfion of our boats, which
* Meifrs.
Marchainville and la Borde Bouter-
we thought as little expofed to danger as they
would have been in Breft Road when the weather
is remarkably fine.
At the fame moment we had a vifit from the
Indians in their canoes, to announce to us this melancholy event; thefe rude unpolifhed men ex-
preffed to us by figns, that they had feen our two
boats perifh, and that there was no poflibility of
affording them affiftance; we loaded them with
prefents, and we endeavoured to make them un-
derftand that he who fhould have faved a fingle
man would have been entitled to all our riches,
a. Nothing could be better calculated to move
their humanity; they haftened to the fea-fhore,
and fpread themfelves over the two coafts of the*
bay. I had already difpatched my longboat,
commanded by M, de Clonard, to the eaftward,
where if any one, contrary to all probability, had
efcaped death, it was likely he would land. M. de
Langle went upon the weftern fhore, in order to'
leave no part .unvifited, and I remained on board,
charged with the protection of the two fhips, with
the neceffary complement of men to preclude all
fear from the Indians, againft whom.prudence required that we fhould be conftantly on our
guard. Meffrs. de Langle and Clonard were
attended by all the officers, and many other perfons; they went three leagues al6ng the beach,
upon which,   however,   not the frnalleft wreck
came afhore. I neverthelefs ftill entertained a
fmall degree of hope; the mind with difficulty
acquiefces in fo fudden a tranfition from a pleafant
fituation to that of fo rooted a forrow; but this
illufion was deitroyed by the return of our boats*
and I was thereby plunged into a ftate of fuch
acute diftrefs as no language is adequate to de-
fcribe but in the moft imperfect manner. I am
in this place going to infert the narrative of M.
Boutin; he was the friend of M. d'Efcures, and
we both entertained the fame opinion of that
officer's unfortunate imprudence.
M. Boutin's Narrative.
cc On the 13th July, at fifty minutes pail five
o'clock in the morning, 1 fet off from the Bouffole
in the jolly boat; my orders were to follow M.
d'Efcures, who commanded our pinnace, andM. de
Marchainville, commanding that of the Aftrolabe,
was to join us. The inftructions received in writing
by M. d'Efcures from M. de la Peroufe, and which
had been communicated to me, enjoined him to
employ thefe three boats in founding the bay; to
lay down the foundings from the bearings upon
the draught which had been put into his hands;
to found the paffage, if the water were fmoott|;*ind
to meafure its width; but he was exprefslyfpfcV
bidden to expofe the boats tinder his orders to the
Jeaft rifk, or to approach the channel at all, if
Mhere Io6 LA   PESlOUSe's   VOYAGE
there was either broken water or fwell in it. After having doubled the weftern point of the ifland,
near to which we were at anchor, I perceived that
the fea broke all over the channel, and that it
would be impoflible to approach it. M. d'Efcures was at that time ahead, lying on his oars,
and feemed defirous to wait for me, but when I
was come within gun-fhot he continued his courfe;
and as his boat rowed much better than mine, he
feveral times repeated the fame manoeuvre without any poffibility on my part of joining him.
At a quarter after feven o'clock, having conftantly
fleered for the channel, we were not more than
two cables length from it, when our pinnace put
about. I did the fame in his wake; we fhaped
our courfe for re-entering the bay, leaving the
channel aftern of us. My boat was aftern of our
pinnace, and within hail; I perceived that of the
Aftrolabe at a quarter of a league's diftance within the bay. M. d'Efcures then laughingly hailed
me i faying, c I think we can't do better than go
to breakfaft, for the fea breaks horribly in the
channel.' I anfwered, c Certainly, and I imagine
that our labour will extend no farther than to determine the limits of the fandy bay which lies on
the larboard hand in going in.' M. de Pierrevert,
who was with M. d'Efcures, was about to anfwer
me, but his eyes being turned towards the eaftern
£oaft, he law that we were drifted by the ebb.    I
alfo perceived it, and immediately both our boats
began pulling away to the northward, in order to
increafe our diftance from the channel, from
which we were ftiil a hundred toifes off. I did
not think of our being expofed to the leaft danger,
fince by gaining only twenty toifes on either tack
we always poffeffed the refource of running our
boats afhore. After having rowed more than a
minute, without being able to Item the tide, I
tried in vain to approach the eaftern fhore. Our
pinnace, which was ahead of us, made the fame ufe-
lefs efforts to reach the weftern fhore. We were
then under the neceflity of once more laying ouj?
heads to the northward, to prevent our falling acrofs
the breakers. The firft billows began to fhew
themfelves at a fmall diftance from my boat; I
now thought it high time to let go the grapnel,
but it did not hold: fortunately the rope not being made faft to a thwart, ran out end for end,
and difcharged us of a weight which might have
proved very fatal to us. In an inftant afterwards
I was in the middle of the heavieft feas, which ak
moft filled the boat; fhe did not however fink,
or ceafe to anfwer her helm ; fo that 1 could always keep her ftern to the fea, from which cir-
cumftance I entertained great hopes of efcaping
the danger.
" Our pinnace increafed her diftance from me
whilft I was. letting go the grapnel, and in a few
minut& Ip9 LA   PE ROUSE'S   VOYAGE
minutes afterwards fhe was in the midft of the
breakers. I had loft fight of her on fhipping the
firft feas, but in one of thefe moments when"! found
myfelf at the top of the breakers, I faw her again
going down about thirty or forty toifes ahead %
fhe was broadfide to, and I faw neither men nor
oars. My only hope had been, that fhe might be
able to Item the current, but I was too certain fhe
would perifh if fhe was drawn into it j for in order to efcape, it were abfolutely neceffary to have
a boat which would fwim when full of water, and
in this fituation would anfwer her helm to prevent .
her overfetting; our pinnace moft unfortunately
poffeffed none of thefe qualities.
| I was ftill in the middle of the breakers, looking
out all round, and I faw, that, aftern of my boat
to the foutlrward, the breakers formed a continued
line as far as I could fee; they alfo appeared to extend farther to the weftward; at length I perceived,
that, if I could get only fifty toifes to the eaftward,
I fhould find a lefs dangerous fea. I ufed every
exertion to fucceed in this, by pulling away to flar-
foo&rd in the interval of the breaking of the feas,
and at twenty-five minutes after feveri o'clock I
was out of all danger, having only to contend
againft a very heavy fwell, and fome fmall waves,
occafioned by a breeze from the weft-north-weft.
After having baled the water out of my boat,
I fought means of giving affiftance to my unfortu-
ii£&   ■   ■ -   Mt©
Bate fhipmates; but from that time every hope had
cf From the moment in which I had feen our
pinnace go down among the breakers, I had kept
pulling away to the eaftward, and it took me fome
minutes to get clear of them. It was impoflible
that thofe who were wrecked in the midft of fo
rapid a current could ever get out of its courfe,
and they muft have been fwept away by it during
the remainder of the tide, which fet towards the
offing till forty-five minutes after eight o'clock:
befides, how was it poffible for the moft excellent
fwimmer to refift even for a few moments the
force of thefe waves ? Neverthelefs, as I could not
make any other reafonabie fearch than in the part
to which the current fet, I laid the boat's head to
the fouthward, rowing along rhe breakers on my
ftarboard hand, and every inftant changing my
courfe in order to get nearer to fome feals and
fea-weeds, which from time to time gave me
*c As there was a heavy fwell, when I was at
the top of the feas I could fee a confiderable way,
and I fhould have been able to perceive an oar or
a piece of wreck at more than two hundred toifes
" My obfervations were foon attracted towards
the point of the eaftern entrance, where I perceived
fome men who made fignals with cloaks s  as I
have HO LA   £erouse's VOYAGE
have fince learned, they were the Indians, but I
then took them for the crew of the Aftrolabe's
pinnace* and I imagined that they waited for flack
water to come to our affiftance; I was very fat
from thinking that my unfortunate friends had fallen the victims of their generous boldnefs.
<c At three quarters after eight o'clock*, the
tide having turned, there were no longer any breakers, but only a very heavy fwell. I deemed it my
duty to continue my fearch in this fwell, following
the fet of the ebb which had done; but I was as
unfortunate in this fecond fearch as in the firfh
Perceiving, at nine o'clock* that the flood came from
the fouth-weft, and that I had neither provifion^
nor grapnel, nor fails, my crew drenched with water, and very cold, fearing not to be able to re-enter
the bay when the flood ran ftrong; feeing befides
that it already fet with great violence to the north
eaft, which prevented my getting to the fouthwardi
where I meant to continue my fearch if the tide
had permitted, I again entered the bay, and fhaped
my courfe to the northward.
cc The channel was already almoft fhut in by the
eaftern point | the fea ftill continued to break upon
* Half after eight o'clock was the hour that had beea
pointed out in my inflructions to approach the channel without danger, becaufe the current would, at all events, have fet
in, and at a quarter after feven the longboats were fvval*
lowed up.
wmm ROUNt)   THE   WORLD. tit
the two points, but it was fmooth in the middle.
I at length completely gained this entrance, rowing along the point on my larboard hand, upon
which were the Indians who had made me fignals,
and whom I took for Frenchmen. They exprefled
to me by their geftures that they had feen our two
boats overfet, and not feeing the pinnace of the
Aftrolabe, I became perfectly convinced of the
fate of M. de Marchainville, whom I knew too
well to fuppofe, that he would have reflected on the
inutility of the danger to which he would expofe
himfelf. As we are however always difpofed to
flatter ourfelves, there ftill remained a very faint
hope, that I might find him on board our fhips,
where it was poffible he might have gone to afk
for affiftance: my firft words on getting on board
were,c have you any news of M. de Marchainville I'
* No,' deprived me of every hope for his fafety.
c< Thefe details being finifhed, I think it neceffary to explain the motives of M. d'Efcures's conduct:. It is impoffible, that he ever fhould have
thought of going into the channel; he wifhedonly
to approach it; and imagined the diftance he was
from it was more than fufficient to keep him out
of all danger. It was this diftance of which he as
well as I, and the eighteen perfons who were in
the two boats, had formed a wrong judgment. I
do not pretend to determine how far this error
was pardonable, or why it was not poflible to
judge mm
judge of the violence of the current : it might be
imagined that I wifhed to exculpate myfelf, for I
repeat that I judged this diftance more than fufficient, and even the fight of the coaft, which appeared to be fwiftly moving to the north, excited
in me only furprife. Without enumerating all the
reafons which contributed, to poffefs us with fo
melancholy a confidence, I cannot but remark^ that,
on the day of our entrance into this bay, this paf-
lage was founded in every direction by our boats for
more than two hours without finding any current*
It is true, that, when our fhips ftood towards it, they
were drifted'away by the ebb, but this was owing to
the lightnefs of the breeze that our boats at the fame
inftant Hemmed the tide with" the greateft facility.
Finally, on 11 th July, the day the moon was at the
full, our two commanders, accompanied by feveral
other officers, had themfelves founded this channel;
they went out of it with the ebb, and entered it
again with.the flood, without obferving any thing
which could lead them to imagine there was the
leaft danger, efpecially with boats well manned.
From this it is fair to infer, that on the 13 th of July
particular circumftances contributed to.give the current an additional violence, fuch as an extraordinary
melting of the fnow, or violent winds, which had
not reached within the bay, but which had without
doubt blown with great force in the, offing. • ,jg|||
" At the moment when I was drawn into the
paffage, ROUND    THE   WORLD. |i j
paffage, M. de Marchainville was a quarter of a
league within it; I never faw him afterwards, but
all thofe who knew his character are convinced,
that his. noble and generous' difpofitioh induced
him to act as he did. It is probable, that when he
perceived our two boats in the middle of the
breakers, and not being able to conceive how we
had been drawn into them, he fuppofed, either that
the grapnel rope had fnapped, or that the oars had
been lofeglhe mutt at the inftant have rowed for
the purpofe of coming to the beginning of the
firft breakers ; feeing us buffeting in the middle of
the waves, he no doubt liftened only to the dictates of his courage, and ftrove to furmount the
breakers, and bring us affiftance from without, at
the rifk of perifhing along with us. This fort
of death is undoubtedly a glorious one, but how
cruel to him who efcaped the danger, the reflection
that he muft for ever relinquish the hope of feeing
his companions again, or any of thofe heroes
who came with the generous intention of faving
his life.
" It is not poflible, that I fhould willingly have
omitted any effential fact, or mifreprefented thofe
which I have reported; M. Mouton, lieutenant of
the frigate, who was fecond in command in my boat,
has it in his power to correct my errors, if my
memory have in any inftarice failed me; his firm-
nefs, with  that of the cockfwain and the four
Vol, II, I rowers. 114 jp  PEROUSES   VOYAGE
rowers* contributed not a little to our prefervation.
My orders, in the midft of the breakers, were executed with as much exa&nefs as in the moft ordinary circumftances."
'   (Signed) Boutin."
Nothing more now remained to be done, but to
quit, as*fpeedily as poffible, a country where we
had experienced fo melancholy a difafter; but there
were ftill fome days due to the families of our
unfortunate friends : too precipitate a departure
might occafion doubts and uneafinefs in Europe;
it might not occur to people there, that the current
extended no farther than a league without the
channel; that the boats, and thofe wrecked in
them* could be driven to no greater diftance, and
that the fury of the fea in that place diffipated
every hope of their return. If, contrary to every
probability, any of them had been able to return,
as this could only happen in the vicinity of the bay,
I formed the refolution of waiting fome days
longer ; but I quitted the anchorage of the ifland,
and took that of the bed of fand, which is at the
entrance upon the weft coaft. It took me five
days to effect this paffage, though no more than a
league, during which time we were expofed to a
-fquall of wind which would have put us in very
great danger, had we not been anchored in a good
muddy bottom j it was fortunate we did not drag
our ROUND    THE    WORLD, 115
tur anchors, for we were lefs than a cable's length
from the fhore. The wind being contrary de-'
tained us longer than I intended to flay, and we
did not fail till the 30th July, eighteen days after
the event, the defcription of which has given me
fo much pain, and the remembrance of which
will perpetually make me unhappy. Before our
departure, we erected upon the ifland in the piddle of the bay, to Which I gave the name of Ce-
not aph Ifland, a monument to, the memory of our
unfortunate companions. The following infcrip^
tion was compofed by M. de Lamanon, who
buried it in a bottle at the foot of the monument : liiiKii
4e At the entrance of this harbour, perimed twenty brave
" feamen.
" Reader, Whoever thou art, join thy tears to ours.
% On the 14th July 1786, the frigates Bouffole
and Aftrolabe, which failed from Breft the lit
Auguft 1785, arrived in this port. From the
care of M. de la Peroufej commander in chief
of the expedition, of the vifcount de Langle,
commander of the fecond frigate, of Meffrs. Clonard and de Monti* fecond captains of the two
ihips, and of the other officers and furgedns, none
of the difeafes which are incident to long voyages 1
had afflicted our fhips' companies; M. de la
Peroufe found himfelf happy in the reflection, as
1 a did mmflnwimirnmiimif
Il6 LA   perouse's  VOYAGE
did all the others likewife, of having been from
one end of the world to the other, through every
kind of danger, and of having viiHSd people reputed to be barbarous, without lofing a fingle man,
or fhedding a drop of blood. On the 13th of July,
at five o'clock in the morning, three boats fet off
for the purpofe of laying down the foundings upon
the draught which had been made of the bay.
They were commanded by M. d'Efcures^ lieutenant of the navy, and a chevalier of St. Louis 1
M. de la Peroufe had given him inftruftions in
writing, which exprefsly charged him not to approach the current, but at the moment he conceived himfelf at a fufficient diftance from it, he
found himfelf drawn in by it. Meffrs. de la
Borde, brothers, and de Flaffan, who were in the
boat of the fecond frigate, were not afraid of ex-
pofing themfelves to danger, by flying to the
affiftance of their companions, but they, alas !
fhared the fame unhappy fate. The third boat
was under the orders of M. Boutin, lieutenant
of the navy. This officer, contending with courage againft the breakers during the fpace of
feveral hours, made the mofl vigorous but ufelefs
exertions to aflift his friends, and was only indebted for his own fafety to the fuperior con-
ftruftion of his boat, to his own enlightened prudence, joined with that, of M. Laprife Mouton,
lieutenant of the frigate, his fecond in command,
*• and
mmmm ROUND    THE    WORLD. jjj|
and to the activity and ready obedience of his
crew, confifting of Jean Marie, cockfwain,
Lhoftis, le Bas, Corentin Jers, and Moners, all
four failors. The Indians feemed to participate
in our forrows, which were extreme. Moved, but
not difcouraged by our misfortunes, we failed the
3'oth of July, to continue our voyage."
** The names of the officers, foldiers, and failors who
were loft on the iph of July, at a quarter paftfe*
ven o'clock in the morning.
The Boussole :
cc Officers.-— Meffrs. d'Efcures, de Pierrevert, de
" Crew,—Le Maitre, firft Pilot; Lieutot, corporal and cockfwain; Prieur, Fraichot, Berrin,
Bolet, Fleury, Chaub, all feven foldiers; the oldeft
pot thirty-three years of age.
The Astrolabe :
" Officers.~Meffrs. de la Borde Marchainville,,
de la Borde Boutervilliers, brothers; Flaffan.
cc Crew.—Soulas, corporal and cockfwain; Phi-
Jiby, Julien le Penn, Pierre Rabier, all four foldiers; Thomas Andrieufe, Gouiven Tarreau, Guil-
laume Duquefne, all three captains of the tops, in,
$he flower of tfieir age."
I3 Wq Ii8 tA perouse's voyagb
We procured, by our flay at the entrance of the
bay, infinitely more knowledge of the manners and
cuftoms of the Indians, than we could poffibly have
obtained at the other anchorage. Our fhips lay
at anchor near their villages; we every day made
them vifits, arid every day we had caufe of complaint againft them ; though our conduct towards
them had never varied, and we had never ceafed
giving them proofs of our mildnefs and benevolence. |
On the 2 id of July, they brought us fome pieces
of the wreck of our boats, which the fea had driven,
upon the eaftern coaft, very near the bay, and by
figns they gave us to underfland, they had buried
one of our unfortunate companions upon the fhore?
where he had been eaft by the hillows. Upon
thefe figns Meffrs. de Clonard, de Monneron, and ds
Monti immediately directed their courfe towards
the eaft, accompanied by thefe fame Indians, whom
we loaded with prefents.
Our officers proceeded three leagues over ftones
in a frightful rpad; every half hour the guides required a new payment, or they refufed to go far?
ther; at length they pufhed into the woods, and
took to their heels. Our officers too late perceived, that their report was only a trick invented
to obtain ftill more prefents. They faw in this
journey immenfe forefts of fir-trees of the largest
dimenfions j they meafured fome of them, which
wmiimii ROUND   THE   WORLD* 1IJ
were five feet diameter, and which feemed to be
more than a hundred and forty feet high.
We were by no means furprifed at the recital
they gave of the manoeuvre of the Indians ; their
addrefs in ftealing is incomparable* Meffrs. de
Langle and Lamanon, with feveral officers and
naturalifts, Jiad, two days previous to this, made a
journey to the weftward, the object of which
equally related .to thefe melancholy refearches: it
was juft as^gitiefs as the other; but they met
with a village of Indians, upon the banks of a fmall
river entirely barred with flakes for a falmon
fifhery. We had long entertained fufpicions, that
this fifh came from that part of the coaft, but we
were not certain of it, and this difcovery fatisfied
our curiofity. The falmon, afcending the river,
meet with the flakes, which not being able to leap
over, they endeavour to return towards the fea, and
find in their paffage narrow bafkets,. clofed at the
farther end, and placed in the angles of the caufe-
way -, having entered thefe bafkets, and not being
able to return, they are taken, Thefe fifh are fo
jhfeundant that the crews of the two fhips, during
.|$gf flay, took a vaft quantity of thern,, $nd each
^igate faked two barrels.
Our travellers alfo met with a morai *, which
proved to  them, that thefe Indians were in the
* I have preferved the name morai, which expreffes ftronger
$han tomb an expofure to the open air.
habit fi6 LA   PEROUSE $   V*OYAGt
habit of burning their dead, and preferving the
head; they found one of them wrapped up in feveral fkins. This monument confifts of four
tolerabiy ftrong flakes, which fupport a little
wooden chamber, in which repofe the afhes depo-
fited in coffins; they opened thefe coffins, untied
the packet of fkins which enveloped the head, and
after having fatisfied their curiofity, they fcrupu-
loufly replaced every thing; and added to it a
great many prefents of different kinds of iron inftruments and beads. The Indians, who were
witneffes of this vifit, difcovered a little uneafi-
nefs | but they did not fail very fpeedily to take
away the prefents left by our travellers. Others
who were curious, having the next day vifited the
fame place, found there only the afhes and the
head; they left there new prefents, which fhared the
fame fate as thofe of the preceding day ; and I am
certain, that the Indians would have been very
glad, had we repeated our vifits feveral times in
the day. But if they, with fome reluctance, ^permitted us to vifit their tombs, it was not the<fame
in regard to their cabins, which they would not
fuffer us to approach till they had previoufly removed their women,, who are the moft difgufting
objects in the univerfe.
We were witneffes every day to the entrance of
ftrange canoes into the bay, and every day whole
villages went out of it, and yielded their places to
others. ROUND    THE   WORLD. 521
Others. Thefe Indians feem to entertain very
great dread of the channel, and never ventured
in it but at flack water: by the affiftance of our
glaffes we diftinctly perceived, thatf when they
were between the two points, the chief, or at leaft
the moft confiderable man of the party rofe up,
extended his arms towards the fun, and appeared
to addrefs prayers to it, «hilft all the others paddled with their whole ftrength. It was in confe-
quence of afking the meaning of this cuftom, that
we were informed, that fome little time before
feven large canoes had been loft there ; the eighth
was favedj the Indians who efcaped this misfortune confecrated it either to their god, or to the
memory of their companions; we faw it by the fide
of a moral, which no doubt contained the allies of
fome of thofe who were eaft away.
This canoe did not refemble thofe of the country,
which are formed only of a hollowed tree, raifed
at the fides by planks fewed to the bottom; this
had timbers and wales like our boats; the woodwork, which was very well executed, had a covering of feals' fkin, which ferved it as a fheathing, fo
perfectly fewn together, that the beft workmen in
'Europe would find great difficulty to imitate the
work. This covering, which we meafured with the
greateft attention, was depofited in the morai by
the fide of the coffins with the afhes; and the
wood- Mffi
wood-work of the canoe, raifed upon flocks, remained bare near this monument.
I had a great defire to bring this covering to
Europe; we were abfolutely in poffeflion of it;
this part of the bay not being inhabited, no Indian could throw any impediment in our way; I
was perfuaded, befides, that thofe who were eaft
away were ftrangers, and I will explain my conjectures on this head in the following chapter; but
there exifts an univerfal religion in favour of the
alylums of the dead, and I was defirous thefe might
be refpedted. At length, on the 30th of July,
at four o'clock in the afternoon, we got under way
with a very light breeze from the weft, which did
not ceafe till we had gained three leagues offing:
the horizon was fo clear that we perceived and fe%
Mount Saint-Elias, bearing north weft, diftant at'
leaft forty leagues. At eight o'clock in the evening I was three leagues to the fouthward of |he
jpay, and founded in ninety fathoms water, ovj&f|$
IQpddy bottom* >.^^H^
Defcription of Port des Frangois—Its "Longitude and
Latitude—Advantages and Inconveniences of this
Port—Its Mineral and Vegetable Productions—
Birds, Fifhes, Shells, Quadrupeds—Manners and
Cuftoms of the Indians—Their Arts, Arms, Drefsy
j md Inclination for Theft—Strong Prefumption that
' the Ruffians only communicate inditeclly with thefe
People—Their Muftc, Dancing, and Paffion for.
Play—Differtation on their Language*
(JULY    I786.)
*T*he bay, or rather the harbour, to which I gave
the name of Port des Frangois, is fituatedj according to our obfervations and thofe of M. Dagelet, in 58° 37* north latitude, and 1390 50' weft
ISfikitude; the variation of the compafs is there
280 eaft, and*the dip of the needle 740. The fea
rifes there feven feet and a half at full and change
of the moon; it is high water at one o'clock: the
fea breezes, or perhaps other caufes, act fo powerfully upon the current of the channel, that I have
feen the flood come in there like the moft rapid
river; and in other circumftances, though at the
|ame periods of the moon, it may be ftemmed by a
fcoat il4r LA   PE ROUSE'S   VOY A QE
boat. I have in my different excurfions found the
high-water mark to be 15 feet above the furface
of the fea.
Thefe tides are probably incident to the bad
feafon. When the winds blow witft violence from
the fouthward, the channel muft be impracticable,
and at all times the currents render the entrance
difficult; the going out of it alfo requires a combination of circumftances, which may retard the
departure of a veffel many weeks; there is no getting under way but at the top of high water 5-
the breeze from the weft to the north-weft does
not often rife till toward eleven o'clock, which
does not permit the taking advantage of the morning tide; finally, the eafterly winds, which are contrary, appear to me to be more frequent than
thofe from the weft, and the vaft height of the
grounding mountains never permits the land
breezes, or thofe from the north, to- penetrate into
the road. As this port poffeffes great advantages, I
thought it a duty incumbent on me to make its inconveniences alfo known. It feems to me, that this
anchorage is not convenient for thofe fhips which
are fent out at a venture for trafficking in fkins ;
fuch fhips ought to anchor in a great many bays,
and always make the fhorteft flay poffible in any
of them, becaufe the Indians have always difpofed
of their whole flock in the firft week; and all loft
time is prejudicial to the interefts of the owners 1
but a nation which fhould form the project: of efta-
blifhing factories, fimilar to thofe of the Englifh in
Hudfon's Bay, could not make choice of a place
more proper for fuch a fettlement. A fimple
battery of four heavy cannon, placed upon the point
of the continent, would be fully adequate to the
defence of fo narrow an entrance, which is alfo
made fo-difficult by the currents. This battery
could not be turned or taken by land, becaufe the
fea always breaks with fuch violence upon the
coaft that to difembark is impoflible. The fort,
the magazines, and all the fettlements for commerce, fhould be railed upon Cenotaph Ifland, the
circumference of which is nearly a league: it is capable of being cultivated, and there is plenty of wood
and water. The fhips not having their cargo to feek,
but being certain of having it collected to a fingle
point, would not be expofed to any delay; fome
buoys, placed for the internal navigation of the bay,
would make it extremely fafe and eafy; it would
form pilots, who, better verfed than we are in the
fet and ftrength of the current at particular times
of tide, would enfure the entrance and departure of
the fhips. Finally, our traffic for otters fkins has
been fo very confiderable, that I may fairly pre-
fume, there could not in any part of America be a
greater quantity of them collected.
The climate of this coaft feemed to me to be
infinitely milder than that of Hudfon's Bay, in the
iame 126 LA    PEROUSE's   VOYAGK
fame degree of latitude. We meafured pines of
fix feet diameter, and a hundred and forty feet
high; thofe of the fame fpecies at Prince of Wales's
Fort and Fort York are of a dimenfion fcarce fufficient for fludding-fail booms.
Vegetation is alfo very vigorous during three or
four months of the year. I fhould not be in the
leaft furprifed to fee Ruffian corn, and a great
many common plants, thrive there exceedingly.
We found great abundance of celery, round leaved
forrel, lupine, the wild pea, yarrow, and endive.
Every day and every meal the copper pf our fhip's
company was filled with them; we ate them in
foups, ragouts,' and fallads; and thefe herbs did
not a little contribute to keep us in our good flate
of health. There was feen among thefe pot-herbs
almoft all thofe of the meadows and mountains of
J'rance; the angelica, the butter-cup, the violet,*
many fpecies of grafs proper for fodder; we might
without any danger have cooked and eat all thefe
herbs, if they had not been mixed with fome roots of
a kind of hemlock, about which we knew nothing.
The woods abound in goofeberries, rafberries>
and ftrawberries; cluIters of elder trees, the
dwarf willow, different fpecies of briar which grow
in the fhade, the gum poplar tree, the poplar, the
fallow, the horn-beam, and finally fuperb pines,
fit for the mafts of our largeft fhips. Not any of
the vegetable productions of this country are un«*
I known ROUND    THE    WORLD. 12J
known in Europe. M. de Martiniere, in his different excurfions, met with only three plants which
he thought new, and it is well known, that a bota*
nift might do the fame in the vicinity of Paris.
The rivers were filled with trout and falmon,
but we took in the bay only fletans *, fome of
which are more than a hundred pounds in weight,
ling f, the fingle thornback, capelans J, and fome
plaice. As we preferred falmon and trout to all
thefe fifties, and the Indians fold us them in greater
quantities than we could confume, we had very
little fifhing, and that only with the line ; our
bufinefs never afforded us time to haul the
feine, which required the combined force of five
and twenty or thirty men to draw it afhore.
Mufcles are fcattered in profufion upon that part
of the fhore which is uncovered at low water, and
the rocks are clothed with fmall limpets. There
are alfo found in the hollows of the rocks different
* Or faitans, a flat fifh longer and not fo fquare as the
turbot, the back of which is covered with fmall fcales; thofe
which are taken in Europe are much lefs.—(Fr. Ed.)
f A fifth to the eye and tafte limilar to cod, but generally
larger, and as eafy to take, becaufe of its greedinefs.—-
% This filh refembles the whiting, though a little larger;
the flefh of it is foft, of good tafte, and eafy of digeltion ; it
abounds on the coaft of Provence, where it is known by tha
name of poor priejl.—(Fr. Ed) n8 la perouse's voyage
fpecies of whelks and other fea fhails. I have feeii
upon the fand of the beach pretty large cockles,
and M. de Lamanon took from a place elevated
more than two hundred toifes above the level of
the fea petrefactions, very well preferved, and of
the largeft dimenfions, of the fhell known by concho-
Iogifts under the name of the royal cloak, and more
commonly St. James's fhell. This fact is by no
means new to naturalifts, who have found them at
more confiderable heights; but I think there will
long remain a difficulty of explaining it, fo as to
fatisfy all objections. We did not find any fhell of
this fpecies thrown up upon the beach, which is
well known to be the cabinet of nature.
In the woods our hunters met with bears, martens, fquirrels; and the Indians, fold us fkins of
the brown and black bear; of the Canadian lynx,
ermine, marten, little grey fquirrel, beaver, Canadian marmot, or monax, and the red fox. M. de
Lamanon alfo took alive a water and a muflc
rat. We faw tanned fkins of the orignal, or elk,
and a horn of a wild goat; but the commoneft and
moft precious peltry is that of the fea otter, wolfj
and bear. There is no great variety of birds, but
the individuals are pretty numerous: the thickets
were full of fparrows, nightingales, blackbirds,
and yellow hammers; we were there in pairing
time, and their finging appeared to me delightful.
In the air were feen hovering the white-headed
* §11 ca2le' ROUND    THE   WORLD. 129
eagle, the large fpecies of raven ; we furprifed
and killed a king-fifher, and we faw a very
beautiful blue jay, with fome humming birds.
The fwallow or martin, and the black oyfter-
catcher build their nefts in the clefts of the rocks
on the fea-fhore; gulls, the red-footed guillemot, fome cormorants, wild geefe, and divers, of
the large and fmall fpecies, are the only fea birds
which we faw.
But if the animal and vegetable productions of
this country refemble & great many others, its appearance has no fort of comparifon ; and I have my
doubts whether the profound valleys of the Alps
and Pyrenees prefent views as frightful, but which
are at the fame time fo piclurefque, that they would
deferve the vifits of the curious were they not at the
extremity of the world.
The primitive mountains of granite, or fchiftus/
perpetually covered with fnow, upon which are
neither trees nor plants, have their foundation
in the fea.  and form  upon the fhore a  kind of
fo   rapid,  that after   the
firft two or three hundred toifes, the wild goats
cannot climb them ; and ail the gullies which fepa-
rate them are immenfe glaciers, of which the tops
cannot be difcerned, while the bafe is wafhed by
the fea: at a cable's length from the land there
is no bottom at lefs than a hundred and fixty
The fides of the harbour are formed by fecondary
mountains, the elevation of which does not exceed
from eight to nine hundred toifes; they are covered
with pines, and overfpread with verdure, and the
fnow is only feen on their fymmits; to me they
appeared to be entirely formed of fchiftus, which
is in the commencement of a flate of decompo-
fition ; they are extremely difficult to climb, but
not altogether inacceflible. Meffrs. Lamanon,
de la Martiniere, Collignon, the abbe Monges,
and father Receveur, zealous and indefatigable
naturalifts,- made their way almoft to the top of
them, but it was with very great fatigue that they
afcended any confiderable height; not a flone or
pebble efcaped their refearches. Too fkilfuL
naturalifts not to know that in the valleys are to
be found fpecirnens of every thing which forms
the mafs of the mountains, they collected ochre,
coppery pyrites, garnets brittle but very large
and perfectly cryftallized, fchorle in cryftal, granite,
fchifti, hornftone, very pure quartz, mica, plumbago, and coals ; fome of thefe fubftances prove,
that thefe mountains contain copper and iron
ores, but we faw not the le,aft trace of any other
Nature affigns inhabitants to fo frightful a country who as widely differ from the people of civilized countries, as the fcene I have j.uft defcribed
differs from our cultivated plains; as rude and
barbarous ROUND    THE    WORLD. Ijl
barbarous as their foil is rocky and barren, they
inhabit this land only to deftroy its population :
at war with all the animals, they defpife the vegetable fubftances which grow around them. I have
feen women and children eat fome rafberries and
ftrawberries, but thefe are undoubtedly viands far
too infipid for men, who live upon the earth like
vultures in the air, or wolves and tigers in the
fbrefts*. ' "^a^a-
Their arts are fomewhat advanced, and in this
refpect civilization has made confiderable progrefs; but that which foftens their ferocity, and
poliflies their manners, is yet in its infancy : the
mode of life they purfue excluding all kind of
fubordination, they are continually agitated by fear
or revenge ; prone to anger, and eafily irritated,
they are continually attacking each other dagger
* An old proverb puts credulity on its guard againft the.
narratives of travellers. This prejudice1 may be injurious to
the confidence of certain readers, who may not carefuljy reflect, that a navigator's reputation would be irreparably injured by the flighted deviation from truth, which could not
fail to provoke a formal denial from the numerous witneffes
who accompanied him. If, however, this fentiment, which
excludes reflection, cannot be banifhed from the mind, I here
offer a remedy which is certain, and that is, to compare what
our navigator fays with the details given by Dixon upon'the
north- weft Gbaft of America ; always keeping in mind, that
this Englishman made his voyage a year fubfequent to la
Peroufe, .without any poffibility of knowing his journal.—,
(Fr. Ed.)
K 2 in m\
in hand. Expofed in the winter to perifli for want,
becaufe the chafe cannot be fuccefsful, they live
during the fummer in the greateft abundance, as
they can catch in lefs than an hour a fufficient
quantity of fifti for the fupport of their family;
they remain idle during the reft of the day, which
they pafs at play, to which they are as much addicted as fome of the inhabitants in our great cities.
This gaming is the great fource of their quarrels.
If to all thefe deftructive vices they fhould unfortunately add a knowledge of the ufe of any inebriating liquor, I fhould not hefitate to pronounce,
that this colony would be entirely annihilated.
In vain may philofophers exclaim againft this
picture. They write books in their clofets,
whilft I have been engaged in voyages during a
courfe of thirty years. I have been a witnefs of
the injuftice and deceptions of thefe people, whom
they have defcribed to us as fo good, becaufe they
are very near to a ftate of nature; but this fame
nature is only fiiblime in her maffes, fhe is negligent of all details. It is not poffible to penetrate
into woods which the hand of civilized man has
not made paffable; to traverfe plains filled with
ftones and rocks, and inundated by impaffable
marfhes; in a word to form fociety with man in a
ftate of nature; becaufe he is barbarous, deceitful,
and wicked. In this opinion I have been confirmed by   my  own melancholy experience;   I
neverthelefs ROUND    THE    WORLD. 1^3
neverthelefs have not thought proper to make ufe
of the force, which was entrufted to me, for the
purpofe of repelling the injuftice of thefe favages,
and of teaching them, that men have rights which
muft not be violated with impunity.
Indians in their canoes were continually round
our frigates; they palled two or three hour's there
before they began to exchange a few fiflies, or two
or three otters fkins; they feized all occafions to
rob us ; they tore off the iron which was eafy to be
carried away, and above all they examined carefully how they might deceive our vigilance during
the night. I caufed the principal perfons amongft
♦Mhem to come on board my frigate, I loaded them
with prefents, yet thefe very men whom I fo particularly diftinguifhed, did not difdain the theft of
an old pair of breeches or a nail. When they af-
fumed a mild and pleafant appearance, I was pofi-
tive they had flolen fomething, although I frequently pretended not to perceive it.
I had exprefsly recommended the carefling of
their children, and giving them little prefents;
the parents were infenfible to this mark of
benevolence, which I thought incident to all
countries; the only reflection it gave rife to in
their breads was, to afk to accompany their chii-#:
dren when I made them come on board; and F
feveral times, for my inftruction, had the pleafure
K3 of 1,11;
134 LA    PER.0U.SE S   VOYAGE
of feeing the father take advantage of the moment
in which we feemed moft engaged with his child,
to take up and hide under his fkin garment every
thing, that lay within his reach.
Sometimes, immediately after loading them with
prefents, I pretended to have a defire for certain
little articles of trifling value, which belonged to
thefe Indians; but thiswas a trial of their generofity,
which I always made in vain.
I will however admit, if it be defired, that it is
impoflible for a fociety to exift without fome virtues; but I am obliged to confefs, that I had not
the penetration to perceive them ; quarrelling continually among themfelves, indifferent to their chil- |
dren, and abfolute tyrants over their women, whom
they inceffantly condemn to the moft painful labours; I have obferved nothing among thefe people which will permit me to foften the colouring
of this picture.
We never went on fhore but well armed and in
force ; they were very much afraid of our fire- •
locks, and eight or ten Europeans in a body might
keep a whole village-in awe. The furgeon-majors of our two frigates having been fo imprudent
asvto go a hunting by themfelves, were attacked by
the Indians, who endeavoured to force their muikets
from them, but in this they were unfuccefsful:
thus two men, without any other affiftance, -made
fo good a defence as to oblige them to retire.
The fame event was experienced by M. de Leffeps,
a young Ruffian mterp?cten to whofe affiftance one
of our boat's crews .very fortunately, arrived.
Thefe commencements of hoftility appear^ to
them fo trifling, that they did not in the leaft prevent them from coming on board, and they never
fufpected our being capable of making reprifals*.
I gave the name of village to three or four
wooden fheds, of twenty five feet in length, and
fifteen in breadth, covered only to windward with
planks, or bark-of trees; in the middle was a fire,
over which were .hung fome flat fifh and falmon
drying in the fmoke. Eighteen or twenty perfons
were lodged in each of thefe .fheds; on one fide
the women and children, and the men on the other.
It feemed to me that evefy cabin formed a fmall
colony, independent of its neighbour; each of
them had its canoe, and a kind of chief; it took
away its planks and fifh, departed arid proceeded
out of the bay, without the reft of the village
feeming to be at all concerned.
I think I may venture to affert, that this
port is inhabited only  in the  favourable  feafon,
* The reader will recognife, in the features of this picture,
the mournful impreffion of" the recent lofs, which has fo
lately been detailed ; all the relations agree as to the principal
fadls, of which even the cannibalifm cannot be (upprefled. I
have not thought it neceffary to weaken it, as it bears the
■ feal of a fenfibility fo honourable to its author.—(fr. Ed.)
iv 4
and 1
and that the Indians never pafs a winter in it; I
did not fee a fingle cabin fheltered from the rain s
and although there had never been collected together fo many as three hundred Indians in the
bay, we were vifited by feven or eight hundred
The canoes were continually entering and going out of the bay, and each of them brought and
carried away their houfe and furniture, which
confided of a great many fmall boxes, in which
were enclofed their moft valuable effects : thefe
boxes are placed at the entrance of their cabins, which poflefs a naftinefs and flench, to
which the den of no known animal in the world
can properly be compared. They never remove
themfelves more than two fleps for the performance of any neceffary cccafion, in which they
feek neither for fhade nor privacy, as if they had
not an inftant to lofe; and when this happens
during a meal, they take their place again, from
which they never were at a greater diftance than
five or fix feet *.    The wooden veffels in which
* " The infide of thefe dwellings exhibits a complete pic-
" ture of dirt and filth, indolence and lazinefs; in one corner
« are thrown the bones, and remaining fragments of victuals
" left at their meals, in another are heaps of fifh, pieces of'
" flinking flefh, greafe, oil, &c."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 173.
Cook ROUND    THE   WORLD. 137
they cook their fifh are never wafhed; they ferve
them for kettle, difh, and plate; as thefe veffels
cannot bear the fire, they make the water boil
with red hot flint ftones, which are renewed at
intervals till the victuals are quite ready. They
are alfo acquainted with the method of roafting,
which differs little or nothing from that of foldiers in a camp. It is probable, that we may only
have feen a fmall part of thefe people, who in all
likelihood inhabit a confiderable part of the fea-
fhore. During the fummer they wander in the
different bays, feeking their food like feals; and
in the winter they pufh into the interior of the
country to hunt beavers and other animals, of
which they brought us the fpoils; though their
feet are always naked, the fole of them is never
callous, and they cannot, without fhrinking, walk
over ftones; which is a proof they only travel
in canoes, or on the fnow with rackets,
Cook defcribes the naftinefs of the infide of the houfes
of the inhabitants of Nootka in the following terms :
" The naftinefs and flench of their, houfes are, however, at
" leaft equal to their confufion. For, as they dry their fifh
«{ within doors, they alfo gut them there, which with their
" bones and fragments thrown down at meals, and the addition
*: of other forts of filth, lie every where in heaps, and are, I
" believe, never carried away, till it becomes troublefome,
<s from their fize, to walk over them; in a word, their houfes
f' are as filthy as hog-Ilies; every thing in and about them
** ftinkingof fifh, train-oil, and fmoke."—Cqo&'s third Voyage,
vol. ii.
m m
Dogs are the only animals with which they
have entered into alliance; there are generally
three or four of them in a cabin; they are fmall,
and referable the fhepherd's dog of M. de Buffon;
they feldom bark, but have a hifs. nearly refem-
bling that of the Bengal jackal *, and they are fo
favage, that to other dogs they feern to be what
their mafters are to civilized people.
The men pierce the cartilage of the ears and
nofe, to which they hang different fmall ornaments ; they make fears on their arms and breafts,
with a very keen-edged inftrument, which ' they
iharpen by paffing over their teeth as over a flone;
their teeth are filed clofe to the gums, and for
this operation they ufe a fand-flone rounded in
the ihape of a tongue. They ufe ochre, foot, and
plumbago, mixed up with train oil, to paint the
face and the reft of the body in a frightful manner.
In their full drefs, their hair is flowing at full
length, powdered, and plaited with the down of
fea birds ; this is their greateft luxury, and is perhaps referved only to the chiefs of a family; their
fhoulders are covered with a fimple fkin; the, reft of
the body abfolutely naked,.except the head, which
orally cover
lttie flraw hat, very
* A wild, carnivorous, and dangerous animal, partaking of
the Gog and the wolf; it is common in- Ada, barks like a
dog in the night, but'not with fo much frrength; the (kin is
of a yellowifh caft,-of which they make fine fur.—(Ft. Ed.)
fcilfully HOUND    THE* WORLD. I39
fkilfully plaited; but they fometimes place on
their heads two horned bonnets of eagles feathers,
and even whole heads of bears, in which they fix a
wooden fkull-cap. Thefe feveral head-dreffes
are extremely various ; but their principal object,
like all their other cuftoms, is to render themfelves frightful, perhaps for the purpofe of keeping
their enemies in awe.
Some Indians had entire fhirts of otters fkin,
and the common drefs of a great chief was a fhirt
of a tanned fkin of the elk, bordered with a fringe
of deers hoofs and beaks of birds, which when
they dance imitates the noife of a kind of bell;
this fame drefs is very well known among the
favages of Canada, and other nations who inhabit
the eaftern parts of America *.
I never faw any tatooing but on the arms of a
few women, who are addicted to a cuftom which
renders them hideous, and which I could fcarcely
have believed, hadXanot been a witnefs to it; all of
them, without exception, have the lower lip flit at
the root of the gums, the whole width of the mouth;
they wear a kind of wooden bowl without handles,
which refts againft the gums, to which this lower
* " The chief (who always conduces the vocal concert)
*f puts on a large coat, made of the elk fkin, tanned, round the
<( lower, part of which is one, or fometimes two rows of dried
«' berries, or the beaks of birds, which make a rattling noife
*' whenever he moves.3'—Dixon's Voyage, p. 242.
cue 14'
cut lip ferves for a fupport, fo that the lower part
of the mouth jets out two or three inches*.   The
drawing by M. Duche de Vancy, which is exact-
nefs itfelf, will explain, better than any defcription,
the moft difgufting fafhion perhaps on the earth.
*- This cuftom appears general among the colonies which
inhabit the north-weft coaft of America from 50th to
6ift°, it is extended even to the inhabitants of Fox iflands
and the Aleutian Iflands.—See Coxe, in his tranflation
of New  Difcoveries by the Rufflans, pages.34,  35;   104, and
At Port Mulgrave, 590 33/ north latitude, 1420 20' weft
longitude from the meridian of Paris :
f( An aperture is made in the thick part of the under-
1* lip, and increafed by degrees in a line parallel with the
" mouth, and equally long: in this aperture, a piece of wood
" is conftantly wore, of an eliptical form, about half an inch
tc thick; the fuperfices not flat,but hollowed out on each fide
*« like a fpoon, though not quite fo deep; the edges are like-
«« wife hollowed in the form of a pully, in order to fix this
" precidus ornament more firmly in the lip, which by this
*r means is frequently extended at leaft three inches horizon-
"tally, and confequently diflorts every feature in the lower,
w part of the face. This curious piece of wood is wore only
" by the women, and feems to be confidered as a mark of
" diftinction, it not being wore by all indifcriminately, but
fe only thofe who appeared in a fuperior ftation to the reft:."-—
Dixon's Voyage, p. 172.
At the entrance of Norfolk harbour, 570 3' north latitude,
1370 5' weft longitude from the meridian of Paris:
*c The women, too, ornament, or rather diftort their lips
*f in the fame manner as I have already defcribed; and it
« {hould feem, that the female who is ornamented ivith the ROUND   THE   WORLD. I4I
The young girls have only a needle in the lower lip,
and the married women alone have the right of
" largeft piece of wood,* is generally moft refpecled by her
*c friends, and by the community in general."—Dixon's Voyage,
p. 186.
Hippah Ifland, one of Queen Charlotte's Iflands, 530 48'
north latitude, 1350 20' weft longitude from the meridian of
" There were likewife a few women amongft themr who
"all feemed pretty well advanced in years; their under
" lips were diftorted in the fame manner as thofe of the
" women at Port Mulgrave and Norfolk Sound, and the
"pieces of wood were particularly large. One of thefe lip-
" pieces appearing to be peculiarly ornamented, captain
" Dixon wilhed to purchafe it, and offered the old woman to
" whom it belonged a hatchet; but this fhe refufed with
" contempt ; toes, bafons, and feveral other articles were
" afterwards fhewn to her, and as conftantly rejected. Our
" captain began now to defpair of making his wifh ed-for
" purchafe, and had nearly given it up, when one of our
t* people happening to ihew the old lady a few buttons which
" looked remarkably bright, fhe eagerly embraced the offer,
<f and was now altogether as ready to part with her wooden
" ornament as before fhe was defirous of keeping it. This
" curious lip-piece meafured three and feven-eighth inches
<c long, and two and five-eighth inches in the wideft part: it
" was inlaid with a fmall pearly fhell, round which was a rim
" of copper."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 208.
We may further compare what Cook fays of the cuftoms of the favages of Oonalaflika, of Norton's Sound, in
64® 31/ north latitude, and 1650 7' weft longitude* meridian
of Paris, and of Prince William's Sound, fituate in 6i® \ 1 30'' j
north latitude,*and 1480 52' weft longitude, meridian of Paris.—Cook's third Voyage.~-(Fr. Ed.)
the 142 la perouse's voyage
.the bowl*. We fometimes prevailed dn them
to pull off this ornament, to which they with difficulty agreed; they then teftified the fame embar-
raflfment, and made the fame geftures as a woman
in Europe who difcovers her bofom. The lower
lip then fell upon the chin, and this fecond picture
was not more enchanting than the firft.
Thefe women, the moft difgufting of any on
the earth, covered, with ftinking fkins, which are
frequently untanned, failed not, however, to excite defires in fome perfons, in fact of no fmall
f^^^en'cfe'r^ty at firft ftarted many difficulties, giving affuranees by their geftures that they
ran the rifk of their lives; but being overcome
: ^a'     i by
* Marriage among thefe favages not being fubjeel to any;
. other formalities than thofe prefcribed by nature, I think,
with Dixon, that the porringer is rather a mark of puberty,
or womanhood, than a mark of diftinftion of the exclufive
property of one man alone. The refpeel they have for thofe
who bear this ornament may arife from this principle, for I
do not fuppofe that the privation of this honour can be a
punifhment in a country fo little civilized, where it would
befides be very eafy to know thofe again who might have
enjoyed it.
" This curious operation of cutting the under-lip of the
" females never takes place* during their infancy, but from
" every obfervation I was able to make, feems confined to a
" peculiar period of life. When the girls arrive to. the age
" of fourteen or fifteen, the center of the under ^ipy-'in the
m thick part near the mouth, is Amply perforated, and apiece
i( of c©pper wire introduced to prevent the aperture from
" doling; ROUND    THE   WORLD. 143
by prefents, they had no objection to the fun being
a witnefs, and abfolutely refufed to retire into the
wood *.    There can be no doubt that this planet
tc doling; the aperture afterwards is lengthened, from time
*• to time, in a line parallel with the mouth, and the wooden
<s ornaments are enlarged in proportion, till they are fre-
" quently increafed to three, or even four inches in length,
tf and nearly as wide, but this generally happens, when the
" matron is advanced in years, and confequently the mufcles
cs are 'relaxed; fo that poffibly old age may obtain greater
" refpeit than this very Angular ornament."—Dixon's Voyage,'
p. i%7-(Fr.EJ.)
* Dixon's details are generally fo conformable to thofe
given by la Peroufe, that I am at a lofs to conceive what
could give rife to the differe- ce they have difcovered in appreciating the charms of the female fex.
Could chance then have prefented to Dixon an object
which was fmgular in its fpecies ? or can this difference be
really any other than that of the known indulgence of a feaman, efpecially after a voyage of long continuance ?<   Be this
as it mav, ner
here is his narrative:
i They are particularly fond of painting their faces with
" a variety of colours, fo that it is no eafy matter to dif-
al   Tnmnl
" cover their real complexion ; however, we
" one woman, by perfuafion, and a trifling
» her face and hands, and the alteration i
" pearance abfolutely furprifed us; her -co
" the chearfulglow of an Engli-ih milk-maid
" red-whic'h ftufhed her cheek, was even bet
" with the whitenefs of her neck; her ey
" fparkling ; her eye-brows the fame colou
" tifully arched ; her forehead fo remarkab
<( tranilucent veins were feen meandering
(t nuteflabranches—in fliort, fhe was what v
?revanea on
;nt, to wafli.
le in her ap~
" ha
5ms jMiJIfj'
■   ■
is the god of thefe people, they frequently addrefs
themfelves to it in their prayers, but I faw neither temple nor priefts, nor the leaft trace of any
The flature of thefe Ifcdians is very near our
own: the features of their face are very various,
and exhibit no particular character but in the ex-
preilion of their eyes, which never beam forth a
fingle fentiment of tendernefs. The colour of
their fkin is very brown, owing to their being
continually expofed to the air; but their children,
at the time of birth, areas white as ours. Their
beard is in fact lefs than that of Europeans, but
neverthelefs fufficient to take away all poffibility
of doubt of it: the belief that the American
Indians have no beards, is an error which has been
too flightly adopted; I have feen the native Indians
of New England, Canada, Acadia, and Hudfon's
Bay, and I have found amongft the different nations feveral individuals with beards, which led
me to think that the others were  in the habit of
" handfome even in England : but this fymmetry of features
" is entirely deftroyed by a cuftom extremely lingular."—
Dixon's Voyage, p. 171.
I ought, however, in fupport of the details given by
Dixon, to cite the narrative of a Spanifh voyage, undertaken
in 1777, written by D. Maurelle, fecond captain of the frigate
la Favorite. This navigator, in confirmation of the cuftom
of the ridiculous ornament placed in a hole made in the middle
of the under-lip, adds, " Several among them, if better
" dreffed, might difpute charms with the moft beautiful
« Spanifh women."—(Fr. Ed.)
pulling ROUND    THE    WORLD. I45
pulling them out by the roots *. The frame of
their body is feeble; the weakeft of our failors
would overcome in wreftling the ftrongeft of the
* " The young men have no beards, and I was at firft
i inclined to think that this arofe from a natural want of hair
" on that part, but I was foon undeceived in this particular^
" for all the men we faw, who were advanced in years, had
" beards all over the chin, and fome of them whifkers on
<f each fide the upper lip.
* As this fuppofed defect amongft the natives of America I
ft has occafioned much fpeculative enquiry amongft the
«* learned and ingenious, I took every opportunity of learning
" how it was occafioned, and was given to underftand, that
<f the young men got rid of their beards by plucking them
S out, but as they advance in years, the hair is fuf-
*« fered to grow."—-Dixon's Voyage, p. 238.
Art enemy to every fyftem, and my inquiries having always
truth alone for their object, I will not keep back any of the
affertions which are contrary to thofe of la Peroufe; I think,
therefore, the reader will, with pleafure, per ufe the following
extract taken from Lettres Americaines, by Carli, 24th lettert"\
P There is certainly nothing aftonifhing in feeing the
" Americans without h<ur, and without beard, fince, if we
" may believe all the hiftorians, the Tartars and Chinefe are
" equally unprovided with them. Hippocrates tells us, that in
*c his time, the Scythians had neither hair nor beard. The
5 Huns were perhaps defcendants of thefe Scythian*, for Jor-
* nandes relates, that they grew old without beard, after
** having beGome adults without the ornament of puberty.
f. The hiftory of Hyton, the Armenian, who efcaped from
** Tartary in 1305, and became a monk in Cyprus, informs
*' us, that the Tartars, efpecially thofe of Cathay, had no bpard)^
" but how many people are there in Afia and Afrk
" fame circumftances!"—{Fr. Ed.)
Vol. II. L *%>^Mkl I46 LA   PEROUSe's   VOtiGE
Indians. I have feen fome of them whofe fwelled
legs feemed fymptomatic of the fcurvy, but their
gums were in a very good ftate ; I have my
doubts, however, of their arriving to any great age,
and I perceived only one woman who feemed to
have reached fixty; fhe did not enjoy any privilege, and was, like the others, fubjected to the
different labours of her fex.
My voyages have enabled me to make com-
f parifons between different nations, and I dare venture to affert, that the Indians of Port des Frangais
lire not Esquimaux; they have evidently a common origin with all the inhabitants of the interior
of Canada and the northern parts of America.
The Efquimaux are diftinguifhed from the other
American Indians by a very particular countenance, and cuftoms abfolutely different. The firft
Jfeem to me to bear a ftrong refemblance to the
Greenlanders; they inhabit the coaft of Labrador,
Hudfon's Streight, and a fkirt of land, the whole
extent of America, as far as the peninfula of Alafhka.
There is much doubt whether thefe people came
originally from Greenland or Afia; it is certainly
an idle queftion to agitate, as the problem will
never be fatisfaftorily folved; it. is fufficient to
fay, that the Efquimaux are a people much more
addifted to fifhing than to hunting, and that they
prefer oil to blood, and perhaps to every thing,
very commonly eating raw filh : their canoes are
always covered with feal fkins, very well ftretched;
I they ROUND   TME   WORLD. I47
they are fo expert in fwimming, that they fcarcely
differ from feals; they turn themfelves in the water
with the fame facility as amphibious animals; they
have a fquare face, fmall eyes and feer^ a broad
breaft, and are of fhort flature. None of thefe
characters feem to agree with the natives of Port
des Frangais-, they are much bigger, meagre, not
robuft, and unfkilful in the conitruction of their
canoes, which are formed of a hollow tree raifed
on each fide with planks.
Like us, they fiih by flaking the rivers, or with a
lifig; In the latter method they are very ingenious %
they fatten to every line a large feafs bladder, and
then throw it into the water; from every canoe
a dozen or fifteen lines may be eaft; when the fifh
is hooked, it fets the bladder in motion, and the
canoe haftens after it; two men may thus watch a
dozen or fifteen lines without the trouble of holding them in their hands *.
Thefe Indians have made much more progrefs
*....." The fuccefs of their fifhery, which is con-
4 dueled in a very Angular manner. They bait their hook
" with a kind of fifh, called by the failors fquids, and having
'« funk it to the bottom, they fix a bladder to the end of the
f* line as a buoy, and fhould that not watch fufficiently, they
<f add another. Their lines are very ftrong, being made of
" the finews or inteftines of animals. One man is fufficient
" to look after five or fix of thefe buoys, &c>]'~+Dixon9s
Voyage, p. 174.—/T*\ Ed.)
in the arts than in morals, and their induftry is more
advanced than that of the inhabitants of the South
Sea iflands; I except, however, agriculture, which,
by inclining man to flay at home, fecuring his fub-
fiftence, and infpiring him with the dread of feeing
the land which he has cultivated ravaged, is perhaps the propereft method of foftening his manners, and making him fit for fociety.
The Americans of Pert des Frangais know
how to forge iron, to fafhion copper, to fpin
the hair of different animals, and, by the help of
a needle, to fabricate with this yarn a tiflfue equal
to our tap; ftry ; they intermix in this tiffue narrow
ftrips of otter's fkin, which gives their cloaks the
femblance of the fineft filk fhag. In no part of
the world can hats and bafkets of reeds be plaited
with more fkill; they figure upon them very
agreeable defigns; they alfo engrave very tolerably
figures of men and animals in wood and flone;
they inlay boxes with mother of pearl, the form
of which is very elegant; they make ornaments
of ferpentine, to which they give the polifh of
Their weapons of attack and defence are the
dagger which I have already defcribed, a lance
made of wood hardened by fire, or with iron, according to the wealth of the owner; and laftly, a bow
and arrows, which are generally tipped at the point
with ROUND    THE    WORLD. I49
with copper; but thefe bows have nothing particular in them, and are not near fo ftrong as thofe
of many other nations.
I found amongft their trinkets pieces of yellow
amber, but 1 am ignorant whether it be a production
of their country, or whether, like the iron, they have
received it from the old continent by their indirect:
communication with the Ruffians.
I have already mentioned, that feven large canoes had been eaft away at the entrance of the
harbour; thefe canoes were thirty-four feet long,
four broad, and fix deep; thefe confiderable d£-
menfions rendered them very proper for making
long voyages. They were covered with feal fkins,
after the manner of the Efquimaux, which induced
us to think, that Port des Frangais was a repofi-
' tory, and only inhabited during the fifhing feafon.
It feemed to us poflible, that the Efquimaux from
the vicinity of Shumagin Iflands, and the peninfula explored by captain Cook, extended their
commerce as far as this part of America, that
they here diftributed iron and other articles, and
that, with" advantage to themfelves, they carried back otters fkins, which they feek after
with the greateft eagernefs. The fhape of the
wrecked canoes, and the vaft quantity of fkins for
which we trafficked, and which might have beenI
L 3 collected j jggiJIJIgggjgHgj
collected here for the purpofe of being fold to
thefe ftrangers, feem to fupport this conjecture,
which I fhould not however hazard, but that it
appears to explain, better than any other, the origin
of the iron and other European merchandizes in
their poffeflion.
1 have fpoken of the paflion of thefe Indians
for play; that to which they deliver themfelves
up with the greateft avidity is abfolutely a game
of chance; they have thirty wooden pieces, each
having different marks like our dice ; of thefe they
hide feven; each of them plays in his turn, and
'he whofe guefs comes neareft to the number
marked upon the feven pieces, is the winner of the
flake agreed upon, which is generally a piece of
iron or a hatchet. This gaming renders them
ferious and melancholy; I have neverthelefs very
frequently heard them fing: and when the chief
came to pay me a vifit, he commonly paddled
round the fhip finging, his arms extended in the
form of .a crofs in token of friendfhip; he then
came on board, and played a pantomime, which
was expreflive either of combats, furprifes, or
death, The air which preceded this dance was
agreeable, and tolerably harmonious. Here is one
of them which we were enabled to note * i
* Thofe who have the ftrongeft.. voices take the air a
jird lower, and the women a third higher than the natural
pitch; ROUND   THE   WORL D.
g-j iuJ'iJKtm
1 ft't; i ,iuj 1 Fff^asaE^
*   J1' Jl
¥{l i J J J11 JjJ- jj. ijfjtltj~j
r,i i jftH^^^
£3J -jiff JlTi^f
I'..J 1J JliH-g
pitch; fome of them fing an octave, and frequently make a
reft of two bars in a place where the air is higheft.
L 4 M, de 1^2 LA   PEROUSE'S   VOYAGE
M. de Lamanon is th^j^uthor of the following
differtation upon the language of thefe people -, I
only give in this place the numerical terms, for
the purpofe of fatisfying thofe readers who love
to compare thofe of different idioms *.
One, keirrk.
Two, theirh-f*
Three, neifk.
Four, ......... taakhoun.
Five, keitfchine.
Six, ... . kleitouchou.
Seven,, • . ..... \ takatouchou.
Eight,.,..,,... netfkatouchou*
Nine, ......... kouehok.
Ten, tchinecate.
Eleven, keirkrha-keirrk.
Twelve, keirkrha-theirh.
Thirteen, ....... keirkrha neifk.
Fourteen, ....... keirkrha-taakhoun.
* A more extenfive vocabulary, comprifing the languages
of the different people vifited by thefe navigators, has been
mentioned; it was the work of the united care of MefTrs,
Monneron, Leffeps, Lavaux, Lamanon, Monges, and Re-
ceveur, hut it is not arrived.—(Fr. Ed.)
f To reprefent the r guttural, which thefe people pronounce itil} harder than the Germans the chr, the rh has been
fubftituted, as if it were pronounced rbabiller, fpeakjng
very |hick, and as more conformable to the French lan«
Fifteen, ROUND   THE   WORLD. 153
Fifteen, keirkrha-keitfchine.
Sixteen, keirkrha-kleitouchou*
Seventeen, : keirkrha- takatouchbu.
Eighteen, ....... keirkrha netfkatouchou*
Nineteen, . . „ . . . . keirkrha-kouehok.
Twenty,  their ha.
Thirty,  ......... neifkrha.
Forty, ♦ •. taakhounrha.
Fifty, keitfchinerba*
Sixty, kleitouchourha.
Seventy, takatouchourha.
Eighty, netjkatouchourha*
Ninety, kouehokrha.
A hundred, tchinecaterha.
u Our character cannot exprefs the language of
thefe people; they have, in fact, fome articulations
fimitar to ours, but to many of them we are abfo-
luteijr ftrangers; they make no tile of the confo-
nants b, f, x, j, d, p, v; and notwithftanding their
talent for imitation,  they cannot pronounce the
firft four.    They had the fame difficulty in the l,
I and the g n liquidated ; they pronounce the letter
r as if it were double, and by fpeaking it very
thick:  they alfo pronounce the chr of the Germans with as great a roughnefs as the Swifs of
particular cantons.    They have befides an articulated found very difficult to feize upon,  an imitation of which cannot be attempted without exciting 154 LA   PEROUSES    VOYAGE
citing laughter; it is partly reprefented by the
letters kblrl, making only one fyllable pronounced
equally from the throat and tongue; this fyllable
is found in the word khlrleies, which fignifies hair.
Their initial confonants are k, t, n, s, m ; the firft
are thofe they moft frequently ufe ; none of their
words begin with r, and their termination is almoft always in ou, ouls} oulch, or in vowels. The
thick fpeaking, the frequency of the letter k,
and the double confonants, render this language
extremely rugged; it is lefs guttural among the
men than the women, who cannot pronounce the
labials on account of the round piece of wood,
named kentaga, which is fixed on their under lip.
" The roughnefs of their language is notfo perceptible when they fing. I have been able to
make only a few obfervations on their parts of
fpeech, from the difficulty of communicating abstract: ideas by figns: I recollect, however, that
they have interjections expreflive of admiration,
v/rath, and pleafure: I do not think that they
have any articles, for I found no words that recur
often, and which ferve to connect their fpeech. I
fhowed them the tooth of a feal, they called it
kaourre, and they afterwards gave the fame name,
without any variation, to a whole parcel of teeth.
They have very few collective names; they have
not fufficiently generalized their ideas to have
obtained terms even in a fmall degree abftractedi
thev ROUND    THE   WORLD. I55
they .have not fo far particularized them as to
avoid giving the fame name to very diftindt
things; thus with them kaaga equally fignifies head
and face, and the word alcaou, chief and friend. I
did not find any fimilarity between this language
and that of Alafhka, Norton, Nootka, or that of
the Greenlanders, Efquimaux, Mexicans, Naudo-
weffees, and Chipawas, whofe vocabularies*! have
compared. I pronounced to them words from
thefe different idioms; they comprehended none
of them, though I varied my pronunciation as
much as 1 poflibly could: but although there
may not perhaps be an idea or a thing which is
expreffed by the fame word among the Indians of
Port des Frangais, and the people whom I have
juft cited, there feems to be a confiderable affinity
of-found between this language and that of
Nootka Sound. The k is in both the prevailing letter, and is found in almoft every word.
The initial and terminating confonants are frequently the fame, and it is not perhaps impoflible
that this language and the Mexican may have a
common origin; but if this origin exift, it muft
go back to a very remote period, fince thefe
idioms have no refemblance but in the firft elements of words, and not in their fignification."
I will finifh the article refpedting thefe people
by faying, that we have not perceived among
them any trace of anthropophagifm i but it is fo
general 156 LA   PBROUSE'S   VOYAGE
general a cuftom among the Indians of America,
that I fhould ftill perhaps have this trait to add to
their picture, had they been at war, and taken any
•prifoners *.
Departure from Port des Frangais—Exploring of the
Coaft of America - Bay of Captain Cook's Iflands —
Port of Los Remedios, and Bucarelli, of the Pilot
Maurelle—La Croyere Iflands - Saint Carlos Iflands
—Defcription of the Coaft from Crofs Sound as
far as CapeHeclor—Reconnoitring of a great Gulph
or Channel, and the exacJ Determination of its
Breadth-- Sur tine Iflands—Captain Cook's Woody
Point—Verification of our Time-keepers—Breakfcfis
Point—Necker Iflands—Arrival at Montet^m"'
*np h e forced flay which I had juft made at Port
des Francais had obliged me to change my
plan of my voyage on the American coaft; I had
ftill time to run it down, in order to determine
its direction, but it was impoffible to think of
* Captain J. Meares has proved, in the narrative of his
vo) tges, that the people who inhabit the north-weft coaft of
America are cannibals.—(Fr* Ed.)
touching ROUND    THE   WORLD. 157
touching at any other*place, and ftill lefs to reconnoitre  every  bay:   all   my  intentions  were
obliged to be made fubordinate to the abfoiute
neceflity of arriving at Manilla by the end of January, and at China in the courfe of February,
in order to be enabled to employ the following
fummer in recons&itring the coafts of Tartary,
Japan,  Kamtfchatka,  and even to the Aleutian
Iflands.    I  faw,  with grief, that fo vaft a plan
left only time to obferve objects, and never that
of clearing up any doubt; but obliged to navigate
feas in the monfoon, it was neceffary either to
lofe a year, or arrive at Monterey between the
10th and 15 th of September, to pafs there only fix
or feven days, to complete our wood and water,
and afterwards with all poffible fpeed to traverfe
the Great Ocean, over a fpace of fhore than 120*
: o£4ongitude,, or near two thoufand four hundred
Jl^jleagues, becaufe between the tropics the degrees differ very little from thofe on the equator.
I had reafon to  be apprehenfive, that I  fhould
not have time to vifit,  according to my inftruc-
tions, the Caroline Iflands, and thofe to the north
of the Marian Iflands.    The exploring of the Carolines might more or lefs depend on the quick-
nefs of our run, and we had reafon to fuppofe it
would be very long, from the bad failing of our
fhips; befides, the geographical fituation of thefe
iflands,  which   lie very  much to the weftward
and - ■- BBBMMM
15$ LA   t»EROUSE's  /v50rACE
and to leeward, renderea it very difficult to
comprife them in the further plan of my voyage
fouth of the line.
Thefe different confiderations determined me,
in cafe of feparation, to give M. de Langle a new
rendezvous ; I had previoufly fixed upon the
ports of los Remedios and Nootka; we had agreed
not to go into harbour but at Monterey, and this
laft port was preferred, becaufe, that being the
moft diftant, we fhould have a greater quantity of
wood and water to replace there.
Our difafter at Port des Frangais required fome
changes in our ftaff eftablifhment; I gave M.
Darbaud, a very well informed midfhipman, an
order to act as enfign; and I gave a lieutenant's
commiffion to M. Broudou, a young volunteer,
who fince our departure from France had given
many proofs of his zeal and abilities.
I propofed to the officers and paffengers, that
our peltry fhould be fold at China, for the fole
profit of the failors; and my propofition being
unanimoufly received with tranfport, I gave '
orders to M. Dufrefne to become their fuper-
cargo.' This commiffion he executed with a zeal
and underftanding that I cannot too highly applaud. He was made our principal agent in
purchafing, packing up, and choice of the place
of fale of thefe different furs;  and  as  I   am
pofitive ROUND    THE   WORLD. 159
pofitive, that there was* not a fingle fkin privately
purchafed, this arrangement enabled us to know
with the utmoft precifion the price they would
fetch in China, which might vary from a competition of fellers; it was befides more advantageous to the failors, who were convinced, that
their health and their interefts had always been the
principal objects of our attention.
The commencement of our new voyage was not
very fortunate, and by no means agreed with my
impatience. In the firft eight and forty hours we
ran only fix leagues: the light breezes during thefe
two days ran round the compafs from north to
fouth; the weather was gloomy and foggy; we
were always diftant from three to four leagues and
in fight of the low lands, but the high mountains
were only vifible at intervals; it was fufficiently f&
to connect our bearings, and precifely to determine
the lying of the coaft, of the principal points of
which wre took care to lay down the latitude and
longitude with all poffible accuracy. I was very
defirous, that the winds might put it in my powei
to explore this coaft rapidly as far as Cape Edge-,
cumbe or Enganno, becaufe it had been already
feen by captain Cook, who had in fact palled it at
a very confiderable diftance ; but his obfervations
were fo exact, that he could only have made the
moft trifling errors, and being equally in hafte
with this celebrated navigator, I felt that I could
not, any more than he, look after details, which
ought to be the object of a particular expedition,
and to which it might be necellary to dedicate
feveral feafons. I was in the utmoft impatience
to arrive in 55°, and to have a little time to allot
to this furvey as far as Nootka, from which a gale
of wind had driven off captain Cook fifty or fixty
leagues. It is in this part of America, according
to M de Guignes, that the Chinefe muft have
landed, and it is in thefe fame latitudes, alfo, that
admiral Fuentes found the mouth of the archipelago Saint Lazarus.   *i|fe
I was far from placing confidence in the con-
jedtures of M. de Guignes, or in the narrative of
the Spanifh admiral, the exiftence of whom I think
may be djfputed; but ftruck with the obfervation
I have already made, that all the iflands and countries pointed out in the ancient narratives of the
Spaniards, though very defectively laid down as to
latitude and longitude, have been found again in
thefe latter periods, I was inclined to believe, that
fome ancient navigator of that laborious nation
had found a bay, the mouth of which might be in
this part of the coaft, and that this fingle fact had
ferved as a foundation to the ridiculous romance
of Fuentes and Bernarda. It was not my intention to penetrate into this channel if I fhould meet
with it; the feafon was too far advanced; and I
could not afford to facrifice the whole plan of my
voyage ROUND    THE   WORLD. l6l
voyage to this inquiry, but in the hope of being
able to get into the eaft fea by crofting America;
being certain, however, fince Hearne's voyage,
that this paffage was a chimera *, I was refolved
to afcertain only the breadth of this channel, and
its depth as far as twenty-five or thirty leagues,
according to the time I fhould have to fpare:
leaving it to nations who, like the Spaniards, the
Englifh, and Americans, have poffefllons on the
continent of America, to make a more exact furvey, which cannot prove of any advantage to
the general intereft of navigation, which was the
only object of our voyage.
The fog, the rain, and calms continued till the
4th at noon, at which time our obfervations gave
us 570 45' north latitude, three leagues from the
land, which we could only perceive in a confufed
manner through the fog; this luckily difperfed at
four o'clock, and we perfectly diftinguifhed the
entrance of Crofs Sound, which feemed to form
two very deep bays, where it is probable fhips
would find a good anchorage.
The high mountains covered with fnow, and the
peaks of which are from thirteen to fourteen hun-
* La Peroufe, too honeft to fufpect in the narrative of
Hearne's voyage the publication of a political falfehood, in
this place delivers an opinion diametrically oppofite to mine.
I will hereafter return to this important queftion.—^(Fr. Ed.)
See the firft note in. ch. 1, vol. i, and the note p. 64 of
this vol.—T.
Vol. II, M dred •''i6a la perouse's voyage
dred toifes in height, terminate at Crofs Sound,
The lands which border upon the fea, although
ftill elevated as high as eight or nine hundred
toifes, are covered with trees even to the fummit,
and the chain of primitive mountains feemed to go
a great way into the Interior of America. At fun-
down I fet the weft point of Crofs Sound, bearing
north 25° weft, at about five leagues diftance;
Mount Fair Weather then bore north 500 weft,
and Mount Crillon north 450 weft. This mountain, almoft as high as Mount Fair Weather, is to
the northward "of Crofs Sound, as Mount Fair
Weather is to, the northward of Port des Frangais %
they ferve as marks for the harbour to which they
are adjacent; in coming from the fouthward the
one might eafily be taken for the other, if there
were not a difference of 15' in their latitude; befides, from all points of the compafs Mount Fair
Weather appears to be accompanied by two moun-^
tains not quite fo hig-h as itfelf, and Mount Crillon.
i .       O f B
more infulated, has its point inclined towards the
fouth. I continued to run along the coaft at three
leagues diftance; the mountains being all the time
covered with fog, we could only fee the" low lands
at particular intervals, arid we endeavoured to dif-
tinguifh their fummits, that we might not lofe the
connection of our bearing.
We made  but  very little   way;   the run of
twenty-four hours not being more than ten leagues:
of ROUND    THE   WORLD. l6j
at day-break I fet a cape which is to the fouth
of ,the entrance of Crofs Sound, bearing north
290 weft; I called it Cape Crofs *. We had
abreaft of us an infinite number of fmall low
iflands, very woody; the high hills appeared in
the middle ground, and we no longer perceived
the mountains covered with fnow. I approached
the little iflands, even till I faw from the deck the
breakers of the coaft, and I difcovered between
them feveral paffages, which might perhaps form
good roadfteads: it is to this part of America that
' captain Cook gave the name of The Bay cf Iflands.
At fun-fet the entrance of Port Los Remedios
bore eaft 20 fouth, that of Guadaloupe Bay, eaft
2i° fouth, and Cape Enganno alfo eaft 23° fouth;
but all thefe capes and points were imperfe£tly
afcertained, by reafon of the fogs which covered
their fummits.
From Crofs Sound as far as Cape Enganno,
over an extent of twenty-five leagues of coaft, I
am convinced, that twenty different ports might
be found, and three months would fcarcely be
fufficient to develope  this labyrinth.    I limited
* Cook alfo called it Cape Crofs, but he fixed the latitude
of it in 57* 57'. This difference muft arife from the configuration of the coaft, which prefents in this place a great
many cap«Sj and Cook muft certainly have determined the
fituation of that, which upon the chart is feen to be the fouth-
ernmoft.—(Fr. Ed.)
M 2 myfelf 164 la' perouse's voyage
myfelf according to the plan that I laid down on
our departure from Port des Frangais, to determine very exactly the beginning and the end of
thefe iflands, as well as their direction along the
coaft, with the entrance of the principal bays.
On the 6th the weather became a little clearer;
we were able to obferve the fun's altitude, and
compare the true time with that of our timekeepers. Our latitude was 570 i8'4o", and our
longitude, taken from our recently regulated timekeepers, obferved upon Cenotaph Ifland, 1380 49'
30". I have already fpoken of the perfection of
the fea time-keepers of M. Berthoud, their lofs,
on the average of the fun's daily motion, is fo trifling and uniform, that there is reafon to think this
artift has attained the higheft degree of perfection
of which they are fufceptible.
The whole day of the fixth was tolerably clear,
and our bearings were taken as correctly as we
could defire. At feven o'clock in the evening we
ftill perceived Mount Crillon, bearing north 66G
weft, Mount Saint Hyacinth, north 7 8° eaft, and
Cape Enganno *, eaft io° fouth : this laft is a low
land, covered with trees, which juts a great way
into the fea, and upon which refts Mount Saint
Hyacinth, the form of which is a truncated cone,
* Mount Saint Hyacinth and Cape Enganno of the Spa*
niards, are Cook's Mount and Cape Edgecumbe.
! ;    rounded RO U ND   THE   WOR L D.     *'•       165
rounded at the top; its elevation may be at leaft
two hundred toifes.
On the 7th in the morning, we perceived the
fide of Cape Enganno oppofite to that along which
we had run the day before. The out-line of Mount
Saint Hyacinth was perfectly well defined, and we
difcovered to the eaftward of this mount a large
bay, the depth of which was hidden from us by
the fog; but it is fo open to the fouth and fouth-
eaft winds, which are the moft dangerous, that it
behoves navigators to be extremely cautious of
anchoring there *. The land is covered with
trees, and of the fame degree of elevation as that
to the fouthward of Crofs Sound; a little fnow
covered the tops of them, and they are fo pointed
and numerous, that the fmalleft change of pofition
is fufficient to alter their appearance; thefe funv
mits are fome leagues in the interior, and bound
the horizon: the hills are placed with their backs
to each other, and are joined to a low and uneven
coaft, which is terminated by the fea. Some
iflands, like thofe of which I have already fpoken,
* Dixon came to an anchor there to traffic for furs; he
gave it the name of Norfolk Sound', its north latitude is
in 570 3'; and, its weft longitude, reckoned from the meridian
of Paris, in 138° 16'.
He anchored in eight fathoms, fandy ground, at three
quarters of a mile from the fhore.    Cook perceived the aper^§
ture of this found the 2d of May 1778, but did not anchor
in it.—(Fr. Ed.)
M 3 lie 1
t66 la  perouse's voyage
lie in front of this uneven coaft; we have only
noticed the moft remarkable, the others are laid
down upon the draught promifcuoufly, as a fign
that they are very numerous • thus from the north
and fouth of Enganno, for a fpace often leagues,
the coaft is bordered with iflands. At ten o'clock
in the morning we had doubled the whole of them;
the hills were apparent to the naked eye, and we
were enabled to take the outlines of them. At
fix o'clock in the evening we fet to the north-eaft
a cape which ran a good way to the weftward,
and with Cape Enganno formed the fouth-eaft
point of the great bay, one third of which, as I
have already faid, is filled with little iflands. From
the end of thefe iflands to the new cape we faw two
large bays *, which feemed to be of great depth, I
gave to this laft cape the name of Cape Tfchiri-*
kow, in honour of the celebrated Ruffian navigator,
who, in 1741, landed in this fame part of America.
Behind the cape to the eaftward, there is a large
* Thefe two bays, which la  Peroufe has   named Port
Necker and Port Guibert, are fo near, that it cannot be de'ter^
mined at which of them Dixon touched; but this navigator
having run down the coaft from the right to the left of his anchorage, which he called Port Banks, only found bays much
„    fmall er than that where he was, and entirely uninhabited.
The latitude of Port Banks is in   -    -    -      56°    35'
9     And its weft longitude, reckoned from the
meridian of Paris, is   -    -    -    -   -   -    1370   20'
—(Fr. Ed.)
and ROUND    THE    WORLD*. 167
and deep bay, which I alfo named Tfchiri-kow Bay.
At feven o'clock in the evening, I got fight of a
group of five iflets *, feparated from the continent
by a channel of four or five leagues, and of which
neither captain Cook nor pilot Maurelle have
made the leaft mention. I have cake I this group
La Qroyere Iflands, from the name1 of the French
geographer Delifle de la Croyere, who embarked
with Captain Tfchiri-kow, and died during the
voyage. As the night approached, I fhaped my
courfe fo as to gain an offing. The breeze from
the weft continued to be favourable to us during
the whole day of the 8th; we obferved in 550 39'
2i" north latitude, and 137° f 23" weft longitude, according to our time-keepers. We faw
many great openings between fome confiderable
iflands, which were vifible to us in various direc-
* Dixon has marked thefe five iflets on his chart, tinder
the name of Hazy Ifles.
Determination of la Peroufe.
North latitude    -------      gj»    5.0*
Weft longitude    -------    137°    j 1/
Determination of Dixon.
North latitude    -------      55°    50'
Weft longitude, reduced to meridian of
paris -    -    -    -     1370      o'    45"
I think it unnecefTary to enter into any detail to prove,
$hat in every refpec"t the determinations of la Perouf^are
entitled to a preference.—(Fr. Ed.)
M 4 tions, i63 la perouse's voyage
tions, while the continent was at fo great a di£.
tance as to be entirely out of fight. This new
archipelago, very different from the firft, begins,
four leagues to the fouth-eaft of Cape Tfchiri-
kow, and probably extends as far as Cape Hector:
in the vicinity of thefe iflands, the currents were
very ftrong, and we felt their influence at the diftance of three leagues. Port Bucarelli, of the
Spanifh pilot Maurelle, is in this quarter. I have
not been able, from his chart, or the explanation,
to diftinguifh any thing which can make it clear,
but his volcanoes and his Port Bucarelli are in
iflands diftant perhaps from the continent forty
leagues. I confefs I fhould be but little furprifed
if, from Crofs Sound, we had coafted along nothing but iflands *; for the afpect of the land was
very different from that more to the northward,
and I faw the high chain of Mount Crillon lofe itfelf in the eaft.
On the 9th, at feven o'clock in the morning,
* , Dixon is of the fame opinion, and I think founded on
the fame probabilities.
 r So that we were near  the middle  of the
ts ifland towards the northward and. eaftward. In this fitua-
p tion we faw high land to the north-weft, near 30 leagues
"diftant, and which, evidently, was the .fame we had feen
*c on the 1 ft of "July. This circumftance clearly proved, the
** land we had been coaling along for near a month, to
** §e: a group of iflands.,,—>Dixon's Voyage,, p. 216, si7.—•
we ROUND    THE  WORLD. 169
we continued to run along thd land at threfe
leagues diftance, and I made the Saint Carlos
Iflands; the moft confiderable of them lies, fouth-
eaft and north-weft, and the circumference of it
may be about two leagues; a long chain joins it
to other very low iflets which are farther advanced
in the channel. I am perfuaded, however, that
there is a paffage fufficiently wide *, but I was
not fufficiently certain of it to put it to the trial,
becaufe it was neceffary to run in before the wind,
and if my conjectures on it were not well founded,
there might have been confiderable difficulty in
regaining an offing from Saint Carlos Iflands, and
I fhould have loft much precious time. I ranged
along that which wras the outermoft, half a league
off, and being at this diftance exactly at noon, eaft
and weft from the fouth-eaft point, we afcer-
tained its fituation with the utmoft precifion, in
540 48' north latitude, 1360 if longitude
There was a frefh breeze weft-north-weft, and
the weather became foggy : I crowded fail towards
the land, which was enveloped in fog in proportion
as we came nearer to it. At half paft feven
o'clock in the evening, we were lefs than a league
from the coaft, which I with difficulty perceived,
* This paffage feems to exift; Dixon alfo faw it, and^
made ufe of it to trace, partly by guefs, the ftrait to which he
gave his own name.—(Fr, Ed.)
5 though I7O LA   PER0USES   VOYAGE
though I faw the breakers from deck; I fet a
high-bearing cape eaft-north eaft, beyond which
nothing was to be- feen 3 it was not poflible for us
to form a judgment of the direction of this
land, I therefore determined to put about, and
wait for clearer weather: the fog had fcarcely dif-
perfed for a moment.
On the 10th of Auguft, towards noon, we obferved in 540 20' north latitude, and 13 50 20' 45"
weft longitude, according to our time-keepers. At
four o'clock in the morning I tacked and flood in
fhore, and perceived it in a bright part of the horizon, a league and a half off, to the fouth-eaft; it
refembled an ifland, but fo tranfient, and of fo little
extent the clear, that it was impoflible to diftinguifh
any thing. We did not expect the land from this
point of the compafs, which increafed our uncertainty as to the direction of the coaft. We had,
during the night, pafled through the moft rapid
currents that I had ever met with in the open fea,
but as, our obfervations and dead reckonings
agreed, it is probable, that the currents were
occafioned by the tide, and had fet equally ftrong
each way.
The weather became very bad during the night
between the 10th and the nth; the fog thickened ; it blew very frefh, and I tacked and flood
off fhore. At day-break we ftretched in for the
land, and approached fo near to it, that though
it ROUND   TH2   WORLD. 171
it was in a mift, I diftinguiflied, at one o'clock in
the afternoon, the fame point as the evening
before, which extended from north-north-weft to
fouth-eaft a quarter fouth, and which connects
almoft all our bearings, leaving, however, a
chafm of eight or nine leagues, where we perceived no land; I do not know whether the fog
concealed it from us, or whether there be fome
deep bay, or other opening, in this parr, which I
prefume to be the cafe, on account of the ftrong
currents, of which I have already fpoken. We
would not have left a doubt remaining on that
head, had the weather been clear, for we approached within lefs than a league of the coaft, the
breakers on which were diftinctly perceived; it
runs much more to the fouth-eaft than I imagined,
from the chart of the Spanifn pilot, which does
not merit any confidence. - Our obfervation at
noon was 540 of 26" north latitude; I continued
running along the coaft, at a league's diftance, till
four o'clock in the evening, the fog then thickened
fo much that we could not perceive the Aftrolabe, of which we were then within hail, I therefore tacked, and flood off fhore. It had not in
the leaft cleared up during the day of the 12th,
and I kept an offing of ten leagues, becaufe I was
in an uncertainty as to the direction of the land.
On the 13th and 14th the weather was foggy, and
nlmoft cairn 5 I took advantage of thefe light airs
to approach near the coaft, from which we were
ftill  diftant five  leagues   at   fix  o'clock  in the
From the Saint Carlos Iflands, we had im
ground, even at a league from the land, with a