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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 1799

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IN THE YEARS  1785, 1780, 1787, AND 1788,
OF THE 22D  OF  APRIL,   1 7Q1>
■ -i nirtti.rffffïï
i	  C ON TENT S.
Ib-efcrvption of Eàjîer IJland — Occurrences there —
Manners and Cujioms of the Inhabitants - page I.
Journey of M. de Lângle into the Interior of Eafter
IJland—New Objer-vaticns upon the Manners and
the Arts of the Natives,   upon the Quality  and
Cultivation of the Soil, Cf?c.   - -      page 21.
Departure from Enfler IJland—Aftronomkâl Ohjer-
vations—Arrival at the Sandwich Ijlands—Anchorage in the Bay of Keriporepo, in the IJland of
Mowêe—Departure       - -    page 29.
Departure from the Sandwich Ijlands—Signs of approaching the American Coaft—Dijcovery of Mount
Saint-Elias—-DJcovery 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
us to put intbere—Rifkswe run in enter in? at
—The Defeription of this Bay, to which I give
Vol. IL a the iv . C O N TENT S.
the Name of Port des Français —Manners and
Cufloms of the Inhabitants — Our Traffic with
them — journal of our Proceedings during our
Stay - -     page 60.
Continuation of our Stay at Port des Français—At
the Moment of our Departure from it *we experience a melancholy Accident —! Account of that
Event—We rejumeour fir ft Anchorage—Departure        page 95.
Dejcription of Port des Français — Its Longitude and
Latitude—Advantages and Inconveniences of this
Port--Its Mineral and Vegetable Productions—
Birds y Fifo es y Shells, Quadrupeds—Manners and
Cufloms of the Indians—Their Arts, Arms, Drejs,
and Inclination for Theft —Strong Prejumption that
the Ruffians only communicate indiretlly with theje
People —Their Mufle, Dancing, and Paffion for
'Play — DJfertation on their Language - page 123.
Departure from Port des Français—Exploring of the
Coaft of America ~» Bay of Captain Cook's Ijlands —
Port of Los Remedios, and Bucarelli, of the Pilot
Maurelle—La Croyerelflands —Saint Carlos Ijlands
—Dejcription of the Coaft from Crojs- Sound as
far as  Cape  Heel or—Reconnoitring  of a   great
Gulph or Channel, and the exaffî Determination
of its Breadth—-Sartine Ijlands—-Captain Cook's
Woody Point—Verification oj our Time-keepers—
Breaker's Point— Necker Ijlands-—Arrival at
Monterey        - page 156.
■Dejcription oj Monterey Bay—Hiftorical Details re*
Jpetling the Two Californias, and their Mifficns —
Manners and Cuftoms oj the independent Indians,
and of thoje converted— Grains, Fruits, Pulfe, of
every Species—Quadrupeds, Birds, Fijhes, Shells,
iâc—Military Conftitution of thefe Two Provinces
'—Details rejpetling Commerce, &c. - page 194.
Agronomical Objervations— Comparison oj the Rejults
obtained by the Diftances of the Sun and Moon,
and by our . Time-keepers, which have Jerved as
the Bafts of our Chart of the American Coaft—
Juft Motives Jor thinking that .our Labour dejerves '
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 prap&Jed to follow in traverjing the Weftern
a 2 Ocean VI
N T S,
Ocean as far as China—Vain Rejenrch of th&
Iftand Noftra Senor a de la Gorta—Dijcovery of
Necker's Iftand—Meet, during the Night, with a
■. Junken Rock, upon which we were in danger of periling—Dejcription of that Junken Rock—Determination of its. Latitude and Longitude—Vain
Search, after the IJles de la Mira and des Jardins—
We make the IJland of AJJumpiion, one cfthe Mariannes—Dejcription and true Situation of that IJland in
Latitude and Longitude —Error of the old Charts
cfthe Mariannes—We fix the Longitude and Latitude cf the.Bajhee Ijlands-—We anchor in the Road
page 247.
Arrival at Macao—Stay in the RoadofTypa—Tbe
Governor s obliging Reception—Dejcription oj
Macao—Its Government—Its Population—Its
Relations with the Chineje—Departure from Macdb
—Landing on the IJland of Luconia—Uncertainty
of the Pofttion of the Banks of Bulinao, Manftloq,
and Mar iv elle—Dejcription of the. Village of Mari-
velle, or Mirabelle-We enter into Manilla-Bay
'   by the South PaJJage, after having in vain tried
the North—Marks for turning into Manilla-Bay
without Rijk—Anchorage at Cavité -   page 271.
Arrival at Cavité—Manner in which we were received by the Commandant of the Place—M. Boutin, CONTENT
the Lieutenant of my Ship, is dijpatchedto the Governor General at Manilla—The Reception given
this Officer—Details relative to Cavité, and its:
Arjenal—Dejcription of Manilla, and the Parts
adjacent—Its Population—Dijadvantages rejult*
ing from the Government eftdblijhed there—Penances of which we were Witneffes during Pajfion
Week—Duty on Tobacco—Creation oj the nem
Company cj the Philippines—Refteclions upon this
Eftablifhment—Details relative to the Ijlands Jouth
of the Philippines—Continual War with the Moors
or Mahometans of theje different Ijlands — Stay
a f Manilla—Military State oj the IJland oj Luco- \
nia        - -       page 301 f
Departure from Cavité—Meet with a Bank in
the Middle of the Channel of Formoja—Latitude
and Longitude oj this Bcmk—We come to an
Anchor two Leagues from the Shore off Old Fort
Zealand—Get under Way the next Day—Particulars rejpecling the Pejcadore, orPong-hou Ijlands
—Survey of the Iftand Botol Tabaco-xima—We
run along IÇumi Iftand, which makes Part of the
Kingdom of Liquet}—The Irrigates enter into the
■ $ea °f Japan, and run alâng the Coaft oj China—
We Jhape our Cour Je for Shielpaert Iftand- We
run along the Coaft of Corea, *nd every Day make,
Aflronomical Observations—Particulars of §uel-
f ÊÊËfe
paert IJland,  Corea,  &c*—Dijcovery of Dageîet
Iftand, its Latitude and Longitude   -    page 331.
Route towards the North-Weft Part of Japan.—
View of Cape Noto, and of the Iftand Jootjiffma—
Details rejpecling this Iftand — Latitude and Longitude of this Part of Japan—Meet with feveral
Japaneje and Chineje Veffels—We return towards.
the Coaft oj Tartary, which we make in 42 Degrees oj North Latitude-—Stay at Baie de Ternai
—Its Productions*—Details relative to this Country— We Jail from it, after a Stay of only three
Days —Anchor in Baie de Suffren
page 360.
We continue our Route to the Northward—Dijcovery
• of a Peak to the Eaftward—We perceive that we
v:ere Jailing in a Channel—We direel our Courje
towards the Coaft of Segalien Iftand-—Anchor at
Baie de Langue—Manners and Cuftoms of the Inhabitants—Their Information determines us to continue our Route to the Northward— We run along
5 the Coaft of the Iftand—Put into Baie d'Eftaing—
Departure—We find, that the Channel between the
Iftand and the Continent of Tartary is ebftruQed
by Jome Banks—Arrival at Baie de Caftries, upon
the Coaft of Tartary        -        -    -    page 386.
■5ES^?5=S3f33 CONTENTS.
Proceedings at Baie de Caftries —Dejcription oj this
Bay, and oj a Tartarian Village—Manners and
Cufloms of the Inhabitants—Their ReJpebJ Jor
Tombs and Property—The extreme Confidence with
which they injpired us—Their Tendernejs Jor their
Children—Their Union among themjelves—Four
Foreign Canoes come into this Bay—Geographical
Details given us by their Crews—Productions of
Baie de Caftries—Its
Stones, Plants *
page 422.
Departure Jrom Baie de Caftries—Dijcovery of the
Strait which divides JeJJb Jrom Oku-JeJJo —Stay
atBaiedeCrillon,upon the Point of the IftandTchoka
or Segalien—Account of the Inhabitants, and their
Village—We crofs the Strait, and examine all the
Lands dijcovered by the Dutch on board the KaJ~
tricum—Staien Iftand—Uries Strait—Company*s
Land—Ijlands oj the Four Brothers—Mareckan
Iftand—We pajs through the Kurile Ijlands, and
Jhape our Courje for Kamtfchatka    -    page 446.
Supplement to the preceding Chapters—New Details
relative to theEaftern Coaft of Tartary—Doubt as
to the pretended Pearl Fijhery Jpoken of by the
1 Jefuits X
Jejuits—Natural Differences between the Iftandêrs
cj theje Countries and the Inhabitants of Continents— Poverty of the Country—Impoffibility of
carrying on any ujejul Commerce there—Vocabulary oj the Inhabitants of Tchoka or Segalien
IJland   -----      page 472.
Page     9, line 28, for Man/oleums read Maufclea.
Page   20, Note, line 3 from bot. for des Brojjes read de BroJJeS.
Page   69, line 26, for Six read Ten.
Page 33 is line 22, for Likeu read Liqueo,
Tage 492, line 6 from bot. for Techicotampê read Tehikotampé,
Page 495, line 12, for Choumau read Chouman. VOYAGE
Î785,.1786,  1787, and   1788.
Dejcription of Eafter Iftand — Occurrences there-
Manners and-Cufloms of the Inhabitants,
(april   1786.)
CO O K >s Bay, in Eafter Ifland, or îfte de Paque,
is fituated in 27° n/ fouth latitude, and
IIX° SS' 3°" weft longitude. It is the only anchorage, fheltered from the eaft and iouth-eaft
winds, that is to be found in thefe latitudes ; arid
even here a veflfel would run great rifle from wef-
terly winds, but that they never blow from that part
of the horizon without previously fliiftifig from eaft
to north-eaft, to north, and fo in fucceffioii to the
weft, which allows time to get under way ; and
after having ftood out a quarter of a league to fea,
there is no caufe for apprehenfion. It is eafy ta
know this bay again: after having doubled the
two rocks at the fouth point of the ifland, it will
be neceflary to coaft along a mile from the fhore,,
Vol. IL B   W till Ptï
till a little fandy creek makes its appearance, whicht
is the mod certain mark. When this creek bears
eaft by fouth, and the two rocks of which I have
fpoken are fhùt 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 Ihalî
prefently fpeak.
At day-break ï made every preparation for our"
landing. I had reafon to flatter rnyfelf I fhould
find friends on ftiore, fince I had loaded all thofer
with prefents who had come from thence over
night; but from the accounts of other navigators^
I was well aware, that thefe Indians are only children qf a larger growth, in whofe eyes our different commodities appear fo defirable as to induce
them to put every means in practice togetpoffeffion*
of them. I thought it neceffary, therefore,: to re-
ftrain them by fear, and ordered our landing to be
made with a little military parades accordingly it
was effected with four boats and twelve armed fol-
diers. M. de Langle and rnyfelf were followed by
all the paffengers and officers, except thofe who
were wanted on- board to carry on the duty of the
two frigates ; fo that we amounted to about feventy
jaerforis, including our boats crews»
•M^Wg,!^ & O U N D   THE   WORLD," 3
Four or five hundred Indians were waiting for
us on the fliorej they were unarmed; fome of
them cloathed in pieces of white or yellow fluff,
jbut the greater number naked : many were
tatooed, and had their faces painted red ; fhtir
ïhouts and countenances were expreflive of joy ;
and they came forward to offerts their hands, and
to facilitate our landing.
The iftand 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 Hopes with a gentle declivity towards the iea. 1 his fpace is covered with grafs
et 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 I (le
of France, caUed there giraumons (pumpkins)5 be-
catrfer 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 frefrmefs 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 down, in times, no doubt, very re-
ïtïQ-t-e, by which their country lies fully expofed to
the rays of the fun, and is deftitute of running
ftreams and fprings. They were ignorant, that in
little iflands furrounded by an immenfe ocean, the
coolnefs of land covered with trees can alone ftop
B 2 and
1 -"JgffiHMr • —
i LA pérouse's VOYâGÏ
and condenfe the clouds, and thus attract tos the
mountains abundant rain to form fprings and rivu*
lets on all fides. Thofe iflands which are deprived
of this advantage are reduced to a dreadful drought,
which by degrees destroying the fbrubs and plants
renders them almoft uninhabitable. M. de Langle
and rnyfelf had no doubt, that thb 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 becaule they fortunately contain
-mountains, on which it has been impoffible to cut
down the woo'ds: thus the liberality of nature to
the inhabitants of thefe latter iflands appears, not-
withftanding her feeming parfimony in referving
to herfelf thefe inacceffibie places. A long abode
in the Ifle of France, which fo ftrikingly refembles
Eafter Iftand, has convinced me, that trees never
ilioot again in fuch fituations, unlefs they are fhel-
tered from the fea winds, either by other trees or
an encloiure of walls; and the knowledge of this
fact has difcovered to me the caufe of the devafta-
tion of Eafter Iftand. The inhabitants have much
lefs reafon to complain of the eruptions of their
volcanoes, long fmce extinguifhed, than of their
own imprudence. But as man by habit accuftoms
himfelf to almoft any fituation, thefe people appeared lefs miferable to me than to captain Cook
They arrived here after a long
^ndMr. Forfter, ROUND    THE   WORLD, 5
and difagreeable voyage; in want of every thing,
and fick of the fcurvy ; they found neither water,
wood, nor hogs ; a few fowls, banana?, and potatoes are but feeble refources in thefe circum-
ftances. 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 neceflary 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 flourifti
in the iftand, ^,?
Our firft care after landing was to form an en-
clofure with armed foldiers 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, as 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
troublefomé, the foldiers foon found themfelves
expofed to the rapacity of the continually increasing numbers of thofe iftanders. They were at Jeaft
eight hundred; and in this number there were
certainly a hundred and fifty women. The faces
of thefe were many of them agreeable $ and they
offere4 . i r
offered their favours to all thofe who would make
them a prefent. The Indians would engage us ta
accept them, by themfelves fetting the example.
They were, only feparated from the view of the
fpedators by a fimple 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 he accomplices
in the robbery ; for fcarcely was it accomplifned^
than like a flock of birds they all fled at the fame
inftant; but feeing that we did not make ufe of
our firelocks, they returned a few minutes after5
recommenced th, ir careffes, and watched the moment for committing a new depredation : this
proceeding continued the whole morning, As
we were obliged to go away $t night, and had
fo little time to employ in their education, we
determined to amufe ourfelves with the tricks
made ufè of to rob us ; and at length, to obviate
every pretence that might lead to dangerous
çonfequences, I ordered them to reftore to the
foldiers and failors the hats which had been taken
£way, 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,
2nd diftributed medals among them, which I
hung round their necks by a chain ; but 1 foon
-fc ; found ROUND   THE   WORLD,' 7
found that thefe were the moft notorious thieves ;
and although they had the appearance of purfuing
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 hours to remain upon
jrfie ifland, and wifhing to make the moft of our
time, I left the care of the tent and all our effects
-to M. 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 q>mrnand of M. de
Langle, was to penetrate as far as poftible into the
interior of the iftand, to fow feeds 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 be
interefting among this very extraordinary people :
thofe who felt themfelyes ftrong enough to take a
long journey, accompanied him ; among thefe were
Mefîieurs Dagelet, de Lamanon, Duché, Dufrefne,
de la Martinière, father Receveur, the abbé Mon-
gès, and the gardener. The fécond, of which I
was one, contented itfelf with vifiting the monuments, terraces, houfes, and plantations within the
diftance of a league round our eftabiifhrnent. The
drawing of thefe monuments made by Mr. Hodges
was a very imperfeél reprefentation of what we
faw.    Mr. Forfter thinks that they are the work
B 4 of
i s
of a people much more considerable than is at
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 rhicknefs round the
belly, fix feet 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
put of about twelve hundred perfons, who on
our arrival collected in the neighbourhood of the
bay, there were at moft three hundred women, I
have not drawn any other conjecture from it, than
that the people from the extremity of the iftand
had come to fee our ftiips, 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;
confequently that we faw only thofe who inhabit
the vicinity of the bay. The narrative of M. de
J_,angle confirms this opinion ; he met in the interior of the iftand a great many women and children : and we. all entered into thofe caverns in
which Mr. Forfter and fome officers of captain
Cook  &JÊ RO.fND   THE   WORLD, ^
Cook thought at firft that the women might be
concealed. Thefe are fubterraneous habitations, of
the fame formas thofe which I fhall preiently de-
fcribe, and in which we found little faggots, the
largeft piece of which was not five feet in length,
^M;did not exceed fix inches in diameter. It is
however certain, that the inhabitants hid their
women when captain Cookvifited them in 1772;
but it is irnpoffible foi* 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 to form a more accurate
judgment of their population.
AH the monuments which are at this time in
exiftence, and of which M. Duché has given a
very exact drawing, appeared to be very ancient 5
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 havefo 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
coloffal images are at prefent fuperfeded by fmall
pyramidal heaps of ftones, the topmoft of which is
whitewafhed. Thefe fpecies of maufolea, which
are only the work of an hour for a fingle man,
-../ Wé£ are IP t'A   PÉROUsVs   VOYAGE
are piled up upon the fea-fhore ; and one of the
natives fhewed us that thefe ftones covered a tomb,
by laying -himfelf down at full length on the
ground ; afterwards, railing his hands towards the
iky, he appeared evidently defirous of expreffing
that they believed in a future ftate. I was upon
my guard againft this opinion, but having feen thi§
fign repeated by many, and M. de Langle, who had
penetrated into the interior of the iftand, having
reported the fame fact, 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 ftatues for
idols, although thefe Indians may have fhewed a
kind of veneration for them. Thefe bufts of co-
loffal fize, the dimenfions of which I have already
given, and which ftrongly prove the fmall progref§
they have made in fculpture, are formed of a volcanic production known to naturalifts by the name
of Lapillo : this is fo foft and light a ftone, that
fome of captain Cook's officers thought it was
artificial, cornpofed of a kind of mortar which had
been hardened in the air. No more remains, but
to explain how it was poftible to raife, without engines, fo very confiderable a weight ; but as it i$
certainly a very light volcanic ftone, it would be
eafy, with levers five or fix toifes long, and by
flipping ftones underneath, as captain Çopk very
saa ROUND   THE   WORLD, ïï
well explains it, to lift a much more confideràble
weight ; a hundred men would be fufficient for this
purpofe, for indeed there would not have been
room for more. Thus the wonder difappears $
we reftore to nature her ftone of Lapillo, w: ich is
not 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, am},
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 this people, whofe language I did not undcr-
ftand, 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 obfer-
Scarcely a tenth part of the land in this iftand is
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
neceffaries of life are provided induced me to
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 district. &sâ
trict. I meafured one of thofe houfes near our
tent * ; it was three hundred and ten feet in
length, ten feet broad, and ten feet 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 ef any chief, for there is not any furniture in it, and fo great a fpace would be ufelefs to
him ; it forms a village of itfelfj with two or three
fmall 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 confideràble quantity of yams and potatoes,
it ought rather to be attributed to the fcarcity of
thefe eatables, than to the neceffity of obtaining an
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 Indian
appeared to have the authority of a hufband over
any one of the. women, and if they are private property, it is a kind of which the pofTefibrs are very
* This houfe was not then finifhed ; fo that captain Cook
could not pofiibly have feen it.
I have
I &0UND    THE   WORLD, ïj
. I have already mentioned, that fome of the houfes
are Subterraneous ; but others are built with reeds,
which proves that there are maffhy places in the
interior of the ifiand. 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 thesfame eaft of features : their cloth is
alfo made of the l^ark 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 thefè people
enjoyed the fame productions as thofe of the Society Iflands. The fruit trees muft haveperifhed
from the drought, as well as the dogs and hogs,
to whom water is abfolutely neceflfary. But man,
who in Hudfon's S freights drinks the oil of the
* Thefe are not freeilone, but compact lava.
whale, Sâra
whale, accuftoms himfelf to every thing, and ï
have feen the natives of Flatter * fland drink the fea
water like the albatroffes at Cape Horn. Wé
were there in the rainy feafon, and a little brackifh
•Water was found in fome holes on the fea-fliore 5
they offered it to us in their calabafhes, but it dif-
gufted even thofe who were rrioft thirfty. I do
not expect, that the hogs which I have given them
will multiply ; but I have great hopes, that the
fheep and goats, which drink but little, and are
fond of fait, will pfofper 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
âlmoft 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
rny 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*
tsmatmà ROUMDTffE   WORLD. ||
It appears that they have never had the leaft know**
ledge of any cement, but they cut and divide the
ftones in the moft perfect manner : they were alfo
placed and joined together, according to all the
ftpes of arte
I made 'a collection of fpecirrieris of thefe ftones ;
they confift of lava of different compadtnefs. The
lighteft, and that which confequently would be
the fooneft decompofed, forms the outer foil in
the interior of the iftand ; that which is next the
3fca confifts of a lava much more compact, fo as
to make a longer refiftance ; but I do not know
âny infiniment or matter hard enough, in the pof-
feftion of thefe iflanders, to cut the latter ftones*
perhaps a lorïger continuance on the iftand 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 dif-
covered till the robbers were pretty far advanced
into the interior of the iftand. As this grapnel
Was neceffary to us, two officers and feveral foldiers purfued them ; but they were affaikd by a
fhower of ftones,   A mufket^ loaded with powder,
ana îS LA   PÉROUSe's   VOYAGE
and fired in the air, had no effect ; they were ût
length under the neceflity of firing one with fmall
fhot, fome grains of which doubtlefs ftruck one of
thofe Indians, for the floning ceafed, and our officers were able peaceably to regain our tent ; but
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 the evening, every thing was re-
embarked, the boats had returned on board, and I
made the fignal to prepare for failing. Before we
got under way, M. de Langle gave me an account of his journey into the interior of the iftand,
which I fhall relate in the following chapter : he
had fown the feeds in different parts of the road,
and had given the iflanders proofs of the greateft
good will towards them. I will, however, finifh
their portrait by relating, that a fort of chief,
to whom M. de Langle made a prefent of a he
and ftie 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
the ROUND    THE   WORLD» 17
the punifhment which they doubtlefs feared, and
: which we fhould certainly have inflicted on them
in proportion to the crime, had we macje any confideràble flay in the iftand ; for our extreme lenity
might have ended by producing difagreeable con-
No one, after having read the narratives of the
later navigators, can take the Indians of the South
Sea for lavages ; 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 expreffed 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 Drought 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
cuftom of the country was violated. Not a fingle
Frenchman made ufe of the barbarous righ: which
Vol. IL C was »!
i8 la  pérouse's voyage
was given him ; and if there were fome moments
dedicated to nature, the defire and con fen t were
mutual, and the women made the firft advances.
I found again in this country all the arts of the
Society Ifles, but with much fewer means ofexercif-
ing them, for want of the raw materials. Their canoes havealfo the fame form, but they are compofed
only of very narrow planks, four or five kn long,
and at moft can carry but four men. I have only
feen three of them in this part of the iftand, and I
fhould not be much furprifed, if in a fhort time,
for want of wood, there fhould not be a fingle one
remaining there. They have befides learned to
make fhift without them ; and they fwim fo expertly, that in the moft tempeftuous fea they go
two leagues from the fhore, and in returning to
land, often, by way of frolic, choofe thofe places
where the furf breaks with the greateft fury.
The coaft appeared to me not to abound much
in fifh, and I believe that the inhabitants live
chiefly on vegetables ; their food confifts of potatoes, yams, bananas, fugar canes, and a fmall fruit
which grows upon the rocks on the fea-fhore, fi-
milar to the grapes that are found in parts adjacent
to the tropic in the Atlantic Ocean ; the few
fowls that are found upon the iftand cannot be con-
fidered as a refource. Our navigators did not
meet with any land bird, and even fea fowl are not
very common.
The y^mr
The fields are cultivated with a great deal of
fkill. They root up the grafs, lay it in heaps,
burn it, arid thus fertilize with its allies.
The banana trees are planted in a ftraight line»
They alfo cultivate the garden nightfhade, but I
am ignorant what ufe they make of it ; if I
knew they had veffels which could ftand fire, I
fhould think, that, as at Madagafcar or the Ifle of
France, they eat it in the fame manner as they
do fpinage ; but they have no other method of
cooking their provifion than that of the Society
Ifles, which confifts in digging a hole, and covering
their yams and potatoes with red hot ftones and
embers, mixed with earth, fo that every thing
which they eat is cooked as in an oven.
The exaftnefs with which they meafured the
fhip fhowed, that they had not been inattentive
lpectators 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 fubject, and that they
had ftill doubts relative to it. I efteem them far
lefs, becaufe they appeared to me capable of reflection. 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 2 we JÊéÊÊn
we landed on the iftand only with an intention to
do them fervice ; we heaped prefents upon them,
we careffed the children ; we fowed in their fields
all kinds of ufeful feeds; prefented them with
hogs, goats, and fheep, which probably will multiply ; we demanded nothing in return : neverthe-
lefsthey threw ftones at us, and robbed us of every
thing which it was poftible 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 rnyfelf 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
it a little chimerical, it is of no great confequence
to navigators, as the iftand * offers fcarcely any
refource to fhips that may touch there, befides
being at no great diftance from the Society I fies.
* JET^ir Ifland,di.covered in 1722 by Roggeweim appears,
according to Péroufe, to have experienced a reverfe in its
population, and in the products of its foil : this at leaf!" might
be inferred from the remarkable difference in the accounts of
thefe two navigators. The reader who may be defiirous to
reconcile them ought to confult The Voyage of Roggewein,
printed at the Hague in 1739, or tne extra^ which the pre.
fident De Broffes has given of it in his work, intitled,
Hiftoirs des Navigations aux Terres Auftrales, vol. ii. pigs
226, and following.—(Fr* Ed.) ROUND THE WORLD.       *2I
Journey of M. de Langle into the Interior of Eafter
IJland—New Objervations upon the Manners and
the Arts of the Natives, upon the Quality and Cultivation of the Soil, &c.
(APRIL    I786.)
set out at eight o'clock in the morning, accompanied by Meffrs. Dagelet, de Lamanon,
Dufrefne, Duché, the abbé Mongès, father Receveur, and the gardener ; we bent our courfe
from the fhore two leagues to the eaftward, towards
the interior of the iftand; 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 vi-
fited many plantations of yams and potatoes. The
foil of thefe plantations confided 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 make the iflanders under-
fland, that thefe feeds would produce roots and
fruits which they might eat. They perfectly comprehended us, and from that moment pointed
out to us the belt fpots, fignifying to us the
places in which they were defirous of feeing our new
C 3 productions. 22. LA   PÉROUSE's   VOYAGE
productions. We added to the leguminous plants,
feeds of the orange, lemon, and cotton trees, making
them comprehend, that thefe were trees, and that
what we had before fown were plants.
" We did not meet with any other fmall ftirubs
than the paper-mulberry tree *, and the mimofk.
There were alfo pretty confideràble 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 confideràble
height, are all eafy of accefs, and covered with
grafs ; we perceived no marks of any torrent or
ravine. After having gone about two leagues
to the eaft, we returned fouthward towards
the fliore which we had coafted the evening
before, and upon which, by the aftiftance of
our telefcopes, we had perceived a great many
monuments : feveral were overthrown ; it appeared that thefe people did not employ them-
felves in repairing them ; others were ftanding
upright, their bafes half deftroyed. The largeft
of thofe that I meafured was fixteen feet ten inches
I     I
* Morns Papyrifera, abounding in Japan, where they prepare the bark of it to ufe as paper. This bark, being extremely fibrous, ferves the women of Louifiana to make different works with the filk which they draw out of it : the
leaf is good for the nourifriment of filk-worms. This tree
now grows in France.—(Fr, Ed.J
in ROUND   THE   WORLD. %|
in height, 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
(even inches, and its thicknefs at the bafe two
feet feven inches.
1 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. Very near this place we obferved
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 iftand 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
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 communication with the caverns containing the bodies
of the dead. An Indian explained to us, by very
; expreftive figns, that they depofited ,çhfm there,
and that afterwards they afcended to heaven. We
found upon the fea-fhore pyramids of ftones,
ranged very nearly in the fame form as cannon balls in a park of artillery, and we perceived
fome human bones in the vicinity of thofe pyra-
C 4 midsj I
mids, and of thofe flatues, 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 left apparent on
them, according to their antiquity. We found
near the fartheft 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 fhape 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 'para-*
•pits, 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 refer voir for
water, or the beginning of a fortrefs ; but it appeared to us, that this work had never been
€i Continuing ROUND   THE   WORLD, 2$
cc Continuing to bend our courfe to the weft, we
met about twenty children, who were walking
under the care of fome women, and who appeared to go towards the houfes of which I
have already fpoken.
" At the fouth end of the iftand we faw the
crater of an old volcano, the fize, depth, and regularity 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 j
the bottom is marfhy, containing large pools of
frefh water, the furface of which appeared to be
above the level of the fea; the depth of this crater
is at leaft eight hundred feet.
iC 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 confideràble portion of it has
rolled down on the fide next the fea, thus occafion-
ing a great breach in the crater; the height of this
breach is one third of the whole cone, and 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 *£&&
26 la  pér;ouse's voyage
tiîity 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 iftand
we faw at the bottom of the crater ; thefe were
terns. Night obliged me to return towards
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 houfe a hole in the earth, in which they
cooked yams and potatoes, according to the manner practifed in the Society I fies.
fj On our return to the tent, 1 prefented to three
-of the natives the three different fpecies of animals
which we had deftined for them.
M Thefe iflanders are hofpitable ; they feveral
times prefented us with potatoes and fugar canes ;
but they never let an opportunity flip of robbing
us, when they could do it with impunity. Scarcely
a tenth part of the iftand 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 fiatue, almoft entirely deftroyed by time,
which proves that the volcano has been extinct for feveral
ill ROUND    THE    WORLD. 27
the remainder of the iftand, 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 deeps
fome holes in the hills contained a little frefh 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 were watered.    We did not obtain from thefe   people the  knowledge  of any
inftrujnent,  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   conjectures
that  can  be  formed as to the government   of
thefe people are, that they epnfift only of a fingle
nation, divided into as.many diftricts:às there are
morais, becaufe it is to 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 natural 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,
5 who,
i &&&*
28 la pérouse's voyage
who, in every diftrict, are charged with the care of
bringing them up.
c< Twice as many men are met with as women,
and if indeed the latter are not lefs numerous, it is
beçaufe 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 induce a belief that it does not diminifh ; there is
however reafon to think, that the population was
more confideràble when the iftand was better
wooded. If thefe iflanders had induftry enough to
build cifterns, 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 eflfentially from our own." lipp11
Departure from Eafter IJlandf—AflronomicalObJerva-
tions—Arrival at the Sandwich Iflands—Anchorage in the Bay oj Keriporepo, in the IJland of
(April, may, june, 1786.)
r\ n taking our departure from Cook's Bay in
Eafter Iftand, on the 10th in the evening, I
flood to the northward, and coafted along the iftand
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 17 th was conftantly at fouth eaft, and eaft-
fouth-eaft. The weather was extremely clear ; it
neither changed nor was overcaft till the wind
fhifted to the eafl-north-eaft, in which point it
continued from the 17th 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 1777, 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 rnyfelf,
that in adiftance of near two thoufand leagues, I
fhould make fome difcovery ; failors were Continually at the maft-head, and I had promifed 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
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 ra-
pidity, 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. gl
that by obfervation, fo that if, like the ancient navigators, we had had no means of afcertaining the
longitude by obfervation, we fhould have placed
the 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, thac
if the vanity of our pilots had not a little fuffered
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 fhould have placed the Sandwich Iflands
ten degrees more to the eaftward.
Thefe reflections left much doubt on my mind
as to the exiftence of the clufter of iflands called
by the Spaniards La MeJa,Los Majos, La Dijgraciada,
Upon the chart that admiral Anfon took on
board the Spanifh gale-tan, 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 17° more to the
eaftward.     My  daily differences   of longitude
made me think, that thefè iflands were the fame fjg
but what completely convinced me, was the name
* In the courfe of the years 1786 and 1787, captain Dixon
anchored three times at the Sandwich Iflands ; and having
the fame doubt as La Péroufe 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
•fimilar, as may be feen by the following extracts :
" The iflands Los Majos, La Mafo, and St. Maria la Gorta,
ff laid down by Mr, Roberts, from 18? 30' to 280 north lati-
" tude, 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 be
" pronounced that no fuch iflands are ta be found;'* £o that their
" intention has uniformly been to miflead rather than be of
" fervice to future navigators."
*j Our obfervation atnqon, on the 8th of May, gave 170 4/
« north latitude, and 129e \f weft 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 an
« eafy fail, and kept a good look out, expecting foon to fail
" 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 diftancc
*' of eight or ten miles, Handing wefterly : it being probable
« that though the Spaniards might have been pretty correct
" in the latitude of thefe iflands, yet they might eafily be
" miftaken feveral degrees in their longitude : but our lati-
p tude on the 15th, at noon, being 20*9' north, and 1400 1'
+ It muftbe obferved, that Dixon reckons bis longitude from the weft,
whereas Cook, in his third voyage, reckons it the oppofite way 5 Dixon's
rcafon without doubt is, that, having fhaped his courfe to the weftward in
doubling Cape Horn, this manner of reckoning was more natural and more
convenient to him.
« weft ROUND    THE   WORLD. 3J
•t>f Mefa, which lignifies 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,
\vhich was vifible at a great diftarfce t it is, fays
he, flattened at the fummit, and forms what
French mariners call plateau. The Englifh ex-
prefilon is (lill more fighificant, 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
fiiape a courfe which might bring my opinion to
the proof ; the refult, if I were in error, would
ftecefïàrily be, to meet with a fécond clufter of
filands^ forgotten perhaps by the Spaniards for more
weft longitude, which is con/iderably to the weftward of
any ifland laid down by the Spaniards, we concluded, and
with reafon, that there mult be fome grofs miftake in their
r chart."
4€ On'the i ft of November we looked out for St. Maria le
r 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
r to meet with any fiich place, as it is copied by Mr. Roberts
F into the above chart from the fame authority which we
r had already found to be erroneous reflecting Los Majos
r and Roco Parada»"
Vol. IL & tkm J-ag*E35&».--.-
than a century, and to determine their fituation*
and their precife diftance from the Sandwich iflands.
Thofe 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 exaft fituation of thefe
iflands^ who has explored their coafts ; whp has
made us acquainted with the manners, cufloms,
and religion of the inhabitants j and who has paid
with his blood for all the knowledge of which
we are at this time in poiTeftion refpecling 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 feme times
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 feen. Mariners, philofophers, natu-
ralifts, each find in their voyages fomethirig which is
the objec~l of their 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
I perceived ftOïïND    THE   WORLD. ^S
perceived a great many birds of the petrel fpecies,
man of war, and tropic birds , thefe laft two
Ipecies, it is faid, feldom go any great diftance
from land ; we alfo faw a great many turtles pafi
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 140, and I doubt not but we paflfed 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 very near Rocca-Partida
and la Nubiada: I fhaped my courfe fo as to
pafs almoft in fight of Rocca-Partida, if its Ion*
gitude were juftly determined ; but I did not wifixr
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 m ifs 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 hundred leagues, we ne\er faw more than two or three
in a day.
On the 15th I wis in 190 17' north latitude, and
1300 weft longitide, that is to fay, in the fame latitude as the cluftr of iflands laid down in the Spanifh
charts, as wel as in that of the Sandwich Iflands,
ï> 2 but
i *m
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
jn 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 paîïing
between the ifland of Owhyhee and that of Mo wee,
which the Englifli had not been able to explore;
and I propofed to land at Mowee, to traffic there
with the inhabitants for fome fupplies of frefh
flock, and leave it without lofs of time. I
knew, that by partially following my plan, and
only running down 200 leagues on this parallel,
there would flill be unbelievers, and I wifhed that
not the flighteft objection fhould remain.
On the 13th of May I was in 200 north latitude,
and 1390 weft longitude, precifely upon the
Spanifh ifland Difgraciada, where I met with no
fign of land.
On the 20th I pafled througi the middle of the
fuppofed clufter of Los Majos, without perceiving
figns of being near any ifland: T continued to
run to the wefhvard upon this paralel between 200
and 2i°: at length, on the 28th in he morning,
I got ROUND    THE    WORLD. 37
I got fight of the mountains of the ifland of
Owhyhee, which were covered with fnow, and fo on-
after wards 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 paffed 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
leeward of Mowee, near the ifland of Morokinne.
Our longitude by obfervation correfponded fo
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 i<J difference, which we were more
to the eaftward.
At nine in the morning I faw the point of Mowee
bearing weft 150 north. I perceived alfo an iftand
bearing weft 220 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 obfer varions is deferving of the warmeft
praife. The appearance of the ifland of Mowee
was delightful, I coafted it along at about a league
diftance ; it projects into the channel in the direction of fouth-weft by weft : we faw cafeades falling from the fummits of the mountains, and de-
D 3 fcending 2ÉSÉ
m i
.38 LA   PÊROUSe's    VOYAGE
fcending to the fea, after having watered the ha-'
bitations 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 the 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 ne->
ceffary 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 ex-,
perienced. The trees which crowned the mountains, the verdure, the banana trees which were
perceived around the habitations, all produced, an
inexpreftible charm upon our fenfes; but the fea
broke upon the coaft with great fury, and we were
reduced to defire, and to devour with our eyes,
what it was imppflible for us to attain.
The 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*-*
kinne, near which I flattered rnyfelf I fhould be
able to find an anchorage flickered from the trade
winds : this plan, which was dictated by the impe-*
rious circumftances in which I was placed, did not
permit me to fhorten 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-?
change for our pieces of iron,        |
Almoft ROUND    THE   WORLD. Jf
Almoft all the canoes came aboard of one or other
cfthe frigates, but we were going fo faft through
the water that they filled alongfide : the Indians were, obliged to let go the ropes which we
had thrown them, and leaping into the fea fwam
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 fucceftively overfet ;
and although the commerce we entered into with
thefe honeft 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 ticklifh 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
T) 4 very œ&
very high; but they are fuch excellent fwimmers,
that they can fcarcely be compared to any thing
but feals and fea lions.
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 more
Iparingly fcattered in the plain, the villages, werç
compofed only of ten or twelve cabins very remote from each other. We had every inftanç
frefh caufe to regret the country we had left behind us, and we found no fhelter till we Yaw before us a rugged fhore, where torrents of lava had
formerly run^ as the cafcades now flow in thç
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 twenty-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
roadftead was fo much the worfe, as we were ex-
pofed in it to currents^ which prevented us from
jriding head to wind, except in the fqualls, but they
madç HOUND   T-HE   WORLD. 4I
■made fo high a fea, that it was fcarcely poflible for
our 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
tjiat the cable was rendered abfolutely unfervice-
able, and that under a flight covering of fand there
iiauft have been a rocky bottom.
The Indians of the villages in this part of the ,
Jfland were eager to come alongfide in their canoes, bringing, as articles of commerce, hogs, po-
tatoesj 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 thera 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, lignifies a
thing they cannot touch, or a confecrated place, into which
they are not permitted to enter.
Reliance may be placed upon the Signification 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 poffeffed 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 talents of Anderfpn, by whom he was fo ablyjeconded.
picked up from the Englifh narratives, had all the
fucceis which I expected from it.    M. de Langle,
Dixon gives a vocabulary of the language of the Sandwich Iflands, in 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 of fimilar found, taken
from the two vocabularies, which proves the errors that may
be made, when to a perfect ignorance of the language is added
the uncertainty of the mode of exprefling the pronunciation
of the words, which varies according to the individuals who:
pronounce them.
Correfpondent  WORDS   from the
Of Cook.
Of Geo. Dixon.
Cocoa nut   -
EeneeGo -    •
The fun |   -
liai, raa    -
Gourd    -   -
Aieehoo   «•   -
f Waheine • - T
Wc man  -   -
\Maheine - -J
Brother   -   -
Tooanna -   -
Cord   -   -   -
Heaho   -    -
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 ftep without our concurrence ; they always evinced a fear of difpleafing us ; the greateft
fidelity prevailed in their commerce. They took
à 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 ; 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 confeffion they did not
acquire from the Englifh, are frefh proofs of the
The vocabulary of Cook, although more perfect, Hill comes
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
£his fignification from two individuals whofe pronunciation
was different, for in one place he writes Waheine and in the
Qther M#heine.—(Fr. Ed.)
frequent 2^^É
frequent communications which thefe people have
formerly had with the Spaniards *.
* It appears certain, that thefe iflands were firft. difco-
vered by Gaétan in 1542. This navigator failed from the
Port of the Nativity, on the weftern coaft of Mexico, in 20»
of north latitude : he flood to the weftward, and after having run nine hundred leagues in this direction (without
changing his latitude) he difcoyered a group of iflands, inha- y
bited by almoft naked favages. Thefe iflands were fur-
rounded with eoral rocks : they contained cocoas, and feveral
other fruits, but neither gold nor fil ver. He called them the
King's Iflands, probably from the day on which he made the
difcovery ; and he named one, which he found twenty league^
to the weftward, Garden IJland. It was impoifible for geographers, from this narrative, not to have placed the difcove-
ries of Gaétan precisely at the fame point where captain
Cook has fmce again found the Sandwich Iflands ; but the
Spanifh editor adds, that thefe iflands are fituated between
the 9th and 1 ï th degrees of latitude, inftead of faying between
the 19th and 21ft, as allmarinerscugh^ to conclude from the
courfe of Gaétan.
Is this omiffion of ten degrees an error of the prefs, or
does it originate from the policy of the Spanifh court* which,
during the laft century, had fo great an ^ntereft in keeping
lecret the fituation of all the iflands of this ocean ?
I am led to believe that it is an error of the prefs, be-
caufe it was very impolitic to print that Gaétan, 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 iteer another courfe.
Be this however as it may, if ten degrees be added to the
latitude mentioned by Gaétan, every thing agrees; the fame
\ diftance from the coaft of Mexico, the fame people, the fame
vegetable ROUND    THE    WORLD» 45
This nation had, during a century, very ftrong
reafons againft making thefe iflands known,becaufe
the weftern feas of America were infefted by pi- .
rates, who would have found provifions 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 veflel was conftrained
by the proprietors to follow a fixed track, which
might leffen their rifle.    Thus by degrees this nation has perhaps loft even  the remembrance of
thefe iflands, preferved 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 5aft feems to me to be fo clearly demonftrat-
ed, that I thought it my duty to clear them away j
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 2X degrees, as thofe of Gaétan are between 9 and 11.
This frefli proof, joined to thofe already cited, appears to me
to carry this geographical difcuflion 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
.common track of the galleons from Aeanulco to Manilla.
it xss
It was fo late before our fails were furled, that
I was under the neceffity of deferring till the
next day the landing which I propofed to make
upon this ifland, where" nothing could detain me
but a convenient watering 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 towards 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 this degree of induf-
try ; in many other refpects, however, they are
very far advanced. The form of their government is well known by the Englifh narratives :
their extreme fubordination is a ftriking proof, that
there is an acknowledged authority, that gradually
extends from the king to the lowed 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 (kill ; 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 ;
they do not acknowledge any authority, and although I do not think them abfolutely wicked, it
is *m
is but too common for licentioufnefs to have trou-'
blefome and even fatal confequences. In making
a comparifon between thefe two nations, all the
advantages feem to be in favour of thofe of the
Sandwich Iflands, though all prejudices were
againft them on account of the death of captain
Cook. It is more natural for navigators to regret
fo great a man, than coolly and impartially to examine whether it were not fome imprudence on
his part, that obliged the inhabitants of Owhyhee
to have recourfe to neceflary defence *.
* It is inconteftibly proved, that the Englifh commenced
hoftilities ; this is a truth, which it would be in vain to conceal. 11 will not adduce any proofs of it, but fuch as are contained in the narrative of captain Cook's friend, of the man
who looked upon him as his father, and whom the iflanders
believed to be his fon ; in ftiort, of captain King, who tells us,
after a faithful relation of the events which led to his death,
*f I was apprehenfive of fome unhappy moment, in which
" this confidence would prevent him from taking the necef-
*' fary precautions."
The reader will alfo be able to judge for himfelf, by a
comparifon of the following circumftances jj
Cook very inconfiderately gave orders to fire with ball, if
his labourers were difturbed ; though he had before him the
experience of the maflacre often men of captain Furneaux's
•Slip's company, a maflacre which was' occafioned by the dif-
charge of two firelocks upon the Zealanders, who had committed a trifling thefeof fome fiih and bread.
Pareea, one of the chiefs, reclaiming his canoe, which had
hem feized upon by the flap's company, was knocked down
I *^Bfc
The night was very calm, with the excepttdri
-of fome gufts* which lafted lefs than two minutes*
by a vicient blow of arl bar, with which they flruck him on
the head ; recovered from the {tunning occasioned by it, he
had the generofity to forget the violence which had been offered him; he returned a fhort time afterwards, brought back
a hat that had been ftclen, and appeared to be afraid that captain Cook himfelf might kill, or at leaft punifh him.
Before the commiflion of any other crime than that of
Healing the boat, two guns had been fired upon two great
Canoes, which endeavoured to make their efcape;
Neverthelefs, after thefe events, captain -Cook walked t&
the village where the king was> and received thofe marks of
refpeft, which they had always been accuftomed to pay him ;
the inhabitants proftrated themfelves before him*
There was no circumftance. which could give rife to an
idea of any hoftile intention on the part of the iflanders, when
the boats placed acrofs the bay fired again upon fome canoes
which endeavoured to efcape, and unfortunately killed a chief
of the firft rank.
This death drove the iflanders to madnefs. One of them
was contented with challenging captain Cook, and threatening to threw a ftone at him. Captain Cook difcharged &
amiket 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 lignai of engagement.
Phillips was on the point of being ftabbed. ' Cook then fired
a fécond mufket charged with ball, and killed the foremoft of
the iflanders. The attack immediately became more ferious ;
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
At day-break the longboat of the Aftrolabe was
detached with Meffrs. De Vaujuas, Boutin, and
Bernizet ; they had orders to found a very deep
bay which lay to the north weft of us* and in
urhich I fuppofed there was better anchorage
than where we then were ; 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
preparation gave no 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
his 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 ihip, 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 of ten men.—(Fr. Ed. J
Vol. II. E did
! i III
Jg là  pérouse'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
Ipace which we chofe to referve to ourfelves ; the
foldiers fixed their bayonets, and made exaétly
the fame difpofitions, as if in the prefence of an
enemy. Thefe forms made no impreffion on the
inhabitants ; the women teftified to us, by the
moft expreffive geftures, that there was not any
riiark 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
to 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
great effect ; the women redoubled their careflfes,
but they were not very feducing ; their features
had no delicacy, arid their drefs difcovered to me*
among much the greater number, traces of the
ravages committed by the venereal difeafe. As
4 there
Oflfte Were no women came to the fhips in the
canoes, I thought that they attributed to the Europeans thofe feviîs of wlftcl they bore the marks,
but I fodn perceived that this remembrance, fup-
pofing it real, had not left on their minds any kind
of refentment.
Let me be permitted, however, to examine^
whether modern navigators be iri fact the true
•a&diors of thefe evils ; and whether this crime,
tofâh which they reproach themfHves iri their ritrlp-
•ftfrfiVes, be not more fancied than real. To give
my conjectures the greater weight, I will fuppdrt
them by thé obfervarions of M. Rôllin; a ver^
■Enlightened man, arid furgeon-major of my ftiirji
He vifited in this iftand feveral individuals wh6
were attacked by the venereal difeafe, and remark-
ed fymptoms, the gradual developement of whïéh
would have required twelve or fifteen years iri Europe : he alfo faw chMPen of feven or eight yeah
old labouring under it, who could only hkve 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
Âtooi and Oneeheow, and that nine months after,
on his returri 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
! sffcfe
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 provable, that they long ago fhared with other nations the misfortunes attached to this fcourge of
humanity. %%jjf%
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 ; 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 flay at Atooi and at Onee-
heow. It is not therefore furprifing, that the Venereal difeafe bad 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 confideràble diÙ.Rnces.-^Foyage »round the World by Pow
' gaiwville.—(Fr. Ed. ) lilS
f It is not to be doubted, that modern navigators may
have to  reproach  themfelves  with^.having communicated,
::'-$jtooj even. ROUND   THE   WORLD. <J
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 poffeffion of it in the
name of the king: the cufloms of Europeans are
in this refpect completely ridiculous. Philofo-
phers have undoubtedly reafon to figh at feeing
that men, for no other reafon than becaufe they are
in poiTeffion 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
its inhabitants have watered with their fweat, and
which during fo many ages has ferved as a tornb
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
tl% South Sea iflands. Captain Cook makes no fecret of it
in%is narratives; and what he principally fays of it may be
feen in his Third Voyage.—(Fr. Ed.f
obieft WTM
! >1I
i i 11
|4 3,4    PÊR0USEvS   VOYAQI
object than that of completing the hiftory of man |
their expeditions will complete our knowledge of
the globe; and the information which they endeavour to fpread has no other end in view, than
that of adding , to the happinefs of the iflanders
they yifit, and augmenting the means of their fub-
It is in pyrfuance of thefe principles, that they
have already tranfported into their iflands bulls,
cows, goats, fheep, and rams ; that they have alfq
planted trees there, fpwn 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 rçcompenfed for the extreme
fatigues of this voyage, if we could become the
means of deftroying the cuftom of humari facrifices,
which is faid to be generally fpread over the
South Sea iflands. But notwithftanding the opinion of Mr. Anderfon and captain Cook, I think,
with captain King, that a people fo good, fo mild,
fo hofpitable, cannot be cannibals: an atrocious
religion is with difficulty afibciated with mild manners; and fince captain King fays, in his narrative^,
that the priefts of Owhyhee were their beft friends,
I think I may conclude, that if mildnefs and huma
nity have air
fome progrefs in this clafs
charged with human facrifices, the reft of the inhabitants muft be ftill lefs ferocious. It evidently appears then, that the practice of man-eating; no longer
exifts ROUND    THE    WORLD. $$
exifts among thefe iflanders, though it is but too
probable, that it has not ceafed any great length of
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 quantity, 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, houles ; they are built and covered with ftraw in the fame manner as thofe of
our poorefl 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 ftooping ; it is fhut by a fimple latch,
which every one can open. The articles of furniture 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 fhowed when they
were fufpected of eating man's flefh, that which they teflified
when afked if they had not eaten the body of captain Cook,
in part confirms the opinion of La Péroufe ; 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
■m as
all kinds of fketches; I have alfo feen fome which
were glued to one another, and thus formed very
large veffels : it appears that this glue is capable of
refilling moifture, and I had a great defire to know
its compofition. The fluffs, of which they have a
very 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 to
find details of a people fo well made known by the
Englifh narratives ; thefe navigators paffed four
months in thefe iflands, and our flay there was
little more than a few hours ; they had the further
advantage of underftanding 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 ROUND   THE   WORLD. '   ^T
bought more than a hundred hogs, bananas, po**
tatoes, 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 any rock, and the bottom had not
been hard and even enough to let it come home,
I fhoqlçl 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 Ranai 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, palling at an equal distance the north-weft point of the ifland of Tahoo- \
roway and the fouth-weft point of the ifland of
Itariai.    At day-break I ftretched towards the
fouth- lmm
fbuth-weft extremity of the ifland of Moro-toi*
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 Englifh account, it is very populous 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 windward. Our iflands of Guadeloupe, Martinico, &c.
have fo exact a refemblance to this new clufter,
that as* far as navigation is concerned they appear
to me to have a perfect fimilarity.
MefTrs. Dagelet and Berhizet have taken, with
great accuracy, all the bearings of thofe parts of
the iflands of Mowee and Morokinne that we failed
along : it was impoftible for the Englifh, who
never came nearer to them than the diftance of ten
leagues, to attain any exactnefs. M. Bernizet con-
ftructed a chart, and M. Dagelet furnifhed aftro-
nomical obfervations, which deferve equal confidence with thofe of captain Cook.
On the ift of June, at fix o'clock in the evening, we had cleared ail the iflands ; we had not
employed more than forty-eight hours in examining them, and at moft fifteen days in clearing up a
point in geography which appeared to me very important, fince it expunges from our charts five or fix
iflands MÛR;!    	
I t^-^^Tr atimumi—£m
iliii- u mmm ROUND   THE   WORLD. 59
iflands which have no exiftence. The fifties which
had followed us from the vicinity of Eafter Ifland
as far as the anchorage difappeared. One fact*
worthy enough of attention is, that the fame fhoal
of fifh followed our frigates fifteen hundred
leagues ; Several bonetas, wounded by our harpoons, retained a mark on their backs which rendered .it impoffible 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 fay, till they came to a, temperature they
could not bear. LA   PER0USES   VOYAGE
Departure from the Sandwich Iflands—Signs of op-* \
. froaching the American Coaft—Dijcovery of Mount
Saint-Elias—Dijcovery of Monti Bay—The Ships
Boats reconnoitre the Entrance of a great River, to
which we prejerve the name of Behringjs River
—The reconnoitring of a very deep Bay—The fla-
vourable Report of many of the Officers engages us
to put in there—Rijks we run in entering it—The
" Dejcription of this Bay, to which I give the Name
if Port des Français—Manners and Cuftoms oj the
Inhabitants— Our Traffic with them —-Journal of
@ur Proceedings during our Stay.
(JUNE,   JULY,   1786.)
he 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 impoflible for
us however to preferve our hogs alive, for want of
water and food ; I was under the neceflity of following captain Cook's method of faking them,
but the4^s were fo fmall, that the greater num-
m were under twenty pounds weight.
ih would
bear fait  without being
corroded ROUND    THE    WORLD. 6l
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 flate
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 340 north
latitude, and we had no clear weather till the
14th of the fame month, in 41V I at firft
thought thefe feas more foggy than thofe which
feparate Europe from America. I fhoùM
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 inconteftibfe ;right of preeminence ; but the humidity .was extreme; die
fog, or rain, had penetrated through all the jailors
clothing ; we had never the fmalleft ray of the fun
I 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 moft active caufe of fcurvy. Not one perfon
was yec afflicted with it; but after having re-*
mained fo long at fea, we might all have a dif-
pofition of body tending to that diforden I
therefore gave orders to place floves, filled with
burning coals, under the half deck, and between
decks, where the people flept ; I diftributed to
every failor and foldier a pair of boots, and re-
ftored to them the flannel under-waiftcoats and
breeches which I had kept in referve from the time
of our departure from the feas of Cape Horn.
My furgeon, who fhared with M. de Clonard
the care of all thefe details, propofed alfo, that we
fhould mix their grog* at breakfaft with a flight
înfufion of bark, which, without fenfibly affecting
the tafte of this drink, might produce very fa-
îutary effects. I was under the neceflity of ordering this mixture to be made fecretly; without
this precaution the crews would certainly have
refufed to drink 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 precautions were attended with
the greateft fuccefs, but they were not the only
ones which occupied our léifure in the courfe of
* A liquor compofed of one part brandy and two parts
water, much more wholefome for the crews than raw fpirit.
fo ROUND    T H E   W O R L D. 6j
îb long a run : rrïy carpenter made, from a plan
of M. de Langle, a corn mill, which proved of the
ereateft ufe to us.
The purfers, perfuaded that kiln-dried corn
would keep much better than flour and bifcuit, pro-
pofed 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 the fame time allured, that M. de Suffrein had1
no other mill to provide for the wants of his
whole fquadron ; there could therefore remain no
doubt, but that thefe mill-ftones were fully adequate to fo fmall a fbip'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-
five pounds weight of this bad flour. As out
corn formed nearly one half of our flore of pro-
vifion, we fhould have been in the greatefl em-
barraflment, but for the inventive genius of M. de
Langle, who, aflifted by a failor that had formerly
been e^mill-er'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
1 Hir^T
64 LA    PÈROUSe's    VOYAGS
we were eyery day able to grind two hundred
weight of corn.
On the 14th the wind changed to weft fouth-
weft. The. following obfervations were the refuk
of our long experience : The iky 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-wefl, the weather
was in general accompanied by a little rain ; from
fouth-wefl 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 (hew the reader the ftate of the -we a-,
ther, 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 fhare 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. i   zmmM
* Thefe romances are, the Voyage, of Admiral Fuentes,
and the pretended navigations of the Chinefe and Japanefe on
It coaft. |
•f Thç details of the voyage of admiral Fuentes, or De
Fonte, ■I I
ROUND    THE   WORLD. 6$~"
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 Péroufe, Dixon, and Meares.
It appears, from the difcourfe delivered by Buache at the Academy of Sciences, that Lorencio Ferrer de Maldonado difcovered the nprth-weftern paflage 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 #hich 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
Ms 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 fervéd as the bafis of k, haye 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 nouvelles découvertes au nord de la
titer du Bud.    Par de Lifle, etc. Paris, 1752.
Conjtdérations géographiques et phyfequesfur les nouvelles dêcou-
*vertes au nord de la grande mer, appelée vulgairement la mer du
Sud.    Par Philippe Buache, etc.    Paris, 1753.
Nouvelles Cartes des découvertes de P amiral de Fonte, etc*
Par de Lifle. etc.    Paris, 1753.
Lettre d'un officier de la marine rus sienne a un seigneur de la
cour, etc. A Berlin,
Vol. II. F Obfir.
! 4SSBm
66 La pérouse's voyage
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 Europe 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 fea-
fon, and flill 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 nouvelles découvertes de P amiral
Fuentes, etc.    Par  Robert de Vaugondy, fils,  etc.    Paris,
Journal hiftori que, Mêmaires pour Vhiftoire des fciences et des
beaux  arts,  Journal   des  Savans, Journal économique,  pour
Tannée 17Ç3.—~(Fr. Ed.)
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till we landed at Mount Saine 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 ftalk of
forty or fifty feet long ; this fea weed refembled
but much exceeded in fize the 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 2jd, at four o'clock in the
morning, we defcried 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 fenfations 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 contrail to the white-
F 2 nefs
! é8 LA Pérouse's voyage
nefs of the fnow, which was perceptible through the
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 fheker 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 Iky 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 order
to avoid a lee fhore. At noon we made an obfervation in 590 ai/ north latitude, the weft longitude
was by our time-keepers 1430 2 J. A thick fog
enveloped the land during the whole of the 125th,
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. 6$
I have already fpoken of a table-land, the elevation of 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 fécond chain of moun^
tains, 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
afternoon 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 were
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-
pofe of reconnoitring this bay or channel. Meflrs.
F 3 de m,
de Monti and de Vaujuas went from the Aftro-^
labe 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, which 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 confiderahly in
the laft twenty-four hours ; the iky 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 confideràble 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 3
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
îpiftake was this, that the woody point joined a
pare ROUND   THE   WORLD, 7 Î
-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 flightell doubt remaining of the
fleps 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 againfl. the report of three officers, in
,-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 aflertion, and, if he
have any doubts about it, to confulc Dixon's Voyage and
charts. i^i^yç;
1 affert, 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 fheitered from all winds, by the corner of an ifland which forms a kind of jetty, to which he
gave the name of Port Mulgrave.
g The fituation Mr. Turner had pitched on for us to an-
?* chor in, was round a low point to the northward, about
*c three miles up the bay/'
" Thefe if unds, in common with the reft of the coaft, are
;<c entirely covered with pines of two or three different fpe-
€S cies, intermixed here and there with witch hazle, and vari-
l€ pus kinds of bruin-wood."
F 4/ P'^oh *]$ la pêrouses 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 hours.
On the 28 th the weather became more moderate; by our obfervation we were in 590 19' 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-
perfed, we took bearings, which formed an unin-
I    |_
Dixon lays down the latitude of Port Mul-
g™vein fb ----     5f    33*
And its longitude, from the meridian of
London, at 140*; which makes, from the
meridian of Paris   -------   342®    20/
La Péroufe lays down the latitude of De
Monti's Bay in---,-----     590    #
And its longitude in  -*.«-„-   1420   40"
If the three officers fent by La Péroufe 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 paflage, which feparates thefe iflands from the conti«
nentfr—(Fr. Ed.)
terruptecl ROUND    THE   WORLD. 7 J
terrupted feries with thofe 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 fludy, will, perhaps, be very glad to know, that
to give a ftill greater degree 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 compafs, 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 itj
and it is according to this rule, that this academician has determined the height of Mount Saint
Elias to be nineteen hundred and eighty toiles,
pnd its fituation eight leagues inland *„
On the 29th of June by our obfervarions we
were in 590 2c/ north latitude, the longitude by
our time-keepers was 1420 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° zf latitude, and 2190 of longitude, from the meridian of Greenwich,   Third Voyage, vol. iiL—f Fr. Ed.)
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 our time-keepers
gave 1410 48' longitude. With all fail fet I ftqod
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 frefh, every appearance indicated, that we were at the mouth of a great river3
fin.ce  the coloyr and faltnefs of the water hac}
changed two leagues from the
I made the
lignai 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. M. de Langle had
alfo lent two of his boats, under the orders of Meffrs.
Jyîarchainville and D aigrement. Thefe officers
returned at noon,    They.ran along the coaft as
near ROUND   THE    WORLD. jf
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 confideràble 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 impoflible for our boats to come near it.
M. de Clonard during five or fix hours fearched
in vain for arventrance: 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 veryftrong,
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 *. 1
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
Tfcherikow, and not captain Behring, who loft his boats.
^dly, He experienced this misfortune in 56° of latitude, according to the Report of Muller, Voyages and' D if cover i es made
fa the Ruffians.—(Fr. Ed.) f&fe:
no exiftence, but that captain
"ook rather fup-
pofed than perceived it, fince he paflêd ten or
twelve leagues from it *.    On the firft of July at
* The place which Péroufe 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
-ef 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 tor-
jent) 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 Péroufe was in the weft of this bay, and
makes its latitude 590 20/.
Cook reckoned himfelf in longitude 22c0 19' eaft of
Greenwich, wrhich makes 1390 41"* weft longitude; and
by adding to it z° 20', difference between the meridian of
Greenwich and that of Paris, it will make Cook's weft longitude 1420  i*' from the meridian of Paris,
La Péroufe fixes his longitude at 1420 z', 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 Péroufe, 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 wate**, muddy bottom. ROUND   THE   WORLD» Jf'
Boon, I got underway 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 17' weft ,
longitude, according to our time-keepers; the en-
tranceof the river then bore north 170 eaft, and Cape
Fair Weather eaft  c° fouth.    We ran along the
■J o
land with a light breeze from the weft, at two or
three leagues^diftance, and near enough to diftin-
guilh men by the affiftance of ourperfpectivegîaiîèsj
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 Péroufe 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, paying a due regard to
the variation of the compafs, according to the determination
of the two voyagers.—*(Fr. Ed.)
it, ^8 LA   PÉROUSE's   VOYAGE
it, and at the diftance of a league difpatched  thé
jolly boat, commanded by M. de Pierrevert, with
M. Bernizet, to reconnoitre it.    The Aftrolabe
fent two boats for the fame piirpofe, commanded
by Meflrs. de Flaflan and Boutervilliers.     Wê
perceived from the fhip a great reef of rocksj
behind which the fea was very calm.    This reef
appeared to be about three or four hundred toiles
in length, from eaft to weft, arid to be terminated*
at about  two cables length,  by the point of the
continent, leaving a pretty large opening, fo that
nature 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 MelTrs.  de Flaffan  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 paftage; our boats founded, and had
.orders when we fhould come near to the points
to place themfelves one upon each cf the extremities, fo that the fhips might have only to run
between them.
2 We ii . ".mm
We foon perceived Indians, who made figns
of friendfhip to us, by waiting, and hanging
up an the air white cloaks and different fkinsi
feveral canoes of thefe Indians were fifhing in the
bay, where the water was as fmooth as in a bafbn,
whilft 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 was a confideràble 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 impoflible to lie m 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 eagernefs 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 *SS&m
fuccefs of our expedition. I kept however ftartd-»
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
baylnthey reprefented that the current, which appeared to us fo ftrong, they had feveral times
flemmed in their boat, fo that M. de Langle
thought that we fhould find it a commodious harbour, 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 Péroufe explored the north-weft coaft 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 by captain Portlock; and dropped anchor
at "Views of a
~\JBearùyr JVIW. W. zo leaguer.
Jlhntijr.W.12 ï leagues.
JUric de 2Jcnti,JS. 6 league*.   Jjg-
. .V. W.k  Vu' league*.
Mount SfElias
^ eft
>y Wm
G< ftÔUND   THE   WORLD. 8 I
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, with-,
out 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 Péroufe pafted 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 : he
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 Péroufe is clearly verified.
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, left
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 : vit 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 1
■^femff-rlfrhl «HWlfc
by pirates. I gave this* jplace the name of Port des
At fix o'clock in the morning we made fail to
reach 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 neceflary to throw the
fhip 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 half,
rocky .bottom, and half a cable's length from the
fhore ; the Aftrolabe did exactly the fame.
During thirty years experience of navigation, I
had never before feen two fhips fo near being loft ;
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 ; fhe
touched however with her heel once or twice, but
5 & ROUND    THE   WORLD. 8j
fo flightly as not to receive any damage. Our
fituation would not by any means have been fo
embarrafting, 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 Meflrs. de Flaflfan and
jBoutervilliers. This was not a time to be making
reflections, it became neceflfary to withdraw our-
felves 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
s^k- :. I
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 fin-eft 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 the 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 e
,   and the afliftance  of  our
il v ROUND    THE   WORLD. $£
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 exprefled 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 trahfient fuccefs, and iron
prevailed over all. This metal was by no means
unknown to them; they had each of them a daggqr
of it hung from thei.
the form of this in
finiment refembled that of the creeje 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 pofTeflion. Obferving us to examine thefe daggers with great attention, they made
figns to us, that they never ufed them but againfl
bears, and other beafts of the forefts. Some of
G 7 them .-
86 la pérouse's voyage
them 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 iftand of Elbe : I have found it at Erba-longa, a village two leagues to the northward of Baftia, the,capital of
the ifland of Corfica ; it was fpread with great profusion 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 fàmples which exift in the greater part
of the cabinets of natural hiftory, and by the opinion of
Stahl, Linnaeus, MargrafF, &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 Péroufe faw in the poffef-
fion of thefe Indians fprung from that fource ; and I am inclined to think wifth Cook, that they might have had it from
their communications with the Ruffians, who come from
Kamtfchatka, and who have extended their commerce as far ROUND   THE   WORLD, §7
cannot be admitted that thefe people knew the method of reducing the ores of iron to the flate of
metal ; befides, we faw on the day of our arrival
polilhed 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 induced
us to think, that the metals we had met with came
from the Ruffians, or the factors for the Hudfon's
Bay company, or from the American traders who
travelled into the interior of America, or even
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 foft
as thefe people ; or from their connexions with the interior colonies, who may have procured it for them in our feulements
on the north-eaft coaft of America.—(Fr. Ed.)
* Copper, fufed with pure zink, gives tombac ; to obtain
brafs, it is neceflary to melt it with calamine.
Calamine undoubtedly contains zink ; but it contains alfo
earth, fand, and martial ochre, and frequently galena. That
which contains but little or no zink will not be proper to
make brafs.
Zink, which is a femi-metal, when not pure, may contain
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 with
calamine.—*(Fr. Ed,)
G 4 and T^ii""    in   "^
and as eafy to cut as lead *, and perhaps it is not
impoflible for mineralogifts to point out the country and the mine which produced it.
The love of gold is not more prevalent in Eu-
rppe 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 ftone unturned to procure it. On the day of our 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
offris 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; 89
very dangerous. As foon as we had eftablifhed
ourfelves 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
confideràble 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 collect
ten thoufand fkins of this animal. M. Rollin,
furgeon-major 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
tended to, and wre could not preferve either the
head or jaw. $$m
The fea otter is an amphibious animal, better
known from the beauty of its fkin, than from the
exact defcription of the animal itfelf. The Indians
©f Port des Français call it Jkecler-, the Ruffians
give it the name of colry-fnorjky *, and diftinguifh
trhe female by the word majka. Some naturalifts
have fpoken of it under the denomination ofjari-
eavienne-, but the defcription of the firicovienne 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 arrival at the fécond anchorage, we eftablifhed 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 depofited 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 pofTefTed of an acti-
* According to Coxe, bobry-morfky, or fea beaver; the
female matka; and the young ones, under five months old,
medviedky, &Q.r-(Fr. Ed.)
vity R O U N D   T H E   W O R L D. £î
vity and obftinacy capable of carrying into execution the longeft and moft difficult projects ; we
were foon taught to know them better. They
paffed 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 diflemble, 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 fée that they could be reached at a
diftance, and a mufket, loaded wirh ball, had, in
the prefence of a great number of thefe Indians,
penetrated through feveral doubles of a cuirafs
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 us
with fentiments of fear, but I have been convinced by their conduct, they imagined our patience to be inexhauftible : they foon compelled
me to take away the fettlement I had made upon
the j>2 LA   PÉROUSe's   VOYAGE
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 flirring a leaf, they contrived, in
fpite of our fentineis, to carry off fome of our
effects ; in a word, they had the addrefs to introduce themfelves into the tent where Meffrs. de
Laurifton 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 bolfter ; 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 Français.
Thefe obftructions did not prevent our boats
from taking in wood and water ; all our officers
were without intermiflion 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, Meflrs. 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, and 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 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 im-
menfe collection of rocks condemned by nature
to perpetual flerility. 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 rocks.
It was at the extremity of this bay, that we were
in hopes of finding channels, by which we might
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
Bouflble and Aftrolabe. Meffrs. de Monti, de
Marchainville, de Boutervilliers, and father Receveur, accompanied M. de Langle; with me went
Meffrs. Dagelet, Boutin, Saint-Céran, Duché, 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 im-
menfê glaciers; we were under the neceffity 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 pther
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 m^^mmmmm*
Western Boe£***
Xot ahn&s Vuibk \ not ai» m ROUND    THE   WORLD. 95
no termination but at the fummit of Mount Fair
During this cruife my boat remained upon the
fhore ; a piece of ice, that fell into, the water at
more than four hundred toifes diftance, occafioned
along the fea fhore fo confideràble 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 oj our Stay at Port des Français—At the
Moment of cur Departure from it we experience a
melancholy Accident—Account of that Event—
We rejume our firJl Anchorage—Departure.
(JULY    I786.)
he day after this excurfion the chief came
on board, better attended and much more
dreffed than common ; after a great many fongs
and dances, he made a propofai to fell me the
ifland on which we had placed our obfervatory,
f$* referring,
referving, no doubt, to himfelfand 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 prefents to all his fuite.
The bargain being thus concluded, I fent to take
poffeffion of the ifland with the cuftomary formalities. I ordered them to bury a bottle at rjie foot '
of a rock, which contained an infcription adapted
to this taking poffeffion, 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 ftowage 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 convenience» ROUND    tHE   WORLD. }J
Veriiencies for expediting this labour, which is frequently fo difficult in other countries. Cafcades»
as I have already mentioned, falling from the top
©f the mountains, poured the cleareft water into
the cafks as they lay in the longboat ; drift wood
in great abundance is feattered along the fhore of
a fmooth fea. The furvey of Meffrs. de Monne-
ron and Bernizet 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 misfortune was nearly done away by the different notes
which had been found again; in a word, we
efteemed ourfelves the moft fortunate of navigators, in having arrived at fo great a diftance from
Europe without having a fingle perfon fick, or one
man of the two fhips companies afflicted with the
But a misfortune of the moft lamentable kind,
which no human prudence could fore fee, 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 rnyfelf of writing this narrative;
Vol* IL H and mr*~iT~*Éànm ~**^Hitm
and I am not aftiamed or afraid to make known,
that my forrbws fince this event have been a hundred times accompanied by my tears ; that time hag'
not had power to affuage my grief; every inftant,
every object recals to my mind the lofs we fuftained,
in circumftances 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
confequence, the pinnace of the Aftrolabe, under
the orders of M. de Marchainville, was ordered
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 ex-
pedition.    As his zeal had- fometimes appeared
r sr 1
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 j
I told him, that M. de Langle and I had founded
thepaflage of the bay two days before, and that I
perceived that the  commanding officer in  the
fécond ROUND    THE    WORLD. 99
Second boat had paffed 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 mount the parapet of the trenches,
and that the fame fpirit made them when in boats
brave the dangers of rocks and breakers, but
vthat this unreflecting bold nefs might be attended
with the moft melancholy confèquences in a voyage like ours, where thefe kind of dangers were
every moment preferring themfelves before us.
After this conyerfation I gave him the followirrçj
-inftructions, which I read to M. Boutin ; they
will explain, better than any other expofition, thé
.icriffion of M. d'Efcures, and the precautions
which I took.
Injlruclions given in writing to M, d'Efcures, by
M* de la Perouje.
a Previous to making known to M. d'Efcures
the object of his miffion, I apprize him, that he is
exprefsly forbidden to  expofe the boats to any
idanger, 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 iketch
H 2 one
JP tÊJài^f^mtm
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 the moft convenient
moment for approaching the channel will be at
flack water, about half paft eight o'clock ; if cir-
«umftances 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
fhould be rough, M. d'Efcures will take the foundings 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 ground 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
I whether
whether my opinion be well founded ; but I again
repeat, that I entreat him not to deviate from the
moft confummate prudence."
After thefe intimations could I be fuppofed ta
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 affection as if he had been my own fon. No young
pfficer had ever given rife to more promifino*
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 fécond 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 noç
informed whether there were any other officers on
H 3 At ¥f
At ten o'clock in the morning I faw our jtà$y
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 new7
had occurred ; the firft thing which ftruck me as
a caufe of fear was an attack from the Indians : the
countenance 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 witnefled, and from
which he had himfelf efcaped only by the firrrmefs
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 ftern to the fea, and driving in this
manner it would prevent her from filling, fo that
fhe might neverthelefs be drifted cut 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 with 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
he got upon the ihoulders of M. Mouton, in order
to fee to a greater diftance : vain he
had been fwallowed up, and M. Boutin returned
3 at ROUND    THE    WORLD. 10?
at the time of flack water. The fea having become very calm, this officer entertained fome
hopes for the pinnace (bijcayenne) 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 circum-
flances all affiftance was impoflible, having too
high a courage, and too elevated a foul to make
thefe reflections when his friends were in fo imminent 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 rnyfelf, 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 inflance to the defire which they had ex-
preflèd, 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
* Meffrs. la Borde Marchainville and la Borde Boutervilliers.
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 poffibility 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.
Nothing could be better calculated to move
their humanity; they haftened to the fea-fhore,
and fpread themfelves over the twTo 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, againfl 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 per-
fons; they went three leagues along the beach,
upon which,   however,   not the Jmalleft wreck
came HOUND   THE   WORLD. I©£
came afhore. I neverthelefs ftill entertained a
fmall degree of hope; the mind with difficulty
.acquiefees in fo fudden a tranfition from a pleafant
fituation to that of fo rooted a forrow ; but this
illufion was deftroyed 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
}n 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
pfficeris unfortunate imprudence.
M. Boutin's Narrative,
R On the 13th July, at fifty minutes paft five
«o'clock in the morning, 1 fet off from theBouffole
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 Péroufe, 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 fmooth, and
to meafure its width; but he was exprefsly forbidden to expofe the boats under his orders to the
leaft rifle, or to approach the channel at all, if
there fcÉaHj|É-3"i
îc6 la pérôuse's voyage
there was either broken water or fwell in it.    After having doubled the. weftern point of the iflandi
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,
arid 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
lèverai times repeated the fame manœuvre 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 ; faying,  * I think we can't do better than go
to breakfaft, for the fea breaks horribly  in the
channel/    I arifwered, c Certainly, and I imagine
that our labour will extend no farther than to determine the limits of the fandy bay which lies on
.'-■jfie larboard hand in going in/   M. de Pierrevert,
who was writh M.- d'Efcures, was about to anfwer
ine, but his eyes being turned towards the eaftern
coaft, he faw that we were drifted by the ebb.    I
alio ROUND   t ft E    WORLD. lOJ
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 ftill 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 ftem the tide, I
tried in vain to approach the eaftern fhore. Our
pinnace, which was ahead of us, made the fame ufe-
Ms efforts to reach the weftern fhore. We were
then under the neceffity of once more laying our
heads to the northward, to prevent our falling acrofs
the breakers. v The firft billows began to fhew
themfelves at a fmall diftance frorri 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 heavfeft feas, which almoft filled the boat; (lie did not however fiak^
or ceafe to anfwer lier helm ; fo that I could always keep her ftern to the fea, from which cir-
cumftance I entertained great hopes of efcaping
the danger.
® Our pinnace increafed hef diftance frrj'm me
■whilft I was letting go the grapnel, and in a few
minutes I08 LA   PÉROUSE'3   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 I found
rnyfelf 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 ftem the current, but I was too certain fhç
would perifh if fhe was drawn into it ; 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 fouthward, the breakers formed a continued
Jine as far as I could fee ; they alfo appeared to ex-^
tend 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-
board in the interval of the breaking of the feas,
and at twenty-five minutes after feven 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 affrftarice to my unfortunate ROUND   THÉ   WORLD. ÎO9
"nate Ihipmates; but from that time every hope had
" 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 impoffible
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 refill even for a few moments the
force of thefe waves? Neverthelefs, as I could not
make any other reafonable fearch than in the part
to which the current fet, I laid the boat's head to
the fouthward, rowing along the 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
" As there was a heavy fwell, when I was at
the top of the feas I could fee a confideràble way,
and I fhould have been able to perceive an oar or
a piece of wreck at more than two hundred toifes
diftance. 4^4
" My obfervations were foon attracted towards
the point of the eaftern entrance, where I perceived
fome men who made lignais with cloaks;  as I
have fince learned, they were the Indians, but I
then took them for the crew of the Aftrolabe's
pinnaee, and I imagined that they waited for flack
water to come to our affiftance ; I was very far
from thinking that my unfortunate friends had fallen thevi&àms of their generous boldnefs.
i At three quarters after eight o'clock*, the
tide having turned, there were no longer any breakers, but only a very heavy fwell. Tdeemed 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 fécond fearch as in the firft.
Perceiving, at nine o'clock, that the flood came from
the fouth-wefl, 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 fouth ward,
where I meant to continue my fearch if the tide
had permitted, I again entered the bay, and Jhaped
my courfe to the northward.
W The channel was already almoft jfhut in by the
eaftern point ; the fea ftill continued to break upon
* Half after eight o'clock was the hour that had been
.•j-xointed out in my inftruttions 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 fwal-
-Jowed up.
the ROUND   T H :
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 expreffed
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. dc Marchainvilie, 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,€ have you any news of M. de Marchainvilie If
c No,' deprived me of every hope for his fafety.
€< Thefe details being finifhed, I think it neçef-
fary 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 poffible to
judge of the violence of the current : it might fié
imagined that I wifhed to exculpate rnyfelf, for I
repeat that I judged this diftance more than fufficient, and even the fight of the coaft, which ap^
peared'to be fwiftly moving to thé 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-
iage was founded in every direction by our boats for
more than two'hours without finding any currents
It is true, that, when our fhips flood towards it, they
were drifted away by the ebb, but this was owing to
the lightneis of the breeze that our boats at the fame
inftant ftemmed the tide with the greateft facility*
Finally, on t1 th July, the day the moon was at the
full, our two commanders, accompanied by feveral
other officers, had themfeives founded this channel j
they went out of it with thé 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.
" At the moment when I was drawn into the
paffage, ROUND    THE    WORLD, H3
paffage, M. de Marchainvilie 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 difpofition 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 loft ; he muft 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 mufl for ever relinquifh 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 poffible, that 1 fhould willingly have
omitted any effential'fact, or mifreprefented thofe
which I have reported ; M. Mouton, lieutenant of
the frigate, who was fécond in command in my boat,
has it in his power to correct my errors, if my
memory have in any inftance failed me ; his firm-
nefs, with that of the cockfwain and the four
Vol, IL I , rower% *É&àÉs§H
ii4 La pêrouse*s Voyagé
rowers, contributed not a little to our prefervatton.
My orders, in the midft of the breakers, were exe**
cuted with as much exactnefs as in the moft ordi**»
nary circumftances."
(Signed) Boutin/5'
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 peopfle 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 ; it was fortunate we did not drag
our ROUND    THE    WORLD. I 15
our anchors, for we-were'lefs than a cable's length
from the fhore. The wind being contrary detained 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 middle of the bay, to which I gave the name of Cenotaph IJland, 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 :
(j At the entrance of this harbour, perifhed twenty brave
" feamen.
f( Reader, whoever thou art, join thy tears to ours.
I On the 14th July 1786, the frigates Bouffolc
and Aftrolabe, which failed from Breft the lft
Auguft 17S5, arrived in this port. From the
care of M. de la' Péroufe, commander in chief
of the expedition, of the vifcount de Langle,
commander of the fécond frigate, of Meffrs. Clonard and de Monti, fecond captains of the two
fhips, and of the other officers and furgeons, none
of the difeafes which are .incident to long yoyages
had afflicted our fhips' companies; M. de la
Péroufe found himfelf happy in the reflection, as
I 2 did Il6 LA   î*É&OUSe's   VOYAÔé
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 vifited people reputed to be barbarous, without lofing a fingle man,
orfhedding 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 :
M. de la Péroufe had given him inftructions 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 fécond frigate, were not afraid of ex-
pofing themfeIves to danger, by flying to the
affiftance of their companions, but they, alas ï
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 rnoft vigorous but ufelefs
exertions to affift his friends, and was only indebted for his own fafety to the fuperior con-
ftruction of his boat, to his own enlightened prudence, joined with that of M. Laprife Mouton,
lieutenant of the frigate, his fécond in command,
jPl %M and ROUND    THE    WORLD. ÏI7
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
30th of July, to continue our voyage/'
*? The namts of the officers, foldiers, and jailors who
were loft on the iph oJJuly, at a quarter paftje-
ven o'clock in the morning.
The Boussole :
*c Officers,—Meffrs. d'Efcures, de Pierrevert, de
" Crew—ht Mâkre, firft Pilot; Lieutot, corporal and cockfwain ; Prieur, Fraichot, Berrin,
Bolet, Fleury, Chaub, all feven foldiers; the oldeft
riot thirty-three years of age,
The Astrolabe :
« Officers.—Meffrs. de la Borde Marchainvilie,
de la Borde Boutervilliers, brothers ; Flaffan.
" Crew.—Soulas, corporal and cockfwain; Phi-
liby, Julien le Penn, Pierre Rabier, all four foldiers; Thomas Andrieufe, Goulven Tarreau, Guillaume Duquefne, all three captains of the tops, ir$
|jie flower of their age."
I É \ We
& w
I     §§j
We procured, by our flay at the entrance of the
bay, infinitely more knowledge of the manners and
cufloms of the Indians, than we could pofiibly have
obtained at the other anchorage. Our fhips lay
at anchor near their villages ; we every day made
them vifits, and 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. jErajj
On the 2 2d 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 billows. Upon
thefe figns Meffrs. de Clonard,de Monneron, and de
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 road; every half hour the guides required a new payment, or they refufed to go farther ; 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 fo refis of fir-trees of the largeft
dinienfions ; they meafured fome of them, which
were JIOUND    THE   WORLD. 119
W<ere five feet diameter, and which feemed ÉÉ bç
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 ançl
naturalifts, had, two days previous to this, made a
journey to the weftward, the object of which
equally related to thefe melancholy researches : it
was juft as fruitless 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 pf 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 bafkeçs, çlofed at the
farther end, ancl placed in the angles of the caufe-
way ; having entered thefe ballets, and not being
able to return, they are taken. Thefe fifh are fo
abundant that the crews of the two fhips, during
our flay, took a vaft quantity of them, and each
frigate falted two barrels. &£È-
Our travellers alfo met with a morai *, which
proved to them, that thefe Indians were in the
* I have preferved the naine morai, which exprelfes ftronger
th^n tomb ^n expqfure to the open air,,
14 habit Hi
habit of burning their dead, and preferving the
head ; they found one of them wrapped up in feveral fkins. This monument conflits of four
tolerably ftrong flakes, which fupport a little
wooden chamber, in which repofe the afties 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 in»
ftruments and beads. The Indians, who were
witneffes of this vifit, difcovered a little uneafi-
ne'fs ; 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 fbared 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 hot 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 moil difgufting
objects in the univerfe.
We were witneffes every day to the entrance of
flrange canoes into the bay, and every day whole
villages went out of it, and yielded their places to
others» ^ftîfm t/s/ Cj*mx  ROUND THE WORLD.       Ï-2Î
pthers. Thefe Indians feem to entertain very
great dread of the channel, and never ventured
\n it but at flack water: by the affiftance of our
glaffes we diftinctly perceived, that when they
were between the two points, the chief, or at leaft
the moft confideràble man of the party rofe up,
extended his arms towards the fun, and appeared
to addrefs prayers to it, whilft all the others paddled with their whole ftrength. It was in cônfe-
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 faved; 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 morai, which no doubt contained the afhes of
fome of thofe who were eaft away.
This canoe did not refemWe 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 be ft 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
I tMMBaSfflfaMBaa^aBh
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 poffeffion 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 call
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
afylums of the dead, and I was defirous thefe might
be refpected. 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 fet
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 the
jbay, and founded in ninety fathoms water, oyer &
piudçly bottom. HOtTND    THE   WORLD.'
Pejcription of Port des François—Its Longitude and
Latitude—Advantages and Inconveniences of thh
Port—Its Mineral and Vegetable Productions—
Birds, Fijhes, Shells, Quadrupeds—Manners and
Cufloms of the Indians—Their Arts, Arms, Drejs,
çmd Inclination Jor Thejt—Strong Prejumption that
the Ruffians only communicate indirectly with the/a
People—Their Mujic, Dancing, and Paffion Jor
flay—Differ tat ion çn their Language.
(july 1786.)
Wfr h e bay, or rather the harbour, to which I gave
the name of Port des François, is fituated, according to our obfervations and thofe of M. Dagelet, in 58° 37' north latitude, and 1390 50' weft
longitude ; the variation of the compafs is there
28° 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 fb powerfully upon the current of the channel, that I have
feen thé flood come in there like the moft rapid
river ; and in other circumftances, though at the
fame periods of the moon, it may be fternmed by a
boat. I have in my different excurfions found the
high-water mark to be i 'A feet above the furface
of the fea.
Thefe tides are probably incident to the bad
feafon. When the winds blow with violence from
the fouthward, the channel rnuft 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;
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
furrounding 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 \
but vkm-
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 feulement. 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 impoffible. The fort,
the magazines, and all the fettlements for commerce, fhould be raifed 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 flrength 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 confideràble, 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
&^ ~*JSfcÉinw
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 exceedingjr.
We found great abundance of celery, round leaved
forrel, lupine, the wild pea, yarrow, and endive.
Every day and every meal the copper of 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 ftate
of health. There was feen among thefe pot-herbs
almoft all thofe of the meadows and mountains of
France ; 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, aboutwrhich we knew nothing*
The woods abound in goofeberries, rafberries,
and flrawberries ; clufters of elder trees, the
dwarf willow, different fpecies of briar which grow
in the fliade, 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^-
1 known &ÔÙND    THE   WORLD* Î2J
known in Europe. M. de Martinière, in his different excurfions, met with only three plants which
he thought new, and it is well known, that a bota-
iiift might do the fame in the vicinity of Paris.
The rivers were filled with trout and falmon,
but we took in the bay only flétans *, 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 fiih 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 fifh to the eye and tafte fimilar to cod, but generally
larger, and as eafy to take, becaufe of its greedinefs.—
(Fr. Ed.)
| This fifh refembles the whiting, though a little larger ;
the flefh of it is foft, of good tafte, and eafy of digéftion ; it
abounds on the coaft of Provence, where it is known by the
name of poor prieJt.—(F.r. Ed,)
gp^ fpecies m?
~:.*-*b ~*m?fmu in |  ,|„|
î!8 La pérouse's voyage
fpecies of whelks and other fea fnails. 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 prefèrved, and of
the largeft dimenfions, of the fhell known by concho-
logifts under the name of the royal cloak, and more
commonly St. James's pell. This fact is by no
means new to naturaiifts, who have found them at
more confideràble heights; but 1 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 i$
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 rnufk
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, wolf,
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 ringing appeared to me delightful.
In the air were feen hovering the white-headed
x eagIe> ROUND    THE   WORLP,
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 cf
this country refemble a 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 picturefque, 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
quay ; their flope is 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
Vol. IL K The ! ■5.H
130 la pêrouse's voyage
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 fummits ; 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 inacceftible. Meffrs. Lamanon,
de la Martinière, Collignon, the abbé Mongès,
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 confideràble height; not a ftone or
pebble efeaped their refearches. Tpo fkilful
naturalifts not to know that in the valleys are to
be found fpecimens of every thing which forms
the mafs of the mountains, they collected ochre,
coppery pyrites, garnets brittle but very large
and perfectly cryftaîlized, 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 leaft trace of any other
Nature afîîgns inhabitants to fo frightful a country who as widely differ from the people of civilized countries, as the fcene I have juft defcribed
differs from our cultivated plains ; as rude and
barbarous ROUND    THE   WORLD. I^I
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
fo refis*.
Their arts are fomewhat advanced, and in this
refpect civilization has made confideràble progrefs; but that which foftens their ferocity, and
polifhes 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 prejudice may beinjurious to
the confidence of certain readers, who may not carefully re-
fle«5l, that a navigator's reputation would be irreparably injured by the llighteft 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 baniflied 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 coaft of America; always keeping in mind, that
this Englishman made his voyage a year fubfequent to la
Péroufe, without any poifibility of knowing his journal.—
(Fr.Ed.)  ^
K 2 in I 3. a LA   PEROU SES   VOYAGE
in hand. Expofed in the winter to perifh 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 fifh 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 ad-
-dieted as fome* of the inhabitants in our great cities.
This gaming is the great fource of their quarrels.
If to all thefe deftru&ive vices they fhould unfortunately add a knowledge of the ufe of any inebriating liquor, I fhould not hefitate to pronounce,
uld be entirely
In vain :
picture. 1
whilft I hav
courie or tu
the iniuftice
iy philofophers exclaim againft this
ey write books in their clofets,
been engaged in voyages during a
:y years. I have been a witriefs of
id deceptions of thefe people, whom
they have defcribed to us» as fo good, becaufe they
are very near to a date of nature ; but this fame
nature is only fublime in her mafies, 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
p 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 con*^
firmed by   my  own melancholy experience ;   I
nevei thelefs ROUND    THE    WORLD. IJJ
nevertheless 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.
Indiansrin their canoes were continually round
our frigates ; they paffed two or three hours there
before they began to exchange a few fiilies, or two
or three otters fkins ; they feized all occafions to
rob us ; they tore off the iron which was eafy po be
carried away, and above all they examined carefully how they might deceive our vigilance during
the night. I caufed the principal perfens amongft
them 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 oldpair of breeches or a nail. When they afin med 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 carefting of
their children, and giving them little prefents ;
the parents were infenfible to this mark cf
benevolence, which I thought incident to all
countries; the only reflection it gave rife to in
their breafts was, to afk to accompany their children when I made them come on board ; and I '
feveral times, for my inftruction, had the pleafure
K 3 of
i ' se* y a
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.
1 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 children, 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 firelocks, and eight or ten Europeans in a body might
keep a whole village in awe. The furgeon-ma-
jors of our two frigates having been fo imprudent
as to go a hunting by themfelves, were attacked by
the Indians, who endeavoured to force their mufkets
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 —
The fame event was experienced by M. de Leffeps,
a young Ruffian interpreter, to whofe affiftance one
of our boat's crews very fortunately arrived.
Thefe commencements of hoftility appeared 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 ; oa one fide
the women and children, and the men on the other.
It feemed to me that every 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 and 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 impre$i||£: of the recent lofs, which has fo
lately been detailed ; all the relations agree as to the principal
fafts, of which even the cannibalifm cannot be fuppreffed. I
have not thought it neceffary to weaken it, as it bears the
feal of a fenfibility fo honourable to its author.—{Fr. Ed. )
K 4 and i36
and that the Indians never pafs a winter in it; I
did not fee a fingle cabin flickered from the rain ;
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 po fiefs 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 fteps for the performance of any neceffary occafion, 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 oî dirt and htfh, îndoJer
ice and lazinefs. ;
in one corner
§ are thrown the. bones, and remaining fragments of victuals
if* left at their meals, in another are heaps of fifh, pieces of
" ftinklng 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 confideràble 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 cf 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 in fide of the houfes
of the inhabitants of Nootka in the following terms :
" The naftinefs and ftench of their houfes are, however, at
« leaft equal to their confufion. For, as they dry their fi\h
f 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, [
"* believe, never carried away, till it becomes troub'efome,
" from their fize, to walk over them ; in a word, their houles
"are as filthy as hog-fties; every thing in and about them
« funking of fifh, train-oil, and (moke"—Cod's third Voyage,
vol. n.
Dogs >
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 refemble the fhepherd's dog of M. de Buffonj
they feldom bark, but have a hifs nearly refem-
biing that of the Bengal jackal *, and they are fo
lavage, that to other dogs they feem to be what
their matters 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 infiniment, which they
fharpen by paffing over their teeth as over a ftone;
their teeth are filed clofe to the gums* and for
this operation they ufe a fand-ftone rounded in
the fhape 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 refer ved 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
is generally covered with a little ftraw hat, very
* A wild, carnivorous, and dangerous animal, partaking of
the dog and the wolf ; it is common in Afia, barks like a
dog in the night, but not with fo much ftrength ; the fkin is
of a yellowiih. call, of which they make fine fur.—(Fr. Ed.)
fkilfully ROUND   THE   WORLD, I3£
flrilfully plaited; but they fometimes .place on.
their heads two horned bonnets of eagles feathers,
and even whole heads of bears, in which they fixa
wooden fkull-cap. Thefe feveral head-dreffes
are extremely various ; but their principal object,
like all their other cufloms, is to render themfelves frightful, perhaps for the purpofe of keeping
their enemies in awe.
Some Indians had entire fnirts of otters fkin,
and the common drefs of a great chief was a finit
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, had I not 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 mouths
they wear a kind of wooden bowl without handles»
which refis againft the gums, to which this lower
* | The chief (who always conducts 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
fc whenever he moves."-—Dixon's Voyage, p. z\z*
JrwiMiiiErEE Ï&O
cut lip fer-ves for a fupport, fo that the lower part
of the mouth.jets out two or three inches*. The
drawing by M. Duché de Vancy, which is. exact-,
nefs Jtfelf, will explain, better than any defcription,
the moft difgufting faihion perhaps on the earth.
* This cuftom appears general among the colonies which
inhabit the north-weft coaft of America from 50th to
6ift9, it is extended even to the inhabitants of Fox iflands
and the Aleutian Iflands,—-See Coxe, in his translation
of New Difoveries by the RuJIans, pages 34, 35;   104, and
138- '
At Port Mulgrave, 59° 33' north latitude, 1420 20' weft
longitude from the meridian of Paris ï
"An'aperture is made in the thick part of the under-
I 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
** thick; the fuperfices not flat, but hollowed out on each fide
*« like a fpooS, though not quite fo deep; the eàgcs are like-
*5 wife hollowed in the form of a puliy, in order to fix this
ei precious ornament more firmly in the lip, which by this
(e means is frequently extended at leaft three inches horizon-
€f tally, and consequently diftorts every feature in the lower
" part of the face. This curious piece of wood is wore only
*c by the women, and feems to be confidered as a mark of-
*« diilin&ion, it not being wore by all indifcriminately, but
*' 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^
137° 5' weft longitude from the meridian of Paris :
% The women, too, ornament, or rather diftort their lips
I in- the fame manner as' I have alreadv defçribed \ and it
« fhould feem, that the female who is ornamented with "the f/Yf/rry//*/. f ROUND    THE   WORLD.
! 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 refpected by her
" friends, and by the community in general."—Dixon's Voyage,^
p. 186.
Hippah Iftand, one of Queen Charlotte's Iflands, 53° 48*
north latitude, 1350 20' weft longitude from the meridian of
Paris :
" There were likewife a few women amongft: them, who
•f all feemed pretty well advanced in years ; their under
7 lips were diftorted in the fame manner as thofe of the
" women at Port Margrave and Norfolk Sound, and the
. " pieces of wood were particularly large. One of thefe lip-
" pieces appearing to be peculiarly ornamented, captain
" Dixon wifhed to purchafe it, and offered the old woman to
" whom it belonged a hatchet; but this fhe refufed wkh
(C contempt ; toes, bafons, and feveral other articles were
1 afterwards lhewn to her, and as conftantly rejected. Our
" captain began now to defpair of making his wifaed-for«
(t purchafe, and had nearly given it up, when one of our
" 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 hef wooden.
" ornament as„ before me was delirous of keeping it. This
cc curious lip-piece meafured three and feven-eighth inches
** 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 cuf--
toms of the favages of Oonalaihka, of Norton's Sound, in
640 3V north latitude, ' and 165° 7' weft longitude, meridian
of Paris, and of Prince William's Sound, fituatein 6i° \ 1 30''
north latitude, and 1480 52' weft longitude, meridian of Paris.—Cook's third Voyage.~(Fr. Ed,)   .
the bowl*. We fometimes prevailed on them
to pull off this ornament, to which they with difficulty agreed ; they then teftified the fame embar-
raffment, and made the fame geftures as a woman
in Europe who difcovers her bofom. The lower
lip then fell upon the chin, and this fécond picture
was not more enchanting than the firft.
Thefe women, the moft difgufting of any on
the earth, covered with flinking fkins, which are
frequently untanned, failed not, however, to excite defires in fome perfons, in fact of no fmall
confequence ; they at firft ftarted many difficulties, giving aflurances by their geftures that they
ran the rifk of their lives ; but being overcome
# Marriage among thefe favages not being fubjecl 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 diftih&ion of the exclufive
property of one man alone. The refpect they have for thofe
who bear this ornament may arife from this principle, for I
do not fûppofe 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
ft 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 lip, in the
« thick part near the mouth, is fimply perforated, and apiece
"of c©pper wire introduced to prevent the aperture from
« clofmg; ROUND   THE   WORLD. I43
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
€C doling ; the aperture afterwards is lengthened, from time
<f to time, in a line parallel with the mouth, and the wooden
" ornaments are enlarged in proportion, till they are fre-
«f quently increafed to three, or even four inches in length,
u and nearly as wide, but this generally happens, when the
€S matron is advanced in years, and confequently the mufcles
" are relaxed ; fo that poffibly old age may obtain greater
*f refpect than this very lingular ornament."—Dixon's Voyage,
p. i%7—(Fr.Ed.)
* Dixon's details are generally fo conformable to thofe
given by la Péroufe, that I am at a lofs to conceive what
could give rife to the difference they have difcovered in appreciating the charms of the female fex.
Could chance then have prefented to Dixon an object
which was fingular in its fpecies ? or can this difference be
really any other than that of the known indulgence of a fea-
man, efpecially after a voyage of long continuance ? Be this
as it may, here is his narrative :
" They are particularly fond of painting their faces with .
<c a variety of colours, fo that it is no eafy matter to dif-
" cover their real complexion ; however, we prevailed on
cc one woman, by perfuafion, and a trifling prefent, to wafh
*' her face and hands, and the alteration it made in her ap-
" pearance abfolutely furprifed us ; her countenance had all
<( the chearful glow of an Englifh milk-maid ; and the healthy
" red which flufhed her cheek, was even beautifully contrafted
« with the whitenefs of her neck ; her eyes were black and
fe fparkling ; her eye-brows the fame colour, and moft beau-
" tifully arched ; her forehead fo remarkably clear, that the
t( tranftucent veins were feen meandering even in their mi-
u nuteft branches—in fhort, fhe was what would be reckoned
*•* handfome
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
. worfhip.
The flature of thefe Indians is very near our
own : the features or tneir
e are very variot
and exhibit no particular character but in the ex-
preftion 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 exppfed 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 poftibility
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 1 have found amongft the different nations feveral individuals with beards, which led
m,e to think that the others were in the habit of
(c handfome even in England : but this fymmetry oT features
" is entirely deftroyed by a cuftom extremely fmgular."-—
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, fécond 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 betteï
" dreffed,  might difpute charms with  the moft beautiful
Spanifh women."—(Fr. Ed.)
pullin. 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
* J The young men have no beards, and I was at firft:
" 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
■8 beards all over the chin, and fome of them whifkers on
" each fide the upper lip.
(< As this fuppofed defect amongft the natives of America
"«'has occafioned much fpeculative enquiry amongft the
" learned and ingenious, I took every opportunity of learning
g how it was occafioned, and was given to underftand, that
*( the young men got rid of their beards by plucking them
ff out, but as they advance in years, the hair is faf-
" fered to grow,"-—Dixon's Voyage, p. 23$.
An enemy to every fyftem, and my inquiries having always
truth alone for their object, i will not keep back any of the
afTertions which are contrary to thofe of la Péroufe; I think,
therefore, the reader will, with pleafure, perufe the following
extract taken from Lettres Américaines, by Carli, 24th letter :
** There is certainly nothing aftonifhing in feeing the
j8 Americans without hair, and without beard, fince, if we
*' may believe all the hiftorians, the Tartars and Chinefe are
f< equally unprovided with them. Hippocrates tells us, that in
Éj his time, the Scythians had neither hair nor beard. The
*' Huns were perhaps defcendants of theie Scythians, for Jor-
¥ nandes relates, that they grew old without beard, after
" having become adults without the ornament of puberty.
** The hiftory^jof 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 beard,
g but how many people are there in Afia and Africa in the
§ fame circumftances !"«■— (Fr. Ed.)
Indians. 1
146 *«A   PÊROUSE's   VOYAGE
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 corn-
par ifons between different nations, and I dare venture to affert, that the Indians of Port des Français
are not Efquimaux ; they have evidently a common o- igin 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 cufloms abfolutely different. The firft
feem to me to bear a ftrong refemblance to the
Greenlanders ; they inhabit the coaft of Labrador,
Hudfon's Streight, and a lkirt of land, the whole
extent of America, as far as the peninfula of Alafhka.
There isv 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 fatisfactorily folved; it is fufficient to
fay, that the Efquimaux are a people much more
addicted to fifhing than to hunting, and that they
prefer oil to blood, and perhaps to every thing,
very con monly eating raw fifh : their canoes are
always covered with feal fkins, very well ftretched*
*♦ they ROUND   THE   WORLD.
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 feet, a broad
breaft, and are of fhort ftature. None of thefe
characters feem to agree with the natives of Port
des Français; they are much bigger, meagre, not
robuft, and unfkilful in the conftruction of their
canoes, which are formed of a hollow tree raifed
on each fide with planks.
Like us, they fifh by flaking the rivers, or with a
line. 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*
" ducted in a very lingular 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
" line as a buoy, and fhould that not watch fufEciently, they
?* add another. Their lines are very ftrong, being made of
" the finews or inteftines of animals. One man is fufficient
f to look after five or fix of thefe buoys, &c."—Dixon's
Vàyage, p. I74.—(Fr. Ed.)
in 14°* LA   PÉROUSe's   VOYAGE
in the arts than in morals, and their induftry is morê
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 Port des Français 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 tifiue equal
to our taptrftry ; they intermix in this tifiue 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 ftone;
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 thé wealth of the owner ; and laftly, a bow
and arrows, which are generally tipped at the point ROUND    THE    WORL». *49
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, theyhave
received it from the old continent by their indirect
communication with the Ruffians.
I Jiave 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 confideràble di-
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 Français was a repofi-
tory, and only inhabited during the fifhing feafon.
It feemed to us poffible, that the Efquimaux from
the vicinity of Shumagin Iflands, arid the penin-
fula 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 been
L 3 collected «m   r-;rr	
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 poffeffion.
I have fpoken of the paffion of thefe Indians
for play; that to which they deliver therrrfelves
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
ftake 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 ringing, his arms extended in the
form of a crofs in token of friendfhip; he then
came on board, and played a pantomime, which
was expreffive 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 * ;
# Thofe who have the ftrongeft voices take the air a
third lowe;r, and the women a third higher than the natural
pitch ;
s 1
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 i
M. de Lamanon is the author 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,  theirhf.
Three, neifk.
Four,  . . taakhoun.
five, keitjchine.
Six,  kleitouchou.
Seven, takatouchou.
Eight, netjkatouchouy
Nine, ......... kouehok.
Ten,  tchinecate.
Eleven,  . keirkrba-keirrk.
Twelve, keir.krha-theirh.
Thirteen, keirkrha-neijk.
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 Meffrs.
Monneron, Leffeps, Lavaux, Lamanon, Mongès, and Receveur, but it is not arrived,-— (Fr. Ed.)
f To reprefent the r guttural, which thefe people pro-enounce ftill harder than the Qermans the chr, the rh has been
fubftituted, as if it. were pronounced rhabiller, fpeaking
very thick* and as more conformable to the French language,
Fifteçfy ROUND   THE    WORLD, Ï53
Fifteen,  keirkrha-keitjchine.
Sixteen, » keirkrha-kleitouchou.
Seventeen, :..,... keirkrha- takatouchou.
Eighteen, keirkrha netjkatouchou.
Nineteen, , keirkrha-kouehok.
Twenty, their ha.
Thirty,   ; neijkrha.
Forty, . « . taakhounrha.
Fifty, | keitjchinerha.
Sixty, . . . s kleitouchourha»
Seventy, takatouchourha.
Eighty, ........ netfkatouchourha.
Ninety, ........ kouehokrha.
A hundred,  ...... tchinecaterha.
u Our characters cannot exprefs the language of
thefe people ; they have, in fact, fome articulations
Similar to ours, but to many of them we are abfolutely ftrangers; they make no ufe 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,
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 ex-
3Eé citini SffîlBffawrlgBi
154 LA pérouse's voyage
citing laughter ; it is partly reprefented by the
letters khlrl, 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 atx-
ftract ideas by figns : I recollect, however, that
they have interjections expreffive of admiration,
wrath, 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.
T.-ey have very few collective names; they have
not fufficiently generalized their ideas to have
obtained terms even in a fmall degree abftracted;
kii! imad
they have not fo far particularized them as to
avoid giving the fame name to very diftinct
things ; thus with them kaaga equally fignines head
znd face, and the word alcaou, chief and friend. I
did not find any firnilarity between' this language
and that of Alafhka, Norton, Nootka, or that of
the Greenlanders, Efquimaux, Mexicans, Naudo-
weffees, and Chipawas, whofe vocabularies I 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 poffibly 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 Francars, and the people whom I have
juft cited, there feems to be a confideràble 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 impoffible
that this language and the Mexican may have a
common origin ; but if this origin exift, it mult
go back to a very remote period, fince thefe
idioms have no refemblance but in the firft elements of words, and not in their lignification."
I will finifh the article reflecting thefe people
by faying, that we have not perceived among
them any trace of anthropophagifm ; but it is fo
general Mi!
M ■ i
156      ■   ;
general a cuftom among the Indians of America
that I fhould ftill perhaps have this trait to adcîto
their picture, had they been at war, and taken any
prifoners *.
Departure from Port des Français—Exploring of the
Coaft of America - Bay of Captain Cook's Ijlands —
Port of Los Remedios, and Bucarelli, of the Pilot
Maurelle—La Croyere Ijlands — Saint Carlos Ijlands
—Dejcription oj the Coaft from Crojs-Sound as
Jar as Cape Heel or—Reconnoitring oj a great Gulph
or Channel, and the exacJ Determination of its
Breadth—Sartine Ijlands—Captain Cook's Woody
Point—Verification of our Time-keepers—Breakers
Point—Necker Iflands—Arrival at Monterey.
1 fTpHE forced flay which I had juft made at Port
des Français 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 iuipoffible to think of
* Captain J. Meares has proved, in the narrative of his
voyages, that the people who inhabit the north-weft, coaft of
America are cannibals. —*(Fr. Ed.)
touching at any other place, and ftill lefs to reconnoitre  every  bay :   all   my  intentions  were
obliged to be made fubordinate to the abfolute
neceffity of arriving at Manilla by the end of Ja-
nuarv, and at China in the courfe of February,"
in order to be enabled to employ the following
fummer in  reconnoitring 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 obfcrve 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 15th 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 more than iao*
of longitude, or near two thoufand four hundred
fea leagues, 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
I g
and to leeward, rendered 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
mcft diftant, we fhould have a greater quantity of
wood and water to replace there.
Our difafter at Pert des Français required fome
changes in our ftaff eftablifhment ; I gave M.
Darbaud, a very well informed midfhiprnan, 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 proportion being
unanimoufiy received with tranfpart, 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 corri^
petition 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 fo
to connect our bearings, and precifely to determine
the lying of the coaft, of the principal points of
which we 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 power
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 paffed it at
a very confideràble 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 parricular expedition,
and to which it might be neceffary to dedicate
lèverai feafons. I was in the utmcfl impatience
to arrive in 550, 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 was far from placing confidence in the conjectures of M de Guignes, or in the narrative of
the Spanifh admiral, the exiftence of whom I think
may be difputed ; 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 i»
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. l6î
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 pofteffions on the
continent of America, to make a more exact fur-
vey, 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 Péroufe, too honeft to fufpecl: 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. IL M drcd il il
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 250 weft, at about five leagues diftance;
Mount Fair Weather then bore north $o° 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 Français %
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 v
Weather appears to be accompanied by two mountains not quite fo high as itfelf, and Mount Crillon,
more infukted, 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, and we endeavoured to difc
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:
at lOUNÔ    tHÉ    WORLD. ï6j
ât day-break I fet a cape which is to the fouth
of the entrance of Crofs Sound, bearing north
2g° 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 ojlftancfsm
At fun-fet the entrance of Port Los Remedios
bore eaft' 2° fouth, that of Guadaloupe Bay, eaft
2\° fouth, and Cape Enganno alfo eaft 23° fouth;
but all thefe capes and points were imperfectly
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 conn-
. guration of the coaft, which prefents in this place a great
many capes, and Cook muft certainly have determined the
fituation of that, which upon the chart is km to be the fouth-
«rnmoit.—(Fr, Ed.)
M 2
felf Ill
rnyfelf according to the plan that I laid down on
our departure from Port des Français, 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 18' 40", and our